MAIDEN EFFORT Samuel Hopkins Adams 0 Samuel Hopkins Adami WNU Service THE STORY CHAPTER I-- Kclscy Hare, young architect convalescing from a breakdown. mceU Martin Holmes, struggling author. In a Storm on a Like near Moldavia, N. Y., and Uter settles down with him at his estate. Holinesholm. Finding Holmes studying a newspaper picture of a Park avenue dcbu- tantir. Kclsey learns that n story by Holmes has been rejected In a $15,000 contest run by Purity Pictures. A. Leon Snydacker. president, (or a novel suitable for plcturlra- Uon. In which the winner of a Mystery Beauty contest will star. Kelsey buys the manuscript from Holmes and rents his bouse. One of the conditions of the deal a that Kelsey adopt Holmes' pen name. "Tern- plelon Sayles." Alter Holmes departs on a trip, a telegram arrives for Sayles which Kelsey leaves unopened. Clunk, odd man servant, places the debutante's picture on the manM on top of the tetecram. .nnriÂ£.n 11 -- me t-am/ivenue van airai- tens, at breakfast with their niece Marion. are horrified to flnd her picture In the paper a* one of ten remaining contestants for the Purity Pictures award, and learn that LlK- gett Morse, admirer, has entered Marlon Â· picture on a bet. After threats of being taken abroad until the "scandal" dies down. Morion decides adventurously to go through with the contest. CHAPTER in-- In the offices of A. Leon Snydacker. heir to the Peckett's Persuasive Pifla fortune. Marlon finds nine other beauties. She makes friends with Gloria Clamour. flip professional beauty contestant. At lunch together, they meet Moby Dlcksteln, Snydackcr's press agent and factotum. Sny- dackcr Is overwhelmed with Marlon's beauty and "class." to which he la extremely susceptible, repeatedly calls her "Darrling, and awards her the leading role. Marlon refuses to accept without Gloria. and the two girls and Moby plan Immediate departure for the estate of Templeton Savles. who Is to be lea dine man. CHAPTER IV-- Moby is referred to Martin Holmes for information on Sayles. and Gloria flirtatiously takes the call. Meanwhile. Hare is Interrupted in his rewriting by two feminine callers, one of whom he recognizes as the pictured beauty In the paper. After they leave, be takes the picture. from the mantel, and uncovers the telefrram. sow four days old, apologizing for a "mistake." and demanding Sayles' immediate presence In New York for a conference with Snydacker. When Moby and the girls arrive on location. Kelsey learns for the first time that the Holmes-Sayles novel was the winner. He confides his predicament to Moby and Is persuaded to continue the hoax on Snydacker and the girls. so that Holmes can win the 515.000. CHAPTER V-- Snydacker's anticipation ol the meeting with Sayles is not shared by Kelsey. whom Moby advises to say "Yes" to everything. They meet at a Moldavia tain, and argue the title of the "super- creatlonal" picture, finally changing It from "Virgin Effort" to "Maiden Effort. 1 ' When Kelsey learns he Is to play the lead, the embodiment of thÂ» insidious Sayles. h; threatens to quit, but Gloria pleads wltt him to stick for a month. Meanwhile. Harr and Marlon develop a defensive, almost In suiting, relationship. CHAPTER VI -- The picture goes Into pro duction ft Holmcsholm. with Kelsey doing a hopeless job as hero. Marlon remain* cold to Snydacker's "darr-llngs." even U the gift of an evening dress and emerald necklace. Moby's publicity hints at romanct* between star and magnate. Kclsey's sui plclons grow, and his relations with Marl'.'. become more bitter. In desperation at his acting. Moby frames an enactment of r rescue scene. He sets Hare on the shore conceals the cameras, and has Marion fal overboard from a canoe. Kelsey remain calmly sitting, and it Is Clunk, her self appointed bodyguard, who rescues the fun ous girl. Meamvhlle, Holmes reads the pa pers about the picture, and is furious as he thinks Kelsey Hare has double-crossed him CHAPTER VTI -- The girls dlscusi "Sayles." Gloria admitting she likes him Marlon Insisting he's a couard. which Glo ria reports to Hare. Meanwhile. Marloi avoids Snydacker, who orders Moby to pro mote his suit. Moby tells Marlon she