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Title: Alice's Blighted Profession - A Sketch for Girls
Author: Clifford, Helen C.
Language: English
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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.

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                      ALICE'S BLIGHTED PROFESSION

                           A SKETCH FOR GIRLS


                           HELEN C. CLIFFORD

                          Copyright, 1919, By



                              SUCCESSOR TO

                           DICK & FITZGERALD

               18 Vesey Street      New York City, N. Y.


  ALICE                               _A young lawyer_
  DIANA          _A fashionably dressed society woman_
  BELL                      _A nervous charity worker_
  MISS JOHNICKSTONER          _A nervous stenographer_
  MISS CHICKENFENCER        _A vivacious stenographer_
  MRS. BAXTER                _A haughty society woman_
  MISS WORKER      _A prayerful salvation-army lassie_
  MARY                      _An excitable suffragette_

            TIME.--To-day.         LOCALITY.--New York City.

                     TIME OF PLAYING.--50 minutes.

Curtain is dropped between Scene I and II for a few minutes to denote
lapse of time.


Appropriate to the character portrayed.

                      Alice's Blighted Profession

  SCENE.--_A modern business office. Center door, desk in center covered
     with paper and letters; four office chairs, telephone, rug, etc.,
     as may be available._ DISCOVERED: _ALICE seated at desk_.

      ENTER, C.D., DIANA.

DIANA. Well, Alice Berning, what do you mean by being indoors on such a
beautiful day? Come, put on your wraps, my machine is----

ALICE. Diana, you are a regular steam engine. No, I cannot accept your
kind invitation to go for a spin.

DIANA. Do you know what brought me here to-day? It was to ask you to
accompany us on our tour through the north next week. (_Sits on arm of
ALICE'S chair_) There's a dear. Say you will come. Why, you cannot
imagine how disappointed Jack and I will be, not mentioning all our
other guests, if you refuse.

ALICE. Really, Diana, I am very sorry to have to refuse. But I simply
cannot go. Why, look at all this correspondence and no one but myself to
answer it.

DIANA. Why don't you get a stenographer? Why not advertise?

ALICE. Oh, I've done that--I advertised for _a_ stenographer, and, would
you believe it, when I came down this morning there were at least
twenty-five applicants outside my door clamoring to get in.

DIANA. And how did you get rid of them?

ALICE. I interviewed each one separately, but found not one qualified to
do my work. I verily believe if I encounter another applicant like any
of my last ones I shall close up shop and bury myself in the woods.
(_Woe-begone look_)

DIANA (_fingering cards and papers on desk_). Alice Marie Jenkins
Berning, what does this mean? Why there isn't anything on these
so-called letters but meaningless words. Since when did Mrs. Smith, Mrs.
Courld, Mr. Montemout and all these other society favorites become your
clients? Ah-ah--the plot thickens--so Dick has been consulting you, too?
I suppose he wishes to sue for a separation or something like that.
(_Cries wildly_) Oh dear, oh dear!

ALICE. Diana, if you do not stop that nonsense you will spoil my
practice. What will my clients think if they should come in and see you
carrying on so?

DIANA (_sobs_). Oh, but my husband; to think he has deceived me so. Oh
dear, oh dear!

ALICE. For goodness sake, stop! And how unlucky you should find out the
real state of affairs.

DIANA (_brightly_). Come now, own up. You haven't had a client since you
started, and these papers are only pretenses so that a promising client
might think you prosperous.

ALICE (_sighs_). Well, I might as well own up. I certainly have had bad
luck; but, never mind, my luck will change.

DIANA. Ah, dearie, when will you learn your lesson? You were never meant
to battle and worry like this, and----

ALICE. I am _not_----

DIANA (_places hand over ALICE'S mouth_). Now there, please do not
interrupt me. Of course you are worrying; why there are tiny wrinkles
forming across your brow, and before you know it your mouth will become
a straight line and the sparkle will disappear from your dear eyes. Now
come--give up this silly fad.

ALICE. Can't. When I started this, everyone was against me, especially
father and Tom, and now that I've started I shall continue. But how I do
wish for better business, and also for an office assistant.

DIANA. Well, (_Walks toward C.D._) I've got a date with the dressmaker.
I'm sorry you are so firm about this thing. Well, good-bye and good
luck.                                                         [EXIT C.D.

ALICE. Well, it could not be avoided, (_Rearranges papers_) but I will
_not_ give it up. Why, I'm stationed here a month and not a client yet.
(_Listens_) I do believe someone is coming toward this office. I must
put on a business air. (_Through telephone; makes sure it does not
ring_) Yes, I know--but you see business is so rushed now. (ENTER C.D.
BELL) Well, I might consider it. Just a minute, please. (_To BELL_) Just
be seated a minute, please. (_Through telephone_) As I was saying, I
cannot consider it below $5,000.... What's that?... I'm sorry, but my
advice is always worth that.... No, not a cent less....

