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Title: A Mysterious Disappearance
Author: Baker, George M. (George Melville)
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 "A Mysterious Disappearance" ***

produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)

=Just Published.= The “Popular Edition” of =Baker’s Reading Club and Handy
 Speaker.= Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4, 50 selections in each. Price 15 cents

                [Illustration: ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE.

                          THE AMATEUR DRAMA.

                      A MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE

       BOSTON: GEO. M. BAKER & CO., Nos. 41-45 Franklin Street.

                        KILBURN & MALLORY ST.]

 Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1876, by GEORGE M.
   BAKER, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

                      A MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE

                              _A FARCE._

                           BY THE AUTHOR OF

“Sylvia’s Soldier,” “Once on a Time,” “Down by the Set,” “Bread on the Waters,”
“The Last Loaf,” “Stand by the Flag,” “The Tempter,” “A Drop Too Much,” “We’re
All Teetotalers,” “A Little More Cider,” “Thirty Minutes for Refreshments,”
“Wanted, a Male Cook,” “A Sea of Troubles,” “Freedom of the Press,” “A
  Close Shave,” “The Great Elixir,” “The Man with the Demijohn,” “New
 Brooms Sweep Clean,” “Humors of the Strike,” “My Uncle the Captain,”
    “The Greatest Plague in Life,” “No Cure, No Pay,” “The Grecian
       Bend,” “The War of the Roses,” “Lightheart’s Pilgrimage,”
   “The Sculptor’s Triumph,” “Too Late for the Train,” “Snow-Bound,”
          “The Peddler of Very Nice,” “Bonbons,” “Capuletta,”
              “An Original Idea,” “Enlisted for the War,”
              “Never say Die,” “The Champion of her Sex,”
            “The Visions of Freedom,” “The Merry Christmas
                    of the Old Woman who lived in a
                 Shoe,” “The Tournament of Idylcourt,”
                      “A Thorn among the Roses,”
                         “A Christmas Carol,”
                             “One Hundred
                              Years Ago,”


                     GEORGE M. BAKER AND COMPANY,
                        41-45 FRANKLIN STREET.

                          By GEORGE M. BAKER,

            Electrotyped at the Boston Stereotype Foundry,
                            19 Spring Lane.

                      A MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE.

                              _A FARCE._


    CAPTAIN BOLIVER BOBSTAY, “Mysteriously disappeared.”
    CHARLES CLEVERLY, an Amateur Farmer.
    DIXON DOLBY, out for a Day’s Sport.
    CARLOS CARROTS, a Farm Hand.
    MRS. CLEVERLY, Charles’s Wife.
    NELLY CLEVERLY, Charles’s Sister.
    MISS PERSIS GRIEVOUS, “Widow Bobstay.”


     CAPTAIN. Wide-bottomed trousers, and “Reefer” of blue; blue shirt;
     black handkerchief; bald wig for own; black wig and big black
     whiskers for disguise.

     DOLBY. Checkered suit; gaiters; Jockey cap.

     CHARLES. Blue flannel suit; wide-brimmed straw hat.

     CARLOS. Wide straw hat; heavy shoes; blue stockings; short pants;
     and jacket open; with red or yellow waistcoat; red wig.

     NELLY. Pretty muslin dress, with apron and morning cap.

     MRS. C. Morning dress.

     MISS PERSIS. Red wig, with long curls. Dress very high-colored;
     spectacles of a light blue; hat. She is rather old, with affected
     girlish dress and ways.

     Scene.--_Sitting-room in farm-house. Door in flat_ C. _Window in
     flat_ L. _Lounge under window. Table_ L. _corner, back, with cover,
     books, and flowers. Small table_, R. C. _Arm-chair_, L. C. _Chair_,
     L., _near first entrance. Door_ R. _and_ L. Nelly _discovered

_Nelly_ (_throwing brush on lounge_). That will do for to-day. It’s time
Carlos were back from the post-office. I am anxious to obtain a letter
from my invisible adorer, Dixon Dolby. How my good brother would open
his eyes if he knew the extent of my wickedness. Three months ago, six
of us girls at school, desirous of acquiring proficiency in
correspondence, agreed to write to gentlemen whom we had never met, but
whom we knew by reputation to be gentlemen. My choice was my brother’s
chum before his marriage, Dixon Dolby. My plan succeeded admirably. He
answered the note signed, Rosa Bean. The most tender and impassioned
epistles followed on both sides, until at last he had the impudence to
request an exchange of photographs. I consented, but was not fool enough
to allow him to discover my identity; so, to secure his, I sent instead
a photograph of my brother’s wife. I knew they had never met, but they
must; and when they do, won’t there be fun. I only hope I shall be at
the _denouement_. Ah! here’s Carlos.

(_Enter_ CARLOS, C., _with two letters and a paper_.)

Well, Carlos, what success?

_Carlos_ (_putting letters behind him_). Hey? What’ll you give to know?
Ought to give a feller somethin’ purty sweet, cos I ran all the way.

_Nelly._ Indeed I will, Carlos. My warmest thanks and my sweetest smile.

_Carlos._ Is that all? Well, here’s a letter (_gives her a letter_).

_Nelly._ O, thank you, Carlos. You’re a dear, good boy (_takes letter,
and sits in arm-chair_, L.).

_Carlos_ (_comes down_ R., _puts newspaper on table_). Kinder thought I
might get somethin’ sweeter; a kiss, perhaps. But I s’pose she was
afraid somebody might be lookin’. I wouldn’t a cared if they had. She’s
jest as purty as a pictur; and I kinder think she hankers arter me. I
jest like her, you bet! Wish sometimes I could be a caterpillar, and
crawl under her purty feet. I couldn’t be more smashed than I am now.
Wal, I’ll go and hunt up Mr. Cleverly with the other letter (_goes up_
C.). Nothin’ wantin’, Miss Nelly?

_Nelly._ Nothing; thank you, Carlos.

