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Title: The Dearest Things in Boots
Author: MacKenzie, Edna I.
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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Price 25 Cents


PAINE’S POPULAR PLAYS


The Dearest Thing in Boots


MAC KENZIE


PAINE PUBLISHING CO. DAYTON, OHIO


NO PLAYS EXCHANGED



Song Specialties for Your Entertainments

Teachers are discovering that no matter how much novelty there is in
their entertainment, how well it is arranged, how thoroughly drilled,
if they want to hold the active interest of the audience they must use
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abounding in rich melody. With these things in mind we have prepared
this list of superior song novelties for our patrons. All are in
regular sheet music form.

    _Price, 35 cents each; 5 for $1.25_


WELCOME SONGS

    We’ve Just Arrived from Bashful Town.
    We Hope You’ve Brought Your Smiles Along.
    Come and Partake of Our Welcome Cake.
    We’re Very Glad to See You Here.
    With Quaking Hearts We Welcome You.


CLOSING SONGS

    Mr. Sun and Mrs. Moon.
    Now, Aren’t You Glad You Came?
    We Do Not Like to Say Goodbye.
    We’ll Now Have to Say Goodbye.

    _Paine Publishing Co., Dayton, Ohio_



    The Dearest Thing
    in Boots


    BY
    EDNA I. MAC KENZIE


    AUTHOR OF

    “_Susan Gets Ready for Church_”
    “_As Our Washwoman Sees It_”
    “_That Awful Letter_”
    “_The Unexpected Guest_”
    “_Gladys Reviews the Dance_”
    “_The Country Cousin Speaks Her Mind_”
    “_I’m Engaged_”
    “_Ask Ouija_”


    COPYRIGHT, 1922, =BY L. M. PAINE=


    PAINE PUBLISHING COMPANY
    DAYTON, OHIO



The Dearest Thing in Boots


——————

CAST OF CHARACTERS

    MR. WILSON, proprietor of a ladies’ shoe store.
    JACK WILSON, his son.
    BETTY MOFFAT, the dearest thing in boots.
    MISS FIRMROCK, a suffragette.
    MRS. ATKINS, an anti-suffragette.
    MRS. O’BRIEN, a practical socialist.

TIME OF PLAYING, about forty-five minutes.

——————


_COSTUMES_

  MR. WILSON and JACK wear business suits.

  BETTY MOFFAT wears a dainty summer dress and hat, has
      high-heeled pumps and carries a gay parasol.

  MISS FIRMROCK wears an extremely mannish costume. Her
      boots are very large and low heeled.

  MRS. ATKINS’ costume is cheap and slouchy, but extreme in
      style. Her shoes are run-down at the heel.

  MRS. O’BRIEN wears a gaily trimmed hat and a flowered
      print dress.



The Dearest Thing in Boots


SCENE

    The front room of MR. WILSON’S store used for fitting
    shoes. A long table piled with boxes is down stage L, a
    small table with cash box, books, paper and cord down
    stage R, a couple of chairs and foot rests at C, doors
    at R and L. MR. WILSON is discovered leaning against
    table at R while JACK is straddling a chair.

  MR. WILSON: It’s been a whole week, Jack, since you first
    came into the store, so if you’ve been keeping your
    ears and eyes open, you will have caught on to some of
    my methods.

  JACK: Take it from me, dad, I have. They are in a class
    by themselves. Summed up briefly, as the minister says,
    they are [_checks each point on fingers_]: Firstly,
    soak a customer for all she’s worth, or you think she’s
    worth. Secondly, if a shoe is too expensive, take off
    a _cent or two_. Thirdly, if it is too cheap, which
    doesn’t happen very often, take it to the rear where
    you change the _price_ but not the _shoe_, bring it
    back and tuck on a _dollar or two_. Fourthly, always
    side in with everything a customer says, even if she
    insists that the moon is made of green cheese. Fifthly,
    always, always,—oh, what does my thumb say, dad? I’ve
    run out.

  MR. WILSON: Never fail to make a sale, that’s what it
    says.

  JACK: That’s it. I knew it was something like that. Do
    you want me to start on the other hand, now?

  MR. WILSON: No, that will do to begin with. I’m glad
    you’ve been keeping your ears and eyes open so well.
    Now, I hope you use your tongue to as good advantage.
    Since the only way to learn the shoe business is to
    stand firmly on your own feet, I’m going to let you
    get your first experience this afternoon in waiting on
    customers, by yourself. I will not interfere unless I
    see that you are going to lose a sale.

  JACK [_kicking over footrest_]: Lose a sale? Not on your
    life! Just see me put it all over the dears until
    they’ll be tumbling over each other to buy. Leave it
    to your Uncle Dudley. [_Fixes footrest and resumes
    former position._]

  MR. WILSON: Don’t be so sure, young man. There’s many
    a spill between the dollar and till and women are
    pernickety things to handle at any time. [_Bell
    tinkles._] Here comes your first customer. Good luck.
    [_Exit door L._]

  JACK [_cranes neck towards door R._]: If it isn’t
    Betty Moffat, the dearest thing in boots. [_Jumps up
    hastily, overturning chair._] I’m going to sell her the
    peachiest shoes in the whole establishment, the little
    queen!

_Enter BETTY door R._

  BETTY: Why Jack, are _you_ here? I didn’t even know you
    had started to work.

  JACK [_replaces chair_]: Well, I like that! I’d like you
    to know that I have worked more or less all my young
    life.

  BETTY: Principally less. I’d imagine.

  JACK [_hits his head_]: Did you say this was a slammy
    day? Well, I have started to work in earnest this
    afternoon for dad has given me the job of waiting on
    all the customers and you’re the first.

  BETTY: Am I really? I’m so glad.

