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Title: Shenandoah - Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911
Author: Howard, Bronson, 1842-1908
Language: English
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SHENANDOAH


_A MILITARY COMEDY_



[Illustration: BRONSON HOWARD]



BRONSON HOWARD

(1842-1908)


The present Editor has just read through some of the vivacious
correspondence of Bronson Howard--a sheaf of letters sent by him to
Brander Matthews during a long intercourse. The time thus spent brings
sharply to mind the salient qualities of the man--his nobility of
character, his soundness of mind, his graciousness of manner, and
his thorough understanding of the dramatic tools of his day and
generation. To know Bronson Howard was to be treated to just that
human quality which he put into even his hastily penned notes--and, as
in conversation with him, so in his letters there are repeated flashes
of sage comment and of good native wit. Not too often can we make the
plea for the gathering and preserving of such material. Autobiography,
after all, is what biography ought to be--it is the live portrait
by the side of which a mere appreciative sketch fades. I have looked
through the "Memorial" volume to Bronson Howard, issued by the
American Dramatists Club (1910), and read the well-tempered estimates,
the random reminiscences. But these do not recall the Bronson Howard
known to me, as to so many others--who gleams so charmingly in this
correspondence. Bronson Howard's plays may not last--"Fantine,"
"Saratoga," "Diamonds," "Moorcraft," "Lillian's Last Love"--these are
mere names in theatre history, and they are very out of date on
the printed page. "The Banker's Daughter," "Old Love Letters" and
"Hurricanes" would scarcely revive, so changed our comedy treatment,
so differently psychologized our emotion. Not many years ago
the managerial expedient was resorted to of re-vamping "The
Henrietta"--but its spirit would not behave in new-fangled style,
and the magic of Robson and Crane was broken. In the American drama's
groping for "society" comedy, one might put "Saratoga," and even
"Aristocracy," in advance of Mrs. Mowatt's "Fashion" and Mrs.
Bateman's "Self;" in the evolution of domestic problems, "Young Mrs.
Winthrop" is interesting as an early breaker of American soil. But
one can hardly say that, either for the theatre or for the library,
Bronson Howard is a permanent factor. Yet his influence on the theatre
is permanent; his moral force is something that should be perpetuated.
Whatever he said on subjects pertaining to his craft--his comments on
play-making most especially,--was illuminating and judicious. I have
been privileged to read the comments sent by him to Professor
Matthews during the period of their collaboration together over "Peter
Stuyvesant;" they are practical suggestions, revealing the peculiar
way in which a dramatist's mind shapes material for a three hours'
traffic of the stage--the willingness to sacrifice situation,
expression--any detail, in fact, that clogs the action. Through the
years of their acquaintance, Howard and Matthews were continually
wrangling good-naturedly about the relation of drama to literature.
Apropos of an article by Matthews in _The Forum_, Howard once wrote:

    I note that you regard the 'divorce' of the drama from
    literature as unfortunate. I think the divorce should be made
    absolute and final; that the Drama should no more be wedded to
    literature, on one hand, than it is to the art of painting on
    the other, or to music or mechanical science. Rather, perhaps,
    I should say, we should recognize poligamy for the Drama; and
    all the arts, with literature, its Harem. Literature may be
    Chief Sultana--but not too jealous. She is always claiming too
    large a share of her master's attention, and turning up her
    nose at the rest. I have felt this so strongly, at times, as
    to warmly deny that I was a 'literary man', insisting on being
    a 'dramatist'.

Then, in the same note, he adds in pencil: "Saw 'Ghosts' last night.
Great work of art! Ibsen a brute, personally, for writing it."

In one of the "Stuyvesant" communications, Howard is calculating
on the cumulative value of interest; and he analyzes it in this
mathematical way:

    So far as the important act is concerned, I have felt that
    this part of it was the hardest part of the problem before
    us. We were certain of a good beginning of the act and a good,
    rapid, dramatic end; but the middle and body of it I felt
    needed much attention to make the act substantial and
    satisfactory. To tell the truth, I was quietly worrying a bit
    over this part of the play, while you were expressing your
    anxiety about the 2nd act--which never bothered me. There
    _must_ be 2nd acts and there _must_ be last acts--audiences
    resign themselves to them; but 3rd acts--in 4 and 5 act
    plays--they insist on, and _will_ have them good. The only
    exception is where you astonish them with a good 2nd act--then
    they'll take their siesta in the 3rd--and wake up for the 4th.

This psychological time-table shows how calculating the dramatist
has to be, how precise in his framework, how sparing of his number of
words. In another note, Howard says:

    This would leave the acts squeezed "dry", about as
    follows:--Act I, 35 minutes; Act 2, 30; Act 3, 45; Act 4,
    20--total, 130--2 hrs., 10 min., curtain up: entr'acts, 25
    min. Total--2 hrs., 35 min.--8:20 to 10:55.

There are a thousand extraneous considerations bothering a play that
never enter into the evolution of any other form of art. After seeing
W.H. Crane, who played "Peter Stuyvesant" when it was given, Howard
writes Matthews of the wisdom shown by the actor in his criticism of
"points" to be changed and strengthened in the manuscript.

"A good actor," he declares, "whom I always regard as an original
creator in art--beginning at the point where the dramatist's pen
stops--approaches a subject from such a radically different direction
that we writers cannot study his impressions too carefully in revising
our work." Sometimes, conventions seized the humourous side of Howard.
From England, around 1883, he wrote, "Methinks there is danger in the
feeling expressed about 'local colouring.' English managers would put
the Garden of Eden in Devonshire, if you adapted Paradise Lost for
them--and insist on giving Adam an eye-glass and a title."

Howard was above all an American; he was always emphasizing his
nationality; and this largely because the English managers changed
"Saratoga" to "Brighton," and "The Banker's Daughter" to "The Old Love
and the New." I doubt whether he relished William Archer's inclusion
of him in a volume of "English Dramatists of To-day," even though
that critic's excuse was that he "may be said to occupy a place among
English dramatists somewhat similar to that occupied by Mr. Henry
James among English novelists." Howard was quick to assert his
Americanism, and to his home town he wrote a letter from London,
in 1884, disclaiming the accusation that he was hiding his local
inheritance behind a French technique and a protracted stay abroad
on business. He married an English woman--the sister of the late Sir
Charles Wyndham--and it was due to the latter that several of his
plays were transplanted and that Howard planned collaboration with
Sir Charles Young. But Howard was part of American life--born of the
middle West, and shouldering a gun during the Civil War to guard the
Canadian border near Detroit against a possible sympathetic uprising
for the Confederacy. Besides which--a fact which makes the title of
"Dean of the American Drama" a legitimate insignia,--when, in 1870, he
stood firm against the prejudices of A.M. Palmer and Lester Wallack,
shown toward "home industry," he was maintaining the right of the
American dramatist. He was always preaching the American spirit,
always analyzing American character, always watching and encouraging
American thought.

Howard was a scholar, with a sense of the fitness of things, as
a dramatist should have. Evidently, during the collaboration with
Professor Matthews on "Stuyvesant," discussion must have arisen as
to the form of English "New Amsterdamers," under Knickerbocker rule,
would use. For it called forth one of Howard's breezy but exact
comments, as follows:

    A few more words about the "English" question: As I said,
    it seems to me, academical correctness, among the higher
    characters, will give a prim, old-fashioned tone: and _you_
    can look after this, as all my own work has been in the
    opposite direction in art. I have given it no thought in
    writing this piece, so far.

    I would suggest the following special points to be on
    the alert for, even in the _best_ present-day use of
    English:--some words are absolutely correct, now, yet based
    on events or movements in history since 1660. An evident
    illustration is the word "boulevard" for a wide street or
    road; so "avenue," in same sense, is New Yorkese and London
    imitation--even imitated from us, I imagine, in Paris: this
    would give a nineteenth century tone; while an "avenue lined
    with trees in a bowery" would not. Don't understand that I
    am telling you things. I'm only illustrating--to let you know
    what especial things in language I hope you will keep your eye
    on. Of course _Anneke_ couldn't be "electrified"--but you may
    find many less evident blunders than that would be. She might
    be shocked, but couldn't "receive a shock." We need free
    colloquial slang and common expressions; but while "get out"
    seems all right from _Stuyvesant_ to _Bogardus_, for _Barry_
    to say "Skedadle" would put him in the 87th New York Vols.,
    1861-64. Yet I doubt whether we have any more classic and
    revered slang than that word.

The evident ease, yet thoroughness, with which Mr. Howard prepared
for his many tasks, is seen in his extended reading among Civil War
records, before writing "Shenandoah." The same "knowledge" sense
must have been a constant incentive to Professor Matthews, in the
preparation of "Peter Stuyvesant."

    "The manual of arms," Howard declares, "is simply _great_. I
    think we can get the muskets pointed at _Barket_ in about 4 or
    5 orders, however; taking the more picturesque ones, so far
    as may be possible. I went over the [State] librarian's letter
    with a nephew with the most modern of military training: and
    as I was at a military school in 1860--just two centuries
    after our period--we had fun together. Even with an old
    muzzle loader--Scott's Tactics--it was "Load and fire in ten
    motions," _now_ antiquated with the breech-loaders of to-day.
    The same operation, in 1662, required 28 motions, as
    we counted. By the bye, did I tell you that I found the
    flint-lock invented (in Spain) in 1625--and it "soon" spread
    over Europe? I felt, however, that the intervening 37 years
    would hardly have carried it to New Amsterdam; especially as
    the colony was neglected in such matters."

From these excerpts it is apparent that Howard had no delusions
regarding the "work" side of the theatre; he was continually insisting
that dramatic art was dependent upon the _artisan_ aspects which
underlay it. This he maintained, especially in contradiction to
fictional theories upheld by the adherents of W.D. Howells.

One often asks why a man, thus so serious and thorough in his approach
toward life, should have been so transitorily mannered in his plays,
and the reason may be in the very _artisan_ character of his work. Mr.
Howard delivered a lecture before the Shakespeare Society of Harvard
University, at Sanders Theatre, in 1886 (later given, 1889, before
the Nineteenth Century Club, in New York), and he called it "The
Autobiography of a Play." In the course of it, he illustrated how, in
his own play, called "Lillian's Last Love," in 1873, which one year
later became "The Banker's Daughter," he had to obey certain unfailing
laws of dramatic construction during the alterations and re-writing.
He never stated a requirement he was not himself willing to abide by.
When he instructed the Harvard students, he was merely elucidating his
own theatre education. "Submit yourselves truly and unconditionally,"
he admonished, "to the laws of dramatic truth, so far as you can
discover them by honest mental exertion and observation. Do not
mistake any mere defiance of these laws for originality. You might
as well show your originality by defying the law of gravitation." Mr.
Howard was not one to pose as the oracle of a new technique; in this
essay he merely stated sincerely his experience in a craft, as
a clinical lecturer demonstrates certain established methods of
treatment.

In his plays, vivacity and quick humour are the distinguishing
characteristics. Like his contemporary workers, he was alive to topics
of the hour, but, unlike them, he looked ahead, and so, as I have
stated in my "The American Dramatist," one can find profit in
contrasting his "Baron Rudolph" with Charles Klein's "Daughters of
Men," his "The Henrietta" with Klein's "The Lion and Mouse," and his
"The Young Mrs. Winthrop" with Alfred Sutro's "The Walls of Jericho."
He was an ardent reader of plays, as his library--bequeathed to the
American Dramatists Club, which he founded--bears witness. The fact
is, he studied Restoration drama as closely as he did the modern
French stage. How often he had to defend himself in the press from
the accusation of plagiarism, merely because he was complying with the
stage conventions of the moment!

It is unfortunate that his note-books are not available. But luckily
he wrote an article at one time which shows his method of thrashing
out the moral matrix of a scenario himself. It is called "Old Dry
Ink." Howard's irony slayed the vulgar, but, because in some quarters
his irony was not liked, he was criticized for his vulgarities.
Archer, for example, early laid this defect to the influence of the
Wyndham policy, in London, of courting blatant immorality in plays for
the stage.

Howard's femininity, in comparison with Fitch's, was equally as
observant; it was not as literarily brilliant in its "small talk." But
though the effervescent chatter, handled with increasing dexterity by
him, is now old-fashioned, "Old Dry Ink" shows that the scenes in his
plays were not merely cleverly arrived at, but were philosophically
digested. How different the dialogue from the notes!

This article was written in 1906; it conveys many impressions of early
feminine struggles for political independence. The fact is, Mr. Howard
often expressed his disappointment over the showing women made in the
creative arts, and that he was not willing to let the bars down in his
own profession is indicated by the fact that, during his life-time,
women dramatists were not admitted as members into the club he
founded.

The reader is referred to two other articles by Mr. Howard--one,
"Trash on the Stage," included in the "Memorial" volume; the other,
on "The American Drama," which is reproduced here, because, written
in 1906, and published in a now obsolete newspaper magazine, it is
difficult of procuring, and stands, possibly, for Mr. Howard's final
perspective of a native drama he did so much to make known as native.

The most national of Howard's plays is "Shenandoah;" it is chosen for
the present volume as representative of the military drama, of which
there are not many examples, considering the Civil War possibilities
for stage effect. Clyde Fitch's "Barbara Frietchie," James A. Herne's
"Griffith Davenport," Fyles and Belasco's "The Girl I Left Behind Me,"
Gillette's "Secret Service," and William DeMille's "The Warrens of
Virginia"--a mere sheaf beside the Revolutionary list which might be
compiled.

According to one authority, "Shenandoah" was built upon the
foundations of a play by Howard, produced at Macauley's Theatre,
Louisville, Kentucky. As stated by Professor Matthews, the facts are
that Howard took a piece, "Drum Taps," to Lester Wallack; who, true
to his English tradition, said that if it was changed in time from
the Civil War to the Crimean, he might consider it. It is certain,
however, that if the cast of characters, as first given under the
management of Montgomery Field, at the old Boston Museum, November
19, 1888, be compared with the program of the New York Star Theatre,
September 13, 1889, it will be found that the manuscript must have
been considerably altered and shifted, before it reached the shape now
offered here as the authentic text. The fact of the matter is, it was
not considered a "go" in Boston; we are informed that such managers
as Palmer and Henry E. Abbey prophesied dire end for the piece. But
Charles Frohman hastened to Boston, on the advice of his brother,
Daniel, and, giving half-interest in the piece to Al Hayman, he
arranged with Field for rights, procured "time" at the Star Theatre
with Burnham, and, as is told in "C.F.'s" biography, hastened to
Stamford, Connecticut, to talk with Howard. According to this source,
he said to the playwright:

    "You are a very great dramatist, Mr. Howard, and I am only
    a theatrical manager, but I think I can see where a possible
    improvement might be made in the play. For one thing, I think
    two acts should be merged into one, and I don't think you have
    made enough out of Sheridan's ride."

The opening night, with General Sherman in the audience, was a
memorable occasion. It was the beginning of "C.F.'s" rapid rise
to managerial importance, it ushered in the era of numberless road
companies playing the same piece, it met with long "runs," and the
royalty statements mounted steadily in bulk for Howard. It was the
success of the hour.

But "Shenandoah" is undoubtedly conventional; its melodramatic effects
are dependent on stage presentment rather than on the printed page.
In fact, so much an artisan of the theatre was Mr. Howard that he was
always somewhat skeptical of the modern drama in print. When he was
persuaded to issue his last piece, "Kate," in book form, he consented
to the publisher's masking it as a novel in dialogue, hoping thus,
as his prefatory note states, "to carry the imagination directly to
scenes of real life and not to the stage." To the last there was a
distinction in his mind between literature and the drama. It is since
this was written that the play form, nervous and quick, even in its
printed shape, has become widely accepted.

"Shenandoah" is a play of pictorial effects and swiftly changing
sentiment. Were there a national repertory, this would be included
among the plays, not because of its literary quality, but because of
the spirit to be drawn from its situations, framed expressly for
the stage, and because of its pictures, dependent wholly upon stage
accessory. It is an actable play, and most of our prominent actors,
coming out of the period of the late 80's, had training in it.



THE AMERICAN DRAMA

by

BRONSON HOWARD


In considering the present standing of the American drama, compared
with the time when there was little or nothing worthy of the name,
the one significant fact has been the gradual growth of a body of men
engaged in writing plays. Up to the time I started in 1870, American
plays had been written only sporadically here and there by men and
women who never met each other, who had no personal acquaintance of
any kind, no sympathies, no exchange of views; in fact, no means of
building up such a body of thought in connection with their art as is
necessary to form what is called a school.

In what we now style Broadway productions the late Augustin Daly stood
absolutely alone, seeing no other future for his own dramatic works
except by his own presentation of them. Except for Daly, I was
practically alone; but he offered me the same opportunity and promise
for the future that he had given to himself. From him developed a
school of managers willing and eager to produce American plays on
American subjects. Other writers began to drop into the profession;
but still they seldom met, and it was not until about 1890 that they
suddenly discovered themselves as a body of dramatists. This was at
a private supper given at the Lotos Club to the veteran playwright
Charles Gaylor, who far antedated Daly himself. To the astonishment of
those making the list of guests for that supper, upward of fifty men
writing in America who produced plays were professionally entitled to
invitations, and thirty-five were actually present at the supper. A
toast to seven women writers not present was also honoured.

This was the origin of the American Dramatists Club. The moment these
men began to know each other personally, the process of intellectual
attrition began, which will probably result eventually in a strong
school. That supper took place only sixteen years ago; so we are yet
only in the beginning of the great movement. Incidentally, it is also
necessarily the beginning of a school of dramatic criticism of that
art. It is difficult to suppose that a body of critics, merely learned
in the dramatic art of Europe, can be regarded as forming a school of
America.

To go to Paris to finish your education in dramatic art, and return to
New York and make comments on what you see in the theatre, is not to
be an American dramatic critic, nor does it tend in any way to found a
school of American dramatic criticism. The same is true of the man who
remains in New York and gets his knowledge of the drama from reading
foreign newspapers and books.

I stated in a former article in this magazine, "First Nights in London
and New York," that is was only within the last twenty-five or thirty
years that a comparison between the cities and the conditions had
become possible, for the reason that prior to that time there was
really no American drama. There were a few American plays, and their
first productions did not assume the least importance as social
events. As far as any comparison is possible between the early
American dramatists (I mean the first of the dramatists who were the
starting point in the later '60's and early '70's) and those of the
present day, I think of only two important points. There was one
advantage in each case. The earlier dramatists had their choice of
many great typical American characters, such as represented in _Solon
Shingle, Colonel Sellers, Joshua Whitcomb, Bardwell Slote, Mose, Davy
Crockett, Pudd'nhead Wilson,_ and many others.

This advantage was similar in a small way to the tremendous advantage
that the earliest Greek dramatists had in treating the elemental
emotions; on the other hand, we earlier writers in America were
liable to many errors, some of them actually childish, which the
young dramatist of to-day, in constant association with his fellow
playwrights, and placing his work almost in daily comparison with
theirs, could not commit. To do so a man would have to be a much
greater fool than were any of us; and the general improvement in the
technical work of plays by young dramatists now, even plays that
are essentially weak and which fail, is decided encouragement and
satisfaction to one of my age who can look back over the whole
movement.

The American dramatist of to-day, without those great and specially
prominent American characters who stood, as it were, ready to go on
the stage, has come to make a closer study of American society than
his predecessors did. They are keen also in seizing strikingly marked
new types in American life as they developed before the public from
decade to decade.

A notable instance is the exploitation by Charles Klein of the
present-day captain of industry in "The Lion and the Mouse." The
leading character in the play is differentiated on the stage, as in
life, from the Wall Street giant of about 1890, as illustrated in
one of my own plays, "The Henrietta." Mr. Klein's character of the
financial magnate has developed in this country since my active days
of playwriting, and the younger dramatist was lying in wait, ready for
him, and ready to seize his peculiarities for stage purposes.

Another thing is the fact that our dramatists are doing what our
literary men have done, namely, availing themselves of the striking
local peculiarities in various parts of the country. A marked
illustration of this now before the public is Edward Milton Royle's
"Squawman," recently at Wallack's Theatre. The dramatist has caught
his picture just in the nick of time, just before the facts of life
in the Indian Territory are passing away. He has preserved the picture
for us as George W. Cable, the novelist, preserved pictures of Creole
life of old New Orleans, made at the last possible moment.

I could go on mentioning many other plays illustrating phases of life
and society in America, and there could be no better or more positive
proof that a school of American dramatists already exists. This school
will undoubtedly continue to improve in the technical quality of
its work, exactly as it has done in the past, and probably with more
rapidity.

The question has been discussed as to whether we are ever likely to
produce an Ibsen or a Shaw, and under what conditions he would be
received. As far as concerns what may happen in the future in the way
of producing absolutely great dramatists and great plays, using the
word 'great' in the international and historical sense, the opinion of
anyone on that subject is mere guesswork and absolutely valueless.

The greatest drama in history was produced by Greece about four or
five centuries before Christ, and for a few generations afterward.
Since Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, Greece has scarcely given us
anything. Aristophanes and Menander are of course remembered, but the
writers who endeavoured to follow in the footsteps of the masters
were of far inferior merit. The Roman Empire existed for nearly two
thousand years without producing any drama of its own worthy of
the name. The Romans were not a dramatic people. The works of the
so-called Latin dramatists, such as those of Plautus and Terence, were
mere imitations of the Greek.

France and England had sudden bursts of greatness followed by general
mediocrity, with occasional great writers whose advent could not
possibly have been predicted by anything in art preceding them. Even
the exception to this in France, in the middle of the nineteenth
century, was apparently a flash of light that disappeared almost as
suddenly as it came. What is the use of posing as a prophet with such
a record of the past? Anyone else is at liberty to do so. I would
as soon act as harlequin. Was there any wise man in England who,
twenty-four hours before that momentous event in April, 1564, could
predict that a baby named William Shakespeare would be born the next
day? To say that an American dramatist is to appear this year or in a
thousand years who will make an epoch is simply ridiculous.

