The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on December 18, 1895 · Page 10
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 10

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Algona, Iowa
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Wednesday, December 18, 1895
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OaU and inspect his Cabinets, Book Oases, Ladies' Writine Desks, Sideboards, and Oak, Oherrv and Ourlv Biroh Suits, and other choice articles. Ask to see his G-reat Stock of Beautiful Parlor Furniture up stairs'. Attention is called to his chairs in the Latest and Handsomest Patterns. All these goods will be sold at Specially Low Prices for Cash. Don't Fail to See McGREGOR Stebbips as Saijta Qaus.' By WILLOARLETON. ' '* (Copyright, 1895, by American Press Association.] We went to Pegtown visiting, rny good old wife ail 1 me, An' thought that we would bathe ourselves in Chris'mas joy an" glee; For Sarah Ann, a buxom dame, an 1 daughter, too, of mine, Besides there with her older half an' children eight or nine; An' so we gathered gifts enough to make 'em all content An' took the train an' landed there the very day we w'eni AN EPISODE, CHBISTMAS OF THE JOLLITY THEATER STOCK COMPANT. The children warmly greeted us an 1 crowded my chair, With four a-perchin' on my knees an' young nun «ti.:' to spare; An' asked about my spectacles, an' how I growth my wig, An' if my papa bought my teeth before I got so big, An' how my whiskers come to bleach an' other nuas- tious prone To make a mortal realize that younger days httv«; flown; An' if I ever looked it tip how fur I was around, An' when I run if it would shake the whole a jacent ground, An' if the your-correct-weight box didn't think I was a lot, An' if I wouldn't have to put two pennies in the slot, . With other questions well designed to give a hint to me That I was not a first class sylph so far as they could see An' when I told 'em fairy tales they wouldn't believe a word An' said the Sin'bad sailor things could never have ^.-' occurred: / . A "' ^yoHffi 1 ""^ 1 * Ktt-l" ««.«"*-™^-*« «*.«-.«»'-They set upon without delay as destitute of truth. An' when of Christmas mysteries in solemn tones I spake, They laughed an' said that Santa Clans was all "a bloomin' fake." So Christmas eve I slyly told my daughter Sarah Ann: "I'll show the tots a little sight to laugh at if they can. You rake the fireplace clear o 1 fire, not tellin' them the cause, An' I'll come down the chimney way dressed up as Santa Claua It isn't very fur to climb—the weather's pretty mild, An' I would do three times as much to interest a child." I went an' clad in hairy garb, with whiskers an' white An" other things to paralyze the inexperienced sight, An' had some sleighbells bright an' new a-haagia' on my arms An' pockets full o' Christmas things to add unto my charms, An' with the strongest ladder rope that I could find in town I entered in the chimney top an" clambered slowly down. . • • • . My goodness sakes 1 Who ever heard of such untimely luck? The chimney narrowed all to once, an' suddenly I stuck An' hung there like a roastin' hen a-waitin' to-be brown, For spite of all my effortin' I couldn't get up or down. . An' then the ohil'ren heard the noise an' run distressin' fleet An' looked an' yelled: "It's Gran'pa Steb. We know him by his feet". An' then their mother had to tell what I had tried to do, Whereat their little fancies sprung the subject to pursue. They asked me if I'd traveled far, if chimneys in* jured coats, An' where my span of reindeers was, an' if they'd like some oats, An' told me, with a childish greed for Christmas gathered pelf, If J would throw the presents down, I needn't come myself; An' there I bung for quite awhile, with fury in my heart, Until they brought a mason in, who took the bricks apart j An' though they made tbe children stop, an' sent 'em off to bed, J knowed what they was thinkin' of an' what they prob'ly said, An' when tbe mornin' did appear anrbreakfasfc time pccu^rej. They set around the table there fprbjd to say a word; A.rsufferiB'so Jo laugh at me* afraid that I'd b$ gruff,. • Iongin' for their presents, too<=4 know$<3 it well enough. ' then a tear come in my eye, an' like n fond o!4 dunce I went an' dug the presents ou.t m' give 'em all to : •• gnee. • ' V ; • ;: - ' ; y ? - .' >: • :../ • J says, H K SaotaOlaus'is what you call '§ fake,' pr'tty things he brought far yp» in yeaj an 1 oo . mistake.'' [Copyright, 1894, by James L. Ford.] Three weeks before the holidays, and the outlook for a merry Christmas was a gloomy one, at least EO far as the members of the stock company of the Jollity theater were couc^rr.