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The barnstormers; an account of the barnstorming of the barnstormers of the Barnville online

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Larry thought we should charge these grown-up
people five cents, but we decided it wouldn't be
the best thing to do, and so let them in for two.

The show started off beautifully. In the morn-
ing we cut those evergreen boughs for the first
act from some trees back in one corner of the
big pasture that lies about a block away from
where we live. Old Mr. Durgan owns that pas-
ture, and we were scared as green as the trees
themselves for fear he'd see us and send Huggins,
his hired man, out after us. Because if he had
taken it into his head, he might have sent us all
to the lockup, and sued our fathers, or done
something awful. Old Durgan is soured on the
world, and when folks get in that fix there's no
telling what they will do.

The first act looked fine. We darkened the
Barnville because we were afraid things wouldn't
look right in daylight, and we wanted to use the
regular lights. Making the barn dark was easy


enough, for the windows of the loft are just
wooden shutters, and when you close them the
loft is black as night. That evergreen forest in
the first act was some forest all right, and will
be still better when we fix it up for Wednesday
night, because we will have about twice as many
evergreen boughs.

Everything went all right till the third act.
We had just come to the place where Zara loses
her veil and Ernest recognizes her as the lovely
lady he saved from the forest. He had just said,
"Lady! and is it thou?" when a rock hit the
side of the barn. Some of the little kids giggled,
and John stopped for a moment before going on.
Nothing more happened, so he started the speech
over. Then another rock hit the bam, and an-
other, and another. Somebody outside began to
yell, and the rocks came faster and faster. John
and I were left standing in the middle of the stage
unable to finish our scene.

I knew what it was the minute the first rock
hit the barn. The only thing that worried me
was how many of the West-End gang were out-


The little kids, and the others, too, were begin-
ning to get frightened. Mrs. Jameson and mother
moved close together and seemed to be talking
about what to do, for I think they had an idea
of what was up.

I didn't know what to do at first, but after
several rocks had hit the barn I walked to the
front of the stage and made a little speech. I
said something about, "Ladies and gentlemen, we
are sorry for this interruption, and if you will
kindly be patient we will ring down the curtain
and see what can be done."

So the curtain was let down, and we all got
together to decide how we should get rid of the
West-Enders. We were afraid the people in the
audience would leave if we didn't do something

So Larry slid down the chute to the first floor
and got some lengths of old hose and attached
one end to the water spigot. Hal, John, and I
followed and armed ourselves with some rotten
apples from the bottom of a barrel that had just
been moved from the cellar. What we planned
was a quick attack with water and apples. Hal


and I went up-stairs and peeped out of a crack
in the back window that overlooks the alley.
John and Larry got ready to open fire from below.
The signal was to be a yell.

When it came, Hal and I flung open the
window and let drive with the apples. At the
same time Larry turned loose with the water
and Hal pasted one of the West-Enders with an

We certainly did take those two by surprise;
for there were only two of them, Hen Perkins
and Pete McGann, the same two who made fun
of us that day when we were buying the stuff
for the scenery and drops. They weren't more
than ten feet from the back of the barn, so it
was easy to hit them, John's apple took Pete
right in the mouth, and at the same time th
stream of Water hit him full in the face. Hal
landed one on Hen Perkins's head and mine took
him in the stomach. They weren't hard, and so,
of course, they didn't hurt, but they did make
those two look pretty mussy. They were so sur-
prised that they didn't even have sense enough
to run until we had them nicely plastered up with


rotten apples and had soaked them with water
to boot. I'd like to know what story they told
when they had to go through town in such
a fix!

Well, after this little interruption we went back
and started the third act over again. We were
all just the least bit worked up over what had
happened, but we didn't let that make any
difference. We did the rest of the show up in

Everybody seemed pleased with it. The grown-
up people thought we did splendidly. Just wait
till Wednesday night! Then is when we will
show them what we can do.

