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Title: Dandy Dick - A Play in Three Acts
Author: Pinero, Arthur Wing, Sir, 1855-1934
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dandy Dick - A Play in Three Acts" ***

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DANDY DICK

A PLAY IN THREE ACTS

By

ARTHUR W. PINERO

AUTHOR OF "SWEET LAVENDER," "THE TIMES," "THE CABINET MINISTER,"
"LADY BOUNTIFUL," ETC.

All rights reserved. Performance forbidden, and right of
representation reserved. Application for the right of performing this
piece must be made to the publishers.

BOSTON

_WALTER H. BAKER_



Copyright, 1893, by

ARTHUR W. PINERO

_All rights reserved._



INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

"Dandy Dick" was the third of the farces which Mr. Pinero wrote for
the old Court Theatre--a series of plays which, besides giving
playgoers a fresh source of laughter, and the English stage a new
order of comic play, brought plentiful prosperity to the joint
management of Mr. Arthur Cecil and the late Mr. John Clayton. But a
kind of melancholy interest attaches to "Dandy Dick," for this play
was, as it were, the swan-song of the old theatre and of the Clayton
and Cecil partnership; and it was the piece in which Mr. Clayton was
acting when death overtook him, to the general grief.

The production of "Dandy Dick" may be considered as something of a
_tour de force_ in its way. "The Schoolmistress" was at the end of its
successful run, and Mr. Pinero was under contract to supply its
successor by a certain date, when Mr. Clayton one day went down to
Brighton, where the dramatist was then at work, to hear him read the
two completed acts of the new play. To Mr. Clayton's consternation,
however, Mr. Pinero announced that he was dissatisfied with his work,
and proposed to begin an entirely new play, as he had a more promising
idea. But time was pressing, and a successor to "The Schoolmistress"
was an immediate necessity. However, Mr. Pinero's idea of writing a
play round a dean, who, while being a paragon of dignity and decorum,
should be driven by an indiscreet act into a most undignified dilemma,
appealed to Mr. Clayton, and hastening back to London with the
sketches for the requisite scenes, he left Mr. Pinero to set to work
at once upon the new scheme. And within a few weeks, indeed by the
time the scenery was ready, the new play was completed, the rural
constable of a village adjacent to Brighton having suggested the
character of Noah Topping.

"Dandy Dick" was produced at the Court Theatre on January 27th, 1887,
and, meeting with a most favorable initial reception, it settled down
immediately into a complete success. The following is a copy of the
first-night programme:--


ROYAL COURT THEATRE,

SLOANE SQUARE, S.W.


_Lessees and Managers:_

Mr. John Clayton and Mr. Arthur Cecil.


Programme

THIS EVENING, THURSDAY, JANUARY 27, _At_ 8.30 _punctually_,

DANDY DICK.

AN ORIGINAL FARCE, IN THREE ACTS,

BY

A. W. PINERO.

THE VERY REV. AUGUSTIN JEDD, D.D.        MR. JOHN CLAYTON.
 (Dean of St. Marvell's)

SIR TRISTRAM MARDON, Bart                MR. EDMUND MAURICE.

                  --th Hussars,
MAJOR TARVER   {  quartered at      }    MR. F. KERR.
MR. DARBEY     {  Durnstone, near   }    MR. H. EVERSFIELD.
                  St. Marvell's

BLORE (Butler at the Deanery)            MR. ARTHUR CECIL.

NOAH TOPPING (Constable at               MR. W. H. DENNY.
 St. Marvell's)

HATCHAM (Sir Tristram's groom)           MR. W. LUGG.

GEORGIANA TIDMAN (a Widow,               MRS. JOHN WOOD.
 the Dean's sister)

SALOME }  the Dean's Daughters      {    MISS MARIE LEWES.
SHEBA  }                            {    MISS NORREYS.

HANNAH TOPPING (formerly in              MISS LAURA LINDEN.
 Service at the Deanery)



ACT I.

AT THE DEANERY, ST. MARVELL'S.

(Morning.)


ACT II.

THE SAME PLACE.

(Evening.)

ACT III.--The Next Day. Scene 1:--"_The Strong Box,_" _St. Marvell's.
Scene 2.--The Deanery again._

The curtain will be lowered for a few minutes between the two scenes.

New Scenery by Mr. T. W. Hall.

Preceded, at Eight o'clock, by

"THE NETTLE."

An Original Comedietta by ERNEST WARREN.

"Dandy Dick" was performed 171 times between the first night and the
22d of July, when, the old theatre being demolished, Mr. Clayton took
a temporary lease of Toole's Theatre, and transferred the play
thither, where it ran 75 nights more.

A company had already been sent out, under the auspices of the Court
management, to perform "Dandy Dick" in the provinces; but, when the
play was withdrawn from the London boards, Mr. Clayton set out himself
with a company, and it was during this tour that he died at Liverpool.

In America Mr. Daly produced "Dandy Dick" with Miss Ada Rehan in Mrs.
John Wood's part, but no very great success was achieved; whereas in
Australia its reception was so enthusiastic that it ran for quite an
unusual time both in Melbourne and Sydney. In the character of the
Dean, Mr. G. W. Anson achieved perhaps the greatest of his Australian
successes, and Mr. Robert Brough made his mark as the policeman.

MALCOLM C. SALAMAK.

_December_, 1892.



DANDY DICK.

THE FIRST ACT.

_The morning-room in the Deanery of St. Marvells, with a large arched
opening leading to the library on the right, and a deeply-recessed
window opening out to the garden on the left. It is a bright spring
morning, and an air of comfort and serenity pervades the place._

_SALOME, a tall, handsome, dark girl, of about three-and-twenty, is
sitting with her elbows resting on her knees, staring wildly into
vacancy. SHEBA, a fair little girl of about seventeen, wearing short
petticoats, shares her despondency, and lies prostrate upon the
settee._

SALOME.

Oh! oh my! oh my! oh my!

SHEBA.

[_Sitting upright._] Oh, my gracious goodness, goodness gracious me!

[_They both walk about excitedly._

SALOME.

There's only one terrible word for it--it's a fix!

SHEBA.

It's worse than that! It's a scrape! How did you ever get led into it?

SALOME.

How did _we_ get led into it? Halves, Sheba, please.

SHEBA.

It was Major Tarver's proposal, and I believe, Salome, that it is to
_you_ Major Tarver is paying attention.

SALOME.

The Fancy Dress Masked Ball at Durnstone is promoted by the Officers
of the Hussars. I believe that the young gentleman you have impressed
calls himself an officer, though he is merely a lieutenant.

SHEBA.

[_Indignantly._] Mr. Darbey is _certainly_ an officer--a small
officer. How dare you gird at me, Salome?

SALOME.

Very well, then. When to-night we appear at the Durnstone Athenaeum,
unknown to dear Papa, on the arms of Major Tarver and Mr. Darbey, I
consider that we shall be equally wicked. Oh, how can we be so wrong?

SHEBA.

Well, we're not wrong yet. We're only _going_ to be wrong; that's a
very different matter.

SALOME.

That's true. Besides, there's this to remember--we're inexperienced
girls and have only dear Papa. But oh, now that the Ball is to-night,
I repent, Sheba, I repent!

SHEBA.

I sha'n't do that till to-morrow. But oh, how I _shall_ repent
to-morrow!

SALOME.

[_Taking an envelope from her pocket, and almost crying._] You'd
repent now if you had seen the account for the fancy dresses.

SHEBA.

Has it come in?

SALOME.

Yes, the Major enclosed it to me this morning. You know, Sheba, Major
Tarver promised to get the dresses made in London, so I gave him our
brown paper patterns to send to the _costumier._

SHEBA.

[_Shocked._] Oh, Salome, do you think he quizzed them?

SALOME.

No; I sealed them up and marked outside "To be opened only by a lady."

SHEBA.

That's all right. I hate the plan of myself in brown paper.

SALOME.

Well, of course Major Tarver begged to be allowed to pay for the
dresses, and I said I couldn't dream of permitting it, and then he
said he should be most unhappy if he didn't, and, just as I thought he
was going to have his own way, [_bursting into tears_] he cheered up
and said he'd yield to a lady. [_Taking a large account from the
envelope._] And oh! he's yielded.

SHEBA.

Read it! Don't spare me!

SALOME.

[_Reading._] "Debtor to Lewis Isaacs, _Costumier_ to the Queen, Bow
Street. One gown--period French Revolution, 1798--Fifteen guineas!"

SHEBA.

[_Sinking on her knees, clutching the table._] Oh!

SALOME.

"Trimmings, linings, buttons, frillings--Seven guineas!"

SHEBA.

[_Hysterically._] Yah!

SALOME.

That's mine!

SHEBA.

[_Putting her fingers into her ears._] Now for mine, oooh!

SALOME.

[_Reading._] "One skirt and bodice--flower girl--period uncertain--Ten
guineas."

SHEBA.

Less than yours! What a shame!

SALOME.

"Trimmings, linings, buttons, frillings--Five guineas! Extras, Two
guineas. Total, Forty pounds, nineteen. Ladies' own brown paper
patterns mislaid. Terms, Cash!"

[_They throw themselves into each other's arms._

SALOME.

Oh, Sheba!

SHEBA.

Salome! Are there forty pounds in the wide world?

SALOME.

My heart weighs twenty. What shall we do?

SHEBA.

If we were only a few years older I should suggest that we wrote nice
notes to Papa and committed suicide.

SALOME.

Brought up as we have been, that's out of the question!

SHEBA.

Then let us be brave women and wear the dresses!

SALOME.

Of course we'll do that, but--the bill!

SHEBA.

We must get dear Papa in a good humor and coax him to make us a
present of money. He knows we haven't been charitable in the town for
ever so long.

SALOME.

Poor dear Papa! He hasn't paid our proper dressmaker's bill yet, and
I'm sure he's pressed for money.

SHEBA.

But we can't help that when _we're_ pressed for money--poor dear Papa!

SALOME.

Suppose poor Papa refuses to give us a present?

SHEBA.

Then we must play the piano when he's at work on his Concordance--poor
dear Papa!

SALOME.

However, don't let us wrong poor Papa in advance. Let us try to think
how nice we shall look.

SHEBA.

Oh yes--sha'n't I!

SALOME.

Oh, I shall! And as for stealing out of the house with Major Tarver
when poor dear Papa has gone to bed, why, Gerald Tarver would die for
me!

SHEBA.

So would Nugent Darbey for me; besides I'm not old enough to know
better.

SALOME.

You're not so very much younger than I, Sheba!

SHEBA.

Indeed, Salome! Then why do you keep me in short skirts?

SALOME.

Why! you cruel girl! You know I can't lengthen you till I'm married!

[_BLORE, the butler, a venerable-looking person, with rather a
clerical suggestion about his dress, enters by the window._

BLORE.

[_Benignly._] The two soldier gentlemen have just rode hup, Miss
Salome.

[_The girls clutch each other's hands._

SALOME.

You mean Major Tarver?

SHEBA.

And Mr. Darbey. They have called to inquire after poor Papa.

SALOME.

Poor Papa!

BLORE.

Shall I show them hin, Miss Sheba?

SHEBA.

Yes, Blore, dear, and hang your h's on the hat-stand.

[BLORE _laughs sweetly at SHEBA and shakes his fingers at her
playfully._

BLORE.

[_Vindictively, behind their backs._] 'Ussies!

[_He goes out._

SALOME.

Am I all right, Sheba?

SHEBA.

Yes. Am I?

SALOME.

Yes. [_Looking out at window._] Here they are! How well Gerald Tarver
dismounts! Oh!

SHEBA.

He left his liver in India, didn't he?

SALOME.

No--only part of it.

SHEBA.

Well--part of it.

SALOME.

And that he gave to his Queen, brave fellow!

SHEBA.

[_Seating herself in an artificial attitude._] Where shall we
be--here?

SALOME.

[_Running to the piano._] All right; you be admiring my voice!

SHEBA.

Oh, I dare say!

SALOME.

Here they are, and we're doing nothing!

SHEBA.

Let's run away and then come in unconsciously.

SALOME.

Yes--unconsciously.

[_They run off through the Library. BLORE shows in MAJOR TARVER and
MR. DARBEY, who are both in regimentals. MAJOR TARVER is a
middle-aged, tall, angular officer, with a thin face, yellow
complexion, and red eyes. He is alternately in a state of great
excitement and depression. MR. DARBEY is a mere boy, but with a
pompous, patronizing manner._

DARBEY.

The Dean's out of the way, eh!

BLORE.

Yes, sir, he his.

TARVER.

Eh? How is the Dean? Never mind--perhaps Miss Jedd is at home?

BLORE.

Yes, sir, she his.

TARVER.

It would be discourteous to run away without asking Miss Jedd after
her father.

DARBEY.

[_Throwing himself on the settee._] Deuced bad form!

BLORE.

The ladies were 'ere a minute ago.

[_SALOME and SHEBA walk in together. SALOME has her arm round her
sister's waist and looks up to her with a sweet, trusting smile. They
start in confusion on seeing TARVER and DARBEY._

SALOME.

Major Tarver.

SHEBA.

Mr. Darbey.

TARVER.

[_Taking SALOME'S hand eagerly._] My dear Miss Jedd!

DARBEY.

[_Rising and putting a glass to his eye._] Hah yah! Hah yah!

SALOME.

[_With her hand on her heart._] You quite startled us.

TARVER.

[_In an agony of contrition._] Oh, did we?

DARBEY.

Awfully cut up to hear it.

SHEBA.

We never dreamt of finding two visitors for Papa.

BLORE.

Why, you told me to show the gentlemen hin, Miss Sheba!

[_The two girls start guiltily and glare at BLORE._

SALOME.

[_With suppressed rage_.] You needn't wait, Blore!

BLORE.

[_To himself._] Let 'em 'ang that on the 'atstand!

[_BLORE goes out. DARBEY and SHEBA stroll together into the Library._

TARVER.

[_To SALOME._] We thought we'd ride over directly after parade to make
the final arrangements for tonight. Have the costumes arrived?

SALOME.

Yes, they came yesterday in a hamper labeled "Miss Jedd, Secretary,
Cast-off Clothing Distribution League."

TARVER.

That was my idea--came to me in the middle of the night.

SALOME.

Dear Major Tarver, surely this terrible strain on your nerves is very,
very bad for you with your--your----

TARVER.

My liver--say the word, Miss Jedd.

SALOME.

[_Drooping her head._] Oh, Major Tarver!

TARVER.

It is frightfully injurious. Of course I'm excited now, and you see me
at my best, but the alternating fits of hopeless despondency are
shocking to witness and to endure!

SALOME.

Oh!

TARVER.

It's all that damned India! Oh! what have I said! You will never
forgive me.

SALOME.

Indeed, indeed I will!

TARVER.

Never. Oh, Miss Jedd, my forgetfulness has brought me--one of
my--terrible attacks--of depression!

SALOME.

Major Tarver!

[_She leads him to a chair into which he sinks in a ghastly state.
DARBEY strolls in from the Library with SHEBA._

DARBEY.

[_To SHEBA._] Your remarks about the army are extremely complimentary.
On behalf of the army I thank you. We fellows are not a bad sort, take
us all round.

SHEBA.

There's a grand future before you, isn't there?

DARBEY.

Well, I suppose there is if I go on as I'm going now.

TARVER.

[_To SALOME._] Thanks, the attack has passed. Now about to-night; at
what time is the house entirely quiet?

SALOME.

Poor dear Papa goes round with Blore at half-past nine--after that all
is rest and peacefulness.

TARVER.

Then if we're here with the closed carriage at ten--!

[_They go together into the library._

DARBEY.

[_To SHEBA._] Some of us army men can slave too. Tarver's queer livah
has thrown all the arrangements for the Fancy Ball on my shoulders.
[_SALOME and TARVER re-enter._] Look at him--that's when he's enjoying
life!

TARVER.

[_Laughing convulsively._] Ha! ha! ha! ho! he! he! Good, eh, Miss
Jedd?

SALOME.

But suppose dear Papa should hear us crunching down the gravel path!

TARVER.

Oh!

[_He sinks on to the settee with a vacant stare, his arms hanging
helplessly._

DARBEY.

[_To SHEBA._] There--now his career is a burden to him!

SHEBA.

Oh!

SALOME.

Would you like a glass of water, Major Tarver?

TARVER.

[_Taking SALOME'S hand._] Thank you, dear Miss Jedd, with the least
suggestion of cayenne pepper in it.

SHEBA.

[_Looking out at window._] Oh, Salome! Papa! Papa!

TARVER.

The Dean?

DARBEY.

The Dean!

[_They all collect themselves in a fluster. The two girls go to meet
their father, who enters at the window with his head bowed and his
hands behind his back, in deep thought. THE DEAN is a portly man of
about fifty, with a dignified demeanor, a suave voice and persuasive
manner, and a noble brow surmounted by silver-gray hair. BLORE follows
THE DEAN, carrying some books, a small bunch of flowers, and an
umbrella._

SALOME.

[_Tenderly._] Papa!

SHEBA.

Papsey!

[_THE DEAN rouses himself, discovers his children and removes his
hat._

THE DEAN.

[_To SALOME._] Salome! [_To SHEBA._] My toy-child! [_He draws the
girls to him and embraces them, then sees TARVER and DARBEY._] Dear
me! Strangers!

TARVER _and_ Darbey.

[_Coughing uncomfortably._] H'm!

SALOME.

[_Reproachfully, taking his hat from him._] Papa! Major Tarver and Mr.
Darbey have ridden over from Durnstone to ask how your cold is.

[_SHEBA takes the gold-rimmed pince-nez which hangs upon THE DEAN'S
waistcoat and places it before his eyes._

THE DEAN.

Dear me! Major! Mr. Garvey.

SHEBA.

Mr. Darbey!

THE DEAN.

Darbey! How good of you! [_With his girls still embracing him he
extends a hand to each of the men._] My cold is better. [_BLORE goes
out through the Library._] Major--Mr. Garvey--these inquiries strike
me as being so kind that I insist--no, no, I _beg_ that you will share
our simple dinner with us to-night at six o'clock!

TARVER.

[_Disconcerted._] Oh!

DARBEY.

H'm!

THE DEAN.

Let me see--Tuesday night is----

SALOME.

Leg of mutton, Papa!

THE DEAN.

Thank you. Mutton, hot.

SHEBA.

And custards, Papsey.

THE DEAN.

Thank you, toy-child--custards, cold. And a welcome--warm.

TARVER.

[_Looking to SALOME._] Well, I--ah--[_SALOME nods her head to him
violently._] That is, certainly, Dean, certainly.

DARBEY.

Delighted, my dear Dean--delighted!

