He wanted to talk a lot now. He prattled of the town and his life there, of the eight-hour talent-tester and the course in movie- acting. Of Tessie Kearns and her scenarios, not yet prized as they were sure to be later. Of Lowell Hardy, the artistic photographer, and the stills that he had made of the speaker as Clifford Armytage. Didn't she think that was a better stage name than Merton Gill, which didn't seem to sound like so much? Anyway, he wished he had his stills here to show her. Of course some of them were just in society parts, the sort of thing that Harold Parmalee played--had she noticed that he looked a good deal like Harold Parmalee? Lots of people had.
Tessie Kearns thought he was the dead image of Parmalee. But he liked Western stuff better--a lot better than cabaret stuff where you had to smoke one cigarette after another--and he wished she could see the stills in the Buck Benson outfit, chaps and sombrero and spurs and holster. He'd never had two guns, but the one he did have he could draw pretty well. There would be his hand at his side, and in a flash he would have the gun in it, ready to shoot from the hip. And roping--he'd need to practise that some. Once he got it smack over Dexter's head, but usually it didn't go so well.
Probably a new clothesline didn't make the best rope--too stiff. He could probably do a lot better with one of those hair ropes that the real cowboys used. And Metta Judson--she was the best cook anywhere around Simsbury. He mustn't forget to write to Metta, and to Tessie Kearns, to be sure and see The Blight of Broadway when it came to the Bijou Palace. They would be surprised to see those close--ups that Henshaw had used him in. And he was in that other picture. No close-ups in that, still he would show pretty well in the cage- scene--he'd had to smoke a few cigarettes there, because Arabs smoke all the time, and he hadn't been in the later scene where the girl and the young fellow were in the deserted tomb all night and he didn't lay a finger on her because he was a perfect gentleman.
He didn't know what he would do next. Maybe Henshaw would want him in Robinson Crusoe, Junior, where Friday's sister turned out to be the daughter of an English earl with her monogram tattooed on her left shoulder. He would ask Henshaw, anyway.
The Montague girl listened attentively to the long, wandering recital. At times she would seem to be strongly moved, to tears or something. But mostly she listened with a sympathetic smile, or perhaps with a perfectly rigid face, though at such moments there would be those curious glints of light far back in her gray eyes. Occasionally she would prompt him with a question.
In this way she brought out his version of the Sabbath afternoon experience with Dexter. He spared none of the details, for he was all frankness now. He even told how ashamed he had felt having to lead Dexter home from his scandalous grazing before the Methodist Church. He had longed to leap upon the horse and ride him back at a gallop, but he had been unable to do this because there was nothing from which to climb on him, and probably he would have been afraid to gallop the beast, anyway.
This had been one of the bits that most strangely moved his listener. Her eyes were moist when he had finished, and some strong emotion seemed about to overpower her, but she had recovered command of herself, and become again the sympathetic provider and counsellor.
He would have continued to talk, apparently, for the influence of strong drink had not begun to wane, but the girl at length stopped him.