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Уильям сомерсет моэм театр william somerset maugham - раздел Искусство, ...
Уильям Сомерсет Моэм
William Somerset Maugham
THE door opened and Michael Gosselyn looked up. Julia came in.
"Hulloa! I won't keep you a minute. I was just signing some letters."
"No hurry. I only came to see what seats had been sent to the Dennorants.
What's that young man doing here?"
With the experienced actress's instinct to fit the gesture to the word, by a
Movement of her neat head she indicated the room through which she had
"He's the accountant. He comes from Lawrence and Hamphreys. He's been
here three days."
"He looks very young."
"He's an articled clerk. He seems to know his job. He can't get over the way
Our accounts are kept. He told me he never expected a theatre to be run on
Michael did not notice the faint irony of her tone.
"I won't ask him if you don't want him. I merely thought it would be a treat
for him. He admires you tremendously. He's been to see the play three times.
He's crazy to be introduced to you." Michael touched a button and in a
Julia with half an ear listened to the list Margery read out and, though she
The manager of a first-class theatre. The walls had been panelled (at cost
Price) by a good decorator and on them hung engravings of theatrical pictures
By Zoffany and de Wilde. The armchairs were large and comfortable. Michael
Sat in a heavily carved Chippendale chair, a reproduction but made by a well-
Known firm, and his Chippendale table, with heavy ball and claw feet, was
Immensely solid. On it stood in a massive silver frame a photograph of herself
Between these was a magnificent silver ink-stand that she had herself given
Him on one of his birthdays and behind it a rack in red morocco, heavily gilt,
In which he kept his private paper in case he wanted to write a letter in his
Own hand. The paper bore the address, Siddons Theatre, and the envelope his
crest, a boar's head with the motto underneath: Nemo me impune lacessit. A
Bunch of yellow tulips in a silver bowl, which he had got through winning the
theatrical golf tournament three times running, showed Margery's care. Julia
Gave her a reflective glance. Notwithstanding her cropped peroxide hair and
Her heavily-painted lips she had the neutral look that marks the perfect
She had been with Michael for five years. In that time she must have got to
Know him inside and out. Julia wondered if she could be such a fool as to be in
Love with him.
But Michael rose from his chair.
"Now, darling, I'm ready for you."
Margery gave him his black Homburg hat and opened the door for Julia and
Michael to go out. As they entered the office the young man Julia had noticed
Ready smile and she felt the palm of his hand wet with sweat when she
Cordially grasped it. His confusion was touching. That was how people had felt
When they were presented to Sarah Siddons. She thought that she had not
Been very gracious to Michael when he had proposed asking the boy to
Luncheon. She looked straight into his eyes. Her own were large, of a very
Dark brown, and starry. It was no effort to her, it was as instinctive as
Brushing away a fly that was buzzing round her, to suggest now a faintly
The car was waiting for them at the stage door, a long car in black and
chromium, upholstered in silver leather, and with Michael's crest discreetly
They lived in Stanhope Place, and when they arrived Julia told the butler to
Show the young man where he could wash his hands. She went up to the
Drawing-room. She was painting her lips when Michael joined her.
"I've told him to come up as soon as he's ready."
"By the way, what's his name?"
"I haven't a notion."
"Darling, we must know. I'll ask him to write in our book."
"Damn it, he's not important enough for that." Michael asked only very
distinguished people to write in their book. "We shall never see him again."
At that moment the young man appeared. In the car Julia had done all she
Could to put him at his ease, but he was still very shy. The cocktails were
Waiting and Michael poured them out. Julia took a cigarette and the young
Man struck a match for her, but his hand was trembling so much that she
Thought he would never be able to hold the light near enough to her cigarette,
Herself her language was racy. She inhaled the first whiff of her cigarette with
Delight. It was really rather wonderful, when you came to think of it, that just
To have lunch with her and talk to her for three quarters of an hour, perhaps,
Could make a man quite important in his own scrubby little circle.
She gave him the quick, delightful smile, with a slight lift of her fine eyebrows,
Which he must often have seen her give on the stage.
"I'm so glad you like it." Her voice was rather low and ever so slightly hoarse.
Michael gave the room a complacent glance.
"I've had a good deal of experience. I always design the sets myself for our
They had moved into that house two years before, and he knew, and Julia
Knew, that they had put it into the hands of an expensive decorator when they
Were going on tour, and he had agreed to have it completely ready for them,
At cost price in return for the work they promised him in the theatre, by the
Time they came back. But it was unnecessary to impart such tedious details to
A young man whose name even they did not know. The house was furnished in
Extremely good taste, with a judicious mixture of the antique and the modern,
and Michael was right when he said that it was quite obviously a gentleman's
Julia, however, had insisted (Джулия, однако, настояла) that she must have her
bedroom as she liked (что у нее должна быть спальная комната в ее вкусе: «как
она хотела»), and having had exactly the bedroom that pleased her in the old
house in Regent's Park (и так как у нее была спальня, которой она полностью
была довольна, в /их/ старом доме в Риджент Парке) which they had occupied
since the end of the war (который они занимали с конца войны; to occupy —
занимать, заполнять, оккупировать) she brought it over bodily (она целиком
перенесла ее /сюда/; bodily — лично, собственной персоной; целиком). The
bed and the dressing-table (кровать и туалетный столик /с зеркалом/) were
upholstered in pink silk (были обтянуты розовым шелком), the chaise longue
and the armchair in Nattier blue (шезлонг и кресло /были обтянуты/ голубым
/шелком, цветом, любимым/ Натье; Nattier — Натье Жан Марк (1685-1766),
французский портретист); over the bed there were fat little gilt cherubs (над
кроватью /там/ были толстые маленькие золоченые херувимчики) who
dangled a lamp with a pink shade (которые поддерживали: «раскачивали»
лампу с розовым абажуром), and fat little gilt cherubs swarmed all round the
mirror on the dressing-table (и толстые маленькие золоченые херувимчики
толпились вокруг зеркала на туалетном столике). On satinwood tables were
signed photographs (на столе из атласного дерева стояли: «были»
подписанные фотографии; to sign — подписывать, подавать знак,
отмечать), richly framed (богато обрамленные), of actors and actresses
(актеров и актрис) and members of the royal family (и членов королевской
семьи). The decorator had raised his supercilious eyebrows (декоратор
/удивленно/ поднял свои надменные брови /на это/; to raise — подняться,
повышать, взметать), but it was the only room in the house (но это была
единственная комната в доме) in which Julia felt completely at home (в которой
Джулия чувствовала себя полностью свободно/непринужденно). She wrote
her letters at a satinwood desk (она писала свои письма за столом из атласного
дерева), seated on a gilt Hamlet stool (сидя на золоченном табурете).
upholstered [Ap'hqVlstqd] chaise longue ['SeIz'lON] cherub ['tSerqb]
Julia, however, had insisted that she must have her bedroom as she liked, and
having had exactly the bedroom that pleased her in the old house in Regent's
Park which they had occupied since the end of the war she brought it over
Bodily. The bed and the dressing-table were upholstered in pink silk, the
Chaise-longue and the armchair in Nattier blue; over the bed there were fat
Little gilt cherubs who dangled a lamp with a pink shade, and fat little gilt
Cherubs swarmed all round the mirror on the dressing-table. On satinwood
Tables were signed photographs, richly framed, of actors and actresses and
Members of the royal family. The decorator had raised his supercilious
Eyebrows, but it was the only room in the house in which Julia felt completely
At home. She wrote her letters at a satinwood desk, seated on a gilt Hamlet
Luncheon was announced (ланч был объявлен; to announce — объявлять,
оповещать, анонсировать) and they went downstairs (и они спустились к
столу: «пошли вниз»).
"I hope you'll have enough to eat (я надеюсь, что вы наедитесь: «будете иметь
достаточно что поесть»)," said Julia (сказала Джулия). "Michael and I have very
small appetites (у Майкла и меня очень скромный: «маленький» аппетит)."
In point of fact (на самом деле) there was grilled sole (была /подана/ запеченная
камбала; to grill — жарить на решетке), grilled cutlets and spinach
(запеченные котлеты со шпинатом), and stewed fruit (и компот; to stew —
тушить, томить). It was a meal designed to satisfy legitimate hunger (пища
предназначалась для удовлетворения оправданного: «законного» голода), but
not to produce fat (но не приводящая к набору веса: «но не производить жир»;
fat — жир, сало, полнота, тучность). The cook (повар), warned by Margery
that there was a guest to luncheon (предупрежденный Марджери, что к ланчу
будет гость; to warn — предупреждать, предостерегать) had hurriedly made
some fried potatoes (в спешке приготовил немного жареного картофеля; to fry
— жарить). They looked crisp and smelt appetizing (он: «они» выглядел
хрустящим и аппетитно пахнул; to smell — чувствовать запах, нюхать,
пахнуть). Only the young man took them (только молодой человек ел его:
«взял их»). Julia gave them a wistful look (Джулия тоскливо посмотрела на
него /картофель/; wistful — томящийся, мечтательный) before she shook her
head in refusal (до того, как отказалась /от него/: «покачала головой в знак
отказа»; to shook — трясти, встряхивать, качать, дрожать). Michael stared
at them gravely (Майкл уставился на картофель: «на них» серьезно; to stare —
пристально смотреть, уставиться) for a moment (на какое-то мгновение) as
though he could not quite tell what they were (как будто он не мог с
определенностью сказать, что это было: «чем они были»), and then with a little
start (и затем, слегка вздрогнув; start — начало, отправление; вздрагивание,
рывок), breaking out of a brown study (вырвавшись из мрачной задумчивости),
said No thank you (сказал: нет, спасибо).
appetite ['xpItaIt] spinach ['spIn IdZ, -ItS| ] legitimate [lI'dZItImIt]
Luncheon was announced and they went downstairs.
"I hope you'll have enough to eat," said Julia. "Michael and I have very small
In point of fact there was grilled sole, grilled cutlets and spinach, and stewed
Fruit. It was a meal designed to satisfy legitimate hunger, but not to produce
Fat. The cook, warned by Margery that there was a guest to luncheon had
Hurriedly made some fried potatoes. They looked crisp and smelt appetizing.
Only the young man took them. Julia gave them a wistful look before she
Shook her head in refusal. Michael stared at them gravely for a moment as
Though he could not quite tell what they were, and then with a little start,
They sat at a refectory table, Julia and Michael at either end in very grand
Italian chairs, and the young man in the middle on a chair that was not at all
Comfortable, but perfectly in character. Julia noticed that he seemed to be
Looking at the sideboard and with her engaging smile, leaned forward.
"What is it?"
He blushed scarlet.
"I was wondering if I might have a piece of bread."
She gave the butler a significant glance; he was at that moment helping
He still had at fifty-two a very good figure. As a young man, with a great mass
Of curling chestnut hair, with a wonderful skin and large deep blue eyes, a
Straight nose and small ears, he had been the best-looking actor on the English
The only thing that slightly spoiled him (единственное: «единственная вещь,
которая» что слегка портило его; to spoil — портить) was the thinness of his
mouth (так это /был/ тонкий рот: «тонкость его рта»). He was just six foot tall
(он был всего шести футов ростом; foot — зд. фут — мера длины, равная
30,48 см) and he had a gallant bearing (и у него была великолепная осанка;
bearing — поведение, манера держаться, осанка, выправка). It was his
obvious beauty (именно его очевидная красота) that had engaged him to go on
the stage (побудила его пойти в актеры: «пойти на сцену»; to engage — зд.
