October 1925: On finding herself stuck in a small town in Illinois following floods on the railway line, Angela Marchmont falls in with a vaudeville company and helps a young man accused of theft prove his innocence.
This is a short story of fourteen thousand words—just right for an afternoon curled up on the sofa!
At the next table, another man and his wife finished their breakfast and stopped to speak to the Wintersons and be introduced to Angela.
‘Angela, dear—’ (Mrs. Marchmont was amused to note Flora’s rapid progression from formality to informality after only half an hour’s acquaintance) ‘—you must meet Hamilton and Pearl Maywood. Ham is quite the finest singer in America, aren’t you, Ham?’
Hamilton Maywood disclaimed the compliment modestly and made some suitable remark. Angela wondered how she could have missed him earlier, for he was quite astonishingly handsome. His features were so regular and his complexion so smooth that he might have been made out of wax, while his thick, dark hair had such a glossy sheen to it that Angela was half-inclined to suspect it was not his own. His wife, by contrast, was mainly distinguishable by her firm mouth and a permanently suspicious expression, which deepened as she saw Angela looking at her husband with—it must be admitted—a certain degree of aesthetic appreciation. Her manner was a shade cool, and after they had left, Flora whispered:
‘Don’t mind her—she’s awfully jealous, and doesn’t like it when other women talk to Ham. She tries to frighten them off if she can.’