“I’ll remember that, Herr Vater,” said she.
As the result of their talk, her reply to Jarvis was not so fierce as she had planned to make it, in her first indignation at his “even you.” She did not pat him on the back for making concessions about the play. She merely said she was glad he was acting so sensibly about it, and that if she was the mainspring of that action she was proud. As for letting him off, he was the only living person who could keep him on, or let him off. If he was the sort of softling who could not stand up under life’s discipline because it was uncomfortable or unpleasant, then no power on earth could hold him to accomplishment. But, endowed as he was, with brain, imagination, sensibilities, health, it lay in his power to actually create himself, to say “such and such a man will I be,” making every touch of life’s sculpturing fingers count, “even the pinches,” she added, picturesquely. Of course he must stay in New York as long as necessary. If he was uncomfortable, he must move. He could not do good work under irritating conditions. She told him that the Professor missed him, and Ardelia contemplated sending a box of goodies. She omitted any mention of her own state of mind or feelings in regard to him or his actions. Here was the punishment for his “even you,” and he pondered long over it.
“What on earth did she marry me for? She doesn’t care a straw about me, only what I can make of myself,” he mused, a trifle bitterly. But he went to work at “Success” with the abandon of a house-wrecker, pulling it to the foundation. He used the sledgehammer on scenes he loved. He loosened and pitched out phrases he had mulled over long, and in the dust of the affray he forgot the sting that lay behind Bambi’s words. If she wanted him famous, famous would he be.
Three boiling days, and the major part of three boiling nights, Jarvis sweated and toiled over the scenario for the revised two acts. It was work that irked him, because he hated doing things over when the first glad joy of inspiration was gone, but he stuck to it. And the fourth day he set out for the house far up the Riverside Drive, armed with his manuscript and a sense of triumph.
Arrived at his destination, the butler announced that Miss Harper had gone on a motor trip for two days. No, she had left no word. Angry at himself for not having provided against such a situation by an appointment with the lady, furious at the thought of two days’ delay, he betook himself to the Parke offices in the hope of finding some word for him there. Mr. Parke was busy and could not see him, announced the keeper of the keys to heaven, who sat at the outer gate. No, Mrs. Parke had left no word for a Mr. Jocelyn. No, she knew nothing of Mrs. Parke’s plans or movements. No, she could not ask Mr. Parke. Besides, he wouldn’t know.
Jarvis descended the many stairs in a thickening gloom. Wait, wait, wait! That was part of the discipline Bambi talked of so wisely. Well, he then and there decided that the day would come when he would walk past every managerial outpost in the city, and invade the sanctum without so much as presenting a visiting-card.