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When she returned to her office, Zwinnick was sitting beside her desk, rosy and cherubic and meek as a lamb. Joe was nowhere to be seen. She had dinner with Zwinnick at his favorite bar. Zwinnick talked. He liked to talk and Nathalie played a customer's game. While he post-mortemed the speech he had made to the Flat Rock Sales Supervisors Club during the previous week, she nodded at appropriate intervals. She hadn't seen Joe all afternoon. Maybe he'd gone home to work on another script. Maybe he'd quit. Or been hit by a car while crossing a street. He might even now be lying in the police hospital, writhing in agony.... There he was, striding into the bar! And he was all in one long piece. He waved to a couple of fellows and went over to stand between them. One of the fellows was Art Matthews, owner of Artcraft Film. Was Art offering him a job? She tried some frantic telepathy. Don't take it, Joe. Don't listen to him. Loyalty to Little Gem is our first principle. Or loyalty to the customer . . . or something. I'm your conscience, Joe. Turn around, so you'll know I'm here. But the air waves were clogged with static and Zwinnick. Joe finished his drink, gave Art a friendly pat and disappeared. Zwinnick ordered dessert—chocolateice cream roll laced with marshmallow. "And before I give that speech again," he said, "I might even improve it a little. Last night I had a stomachache and couldn't sleep, so I got to thinking. Listen to this, Nathalie. `Salesmen are made, not born.' How's that for a punch title?" "Wonderful," Nathalie said. "I think it's just wonderful." She went home early, begging off from the movie he wanted to see. He would talk all through the picture. And later, over midnight coffee, he would tell her again that a widower's life was a mighty lonely one. She paced her apartment. She looked up "uxorious" in the dictionary and wished she hadn't. She took a shower, shined her hair with a hundred strokes and got into bed. She tossed and turned and punched her pillow into assorted lumps. She was in love. It wasn't romantic. It wasn't even mutual. She didn't want a writer and she didn't want to live on a writer's salary. She wanted her career, her annual bonus, and Hollywood and a captain of industry. And she wanted Joe Frane. She felt as if she'd been hit by a dump truck. With a day to kill before Ad 27 got under way, Ferd Zwinnick tried to murder it for everyone but himself. He planted a chair in front of the Daisy Food Chopper set and ordered a light standard moved back six inches. Kolski, getting ready to move it forward, sweated and wiped his face. He ordered the standard moved back, and when Zwinnick bent over to pick some lint off his trousers, he signaled to have it moved forward a couple of feet. Zwinnick looked up and said, "That's better." "Patsy ready?" Kolski asked. Patsy entered the set in a calico house coat. "Quiet, everybody," Kolski said. " Voice recording." The silence bell sounded. The camera ground. Patsy plugged in her Daisy and began feeding it scraps of raw meat from a platter. She hummed a tune and looked starry-eyed as hamburger rolled into a bowl. Zwinnick sneezed. " Cut!" Kolski bawled. He put his hands on his hips and glared at Zwinnick. "Sorry," Zwinnick said. "I must have caught a cold last night." Kolski beckoned his chore boy. "Get that guy Frane," he muttered. "He pulled that big baboon out of here yesterday, and he better do it now. I got to swallow him tomorrow, but. today I'm going to have a holiday." Nathalie walked onto the set, a script in her hand. She looked at Patsy, did a double take and marched over to Kolski. "Where's Rita?" she asked. "I thought we agreed on Rita." " Been hitting the gin and couldn't make it." " The approved script calls for the motherly type." " I know, but we decided to knock it out and make it a bride." Nathalie stamped her foot. Who did they think they were, assuming the producer's prerogatives? More than once she had canceled shooting on less provocation. " Cancel the schedule," she ordered. "Get Wilson and come into my office." Joe Frane went by. Kolski said, "Hi, Joe. Good girl you got, that Patsy." Nathalie followed Joe with doelike eyes. He hadn't quit. He was right on the job. Kolski's words broke through her adoration. She whirled angrily. "Joe got this girl Patsy? Where?" "I don't know, but she's something, isn't she?" Something was right. She was the cutest model who had walked into the Little Gem studio in months . . . and Joe Frane had got her! His girl friend, of course. His heavy date. Who else would be so accommodating in an emergency? "Joe!" she called. She'd have to be smooth about this. Not lose her temper again. Keep it impersonal while letting him know he couldn't play fast and loose with a customer's script. Joe came over. She said carefully, "Did you see the script? The Daisy people want a matron." " This will be better," Joe said. "Patsy was a food demonstrator and she can really cook." Thoughts hammered each other around the ring of her mind: Cancel the schedule. You're the producer. Get it right. But Joe says. And Joe knows. She said softly, "You think it will be all right, then?" Kolski, bug-eyed, grabbed the cameraman and hung on. History was being made at Little Gem. "It'll be swell," Joe said. "I'll guarantee the results." "All right. . . . You can go ahead, Kolski. And, Joe —" She maneuvered him into a neutral corner. "Wilson just gave me his rewrite. It isn't as good as your original." Joe raised his eyebrows. "I'd like to produce yours if Mr. Zwinnick can be sold on a budget increase. What do you say the three of us have dinner tonight and talk it over?" " Tonight's a little late. If he agrees, we've still got to round up a cast for tomorrow." "I haven't a spare minute today," she fibbed. " We'll make it dinner at my place. Get a tentative cast and tell them we'll let them know." She returned to her office on wings of surging hope. His Patsy girl wasn't the only one who could cook. Food was "This is the only house on the block with plenty of hot water! It's got a G-E Water Heater!" Yes, there's lots of hot water, any time —with a G-E Automatic Electric Water Heater. SAFE! No fire, no fumes, no flue. Underwriters' Laboratory approved. DEPENDABLE . . . Backed by General Electric's 10-year Protection Plan! AUTOMATIC . . . Precision-built thermostats maintain water temperature ... automatically! ECONOMICAL . . . Rugged Calrodo units give efficient heat.Three-inch blanket of Fiberglas insulation keeps water hot up to three days without reheating. NOTE: Electric dishwashers and automatic clothes washers give best results with hot water that stays at the same right temperature throughout the complete washing and rinsing cycle. 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1951_05_26--025_SP [Petticoat Empire]
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