Oh, I forgot one funny thing! Yesterday was
April ist, April Fool's Day. Of course, some-
body would be sure to play a joke down at the
Barnville. I suppose we might say that was what
the West-Enders were trying, but theirs didn't
work very well. But this other joke was all right.
Hal played it and carried it off to perfection.
About one o'clock, when we were ready for the
matinee and were expecting to have some of the
people come any minute, Hal arrived. He said



he was sorry to be so late, but something of great
importance had come up.

Right away all of us wanted to know what it

"Well," said Hal, "there's a law in this State
that says all theatres must be properly licensed,
and if they aren't the owners and all persons con-
nected with them will be liable to arrest and im-
prisonment not exceeding two years. We'd bet-
ter call off the show till we get a license."

"Honest?" said Larry.

"I don't believe it," said John.

Hal laughed. " Believe it or not," he said, " you
can go over and read it in Mr. Lawson's law books.
I saw the whole thing there myself. I think we
had better be careful."

We were all quite worked up over that old
license business, and Hal seemed the most ex-
cited of anybody. He let it go just as far as he
wanted to and then began to laugh.

"April fool! April fool! "he yelled. "Did ever
a lot of people bite like you have!"

We were so mad we could have pounded him,
only it was about time for people to begin com-


ing, so we couldn't stop for a scrap. We just
laughed instead and told him we would get even
when the right time came.
But it was funny!

Tuesday, April 4.

The Barnstormers are about the busiest little
bees that ever buzzed. We are getting ready for
that performance to-morrow night, and we find
there is a great deal to do. But it is vacation,
which is a blessing in more ways than one. Our
time is our own, and we don't have to stop and
hurry off to school just about the time we get


anything started.

To-morrow is the great day. I can hardly wait
for to-morrow night to cornel 1 just know we
are going to make the show go as a show never
went before.

Last night we sold twenty-five tickets. Think
a whole dollar and twenty-five cents' worth.
And we had a lot of fun doing it, too.

Hal printed some handbills like the one I have
pasted in below.







The Barnville Theatre
Wed., April 5.

7: 3 oPM
Reserved Seats, 5 cts.


Do Not Miss It! Come One,
Come All!

(Jameson, Print)


We have tickets, too, like this:




Date, Wed., April 5.


I think those tickets are corkers. They look
just like the ones they have at the Opera

I guess the stunt we worked to sell tickets was
some stunt all right ! We dressed up hi the clothes
we are to wear in the play and went around to
the houses of different people we know and made
calls. We went to Judge Ring's first, and we were
real scared, because we didn't know how they
would take our coming there. We rang the door-
bell and the girl came to the door. She certainly
did look surprised. We told her we would like to
see the judge. I guess she told him there were a


lot of crazy people at the door, because he came
out looking real fierce. But when he saw us he
just ta-hawed. He asked us in, and we sat down
in the parlor, and Mrs. Ring and Miss Elsa came
in, and they laughed, too. We gave each one of
them a handbill and then told them about the
show. The judge took three tickets, and said he
surely would be there Wednesday night, no mat-
ter what might happen.

Next we went to Mr. Tilson's. They let us in
and seemed just as tickled as the Rings had been.
We sold two tickets there. We went on to six
other houses, and altogether we sold twenty-five

I felt so funny dressed up in my dress. I didn't
want to wear it, but they all said I had to. I
kept my veil on all the time, though, so it wasn't
so bad, for that hid my face, and I could grin as
much as I wanted. Only I couldn't see through
the veil, and John had to lead me.

While I am pasting things in, I guess I'll put
in a copy of The Gimlet. It's last week's copy
that came out Saturday. It tells all about the




April i.





It is with pleasure that
THE GIMLET announces the
first performance of a famous
play by the new theatrical
company known as the Barn-

The Barnstormers is an or-
ganization of very talented
juvenile players, and much is
to be expected of them hi the
future. We are sure that
those of our readers who at-
tend the first play will be
greatly pleased.

"The Captive of Castile"
tells the story of man's brav-
ery and woman's true hero-
ism. The leading parts will
be played by Mr. John Jame-
son and Mr. Robert Archer.
Mr. Archer is especially fine
in the part of Zara, the much
wronged heroine. Mr. Jame-
son is a very handsome and
convincing hero. The other




A Romantic Drama



School Children's Matinee
Saturday, Ap. ist
Admission, 2 cts.



