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LARRY SEMON, oitagraph & Son, *Courtesy of Will M. Hays. FARESTMR. SEMON: I suppose maybe you are no doubt wondering, Larry, just what is the outstanding reason for me # going to the time and expense of writ- a letter, when you have give me no encouragement than a occasional friendly such as anyone can have for the asking. i. Lawrence, I will set your fears at rest. If you g your mind back about exactly nine years, ill remember at that time we both of us was a of laborers for a certain New York newspaper * I will call the “Evening Sun” for want of a * title, and also because that is its name. In sweet old days, Mister Semon, when we both lood $1,000 a week, but it was a different story we come to get paid, why, we had no more othat we would both one day be a movie star lowe had that we would one day be employed in...ing middle-aged-shads in the art of swimming. 5 goes to show that you never can tell what will next, except at a Broadway musical comedy. the so ever, they is no use raking up the dead ond, anyways, Larry, it seems the “Evening is still being printed in spite of our nine-year , , oe, which it's funny they ain't noticed it yet, o So I will get to the point of this letter and one with it. The point is, Lawrence, I am going o, you the only inside and official story of how Brts, née Kane Halliday, win back the world's oeight championship from Knockout Pierce. here, Larry, you are going to rear up on hind legs with a sarca...: it of , " ... nd ask me on't thin:, , ou ". . . . ... . . . casionally,
They Do Come-B
The Shooting Stars—Seventh Reel
By H. C. Witwer
Illustrated by C. D. Williams
even now when you don't write them, and I will calmly say what has that got to do with it? So now, having answered your question to my satisfaction, I will continue on, trusting they is no more interruptions of a technical nature and vice versa.
OU know, Mr. Semon, that me and my charming
helpmeet Jeanne has been making pictures for
“Popular Films, Inc.,” of which Kane Halliday, his father (the big Wall Street guy), and Senator Brewster from New York is the works. Well, Larry, before he entered the picture whirlpool, Kane Halliday, a Fifth Avenue, Yale, and war graduate, was heavyweight champion of the widely advertised world, under the name of Kid Roberts. He lost the title to Knockout Pierce by what is known far and vide as a technical knockout, on the account of Joe Murphy, his manager, jumping into the ring in the eleventh round to save him from being smacked stiff. In this case, Lawrence, old thing, it was lack of condition more than anything else which beat Halliday, and the ending of the brawl was highly unsatisfactory to his admirers and a great many sport writers. Those babies figured Knockout Pierce was lucky the thing was stopped, because Halliday might of come on and win on his courage if the boys had been al
lowed to continue their quarrel. How the so ever, Larry, here is Kame Halliday nearly ivo years later, a picture magnet, still fairly young and keeping in ordinary trim by a hour in the gym a couple of days the week. At this stage of the game, to coin a new expression, Knockout Pierce, the champion, comes out to Hollywood for the purposes of making a picture. Pierce ain't been in Los Angeles a week, Lawrence, when him and his pilot and a bevy of sport writers pays a little surprise visit to our studios. Our last picture is being cut and titled and they ain’t much doing on the lot to attract the visitor, but that don't bother Pierce and his party. The champ has come out to see the baby he win the title from, and the newspaper guys is anxious to see what will come of the meeting and likewise to get a photograph of Halliday and Knockout Pierce shal:ing hands. The whole stunt, of course, was framed by the champ's publicity man, as Halliday and Pierce loves each other the same way a hare is infatuated with a greyhound. Halliday would naturally have little affection for the bozo which took away his title, and on top of that, Larry, why, in that battle a inexperienced referee allowed Pierce to get away with murder. He heeled with his glove, he butted, he hit low, and in fact during the eleven frames the thing lasted, why, he done about everything to Halliday but stand him up in a corner of the ring and throw knives at him. Pierce, in his turn, hated Halliday for the reasons that Halliday win himself more glory by the battle he put up in losing the title than Pierce did in taking it away from l ; ; 11. Why, Larry, when the
beaten Halliday stumbled up he aisle to his dressing.
room at the end of that brawl, the fight-crazy mob jumped up on the chairs and cheered him for a good five minutes, leaving the new champ scowling and neglected in his c or n e r. There's a thing a man don’t scou forget, hey, Lawrence?
