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OXfOBO lotties kee-p tlieir
BY MARY FRANCES BIGELOW.
FEW months ago Mies Laura Popham was a dancer.
tow sho is a saleslady, and may daily be seen behind a
counter in a well-known dry goods store, in the shopping
district bounded by Broadway, Sixth avenue, Twenty third and
She ib very pretty and rathor out of the common. If sho chances
to wait on you, you will probably notice her pretty face and her od
dity. Sho is bright, smiling and attentive. She asks your wants
and tries to fill them. She does not appear annoyed if you interrupt
her conversation with the young lady standing beside her, nor does
her manner grow frigid and haughty if you suggest a less costly lin6
of goods than that before you. The chances are that you will find
what you want, if she waits on you.
As to her looks, she is rather small, and her complexion is perfect.
Her heir, which is bronze-brown and wavy, is always drawn back
from her brow and knotted high on her head, and she is fond of
tying a bit of blue ribbon about it. Perhaps from this discription
she may be discovered.
Six months ago when sho was a dancer she was known to the pro
fession as Lollipop. That was her stage name. She had an occa
sional engagement and was not very particular as to where it was.
She danced for money, but also for love. Dancing was a passion
with her, but the fact was not enough . to make her a great dancer.
She was useful, and her pretty, dainty little steps served to fill in
odd spaces in a variety program very acceptably. Her dancing was
never coarse it was not even daring and a week was usually the
limit for which she was engaged. She was in no sense a drawing
card, but sho always danced as well as Bhe could and was entirely
reliable. In passing it may be said that Lollipop was as good as
gold. When her week's engagement had passed she would go home
and practice new dances till she had another chance, dancing from
morning till night. She was always trying to do better work, and
to her mind the thing most desired wis to be a great dancer. That
was her idea.
When the management of a certain root garden announced that
an engagement had been made with the famous Spanish dancer,
Sun and Moon, Lollipop was filled with joy. She had no engage
ment herself. Sun and Moon would dance every night for a week
perhaps longer. Here was a chance to see, to study, to ''get
points,' to improve her own work. Lollipop resolved to see Sun and
Moon several times, alwajB supposing that she found her worth the
study. Lollipop thought that a great deal could be learned from
seeing good work done by recognized artists. She was full of no
tions of this sort.
On the first night when Sun and Moon appeared, Lollipop went to
th roof garden. She was escorted by a young man who wanted to
marry her and who considered it a piece of folly for her to study the
dancing of Sun and Moon, or of anybody else. In his opinion and
in his own language Lollipop herself was "out of sight" of every
dancer living, or dead for that matter. Lollipop did not agree with
him and his flattery made no impression upon her whatever. However,
the young man, whose name was Sam, was perfectly willing to take
Lollipop to see Sun and Moon dance, and together they went to the
Sun and Moon did not appear until late in the evening and the
performance preceding her dance was mediocre. There were two
dancers, and these afforded Sam an opportunity for some compari
son, favorable of course, to Lollipop, who gave him to understand
that his total ignorance of the subject deprived his opinion of all
value. He clung to it, however, with considerable courage.
Sun and Moon's number had at last been reached. There was a
sharp click of the castanets and the first bars of the coming dance.
It was the Cachouca, and Lollipop was radiant It was the dance
she had most longed to see. She hoped to do it herself some day,
perhaps, and here was a rare chance for seeing how it might be
done. "Though of course, jjollipop reflected, "every dancer has her
own ideas. Sun and Moon's may not be just like mine, but how in
teresting it will be."
Now Sun and Moon, in white and gold, walked on to the stage
very quietly, but she walked like a goddess, or at least as a goddess
should. She came forward to the footlights and acknowledged the
greeting of the house. She smiled a little, and stepped back a little,
nd Lollipop saw that the Sun and Moon was beautiful. She felt.