разг. побеждать, убеждать, склонять) rather than to become a soldier (вместо
того, что бы стать военным: «солдатом») like his father (как его отец). Now his
chestnut hair was very grey (сейчас его каштановые волосы были совершенно:
«очень» седыми; grey — серый, седой, землистого цвета), and he wore it much
shorter (и он носил их гораздо короче); his face had broadened (его лицо
расширилось = расплылось) and was a good deal lined (и было достаточно
сильно покрыто морщинами); his skin no longer had the soft bloom of a peach
(его кожа больше не напоминала мягкий плод персика; bloom — цветение,
цветок, пушок на плодах; здоровый румянец) and his colour was high (и лицо
его было красным; high color — яркий румянец, краснота). But with his
splendid eyes (но, с его великолепными глазами) and his fine figure (и его
прекрасной фигурой) he was still a very handsome man (он все еще оставался
очень красивым мужчиной). Since his five years at the war (со времени /его/
пяти лет /проведенных/ на войне) he had adopted a military bearing (он
приобрел военную выправку; to adopt — усыновлять, удочерять;
перенимать, усваивать), so that if you had not known who he was (так, что
если вы не знали, кем: «кто» он был) (which was scarcely possible (что /было/
вряд ли возможно), for in one way and another (так как по тому или иному
поводу: «одним путем или другим») his photograph was always appearing in the
illustrated papers (его фотография всегда появлялась в иллюстрированных
изданиях: «газетах»; to appear — появляться, показываться)) you might have
taken him (вы могли бы принять его; to take smb. for smb — принимать кого-
либо за кого-либо) for an officer of high rank (за офицера высокого чина). He
boasted (он хвастался /тем/) that his weight (что его вес) had not changed since
he was twenty (не изменился с того момента, когда ему было двадцать /лет/),
and for years (и многие годы), wet or fine (/неважно/, в мокрую или ясную
/погоду/), he had got up every morning at eight (он вставал каждое утро в
восемь часов) to put on shorts and a sweater (чтобы надеть шорты и свитер) and
have a run round Regent's Park (и пробежаться вокруг Риджент Парка).
gallant ['gxlqnt] obvious ['ObvIqs] scarcely ['skεqslI] weight [weIt]
The only thing that slightly spoiled him was the thinness of his mouth. He was
Just six foot tall and he had a gallant bearing. It was his obvious beauty that
Had engaged him to go on the stage rather than to become a soldier like his
Father. Now his chestnut hair was very grey, and he wore it much shorter; his
Face had broadened and was a good deal lined; his skin no longer had the soft
Bloom of a peach and his colour was high. But with his splendid eyes and his
Fine figure he was still a very handsome man. Since his five years at the war he
Had adopted a military bearing, so that if you had not known who he was
(which was scarcely possible, for in one way and another his photograph was
Always appearing in the illustrated papers) you might have taken him for an
Officer of high rank. He boasted that his weight had not changed since he was
Was not particularly good-looking, but he had a frank, open face and his
Shyness was attractive. He had curly light brown hair, but it was plastered
Down and Julia thought how much better he would look if, instead of trying to
Smooth out the wave with brilliantine, he made the most of it. He had a fresh
Colour, a good skin and small well-shaped teeth. She noticed with approval
Michael and Julia smiled on him kindly. His admiration made them feel a
Used to write when I was a young fellow. What the French call a raisonneur.
You know the sort of thing I mean, a duke, or a cabinet minister, or an
Presently Michael looked at his watch.
"I think when you've finished your coffee, young man, we ought to be going."
She took him into a fair-sized room behind the dining-room. Though it was
supposed to be Michael's private sitting-room — "a fellow wants a room
where he can get away by himself and smoke his pipe" — it was chiefly used
As a cloak-room when they had guests. There was a noble mahogany desk on
Which were signed photographs of George V and Queen Mary. Over the
chimney-piece was an old copy of Lawrence's portrait of Kemble as Hamlet.
On a small table was a pile of typescript plays.
The room was surrounded by bookshelves under which were cupboards, and
From one of these Julia took a bundle of her latest photographs. She handed
She gave him another sort of smile, just a trifle roguish; she lowered her
Eyelids for a second and then raising them gazed at him for a little with that
Soft expression that people described as her velvet look. She had no object in
Doing this. She did it, if not mechanically, from an instinctive desire to please.
The boy was so young, so shy, he looked as if he had such a nice nature, and
she would never see him again, she wanted him to have his money's worth;
She wanted him to look back on this as one of the great moments of his life.
She glanced at the photograph again. She liked to think she looked like that.
The photographer had so posed her, with her help, as to show her at her best.
Her nose was slightly thick, but he had managed by his lighting to make it
Look very delicate, not a wrinkle marred the smoothness of her skin, and there
Not even a very pretty one; Coquelin always used to say I had the beautй du
diable. You understand French, don't you?"
"Enough for that."
"I'll sign it for you."
She sat at the desk and with her bold, flowing hand wrote: Yours sincerely,
WHEN the two men had gone she looked through the photographs again
Before putting them back.
"Not bad for a woman of forty-six," she smiled. "They are like me, there's no
denying that." She looked round the room for a mirror, but there wasn't one.
"These damned decorators. Poor Michael, no wonder he never uses this room.
Of course I never have photographed well."
She had an impulse to look at some of her old photographs. Michael was a
Tidy, business-like man, and her photographs were kept in large cardboard
Cases, dated and chronologically arranged. His were in other cardboard cases
With the same laudable object he had had all their press cuttings from the
Very beginning pasted in a series of large books.
There were photographs of Julia when she was a child, and photographs of
Her as a young girl, photographs of her in her first parts, photographs of her
As a young married woman, with Michael, and then with Roger, her son, as a
Baby. There was one photograph of the three of them, Michael very manly
And incredibly handsome, herself all tenderness looking down at Roger with
Maternal feeling, and Roger a little boy with a curly head, which had been an
All the illustrated papers had given it a full page and they had used it on the
Programmes. Reduced to picture-postcard size it had sold in the provinces for
Years. It was such a bore that Roger when he got to Eton refused to be
Photographed with her any more. It seemed so funny of him not to want to be
Society people how they mob the photographers, cabinet ministers and judges
and everyone. They may pretend they don't like it, but just see them posing
when they think the camera-man's got his eye on them."
Julia came across a photograph of herself as Beatrice. It was the only
Shakespearean part she had ever played. She knew that she didn't look well in
Costume; she could never understand why, because no one could wear modern
Clothes as well as she could. She had her clothes made in Paris, both for the
Stage and for private life, and the dressmakers said that no one brought them
More orders. She had a lovely figure, everyone admitted that; she was fairly
It was a pity she had never had a chance of playing Rosalind, she would have
looked all right in boy's clothes, of course it was too late now, but perhaps it
was just as well she hadn't risked it. Though you would have thought, with
Her brilliance, her roguishness, her sense of comedy she would have been
perfect. The critics hadn't really liked her Beatrice. It was that damned blank
Verse. Her voice, her rather low rich voice, with that effective hoarseness,
Which wrung your heart in an emotional passage or gave so much humour to
And then her articulation; it was so distinct that, without raising her voice,
Said it made verse sound like prose. The fact was, she supposed, that she was
Much too modern.
Michael had started with Shakespeare. That was before she knew him. He had
Played Romeo at Cambridge, and when he came down, after a year at a
Dramatic school, Benson had engaged him. He toured the country and played
A great variety of parts. But he realized that Shakespeare would get him
Nowhere and that if he wanted to become a leading actor he must gain
A man called James Langton was running a repertory theatre at Middlepool
That was attracting a good deal of attention; and after Michael had been with
Benson for three years, when the company was going to Middlepool on its
Annual visit, he wrote to Langton and asked whether he would see him.
Jimmie Langton, a fat, bald-headed, rubicund man of forty-five, who looked
like one of Rubens' prosperous burghers, had a passion for the theatre. He
Was an eccentric, arrogant, exuberant, vain and charming fellow. He loved
Acting, but his physique prevented him from playing any but a few parts,
He could not subdue his natural flamboyance, and every part he played,
Though he studied it with care and gave it thought, he turned into a grotesque.
He broadened every gesture, he exaggerated every intonation. But it was a
Very different matter when he rehearsed his cast; then he would suffer
Nothing artificial. His ear was perfect, and though he could not produce the
He worked his company hard. They rehearsed every morning from ten till
two, when he sent them home to learn their parts and rest before the evening's
Performance. He bullied them, he screamed at them, he mocked them. He
Underpaid them. But if they played a moving scene well he cried like a child,
And when they said an amusing line as he wanted it said he bellowed with
Laughter. He would skip about the stage on one leg if he was pleased, and if he
Was angry would throw the script down and stamp on it while tears of rage
The company laughed at him and abused him and did everything they could
To please him. He aroused a protective instinct in them, so that one and all
they felt that they couldn't let him down. Though they said he drove them like
slaves, and they never had a moment to themselves, flesh and blood couldn't
Stand it, it gave them a sort of horrible satisfaction to comply with his
outrageous demands. When he wrung an old trooper's hand, who was getting
seven pounds a week, and said, by God, laddie, you're stupendous, the old
It happened that when Michael kept the appointment he had asked for,
Jimmie Langton was in need of a leading juvenile. He had guessed why
Michael wanted to see him, and had gone the night before to see him play.
Michael was playing Mercutio and he had not thought him very good, but
When he came into the office he was staggered by his beauty. In a brown coat
And grey flannel trousers, even without make-up, he was so handsome it took
Your breath away. He had an easy manner and he talked like a gentleman.
While Michael explained the purpose of his visit Jimmie Langton observed
Him shrewdly. If he could act at all, with those looks that young man ought to
The result of the interview was that Michael got an engagement. He stayed at
Middlepool for two years. He soon grew popular with the company. He was
Good-humoured and kindly; he would take any amount of trouble to do
Anyone a service. His beauty created a sensation in Middlepool and the girls
They wrote him love letters and sent him flowers. He took it as a natural
Homage, but did not allow it to turn his head. He was eager to get on and
Seemed determined not to let any entanglement interfere with his career. It
Was his beauty that saved him, for Jimmie Langton quickly came to the
Conclusion that, notwithstanding his perseverance and desire to excel, he
Would never be more than a competent actor. His voice was a trifle thin and in
Moments of vehemence was apt to go shrill. It gave then more the effect of
But his gravest fault as a juvenile lead was that he could not make love. He
Was easy enough in ordinary dialogue and could say his lines with point, but
When it came to making protestations of passion something seemed to hold
Him back. He felt embarrassed and looked it.
"Damn you, don't hold that girl as if she was a sack of potatoes," Jimmie
Langton shouted at him. "You kiss her as if you were afraid you were
standing in a draught. You're in love with that girl. You must feel that you're
In love with her. Feel as if your bones were melting inside you and if an
But it was no good. Notwithstanding his beauty, his grace and his ease of
Manner, Michael remained a cold lover. This did not prevent Julia from
falling madly in love with him. For it was when he joined Langton's repertory
Company that they met.
Jersey, where her father, a native of that island, practised as a veterinary
surgeon. Her mother's sister was married to a Frenchman, a coal merchant,
Who lived at St. Malo, and Julia had been sent to live with her while she
Attended classes at the local lycee. She learnt to speak French like a
She was a born actress and it was an understood thing for as long as she could
Remember that she was to go on the stage. Her aunt, Madame Falloux, was
"en relations" with an old actress who had been a societaire of the Comedie
Franзaise and who had retired to St. Malo to live on the small pension that
One of her lovers had settled on her when after many years of faithful
Concubinage they had parted. When Julia was a child of twelve this actress
Was a boisterous, fat old woman of more than sixty, but of great vitality, who
Loved food more than anything else in the world. She had a great, ringing
laugh, like a man's, and she talked in a deep, loud voice. It was she who gave
She taught her all the arts that she had herself learnt at the Conservatoire and
She talked to her of Reichenberg who had played ingenues till she was seventy,
Of Sarah Bernhardt and her golden voice, of Mounet-Sully and his majesty,
And of Coquelin the greatest actor of them all. She recited to her the great
Tirades of Corneille and Racine as she had learnt to say them at the Franзoise
And taught her to say them in the same way. It was charming to hear Julia in
Her childish voice recite those languorous, passionate speeches of Phedre,
Emphasizing the beat of the Alexandrines and mouthing her words in that
Jane Taitbout must always have been a very stagy actress, but she taught
Julia to articulate with extreme distinctness, she taught her how to walk and
How to hold herself, she taught her not to be afraid of her own voice, and she
When Julia was sixteen and went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in
Gower Street she knew already much that they could teach her there. She had
To get rid of a certain number of tricks that were out of date and she had to
Acquire a more conversational style. But she won every prize that was open to
Her, and when she was finished with the school her good French got her
Almost immediately a small part in London as a French maid. It looked for a
While as though her knowledge of French would specialize her in parts
Needing a foreign accent, for after this she was engaged to play an Austrian
It was two years later that Jimmie Langton discovered her. She was on tour in
A melodrama that had been successful in London; in the part of an Italian
Adventuress, whose machinations were eventually exposed, she was trying
Somewhat inadequately to represent a woman of forty. Since the heroine, a
Blonde person of mature years, was playing a young girl, the performance
Lacked verisimilitude. Jimmie was taking a short holiday, which he spent in
Going every night to the theatre in one town after another. At the end of the
Piece he went round to see Julia. He was well enough known in the theatrical
World for her to be flattered by the compliments he paid her, and when he
They had no sooner sat down to table than he went straight to the point.
"I never slept a wink all night for thinking of you," he said.
"This is very sudden. Is your proposal honourable or dishonourable?"
One can give it you, but if you have you can be taught how to use it. I tell you,
you've got the makings of a great actress. I've never been so sure of anything
in my life."