That Ibsen exercised and will exercise great influence on American
dramatists there can be little doubt. His skill was no mere accident.
He was the most finished development of the French school of the
nineteenth century, as well as the most highly artificial individual
dramatist of that school. I call it the strictly logical school
of dramatic construction. I use the word 'artificial' in its more
artistic sense, as opposed to the so-called natural school. His
subjects of course were national, and not French. Whether his
pessimism was national or personal, I have not been able to discover.
It seemed to me that he was a pessimistic man dealing with a nation
inclined to pessimism, but that had nothing to do with the technical
qualities of the man any more than the national peculiarities of
Denmark had to do with Thorvaldsen as a follower of Greek sculpture.

As to the policy of our theatre managers, I confess that they do
follow each other; but it is simply because they think the leader they
happen to be following has discovered a current of temporary popular
taste. The authors have the same interest as the managers, and you
will always find them watching the public taste in the same manner.

Occasionally an individual dramatist, and not always the best from a
technical point of view, will develop such a strong personal bias as
to write on subjects suggested by his own tastes, without any regard
to the current of popular wishes. If he is a strong enough man he will
become a leader of the public in his dramatic tastes. Sometimes in
rare instances he will influence the public so decidedly that he
compels the contemporary school of writers to follow him. This has
been the case in all periods. I need not mention Shakespeare, as
everything said about him is a matter of course.

Take the vile dramatic era of Charles II. Wycherley led the brutes,
but Congreve came up and combatted with his brilliant comedies the
vileness of the Restoration school, and Hallam says of him that he
introduced decency to the stage that afterward drove his own comedies
off it. A little after Congreve, the school, so to speak, for we have
nothing but the school, was so stupid that it brought forth no great
writers, and produced weak, sentimental plays. Then came Goldsmith,
who wrote "She Stoops to Conquer" actually as a protest against the
feeble sentimentality I have referred to. Richard Brinsley Sheridan
was made possible by Goldsmith. We went on after that with a school
of old comedies. When we speak of the "old comedies," I am not talking
about Beaumont and Fletcher, nor Wycherley, nor Vanbrugh, nor even
Congreve, but of the comedy of Goldsmith in the third quarter of the
eighteenth century down to Bulwer Lytton's "Money" and Boucicault's
"London Assurance," bringing us to about 1840. Then there swung a
school of what we call the palmy days of old comedy, and in the '40's
it dwindled to nothing, and England and America waited until the early
'60's. Then came Tom Robertson with his so-called "tea-cup and saucer"
school, which consisted of sententious dialogue, simple situations,
conventional characterizations, and threads of plots, until Pinero and
Jones put a stop to the Robertson fad.

This proves in my judgment that the school always starts by being
shown what the popular taste is, and follows that, until some
individual discovery that the popular taste is changed. The tendency
of the school is always to become academic and fixed in its ideas--it
is the individual who points to the necessary changes. Schools and
these special individuals are interdependent.

As to the present comedies in America: in the first place, it is
impossible as a rule to decide fully what are the tendencies of a
school when one is living in the midst of its activities. There is no
marked tendency now; and as far as I can see it is only the occasional
man who discovers the tendency of the times. Pinero undoubtedly saw
that the public was tired of the "tea-cup and saucer." Probably had he
not thought so, he would have gone on in that school.

Undoubtedly more plays are written to order than are written on the
mere impulse of authors, independently of popular demand. The "order"
play simply represents the popular demand as understood by managers,
and the meeting of that demand in each age produces the great mass
of any nation's drama. So far from lowering the standard of dramatic
writing, it is a necessary impulse in the development of any drama. It
is only when the school goes on blindly without seeing a change in the
popular taste that the occasional man I have spoken of comes on. When
the work of the school is legitimately in line with the public taste,
the merely eccentric dramatist is like _Lord Dundreary's_ bird with a
single feather that goes in a corner and flocks all by itself. He may
be a strong enough man to attract attention to his individuality, and
his plays may be really great in themselves, but his work has
little influence on the development of the art. In fact, there is
no development of the art except in the line of popular taste. The
specially great men mentioned have simply discovered the changes in
the popular taste, and to a certain extent perhaps guided it.[A]


[Footnote A: Originally published in "The Sunday Magazine" (New York)
for October 7, 1906.]



=BOSTON MUSEUM=

1841

FORTY-EIGHTH REGULAR SEASON

MR. R.M. FIELD, MANAGER

=SHENANDOAH=

COMMENCING MONDAY, NOV. 19, 1889.

       *       *       *       *       *

Evenings at 7:45 and Wednesday and Saturday Afternoon at 2.

       *       *       *       *       *

FIRST TIME ON ANY STAGE
OF THIS
NEW MILITARY COMEDY

=SHENANDOAH!=

Written Expressly for the Boston Museum by
BRONSON HOWARD, ESQ.

Author of THE HENRIETTA, THE BANKER'S DAUGHTER, YOUNG MRS. WINTHROP,
ONE OF OUR GIRLS, OLD LOVE LETTER, ETC.

WITH ENTIRELY NEW SCENERY BY LA MOSS,
AND THE FOLLOWING CAST:


PEACE

COL. JOHN HAVERILL,                            Mr. THOS. L. COLEMAN
LIEUT. KERCHIVAL WEST,                            Mr. JOHN B. MASON  [Transcribers note: some unreadable text here]
LIEUT. ROB'T ELLINGHAM,                           Mr. CHAS. J. BELL
FRANK HAVERILL,                              Mr. EDGAR L. DAVENPORT
EDW. THORNTON, a Southerner "by choice,"         Mr. WILLIS GRANGER
MRS. HAVERILL                                 Miss ANNIE M. CLARKE
GERTRUDE ELLINGHAM, a Southern girl,               Miss VIOLA ALLEN
MADELINE WEST, a Northern girl,                    Miss HELEN DAYNE


WAR

MAJ. GEN. FRANCIS BUCKTHORN, Commander of the
  Nineteenth Army Corps                         Mr. C. LESLIE ALLEN
BRIG. GEN. HAVERILL,   {  Officers  }          Mr. THOS. L. COLEMAN
COL. KERCHIVAL WEST,   {      of    }             Mr. JOHN B. MASON
CAPT. HEARTSEASE,      { Sheridan's }             Mr. HENRY M. PITT
LIEUT. FRANK BEDLOE,   {  Cavalry   }        Mr. EDGAR L. DAVENPORT
SERGEANT BARKET,                                 Mr. GEO. W. WILSON
COL. ROBERT ELLINGHAM, 10th Virginia C.S.A.,      Mr. CHAS. J. BELL
CAPT. THORNTON, Secret Service, C.S.A.,          Mr. WILLIS GRANGER
LIEUT. HARDWICK, Surgeon, C.S.A.,                  Mr. GEORGE BLAKE
CORPORAL DUNN,                                      Mr. JAMES NOLAN
CAPT. LOCKWOOD, Signal Officer                   Mr. HERBERT PATTEE
BENSON,    {Cavalrymen }                              Mr. C.B. ABBE
WILKINS,   {           }                         Mr. HENRY MACDONNA
LIEUTENANTS,          {Cavalry}                 MR. H.P. WHITTEMORE
                      {Infantry}                  Mr. THOS. FRANCIS
MRS. HAVERILL,                                 Miss ANNIE M. CLARKE
GERTRUDE ELLINGHAM,                                Miss VIOLA ALLEN
MADELINE WEST,                                     Miss HELEN DAYNE
JENNY BUCKTHORN, U.S.A.,                        Miss MIRIAM O'LEARY
MRS. EDITH HAVERILL,                              Miss GRACE ATWELL
OLD MARGERY                                          Miss KATE RYAN
JANNETTE                                               Miss HARDING

There will be no intermission between Acts THIRD and FOURTH

[Transcriber's note: Unreadable text.]


ACT FIRST

Charleston Harbor in 1861

After the ball. Residence of the Ellinghams.

The citizens of Charleston knew almost the exact hour at
which the attack on Fort Sumter would begin, and they gathered
in the gray twilight of the morning to view the bombardment
as a spectacle.--NICOLAY, _Campaigns of the Civil War, Vol. I._

"I shall open fire in one hour."--BEAUREGARD'S _last message
to_ MAJOR ANDERSON. _Sent at 3:20 A.M., April 12, 1861_.


ACT SECOND

The Ellingham Homestead in Virginia

When the Union Army under Gen. Sheridan and the Confederate Army
under Gen. Early were encamped at Cedar Creek, almost twenty miles
south of Winchester, there was a Confederate signal station on Three Top
Mountain, overlooking both camps; [Transcriber's note: Unreadable] another, near the summit of
North Mountain, on the opposite side of the valley.--_Official Records and
Maps_.


ACTS THIRD and FOURTH

No Intermission between these Acts.

The Shenandoah Valley. Night and Morning. Three Top mountain.

[Transcriber's note: Unreadable text.]

While the two armies lay opposite each other, General Sheridan was called
to Washington. Soon after he left, a startling despatch was taken by our
own Signal Officers from the Confederate Signal Station on Three Top
Mountain.--POND, _Camp. Civ. War, Vol. XI._

On the morning of October 19th, the Union Army was taken completely by
surprise. Thoburn's position was swept in an instant. The men who
escaped capture fled to the river. Gordon burst suddenly upon the left
flank.--POND, _supra._


ACT FIFTH

Washington, 1826. Residence of Gen. Buckthorn.

_From Gen. Grant's Memoirs._

"I feel that we are on the eve of a great era when there is to be great harmony
between the Federal and Confederate."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Orchestra, under the direction of MR. GEORGE PURDY, will perform
the following selections:--

1. Overture--Le Caïd                                 Ambroise Thomas
2. Waltz--Ruby Royal                                     Louis Gregh
3. Selection--War Songs                         Arr. by George Purdy
      Introducing the following selections: Kingdom Coming, When
   This Cruel War Is Over, Babylon Is Fallen, [Transcriber's note: Unreadable text], The Vacant
   Chair, Tramp, Tramp, Johnny Comes Marching, Who Will Care For
   Mother Now? Tenting on the Old Camp Ground, Rally Round the
   Flag.
4. [Transcriber's note: Unreadable text]
5. March--[Transcriber's note: Unreadable text]

       *       *       *       *       *

THANKSGIVING DAY,
EXTRA SHENANDOAH MATINEE

       *       *       *       *       *

SEATS SECURED TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE DURING
THE [Transcriber's note: Unreadable text] OF SHENANDOAH.

       *       *       *       *       *

ACTING AND STAGE MANAGER                           MR. HENRY M. PITT



SHENANDOAH

_A MILITARY COMEDY IN FOUR ACTS_

_By_ BRONSON HOWARD

1897 BY BRONSON HOWARD

ALL RIGHTS INCLUDING THAT OF PERFORMANCE RESERVED

Reprinted from a privately printed edition, by permission of the
Society of American Dramatists and Composers, from a copy furnished
by Samuel French. It is here to be noted that the Society of American
Dramatists and Composers reserves all rights in "Shenandoah."



ORIGINAL CAST OF CHARACTERS


First produced at the Star Theatre, New York City, September 9, 1889.

GENERAL HAVERILL            }Officers of{ Wilton Lackaye.
COLONEL KERCHIVAL WEST      }Sheridan's { Henry Miller.
CAPTAIN HEARTSEASE          }Cavalry    { Morton Selton.
LIEUTENANT FRANK BEDLOE     }           { G.W. Bailey.

MAJOR-GENERAL FRANCIS BUCKTHORN,
Commander of the 19th Army Corps          Harry Harwood.

SERGEANT BARKET                           James O. Barrows.

COLONEL ROBERT ELLINGHAM, 10th Virginia   Lucius Henderson.

CAPTAIN THORNTON, Secret Service, C.S.A.  John E. Kellard.

LIEUTENANT OF SIGNAL CORPS                Harry Thorn.

LIEUTENANT OF INFANTRY                    Geo. Maxwell.

MRS. CONSTANCE HAVERILL                   Dorothy Dorr.

GERTRUDE ELLINGHAM                        Viola Allen.

MADELINE WEST                             Nanette Comstock.

JENNY BUCKTHORN, U.S.A.                   Effie Shannon.

MRS. EDITH HAVERILL                       Alice B. Haines.

HARDWICK (SURGEON)                        W.L. Dennison.

CAPTAIN LOCKWOOD, U.S. Signal Corps       C.C. Brandt.

CORPORAL DUNN                             W.J. Cummings.

BENSON                                    Wm. Barnes.

OLD MARGERY                               Mrs. Haslam.

JANNETTE                                  Esther Drew.



COSTUMES


HAVERILL.--Act I. Full Evening Dress.--Acts 2 and 3. Uniform of
Brigadier-General, U.S. Vol., 1864. Active Service, rough and
war-worn.--Act 4. Civil Costume, Prince Albert, &c.

KERCHIVAL WEST.--Act I. Full Evening Dress.--Acts 2 and 3. Uniform
of Colonel of Cavalry, U.S. Vol., 1864 (with cloak in Act 3). Active
Service, rough and war-worn.--Act 4. Travelling.

CAPTAIN HEARTSEASE.--Act 2. Uniform of Captain of Cavalry, 1864;
as neat and precise as is consistent with Active Service.--Act 4.
Afternoon; Civil.

LIEUTENANT FRANK BEDLOE.--Act 2. Lieutenant of Cavalry, 1864; Active
Service. He must have a full beard.--Act 3. Same, disarranged for
wounded man on stretcher.

GENERAL BUCKTHORN.--Acts 2 and 3. Major-General, 1864. Active
Service.--Act 3. Same.--Act 4. Civil. Afternoon.

SERGEANT BARKET.--Acts 2 and 3. Sergeant of Cavalry, U.S. Vol., 1864.
Active Service.--Act 4. Plain undress uniform, sacque or jacket.

ROBERT ELLINGHAM.--Act I. Full Evening Dress.--Act 2. Confederate
Colonel: Infantry, 1864. Active Service.--Act 4. Citizen; afternoon.
Prince Albert (Gray).

EDWARD THORNTON.--Act I. Riding, but not present English Cut.--Act 2.
First, Confederate Captain of Cavalry. Active Service. Second costume,
same, in shirt sleeves and without hat or cap.

HARDWICK.--Uniform of Confederate Surgeon, 1864. Active Service.

CORPORAL DUNN.--Uniform of rank, Cavalry, U.S. Vol., 1864. Active
Service.

BENSON.--Uniform of 2nd Corporal, Cavalry, U.S. Vol., 1864. Active
Service.

LIEUTENANT OF INFANTRY.--Uniform of rank, U.S. Vol., 1864. Active
Service.

MRS. HAVERILL.--Act I. Full evening ball dress.--Act 4. Mourning, but
not too deep.

GERTRUDE ELLINGHAM.--Act I. Riding habit.--Act 2. First costume,
afternoon at home; simple enough for the South during war. Second
costume, picturesque and not conventional dress and hat for
riding.--Act 3. First costume of Act 2, or similar.--Act 4. Neat
travelling costume.

MADELINE WEST.--Act I. Full evening ball dress.--Act 2. Pretty
afternoon costume.--Act 3. Same or walking.--Act 4. Afternoon costume
at home.

JENNY BUCKTHORN.--Act 2. Pretty afternoon costume, with military cut,
trimmings and general air.--Act 3. Same.--Act 4. Afternoon costume at
home.

MRS. EDITH HAVERILL.--Young widow's costume.

OLD MARGERY.--Neat old family servant.

JANNETTE.--Young servant.



FOR PROGRAMME


In ACT I, just before the opening of the war, HAVERILL is a Colonel in
the Regular Army. KERCHIVAL WEST and ROBERT ELLINGHAM are Lieutenants
in his regiment, having been classmates at West Point.


ACT I.

CHARLESTON HARBOUR IN 1861. AFTER THE BALL.

The citizens of Charleston knew almost the exact hour at which the
attack on Fort Sumter would begin, and they gathered in the
gray twilight of the morning to view the bombardment as a
spectacle.--NICOLAY, _Campaigns of the Civil War, Vol. I._

"I shall open fire in one hour."--BEAUREGARD'S _last message to_ MAJOR
ANDERSON. _Sent at 3:20 A.M., April 12, 1861_.


ACTS II. AND III.

The Union Army, under General Sheridan, and the Confederate Army,
under General Early, were encamped facing each other about twenty
miles south of Winchester, on Cedar Creek. * * * General Sheridan was
called to Washington. Soon after he left, a startling despatch was
taken by our own Signal Officers from the Confederate Signal Station
on Three Top Mountain.--POND, _Camp. Civ. War, Vol. XI._

On the morning of October 19th, the Union Army was taken completely
by surprise. Thoburn's position was swept in an instant. Gordon burst
suddenly upon the left flank. The men who escaped capture streamed
through the camps along the road to Winchester.--POND, _supra._

Far away in the rear was heard cheer after cheer.--_Three Years in the
Sixth Corps._


ACT IV.

WASHINGTON, 1865. RESIDENCE OF GENERAL BUCKTHORN.

I feel that we are on the eve of a new era, when there is to be great
harmony between the Federal and Confederate.--GEN. GRANT'S _Memoirs._



SHENANDOAH

ACT I.

CHARLESTON HARBOUR IN 1861. "AFTER THE BALL."


SCENE. _A Southern Residence on the shore of Charleston Harbour.
Interior.--Large double doors up centre, open. Large, wide window,
with low sill. Veranda beyond the doors, and extending beyond window.
A wide opening with corridor beyond. Furniture and appointments quaint
and old-fashioned, but an air of brightness and of light; the general
tone of the walls and upholstery that of the old Colonial period in
its more ornamental and decorative phase, as shown in the early days
of Charleston. Old candlesticks and candelabra, with lighted candles
nearly burned down. Beyond the central doors and the window, there
is a lawn with Southern foliage, extending down to the shores of the
harbour; a part of the bay lies in the distance, with low-lying land
beyond. The lights of Charleston are seen over the water along the
shore. Moonlight. The gray twilight of early morning gradually steals
over the scene as the Act progresses._

DISCOVERED, _As the curtain rises_ KERCHIVAL WEST _is sitting in a
chair, his feet extended and his head thrown back, a handkerchief over
his face_. ROBERT ELLINGHAM _strolls in on veranda, beyond window,
smoking. He looks right, starts and moves to window; leans against the
upper side of the window and looks across._

ELLINGHAM. Kerchival!

KERCHIVAL. [_Under handkerchief_.] Eh? H'm!

ELLINGHAM. Can you sleep at a time like this? My own nerves are on
fire.

KERCHIVAL. Fire? Oh--yes--I remember. Any more fire-works, Bob?

ELLINGHAM. A signal rocket from one of the batteries, now and
then. [_Goes up beyond window_. KERCHIVAL _arouses himself, taking
handkerchief from his eyes._

KERCHIVAL. What a preposterous hour to be up. The ball was over an
hour ago, all the guests are gone, and it's nearly four o'clock.
[_Looks at his watch._] Exactly ten minutes of four. [_Takes out a
cigar._.] Our Southern friends assure us that General Beauregard is to
open fire on Fort Sumter this morning. I don't believe it. [_Lighting
cigar and rising, crosses and looks out through window._] There lies
the old fort--solemn and grim as ever, and the flagstaff stands above
it, like a warning finger. If they do fire upon it--[_Shutting his
teeth for a moment and looking down at the cigar in his hand._]--the
echo of that first shot will be heard above their graves, and heaven
knows how many of our own, also; but the flag will still float!--over
the graves of both sides.

[ELLINGHAM _enters up centre and comes down_.]

Are you Southerners all mad, Robert?

ELLINGHAM. Are you Northerners all blind? [KERCHIVAL _sits_.] We
Virginians would prevent a war if we could. But your people in the
North do not believe that one is coming. You do not understand the
determined frenzy of my fellow-Southerners. Look! [_Pointing_.] Do
you see the lights of the city, over the water? The inhabitants of
Charleston are gathering, even now, in the gray, morning twilight, to
witness the long-promised bombardment of Fort Sumter. It is to be a
gala day for them. They have talked and dreamed of nothing else for
weeks. The preparations have become a part of their social life--of
their amusement--their gayeties. This very night at the ball--here--in
the house of my own relatives--what was their talk? What were the
jests they laughed at? Sumter! War! Ladies were betting bonbons that
the United States would not dare to fire a shot in return, and pinning
ribbons on the breasts of their "heroes." There was a signal rocket
from one of the forts, and the young men who were dancing here left
their partners standing on the floor to return to the batteries--as
if it were the night before another Waterloo. The ladies themselves
hurried away to watch the "spectacle" from their own verandas. You
won't see the truth! I tell you, Kerchival, a war between the North
and South is inevitable!

KERCHIVAL. And if it does come, you Virginians will join the rest.

ELLINGHAM. Our State will be the battle-ground, I fear. But every
loyal son of Virginia will follow her flag. It is our religion!

KERCHIVAL. My State is New York. If New York should go against the old
flag, New York might go to the devil. That is my religion.

ELLINGHAM. So differently have we been taught what the word
"patriotism" means!

KERCHIVAL. You and I are officers in the same regiment of the United
States Regular Army, Robert; we were classmates at West Point, and we
have fought side by side on the plains. You saved my scalp once; I'd
have to wear a wig, now, if you hadn't. I say, old boy, are we to be
enemies?

ELLINGHAM. [_Laying his hand over his shoulder._] My dear old comrade,
whatever else comes, our friendship shall be unbroken!

KERCHIVAL. Bob! [_Looking up at him._] I only hope that we shall never
meet in battle!

ELLINGHAM. In battle? [_Stepping down front._] The idea is horrible!

KERCHIVAL. [_Rising and crossing to him._] My dear old comrade, one of
us will be wrong in this great fight, but we shall both be honest in
it. [_Gives hand_, ELLINGHAM _grasps it warmly, then turns away._

ELLINGHAM. Colonel Haverill is watching the forts, also; he has been
as sad to-night as we have. Next to leaving you, my greatest regret is
that I must resign from his regiment.

KERCHIVAL. You are his favourite officer.

ELLINGHAM. Naturally, perhaps; he was my guardian.

