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8. VII. THE LEADING LADY (continued)
The leading lady turned a flushed face toward Pearlie. "This is more fun than the Actors' Fair. I had the photograph booth last year, and I took in nearly as much as Lil Russell; and goodness knows, all she needs to do at a fair is to wear her diamond-and-pearl stomacher and her set-piece smile, and the men just swarm around her like the pictures of a crowd in a McCutcheon cartoon."
When the last Japanese lantern had guttered out, Pearlie Schultz and the leading lady prepared to go home. Before they left, the M. E. ladies came over to Pearlie's booth and personally congratulated the leading lady, and thanked her for the interest she had taken in the cause, and the secretary of the Epworth League asked her to come to the tea that was to be held at her home the following Tuesday. The leading lady thanked her and said she'd come if she could.
Escorted by a bodyguard of gray suits and lavender-striped shirts Pearlie and her friend, Miss Evans, walked toward the hotel. The attentive bodyguard confessed itself puzzled.
"Aren't you staying at Pearlie's house?" asked Sid tenderly, when they reached the Burke House. The leading lady glanced up at the windows of the stifling little room that faced west.
"No," answered she, and paused at the foot of the steps to the ladies' entrance. The light from the electric globe over the doorway shone on her hair and sparkled in the folds of her spangled scarf.
"I'm not staying at Pearlie's because my name isn't Ethel Evans. It's Aimee Fox, with a little French accent mark over the double E. I'm leading lady of the `Second Wife' company and old enough to be--well, your aunty, anyway. We go out at one-thirty to-morrow morning."
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