Read CHAPTER NINE - “RUDOLPH WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN” of The Competitive Nephew , free online book, by Montague Glass, on

All that J. Montgomery Fieldstone had done to make his name a theatrical boarding-household word from the Pacific Coast to Forty-sixth Street and Seventh Avenue was to exercise as a producing manager nearly one tenth of the judgment he had displayed as Jacob M. Fieldstone, of Fieldstone & Gips, waist manufacturers; and he voiced his business creed in the following words:

“Now listen to me, kid,” he said, “my idea has always been that, no matter how much value you give for the money, goods don’t sell themselves. Ain’t I right?”

Miss Goldie Raymond nodded, though she was wholly absorbed in a full-length enlarged photograph which hung framed and glazed on the wall behind Fieldstone’s desk. She looked at it as a millionaire collector might look at a Van Dyck he had recently acquired from an impoverished duke, against a meeting of protest held in Trafalgar Square. Her head was on one side. Her lips were parted. It was a portrait of Miss Goldie Raymond as Mitzi in the Viennese knockout of two continents “Rudolph, Where Have You Been.”

“Now this new show will stay on Broadway a year and a half, kid,” Mr. Fieldstone proceeded, “in case I get the right people to push it. Therefore I’m offering you the part before I speak to any one else.”

“Any one else!” Miss Raymond exclaimed. “Well, you’ve got a nerve, after all I’ve done for you in ’Rudolph’!”

“Sure, I know,” Fieldstone said; “but you’ve got to hand something to Sidney Rossmore.”

“Him?” Miss Raymond cried. “Say, Mont, if I had to play opposite him another season I’d go back into vaudeville.”

Fieldstone began to perspire freely. As a matter of fact he had signed Rossmore for the new show that very morning after an all-night discussion in Sam’s, the only restaurant enjoying the confidence of the last municipal administration.

“Then how about the guy that wrote the music, Oskar Schottlaender?” he protested weakly. “That poor come-on don’t draw down only ten thousand dollars a week royalties from England, France, and America alone!”

“Of course if you ain’t going to give me any credit for what I’ve done ” Miss Raymond began.

“Ain’t I telling you you’re the first one I spoke to about this?” Fieldstone interrupted.

“Oh, is that so?” Miss Raymond said. “I wonder you didn’t offer that Vivian Haig the part, which before I called myself after a highball I’d use my real name, even if it was Katzberger.”

“I told you before, kid, Vivian Haig goes with the Rudolph Number Two Company next month to play the same part as she does now; and you know as well as I do it ain’t no better than walking on and off in the second act that’s all.”

“Then you’d oughter learn her to walk, Mont,” Miss Raymond said as she rose from her chair. “She fell all over herself last night.”

“I know it,” Fieldstone said, without shifting from his desk. “She ain’t got nothing to do and she can’t do that!”

Miss Raymond attempted what a professional producer had told her was a bitter laugh. It turned out to be a snort.

“Well, I can’t stay here all day talking about people like Haig,” she announced. “I got a date with my dressmaker in a quarter of an hour.”

“All right, Goldie,” Fieldstone said, still seated. “Take care of yourself, kid, and I’ll see you after the show to-night.”

He watched her as she disappeared through the doorway and sighed heavily but not for love, because the domestic habits of a lifetime in the waist business are not to be so easily overcome. Indeed, theatrical beauty, with all its allurements, reposed in Fieldstone’s office as free from temptation to the occupant as thousand dollar bills in a paying-teller’s cage.

What if he did call Miss Goldie Raymond “kid”? He meant nothing by it. In common with all other theatrical managers he meant nothing by anything he ever said to actors or playwrights, unless it appeared afterward that he ought to have meant it and would stand to lose money by not meaning it.

The telephone bell rang and he lifted the receiver from its hook.

“Who d’ye say?” he said after a pause. “Well, see if Raymond is gone down the elevator, and if it’s all right tell her I’ll see her.”

