“By the time this reaches you, you will have read the new third act to your leading lady. I feel so confident that she is going to like it. Wire me when she accepts. I can’t wait for a letter. Good luck and congratulations, from both of us.
“P.S. Will you come home after the contract is signed?”
She tripped down to the corner in the moonlight to mail the letter, congratulating herself that she had handled the report of Mr. Strong’s visit with great tact. She recalled Jarvis’s unexpected jealousy with a smile. Where was he at this moment? Tossing in a hot bedroom, or prowling the streets, as he seemed prone to do these nights?
She pondered the processes which made success so easy for some people—hers, for instance, a happy accident—while others, Jarvis-like, had to be tied to the wheel before the fickle goddess released them and crowned them. Was it all chance? Or was there some big plan back of it all? Was she spared this incarnation that she might strive harder in the next? Was Jarvis expiating for past immunity? It was all a tangle, surely, to our mortal eyes.
She gave it up, snapped off her light, and went to bed. A shaft of silver, like a prayer rug, lay across the floor.
“Lady Moon, shine softly on my Knight of the Broken Lance,” she whispered, as she closed her eyes.
There was a faint idea in Jarvis’s mind, as he staggered out of the all-night lunch, of swimming after the Mauretania to overtake the Parkes. Then his wandering senses collected themselves. He realized that the vessel did not sail until eleven, or thereabouts; that there were still several hours before that.
He hurried back to his room, dressed carefully, took the manuscript, and started out. It never occurred to him to telephone. Arrived at the house, the butler informed him that the Parkes had left in the motor at 8:30. No word had been left for Mr. Jocelyn.
Jarvis’s jaw was set as he started downtown. He went to the wharf where the steamer lay, but there was only fifteen minutes left before her sailing. It was impossible to find out anything from anybody. So, with a sardonic calm, he watched the steamer slowly loosing from the wharf and making her stately exit.
On the way uptown he made up his mind as to the next move. He would begin action to-day on the Charles Frohman forces. He must also try to find a job. His resources were about exhausted.
At the Empire Theatre, where the king of managers rules, there was actually an elevator to carry one up to the throne room and its antechambers. At a window, in a sort of cashier’s booth, a boy received Jarvis’s manuscript, numbered and entered it on the file.
“How soon will it be read?” Jarvis asked.
“Oh, six weeks or so,” said the youth.
“No possible chance of seeing Mr. Frohman?”