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3. DEEP WATERS (continued)
It was pleasant on the pier. Once you had passed the initial zareba of fruit stands, souvenir stands, ice-cream stands, and the lair of the enthusiast whose aim in life it was to sell you picture post-cards, and had won through to the long walk where the seats were, you were practically alone with Nature. At this hour of the day the place was deserted; George had it to himself. He strolled slowly along. The water glittered under the sun-rays, breaking into a flurry of white foam as it reached the beach. A cool breeze blew. The whole scenic arrangements were a great improvement on the stuffy city he had left. Not that George had come to Marvis Bay with the single aim of finding an antidote to metropolitan stuffiness. There was a more important reason. In three days Marvis Bay was to be the scene of the production of Fate's Footballs, a comedy in four acts by G. Barnert Callender. For George, though you would not have suspected it from his exterior, was one of those in whose cerebra the grey matter splashes restlessly about, producing strong curtains and crisp dialogue. The company was due at Marvis Bay on the following evening for the last spasm of rehearsals.
George's mind, as he paced the pier, was divided between the beauties of Nature and the forthcoming crisis in his affairs in the ratio of one-eighth to the former and seven-eighths to the latter. At the moment when he had left London, thoroughly disgusted with the entire theatrical world in general and the company which was rehearsing Fate's Footballs in particular, rehearsals had just reached that stage of brisk delirium when the author toys with his bottle of poison and the stage-manager becomes icily polite. The Footpills--as Arthur Mifflin, the leading juvenile in the great play, insisted upon calling it, much to George's disapproval--was his first piece. Never before had he been in one of those kitchens where many cooks prepare, and sometimes spoil, the theatrical broth. Consequently the chaos seemed to him unique. Had he been a more experienced dramatist, he would have said to himself, 'Twas ever thus.' As it was, what he said to himself--and others--was more forcible.
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