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Title: Her Own Way - A Play in Four Acts
Author: Fitch, Clyde, 1865-1909
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Her Own Way - A Play in Four Acts" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



HER OWN WAY



[Illustration: Macmillan Logo]



Her Own Way

_A PLAY IN FOUR ACTS_

_By_

CLYDE FITCH


THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
_NEW YORK MCMVII_
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.



COPYRIGHT, 1907,
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Set up and electrotyped. Published April, 1907.

All acting rights, both professional and amateur, are reserved by Clyde
Fitch. Performances forbidden and right of representation reserved.
Application for the right of performing this piece must be made to The
Macmillan Company. Any piracy or infringement will be prosecuted in
accordance with the penalties provided by the United States Statutes:--

"SEC. 4966.--Any person publicly performing or representing any dramatic
or musical composition, for which copyright has been obtained, without
the consent of the proprietor of the said dramatic or musical
composition, or his heirs or assigns, shall be liable for damages
therefor, such damages in all cases to be assessed at such sum, not less
than one hundred dollars for the first and fifty dollars for every
subsequent performance, as to the Court shall appear to be just. If the
unlawful performance and representation be wilful and for profit, such
person or persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction
be imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year."--U.S. REVISED
STATUTES, Title 60, Chap. 3.

Norwood Press
J.S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.



Transcriber's Note: various printer's errors--typos and missing
punctuation--were corrected for this e-book.



TO
MAXINE ELLIOTT
AND EVERYTHING IS SAID!
C.F. 1907



_HER OWN WAY_


ACT I. THE PLAYROOM.

_Ten days elapse._

ACT II. THE DRAWING-ROOM.

_Eight months elapse._

ACT III. GEORGIANA'S ROOM.

_Four weeks elapse._

ACT IV. THE DRAWING-ROOM.


PLACE--NEW YORK.



_THE PEOPLE IN THE PLAY_


GEORGIANA CARLEY.
MRS. CARLEY         Her step-mother.
MRS. STEVEN CARLEY  Her sister-in-law, born "Coast,"
                    and daughter of Mrs. Carley by a former marriage.
PHILIP      }
CHRISTOPHER }       Children of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Carley.
TOOTS       }
ELAINE              From next door.
LIZZIE              Mrs. Carley's maid.
MISS BELLA SHINDLE  "The Lady Hair-dresser."
LIEUTENANT RICHARD COLEMAN.
SAM COAST           Louise Carley's own cousin.
STEVEN CARLEY       Georgiana's brother.
MOLES               Butler to the Carleys.
A FOOTMAN           At the Carleys.



Produced at the Star Theatre, Buffalo, September 24, 1903, and on
September 28, 1903, at the Garrick Theatre, New York, with the following
cast:--

Georgiana Carley              Miss Maxine Elliott
Mrs. Carley                   Miss Eva Vincent
Mrs. Steven Carley            Miss Nellie Thorne
Philip                        Master Donald Gallaher
Christopher                   Miss Beryl Morse
Toots                         Miss Mollie King
Elaine                        Miss Marie Hirsch
Lizzie                        Miss Susanne Perry
Miss Bella Shindle            Miss Georgie Lawrence
Lieutenant Richard Coleman    Mr. Charles Cherry
Sam Coast                     Mr. Arthur Byron
Steven Carley                 Mr. R.C. Herz
Moles                         Mr. Francklyn Hurleigh
Footman                       Mr. B.M. Parmenter



Produced at the Lyric Theatre, London, in May, 1905, and afterward at
the Savoy Theatre, London, with the following cast:--

Georgiana Carley             Miss Maxine Elliott
Mrs. Carley                  Mrs. Fanny Addison Pitt
Mrs. Steven Carley           Miss Nellie Thorne
Philip                       Master Donald Gallaher
Christopher                  Miss Beryl Morse
Toots                        Miss Mollie King
Elaine                       Miss Marie Hirsch
Lizzie                       Miss Susanne Perry
Miss Bella Shindle           Miss Georgie Lawrence
Lieutenant Richard Coleman   Mr. Charles Cherry
Sam Coast                    Mr. James Carew
Steven Carley                Mr. R.C. Herz
Moles                        Mr. Francklyn Hurleigh
Footman                      Mr. B.M. Parmenter



ACT I


_The nursery. Half-past two in the afternoon. A cool, delightful white
room, with a frieze of children playing in the ocean spray; shelves of
bright-colored books on the walls, and the months of a large calendar by
Elizabeth Shippen Green framed underneath. There is a deep bow-window at
the back; the principal door is at the Left, and a smaller one on the
Right. Toys of all sizes, for all ages, are scattered about with a
holiday air. There is a sofa on the Right and a hobby horse on the
Left._

_There are four charming though somewhat spoiled children, with
intermittent manners, with napkins tied up under their chins, sitting
around the table, which is a little to the right of the centre of the
room._

_The_ FOOTMAN _is busy removing the plates; the butler,_ MOLES, _who
stands behind_ PHILIP, _always takes_ PHILIP'S _plate. It is_ PHILIP'S
_birthday._ LIZZIE _stands behind_ ELAINE. _In the centre of the table
is a large cake with seven candles burning on it._

PHILIP. What comes next?

CHRISTOPHER. Soup!

[LIZZIE _and_ MOLES _suppress smiles, exchanging looks of delighted
appreciation of_ CHRISTOPHER'S _humor._

TOOTS. Ice cream!

ELAINE. Don't be absurd, Christopher, we've _had_ soup.

CHRISTOPHER. I like it!

TOOTS. I like ice cream!

ELAINE. [_To_ TOOTS.] Sh!

PHILIP. What comes next, Moles?

MOLES. I don't know, sir.

[_He goes out._

ELAINE. T'ain't manners to ask, anyway, Phil.

PHILIP. Who cares! It's my birthday!

CHRISTOPHER. When will it be my birthday?

[_The_ FOOTMAN _reënters with plates, followed by_ MOLES, _with silver
dish of croquettes._

PHILIP. Here it comes; what is it?

MOLES. Chicken croquettes, sir.

PHILIP. Left overs! Had chicken yesterday! Bring 'em here first!

MOLES. No, ladies first, sir.

[_Serves_ ELAINE.

LIZZIE. And besides, Miss Elaine is company.

[MOLES _serves_ CHRISTOPHER.

PHILIP. That's all right. S'long it's Elaine, everything goes!

ELAINE. Phil!

[_Sliding down from her chair, she runs to him and kisses him._

PHILIP. [_Hopelessly embarrassed._] Don't! not in front of everybody!

ELAINE. But I do love you, Phil, and you're my beau, and I'm so glad
it's your birthday.

[_Goes back to her place unashamed and contented._

[MOLES _serves_ PHILIP.

LIZZIE. You oughtn't to talk about beaux at your age, Miss--ought Miss
Elaine?

[_To_ MOLES _with a knowing glance._

MOLES. I ain't discussing the sex with you, Lizzie, but I will say all
the girls I've known, began talking about beaux early and ended late.

CHRISTOPHER. I heard Lizzie and Moles talking about Aunt Georgiana's
beau!

LIZZIE. Sh!

[FOOTMAN _goes out with the croquette dish._

ELAINE. Mr. Dick Coleman's Miss Carley's beau!

PHILIP. No, he isn't! Mr. Dick's known Aunt Georgiana always, they're
just little boy and girl friends. Lizzie says she's Cousin Sammy Coast's
sweetheart.

LIZZIE. [_Indignant, though convulsed._] I never did!

PHILIP. Yes, you did! To Maggie when you thought I wasn't paying
attention.

[LIZZIE _and_ MOLES _exchange amused glances._

ELAINE. But Mr. Coast's your auntie's cousin; and your cousin can't be
your beau.

PHILIP. He ain't any relation to Auntie Georgiana. Mamma said so. Mr.
Coast's mamma's cousin, and grandma's nephew, but grandma isn't any real
relation to auntie.

CHRISTOPHER. How?

PHILIP. I don't know how, only Aunt Georgiana had a different mamma, she
didn't have grandma.

ELAINE. And the same papa!

PHILIP. Not all the time, mamma had another papa first.

CHRISTOPHER. It's sort of mixy, isn't it?

PHILIP. Yes, I guess mamma and Aunt Georgy are sort of divorced sisters!

ELAINE. Oh!

[_As if that explained it._

TOOTS. [_Beating the table._] Lemmlelade! lemmlelade!

[MOLES _crosses to pitcher and serves_ TOOTS _first, then the others._

PHILIP. Toots, you're getting tipsy!

[_The children laugh._

CHRISTOPHER. Cousin Sammy comes to see Aunt Georgiana nearly every day.

PHILIP. Yes--he's begun to bring toys just like some of the others did.

CHRISTOPHER. [_With his mouth full._] Hobby horse! Hobby horse!

[_Pointing to the hobby horse._

LIZZIE. Don't talk with your mouth full, Mr. Christopher.

PHILIP. [_Shouting._] He'll choke! He'll choke!

[_All laugh, tremendously amused._

MOLES. Mr. Coast is a very fine gentleman.

PHILIP. Oh, I know! I saw him give you a dollar the other day, when he
came to see auntie, and you advised his waiting and said auntie'd be in
by five.

LIZZIE. Isn't he a case!

MOLES. He certainly is.

[_Returns pitcher to table on the Left._

CHRISTOPHER. I like Mr. Dick best. He's always taking us places and
things.

TOOTS. [_Who has finished his croquette and is now ready for
conversation._] Um! Circus!

PHILIP. And not just 'cause he's stuck on auntie.

MOLES. You oughtn't to use that expression, Mr. Philip.

PHILIP. Why not! you do. I heard you tell Lizzie you were stuck on her
last Sunday.

LIZZIE. [_Blushing._] Oh, my!

CHRISTOPHER. Mr. Dick's a soldier!

PHILIP. Yes, siree! He helped stop a strike of street cars in Brooklyn.
His name was in the papers!

CHRISTOPHER. He was hurted bad, and if he was dead, he'd have a
monnyment with "Hero" embroidered on it. Aunt Georgiana said so!

ELAINE. I should think Miss Georgiana was too old, anyway, to have
beaux.

CHRISTOPHER. Oh, awful old!

LIZZIE. Oh! Miss Carley isn't so old!

PHILIP. Yes, she is, too! She's our old maid aunt.

ELAINE. If she wasn't old, she'd be married. It must be awful to be so
old.

PHILIP. She's nearly thirty, I guess.

ALL THE CHILDREN. Oh!

[_Loud and long._

CHRISTOPHER. You'll be deader soon after thirty, won't you?

TOOTS. [_Crying._] I don't want Auntie Georgiana to be a deader!

PHILIP. [_Bored._] Shut up!

LIZZIE. [_Comes to_ TOOTS _and comforts him_.] Toots, dear!

PHILIP. I'm glad Aunt Georgiana's an old maid, 'cause I don't want her
to leave us.

[FOOTMAN _enters and stands at the Right_.]

She gave me my birthday party.

MOLES. Yes, and this whole house'd miss your aunt, I can tell you that,
Mr. Philip. [_Takes away the plates._] She just keeps things going
smooth with everybody.

PHILIP. I told her I saw you kiss Lizzie on the back stairs, Saturday.

MOLES. What!

[_Gives dishes to the_ FOOTMAN.

LIZZIE. He didn't! He didn't!

PHILIP. Yes, that's what Aunt Georgiana said, but I know better, and so
does she, I guess!

LIZZIE. Isn't he a case!

[MOLES _goes out with the_ FOOTMAN.

PHILIP. Now what?

CHRISTOPHER. Soup!

PHILIP. Ice cream! I want ice cream!

LIZZIE. Sh!

ELAINE. My mamma don't let my brothers behave so at the table.

PHILIP. Neither don't we, 'cept our birthdays.

[MOLES _reënters with a tray and plates._

CHRISTOPHER. What is it?

PHILIP. [_Screams._] Eeh! Ice cream! It's ice cream!

LIZZIE. Sh!

PHILIP. Go ahead, dish it out!

[_Laughs._

[MOLES _serves ice cream to_ ELAINE, _then to_ PHILIP, TOOTS, _and_
CHRISTOPHER.

CHRISTOPHER. Mr. Dick Coleman is gooder as Cousin Sammy Coast.

ELAINE. Aunt Georgiana is goodest as him!

CHRISTOPHER. Aunt Georgiana is gooder as mamma!

TOOTS. And most goodest as grandma.

[LIZZIE _exchanges a glance with_ MOLES _and goes out Right._

PHILIP. Grandma! Rats!

MOLES. [_To_ PHILIP.] Sh!

PHILIP. [_Shouts._] Stop, Chris! He's taking too much ice cream!

ALL THE CHILDREN. Chris! Chris!

[_They keep up the clamor, laughing and shouting, till_ LIZZIE _comes
back._

LIZZIE. Children! here comes grandma.

PHILIP. [_Disgusted._] Oh, pshaw!

CHRISTOPHER. Don't want grandma.

LIZZIE. Sh!

[MRS. CARLEY _comes in from the Right. She is a middle-aged woman, of
faded prettiness and frivolous manner. Every line and bit of character
has been massaged out of her face. There is a sudden, embarrassed, and
gloomy silence on the part of the children._

MRS. CARLEY. Well, children, having a lovely party?

PHILIP. [_Grudgingly._] Yes, ma'am!

ELAINE. [_Politely._] Yes, ma'am.

CHRISTOPHER. Aunt Georgiana's party!

MRS. CARLEY. Yes, dear, it's too bad mamma is ill in bed. She says when
you are all through, you may come up and say how do you do, while she
kisses Phil. [_Silence._] That will be nice, won't it?

PHILIP. [_Grudgingly._] Yes, ma'am.

ELAINE. Yes, ma'am.

CHRISTOPHER. Yes, ma'am.

TOOTS. No!

MRS. CARLEY. We are glad you could come in, Elaine, and help celebrate
Philip's birthday.

ELAINE. Thank you, ma'am!

[TOOTS _is mashing his ice cream strenuously with a spoon._

MRS. CARLEY. Toots! don't be naughty and don't mash your ice cream up
like that.

TOOTS. I like it.

CHRISTOPHER. Me too--it makes soup!

[_Copying_ TOOTS.

MRS. CARLEY. Your collar's crooked, Chris.

[_Arranging it._

CHRISTOPHER. Ouch!

[_Squirming._

MRS. CARLEY. Phil, shall grandma cut your cake for you?

PHILIP. No, ma'am, Auntie Georgiana's going to cut it.

MRS. CARLEY. Oh, very well. How's your mamma, Elaine? Is she going to
the big ball to-morrow?

ELAINE. Yes, ma'am.

MRS. CARLEY. We feel dreadfully. Philip's mamma's illness prevents our
going.

ELAINE. Mamma said you weren't invited.

MRS. CARLEY. [_Pats_ PHILIP _on the head, to his great disgust and
discomfort._] Your mamma had better mind! Your mamma is mistaken!
Good-by, children, grandma is sorry she can't stay and have a good time
with you. I am going to call, Elaine, on the Countess of Worling, Mrs.
Tom Cooley's daughter. I don't think your mother knows them. Good-by,
dears, enjoy yourselves.

[_She goes out Left._

[_Silence till the door is well shut behind grandma, and then the
children break out with shouts, all of them, of "Good-by, Grandma.
Good-by," repeated ad lib. Then they calm down._

PHILIP. Bully! Grandma's gone!

CHRISTOPHER. Ice cream!

ALL THE CHILDREN. More ice cream! Ice cream!

PHILIP. Let's see.

[MOLES _hands him the ice cream dish._

CHRISTOPHER. [_To_ PHILIP.] Can I have some more, or will it make me
sick?

PHILIP. [_Serves the children._] No, there's plenty. When there isn't
enough, mamma always says it will make us sick.

CHRISTOPHER. And papa--when we have company unexpected, and there isn't
enough of anything, papa always says F.H.B.

PHILIP. F.H.B.

ELAINE. Why?

CHRISTOPHER. He says it means Family Hold Back, and we all have to say
"No, thank you," when it comes around! Do you like grandma, Phil?

PHILIP. Naw! Grandma's no good.

[MOLES _goes out with the empty ice cream dish._

TOOTS. No good, grandma!

[_A knock outside the door Left._

GEORGIANA. [_Outside._] Hello! Hello!

PHILIP. [_Delighted._] Aunt Georgiana!

ALL THE CHILDREN. Aunt Georgiana!

GEORGIANA. [_Outside._] Is this a private room at Sherry's, or may an
old maid aunt come in?

ALL. No! Yes! Come in--come on in!

[_They clatter on the table with their spoons, and shout "Hurrah! Aunt
Georgiana!" as_ GEORGIANA _enters. She is a beautiful creature, about
thirty, and in the very height of health and spirits--an American Beauty
rose the moment before it opens. She is flushed after her quick walk in
the bracing, sunshiny winter's day. No wonder the children--and
others--adore her!_

GEORGIANA. What a good time!

CHRISTOPHER. Oh, we're having the beautifulest time, Auntie!

PHILIP. Great!

ELAINE. Perfectly lovely!

TOOTS. Um! Ice cream! Lots!

GEORGIANA. That's good! Stuff all you can, Toots! Are you ready to cut
the cake?

ALL THE CHILDREN. Yes! Yes!

PHILIP. We waited for you.

CHRISTOPHER. We wouldn't let grandma.

[GEORGIANA _drops her furs on the sofa and then comes to the table._

GEORGIANA. There's a ring in it. Whoever gets it will be married in a
year.

[_Starts to cut the cake._

TOOTS. I want the ring!

PHILIP. Hush up, you're only a baby!

[_A loud knock on the door Left._

GEORGIANA. Oh, yes, I forgot. Cousin Sam wants to wish you many happy
returns, Philip. May he come in?

PHILIP. Pshaw! Another man!

CHRISTOPHER. [_In a "stagewhisper" to_ ELAINE.] He's the one--auntie's
sweetheart!

GEORGIANA. [_Amused._] Nonsense, Christopher, that's silly talk. Stop
that for good! [_Loud knocks repeated. To_ PHILIP.] May Cousin Sam come
in? [PHILIP _nods_.] All right, he's got some presents! Come in, Mr.
Coast.

[COAST _comes in and goes straight to_ PHILIP. SAM COAST _is a tall,
slender, but strong-looking man, rather "raw-boned." He is dressed most
fashionably and most expensively,--over-dressed, in fact, and yet not
too vulgarly. A man of muscle and nerve, who makes his own code and
keeps his own counsel._

COAST. Shake, Phil.

[_Shakes his hand._

PHILIP. [_His hand hurt._] Golly! He can squeeze, can't he, Aunt
Georgiana?

GEORGIANA. Well, really! Miss Elaine Jackson--Mr. Coast.

ELAINE. [_Embarrassed, rises, and curtseys._] How do you do?

COAST. Pleased to make your acquaintance. Hello, rest of you.

CHRISTOPHER and TOOTS. Hello!

CHRISTOPHER. Are you Auntie Georgiana's beau?

COAST. Yes!

GEORGIANA. Chris!

CHRISTOPHER. Lizzie says so!

LIZZIE. I never!

TOOTS, CHRISTOPHER, and PHILIP. Yes, you did! You did too! You did too!

LIZZIE. [_To_ GEORGIANA.] I never did, miss!

PHILIP. Yes you did, you did too!

GEORGIANA. I hope you didn't, Lizzie. You may leave the children with me
now.

LIZZIE. Yes, ma'am.

[LIZZIE, MOLES, _and_ FOOTMAN _go out at Right, each taking some plates,
etc._

GEORGIANA. [_To_ COAST.] I hope you don't mind.

COAST. Of course I don't. It's true as far as I'm concerned.

GEORGIANA. [_Laughing._] It's not!

COAST. Listen, will you bet?

GEORGIANA. [_Laughing._] Not before the children!

PHILIP. Come on, let's cut the cake!

GEORGIANA. Blow out the candles!

[_All the children blow out the candles and then get down from the
table._

COAST. And here's my contribution to the party.

[_Brings out six big German mottoes from his pocket, and goes to table
with them._

GEORGIANA. [_In pretended excitement._] What? Mottoes!

ALL THE CHILDREN. [_In delighted chorus_.] Oh, mottoes!

PHILIP. Are those the silver mines?

COAST. No! Why?

[_Laughing and handing the mottoes around, while_ GEORGIANA _cuts the
cake._

PHILIP. I heard grandma say the other day, you had pockets full of
silver mines.

GEORGIANA. The cake's ready!

[_All take a piece of cake. The children line up and down Centre from
Right to Left:_ ELAINE, TOOTS, PHILIP, CHRISTOPHER.

COAST. Your motto!

[_Handing one to_ GEORGIANA.

GEORGIANA. One for me too! Oh, thank you!

COAST. Certainly, because I want a bit of cake. I'm after that ring.

[_Goes up back of table for cake._

GEORGIANA. Don't anybody swallow the ring.