[_THE DEAN gives DARBEY a severe look, and with an important cough
walks into the Library. The men and the girls speak in undertones._

TARVER.

[_Depressed._] Now, what will happen to-night?

SALOME.

Why, don't you see, as you will have to drive over to dine, you will
both be here, on the spot, ready to take us back to Durnstone?

[_THE DEAN sits at his desk in the Library._

DARBEY.

Of course; when we're turned out we can hang about in the lane till
you're ready.

TARVER.

Yes, but when are _we_ to make our preparations? It'll take me a long
time to look like Charles the First!

SHEBA.

We can drive about Durnstone while you dress.

SALOME.

[_To TARVER, admiringly._] Charles the First! Oh, Major!

DARBEY.

That was my idea--Charles the Martyr, you know. Tarver's a martyr to
his liver--see?

SHEBA.

Oh! sha'n't we all look magnificent?

SALOME.

Oh!

TARVER.

Grand idea--the whole thing!

DARBEY.

Regular army notion!

[_They are all in a state of great excitement when THE DEAN re-enters,
with an anxious look, carrying a bundle of papers._

SALOME.

Here is Papa!

[_They rush to various seats, all in constrained attitudes._

TARVER.

[_To THE DEAN._] We waited to say--good-morning.

THE DEAN.

[_Taking his hand, abstractedly._] How kind! Good-morning!

DARBEY.

Six o'clock sharp, Dean?

THE DEAN.

At six, punctually. Salome, represent me by escorting these gentlemen
to the gate. [_SALOME, TARVER, and DARBEY go out. SHEBA is following
slyly when THE DEAN looks up from his papers._] Sheba!

SHEBA.

Papsey!

THE DEAN.

Check me in a growing tendency to dislike Mr. Garvey. At dinner,
Sheba, watch that I carve for him fairly.

SHEBA.

Yes, Papsey!

[_THE DEAN turns away and sits on the settee. SHEBA, with her head
down and her hands folded, walks towards the door, and then bounds
out._

THE DEAN.

[_Turning the papers over in his hand, solemnly._] Bills! [_He rises,
walks thoughtfully to a chair, sits and examines papers again._]
Bills! [_He rises again, walks to another chair, and sinks into it
with a groan._] Bills!

_SALOME and SHEBA re-enter._

SALOME.

[_To SHEBA, in a whisper._] Papa's alone!

SHEBA.

A beautiful opportunity to ask for that little present of money. Poor
dear Papa!

SALOME _and_ Sheba.

Poor dear Papa!

[_They link their hands together and walk as if going out through the
Library._

THE DEAN.

[_Looking up._] Don't go, children!

[_He rises, the girls rush to him, and laughing with joy they turn him
like a top, dancing round him._

[_Panting._] Stop, children!

SHEBA.

Papsey's in a good humor!

SALOME.

[_Pinching his chin._] He always is!

SHEBA.

Papsey will listen to our little wants!

[_They force him into a chair. SALOME sits on the ground embracing his
legs, SHEBA lies on the top of the table._

THE DEAN.

Oh dear, oh dear! Your wants are very little ones. What are they,
Salome? What are they, toy-child?

SALOME.

Papa! Have you any spare cash?

THE DEAN.

Spare cash! Playful Salome!

SHEBA.

_L--s--d,_ Papsey, or _L--s,_ Papsey, and never mind the--_d._

THE DEAN.

Ha! ha! I am glad, really glad, children, that you have broken through
a reserve which has existed on this point for at least a
fortnight--and babbled for money.

SHEBA _and_ SALOME.

[_Laughing with delight._] Ha! ha!

THE DEAN.

It gives me the opportunity of meeting your demands with candor.
Children, I have love for you, solicitude for you, but--I have no
spare cash for anybody.

[_He rises and walks gloomily across to the piano, on the top of which
he commences to arrange his bills. In horror SALOME scrambles up from
the floor, and SHEBA wriggles off the table. Simultaneously they drop
on to the same chair and huddle together._

SALOME.

[_To herself._] Lost!

SHEBA.

[_To herself._] Done for!

THE DEAN.

And now you have so cheerily opened the subject, let me tell you with
equal good humor [_emphatically flourishing the bills_] that this sort
of thing must be put a stop to. Your dressmaker's bill is shocking;
your milliner gives an analytical record of the feverish beatings of
the hot pulse of fashion; your general draper blows a rancorous blast
which would bring dismay to the stoutest heart. Let me for once peal
out a deep paternal bass to your childish treble and say
emphatically--I've had enough of it!

[_He paces up and down. The two girls utter a loud yell of grief._

SHEBA.

[_Through her tears._] We've been brought up as young ladies--that
can't be done for nothing!

SALOME.

Sheba's small, but she cuts into a lot of material.

THE DEAN.

My girls, it is such unbosomings as this which preserve the domestic
unison of a family. Weep, howl, but listen. The total of these weeds
which spring up in the beautiful garden of paternity is a hundred and
fifty-six, eighteen, three. Now, all the money I can immediately
command is considerably under five hundred pounds.

SALOME.

Oh, Papa!

SHEBA.

Oh! what a lot!

THE DEAN.

Hush! But read, Salome, read aloud this paragraph in "The Times" of
yesterday. There, my child.

[_He hands a copy of "The Times" to SALOME with his finger upon a
paragraph._

SALOME.

[_Reading._] "A Munificent Offer. Dr. Jedd, the Dean of St. Marvells,
whose anxiety for the preservation of the Minister Spire threatens to
undermine his health, has subscribed the munificent sum of one
thousand pounds to the Restoration Fund." [_Indignantly._] Oh!

SHEBA.

Oh! and we gasping for clothing!

THE DEAN.

Read on, my child.

SALOME.

[_Reading._] "On condition that seven other donors come forward, each
with the like sum."

SALOME.

And will they?

THE DEAN.

[_Anxiously._] My darling, times are bad, but one never knows.

SHEBA.

If they don't!

THE DEAN.

Then you will have your new summer dresses as usual.

SALOME.

[_Hoarsely._] But if they do! Speak, Father!

THE DEAN.

[_Gloomily._] Then we will all rejoice!

SHEBA _and_ SALOME.

Rejoice!

THE DEAN.

And retrench. Two R's, little ones. Retrench and Rejoice.

[_The two girls cling to each other as BLORE comes from the Library
with two letters on a salver._

BLORE.

The second post, sir--just hin.

THE DEAN.

[_Blandly._] Thank you.

BLORE.

[_Hearing SALOME and SHEBA crying._] They've 'ad a scolding, 'ussies.
Let 'em 'ang that on the 'atstand!

[_He is going out._

THE DEAN.

[_Opening letters._] Oh, Blore! This note from Mr. Hodder, the
Secretary of "The Sport and Relaxation Repression Guild," reminds me
that to-morrow is the first day of the Races--the St. Marvells Spring
Meeting, as it is called.

BLORE.

Hindeed, sir--fancy that! And I not know it!

THE DEAN.

All our servants may not resemble you, Blore. Pray remind them in the
kitchen and the stable of the rule of the house----

BLORE.

No servant allowed to leave the Deanery, on hany pretence, while the
Races is on.

THE DEAN.

[_Kindly._] While the races _are_ on--thank you, Blore.

[_Opens his second letter._

BLORE.

Thank _you,_ sir. [_To himself._] Oh, if the Dean only knew the good
thing I could put him on to for the Durnstone Handicap!

[_He goes out._

THE DEAN.

Children! Salome! Sheba! Here is good news!

SALOME.

[_Running to him._] Good news!

SHEBA.

What is it?

THE DEAN.

Your Aunt!

SHEBA.

Left us some money?

THE DEAN.

Your Aunt is coming to live with us.

SHEBA.

To what?

SALOME.

To live with us! What Aunt?

THE DEAN.

My dear widowed sister, Georgiana Tidman.

SALOME.

What's she like?

SHEBA.

We don't want her.

THE DEAN.

Good gracious! Georgiana and I reconciled after all these years! She
will help us to keep the expenses down.

SALOME.

Keep the expenses down!

THE DEAN.

[_Embracing his daughters._] A second mother to my girls. She will
implant the precepts of retrenchment if their father cannot!

SALOME.

But, Papa, who is Aunt what's-her-name?

SHEBA.

Who is she?

THE DEAN.

My dears--a mournful, miserable history! [_With his head bent he walks
to a chair, and holds out his hands to the girls, who go to him and
kneel at his feet._] When you were infants your Aunt Georgiana married
an individual whose existence I felt it my sad duty never to
recognize.

SALOME.

A bad man?

THE DEAN.

He died ten years ago, and, therefore, we will say a misguided man. He
was a person who bred horses to run in races for amusement combined
with profit. He was also what is called a Gentleman Jockey, and it was
your aunt's wifely boast that if ever he vexed her she could take a
stone off his weight in half an hour. In due course his neck was
dislocated.

SHEBA.

By Aunt?

THE DEAN.

Hush, child, no! You will be little wiser when I tell you he came a
cropper!

SALOME.

How awful it all sounds!

THE DEAN.

Left a widow, you would think it natural that Georgiana Tidman would
have flown to her brother, himself a widower. Not at all. Maddened, I
hope, by grief, she continued the career of her misguided husband, and
for years, to use her own terrible words, she was "the Daisy of the
Turf."

SHEBA.

What's that?

THE DEAN.

I don't know, toy-child. But at length retribution came. Ill luck fell
upon her--her horses, stock, everything, came to the hammer. That was
my hour. "Come to me," I wrote, "my children yearn for you."

SHEBA _and_ SALOME.

[_With wry faces._] Oh!

THE DEAN.

"At the Deanery of St. Marvells, with the cares of a household, and a
stable which contains only a thirteen-year-old pony, you may obtain
rest and forgetfulness." And she is coming!

SHEBA _and_ SALOME.

When? Oh! when?

THE DEAN.

She merely says, "Soon."

SHEBA _and_ SALOME.

[_Stamping with vexation._] Ugh!

THE DEAN.

Salome, Sheba, you will, I fear, find her a sad broken creature, a
weary fragment, a wave-tossed derelict. Let it be your patient
endeavor to win back a flickering smile to the wan features of this
chastened widow.

_BLORE enters with a telegram._

BLORE.

A telegram, sir!

[_THE DEAN opens telegram._

SHEBA.

No Aunt Tidman flickers a smile at me!

SALOME.

I wouldn't be in her shoes for something!

SHEBA.

Salt in her bed, Salome!

SALOME.

Yes, and the peg out of the rattling window!

[_They grip hands earnestly._

THE DEAN.

Good gracious! Bless me! Girls, your Aunt Georgiana slept at the
"Wheatsheaf," at Durnstone, last night, and is coming on this morning!

SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

To-day!

THE DEAN.

Blore, tell Willis to get the chaise out.

[_BLORE hurries out._

THE DEAN.

Salome, child, you and I will drive into Durnstone--we may be in time
to bring your Aunt over. My hat, Sheba! Quick! [_The clang of the gate
bell is heard in the distance._] The bell! [_Looking out of window._]
No--yes--it can't be! [_Speaking in an altered voice._] Children! I
wonder if this is your Aunt Georgiana?

[_BLORE appears with a half-frightened, surprised look._

BLORE.

Mrs. Tidman.

_GEORGIANA TIDMAN enters. She is a jovial, noisy woman, very "horsey"
in manners and appearance, and dressed in pronounced masculine style,
with billy cock hat and coaching coat. The girls cling to each other;
THE DEAN recoils._

GEORGIANA.

Well, Gus, my boy, how are you?

THE DEAN.

[_Shocked._] Georgiana!

GEORGIANA.

[_Patting THE DEAN'S cheeks._] You're putting on too much flesh,
Augustin; they should give you a ten-miler daily in a blanket.

THE DEAN.

[_With dignity._] My dear sister!

GEORGIANA.

Are these your two-year-olds? [_To SALOME._] Kiss your Aunt! [_She
kisses SALOME with a good hearty smack._] [_To SHEBA._] Kiss your
Aunt! [_She embraces SHEBA, then stands between the two girls and
surveys them critically, touching them alternately with the end of her
cane._] Lord bless you both! What names do you run under?

SALOME.

I--I am Salome.

SHEBA.

I am Sheba.

GEORGIANA.

[_Looking at SHEBA._] Why, little 'un, your stable companion could
give you a stone and then get her nose in front!

THE DEAN.

[_Who has been impatiently fuming._] Georgiana, I fear these poor
innocents don't follow your well-intentioned but inappropriate
illustrations.

GEORGIANA.

Oh, we'll soon wake 'em up. Well, Augustin, my boy, it's nearly twenty
years since you and I munched our corn together.

THE DEAN.

Our estrangement has been painfully prolonged.

GEORGIANA.

Since then we've both run many races, though we've never met in the
same events. The world has ridden us both pretty hard at times, Gus,
hasn't it? We've been punished and pulled and led down pretty often,
but here we are [_tapping him sharply in the chest with her cane_]
sound in the wind yet. You're doing well, Gus, and they say you're
going up the hill neck-and-neck with your Bishop. I've dropped out of
it--the mares don't last, Gus--and it's good and kind of you to give
me a dry stable and a clean litter, and to keep me out of the shafts
of a "Shrewsbury and Talbot."

SHEBA.

[_In a whisper to SALOME._] Salome, I don't quite understand her--but
I like Aunt.

SALOME.

So do I. But she's not my idea of a weary fragment or a chastened
widow.

THE DEAN.

My dear Georgiana, I rejoice that you meet me in this affectionate
spirit, and when--pardon me--when you have a little caught the _tone_
of the Deanery----

GEORGIANA.

Oh, I'll catch it; if I don't the Deanery will a little catch _my_
tone--the same thing.

[_SHEBA laughs._

THE DEAN.

[_Reprovingly._] Toy-child!

GEORGIANA.

Trust George Tidd for setting things quite square in a palace or a
puddle.

THE DEAN.

George Tidd! Who is George Tidd?

GEORGIANA.

I am George Tidd--that was my racing name. Ask after George Tidd at
Newmarket--they'll tell you all about me. My colors were crimson and
black diamonds. There you are.

[_Producing her pocket-handkerchief, which is crimson and black._

THE DEAN.

Dear me! Very interesting! Georgiana, my dear. One moment, children.

[_The girls go into the Library._

THE DEAN.

[_Tapping the handkerchief._] I understand distinctly from your letter
that all this is finally abandoned?

GEORGIANA.

Worse luck! They'll never see my colors at the post again!

THE DEAN.

And the contemplation of sport generally as a mental distraction----?

GEORGIANA.

Oh, yes--I dare say you'll manage to wean me from that, too, in time.

THE DEAN.

In time! Well, but--Georgiana!

[_The gate bell is heard again, the girls re-enter._

GEORGIANA.

There's a visitor. I'll tootle upstairs and have a groom down. [_To
SALOME and SHEBA._] Make the running, girls. At what time do we feed,
Augustin?

THE DEAN.

There is luncheon at one o'clock.

GEORGIANA.

Right. The air here is so fresh I sha'n't be sorry to get my nose-bag
on.

[_She stalks out, accompanied by the girls._

THE DEAN.

My sister, Georgiana--my widowed sister, Georgiana. Dear me, I am
quite disturbed. Surely, surely the serene atmosphere of the Deanery
will work a change. It must! It must! If not, what a grave mistake I
have made. Good gracious! No, no, I won't think of it! Still, it is a
little unfortunate that poor Georgiana should arrive here on the very
eve of these terrible races at St. Marvells.

_BLORE enters with a card._

THE DEAN.

Who is it, Blore? [_Reading the card._] "Sir Tristram Mardon." Dear,
dear! Certainly, Blore, certainly. [_BLORE goes out._] Mardon--why,
Mardon and I haven't met since Oxford.

[_BLORE re-enters, showing in SIR TRISTRAM MARDON, a well-preserved
man of about fifty, with a ruddy face and jovial manner, the type of
the thorough English sporting gentleman. BLORE goes out._

SIR TRISTRAM.

Hullo, Jedd, how are you?

THE DEAN.

My dear Mardon--are we boys again?

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Boisterously._] Of course we are! Boys again!

[_He hits THE DEAN violently in the chest._

THE DEAN.

[_Breathing heavily--to himself._] I quite forgot how rough Mardon
used to be. How it all comes back to me!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Think I'm changed?

THE DEAN.

Only in appearance!

SIR TRISTRAM.

I'm still a bachelor--got terribly jilted by a woman years ago and
have run in blinkers ever since. Can't be helped, can it? You're
married, aren't you?

THE DEAN.

[_With dignity._] I have been a widower for fifteen years.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Oh lor'! awfully sorry--can't be helped though, can it? [_Seizing THE
DEAN'S hand and squeezing it._] Forgive me, old chap.

THE DEAN.

[_Withdrawing his hand with pain._] O-o-oh!

SIR TRISTRAM.

I've re-opened an old wound--damned stupid of me!

THE DEAN.

Hush, Mardon! Please!

SIR TRISTRAM.

All right. What do you think I'm down here for?

THE DEAN.

For the benefit of your health, Mardon?

SIR TRISTRAM.

Ha! ha! Never had an ache in my life; sha'n't come and hear you preach
next Sunday, Gus.

THE DEAN.

I do not preach next Sunday!

SIR TRISTRAM.

You'd better not! No, I'm here for the races.

THE DEAN.

The races! Hush, my dear Mardon, my girls----

SIR TRISTRAM.

Girls! May I trot 'em into the paddock to-morrow?

THE DEAN.

Thank you, no.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Think it over. You've seen the list of Starters for the Durnstone
Handicap----?

THE DEAN.

No, I haven't.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Not! Look here! Sir Tristram Mardon's Dandy Dick, nine stone two, Tom
Gallawood up! What do you think of that?

THE DEAN.

I don't think of anything like that!

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Digging THE DEAN in the ribs._] Look out for my colors--black and
white, and a pink cap--first past the post to-morrow.

THE DEAN.

Really, my dear Mardon----

SIR TRISTRAM.

Good heavens! Jedd, they talk about Bonny Betsy.

THE DEAN.

I grieve to hear it. The tongue of scandal----

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Taking THE DEAN'S arm and walking him about._] Do you imagine, sir,
for one moment, that Bonny Betsy, with a boy on her back, can get down
that bill with those legs of hers?

THE DEAN.

Another _horse_, I presume?

SIR TRISTRAM.

No, a bay mare. George Tidd knew what she was about when she stuck to
Dandy Dick to the very last.

THE DEAN.

[_Aghast._] George--Tidd?

SIR TRISTRAM.

Georgiana Tidman. Dandy came out of her stable after she smashed.

THE DEAN.

Bless me!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Poor old George! I wonder what's become of her.

