Adventures and Letters
nothing in ten years. He is an officer stationed at a small post in South Africa. He wrote
Barrie he was at home, very blue and homesick, and outside it was raining. Then came
Barrie's long cable, at 75 cents a word, saying his play was the success of the year. He did
not know even it had been ACCEPTED. He shouted to his wife, and they tried to dance
but the hut was too small, so they ran out into the compound and danced in the rain. Then
he sent the Kaffir boys to the mess to bring all the officers and all the champagne and
they did not go to bed at all. The next day cables, still at three shillings a word came from
papers and magazines and publishers, managers, syndicates. And, in his letter he says,
still not appreciating what a fuss it has made, "I suppose all it needs now is to be made a
question in the House," when already it has been the text of half a dozen speeches by
Cabinet Ministers, and three companies are playing it in the provinces. What fun to have
a success come in such a way, not even to know it was being rehearsed. Today Sargent is
here to see what is wrong with Cecil's picture of Janet. He came early and said he
couldn't tell until he saw Janet, so now he is back again, and both Janet and Cecil are
shaking with excitement. He is the most simple, kindly genius I ever met. He says the
head is very fine and I guess Cecil suspected that, before she called him in. He says she
must send it to the Royal Academy. I am now going out to hear more words fall from the
great man, and so farewell. Seymour and I began work yesterday on the Dictator. It went
very smooth. All my love to Noll and to you.
Read the other letter first and then, let me tell you that when I went out to see Sargent, I
found Cecil complaining that she could not understand just how it was he wanted Janet to
pose. Whereat she handed him a piece of chalk and he made a sketch of Janet as exquisite
as the morning and rubbed his hands of the charcoal and left it there! It's only worth a
hundred pounds! Can you imagine the nerve of Cecil. I was so shocked I could only gasp.
But, he was quite charming and begged her to call him next time she got in a scrape, and
gave her his private telephone number.
Fancy having Sargent waiting to be called up to make sketches for you. I left Janet and
Cecil giggling with happiness. Janet because she had been sketched by him and Cecil
because she has the sketch. It's a three fourths length three feet high, and he did it in ten
minutes. I am now going to ask her to invite the chef of the Ritz in, to give us a sketch of
cooking a dinner.