_Carlos_ (_at door_). O, she’s a beauty. Takes such pains to call me
Carlos. Mr. Cleverly he always calls me Careless, ’cause he says it’s my
natur. [_Exit_ C.

_Nelly_ (_takes photograph from letter_). There he is; charming fellow.
He has no idea I am the sister of his best friend. Not bad-looking
(_holds photograph up_).

(_Enter_ MRS. CLEVERLY _with hat and shawl, door_ L. _She looks over_
NELLY’S _shoulder at picture_.)

A girl might be happy with such a man. I’ve no doubt I shall blush when
we meet. (_To photograph._) You dear fellow, you are good-looking and

_Mrs. C._ Indeed he is, Nelly.

_Nelly_ (_jumping up_). O, good gracious! you here?

_Mrs. C._ Have I disturbed your devotions? Who is he? When will it be?

_Nelly_ (_puts photograph in her bosom_). Nonsense; it’s only a slight

_Mrs. C._ You do not slight his picture. I should say he was a
bosom-friend. Where’s Charley?

_Nelly._ Out on the farm, hilling corn, I believe.

_Mrs. C._ Poor fellow! how his corns must ache! and his back. Ha, ha,
ha! He works so hard to make a pleasure of what he does not enjoy. Nell,
tell him, if he comes in, I’ve run over to Mrs. Young’s to borrow her
pat. I won’t be gone long. [_Exit_ C.

_Nelly._ She saw him, but she doesn’t know him. If she only knew what he
received in exchange. Well, I’m not going to spoil a frolic for fear of
the consequences.

_Charles_ (_outside_). Hang the corn, Careless; my back’s nearly broken

(_Enter_ C. _with a hoe, followed by_ CARLOS.)

_Carlos._ How about the onions, sir?

_Charles._ How about them as much as you like, but no hoe about them for

_Carlos._ They won’t be worth a cent.

_Charles._ Well, don’t get sentimental over them, Careless. They’re not
worth weeping over; no, Careless. I’ve set myself up for an independent
farmer, and there’s no clause regarding hoeing in my declaration of
independence. You shall have a holiday: you needn’t work to-day. You’re
not very fond of it at any time; but this day we have a visitor.

_Nelly._ A visitor?

_Charles._ Yes, Nelly. I’ve got word from him; he’s coming down for a
day’s sport. The very man I’ve picked out to lead you to the hymeneal

_Carlos._ Gosh all hemlock!

_Charles._ What’s the matter, Careless?

_Carlos._ Me--I--nothin’; only darned skeeter up my nose.

_Nelly._ Picked out for me? Thank you; I can do my own picking.

_Charles._ And your own leading too. You’re smart enough to do the
leading business. Where’s Jenny, “the girl I left behind me”?

_Nelly._ She left before you--came in. She ran over to Mrs. Young’s to
borrow her pat.

_Charles._ Her Pat? Haven’t I told her I wouldn’t have an Irishman on
the place?

_Nelly._ Ha, ha, ha! It’s a butter pat.

_Carlos._ Ho, ho, ho!

_Charles._ What’s the matter with you, Careless? (_Carlos looks sober._)
Do that again, and you’ll get anything but a pat. Go, make yourself
presentable; put your auburn locks in curl-papers, and wash your face.
You shall guide my friend in his day’s sport.

_Carlos._ Yes, sir. (_Aside_) He’s going to lead her with a halter, is
he? I’ll show him sport. [_Exit_ C.

_Charles._ Yes, Nelly, we’re to have a visit from my old chum, Dixie

_Nelly._ Good gracious! he coming here?

_Charles._ Yes; for the first time; and to the country for the first
time, too. This little matrimonial scheme of mine is the only secret I
ever had from him. He didn’t know I was courting Jenny Bobstay until he
received my wedding-cards. Wasn’t he surprised? No more than I, however.
Just a year ago, that highly respectable old mariner, Captain Boliver
Bobstay, mysteriously disappeared from Valparaiso, where the stanch bark
“Indigo Blue” was waiting for a cargo. His coat and hat were found upon
the pier; but the wearer never did appear upon that pier again.

_Nelly._ And he was not heard of again?

_Charles._ No. Yes. Six months ago, Jenny received a deed of this place
from Uncle Bobstay. How it came, or where it came from, nobody knew; but
it was found all right, and being a nice cosy place here, we married and
settled upon it three months ago.

_Nelly._ But, Charley, your friend--

_Charles._ O, yes; Dolby--clever fellow. You’ve never met him, Nelly?

_Nelly._ No. I’ve often heard you speak of him, and feel inclined to
like him.

_Charles._ I know you will, Nelly. Now let’s have something nice for
dinner, in honor of our guest; something extra, you know.

_Nelly._ I’ll look after the dinner. When he comes, we shall have
something _extra_. [_Exit_ R.

_Charles._ She’s a nice girl. I hope Dixie will like her. To think of
his coming down here to see me a married man. Why, I should almost as
soon expect, Uncle Bobstay to walk in at my door.

(_Enter_ C. BOBSTAY. _He has a black wig and black whiskers._)

_Bobstay_ (_at door_). Avast there! Are the decks, clear? Sh--

_Charles._ Hallo! Who have we here? Come in.

_Bobstay_ (_comes down_ R.). All right, my hearty. When a messmate’s
going down in the briny--for the last time, mind--what do we do? Why, we
extends a helping hand, and grabs him by the hair of the head, don’t we?

_Charles._ That is the first impulse--unless he’s bald.

_Bobstay_ (_extending hand_). Put it there; give us your flipper (_they
shake hands_). All right. Here’s your hand and ’ere’s my head! Take a
good hold of it, as if I was agoin’ down for the last time. Now, steady.
(CHARLES _takes hold of his wig, and_ BOBSTAY _seizes his beard_.) Let
fall all! (_He stands back, pulling off whiskers._ CHARLES _pulls off

_Charles._ Uncle Bobstay!

