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Title: A kiss for Cinderella: A comedy
Author: Barrie, J. M. (James Matthew)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A kiss for Cinderella: A comedy" ***

                   |  THE UNIFORM EDITION OF   |
                   | THE PLAYS OF J. M. BARRIE |

                              A KISS
                          FOR CINDERELLA

  |              _THE WORKS OF J. M. BARRIE._              |
  |                                                        |
  |                                                        |
  |            _NOVELS, STORIES, AND SKETCHES._            |
  |                  _Uniform Edition._                    |
  |                                                        |
  |      AULD LICHT IDYLLS, BETTER DEAD.                   |
  |      WHEN A MAN’S SINGLE.                              |
  |      THE LITTLE MINISTER.                              |
  |      SENTIMENTAL TOMMY.                                |
  |      MY LADY NICOTINE, MARGARET OGILVY.                |
  |      TOMMY AND GRIZEL.                                 |
  |      THE LITTLE WHITE BIRD.                            |
  |      PETER AND WENDY.                                  |
  |                                                        |
  |      _Also_                                            |
  |                                                        |
  |      HALF HOURS, DER TAG.                              |
  |      ECHOES OF THE WAR.                                |
  |                                                        |
  |                                                        |
  |                       _PLAYS._                         |
  |                  _Uniform Edition._                    |
  |                                                        |
  |      DEAR BRUTUS.                                      |
  |      A KISS FOR CINDERELLA.                            |
  |      ALICE SIT-BY-THE-FIRE.                            |
  |      WHAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS.                           |
  |      QUALITY STREET.                                   |
  |      THE ADMIRABLE CRICHTON.                           |
  |      ECHOES OF THE WAR.                                |
  |       _Containing_: The Old Lady Shows Her Medals—The  |
  |          New Word—Barbara’s Wedding—A Well-Remembered  |
  |           Voice.                                       |
  |                                                        |
  |      HALF HOURS.                                       |
  |        _Containing_: Pantaloon—The Twelve-Pound        |
  |           Look—Rosalind—The Will.                      |
  |                                                        |
  |                                                        |
  |                _Others in Preparation._                |
  |                 _INDIVIDUAL EDITIONS._                 |
  |                                                        |
  |      PETER PAN IN KENSINGTON GARDENS.                  |
  |          Illustrated by ARTHUR RACKHAM.                |
  |      PETER AND WENDY.                                  |
  |          Illustrated by F. D. BEDFORD.                 |
  |      PETER PAN AND WENDY.                              |
  |          Illustrated by MISS ATTWELL.                  |
  |      TOMMY AND GRIZEL.                                 |
  |          Illustrated by BERNARD PARTRIDGE.             |
  |      MARGARET OGILVY.                                  |
  |                                                        |
  |                                                        |
  | ⁂ For particulars concerning _The Thistle Edition_ of  |
  | the Works of J. M. BARRIE, sold only by subscription,  |
  | send for circular.                                     |
  |                                                        |
  |                                                        |
  |           NEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS            |

             |             THE PLAYS OF             |
             |             J. M. BARRIE             |
             |                                      |
             |                                      |
             |                A KISS                |
             |            FOR CINDERELLA            |
             |                                      |
             |               A COMEDY               |
             |                                      |
             |                                      |
             |                                      |
             |       CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS        |
             |   NEW YORK : : : : : : : : : 1923    |
             |                                      |

                        COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY
                           J. M. BARRIE

              Printed in the United States of America

    _All rights reserved under the International Copyright Act.
    Performance forbidden and right of representation reserved.
     Application for the right of performing this play must be
     made to Charles Frohman, Inc., Empire Theatre, New York._

[Illustration: (Publisher colophon)]


_The least distinguished person in ‘Who’s Who’ has escaped, as it
were, from that fashionable crush, and is spending a quiet evening
at home. He is curled up in his studio, which is so dark that he
would be invisible, had we not obligingly placed his wicker chair
just where the one dim ray from the stove may strike his face. His
eyes are closed luxuriously, and we could not learn much about
him without first poking our fingers into them. According to the
tome mentioned (to which we must return him before morning), Mr.
Bodie is sixty-three, has exhibited in the Royal Academy, and is at
present unmarried. They do not proclaim him comparatively obscure:
they left it indeed to him to say the final word on this subject,
and he has hedged. Let us put it in this way, that he occupies more
space in his wicker chair than in the book, where nevertheless
he looks as if it was rather lonely not to be a genius. He is a
painter for the nicest of reasons, that it is delightful to live
and die in a messy studio; for our part, we too should have become
a painter had it not been that we always lost our paint-box. There
is no spirited bidding to acquire Mr. Bodie’s canvases: he loves
them at first sight himself, and has often got up in the night to
see how they are faring; but ultimately he has turned cold to them,
and has even been known to offer them, in lieu of alms, to beggars,
who departed cursing. We have a weakness for persons who don’t get
on, and so cannot help adding, though it is no business of ours,
that Mr. Bodie had private means. Curled up in his wicker chair he
is rather like an elderly cupid. We wish we could warn him that the
policeman is coming._

_The policeman comes: in his hand the weapon that has knocked down
more malefactors than all the batons—the bull’s-eye. He strikes
with it now, right and left, revealing, as if she had just entered
the room, a replica of the Venus of Milo, taller than himself
though he is stalwart. It is the first meeting of these two, but,
though a man who can come to the boil, he is as little moved
by her as she by him. After the first glance she continues her
reflections. Her smile over his head vaguely displeases him. For
two pins he would arrest her._

_The lantern finds another object, more worthy of his attention,
the artist. Mr. Bodie is more restive under the light than was his
goddess, perhaps because he is less accustomed to being stared at.
He blinks and sits up._

MR. BODIE (_giving his visitor a lesson in manners_). I beg your
pardon, officer.

POLICEMAN (_confounded_). Not that, sir; not at all.

MR. BODIE (_pressing his advantage_). But I insist on begging your
pardon, officer.

POLICEMAN. I don’t see what for, sir.

MR. BODIE (_fancying himself_). For walking uninvited into the
abode of a law-abiding London citizen, with whom I have not the
pleasure of being acquainted.

POLICEMAN (_after thinking this out_). But I’m the one as has done
that, sir.

MR. BODIE (_with neat surprise_). So you are, I beg your pardon,

    (_With pardonable pride in himself_ MR. BODIE _turns on the
    light. The studio, as we can now gather from its sloped
    roof, is at the top of a house; and its window is heavily
    screened, otherwise we might see the searchlights through
    it, showing that we are in the period of the great war.
    Though no one speaks of_ MR. BODIE’S _pictures as Bodies,
    which is the true test of fame, he is sufficiently eminent
    not to have works of art painted or scratched on his walls,
    mercy has been shown even to the panels of his door, and
    he is handsomely stingy of draperies. The Venus stands so
    prominent that the studio is evidently hers rather than
    his. The stove has been brought forward so that he can rest
    his feet on it, which ever of his easy chairs he is sitting
    in, and he also falls over it at times when stepping back
    to consider his latest failure. On a shelf is a large
    stuffed penguin, which is to be one of the characters in
    the play, and on each side of this shelf are two or three
    tattered magazines. We had hankered after giving_ MR. BODIE
    _many rows of books, but were well aware that he would
    get only blocks of wood so cleverly painted to look like
    books that they would deceive everyone except the audience.
    Everything may be real on the stage except the books. So
    there are only a few magazines in the studio (and very
    likely when the curtain rings up it will be found that they
    are painted too). But_ MR. BODIE _was a reader; he had
    books in another room, and the careworn actor must suggest
    this by his manner._

