Page:Buttered Side Down.djvu/156

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

THE LEADING LADY

a view to forming another little damp oasis on the pillow. But when she reached the center of the stifling little bedroom her eye chanced on the electric call-button near the door. Above the electric bell was tacked a printed placard giving information on the subjects of laundry, ice-water, bell-boys and dining-room hours.

The leading lady stood staring at it a moment thoughtfully. Then with a sudden swift movement she applied her forefinger to the button and held it there for a long half-minute. Then she sat down on the edge of the bed, her kimono folded about her, and waited.

She waited until a lank bell-boy, in a brown uniform that was some sizes too small for him, had ceased to take any interest in the game of chess which Bauer and Merkle, the champion firemen chess-players, were contesting on the walk before the open doorway of the engine-house. The proprietor of the Burke House had originally intended that the brown uniform be worn by a diminutive bell-boy, such as one sees in musical comedies. But the available supply of stage size bell-boys in our town is somewhat limited and was soon exhausted. There fol-

[141]