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good. It is necessary to do that to keep your hand in. When writing a play, I do not dress in my street clothes; for I know there will be the temptation to go out, and once out of the house I might not come back to work.
“Before the actual writing of the dialogue, I have in mind the beginning, middle, and end of the play. I write the whole thing roughly as a story, then divide into acts, sometimes even into scenes. All this is done before the writing of dialogue begins. It saves a lot of labor. Then you know you have sufficient material, and you won't write two acts and then find you have nothing left for a third. Dialogue is very easy to me. It is in constructing a play that I must take off my coat and fight. A scene is usually right the first time. It
тау need cutting and polishing; but if the dialogue does not come easily and right the first time, I know something is wrong and that it won't come at all—that I had better try some other motive."
"Since plays like ‘Spanish Love' and 'The Buť were written by yourself and Mrs. Mary Roberts Rinehart, could procedure you adopt when you collaborate?”
HAT depends entirely on the complexity
of plot and the nature of its construction. When a plot lends itself to easy development, Mrs. Rinehart usually writes one act and I write another. We then exchange manuscripts for general criticism. Finally we rewrite the acts in accordance with those criticisms.
“But sometimes a play, because of complexity of plot or difficult problems or obstacles, does not allow such a method of procedure. In that case, we have to fall back on the more usual method of personal contact which permits more opportunity for discussion.
“Mrs. Rinehart lives with her husband and family in Pittsburg. Whenever it is necessary, I go there for a few weeks' stay for the purpose of collaborating or she comes to New York. We get together four or five hours a day for real
work. She sits at one end of the table and I at the other. I usually handle the typewriter. One of us presents an idea for a scene or dialogue and the other criticises and dissects it. By the time we get through we don't know who contributed the most to that scene. After a dozen such meetings, the rough draft of the play is usually completed and needs only a little polish and revision.”
“What event in your life suggested your play 'The Gold Diggers'?"
ONVERSATION with a prominent
member of a musical comedy suggested this play. She brought to my attention the fact that certain members of her cast formed a club consisting of those girls who received presents from wealthy admirers and gave nothing in return. They called themselves "The Gold Diggers.'”
“How about ‘The Bat,' certainly the most remarkable mystery play ever written?”
VHE Bat' is based on the 'Circle Stair
case,' a detective story written by Mrs. Rinehart in 1907. Mrs. Rinehart and I maintain that 'The Bat' is a question-proof mystery play. There is not a question that can be raised regarding the play which we cannot answer. Try one. The spontaneous comical remarks in the mouth of the servant in the play were put in to break up the tense moments of the chill-creeping scenes.”
"Spanish Love" is Mr. Hopwood's first experience in adapting a foreign play for the American stage, and he found it a difficult task.
“What little humor there was in the original would have been unintelligible to an American audience,” he told me. “Mrs. Rinehart and I felt that humor was needed in it. But you can't write humor around Spanish peasants. In other words, as Broadway terms it, we could do no 'wise cracking. For that reason, we decided to treat it in romantic fashion.”
you tell me just what method of "THE
WITH doubt and dismay you are smitten,
You think there's no chance for you, son? Why the best books haven't been written,
The best race hasn't been run; The best score hasn't been made yet,
The best song hasn't been sung, The best tune hasn't been played yet,
Cheer up, for the world is young.
The best verse hasn't been rhymed yet,
The best house hasn't been planned, The highest peak hasn't been climbed yet,
The mightiest rivers aren't spanned;
The chances have just begun
The other girls had given Minnie Kenny advice out of the fullness of their experience. They told her that if she wanted to "hold him" she must praise him, and compliment him, and tell him over and over again how much she admired him. But she couldn't
do it. She worked out her own salvation in another way.
A Girl Dares Greatly
By MARY SINGER
ILLUSTRATED BY JOHN R. NEILL
NCE a year, in spring, Romance fluttered Crane establishment and ask her to dinner and
by the desk of Minnie Kenny and the theater.
tarried awhile. At that time, Minnie That night she would clear her desk hurriedly forgot that she was small, and thin, and pale, and take the car to Mrs. Grew's boardingand altogether lacking in that startling beauty house. Once there, she would fly up to her which marked the girls who sold gowns and room, and heedless of the warning bell to dinmillinery in the thickly carpeted fashion-salon ner, she would dress herself with extreme of Crane’s. At that time, she forgot that she
Every little hook and eye would be was merely a bookkeeper on a high chair caught in place, and every silken strand of behind the little grated window where sales her shining brown hair would be slicked tidily were reported and recorded, and she ventured back, until, when she tripped down the stairs to forth into the mirrored buying-room where answer Josh Merritt's bell, she looked like a Josh Merritt came yearly to display his spring prim and pruned, sleek, little tulip. line of hats.
