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Newspaper Page Text
THE MASTER'S TOUCH
By Frank Fitson.
"Ach, you make me tired!'' said
Bittelman, leading back m his swivel
chair before his desk in the opera
house offices and exhaling a cloud
of fragrant smoke. "You make me
tired, Mr. Clough."
"But the girl is a genius," ex
claimed his .wealthy patron excitedly.
"I tell you, Bittelman, you'll miss the
The Wjld Music Thrilled Through the
sensation of the season unless you
let her play"."
"Ach, you enthusiast!" exclaimed
the director disgustedly. "Genius!
There has been" no violinist who -was
a genius since Lemarsky died. -Nowhere
outside of Poland can there be
a violinist who is a genius."
"Well,. Miss Helen is a Pole," in
terrupted the other rudely. "Let me
tell you out her "
"All rightj go on," said 3ittelman,
designedly. -He fcnetv that he-could
not afford to offend the millionaire,
whose enthusiasms were, neverthe
less, the bane of his life. Every week
Clough was discovering a new genius
and every week Bittelman was turn
ing him or her away with mutterings
"It's like this, Bittelman," began
the millionaire. "Last Monday night
I was walking home from my club.
I saw this street musician pretty
looking girl, only about twenty. She
was playing Liszt's Rhapsody "
"Himmel!- That's what they all
"In the street, and there was a
crowd listening. They didn't know
that the finest living violinist in
America was entertaining them for a
few pennies. But I know it I have
heard Joachim and "
"Have you heard Lemarsky?" in
quired Bittelman sourly.
"I have!" cried Clough triumph
antly. "Ancj it was her playing that
reminded me of Lemarsky. I had a
talk with her. She wouldn't tell me
her name at first, then said it was
Braun. It seems she's of a fine Pol
ish family and won't degrade the
name as she says, by having it
known that she plays on the streets
for a living. And she's all alone in
the world and "
"Enough!" shouted the irascible
Bittelman, springing to his feet
"Now listen, Mr. Clough. If I'm to
remain director of the opera house
I don't listen to any more penniless
geniuses and tell them they're no
good and can't play no better than a
cat, It upsets my digestion and
makes me cross. Now, if you get
this genius on at' Crossways Hall
some Sunday and the critics say
she's good the good critics, mind '
you I hear her. Otherwise-nc
Clough had to yield. He knew that J
Bittelman would cany out his often
repeated threat to resign if he in-,
sisted. After all, Bittelman had be,en
good to his proteges. The trouble
was, Bittelman did not know that r
I this time Jie had disc-iered a real