[_All eat the cake and now speak with their mouths full._

CHRISTOPHER. I haven't got it yet, Auntie.

ELAINE. Nor I.

GEORGIANA. Don't talk. Everybody eat till some one gets it!

TOOTS. [_Crying._] I can't eat my cake! I can't eat my cake!

GEORGIANA. Why not, dear?

TOOTS. 'Cause I haven't got no place! I haven't got no place to put it!

[_Crying._

PHILIP. He's full up!

GEORGIANA. Never mind, Toots, dear, you shall have a piece for supper.

TOOTS. Will I have room then?

CHRISTOPHER. [_A sudden loud and frightened cry._] Oh! Oh!

ALL. What's the matter?

[_All gather around_ CHRISTOPHER.

GEORGIANA. [_Frightened._] What is it, Chris?

CHRISTOPHER. [_Screaming._] Oh!

GEORGIANA. What is it, dear?

CHRISTOPHER. I've swallowed it!

ALL. What?

CHRISTOPHER. I've swallowed the ring!

ELAINE. That isn't fair!

PHILIP. Just like Chris, 'fraid some one else'd get it.

GEORGIANA. No, Chris, dear! [_To_ COAST.] What will we do?

COAST. Chris has made a mistake, here is the ring! [_Finding it in his
own piece of cake._] There weren't two, were there?

GEORGIANA. No, that's the one!

CHRISTOPHER. [_Smiling and greatly relieved._] Oh! I guess I 'magined
it, then.

GEORGIANA. [_Affectionately pretending to shake him._] Well, young man,
you can imagine yourself spanked for giving us all a fright. Now, come
along, the mottoes. [_To_ COAST.] Of course the ring wasn't meant for
you. What are you going to do with it?

COAST. Keep it.

GEORGIANA. No, you mustn't; it's the children's!

COAST. Philip, may I keep the ring?

PHILIP. [_On the hobby horse._] Yes, sir.

COAST. And I'll give each one of you a ring in place of it. What kind
will you have, Elaine?

[_He makes movement towards each child as he asks the question._

ELAINE. One big pearl with two great big rubies.

GEORGIANA. Mercy! Small order!

COAST. Very well. And you, Phil?

PHILIP. I don't want any ring. I want a watch and chain.

COAST. Good! And you, Chris, do you want a ring?

CHRISTOPHER. I want a gun!

COAST. All right. [_Writing._] And Toots?

TOOTS. Nanny goat!

[_They all laugh._ MOLES _and_ FOOTMAN _enter, answering the bell which_
GEORGIANA _has rung._

GEORGIANA. The table, Moles.

MOLES. Yes, ma'am.

[_Takes away small plates, etc.; he then goes out Right, followed by_
FOOTMAN, _who takes everything else from the table, leaving only the
cover and a false nose left from the mottoes._

PHILIP. [_Crosses to_ GEORGIANA _at table._] Grandma's been up and said
we were all to go and see mamma.

GEORGIANA. Go in your mottoes; that will be great fun!

ALL THE CHILDREN. Oh, yes! Hurrah!

[_Running off Left._

GEORGIANA. Ssh! Don't shout so; remember poor mamma's headache!

[_All repeat, "Remember poor mamma's headache" and take hands as they
tip-toe out,_ PHILIP _first,_ ELAINE _second_, CHRIS _third_, TOOTS
_fourth, repeating "Poor mamma's headache" in a whisper till they are
all out._

COAST. I can't get this damned thing on. Too bad Cousin Loo's ill.

GEORGIANA. Oh, she isn't really. Louise is never perfectly well and
happy unless she has something the matter with her, especially if she
has nothing else to do; she's bored to-day, so she's got a headache!
To-night, when there's a big ball to which she is not invited, she'll be
frightfully alarmed about herself for fear of appendicitis, but
to-morrow, when we have smart company at luncheon, she'll recover like a
shot! It's all right for Louise, but it's hard on my brother, who really
adores her.

[_She sits beside the table._

COAST. Adores! Say! That's the word I want to use about you!

[_Follows_ GEORGIANA _to table, moves chair to front, and sits._

GEORGIANA. Nonsense, Sam! Do you know anything about some stocks called
United Copper?

COAST. Rotten! Don't touch it!

GEORGIANA. My brother had a tip this morning on United Copper and wanted
me to give him some money to put in it.

COAST. Listen! don't you do it.

GEORGIANA. I wish you'd use your influence with Steven to help him.

COAST. How?

GEORGIANA. You must know how mad he is over speculation? But perhaps you
don't know that he has gone through all his own money, and, if she'll
let him, he'll go through his wife's next. [_Smiling._] Then I suppose
it would be my turn!

COAST. Why doesn't he keep out of it?

GEORGIANA. He can't, we must keep it out of him! Out of his blood!

COAST. There's only one way.

GEORGIANA. What?

COAST. Ruin him!

GEORGIANA. That's too anarchistic! You speculate.

COAST. But I always win!

GEORGIANA. Can't you teach him?

COAST. Listen, if I could do that, I'd be the richest man in the world
before I got through.

GEORGIANA. Can't you give Steve a tip on some sure things?

COAST. There ain't any sure things.

GEORGIANA. Why, other friends of Steve are always "putting him on to
something good."

COAST. And what happens?

GEORGIANA. [_Smiling distressfully._] Well, he does lose, usually.

COAST. I guess so!

GEORGIANA. But you must often have inside information.

COAST. And how much is that worth?

[_Takes up the false nose from table._

GEORGIANA. Well, it usually costs Steve all he has! But I thought you--

COAST. [_Interrupting._] Miss Georgiana, you see this false nose?

GEORGIANA. Yes.

COAST. [_Putting it on._] Well, now what do I look like?

GEORGIANA. [_Laughing._] I shouldn't like to say!

COAST. Exactly! Well, see? That's what I'd be if I believed in tips and
"inside information." If a man gives your brother a good tip, let him
drop it like hot lead. People with a real good tip ain't giving it away.
There's never enough to divide up and go around,--not in this
world,--and inside information that gets told to a lamb like your
brother is too damned outside information for me!

[_He rises and moves away, half in irritation, half in humor._

GEORGIANA. Oh! Oh!

COAST. Pardon.

GEORGIANA. Are you as rich as people say?

COAST. Richer!

GEORGIANA. How did you get it?

COAST. I started my dough with a mine.

GEORGIANA. Why can't you put Steve into a mine?

COAST. [_Laughing._] What's the use? he'll lose everything just as quick
in Wall Street.

GEORGIANA. But I mean a good mine.

COAST. [_Coming back to her._] Listen! I worked right in our mine with
my father when I was only eight years old! That's why I ain't better
educated--I worked for ten years there down in the dirt and muck!

GEORGIANA. [_Interrupting._] And silver!

COAST. [_Leaning on the back of the chair._] Yes, and silver.
[_Laughs._] Father's out there working yet--don't have to now, but he
likes it; he ain't comfortable on top of the earth--says there's too
much room. If father'd been a man like Mackay, I guess he'd been just as
rich as him to-day.

GEORGIANA. And still you won't help Steve?

COAST. T'ain't business. [_He puts back his chair and leans toward_
GEORGIANA, _hand on table._] If helping him, mind you, would get you, I
might take it on. [_Humorously._] I'd pay even the price of Steve to buy
you.

GEORGIANA. [_Taking the false nose and putting it on._] Well, I'm not
for sale. [_Rises._] But I would like to dispose of Steven.

COAST. Go on, please take that blame thing off.

[_Follows_ GEORGIANA _across the room to the Left._

GEORGIANA. No, I like it! You must understand this about my brother.
[_Taking off the nose._] He is the dearest, best fellow in the world!
kind-hearted and wouldn't do a thing that wasn't straightforward in
business.

COAST. But you've got to be tricky if you want to succeed in our
business. I don't mind telling you right out between us, I'm tricky!

GEORGIANA. I'm sorry to hear it.

COAST. Louise was a pretty good liar when she was a kid. She ought to
help her husband along a little.

GEORGIANA. That's just it! if Steve had the right sort of wife,--but all
Louise wants is social position and more money.

[_She sits on the hobby horse, amusedly._]

COAST. If Louise was like you!

[GEORGIANA _puts the nose on quickly and rocks._

GEORGIANA. Heaven forbid! The only trouble with Steve is he's weak. He'd
have been all right if he'd been a girl--or married to a president of
Sorosis, or a daughter of the Present Revolution!

COAST. Miss Georgiana, take off that nose and let me ask you something.

GEORGIANA. Not at all, my dear Sammy. I know what it is you want to ask
me! I'm much obliged and I won't.

COAST. You won't marry me!

GEORGIANA. No!

COAST. Why not?

GEORGIANA. Because I don't love you.

COAST. Who do you love?

GEORGIANA. That's not your business!

COAST. Do you love any one?

GEORGIANA. [_After a moment's hesitation, lies._] No!

COAST. [_With insinuation._] Why don't you get Dick Coleman to help
Steven?

GEORGIANA. [_Taking off the nose._] Why do you ask me that now in that
way?

COAST. Information!

GEORGIANA. Dick's a lawyer. What could he do for Steven?

COAST. That's not the information I wanted.

GEORGIANA. But it's all the information you'll get!

[_Gets off the hobby horse and comes down a little._

COAST. [_Follows her._] Georgiana, marry me, and I'll look after Steven
all the rest of his life.

GEORGIANA. Sammy, you don't want me to marry you if I don't love you.

COAST. Yes, I do. Listen! I'd risk your not loving me; there's nothing
on God's earth I wouldn't do to make you love me.

GEORGIANA. That's the trouble with you men, you think you can make a
woman love you whether she wants to or not, but you can't!--neither can
you keep her from loving you if she does, whether she wants to or not.

[_Throws nose away; crossing to the Left, sits in the rocking chair
there._

COAST. I'd give you everything!

GEORGIANA. That you can buy!

COAST. Do you mean that you'd rather be dead poor than marry me?

GEORGIANA. No, I don't say that! When I've lost everything and Steven
and Louise are bankrupt, and we haven't a penny--

COAST. Yes!

GEORGIANA. I might--I say I might--

COAST. Honest!

GEORGIANA. [_Laughing._] Oh, dear, no!

COAST. I take you at your word, anyhow.

[_The children's voices are heard._

CHILDREN. [_Off Left._] Come on back to our room and have some more
fun.

GEORGIANA. Sh! Here come the children.

[_Rises._

COAST. Damn the children!

GEORGIANA. Sam!

[_She puts finger up,_ COAST _kisses it._

COAST. Pardon! But I don't give up! Understand--I'm going to marry you!

GEORGIANA. [_Teasing him._] When? When?

[_The children rush in screaming._

THE CHILDREN. Aunt Georgiana! Here's papa! Here's papa!

[_And_ STEVEN CARLEY _enters Left. He is a slender, smooth-shaven,
young-old looking man, his voice and body almost vibrating with nerve; a
personality that so often appeals to the tenderness in women, while it
irritates men. He brings his hat and coat with him._

STEVEN. Hello, Sam!

COAST. Morning!

STEVEN. Many happy returns, Georgy.

GEORGIANA. Oh, no, thank you! It's not for me yet, thank goodness!

PHILIP. Now let's play hide and seek.

THE CHILDREN. Hide and seek!

LIZZIE. [_Entering Left._] Excuse me, please. Mrs. Jackson's maid is
here for Miss Elaine.

PHILIP. Oh, pshaw!

CHRISTOPHER. Don't you go!

ELAINE. Oh, yes, I must! I'm sorry! [_She goes up stage with great
diffidence to_ STEVEN _and shakes his hand as she curtseys.]_ Good-by,
sir. [_To_ COAST _also._] Good-by, sir. [_To_ GEORGIANA.] Good-by,
ma'am, I've had a perfectly lovely time. [_Aside to_ GEORGIANA.] Phil
is my beau, but I like Mr. Coast awfully much too!

GEORGIANA. [_Laughing._] You're beginning early! Come along, children,
we'll take Elaine down. Excuse me, everybody, please.

PHILIP. If you've got any good tips, papa, save some for little brother.

[_The children go out Left with_ GEORGIANA.

STEVEN. [_Putting his hat and coat down on the sofa._] He's on to his
father early! Sam, any news?

COAST. No.

STEVEN. I've heard of a big thing, an absolutely straight tip,--inside
information.

COAST. [_Sitting in the rocker._] Well, don't tell it, or you'll spoil
it.

STEVEN. The women are so down on my speculating, Georgiana especially.

[_Sits on the table._

COAST. What do the women folks know about business? Why don't you keep
what you do to yourself?

STEVEN. But you see my money's all gone, and I need more--only to recoup
with.

COAST. [_After a slight pause._] As I remember, you can do what you like
with Louise's money.

STEVEN. But is it right?

COAST. You're too blamed afraid, that's why you always lose.

STEVEN. [_Walking up and down._] I know it. And this is the biggest
chance I've had yet. If I dared risk it, I'm sure I could make a
fortune! Not in words! I know what I'm talking about, Sam. Louise would
have everything she wanted--and the way she'd live then! She could drop
the social chip off her shoulders, go anywhere, and receive everybody.

[_Standing beside the table, he eats a little cake._

COAST. Well?

STEVEN. Do you advise me to risk it?

COAST. [_Pretending indifference._] What?

STEVEN. Louise's money?

COAST. I ain't advising anything. If it went wrong, you'd blame me to
the women.

STEVEN. Is that the kind of a man I am?

COAST. [_Rises and goes to Steven and slaps him on the back._] No,
Steve, I take it back. You take a licking better'n any feller I ever
saw.

STEVEN. Experience! But this thing can't go wrong! The man who told me
is the head and--I told Georgiana--didn't she give you a hint?

COAST. [_After a slight pause._] No.

[_Turns up to the window and stands there with his back to Steven._

STEVEN. My tip's a great one--safe! Now, shall I take it?

COAST. Of course, when I feel as you do about a thing, I do it.

STEVEN. And by George, I will too!

COAST. Why not?

[_Turning and facing him._

STEVEN. Yes! what I make's for Louise, not for myself.

COAST. I wouldn't say anything to Louise about it.

[_Comes down a little._

STEVEN. No, she'd be sure to talk it over with Georgiana.

[_He sits by the table._

COAST. And, say, not a word, you know, about me in all this.

STEVEN. I give you my word, Sam.

COAST. Why not let the old lady in, too, Aunt Laura, if it's such a good
thing?

[_He gives a side look at_ STEVEN.

STEVEN. Didn't they tell you?

COAST. What?

STEVEN. I put mother into East Mexicos!

COAST. Gee!

[_Whistles, crosses to the sofa Right, and sits on_ GEORGIANA'S _furs;
jumps up quickly, moves the furs, and then sits again._

STEVEN. That was an extraordinary thing. No one knows how it happened,
but she lost every cent.

COAST. But--

STEVEN. Dear old Georgiana pays the interest for me, and the old lady
doesn't know.

COAST. Georgiana's a damn fine girl.

STEVEN. She is! I'll pay her back out of this coup, too, another good
thing.

COAST. Fine!

STEVEN. I believe I'll go back down town now.

[_Both rise and go Left as_ MOLES _comes in._

COAST. All right. Come on, we'll go together.

STEVEN. Good!

MOLES. Please, sir, may I speak to you a minute, Mr. Carley?

COAST. I'll wait downstairs, Steve.

[_He goes out Left._

STEVEN. Yes, Moles?

MOLES. The champagne is out, sir.

STEVEN. Order another case.

MOLES. I did, three days ago, over the telephone, and I called them up
yesterday to ask about it, and they said your bill was so long
outstanding they'd please like it settled before filling any future
orders.

STEVEN. Tell Mrs. Carley; the household bills are her affair, aren't
they?

MOLES. She says there is some mistake. She gave you a check for the wine
bill last month, sir.

STEVEN. Did she? Oh, of course she did. It was the day I heard about
Alabama Rails and I bought a couple on margin! They're down just now.
The wine people must wait.

[_Dismissing him._

MOLES. But we've a big luncheon, sir, to-morrow and no wine.

STEVEN. Very well, then, I'll get Miss Georgiana to give you a check. I
don't want to bother Mrs. Carley, she's got a headache.

MOLES. The wages are due, sir, and the trades books weren't settled last
month.

STEVEN. Well, I'll attend to it all to-morrow or next day, Moles. Give
me my coat, will you? [MOLES _gets the coat from the sofa and hands it
to_ STEVEN.] I've been short of ready money for a little while, but
things are looking up. By the way, you're a good sort; I'd like to do
you a good turn. I happen to be on to something, Moles, on to something
down in Wall Street. Would you like to make a little money?

MOLES. [_Brightening visibly._] Indeed and I would, sir. I've got two
thousand three hundred and sixteen dollars in my savings bank, and I've
heard of how these Wall Street magnums made fortunes out of less'n that.

STEVEN. I'll double it for you! You get it for me, Moles, and I'll make
it into five or six thousand for you, sure!

MOLES. Thank you, sir!

STEVEN. [_Writes in note book._] I'll put in an order to buy for you the
first thing in the morning; and you have your money down at my office
by ten o'clock, can you?

MOLES. Yes, sir, I can get off in the morning. I can't thank you enough,
sir!

STEVEN. Oh, that's all right,--we'll be a rich household here before we
get through, Moles. They'll be telephoning us to please send in some
orders for champagne!

[_Puts note-book away._

MOLES. Oh, don't trouble about these bills, sir. I can hold off the
people a little longer, and I'll order the wine in another place.

STEVEN. That's a good boy, Moles, then I won't have to bother my sister.

MOLES. Yes, sir.

[_He goes out as_ GEORGIANA _and the children enter Left._

GEORGIANA. Here's papa! Come along, now, Steve, I've promised the
children a game of hide and go seek!

STEVEN. All right, I knew father wanted to do something very much,--only
couldn't think what. Of course, it was hide and seek!

GEORGIANA. Philip must be "it" first!

PHILIP. All right!

[PHILIP _goes into the corner Right, with his back to the others. All
hide behind or under the different pieces of furniture_--GEORGIANA
_under the table,_ TOOTS _back of the rocker,_ STEVEN _under the sofa,
etc._

PHILIP. [_Impatient._] Are you ready?

[_Pause._

CHRISTOPHER. Not yet!

[_Getting behind curtains Centre window._

PHILIP. Now are you ready?

[LIZZIE _comes in Left, as soon as_ STEVEN _hides under sofa._

GEORGIANA. Not yet!

[_Getting under the table._

LIZZIE. Mr. Carley, please, sir!

STEVEN. [_Putting his head out from under the sofa._] Yes, Lizzie?

CHRISTOPHER. Don't turn round, Phil, it's only Lizzie. Wait!

LIZZIE. Excuse me, but Mr. Coast sent me upstairs to see--

STEVEN. Oh, by George, yes! [_Coming out from the sofa._] I forgot. I
must go back down town.

PHILIP. Oh, pshaw!

[_About to turn._

GEORGIANA. Don't turn, Phil!

CHRISTOPHER. No, the rest of us is hid!

STEVEN. I'm sorry, children! Father'd a great deal rather play hide and
seek, but he's got to go to work. It's just like when you'd rather play
but have to study!

PHILIP. When I get growed, I shan't never do anything I don't want to.

GEORGIANA. Then you'd be the most wonderful person in the world, and
they'd put you in wax in the Eden Musée!

STEVEN. [_Kissing_ PHIL, _then_ CHRIS, _then_ TOOTS.] Good-by, dears.

THE CHILDREN. [_Dolefully._] Good-by.

[STEVEN _crosses to the door Left._

GEORGIANA. Never mind, I'll finish with you. Don't turn around, Phil.

LIZZIE. [_At the door Left._] Beg pardon, sir, but Moles has been and
told me what you was going to do for him, sir. Would you be considering
it great impertinence if I asked you to take six hundred dollars what
I've saved, sir, and do things with it?

STEVEN. Certainly, Lizzie, send it by Moles in the morning.

LIZZIE. [_Delighted._] Oh, thank you, sir!

STEVEN. I'm glad to do it; you've served us faithfully for some years
now, Lizzie.

[_He goes out._

LIZZIE. He's gone, miss.

[_She goes out also._

GEORGIANA. [_Calls._] Ready!

[PHILIP _turns and looks about the room, then begins to look under
things. He sees his_ AUNT GEORGIANA _first and is about to touch her,
but she laughingly motions him not to and points out_ TOOTS'S _hiding
place._

PHILIP. [_Finding_ TOOTS, _touches him._] You're it!

TOOTS. [_Very pleased._] I'm it! I'm it!

[_Jumps up and down._

CHRISTOPHER. [_Disappointed._] Somebody find me.

PHILIP. Oh, come on out from behind the curtain--you're--easy.

[CHRISTOPHER _comes out. Meanwhile_ COLEMAN _is heard calling, "Hello,
Phil, Phil," outside as he comes up the stairs._

PHILIP. [_By the hobby horse._] It's Mr. Dick!