°.d. Salary day had come and gone, and us yet the ghost had shown no disposition to walk, and it was because of thenonappearance of that most welcome specter of stage? land that the rumor had started and was rapidly gaining ground that Messrs. Hustle and Hardup, proprietors and managers of the Jollity theater, were Vl in a hole again." The piece which occupied the boards had proved a flat failure, and receipts at the box office had fallen inconsequence to a plane never before reached in the history of the house. Moreover, no new play had as -yet been put in. rehearsal, and an atmosphere of unmistakable gloom and apprehension pervaded the region behind the footlights and weighed heavily on the spirits of everyone there, from Pearl Livingstone, the talented emotional actress who play-(x ed the leading female parts, down to lit- ! tie Kitty Sullivan, who was only 7 years old and was in the depths of despair because for fully three weeks she had been out of'the bill. In short, every member of the company was in a condition of mingled uncertainty and curiosity in regard to the future of the playhouse and the projects of its managers, who,as yet arid had, in fact, been invisible to the' members of their artistic staff ever since the last day on which salaries became due. On this particular night, which ^happened to be one of storm and rain, two or three of the principal actors had lathered together for,, a "serious 1 , talk about the situation; when TomVi the boy, appeared suddenly bo- :ore them in an almost breathless condition and exclaimed: "Mr. Freelance s back from Chicago. He's in the office with Mr. Hustle. They've got both doors locked.'' Mr. Freelance!" cried Miss Livingstone, her face lighting up with joy, precisely as it does,in her scene in the second act where her lover comes back from India, or rather as., it did light up in that scene before the business became so bad. "Are you sure it was Mr. Freelance, Tommy?" '' Sure I" rejoined Tom, with emphasis. "I seen him ineaelf when he come in," "Then, Tom, you be sure and see him when he comes out and tell him that I am particularly anxious, to.see him back here as soon as the-curtain goes down on the second act. Here's a quarter for you, Tom, and you'd better keep it as a curiosity, for it's getting to be a very raro sort of bird in the Jollity theater preserves." : ' ' "Thank you, inurn," said Tom as he pocketed the coin, with, a grin. "I fancy I see a gleam of light on the distant horizon," remarked the venerable Mr, Borders \$ a ..tone similar to that which ; ,he'assumes in the great melodrama; called "The Ocean Blue," in the scone in which he is discovered sitting on a raft in midocean on the lookout for a passing sail. "In tbe meantime," be added, "I think we had better^ wait and hear' what Billy has to say before we take any fur,tbqr 'action in the matter." Up to that moment they had , taken no action whatever, but ,fbe phrase sounded we.Il, and sg My," Borders, em- plpyed it. Now, Mr, William Freelance, called by bis intimates Billy, was and is today one of the best known figures in the theatrical affairs of the town, and, as every member of the stock company knew, he had on more thaq one previous occasion come to the respue of his old friends, Messrs. Hustle and Hardup, and that^ $op, wbqn they were in even more deplorable financial straits than th§y were at tbe present moment, Jt was his reputation as a mascot fully as much as bis remarkable talents which caused tbe whole avaut scene to brighten up at tbe news of bis presence in, the theater, for playfoJk are notoriously superstitious and have an unbounded and childlike faith in tbe efficacy of a mascot as well as, m the detractive qualities of With folded arms said, "Billy, what's going to happen?" "My deal 1 ," replied Mr. Freelance persuasively, "everything is all right, and I just left Hustle for five minutes to come back here and tell you so. We are going to put on a new piece, and there's a part in it that's simply great —out of sight, in fact. We are not quite sure who'll be cast for the part because it's a very heavy emotional one, and if wo put a woman in it who didn't know how to read lines she would go all to "MB. FREELANCE IS BACK." pieces and the bottom .would drop out of the whole, play. '.to you caught : I,thought I'd speak about it because Haidup has a hew 'angel' and said some- there were a role for her in "The Giant's Causeway," V "See here, Kitty," exclaimed Mr, Freelance, touched by the child's