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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Moving Picture Girls: First Appearances In Photo Dramas - Chapter 6. A New Proposition
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The Moving Picture Girls: First Appearances In Photo Dramas - Chapter 6. A New Proposition Post by :emersond Category :Long Stories Author :Laura Lee Hope Date :May 2012 Read :952

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The Moving Picture Girls: First Appearances In Photo Dramas - Chapter 6. A New Proposition


There was no need for Ruth and Alice to ask their father what had happened. One look at his ashen face when he came home from the theater was enough.

"Oh, Daddy!" cried Alice. "Couldn't you make it go?"

He answered with a shake of the head. The strain of the rehearsal had pained him.

"Did--did they put in someone else?" asked Ruth.

"Yes, I'm out of it for good--at least for this engagement."

"The mean things!" burst out Alice "I think that Mr. Cross is rightly named. I wish I could tell him so, too!"

"Alice!" reproved Ruth, gently.

"I don't care!" cried the younger girl, her brown eyes sparkling. "The idea of not waiting a few days with their show until papa was better; and he the leading man, too."

"They couldn't wait, Alice, my dear," explained Mr. DeVere. "Cross did all he could for me, and allowed me two days. But it is out of the question. Dr. Rathby was right. I need a long rest--and I guess I'll have to take it whether I want to or not."

Then, seeing the anxious looks on the faces of his daughters, he went on, in more cheerful, though in no less husky tones:

"Now don't worry, girls. There'll be some way out of this. If I can't act I can do something else. I'm well and strong, for which I must be thankful. I'm not ill and, aside from my voice, nothing is the matter. I'll look for a place doing something else beside stage work, until my voice is restored. Then I'll take up my profession again. Come, there is nothing to worry about."

There was--a-plenty; but he chose to ignore it for the time being. He knew, as well as did the girls, that there was little money left, and that pressing bills must soon be met. Added to them, now, would be one from the physician and Mr. DeVere would need more medical attention.

"I'm going to start out, the first thing in the morning, and look for a place," went on the actor.

"Oh, but you must be careful of your voice," said Alice. "If you don't you may harm it permanently."

"Oh I'll be careful," her father promised. "I'll take along a pad and pencil, and pretend to be dumb. But I'll speak if it's absolutely necessary. Now that there is no particular object in holding myself for the place in 'A Matter of Friendship,' and with the strain of rehearsal over, I won't be so afraid of talking. Yes, in the morning I'll start out."

"I wish we could start out," said Alice to Ruth in the latter's room, later that night. "Why can't we do something to earn money?"

"We may have to--if it comes to that," agreed Ruth. "There are some bills that must be paid or----"

"Or what, Sister?"

"Never mind, don't you worry. Perhaps it will come out all right, after all. Father may get a place. He knows many persons in the theatrical business, and if he can't get behind the footlights he may get a place in front--in the box office, or something like that."

"Fancy poor father, with all his talents as an actor, taking tickets, though!"

"Well, it will be a humiliation, of course," agreed Ruth. "But what can be done? We have to live."

"Oh, if only I were a boy!" cried Alice, with a flash of her brown eyes. "I'd do something then!"

"What would you do?" asked Ruth.

"I--I'd turn the crank of a moving picture machine if I couldn't get anything else to do. Look at Russ--he earns good money at the business."

"Yes, I know. But we can't be boys, Alice."

"No--more's the pity. But I'm going to do something!"

"What, Alice? Nothing rash, I hope," said the older sister, quickly. "You know father--"

"Oh, don't worry. I won't cause any sensation. But I'm going to do something. There's no use in two strong, healthy girls sitting around, and letting poor old daddy, with a voice like a crow's, doing all the work and worrying."

"No, I agree with you, and if there is anything I could do I'd do it."

"That's it!" exclaimed Alice, petulantly. "Girls ought to be brought up able to do something so they could earn their living if they had to, instead of sitting around doing embroidery or tinkling on the piano. I wouldn't know even how to clerk in a store if I had to."

"I hope you won't have to, Alice."

"So do I. I shouldn't like it, but there are worse things than that. I know what I am going to do, though."


"I'm going to look through the advertisements in the paper to-morrow, and start out after the most promising places."

"Oh, Alice!"

"Well, what else is there to be done?" asked the younger girl, fiercely. "We've got to live. We've got to have a place to stay, and we've got to pay the bills that are piling up. Can you think of anything else to do?"

"No, but something may--turn up."

"I'm not going to wait for it. I'm not like Mr. Micawber. I'm going out and turn up something for myself. There's one thing I can do, and that's manicure. I could get a place at that, maybe," and Alice looked at her pretty and well-kept nails, while Ruth glanced at her own hands.

"Yes, dear, you do that nicely. But isn't it--er--rather common?"

"All work is 'common,' I suppose. It's also common to starve--but I'm not going to do it if I can help it. Good-night!" and she flounced into her own room.

