en-es  Laura Lee Hope » The Moving Picture Girls » Chapter 1.
Laura Lee Hope / The Moving picture Girls / Chapter 1.

AN UNCEREMONIOUS DEPARTURE.

"Oh, isn't it just splendid, Ruth? Don't you feel like singing and dancing? Come on, let's have a two-step! I'll whistle!"

"Alice! How can you be so—so boisterous?" expostulated the taller of two girls, who stood in the middle of their small and rather shabby parlor.

"Boisterous! Weren't you going to say—rude?" laughingly asked the one who had first spoken. "Come, now, 'fess up! Weren't you?" and the shorter of the twain, a girl rather plump and pretty, with merry brown eyes, put her arm about the waist of her sister and endeavored to lead her through the maze of chairs in the whirl of a dance, whistling, meanwhile, a joyous strain from one of the latest Broadway successes.

"Oh, Alice!" came in rather fretful tones. "I don't—" "You don't know what to make of me? That's it; isn't it, sister mine? Oh, I can read you like a book. But, Ruth, why aren't you jolly once in a while? Why always that 'maiden all forlorn' look on your face? Why that far-away, distant look in your eyes—'Anne, Sister Anne, dost see anyone approaching?' Talk about Bluebeard! Come on, do one turn with me. I'm learning the one-step, you know, and it's lovely!

"Come on, laugh and sing! Really, aren't you glad that dad has an engagement at last? A real engagement that will bring in some real money! Aren't you glad? It will mean so much to us! Money! Why, I haven't seen enough real money of late to have a speaking acquaintance with it. We've been trusted for everything, except carfare, and it would have come to that pretty soon. Say you're glad, Ruth!"

The younger girl gave up the attempt to entice her sister into a dance, and stood facing her, arm still about her waist, the laughing brown eyes gazing mischievously up into the rather sad blue ones of the taller girl.

"Glad? Of course I'm glad, Alice DeVere, and you know it. I'm just as glad as you are that daddy has an engagement. He's waited long enough for one, goodness knows!"

"You have a queer way of showing your gladness," commented the other drily, shrugging her shapely shoulders. "Why, I can hardly keep still. La-la-la-la! La-la-la-la! La-la-la!" She hummed the air of a Viennese waltz song, meanwhile whirling gracefully about with extended arms, her dress floating about her balloonwise.

"Oh, Alice! Don't!" objected her sister.

"Can't help it, Ruth. I've just got to dance. La-la!"

She stopped suddenly as a vase crashed to the floor from a table, shattering into many pieces.

"Oh!" cried Alice, aghast, as she stood looking at the ruin she had unwittingly wrought. "Oh, dear, and daddy was so fond of that vase!"

"There, you see what you've done!" exclaimed Ruth, who, though only seventeen, and but two years older than her sister, was of a much more sedate disposition. "I told you not to dance!"

"You did nothing of the sort, Ruth DeVere. You just stood and looked at me, and you wouldn't join in, and maybe if you had this wouldn't have happened—and—and—" She did not finish, her voice trailing off rather dismally as she stooped to pick up the pieces of the vase.

"It can't be mended, either," she went on, and when she looked up the merry brown eyes were veiled in a mist of tears. Ruth's heart softened at once.

"There, dear!" she said in consoling tones. "Of course you couldn't help it. Don't worry. Daddy won't mind when you tell him you were just doing a little waltz of happiness because he has an engagement at last."

She, too, stooped and her light hair mingled with the dark brown tresses of her sister as they gathered up the fragments.

"I don't care!" announced Alice, finally, as she sank into a chair. "I'll tell dad myself. I'm glad, anyhow, even if the vase is broken. I never liked it. I don't see why dad set such store by the old thing."

"You forget, Alice, that it was one of—" "Mother's—yes, I know," and she sighed. "Father gave it to her when they were married, but really, mother was like me—she never cared for it."