THE DEAN.

My dear Mardon, I am of course heartily pleased to revive in this way
our old acquaintance. I wish it were in my power to offer you the
hospitality of the Deanery--but----

SIR TRISTRAM.

Don't name it. My horse and I are over the way at "The Swan." Come and
look at Dandy Dick!

THE DEAN.

Mardon, you don't understand. My position in St. Marvells----

SIR TRISTRAM.

Oh, I see, Jedd. I beg your pardon. You mean that the colors you ride
in don't show up well on the hill yonder or in the stable of the
"Swan" Inn.

THE DEAN.

You must remember----

SIR TRISTRAM.

I remember that in your young days you made the heaviest book on the
Derby of any of our fellows.

THE DEAN.

I always lost, Mardon; indeed, I always lost!

SIR TRISTRAM.

I remember that you once matched a mare of your own against another of
Lord Beckslade's for fifty pounds!

THE DEAN.

Yes, but she wasn't in it, Mardon--I mean she was dreadfully beaten.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Shaking his head sorrowfully._] Oh Jedd, Jedd--other times, other
manners. Good-bye, old boy.

THE DEAN.

You're not--you're not offended, Mardon?

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Taking THE DEAN'S hand._] Offended! No--only sorry, Dean, damned
sorry, to see a promising lad come to an end like this. [_GEORGIANA
enters with SALOME on one side of her and SHEBA on the other--all
three laughing and chatting, apparently the best of friends._] By
Jove! No! what--Tidd?

GEORGIANA.

Hullo, Mardon!

[_They shake hands warmly._

SIR TRISTRAM.

Of all places in the world, to find "Mr. Tidd!" [_Roaring with
laughter._] Ho! ho! ho!

GEORGIANA.

[_Laughing._] Ha! ha!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Why, Dean, you've been chaffing me, have you?

THE DEAN.

No!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Yes, you have--you've been roasting your old friend!

THE DEAN.

[_With dignity._] Mardon!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Tidd is a pal of yours, eh? Ho! ho!

GEORGIANA.

Ha! ha!

THE DEAN.

Sir Tristram Mardon, Mrs. Tidman is my sister.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Your sister?

GEORGIANA.

Yes, I've been running a bit dark, Mardon, but that stout,
well-seasoned animal over there and this skittish creature come of the
same stock and were foaled in the same stable. [_Pointing to SALOME
and SHEBA._] There are a couple of yearlings here, you don't know. My
nieces--Salome and Sheba.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Bowing._] How do you do? [_Heartily taking GEORGIANA'S hand again._]
Well, I don't care whose sister you are, but I'm jolly glad to see
you, George, my boy.

GEORGIANA.

Gracious, Tris, don't squeeze my hand so!

THE DEAN.

[_In horror._] Salome, Sheba, children! I must speak to you. Excuse
me, Mardon. [_To himself._] Oh, what shall I do with my widowed
sister?

[_He goes into the garden._

SHEBA.

[_To SALOME._] That's like pa, just as we were getting interested.

SALOME.

We'll come back in a minute.

[_They go out by the window._

SIR TRISTRAM.

Lord! How odd! You know your brother and I were at Oxford together,
George?

GEORGIANA.

Were you, Tris! Then are you putting up here?

SIR TRISTRAM.

He won't have me.

GEORGIANA.

Won't have you!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Because I'm down here racing. You see, he's a Dean.

GEORGIANA.

Is he? Well, then, you just lay a thousand sovereigns to a gooseberry
that in this house I'm a Dean, too!

SIR TRISTRAM.

I suppose he's thinking of the Canons--and the Bishop--and those
chaps.

GEORGIANA.

Lord bless your heart, they're all right when you cheer them up a bit!
If I'm here till the autumn meeting you'll find me lunching on the
hill, with the Canons marking my card and the dear old Bishop mixing
the salad. So say the word, Tris--I'll make it all right with
Augustin.

SIR TRISTRAM.

No, thanks, old fellow. The fact is I'm fixed at the "Swan" with--what
do you think, George?--with Dandy Dick.

GEORGIANA.

Oh! my old Dandy!

SIR TRISTRAM.

I brought him down with me in lavender. You know he runs for the
Durnstone Handicap to-morrow.

GEORGIANA.

Know! There's precious little that horse does that I don't know, and
what I don't know I dream. Is he fit?

SIR TRISTRAM.

As a fiddle--shines like a mirror--not an ounce too much or too
little. He'll romp in!

GEORGIANA.

He'll dance in! Tris Mardon!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Eh?

GEORGIANA.

[_Mysteriously._] Tris, Dandy Dick doesn't belong to you--not _all_ of
him.

SIR TRISTRAM.

No--I've only a half share. At your sale he was knocked down to John
Fielder the trainer. The other half belongs to John.

GEORGIANA.

No, it doesn't, it belongs to _me!_

SIR TRISTRAM.

George!

GEORGIANA.

Yes, directly I saw Dandy Dick marched out before the auctioneer I
asked John Fielder to help me, and he did, like a Briton. For I can't
live without horseflesh, if it's only a piece of cat's meat on a
skewer. But when I condescended to keep company with the Canons and
the Bishop here I promised Augustin that I wouldn't own anything on
four legs, so John sold you half of Dick, and I can swear I don't own
a horse--and I don't--not a whole one. But half a horse is better than
no bread, Tris--and we're partners.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Roaring with laughter._] Ho! ho! ha! ha! ha!

GEORGIANA.

What are you laughing at, man?

SIR TRISTRAM.

Oh, the Dean! the Dean!

_SALOME and SHEBA enter unperceived._

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Still laughing._] I--ho! ho!--I beg your pardon, George--ha! ha!
Well, now you know he's fit, of course, you're going to back Dandy
Dick for the Durnstone Handicap.

GEORGIANA.

Back him! For every penny I've got in the world. That isn't much, but
if I'm not a richer woman by a thousand pounds to-morrow night I shall
have had a bad day.

SALOME.

Oh, Sheba!

[_The girls come towards the Library._

GEORGIANA.

[_Discovering them._] Hush! [_To the girls._] Hallo!

SHEBA.

It's only us, Aunt.

[_The girls go into the Library._

SIR TRISTRAM.

I'll be off.

GEORGIANA.

Keep your eye on the old horse, Tristram.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Don't fear. Good-morning, George!

GEORGIANA.

Good-morning, partner! [_SIR TRISTRAM bursts out laughing again, she
joining in the laughter._] Oh, do be quiet!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Ho! ho! ho! Ha! ha! Oh, say good-bye for me to the Dean! [_She gives
him a push and he goes out._

_SHEBA and SALOME immediately re-enter from the Library._

SHEBA.

Aunt--dear Aunt----

GEORGIANA.

Well, girls?

SHEBA.

Aunt--Salome has something to say to you.

SALOME.

No, it's Sheba.

GEORGIANA.

Why, you're shivering all over. [_Catching hold of SHEBA._] Hallo,
little 'un!

SHEBA.

Aunt--dear Aunt Georgiana--we heard you say something about a thousand
pounds.

GEORGIANA.

You've been listening?

SHEBA.

No--we only merely heard. And, oh, Aunt, a thousand pounds is such a
lot, and we poor girls want such a little.

GEORGIANA.

Money?

SHEBA.

Yes. Salome has rather got into debt.

GEORGIANA.

My gracious!

SALOME.

I haven't, any more than you have, Sheba.

SHEBA.

Well, I'm in debt too, but I only meant to beg for Salome; but now I
ask for both of us. Oh, Aunt Tidman, papa has told us that you have
known troubles.

GEORGIANA.

So I have--heaps of them.

SHEBA.

Oh, I'm so glad. Because Salome and I are weary fragments too--we're
everything awful but chastened widows. We owe forty pounds unknown to
Pa!

SALOME.

Forty pounds, nineteen.

GEORGIANA.

Why, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves, you girls!

SHEBA.

We are!

SALOME.

We are!

GEORGIANA.

To cry and go on like this about forty pounds!

SHEBA.

But we've only got fifteen and threepence of our own in the world!
And, oh, Aunt, you know something about the Races, don't you?

GEORGIANA.

Eh?

SHEBA.

If you do, help two poor creatures to win forty pounds, nineteen. Aunt
Georgiana, what's "Dandy Dick" you were talking to that gentleman
about?

GEORGIANA.

Child! Dandy Dick's a horse.

SHEBA.

We thought so. Then let Dandy Dick win _us_ some money.

GEORGIANA.

No, no! I won't hear of it!

SHEBA.

Oh, do, do!

SALOME.

Oh, do, do, do!

GEORGIANA.

Go away--I won't. I say decidedly, I will not!

SHEBA.

Oh, do, do!

SALOME.

Do! Do, and we'll love you for ever and ever, Aunt Georgiana.

GEORGIANA.

You will! [_She embraces them heartily._] Bless your little innocent
faces! Do you want to win forty pounds?

SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

Yes, yes!

GEORGIANA.

Do you want to win _fifty_ pounds?

SHEBA and SALOME.

Oh, yes, yes!

GEORGIANA.

[_Taking her betting book from her pocket._] Very well, then, put your
very petticoats on Dandy Dick!

[_The girls stand clutching their skirts, frightened._

SALOME.

Oh!

SHEBA.

Oh!

END OF THE FIRST ACT.



THE SECOND ACT.

The morning-room at the Deanery, with the fire and the lamps lighted.
It is after dinner.

SHEBA is playing the piano, SALOME lolling upon the settee, and
GEORGIANA pouring out tea. They are in evening dress.

GEORGIANA.

Sugar, Sally? I call you Sally, Salome--the evening's too short for
your name.

SALOME.

All right, Aunt George--two lumps, please.

GEORGIANA.

[_To SHEBA._] Little 'un?

SHEBA.

Two lumps and one in the saucer, to eat.

GEORGIANA.

Quite a relief to shake off the gentlemen, isn't it?

SALOME.

Do you think so, Aunt?

SHEBA.

Oh, _I_ don't think so.

GEORGIANA.

H'm! Now I understand why my foot was always in the way under the
dinner-table.

[_She holds out two cups, which the girls take from her._

SALOME.

I thought the dinner was an overwhelming success.

SHEBA.

All our dinners are at the Deanery.

GEORGIANA.

Awfully jolly. Mutton was overdone.

SALOME.

That's our new cook's one failing.

GEORGIANA.

But the potatoes weren't--they rattled.

SHEBA.

Cook never can manage potatoes.

GEORGIANA.

What was wrong with the custards?

SALOME.

Well, it was Cook's first attempt at custards.

GEORGIANA.

However, they served one useful end. Now we _know_ the chimney wants
sweeping.

SALOME.

But it was a frightfully jolly dinner--take it all round.

SHEBA.

Yes, take it all round. One has to take things all round.

GEORGIANA.

What made us all so sad and silent--taking us all round?

SHEBA.

Dear Papa was as lively as an owl with neuralgia.

GEORGIANA.

Major Tarver isn't a conversational cracker.

SALOME.

Gerald Tarver has no liver--to speak of.

GEORGIANA.

He might have spoken about his lungs or something, to cheer us up.

SHEBA.

I fancy Mr. Darbey was about to make a witty remark once.

GEORGIANA.

Yes, and then the servant handed him a dish and he shied at it. So we
lost that.

SALOME.

Still, we ought to congratulate ourselves upon--upon a----

SHEBA.

Upon a--upon a----

GEORGIANA.

Upon a frightfully jolly dinner. [_Taking her betting book from her
pocket._] Excuse me, girls. I've some figures to work out. If Dandy
Dick hasn't fed better at the "Swan" than we have at the Deanery, he
won't be in the first three. [_Reckoning._] Let me see.

SALOME.

[_To SHEBA._] All's settled, Sheba, isn't it?

SHEBA.

[_To SALOME._] Yes--everything. Directly the house is silent we let
ourselves out at the front door.

SALOME.

How do we get in again?

SHEBA.

By this window. It has a patent safety fastening, so it can be opened
with a hairpin.

SALOME.

We're courageous girls, aren't we?

SHEBA.

Yes, I don't consider we're ordinary young ladies, at all.

SALOME.

If we had known Aunt a little longer we might have confided in her and
taken her with us.

SHEBA.

Poor Aunt--we mustn't spoil her.

DARBEY.

[_Speaking outside._] I venture to differ with you, my dear Dean.

GEORGIANA.

Here come the wax-works!

[_She joins the girls as DARBEY enters through the Library,
patronizing THE DEAN, who accompanies him._

DARBEY.

Haw! I've just been putting the Dean right about a little army
question, Mrs.--Mrs.---- I can't catch your name.

GEORGIANA.

Don't try--you'd come out in spots, like measles.

[DARBEY _stands by her, blankly, then attempts a conversation._

THE DEAN.

[_To SALOME and SHEBA._] Children, it is useless to battle against it
much longer.

SALOME.

Against what, Papa?

THE DEAN.

A feeling of positive distaste for Mr. Darbey.

SHEBA.

Oh, Papsey--think what Wellington was at his age.

_MAJOR TARVER enters, pale and haggard._

_SALOME meets him._

SALOME.

Major!

TARVER.

[_With a gasp._] Oh!

SALOME.

Not well again?

TARVER.

Indigestion. I'm always like this after dinner.

SALOME.

But what would you do if the trumpet summoned you to battle?

TARVER.

Oh, I suppose I should pack up a few charcoal biscuits and toddle out,
you know.

GEORGIANA.

[_To DARBEY._] I've never studied the Army Guide.

DARBEY.

You're thinking of----

GEORGIANA.

The Turf Guide--beg pardon. I mean, the Army keeps a string of trained
nurses, doesn't it?

DARBEY.

There _are_ Army nurses.

GEORGIANA.

Certainly. I was wondering whether your Colonel will send one with a
perambulator to fetch you at about half-past eight.

[_She leaves DARBEY and goes to THE DEAN. SHEBA joins DARBEY at the
piano._

GEORGIANA.

Well, Gus, my boy, you seem out of condition.

THE DEAN.

I'm rather anxious for the post to bring to-day's "Times." You know
I've offered a thousand pounds to our Restoration Fund.

GEORGIANA.

What!

THE DEAN.

Hush--I'll tell you.

[_They talk in undertones. BLORE enters to remove the tea-tray._

TARVER.

[_Jumping up excitedly--to SALOME._] Eh? Oh, certainly--delighted!
[_Singing to himself._] "Come into the garden, Maud, for the black
bat----"

SALOME.

Now you're yourself again.

TARVER.

I'm always dreadfully excited when I'm asked to sing. It's as good as
a carbonate of soda lozenge to me to be asked to sing. [_To BLORE._]
My music is in my overcoat pocket.

[_BLORE crosses to the door._

SHEBA.

And Mr. Darbey has brought his violin.

TARVER.

[_In a rage, glaring at DARBEY._] Hah! There now!

DARBEY.

[_To BLORE._] You'll find it in the hall.

[_BLORE goes out. THE DEAN dozes in a chair. SALOME and SHEBA talk to
GEORGIANA at the table._

TARVER.

[_To himself._] He always presumes with his confounded fiddle when I'm
going to entertain. He knows that his fiddle's never hoarse and that I
am, sometimes.

DARBEY.

[_To himself._] Tarver always tries to cut me out with his elderly
Chest C. He ought to put it on the Retired List.

TARVER.

I'll sing him off his legs to-night--I'm in lovely voice.

[_He walks into the Library and is heard trying his voice, singing
"Come into the garden, Maud."_

DARBEY.

[_To himself._] He needn't bother himself. While he was dozing in the
carriage I threw his music out of the window.

_TARVER re-enters triumphantly._

_BLORE re-enters, carrying a violin-case and a leather music roll.
DARBEY takes the violin-case, opens it, and produces his violin and
music. BLORE hands the music roll to TARVER and goes out._

TARVER.

[_To SALOME, trembling with excitement._] My tones are like a
beautiful bell this evening. I'm so glad, for all our sakes. [_As he
takes the leather music roll from BLORE._] Thank you, that's it.

SALOME.

What will you begin with?

TARVER.

"Come into the garden, Maud." I've begun with "Corne into the garden,
Maud" for years and years. [_He opens the music roll--it is empty._]
Oh! Miss Jedd, I've forgotten my music!

SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

Oh! Major Tarver!

[_TARVER with a groan of despair sinks on to the settee._

SHEBA.

Never mind--Mr. Darbey will play.

DARBEY.

[_Tuning his violin._] Will you accompany me?

SHEBA.

[_Raising her eyes._] To the end of the world.

[_She sits at the piano._

DARBEY.

My mother says that my bowing is something like Joachim's, and she
ought to know.

SHEBA.

Why?

DARBEY.

Oh, because she's heard Joachim.

[_DARBEY plays and SHEBA accompanies him. SALOME sits beside TARVER._

GEORGIANA.

[_To herself._] Well, after all, George, my boy, you're not stabled in
such a bad box! Here is a regular pure, simple, English Evening at
Home!

THE DEAN.

[_Mumbling to himself._] A thousand pounds to the Restoration Fund and
all those bills to settle--oh dear! oh dear! What shall I do?

SALOME.

[_To herself._] I hope my ball-dress will drive all the other women
mad!

TARVER.

[_To himself--glaring at DARBEY._] I feel I should like to garrote him
with his bass string.

GEORGIANA.

[_Frowning at her betting book._] I think I shall hedge a bit over the
Crumbleigh Stakes.

DARBEY.

[_As he plays, glancing at TARVER._] I wonder how old Tarver's Chest C
likes a holiday.

SHEBA.

[_As she plays._] We must get Pa to bed early. Dear Papa's always so
dreadfully in the way.

GEORGIANA.

[_Looking around._] No--there's nothing like it in any other country.
A regular, pure, simple, English Evening at Home!

_BLORE enters quickly, cutting "The Times" with a paper-knife as he
enters._

BLORE.

The paper's just arrived.

[_The music stops abruptly--all the ladies glare at BLORE and hush him
down._

GEORGIANA, SALOME, _and_ SHEBA.

Sssssh!

THE DEAN.

[_Taking the paper from BLORE._] This is my fault--there may be
something in "The Times" of special interest to me. Thank you, Blore.

[_BLORE goes out._

TARVER.

Ha, ha, ha! spoilt his pianissimo!

THE DEAN.

[_Scanning the paper._] Oh, I can't believe it!

GEORGIANA.

What's the matter?

SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

Papa!

TARVER _and_ DARBEY.

The Dean!

THE DEAN.

Children! Georgiana! Friends! My munificent offer has produced the
desired result.

SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

Oh!

THE DEAN.

Seven wealthy people, including three brewers, have come forward with
a thousand pounds apiece in aid of the restoration of the Minster
Spire!

SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

[_Horrified._] Ah!

GEORGIANA.

That means a cool thousand out of your pocket, Gus.

THE DEAN.

Yes. [_Reading._] "The anxiety to which The Dean of St. Marvells has
so long been a victim will now doubtless be relieved." [_With his hand
to his head._] I suppose I shall feel the relief to-morrow.

GEORGIANA.

What's wrong with the Spire? Nobody sleeps in it?

THE DEAN.

It _is_ a little out of repair--but hardly sufficiently so to warrant
the presumptuous interference of three brewers. Excuse me, I think
I'll enjoy the fresh air for a moment. [_He goes to the window and
draws back the curtains--a bright red glare is seen in the sky._]
Bless me! Look there!

GEORGIANA, SALOME, _and_ SHEBA.

Oh! what's that?

THE DEAN.

It's a conflagration!

SALOME.

[_Clinging to TARVER._] Where is it? Are we safe?

SHEBA.

[_Clinging to DARBEY._] Where is it? Are we safe?

GEORGIANA.

Where is it?

_BLORE enters with a scared look._

THE DEAN.

[_To BLORE._] Where is it?

ALL.

Where is it?

BLORE.

The old Swan Inn's a-fire!

[_The gate-bell is heard ringing violently in the distance. BLORE goes
out._

GEORGIANA.

[_Uttering a loud screech._] The Swan Inn! [_Madly._] You girls, get
me a hat and coat. Somebody fetch me a pair of boots!

[_SALOME, SHEBA, and TARVER go to the window._

THE DEAN.

Georgiana!

GEORGIANA.

Don't talk to me! [_To TARVER._] Lend me your boots!

TARVER.

I daren't. If I once get cold extremities----

GEORGIANA.

Ah!

[_She is going, THE DEAN stops her._

THE DEAN.

Respect yourself, Georgiana--where are you going?

GEORGIANA.

Going! I'm going to help clear the stables at The Swan!

THE DEAN.

Remember what you are--my sister--a lady!

GEORGIANA.

I'm not. George Tidd's a man, every inch of her! [_SIR TRISTRAM rushes
in breathlessly. GEORGIANA rushes at him and clutches his coat._] Tris
Mardon, speak!

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Exhausted._] Oh!

GEORGIANA.

The horse? The horse! You've got him out?

SIR TRISTRAM.

Yes, safe and sound.

GEORGIANA.

Safe and sound! That old horse has backed himself to win the handicap.

[_She sinks into a chair. TARVER and DARBEY with SALOME and SHEBA
stand looking out of the window._

SIR TRISTRAM.

George, his tail is singed a bit.

GEORGIANA.

The less weight for him to carry to-morrow. [_Beginning to cry._] Dear
old Dandy, he never was much to look at.

SIR TRISTRAM.

The worst of it is, the fools threw two pails of cold water over him
to put it out.

GEORGIANA.

Oh! that's done him!

THE DEAN.

Now, my dear Georgiana! what is a horse?

GEORGIANA.

A living example to a Dean. [_THE DEAN goes distractedly into the
Library._] Where is the animal?

SIR TRISTRAM.

My man Hatcham is running him up and down the lane here to try to get
him warm again.

GEORGIANA.

Where are you going to put the homeless beast up now?

SIR TRISTRAM.

I don't know.

GEORGIANA.

[_Starting up._] I do though!

THE DEAN.

Madwoman! What are you going to do?

GEORGIANA.

Bring Dandy Dick into our stables!

THE DEAN.

No, no!

SIR TRISTRAM.

The very place!

THE DEAN.

Georgiana, pray consider _me!_

GEORGIANA.

So I will, when you've had two pails of water thrown over you.

[_THE DEAN walks about in despair._

THE DEAN.

Mardon, I appeal to _you!_

SIR TRISTRAM.

Oh, Dean, Dean, I'm ashamed of you!

GEORGIANA.

[_To SIR TRISTRAM._] Are you ready?

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Takes off his coat and throws it over GEORGIANA'S shoulders._]
George, you're a brick!

GEORGIANA.

A brick, am I? [_Quietly to him._] One partner pulls Dandy out of the
Swan--t'other one leads Dandy into the Deanery. Quits, my lad!

[_They go out together._

THE DEAN.

What is happening to me! It will be in all the sporting papers. "Sir
Tristram Mardon's Dandy Dick reflected great credit upon the Deanery
Stables!" "The Sporting Dean!"

[_He walks into the Library, where he sinks into a chair, as SALOME,
TARVER, DARBEY and SHEBA come from the window._

TARVER.

They're getting the flames under. If I had had my goloshes with me I
should have been here, there, and everywhere.

DARBEY.

Where there's a crowd of Civilians the Military exercise a wise
discretion in restraining themselves.

SHEBA.

[_To TARVER and DARBEY._] You had better go now; then we'll get the
house quiet as soon as possible. Poor Papa looks worried.

SHEBA _and_ SALOME.

Poor Papa!

TARVER.

We will wait with the carriage in the lane.

SALOME.

Yes, yes. [_Calling._] Papa, Major Tarver and Mr. Darbey must go.

[_She rings the bell. THE DEAN comes from the Library._

THE DEAN.

Dear me, I'm very remiss!

TARVER.

[_Shaking hands._] Most fascinating evening!

DARBEY.

[_Shaking hands._] Charming, my dear Dean.

_BLORE enters._

SALOME.

Major Tarver's carriage.

BLORE.

Hat the gate, Miss Salome.

SALOME.

Don't risk the cold, Papa.

[_BLORE goes out, followed by SHEBA, SALOME, and TARVER. DARBEY is
going, when he returns to THE DEAN._

DARBEY.

By-the-bye, my dear Dean--come over and see me. We ought to know more
of each other. Say Monday.

THE DEAN.

[_Restraining his anger._] I will _not_ say Monday!

DARBEY.

Any time you like. Oh--and I say--let me know when you preach, and
I'll get some of our fellows to give their patronage!

[_He goes out._

THE DEAN.

[_Closing the door after him with a bang._] Another moment--another
moment--and I fear I should have been violently rude to him, a guest
under my roof! [_He walks up to the fireplace and stands looking into
the fire, as DARBEY. having forgotten his violin, returns to the
room._] Oh, Blore, now understand me, if that Mr. Darbey ever again
presumes to present himself at the Deanery I will not see him!

DARBEY.

[_With his violin in his hand, haughtily._] I've come back for my
violin.

[_Goes out with dignity._

THE DEAN.

[_Horrified._] Oh, Mr. Darbey! Hear an explanation, Mr. Darbey!

[_He runs out after DARBEY. GEORGIANA and SIR TRISTRAM enter by the
window._

GEORGIANA.

Don't be down, Tris, my boy; cheer up, lad, he'll be fit yet, bar a
chill! Aha! he knew me, he knew me when I kissed his dear old nose!

SIR TRISTRAM.

He'd be a fool of a horse if he hadn't felt deuced flattered at that.

GEORGIANA.

He's no fool. He knows he's in the Deanery too. Did you see him cast
up his eyes and lay his ears back when I led him in?

SIR TRISTRAM.

Oh, George, George, it's such a pity about his tail!

GEORGIANA.

[_Cheerily._] Not it. You watch his head to-morrow--that'll come in
first.

[_HATCHAM, a groom, looks in at the window._

HATCHAM.

Are you there, Sir?

SIR TRISTRAM.

What is it?

HATCHAM.

I jest run round to tell you that Dandy is a feedin' as steady as a
baby with a bottle.

GEORGIANA.

Don't you close your eyes all night.

HATCHAM.

Not me, mum. And I've got hold of the constable 'ere, Mr.
Topping--he's going to sit up with me, for company's sake.

SIR TRISTRAM.

The constable?

HATCHAM.

Yes, Sir Tristram. [_Coming forward mysteriously._] Why, bless you and
the lady, sir--supposin' the fire at the "Swan" warn't no accident!

GEORGIANA.

Eh?

HATCHAM.

Supposin' it were inciderism--and supposin' our 'orse was the hobject.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Good gracious!

HATCHAM.

That's why I ain't goin' to watch single-handed.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Get back then--get back!

[_SIR TRISTRAM and GEORGIANA pace up and down excitedly._

HATCHAM.

Right, Sir. There's only one mortal fear I've got about our Dandy.

GEORGIANA _and_ SIR TRISTRAM.

What's that?

HATCHAM.

He 'asn't found out about 'is tail yet, sir, and when he does it'll
fret him, as sure as my name's Bob Hatcham.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Keep the stable pitch dark--he mayn't notice it.

HATCHAM.

Not to-night, sir, but he's a proud 'orse and what'll he think of
'isself on the 'ill to-morrow? You and me and the lady, sir--it 'ud be
different with us, but how's our Dandy to hide his bereavement?

[_HATCHAM goes out of the window with SIR TRISTRAM as THE DEAN enters,
followed by BLORE, who carries a lighted lantern._

THE DEAN.

[_Looking reproachfully at GEORGIANA._] You have returned, Georgiana?

GEORGIANA.

Yes, thank ye.

THE DEAN.

And that animal?

GEORGIANA.

In our stables, safe and snug.

THE DEAN.

[_With a groan._] Oh!

GEORGIANA.

You can sleep to-night with the happy consciousness of having
sheltered the outcast.

THE DEAN.

We're locking up now. The poor children, exhausted with the alarm, beg
me to say good-night for them. The fire is quite extinguished.

BLORE.

Yes, sir; but I hear they've just sent into Durnstone hasking for the
Military to watch the ruins in case of another houtbreak. It'll stop
the wicked Ball at the Hathanaeum, it will!

[_Drawing the window curtains._

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Having re-entered._] I suppose you want to see the last of me, Jedd.

THE DEAN.

Mardon!

GEORGIANA.

Don't be unkind, Tris. Where shall we stow the dear old chap, Gus, my
boy?

THE DEAN.

Where shall we stow the dear old chap! I really don't know.

GEORGIANA.

Let me see. We don't want to pitch you out of your loft if we can help
it, Gus.

SIR TRISTRAM.

No, no--we won't do that.

THE DEAN.

Don't consider me in this manner. But there's Sheba's little cot still
standing in the old nursery.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Just the thing for me--the old nursery.

GEORGIANA.

The old nursery. Toys to play with if you wake early.

THE DEAN.

[_Looking round._] Is there anyone else before we lock up?

[_BLORE has fastened the window and drawn the curtain._

GEORGIANA.

Put Sir Tristram to bed carefully in the nursery, Blore.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Grasping THE DEAN'S hand._] Good-night, old boy. I'm too done for a
hand of Piquet to-night.

THE DEAN.

I never play cards.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Slapping him on the back._] I'll teach you during my stay at the
Deanery.

THE DEAN.

[_Helplessly to himself._] Then he's staying with me!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Good-night, George.

GEORGIANA.

Good-night, partner. Heaven bless the little innocent in his cot.

[_SIR TRISTRAM goes out with BLORE._

GEORGIANA.

[_Calling after him._] Tris! You may take your pipe up with you. We
smoke all over the Deanery.

THE DEAN.

[_To himself._] I never smoke! Does _she?_

GEORGIANA.

[_Closes the door, humming a tune merrily._] Tra la, tra la! Now, Mr.
Tidd, we'll toddle. Tra la! tra la! [_She stops, looking at THE DEAN,
who is muttering to himself._] Gus, I don't like your looks, I shall
let the Vet see you in the morning. What's wrong with you?

[_THE DEAN shakes his head mournfully, and sinks on the settee._

GEORGIANA.

Money?

THE DEAN.

There _are_ bills, which, at a more convenient time, it will be my
grateful duty to discharge.

GEORGIANA.

And you're short?

THE DEAN.

Short?

GEORGIANA.

Stumped--out of coin--run low. What'll square the bills?

THE DEAN.

Very little would settle the bills--but--but----

GEORGIANA.

I know--the Spire. Why, Gus, you haven't got that thousand.

THE DEAN.

There is a very large number of estimable worthy men who do not
possess a thousand pounds. With that number I have the mournful
pleasure of enrolling myself.

GEORGIANA.

When's the settling day?

THE DEAN.

Eh?

GEORGIANA.

When will you have to fork out?

THE DEAN.

Unless the restoration is immediately commenced the spire will
certainly crumble.

GEORGIANA.

Then it's a match between you and the spire which parts first. Gus,
will you let your little sister lend you a hand?

THE DEAN.

My dear Georgiana, impossible!

GEORGIANA.

No, no--not out of my own pocket. Come here. [_She takes his arm and
whispers in his ear._] Can you squeeze a pair of ponies?

THE DEAN.

Can I what?

GEORGIANA.

Can you raise fifty pounds?

THE DEAN.

Certainly. More than fifty pounds.

GEORGIANA.

No--no, don't be rash! That's the worst of you beginners. Only fifty
by to-morrow morning.

THE DEAN.

Most assuredly.

GEORGIANA.

Very well then--clap it on to Dandy Dick!

THE DEAN.

[_With horror._] What!

GEORGIANA.

He's a certainty--if those two buckets of water haven't put him off
it! He's a moral--if he doesn't think of his tail coming down the
hill. There's nothing like him at the weight. Keep it dark, Gus--don't
breathe a word to any of your Canons or Archdeacons, or they'll rush
at it and shorten the price for us. Go in, Gus, my boy--take your poor
widowed sister's tip and sleep as peacefully as a blessed baby!

[_She presses him warmly to her and kisses him._

THE DEAN.

[_Extricating himself._] Oh! Mrs. Tidman! Go to your room!

GEORGIANA.

Augustin!

THE DEAN.

In the morning I will endeavor to frame some verbal expression of the
horror with which I regard your proposal. For the present, you are my
parents' child and I trust your bed is well aired.

GEORGIANA.

Oh, very well, Augustin. I've done all I can for the Spire. _Bon
soir,_ old boy!

THE DEAN.

Good-night.

GEORGIANA.

If you're wiser in the morning just send Blore on to the course and
he'll put the money on for you.

THE DEAN.

Blore! My poor devoted old servant would be lost on a race-course.

GEORGIANA.

Would he! He was quite at home in Tattersall's Ring when I was at St.
Marvells last summer.

THE DEAN.

Blore!

GEORGIANA.

Blore. I recognized the veteran sportsman the moment I came into the
Deanery.

THE DEAN.

What was my butler doing at St. Marvells Races?

_BLORE enters with his lantern._

GEORGIANA.

Investing the savings of your cook and housemaid, of course. You don't
think your servants are as narrow as you are!

THE DEAN.

Oh!

BLORE.

I beg your pardon, sir, shall I go the rounds, sir?

[_THE DEAN gives Blore a fierce look, but BLORE beams sweetly._

GEORGIANA.

Blore!

BLORE.

Mum?

GEORGIANA.

Breakfast at nine, sharp. And pack a hamper with a cold chicken, some
French rolls, and two bottles of Heidsieck--label it "George Tidd,"
and send it on to the Hill. I'll stand the racket. Goodnight.

[_She goes out. THE DEAN sinks into a chair and clasps his forehead._

BLORE.

A dear, 'igh-sperited lady. [_Leaning over THE DEAN._] Aren't you
well, sir?

THE DEAN.

Serpent!

BLORE.

Meanin' _me,_ sir?

THE DEAN

Lock up; I'll speak to you in the morning. Lock up.

[_BLORE goes into the Library, turns out the lamp there, and
disappears._

What dreadful wave threatens to engulf the Deanery? What has come to
us in a few fatal hours? A horse of sporting tendencies contaminating
my stables, his equally vicious owner nestling in the nursery, and my
own widowed sister, in all probability, smoking a cigarette at her
bedroom window with her feet on the window-ledge! [_Listening._]
What's that? [_He peers through the window curtains._] I thought I
heard footsteps in the garden. I can see nothing--only the old spire
standing out against the threatening sky. [_Leaving the window
shudderingly._] The Spire! My principal creditor! My principal
creditor, the most conspicuous object in the city!

_BLORE re-enters with his lantern, carrying some bank-notes in his
hand._

BLORE.

[_Laying the notes on the table._] I found these, sir, on your
dressing-table--they're bank-notes, sir.

THE DEAN.

[_Taking the notes._] Thank you. I placed them there to be sent to the
Bank to-morrow. [_Counting the notes._] Ten--ten--twenty--five--five,
fifty. Fifty pounds! The very sum Georgiana urged me to--oh! [_To
BLORE, waving him away._] Leave me--go to bed--go to bed--go to bed!
[_BLORE is going._] Blore!

BLORE.

Sir?

THE DEAN.

What made you tempt me with these at such a moment?

BLORE.

Temp' you, sir! The window was hopen, and I feared they might blow
away.

THE DEAN.

[_Catching him by the coat collar._] Man, what were you doing at St.
Marvells Races last summer?

BLORE.

[_With a cry, falling on his knees._] Oh, sir! Oh, sir! I knew that
'igh-sperited lady would bring grief and sorrow to the peaceful, 'appy
Deanery! Oh, sir, I _'ave_ done a little on my hown account from time
to time on the 'ill, halso hon commission for the kitchen!

THE DEAN.

I knew it--I knew it!

BLORE.

Oh, sir, you are a old gentleman--turn a charitable 'art to the Races!
It's a wicious institution what spends more ready money in St.
Marvells than us good people do in a year.

THE DEAN.

Get up, Blore--get up. Oh, Edward Blore, Edward Blore, what weak
creatures we are!

BLORE.

We are, sir--we are--'specially when we've got a tip, sir. Think of
the temptation of a tip, sir.

THE DEAN.

I do, Blore--I do.

BLORE.

I confess heverything, sir. Bonny Betsy's bound for to win the
'andicap.

THE DEAN.

No, no--she isn't.

BLORE.

She is, sir.

THE DEAN.

I know better; she can never get down the hill with those legs of
hers.

BLORE.

She can, sir--what's to beat her?

THE DEAN.

The horse in my stable--Dandy Dick!

BLORE.

Dandy Dick! That old bit of ma'ogany, sir. They're layin' ten to one
against him.

THE DEAN.

[_With hysterical eagerness._] Are they? I'll take it! I'll take it!

BLORE.

Lord love you, sir--fur how much?

THE DEAN.

Fifty! There's the money. [_Impulsively he crams the notes into
BLORE'S hand and then recoils in horror._] Oh!

[_Sinks into a chair with a groan._

BLORE.

