"Who'll do nothing of the sort and who'll pay you well for it," put in Obermuller. He had come up and was reading the note I had handed to him. "You just say yes, Nance," he went on, after Gray had bounced of to her dressing-room. "It isn't such a bad graft and--and this is just between us two, mind--that little beggar, Tausig, has begun his tricks since you turned his offer down. They can make things hot for me, and if they do, it won't be so bad for you to go in for this sort of thing--unless you go over to the Trust--"
"Well, this thing will be an ad for you, besides,--if the papers can be got to notice it. They're coy with their notices, confound them, since Tausig let them know that big Trust ads don't appear in the same papers that boom anti-Trust shows!"
"How long are you going to stand it, Mr. O?"
"Just as long as I can't help myself; not a minute longer."
"There ought to be a way--some way--"
"Yes, there ought, but there isn't. They've got things down to a fine point, and the fellow they don't fear has got to fear them. . . . I'll put your number early to-night, so that you can get off by nine. Good luck, Nance."
At nine, then, behold Nancy Olden in her white muslin dress, long-sleeved and high-necked, and just to her shoe-tops, with a big white muslin sash around her waist. Oh, she's no baby, is Nance, but she looks like one in this rig with her short hair--or rather, like a school-girl; which makes the stunts she does in mimicking the corkers of the profession all the more surprising.
"We're just a little party," said Mrs. Paul Gates, coming into the bedroom where I was taking of my wraps. "And I'm so glad you could come, for my principal guest, Mr. Latimer, is an invalid, who used to love the theaters, but hasn't been to one since his attack many years ago. I count on your giving him, in a way, a condensed history in action of what is going on on the stage."
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