“Don’t what?” he repeated.
“I was only going to say,” said Mrs. Jimmie, “don’t make a joke of every—”
“Well, if you don’t want me to go there, I’ll trade places with the scribe and put her with the lady who is generally represented reclining on the ground in a blue dress improving her mind by reading. Perhaps you would feel more comfortable if I lodged with Judas?”
“No, indeed! and put her with Mary Magdalene?” said Mrs. Jimmie, whose serious turn of mind was as a well-spring in a thirsty land to Jimmie.
“My dear,” he said, impressively, with his hand on the door-knob. “Two things seem to have escaped your mind. One is that this is only play-acting, and the other is that Mary Magdalene, when history let go of her, was a reformed character anyway.”
The door slammed. We both looked expectantly at Mrs. Jimmie. Her apologies for Jimmie’s most delicious impertinences are so sincere and her sense of humour so absolutely wanting that we love her almost as dearly as we love Jimmie.
Mrs. Jimmie, large, placid, fair and beautiful as a Madonna, rose and looked doubtfully at us after Jimmie had fled.
“You mustn’t mind his—what he said or implied,” she said, the colour again rising in her creamy cheeks. “Jimmie never realises how things will sound, or I think he wouldn’t—or I don’t know—” She hesitated between her desire to clear Jimmie and her absolute truthfulness. She changed the conversation by coming over to me and laying her hand tenderly on my hair.
“You are sure, dear, that you don’t mind lodging with Judas Iscariot?”
Bee stuffed her handkerchief into her mouth and politely turned her back. I bit my lip. It hurts her feelings to be laughed at.
“Not a bit, Mrs. Jimmie. I shall love it.”
“Because I was going to say that if you did, I would gladly exchange with you, and you could lodge with Mary.”
“Mrs. Jimmie,” I said, “you are an angel. That’s what you are.”
“And now,” said Bee, cheerfully, who hates sentiment, “let’s pack, for we leave at noon.”
I don’t apologise for Jimmie’s ribald conversation, because many people, until they have seen the Passion Play, make frivolous remarks, which would be impossible after viewing it, except to the totally insensible or irreligious.
Jimmie is irreligious, but not insensible. He really had gone to no end of trouble to obtain these lodgings for us, and he had insisted so tenaciously that we must be lodged with the principals that we were obliged to wait for an extra performance, and live in Munich meanwhile.
We all four made the journey from Munich to Oberammergau, which lies in so picturesque a spot in the Bavarian Alps, from very different motives. Mrs. Jimmie, who is an ardent churchwoman, went in a spirit of deep devotion. Bee went because one agent told her that over twelve thousand Americans had been booked through their company alone. Bee goes to everything that everybody else goes to. Jimmie went in exactly the same spirit of boyish, alert curiosity with which, when he is in New York, he goes to each new attraction at Weber and Field’s.