[_In a whisper._] Lor', who'd 'ave thought the Dean was such a ardent
sportsman at 'art? He dursn't give me my notice after this. [_To THE
DEAN._] Of course it's understood, sir, that we keep our little
weaknesses dark. Houtwardly, sir, we remain respectable, and, I 'ope,
respected. [_Putting the notes into his pocket._] I wish you
good-night, sir. [_He walks to the door. THE DEAN makes an effort to
recall him but fails._] And that old man 'as been my pattern and
example for years and years! Oh, Edward Blore, your hidol is
shattered! [_Turning to THE DEAN._] Good-night, sir. May your dreams
be calm and 'appy, and may you have a good run for your money!

[_BLORE goes out--THE DEAN gradually recovers his self-possession._

THE DEAN.

I--I am upset to-night, Blore. Of course you leave this day month.
I--I [_looking round._] Blore! He's gone! If I don't call him back the
Spire may be richer to-morrow by five hundred pounds. I won't dwell on
it. I'll read--I'll read. [_Snatches a book at haphazard from the
bookshelf. There is the sound of falling rain and distant thunder._]
Rain, thunder. How it assimilates with the tempest of my mind! I'll
read. Bless me! This is very strange. [_Reading._] "The Horse and its
Ailments, by John Cox, M. R. C. V. S." It was with the aid of this
volume that I used to doctor my old mare at Oxford. A leaf turned
down. [_Reading._] "Simple remedies for chills--the Bolus." The
helpless beast in my stable is suffering from a chill. Good gracious!
If I allow Blore to risk my fifty pounds on Dandy Dick, surely it
would be advisable to administer this Bolus to the poor animal without
delay. [_Referring to the book hastily._] I have these drugs in my
chest. There's not a moment to be lost! [_Going to the bell and
ringing._] I shall want help. I'll fetch my medicine chest.

[_He lays the book upon the table and goes into the Library._

_BLORE enters._

BLORE.

[_Looking round._] Where is he? The bell rang. The Dean's puzzling me
with his uncommon behavior, that he is.

[_THE DEAN comes from the Library, carrying a large medicine chest. On
encountering BLORE he starts and turns away his head, the picture of
guilt._

THE DEAN.

Blore, I feel it would be a humane act to administer to the poor
ignorant animal in my stable a simple Bolus as a precaution against
chill. I rely upon your aid and discretion in ministering to any guest
in the Deanery.

BLORE.

[_In a whisper._] I see, sir--you ain't going to lose half a chance
for to-morrow, sir--you're a knowin' one, sir, as the sayin' goes!

THE DEAN.

[_Shrinking from BLORE with a groan._] Oh! [_He places the medicine
chest on the table and takes up the book. Handing the book to BLORE
with his finger on a page._] Fetch these humble but necessary articles
from the kitchen--quick. I'll mix the Bolus here. [_BLORE goes out
quickly._] It is exactly seven and twenty years since I last
approached a horse medically. [_He takes off his coat and lays it on a
chair, then rolls his shirt-sleeves up above his elbows and puts on
his glasses._] I trust that this Bolus will not give the animal an
unfair advantage over his competitors. I don't desire that! I don't
desire that! [_BLORE re-enters carrying a tray, on which are a small
flour-barrel and rolling-pin, a white china basin, a carafe of water,
a napkin, and the book. THE DEAN recoils, then guiltily takes the tray
from BLORE and puts it on the table._] Thank you.

BLORE.

[_Holding on to the window curtain and watching THE DEAN._] His eyes
is awful; I don't seem to know the 'appy Deanery when I see such
proceedings a'goin' on at the dead of night.

[_There is a heavy roll of thunder--THE DEAN mixes a pudding and stirs
it with the rolling-pin._

THE DEAN.

The old half-forgotten time returns to me. I am once again a promising
youth at college.

BLORE.

[_To himself._] One would think by his looks that he was goin' to
poison his family instead of--Poison! Poison! Oh, if hanything serious
'appened to the hanimal in our stable there would be nothing in the
way of Bonny-Betsy, the deservin' 'orse I've trusted with my
'ard-earned savings!

THE DEAN.

I am walking once again in the old streets at Oxford, avoiding the
shops where I owe my youthful bills. Bills!

[_He pounds away vigorously with the rolling-pin._

BLORE.

[_To himself._] Where's the stuff I got a month ago to destroy the
hold black retriever that fell hill?

THE DEAN.

Bills!

BLORE.

The dog died--the poison's in my pantry--it couldn't have got used for
cooking purposes.

THE DEAN.

I see the broad meadows and the tall Spire of the college--the Spire!
Oh, my whole life seems made up of Bills and Spires!

BLORE.

[_To himself._] I'll do it! I'll do it!

[_Unseen by The Dean he quickly and quietly steals out by the door._

THE DEAN.

Where are the drugs--the drugs? [_Opening the medicine chest and
bending down over the bottles he pours some drops from a bottle into
the basin._] [_Counting._] Three--four--five--six. [_He replaces the
bottle and takes another._] How fortunate some animals are!
[_Counting._] One--two--three, four. It's done!

[_Taking up the medicine chest he goes with it into the Library._

_As he disappears BLORE re-enters stealthily fingering a small paper
packet._

BLORE.

[_In a whisper._] Strychnine! [_There is a heavy roll of
thunder--BLORE darts to the table, empties the contents of the packet
into the basin, and stirs vigorously with the rolling-pin._] I've
cooked Dandy Dick! I've cooked Dandy Dick! [_He moves from the table
in horror._] Oh! I'm only a hamatoor sportsman and I can't afford a
uncertainty. [_As THE DEAN returns, BLORE starts up guiltily._] Can I
help you any more, Sir?

THE DEAN.

No, remove these dreadful things, and don't let me see you again
to-night!

[_Sits with the basin on his knees, and proceeds to roll the paste._

BLORE.

[_Removing the tray._] It's only an 'orse--it's only an 'orse! But
after to-morrow I'll retire from the Turf, if only to reclaim 'im.

[_He goes out._

THE DEAN.

[_Putting on his coat._] I don't contemplate my humane task with
resignation. The stable is small, and if the animal is restive we
shall be cramped for room. [_The rain is heard._] I shall get a chill
too. [_Seeing SIR TRISTRAM'S coat and cap lying upon the settee._] I
am sure Mardon will lend me this gladly. [_Putting on the coat, which
completely envelops him._] The animal may recognize the garment, and
receive me with kindly feeling. [_Putting on the sealskin cap, which
almost conceals his face._] Ugh! why do I feel this dreadful sinking
at the heart? [_Taking the basin and turning out the lamp._] Oh! if
all followers of the veterinary science are as truly wretched as I am,
what a noble band they must be!

[_The thunder rolls as he goes through the window curtains. SIR
TRISTRAM then enters quietly, smoking, and carrying a lighted candle._

SIR TRISTRAM.

All right; fire still burning. [_Blowing out the candle._] I shall
doze here till daybreak. What a night! I never thought there was so
much thunder in these small country places.

[_GEORGIANA, looking pale and agitated, and wearing a dressing-gown,
enters quickly, carrying an umbrella and a lighted candle._

GEORGIANA.

Which is the nearer way to the stable? I must satisfy myself--I
must--I must! [_Going to the door._]

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Rising suddenly._] Hullo!

GEORGIANA.

[_Shrieks with fright._] Ah!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Hush!

GEORGIANA.

[_Holding out her umbrella._] Stand where you are or I'll fire!
[_Recognizing SIR TRISTRAM._] Tris!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Why, George!

GEORGIANA.

Oh, Tris, I've been dreaming! [_Falling helplessly against Sir
Tristram, who deposits her in a chair._] Oh! oh! oh! Don't look at me!
I'm overtrained. I shall be on my legs again in a minute.

[_She opens her umbrella and hides herself behind it, sobbing
violently._

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Standing over the umbrella in great concern._] My goodness! George,
whatever shall I do? Shall I trot you up and down outside?

GEORGIANA.

Be quiet! [_Sobbing._] What are you fooling about here for? Why can't
you lie quietly in your cot?

SIR TRISTRAM.

Confound that cot! Why, it wouldn't hold my photograph. Where are you
going?

GEORGIANA.

Into the stable to sit with Dandy. The thunder's awful in my room;
when it gets tired it seems to sit down on my particular bit of roof.
I did doze once, and then I had a frightful dream. I dreamt that Dandy
had sold himself to a circus, and that they were hooting him because
he had lost his tail. There's an omen!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Don't, don't--be a man, George, be a man!

GEORGIANA.

[_Shutting her umbrella._] I know I'm dreadfully effeminate.
There--Tidd's himself again!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Bravo!

GEORGIANA.

Ah, Tris--don't think me soft, old man. I'm a lonely, unlucky woman,
and the tail end of this horse is all that's left me in the world to
love and to cling to!

SIR TRISTRAM.

No, by Jove! I'm not such a mean cur as that! Swop halves and take his
head, George, my boy.

GEORGIANA.

Not I! I'm like a doating mother to my share of Dandy, and it's all
the dearer because it's an invalid. I'm off.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Come along! [_Turning towards the window, she following him, he
suddenly stops and looks at her, and seizes her hand._] George, I
never guessed that you were so tender-hearted.

GEORGIANA.

Well, I'm not.

SIR TRISTRAM.

And you've robbed me to-night of an old friend--a pal.

GEORGIANA.

I--what d'ye mean?

SIR TRISTRAM.

I mean that I seem to have dropped the acquaintance of George Tidd,
Esquire, forever.

GEORGIANA.

Tris--no.

SIR TRISTRAM.

I have--but I've got an introduction to his twin-sister, Georgiana!

GEORGIANA.

[_Snatching her hand away angrily._] Stay where you are; I'll nurse my
half alone. [_She goes towards the window, then starts back._] Hush!

SIR TRISTRAM.

What's the matter?

GEORGIANA.

Didn't you hear something?

SIR TRISTRAM.

Where?

GEORGIANA.

[_Pointing to the window._] There.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Peeping through the curtains._] You're right. Some people moving
about the garden.

GEORGIANA.

Tris! The horse!

SIR TRISTRAM.

They're not near the stables. They're coming in here. Hush! We'll
clear out and watch!

[_SIR TRISTRAM takes the candlestick and they go out leaving the room
in darkness. The curtains at the window are pushed aside, and SALOME
and SHEBA enter; both in their fancy dresses._

SALOME.

[_In a rage, lighting the candles on the mantelpiece._] Oh! oh! oh!

SHEBA.

Oh! oh! No ball after all!

SALOME.

If we only had a brother to avenge us!

SHEBA.

I shall try and borrow a brother to-morrow!

SALOME.

Cold, wretched, splashed, in debt--for nothing!

SHEBA.

To think that we've had all the inconvenience of being wicked and
rebellious and have only half done it!

SALOME.

This comes of stooping to the Military!

SHEBA.

It serves us right--we've been trained for clergymen's wives. I hate
Nugent Darbey. I hope he may grow bald early!

SALOME.

Gerald Tarver's nose is inclined to pink--may it deepen and deepen
till it frightens cows!

[_Voices are heard from the curtained window recess._

DARBEY.

[_Outside._] Miss Jedd--Sheba!

TARVER.

[_Outside._] Pray hear two wretched men! Miss Jedd!

SALOME.

[_In a whisper._] There they are.

SHEBA.

Shall we grant them a dignified interview?

SALOME.

Yes. Curl your lip, Sheba.

SHEBA.

You curl your lip better than I--I'll dilate my nostrils.

[_SALOME draws aside the curtain. TARVER and DARBEY enter. They are
both very badly and shabbily dressed as Cavaliers._

TARVER.

[_A most miserable object, carrying a carriage umbrella._] Oh, don't
reproach us, Miss Jedd. It isn't our fault that the Military were
summoned to St. Marvells.

DARBEY.

You don't blame officers and gentlemen for responding to the sacred
call of duty?

SHEBA.

We blame officers for subjecting two motherless girls to the shock of
alighting at the Durnstone Athenaeum to find a notice on the front
door: "Ball knocked on the head--Vivat Regina."

SALOME.

We blame gentlemen for inflicting upon us the unspeakable agony of
being jeered at by boys.

TARVER.

I took the address of the boy who suggested that we should call again
on the fifth of November. It is on the back of your admission card.

DARBEY.

Everything will be done. We shall both wait on the boy's mother for an
explanation.

TARVER.

Oh, smile on us once again, Miss Jedd--a forced, hollow smile, if you
will--only smile. Salome!

_GEORGIANA enters._

GEORGIANA.

Salome! Sheba!

SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

Aunt!

GEORGIANA.

You bad girls!

SALOME.

[_Weeping._] No, Aunt, no!

SHEBA.

Not bad. Aunt--trustful and confiding.

GEORGIANA.

[_Advancing to TARVER._] How dare you encourage these two simple
children to enjoy themselves! How dare you take them out--without
their Aunt! Do you think _I_ can't keep a thing quiet?

SHEBA.

They didn't even ask Papa's permission!

SALOME.

Poor Papa!

SHEBA.

Poor, dear Papa!

GEORGIANA.

[_Shaking TARVER._] I'm speaking to you--Field-Marshal.

TARVER.

Madam, you are addressing an invalid.

DARBEY.

We shall be happy to receive your representative in the morning. At
present we are on duty.

TARVER.

On heavy duty.

DARBEY.

Guarding the ruins of the "Swan" Inn. You mustn't distract our
attention.

GEORGIANA.

Guarding the ruins of the "Swan," are you? [_Calling._] Tris! Sir
Tristram! [_SIR TRISTRAM appears._] Tris, I'm a feeble woman, but I
hope I've a keen sense of right and wrong. Run these outsiders into
the road, and let them guard their own ruins.

[_SALOME and SHEBA shriek, and throw themselves at the feet of TARVER
and DARBEY. clinging to their legs._

SALOME.

No, no. Spare him!

SHEBA.

You shall not harm a hair of their heads.

[_SIR TRISTRAM twists TARVER'S wig round so that it covers his face.
The gate bell is heard ringing violently._

GEORGIANA, SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

What's that?

SALOME.

It will wake Papa!

SHEBA.

Stop the bell!

[_GEORGIANA runs to the door and opens it._

SALOME.

[_To TARVER and DARBEY._] Fly!

[_TARVER and DARBEY disappear through the curtains at the window._

SHEBA.

[_Falling into SALOME'S arms._] We have saved them!

GEORGIANA.

Oh, Tris, your man from the stable!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Hatcham!

GEORGIANA.

[_Calling._] Hatcham!

[_HATCHAM, carrying the basin with the bolus, runs in
breathlessly--followed by BLORE._

HATCHAM.

Oh, Sir Tristram!

GEORGIANA _and_ SIR TRISTRAM.

What is it?

HATCHAM.

The villain that set fire to the "Swan," sir--in the hact of
administering a dose to the 'orse!

GEORGIANA.

Nobbling our Dandy?

SIR TRISTRAM.

Where is the scoundrel?

HATCHAM.

Topping the constable's collared him, Sir--he's taken him in a cart to
the lock-up!

GEORGIANA _and_ SIR TRISTRAM.

Oh!

BLORE.

[_In agony._] They've got the Dean!

END OF THE SECOND ACT.



THE THIRD ACT.

The first scene is the interior of a country Police Station, a quaint
old room with plaster walls, oaken beams, and a gothic mullioned
window looking on to the street. A massive door, with a small sliding
wicket and an iron grating, opens to a prisoner's cell. The room is
partly furnished as a kitchen, partly as a police station, a copy of
the Police Regulations and other official documents and implements
hanging on the wall. It is the morning after the events of the
previous act.

_HANNAH, a buxom, fresh-looking young woman, in a print gown, has been
engaged in cooking while singing gayly._

HANNAH.

[_Opening a door and calling with a slight dialect._] Noah darling!

NOAH.

[_From another room--in a rough, country voice._] Yaas!

HANNAH.

You'll have your dinner before you drive your prisoner over to
Durnstone, won't ye, darling?

NOAH.

Yaas!

HANNAH.

[_Closing the door._] Yaas! Noah's in a nice temper to-day over
summat. Ah well, I suppose all public characters is liable to
irritation. [_There is a knock at the outer door. HANNAH opening it,
sees BLORE with a troubled look on his face._] Well I never! Mr. Blore
from the Deanery! Come in! You might knock me down with a----!

BLORE.

[_Entering and shaking hands mournfully._] How do you do, Mrs.
Topping?

HANNAH.

And how is the dear Dean, bless him; the sweetest soul in the world?

BLORE.

[_To himself._] Good gracious! She doesn't know of hour misfortune.
[_To HANNAH._] I--I 'aven't seen him this morning!

HANNAH.

Well, this is real kind of you, calling on an old friend, Edward. When
I think that I were cook at the Deanery seven years, and that since I
left you, to get wedded, not a soul of you has been nigh me, it do
seem hard.

BLORE.

Well, you see, 'Annah, the kitchen took humbrage at your marryin' a
policeman at Durnstone. It was regarded as a messyliance.

HANNAH.

Well, now Mr. Topping's got the appointment of Head Constable at St.
Marvells, what's that regarded as?

BLORE.

A rise on the scales, 'Annah, a decided rise--but still you've honly
been a week in St. Marvells and you've got to fight your way hup.

HANNAH.

I think I'm as hup as ever I'm like to be.

BLORE.

'Owever, Jane and Sarah and Willis the stable boy 'ave hunbent so far
as to hask me to leave their cards, knowin' I was a callin'.

[_He produces from an old leather pocket-book three very dirty pieces
of paste-board, which he gives to HANNAH._

HANNAH.

[_Taking them in her apron with pride._] Thank 'em kindly. When's
their evening?

BLORE.

We receive on Toosdays, at the side gate. And 'ow are you, my dear?

[_Kissing her cheek._

HANNAH.

Don't, Edward Blore!

BLORE.

Don't! When you was Miss Hevans there wasn't these social barriers,
'Annah!

HANNAH.

Shut up! Noah's jealous of the very apron-strings what go round my
waist. I'm not so free and 'andy with my kisses now, I can tell you.

BLORE.

Then "what is friendship but a name!" But Mr. Topping isn't indoors
now, surely!

HANNAH.

[_Nodding her head._] Um--um!

BLORE.

Why, he took a man up last night!

HANNAH.

What of it?

BLORE.

Why, I thought that when hany harrest was made in St. Marvells, the
prisoner was lodged here honly for the night and that the 'ead
Constable 'ad to drive 'im over to Durnstone Police Station the first
thing in the morning.

HANNAH.

That's the rule, but Noah's behindhand to-day, and ain't going into
Durnstone till after dinner.

BLORE.

Then the prisoner is now hon the premises!

HANNAH.

Yes, he's in our cell.

BLORE.

Ah! And where is the hapartment in question?

HANNAH.

The cell? That's it!

BLORE.

[_Looking round in horror._] Oh!

HANNAH.

The "Strong-box" they call it in St. Marvells.

BLORE.

