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GEORGE VANDENHOFF 43
They seemed to realize that the severe though well-meant discipline with which they had brought up their children had been a mistake, and, as most of us do, on becoming conscious of our errors, rushed to the other extreme, allowing me to rule, a monarch supreme. They were charmingly old-fashioned people. Though they had left their home at Diisseldorf when first married, and had spent the best part of their lives in America, their strong German accent never left them. Knowing their violent prejudice against the theatre, we decided not to reveal to them the object of our visit My ambitions and hopes were likewise kept from Pater Anton. It was painful to hold back from them what was so engrossing to us, but we did so, fearing a possible estrangement. Being tempted on one occasion to confess all, I began by mentioning the name of Edwin Booth. They had heard it, or seen it on some street poster, but— " These actors with their dreadful painted faces, their lives of unwholesome publicity and excitement, and the vanity it all leads to, why should you speak of them?" I discreetly dropped the subject, feeling it would be kinder to leave them in ignorance of my plans.
The first interview with Mr. Vandenhoff was