Dolly, though she looked a bit hollow-eyed and much more in need of rest than Rose (for she hadn’t any stamina at all. She was an under-nourished, and probably anemic little thing, and was always train-sick when their jumps began too early in the morning), went straight ahead with her toilet, tried to correct her pallor with a little too much rouge, and with the glaring falsehood that it was clearing up, put on the pathetic little fifteen-dollar suit that she religiously guarded for occasions.
She was very fidgety, a little bit furtive, and elaborately over-casual about all this; a fact to which Rose was, also a little artificially, oblivious.
Their partnership had not proved, from Dolly’s point of view, at any rate, an unqualified success. They’d not been on the road three days before she’d begun to wonder whether she hadn’t been hasty in the selection of her chum. Doris Dane was a very magnificent person, of course. She made the rest of the company, including the principals, look (this was a phrase Dolly had unguardedly used the day Rose first appeared at rehearsal) like a bunch of rummies. And of course it was an immense compliment to be singled out by an awe-inspiring person like that, for her particular chum. Only, once the compliment had been paid, its value as an abiding possession became a little doubtful. Awe is not a very comfortable sort of emotion to eat breakfast with.
Evidently the rest of the company felt that way about it, for Dane was not popular. She gave no handle for an active grievance, to be sure. She wasn’t superior in the sense in which Dolly used the word. She didn’t look haughty nor say withering things to people, nor tell passionately-believed stories designed to convince her hearers that her rightful place in the world was immensely higher than the one she now occupied. One didn’t hear her exclaiming under some bit of managerial tyranny, that never, in the course of her whole life, had she been subjected to such an affront. But she had a blank, rather tired way of keeping silence when other people told stories like that, or made protests like that, which was subtly infuriating. The very fact that she never tried to impress the company, was presumptive evidence that the company didn’t very greatly impress her. If their common feeling about her had ever crystallized into a phrase, its effect would have been, that all their affairs, personal and professional, past, present and to come, even those she shared with them, were not of sufficient importance to her ever to get quite the whole of her attention. It was a notion that irritated the women and frightened off the men. Probably nothing else could have kept a young woman of Rose’s physical attractions from being, on a tour like that, with that sort of company, the object of, at least, experiments.