    _Our_ POLICEMAN _is no bookman; we who write happen to
    have it from himself that he had not bought a book since
    he squeezed through the sixth standard: very tight was his
    waist that day, he told us, and he had to let out every
    button. Nevertheless it was literature of a sort that first
    brought him into our ken. He was our local constable: and
    common interests, as in the vagaries of the moon, gradually
    made him and us cease to look at each other askance. We
    fell into the way of chatting with him and giving him the
    evening papers we had bought to read as we crossed the
    streets. One of his duties was to herd the vagrant populace
    under our arches during air-raids, and at such times he
    could be properly gruff, yet comforting, like one who would
    at once run in any bomb that fell in his beat. When he
    had all his flock nicely plastered against the dank walls
    he would occasionally come to rest beside us, and thaw,
    and discuss the newspaper article that had interested him
    most. It was seldom a war-record; more frequently it was
    something on the magazine page, such as a symposium by
    the learned on ‘Do you Believe in Love at First Sight?’
    Though reticent in many matters he would face this problem
    openly; with the guns cracking all around, he would ask for
    our views wistfully; he spoke of love without a blush, as
    something recognised officially at Scotland Yard. At this
    time he had been in love, to his own knowledge, for several
    weeks, but whether the god had struck him at first sight
    he was not certain; he was most anxious to know, and it
    was in the hope of our being able to help him out that he
    told us his singular story. On his face at such times was
    often an amazed look, as if he were staring at her rather
    than at us, and seeing a creature almost beyond belief. Our
    greatest success was in saying that perhaps she had fallen
    in love at first sight with him, which on reflection nearly
    doubled him up. He insisted on knowing what had made us
    put forward this extraordinary suggestion; he would indeed
    scarcely leave our company that night, and discussed the
    possibility with us very much as if it were a police case._

    _Our policeman’s romance, now to be told, began, as we
    begin, with his climbing up into_ MR. BODIE’S _studio_.
    MR. BODIE _having turned on the light gave him the nasty
    look that means ‘And now, my man, what can I do for you?’
    Our_ POLICEMAN, _however, was not one to be worsted without
    striking a blow. He strode to the door, as he has told us,
    and pointed to a light in the passage._)

POLICEMAN (_in his most brow-beating voice, so well known under the
arches_). Look here, sir, it’s that.

MR. BODIE. I don’t follow.

POLICEMAN. Look at that passage window. (_With natural pride in
language._) You are showing too much illumination.

BODIE. Oh! well, surely—

POLICEMAN (_with professional firmness_). It’s agin the regulations.
A party in the neighbouring skylight complains.

BODIE (_putting out the light_). If that will do for to-night, I’ll
have the window boarded up.

POLICEMAN. Anything so long as it obscures the illumination.

BODIE (_irritated_). Shuts out the light.

POLICEMAN (_determinedly_). Obscures the illumination.

BODIE (_on reflection_). I remember now, I did have that window
boarded up.

POLICEMAN (_who has himself a pretty vein of sarcasm_). I don’t see
the boards.

BODIE. Nor do I see the boards. (_Pondering._) Can she have boned

POLICEMAN. She? (_He is at once aware that it has become a more
difficult case._)

BODIE. You are right. She is scrupulously honest, and if she took
the boards we may be sure that I said she could have them. But that
only adds to the mystery.

POLICEMAN (_obligingly_). Mystery?

BODIE. Why this passion for collecting boards? Try her with a
large board, officer. Extraordinary!

POLICEMAN (_heavily_). I don’t know what you are talking about,
sir. Are you complaining of some woman?

BODIE. Now that is the question. Am I? As you are here, officer,
there is something I want to say to you. But I should dislike
getting her into trouble.

POLICEMAN (_stoutly_). No man what is a man wants to get a woman
into trouble unnecessary.

BODIE (_much struck_). That’s true! That’s absolutely true, officer.

POLICEMAN (_badgered_). It’s true, but there’s nothing remarkable
about it.

BODIE. Excuse me.

POLICEMAN. See here, sir, I’m just an ordinary policeman.

BODIE. I can’t let that pass. If I may say so, you have impressed
me most deeply. I wonder if I might ask a favour of you. Would you
mind taking off your helmet? As it happens, I have never seen a
policeman without his helmet.

    (_The perplexed officer puts his helmet on the table._)

Thank you. (_Studying the effect._) Of course I knew they took off.
You sit also?

    (_The policeman sits._)

Very interesting.

POLICEMAN. About this woman, sir—

BODIE. We are coming to her. Perhaps I ought to tell you my
name—Mr. Bodie. (_Indicating the Venus._) This is Mrs. Bodie. No,
I am not married. It is merely a name given her because she is my

POLICEMAN. You gave me a turn.

BODIE. Now that I think of it, I believe the name was given to her
by the very woman we are talking about.

POLICEMAN (_producing his note book_). To begin with, who is the
woman we are talking about?

BODIE (_becoming more serious_). On the surface, she is just a
little drudge. These studios are looked after by a housekeeper, who
employs this girl to do the work.

POLICEMAN. H’m! Sleeps on the premises?

BODIE. No; she is here from eight to six.

POLICEMAN. Place of abode?

BODIE. She won’t tell anyone that.

POLICEMAN. Aha! What’s the party’s name?

BODIE. Cinderella.

    (_The_ POLICEMAN _writes it down unmoved_. MR. BODIE

Haven’t you heard that name before?

POLICEMAN. Can’t say I have, sir. But I’ll make inquiries at the

BODIE. It was really I who gave her that name, because she
seemed such a poor little neglected waif. After the girl in the
story-book, you know.

POLICEMAN. No, sir, I don’t know. In the Force we find it
impossible to keep up with current fiction.

BODIE. She was a girl with a broom. There must have been more in
the story than that, but I forget the rest.

POLICEMAN. The point is, that’s not the name she calls herself by.

BODIE. Yes, indeed it is. I think she was called something else
when she came, Miss Thing, or some such name; but she took to the
name of Cinderella with avidity, and now she absolutely denies that
she ever had any other.

POLICEMAN. Parentage?

BODIE (_now interested in his tale_). That’s another odd thing.
I seem to remember vaguely her telling me that her parents when
alive were very humble persons indeed. Touch of Scotch about her, I
should say—perhaps from some distant ancestor; but Scotch words and
phrases still stick to the Cockney child like bits of egg-shell to
a chicken.

POLICEMAN (_writing_). Egg-shell to chicken.

BODIE. I find, however, that she has lately been telling the
housekeeper quite a different story.

POLICEMAN (_like a counsel_). Proceed.

BODIE. According to this, her people were of considerable
position—a Baron and Baroness, in fact.


BODIE. The only other relatives she seems to have mentioned are
two sisters of unprepossessing appearance.

POLICEMAN (_cleverly_). If this story is correct, what is she doing

BODIE. I understand there is something about her father having
married again, and her being badly treated. She doesn’t expect this
to last. It seems that she has reason to believe that some very
remarkable change may take place in her circumstances at an early
date, at a ball for which her godmother is to get her what she
calls an invite. This is evidently to be a very swagger function at
which something momentous is to occur, the culminating moment being
at midnight.

POLICEMAN (_writing_). Godmother. Invite. Twelve P.M. Fishy! Tell
me about them boards now.

BODIE (_who is evidently fond of the child_). You can’t think how
wistful she is to get hold of boards. She has them on the brain.
Carries them off herself into the unknown.

POLICEMAN. I daresay she breaks them up for firewood.

BODIE. No; she makes them into large boxes.

POLICEMAN (_sagaciously_). Very likely to keep things in.

BODIE. She has admitted that she keeps things in them. But what
things? Ask her that, and her mouth shuts like a trap.

POLICEMAN. Any suspicions?

    (MR. BODIE _hesitates. It seems absurd to suspect this
    waif—and yet!_)

BODIE. I’m sorry to say I have. I don’t know what the things are,
but I do know they are connected in some way with Germany.

POLICEMAN (_darkly_). Proceed.

BODIE (_really troubled_). Officer, she is too curious about

POLICEMAN. That’s bad.

BODIE. She plies me with questions about it—not openly—very

POLICEMAN. Such as—?

BODIE. For instance, what would be the punishment for an English
person caught hiding aliens in this country?

POLICEMAN. If she’s up to games of that kind—

BODIE. Does that shed any light on the boxes, do you think?

POLICEMAN. She can’t keep them shut up in boxes.

BODIE. I don’t know. She is extraordinarily dogged. She knows a
number of German words.

POLICEMAN. That’s ugly.

BODIE. She asked me lately how one could send a letter to Germany
without Lord Haig knowing. By the way, do you, by any chance, know
anything against a firm of dressmakers called _Celeste et Cie._?

