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usual, it took a deal of searching. The necessity of assigning the traditional glass slipper arose when Brock Pemberton accepted the play “Miss Lulu Bett” which was written by Zona Gale. Strictly speaking, there was no fairy godmother and no pumpkin coach or anything of that sort, but the play did tell the story of a drab and neglected woman in a small town who suddenly achieved soul and spirit through the discovery that there was a person in the world to whom she seemed more than the maker of good apple pies. If there had been something about a coach and four and a truly magical prince, it would have been much easier to find a Cinderella. The heroine needed for this play was some one who could sit in the ashes without condescension. Numerous actresses wanted to play the part, and a good many rehearsed it to no purpose. They all insisted on making Lulu a great deal more seductive than the author intended. Accordingly, Brock Pemberton, the producer of the play, did not brighten perceptibly when Miss Carroll McComas applied for the part. He remembered Miss McComas chiefly for her dashing work in a number of musical comedies in which she had been the young person who sang the song about the moon and waltzed the audience into frenzies of enthusiasm in the big restaurant scene in the second act. “You’re not the type,” said Mr. Pemberton decisively, but Miss McComas was not to be put off so brusquely. “What's the matter with me?” she insisted. “I don’t like to be rude,” replied the manager, “but, to put it bluntly, you're much too beautiful for Lulu.” “I am not,” said Miss McComas, and a rather long argument ensued in which both manager and actress lost their tempers. Hers seemed more effectively lost, for in the end Brock Pemberton grudgingly said that she might read the part at one rehearsal if nothing else would satisfy her. And so she did; but first she gathered her hair back in some way or other which differed from her usual custom. No technical explanation of the exact nature of the innovation will be attempted here, but, at any rate, the new method with her hair put years upon her shoulders and took all the fire out of her eyes, and she was no longer the flagrantly dazzling princess of musical comedy, but the graceless and unlit Lulu Bett. “It’s just what we’ve been waiting for,” cried the author of the play. “You look a fright,” said the manager. congratulate you.” And so it went on with compliments flying thick and fast until Miss Carroll McComas was definitely engaged for the rôle of Lulu Bett. The actress was in transports of joy. Her success seemed magical. She only feared that some clock might strike twelve on the night of the performance and that the enchantment would end, changing her glorious workaday apron and leaving her once again in the horrid

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garb of a princess. Up to date everything has gone well and no wicked spell has whisked her out of the kitchen and into a palace. After all, the experience of Miss McComas was not the only surprising incident connected with the production of “Miss Lulu Bett.” Originally “Miss Lulu Bett” was a novel. In this form it received high praise from many quarters, and some months ago Brock Pemberton bought the dramatic rights from Zona Gale. Then he began to hold conferences with Miss Gale as to who should make a play out of her book. Various successful journeymen playwrights were approached, but each wanted to twist or turn away from the story as written. The manager was in despair, particularly as Miss Gale had disappeared and nothing had been heard from her for ten days. At the end of that time she appeared with a manuscript under her arm. “I finally thought,” she explained, “that I

Louise Closser Hale gives a fine performance in the part of Grandma. She has been playingold ladies ever since she was a slip of a girl

(Above, left.) “You look a fright! Congratu

lations!” the manager exclaimed when Miss

McComas appeared looking like this. But glance across the page

might as well go and write it myself.” Rehearsals began the next day. Having said so much, it is unfortunate that I cannot go on to add that “Miss Lulu Bett” is the great American drama for which everybody has been waiting and that Miss Carroll McComas gives the finest performance ever seen on Broadway. As a matter of fact, “Miss Lulu Bett” is not quite a good play, even, but is of the stuff of which great plays are made. Nothing which New York has seen all season has observed life so closely and so freshly. As for

A glimpse at the transformed Lulu Bett explains why Manager Pemberton feared Miss McComas was too good-looking to play the small-town drudge

