Highlights from the sports parade of the last 35 years as recorded by a ringside observer
ELMER W. FERGUSON
THE ENTERPRISE was born in the front office of a Montreal burlesque theatre, one spring afternoon in early 1919. We had been talking of a new star that was blazing up over the fistic horizon, a young hobo, a semisavage killer with murder in his fists, named Jack Dempsey. Some were saying that Dempsey was championship material, that he would batter the crown from the head of big, slothful, inoffensive Jess Willard.
This Dempsey, one of the boys in the show business remarked, was on tour. He had knocked out nearly a score
of good fighters, tearing into them with a relentless fury that made his fights short but dramapacked. Now he was matched with Willard, and on the strength of this, and of his array of quick, crashing knockout victories, he was on an oldfashioned tour, meeting all comers.
Would he be seen in Montreal? Well, why not?
Right there, the enterprise was born. We four would bring this Dempsey to Montreal. We would and did band then and there into a fourcornered promotional concern. My contribution would lx* the press work, the beating of the publicity tom-toms. So it was agreed.
But the preliminaries didn’t go so well. One partner dropped out. Then another. The day of the Dempsey appearance 1 was left with no jwrtner at all, though one of the ex-partners thoughtfully wired from Newfoundland his best wishes for the enterprise. The telegram was paid for too.
Dempsey came to Montreal in the early evening. That was the only bright spot on an outlxk tinged with woe. I was left holding the bag, facing the possible losses; and if there were losses, it was going to be very embarrassing for me. In the argot of the craft, I didn’t have a dime.
I thought it might be well to communicate these sad facts to young Mr. Dempsey and his manager. They were dressing in a basement room. Dempsey was a scowling, silent figure in the background. His mouth was set in the hard, embittered lines that the "jungle.” the rxls, and a rough, wild life had stamped upon him. With him sat Jack Kearns. He was slim, dapper "Perfumery Jack” then, with a face that, though young, had already become hard and cold with the sophistication of ringdom, of places where money is hard to get. hard to keep. They said he had ice water for bkxxi, a stone for a heart; that money to the very last cent due. was his god. his creed, his gospel. His eyes were flinty agate. They softened not a whit as he listened with ill-concealed impatience to this embryo promoter’s tale of woe.
“What do I care for all that?” he said cynically in accents of cold finality. “We’re guaranteed $600. Come across.”
Your correspondent replied sadly that he hadn’t six bucks, admitted the outlook was none too good, and
pleaded that we should all gamble together, comrades in sport.
Mr. Kearns knew' no camaraderie where money was concerned. “Get $600, our guarantee,” he said coldly.
DEMPSEY had been silent, fiddling with trunks and shoes. He looked up, spoke briefly. “Hey, Doc, ” he said in his curiously high-pitched voice, so contrasting with a face that seemed always half snarling, “give the kid a break.” “Sap,” said Mr. Kearns coldly. “There’s $600 coming to us.”
“Okay—okay,” said Dempsey. “Give him a break anyway.”
So Kearns, muttering in disdain at this exhibition of humanity, gave the kid a break. The show drew well. It broke even. Dempsey got paid and won a friend.
The boys of the writing craft in our town looked him over that night, and shook their heads. “Crude,” said one. “Not championship material. ”
“Doesn’t measure up to the champions of yesteryear,” solemnly wrote another.
“The next champion of the world!” buoyantly penned this observer, possibly less through ability to judge and more as reflecting the unforgettable Dempsey influence born when he told hard-faced Kearns, “Give the kid a break.”
1 always went for Dempsey, hook, line and sinker, after that. When he was being branded a slacker. I doubt if anyone was more indignant in retort than your correspondent. Of the facts of the case I knew practically nothing. But no one. including the United States Government, was going to take a crack at my idol of the day and get away with it.
Oddly, Dempsey doesn’t forget that. The advertising manager of my newspaper visited him not long ago to get some special advertising for a sports edition. “Sure," said Dempsey. “Ferguson stuck by me when they were calling me a slacker; stuck right through when friends weren’t so plentiful.”
That’s the kind of a guy Dempsey is. You wouldn’t think he’d remember something nearly twenty years old. in a paper that, through its nationality, couldn’t carry much weight in his country.
Dempsey, Morenz, the Conachers—strong personalities, fine and lovable personalities—you meet in sport over a
thirty-five-year stretch. But of them all, Dempsey possessed more personal magnetism for this writer than all others combined. Not common to me, either. It’s twelve years since he lost the title, but he’s still a vivid and compelling figure in the world of sports.
I have my own theory on that. Dempsey is still popular because he typified everything that even those who infrequently rub elbows with the prize ring, who get their ideas and notions from the newspapers, w'ant their fistic champions to be—not skilled, smooth, pecking boxers; but semisavage, starkly brutal, rushing, murdering swashbucklers who scuffle uneasy, restless feet in the resin while listening impatiently to the referee’s final instructions; who glower blackly at the floor while listening, not even looking at their opponent; who at the bell go tearing with catapulting venom, with murder in their hearts and dynamite in their fists, to batter and smash their way to victory or go out fighting. In brief, they want Dempseys. He was, not only to the promoters and handlers and the box office but to the vast majority, the “man in the street,” just what a champion of the ring should be.
The Most Dramatic Event
DRAMA crowds the sports picture always if you want to see it, if you have an eye for the colorful, the unusual. Perhaps it’s the instinctive ability to grasp these things that makes a few sports writers rise to greatness in their profession. Sport has grown to such important heights that, in the last few years, its tales have rolled from typewriters hammered by master craftsmen of the writing art. Some of the finest literature in journalism today is found on the sports page, penned by writers who don’t try to rise in blasé sophistication above the sporting scene and view it with a barely tolerant and patronizing eye, but who overlook what is sordid and crude and, instead, grasp its vigorous, throbbing, gripping drama.
