That was the first time that anyone ever called her an actress--
June 1st, 1922, Bethel's sixth birthday. There was no spotlight,
no ...
See more details below
Bethel Merriday

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


That was the first time that anyone ever called her an actress--
June 1st, 1922, Bethel's sixth birthday. There was no spotlight,
no incidental music, and her only audience were her mother and a
small dog looking regretfully through the window of a boarding-
house. But she was sensational.

Her mother and she were on their way to the A. & P. Store, and as
usual Bethel had with the greatest violence been running in
circles. She was slight and small and entirely feminine, but she
was the best runner in her neighbourhood.

She stopped, then moved with a queer slow hitching. In front of
them an old lady was scraping along, sunk forward from her
shoulders as though she had given up all hope of ease and love.
Her whole life seemed to be in her painfully sliding feet. Bethel
tried to recreate that dejected walk, and she went at it so
earnestly that the back of her neck ached with the weight of
sagging shoulders, and every step was a frightened effort.

Her mother interrupted.

'Good gracious, don't copy folks that way, Bethel. You'll hurt
their feelings.'

The small, black-eyed child halted, in protest.

'Oh! I'm not copying her. I'm trying to be her. I can be a lot
of different people.'

'My, aren't we grown-up! I'm afraid that you like to show off,
dear--the way you always say your text so loud in Sunday school.'

'I love to say texts! "I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole
heart. I will show forth all thy marvellous works".'

'It all sounds like maybe you're going to be an actress. I guess
that wouldn't be a bad text for an actress.'

'Look how the poor old lady's heels are run down,' said Bethel, too
busy with her career for prophecies of glory.

Bethel was born in 1916, on the day after the Battle of Jutland.
Her father, kneeling by the bed, had prayed, 'Dear Lord, please
make this baby a child of peace and justice--yes, and happiness,

Five months after the six-year-old Bethel gave her imitation of the
old lady, the Black Shirts marched bravely into the maws of the
movie cameras in Rome; and five months after that, Hitler bounded
out of a Munich beer garden. But perhaps it was as important that
at this time John Barrymore was playing Hamlet and Pauline Lord
Anna Christie and the Theatre Guild producing Back to Methuselah.
They were so much less stagy.

Herbert Merriday, Bethel's father, was a dealer in furniture, to
which, later, he was importantly to add electric refrigerators and
radios. They lived in Sladesbury, a city of 127,000, in central
Connecticut, a fount of brassware, hardware, arms, precision
instruments, clocks. Here is the renowned establishment of
Lilydale & Duck, makers of machine-guns for killing policemen and
revolvers for killing gangsters and the Duck Typewriter for
joyfully chronicling both brands of killing.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013740532
  • Publisher: WDS Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/7/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,215,048
  • File size: 329 KB

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)