Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/200

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do. At this rate, we might just as well cut out the show altogether. What's that? No, it won't be all right on the night! Now, then, once more; and do pull yourselves together this time." After this, the scene is sulkily resumed; and conversation, when the parties concerned meet subsequently, is cold and strained.

Matters had reached this stage at the castle. Everybody was thoroughly tired of the piece, and, but for the thought of the disappointment which (presumably) would rack the neighboring nobility and gentry if it were not to be produced, would have resigned their places without a twinge of regret. People who had schemed to get the best and longest parts were wishing now that they had been content with "First Footman," or "Giles, a villager."

"I'll never run an amateur show again as long as I live," confided Charteris to Jimmy almost tearfully. "It's not good enough. Most of them aren't word-perfect yet."

"It'll be all right—"

"Oh, don't say it'll be all right on the night."

"I wasn't going to," said Jimmy. "I was going to say it'll be all right after the night. People will soon forget how badly the thing went."

"You're a nice, comforting sort of man, aren't you?" said Charteris.

"Why worry?" said Jimmy. "If you go on like this, it'll be Westminster Abbey for you in your prime. You'll be getting brain-fever."