She had only been in her dressing-room a minute before Helm knocked.
"I was out front," he said quickly. "You made good."
"Do you really think so?"
"Sure--you'll do. I'm not going to hand you any bunk that you're great but you've got something that gets them and that's what counts."
"Then you really think that I could play for big audiences--in big cities?"
He nodded emphatically.
"I have always wondered," she said quietly, "and now--" her eyes sparkled.
"Well, you've had your answer. You got across. You're staying at the Palace Hotel, aren't you? I'll call you up in the morning and we'll talk contracts."
He turned and started from the room but suddenly stopped.
"Say, by the way, I've a couple of open concert dates that I've got to have someone to fill. There's one in Hartford next week, another in Pittsburgh, and--" he stopped, looking at her keenly as if weighing his own wisdom. "Then there's the big Christmas festival in Chicago on the 25th. Say!" he was suddenly enthusiastic. "You can play the kind of stuff that the mob likes to hear and you play it well. I'll put you on at the Christmas festival. That'll make every paper in the country mention your name."
The little woman clasped her hands before her. To play at the Christmas festival in Chicago was a dream that few ever realized. Her eyes were wide as a child seeing its first Christmas tree. A tear of happiness glistened on her lashes. Yes! She would play to them the "kind of stuff" that they liked to hear. She would make every newspaper man mention her name. This meant success, the will-of-the-wisp that she had been blindly pursing for nearly ten years.
"How wonderful!" she breathed.
To be continued...