_Enter_ HAVERILL. _He walks down, stopping centre._

HAVERILL. Kerchival! I secured the necessary passports? to the North
yesterday afternoon; this one is yours; I brought it down for you
early in the evening. [KERCHIVAL _takes paper. Goes to window._] I
am ordered direct to Washington at once, and shall start with Mrs.
Haverill this forenoon. You will report to Captain Lyon, of the 2d
Regiment, in St. Louis. Robert! I have hoped for peace to the last,
but it is hoping against hope. I feel certain, now, that the fatal
blow will be struck this morning. Our old regiment is already broken
up, and you, also, will now resign, I suppose, like nearly all your
fellow-Southerners in the service.

ELLINGHAM. You know how sorry I am to leave your command, Colonel!

HAVERILL. I served under your father in Mexico; he left me, at his
death, the guardian of you and your sister, Gertrude. Even since you
became of age, I have felt that I stood in his place. But you must be
your sister's only guardian now. Your father fell in battle, fighting
for our common country, but you--

ELLINGHAM. He would have done as I shall do, had he lived. He was a
Virginian!

HAVERILL. I am glad, Robert, that he was never called upon to decide
between two flags. He never knew but one, and we fought under it
together. [_Exit._

ELLINGHAM. Kerchival! Something occurred in this house to-night
which--which I shouldn't mention under ordinary circumstances, but
I--I feel that it may require my further attention, and you, perhaps,
can be of service to me. Mrs. Haverill, the wife of the Colonel--

KERCHIVAL. Fainted away in her room.

ELLINGHAM. You know?

KERCHIVAL. I was one of the actors in the little drama.

ELLINGHAM. Indeed!

KERCHIVAL. About half-past nine this evening, while the ladies were
dressing for the ball, I was going up-stairs; I heard a quick, sharp
cry, sprang forward, found myself at an open door. Mrs. Haverill lay
on the floor inside, as if she had just reached the door to cry for
help, when she fell. After doing all the unnecessary and useless
things I could think of, I rushed out of the room to tell your sister,
Gertrude, and my own sister, Madeline, to go and take care of the
lady. Within less than twenty minutes afterwards, I saw Mrs. Haverill
sail into the drawing-room, a thing of beauty, and with the glow of
perfect health on her cheek. It was an immense relief to me when I saw
her. Up to that time I had a vague idea that I had committed a murder.

ELLINGHAM. Murder!

KERCHIVAL. M--m. A guilty conscience. Every man, of course, does
exactly the wrong thing when a woman faints. When I rushed out of Mrs.
Haverill's room, I left my handkerchief soaked with water upon her
face. I must ask her for it; it's a silk one. Luckily, the girls
got there in time to take it off; she wouldn't have come to if they
hadn't. It never occurred to me that she'd need to breathe in my
absence. That's all I know about the matter. What troubles you? I
suppose every woman has a right to faint whenever she chooses. The
scream that I heard was so sharp, quick and intense that--

ELLINGHAM. That the cause must have been a serious one.

KERCHIVAL. Yes! So I thought. It must have been a mouse.

ELLINGHAM. Mr. Edward Thornton has occupied the next room to that of
Mrs. Haverill to-night.

KERCHIVAL. [_Crosses quickly._] What do you mean?

ELLINGHAM. During the past month or more he has been pressing, not to
say insolent, in his attentions to Mrs. Haverill.

KERCHIVAL. I've noticed that myself.

ELLINGHAM. And he is an utterly unscrupulous man; it is no fault of
mine that he was asked to be a guest at this house to-night. He came
to Charleston, some years ago, from the North, but if there are any
vices and passions peculiarly strong in the South, he has carried them
all to the extreme. In one of the many scandals connected with Edward
Thornton's name, it was more than whispered that he entered a lady's
room unexpectedly at night. But, as he killed the lady's husband in a
duel a few days afterwards, the scandal dropped.

KERCHIVAL. Of course; the gentleman received ample satisfaction as
an outraged husband, and Mr. Thornton apologized, I suppose, to his
widow.

ELLINGHAM. He has repeated the adventure.

KERCHIVAL. Do--you--think--that?

ELLINGHAM. I was smoking on the lawn, and glanced up at the window; my
eyes may have deceived me, and I must move cautiously in the matter;
but it couldn't have been imagination; the shadow of Edward Thornton's
face and head appeared upon the curtain.

KERCHIVAL. Whew! The devil!

ELLINGHAM. Just at that moment I, too, heard the stifled scream.

_Enter_ EDWARD THORNTON.

THORNTON. Gentlemen!

ELLINGHAM. Your name was just on my tongue, Mr. Thornton.

THORNTON. I thought I heard it, but you are welcome to it. Miss
Gertrude has asked me to ride over to Mrs. Pinckney's with her, to
learn if there is any further news from the batteries. I am very glad
the time to attack Fort Sumter has come at last!

ELLINGHAM. I do not share your pleasure.

THORNTON. You are a Southern gentleman.

ELLINGHAM. And you are a Northern "gentleman."

THORNTON. A Southerner by choice; I shall join the cause.

ELLINGHAM. We native Southerners will defend our own rights, sir; you
may leave them in our keeping. It is my wish, Mr. Thornton, that you
do not accompany my sister.

THORNTON. Indeed!

ELLINGHAM. Her groom, alone, will be sufficient.

THORNTON. As you please, sir. Kindly offer my excuses to Miss
Gertrude. You and I can chat over the subject later in the day, when
we are alone. [_Moving up stage._

ELLINGHAM. By all means, and another subject, also, perhaps.

THORNTON. I shall be entirely at your service.

[_Exit and down on veranda._

ELLINGHAM. Kerchival, I shall learn the whole truth, if possible,
to-day. If it is what I suspect--what I almost know--I will settle
with him myself. He has insulted our Colonel's wife and outraged the
hospitality of my friends. [_Walking right._

KERCHIVAL. [_Walking left._] I think it ought to be my quarrel. I'm
sure I'm mixed up in it enough.

MADELINE. [_Without, calling._] Kerchival!

ELLINGHAM. Madeline. [_Aside, starting_, KERCHIVAL _looks across at
him sharply._

KERCHIVAL. [_Aside._] I distinctly saw Bob give a start when he heard
Madeline. Now, what can there be about my sister's voice to make a man
jump like that?

GERTRUDE. [_Without._] Brother Robert!

KERCHIVAL. Gertrude! [_Aside, starting,_ ELLINGHAM _looks at him
sharply._] How the tones of a woman's voice thrill through a man's
soul!

_Enter_ MADELINE.

MADELINE. Oh, Kerchival--here you are.

_Enter_ GERTRUDE _from apartment, in a riding habit, with whip, etc._

GERTRUDE. Robert, dear! [_Coming down to_ ROBERT, _they converse in
dumb show._

MADELINE. Where are your field-glasses? I've been rummaging all
through your clothes, and swords, and sashes, and things. I've turned
everything in your room upside down.

KERCHIVAL. Have you?

MADELINE. I can't find your glasses anywhere. I want to look at the
forts. Another rocket went up just now. [_Runs and stands on piazza,
looking off right._

KERCHIVAL. A sister has all the privileges of a wife to upset a man's
things, without her legal obligation to put them straight again.
[_Glances at_ GERTRUDE.] I wish Bob's sister had the same privileges
in my room that my own has.

GERTRUDE. Mr. Thornton isn't going with me, you say?

ELLINGHAM. He requested me to offer you his apologies.

KERCHIVAL. May I accompany you? [ELLINGHAM _turns to window._

GERTRUDE. My groom, old Pete, will be with me, of course; there's no
particular need of anyone else. But you may go along, if you like.
I've got my hands full of sugar-plums for Jack. Dear old Jack--he
always has his share when we have company. I'm going over to Mrs.
Pinckney's to see if she's had any more news from General Beauregard;
her son is on the General's staff.

MADELINE. [_Looking off right_.] There's another rocket from Fort
Johnson; and it is answered from Fort Moultrie. Ah! [_Angrily._]
General Beauregard is a bad, wicked man! [_Coming down._

GERTRUDE. Oh! Madeline! You are a bad, wicked Northern girl to say
such a thing.

MADELINE. I _am_ a Northern girl.

GERTRUDE. And I am a Southern girl. [_They face each other._

KERCHIVAL. The war has begun. [_Dropping into chair._

ELLINGHAM _has turned from window; he strolls across, watching the
girls._

GERTRUDE. General Beauregard is a patriot.

MADELINE. He is a Rebel.

GERTRUDE. So am I.

MADELINE. Gertrude!--You--you--

GERTRUDE. Madeline!--You--

MADELINE. I--I--

GERTRUDE. I--

BOTH. O--O-h! [_Bursting into tears and rushing into each other's
arms, sobbing, then suddenly kissing each other vigorously._

KERCHIVAL. I say, Bob, if the North and South do fight, that will be
the end of it.

GERTRUDE. I've got something to say to you, Madeline, dear.
[_Confidentially and turning with her arms about her waist. The girls
sit, talking earnestly._

ELLINGHAM. Kerchival, old boy! There's--there's something I'd like to
say to you before we part to-day.

KERCHIVAL. I'd like a word with you, also!

MADELINE. You don't really mean that, Gertrude--with me?

ELLINGHAM. I'm in love with your sister Madeline.

KERCHIVAL. The devil you are!

ELLINGHAM. I never suspected such a thing until last night.

GERTRUDE. Robert was in love with you six weeks ago.

[MADELINE _kisses her._

KERCHIVAL. _I've_ made a discovery, too, Bob.

MADELINE. _I've_ got something to say to _you_, Gertrude.

KERCHIVAL. I'm in love with _your_ sister.

ELLINGHAM. [_Astonished._] You are?

MADELINE. Kerchival has been in love with you for the last three
months. [GERTRUDE _offers her lips--they kiss._

KERCHIVAL. I fell in love with her the day before yesterday. [_The two
gentlemen grasp each other's hand warmly._

ELLINGHAM. We understand each other, Kerchival. [_He turns up centre,
and stops at door._] Miss Madeline, you said just now that you wished
to watch the forts. Would you like to walk down to the shore?

MADELINE. Yes! [_Rising and going up to him. He takes one of her hands
in his own and looks at her earnestly._

ELLINGHAM. This will be the last day that we shall be together for the
present. But we shall meet again--sometime--if we both live.

MADELINE. If we both live! You mean--if _you_ live: You must go into
this dreadful war, if it comes.

ELLINGHAM. Yes, Madeline, I must. Come, let us watch for our fate.

[_Exeunt on veranda._

KERCHIVAL. [_Aside._] I must leave Charleston to-day. [_Sighs._] Does
she love me?

GERTRUDE. I am ready to start, Mr. West, when you are.

KERCHIVAL. Oh! Of course, I forgot. [_Rising._] I shall be delighted
to ride at your side.

GERTRUDE. At my side! [_Rising._] There isn't a horse in America that
can keep by the side of my Jack, when I give him his head, and I'm
sure to do it. You may follow us. But you can hardly ride in that
costume; while you are changing it, I'll give Jack his bonbons.
[_Turning to window._] There he is, bless him! Pawing the ground, and
impatient for me to be on his back. Let him come, Pete. [_Holding up
bonbons at window_]. I love you.

KERCHIVAL. Eh? [_Turning suddenly._

GERTRUDE. [_Looking at him._] What?

KERCHIVAL. You were saying--

GERTRUDE. Jack! [_looking out. The head of a large black horse appears
through the window._] You dear old fellow! [_Feeds with bonbons._]
Jack has been my boy ever since he was a little colt. I brought you
up, didn't I, Jack? He's the truest, and kindest, and best of friends;
I wouldn't be parted from him for the world, and I'm the only woman
he'll allow to be near him.

KERCHIVAL. [_Earnestly._] You are the only woman, Miss Gertrude, that
I--

GERTRUDE. Dear Jack!

KERCHIVAL. [_Aside._] Jack embarrasses me. He's a third party.

GERTRUDE. There! That will do for the present, Jack. Now go along with
Pete! If you are a very good boy, and don't let Lieutenant Kerchival
West come within a quarter of a mile of me, after the first three
minutes, you shall have some more sugar-plums when we get to Mrs.
Pinckney's. [_An old negro leads the horse away._ GERTRUDE _looks
around at_ KERCHIVAL.] You haven't gone to dress yet; we shall
be late. Mrs. Pinckney asked a party of friends to witness the
bombardment this morning, and breakfast together on the piazza while
they are looking at it. We can remain and join them, if you like.

KERCHIVAL. I hope they won't wait for breakfast until the bombardment
begins.

GERTRUDE. I'll bet you an embroidered cigar-case, Lieutenant, against
a box of gloves, that it will begin in less than an hour.

KERCHIVAL. Done! You will lose the bet. But you shall have the gloves;
and one of the hands that go inside them shall be--[_Taking one of her
hands; she withdraws it._

GERTRUDE. My own--until some one wins it. You don't believe that
General Beauregard will open fire on Fort Sumter this morning?

KERCHIVAL. No; I don't.

GERTRUDE. Everything is ready.

KERCHIVAL. It's so much easier to get everything ready to do a thing
than it is to do it. I have been ready a dozen times, this very night,
to say to you, Miss Gertrude, that I--that I--[_Pauses._

GERTRUDE. [_Looking down and tapping skirt with her whip._] Well?

KERCHIVAL. But I didn't.

GERTRUDE. [_Glancing up at him suddenly._] I dare say, General
Beauregard has more nerve than you have.

KERCHIVAL. It is easy enough to set the batteries around Charleston
Harbour, but the man who fires the first shot at a woman--

GERTRUDE. Woman!

KERCHIVAL. At the American flag--must have nerves of steel.

GERTRUDE. You Northern men are so slow to--

KERCHIVAL. I have been slow; but I assure you, Miss Gertrude, that my
heart--

GERTRUDE. What subject are we on now?

KERCHIVAL. You were complaining because I was too slow.

GERTRUDE. I was doing nothing of the kind, sir!--let me finish,
please. You Northern men are so slow to believe that our Southern
heroes--Northern _men_ and Southern _heroes_--you recognize the
distinction I make--you won't believe that they will keep their
promises. They have sworn to attack Fort Sumter this morning,
and--they--will do it. This "American Flag" you talk of is no longer
our flag: it is foreign to us!--It is the flag of an enemy!

KERCHIVAL. [_Tenderly and earnestly._] Am I your enemy?

GERTRUDE. You have told me that you will return to the North, and take
the field.

KERCHIVAL. Yes, I will. [_Decisively._

GERTRUDE. You will be fighting against my friends, against my own
brother, against me. We _shall_ be enemies.

KERCHIVAL. [_Firmly_.] Even that, Gertrude--[_She looks around at him;
he looks squarely into her eyes as he proceeds._]--if you will have it
so. If my country needs my services, I shall not refuse them, though
it makes us enemies! [_She wavers a moment, under strong emotion, and
turns away; sinks upon the seat, her elbow on the back of it, and her
tightly-clenched fist against her cheek, looking away from him._

GERTRUDE. I will have it so! I am a Southern woman!

KERCHIVAL. We have more at stake between us, this morning, than a
cigar-case and a box of gloves. [_Turning up stage._

_Enter_ MRS. HAVERILL _from apartment_.

MRS. HAVERILL. Mr. West! I've been looking for you. I have a favour to
ask.

KERCHIVAL. Of me?--with pleasure.

MRS. HAVERILL. But I am sorry to have interrupted you and Gertrude.
[_Apart._] There are tears in your eyes, Gertrude, dear!

GERTRUDE. [_Apart._] They have no right there.

MRS. HAVERILL. [_Apart._] I'm afraid I know what has happened. A
quarrel! and you are to part with each other so soon. Do not let
a girl's coquetry trifle with her heart until it is too late. You
remember the confession you made to me last night?

GERTRUDE. [_Apart._] Constance! [_Starting._] That is my secret; more
a secret now than ever.

MRS. HAVERILL. [_Apart._] Yes, dear; but you do love him. [GERTRUDE
_moves away._

GERTRUDE. You need not ride over with me, Mr. West.

KERCHIVAL. I can be ready in one moment.

GERTRUDE. I choose to go alone! Old Pete will be with me; and Jack,
himself, is a charming companion.

KERCHIVAL. If you prefer Jack's company to mine--

GERTRUDE. I do. [_Exit on veranda and down right._

KERCHIVAL. Damn Jack! But you will let me assist you to mount. [_Exit
after her._

MRS. HAVERILL. We leave for the North before noon, but every hour
seems a month. If my husband should learn what happened in my room
to-night, he would kill that man. What encouragement could I have
given him? Innocence is never on its guard--but, [_Drawing up._] the
last I remember before I fell unconscious, he was crouching before me
like a whipped cur! [_Starts as she looks out of the window._] There
is Mr. Thornton now--Ah! [_Angrily._] No,--I must control my own
indignation. I must keep him and Colonel Haverill from meeting before
we leave Charleston. Edward Thornton would shoot my husband down
without remorse. But poor Frank! I must not forget him, in my own
trouble. I have but little time left to care for his welfare.

_Re-enter_ KERCHIVAL.

KERCHIVAL. You said I could do you a favour, Mrs. Haverill?

MRS. HAVERILL. Yes, I wanted to speak with you about General
Haverill's son, Frank. I should like you to carry a message to
Charleston for me, as soon as it is light. It is a sad errand. You
know too well the great misfortune that has fallen upon my husband in
New York.

KERCHIVAL. His only son has brought disgrace upon his family name,
and tarnished the reputation of a proud soldier. Colonel Haverill's
fellow-officers sympathize with him most deeply.

MRS. HAVERILL. And poor young Frank! I could hardly have loved the boy
more if he had been my own son. If he had not himself confessed the
crime against the bank, I could not have believed him guilty. He has
escaped from arrest. He is in the city of Charleston. I am the only
one in all the world he could turn to. He was only a lad of fourteen
when his father and I were married, six years ago; and the boy has
loved me from the first. His father is stern and bitter now in his
humiliation. This note from Frank was handed to me while the company
were here last evening. I want you to find him and arrange for me to
meet him, if you can do it with safety. I shall give you a letter for
him.

KERCHIVAL. I'll get ready at once; and I will do all I can for the
boy. [_Turning._

MRS. HAVERILL. And--Mr. West! Gertrude and Madeline have told me
that--that--I was under obligations to you last evening.

KERCHIVAL. Don't mention it. I merely ran for them, and I--I'm very
glad you didn't choke--before they reached you. I trust you are quite
well now?

MRS. HAVERILL. I am entirely recovered, thank you. And I will ask
another favour of you, for we are old friends. I desire very much that
General Haverill should not know that--that any accident occurred to
me to-night--or that my health has not been perfect.

KERCHIVAL. Certainly, madam!

MRS. HAVERILL. It would render him anxious without cause.

KERCHIVAL [_Aside_.] It looks as if Robert was right; she doesn't want
the two men to meet.

_Enter_ HAVERILL. _A white silk handkerchief is in his hand_.

HAVERILL. Constance, my dear, I've been all over the place looking for
you. I thought you were in your room. But--by the way, Kerchival, this
is your handkerchief; your initials are on it. [KERCHIVAL _turns and
stares at him a second_. MRS. HAVERILL _starts slightly and turns
front_. HAVERILL _glances quickly from one to the other, then extends
his hands toward_ KERCHIVAL, _with the handkerchief_. KERCHIVAL _takes
it_. MRS. HAVERILL _drops into chair_.

KERCHIVAL. Thank you. [_He exits with a quick glance back._ HAVERILL
_looks at_ MRS. HAVERILL, _who sits nervously looking away. He then
glances after_ KERCHIVAL. _A cloud comes over his face, and he stands
a second in thought. Then, with a movement as if brushing away a
passing suspicion, he smiles pleasantly and approaches_ MRS. HAVERILL;
_leans over her_.

HAVERILL. My fair Desdemona! [_Smiling_.] I found Cassio's
handkerchief in your room. Have you a kiss for me? [_She looks up; he
raises her chin with a finger and kisses her_.] That's the way I shall
smother you.

MRS. HAVERILL. [_Rising and dropping her head upon his breast_.]
Husband!

HAVERILL. But what is this they have been telling me?

MRS. HAVERILL. What have they said to you?

HAVERILL. There was something wrong with you in the early part of the
evening; you are trembling and excited, my girl!

MRS. HAVERILL. It was nothing, John; I--I--was ill, for a few moments,
but I am well now.

HAVERILL. You said nothing about it to me.

MRS. HAVERILL. Do not give it another thought.

HAVERILL. Was there anything besides your health involved in the
affair? There was. [_Aside_.] How came this handkerchief in her room?

MRS. HAVERILL. My husband! I do not want to say anything more--at--at
present--about what happened to-night. There has never been a shadow
between us--will you not trust me?

HAVERILL. Shadow! You stand in a bright light of your own, my wife;
it shines upon my whole life--there can be no shadow there. Tell me
as much or as little as you like, and in your own time. I am sure you
will conceal nothing from me that I ought to know. I trust my honour
and my happiness to you, absolutely.

MRS. HAVERILL. They will both be safe, John, in my keeping. But there
is something else that I wish to speak with you about; something very
near to your heart--your son!

HAVERILL. My son!

MRS. HAVERILL. He is in Charleston.

HAVERILL. And not--in prison? To me he is nowhere. I am childless.

MRS. HAVERILL. I hope to see him to-day; may I not take him some kind
word from you?

HAVERILL. My lawyers in New York had instructions to provide him with
whatever he needed.

MRS. HAVERILL. They have done so, and he wants for nothing; he asks
for nothing, except that I will seek out the poor young wife--only a
girl herself--whom he is obliged to desert, in New York.

HAVERILL. His marriage was a piece of reckless folly, but I forgave
him that.

MRS. HAVERILL. I am sure that it was only after another was dependent
on him that the debts of a mere spendthrift were changed to fraud--and
crime.

HAVERILL. You may tell him that I will provide for her.

MRS. HAVERILL. And may I take him no warmer message from his father?

HAVERILL. I am an officer of the United States Army. The name which
my son bears came to me from men who had borne it with honour, and I
transmitted it to him without a blot. He has disgraced it, by his own
confession.

