She was not at all sleepy or weary-looking and she went out through the pantry to the kitchen.
“Please give me a cup of coffee,” she said to the cook, who was just beginning her day’s work.
She looked in amazement at Azalea, for she had had no orders over night to serve an early breakfast.
“I’ll get you something as quick as I can,” she said, good-naturedly. “I didn’t know you was going to town, Miss Thorpe.”
“Just decided,” said Azalea, carelessly; “and I don’t want breakfast,—only a cup of coffee and a bit of toast. There’s a good cookie.”
Smiling at the cajolery, the cook bustled about and soon had an appetising little repast ready. Azalea gratefully accepted the poached egg and the marmalade in addition to what she had requested, and in a short time had finished and prepared to depart.
But she did not ask for one of the Farnsworth motor-cars; instead, she walked swiftly out of the gate and down the street toward the trolley line.
She waited for a car and when it came she got aboard and settled down for a long ride.
At last she got out and a short walk brought her to her destination. This was nothing more nor less than a great moving-picture studio.
There were a number of people about, all very busy and intent on what they were doing.
Azalea seemed to be known, for two or three nodded pleasantly to her as she went swiftly along to the office.
There she presented herself, and was received by Mr. Bixby, the man who had one day called on her at Wistaria Porch.
“Well, Miss Thorpe,” he said, briskly, “I suppose you heard the news. Miss Frawley has broken her ankle—”
“Yes, I heard that,” said Azalea, with a sympathetic look.
“And we think we want to put you in her place,—at least, for a trial.”
“I’m glad to try,” Azalea said, earnestly. “I’ll do my best to make good. But I can’t bring the baby again.”
“Oh, pshaw, yes you can,—just once more, anyway. But never mind that now. We must see about your own part. You know there’s danger, Miss Thorpe?”
“Miss Frawley braved the danger,” Azalea said, quietly.
“Yes, and Miss Frawley broke her ankle.”
“I know; and I may break mine, but I’ll take the chance. I am not afraid,—though I well know that accidents may happen. What was Miss Frawley doing?”
“It was in that climbing scene. You know she climbs the sheer precipice of rock. There are hidden spikes driven into the rock for her feet, of course, but she missed one, and fell.”
“I’ll be as careful as I can, but I may miss it, too.”
“In that case, we’ll have to get some one else,” said Mr. Bixby, coolly. “Are you ready for work?”
“Oh, yes,” and then Azalea was shown to the dressing-rooms.
This was her secret. For years she had wanted to be a moving-picture actress, and she had hoped before she left Arizona for New York that she might get an opportunity to take up the work. She had expected to begin with minor parts, and hoped by her skill and earnest efforts to attain eminence.