"I know I want experience. I'd have to think it over of course. I wouldn't
mind coming to you for a season."
"Go to hell. Do you think I can make an actress of you in a season? Do you
think I'm going to work my guts out to make you give a few decent
Julia had been on the stage for three years and had learnt a good deal.
Besides, Jane Taitbout, no strict moralist, had given her a lot of useful
Time or much inclination to make love to anybody. When you go to bed all
you'll want to do is to sleep."
JULIA, taken by his enthusiasm and his fantastic exuberance, accepted his
Offer. He started her in modest parts which under his direction she played as
She had never played before. He interested the critics in her, he flattered them
By letting them think that they had discovered a remarkable actress, and
Allowed the suggestion to come from them that he should let the public see her
Middlepool was delighted to discover that it had in its midst an actress who it
Could boast was better than any star in London, and crowded to see her in
Plays that before it had gone to only from local patriotism. The London
Paragraphers mentioned her now and then, and a number of enthusiastic
Patrons of the drama made the journey to Middlepool to see her. They went
Back full of praise, and two or three London managers sent representatives to
The managers had had bitter experiences. On the strength of an outstanding
Performance in one of these queer plays they had engaged an actor, only to
Discover that in any other sort of play he was no better than anybody else.
When Michael joined the company Julia had been playing in Middlepool for a
year. Jimmie started him with Marchbanks in Candida. It was the happy
Julia reached over to take out the first of the cardboard cases in which
Michael's photographs were kept. She was sitting comfortably on the floor.
She turned the early photographs over quickly, looking for that which he had
Taken when first he came to Middlepool; but when she came upon it, it gave
Her a pang. For a moment she felt inclined to cry. It had been just like him
Then. Candida was being played by an older woman, a sound actress who was
Cast generally for mothers, maiden aunts or character parts, and Julia with
She fell in love with Michael at first sight. She had never seen a more beautiful
Young man, and she pursued him relentlessly. In due course Jimmie put on
Ghosts, braving the censure of respectable Middlepool, and Michael played
The boy and she played Regina. They heard one another their parts and after
rehearsals lunched, very' modestly, together so that they might talk of them.
Soon they were inseparable. Julia had little reserve; she flattered Michael
Outrageously. He was not vain of his good looks, he knew he was handsome
And accepted compliments, not exactly with indifference, but as he might have
Accepted a compliment on a fine old house that had been in his family for
It was a well-known fact that it was one of the best houses of its period, one
Was proud of it and took care of it, but it was just there, as natural to possess
As the air one breathed. He was shrewd and ambitious. He knew that his
Beauty was at present his chief asset, but he knew it could not last for ever and
Was determined to become a good actor so that he should have something
Besides his looks to depend on. He meant to learn all he could from Jimmie
Julia soon discovered that he did not much like spending money, and when
They ate a meal together, or on a Sunday went for a small excursion, she took
Care to pay her share of the expenses. She did not mind this. She liked him for
Counting the pennies, and, inclined to be extravagant herself and always a
Week or two behind with her rent, she admired him because he hated to be in
Debt and even with the small salary he was getting managed to save up a little
Every week. He was anxious to have enough put by so that when he went to
London he need not accept the first part that was offered him, but could
Afford to wait till he got one that gave him a real chance. His father had little
More than his pension to live on, and it had been a sacrifice to send him to
Cambridge. His father, not liking the idea of his going on the stage, had
Colonel, it impressed her to hear him speak of an ancestor who had gambled
away his fortune at White's during the Regency, and she liked the signet ring
Michael wore with the boar's head on it and the motto: Nemo me impune
"I believe you're prouder of your family than of looking like a Greek god,"
Julia took her courage in both hands.
"My father's a vet."
For an instant Michael's face stiffened, but he recovered himself immediately
"Of course it doesn't really matter what one's father is. I've often heard my
Father talk of the vet in his regiment. He counted as an officer of course. Dad
always said he was one of the best."
And she was glad he'd been to Cambridge. He had rowed for his College and
Julia could not tell if he knew that she was in love with him. He never made
Love to her. He liked her society and when they found themselves with other
People scarcely left her side. Sometimes they were asked to parties on Sunday,
Dinner at midday or a cold, sumptuous supper, and he seemed to think it
Natural that they should go together and come away together. He kissed her
When he left her at her door, but he kissed her as he might have kissed the
Middle-aged woman with whom he had played Candida. He was friendly,
Good-humoured and kind, but it was distressingly clear that she was no more
Women wrote to him he read out to Julia with a chuckle, and when they sent
Him flowers he immediately gave them to her.
"What blasted fools they are," he said. "What the devil do they think they're
going to get out of it?"
"I shouldn't have thought it very hard to guess that," said Julia dryly.
Although she knew he took these attentions so lightly she could not help
Feeling angry and jealous.
"I should be a damned fool if I got myself mixed up with some woman in
Middlepool. After all, they're mostly flappers. Before I knew where I was I'd
She tried to find out whether he had had any adventures while he was playing
with Benson's company. She gathered that one or two of the girls had been
Rather inclined to make nuisances of themselves, but he thought it was a
Terrible mistake to get mixed up with any of the actresses a chap was playing
With. It was bound to lead to trouble.
"And you know how people gossip in a company. Everyone would know
When he wanted a bit of fun he waited till they were within a reasonable
Distance of London and then he would race up to town and pick up a girl at
The Globe Restaurant. Of course it was expensive, and when you came to
think of it, it wasn't really worth the money; besides, he played a lot of cricket
in Benson's company, and golf when he got the chance, and that sort of thing
Was rotten for the eye.
They talked so much together that it was inevitable for her at last to learn his
Views on marriage.
"I think an actor's a perfect fool to marry young. There are so many cases in
which it absolutely ruins a chap's career. Especially if he marries an actress.
He becomes a star and then she's a millstone round his neck. She insists on
playing with him, and if he's in management he has to give her leading parts,
And if he engages someone else there are most frightful scenes. And of course,
for an actress it's insane. There's always the chance of her having a baby and
she may have to refuse a damned good part. She's out of the public eye for
When she looked into his deep, friendly eyes, and she shivered with delightful
Anguish when she considered his shining, russet hair. There was nothing that
He could have asked her that she would not gladly have given him. The
She did everything to seduce him except slip into bed with him, and she only
Did not do that because there was no opportunity. She began to fear that they
Knew one another too well for it to seem possible that their relations should
Change, and she reproached herself bitterly because she had not rushed to a
Climax when first they came in contact with one another. He had too sincere
An affection for her now ever to become her lover. She found out when his
Birthday was and gave him a gold cigarette case which she knew was the thing
He wanted more than anything in the world. It cost a good deal more than she
Could afford and he smilingly reproached her for her extravagance. He never
When her birthday came along he gave her half a dozen pairs of silk
Stockings. She noticed at once that they were not of very good quality, poor
Lamb, he had not been able to bring himself to spring to that, but she was so
Touched that he should give her anything that she could not help crying.
"What an emotional little thing you are," he said, but he was pleased and
Touched to see her tears.
She found his thrift rather an engaging trait. He could not bear to throw his
Money about. He was not exactly mean, but he was not generous. Once or
Twice at restaurants she thought he undertipped the waiter, but he paid no
Attention to her when she ventured to remonstrate. He gave the exact ten per
Cent, and when he could not make the exact sum to a penny asked the waiter
When some member of the company, momentarily hard up, tried to borrow
From him it was in vain. But he refused so frankly, with so much heartiness,
That he did not affront.
"My dear old boy, I'd love to lend you a quid, but I'm absolutely stony. I don't
know how I'm going to pay my rent at the end of the week."
For some months Michael was so much occupied with his own parts that he
Failed to notice how good an actress Julia was. Of course he read the reviews,
And their praise of Julia, but he read summarily, without paying much
Attention till he came to the remarks the critics made about him. He was
Pleased by their approval, but not cast down by their censure. He was too
Abuse with equanimity. When tempers grew frayed during a long rehearsal he
Sitting in front watching the rehearsal of an act in which he did not appear. It
Ended with a powerful and moving scene in which Julia had the opportunity
To give a fine display of acting. When the stage was being set for the next act
He did not speak to her, but looked sternly in front of him. She threw him a
Surprised look. It was unlike him not to give her a smile and a friendly word.
Then she saw that he was clenching his jaw to prevent its trembling and that
His eyes were heavy with tears.
"What's the matter, darling?"
"Don't talk to me. You dirty little bitch, you've made me cry."
The tears came to her own eyes and streamed down her face. She was so
Pleased, so flattered.
"Oh, damn it," he sobbed. "I can't help it."
"Then you must go into management yourself and make me your leading
He paused. He was not a quick thinker and needed a little time to let a notion
Sink into his mind. He smiled.
"You know that's not half a bad idea."
They talked it over at luncheon. Julia did most of the talking while he listened
The money was the difficulty. They discussed how much was the least they
Could start on. Michael thought five thousand pounds was the minimum. But
how in heaven's name could they raise a sum like that? Of course some of
Those Middlepool manufacturers were rolling in money, but you could hardly
Expect them to fork out five thousand pounds to start a couple of young actors
Who had only a local reputation. Besides, they were jealous of London.
"You'll have to find your rich old woman," said Julia gaily.
She only half believed all she had been saying, but it excited her to discuss a
Plan that would bring her into a close and constant relation with Michael. But
Pretty well known already. The thing to do would be to act there in other
managements for three or four years first; one's got to know the ropes. And
The advantage of that would be that one would have had time to read plays. It
For Holy Week. Julia did not quite know what to do with herself; it seemed
Hardly worth while to go to Jersey. She was surprised to receive a letter one
morning from Mrs. Gosselyn, Michael's mother, saying that it would give the
Colonel and herself so much pleasure if she would come with Michael to
Spend the week at Cheltenham. When she showed the letter to Michael he
Her heart beat with delight. The prospect of spending a whole week with
Michael was enchanting. It was just like his good nature to come to the rescue
When he knew she was at a loose end. But she saw there was something he
Wanted to say, yet did not quite like to.
"What is it?"
He gave a little laugh of embarrassment.
"Well, dear, you know, my father's rather old-fashioned, and there are some
things he can't be expected to understand. Of course I don't want you to tell a
Lie or anything like that, but I think it would seem rather funny to him if he
Julia found the Colonel a much less alarming person than she had expected.
He was thin and rather small, with a lined face and close-cropped white hair.
His features had a worn distinction. He reminded you of a head on an old coin
That had been in circulation too long. He was civil, but reserved. He was
Neither peppery nor tyrannical as Julia, from her knowledge of the stage,
Expected a colonel to be. She could not imagine him shouting out words of
Command in that courteous, rather cold voice. He had in point of fact retired
With honorary rank after an entirely undistinguished career, and for many
He read The Times, went to church on Sunday and accompanied his wife to
Tea-parties. Mrs. Gosselyn was a tall, stoutish, elderly woman, much taller
Than her husband, who gave you the impression that she was always trying to
Diminish her height. She had the remains of good looks, so that you said to
Yourself that when young she must have been beautiful. She wore her hair
Parted in the middle with a bun on the nape of her neck. Her classic features
And her size made her at first meeting somewhat imposing, but Julia quickly
Discovered that she was very shy. Her movements were stiff and awkward.
She was dressed fussily, with a sort of old-fashioned richness which did not
Deprecating attitude rather touching. She had never known an actress to
Speak to and did not quite know how to deal with the predicament in which
She now found herself. The house was not at all grand, a small detached stucco
House in a garden with a laurel hedge, and since the Gosselyns had been for
Some years in India there were great trays of brass ware and brass bowls,
Pieces of Indian embroidery and highly-carved Indian tables. It was cheap
Bazaar stuff, and you wondered how anyone had thought it worth bringing
Julia was quick-witted (Джулия была сообразительной; quick — быстрый,
проворный, wit — ум, остроумие). It did not take her long (у нее не заняло
много времени; to take long — занимать много времени) to discover that the
Colonel (обнаружить, что полковник), notwithstanding his reserve (несмотря на
его сдержанность), and Mrs. Gosselyn, notwithstanding her shyness (и миссис
Госселин, несмотря на ее застенчивость), were taking stock of her (изучали ее
оценивающе; to take stock of smb. — критически осматривать кого-либо,
осматривать оценивающим взглядом). The thought flashed through her mind (в
ее мозгу промелькнула мысль; to flash — вспыхивать, сверкать; внезапно
приходить в голову) that Michael had brought her down (что Майкл привез ее
сюда) for his parents (чтобы его родители) to inspect her (осмотрели/изучили
ее). Why (зачем: «почему»)? There was only one possible reason (была
единственно возможная причина), and when she thought of it (и когда она
думала об этом) her heart leaped (ее сердце екало; to leap — прыгать,
скакать, перепрыгивать). She saw (она видела) that he was anxious (как он
переживал) for her to make a good impression (чтобы она произвела хорошее
впечатление). She felt instinctively (она чувствовала интуитивно) that she must
conceal the actress (что она должна скрыть /в себе/ актрису; to conceal —
прятать, укрывать), and without effort (и без /всяких/ усилий), without
deliberation (без /долгих/ размышлений), merely because she felt it would please
(просто потому, что она чувствовала, что это доставит удовольствие), she
played the part of the simple (она играла роль простой), modest (скромной),
ingenuous girl (бесхитростной девушки; ingenuous — искренний,
чистосердечный, простодушный) who had lived a quiet country life (которая
вела: «жила» спокойную сельскую жизнь).
