"I'm going to use all these fellows in a couple of scenes," he told her. "Can't you practice on a post?"
"_I_ don't have to practice. It's the sorrel I want to try out." Jean's voice lost a little of its habitual, soft drawl. Really, these picture-people did seem very dense upon some subjects!
"Well, now look here." Robert Grant Burns caught at the shreds of his domineering manner. "My part of this business is producing the scenes. You'll have to attend to the getting-ready part. You--you wouldn't expect me to help you put on your make-up, would you?"
"No, now that I recognize your limitations, I shall not ask any help which none of you are able or have the nerve to give," she returned coolly. "I wish I had Lite here; but I guess Pard and I can handle the sorrel ourselves. Sorry to have disturbed you."
Robert Grant Burns, his leading man and all his villains stood and watched her walk away from them to the stable. They watched her lead Pard out and turn him loose in the biggest corral. When they saw her take her coiled rope, mount the sorrel and ride in, they went, in a hurried group, to where they might look into that corral. They watched her pull the gate shut after her, lean from the saddle, and fasten the chain hook in its accustomed link. By the time she had widened her loop and turned to charge down upon unsuspecting Pard, Robert Grant Burns, his leading man and all his villains were lined up along the widest space between the corral rails, and Pete Lowry was running over so as to miss none of the show.
"Oh, I thought you were all so terribly busy!" taunted Jean, while her loop was circling over her head. Pard wheeled just then upon his hind feet, but the loop settled true over his head and drew tight against his shoulders.
The sorrel lunged and fought the rope, and snorted and reared. It took fully two minutes for Jean to force him close enough to Pard so that she might flip off the loop. Pard himself caught the excitement and snorted and galloped wildly round and round the enclosure, but Jean did not mind that; what brought her lips so tightly together was the performance of the sorrel. While she was coiling her rope, he was making half-hearted buck jumps across the corral. When she swished the rope through the air to widen her loop, he reared and whirled. She jabbed him smartly with the spurs, and he kicked forward at her feet.
"Say," she drawled to Burns, "I don't know what sort of a picture you're going to make, but if you want any roping done from this horse, you'll have to furnish meals and beds for your audiences." With that she was off across the corral at a tearing pace that made the watchers gasp. The sorrel swung clear of the fence. He came near going down in a heap, but recovered himself after scrambling along on his knees. Jean brought him to a stand before Burns.