Page:The Intrusion of Jimmy.djvu/306

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CHAPTER XXVIII


SPENNIE'S HOUR OF CLEAR VISION


MR. McEACHERN sat in the billiard-room, smoking. He was alone. From where he sat, he could hear distant strains of music. The more rigorous portion of the evening's entertainment, the theatricals, was over, and the nobility and gentry, having done their duty by sitting through the performance, were now enjoying themselves in the ballroom. Everybody was happy. The play had been quite as successful as the usual amateur performance. The prompter had made himself a great favorite from the start, his series of duets with Spennie having been especially admired; and Jimmy, as became an old professional, had played his part with great finish and certainty of touch, though, like the bloodhounds in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" on the road, he had had poor support. But the audience bore no malice. No collection of individuals is less vindictive than an audience at amateur theatricals. It was all over now. Charteris had literally gibbered in the presence of eye-witnesses at one point in the second act, when Spennie, by giving a wrong cue, had jerked the play abruptly into act three, where his colleagues,

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