Oh, my goodness, honly fancy! [_Whimpering to himself._] And 'im
accustomed to his shavin' water at h'eight and my kindly hand to
button his gaiters. Oh, here's a warnin'!

HANNAH.

Whatever is the matter with you, Edward?

BLORE.

'Annah, 'Annah, my dear, it's this very prisoner what I 'ave called on
you respectin'.

HANNAH.

Oh, then the honor ain't a compliment to me, after all, Mr. Blore?

BLORE.

I'm killing two birds with one stone, my dear.

HANNAH.

[_Throwing the cards into BLORE'S hat._] You can take them back to the
Deanery with Mrs. Topping's comps.

BLORE.

[_Shaking the cards out of his hat and replacing them in his
pocket-book._] I will leave them hon you again to-morrow, 'Annah. But,
'Annah deary, do you know that this hunfortunate man was took in our
stables last night.

HANNAH.

No, I never ask Noah nothing about Queen's business. He don't want
_two_ women over him!

BLORE.

Then you 'aven't seen the miserable culprit?

HANNAH.

Lor' no. I was in bed hours when Noah brought 'im 'ome. I take no
interest in it all. They tell us it's only a wretched poacher or a
petty larcery we'll get in St. Marvells. My poor Noah ain't never
likely to have the chance of a horrid murder in a place what returns a
Conservative. My joint's burning.

[_Kneeling to look into the oven._

BLORE.

But, 'Annah, suppose this case you've got 'old of now is a case
what'll shake old England to its basis! Suppose it means columns in
the paper with Topping's name a-figurin'! Suppose as family readin',
it 'old its own with divorce cases!

HANNAH.

Hullo! You know something about this arrest, you do!

BLORE.

No, no, I don't! I merely said suppose. I merely wish to encourage
you, 'Annah; to implant an 'ope that crime may brighten your wedded
life.

HANNAH.

[_Sitting at the table and referring to an official book._] The man
was found trespassing in the Deanery Stables with intent--refuses to
give his name or any account of 'isself.

BLORE.

[_To himself._] If I could honly find hout whether Dandy Dick had any
of the medicine it would so guide me at the Races. What am I to do? It
doesn't appear that the 'orse in the stables--took it, does it?

HANNAH.

[_Looking up sharply._] Took what?

BLORE.

Er--took fright. You're sure there's no confession of any sort, 'Annah
dear?

[_As he is bending over HANNAH, NOAH TOPPING appears. NOAH is a
dense-looking ugly countryman, with red hair, a bristling heard, and a
vindictive leer. He is dressed in ill-fitting clothes, as a rural
Police Constable._

NOAH.

[_Fiercely._] 'Annah!

HANNAH.

[_Starting and replacing the book._] Oh don't! This is Mr. Blore from
the Deanery come to see us--an old friend o' mine!

[_BLORE advances to NOAH with a nervous smile, extending his hand._

NOAH.

[_Taking BLORE'S hand and holding it firmly._] A friend of hern is a
friend o' mian!

BLORE.

I 'ope so, Mr. Topping. I thank you.

NOAH.

She's gettin' me a lot o' nice noo friends this week, since we coom to
St. Marvells.

BLORE.

Of course, dear 'Annah was a lovin' favorite with heverybody.

NOAH.

Ay. Well then, as her friends be mian, I'm takin' the liberty, one by
one, of gradually droppin' on 'em all.

BLORE.

[_Getting his hand away._] Dear me!

NOAH.

And if I catch any old fly a buzzin' round my lady I'll venture to
break his 'ead in wi' my staff!

HANNAH.

Oh, Noah!

BLORE.

[_Preparing to depart._] I--I merely called to know if hanything had
been found hout about the ruffian took in our stables last night!

NOAH.

Is that your business?

BLORE.

It--it's my master's business.

NOAH.

He's the De-an, ain't he?

HANNAH.

Yes, Noah, of course.

NOAH.

[_Fiercely._] Shut oop, darlin'. Very well, then--give Mr. Topping's
respects to the Dean, and say I'll run up to the Deanery and see him
after I've took my man over to Durnstone.

BLORE.

Thank you--I 'ope the Dean will be at 'ome. Good-day, 'Annah!
Good-day, Mr. Topping!

[_Offering his hand, into which NOAH significantly places his
truncheon. BLORE goes out quickly._

HANNAH.

[_Whimpering._] Oh, Noah, Noah, I don't believe as we shall ever get a
large circle of friends round us!

NOAH.

Now then! [_Selecting a pair of handcuffs and examining them
critically._] Them'll do. [_Slipping them into his pocket, and turning
upon HANNAH suddenly._] 'Annah!

HANNAH.

Yes, Noahry----

NOAH.

Brighten oop, my darlin', the little time you 'ave me at 'ome with
you.

HANNAH.

Yes, Noahry.

[_She bustles about and begins to lay the cloth._

NOAH.

I'm just a' goin' round to the stable to put old Nick in the cart.

HANNAH.

Oh, dont'ee trust to Nick, Noah dear--he's such a vicious brute.
Kitty's safer in the cart.

NOAH.

Shut oop, darlin'. Nick can take me on to the edge o' the hill in half
the time.

HANNAH.

The hill!

NOAH.

Ah, what d'ye think I've put off taking my man to Durnstone to now
for? Why, I'm a goin' to get a glimpse of the racin', on my way over.
[_Opening the wicket in the cell door and looking in._] There he is!
Sulky! [_To HANNAH._] Hopen the hoven door, 'Annah, and let the smell
of the cookin' get into him.

HANNAH.

Oh, no, Noah--it's torture!

NOAH.

Do as I tell'ee. [_She opens the oven door._] Torture! Of course it's
torture! That's my rule! Whenever I get a 'old of a darned obstinate
creature wot won't reveal his hindentity I hopens the hoven door.

[_He goes out into the street, and as he departs, the woful face of
THE DEAN appears at the wicket, his head being still enveloped in the
fur cap._

HANNAH.

[_Shutting the oven door._] Not me! Torturing prisoners might a' done
for them Middling Ages what Noah's always clattering about, but not
for my time o' life. I'll shut that wicket. [_Crossing close to the
wicket, her face almost comes against THE DEAN'S. She gives a cry._]
The Dean!

THE DEAN.

Oh!

[_He disappears._

HANNAH.

Oh, no! Not my old master! Never the master! [_Tottering to the wicket
and looking in._] Master! Look at me! It's 'Annah, your poor faithful
servant, 'Annah!

[_The face of THE DEAN re-appears._

THE DEAN.

[_In a deep sad voice._] Hannah Evans.

HANNAH.

It's 'Annah Topping, Knee Evans, wife o' the Constable what's goin' to
take you to cruel Durnstone. [_Sinking weeping upon the ground at the
door._] Oh, Mr. Dean, sir, what have you been up to? What have you
been up to? What have you been up to?

THE DEAN.

Woman, I am the victim of a misfortune only partially merited.

HANNAH.

[_On her knees, clasping her hands._] Tell me what you've done, Master
dear; give it a name, for the love of goodness

THE DEAN.

My poor Hannah, I fear I have placed myself in an equivocal position.

HANNAH.

[_With a shriek of despair._] Ah!

THE DEAN.

Be quiet, woman!

HANNAH.

Is it a change o' cooking that's brought you to such ways? I cooked
for you for seven 'appy years!

THE DEAN.

[_Sniffing._] Alas! you seem to have lost none of your culinary skill.

HANNAH.

Master, are you hungry?

THE DEAN.

I am sorely tried by your domestic preparations.

HANNAH.

[_With clenched hands and a determined look._] Oh! [_Quickly locking
and bolting the street door._] Noah can't put that brute of a horse to
under ten minutes. The dupplikit key o' the Strong Box! [_Producing a
large key, with which she unlocks the cell door._] Master, you'll give
me your patrol not to cut, won't you?

THE DEAN.

Under any other circumstances, Hannah, I should resent that
insinuation.

HANNAH.

Don't resent nothing! Shove! Shove your hardest, Dean dear!

[_Pulling the door which opens sufficiently to let out THE DEAN._

THE DEAN.

[_As he enters the room._] Good day, Hannah; you have bettered
yourself, I hope?

HANNAH.

[_Hysterically flinging herself upon THE DEAN._] Oh, Master, Master!

THE DEAN.

[_Putting her from him sternly._] Hannah! Mrs. Topping!

HANNAH.

Oh, I know, I know, but crime levels all, dear sir!

THE DEAN.

You appear to misapprehend the precise degree of criminality which
attaches to me, Mrs. Topping. In the eyes of that majestic, but
imperfect instrument, the law, I am an innocent if not an injured man.

HANNAH.

Ah, stick to that, sir! Stick to it, if you think it's likely to serve
your wicked ends!

[_Placing bread with other things on the table._

THE DEAN.

My good woman, a single word from me to those at the Deanery, would
instantly restore me to home, family, and accustomed diet.

HANNAH.

Ah, they all tell that tale what comes here. Why don't you send word,
Dean dear?

THE DEAN.

Because it would involve revelations of my temporary moral aberration!

HANNAH.

[_Putting her apron to her eyes with a howl._] Owh!

THE DEAN.

Because I should return to the Deanery with my dignity--that priceless
possession of man's middle age!--with my dignity seriously impaired!

HANNAH.

Oh, don't, sir, don't!

THE DEAN.

How could I face my simple children who have hitherto, not
unreasonably, regarded me as faultless? How could I again walk erect
in the streets of St. Marvells with my name blazoned on the Records of
a Police Station of the very humblest description?

[_Sinking into a chair and snatching up a piece of breads which he
begins munching._

HANNAH.

[_Wiping her eyes._] Oh, sir, it's a treat to hear you, compared with
the hordinary criminal class. But, master, dear, though my Noah don't
recognize you--through his being a stranger to St. Marvells--how'll
you fare when you get to Durnstone?

THE DEAN.

I have one great buoyant hope--that a word in the ear of the Durnstone
Superintendent will send me forth an unquestioned man. You and he will
be the sole keepers of my precious secret. May its possession be a
lasting comfort to you both.

HANNAH.

Master, is what you've told me your only chance of getting off
unknown?

THE DEAN.

It is the sole remaining chance of averting a calamity of almost
national importance.

HANNAH.

Then you're as done as that joint in my oven!

THE DEAN.

Woman!

HANNAH.

The Superintendent at Durnstone--John Ruggles--also the two
Inspectors, Whitaker and Parker----

THE DEAN.

Well!

HANNAH.

Them and their wives and families are chapel folk!

THE DEAN.

[_Aghast._] No!

HANNAH.

Yes. [_THE DEAN totters across to a chair, into which he sinks with
his head upon the table._] Master! Listen!

THE DEAN.

It's all over! It's all over!

HANNAH.

No, no--Listen! I was well fed and kept seven years at the
Deanery--I've been wed to Noah Topping eight weeks--that's six years
and ten months' lovin' duty doo to you and yours before I owe nothing
to my darling Noah. Master dear, you shan't be took to Durnstone!

THE DEAN.

Silence! Hannah Topping, formerly Evans, it is my duty to inform you
that your reasoning does more credit to your heart than to your head.

HANNAH.

I can't help that. The Devil's always in a woman's heart because it's
the warmest place to get to! [_Taking a small key from the table
drawer._] Here, take that! [_Pushing the key into the pocket of his
coat._] When you once get free from my darling Noah that key unlocks
your handcuffs!

THE DEAN.

Handcuffs!

HANNAH.

How are you to get free, that's the question now, isn't it? I'll tell
you. My Noah drives you over to Durnstone with old Nick in the cart.

THE DEAN.

Old Nick!

HANNAH.

That's the horse. Now Nick was formerly in the Durnstone Fire Brigade,
and when he 'ears the familiar signal of a double whistle you can't
hold him in. There's the whistle. [_Putting it into THE DEAN'S
pocket._] Directly you turn into Pear Tree Lane, blow once and you'll
see Noah with his nose in the air, pullin' fit to wrench his 'ands
off. Jump out--roll clear of the wheel--keep cool and 'opeful and blow
again. Before you can get the mud out of your eyes Noah and the horse
and cart will be well into Durnstone, and may Providence restore a
young 'usband safe to his doatin' wife!

THE DEAN.

Hannah! How dare you! [_Recoiling horror-stricken._

HANNAH.

[_Crying._] Oh--ooh--ooh!

THE DEAN.

Is this the fruit of your seven years' constant cookery at the
Deanery?

HANNAH.

Oh dear! I wouldn't have done it, only this is your first offence!

THE DEAN.

My first offence, oh!

HANNAH.

You're not too old; I want to give you another start in life!

THE DEAN.

Another start! Woman, do you think I've no conscience? Do you think I
don't realize the enormity of the--of the difficulties in alighting
from a vehicle in rapid motion?

HANNAH.

[_Opening the oven and taking out a small joint in a baking tin, which
she places on the table._] It's 'unger what makes you feel
conscientious!

THE DEAN.

[_Waving her away._] I have done with you!

HANNAH.

With me, sir--but not with the joint! You'll feel wickeder when you've
had a little nourishment. [_He looks hungrily at the dish._] That's
right, Dean, dear--taste my darling Noah's favorite dish.

THE DEAN.

[_Advancing towards the table._] Oh, Hannah Topping--Hannah Topping!
[_Clutching the carving-knife despairingly._] I'll have no more women
cooks at the Deanery! This reads me a lesson.

[_Sitting and carving with desperation._

HANNAH.

Don't stint yourself, sir. You can't blow that whistle on an empty
frame. [_THE DEAN begins to eat._] Don't my cooking carry you back,
sir? Oh, say it do!

THE DEAN.

Ah, if every mouthful would carry me back one little hour I would
finish this joint!

[_NOAH TOPPING, unperceived by HANNAH and THE DEAN, climbs in by the
window, his eyes bolting with rage--he glares round the room, taking
in everything at a glance._

NOAH.

[_Under his breath._] My man o' mystery--a waited on by my nooly made
wife--a heating o' my favorite meal.

[_Touching HANNAH on the arm, she turns and faces him, speechless with
fright._

THE DEAN.

[_Still eating._] If my mind were calmer this would be an
all-sufficient repast. [_HANNAH tries to speak, then clasps her hands
and sinks on her knees to NOAH._] Hannah, a little plain cold water in
a simple tumbler, please.

NOAH.

[_Grimly--folding his arms._] 'Annah, hintrodooce me. [_HANNAH gives a
cry and clings to NOAH'S legs._

THE DEAN.

[_Calmly to NOAH._] Am I to gather, constable, from your respective
attitudes that you object to these little kindnesses extended to me by
your worthy wife?

NOAH.

I'm wishin' to know the name o' my worthy wife's friend. A friend o'
hern is a friend o' mian.

HANNAH.

Noahry! Noahry!

NOAH.

She's gettin' me a lot o' nice noo friends since we coom to St.
Marvells.

HANNAH.

Noahry! I made this gentleman's acquaintance through the wicket, in a
casual way.

NOAH.

Ay. Cooks and railins--cooks and railins! I might a guessed my wedded
life 'ud a coom to this.

HANNAH.

He spoke to me just as a strange gentleman ought to speak to a lady!
Didn't you, sir--didn't you?

THE DEAN.

Hannah, do not let us even under these circumstances prevaricate; such
is not quite the case!

[_NOAH advances savagely to THE DEAN. There is a knocking at the
door.--NOAH restrains himself and faces THE DEAN._

NOAH.

Noa, this is neither the toime nor pla-ace, wi' people at the door and
dinner on t' table, to spill a strange man's blood.

THE DEAN.

I trust that your self-respect as an officer of the law will avert
anything so unseemly.

NOAH.

Ay. That's it! You've touched me on my point o' pride. There ain't
another police-station in all Durnstone conducted more strict and
rigid nor what mian is, and it shall so continue. You and me is a
goin' to set out for Durnstone, and when the charges now standin' agen
you is entered, it's I, Noah Topping, what'll hadd another!

[_There is another knock at the door._

HANNAH.

Noah!

NOAH.

The charge of allynating the affections o' my wife, 'Annah!

THE DEAN.

[_Horrified._] No, no!

NOAH.

Ay, and worse--the embezzlin' o' my mid-day meal prepared by her
'ands. [_Points into the cell._] Go in; you 'ave five minutes more in
the 'ome you 'ave ruined and laid waste.

THE DEAN.

[_Going to the door and turning to NOAH._] You will at least receive
my earnest assurance that this worthy woman is extremely innocent?

NOAH.

Hinnocent? [_Points to the joint on the table._] Look theer! [_THE
DEAN, much overcome, disappears through the cell door, which NOAH
closes and locks. The knock at the door is repeated. To HANNAH,
pointing to the outer door._] Hunlock that door!

HANNAH.

[_Weeping._] Oh, Noahry, you'll never be popular in St. Marvells.

NOAH.

Hunlock that door!

[_HANNAH unlocks the door, and admits GEORGIANA and SIR TRISTRAM, both
dressed for the race-course._

GEORGIANA.

Dear me! Is this the Police-Station?

HANNAH.

Yes, lady. Take a chair, lady, near the fire. [_To SIR TRISTRAM._] Sit
down, sir.

GEORGIANA.

This is my first visit to a police-station, my good woman; I hope it
will be the last.

HANNAH.

Oh, don't say that, ma'am. We're honly hauxilliary 'ere, ma'am--the
Bench sets at Durnstone.

GEORGIANA.

I must say you try to make everybody feel at home.

[_HANNAH curtseys._

SIR TRISTRAM.

It's beautifully Arcadian.

GEORGIANA.

[_To HANNAH._] Perhaps this is only a police-station for the young?

HANNAH.

No, ma'am, we take ladies and gentlemen like yourselves.

NOAH.

[_Who has not been noticed, surveying GEORGIANA and SIR TRISTRAM,
gloomily._] 'Annah, hintrodooce me.

GEORGIANA.

[_Facing NOAH._] Good gracious! What's that! Oh, good-morning.

NOAH.

'Annah's a gettin' me a lot o' nice noo friends this week since we
coom to St. Marvells.

HANNAH.

Noah, Noah--the lady and gentlemen is strange.

NOAH.

Ho!

GEORGIANA.

Are you the man in charge here?

NOAH.

Ay; are you seeing me on business or pleasure?

SIR TRISTRAM.

Do you imagine people come here to see you?

NOAH.

Noa--they generally coom to see my wife. 'Owever, if it's business
[_pointing to the other side of the room_] that's the hofficial
side--this is domestic. You'll hall kindly move over.

SIR TRISTRAM _and_ GEORGIANA.

Oh, certainly.

[_Changing their seats._

SIR TRISTRAM.