Damon Runyon is among the more notable of these; he sees not only the high humor but also snares the drama. Dan Parker, most brilliant penman in all the world’s cavalcade of sports writers today, a writer who sees not only the picture but often sees through it, has written some epics of lifting drama. The late Lou Marsh, plain-speaking, hard-hitting, could write starkly, in his own clear fashion, about the theatricals that blaze forth in sport; could grasp the unusual and portray it vividly. Andy Lytle, purveyor of smooth and lyric passages; Baz O’Meara, catching both drama and drollery, extracting a chuckle along the route; little Frankie Graham, whose “House Where A Champion Lived” left many a dampened eye; Grantland Rice, who has gracefully heroized sports events and personalities beyond any other—all these are great because they don’t disdainfully patronize sport, because they’re hero-worshippers deep in their hearts, because they truly understand and love sport, grasp its thrills, its tragedies, its heartbreaks and its glories.
That story with a sports-writer hero, “Young Man of Manhattan,” was in reality the tale of mental evolution as the ficti-
tious central figure of the story expanded in his literary scope, as his faculty grew from commonplace ability to describe* an event, until he could delve into the psychology.
Continued on page 42
The kindness in his voice was almost Eve’s undoing. She had to bite hard on the impulse to tell him that she wished she had never been torn. That, on this day of all days, no ne. not even her great-grandfather, had remembered her ^iciently to wish her well.
♦he door Mr. Frisbee had turned and added: “I forgot, a package over there; came for you this morning.” ned the small registered parcel addressed to her adfather’s delicate, spidery hand.
,r dmother’s great betrothal diamond, rare and exquisite in its antique setting, glowed up at her from its faded velvet bed. She gazed at it spellbound, tears in her eyes. How utterly sweet of great-grandfather ! No gesture could have possibly been more graceful, nor more heartening.
She lifted the ring carefully from its case, slipping it first on one slim finger then on another, where it glowed and pulsed and sparkled almost as if it were alive.
“Miss Carstairs!” Mr. Frisbee suddenly poked his head around the door. “See if you can find Miss Morden, will you? Tell her the ball committee is waiting for her. Try the tea lounge.”
THE TEA lounge was full of laughter, chatter, and the clatter of teacups.
Myra Morden was the centre of a little crowd of people grouped around a table just inside the door. A figure with its back turned to Eve was bending over Myra, and at sight of it Eve’s heart checked before it raced. She knew that slim, elegant, tweed-coated back, that shining blond head. Even before Ray Mathers turned and saw her, she knew the way his eyes would stare before they narrowed.
Myra Morden said curiously: “Do you two know each other?”
"Why, yes.” Eve heard with fierce pride that her voice was cool, steady. “How are you, Ray?” She turned to Myra. “Mr. Frisbee asked me to tell you that the ball committee is waiting for you, Miss Morden.”
Myra Morden stood up. “Thanks, Miss Carstairs. I’ll be right along.” Her eyes widened suddenly and she reached for Eve’s hand. “What a ring!” she exclaimed. “I'd commit murder for less! And—the left hand? Does that mean congratulations are in order?”
Now was the time to put in a disclaimer, of course. But, glancing up quickly, Eve saw that Ray was smiling; a supercilious, incredulous smile. “Why, thanks!” Eve said breathlessly, her eyes on the smile. “You’re very kind.” “Some people have all the luck,” Myra Morden mourned. "With the country on the skids, here’s an Eve who can pick herself an Adam who can scatter baubles like that. Who is he, Miss Carstairs?”
There was a tight little feeling of fear now in Eve’s throat. But Ray’s smile was amused, and it became suddenly imperative to do something atout it. “Who is Adam?” she said coolly. A name popped into her mind. “Why—Adam Brand.”
Ray was not smiling now. His mouth had fallen open with surprise. So, too, had the mouths of all the others in the little circle. Looking around at the amazed faces, Eve remembered, with a welling conviction of catastrophe, that there really was an Adam Brand ; very much there was an Adam Brand!
Eve’s fear had its way with her now; she was filled with dark foreboding. Adam Brand, absentee member of this very club. Tops financially. Tops socially. Leader of the gilded playboys, and way, way out in front. Adam Brand, pursued, sought after, cagey as a Crowned Head. And out of all the million Adams she, Eve, had had to pick on him !
Myra Morden said in a hushed voice, “Adam Brand!”
The door opened, and everyone turned toward it as a girl came in; a tall girl, darkly beautiful. A chorus of greeting broke out and the tall girl smiled and, closing the door, leaned against it.
Her scarlet mouth was a perfect curve in the creamy pallor of her face. Her slim feet were perfect too. and her hands. Her clothes were not merely clothes, they were a heightening of her perfection. She was smooth, exquisite, finished, from the tip of her pointed chin to the tips of her slender heels. She surveyed the room through sleepy heavy-lidded eyes and said, “What’s new?” in a soft purry voice.
“Plenty!” said Myra Morden. She took a step aside so that Eve came straight into the dark girl’s line of vision. “Miss Carstairs, here, has been giving us some very interesting news. Yvonne, let me introduce you to the future Mrs. Adam Brand.”
In the sudden falling silence the dark girl stared. Then, for a moment, her sleepy eyes opened wide and blazed white-hot rage. Her slender fingers curved and clenched. Her voice was brittle as breaking glass. “I don’t believe it!” she said.