Bhe could'nt tell why, a sudden curious sinking at her heart. She
almost knew then how it would be. In another moment she did
Sun and Moon flung her arms upward. They wero bare and
rounded, and the red castanets in her firm white hands marked the
rhythm of the dance. There was a swift springing motion, now
forward, now back, now to one side, now the other, the lovely arms
flung row over her head, now swiftly lowered almost to the ground.
The supple waist, now swaying, now bending, backward, forward;
the rapid feet moving with perfect pre;ision, and underlying every
motiou of the beautiful form made one feel the BenBe of strength,
of vitality, the grace and power of some wild creature bounding in
the freedom of the forest. Sun and Moon threw her head backward,
and the white throat quivered in the light. She tossed her arms
again and curved her wrists bewitching coquetry in every gesture.
She invited, welcomed, banished in a flash of time. She swept in
swift graceful curves around the small stage, like a bird on wing;
she stopped in full flight, and on tip-toe Btood motionless, a vision
of statuesque grace and sumptuous beauty, every line "a-dolight to
tho eye; her face Was now that of a siren, now that of a merry child.
Was ever BUch beauty, such matchless grace, such poise, such art?
A few minutes only the dance lasted no moro but LoHipop had
time to more than "get a point," to learn a wholo lesson !
Sun and Moon was recalled. She danced again. Then Lollipop
"Let's go, Sam," she said.
As they went down the stairway leading to tho street, Sam spoke
to Lollipop, and she turned upon him with a sharp exclamation:
"Keep quiet," said she.
"What's the matter?" said he.
But Lollipop did not reply, at least not just then. But presently
she said slowly and in a strange voice:
"Sam, I'm done. I'll never Btop on a Btage again."
"What's that for?" said Sam. "1 think I see you stop dancing V
"Dancing 1" cried Lollipop. "Dancing I've never danced. I've
capered, and hopped and skippod and made a fool of myself; but as
for dancing 1 Don't talk to me, Sam Martin, I'm done I
Sam noticed then that her cheeks were wet with tears, but he
made no comment, which showed him to be possessed of a little wis
dom. Lollipop bade him good night pleasantly enough, and decided
that she must have been tired.
A few days later Sun and Moon received a package containing a
pair of dancing shoes, somewhat worn. Not understanding the gift
she was highly offended, and threw them away; and thus ended
Lollipop's career as a dancer.
She readily found employment as a saleslady and does her very
best to be a good one.
HOW OLD AREYOU?
It should seem that the age of any person would be positive and
definite to the person himself as well as to his associates. It would
appear to be a fact palpable and unmisapprehensible, for we take
note of every year, month, week, day that passes over our heads dur
ing our early lives. One's age is supposed to be something that one
always knows and never forgets. Nevertheless, no one knows, or
ever can know, it is needless to say, the date of one's birth. We are
compelled to rely on what we are told; but our confidence in the
telling is implicit. We have more faith in what we havo heard than
in much that we see. We are not only present at our birth, wo are
the principal part of it. Without us, it could not have been; we are
not merely the center of the event, we are the event itself. And yet
we are completely, irretrievably ignorant of everything appertaining
to it. If somebody had not informed us of the circumstance, should
we ever have suspected it?
How do we know that we have been born at all? Have we any
notion who we are? By hearsay only; and hearsay is not evidence.
Can we be in the least sure that we are we? May we not be some
body else? How should we feel if we were somebody else? Porten
tous suggestion! Dreadful doubt! What a hrilling tale might bo
written of a man who was not himself, but another man; or of a wo
man that had failed to be born? How very often people say that
they don't feel like themselves. In all likelihood their feelings are
correct They are not themselves: they are other folks. That is
what ails them. The ailment may be peculiar, but it is widespread.
Who is not acquainted with hundreds of such cases? Cases of obvi
ous misfit, in which the bodies and the souls are inharminous; are
Better Ibta-jr yotag next mx TTTT rT.cv-rr-cv