Mrs. Campbell's maid
brought a verbal response. Mrs. Campbell would see Mrs.--Mrs.--was
it Wilcox?--just five minutes, but no more.
"Very well," replied Mrs. Wilcox. "I can spare five minutes."
On the threshold of the actress' apartment, she paused, expecting the welcoming smile to which she is accustomed. It was not in evidence. Mrs. Campbell stood, regarding her with that especial sort of politeness in look and attitude which plainly says, "Well, who are you, and what do you want?"
Mrs. Wilcox advanced and extended her hand . . .
"I believe you did not make out my name," she said. "I do not write very plainly--I am Mrs. Wilcox."
Mrs. Campbell bowed uncomprehendingly.
"I am Ella Wheeler Wilcox," particularized the poetess.
Then Mrs. Campbell, searching her memory, found a clew. . . .
"Ah, I believe you are the lady who said nice things of me in the morning paper? Is this a call, or an interview?"
"I chanced to speak of your play in print," Mrs. Wilcox replied, "as it was interesting to me, but of course you know that my work is--"
"I only know you through the kind of criticism you gave me in the paper--you see, I am so busy. What is your work?"
"Why--I--have written some seventeen books, for one thing . . ."
"But you see I am seldom in this country," apologized the actress. "I am English."
"Truly," responded the author, "--the same nationality as King Edward, who had one of my poems sung at his mother's funeral anniversary, and Queen Alexandra, who selected another of my poems to send with flowers to Mr. Gladstone's obsequies."
"Really!" said the actress, interested for the first time. "I must get your poems right away."
Then, with a woman's tact, she looked her visitor over. "How sweet your gown is, and how much you resemble Ellen Terry!"
The two great ladies then sat down for a friendly chat.