POLICEMAN. Celest A. C.? No, but it has a German sound.

BODIE. It’s French.

POLICEMAN. Might be a blind.

BODIE. I think she lives at Celeste’s. Now I looked up Celeste et
Cie. in the telephone book, and I find they are in Bond Street.
Immensely fashionable.

POLICEMAN. She lives in Bond Street? London’s full of romance, sir,
to them as knows where to look for it—namely, the police. Is she on
the premises?

BODIE (_reluctantly_). Sure to be; it isn’t six yet.

POLICEMAN (_in his most terrible voice_). Well, leave her to me.

BODIE. You mustn’t frighten her. I can’t help liking her. She’s so
extraordinarily _homely_ that you can’t be with her many minutes
before you begin thinking of your early days. Where were you born,

POLICEMAN. I’m from Badgery.

BODIE. She’ll make you think of Badgery.

POLICEMAN (_frowning_). She had best try no games on me.

BODIE. She will have difficulty in answering questions; she is so
used to asking them. I never knew a child with such an appetite for
information. She doesn’t search for it in books; indeed the only
book of mine I can remember ever seeing her read, was a volume of
fairy tales.

POLICEMAN (_stupidly_). Well, that don’t help us much. What kind of

BODIE. Every kind. What is the Censor? Who is Lord _Times_?—she has
heard people here talking of that paper and its proprietor, and
has mixed them up in the quaintest way; then again—when a tailor
measures a gentleman’s legs what does he mean when he says—26,
4—32, 11? What are doctors up to when they tell you to say 99? In
finance she has an almost morbid interest in the penny.

POLICEMAN. The penny? It’s plain the first thing to find out is
whether she’s the slavey she seems to be, or a swell in disguise.

BODIE. You won’t find it so easy.

POLICEMAN. Excuse me, sir; we have an infall_ay_ble way at Scotland
Yard of finding out whether a woman is common or a lady.

BODIE (_irritated_). An infallible way.

POLICEMAN (_firmly_). Infallayable.

BODIE. I should like to know what it is.

POLICEMAN. There is nothing against my telling you. (_He settles
down to a masterly cross-examination._) Where, sir, does a common
female keep her valuables when she carries them about on her person?

BODIE. In her pocket, I suppose.

POLICEMAN. And you suppose correctly. But where does a lady keep

BODIE. In the same place, I suppose.

POLICEMAN. Then you suppose wrongly. No, sir, here. (_He taps his
own chest, and indicates discreetly how a lady may pop something
down out of sight._)

BODIE (_impressed_). I believe you are right, officer.

POLICEMAN. I am right—it’s infallayble. A lady, what with drink
and such like misfortunes, may forget all her other refinements,
but she never forgets that. At the Yard it’s considered as sure as

BODIE. Strange! I wonder who was the first woman to do it. It
couldn’t have been Eve this time, officer.

POLICEMAN (_after reflecting_). I see your point. And now I want
just to have a look at the party unbeknownst to her. Where could I
conceal myself?

BODIE. Hide?

POLICEMAN. Conceal myself.

BODIE. That small door opens on to my pantry, where she washes up.

POLICEMAN (_peeping in_). It will do. Now bring her up.

BODIE. It doesn’t seem fair—I really can’t—

POLICEMAN. War-time, sir.

    (MR. BODIE _decides that it is patriotic to ring. The_
    POLICEMAN _emerges from the pantry with a slavey’s hat and

These belong to the party, sir?

BODIE. I forgot. She keeps them in there. (_He surveys the articles
with some emotion._) Gaudy feathers. And yet that hat may have done
some gallant things. The brave apparel of the very poor! Who knows,
officer, that you and I are not at this moment on rather holy

POLICEMAN (_stoutly_). I see nothing wrong with the feathers. I
must say, sir, I like the feathers.

    (_He slips into the pantry with the hat and jacket, but
    forgets his helmet, over which the artist hastily jams a
    flower bowl. There were visiting cards in the bowl and
    they are scattered on the floor._ MR. BODIE _sees them
    not: it is his first attempt at the conspirator, and he
    sits guiltily with a cigarette just in time to deceive_
    CINDERELLA, _who charges into the room as from a catapult.
    This is her usual mode of entrance, and is owing to her
    desire to give satisfaction._)

    _Our_ POLICEMAN, _as he has told us under the arches,
    was watching her through the keyhole, but his first
    impressions have been so coloured by subsequent events
    that it is questionable whether they would be accepted
    in any court of law. Is prepared to depose that to the
    best of his recollection, they were unfavourable. Does
    not imply by unfavourable any aspersion on her personal
    appearance. Would accept the phrase ‘far from striking’ as
    summing up her first appearance. Would no longer accept
    the phrase. Had put her down as being a grown woman, but
    not sufficiently grown. Thought her hair looked to be run
    up her finger. Did not like this way of doing the hair.
    Could not honestly say that she seemed even then to be
    an ordinary slavey of the areas. She was dressed as one,
    but was suspiciously clean. On the other hand, she had
    the genuine hungry look. Among more disquieting features
    noticed a sort of refinement in her voice and manner,
    which was characteristic of the criminal classes. Knew now
    that this was caused by the reading of fairy tales and the
    thinking of noble thoughts. Noted speedily that she was
    a domineering character who talked sixteen to the dozen,
    and at such times reminded him of funny old ladies. Was
    much struck by her eyes, which seemed to suggest that she
    was all burning inside. This impression was strengthened
    later when he touched her hands. Felt at once the curious
    ‘homeliness’ of her, as commented on by_ MR. BODIE, _but
    could swear on oath that this had not at once made him
    think of Badgery. Could recall not the slightest symptoms
    of love at first sight. On the contrary, listened carefully
    to the conversation between her and_ MR. BODIE _and formed
    a stern conclusion about her. Believed that this was all he
    could say about his first impression._

CINDERELLA (_breathlessly_). Did you rang, sir?

BODIE (_ashamed_). Did I? I did—but—I—I don’t know why. If you’re a
good servant, you ought to know why.

    (_The cigarette, disgusted with him, falls from his mouth;
    and his little servant flings up her hands to heaven._)

CINDERELLA (_taking possession of him_). There you go again! Fifty
years have you been at it, and you can’t hold a seegarette in your
mouth _yet_! (_She sternly produces the turpentine_.)

BODIE (_in sudden alarm_). I won’t be brushed. I will not be

CINDERELLA (_twisting him round_). Just look at that tobaccy ash!
And I cleaned you up so pretty before luncheon.

BODIE. I will _not_ be cleaned again.

CINDERELLA (_in her element_). Keep still.

    (_She brushes, scrapes, and turpentines him. In the glory
    of this she tosses her head at the Venus._)

I gave Mrs. Bodie a good wipe down this morning with soap and water.

BODIE (_indignant_). That is a little too much. You know quite well
I allow no one to touch her.

    (CINDERELLA _leaves him and gazes in irritation at the

CINDERELLA. What is it about the woman?

BODIE (_in his heat forgetting the policeman_). She is the glory of

CINDERELLA (_who would be willowy if she were long enough_). She’s

BODIE. Her measurements are perfection. All women long to be like
her, but none ever can be.

CINDERELLA (_insisting_). I suppose that’s the reason she has that
snigger on her face.

BODIE. That is perhaps the smile of motherhood. Some people think
there was once a baby in her arms.

CINDERELLA (_with a new interest in Venus_). Her own?

BODIE. I suppose so.

CINDERELLA. A married woman then?

BODIE (_nonplussed_). Don’t ask trivial questions.

CINDERELLA (_generously_). It was clever of you to make her.

BODIE. I didn’t make her. I was—forestalled. Some other artist
chappie did it. (_He likes his little maid again._) She was dug
up, Cinderella, after lying hidden in the ground for more than a
thousand years.

CINDERELLA. And the baby gone?

BODIE (_snapping_). Yes.

CINDERELLA. If I had lost my baby I wouldn’t have been found with
that pleased look on my face, not in a thousand years.

BODIE. Her arms were broken, you see, so she had to drop the baby—

CINDERELLA. She could have up with her knee and catched it—

BODIE (_excitedly_). By heavens, that may just be what she is
doing. (_He contemplates a letter to the ‘Times.’_)

CINDERELLA (_little aware that she may have solved the question of
the ages_). Beauty’s a grand thing.