A moment later a side door opened not the door by which Miss Raymond had departed and a young woman of determined though graceful and alluring deportment entered.

“Well,” she said, “how about it, Mont? Do I get it or don’t I?”

“Sit down, kid,” Fieldstone said, himself seated; for he had not risen at his visitor’s entrance. “How goes it, sweetheart?”

It is to be understood that “sweetheart” in this behalf had no more significance than “kid.” It was a synonym for “kid” and nothing else.

“Rossmore says you’re going to play Raymond in the new piece,” she went on, ignoring his question; “and you know you told me ”

“Now listen here, kid,” he said, “you ain’t got no kick coming. In ‘Rudolph’ you’ve got a part that’s really the meaty part of the whole piece. I watched your performance from behind last night, kid, and I hope I may die if I didn’t say to Raymond that it was immense and you were running her out of the business. I thought she’d throw a fit!”

“Then I do get the part in the new piece?” Miss Vivian Haig insisted for it was none other than herself.

“Well, it’s like this,” Fieldstone explained: “If you play another season with ‘Rudolph,’ and ”

Miss Haig waited to hear no more, however. She bowed her head in her hands and burst into sobs; and she might well have saved herself the trouble, for to J. Montgomery Fieldstone the tears of an actress on or off were only “bus. of weeping.” He lit a fresh cigar, and it might have been supposed that he blew the smoke in Miss Haig’s direction as a substitute for smelling salts or aromatic spirits of ammonia. As a matter of fact he just happened to be facing that way.

“Now don’t do that, kid,” he said, “because you know as well as I do that if there was anything I could do for the daughter of Morris Katzberger I’d do it. Him and me worked as cutters together in the old days when I didn’t know no more about the show business than Morris does to-day; but I jumped you right from the chorus into the part of Sonia in ‘Rudolph,’ and you got to rest easy for a while, kid.”

“I g-got notices above the star,” Miss Haig sobbed; “and you told popper the night after we opened in Atlantic City that you were planning to give me a b-better part next season.”

“Ain’t your father got diabetes?” Fieldstone demanded. “What else would I tell him?”

“But you said to Sidney Rossmore that if I could dance as well as I sang I’d be worth two hundred and fifty a week to you.”

“I said a hundred and fifty,” Fieldstone corrected; “and, anyhow, kid, you ain’t had no experience dancing.”

“Ain’t I?” Miss Haig said. She flung down her pocketbook and handkerchief, and jumped from her seat. “Well, just you watch this!”

For more than ten minutes she postured, leaped, and pranced by turns, while Fieldstone puffed great clouds of smoke to obscure his admiration.

“How’s that?” she panted at last, sinking into a chair.

“Where did you get it?” Fieldstone asked.

“I got it for money that’s where I got it,” Miss Haig replied; “and I got to get money for it if not by you, by some other concern.”

Fieldstone shrugged his shoulders with apparent indifference.

“You know your own book, kid,” he said; “but, you can take it from me, you’ll be making the mistake of your life if you quit me.”

“Maybe I will and maybe I won’t!” Miss Haig said as she gathered up her handkerchief and pocketbook. “I ain’t going to do nothing in a hurry; but if you want to give me my two weeks’ notice now go ahead and do it!”

“Think it over, kid,” Fieldstone said calmly as Miss Haig started for the door. “Anything can happen in this business. Raymond might drop dead or something.”

Miss Haig slammed the door behind her, but in the moment of doing it Fieldstone caught the unspoken wish in her flashing eyes.

“So do I!” he said half aloud.

Lyman J. Bienenflug, of the firm of Bienenflug & Krimp, Rooms 6000 to 6020 Algonquin Theatre Building, was a theatrical lawyer in the broadest sense of the term; and it was entirely unnecessary for Mrs. Ray Fieldstone to preface every new sentence with “Listen, Mr. Bienenflug!” because Mr. Bienenflug was listening as a theatrical lawyer ought to listen, with legs crossed and biting on the end of a penholder, while his heavy brows were knotted in a frown of deep consideration, borrowed from Sir J. Forbes Robertson in “Hamlet,” Act III, Scene 1.