Now, look here, my man. This lady is Mrs. Tidman. Mrs. Tidman is the
sister of Dr. Jedd, the Dean of St. Marvells.

HANNAH.

[_With a gasp._] Oh!

GEORGIANA.

There's something wrong with your wife.

NOAH.

Ay. She's profligate--proceedins are pendin'!

GEORGIANA.

[_To SIR TRISTRAM._] Strange police station! My flesh creeps.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_To NOAH._] Well, my good man, to come to the point. My poor friend
and this lady's brother, Dr. Jedd, the Dean, you know--has
mysteriously and unaccountably disappeared.

GEORGIANA.

Vanished.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Gone.

NOAH.

Absconded.

GEORGIANA.

Absconded! How dare you.

NOAH.

Respectable man, was 'e?

GEORGIANA.

What do you mean?

SIR TRISTRAM.

This lady is his sister!

NOAH.

Now, look 'ere--it's no good a gettin' 'asty and irritable with the
law. I'll coom over to yer, officially.

[_Putting the baking tin under his arm he crosses over to SIR TRISTRAM
and GEORGIANA._

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Putting his handkerchief to his face._] Don't bring that horrible
odor of cooking over here.

GEORGIANA.

Take it away! What is it?

NOAH.

It's evidence against my profligate wife.

[_SIR TRISTRAM and GEORGIANA exchange looks of impatience._

GEORGIANA.

Do you realize that my poor brother the Dean is missing?

NOAH.

Ay. Touching this missin' De-an.

GEORGIANA.

I left him last night to retire to rest.

SIR TRISTRAM.

This morning he is not to be found!

NOAH.

Ay. 'As it struck you to look in 'is bed?

GEORGIANA _and_ SIR TRISTRAM.

Of course!

GEORGIANA.

Everybody did that!

NOAH.

One 'ud a done. It's only confusin'--hall doin' it! Money matters
right or wrong?

[_GEORGIANA puts her handkerchief to her eyes._

SIR TRISTRAM.

Do put your questions more feelingly! This is his sister--I am his
friend!

NOAH.

You will push yourselves forrard. Had he anything on his mind?

GEORGIANA.

Yes!

NOAH.

Then I've got a the'ry.

GEORGIANA _and_ SIR TRISTRAM.

What is it?

NOAH.

A the'ry that will put you all out o' suspense!

GEORGIANA _and_ SIR TRISTRAM.

Yes, yes!

NOAH.

I've been a good bit about, I read a deal, and I'm a shrewd
experienced man. I should say this is nothin' but a hordinary case of
sooicide.

[_GEORGIANA sits faintly._

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Savagely to NOAH._] Get out of the way! Georgiana?

GEORGIANA.

Oh, Tris, if this were true how could we break it to the girls?

NOAH.

I could run oop, durin' the evenin', and break it to the girls.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Turns upon NOAH._] Look here, all you've got to do is to hold your
tongue and take down my description of the Dean, and report his
disappearance at Durnstone. [_Pushing him into a chair._] Go on!
[_Dictating._] "Missing. The Very Reverend Augustin Jedd, Dean of St.
Marvells." Poor Gus! Poor Gus!

HANNAH.

[_Softly to GEORGIANA._] Lady, lady.

[_NOAH prepares to write, depositing the baking-tin on the table._

GEORGIANA.

[_Turning._] Eh?

HANNAH.

Hush! Listen to me!

[_Speaks to GEORGIANA excitedly._

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_To NOAH._] Have you got that?

NOAH.

[_Writing laboriously with his legs curled round the chair and his
head on the table._] Ay. I'm spelling it my own way.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Poor dear old Gus! [_Dictating._] "Description!"

NOAH.

Oh noa!

SIR TRISTRAM.

"Description!"

NOAH.

I suppose he was jest the hordinary sort o' lookin' man.

SIR TRISTRAM.

No, no! "Description!"

GEORGIANA.

[_Turning from HANNAH, excitedly._] Description--a little, short, thin
man, with black hair and a squint!

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_To GEORGIANA._] No, no, he isn't.

GEORGIANA.

Yes, he is!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Georgiana! What are you talking about?

GEORGIANA.

I'm Gus's sister--I ought to know what he's like!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Good heavens, Georgiana--your mind is not going?

GEORGIANA.

[_Clutching SIR TRISTRAM'S arm and whispering in his ear, as she
points to the cell door._] He's in there!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Eh!

GEORGIANA.

Gus is the villain found dosing Dandy Dick last night!

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Falling back._] Oh! [_HANNAH seizes SIR TRISTRAM and talks to him
rapidly._] [_To NOAH._] What have you written?

NOAH.

I've written "Hanswers to the name o' Gus!"

GEORGIANA.

[_Snatching the paper from him._] It's not wanted. I've altered my
mind. I'm too busy to bother about him this week.

NOAH.

What! Hafter wasting my time?

GEORGIANA.

Look here--you're the constable who took the man in the Deanery
Stables last night?

NOAH.

Ay. [_Looking out of the window._] There's my cart outside ready to
take the scoundrel over to Durnstone.

GEORGIANA.

I should like to see him.

NOAH.

You can view him passin' out.

[_He tucks the baking-tin under his arm and goes up to the cell door._

GEORGIANA.

[_To herself._] Oh, Gus, Gus!

NOAH.

[_Unlocking the door._] I warn yer. 'E's a awful looking creature.

GEORGIANA.

I can stand it; I love horrors!

[_NOAH goes into the cell, closing the door after him._

Tris!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Georgiana!

GEORGIANA.

What was my brother's motive in bolusing Dandy last night?

SIR TRISTRAM.

I can't think. The first thing to do is to get him out of this hole.
This good woman has arranged for his escape.

GEORGIANA.

But we can't trust to Gus rolling out of a flying dogcart! Why, it's
as much as I could do!

HANNAH.

Oh, yes, lady, he'll do it. I've prewided for everything. Don't betray
him to Noah! There's another--a awfuller charge hangin' over his
reverend 'ead.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Another charge!

GEORGIANA.

Another! Oh Tris! To think my own stock should run vicious like this.

HANNAH.

Hush, lady!

[_NOAH comes out of the cell with THE DEAN, who is in handcuffs._

GEORGIANA _and_ SIR TRISTRAM.

Oh!

THE DEAN.

[_Raising his eyes, sees SIR TRISTRAM and GEORGIANA, and recoils with
a groan, sinking on to a chair._] Oh!

NOAH.

Oop you get!

SIR TRISTRAM.

No, no, stay! I am the owner of the horse stabled at the Deanery. I
make no charge against this wretched person. [_To THE DEAN._] Oh man,
man!

THE DEAN.

I was discovered administering to a suffering beast a simple remedy
for chills. I am an unfortunate creature. Do with me what you will.

GEORGIANA.

The analysis hasn't come home from the chemist's yet. Is this the
truth?

THE DEAN.

Yes.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_To NOAH._] Release this man.

NOAH.

Release him! He was found trespassin' in the stables of the la-ate
De-an, who has committed sooicide.

THE DEAN.

Oh! I----

SIR TRISTRAM, GEORGIANA _and_ HANNAH.

Hush!

NOAH.

The Diseased De-an is the honly man wot can withdraw one charge----

THE DEAN.

I--listen!

SIR TRISTRAM, GEORGIANA _and_ HANNAH.

Hush!

NOAH.

And I'm the honly man wot can withdraw the other.

SIR TRISTRAM.

You? Get out!

GEORGIANA.

Get out!

NOAH.

I charge this person unknown with allynating the affections o' my wife
while I was puttin' my 'orse to. And I'm goin' to drive him over to
Durnstone with the hevidence.

HANNAH.

Oh lady, lady, it's appearances what is against us.

NOAH.

[_Through the opening of the door._] Woa! Steady there! Get back!

GEORGIANA.

[_Whispering to THE DEAN._] I am disappointed in you, Angustin. Have
you got this wretched woman's whistle?

THE DEAN.

Yes.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Softly to THE DEAN._] Oh Jedd, Jedd--and these are what you call
Principles! Have you got the key of your handcuffs?

THE DEAN.

Yes.

NOAH.

[_Appearing in the doorway._] Time's oop. Coom on!

THE DEAN.

May I say a few parting words in the home I have apparently wrecked?

NOAH.

Say' em and 'a done.

THE DEAN.

In setting out upon a journey, the termination of which is
problematical, I desire to attest that this erring constable is the
husband of a wife from whom it is impossible to withhold respect, if
not admiration.

NOAH.

You 'ear' im!

THE DEAN.

As for my wretched self, the confession of my weaknesses must be
reserved for another time--another place. [_To GEORGIANA._] To you,
whose privilege it is to shelter in the sanctity of the Deanery, I
give this earnest admonition. Within an hour from this terrible
moment, let the fire be lighted in the drawing-room--let the missing
man's warm bath be waiting for its master--a change of linen prepared.
Withhold your judgments. Wait.

NOAH.

This is none of your business. Coom on.

THE DEAN.

I am ready!

[_NOAH takes him by the arm and leads him out._

GEORGIANA.

Oh, what am I to think of my brother?

HANNAH.

[_Kneeling at GEORGIANA'S feet._] Think! That he's the beautifullest,
sweetest man in all Durnshire!

GEORGIANA.

Woman!

HANNAH.

It's I and my whistle and Nick the fire-brigade horse what'll bring
him back to the Deanery safe and unharmed. Not a soul but we three'll
ever know of his misfortune. [_Listening._] Hark! They're off!

NOAH.

[_Outside._] Get up, now! Get-oop, old girl!

HANNAH.

[_With a cry._] Ah! [_Rushing to the door and looking out._] He's done
for!

GEORGIANA _and_ SIR TRISTRAM.

Done for!

HANNAH.

The Dean can whistle himself blue! Noah's put Kitty in the cart, and
left Old Nick at home!

THE END OF THE FIRST SCENE.



_The second scene is the Morning Room at the Deanery again._

_SALOME and SHEBA are sitting there gloomily._

SALOME.

Poor Papa!

SHEBA.

Poor dear Papa!

SALOME.

He must return very soon--he must!

SHEBA.

He must! In the meantime it is such a comfort to feel that we have no
cause for self-reproach.

SALOME.

But the anxiety is terribly wearing.

SHEBA.

Nothing is so weakening, Salome.

SALOME.

Sheba, dear.

SHEBA.

[_Clinging to SALOME._] If I should pine and ultimately die of this
suspense I want you to have my workbox.

SALOME.

[_Shaking her head and sadly turning away._] Thank you, dear, but if
Papa is not home for afternoon tea you will outlive me.

[_Turning towards the window as MAJOR TARVER and MR. DARBEY appear
outside._

DARBEY.

[_Outside._] Miss Jedd! Miss Jedd!

SALOME.

Sheba! Here are Gerald Tarver and Mr. Darbey!

SHEBA.

Oh, the presumption! Open the window and dare them to enter!

[_SALOME unfastens the window._

DARBEY.

[_Outside._] Thank you. Don't be shocked when you see Tarver.

_TARVER and DARBEY enter, dressed for the Races, but DARBEY is
supporting TARVER, who looks extremely weakly._

TARVER.

Pardon this informal method of presenting ourselves.

SALOME.

You do well, gentlemen, to intrude upon two feeble women at a moment
of sorrow.

SHEBA.

One step further, and I shall ask Major Tarver, who is nearest the
bell, to ring for help.

[_TARVER sinks into a chair._

DARBEY.

[_Standing by the side of TARVER._] There now. The fact is. Miss Jedd,
that Tarver is in an exceedingly critical condition. Feeling that he
has incurred your displeasure he has failed even in the struggle to
gain the race-course. I have taken him to Dr. Middleton and I
explained that Major Tarver loved with a passion [_looking at SHEBA_]
second only to my own.

SALOME.

[_Sitting comfortably on the settee._] Oh, we cannot listen to you,
Mr. Darbey.

SHEBA.

Go on, sir, if you can.

[_The two girls exchange looks._

DARBEY.

The Doctor made a searching examination of the Major's tongue and
diagnosed that, unless the Major at once proposed to the lady in
question and was accepted, three weeks or a month at the seaside would
be absolutely imperative. Shall I continue?

SALOME.

Oh, certainly. I am helpless.

SHEBA.

We are curious to see to what lengths you will go.

DARBEY.

The pitiable condition of my poor friend speaks for itself.

SALOME.

I beg your pardon--it does nothing of the kind.

TARVER.

[_Rising with difficulty and approaching SALOME._] Salome--I have
loved you distractedly for upwards of eight weeks.

SALOME.

[_Going to him._] Oh, Major Tarver, let me pass; [_holding his coat
firmly_] let me pass, I say.

TARVER.

Unless you push me, never!

SHEBA.

Spare me this scene, Mr. Darbey.

[_DARBEY follows SHEBA across the room._

TARVER.

To a man in my condition love is either a rapid and fatal malady, or
it is an admirable digestive. Accept me, and my merry laugh once more
rings through the Mess Room. Reject me, and my collection of vocal
music, loose and in volumes, will be brought to the hammer, and the
bird, as it were, will trill no more.

SALOME.

And is it really I who would hush the little throaty songster?

TARVER.

Certainly. [_Taking a sheet of paper from his pocket._] I have the
Doctor's certificate to that effect.

[_Both reading the certificate they walk into Library._

SHEBA.

Oh, Mr. Darbey, I have never thought of marriage seriously.

DARBEY.

People never do till they _are_ married.

SHEBA.

But think, only think of my age.

DARBEY.

Pardon me, Sheba--but what is your age?

SHEBA.

Oh, it is so very little--it is not worth mentioning. Cannot we remain
friends and occasionally correspond?

DARBEY.

Well, of course--if you insist----

SHEBA.

No, no, I see that is impracticable. It must be wed or part. All I ask
is time--time to ponder over such a question, time to know myself
better.

DARBEY.

Certainly, how long?

SHEBA.

Give me two or three minutes. Hush!

[_They separate as TARVER and SALOME re-enter the room. TARVER is
glaring excitedly and biting his nails._

TARVER.

I never thought I should live to be accepted by anyone. I shall buy
some gay songs. Er--when can I see the Dean?

SALOME.

Oh, don't!

TARVER.

Salome!

SALOME.

Papa has been out all night.

DARBEY _and_ TARVER.

All night?

SALOME.

Isn't it terrible! Oh, what do you think of it, Mr. Darbey?

DARBEY.

Shocking, but we oughtn't to condemn him unheard.

SALOME.

Condemn my Papa!

SHEBA.

[_At the window._] Here's Aunt Georgiana!

DARBEY.

Eh! Look out, Tarver.

[_Going out quickly._

SALOME.

[_Pulling TARVER after her._] Come this way and let us take cuttings
in the conservatory.

[_They go out._

SHEBA.

Mr. Darbey! Mr. Darbey, wait for me--I have decided. _Yes._

[_She goes out by the door as GEORGIANA enters excitedly at the
window._

GEORGIANA.

[_Waving her handkerchief._] Come on, Tris! The course is clear! Mind
the gate-post! Hold him up! Now give him his head!

_SIR TRISTRAM and HATCHAM enter by the window carrying THE DEAN. They
all look as though they have been recently engaged in a prolonged
struggle._

SIR TRISTRAM.

Put him down!

GEORGIANA.

Put him down!

HATCHAM.

That I will, ma'am, and gladly.

[_They deposit THE DEAN in a chair and GEORGIANA and SIR TRISTRAM each
seize a hand, feeling THE DEAN'S pulse, while HATCHAM puts his hand on
THE DEAN'S heart._

THE DEAN.

[_Opening his eyes._] Where am I now?

GEORGIANA.

He lives! Hurrah! Cheer man, cheer!

SIR TRISTRAM _and_ HATCHAM

[_Quietly._] Hurrah! [_To HATCHAM._] We can't shout here; go and cheer
as loudly as you can in the roadway by yourself.

HATCHAM.

Yes, Sir.

[_HATCHAM runs out at the window._

THE DEAN.

[_Gradually recovering._] Georgiana--Mardon.

SIR TRISTRAM.

How are you, Jedd, old boy?

GEORGIANA.

How do you feel now, Gus?

THE DEAN.

Torn to fragments.

SIR TRISTRAM.

So you are. Thank heaven, he's conscious.

THE DEAN.

I feel as if I had been walked over carefully by a large concourse of
the lower orders!

GEORGIANA.

So you have been. Thank heaven, his memory is all right.

[_HATCHAM'S voice is heard in the distance cheering. They all listen._

SIR TRISTRAM.

That's Hatcham; I'll raise his wages.

THE DEAN.

Do I understand that I have been forcibly and illegally rescued?

SIR TRISTRAM.

That's it, old fellow.

THE DEAN.

Who has committed such a reprehensible act?

SIR TRISTRAM.

A woman who would have been a heroine in any age--Georgiana!

THE DEAN.

Georgiana, I am bound to overlook it, in a relative, but never let
this occur again.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Tell him.

GEORGIANA.

You found out that that other woman's plan went lame, didn't you?

THE DEAN.

I discovered its inefficacy, after a prolonged period of ineffectual
whistling.

GEORGIANA.

But we ascertained the road the genial constable was going to follow.
He was bound for the edge of the hill, up Pear Tree Lane, to watch the
Races. Directly we knew this, Tris and I made for the Hill. Bless your
soul, there were hundreds of my old friends there--welshers,
pick-pockets, card-sharpers, all the lowest race-course cads in the
kingdom. In a minute I was in the middle of 'em, as much at home as a
Duchess in a Drawing-room.

SIR TRISTRAM.

A Queen in a Palace!

GEORGIANA.

Boadicea among the Druids! "Do you know me?" I holloaed out. Instantly
there was a cry of "Blessed if it ain't George Tidd!" Tears of real
joy sprang to my eyes--while I was wiping them away Tris had his
pockets emptied and I lost my watch.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Ah, Jedd, it was a glorious moment!

GEORGIANA.

Tris made a back, and I stood on it, supported by a correct-card
merchant on either side. "Dear friends," I said; "Brothers! I'm with
you once again." You should have heard the shouts of honest welcome.
Before I could obtain silence my field glasses had gone on their long
journey. "Listen to me," I said. "A very dear relative of mine has
been collared for playing the three-card trick on his way down from
town." There was a groan of sympathy. "He'll be on the brow of the
Hill with a bobby in half-an-hour," said I, "who's for the rescue?" A
dead deep silence followed, broken only by the sweet voice of a young
child, saying, "What'll we get for it?" "A pound a-piece," said I.
There was a roar of assent, and my concluding words, "and possibly six
months," were never heard. At that moment Tris' back could stand it no
longer, and we came heavily to the ground together. [_Seizing THE DEAN
by the hand and dragging him up._] Now you know whose hands have led
you back to your own manger. [_Embracing him._] And oh, brother,
confess--isn't there something good and noble in true English sport
after all?