Is practically encaged to Snydacker. and can not understand her refusal to play the gamu The rescue scene Is done again, with "Sayles" and Marlon paddling. "Sayles" stops the canoe at the spot of Marion's fake drowning, and proves to her that it is toe shallow. Marion, furious, threatens to quit. /"rnereiore you couldn't very well drown here unless you grabbed a piece of seaweed in your teeth and hung on like a wounded duck." "Hey, you two," called the cameramen. "When you get through improving on the text, lemme know. . will you? Film costs money." "Be patient, my boy." Kelsey waved a placating hand. "It's just a matter of rectifying a slight misunderstanding." He addressed Marne again. "Apologies are received on Tuesdays and Fridays, but if you wish to arrange a special appointment -- " Only by a movement of swift adroitness did he save the craft from capsizing, so sharply did his companion whirl on her seat. "I said you were a coward, didn't I?" "Such was my understanding." "I withdraw it." "Say no more," he began with an air of great magnanimity. "I've got plenty more to say. You want me to apologize; to say I'm sorry. Is that it?" "That," answered Kelsey with a carefully cultivated smugness which would have roused a tadpole to fury, "rests between you and your con science. And may the best mar, win," he concluded piously. "All right. I'll say I'm sorry," stated the girl with an effect of repressed mania. "I'm sorry I evei have to set eyes on you. I'm sorry to breathe the same air that you do I'm ashamed to live in the same world with you. If you want to unow what I think of you and a'- ways have thought and always will think, I'll tell you. There's only one word for it. Templeton Sayles. you're a louse." "Htl" It was Moby Dickstein's voice, lifted in pained protest from the contiguous shore. "Is this a picture or a conference?" "It isn't a picture," shouted bacfc the infuriated Marne. "Not any more. I'm through. Take me in or I'll walk in," she finished savagely, addressing her shipmate. Followed by the irate cameraman and paced by Moby Dickstein, tearing his hair, Kelsey paddled back to the little 'dock. His only contribution to the amenities of the occasion was when he politely undertook to help her out. (Oiler rejected.) Undismayed he waved her a gallant adieu. "Your apology," he informed her, "is accepted in the spirit in which it was offered." ' Mame fled to her room and did something that she had not done since childhood. She wept with rage. CHAPTER VHI "Whut-whut-whut - whut - whut!" rapid-fired A. Leon Snydacker into the concerned face of his First Assistant The genius of Purity Pictures, Inc. had returned from another highly unsuccessful attempt to impress Hollywood, with a heartful of amorous hopes only to have them dashed by Moby's report of no prog res*. _^ . "Nothing doing, Bwana. I used tact, but she isn't having any. She won't go." "Won't go? Won't go? What-d'you mean, she won't go? Whadda you know about women?" "Now, Bwana--" "Don't you Bwana me. You're a bi'jn." "If you'd just listen--" "You're fired." "All right, Bwana." Moby Dickstein accepted it meekly. He had been through it before. More than once. "Your middle name's Diplomacy I" snorted the Big Boss with sear- Ing scorn. "What did you say to her?" "I tried her out about the weekend trip." "Well? Wha'd she say?" - "I hate to tell you, Bwana, but she didn't seem interested." "Not interested, huh? Not interested. In a chance like that. What's the matter of her? Who's she think she is? Who's she think I am? Who d'you think you are?" To his burst of indignant rhetoric Moby responded only with a feeble, "Steady on, Bwana." "Yeah! Steady on. I'm paying you three hundred a week to tell me to steady on. To hell with it! I'll show her." A. Leon waved wild arms in the air, rushed across to the mantel, snatched an antique vase from it and dashed it to fragments against the wall. "There!" said he with an air of satisfaction worthily achieved. Moby Dickstein gazed longingly at the angle of his employer's jaw, and doubled a wishful fist behind him. But three hundred a week is three hundred a week, and he had long been promised a raise. So