Number Seventeenby Louis Tracy
People who had arrived at the theater in fine weather were emerging into a drizzle of rain. "All London," as the phrase goes, was flocking to see the latest musical comedy at Daly's,
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A red-faced, loud-breathing commissionaire, engaged in the lucrative task of pocketing sixpences as quickly as he could summon cabs, vanished in a swirl of macintoshes and umbrellas.
People who had arrived at the theater in fine weather were emerging into a drizzle of rain. "All London," as the phrase goes, was flocking to see the latest musical comedy at Daly's, but all London, regarded thus collectively, is far from owning motor cars, or even affording taxicabs, so the majority of the play-goers were hurrying on foot towards tube railways and omnibus routes.
Still, a popular light opera could hardly fail to draw many patrons from the upper ranks of society, and, in the crush at the main exit, Francis Berrold Theydon, hesitating whether to walk or wait the hazard of a cab, deemed himself fortunate when a panting commissionaire promised to secure a taxi "in half a minute."
Automobiles of every known variety were snorting up to the curb and bustling off again as promptly as their users could enter and bestow themselves in dim interiors. Being a considerate person—wishful also to light a cigarette—Theydon moved out of the way. In so doing, he was cannoned against by an impetuous footman, whose cry, "Your car, sir," led him to follow the man's alert eyes.
He saw a tall, elderly gentleman, with clean-shaven, shrewd, and highly intelligent features, of the type which finance, or the law, or a combination of both, seems to evolve only in big cities, escorting a young lady from the vestibule. Then Theydon remembered that he had noticed this self-same girl's remarkable beauty as she was silhouetted in white against the dark background of a first-tier box. He had even speculated idly as to her identity, and had come to the conclusion, on catching her face in profile, that she must be the daughter of the man seated by her side but half-hidden behind a heavy curtain.
The likeness was momentarily lost now while the two neared him, yet discovered anew when they halted for a second at his elbow. Oddly enough, the man was carrying an umbrella, which he proceeded to open, and his daughter's astonished question put their relationship beyond doubt.
- BN ID:
- Del Williams Media
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 454 KB
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