BELL. I beg your----

ALICE (_waves BELL to silence; continues through telephone_). No, I
cannot spare time now.... Yes, come over to-morrow.... Oh, about this
time.... Good day. (_Writes_)

BELL. But I say----

ALICE. Just a minute, please, and then I'll attend to you. (_Writes,
blots, folds_) Well, madam, what can I do for you?

BELL. Well--I--I--jus-t--just----

ALICE. Please, my time is valuable.

BELL. I just wanted to know if--if--you would contribute to the home for
disabled animals?

ALICE (_gasps_). No, madam, I am not interested--in--animals. Good-day.
(_EXIT BELL, nervously, C.D._) Well, of all the nerve! And all that
energy wasted.


ALICE. Well?

MISS JOHNICKSTONER. I--I--came--in--answer to your advertisement.

ALICE. Take a seat, please. Now write your name and address. (_MISS
JOHNICKSTONER writes name_) Well, Miss Johnickstoner, what is your
average speed in stenography?

MISS JOHN. I--I--don't--do--not--know.

ALICE. Well, try. (_Dictates_) Dear Sir: We are in receipt of your
favor of the 9th inst. Now with reference to your claim that---- (_MISS
JOHNICKSTONER brings handkerchief to face; sobs_) My dear--eh--Miss,
what is the trouble?

MISS JOHN. I didn't get the word after receipt.

ALICE. We'll try again. Ready? (_Dictates_) Dear Sir: We are in receipt
of your favor of the 9th inst. Now with reference to your---- (_MISS
JOHNICKSTONER stops; looks up at ALICE; sobs_) What now?

MISS JOHN. My point broke.

ALICE. Here's another. We'll continue now. (_Dictates_) --claim I would
suggest that you would let it drop for the present. You know---- (_Long
wail from MISS JOHNICKSTONER_) Now this--is--too--bad. What is it this

MISS JOHN. I don't (_Sobs_) think I li-ke this work.


MISS JOHN. I think I'll be going--now----Mamma--is waiting--for
me--outside.                                                  [EXIT C.D.

ALICE. Ah, the poor little darling and her _Mamma_ waiting for her. Ugh!


MISS CHICKENFENCER. I believe I'm in the right place. I came in answer
to your advertisement.

ALICE. Yes? Now, before we begin, are you addicted to crying?

MISS CHICKEN (_takes small powder puff from handbag; powders nose_).
What a funny question. Well, you see, if the story is really sad, I shed
a few tears. You know, the kind (_Dramatically_) where they are just
about to be married, when he receives a letter from his father
commanding him to come home--he goes but she remains; day by day she
longs for him, and gradually fades away--and--just as she--is

ALICE. I'm sorry, but really----

MISS CHICKEN. Oh, that's all right; I was almost finished anyway.
(_Looks around office_) Say, I kind-a like this place. What are the

ALICE. I start at $20.

MISS CHICKEN. $20? Well--I might consider it. What am I required to do?

ALICE. I suppose you can take dictation, also answer the telephone when
I'm not here.

MISS CHICKEN. You bet I can. You should have----

ALICE. I'll dictate a little to you now.

MISS CHICKEN. Very well. Fire away.

ALICE (_dictates_). Dear Sir: We are in receipt of your----

MISS CHICKEN. Isn't it funny? Now at my last place, the boss said that
word just like you, and because I corrected him he was furious.

ALICE. To which word do you refer?

MISS CHICKEN. Why, you said receipt instead of recipe.

ALICE. I prefer saying receipt. We shall continue
now--(_Dictates_)--letter of the 6th inst. The claim you mentioned in
your letter is one that will be hard to tackle.

MISS CHICKEN. Good gracious, I'm stuck. Say, how do you write that word?
(_Thinks_) Oh, never mind, I know.

ALICE. You know that many of my clients have had similar cases, but I
have had to refuse to take them. Although I would like to take your case
I am afraid--(_MISS CHICKENFENCER throws pencil down_)--that I shall
have to---- (_To MISS CHICKENFENCER_) Why are you not writing?

MISS CHICKEN. Goodness! you are a regular steam engine. Say, would you
mind if I took off my coat and hat. I'm sure we'll become real
intimate--(_Powders nose_)--and you sitting there all that time and not
telling me that my nose was shiny.

ALICE. Are you finished? I hate to disturb you, but----

MISS CHICKEN. Oh, that's all right. Just a minute until I fix this dip.
Say, isn't it awful when you wash your hair. I can't do a thing with
mine. Now I have a friend whose hair is so----

ALICE. Really you must excuse me, but would you mind reading the letter
as far as you have gone?

MISS CHICKEN. Certainly not. Here goes. (_Reads_) We are in recipe----

ALICE. Receipt.

MISS CHICKEN. --of your favor of the 6th inst. The clam----

ALICE. The what?


ALICE. Oh!! Claim.

