BLTC Press Titles

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The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle

A damsel in distress

by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse


George Bevan turned the corner now, walking slowly and, it seemed to Mac, gloomily toward the stage door. He was a young man of about twenty-seven, tall and well-knit, with an agreeable, clean-cut face of which a pair of good and honest eyes were the most noticeable feature. His sensitive mouth was drawn down a little at the corners, and he looked tired.

"Morning, Mac."

"Good morning, sir."

"Anything for me?"

"Yes, sir, some telegrams. I'll get 'em. Oh, I'll get 'em," said Mac, as if reassuring some doubting friend and supporter as to his ability to carry through a labor of Hercules.

He disappeared into his glass case. George Bevan remained outside in the street surveying the frisking children with a somber glance. They seemed to him very noisy, very dirty and very young—disgustingly young. Theirs was joyous, exuberant youth which made a fellow feel at least sixty. Something was wrong with George to-day, for normally he was fond of children. Indeed, normally he was fond of most things. He was a good-natured and cheerful young man who liked life and the great majority of those who lived it contemporaneously with himself. He had no enemies and many friends.

But to-day he had noticed from the moment he had got out of bed that something was amiss with the world. Either he was in the grip of some divine discontent due to the highly developed condition of his soul, or else he had a grouch. One of the two. Or it might have been the reaction from the emotions of the previous night. On the morning after an opening your sensitive artist is always apt to feel as if he had been dried over a barrel.

Besides, last night there had been a supper party after the performance at the flat which the comedian of the troupe had rented in Jermyn Street, a forced, rowdy supper party where a number of tired people with overstrained nerves had seemed to feel it a duty to be artificially vivacious. It had lasted till four o'clock, when the morning papers with the notices arrived; and George had not got to bed till four-thirty. These things color the mental outlook.

Mac reappeared.

"Here you are, sir."


George put the telegrams in his pocket. A cat, on its way back from lunch, paused beside him in order to use his leg as a serviette. George tickled it under the ear abstractedly. He was always courteous to cats, but to-day he went through the movements perfunctorily and without enthusiasm.

The cat moved on. Mac became conversational.

"They tell me the piece was a hit last night, sir."

"It seemed to go very well."

"My missus saw it from the gallery, and all the first-nighters was speaking very 'ighly of it. There's a regular click, you know, sir, over here in London, that goes to all the first nights in the gallery. 'Ighly critical they are always. Specially if it's an American piece like this one. If they don't like it they precious soon let you know. My missus says they was all speakin' very 'ighly of it. My missus says she ain't seen a livelier show for a long time, and she's a great theatergoer. My missus says they was all specially pleased with the music"

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