"There won't be any rehearsal of this," Burns stated at last, stepping back. "When it's done, if you don't bungle the scene, it'll be done. You stand here, Jean, and kind of lean against the rock as if you're all in from that chase. You hear Gil coming, and you start forward and listen, and look,--how far can she turn, Pete; without showing too much of her face?"
Pete squinted into the finder and gave the information.
"Well, Gil, you come from behind that bush. She'll be looking toward you then without turning too much. You grin, and come up with that eager, I-got-you-now look. Don't hurry too much; we'll give this scene plenty of time. This is the feature scene. Jean, you're at the end of your rope. You couldn't run another step if you wanted to, and you're cornered anyway, so you can't get away; get me? You're scared. Did you ever get scared in your life?"
"Yes," said Jean simply, remembering last night when she had pulled the blanket over her head.
"Well, you think of that time you were scared. And you make yourself think that you're going to shoot the thing that scared you. You don't put in half the punch when you shoot blanks; I've noticed that all along. So that's why you shoot a bullet. See? And you come as close to Gil as you can and not hit him. Gil, when you're shot, you go down all in a heap; you know what I mean. And Jean, when he falls, you start and lean forward, looking at him,--remember and keep your face away from the camera!--and then you start toward him kind of horrified. The scene stops right there, just as you start towards him. Then Gay takes it up and does the remorse and horror stuff because she's killed a man. That will be a close-up.
"All right, now; take your places. Sure your gun is loose so you can pull it quick? That's the feature of this scene, remember. You want to get it across BIG! And make it real,--the scare, and all that. Hey, you women get behind the camera! Bullets glance, sometimes, and play the very mischief." He looked all around to make sure that everything was as it should be, faced Jean again, and raised his hand.
"All ready? Start your action! Camera!"
Jean had never before been given so much dramatic work to do, and Burns watched her anxiously, wishing that he dared cut the scene in two and give Muriel that tense interval when Gil Huntley came creeping into the scene from behind the bush. But after the first few seconds his strained expression relaxed; anxiety gave place to something like surprise.