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Newspaper Page Text
was a lovely-faced girl of about 18,
Nina Burr. She was a novice, Ev
ans saw that, but in her part as the
wife of an inebriate, her rare pathos,
more of facial expression than enun
ciation, affected Evans powerfully.
The final death of the inebriate amid
the horrors of delirium set Evans to
thinking. The girl left the rehearsal
homeward bound, just in advance of
Evans. She dropped her gloves in
the stage alley without missing
them. Evans restored them to her.
She nodded her thanks brightly, kept
by his side and began a conversation
which was warranted by their being
employed at the same place.
"I shall never get ahead in-the pro
fession," she declared. "I can't
memorize and the director says my
voice won't do at all."
Evans considered it the sweetest
voice in the world, but did not say
so. To a man who had been shunned,
to be welcome in such respectable
companionship aroused both appre
ciation and pleasure.
He learned that Miss Burr was
poor and lived with an invalid moth
er. Out of regular work, she had
tried the stage to carry them over a
period of financial stress.
Somehow a new interest seemed
to have come intohis life. The next
day he did not take his "bracer " The
third day of his apprenticeship lie ap
peared cleanly shaven and more pre
sentable in his general appearance.
"You've spoiled the natural!"
grumbled the actor.
"Oh, I can fix a make-up for. the
stage," declared Evans.
He was greatly pleased after the
night performance to find Miss Burr
lingering at the stage door. She was
an honest-hearted, sincere little
"You go my way," she told him,
"for which I am glad, if I can walk
"You honor me," said Evans with
a quiver in his voice, and somehow
his soul opened.
He was influenced to tell Miss Burr ,
something of bis past life and hon
est regret was evidenced in his ut
terances. There was a sympathetic
pressure to her hand as she bade him
It was the last night of the week
and the performance was concluded.
Nina was standing talking to the
manager as to continued employ
ment when suddenly Evans sprang
forward. A rotted tackle had given
way under a strain among the flies.
A heavy piece of framed scenery
came shooting down. On his higher
shoulders, braced like a gladiator,
Evans caught the lower metal-bound
edge of the sceneT"
"Back, out of the way!" he shout
ed, and then as the affrighted Nina
drew out of range of peril he dropped
and the heavy scene held him pinned
to the stage floor.
They got him out from under the
wreck, his collar bone wrenched and
with a broken arm. The manager,
who mustear the responsibility of
the accident, was terribly flustered.
He was for sending his Injured em
ploye to a hospital. Nina stepped
to his'sifle. -
"He saved my life," she said sim
ply. "It will save you money to have
him nursed at our home."
Racked as was with pain, Evans
gave his little friend a grateful look
and experienced a glow of delight
that brought him to the very thres-,
hold of love. The manager ordered
a taxicab and left all arrangements
for the comfort of the sufferer to
There was a spare room at the
humble home of Nina. Her mother
was able to get about most of the
time. For a week Evans was con
fined to indoors. It was a week of
rest, of mental and moral recupera
tion. Nina and her mother scarcely
knew him when, after his settlement
with the theater people, he appeared
before them well dressed, all the old
blight of drink departed from his nat
urally handsome and intelligent face.
He secured a room near by and dur-