THE CHILDREN. It's Mr. Dick!

GEORGIANA. Oh!

[_Starts to get out from under the table, but_ COLEMAN _enters, so she
crawls back._

[LIEUTENANT RICHARD COLEMAN _is a handsome, finely built man of about
thirty-two. He is a West Pointer, is a good oarsman, a crack shot, and a
good fellow all around. No finicking about him, no nerves. Just a sane,
healthy, fine fellow._

DICK. Hello! Many happy returns, Phil. [_Shakes hands._] Where's your
Aunt Georgiana! [_Silence._] Is she out?

PHIL. No, she's under the table!

CHRISTOPHER AND TOOTS. [_Delighted._] She's under the table! She's under
the table!

DICK. [_Laughing._] What!

PHILIP. Hide and seek.

[DICK _looks under the table; he and_ GEORGIANA _laugh._

DICK. Good morning, are you at home?

GEORGIANA. [_Very embarrassed._] Oh, mercy! Do go away so I can get out!

DICK. [_Tremendously amused._] Come on out!

GEORGIANA. No! I can't with you there. [_Laughing_.] Please leave the
room for just one minute!

DICK. Not if I know it! Come on out!

GEORGIANA. Not for worlds! Go away, please! [DICK _shakes his head
"No."_] Then I shall never come out.

DICK. Ah, but that's hardly fair, because I want to talk to you
comfortably.

GEORGIANA. Well, then, come on under!

DICK. Is there room?

GEORGIANA. A cable car conductor who knew his business could seat four
more people in here.

DICK. Still--I think I'm more comfortable up here.

GEORGIANA. Selfish! Go on away! [DICK _shakes his head._] Children, if
you love your auntie, go for Mr. Dick with all your might and main and
push him into the hall.

[_The children shout and rush toward_ DICK; _they catch hold of him._

THE CHILDREN. Go away!

DICK. [_With mock ferocity._] The first child I get hold of I'll
_spank_!

[_The children laugh and shout and run away from him to behind the
table._

THE CHILDREN. Spank!

GEORGIANA. Ogre! Very well! After all, I'm not vain! It would take
Barnum's human snake to get out of this gracefully, anyway!

[_Coming out, arranging her dress and hair._

DICK. Have some help?

GEORGIANA. No, thank you. But still, what a horrid person you are,
aren't you?

[_They both laugh._

DICK. _You_ aren't!

GEORGIANA. O dear me! Making up now with a compliment! Well, what do
you think of my birthday antics? Playing hide and seek--or, perhaps,
trained elephants--doesn't interest you!

CHRISTOPHER. Lelephants! Oh, Auntie! Is the _circus_ coming?

[_The children give themselves up to transports._ PHIL _hugs_ TOOTS _and
repeats "Circus."_

GEORGIANA. No, darling, but this circus is going--your old-maid aunt--to
put herself to rights!

DICK. You couldn't improve on present appearances!

GEORGIANA. Really! Such fine speeches! But they don't go with your
manners! Would you like to join in the game?

PHILIP. Oh, yes! Hurrah!

[_Runs to_ DICK, _when_ MRS. CARLEY _comes in from the Left._

MRS. CARLEY. Well! What's going on?

PHILIP. Birthdays!

MRS. CARLEY. Not for me!

GEORGIANA. Don't you want to play hide and go seek, mother?

MRS. CARLEY. I'm playing it all the time with old age! That's enough!

GEORGIANA. Well, excuse me, please, while I repair damages.

[_She goes out Right._

DICK. [_Calls._] Come back.

CHILDREN. [_Calling._] Come back!

MRS. CARLEY. I want the children for a few minutes.

THE CHILDREN. [_Disappointed._] Oh, Grannie!

[_She goes to children and drives them off Left ahead of her._

THE CHILDREN. Oh, Grandma!

MRS. CARLEY. Mrs. Vale is downstairs with the twins, to wish Phil many
happy returns.

[_The children go out Left unwillingly._ MRS. CARLEY _comes back._

DICK. Going to spoil our game, Grandma?

MRS. CARLEY. Don't you grandma me! You're old enough for me to marry
you.

DICK. Help!

MRS. CARLEY. Don't worry! Having lost two good husbands, I'm not going
to risk losing a third.

DICK. I breathe freely once more.

MRS. CARLEY. I thought Sammy Coast was here.

DICK. Not since I came. He seems a clever chap!

MRS. CARLEY. We think so, and we hope so. He adores Georgiana.

DICK. Oh!

MRS. CARLEY. Huh! huh! [DICK _walks away._] What do you say to that
match?

DICK. You don't mean?--

[_Turns to_ MRS. CARLEY.

MRS. CARLEY. Looks like it! It would be a fine thing for both of them.
Sam could give her a fortune, and Georgiana give him a big position.

DICK. But--

MRS. CARLEY. He's crazy about her! Comes here every day--follows her
like a dog.

DICK. But it isn't--

MRS. CARLEY. [_Interrupting._] Not yet, but we don't dare breathe! And
we're on tiptoe for the final word.

DICK. What does Steven say?

MRS. CARLEY. Delighted, of course. [_Walks away a little._] I hope you
haven't brought Steve any tips to-day.

DICK. [_Laughing._] No!

MRS. CARLEY. Thank goodness! He doesn't seem to have had any this week
and the house has been fairly quiet! [GEORGIANA _comes back._] I must go
to Mrs. Vale. [_Goes out._]

GEORGIANA. Mother looks pleased.

DICK. She's never very depressed, is she?

GEORGIANA. Yes, sometimes,--in the day-time! It's largely a matter of
frocks and bonnets, and depends sometimes on the exact color of her
hair.

DICK. I often wonder that you keep on living with Mrs. Carley and
Louise. They can't help being beastly uncongenial to you.

GEORGIANA. But Mrs. Carley brought me up. She did her worst with the
best intentions, and you mustn't forget Steve! [_She sits beside the
table and_ DICK _leans against it to talk to her._] He's my own
brother, you know, and I'm so afraid Louise will finally disillusion him
and spoil his happiness. I'm standing on guard.

DICK. You think a lot of Steve.

GEORGIANA. I love him better than any one else in the world. [_She adds
in a very low voice._] Almost!

[_A short pause._

DICK. Steve comes second!

[_Pause._

GEORGIANA. [_Low voice and looking away._] Perhaps.

DICK. I hope you don't mind my asking you these questions.

GEORGIANA. No, I like it.

DICK. I don't want you to tell me anything more than you care to.

GEORGIANA. [_Turning and half laughing._] That's very good of you.

DICK. But I _wish_ you'd tell me everything.

GEORGIANA. My dear Dick, there isn't anything more for me to tell.

DICK. Oh, very well, if you want to leave it that way.

[_Moving away._

GEORGIANA. Leave what?

DICK. I mean if that's all you want to tell me.

GEORGIANA. Why don't _you_ tell _me_ something.

DICK. That's what I've come to do.

GEORGIANA. Have you?

DICK. [_Turns and faces_ GEORGIANA.] Our regiment is ordered off to the
Philippines.

GEORGIANA. Your regiment?

DICK. Yes.

GEORGIANA. [_Breathless._] Who's going?

DICK. Who? Why, we're going, of course.

GEORGIANA. All of you?

DICK. Yes, all of us. There are two insurrections on a couple of
islands that must be put down, and they want some fresh men.

GEORGIANA. But it will be awful warfare out there, won't it, unfair,
cruel, unlawful warfare?

DICK. I suppose that's what it's likely to be with the natives until we
teach them a thorough lesson on every one of the infernal islands.

GEORGIANA. But--

[_Hesitates, rises; they are both in front of the table._

DICK. But what?

GEORGIANA. [_Pause._] But your business,--how can you leave your office?

DICK. There are plenty of people who'll be only too glad to take on my
clients.

GEORGIANA. But when you come back?

DICK. If the worst comes to the worst, I'll have to begin all over
again.

GEORGIANA. No! Don't go--Dick! Don't go!

DICK. Why not?

GEORGIANA. [_Humorously, to cover her emotion._] I don't want any one
else to get your clients.

DICK. Oh, you were thinking of my career! That'll take care of itself if
I come back--and if I don't--

GEORGIANA. Please!

DICK. They said we were a lot of dandies in the regiment, and that if it
ever came to fighting, people'd see us back down!

GEORGIANA. But need you all go?

DICK. That's the glory of it! It's fine, Georgy. There isn't a single
man who'll be left behind, not on any old excuse!

GEORGIANA. Splendid!

DICK. You do want me to go, then, don't you?

GEORGIANA. Yes, if it's like that, I want you to go--but--I want you to
come back, too!

[_Almost breaking down._]

DICK. Hello! I believe you're crying.

GEORGIANA. I'm not!

DICK. [_Tenderly, scarcely believing._] Do you care so much as that,
Georgy?

GEORGIANA. [_Proudly._] Of course I care!

DICK. It's funny, isn't it--think how long we've known each other.

GEORGIANA. [_Still with a choke and a tear._] I don't see why it's
funny.

DICK. What I mean is, we're sentimental beasts--we people.

GEORGIANA. Thank you, I don't care for the way you put it.

DICK. [_Takes a long breath._] Well, I wish you joy, Georgiana.

GEORGIANA. Much obliged.

DICK. And good-by.

[_Shakes hands._

GEORGIANA. [_Rises._] Not now, for good.

DICK. [_Laughing._] Oh, no, we aren't off for ten days yet. But I wanted
to tell my old pal first.

GEORGIANA. That was good of you. And you'll come in often before you go,
won't you, Dick?

DICK. You bet! Every chance I get.

[_Both go up to the window. He has meant to go, but she manoeuvres him
to the big seat instead._

GEORGIANA. And anything I can do for you?

[_She sits._

DICK. [_Sitting beside her._] Oh, I don't think there can be anything.

GEORGIANA. Oh, yes, there is always something women can do for men who
go away to fight. They make things! Let me make something for you.

DICK. Can't think of anything. Got everything I want.

GEORGIANA. You're a lucky man to have everything you want--and going off
to the Philippines with a jolly crowd of friends and glad you're going!
I take back all my sympathy, and I wouldn't make you anything now if you
asked me to.

DICK. And, by George, just when I'd thought of something.

GEORGIANA. What?

DICK. [_Laughing._] A court-plaster case!

GEORGIANA. You can buy one in a drug store.

DICK. I ought to have some present to carry in my breast pocket; don't
you know bullets are always warded off that way?

GEORGIANA. Oh, that was in the old romantic days of the nineteenth
century, and then it was a prayer book or a bunch of love letters.
To-day it's much more apt to be a cigarette case!

[_The children run in, led by_ PHILIP.

PHILIP. They've gone! Hurrah! They've gone!

[GEORGIANA _and_ DICK _rise._

CHRISTOPHER. They've gone! They've gone!

[TOOTS _hangs on to_ DICK.

PHILIP. [_Taking hold of_ GEORGIANA.] Come on, now, our game, or we'll
never have it!

CHRISTOPHER. Blindman's buff!

TOOTS. Yes, blindman's buff!

GEORGIANA. [_To_ DICK.] Are you game?

DICK. Just one round, and then I must be off. I'll be blindfolded.

[_Takes out his handkerchief._

TOOTS. I want to be blindfolded!

PHILIP. No! Let Mr. Dick!

DICK. [_Giving his handkerchief to_ GEORGIANA.] Will you blindfold me?

GEORGIANA. [_Binds his eyes._] To my faults?

DICK. That would be Love's Labour Lost.

GEORGIANA. How do you mean Love's Labour Lost?

PHILIP. Don't let him peek!

DICK. And whoever I catch, I kiss!

PHILIP. No, tell the name first!

DICK. No, I must play my own game, and that is to kiss her first, and
tell the name afterwards!

GEORGIANA. Now, turn him around three times, Christopher. [CHRISTOPHER
_does so, holding_ DICK _by the knees._] And keep away, everybody!

CHRISTOPHER. Ready!

[_All watch eagerly._ DICK _moves down stage, reaching his arms out as a
blindfolded person does, but always with his arms too high to catch one
of the children._

PHILIP. Put your arms lower!

CHRISTOPHER. Yes, you can only catch Aunt Georgiana that way!

[GEORGIANA, _happy, pinches_ CHRISTOPHER'S _arm playfully._ DICK _lowers
his arms for a moment, but purposely catches no one. Then he lifts his
arms a little towards_ GEORGIANA, _who cries out and moves, lifting_
TOOTS _on the table._ DICK _follows the sound of her voice and catches
hold of_ TOOTS'S _head._

PHILIP. [_Excited._] Musn't move your hands!

DICK. Make her kiss me, then.

[GEORGIANA _leans over, holding_ TOOTS _to one side, and kisses_ DICK
_herself._

PHILIP. [_Delighted, calls out._] Guess who! Guess who!

[GEORGIANA _motions to the children not to tell and moves away._

DICK. [_Hearing the voice from where he supposes the kiss came, he lakes
off the bandage. He sees_ TOOTS _and is disappointed._] Why--I thought
it was Georgiana! Toots! You rascal!

CHRISTOPHER. [_Trying to tell._] But Mr. Dick, Mr. Dick!

[TOOTS _laughs and claps hands._ GEORGIANA _gets hold of_ CHRISTOPHER
_and holds her hand over his mouth._ GEORGIANA _and_ CHRISTOPHER
_follow_ DICK _to the door Left._

GEORGIANA. [_To_ CHRISTOPHER, _to stop his telling._] Sh! [_To_ DICK.]
Good-by!

DICK. Good-by!

TOOTS. [_Wanting to tell._] But--

PHILIP. Good-by! Good-by!

GEORGIANA. Good-by Dick! Come soon again!

DICK. To-morrow!

GEORGIANA. I'll wait in all day!

CHRISTOPHER. But Mr. Dick, it was--

[GEORGIANA _hushes him with her hand over his mouth._

GEORGIANA. Good-by!

DICK. Good-by!

[_He goes out Left._

CHRISTOPHER, PHILIP, AND TOOTS. Good-by!

[GEORGIANA _bursts into tears and hugs_ TOOTS _on top of the table._

CHRISTOPHER. But it was you, Aunt Georgiana!

GEORGIANA. Don't any of you tell on auntie! You won't, will you? Let
auntie have her own way.



THE CURTAIN FALLS



ACT II


_The drawing-room at the Carleys'. A handsome room in dark wood, with
tapestry on the walls and an old portrait built in over the mantle. The
furniture is gilt, Louis XVI, covered with old crimson brocade. There is
a warmth about the room, a profusion of flowers, some books and
magazines. A piano in the upper left-hand corner, a window with a
balcony at Left. Doors Right and Left._ LOUISE _and_ MRS. CARLEY _are
replacing the furniture, which has been disarranged. Out on the balcony_
MOLES _is seen, with_ PHILIP _and_ CHRISTOPHER, _arranging an American
flag on the balcony balustrade._

LOUISE. Thank goodness, the luncheon's over!

MRS. CARLEY. Yes, I thought they'd never go, and I've got the Shindle
woman coming to do my hair.

LOUISE. I noticed it was getting a little dark at the wrong end, mother.

MRS. CARLEY. What was it Steve said this morning? It was always darkest
before blond! Well, it's lucky I'm good-natured so long as I live in
this family and don't want to grow old.

LOUISE. What are they doing on the balcony?

MRS. CARLEY. Dick Coleman's regiment marches by here this afternoon.

[_She sits by a table Right._

LOUISE. Do they start for the Philippines to-day?

MRS. CARLEY. Yes, and the President is to receive them in front of the
Plaza.

LOUISE. [_Coming to her._] Have you noticed Steve?

MRS. CARLEY. No,--has he got a new suit?

LOUISE. No, something's troubling him. [_Thoughtfully._] I believe he's
been speculating again and has lost.

MRS. CARLEY. He couldn't; he hasn't got anything more to lose.

LOUISE. [_Petulantly._] He hasn't played with the children for a week
and he hates going out so lately,--wants to refuse every invitation!
Even the ones you and I've been patting ourselves on the back for
getting! I can't stand it.

MRS. CARLEY. Quite right, too--if one doesn't go out, where can one go,
and if we don't go anywhere, what are we to do? We can't stay home.
[_Rising, she crosses to mirror on table Left._] I say, dear, what
about having my hair a little redder?

LOUISE. Let me see! [MRS. CARLEY _faces her_--LOUISE _examines her
critically._] I wouldn't much; if you do, people will say you _dye_ it.

MRS. CARLEY. I don't care what they say, so long as they don't say it to
my face. Have you had yours massaged this morning?

LOUISE. Yes, why?

[_Goes to mirror and, pushing_ MRS. CARLEY _out of the way, examines her
face in the glass._

MRS. CARLEY. Nothing, only I think you must have it done religiously,
darling; the crow's feet are beginning to come.

[_Sits on sofa and begins to crochet on an afghan._

LOUISE. Oh, I'm worried to-day and besides, I think our masseuse is
getting careless. [_Turns, goes up to_ MRS. CARLEY, _and sits on the
sofa._] I'm going to change her; she never tells you anything about
anybody, anyway.

MRS. CARLEY. I told you that the first day she came. She was positively
rude the way she refused to be pumped by me about the people next door.
Do you know I'm worried too. [_Rises, gives_ LOUISE _her work, and again
looks in the glass._] I think my hips are getting bigger.

LOUISE. Well, my dear mother, you must have hips sometime in your life,
and you've done pretty well. Look at your friend, Mrs. Brint.

[FOOTMAN _enters with tray, goes to table Right, and collects the small
cups and saucers._

MRS. CARLEY. My dear! when Sarah Brint was _married_ she looked like a
widow! [LOUISE _laughs._] It made me so mad seeing the people eat
everything the way they did.

LOUISE. Mamma, you're so amusing. Of course we do have good food; we
must get people here somehow.

MRS. CARLEY. And I not daring to eat a thing! Why is it nice things are
all fattening?

[_The_ FOOTMAN _goes out_.

LOUISE. [_Rises and comes to_ MRS. CARLEY.] Does it strike you that this
dress of mine makes me look too short-waisted?

MRS. CARLEY. Turn round. [LOUISE _does so._] Yes! don't wear it again.

LOUISE. [_Irritated._] Why didn't you tell me before lunch?

MRS. CARLEY. I didn't notice it!

LOUISE. [_Angry. Turns to mirror and then to_ MRS. CARLEY.] That's just
it! You don't care! You don't think of me ever! You only think of
yourself!

MRS. CARLEY. [_Angry._] That's not true. I've sacrificed my life for
you, and for what good?

LOUISE. What good! Good heavens, haven't Steve and I done everything for
you, lugged you into the best position almost in New York?

MRS. CARLEY. Yes, that's just it, "_almost!_" Your husband hates me and
you back him up--and keep me in the background!

LOUISE. I couldn't! You wouldn't stay there.

[_With a disagreeable laugh._

MRS. CARLEY. [_Sits in chair left of the table._] That's it, insult
me,--but I've had enough! I've made up my mind, anyway, to leave your
house and live by myself.

[_Whimpering._

LOUISE. Oh, stop, mamma. You know I didn't mean anything. I'm sorry!

MRS. CARLEY. [_Crying._] No, I'm in the way.

LOUISE. You're not in the way. You know I couldn't live without my
darling pretty little mamma. Please stop crying and kiss me.

[_Puts her arms around her._

MRS. CARLEY. [_Still crying._] I haven't anybody in the world but you.

LOUISE. Don't I know that, don't I know I couldn't get on without you!
There! [_Kisses her._] Now it's all right. Come on, darling, come up and
get your hair dyed.

MRS. CARLEY. [_Pleasantly._] Sh! don't _call_ it that!

LOUISE. I am irritable lately, I know it--but I see without our money
even Steve couldn't get us a decent position. We might just as well face
the truth. Certain people don't appreciate you and me, mamma. We aren't
even acquired tastes.

MRS. CARLEY. No one ever appreciated me long. I was prettier than you
were at your age, and my husbands both fell in love with me at first
sight. But I never wore well.

[_She takes a magazine from the table and begins to cut the pages._

LOUISE. I wonder if Georgiana _will_ marry Sammy!

MRS. CARLEY. I wish to goodness she would.

LOUISE. I believe she's in love with Mr. Coleman.

MRS. CARLEY. No, they've always known each other.

LOUISE. Well, some people wear better than we do, that's all! and I
believe she's in love with him, whether either of them know it or not.

[GEORGIANA _comes in Left with_ BELLA SHINDLE. MISS SHINDLE _is a
florid, buxom young person, pleased with herself and all the world. She
carries several packages._

GEORGIANA. Here's Bella, mother.

EVERYBODY. How are you, Bella?

GEORGIANA. All your guests gone?

[_She sits left of table._ MRS. CARLEY _goes back of table, and_ LOUISE
_moves to the right._

MRS. CARLEY. Yes, thank goodness! You _might_ have been here.