_Bobstay._ Hush! Easy, Charley, easy. Bobstay of the Indigo Blue, he
went up--no, down--leastwise he went off. I’m a sperit, you understand?
I’m the Ancient Mariner--Captain Kyd--the Great Unknown--anything you
please but Bobstay. He mysteriously disappeared; let him be missed.

_Charles._ But what have you been doing? What’s the trouble?

_Bobstay._ A deep one--deeper than the sea. Hush! Put it there (_shakes
hands_). There’s a woman at the bottom.

_Charles._ At the bottom of the sea? Good gracious!

_Bobstay._ No. I wish she was, Charley. Put it there (_shakes hands_).
You’ve heard me speak of Spanker, skipper of the Venetian Red?

_Charles._ Many a time. He was a particular friend of yours, I believe.

_Bobstay._ Charley, listen to a tale that would make the marines blush.
When I reached Valparaiso on my last run, I found the Venetian Red there
before me; but I found that Spanker had “mysteriously disappeared.”[A]
His hat and coat were found upon the pier, and he was supposed to be
beneath the waves.

 [A] A wink and finger on side of nose when these words are used
 through the play.

_Charles._ What a coincidence!

_Bobstay._ Charley, he left a widow. I found her in Venetian Red on
board the mourning black,--no--in mourning red onboard the Venetian--

_Charles._ No matter about the colors; go on.

_Bobstay._ Charley, she was in distress; and did you ever hear of a tar
who found a lass in distress, and deserted her? Never. In a week I had
asked her to marry me. In ten days we were married in church.

_Charles._ Married! Then you are--

_Bobstay._ Mysteriously disappeared; that’s the p’int. We were married
in church. And now for an astonishing disclosure. When we came out of
church, who should I see but Spanker--the dead and gone Spanker--peeping
round a corner, with a grin on his face and a finger on his nose.

_Charles._ What! Why, this is bigamy!

_Bobstay._ What-amy? ’Twas a swindle!

_Charles._ Unhappy man! How did you act? What did you say?

_Bobstay._ I said nothing; put the lady, Mrs. Spanker Bobstay, into the
carriage, shut the door, and mysteriously disappeared.

_Charles._ And your wife?

_Bobstay._ Avast there! She’s Spanker’s wife.

_Charles._ But he basely deserted her.

_Bobstay._ So did I. Mysteriously disappeared.

_Charles._ But where have you been? What have you been doing all this

_Bobstay._ Pursuing the phantom ship, Sylvester Spanker.

_Charles._ Have you any trace of him?

_Bobstay._ Trace, my hearty? He’s made a clean run, blast his toplights!

_Charles._ Then she is yours now.

_Bobstay._ Is she? That’s a p’int for the sharks to argue. I didn’t
marry his widow; I couldn’t marry his wife; and yet I’m a married man.

_Charles._ But you love her, captain?

_Bobstay._ Ease off a bit. If Spanker mysteriously disappeared, there’s
reason for Spanker’s disappearance. And as the aforesaid widow, when I
married her, who didn’t prove to be a widow after I married her, boxed
my ears twice afore the ceremony, the p’ints of my matrimonial compass
don’t p’int that way much.

_Charles._ But where is she?

_Bobstay._ In chase of another craft, my boy. Close-reefed, to overhaul
a young spark, with a view to engage him. Shall I destroy his happiness?
That’s a p’int. Shall I appear like a spectre and forbid the banns?
That’s another p’int. No, my boy. I’ll set ... down here; keep under
water till she’s fairly hooked.

_Charles._ But suppose Spanker should turn up?

_Bobstay._ That’s a p’int we can’t argue. Mum’s the word. I’m a spirit.
Bobstay’s gone up. Keep dark. Not a word to your wife now.

_Charles._ But Jenny don’t know you are here!

_Bobstay._ No? I’ll hide in the barn--in the pigsty--anywhere until the
widow’s hooked.

(_Enter_ CARLOS, C. _from_ L.)

_Carlos._ Say, Mr. Cleverly, here’s a woman wants to see you. [_Exit_ C.
_to_ R.

_Bobstay._ A woman? Then I’ll get under hatches (_runs to table_ R.C.
_and puts on wig and whiskers_). That used to be my state-room. I’ll
look it over. Mind, Charley, mum’s the word. I’m a spirit; mysteriously
disappeared. You understand? [_Exit door_ R.

_Charles._ But I say, captain!--He’s pitched into Nelly’s room. No
matter. I’ll have him out as soon as I’ve finished with my visitor. Who
can she be?

(_Enter_ C., MISS PERSIS GRIEVOUS, _tragically_.)

_Persis_, C. You are Mr. Charles Cleverly?

_Charles._ At your service, madam.

_Persis._ Monster! Traitor! Arch conspirator!

_Charles._ Madam!

_Persis._ You are the friend of Dixon Dolby. My Dixie. You have enticed
him from my loving presence; from me, the woman who adores him; for

_Charles._ A day’s sport, he says.

_Persis._ Sport! You are like the wicked boy, and I the innocent frog.
What’s sport to you is death to me. Last night he told me of his
proposed visit. This morning I found in his room beneath his pillow--for
we both lodge beneath the same roof; and I, in his absence, enter his
sanctum as a privileged guest of that dear and worthy Mrs. Sprygs, who
lets rooms at five dollars per week, lights included--

_Charles_ (_aside_). For particulars, see small bills.

_Persis._--Beneath the pillow, which his ambrosial locks had pressed, I
found this note, and this picture (_shows photograph_). Do you recognize

_Charles_ (_looks at photograph_). Good heavens! My wife!

_Persis._ Your wife? Then you, like me, are a victim. I blush for my
anger. Let us in each other’s arms mingle our tears (_approaching_
CHARLES _with arms extended_).

_Charles_ (_backing to_ R.). Not just yet. Explain this, and at once.

_Persis._ Does it need explanation? Here is the picture, and here the
note signed Rosa Bean. A clandestine correspondence. I see it all, at
once. Under the pretext of a day’s sport, he comes here to make love to
your wife.

