Great Loveland Potato Hoax, Act I Scene 3, Talbot's lines
THORN: Will this be sufficient light, Talbot?
Yes, sir, I believe it will. If only I had a skylight like this at my house.
THORN: Perhaps someday you'll have a studio.
That is my goal. Wasn't Mr. Swan to be here as well?
THORN: Yes, he should be along shortly.
Good. I have a crate here that he can sit on while I make his portrait. A chair int he forest would look odd.
THORN: Oh, my dear man, it is not Swan that is the subject of this portrait.
No? I don't understand.
THORN: Well, he is indeed to be included, of course, but there's more to it than that.
Yes, well, perhaps he can hold a sack of potatoes in his lap. Or...
[SWAN enters, carrying potato cutout]
Good day, Mr. Swan.
SWAN: I only had some old red barn paint, so I added whitewash to lighten it up.
What is it?
SWAN: It's a Murphy. A Maggie Murphy potato, I hope.
That's supposed to be a potato?
THORN: In shades of grey it will be, at least whe you've finished with it.
And that's the subject of the portrait?
THORN: Indeed it is.
But it's flat! It's wooden!
THORN: Of course it will do. You can make it do, eh, Talbot?
Well, I don't know, I...
THORN: I have faith in you.
THORN: I do. You must make this look like a potato.
Well, hold it up then, Mr. Swan. Step in front of the backdrop.
TALBOT: Step in front of the backdrop.
SWAN: Like this?
[Go to camera, frame him in shot.] Yes, well, possibly. If photographed exactly dead on, it just may work.
TALBOT: If photographed exactly dead on, it ust may work.
THORN: Of course it will.
But it's all out of scale. I've never seen a potato that big! I've never even seen a watermelon that big.
TALBOT: I've never even seen a watermelon that big.
THORN: Yes, we're thinking big here today, Talbot.
SWAN: Very big.
Well, okay. If you say so.
TALBOT: Well, okay. If you say so.
THORN: That's the spirit!
Depends how the light hits it, I suppose. You know, maybe if we give the eyes a little shape, that might help.
TALBOT: You know, maybe if we give the eyes a little shape, that might help.
I have an idea. Wait. [Exit out front door.]
SWAN: Now Ella Fisk is spreading it around town.
[Re-enter, carrying a small pail of ash.]
THORN: Blast it! I shall speak with the girl. Well, what now, Talbot?
Ash. We'll rub a little ash on the eyes to give them shape, and around the edges.
TALBOT: Ash. We'll rub a little ash on the eyes to give them shape, and around the edges.
Then I'll use extra light on the edges in my darkroom to add more shape.
TALBOT: Then I'll use extra light on the edges in my darkroom to add more shape.
THORN: Double good!
[Dabbing ash on the board and shaping it.] This just might look real.
SWAN: Here, put a little more over here.
[Dab more ash around a potato eye. Take towel handed by THORN.] Thank you, Mr. Thorndyke. There, that should do it. Now, put it on your shoulder again, Mr. Swan, and sit on that crate.
THORN: I think he should be standing, Talbot. This thing would be mighty weighty.
Oh, right. Standing it is then. [Go to camera.] Turn a little to your right, Mr. Swan. Good. Here we go. Now wait... hold it... hold it... it takes a little time. A little to your left now, Mr. Swan. Here we go. Now wait... hold it... hold it... hold it... There!
TALBOT: Here we go. Now wait... hold it... hold it... hold it... There!
That should do it, Mr. Thorndyke.
THORN: How soon can you show me a photograph of our beloved pink Maggie Murphy?
I'll set to work on it immediately, sir. I could come by tomorrow with a paper print.
THORN: Splendid! The Fair opens Monday and we are hard pressed to deliver Mr. Swan's drawing cards in time.
I shall not fail you, Mr. Thorndyke. Good day then. [Start out, then stop.] Oh, Mr. Thorndyke?
TALBOT: Good day then. [Start out, then stop.] Oh, Mr. Thorndyke?
Might I sign these photographs? They could do well to promote my services as well.
THORN: Oh, it will. I'll send you a bill shortly, Joe.
SWAN: I figured y ou would.
THORN: As will Talbot.
[With SWAN] I will?
THORN: Of course. It's time you made something of yourself, young man. And I must say, you are in dire need of new clothing.
If only I had your knack for selling. Good day. [He exits.]