Bootleg Baby

Nobody gives a Hollywood party like Esme Holt!

This week Miss Holt is giving a soirée at her home. Consequently I have been rushing round like a mad thing all day preparing for it!

However, I hardly mind, because – and be aware I got the dope straight from Mr Gabor who knows everything there is to know about happenings around here – the word is that she plans to announce she has signed Jack McCann to a contract here at Players Incorporated. You might remember I mentioned a rumor to this effect some weeks ago – well it seems that it was right all along.

Or course, this explains what he was going in the company of Mr Macmillan the other week, when they caught me doing the crazy Charleston.

On that subject, I am sad to note that I haven’t seen Jeremiah Wilson around the studio in several days — I do hope he didn’t get into any trouble on my account. I haven’t found a way to broach the subject with Mr Gabor, but if I don’t see any sign of him next week I will surely do so.

I spent most of the morning ringing round all the stars (well, their secretaries) to confirm their attendance. Amongst the dignitaries I called up are: Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Doug Fairbanks, Fatty Arbuckle, Gloria Swanson, Wallace Reid and Dorothy Davenport, Frances Marion and her husband Fred Thompson, King and Florence Vidor (though word is that their marriage is troubled presently), Colleen Moore, Norma Talmage (her sisters are out in New York at the present) Mary Miles Minter and William Desmond Taylor.

I was a little surprised to see the United Artists crowd on the invite list – as I’m sure you know, a little over a year ago, Mary Pickford set up shop with her then fiancé (now husband) Doug Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and the director DW Griffith (at the time, Ida’s boss over at Fox remarked that “the lunatics are taking over the asylum” – though it is proving a success so far.)

The story as I heard it, was that Esme Holt expected to be taken in with them, and at the last minute she was thrown over and was terribly upset.

I overheard Mr Tanner once remark to her that the whole thing was rushed because Doug and Mary needed to distract the public from rumors of their romance (which began whilst they were both married to other people). Oerhaps there is some truth to this, I couldn’t say.

Of course it all worked out, because a year later she then set up Players Inc with Archie Tanner and director Aleksandr Sirotov. However, I was given to understand that tensions remained. Perhaps Miss Holt has decided to be the bigger person – or perhaps she simply knows that she can’t give a truly swinging Hollywood party without their presence – I couldn’t say.

I then spent my afternoon procuring booze for the gig.

As a result of this, my stock is high with every bootlegger in the Los Angeles area. I expect to be able to get just about anything I like for my own purposes for the next few weeks at least. Consequently, Ida and I are considering giving a party ourselves and inviting the boys we really want to impress.

She has several candidates in mind, but – while I know this would be impossible to pursue – it’s only Mr Wilson I think of when I try to conjure up my guest list.

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