"Yes, Alice, you are much as mother was," returned Ruth, with gentle dignity. "You are growing more like her every day."

"Am I, really?" and in delight the younger girl sprang up, her grief over the vase for the moment forgotten. "Am I really like her, Ruth? I'm so glad! Tell me more of her. I scarcely remember her. I was only seven when she died, Ruth."

"Eight, my dear. You were eight years old, but such a tiny little thing! I could hold you in my arms."

"You couldn't do it now!" laughed Alice, with a downward glance at her plump figure. Yet she was not over-plump, but with the rounding curves and graces of coming womanhood.

"Well, I couldn't hold you long," laughed Ruth. "But I wonder what is keeping daddy? He telephoned that he would come right home. I'm so anxious to have him tell us all about it!"

"So am I. Probably he had to stay to arrange about rehearsals," replied Alice. "What theater did he say he was going to open at?"

"The New Columbia. It's one of the nicest in New York, too."

"Oh, I'm so glad. Now we can go to a play once in a while—I'm almost starved for the sight of the footlights, and to hear the orchestra tuning up. And you know, while he had no engagement dad wouldn't let us take advantage of his professional privilege, and present his card at the box office."

"Yes, I know he is peculiar that way. But I shall be glad, too, to attend a play now and again. I'm getting quite rusty. I did so want to see Maude Adams when she was here. But—" "I'd never have gone in the dress I had!" broke in Alice. "I want something pretty to wear; don't you?"

"Of course I do, dear. But with things the way they were—" "We had to eat our prospective dresses," laughed Alice. "It was like being shipwrecked, when the sailors have to cut their boots into lengths and make a stew of them."

"Alice!" cried Ruth, rather shocked.

"It was so!" affirmed the other. "Why, you must have read of it dozens of times in those novels you're always poring over. The hero and heroine on a raft—she looks up into his eyes and sighs. 'Have another morsel of boot soup, darling!' Why, the time dad had to use the money he had half promised me for that charmeuse, and we bought the supper at the delicatessen—you know, when Mr. Blake stopped and you asked him to stay to tea, when there wasn't a thing in the house to eat—do you remember that?"

"Yes, but I don't see what it has to do with shipwrecked sailors eating their boots. Really, Alice—" "Of course it was just the same," explained the younger girl, merrily. "There was nothing fit to give Mr. Blake, and I took the money that was to have been paid for my charmeuse, and slipped out to Mr. Dinkelspatcher's—or whatever his name is—and bought a meal. Well, we ate my dress, that's all, Ruth."

"Why, Alice!"

"And I wish we had it to eat over again," went on the other, with a half sigh. "I don't know what we are going to do for supper. How much have we in the purse?"

"Only a few dollars."

"And we must save that, I suppose, until dad gets some salary, which won't be for a time yet. And we really ought to celebrate in some way, now that he's had this bit of good luck! Oh, isn't it just awful to be poor!"

"Hush, Alice! The neighbors will hear you. The walls of this apartment house are so terribly thin!"

"I don't care if they do hear. They all know dad hasn't had a theatrical engagement for ever so long. And they know we haven't any what you might call—resources—or we wouldn't live here. Of course they know we're poor—that's no news!"

"I know, my dear. But you are so—so out-spoken."

"I'm glad of it. Oh, Ruth, when will you ever give up trying to pretend we are what we are not? You're a dear, nice, sweet, romantic sister, and some day I hope the Fairy Prince will come riding past on his milk-white steed—and, say, Ruth, why should a prince always ride a milk-white steed? There's something that's never been explained.

"All the novels and fairy stories have milk-white steeds for the hero to prance up on when he rescues the doleful maiden. And if there's any color that gets dirtier sooner, and makes a horse look most like a lost hope, it's white. Of course I know they can keep a circus horse milk-white, but it isn't practical for princes or heroes. The first mud puddle he splashed through—And, oh, say! If the prince should fail in his fortunes later, and have to hire out to drive a coal wagon! Wouldn't his milk-white steed look sweet then? There goes one now," and she pointed out of the window to the street below.

