And Rose, by that time, by the plain brute force of necessity, was a teacher of phonetics. She’d discovered how she made sounds herself and had, with the aid of a hand mirror, developed a rough-and-ready technique for demonstrating how it was done. She remembered, with bitter regret, a course she had dozed through at the university, dreaming about the half-back, which, had she only listened to the professor instead, would be doing her solid service now. Had there been other courses like that, she wondered vaguely? Had the education she had spent fifteen years or so on an actual relation to life after all? It was a startling idea.
She walked Olga out to the park and back at seven-thirty, and at eight they were up in her room again. They raided the delicatessen at eleven o’clock, and made an exiguous meal on the plunder. And at twelve, husky of voice, but indomitable of mind, they, with the others, confronted Galbraith upon the stage in North End Hall.
“Do you suppose,” Olga said during the preliminary bustle of getting started, “that he’s put any one else in my part already?”
It was a fear Rose had entertained, but had avoided suggesting to her pupil.
“I don’t believe so,” she said. “If he has, I’ll talk to him.”
“No, you won’t!” said Olga. “I’ll talk to him myself.”
There was a ring to that decision that did Rose’s heart good. It took a long time to get that northern blood on fire, but when you did, you could count on its not going cold again overnight.
It got pretty exciting of course, as the scene between Sylvia and the sextette drew near, and when it came, Rose could hardly manage her own first line—hung over it a second, indeed, before she could make her voice work at all, and drew a sharp look of inquiry from Galbraith. But on Olga’s first cue, her line was spoken with no hesitation at all, and in tone, pitch and inflection, it was almost a phonographic copy of the voice that had served it for a model.
There was a solid two seconds of silence. For once in her life Patricia Devereux had missed a cue!
John Galbraith had been an acrobat as well as a dancer, and he was quick on his feet. He had just turned, unexpectedly, an intellectual somersault, but he landed cleanly and without a stagger. “Come, Miss Devereux,” he said, “that’s your line.” And the scene went on.