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Title: Within the Gates
Author: Phelps, Elizabeth Stuart
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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                        _FICTION AND BIOGRAPHY_

                      By Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

                              (MRS. WARD)


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                        HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.
                          BOSTON AND NEW YORK



                           WITHIN THE GATES

                                  BY

                        ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS

                            [Illustration]

                          BOSTON AND NEW YORK
                     HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
                    The Riverside Press, Cambridge
                                 1901

           COPYRIGHT, 1900, BY ELIZABETH STUART PHELPS WARD
                         ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


This drama has so departed from the plan of the original story, “The
Gates Between,” published by me long ago, that it is, in fact, a new
work, and has therefore received a new title.--E. S. P. W.



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.


    DOCTOR ESMERALD THORNE, _a city physician_.
    HELEN THORNE, _his wife_.
    LADDIE, _their child_. (_Between four and five years of age._)
    MRS. FAYTH, _a patient of the Doctor’s, and a friend
      of Mrs. Thorne’s, an invalid_.
    DOCTOR GAZELL, _a hospital physician not in harmony with Dr. Thorne_.
    DR. CARVER, _a young surgeon_.
    MAGGIE, _a maid_.

A Priest, Nurses, Patients, Servants, People in the Street, Spirits, the
Angel Azrael.



WITHIN THE GATES



ACT I., SCENE I.


     A library in a city house. A dining-room opens beyond a portière.
     The dinner-table is set. The library is furnished in red leather
     and dark wood. Books run to the ceiling. The carpet is
     indeterminate in tone. The heavy curtains are of a rich, dark
     crimson. A window is to be seen. The library is littered a little
     with the signs of feminine occupation. At one of the tables sits
     Mrs. Thorne. She is a young and beautiful woman, of stately
     presence and modest, high-bred manner. She is well-dressed--but not
     over-dressed--in a tea-gown such as a lady might wear in her own
     home when guests are not expected. The dress is cream-white; it
     falls open over a crimson skirt. The lamps are shaded with lace of
     red or of white. One with a white shade is on the table by which
     she sits. Her sewing materials are lying about, among books and
     magazines half-cut. She tries to sew upon a little boy’s lace
     collar, but throws her work down restlessly. Her face wears a
     troubled expression.

(_She rises and crosses the room nervously; goes to the window, and
stands between the long lace curtains, looking out. She consults her
watch; speaks._)

MRS. THORNE. It is not so very late! Hardly past six o’clock yet. What
can be the matter with me? I must not become a worrier. A doctor’s wife
can never afford to be that.

       _Enter_ MAGGIE.

MAGGIE. Shall I serve dinner, ma’am?

MRS. THORNE. The Doctor has not come, Maggie. We must wait--Jane will be
careful not to burn the soup.

(_Rises and looks again restlessly out of the window; calls_:)

Maggie!

MAGGIE. Ma’am?

MRS. THORNE. When you went up to light the Doctor’s candles, how did
Laddie seem? Did Molly say?

MAGGIE. Just the same, she said. He does seem sort of miser’ble.

       [_Exit_ MAGGIE.

MRS. THORNE. (_takes up a magazine and tries, in vain, to read; sighs,
and lays it down; takes up the little lace collar and tries to sew;
lays that down; rises_). I’ll run up again and look at the child for
myself.

       _Enter_ MAGGIE.

MAGGIE. Mrs. Fayth, ma’am.

_Enter_ MRS. FAYTH (_pale, sweet-faced, delicate, with the languorous
step of the half-cured invalid. She is in carriage dress, with a long,
dove-colored opera cape--rich, but plain in design. She throws off the
cape at once_).

       [_Exit_ MAGGIE.

MRS. THORNE (_warmly embracing her friend_). Why, Mary Fayth! _You?_ At
this time of night!

MRS. FAYTH. Yes. I--Mary Fayth--isn’t it wonderful? I haven’t been out
after sundown before for six years.... Is the Doctor in?

MRS. THORNE. He hasn’t come yet. I am waiting for him. We never can
tell.

MRS. FAYTH. Doesn’t the dinner get cold?

MRS. THORNE. The dinner is subject to chronic bronchitis and acute
pneumonia.

MRS. FAYTH. (_laughs merrily_). Acute pneu-mo-nia is good.... You were
always clever.

MRS. THORNE. But I don’t fret. A doctor’s wife can never do that....
Give me your cape, dear. You’ll wait for him.

MRS. FAYTH. I did want to surprise him. He would be so pleased. My
husband calls me Doctor Thorne’s miracle. But never mind. I can’t wait
for him. I’m on my way to the Hospital Fair.... Think of that! I’m to be
let stay till half-past eight o’clock. Fred is to meet me there, and
we’re to dine at the café with the crowd and see the tableaux.... Think
of it!--like common, vulgar, healthy people. Isn’t it wonderful? To be
half alive! I have been half dead so long! Kiss me, Helen.

MRS. THORNE. (_anxiously_). I hope you won’t pay for it to-morrow, dear.
(_Kisses her affectionately._)

MRS. FAYTH (_cheerily_). Oh, I expect to be flat to-morrow. But it’s
worth it--to go somewhere with one’s husband ... after six years. I’m
going to the Fifteen Cent Museum next--when I get a little farther
along--some big, noisy, healthy, shabby place. Fred has promised to take
me. He dotes on the gorillas.... Well, I only ran in. The horses are
getting cold. I must go. Give my love to the Doctor--Helen! I’m going to
church when I get well. I want to hear the _Te Deum_.... It’s a good
while since I did that. They won’t let me. They put it off till the
last. Fred said I must begin with the Hospital Fair and work up through
the gorillas to re-li-gious dis-si-pa-tion. The Doctor says I’m to get
well in a sci-en-ti-fic manner; on the Law of Ev-o-lution. Poor dear
Doctor! He doesn’t care about the _Te Deum_.--Helen, I wish your husband
believed. He is so good--so kind. He ought to be a re-li-gious man.

MRS. THORNE (_sadly, with almost imperceptible bitterness_). He is a
doctor.

MRS. FAYTH. He is so great, you see. He is almighty to so many miserable
people.... I can understand that. His mind stops there. He is so strong,
so powerful; he works the miracles himself.

MRS. THORNE. My husband has no time to study these questions, Mary. All
his life is given up to science, you know. I thought--when we were first
married--I could influence him in these ways. But a doctor’s wife learns
better than that.

MRS. FAYTH. What he needs is to be half-dead. Then he would _have_ to
believe. He is too much alive, poor Doctor.... It is such a joy to be
alive, Helen! I thought I must run in and tell you.

MRS. THORNE (_smiling affectionately_). I’ll tell him to be sure and see
you to-morrow. You’ll need it.

MRS. FAYTH. Well, Fred can tel-e-phone. I dare say I shall be sick
enough. Good-by, dear--Helen? What ails _you_? You don’t look right
to-night.

MRS. THORNE (_arousing_). Laddie doesn’t seem well at all. I can’t make
Esmerald believe that anything ails him. But that’s the way, you
know.... I am not allowed to be anxious. The mother of a doctor’s child
can never be that.

MRS. FAYTH (_with quick sympathy_). Oh, I am so sorry! I know just how
you feel--

MRS. THORNE. You never had a child, Mary.

MRS. FAYTH. But sick people understand everything. Oh, we know!

MRS. THORNE. Yes. I suppose you have so much time to think.

MRS. FAYTH. We have so much time to feel. (_Rises to leave._)

(MRS. THORNE _puts the opera cape over her friend’s shoulders_.)

MRS. FAYTH (_abruptly_). Helen, I was thinking to-day about Cleo. I
don’t often.

MRS. THORNE (_pityingly_). Poor girl! I do, very often. She must have
led a cruel life with her husband. And she was so young when he died!
She really hated him--I think as much after he was dead as when he was
alive.

MRS. FAYTH. She did not hate yours.

MRS. THORNE (_gravely_). She was a patient. I have nothing to say.

MRS. FAYTH. But of course she hardly made a secret of it, that she loved
the Doctor--half wrongly, half rightly.

MRS. THORNE. Like the woman she was--half fiend, half angel--

MRS. FAYTH (_interrupting_). There are people who still talk about her;
they are equally divided whether she died of love or morphine. It is
said she had the opium habit. It is three years ago to-day that she
killed herself.

MRS. THORNE. I had forgotten.... Poor Cleo!

MRS. FAYTH. I’ve been thinking about her all day--I don’t know why. She
never liked me very well--perhaps because I _didn’t_ love the Doctor;
and so he could do so much more for me. You know how those things
go.... And you never gave her the satisfaction of one hour’s jealousy?

MRS. THORNE (_peacefully_). How could I? I never had the materials....
But, as you say, these things are complicated. We never know where the
end of the skein is.

MRS. FAYTH. I will send over to-morrow and see how Laddie is.
Good-night--good-night.

MRS. THORNE (_kisses her warmly_). I wish you would stay--I wish you
need not go. Don’t go! Mary--_don’t go_!

[_Exit_ MRS. FAYTH (_slowly, with a sweet,
mysterious smile_).

(MRS. THORNE _relapses into her anxious attitude and manner. Moves to
the window, and looks out again, between the curtains. While she stands
there with her back to the door, suddenly and noisily striding in._)

       _Enter_ DR. THORNE.

DR. THORNE (_at once_). Isn’t dinner ready?

MRS. THORNE (_turning delightedly_). Oh! At last!

DR. THORNE. Well. You might have met me, then.

MRS. THORNE. Why, I have been watching for you--and listening--till I’m
half blind and deaf. I have been to the window--

DR. THORNE. Don’t complain. I hate a complaining woman.

MRS. THORNE (_has advanced towards him, and impulsively put up her arms!
Drops them at this and turns sadly_). I did not know I was complaining,
Esmerald.

DR. THORNE. Most people don’t know when they are disagreeable. (_He does
not offer to kiss her; pulls off his overcoat nervously._) Isn’t dinner
ready? I am starved out.

(MAGGIE _is seen in the dining-room hastily serving dinner_.)

MRS. THORNE (_ringing_). Maggie had orders to put it on as soon as she
heard your wheels.... Yes. There! You poor, hungry fellow!

       _Enter_ MAGGIE.

MAGGIE. Dinner is served, Mrs. Thorne.

DR. THORNE. I must run up and change my coat, first--no, I won’t. I
haven’t time. I am driven to death. Come along, Helen. (_Strides out
before her; then recalls himself from his discourtesy, and steps back._
DR. THORNE _is a tall, well-built, handsome man, of distinguished
bearing, but with a slight limp; his face is disfigured by a frown, as
he looks at his wife. He repeats_) I am driven to death! I haven’t time
to call my soul my own.

MRS. THORNE (_archly_). I thought you hadn’t any soul, dear. Or I
thought you thought you hadn’t.

DR. THORNE (_crossly_). Soul? Rubbish! It is more than I can do to
manage bodies. Soul? Stuff! What have you got for dinner?

(_They seat themselves at the table._)

MRS. THORNE. You poor boy! You poor, tired, hungry fellow! I hope the
dinner will please you? (_Timidly._)

DR. THORNE (_testily_). Really, I hadn’t time to come at all. I’ve got
to go again in ten minutes. But I supposed you would worry if I didn’t
show myself. It’s a foolish waste of time. I wish I hadn’t come.

MRS. THORNE (_speaking in a low, controlled, articulate voice_). You
need not. On my account. _You need never come again._

DR. THORNE (_irritably_). It is easier to come than to know you sit here
making yourself miserable because I don’t.

MRS. THORNE (_gently_). Have I ever fretted you about coming, Esmerald?
I did not know it.

DR. THORNE. It would be easier if you did fret. I’d rather you’d say a
thing than look it. Any man would.... This soup is burned!

MRS. THORNE. Too bad! I gave special orders to Jane--that is really too
bad. Let me send it away.

DR. THORNE (_excitedly_). No, I’ve got to get down something. Bring on
the rest--if there is anything fit to eat. I’m due at the Hospital in
twenty-two minutes. Gazell is behaving like the devil. If I’m not to
handle him, nobody can. The whole staff is afraid of him--everybody but
me. We sha’n’t get the new ward built these two years if he carries the
day to-night. I’ve got a consultation at Decker’s. The old lady is
dying. It’s no use dragging a tired man out there; I can’t do her any
good. But they will have it. I’m at the beck and call of every whim. I
wish I’d had time to change my boots! My feet are wet. My head aches
horribly. I had an enormous office--sixty people; forty here--twenty
down-town--besides my calls. I’ve seen eighty sick people to-day. I was
a fool to agree to that noon office hour.--I’ve lost ten thousand
dollars in this panic. Brake telephoned me to get down to Stock Street
to save what I could. I couldn’t get off.... I lost a patient this
morning--that little girl at the Harrohart’s. She was a poor little
scrofulous thing, but they are terribly cut up about it.--I wish you’d
had a good, clear soup. I hate these opaque things.

MRS. THORNE. But last time we had consommé, you said--

DR. THORNE. I said! I said! Who cares what he _says_?

MRS. THORNE (_in a low voice_). That seems to be quite true.

DR. THORNE. What did you say? Do speak louder. I hate to hear women
mumble their words.--I hope you have some roast beef; better than the
last. You mustn’t let Parsnip cheat you. Quail? There’s no nourishment
in quail for a man in my state-- (_Pushes away his plate crossly._)
Well, I suppose I’ve got to eat something. I was a fool not to dine at
the club.--The gas leaks. Can’t you have it attended to? Pudding? No. I
see enough of spoon food in sick rooms. I might have eaten a good,
hearty pie.

MRS. THORNE. But the last pie we had, you said--

DR. THORNE (_again_). I said! I said! What does it signify what a man
_says_? How many times must I say that? Hurry up the coffee. I must
swallow it, and go. I’ve got more than ten men could do.

MRS. THORNE (_gently, but with perceptible dignity_). It seems to be
more than one woman can do--

DR. THORNE. What’s that? Do speak so I can hear you.--If you’re going to
speak at all.

MRS. THORNE. I said it seems to be more than one woman can do to rest
you.

DR. THORNE (_carelessly_). Do ring for a decent cup of coffee. I can’t
drink this.

MRS. THORNE. Esmerald--

DR. THORNE (_crossly_). Oh, what? I can’t stop to talk. There! I’ve
burned my tongue now. If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s going to a
consultation with a burned tongue.

MRS. THORNE (_tenderly_). How tired you are, Esmerald! It even gets into
your poor foot.--You limp more to-night. I was only going to say that I
am sorry. I can’t _let_ you go without saying that.

DR. THORNE (_rising, and walking irritably through the rooms_). I can’t
see that that helps it any. I am so tired I don’t want to be touched.
(_Mrs. Thorne brings his overcoat. He repulses her._) Never mind my
coat. I’ll put it on myself. Tell Joe--No. I left the horse standing; I
don’t want Joe. I suppose Donna is uneasy by this time. She won’t stand
at night--_She’s got to._ I’ll get that whim out of her.--Now don’t look
that way! The horse is safe enough.

MRS. THORNE. I haven’t bothered you about the horse, have I? But I don’t
feel--quite--easy. She is such a nervous creature, and so--

DR. THORNE (_imperiously_). Don’t you suppose I know how to drive?
You’re always having opinions of your own against mine. There! I must be
off.--Where’s the boy, Helen? Where’s Laddie?

MRS. THORNE (_gently_). Laddie isn’t just right, somehow, Esmerald. I
hated to bother you, for you never think it’s anything. Molly is with
him. I’ve been a little troubled about him. He has cried all the
afternoon.

DR. THORNE. He cries because you coddle him! It is all nonsense, Helen.
Nothing ails the child. I won’t encourage this sort of thing. I’ll see
him when I come home. I can’t possibly wait--I am driven to death--for
every little whim. (_Rushes towards the door, but pauses, irresolute._)
I suppose I shall have to go up--if you’ve got this fixed idea in your
head. I’ll take a look at him on the way out.