MRS. HAVERILL. _I_ cannot forget the poor mother who died when he was
born; her whose place I have tried to fill, to both Frank and to you.
I never saw her, and she is sleeping in the old graveyard at home. But
I am doing what she would do to-day, if she were living. No pride--no
disgrace--could have turned her face from him. The care and the love
of her son has been to me the most sacred duty which one woman can
assume for another.

HAVERILL. You have fulfilled that duty, Constance. Go to my son! I
would go with you, but he is a man now; he could not look into my
eyes, and I could not trust myself. But I will send him something
which a man will understand. Frank loves you as if you were his own
mother; and I--I would like him to--to think tenderly of me, also. He
will do it when he looks at this picture. [_Taking a miniature from
his pocket._

MRS. HAVERILL. Of me!

HAVERILL. I have never been without it one hour, before, since we were
married. He will recognize it as the one that I have carried through
every campaign, in every scene of danger on the Plains; the one that
has always been with me. He is a fugitive from justice. At times, when
despair might overcome him, this may give him nerve to meet his
future life manfully. It has often nerved me, when I might have failed
without it. Give it to him, and tell him that I send it. [_Giving
her the miniature._] I could not send a kinder message, and he will
understand it. [_Turning, stands a moment in thought._ THORNTON
_appears at window, looking at them quietly over his shoulder, a cigar
in his hand._ MRS. HAVERILL _sees him and starts with a suppressed
breath, then looks at_ HAVERILL, _who moves left. Aside._] My son! My
son! We shall never meet again! [_Exit in thought._

MRS. HAVERILL _looks after him earnestly, then turns and looks at
THORNTON, drawing up to her full height._ THORNTON _moves up stage,
beyond window._

MRS. HAVERILL. Will he dare to speak to me again? [_Enter_ THORNTON;
_he comes down quietly. He has thrown away cigar._

THORNTON. Mrs. Haverill! I wish to offer you an apology.

MRS. HAVERILL. I have not asked for one, sir!

THORNTON. Do you mean by that, that you will not accept one?

MRS. THORNTON. [_Aside_] What can I say? [_Aloud._] Oh, Mr.
Thornton!--for my husband's sake, I--

THORNTON. Ah! You are afraid that your husband may become involved in
an unpleasant affair. Your solicitude for his safety, madame, makes
me feel that my offense to-night was indeed unpardonable. No gentleman
can excuse himself for making such a mistake as I have made. I had
supposed that it was Lieutenant Kerchival West, who--

MRS. HAVERILL. What do you mean, sir?

THORNTON. But if it is your husband that stands between us--

MRS. HAVERILL. Let me say this, sir: whatever I may fear for my
husband, he fears nothing for himself.

THORNTON. He knows? [_Looking at her, keenly._] [_Enter_ KERCHIVAL
WEST, _now in riding suit._] [_He stops, looking at them._] You are
silent. Your husband does know what occurred to-night; that relieves
my conscience. [_Lightly._] Colonel Haverill and I can now settle it
between us.

MRS. HAVERILL. No, Mr. Thornton! My husband knows nothing, and, I beg
of you, do not let this horrible affair go further. [_Sees_ KERCHIVAL.

KERCHIVAL. Pardon me. [_Stepping forward._] I hope I am not
interrupting you. [_Aside._] It _was_ Thornton. [_Aloud._] You said
you would have a letter for me to carry, Mrs. Haverill.

MRS. HAVERILL. Yes, I--I will go up and write it at once. [_Crosses;
stops and looks back. Aside._] I wonder how much he overheard.

KERCHIVAL. [_Quietly._] I suppose eight o'clock will be time enough
for me to go?

MRS. HAVERILL. Oh, yes! [_Glancing at him a moment._]--quite.

[_Exit, through apartment._

KERCHIVAL. [_Quietly._] Mr. Thornton! you are a scoundrel! Do I make
myself plain?

THORNTON. You make the fact that you desire to pick a quarrel with me
quite plain, sir; but I choose my own quarrels and my own enemies.

KERCHIVAL. Colonel Haverill is my commander, and he is beloved by
every officer in the regiment.

THORNTON. On what authority, may I ask, do you--

KERCHIVAL. The honour of Colonel Haverill's wife is under our
protection.

THORNTON. Under your protection? You have a better claim than that,
perhaps, to act as her champion. Lieutenant Kerchival West is Mrs.
Haverill's favourite officer in the regiment.

KERCHIVAL. [_Approaching him._] You dare to suggest that I--

THORNTON. If I accept your challenge, I shall do so not because you
are her protector, but my rival.

KERCHIVAL. Bah! [_Striking him sharply on the cheek with glove. The
two men stand facing each other a moment._] Is it my quarrel now?

THORNTON. I think you are entitled to my attention, sir.

KERCHIVAL. My time here is limited.

THORNTON. We need not delay. The Bayou La Forge is convenient to this
place.

KERCHIVAL. I'll meet you there, with a friend, at once.

THORNTON. It will be light enough to see the sights of our weapons in
about one hour. [_They bow to each other, and_ THORNTON _goes out._

KERCHIVAL. I've got ahead of Bob.

GERTRUDE. [_Without._] Whoa! Jack! Old boy! Steady, now--that's a good
fellow.

KERCHIVAL. She has returned. I _must_ know whether Gertrude Ellingham
loves me--before Thornton and I meet. He is a good shot.

GERTRUDE. [_Without, calling._] O-h! Pete! You may take Jack to the
stable. Ha--ha--ha! [_Appears at window. To_ KERCHIVAL.] Old Pete, on
the bay horse, has been doing his best to keep up with us; but Jack
and I have led him such a race! Ha--ha--ha--ha! [_Disappearing beyond
the window._

KERCHIVAL. Does she love me?

GERTRUDE. [_Entering and coming down._] I have the very latest news
from the headquarters of the Confederate Army in South Carolina. At
twenty minutes after three this morning General Beauregard sent this
message to Major Anderson in Fort Sumter: "I shall open fire in one
hour!" The time is up!--and he will keep his word! [_Turning and
looking out of the window._ KERCHIVAL _moves across to her._

KERCHIVAL. Gertrude! I must speak to you; we may never meet again; but
I must know the truth. I love you. [_Seizing her hand._] Do you love
me? [_She looks around at him as if about to speak; hesitates._]
Answer me! [_She looks down with a coquettish smile, tapping her skirt
with her riding whip._] Well? [_A distant report of a cannon, and low
rumbling reverberations over the harbour._ GERTRUDE _turns suddenly,
looking out._ KERCHIVAL _draws up, also looking off._

GERTRUDE. A low--bright--line of fire--in the sky! It is a shell. [_A
second's pause; she starts slightly_.] It has burst upon the fort.
[_Looks over her shoulder at_ KERCHIVAL, _drawing up to her full
height_.] Now!--do you believe that we Southerners are in deadly
earnest?

KERCHIVAL. We Northerners are in deadly earnest, too. I have received
my answer. We are--enemies! [_They look at each other for a moment_.
[_Exit_ KERCHIVAL.

GERTRUDE. Kerchival! [_Moving quickly half across stage, looking
after him eagerly; stops._] Enemies! [_She drops into chair, sobbing
bitterly. Another distant report, and low, long reverberations as the
curtain descends_.

CURTAIN.



ACT II.


SCENE. _The Ellingham Homestead in the Shenandoah Valley. Exterior.
Three Top Mountain in the distance. A corner of the house, with
projecting end of veranda. Low wall extending up from veranda. A wide
opening in the wall, with a low, heavy stone post, with flat top, on
each side. Beyond the wall and opening, a road runs across stage.
At the back of this road, elevation of rock and turf. This slopes up
behind wood wing. It is level on the top about twelve feet; slopes
down to road, and also out behind wood wings. The level part in the
centre rises to about four feet above the stage. Beyond this elevation
the distance is a broad valley, with Three Top Mountain rising on the
right. Foliage appropriate to northern Virginia--walnut, cottonwood,
&c. Rustic seats and table. Seat near veranda. A low rock near the
stone post. Sunset when curtain rises. As the act proceeds this fades
into twilight and then bright moonlight. The number references for the
trumpet signals, in this and the next act, are to the official book,
entitled "Cavalry Tactics, United States Army," published by D.
Appleton & Co., N.Y., 1887. The number references for the Torch
Signals, in this act, are to the General Service Code. This code may
be found, with illustrations and instructions, in a book entitled
"Signal Tactics," by Lieutenant Hugh T. Reed, U.S. Army, published by
John Riley & Sons, N.Y., 1880. At rise of curtain, Trumpet Signal
No. 34 or No. 35 is heard very distant._ GERTRUDE _and_ MADELINE
_discovered on elevation up center._ GERTRUDE _is shading her eyes
with her hand and looking off._ MADELINE _stands a little below her,
on the incline, resting her arm about_ GERTRUDE'S _waist, also looking
off._

GERTRUDE. It is a regiment of Union Cavalry. The Federal troops now
have their lines three miles beyond us, and only a month ago the
Confederate Army was north of Winchester. One army or the other has
been marching up and down the Shenandoah Valley for three years. I
wonder what the next change will be. We in Virginia have had more than
our share of the war. [_Looking off._

MADELINE. You have, indeed, Gertrude. [_Walking down to seat._] And we
at home in Washington have pitied you so much. But everybody says that
there will be peace in the Valley after this. [_Dropping into seat._

GERTRUDE. Peace! [_Coming down._] That word means something very
different to us poor Southerners from what it means to you.

MADELINE. I know, dear; and we in the North know how you have
suffered, too. We were very glad when General Buckthorn was appointed
to the command of the Nineteenth Army Corps, so that Jenny could get
permission for herself and me to come and visit you.

GERTRUDE. The old General will do anything for Jenny, I suppose.

MADELINE. Yes. [_Laughing._] We say in Washington that Jenny is in
command of the Nineteenth Army Corps herself.

GERTRUDE. I was never more astonished or delighted in my life than
when you and Jenny Buckthorn rode up, this morning, with a guard from
Winchester; and Madeline, dear, I--I only wish that my brother Robert
could be here, too. Do you remember in Charleston, darling--that
morning--when I told you that--that Robert loved you?

MADELINE. He--[_Looking down._]--he told me so himself only a little
while afterwards, and while we were standing there, on the shore of
the bay--the--the shot was fired which compelled him to enter this
awful war--and me to return to my home in the North.

GERTRUDE. I was watching for that shot, too. [_Turning._

MADELINE. Yes--[_Rising_.]--you and brother Kerchival--

GERTRUDE. We won't talk about that, my dear. We were speaking of
Robert. As I told you this morning, I have not heard from him since
the battle of Winchester, a month ago. Oh, Madeline! the many, many
long weeks, like these, we have suffered, after some terrible battle
in which he has been engaged. I do not know, now, whether he is living
or dead.

MADELINE. The whole war has been one long suspense to me. [_Dropping
her face into her hands_.

GERTRUDE. My dear sister! [_Placing her arm about her waist and moving
left_.] You are a Northern girl, and I am a Rebel--but we are sisters.
[_They go up veranda and out_. An OLD COUNTRYMAN _comes in on a cane.
He stops and glances back, raises a broken portion of the capstone
of post, and places a letter under it_. GERTRUDE _has stepped back on
veranda and is watching him. He raises his head sharply, looking at
her and bringing his finger to his lips. He drops his head again, as
with age, and goes out._

GERTRUDE _moves down to stage and up to road, looks right and left,
raises the broken stone, glancing back as she does so; takes letter
and moves down_.] Robert is alive! It is his handwriting! [_Tears open
the wrapper_.] Only a line from him! and this--a despatch--and also a
letter to me! Why, it is from Mrs. Haverill--from Washington--with a
United States postmark. [_Reads from a scrap of paper_.]

"The enclosed despatch must be in the hands of Captain Edward Thornton
before eight o'clock to-night. We have signaled to him from Three Top
Mountain, and he is waiting for it at the bend in Oak Run. Our trusty
scout at the Old Forge will carry it if you will put it in his hands."

The scout is not there, now; I will carry it to Captain Thornton
myself. I--I haven't my own dear horse to depend on now; Jack knew
every foot of the way through the woods about here; he could have
carried a despatch himself. I can't bear to think of Jack; it's
two years since he was captured by the enemy--and if he is still
living--I--I suppose he is carrying one of their officers. No! Jack
wouldn't fight on that side. He was a Rebel--as I am. He was one of
the Black Horse Cavalry--his eyes always flashed towards the North.
Poor Jack! my pet. [_Brushing her eyes_.] But this is no time for
tears. I must do the best I can with the gray horse. Captain Thornton
shall have the despatch. [_Reads from note_.]

"I also enclose a letter for you. I found it in a United States
mail-bag which we captured from the enemy."

Oh--that's the way Mrs. Haverill's letter came--ha--ha--ha--by way of
the Rebel Army! [_Opens it; reads._]

"My Darling Gertrude: When Colonel Kerchival West was in Washington
last week, on his way from Chattanooga, to serve under Sheridan in the
Shenandoah Valley, he called upon me. It was the first time I had seen
him since the opening of the war. I am certain that he still loves
you, dear." [_She kisses the letter eagerly, then draws up._

It is quite immaterial to me whether Kerchival West still loves me or
not. [_Reads._

"I have kept your secret, my darling."--Ah! my secret!--"but I
was sorely tempted to betray the confidence you reposed in me at
Charleston. If Kerchival West had heard you say, as I did, when your
face was hidden in my bosom, that night, that you loved him with your
whole heart--"--Oh! I could bite my tongue out now for making that
confession--[_Looks down at letter with a smile._] "I am certain
that he still loves you." [_Trumpet Signal No. 41. Kisses the letter
repeatedly. Trumpet Signal No. 41, louder than at first. She starts,
listening._

JENNY BUCKTHORN _runs in on the veranda._

JENNY. Do you hear, Gertrude, they are going to pass this very house.
[_Military band. "John Brown" playing in the distance. Chorus of
Soldiers._] I've been watching them through my glass; it is Colonel
Kerchival West's regiment.

GERTRUDE. [_Eagerly, then coldly._] Colonel West's! It is perfectly
indifferent to me whose regiment it is.

JENNY. Oh! Of course. [_Coming down._] It is equally indifferent to
me; Captain Heartsease is in command of the first troop. [_Trumpet
Signal No. 52._] Column right! [_She runs up to road. Looks._] They
are coming up the hill.

GERTRUDE. At my very door! And Kerchival West in command! I will not
stand here and see them pass. The despatch for Captain Thornton! I
will carry it to him as soon as they are gone. [_Exit up veranda, the
band and chorus increasing in volume._

JENNY. Cavalry! That's the branch of the service I was born in; I was
in a fort at the time--on the Plains. Sergeant Barket always said that
my first baby squall was a command to the garrison; if any officer
or soldier, from my father down, failed to obey my orders, I
court-martialed him on the spot. I'll make 'em pass in review.
[_Jumping up on the rustic seat._] Yes! [_Looking off._] There's
Captain Heartsease himself, at the head of the first troop. Draw
sabre! [_With parasol._] Present! [_Imitating the action. Music. The
band and chorus now full and loud; she swings parasol in time. Trumpet
Signal No. 40. Band and chorus suddenly cease._] Halt! Why, they are
stopping here. [_Trumpet Signal No. 38._] Dismount! I--I wonder if
they are going to--I do believe--[_Looking left eagerly. Trumpet
Signal No. 17._] Assembly of Guard Details! As sure as fate, they
are going into camp here. We girls will have a jolly time. [_Jumping
down._] Ha--ha--ha--ha! Let me see. How shall I receive Captain
Heartsease? He deserves a court-martial, for he stole my lace
handkerchief--at Mrs. Grayson's reception--in Washington. He was
called away by orders to the West that very night, and we haven't met
since. [_Sighs._] He's been in lots of battles since then; I suppose
he's forgotten all about the handkerchief. We girls, at home, don't
forget such things. We aren't in battles. All we do is to--to scrape
lint and flirt with other officers.

_Enter_ CAPTAIN HEARTSEASE, _followed by_ COLONEL ROBERT ELLINGHAM;
_stops at gate._

HEARTSEASE. This way, Colonel Ellingham. [_They enter. As they come
down,_ HEARTSEASE _stops suddenly, looking at_ JENNY; _puts up his
glasses._] Miss Buckthorn!

JENNY. Captain Heartsease!

HEARTSEASE. [_Very quietly and with perfect composure._] I am
thunderstruck. The unexpected sight of you has thrown me into a fever
of excitement.

JENNY. Has it? [_Aside._] If he gets so excited as that in battle, it
must be awful. [_Aloud._] Colonel Ellingham! [_Crossing to him._

ELLINGHAM. Miss Buckthorn! You are visiting my sister? I am what may
be called a visitor--by force--myself.

JENNY. Oh! You're a prisoner!

ELLINGHAM. I ventured too far within the Union lines to-night, and
they have picked me up. But Major Wilson has kindly accepted my
parole, and I shall make the best of it.

JENNY. Is Major Wilson in command of the regiment?

HEARTSEASE. Yes. Colonel West is to join us at this point, during the
evening.

ELLINGHAM. I am very glad you are here, Miss Buckthorn, with Gertrude.

JENNY. Somebody here will be delighted to see you, Colonel.

ELLINGHAM. My sister can hardly be pleased to see me as a prisoner.

JENNY. Not your sister. [_Passing him and crossing to veranda, turns
and beckons to him. She motions with her thumb over her shoulder. He
goes up the steps of the veranda and turns._

ELLINGHAM. What do you mean?

JENNY. I mean this--[_Reaching up her face, he leans down, placing his
ear near her lips._]--somebody else's sister! When she first sees you,
be near enough to catch her.

ELLINGHAM. I understand you! Madeline! [_Exit on veranda._ JENNY _runs
up steps after him, stops and looks back at_ HEARTSEASE _over the
railing._ HEARTSEASE _takes a lace handkerchief from his pocket._

JENNY. I do believe that's my handkerchief. [A GUARD OF SENTRIES
_marches in and across stage in road. The_ CORPORAL _in command orders
halt and a_ SENTRY _to post, then marches_ GUARD _out. The_ SENTRY
_stands with his back to audience, afterwards moving out, appearing
and disappearing during Act._

HEARTSEASE. Miss Buckthorn! I owe you an apology. After I left
your side, the last time we met, I found your handkerchief in my
possession. I assure you, it was an accident.

JENNY. [_Aside, pouting._] I thought he _intended_ to steal it.
[_Aloud._] That was more than a year ago. [_Then brightly._] Do you
always carry it with you?

HEARTSEASE. Always; there. [_Indicating his left breast pocket._

JENNY. Next to his heart!

HEARTSEASE. Shall I return it to you?

JENNY. Oh, if a lace handkerchief can be of any use to you, Captain,
during the hardships of a campaign--you--you may keep that one. You
soldiers have so few comforts--and it's real lace.

HEARTSEASE. Thank you. [_Returning handkerchief to his pocket._] Miss
Buckthorn, your papa is in command of the Nineteenth Army Corps. He
doesn't like me.

JENNY. I know it.

HEARTSEASE. But you are in command of him,

JENNY. Yes; I always have been.

HEARTSEASE. If ever you decide to assume command of any other man,
I--I trust you will give _me_ your orders.

JENNY. [_Aside, starting back._] If that was intended for a proposal,
it's the queerest-shaped one I ever heard of. [_Aloud._] Do you mean,
Captain, that--that you--I must command myself now. [_Shouldering her
parasol._] 'Bout--face! March! [_Turning squarely around, marches up
and out on veranda._

HEARTSEASE. I have been placed on waiting orders. [_Stepping up and
looking after her; then very quietly and without emotion._] I am in an
agony of suspense. The sight of that girl always arouses the strongest
emotions of my nature.

[_Enter_ COLONEL KERCHIVAL WEST, _looking at paper in his hand. The_
SENTINEL, _in road, comes to a salute._]

Colonel West!

KERCHIVAL. Captain!

HEARTSEASE. You have rejoined the regiment sooner than we expected.

KERCHIVAL. [_Looking at paper._] Yes; General Haverill is to meet me
here at seven o'clock. Major Wilson tells me that some of your company
captured Colonel Robert Ellingham, of the Tenth Virginia.

HEARTSEASE. He is here under parole.

KERCHIVAL. And this is the old Ellingham homestead. [_Aside._]
Gertrude herself is here, I suppose; almost a prisoner to me, like
her brother; and my troops surround their home. She must, indeed, feel
that I am her enemy now. Ah, well, war is war. [_Aloud._] By the bye,
Heartsease, a young Lieutenant, Frank Bedloe, has joined our troop?

HEARTSEASE. Yes; an excellent young officer.

KERCHIVAL. I sent for him as I came through the camp. Lieutenant Frank
"Bedloe" is the son of General Haverill.

HEARTSEASE. Indeed! Under an assumed name!

KERCHIVAL. He was supposed to have been killed in New Orleans more
than a year ago; but he was taken prisoner instead. [_Looking left._

HEARTSEASE. He is here.

KERCHIVAL. I should never have known him--with his full beard and
bronzed face. His face was as smooth as a boy's when I last met him in
Charleston.

_Enter_ LIEUTENANT FRANK BEDLOE; _he stops, saluting._

FRANK. You wished me to report to you, Colonel?

KERCHIVAL. You have been assigned to the regiment during my absence.

FRANK. Yes, sir. [KERCHIVAL _moves to him and grasps his hand; looks
into his eyes a moment before speaking._

KERCHIVAL. Frank Haverill.

FRANK. You--you know me, sir?

KERCHIVAL. I saw Mrs. Haverill while I was passing through Washington
on Saturday. She told me that you had escaped from prison in Richmond,
and had re-entered the service. She did not know then that you
had been assigned to my regiment. I received a letter from her, in
Winchester, this morning, informing me of the fact, and asking for my
good offices in your behalf. But here is the letter. [_Taking letter
from wallet and giving it to him._] It is for you rather than for me.
I shall do everything I can for you, my dear fellow.