For a second the stricken silence held. Then Eve laughed. It was a good laugh, cool and amused, and Eve knew by the look on Yvonne’s face that it had done just what Eve had intended it should ; it had carried conviction.
The crowd burst into a feverish, embarrassed chattering, and Myra Morden said in Eve’s ear: “Good girl ! That was
the best way to handle that. My dear,” she said, her eyes on Eve’s blank face, “didn’t you know? Adam was hers, so she thought. And so did we all. for that matter; no one noticed that he stood her up. much. And we were sorry -which wasn't all jealousy. But Adam's a grand lad and Yvonne—well, Yvonne isn't exactly the answer to the other maidens’ prayers. Even so, I'm kind of sorry for her; this is certainly a terrible jolt. She’s been away for quite a while, but now that Adam’s due back she’s here to wait for him. I suppose.” Her eyes on Eve’s face were searching, keen. “And now, do clear up the mystery. If it’s not being too impertinent, when did this happen? Where did you meet Adam?”
One step deeper in was, after all, just one step deeper in. Eve said frozenly: “It’s an old romance. We were childhood friends.”
AND NOW . . . “Got the yarn in shape?” said Adam Brand.
He reached into his pocket, brought out his cigarette case, opened it and selected a cigarette. He did not offer one to Eve. He put the case back and struck a match, cupping the flare with his hands. They were good hands, Eve noticed, lean, well balanced, very strong. He tossed the match away and turned to Eve. “Well?”
She stammered. “I—I—” She gave up and tried again. “Today is my birthday and I—and I —”
“Ah? Of course. Today is your birthday, so you gave yourself a present. Me !”
Her strained nerves snapped. She said sharply: “Don’t ! This is serious for me.”
He stared at that before he laughed. “For you? And what do you think it is for me? Where d’vou think I’ve put myself, not calling your bluff back in there?”
He stopped laughing and his mouth was grim. “Even so, you’d better realize right now that you haven’t got a chance. My lawyer’s good at keeping the money in my pocket. He’s a wizard at handling greedy gals.”
She stared at him uncomprehendingly till that implication sank in. She remembered vaguely that some place, some time, she had seen the name of Brand figuring in breach-of-promise suits. She said aghast: “You surely
don’t think ...”
His shrug told her that he did. “I was once told that I was ‘filthy’ rich.” His eyes were suddenly keen, curious. “But what I couldn’t figure—what I can’t figure, is how you thought you could get away with it? You don’t lxk like ...”
Eve broke in icily: “Don’t go squeamish on me. now. You mean, don’t you, that I don’t look like a little tramp on the make?”
He shrugged again. “The gimme gals always have a lot on the ball. You—” He broke off with a lxk that sent t he blood surging painfully over her body. “Your figure if it’s good no one’s going to know it, not in that dress. And your hair, bunched over your ears. But maybe that's all right.”
She said through clenched teeth: “There’s nothing the matter with my ears !”
“Ah? Your hair, definitely goto; that tawny shade with those topaz eyes. And yet you wear pink. And what a pink ! No,” he shook his head, “I don’t get it.”
She could have told him that it was quite some while since clothes had seemed important, and that the pink dress had done all that was required of it—clothed her at small cost. Instead, she rose angrily from her chair and stood over him. She was so angry that she was shaking.
“Listen ! Right now you can stop wondering and worry-
When a girl announces her engagement to a man she’s never met, there’s bound to be trouble when the gentleman turns up
ing about me. Because you’re not in the picture at all; not in my picture! I'm here because I’m trying to get enough money—to earn enough money—to go through for social service. Because I want to do something that counts; that’s worth while. And, since we’re being so frank, I can tell you that you wouldn’t to worth while to me. I can’t stand dark men; not huge ones with cast-iron jaws! So you’ve nothing to fear. And now tell me that, in addition to being a buncher with bad ears and color blind, I look like a missionary !” She stamped her foot. "What are you waiting for? Go on !”
He got to his feet and stood lxking down on her. She was sweet and rather absurd in her rage, and suddenly his
face softened. He said: “It’s nice to know I’ve nothing to fear. But still I don't know what it’s all about.”
HER SHOULDERS sagged as the fight went out of
“I know. I owe you an explanation and an apology . . . 1 was engaged to a man.” She paused, then went on steadily: “I lost my money and he threw me over. It was my money—not me—ever. I was offered this job and took it. 1 hadn’t seen Ray for six months, until today. He’s visiting someone here, I suppose. My great-grandfather sent me this ring for my birthday.” She held out her hand to Adam. “It’s rather spectacular, you see. I was trying it on when my chief sent me to find someone in the lounge. Ray was there; it was a shock, seeing him. One of the girls noticed the ring and jumped to the conclusion it was an engagement ring. I was going to say ‘No’ when I saw Ray smiling—a sort of sneering smile—and I suppose I must have gone absolutely crazy because I said yes, it was an engagement ring. That really wasn’t important. But when they said ‘Who?’ being Eve, I suppose I just naturally thought of Adam, and when they said ‘Adam who?’ I said the first name that came into my mind—Adam Brand.” She looked up at him with a faint gleam of malice in her eyes. “You can believe this or not, as you like. But when I gave your name I’d forgotten there was any such person.” The malice deepened. “Funny, wasn’t it?”
“And now. what?”
For a moment panic looked out of her eyes. She said: “Now—I’ll have to—say that I was mistaken.”
His eyes were intent. “Won’t it be hard—throwing yourself to the wolves?”
The sudden bleakness of her face showed him just how hard it would be. But she said steadily: “One must pay for one’s mistakes.”
His eyes were still more intent. “You could quit, of course.”
