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The Regent eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 246 pages of information about The Regent.
and the matter was lifted above mere politics.  A subscription was inaugurated to buy a new fiddle, and to pay for shattered crockery.  And the amount collected would have purchased, after settling for the crockery, a couple of dozen new fiddles.  The unneeded balance was given to Seamen’s Orphanages.  The purser was approached.  The captain was implored.  Influence was brought to bear.  In short, the wheels that are within wheels went duly round.  And Miss Isabel Joy, after apologies and promises, was unconditionally released.

But she had been arrested.

And then early on Sunday morning the ship met a storm that had a sad influence on divine service; a storm of the eminence that scares even the brass-buttoned occupants of liners’ bridges.  The rumour went round the ship that the captain would not call at Fishguard in such weather.  Edward Henry was ready to yield up his spirit in this fearful crisis, which endured two hours.  The captain did call at Fishguard, in pouring rain, and men came aboard selling Sunday newspapers that were full of Isabel’s arrest on the steamer, and of the nearing triumph of her arrival in London before midnight.  And newspaper correspondents also came aboard, and all the way on the tender, and in the sheds, and in the train, Edward Henry and Isabel Joy were subjected to the journalistic experiments of hardy interviewers.  The train arrived at Paddington at 9 P.M.  Isabel had won by three hours.  The station was a surging throng of open-mouthed curiosities.  Edward Henry would not lose sight of his priceless charge, but he sent Harrier to despatch a telegram to Nellie, whose wifely interest in his movements he had till then either forgotten or ignored.

And even now his mind was not free.  He saw in front of him still twenty-four hours of anguish.

VII

The next night, just before the curtain went up, he stood on the stage of the Regent Theatre, and it is a fact that he was trembling—­not with fear but with simple excitement.

Through what a day he had passed!  There had been the rehearsal in the morning; it had gone off very well, save that Rose Euclid had behaved impossibly, and that the Cunningham girl, the hit of the piece but ousted from her part, had filled the place with just lamentations and recriminations.

And then had followed the appalling scene with Rose Euclid.  Rose, leaving the theatre for lunch, had beheld workmen removing her name from the electric sign and substituting that of Isabel Joy!  She was a woman and an artist, and it would have been the same had she been a man and an artist.  She would not submit to this inconceivable affront.  She had resigned her role.  She had ripped her contract to bits and flung the bits to the breeze.  Upon the whole Edward Henry had been glad.  He had sent for Miss Cunningham, who was Rose’s understudy, had given her her instructions, called

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