Search      Hot    Newest Novel
HOME > Biographical > A Book About Myself > CHAPTER XXXIII
Font Size:【Large】【Middle】【Small】 Add Bookmark  
 Thus it was that I about the city wondering what would become of me. My dramatic work, interesting as it was, was still so trivial in so far as the space given it and the public’s interest in it were concerned as to make it all but worthless. The great McCullagh was not interested in the stage; the proof of it was that he this interesting department to me. But circumstances were bringing about an if not upward step. I was daily becoming so restless and unhappy that it would have been strange if something had not happened. To think that there was no more to this dramatic work for me than now appeared, and that in addition Mr. McCullagh was allowing Mr. Mitchell to give me afternoon and night or out-of-town assignments when I had important performances to report! As a matter of fact they were not important, but Mitchell had no consideration for my critical work. He continued to give me two or three things to do on nights when, as he knew or I thought he should, I should spend the evening witnessing a single performance. This was to pay me out, so I thought, for going over his head. I grew more and more resentful, and finally a occurred.  
It happened that one Sunday night late in April three shows were scheduled to arrive in the city, each performance being of special attention. Nearly all new shows opened in St. Louis on Sunday night and it was impossible for me to attend them all in one evening. I might have given both Dick and Peter tickets and asked them to help me, but I , since this was a custom practiced by my at times, to write up the notices beforehand, the facts being from various press-agent accounts already in my hands, and then comment more on the plays in some notes which I published mid-week. It happened, however, that on this particular evening Mr. Mitchell had other plans for me. Without consulting me or my theatrical duties he handed me at about seven in the evening a slip of paper containing a notice of a street-car hold-up in the far western suburbs of the city. I was about to protest that my critical work demanded my presence elsewhere but concluded to hold my tongue. He would merely advise me to write up the notices of the shows, as I had planned, or, worse yet, tell me to let other people do them. I thought once of going to McCullagh and protesting, but finally went my way to do the best I could and protest later. I would hurry up on this assignment and then come back and visit the theaters.
When I reached the scene of the supposed hold-up there was nothing to guide me. The people at the car-barns did not know anything about it and the crew that had been held up was not present. I visited a far outlying police station but the in charge could tell me nothing more than that the crime was not very important, a few dollars stolen. I went to the exact spot but there were no houses in the neighborhood, only a barren stretch of track lying out in a rain-soaked plain. It was a gloomy, wet night, and I decided to return to the city. When I reached a car-line it was late, too late for me to do even a part of my critical work; the long distance out and the walks to the car-barn and the police station had consumed much time. As I neared the city I found that it was eleven o’clock. What chance had I to visit the theaters then? I asked myself angrily. How was I to know if the shows had even arrived? There had been heavy rains all over the West for the last week and there had been many wash-outs.
I finally got off in front of the nearest theater and went up to the door; it was silent and dark. I thought of asking the drugman who occupied a corner of the building, but that seemed a silly thing to be doing at this hour and I let it go. I thought of telephoning to the rival paper, the Republic, when I reached the office, but when I got there I had first to report to Mitchell, who was just leaving, and then, irritated and indifferent, I put it off for the moment. Perhaps Hartung would know.
“Do you know what time the first edition goes to press here, Hugh?” I asked him at a quarter after twelve.
“Twelve-thirty, I think. The telegraph man can tell you.”
“Do you know whether the dramatic stuff I sent up this afternoon gets in that?”
“Sure—at least I think it does. You’d better ask the foreman of the composing-room about it, though.”
I went upstairs. Instead of calling up the Republic at once, or any of the managers of the theaters, or knocking out the notices , I inquired how matters stood with the first edition. I was not sure that there was any reason for worrying about the shows not arriving, but something kept telling me to make sure.
At last I found that the first edition had been closed, with the notices in it, and went to the telephone to call up the Republic. Then the dramatic editor of that paper had gone and I could not find the address of a single manager. I tried to reach one of the theaters, but there was no response. The clock registered twelve-thirty by then, and I weakly concluded that things must be all right or that if they weren’t I couldn’t help it. I then went home and to bed and slept poorly, troubled by the thought that something might be wrong and wishing now that I had not been so about it all. Why couldn’t I attend to things at the proper time instead of about in this fashion? I sighed and tried to sleep.
The next morning I arose and went through the two morning papers without losing any time. To my horror and , there in the Republic was an announcement on the first page to the effect that owing to various wash-outs in several States none of the three shows had arrived the night before. And in my own paper, to my great pain was a full account of the performances and the agreeable reception accorded them!
“Oh, Lord!” I . “What will McCullagh say? What will the other papers say? Three shows reviewed, and not one here!” And in connection with one I had written: “A large and enthusiastic audience received Mr. Sol Smith Russell” at the Grand. And in connection with another that the gallery of Pope’s Theater “was top-heavy.............
Join or Log In! You need to log in to continue reading

Login into Your Account

  Remember me on this computer.

All The Data From The Network AND User Upload, If Infringement, Please Contact Us To Delete! Contact Us
About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Tag List | Recent Search  
©2010-2018, All Rights Reserved