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"Who are you, anyway?" ques
tioned Dancre, tracing-something of
power in the speech and manner of
"A fallen star," voiced' the other,
in a startling tone. "I am not pa
rading my necessities nor misfor
tunes, but once my name blazed the
way to many a histrionic triumph. I
am Macreaijy Edgerton."
The manager gave a start He was
not of the sam.e generation as the
veteran, but he recognized the name
"The question is," continued Ed
gerton, "can the situation be reme
died? He is to appear in the title
role of Julius Casear. He is not
Known here. Sir, I have a sugges
tion to offer."
He came very close to Dacre and
spoke almost in a whisper. The man
ager recoiled with a sharp gasp. He
"Nonsense!" he uttered. "Sheer
"Is that so?" cried Macready Ed
gerton in vibrating tones, rising to
his full height "Sir, I standardized
the roles of Shakespeare over two
continents. You doubt me try me!"
Wayne Fortescue was removed to
his hotel very quietly and smuggled
unostentatiously to his room. Then
the manager took the arm of Edger
ton and led the way to the theater.
Wayne Fortescue awoke the next
morning, dull, dazed, dizzy-headed,
ick at soul. With a profound shock
he realized what had transpired. For
the first time in two years the vile
tempter of drink had led him astray.
He stared at his garish surround
ings in a lost, despairing way. There
overcame him the bitterness of
death, for all the firm foundation of
life seemed crushed away beneath
him. He groaned and closed his eyes.
The play he had disappointed his
audience. The drink what inane
folly might he hot have committed!
Elise ah, flower of his heart! she,
. his promised bride. When the. news
of his retrogression came to her, how
could he live to witness thejnisery of
that tender, gentle heart!
His hands were trembling, his
frame weak and unsteady. He
glanced into the mirror as he dressed
and was abashed at the, accusing
pallor and wretchedness portrayed in
A bell boy, as was customary,
placed a pitcher of Ice water and a
morning newspaper inside the room.
Wayne drained the cooling liquid to
its last drop. He sank into a chair,
trying "to, recall the events of the
evening previous. At a point where
he had been spouting some tragedy
to a boisterous cafe group all mem
ory ceased. Mechanically he picked
up the newspaper and glanced at the
Startled, fairly hypnotized,, he read
down a column, a critique of the ren
dition of Julius Caeser the evening
previous. Was he dreaming ' What
journalistic buffoonery was this? To
an Irving, a Booth, no higher praise,
no greater genius could be accredit
ed. Pram start to finish the play had
been the. sensation of the dramatic
season, and Wayne Fortescue had
won his way to the front rank.
."It couldn't have happened!"
gasped Wayne. "In my condition "
The manager had entered the
room. He looked grave, but hopeful
as he read in the face of. Fortescue
unutterable contrition for his sad
lapse. - -'
"Dacre!" cried the tormented
Wayne, "explain that!" and he thrust
the newspaper before him.
"Yes," spoke Dacre, quietly, "just
in time I provided the understudy.
He is here an old friend," and he
opened the door and ushered in Alac
There were honest tears in the
eyes o( the' sprrowfub Fortescue
when he learned what true friends
had done to save his name, to shield
his folly. The crisis was past and
the few who knew of the substitu
tion were clannishly, professionally
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