The start-up Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company was working on a shoestring budget. DeMille had strict instructions from Sam Goldwyn and Jesse Lasky in New York to keep the budget lean. Ten dollars a week was the most he was allowed to pay someone. He made an exception for a young lady named Stella Stray.
As the company's secretary, Stella was receiving the princely sum of fifteen dollars a week. Soon there came the instructions from the New York office to fire Miss Stray. DeMille thought she took the news rather calmly until she walked to the kitchent table that was serving as her desk, and picked up the typewriter on it and began walking away with it. "Where do you think you're going with that?" DeMille asked. Stella calmly responded "But Mr. DeMille, it's MY machine!" DeMille immediately hired her back. Stella became one of Paramount's longest term employees, not retiring until 1958.
STELLA STRAY TYPEWRITER ON LOAN FROM THE CECIL B. DEMILLE FOUNDATION.