he said merely, "AH right, Bwana." "All. right is right." A. Leon became calm, portentously calm. "I ought to have known better than to let a bum like you handle this. I'll attend to it myself." "Certainly, Bwana." Moby was no longer fired. This also had happened before, more than once. ("And I hope she chews a hole in your neck," he breathed to himself.) He set about gathering up the fragments of porcelain. This, too, was not without precedent. The Great Man now became superior and patronizing. "If you want a thing done right, do it yourself. This was too delikit a job for you, my boy. With these high-toned ones you got to watch your step every minute. What did she say, exactly?" "She sort of let on she wasn't that kind of gal. Mebbe she ain't," added the factotum with a cynical air. "And mebbe she is. That's where knowing how to make your play comes in." "Well, I guess you can find out if anybody can, Bwana," purred Moby. (And that ought to be worth something toward the expected raise, he figured.) "And that's where the solitaire comes in. What did she say about the solitaire?" "I didn't get that far," confessed the other. "Besides, I said to myself, 'Bwana's the boy to put that over.' " "Sure! Sure!'-' Nevertheless the magnate did not seem wholly at ease In his mind. "You don't think there's anyone else, do you? Not this Sayles, Esq.?" "Sa-a-a-a-ay! The job I've had tryin' to get her even to rehearse with him these last few days! He's just onion-juice to her. And is he a lousy actor. Kay-rymus!" "That's up to you as director," returned his chief impatiently. "We got to keep him on for the advertising value. That'll be all for now. Tell Miss Van Straiten that I will see her in my private office in half an hour." Trim, calm and slim, the girl answered the summons, some twenty- five minutes late, to the ill-controlled irritation of Mr. Snydacker. But, in spite of himself, he was impressed. There was about his star an unconscious assumption of privilege which set him at a disadvantage. This he accepted as the mark He blandished the jewel before her, then held it oat at ' arm's length. of Class. He addressed her with an air of benignity. "Well, darr-ling! This life certain, ly agrees with you." "I like it." "Didn't I tell you you would, dare- ling? Er--uh--Moby Dickstein tells me you're dated up over this week end." "That's just Moby's tactful way of putting it." "But you'd feel different about the trip after we're engaged, wouldn't you, darr-ling?" "Engaged?" reoeated Marne with orows. "Didn't Moby Dickslcin tell you I intended we should be engaged?" "He may have made some reference to it." "My instructions," said A. Lcor, complacently. There was a swift pass, suggestive of legerdemain and a large, pure diamond was sparkling into her eyes. "Whad d'you think of that?" "It's lovely," was her involuntarj admission. "It's yours, darr-ling." "Oh, no! I couldn't possibly." He brandished the jewel before her. then held it out at arm's lonRth the better to empnasize ms impressive statement. "This is n bonny- tied engagement ring." "But, Mr. Snydacker, I'm not engaged to you." "No; but--" "And I don't want to be." "You don't want to be engaged to be married to me? A bonnyfied engagement!" "I'm afraid I don't." "Lissen. When I say engngcd, I mean the real McCoy. This is brass tacks. Not just one of those newspaper engagements for publicity. It's regular, see? I'm telling you I'll marry you." He was putting his case with a skill, a tact, a persuasive magnanimity which roused the liveliest appreciation in his own mind. "Just as soon," he added in afterthought, "as I can get my divorce." It was a painful shock to him to hear her laugh. And there was no bitterness in her mirth; it was whole-hearted. He was astute enough to recognize this for a bad sign. And yet--surely she wasn't turning him down. Not A. Leon Snydacker, with his position, his authority, his millions. "Oh dear!" she murmured. "How can I gel it over to him? I don't want to marry you, Mr. Snydack- er." "You don't want to marry me?" "No; if you don't mind. I don't want to marry anybody." "I 'don't get your point of view, darr-ling. I don't get it at all." "Do