MRS. THORNE (_more gently; without reproach, but regarding him
steadily_). Good-by, Esmerald.

DR. THORNE. Oh, bother!--I can’t stop for fooling, now.

MRS. THORNE (_with sudden change of manner, breaks down, and hides her
face in her arms. She weeps quietly_). He has always kissed me
good-by--before--ever since we have been married. He never, never missed
before!

_Re-enter_ DR. THORNE. (_He holds the
child in his arms, and strides in impetuously,
still limping; lays_ LADDIE,
_wrapped in a silk robe, upon the sofa.
Tries to make the child sit up; but
the little fellow languidly falls back
upon the pillows._)

(MRS. THORNE _moves quickly over, and supports the child_.)

DR. THORNE. Helen, I must have an end to this nonsense! Nothing ails
Laddie. He is only a trifle feverish, with a little toothache--possibly
there’s a slight cold. The child should be out of the nursery. He will
sleep better for the change. Let him stay awhile--and don’t make a fool
of yourself over him. It really is very unpleasant to me that you make
such a fuss every time he is ailing. If you had married a green grocer,
it might have been pardonable. Pray remember that you have married a
physician who understands his business, and do leave me to manage it....
There! (_Consults his watch._) I’m eight minutes behindhand already, all
for this senseless anxiety of yours. It’s a pity you can’t trust me,
like other men’s wives. I wish I had married a woman with a little
wifely spirit ... or else not married at all.

[_Exit_ DR. THORNE. (_He does not bid
his wife good-by. At the threshold of
the door he seems to hesitate, makes
as if he would turn back, but goes out._)

MRS. THORNE. Oh-h-h me! (_Utters one long, low cry; she does not speak
any words. She releases her hold of_ LADDIE, _who drops back sleepily
upon the sofa pillow. She seems to forget the child. She stands still,
in the middle of the library, with her face towards the window; her
hands are crossed before her, and clenched tightly together. A solemn
expression grows upon her face. Her tears dry upon her cheeks. Her eyes
widen and darken. Her mouth quivers pitifully. Still she does not speak.
She moves slowly to the window, and draws the curtains back. She stands
there looking out; she shades her eyes with her hand. The hand
trembles._)

THE CHILD (_cries_). Mamma! Mamma!

MRS. THORNE (_does not respond to the child. She moans_).
Esmerald!--Es--mer--ald!



END OF SCENE I.


SCENE II.

A dwelling street in the city, seen in an almost deserted
condition. The time is early evening. The wreck
of a buggy lies crushed against a curbstone; the traces
are broken, the horse having released herself and disappeared.
The wreck lies in shadow, and the prostrate
form of a man is but dimly discerned. After a
few moments of suspense and silence, slowly crawling
to his feet,

_Arises_ DR. THORNE. (_He is dressed
for driving, as when he left home; his overcoat
disarranged, muddy, and torn; his hat
gone; his face has a singular pallor, and
his whole appearance is agitated. As he
rises, he throws a carriage robe back over
the spot where he had been lying. He
speaks._)

DR. THORNE. That dastardly brute has
done it, now! I’ll sell Donna for this.--It
will play the mischief with that old
injury. I shall exchange an interesting
limp for crutches, now.--Hil-loa! (_Walks
to and fro with perfect ease._) The shock
has acted like a battery on the nerve centres.
Instead of a broken neck I have a cured leg.
I’m a lucky fellow--as usual. (_Laughs
lightly; turns to examine the condition of
the ruined buggy; suddenly looks confused,
and puts his hand to his head._) Curious
cerebral symptoms I have! Queer, there isn’t
a crowd round. They must have missed the
trail when Donna bolted. She’ll be at the
stable by this time.--She won’t go home.
Helen won’t know.... I shouldn’t like to
be the man that had to tell Helen!... I
must get to her--I must get home as soon
as I’ve been to the Hospital. I’m afraid I
was a little short with Helen. I wish-- (_Presses
both hands to his temples as if to
command himself; looks more and more
bewildered._) I must have been pretty well
stunned--seems to me there was a collision.
I ran down somebody. It was a landau--we
crashed--I saw it overturn--there
were people in it I knew--patients....
Who?... _Who?_ (_Stamps the pavement
peremptorily, and impatiently strikes his
own head._) Who was it?--Horrible! The
brain cells do not obey me--_me!_ (_Walks
about frenziedly._) ... Ach--ch! It is
worse to remember than to forget. I have
it now--the sweetest woman of them all--Helen’s
friend--the gentlest, the most obedient,
most trustful, the bravest patient I ever
had--Mrs. Fayth. I saw her face as the carriage
went over.... She stretched out her
hands, and said: “Doctor!” It was Mary
Fayth. (_His face falls into his hands.
For a moment he sinks down on the wreck of
the buggy; but springs up._) Now that accounts
for it.--The crowd are all there. The
accident was so bad nobody has thought of
me. _She_ is the victim. _I_ have escaped.
Dead or alive, she is done for. She never
could recover from a shock like that. I
must go and find her. I must find Mrs.
Fayth. (_Starts and hurriedly walks down
the street, peering everywhere._)

       [_Exit_ DR. THORNE.

(_In his absence no person passes the street._)

       _Re-enter_ DR. THORNE.

Strange! How strange! I cannot find her. I cannot find anything--nor
anybody that a man would naturally meet under such circumstances. Not a
trace of the accident--yet I’m _as sure of it as I am that I’m alive_.
(_Pronounces these words slowly, and paces the sidewalk, irresolute._)
It all came from my being overdue at the Hospital. I suppose I did drive
Donna pretty fast. I wonder if I struck her? I am always in such an
infernal hurry--I never have had time to live. _I am driven to death._
(_He says the last five words, not impatiently, but with a certain
solemn deliberation._) I must go at once to Mrs. Fayth’s house. They
must have carried Mary there--I wish I could spare time to see
Helen!--I’ll go right home as soon as I’ve been to Fayth’s. Odd! How
these brain symptoms last. I must have had quite a blow. I don’t--I
can’t--it is mortifying to feel so confused.

       [_Exit_ DR. THORNE.

(_In his absence the street remains deserted._)

_Re-enter_ DR. THORNE.

_Enter behind him a tall_ Woman. (_She is
wrapped in a long ash-colored veil, or
mantle, beneath which shows a gleaming
gown of flame-color. She follows_
DR. THORNE _silently. She keeps at a
distance from him. Her step is a gliding,
stealthy one. The_ Woman _does
not speak_.)

DR. THORNE. There must be serious cerebral congestion. I cannot find the
street. I cannot find Fayth’s house. What part of this bewitched town am
I in? I have lost my way--I, Esmerald Thorne, with a clientele of twenty
years from end to end of the city--I cannot find my way.

_Enter a_ Suburban, _a_ Loafer, _and a_
Priest. (_The_ Woman _draws her veil,
and looks solemnly at_ DR. THORNE
_as she passes. Her face is pale and
wretched, but possesses singular
beauty._)

       [_Exit the_ Woman.

(DR. THORNE _does not notice the_ Woman.)

(_The_ Loafer _leans against a post. He stares stupidly at the wreck._)

(_The_ Priest _walks slowly, reciting an Ave_.)

(_The_ Suburban _hurries on, making a wide circle to avoid the ruins of
the carriage_.)

DR. THORNE (_addressing the_ Suburban). Can you tell me?--Here! Hold on
a minute! Man, can’t you answer a civil question? Will you tell me--

THE SUBURBAN (_pays no attention to_ DR. THORNE, _but hurries on.
Consults his watch; speaks._) I shall lose my train!

       [_Exit_ Suburban, _running_.

DR. THORNE (_with puzzled impatience, addressing the_ Loafer).
Here!--You! Why, it’s Jerry! Just tell me, will you, Jerry, where the
accident was, and how much was the lady hurt?

(_The_ Loafer _stares stupidly at_ DR. THORNE, _but makes no answer_.)

       [_Exit_ Loafer.

DR. THORNE (_with trouble on his face, more gently addresses the_
Priest, _whom he slightly touches on the arm_). Sir!--Oh, Father
Sullivan! Look here, Father! I’m ashamed to confess, I have lost my way.
Would you direct me to the house of the well-known merchant, Frederick
Fayth? I am due there on an urgent professional errand, and--I cannot
explain the phenomenon--but I have lost my way!

(_The_ Priest _repeats an Ave under his breath. He looks_ DR. THORNE
_full in the face, but does not reply_.)

DR. THORNE. And will you be so kind as to tell me whether you have heard
of a carriage accident down-town--and how much was the lady hurt? Did
you--

PRIEST(_looks blindly over_ DR. THORNE’S _head; mutters_). Nay--Nay. I
see nothing. (_He crosses himself_). Ave Sanctissima! Ora pro nobis!
(_He lifts his arms and, with a troubled and confused expression, makes
the sign of the cross in the air over_ DR. THORNE. _Priest passes on._)

DR. THORNE (_gently_). Thank you, Father.

       [_Exit_ Priest.

DR. THORNE (_stands sunken in thought for a few moments; suddenly starts
and knots his hands together, then separates them with the motion of one
blind or of one feeling his way in the dark_). I must see Helen! I must
go to Helen!--Helen! _Helen!_

(_Sudden darkness settles. When it passes, the wreck of the buggy is
removed._)

_Enter_ DR. THORNE. (_Walks rapidly and
perplexedly, still with the manner of a
man who has lost his way._)

       [_Exit._


_Re-enter._

       [_Exit._

_Re-enter_ (_speaks_).

I must get home. I _will_ get home. I _will see_ Helen! (_Stops
sharply, as if smitten by an unseen force; cannot take another step;
contends, as if with an invisible power; droops, as if vanquished;
turns, and retraces his way; his head hangs to his breast. He speaks._)
_What_ thwarts me from my home? _Who_ constrains me from my wife?
(_Lifts his face angrily to the sky._) Is this hypnotism? (_Laughs
sarcastically._) Am I an infant--or a maniac? It must be anæsthesia
passing off. Perhaps I was etherized by some blank fool after that
shock.--The accident! That is it, of course, of course! It is the
cerebral concussion--a simple case.... I shouldn’t like this to get out.
I believe I’ll go into my office--if I can find my office--and wait till
this passes off. It is a perfectly simple case. (_Walks feverishly up
and down the street, searching for his own office; mutters._) Ever since
I yielded to that demand for a noon office hour downtown for business
men--it has crowded me without mercy. If they hadn’t been my old
patients, I wouldn’t have succumbed to it. It’s just another strand in
the whiplash that has driven me to death. Well (_draws a long
breath_)--I seem to be out of sorts to-night. I shall get over all this
nonsense when I see Helen. Helen will set me right. _Helen will make a
live man of me again._


END OF SCENE II.


SCENE III.

The interior of a down-town office. DR. THORNE
is seen in the consulting room; the door is closed into
the reception room. One gas-jet burns over the desk;
patient’s chair and physician’s chair are seen in the
usual places; the desk is in order for the night; a
movable telephone, of the kind in use in offices, stands
upon the desk.

DR. THORNE (_throws himself heavily
into his revolving chair_). What the devil
am I here for? (_Violently. The light
grows dim as he says this._) Why in--why
in the name of all the laws of Nature
cannot I get home? (_After a pause, brokenly._)
Well--well! It’s something to
be here; to get out of the street--in out
of the night--it’s a good deal. I’d begun
to understand how outcasts feel--felons,
apparitions, fugitives. In the name of the
laws of mystery, thank Heaven for so much!
(_The light brightens. It reveals his face,
which is haggard and pinched. He pushes
his case books about, aimlessly. Suddenly
his hand hits the receiver of the telephone.
He springs and cries out_:) The telephone!
The telephone! I must have gone stark
mad not to think of it.--See! I’m not a
drinking man, am I? (_Puts his hand to
his head._) No. I do not drink. Helen
would not like to have me.--No. And
I’ve been all these hours without telephoning
to Helen. She’ll think I did it on purpose--poor
Helen--because of the words
I said. _If a man could slay the words he
says...._ They harry me--like ghosts.
(_Rings the telephone violently._) Central?
48.4--48.4, I say. Why don’t you give
me 48.4? I tell you I’m in a hurry. 48.4!
And be quick with it! (_Rings again._) Why
in--why don’t you attend to your business
there? It is Dr. Thorne--Dr. Esmerald
Thorne. My errand is most urgent. Give
me my home, and make short work of it.
48.4! Do you hear? (_Rings again._)

(A MAN’S VOICE FROM THE EXCHANGE
_comes faintly over the wire, reverberating
through the transmitter, so as to be audible
at a distance from the instrument_.) Why
don’t you speak? We cannot make out a
word you say.

DR. THORNE (_rings again, wildly_). I
tell you I want my home--48.4! I must
speak to my wife. Give me 48.4--Helen?
Helen!

VOICE FROM THE TELEPHONE. Stop
ringing your bell if you can’t use your
tongue. Put your mouth close to the transmitter.
Are you drunk? Or are you dead?

DR. THORNE (_still ringing_). I will report
you for this. It shall cost you your
place. 48.4, I say. Give me my house.
I will not submit to this. Give me 48.4!

(_The telephone ceases to reply._)

DR. THORNE (_rises, hangs up the receiver,
and paces the office tempestuously;
speaks_). The very forces of Nature are in
league against me.... My own nervous
system--the night--the atmosphere--electricity--they
are all gone foes to me.
They are serried like an army between myself
and her. Helen will be--Helen will
suffer--oh, poor girl!

(_The telephone call bell rings suddenly._)

DR. THORNE (_leaping to the receiver_).
Who calls? I am here. Who wants Dr.
Thorne? (_He snatches the receiver greedily
to his ear; listens a moment; cries
wildly_:) Oh, Helen! Is that you, dear?
Speak louder, darling.... Yes, I’m
here--at my office down-town. I’ll be
home soon. Don’t be frightened--but I
met with a trifling accident. Helen? Helen!
What’s the trouble? Don’t you hear me,
Helen?

WOMAN’S VOICE FROM THE TELEPHONE.
Is my husband there? Esmerald! Are
you there?

DR. THORNE. Why, Helen! Don’t you
hear me? What does ail this cursed telephone?
Central! Give me a decent wire.
My wife can’t hear a word I say....
Helen? I’m not at all hurt--only shaken
up a little. I’ll get back just as soon as--_Helen?
Helen!_

WOMAN’S VOICE FROM THE TRANSMITTER.
Central? I cannot find my husband at his
office. Please give me the Hospital.--I
must communicate with my husband.

(VOICE FROM THE TRANSMITTER _dies
away_.)

DR. THORNE (_rings madly_). Central,
you’ve cut me off! You’ve cut me off
from my home. Give me 48.4 again.
Helen?--Helen! Can’t you hear me?
Don’t you understand me, Helen? Oh, I
could hear you--your own dear voice, my
girl! I wanted to tell you--I can’t wait
till I see you to say--Helen? She does
not hear me.--Helen!

(_The transmitter is silent._)

(DR. THORNE _lays the receiver down. He
hides his face in his hands._)


END OF SCENE III.


SCENE IV.

Morning in a business street down-town. Many
people are passing, among them the PRIEST, the SUBURBAN,
and the LOAFER. A crowd thickens before
the bulletin boards of “The Earth,” a prominent daily
newspaper. At the extreme left are the headquarters
of “The Universe,” a rival paper. Not far from
“The Earth” building can be seen the modest sign
of the eminent physician:--

+------------------------------------+
|      DR. ESMERALD THORNE.          |
| OFFICE HOUR 12-1 O’CLOCK. |
+------------------------------------+

(_A door opens within._ DR. THORNE _appears in the entrance to the
corridor_.)

_Enter_ DR. THORNE (_upon the sidewalk.
Standing irresolute, he seems to wince
from the daylight and the morning
air; he mutters_).