She was silent. Then, “No,” she said. “They’ll probably tell me to. But if they don’t. I’ll stick. I need the money for what I want to do, and there aren’t so many jobs. I’m going on vacation in three weeks. I’ll face it out till then.” She said miserably: “I mind most about my great-grandfather. He’s old and awfully proud. This will hurt him. Because this is going to make a goto story—everything you do is news, of course.”
He said slowly: “In three weeks you’ll take your
vacat ion. But meanwhile you'll go on being the future Mrs„ Adam Brand. That way you’ll be sure of keeping your and you won’t have to make any ‘confession.’ Then, wl you go on vacation,” he grinned, “you can write and 1 me that you’re awfully sorry but that you’ve changed yo mind.”
She lxked at him, amazed, and he said hastily: “C course this is for our public only. In private we’ll to ; you were.”
She dragged out : “Why are you doing this?”
He said cheerfully: “I might to doing it for great-gran pappy. Us lads have got to stick together.”
She turned from him abruptly and walked to the edgeO the patio, clenching her eyelids against the springing tears Something brushed against her nose. It was a lari* square of fine white linen smelling very faintly of tobacco a comforting smell. The feel of it against her hot cheeks wa comforting, too. and cool. Behind her shoulder Adam wa whistling softly through his teeth and, after a momen., live recognized the tune. It was "Blow, Gabriel, Blow!” and, laughing shakily, she proceeded to obey orders.
“Attagirl!” said Adam approvingly. “Now, let’s have a look at the damage, Uh-huh. Not too bad. Except that your nose is shiny. Do—er —
missionaries do anything about that? I see they do,” he said gloomily as Eve dived for her compact.
“And now.” he put his hand on her arm and walked her toward the lounge, “tot’s get back in there and give ’em all we’ve got in Act Two.” He looked at her wickedly. “Act One. if I may say so, you handled very competently all by yourself."
Eve checked. “Wait a minute! I can’t let you do this. Isn’t there haven’t you forgotten— what atout Yvonne?”
Adam's face was suddenly wooden. He said, “tot’s leave her out of this.”
A WEEK later Eve stood on the sidewalk outside a closed door. It was an expensive-looking door, severe and chastely elegant. The sign above it, in its stark brevity, was elegant too. “Madame Lalonde,” it read. “Robes.” Eve’s eyes travelled from the door to her left hand, m which a potential social service course was wadded. She unclenched her fingers and for a long moment gazed at the little roll of bills. Then she said, “Oh, well,” gave her shoulders a little shake, turned the handle of the door and stepped across the threshold.
A statuesque blonde, molded into a black satin tube, caterpillared toward her across the thick piled carpet.
Continued on page 30
Eve and Adam, Inc.
Continued from page 13—Starts on page 12 -
“Can 1 be of any assistance to moddom?” “1 want to see Madame Lalonde.”
The blond statue’s remote gaze was on Eve’s slightly-too-long last year’s suit. “I am afraid,” she began. She raised her eyes to encounter Eve’s and said hurriedly: “If moddom will be seated, I will see if moddom can see moddom.”
Presently Madame Lalonde, swarthy and sharp-eyed, was saying: “Mademoiselle desires?”
Eve rose from her chair. “I want a dress for a ball.” She moved a step closer to madame. “Look at me, madame. Take a good look. I have a quite decent figure, and I do nothing about it. I’ve got good hair and I bunch it over my ears, and they’re good ears. My hair is really very good—that copper color—so unusual, especially with topaz eyes. So, with that hair and those eyes, what color do you suppose should I wear?”
Madame’s little pudgy hands and black eyebrows had been moving upward together. Now she brought them down and moving close to Eve peered up into her face. “Nevaire,” she said. “But nevaire ’ave I met wiz a jeune filie so honnête, so courageuse—wiz so much caractère. C’est bon— it ees va try good ! To know ze faults —and to correct zem—is caractère. And ze caractère eet ees ze foundation of charm. It . . .”
“Madame,” said Eve. “I want something—very special. Will you help me? I’ve got some money; not very much.” “ ’Ow much,” said madame, “ ’ave you got?”
“Two hundred,” said Eve.
Madame’s dismayed shriek called le bon Dieu to witness that it was impossible. It was palhétir/ue. It was—figurez-vous el sapristi—nothing like enough !
"Cependant, nia p’tile,” she beamed at Eve, “We do our best, hein? To make you beautiful. For a young man—no?”
“No!” said Eve loudly. “There is no young man, madame.”
Madame’s flicked finger put this misstatement right back where it belonged. “Ollwase,” she said firmly, “zere is a young man.”
ON THE night of the club ball Adam telephoned Eve. “Look. We’ll have to pass up dinner. I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go into town on important business. But I’ll be round for you later. About ten?”
“I’ll be ready.”
11er cheeks were hot as she hung up the receiver. Adam's voice had sounded curt. It was understandable, of course. By this time his quixotic impulse to shield her from the consequences of her folly must be wearing pretty thin. He’d been perfect in the part of fiance. But at the end of two weeks squiring one girl when his heart was in the keeping of another, he was naturally sick of the whole thing. It had been hard on him, and Yvonne hadn’t helped to make it easier. She had said, all but outright, that she was still in the fight. She had brought up all her big guns and trained them on Adam. It was difficult for him, it would have been difficult for anyone to resist Yvonne in action. Eve had noticed how preoccupied he had been all week, and just now the curtness of his
voice had shown her just how much he was regretting the situation in which he had placed himself.
“And that,” she said to herself, “shows you just where you stand. So right now you’ll do what you should have done in the first place—fade out of the picture.”
