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About this time, I met a woman in New York who was sort of a casting agent. I am not going to mention her name in this story because I am trying to be truthful all the way through and I cannot say anything kind about her. Perhaps she did try to help me, but she did so many things that didn't help and while I try not to hold any hard feelings against anyone, I cannot help feeling unhappy whenever I think of her.

Anyway, about that time Mr. Bachmann saw me in Down to the Sea in Ships, and he liked my work. He came to talk to me. At that time, he was B. P. Shulberg's partner and he wired Mr. Shulberg, who was in Hollywood, that he thought I was a "bet." He suggested that Mr. Shulberg give me a three months' contract and my fare to Hollywood, at a salary of fifty dollars a week, and give me a chance.

"It can't do any harm," he said.

So this agent - I'll call her Mrs. Smith, because that wasn't her name - and I came to Hollywood.

We left my Dad in New York, because we didn't have the money for railroad fares and besides he'd gotten a job down at Coney Island, managing a little restaurant, and he liked it. So we thought we would wait and see how I made out.

Mrs. Smith and I took a little apartment in Hollywood and I started to work. I did nothing but work. I worked in two and even three pictures at once. I played all sorts of parts in all sorts of pictures. In a very short time I had acquired the experience that it often takes years and years to get. It was very hard at the time and I used to be worn out and cry myself to sleep from sheer fatigue after eighteen hours a day on different sets, but now I am glad of it.

The story of my career from there on isn't so different from the story of all other motion picture careers. I'll wind it up later, but right here I'd like to stop and tell you something of my personal life in Hollywood and the three love affairs - or engagements - that have happened to me since I came and that have been so much in the newspapers.

You know enough about me to realize that I'd never "had things." I'm not going to pretend that I had. Everything was new and wonderful to me. It was wonderful to have the things I wanted to eat, not to have to scrimp on dessert and be able to order the best cuts of meat. It was wonderful to have silk stockings, and not cry if they happened to get a run in them. It was wonderful to have a few dollars to spend, just as I liked, without having to worry about the fact that they ought to be used to pay the gas bill.

Maybe other people don't realize that, don't get the kick out of those things that I do. Of course I still can't exactly understand the money that is coming and is going to make my Dad and me comfortable and happy all the rest of our lives. When I bought my first home, the one I still live in, a little bungalow in Beverly Hills, when I signed the check, I couldn't possibly appreciate what the figures meant. I knew I had that much in the bank -me, little Clara Bow - and that the home was mine and I'd actually earned it. But the figures were just too big for my comprehension.

But I do know what a hundred dollars is. That used to be a dream to me - to have a hundred dollars. I never thought I would, not all at once - have a hundred dollars, and certainly not to do something I really wanted to do with. So now I get more thrill out of a hundred dollars that I can go and buy a present for a friend with, or do something for Dad, or get myself something awfully feminine and pretty with, than I do out of my salary check.

I guess I'm still just Clara Bow at heart.

I'm getting away from the run of my story, but a life story ought to tell you a little about how a person feels, and that's how I feel about the success that has come to me.


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