BODIE. It is.

CINDERELLA. I warrant _she_ led them a pretty dance in her day.


CINDERELLA. Umpha! (_wistfully_). It must be fine to have men so
mad about you that they go off their feed and roar. (_She turns
with a sigh to the dusting of the penguin._) What did you say this

BODIE (_ignorant of what he is letting himself in for_). A bishop.

CINDERELLA (_nearly choking_). The sort that marries swell couples?


CINDERELLA (_huskily, as if it made all the difference to her_). I
never thought of that.

BODIE (_kindly_). Why should you, you queer little waif. Do you
know why I call you Cinderella?

CINDERELLA. Fine, I know.

BODIE. Why is it?

CINDERELLA (_with shy happiness_). It’s because I have such pretty

BODIE. You dear little innocent. (_He thinks shame of his
suspicions. He is planning how to get rid of the man in the pantry
when she brings him back to hard facts with a bump._)

CINDERELLA (_in a whisper_). Mr. Bodie, if you wanted to get
into Buckingham Palace on the dodge, how would you slip by the
policeman? (_she wrings her hands_). The police is everywhere in

BODIE (_conscious how near one of them is_). They are—be careful,

CINDERELLA. I am—oh, I am! If you knew the precautions I’m taking—

BODIE (_miserable_). Sh!

CINDERELLA (_now in a quiver_). Mr. Bodie, you haven’t by any
chance got an invite for to-night, have you?

BODIE. What for?

CINDERELLA (_as still as the Venus_). For—for a ball.

BODIE. There are no balls in war-time.

CINDERELLA (_dogged_). Just the one. Mr. Bodie, did you ever see
the King?

BODIE. The King? Several times.

CINDERELLA (_as white as the Venus_). Was the Prince of Wales with

BODIE. Once.

CINDERELLA. What’s he like?

BODIE. Splendid! Quite young, you know. He’s not married.

CINDERELLA (_with awful intensity_). No, not yet.

BODIE. I suppose he is very difficult to satisfy.

CINDERELLA (_knitting her lips_). He has never seen the feet that
pleased him.

BODIE. Cinderella, your pulse is galloping. You frighten me. What
possesses you?

CINDERELLA (_after hesitating_). There is something I want to tell
you. Maybe I’ll not be coming back after to-night. She has paid me
up to to-night.

BODIE. Is she sending you away?

CINDERELLA. No. I’ve sort of given notice.

BODIE (_disappointed_). You’ve got another place?

    (_She shuts her mouth like a box._)

Has it anything to do with the Godmother business?

    (_Her mouth remains closed. He barks at her._)

Don’t then. (_He reconsiders her._) I like you, you know.

CINDERELLA (_gleaming_). It’s fine to be liked.

BODIE. Have you a lonely life?

CINDERELLA. It’s kind of lonely.

BODIE. You won’t tell me about your home?

    (_She shakes her head._)

Is there any nice person to look after you in the sort of way in
which you look after me?

CINDERELLA. I’m all alone. There’s just me and my feet.

BODIE. If you go I’ll miss you. We’ve had some good times here,
Cinderella, haven’t we?

CINDERELLA (_rapturously_). We have! You mind that chop you gave
me? Hey, hey, hey! (_considering it judicially_). That was the most
charming chop I ever saw. And many is the lick of soup you’ve given
me when you thought I looked down-like. Do you mind the chicken
that was too high for you? You give me the whole chicken. That was
a day.

BODIE. I never meant you to eat it.

CINDERELLA. I didn’t eat it all myself. I shared it with them.

BODIE (_inquisitively_). With them? With whom?

    (_Her mouth shuts promptly, and he sulks. She picks up the
    visiting cards that litter the floor._)

CINDERELLA. What a spill! If you’re not messing you’re spilling.
Where’s the bowl?

    (_She lifts the bowl and discovers the helmet. She is

BODIE (_in an agony of remorse pointing to the door_). Cinderella,

    (_But our_ POLICEMAN _has emerged and barred the way_.)

POLICEMAN (_indicating that it is_ MR. BODIE _who must go_). If
_you_ please, sir.

BODIE. I won’t! Don’t you dare to frighten her.

POLICEMAN (_settling the matter with the palm of his hand_). That
will do. If I need you I’ll call you.

BODIE (_flinching_). Cinderella, it’s—it’s just a form. I won’t be
far away.

    (_He departs reluctantly._)

POLICEMAN (_sternly_). Stand up.

CINDERELLA (_a quaking figure, who has never sat down_). I’m
standing up.

POLICEMAN. Now, no sauce.

    (_He produces his note book. He is about to make a powerful
    beginning when he finds her eyes regarding the middle of
    his person._)

Now then, what are you staring at?

CINDERELLA. (_hotly_). That’s a poor way to polish a belt. If I was
a officer I would think shame of having my belt in that condition.

POLICEMAN. (_undoubtedly affected by her homeliness though
unconscious of it_). It’s easy to speak; it’s a miserable polish I
admit, but mind you, I’m pretty done when my job’s over; and I have
the polishing to do myself.

CINDERELLA. You have no woman person?


CINDERELLA (_with passionate arms_). If I had that belt for half an

POLICEMAN. What would you use?


POLICEMAN. Spit? That’s like what my mother would have said. That
was in Badgery, where I was born. When I was a boy at Badgery—(_He
stops short. She has reminded him of Badgery!_)

CINDERELLA. What’s wrong?

POLICEMAN (_heavily_). How did you manage that about Badgery?


POLICEMAN. Take care, prisoner.

    (_The word makes her shudder. He sits, prepared to take


CINDERELLA. Cinderella.

POLICEMAN. Take care, Thing. Occupation, if any?

CINDERELLA (_with some pride_). Tempary help.

POLICEMAN. Last place?

CINDERELLA. 3 Robert Street.


    (_Her mouth shuts._)

Ah, they’ll never admit that. Reason for leaving?

CINDERELLA. I had to go when the war broke out.

POLICEMAN. Why dismissed?

CINDERELLA (_forlorn_). They said I was a luxury.

POLICEMAN (_getting ready to pounce_). Now be cautious. How do you
spend your evenings after you leave this building?

    (_Her mouth shuts._)

Have you another and secret occupation?

    (_She blanches._)

Has it to do with boxes? What do you keep in those boxes? Where
is it that these goings-on is going on? If you won’t tell me, I’m
willing to tell you. It’s at A. C. Celeste’s.... In Bond Street, W.

    (_He has levelled his finger at her, but it is a pistol
    that does not go off. To his chagrin she looks relieved. He
    tries hammer blows._)

Are you living in guilty splendour? How do you come to know German
words? How many German words do you think _I_ know? Just one,
_espionage_. What’s the German for ‘six months hard’?

    (_She is now crumpled, and here he would do well to pause
    and stride up and down the room. But he cannot leave well

What’s this nonsense about your feet?

CINDERELLA (_plucking up courage_). It’s not nonsense.

POLICEMAN. I see nothing particular about your feet.

CINDERELLA. Then I’m sorry for you.

POLICEMAN. What is it?

CINDERELLA (_softly as if it were a line from the Bible_). Their
exquisite smallness and perfect shape.

POLICEMAN (_with a friendly glance at the Venus_). For my part I’m
partial to big women with their noses in the air.

CINDERELLA (_stung_). So is everybody (_pathetically_). I’ve tried.
But it’s none so easy, with never no butcher’s meat in the house.
You’ll see where the su-perb shoulders and the haughty manners come
from if you look in shop windows and see the whole of a cow turned
inside out and ‘Delicious’ printed on it.

POLICEMAN (_always just_). There’s something in that.

CINDERELLA (_swelling_). But it doesn’t matter how fine the rest of
you is if you doesn’t have small feet.

POLICEMAN. I never gave feet a thought.

CINDERELLA. The swells think of nothing else. (_Exploding._) Wait
till you are at the Ball. Many a haughty beauty with superb uppers
will come sailing in—as sure of the prize as if ‘Delicious’ was
pinned on her—and then forward steps the Lord Mayor, and, _utterly
disregarding her uppers_, he points to the bottom of her skirt, and
he says ‘Lift!’ and she _has_ to lift, and there’s a dead silence,
and nothing to be heard except the Prince crying ‘Throw her out!’