Miss McComas, she gives an excellent performance. She is just a little too intent at first upon showing that Lulu is a pathetic figure, but in the moments in which the heroine begins to come to life and makes her first crude attempts to assert herself as a person there is an exciting and an infectious lift in the performance of Miss McComas. To be sure, there was a good deal to make Lulu Bett feel the pathos of her life. She lived with her married sister, Mrs. Dwight Deacon, and in return for board and lodging did all the work of the house. Her brother-in-law, Dwight, was a pompous, selfsatisfied man much given to poor jokes, practically all of which were directed at Lulu. Occasionally some visitor to the little town spoke a kind word to Lulu, but it was always about her cooking. “Why wouldn't I remember?” asks one visitor when Lulu expresses a timid surprise at his recollection of the fact that they have met before. “Nobody ever does,” replies Lulu, and he answers with a fine show of enthusiasm: “Don’t you think I'd remember that meat pie?” But finally somebody comes whose interest in Lulu goes beyond the way which she has with pies. Dwight Deacon's roving brother (Continued on page 30) WI.-Nicol Brinn Has a Visitor T was close upon noon, but Nicol Brinn had not yet left his chambers. From that large window which overlooked Piccadilly he surveyed the prospect with dull, lack-luster eyes. His morning attire was at least as tightly fitting as that which he favored in the evening, and now, hands clasped behind his back and an unlighted cigar held firmly in the left corner of his mouth, he gazed across the park with a dreamy and vacant regard. One very familiar with this strange and taciturn man might have observed that his sallow features looked even more gaunt than usual. But for any trace of emotion in that stoic face the most expert physiognomist must have sought in vain. Behind the motionless figure the Alaskan ermine and Manchurian leopards stared glassily across the room. The flying lemur continued apparently to contemplate the idea of swooping upon the head of the tigress where she crouched upon her near-by pedestal. The death masks grinned; the Egyptian priestess smiled. And Nicol Brinn, expressionless, watched the traffic in Piccadilly. There came a knock at the door. “In,” said Nicol Brinn. Hoskins, his manservant, entered: “Detective Inspector Wessex would like to see you, sir.” Nicol Brinn did not turn around. “In,” he repeated. Silently Hoskins retired, and, following a s h or t interval,

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Fire-Tongue

By Sax Rohmer Illustrated by J. C. Coll

him well would have recognized that this simple action betokened suppressed excitement. “He left these chambers at ten-fifteen on Wednesday night,” replied the American. “I had never seen him before and I have never seen him since.” “Sure?” “Quite.” “Could you swear to it before a jury?” “You seem to doubt my word.” Detective Inspector Wessex stood up. “Mr. Brinn,” he said, “I am in an awkward corner. I know you for a man with a fine sporting reputation, and therefore I don't doubt your word. But Mr. Paul Harley disappeared last night.” At last Nicol Brinn was moved. A second time he took the cigar from his mouth, gazed at the end reflectively, and then hurled the cigar across the room into the hearth. He stood up, walked to a

window, and stared out. “Just sit quiet a minute,” came the toneless voice. “You’ve hit me harder than you know. I want to think it out.” At the back of the tall, slim figure Detective Inspector Wessex stared with a sort of wonder. Mr. Nicol Brinn of Cincinnati was a conundrum which he found himself unable to catalogue, although in his gallery of queer characters were many eccentric and peculiar. If Nicol Brinn should prove to be crooked, then automatically he became insane. This Wessex had reasoned out even before he had set eyes upon the celebrated American traveler. His very first glimpse of Nicol Brinn had confirmed his reasoning, except that the cool, calm strength of the man had done much to upset the theory of lunacy. Followed an interval of unbroken silence. Not even the ticking of a clock could be heard in that long, singularly furnished apartment. Then, as the detective continued to gaze upon the back of Mr. Nicol Brinn, suddenly the latter turned. “Detective Inspector Wessex,” he said, “there has been a cloud hanging over my head for seven years. That cloud is going to burst very soon, and it looks like doing damage.” “I don’t understand you, sir,” replied the detective bluntly. “But I have been put in charge of the most extraordinary case that has ever come my way, and I'll ask you to make yourself just as clear as possible.” “I’ll do all I can,” Nicol Brinn assured him. “But first