_Charles._ The confounded scoundrel!

_Persis._ Speak gently of the erring. I love him. Yes, spite his faults,
I love him still. I am here to save him--to save you. I am a succoring

_Charles._ Give me that note (_takes note_). Not my wife’s handwriting;
evidently disguised. O, Jenny, Jenny, have I lost-you?

_Persis._ O, Dixie, Dixie, have I lost you?

_Dolby_ (_outside_). Hallo! Charley, old boy, where are you?

_Persis._ His voice. How it thr-r-r-ills me! But he must not see me
here. Where can I hide? (_Goes to door_ L.) In this room? Get him away,
and I will return. Then we can make plans to circumvent them.

[_Exit door_ L.

_Charles._ But, madam, that’s my wife’s room. She’s gone. Can I be
awake? My Jenny corresponding with my friend! And he in love? O, it’s

(DOLBY _appears at door with a fishing-rod in case, a gun, and a
scoop-net with handle, clumsily held in his arms; a game-bag swung one
side, and a fishing-basket the other_.)

_Dolby._ Ah, there you are, Charley. And here I am, armed and equipped
as the law directs. (_Attempts to enter; gun gets across the doorway.
Backs and tries again; net gets across the doorway. Business repeated._)
Well, well, this is getting interesting (_enters_). Ah! here we are
(_drops everything on floor, and runs to_ CHARLES, _hands extended_).
How are you, old fellow? Alive and kicking? Domestic bliss and rural
felicity? Happy chap!

_Charles_ (_shakes hands_). Glad to see you, Dixie. Welcome.

_Dolby._ That’s hearty. Where’s your wife? Must see her, you know. I
came to enjoy the beauties of the country, and you’ve the brightest and
loveliest. I know you know--of course you know.

_Charles_ (_aside_). He knows, confound him! (_Aloud_) She’s out just
now. You shall see her.

_Dolby._ Now let’s see--what shall we do first? There’s fishing,
hunting, and making love to a pretty girl. I’ve only a day, and we must
crowd lots of fun into ten hours.

_Charles._ Well, what say you to lunch first?

_Dolby._ Nothing for me, save a glass of warm milk from the hands of a
dairymaid. I’ve come down here to breathe the country air. Stop a
moment. I forgot that (_runs up to door_ C. _and stands breathing hard,
and striking his breast_). Ah, that’s the sort; the invigorating air of
the country. Ah! (_with a long breath_) there’s the first dose.

(_Enter_ NELLY, R. DOLBY _comes down_ L.)

_Charles._ And here’s the dairymaid. My sister, Dixie. Mr. Dixon Dolby,

_Dolby._ Ah, delightful (_bows_). What a pretty girl! What cheeks! What
a shape!

_Nelly._ Your first visit to the country, Mr. Dolby?

_Dolby._ I’m ashamed to say it is, Miss Nelly. But it’s delightful; such
a quantity of trees and grass; houses not quite so plenty.

_Charles._ Mr. Dolby would like a glass of milk.

_Dolby._ Yes, thank you; cow’s milk, if the cows are at leisure.

_Nelly._ O, quite. I’ll bring it at once. [_Exit_ R.

_Dolby._ Charley, my boy, your sister’s a perfect beauty.

_Charles._ Sit down, Dolby (DOLBY _brings chair up to table_ L. CHARLES
_brings one down from back; they sit_ R. _and_ L.) I had hopes that you
would come down here heart-whole; but I learn that you are already
engaged in a love affair.

_Dolby._ Don’t mention it (PERSIS _opens door, steps out, and listens_).
The most absurd thing; a little country-house flirtation with a lady old
enough to be my mother.

_Persis._ The wretch!

_Dolby._ Unfortunately, one evening I lay upon my bed, smoking and
reading, with my door open into the passage, on the farther side of
which is located the room of Miss Persis Grievous. Well, I dropped off
to sleep, the pipe dropped from my mouth, and I was awakened by the cry
of “fire,” and a brisk shaking from my female friend across the passage.
I had set fire to the bed, which was easily put out; not so the flame
which had been kindled in the breast of my fair but aged deliverer.

_Persis._ The heartless scoundrel!

_Dolby._ From that time she has pursued me with a relentless love. I
cannot escape her.

_Charles._ And you are engaged?

_Dolby._ Not exactly. Pegoty is willing, but Barkis is not; for,
Charley, I am in love with a phantom.

_Charles._ Then you’d better give up the ghost, and make Persis happy.

_Dolby._ No; I can never love but one, “Rosa Bean.” Isn’t that a pretty
name? I’ll show you her face (_hunts pockets_). Confound it, I’ve left
her photograph under my pillow!

_Persis._ O, the wretch! I’ll never forgive him--never--(_disappears
into room_ L.).

(_Enter_ NELLY, R. _with glass pitcher of milk and goblet_.)

_Nelly._ Here’s the milk, Mr. Dolby.

_Dolby._ O, thank you (_she fills goblet, standing behind table._ DOLBY
_drinks_). Here’s your best health. Ah, what milk! I haven’t tasted
anything like that since I was--a very little child.

_Nelly._ Can I bring you anything else?

_Dolby._ No, I’m obliged to you. By the way, is there a young lady in
the neighborhood named “Rosa Bean”?

_Nelly._ “Bean”--“Bean”--No. There are no Beans here; there’s a Rosa
Higgins about half a mile from here.

_Dolby._ O, she won’t do.

_Charles._ There are Rows of Beans in the garden; how will those suit,
Dixie? Ha, ha, ha!

_Nelly._ To which I will introduce you at dinner. Good-bye till then.
[_Exit_ R.

_Dolby._ Good-bye (_rises and puts back chair to_ L. CHARLES _rises_).
Now, then, Charley, let’s try the fish (_takes his pole and net_).