"Do, Ruth, if your prince comes, insist on his changing his steed for one of sober brown. It will wear better."

"Don't be silly, Alice!"

"Oh, I can't help it. Hark, is that dad's step?"

The two girls listened, turning their heads toward the hall entrance door.

"No, it's someone over at the Dalwoods'—across the corridor."

The noise in the hallway increased. There were hasty footsteps, and then rather loud voices.

"I tell you I won't have anything to do with you, and you needn't come sneaking around here any more. I'm done with you!"

"That's Russ," whispered Alice.

"Yes," agreed Ruth, and her sister noted a slight flush on her fair cheeks.

Then came a voice in expostulation: "But I tell you I can market it for you, and get you something for it. If you try to go it alone—" "Well, that's just what I'm going to do—go it alone, and I don't want to hear any more from you. Now you get out!"

"But look here—" There was a sound of a scuffle, and a body crashed up against the door of the DeVere apartment.

"Oh!" cried Ruth and Alice together.

Their door swung open, for someone had seemingly caught at the knob to save himself from falling. The girls had a glimpse of their neighbor across the hall, Russ Dalwood by name, pushing a strange man toward the head of the stairs.

"Now you get out!" cried Russ, and the man left rather unceremoniously, slipping down two or three steps before he could recover his balance and grasp the railing.

"Oh, shut the door, quickly, Alice!" gasped Ruth.

