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314 Yes, Mr. DeMilk President Roosevelt's fireside chats. DeMille, never particularly attentive to the New Dealer's pronouncements, did not listen to the speech. That night, he received a late call from his capable public relations director, Ted Bonnet, whose first novel, The Mudlark, written after he had left DeMille, became a best seller and later a motion picture. Ted ascertained the boss had not heard the President's broad- cast and proceeded to recount the Wassell exploit. "It's a perfect story for us," Bonnet exclaimed. "Check with me in the morning and I'll talk to Paramount about it,'* said DeMille. "It will be too late then," Bonnet insisted. "What do you mean?" "By tomorrow morning every studio and independent pro- ducer in town will be on the phone to Washington." "Well, what do you suggest, that we call now?" It was then past midnight. "Yes," said Bonnet quickly. A half-hour later the Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, was startled by a caller in Hollywood saying, "I want Dr. Wassell and the United States Navy." By now fully awake, Knox gently reminded DeMille that the United States was engaged in a major war. "I can give you Wassell but we'll have to hold off letting you have the Navy for the time being." "Do you agree that I will have the first chance at Dr. Was- sell?" persisted DeMille. The official agreed. As Bonnet had predicted, a score of applicants eager for the film rights to the Wassell story besieged the Navy Department the following day. Dr. Wassell was in Australia when the Navy instructed him to proceed immediately to the West Coast and await further orders. Wassell was worried. He had undertaken the evacuation from