The news item in the paper gave her really all she needed. It told her that a production was in rehearsal and it mentioned the name of the director, John Galbraith, referring to him as one of the three most prominent musical-comedy directors in the country; imported from New York at vast expense, to make this production unique in the annals of the Globe, and so forth.
They hadn’t rehearsed Jimmy’s piece, she knew, in the theater itself, but in all sorts of queer out-of-the-way places—in theaters that happened for the moment to be “dark,” in dance-halls; pretty much anywhere. This was because there was another show running at the time at the Globe. She had looked in the theater advertisements to see whether a show was running there now. Yes, there was. Well, that gave her her formula.
When she asked at the box office at the Globe Theater, where they were rehearsing The Girl Up-stairs to-day, the nicely manicured young man inside, answered automatically, “North End Hall.”
Evidently Jimmy Wallace couldn’t have phrased the question better himself. But the quality of the voice that asked it had, even to his not very sensitive ear, an unaccustomed flavor. So, almost simultaneously with his answer, he looked up from his finger-nails and shot an inquiring glance through the grille.
What he saw betrayed him into an involuntary stare. He didn’t mean to stare; he meant to be respectful. But he was surprised. Rose, in the plainest suit that she could hope would seem plausible to her servants for a traveling costume to California, an ulster and a little beaver hat with a quill in it, had no misgivings about looking the part of a potentially hard-working young woman renting a three-dollar room on North Clark Street and seeking employment in a musical-comedy chorus. A realization that her neat black seal dressing-case wasn’t quite in the picture, helped to account for the landlady’s puzzlement about her. But it hadn’t been introduced in evidence here. And yet the young man behind the grille seemed as surprised as the landlady.
He repeated his answer to her question with the lubricant of a few more words and a fatuous sort of smile. “I believe they rehearse in the North End Hall this afternoon.”
Rose couldn’t help smiling a little herself. “I’m afraid,” she said, “I’ll have to ask where that is.”
“Not at all,” said the young man idiotically, and he told her the address; then cast about for a slip of paper to write it down on, racking his thimbleful of brains all the while to make out who she could be. She wasn’t one of the principals in the company. They’d all reported and he hadn’t heard that any of them was to be replaced.
“Oh, you needn’t write it,” said Rose. “I can remember, thank you.” She gave him a pleasant sort of boyish nod that didn’t classify at all with anything in his experience, and walked out of the lobby.
He stared after her almost resentfully, feeling all mussed up, somehow, and inadequate; as if here had been a situation that he had failed signally to make the most of. He sat there for the next half-hour gloomily thinking up things he might have said to her.