POLICEMAN (_somewhat staggered by her knowledge of the high life_).
What’s all this about a ball?

    (CINDERELLA _sees she has said too much and her mouth shuts_.)

Was you ever at a ball?

CINDERELLA (_with dignity_). At any rate I’ve been at the Horse

POLICEMAN. A ball’s not like a Horse Show.

CINDERELLA. You’ll see.

POLICEMAN (_reverting to business_). It all comes to this, are you
genteel, or common clay?

CINDERELLA (_pertly_). I leaves that to you.

POLICEMAN. You couldn’t leave it in safer hands. I want a witness
to this.

CINDERELLA (_startled_). A witness! What are you to do?

    (_With terrible self-confidence he has already opened the
    door and beckoned._ MR. BODIE _comes in anxiously_.)

POLICEMAN. Take note, sir. (_With the affable manner of a
conjuror._) We are now about to try a little experiment, the object
being to discover whether this party is genteel or common clay.

CINDERELLA. Oh, Mr. Bodie, what is it?

BODIE (_remembering what he has been told of the Scotland Yard
test_). I don’t like.... I won’t have it.

POLICEMAN. It gives her the chance of proving once and for all
whether she’s of gentle blood.

CINDERELLA (_eagerly_). Does it?

BODIE. I must forbid....

CINDERELLA (_with dreadful resolution_). I’m ready. I wants to know

POLICEMAN. _Ve_—ry well. Now then, I heard you say that the old
party downstairs had paid you your wages to-day.

CINDERELLA. I see nothing you can prove by that. It was a
half-week’s wages—1s. 7d. Of course I could see my way clearer if
it had been 1s. 9d.

POLICEMAN. That’s neither here nor there. We’ll proceed. Now, very
likely you wrapped the money up in a screw of paper. Did you?

    (_She is afraid of giving herself away._)

Thinking won’t help you.

CINDERELLA. It’s _my_ money.

BODIE. Nobody wants your money, Cinderella.

POLICEMAN. Answer me. Did you?


POLICEMAN. Say ‘I did.’


POLICEMAN. And possibly for the sake of greater security you tied a
string round it—did you?


POLICEMAN (_after a glance at_ MR. BODIE _to indicate that
the supreme moment has come_). You then deposited the little

BODIE (_in an agony_). Cinderella, be careful!

    (_She is so dreading to do the wrong thing that she can
    only stare. Finally, alas, she produces the fatal packet
    from her pocket. Quiet triumph of our policeman._)

BODIE. My poor child!

CINDERELLA (_not realising yet that she has given herself away_).
What is it? Go on.

POLICEMAN. That’ll do. You can stand down.

CINDERELLA. You’ve found out?


CINDERELLA (_breathless_). And what am I?

POLICEMAN (_kindly_). I’m sorry.

CINDERELLA. Am I—common clay?

    (_They look considerately at the floor; she bursts into
    tears and runs into the pantry, shutting the door._)

POLICEMAN (_with melancholy satisfaction_). It’s infall_ay_ble.

BODIE. At any rate it shows that there’s nothing against her.

POLICEMAN (_taking him further from the pantry door, in a low
voice_). I dunno. There’s some queer things. Where does she go
when she leaves this house? What about that ball?—and her German
connection?—and them boards she makes into boxes—and A. C. Celeste?
Well, I’ll find out.

BODIE (_miserably_). What are you going to do?

POLICEMAN. To track her when she leaves here. I may have to adopt a
disguise. I’m a masterpiece at that.

BODIE. Yes, but—

POLICEMAN (_stamping about the floor with the exaggerated tread of
the Law_). I’ll tell you the rest outside. I must make her think
that my suspicions are—allayed. (_He goes cunningly to the pantry
door and speaks in a loud voice._) Well, sir, that satisfies me
that she’s not the party I was in search of, and so, with your
permission, I’ll bid you good evening. What, you’re going out
yourself? Then I’ll be very happy to walk part of the way with you.

    (_Nodding and winking, he goes off with heavy steps, taking
    with him the reluctant_ MR. BODIE, _who like one mesmerised
    also departs stamping_.

    MISS THING _peeps out to make sure that they are gone.
    She is wearing her hat and jacket, which have restored
    her self-respect. The tears have been disposed of with
    a lick of the palm. She is again a valiant soul who has
    had too many brushes with the police not to be able to
    face another with a tight lip. She is going, but she
    is not going without her wooden board; law or no law
    she cannot do without wooden boards. She gets it from a
    corner where it has been artfully concealed. An imprudent
    glance at the Venus again dispirits her. With a tape she
    takes the Beauty’s measurements and then her own, with
    depressing results. The Gods at last pity her, and advise
    an examination of her rival’s foot. Excursions, alarms,
    transport. She compares feet and is glorified. She slips
    off her shoe and challenges Venus to put it on. Then, with
    a derisive waggle of her foot at the shamed goddess, the
    little enigma departs on her suspicious business, little
    witting that a masterpiece of a constable is on her track._)


_It is later in the evening of the same day, and this is such a
street as harbours London’s poor. The windows are so close to us
that we could tap on the only one which shows a light. It is on the
ground floor, and makes a gallant attempt to shroud this light with
articles of apparel suspended within. Seen as shadows through the
blind, these are somehow very like Miss Thing, and almost suggest
that she has been hanging herself in several places in one of her
bouts of energy. The street is in darkness, save for the meagre
glow from a street lamp, whose glass is painted red in obedience to
war regulations. It is winter time, and there is a sprinkling of
snow on the ground._

_Our_ POLICEMAN _appears in the street, not perhaps for the first
time this evening, and flashes his lantern on the suspect’s window,
whose signboard (boards again!) we now see bears this odd device_,

    _Celeste et Cie_. ———— _The Penny Friend._

_Not perhaps for the first time this evening he scratches his
head at it. Then he pounds off in pursuit of some client who
has just emerged with a pennyworth. We may imagine the two of
them in conversation in the next street, the law putting leading
questions. Meanwhile the ‘fourth’ wall of the establishment of
Celeste dissolves, but otherwise the street is as it was, and we
are now in the position of privileged persons looking in at her
window. It is a tiny room in which you could just swing a cat, and
here_ CINDERELLA _swings cats all and every evening. The chief
pieces of furniture are a table and a bench, both of which have a
suspicious appearance of having been made out of boards by some
handy character. There is a penny in the slot fireplace which has
evidently been lately fed, there is a piece of carpet that has been
beaten into nothingness, but is still a carpet, there is a hearth
rug of brilliant rags that is probably gratified when your toes
catch in it and you are hurled against the wall. Two pictures—one
of them partly framed—strike a patriotic note, but they may be
there purposely to deceive. The room is lit by a lamp, and at first
sight presents no sinister aspect unless it comes from four boxes
nailed against the walls some five or six feet from the floor. In
appearance they are not dissimilar to large grocery boxes, but it
is disquieting to note that one of them has been mended with the
board we saw lately in_ MR. BODIE’S _studio. When our_ POLICEMAN
_comes, as come we may be sure he will, the test of his acumen will
be his box action._

_The persons in the room at present have either no acumen or
are familiar with the boxes. There are four of them, besides_
CINDERELLA, _whom we catch in the act of adding to her means of
livelihood. Celeste et Cie., a name that has caught her delicate
fancy while she dashed through fashionable quarters, is the Penny
Friend because here everything is dispensed for that romantic coin.
It is evident that the fame of the emporium has spread. Three
would be customers sit on the bench awaiting their turn listlessly
and as genteelly unconscious of each other as society in a
dentist’s dining-room, while in the centre is_ CINDERELLA _fitting
an elderly gentleman with a new coat. There are pins in her mouth
and white threads in the coat, suggesting that this is not her
first struggle with it, and one of the difficulties with which she
has to contend is that it has already evidently been the coat of a
larger man_. CINDERELLA _is far too astute a performer to let it be
seen that she has difficulties, however. She twists and twirls her
patron with careless aptitude, kneads him if need be, and has him
in a condition of pulp while she mutters for her own encouragement
and his intimidation the cryptic remarks employed by tailors, as
to the exact meaning of which she has already probed_ MR. BODIE.