GEORGIANA. You know I can't stand your would-be smart parties!

LOUISE. I think they're always angry when they don't see you.

GEORGIANA. Nonsense! Did you have a good time? Pick everybody else to
pieces?

LOUISE. No, we all said nice things about Mrs. Lothman.

GEORGIANA. Mercy! What's the matter with her?

LOUISE. My dear, she's a perfect nonentity; she might just as well _not_
exist.

GEORGIANA. [_Amused._] Well, to tell the truth, I don't care much about
her myself. She's one of those boring creatures who when you ask her how
she is, really tells you!

MRS. CARLEY. _You_ with fancy work! What in the world are you doing?

GEORGIANA. I am knitting a tie for Dick!

MRS. CARLEY. Good gracious. Well, I'll go upstairs and get into
something _loose_. I'll be ready in ten minutes.

[_She goes out Right._

LOUISE. I must see the children; I haven't seen them to-day.

[_She follows her mother out._

BELLA. Miss Carley.

GEORGIANA. Yes, Bella.

BELLA. Mr. Coleman, Lieutenant Coleman, is going to the Philippines
to-day.

GEORGIANA. [_Sighing involuntarily._] Yes, Bella.

BELLA. I've got a friend going along.

GEORGIANA. In the company?

BELLA. Yes--well, I don't mind telling you--he's my young man, Miss
Carley.

GEORGIANA. Why, Bella, I didn't know you were engaged?

BELLA. Well, I don't know as you'd call it exactly, yes I _would_ say as
we _was_ engaged--though I haven't got a ring. But we're going to get
married when he comes back, if hugging and kissing is binding, which I
_guess_, with witnesses! He wanted to give me a ring of his mother's,
but I said "No," I wouldn't take that, it was sacred and he'd always
wore it. You see it was an old-fashioned-looking sort of onyx stone with
oyster pearls, and not for me--I'd rather wait.

GEORGIANA. You have an eye out on the main chance, Bella.

BELLA. Well, I wasn't born yesterday. Say, all the girls was crazy about
him. I met him to dancing school Tuesday evenings at Adelphi Hall and we
started right in, every Sunday night to church and every Saturday to the
theatre. He enjoyed Sundays best and I Saturdays, but I felt it was
because church was cheapest. He's dreadful economical.

GEORGIANA. You get more attention than I do from my soldier. You at
least have the consolation of knowing you're the girl he's left behind.

BELLA. 'Tain't much consolation if I get left for _good_! Say, will you
ask Mr. Coleman to sort o' look after him? Ask him to please put him in
the back row when there's fighting--and keep an eye on his health. I'm
afraid it's dreadful _damp_ being a soldier; and do you know that man
actually catches cold if he forgets his rubbers and it sprinkles?

GEORGIANA. I don't think he ought to go if he's so delicate; Mr. Coleman
will take an interest in your friend, I know, if I ask him. What's his
name?

BELLA. Mr. Gootch.

GEORGIANA. _Mr. Gootch!_ Yes, I can remember that. But, you see, if he's
a soldier he must do his duty, whatever it is.

BELLA. There's no holding him back! He's jus' as likely as not to lose
his position at Snipleys, Crabford & Snipleys, too, but he _will_ go!
It's surprising to see a man with such a weak chest and delicate feet,
so awful brave and persistent.

LOUISE. [_Coming back._] I bore the children to death, so I left them.
What are all these bundles, Bella?

BELLA. Christmas presents. This is just the time of the year to buy, you
know, you can get such bargains! and if there's one thing I think
nicer'n anything else to get cheap, it's Christmas presents.

GEORGIANA. You should do like Mrs. Carley, Bella, save half of the
things you get one year to give away the next.

[_She sits by the table and goes on with her work._

LOUISE. I always do that. I get so many things I can't bear.

GEORGIANA. But you must be careful not to send them back to the same
place they came from! That _has_ happened.

LOUISE. Georgiana!

[BELLA _laughs out loud and sits on the sofa._ LOUISE _sits opposite_
GEORGIANA.

GEORGIANA. What have you got? Sit down and tell us.

BELLA. Thank you, ma'am. [_Delighted with the opportunity. Taking up the
different parcels._] Well, I've got an elegant pair of scissors for
mother, marked down because of a flaw in the steel, but she's
near-sighted, and she don't want to use 'em anyway--it's just to feel
she has another pair. Scissors is mother's fad--sort of born in her, I
guess, for my mother's mother was a kind of dressmaker. She didn't have
robes and mantucks over her door, you know,--she was too swell for
that,--she went out by the day! And this is a real bronze Louis
ink-stand for my sister's husband, only cost thirty-nine cents and
hasn't got a thing the matter with it, so long as you don't see the
others--if you see the others, you'll observe that there's a naked lady
missing off the top part which I'm glad of anyway as I'm giving it to a
gentleman, and he'll never see the others besides. And this is two boxes
of writing paper; aren't they _huge_! _awful_ cheap with a lovely
picture of an actress on top--Lillian Russell in _Mice and Men_, I
think, on one, and Jean Duresk the Opera Singer in _Lonegrind_ on the
other. The boxes 'av got false bottoms--so there ain't very much writing
material, but the rich effect's there all the same.

GEORGIANA. [_Laughing._] Bella, you're a wonderful shopper!

BELLA. And this is a copy of Homer's _Iliad_ for my sister. Do you know
it? Is it nice? Anything like Hall Caine's works, or Mary Corelli's?
She's always been my sister's favorite writeress. You see they've got a
whole counter of these beautifully bound in red and gold, and only
nineteen cents. But it's so hard to decide which to buy. I've about
decided now to take this back and change it for _Lucille_. Which do you
think my sister'd like best, Homer's _Iliad_ or _Lucille_?

GEORGIANA. I believe she'd prefer _Lucille_, and besides half the fun in
shopping is in the changing one's mind and taking things back, don't you
think so?

BELLA. Yes, ma'am, I think so.

[MOLES _enters Left._

MOLES. Mr. Coast to see Miss Georgiana, please.

[BELLA _rises._

GEORGIANA. Did you say I was in?

MOLES. Yes, miss.

GEORGIANA. What a bore! Very well, Moles.

[_He goes out._

BELLA. I'll be going up to Mrs. Carley, now.

[_Goes toward the door Right._

GEORGIANA. Wait a minute, Bella. I want you to do something for me.
Entertain Sammy, Louise, till I come back.

[_She goes out with_ BELLA.

LOUISE. I never was able to entertain Sammy, but I'll do my best.

[COAST _enters, announced by_ MOLES, _who immediately exits._

COAST. Hello, Lou, how goes it?

LOUISE. Beastly!

COAST. Where's Miss Georgiana?

LOUISE. She'll be down in a minute. Sam, do you know what's the matter
with Steve?

COAST. Probably he's been losing.

LOUISE. Whose money?

COAST. Everybody's.

LOUISE. But can't you help him?

COAST. No; it's not my business.

[_Sits on the sofa, putting the pillows out of his way._

LOUISE. But he's my husband, and you're my cousin.

COAST. What's the difference? Twenty years ago, when your father was
rich as Croesus and my guv'ner and I up a stump for--tobacco, anyway, if
not for bread, did he lift a finger to help us? not on your life! That
lets me out! Every man for himself--and listen, if I wanted to starve I
could lose a real good fortune through Steve Carley, without any outside
help.

LOUISE. I told mother you'd be like that.

COAST. We're all pretty much alike; she'd recognize the Coast family.

LOUISE. If you were married to Georgiana, you couldn't ignore her
brother. She isn't like us.

COAST. Well, if I could get Georgiana, [_Going to_ LOUISE.] I'd be
willing to do a good deal. She's the only woman I can see in this world
my size.

LOUISE. So I guessed, but if Dick Coleman proposes before he goes to the
Philippines, I wouldn't give much for your chances.

COAST. Listen, Lou; did you ever know me to lose anything I'd set my
mind on getting.

LOUISE. No.

COAST. Well I mean to marry Georgiana, Dick Coleman or no Dick Coleman.
No, I'll put it different from that. I mean to make her love me,
because, by God, I love that woman so I'd do anything, commit a crime
almost, to get her.

[STEVEN _enters Left and_ COAST _goes up to the mantel._

LOUISE. Steve, aren't you up town early?

STEVEN. A little.

[_Sits Left._ MOLES _enters._

MOLES. Beg pardon, sir.

LOUISE. What is it, Moles?

MOLES. [_To_ LOUISE.] Mr. Carley, m'm. [_To_ STEVEN.] Could I speak with
you a few moments, sir?

STEVEN. I'm very busy to-day, Moles.

MOLES. But have you noticed sir, this morning, United Copper is lower.

STEVEN. It can't be helped--go about your business.

MOLES. But for heaven's sake, Mr. Carley--you said yesterday if it
dropped another point and we couldn't give up any more money, Lizzie and
me'd both lose everything we had.

STEVEN. I'm sorrier than I can say, but there are lots of others worse
off than you.

[GEORGIANA _reënters Right._

COAST. [_Cynically to_ STEVEN.] You don't mean to say you've been
speculating with Moles's money.

LOUISE. Moles!

STEVEN. It was for _himself_, not me, I put him in.

MOLES. And Lizzie, sir. And we'd counted it up, how if we made all you
said, we could leave service soon, sir, and we could afford a small
house in the country with say _four_ rooms and _one_ baby--Lizzie doing
her own work.

LOUISE. Do you mean to say, Steve, that your own servants have lost
their earnings through you?

MOLES. Yes, m'm.

STEVEN. [_Doggedly._] Put it that way if you like. I meant to do them a
good turn.

LOUISE. But we can't let that happen; we must pay them back!

COAST. [_Amused._] Bully for you, Louise! getting generous in your old
age.

LOUISE. It would ruin us socially if it got out!

COAST. Oh, I see!

MOLES. Mr. Carley said it was _sure_, ma'am.

[COAST _laughs a rather coarse laugh._

STEVEN. For heaven's sake, Coast! Go away, Moles.

[MOLES _goes out Left._

COAST. [_To_ STEVEN.] Are they holding on for you?

STEVEN. They said they'd give me till to-morrow to put up more security.

[_Sits Right._

COAST. What do you need?

[_No answer._

LOUISE. How much more security, Steve?

[_Goes to_ STEVE.

STEVEN. Say a hundred and fifty thousand.

[COAST _whistles_.

LOUISE. He'd better hold on, Sam, hadn't he; what do you think of the
stock?

COAST. Don't ask _me_.

LOUISE. We've got _to risk it_, anyway. Use some of my bonds, Steve.

STEVEN. Louise!

LOUISE. Yes, I mean it, we must.

STEVEN. You don't understand me--we can't use your security.

LOUISE. Why not?

STEVEN. [_Rising and half turning away._] Not--again.

LOUISE. How do you mean "again"?

STEVEN. Your money is all there, all, already buried in it!

LOUISE. _All_ my money? _All_ of it!

STEVEN. Yes, I wanted to win back your mother's, I wanted--

[_Interrupted._

LOUISE. [_Beside herself._] You wanted! You wanted!! You wanted!!! To
ruin us, that is what I should say you wanted to do!--Do you mean to
say, behind my back, you've gambled away every cent I have, as well as
all my mother's money!?!

GEORGIANA. No! it's not possible--Steve!

[_Comes between_ STEVEN _and_ LOUISE.

STEVEN. When did you come in, Georgy?

LOUISE. Georgy! [_No answer; she continues hysterically._] He can't deny
it; it's true! And it's rank dishonesty, that's what it is! You've
robbed me, you've robbed my mother, you've robbed your own children!
The papers will call you a--

STEVEN. [_Interrupting._] That's not true! I had control of your
money--to do with as I choose, and I did what I thought was for the
best.

LOUISE. You've never done anything for me that wasn't for the worst!

[_Walking up and down excitedly._

GEORGIANA. Louise!

LOUISE. It's true! If I can save a cent out of this ruin, I'll take it
and the children away from you! I'll never live with you again! I'll
show you up to all your smart friends who've snubbed me! I'll send you
to state prison if I can!

[_Sits in the arm-chair down Left._

COAST. Shut up, Lou! You'd better get a little legal advice before you
start on that track.

GEORGIANA. Louise!

[_Goes to_ LOUISE.

LOUISE. Well, what have _you_ got to say? My mother brought _you_ up,
was a second mother to your brother who ruined us, but you've got _your_
money, I suppose. You've been clever enough to keep _your_ money in your
own hands,--you and he will always have enough!

[_Crying hysterically._

GEORGIANA. _Will_ you listen to me and let me say what I'm trying to?

LOUISE. [_Bursting into floods of tears, overwhelmed with sympathy for
herself._] He's broken my heart! That's what he's done; broken my heart!

GEORGIANA. [_Going to_ LOUISE.] Oh, no, he hasn't, Louise, he's only
broken your bank, and you don't know the difference. I want to say to
you now,--that all Steve needed was real love, and the guiding hand of a
true, sensible woman--

STEVEN. [_Interrupting her, goes to_ GEORGIANA. GEORGIANA _turns to_
STEVE.] No, Georgy! You mustn't blame Louise! I love her and always
will, just as she is. She doesn't mean all she says now--she's angry,
and she has a right to be--I'm one of those men who never succeed--who
never have any luck, and it's bad luck for her to have to share mine.

GEORGIANA. Well, what's done's done? But, as Louise says, my money's
left.

STEVEN. Yes, but--

GEORGIANA. Mine must do for all of us.

COAST. [_Strongly._] Excuse me, but I'll see that Louise and her mother
don't suffer; _you_ keep your money.

GEORGIANA. No, that's not the point, Sam. I asked you once to give my
brother advice and you refused. You might have prevented this, and now
we can get along without your money. Steve won't have to go out of his
own family to make up as far as he can for what he's lost out of yours.

[SAM _turns away to the mantel._

STEVEN. Georgy! O Georgy! You're an angel! [_Hugging her and kissing her
in a transport of relief._] I'll get out of it, you'll see! I'll cover
myself to-morrow. I can do that with your Croton Bonds and your Mutual
Life and a couple of mortgages, and we'll win in the end, and Louise get
hers back and mother too--! [_His arm about his wife._] It's _sure_ in
the end, _it's got_ to be, Louise.

[_There is no response from_ LOUISE.

GEORGIANA. Steven, I have a condition about my money.

STEVEN. [_Crestfallen._] What?

GEORGIANA. It isn't to be used as you think. If I'm to help you, it must
be in my own way.

STEVEN. How do you mean?

GEORGIANA. What's lost is _lost_. I have between five and six hundred
thousand dollars, and we must all live on the income of that. And you
must give your word of honor never to gamble in stocks again.

[SAM _comes back to front of table._

LOUISE. [_To_ STEVEN, _suddenly realizing it again._] You let _all_ my
money go?

GEORGIANA. [_To_ LOUISE.] I will share what I have with you.

STEVEN. [_To_ GEORGIANA.] But you must let me try to get back--

GEORGIANA. [_Interrupting._] It would only be throwing good money after
bad!

COAST. [_Sardonically._] How about Moles and Lizzie?

GEORGIANA. Don't _you_ worry about them! Moles and Lizzie shall have
their money back, of course.

STEVEN. But I can't do it, Georgy. It's losing--why it's like losing a
million to us!

GEORGIANA. Suppose you went on speculating with my money, and it went
the same way as Louise's and her mother's?

COAST. And Lizzie's and Moles?

STEVEN. But it can't--it _can't!_

[STEVEN _sits on the sofa._ GEORGIANA _sits beside_ STEVEN. LOUISE _is
still in the arm-chair Left._

GEORGIANA. O Steve! I've heard that so often. [_A pause._] You were
always a straight boy, Steve, and you always kept your word. Your notion
of honor, it seems to me, in little things hasn't been so strong
lately, as this fever of speculation grew on you, but still you are the
same Steve and you've never lied about your transactions; so I have
faith in you. Now let's settle this once and for all and _my way_!

STEVEN. It's very hard, Georgiana.

LOUISE. We can never all of us live on your income--not as we're used
to.

GEORGIANA. That's true. Come, Steve. Give me your word never to go into
another speculation and let's throw it off for to-day. Dick's coming to
say good-by. Let's give him happy memories of us, at least to take away
with him. [_A moment's pause._] Come, Steve?

STEVEN. [_Low voice._] All right.

GEORGIANA. No more speculating; you'll give me your word--[STEVEN
_rises_, GEORGIANA _rises._ STEVEN _nods his head._]--of honor, Steve?

STEVEN. Yes!

[_Nods his head._

GEORGIANA. Then that's settled.

[_Gives_ SAM _a calm, defiant look._

STEVEN. O Georgy! I don't seem grateful, but I am. I can't tell you! I
can't say! But it's wonderful what you're doing! God bless you!

[_Puts his arms on_ GEORGIANA'S _shoulders._

GEORGIANA. [_With emotion, almost breaking down._] That's all right,
Steve. We'll begin all over again.

[_She kisses him._

LOUISE. [_To_ GEORGIANA.] I suppose I ought to thank you too.

GEORGIANA. No, don't bother. Come upstairs and have your hair shampooed.
Bella must have painted mother red enough by now; it'll rest you and do
you good.

LOUISE. After all, you're no real relation of ours, and you've done a
fine thing.

GEORGIANA. [_Very simply._] Don't talk about it. I wish it were more. I
realize fully what it means to your mother and you to have all your
money gone. But we'll put our shoulders to the wheel and make the best
of it. Come, dear, come.

[_She goes out Right._ LOUISE _is about to follow, but is stopped by_
STEVEN.

STEVEN. Louise, do you forgive me?

LOUISE. No, you ought to have asked my advice--let me know.

STEVEN. But when I used to talk to you about money matters, dear, you
always begged me not to bother you.

LOUISE. I don't care, this is different. Sam!

[_Nodding good-by._

COAST. Do you mind my joining you to see the procession go by at five?

LOUISE. No!

[_She goes out Right._

STEVEN. What procession?

COAST. Coleman's regiment.

[_He puts his feet upon small gilt chair beside the table._

STEVEN. Oh, yes! Well--I've made a pretty big mess of things. I'm not
fit to live, that's what's the trouble with me.

COAST. Oh, you must take everything in the day's work; but it's a pity
she made you give her that promise.

STEVEN. Why?

COAST. [_Goes to him._] You all can't live on the income from five
hundred thousand dollars. Now there'll be a _bust_ up sure!

STEVEN. Ss! that's all I need.

[_Sits on the sofa._

COAST. That promise of yours to Georgiana's binding, ain't it?

STEVEN. [_Looks up._] Of course. Why?

COAST. No why.

[_A pause._

STEVEN. You think United Copper will go up again?

COAST. If not, I know something that _will_.

STEVEN. Something you're in yourself?

COAST. Yes.

STEVEN. And you'd put me on?

COAST. Yep. I don't think there's any other way out of this for you all.

STEVEN. Sam!

[_He rises._

COAST. It's _absolutely safe_.

STEVEN. I could get it back? _Some_, anyway, of what I've lost?

COAST. Sure!--

STEVEN. But I gave Georgiana my word.

COAST. Of course she got that promise out of you because she thought
you'd lose again.

STEVEN. Yes, but my word is _my_ word.

COAST. Do you suppose she'd mind, if you won, won back Louise's money,
won back the girl's happiness?

STEVEN. Suppose I tell her what you can do and ask her to let me off
this once?

COAST. No, women don't understand business. She wouldn't realize _I_ can
_know_ I'd win, any more than _you feel sure_ and lose.

STEVEN. Yes, it would do no _good_ to ask her.

COAST. Too bad, because I'd guarantee you wouldn't lose, not this deal.
Of course I wouldn't be responsible for any future transaction.

STEVEN. But I'd be satisfied with this one, if I got back my losses.

COAST. I don't say you'd get back _all_, in one deal, but a good start
which might turn your luck.

STEVEN. It's always like that; I've known such cases over and over
again. But I've never yet broken my word to Georgiana,--somehow or other
I feel as if I did that once I wouldn't have any hold over myself.

COAST. I don't suppose you could get at her securities anyway this
afternoon?

STEVEN. Oh, yes, I could. We have our deposit box together.

COAST. Don't you think she'd forgive you when it means such a lot to
Louise and her mother?

STEVEN. Why shouldn't she?

COAST. Why don't you risk it? That promise was just to keep you from
losing, and this time I'll see you don't lose--so why not?

STEVEN. By George, I will! Georgiana really can't blame me when there's
so much at stake.

COAST. Can you get the stuff to-day?

STEVEN. [_Looks at his watch._] Yes, if I hurry.

COAST. All right, go ahead. I'll come to your office to-morrow at nine.
Listen--I ain't supposed, of course, to have anything to do with
this--and when you get it, don't go giving my tip to other chumps.

STEVEN. Oh, no.

COAST. What you do is on your own responsibility?