And now again it was spring, and Josh At that time, too, Minnie became for a short Merritt, tall, browned, blue-eyed, with his while, an object of great concern to the sophis- same irresistible smile, his same irrepressible ticated saleswomen who gave to the Crane good humor, and his same faultlessly pressed establishment its aura of extreme smartness. suit of blue serge, was standing in the center of One by one they would cross to Minnie's the little buying-room, openly admiring the window, and in a spirit of light banter, drop a piquant faces of the pretty models who jerked hint or two.
their heads this way and that as they tried on “Remember, Minnie,” they would warn, his new sample hats. "treat him nice. If you don't, you'll lose him. Tell him how wonderful he is, and that, some
PONDERFUL!” he cried to Bishop, day, you feel positive he'll be a millionaire.
the buyer. “Aren't they wonderful?” And don't talk too much. You know you've “Well, yes. They are rather exceptionally got that habit, Minnie. You keep quiet for smart hats.” the longest time and then suddenly you let out “Not the hats, man. The girls!" in a good, stiff lecture. You can't do that with “Oh! The girls! Yes. They're good-looking.” a man. Got to treat 'em gently. The best way “Good-looking! Is that all?. I tell you man, is to just sit still, look sweet, and listen. Don't if you'd been traveling all over this little State forget, Minnie. That's advice that comes of ours, making towns wbere the chief milliner high.”
is a dried old crab apple with a green complexion And Minnie Kenny would put down her pen and a sour disposition, you'd appreciate what for a brief space and listen to the wisdom of it is to come into a room like this and see a lot those more experienced women who knew the of live faces that actually smile. Wonderful! art of “man-holding” so well that they man- Wonderful girls, with their sparkling eyes, and aged to get someone to wait about and take wavy hair, and sweet lips. Gee! Bishop. I them home almost every evening. Sometimes tell you there are times when I wish like all there was a tinge of laughter in their voices as sorts of things that I had a wonderful girl of my they thus counseled her, as if they were making own, in a wonderful house of my own, where I sport of her poor little romance; but their could anchor down and stay set.' barbed arrows glanced away from Minnie “Well? What's to prevent you? I guess Kenny. Her thoughts were too busy with the there are any number of girls who wouldn't day when Josh Merritt would come into the exactly turn you
“But what's the use asking them? You ought This
her little room would witness unto know the sort of life a traveling man can offer usual preparations. There was a new dress of
One day I'd be home and the next- soft, creamy lace and a drooping, shaded hat bingo! Off for three months. Some life, that. to go with it. Minnie had purchased it after it Some life-not! What do you say, Old Reliable?” had been rejected by a dissatisfied patron, and This last was addressed
only once, before the low, wide mirror of her to Minnie Kenny who had
dresser had she dared to put it on just to tiptoed into the room, an
see how it looked. After that she had eager-faced, hesitant fig
hastily folded it in its tissue paper and ure in her plain blue skirt
laid it away to wait for the spring and simple white waist.
and Josh Merritt. There was another She had heard his ap
box too, in her room-a pink satinpreciation of the pretty
lined box with tiny compartments models, and, somewhere
that held a cake of scented in her mind, a tiny voice
soap, an oddly shaped cried, “You're not pretty,
bottle of green perfume, a Minnie. Your cheeks
downy puff, powder, aren't red, your eyes don't
carmine sparkle, your hair doesn't
stick such as she often curl. You're just Minnie
saw the girls in the salon Kenny-Old Reliable-a
apply to their lips. plain, unobtrusive cog in
Every time Minnie the wheel. You weren't
thought of that box, she made to try on hats before
blushed uncomfortably a beveled mirror. It's
and took herself to task your business to see that
with strange disjointed the charge customers pay
sentences. their bills on time and
“Other girls do it. It's that the creditors get their
not a sin. Just a tiny dab. checks on the first of the
No air in this office. All month. That's what
cramped up. How could you're here for, Minnie.”
I have color? A bit So in reply to Josh
wouldn't hurt. And I'd Merritt's question, sbe
dust it right over with just smiled that
powder.” tremulous, shy little smile
All of which hinted at a which had made him stop
new intention and indifive years before and im
cated that Minnie Kenny pulsively ask her to dinner
was not exactly satisfied and the theater. And
with the fragmentary every year since that he
character of her romance. had asked her. Nor did
And it was true. Seven he know why, except that
years in the hall-room of he was a bit afraid of the
Mrs. Grew's boardingother girls with their
house had created a great sophisticated laughter and
unrest in her heart. What their daring, pert ways of
was there to look forward saying wise things.
to but the same old stew, “When can you make
the same old prunes, and deliveries, Merritt?” “Tell him how wonderful he is, and that,
the same soggy pie? She As Bishop came abrupt- some day, you feel positive he'll be a was growing older, was ly down to business, the
twenty-five now, and the two models glided noise
years ahead looked lessly out of the room to the salon below, and bleaker and bleaker. Pretty soon, if she didn't Minnie Kenny tripped back to her high chair act quickly, she would become like Miss Mott and ledger, there to wait until Josh Merritt in the back parlor—Miss Mott who took her should turn in the duplicate of his order and recreation at the free library, reading romances ask her as usual: "Is seven o'clock all right?” that happened to other women and who went
weekly to the savings bank to put away the five Josh Merritt would never see her in it. And dollars she managed to rescue from her meager the hat! How it softened the lines of her face! wages.
