People seated themselves in groups, and finally a chairman made some remarks about the Modern Drama and invited a discussion. A dramatic critic made cynical comment on the so-called “uplift plays,” which roused Jarvis to indignation. To Bambi’s surprise, he was on his feet instantly, and a torrent of words was spilled upon the dramatic critic. He held the attention closely, in an impassioned plea for thoughtful drama, not necessarily didactic, but the serious handling of vital problems in comedy, if necessary, or even in farce. It need not be such harrowing work as Brieux makes it, but if the man who had things to say could and would conquer the technique of dramatic writing, he would reach the biggest audiences that could be provided, which ought to pay him for the severity of his apprenticeship.
Bambi thrilled with pride in him, his handsome face, his passionate idealism, and his eloquence. He sat down, amid much applause, and Bambi knew he had made his place among these clever people. He took some part in the discussion that followed, and when they went upstairs she marked the flush of excitement and the alive look of his face.
“I was proud of you, Jarvis,” she said, as they stopped at her door.
“Nonsense. The man I talked against was a duffer, but this has been a great day,” he said. “This place stimulates you every minute.”
“Tomorrow we move on Broadway, Captain Jocelyn. Get your forces in order to advance.”
“Very good, General. Good night, sir.”
As she closed her door she skipped across the room. She knew the first gun had been fired when Jarvis rose to speak. If she was to act as commander in the making of his career, she was glad she had a personality to work with. Nobody would forget that Greek head, with its close-cropped brown curls, those dreaming blue eyes, and that sensitive, over-controlled mouth. Her own dreams were wrought about them.
The day which Bambi foretold would some time be famous in history dawned propitiously, with sun and soft airs. A sense of excitement got them up early. Breakfast was over, and Jarvis ready for action, by eight-thirty.
“I don’t believe Mr. Belasco will be down this early, Jarvis,” Bambi said.
“Well, he is a busy man. He’ll probably get an early start. I want to be on the ground when he arrives, anyhow. If he should want me to read the play this morning, we should need time.”
She made no more objections. She straightened his tie, and brushed his coat, with shining eyes, full of excitement.
“Just think! In five hours we may know.” He took up his hat and his manuscript.
“Yes,” he answered confidently. “Shall we lunch here?”
“Yes, and do hurry back, Jarvis.”
At the door he remembered her.
“Where are you going? Do you want to come?”