“Do, do, my dears, try to find my girl and Celia when you go to Chicago.”
Nan and Bess promised to do so, for neither realized what a great city Chicago is, and that people might live there, almost side by side, for years and never meet.
RAVELL BULSON’S TROUBLE
“What do you think of those two girls, anyway, Nan?” Bess Harley asked.
This was late in the evening, after the porter had made up their berths again in the Pullman. The baskets of food had been welcomed by the snow-bound passengers with acclaim. The two girls were thanked more warmly for their thoughtfulness than Nan and Bess believed they really deserved.
Bess Harley’s question, of course, referred to Sallie Morton and Celia Snubbins, the girls who had run away from home to become moving picture actresses. Nan replied to her chum’s query:
“That Sallie Morton must be a very silly girl indeed to leave such a comfortable home and such a lovely mother. Perhaps Celia Snubbins may not have been so pleasantly situated; but I am sure she had no reason for running away.”
Bess sighed. “Well,” she murmured, “it must be great fun to work for the movies. Just think of those two country girls appearing in a five-reel film like ‘A Rural Beauty.’”
“Well, for goodness’ sake, Bess Harley!” cried Nan, astonished, “have you been bitten by that bug?”
“Don’t call it ’bug’—that sounds so common,” objected Bess. “Call it ‘bacilli of the motion picture.’ It must be great,” she added emphatically, “to see yourself acting on the screen!”
“I guess so,” Nan said, with a laugh. “A whole lot those two foolish girls acted in that ‘Rural Beauty’ picture. They were probably two of the ‘merry villagers’ who helped to make a background for the real actresses. You know very well, Bess, that girls like us wouldn’t be hired by any film company for anything important.”
“Why—you know, Nan,” her chum said, “that some of the most highly paid film people are young girls.”
“Yes. But they are particularly fitted for the work. Do you feel the genius of a movie actress burning in you?” scoffed Nan.
“No-o,” admitted Bess. “I think it is that hard boiled egg I ate. And it doesn’t exactly burn.”
Nan went off in a gale of laughter at this, and stage-struck Bess chimed in. “I don’t care,” the latter repeated, the last thing before they climbed into their respective berths, “it must be oodles of fun to work for the movies.”
While the chums slept there were great doings outside the snow-bound train. The crew turned out with shovels, farmers in the neighborhood helped, and part of a lately arrived section gang joined in to shovel the snow away from the stalled engine and train.
Cordwood had been bought of Peleg Morton and hauled over to the locomotive for fuel. With this the engineer and fireman managed to make sufficient steam to heat the Pullman coach and the smoking car. Nan and Bess had brought little “Buster,” as the spaniel had been named, into their section and, having been fed and made warm, he gave the girls hardly any trouble during the night.