And so it ended by them going through the pass-door together.
CHAPTER III. MR. MACKWAYTE MEETS AN OLD FRIEND
That night Nur-el-Din kept the stage waiting for five minutes. It was a climax of a long series of similar unpardonable crimes in the music-hall code. The result was that Mr. Mackwayte, after taking four enthusiastic "curtains," stepped off the stage into a perfect pandemonium.
He found Fletcher, the stage manager, livid with rage, surrounded by the greater part of the large suite with which the dancer traveled. There was Madame's maid, a trim Frenchwoman, Madame's business manager, a fat, voluble Italian, Madame's secretary, an olive-skinned South American youth in an evening coat with velvet collar, and Madame's principal male dancer in a scanty Egyptian dress with grotesquely painted face. They were all talking at the same time, and at intervals Fletcher muttered hotly: "This time she leaves the bill or I walk out of the theatre!"
"Me voila!" and a dainty apparition in an ermine wrap tripped into the centre of the group, tapped the manager lightly on the shoulder and said:
Mr. Mackwayte's face creased its mask of paint into a thousand wrinkles. For, on seeing him, the dancer's face lighted up, and, running to him with hands outstretched, she cried:
"Tiens! Monsieur Arthur!" while he ejaculated:
But now the stage manager interposed. He whisked Madame's wrap off her with one hand and with the other, firmly propelled her on to the stage. She let him have his way with a merry smile, dark eyes and white teeth flashing, but as she went she said to Mr. Mackwayte: