There were lots of little boxing matches, to entertain the crowd: then at last Corbett appeared in the ring and the 8,000 people present went mad with enthusiasm. My two artists went mad about his form. They said they had never seen anything that came reasonably near equaling its perfection except Greek statues, and they didn't surpass it.
Corbett boxed 3 rounds with the middle-weight Australian champion--oh, beautiful to see!--then the show was over and we struggled out through a perfect wash of humanity. When we reached the street I found I had left my arctics in the box. I had to have them, so Simmons said he would go back and get them, and I didn't dissuade him. I couldn't see how he was going to make his way a single yard into that solid oncoming wave of people--yet he must plow through it full 50 yards. He was back with the shoes in 3 minutes!
How do you reckon he accomplished that miracle? By saying:
"Way, gentlemen, please--coming to fetch Mr. Corbett's overshoes."
The word flew from mouth to mouth, the Red Sea divided, and Simmons walked comfortably through and back, dry shod. Simmons (this was revealed to me under seal of secrecy by Reid) is the hero of "Gwen," and he and Gwen's author were once engaged to marry. This is "fire-escape" Simmons, the inveterate talker, you know: "Exit--in case of Simmons."
I had an engagement at a beautiful dwelling close to the Players for 10.30; I was there by 10.45. Thirty cultivated and very musical ladies and gentlemen present--all of them acquaintances and many of them personal friends of mine. That wonderful Hungarian Band was there (they charge $500 for an evening.) Conversation and Band until midnight; then a bite of supper; then the company was compactly grouped before me and I told about Dr. B. E. Martin and the etchings, and followed it with the Scotch-Irish Christening. My, but the Martin is a darling story! Next, the head tenor from the Opera sang half a dozen great songs that set the company wild, yes, mad with delight, that nobly handsome young Damrosch accompanying on the piano.
Just a little pause--then the Band burst out into an explosion of weird and tremendous dance music, a Hungarian celebrity and his wife took the floor--I followed; I couldn't help it; the others drifted in, one by one, and it was Onteora over again.
By half past 4 I had danced all those people down--and yet was not tired; merely breathless. I was in bed at 5, and asleep in ten minutes. Up at 9 and presently at work on this letter to you. I think I wrote until 2 or half past. Then I walked leisurely out to Mr. Rogers's (it is called 3 miles but it is short of it) arriving at 3.30, but he was out-- to return at 5.30--(and a person was in, whom I don't particularly like) --so I didn't stay, but dropped over and chatted with the Howellses until 6.