Janet hardy in radio cit.., p.1
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       Janet Hardy in Radio City, p.1

Janet Hardy in Radio City

  Produced by Roger Frank and the Online DistributedProofreading Team at https://www.fadedpage.net





  Ruthe S. Wheeler






  MADE IN U. S. A.



  CHAPTER PAGE I. Janet Gets the Lead 13 II. Shooting on Location 20 III. Surprise Callers 30 IV. High Praise 41 V. Deadly Fangs 47 VI. The Smoky Menace 53 VII. Racing Flames 61 VIII. The Line Goes Dead 68 IX. The Fire Sweeps On 76 X. A Welcome Rescue 90 XI. New Plans 101 XII. The Preview 110 XIII. Janet Turns Author 118 XIV. Clothes by Roddy 126 XV. Homeward Bound 135 XVI. Gorgeous Gowns 145 XVII. Hello, New York! 154 XVIII. In Radio City 164 XIX. A Manuscript Vanishes 170 XX. The Mystery Deepens 178 XXI. Insinuations 186 XXII. Shadowed! 193 XXIII. Janet Pinch Hits 201 XXIV. Night on the Twenty-seventh Floor 208 XXV. Janet Opens a Door 214 XXVI. In the Hall 219 XXVII. Suspicions 227 XXVIII. Rehearsals Again 233 XXIX. Janet Finds a Clue 240 XXX. Opportunity Ahead 247




  Chapter One

  Janet Hardy stirred sleepily as the alarm clock sounded its lustysummons and it was only after a real effort that she managed to reachout and shut off the insistent clock.

  It was so early that shadows of the night still lurked in the cornersand Janet squinted at the clock through sleep-clogged eyes. It wasfour-forty a.m.

  Sitting up in bed she looked across the room where Helen Thorne was deepin sleep, oblivious to the strident summons of the alarm which hadechoed through their bedroom.

  Janet, now thoroughly awake, tossed her pillow at the slumbering Helen.She scored a perfect hit and Helen, sputtering and wondering what it wasall about, popped up in bed.

  "Come on, sleepy head. It's time to be up and dressing if we're going toget to the studio in time for that six o'clock call," warned Janet.

  "I'll beat you to the shower," promised Helen. She jumped out of bed andgrabbed the dressing gown on a nearby chair. There was a rush of feetpadding down the hall and Helen made good her promise, reaching theshower room two jumps ahead of Janet.

  Fifteen minutes later, after brisk showers and thorough towelings, theywere dressed. From the kitchen had come waftings of delicious bacon andeggs and they knew that George, the colored cook, was getting breakfast.

  When they reached the dining room they were surprised to find Helen'sfather there, a morning paper propped in front of him.

  Henry Thorne, world famous as the star director of motion pictures forthe Ace Motion Picture Corp., looked up.

  "An early call?" he asked.

  "Billy Fenstow is starting to shoot his new western, 'Water Hole,' andwe don't want to be late the first morning," explained Helen, slippinginto her chair while Janet sat down opposite her. George, smiling agreeting, brought in a large platter of bacon and eggs. Then there weretall glasses of cold milk and thin, deliciously buttered toast.

  "I didn't think you'd be up so early, Dad," said Helen, betweenmouthfuls of bacon.

  "Guess I went to bed too early," smiled her father. "I've been awake anhour."

  "You were all tired out after finishing 'Kings of the Air,'" went onHelen and her father nodded his agreement.

  Janet, on the other side of the table, said nothing, but thought a greatdeal. She had never quite gotten over the thrill of coming to Hollywoodand the manner in which it had been accomplished. It seemed too muchlike a dream and at times she went around pinching herself to make sureshe wasn't asleep.

  Classmates back in the medium-sized city of Clarion in the middle west,Janet and Helen had been fast friends and their families had beenneighbors for years. Then Henry Thorne had made a success as a directorof motion pictures, but Helen and Mrs. Thorne had remained in the familyhome in Clarion. Back for Helen's graduation, he had been impressed bythe acting ability of Janet and Helen, as well as their charm, and theirgraduation presents had been round trip airplane tickets from Clarion toHollywood. Mrs. Thorne had come along to chaperon the party and they hadtaken a comfortable, rambling bungalow on a side street in Hollywoodwhere they could be assured of privacy.

  Janet could recall so vividly their first day. Pictures, interviews,attendance at a premiere in gowns designed by the famous designer whocreated all of the gowns for the stars of the Ace company. Then a chanceto work in a western in the production unit headed by rotund littleBilly Fenstow and after that small parts in "Kings of the Air," whichHenry Thorne had directed as one of the outstanding pictures on hiscompany's production program.

  "What are you mooning about?" asked Helen, for Janet, her mind runningback over the events of the last crowded weeks, had ceased eating.

  Janet flushed. "Just thinking of all the wonderful things that havehappened since we graduated."

  "I hope you won't remember the unpleasant ones you experienced while wewere making 'Kings of the Air,'" said Helen's father. He was well-built,with a touch of grey hair at his temples and a smile that inspiredconfidence and an almost instant feeling of friendliness.

  "I was pretty scared at the time," confessed Janet, "but now that thepicture's safely completed, it's all over."

  "What do you think about 'Kings'?" Helen asked her father.

  He leaned back in his chair and Janet thought she saw a touch ofweariness in his face.

  "I don't know," he said softly. "It should be a good picture, butwhether it will be a great picture is something else again. We can onlywait until it's out of the cutting room."

  Janet, although in a comparatively minor role, had been a key figure inthe making of "Kings of the Air," for a rival company, attempting tohinder the progress of the picture, had hired an actress in the company,blonde Bertie Jackson, and two renegade airmen, to make every effort toslow up production. Janet had been kidnaped and held prisoner overnightwhile the ghost town, where the company was located, was burned and abig set on the desert bombed. But the resourcefulness of Curt Newsom,cowboy star who had a role in the picture, had helped expose thesabotage and Janet had been speedily released. As a result she had beenpromoted to Bertie Jackson's role and had handled it like a veterantrouper.

  Just then George, the cook, looked in to see if more bacon and eggs wereneeded, and Helen's mother, in a dressing gown, joined them.

  "Someone should have called me," s
he said.

  "But you don't have to report on the lot and we do," Helen reminded hermother.

  It was 5:30 o'clock when they finished breakfast.

  "I'll drive you over to the lot," said Henry Thorne. "Mother, you dresswhile I'm away and we'll take a long drive into the mountains and stopsomeplace for lunch. We'll sort of have a day's vacation for ourselves."

  Then they were away, speeding toward the studio in an open car. It was aglorious morning and the cool air was invigorating. Later in the day itwould be uncomfortably hot.

  Billy Fenstow, director of western pictures, was on stage nine, well tothe back of the Ace lot.

  There were few around the rambling studio at that hour, for productionwas past its peak and only two or three of the huge sound stages wouldbe in use that day.

  The director, who had only a fringe of hair around his shining pate,greeted them cordially.

  "Have you read over the script of 'Water Hole'?" he asked.

  Janet nodded. "I like it better than 'Broad Valley,'" she smiled.

  Billy Fenstow fairly beamed. "Good. I wrote it myself. The other wasonly partly mine."

  Helen laughed and turned to Janet. "What are you trying to do,compliment Mr. Fenstow so he'll give you the leading role?"

  It was the director's turn to chuckle. "She doesn't have to," he said."Janet is playing opposite Curt Newsom in the lead right now."

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