Now it is light, I can find my way to Helen. (_Steps slowly along the
sidewalk; shades his eyes from the sun. He wears no hat, and his pallor
has increased. No person addresses him._)

(_On the bulletin boards of_ “The Earth” _can be seen the following
announcement_:

                    WAR WITH THE ISLAND OF BORNEO.
                    BORNEO LAYS DOWN HER ULTIMATUM.
               THE PRESIDENT HAS CALLED FOR VOLUNTEERS.
                        PANIC IN STOCK STREET.
              SANTA MA FALLEN 30 POINTS SINCE YESTERDAY.
                   DISSENSION AT THE CITY HOSPITAL.
                 RUMORS OF ACCIDENT AT THE WEST END.)

_Enter_ DR. GAZELL (_a short, blond, thick-set,
suave man of middle age_) _and_ DR.
CARVER (_a very young man; the latter
reading a fresh copy of_ “The Universe”).

DR. GAZELL (_with emotion_). Shocking! Shocking! I cannot express--I am
overcome!

DR. CARVER (_without emotion_). Yes. It is very sad. You’ll be apt to
find these things in “The Universe” before “The Earth” gets them. I
wonder if he--

DR. GAZELL. No. Never. He was above reproach. A hard man to get along
with--willful, but above reproach. I am greatly shocked!

DR. THORNE (_stepping out into the crowd_). Ah, Gazell! Good-morning. I
am--I am very glad to see you, Dr. Gazell (_pathetically_).

(DR. GAZELL _continues reading his paper. He does not look up._)

DR. THORNE (_with embarrassment_). Gazell! (_He moves directly in front
of the office of_ “The Earth.” _At that moment a new bulletin flashes in
large letters, over the heads of the crowd, these words_:--

                           RUMOR CONFIRMED.
                          SHOCKING ACCIDENT!
                           TERRIBLE TRAGEDY.
                       RUNAWAY AT THE WEST END.
                MRS. FREDERICK FAYTH DANGEROUSLY HURT.
                  THE EMINENT AND POPULAR PHYSICIAN,
                         DR. ESMERALD THORNE,
                          KILLED INSTANTLY.)

(DR. THORNE _reads, and reels; stares about him appealingly._)

(_Murmurs are heard from the crowd._)

_Enter two_ Office Girls.

(FIRST OFFICE GIRL _starts, and points to the bulletin_.)

SECOND OFFICE GIRL. Oh! Oh! (_She bursts into tears._)

SUBURBAN. Too bad! He was a clever fellow. He saved my little boy’s life
last summer.

LOAFER. He took a t’orn out av me eye onct and divil a cint did he
charrge for ’t.

PRIEST. Pater Noster in Cœlo--gone without absolution, poor soul! An
attractive heretic--merciful to the poor of my parish.

DR. GAZELL. He drove too fast a horse. And he drove the horse too fast.
I always told him so. But I am greatly agitated by this!

DR. CARVER (_reading aloud_). Now “The Universe” had it already in type:
“Dr. Thorne was dragged for some distance before the horse broke free.
He was found near the buggy, which was a wreck. The robe was over him,
and his face was hidden. Life was extinct when he was discovered, which
was not for an unaccountably long time. His watch had stopped at five
minutes past seven o’clock. He was not immediately identified. By some
unpardonable blunder the body of the distinguished and favorite
physician was taken to the morgue.”

DR. GAZELL. That accounts for it.

DR. CARVER (_reads on_). “It was not until nearly midnight that the
mistake was discovered. A message was dispatched to the elegant
residence of the popular doctor. Mrs. Thorne is a young and beautiful
woman, on whom, with their only child, an infant son, this blow falls
with uncommon cruelty.”

DR. THORNE (_utters a long, heartrending moan. But no person hears the
sound. He stretches out his hands. The crowd shrinks from but does not
see him. Staring at the bulletin, he stands apart. He raises his
clenched right hand in the air; speaks_). It is a dastardly lie! It is
one of those cursed canards manufactured to harass men--and--break the
hearts of women. God!--She has seen it by this time. Let me pass! Let me
go to her! You may kill _her_ with this, but you can’t kill me.
Gentlemen, make way for me! _I am Dr. Thorne!_

(_The crowd pays no attention to this outcry._)

_Enter_ NEWSBOY (_shrilly piping_).

NEWSBOY. “Earth!” “Universe!” Latest--8.30. All about the accident! Dr.
Thorne killed instantly--Mrs. Fayth still breathin’--“Earth,” sir? Two
cents, sir.

(DR. THORNE _clutches the newsboy by the arm, and would tear the paper
from him_. DR. THORNE’S _fingers grope over it--touch it. He tries
several times to obtain it. The paper remains in the hands of the boy._)

_Enter_ BRAKE, _the broker_.

(DR. THORNE _staggers against_ BRAKE, _who is reading_ “The Universe.”)

[_Exit the_ Suburban, _consulting his watch_.

DR. THORNE (_more gently; addresses the loafer_). Jerry! Is that you,
Jerry! Tell these gentlemen, will you, that I am Dr. Thorne? I should
take it--kindly--of you, Jerry.

LOAFER (_stares; mutters_). Divil a cint did he charrge me for ’t.

DR. THORNE (_addresses the broker_). Oh, Brake! I am glad to see you! I
couldn’t get down to save my Santa Ma. But _that_ is of no
consequence.... I’ve been hurt--an accident--and I am confused. I am
suffering from hallucinations. They have got beyond my control. I
wonder if you wouldn’t call a cab for me? I thought Dr. Gazell would
take me home in his carriage,--but he didn’t seem to hear me when I
spoke to him. If you’ll call a cab, I’ll get home--to my wife.

[_Exeunt_ DR. GAZELL, DR. CARVER, _and_
BRAKE, _without replying_.

(DR. THORNE _watches them with a piteous expression; stands back and
apart from the crowd_.)



END OF ACT I.



ACT II.


SCENE I.

A small ward--the women’s ward--in a hospital;
several cots with patients in them are visible. One
patient is in a wheeled chair. Screens stand by the
cots. There are plants, pictures, the cheerful features
of the modern hospital. Two nurses are seen busy
with patients.

_Enter_ DR. GAZELL _and_ DR. CARVER.

DR. GAZELL (_seats himself by one of the patients; speaks blandly_). And
how do we find ourselves to-day?

PATIENT (_turning her face, on which can be seen traces of tears_). Bad
enough--worse. I’ve been so upset by--

DR. GAZELL. Yes, yes. I know. It is truly shocking!

DR. CARVER (_addressing one of the nurses_). You become your cap to-day.
You have an uncommonly good color--I mean to operate on No. 21.

NURSE. Do you really? We thought her improving. She’s nervous to-day--on
account of Dr. Thorne.

DR. CARVER. Yes. Thorne had things all his own way here, as usual. I
mean to operate,--if Dr. Gazell can manage her.

NURSE (_coquettishly_). You are so expert,--such an easy surgeon. You
don’t mind it more than a layman would carving a Christmas _goo_--oose.
And what would you operate for--on No. 21?

DR. CARVER. Appendicitis, of course.

NURSE. Really? You are so clever on diagnosis. Now, I hadn’t thought of
appendicitis--in her case. Do you know--I thought it more like pleurisy?

DR. CARVER (_looks keenly at the nurse to discover if she is making game
of him; speaks pompously_). The nurse, as you have been taught in your
training-school, can have no opinions. Now, the physician--

NURSE (_demurely_). Oh, of course. I wouldn’t have you think I’m
presuming to set up mine. She might have measles, or the grippe, for
anything _I_ should know.

DR. CARVER. Now you speak very properly indeed.

DR. GAZELL (_at bedside of No. 21_). Is the pain more severe on the
right?

PATIENT. I didn’t say I had any pain--now.

DR. GAZELL (_soothingly_). Increasing toward night? Paroxysms? Or is it
steady?

PATIENT. I said I’d got over the pain. That has all gone. It is the
weakness--the deadly weakness.

DR. GAZELL. Just so. That weakness is a most significant symptom--I
think you said it was accompanied by nausea?

PATIENT. No, I didn’t. Not a bit.

DR. GAZELL. Just so. Dr. Carver? Here a moment? (_To the patient._) I’m
sure we can relieve all that. Just a little operation--a very pretty
little operation--would set you right again in a week or two.

DR. CARVER (_coming to the cotside of No. 21; speaks eagerly_). It is
such a beautiful operation! Why, I’ve known patients _beg_ for it,--it
is so beautiful.

PATIENT (_beginning to cry_). Dr. Thorne said there was no need of
anything of the kind.

DR. GAZELL (_stiffening_). Dr. Thorne was an able man--but eccentric.
His professional colleagues did not always agree with him.

_Enter_ DR. THORNE. (_He has wasted since
his last appearance; looks outcast,
wan, and wretched; is splashed with
mud; still hatless; stands at the
lower end of the ward, gazing blindly
about._)

PATIENT NO. 21. Dr. Thorne used to say that if we had better doctors, we
shouldn’t need so many surgeons. He said the true treatment would
prevent half the surgery in the city.

(DR. THORNE _starts, and moves towards the patient_.)

DR. GAZELL (_soothingly_). Yes. Just so. Dr. Thorne had great confidence
in himself.

PATIENT (_rousing_). No more than his patients had in him.

DR. CARVER. Irritable! Very irritable! A significant symptom, Dr.
Gazell. In my opinion, this extreme irritability _demands_ an operation
for appendicitis.

FIRST NURSE (_listening, laughs; addresses_ SECOND NURSE). Now, if one
could only apply that! Take a cross man,--any cross man,--say a brother,
or a husband, or even a doctor, and if he carried it too far, just call
on Dr. Carver. Why, it would revolutionize society. And he is so expert!
He doesn’t mind it any more than carving a _goo_--oose. Yes, sir! I’m
coming. (_Demurely obedient; hurries to_ DR. GAZELL.)

(SECOND NURSE _moves to the rear of the ward to a patient behind a
screen_.)

(DR. THORNE _advances slowly; stands in the middle of the ward,
unnoticed_.)

PATIENT NO. 21 (_louder_). I say, when a man’s dead is the time to speak
for him. And I’ll stand up for my dear dead doctor as long as I live.

VOICE FROM ANOTHER COT. And so would I,--and longer, if I got the
chance.

ANOTHER VOICE. He doesn’t need anybody to stand up for him. His deeds do
follow him. And he rests from his labors.

(DR. THORNE _smiles bitterly; stands with his face towards the speaker.
He knots his hands in front of him, and thus advances with a motion so
slow as to be almost stealthy._)

VOICE FROM ANOTHER COT. He wouldn’t care so much for that. It’s Bible.
He was not a religious man. But he was as _kind to me_! (_Weeps._)

OTHER VOICES. And to me! Oh, yes, and to me,--as _kind_!

PATIENT IN THE WHEELED CHAIR. I couldn’t move in my bed when I came
here. I’d been so three years. Look what he’s done for _me_. (_Sobs._)

DR. THORNE (_in a low tone_). Miss Jessie? Don’t cry so. You’ll make
yourself worse. Go back to bed, Jessie, and--see. I’ll tell you a
secret. Don’t tell the others just yet. I wasn’t killed, Jessie. That
was a newspaper canard. _I’m a live man yet._ See! Look up, Jessie. Look
at me,--can’t you? (_Pleads._) Won’t you, Jessie?

PATIENT IN THE WHEELED CHAIR (_stares past him at_ DR. GAZELL _and_ DR.
CARVER). And to think of the likes of them,--in his place! What ever’ll
become of this hospital without _him_?

DR. THORNE (_with trembling lip_). You don’t hear me, do you, Jessie?
Well--well. I must have met with some cerebral shock affecting the
organs of speech. It is a clear case of aphasia. I can’t make myself
understood. It--it’s hard. Jessie? (_Louder._) I can’t see things go
wrong with _you_,--no matter how it is with me. You’ve been in that
chair long enough for to-day. (_Imperiously._) Jessie, go back to bed!
Stop crying about me, and go back to your bed.

(JESSIE _wavers; shades her eyes with her hands; stares about her;
slowly turns her wheeled chair and moves away_.)

       [_Exit_ JESSIE.

DR. THORNE (_moves more naturally and rapidly; stands by the cot of No.
21; speaks_). Good-morning, Mrs. True. I meant to have seen you last
night. I was--unavoidably detained. I hope you’re not worse this
morning?

PATIENT (_with tears_). I’ve cried half the night.

DR. THORNE. That’s a pity. But you won’t cry any more. I’ll take care of
you now.

PATIENT (_looks up wearily; turns her face on her pillow and sobs_).

DR. THORNE. Clearly aphasia. She does not understand a word I say. Dr.
Gazell! Gazell! Dr. Carver?

(_The two physicians murmur together._)

DR. THORNE. Gazell? What’s that? The knife? For Mrs. True? Excuse me,
but I cannot permit it.

DR. CARVER. It would be such a pretty little operation. The students are
getting restless for something. I told them--

DR. GAZELL. It is well-defined appendicitis.

DR. THORNE. Well-defined appendi--fiddlesticks! It is nothing but
pleurisy. I tell you, Gazell, I will not have it!

DR. GAZELL (_looks around uncomfortably; speaks with hesitation_). Of
course, Thorne would not have agreed with us.

DR. THORNE (_grips_ DR. GAZELL _by the arm_). I tell you it would be
butchery, Gazell! What are you thinking of? _Gazell!_

DR. GAZELL. But he was a very opinionated man,--everybody knew that.

(DR. THORNE _drops_ DR. GAZELL’S _arm and walks away with a gesture of
distress_.)

SECOND NURSE (_to_ FIRST NURSE; _moves out from behind the screen_).
Very invigorating day!

FIRST NURSE (_to_ SECOND NURSE). Father Sullivan’s late with the
Sacrament. I hope Norah, yonder, won’t get ahead of him. She’s ’most
gone. (_Approaching the cot of the patient behind the screen._)

SECOND NURSE (_moves away_). Yes. She’s been unconscious half an hour.

_Enter_ PRIEST. (_He advances to offer Extreme Unction to the dying
patient._)

FIRST NURSE. Lovely morning, Father.

DR. THORNE (_standing in the middle of the ward_). They used to call my
name when I came in. “Oh, there’s the doctor!” “The doctor’s come!” It
ran from cot to cot--like light. And everybody used to smile. Seems to
me some of them blessed me. Now--

(_Sobs from the ward._)

DR. THORNE (_tremulously_). My patients! Isn’t there _one_ of you who
knows me? Doesn’t _any_body hear me? Don’t cry so! All the symptoms
will be worse for it.

THE DYING PATIENT. Doctor? Doctor?

DR. THORNE. That sounds like Norah.

PRIEST (_recites behind the screen at_ NORAH’S _bedside the prayer for
the passing soul_). “Proficiscere, anima Christiana, de hoc mundo, in
nomine Dei Patris omnipotentis, qui te creavit; in nomine Jesu Christi
Filii Dei vivi, qui pro te passus est; in nomine Spiritus Sancti”--

DR. THORNE (_softly_). Thank you, Father. (_Stands silently with bowed
head._)

_Reënter the patient in the wheeled chair._

JESSIE (_happily_). I’ve had such a lovely dream! I thought Dr. Thorne
was here--in this ward. Oh! (_With disappointment._)

DR. THORNE. Jessie!

JESSIE (_sadly_). It was such a lovely dream! (_Droops and turns away._)

(DR. THORNE _walks apart; stands drearily, with downcast eyes_.)

_Enter_ MRS. FAYTH. (_She looks pale and
agitated, but quite happy. She is
dressed as before, for the street, but
her head is bare; is wrapped from
head to foot in her long, pale, dove-colored
opera cape. She goes straight
to_ DR. THORNE, _and touches him upon
the arm; speaks softly_.)

MRS. FAYTH. Doctor?

