The department was more and more the well-oiled engine under a light steering hand that Lilly wielded well and wisely. Her judgment of the incoming reports of the various house managers, or a try-out act, although technically subject to Bruce Visigoth's signature, went usually unchallenged.
About eight months after Ida Blair's play had lain gathering mold in the lower drawer of Bruce Visigoth's desk, he sent for Lilly. Their office relationship since the stuffy June evening over the reading of the manuscript had been resumed, with invisible joindure.
One evening Horace R. Visigoth, of the law firm of Visigoth, Visigoth & Higginbothom, did not answer his wife's soft question to him across the green-shaded reading lamp of their library table. His head was quite sunk forward in a sheaf of proofs. He was dead. One month later his wife failed to awaken to Pauline Visigoth's frenzied attempts or to even a dexterous physician's respiratory methods.
When she emerged Robert Visigoth's cigar was smoked two thirds its length and he was slumped down, with one knee hooked comfortably about the other. He sprang out to help her in. "Well?" Her smile was drawn across her face almost like a gash. "Tired waiting?" she said, holding her lips lifted. "Fix you up?" "You were right. A little sunstroke. A good night's rest will fix me up."
The older woman had opened the door to her upon that family skeleton, one of which, by the way, lurks in the cupboards of most of us the unproduced play! This one, a sketch called "The Web," read by Lilly and even placed by her with a written word of appreciation on Robert Visigoth's desk. He carried it with him to Chicago, mailing it back one day without comment.
They might have run in an extra verse specifying sudden collapse like the Visigoth's. I'm going on to the bridge, now. Good-night, said the Captain. And I was left alone with the steady thud, thud, of the screw and the gentle creaking of the boats at the davits. That made me shudder. Did ye see John Malone, wid his shinin', brand-new hat? Did ye see how he walked like a grand aristocrat?