you want me to leave the company?" "No; no!" he cried, alarmed. "Nothing like that." It all seemed to him so illogical. Here he was offering her--Oh, well! Let it go for the present. "O-kay," he yielded sadly. "We'll leave it lay." He extended the solitaire. "You keep this to kinda hold the thought." "Oh, no! I couldn't possibly." "I'll charge it to the studio and you can wear it as a prop," he propounded in one of his bursts of inspiration. "Think it over anyway. Think the whole proposition over." Gloria and Moby Dickstein relieved the situation by appearing to keep an appointment which their boss had forgotten. When this had been postponed anrl Marne had left with them, the ring in its elegantly embossed case still rested on the official desk. Out of his instinctive knowledge of women, A. Leon 'Snydacker evolved a measure of strategy to resolve the deadlock. While all were at dinner he had the precious box smuggled into the star's room. That night he slept well in the peace- giving assurance that all women, even the classy ones, were essentially alike and all you needed was a little tact. Morning brought disillusionment. It also brought the engagement ring, plus the emeralds, back to their purchaser. No word came with them. In unendurable anguish of soul A. Leon began to suspect that he was being played for a sucker which, to his proud spirit, was a fate worse than death. He raged. He cursed. He sent for Moby Dickstein and fired him again, re-hired him, re-fired him, and finally told him to get out. By the time the Great Man, once more reconsidering, had shouted, "Wait a minute," the for-once-resentful Mr. Dickstein either was out of hearing or pretended to be. The two secretaries were sum moned to the Presence. The} found their chief striding up and down with haggard eyes. "I'll show her!" he shouted. Both took it down and then, deciding to scratch it out, waited for more. It ca'me, flood-tide. For an hour and a quarter Mr. Snydacker dictated notes. He then ordered his valet to pack, after which he locked himself in the west wing for a session of self-communion, officially designated as a conference and otherwise known as the sulks. Memoranda were the aerial bombs of A. Leon's professional operations. Shortly after the presiding genius had withdrawn into the silences, they began to burst. Things hummed. Everybody ran around in distressful circles, asking questions of one another and trying to find Moby Dickstein. That long-suffering factotum was at the Park House in Moldavia, treating his spiritual injuries with cocktails. The business of being fired had finally got on his seasoned nerves. While chaos wan brooding, Marne and Gloria were taking a sail on the lake. One of the daily rain-squalls chased them in, wet and disgusted The first thing they noticed was a typed square on the bulletin board which A. Leon Snydacker had set up in the front hall for the daily edification of his underlings. The legend read: NO MORE REHEARSALS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE BY SPECIAL ORDER OF A. LEON SNYDACKER, PRESIDENT. PURITY PICTURES, INC. Gloria's fair, straight brows drew down in concern. "Now, what's the idea of that?" "Let's ask Moby," suggested her companfon. A sound of melancholy song issued from a side-room. Mr. Dickstein had returned from the Parh House. The girls knocked and were bidden in formal tones to enter. The First Assistant rose to welcome them with a knightly bow. "Your servant, ladies," said he. "You're drunk," said Gloria. "I'm not," said Moby. "He isn't," said Marnc. "But he's been drinking." "Licks that touch lipper shall never touch mine," recited Moby solemnly. "Aside from that, if you'd been fired's often as me, so would you." "Are you really fired?" "I'm fired; you're fired; he, she or it is fired," parsed Moby. "We're fired; you're fired; the whole bunch is fired." "Do you believe him?" Marne asked Gloria. "Neither do I," Moby answered for her. "Not necessarily. I'll flnd out. I'll ask Tweedledum and Twee- dledce." These were his names for the two secretaries. He steered a true course tor . mo aoor and marched down the hallway. Moby Dickstein soon reappeared, his