The relief that flooded over her at that decision was so cruelly enlightening that she stood stock-still, her eyes wide and her breath coming fast. If it had been difficult for Adam, it had been still more difficult for her. It had become now so difficult that she knew suddenly she could stand no more of it. She couldn’t stand Adam’s lightning changes from a loverlike attitude when they were in public to a careless camaraderie when they were alone. She couldn’t stand it for the simple reason that it hurt too much.
She faced, aghast, all the implications in that realization.
The strength suddenly went out of her knees and she sat down hurriedly. Now the only thing to do, she told herself, was to finish this thing up quickly. To finish it up at once. She would tell Àdam that she wouldn’t stay out the three w'eeks. That she would go tomorrow and wouldn’t go to the ball tonight. She would tell him now.
She reached for the telephone, but as she did so her hand brushed against the large pale green cardboard dress box with “Lalonde” scrawled in golden letters across the lid that was standing on a table at her side. For a long moment she stared at the box, her hand still on the telephone. Then she withdrew it and stood up. “Not tonight,” she said slowly. “I’ll leave tomorrow—but I’ll have tonight.”
AT TEN o’clock Eve faced Adam in the dingy hall of the boardinghouse. Her golden gown, soft as a cloud, molded her slender waist and billowed around her golden siippers. Her copper curls were drawn softly back from her little ears and piled high on her head beneath an old carved comb. Her topaz eyes were stars in her flushed face rising flowerlike from the flaring golden collar of her jade wrap.
Adam stared. There was an expression that she could not read in his eyes. He whistled: “Perfect! What a line. Golden Glamor. And to think you owe it all to me.”
Eve said indignantly: “To you? I like that !”
“And so do I. I like it very, ven,’ much. Certainly you owe it to me—remember how I epitomized your points?” He circled round her, his head back and his eyes half closed. “Am I good or am I good? I’m so good that I’m going to be better, a lot better. I’m going into the business. I’ll he Monsieur Adam. Charm Services, Limited. Lines for Indies. Advice for a Price ...”
He stood still and his eyes sprang open. He said slowly: “Now there’s an idea.”
“There’s an idea,” Eve said briskly, “that we’ll be too late for the ball if we don’t get started.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, lady.” Adam came to life and strode to the door. “There’s nothing like a spot of tardiness for pointing up an entrance. That,” he said as he slid under the wheel of the car, “is only one of the pearls of wisdom that the psychological experts of Charm
Services, Ltd., offer to those who take our course.”
THE DANCE was in full swing when Eve and Adam entered the club lounge, and by pure chance the orchestra chose that moment to slide into the current hit tune, “Remember Me?” But Adam was delighted. “They’re remembering you all right,” he grinned. “Look at ’em.”
They were remembering. Mr. Frisbee was remembering. He was looking as if he could not reconcile Efficiency at an office desk with Golden Glamor on a ballroom floor. Myra Morden was remembering. She waved gaily across the room before she shook her own two hands high in the air. Ray, slim, blond and elegant, was remembering. So completely that a great many things were happening very quickly to his face. Eve thought, “How could I ever . . .That tailor’s dummy.” Adam was saying, his lips brushing her hair: “Hey, Small, Gold and Glamorous! Come awake; let’s step.”
His arms about her were close and strong. They moved with a beautiful oneness. And because she was young, with the beat of the music sounding sweetly in her ears and the blood running sweetly in her veins, she told herself that, whatever of pain the morrow might bring, this at least was sweet. She raised her face to Adam’s.
Already, she saw, he had forgotten her. He was staring across her head at Yvonne, perfect and beautiful in a scarlet sheath of a dress that brought her dark loveliness glowingly alive. For a moment his face was without expression. Then it was dark with regret and a very deep compunction.
Eve said sharply, “Adam!” and he looked down at her, startled. She waited till she could control her voice, then she said fumblingly: “I—I’ve been meaning to tell you. I’ve decided not to finish out the three weeks. I’m—going—tomorrow.” Adam held her away from him, searching her face. “What’s all this?”
“Cut!” said Ray, his hand on Adam’s shoulder.
RAY was being difficult. He was tight, - with a bright-eyed, wicked-tongued tightness. The veneer was wearing pretty thin. He wouldn’t leave Eve alone. He allowed no one more than a few seconds with her. He cut back, and back again.
The last time he did so he danced her down the lounge and out through the big doors onto the patio. He sat down on a low seat and pulled her down beside him and, leaning close, imprisoned both her hands in his. His eyes danced over her. He said: “If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it.” “Believed what?”
“You. You’ve changed. You’re not the same person. It’s not only your looks; you’ve learned a lot.”
She said icily: “I’ve learned to recognize a heel when I see one.”
That disturbed him not at all. He laughed. “Meaning me? Coming from you. that’s good !”
“What do you mean?”
He leaned closer. “Don’t try to tell me that this business with Brand is on the level. You may fool the others, but you can’t fool me.” He gave a self-satisfied laugh. “I’m the one you were all broken up about when I found it necessary to put business first.”
She was furious, sick. She struggled futilely to free her hands.
He laughed again, his eyes bold. The veneer had vanished altogether now. “As one heel to another, let me give you a tip. You may be wasting your energy. There’s a rumor that the Brand millions aren’t as secure as they were.” He broke off and pulled her close. “But anyway you and I can have ourselves a time.” He said thickly: “By heaven but you’re sweet!” and pressed his mouth on hers.
The next moment he was lifted bodily and set down a few paces distant. “Poaching, Mathers?” said Adam silkily. He took a step toward Ray. “Get out of here before I start to take you apart.”
HE TURNED to Eve and. taking her hands in his. pulled her up from the seat. He took up the conversation where they had left it a while back. He said softly: “Don’t go, sweet.”