“Listen, Mr. Bienenflug! I considered why should I stand for it any longer?” Mrs. Fieldstone went on. “He usen’t anyhow to come home till two three o’clock. Now he don’t come home at all sometimes. Am I right or wrong?”

“Quite right,” Mr. Bienenflug said. “You have ample grounds for a limited divorce.”

While retaining or, rather, as a dramatic producer would say, registering the posture of listening, Mr. Bienenflug mentally reviewed all J. Montgomery Fieldstone’s successes of the past year, which included the “Head of the Family,” a drama, and Miss Goldie Raymond in the Viennese knockout of two continents, “Rudolph, Where Have You Been.” He therefore estimated the alimony at two hundred dollars a week and a two-thousand dollar counsel fee; and he was proceeding logically though subconsciously to a contrasting of the respective motor-car refinement displayed by a ninety-horse-power J.C.B. and the new 1914 model Samsoun both six cylinders when Mrs. Fieldstone spoke again.

“Listen, Mr. Bienenflug!” she protested. “I don’t want no divorce. I should get a divorce at my time of life, with four children already! What for?”

“Not an absolute divorce,” Mr. Bienenflug explained; “just a separation.”

“A separation!” Mrs. Fieldstone exclaimed in a manner so agitated that she forgot to say, “Listen, Mr. Bienenflug!” “If I would want a separation I don’t need to come to a lawyer, Mr. Bienenflug. Any married woman if she is crazy in the head could go home to her folks to live, Mr. Bienenflug, without paying money to a lawyer he should advise her to do so, Mr. Bienenflug; which I got six married sisters, Mr. Bienenflug and before I would go and live with any of them, Mr. Bienenflug, my husband could make me every day fresh a blue eye and still I wouldn’t leave him. No, Mr. Bienenflug, I ain’t asking you you should get me a separation. What I want is you should get him to come home and stay home.”

“But a lawyer can’t do that, Mrs. Fieldstone.”

“I thought a lawyer could do anything,” Mrs. Fieldstone said, “if he was paid for it, Mr. Bienenflug, which I got laying in savings bank over six hundred dollars; and ”

Mr. Bienenflug desired to hear no more. He uncrossed his legs and dropped the penholder abruptly. At the same time he struck a handbell on his desk to summon an office boy, who up to the opening night of the “Head of the Family,” six months before, had responded to an ordinary electric pushbutton. But anyone who has ever seen the “Head of the Family” and, in fact, any one who knows anything about dramatic values will appreciate how much more effective from a theatrical standpoint the handbell is than the pushbutton. There is something about the imperative Bing! of the handbell that holds an audience. It is, in short, drama though drama has its disadvantages in real life; for Mr. Bienenflug, after striking the handbell six times without response, was obliged to go to the door and shout “Ralph!” in a wholly untheatrical voice.

“What’s the matter with you?” he said when the office boy appeared. “Can’t you hear when you’re rung for?”

Ralph murmured that he thought it was a now Polyclinic ambulance out in the street.

“Get me a stenographer,” Mr. Bienenflug said.

In the use of the indefinite article before stenographer he was once again the theatrical lawyer, because Bienenflug & Krimp kept but one stenographer, and at that particular moment she was in earnest conversation with a young lady whose face bore traces of recent tears.

It was this face and not a Polyclinic ambulance that had delayed Ralph Zinsheimer’s response to his employer’s bell; and after he had retired from Mr. Bienenflug’s room he straightway forgot his message in listening to a very moving narrative indeed.

“And after I left his office who should I run into but Sidney Rossmore,” said the young lady with the tear-stained face, whom you will now discover to be Miss Vivian Haig; “and he says that he just saw Raymond and she’s going to sign up with Fieldstone for the new piece to-night yet.”