  JACK: The pleasure is all mine and—the shelling out all
    yours. [_Draws himself up pompously._] And what can I
    do for you, madam?

  BETTY [_giggles_]: Oh Jack, you’re too funny for words.
    I want to buy a pair of dancing slippers. Have you any
    nice ones?

  JACK: It’s a mighty good thing you asked for the nice
    ones because we’re out of the other kind. Then you’re
    going to the dance tonight? Save me a dozen or two,
    won’t you?

  BETTY [_leans parasol against table R. It falls down and
    both collide in picking it up_]: Oh, look at my hat!
    It’s all crooked. [_Fixes it._] Is it on straight now?

  JACK: No, it’s tilted a little to the left side.

  BETTY: Then it _is_ on straight. [_Takes mirror from
    vanity bag and tilts hat farther._] There, it’s all
    right now.

  JACK [_aside_]: I never knew that crooked meant straight
    before, but one is always learning. [_Aloud._] You
    didn’t say whether you’d save me those dances.

  BETTY [_coquettishly_]: I may save you one or two, I’ll
    think about it.

  JACK: Put your whole mind to it, then. Now just take this
    chair. I’m the doctor. And what size do you take?

  BETTY: Two’s and a half.

  JACK: By jove, but you have mighty dainty little feet!

  BETTY [_pleased_]: Do you think so?

  JACK: I don’t think, I know. It will be no feat to fit
    them. [_Takes a box from table and brings it over._]
    Here is just the very thing you want. [_Takes out
    slippers._] Aren’t they classy? Let me try one on.

  BETTY [_kicks off pump_]: They are rather nice, aren’t
    they? [_Puts foot on footrest. Jack tries to put
    slipper on, but fails._]

  JACK: These are too small, Betty. You’ll need a half size
    larger. [_He starts to go towards table L._]

  BETTY [_indignantly_]: They’re not a bit too small. I
    never take a larger size than that. [_Jerks slipper
    on._] There, you see _I_ can get it on. I think you’re
    real mean, trying to make out that I have big feet.

  JACK: Upon my soul. [_Hits sole of boot._] Betty, I’m not
    doing anything of the kind. You have the dearest little
    feet I have ever seen, but you can see for yourself
    that that slipper is too tight. I’d hate to have you
    get a horrid corn for somebody to trample on and—

  BETTY [_jumps up angrily_]: The very idea! There’s only
    one boy I’ve danced with who’s ever trampled on my feet
    and you’re not going to get the chance tonight, so
    there! [_Stamps foot with slipper on, grimaces and hops
    on one foot._] Ouch!

  JACK: What’s the matter?

  BETTY: I—I—oh, I turned on my ankle. It’s weak you know.

  JACK: It wasn’t the slipper’s fault, was it?

  BETTY [_indignantly_]: Of course it wasn’t; the very
    idea, as though it could hurt anything. [_Goes behind
    his back, takes off slipper and rubs her toes._]

  JACK: But that slam you gave me, you didn’t mean what you
    said, did you?

  BETTY: What about?

  JACK: Why, my dancing, and—

  BETTY: I do, I mean every word of it.

  JACK: Well. I’m sorry, Betty, if I have offended you.
    Take these if you want to. All I can say is that I’d
    hate to have to stand in your shoes.

  BETTY: I tell you they’re _not_ too small, _they’re not,
    they’re not, they’re not_! But I’ll not take them nor
    any other either. [_Sits down, takes off slipper and
    puts on her own._] You can keep your old slippers.

_Enter MR. WILSON from door L._

  MR. WILSON: You’ll have to make allowance for this new
    clerk of mine, Miss Moffat. You see you’re his first
    customer so he’s pretty green at the business. Let me
    try this slipper on. [_Picks it up._] Jack, did you use
    a shoe horn?

  JACK [_sulkily_]: No, I didn’t. Should you?

  MR. WILSON: Of course. No wonder you had trouble putting
    it on. [_Puts it on her foot._] There, it fits
    perfectly, Miss Moffat. You have such pretty feet, it’s
    a pleasure to fit them.

  BETTY: I’m glad _you_ think so, Mr. Wilson. I’ll take
    them. How much are they?

  MR. WILSON: They’re twelve dollars, Miss Moffat, but
    seeing that you’ve had so much annoyance with our new
    clerk, I’m going to let you have them for eleven,
    ninety-five. [_Wraps them up._]

  BETTY [_gathering parasol, purse, etc._]: Thank you, Mr.
    Wilson. Charge them to dad. [_Takes parcel and goes
    towards door R._] Good-bye.

  JACK [_rushes to open door_]: Good-bye, Betty. I’ll see
    you at the dance.

  BETTY [_haughtily_]: _You’ll_ not fail to see my big
    feet, at any rate, Mr. Wilson. [_Exit._]

  JACK [_sinks into chair_]: The dearest thing in boots!
    And now I’ve made her so mad that she’ll never speak
    to me again. All over a measely half-size in slippers.
    Who’d think a girl could be so silly!

  MR. WILSON: Eight women out of ten want boots too small
    for them and won’t take anything else. That’s why women
    can endure pain better than men; they get used to it,
    breaking in tight shoes.

  JACK: The Chinese have nothing on them, believe me!
    [_Shakes finger at father._] And you old fraud you,
    you side in with them and then later on sell them corn
    plasters and bunion-easers and arch-supports and all
    the rest of the instruments of torture.

  MR. WILSON: That’s the great idea, my son. You’re
    learning fast. But you must confess that my method is
    better than sending a customer away angry, and it has
    put you through college, besides, remember that.

  JACK: I do, dad. Rule number six—always tell a woman that
    you’re sure she takes a half-size smaller boot than you
    know she does.