"Oh, dear!" sighed Ruth. "I wish Alice were not so--so lively" and she cried softly before she fell asleep.

Mr. DeVere was up early the next morning. He seemed more cheerful, though his voice, if anything, was hoarser and more husky than ever.

"Here's where I start out to seek my fortune!" he said raspingly, though cheerfully, after a rather scanty breakfast. "I'll come back with good news--never fear!"

He kissed the girls good-bye, and went off with a gay wave of his hand.

"Brave daddy!" murmured Ruth.

"Yes, he is brave," said Alice "and we've got to be brave, too."

"Where are you going?" asked Ruth, as she saw her sister dressing for the street.


"Out where? I must know."

"Well, if you must, I'm going to make the rounds of the manicuring parlors."

"Oh, Alice, I hate to have you do it. Some of those places where men go----"

"I'm only going to apply at the ladies' parlors."

"Oh, well, I--I suppose it's the only thing to do."

"And if worse comes to worst!" cried Alice, gaily, "I'll get some orange-sticks and we'll stew them for soup. It can't be much worse than boot-leg consomme."

"Oh, Alice!" cried Ruth. "You are hopeless."

"Hopeless--but not--helpless! _Auf Wiedersehen!_"

But in spite of her gay laugh as she closed the hall door after her, Alice DeVere's face wore a look of despondency. She knew how little chance she stood in New York--in big New York.

And perhaps it was this despondent look that caused Russ Dalwood to utter an exclamation as he met her down at the street door of the apartment house.

"What's the matter?" Alice replied to his startled ejaculation. "Is my hat on crooked; or did one of my feathers get into your eye? Foolish styles; aren't they?"

"No--nothing like that; only you looked--say, Alice, has anything happened?"

"Yes, Russ, there is something the matter," replied Alice, frankly. "Do you know of anybody who wants a young lady to do anything--that a young lady, such as I, could do?"

He laughed.

"I'm serious," she said, and a glance at her pretty face confirmed this. There was a resolute look in her brown eyes.

"Are you looking for work?" Russ asked.

"I am. I was thinking of trying to be a manicurist----"

He made a gesture of disapproval.

"Well, what can I do? I must do something. Poor daddy's voice has failed utterly. He can't take his new part in the play unless he does it in pantomime, and I'm afraid that would hardly be the thing. He simply can't speak his lines, though he can act them."

"That's too bad," said Russ, sympathetically.

"So they had to get another actor in his place," went on Alice, "and poor father has started out to look for something else to do. That's my errand this morning, also."

Russ was in deep thought for a moment. Then he exclaimed:

"I have it!"

"What? A place for me?" demanded Alice. "Tell me at once, and I'll hurry there."

"No, Alice, not a place for you; but a place for your father. You say he can't speak, but he can act?"


"Then the movies is the very place for him! He won't have to say a word--just move his lips. He can act parts in photoplays as well as if he never had a voice. I just thought of it. It will be the very thing he can do. Say, I'm glad I met you. We must get busy with this at once.

"Come on! I'm on my way now to see about my new patent, and I can take you to the manager of the film company. I know him well. I'm sure he'll give your father a place in the company, and it pays well. If Mr. DeVere can't act at the New Columbia he can in the movies! Come on!"

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The Moving Picture Girls: First Appearances In Photo Dramas - Chapter 7. Alice Changes Her Mind The Moving Picture Girls: First Appearances In Photo Dramas - Chapter 7. Alice Changes Her Mind

The Moving Picture Girls: First Appearances In Photo Dramas - Chapter 7. Alice Changes Her Mind
CHAPTER VII. ALICE CHANGES HER MINDFilled with enthusiasm over his new project for aiding Mr. DeVere, Russ Dalwood caught Alice by the hand, and guided her steps with his. She had been about to turn off at a corner, to carry out her intention of seeking employment in one of the many manicure parlors on a certain street. Now she hesitated. "Well," asked Russ, impatiently, "don't you like the idea?" "Oh, it's fine--it's splendid of you!" Alice replied, with fervor, "but you know----" She hesitated, her cheeks taking on a more ruddy hue. There was an uncertain look in her brown

The Moving Picture Girls: First Appearances In Photo Dramas - Chapter 5. Replaced The Moving Picture Girls: First Appearances In Photo Dramas - Chapter 5. Replaced

The Moving Picture Girls: First Appearances In Photo Dramas - Chapter 5. Replaced
CHAPTER V. REPLACEDFor a few moments the two girls said nothing. They simply stood there, looking at their father, who was bowed with grief. It was something new for him--a strange role, for usually he was so jolly and happy--going about reciting odd snatches from the plays in which he had taken part. "Does--does it hurt you, Daddy?" asked Ruth softly, as she stepped closer to him, and put her hand on his shoulder. He raised himself with an effort, and seemed to shake off the gloom that held him prisoner. "No--no," he answered in queer, croaking tones, so different from