_Charles._ Really, Dixie, I cannot leave the house just now. I’ll tell
you what I’ll do. I’ll send my man with you, and join you soon (_goes to
door_ C.). Here, Careless! Careless!

_Carlos_ (_enter_ C.). Yes, sir. Here I am!

_Charles._ Careless, show this gentleman to the fishing-pond. (_Dolby at
back, busies himself with tackle._)

_Carlos._ Fishing-pond! Where’s that?

_Charles_ (_aside_). Shut up, you fool! Behind the barn.

_Carlos._ Ho, ho, ho! that’s a pretty fishing-pond! Why, there’s nothin’
there ’cept skeeters!

_Charles._ Well, they bite, don’t they? You’d better take Towzer along
with you, he wants exercise.

_Carlos._ Towzer? Why, he’s not sociable with strangers.

_Charles._ Do as I bid you.

_Carlos._ All right, Mister. Come along, sir--I’ll show you sport!

_Dolby._ That’s the sort.

_Carlos._ What kind of fishing do you like best? Do’nt make any
difference here. (_Aside_) Have to fish a darn long spell afore you get

_Dolby._ Well, s’pose we try for cod--no, I mean mackerel. Any blue-fish
about here?

_Carlos._ Ho, ho, ho!

_Charles._ Careless!

_Carlos._ Blue-fish? Wal, no; we’re out of blue-fish to-day. (_Aside_)
Lord, he _is_ green!

_Dolby._ No matter; lead me to the lake where sport the finny tribe.

_Carlos._ Funny what? Gosh all hemlock! thought you was going a fishing!

_Dolby._ O, come along, it’s getting late. Good-bye, Charley. Don’t
forget I must see your wife.

[_Exit_ C.

_Carlos._ Say, Mister, who’s agoin’ to dig the bait, say? [_Exit_ C.

_Charles._ Still harping on my wife. I’ll know the meaning of this ere I
am an hour older.

(_Enter_ PERSIS _from door_ L.)

_Persis._ At last he is gone, and we may arrange our plans.

_Bobstay_ (_opens door_ R.). Ahoy, Charley! (PERSIS _screams, and runs
into room_ L. _Enter_ BOBSTAY.) Aha! a woman! Who is it? (_Creeps across
stage on tiptoe, and peeps into keyhole, door_ L.)

_Charles_ (_seizes him by arm and whirls him to_ R.). What are you
about, captain? There’s a lady in that room.

_Bobstay._ I must have a peep at her (_runs up and looks into keyhole_).
Ah, ha! ’tis she! (_falls back into_ CHARLES’S _arms_).

_Charles._ She! Who?

_Bobstay_ (_recovering himself_). Hush! Spanker’s wife! My widow, you
know! Our evil genius! It’s a judgment on me for giving up the search
for the lost Spanker. I must be off. Good-bye; put it there (_they shake
hands)._ If I’m asked for, you know--mysteriously disappeared--(_goes up
to door_ C.).

_Mrs. C._ (_outside_ C.) Charley! Charley!

_Bobstay_ (_comes down_ R.). There’s a craft bearing down this way;
mum’s the word, Charley.

[_Exit door_ R.

(_Enter_ PERSIS _from room_ L.)

_Persis._ Shall we never be alone?

_Charles._ Hush! go back; my wife is here!

_Persis._ Your wife? Rosa Bean? I’ll scratch her eyes out!

_Charles_ (_pushing her into room_). No, no; you’ll spoil all. They
meet!--’twould never do (_locks door and takes out key._ MRS. C.
_appears at door_ C.)

_Mrs. C._ Why, Charles, what are you doing? Locking my door?

_Charles_ (_confused_). Yes--no--that is, I was afraid the cat would get
in there, and so I locked it.

_Mrs. C._ I want to put my things away.

_Charles._ I wouldn’t take them off now, it’s a little chilly here.

_Mrs. C._ Chilly! Why, Charles, are you ill? How pale you look! If it
were anybody else, I should say a guilty look was on your face.

_Charles_ (_aside_). A guilty look! and she in clandestine
correspondence with Dolby! (_Aloud_) Guilty? absurd! (_Aside_) What have
I done? Locked a woman in her room,--and I suspect her? O, here’s a

_Mrs. C._ Well, as you do not seem inclined to let me into my room, I
will lay off my things in Nelly’s (_goes to door_ R.). Why, this is
locked too!

_Charles._ O, yes, yes; I forgot to tell you. I--I locked up the dog in

_Mrs. C._ The dog Towzer! What for?

_Charles._ Well, I was just going to sit down to read, and I didn’t want
to be disturbed.

_Dog outside._ “Bow, wow, wow!”

_Mrs. C._ Ah, Towzer seems to have found the way out.

_Charles._ I wish I could. (_Dog barks._)

_Dolby_ (_outside_). Help! murder! help! (_Comes tumbling in through the
window on to lounge; rolls on to floor._) Confound that dog! (_gets up
rubbing his knees._)

_Charles._ What luck, Dolby. Did you get a bite?

_Dolby._ Yes; two of them; and if my legs hadn’t done good service, that
confounded dog would have made a meal of me (_still rubbing his knees,
not looking up._ MRS. CLEVERLY, _down_ R.).

_Charles._ Sorry, Dolby, you didn’t have better luck. (_Aside_) Now to
test my wife (_steps_ C.). Allow me to present you to my wife. Mrs.
Cleverly, my friend Dixon Dolby. Dixie, this is the lady you have longed
to meet.

_Dolby_ (_comes down_ _L._; _looks across_). Rosa Bean! Good gracious!

_Charles._ No, no. My poor friend, you are growing crazy with your
absurd phantom, Rosa Bean.

_Dolby._ Good gracious, it’s her! And I--I--unhappy wretch!--am in love
with Charley’s wife! What will become of me? I shall be found out
(_wipes face with handkerchief_).

_Mrs. C._ I hope you are enjoying your day’s sport, Mr. Dolby.

