“Let me tell you how the trouble originated,” said the artiste to our reporter. “On Tuesday night I was singing a song called ‘He Sits in the Front Row,’ and, as I usually do, pointed to a person in the front row. Mr. M’Bride was there, and, looking at him, I sang—
He sits in the front row; he is blushing like a maid,
I love you, darling; be my hub; now, don’t be afraid.
Don’t turn away in anger, dear; I always will be true,
Accept this kiss, and give me one; for I love you.
“To this,” resumed Miss Verne, “I distinctly heard a reply that made my blood boil, and I determined to do something. I consulted a solicitor, and he advised me to horsewhip the man.
“Very reluctantly I did so, but I considered that I had been grossly insulted, and only wanted to revenge myself.
“Accordingly, on Wednesday I penned a letter to Mr. M’Bride, and signed it ‘Alice Chalmers.’ I wrote that I was enraptured by his charms, and asked him to meet me at 1.45 p.m. on Thursday at the Town Hall corner. I added that he, perhaps, would not remember my name, but, doubtless, when he saw me he would remember me.
“I ascertained that he had received the letter, and, accompanied by several other Fayre artistes, I lay in wait for him at the appointed place. He arrived with a punctuality that did him credit, and forthwith I proceeded to interview him.
“I had a neat little, though strong, cane concealed in the folds of my dress, and as he saw me I called out, ‘Come here; I want to speak to you.’
“He began to run, and I followed, and lashed him as frequently as I could. I said ‘You cad; I’ll teach you not to insult another woman as you did me.’
“He broke away from me, and hastily proceeded across the street. I followed, and with each stroke I took good care to let him know what it was for.
“Soon a crowd collected, and I heard him appeal to a policeman. Messrs. Jones and Lawrence, however, put matters right.”
“Have you ever had any such experience before?” queried our reporter.
“Never,” replied Miss Verne. “It is entirely new for me, and I can assure you I was nervous for the time being. In all my years in the business I have always got on remarkably well with gentlemen. The remark, however, was as venom to me, and I plucked up courage and did it.”