MISS CHICKEN. Oh, of course. (_Giggles_) How stupid of me. (_Reads_)
--you mentioned in your letter is one that will be hard to tickle----

ALICE. Oh, lor----

MISS CHICKEN. You know that many of my giants----(_Telephone rings_)

ALICE (_through 'phone_). Hello--yes--who?--Miss Chickenfencer?--Why no,
there is----

MISS CHICKEN. Hold on there. That's for me. (_Through 'phone_)
Hello--Oh, it is you, Bob? Yes, I met him on Wall Street and told him
where I was bound for. Go on! What are you trying to do? Oh. Bob stop.
You know I did not.... I say I _did not_.

ALICE. My dear Miss----

MISS CHICKEN (_waves ALICE to silence_). That will be great. Oh, that's
all right; this woman here is a perfect dear. I know she won't mind my
taking this afternoon off.

ALICE. Well of all the nerve.

MISS CHICKEN. Well, about two o'clock? Very well--good-bye. (_Hangs up
receiver_) Isn't he the sport? You should see him. Six feet two; dark
eyes and hair; dances divinely, and, talk about giving you a good time,
he is right there. How fortunate I am to have him ask me to-day when I
was feeling so bored with being indoors--and, oh, the dance afterwards.
Whew! Oh, I could hug you to death, you old dear, to let me off like
this to enjoy myself. (_Dances around stage_) Something great is going
to happen to-day. I feel it. Just think, first I am employed here, and
now Bob is going to take me out----

ALICE. I'm sorry, that----

MISS CHICKEN. There, there, all right. I know you're going to say you
are so sorry that it is not a nicer day. Oh, but we do not mind the
weather in the least. (_Looks in mirror_) Goodness! this mirror is too
small. Tell me, is my hat on at the right angle? Oh, I guess it is all
right. (_Walks to door_) I'll see you to-morrow at 10 o'clock. That's
the time, is it not?

ALICE. My dear young lady, you need not come back at----

MISS CHICKEN. You are too kind hearted. And I never take advantage of
kindness. Of course I'll come back to-morrow. You were just going to say
I need not come back until to-morrow afternoon. The idea, leaving you to
answer all this correspondence. (_Looks at watch_) Good gracious, I must
be off. It's half-past one. Now don't work too hard. Good-bye!
                                                              [EXIT C.D.

      (_ALICE, overcome, sinks in chair; throws up hands_)


  SCENE II:--_Same as SCENE I_.

ALICE. Well, if that Miss Chickenfencer comes back I shall have to send
for the police reserves to take her away. Of all the people I've ever
met she is the limit. Can you imagine anyone being so---- (_'Phone
rings_) Hello--Yes--Here I am on the wire.... Who is this? Oh, Miss
Chickenfencer.... What's that? You'll be back when?... Speak louder,
please.... Oh, good gracious, don't scream.... Oh, you won't come back.
(_Aside_) Thank the Lord! (_Through 'phone_) Very well--I am sure you
will be happy.... Yes, he also. (_Aside_) God help the poor man.
(_Through 'phone_) I'm busy now---- (_Lays receiver down; picks up pen;
writes; takes up receiver_) Good-bye. I was just in time to bid her
good-bye. I wonder what she was saying all that time, and she just

      ENTER C.D. MISS PRUNE (DIANA _disguised_).

ALICE. Hello, what have we here?

MISS PRUNE. Pardon, madame. (_Bows low_) I believe I have the pleasure
to address the young lady advertising for a stenographer.

ALICE (_aside_). I'm in for it again. I suppose this is the applicant.
(_To_ MISS PRUNE) Yes, I have the painful privilege to inform you that
before you is the woman who is in sore need of a helping hand.

MISS PRUNE. May I be seated?

ALICE. Certainly.

MISS PRUNE. I wonder what good fortune directed my steps towards you.
You see I was between two minds (_Sews_) whether to accept this

ALICE (_aside_). She is mine already.

MISS PRUNE. ...--or whether to take that of a secretary to a young man.
But I said to myself, if there is a woman, noble and upright enough to
earn her own living without depending on mere man, it is my duty as one
of her sex to plod along with her in her courageous career. So I refused
the other position and came I to thee.

ALICE. But, my dear madam, I am afraid you did a foolish thing. Know
you not that a secretary's position pays better than that of an office
assistant? The latter is all I require.

MISS PRUNE. When you speak like that to me, you make the tears of sorrow
gush forth from my eyes. (_Applies handkerchief to eyes; ALICE
smiles_) Do you think money is the only thing worth while? Ah, no!
(_Stands; very dramatically_) I care _nothing_ for money. It is to
_help_ to do _something noble_ that I crave. (_Hand over heart_) It is
here, _here_, that I feel that there will come a day when my name,
Dewdrop Mehitable Prune, shall tremble on every lip. I shall be honored
and obeyed. And (_To ALICE_) why will I be distinguished and honored?
Because of my noble nature and willing ways. I should shrink from taking
one penny of yours to pay me for services rendered you in your hour of

ALICE. I am afraid, then, that you have come to the wrong party. I am
not great enough myself, never mind enabling you to attain your noble

MISS PRUNE. Say no more about it. Here I am, and here I intend staying.
Pay me what you will; but I shall continue to maintain this lofty

ALICE (_aside_). I fear she is crazy, but, I believe, harmless. (_To
MISS PRUNE_) Would you mind if I inquired of you your accomplishments?