ushered into the room a typical detective officer, a Scotland Yard man of the best type. For Detective Inspector Wessex no less an authority than Paul Harley had predicted a brilliant future, and since he had attained to his present rank while still a comparatively young man, the prophecy of the celebrated private investigator was likely to be realized. Nicol Brinn turned and bowed in the direction of a large armchair. “Pray sit down, inspector,” he said. The high, monotonous voice expressed neither surprise nor welcome, nor any other sentiment whatever. Detective Inspector Wessex returned the bow, placed his bowler hat upon the carpet, and sat down in the armchair. Nicol Brinn seated himself upon a settee over which was No "Woo draped a very fine piece of t so is Persian tapestry, and stared at i s his visitor with eyes which o i. expressed nothing but a sort | of philosophic stupidity, but which, as a matter of fact, i photographed the personality : of the man indelibly upon that keen brain. t Detective Inspector Wessex : N cleared his throat and did not § & || appear to be quite at ease. “What is it?” inquired Nicol Brinn, and proceeded to light his cigar. “Well, sir,” said the detective frankly, “it’s a mighty awkward business, and I don't just know how to approach it.” “Shortest way,” draw led Nicol Brinn. “Don’t study me.” “Thanks,” said Wessex, “I’ll do my best. It’s like this”— he stared frankly at the impassive face: “Where is Mr. Paul Harley?”

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ICOL BRINN gazed at the lighted end of his cigar meditatively for a moment and then replaced it in the right and not in the left corner of his mouth. Even to the trained eye of the detective inspector he seemed to be quite unmoved, but one who knew

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"Paul Harley disappeared last

tell me something: Why have you come to me for information in respect to Mr. Paul Harley?” “I’ll answer your question,” said Wessex, and the fact did not escape the keen observing power of Nicol Brinn that the detective's manner had grown guarded. “He informed Mr. Innes, his secretary, before setting out, that he was coming here to your chambers.” Nicol Brinn stared blankly at the speaker. “He told him that? When?” “Yesterday.” “That he was coming here?” “He did.” Nicol Brinn sat down again upon the settee. “Detective inspector,” said he, “I give you my word of honor as a gentleman that I last saw Mr. Paul Harley at ten-fifteen on Wednesday night. Since then, not only have I not seen him, but I have received no communication from him.” " The keen glance of the detective met and challenged the dull glance of the speaker. “I accept your word, sir,” said Wessex finally, and he sighed and scratched his chin in the manner of a man hopelessly puzzled.

ILENCE fell again. The muted sounds of Piccadilly * † : . . became audible in the stillof | ness. Cabs and cars rolled by J. below, their occupants all unaware of the fact that in that long, museumlike room above their heads lay the key to a trage dy and the clue to a mystery. “Look here, sir,” said the detective suddenly, “the result of Mr. Paul Harley's investigations right up to date has been placed in my hands, together with all his notes. I wonder if you realize the fact that, supposing Mr. Harley does not return, I am in pos

night,” announced Inspector Wessex. Nicol Brinn walked to a window and stared out. “You’ve hit me harder than you know,” he said

session of sufficient evidence to justify me in putting you under arrest?” “I see your point quite clearly,” replied Nicol Brinn. “I have seen my danger since the evening that Mr. Paul Harley walked into this room; but I'll confess I did not anticipate this particular development.”

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“To get right down to business,” said Wessex, “if Mr. Paul Harley did not come here, where, in your idea, did he go?”

Nicol Brinn considered the speaker meditatively. “If I knew that,” said he, “maybe I could help. I told him here in this very room that the pair of us were walking on the edge of hell. I don't like to say it, and you don't know all it means, but in my opinion he has taken a step too far.”

Detective Inspector W e s sex stood up impatiently. “You have already talked in that strain to Mr. Harley,” he said, a trifle brusquely. “Mr. Innes has reported something of the conversation to me. But I must ask you to remember that, whereas Mr. Paul Harley is an unofficial investigator, I am an officer of the Criminal Investigation Department, and figures of speech are of no use to me. I want facts. I want plain speaking. I ask you for help and you answer in parables. Now perhaps I am saying too much, and perhaps I am not, but that Mr. Harley was right in what he believed, the circumstances of his present disappearance go to prove. He learned too much about something called Fire-Tongue.”