CINDERELLA (_wandering over her client with a tape_). 35—14. (_She
consults a paper on the table._) Yes, it’s 35—14.

    (_She pulls him out, contracts him and takes his elbows

28—7; 41—12; 15—19. (_There is something wrong, and she has to
justify her handiwork._) You was longer when you came on Monday.

GENTLEMAN (_very moved by the importance of the occasion_). Don’t
be saying that, Missy.

CINDERELLA (_pinning up the tails of his coat_). Keep still.

GENTLEMAN (_with unexpected spirit_). I warns you, Missy, I won’t
have it cut.

CINDERELLA (_an artist_). I’ll give you the bits.

GENTLEMAN. I prefers to wear them.

    (_She compares the coat with the picture of an elegant dummy._)

Were you going to make me like that picture?

CINDERELLA. I had just set my heart on copying this one. It’s the

GENTLEMAN (_faint-hearted_). I’m thinkin’ I couldn’t stand like
that man.

CINDERELLA (_eagerly_). Fine you could—with just a little practice.
I’ll let you see the effect.

    (_She bends one of his knees, extends an arm and curves the
    other till he looks like a graceful teapot. She puts his
    stick in one hand and his hat in the other, and he is now
    coquettishly saluting a lady._)

GENTLEMAN (_carried away as he looks at himself in a glass_). By
Gosh! Cut away, Missy!

CINDERELLA. I’ll need one more try-on. (_Suddenly._) That’s to say
if I’m here.

GENTLEMAN (_little understanding the poignancy of the remark_). If
it would be convenient to you to have the penny now—

CINDERELLA. No, not till I’ve earned it. It’s my rule. Good night
to you, Mr. Jennings.

GENTLEMAN. Good night, Missy.

    (_We see him go out by the door and disappear up the street._)

CINDERELLA (_sharply_). Next.

    (_An old woman comes to the table and_ CINDERELLA _politely
    pretends not to have seen her sitting there_.)

It’s Mrs. Maloney!

MRS. M. Cinders, I have a pain. It’s like a jag of a needle down my

CINDERELLA (_with a sinking, for she is secretly afraid of medical
cases_). Wait till I pop the therm-mo-mometer in. It’s a real one.
(_She says this with legitimate pride. She removes the instrument
from_ MRS. MALONEY’S _mouth after a prudent interval, and is not
certain what to do next._)

Take a deep breath.... Again.... Say 99. (_Her ear is against the
patient’s chest._)

MRS. M. 99.

CINDERELLA (_at a venture_). Oho!

MRS. M. It ain’t there the pain is—it’s down my side.

CINDERELLA (_firmly_). We never say 99 down there.

MRS. M. What’s wrong wi’ me?

CINDERELLA (_candidly_). I don’t want for to pretend, Mrs. Maloney,
that the 99 is any guidance to me. I can _not_ find out what it’s
for. I would make so bold as to call your complaint muscular
rheumatics if the pain came when you coughed. But you have no cough.

MRS. M. (_coming to close quarters_). No, but he has—my old man.
It’s him that has the pains, not me.

CINDERELLA (_hurt_). What for did you pretend it was you?

MRS. M. That was his idea. He was feared you might stop his smoking.

CINDERELLA. And so I will.

MRS. M. What’s the treatment?

CINDERELLA (_writing after consideration on a piece of paper_). One
of them mustard leaves.

MRS. M. (_taking the paper_). Is there no medicine?

CINDERELLA (_faltering_). I’m a little feared about medicine, Mrs.

MRS. M. He’ll be a kind of low-spirited if there’s not a lick of

CINDERELLA. Have you any in the house?

MRS. M. There’s what was left over of the powders my lodger had
when the kettle fell on his foot.

CINDERELLA. You could give him one of them when the cough is
troublesome. Good night, Mrs. Maloney.

MRS. M. Thank you kindly. (_She puts a penny on the table._)

CINDERELLA (_with polite surprise_). What’s that?

MRS. M. It’s the penny.

CINDERELLA. So it is! Good night, Mrs. Maloney.

MRS. M. Good night, Cinders.

    (_She departs. The penny falls into_ CINDERELLA’S _box with
    a pleasant clink_.)


    (_A woman of 35 comes forward. She is dejected, thin-lipped,
    and unlovable._)

MARION (_tossing her head_). You’re surprised to see _me_, I

CINDERELLA (_guardedly_). I haven’t the pleasure of knowing you.

MARION (_glancing at the remaining occupant of the bench_). Is that
man sleeping? Who is he? I don’t know him.

CINDERELLA. He’s sleeping. What can I do for you?

MARION (_harshly_). Nothing, I daresay. I’m at Catullo’s Buildings.
Now they’re turning me out. They say I’m not respectable.

CINDERELLA (_enlightened_). You’re—that woman?

MARION (_defiantly_). That’s me.

CINDERELLA (_shrinking_). I don’t think there’s nothing I could do
for you.

MARION (_rather appealing_). Maybe there is. I see you’ve heard my
story. They say there’s a man comes to see me at times though he
has a wife in Hoxton.

CINDERELLA. I’ve heard.

MARION. So I’m being turned out.

CINDERELLA. I don’t think it’s a case for me.

MARION. Yes, it is.

CINDERELLA. Are you terrible fond of him?

MARION. Fond of him! Damn him!

    (CINDERELLA _shrinks_. MARION _makes sure that the man is

Cinders, they’ve got the story wrong; it’s me as is his wife; I was
married to him in a church. He met that woman long after and took
up with her.

CINDERELLA. What! Then why do you not tell the truth?

MARION. It’s my pride keeps me from telling. I would rather be
thought to be the wrong ’un he likes than the wife the law makes
him help.

CINDERELLA. Is that pride?

MARION. It’s all the pride that’s left to me.

CINDERELLA. I’m awful sorry for you, but I can’t think of no advice
to give you.

MARION. It’s not advice I want.

CINDERELLA. What is it then?

MARION. It’s pity. I fling back all the gutter words they fling at
me, but my heart, Cinders, is wet at times. It’s wet for one to
pity me.

CINDERELLA. I pity you.

MARION. You’ll tell nobody?


MARION. Can I come in now and again at a time?

CINDERELLA. I’ll be glad to see you—if I’m here.

MARION. I’ll be slipping away now; he’s waking up. (_She puts down
her penny._)

CINDERELLA. I’m not doing it for no penny.

MARION. You’ve got to take it. That’s my pride. But—I wish you
well, Cinders.

CINDERELLA. I like you. I wish you would wish me luck. Say ‘Good
luck to you to-night, Cinderella.’

MARION. Why to-night?

    (_The little waif, so practical until now, is afire inside
    again. She needs a confidant almost as much as_ MARION.)

CINDERELLA (_hastily_). You see—

    (_The man sits up._)

MAN. Good evening, Missis.

MARION. Good luck to you to-night, Cinderella.

    (_She goes._)

    (_The man slips forward and lifts the penny._)

CINDERELLA (_returning to earth sharply_). Put that down.

MAN. I was only looking at the newness of it. I was just admiring
the design.

    (_The newness and the design both disappear into the box.
    A bearded person wearing the overalls of a sea-faring man
    lurches down the street and enters the emporium. Have we
    seen him before? Who can this hairy monster be?_)

POLICEMAN (_in an incredibly gruff voice_). I want a pennyworth.

CINDERELLA (_unsuspecting_). Sit down. (_She surveys the coster._)
It’s you that belongs to the shirt, isn’t it?

MAN. Yes; is’t ready?

CINDERELLA. It’s ready.

    (_It proves to be not a shirt, but a ‘front’ of linen,
    very stiff and starched. The laundress cautiously retains
    possession of it._)

The charge is a penny.

MAN. On delivery.

CINDERELLA. Before delivery.

MAN. Surely you can trust me.

CINDERELLA. You’ve tried that on before, my man. Never again! All
in this street knows my rule,—Trust in the Lord—every other person,

    (_A penny and a ‘shirt’ pass between them and he departs._)

    (CINDERELLA _turns her attention to the newcomer_.)

