August 26, 1907
Pretty Kansas City Actress Who Has
CHICAGO, Aug. 25 (Special). -- Grease paints and uncouth costume can hide a breaking heart from the laughing audience on the other side of the footlights, but when Mabel Hite yesterday afternoon sought the only refuge she had, a 4x5 dressing box -- it couldn't be called even by courtesy a room -- large tears stole down a woebegone, little face.
She wiped them off with the corner of a Turkish towel, taking a bit of the rouge with it and hoped Mike would get better.
For the pretty little Kansas City girl sent Mike Donlin, the ball player, who is her husband, down to New York, buying his ticket and giving him the price of a Russian bath, which boiled out the remnants of the various liquids that had developed four days' spree, with an assault on a cabdriver and a cell in the police station for trimmings.
Donlin has promised to cut out booze in the future and sign with the New York Giants and if he's good for the next six months he can come back -- otherwise a divorce.
I can't stand it any longer," said the little comedienne -- she's a child in figure and manner. "Now you don't think it's such a dreadful thing for a woman's husband to get drunk and in the newspapers, do you? But it means so much when you love a man and he'd promised not to do it. And every time it happens it's so much worse and it worries me so I can't sleep and I have to go out before that audience and act like a fool and make them laugh, and sing my songs and dance, and my heart is breaking. For he's good to me, except when he forgets himself."
A little while before she'd been singing "For I'm Married Now," and the appreciate ones on the other side of the footlights who'd called her back six or seven times, didn't know how hard -- how extremely hard -- it was to carry a smiling face through the trying ordeal.
But she'd cut out two verses, and old players who remembered them and had heard about Mike knew the reason.
I'd like to go with you to lunchin'
But I've got a hunchin
That I'd get a punchin'
And I just hate to wear a veil
For I'm married now.
That was one of the verses that was eliminated from her song in "A Knight for a Day" at Whitney's. The other was:
Tell Mike a lie
I'd best not try.
I may be fly --
But no fly gets by him.
And the villain -- he admitted he was all that and was most penitent -- was in the office of the playhouse. He had slunk past the policeman who has been on guard for the last three days, fearing a possible outbreak by the ball player and was waiting to send a message of extreme contrition -- a message that Mabel wouldn't receive in person.
There were plenty of peacemakers, but nothing but a six months' probation will answer for Mike. James Callahan, his friend and manager of the Logan Squares, who had straightened matters up with the police, told how the husband and wife had slept in his house, at Thirty-fifth street and Indiana avenue, last Thursday night, unknown to each other.
After the cab episode, and after Callahan had got the soused one out of a police cell, he took him home. Mabel, who lives a block away, went to Callahan's house in great trouble.
A little earlier Thursday night Donlin went to the theater and demanded to see his wife. His breath was thick and he talked loud. Jouhny Slavin took him down to the corner and argued him into a cab, and that was why the scrubwoman's part in the show that night -- Donlin's role -- was performed by an understudy.
Donlin met Mabel Hite a year and a half ago in New York, and they were married soon afterward. He never saw her act before the marriage. She was in vaudeville or something similar. Off the stage she's girlish and pretty. Donlin met her at a dinner party.