DR. THORNE (_starts_). Oh! Mary Fayth! You? (_He grasps her hand with
pathetic eagerness._) Oh, I never was so glad! You are the first
person--the only one--nobody else seemed to know me. I might have known
_you_ would. Where’s Helen? Isn’t she with you? And you weren’t hurt at
all, were you? I have been--anxious about you. Those cowardly papers
said--I tried to get right over and see you. And, after all, you’re not
hurt. I thank-- (_Looks around confusedly._) Ah, what shall I thank?

PRIEST. Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

(DR. THORNE _listens with troubled interest, like a child learning a
hard lesson_.)

MRS. FAYTH (_smiling_). I can only stay a minute. I must get back to my
poor Fred.

DR. THORNE. Don’t leave me.

MRS. FAYTH. Oh, poor doctor! Don’t you _see_? The carriage overturned. I
was badly hurt. I only died an hour ago.

DR. THORNE (_gasps, and stares at_ MRS. FAYTH. _He tries to speak, but
can only articulate_). You died an hour ago? And I? And _I_?

MRS. FAYTH (_still smiling, with her sweet, mysterious smile_). Don’t
take it so hard, doctor. I came to ex-plain it to you. Why, it’s the
most beautiful thing in the world! (_Glides away slowly, but smiling to
the last._)

DR. THORNE (_throws up his arms in anguish_). I am dead! My God! _I am a
dead man!_

(_His face falls into his hands, his whole body collapses slowly, he
drops._)


END OF SCENE I.


SCENE II.

It is night on a street in the West End of the city.
At the right stands a church, dimly lighted for a choir
to practice. An anthem on the organ can be heard.
At the left appears Dr. Thorne’s house, viewed from
the outside. It has high stone steps, and lights are
in the window. One window on the ground floor has
the curtain raised. The interior of the library can be
seen through the window,--glimpses of the books, the
pictures, the table, the lamp with the white lace shade.
The room is empty. Into it--

_Enter_ MRS. THORNE. (_She is dressed in
deep black. Her face is drawn with
grief. Her hands are clasped in front
of her. She paces the room drearily.
She is alone. She seats herself by the
table; tries to read; lays the book
down, and rises; paces the room._)

       [_Exit_ MRS. THORNE.

_Enter_ DR. THORNE _at the far end of the
street near the church. (He is dressed
as before. He is still pale. His manner
has increased in agitation, but a
new resolution gives more firmness to
his wasted countenance. He speaks,
meditatively._)

DR. THORNE. After all, there _is_ another life. I really did not think
it. (_Stops and passes his hand over his eyes; muses._) God knows--if
there is a God--how it is with me. If I have never done anything, or
been anything, or felt anything that was fit to _last_, I have loved one
woman, and her only--and thought high thoughts for her, and felt great
emotions for her, and I could forget myself for her sake--and I would
have had joy to suffer for her, and I’ve been a better man for love of
her. And I have loved her,--oh, I have so loved her that ten thousand
deaths could not murder that living love! (_Falters._) And I spoke to
her--I said to her--like any low and brutal fellow, any common
wife-tormentor--I went from her dear presence to _this_. (_Brokenly._)
... And here there is neither speech nor language. Neither earth nor
heaven, nor my love ... nor my shame ... can give my famished eyes the
sight of her dear face,--nor my sealed lips the power to say, Forgive!

(_The organ can be heard from the church._)

DR. THORNE (_without noticing the anthem_). I will not bear it. No--no.
I _will_ not! I _will_ go to her! (_Starts to rush up the street, whose
familiar precincts he seems for the first time to recognize._) Why,
there is my own house! She can’t be two rods away. I wonder if a dead
man can get into his own home? _Helen?_ (_His feet lag heavily; he moves
like one who is wading in water. He makes the motions of one who
withstands a strong blast or an invisible force. He is beaten back.
Suddenly he raves._) You are playing with me! You torture a miserable
man. Who and what are you? Show me what I have to fight, and let me
wrestle for my liberty! Though I am a ghost, let me wrestle like a man!
Let me to my wife! Give way and let me seek her! (_Slowly recedes, as if
beaten back; bows his head. The man sobs._)

CHOIR FROM THE CHURCH (_chant_).

    “God is a Spirit.
     God is a Spirit.
     And they that worship Him”--

(_Choir breaks off. The organ sounds on._)

(DR. THORNE _seems to listen, but with a kind of anger. He slowly
recedes, as if pushed back._)

       [_Exit_ DR. THORNE.

_Enter the_ Veiled Woman. (_She stands
mutely and wretchedly. Watches the
house. Wrings her hands, but makes
no sound._)

_Enter_ MRS. THORNE. (_Within the house;
can be seen plainly from the street
through the window. She advances
and draws the shade still higher;
stands close to the window, pressing
her hands against the sides of her
eyes; looks out._)

(_The_ Veiled Woman _shrinks at the sight of_ MRS. THORNE.)

       [_Exit the_ Woman.

_Reënter_ DR. THORNE _at the other end of the street_. (_He speaks
shrewdly._) It is nearer at this end. And perhaps, if I didn’t have to
get by that church-- (_Hurries up opposite the house. Suddenly he sees
her._) Oh, there’s Helen! God! It is my wife. I--see--my--wife.
(_Brokenly._) Dear Helen! (_Pushes toward the house. At the foot of his
own steps he falters and falls, still as if beaten back. He struggles as
a man would struggle for his life. The veins stand out on his face and
on his clinched hands. He cries out._) I’m coming, Helen! It is only I,
my girl. Don’t be frightened, dear! I wonder would she be afraid of me?
Perhaps it would shock her. Live people and dead people don’t seem to
understand each other. But I’ll risk it. Helen would go alone and lie
down alive in a grave at midnight, and never look over her shoulder--if
she thought she could see _me_. I know Helen. I’ll try again. (_He
pushes and urges his way onward. But the invisible Power restrains him,
as before. He stretches his arms towards the lighted window._) Here I
am, Helen! I can’t get any farther, somehow.... Come and open the door
for me, my girl,--the way you used to do. Won’t you, Helen? With the boy
in your arms? Perhaps if _you_ opened the door,--I could get in. I ...
(_After a silence._) I won’t stay very long. I won’t trouble you any,
Helen. I know I don’t belong there any more. I won’t intrude.
(_Wistfully._) Helen! I was cruel to you. I have been ashamed of myself.
I thought if I could get in long enough to say-- (_Reflects._) Mary
Fayth went back to see _Fred_. Nothing prevented her--

(MRS. THORNE _throws open the window. Leans out and looks about._)

(MAGGIE _is seen moving about the lighted room_.)

(_People in the street pass._)

(MRS. THORNE _hastily shuts the window_.)

DR. THORNE (_piteously_). Helen!

(_The organ sounds from the church._)

DR. THORNE (_turns suddenly, as if turning on an antagonist_). What art
Thou that dost withstand me? I am a dead and helpless man. _What_
wouldst Thou with me? _Where_ gainest Thou thy force upon me? Art Thou
verily that ancient Myth that men were wont to call Almighty God? (_He
lifts his face to the sky; holds up his hands as if he held up a
question or an argument._)

CHOIR FROM THE CHURCH:--

    “God is a Spirit.
     God is a Spirit.
     They that worship Him
     Must worship Him in Spirit”--

MAGGIE (_opens the door. The lighted hall is seen behind_). There’s
nobody here, Mrs. Thorne.

(MRS. THORNE, _wearing a slight, white shawl which falls from her as she
moves, comes to the open door; motions_ MAGGIE _away_.)

       [_Exit_ MAGGIE.

MRS. THORNE (_softly_). Esmerald? He might be out there in the dark. Who
knows what spirits do? Esmerald? Would God that I had died for you! Oh,
my dear!

DR. THORNE. _Helen!_

MRS. THORNE. If he were there he would answer me if it cost him his
living soul.

DR. THORNE. Helen, I answer you, for I _am_ a living soul. _Helen!_ (_He
struggles mightily; crawls up the steps, reaches with the tips of his
fingers the fringe of her white shawl, which has fallen down the steps,
and lies there unnoticed._) Helen, look down! _Down._ (_He clutches the
white fringe to his lips. He kisses it wildly._)

(MRS. THORNE _lifts her face to the sky_.)

DR. THORNE. I can’t get any higher,--not any nearer, dear.

MRS. THORNE. There is no one here. (_Weeping._) There is nothing here.
(_She shuts the door slowly and reluctantly; remembers the shawl, which
she draws in with her._)

(DR. THORNE _clings to the shawl in vain. Moaning, he kisses the
doorsteps of his own home where the garment had touched them._)


END OF SCENE II.


SCENE III.

A narrow defile or pass between high mountains.
The light is dim. The pass winds irregularly, and is
often rough, but is always upwards. The scenery is
unearthly. No sign of life is to be seen. A distant
storm can be heard.

_Enter_ DR. THORNE (_slowly, holding a
staff; he is robed in purple, a flowing
garment, not unlike a talith or a toga.
His face, still pale, is heavily lined;
but more with anxiety than with resentment;
its expression is somewhat
softer. He speaks_).

DR. THORNE. I wonder what is to be done with me next? I see no
particular reason for climbing these mountains. There seems to be
nothing for a dead man to do but to obey orders. Well (_candidly_), I’ve
given my share of them in my time. I suppose it’s fair enough to turn
about and take a few--now. (_He smiles. After a pause, climbing
slowly._) I must say I can’t call this an attractive country--so far.
Its main features are not genial.

(_The storm increases; there is thunder and cloud._)

DR. THORNE (_looking about_). It seems to be in the cyclonic belt.
There’s a storm of some sort,--I should say two of them fighting up in
these hills. Hear them close and clinch! Like a man’s two natures;
civil war all the time. And no truce! (_Muses._) It’s not a social
region, certainly. I don’t know that I recall, really, ever being in a
place that was so desolate. There isn’t so much as a wild animal, nor a
bird flying over. It reminds me of--what was it? I can’t recall the
words. It seems to me my mother taught them to me when I was a little
lad. But they have quite gone. Beautiful literature in that old Book!
It’s a good while since I’ve dipped into it. I’ve had too much to do.
What was it?

    “Though I walk--When I walk”--

(_He breaks off; climbs stoutly. The storm darkens down. For the first
time_ DR. THORNE’S _face expresses something like alarm. He looks about
like a man who would call for help, but is too proud to do so. He
speaks._)

This is really growing serious. I wish I could remember those words. Now
I think of it, we were on our knees. A most unnatural posture! My
mother was a sweet saint,--rest her pure spirit! (_It lightens as he
says this._)

VOICES FROM BEYOND (_softly chanting_).

    “And when I’m lost in deep despair
       Be thou with me....
     Until life’s daylight ended be,
     Be thou with me, with me.”

DR. THORNE (_lifts his head to listen_). There’s a good musical taste in
this country, at all events. That’s something. What were those words?
Ah, I have it.

    “Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow
              Thou shalt be with me.”

It went in some such way. (_Repeats perplexedly._)

    “_Thou_ shalt be with me?”

(_Sadly._) A beautiful superstition.

(_The storm comes on heavily, with darkness and lightning. Through the
gloom his solitary form can be seen manfully climbing. He exhibits no
panic, but his evident bewilderment grows upon him. He mutters._)

The desolation of desolations! I shall be glad when I get out of it.
What solitude! Of all the people I have known--dead or living--there is
not one to stay by me.

VOICES FROM BEYOND.

    “Be Thou near him!”

_Enter, on the pass above him, a young
girl repeating prayers on a rosary.
She is a plain, unattractive girl, folded
in a dull gray gown that wraps her
loosely. Her face is earnest and devout._

DR. THORNE. Why, Norah!

NORAH (_looking back_). Oh, it is the Doctor.

DR. THORNE. I can’t overtake you, Norah.

NORAH. And I’ve only died the day.

DR. THORNE. But you’ve got the start of me, Norah. You are higher up. I
am glad to see you, Norah (_eagerly_). But I can’t reach you.

NORAH (_holds down her hand_). Come up, Doctor! Come up! I’ll help you,
Doctor.

DR. THORNE (_gratefully_). Thank you, Norah.

NORAH. It’s to Purrgatory I’d be goin’. But you’re the herretic, Doctor.
Which way do you be goin’?

DR. THORNE (_shakes his head_). I don’t know, Norah. You are wiser than
I am--in this foreign place.

NORAH (_holds down her hand_). The dear Doctor! Ye were that kind to me,
Doctor,--at the hospital, and forninst the house where I was worrkin’.
It’s niver a cint I had to pay yez for yer thruble. If I’d been a pretty
lady with a purrse of gold, ye never could have put yerself about more
than ye did for the likes of me. It’s not meself that would have died
the day if _you’d_ been there. Doctor? Would yez mind, if I
should--bless you, Doctor? There’s kindness onto kindness, and mercy
goin’ after mercy that ye did me, all hidin’ in a poor girrl’s heart to
rise and meet you here. I was sick an’ ye did visit me.

DR. THORNE (_melting_). When did I ever show you all that kindness,
Norah? I don’t remember--

NORAH. And I don’t forget. Take my hand, now, Doctor, do. It must be
lonesome down below there by yersel’. (_Touches her rosary. Her lips
move in prayer._)

DR. THORNE (_climbing on, grasps_ NORAH’S _hand_). Thank you, Norah
(_gently_).

(_There is a lull in the storm. It grows lighter._)

(DR. THORNE _and the Irish girl climb on together silently_.)

(_It brightens at the brow of the mountain. Dim outlines of figures are
faintly seen at the summit. They waver, and melt away._)

DR. THORNE (_gradually loosening his hold of_ NORAH’S _hand, speaks, but
not to_ NORAH, _bitterly_). Now stop a moment. Where will all this end?
Rebelling, I obey; and obeying, I rebel. I am become what we used to
call a spirit. And this is what it means! Better might one become a
molecule, for those at least express the Laws of the Universe, and do
not suffer. I don’t incline to go any higher. (_Drops back._) Every step
is taking me further away from my wife.

NORAH (_anxiously_). Doctor? Doctor! (_She climbs on, but looks back,
beckoning._)

DR. THORNE (_pays no attention to_ NORAH. _Retraces his steps down the
narrow path_). Come what may, I _will_ not go any further from Helen.
I’ll perish first, in this unearthly place. (_He continues to descend;
stands lost in thought. The storm darkens round him, but lightens beyond
him. At the summit dim outlines can be seen again. These brighten
faintly._)

(NORAH _reaches her arms towards them; climbs on_.)

DR. THORNE. It was something to be in the same world with Helen.
(_Muses._) Oh, hot in my anger I went from her. And cold, indeed, did I
return. (_Still descending._) I will go back. I will get as near the old
system of things as I can. I will not put another span of space between
myself and Helen. Poor, poor girl!

(DR. THORNE, _doggedly descending, does not look up_.)

(_White-robed forms at the summit brighten. Arms are stretched downwards
through a mist. Hands beckon. One of them reaches down and clasps_
NORAH’S _hand; draws her up_.)

NORAH (_looking back_). Doctor!

(NORAH _vanishes_.)

(_The pass grows dark. Figures at the summit dim._)

(_Enter, from a darkness in the mountains,
the_ Woman _in flame-color. Her ashen
mantle is now thrown back, but still
clings to her. She stands mournfully
regarding_ DR. THORNE. _She does not
address him, but slowly extends her
arms._)

(DR. THORNE _does not observe the_ Woman. _She does not obtrude herself
upon his attention._)

[_Exit the_ Woman _into the darkness
whence she came_.

DR. THORNE (_with frowning face descends; he murmurs_). And a few days
ago I was troubled because I had lost a few thousand _dollars_ in Santa
Ma.... I saved up _money_! (_Scornfully._) I would accumulate a
_fortune_. Oh, the whole of it, ten hundred thousand-fold the whole of
it, for one hour in a dead man’s desolated home! (_Pushes downwards,
suddenly and silently._)

_Enter_ AZRAEL, ANGEL OF DEATH. (_The
pass blackens. The mountain summit
is wrapped in darkness._)

(AZRAEL _stands tall and resplendent. He is a white-robed figure, winged
and powerful. The light falls only upon_ AZRAEL _and upon the man. It
can be seen that this gleam comes from a sword held in the hand of the
Angel. Without a word he lifts the flaming sword, and with it bars the
narrow pass from side to side._)

DR. THORNE (_in a ringing voice_). Azrael!