What’s your pleasure?

POLICEMAN. Shave, please.

CINDERELLA (_quivering before his beard_). Shave! I shaves in an
ordinary way, but I don’t know as I could tackle that.

POLICEMAN. I thought you was a barber.

CINDERELLA (_stung_). I’ll get the lather.

    (_She goes doubtfully into what she calls her bedroom._

    _He seizes this opportunity to survey the room. A
    remarkable man this, his attention is at once riveted on
    the boxes, but before he can step on a chair and take a
    peep the barber returns with the implements of her calling.
    He reaches his chair in time not to be caught by her. She
    brings in a bowl of soap and water and a towel, which she
    puts round him in the correct manner._)

CINDERELLA. You’re thin on the top.

POLICEMAN (_in his winding sheet_). I’ve all run to beard.

CINDERELLA (_the ever ready_). I have a ointment for the hair; it
is my own invention. The price is a penny.

POLICEMAN (_gruffly_). Beard, please.

CINDERELLA. I’ve got some voice drops.

POLICEMAN. Beard, please.

CINDERELLA (_as she prepares the lather_). Is the streets quiet?

POLICEMAN (_cunningly_). Hereabouts they are; but there’s great
doings in the fashionable quarters. A ball, I’m told.

CINDERELLA (_gasping_). You didn’t see no peculiar person about in
this street?

POLICEMAN. How peculiar?

CINDERELLA. Like a—a flunkey?

POLICEMAN. Did I now—or did I not?

CINDERELLA (_eagerly_). He would be carrying an invite maybe; it’s
a big card.

POLICEMAN. I can’t say I saw him.

    (_Here an astonishing thing happens. The head of a child
    rises from one of the boxes. She is unseen by either of the

CINDERELLA (_considering the beard_). How do I start with the like
of this?

POLICEMAN. First you saws....

    (_She attempts to saw. The beard comes off in her hand._)

CINDERELLA (_recognising his face_). You!

POLICEMAN (_stepping triumphantly out of his disguise_). Me!

    (_As sometimes happens, however, the one who means to
    give the surprise gets a greater. At sight of his dreaded
    uniform the child screams, whereat two other children in
    other boxes bob up and scream also. It is some time before
    the policeman can speak._)

So that’s what the boxes was for!

CINDERELLA (_feebly_). Yes.

POLICEMAN (_portentously_). Who and what are these phenomenons?

CINDERELLA (_protectingly_). Don’t be frightened, children. Down!

    (_They disappear obediently._)

There’s no wrong in it. They’re just me trying to do my bit. It’s
said all should do their bit in war-time. It was into a hospital
I wanted to go to nurse the wounded soldiers. I offered myself
at every hospital door, but none would have me, so this was all I
could do.

POLICEMAN. You’re taking care of them?

    (_She nods._)

Sounds all right. Neighbours’ children?

CINDERELLA. The brown box is. She’s half of an orphan, her father’s
a bluejacket, so, of course, I said I would.

POLICEMAN. You need say no more. I pass little bluejacket.

CINDERELLA. Those other two is allies. She’s French—and her’s a
Belgy—(_calls_). Marie-Therese.

    (_The French child sits up._)

Speak your language to the gentleman, Marie-Therese.

MARIE. Bon soir, monsieur—comment portez-vous? Je t’aime. (_She
curtseys charmingly to him from the box._)

POLICEMAN. Well, I’m ——d!


    (_The Belgian looks up._)

Make votre bow.


    (_The English child bobs up._)

A friend, Gladys.

    (GLADYS _and the policeman grin to each other_.)

GLADYS. What cheer!

CINDERELLA. Monsieur is a Britain’s defender.

MARIE. Oh, la, la! Parlez-vous français, monsieur? Non! I blow you
two kisses, monsieur—the one is to you (_kisses hand_) to keep, the
other you will give—(_kisses hand_) to Kitch.

POLICEMAN (_writing_). Sends kiss to Lord Kitchener.

CINDERELLA. She’s the one that does most of the talking.

POLICEMAN (_who is getting friendly_). I suppose that other box is
an empty.

    (CINDERELLA’S _mouth closes_.)

Is that box empty?

CINDERELLA. It’s not exactly empty.

POLICEMAN. What’s inside?

CINDERELLA. She’s the littlest.

    (_The children exchange glances and she is severe._)


    (_They disappear._)


CINDERELLA. She’s—she’s—Swiss.

POLICEMAN (_lowering_). Now then!

CINDERELLA. She’s not exactly Swiss. You can guess now what she is.

POLICEMAN (_grave_). This puts me in a very difficult position.

CINDERELLA (_beginning to cry_). Nobody would take her. She was
left over. I tried not to take her. I’m a patriot, I am. But there
she was—left over—and her so terrible little—I couldn’t help taking

POLICEMAN. I dunno. (_Quite unfairly._) If her folk had been in
your place and you in hers, they would have shown neither mercy nor
pity for you.

CINDERELLA (_stoutly_). That makes no difference.

POLICEMAN (_Was this the great moment?_). I think there’s something
uncommon about you.

CINDERELLA (_pleased_). About _me_?

POLICEMAN. I suppose she’s sleeping.


POLICEMAN. What’s she doing?

CINDERELLA. She’s strafing!

POLICEMAN. Who’s she strafing?

CINDERELLA. Very likely you. She misses nobody. You see I’ve put
some barb-wire round her box.

POLICEMAN. I see now.

CINDERELLA. It’s not really barb-wire. It’s worsted. I was feared
the wire would hurt her. But it just makes a difference.

POLICEMAN. How do the others get on with her?

CINDERELLA. I makes them get on with her. Of course there’s tongues
out, and little things like that.

POLICEMAN. Were the foreign children shy of you at first?

CINDERELLA. Not as soon as they heard my name. ‘Oh, are you
Cinderella?’ they said, in their various languages—and ‘when’s the
ball?’ they said.

POLICEMAN. Somebody must have telled them about you.

CINDERELLA (_happy_). Not here. They had heard about me in their
foreign lands. Everybody knows Cinderella, it’s fine. Even
her—(_indicating German_) the moment I mentioned my name—‘Where’s
your ugly sisters?’ says she, looking round.

POLICEMAN. Sisters? It’s new to me, your having sisters. (_He
produces his note book._)

CINDERELLA (_uneasily_). It’s kind of staggering to me, too. I
haven’t been able to manage them yet, but they’ll be at the ball.

POLICEMAN. It’s queer.

CINDERELLA. It _is_ queer.

POLICEMAN. (_sitting down with her_). How do you know this ball’s

CINDERELLA. It had to be some night. You see, after I closes my
business I have chats with the children about things, and naturally
it’s mostly about the ball. I put it off as long as I could, but it
had to be some night—and this is the night.

POLICEMAN. You mean it’s make-believe?

CINDERELLA (_almost fiercely_). None of that!

POLICEMAN (_shaking his head_). I don’t like it.

CINDERELLA (_shining_). You wouldn’t say that if you heard the
blasts on the trumpet and loud roars of ‘Make way for the Lady

    (_Three heads pop up again._)


CINDERELLA (_in a tremble of exultation_). That’s me. That’s what
you’re called at royal balls. Then loud huzzas is heard outside
from the excited popu-lace, for by this time the fame of my beauty
has spread like wild-fire through the streets, and folks is hanging
out at windows and climbing lamp-posts to catch a sight of me.

    (_Delight of the children._)

POLICEMAN. My sakes, you see the whole thing clear!

CINDERELLA. I see it from beginning to end—like as if I could touch
it—the gold walls and the throne, and the lamp-posts and the horses.

POLICEMAN. The horses?

CINDERELLA. ... Well, the competitors. The speeches—everything. If
only I had my invite! That wasn’t a knock at the door, was it?

POLICEMAN (_so carried away that he goes to see_). No.

CINDERELLA (_vindictively_). I daresay that flunkey’s sitting
drinking in some public-house.

    (_Here_ MARIE-THERESE _and_ GLADYS, _who have been
    communicating across their boxes, politely invite the_
    POLICEMAN _to go away_.)