grief, "I'll tell yon what I'll do for you, and what's more, I wouldn't do it for any one else in the company. Are you listening?" "Yes," said Kitty, turning her,head around. "Well, I'll write in a part specially for you, and that's something that an author like Sardon or myself rarely does for any one except n Bernhardfc or a Duse. Now, run along and be here tomorrow at 11 for rehearsal." The child darted away, wiping the last tear from her cheek as she ran, and Barney said approvingly, "That's the best deed you'll ever do in your life, Mr. Freelance, and, mark my words, the child'llbring good luck to the house." How Billy succeeded in persuading the economical Hardup that the piece would prove a failure unless a child were introduced into it and how. he contrived to write the part in'for her that very night are matters that had best be left to conjecture, but the very next day Kitty received the typewritten copy of her lines, and rehearsals of "The Giant's Causeway" were carried forward under , Mr. Freelance's direction with the energy and spirit that mark all of that gentleman's undertakings. The opening night, Dec. 34, found thing to me about Kitty Bracebridge "If that wolf puts her foot in this theater"—.began Miss Livingstone, .but | the : hpuse well filled Mr. Freelance interrupted her by plao- ' " 1 ~~~ 1 ~ " ing his hand over her mouth and saying: "Wait for me after .the curtain goes down, Peail, and I'll talk to you tc^r an"d : 5've. got to give him a' •'•' jolly'; which madb a favorable impression on the venerable Mr. Borders as he looked out through the peephole in the curtain, while behind the footlights feverish ex- prevai^jgd. _ As for Ki"£tyT she Bad become so washed rock near the coast of Ireland, and on this rock Was standing the virtuous heroine, just where she had beett left by the villain. The lights grew dim, the moon arose from beyond the sdene, and the Philadelphia quartet, stationed behind the scenes, warbled plaintive Irish melodies, "Must! die hetealone?" moaned the heroine^ as the tide rose 'higher and higher 'about the "rock on which she stood and heavy olqtids began to gather above her head. And just nt this moment, a rowboat, propelled by childish arms, came swiftly around the rocky point at the left of the stage, and Kitty Sullivan, throwing aside the oars, stood up in the boat with her foot on the prow and exclaimed in a clear, infantile treble, "I have come to save you for the sake of old Ireland I" Commonplace as it was, with its old, well worn melodramatic effects of soft music and /moonlight, nevertheless the situation had taken a strong hold on the audience, and the sudden appearance of the sweet faced child, who had charmed every one during the earlier portions of the play, sent a distinct thrill through the entire house, and then came such an outburst of spontaneous applause as had not been heard in the Jollity theater for many a year. Even Billy Freelance felt a touch of a magnetic current with which the atmosphere was charged, and might have . so as to get the costumes out of him; but wrought up over her role— the longest ---- '" u " J ------ u — .-.^-— ^^ ~.-*i. I'll be back here after the last act. In spite of the storm outside and the dispiriting atmosphere within' the. performance given that night by the Jollity stock company was a notably brilliant one, for the news, had spread that there was to be a speedy change, of bill, and hope was onco more in every member's breast. Mr. Freelance invited Miss Livingstone out to supper just as she was orTtho point 1 of declaring that she Avould not go oii again unless she received every cent of the back salary that was due her, and before they left the restaurant she had meekly agreed to study the great emotional role which had been intended for Miss Bracebridge and to say nothing more about back, salary. The next morning, in accordance with a call posted in the stage entrance, the company assembled to hear the new 'phiy read by the ; :gifted Mr, Freelance, and such was that gentleman's elocutionary power that when he laid the manuscript aside expressions that ranged from mere satisfaction to rapturous enthusiasm were heard 1 , on every, hand, and there was scarcely an actor or actress present that did not feel confident of a personal success in the new production", The reading over, 'Mr. .iFreelanoe ^opk Miss Livingstone, Mr, Borders and one or two other rebellious spirits asifle, -and, one she had ever been intrusted with that she seemed in danger of losing her balance and forgetting every one of the lines that she had, by diligent study, crammed into her small head. She was stan.ding in the first entrance, with her band clasped in that of Mr. Freelance, when her cue came, and as she walke'd out on the stage, the ideal of childish loveliness, a murmur of delight ran through every part of the crowded houee. 