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Newspaper Page Text
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THE CAREER OF "CLARA."
I never knew a boy more heart
ily despised by other boys than
Claire Applebie. We called him
"Clara," and said he was a "sissy"
and a "girl-boy."
He was the apple of his moth
er's eye. She kept him m kilts and
curls when we were smoking cig
arets, and wouldn't let him play
with "rough" boys.
He liked girls better anyway.
He never said anything strong
er than "Oh, ntercy," and "Oh,
sugar," when we were saying
"Gosh darn it." He wouldn't "play
ball, fight, chew tobacco or go
But he always had his lessons.
When we boys had reached the
age when we would wash our
necks of our own accord and
could look at a girl without going
deaf, dumb and blind, "Clara"
was wearinga high collar and
combing his glossy ,w black hair in
a poetic TwaveT
He got tall-an'd spindling, had a
mincing walk and talked in sweet,
girlish txmes. He was too pom
pous for jill get-out, ehockful of
self-assurance, and there was no
He never played with us at re
cess time. He hung around with
and air of superiority got on my
' nerves more than it should have
done. Perhaps it was because he
tagged after Angelica Bowen,.
whom I regarded as my girl. I
,vas stuck on -Angelica.
Angelica was a plump, strong,
motherly sort of girl. I thought I
could understand .her interest in
"Clara." If ever a boy needed- a
really sensible mother "Clara"
was that boy.
In due time I went away to col
lege, acquired a- smattering of
law and came to the city to hang
out rny shingle.
I corresponded'with Angelica,
but from the tone ot her friendly,
chatty letters I couldn'tNtell for
the life of me whether she cared
for me or not.
One day I met "Clara" in the
street. He was older, of course,
and rather Seedy, but as'pompous
and mincing as ever. I was look
ing seedy too. He said,-apologet-ically,
he. was- clerking in a gro
Weeks later I got my first re
tainer, and, feeling flush, went to
the theater. The play was onexf
those historical things, with
swashbucklers, sword duels and
high-flown repartee. The scenery
and costuming was none too ele
gant, and more tfran half the peo
ple on the stage were supers
lords, ladies, lackeys, soldiers and
And in the ballroom scene who
should come mincing and smirk
ing from the wings, with a fine
lady on his arms, but not a word
to say but Claire Applebie 1 And
in tights that hung from his
spindling legs in folds !
I laughed till my sjdes ached.
Next day I wrote home abdut it,
saying, "Isn't that-just like 'Clara'
to get stagestruck?"
I went to the same theater a
few weeks later and saw "Clara".