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18. CHAPTER XVIII
SHE hurried to the first meeting of the play-reading committee. Her jungle romance had faded, but she retained a religious fervor, a surge of half-formed thought about the creation of beauty by suggestion.
A Dunsany play would be too difficult for the Gopher Prairie association. She would let them compromise on Shaw--on "Androcles and the Lion," which had just been published.
The committee was composed of Carol, Vida Sherwin, Guy Pollock, Raymie Wutherspoon, and Juanita Haydock. They were exalted by the picture of themselves as being simultaneously business-like and artistic. They were entertained by Vida in the parlor of Mrs. Elisha Gurrey's boarding-house, with its steel engraving of Grant at Appomattox, its basket of stereoscopic views, and its mysterious stains on the gritty carpet.
Vida was an advocate of culture-buying and efficiency-systems. She hinted that they ought to have (as at the committee-meetings of the Thanatopsis) a "regular order of business," and "the reading of the minutes," but as there were no minutes to read, and as no one knew exactly what was the regular order of the business of being literary, they had to give up efficiency.
Carol, as chairman, said politely, "Have you any ideas about what play we'd better give first?" She waited for them to look abashed and vacant, so that she might suggest "Androcles."
Guy Pollock answered with disconcerting readiness, "I'll tell you: since we're going to try to do something artistic, and not simply fool around, I believe we ought to give something classic. How about `The School for Scandal'?"
"Why---- Don't you think that has been done a good deal?"
"Yes, perhaps it has."
Carol was ready to say, "How about Bernard Shaw?" when he treacherously went on, "How would it be then to give a Greek drama--say `Oedipus Tyrannus'?"
"Why, I don't believe----"
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