it was with a firm countenance but a sinking heart that i saw hannah leave the room. i had come home inspired with lofty Ambition, and it had ended thus. heart-broken, i wandered to the bedside, and let my eyes fall on the Suitcase, the container of all my woe.
well, i was surprised, all right. it was not and never had been mine. instead of my blue serge sailor suit and my ROBE DE NUIT and kimona etc., it contained a checked gentleman's suit, a mussed shirt and a cap. at first i was merely astonished. then a sense of loss overpowered me. i suffered. i was prostrated with grief. not that i cared a Rap for the clothes i'd lost, being most of them too small and patched here and there. but i had lost the plot of my Play. my Career was gone.
i was undone.
it may be asked what has this Recitle to do with the account of meeting a Celebrity. i reply that it has a great deal to do with it. a bare recitle of a meeting may be News, but it is not Art.
a theme consists of introduction, body, and conclusion.
this is still the introduction.
when i was at last revived enough to think i knew what had happened. the young man who took the Cinder out of my eye had come to sit beside me, which i consider was merely kindness on his part and nothing like Flirting, and he had brought his Suitcase over, and they had got mixed up. but i knew the Familey would call it Flirting, and not listen to a word i said.
a madness siezed me. now that everything is over, i realize that it was madness. but "there is a divinity that shapes our ends, etc." it was to be. it was Karma, or Kismet, or whatever the word is. it was written in the Book of Fate that i was to go ahead, and wreck my life, and generally ruin everything.
could all have been as all was not,
llewellyn would have had no story;
he would have stayed a quiet man
and gone his quiet way to glory.
but howsoever mild he was
priscilla was implacable;
and whatsoever timid hopes
he built -- she found them, and they fell.
and this went on, with intervals
of labored harmony between
resounding discords, till at last
llewellyn turned -- as will be seen.
as a matter of fact, i guess that's what they did think at first, and, in a way, it was dangerous for me. i learnt afterwards that they nearly did away with me then and there--there was never much chance of their 'letting me go'--but the first man, who was the boss, preferred to keep me alive on the chance of my having hidden them, and being able to tell where if i recovered my memory. they watched me constantly for weeks.
the pace was too fast for her inexperience. but nothing could have stopped her then.
in the bon ton store she found guy pollock tentatively buying a modest gray scarf. "we haven't seen you for so long," she said. "wouldn't you like to come in and play cribbage, some evening?" as though he meant it, pollock begged, "may i, really?"