The Amazing Interlude (Chapter 1, page 1 of 14)


 
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Chapter 1

The stage on which we play our little dramas of life and love has for
most of us but one setting. It is furnished out with approximately the
same things. Characters come, move about and make their final exits
through long-familiar doors. And the back drop remains approximately
the same from beginning to end. Palace or hovel, forest or sea, it is
the background for the moving figures of the play.

So Sara Lee Kennedy had a back drop that had every appearance of
permanency. The great Scene Painter apparently intended that there
should be no change of set for her. Sara Lee herself certainly expected
none.

But now and then amazing things are done on this great stage of ours:
lights go down; the back drop, which had given the illusion of solidity,
reveals itself transparent. A sort of fairyland transformation takes
place. Beyond the once solid wall strange figures move on--a new mise
en scene, with the old blotted out in darkness. The lady, whom we left
knitting by the fire, becomes a fairy--Sara Lee became a fairy, of a
sort--and meets the prince. Adventure, too; and love, of course. And
then the lights go out, and it is the same old back drop again, and the
lady is back by the fire--but with a memory.

This is the story of Sara Lee Kennedy's memory--and of something more.

* * * * * The early days of the great war saw Sara Lee playing her part in the
setting of a city in Pennsylvania. An ugly city, but a wealthy one. It
is only fair to Sara Lee to say that she shared in neither quality. She
was far from ugly, and very, very far from rich. She had started her
part with a full stage, to carry on the figure, but one by one they had
gone away into the wings and had not come back. At nineteen she was
alone knitting by the fire, with no idea whatever that the back drop was
of painted net, and that beyond it, waiting for its moment, was the
forest of adventure. A strange forest, too--one that Sara Lee would
not have recognised as a forest. And a prince of course--but a prince
as strange and mysterious as the forest.

 
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