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30 ¥es, Mr. DeMille had baked DeMille a fruitcake, and each year he grandly eulogized the little offering. One Saturday the husband did not appear at the studio, probably unaware the company was shooting that day. The boss himself, in a stampeding mood, called the home and finding the husband was away, delivered a ringing assault on the missing man's intelligence and wound up with a proposal that the couple might wish to pack up their bags and return to their home town. The little woman was in tears when the husband reached home. He called the studio, had DeMille summoned to the phone and proceeded to lambast his employer in a manner that brought a sudden halt to the wife's tears, so stunned was she by the incongruity of it all, like watching a pygmy beat- ing on the chest of a giant. The conversation lasted fully a half-hour; at the end the two were engaged in an earnest appraisal of a production problem, the tension gone completely. Though few have had the courage to practice it, the assistant became a rabid pro- ponent of the "fight back" school of philosophy and tried with- out much success to persuade other staff members to stand up to DeMille, with clenched fists if necessary. The husband may have forgiven the boss for browbeating his wife in a fit of anger, but the wife did not forget. The following Christmas she baked no fruitcake. Its absence under the DeMille tree, a glittering sentinel keeping watch over stacks of expen- sive gifts, was noted by DeMille. It worried him for weeks but he said nothing until one day at luncheon. Served a piece of fruitcake, he looked at the delicacy and, in a wistful voice, reminisced, "I am very fond of the fruitcake Mary always baked for me at Christmas time/* then sadly, "but this year I did not hear from her."