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The Dual Alliance   By: (1876-1920)

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The dual alliance

Marjorie Benton Cooke

The Dual Alliance


Bambi David The Girl Who Lived in the Woods

[Illustration: "But I I hardly know you"]






Copyright, 1915, by DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO.


"But I I hardly know you" Frontispiece in color "He tended the fire that was between them" 88 "Every night at midnight Paul called her on the 'phone" 132 "Bob and Paul stood bowing and smiling" 160


Barbara Garratry was thirty and Irish. To the casual observer the world was a bright coloured ball for her tossing. When she was a tiny mite her father had dubbed her "Bob, Son of Battle," because of certain obvious, warlike traits of character, and "Bob" Garratry she had been ever since.

She had literally fought her way to the top, handicapped by poverty, very little education, the responsibility of an invalid and dependent father. She had been forced to make all her own opportunities, but at thirty she was riding the shoulders of the witch success.

Her mother, having endowed her only child with the gift of a happy heart, went on her singing way into Paradise when Bob was three. Her father, handsome ne'er do well that he was, made a poor and intermittent living for them until the girl was fifteen. Then poor health overtook him, and Bob took the helm.

At fifteen she worked on a newspaper, and discovered she had a picturesque talent for words. Literary ambition gripped her, a desire to make permanent use of the dramatic elements which she uncovered in her rounds of assignments. She had a nose for news and made a fair success, until she took to sitting up at night to write "real stuff" as she called it. Her nervous, high strung temperament would not stand the strain, so, true to her Irish blood, she gave up the newspaper job, with its Saturday night pay envelope, and threw herself headlong into the uncharted sea of authorship.

She began with short stories for magazines. Editors admitted her, responded to her personality returned her tales. "If you could write the way you talk," they all said. Now Daddy Garratry had to eat, no matter how light she could go on rations, so she abandoned literature shortly for a position in a decorator's shop. Here, too, she found charm an asset. She worked eight hours a day, cooked for two of them, washed, sewed, took care of her invalid, lavished herself upon him, then wrote at night, undaunted by her first failure.

She used her brain on the problem of success. When the manager of the shop put her in charge of their booth at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition, because, as he said, "you can attract people," she recalled the consensus of editorial opinion, and made up her mind that personality was her real gift. The stage was the show window for that possession, so thither she turned her face at eighteen, and in due course of time joined the great army which follows the mirage of stage success.

But Bob proved to be one of the god's anointed, and from the first the charm of her, her queer, haunting face, which some found ugly and some proclaimed beautiful, marked her for advance. She was radiantly happy in the work, and happier still that she was able to provide more comforts and luxuries for daddy, who was her idol. The real crux of her ambition was the day when she could give him everything his luxury loving heart desired.

She worked hard, she learned the trade of the theatre. She studied her audiences, noted their likes and dislikes, what they laughed at, and when they wept. Then once again she took up her abandoned pen and began to work on a play. She and daddy talked it, played it, mulled it over every waking hour for months... Continue reading book >>

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