(AZRAEL _does not reply_.)

DR. THORNE (_under his breath_). Azrael, Angel of Death! (_Falls back._)

(_The two figures confront each other in silence._ DR. THORNE
_desperately flings himself towards the Angel. Without a touch he is
beaten back._ AZRAEL _stands immovable. His face grows solemn with
pity._ DR. THORNE _retreats; advances again; raises his staff, and
strikes it upon the Angel’s sword. The staff flames up, burns, and drops
to ashes on the ground._)

(DR. THORNE _recedes a few steps; shades his eyes with his hands;
regards the Angel blindly; wavers, turns. Slowly, with bent figure, he
weakly reascends the mountain; stumbles and falls; regains his footing;
climbs on alone, and now without his staff; does not look back._)

(AZRAEL _stands immovable, with drawn sword_.)

VOICES FROM BEYOND (_sing so softly that they seem rather to be
breathing than singing_):--

    “The night is dark, and I am far from home,
           Lead Thou me on ...
     O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
           The night is gone,
     And with the morn those angel faces smile,
     Which I have loved long since, and lost a while.”

(_As they sing the summit mellows slowly. No figures appear. At the brow
of the mountain a single gleam of light pierces the gloom. It brightens
rather than broadens. It has the color of dawn._)

(AZRAEL _fades away, the sword vanishing last_.)

(DR. THORNE _climbs up, with eyes lifted towards the light on the
summit, which strikes his face and figure_.)

AS THE VOICES SING:--

    “And with the morn those angel faces smile,
     Which I have loved long since, and lost a while.”



END OF ACT II.



ACT III.


SCENE I.

_Paradise_: A beautiful country. Trees, flowers,
shrubs, vines of great luxuriance abound. Brilliant
birds of unfamiliar plumage can be heard singing in
the boughs. They dip, blazing, through the air. The
grass is bright, and like short fur in effect. The
sheen of water, like the surface of a lake or sea, glimmers
beyond. Sails of faint, fair tints, move and
melt upon the sea. At a distance, upon a hill, are
outlines of graceful architecture. A narrow brook
can be seen, with strange shells upon its little banks.
There are no highways visible. Foot-worn walks and
paths, trodden through the grass, intersperse the
landscape. The grass, however, springs afresh beneath
the foot, and is not crushed or sear. Annunciation
lilies and scarlet passion-flowers grow in the
foreground. Bluebells, in clusters, spring beyond.
Roses are many. Flowers unknown to the botanies
of earth are frequent; and among those to which we
are used, it will be noticed that the blossoms of the
tropics and of the North countries flourish side by
side. The whole impression is one of delight and
beauty. The sky has a misty softness, and the atmosphere
is capable of taking on (and takes on) sudden
and subtle changes of effect. It is now seen to be
early morning, and all the tints of the landscape are
tender and fresh.

The scene is populous with _bright beings_. These
are seen to differ from the people of this planet chiefly
in their joyousness of manner, and in a certain high
expression, of which it might be said, in a word, that
the absence of low motive, and the presence of a sense
of ease and security, are the predominant features.
These beings wear flowing robes of various tints--dove,
rose, blue, corn, violet, silver, gold, and pearl.
Here and there one appears garbed in the color of the
pale leaf, and, in moving among the foliage, seems
to have sprung from it. Many spirits are clothed in
shining white. Happy conversation and gentle laughter
can be heard.

_Enter_ Two Children. _These play in the
brook, and gather the shells. They are
robed in short, childish garments--a
little frock, a little dress, both white,
and each clasped by a small, golden
cross._

FIRST CHILD (_a boy, four or five years old_). I never saw such pretty
shells in that other place we lived. They took me to the seaside
summers, but there weren’t any there that began to be so pretty.

SECOND CHILD (_a girl_). _I_ never played with _any_ shells before. We
lived in a street. It was dark and dirty. I never saw the sea till I
came here.

FIRST CHILD. I never saw you in that other place, did I?

SECOND CHILD. No. You wouldn’t have played with me there.

FIRST CHILD. I like you here--don’t I?

SECOND CHILD. And I like you. I like you best of anybody I’ve seen in
this pretty country.

FIRST CHILD. Do you like roses? Or don’t you care for anything but
shells?

SECOND CHILD (_adoringly_). I like roses, if you like roses.

(_They leave the brook, and gather roses, pelting each other with them,
and laughing merrily._)

(FIRST CHILD _tosses a rose over the brook_.)

(SECOND CHILD _picks a bluebell, and puts it to her lips_.)

FIRST CHILD. No. They’re not to eat. They’re to listen to. See! I’ll
ring mine. Hark! (_He rings the bluebell. It gives out a musical
tintinnabulation._) Now, you hark again. I never heard a bluebell ring
in that other place, did you?

SECOND CHILD. I never saw one on our street.... Oh, _mine_ rings,
too!... Say! Are these angels? I never saw an angel either, in our
street.

(The Children _wander away and mingle with the groups of spirits. They
ring the bluebells as they go. The tintinnabulation is drowned in
orchestral music, which can be heard from a distance. The theme is from
Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. Certain of the spirits listen attentively,
and move towards the music. Certain others continue to talk happily, and
stir among the trees._)

_Enter_ DR. THORNE. (_Walks slowly and
alone. He is robed still in purple,
with a tunic of white showing at the
throat. He looks pallid and harassed.
He stands for a time apart,
keenly observant of the scene and of
the people, then sinks in thought. He
speaks._)

DR. THORNE. Children here, too?

(_He looks wistfully at the two children, who are playing together at a
distance from him. He picks up the rose which the little boy had tossed
over the brook; puts it to his face; speaks._)

DR. THORNE. What a perfume the flowers have in this country! This seems
to be a rose, yet it is not a rose. You might call it the soul of a
rose. Exquisite, whatever it is. Some one has dropped this one. There is
personality clinging to it. Curious! It is as though I clasped a little
hand when I touch it.

(_He sighs; walks to and fro thoughtfully; does not throw away the rose,
but cherishes it. Groups of spirits pass and repass. Some of them smile
at him kindly, but he does not return the smile. No one addresses
him._)

DR. THORNE. I have done my share of traveling in my day, but I must say
I never was in a land that seems to me so foreign as this. Nothing looks
natural. I seem to have no acquaintances. Apparently nobody knows me. I
have no introductions. I am afraid I have got here without letters of
credit. (_Breaks off._) That was a mistake. I never did such an ignorant
thing before. I must say it is an attractive country, too. Everything
shows a high degree of civilization, and the beauty of the place is
unsurpassed. But it does not appeal to me. (_He shakes his head._) ... I
am too homesick.... If Helen were here, I could enjoy it.

(_He strolls about without aim or interest. Happy spirits pass and
repass._)

_Enter a man-spirit of impressive and
commanding appearance. His costume
bears a certain vague resemblance
to the dress of a gentleman and scholar
of the Court of Charles I. of England.
A cloak of the tint of the dead
oak-leaf is clasped across his breast
by a golden cross. He regards_ DR.
THORNE _with a piercing but kindly
look. He speaks with a fine and
courtly manner, dating from a bygone
age._

THE MAN-SPIRIT. I read thee for a stranger here.

DR. THORNE (_bitterly_). A stranger in a strange place am I, indeed. You
are the first inhabitant of this country who has troubled himself to
speak to me. Thank you for your politeness, sir.

THE MAN-SPIRIT. I was commanded. These (_waving his hand toward the
groups of spirits_) were not.

DR. THORNE. You look like a person more fitted to give commands than to
receive them. I fail to understand that word--_commanded_. I am--at
least, I was--a sovereign citizen of America. I was not born or trained
a subject.

THE MAN-SPIRIT (_smiling_). And I was subject of an English
sovereign--in fact, an officer of the royal court.

DR. THORNE (_without smiling_). And this nation? Is it an autocratic
monarchy you have here? What _is_ your political system?

THE MAN-SPIRIT. It is a simple one--a pure theocracy.

DR. THORNE (_indifferently_). Oh, theocracy? That is a system into which
I have never studied. I have been a busy man. I was a
physician-- (_Abruptly._) Would you favor me with your name?

THE MAN-SPIRIT. I was a healer of the sick in my time. My name
was-- (_Whispers his name._)

DR. THORNE (_starts with pleased surprise_). The great _Harvey_? And
_you_ discovered the circulation of the blood? How wonderful! Why, I
thought you had been mould and clover these two hundred and fifty
years! It never occurred to me that you were alive.... What an
extraordinary fact!

HARVEY (_turns away wearily_). I did not think to find your education so
limited. I understood you to be a man of superior powers.

DR. THORNE (_humbly_). Don’t leave me, Doctor Harvey! I am the most
unhappy man in this most happy country.

HARVEY (_slowly_). Then you did not bring with you the materials of
happiness. What had you? What _were_ your possessions in the life
yonder?

DR. THORNE (_solemnly, but still bitterly_). Love, happiness, home,
health, prosperity, fame, wealth, ambition. None of them did I bring
with me. I have lost them all upon the way.

HARVEY. Was there by chance nothing else?

DR. THORNE. Nothing more, unless you count a little incidental
usefulness.

HARVEY. Plainly, you are not in a normal condition.

DR. THORNE (_hastily_). I am perfectly well.

HARVEY. You are sick of soul. You are not in health of spirit. You are
out of harmony with your atmosphere. Do you wish me to take the case?

DR. THORNE. Take the case, Doctor Harvey. Cure me of my nostalgia. Show
me how to become a citizen of this foreign land.

HARVEY. You know what it means to be a patient.

DR. THORNE (_grimly_). I can think of no worse fate; but I’ll make the
best of it.

HARVEY (_smiling kindly_). I will undertake the case. At evening inquire
your way to my dwelling. (_Moves away; returns; hesitates; lingers;
speaks impulsively._) Concerning the latest attainments in science on
the planet Earth--they have the keenest interest for me. You have so
many advantages--facilities that we never had. (_He sighs wistfully._) I
am told that your therapeutics are really wonderful. And the advances in
surgery? Did you find them as beautiful as they are said to be?

_Enter a newly arrived woman-spirit. She
is still pale, but has a happy expression.
She recognizes_ DR. THORNE;
_cries eagerly_.

WOMAN-SPIRIT. Doctor! Doctor Thorne!

HARVEY. Here comes some of your incidental usefulness. That is a good
symptom. (_He moves away, still smiling._)

       [_Exit_ HARVEY.

DR. THORNE. Why, Mrs. True! (_Grasps her hand joyfully._) You are the
first person I have seen--the first one I knew! But (_reflecting_) what
has happened to you? How did you get here?

MRS. TRUE. I died yesterday.... I knew I should see you, Doctor.
(_Calmly._) I counted on that.

DR. THORNE (_starting back_). Did they--you don’t mean to say they
really operated on you? You were convalescent!

MRS. TRUE (_laughing outright_). Yes, in a week after you were killed.
Dr. Carver vivisected guinea-pigs all that week to keep in practice. I
died under the knife.... I wish you’d seen their faces!

DR. THORNE (_eagerly_). What did they find--anything to justify the
butchery?

MRS. TRUE. Of course not. Didn’t you say there wasn’t?

DR. THORNE (_gratefully_). You always were a loyal patient--better than
I deserved.

MRS. TRUE. You always were a kind doctor--better than I deserved.

DR. THORNE. And they slaughtered you in my hospital!

MRS. TRUE (_hurrying on_). Have you seen my husband? Do you know where
my mother is? I lost a baby twenty years ago. I want to see the little
thing. And oh? when can I see--?

(_She breaks off, with a devout expression, and moves away; joins the
upper group of spirits. Two of these can be seen to meet and embrace
her, and lead her on._)

       [_Vanish_ MRS. TRUE.

_Enter_ JERRY, _the loafer, hurriedly and
stumbling. His robe is of dull blue,
something in the fashion of a smock-frock,
or butcher’s blouse._

JERRY (_staring about him stupidly, and with a kind of social
embarrassment, as if he had been suddenly introduced into a
drawing-room_). Div-niver a cint in me pocket, and me hoofin’ it in this
quaer counthree. (_Scratches his head, and mutters unintelligibly._) ...
I wondher where the ... sinsible saints I’m at.

DR. THORNE (_steps forward; speaks_). Why, Jerry! How are you, Jerry?
(_Holds out his hand heartily._)

JERRY (_staring_). Sinsible saints, and silly sinners! Doctor Thorne?...
Why, I thought you was dead. Hilloa, Doctor! (_Grasps the doctor’s hand,
and shakes it violently. Then meditatively._) Ye took a t’orn out av me
eye onct, and div-niver a cint did ye charrge for ’t.

DR. THORNE. What are you doing here, Jerry? How did you get here?

JERRY. I was knocked down by a blame bicycle underneat’ a murdherin’
trolley car. Nixt I know I don’t know nothin’, an’ now, behold me, I’m
let loose loafin’ in this quaer counthree.

DR. THORNE. Not drunk, were you, Jerry?

JERRY (_shaking his head gravely_). I shwore off, Doctor. I shwore off
t’ree years ago. Me little gurrl she give me no repose till I shwore
off.... She died jist av the hospittle, did me little gurrl.... Say,
Doctor, do ye know what’s the thramp laws in this counthree?

       _Enter_ NORAH _hastily_.

NORAH. Doctor--Doctor Thorne? Have you seen--oh, there he is! There’s me
father! Why, Father, Father dear! (_Caresses_ JERRY _affectionately_.)

JERRY. Och! wisha, wisha! Norah, me darlint! (_Returns her caresses
tenderly._) What luck for the likes of us arrivin’ emigrants thegither
in this agra-able counthree!

NORAH (_puts her arm in his_). Come yonder wid me, Father. (_Draws him
away._)

JERRY (_looks back over his shoulder at_ DR. THORNE). Is it to
confession we do be goin’, Norah?--the wan av us arrivin’ be way of a
murdherin’ doctor, and the wan be way av a murdherin’ trolley! I’m
thinkin’, sir, it’s niver a cint to choose bechune.

       [_Exeunt_ JERRY _and_ NORAH.

DR. THORNE (_watches their departure drearily; turns, and walks feebly
towards the brook; speaks_). Now I think of it, I have not tasted food
or drink since I have been in this place. I believe I am downright
faint.

(_Drinks water from the brook in the palm of his hand; sinks beneath the
low boughs of a tree on thick moss. His head falls upon his arm. From a
distance, and from a height, slowly moving downwards, over the beautiful
landscape, robed in cream white, and unseen by_ DR. THORNE,

       _Enter_ MRS. FAYTH.

_As she approaches, it can be seen that her robe also is clasped across
the breast by a little golden cross._)

SPIRITS BEYOND (_softly chant the Te Deum_).

    “We praise Thee, O God: we acknowledge Thee to be
       the Lord”--

(_Midway of the landscape, and playing merrily_,)

       _Enter the_ Two Children.

FIRST CHILD (_running to_ MRS. FAYTH). Oh, here I am! (_He clasps her
hand; clings to her affectionately._)

MRS. FAYTH (_to_ Second Child). Run yonder and play, Maidie.

(Second Child _obeys prettily, and joins the spirits above_. MRS. FAYTH
_and the_ First Child _move slowly to the front of the landscape_.)

THE CHILD. See that poor man under the tree! I think he’s a hungry
man--don’t you?

(_He breaks away from_ MRS. FAYTH, _and runs to_ DR. THORNE; _examines
the exhausted man attentively, bending forward with his hands on his
little knees_. MRS. FAYTH _advances slowly, with her mysterious smile;
she does not speak_.)

