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01 09 2016

extending along for twenty feet

Gloria had decided that Anthony was to know nothing of this until she had obtained a definite position, and accordingly she was dressed and out of the apartment next morning before he awoke. Her mirror had given her, she thought, much the same account as ever. She wondered if there were any lingering traces of her sickness. She was still slightly under weight, and she had fancied, a few days before, that her cheeks were a trifle thinner--but she felt that those were merely transitory conditions and that on this particular day she looked as fresh as ever. She had bought and charged a new hat, and as the day was warm she had left the leopard skin coat at home.
 
At the "Films par Excellence" studios she was announced over the telephone and told that Mr. Black would be down directly. She looked around her. Two girls were being shown about by a little fat man in a slash-pocket coat, and one of them had indicated a stack of thin parcels, piled breast-high against the wall.
"That's studio mail," explained the fat man. "pictures of the stars who are with 'Films par Excellence.'"
 
"Oh."
 
"Each one's autographed by Florence Kelley or Gaston Mears or Mack Dodge--" He winked confidentially. "At least when Minnie McGlook out in Sauk Center gets the picture she wrote for, she _thinks_ it's autographed."
 
"Just a stamp?"
 
"Sure. It'd take 'em a good eight-hour day to autograph half of 'em. They say Mary pickford's studio mail costs her fifty thousand a year."
 
"Say!"
 
"Sure. Fifty thousand. But it's the best kinda advertising there is--"
 
They drifted out of earshot and almost immediately Bloeckman appeared--Bloeckman, a dark suave gentleman, gracefully engaged in the middle forties, who greeted her with courteous warmth and told her she had not changed a bit in three years. He led the way into a great hall, as large as an armory and broken intermittently with busy sets and blinding rows of unfamiliar light. Each piece of scenery was marked in large white letters "Gaston Mears Company," "Mack Dodge Company," or simply "Films par Excellence."

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