She began to weep anew and Ralph could have wept with her, or done anything else to comfort her, such as taking her in his arms and allowing her head to rest on his shoulder and but for the presence of the stenographer he would have tried it, too.

“Well,” Miss Schwartz, the stenographer, said, “he’ll get his come-uppings all right! His wife is in with Mr. Bienenflug now, and I guess she’s going in for a little alimony.”

Miss Haig dried her eyes and sat up straight.

“What for?” she said.

“You should ask what for!” Miss Schwartz commented. “I guess you know what theatrical managers are.”

“Not Fieldstone ain’t!” Miss Haig declared with conviction. “I’ll say anything else about him, from petty larceny up; but otherwise he’s a perfect gentleman.”

At this juncture Mr. Bienenflug’s door burst open.

“Ralph!” he roared.

“Oh, Mr. Bienenflug,” Miss Haig said, “I want to see you for a minute.”

She smiled on him with the same smile she had employed nightly in the second act of “Rudolph” and Mr. Bienenflug immediately regained his composure.

“Come into Mr. Krimp’s room,” he said.

And he closed the door of Room 6000, which was his own room, and ushered Miss Haig through Room 6010, which was the outer office, occupied by the stenographer and the office boy, into Mr. Krimp’s room, or Room 6020; for it was by the simple expedient of numbering rooms in tens and units that the owner of the Algonquin Theatre Building had provided his tenants with such commodious suites of offices on their letterheads at least.

“By jinks! I clean forgot all about it, Miss Schwartz,” Ralph said after Mr. Bienenflug had become closeted with his more recent client. “He told me to tell you to come in and take some dictation.”

“I’ll go in all right,” Miss Schwartz said; and she entered Mr. Bienenflug’s room determined to pluck out the heart of Mrs. Fieldstone’s mystery.

It needed no effort on the stenographer’s part, however; for as soon as she said “How do you do, Mrs. Fieldstone?” Mrs. Fieldstone forthwith unbosomed herself.

“Listen, Miss Schwartz,” she said. “I’ve been here about buying houses, and I’ve been here about putting out tenants and all them things; but I never thought I would come here about Jake.”

Out of consideration for Ralph, Miss Schwartz had left the door ajar, and Ralph discreetly seated himself on one side where he might hear unobserved.

“Why, what’s the trouble now, Mrs. Fieldstone?” Miss Schwartz asked.

“Former times he usen’t to come home till two three o’clock,” Mrs. Fieldstone repeated; “and last week twice already he didn’t come home at all; but he telephoned I will say that for him.” Here she burst into tears, which in a woman of Mrs. Fieldstone’s weight and style of beauty for she was by no means unhandsome left Ralph entirely unmoved. “Last night,” she sobbed, “he ain’t even telephoned!”

“Well,” Miss Schwartz said soothingly, “you’ve got to expect that in the show business. Believe me, Mrs. Fieldstone, you should ought to jump right in with a motion for alimony before he spends it all on them others.”

“That’s where you make a big mistake, Miss Schwartz,” Mrs. Fieldstone said indignantly. “My Jake ain’t got no eyes for no other woman but me! It ain’t that, I know! If it was I wouldn’t stick at nothing. I’d divorce him like a dawg! The thing is now I consider should I sue him in the courts for a separation or shouldn’t I wait to see if he wouldn’t quit staying out all night. Mr. Bienenflug wants me I should do it but I don’t know.”

She sighed tremulously and opened wide the flap of her handbag, which was fitted with a mirror and a powder puff; and after she had made good the emotional ravages to her complexion she rose to her feet.

“Listen, Miss Schwartz. I think I’ll think it over and come back to-morrow,” she said.

“But, Mrs. Fieldstone,” Miss Schwartz protested, “won’t you wait till Mr. Bienenflug gets through? He’ll be out in a minute.”