_Dolby._ O, immensely! You see we took the dog along for a
photograph--no, for company. Don Carlos said we’d better; and he got
interested in my arrangements; and just as I stooped over to put on a
bait, somebody said, “St’boy!” and I suppose he mistook me for the
boy,--at any rate, took a bite. Then it suddenly occurred to me that
there was “no place like home.”

(_Enter_ CARLOS, C.)

_Carlos._ Say, Mister, what did you want to scoot for jist as it was
gettin’ interesting?

_Dolby._ Interesting, Don Carlos? It was getting exciting! (_Aside_)
Heavens! how shall I get out of this scrape?--Charley’s wife!--He’ll
murder me! (_Aloud_) Charley, I really believe I’ll take the next train.

_Charles._ Nonsense. You’ve not tried the gunning yet. Finish your day’s

_Dolby_ (_aside_). I wish I could, at once.

_Charles._ Careless will take you to the game!

_Dolby_ (_takes gun_). All right. Don Carlos, we’ll try the game;
(_aside_) and I’m off to the train. No more of this sport for me, thank

_Carlos._ Say, what do you want to shoot?

_Dolby._ How’s the deer?

_Carlos._ Deer? Ho, ho, ho! They’re purty well; but we’re out on ’em
jist now.

_Dolby._ Well, a buffalo or two.

_Carlos._ Ho, ho, ho!

_Dolby._ Hang it! don’t stand there grinning; let’s shoot something
quick. [_Exit_ C. _and off_ L.

_Carlos_ (_aside_). Darned if I don’t take him down into Buffalo Bill’s
paster. He’ll shoot the fence quicker than scat. [_Exit_ C.

_Mrs. C._ Now that the dog is out of the way, I suppose you can have no
objection to--

_Charles._ By the way, Jenny, I’d nearly forgotten it; but Mrs. Jenks,
our neighbor, was here just now, and her baby’s taken sick--awful; wants
you. It’s got a sudden attack of squills, I think she said.

_Mrs. C._ Indeed! I’ll run over at once; that is, if you can spare me.

_Charles._ O, certainly--that is, no--yes. They’re not catching, are

_Mrs. C._ I think not. Good-bye (_goes up_ C.). (_Aside_) There’s
something wrong with Charley. I’ll not go far. [_Exit_ C.

_Charles._ Now to get that confounded Bobstay out of the way (_goes
towards door_ R.).

(_Enter_ NELLY, R. 1 E.)

_Nelly._ Charley, what do you want in my room?

_Charles._ O, nothing--that is--I was looking for you.

_Nelly._ And having found me--

_Charles._ I want you to advise me. Read that. (_Gives note._)

_Nelly_ (_aside_). Nobody can do it better than I (_reads_). Well,

_Charles._ Well, Charley. No, ill Charley; a decidedly badly-used
Charley. Do you know that photograph?

_Nelly._ It’s our Jenny.

_Charles._ Our Jenny! And it’s sent to my friend Dolby. I’ll murder him!

_Nelly._ Now, Charley, don’t be jealous. I’ve no doubt Jenny will
explain matters to your entire satisfaction. (PERSIS _knocks at door_
L.) Ah, who’s that?

_Charles_ (_moving to door_ L.). It’s the cat. Scat, pussy, pussy,

_Nelly_, R. (_changes photograph in note for another_). I’ll see if we
cannot put a new face upon the matter. (_Aloud_) Here’s your note,
Charley. Don’t be jealous; it doesn’t look well in a man at all. [_Exit_

_Charles._ Now to let the captain out. (_Goes to door_ R.; _raps_). I
say, captain--coast clear!

     (_Enter_ BOBSTAY, _with a calico skirt pinned about his waist, a
     red shawl over his shoulders, and a straw bonnet on his head_.)

Gracious! what’s the meaning of that rig?

_Bobstay._ Disguise; run the gantlet; slip my cable. See, I’m here--I’m
gone. If anybody asks for Bobstay, you know--mysteriously disappeared.
[_Goes to door_ C.

(_Enter_ MRS. CLEVERLY, C.)

MRS. C. One moment, if you please.

_Bobstay_ (_aside_). Shiver my timbers, it’s Jenny!

_Charles._ She’s found him out!

_Mrs. C._ (_leading_ BOBSTAY _down_ R. _by arm_). I have no objections
to my husband’s entertaining ladies in my absence; but I have decided
objections to their leaving my house with property not their own. I’ll
thank you for that shawl.

_Bobstay._ Ay, ay. (_Takes off shawl._)

_Mrs. C._ And that bonnet.

_Bobstay_ (_takes off bonnet_). Ay, ay.

_Mrs. C._ Captain Bobstay! Uncle Boliver!

(_Enter_ MISS PERSIS, _door_ L.)

_Persis._ Captain Bobstay! My husband! (_Shrieks, and falls into_
CHARLES’S _arms_.)

_Bobstay._ ’Tis she; support me, Jenny (_falls into_ MRS. C.’S _arms_).

(_Report of gun outside_ C.)

_Dolby._ Help! murder! help! (_Runs in through door_ C., _turns and
shuts door; puts his back against it_.) Hallo! what’s the matter here?

_Mrs. C._ So, sir, you have deceived me. And this lady is--

_Charles._ Your aunt, Mrs. Captain Bobstay.

_Bobstay._ ’Tis false!

_Persis._ Boliver! my own--(_approaching him._)

_Bobstay._ No, nothing of the kind, madam. You married me and I married
you under a mistake. When you can bring me convincing proof of the
death of your husband Spanker,--a leg or an arm of the aforesaid will be
sufficient proof,--I am ready to talk business. Till then, madam, I am

_Persis._ Boliver--

_Bobstay._ O, I shall boil over if you are not silent (_sits at table_
R., _takes up paper; reads_. MISS PERSIS _moves about him, trying to get
sight of his face; he keeps the paper before him_).

_Charles._ Now, Mrs. Cleverly, having cleared myself to your
satisfaction, I hope--(_sees_ DOLBY) Hallo! Dolby, what are you doing

_Dolby._ Fact is, Charley, I’ve shot something!

