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"How's it going?" asked MacPhail, smiling at her.
"Not so good," said Jeanie, looking at the flute.
"It will come to you all at once," said MacPhail.
Jeanie hesitated a moment and then said, "You promised I could hear the My Fair Lady tapes tonight." (Promises are not taken lightly in the MacPhail household. Frequently, in dubious cases, Jeanie will win her point by declaring, "You promised—and a MacPhail never breaks a promise!")
MacPhail snapped his fingers. "That's right, I did promise. I'll put them on right now." He got up and gestured for me to follow him into the control room for his stereophonic sound setup. "I just got these new tapes in New York and we haven't played them yet," he said. In the control room, designed for him by NBC as a gesture of appreciation for his pioneering of radio broadcasts and the first experimental telecasts of baseball, he threaded the tapes and set the tone and volume knobs and we went back to the living room to listen. Jeanie had stretched out on the sofa. MacPhail and I took chairs at the far end of the room to get (he explained) the full stereophonic effect.
The wonderful music filled the vast room. Outside the picture window moonlight bathed the great trees around the house. The rain in Spain fell mainly on the plain, and Eliza Doolittle had got it—even if Jeanie MacPhail hadn't quite gotten Shoo, Fly on her toy flute just yet.
Mrs. MacPhail, having heard the music, came into the room and sat down near Jeanie. MacPhail looked around and raised a finger in greeting. He rested his head on the back of his chair and closed his eyes to listen.
It was a rare and euphoric moment. But in the mind of one of the company present there was growing anxiety. How does a house guest go about asking his host to tell about the time he was thrown in the clink for fighting the cops at Bowie?