“He didn’t have no business to leave me stay here,” Mrs. Fieldstone replied. “I was here first; but, anyhow, I’ll be back to-morrow or so.” Here she put on her gloves. “Furthermore, I ain’t in no hurry,” she said. “When you’ve been married to a man sixteen years, twenty-four hours more or less about getting a divorce don’t make no difference one way or the other.” She opened the door leading into the hall. “And, anyhow,” she declared finally, “I ain’t going to get no divorce anyway.”

Miss Schwartz shrugged her shoulders.

“My tzuris if you get a divorce or not!” she said as she heard the elevator door close behind Mrs. Fieldstone.

“I hope she does!” Ralph said fervently. “He’s nothing but a dawg that fellow Fieldstone ain’t!”

“Most of ’em are dawgs those big managers,” Miss Schwartz said; “and, what with their wives and their actors, they lead a dawg’s life, too.”

Further discussion was prevented by the appearance of Miss Haig and Mr. Bienenflug from Room 6020.

“I can throw the bluff all right,” Mr. Bienenflug was saying; “though I tell you right now, Miss Haig, you haven’t any cause of action; and if you did have one there wouldn’t be much use in suing on it.”

He shook his head sorrowfully.

“A producing manager has to get a couple of judgments entered against him every week, otherwise every one’d think he was an easy mark,” he commented; “and that’s why I say there ain’t any money in the show business for the plaintiff’s attorney unless it’s an action for divorce.” Here he snapped his fingers as he realized that he had completely forgotten Mrs. Fieldstone during his twenty-minute consultation with Miss Haig. “Well, good-bye, Miss Haig,” he said, pressing her hand warmly. “I’ve got some one in there waiting to see me.”

“No, you ain’t,” Ralph blurted out. “Mrs. Fieldstone went away a few minutes ago; and she said ”

“Went away!” Mr. Bienenflug exclaimed. “Went away! And you let her?”

“He ain’t no cop, Mr. Bienenflug,” Miss Schwartz said, coming to Ralph’s defence. “What did you want him to do put handcuffs on her?”

“So,” Bienenflug said bitterly, “you let Mrs. Fieldstone go out of this office with a counsel fee of two thousand dollars and a rake-off on two hundred a week alimony!”

“Alimony!” Miss Haig cried, with an excellent assumption of surprise. “Is Mrs. Fieldstone suing Mont for divorce?”

She was attempting a diversion in Ralph’s favour, but it was no use.

“Excuse me, Miss Haig,” Bienenflug said raspingly, for in the light of his vanished counsel fee and alimony he knew now that Miss Haig was a siren, a vampire, and altogether a dangerous female. “I don’t discuss one client’s affairs with another!”

“Oh, all right!” Miss Haig said, and she walked out into the hallway and slammed the door behind her.

“Now you get out of here!” Bienenflug shouted, and Ralph barely had time to grab his hat when he found himself in front of the elevators with Miss Haig.

“What’s the matter?” she said. “Did Mr. Bienenflug fire you?”

Ralph could not trust himself to words; he was too busy trying to prevent his lower lip from wagging.

“Well,” Miss Haig went on, “I guess you wouldn’t have no trouble finding another job. What did he do it for?”

“I couldn’t help her skipping out,” Ralph said huskily; “and besides, she ain’t going to sue for no divorce, anyway. She said so before she went.”

Miss Haig nodded and her rosebud mouth straightened into as thin a line as one could expect of a rouge-a-lèvre rosebud.

“She did, eh?” she rejoined. “Well, if she was to change her mind do you suppose Bienenflug would give you back your job?”

“Maybe!” Ralph said.

“Then here’s your chance!” Miss Haig said. “You’re a smart kid, Ralph; so all you’ve got to do is to get Mrs. Fieldstone round to Sam’s at half-past eleven to-night and if she don’t change her mind I miss my guess.”

“Why will she?” Ralph asked.