ESSEX spoke the word challengingly, staring straight into the eyes of Nicol Brinn, but the latter gave no sign, and Wessex, concealing his disappointment, continued: “You know more about Fire-Tongue than you ever told Mr. Paul Harley. All you know I have got to know. Mr. Harley has been kidnaped, perhaps done to death.” “Why do you say so?” asked Nicol Brinn rapidly. “Because I know it is so. It does not matter how I know.” “You are certain that his absence is not voluntary?” “We have definite evidence to that effect.” “I don’t expect you to be frank with me, detective inspector, but I'll be as frank with you as I can be. I haven’t the slightest idea in the world where Mr. Harley is. But I have information which, if I knew where he was, would quite possibly enable me to rescue him.”

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“Provided he is alive!” added Wessex angrily.

“What leads you to suppose that he is not?”

“If he is alive, he is a prisoner.”

“Good God!” said Nicol Brinn in a low voice. “It has come.” He took a step toward the detective. “Mr. Wessex,” he continued, “I don't tell you to do whatever your duty dictates; I know you will do it. But in the interests of everybody concerned I have a request to make. Have me watched if you like— I suppose that's automatic. But whatever happens, and wherever your suspicions point, give me twentyfour hours. As I think you can see, I am a man that thinks slowly, but moves with a rush. You can believe me or not, but I am even more anxious than you are to see this thing through. You think I know what lies back of it all, and I don't say you are not right. But one thing you don't know, and that thing I can’t tell you. able to tell you. Whatever happens, even if poor Harley is found dead, don't hamper my movements between now and this time.to-morrow.”

Wessex, who had been watching the speaker intently, suddenly held out his hand. “It’s a bet!” he said. “It’s my case, and I’ll conduct it in my own way.”

In twenty-four hours I might be .

“Mr. Wessex,” replied Nicol Brinn, taking the extended hand, “I think you are a clever man. There are questions you would like to ask me, and there are questions I would like to ask you. But we both realize the facts of the situation, and we are both silent. One thing I'll say: You are in the deadliest peril you have ever known. Be careful. Believe me, I mean it. Be very careful.” . . .

NNES rose from the chair usually occupied by

Paul Harley as Detective Inspector Wessex, with a

very blank face, walked into the office. Innes looked haggard and exhibited unmistakable signs of anxiety. Since he had received that dramatic telephone message from his chief he had not spared himself for a moment. The official machinery of Scotland Yard was at work endeavoring to trace the missing man, but since it had proved impossible to find out from where the message had been sent, the investigation was handicapped at the very outset. Close inquiries at the Savoy Hotel had shown that Harley had not been there. Wessex, who was a thorough artist

While Nicol Brinn watched her with completely transfigured features, the woman allowed the cloak to slip from her shoulders, and, raising her head, she uttered a subdued cry of greeting that was almost a sob

within his limitations, had satisfied himself that none of the callers who had asked for Ormuz Khan, and no one who had loitered about the lobbies, could possibly have been even a disguised Paul Harley. To Inspector Wessex the lines along which Paul Harley was operating remained a matter of profound amazement and mystification. His interview with Mr. Nicol Brinn had only served to baffle him more hopelessly than ever. The nature of Paul Harley's inquiries—inquiries which, presumably from the death of Sir Charles Abingdon, had led him to investigate the movements of two persons of international repute, neither having even the most remote connection with anything crooked—was a conundrum for the answer to which the detective inspector sought in vain. “I can see you have no news,” said Innes dully. “To be perfectly honest,” replied Wessex, “I feel like a man who is walking in his sleep. Except for the extraordinary words uttered by the late Sir Charles Abingdon, I fail to see that there is any possible connection between his death and Mr. Nicol Brinn. I simply can't fathom what Mr. Harley was working upon. To my mind there is not the slightest evidence of foul play in the case. There is no motive; apart from which, there is absolutely no link.” “Nevertheless,” replied Innes slowly, “you know the chief, and therefore you know as well as I do that he would not have instructed me to communicate with you unless he had definite evidence in his possession. It is perfectly clear that he was interrupted in the act of telephoning. He was literally dragged away from the instrument.” “I agree,” said Wessex, “he had got into a tight corner somewhere right enough. But where does Nicol Brinn come in?” “How did he receive your communication?” “Oh, it took him fairly between the eyes. is no denying that. He knows something.” “What he knows,” said Innes slowly, “is what Mr. Harley learned last night, and what he fears is what has actually befallen the chief.”