FRANK. Thank you, sir. [_Opens letter, dropping the envelope upon the
table._] Kind, thoughtful and gentle to my faults, as ever--[_Looking
at the letter._]--and always thinking of my welfare. My poor little
wife, too, is under her protection. Gentlemen, I beg of you not to
reveal my secret to my father.

KERCHIVAL. General Haverill shall know nothing from us, my boy; you
have my word for that.

HEARTSEASE. Nothing.

KERCHIVAL. And he cannot possibly recognize you. What with your full
beard, and thinking as he does, that you are--

FRANK. That I am dead. I am dead to him. It would have been better
if I had died. Nothing but my death--not even that--can wipe out the
disgrace which I brought upon his name.

HEARTSEASE. [_Looking right._] General Haverill has arrived.

_Enter_ GENERAL HAVERILL _with a_ STAFF OFFICER.

FRANK. My father!

HAVERILL. [_Exchanging salutes with the three officers. He turns to
the_ STAFF OFFICER, _giving him a paper and brief instructions in dumb
show. The_ OFFICER _goes out over the incline. Another_ STAFF OFFICER
_enters, salutes and hands him a paper, then stands up stage._]
Ah! The men are ready. [_Looking at the paper. Then to_ KERCHIVAL.]
Colonel! I have a very important matter to arrange with you; there
is not a moment to be lost. I will ask Captain Heartsease to remain.
[FRANK _salutes and starts up stage;_ HAVERILL _looks at him, starting
slightly; raises his hand to detain him._] One moment; your name!

HEARTSEASE. Lieutenant Bedloe, General, of my own troop, and one of
our best officers. [HAVERILL _steps to_ FRANK, _looking into his face
a moment._

HAVERILL. Pardon me! [_Stepping down stage._ FRANK _moves up, stops
and looks back at him._ HAVERILL _stands a moment in thought, covers
his face with one hand, then draws up._] Colonel West! We have a
most dangerous piece of work for a young officer--[FRANK _starts
joyfully._]--to lead a party of men, whom I have already selected. I
cannot order an officer to undertake anything so nearly hopeless; he
must be a volunteer.

FRANK. Oh, sir, General! Let me be their leader.

HAVERILL. I thought you had passed on.

FRANK. Do not refuse me, sir. [HAVERILL _looks at him a moment._
HEARTSEASE _and_ KERCHIVAL _exchange glances._

HAVERILL. You are the man we need, my young friend. You shall go.
Listen! We wish to secure a key to the cipher despatches, which the
enemy are now sending from their signal station on Three Top Mountain.
There is another Confederate Signal Station in the Valley, just beyond
Buckton's Ford. [_Pointing._] Your duty will be this: First, to get
inside the enemy's line; then to follow a path through the woods,
with one of our scouts as your guide; attack the Station suddenly, and
secure their code, if possible. I have this moment received word that
the scout and the men are at the fort, now, awaiting their
leader. Major McCandless, of my staff, will take you to the place.
[_Indicating the_ STAFF OFFICER. FRANK _exchanges salutes with him._]
My young friend! I do not conceal from you the dangerous nature of the
work on which I am sending you. If--if you do not return, I--I will
write, myself, to your friends. [_Taking out note-book._] Have you a
father living?

FRANK. My--father--is--is--he is--

HAVERILL. I understand you. A mother? Or--

KERCHIVAL. I have the address of Lieutenant Bedloe's friends, General.

HAVERILL. I will ask you to give it to me, if necessary. [_Extends his
hand._] Good-bye, my lad. [FRANK _moves to him._ HAVERILL _grasps his
hand, warmly._] Keep a brave heart and come back to us. [FRANK _moves
up stage. Exit_ STAFF OFFICER.

FRANK. He is my father still. [_Exit._

HAVERILL. My dead boy's face! [_Dropping his face into both hands._

HEARTSEASE. [_Apart to_ KERCHIVAL.] He shall not go alone. [_Aloud._]
General! Will you kindly give me leave of absence from the command?

HAVERILL. Leave of absence! To an officer in active service--and in
the presence of the enemy?

KERCHIVAL. [_Taking hand of_ HEARTSEASE. _Apart._] God bless you, old
fellow! Look after the boy.

HAVERILL. A--h--[_With a sudden thought, turns._] I think I understand
you, Captain Heartsease. Yes; you may have leave of absence.

HEARTSEASE. Thank you. [_Salutes._ HAVERILL _and_ KERCHIVAL _salute.
Exit_ HEARTSEASE.

KERCHIVAL. Have you any further orders for me, General?

HAVERILL. I wish you to understand the great importance of the duty
to which I have just assigned this young officer. General Sheridan
started for Washington this noon, by way of Front Royal. Since his
departure, we have had reason to believe that the enemy are about
to move, and we must be able to read their signal despatches, if
possible. [_Sitting._] I have ordered Captain Lockwood, of our own
Signal Corps, to report to you here, with officers and men. [_Takes up
the empty envelope on table, unconsciously, as he speaks, tapping it
on the table._] If Lieutenant Bedloe succeeds in getting the key
to the enemy's cipher, we can signal from this point--[_Pointing
to elevation._]--to our station at Front Royal. Men and horses are
waiting there now, to carry forward a message, if necessary, to
General Sheridan himself. [_He starts suddenly, looking at the
envelope in his hand; reads address. Aside._] "Colonel Kerchival
West"--in my wife's handwriting.

KERCHIVAL. I'll attend to your orders.

HAVERILL. Postmarked at Washington, yesterday. [_Reads._] "Private and
confidential." [_Aloud._] Colonel West! I found a paragraph, to-day,
in a paper published in Richmond, taken from a prisoner. I will read
it to you. [_Takes newspaper slip from his wallet and reads._]

"From the Charleston Mercury. Captain Edward Thornton, of the
Confederate Secret Service, has been assigned to duty in the
Shenandoah Valley. Our gallant Captain still bears upon his face the
mark of his meeting, in 1861, with Lieutenant, now Colonel Kerchival
West, who is also to serve in the Valley, with Sheridan's Army.
Another meeting between these two men would be one of the strange
coincidences of the war, as they were at one time, if not indeed at
present, interested in the same beautiful woman." [_Rises._]

I will ask you to read the last few lines, yourself. [_Hands KERCHIVAL
the slip._

KERCHIVAL. [_Reading._] "The scandal connected with the lovely wife
of a Northern officer, at the opening of the war, was overshadowed,
of course, by the attack on Fort Sumter; but many Charlestonians will
remember it. The lady in defense of whose good name Captain Thornton
fought the duel"--he defending her good name!--"is the wife of General
Haverill, who will be Colonel West's immediate commander." [_He pauses
a moment, then hands back the slip._] General! I struck Mr. Thornton,
after a personal quarrel.

HAVERILL. And the cause of the blow? There is much more in this than
I have ever known of. I need hardly say that I do not accept the
statement of this scandalous paragraph as correct. I will ask you to
tell me the whole story, frankly, as man to man.

KERCHIVAL. [_After a moment's thought._] I will tell
you--all--frankly, General.

_Enter_ SERGEANT BARKET.

BARKET. Colonel West? Adjutant Rollins wishes to report--a
prisoner--just captured.

HAVERILL. We will meet again later, to-night, when the camp is at
rest. We are both soldiers, and have duties before us, at once. For
the present, Colonel, be on the alert; we must watch the enemy.
[_He moves up stage._ BARKET _salutes._ HAVERILL _stops and looks at
envelope in his hands, reading._] "Private and confidential." [_Exit._

KERCHIVAL. Sergeant Barket! Lieutenant Bedloe has crossed the enemy's
line, at Buckton's Ford, with a party of men. I wish you to ride to
the Ford yourself, and remain there, with your horse in readiness and
fresh. As soon as any survivor of the party returns, ride back with
the first news at full speed.

BARKET. Yes, sir. [_Starting._

KERCHIVAL. You say a prisoner has been captured? Is it a spy?

BARKET. Worse--a petticoat.

KERCHIVAL. A female prisoner! [_Dropping into seat._

BARKET. I towld the byes your honour wouldn't thank us fer the
catchin' of her. The worst of it is she's a lady; and what's worse
still, it's a purty one.

KERCHIVAL. Tell Major Wilson, for me, to let her take the oath, and
everything else she wants. The Government of the United States will
send her an apology and a new bonnet.

BARKET. The young lady is to take the oath, is it? She says she'll see
us damned first.

KERCHIVAL. A lady, Barket?

BARKET. Well! she didn't use thim exact words. That's the way I
understand her emphasis. Ivery time she looks at me, I feel like
getting under a boom-proof. She was dashing through the woods on a
gray horse, sur; and we had the divil's own chase. But we came up wid
her, at last, down by the bend in Oak Run. Just at that moment we saw
the figure of a Confederate officer, disappearing among the trays on
the ither side.

KERCHIVAL. A--h!

BARKET. Two of us rayturned wid the girl; and the rist wint after the
officer. Nothing has been heard of thim yet.

KERCHIVAL. Have you found any despatches on the prisoner?

BARKET. Well!--yer honour, I'm a bachelor, meself; and I'm not familar
with the jayography of the sex. We byes are in mortal terror for fear
somebody might order us to go on an exploring expedition.

KERCHIVAL. Tell them to send the prisoner here, Barket, and hurry to
Buckton's Ford yourself, at once.

BARKET. As fast as me horse can carry me, sir, and it's a good one.
[_Exit._

KERCHIVAL. I'd rather deal with half the Confederate Army than with
one woman, but I must question her. They captured her down by the Bend
in Oak Run. [_Taking out map; looks at it._] I see. She had just
met, or was about to meet, a Confederate officer at that point. It
is evident that she was either taking him a despatch or was there to
receive one. Oak Run. [CORPORAL DUNN _and Two_ SOLDIERS _enter, with_
GERTRUDE _as a prisoner. They stop;_ KERCHIVAL _sits studying map._
GERTRUDE _glances at him and marches down with head erect; stops, with
her back to him._

CORPORAL DUNN. The prisoner, Colonel West!

KERCHIVAL. Ah! Very well, Corporal; you can go. [_Rising; he motions
the_ GUARD _to retire._ CORPORAL DUNN _gives the necessary orders and
exit with_ GUARD.] Be seated, madam. [GERTRUDE _draws up, folding
her arms and planting her foot, spitefully._ KERCHIVAL _shrugs his
shoulder. Aside._] I wish they'd capture a tigress for me, or some
other female animal that I know how to manage better than I do a
woman. [_Aloud._] I am very sorry, madam, but, of course, my duty as
a military officer is paramount to all other considerations. You have
been captured within the lines of this army, and under circumstances
which lead me to think that you have important despatches upon your
person. I trust that you will give me whatever you have at once. I
shall be exceedingly sorry if you compel me to adopt the extreme--and
the very disagreeable course--for both of us--of having--you--I--I
hesitate even to use the word, madam--but military law is
absolute--having you--

GERTRUDE. Searched! If you dare, Colonel West! [_Turning to him
suddenly and drawing up to her full height._

KERCHIVAL. Gertrude Ellingham! [_Springs across to her, with his arms
extended._] My dear Gertrude!

GERTRUDE. [_Turning her back upon him._] Not "dear Gertrude" to you,
sir!

KERCHIVAL. Not?--Oh! I forgot.

GERTRUDE. [_Coldly._] I am your prisoner.

KERCHIVAL. Yes. [_Drawing up firmly, with a change of manner._] We
will return to the painful realities of war. I am very sorry that
you have placed yourself in a position like this, and, believe me,
Gertrude--[_With growing tenderness._]--I am still more sorry to be in
such a position myself. [_Resting one hand on her arm, and his other
arm about her waist._

GERTRUDE. [_After looking down at his hands._] You don't like the
position? [_He starts back, drawing up with dignity._] Is that the
paramount duty of a military officer?

KERCHIVAL. You will please hand me whatever despatches or other papers
may be in your possession.

GERTRUDE. [_Looking away._] You will _force_ me, I suppose. I am a
woman; you have the power. Order in the guard! A corporal and two
men--you'd better make it a dozen--I am dangerous! Call the whole
regiment to arms! Beat the long roll! I won't give up, if all the
armies of the United States surround me.

_Enter_ GENERAL BUCKTHORN.

KERCHIVAL. General Buckthorn! [_Saluting._

BUCKTHORN. Colonel West.

GERTRUDE. [_Aside._] Jenny's father! [BUCKTHORN _glances at_ GERTRUDE,
_who still stands looking away. He moves down to_ KERCHIVAL.

BUCKTHORN. [_Apart, gruffly._] I was passing with my staff, and I
was informed that you had captured a woman bearing despatches to the
enemy. Is this the one?

KERCHIVAL. Yes, General.

BUCKTHORN. Ah! [_Turning, looks at her._

GERTRUDE. I wonder if he will recognize me. He hasn't seen me since I
was a little girl. [_Turns toward, him._

BUCKTHORN. [_Turning to_ KERCHIVAL; _punches him in the ribs._] Fine
young woman!--[_Turns and bows to her very gallantly, removing his
hat. She bows deeply in return._] A-h-e-m! [_Suddenly pulling himself
up to a stern, military air; then gruffly to_ KERCHIVAL, _extending
his hand._] Let me see the despatches.

KERCHIVAL. She declines positively to give them up.

BUCKTHORN. Oh! Does she? [_Walks thoughtfully; turns._] My dear young
lady! I trust you will give us no further trouble. Kindly let us have
those despatches.

GERTRUDE. [_Looking away._] I have no despatches, and I would not give
them to you if I had.

BUCKTHORN. What! You defy my authority? Colonel West, I command you!
Search the prisoner! [GERTRUDE _turns suddenly towards_ KERCHIVAL,
_facing him defiantly. He looks across at her aghast. A moment's
pause._

KERCHIVAL. General Buckthorn--I decline to obey that order.

BUCKTHORN. You--you decline to obey my order! [_Moves down to him
fiercely._

KERCHIVAL. [_Apart._] General! It is the woman I love.

BUCKTHORN. [_Apart._] Is it? Damn you, sir! I wouldn't have an officer
in my army corps who would obey me, under such circumstances. I'll
have to look for those despatches myself.

KERCHIVAL. [_Facing him, angrily._] If you dare, General Buckthorn!

BUCKTHORN. [_Apart._] Blast your eyes! I'd kick you out of the army if
you'd _let_ me search her; but it's my military duty to swear at you.
[_To_ GERTRUDE.] Colonel West has sacrificed his life to protect you.

GERTRUDE. His life!

BUCKTHORN. I shall have him shot for insubordination to his commander,
immediately. [_Gives_ KERCHIVAL _a huge wink, and turns._

GERTRUDE. Oh, sir! General! I have told you the truth. I have no
despatches. Believe me, sir, I haven't so much as a piece of paper
about me, except--

BUCKTHORN. Except? [_Turning sharply._

GERTRUDE. Only a letter. Here it is. [_Taking letter from the bosom of
her dress._] Upon my soul, it is all I have. Truly it is.

BUCKTHORN. [_Taking letter._] Colonel West, you're reprieved. [_Winks
at_ KERCHIVAL, _who turns away, laughing._ BUCKTHORN _reads letter._]
"Washington"--Ho!--ho! From within our own lines!--"Colonel Kerchival
West--"

KERCHIVAL. Eh?

GERTRUDE. Please, General!--Don't read it aloud.

BUCKTHORN. Very well! I won't.

KERCHIVAL. [_Aside._] I wonder what it has to do with me?

BUCKTHORN. [_Reading. Aside._] "If Kerchival West had heard you say,
as I did--m--m----that you loved him with your whole heart--" [_He
glances up at_ GERTRUDE, _who drops her head coyly._] This is a
very important military document. [_Turns to last page._] "Signed,
Constance Haverill." [_Turns to front page._] "My dear Gertrude!" Is
this Miss Gertrude Ellingham?

GERTRUDE. Yes, General.

BUCKTHORN. I sent my daughter, Jenny, to your house, with an escort,
this morning.

GERTRUDE. She is here.

BUCKTHORN. [_Tapping her under the chin._] You're an arrant little
Rebel, my dear; but I like you immensely. [_Draws up suddenly,
with an_ "Ahem!" _Turns to_ KERCHIVAL.] Colonel West, I leave this
dangerous young woman in your charge. [KERCHIVAL _approaches._] If
she disobeys you in any way, or attempts to escape--read that letter!
[_Giving him the letter._

GERTRUDE. Oh! General!

BUCKTHORN. But not till then.

KERCHIVAL. [_Tenderly, taking her hand_.] My--prisoner!

GERTRUDE. [_Aside_.] I could scratch my own eyes out--or his,
either--rather than have him read that letter.

_Enter_ CORPORAL DUNN, _with_ GUARD _of four soldiers and_ CAPTAIN
EDWARD THORNTON _as a prisoner_.

KERCHIVAL. Edward Thornton!

GERTRUDE. They have taken him also! He has the despatch!

CORPORAL DUNN. The Confederate Officer, Colonel, who was pursued by
our troops at Oak Run, after they captured the young lady.

BUCKTHORN. The little witch has been communicating with the enemy!

KERCHIVAL. [_To_ GERTRUDE.] You will give me your parole of honour
until we next meet?

GERTRUDE. Yes. [_Aside_.] That letter! I _am_ his prisoner. [_She
walks up the steps and looks back at_ THORNTON. _Exit_.

KERCHIVAL. [_To_ BUCKTHORN.] We will probably find the despatches we
have been looking for now, General.

BUCKTHORN. Prisoner! You will hand us what papers you may have.

THORNTON. I will hand you nothing.

BUCKTHORN. Colonel! [KERCHIVAL _motions to_ THORNTON, _who looks at
him sullenly_.

KERCHIVAL. Corporal Dunn!--search the prisoner. [DUNN _steps to_
THORNTON, _taking him by the shoulder and turning him rather roughly_.
THORNTON'S _back to the audience._ DUNN _throws open his coat, takes
paper from his breast, hands it to_ KERCHIVAL, _who gives it to_
BUCKTHORN.] Proceed with the search. [DUNN _continues the search_.
BUCKTHORN _drops upon seat, lights a match, looks at the paper._

BUCKTHORN. [_Reading_.] "General Rosser will rejoin General Early with
all the cavalry in his command, at----" This is important. [_Continues
to read with matches. The_ CORPORAL _hands a packet to_ KERCHIVAL. _He
removes the covering_.

KERCHIVAL. [_Starting_.] A portrait of Mrs. Haverill! [_He touches_
CORPORAL DUNN _on the shoulder quickly and motions him to retire._
DUNN _falls back to the_ GUARD. KERCHIVAL _speaks apart to_ THORNTON,
_who has turned front_.] How did this portrait come into your
possession?

THORNTON. That is my affair, not yours!

BUCKTHORN. Anything else, Colonel?

KERCHIVAL. [_Placing the miniature in his pocket._] Nothing!

THORNTON. [_Apart, over_ KERCHIVAL'S _shoulder._] A time will come,
perhaps, when I can avenge the insult of this search, and also this
scar. [_Pointing to a scar on his face._] Your aim was better than
mine in Charleston, but we shall meet again; give me back that
picture.

KERCHIVAL. Corporal! Take your prisoner!

THORNTON. Ah! [_Viciously springing at_ KERCHIVAL; CORPORAL DUNN
_springs forward, seizes_ THORNTON, _throws him back to the_ GUARD
_and stands with his carbine levelled at_ THORNTON; _looks at_
KERCHIVAL, _who quietly motions him out._ CORPORAL DUNN _gives the
orders to the men and marches out with_ THORNTON.

BUCKTHORN. Ah! [_Still reading with matches._] Colonel! [_Rising._]
The enemy has a new movement on foot, and General Sheridan has left
the army! Listen! [_Reads from despatches with matches._] "Watch for a
signal from Three Top Mountain to-night."

KERCHIVAL. We hope to be able to read that signal ourselves.

BUCKTHORN. Yes, I know. Be on your guard. I will speak with General
Haverill, and then ride over to General Wright's headquarters. Keep us
informed.

KERCHIVAL. I will, General. [_Saluting._ BUCKTHORN _salutes and
exit._] "Watch for a signal from Three Top Mountain to-night."
[_Looking up at mountain._] We shall be helpless to read it unless
Lieutenant Bedloe is successful. I only hope the poor boy is not lying
dead, already, in those dark woods beyond the Ford. [_Looking off;
turns down stage, taking the miniature from his pocket._] How
came Edward Thornton to have this portrait of Mrs. Haverill in his
possession? [GERTRUDE _runs in on veranda._

GERTRUDE. Oh, Colonel West! He's here! [_Looks back._] They are coming
this way with him.

KERCHIVAL. Him! Who?

GERTRUDE. Jack.

KERCHIVAL. Jack!

GERTRUDE. My own horse!

KERCHIVAL. Ah, I remember! He and I were acquainted in Charleston.

GERTRUDE. Two troopers are passing through the camp with him.

KERCHIVAL. He is not in your possession?

GERTRUDE. He was captured at the battle of Fair Oaks, but I recognized
him the moment I saw him; and I am sure he knew me, too, when I
went up to him. He whinnied and looked so happy. You are in command
here--[_Running down._]--you will compel them to give him up to me?

KERCHIVAL. If he is in my command, your pet shall be returned to you.
I'll give one of my own horses to the Government as a substitute, if
necessary.

GERTRUDE. Oh, thank you, my dear Kerchival! [_Going to him; he takes
her hand, looking into her eyes._] I--I could almost--

KERCHIVAL. Can you almost confess, at last, Gertrude, that you--love
me? [_Tenderly; she draws back, hanging her head, but leaving her hand
in his._] Have I been wrong? I felt that that confession was hovering
on your tongue when we were separated in Charleston. Have I seen that
confession in your eyes since we met again to-day--even among the
angry flashes which they have shot out at me? During all this terrible
war--in the camp and the trench--in the battle--I have dreamed of a
meeting like this. You are still silent? [_Her hand is still in his.
She is looking down. A smile steals over her face, and she raises her
eyes to his, taking his hand in both her own._

GERTRUDE. Kerchival! I--[_Enter_ BENSON. _She looks around over her
shoulder._ KERCHIVAL _looks up stage. A_ TROOPER, _leading the large
black horse of Act I, now caparisoned in military saddle, bridle, &c.,
follows_ BENSON _across; another_ TROOPER _follows._] Jack! [_She runs
up stage, meeting horse._ KERCHIVAL _turns._

KERCHIVAL. Confound Jack! That infernal horse was always in my way!