April 5, at 7 : 30 P. M.
Admission, 5 cents.



April i.


Page 2.

Continued from first page

parts of the play are taken by
Mr. Harold Jameson and Mr.
Lawrence Donovan.

The scenery for the pro-
duction is very elaborate.
The Barnville management
has spared no expense or
trouble in the effort to make
the play successful in every

The Barnville, Jordan's
new juvenile theatre, is a
model of convenience and
beauty. It will prove to be
an agreeable surprise to those
who visit it.

We urge all our patrons to
support the noble cause of
the drama by buying tickets
and attending the forthcom-
ing production.


We wish to call attention
to the fact that many sub-
scriptions are due. We can't
print the paper unless you
pay in, Mr. Subscriber.

Hurrah for vacation!

THE GIMLET Press is now
prepared to print cards and
advertising circulars at the
lowest prices in town. Give
us a trial.


Volume II, Number 6.

Published weekly at The Gim-
let Press, 246 East Second

Subscription, 2 cts per copy,
fifty cents per year, five cents
per month.

Harold Jameson, printer and

Editor in Chief, Harold

Subscription manager, Harold

Sporting Editor, Harold Jame-

Newsboy, Harold Jameson.


Who said being an actor
was an easy job?

We are going to start a
puzzle department, and offer
a prize for the guy that will
solve the puzzle of how to get
money out of subscribers.

Money talks. So do sub-
scribers. But we would
rather hear the MONEY.

Advertise in THE GIMLET.
It is read by fifty people every

We know this is a bum is-
sue, but we can't act and print
both. Come see Ye Editor
as the villain. He's a better
villain than an editor.


I guess The Gimlet is some newspaper all right!
Hal has been so busy that this number isn't quite
as good as usual, but I wanted to keep it because
it is all about the Barnstormers. I helped to
print it, too. We did it Thursday afternoon. Hal
had the type all set and the form in the press,
and I helped run off the printed copies.

I also helped write the article about the Barn-
stormers. We got an old bill that told about
"The All-Star Stock Company" that visited this
town some months ago, and we took our adjec-
tives from that and from an account in the Mitch-
ell paper about the opening of the new Opera
House there.

Sometimes Hal draws pictures on the front page
of The Gimlet. He does some that are very funny.
When Judge Winton was elected last fall Hal had
a picture on the front page showing a man, sup-
posed to be the judge, standing on top of another
man, who was supposed to be Mr. Land, who was
the fellow the judge defeated in the election. That
copy of the paper was given over to political news.
Hal sent a copy to Judge Winton himself, and the
judge wrote him a letter thanking him for it.


But Hal doesn't have many front-page draw-
ings these days, because now that the subscrip-
tion is up to fifty copies it takes too long to draw
a picture on each one, even if it is just sketched
in with a pencil.

With fifty subscribers Hal ought to make some
money, but so few of them pay that he is usually
in debt for paper and ink.

I suppose I must go to bed, because to-morrow
is the BIG day, and we will all be up late to-
morrow night.

Wo-o-o-o-o! I just can't wait for to-morrow!


Wednesday, April 5.

To-day has seemed dreadfully long. We
haven't had much to do because everything is
ready for the show to-night, and we couldn't give
make-believe plays, because the stage is all set
with the forest scene, and we mustn't disturb
that. Besides, we all thought we should rest this
afternoon so that we would be fresh for to-night,
but it is twice as hard to rest as it is to work. I
just don't know what to do with myself.

I feel weak in the knees, too, when I think about
all of those people who are coming to the show
to-night. Suppose something should go wrong!
Or suppose I should forget some of my lines!
There are so many awful supposes that I just
can't sit still for thinking about them. I know
it is silly to worry, but I can't help it.

Hal, John, and Larry spent the morning over
here, and we put the last touches to the Barnville.



It is all swept out as clean as a new pin so that
none of the ladies will soil their dresses on the
floor. We have put sofa pillows on the board
seats, so they will be soft to sit on, and so people
will not get tired and want to go home before the
show is over. And we have five Japanese lan-
terns put along from the front gate to the barn
so that no one can possibly miss the way. If
there is anything else we might do I don't know
what it is.

We ought really to have some one who is not
in the show to act as ticket-taker and usher. But
since we have only four members, and all of us
are in the play, we can't very well do that. So
Larry is going to take the tickets and show peo-
ple to their seats. He doesn't come in until the
second act, and he can get ready for that while
the first act is going on.

The seats are all numbered with chalk on the
floor under each one. Each seat is reserved, and
the ticket marked with the section, row, and num-
ber. There are two sections, A and B. A is at
the right, B is at the left. There are five rows
of seats in each section, and we have allowed four


seats to each row. That means we have room
for forty people. There are thirty seats sold now,
so if all those people come, we will not have room
for many more.

I do wish we could have music of some sort
before the curtain goes up and in between each
act. They always have it in a regular theatre,
and the Barnville ought to have it, too. Maybe
by the time we give our next show we can borrow
a phonograph or get somebody who plays the
violin or the harmonica. Only a harmonica
wouldn't be very nice to have at a show where
grown-up people come. I hope we can have a
phonograph. Perhaps if we make a great suc-
cess, some one will lend us a phonograph for the
next show we give.

Nearly five o'clock now! I am going to have
my supper in half an hour, and at six Hal, Larry,
and John are coming. Then we will make up,
dress, and be ready for the show at seven-thirty.

I wish it was all over. I am glad we are hav-
ing it, but I feel so queer inside! All trembly,
and as if I had several hearts beating at the same
time. I suppose I have what they call stage fright.


But the "Hints to Amateur Thespians" says that
stage fright always passes after you begin to act,
so I guess there is some hope for me.

Thursday, April 6.

This is the morning after of the night before.
But I don't care if I am tired, for we certainly
put one over last night. The show went ever so
well, and people liked it. When things really
come out right you don't care if you are tired

The audience began to come about seven-fif-
teen. First Mr. and Mrs. Jameson and father
and mother came down. Then Larry's father
and mother arrived, and after that a whole string
of people. We had every last seat full, and sev-
eral people standing. We took in two dollars
and twenty cents. We are rich we have a reg-
ular young fortune!

Larry took tickets and showed people to their
seats, just as I said he was going to do, and then
came up to dress. We waited till about a quar-
ter of eight before we began. We thought it was
best to wait until we were sure everybody was


there. And then, too, it isn't the thing to begin
shows when they are advertised to begin. They
never do it at the Opera House, or at the lecture
course in the Masonic Hall.

We were all pretty much scared while we were
waiting to begin the first scene. When I peeped
out through the slit at the side of the curtain and
saw all those forty-four grown-up people looking
as solemn as a funeral, I was about ready to turn
turkey and run. I was terribly weak and trem-
bly, and I felt again as though I had about a
dozen hearts all beating at the same time. I
was sure I would never be able to say a word
when I got out before the crowd. It was lots
worse than saying pieces at a church cantata at
Christmas time.

Well, finally we were ready to begin. Hal
thumped three times with a stick of wood on the
floor, and the people out front quieted down.
The curtain went up. John, looking quite as
scared as I did, made his way on the stage. I
don't know how he said his lines. All I do know
is that after what seemed hours I heard my cue,
and somehow got out in the centre of the stage


where I belonged. I felt as if I should die, but
I didn't. I gave an awful gulp, and then I heard
myself saying the first few lines of my speech, and
my voice sounded as though it were miles away.
Then I began to feel better, and by the time John
came on again I was all right.

We finished up the act as well as we ever had
done it, and I think possibly somewhat better.
When the curtain went down the audience clapped
their hands until we had to raise it again so that
John and I could go out and bow. After that there
was more clapping, and a great buzz of people
talking and laughing together. But we couldn't
stop to listen to that. We had to get busy, and
do it quick at that, clearing the stage and reset-
ting it for the next scene.