(CARLOS _sticks his head into window_.)

_Carlos._ Yes, darn you, you shot a calf! But Buffalo Bill, our black
bull, tossed you over the fence in no time. Ho, ho, ho! You’re a
sportsman, you are!

[_Exit_ C.

_Dolby._ Charley, I guess I’ll go home. I’ve lost my net, my rod, and my
gun; and if your game are as active as your friend Buffalo William, I’d
rather not be hunting, thank you.

_Charles._ Do you recognize that note, Dolby? (_Gives note._)

_Dolby._ O, Lord, it’s! coming! Here’s a pretty day’s sport! That note?
O, yes. That note is--

_Charles._ From my wife, I believe.

_Dolby._ O, heavens, it’s all over! Charley, ’pon my word, I hadn’t the
least idea that Rosa Bean was your wife. If I had--

_Charles._ Silence! (_Snatches note from_ DOLBY, _and runs to_ C.) And
you, madam, what have you to say to it? (_Gives note to_ MRS. C.)

(_Enter_ NELLY, C.)

_Mrs. C._ (_looking at it._) Say! What can I say? This in no way
concerns me.

_Charles._ Indeed! And the picture?

_Mrs. C._ O, the picture. (_Looks at it._) Why, it’s our Nelly.

_Charles and Dolby._ Our Nelly!

_Nelly._ Yes, our Nelly--who is answerable for all this mischief. She is
the writer of the note--the unknown correspondent of our friend Mr.
Dixon Dolby, Rosa Bean.

_Dolby._ Well, that’s clever (_runs up to her_, C.). How do you do
(_shakes hands_). (_They go to lounge and sit talking._)

_Mrs. C._ And you suspected me, Charley!

_Charles._ What could I do? Your aunt Bobstay brought me your picture,
which somehow has mysteriously disappeared.

_Bobstay_ (_jumping up_). “Mysteriously disappeared.” Hark! listen!
(_reads._) “All friends of the supposed-to-be-drowned Sylvester Spanker,
especially his widow, are hereby notified that he has returned to his
ship, the Venetian Red, and will sail this day for Valparaiso.” Ha, ha!
ho, ho! He’s found, and I am free! Widow, I congratulate you.

_Persis._ Spanker alive! Thank fortune, I am no longer dependent on the
cold charities of the world!

_Bobstay._ Madam, put it there (_they shake hands_). We’ll go aboard the
Venetian Red this very day. I’ll return property, and take my receipt,
tear up our certificate, give you my blessing, and mysteriously

_Dolby_ (_comes down with_ NELLY). But what’s to become of me? Will you
desert the life you saved? Persis--

_Persis._ Bother! You’d better be silent. I was in that room when you
told the story with such complimentary allusions to me.

_Dolby._ Ahem! Mum’s the word.

_Charles._ Come, Nelly, let’s have dinner. (_Exit_ NELLY L.) This little
muddle is happily ended.

_Dolby._ I’ve had my day’s sport; not just what I expected, but it’s
ending happily.

_Charles._ The widow has found her husband.

_Bobstay._ For which we return thanks.

(CARLOS _sticks his head in window_.)

_Carlos._ Say, you’ll never see that calf again; she’s gin her last

(_Enter_ NELLY, R.)

_Nelly._ Dinner’s ready.

_Charles_ (_gives his wife his arm_, C.). Come, let’s to dinner. (DOLBY
_and_ NELLY _arm in arm_, R.; CAPTAIN _and_ MISS PERSIS _arm in arm_,
L.) Are you ready, captain?

_Bobstay._ Ay, ay, Charley, with a rousing appetite. So heave ahead;
we’ll follow in your wake. I’m happy. You are happy, widow. Yes, we’re
all happy--for we’ve had a day’s sport, and all our troubles
have--mysteriously disappeared.


       *       *       *       *       *

                      SPENCER’S UNIVERSAL STAGE.

_A Collection of COMEDIES, DRAMAS, and FARCES, adapted to either Public
   or Private Performance. Containing a full description of all the
                      necessary Stage business._

            _PRICE, 15 CENTS EACH._ ☞ _No Plays exchanged._

     1. =Lost in London.= A Drama in Three Acts. 6 Male, 4 Female

     2. =Nicholas Flam.= A Comedy in Two Acts. By J. B. Buckstone. 5 Male,
     3 Female characters.

     3. =The Welsh Girl.= A Comedy in One Act. By Mrs. Planche. 3 Male, 2
     Female characters.

     4. =John Wopps.= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 4 Male, 2 Female

     5. =The Turkish Bath.= A Farce in One Act. By Montague Williams and
     F. C. Burnand. 6 Male, 1 Female character.

     6. =The Two Puddifoots.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3 Male,
     3 Female characters.

     7. =Old Honesty.= A Comic Drama in Two Acts. By J. M. Morton. 5 Male,
     2 Female characters.

     8. =Two Gentlemen in a Fix.= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 2
     Male characters.

     9. =Smashington Goit.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 5 Male,
     3 Female characters.

     10. =Two Heads Better than One.= A Farce in One Act. By Lenox Horne.
     4 Male, 1 Female character.

     11. =John Hobbs.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 5 Male, 2
     Female characters.

     12. =The Daughter of the Regiment.= A Drama in Two Acts. By Edward
     Fitzball. 6 Male, 2 Female characters.

     13. =Aunt Charlotte’s Maid.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3
     Male, 3 Female characters.

     14. =Brother Bill and Me.= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 4
     Male, 3 Female characters.

     15. =Done on Both Sides.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3
     Male, 2 Female characters.

     16. =Dunducketty’s Picnic.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 6
     Male, 3 Female characters.

     17. =I’ve written to Browne.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams.
     4 Male, 3 Female characters.

     18. =Lending a Hand.= A Farce in One Act. By G. A. A’Becket. 3 Male,
     2 Female characters.