As she looked at her reflection in the mirror, an
impulsive whim flashed through her mind, and OSH MERRITT and Mr. Bishop came into before it had time to pale and grow cold, she
the tiny office. They were still talking hastily pulled her business clothes off, and
deliveries, and dozens, and numbers. Auto- dashed into the bathroom at the end of the matically, Josh handed Minnie the duplicate- hall. order slip. Minnie took it, clamped it into the Ten minutes later she returned, and feverishly great fastener where other order slips were kept brought from its hiding place the pink satinand waited.
lined box. With resolute daring, she applied “Well, Old Reliable?"
the cold cream, wiped it off, and then dusted Minnie's heart restrained a beat.
with powder. From its tiny compartment, she "Early spring we're having this year. And took the rouge puff and rubbed it across her they say we'll have a long, hot summer.” cheeks. In the flush that it imparted, a sparkle
With which he followed Mr. Bishop out into seemed to leap up in her eyes and glow there. the salon.
She brushed out the silken strands of her hair Minnie Kenny swallowed hard and sat very, and recklessly threw them up into a great coil Very still. He-he hadn't asked her! He had on the top of her head, the way the girls did at forgotten! She made a sudden move to get off Crane's. For a single second, then, she hesithe high chair and follow him. But the next tated, arrested by that strange, flushed self instant she caught herself, bit her lip, and that looked at her out of the mirror. But the looked steadily down at the ledger until a blur next instant her lips were set firmly, and she came before her eyes and made of the figures a went toward the closet where an altogether hopeless jumble.
frivolous pair of black-satin pumps with All day long, Minnie Kenny sat at her desk rhinestone-studded buckles peeked out at her. and breathlessly awaited the ringing of the There were fine, sheer stockings too; and at telephone. Perhaps he would call. But when seven o'clock, Minnie Kenny sat before her six o'clock came and there was still no word mirror in all her finery, a figure oddly at ends from Josh Merritt, she half-heartedly cleared with the almost poor plainness of the room. away the books, the bills, and the ledger. As she slipped into her coat two of the saleswomen VOR what seemed an eternity, she stared at approached. “Well, Minnie,” cried one, “be's here! It's the tears began to roll down her cheeks until she
don't have a good time.” could no longer see, and she rested her head on “That's right,” chirped the other. “It's all the top of the dresser. Softly, whimperingly, up to you. Insist on the best there is, and with hushed sobs that would not make themyou'll get it. Make him rattle his coin, Minnie. selves known to the other boarders, she cried. Don't show him you're not used to a good time. In the midst of it all, there came a knock on And, above all, pat him on the back. You the door followed by Miss Stern's cheery: know what I mean.
"Hello, Minnie! Coming down to dinner?” “I know," said Minnie Kenny, and forced a Minnie sat very still and stifled a sob. She smile to her lips. "I know.”
didn't want visitors. Miss Stern rattled the Mrs. Grew was preparing the inevitable stew knob a moment, found it locked, and passed for dinner; and as Minnie opened the hall door, downstairs to the dining-room. the over-spiced odor wafted up the stairs from Minnie raised her head from the dresser and the basement kitchen. It made her sick, went to the window, looking out into the street choky. Hastily she ran upstairs to her own where the spring eve had fallen. As she did so, room and threw open the window. There was a a familiar figure passed up the front steps and chair beside it. She sank into it, leaning far rang the bell. Minnie held her breath a second out into the street. Spring! How disturbing it and then rushed to her door, opening it in time was! Just that smell of melting snow and that to hear Mrs. Grew say, “I guess Miss Kenny woody aroma of sprouting green things. Each isn't bome yet.” year it had brought her a night of thrilled hap- “Yes I am!” cried Minnie, and without waitpiness. But now
ing, she hurried downstairs to greet Josh Suddenly she went to the dresser and drew Merritt-her face flushed, her hair a bit awry, forth the tissue-paper wrapper, spreading the the carmine of the rouge on her cheeks slightly dress upon the bed in all its lacy, gauzy glory. impaired by the inroad of her tears.
your fault if