  MR. WILSON: That’s it. As a rule it tickles them all to
    pieces. And you get their money and their good-will to
    boot. [_Bell tinkles._] Here’s another customer. Better
    luck this time. [_Exit MR. WILSON. JACK busies himself
    at table._]

_Enter MISS FIRMROCK._

  JACK: How do you do, Miss Firmrock, and what can I do for
    you today?

  MISS FIRMROCK: Young man, before I buy anything from
    you, I must know how you stand on the woman suffrage
    question. Do you believe that women should take an
    active part in politics now that they are given the
    vote?

  JACK [_taken back_]: Do I believe what?

  MISS FIRMROCK: That women should mix up in politics.
    [_Emphasize words by pounding floor with umbrella._]

  JACK [_aside_]: Now what in the dickens does she want
    me to say? From her wording, I’d say she was agin the
    petticoat government. [_Aloud grandiloquently._] My
    dear Madam, the woman’s place is in the home, cooking
    the meals, keeping the house clean,—er—er—making the
    children’s dresses er—er—winding up the cat and putting
    the clock out. Why should women need to enter into
    politics? Is not her influence greater at home? Who has
    not heard that beautiful and noble sentiment—“The hand
    that _rules_ the cradle _rocks_ the world.” [_Aside._]
    Gee, I didn’t know I was such a speaker. [_Starts to
    strut._] I hope dad got that.

  MISS FIRMROCK: I knew as soon as I looked at you that you
    were one of these lordly males, who believe in keeping
    women a slave, a household drudge, with no more rights
    than the criminal, the child and the imbecile. If women
    do not help to do the governing, who is going to make
    decent laws? Who is going to see that the bachelor
    pays twice as much in taxes as the man who has a
    family to support? Who is going to make this beautiful
    country of ours a decent place to live in? The men?
    [_Scornfully._] They’ve had their try at it ever
    since Columbus discovered America. And what have they
    accomplished? [_Snaps her fingers._] Not that! I want
    _nothing_ from you sir. I shall buy only in a store
    where woman is not trodden upon. [_Starts to go._]

  JACK [_aside_]: Imagine me treading on the likes of her?
    But good-night! I’ve backed the wrong horse. How in
    the world am I going to fix it? [_Taps his head._]
    I’ve got it! A little bit of soft soap goes a long
    way. [_Aloud._] Miss Firmrock, one moment, please.
    [_She turns at door._] I had never given the matter any
    thought or I certainly wouldn’t have said what I did.
    But you have enlightened me. [_Bowing._] You have made
    me see that women must enter the political arena to
    fight the beasts of bachelor’s vice and—and—no—backed
    dresses! You have shown me that men as uplifters are
    failures, that women alone can reform the world. Miss
    Firmrock, how can I thank you?

  MISS FIRMROCK [_comes back to C, shakes his hand_]: It
    gives me great pleasure to know a man who is so open
    to convictions as you are, Mr. Wilson; and I will feel
    that I have accomplished something in life since I have
    converted you to our cause. But really, Mr. Wilson, I
    never knew that you were such an orator. I am going
    to put you down for a speech at our Women’s Club next
    Wednesday evening. How will this subject suit you, “The
    Failures Men Have Made”? [_Takes out note-book and
    writes._]

  JACK [_aside, pretending to faint against table_]:
    Suffering cats, what next! [_Aloud._] My dear Miss
    Firmrock, [_aside_] Gee, it sounds like a proposal.
    [_Aloud._] I’ve never made a speech in public in all my
    life and I—

  MISS FIRMROCK [_interrupts_]: Then it’s time you were
    beginning.

  JACK [_desperately_]: Oh, really, I can’t possibly go
    that night; I have another engagement; I—I—you see I
    have to go to prayer meeting.

  MISS FIRMROCK: To prayer meeting! I’ve never seen you
    there in my life, so you can put off your starting for
    another week.

  JACK [_aside_]: If I don’t have nervous prostration by
    then, there’s nothing for it but to get myself smashed
    up in an auto accident. [_Aloud._] Well, I’ll do my
    best, Miss Firmrock. Were you wanting to buy anything?

  MISS FIRMROCK: Yes, a pair of boots.

  JACK [_pulls chair out_]: Now just sit here, Miss
    Firmrock and I’ll fit you. What size do you take?

  MISS FIRMROCK: Six and a half.

  JACK [_aside as he gets a box from table_]: Now, let me
    see; the rule I’ve learned by bitter experiences is,
    “Tell the dears they have such little feet you’re sure
    they should take a smaller size.″ Very well, I’ll just
    do that little thing. [_Aloud._] Now let me try these
    sixes on you, Miss Firmrock. I’m sure you can’t take
    a larger size than that, you have such little feet.
    [_Gets down on knees to fit shoe. MISS F. boxes his
    ears and he tumbles over._]

  MISS FIRMROCK: How _dare_ you make fun of my feet?
    [_Whacks him with umbrella. JACK jumps up._] I know
    they’re large and I’m proud of it. The only people
    capable of having big ideas in their heads are the
    ones with feet large enough to give them a good
    understanding. [_Grabs parcels._] I’d like you to
    know that I’m not a silly, giggling fashion-plate
    who insults her feet by sticking them into shoes far
    too small for them and then minces along with her
    heels raised on stilts. I can see you can’t suit me so
    I’ll try another store, and you needn’t bother about
    that speech, either. We can manage without it. [_Goes
    towards door R._]

_Enter MR. WILSON._

  MR. WILSON [_goes forward and shakes hands_]: How-do-you
    do, Miss Firmrock. Allow me to congratulate you on the
    excellent work you did in the prohibition campaign.
    It’s women like you who are bringing about the reforms
    that are so badly needed in this country. And did you
    get the boots you wanted?

