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I wanted to work in the governors race, both to learn about

source:Believe it or notedit:sciencetime:2023-11-28 21:36:32

Again that elongated "A-a-ah!" Then, "Tell me of that five minutes," and he thrust a chair toward me.

I wanted to work in the governors race, both to learn about

"Oh," I cried, despairingly, "that will take so long, and will only bore you.

I wanted to work in the governors race, both to learn about

"Understand, please, nothing under heaven that is connected with the stage can ever bore me." Which statement was unalloyed truth.

I wanted to work in the governors race, both to learn about

"But, indeed," I feebly insisted, only to be brought up short with the words, "Kindly allow me to judge for myself."

To which I beamingly made answer: "Did I not beg you to do that months ago?" But he was growing vexed, and curtly commanded:

"I want those first five minutes--what he did, and how he did it, and what the effect was, and then"--speaking dreamily--"I shall know--I shall know."

Now at Mr. Daly's last long-drawn-out "A-a-ah," anent Mr. Irving's winning applause without words, I believed an idea, new and novel, had sprung into his mind, while his present rapt manner would tell anyone familiar with his ways that the idea was rapidly becoming a plan. I was wondering what it could be, when a sharp "Well?" startled me into swift and beautiful obedience,

"You see, Mr. Daly, I knew absolutely nothing of the story of the play that night. 'The Bells' were, I supposed, church-bells. In the first act the people were rustic--the season winter--snow flying in every time the door opened. The absent husband and father was spoken of by mother and daughter, lover and neighbour. Then there were sleigh-bells heard, whose jingle stopped suddenly. The door opened--Mathias entered, and for the first time winter was made truly manifest to us, and one drew himself together instinctively, for the tall, gaunt man at the door was cold-chilled, just to the very marrow of his bones. Then, after general greetings had been exchanged, he seated himself in a chair directly in the centre of the stage, a mere trifle in advance of others in the scene, and proceeded to remove his long leggings. He drew a great coloured handkerchief and brushed away some clinging snow; then leaning forward, with slightly tremulous fingers, he began to unfasten a top buckle. Suddenly the trembling ceased, the fingers clenched hard upon the buckle, the whole body became still, then rigid--it seemed not to breathe! The one sign of life in the man was the agonisingly strained sense of hearing! His tortured eyes saw nothing. Utterly without speech, without feeling, he listened--breathlessly listened! A cold chill crept stealthily about the roots of my hair, I clenched my hands hard and whispered to myself: 'Will it come, good God, will it come, the thing he listens for?' When with a wild bound, as if every nerve and muscle had been rent by an electric shock, he was upon his feet; and I was answered even before that suffocating cry of terror--'The bells! the bells!'--and under cover of the applause that followed I said: 'Haunted! Innocent or guilty, this man is haunted!' And Mr. Daly, I bowed my head to a great actor, for though fine things followed, you know the old saying, that 'no chain is stronger than its weakest link.' Well I always feel that no actor is greater than his carefulest bit of detail."

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