STEVEN. Exactly, only _you_ guarantee?

COAST. That you don't lose this time. [_Looking at his watch._] You'd
better hurry.

STEVEN. Thank you, Sam.

[_Shakes his hand._

COAST. Oh, that's all right. Say, I want to marry your sister. No
objection on your part, is there?

STEVEN. Well, I should say not!

COAST. She don't seem to cotton to me.

STEVEN. She doesn't know you.

COAST. Do you think if she was up a tree for funds she'd look at me any
kinder?

STEVEN. Not a bit.

COAST. Some women do.

STEVEN. Not Georgiana! Good-by.

COAST. [_To_ STEVE.] So long.

[STEVEN _turns to go, but stops as_ MOLES _shows_ COLEMAN _into the
room. The latter is dressed in his uniform of first lieutenant._

DICK. Hello, Steven! Hello, Coast!

COAST. We gates!

STEVEN. How are you, Dick? Excuse me, I'm in a hurry. You're off to-day?

DICK. Yes, I've come to shake hands.

STEVEN. Good-by, old man, and good luck--sorry to have to go! Good-by!

[_Shakes hands warmly, with feeling._

DICK. Good-by.

[STEVEN _goes out Left._

COAST. [_Sitting Right._] Oh, I guess she ain't so different.

DICK. Who?

COAST. Georgiana, she's _just a woman_!

DICK. No, take my word for it, she's not _a_ woman, she's _the_ woman.

[_Sits on the piano bench._

COAST. 'Spose she likes money and nice things always about her?

DICK. She's always had them,--and always would if I could help give them
to her.

COAST. Huh, huh! Well--say, Steve's got himself in a devil of a hole!
Speculated with his wife's money--and they're broke.

DICK. Good God, what do you mean?

[_Rises._

COAST. What I say. Steve is one of those good-hearted gulls who's a
blame slob on the money market, and he's gone under to the extent of
Aunt Laura's and Louise's _spondulix_, that's all.

[_He is rather amused._ DICK _goes back of table, puts his hat on it._

DICK. What are they going to do?

COAST. Georgiana wants to pony up like a brick and keep the whole lot!

DICK. Just like her!

COAST. Oh, of course, I'll see Georgiana don't really lose by it in no
way in the end.

DICK. You _will_?

COAST. Why of course!

DICK. She isn't going to let Steve speculate with her money, is she?

COAST. Can't say.

[_A pause._

DICK. Look here, I'd like to help Steve myself, if I thought I could
protect Georgiana. I'll let Steve have some money. You needn't say
anything to anybody. How much will see him through?

COAST. That's real good of you, but I couldn't let outsiders help 'em.

DICK. I'm not exactly an outsider; and the truth is, Coast, I'd give
anything to have the right to help Georgiana. [_A silence._] Look here.
I'm going to ask you a question, straight out!

COAST. Fire ahead!

[_Looks at_ DICK _with a perfectly blank face._

DICK. Anything between you and Georgiana?

COAST. [_After a short pause._] There is--

DICK. Mrs. Carley hinted as much.

COAST. [_Unflinchingly._] I'm--er--I'm going to marry Georgiana.

[_A pause._ COAST _looks_ DICK _in the eye, then away._

DICK. Congratulate you, Coast! [_Shakes his hand._] She's worth even
more than you can give her!

COAST. That's right!

[COAST _goes out on the balcony and whistles "Congo."_ DICK _walks away
and turns his back._ DICK _goes to the mantel and takes up a picture
of_ GEORGIANA, _looks at it, takes it out of the frame, and seeing that_
COAST _isn't observing, puts it in his breast pocket. He turns round
with a pathetic sort of half-laughing exclamation to_ COAST.

DICK. I say, Coast. [COAST _comes in from the balcony._] I've been in
love with Georgiana for years.

COAST. That don't surprise me!

[COAST _sits on the piano bench._

DICK. I never realized it until the other day, when I found I was going
to leave her, and--perhaps--not coming back, and then I found boy
friendship had sort of grown up into a man's love--I almost told
her--[_Pause._] I wonder if I'd found it out sooner--before you came
along--

COAST. No use shutting the stable door _after_ the horse is swiped!

DICK. I shan't be able to say exactly what I wanted to to
Georgiana--but that's--your luck--I guess the quicker I can say good-by
and get out, the better for me--

COAST. Listen--don't say anything to Georgiana about her and me, will
you, unless of course she tells you--we're not talking about it yet.

DICK. _I_ don't care mentioning it, thank you.

[MRS. CARLEY _and_ GEORGIANA _come in Right and meet_ DICK.

MRS. CARLEY. We're so sorry to say good-by, Dick--will you have some
tea?

DICK. No, thanks.

COAST. Hello, Auntie.

[MRS. CARLEY _goes to the sofa and sits with her crocheting._

GEORGIANA. Dick!

[_Shaking his hand--a second long. They look into each other's eyes._

MRS. CARLEY. Isn't he fine in his uniform?

DICK. [_Embarrassed._] I hadn't time to change before we start.

MRS. CARLEY. Louise asks me to give her farewells; she's got a bad
headache and is being shampooed--she's _too_ disappointed not to see
you.

DICK. I'm sorry she's in her usual health.

MRS. CARLEY. Got it from her father; we didn't expect him to live a year
when I married him, but he surprised us all--and I tell Louise she'll
outlive me yet. How are you, Sammy?

[_Drops her worsted;_ COAST _picks it up and gives it to her._

COAST. All right, only I need a shave.

[_He sits Left._

MRS. CARLEY. Well, you shouldn't talk about it! You need a lot of
coaching.

GEORGIANA. [_Aside to_ DICK.] Stay; I want to speak to you alone.

DICK. All right, old girl, I think I know why.

MRS. CARLEY. Why don't you all sit down?

GEORGIANA. He hasn't much time.

DICK. I haven't long to stay. I must be at the armory by a quarter to
four.

GEORGIANA. You march by here at four, don't you, on your way to the 42d
St. Station?

DICK. Yes, rather a bore; but the Governor insists, and Roosevelt comes
on to receive us at 59th St.

GEORGIANA. We oughtn't to keep Dick, then, mother; we ought to say
good-by at once.

[_They all rise._

MRS. CARLEY. Very well, speed the parting guest! Good-by, Dick, we'll
watch the papers to see what brave things you do, and don't fall in
love with any of the _décolleté_ young nigger ladies we read about.

DICK. Good-by, Mrs. Carley. [_They wait for_ GEORGIANA _to say good-by.
A pause._] Good-by, Coast!

[_Crosses to_ COAST, _who rises and shakes hands with_ DICK.

COAST. Good-by! Good luck--

GEORGIANA. [_Pointedly._] Good-by, Sam.

COAST. Oh, I'm not going.

[_A pause._

DICK. [_To_ GEORGIANA.] Good-by.

GEORGIANA. Good-by! [_Shakes his hand and adds under her breath to
him._] Don't go. Don't go.

[_A pause; all wait._

MRS. CARLEY. He isn't in a hurry, after all, Georgiana; let's all sit
down again.

[_They all sit._

GEORGIANA. [_Laughing, embarrassed._] Of course I don't want to urge
you off, Dick.

DICK. [_Rising._] No, but really, after all, I think I _must_ go.

[_All rise again._

GEORGIANA. No! Mother, I want to speak with Dick alone, before he goes;
you won't mind leaving us, will you, you and Sam?

[_Sam rises._

MRS. CARLEY. [_Unwilling._] Oh, no--Come along, Sam. We'll be on the
balcony when you pass, Dick; be sure to look up. Good-by.

[_Going._

DICK. [_Shaking her hand._] I'll look up.

COAST. [_At the door Right._] I'll go up and see the kids.

[COAST _looks at Dick and goes out very slowly with_ MRS. CARLEY.

GEORGIANA. I couldn't say good-by to you like that--I couldn't share my
good-by with mother; you understand that, don't you, Dick.

DICK. Yes, old girl, though if I had my way I wouldn't say good-by to
_you_ at all--I hate good-bys to people I care about.

GEORGIANA. Sit down just a few minutes.

[_They sit down by the table._

DICK. [_Sees the tie in her hands._] Busy making reins for Toots? What
an ugly color!

GEORGIANA. Is it? Well, it's a tie for you!

DICK. Oh--I mean it's ugly for reins, but perfectly lovely for a
tie--I'll take it with me.

[_Puts it in his pocket._

GEORGIANA. I wish I could go with you.

DICK. Don't you think you're needed here just at this moment?

GEORGIANA. Has Steve told you?

DICK. No, Coast did.

GEORGIANA. Don't you think I'm doing right?

DICK. If you love him, of course, old girl, you're doing right. I think
I must go now. [_Rises._] Good-by.

GEORGIANA. No, don't go yet, please. I can't bear to have you go.

DICK. It's good of you to care so much. [_Leans against the table._] You
know only yesterday I woke up and suddenly began to hope--

GEORGIANA. What--

DICK. Nothing; I don't hope it any more, anyway! I say, Georgiana,
you'll go around and see mother and father once in a while, won't you?

GEORGIANA. Of course I will--

DICK. It'll cheer them up a lot, you know--they feel so badly; it's
pretty tough on them, my leaving.

GEORGIANA. _I_ feel badly too--

DICK. That's jolly good of you.

GEORGIANA. And isn't it just a little _tough_ to leave me? Your oldest
friend almost, you know.

[_She adds this latter to cover up the sentiment which was coming too
near the surface._

DICK. Of course it is.

GEORGIANA. You haven't said so.

DICK. Still waters run deep, Georgy, and I--[_He moves away._] really, I
must be going.

GEORGIANA. [_Rising._] No, _don't_ go.

DICK. [_Looking at his watch._] I must.

GEORGIANA. No, let me see your watch. Yes, you have got three more
minutes. Please--sit down--

[_She persuades him to sit down again, and she reseats herself._

DICK. Have your own way!

GEORGIANA. Will there be fighting?

DICK. I hope so!

GEORGIANA. Oh, but what fighting! I've read, I know--ambushes and
tortures--their war is murder.

DICK. Yes, and that's why we're going out there to put an end to it.

GEORGIANA. Why need _you_?

DICK. Some one must, I as well as another; in fact, just now, I _better_
than any other.

GEORGIANA. Why _you_ better?

DICK. Because I want to go--I've got a restless fit, Georgiana--and want
to get away from here--I want to get away from everybody.

GEORGIANA. From _me_?

DICK. Yes, even from _you_!

GEORGIANA. [_Hurt._] Thank you.

DICK. I should think your woman's instinct would teach you why.

GEORGIANA. Well, it doesn't! and I really should be very much obliged
to you if you would help my woman's instinct out.

DICK. Of course it's all right what you're going to do, only--well, I
don't want to be here to see it.

GEORGIANA. But, Dick, I'm perfectly happy in what I'm doing.

DICK. Of course! but that doesn't make it any the pleasanter for me.
[_Rises._] Good-by.

GEORGIANA. [_Rising._] And that's all, just good-by?

DICK. No, I wish you all kinds of happiness in the future and the
happiest marriage in the world.

GEORGIANA. Oh, thank you very much.

DICK. [_With great effort._] I wish you everything that's good, Georgy,
old girl!

GEORGIANA. Well, I'm sure no one could ask for more; and what shall I
wish you?

DICK. Wish me a big fight, and an exciting one! Wish me a chance to do
something! Wish me--oh, what does it matter--wish me--"Good-by."

GEORGIANA. What does it matter? Good-by! No!

[_They shake hands; she follows him to the door._

DICK. I must. I'll be late.

GEORGIANA. _Be_ late.

DICK. [_Looking at her a moment._] _I am_--too late. Good-by.

[_He is going out again and she stops him._ Good-by. [_Light-heartedly._

[_He goes out. She stands where he leaves her, facing the door. A
pause._

GEORGIANA. "What does it matter"--"wish me good-by."

[_She turns, looking straight ahead of her, gazing into space,
realizing what it means to her. Slowly the emotion creeps into her face,
she falters where she stands, and turns about to burst into tears, when_
COAST _comes back into the room_.

COAST. I heard Coleman go--can I talk with you a little?

GEORGIANA. [_Sitting on the sofa._] No, Sam, I don't feel like it!

[_She cannot keep her tears back._

COAST. [_Going to her._] Georgy, don't--don't--I love you.

GEORGIANA. No! I don't want you to.

COAST. It don't make any difference if you want me to or not; I do, got
to, it's so strong in me--won't you have me?

GEORGIANA. No! Won't you leave me alone a little?

COAST. No, I can't. Listen; I know I'm not refined enough for you--but
I can get over that in time. Sure! I can get over everything for you, if
you'll only love me.

GEORGIANA. No! now go away from me.

[_He kneels beside her a little awkwardly, trying to make her look at
him._

COAST. There isn't a thing in this world that money can buy I won't give
you.

GEORGIANA. There are some things money can't buy.

COAST. No, there ain't--not _my_ money! You'll have everything a woman
can hanker after in this world--the best there is, and Steve shall have
it, too, for your sake.

GEORGIANA. I can never love you.

COAST. Listen! I'll make my wife the biggest woman in the city--I'll
make her--

GEORGIANA. [_Interrupting._] Sam, stop! [_He rises._] I can't hear any
more!

[_A pause--she sobs; he waits._

COAST. I won't stop, not till you say you'll marry me! If I let up
to-day, I'll begin again to-morrow, and when I stop to-morrow it'll be
to go ahead the day after! I've never failed yet in getting anything
I've set after, and this is the biggest thing I've ever made up my mind
to.

GEORGIANA. And this time you _will_ lose. Because I can never love you.
[_He tries to interrupt._] No, let me finish. I'll tell you why I can't
love you. I'll tell you, only just you, Sam, remember that. I could
never love you because I love now, with every bit of love there is in
me, the man who has just left this house, who has gone to fight and
perhaps will never come back.

COAST. Has he asked you to be his wife?

GEORGIANA. I love him all the same!

COAST. And I love you the same way you love him--ain't you a little
sorry for me?

GEORGIANA. Yes--

COAST. That'll do to go on with--

GEORGIANA. [_Laughs hysterically._] Oh--Sam, can't I make you
understand?

COAST. No, nor make me give up. I'm coming to see you again to-morrow;
when will you be in?

GEORGIANA. Not at all.

[_She moves about the room._

COAST. What time in the afternoon?

GEORGIANA. I shall be out all afternoon.

COAST. I'll call at five.

GEORGIANA. Very well! You'll find Louise and mother.

COAST. _Coleman_ thinks you'll have me!

GEORGIANA. He couldn't! Why should he?

COAST. He congratulated me, when he was here just now!

GEORGIANA. For what?

COAST. For you!

GEORGIANA. Oh! [_Laughing hysterically._] That's what he meant by his
happy marriage--

[_Laughing and crying._

COAST. If he mentioned marriage, that's what he meant.

GEORGIANA. But didn't you tell him he was wrong?

COAST. No.

GEORGIANA. But why not?

COAST. I wanted him to think it!

GEORGIANA. But it was wrong of you--it can never be true, and I don't
want him to go away believing it. [_Music of a military band is heard
in the distance._] Here they come! [_Going to the balcony, he follows._]
No, please don't come out with me! Sam--I don't want him to see me
standing there with you. [SAM _starts towards_ GEORGIANA.] Let me go out
on the balcony _alone_, Sam! Please, alone!

[_He looks at her a moment and then deliberately goes past her out on to
the balcony._

MRS. CARLEY. [_Hurrying in from the Right._] They're coming! I've told
the children.

[_She goes out on balcony. The children run in._

ALL THE CHILDREN. The soldiers are coming! Auntie, the soldiers are
coming!

[_They rush out on the balcony._

COAST. [_In the window, picking up_ PHIL _in his arms._] Come on,
Georgy. What does it matter?

GEORGIANA. That's true, go on! What does it matter, it's good-by!

[COAST _goes on the balcony._ MRS. CARLEY, _on balcony, calls, "Here
comes_ DICK!" GEORGIANA _hesitates and then goes close to the window.
She stands in a chair so as to see over the others' heads, hidden behind
the curtain of the half-open window, and watches. The music is louder as
they pass under the balcony; a flag is seen almost on level with the
balcony floor. Those on the balcony wave and shout, and shouts are heard
in the street._ GEORGIANA _stands still, wiping the tears from her eyes
every moment with a tiny wad of a handkerchief, and as the music passes,
growing less loud,_



THE CURTAIN FALLS



ACT III


_Eight months later._ GEORGIANA'S _room, an octagonal room with dark
panel walnut woodwork and panels of yellow brocade, with furniture to
match. All in the simplest style of Louis XV. There is a fireplace on
the Left, and doors Right and Left. Two windows at the back. At right of
the Centre is a very large dressing table covered with massive silver
toilet articles, a big mirror, candelabra, etc., and a silver-framed,
photograph of_ DICK COLEMAN. _There is a low bench before the table,
tables and chairs about the room, and a most comfortable, roomy sofa, on
the Left, piled with embroidered pillows. It is after seven and the
lamps are lit._ STEVEN _enters from Left and sits on the sofa. He is
haggard, his clothes mussed, his linen rumpled and soiled. He is
painfully nervous and agitated; he cannot keep still; as soon as he sits
down he gets up; he goes from one place in the room to another, taking
up a picture without looking at it, sitting down and getting up again.
Twice he half whispers, half groans, "Good God!" He takes out a pistol
from his pocket, looks at it, and puts it away again as_ LIZZIE _enters
Right._

LIZZIE. Miss Carley says she'll be in as soon as she can.

STEVEN. [_Rising and going to the dressing table._] Is she dressing for
the ball now?

LIZZIE. No, sir, she's wearing a tea gown for dinner; it'll be a grand
sight, the ball, sir!

STEVEN. I suppose so.

LIZZIE. Pity _we_ couldn't 'ave got the Grand Duke here, sir, to dinner.

STEVEN. [_Moving about._] We couldn't afford to entertain a Russian
prince, Lizzie,--don't tell your mistress,--but I've been speculating
again and we're hard up.

LIZZIE. Oh, I am so sorry, sir--I know how to sympathize with you,
though we did get our money back! Perhaps you'll get yours.

STEVEN. How about you and Moles?

[_Comes to_ LIZZIE.

LIZZIE. Well, sir, last Tuesday we counted up, we're about two years
off, or fourteen hundred dollars distance, so to speak. We've calculated
then we could marry and settle down if we'd be satisfied with two rooms
and no children.

[_There is a knock on door Left._ Yes? [_Going to the door, opens it._]
Oh, come in, sir. [_Moves away._] Mr. Carley is here.

COAST. [_Entering._] Where's Miss Georgiana?

LIZZIE. She's dressing, sir. She'll be down in five or ten minutes.

[_Goes out Right._

COAST. How are you?

[_The two men nod a surly greeting._

STEVEN. I've been looking for you all afternoon!

COAST. Didn't you know I was coming here and going with your folks to
the ball?

STEVEN. I forgot!

[_After a pause, both men look at each other._

Well, Sam, I'm done! I'm done for good this time!

COAST. Sorry, but you can't blame me.

[_He sits in an arm-chair near the sofa._

STEVEN. I do. You told me you were going into this last business, but
you didn't tell me you were going to get right out again.

COAST. 'Twasn't my business to tell you that--I didn't advise _you_ to
go in!

STEVEN. No, but you put me up to it all the same!

COAST. Not a bit! The only time I advised you was some months ago, when
you'd just lost Louise's money,--then I put you on to something, so you
shouldn't lose Georgiana's. Did you win?

STEVEN. Yes, and broke my word to Georgiana.

COAST. Well, that's her and your business, but it let me out! From that
time on you were on your own hook.

STEVEN. You were always throwing out hints that you meant me to take.

COAST. Listen. [_Rises and goes to_ STEVEN.] You can't prove that!

STEVEN. You know you led me into it, you know you did. You tempted me in
the first place to break my word of honor to my sister. Whether you
meant to or not, you did it, damn you--and you're a rich man, you've got
millions, and can help me out! Will you?

COAST. [_Quietly._] No.

[_Moves a little away toward the Left._

STEVE. You're my wife's own cousin, and she's a pauper and through no
fault of her own. Will you help me for her sake?

COAST. [_Still quietly._] No.

STEVEN. You're in love with my sister, and she's not got a cent of her
own to-night _through me_. Will you help me for her sake?

COAST. [_Still quietly._] No!

STEVEN. [_Going to him._] No?

COAST. No!

[_Strong._

STEVEN. Then damn you for a dirty blackguard!

COAST. [_Laughs._] That's pretty talk; I guess you got that from _me_
too!

STEVEN. [_Doggedly._] I'll do more than talk!

[_Turns away and goes up stage._

COAST. What?

STEVEN. Wait and see.

COAST. Listen! if one thing happens, I'll help you.

STEVEN. [_Turning._] You mean Georgiana!

