“No chance for the experiment,” said Martin. “I shall never have any troubles while you’re around.”
THE MIRY WAY
Rodney’s docility didn’t go to the length of the dose of veronal Harriet had recommended, but it did assent to a program that occupied the greater part of the day, including a Turkish bath, a good sleep, fresh clothes and the first decently cooked meal he had had since he’d dined at the club three days ago. When he turned into his office, about five o’clock, he was his own man again, perfectly capable of a greeting to Craig and Miss Beach which consigned the last scene between them here in the office to oblivion.
His fortitude was put to the test, too, during the first five minutes. In the stack of correspondence on his desk, to which Miss Beach directed his attention, was an unopened envelope addressed to him in Rose’s handwriting. He couldn’t restrain, of course, a momentary wild hope that she had written to tell him he was forgiven, or at least to offer him the chance of asking her forgiveness. But he paused to steel himself against this hope before looking to see what the thing contained.
It was well he did so, because there was nothing in it but a postal money-order for a hundred dollars; not an explanatory line of any sort. Of course the message it carried didn’t need writing. It smarted like a slap across the face. Yet, down underneath the smart, he felt something that glowed more deeply, a feeling he couldn’t have named or recognized, of pride in her courage.
He was badly in need of something to be proud of, too, for the next two days were full of humiliations. When he told Harriet and Frederica that he would see Rose himself, he hadn’t any program for carrying out this intention. He didn’t want to wait for her again at the stage door. There mustn’t be anything about their next talk together to remind her of their last one, and it would be better if she could be assured in advance that she had nothing to fear from him. So the first thing to do was to write her a letter that would show her how he felt and how little he meant to ask. But before he could write the letter, he must learn her name.
He thought of Jimmy Wallace as a person who’d be able to help him out, here, but in the circumstances Jimmy was the last person he wanted to go to. There was no telling how much Jimmy might know about the situation already. The intolerable thought occurred to him that Rose might even have talked with Jimmy about going on the stage before she left his house. No, the person to see was the manager of the theater. He’d describe Rose to him and ask him who she was.