Julia was quick-witted. It did not take her long to discover that the Colonel,
Notwithstanding his reserve, and Mrs. Gosselyn, notwithstanding her shyness,
One possible reason, and when she thought of it her heart leaped. She saw that
He was anxious for her to make a good impression. She felt instinctively that
She must conceal the actress, and without effort, without deliberation, merely
Because she felt it would please, she played the part of the simple, modest,
She walked round the garden with the Colonel and listened intelligently while
He talked of peas and asparagus; she helped Mrs. Gosselyn with the flowers
And dusted the ornaments with which the drawing-room was crowded. She
Talked to her of Michael. She told her how cleverly he acted and how popular
He was and she praised his looks. She saw that Mrs. Gosselyn was very proud
Of him, and with a flash of intuition saw that it would please her if she let her
See, with the utmost delicacy, as though she would have liked to keep it a
Secret but betrayed herself unwittingly, that she was head over ears in love
The Colonel began to make little jokes with her and sometimes he pinched her
Mrs. Gosselyn told her about India, how strange it was to have all those
They were to leave on Easter Monday because they were playing that night,
And on Sunday evening after supper Colonel Gosselyn said he was going to his
Study to write letters; a minute or two later Mrs. Gosselyn said she must go
And see the cook. When they were left alone Michael, standing with his back
Julia looked down as though the extravagance of these compliments was
Almost more than she could bear. Michael came over and stood in front of her.
The thought occurred to her that he looked like a handsome young footman*
Applying for a situation. He was strangely nervous. Her heart thumped
For the last week she had asked herself whether or not he was going to
Propose to her, and now that he had at last done so, she was strangely
"Not immediately, I don't mean. But when we've got our feet on the ladder. I
She got on her feet and put up her face to his. He took her in his arms and
Kissed her lips.
"I must tell mother."
In a moment the Colonel and Mrs. Gosselyn came in. They bore a look of
happy expectancy. ("By God, it was a put-up job.")
"Mother, father, we're engaged."
Mrs. Gosselyn began to cry. With her awkward, lumbering gait she came up
To Julia, flung her arms round her, and sobbing, kissed her. The Colonel
wrung his son's hand in a manly way and releasing Julia from his wife's
Embrace kissed her too. He was deeply moved. All this emotion worked on
Julia and, though she smiled happily, the tears coursed down her cheeks.
JULIA now was looking at the photograph of herself in her wedding-dress.
"Christ, what a sight I looked."
They decided to keep their engagement to themselves, and Julia told no one
About it but Jimmie Langton, two or three girls in the company and her
Dresser. She vowed them to secrecy and could not understand how within
Forty-eight hours everyone in the theatre seemed to know all about it. Julia
Was divinely happy. She loved Michael more passionately than ever and would
They were at present no more than a couple of provincial actors, and to start
Their conquest of London as a married couple would jeopardize their chances.
Julia showed him as clearly as she knew how, and this was very clearly
Indeed, that she was quite willing to become his mistress, but this he refused.
He felt sure that when they were married they would bitterly regret it if they
Had lived together before as man and wife. Julia was proud of his principles.
He was a kind and affectionate lover, but in a very short while seemed to take
Her a trifle for granted; by his manner, friendly but casual, you might have
Thought they had been married for years. But he showed great good nature in
She adored to sit cuddled up to him with his arm round her waist, her face
Against his, and it was heaven when she could press her eager mouth against
His rather thin lips. Though when they sat side by side like that he preferred
To talk of the parts they were studying or make plans for the future, he made
Her very happy. She never tired of praising his beauty. It was heavenly, when
She told him how exquisite his nose was and how lovely his russet, curly hair,
Julia thought he was, and she said it because she liked saying it, but she said it
Also because she knew he liked to hear it. He had affection and admiration for
Her, he felt at ease with her, and he had confidence in her, but she was well
Aware that he was not in love with her. She consoled herself by thinking that
He loved her as much as he was capable of loving, and she thought that when
They were married, when they slept together, her own passion would excite an
Meanwhile she exercised all her tact and all her self-control. She knew she
Could not afford to bore him. She knew she must never let him feel that she
Was a burden or a responsibility. He might desert her for a game of golf, or to
Lunch with a casual acquaintance, she never let hi m see for a moment that she
Was hurt. And with an inkling that her success as an actress strengthened his
When they had been engaged for rather more than a year an American
manager, looking for talent and having heard of Jimmie Langton's repertory
Company, came to Middlepool and was greatly taken by Michael. He sent him
Round a note asking him to come to his hotel on the following afternoon.
Michael, breathless with excitement, showed it to Julia; it could only mean
That he was going to offer him a part. Her heart sank, but she pretended that
She was as excited as he, and went with him next day to the hotel. She was to
Julia sat in a great leather armchair willing with all her might the American
Manager to offer a part that Michael would refuse or a salary that he felt it
Would be beneath his dignity to accept. Or alternatively that he should get
Michael to read the part he had in view and come to the conclusion that he
Could not touch it. But when she saw Michael coming towards her half an
Hour later, his eyes bright and his step swinging, she knew he had clicked. For
A moment she thought she was going to be sick, and when she forced on her
It was quite clear that he had accepted with alacrity. The thought of refusing
Had never even occurred to him.
"And I — I," she thought, "if they'd offered me a thousand dollars a week I
wouldn't have gone if it meant being separated from Michael."
Black despair seized her. She could do nothing. She must pretend to be as
Delighted as he was. He was too much excited to sit still and took her out into
She said the words very brightly, so that they sounded polite, but somewhat
Michael had been walking at random, but Julia without his noticing had
Guided him in the direction she wished, and now they arrived in front of the
Theatre. She stopped.
"I'll see you later. I've got to pop up and see Jimmie." His face fell.
"You're not going to leave me now! I must talk to somebody. I thought we
might go and have a snack together before the show."
"I'm terribly sorry. Jimmie's expecting me and you know what he is."
He walked on and she went in by the stage door. Jimmie Langton had
Arranged himself a tiny flat under the roof to which you gained access
Through the balcony. She rang the bell of his front door and he opened it
She walked past him without a word, and when they got into his sitting-room,
Untidy, littered with typescript plays, books and other rubbish, the remains of
His frugal luncheon still on a tray by his desk, she turned and faced him. Her
Jaw was set and her eyes were frowning.
With a swift gesture she went up to him, seized him by his loose shirt collar
With both hands and shook him. He struggled to get free of her, but she was
He took a swing and with his open hand gave her a great smack on the face.
She instinctively loosened her grip on him and put her own hand up to her
Julia looked round for a big chair into which she could conveniently sink.
"Christ, the place is like a pigsty. Why the hell don't you get a charwoman
With an angry gesture she swept the books on to the floor from an armchair,
Threw herself in it, and began to cry in earnest. He poured her out a stiff dose
She wrenched herself away from the arm he had round her shoulder.
"How could you? How could you?"
"I had nothing to do with it."
"That's a lie. I suppose you didn't even know that filthy American manager
was in Middlepool. Of course, it's your doing. You did it deliberately to
"Oh, dearie, you're doing me an injustice. In point of fact I don't mind telling
Would have wondered why he was looking as pleased as if he had pulled off a
Julia went up to him and stared into his eyes search.
"Have you done all this to get me to stay on for another year? Have you
AFTER a fortnight of rehearsals, Michael was thrown out of the part for
Which he had been engaged, and for three or four weeks was left to kick his
Heels about till something else could be found for him. He opened in due
Course in a play that ran less than a month in New York. It was sent on the
Road; but languished and was withdrawn. After another wait he was given a
Part in a costume play where his good looks shone to such advantage that his
Indifferent acting was little noticed, and in this he finished the season. There
Was no talk of renewing his contract. Indeed the manager who had engaged
Gossip, while he answered once a week, four pages exactly in a neat, precise
Hand. He always ended up by sending her his best love and signing himself
Hers very affectionately, but the rest of his letter was more informative than
Passionate. Yet she awaited its coming in an agony of impatience and read it
Over and over again. Though he wrote cheerfully, saying little about the
Theatre except that the parts they gave him were rotten and the plays in which
He was expected to act beneath contempt, news travels in the theatrical world,
When he announced the date of his sailing she could not contain her joy. She
Got Jimmie so to arrange his programme that she might go and meet him at
"If the boat comes in late I shall probably stay the night," she told Jimmie.
But when she was starting he came to the station with her. As she was getting
Into the carriage he took her hand and patted it.
"Feeling nervous, dear?"
"Oh, Jimmie dear, wild with happiness and sick with anxiety."
"Well, good luck to you. And don't forget you're much too good for him.
You're young and pretty and you're the greatest actress in England."
When the train steamed out Jimmie went to the station bar and had a whisky
and soda. "Lord, what fools these mortals be," he sighed. But Julia stood up
Uncertain till the last moment whether Jimmie would allow her to go, Julia
Had not been able to let Michael know that she was meeting him. He was
Surprised and frankly delighted to see her. His beautiful eyes beamed with
That they could talk in peace and quiet. She sat on his knees, with her arm
To his arms and not to his arrival.
"D'you still like me?"
Julia was silent. She looked deeply concerned, but her heart was beating with
"I honestly don't care, you know. I didn't like America. It's a smack in the eye
of course, it's no good denying that, but the only thing is to grin and bear it. If
you only knew the people one has to deal with! Why, compared with some of
them, Jimmie Langton's a great gentleman. Even if they had wanted me to
stay I should have refused."
Though he put a brave face on it, Julia felt that he was deeply mortified. He
Must have had to put up with a good deal of unpleasantness. She hated him to
She knew that it was no good suggesting that he should come back to
Middlepool. Jimmie Langton would not have him.
"You wouldn't like to come with me, I suppose?"
It took Julia a second or two to understand what he meant.
"D'you mean to say, get married now?"
"Of course it's a risk, without anything in prospect, but one has to take a risk
sometimes." Julia took his head in both her hands and pressed his lips with
They went to a theatre that night and at supper drank champagne to
Celebrate their reunion and toast their future. When Michael accompanied
She felt like a high-born damsel, with all the traditions of a great and ancient
Family to keep up; her purity was a pearl of great price; she also felt that she
was making a wonderfully good impression: of course he was a great
gentleman, and "damn it all" it behoved her to be a great lady. She was so
Pleased with her performance that when she had got into her room and
Somewhat noisily locked the door, she paraded up and down bowing right and
Left graciously to her obsequious retainers. She stretched out her lily white
Hand for the trembling old steward to kiss (as a baby he had often dandled
Her on his knee), and when he pressed it with his pallid lips she felt something
Placidity. It needed the excitement of getting a part or a first night, the gaiety
Of a party where he had drunk several glasses of champagne, to turn his
Practical mind to thoughts of love. No flattery, no allurements, could tempt
Him when he had an engagement next day for which he had to keep his brain
Clear or a round of golf for which he needed a steady eye. Julia made him
She was jealous of his friends at the Green Room Club, jealous of the games
that took him away from her, and jealous of the men's luncheons he went to
Under the pretext that he must cultivate people who might be useful to them.
It infuriated her that when she worked herself up into a passion of tears he
Should sit there quite calmly, with his hands crossed and a good-humoured
Smile on his handsome face, as though she were merely making herself
She swept up and down the room. They had a small flat at Buckingham Gate
And there was not much space, but she did her best. She threw up her hands
But he saw by the expression of her face that she was registering it in her
Memory, and he knew that when the occasion arose she would make effective
Use of it.
"After all love isn't everything. It's all very well at its proper time and in its
proper place. We had a lot of fun on our honeymoon, that's what a
honeymoon's for, but now we've got to get down to work."