She looked around wonderingly. and at that he laughed and said. “Not this time. It’s not an act. this time.” He drew her close and kissed her. her hair, her cheeks, her eyes, then—long and hard—her mouth.
She pulled herself free. She whispered. “Yvonne?”
He said: “Believe this. There’s only you.”
She stared, searching his face with her eyes. She took his arm in both her hands and shook it. “Oh, Adam ! Are you sure? You’ve got to be sure !”
He said: “Look at me! Don’t I look as if I were sure?” His lips were smiling but his eyes were deep. He drew her back into his arms and said, against her lips: “Don’t fuss, darling. It’s such a waste of time !”
It was sweet, and out of all reason, beautiful. And in no way prepared her for what she was to see one short hour later. What she saw brought her brave new world crashing about her ears. What she saw, through a half-opened door, was Adam—only this time he was with Yvonne. Her arms were clasped about his neck and his face was bent to hers.
TALKING to great-grandfather, Eve found, was like thinking aloud and had the same illuminating quality. He sat with his eyes shut and his fine old head outlined, cameo-clear, against the high carved back of his chair. He was so old and so withdrawn, that most of the time she forgot he ! was there. But occasionally he startled her by commenting, in his threadlike voice, on something she had been saying some considerable while before. He thought less than nothing of her idea for a life devoted to public service. A woman’s duty, he held, was now what it had always been—that she should be forever beautiful. There was only one place, said greatgrandfather, for a woman to pay her debt to society, and that was at the side of her man. He did not stop there. He embroidered that theme, enlarging on it, and if his voice was thin his language certainly was not.
“And. my dear,” he said, “I find myself in entire disagreement with you regarding the worthlessness of this young man. this Adam, you mention. In my opinion he showed a very pretty chivalry in protecting you from the consequences of your act of folly.”
“Protecting me?” Eve said bitterly. “He was using me. To make her jealous.” Silence fell, during which great-grandfather appeared to sleep, and Eve sat looking into the fire that old Abbie had built against the chill of the fall night.
“You’ve been here three months,” greatgrandfather said so unexpectedly that Eve jumped. “The lad’s had time. Has he married the wench?”
Eve said slowly, “No. No, he hasn’t. But he was kissing her,” she burst out.
Great-grandfather’s expression was reminiscent and faintly but definitely smug. “Or she was kissing him.”
Or she was kissing him . . . Great-grandfather’s ancient shoulders stirred under their Paisley shawl. He bridled unmistakably. “My dear, there are certain circumstances in which no man worthy of the name of gentleman will refuse a lady who has shown him her regard.”
“Well, anyway,” Eve said coldly, “it’s nothing, nothing at all, to me.”
After another long silence great-grandfather opened an amazingly bright and sceptical eye. “Heh, heh!” he cackled. “Heh. heh!”
The door opened and old Abbie tottered in with the evening paper.
“Might I trouble you, my dear,” Greatgrandfather said courteously to Eve. “to read me the more outstanding items of interest?”
Eve was staring at the papier. Her face was white, sick. Her eyes were on the
screaming headlines: “Brand Fortune and Car Crash.”
“Shortly after news of the collapse of the Brand fortune was made public this morning, Adam Brand was seriously injured when his motor car skidded on the roadway made slippery by rain and crashed into an electric light standard. Enquiries at the Braemar Hospital, where Mr. Brand was taken after the accident, failed to elicit definite information as to the nature of his injuries, which are, however ...” Great-grandfather said, concerned: “Is anything the matter, my dear?”
Eve said chokingly: “It’s Adam. There’s been an accident. He’s hurt.”
Great-grandfather leaned forward and banged on the bell at his side with surprising vigor. “Pack Miss Eve’s bag,” he snapped when old Abbie’s aggrieved and astonished face appeared once more in the doorway. “She’s leaving us.”
SO IT’S you,” said Adam disagreeably.
“Social Service right on the job. Come to view the remains?”
Eve closed the door softly behind her and stood gazing at him, curiously flat and helpless-looking in the high white hospital bed. There was a cagelike contrivance humping the covers over his legs and his left arm was bandaged to the shoulder. There were no marks on his face, but there were lines of pain about his mouth and the eyes he turned on her were sunken.
She crossed the room swiftly and dropped on her knees beside the bed.
He said gruffly: “Why did you stand me up?”
The tears were crowding her throat, but after a moment she managed: “I saw you with Yvonne, and I thought ...”
He said: “You had no business to think. You should have known ...”
She broke in, laughing shakily: “I
should have known that there are certain circumstances in which no man worthy of the name of gentleman will refuse a lady who has shown him her regard.” And laughed again at the amazed expression on his face.
He looked at her keenly. “You know the famous Brand fortune is no more?” She nodded. “But Mr. Frisbee will give me back my job. “We’ll manage—somehow—till you can get about and get one for yourself.”
His sunken eyes were staring at the ceiling. They were suddenly very bright. He said: “If you were to kiss me my
temperature would certainly go up. But I should probably recover.”
“So now,” said Adam, “we’ll settle this thing.” He drew great-grandmother’s diamond from her right hand and slipped it on the third finger of her left. “That will do for now,” he said. “Until I can go shopping for something better.”
“When you go shopping,” Eve said briskly, “it’ll be for beans and bread and bacon, not diamonds.”
“So?” His hand closed firmly over hers. “Listen carefully to your Uncle Adam, my child, and he will tell you a fairy story. Remember the idea I had on the night of the club ball? About starting Charm Services. Ltd.? Well, I played with that idea and then I worked with it. It’s an idea no longer, it’s a fact. I am Monsieur Adam, Capitalizer of Charm. I give advice for a price—and it’s some price! I’m a going concern—and how I’m going! The little gals, God bless ’em, are piling in!” “For heaven’s sake !”
