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AN  UNEXPECTED ARREST                       91
accident, and amusement. I can never forget a morning performance when two young men, who had evidently begun making their New-year's calls early in the day, so disturbed the actors and public with loud remarks that it was with difficulty we finished the scene. When it was over, Mr. John W. Norton, who was part manager and leading man, ordered the offenders to be removed—which had to be done by force. Being pressed for time the following morning, I hurried across to the theatre alone. There I found two hard-featured, collarless fellows upon the stage. One of them approached me, and in a rough voice said: " We are here in the name of the law, to seize your baggage or arrest you." I was too dumfounded to ask them why they wished to make me a prisoner, for horrible visions of false accusations of murder or robbery rose up before my startled mind, and probably made me look as guilty as though I had committed both. The first old woman, the comedian, and a few utility people were on the stage. In the presence of these unshaven guardians of the law they were even more alarmed than I. The situation was terrifying. On recovering a little presence of mind I quickly resolved on escape at any cost.