They had been lucky. They had managed to get fairly good parts together in a
Play that had proved a success. Julia had one good acting scene in which she
had brought down the house, and Michael's astonishing beauty had made a
Sensation. Michael with his gentlemanly push, with his breezy good-nature,
Had got them both a lot of publicity and their photographs appeared in the
They were asked to a number of parties and Michael, notwithstanding his
Thriftiness, did not hesitate to spend money on entertaining people who might
Be of service. Julia was impressed by his lavishness on these occasions. An
Actor-manager offered Julia the leading part in his next play, and though
There was no part for Michael and she was anxious to refuse it, he would not
Let her. He said they could not afford to let sentiment stand in the way of
Michael enlisted at once, but with the help of his father, one of whose old
Brother officers was an important personage at the War Office, he very soon
Got a commission. When he went out to France Julia bitterly regretted the
Reproaches she had so often heaped upon him, and made up her mind that if
He were killed she would commit suicide. She wanted to become a nurse so
He made her understand that patriotism demanded that she should go on
Michael thoroughly enjoyed the war. He was popular in the regimental mess,
And the officers of the old army accepted him almost at once, even though he
Was an actor, as one of themselves. It was as though the family of soldiers
From which he was born had set a seal on him so that he fell instinctively into
The manner and way of thinking of the professional soldier. He had tact and a
Pleasant manner, and he knew how to pull strings adroitly; it was inevitable
That he should get on the staff of some general. He showed himself possessed
Of considerable organizing capacity and the last three years of the war he
Passed at G.H.Q. He ended it as a major, with the Military Cross and the
Meanwhile Julia had been playing a succession of important parts and was
Recognized as the best of the younger actresses. Throughout the war the
Theatre was very prosperous, and she profited by being seen in plays that had
Long runs. Salaries went up, and with Michael to advise her she was able to
Extort eighty pounds a week from reluctant managers. Michael came over to
England on his leaves and Julia was divinely happy. Though he was in no
More danger than if he had been sheep-farming in New Zealand, she acted as
Though the brief periods he spent with her were the last days the doomed man
She treated him as though he had just come from the horror of the trenches
And was tender, considerate, and unexacting.
It was just before the end of the war that she fell out of love with him.
She was pregnant at the time. Michael had judged it imprudent to have a
Baby just then, but she was nearly thirty and thought that if they were going
To have one at all they ought to delay no longer; she was so well established on
The stage that she could afford not to appear for a few months, and with the
Possibility that Michael might be killed at any moment — it was true he said
Were killed sometimes — if she was to go on living she must have a child by
The baby was expected (ребенок должен был родиться: «ожидался») at the end
of the year (в конце года). She looked forward to Michael's next leave (она с
нетерпением ожидала следующего увольнительного Майкла; to look forward
to — предвкушать, ожидать с удовольствием) as she had never done before
(как никогда раньше: «как она никогда не ожидала/делала/ раньше»). She was
feeling very well (она себя очень хорошо чувствовала), but she had a great
yearning (но она испытывала страстное желание) to feel his arms around her
(почувствовать объятия его рук: «его руки вокруг нее»), she felt a little lost
(она ощущала себя чуть-чуть потерянной), a little helpless (немного
беспомощной), and she wanted his protective strength (и она хотела
/почувствовать/ его защищающую силу). He came (он вернулся), looking
wonderfully handsome (/выглядел он/ удивительно красивым) in his well-cut
uniform (в своей хорошо скроенной униформе), with the red tabs (с петлицами
штабного офицера на воротнике; red tab — штабист, штабной офицер,
«красные петлицы») and the crown on his shoulder-straps (и коронами на
погонах; shoulder-strap — воен. погон, shoulder — плечо, strap — ремень,
полоска). He had filled out a good deal (он довольно поправился; to fill out —
расширяться, толстеть; to fill — наполнять, заполнять) as the result of the
hardships of G.H.Q. (в результате трудностей /которые он испытывал/ в
ставке) and his skin was tanned (и загорел: «его кожа была загорелой»). With
his close-cropped hair (с его коротко стриженными волосами), breezy manner
(беззаботными манерами) and military carriage (и военной выправкой) he
looked every inch a soldier (он выглядел настоящим военным; every inch —
весь, с головы до пят, настоящий, истинный, inch — дюйм).
expect [Ik'spekt] yearning ['jq:nIN] strength [streNT, strenT]
The baby was expected at the end of the year. She looked forward to
Michael's next leave as she had never done before. She was feeling very well,
But she had a great yearning to feel his arms around her, she felt a little lost, a
Little helpless, and she wanted his protective strength. He came, looking
Wonderfully handsome in his well-cut uniform, with the red tabs and the
Crown on his shoulder-straps. He had filled out a good deal as the result of the
Hardships of G.H.Q. and his skin was tanned. With his close-cropped hair,
He was in great spirits, not only because he was home for a few days, but
Because the end of the war was in sight. He meant to get out of the army as
Quickly as possible. What was the good of having a bit of influence if you
didn't use it? So many young men had left the stage, either from patriotism or
Because life was made intolerable for them by the patriotic who stayed at
Home, and finally owing to conscription, that leading parts had been in the
Hands either of people who were inapt for military service or those who had
There was a wonderful opening, and Michael saw that if he were available
Quickly he could get his choice of parts. When he had recalled himself to the
Recollection of the public they could look about for a theatre, and with the
Reputation Julia had now acquired it would be safe to start in management.
They talked late into the night and then they went to bed. She cuddled up to
Him voluptuously and he put his arms round her. After three months of
He pressed his mouth to hers. She was filled on a sudden with a faint disgust.
She had to resist an inclination to push him away. Before, to her passionate
Nostrils his body, his young beautiful body, had seemed to have a perfume of
Flowers and honey, and this had been one of the things that had most
Enchained her to him, but now in some strange way it had left him. She
Realized that he no longer smelt like a youth, he smelt like a man. She felt a
Little sick. She could not respond to his ardour, she was eager that he should
For long she lay awake. She was dismayed. Her heart sank because she knew
She had lost something that was infinitely precious to her, and pitying herself
She was inclined to cry; but at the same time she was filled with a sense of
Triumph, it seemed a revenge that she enjoyed for the unhappiness he had
Caused her; she was free of the bondage in which her senses had held her to
Him and she exulted. Now she could deal with him on equal terms. She
They had breakfast in their room, Julia in bed and Michael seated at a little
Table by her side. She looked at him while he read the paper. Was it possible
That three months had made so much difference in him, or was it merely that
For years she had still seen him with the eyes that had seen him when he came
On the stage to rehearse at Middlepool in the glorious beauty of his youth and
she had been stricken as with a mortal sickness? He was wonderfully
Handsome still, after all he was only thirty-six, but he was not a boy any more;
With his close-cropped hair and weather-beaten skin, little lines beginning to
Mark the smoothness of his forehead and to show under his eyes, he was
He had lost his coltish grace and his movements were set. Each difference was
Very small, but taken altogether they amounted, in her shrewd, calculating
Eyes, to all the difference in the world. He was a middle-aged man.
They still lived in the small flat that they had taken when first they came to
London. Though Julia had been for some time earning a good income it had
Not seemed worthwhile to move while Michael was on active service, but now
That a baby was coming the flat was obviously too small. Julia had found a
house in Regent's Park that she liked very much. She wanted to be settled
The house faced the gardens. Above the drawing-room floor were two
Bedrooms and above these, two rooms that could be made into a day and a
Night nursery. Michael was pleased with everything; even the price seemed to
Him reasonable. Julia had, during the last four years, been earning so much
More money than he that she had offered to furnish the house herself. They
And he had an animal desire to feel her body against his. For long it had been
MICHAEL got himself demobbed the moment the war was finished and
Stepped straight into a part. He returned to the stage a much better actor than
He left it. The breeziness he had acquired in the army was effective. He was a
Well set-up, normal, high-spirited fellow, with a ready smile and a hearty
Laugh. He was well suited to drawing-room comedy. His light voice gave a
Peculiar effect to a flippant line, and though he never managed to make love
Convincingly he could carry off a chaffing love scene, making a proposal as if
It were rather a joke, or a declaration as though he were laughing at himself,
In a manner that the audience found engaging. He never attempted to play
He specialized in men about town, gentlemanly gamblers, guardsmen and
Young scamps with a good side to them.
Managers liked him. He worked hard and was amenable to direction. So long
as he could get work he didn't mind much what sort of part it was. He stuck
out for the salary he thought he was worth, but if he couldn't get it was
Prepared to take less rather than be idle.
He was making his plans carefully. During the winter that followed the end of
The war there was an epidemic of influenza. His father and mother died. He
But the rent of theatres had gone up enormously, the salaries of actors and the
Wages of stagehands had increased, so that the expense of running a theatre
Was very much greater than it had been before the war. A sum that would
Then have been amply sufficient to start management on was now inadequate.
The only thing was to find some rich man to go in with them so that a failure
Or two to begin with would not drive them from the field. It was said that you
Could always find a mug in the city to write a fat cheque for the production of
A play, but when you came down to business you discovered that the main
Condition was that the leading part should be played by some pretty lady in
Years before, Michael and Julia had often joked about the rich old woman
Who would fall in love with him and set him up in management. He had long
Since learnt that no rich old woman was to be found to set up in management
A young actor whose wife was an actress to whom he was perfectly faithful. In
The end the money was found by a rich woman, and not an old one either, but
Mrs. de Vries was a widow. She was a short stout woman with a fine Jewish
Nose and fine Jewish eyes, a great deal of energy, a manner at once effusive
And timid, and a somewhat virile air. She had a passion for the stage. When
Julia and Michael had decided to try their luck in London Jimmie Langton, to
Whose rescue she had sometimes come when it looked as though he would be
Forced to close his repertory theatre, had written to her asking her to do what
She gave parties so that the young actors might get to know managers, and
Asked them to stay at her grand house near Guildford, where they enjoyed a
Luxury they had never dreamt of. She did not much like Michael. Julia
Accepted the flowers with which Dolly de Vries filled her flat and her
Dressing-room, she was properly delighted with the presents she gave her,
When Michael went away to the war Dolly pressed her to come and live in her
House in Montagu Square, but Julia, with protestations of extravagant
Gratitude, refused in such a way that Dolly, with a sigh and a tear, could only
Admire her the more. When Roger was born Julia asked her to be his
For some time Michael had been turning over in his mind the possibility that
Dolly de Vries might put up the money they needed, but he was shrewd
Enough to know that while she might do it for Julia she would not do it for
Julia was pretty sure she could too. Michael was very simple-minded in some
Ways; she did not feel called upon to point out to him the obvious facts.
But he was not a man who let a thing drop when he had set his mind to it.
They were going to Guildford to spend the week-end with Dolly, and were
driving down after the Saturday night's performance in the new car that Julia
It was a warm beautiful night. Michael had bought options, though it wrung
His heart to write the cheques, on three plays that they both liked, and he had
Heard of a theatre that they could get on reasonable terms. Everything was
Ready for the venture except the capital. He urged Julia to seize the
Light dawned on him, and he was so surprised that he slowed down. Was it
possible that what Julia suspected was true? He had never even thought that
Dolly liked him much, and as for supposing she was in love with him — why,
The notion had never crossed his mind. Of course Julia had sharp eyes, not
Much got by her, but she was a jealous little thing, she was always thinking
Women were making a dead set at him. It was true that Dolly had given him a
Pair of cuff links at Christmas, but he thought that was only so that he
shouldn't feel left out in the cold because she had given Julia a brooch that
Thing to make her think there was anything doing. Julia giggled.
"No, darling, it's not you she's in love with."
It was disconcerting the way Julia knew what he was thinking. You couldn't
Hide a thing from that woman.
"Then why did you put the idea into my head? I wish to goodness you'd
express yourself so that a fellow can understand."
They drove the rest of the journey in stormy silence. Mrs. de Vries was
Waiting up for them.
"I didn't want to go to bed till I'd seen you," she said as she folded Julia in her
Arms and kissed her on both cheeks. She gave Michael a brisk handshake.
Julia spent a happy morning in bed reading the Sunday papers. She read first
the theatrical news, then the gossip columns, after that the woman's pages,
and finally cast an eye over the headlines of the world's news. The book
Reviews she ignored; she could never understand why so much space was
Wasted on them. Michael, who had the room next hers, had come in to say
Good morning, and then gone out into the garden. Presently there was a timid
Dolly leant over and kissed Julia on the lips. Her voice was lower than usual
They heard Michael come whistling along the passage, and when he came into
The room Dolly turned to him with her great eyes misty with tears.
"I've just told her."
He was brimming over with excitement.
"What a grand woman!" He sat down on the other side of the bed and took
Julia's disengaged hand. "What d'you say, Julia?"