COAST. Yes, if she'll marry me, I'll make up to you every damn cent of
hers you've got rid of.

STEVEN. And if she won't?

COAST. I'll make up every penny of Louise's you've lost, if
Georgiana'll marry me. Listen--[SAM _puts his arm around_ STEVEN _and
brings him down to the sofa and they sit._] she loves you, you're the
kind that always has influence with women; use yours for me, Steve,
it'll be worth your while.

STEVEN. [_Half laughs._] You want me to try and persuade her to marry
you against her own desire even?

COAST. That's the figure.

STEVEN. When I know you're, in your way, just as dishonorable a man as I
am, and hard and heartless, [STEVE _rises_.] I wouldn't risk my sister's
happiness with you, if it would save me twice over. Even if she loved
you, I'd say what I could against it.

COAST. [_Quick._] She'll never know you broke your word to her if I help
you.

STEVEN. Yes, she will, because I mean to tell her to-night.

COAST. All right!

STEVEN. That's what I've come for, to make a clean breast of everything.

COAST. You're a damned fool! [_He rises and moves away._] However, each
way plays more or less into my hands.

GEORGIANA. [_Outside of door Right._] If you are telling secrets, look
out--I'm coming!

COAST. Come on!

[GEORGIANA _comes in, dressed in graceful negligée tea gown._

GEORGIANA. Good evening, Sam! Steve, you're not dressed yet?

STEVEN. I forgot about the ball.

GEORGIANA. I can tell you one person who hasn't, and that's mother!

COAST. [_Laughing._] Is she going to be corking?

GEORGIANA. [_Sitting in the arm-chair by the sofa._] If the Grand Duke
were a bachelor and mother had designs upon him, she couldn't possibly
take more pains! She's going to be beyond all words. She's got every
jewel she owns and can borrow draped about her, till she looks like
Tiffany's exhibit at the St. Louis Fair. And as for her hair, she's had
Bella Shindle working on it all afternoon, till it's the Titianest
Titian that ever flamed on human head!

COAST. Sounds great!

[_Sitting on the bench._ STEVEN _sits on the sofa._

GEORGIANA. Wait! She's built her tiara up with a breastpin and an
aigrette off my winter hat, and it was all I could do to keep her from
wearing the three feathers in which she was presented to the Queen in
A.D. '73.

[_They all laugh good-naturedly._

COAST. Aunt Laura's a corker!

GEORGIANA. Well, no one will miss her! She'll get the Grand Duke's eye
if no one else does! I tell her she'll go through the ballroom like a
search-light!

COAST. Is she all dressed now?

GEORGIANA. Not yet. I'm judging by her dress rehearsal! I left her in a
state of terrible indecision as to whether she should arch her eyebrows
"just a little" with a burnt match!

[_All laugh again good-naturedly._

COAST. Smart old girl!

GEORGIANA. She's all the happier for being silly, and she's a good soul
and does her best! What's _your_ news, Steve?

[_Turning to_ STEVEN.

STEVEN. Sam, would you mind?

[_Motions to_ COAST _to leave the room._

COAST. Oh, no! [_Rises._] See you later! I'll go and take a squint at
auntie.

[_He goes out Right._

GEORGIANA. Steve, you look troubled--what's gone wrong?

[_She goes to_ STEVEN _on the sofa and sits beside him._

STEVEN. _I_ have!

GEORGIANA. How do you mean? You and Louise haven't quarrelled?

STEVEN. If it was only that!

GEORGIANA. What then?

STEVEN. I've gone wrong, I tell you, all wrong.

GEORGIANA. How? In what way, Steve?

STEVEN. Your money's lost, it's all lost.

[GEORGIANA _rises. A pause._

GEORGIANA. How do you mean?

STEVEN. And that isn't the worst of it, either. I've broken my word to
you! I know I've killed your faith in me. I've lost faith in myself.

GEORGIANA. [_Still standing, very strong._] Steve!

STEVEN. I've speculated!

GEORGIANA. _No_, Steve!

STEVEN. [_Rises and goes to the mantel._] Yes, I've been speculating
since the very day I said I wouldn't. I won a lot at first, and of
course I thought I'd get all back; and then, of course, what I did get
back was my old cursed luck!

GEORGIANA. Oh, Steve! And I believed in you so thoroughly, I never had a
doubt!

STEVEN. I know it! I know it! I'm rotten all through, Georgy. [_Bursting
into tears._] I'm not worth being forgiven--[_He falls on his knees, in
a paroxysm of sobs and tears._] I'm _rotten_! Oh--I'm rotten--

[_He sobs uncontrollably._

[GEORGIANA _watches him a little while in silence. Then she goes to him
and puts her hand on his shoulder._

GEORGIANA. Steve!

STEVEN. [_Sobbing._] Yes!

GEORGIANA. I forgive you!

STEVEN. No! No!

GEORGIANA. And I'll trust you again if I have a chance.

STEVEN. [_Looking up._] Georgy, what do you mean?

[_Beginning to control his sobs._

GEORGIANA. I mean, though it's been a pretty big blow, my faith in you
isn't altogether gone yet.

STEVEN. Oh, I can't bear it! I can't bear it! But you don't mean it! No,
you can't mean it! How could you? Forgive me? Trust me again? No, no!
You couldn't--it's all over! I've thrown away my own money first, then
my wife's and her mother's--that ought to have been enough,--but I had
to go and break my word of honor to you, and lose every penny of yours!
There's no excuse for me, nor reason to forgive.

GEORGIANA. [_After a moment, very quietly, with her eyes filling._]
There's _love_, Steve!

STEVEN. Not for a man like me. I'm not worth it. [_He rises._] Not
deserving it! There's only one thing for such as me, and that is to end
it all with a bullet.

GEORGIANA. Now you're talking wildly!

STEVEN. [_In a lowered voice._] No, Georgy, I mean it! It's better for
all of you to have me out of the way; I tried to do it to-day--only, _I
was afraid_!

GEORGIANA. That would be worse than anything you have done yet. That I
would never forgive--anything but that!

[_She goes to him._

STEVEN. But the shame of my life now, the degradation, the _rot_ of it!

[_A moment's pause._

GEORGIANA. [_The idea comes to her._] Steve, I told you I'd trust you
again if I had the chance! Here is the first one, and I take it! Promise
me you'll never again even think of taking your life.

STEVEN. What's the good of my promising?

GEORGIANA. If you tell me, I'll believe you.

[_A short pause._

[STEVEN, _not looking at her, puts his hand in the pocket where the
pistol is, then takes his hand away, still not looking at her._

Look me straight in the face, Steve, and say, "I promise."

[_He hesitates only a moment, and then does so._

STEVEN. I promise.

[_He turns a little away from her, takes the pistol from his pocket, and
gives it to her._

GEORGIANA. [_Bursting into tears._] Oh, Steve!

[_She turns away and puts the pistol on the table between the windows._

STEVEN. Forgive me, Georgy, forgive me! This promise I'll keep. Only
forgive me for breaking your heart like this!

COAST. [_Entering Right._] I've been sent up to bring you down to
dinner.

[_He takes in the situation. A pause._

GEORGIANA. Do you know what Steve has just told me?

STEVEN. [_Bitterly._] Yes, he knows.

COAST. Just what?

GEORGIANA. Steve has gone on speculating, and my money's followed the
rest.

COAST. Yes, I knew that.

GEORGIANA. Couldn't you have saved him?

COAST. I offered to once, but you refused.

GEORGIANA. And now?

[_Short pause._

COAST. [_He goes to_ GEORGIANA, _who is on the sofa._] My offer is still
open to the same tune.

STEVEN. No, Georgy, no!

GEORGIANA. For Steve's own sake, won't you do something for him? Get him
some position so that he can take care of Louise. I'll look after
myself.

COAST. I'll do all and more, _if you'll_ marry me.

GEORGIANA. You know I can't marry you.

COAST. What does Steve say?

STEVEN. What Georgy says, I say.

COAST. How are you going to get out of this without me?

STEVEN. I don't know.

COAST. And there's something else. [_Steps towards_ STEVEN.] Perhaps you
don't know that unless some one does get you out of this, it won't be
only a money smash-up for Georgiana, but disgrace too!

GEORGIANA. That can't be true! I shall say my brother had control of my
money to do what he liked with it.

COAST. But any lawyer would take up the case of criminal mismanagement
for my aunt and cousin's affairs.

GEORGIANA. But _they_ wouldn't allow it.

COAST. Well, what do you think?

STEVEN. Louise--never!

COAST. Leave it to me!

STEVEN. Ah! your true colors! You heard him, Georgy?

COAST. Well, let that pass. But you know that you've overdrawn at your
bank, that you've overdrawn at your brokers, and that you can no more
get out of the muddle you've got yourself into without one of the
biggest public scandals there's been in the street for years!

GEORGIANA. But _you_ can spare us that?

STEVEN. [_Very low._] Good God!

[_He moves away._

COAST. [_To_ GEORGIANA.] That's what I can.

GEORGIANA. And you love me?

COAST. I certainly do!

GEORGIANA. Then you _will_ spare us!

COAST. If you'll marry me.

STEVEN. No! [_Comes down to her._] Georgy, you mustn't! [COAST _walks
away._] Don't you see what a selfish brute Sam is? Of course it was
_my_ fault that I gambled, but he tempted me, he led me into it when he
_knew_ I _couldn't resist_. The very day and hour I gave you my promise,
he gave me a tip and guaranteed I shouldn't lose!

GEORGIANA. Sam! Oh!

[_She turns to the bench before her dressing table and sinks upon it._

COAST. [_Speaks to her across the table._] It's true! And I led him to
speculate more, I tricked him first with winning and then let him go! I
knew he'd soon do for himself alone, and he did! Yes--I ruined him
purposely and you through him, so as to get you to be my wife. I did it
purposely and I'd do it again! Of course I meant all along to make it up
in the end when I'd got you.

GEORGIANA. And did you really think you _could_ get me that way?

COAST. Why, you've got to marry me. You needn't be afraid of what I
won't do for you. I love you, you know that. Everything--I've told you
that before. You shall have _everything_ on God's earth you want, and
Louise and her mother shall live in style as they always have, and Steve
have his own money back, with a brother-in-law to help him take care of
it! And what's the other side of the picture? Nothing for you or Louise
or anybody--and disgrace for Steve into the bargain. Why, you've _got_
to _marry_ me! [GEORGIANA _rises,_ COAST _follows her._] Don't you see?
Anyway [_Smiling._] it was only a trick to make you, because, Georgy, I
love you so! [_A pause; she stands looking at him._] Well?

GEORGIANA. I'm trying to realize--to understand it all.

[MOLES _enters Left._

MOLES. Please, miss, Mrs. Carley says your soup is all cold and they're
on with the fish.

GEORGIANA. Tell Mrs. Carley not to wait for Mr. Carley and me, we're not
coming down; but Mr. Coast will join them in a moment.

[COAST _looks up surprised._

MOLES. Yes, miss.

[_He goes out. A moment's pause._

COAST. What do you mean by that?

[_Another pause._

GEORGIANA. [_Slowly._] Not to save myself, not even to save my brother,
and from even worse than we have to face, would I marry you.

COAST. Don't say that, Georgy!

GEORGY. Why, every word you've said, and everything you've done to make
me love you, makes me instead--yes--and for what you've done with Steve
[_Looks at_ STEVE.], _I do hate_ you.

[_Goes to the sofa,_ COAST _follows._

COAST. I only said it because I love you, Georgiana.

GEORGIANA. Oh, Sam Coast, you don't know what love is! Love doesn't make
beasts of men, it makes men of beasts. It doesn't take all for
itself--it sacrifices all for another. Love isn't an enemy that lays
traps and makes ambushes,--love is a friend whose heart is a divine
magnet! Real love makes an angel of a woman and a hero of a man, but
love such as you have--oh, the happiness in this world that's been lost
through it!

COAST. You don't know me!

GEORGIANA. I didn't, but I do! You've dragged down my brother,
sacrificed him and my belief in him, almost, for your own selfish end,
tried to trap me into marrying you when you know I didn't love you.

COAST. But you would--

GEORGIANA. Once perhaps, though I can't imagine it! But not now! No! I'd
starve and suffer and die now before I could ever love you.

[_A pause;_ COAST _goes to the table and stands half shamefaced a
moment, then he pulls himself up and turns._

COAST. Well, face the music for a while, and then see!

GEORGIANA. They're waiting for you at dinner; please join them and tell
them what you like.

COAST. I'll tell them nothing. I'll let you and Steve think things over
a little.

STEVEN. [_Rises, and goes to meet_ COAST.] You will have something to
settle with me outside of money matters!

COAST. [_With a jeer._] Please yourself.

[_He goes out._

GEORGIANA. [_To_ STEVEN.] I believe I can influence Louise to do nothing
for the sake of the children, and she loves you in her way.

STEVEN. But the bank?

[_He sits on sofa beside her._

GEORGIANA. Oh, we can take care of the bank; after all, we've friends,
we've jewels, we've this house.

STEVEN. That's true, and the brokers?

GEORGIANA. Who are they?

STEVEN. Caldwell and Hovery.

GEORGIANA. Mr. Caldwell will be at the ball to-night?

STEVEN. Probably.

GEORGIANA. I'll see him. We've always been good friends,--and so were
his father and your father. He won't let his firm make a scandal if he
can help it, especially as they can gain nothing and we should lose so
much! Steve, we'll get out of this yet, with your name all right!

BELLA. [_Entering Right._] May I come in?

GEORGIANA. Yes, Bella.

BELLA. Oh, good evening, Mr. Carley, it's a pleasant evening!

STEVEN. Good evening, Miss Shindle.

BELLA. What I come to ask is if I shall do you now, and Mrs. Wishings
around the corner afterwards?

GEORGIANA. I think I'd rather you went to Mrs. Wishings first if you
don't mind.

BELLA. Oh, it's all the same to me! Mrs. Wishings ain't really in the
smart set and they say her husband ain't so rich, and she's horrid to
her servants--don't give them cake. I don't care if I lost her head to
do! I'm like that, as you know, particular when I'm particular,
but--well--just supercilious and negligée when it don't count! Good
gracious! [_Laughing._] Oh, here's a letter for you I brought up for
Lizzie. It's from the Phillypeenys and has a special delivery on.
[GEORGIANA _takes letter and opens it and reads it._] That's how it come
at this hour. Some folks do have luck, as the saying is! I've got to
wait till to-morrow morning for mine if I get one, and if there's a
Phillypeeny post and I don't get one, well, I pity the ladies' hair I
dress to-morrow, that's all! [_To_ STEVEN.] Mr. Carley, you've got
lovely soft hair, haven't you? I know you have a lovely disposition, I
can tell it from your hair. Yes, indeed, they always go together, it's a
certain sign! Now Mrs. Wishings' hair is just like a horse's tail! what
there is of it. I often feel like asking her which she'd rather I done
it, on or off! [_Laughs heartily._] I must have my little joke, but
nobody minds me--good-by.

STEVEN. Good-by.

[BELLA _goes out Left._

GEORGIANA. [_Looking up, bursting with happiness and reading as she
speaks._] Oh, Steve! Steve! Such _good_ news! I can hardly wait to tell
you, but just let me finish it.

STEVEN. Finish anything that means good news, Georgy, and then for
heaven's sake tell me what it is.

GEORGIANA. [_Closing the letter._] It's finished!

[_She looks up radiant and forgetful of him for a moment._

STEVEN. Well!

[_Rises and goes to_ GEORGIANA.

GEORGIANA. [_Softly._] _Dick_ loves me!

STEVEN. Dick Coleman?

GEORGIANA. He loves me, he's always loved me!

STEVEN. But why--? I don't understand--

GEORGIANA. No, I didn't know it. I thought--there were reasons why I
thought he didn't love me. But I understand now. Listen; I'll read you a
part of his letter--_a part of it!_ Oh, this makes up for everything,
Steve. [_She reads._] "My dear--[_She stops and improvises the next
three words._] my dear Georgy: [_She looks up slyly to see if Steven
noticed the change; he didn't._] Each steamer brings me letters from
home, but never a word of your engagement to Coast, never a word of your
marriage. Is that broken off--" How do you suppose he got the impression
I was going to marry Sam?

STEVEN. Why everybody has seen, who cared to look, that Sam was dead in
love with you.

GEORGIANA. Yes, but--well--never mind, listen--"Well, however it is,
we're starting off to-morrow out of reach of letters and everything
else, except an ugly band of natives that we came here to do for. The
chances are pretty big against many of us getting back, and anyway I'm
going to take this chance to tell you that I love you better than
anything and everything and everybody in the world. And in case I never
come back, somehow or other, I don't know why, I want you to know it. I
was a little late in finding it out,--all of a sudden I knew you were
the only woman for me, and that the only thing I seemed to want in the
world was you for _a wife_. And there was Coast ahead of me! I don't
know if it would have made any difference if you loved Coast and not me,
perhaps you never would have cared for me, but I'd have done my best,
for, Georgy--I love you"--[_She reads ahead to herself, murmuring so he
cannot understand._] "I don't know why I must tell you all this, but I
must"--[_She reads ahead again in silence, skipping the passages which
are too loving and too precious to read aloud._] I think that's
all--[_She looks up and smiles, and adds softly._] that I care to read
aloud! Oh, Steve!

[_She puts her arms around his neck and hugs him._

STEVEN. I'm so glad, old girl, so glad!

[_Tightening his arm about her._

GEORGIANA. Steve, I'm so happy! I don't want to seem selfish, and really
I'm not forgetting you, but I can't help it. I'm _so_ happy.

[STEVEN _kisses her. A short pause._

GEORGIANA. [_Softly, thoughtfully._] Can one cable to the Philippines?

STEVEN. Yes!

[_Smiling and again giving her a little squeeze._

GEORGIANA. [_Going to the sofa._] So far as I'm concerned, my money now
doesn't count a rap. Dick has plenty and doesn't want mine. So now it's
only Louise and mother you must think of, and you can take care of them
well, you know you can, if they'll only accept the different conditions.
And Dick and I'll help--

STEVEN. [_Interrupting._] I hate to say it, Georgiana, but suppose--

[_Very serious._

GEORGIANA. What?

STEVEN. Well, you know why Dick wrote that letter,--because he was going
into dangerous fighting.

GEORGIANA. Oh, he will come back, he _must_ come back! So few of our men
have been lost in the Philippines, Dick can't be one of the few. After
all, life nowadays isn't so tragic as that.

STEVEN. Yes, of course Dick'll come back, Georgy [_Short pause._], but
won't he despise me?

GEORGIANA. No, you're _my_ brother. And oh, Steven, forgive me, but I'm
so _happy_. [_Hugging the pillows on the sofa and burying her face in
them._] Don't let me be silly--don't let me forget I'm an old maid,--and
there's no fool like an old fool! I mustn't forget there's probably an
orange or two among the blossoms for my hair!

[MRS. CARLEY _and_ LOUISE _come into the room from the Right without
speaking. They look from_ GEORGIANA _to_ STEVEN. _They are under the
strain of violent emotion almost too much for words. Their appearance is
tragic._] _There is a pause._

STEVEN. Sam has told you?

LOUISE. It isn't _true_ what he says?

MRS. CARLEY. [_Bursting out, as the strain breaks._] That everything's
gone? _Everything!_

[MRS. CARLEY _comes to_ STEVEN.

STEVEN. Yes, it's _true_!--

[_He moves up._

MRS. CARLEY. _We haven't a cent?_--not a _penny_! for car fare! for
theatre tickets! nothing for our wash bills, or to go away with in the
summer!

LOUISE. Georgiana's money gone too--now, Steve?

MRS. CARLEY. As well as _Louise's_ and _mine_?

GEORGIANA. Yes, mine's gone too now, but I'm going to take it just as
sensibly as Louise did before me.

MRS. CARLEY. She had yours to fall back on.

GEORGIANA. And I'm going to take myself off your hands, and Steve is
perfectly capable of getting some dignified position and taking care of
you and Louise.

MRS. CARLEY. Yes, I can imagine what that means! A flat with rooms like
a string of buttons, mantelpiece beds and divans! and all your friends
trying to get into the bathroom when they are looking for the hall door
to get out!

[COAST _comes in from the Right. They all look at_ SAM.

GEORGIANA. Do you think Sam has a place here in what we may say now?

LOUISE. Why not? He's my cousin.

MRS. CARLEY. Yes. And the only one of us now anyway who has a cent.

LOUISE. I don't think we can expect much help from Sam as to money.

COAST. That shows you don't know me.

LOUISE. [_Going to_ COAST.] You'll help us?

COAST. I've offered to make up every cent Steve's lost; ask Georgiana.

GEORGIANA. Yes, Sam offered to make a "trade" with me--

MRS. CARLEY. How?

[_Looks at_ GEORGIANA.

GEORGIANA. To make up Steve's losses if I'd marry him.