“Because,” Miss Haig replied, as she made ready to descend in the elevator, “just about that time Fieldstone’ll be pretty near kissing her to make her take fifty dollars a week less than she’ll ask.”

“Kissing who?” Ralph demanded.

“Be there at half-past eleven,” Miss Haig said, “and you’ll see!”

Though Ralph Zinsheimer had performed the functions of an office boy in Rooms 6000 to 6020 he was, in fact, “over and above the age of eighteen years,” as prescribed by that section of the Code of Civil Procedure dealing with the service of process. Indeed he was so manly for his age that Mr. Bienenflug in moments of enthusiasm had occasionally referred to him as “our managing clerk, Mr. Zinsheimer,” and it was in this assumed capacity that he had sought Mrs. Fieldstone and had at length persuaded her to go down to Sam’s with him.

“A young man of your age ought to be home and in bed long before this,” she said as they turned the corner of Sixth Avenue precisely at half-past eleven.

“I got my duties to perform the same as anybody else, Mrs. Fieldstone; and what Mr. Bienenflug tells me to do I must do,” he retorted. “Also, you should remember what I told you about not eating nothing on me except oysters and a glass of beer, maybe, as I forgot to bring much money with me from the office.”

“I didn’t come down here to eat,” Mrs. Fieldstone said, with a catch in her voice.

“Even so, Mrs. Fieldstone, don’t you try to start nothing with this woman, as you never know what you’re stacking up against in cafes,” Ralph warned her. “Young Hartigan, the featherweight champion of the world, used to be a now coat boy in Sam’s; and they got several waiters working there who has also graduated from the preliminary class.”

“I wouldn’t open my head at all,” Mrs. Fieldstone promised; and with this assurance they entered the most southerly of the three doors to Sam’s.

One of the penalties of being one of the few restaurants in New York permitted to do business between one A.M. and six A.M. was that Sam’s Cafe and Restaurant did a light business between six P.M. and one A.M.; and consequently at eleven-thirty P.M. J. Montgomery Fieldstone and Miss Goldie Raymond were the only occupants of the south dining-room.

It is true that there were other customers seated in the middle and north dining-rooms conspicuously Mr. Sidney Rossmore and Miss Vivian Haig; and it was this young lady who, though hidden from J. Montgomery Fieldstone’s view, formed one of the subsidiary heads of his discourse with Miss Raymond.

“Well, I wish you could ‘a’ seen her, kid!” he said to Miss Raymond. “My little girl seven years old has took of Professor Rheinberger plain and fancy dancing for three weeks only, and she’s a regular Pavlowa already alongside of Haig. She’s heavy on her feet like an elephant!”

“You should tell me that!” Miss Raymond exclaimed. “Ain’t I seen her?”

“And yet you claim I considered giving her this part in the new piece,” Fieldstone said indignantly. “I’m honestly surprised at you, kid!”

“Oh, you’d do anything to save fifty dollars a week on your salary list,” she retorted.

“About that fifty dollars, listen to me, Goldie!” Fieldstone began, just as Ralph and Mrs. Fieldstone came through the revolving doors. “I don’t want you to think I’m small, see? And if you say you must have it, why, I’ll give it to you.” He leaned forward and smiled affably at her. “After the thirtieth week!” he concluded in seductive tones.

“Right from the day we open!” Miss Raymond said, tapping the tablecloth with her fingertips.

“Now, sweetheart,” Fieldstone began, as he seized her hand and squeezed it affectionately, “you know as well as I do when I say a thing I mean it, because ”

And it was here that Mrs. Fieldstone, losing all control of herself and all remembrance of Ralph’s admonition, took the aisle in as few leaps as her fashionable skirt permitted and brought up heavily against her husband’s table.

“Jake!” she cried hysterically. “Jake, what is this?”

Fieldstone dropped Miss Raymond’s hand and jumped out of his chair.

“Why, mommer!” he exclaimed. “What’s the matter? Is the children sick?”

