“What is this Belasco?”
Bambi looked at Jarvis, and they both laughed.
“Isn’t he refreshing?” she remarked. “I’ve thought for two weeks in terms of managers. They fill the universe. They are the gods. Their nod is life or death, and now my nearest relative says, ‘What is Belasco?’”
“It’s a sort of meat sauce, isn’t it?”
Consternation on both their faces, then an outburst from Bambi.
“No, no! That’s tabasco, you dear, blessed innocent.”
“Belasco is one of the leading managers in New York, Professor,” explained Jarvis, patiently. “He is as well known as Pierpont Morgan or Theodore Roosevelt.”
“Indeed! Well, I am not surprised at my ignorance. I have no interest in present-day drama. It is degenerate mush.”
“Have you seen anything, since ’Uncle Tom’s Cabin’?” Jarvis inquired.
“I have seen ‘The Second Mrs. Tanqueray,’” he replied conclusively.
“That was considered strong meat in its day, but now we have ’Damaged Goods,’” mused Jarvis.
“And what are ’Damaged Goods’?” inquired the Professor.
“What are Yonkers? Don’t tell him, Jarvis—he’s too young to know. It’s an ugly modern play. We saw some things you might have enjoyed. Oh, I often wished for you.”
“Thank you, my dear, but I have no desire to enter that cauldron of humanity.”
“I agree with you, Professor Parkhurst.”
“That is a rare occurrence, I may say,” answered the Professor, with a twinkle.
“Thank goodness, you have me to prod you into life. You would both sit in your dens and figure and write until you blinked like owls in the night. I have stored up energy enough, from these two weeks in the cauldron, to run me for months. I didn’t miss one thing, ugly or beautiful. I shall use it all.”
“Use it? How use it, my dear?”
“In my thoughts, my opinions, my life.”
“Dear me!” said her father, staring at her. “What odd things you say!”
“It’s true, what she says,” Jarvis ejaculated. “She rolled New York up on reels, like a moving-picture show, and I have no doubt she could give us a very good performance.”
“I shall,” quoth Bambi.
“It is rather a pity you waste your impressions, Bambi. Why don’t you write them down?” Jarvis patronized.
“In a young lady’s diary, I suppose. No, thanks.”
“One author in a family is enough,” commented the Professor, heartily.
“You ought to tell us your conclusion about your career. Did you settle it in your mind?”
“A career?” anxiously, from Professor Parkhurst.
“Yes, wealth and fame are in my grasp.”
“You haven’t done anything rash, my dear?”
“Well, slightly rash, but not the rashest I could do.”
“Is it dancing?” from Jarvis.
“Of a sort.”
“Not public dancing?”