MRS. CARLEY. [_Quietly to_ COAST.] Sam! It's too good to be true.

COAST. So Georgiana thinks.

LOUISE. [_Angrily._] You won't do it?

GEORGIANA. No, I don't love your cousin.

MRS. CARLEY. Don't love him! What do you owe us? Louise loved Steve and
what good did it do her? You've got the chance to make up for your
brother!

STEVEN. That's not Georgiana's _duty_,--to make up for me.

MRS. CARLEY. You can't do it yourself, and you don't want your wife to
starve, do you.

GEORGIANA. Louise _won't_ starve.

LOUISE. [_To_ GEORGIANA.] You could save us and you won't!

GEORGIANA. I don't love Sam.

MRS. CARLEY. Don't "love"? Did Molly Packer from Toledo love the Duke of
Birmingham? and isn't she happy now?

GEORGIANA. I don't know, I have my doubts.

MRS. CARLEY. Doubts! Oh, _doubts_!

GEORGIANA. That's not the point, mother. I'm not going to marry Sam.

MRS. CARLEY. Oh, very well, then, have your way.

GEORGIANA. I will, mother.

MRS. CARLEY. [_Going to the sofa._] Don't consider my way at all.

GEORGIANA. I won't, mother, since you ask me not to.

MRS. CARLEY. But I'll tell you this, Georgiana, you're just as bad as
Steve! We must shake off both of you. Louise must get a divorce and
marry again. Look what other widows have done before her.

[_Louise goes to her mother and takes her hand._

GEORGIANA. Mother! Louise!

LOUISE. Well, why not?

MRS. CARLEY. Certainly!

GEORGIANA. [_Goes to them._] _No!_ Listen! You must stand by Steve, both
of you. You ought to do it out of affection, for, after all, whatever
you've got of friends and position and the things you value he gave you!
But never mind that! You ought to stand by him out of loyalty,--but
never mind that! You've _got_ to stand by him because if you ruin him
you'll ruin yourselves. You and mother could never hold up your heads
again in our world--in the world you love--if you left Steve. After all,
though our world may be careless sometimes of what it does itself, it is
very particular about what those people do who are _its guests_! Of
course, Louise, it does come hardest on you, for yourself and for the
children--but still you've got to stand by Steve.

MRS. CARLEY. Sam!

[_Going to_ SAM _for help._

LOUISE. Oh, I suppose I'll forgive him, I always do, but I don't know
about forgiving you.

GEORGIANA. _Me?_

LOUISE. If you don't marry Sam! You can make everything all right, and
Sam loves you--you can make mother happy and me happy and Steve
happy....

STEVEN. [_Interrupting._] No, leave me out!

[_He goes up behind the sofa._

LOUISE. Our life would go on just the same,--Steve will make no more
mistakes. I think you're heartless to refuse!

GEORGIANA. But, Louise, you ask me to give up entirely my own happiness.

LOUISE. Not at all! There's no one else in love with you but Sam, and
this isn't your first year out, you know.

MRS. CARLEY. And anyway it would be _five_ happy against _one_ unhappy,
there's no arguing about that.

COAST. [_To_ LOUISE.] You and your mother both think she ought to accept
me, don't you?

LOUISE. Certainly.

COAST. [_To_ GEORGIANA.] I told you.

GEORGIANA. Yes, Sam, you win!--but Louise! I love some one else.

LOUISE. Dick Coleman?

GEORGIANA. Yes, and I'm going to marry him.

COAST. [_Turning quickly._] Has he asked you?

GEORGIANA. Yes! To-day!

[_Showing her letter._ MRS. CARLEY _sits on the sofa._

COAST. [_Angry, to_ LOUISE.] Then you bring suit against Steve and I'll
back you up,--I'll bet you I'll get your case!

LOUISE. But Steve hasn't any money.

COAST. No, but you can show him up! You can blackguard his name for him!
You can disgrace him in the papers!

LOUISE. But I don't want to do that! It would only make things worse.

GEORGIANA. Good, Louise!

COAST. I'll bet the bank and Steve's brokers won't be so soft-hearted.

GEORGIANA. There's this house for the bank.

MRS. CARLEY. [_Crying._] _This house!_ I shall die!

[GEORGIANA _goes to her._

GEORGIANA. Oh, no, you won't; you'll live very happily in a nice little
flat, with two servants and a polite elevator boy in buttons.

MRS. CARLEY. [_Pitifully._] Louise!

GEORGIANA. And Mr. Caldwell I am going to see at the ball to-night. I
believe he will help us if he can.

LOUISE. You're going to the ball? In spite of everything?

GEORGIANA. Yes, we must. Let's have as little talk about the whole
thing as possible. Steve's had bad luck! The people mustn't think
there's anything we're ashamed of. There isn't anything.

COAST. Oh, isn't there?

GEORGIANA. No.

[LOUISE _gets the smelling salts from the table for_ MRS. CARLEY.

MRS. CARLEY. It's true; so long as we've lost everything else, I don't
see why she should lose the ball too!

[_Using the smelling salts._

LOUISE. And I suppose we really ought to be seen there, or lots of
people will _never_ believe we were asked.

COAST. Well, I guess this is where I get out. I'll strike one of those
musical comedies! I think ragtime will be good enough for me to-night,
instead of a neck and arm circus. You won't want me for escort after all
this?

LOUISE. You can please yourself, Sam.

COAST. Not exactly; I guess this is the day I try sour grapes. [_Goes to
door Left,--he turns._] When's Coleman coming back, Georgiana?

GEORGIANA. I don't know.

COAST. Oh! [_Goes to_ STEVEN _at mantel._] Steve--listen--how long are
they holding that rotten stock of yours for you?

STEVEN. [_Laughs._] Ha! till to-morrow noon.

COAST. Well, cheer up, I'll send her up ten points for you by eleven.
[_Slaps him on the back._] See you all later, maybe, if my show's dull.

[_And with a side glance at_ GEORGIANA _he goes out Left._

MRS. CARLEY. [_Rises._] I only wish to heaven Sam Coast wanted to marry
_me_!

LOUISE. Mother! Come, let's finish dressing.

MRS. CARLEY. I don't know whether to go to the ball or stay home and
have a good cry.

GEORGIANA. Do whichever gives you the most pleasure, mother.

[LIZZIE _enters Right and stands behind the dressing table._

MRS. CARLEY. What? [_Looking at herself in the glass._] It's all very
well for them to give us women a new front, I wish they'd give us new
backs too.

[_She goes out Right._

LIZZIE. You must start dressing, miss--Miss Shindle will be back.

GEORGIANA. [_Absent-mindedly._] Yes, yes, Lizzie.

[LIZZIE _goes out._]

Louise, I'm so glad you will stand by Steve; and try and be glad a
little for me.

[_Placing her arm about_ LOUISE.

LOUISE. Yes, I don't blame you, Georgy, so long as Dick's proposed. I'd
do just as you've done, and I will be glad for you by to-morrow,--I am
_glad now_.

[_Kisses her impulsively._

GEORGIANA. Thank you, Louise, dear.

[_She goes out Right._

STEVEN. Louise!

LOUISE. [_Comes to_ STEVE.] Steve. [LOUISE _touches_ STEVE _on the
arm._] I don't want to be horrid, but do you think you will be able to
get anything decent to do?

STEVEN. I'm sure I will.

LOUISE. But will we have enough money to hold our own?

STEVEN. I'll do my best. Louise, I appreciate your not making more of a
row!

[_With his arm around her._

LOUISE. Oh, Steve, I know it's just as hard for you--and I do love you
and I want to be nice about it, but--[_She cries._ STEVEN _kisses her
again, in his arms._] I mustn't give way like this. I'll be a sight at
the ball. Don't let me cry, dear.

STEVEN. All right. Come on upstairs now, and make yourself beautiful.

[_They go toward the door Right._

BELLA. [_Reëntering Left._] Good evening again, is Miss Georgiana ready
for me?

LOUISE. She must be,--is my hair all right?

BELLA. Oh, yes, that's one thing about my hair dressing, though I do say
it as shouldn't, it _has_ a lasting quality.

[LOUISE _goes out Right._

GEORGIANA. [_Calls from inside._] Is that you, Bella?

BELLA. Yes, ma'am.

GEORGIANA. I'll be there in a minute--be quick, Lizzie.

BELLA. [_Lower voice._] Mr. Carley, have you seen the evening papers?

STEVEN. No!

BELLA. I just bought one and it's got an article about the 91st
regiment.

STEVEN. What about it?

[_Looks to see if door is closed._

BELLA. [_Same voice._] They say it may 'a' been wiped out of existence:
it's three weeks now since news of it was due, and the paper's afraid
they've met with an ambyscade or something like that.

STEVEN. Oh, when the newspapers are hard up for news they get up
something about the Philippines! It's the modern sea-serpent. When
there's absolutely nothing else to print--no girl suicide in Brooklyn,
or cyclone in Kansas, or joke on Chicago, then they give the Philippines
a paragraph or an insurrection. Don't you worry, Miss Shindle.

[_He sits in the arm-chair near the sofa._

BELLA. But it says the island they went against was the heathenest of
the lot, and that there's no good reason why if they'd hadn't no fight
with the natives, we shouldn't 'a' had news from them.

STEVEN. The whole question of news in a case like this is too uncertain
to make so much alarm about. The men's idea is not to send picture
postal cards of daily movements home to America, but to lick the natives
into shape!

BELLA. I'm sure you do comfort me. Don't know as Miss Georgiana told
you, but my young man's out there, with Mr.--Lieutenant Coleman.

STEVEN. Well, don't worry. You just make up your mind the papers are
short of news to-night.

BELLA. Goodness, they won't be to-morrow with all they're going to print
about this ball! Say, I've a friend whose sister's a literary lady and
writes for the Sunday papers in Buffalo. She's got an article in my
line, called the "Heads of the Smart Set which was Set at the Grand
Duke." Ain't that a cute name for an article? And it don't mean their
heads either; it means their coffyures, as she says--she speaks French.
She was born and raised in Niagara Falls, near to Canada, where the
language comes natural,--over the water, as it were!

STEVEN. [_Going to her._] I wouldn't mention this newspaper report to
Miss Carley--it would only needlessly alarm her, perhaps, and spoil her
evening.

BELLA. Oh, I wouldn't for worlds.

[_She moves to the dressing table as_ GEORGIANA _comes in._

GEORGIANA. Here I am'. Oh, my dear Steve! You'll be late. You're not
dressed yet.

STEVEN. All right. I'm going now--I was entertaining Miss Shindle till
you were ready.

[_With, a bow to_ MISS SHINDLE, STEVEN _goes out Right._

BELLA. [_Taking her bottles, etc., from a little bag which she
carries._] He _is_ a _perfect_ gentleman!

GEORGIANA. [_Sitting before the dressing table._] Now come along, Bella!
I only want you to brush my hair; I've had a trying evening here, and
I've a splitting headache. See if you can take it away and make me look
as if I'd never had one.

BELLA. [_Tying apron about_ GEORGIANA'S _neck._] I'll do my best; but I
can tell you most of the ladies I know'd be willing to have a headache
every blessed minute of their lives if they could look as you do now!

GEORGIANA. Oh, what blarney, Bella! I don't know, somehow I want to be
beautiful to-night.

BELLA. For the Dook?

[_Beginning to brush her hair._

GEORGIANA. No!

BELLA. For him?

[_Pointing at_ COLEMAN'S _photograph with her hair-brush._

GEORGIANA. Yes. [_Drawing the picture toward her._] It was a dear letter
I had from him to-night, Bella! I hope you'll have as nice a one from
Mr. Gootch to-morrow morning.

BELLA. Well, if I don't--

[_Shutting her teeth, she unconsciously pulls_ GEORGIANA'S _hair._

GEORGIANA. Oh, oh!

BELLA. Oh, I beg your pardon!

GEORGIANA. Don't take it out on me, wait till Mr. Gootch gets back!

BELLA. [_Combing._] I don't know as you're the jealous kind. Judging
from your hair you ain't. It usually goes with blonde or red, or else
crimpy, and what I dislike about red hair is the freckles--you can
almost count on 'em! You've got sort of trusting hair. But besides, Mr.
Coleman wasn't a floor walker in a shop with over a hundred lady
clerks--I think that's apt to make a gentleman flightier; and he being
_bald_, has me to a disadvantage, so to speak. I can't judge by my
customary signs.

GEORGIANA. [_Looking at_ COLEMAN'S _photograph._] Bella, I should say
Lieutenant Coleman has splendid, straight, honest hair, shouldn't you?

BELLA. I can't say as I've ever really had any experience of his hair,
ma'am.

GEORGIANA. But do you think him an awfully handsome man, Bella, or am I
prejudiced?

BELLA. No, indeed, I never seen a handsomer gentleman, not even in the
pictures of gentlemen's clothes in tailor store windows. [_Puts comb
down, and takes brush and brushes again._] But what continues to make me
nervous about Mr. Gootch is that he's right there among all those black
creatures, whose manners is very free, I'm told, and whose style of
dressing is peculiar, the least you say! Mr. Gootch always did favor
dark-complexioned people, and if that letter don't come to-morrow--

[_Getting excited, she again pulls_ GEORGIANA'S _hair._

GEORGIANA. Ouch! [_Laughing, holds up her hand, and catches her hair to
ward off another pull._] Be careful!

BELLA. Excuse me! in my art, there's no use talking, you oughtn't let
your mind wander from the subject in hand--does your head feel better?

GEORGIANA. I don't know, Bella, if it does or not! Your treatment is
very heroic.

BELLA. [_Spraying her hair._] You don't feel worried about something
happening to them way out there, do you, Miss Georgiana?

GEORGIANA. I daren't think of it. Oh, Bella, I've had lots of trouble
to-day, and I've a serious time ahead of me--but all the same I am such
a happy woman. [_Turning to look at_ BELLA, _she disarranges her hair,
much to_ BELLA'S _disapproval._] Do you love Mr. Gootch tremendously,
Bella?

BELLA. Why, love isn't the word! my feeling for Mr. Gootch is a positive
worship. When I get to thinking of him in the underground I always go
by my station, sometimes two.

GEORGIANA. Be grateful for your love, Bella; it's a wonderful thing.

BELLA. [_Finishing the dressing of the hair._] You know I've just done
Mrs. Wishings, she puts too much on!

GEORGIANA. Does she rouge?

BELLA. No, hair. I don't mind a switch or two for foundation, and a
couple of puffs for ornament, with a tight curl or two for
style,--especially if you've got one of those new undilated fronts, but
I think that's all you can expect to have any hair dresser make look as
if it growed there. There! How's that?

[_Puts hairpin in_ GEORGIANA'S _hair._

GEORGIANA. [_Holding up_ DICK'S _photograph._] How's that, Dick--is it
all right?

BELLA. [_Delighted._] Ain't that a cute idea?

GEORGIANA. We both trust you, Bella, to make me all right.

BELLA. What ornaments?

[_Taking off the apron, she walks around to Right of the table._

GEORGIANA. Would you wear any?

BELLA. Oh, yes, for such an occasion! Of course, for maidens only
feathers is correct; for wives and widows, tiaras and feathers.

[_Putting away her things._ MRS. CARLEY _enters in a flurry of
excitement, superbly dressed, and too youthfully._

MRS. CARLEY. Here I am; I've hurried so I don't feel half dressed.

GEORGIANA. [_Smiling._] That's almost the way you _look_, mother.

MRS. CARLEY. Well, I always did have shoulders, and I don't intend to
hide them under a bushel; but what do you think of the dress, is it a
success?

GEORGIANA. From your point of view--perfect!

MRS. CARLEY. Yes, but what's the difference about your point of view
about it and mine?

GEORGIANA. Well, I should think about thirty years, darling!

MRS. CARLEY. Oh, Georgiana, you really are unkind. When I don't know how
on earth it's ever going to be paid for now, I think you might be
serious, and let me feel anyway it's a success.

GEORGIANA. Mother dear, it's a triumph. Really, I never saw you look
better!

MRS. CARLEY. Really! and how is my hair?

GEORGIANA. Redder!

BELLA. Oh, Miss Georgiana, it isn't too red a bit.

GEORGIANA. It's very fine, Bella, but I think I'd take off a little. You
don't want Mrs. Carley to rival Mrs. Wishings and look as if she'd
cornered the hair market.

BELLA. She's just teasing you.

[GEORGIANA _has risen._

MRS. CARLEY. You are lovely, Georgiana.

GEORGIANA. That's because my thoughts are lovely.

MRS. CARLEY. I'm awfully proud of you, dear, and wish you were my own
daughter.

GEORGIANA. Thank you, mother.

MRS. CARLEY. The Grand Duke will surely notice you. Aren't you going to
put something in your hair?

BELLA. [_Handing it to_ GEORGIANA.] A rose with glass dewdrops.

[_Newsboy's voice heard in the street--calling,
"Extra--Extra--Terrible"--the rest is indistinct._

GEORGIANA. What's that?

MRS. CARLEY. A newsboy with an extra.

[_Man's voice outside, "Extra--Extra--Terrible"--the rest is still
indistinct._ LOUISE _enters, beautifully dressed._

BELLA. Oh!

GEORGIANA. Lovely, Louise!

LOUISE. I've got a splitting headache. [_Man's voice outside,
"Extra--Extra."_] What can the extra be? [_Enter_ STEVEN.] Steve, do you
know what the extra is?

STEVEN. Oh, they're never anything you know.

[_In distance are heard several voices at once at different distances,
all calling, "Extra--Extra--Terrible"--etc._

MRS. CARLEY. Yes, they're always so disappointing, generally a railway
accident out west! or a bomb thrown in Europe. Are you ready, Georgiana?

[_The "Extras" are louder._

STEVEN. Yes, if we're going we ought to go.

[_"Extra--Extra," called underneath the window._

GEORGIANA. Listen, what did he say?

[_Voice shouts outside, "Terrible fight in the Philippines; an entire
regiment wiped out!"_

BELLA. [_Frightened._] I heard "Philippines."

[_Goes to the window._

GEORGIANA. And a terrible fight! Some one must get the paper!

STEVEN. We haven't time now, Georgy.

MRS. CARLEY. Yes, we must be there before the Grand Duke arrives.

[_Outside, "Extra--Extra!"_

GEORGIANA. I must see that paper, Steve.

MRS. CARLEY. Georgiana, I think you are too thoughtless.

[_Outside, "Entire regiment wiped out!"_

GEORGIANA. Steve, do you hear that! Will you get the paper or shall I
call to the man?

STEVEN. I'll get it. [_Goes to a window and opens it, pulling aside the
curtain. He calls down to the boy in the street._] Here! Hi! Extra!

[_Voice outside, "Here you are, boss!"_

STEVEN. Ring the bell.

[_He comes back into the room. One "Extra" is heard louder than before,
and then the cries gradually die away._

MRS. CARLEY. The carriage has already been here nearly an hour.

GEORGIANA. It if should be Dick's fight, if it should be Dick's
regiment!

LOUISE. Make up your mind, mother, to be a little late. We can't go till
we see the paper.

GEORGIANA. [_At the door Right._] Lizzie! Where is she? Didn't he go to
the door with the paper, Steve?

BELLA. I'll see, miss.

[_She goes out Right._

STEVEN. Yes. I saw him. But, Georgy, it won't be Dick's regiment.

MRS. CARLEY. [_By the sofa._] Louise, I'll tell you what we'll do, let's
go down and be getting on our wraps.

LOUISE. No, mother, wait.

GEORGIANA. No, Louise, go down, please, with mother. I'd rather.

MRS. CARLEY. [_Going out Left._] Yes, come along.

[LOUISE _looks at_ GEORGIANA, _who nods her head "Yes" to go._

LOUISE. I'll come back.

[_She follows_ MRS. CARLEY _out._ LIZZIE _enters Right with the paper._
GEORGIANA _takes the paper from_ LIZZIE, _who immediately goes out
Right._

STEVEN. Shall I look?

GEORGIANA. [_Standing by the sofa._] No, I will. Here it is--"Battle
with Ladrones. The 91st Regiment of New York, which went out under
Captain H.S. Miller to subdue the bandits in the Island of Orla, met an
ambuscade of the Ladrones and were annihilated almost to a man." [_She
looks up dazed, not able at once to realize what it means. Rereads,
skipping some lines._] "Captain H.S. Miller who went out under--to
subdue the bandits in the--met an ambuscade of the Ladrones and was
annihilated almost to a man." Steve! his regiment,--do you think it's
true? Do you think it can be true?

STEVEN. [_Beside her._] No, let me read it.

GEORGIANA. [_She sinks down on the end of the sofa._] No, I will! [_She
reads on._] "News was brought by private--private--[_Her eyes hurrying
on._] the sole survivors. Privates--" [_Her eyes run along the printed
lines again._] Steve, I can't see his name. Isn't it there? Can't _you_
see it?

STEVEN. [_Looking._] No.

