The precious minutes that belonged to his employers and should have been earmarked for "The Rose of America" flitted by. The ladies and gentlemen of the ensemble, who should have been absorbing and learning to deliver the melodies of Roland Trevis and the lyrics of Otis Pilkington, lolled back in their seats. The yellow-keyed piano rocked beneath an unprecedented onslaught.
They found that the large room in front was a kind of drawing-room, in which rose-leaves, china-bowls, old engravings, a shining mahogany book-case, and a yellow-keyed piano atoned for the shortcomings of funeral horsehair and home-made carpets. They thought it on the whole a charming room, only to be eclipsed by the kitchen.
He distributed sheets of paper. "Act One, Opening Chorus. I will play the melody three four times. Follow attentively. Then we will sing it la-la-la, and after that we will sing the words. So!" He struck the yellow-keyed piano a vicious blow, producing a tinny and complaining sound.
The two exceptions, already noted, were some crisp, telling sketches, big and little, in color and black-and- white, the work of the artist members of this coterie, which covered every square inch of the leak-stained surface of ceiling and wall, and the yellow-keyed, battered piano which occupied the centre of the open space and which stood immediately under two flaring gas-jets.