As soon as the deed of partnership had been signed and Michael had got his
Theatre booked for the autumn he engaged a publicity agent. Paragraphs were
Sent to the papers announcing the new venture and Michael and the publicity
Agent prepared interviews for him and Julia to give to the Press. Photographs
Of them, singly and together, with and without Roger, appeared in the
Weeklies. The domestic note was worked for all it was worth. They could not
Quite make up their minds which of the three plays they had it would be best
To start with. Then one afternoon when Julia was sitting in her bedroom
Julia put down her novel.
"I'll read it now."
"I shall be downstairs. Let me know when you've finished and I'll come up
and talk it over with you. It's got a wonderful part for you."
Julia read quickly, skimming over the scenes in which she was not concerned,
but the principal woman's part, the part of course she would play, with
Concentration. When she had turned the last page she rang the bell and asked
Julia leant back in her chair, and the ready tears filled her eyes and ran down
"Oh, what a beast I am."
He smiled, and his smile was as charming as ever. He came over to her and
Ever aroused in her such a frenzy of passion. The thought of having sexual
Relations with him nauseated her. Fortunately he found himself very
Comfortable in the bedroom she had furnished for him. He was not a man to
Whom sex was important, and he was relieved when he discovered that Julia
No longer made any demands on him. He thought with satisfaction that the
Birth of the baby had calmed her down, he was bound to say that he had
Thought it might, and he was only sorry they had not had one before. When he
Had two or three times, more out of amiability than out of desire, suggested
That they should resume marital relations and she had made excuses, either
That she was tired, not very well, or had two performances next day, to say
Julia was much easier to get on with, she never made scenes any more, and he
Was happier than he had ever been before. It was a damned satisfactory
marriage he had made, and when he looked at other people's marriages he
couldn't help seeing he was one of the lucky ones. Julia was a damned good
Sort and clever, as clever as a bagful of monkeys; you could talk to her about
Anything in the world. The best companion a chap ever had, my boy. He
didn't mind saying this, he'd rather spend a day alone with her than play a
Round of golf. Julia was surprised to discover in herself a strange feeling of
She was a kindly woman, and she realized that it would be a bitter blow to his
Pride if he ever had an inkling how little he meant to her. She continued to
Flatter him. She noticed that for long now he had come to listen complacently
To her praise of his exquisite nose and beautiful eyes. She got a little private
Amusement by seeing how much he could swallow. She laid it on with a trowel.
But now she looked more often at his straight thin-lipped mouth. It grew
Meaner as he grew older, and by the time he was an old man it would be no
More than a cold hard line. His thrift, which in the early days had seemed an
When people were in trouble, and on the stage they too often are, they got
Sympathy and kind friendly words from Michael, but very little cash. He
Five-pound note was to him the extreme of lavishness. He had soon discovered
That Julia ran the house extravagantly, and insisting that he wanted to save
Her trouble took the matter in his own hands. After that nothing was wasted.
Every penny was accounted for. Julia wondered why servants stayed with
Them. They did because Michael was so nice to them. With his hearty, jolly,
Affable manner he made them anxious to please him, and the cook shared his
Satisfaction when she had found a butcher from whom they could get meat a
Julia could not but laugh when she thought how strangely his passion for
Economy contrasted with the devil-may-care, extravagant creatures he
Portrayed so well on the stage. She had often thought that he was incapable of
A generous impulse, and now, as though it were the most natural thing in the
World, he was prepared to stand aside so that she might have her chance. She
Was too deeply moved to speak. She reproached herself bitterly for all the
THEY put on the play, and it was a success. After that they continued to
Produce plays year after year. Because Michael ran the theatre with the
Method and thrift with which he ran his home they lost little over the failures,
Which of course they sometimes had, and made every possible penny out of
Their successes. Michael flattered himself that there was not a management in
London where less money was spent on the productions. He exercised great
Ingenuity in disguising old sets so that they looked new, and by ringing the
Changes on the furniture that he gradually collected in the store-room saved
They gained the reputation of being an enterprising management because
Michael in order not to pay the high royalties of well-known authors was
Always willing to give an unknown one a trial. He sought out actors who had
Never been given a chance and whose salaries were small. He thus made some
Very profitable discoveries.
When they had been in management for three years they were sufficiently
Well established for Michael to be able to borrow from the bank enough
Money to buy the lease of a theatre that had just been built. After much
Discussion they decided to call it the Siddons Theatre. They opened with a
Julia was frightened and discouraged. She thought that the theatre was
Unlucky and that the public were getting sick of her. It was then that Michael
Showed himself at his best. He was unperturbed.
"In this business you have to take the rough with the smooth. You're the best
As soon as Michael had felt himself safe he had tried to buy Dolly de Vries
Out, but she would not listen to his persuasion and was indifferent to his
Coldness. For once his cunning found its match. Dolly saw no reason to sell out
An investment that seemed sound, and her half share in the partnership kept
Her in close touch with Julia. But now with great courage he made another
Effort to get rid of her. Dolly indignantly refused to desert them when they
Were in difficulties, and he gave it up as a bad job. He consoled himself by
Thinking that Dolly might leave Roger, her godson, a great deal of money. She
Had no one belonging to her but nephews in South Africa, and you could not
Meanwhile it was convenient to have the house near Guildford to go to
Whenever they wished. It saved the expense of having a country house of their
Own. The third play was a winner, and Michael did not hesitate to point out
How right he had been. He spoke as though he was directly responsible for its
Success. Julia could almost have wished that it had failed like the others in
Order to take him down a peg or two. For his conceit was outrageous. Of
Course you had to admit that he had a sort of cleverness, shrewdness rather,
But he was not nearly so clever as he thought himself. There was nothing in
Which he did not think that he knew better than anybody else.
As time went on he began to act less frequently. He found himself much more
And he felt that he could more profitably spend his evenings, when Julia was
Acting, by going to outlying theatres and trying to find talent. He kept a little
Book in which he made a note of every actor who seemed to show promise.
Then he had taken to directing. It had always grizzled him that directors
Should ask so much money for rehearsing a play, and of late some of them had
Even insisted on a percentage on the gross. At last an occasion came when the
Two directors Julia liked best were engaged and the only other one she trusted
Julia was doubtful. He had no fantasy and his ideas were commonplace. She
Was not sure that he would have authority over the cast. But the only available
Director demanded a fee that they both thought exorbitant and there was
Nothing left but to let Michael try. He made a much better job of it than Julia
Expected. He was thorough; he worked hard. Julia, strangely enough, felt that
He knew what she was capable of, and, familiar with her every inflection,
Every glance of her wonderful eyes, every graceful movement of her body, he
Was able to give her suggestions out of which she managed to build up the best
Performance of her career. With the cast he was at once conciliatory and
Exacting. When tempers were frayed his good humour, his real kindliness,
Smoothed things over. After that there was no question but that he should
Authors liked him because, being unimaginative, he was forced to let the plays
Speak for themselves and often not being quite sure what they meant he was
Obliged to listen to them.
Julia was now a rich woman. She could not but admit that Michael was as
Careful of her money as of his own. He watched her investments and was as
Pleased when he could sell stocks at a profit on her account as if he had made
The money for himself. He put her down for a very large salary, and was
Proud to be able to say that she was the most highly paid actress in London,
But when he himself acted he never put himself down for a higher salary than
When he directed a play he put down on the expense account the fee that a
Director of the second rank would have received. They shared the expenses of
the house and the cost of Roger's education. Roger had been entered for Eton
Within a week of his birth. It was impossible to deny that Michael was
Scrupulously fair and honest. When Julia realized how much richer she was
No one could do other than admire the self-abnegation with which he
Sacrificed himself for her sake. Any ambition he may have had for himself he
Had abandoned in order to foster her career. Even Dolly, who did not like
Him, acknowledged his unselfishness. A sort of modesty had always prevented
Julia from discussing him with Dolly, but Dolly, with her shrewdness, had
Long seen how intensely Michael exasperated his wife, and now and then took
The trouble to point out how useful he was to her. Everybody praised him. A
Perfect husband. It seemed to her that none but she knew what it was like to
His complacency when he had beaten an opponent at golf or got the better of
Someone in a business deal was infuriating. He gloried in his artfulness. He
Was a bore, a crashing bore. He liked to tell Julia everything he did and every
Scheme that passed through his head; it had been charming when merely to
Have him with her was a delight, but for years she had found his prosiness
Intolerable. He could describe nothing without circumstantial detail. Nor was
He only vain of his business acumen; with advancing years he had become
Attention to it and spared no pains to keep what was left of it. It became an
Obsession. He devoted anxious care to his figure. He never ate a fattening
Thing and never forgot his exercises. He consulted hair specialists when he
Thought his hair was thinning, and Julia was convinced that had it been
Possible to get the operation done secretly he would have had his face lifted.
He had got into the way of sitting with his chin slightly thrust out so that the
Wrinkles in his neck should not show and he held himself with an arched back
To keep his belly from sagging. He could not pass a mirror without looking
He hankered for compliments and beamed with delight when he had managed
To extract one. They were food and drink to him. Julia laughed bitterly when
She remembered that it was she who had accustomed him to them. For years
She had told him how beautiful he was and now he could not live without
Flattery. It was the only chink in his armour. An actress out of a job had only
To tell him to his face that he was too handsome to be true for him to think
For years, so far as Julia knew, Michael had not bothered with women, but
When he reached the middle forties he began to have little flirtations. Julia
Suspected that nothing much came of them. He was prudent, and all he
Wanted was admiration. She had heard that when women became pressing he
used her as a pretext to get rid of them. Either he couldn't risk doing anything
To hurt her, or she was jealous or suspicious and it seemed better that the
She took up half a dozen of his photographs at random and looked at them
It made Julia a little sad to think how much she had loved him. Because her
THERE was a knock at the door.
"Come in," said Julia.
"Aren't you going to bed today, Miss Lambert?" She saw Julia sitting on the
floor surrounded by masses of photographs. "Whatever are you doing?"
"Dreaming." She took up two of the photographs. "Look here upon this
picture, and on this."
One was of Michael as Mercutio in all the radiant beauty of his youth and the
Other of Michael in the last part he had played, in a white topper and a
Morning coat, with a pair of field-glasses slung over his shoulder. He looked
"Oh, well, it's no good crying over spilt milk."
"I've been thinking of the past and I'm as blue as the devil."
"I don't wonder. When you start thinking of the past it means you ain't got no
future, don't it?"
"You shut your trap, you old cow," said Julia, who could be very vulgar when
And had accompanied her to London. She was a cockney, a thin, raddled,
Angular woman, with red hair which was always untidy and looked as if it
Much needed washing, two of her front teeth were missing but,
notwithstanding Julia's offer, repeated for years, to provide her with new ones
Michael had long wanted Julia at least to get a maid whose appearance was
More suitable to their position, and he had tried to persuade Evie that the
Work was too much for her, but Evie would not hear of it.
You can say what you like, Mr. Gosselyn, but no one's going to maid Miss
Lambert as long as I've got me 'ealth and strength."
"We're all getting on, you know, Evie. We're not so young as we were."
Michael chuckled in his good-humoured way.
"There's something in that, Evie dear."
She bustled Julia upstairs. When she had no matinee Julia went to bed for a
Couple of hours in the afternoon and then had a light massage. She undressed
She looked at the clock on the chimney-piece. It was no wonder. It must have
been there an hour. She had no notion that she had stayed so long in Michael's
Room, looking at those photographs and idly thinking of the past.
"Forty-six. Forty-six. Forty-six. I shall retire when I'm sixty. At fifty-eight
South Africa and Australia. Michael says we can clean up there. Twenty
Trying to remember any plays in which there was a first-rate part for a
Woman of five-and-forty she fell asleep. She slept soundly till Evie came to
Awake her because the masseuse was there. Evie brought her the evening
Paper, and Julia, stripped, while the masseuse rubbed her long slim legs and
Her belly, putting on her spectacles, read the same theatrical intelligence she
had read that morning, the gossip column and the woman's page. Presently
Michael came in and sat on her bed. He often came at that hour to have a little
Miss Phillips, the masseuse, liked Michael. You knew where you were with
Him. He always said the same things and you knew exactly what to answer. No
"Of course there's nothing like massage, I always say that, but you've got to
be careful of your diet. That there's no doubt about at all."