Well, at first Halliday was: 'to even going to see Pierce that day he come out to our studio, but the pubguys finally talked him, into posing for a picto to vith the champ. The meeting was far from a social success. The champ frozooed and conversed in the form of grunts. Halliria v iimited his part in the croft: i) to a few cold nods. 'i'ne newspaper guys tried to get Halliday to make a st uto ment t h a t he was thinking of making a try to win back the championship rom Pierce, and Haliiday laughed at 'em. He never had liked being a pug, -
he was out of the game, a rising young business man rad wed to a double for Venus D. Milo, who, he wouldn’t climb back into a prize ring for twice. Morgan’s rhecking account. He was through ' The mere idea of him ever boxing some more made him grin. The champion hears all this with a sneer on his thick Hips. “You got the right idea,” he remarks, glancing a ound at the sport writers with a sarcastical smile. “sia v out of the game and you won’t get hurt!”
OE MURPHY, which piloted Halliday to a world's championship, jumps out of his chair, his face as red as thirty-six tomatoes. “Be yourself, fellah!” he snarls at Knockout Pierce. “We had you out on your feet twice in that muss, two years ago and would of surely took you if I hadn't lost my head and jumped into that ring. You ain’t so good, get me? You never stopped this boy and—” - Halliday pushes through the delighted sport writers and grabs Joe's arm. “That's out, Joel” he says, still cool and smiling. “I lost—and that seems to speak for itself. And now you boys will have to excuse me. I have a dinner party, and I’m late. Glad to have met you again, Pierce, and if we can be of any help in getting you fixed up with studio space to make your picture, let us know.” “Did I ask you for anything?” sneers Pierce. Halliday flushes, Larry, and for the minute I had a sudden wild idea of taking a smack at this Pierce person myself. The big stiff was deliberately trying to start something. His manager takes a swift glance at the newspaper boys, sees that they think the champ is raw, and then he lays a hand on the bulky shoulder of his visible means of support. “Not so good, Knockout,” he says. “Not so good. We didn't come here to fight. Mister Halliday's tryin' to be reglar and you're makin' the both of us look like heels before all them boys.” He looks at Halliday. “Thanks very much,” he says. “If we need anything, we'll sure call on you.” Then he slaps
aiwi oily laced on the gloves in the first place to pat’. :KHöckout Pierce on the back. “C’mon, let's go!” he His dad on his financial feet. He says that, now that . .'grow's: “If you can't behave no better than this, I
Ethel Smith undertook, for twenty-five hundred doubloons, to study the personality of Knockout Pierce and line up
: snarls. Piñocł: “I’d like to-” “Shut aff, you'big stiff!” bawls his manager, which looks like a dwarf alongside of his charge, Larry. “Go outside and wait in the car for me, d'ye hear?” Lawrence, I expect to see Knockout Pierce reduce this bird to a smear with one swing of either walking-beam arm. Instead of that, he grins kind of sheepish and walks out. Halliday had already went, and Knockout Pierce's manager spends the next half hour trying to square himself with the newspaper guys. The champ didn’t mean nothing. just a big overgrown boy which liked to clown and the etc. Why, he talked his head off. He got nowheres, Larry, for the next day’s papers told it all, and them sport writers panned Knockout Pierce till he must of been ready to chew nails when he read the papers. That’s if he can read.
