"The Tech Rep" By James Michener; Continued:
"And in the last reel Bogart did become the archetype of a tech rep-lonely, embattled, obstinate, totally incapable or understanding women-so that in the final shot he stalked off-camera, a defeated, bitter man taking his battle to some other terrain populated with actors whom he would be incapable of understanding or adjusting to. It was a shocking end, and when the watery lights come on, and the night sounds of the jungle closed in on us, a sense of loneliness pervaded the coconut shed. When the German said goodnight he added, SOMETIMES WE GET SUPRISE, EVEN IN AMERICAN FILMS.
On the long drive back to Holt's camp I said, I DIDN'T CATCH THE NAME OF THE MOVIE.
IN A LONLY PLACE, he said. he rarely used the names of movies. In future conservations this would be spoken of as THAT TIME WHEN HUMPHREY BOGART KICKED AWAY THE LOVE OF GLORIA GRAHAME. He thought that Bogart should have received an Oscar for the film. MISS GRAHAME, TOO, FOR THAT MATTER, BUT SHE GOT ONE THAT TIME WHEN SHE WAS DICK POWELL'S WIFE. This missed me, but before I could query him, he added respectively, FUNNY, POWELL WAS A SCREENWRITER TOO I GUESS MISS GRAHAME GOES FOR SCREENWRITERS.
On the impulse of the moment I asked, WHEN YOU TRACKED DOWN THE TIGER, DID YOU IMAGINE YOURSELF TO BE HUMPHREY BOGART?
He turned away from the steering wheel and looked at me in astonishment, saying nothing. I pointed to the road and he returned to his driving. After some minutes of silence he said, SO FAR AS I KNOW, HUMPHREY BOGART WAS NEVER IN SUMATRA. Later he added, MISS GRAHAME...IN SOME OF THOSE SCENES...SHE LOOKED LIKE LORA KATE. I guess that Bogart in his domestic chaos had looked a great deal like Harvey Holt, but I kept my mouth shut, and when we got back to the camp out of which Holt was working, he asked, YOU LIKE TO HEAR SOME MUSIC?"
To be continued:
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