The last rehearsal was over, a tedious dress rehearsal which had lasted all day
and exhausted the patience of every one who had to do with it. When Hilda had
dressed for the street and came out of her dressing-room, she found Hugh
MacConnell waiting for her in the corridor.
"The fog's thicker than ever, Hilda. There have been a great many accidents to-
day. It's positively unsafe for you to be out alone. Will you let me take you
"How good of you, Mac. If you are going with me, I think I'd rather walk. I've had
no exercise to-day, and all this has made me nervous."
"I shouldn't wonder," said MacConnell dryly. Hilda pulled down her veil and they
stepped out into the thick brown wash that submerged St. Martin's Lane.
MacConnell took her hand and tucked it snugly under his arm. "I'm sorry I was
such a savage. I hope you didn't think I made an ass of myself."
"Not a bit of it. I don't wonder you were peppery. Those things are awfully trying.
How do you think it's going?"
"Magnificently. That's why I got so stirred up. We are going to hear from this,
both of us. And that reminds me; I've got news for you. They are going to begin
repairs on the theatre about the middle of March, and we are to run over to New
York for six weeks. Bennett told me yesterday that it was decided."
Hilda looked up delightedly at the tall gray figure beside her. He was the only
thing she could see, for they were moving through a dense opaqueness, as if
they were walking at the bottom of the ocean.
"Oh, Mac, how glad I am! And they love your things over there, don't they?"
"Shall you be glad for--any other reason, Hilda?"
MacConnell put his hand in front of her to ward off some dark object. It proved to
be only a lamp-post, and they beat in farther from the edge of the pavement.
"What do you mean, Mac?" Hilda asked nervously.
"I was just thinking there might be people over there you'd be glad to see," he
brought out awkwardly. Hilda said nothing, and as they walked on MacConnell
spoke again, apologetically: "I hope you don't mind my knowing about it, Hilda.
Don't stiffen up like that. No one else knows, and I didn't try to find out anything. I