"Diet!" she thought. "When I'm sixty I shall let myself go. I shall eat all the
bread and butter I like. I'll have hot rolls for breakfast, I'll have potatoes for
Lunch and potatoes for dinner. And beer. God, how I like beer. Pea soup and
When the massage was finished Evie brought her a cup of tea, a slice of ham
From which the fat had been cut, and some dry toast. Julia got up, dressed,
And went down with Michael to the theatre. She liked to be there an hour
Before the curtain rang up. Michael went on to dine at his club. Evie had
Preceded her in a cab and when she got into her dressing-room everything
Was ready for her. She undressed once more and put on a dressing-gown. As
She sat down at her dressing-table to make up she noticed some fresh flowers
Dolly always sent her a huge basket on her first nights, and on the hundredth
Night, and the two hundredth if there was one, and in between, whenever she
Ordered flowers for her own house, had some sent to Julia.
Lord Charles Tamerley was the oldest and the most constant of Julia's
admirers, and when he passed a florist's he was very apt to drop in and order
Prosperous to me. For all you know he may have gone without his dinner for a
week to buy them."
"I don't think."
Unknown young man sending me flowers at my time of life. I mean it just
"If he saw you now 'e wouldn't, not if I know anything about men."
"Go to hell," said Julia.
But when she was made up to her satisfaction, and Evie had put on her
Stockings and her shoes, having a few minutes still to spare she sat down at
Her desk and in her straggling bold hand wrote to Mr. Thomas Fennell a
She was naturally polite and it was, besides, a principle with her to answer all
Fan letters. That was how she kept in touch with her public. Having addressed
The envelope she threw the card in the wastepaper basket and was ready to
Slip into her first act dress.
The call-boy came round knocking at the dressing-room doors.
Those words, though heaven only knew how often she had heard them, still
Gave her a thrill. They braced her like a tonic. Life acquired significance. She
NEXT day Julia had luncheon with Charles Tamerley. His father, the
Marquess of Dennorant, had married an heiress and he had inherited a
Considerable fortune. Julia often went to the luncheon parties he was fond of
Giving at his house in Hill Street. At the bottom of her heart she had a
Profound contempt for the great ladies and the noble lords she met there,
Because she was a working woman and an artist, but she knew the connexion
Was useful. It enabled them to have first nights at the Siddons, which the
Papers described as brilliant, and when she was photographed at week-end
Parties among a number of aristocratic persons she knew that it was good
There were one or two leading ladies, younger than she, who did not like her
Any better because she called at least two duchesses by their first names. This
Caused her no regret. Julia was not a brilliant conversationalist, but her eyes
Were so bright, her manner so intelligent, that once she had learnt the
Language of society she passed for a very amusing woman. She had a great gift
Of mimicry, which ordinarily she kept in check thinking it was bad for her
Acting, but in these circles she turned it to good account and by means of it
She was pleased that they liked her, these smart, idle women, but she laughed
At them up her sleeve because they were dazzled by her glamour. She
Wondered what they would think if they really knew how unromantic the life
Of a successful actress was, the hard work it entailed, the constant care one
Had to take of oneself and the regular, monotonous habits which were
Essential. But she good-naturedly offered them advice on make-up and let
Even Michael, fondly thinking she got her clothes for nothing, did not know
How much she really spent on them. Morally she had the best of both worlds.
Everyone knew that her marriage with Michael was exemplary. She was a
Pattern of conjugal fidelity. At the same time many people in that particular
set were convinced that she was Charles Tamerley's mistress. It was an affair
That was supposed to have been going on so long that it had acquired
Respectability, and tolerant hostesses when they were asked to the same house
This belief had been started by Lady Charles, from whom Charles Tamerley
Had been long separated, and in point of fact there was not a word of truth in
It. The only foundation for it was that Charles had been madly in love with
her for twenty years, and it was certainly on Julia's account that the
Tamerleys, who had never got on very well, agreed to separate. It was indeed
Lady Charles who had first brought Julia and Charles together. They
happened, all three, to be lunching at Dolly de Vries's when Julia, a young
It was a large party and she was being made much of Lady Charles, a woman
Of over thirty then, who had the reputation of being a beauty, though except
For her eyes she had not a good feature, but by a sort of brazen audacity
Managed to produce an effective appearance, leant across the table with a
Julia felt a slight sickness in the pit of her stomach; she remembered now who
Lady Charles was before she married, and she saw the trap that was being set
For her. She gave a rippling laugh.
"Not at all," she answered. "He was a vet. He used to go to your house to
deliver the bitches. The house was full of them."
Julia was glad that Michael was not there. Poor lamb, he would have been
Terribly mortified. He always referred to her father as Dr. Lambert,
Pronouncing it as though it were a French name, and when soon after the war
He died and her mother went to live with her widowed sister at St. Malo he
At the beginning of her career Julia had been somewhat sensitive on the point,
But when once she was established as a great actress she changed her mind.
She was inclined, especially among the great, to insist on the fact that her
Father had been a vet. She could not quite have explained why, but she felt
But Charles Tamerley knew that his wife had deliberately tried to humiliate
The young woman, and angered, went out of his way to be nice to her. He
Asked her if he might be allowed to call and brought her some beautiful
He was then a man of nearly forty, with a small head on an elegant body, not
Very good-looking but of distinguished appearance. He looked very well-bred,
This was life. He did not pay much attention to Michael who seemed to him,
Notwithstanding his too obvious beauty, a somewhat ordinary young man, but
He was taken by Julia. She had a warmth, a force of character, and a bubbling
Vitality which were outside his experience. He went to see her act several times
And compared her performance with his recollections of the great foreign
Actresses. It seemed to him that she had in her something quite individual.
Her magnetism was incontestable. It gave him quite a thrill to realize on a
Not think it necessary to go to bed in the afternoons, she was as strong as a
Horse and never tired, so he used often to take her for walks in the Park. She
Felt that he wanted her to be a child of nature. That suited her very well. It
Was no effort for her to be ingenuous, frank and girlishly delighted with
Everything. He took her to the National Gallery, and the Tate, and the British
He liked to impart information and she was glad to receive it. She had a
Retentive memory and learnt a great deal from him. If later she was able to
Talk about Proust and Cйzanne with the best of them, so that you were
Surprised and pleased to find so much culture in an actress, it was to him she
Owed it. She knew that he had fallen in love with her some time before he
Knew it himself. She found it rather comic. From her standpoint he was a
Middle-aged man, and she thought of him as a nice old thing. She was madly
In love with Michael. When Charles realized that he loved her his manner
Changed a little, he seemed struck with shyness and when they were together
But she had already prepared her course of conduct for the declaration,
Which she felt he would sooner or later bring himself to make. One thing she
was going to make quite clear to him. She wasn't going to let him think that,
Because he was a lord and she was an actress he had only to beckon and she
would hop into bed with him. If he tried that sort of thing she'd play the
Outraged heroine on him, with the outflung arm and the index extended in the
Same line, as Jane Taitbout had taught her to make the gesture, pointed at the
On the other hand (с другой стороны) if he was shattered and tongue-tied (если
он будет колебаться и мямлить; tongue-tied — косноязычный, лишившийся
дара речи; tongue — язык; to tie — связывать), she'd be all tremulous herself
(она сама будет трепетной), sobs in the voice and all that (/с/ рыданиями в
голосе, и все такое), and she'd say it had never dawned on her (и она скажет ему,
что ей никогда и в голову не приходило) that he felt like that about her (что он
испытывал такие чувства к ней), and no, no, it would break Michael's heart (но,
нет, нет, это разобьет сердце Майкла). They'd have a good cry together (они
хорошенько поплачут вместе; to have a good cry — выплакаться) and then
everything would be all right (и потом все /опять/ будет хорошо). With his
beautiful manners (с его-то хорошими манерами) she could count upon him (она
может рассчитывать на него) not making a nuisance of himself (что он не будет
навязчив; to make a nuisance of oneself — надоедать, досаждать) when she
had once got it into his head (когда она один раз объяснит ему; to get smth. into
one's head — вбить что-либо в голову) that there was nothing doing (что ничего
из этого не выйдет; nothing doing — ничего не получается, ничего не
tongue-tied ['tANtaId] tremulous ['tremjVlqs] nuisance ['nju:s(q)ns]
On the other hand if he was shattered and tongue-tied, she'd be all tremulous
herself, sobs in the voice and all that, and she'd say it had never dawned on
her that he felt like that about her, and no, no, it would break Michael's heart.
They'd have a good cry together and then everything would be all right. With
His beautiful manners she could count upon him not making a nuisance of
But when it happened it did not turn out in the least as she had expected.
Charles Tamerley and Julia had been for a walk in St. James's Park, they had
Looked at the pelicans, and the scene suggesting it, they had discussed the
Possibility of her playing Millamant on a Sunday evening. They went back to
Julia's flat to have a cup of tea. They shared a crumpet. Then Charles got up
Julia looked at the pretty, clever face, with the powdered hair, and wondered
Whether the stones that framed the little picture were diamonds or only paste.
"Oh, Charles, how can you! You are sweet."
"I thought you might like it. It's by way of being a parting present."
"Are you going away?"
She was surprised, for he had said nothing about it. He looked at her with a
Then Julia did a disgraceful thing. She sat down and for a minute looked
Silently at the miniature. Timing it perfectly, she raised her eyes till they met
Charles's. She could cry almost at will, it was one of her most telling
Accomplishments, and now without a sound, without a sob, the tears poured
Down her cheeks. With her mouth slightly open, with the look in her eyes of a
Child that has been deeply hurt and does not know why, the effect was
Unbearably pathetic. His face was crossed by a twinge of agony. When he
She gave a little nod. She tightened her lips as though she were trying to
Control herself, but the tears rolled down her cheeks.
"There's no chance for me at all?" He waited for some answer from her, but
She gave none, she raised her hand to her mouth and seemed to bite a nail,
and still she stared at him with those streaming eyes. "Don't you know what
torture it is to go on seeing you? D'you want me to go on seeing you?"
This time Julia slightly shook her head. She gave a sob. She leant back in the
Chair and turned her head aside. Her whole body seemed to express the
hopelessness of her grief. Flesh and blood couldn't stand it. Charles stepped
Forward and sinking to his knees took that broken woebegone body in his
"For God's sake don't look so unhappy. I can't bear it. Oh, Julia, Julia, I love
you so much, I can't make you so miserable. I'll accept anything. I'll make no
demands on you."
She turned her tear-stained face to him (она повернула свое заплаканное лицо к
нему; tear-stained — со следами слез, stain — пятно) ("God, what a sight I must
look now (Боже, ну и пугалом же я сейчас выгляжу)") and gave him her lips (и
подставила ему: «дала» свои губы). He kissed her tenderly (он поцеловал ее
нежно). It was the first time (это был первый раз) he had ever kissed her (/когда/
он целовал ее).
"I don't want to lose you (я не хочу потерять вас)," she muttered huskily (она
произнесла чуть слышно сиплым /голосом/; to mutter — бормотать,
"Darling, darling (дорогая, дорогая)!"
"It'll be just as it was before (все будет, как и прежде: «как было раньше»)?"
"Just (как прежде: «точно»)."
She gave a deep sigh of contentment (она издала глубокий вздох
удовлетворения) and for a minute or two rested in his arms (и пару минут:
«минуту или две» оставалась неподвижной в его объятьях: «отдыхала в его
руках»). When he went away (и когда он ушел) she got up and looked in the
glass (она встали и посмотрелась в зеркало).
"You rotten bitch (/ты/ отвратительная сука)," she said to herself (сказала она
tear-stained ["tIq'steInd] huskily ['hAskIlI] contentment [kqn'tentmqnt]
She turned her tear-stained face to him ("God, what a sight I must look now")
And gave him her lips. He kissed her tenderly. It was the first time he had ever
"I don't want to lose you," she muttered huskily.
"It'll be just as it was before?"
She gave a deep sigh of contentment and for a minute or two rested in his
But she giggled as though she were not in the least ashamed and then went
Into the bathroom to wash her face and eyes. She felt wonderfully exhilarated.
Julia was somewhat nervous when Lady Charles left her husband. She
Threatened to bring proceedings for divorce, and Julia did not at all like the
Idea of appearing as intervener. For two or three weeks she was very jittery.
