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Buchen, Walther (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Vol. VII, No. 8 (May 1910)

If dreams were true,   p. 28

Page 28

  Before the little mirror in his dressing
room sat Hollister imparting to his vis-
age the finishing dabs and dots of his
make-up. Contrary to the usual entrance
of a star, he was down for the opening
chorus of THE PINK PIG, and he bit
his lips with a grim resolution to start
well. An usher entered hastily, placed
a box upon his dressing table and as
hastily departed. Hollister was aching to
examine it, but the call boy had passed
just a moment previous and the presence
of the understudy was desired in the
wings. Snatching up his silk hat, he
precipitated himself through the door into
the very arms of the portly manager.
  "Right after it every minute," admon-
ished the latter, disengaging himself, and
Hollister smiled optimistically.
  A frenzied, deafening hurricane of ap-
plause succeeded the descent of the cur-
tain on the first act. The very house os-
cillated under its volume. The manager
chuckled audibly and slapped himself
upon the back. The chorus girls giggled
hysterically and poked each other in glee.
Hollister too was delighted with the out-
come, but he was likewise aware that
there was another one yet to be presented.
B-r-r-r-r went his dressing room buzzer,
and he quit dreaming and slid with all
possible rapidity into his other costume.
   Now, if the gentleman whose duty it
was to operate the spotlight apparatus in
the gallery, had controlled his thirst for
but a few moments longer, it never would
have occurred, but I am placing the fin-
ger-bowl before the salad, for therein lies
the story.
   It was near the close of the last act and
 Hollister and the chorus occupied the
 stage. Hollister had a solo part and as
 he cavorted across the stage to the rhythm
 of the selection, it was the duty of the
 man way up to follow him with the bril-
 liant circle of white light, and to follow
him closely. The assistant who had been
left in charge was no tyro, but he was
nervous. He bungled the job; failed ut-
terly to pursue the singer with the "spot,"
and wrecked the man's triumph.
  Nothing so annoys an operatic singer as
this very failure to follow him closely, and
Hollister was constituted the same as other
men. He allowed his mind to drift for
just a second to the man in the gallery,
and he was undone. The reflex action
upon which an actor relies for his words
or lines failed him. He halted and with
a mighty resolution endeavored to recall
the words. They would not come. The
orchestra leader tapped imperiously on his
light shade. A snicker emanated from
the balcony, and the awful ignominy of
his situation dawned upon him. With a
smothered cry he fled to the wings and
then to his dressing room, where, locking
the door, he abandoned himself to self-
castigation and poignant distress.
  The cool wind, redolent of spring and
blossoms and trees, slipped in through the
open window and fanned his fevered face.
The depression which had at first seized
him had partially vanished. He slowly
raised his head from his damp and throb-
bing palms and glanced around. The tiny
white box upon the dressing table arrested
his attention, and he picked it up.
Methodically and with an unsteady hand
he removed the scented wrapping. A
card fluttered to the carpet, and upon
picking it up he perceived that it was
Alice Bradley's. Holding it so as to let
the rays from an electric bulb illumine
it, he read:
   "For Tommy, as a little gift of felici-
tation. May every evening of your life
be as happy and joyous as this evening.
   He gripped the note in his hand. Then
 sauntering slowly to the window, he
 stared steadfastly into the street below.
                    If Dreams Were True
If dreams were true     If dreams were rare      If dreams were true
As skies are blue,      As jewels fair           I'd dream of you,
And bright as dew        That flash in air       My own sweet love-
  On morning flowers;     In sunny hours;          If dreams were true.

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