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WILLIAM THE SHOWMAN              131
said to the terrible child. "It's to be in the arbour by the yew hedge. That's just along here, isn't it ? I'm sure you just adore this beautiful garden, don't you ? "
" No," said the child coldly. They walked slowly down the path towards the arbour by the yew hedge.
" Don't you love the sound of the birds ? " said Miss Perkins as they walked along, making a last attempt to reach any beautiful child soul that might underlie this unprepossessing exterior.
" Noise of the birds ? " said the child; " birds don't make any noise. Not worth speakin' of, that is. I had a thing once that was s'posed to make a noise like a canary an' I got so's I could do it so's you could hear it a mile off. People said it went through their heads. It was fine."
" And the scent of the flowers ? " persisted Miss Perkins faintly in a dying effort.
" Flowers don' smell, not to call a real smell," said the child. " I once found a dead cat in a hedge. You should 've smelt that."
They had reached the arbour by the yew hedge now. A camera stood in place before it and behind the camera was a young man with a harassed expres­sion. In the arbour by the yew hedge sat Clarice Verney, the actress, very carefully posed. It had taken the young man with the harassed expression over an hour to pose her to her complete satisfaction. He had acquired the harassed expression in the process. But now Clarice Verney was posed to her complete satisfaction in such a way to show to best advantage her hair and eyes and nose and teeth and chin and figure and legs and ankles—all of which she considered to be her chief good points. She was bending forward so as to show off her figure and chin and neck, and smiling so as to show off her teeth. She was bending forward and gazing toward the right because she considered the left side of her face to be the better
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