  MISS FIRMROCK: No, I didn’t, this son of yours insulted
    me, sir.

  MR. WILSON: Oh, I’m sure he didn’t do it intentionally.
    But it is his first day at the shoe business and he
    hasn’t gotten onto the hang of it yet. It is a pair of
    boots you were wanting?

  MISS FIRMROCK [_appeased_]: Yes, a good sensible boot
    that I don’t have to be thinking about all the time.

  MR. WILSON: We have the very thing. [_Takes box from
    table and shows her a very large boot._] This size is
    seven as it doesn’t come in half sizes. You see it has
    a low heel, wide last, cushion sole, everything that
    tends for comfort. The price is twenty dollars and
    thirty cents.

  MISS FIRMROCK: I like the boot immensely, but I wouldn’t
    think of paying such a price. It’s exhorbitant.

  MR. WILSON: Not for this boot, Madam. This is a very
    special boot, designed for broadminded women by the
    greatest suffragette leader the world has ever known.
    [_Impressively._] Madam, this is the _Pankhurst_ boot
    you see before you. We are not allowed to sell it
    to anyone who has not done something for the great
    cause. You have proved yourself worthy, Miss Firmrock.
    [_Bows._]

  MISS FIRMROCK [_flattered_]: Oh, Mr. Wilson, do you
    really think so? I’ll take them and [_gushes_] every
    time I wear them, I’ll feel as though they were a bond
    uniting that noble woman and me—and I’ll recommend them
    to every woman I know.

  MR. WILSON: In that case, I’ll give them to you for
    twenty and a quarter. Would you like to try them on?

  MISS FIRMROCK [_pays_]: Oh no, I’ll wait until I get
    home. [_Takes boots._] Good afternoon, Mr. Wilson. I
    hope you’ll be able to make something out of your son
    some day. He certainly doesn’t seem to take after you.

  MR. WILSON: No, I can’t say that he does. He is just like
    his mother. [_Exit_ MISS FIRMROCK.]

  JACK [_mops his brow_]: Good lord, dad. If I have any
    more of this, I’ll be a stark, staring lunatic by
    tonight. [_Shakes finger at him._] And I’ll never trust
    your old rules again. Look what that one did for me.

  MR. WILSON: But there’s an exception to every rule, and
    if you knew anything about feminine psychology, you
    would know at a glance that Miss Firmrock was the
    exception, the one out of a thousand.

  JACK: Hang feminine psychology and feminine vanity and
    feminine feet and feminine everything else! A gents’
    establishment for mine! [_Brightens up._] But this last
    failure of mine has saved you a mighty lot of money and
    worry, dad.

  MR. WILSON: How do you make that out?

  JACK: It has prevented you from having your car smashed
    to pieces and your son in the hospital. [_Bell
    tinkles._] By jove, here’s another customer. This is a
    Jonah day for son Jack, all right.

  MR. WILSON: That’s a queer name to apply to a busy day.

  JACK: Well, I’m having a whale of a time, aren’t I?

_Exit MR. WILSON, laughing, at door L. Enter MRS. ATKINS at door R._

  JACK: Good-morning, Mrs. Atkins, and what can I do for
    you this afternoon?

  MRS. ATKINS: Will you show me your litest style in boots?

  JACK [_puzzled_]: Lightest? Do you mean boots with thin
    soles?

  MRS. ATKINS: No, it’s good ’eavy walkin’ boots I want,
    but they must be in the litest style. I always gets the
    litest in everything. Me ’usband, ’ee tells me I hain’t
    anything if not stylish.

  JACK: Is it something in white you were wanting? That is
    the lightest color we keep. [_Gets white boots._]

  MRS. ATKINS: Oh, no. I want black so that I can wear them
    every day.

  JACK: But you said you wanted the lightest—

  MRS. ATKINS: Yes, the litest in black.

  JACK [_aside_]: The lightest in black! The woman must be
    crazy!

_MR. WILSON comes to door. MRS. A. examines boots._

  MR. WILSON [_aside to_ JACK]: _Latest, latest_, you
    chump! Don’t you know she’s English?

  JACK [_aside_]: I get you! [_Aloud._] Oh, you mean the
    latest, Mrs. Atkins?

  MRS. ATKINS [_tartly_]: Isn’t that what I said, the
    litest in black?

  JACK [_hurriedly_]: Yes, certainly, Mrs. Atkins, and we
    have the very latest here; never keep any other kind,
    in fact. [_Places chair for her._] Just take this
    chair, please. [_Aside._] Now, which class does she
    belong to, the size smaller or size larger? Blest, if
    I know. I’ll try her on dad’s Pankhurst dope first.
    Shouldn’t wonder but she would fall for that when she’s
    so English. [_Takes shoe from table and holds it up._]
    Here, madam, you have before you the very latest thing
    in boots, no other than the Pankhurst, designed by the
    celebrated suffragette leader herself and— [MRS. ATKINS
    _knocks boot out of his hand_.] Why, what’s the matter?

  MRS. ATKINS [_vehemently_]: Don’t you dare to sell me a
    boot that horrid woman’s ’ad anything to do with.

  JACK [_aside_]: Struck it wrong again. Oh the
    contrariness of woman. [_Aloud._] But my dear madam,
    surely you’re an admirer of the woman who was the
    greatest pioneer in fighting for the vote for women?

  MRS. ATKINS [_jumps up excitedly_]: That’s the very
    reason I ’ate ’er. Votes for wimen! What does wimen
    want with votes? Us women ’ave enough to do to cook our
    ’usbands’ meals and tend the childrens’ noses and clean
    up the ’ouse after the man’s gone to work, leaving
    hashes and mud all over the floor, the way he does.
    [_Looks at boots on table._]

  JACK [_aside, indicating fourth finger_]: This finger
    says, Agree with everything a customer says. [_Aloud._]
    That’s my idea, entirely, Mrs. Atkins. I agree with you
    there.