GERTRUDE. [_With her arm about her horse's neck._] My darling old
fellow! Is he not beautiful, Kerchival? They have taken good care of
him. How soft his coat is!

KERCHIVAL. Benson, explain this!

BENSON. I was instructed to show this horse and his leader through the
lines, sir.

KERCHIVAL. What are your orders, my man? [_Moving up, the_ TROOPER
_hands him a paper. He moves a few steps down, reading it._

GERTRUDE. You are to be mine again, Jack, mine! [_Resting her cheek
against the horse's head and patting it._] The Colonel has promised it
to me.

KERCHIVAL. Ah! [_With a start, as he reads the paper._ GERTRUDE
_raises her head and looks at him._] This is General Sheridan's horse,
on his way to Winchester, for the use of the General when he returns
from Washington.

GERTRUDE. General Sheridan's horse? He is mine!

KERCHIVAL. I have no authority to detain him. He must go on.

GERTRUDE. I have hold of Jack's bridle, and you may order your men to
take out their sabres and cut my hand off.

KERCHIVAL. [_Approaches her and gently takes her hand as it holds
the bridle._] I would rather have my own hand cut off, Gertrude,
than bring tears to your eyes, but there is no alternative! [GERTRUDE
_releases the bridle and turns front, brushing her eyes, her hand
still held in his, his back to the audience. He returns order, and
motions_ TROOPERS _out; they move out with horse._ GERTRUDE _starts
after the horse;_ KERCHIVAL _turns quickly to check her._] You
forget--that--you are my prisoner.

GERTRUDE. I _will_ go!

KERCHIVAL. General Buckthorn left me special instructions--[_Taking
out wallet and letter._]--in case you declined to obey my orders--

GERTRUDE. Oh, Colonel! Please don't read that letter. [_She stands
near him, dropping her head. He glances up at her from the letter. She
glances up at him and drops her eyes again._] I will obey you.

KERCHIVAL. [_Aside._] What the deuce can there be in that letter?

GERTRUDE. Colonel West! Your men made me a prisoner this afternoon;
to-night you have robbed me, by your own orders, of--of--Jack is only
a pet, but I love him; and my brother is also a captive in your hands.
When we separated in Charleston you said that we were enemies. What is
there lacking to make those words true to-day? You _are_ my enemy!
A few moments ago you asked me to make a confession to you. You
can judge for yourself whether it is likely to be a confession
of--love--or of hatred!

KERCHIVAL. Hatred!

GERTRUDE. [_Facing him._] Listen to my confession, sir! From the
bottom of my heart--

KERCHIVAL. Stop!

GERTRUDE. I will not stop!

KERCHIVAL. I command you.

GERTRUDE. Indeed! [_He throws open the wallet in his hand and raises
the letter._] Ah! [_She turns away; turns again, as if to speak. He
half opens the letter. She stamps her foot and walks up steps of the
veranda. Here she turns again._] I tell you, I--[_He opens the letter.
She turns, and exits with spiteful step._

KERCHIVAL. I wonder if that document orders me to cut her head off!
[_Returning it to wallet and pocket._] Was ever lover in such a
position? I am obliged to cross the woman I love at every step.

_Enter_ CORPORAL DUNN, _very hurriedly._

CORPORAL DUNN. A message from Adjutant Rollins, sir! The prisoner,
Captain Thornton, dashed away from the special guard which was placed
over him, and he has escaped. He had a knife concealed, and two of the
guard are badly wounded. Adjutant Rollins thinks the prisoner is still
within the lines of the camp--in one of the houses or the stables.

KERCHIVAL. Tell Major Wilson to place the remainder of the guard under
arrest, and to take every possible means to recapture the prisoner.
[CORPORAL DUNN _salutes, and exits._] So! Thornton has jumped his
guard, and he is armed. I wonder if he is trying to get away, or to
find me. From what I know of the man, he doesn't much care which he
succeeds in doing. That scar which I gave him in Charleston is deeper
in his heart than it is in his face. [_A signal light suddenly appears
on Three Top Mountain. The "Call."_] Ah!--the enemy's signal! [_Enter_
CAPTAIN LOCKWOOD, _followed by_ LIEUTENANT OF SIGNAL CORPS.] Captain
Lockwood! You are here! Are your Signalmen with you?

LOCKWOOD. Yes, Colonel; and one of my Lieutenants.

[_The_ LIEUTENANT _is looking up at signal with glass._ CAPTAIN
LOCKWOOD _does the same._ HAVERILL _enters, followed by two_ STAFF
OFFICERS.

HAVERILL. [_As he enters._] Can you make anything of it, Captain?

LOCKWOOD. Nothing, General! Our services are quite useless unless
Lieutenant Bedloe returns with the key to their signals.

HAVERILL. A--h! [_Coming down stage._] We shall fail. It is time he
had returned, if successful.

SENTINEL. [_Without._] Halt! Who goes there? [KERCHIVAL _runs
up stage, and half way up incline, looking off._] Halt! [_A shot
without._

BARKET. [_Without._] Och!--Ye murtherin spalpeen!

KERCHIVAL. Sentinel! Let him pass; it is Sergeant Barket.

SENTINEL. [_Without._] Pass on.

KERCHIVAL. He didn't give the countersign. News from Lieutenant
Bedloe, General!

BARKET. [_Hurrying in, up slope._] Colonel Wist, our brave byes wiped
out the enemy, and here's the papers.

KERCHIVAL. [_Taking papers.--Then to_ LOCKWOOD.] Is that the key?

LOCKWOOD. Yes. Lieutenant! [LIEUTENANT _hurries up to elevation,
looking through his glass._ LOCKWOOD _opens book._

HAVERILL. What of Lieutenant Bedloe, Sergeant?

BARKET. Sayreously wounded, and in the hands of the inimy!

HAVERILL. [_Sighing._] A--h.

BARKET. [_Coming down stone steps._] It is reported that Captain
Heartsease was shot dead at his side.

KERCHIVAL. Heartsease dead!

LIEUTENANT OF SIGNAL CORPS. [_Reading signals._]
Twelve--Twenty-two--Eleven.

BARKET. Begorra! I forgot the Sintinil entirely, but he didn't forget
me. [_Holding his left arm._

HAVERILL. Colonel West! We must make every possible sacrifice for the
immediate exchange of Lieutenant Bedloe, if he is still living. It is
due to him. Colonel Robert Ellingham is a prisoner in this camp; offer
him his own exchange for young Bedloe.

KERCHIVAL. He will accept, of course. I will ride to the front with
him myself, General, and show him through the lines.

HAVERILL. At once! [KERCHIVAL _crosses front and exit on veranda._
HAVERILL _crosses._] Can you follow the despatch, Captain?

LOCKWOOD. Perfectly; everything is here

HAVERILL. Well!

LIEUTENANT OF SIGNAL CORPS. Eleven--Twenty-two--One--Twelve.

LOCKWOOD. [_From book._] "General Longstreet is coming with--"

HAVERILL. Longstreet!

LIEUTENANT OF SIGNAL CORPS. One--Twenty-one.

LOCKWOOD. "With eighteen thousand men."

LIEUTENANT OF SIGNAL CORPS. Two--Eleven--Twenty-two.

LOCKWOOD. "Sheridan is away!"

HAVERILL. They have discovered his absence!

LIEUTENANT OF SIGNAL CORPS. Two--Twenty-two--Eleven--One--Twelve--One.

LOCKWOOD. "We will crush the Union Army before he can return."

HAVERILL. Signal that despatch from here to our Station at Front
Royal. [_Pointing._] Tell them to send it after General Sheridan--and
ride for their lives. [LOCKWOOD _hurries out._] Major Burton! We will
ride to General Wright's headquarters at once--our horses! [_Noise of
a struggle without._

BARKET. [_Looking._] What the devil is the row out there? [_Exit. Also
one of the_ STAFF OFFICERS.

HAVERILL. [_Looking off._] What is this? Colonel West wounded!

_Enter_ KERCHIVAL WEST, _his coat thrown open, with_ ELLINGHAM, BARKET
_assisting._

ELLINGHAM. Steady, Kerchival, old boy! You should have let us carry
you.

KERCHIVAL. Nonsense, old fellow! It's a mere touch with the point of
the knife. I--I'm faint--with the loss of a little blood--that's all.
Bob!--I--[_Reels suddenly and is caught by_ ELLINGHAM _as he sinks to
the ground, insensible._

ELLINGHAM. Kerchival! [_Kneeling at his side._

HAVERILL. Go for the surgeon! [_To_ STAFF OFFICER, _who goes out
quickly on veranda._] How did this happen? [_Enter_ CORPORAL DUNN
_and_ GUARD, _with_ THORNTON. _He is in his shirt sleeves and
disheveled, his arms folded. They march down._] Captain Thornton!

ELLINGHAM. We were leaving the house together; a hunted animal
sprang suddenly across our path, like a panther. [_Looking over his
shoulder._] There it stands. Kerchival!--my brother!

CORPORAL DUNN. We had just brought this prisoner to bay, but I'm
afraid we were too late.

HAVERILL. This is assassination, sir, not war. If you have killed
him--

THORNTON. Do what you like with me; we need waste no words. I had an
old account to settle, and I have paid my debt.

ELLINGHAM. General Haverill! I took these from his breast when he
first fell. [_Handing up wallet and miniature to_ HAVERILL. HAVERILL
_starts as he looks at the miniature._ THORNTON _watches him._

HAVERILL. [_Aside._] My wife's portrait!

THORNTON. If I have killed him--your honour will be buried in the same
grave.

HAVERILL. Her picture on his breast! She gave it to him--not to
my son! [_Dropping into seat._ CAPTAIN LOCKWOOD _enters with a_
SIGNALMAN, _who has a burning torch on a long pole; he hurries up
the elevation._ CAPTAIN LOCKWOOD _stands below, facing him. Almost
simultaneously with the entrance of the_ SIGNALMAN, GERTRUDE _runs in
on veranda._

GERTRUDE. They are calling for a surgeon! Who is it? Brother!--you are
safe,--ah! [_Uttering a scream, as she sees_ KERCHIVAL, _and falling
on her knees at his side._] Kerchival! Forget those last bitter words
I said to you. Can't you hear my confession? I do love you. Can't you
hear me? I love you! [_The_ SIGNALMAN _is swinging the torch as the
curtain descends,_ LOCKWOOD _looking right._

CURTAIN.



ACT III.


SCENE. _Same. It is now bright daylight, with sunshine flecking the
foreground and bathing the distant valley and mountains._

DISCOVERED. JENNY, _on low stone post, looking left. As the curtain
rises, she imitates Trumpet Signal No._ 19 _on her closed fists._

JENNY. What a magnificent line! [_Looking._] Guides-posts! Every man
and every horse is eager for the next command. There comes the flag!
[_Trumpet Signal without, No._ 30.] To the standard! [_As the signal
begins._] The regiment is going to the front. Oh! I do wish I could
go with it. I always do, the moment I hear the trumpets. Boots and
saddles! [_Imitates No._ 16.] Mount! [_Imitates No._ 37.] I wish I was
in command of the regiment. It was born in me. [_Trumpet Signal No._
48, _without._] Fours right! There they go! Look at those horses'
ears! [_Trumpet Signal No._ 39, _without._] Forward. [_Military band
heard without--"The Battle Cry of Freedom"_ JENNY _takes attitude of
holding bridle and trotting._] Rappity--plap--plap--plap, etc. [_She
imitates the motions of a soldier on horseback, stepping down to rock
at side of post; thence to ground and about stage, with the various
curvettings of a spirited horse. Chorus of soldiers without, with the
band. The music becomes more and more distant._ JENNY _gradually stops
as the music is dying away, and stands, listening. As it dies entirely
away, she suddenly starts to an enthusiastic attitude._] Ah! If I were
only a man! The enemy! On Third Battalion, left, front, into line,
march! Draw sabres! Charge! [_Imitates Trumpet Signal No._ 44. _As
she finishes, she rises to her full height, with both arms raised,
and trembling with enthusiasm._] Ah! [_She suddenly drops her arms and
changes to an attitude and expression of disappointment--pouting._]
And the first time Old Margery took me to papa, in her arms, she had
to tell him I was a girl. Papa was as much disgusted as I was. But
he'd never admit it; he says I'm as good a soldier as any of 'em--just
as I am.

_Enter_ BARKET _on veranda, his arm in a sling._

BARKET. [_On veranda_] Miss Jenny!

JENNY. Barket! The regiment has marched away to the front, and we
girls are left here, with just you and a corporal's guard to look
after us.

BARKET. I've been watching the byes mesilf. [_Coming down._] If a
little milithary sugar-plum like you, Miss Jenny, objects to not goin'
wid' 'em, what do you think of an ould piece of hard tack like me? I
can't join the regiment till I've taken you and Miss Madeline back to
Winchester, by your father's orders. But it isn't the first time I've
escorted you, Miss Jenny. Many a time, when you was a baby, on the
Plains, I commanded a special guard to accompany ye's from one fort to
anither, and we gave the command in a whisper, so as not to wake ye's
up.

JENNY. I told you to tell papa that I'd let him know when Madeline and
I were ready to go.

BARKET. I tould him that I'd as soon move a train of army mules.

JENNY. I suppose we must start for home again to-day?

BARKET. Yes, Miss Jenny, in charge of an ould Sargeant wid his arm in
a sling and a couple of convalescent throopers. This department of the
United States Army will move to the rear in half an hour.

JENNY. Madeline and I only came yesterday morning.

BARKET. Whin your father got ye's a pass to the front, we all thought
the fightin' in the Shenandoey Valley was over. It looks now as if
it was just beginning. This is no place for women, now. Miss Gertrude
Ellingham ought to go wid us, but she won't.

JENNY. Barket! Captain Heartsease left the regiment yesterday, and
he hasn't rejoined it; he isn't with them, now, at the head of his
company. Where is he?

BARKET. I can't say where he is, Miss Jenny. [_Aside._] Lyin' unburied
in the woods, where he was shot, I'm afraid.

JENNY. When Captain Heartsease does rejoin the regiment, Barket,
please say to him for me, that--that I--I may have some orders for
him, when we next meet. [_Exit on veranda._

BARKET. Whin they nixt mate. They tell us there is no such thing as
marriage in Hiven. If Miss Jenny and Captain Heartsease mate there,
they'll invint somethin' that's mighty like it. While I was lyin'
wounded in General Buckthorn's house at Washington, last summer, and
ould Margery was taking care of me, Margery tould me, confidentially,
that they was in love wid aitch ither; and I think she was about
right. I've often seen Captain Heartsease take a sly look at a little
lace handkerchief, just before we wint into battle. [_Looks off._]
Here's General Buckthorn himself. He and I must make it as aisy as we
can for Miss Jenny's poor heart.

_Enter_ GENERAL BUCKTHORN.

BUCKTHORN. Sergeant Barket! You haven't started with those girls yet?

BARKET. They're to go in half an hour, sir.

BUCKTHORN. Be sure they do go. Is General Haverill here?

BARKET. Yes, sir; in the house with some of his staff, and the
Surgeon.

BUCKTHORN. Ah! The Surgeon. How is Colonel West, this morning, after
the wound he received last night?

BARKET. He says, himself, that he's as well as iver he was; but the
Colonel and Surgeon don't agray on that subject. The dochter says he
mustn't lave his room for a month. The knife wint dape; and there's
somethin' wrong inside of him. But the Colonel, bein' on the outside
himsilf, can't see it. He's as cross as a bear, baycause they wouldn't
let him go to the front this morning, at the head of his regiment. I
happened to raymark that the Chaplain was prayin' for his raycovery.
The Colonel said he'd court-martial him if he didn't stop that--quick;
there's more important things for the Chaplain to pray for in his
official capacity. Just at that moment the trumpets sounded, "Boots
and Saddles." I had to dodge one of his boots, and the Surgeon had a
narrow escape from the ither one. It was lucky for us both his saddle
wasn't in the room.

BUCKTHORN. That looks encouraging. I think Kerchival will get on.

BARKET. Might I say a word to you, sur, about Miss Jenny?

BUCKTHORN. Certainly, Barket. You and old Margery and myself have been
a sort of triangular mother, so to speak, to the little girl--since
her own poor mother left her to our care, when she was only a baby,
in the old fort on the Plains. [_At his side and unconsciously resting
his arm over_ BARKET'S _shoulder, familiarly. Suddenly draws up._]
Ahem! [_Then gruffly._] What is it? Proceed.

BARKET. Her mother's bosom would have been the softest place for her
poor little head to rest upon, now, sur.

BUCKTHORN. [_Touching his eyes._] Well!

BARKET. Ould Margery tould me in Washington that Miss Jenny and
Captain Heartsease were in love wid aitch ither.

BUCKTHORN. [_Starting._] In love!

BARKET. I approved of the match.

BUCKTHORN. What the devil! [BARKET _salutes quickly and starts up
stage and out._ BUCKTHORN _moves up after him; stops at post._ BARKET
_stops in road._

BARKET. So did ould Margery.

BUCKTHORN. March! [_Angrily._ BARKET _salutes suddenly, and exits._]
Heartsease! That young jackanapes! A mere fop; he'll never make a
soldier. My girl in love with--bah! I don't believe it; she's too good
a soldier, herself.

[_Enter_ HAVERILL, _on veranda._]

Ah, Haverill!

HAVERILL. General Buckthorn! Have you heard anything of General
Sheridan since I sent that despatch to him last evening?

BUCKTHORN. He received it at midnight and sent back word that he
considers it a ruse of the enemy. General Wright agrees with him. The
reconnaissance yesterday showed no hostile force, on our right, and
Crook reports that Early is retreating up the Valley. But General
Sheridan may, perhaps, give up his journey to Washington, and he has
ordered some changes in our line, to be executed this afternoon at
four o'clock. I rode over to give you your instructions in person. You
may order General McCuen to go into camp on the right of Meadow Brook,
with the second division. [HAVERILL _is writing in his note-book._

_Enter_ JENNY, _on veranda._

JENNY. Oh, papa! I'm so glad you've come. I've got something to say to
you. [_Running down and jumping into his arms, kissing him. He turns
with her, and sets her down, squarely on her feet and straight before
him._

BUCKTHORN. And I've got something to say to you--about Captain
Heartsease.

JENNY. Oh! That's just what I wanted to talk about.

BUCKTHORN. Fall in! Front face! [_She jumps into military position,
turning towards him._] What's this I hear from Sergeant Barket? He
says you've been falling in love.

JENNY. I have. [_Saluting._

BUCKTHORN. Young woman! Listen to my orders. Fallout! [_Turns sharply
and marches to_ HAVERILL.] Order the Third Brigade of Cavalry, under
Colonel Lowell, to occupy the left of the pike.

JENNY. Papa! [_Running to him and seizing the tail of his coat._]
Papa, dear!

BUCKTHORN. Close in Colonel Powell on the extreme left--[_Slapping his
coat-tails out of_ JENNY'S _hands, without looking around._]--and hold
Custer on the second line, at Old Forge Road. That is all at present.
[_Turns to_ JENNY.] Good-bye, my darling! [_Kisses her._] Remember
your orders! You little pet! [_Chuckling, as he taps her chin; draws
up suddenly; turns to_ HAVERILL.] General! I bid you good-day.

HAVERILL. Good-day, General Buckthorn. [_They salute with great
dignity._ BUCKTHORN _starts up stage;_ JENNY _springs after him,
seizing his coat-tails._

JENNY. But I want to talk with you, papa; I can't fall out. I--I
haven't finished yet. [_Etc., clinging to his coat, as_ BUCKTHORN
_marches out rapidly, in road,--holding back with all her might._

HAVERILL. It may have been a ruse of the enemy, but I hope that
General Sheridan has turned back from Washington. [_Looking at his
note-book._] We are to make changes in our line at four o'clock this
afternoon. [_Returns book to pocket and stands in thought._] The
Surgeon tells me that Kerchival West will get on well enough if he
remains quiet; otherwise not. He shall not die by the hand of a
common assassin; he has no right to die like that. My wife gave my own
picture of herself to him--not to my son--and she looked so like an
angel when she took it from my hand! They were both false to me, and
they have been true to each other. I will save his life for myself.

_Enter_ GERTRUDE, _on veranda._

GERTRUDE. General Haverill! [_Anxiously, coming down._] Colonel West
persists in disobeying the injunctions of the Surgeon. He is preparing
to join his regiment at the front. Give him your orders to remain
here. Compel him to be prudent!

HAVERILL. [_Quickly._] The honour of death at the front is not in
reserve for him.

GERTRUDE. Eh? What did you say, General?

HAVERILL. Gertrude! I wish to speak to you, as your father's old
friend; and I was once your guardian. Your father was my senior
officer in the Mexican War. Without his care I should have been left
dead in a foreign land. He, himself, afterwards fell fighting for the
old flag.

GERTRUDE. The old flag. [_Aside._] My father died for it, and
he--[_Looking left._]--is suffering for it--the old flag!

HAVERILL. I can now return the kindness your father did to me, by
protecting his daughter from something that may be worse than death.

GERTRUDE. What do you mean?

HAVERILL. Last night I saw you kneeling at the side of Kerchival West;
you spoke to him with all the tender passion of a Southern woman. You
said you loved him. But you spoke into ears that could not hear you.
Has he ever heard those words from your lips? Have you ever confessed
your love to him before?

GERTRUDE. Never. Why do you ask?

HAVERILL. Do not repeat those words. Keep your heart to yourself, my
girl.

GERTRUDE. General! Why do you say this to me? And at such a
moment--when his life--

HAVERILL. His life! [_Turning sharply._] It belongs to me!

GERTRUDE. Oh!