Literature Network / Laura Lee Hope / The Moving Picture Girls / Chapter 1.
unit 1
Laura Lee Hope / The Moving picture Girls / Chapter 1.
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AN UNCEREMONIOUS DEPARTURE.
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"Oh, isn't it just splendid, Ruth?
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Don't you feel like singing and dancing?
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Come on, let's have a two-step!
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I'll whistle!"
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"Alice!
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How can you be so—so boisterous?"
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"Boisterous!
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Weren't you going to say—rude?"
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laughingly asked the one who had first spoken.
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"Come, now, 'fess up!
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Weren't you?"
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"Oh, Alice!"
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came in rather fretful tones.
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"I don't—" "You don't know what to make of me?
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That's it; isn't it, sister mine?
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Oh, I can read you like a book.
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But, Ruth, why aren't you jolly once in a while?
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Why always that 'maiden all forlorn' look on your face?
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Talk about Bluebeard!
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Come on, do one turn with me.
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I'm learning the one-step, you know, and it's lovely!
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"Come on, laugh and sing!
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Really, aren't you glad that dad has an engagement at last?
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A real engagement that will bring in some real money!
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Aren't you glad?
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It will mean so much to us!
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Money!
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Say you're glad, Ruth!"
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"Glad?
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Of course I'm glad, Alice DeVere, and you know it.
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I'm just as glad as you are that daddy has an engagement.
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He's waited long enough for one, goodness knows!"
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"Why, I can hardly keep still.
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La-la-la-la!
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La-la-la-la!
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La-la-la!"
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"Oh, Alice!
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Don't!"
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objected her sister.
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"Can't help it, Ruth.
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I've just got to dance.
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La-la!"
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"Oh!"
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"Oh, dear, and daddy was so fond of that vase!"
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"There, you see what you've done!"
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"I told you not to dance!"
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"You did nothing of the sort, Ruth DeVere.
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Ruth's heart softened at once.
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"There, dear!"
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she said in consoling tones.
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"Of course you couldn't help it.
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Don't worry.
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"I don't care!"
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announced Alice, finally, as she sank into a chair.
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"I'll tell dad myself.
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I'm glad, anyhow, even if the vase is broken.
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I never liked it.
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I don't see why dad set such store by the old thing."
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"You are growing more like her every day."
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"Am I, really?"
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"Am I really like her, Ruth?
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I'm so glad!
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Tell me more of her.
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I scarcely remember her.
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I was only seven when she died, Ruth."
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"Eight, my dear.
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You were eight years old, but such a tiny little thing!
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I could hold you in my arms."
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"You couldn't do it now!"
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laughed Alice, with a downward glance at her plump figure.
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"Well, I couldn't hold you long," laughed Ruth.
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"But I wonder what is keeping daddy?
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He telephoned that he would come right home.
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I'm so anxious to have him tell us all about it!"
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"So am I.
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Probably he had to stay to arrange about rehearsals," replied Alice.
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"What theater did he say he was going to open at?"
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"The New Columbia.
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It's one of the nicest in New York, too."
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"Oh, I'm so glad.
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"Yes, I know he is peculiar that way.
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But I shall be glad, too, to attend a play now and again.
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I'm getting quite rusty.
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I did so want to see Maude Adams when she was here.
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But—" "I'd never have gone in the dress I had!"
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broke in Alice.
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"I want something pretty to wear; don't you?"
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"Of course I do, dear.
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"Alice!"
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cried Ruth, rather shocked.
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"It was so!"
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affirmed the other.
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The hero and heroine on a raft—she looks up into his eyes and sighs.
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'Have another morsel of boot soup, darling!'
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Well, we ate my dress, that's all, Ruth."
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"Why, Alice!"
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"I don't know what we are going to do for supper.
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How much have we in the purse?"
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"Only a few dollars."
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Oh, isn't it just awful to be poor!"
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"Hush, Alice!
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The neighbors will hear you.
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The walls of this apartment house are so terribly thin!"
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"I don't care if they do hear.
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They all know dad hasn't had a theatrical engagement for ever so long.
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Of course they know we're poor—that's no news!"
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"I know, my dear.
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But you are so—so out-spoken."
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"I'm glad of it.
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There's something that's never been explained.
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The first mud puddle he splashed through—And, oh, say!
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Wouldn't his milk-white steed look sweet then?
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It will wear better."
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"Don't be silly, Alice!"
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"Oh, I can't help it.
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Hark, is that dad's step?"
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"No, it's someone over at the Dalwoods'—across the corridor."
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The noise in the hallway increased.
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There were hasty footsteps, and then rather loud voices.
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I'm done with you!"
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"That's Russ," whispered Alice.
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Now you get out!"
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"Oh!"
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cried Ruth and Alice together.
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"Now you get out!"
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"Oh, shut the door, quickly, Alice!"
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gasped Ruth.
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Laura Lee Hope / The Moving picture Girls / Chapter 1.

AN UNCEREMONIOUS DEPARTURE.

"Oh, isn't it just splendid, Ruth? Don't you feel like singing and dancing? Come on, let's have a two-step! I'll whistle!"

"Alice! How can you be so—so boisterous?" expostulated the taller of two girls, who stood in the middle of their small and rather shabby parlor.

"Boisterous! Weren't you going to say—rude?" laughingly asked the one who had first spoken. "Come, now, 'fess up! Weren't you?" and the shorter of the twain, a girl rather plump and pretty, with merry brown eyes, put her arm about the waist of her sister and endeavored to lead her through the maze of chairs in the whirl of a dance, whistling, meanwhile, a joyous strain from one of the latest Broadway successes.

"Oh, Alice!" came in rather fretful tones. "I don't—"

"You don't know what to make of me? That's it; isn't it, sister mine? Oh, I can read you like a book. But, Ruth, why aren't you jolly once in a while? Why always that 'maiden all forlorn' look on your face? Why that far-away, distant look in your eyes—'Anne, Sister Anne, dost see anyone approaching?' Talk about Bluebeard! Come on, do one turn with me. I'm learning the one-step, you know, and it's lovely!

"Come on, laugh and sing! Really, aren't you glad that dad has an engagement at last? A real engagement that will bring in some real money! Aren't you glad? It will mean so much to us! Money! Why, I haven't seen enough real money of late to have a speaking acquaintance with it. We've been trusted for everything, except carfare, and it would have come to that pretty soon. Say you're glad, Ruth!"