“I’ve got experts specializing in every branch of charm. Beauty experts, voice experts, dress experts—your pal. Lalonde, has that department in hand. And I’ve got individuality experts—you know, lure out the little old ego and dress it up— and is that going over big! Want to come into the firm?”
"Do I ! We’ll call ourselves Adam and Eve. Incorporated. It’s a honey of a name!”
“Eve and Adam,” he corrected. “Ladies first, always!”
Continued front page 10 -
the story behind the story, the very things that go to form the background for the drama of s|x>rt.
So a sports writer’s ideas change. Fourteen years back, if anyone had asked me, "What was the most dramatic event you ever saw in sport?” I'd have answered unhesitatingly: “The night Dempsey came back to knock out Firpo after he had been pitched from the ring.”
Today I wouldn’t say that. Dempsey, scrambling sullenly, dazedly, back through the ropes that 1923 night at the Polo Grounds, New York, still leaves an imprint unforgettably vivid, a memory of sheer courage and pulsating theatricals in the raw. But today I'd pick another event, another sport, other figures as providing the most gripping, throat-constricting piece of sports drama I've seen over a thirty-fiveor forty-year stretch of looking on at the picture from inside and outside.
It was a February night of 1934, in Toronto's giant hockey cockpit, the Maple Leaf Gardens. It was a hockey night too. hut the event was something beyond a mere scheduled National League match, though in truth those provided drama enough when Charlie Conacher was hurling his frozen thunderbolts, Joe Primeau was performing his miracles of smooth play-making at mid-ice, and Harvey Jackson was taking passes on winged feet, ripping pucks backhand faster than most can shoot them in orthodox fashion.
The flower and chivalry of hockey were
gathered, for it was, in brief, the night of the Ace Bailey benefit. A few weeks before. Leafs had played in Boston. What w’as just another hockey game had suddenly belched forth grim and sinister tragedy; conjured up the chill, black possibility of death in the evening, death in a hockey game, one player hurled to sudden end by another.
Eddie Shore, the rugged, powerful star of the Boston Bruins, greatest hockey player of his time, most idolized in Boston, most hated elsewhere, had from behind hurled his brawn into Bailey, a slim, fastskating, hard-shooting right-winger, as Bailey turned from an abortive play and was moving back. Shore never asked, never gave, any quarter in hockey. He played hockey as Dempsey fought, with an inborn savagery, a burning lust for victory. He had a temper too, in his early days, a temper that made his oddly colored eyes burn with a curious red glow, that set his mouth in grim lines, that at times turned him almost berserk as fury flared beyond governing bounds. But a great athlete withal, great ¡perhaps because wfiiat w’as a spark in others was a hot flame in Shore.
So, in his own rugged fashion. Shore plunged into Bailey, to shoulder him out of the way. Bailey, off-balance, pitched forward on his face, his head struck the ice with fearful impact, he lay there in a suddenly nerveless, inert heap. You can usually tell these major crashes in hockey: and the crowd, the players, instantly sensed that here was hurt and damage beyond the ordinary.
Shore, they tell me, stood a second as if
“Assuming an authority I did not possess, and with the assistance of two young Russian officers. I got a Russian Death Battalion (women) to throw a cordon around the town of Tarnapol, establish patrols, and restore some semblance of order. The railway lines were broken and the enemy forces were approaching, but they didn’t take Tarnapol while I was there.”
TT WAS through father’s activities with Wrangel’s army, after the Bolsheviks had taken over control of the Russian Government, that he was brought into contact with Roumanian affairs. Roumania was in a state of chaos. Following an agreement with the Allied Powers, lier Government had declared war against Austria-Hungary in August, 1916; but when the support of her Russian ally crumbled later in the year, the armies of the Central Powers occupied Bucharest, the capital, in December, 1916. Parliai ment ar.d the Royal Family fled to Jassy,
I on the Russian border, in Moldavia, where I an attempt was made to reorganize the I Roumanian army, under the shelter of ; Russian troops; hut the complete collapse of the Russian army during the summer of 1917 permitted General von Mackensen, in command of the Central Powers’ forces, to throw his full strength against Roumania, with the inevitable result.
Russian troops, supposedly allies, disintegrated into marauding hands. Roumania was beaten. An armistice was signed in December, 1917.
This was the tragic condition of Roumania when Joe Boyle arrived in Jassy in the winter of 1917. The greater portion of the country was under enemy occupation. Thousands of her own refugees, driven from their homes and villages by the invaders, were wandering through country roads and city streets, hungry and homeless, destitute. Reckless gangs of pillaging Russian soldiers were abroad in the land, and, after the Bolshevik triumph in November, 1917, and the armistice between Lenin’s Government and the Central Powers that followed a month later, thousands of White Russian refugees, fleeing from the Bolshevik terror, swarmed across the Roumanian border into a country already famine stricken.
General Wrangel, still holding out against the Bolsheviks in Bessarabia, had dispatched father to Jassy to complete plans for getting food and supplies to White Russian refugees who had escaped over the Roumanian border. For the first
time father was able to see for himself that that small country was literally at the last gasp.
Queen Marie herself told me the story of their first meeting. She granted me an audience in her New York hotel one evening in 1926, during her last visit to the United States, just a few months after I had visited my father's grave in London, with its mystic Roumanian cross, its blanket of Roumanian ivy, and the engraved cross of the Order of Regina Maria on the marble tombstone.
