“He sits in the front row”

Accept this kiss and give me one.

The reporter’s version of events:

On Tuesday night, November 24, 1896, Miss Verne, as usual, took the leading part in the variety programme presented at the Olde Englishe Fayre.

In the second half she had occasion to sing a song bearing the title ‘He Sits in the Front Row,’ and in which occurs ‘Accept this kiss and give me one, for I love you.’ To emphasise the pleasing declaration the singer, it is stated, indicated one of the audience sitting in the front

Miss Verne it is understood, pointed to Mr. McBride, because he happened to sit in the front row, and because he was, she avers, the first person to attract her attention at the critical moment.

McBride, it is alleged, uttered a response in a tone of voice sufficiently loud to be heard by the singer, although she was several feet away, and by those around. If the words used are truthfully described, they were certainly insulting.

Miss Verne at once paused, and glaring down on the delinquent, she retorted, “You low cad,” and those who knew the circumstances applauded her.

When the show had terminated, Miss Verne reported the circumstances to Mr. George Jones, the manager of the Fayre, and at the same time made up her mind to resent the insult in her own fashion. In this determination she was heartily seconded by the other members of the company.

 Her version of events:

She said that in singing the humorous song, ‘He sits in the front row,’ she had to point to some person occupying a front position.

“On Tuesday night I pointed to Mr. Gus. McBride,” Miss Verne continued. “To my great surprise and indignation he made a most insulting remark to me as I stood on the stage. He spoke aloud, and others heard what he said.

“I don’t care to repeat the remark. I paused and called him a low cad, and made up my mind that I would punish him in such a way that he would not insult another woman.”

 His version of events:

Mr. McBride states that he was insulted by Miss Verne and held up to ridicule before a crowd of people at the Fayre.

He was sitting in the front row when Miss Verne sang one of her songs. At the end of a verse she pointed to him—singled him out, in fact—calling him by his name of ‘Gussie.’ She even said she would kiss him if he would go on the stage.

He did not care to be made so prominent before so many people, as they could not help knowing that he was pointed out and was being made a laughing stock of.

On the spur of the moment he retorted with the remark complained of. Perhaps it was a rude remark. He would not have said anything if she had not commenced it.