“Your what?” I was mystified.
“Evening clothes, goose.” Dicky threw the words over his shoulder as he took down the telephone receiver. “Can you dress in half an hour? We have only that.”
“I’ll be ready.”
As I closed the door of my room I heard Dicky ask for the number of the taxicab company where he kept an account. Impulsively, I started toward him to remonstrate against the extravagance, but stopped as I heard the patter of rain against the windows.
“I’ll leave this evening entirely in Dicky’s hands,” I resolved as I began to dress.
KNOWN TO FAME AS LILLIAN GALE
Our taxi drew into the long line of motor cars before the theatre and slowly crept up to the door. Dicky jumped out, raised his umbrella and guided me into the lobby. It was filled with men and women, some in elaborate evening dress, others in street garb. Some were going in to their seats, others were gossiping with each other, still others appeared to be waiting for friends.
The most conspicuous of all the women leaned against the wall and gazed at others through a lorgnette which she handled as if she had not long before been accustomed to its use. Her gown, a glaringly cut one, was of scarlet chiffon over silk, and her brocaded cape was half-slipping from her shoulder. Her hair was frankly dyed, and she rouged outrageously.
I gazed at her fascinated. She typified to me everything that was disagreeable. I have always disliked even being in the neighborhood of her vulgar kind. What was my horror, then, to see her deliberately smiling at me, then coming toward us with hand outstretched.
I realized the truth even before she spoke. It was not I at whom she was smiling, but Dicky. She was Dicky’s friend!
“Why, bless my soul, if it isn’t the Dicky-bird,” she cried so loudly that everybody turned to look at us. She took my hand. “I suppose you are the bride Dicky’s been hiding away so jealously.” She looked me up and down as if I were on exhibition and turning to Dicky said. “Pretty good taste, Dicky, but I don’t imagine that your old friends will see much of you from now on.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Lil,” returned Dicky easily. “We’re going to have you all up some night soon.”
“See that you do,” she returned, tweaking his ear as we passed on to our seats.
I had not spoken during the conversation. I had shaken the hand of the woman and smiled at her.
But over and over again in my brain this question was revolving:
“Who is this unpleasant woman who calls my husband ‘Dicky-bird,’ and who is called ‘Lil’ by him?”
But I love the very air of the theatre, so as Dicky and I sank into the old-fashioned brocaded seats I resolutely put away from my mind all disturbing thoughts of the woman in the lobby who appeared on such good terms with my husband, and prepared to enjoy every moment of the evening.