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There

ETECTIVE INSPECTOR WESSEX stood beside the Burmese cabinet, restlessly drumming his fingers upon its lacquered surface. “I am grateful for one thing,” he said. “The press has not got hold of this story.” “They need never get hold of it if you are moderately careful.” “For several reasons I am going to be more than moderately careful. Whatever the Fire-Tongue may be, its other name is sudden death! It's a devil of a business; a perfect nightmare. But—” he paused —“I am wondering what on earth induced Mr. Harley to send that parcel of linen to the analyst.” “The result of the analysis may prove that the chief was not engaged upon any wild-goose chase.” “By heavens!” Wessex sprang up, his eyes brightened, and he reached for his hat, “that gives me an idea!” “What is it?” “The message with the parcel was written upon

Broadway

OR one who loves the picturesque, New York's Great and Gay White Way, on one of its nights of holiday splendor, used to be something to cherish among precious memories. An election night, for example—could Babylon in the height of her glory have held anything but a tallow dip to our own Broadway? In the shimmering yellow glare of a million incandescents, a hundred thousand merrymaking Gothamites surged up and down the wide sidewalks and overflowed the curbs for two miles from Herald Square to Columbus Circle,

paper bearing the letterhead of the late Sir Charles Abingdon. So Mr. Harley evidently made his first call there! I'm off, sir! The trail starts from that house!”

Leaving Innes seated at the big table with an expression of despair upon his face, Detective Inspector Wessex set out. He blamed himself for wasting time upon the obvious, for concentrating too closely upon the clue given by Harley's last words to Innes before leaving the office in Chancery Lane. It was poor workmanship. He had hoped to take a short cut, and it had proved, as usual, to be a long one. Now, as he sat in a laggard cab feeling that every minute wasted might be a matter of life and death, he suddenly became conscious of personal anxiety. He was a courageous, indeed a fearless, man, and he was subconsciously surprised to find himself repeating the words of Nicol Brinn: “Be careful—be very careful!” With all the ardor of the professional, he longed to find a clue which should lead him to the heart of the mystery.

Innes had frankly outlined the whole of Paul Harley's case to date, and Detective Inspector Wessex, although he had not admitted the fact, had nevertheless recognized that from start to finish the thing did not offer one single line of inquiry which he would have been capable of following up. That Paul Harley had found material to work upon, had somehow picked up a definite clue from this cloudy maze, earned the envious admiration of the Scotland Yard man.

Arrived at his destination, he asked to see Miss Abingdon, and was shown by the butler into a charm. ingly furnished little sitting room which was deeply impressed with the personality of its dainty owner. It was essentially and delightfully feminine. Yet in the decorations and in the arrangement of the furniture there was a note of independence which was almost a note of defiance. Phyllis Abingdon, an appealingly pathetic figure in her black dress, rose to greet the inspector.

“Don’t be alarmed, Miss Abingdon,” he said kindly. “My visit does not concern you personally in any way, but I thought perhaps you might be able to help me trace Mr. Paul Harley.”

ESSEX had thus expressed himself with the best intentions, but even before the words were fully spoken he realized with a sort of shock that he could not well have made a worse opening. Phil Abingdon's eyes seemed to grow alarmingly large. She stood quite still, twisting his card between her supple fingers. “Mr. Harley!” she whispered. “I did not want to alarm you,” said the detective guiltily, “but—” He stopped, at a loss for words. “Has something happened to him?” “I am sorry if I have alarmed you,” he assured her, “but there is some doubt respecting Mr. Harley's present whereabouts. Have you any idea where he went when he left this house yesterday?” “Yes, yes. I know where he went, quite well. Benson, the butler, told me all about it when I came in.” Phil Abingdon spoke excitedly, and took a step nearer toward Wessex. “He went to call upon Jones, our late parlormaid.” “Late parlormaid?” echoed Wessex uncomprehendingly. “Yes. He seemed to think he had made a discovery of importance.” “Something to do with a parcel which he sent away from here to the analyst?” “Yes! I have been wondering whatever it could be. In fact, I rang up his office this morning, but learned that he was out. It was a serviette which he took away. Did you know that?” “I did know it, Miss Abingdon. I called upon the analyst. I understand you were out when Mr. Harley came. May I ask who interviewed him?” “He saw Benson and Mrs. Howett, the housekeeper.”