THE DEAN.

Every abused institution has its redeeming characteristic. But whence
is the money to come to reward these dreadful persons? I cannot
reasonably ask my girls to organize a bazaar or concert.

GEORGIANA.

Concert! I'm a rich woman.

THE DEAN.

Rich!

GEORGIANA.

Well, I've cleared fifteen hundred over the Handicap.

THE DEAN.

[_Recoiling._] No! Then the horse who enjoyed the shelter of the
Deanery last night----

SIR TRISTRAM.

Dandy Dick!

THE DEAN.

Won!

GEORGIANA.

In a common canter! All the rest nowhere, and Bonny Betsy walked in
with the policeman.

THE DEAN.

[_To himself._] Five hundred pounds towards the Spire! Five hundred!
Oh, where is Blore with the good news!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Look at him! Lively as a cricket!

THE DEAN.

Sir Tristram, I am under the impression that your horse swallowed
reluctantly a small portion of that bolus last night before I was
surprised and removed.

SIR TRISTRAM.

By the bye, I am expecting the analysis of that concoction every
minute.

THE DEAN.

Spare yourself the trouble--the secret is with me. I seek no
acknowledgment from either of you, but in your moment of deplorable
triumph remember with gratitude the little volume of "The Horse and
its Ailments" and the prosaic name of its humane author--John Cox.

[_He goes out through the Library._

GEORGIANA.

But oh, Tris Mardon, what can I ever say to you?

SIR TRISTRAM.

Anything you like except "Thank you!"

GEORGIANA.

Don't stop me? Why, you were the man who hauled Augustin out of the
cart by his legs!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Oh, but why mention such trifles?

GEORGIANA.

They're not trifles. And when his cap fell off, it was you--brave
fellow that you are--who pulled the horse's nose-bag over my brother's
head so that he shouldn't be recognized.

SIR TRISTRAM.

My dear Georgiana, these are the common courtesies of every-day life.

GEORGIANA.

They are acts which any true woman would esteem. Gus won't readily
forget the critical moment when all the cut chaff ran down the back of
his neck--nor shall I.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Nor shall I forget the way in which you gave Dandy his whisky out of a
soda water bottle just before the race.

GEORGIANA.

That's nothing--any lady would do the same.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Nothing! You looked like the Florence Nightingale of the paddock! Oh,
Georgiana, why, why, why won't you marry me?

GEORGIANA.

Why!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Why?

GEORGIANA.

Why! Because you've only just asked me, Tris!

[_Goes to him cordially._

SIR TRISTRAM.

But when I touched your hand last night, you reared!

GEORGIANA.

Yes, Tris, old man, but love is founded on mutual esteem; last night
you hadn't put my brother's head in that nose-bag.

[_They go together to the fireplace, he with his arm round her waist._

SHEBA.

[_Looking in at the door._] How annoying! There's Aunt and Sir
Tristram in this room--Salome and Major Tarver are sitting on the hot
pipes in the conservatory--where am I and Mr. Darbey to go? Papa! Come
back!

[_She withdraws quickly as THE DEAN enters through the Library
carrying a paper in his hand; he has now resumed his normal
appearance._

THE DEAN.

Home! What sonorous music is in the word! Home, with the secret of my
sad misfortune buried in the bosoms of a faithful few. Home, with my
family influence intact! Home, with the sceptre of my dignity still
tight in my grasp! What is this I have picked up on the stairs?

[_Reads with a horrified look, as HATCHAM enters at the window._

HATCHAM.

Beg pardon, Sir Tristram.

SIR TRISTRAM.

What is it?

HATCHAM.

The chemist has just brought the annal_i_sis.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Where is he?

[_SIR TRISTRAM and GEORGIANA go out at the window, following HATCHAM._

THE DEAN.

It is too horrible! [_Reading._] "Debtor to Lewis Isaacs, Costumier to
the Queen, Bow Street--Total, Forty pounds, nineteen!" There was a
fancy masked ball at Durnstone last night! Salome--Sheba--no, no!

SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

[_Bounding in and rushing at THE DEAN._] Papa, Papa!

SALOME.

Our own Papa!

SHEBA.

Papsey!

[_SALOME seizes his hands, SHEBA his coat-tails, and turn him round
violently._

SALOME.

Our parent returned!

SHEBA.

Papsey--come back!

THE DEAN.

Stop!

SALOME.

Papa, why have you tortured us with anxiety?

SHEBA.

Where have you been, you naughty man?

THE DEAN.

Before I answer a question, which, from a child to its parent,
partakes of the unpardonable vice of curiosity, I demand an
explanation of this disreputable document. [_Reading._] "Debtor to
Lewis Isaacs, Costumier to the Queen."

SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

Oh!

[_SHEBA sits aghast on the table--SALOME distractedly falls on the
floor._

THE DEAN.

I will not follow this legend in all its revolting intricacies.
Suffice it, its moral is inculcated by the mournful total. Forty
pounds, nineteen! Imps of deceit! [_Looking from one to the other._]
There was a ball at Durnstone last night. I know it.

SHEBA.

Spare us!

SALOME.

You couldn't have been there, Papa!

THE DEAN.

There! I trust I was better--that is, otherwise employed. [_Referring
to the bill._] Which of my hitherto trusted daughters was a lady--no,
I will say a person--of the period of the French Revolution?

[_SHEBA points to SALOME._

THE DEAN.

And a flower-girl of an unknown epoch. [_SALOME points to SHEBA._] To
your respective rooms! [_The girls cling together._] Let your blinds
be drawn. At seven porridge will be brought to you.

SALOME.

Papa!

THE DEAN.

Go!

SHEBA.

Papsey!

THE DEAN.

Go!

SALOME.

Papa, we, poor girls as we are, can pay the bill.

THE DEAN.

You cannot--go!

SHEBA.

Through the kindness of our Aunt----

SALOME.

We have won fifty pounds.

THE DEAN.

What!

SHEBA.

At the Races!

THE DEAN.

[_Recoiling._] You too! You too drawn into the vortex! Is there no
conscience that is clear--is there no guilessness left in this house,
with the possible exception of my own!

SHEBA.

[_Sobbing._] We always knew a little more than you gave us credit for,
Papa.

THE DEAN.

[_Handing SHEBA the bill._] Take this horrid thing--never let it meet
my eyes again. As for the scandalous costumes, they shall be raffled
for in aid of local charities. Confidence, that precious pearl in the
snug shell of domesticity, is at an end between us. I chastise you
both by permanently withholding from you the reason of my absence from
home last night. Go!

[_The girls totter out as SIR TRISTRAM enters quickly at the window,
followed by GEORGIANA, carrying the basin containing the bolus. SIR
TRISTRAM has an opened letter in his hand._

SIR TRISTRAM.

Good heavens, Jedd! the analysis has arrived!

THE DEAN.

I am absolutely indifferent!

GEORGIANA _and_ SIR TRISTRAM.

Indifferent!

THE DEAN.

[_To GEORGIANA._] How dare you confront me without even the semblance
of a blush--you who have enabled my innocent babies, for the first
time in their lives, to discharge one of their own accounts.

GEORGIANA.

There isn't a blush in our family--if there were, you'd want it.

[_SHEBA and SALOME appear outside the window, looking in._

SIR TRISTRAM.

Jedd, you were once my friend, and you are to be my relative.

THE DEAN.

[_Looking at GEORGIANA._] My sister! [_To SIR TRISTRAM._] I offer no
opposition.

SIR TRISTRAM.

But not even our approaching family tie prevents my designating you as
one of the most atrocious conspirators known in the history of the
Turf.

THE DEAN.

Conspirator!

SIR TRISTRAM.

As the owner of one-half of Dandy Dick, I denounce you!

GEORGIANA.

As the owner of the other half, _I_ denounce you!

THE DEAN.

You!

_SHEBA and SALOME enter, and remain standing in the recess,
listening._

SIR TRISTRAM.

The chief ingredient of your infernal preparation is known.

THE DEAN.

It contains nothing that I would not cheerfully administer to my own
children.

GEORGIANA.

[_In horror._] Oh!

SIR TRISTRAM.

I believe you. [_Pointing to the paper._] Strychnine! Sixteen grains!

SALOME _and_ SHEBA.

[_Clinging to each other terrified._] Oh!

THE DEAN.

Strychnine! Summon my devoted servant Blore, in whose presence the
innocuous mixture was compounded. [_GEORGIANA rings the bell. The
girls hide behind the window curtains._] This analysis is simply the
pardonable result of over-enthusiasm on the part of our local chemist.

GEORGIANA.

You're a disgrace to the pretty little police station where you slept
last night!

[_BLORE enters and stands unnoticed._

THE DEAN.

I will prove that in the Deanery Stables the common laws of
hospitality have never been transgressed. Give me the bowl!
[_GEORGIANA hands THE DEAN the basin from the table._] A simple remedy
for a chill.

GEORGIANA _and_ SIR TRISTRAM.

Strychnine--sixteen grains!

THE DEAN.

I, myself, am suffering from the exposure of last night. [_Taking the
remaining bolus and opening his mouth._] Observe me!

BLORE.

[_Rushing forward, snatching the basin from THE DEAN and sinking on to
his knees._] No, no! Don't, don't! You wouldn't 'ang the holdest
servant in the Deanery.

THE DEAN.

Blore!

BLORE.

I did it! I 'ad a honest fancy for Bonny Betsy, and I wanted this
gentleman's 'orse out of the way. And while you was mixing the dose
with the best ecclesiastical intentions, I hintroduced a foreign
element.

THE DEAN.

[_Pulling BLORE up by his coat collar._] Viper!

BLORE.

Oh sir, it was hall for the sake of the Dean.

SIR TRISTRAM.

The Dean?

BLORE.

The dear Dean had only Fifty Pounds to spare for sporting purposes,
and I thought a gentleman of 'is 'igh standing ought to have a
certainty.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Jedd!

GEORGIANA.

Augustin!

THE DEAN.

I can conceal it no longer--I--I instructed this unworthy creature to
back Dandy Dick on behalf of the Restoration Fund.

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_Shaking BLORE._] And didn't you do it?

BLORE.

No.

THE DEAN.

Why not? In the name of that tottering Spire, why not?

BLORE.

Oh, sir, thinking as you'd given some of the mixture to Dandy I put
your cheerful little offering on to Bonny Betsy.

[_SALOME and SHEBA disappear._

THE DEAN.

Oh! [_To BLORE._] I could have pardoned everything but this last act
of disobedience. You are unworthy of the Deanery. Leave it for some
ordinary household.

BLORE.

If I leave the Deanery, I shall give my reasons, and then what'll
folks think of you and me in our old age?

THE DEAN.

You wouldn't spread this tale in St. Marvells?

BLORE.

Not if sober, sir--but suppose grief drove me to my cups?

THE DEAN.

I must save you from intemperance at any cost. Remain in my service--a
sad, sober and, above all, a silent man!

[_SALOME and SHEBA appear as BLORE goes out through the window._

SALOME.

Papa!

THE DEAN.

To your rooms! I am distracted!

SALOME.

Major Tarver and Mr. Darbey!----

THE DEAN.

If you have sufficiently merged all sense of moral rectitude as to
declare that I am not at home, do so.

SHEBA.

No, no. Papa; we have accidentally discovered that you, our parent,
have stooped to deception, if not to crime.

THE DEAN.

[_Staggering back._] Oh!

SHEBA.

We are still young--the sooner, therefore, we are removed from any
unfortunate influence the better.

SALOME.

We have an opportunity of beginning life afresh.

SHEBA.

These two gallant gentlemen have proposed for us.

THE DEAN.

Then I _am_ at home. Where are they?

[_He goes out rapidly, followed by SALOME and SHEBA. Directly they
have disappeared, NOAH TOPPING, looking dishevelled, rushes in at the
window, with HANNAH clinging to him._

NOAH.

[_Glaring round the room._] Is this 'ere the Deanery?

[_GEORGIANA and SIR TRISTRAM come to him._

HANNAH.

Noahry, Noah, come back!

NOAH.

Theer's been a man rescued from my lawful custody while my face was
unofficially held downwards in the mud. The villain has been traced
back to the Deanery.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Go away!

HANNAH.

Come away!

NOAH.

The man was a unknown lover of my nooly made wife!

GEORGIANA.

You mustn't bring your domestic affairs here; this is a subject for
your own fireside of an evening.

[_THE DEAN appears outside the window with SALOME, SHEBA, TARVER and
DARBEY._

THE DEAN.

[_Outside._] Come in, Major Tarver--come in, Mr. Darbey!

NOAH.

That's his voice!

_THE DEAN enters, followed by SALOME, TARVER, SHEBA and DARBEY._

NOAH.

[_Confronting THE DEAN._] My man.

HANNAH.

No, no, Noahry!

GEORGIANA.

You're speaking to Dr. Jedd, the Dean of St. Marvells.

NOAH.

I'm speaking to the man I took last night--the culprit as 'as
allynated the affections of my wife.

SIR TRISTRAM.

Wait--one moment! [_Going out at the window._

[_SALOME and TARVER go into the Library and sit at the writing-table.
DARBEY sits in an arm-chair with SHEBA on the arm._

THE DEAN.

[_Mildly._] Do not let us chide a man who is conscientious even in
error. [_Looking at HANNAH._] I think I see Hannah Evans, once an
excellent cook under this very roof.

HANNAH.

I'm Mrs. Topping now, sir--bride o' the constable. And oh, do forgive
him--he's a mass o' ignorance.

NOAH.

Coom away!

[_HANNAH returns to NOAH. as SIR TRISTRAM re-enters with HATCHAM._

SIR TRISTRAM.

[_To HATCHAM._] Hatcham--[_pointing to THE DEAN_]--Is that the man you
and the Constable secured in the stable last night?

HATCHAM.

That, sir! Bless your 'art, sir, that's the Dean 'imself.

SIR TRISTRAM.

That'll do.

HATCHAM.

[_To NOAH._] Why, our man was a short, thin individual!

[_HATCHAM goes out at the window._

THE DEAN.

[_To NOAH._] I trust you are perfectly satisfied.

NOAH.

[_Wiping his brow and looking puzzled._] I'm doon.

THE DEAN.

Don't trouble further. I withdraw unreservedly any charge against this
unknown person found on my premises last night. I attribute to him the
most innocent intentions. Hannah, you and your worthy husband will
stay and dine in my kitchen. Good afternoon.

NOAH.

Is it a 'ot dinner?

THE DEAN.

Hot--with ale.

NOAH.

[_Turning angrily to HANNAH._] Now then, you don't know a real
gentleman when you see one. Why don't 'ee thank the Dean warmly?

HANNAH.

[_Kissing THE DEAN'S hands with a curtsey._] Thank you, sir.

THE DEAN.

[_Benignly._] Go--go. I take a kindly interest in you both.

[_They back out, bowing and curtseying._

GEORGIANA.

Well, Gus, you're out of all your troubles. Are you happy?

THE DEAN.

Happy! My family influence gone forever--my dignity crushed out of all
recognition--the genial summer of the Deanery frosted by the winter of
Deceit.

GEORGIANA.

Ah, Gus, when once you lay the whip about the withers of the horse
called Deception he takes the bit between his teeth, and only the
devil can stop him--and he'd rather not. Shall I tell you who has been
riding the horse hardest?

THE DEAN.

Who?

GEORGIANA.

The Dean.

THE DEAN.

Georgiana! I'm surprised at you.

[_SHEBA sits at the piano and plays a bright air softly--DARBEY
standing behind her--SALOME and TARVER stand in the archway._

GEORGIANA.

[_Slapping THE DEAN on the back._] Look here, Augustin, George Tidd
will lend you that thousand for the poor, innocent old Spire.

THE DEAN.

[_Taking her hand._] Oh, Georgiana!

GEORGIANA.

On one condition--that you'll admit there's no harm in our laughing at
a Sporting Dean.

THE DEAN.

No, no--I cannot allow it!

GEORGIANA.

Tris! My brother Gus doesn't want us to be merry at his expense.

[_They both laugh._

THE DEAN.

[_Trying to silence them._] No, no! I forbid it! Hush!

SIR TRISTRAM.

Why, Jedd, there's no harm in laughter, for those who laugh or those
who are laughed at.

GEORGIANA.

Provided always--firstly, that it is Folly that is laughed at and not
Virtue; secondly, that it is our friends who laugh at us, [_to the
audience_] as we hope they all will, for our pains.

THE END



_Transcriber's Note_

This transcription is based on the scan images posted by The Internet
Archive at:

http://archive.org/details/dandydickplayint00pinerich

In addition, when there was a question about the printed text, another
edition posted by The Internet Archive was consulted:

http://archive.org/details/dandydickplayint00pineiala

The following changes were made to the text:

-  Throughout the text, dashes at the end of lines have been
normalized.

-  Throughout the text, "and" in the character titles preceding
dialogue has been italicized consistently and names in stage
directions have been consistently either capitalized (in the text
version) or set in small caps (in the html version).

-  In the Introductory Note, “St. Marvells” has an apostrophe, whereas
in the text of the play it almost always does not. The inconsistency
has been allowed to stand in the Introductory Note, but the apostrophe
has been removed in the few instances in the text.

-  Pg. 25: "_THE DEAN gives DARBEY a severe look..._"--A bracket has
been added to the beginning of this line.

-  Pg. 97: "No, Aunt, No!"--The second "No" has been changed to lower
case.

-  Pg. 139: "Oh, what do you think of it. Mr. Darbey?"--The period
after "it" has been changed to a comma.

-  Pg. 141: "We can't shout here, go and cheer..."--The comma has been
changed to a semicolon.

-  Pg. 142: "That's Hatcham, I'll raise his wages."--The comma has
been changed to a semicolon.

-  Pg. 143: "'aint" has been changed to "ain't".

-  Pg. 147: "...mutual esteem, last night..."--The comma has been
changed to a semicolon.

-  Pg. 154: "I did it?" has been changed to "I did it!"

The html version of this etext attempts to reproduce the layout of the
printed text. However, some concessions have been made, particularly
in the handling of stage directions enclosed by brackets on at least
one side. (Entrances were usually without brackets.) In general, the
stage directions were typeset in the printed text as follows:

-  Before and within dialogue.

-  Flush right, on the same line as the end of dialogue if there was
enough space; on the next line, if there was not.

-  If the stage directions were two lines, they were indented from the
left margin as hanging paragraphs. How much the stage directions were
indented varied.

In the etext, all stage directions not before or within dialogue are
placed on the next line, indented the same amount from the left
margin, and coded as hanging paragraphs.





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allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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