Page:The Yellow Book - 01.djvu/291

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By John Oliver Hobbes and George Moore

Julia.Is Cyril going there, too?

Mandeville.I believe that he has an invitation, but I will persuade him to refuse it, if you would prefer him to remain at home.

Julia.You are very kind, Mr. Mandeville, but it is a matter of indifference to me where Lord Aprile goes.

Mandeville.Perhaps I ought not to have mentioned this to you?

Julia.[Annoyed.]It does not make the least difference. In fact, I am delighted to think that you are taking Cyril out into the world. He is wretched in this house.[With heroism.]I am glad to think that he knows any one so interesting and clever and beautiful as Sarah Sparrow. I suppose she would be considered beautiful?

Mandeville.[With a profound glance.]One can forget her—sometimes.

Julia.[Looking down.]Perhaps—when I am as old as she is—I shall be prettier than I am at present.

Mandeville.You always said you liked my voice. We never see anything of each other now. I once thought that—well—that you might like me better. Are you sure you are not angry with me because I am taking Cyril to this rehearsal?

Julia.Quite sure. Why should I care where Cyril goes? I only wish that I, too, might go to the theatre to-night. What part do you play? And what do you sing? A serenade?

Mandeville.[Astounded.]Yes. How on earth did you guess that? The costume is, of course, picturesque, and that is the great thing in an opera. A few men can sing—after a fashion—but to find the right clothes to sing in—that shows the true artist.

Julia.And Sarah; does she look her part?

Mandeville.Well, I do not like to say anything against her,