“Might I also see them?” (Continued on page 28)

Becomes Main Street

By Charles Phelps Cushing

tion had nothing to support it but glamour, and they brutally robbed it of its chief treasure. Mayor Mitchel banned its night life; then along came the war and business and prohibition to complete the process of transforming Broadway into a standardized American Main Street. When the wearers of Uncle Sam's olive drab and

navy blue returned to Broadway after more than two years of absence in training camps and oversea, they were struck at once with a sense of staleness and lack of distinction in this most widely celebrated of American city streets. The recent evolutions of Broadway's character may have escaped the resident, but the red-chevron men saw in a flash that two years of war-time discipline had cowed the White Way's once defiant spirit. Gone were the last glories of her once-royal raiment She was dressed now in the same standardized rea...y-mades as Main

Street in Gopher "rairie or

with thousands of cowbells clanging, tin horns and shrill whistles and tacktacks augmenting the din, confetti falling like a heavy snow, and from the open windows of “‘gil de d’’ restaurants and cabarets the strains of frenzied syncopation and song floating forth, punctuated with the pop of champagne corks. That was the Broadway of eleven years ago, an election night in November, 1909, when Tammany swept Gaynor into office. The Great and Gay White Way attained that night its greatest height of gayety. From that time forth its splendor has steadily declined. Gyp the Blood and Leftie Louie knew not what they did to a famous institution when, s h or t ly after Mayor Gaynor's election, they and their joyriding pals murdered a brother gambler in Times Square and drove away, calm and magnificent, in their big touring car. They had stuck

any other American town. Nor has the time that has elapsed since the signing of the armistice seen any brightening of color on the part of the Gray-White Way. Today the two miles of the bright-light district are relentlessly being invaded from all sides. From the south, venders of life's commonest necessities march upon the last defenses of the heart of O. Henry's “Bagdad - on - the - Subway.” From the west the overcrowded tenements, in these days of a desperate shortage of living quarters, also menace it; from the east, office skyscrapers and the overflow of Fifth Avenue's expanding shop district; while from the north, Motor Car Row has set up outposts as far down as F if t i eth Street. The Broadway of “girl shows” and cabarets and glitter, the “City of Razzle-Dazzle,” is scattering for its life into a series of short adjacent side

the first of several daggers into the back of the Tenderloin tradition. The institu

The Broadway of O. Henry's Bagdad-on-the-Subway has been transformed by business and prohibition into a standardized, ready-made American Main Street

streets, popularly termed the “Roaring Forties.” Parisian boulevard gayety is, in fact, unable to pay the high rentals that commerce and the movies can afford for the privilege of fronting upon the main thoroughfares. Below Thirty-fourth Street commerce no longer recognizes gayety as a rival—Wallack's and Daly's are no more, the Savoy has lost its importance of ten years ago to degenerate into “continuous movies.”

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Old King Cole Abdicates

O begin your tour of inspection at Herald Square,

made glamorous by the Cohan ballad, and stroll

northward. On the square itself you will find two of the largest of New York's department stores, some clothing shops, and big hotels. Since Mr. Munsey’s “Sun” absorbed the Bennett properties, the “Herald” newspaper plant is dark at night, all but the red eyes of the owls perched on the Venetian cornice. The theatre that once fronted this site has been torn down to be supplanted by an office building. Two musical shows, a Belasco comedy, and the grimy yellow front of the Metropolitan Opera House are all that keep the old fires of splendor burning in the entire stretch of Broadway from Herald Square to the flatiron of the Times Building. The Broadway. Theatre is showing 10–20–30 continuous vaudeville at a tariff revised upward to 15–25–50. The rest of this once famous lower section of the White Way is all given over to tailor shops and shoe stores, moderate-priced restaurants, dairy-lunch

| aftems |PALACE THEATRE

against the competition of filmdom. (This is no season for taverns; the Eighteenth Amendment is in force.) As you slowly saunter northward, past the barkers of Chinatown rubberneck cars, the faces of the crowds begin to impress you. These faces that you see in Broadway to-night belong mostly to typical “home folks”— the same sort of people who are out for a stroll on Main Street in Kansas City or Gopher Prairie. The only “mugs” that Gyp the Blood and Leftie Louie could recognize would attach to some ex-bartenders out of a job. The women of the streets, upon whose profits the gangsters used to fatten, have been banished. This may sound incredible in so large a city, particularly in one now under the rule of a Tammany mayor, but it is none the less a sober fact. Twelfth Street in Kansas City is an infinitely more sinful

