The Scarlet Ruse

MacDonald, John D.

Lippencott and Crowell, 1973

pp. 151 - 152

“It made me remember the time I went to the performance of a Spanish dance troupe, hoping there was a ticket left at the box office. There was, way way down front. It was so close I could smell the dust they banged up out of the stage. I could see soiled places on the costumes. I could smell the fresh sweat of effort mingled with the stale sweat of prior engagements trapped in gandy fabric, released by heat. I could hear the dancing girls grunt and pant. I could see dirty knuckles, grubby ankles, and soiled throats. They were very, very good. Ten rows back the illusion must have been perfect. But I was too damned close to the machinery and it killed the magic.”