MISS PRUNE. My talents are varied. I am well versed in literature and
consider myself a girl of wide erudition. I can perform a little on the
harp and piano. My voice----

ALICE. Just a minute, please. I suppose you can dance, sing, flirt,
cook, paint, etc., but can you take dictation, answer the telephone, and
attend to an office in general?

MISS PRUNE. Yes, ma'am.

ALICE. Well, then, I shall have to leave you for the present in charge
here. I have an appointment. Now listen, I want it thoroughly understood
that you are to treat all visitors with the deepest respect. Make them
feel at home, and keep them here until I return. Now remember my
directions, please.      (EXIT ALICE C.D. _MISS PRUNE clears table; does
away with all papers_)


MRS. BAXTER. Is Miss Berning in?

MISS PRUNE. Oh, no, she has just gone out. But come right in and sit
down; she will be back directly. (_Dusts chair for MRS. BAXTER; sits
opposite her; sews_) Isn't it warm to-day? This morning I was down to
the market and I am that tired. But it was worth it. Why I got the
sweetest butter for 30 cents and a dandy head of cabbage for 4 cents;
imagine that, 4 cents. How much do you pay for cheese?

MRS. BAXTER. Really--I haven't the slightest idea what my _servant_ pays
for it.

MISS PRUNE. Well, now, isn't that too bad? Now if you knew, perhaps I
could help you to buy it cheaper. Tell your servant to go down to
Mulligan's market on Second Avenue, and you will be surprised at the

MRS. BAXTER. I haven't the least doubt. Will you please tell Miss
Berning that I called. Here's my card. (_Walks to C.D._)

MISS PRUNE. But where are you going? You must wait until Miss Berning
returns. Come now, let me take your hat and coat and make yourself
comfortable. (_Pushes MRS. BAXTER into chair_)

MRS. BAXTER (_furious_). Will you kindly tell me the meaning of this? I
command you to open that door and let me pass out.

MISS PRUNE. Now there, don't get excited. I have my orders to make
visitors comfortable and I intend to carry them out. (_Telephone rings;
MISS PRUNE looks around for button_) I suppose that is another visitor.
I'll tick the button. (_Pushes button on wall; loud report; both jump_)

MRS. BAXTER. Good gracious, what are you trying to do, kill----

MISS PRUNE. Oh, that's all right; the old bell is out of order. But
never mind. Here, (_Hands large book to MRS. BAXTER_) make yourself
comfortable while I stand at the door to welcome the approaching guest.
(_Stands at C.D.; looks up and down_)

MRS. BAXTER (_aside_). Oh Lord, she must be mad. If I try to escape I
shudder to think of the results. (_Telephone rings loud and long_)

MISS PRUNE. Why don't she come up, whoever she is? I can't go down to
her. (_Telephone rings_) Now this is too bad, the poor bo----

MRS. BAXTER (_edging away_). Perhaps if you take up that receiver
(_Points to 'phone_) that ringing will cease.

MISS PRUNE (_crosses to 'phone_). Well now, who'd ever have thought it
was this ringing? (_Through 'phone_) Hello--_Hell-O_--Yes--_Yes_--_Yes_.
She'll be right back.... Well, in about an hour's time. (_MRS. BAXTER
frightened_) Hold the wire then until she returns. Call soon again.
Good luck to you. (ENTER MISS WORKER) Well, how-do-you-do? Come right
in. Here, be seated. Let me take your hat----

MISS WORKER. But I say----

MISS PRUNE. Now don't say a word. Make yourself comfortable. Are you
acquainted with this woman? (MRS. BAXTER) No? Oh, goodness, what is your
name? Oh, never mind, I've got your card. Mrs. John Baxter, meet--oh,
what is your name? (MISS WORKER) Nevertheless, pull your chair up closer
to Mrs. Baxter and engage in conversation. I've got a letter to write.

MISS WORKER. This is indeed a pleasure to meet one who is so well known
in society. I presume you are Mrs. Baxter, the wife of Senator Baxter?

MRS. BAXTER (_cuttingly_). You are correct in your supposition.

MISS WORKER. Perhaps, then, you can help me in my work by contributing
to a new home being erected for homeless men.

MRS. BAXTER. Really! I am not interested.

MISS WORKER. Surely you will not refuse money for such a noble cause.
Why just this past winter we have housed----

MRS. BAXTER (_yawns_). I have no doubt. If you go around to my
residence, my secretary shall attend to you.

MISS WORKER. Oh, but how much better would it be to receive it direct
from you. Just think of the benefits and blessings that God would shower
down upon you if you gave with your own hands out of a charitable heart
a few of your earthly goods.

