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    Chapter 14

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    Chapter 14
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    The proprietor of Eternal City wiped his perspiring forehead with his napkin, and started rather hurriedly to make conversation. I understood that he wanted to enjoy his dinner, and proposed to talk about something pleasant in the meantime. "I vonna tell you about dis picture ve're goin' to see took, Mr. Carpenter. I vant you should see de scale we do tings on, ven we got a big subjic. Y'unnerstand, dis is a feature picture ve're makin' now; a night picture, a big mob scene.".

    "Mob scene?" said Carpenter. "You have so many mobs in this world of yours!"

    "Vell, sure," said T-S. "You gotta take dis vorld de vay you find it. Y'can't change human nature, y'know. But dis vot you're gonna see tonight is only a play mob, y'unnerstand."

    "That is what seems strangest of all to me," said the other, thoughtfully. "You like mobs so well that you make imitation ones!"

    "Vell, de people, dey like to see crowds in a picture, and dey like to see action. If you gonna have a big picture, you gotta spend de money."

    "Why not take this real mob that is outside the door?"

    "Ha, ha, ha! Ve couldn't verk dat very good, Mr. Carpenter. Ve gotta have it in de right set; and ven you git a real mob, it don't alvays do vot you vant exactly! Besides, you can't take night pictures unless you got your lights and everyting. No, ve gotta make our mobs to order; we got two tousand fellers hired--"

    "What Mr. Rosythe called 'studio bums'? You have that many?"

    "Sure, we could git ten tousand if de set vould hold 'em. Dis picture is called 'De Tale o' Two Cities,' and it's de French revolution. It's about a feller vot takes anodder feller's place and gits his head cut off; and say, dere's a sob story in it vot's a vunder. Ven dey brought me de scenario, I says, 'Who's de author?' Dey says, 'It's a guy named Charles Dickens.' 'Dickens?' says I. 'Vell, I like his verk. Vot's his address?' And Lipsky, he says, says he, 'Dey tell me he stays in a place called Vestminster Abbey, in England.' 'Vell,' says I, 'send him a cablegram and find out vot he'll take fer an exclusive contract.' So we sent a cablegram to Charles Dickens, Vestminster Abbey, England, and we didn't git no answer, and come to find out, de boys in de studios vas havin' a laugh on old Abey, because dis guy Dickens is some old time feller, and de Abbey is vere dey got his bones. Vell, dey can have deir fun--how de hell's a feller like me gonna git time to know about writers? Vy, only twelve years ago, Maw here and me vas carryin' pants in a push-cart fer a livin', and we didn't know if a book vas top-side up or bottom--ain't it, Maw?"

    Maw certified that it was--though I thought not quite so eagerly as her husband. There were five little T-S's growing up, and bringing pressure to let the dead past stay buried, in Vestminster Abbey or wherever it might be.

    The waiter brought the dinner, and spread it before us. And T-S tucked his napkin under both ears, and grabbed his knife in one hand and his fork in the other, and took a long breath, and said: "Good-bye, folks. See you later!" And he went to work.
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