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When I invited Jean to the theatre I was afraid she would refuse my invitation, but she had accepted it. I still
doubted whether she would come: her religion did not allow to go to a theatre, play cards or love a man of
other religious views. However, when I met her at the entrance to the theatre I saw she had thrown off her
religious scruples. She looked eager and her dark eyes sparkled with excitement. Our seats were in the pit.
They were not expensive, but we could see the stage quite well. I gave her the programme and my opera
Presently the lights went down; then the curtain rose upon a scene of eighteenth-century Paris at the time of
the French Revolution. It was a melodrama full of hopeless love and heroic self-sacrifice, a play after Dickens's
novel "A Tale of Two Cities". When Martin Harvey, a famous actor, who played the leading part of Sydney
Carton appeared on the stage, Jean's eyes were full of interest and delight. She was greatly impressed by pale,
dark Carton and delicate, charming Lucie Manette, the girl he loved.
During the interval Jean said: "Oh, Mr. Shannon, how splendid it is! So different from what I expected! I
can't tell you what a treat it is for me! I feel so sorry for poor Sydney Carton! He is so much in love with Lucy
and she ... It must be a frightful thing to be in love and not to be loved!"
"Quite," I agreed gravely. "At least they are good friends, and friendship is a wonderful thing."
She consulted her programme to conceal her flush. "The girl who does Lucie is very sweet, she has such
lovely, blonde hair and is so young!" "Well, in real life she is Martin Harvey's wife, must be about forty-five,
and that blonde hair is a wig."
"Please, don't, Mr. Shannon! How can you joke about such things?" she cried in a shocked voice...
As the last scene was under way Jean's hand, small and hot, touched mine. We sat hand in hand as though to
support each other while watching Carton with a pale face and carefully arranged hair mount the guillotine
and meet his death. Jean couldn't keep her tears and they fell upon the back of my hand like raindrops in
When at last the play came to its end there was a storm of applause and many curtain calls for Miss de
Silva and Martin Harvey. Miss Jean Law, however, was too overcome to join in such a banal applause, her
feelings were too deep for words. Only when we were in the street she whispered with shining eyes. "Oh,
Robert, you can't believe me how much I've enjoyed myself!" It was the first time she had used my Christian