“Upon my word, you’re a queer pair! Are you Francesca, and is he the musician of the story?”
“Well, they are based on us, rather.”
“Dear, kind Mr. Frohman, will you do this?”
“I told the fellow to try his hand at a comedy. He might handle this, if we could hold him down. Awful preacher, isn’t he?”
“He’s young,” she answered patronizingly. The manager covered a smile.
“Won’t he recognize himself and you in the book?”
“I think not. He’s so unobserving, and he does not suspect me at all. He’ll never know.”
“You may have to work with him on the play.”
“Oh, he’ll appeal to me for help. He always does. We will do it together, only he will not know about the author.”
“You will have to come to rehearsals.”
“I’ll come as wife of the playwright, or co-author.”
“You’ve got it all thought out, haven’t you?”
“Sounds like a farce plot to me. Give me my instructions again. You want me to send for him, tell him to make a play out of this book——”
She smiled and nodded.
“Suppose he asks me who the author is?”
“You could say that she insisted upon preserving her anonymity.”
“What else do I do?”
“If this is your idea of a short interview with God, you certainly make good in dictating his policy to him!”
Bambi’s laughter rippled and sang.
“But you will do it?”
“I’ll make a start by calling the cabby.”
She rose and held out her hand.
“I’m so glad you’re like this,” she said. “I shall love doing things with you.”
“Much obliged. I’m glad you came in. You’ll probably hear from one of us as to the next move in the matter. Good-bye!”
“Good-bye and thanks, Mr. God.”
His laugh followed her out. He sat for several minutes thinking about her and her plan. He recalled Jarvis’s fine, unconscious exit at the time of his interview. He rang for a boy, and demanded Jarvis’s address.
Bambi walked out, treading on air. She had won her point. She had got Jarvis his chance. She thought it all out—the coming of Frohman’s letter, his joy over the commission, how he would announce it to her. She laughed aloud, so that several people turned to look at her and a man slowed up and fell in step.
She went into a tea-shop to have tea, calm down, and decide on the next step. Would she stay over-night, summoning Jarvis to meet her next day, or should she go home on the night train and not see him at all? Could she bear to see his face with the imprint of poverty and discouragement? He had been so reduced as to be forced to drive a cab, she might even meet him on the avenue! No, she would go home to-night, and let Jarvis come to her with news of his victory.