THE CHILD (_touches_ DR. THORNE _timidly; after a silence speaks,
ceremoniously_). Would you like a peach, or do you like plums instead?
I’ll pick you one.

DR. THORNE (_arousing_). Who spoke to me? Oh, it is a child. (_Sinks
back feebly._)

(The Child _gathers some fruit from the trees, and brings water from the
brook in the cup of an annunciation lily, which holds the liquid
perfectly; offers the food and drink to the exhausted man_. MRS. FAYTH,
_still unseen by_ DR. THORNE, _stands quite near, nodding and smiling
at_ The Child. The Child _looks to her for encouragement and
direction_.)

DR. THORNE (_reviving_). Thank you, my little man. (_Leans on his elbow,
and gazes steadfastly at_ The Child; _rises to a sitting posture_.)

THE CHILD (_creeps nearer to_ DR. THORNE, _and, after a moment’s
hesitation, throws his little length full on the moss at the man’s feet,
and scrutinizes him seriously, putting his chin into his hand as he does
so; speaks sympathetically_). Do you feel better now?

DR. THORNE. Much better. You’re a thoughtful little fellow.

THE CHILD. Our breakfasts grow all cooked here. This is a nice country.

DR. THORNE (_still gazing steadfastly at_ The Child). Where is your
mother, my lad?

THE CHILD. I don’t know. I lost her on the way, somewhere.

DR. THORNE. And your father? What has become of your father?

THE CHILD. Oh, _he’s_ dead. He got dead before I came here.

MRS. FAYTH (_moves within_ DR. THORNE’S _range of vision_; _speaks
quietly_). Good-morning, Doctor. (_Smiles brightly._)

DR. THORNE (_springs to his feet; cries out_). Mary Fayth! I thought you
had forgotten me! I have--needed you.

(The Child _rises; leans up against_ DR. THORNE’S _knee confidingly_.)

MRS. FAYTH. I have often needed _you_, Doctor. And you never failed me
once.

DR. THORNE (_impetuously_). I thought you would have come before. I
looked for you--

MRS. FAYTH. As I have often looked for _you_. But I was not commanded to
meet you--till this very minute.

DR. THORNE. Commanded? Commanded? There is that singular phrase again.
Have you seen Helen? (_Quickly._)

MRS. FAYTH (_shakes her head_). Not yet.

DR. THORNE. Have you seen your husband? Did they let _you_ go to
_Fred_?

MRS. FAYTH (_contentedly_). Oh, many times.

THE CHILD (_interrupting_). He doesn’t kiss me! (_Puts up his lips in a
grieved, babyish fashion._)

MRS. FAYTH (_very quietly_). Doctor, don’t hurt that child’s feelings.
He’s yours.

DR. THORNE (_gasping_). I don’t understand you!

MRS. FAYTH. I have had the care of him since he came here. He’s kept me
busy, I can tell you. I am to give him over to you now.... See how he’s
grown! No wonder you didn’t know him.

DR. THORNE (_in great agitation_). Did Laddie _die_?

MRS. FAYTH (_solemnly_). Yes, Laddie died.

DR. THORNE. Did something really ail him that night--that most miserable
night?... Oh, poor Helen! Poor, poor Helen! (_His face falls into his
hands. His frame shakes with soundless, tearless sobs._)

LADDIE (_creeps into his lap; lays his head on his father’s neck_).
Hilloa, Papa! (_Pats his father on the cheek._)

[_Exit_ MRS. FAYTH _silently, with emotion_.

DR. THORNE (_raises his head, showing his stormy face. Clasps the child,
hesitatingly at first, then passionately; holds him off at arm’s length;
scans him closely; draws him back; kisses his little hands, then his
face; clasps him again_). My little son! Papa’s little boy! My son! My
little son! (_Smiles naturally for the first time since he died; then
with sudden recollection, he cries out._) Oh, what will your poor mother
do without you?

LADDIE. You homesick, Papa?

DR. THORNE. My little son! (_Caresses the child with a touching
timidity, broken by bursts of wild affection. The child responds warmly,
laughing for joy._)



       END OF SCENE I.


SCENE II.

Dull daylight falls upon a wide and desolate expanse.
This has the appearance of a desert--unbroken and
arid. The horizon is low and heavy with cloud, and
is defined by a tossing sea-line against which no sail
appears. In the distance are cliffs, fissured by dark
cuts, but these are far away, and the foreground is
flat like sand or ashes, or it might be corrugated like
slag. There is no vegetation visible, and no sign of
organized life.

_Enter_ DR. THORNE. (_He paces the sands,
mournfully gazing about him at the
lonely scenery. He murmurs, then
raises his voice rhythmically, like one
who quotes from an uncertain memory._)

DR. THORNE.

“A life as hollow as the echo in a cave
 Hid in the heart of an unpeopled world.”

Where did I get that? Oh, I remember. I had not thought of it for years.
That woman used to quote it to me. She was the most consistent infidel I
ever knew. She shied at nothing; took the consequences, both living and
dying.... A shocking death, though! I suppose the boy is all right with
Mrs. Fayth and that little chum of his. If it hadn’t been for that
discussion with Harvey I shouldn’t have left him. Wishing seems to be
doing, in this singular state of existence. A man makes a simple
astronomical inquiry about a planet, and forthwith he is in the planet.
Remarkable! (_Breaks off; continues._) How magnificent Helen was about
that affair. If she had doubted me--but she never did. She was superb.

_Enter an_ EVIL SPIRIT. _Her garments
are of flame color. Her hair has the
same tint. On her forehead blazes a
single scarlet star. Her appearance
is queenly and confident. As she reveals
her face, it is seen to be that of
the woman whose wraith has followed_
DR. THORNE _at intervals ever since
the hour of his death. Her robe,
which is opaque, reveals her bare
arms and feet, but covers her shoulders
and bosom with a certain modesty,
which is felt at once to be not
wholly natural to the woman. Each
footprint that she makes upon the
sand is marked by a small jet of
flame, which flares after she has
passed, and dies down quickly._ DR.
THORNE _stares at the woman in evident
and not well-pleased perplexity_.

THE WOMAN (_speaks_). So? Am I forgotten on first principles? It is some
years since we had the pleasure of meeting.

DR. THORNE (_coldly_). I begin to recognize you, Madam.

CLEO. You did not know it, but I have given you several other
opportunities to do so since you died.

DR. THORNE. I should think that quite possible--and characteristic.

CLEO (_wincing_). Your tongue has not lost its edge! I’m afraid they
have not made a hopeful convert of you in yonder pious country....
Confess, you’re bored past endurance with the whole thing? (_She draws a
little nearer to him, but is so adroit as not to touch him. She gives
him only her eyes, and these embrace him outright._)

DR. THORNE (_regarding her steadily_). Did I ever choose _you_ for a
confidante? (_He steps back._)

CLEO (_persistently_). Come, don’t be cross! Tell me, then, why have you
fled the first circles of celestial society--to mope out here alone? Oh,
you can’t deceive me. _I_ understand--I always understood you better
than any other woman living. (_In a low tone._) Your whole nature is in
antagonism with the very basis of existence in the state you’re plunged
into. What’s death? Nothing but a footstep. You’ve taken it. But you’re
the man you were.... Pouf! _That’s_ death. (_Snaps her fingers._) I’d
wager a waltz and a kiss that you are _ennuyé_ to madness over
there.... Admit it? (_Tenderly._) Admit it! (_Imperiously._)

DR. THORNE (_uneasily_). I don’t profess to be thoroughly acclimated.
But I assure you I did not come here to sulk. On the contrary, I was
absorbingly interested in a scientific discussion with a distinguished
man. It was an astronomical point. I came here to verify it. I return at
once. (_Moves away._)

CLEO. Don’t be in such a blatant hurry! It’s not polite. (_Pouting._)
I’ve studied a little astronomy myself of late.... Come! I can converse
about planets--if you will. Was it Neptune or Venus you undertook to
investigate?

DR. THORNE (_not without interest_). I contended that it was
Neptune--before I came.

CLEO. And now?

DR. THORNE (_gloomily gazing at her_). I am inclined to think it is
Venus.

(CLEO _laughs softly_.)

(DR. THORNE _does not smile_.)

CLEO (_abruptly_). Esmerald Thorne, do you know what has happened? You
are in an uninhabited world--with me. You are in a dead world, burnt to
ashes, burnt to slag and lava by its own fires. You are alone in
it--_alone with me.... (In a changed voice.) And I meant you should be._
Oh, I’ve dreamed of this for years. I’ve held my breath for it, perished
for it.... Now, here we are--we two outcasts from the religious idea--we
who always rebelled against it, by the very bone and tissue of our
being.... We two (_tenderly_) _alone, at last_. (_She advances towards
him, and for the first time touches him, gently laying her hand upon his
shoulder._)

DR. THORNE (_not rudely, but positively, removes her hand, stepping back
quickly, so that her arm falls heavily by her side_). Woman! Woman, what
are you? A spirit damned, or a spirit deluded?... I confess I never
knew. And I don’t know any better now.

CLEO (_more modestly lifts his hand to her cheek; speaks gently_). Do
you know any better now?

DR. THORNE (_withdrawing his hand_). My wife always said you were half
angel, half the other thing. She pitied you, I think. I confess I never
did, very much.

CLEO (_wretchedly_). I never asked for the pity of Helen Thorne!

DR. THORNE (_firmly_). You might well receive it, Madam. It would not
harm you any.

CLEO (_suddenly_). Oh, everybody knew you were an irreproachable
husband. A blameless physician, of course. But we have changed all that.
You are quite free now--as free as I am, for that matter....

DR. THORNE (_nobly_). Yes; I am free, as you say. I am free to mourn my
wife, and love her ... and await her presence ... which has a value to
me that I do not ... I cannot discuss--with _you_.

CLEO (_rebuffed, but gentle and sad_). I beg your pardon, Dr. Thorne.

DR. THORNE (_takes a few steps nearer her_). And I yours ... if I have
wronged you.

CLEO (_softly_). You feel so sure of her, then? Helen is so attractive!
These spiritual women always are--up to a certain point.... Life is a
long wait, brutally tedious. You know as well as I do how many--Now,
there is Dr. Gazell. A very consolable widower.

DR. THORNE (_proudly_). Oh, that was a blunt stroke. _Gazell?_ If Gazell
were a dog by which my wife might track her way to me through the
mystery of death ... she might have some use for him ... hardly
otherwise. I gave you credit for some wit, Cleo.

CLEO. I own the illustration was defective. But there are a plenty
better. There are gentler men than you. For my part, I don’t mind your
attacks of the devil. I never did. I’d take your cruelty to have your
tenderness--any day. But Mrs. Thorne is sensitive to kindness. She likes
the even disposition, the patient, model man. After all, there are a
good many of them.

DR. THORNE (_lifting his head_). I am not afraid.

CLEO (_turning away_). And you? She is a young woman. It may be
years....

DR. THORNE (_coldly_). You will have to excuse me. I left some one.... I
may be missed. I have ties which even you would respect, Madam. I must
return whence I came. (_He moves away._)

(CLEO _hides her face in her hands; is heard to weep_.)

DR. THORNE (_steps back_). Do you want my pity?

CLEO (_murmurs_). Alone--in a desert world--we two--at last. Oh, you
don’t know the alphabet of happiness! You have everything to learn ...
from me. And we shall never be like this again!

DR. THORNE (_frankly_). I hope not.

CLEO (_suddenly starting, paces the ashes; throws her arms above her
head_). I always said you had a Nero in you.... Oh, I understood
you--_I_! But _you_.... It never occurred to you, I suppose, that you
died on my very day? I had been dead three years that night.

DR. THORNE (_more gently_). What did you do it for, Cleo? You know I
warned you about that habit. You know I took the laudanum away from you.

CLEO. But you could not cork up the Limited Express--could you?

DR. THORNE. It was a dreadful death! Tell me, how do you fare? Where do
you live? Do you suffer? What is your lot?

CLEO (_with sudden reserve, and not without dignity_) We suicides have
our own fate. We bear it. We do not reveal it.

DR. THORNE (_uncomfortably_). Well--I must bid you good-morning.

CLEO (_savagely_). At least, I gained something--if I lose all. Of
course, it never dawned on you that this was all my scheme?

DR. THORNE (_in dismay_). _Your scheme?_

CLEO (_past control, raves_). Oh, I had watched my chance for years. I
knew _you_--your mad moods, your black temper.... Yourself slew
yourself, Esmerald Thorne. Your own weakness gave me my opportunity. I
waited for my moment. I sat in the buggy beside you.... I sometimes did
that when your evil had you. (I couldn’t get there when you were good,
you know.) I tried to take the reins. _I tried to get the whip_--I could
not do it. _I meant to hit the horse_--my arm was held. (There are
always so many of these holy busybodies about--angels and messengers of
sanctity--to interfere with one!) Oh, then I sprang out--over the wheel
into the street. You didn’t see me, _but Donna did_. When she shied I
clung to her bit. And then she bolted.... It was a very simple thing.

(DR. THORNE _recoiling slowly, an expression of cold horror chills his
features_.)

CLEO (_still raving_). Yes, I’ve murdered you--if you will--and Mary
Fayth besides. And I’ve broken Helen’s heart. Do you suppose that
counts? Who counts? Nobody on earth, or in heaven, or in hell. _I’ve got
you away from your wife...._ And in earth, or in heaven, or in hell,
I’ll have you yet....

DR. THORNE (_throwing out his hands; holds her off with evidences of
unbearable repulsion; speaks with difficulty_). And I pitied you a
moment since. Now I cannot scorn you. It is too fine a word.

CLEO (_more calmly_). I can abide my time.

       _Enter_ LADDIE, _running rapidly_.

LADDIE. Papa, Papa! Oh, I missed you, Papa!

CLEO (_starting_). I did not know the child was dead! (_Looks
disconcerted._)

DR. THORNE (_catches the child, and holds him to his heart; speaks_).
No. You only knew you left him fatherless. (_With much agitation,
continues._) How did you get here, Laddie? How did you find the way?
Papa hadn’t forgotten his little boy. I was coming right back to you, my
son.

LADDIE (_mysteriously; looking about_). A man with wings brought me. We
flowed over.... He is waiting out there to take us back. (_Observing_
CLEO, LADDIE _slips down to the ground, and backs up against his
father’s knees; points at the woman_.) Papa, I don’t like that lady.

DR. THORNE (_cruelly_). My son, I cannot deny that I respect your taste.
(_Clasps the boy to his heart again; then puts him down once more, and,
with a fine motion, holds the child at arm’s-length between himself and
the woman._)

CLEO (_averting her face_). I perceive the importance of the obstacle. I
admit ... that to love a man who is the father of another woman’s
child--

DR. THORNE (_interrupting_). And who loves the mother of his child--

(CLEO _sobs_.)

DR. THORNE. Come, Laddie. (_He does not glance at the woman again._)

       [_Exeunt_ DR. THORNE _and_ LADDIE.

CLEO (_yearning after him; stretches out her arms, but does not follow;
calls mournfully_). Oh, if you would come back a minute--only a
minute!... In heaven, or earth, or hell, I’d never ask _any_thing of you
again. A minute, a _minute_!

(DR. THORNE _does not return, and does not reply_. CLEO _is left alone
in the dead world. She falls flat upon the slag and ashes._)


       END OF SCENE II.


SCENE III.

Picturesquely visible among the trees of a grove
appears a small, rustic cottage, curiously interwoven
of bark, vines, boughs, leaves, and flowers--a building
which seems to have grown from the conditions
and the colors of the grove. The sea and the sails
show beyond, through the trees. In the distant perspective
can be seen the city on the hill; in the intervale,
the foliage, flowers, fields, as before.

The hour approaches sunset. A deep rich glow
mellows and melts the outlines of every object.

