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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Moving Picture Girls At Rocky Ranch: Great Days Among The Cowboys - Chapter 5. A Mix-Up
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The Moving Picture Girls At Rocky Ranch: Great Days Among The Cowboys - Chapter 5. A Mix-Up Post by :Ronald Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :3149

Click below to download : The Moving Picture Girls At Rocky Ranch: Great Days Among The Cowboys - Chapter 5. A Mix-Up (Format : PDF)

The Moving Picture Girls At Rocky Ranch: Great Days Among The Cowboys - Chapter 5. A Mix-Up

CHAPTER V. A MIX-UP

"Stand still! Don't rush! Form in line!"

Sharp and crisp came the words of the forewoman. The screaming of the girls ceased almost instantly.

Clang! sounded a big gong through the room. Clang! Clang!

"Fire drill!" called the efficient forewoman, and afterward Ruth and Alice felt what a blessing it was she kept her wits about her. "Fire drill! Form in line and march to the fire escapes!"

"Oh! Oh, I know I'm going to faint!" cried Miss Pennington. "This is a regular fire trap! All shirt waist factories are. I am going to faint!"

"Miss Dixon, just--slap her!" called Alice.

"Oh, Alice!" remonstrated Ruth, looking about with frightened eyes.

"It's the only way to bring her to her senses!" retorted the younger girl. And to the eternal credit of Miss Dixon be it said that she did slap her friend Miss Pennington, and she slapped her with sufficient energy to prevent the fainting fit, even as a sip of aromatic spirits of ammonia might have done.

"Fire drill! Form lines! March!" again called the forewoman, with the coolness a veteran fireman might have envied.

"Can't we get our wraps?" asked one of the workers.

"No! You can come back for them," was the answer.

"But it--it's a real fire!" someone cried. "Our things will be burned up!"

"It isn't a fire at all--it's only a drill!" insisted the forewoman. "And, even if it were real, and your things were burned, the company would replace them for you.

"To the fire escapes! March!"

In spite of the forewoman's assertion that it was only a fire drill the pall of smoke in the corner of the room spread apace, and there was the smell of fire, as well as the crackle of flames.

"This way, girls," called Mr. Pertell to his four actresses. "Here's a fire escape over here."

"Excuse me," said the forewoman, firmly. "But please have your company follow my girls. They know just which way to go, and if your actresses make any change it may result in confusion, and----"

"I understand," responded Mr. Pertell, at once. "Girls, consider yourselves shirt waist operatives, and do as the others do," he concluded. He stood aside, as a sailor might on a sinking ship, when the order "women and children first" is given. Paul took his place at the manager's side, waving his hand reassuringly to Ruth and Alice.

"Oh--Oh, must we go with them? Can't we go to that fire escape?" faltered Miss Pennington, who seemed to have entirely recovered from her desire to faint.

"That is for the operatives on the upper floor," explained the forewoman. "If you will follow my girls you will be all right. There are plenty of fire escapes for all."

"Come on!" called Alice, as she marched behind the nearest shirt waist girls. "There is no danger--and plenty of time."

"That's the way to talk!" declared the forewoman, admiringly.

But, even as she spoke, there was a burst of flame through the cloud of smoke. Several girls screamed and those nearest the fire hung back.

"Steady! Go on! There is no danger!" the forewoman called.

"Are you getting this, Russ?" asked Mr. Pertell of the young camera expert.

"Every move!" was the enthusiastic answer. "It's too good a chance to miss, and I guess there is really no danger."

He continued to grind away at the camera while the girls, now in orderly array, marched to the fire escapes and so down and out of the building. Ruth, Alice and the two other actresses went with them. And not until the last girl had left the room did the forewoman make a move toward the escape.

"You gentlemen will please leave now," she said.

"After you," returned Mr. Pertell, with a look of admiration in his eyes.

"No," she said, firmly. "The rules of the fire drill require that I leave the room last. You will please go first."

"But, my dear young lady!" exclaimed the manager, "this is not a drill--it is a real fire!"

"I know it," she said, quietly. "But that makes no difference. I must leave last. You will kindly go ahead."

"I guess we'll have to, Russ," remarked the manager. "But I don't like it."

"Those are the rules," insisted the forewoman, and she would not go out on the fire escape until Russ, Paul and Mr. Pertell had preceded her.

By this time the street below was filled with fire apparatus, puffing, clanging and whistling. And not until the girls were down and out of the building did they realize what a big fire it was. For the entire structure was now ablaze.

Fortunately the same efficient fire drill instituted by the forewoman on the floor where Ruth and Alice had been prevailed in other parts of the building, and not a life was lost, though there were many narrow escapes.

And you may well believe that Russ did not miss this opportunity to get moving pictures. Of course the plot of the play had been spoiled by the fire, but a far better drama than the one originally planned was afterward made of it.

As the building continued to burn Russ found that he was not going to have film enough. He sent Paul for a new supply and also to telephone for another operator from the Comet studio, so that pictures of the big fire from various viewpoints might be secured.

And it was a big fire--one of the largest in New York in many years, but aside from a few persons who received minor injuries there was none seriously hurt. The Comet concern scored heavily in making films of the blaze.

"Well, that was one exciting day, yesterday," remarked Russ the next morning at the studio. "I never worked so hard, not even when we were lost in Florida."

"I had a premonition something would happen," declared Mr. Sneed, as he was making up for his part in a play. "When I got up yesterday morning I stepped on my collar button, and that's always a sure sign something will happen."

"It's sometimes a sign you'll be late for rehearsal if you don't find the collar button," laughed Paul.

Orders for the day's work were issued, and Paul, Ruth, Alice and Mr. Bunn found that they had to go to the Grand Central Terminal where, once before, some film pictures had been made.

"There is quite a complicated plot to this play," explained Mr. Pertell, in issuing his instructions. "Mr. Bunn has some valuable papers, and Paul, as the villain, takes them from his pocket in the station. That starts the action."

Fully instructed what to do, the moving picture girls, with Paul and Russ, went up to Forty-second street.

As the use of the train platforms was not required in this act of the play nothing was said to the station authorities, but Mr. Bunn, with Alice and Ruth, mingled with the crowds, as though they were ordinary travelers.

The operator began taking the necessary pictures, and then came Paul's "cue" to abstract the papers.

He had done it successfully from Mr. Bunn's pocket, seemingly without the knowledge of the actor, and Paul was going on with the rest of the "business," when a policeman stepped up and clapping his hand on Paul's shoulder exclaimed:

"I want you, young man! I saw you take those papers. You're under arrest!"

"But--but it's for the movies!" cried Paul, not wishing the scene spoiled.

"Tell that to the taxicab man! I've heard that yarn before! You come with me. And you too," he added to Mr. Bunn. "I want you for a witness. You've been robbed!"

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