KERCHIVAL. Sergeant! [_Without. He steps in front road, looking
back._] See that my horse is ready at once. General! [_Saluting._] Are
there any orders for my regiment, beyond those given to Major Wilson,
in my absence, this morning? I am about to ride on after the troops
and re-assume my command.

HAVERILL. [_Quietly._] It is my wish, Colonel, that you remain here
under the care of the Surgeon.

KERCHIVAL. My wound is a mere trifle. This may be a critical moment in
the campaign, and I cannot rest here. I must be with my own men.

HAVERILL. [_Quietly._] I beg to repeat the wish I have already
expressed. [KERCHIVAL _walks to him, and speaks apart, almost under
his breath, but very earnest in tone._

KERCHIVAL. I have had no opportunity, yet, to explain certain matters,
as you requested me to do yesterday; but whatever there may be
between us, you are now interfering with my duty and my privilege as a
soldier; and it is my right to be at the head of my regiment.

HAVERILL. [_Quietly._] It is my positive order that you do not
reassume your command.

KERCHIVAL. General Haverill, I protest against this--

HAVERILL. [_Quietly._] You are under arrest, sir.

KERCHIVAL. Arrest!

GERTRUDE. Ah! [KERCHIVAL _unclasps his belt and offers his sword to_
HAVERILL.

HAVERILL. [_Quietly._] Keep your sword; I have no desire to humiliate
you; but hold yourself subject to further orders from me. [KERCHIVAL
_goes up veranda._

KERCHIVAL. My regiment at the front!--and I under arrest! [_Exit._

HAVERILL. Gertrude! If your heart refuses to be silent--if you feel
that you must confess your love to that man--first tell him what I
have said to you, and refer him to me for an explanation. [_Exit into
road._

GERTRUDE. What can he mean? He would save me from something worse
than death, he said. "His life--it belongs to me!" What can he mean?
Kerchival told me that he loved me--it seems many years since that
morning in Charleston--and when we met again, yesterday, he said that
he had never ceased to love me. I will not believe that he has told
me a falsehood. I have given him my love, my whole soul and my faith.
[_Drawing up to her full height._] My perfect faith!

JENNY _runs in from road, and up the slope. She looks down the hill,
then enters._

JENNY. A flag of truce, Gertrude. And a party of Confederate soldiers,
with an escort, coming up the hill. They are carrying someone; he is
wounded.

_Enter up the slope, a_ LIEUTENANT OF INFANTRY _with an escort
of Union soldiers, their arms at right shoulder, and a party of
Confederate soldiers bearing a rustic stretcher._ LIEUTENANT FRANK
BEDLOE _lies on the stretcher._ MAJOR HARDWICK, _a Confederate
Surgeon, walks at his side._ MADELINE _appears at veranda, watching
them._ GERTRUDE _stands with her back to audience. The_ LIEUTENANT
_gives orders in a low tone, and the front escort moves to right, in
road. The Confederate bearers and the_ SURGEON _pass through the gate.
The rear escort moves to left, in road, under_ LIEUTENANT'S _orders.
The bearers halt, front; on a sign from the_ SURGEON, _they leave the
stretcher on the ground, stepping back._

MAJOR HARDWICK. Is General Haverill here?

GERTRUDE. Yes; what can we do, sir?

MADELINE. The General is just about mounting with his staff, to ride
away. Shall I go for him, sir?

MAJOR. Say to him, please, that Colonel Robert Ellingham, of the Tenth
Virginia, sends his respects and sympathy. He instructed me to bring
this young officer to this point, in exchange for himself, as agreed
upon between them last evening. [_Exit_ MADELINE.

JENNY. Is he unconscious or sleeping, sir?

MAJOR. Hovering between life and death. I thought he would bear the
removal better. He is waking. Here, my lad! [_Placing his canteen to
the lips of_ FRANK, _who moves, reviving._] We have reached the end of
our journey.

FRANK. My father!

MAJOR. He is thinking of his home. [FRANK _rises on one arm, assisted
by the_ SURGEON.

FRANK. I have obeyed General Haverill's orders, and I have a report to
make.

GERTRUDE. We have already sent for him. [_Stepping to him._] He will
be here in a moment.

FRANK. [_Looking into her face, brightly._] Is not
this--Miss--Gertrude Ellingham?

GERTRUDE. You know me? You have seen me before?

FRANK. Long ago! Long ago! You know the wife of General Haverill?

GERTRUDE. I have no dearer friend in the world.

FRANK. She will give a message for me to the dearest friend _I_ have
in the world. My little wife! I must not waste even the moment we are
waiting. Doctor! My note-book! [_Trying to get it from his coat. The_
SURGEON _takes it out. A torn and blood-stained lace handkerchief also
falls out._ GERTRUDE _kneels at his side._] Ah! I--I--have a message
from another--[_Holding up handkerchief._]--from Captain Heartsease.
[JENNY _makes a quick start towards him._] He lay at my side in the
hospital, when they brought me away; he had only strength enough to
put this in my hand, and he spoke a woman's name; but I--I--forgot
what it is. The red spots upon it are the only message he sent.
[GERTRUDE _takes the handkerchief and looks back at_ JENNY, _extending
her hand._ JENNY _moves to her, takes the handkerchief and turns back,
looking down on it. She drops her face into her hands and goes out
sobbing._

_Enter_ MADELINE _on veranda._

MADELINE. General Haverill is coming. I was just in time. He was
already on his horse.

FRANK. Ah! He is coming. [_Then suddenly._] Write! Write! [GERTRUDE
_writes in the note-book as he dictates._] "To--my wife--Edith:--Tell
our little son, when he is old enough to know--how his father died;
not how he lived. And tell her who filled my own mother's place so
lovingly--she is your mother, too--that my father's portrait of her,
which she gave to me in Charleston, helped me to be a better man!"
And--oh! I must not forget this--"It was taken away from me while I
was a prisoner in Richmond, and it is in the possession of Captain
Henry Thornton, of the Confederate Secret Service. But her face is
still beside your own in my heart. My best--warmest, last--love--to
you, darling." I will sign it. [GERTRUDE _holds the book, and he signs
it, then sinks back very quietly, supported by the_ SURGEON. GERTRUDE
_rises and walks right._

MADELINE. General Haverill is here. [_The_ SURGEON _lays the fold of
the blanket over_ FRANK'S _face and rises._

GERTRUDE. Doctor!

MAJOR. He is dead. [MADELINE, _on veranda, turns and looks left. The_
LIEUTENANT _orders the guard,_ "Present Arms". _Enter_ HAVERILL, _on
veranda. He salutes the guard as he passes. The_ LIEUTENANT _orders,_
"Carry Arms." HAVERILL _comes down._

HAVERILL. I am too late?

MAJOR. I'm sorry, General. His one eager thought as we came was to
reach here in time to see you. [HAVERILL _moves to the bier, looks
down at it, then folds back the blanket from the face. He starts
slightly as he first sees it._

HAVERILL. Brave boy! I hoped once to have a son like you. I shall
be in your father's place, to-day, at your grave. [_He replaces the
blanket and steps back._] We will carry him to his comrades in the
front. He shall have a soldier's burial, in sight of the mountain-top
beneath which he sacrificed his young life; that shall be his
monument.

MAJOR. Pardon me, General. We Virginians are your enemies, but you
cannot honour this young soldier more than we do. Will you allow my
men the privilege of carrying him to his grave? [HAVERILL _inclines
his head. The_ SURGEON _motions to the Confederate soldiers, who step
to the bier and raise it gently._

HAVERILL. Lieutenant! [_The_ LIEUTENANT _orders the guard,_ "Left
Face." _The Confederate bearers move through the gate, preceded by_
LIEUTENANT HARDWICK. HAVERILL _draws his sword, reverses it, and moves
up behind the bier with bowed head. The_ LIEUTENANT _orders_ "Forward
March," _and the cortège disappears. While the girls are still
watching it, the heavy sound of distant artillery is heard, with
booming reverberations among the hills and in the Valley._

MADELINE. What is that sound, Gertrude?

GERTRUDE. Listen! [_Another and more prolonged distant sound, with
long reverberations._

MADELINE. Again! Gertrude! [GERTRUDE _raises her hand to command
silence; listens. Distant cannon again._

GERTRUDE. It is the opening of a battle.

MADELINE. Ah! [_Running down stage. The sounds again. Prolonged
rumble._

GERTRUDE. How often have I heard that sound. [_Coming down._] This is
war, Madeline! You are face to face with it now.

MADELINE. And Robert is there! He may be in the thickest of the
danger--at this very moment.

GERTRUDE. Yes. Let our prayers go up for him; mine do, with all a
sister's heart. [KERCHIVAL _enters on veranda, without coat or vest,
his sash about his waist, looking back as he comes in._] Kerchival!

KERCHIVAL. Go on! Go on! Keep the battle to yourselves. I'm out of it.
[_The distant cannon and reverberations rising in volume. Prolonged
and distant rumble._

MADELINE. I pray for Robert Ellingham--and for the _cause_ in which he
risks his life! [KERCHIVAL _looks at her, suddenly; also_ GERTRUDE.]
Heaven forgive me if I am wrong, but I am praying for the enemies
of my country. His people are my people, his enemies are my enemies.
Heaven defend him and his, in this awful hour.

KERCHIVAL. Madeline! My sister!

MADELINE. Oh, Kerchival! [_Turning and dropping her face on his
breast._] I cannot help it--I cannot help it!

KERCHIVAL. My poor girl! Every woman's heart, the world over, belongs
not to any country or any flag, but to her husband--and her lover.
Pray for the man you love, sister--it would be treason not to.
[_Passes her before him to left. Looks across to_ GERTRUDE.] Am I
right? [GERTRUDE _drops her head._ MADELINE _moves up veranda and
out._] Is what I have said to Madeline true?

GERTRUDE. Yes! [_Looks up._] Kerchival!

KERCHIVAL. Gertrude! [_Hurries across to her, clasps her in his arms.
He suddenly staggers and brings his hand to his breast._

GERTRUDE. Your wound! [_Supporting him as he reels and sinks into
seat._

KERCHIVAL. Wound! I have no wound! You do love me! [_Seizing her
hand._

GERTRUDE. Let me call the Surgeon, Kerchival.

KERCHIVAL. You can be of more service to me than he can. [_Detaining
her. Very heavy sounds of the battle; she starts, listening._] Never
mind that! It's only a battle. You love me!

GERTRUDE. Be quiet, Kerchival, dear. I do love you. I told you so,
when you lay bleeding here, last night. But you could not hear me.
[_At his side, resting her arm about him, stroking his head._] I said
that same thing--to--to--another, more than three years ago. It is
in that letter that General Buckthorn gave you. [KERCHIVAL _starts._]
No--no--you must be very quiet, or I will not say another word. If you
obey me, I will repeat that part of the letter, every word; I know
it by heart, for I read it a dozen times. The letter is from Mrs.
Haverill.

KERCHIVAL. [_Quietly._] Go on.

GERTRUDE. "I have kept your secret, my darling, but I was sorely
tempted to betray the confidence you reposed in me at Charleston.
If Kerchival West--[_She retires backward from him as she
proceeds._]--had heard you say, as I did, when your face was hidden in
my bosom, that night, that you loved him with your whole heart--"

KERCHIVAL. Ah! [_Starting to his feet. He sinks back. She springs to
support him._

GERTRUDE. I will go for help.

KERCHIVAL. Do not leave me at such a moment as this. You have brought
me a new life. [_Bringing her to her knees before him and looking down
at her._] Heaven is just opening before me. [_His hands drops suddenly
and his head falls back. Battle._

GERTRUDE. Ah! Kerchival! You are dying! [_Musketry. A sudden sharp
burst of musketry, mingled with the roar of artillery near by._
KERCHIVAL _starts, seizing_ GERTRUDE'S _arm and holding her away,
still on her knees. He looks eagerly._

KERCHIVAL. The enemy is close upon us!

BARKET _runs in, up the slope._

BARKET. Colonel Wist! The devils have sprung out of the ground.
They're pouring over our lift flank like Noah's own flood. The Union
Army has started back for Winchester, on its way to the North Pole;
our own regiment, Colonel, is coming over the hill in full retrate.

KERCHIVAL. My own regiment! [_Starting up._] Get my horse, Barket.
[_Turns._] Gertrude, my life! [_Embraces_ GERTRUDE.

BARKET. Your horse, is it? I'm wid ye! There's a row at Finnegan's
ball, and we're in it. [_Springs to road, and out._

KERCHIVAL. [_Turns away. Stops._] I am under arrest. [_Retreat.
Fugitives begin to straggle across stage._

GERTRUDE. You must not go, Kerchival; it will kill you.

KERCHIVAL. Arrest be damned! [_Starts up stage, raises his arms above
his head with clenched fist, rising to full height._] Stand out of my
way, you cowards! [_They cower away from him as he rushes out among
them. The stream of fugitives passing across stage swells in volume._
GERTRUDE _runs through them and up to the elevation, turning._

GERTRUDE. Men! Are you soldiers? Turn back! There is a leader for you!
Turn back! Fight for your flag--and mine!--the flag my father died
for! Turn back! [_She looks out and turns front._] He has been marked
for death already, and I--I can only pray. [_Dropping to her knees._

_The stream of fugitives continues, now over the elevation also. Rough
and torn uniforms, bandaged arms and legs; some limping and supported
by others, some dragging their muskets after them, others without
muskets, others using them as crutches. Variety of uniforms, cavalry,
infantry, etc.; flags draggled on the ground, the rattle of near
musketry and roar of cannon continue; two or three wounded fugitives
drop down beside the hedge._ BENSON _staggers in and drops upon rock
or stump near post. Artillerists, rough, torn and wounded, drag and
force a field-piece across._ CORPORAL DUNN, _wounded, staggers to the
top of elevation. There is a lull in the sounds of the battle. Distant
cheers are heard without._

CORPORAL DUNN. Listen, fellows! Stop! Listen! Sheridan! General
Sheridan is coming! [_Cheers from those on stage._ GERTRUDE _rises
quickly. The wounded soldiers rise, looking over hedge. All on stage
stop, looking eagerly. The cheers without come nearer, with shouts of_
"Sheridan! Sheridan!"] The horse is down; he is worn out.

GERTRUDE. No! He is up again! He is on my Jack! Now, for your life,
Jack, and for me! You've never failed me yet. [_The cheers without now
swell to full volume and are taken up by those on the stage. The horse
sweeps by with_ GENERAL SHERIDAN.] Jack! Jack!! Jack!!! [_Waving her
arms as he passes. She throws up her arms and falls backward, caught
by_ DUNN. _The stream of men is reversed and surges across stage
to road and on elevation, with shouts, throwing up hats, etc. The
field-piece is forced up the slope with a few bold, rough movements;
the artillerists are loading it, and the stream of returning fugitives
is still surging by in the road as the curtain falls._

CURTAIN.



ACT IV.


SCENE. _Residence of_ GENERAL BUCKTHORN, _in Washington. Interior.
Fireplace slanting upward. Small alcove. Opening to hall, with
staircase beyond, and also entrance from out left. Door up stage. A
wide opening, with portières to apartment. Upright piano down stage.
Armchair and low stool before fireplace. Small table for tea, etc.
Ottoman. Other chairs, ottomans, etc., to taste._

TIME. _Afternoon._

DISCOVERED. MRS. HAVERILL, _in armchair, resting her face upon her
hand, and looking into the fire._ EDITH _is on a low stool at her
side, sewing a child's garment._

EDITH. It seems hardly possible that the war is over, and that General
Lee has really surrendered. [_Fife and drum, without._] There is
music in the streets nearly all the time, now, and everybody looks so
cheerful and bright. [_Distant fife and drums heard playing "Johnnie
Comes Marching Home."_ EDITH _springs up and runs up to window,
looking out._] More troops returning! The old tattered battle-flag
is waving in the wind, and people are running after them so merrily.
[_Music stops._] Every day, now, seems like a holiday. [_Coming
down._] The war is over. All the women ought to feel very happy,
whose--whose husbands are--coming back to them.

MRS. HAVERILL. Yes, Edith; those women whose--husbands are coming back
to them. [_Still looking into fire._

EDITH. Oh! [_Dropping upon the stool, her head upon the arm of the
chair._

MRS. HAVERILL. [_Resting her arm over her._] My poor little darling!
_Your_ husband will not come back.

EDITH. Frank's last message has never reached me.

MRS. HAVERILL. No; but you have one sweet thought always with you.
Madeline West heard part of it, as Gertrude wrote it down. His last
thought was a loving one, of you.

EDITH. Madeline says that he was thinking of you, too. He knew that
you were taking such loving care of his little one, and of me. You
have always done that, since you first came back from Charleston, and
found me alone in New York.

MRS. HAVERILL. I found a dear, sweet little daughter. [_Stroking her
head._] Heaven sent you, darling! You have been a blessing to me. I
hardly know how I should have got through the past few months at all
without you at my side.

EDITH. What is your own trouble, dear? I have found you in tears
so often; and since last October, after the battle of Cedar Creek,
you--you have never shown me a letter from--from my--Frank's father.
General Haverill arrived in Washington yesterday, but has not been
here yet. Is it because I am here? He has never seen me, and I feel
that he has never forgiven Frank for marrying me.

MRS. HAVERILL. Nonsense, my child; he did think the marriage was
imprudent, but he told me to do everything I could for you. If General
Haverill has not been to see either of us, since his arrival in
Washington, it is nothing that you need to worry your dear little head
about. How are you getting on with your son's wardrobe?

EDITH. Oh! Splendidly! Frankie isn't a baby any longer; he's a man,
now, and he has to wear a man's clothes. [_Holding up a little pair of
trousers, with maternal pride._] He's rather young to be dressed like
a man, but I want Frank to grow up as soon as possible. I long to
have him old enough to understand me when I repeat to him the words
in which General Haverill told the whole world how his father died!
[_Rising._] And yet, even in his official report to the Government, he
only honoured him as Lieutenant Bedloe. He has never forgiven his son
for the disgrace he brought upon his name.

MRS. HAVERILL. I know him so well--[_Rising._]--the unyielding pride,
that conquers even the deep tenderness of his nature. He can be
silent, though his own heart is breaking. [_Aside._] He can be silent,
too, though _my_ heart is breaking. [_Dropping her face in her hand._

EDITH. _Mother!_ [_Putting her arm about her._

_Enter_ JANNETTE.

JANNETTE. A letter for you, Madam.

MRS. HAVERILL. [_Taking note. Aside._] He has answered me. [_Opens and
reads; inclines her head to_ JANNETTE, _who goes out to hall. Aloud._]
General Haverill will be here this afternoon, Edith. [_Exit up the
stairs._

EDITH. There is something that she cannot confide to me, or to anyone.
General Haverill returned to Washington yesterday, and he has not been
here yet. He will be here to-day. I always tremble when I think of
meeting him.

GENERAL BUCKTHORN _appears in hall._

BUCKTHORN. Come right in; this way, Barket. Ah, Edith!

BARKET. [_Entering._] As I was saying, sur--just after the battle of
Sayder Creek began--

BUCKTHORN. [_To_ EDITH.] More good news! The war is, indeed, over,
now!

BARKET. Whin Colonel Wist rode to the front to mate his raytrating
rigiment--

BUCKTHORN. General Johnson has surrendered his army, also; and that,
of course, does end the war.

EDITH. I'm very glad that all the fighting is over.

BUCKTHORN. So am I; but my occupation, and old Barket's, too, is gone.
Always at work on new clothes for our little soldier?

EDITH. He's growing so, I can hardly make them fast enough for him.
But this is the time for his afternoon nap. I must go now, to see if
he is sleeping soundly.

BUCKTHORN. Our dear little mother! [_Tapping her chin._] I always
claim the privilege of my white hair, you know. [_She, puts up her
lips; he kisses her. She goes out._] The sweetest young widow I ever
saw! [BARKET _coughs._ BUCKTHORN _turns sharply;_ BARKET _salutes._]
Well! What the devil are you thinking about now?

BARKET. The ould time, sur. Yer honour used to claim the same
privilege for brown hair.

BUCKTHORN. You old rascal! What a memory you have! You were telling me
for the hundredth time about the battle of Cedar Creek; go on. I can
never hear it often enough. Kerchival West was a favourite of mine,
poor fellow!

BARKET. Just afther the battle of Sayder Creek began, when the Colonel
rode to the front to mate his raytrating rigiment--

BUCKTHORN. I'll tell Old Margery to bring in tea for both of us,
Barket.

BARKET. For both of us, sur?

BUCKTHORN. Yes; and later in the evening we'll have something else,
together. This is a great day for all of us. I'm not your commander
to-day, but your old comrade in arms--[_Laying his arm over_ BARKET'S
_shoulder._]--and I'm glad I don't have to pull myself up now every
time I forget my dignity. Ah! you and I will be laid away before long,
but we'll be together again in the next world, won't we, Barket?

BARKET. Wid yer honour's permission. [_Saluting._

BUCKTHORN. Ha--ha--ha! [_Laughing._] If we do meet there I'm certain
you'll salute me as your superior officer. There's old Margery, now.
[_Looking to door. Calls._] Margery! Tea for two!

MARGERY. [_Without._] The tay be waiting for ye, sur; and it be
boilin' over wid impatience.

BUCKTHORN. Bring up a chair, Barket. [_Sitting in arm-chair._

BARKET. [_Having placed table and drawing up a chair._] Do you know,
Gineral, I don't fale quite aisy in my moind. I'm not quite sure that
Margery will let us take our tay together. [_Sits down, doubtfully._

BUCKTHORN. I hadn't thought of that. I--[_Glancing right._]--I
hope she will, Barket. But, of course, if she won't--she's been
commander-in-chief of my household ever since Jenny was a baby.

BARKET. At Fort Duncan, in Texas.

BUCKTHORN. You and Old Margery never got along very well in those
days; but I thought you had made it all up; she nursed you through
your wound, last summer, and after the battle of Cedar Creek, also.

BARKET. Yis, sur, bliss her kind heart, she's been like a wife to me;
and that's the trouble. A man's wife is such an angel when he's ill
that he dreads to get well; good health is a misfortune to him. Auld
Margery and I have had anither misunderstanding.