The younger girl gave up the attempt to entice her sister into a dance, and stood facing her, arm still about her waist, the laughing brown eyes gazing mischievously up into the rather sad blue ones of the taller girl.

"Glad? Of course I'm glad, Alice DeVere, and you know it. I'm just as glad as you are that daddy has an engagement. He's waited long enough for one, goodness knows!"

"You have a queer way of showing your gladness," commented the other drily, shrugging her shapely shoulders. "Why, I can hardly keep still. La-la-la-la! La-la-la-la! La-la-la!" She hummed the air of a Viennese waltz song, meanwhile whirling gracefully about with extended arms, her dress floating about her balloonwise.

"Oh, Alice! Don't!" objected her sister.

"Can't help it, Ruth. I've just got to dance. La-la!"

She stopped suddenly as a vase crashed to the floor from a table, shattering into many pieces.

"Oh!" cried Alice, aghast, as she stood looking at the ruin she had unwittingly wrought. "Oh, dear, and daddy was so fond of that vase!"

"There, you see what you've done!" exclaimed Ruth, who, though only seventeen, and but two years older than her sister, was of a much more sedate disposition. "I told you not to dance!"

"You did nothing of the sort, Ruth DeVere. You just stood and looked at me, and you wouldn't join in, and maybe if you had this wouldn't have happened—and—and—"

She did not finish, her voice trailing off rather dismally as she stooped to pick up the pieces of the vase.

"It can't be mended, either," she went on, and when she looked up the merry brown eyes were veiled in a mist of tears. Ruth's heart softened at once.

"There, dear!" she said in consoling tones. "Of course you couldn't help it. Don't worry. Daddy won't mind when you tell him you were just doing a little waltz of happiness because he has an engagement at last."

She, too, stooped and her light hair mingled with the dark brown tresses of her sister as they gathered up the fragments.

"I don't care!" announced Alice, finally, as she sank into a chair. "I'll tell dad myself. I'm glad, anyhow, even if the vase is broken. I never liked it. I don't see why dad set such store by the old thing."

"You forget, Alice, that it was one of—"

"Mother's—yes, I know," and she sighed. "Father gave it to her when they were married, but really, mother was like me—she never cared for it."

"Yes, Alice, you are much as mother was," returned Ruth, with gentle dignity. "You are growing more like her every day."

"Am I, really?" and in delight the younger girl sprang up, her grief over the vase for the moment forgotten. "Am I really like her, Ruth? I'm so glad! Tell me more of her. I scarcely remember her. I was only seven when she died, Ruth."

"Eight, my dear. You were eight years old, but such a tiny little thing! I could hold you in my arms."

"You couldn't do it now!" laughed Alice, with a downward glance at her plump figure. Yet she was not over-plump, but with the rounding curves and graces of coming womanhood.

"Well, I couldn't hold you long," laughed Ruth. "But I wonder what is keeping daddy? He telephoned that he would come right home. I'm so anxious to have him tell us all about it!"

"So am I. Probably he had to stay to arrange about rehearsals," replied Alice. "What theater did he say he was going to open at?"

"The New Columbia. It's one of the nicest in New York, too."

"Oh, I'm so glad. Now we can go to a play once in a while—I'm almost starved for the sight of the footlights, and to hear the orchestra tuning up. And you know, while he had no engagement dad wouldn't let us take advantage of his professional privilege, and present his card at the box office."

"Yes, I know he is peculiar that way. But I shall be glad, too, to attend a play now and again. I'm getting quite rusty. I did so want to see Maude Adams when she was here. But—"

"I'd never have gone in the dress I had!" broke in Alice. "I want something pretty to wear; don't you?"

"Of course I do, dear. But with things the way they were—"

"We had to eat our prospective dresses," laughed Alice. "It was like being shipwrecked, when the sailors have to cut their boots into lengths and make a stew of them."

