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AMONG THE LILLIPUTIANS 19 He was inclined to preen his feathers when introducing staff members to visitors, and would credit us with having charge of some enormously vital function, leaving the inference that no man under DeMille could be anything less than the head of a powerful, complex department. This curtsy to eminence was one we were happy to acknowledge, and quite gravely, too. As befit persons suddenly given a weighty stewardship, we listened intently, spoke infrequently, and then only with the greatest care in the selection of words and intent, at the same time glancing at the boss to observe what effect, if any, our comment had in that ever-important quarter. The presence of some high government official or captain of industry often brought out the generalissimo in the boss. He issued soft but crisp orders, first to one, then another, tilting his head slightly to his right, which was the signal for the ever- present field secretary to jot down what he was about to say. We always fell in with his real intent on these occasions—the boss marshaling and commandeering his forces—and were care- ful not to interject remarks that might spoil the performance, even though he might be issuing an order on something long since accomplished. Observing this flow of orders, warnings and sage comments, with the rest of us quietly making notes or nodding, the visitor sat in openmouthed awe before a demon- stration of the sort of efficiency a fellow can have when he puts his mind to it. In the absence of guests, our luncheons were much less formal, though one might hesitate to describe any of them as relaxed. Their mood was set by Mr. DeMille, the staff having achieved a most admirable resiliency that enabled it to laugh with Mr. DeMille, be angry when he was angry and, with virtually no notice, bestir feelings of grave concern. His intense spirit and preoccupation were such as to make it unnecessary to point out that staff luncheons were never in the nature of a revel. It was up to us, like cautious beavers emerging from