"Oh, all right--all right," he surrendered finally. "Read that paper. That ought to satisfy you that we ain't trespassing here or anywhere else. And if you'd kindly,"--and Mr. Burns emphasized the word "kindly,"--"remove yourself to some other spot that is just as comfortable--"
Jean did not even hear him, once she had the paper in her hands and had begun to read it. So Robert Grant Burns folded his arms across his heaving chest and watched her and studied her and measured her with his mind while she read. He saw the pulling together of her eyebrows, and the pinching of her under- lip between her teeth. He saw how she unconsciously sheltered the little brown bird under her left hand in her lap because she must hold the paper with the other, and he quite forgot his anger against her.
Sitting so, she made a picture that appealed to him. Had you asked him why, he would have said that she was the type that would photograph well, and that she had a screen personality; which would have been high praise indeed, coming from him.
Jean read the brief statement that in consideration of a certain sum paid to him that day by Robert G. Burns, her uncle, Carl Douglas, thereby gave the said Robert G. Burns permission to use the Lazy A ranch and anything upon it or in any manner pertaining to it, for the purpose of making motion pictures. It was plainly set forth that Robert G. Burns should be held responsible for any destruction of or damage to the property, and that he might, for the sum named, use any cattle bearing the Lazy A or Bar O brands for the making of pictures, so long as he did them no injury and returned them in good condition to the range from which he had gathered them.
Jean recognized her uncle's ostentatious attempt at legal phraseology and knew, even without the evidence of his angular writing, that the document was genuine. She knew also that Robert Grant Burns was justified in ordering her off that bench; she had no right there, where he was making his pictures. She forced back the bitterness that filled her because of her own helplessness, and folded the paper carefully. The little brown bird chirped shrilly and fluttered a feeble protest when she took away her sheltering hand. Jean returned the paper hastily to its owner and took up the bird.
"I beg your pardon for delaying your work," she said coldly, and rose from the bench. "But you might have explained your presence in the first place." She wrapped the bird carefully in her handkerchief so that only its beak and its bright eyes were uncovered, pulled her hat forward upon her head, and walked away from them down the path to the stables.
Robert Grant Burns turned slowly on his heels and watched her go, and until she had led out her horse, mounted and ridden away, he said never a word. Pete Lowry leaned an elbow upon the camera and watched her also, until she passed out of sight around the corner of the dilapidated calf shed, and he was as silent as the director.
"Some rider," Lee Milligan commented to the assistant camera man, and without any tangible reason regretted that he had spoken.