BOUT a month after this, Larry, why, they is a big benefit put on at the Auditorium to aid the Striking Swiss Oyster Openers, or something like that. You know how hard it is to keep track of all the benefit shows which is put on in dear old Los Angeles. You also know, Lawrence, how hard it is to refuse to appear in 'em. Well, the committee in charge of this one lines up everybody for a personal appearance, from the governor to the winner of the last Motorman's Popularity Contest. All the movie bunch is there, and of course me and Jeanne is down for a stunt. But the big flash of the bill, the feature which had the lay public fighting in the streets to get in as early as six o'clock that twilight, was a heavily advertised four-round exhibition bout between Knockout Pierce, world’s heavyweight champion, and Kane Halliday, the former rajah of the Big Fellows. It had required some fancy conversation and no little pleadings on the part of the committee to line this bout up, Larry, don't think it didn't! In the
a movie around it t
flash, and Ethel Smith, our continuity writer. Ethe
first place, the champ and his manager couldn't see into this displaying their wares for a guarantee of nothing flat. They was willing to give the Striking Swiss Oyster Openers three cheers, but nothing further. As for Halliday—he just grinned and reached for his check book when the committee called on him. He's game to hand over a sizable sum for sweet charity's sake, but step in a ring again for a public exhibition? No chance! It was Joe Murphy which innocently helped Halliday change his mind when the perspiring committee had run out of pleas. “What a cuckoo play that would be for Halliday to get into a ring with this Pierce bozo!” he says. “That’s all Pierce wants—a chance to crash him. And to do it that way, out there before all that mob-why, that would be duck soup for him. No, sir, nothin” stirrin'! He—” “See here,” butts in Halliday, his face getting red, “I’m not exactly a helpless invalid, Joe, you know.” “But you would be one before Pierce,” says Joe, paying no. attention to the warning flush deepening on Hal: liday's face. “You’re soft, out of con dition, wind-broke—why, say, it would take months to get you in shape to stand off a tramp, let alone a champi You'd be a set-up for that guy rig now, Kane, and—” Larry, Halliday throws his check - book back on his desk and smiles a the excited Joe. “You don't understand,” he says like he's explaining to a kid. “This is to be merely an exhibition—not a fight. I box a couple of times week at the club, you know, and—well, if the gentle men can get the champion’s consent—” The gentlemen throwed their hats in the air and beat it for Knockout Pierce before Halliday could change his mind. Joe Murphy raved like a mania: for the next hour, Larry, but that's nothing at all to what he done when we seen in the evening pape that Knockout Pierce had agreed to box Halliday four-round exhibition. What arguments they use: on the dollar-loving champ to get him to box fo nothing, Larry, I don’t know, but I do know they must of been good!
UR party rolls up to the Auditorium the nigh
of the benefit at eight o'clock and it is a quarte
to nine when we have fought our ways throug the mob outside and eased into our box. Besides and Jeanne, they is Halliday and his dad and breath-taking wife Dolores; her father, Senato Brewster; Joe Murphy and his easily better had Joan; her brother, Young Stillwell, the lightweigh
is one of them blonde Cuteys, Larry, which in eve ning clothes would of panicked Solomon and mad Nero a toy in her lily white hands. What effect sh had on Young Stillwell then, why, I will leave in th care of your imagination, Larry. The kid didn know whether he was watching a vaudeville show c a lynching. All he seen all night was Ethel. Well, Lawrence, me and Jeanne does our regula benefit-performance act, which is me at the piar tickling a cruel ivory ald Jeanne lisping a popula song. We goal the customers as usual, and the after a while comes the boxing end of the progra Three preliminary bouts, between guys which could of smacked their way out of a paper bag, leading to the Knockout Pierce-Kane Halliday exhibition. During the semifinal, Larry, they is a slight co motion in the rear of the theatre, and, leaning ov the rail of our box, I see the champion and his merr men leaving their seats and working their ways the dressing rooms. They ain’t four guys downstaii which ain't wearing dress suits, but the champ i there with a cap pulled over his eyes and a swea buttoned up to his chin. Oh, he was rough and tou Larry, and no mistake! Dolores looks at Hallid kind of troubled. I bet she was wishing to Heaves above she had made him call off this exhibition thin As the last round of the semi-wind-up starts, Ha day, as cool as two dollars’ worth of icicles, lau ingly shakes hands all around and pats the n plainly worried Dolores on the cheek. Then him, JA
Murphy, and Young Stillwell leaves for the dressi
l'OOms. Three-quarters of a hour later, Lawrence, b
A set of new gloves is throwed in, and what with
men is in the ring with their handlers, all busin
seconds examining the (Continued on pages