MRS. BAXTER (_yawns_). Really I am sure it would be delightful. But I
have told you what to do; so do it or not, just as you wish.

MISS WORKER. Ah, my dear Mrs. Baxter, I cannot believe----


MARY. Hello, everyone. Where's Miss Berning?

MISS PRUNE. Not in at present. But make yourself at home.

MARY. Don't speak to me of home. Home is only a figure of speech. Why
who ruins the home of to-day? (_Excited_) It is man, _man_, MAN; it is
MAN ruining everything. Why did we have such a hard time to get the
vote? It was because he will have to part with some of his ruining ways.
I say, give me freedom of vote or give me DEATH.

MISS PRUNE. Well--well--then be--eh--make yourself comfortable.

MARY. How can I be comfortable, when all around me I see women
stretching forth their hands to us to help them, now that we got the
vote? They work and slave for _man_ and what does he do for them in
bored_) They are paid a few dollars but nothing more. Were we allowed
to _direct_, to have a _voice_ in the Government? _No._ We were good
enough as playthings, helpmates or slaves for man, but when it came to
anything higher we were scoffed down. Oh, now that we've got the vote we
will show them. I ask you (_To MISS PRUNE_) are we not man's _equal_ in

MISS PRUNE. I--I--guess so. (_MRS. BAXTER amused; MISS WORKER

MARY. Ah, you make me sick. (_Shakes MISS PRUNE_) Wake up! Get some
spunk into you! Demand your rights! Speak up! Have some aim in life!
Don't you ever want to raise yourself higher, become someone who will be
well worth knowing?

MISS PRUNE. Ye--yes, ma'am.

MARY. Well, you never will be if you act like this. (_Turns suddenly_)
Oh, Mrs. Baxter, how-do-you-do? Why, when did you come in?

MRS. BAXTER. About two hours ago.

MARY. You don't mean to tell me that you were here all that time and I
not seeing you? Well, well, isn't that funny? But, by the way, Mrs.
Baxter, are you still of the same idea regarding Woman Suffrage?

MRS. BAXTER. I still maintain what I have told you over and over again.
A woman's place is in her home. (_Yawns_) To be candid, it would,
indeed, bore me to have to vote, and broaden my mind, as you say. I have
so many social affairs to attend I really find no time for your clubs.

MARY. You are too lazy. All you are good for is to----

MRS. BAXTER (_stamps foot_). How dare you insult me like that. I am my
own mistress, and I can do as I please. What do you do? You go around
demanding your rights, while your hus----

MARY (_excited_). I will _not_ have a mean, gossiping woman like you,
who would much rather go around to---- (_MISS PRUNE enjoying it_)

MISS WORKER (_comes between two_). For shame! (_Prayerful attitude_) Oh
Lord, forgive them. It would be better for both of you to go your own
way without molesting one another.

MRS. BAXTER. Yes, I intend going my way. But I _insist_ upon an apology
from this woman.

MARY. Why should I apologize to you? Ah, my cause, my noble cause!
(_Stands on chair_) Three cheers for Woman Suffrage and may she rule
from one corner of the earth to the other! Hurrah! _Hurrah!_ HURRAH!

MRS. BAXTER (_opposite_). Three cheers for the Antis! Hurrah! _Hurrah!_
HURRAH!                                           [EXIT C.D. MISS WORKER

      ENTER _ALICE C.D., horrified; MISS PRUNE hides_.

ALICE. Why, Mary and Mrs. Baxter, what does this mean? (_MRS. BAXTER
and MARY both run to ALICE_)

MRS. BAXTER. Oh, my dear Alice, on which side are you? For it or against

MARY (_scornfully_). Of course she is on my side. She has too much
brains to be on yours.

MRS. BAXTER. How dare you? Do you mean to insinuate----

ALICE. Oh, come now. Stop this quarreling. To tell the truth, I am

TOGETHER (_MRS. BAXTER and MARY glaring at one another_) There.

ALICE. But, tell me, what brought you here?

MRS. BAXTER. I just dropped in to ask you to attend a dinner party this

MARY. She will _not go_. She is coming with me. (_Puts arm around
ALICE_) There's a dear. Won't you come to the lecture given by Dr. Weeks
this evening on "What Woman Will Do With the Vote"?

ALICE. I'll tell you what I will do. I shall go to neither place. Come
now, you two shake hands and be good friends.

MRS. BAXTER. I will n----

ALICE. For the land's sake, why keep up this pretense any longer? You
know right well, Mary, that you are dying to know where Mrs. Baxter
bought her new hat. (_MRS. BAXTER and MARY look at one another; both

MARY. You are right, Alice. Although we rave and clamor for our rights,
we are still _only_ women down deep in our hearts.

MRS. BAXTER. And, although I try to make people think I would not be
bothered about Woman's Rights, I am still enough of a woman not to want
a man to get anything over on me. Well, come along, Mary; I have a new
gown to show you.

