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Newspaper Page Text
' AS IN A PICTURE
By J. V. Symons.
' "Lucia dear, I have some news for
youl" said little Miss Brett, taking
her by both hands in her dressing
room in the Imperial Theater. "I am
going to leave the stage."
"You, my dear! Why why Pres
cott told me himself that he means
to give you the star part in 'Under
Two Flags next month. You can't
"The Curtain's Up, Miss Clay."
mean it, you who have won fame al
most in a nght"
"But that doesn't mean anything
to me now," answered the girl, smil
ing. "You see," she added in a lower
voice, "I am engaged to be married."
Lucia Clay kissed her warmly and
chatted for quite five minutes, which
was a big slice out of a busy woman's
life. Then she watched her go down
the draughty corridor and sank back
into her chair and wept bitterly.
People would have been astonish
ed if they could have seen Lucia cry
ing. She was one of the big discov
eries of the past two years. But she
had worked hard for her success.
Ten years of barren poverty and un
productive labor lay behind her. Cold
as ice, they called her. Even in
stageland, that prolific center of gos
sip, her name had never been asso
ciated with that of any man. And
yet she had temperament, she was
superb in emotional parts. She seem
ed to have lived through and lived
down something, so that the fires
now glowed where formerly they had
blazed, and under an exterior that
was faultlessly serene.
"There must have been big experi
ences in Miss Clay's life," said an qld
critic to his friend once.
There had been, the biggest of all
experiences, because the most uni
versal. She had been married and
her honeymoon had lasted eleven
They had been days of delirious
happiness both for herself and for
the young painter, Lawrence Mur
doch. It had been almost a runaway
match, except that neither had any
body to run from. He was a scene
painter, and had once been spoken
of as a coming man in his profession.
Lucia was then just a stage-struck
girl. She had played the ingenue's
part in one or two productions cred
itably, and they possessed two hun
dred dollars between them. On the
strength of this they were married.
It was an old, eighteenth century
cottage in which they had elected to
spend their honeymoon. Lucia would
remember every detail of it as long
as she lived; the clematis over the
door, the patch of everblooming
roses, the perky sweet Williams along
the gravelly walk. And their happi
ness had been intense for eleven
Then Lawrence went away. He
left no letter, offered no explanation.
But that he took his possessions with
him, Lucia would have feared he had
met with foul play. She came homo
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