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I went home all happy and thrilled. Mother was sitting there, and she was very quiet and didn't say much. She looked well, though, there was color in her face. Father was working and we had dinner and she was quiet, but very pleasant and sweet. Then I went to bed. I hadn't told her about the job. I thought I'd wait until father was there. I don't know how long I had been asleep when I woke up and realized there was somebody in the room. My heart was beating hard and funny. The door was a little open and in the light from the other room I saw mother standing there, in a white nightgown. Her hair was braided over each shoulder and hung down to her knees. In her hand was the butcher knife.

I said, "Mother?"

She didn't answer. Just came closer to the bed.

I said "Mother, darling, what are you doing?"

She pinioned my hands down. "I'm going to kill you, Clara." She said very quietly. "It will be better."

She put the knife at my throat.

The room went all black. I fought to keep consciousness. I knew if I didn't I was lost - we were both lost. I kept thinking. "Oh, poor mother, poor mother, how terrible she will feel if she ever knows she has done this. I mustn't let her."

I moved. The knife came closer. The hands tightened like steel.

I started to talk, to plead, to soothe, watching her all the time. She didn't seem to hear me. Her eyes burned into mine. I don't know how long it was, but it seemed hours. At last, when she seemed to relax for a final effort, I made a desperate spring, as swiftly, as strongly as I could. It knocked her away from me. I ran across the room and out the door and turned and locked her in.

Outside I was so weak I could hardly move. I could hear her inside trying the door. The handle turned. I wanted to go back in and comfort her. But I was afraid to. It was too terrible to stay alone. I went downstairs and asked the lady there if I could sit there awhile. She looked at me , but didn't ask me any questions and she said I could stay.

I sat there all night. At five o'clock, I heard Daddy's step. I ran to meet him. Poor Daddy. We went up together. There was no sound from the room. We opened the door and se was sleeping on my bed, as peacefully as a child, her hands folded, the long, golden braids over her shoulders. When she woke up she didn't know anything about it.

I was glad to go away then. She didn't make any objection, when Dad explained it to her. But the shock had upset me more than I knew. All the thirteen weeks we were on location I was ill. I knew it was only nerves and I fought against it. But I couldn't sleep. I used to wake up crying all the time.

When I came home, mother was there. Dad told me he had had her away in a sanitarium for treatment. They said she wasn't insane. You couldn't call her that because she was so intelligent. She could answer any question, talk well, be as calm…. Then once in a while these spells came on. But she seemed so much better Dad brought her home. She wanted to be at home. But she began to be unhappy again about my going into pictures. Once she said, "You don't take me to the studio with you. You're ashamed of me. You think I'm crazy." That broke my heart. I was so proud of her.

So I decided to give up pictures. Maybe mother would be better. I couldn't bear to make her unhappy like that. So I hunted around and got a job answering the phones in a doctor's office. I hated it. The trip was long and the pay small, but it was all right.

And then, I started trying to have a little fun. I just had to. I knew a lot of young people around Brooklyn, boys I'd been to school with. They were always asking me to go places. The boys seemed to like me and I liked them, though I had never been in love, not even a kid romance. I never had a love affair until after I went to Hollywood.

One night I went to a party with some young friends, two boys and a girl. We were having a fine time, dancing and playing the phonograph, just like a bunch of kids will, when the telephone rang.

It was my father and he said I was to come home right away.

I didn't want to go. I said: "Oh, Dad, please don't make me. I'm having such a good time. If mother's having one of her spells, she'll come out of it all right."

That was the only time I'd ever said anything like that. But I was only a kid and I wanted a little fun.

But Dad insisted. He said, "You'd better come right away, Clara."

(To be continued)

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