               } Good-bye, Alice dear, wish you luck.
  MARY.        }

                    [EXIT _MRS. BAXTER and MARY C.D., chatting gaily_

ALICE. Well, those two are beyond me. A few minutes ago they were
fighting like two bitter enemies, and now they go off like two of the
best friends. Well, strange things do happen. (_Turns to table_) Oh
dear, what has happened to my stenographer and--_oh!_--_oh!_--where have
my papers and letters disappeared to? (_Spies MISS PRUNE in corner_)
So, there you are. Will you kindly tell me the meaning of this? What
have you done with my papers?

MISS PRUNE. Burned them.

ALICE. You have what? Do you realize that they were important legal
documents? (_Falls in chair; covers face with hand_) Oh dear, oh dear,
what shall I do. I guess I might as well give it all up.


ALICE. Why, what do you mean?

MISS PRUNE. _This._ (_Removes make-up_)

ALICE. _Diana?_

DIANA. At your service, mum.

ALICE. Explain!

DIANA. It is simply this. When I left your office yesterday I was bound
to have you come with us by hook or by crook, so, very much depressed in
spirits, I walked into the club and who should I meet there but two of
my old school-mates. Instantly I thought of this plan, and to bring back
school-day memories they promised to help me. My beloved school chums
were to apply for the position you had open and I would also. So, my
dear, Miss Johnickstoner, the first applicant, happens to be Miss Marie
Hopkins, daughter of the mayor of Koscoe, the second applicant, Miss
Chickenfencer, was the most dare-devil girl in our school, Miss Rose
Fishby, and the third stands before you.

ALICE. Well, of all the nerve! I must say you had little to do to play
such a joke on me.

DIANA (_arm around ALICE_). There now, cheer up. You know you are dying
to laugh and vow it was a clever way to make you give up this silly fad.
Of course, I am sure of your coming now.

ALICE. Indeed. (_Laughs_) Well, I must admit you certainly played the
game high. I suppose I simply must give in. But, oh dear, how I shall be
laughed at.

DIANA. All you have got to do is to laugh also. You know the old saying,
"Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone."

ALICE. But, Mrs. Baxter, what will she say when she finds this out?

DIANA (_laughs_). Oh, some day I shall act for you the part Mrs. Baxter
played in this tragedy. My, but her dignity was taken down a bit.

ALICE. I can imagine.

DIANA. The only thing I regret is the impression we gave you of
stenographers. I must admit we did exaggerate a little. But, you see, if
we acted as real stenographers, you would be so pleased and contented
with your lot that you would never consent to give it up.

ALICE (_sighs_). But, oh, I can just picture father and Jack referring
to this, in a burst of laughter, as "Alice's Blighted Profession."

      (_Both look at one another; laugh_)


       *       *       *       *       *



_Farce in One Act. Four Males_


One interior scene. A Dutch dialect teacher and three pupils consisting
of a Bowery tough, a Hebrew boy, and a rather good little boy, create
much merriment. Plays forty minutes.


       *       *       *       *       *


_Farce in One Act. Nine Males_


One interior scene. Daniel Slowman's encounters with the various
applicants who respond to his advertisement will make a mummy laugh. The
piece is rich in opportunities for easy but telling character acting.
Plays thirty minutes.


       *       *       *       *       *


_Farce in One Act. Seven Males_


One interior scene. Runs with a snap from beginning to end--there isn't
a slow part in it. It is sure to please. It will bring down the house
wherever played. Plays thirty-five minutes.


       *       *       *       *       *


_Farce in One Act. Twelve Males_


One interior scene. The cast includes a Coon, Dutchman, Irishman, Dago,
Cockney, Irishwoman and ward politician. The piece will fetch roars of
laughter and can be made the medium of all kinds of "specialties." Plays
"straight," one hour.


       *       *       *       *       *


_Farce in One Act. Three Males_


One interior scene. By a series of comical episodes the farmer's
daughter is mistaken for his red mare and the audience is kept in roars
of laughter over the muddle, till it is finally cleared up. Plays
thirty-five minutes.


       *       *       *       *       *


_Burlesque in One Act. Eight Males_


One exterior scene. Costumes grotesque and fantastic. An amusing
burlesque for boys, easily produced, full of bright situations, and sure
to make a hit. The play may be staged very simply, or made as elaborate
as the producer sees fit. Besides the eight speaking parts, the company
of officers, suite of the King and Queen, etc., may utilize any number
of persons. Plays one hour. By the introduction of specialties the time
may be considerably lengthened.


       *       *       *       *       *



_Play in One Act. Eight or Fourteen Females_


Two interior scenes. Costumes of sixty years ago. A clever adaptation of
Mrs. Gaskell's "Cranford," which is perhaps one of the finest pieces of
humoristic writing within the range of English fiction. Plays one and a
half hours.