face, at least, sober. "The staff is packin' up. Ditto for the servants. Even the camera crew is buyin' gas." "What!" exclaimed Marne. "Why, Kcmper was to take some stills of me at four o'clock." "No can do. He folded his lens like the Arab, and silently stole awny," intoned Moby. "Cut the poetry and come down to prose," requested Gloria. "Here's prose for you. A. Leon's snappiest style." He passed out a memorandum to each. Gloria's informed her that her salary was suspended until the resumption of work. Meantime she could remain nt Mriden Effort Headquarters, rent-free. "Why, the dirty So-and-so!" was her embittered comment. "Say, if I ever get a chance to square with him for this, short of murder, will I take it! What's your love-message, kid?" Marne, it appeared, had been put on "temporary half-pay" pending determination of what was to be done. After devoting a moment of concentrated thought to the document, Gloria gave her opinion. "I got it. A. Leon's trying to throw a scare into you." "How?" "By pretending that he's thinking of shutting down. Hey, Moby?" The factotum maintained the gravity of the owl and the taciturnity of the clam. "If that's the idea, why doesn't he fire me?" inquired Marne logically. "Because you'd go, simp. He doesn't want to lose you. Just scare you." "He can't scare me by paying me two-fifty a week," chuckled Marne. "Not seriously." Gloria, clinging to a last hope, addressed Moby. "What about our contracts?'' "Contracts, pfooie!" the factotum favored her with a sour grin. "Ever hear the word, 'snide'? They say, out in Hollywood, it comes from Snydacker. A. Leon's got him an eld-fashioned crook lawyer who can draw a contract so full of holes that the ink leaks through while he's ivritin' it." "Then the party's really over?" "Looks like it." "But you're not going, Moby!" cried Marne. "The place would be dead without you." "That's what I'm goin' to find out and quick. The big stiff is still here. I dunno why. I'm goin' in to have it out with him. But first I'm goin' to have another drink." Which he did in spite of Gloria's instant protest. "He'll fire me, will he!" he declaimed. "First he knows I'll seg- seg-segregate myself from his organization." He took his departure with dignity and steadiness. "In conference," was the gruff response to Moby's tap on his chief's door. "You and who else?" Moby airily retorted. The door flew open. "Huh?" demanded the Great Man, sorely shocked by this disrespect. "What are you doing here? I thought 1 discharged you, Mr. Dickstein." "Think again/' suggested Moby, entering. "I don't have to think again. You were discharged nt our last conference, for--for inefficiency." "That's what you think. Well, you're wrong. You can't discharge me." A. Leon Snydacker, looking outraged and uneasy, tried to puff up "Why can't I discharge you? Your contract--" "Nuts to me contract! You can't discharge me because I discharge myself. I resign." A. Leon Snydacker unpuffed. "Resign?" he echoed in a hollow- voice. "You mean you're quitting?" "That's it." This might be bluff. A. Leon was inclined to the theory that it was. But he dared not take a chance. "Now, Moby; be reasonable," he began ingratiatingly. "Don't you say 'reasonable' to me. What's reasonable about be'in' blamed for everything that goes wrong whether I got anything to do with it or not?" "Now, wait a minute," pleaded his boss. "You got me wrong." Everybody was always getting A Leon Snydacker wrong, to the grief of his sensitive soul. "You know I COt vniir hpst iniprocte at rtf*art." (To be continued next week) i H AMMERMILL BOND Cabinets of Stationery will satisfactorily answer your question of "What can I use as a gift?" These Cabinets contain 100 letterheads and 100 envelopes of White Hammermill Bond in either Social or Secretary sizes, and Bond or Ripple finishes, with each sheet and each envelope bearing the name and address of the person to whom you are giving it. This makes an extremely attractive and useful gift at a moderate cost, and one that is suitable for both men and women for either social or business use. Let us show you samples. 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