  MRS. ATKINS [_turns on him_]: What do you know about it,
    young man?

  JACK [_confused_]: Why, I—I—

  MRS. ATKINS: Hit’s me who’s ’ad to suffer on account of
    the wimen being given the vote. My ’usband, ’ee’s a
    great one for electioneering, ’ee ’is, but he never
    used to leave me alone at nights until wimen got the
    frances. [_Sobs._] H’ever since then, ’ee’s been
    spending ’is evenings in other wimen’s ’omes, teaching
    them how to vote and he’s never h’at ’ome any more
    except for his meals. Ee do be regular for them, I must
    si. Ee ’as such an appetite. [_Sighs deeply several
    times._]

  JACK [_aside_]: So that’s where the shoe pinches!
    [_Aloud._] Now, that’s too bad, Mrs. Atkins. I don’t
    blame you for not wanting the Pankhurst boot. I
    wouldn’t wear it myself. I’ll show you something else.
    What size?

  MRS. ATKINS: And you’d sigh, too, young man, if you had
    the troubles I’ve had, with your ’usband finding fault
    with the cooking ever since other wimen have been
    feeding him up and—

  JACK [_hurriedly_]: What size boot do you take? That’s
    what I mean, Mrs. Atkins.

  MRS. ATKINS [_gets ready to go_]: It doesn’t matter wot
    size I tike, for I’m not tiking any boots. That’s the
    only style of boot I want hand I’d buy it in a minute
    if it didn’t ’ave that odious woman’s nime connected
    with it. Not content with breaking windows, she ’as to
    break up ’omes, too, the hussy. [_Goes towards door
    R._] Good-h’afternoon, sir.

_Enter MR. WILSON._

  MR. WILSON: Why, good-afternoon, Mrs. Atkins. I trust
    you’ve been served satisfactorily?

  MRS. ATKINS [_tartly_]: No, I ’aven’t, not with the
    Pankhurst boot.

  MR. WILSON [_picks up boot_]: Jack, why didn’t you show
    her this anti-suffragette style. I’m sure Mrs. Atkins
    would like this.

  MRS. ATKINS: _The H’ante-suffragette?_ Why, ’ee told me
    it was the Pankhurst and—

  MR. WILSON [_looks surprised_]: Why, Jack, however could
    you make such a mistake as that? The Pankhurst is a
    different shoe, altogether. Only dowdy people wear
    them. I wouldn’t think of trying to sell that shoe to
    _you_, Mrs. Atkins. But you’ll have to make allowance
    for my son, here. You see, this is his first day in
    selling and he really doesn’t know one style from the
    other. But he’ll soon learn.

  JACK [_aside as he tidies up the tables_]: Not in a
    thousand years, believe me!

  MRS. ATKINS: I ’ope so, but ’ee doesn’t look any
    too bright, Mr. Wilson. [_JACK shakes fist in her
    direction._]

  MR. WILSON: Everyone says he takes after his mother.
    [_Holds up boot._] Now, this is the very latest thing
    we have, worn by all the fashionable and sensible
    ladies who are against this tomfoolery of women voting
    and entering into politics. It does nothing but break
    up homes and—and—would you like to try it on?

  MRS. ATKINS [_hurriedly_]: Oh no, I’m sure it’s the right
    size by the looks of it. [_Aside._] I wouldn’t for
    h’anything let him see the ’ole where my big toe ’as
    worked through my stocking. [_Aloud._] I’ll tike them,
    Mr. Wilson if they’re not too expenses.

  MR. WILSON: The price is ten dollars and forty-five
    cents, but I’m only charging you ten-forty on account
    of the trouble you have had with my son. [_Wraps boots
    up._]

  MRS. ATKINS: H’all right, Mr. Wilson, Atkins will be in
    to piy for them Saturday night when ’ee gits his week’s
    wages. [_Takes parcel._] Good h’afternoon, sir. [_Turns
    towards JACK._] And to you too, sir. I ain’t ’olding
    any ’ard feelings agin you. You didn’t know any better.
    [_Exit._]

  JACK [_wildly rumples hair as he strides back and
    forth_]: Good heavens, this is awful. [_Stops in front
    of MR. WILSON._] Do you see any change in my hair, dad?

  MR. WILSON: No, why?

  JACK: Then it hasn’t turned grey?

  MR. WILSON [_laughs_]: It will take more than that to
    turn your head grey. But I thought you were going to
    put it all over the dears until they would be tumbling
    over each other to buy. Have I quoted you correctly?

  JACK: That’s right, rub it in. But when I said that,
    I didn’t know that I had to be a politician and a
    feminine psychologist and—and an accomplished liar in
    order to sell a woman a pair of boots.

  MR. WILSON: Not a liar, son. Be careful what you call
    your respected parent.

  JACK: Well, if what you have been doing all afternoon
    isn’t lying, I’d like to know what you’d call it.

  MR. WILSON: Diplomacy, my boy.

  JACK: The same thing under a fancy name.

  MR. WILSON: Not at all. A lie is telling what is
    absolutely untrue, Diplomacy is—is—oh yes, it is a
    skillful juggling of the truth. [_Bell tinkles._] Here
    comes your next triumph. I tell you what I’ll do, I’ll
    give you ten dollars for every pair of boots, shoes or
    slippers that you sell. [_Exit door L._]

  JACK: I guess he knows his money’s safe.