       *       *       *       *       *


_Farce in One Act. Six Females_


One interior scene. A breezy and effective farce in which half a dozen
bright girls can delight an audience with half an hour of innocent fun.
Grandmother Stiles and her demure but frolicsome granddaughter are
excellent characters; Dinah, the colored cook, is amusing, and Bridget
O'Flaherty is a funny Irish girl--her quarrel with Dinah being
exceedingly laughable. Plays thirty minutes.


       *       *       *       *       *


_Farce in One Act. Seven Females_


Plain interior scene. An exceedingly bright piece for young ladies, in
which young Dr. Gertrude, already a victim of circumstances, is made the
victim of a practical joke. Plays thirty minutes.


       *       *       *       *       *


_Comedy in Three Acts. Six Females_


Scene, a parlor in a seaside cottage. Three young girls, chafing under
the monotony of a man-forsaken resort, write Teddy to come and visit
them. Teddy cannot come but answers that his friend, Dr. Jocelyn Denby,
will come and help while away the time. Great preparations are made for
his reception, including much interest by a maiden Aunt. Each prepares a
present to bestow on the Doctor and feigns an ailment to interest him.
The Doctor arrives--a woman. Plays one hour.


       *       *       *       *       *


_Shakespearian sketch in One Act. Four Females_

One plain interior scene. Four of Shakespeare's heroines, Portia,
Juliet, Ophelia and Lady Macbeth, find themselves at a watercure where
they discuss their husbands. A clever burlesque, long a favorite and now
published for the first time at a popular price. Plays forty-five


       *       *       *       *       *


_Comedy in Three Acts. Four Females_


One interior scene. A capital little play offering four well contrasted
parts of nearly equal value and strength. Plays one hour.


       *       *       *       *       *



  =CRANFORD DAMES.= 2 Scenes; 1½ hours                                   8
  =GERTRUDE MASON, M.D.= 1 Act; 30 minutes                               7
  =CHEERFUL COMPANION.= 1 Act; 25 minutes                                2
  =LESSON IN ELEGANCE.= 1 Act; 30 minutes                                4
  =MAIDENS ALL FORLORN.= 3 Acts; 1¼ hours                                6
  =MURDER WILL OUT.= 1 Act; 30 minutes                                   6
  =ROMANCE OF PHYLLIS.= 3 Acts; 1¼ hours                                 4
  =SOCIAL ASPIRATIONS.= 1 Act; 45 minutes                                6
  =OUTWITTED.= 1 Act; 20 minutes                                         8
  =WHITE DOVE OF ONEIDA.= 2 Acts; 45 minutes                             4
  =SWEET FAMILY.= 1 Act; 1 hour                                          8
  =BELLES OF BLACKVILLE.= 1 Act; 2 hours                                30
  =PRINCESS KIKU.= (25 cents.)                                          18
  =RAINBOW KIMONA.= (25 cents.) 2 Acts; 1½ hours                         9
  =MERRY OLD MAIDS.= (25 cents.) Motion Song                            11



  =APRIL FOOLS.= 1 Act; 30 minutes                                       3
  =BYRD AND HURD.= 1 Act; 40 minutes                                     6
  =DARKEY WOOD DEALER.= 1 Act; 20 minutes                                3
  =WANTED, A MAHATMA.= 1 Act; 30 minutes                                 4
  =HOLY TERROR.= 1 Act; 30 minutes                                       4
  =MANAGER'S TRIALS.= 1 Act; 1 hour                                      9
  =MEDICA.= 1 Act; 35 minutes                                            7
  =NIGGER NIGHT SCHOOL.= 1 Act; 30 minutes                               6
  =SLIM JIM AND THE HOODOO.= 1 Act; 30 minutes                           5
  =WANTED. A CONFIDENTIAL CLERK.= 1 Act; 30 minutes                      6
  =SNOBSON'S STAG PARTY.= 1 Act; 1 hour                                 12
  =PICKLES AND TICKLES.= 1 Act; 20 minutes                               6
  =HARVEST STORM.= 1 Act; 40 minutes                                    10
  =CASE OF HERR BAR ROOMSKI.= Mock Trial; 2 hours                       28
  =DARKEY BREACH OF PROMISE CASE.= Mock Trial                           22
  =GREAT LIBEL CASE.= Mock Trial; 1 Scene; 2 hours                      21
  =RIDING THE GOAT.= Burlesque Initiation; 1 Scene; 1½ hours            24



                                                                     M. F.
  =BY THE ENEMY'S HAND.= 4 Acts; 2 hours                             10  4
  =EDWARDS, THE SPY.= 5 Acts; 2½ hours                               10  4
  =PRISONER OF ANDERSONVILLE.= 4 Acts; 2¼ hours                      10  4
  =CAPTAIN DICK.= 3 Acts; 1½ hours                                    9  6
  =ISABEL, THE PEARL OF CUBA.= 4 Acts; 2 hours                        9  3
  =LITTLE SAVAGE.= 3 Acts; 2 hours; 1 Stage Setting                   4  4
  =BY FORCE OF IMPULSE.= (15 cents.) 5 Acts; 2½ hours                 9  3
  =BETWEEN TWO FIRES.= (15 cents.) 3 Acts; 2 hours                    8  3