GEORGIANA. [_Almost whispers._] It means--?

STEVEN. [_Striving to hide his own emotion and to encourage her._] The
news is too meagre to be true.

MRS. CARLEY. [_In hall Left._] Georgiana! We must go.

GEORGIANA. [_Starts. To_ STEVEN.] _Don't_ let mother come in, please.

LOUISE. [_Just outside the door._] Georgiana, we must go.

GEORGIANA. [_To_ STEVEN.] Say I'm coming.

STEVEN. I can't leave you alone. [_Going to the door._] Georgy's coming.

LOUISE. [_Outside._] Good! Hurry!

STEVEN. [_Coming back to her._] But I can't leave you.

GEORGIANA. You must. And anyway I want you to. I want to be alone.

[STEVEN _hesitates. He comes and takes her hand and is about to kiss
her, but something keeps him back; he presses her hand and she gives a
grateful look. She crosses to the dressing table and sits before it,
dazed. Slowly she takes the flowers from her hair, the pearls from her
neck. The front door slams, she lifts her head, and leaning her arm
toward_ DICK'S _picture, draws it toward her, gazing at it. Then,
crying, "Dick, Dick," she bursts into tears and drops her head upon her
arms outstretched on the table as_

THE CURTAIN FALLS



ACT IV


_Seven weeks later. The drawing-room as in Act II._ GEORGIANA, _in a
clinging black lace dress, is at the piano, playing "Traumerei." The
sunshine pours in through the windows._ MOLES _comes in apologetically
from the Left._

MOLES. Mr. Coast wants to know if you will see him, miss.

GEORGIANA. [_Who continues playing._] Very well, Moles.

MOLES. Shall I show him up?

[GEORGIANA _nods her head._ MOLES _goes out._ GEORGIANA _continues
playing. In a few seconds_ MOLES _reënters with_ COAST.

COAST. Good morning, Georgiana.

[GEORGIANA, _half smiling, bows very impersonally, and continues playing
till she finishes the music._ COAST _leans against the piano, facing
her, and watches her and waits._

GEORGIANA. [_When she has finished._] How long is it since you and I
have been friends?

COAST. It's five weeks and a couple of days--but it wasn't my fault.

GEORGIANA. Wasn't it? Well? What is it? Why do you want to see me?

COAST. Same reason as ever!

GEORGIANA. No,--you wouldn't ask me that now!

COAST. Yes, I would!

GEORGIANA. No, Sam! Love isn't a game with all women, if you lose with
one hand, to try another. Do you mean you think because Dick is dead,
it would be any more possible for me to care for you? I don't respect
you, Sam, and I don't like you,--and that's putting it very
politely,--for many reasons; but one's enough--_Steve_!

[COAST _looks away._

COAST. [_After a second's pause._] I've let you go on because I know I
deserve all I get; and I've caught on to the fact that you won't ever
care about me the way I want. Well, it's funny, it don't seem to make
much difference in my feelings for you all the same! [_Half laughs._] I
ain't exactly ashamed of what I've done, but I'm sort of _sorry_--for
_you_.

GEORGIANA. [_Rising._] I don't want your sympathy, Sam.

[_She comes away from the piano and he follows her._

COAST. Well, you've got to get it, anyway! That you can't help, and if
you can help loving me, you can't help my loving you! Anyway, I don't
want you to have to get out o' this house.

GEORGIANA. That is all settled now; we can't afford to live here, of
course.

COAST. Yes, you can.

GEORGIANA. No, no--Steve's salary--

COAST. Steve's leaving that job; he don't need that money any longer.

[_He looks at her, she looks in his face--a short pause; then--_

GEORGIANA. You don't mean you've given Steve--

COAST. Don't worry, I'm giving away nothing. Steve's got a new job.

GEORGIANA. What?

COAST. I'm going home--leastways so far's Denver--and Steve's going to
look after my interests here.

GEORGIANA. But--

COAST. [_Interrupting her._] Oh, don't worry--he can't act without my
advice--and that's just the kind of a man I want! I don't want none of
these here fellers who's got judgment o' their own! Steve's knows he's a
fool in business, and he'll obey me implicitly.

GEORGIANA. [_Sitting by the table Left._] And Steve is willing to accept
from _you_--

COAST. [_Interrupting._] Oh, I guess he considers I _owe_ him that much
anyway.

GEORGIANA. You couldn't repay what you owe Steve.

COAST. That's how _you_ look at it! Then there's Coleman's money.

GEORGIANA. Don't speak about that, please.

COAST. Why not? he's left it to you, everybody knows it, and it must be
a good deal.

GEORGIANA. I can't and won't discuss that with you.

COAST. [_Goes to_ GEORGIANA.] I wish you didn't feel so hard against me,
Georgy!

GEORGIANA. To tell you the truth, Sam, I don't think I feel anything
about you.

COAST. Oh, Lord, that's worse! I guess I won't stop at Denver,--I'll go
away out to the mine for a while and join father.--Good-by.

GEORGIANA. Good-by.

[_Rises._

COAST. I swore off a lot of things when I thought I was going to get
you, Georgiana!

GEORGIANA. [_Without any feeling._] I'm glad!

COAST. But I don't want to put on any bluff. I've sworn 'em all on
again.

[_Going Left._

GEORGIANA. [_Same voice, without feeling._] I'm sorry.

COAST. [_Turning quickly and with an absurd ray of hope._] Are you
_really_?

GEORGIANA. [_Looking at him a second._] No, Sam, I suppose, if I tell
the truth, I don't really care. You see, somehow or other, I don't care
very much about anything.

COAST. [_Discouraged._] Good-by.

GEORGIANA. Good-by, a pleasant journey.

[_She turns away. Coast is about to go when he meets_ LOUISE, _who
enters Left._

LOUISE. Good morning, Sam. Where are you off to?

[_Going to the sofa._

COAST. Chicago first, Lou, and then Denver, and eventually--hell, I
guess!

[_With a little gulp in his throat he goes out quickly._

LOUISE. What's the matter with him--he hasn't proposed to you again?

GEORGIANA. He's going away, and he's made Steve--

LOUISE. [_Interrupting._] I've just seen Steve, he's told me. Steve's
coming uptown soon--to see you--

GEORGIANA. [_Sitting on the sofa beside_ LOUISE.] To see me--why?

LOUISE. He'll tell you better than I--I feel happy, Georgiana.

GEORGIANA. I'm glad.

LOUISE. And I believe you'll be happy again.

GEORGIANA. Thank you, Louise!

[MRS. CARLEY _enters Right and sits by the table._

MRS. CARLEY. You back, Louise! I'm that tired, shopping. I'm buying
everything I can think of we'll be likely to need for months. There'll
be _no_ pleasure buying things when, instead of having them sent to 2
East 71st Street, we have to say 329 West 143rd!

GEORGIANA. [_Rises and goes back of the table._] Mother, dear, you may
not have to leave here after all!

MRS. CARLEY. What do you mean?

GEORGIANA. Louise will tell you. I've promised to sit through lunch with
the children this morning if you don't mind, and it's their hour.

MRS. CARLEY. But, Georgiana--

[_She is interrupted by a gesture and a glance from_ LOUISE _to let_
GEORGIANA _go._

GEORGIANA. [_Sweetly._] Yes? Do you want me for anything, dear?

[LOUISE _repeats the gesture, unnoticed by_ GEORGIANA.

MRS. CARLEY. Oh, no.

GEORGIANA. If you want me--

MRS. CARLEY. No.

GEORGIANA. Louise, I told Bella Shindle I'd help her get up an article
this morning on the drawing-room and dining room for her sister,--you
know--who has a friend who writes for the weekly papers. You don't mind,
do you?

LOUISE. No.

GEORGIANA. Of course, if you _do_ mind--

LOUISE. But I don't, not the least in the world.

GEORGIANA. [_Smiling._] Bella says it will be a great thing for her
sister's reputation--what she calls such a "select" house as ours--and
buy her a new hat besides. So I thought we'd better.

[_She goes out Right._

MRS. CARLEY. Did you ever know any one so changed? She hasn't been
horrid to me once since he died. It makes me feel perfectly dreadful to
have her treat me so nice.

[_Almost crying, crosses to Left._

LOUISE. Mother, you know Mrs. Coleman sent for me just now.

MRS. CARLEY. Yes?

LOUISE. Well, why, do you suppose?

MRS. CARLEY. I don't know, but I hope you'll tell me that, too,
sometime--what about Steve?

LOUISE. That must wait, mother--Dick Coleman--

MRS. CARLEY. What? Don't tell me he made another will, and didn't leave
Georgiana his money.

LOUISE. No, it's good news for Georgiana. I'm almost as afraid to tell
you as to tell her. [_Whispers._] Dick Coleman may be alive, after all.

MRS. CARLEY. Louise!

LOUISE. It is possible he was one of the three men who arrived at San
Francisco nearly a week ago.

MRS. CARLEY. Who were taken prisoners by the Ladrones and escaped?

LOUISE. Yes! The three men who got away from Cebú in a boat and were
picked up by a German steamer. It seems more than probable. They got one
name wrong in the despatches, making it "_Richard Cotten_"--who was also
missing--instead of "_Richard Coleman_."

MRS. CARLEY. But how did you find out all this?

LOUISE. From Mrs. Coleman. And it's all in the morning paper, and we
never took the trouble to look!

MRS. CARLEY. I read the society notes--it wasn't in there.

LOUISE. Well, the Colemans saw it and telegraphed at once to Washington
for confirmation.

MRS. CARLEY. Did they get it?

LOUISE. Not yet. But we're all in the greatest hopes!

MRS. CARLEY. But if Dick Coleman was with those other men in San
Francisco, why didn't he telegraph home?

LOUISE. That's the one thing that makes still a dreadful doubt. [_Rises
and rings the bell._] The Colemans are nearly mad waiting for their
reply from Washington.

MRS. CARLEY. Shall you tell Georgiana?

[_She rises._

LOUISE. Not till we are a little more certain. It would be dreadful to
open the wound of her grief again for nothing. Oh, if it's only true!

MRS. CARLEY. And you've seen Steve?

LOUISE. Yes, he went off at once to the newspaper to see how authentic
their information was, and then he was going on to the Colemans. [MOLES
_enters Left in answer to the bell._] Moles, bring me the morning paper.

MOLES. [_Unable to suppress his excitement._] I've read it, m'm! We're
all nearly crazy over it downstairs. Lizzie's took to crying and can't
answer her bells.--Is it true, Mrs. Carley?

LOUISE. Yes, we hope it's true, Moles.

MOLES. Thank God, m'm, if you'll excuse me!

LOUISE. But we're not sure yet, and you mustn't let anything drop before
Miss Georgiana till we are certain.

MOLES. No, m'm.

[_He goes out._

MRS. CARLEY. Oughtn't we to give Georgiana a hint to prepare her in some
way?

LOUISE. Perhaps, if we do it very carefully.

MRS. CARLEY. It seems awful to me not to tell her right out. Of course
we won't have Dick Coleman's money to help live on now, if he's back.

LOUISE. Never mind that, mother.

[MOLES _returns with the paper._

MOLES. Here is the paper, m'm, and Miss Shindle is come--she says to
interview the drawing-room.

LOUISE. Very well--tell Miss Georgiana.

MOLES. Yes, m'm.

[_Goes out Right._ LOUISE _looks through the paper._ MOLES _brings in_
BELLA. BELLA _shows signs of suppressed excitement._

BELLA. Oh, Mrs. Carley, have you seen the papers--isn't it splendid?

LOUISE. Yes, if it's only true. We're trying to make sure!

[LOUISE _finds the place in the paper._

MRS. CARLEY. [_Rising._] She doesn't know yet.

BELLA. Oh, Mrs. Carley!

LOUISE. We're waiting to be _sure_, and that we may be almost any
minute.

BELLA. Mercy! I don't see how you can keep it to yourself.

MRS. CARLEY. You might give her a little hint, Bella, if you get a
chance.

BELLA. I wouldn't dare. If I opened my mouth wide enough to give her a
hint, I know it would all burst out!

LOUISE. As soon as Mr. Carley comes, make an excuse to leave her, won't
you? We expect him to bring us some definite news?

BELLA. Yes, indeed!

[MRS. CARLEY _and_ LOUISE _go out Left, as_ GEORGIANA _comes in._

GEORGIANA. [_Pleasantly._] Good morning, Bella.

[_She sits by the table._

BELLA. Good morning, ain't it a fine morning?

GEORGIANA. Is it? I haven't been out.

BELLA. I'm scared to death. [_Laughing nervously._] I ain't going to
write the article myself, you know. It's my sister's husband's
friend--she's real literary enough! She's got a typewriter.

GEORGIANA. One can't do everything in this world, Bella, and you must be
content with being a real _artiste_ in your own profession.

BELLA. Yes, I will say without boasting, so to speak, I don't believe
there's a soul in New York who can make hair go further and wear less,
than me! [_Laughs heartily._] What's this room? Of course it's one of
them Louis, I suppose, ain't it? [_Looks around the room._] Let me see,
is it Louis Eleventimes? I saw Henry Irving in that, it was fine!

GEORGIANA. No, Bella, Henry Irving has never been in this room, and it's
Louis XVI.

BELLA. Oh, of course! [_Writing._] How well you're looking, Miss
Georgiana. Look to me kinder as if you thought good news was in the
wind!

[_She glances at her surreptitiously, but down again quickly,
frightened._

GEORGIANA. Why, Bella?

BELLA. Oh, that's just my idea, that's all. What might this picture be?
Shall we say--er--er--Michael Ange?

GEORGIANA. [_Suppressing a smile._] No, that is a Van Dyck.

BELLA. Of course! I might have known! [_Writing._] This entire room is a
fine bit, ain't it? All Louis--[_She looks back in her book._] 16, as a
piece, I suppose?

GEORGIANA. Yes.

BELLA. So I see! My! How I love all this kind of thing. I couldn't live
without a lot o' bric-a-brah lying around sort of careless like and
undusted. These tapestries are real, I presume?

GEORGIANA. Yes.

BELLA. I thought so! I got a beautiful piece of tapestry over my
washstand, hand-painted, and all the faces and clothes outlined in
chenille cross-stitch by the Singer Sewing Machine--but it's not quite
the same as yours.

GEORGIANA. It must be very pretty.

BELLA. Oh, it adds a touch! Mr. Gootch gave it to me for an engagement
present.

GEORGIANA. Does Mr. Gootch ever speak of Mr. Coleman?

BELLA. He worships him--naturally, as Mr. Coleman got wounded in both
arms carrying him to a safe place! Mr. Gootch says as there wasn't a man
in the regiment braver or as popular as Mr. Coleman. Don't you think,
perhaps, sometimes, maybe, Miss Georgiana--

[_She stops near_ GEORGIANA.

GEORGIANA. Maybe what--?

BELLA. Oh, I dunno--I--

GEORGIANA. [_Rising and going to the sofa._] Come, Bella, we must get on
with your article.

[_A pause._

BELLA. [_Looking about._] Why, you haven't got a cosy corner, have you?
And yet you seem to go in for the real artistic! I don't know what my
sister 'n' I'd do without our cosy corner! It is draped with a fish net,
and has paper butterflies and beetles in it! Very artistic! And she's
got--well, really now, I believe she's got at least _eleven pillers_;
counting the two ticking ones that has their covers come off at night
for our bed!

GEORGIANA. [_Rising nervously._] Bella, I have some colored dresses I'd
like to give you for your trousseau, if you care to take them. They've
not been worn very much.

BELLA. Oh, Miss Georgiana, of course I'd take 'em--only, I don't know, I
sort of feel it in my bones you'll wear 'em yourself.

[STEVEN _enters Left suddenly. He tries to conceal his great
excitement._ MOLES _is with him._

STEVEN. [_To_ MOLES.] Tell Mrs. Carley I want to see her here, please.

MOLES. Yes, sir.

[_He goes out Right._

STEVEN. Hello, Georgy!

GEORGIANA. Steve!

STEVEN. Good morning, Miss Shindle.

BELLA. Good morning, Mr. Carley. I must be going now, Miss Georgiana.

GEORGIANA. But have you got enough for the article?

BELLA. Oh, yes, miss--Louise furniture, the Van Wyck picture, tapestry
effects--etcetra. Thank you ever so much. Good-by!

GEORGIANA. Wait, I'll tell you about the dining room.

[_She goes out with_ BELLA _Left, and_ LOUISE _enters._

STEVEN. Louise, it's true!

LOUISE. Oh, Steve!

STEVEN. It was a press telegram and has been verified by private wire.
Besides, Mrs. Coleman has a telegram from Dick himself.

LOUISE. From where?

STEVEN. From San Francisco, when the Colemans were at Palm Beach. Their
servants foolishly _mailed_ the telegram to them, and before it arrived
in Florida, they were on their way North, coming by easy stages.

LOUISE. [_Rises._] And the message only just caught up with them! Who
will tell her?

[MOLES _comes in Left with a note._

MOLES. A note just come for you, sir, by Mr. Coleman's man.

STEVEN. We must break it very gently, prepare her a little for it if we
can. [_To_ MOLES.] Thanks. [_Takes note, opens it, and reads it
hurriedly._] He's there! With his father and mother!

MOLES. [_Forgetting himself._] Oh, sir--I'm so glad! Excuse me, sir,
but we're all so glad, sir--any answer sir?

[_His eyes fill up._

STEVEN. No, only tell Miss Georgiana I want to see her.

MOLES. [_Who has to swallow a lump in his throat before he can speak._]
Yes, sir.

[_He goes out Right._

LOUISE. [_Wiping her eyes, goes to_ STEVEN.] What does it say?

STEVEN. [_Reads the note._] "Dick and the answer from Washington arrived
together!" He'll be over here at once--they won't keep him.

LOUISE. We must tell her before he gets here.

STEVEN. Yes.

LOUISE. We must do it very carefully.

STEVEN. But we mustn't lose any time.

[GEORGIANA _comes in during this last speech, overhearing it. A
movement is made by others on_ GEORGIANA'S _entrance._

GEORGIANA. "Losing time!" Am I keeping you from anything? I'm very
sorry!

LOUISE. [_Very tenderly, and hiding her emotion._] No, you're not
keeping us, Georgy, we only wanted to see you, that's all.

GEORGIANA. [_Going to her._] Why?

STEVEN. [_Also very tenderly._] Do we have to have a reason to want to
see you, isn't that we love you enough?

GEORGIANA. Yes, but why do you speak to me like this?--it's very kind of
you--only--what does it mean?

[_Smiling a little nervously, they hesitate._

LOUISE. Steve has news for you, Georgy.

GEORGIANA. I know about it, Coast told me.

STEVEN. It isn't that, Georgy.

GEORGIANA. What is it, then? How serious you both look.

[_She becomes frightened._

STEVEN. This is _good_ news.

GEORGIANA. _Good_ news!

LOUISE. Yes.

STEVEN. The best in the world!

GEORGIANA. For me?

STEVEN. For you!

GEORGIANA. [_A second's pause, she speaks then in a low voice._] No, it
can't be! It can't be!

STEVEN. Yes, it _is_, Georgy!

GEORGIANA. No!

STEVEN. Georgy! It _is_!

[MOLES _enters Left._

MOLES. [_With voice full of happy emotion which he cannot disguise._]
Please, sir--

[_He hesitates._

STEVEN. Show him here, Moles.

[MOLES _lowers his head and goes out._

GEORGIANA. Dick--?

[_She looks from_ STEVEN _to_ LOUISE. _They all show her by their faces
and movements that it is true._

GEORGIANA. [_Whispers._] Dick!

[_She stands waiting, breathless._ STEVEN _steals out with his arm
about_ LOUISE.

GEORGIANA. [_Excitedly, to herself._] _Come!_ No, no! It can't be true!
It can't be true! They killed him, those brutes out there! You told me
so! Every one believed it! I believed it! And so you want me to believe
he's alive! That he's here! In this house, coming into this room--that I
shall see--

[_She stops suddenly, looking up. The door-knob of the door Left turns.
Every nerve in_ GEORGIANA'S _body grows tense._ MOLES _opens the door
and lets_ DICK _pass in and closes the door behind him._

GEORGIANA. [_Cries out._] Dick!

[DICK _goes towards her, but stops. She starts towards him, stops a
moment, and they look at each other, unable to speak,--then she goes on
slowly, almost fearfully, till she reaches him._

DICK. [_Moving to her._] Georgy!

[_He stands before her with both arms bandaged in a sling._

GEORGIANA. [_Whispers._] Dick! [_Looks him straight in the eyes--he
looks back. She cries out._] Dick!

[_Holding out her arms toward him._

DICK. Georgy! [_He looks down at his arms._] My arms--I can't--

GEORGIANA. Oh, Dick!

[_And putting her arms tenderly about his neck, she holds him close, as
he leans down his head and kisses her, and_



THE CURTAIN FALLS



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