_Enter MRS. O’BRIEN, loaded up with bundles._

  MRS. O’BRIEN [_drops bundles on table and mops brow_]:
    The saints presarve us, it is a hot day and it’s the
    loikes of me that knows it, bendin’ over the washboard
    ivery day of me loife, ceptin’ the blissed howly-day,
    doin’ other folk’s worruk while they dressin silks
    and satin. Shure and Oim afther thinking things ain’t
    avenly divided in this worruld, they ain’t. [_Fans
    herself with hat._]

  JACK [_aside_]: She’s a living eight-day clock.
    [_Aloud._] They sure aren’t, Mrs. O’Brien, I agree with
    you there.

  MRS. O’BRIEN: And be yez a socialist loike meself?

  JACK: Sure thing. I’ve never been anything else.

  MRS. O’BRIEN: Then yez belave the rich should share with
    the downtrodden poor?

  JACK [_aside_]: Rule 4. Always agree, etc. [_Aloud._]
    Certainly they should share and share alike I say.

  MRS. O’BRIEN [_Throws arms around him._]: Shure and yez
    is a bohy afther me own heart. [_JACK frees himself._]
    It be a pity that yer father ain’t afther belavin’ the
    same as yez. But he’s a harrud skin-flit, he is and
    Oi’m only afther hopin’ that yez don’t be takin’ afther
    him.

  JACK [_goes to door L and says aside_]: Get that dad? The
    shoe’s on the other foot now. [_Aloud._] I don’t. He
    was just telling a customer a few minutes ago that I
    wasn’t the least bit like him. And what can I sell you
    today? [_As MRS. O’BRIEN talks, he gets behind her and
    pretends to wind her up._]

  MRS. O’BRIEN: Shure and Oim afther buyin’ shoes for
    all the chilrun. There’s Betsy aged noine, she’s me
    roight-hand girrul. Then there’s Pat ond Moike, twins
    they be both borrun at the same toime and sick limbs
    of Satan yez niver see, bless their hearuts. They’re
    siven. Then there’s Norah, she’s foive, the swatest
    crather that iver wuz hit she wears out her souls
    loike they wuz paper. And there’s the baby, he’s jest
    crapin’, his name be Rory afther his dad.

  JACK [_picks up large box_]: Here is just what you need,
    Mrs. O’Brien, boots in family lots. [_Empties them
    out._] They come cheaper that way. [_Pulls out very
    small shoe._] Now, these are just the thing for Betsy.

  MRS. O’BRIEN: Bless me sowl! Me Betsy could niver git
    aven her big toe into the loikes of them. They’re more
    Norah’s size.

  JACK: That’s right. I meant Norah. My mistake. [_Pulls
    out two pairs._] And these will suit the twins, Rory
    and Mike—

  MRS. O’BRIEN: Shure and Rory is six years behint Moike in
    comin’ into the worruld. It’s Pat—

  JACK: Oh yes, of course, Pat and Mike. They always go
    together. Well these will suit—

  MRS. O’BRIEN: But shure and me Pat tikes a larger size
    than Moike as his fate are bigger.

  JACK: All the better, one of these is a size larger
    than the other. Family lots are always sold that way.
    Now here’s the baby’s [_holds up bootees_] and here’s
    [_holds up a larger shoe_] one pair for the baby to
    grow into as its— [_MRS. O’BRIEN throws up her hands._]
    Why, what’s the matter?

  MRS. O’BRIEN: Och, a—nee—o! And it’s mesilf that be
    the unnathural parunt. Oi don’t be desarvin’ to have
    chilrun, Oi don’t. Here be me Danny at home waitin’
    to fill them shoes and me forgittin’ all about the
    darlint. Oi’ll be afther takin’ them all, Misther
    Wilson, and plaze wrap them in that pi’tcher page.
    [_Points to colored supplement._] So that the chilrun
    can look at the pitchers. [_JACK wraps them up._.]

  JACK [_aside_]: Six pairs of shoes and dad has promised
    me ten dollars a pair. Pretty good business, I’ll
    tell the world. [_Aloud._] These come to twenty-three
    dollars and seventy cents, Mrs. O’Brien, but to
    encourage the raising of large families, I’ll just
    charge twenty-three, sixty-eight. Will you pay for them
    now or have them charged? [_Gives her the shoes._]

  MRS. O’BRIEN [_indignantly_]: Pay, did yez say? And
    whoiver talked of payin’? Wuzun’t yez jist afther
    sayin’ yez wuz a socialist and yez belaved the rich
    should share with the poor and—

  JACK: Yes, but—

  MRS. O’BRIEN [_interrupts_]: And ain’t yez rich and me
    as poor as Paddy’s pig afther they took it’s straw bed
    away? Niver a cint will Oi be afther payin’.— [_Starts
    towards door R._]

  JACK: Oh, but I didn’t mean that you could cart away the
    whole—

  MRS. O’BRIEN: Then yez should say phwat yez mane and mane
    phwat yez say. Oi wuz jist afther takin’ yez at yer
    worrud. [_Opens door._]

  MR. WILSON [_comes in quickly_]: Just a minute, Mrs.
    O’Brien.

  MRS. O’BRIEN [_drops bundles_]: Howly Moses, and where be
    yez afther comin’ from?

  MR. WILSON [_picks up shoes_]: From the back of the store
    and Mrs. O’Brien, I’m very sorry, but you can’t have
    these shoes unless you pay cash for them.

