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'V* AS IN BARNUM 309 plete collapse/* He once likened Henry to the actresses who came to his office. "Ninety per cent of them have beautiful faces, bad voices, and ugly feet." After more than a decade of feather gathering, DeMille de- cided to make his move. He felt he had found the heroine equal to the honor, no one exceptionally less than that Biblical flap- per, Delilah, as portrayed by a woman of even greater beauty, Hedy Lamarr. It is not easy to say what fowlish emotions stirred Henry's soul at the thought that his feathers were to play such a soft and silken part in a mighty epic, or to what extent his composure was shattered by the news that the sum of $10,000 would be spent on Delilah's peacock cape, of turquoise velvet lined with gold Iam6, under the direction of Paramount's fre- quent Academy Award winner, chief designer, Edith Head. It came about that a blow was struck at Henry's pride. DeMille was dissatisfied with the color of the "eyes" of the feathers. They weren't bright enough. So he set to work a row of some twenty women, in assembly- line fashion, touching up the "eyes" with metallic paints. With pinpoint brushes the painters were at their tasks for several weeks to complete the renovation of hundreds of feathers—an incomparably rare instance of two earthly forces, DeMille and DuPont, setting themselves about to improve on God's handi- work. While it is sad that Henry's little saga did not end on a note of complete personal triumph, there was considerable symbol- ism in it to those who interested themselves in the complexity of Mr. DeMille's personality. In Henry, they found a key to a gentler aspect of the show- man's nature—his pursuit of beauty in every form. DeMille heroines were more dazzling, their ornaments more breath-taking, their living more pleasurable. The people of his post-World War I social dramas moved in an atmosphere of ermine, marble swimming pools and plush footmen. He pur-