     19. =My Precious Betsy.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 4 Male,
     4 Female characters.

     20. =My Turn Next.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 4 Male, 3
     Female characters.

     21. =Nine Points of the Law.= A Comedy in One Act. By Tom Taylor. 4
     Male, 3 Female characters.

     22. =The Phantom Breakfast.= A Farce in One Act. By Charles Selby. 3
     Male, 2 Female characters.

     23. =Dandelions Dodges.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 4
     Male, 2 Female characters.

     24. =A Slice of Luck.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 4 Male, 2
     Female characters.

     25. =Always Intended.= A Comedy in One Act. By Horace Wigan. 3 Male,
     3 Female characters.

     26. =A Bull in a China Shop.= A Comedy in Two Acts. By Charles
     Matthews. 6 Male, 4 Female characters.

     27. =Another Class.= A Drama in One Act. By Thomas Morton. 6 Male, 3
     Female characters.

     28. =Bowled Out.= A Farce in One Act. By H. T. Craven. 4 Male, 3
     Female characters.

     29. =Cousin Tom.= A Commedietta in One Act. By George Roberts. 3
     Male, 2 Female characters.

     30. =Sarah’s Young Man.= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 3 Male,
     3 Female characters.

     31. =Hit Him, He has No Friends.= A Farce in One Act. By E. Yates and
     N. H. Harrington. 7 Male, 3 Female characters.

     32. =The Christening.= A Farce in One Act. By J. B. Buckstone. 5 Male
     6 Female characters.

     33. =A Race for a Widow.= A Farce in One Act. By Thomas J. Williams.
     5 Male, 4 Female characters.

     34. =Your Life’s in Danger.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3
     Male, 3 Female characters.

     35. =True unto Death.= A Drama in Two Acts. By J. Sheridan Knowles. 6
     Male, 2 Female characters.

     36. =Diamond cut Diamond.= An Interlude in One Act. By W. H. Murray.
     10 Male, 1 Female character.

     37. =Look after Brown.= A Farce in One Act. By George A. Stuart, M.
     D. 6 Male, 1 Female character.

     38. =Monseigneur.= A Drama in Three Acts. By Thomas Archer. 15 Male,
     3 Female characters.

     39. =A very pleasant Evening.= A Farce in One Act. By W. E. Suter. 3
     Male characters.

     40. =Brother Ben.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M. Morton. 3 Male, 3
     Female characters.

     41. =Only a Clod.= A Comic Drama in One Act. By J. P. Simpson. 4
     Male, 1 Female character.

     42. =Gaspardo the Gondolier.= A Drama in Three Acts. By George Almar.
     10 Male, 2 Female characters.

     43. =Sunshine through the Clouds.= A Drama in One Act. By Slingsby
     Lawrence. 3 Male, 3 Female characters.

     44. =Don’t Judge by Appearances.= A Farce in One Act. By J. M.
     Morton. 3 Male, 2 Female characters.

     45. =Nursey Chickweed.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 4
     Male, 2 Female characters.

     46. =Mary Moo; or, Which shall I Marry?= A Farce in One Act. By W. E.
     Suter. 2 Male, 1 Female character.

     47. =East Lynne.= A Drama in Five Acts. 8 Male, 7 Female characters.

     48. =The Hidden Hand.= A Drama in Five Acts. By Robert Jones. 16
     Male, 7 Female characters.

     49. =Silverstone’s Wager.= A Commedietta in One Act. By R. R.
     Andrews. 4 Male, 3 Female characters.

     50. =Dora.= A Pastoral Drama in Three Acts. By Charles Reade. 5 Male,
     2 Female characters.

     51. =Blanks and Prizes.= A Farce in One Act. By Dexter Smith. 5 Male,
     2 Female characters.

     52. =Old Gooseberry.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 4 Male,
     2 Female characters.

     53. =Who’s Who.= A Farce in One Act. By T. J. Williams. 3 Male, 2
     Female characters.

     54. =Bouquet.= A Farce in One Act. 2 Male, 3 Female characters.

     55. =The Wife’s Secret.= A Play in Five Acts. By George W. Lovell. 10
     Male, 2 Female characters.

     56. =The Babes in the Wood.= A Comedy in Three Acts. By Tom Taylor.
     10 Male, 3 Female characters.

     57. =Putkins: Heir to Castles in the Air.= A Comic Drama in One Act.
     By W. R. Emerson. 2 Male, 2 Female characters.

     58. =An Ugly Customer.= A Farce in One Act. By Thomas J. Williams. 3
     Male, 2 Female characters.

     59. =Blue and Cherry.= A Comedy in One Act. 3 Male, 2 Female

     60. =A Doubtful Victory.= A Comedy in One Act. 3 Male, 2 Female

     61. =The Scarlet Letter.= A Drama in Three Acts. 8 Male, 7 Female

     62. =Which will have Him?= A Vaudeville. 1 Male, 2 Female characters.

     63. =Madam is Abed.= A Vaudeville in One Act. 2 Male, 2 Female

     64. =The Anonymous Kiss.= A Vaudeville. 2 Male, 2 Female characters.

     65. =The Cleft Stick.= A Comedy in Three Acts. 5 Male, 3 Female

     66. =A Soldier, a Sailor, a Tinker, and a Tailor.= A Farce in One
     Act. 4 Male, 2 Female characters.

     67. =Give a Dog a Bad Name.= A Farce. 2 Male, 2 Female Characters.

     68. =Damon and Pythias.= A Farce. 6 Male, 4 Female characters.

     69. =A Husband to Order.= A Serio-Comic Drama in Two Acts. 5 Male, 3
     Female characters.

     70. =Payable on Demand.= A Domestic Drama in Two Acts. 7 Male, 1
     Female character.

_Price, 15 cents each. Descriptive Catalogue mailed free on application to_

                         GEO. M. BAKER & CO.,

                  Nos. 41-45 Franklin Street, Boston.

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