  MRS. O’BRIEN: Pay cash? And Oi’d loike to know how the
    loikes of me can pay cash whin Oi haven’t a cint to my
    name. Bad cess to yez, yez ould skin-flint. [_Shakes
    fist in his face._] Yez would skin a flea for its hide,
    yez would. May the saints forgit yez and the devil fly
    away with yez. [_Exit._]

  JACK: Merciful heavens, dad, isn’t she a howly terror?
    But what gets me is after raising my hope to the high
    pinnacle of sixty dollars, she shooed them away, worse
    luck! I confess, dad, that I’m an out and out failure.
    I’ve never put in such a day in all my life. I’ll sell
    newspapers, shovel coal, dig ditches or—or—or even
    teach school before I’ll put in another. I’m through.
    Not another customer will I wait on for all the money
    in the world. [_Bell tinkles._] There goes that darned
    bell. It’s _me_ for the back shop this time. [_Hurries
    toward door L._]

  MR. WILSON [_looks toward entrance_]: Why, it’s Betty
    Moffat back, I wonder—

  JACK [_rushes back_]: I’ll wait on her, dad. Clear out.

_Enter BETTY._

  MR. WILSON: But I thought—

  JACK: Don’t, it’s bad for the brain. Hustle. [_Exit MR.
    WILSON._] Why, Bett—Miss Moffat, I didn’t think—

  BETTY [_mischievously_]: Don’t, it’s bad for the brain.
    [_Both laugh._] I’ve come back to tell you you were
    right and—

  JACK [_puzzled_]: Right? What about?

  BETTY: Why about those slippers; they _are_ too small for
    me.

  JACK [_aside_]: Hanged if I hadn’t forgotten all about
    that, but goodness knows I’ve had enough other things
    to worry about. [_Aloud._] Oh, no, Betty, I’m sure they
    are the right size; you have such dear little—

  BETTY: But they _are_ too small. I tried to dance in them
    when I got home and they hurt my feet like everything.

  JACK [_tenderly_]: Poor little feet!

  BETTY: And I want a half size larger. [_Sits down. JACK
    gets slippers and kneels to fit them._] And—and I’m
    awfully sorry, Jack, that I was so horrid. I’ve got a
    nasty, mean temper and—

  JACK: Now, don’t you dare call yourself names. Why Betty,
    you’re the sweetest girl that ever lived, you’re—you’re
    the dearest thing in boots!

  BETTY: That’s just what daddy says when he gets the bills
    for them.

  JACK: Oh, but I didn’t mean it that way I— [_Aside._]
    Hang it, I wish dad weren’t taking in every word I say.
    [_Calls._] Dad, come on out here and mind your robber’s
    den yourself for awhile. Betty and I are going to the
    ice-cream parlor. Come on, Betty. [_Drags her a few
    steps with one pump on._]

  BETTY: Really Jack, don’t you think I ought to put my
    other pump on first? I wouldn’t like to go like this.
    What would people say?

  JACK: What a dear little foot! [_Puts her slipper on her
    foot._] Here you are. Come on. [_Exit BETTY and JACK
    hand in hand._]

  MR. WILSON [_Enters, picks up slipper and shakes his
    head._]: The dearest thing in boots, eh? He’s not far
    off for I’ll never be able to sell these. But what’s a
    pair of these to my boy’s happiness? [_Pours out glass
    of water and raises it._] So here’s to the dearest
    thing in boots—and may they ever continue to buy
    them—the ladies, God bless them. [_Drinks._]

    CURTAIN



Entertainments for All Occasions


_Special Day Entertainments_

  =BEST CHRISTMAS PANTOMIMES=—Irish                 $0.40
  =CHOICE CHRISTMAS DIALOGUES AND PLAYS=—Irish        .40
  =CHOICE CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINMENTS=—Irish             .40
  =CHRISTMAS AT McCARTHY’S=—Guptill                   .25
  =CHRISTMAS AT PUNKIN HOLLER=—Guptill                .25
  =CHRISTMAS EVE AT MULLIGAN’S=—Irish                 .25
  =CHRISTMAS SPEAKIN’ AT SKAGG’S SKULE=—Irish         .25
  =IN A TOY SHOP=—Preston                             .25
  =THE PRIMARY CHRISTMAS BOOK=—Irish                  .40
  =PUMPKIN PIE PETER=—Irish                           .25
  =THE REUNION AT PINE KNOT RANCH=—Irish              .25
  =SNOWBOUND FOR CHRISTMAS=—Preston                   .25
  =A STRIKE IN SANTA LAND=—Preston                    .25
  =A THANKSGIVING CONSPIRACY=—Irish                   .25
  =A THANKSGIVING DREAM=—Preston                      .25
  =A TOPSY-TURVY CHRISTMAS=—Guptill                   .25


_Dialogues and Children’s Plays_

  =ALL IN A GARDEN FAIR=—Wilbur                     $0.25
  =DOLLS ON DRESS PARADE=—Preston                     .25
  =A PARTY IN MOTHER GOOSE LAND=—Preston              .25
  =SNAPPY HUMOROUS DIALOGUES=—Irish                   .40


_Recitations and Pantomimes_

  =CATCHY PRIMARY RECITATIONS=—Irish                $0.30
  =OLD TIME SONGS PANTOMIMED=—Irish                   .40


_Plays_

  =THE DEAREST THING IN BOOTS=—MacKenzie                         $0.25
  =THE GREAT CHICKEN STEALING CASE OF EBENEZER COUNTY=—Richardson  .25
  =THE GREAT WHISKEY STEALING CASE=—Richardson                     .25
  =MISS JANIE; OR, THE CURTAILED COURTSHIP=—Bonham                 .25
  =THAT AWFUL LETTER=—MacKenzie                                    .25
  =THE UNEXPECTED GUEST=—MacKenzie                                 .25


