This brought Jean over to where she could lay her hand contritely upon the girl's shoulder. "I'm awfully sorry," she drawled with perfect sincerity. "I didn't mean to rattle you; but you know you never in the world could throw the stirrup over free, the way you had hold of the saddle. I thought--"
Burns turned heavily around and looked at Jean, as though he had something in his mind to say to her; but, whatever that something may have been, he did not say it. Jean looked at him questioningly and walked back to the pile of posts.
"I won't butt in any more," she called out to Muriel. "Only, it does look so simple!" She rested her elbows on her knees again, dropped her chin into her palms, and concentrated her mind upon the subject of picture-plays in the making.
Muriel recovered her composure, stood beside Gil Huntley at the horse's head just outside the range of the camera, waited for the word of command from Burns, and rushed into the saddle scene. Burns shouted "Sob!" and Muriel sobbed with her face toward the camera. Burns commanded her to pick up the saddle, and Muriel picked up the saddle and flung it spitefully upon the back of the sorrel.
"Oh, you forgot the blanket!" exclaimed Jean, and stopped herself with her hand over her too-impulsive mouth, just as Burns stopped the camera.
The director bowed his head and shook it twice slowly and with much meaning. He did not say anything at all; no one said anything. Gil Huntley looked at Jean and tried to catch her eye, so that he might give her some greeting, or at least a glance of understanding. But Jean was wholly concerned with the problem which confronted Muriel. It was a shame, she thought, to expect a girl,--and when she had reached that far she straightway put the thought into speech, as was her habit.
"It's a shame to expect that girl to do something she doesn't know how to do," she said suddenly to Robert Grant Burns. "Work at something else, why don't you, and let me take her somewhere and show her how? It's simple--"
"Get up and show her now," snapped Burns, with some sarcasm and a good deal of exasperation. "You seem determined to get into the foreground somehow; get up and go through that scene and show us how a girl gets a saddle on a horse."