(_Spirits pass and repass in the distance._)

_Enter_ DR. THORNE _and_ HARVEY, _conversing
in low tones_.

       _Enter_ NORAH _and_ JERRY.

JERRY. The brim of the avenin’ to yez, Doctor! Och! but this is a foine
counthree now.

NORAH (_happily_). Me father is getting acquainted here.

JERRY. I’m about to discover where the ... angels ... I’m at.

DR. THORNE (_smiling_). You’ve got ahead of me then, Jerry.

       [_Exeunt_ NORAH _and_ JERRY.

DR. THORNE (_to_ HARVEY). And why, for instance, was I directed or
allowed to take that astronomical tour before I had investigated my
immediate surroundings?

HARVEY. A patient may _ask_ questions. In your experience, did you
always answer them?

_Enter_ LADDIE (_running after his father,
whose hand he hurries to catch and
clasp_).

DR. THORNE (_pointing to the architecture beyond_). And those public
buildings yonder--what do you call them?

HARVEY. Those are our institutions of education and of mercy. They are a
great pleasure to us. We have our temples, colleges, music halls,
libraries, schools of science, hospitals, galleries of art, as a matter
of course. What did you _suppose_ we did with our intellects and our
leisure?

DR. THORNE. I never supposed anything on the subject. I never thought
about it.

HARVEY. Precisely. You are very ignorant--for a man of your gifts. Now,
our hospitals--

DR. THORNE. Pray do not mock me, Doctor Harvey. If you _had_ a hospital,
you could find me something to do. The humiliating idleness of this
place crushes me. I seem to be of no more use here than a paralytic
patient was in my own charity ward at home. I am become of no more
social importance than the janitor or the steward used to be. I am of no
consequence. I am not in demand. No person desires my services. The
canker of idleness eats upon me. Here, in this world of spirits, I am an
unscientific, useless fellow. If you have anything whatever in the shape
of a hospital, I beg you to find me employment in it. At least, I could
keep the temperature charts, if I am not to be trusted with any cases.

HARVEY (_smiling sadly_). Your cure proceeds but slowly, my patient. I
did not think you were a _dull_ man. Must you be taught the elements?
Our sick are not of the body, but are sick of soul. Our patients are
chiefly from among the newly arrived who are at odds with the spirit of
the place; hence, they suffer discomfort. Can _you_ administer holiness
to a will and heart diseased?

(DR. THORNE _shakes his head; bows it in bitter silence. He stands lost
in thought. As he does so, sunset deepens to twilight on the land._
LADDIE _drops his father’s hand; plays among the annunciation lilies_.
HARVEY, _with a courtly salute, retires. He does not speak further to_
DR. THORNE.)

       [_Exit_ HARVEY.

LADDIE (_breaks one of the tall lily-stalks--gently, for a boy. As he
does so, the cup opens, and a little white bird flies out, hangs poised
in the air a moment_). Oh, the beautiful! (_Catches the bird, which he
handles tenderly._) Papa! Papa! I went to pick a lily, and I picked a
bird! Oh, Papa, what a pretty country!

DR. THORNE (_smiling in spite of himself_). Come here, my lad.
(_Caresses the child with pathetic gratitude._) If it were not for you,
little man-- (_Bows his face on the child’s head._)

(_The twilight changes slowly to moonlight._)

LADDIE (_restlessly_). I must go find Maidie and show her my white bird.
They didn’t grow in her street.

DR. THORNE (_anxiously_). Don’t go far, my child. You might lose your
way.

LADDIE (_with a peal of laughter_). We never lose our way in this nice
country.

       [_Exit_ LADDIE.

(DR. THORNE _paces the path desolately; does not speak. As the moonlight
brightens, groups of spirits stroll among the fields and trees. These
walk often two by two. They are, and yet are not, like earthly lovers.
They murmur softly, and express delight to be together; and some of them
go hand in hand, or with arms intertwined. But a beautiful reserve
pervades their behavior. Faintly from beyond arise the strains of the
Serenade of Schubert’s, played with extreme softness and refinement, but
with a depth of emotion which carries the heart before it._ DR. THORNE
_listens to the music. The sails quiver on the distant water, and faint
figures can be seen moving on the beach. The passion flowers salute each
other. The great Serenade plays on._)

_Enter_ MRS. FAYTH. (_Her smiling face
is grave, or even a little sad. She is
moved by the music, and seems to sway
towards it._ DR. THORNE _holds out
his hand to her_. MRS. FAYTH _extends
her own, confidingly. The two stand
listening to the music, like comrades
bereft of other ties; on her face rests
a frank, affectionate expression; on
his a desolate leaning towards the
nearest sympathy. They glance at
the spirits who are strolling two by
two through the celestial evening. The
music is suspended._)

DR. THORNE (_moodily_). This foreign country would be lonelier without
you, Mary Fayth.

MRS. FAYTH (_frankly_). Of course it would!... It is a lovely thing that
we died together.... It has been a comfort to me, Doctor.

DR. THORNE. And to me.... Helen would be pleased.... Helen might like to
have it so, I’ve thought ... if she thinks of me at all.

MRS. FAYTH (_quickly_). She thinks of nothing but you ... all the time.

DR. THORNE (_eagerly_). How do you know? Have you been there? Can _you_
see Helen?

MRS. FAYTH (_mysteriously smiling_). Don’t ask me!...

DR. THORNE (_imperiously_). When was it? How did you get there? How did
she look?--Is she well?--Did she look very wretched? Were her lips pale?
Or only her cheeks? Does she weep much? Can she sleep?--Is she living
quite alone?--Oh, how does she bear it? (_He trips upon his words, and
stops abruptly._)

(_A strain from the Serenade breathes, and sighs away._)

MRS. FAYTH (_gently but evasively_). My poor friend!

(DR. THORNE _and_ MRS. FAYTH _unclasp hands, and stand side by side,
silently in the moonlight. A certain remoteness overtakes their manner.
Each is drowned in thought in which the other has no share. The Serenade
is heard again._ MRS. FAYTH, _with a mute, sweet gesture of farewell,
glides gravely away_. DR. THORNE _does not seek to detain her_.)

       [_Exit_ MRS. FAYTH.

(_The Serenade plays on steadily._)

DR. THORNE (_puts his hands to his ears, as if to shut out the music,
which falls very faintly as he speaks_). Between herself and me the
awful gates of death have shut. To pass them--though I would die again
to do it--to pass them for one hour, for one moment, for love’s sake,
for grief’s sake--or for pity’s own--I am forbidden. (_Breaks off._) ...
Her forgiveness! Her forgiveness! The longing for it gnaws upon me....
Oh, her unfathomable tenderness--passing the tenderness of women!--It
would lean out and take me back to itself, as her white arms took me to
her heart--when I came home--after a hard day’s work--tired out....
Helen! _Helen!_

(_The music strengthens as he ceases to speak; then faints again._)

DR. THORNE (_moans_). For very longing for her, I would fain forget
her.... No! No! No! (_Starts._) Never would I forget her! To all
eternity would I think of her and suffer, if I must, because I think of
her.... I ... love her ... so.

(_The Serenade ceases slowly, and sighs away._)

(DR. THORNE _stands with the moonlight on his face. It is rapt, and
carries a certain majesty._)

(_Spirits pass. Some of them glance at him, with wonder and respect. No
one addresses him. He stands like a statue of strong and noble solitude.
He does not perceive the presence of any spirit._)

_Enter_ The Child. (_Runs to his father.
Springs into his arms._)

THE CHILD. Lonesome, Papa? I will comfort you.

DR. THORNE (_clasps the boy, who seems half-overcome with sleepiness.
Lays him gently on the grass_). Go to sleep, my child. It is growing
late. (LADDIE _drops asleep_.)

DR. THORNE (_continues to speak, for his emotion bears him on_). I did
not expect to live when I was dead. I lived--I died--and yet I live. I
did not think that love would live when breath was gone. I loved--I
blasphemed love--I breathed my last--and still I love. If this be
true--_any_thing may be true-- (_breaks off_). God! It may be years
before I can see her face--twenty years--thirty-- (_groaning_)--_Whence_
came the love of man and woman, that it should outlive the laws of
Nature, and defy dissolution, and outlast the body, and curse or bless
the spirit? If love can live, anything can live. Since this
is--_any_thing may be-- (_Falters; glances about; finds himself quite
alone with the sleeping child; lifts his eyes to the sky, and then his
hands; stands irresolute. Then slowly, reluctantly, still standing
manfully upright, with a touching embarrassment._)

DR. THORNE (_prays_). Almighty God!--if there be a God Almighty. Reveal
thyself to my immortal soul!--if I have a soul immortal.

       *       *       *       *       *

(_The moonlight fades into a dark midnight. The figure of_ DR. THORNE
_disappears in it_.)

(_Dawn comes on subtly, but at once, for the nights and days of Paradise
are not governed by the laws of earth, and day breaks splendidly over
the heavenly world._)

_Enter the_ Two Children (_playing with
flowers, and tasting fruit_).

LADDIE. How did you like coasting down that waterfall on rainbows?

MAIDIE. I want that butterfly--with fire on it.

LADDIE. Don’t be stupid, because you’re dead! That is a flower. (_Picks
a flower in the shape of a butterfly with jeweled wings; hands it to the
girl._) No, it won’t fly. It isn’t grown up yet.

MAIDIE. Shall I fly when I’m grown up? I’ve got wings, too. (_Shows her
feet, on the heels of which a tiny pair of wings appear._)

LADDIE (_jealously_). I didn’t know you had them. That’s why you can
jump over things and get ahead of me.

       _Enter_ DR. THORNE _and_ MRS. FAYTH.

MRS. FAYTH. Doctor, I don’t know what ails me. Perhaps it’s a symptom--a
moral symptom--but I can’t help thinking of Cleo. I wonder--

DR. THORNE (_with reserve_). I do not care to speak of the woman.

MRS. FAYTH. You are right. But I did not mean to be wrong. (I think it
must have been a symptom.) It’s the first time I’ve felt nervous since I
died. I beg your pardon.

LADDIE (_running to meet them_). Papa! Maidie’s got wings on her feet.
Why don’t _I_ have some? Papa! Papa! Come into your new house. It grew
up out of the woods--like--like acorns.

DR. THORNE (_addressing_ MRS. FAYTH, _looking towards the cottage_). It
is a shelter for the child, at all events. Quite in accordance with my
present social position in this place--a mere cottage--but it makes him
a home, poor little fellow!

MRS. FAYTH. It’s just what Helen would like. She hates palaces.

DR. THORNE (_starts as if stabbed; makes no reply_).

LADDIE (_suddenly_). Oh, Papa, Mrs. Fayth’s got wings on her feet, too.
Her dress covers them up. I like her better than I did that lady you
were so cross to.

MRS. FAYTH (_laughing_). I am so well!--oh, so well! I am a-shamed to be
so happy! I walk on air. I float on clouds. I move on waves. All nature
seems to be under my feet, and her glory in my heart.... Poor Doctor!
(_Breaks off and looks at him with quick sympathy._) And yet I tru-ly
think you im-prove in spirits. You don’t look armed to the teeth, all
the time--now.

DR. THORNE (_smiles cheerfully_). A man must respect law, whatever state
he is in. I would conform to the customs of this place, so far as I can.
I would do this for the boy’s sake, at least. I don’t wish to be a
disgrace to him in this system of things.

MRS. FAYTH. Does Doctor Harvey treat you by scien-ti-fic ev-olu-tion?
That’s a man’s way. It’s a pretty slow one.

LADDIE (_insistently_). Papa, she _has_ got wings on her feet.

MRS. FAYTH (_blushing_). Go away and play, children.

(_The children run to the cottage. The little girl bounds before, with a
light, flying motion. They play in the cottage at “keeping house,”
running in and out._)

(_Suddenly a change takes place upon the landscape. Its colors soften
and melt. Flying tints, like light broken through many prisms, float
upon the white flowers, rest upon the annunciation lilies, and
delicately touch the white robe of_ MRS. FAYTH. _In fact, the whole
atmosphere takes on the appearance of a vast rainbow. Music from the
temple sounds clearly._)

VOICES (_can be heard singing_):--

    “Thou that takest away the
     Sins of the world!”

MRS. FAYTH (_starts with a listening, devout expression_). Do you hear
that?... Oh, watch, Doctor! Watch for what will happen!

(_Spirits can be seen suddenly moving from all directions. They hurry,
and exhibit signs of joyful excitement. The singing continues;
repeats_:--

    “Thou that takest away the
     Sins of the world!”)

(_Now over the brilliant landscape falls a long, sharp, strange shadow.
It is seen to be the shadow of a mighty cross, which, if raised upright,
would seem to reach from earth to heaven. The children run back from the
cottage._)

LADDIE. Papa! who is worship? Is it a kind of game? Papa, what is Lord?
Is it people’s mother? What is it for?

DR. THORNE (_with embarrassment_). Alas, my boy, your father is not a
learned man.

LADDIE (_imperiously_). Teach me that pretty song! I cannot sing it. All
the other children can--

VOICES (_chanting_):--

    “Thou givest,
     Thou givest,
     Eternal life!”

DR. THORNE (_sadly_). My son, I cannot sing it, either.

LADDIE (_with reproach, and with a certain dignity_). Father, I wish you
_were_ a learned man. (_Walks away from his father; goes up the path.
The little girl follows him._)

(_The evidences of public excitement increase visibly. From every part
of the country spirits can be seen moving, with signs of acute pleasure.
Some hasten towards the Temple; others gather in groups in the roads and
paths; all present a reverent but joyful aspect._)

MRS. FAYTH (_gliding away_). I cannot lose a moment. (_Beckons to_ DR.
THORNE _as she moves out of the grove and up the path. Calls._) Doctor!
Doctor!

DR. THORNE (_shakes his head_). I do not understand.

(MRS. FAYTH _remains still full in sight, standing as if to watch a
pageant or to see the prominent figure of a procession_.)

(LADDIE _runs on beyond her, watching eagerly; shades his eyes with his
little hand_.)

(MAIDIE _flits along with him_.)

(DR. THORNE _stands quite alone. He, too, shades his eyes with his
hand, and scans the horizon and the foreground closely._)

(_The shadow of the great cross falls upon him where he stands._)

(_It can now be seen that the happy people beyond give evidence of
greeting some one who is passing by them. Some weep for joy; others
laugh for rapture. Some stretch their arms out as if in ecstasy. Some
throw themselves on the ground in humility. Some seem to be entreating a
benediction. But the figure of Him who passes by them remains invisible.
The excitement now increases, and extends along the group of spirits
until it reaches those in the foreground. Here can now be seen and
recognized some old patients of_ DR. THORNE’S--MRS. TRUE, NORAH, _and_
JERRY.)

(_These wear the golden cross upon the breast._ HARVEY _enters
unnoticed, and mingles with the crowd. He stands behind_ MRS. FAYTH,
_who remains rapt and mute, full in the light. She has forgotten_ DR.
THORNE.)

(DR. THORNE _watches the scene with pathetic perplexity. He does not
speak._)

(_The chanting continues, and the strain swells louder._)

[Illustration:

_dolce._

Thou that tak-est a-way the sins of the
world! And givest, and giv-est e-ter-nal life!
]

(_Now the Invisible Figure makes the impression of having reached the
nearer groups._)

(NORAH _falls upon her knees_.)

(JERRY _salutes respectfully, as if he recognized a dear and honored
employer whom he wished to serve and please_.)

(MRS. TRUE _reaches out her arms with reverent longing_.)

(MAIDIE _kisses her little hands to the Unseen_.)

(HARVEY _stands devoutly with bowed head_.)

(MRS. FAYTH _holds out both hands lovingly. Then she sinks to the ground
upon her knees and makes the delicate motion of one who puts to her lips
the edge of the robe of the Unseen Passer. Her whole expression is
rapturous._)

(LADDIE, _breaking away from his elders, now boldly steps out into the
path. He looks up; shades his eyes, as if from a brilliance; then
confidingly puts out his hand, as if he placed it in an Unseen Hand, and
walks along, smiling like a child who is led by One whom he trusts and
loves._)

DR. THORNE (_in distress_). I see nothing!--No one! I am blind--blind!