We all felt happy because the audience seemed
so well pleased with the show. We took time
for a little jollification all our own while the ap-
plause was still going on. We pounded each
other in the back and had a regular young jubilee
back there behind the curtain. But we didn't
have any time to spare for even that, so we set
to work at once clearing out the evergreen boughs


and changing the stage from a forest to a room
in Bernardo's house.

The second scene went quite as well as the
first. Hal made a great hit. He ran in lots of
little things he had never done before, but they
were all good and helped out his part. People
seemed to think he was very funny, for they
laughed at him all the time.

I had a hard time to keep serious during some
of my speeches. When Hal came to that part
where he says, "Adieu, love, I must to the coun-
cil," I thought about that silly speech he always
had put in about "Adieu, love, I must to the pig-
pen," and it was all I could do to keep from burst-
ing out laughing. The worst of it was that Hal
nearly said pig-pen instead of council. He had
said it wrong for so long a time that he was in the
habit of it. He got as far as the sound of the
letter p in pig before he caught himself and changed
to council. Our eyes met, and for a minute I
thought the game was up, and we would both
have to stop and laugh. But Hal just winked,
as serious as could be, and went off through the
wings. To keep from laughing, I buried my face


in my hands and pretended I was crying. It
happened to fit in very well, and quite saved the
day for me.

After Bernardo leaves, Zara calls for Selim,
and when he comes on they have quite a little
scene together before she gets the keys of the
prison from him. Larry has been bragging about
his wonderful system as property-man, by which
nothing would ever be missed when needed. The
joke was on him, I guess, for he forgot the keys.
Zara has quite a time to get old Selim to let her
have the keys to the donjon, but at last he gives
in, kneels before her, and offers her the whole
bunch of keys he carries at his belt. Larry got
down on his knees all right, but when he reached
for the keys they weren't there. He looked up
at me with the blankest look I ever saw on any
one's face. Even his grin was gone. But it came
back in a minute. His back was to the audience,
and he winked at me and said: "A moment,
lady. I crave a thousand pardons. The keys are
in the bag I left without." Then he whispered:
"Say something while I get 'em!"

So I had to make up a speech to fit. I'm afraid


it was silly, but it got by. I clasped my hands
and looked up to the rafters and said: "At last
fate leads me to thee, Ernest! Oh, how I long
to see thy face again!"

Then Larry came back on the stage, knelt,
gave me the keys, and we went on with the scene.
I guess that was "saving the beans" in a pretty
neat manner!

The third scene, the one in Ernest's cell, made
quite a hit. We turned the footlights out and
had the stage quite dark, with the only light
coming from the magic lantern.

When the curtain went up John was sitting on
his bed of straw, his head bowed on his manacled
hands, and the only light for the scene coming
from the "spot." Hal said it was "artistic."
Whatever it was, the audience liked it and clapped
their hands. That gave John and me quite a little
encouragement, and we did the best we could.
The only trouble we had in the whole scene came
when I tried to make my veil fall. I thought I
should never get the thing to come loose. But it
did, and I guess the audience didn't see that I
had to fairly pull it off.


I had a curtain call on the fourth scene. At
the end of it Zara, after having made up her mind
to steal the death-warrant from beneath the pil-
low of her sleeping father, says: "Ernest, 'tis for
thee! For thee!" That seemed to make quite
a hit.

The fifth scene, where Zara steals the death-
warrant, also pleased the audience. They clapped
a lot after it, but I didn't go out before the
curtain. I don't think it looks well to do it too

Hal just ran away with the sixth scene. That
is where he accuses Zara of destroying the death-
warrant and she confesses to the crime. Hal
was terribly villainous and very fierce. The au-
dience seemed to think he was about the funniest
thing they had ever seen. They just wouldn't
take us seriously. The more serious we got, the
funnier they seemed to think it was. When Hal
said: "Ha! Is it so?" and stood glowering at
me, everybody laughed. We didn't quite know
what to do, but we still kept serious, and finally
the people quieted down. When Bernardo tells
Zara that if she wishes to save Ernest she must


swear never to wed one other than of her own

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Online LibraryMax AleyThe barnstormers; an account of the barnstorming of the barnstormers of the Barnville → online text (page 5 of 12)