Owen stopped and looked round. A cab was standing across the road. He signalled to it. He felt incapable of walking home. No physical blow could have unmanned him more completely than this hideous disappointment just when, by a miracle, everything seemed to be running his way.

“Sooner ride than walk,” said Mr. Prosser, pushing his head through the open window. “Laziness—slackness—that’s the curse of the modern young man. Where shall I tell him to drive to?”

Owen mentioned his address. It struck him that he had not thanked his host for his hospitality.

“It was awfully good of you to give me supper, Mr. Prosser,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it tremendously.”

“Come again,” said Mr. Prosser. “I’m afraid you’re disappointed about the play?”

Owen forced a smile.

“Oh, no, that’s all right,” he said. “It can’t be helped.”

Mr. Prosser half turned, then thrust his head through the window again.

“I knew there was something I had forgotten to say,” he said. “I ought to have told you that the play was produced in America before it came to London. It ran two seasons in New York and one in Chicago, and there are three companies playing it still on the road. Here’s my card. Come round and see me to- morrow. I can’t tell you the actual figures off-hand, but you’ll be all right. You’ll have pots o’ money.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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