**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

The Plungers
by [?]

“They have the most select clientele in the city here.”

Constance Dunlap was sitting in the white steamy room of Charmant’s Beauty Shop. Her informant, reclining dreamily in a luxurious wicker chair, bathed in the perspiring vapor, had evidently taken a fancy to her.

“And no wonder, either; they fix you up so well,” she rattled on; then confidingly, “Now, last night after the show a party of us went to supper and a dance–and it was in the wee small hours when we broke up. But Madame here can make you all over again. Floretta,” she called to an attendant who had entered, “if Mr. Warrington calls up on the ‘phone, say I’ll call him later.”

“Yes, Miss Larue.”

Constance glanced up quickly as Floretta mentioned the name of the popular young actress. Stella Larue was a pretty girl on whom the wild dissipation of the night life of New York was just beginning to show its effects. The name of Warrington, too, recalled to Constance instantly some gossip she had heard in Wall Street about the disagreement in the board of directors of the new Rubber Syndicate and the effort to oust the president whose escapades were something more than mere whispers of scandal.

This was the woman in the case. Constance looked at Stella now with added interest as she rose languidly, drew her bathrobe about her superb figure carelessly in such a way as to show it at best advantage.

“I’ve had more or less to do with Wall Street myself,” observed Constance.

“Oh, have you? Isn’t that interesting,” cried Stella.

“I hope you’re not putting money in Rubber?” queried Constance.

“On the contrary,” rippled Stella, then added, “You’re going to stay? Let me tell you something. Have Floretta do your hair. She’s the best here. Then come around to see me in the dormitory if I’m here when you are through, won’t you?”

Constance promised and Stella fluttered away like the pretty butterfly that she was, leaving Constance to wonder at the natural gravitation of plungers in the money market toward plungers in the white lights.

Charmant’s Beauty Parlor was indeed all its name implied, a temple of the cult of adornment, the last cry in the effort to satisfy what is more than health, wealth, and happiness to some women–the fundamental feminine instinct for beauty.

Constance had visited the beauty specialist to have an incipient wrinkle smoothed out. Frankly, it was not vanity. But she had come to realize that her greatest asset was her personal appearance. Once that had a chance to work, her native wit and keen ability would carry her to success.

Madame Charmant herself was a tall, dark-skinned, dark-haired, dark- eyed, well-groomed woman who looked as if she had been stamped from a die for a fashion plate–and then the die had been thrown away. All others like her were spurious copies, counterfeits. More than that, she affected the name of Vera, which in itself had the ring of truth.

And so Charmant had prevailed on Constance to take a full course in beautification and withhold the wrinkle at the source.

“Besides, you know, my dear,” she purred, “there’s nothing discovered by the greatest minds of the age that we don’t apply at once.”

Constance was not impervious to feminine reason, and here she was.

“Has Miss Larue gone?” she asked when at last she was seated in a comfortable chair again sipping a little aromatic cup of coffee.

“No, she’s resting in one of the little dressing rooms.”

She followed Floretta down the corridor. Each little compartment had its neat, plain white enameled bed, a dresser and a chair.

Stella smiled as Constance entered. “Yes,” she murmured in response to the greeting, “I feel quite myself now.”

“Mr. Warrington on the wire,” announced Floretta a moment later, coming down the corridor again with a telephone on a long unwinding wire.

“Hello, Alfred–oh, rocky this morning,” Constance overheard. “I said to myself, ‘Never again–until the nest time. Vera? Oh, she was as fresh as a lark. Can I lunch with you downtown? Of course.'” Then as she hung up the receiver she called, “Floretta, get me a taxi.”