Then she beckoned to him. He rose from his chair and came to her side.
“In the interval after the next act,” she whispered, “look through the glasses at the third row in the pit. Not now—not now! It might be noticed now.”
“Who is it?” he asked.
“I don’t know—I’m not certain.”
The lights in the theatre were put out just as he was about to turn his head in the direction. He went back to his seat and in five minutes had forgotten about it.
When that act was over and the lights revived again, Mrs. Durlacher handed him the glasses. He came to the edge of the box. Coralie followed him, looking down on the rows of heads below her.
“Look round the house first,” Mrs. Durlacher whispered.
He swept the glasses right and left, about the theatre in an indiscriminate manner—seeing nothing. Then he turned them in the direction his sister had indicated. From one face to another he passed along the third row of the pit, seeing only clerks and their young girls, shop-keepers and their wives. At last he stopped. There was a girl sitting by herself. Her head was down, her face hidden; but he recognized her. Then she looked up quickly—straight to the box—turned direct to his glasses a pair of dark eyes that were burning, cheeks that were pale, almost unhealthy in the pallor, and white lips, half-parted to the breaths he could almost hear her talking.
It was Sally!
Directly she thought that he had seen her, her head lowered guiltily again. She kept it bent, hidden from him, lifting a programme to shield her utterly from his gaze.
He put down his glasses on the ledge of the box.
“Do you allow that sort of thing?” Mrs. Durlacher whispered as she took them up.
“My God—no!” he exclaimed.
She smiled in her mind. That word—allow—was chosen with discretion.
As the curtain fell Traill proposed supper at a restaurant. They readily agreed. Mrs. Durlacher, in the best of spirits, thanking Providence for the weakness of human nature that had driven Sally to follow Traill to the theatre, still thrilling with the sound of his exclamation in her ears, would have lit the dullest entertainment in the world with the humour of her mood. There was a part for her to play. She played it. All her remarks, bristling with the pointed satires of spiteful criticism, were a foil to the gentle temper of Coralie’s conversation.
“My God!” said Traill, as they walked down one of the passages to the foyer, and he listened to his sister’s verdict upon a woman who had gone out before them. “Do you women allow a stitch of respectability to hang on each other’s backs?”
“She’d want more than a stitch,” Mrs. Durlacher replied, “if she’s not going to put on more clothes than that.”