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The Film Mystery

5. An Emotional Maze
Bernie proved to be as stupid a youth as any I had ever seen. He possessed frightened
semi-liquid eyes and overshot ears and hair which might have been red beneath its
accumulation of dust. Without doubt the boy had been coached by the electrician,
because he began to affirm his innocence in similar fashion the moment he entered the
door.
"I don't know nothin', honest I don't," he pleaded. "I was out in the hall, I was, and I didn't
come in at all until the doc. came."
"I suppose you were anxious to see if the cable was becoming hot," Kennedy suggested,
gravely.
"That's it, sir! We was lookin' at it because it was on the varnish and the butler he says--"
"Where's the locket?" interrupted Kennedy. "The one Miss Lamar wore in the scenes."
"Oh!" in disdain, "that thing!" With some effort Bernie fished it from the capacious
depths of a pocket, disentangling the sharp corners from the torn and ragged lining of his
coat.
I glanced at it as Kennedy turned it over and over in his hands, and saw that it was a
palpable stage prop, with glass jewels of the cheapest sort. Concealing his
disappointment, Kennedy dropped it into his own pocket, confronting the frightened
Bernie once more.
"Do you know anything about Miss Lamar's death?"
"No! I don't know nothing, honest!"
"All right!" Kennedy turned to Mackay. "Werner, the director."
Of Stanley Werner I had heard a great deal, through interviews, character studies, and
other press stuff in the photoplay journals and the Sunday newspaper film sections. Now
I found him to be a high-strung individual, so extremely nervous that it seemed
impossible for him to remain in one position in his chair or for him to keep his hands
motionless for a single instant. Although he was of moderate build, with a fair suggestion
of flesh, there were yet the marks of the artist and of the creative temperament in the fine
sloping contours of his head and in his remarkably long fingers, which tapered to nails
manicured immaculately. Kennedy seemed to pay particular attention to his eyes, which
were dark, soft, and amazingly restless.
"Who was in the cast, Mr. Werner? What were they playing and just exactly what was
each doing at the tune of Miss Lamar's collapse?"
 
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