                                                                     M. F.
  =MAN FROM MAINE.= 5 Acts; 2¼ hours                                  9  3
  =AMONG THE BERKSHIRES.= 3 Acts; 2¼ hours                            8  4
  =OAK FARM.= 3 Acts; 2½ hours; 1 Stage Setting                       7  4
  =GREAT WINTERSON MINE.= 3 Acts; 2 hours                             6  4
  =SQUIRE THOMPKINS' DAUGHTER.= 5 Acts; 2½ hours                      5  2
  =WHEN A MAN'S SINGLE.= 3 Acts; 2 hours                              4  4
  =FROM PUNKIN RIDGE.= (15 cents.) 1 Act; 1 hour                      6  3
  =LETTER FROM HOME.= (15 cents.) 1 Act; 25 minutes                   1  1



                                                                     M. F.
  =AUNT DINAH'S QUILTING PARTY.= 1 Scene                              5 11
  =BACHELOR MAIDS' REUNION.= 1 Scene                                  2 30
  =IN THE FERRY HOUSE.= 1 Scene; 1½ hours                            19 15
  =JAPANESE WEDDING.= 1 Scene; 1 hour                                 3 10
  =MATRIMONIAL EXCHANGE.= 2 Acts; 2 hours                             6  9
  =OLD PLANTATION NIGHT.= 1 Scene; 1¼ hours                           4  4
  =YE VILLAGE SKEWL OF LONG AGO.= 1 Scene                            13 12
  =FAMILIAR FACES OF A FUNNY FAMILY.=                                 8 11
  =JOLLY BACHELORS.= Motion Song or Recitation                          11
  =CHRISTMAS MEDLEY.= 30 minutes                                     15 14
  =EASTER TIDINGS.= 20 minutes                                           8
  =BUNCH OF ROSES.= (15 cents.) 1 Act; 1½ hours                       1 13
  =OVER THE GARDEN WALL.= (15 cents.)                                11  8



                                                                     M. F.
  =BREAKING HIS BONDS.= 4 Acts; 2 hours                               6  8
  =BUTTERNUT'S BRIDE.= 3 Acts; 2½ hours                              11  6
  =COLLEGE CHUMS.= 3 Acts; 2 hours; 1 Stage Setting                   9  3
  =COUNT OF NO ACCOUNT.= 3 Acts; 2½ hours                             9  4
  =DEACON.= 5 Acts; 2½ hours                                          8  6
  =DELEGATES FROM DENVER.= 2 Acts; 45 minutes                         3 10
  =DOCTOR BY COURTESY.= 3 Acts; 2 hours                               6  5
  =EASTSIDERS, The.= 3 Acts; 2 hours; 1 Stage Setting                 8  4
  =ESCAPED FROM THE LAW.= 5 Acts; 2 hours                             7  4
  =GIRL FROM PORTO RICO.= 3 Acts; 2½ hours                            5  3
  =GYPSY QUEEN.= 4 Acts; 2½ hours.                                    5  3
  =IN THE ABSENCE OF SUSAN.= 3 Acts; 1½ hours                         4  6
  =JAIL BIRD.= 5 Acts; 2½ hours                                       6  3
  =JOSIAH'S COURTSHIP.= 4 Acts; 2 hours                               7  4
  =MY LADY DARRELL.= 4 Acts; 2½ hours                                 9  6
  =MY UNCLE FROM INDIA.= 4 Acts; 2½ hours                            13  4
  =NEXT DOOR.= 3 Acts; 2 hours                                        5  4
  =PHYLLIS'S INHERITANCE.= 3 Acts; 2 hours                            6  9
  =REGULAR FLIRT.= 3 Acts; 2 hours                                    4  4
  =ROGUE'S LUCK.= 3 Acts; 2 hours                                     5  3
  =SQUIRE'S STRATAGEM.= 5 Acts; 2½ hours                              6  4
  =STEEL KING.= 4 Acts; 2½ hours                                      5  3
  =WHAT'S NEXT?= 3 Acts; 2½ hours                                     7  4
  =WHITE LIE.= 4 Acts; 2½ hours                                       4  3



                                                                     M. F.
  =ROCKY FORD.= 4 Acts; 2 hours                                       8  3
  =GOLDEN GULCH.= 3 Acts; 2¼ hours.                                  11  3
  =RED ROSETTE.= 3 Acts; 2 hours                                      6  3
  =MISS MOSHER OF COLORADO.= 4 Acts; 2½ hours                         5  3
  =STUBBORN MOTOR CAR.= 3 Acts; 2 hours; 1 Stage Setting              7  4
  =CRAWFORD'S CLAIM.= (15 cents.) 3 Acts; 2¼ hours                    9  3


  DICK & FITZGERALD, 18 Vesey Street, N. Y.

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