"Now turn over another, but very slow--slow--but don't let go of it. Stop a minute and turn back as if you had to have another peek at the last one, see what I mean? Take plenty of time. This is a great treat for you. It makes you feel kind of religious. Now you're getting it--that's the boy! All right--"
The scene where he showed humorous dismay at the quantity of his mail had needed but one rehearsal. He had here been Harold Parmalee without effort. Also he had not been asked to do again the Parmalee trick of lighting a cigarette nor of withdrawing the handkerchief from its cuff to twice touch his forehead in moments of amused perplexity. Baird had merely uttered a low "Fine!" at beholding these bits.
He drew a long breath of relief when released from the set. Seemingly he had met the test. Baird had said that morning, "Now we'll just run a little kind of test to find out a few things about you," and had followed with a general description of the scenes. It was to be of no great importance--a minor detail of the picture. Perhaps this had been why the wealthy actor breakfasted in rather a plainly furnished room on hard-boiled eggs and potato salad. Perhaps this had been why the costume given him had been not too well fitting, not too nice in detail. Perhaps this was why they had allowed the cross-eyed man to appear as his valet. He was quite sure this man would not do as a valet in a high-class picture. Anyway, however unimportant the scene, he felt that he had acquitted himself with credit.
The Montague girl, who had made him up that morning, with close attention to his eyebrows, watched him from back of the cameras, and she seized both his hands when he left the set. "You're going to land," she warmly assured him. "I can tell a trouper when I see one."
She was in costume. She was apparently doing the part of a society girl, though slightly overdressed, he thought.
"We're working on another set for this same picture," she explained, "but I simply had to catch you acting. You'll probably be over with us to-morrow. But you're through for the day, so beat it and have a good time."
"Couldn't I come over and watch you?"
"No, Baird doesn't like to have his actors watching things they ain't in; he told me specially that you weren't to be around except when you're working. You see, he's using you in kind of a special part in this multiple-reeler, and he's afraid you might get confused if you watched the other parts. I guess he'll start you to-morrow. You're to be in a good, wholesome heart play. You'll have a great chance in it."