"Alice!" cried Ruth, rather shocked.

"It was so!" affirmed the other. "Why, you must have read of it dozens of times in those novels you're always poring over. The hero and heroine on a raft—she looks up into his eyes and sighs. 'Have another morsel of boot soup, darling!' Why, the time dad had to use the money he had half promised me for that charmeuse, and we bought the supper at the delicatessen—you know, when Mr. Blake stopped and you asked him to stay to tea, when there wasn't a thing in the house to eat—do you remember that?"

"Yes, but I don't see what it has to do with shipwrecked sailors eating their boots. Really, Alice—"

"Of course it was just the same," explained the younger girl, merrily. "There was nothing fit to give Mr. Blake, and I took the money that was to have been paid for my charmeuse, and slipped out to Mr. Dinkelspatcher's—or whatever his name is—and bought a meal. Well, we ate my dress, that's all, Ruth."

"Why, Alice!"

"And I wish we had it to eat over again," went on the other, with a half sigh. "I don't know what we are going to do for supper. How much have we in the purse?"

"Only a few dollars."

"And we must save that, I suppose, until dad gets some salary, which won't be for a time yet. And we really ought to celebrate in some way, now that he's had this bit of good luck! Oh, isn't it just awful to be poor!"

"Hush, Alice! The neighbors will hear you. The walls of this apartment house are so terribly thin!"

"I don't care if they do hear. They all know dad hasn't had a theatrical engagement for ever so long. And they know we haven't any what you might call—resources—or we wouldn't live here. Of course they know we're poor—that's no news!"

"I know, my dear. But you are so—so out-spoken."

"I'm glad of it. Oh, Ruth, when will you ever give up trying to pretend we are what we are not? You're a dear, nice, sweet, romantic sister, and some day I hope the Fairy Prince will come riding past on his milk-white steed—and, say, Ruth, why should a prince always ride a milk-white steed? There's something that's never been explained.

"All the novels and fairy stories have milk-white steeds for the hero to prance up on when he rescues the doleful maiden. And if there's any color that gets dirtier sooner, and makes a horse look most like a lost hope, it's white. Of course I know they can keep a circus horse milk-white, but it isn't practical for princes or heroes. The first mud puddle he splashed through—And, oh, say! If the prince should fail in his fortunes later, and have to hire out to drive a coal wagon! Wouldn't his milk-white steed look sweet then? There goes one now," and she pointed out of the window to the street below.

"Do, Ruth, if your prince comes, insist on his changing his steed for one of sober brown. It will wear better."

"Don't be silly, Alice!"

"Oh, I can't help it. Hark, is that dad's step?"

The two girls listened, turning their heads toward the hall entrance door.

"No, it's someone over at the Dalwoods'—across the corridor."

The noise in the hallway increased. There were hasty footsteps, and then rather loud voices.

"I tell you I won't have anything to do with you, and you needn't come sneaking around here any more. I'm done with you!"

"That's Russ," whispered Alice.

"Yes," agreed Ruth, and her sister noted a slight flush on her fair cheeks.

Then came a voice in expostulation:

"But I tell you I can market it for you, and get you something for it. If you try to go it alone—"

"Well, that's just what I'm going to do—go it alone, and I don't want to hear any more from you. Now you get out!"

"But look here—"

There was a sound of a scuffle, and a body crashed up against the door of the DeVere apartment.

"Oh!" cried Ruth and Alice together.

Their door swung open, for someone had seemingly caught at the knob to save himself from falling. The girls had a glimpse of their neighbor across the hall, Russ Dalwood by name, pushing a strange man toward the head of the stairs.

"Now you get out!" cried Russ, and the man left rather unceremoniously, slipping down two or three steps before he could recover his balance and grasp the railing.

"Oh, shut the door, quickly, Alice!" gasped Ruth.

Literature Network / Laura Lee Hope / The Moving Picture Girls / Chapter 1.