'They're going to foreclose the mortgage on the pld mill tomorrow night, and if that child lives I am a beggar," said the polished, cigarette smoking villain, and then a youngster in tbe parquet Bet up a pitiful howl of"despair, which was followed ,by a general ripple of merriment that might have proved fatal to the piece had not Kitty gone on with her lines with the coolness and gravity of the'born* and ' experienced artist, which she was displaying there by a presence of mind which-won for her, on her exit, the first real applause, of the evening. ..Kitty Sullivan was, as the eminent dramatic critic had observed, an old, hand at tbe business, despite tbe fact that she was but 7 years of age, for she had been born and brought up on tbe stage and was'as much at home' in the presence of a great 'audience as an ordinary child is before a nursery. As the expressed'it in* a subsequent inter- [piece went on she realized that she was view with Mr. Hustle, "stiffened their making a hit—a far greater one than backbones" with the,,assurauce .that; ey- she bad ever made before—and, your-g epything was, ^}l,iright and ,'that the piece was to be q one ojj Ghrjstmas eve in order that they might have" a really merry Christmas on the prospects of its success. After that, he • assured them, their back salaries would pour in upon £bem in a perfect avalanche, • • \ As Mr. Freelance was, leaving t ,tbe fheater. he fejt slorn^ one tugging at his goat, an4 on "lopking down s/»w ytfcje Kitty Sullivan ^tan^ug beside hjm and eayingi in ea.rn§st. tones,, and with a sa<3> wistful 'face, "Billy, isn't there any part for me in the new piece?" Thechil4 called bim by bis first name because she bad always bearcl bim spoken to in that way by other members pf the company, and Billy rather encouraged her in tbe idea because it spun4ed'funny to* him to b£,a,r himself addressed in such familiar terms, by an ^sfa, 0 S tw » P| the ayant scene, and ba4 been an actress Irpw h^r j very ear^e^ infancy, gbe was HQW abput 7 yeaps'df age, and was just begjn.ni«£ to cpniprehend the . , KITTY MAKES A HIT. been heard to remark half audibly, "The kid's knocked 'em good this time, sure, for a thing's got to bo good if it gets me." And as the audience dispersed that night it seemed to Mr. Freelance, as he stood alert and watchful in the lobby, that there was but one name on every tongue, and that Kitty's sweet face and infantile art had. mado their way into the very heart of an always fickle public, "You were right about her, Billy, " saiil Hardup. "I told you the young one would bring us good luck," said old Barney at tbe stage door. "The idea of making such a fuss over a 7-year-old brat ! That shows what art is coming to in this country 1" exclaimed Miss Livingstone as she swept through the drafty passage, leaving an odor of sealskin, tuberoses and sachet powder behind her, The members of the stock company bad tbeir.Chrjgtwias dinner in tbewawk robe room between tbe,'matinee and the, evening performance, Misssrs. Hustle and Hardup f pg«ug tbe bill an4 Mr, Free. Janes presjcijnj;, wjth MissPearJ Wving*, 'stone, qn % ftgbt; hajid. and t£e vener* flbjq M^Eojdep oj JUsj.Jeft/' J^d" jt is a matter of record that no toast offered,'. that evening was drunk .with heartier applause than was tbe one proppgeA by Mr. Freelance t9 t .&4tty SuJ«v'fn,' "tbe- of tbe' Jollity theater an<3 tt»£ founder ,»** 4n» the» they up an.' danced arou»4 m' kissed. m,e, one by one, AB' bugged me harto tbs» the f>Jjuse<i old chimney jast had, flone, Aji ! tfitu ^ ttauuA Ifloto $ lm UwpbraA we wii " w JifcJ 'es» m°4$ m' wore m spjte p| Just as tbe ewlain fell on the second aoj; Mr. Freelance fpp^ayed &<$jn4 tbe scenes and received tbe rapturpus p» tags of the iogstooe $ooj$ bipi by the.' him from th§ little ere raund,e4 bi»» llA^JBJ. ' ' • " ' roooi ed jpjitatiojis pf sta^elaua, Aa4y§Ht was ofljy two years an4 *k ha.ll ago that ebe-bgbeW tbe ocean, for the/fir,$ time, 1 they broke upon " io her . i ?M t9 appreciate $g i & restraint; QU. b&rgejl ' • ' mk waves W9 rk ( Wr** •* " 99V>l?lVp f&Vtl y^JTyf^fM T^i«P*'*»V#f«'»!»i» "?-^- ^FTfyWiT^f^i SSS great iwpj'e.s.sip^, BUJy, >vlio Ua4 keea I wailing ^ith %m apiwlw the feaffis I* ou . that Will 8Qs|i' iQtf m.oj8 'fl&toi *M

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