She decided to say nothing to Michael till it was necessary, and she was glad
She had not, for in due course it appeared that the threats had been made only
Julia managed Charles with wonderful skill. It was understood between them
That her great love for Michael made any close relation between them out of
The question, but so far as the rest was concerned he was everything to her,
Her friend, her adviser, her confidant, the man she could rely on in any
It was a little more difficult when Charles, with his fine sensitiveness, saw that
She was no longer in love with Michael. Then Julia had to exercise a great deal
Of tact. It was not that she had any scruples about being his mistress; if he had
Been an actor who loved her so much and had loved her so long she would not
Have minded popping into bed with him out of sheer good nature; but she just
Did not fancy him. She was very fond of him, but he was so elegant, so well-
And his love of art filled her with a faint derision; after all she was a creator,
When all was said and done he was only the public. He wished her to elope
With him. They would buy a villa at Sorrento on the bay of Naples, with a
Large garden, and they would have a schooner so that they could spend long
Days on the beautiful wine-coloured sea. Love and beauty and art; the world
She persuaded him that she had a duty to Michael, and then there was the
baby; she couldn't let him grow up with the burden on his young life that his
Mother was a bad woman. Orange trees or no orange trees, she would never
have a moment's peace in that beautiful Italian villa if she was tortured by the
thought of Michael's unhappiness and her baby being looked after by
strangers. One couldn't only think of oneself, could one? One had to think of
Others too. She was very sweet and womanly. She sometimes asked Charles
Why he did not arrange a divorce with his wife and marry some nice woman.
He told her that she was the only woman he had ever loved and that he must
Go on loving her till the end.
"It seems so sad," said Julia.
All the same she kept her eyes open, and if she noticed that any woman had
Predatory intentions on Charles she took care to queer her pitch. She did not
Hesitate if the danger seemed to warrant it to show herself extremely jealous.
It had been long agreed, with all the delicacy that might be expected from his
good breeding and Julia's good heart, in no definite words, but with guarded
Hints and remote allusiveness, that if anything happened to Michael, Lady
Charles should somehow or other be disposed of and they would then marry.
On this occasion Julia had much enjoyed lunching at Hill Street. The party
Had been very grand. Julia had never encouraged Charles to entertain any of
The actors or authors he sometimes came across, and she was the only person
There who had ever had to earn a living. She had sat between an old, fat, bald
And loquacious Cabinet Minister who took a great deal of trouble to entertain
Her, and a young Duke of Westreys who looked like a stable-boy and who
Flattered himself that he knew French slang better than a Frenchman. When
He discovered that Julia spoke French he insisted on conversing with her in
Done at the Comedie Franзaise and the same tirade as an English student at
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art would deliver it. She made the company
Laugh very much and came away from the party flushed with success. It was a
Fine bright day and she made up her mind to walk from Hill Street to
Stanhope Place. A good many people recognized her as she threaded her way
Through the crowd in Oxford Street, and though she looked straight ahead of
She slackened her pace a little. It certainly was a beautiful day.
She let herself into her house with a latch-key and as she got in heard the
Telephone ringing. Without thinking she took up the receiver.
She generally disguised her voice when she answered, but for once forgot to.
"I don't know if Miss Lambert's in. Who is it please?" she asked, assuming
Quickly a cockney accent.
The sound of his voice and the words told her who it was. It was the blushing
Young man whose name she did not know. Even now, though she had looked
At his card, she could not remember it. The only thing that had struck her was
That he lived in Tavistock Square.
"It was very sweet of you," she answered in her own voice.
"I suppose you wouldn't come to tea with me one day, would you?"
The nerve of it! She wouldn't go to tea with a duchess; he was treating her like
She did not feel at all like going to bed that afternoon.
"O.K. I'll get away from the office. Half-past four? 138, Tavistock Square."
It was nice of him to have suggested that. He might so easily have mentioned
She took a taxi to Tavistock Square. She was pleased with herself. She was
Doing a good action. It would be wonderful for him in after years to be able to
Tell his wife and children that Julia Lambert had been to tea with him when
he was just a little insignificant clerk in an accountant's office. And she had
Been so simple and so natural. No one to hear her prattling away would have
guessed that she was the greatest actress in England. And if they didn't believe
him he'd have her photograph to prove it, signed yours sincerely. He'd laugh
and say that of course if he hadn't been such a kid he'd never have had the
When she arrived at the house and had paid off the taxi she suddenly
Remembered that she did not know his name and when the maid answered the
Door would not know whom to ask for. But on looking for the bell she noticed
That there were eight of them, four rows of two, and by the side of each was a
Card or a name written in ink on a piece of paper. It was an old house that had
Been divided up into flats. She began looking, rather hopelessly, at the names
Wondering whether one of them would recall something, when the door
She climbed the uncarpeted stairs. She was a trifle out of breath when she
Came to the third landing. He had skipped up eagerly, like a young goat, she
Thought, and she had not liked to suggest that she would prefer to go more
Leisurely. The room into which he led her was fairly large, but dingily
Furnished. On the table was a plate of cakes and two cups, a sugar basin and a
Lived in when she was first on the stage. She noticed the pathetic attempts he
Had made to conceal the fact that it was a bedroom as well as a sitting-room.
The divan against the wall was evidently his bed at night. The years slipped
What fun they had had in rooms very like that and how they had enjoyed the
Fantastic meals they had had, things in paper bags and eggs and bacon fried
on the gas-ring! He came in with the tea in a brown pot. She ate a square
Sponge-cake with pink icing on it. That was a thing she had not done for
Years. The Ceylon tea, very strong, with milk and sugar in it, took her back to
Days she thought she had forgotten. She saw herself as a young, obscure,
They talked. He seemed shy, much shyer than he had seemed over the
Telephone; well, that was not to be wondered at, now she was there he must be
Rather overcome, and she set herself to put him at his ease. He told her that
His parents lived at Highgate, his father was a solicitor, and he had lived there
Too, but he wanted to be his own master and now in the last year of his articles
He had broken away and taken this tiny flat. He was working for his final
They talked of the theatre. He had seen her in every play she had acted in
Since he was twelve years old. He told her that once when he was fourteen he
Had stood outside the stage door after a matinee and when she came out had
Asked her to sign her name in his autograph-book. He was sweet with his blue
Eyes and pale brown hair. It was a pity he plastered it down like that. He had
A white skin and rather a high colour; she wondered if he was consumptive.
Although his clothes were cheap he wore them well, she liked that, and he
She asked him why he had chosen Tavistock Square. It was central, he
Explained, and he liked the trees. It was quite nice when you looked out of the
Window. She got up to look, that would be a good way to make a move, then
She turned to him, standing by her side, as she said this. He put his arm round
Her waist and kissed her full on the lips. No woman was ever more surprised
In her life. She was so taken aback that she never thought of doing anything.
His lips were soft and there was a perfume of youth about him which was
Really rather delightful. But what he was doing was preposterous. He was
Forcing her lips apart with the tip of his tongue and now he had both arms
Round her. She did not feel angry, she did not feel inclined to laugh, she did
And now she had a notion that he was gently drawing her along, his lips still
Pressing hers, she felt quite distinctly the glow of his body, it was as though
There was a furnace inside him, it was really remarkable; and then she found
Herself laid on the divan and he was beside her, kissing her mouth and her
Neck and her cheeks and her eyes. Julia felt a strange pang in her heart. She
A few minutes later she was standing at the chimney-piece, in front of the
Looking-glass, making herself tidy.
"Look at my hair."
He handed her a comb and she ran it through. Then she put on her hat. He
Was standing just behind her, and over her shoulder she saw his face with
Those eager blue eyes and a faint smile in them.
"And I thought you were such a shy young man," she said to his reflection.
She thought rapidly. It was too absurd, of course she had no intention of
Seeing him again, it was stupid of her to have let him behave like that, but it
Was just as well to temporize. He might be tiresome if she told him that the
Incident would have no sequel.
"I'll ring up one of these days."
"On my honour."
"Don't be too long."
He insisted on coming down stairs with her and putting her into a cab. She
Had wanted to go down alone, so that she could have a look at the cards
But he gave her no chance. When the taxi drove off she sank into one corner
Of it and gurgled with laughter.
"Raped, my dear. Practically raped. At my time of life. And without so much
as by your leave. Treated me like a tart. Eighteenth-century comedy, that's
Then with vague memories of Farquhar and Goldsmith she invented the
dialogue. "La, sir, 'tis shame to take advantage of a poor country girl. What
would Mrs. Abigail, her ladyship's woman, say an she knew her ladyship's
When Julia got home the masseuse was already waiting for her. Miss Phillips
And Evie were having a chat.
"Wherever 'ave you been, Miss Lambert?" said Evie. "An' what about your
rest, I should like to know."
"Damn my rest."
Julia tore off her clothes, and flung them with ample gestures all over the
Room. Then, stark naked, she skipped on to the bed, stood up on it for a
Moment, like Venus rising from the waves, and then throwing herself down
Miss Phillips began to massage her feet. She rubbed gently, to rest and not to
"When you came in just now, like a whirlwind," she said, "I thought you
looked twenty years younger. Your eyes were shining something wonderful."
"Oh, keep that for Mr. Gosselyn, Miss Phillips." And then as an afterthought,
"I feel like a two-year-old."
And it was the same at the theatre later on. Archie Dexter, who was her
Leading man, came into her dressing-room to speak about something. She had
Were the first time. Her performance was brilliant. She got laughs that she
Had never got before. She always had magnetism, but on this occasion it
Seemed to flow over the house in a great radiance. Michael happened to be
Watching the last two acts from the corner of a box and at the end he came
WHEN Julia got to bed and slipped her feet down to the comfort of her hot-
Water bottle, she took a happy look at her room, rose-pink and Nattier-blue,
With the gold cherubs of her dressing-table, and sighed with satisfaction. She
Thought how very Madame de Pompadour it was. She put out the light but she
did not feel at all sleepy. She would have liked really to go to Quag's and
She remembered the miniature Charles had once given her. That was how she
Felt tonight. Such an adventure had not happened to her for ages. The last
time was eight years before. That was' an episode that she ought to have been
thoroughly ashamed of; goodness, how scared she'd been afterwards, but she
That had been an accident too. She had been acting for a long time without a
Rest and she badly needed one. The play she was in was ceasing to attract and
They were about to start rehearsing a new one when Michael got the chance of
Letting the theatre to a French company for six weeks. It seemed a good
Opportunity for Julia to get away. Dolly had rented a house at Cannes for the
Season and Julia could stay with her. It was just before Easter when she
Started off, and the trains south were so crowded that she had not been able to
Get a sleeper, but at a travel agency they had said that it would be quite all
To her consternation she found when they got to Paris that nothing seemed to
Be known about her, and the chef de train told her that every sleeper was
Engaged. The only chance was that someone should not turn up at the last
Moment. She did not like the idea of sitting up all night in the corner of a first-
Class carriage, and went into dinner with a perturbed mind. She was given a
Table for two, and soon a man came and sat down opposite her. She paid no
Attention to him. Presently the chef de train came along and told her that he
She made a useless scene. When the official had gone, the man at her table
Addressed her. Though he spoke fluent, idiomatic French, she recognized by
His accent that he was not a Frenchman. She told him in answer to his polite
Inquiry the whole story and gave him her opinion of the travel agency, the
Railway company, and the general inefficiency of the human race. He was very
Sympathetic. He told her that after dinner he would go along the train and see
For himself if something could not be arranged. One never knew what one of
The conversation thus started, he told her that he was an attachй at the
Spanish Embassy in Paris and was going down to Cannes for Easter. Though
She had been talking to him for a quarter of an hour she had not troubled to
Notice what he was like. She observed now that he had a beard, a black curly
Beard and a black curly moustache, but the beard grew rather oddly on his
It gave him a curious look. With his black hair, drooping eyelids and rather
Long nose, he reminded her of someone she had seen. Suddenly she
remembered, and it was such a surprise that she blurted out:
"D'you know, I couldn't think who you reminded me of. You're strangely like
Titian's portrait of Francis I in the Louvre."
"With his little pig's eyes?"
"No, not them, yours are large, I think it's the beard chiefly."
She glanced at the skin under his eyes; it was faintly violet and unwrinkled.
Notwithstanding the ageing beard he was quite a young man; he could not
Might have cost a lot even if they were badly cut, and his tie, though rather
Loud, she recognized as a Charvet. When they came to the coffee he asked her
Whether he might offer her a liqueur.
"That's very kind of you. Perhaps it'll make me sleep better."
He offered her a cigarette. His cigarette-case was silver, that put her off a
Little, but when he closed it she saw that in the corner was a small crown in
Gold. He must be a count or something. It was rather chic, having a silver
He would really look very distinguished. She set herself to be as gracious as
She knew how.
"I think I should tell you," he said presently, "that I know who you are. And
may I add that I have a great admiration for you?"
When the man came round to collect the money she had to insist on paying
Her own bill. The Spaniard accompanied her to the carriage and then said he
Would go along the train to see if he could find a sleeper for her. He came back
In a quarter of an hour with a conductor and told her that he had got her a
Compartment and if she would give the conductor her things he would take
Her to it. She was delighted. He threw down his hat on the seat she vacated
And she followed him along the corridor. When they reached the
Compartment he told the conductor to take the portmanteau and the dispatch-