Fair play and justice
Forbes was an efficient and reliable manager, but may not have had much practice figuring out what makes people tick. Inadvertantly he had hit upon the two things that could get under Cotton's skin.
The life of a child actor might have been a far less sensitive charge were Idalene a boy. There was a long tradition of utilizing children to dance in the minstrel troupes. Tommy Peel was one example, and so was Idalene's half brother, Ben Cotton Jr. But girls... The concern that Forbes was expressing came up again in the years ahead. And so did questions about who had Idalene's best interest at heart.
The audience for a card in the Clipper would rarely spread past the profession, that growing network of stage performers, managers, bill posters, theatre owners, and drama critics. Ben Cotton - The Cotton Family - had climbed out of minstrelsy onto the legitimate stage. To suggest he preferred to return was to remind the theatrical world of where he had come from. Only once had he penned a letter to the editor, driven by an interest in "fair play." Nearly two decades later, this card made it plain he sought "justice."