We snatched a
bite of supper at a near-by hotel in Boston and hurried to the
theatre, but being late, had some difficulty in getting our
The curtain was up and there sat Hackett, not with long yellow
hair (which was the salient point in the half-breed scout) but
rather well-groomed, looking more like a parlor Indian than a
real live half-breed, such as all we army people knew. I thought
"this will never do."
The house was full, Hackett did the part well, and the audience
murmured on going out: "a very artistic success." But the play
was too mystical, too sad. It would have suited the "New Theatre"
patrons better. I wrote him from Nantucket and criticized one or
two minor points, such as the 1850 riding habits of the women,
which were slouchy and unbecoming and made the army people look
like poor emigrants and I received this letter in reply:
NEW ROCHELLE, N. Y.
My dear Mrs. S.,
Much obliged for your talk - it is just what we want - proper
I fought for that long hair but the management said the audience
has got to, have some Hackett - why I could not see - but he is a
matinee idol and that long with the box office.