He wrote freely about his work on the other plays, asking her judgment and advice, as he had on “Success.” She gave her best thought and closest attention to the problems he put to her, and he showed the same respect for her decisions.
The six weeks grew into two months, and no answer from the Frohman offices. He wrote her that he went in there every other day, but could get no satisfaction. They always said his play was in the hands of the readers. It had to take its turn.
He finished “The Vision” and offered it to Winthrop Ames, of the Little Theatre. “I am hopeful of this man. I have never seen him, but the theatre is well bred, and, to my surprise, a capable, intelligent secretary received me courteously in the office and promised a quick reading. This augurs well for the man at the head of it, I think.”
In reply to her insistence that he must come for Thanksgiving, he told her that he had made a vow that he would never come back to her until he had absolutely succeeded or hopelessly failed. “If you knew how hard it is to keep that resolve you would be kind, and not ask me again,” he added.
A little piqued, and yet proud, Bambi reported his decision to the Professor, and began to turn over in her busy mind a plan to carry the mountain to Mohammed, if Christmas found the wanderer still obdurate.
Jarvis certainly had matriculated in the school of experience, and he entered in the freshman class. He first wrote a series of articles dealing with the historical development of the drama. He took them to the Munsey offices and offered them to Mr. Davis.
“Did you intend these for Munsey’s Magazine?”
“Yes. I thought possibly——”
“Ever read a copy of the Magazine?”
“No. I think not.”
“Well, if you intend to make a business of selling stuff to magazines, young man, it would pay you to study the market. What you are trying to do is to unload coal on a sugar merchant. This stuff belongs in the Atlantic Monthly, or some literary magazine.”
“Isn’t your magazine literary?”
“Certainly not in that sense. We publish a dozen magazines and this kind of thing doesn’t fit any of them. We entertain the public—we rarely instruct them.”
“I see. I’m obliged to you for your trouble. I’ll try the Atlantic.”
“Bring in some stories, light, entertaining stuff with a snap, and we will take them.”
“Thanks! ’Fraid that isn’t in my line.”
Jarvis went over to the Public Library and deliberately studied the style of stuff used by the various monthly publications, making notes.