Broadway's night crowds now seek refreshment in soda shops and dairy lunches instead of in “gilded” restaurants

rooms, bakeries, and office buildings—the commonplace business establishments of Main Street in any other town. The Knickerbocker Hotel is dark; and in the daytime house wreckers rip up, its sacred insides to remodel the former palace of Old King Cole and his free-lunch counter of international fame (so highly praised by Arnold Bennett) into another office building. You cross Forty-second Street and stand transfixed as the myriad lights of Times Square glitter ahead. No other glitter in the world can hold a tin lantern to it. But let not the glitter deceive you, for all is not so glamorous as in the golden days. At once, for example, you must soberly note that where Oscar Hammerstein's Victoria used to flourish, the talk of all the town, a movie house now has possession, with a long queue waiting before the little glass ticket booth. On the east bank of Broadway, in George M. Cohan's Theatre, “The Tavern,” a show sentimentally dear to Cohan's heart, fights for its life

street than modern Broadway. Perhaps Tammany set to the task of the clean-up unwillingly, under pressure of official mandate from Washington, D. C., in war time, but no doubt can exist that the Wigwam finally accomplished an amazingly thorough job— one to set an example to all present administrations and to all administrations to come. Despite the dry laws, a few bars and gentlemen's blind pigs yet remain open in the neighborhood of Times Square, but they are joyless taprooms where the ghosts of other days look on with sickly grins. Every newspaper reader will recall how comparatively tame was the celebration of “Prohibition Eve” along the Great White Way, despite all its preliminary boosts from press agents. It was mostly a parade of onlookers, hopefully watching a few befuddled wabblers. For “Prohibition Eve” fell on Monday; business will stand for no foolishness these troublous days; and a majority of the folks you meet on Broadway had important business engagements to keep on Tuesday morning. Most of them, in fact, had to punch a time clock at 9 a. m. No wonder they viewed the show with no interest more active than

*** **** -----

The gigantic network of steel at the right supports two of the enormous electric signs which by night give Times Square the old time glamour

that of morbid curiosity. The two New Year's Eves that have followed this historic date, and the recent “celebration” of presidential election night have proved even more tame than the funeral wake of John Barleycorn.

Who's Who on Broadway

OMETIMES it seems to the writer—who dwells barely forty-five seconds from Broadway and prowls its sidewalks often—that the night life faces of the Great White Way nowadays are chiefly: 1. New Yorkers on their way to and from the movies. 2. Folks from out of town, seeing the shows and dining. 3. Bartenders out of a job. 4. Actors, ditto. 5. Plain-clothes men playing vigilantly the rôle of “mashers.” Not in any attempt at facetiousness is this set down. For example, if anyone doubts that a large proportion of the natives present are headed for the movies, let him take a careful census of the theatres that have a front (a front, not merely the finger of an electric signpost) upon the sidewalks of this glittering and once justly famed thoroughfare. The Rialto, the Criterion, the New York and its extensive roof-garden annex, the Strand, the Rivoli, the huge new Capitol, and the unfinished $5,000,000 building of the State—seven of the choicest stands and largest auditoriums on the main stem are given over to the movies. Against this, a census of the other theatre structures having a frontage on Broadway (and this is taken at the height of the 1920-21 season) will read: - Musical shows, 3; legitimate, 3; vaudeville, 2; grand opera, 1. Of the offerings in the way of the legitimate, one bears the appropriate name of “Call the Doctor,” one is the hopeful Mr. Cohan's travesty, “The Tavern,” and the last is “Lightnin’,” which already is in its third year and may some day perish of old age. In short, the old-time “show” is having difficulty to hold the center of the stage in an argument with the “silent drama.” The blame for this situation, if you see the case as something to mourn, lies not upon Puritanical crusaders, police efficiency, or the Eighteenth Amendment, but upon the fact that “money talks.” A simple matter of the voice of Profits. Money has talked the south end of the Yellow Streak into believing that its destiny (Continued on page 30)

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