(_Chanting._)

    “Thou that takest away
     The sins of the world!” ...

(DR. THORNE _covers his face. The music ceases. The air grows dimmer
than twilight. But there is no moon, nor is it dark. The groups in the
foreground move away in quiet happiness, like those who have had their
heart’s wish granted._)

(_Harvey_, MRS. TRUE, NORAH, JERRY, _and_ MAIDIE _mingle with the other
spirits_.)

(MRS. FAYTH _rises from her knees; melts slowly in the dusk_.)

(LADDIE _runs into the grove, and disappears in the gloom. He acts as if
looking for some one._)

DR. THORNE (_remains alone. He paces the grove, irresolute--then
suddenly turns in the direction whence the Invisible had come; walks
uncertainly up the path; searches, as if for signs of the Passer;
examines the grass, the shrubbery; touches the flowers, to see if they
had bent beneath His feet; stoops; examines the pathway reverently;
speaks in a low tone_). The footprint! I have found the footprint! There
_was_ One passing. And He stepped here. But I was blind! (_Hesitates;
lifts his face to the sky; drops it to his breast; murmurs
inarticulately. Then slowly--as if half his nature battled with the
other half, and every fibre of his being yielded hard--he drops upon his
knees. He remains silent in this posture._)

(_From the depth of the grove behind_ DR. THORNE’S _cottage_,)

_Enter_ CLEO _stealthily_. (_She watches_
DR. THORNE _with an expression in
which love, fear, reproach, and astonishment
contend. She makes no
sign, nor in any way is her presence
revealed to_ DR. THORNE. _Taking a
few steps forward, she touches the
shadow of one arm of the mighty
cross._ CLEO _retreats in confusion_.)

_Enter_ The Child (_running down the
path_). Papa! Papa! (_Points up the
path. Beckons to his father. Points
ecstatically._) Look, look, Papa!

(DR. THORNE _arises to his full height; looks where_ The Child
_points_.)

(_Slowly and solemnly_,)

_Enter_ JESUS THE CHRIST. _(Our Lord
appears as a majestic figure, melting
of outline, divine of mien, with arms
outstretched in benediction._)

(CLEO _at sight of the_ Sacred Figure _wrings her hands in anguish, and
makes as if she would flee; but remains gazing at the Vision, as if
compelled by forces unknown to her. As the Vision draws nearer_, CLEO
_drops upon her face. Her long hair covers her. All her contours blur
into the increasing shadow. The scene is now quite dark, except for the
light which falls from the_ PERSON OF OUR LORD. _This shall fully
reveal_ THE MAN, _who falls at the feet of the Vision, and_ THE CHILD,
_who stands entranced, with his little arms around his father’s neck._)

DR. THORNE (_lifts his hands rapturously_). I _was_ blind--But, now, I
see! (_Accepts and remains in the attitude of worship as manfully as he
had refused it._)

(THE SACRED FIGURE _stirs, as if to meet the kneeling man; slowly dims,
melts, and fades; vanishes_.)


       END OF SCENE III.


SCENE IV.

In the same perspective as Scene III. is the Heavenly
City on the Hill. Thronging spirits move to
and fro.

The distance is full of radiance and of happy social
life. In the foreground is seen a dim and desolate
place. It is cavernous and mountainous. Its extreme
edge yawns over a black space, like a gulf or pit, or
it might be the mouth of an underground river. Here
and there is a stark, dead tree. A narrow footpath
winds among the crags. The path turns a sharp
corner between boulders; and the fair contrast of a
sunny country smiles beyond it. Rosebushes in full
bloom peer above the top of the rocks. The annunciation
lily is still prominent among the flowers. No
sign of life appears in the mountainous foreground.

Suddenly, silently, and swiftly, moving from the
sunny land, around the sharp turn in the pathway,
feet and face set toward the cavernous region,

_Enter_ AZRAEL, _Angel of Death_. (_The
Angel is immovable of manner. But
an obvious tenderness wars with the
solemnity of his expression. He looks
neither to the right nor to the left, but
glides over the rough path steadily;
his robe, which is of dull, white gauze,
conceals his feet; his wings are
folded; he carries no flaming sword,
nor any weapon._)

(_After a moment’s interval, following_ THE ANGEL _quickly_,)

_Enter_ DR. THORNE (_his robe is much
paler, but still of a purplish tint. It
is now clasped by the golden cross.
He cries aloud_). Azrael!

ECHO (_from the caverns_). Azrael!

(AZRAEL _makes no reply. Moves on steadily._)

DR. THORNE (_in a lower voice_). Azrael, Angel of Death!

(AZRAEL _turns his head, but without pausing_.)

DR. THORNE. In the name of Him who strove with thee, and conquered
thee--whither goest thou, Azrael?

(AZRAEL _pauses. He looks over his folded wing at the man; regards him
steadily; does not speak; moves on again._ DR. THORNE _utters an
inarticulate exclamation. He follows the Angel. Halfway down the path he
stops, perplexed. His expression is anxious._ AZRAEL _moves on. He does
not again look back; glides to the edge of the ravine. The scene
darkens. The Angel does not pause, but can be seen to cross the gulf
fleetly. He does not fly, but appears to tread the air across the
space._)

       [_Vanish_ AZRAEL.

(DR. THORNE _stands alone in the gloom. His eyes are fixed upon the spot
where the Angel disappeared. A low, rushing sound, as of water, can now
be heard._)

DR. THORNE (_shudders; speaks_). It seems like an underground river.
Horrible! (_Calls._) Azrael! Tell me thine errand--in this fearful
place!

(AZRAEL _neither replies nor appears. It grows very dark. The
perspective of the Heavenly City fades. The rushing of the river can be
heard. Now, through the unearthly gloom, upon the hither side of the
gulf, slowly grow to form the outlines of a Woman. She stretches her
arms out with the motion of one feeling her way. She moves with
difficulty, tripping sometimes, but regaining her footing bravely. Her
robe is light. Her face cannot be recognized._)

DR. THORNE (_on whose sensitive countenance falls the only light in the
scene, shows an unaccountable emotion. He murmurs_). It is a
woman--alone--exhausted ... and a stranger. As I serve her, so may God
send some soul of fire and snow to serve my dear wife--in _her_ hour of
mortal need! (_He advances towards the woman with a chivalrous
sympathy._)

(The Woman _moves on steadily; weakens; reels, but holds her ground. It
can now be seen that her eyes are closed. She falls. She does not cry
out._)

DR. THORNE. How brave you are! Keep courage. (_Catches her before she
touches the ground. She lies in his arms in a faint or collapse._)

(DR. THORNE _carries her along midway of the scene_.)

(_It lightens slowly. As it does so, it can be seen that the woman is
young and fair, and fine of nature. Her robe is of dazzling white; it
has a surface like that of satin-finished gauze, which reflects all the
light there is. Her long, dark hair is disordered, and falls about her.
She is pale. Her eyes do not open. She lies helplessly in his arms._)

(DR. THORNE _lays her gently against the trunk of a dead tree, which has
fallen across a hollow in the cliff, and which rests so as to support
the woman. He seats himself beside her; bends to examine her face._)

DR. THORNE (_recognizes the face of the woman; cries in a voice that
rings through the hills_). _Helen!_

THE ECHO (_takes up the cry_). _Helen!_

HELEN THORNE (_is half-conscious and confused; does not open her eyes;
murmurs_). Will it last long?

DR. THORNE (_clasps her reverently. As his arms touch her, they can be
seen to tremble. He moans_). My--poor--wife!

HELEN THORNE (_still lying with closed eyes; murmurs, but more
distinctly_). I said I would die two deaths for him.... Are they over,
yet?... if that would help him any ... where he had gone. (_Opens her
eyes, but they see nothing. Dreamily and solemnly, as if repeating a
familiar prayer, she speaks softly._) Great God! I will die ten deaths
for him ... and count myself a happy woman ... if that will make it any
easier for _him_.

DR. THORNE (_groaning, puts his wife gently from him, as if she were a
being too sacred for his touch. Turns his face from her; speaks_). I am
not fit!... I dare not touch her!

HELEN THORNE (_praying_). Dear Lord! I would die for him ... as Thou
didst die for us.... If that could be.... _Dear_ Lord!

DR. THORNE (_utterly broken_). I am a sinful man, O God! (_Removes from
her, and stands with his face in his hands._)

HELEN THORNE (_recovering full consciousness, and with it sudden
strength, lifts herself to a sitting posture; looks about her; half
rises. Suddenly she recognizes her husband, where he stands aloof. She
cries plaintively_). Esmerald?--Isn’t it over yet? _Esmerald!_ Have you
forgotten me? Don’t you _care_ for me any more?... (_piteously_). Oh,
Death! I did not think that thou wouldst _crucify_ me ... _so_!

(_Sudden darkness falls. When it passes, the gulf, the dark mountain,
the underground river, the ravines are gone. Slow and sweet light
returns softly. It is the setting of the sun. The perspective of the
Heavenly City and spirits are as before. The grim scenery surrounding
the mouth of the River of Death has given place to a fair meadow, sunny
and open. Some of the boulders remain, and the path which cut through
the ravine now runs across the field. Clumps of trees and thick shrubs
break the space between the foreground and the distant spirits, and the
path turns a curve through a thicket of roses. Lilies as before grow
higher than any other flowers, and nearer to the eye._)

HELEN THORNE (_stands, tall and glorious. Faint color has returned to
her pale face. Her expression is radiant. She looks downward and
stretches down her hands; speaks, very softly_). Dear!

DR. THORNE (_prostrate at his wife’s feet, speaks_). Forgive! _Forgive_
me, Helen.

(HELEN THORNE _smiles divinely. Stoops to lift him up._)

(DR. THORNE _resists her still, and, fallen at her feet, he draws the
hem of her robe slowly to his lips. Then he lays his cheek upon her feet
before he reverently kisses them._)

DR. THORNE. I said ... oh, I have broken my heart for what I said ... to
you!

HELEN THORNE (_reaches down her beautiful arms to him. Draws him up_).
Why, my poor Love! My dear Love! Did you think I would remember _that_?

(DR. THORNE _arises. Holds out his shaking arms; does not speak._)

(HELEN THORNE _in silence creeps to him, not royally, like a wife who
was wronged; but like the sweetest woman in the world, who loves him
because she cannot help it, and would not if she could. Her face falls
upon his breast._)

(DR. THORNE, _as if she were a goddess, still not daring to caress her,
lays his cheek upon her soft hair. Before her face, but not touching it,
he delicately curves his hand as if he enclosed a sacred flame from the
rude air._)

HELEN THORNE (_lifts her face to his. Her eyes, all womanly, turn to him
in Paradise as they did on earth. She speaks softly_). I am in Heaven
... after all!

DR. THORNE. And I have never been there ... until now! (_He clasps her
slowly to his heart; turns her face back upon his arm and reverently
looks at it; scans it adoringly; humbly crying._) Helen! _Helen!_

(DR. THORNE _kisses his wife’s brow--eyes--cheek--and then her lips.
Suddenly, around the curve in the path where the thicket of roses
blossoms, running rapidly_,)

_Enter_ LADDIE (_carrying a stalk of the
white lilies. He cries_). Papa! Papa!
I’ve lost you, Papa! (_The child runs
down the path. Closely following
him, fair and gentle, brightly smiling_,)

_Enter_ MRS. FAYTH. (_She draws back
quickly; utters an inarticulate exclamation;
extends her hands in an impulsive
gesture of delight. But she
withdraws and puts her finger on her
lips. She retreats without speaking._)

(MRS. FAYTH, _hidden for a moment behind the thicket of roses, reappears
beyond with the other spirits. The group of spirits stirs upward in the
bright scenery._)

(DR. THORNE _and_ his Wife, _having seen or heard nothing, still stand
rapt, embracing solemnly_.)

LADDIE (_stops on the path, irresolute. Frowns a little in pretty,
childish perplexity; makes as if he would go back; looks at the two
again. Then suddenly darts forward; cries_). Why, that’s my Mamma!
(_Springs to her; clutches at her white robe, pulls at her hand._)

HELEN THORNE (_recognizes the child instantly, despite his larger
stature; she cries out_). Why, my little boy! Mother’s baby boy! Oh!
_you_ again, ... you, too! My little, little boy. (_Catches him to her;
kisses him wildly; holds him, and releases him, and holds him again.
Murmurs half-intelligible words brokenly._) Mother’s baby!... Mother’s
beauty!... Oh, mamma _missed_ you, sonny-boy--

(DR. THORNE _does not speak. His face is shining. He holds his wife
within his arms as if he feared to lose her if he loosened them._)

(THE CHILD, _laughing softly, fondles his mother. The three stand
clinging together rapturously._)

VOICES (_from beyond the rose thicket chant_).

    “As it was in the beginning, is now,
     And ever shall be,
     World without end. Amen.”

(_Chorus of spirits from the region of the Temple on the Heavenly Hill
very softly sing._)

    “O Paradise! O Paradise!
       The world is growing old.
     Who would not see that heavenly land,
       Where love is never cold?” ...

(_As they sing, the fair country brightens subtly, and all the heavenly
scene is radiant. The moving groups of spirits seem to be joining in the
song._)

(DR. THORNE _and_ his Wife, _turning, look into one another’s faces.
They do not speak._)

(_Now, delicately, it shall be seen to darken on the bright land, and a
holy half-light touches every outline._)

(The Child _leaves his parents. He walks a few steps away, shading his
eyes with one hand, as if he saw invisible glory; in the other hand he
carries the annunciation lily._)

(_Vaguely at first, then more definitely; slowly and solemnly_,)

       _Enter_ JESUS THE CHRIST.

(_The_ Sacred Figure _advances towards the_ Man _and_ Woman, _who are
unconscious of the approach. Its hands are stretched in benediction. It
stands for a moment, mutely, and unseen by them._)

(The Boy _runs towards it fearlessly; seats himself upon the
meadow-grass at the feet of the_ Figure.)

(_The_ Sacred Figure _stirs towards the child. All the light in the
scene now falls from the_ Figure.)

(_The_ Man, _the_ Woman, _and the_ Child _receive its full effulgence_.)

VOICES FROM BEYOND (_sing_).

    “Where loyal hearts and true
       Stand ever in the light,
     Enraptured through and through”--

(_The_ Man _and the_ Woman _now perceive the_ Sacred Figure. _They fall
to their knees. The man’s arm still encircles his wife. They bow their
heads before the Divine Presence._)

(_The_ Child, _with the lifted lily, remains at the feet of the_
CHRIST.)

VOICES FROM BEYOND (_repeat_).

    “Enraptured through and through,
      In God’s most holy sight.”

(_The_ Sacred Figure _dims and slowly fades. With it disappears the
stalk of annunciation lilies. The light returns softly upon the
celestial scenery._)

(_The_ Sacred Figure _vanishes_.)

(_The_ Man, _the_ Woman, _and_ Child _stay gazing after it_.)

(_Now a mist breathes upon the Heavenly City and the sunny country. All
the outlines of the happy scenery blur and faint._)

(_The groups of spirits grow dim._)

(_Distant music softly sustains the strains of the song; but without
words._)

(_And now the golden mist slowly envelops the_ Man, _the_ Woman, _and
the_ Child, _who remain for a moment before the eyes--a vision--solemn,
tender, and half unreal_.)

(_The music continues very faintly. The strain slowly ceases._)

(_The mist dulls, deepens, and thickens, till it rolls like an
impenetrable curtain before the vanished scene._)


       END OF THE DRAMA.

                          The Riverside Press
           _Electrotyped and printed by H. O. Houghton & Co.
                      Cambridge, Mass., U. S. A._





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