_Monologues_

  =AS OUR WASHWOMAN SEES IT=—MacKenzie              $0.25
  =ASK OUIJA=—MacKenzie                               .25
  =THE COUNTRY COUSIN SPEAKS HER MIND=—MacKenzie      .25
  =GLADYS REVIEWS THE DANCE=—MacKenzie                .25
  =I’M ENGAGED=—MacKenzie                             .25
  =SHE SAYS SHE STUDIES=—MacKenzie                    .25
  =SUSAN GETS READY FOR CHURCH=—MacKenzie             .25


    PAINE PUBLISHING CO.      Dayton, Ohio



Entertainments for Christmas



=CHOICE CHRISTMAS ENTERTAINMENTS=                   =By Marie Irish=

For children of all grades. Contents: 50 recitations, 8 monologues, 11
plays and dialogues, 5 drills and marches, 8 tableaux, 4 pantomimes, 8
pantomimed carols, 8 songs, etc. =Price, 40 cents.=

=THE PRIMARY CHRISTMAS BOOK=                        =By Marie Irish=

For children under ten years of age. Contents: 68 recitations, 12
exercises, 7 songs, 6 drills, 12 dialogues and plays, 9 pantomimes.
=Price, 40 cents.=

=BEST CHRISTMAS PANTOMIMES=                          =By Marie Irish=

Twelve pantomimes, each accompanied by complete words, directions and
music. Some are serious and some are in a lighter vein. =Price, 40
cents.=

=CHOICE CHRISTMAS DIALOGUES AND PLAYS=               =By Marie Irish=

Ten dialogues for Primary Grades, 10 dialogues for Intermediate Grades
and 8 plays for Grammar Grades. =Price, 40 cents.=

=CHRISTMAS AT McCARTHY’S=                   =By Elizabeth F. Guptill=

Brimful of fun and Christmas spirit. For any number of young folks and
children. Time, 30 minutes. =Price, 25 cents.=

=CHRISTMAS AT PUNKIN HOLLER=                =By Elizabeth F. Guptill=

The old-fashioned school is rehearsing for the Christmas entertainment.
Funny from beginning to end. Time, 30 minutes. For any number of
children. =Price, 25 cents.=

=CHRISTMAS EVE AT MULLIGAN’S=                        =By Marie Irish=

For all grades. 4 males, 5 females. Time, 30 minutes. A most unusual
play. Plenty of wit and humor as well as more serious episodes. Sure to
be a success. =Price, 25 cents.=

=CHRISTMAS SPEAKIN’ AT SKAGG’S SKULE=                =By Marie Irish=

A back woods school entertainment is featured. Easy to prepare and
plenty of fun. For 6 boys and 8 girls. Time, 30 minutes. =Price, 25
cents.=

=IN A TOY SHOP=                                  =By Effa E. Preston=

In rhyme. For 12 or more small children. A clever little play that will
please. Time, 20 minutes. =Price, 25 cents.=

=THE REUNION AT PINE KNOT RANCH=                     =By Marie Irish=

For upper grades. 5 males and 6 females. Time, 30 minutes. Plenty of
fun and a great surprise. =Price, 25 cents.=

=SNOWBOUND FOR CHRISTMAS=                            =By Marie Irish=

For 4 boys and 4 girls. For mixed grades. Time, 25 minutes. The older
children play Santa Claus for the younger ones. =Price, 25 cents.=

=A STRIKE IN SANTA LAND=                         =By Effa E. Preston=

In rhyme. 8 boys, 7 girls. Time, 20 minutes. Very easy but effective.
=Price, 25 cents.=

=A TOPSY-TURVY CHRISTMAS=                   =By Elizabeth F. Guptill=

Humorous. For any number of children under fourteen years of age. Time,
30 minutes. =Price, 25 cents.=


    PAINE PUBLISHING CO.      Dayton, Ohio

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Back cover had a sticker over part of the text. Text was supplied by
duplicate cover text.

Page 1, title page, “Things” changed to “Thing” (The Dearest Thing in
Boots)

Page 2, cast list “MOFFATT” change to “MOFFAT” (BETTY MOFFAT)

Page 4, the first dialogue in the play spoken by Mr. Wilson, with an
additional “been”:

  MR. WILSON: It’s been a whole week, Jack, since you first
    came into the store, so if you’ve been been keeping
    your ears and eyes open, you will have caught on to
    some of my methods.

was repeated at the top of the second page of the dialogue right before
the line beginning:

  MR. WILSON: Don’t be so sure, young man. There’s many

The repetition was deleted.

Page 7, a line of dialogue was misplaced, replacing the original. The
transcriber has attempted to come up with a plausible number in its
place. The original read:

    MR. WILSON: That’s the great idea, my son. You’re learn-
    women out of ten want boots too small for them and
    won’t take anything else. That’s why women can endure
    pain better than men; they get used to it, breaking in
    tight shoes.

It has been amended to:

  MR. WILSON: Eight women out of ten want boots too small
    for them and won’t take anything else. That’s why women
    can endure pain better than men; they get used to it,
    breaking in tight shoes.

Page 8, “by” changed to “my” (That’s the great idea, my son)

Page 8, “grandliquently” changed to “grandiloquently” ([_Aloud
grandiloquently._])

Page 9, “treadding” changed to “treading” (Imagine me treading on the)

Page 10, “desparately” changed to “desperately” (JACK [_desperately_]:
Oh, really)

Page 12, character’s last name of “Firmrock” was changed from italics
to match the form of the rest of the play. (MISS FIRMROCK [_pays_]: Oh
no, I’ll wait)

Page 19, “buisness” changed to “business” (Pretty good business)

Page 20, “Ii” changed to “Oi” (whin Oi haven’t a cint)

Both inside and outside of back cover, “McCARTHYS’” and “SKAGGS’”
changed to “McCARTHY’S” and “SKAGG’S” to match actual name of plays.





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