BUCKTHORN. I'll do the best I can for both of us, Barket. You were
telling me about the battle of--

BARKET. Just afther the battle of Sayder Creek began, whin Colonel
Wist rode to the front to mate his raytrating rigiment--

_Enter_ OLD MARGERY, _tray, tea, &c. She stops abruptly, looking at_
BARKET. _He squirms in his chair._ BUCKTHORN _rises and stands with
his back to the mantel._ OLD MARGERY _moves to the table, arranges
things on it, glances at_ BARKET, _then at_ BUCKTHORN, _who looks up
at ceiling, rubbing his chin, &c._ OLD MARGERY _takes up one of the
cups, with saucer._

OLD MARGERY. I misunderstood yer order, sur. I see there's no one here
but yerself. [_Going right._

BUCKTHORN. Ah, Margery! [_She stops._] Barket tells me that there has
been a slight misunderstanding between you and him.

OLD MARGERY. Day before yisterday, the ould Hibernian dhrone had the
kitchen upside down, to show anither old milithary vagabone loike
himself how the battle of Sayder Creek was fought. He knocked the
crame pitcher into the basket of clane clothes, and overturned some
raspberry jam and the flat-irons into a pan of fresh eggs. There _has_
been a misunderstanding betwane us.

BUCKTHORN. I see there has. I suppose Barket was showing his friend
how Colonel Kerchival West rode forward to meet his regiment, when he
was already wounded dangerously.

OLD MARGERY. Bliss the poor, dear young man! He and I was always good
frinds, though he was somethin' of a devil in the kitchen himself,
whin he got there. [_Wiping her eye with one corner of her apron._]
And bliss the young Southern lady that was in love wid him, too.
[_Changing the cup and wiping the other eye with the corner of her
apron._] Nothing was iver heard of ayther of thim after that battle
was over, to this very day.

BUCKTHORN. Barket was at Kerchival's side when he rode to the front.
[OLD MARGERY _hesitates a moment, then moves to the table, sets down
the cup and marches out._ BUCKTHORN _sits in the arm-chair again,
pouring tea._] I could always find some way to get Old Margery to do
what I wanted her to do.

BARKET. You're a great man, Ginerel; we'd niver have conquered the
South widout such men.

BUCKTHORN. Now go on, Barket; you were interrupted.

BARKET. Just afther the battle of Sayder Creek began, whin--

_Enter_ JANNETTE _with card, which she hands to_ BUCKTHORN.

BUCKTHORN. [_Reading card._] Robert Ellingham! [_Rises._] I will go to
him. [_To_ JANNETTE.] Go upstairs and tell Madeline to come down.

JANNETTE. Yes, sir. [_Going._

BUCKTHORN. And, Jannette, simply say there is a caller; don't tell her
who is here. [_Exit_ JANNETTE _upstairs._ BUCKTHORN _follows her
out to hall._] Ellingham! My dear fellow! [_Extending his hand and
disappearing._

BARKET. Colonel Ellingham and Miss Madeline--lovers! That's the kind
o' volunteers the country nades now!

_Enter_ BUCKTHORN _and_ ELLINGHAM.

BUCKTHORN. [_As he enters._] We've been fighting four years to keep
you out of Washington, Colonel, but we are delighted to see you within
the lines, now.

ELLINGHAM. I am glad, indeed, General, to have so warm a welcome. But
can you tell me anything about my sister, Gertrude?

BUCKTHORN. About your sister? Why, can't you tell us? And have you
heard nothing of Kerchival West on your side of the line?

ELLINGHAM. All I can tell you is this: As soon as possible after our
surrender at Appomattox, I made my way to the Shenandoah Valley. Our
home there is utterly deserted. I have hurried down to Washington in
the hopes that I might learn something of you. There is no human being
about the old homestead; it is like a haunted house--empty, and dark,
and solitary. You do not even know where Gertrude is?

BUCKTHORN. We only know that Kerchival was not found among the dead of
his own regiment at Cedar Creek, though he fell among them during
the fight. The three girls searched the field for him, but he was
not there. As darkness came on, and they were returning to the house,
Gertrude suddenly seized the bridle of a stray horse, sprang upon its
back and rode away to the South, into the woods at the foot of Three
Top Mountain. The other two girls watched for her in vain. She did not
return, and we have heard nothing from her since.

ELLINGHAM. Poor girl! I understand what was in her thoughts, and she
was right. We captured fourteen hundred prisoners that day, although
we were defeated, and Kerchival must have been among them. Gertrude
rode away, alone, in the darkness, to find him. I shall return to the
South at once and learn where she now is.

JANNETTE _has re-entered, down the stairs._

JANNETTE. Miss Madeline will be down in a moment. [_Exit in hall._

BARKET. [_Aside._] That name wint through his chist like a rifle ball.

BUCKTHORN. Will you step into the drawing-room, Colonel? I will see
Madeline myself, first. She does not even know that you are living.

ELLINGHAM. I hardly dared asked for her. [_Passing; turns._] Is she
well?

BUCKTHORN. Yes; and happy--or soon will be.

ELLINGHAM. Peace, at last! [_Exit to apartment._ BUCKTHORN _closes
portières._

BUCKTHORN. I ought to prepare Madeline a little, Barket; you must help
me.

BARKET. Yis, sur, I will.

_Enter_ MADELINE _down the stairs._

MADELINE. Uncle! Jannette said you wished to see me; there is a
visitor here. Who is it?

BARKET. Colonel Robert Ellingham.

MADELINE. Ah! [_Staggering._

BUCKTHORN. [_Supporting her._] You infernal idiot! I'll put you in the
guard-house!

BARKET. You wanted me to help ye, Gineral.

MADELINE. Robert is alive--and here? [_Rising from his arms, she moves
to the portières, holds them aside, peeping in; gives a joyful start,
tosses aside the portières and runs through._

BUCKTHORN. Barket! There's nothing but that curtain between us and
Heaven.

BARKET. I don't like stayin' out o' Hivin, myself, sur. Gineral! I'll
kiss Ould Margery--if I die for it! [_Exit._

BUCKTHORN. Kiss Old Margery! I'll give him a soldier's funeral.
[_Enter_ JENNY _from hall, demurely._] Ah! Jenny, my dear! I have news
for you. Colonel Robert Ellingham is in the drawing-room.

JENNY. Oh! I am delighted. [_Starting._

BUCKTHORN. A-h-e-m!

JENNY. Oh!--exactly. I see. I have some news for _you,_ papa. Captain
Heartsease has arrived in Washington.

BUCKTHORN. Oh! My dear! I have often confessed to you how utterly
mistaken I was about that young man. He is a soldier--as good a
soldier as you are. I'll ask him to the house.

JENNY. [_Demurely._] He is here now.

BUCKTHORN. Now?

JENNY. He's been here an hour; in the library.

BUCKTHORN. Why! Barket and I were in the library fifteen minutes ago.

JENNY. Yes, sir. We were in the bay-window; the curtains were closed.

BUCKTHORN. Oh! exactly; I see. You may tell him he has my full
consent.

JENNY. He hasn't asked for it.

BUCKTHORN. Hasn't he? And you've been in the bay-window an hour? Well,
my darling--I was considered one of the best Indian fighters in the
old army, but it took me four years to propose to your mother. I'll go
and see the Captain. [_Exit to hall._

JENNY. I wonder if it will take Captain Heartsease four years to
propose to me. Before he left Washington, nearly two years ago, he
told everybody in the circle of my acquaintance, except me, that he
was in love with me. I'll be an old lady in caps before our engagement
commences. Poor, dear mother! The idea of a girl's waiting four years
for a chance to say "Yes." It's been on the tip of my tongue so often,
I'm afraid it'll pop out, at last, before he pops the question.

_Enter_ BUCKTHORN _and_ HEARTSEASE _from hall._

BUCKTHORN. Walk right in, Captain; this is the family room. You must
make yourself quite at home here.

HEARTSEASE. Thank you. [_Walking down._

BUCKTHORN. My dear! [_Apart to_ JENNY.] The very first thing he said
to me, after our greeting, was that he loved my daughter.

JENNY. Now he's told my father!

BUCKTHORN. He's on fire!

JENNY. Is he? [_Looking at_ HEARTSEASE, _who stands quietly stroking
his mustache._] Why doesn't he tell _me?_

BUCKTHORN. You may have to help him a little; your mother assisted
me. [_Turning up stage._] When you and Jenny finish your chat,
Captain--[_Lighting a cigar at the mantel._]--you must join me in the
smoking-room.

HEARTSEASE. I shall be delighted. By the way, General--I have been in
such a fever of excitement since I arrived at this house--

JENNY. [_Aside._] Fever? Chills!

HEARTSEASE. That I forgot it entirely. I have omitted a very important
and a very sad commission. I have brought with me the note-book of
Lieutenant Frank Bedloe--otherwise Haverill--in which Miss Gertrude
Ellingham wrote down his last message to his young wife.

JENNY. Have you seen Gertrude?

BUCKTHORN. [_Taking book._] How did this note-book come into your
possession?

HEARTSEASE. Miss Ellingham visited the prison in North Carolina where
I was detained. She was going from hospital to hospital, from prison
to prison, and from burial-place to burial-place, to find Colonel
Kerchival West, if living--or some record of his death.

BUCKTHORN. Another Evangeline! Searching for her lover through the
wilderness of this great war!

HEARTSEASE. I was about to be exchanged at the time, and she requested
me to bring this to her friends in Washington. She had not intended to
carry it away with her. I was not exchanged, as we then expected, but
I afterwards escaped from prison to General Sherman's army.

BUCKTHORN. I will carry this long-delayed message to the widowed young
mother. [_Exit._

JENNY. I remember so well, when poor Lieutenant Haverill took out the
note-book and asked Gertrude to write for him. He--he brought me a
message at the same time. [_Their eyes meet. He puts up his glasses.
She turns away, touching her eyes._

HEARTSEASE. I--I remember the circumstances you probably allude to;
that is--when he left my side--I--I gave him my--I mean your--lace
handkerchief.

JENNY. It is sacred to me!

HEARTSEASE. Y-e-s--I would say--is it?

JENNY. [_Wiping her eyes._] It was stained with the life-blood of a
hero!

HEARTSEASE. I must apologize to you for its condition. I hadn't any
chance to have it washed and ironed.

JENNY. [_Looking around at him, suddenly; then, aside._] What could
any girl do with a lover like that? [_Turning up stage._

HEARTSEASE. [_Aside._] She seems to remember that incident so
tenderly! My blood boils!

JENNY. Didn't you long to see your--your friends at home--when you
were in prison, Captain?

HEARTSEASE. Yes--especially--I longed especially, Miss Buckthorn, to
see--

JENNY. _Yes!--to see--_

HEARTSEASE. But there were lots of jolly fellows in the prison. [JENNY
_turns away._] We had a dramatic society, and a glee club, and an
orchestra. I was one of the orchestra. I had a banjo, with one string;
I played one tune on it, that I used to play on the piano with one
finger. But, Miss Buckthorn, I am a prisoner again, to-night--your
prisoner.

JENNY. [_Aside._] At last!

HEARTSEASE. I'll show you how that tune went. [_Turns to piano; sits._

JENNY. [_Aside._] Papa said I'd have to help him, but I don't see an
opening. [HEARTSEASE _plays part of an air with one finger; strikes
two or three wrong notes._

HEARTSEASE. There are two notes down there, somewhere, that I
never could get right. The fellows in prison used to dance while I
played--[_Playing._]--that is, the lame ones did; those that weren't
lame couldn't keep the time.

JENNY. You must have been in great danger, Captain, when you escaped
from prison.

HEARTSEASE. Y-e-s. I was badly frightened several times. One night
I came face to face, on the road, with a Confederate officer. It was
Captain Thornton.

JENNY. Oh! What did you do?

HEARTSEASE. I killed him. [_Very quietly, and trying the tune again
at once. Enter_ JANNETTE, _from in hall; she glances into the room
and goes up the stairs._] I used to skip those two notes on the banjo.
It's very nice for a soldier to come home from the war, and meet
those--I mean the one particular person--that he--you see, when a
soldier loves a woman, as--as--

JENNY. [_Aside._] As he loves me. [_Approaches him._

HEARTSEASE. As soldiers often do--[_Plays; she turns away, petulantly;
he plays the tune through correctly._] That's it!

JENNY. [_Aside._] I'm not going to be made love to by piece-meal,
like this, any longer. [_Aloud._] Captain Heartsease! Have you
anything in particular to say to me? [_He looks up._

HEARTSEASE. Y-e-s. [_Rising._

JENNY. Say it! You told my father, and all my friends, that you were
in love with me. Whom are you going to tell next?

HEARTSEASE. I _am_ in love with you.

JENNY. It was my turn.

HEARTSEASE. [_Going near to her._] Do you love me?

JENNY. [_Laying her head quietly on his breast._] I must take time to
consider.

HEARTSEASE. [_Quietly._] I assume that this means "Yes."

JENNY. It isn't the way a girl says "No."

HEARTSEASE. My darling!

JENNY. Why! His heart is beating as fast as mine is!

HEARTSEASE. [_Quietly._] I am frantic with joy. [_He kisses her. She
hides her face on his breast. Enter_ MRS. HAVERILL, _down-stairs,
followed by_ JANNETTE. MRS. HAVERILL _stops suddenly._ JANNETTE
_stands in the doorway._ HEARTSEASE _inclines his head to her, quietly
looking at her over_ JENNY.] I am delighted to see you, after so long
an absence; I trust that we shall meet more frequently hereafter.

JENNY. [_Looking at him._] Eh?

HEARTSEASE. [_Looking down at her._] I think, perhaps, it might be
as well for us to repair to another apartment, and continue our
interview, there!

JENNY. [_Dropping her head on his breast again._] This room is very
comfortable.

MRS. HAVERILL. Jenny, dear! [JENNY _starts up; looks from_ MRS.
HAVERILL _to_ HEARTSEASE.

JENNY. Constance! I--'Bout face! March! [_Turns and goes out._

MRS. HAVERILL. I am glad to see you again, Captain, and happy as well
as safe.

HEARTSEASE. Thank you, Madam. I am happy. If you will excuse me, I
will join--my father--in the smoking-room. [MRS. HAVERILL _inclines
her head, and_ HEARTSEASE _walks out._

MRS. HAVERILL. Jannette! You may ask General Haverill to come into
this room. [_Exit_ JANNETTE. MRS. HAVERILL _walks down, reading
a note._] "I have hesitated to come to you personally, as I have
hesitated to write to you. If I have been silent, it is because I
could not bring my hand to write what was in my mind and in my heart.
I do not know that I can trust my tongue to speak it, but I will
come."

_Enter_ HAVERILL _from hall; he stops._

HAVERILL. Constance!

MRS. HAVERILL. My husband! May I call you husband? After all these
months of separation, with your life in almost daily peril, and my
life--what? Only a weary longing for one loving word--and you are
silent.

HAVERILL. May I call you wife? I do not wish to speak that word except
with reverence. You have asked me to come to you. I am here. I will
be plain, direct and brief. Where is the portrait of yourself, which I
gave you, in Charleston, for my son?

MRS. HAVERILL. Your son is dead, sir; and my portrait lies upon his
breast, in the grave. [HAVERILL _takes the miniature from his pocket
and holds it towards her in his extended hand. She starts back._] He
gave it to you? And you ask me where it is?

HAVERILL. It might have lain in the grave of Kerchival West!

MRS. HAVERILL. Ah!

HAVERILL. Not in my son's. I found it upon _his_ breast. [_She turns
front, dazed._] Well! I am listening! It was not I that sought this
interview, Madam; and if you prefer to remain silent, I will go. You
know, now, why I have been silent so long.

MRS. HAVERILL. My only witnesses to the truth are both dead. I shall
remain silent. [_Turning towards him._] We stand before each other,
living, but not so happy as they. We are parted, forever. Even if you
should accept my unsupported word--if I could so far forget my pride
as to give it to you--suspicion would still hang between us. I
remain silent. [HAVERILL _looks at her, earnestly, for a moment; then
approaches her._

HAVERILL. I cannot look into your eyes and not see truth and loyalty
there. Constance!

MRS. HAVERILL. No, John! [_Checking him._] I will not accept your
blind faith!

HAVERILL. [_Looking down at the picture in his hand._] My faith is
blind; blind as my love! I do not wish to see! [_Enter_ EDITH. _She
stops; looks at_ HAVERILL. _He raises his head and looks at her._

EDITH. This is General Haverill? [_Dropping her eyes._] I am Edith,
sir.

HAVERILL. [_Gently._] My son's wife. [_Kisses her forehead._] You
shall take the place he once filled in my heart. His crime and his
disgrace are buried in a distant grave.

EDITH. And you have not forgiven him, even yet?

MRS. HAVERILL. Is there no atonement for poor Frank's sin--not even
his death? Can you only bury the wrong and forget the good?

HAVERILL. The good?

MRS. HAVERILL. Your own words to the Government, as his commander!

HAVERILL. What do you mean?

MRS. HAVERILL. "The victory of Cedar Creek would have been impossible
without the sacrifice of this young officer."

HAVERILL. My own words, yes--but--

EDITH. "His name must take its place, forever, in the roll of names
which his countrymen honour."

HAVERILL. Lieutenant Bedloe!

MRS. HAVERILL. Haverill! You did not know?

HAVERILL. My--son.

EDITH. You did not receive mother's letter?--after his death?

HAVERILL. My son! [_Sinking upon chair or ottoman._] I left him alone
in his grave, unknown; but my tears fell for him then, as they do now.
He died before I reached him.

EDITH. Father! [_Laying her hand gently on his shoulder._] You shall
see Frank's face again. His little son is lying asleep upstairs; and
when he wakes up, Frank's own eyes will look into yours. I have
just received his last message. I will read it to you. [_Note-book.
Reads._] "Tell our little son how his father died, not how he lived.
And tell her who filled my own mother's place so lovingly." [_She
looks at_ MRS. HAVERILL, _moves to her and hides her face in her
bosom._] My mother!

MRS. HAVERILL. Edith--my child! Frank loved us both.

EDITH. [_Reading._] "Father's portrait of her, which she gave to me in
Charleston--[HAVERILL _starts._]--helped me to be a better man."

HAVERILL. [_Rising to his feet._] Constance!

EDITH. [_Reading._] "It was taken from me in Richmond, and it is in
the possession of Captain Edward Thornton."

HAVERILL. One moment! Stop! Let me think! [EDITH _looks at him;
retires up stage._] Thornton was a prisoner--and to Kerchival West. A
despatch had been found upon him--he was searched! [_He moves to her
and takes both her hands in his own, bowing his head over them._] My
head is bowed in shame.

MRS. HAVERILL. Speak to me, John, as you used to speak! Tell me you
still love me!

HAVERILL. The--the words will come--but they are--choking me--now.
[_Presses her hand to his lips._

MRS. HAVERILL. We will think no more of the past, except of what
was bright in it. Frank's memory, and our own love, will be with us
always.

_Enter_ BUCKTHORN, _followed by_ HEARTSEASE.

BUCKTHORN. Haverill! You are back from the war, too. It begins to look
like peace in earnest.

HAVERILL. Yes. Peace and home. [_Shaking hands with him._ MRS.
HAVERILL _joins_ EDITH.

_Enter_ BARKET.

BARKET. Gineral! [BUCKTHORN _moves to him._ HAVERILL _joins_ MRS.
HAVERILL _and_ EDITH. BARKET _speaks apart, twisting one side of his
face._] I kissed her!

BUCKTHORN. Have you sent for a surgeon?

BARKET. I felt as if the inimy had surprised us agin, and Sheridan was
sixty miles away.

HAVERILL. This is old Sergeant Barket. [BARKET _salutes._] You were
the last man of us all that saw Colonel West.

BARKET. Just afther the battle of Sayder Creek began--whin Colonel
Wist rode to the front to mate his retreating rigiment--the byes
formed in line, at sight of him, to raysist the victorious inimy. It
was just at the brow of a hill--about there, sur--[_Pointing with
his cane._] and--here! [_He takes tray from table and sets it on the
carpet. Lays the slices of bread in a row._] That be the rigiment.
[_All interested._ MADELINE _and_ ELLINGHAM _enter, and look on._
BARKET _arranges the two cups and saucers in a row._] That be the
inimy's batthery, sur. [_Enter_ MARGERY. _She goes to the table; then
looks around, sharply, at_ BARKET.

MARGERY. Ye ould Hibernian dhrone! What are yez doin' wid the china on
the floor? You'll break it all!

BUCKTHORN. Ah--Margery! Barket is telling us where he last saw Colonel
Kerchival West.

MARGERY. The young Colonel! The tay-cups and saucers be's the inimy's
batthery? Yez may smash 'em, if ye loike!

BUCKTHORN. Go on, Barket. [JENNY _and_ HEARTSEASE _have entered as_
BARKET _proceeds; the whole party lean forward, intensely interested._
GERTRUDE _enters in hall, looks in, beckons out left._ KERCHIVAL
_follows. They move up stage, back of the rest and unseen, listening._

BARKET. Just as the rigiment was rayformed in line, and Colonel Wist
was out in front--widout any coat or hat, and wid only a shtick in his
hand--we heard cheers in the rear. Gineral Sheridan was coming! One
word to the men--and we swept over the batthery like a whirlwind!
[_Slashing his cane through the cups and saucers._

MARGERY. Hoo-roo!

BARKET. The attack on the lift flank was checked. But when we shtopped
to take breath, Colonel Wist wasn't wid us. [GERTRUDE _turns lovingly
to_ KERCHIVAL. _He places his arm about her._] Heaven knows where he
is now. Afther the battle was over, poor Miss Gertrude wint off by
hersilf into the wilderness to find him.

KERCHIVAL. My wife! You saved my life, at last! [_Embracing her._

BARKET. They'll niver come together in this world. I saw Miss
Gertrude, myself, ride away into the woods and disappear behind a
school-house on the battle-field, over there.

GERTRUDE. No, Barket--[_All start and look._]--it was the little
church; we were married there this morning!

CURTAIN.





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