“I went to see Miss Harper, at the time appointed, this morning. She lives up Riverside Drive. She is a pleasant woman, who seems to know what she wants. She thinks that if I write a new third act, and change some things in the second act, Mr. Parke might produce it. I defended the present form, and tried to show her that the changes she wants will weaken the message of the play. She says she doesn’t care a fig for my message. She wants a good part. My impulse was to take my work and leave, but I remembered how important this chance seemed to you, so I swallowed my pride, though it choked me, and promised to make a scenario of the changes, to submit at once. I may have to stay on a few days to do things over as she wants me to do. The play is ruined for me, already.
“I suppose it is cool and quiet where you are. The noise and heat are terrible here. I forgot to say that I have to hurry with ‘Success,’ because the lady is going to Europe in a fortnight, and insists it must be finished by that time. I hope she won’t crack the whip. It makes me nervous. I am such a new trained bear.
“I’d rather argue with the Professor to-night than be here, or even talk with you. I wish you didn’t want me to be a success, Bambi. Couldn’t you let me off? My regards to you both. Tell Ardelia that nobody in New York knows anything about cooking. There seem to be thousands of people eating around, and oh, such food! Good night.
“He is homesick,” said the Professor, as Bambi finished and folded the letter.
“Homesick to argue with you,” snapped Bambi.
“He said, ‘Or talk with you.’”
“Excuse me. He said, ‘Or even talk with you.’ I shall punish him for that.”
“He isn’t comfortable. Hot and mid-Victorian. He isn’t responsible,” excused her father.
“He won’t be comfortable when he gets the penalty,” said Bambi, fiercely.
“I am surprised that he consented to change his play. Samson’s locks are certainly shorn.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You have shaved him, my dear.”
“Are you calling me Delilah?”
“You can’t deny that he would never be where he is, doing what he is now, if he were not married to you.”
“What of it? Time he had a little discipline. He needs it and his work needs it.”
“Well, he’s getting it.”
“Are you pitying him because he isn’t as mad as he was when I caught him?”
“He’s still mad, nor’ by nor’east.”
“I’ll make a human being and a big artist out of Jarvis before I am through.”
“Be careful that you don’t lose everything in him that makes him Jarvis.”
“Do you think that I can’t do it?”
“I only say that creation, like vengeance, is God’s. It is dangerous when man tampers with it.”
Upon a sudden impulse, she went to lean over him and kiss his bald head.