He caught her by the arm, but she shook him off and turned threateningly to Miss Raymond.

“You hussy, you!” she said. “What do you mean by it?”

Miss Goldie Raymond stood up and glared at Mrs. Fieldstone.

“Hussy yourself!” she said. “Who are you calling a hussy? Mont, are you going to stand there and hear me called a hussy?”

Fieldstone paid no attention to this demand. He was clawing affectionately at his wife’s arm and repeating, “Listen, mommer! Listen!” in anguished protest.

“I would call you what I please!” Mrs. Fieldstone panted. “I would call you worser yet; and ”

Miss Raymond, however, decided to wait no longer for a champion; and, as the sporting writers would say, she headed a left swing for Mrs. Fieldstone’s chin. But it never landed, because two vigorous arms, newly whitened with an emulsion of zinc oxide, were thrown round her waist and she was dragged back into her chair.

“Don’t you dare touch that lady, Goldie Raymond!” said a voice that can only be described as clear and vibrant, despite the speaker’s recent exhausting solo in the second act of “Rudolph Where Have You Been.” “Don’t you dare touch that lady, or I’ll lift the face off you!”

Miss Raymond was no sooner seated, however, than she sprang up again and with one begemmed hand secured a firm hold on the bird of paradise in Miss Vivian Haig’s hat.

“No one can make a mum out of me!” she proclaimed, and at once closed with her adversary.

Simultaneously Mrs. Fieldstone shrieked aloud and sank swooning into the arms of her husband. As for Sidney Rossmore and Ralph Zinsheimer, they lingered to see no more; but at the first outcry they fled through a doorway at the end of the room. In the upper part it was fitted with a ground-glass panel that, as if in derision, bore the legend: Cafe for Men Only.

When they emerged a few minutes later Miss Goldie Raymond had been spirited away by the management with the mysterious rapidity of a suicide at Monte Carlo, and Miss Vivian Haig, hatless and dishevelled, was laving Mrs. Fieldstone’s forehead with brandy, supplied by the management at forty cents a pony.

“You know me, don’t you, Mrs. Fieldstone?” Miss Vivian Haig said. “I’m Hattie Katzberger.”

Mrs. Fieldstone had now been laved with upward of two dollars and forty cents’ worth of brandy, and she opened her eyes and nodded weakly.

“And you know that other woman, too, mommer,” Fieldstone protested. “That was Goldie Raymond that plays Mitzi in ‘Rudolph.’ I was only trying to get her to sign up for the new show, mommer. What do you think? I would do anything otherwise at my time of life! Foolish woman, you!”

He pinched Mrs. Fieldstone’s pale cheek and she smiled at him in complete understanding.

“But you ain’t going to give her the new part now, are you, Jake?” she murmured.

“Certainly he ain’t!” Miss Vivian Haig said. “I’m going to get that part myself, ain’t I, Mr. Fieldstone?”

Fieldstone made a gesture of complete surrender.

“Sure you are!” he said, with the earnestness of a waist manufacturer and not a producing manager. “And a good dancer like you,” he concluded, “I would pay the same figure as Goldie Raymond.”

The following morning Lyman J. Bienenflug dispatched to Mrs. J. Montgomery Fieldstone a bill for professional services, consultation and advice in and about settlement of action for a separation Fieldstone versus Fieldstone six hundred dollars. He also dispatched to Miss Vivian Haig another bill for professional services, consultation and advice in and about settlement of action for breach of contract of employment Haig versus Fieldstone two hundred and fifty dollars.

Later in the day Ralph Zinsheimer, managing clerk in the office of Bienenflug & Krimp, and over and above the age of eighteen years as prescribed by the Code, served a copy of the summons and complaint on each of the joint tort-feasors in the ten-thousand dollar assault action of Goldie Raymond, plaintiff, against J. Montgomery Fieldstone and others, defendants. There were important changes that evening in the cast of “Rudolph Where Have You Been.”