Alone, I waited in one of the rooms of her suite for her entrance, thinking with pride of the many things my father had done for that foreign land whose Queen was about to greet me. A door opened, and the heavy curtains that draped it were parted. I saw a strikingly beautiful, exquisitely gowned woman dressed in shimmering white satin. D>ng white kid gloves covered her arms to the elbow. There was a fabulous string of matched pearls around her neck, a gleaming tiara set with magnificent jewels above her lustrous dark hair. At her feet a small cocker spaniel wagged a friendly greeting.
For one brief moment she stood there, one arm holding back the heavy drapes, while she gazed long and searching]y into my face. Then she ran forward, holding out both hands.
“Flora!” she exclaimed. “You are just as I expected. You are just like your father.
There are so many things I have to tell you, so much I want to tell you about your father.”
Queen Marie’s Story
T-TER VOICE travelled on excitedly, *■ time flying by unheeded while this splendid woman, the Queen of Roumania, told me of the miracles he had performed for her stricken country, of her sincere affection and admiration for this exceptional man.
1 lere is the picture as she painted it for me, her expressive face and eloquent gestures interpreting every phrase and mood of her exquisitely modulated voice.
Jassy in late winter, 1917.
There had been continuous rain for three nights. Supplying a sombre sound motif for the dreary unceasing downpour, was the ominous thunder of artillery not far off. The enemy was at the gate.
Food supplies were almost exhausted. Roumania had not sufficient for her own hungry people, and White Russian refugees were clamoring by their thousands to be fed. There had been sporadic outbreaks of rioting, some shootings, in the city. Hospitals were crowded to the doors, wounded and sick moaning on mattresses laid on the corridor floors. Communication with the outside world was uncertain, for telephone and telegraph lines had been cut. Anarchists and Bolshevists plotted revolution in dark places, waiting only the fully ripened moment to strike and kill.
In the Winter Palace a Royal Court was in progress; but there was no glitter and no glamor, no bright gaiety as in other happier days. Voices were hushed, conversation was broken, fragmentary. The Queen, faultlessly groomed as always, stood in the main reception hall, giving formal audience, but her face was lined with fatigue and anxiety, and there were deep circles beneath her eyes.
The room was a huge one, a row of chairs around the walls, a massive table in the centre, silk brocade hangings drawn across the high windows, deep piled Persian rugs on the floor. At the head stood a raised dais, with one richly carved high-backed chair. Against the wall panels hung oil portraits of Roumanian royalty.
The greater part of the audience that night was made up of ambassadors and plenipotentiaries from foreign countries, their preparations for escape from this doomed land completed, who had come to pay their last respects to the Queen, who stood there, regal but alone.
Outside, a military motorcycle roared up the long driveway, braked to a halt at the main entrance. A man climbed out of the side car and strode impatiently into the foyer. He gave his name to an attendant, demanded audience of the Queen. When the attendant asked him to state his business, he thrust him aside with the brusque reply: “Never mind; I’ll take care of myself.”
He threw off his rain-soaked trench coat, pulled his uniform tunic straight, then walked with quick steps to the reception hall and entered. His abrupt entrance drew all eyes toward him, his wet strange uniform, the muddy boots that left tracks on the rich carpet. He continued, unheeding, to the far centre of the room, stood before Queen Marie and announced his name in clear loud tones:
“Your Majesty, I am Colonel Joe Boyle.”
The Queen looked at him. She saw a stranger, a tall, powerfully built, rugged man, in the uniform of a Canadian officer. After a moment she asked: “You are here to see me?”
He replied: “Your Majesty, I am here to help you.”
“I Shall Not Leave You”
SHE HAD never seen this man before, or heard his name. Yet, she told me. there was so much dignity and power in his bearing that she felt at once that what he said was true. That he would, and could,
help her in this extreme hour. She stepped forward to greet him, extending her hand, expecting the usual formal brushing of the fingertips common to court circles. Instead he grasped her hand firmly, pressed her fingers in a firm, strong clasp.
She led him to a chair, sat beside him, and told him something of the grief and despair that was in her heart.
Queen Marie said to me: “Your father came to me at an hour when I was on the verge of complete despair. I knew that dawn of the next day might bring utter disaster. I felt that I was at the beginning of the end of everything. Then suddenly there was this offer of a refuge against the storm. I told him all there was to tell, and I concluded, ‘They have all left me.’
“He answered: T shall not leave you,’ and I knew that he wouldn’t. Our hands clasped for a moment, and we both completely understood. From that time forward, I never doubted, and he knew that I never would doubt.”
Several vital conferences followed. First, Joe Boyle must complete tJfc mission upon which he had been General
Wrangel—to arrang^^^^^H^o\Vhite Russian refugees he
organizing ng in
supplies, arrangj&g dîstribul^E :hannels, as he had donjäjrtfoMf^ Am^correspondent wrote to liHnrwsji:q*er«
“Enter who seemed to
wave a wand, tfuflrthe transport was in order, and in a few days 500 tons of flour were delivered into Roumania from Russia.”
That task completed, father returned to Jassy. Civil war between the White Russian armies and the soldiers of Lenin was still going on, was to continue until 1920, but no such desperate situation existed in Russia as in Roumania, where a small nation was being overrun with foreign enemies, beaten and trampled. Such a cause was certain to attract father. He rushed into the fray with all his old enthusiasm, and, although he was active in Russia on many exciting occasions thereafter, it was always as a representative of the Roumanian Government. General Wrangel could fight his own battles. Little Roumania needed Joe Boyle to help her.
Note: This is the second of three articles relating the story of Joseph Boyle, soldier of fortune. The third will appear in the next issue of Maclean’s.