MARIE. Bonne nuit, Monsieur.

GLADYS. Did you say you was going, Mister?

POLICEMAN. They’re wonderful polite.

CINDERELLA. I doubt that’s not politeness. The naughties—they’re
asking you to go away.

POLICEMAN. Oh! (_He rises with hauteur._)

CINDERELLA. You see we’re to have a bite of supper before I
start—to celebrate the night.

POLICEMAN. Supper with the kids! When I was a kid in the country at
Badgery—you’ve done it again!

CINDERELLA. Done what?

POLICEMAN (_with that strange feeling of being at home_). I suppose
I would be in the way?

CINDERELLA. There’s not very much to eat. There’s just one for each.

POLICEMAN. I’ve had my supper.

CINDERELLA (_seeing her way_). Have you? Then I would be very
pleased if you would stay.

POLICEMAN. Thank you kindly.

    (_She prepares the table for the feast. Eyes sparkle from
    the boxes._)

CINDERELLA (_shining_). This is the first party we’ve ever had.
Please keep an eye on the door in case there’s a knock.

    (_She darts into her bedroom, and her charges are more at
    their ease._)

MARIE (_sitting up, the better to display her nightgown_).
Monsieur, Monsieur, Voilà!

GLADYS. Cinderella made it out of watching a shop window.

POLICEMAN (_like one who has known his hostess from infancy_). Just
like her.

MARIE (_holding up a finger that is adorned with a ring_). Monsieur!

GLADYS (_more practical_). The fire’s going out.

POLICEMAN (_recklessly_). In with another penny. (_He feeds the
fire with that noble coin._) Fellow allies, I’m just going to take
a peep into the German trench! Hah!

    (_He stealthily mounts a chair and puts his hand into
    Gretchen’s box. We must presume that it is bitten by the
    invisible occupant, for he withdraws it hurriedly to the
    hearty delight of the spectators. This mirth changes to
    rapture as_ CINDERELLA _makes a conceited entrance carrying
    a jug of milk and five hot potatoes in their jackets.
    Handsomely laden as she is, it is her attire that calls
    forth the applause. She is now wearing the traditional
    short brown dress of_ CINDERELLA, _and her hair hangs
    loose. She tries to look modest._)

CINDERELLA (_displaying herself_). What do you think?

POLICEMAN (_again in Badgery_). Great! Turn round. And I suppose
you made it yourself out of a shop window?

CINDERELLA. No, we didn’t need no shop window; we all knew exactly
what I was wearing when the knock came.

GLADYS. Of course we did.

    (_A potato is passed up to each and a cup of milk between
    two. There is also a delicious saucerful of melted lard
    into which they dip._ GRETCHEN _is now as much in evidence
    as the others, and quite as attractive—the fun becomes fast
    and furious_.)


POLICEMAN. No, I thank you.

CINDERELLA. Just a snack?

POLICEMAN. Thank you.

    (_She shares with him._)

CINDERELLA. A little dip?

POLICEMAN. No, I thank you.

CINDERELLA. Just to look friendly.

POLICEMAN. I thank you. (_Dipping._) To you, Cinderella.

CINDERELLA. I thank you.

POLICEMAN (_proposing a toast_). The King!

CINDERELLA (_rather consciously_). And the Prince of Wales.

GLADYS. And father.

POLICEMAN. The King, the Prince of Wales, and father.

    (_The toast is drunk, dipped and eaten with acclamation._
    GLADYS, _uninvited, recites ‘The Mariners of England.’_
    MARIE-THERESE _follows (without waiting for the end) with
    the Marseillaise, and_ GRETCHEN _puts out her tongue at
    both. Our_ POLICEMAN _having intimated that he desires to
    propose another toast of a more lengthy character, the
    children are lifted down and placed in their nightgowns at
    the table_.)

POLICEMAN (_suddenly becoming nervous_). I have now the honour to
propose absent friends.

GLADYS (_with an inspiration to which_ MARIE-THERESE _bows
elegantly_). Vive la France!

POLICEMAN. I mean our friends at the Front. And they have their
children, too. Your boxes we know about, but I daresay there’s many
similar and even queerer places, where the children, the smallest
of our allies, are sleeping this night within the sound of shells.

MARIE. La petite Belgique. La pauvre enfant!

DELPHINE (_proudly_). Me!

POLICEMAN. So here’s to absent friends—

GLADYS (_with another inspiration_). Absent boxes!

POLICEMAN. Absent boxes! And there’s a party we know about who
would like uncommon to have the charge of the lot of them—(_looking
at Cinderella_). And I couples the toast with the name of the said

CINDERELLA (_giving a pennyworth for nothing_). Kind friends, it
would be pretending of me not to let on that I know I am the party
referred to by the last speaker—in far too flattersome words. When
I look about me and see just four boxes I am a kind of shamed, but
it wasn’t very convenient to me to have more. I will now conclude
by saying I wish I was the old woman that lived in a shoe, and it
doesn’t matter how many I had I would have known fine what to do.
The end.

(_After further diversion._) It’s a fine party. I hope your potato
is mealy?

POLICEMAN. I never had a better tatie.

CINDERELLA. Don’t spare the skins.

POLICEMAN. But you’re eating nothing yourself.

CINDERELLA. I’m not hungry. And, of course, I’ll be expected to
take a bite at the ball.

    (_This reminder of the ball spoils the_ POLICEMAN’S _enjoyment_.)

POLICEMAN. I wish—you wasn’t so sure of the ball.

GLADYS (_in defence_). Why shouldn’t she not be sure of it?

DELPHINE. Pourquoi, Monsieur?

CINDERELLA (_rather hotly_). Don’t say things like that here.

MARIE. Has Monsieur by chance seen God-mamma coming?

POLICEMAN. God-mamma?

CINDERELLA. That’s my Godmother; she brings my ball dress and a
carriage with four ponies.

GLADYS. Then away she goes to the ball—hooray—hooray!

CINDERELLA. It’s all perfectly simple once Godmother comes.

POLICEMAN (_with unconscious sarcasm_). I can see she’s important.

CINDERELLA (_with the dreadful sinking that comes to her at
times_). You think she’ll come, don’t you?

POLICEMAN. Cinderella, your hand’s burning—and in this cold room.

CINDERELLA. Say you think she’ll come.

POLICEMAN. I—well, I.... I....

GLADYS (_imploringly_). Say it, Mister!

DELPHINE (_begging_). Monsieur! Monsieur!

MARIE. If it is that you love me, Monsieur!

POLICEMAN (_in distress_). I question of there was ever before a
member of the Force in such a position. (_Yielding._) I expect
she’ll come.

    (_This settles it in the opinion of the children, but their
    eyes are too bright for such a late hour, and they are ordered
    to bed. Our_ POLICEMAN _replaces them in their boxes_.)

CINDERELLA. One—two—three . . . couchy!

    (_They disappear._)

POLICEMAN (_awkwardly and trying to hedge_). Of course this is an
out-of-the-way little street for a Godmother to find.

CINDERELLA. Yes, I’ve thought of that. I’d best go and hang about
outside; she would know me by my dress.

POLICEMAN (_hastily_). I wouldn’t do that. It’s a cold night. (_He
wanders about the room eyeing her sideways._) Balls is always late

CINDERELLA. I’m none so sure. In war-time, you see, with the
streets so dark and the King so kind, it would be just like him to
begin early and close at ten instead of twelve. I must leave before
twelve. If I don’t, there’s terrible disasters happens.

POLICEMAN (_unable to follow this_). The ball might be put off
owing to the Prince of Wales being in France.

CINDERELLA. He catched the last boat. I’ll go out and watch.

POLICEMAN (_desperate_). Stay where you are, and—and I’ll have a
look for her.

CINDERELLA. You’re too kind.

POLICEMAN. Not at all. I must be stepping at any rate. If I can
lay hands on her I’ll march her here, though I have to put the
handcuffs on her.

GLADYS (_looking up_). I think I heard a knock!

    (_The_ POLICEMAN _looks out, shakes his head, and finally
    departs after a queer sort of handshake with_ MISS THING.)

CINDERELLA. He’s a nice man.

GLADYS. Have you known him long?

CINDERELLA (_thinking it out_). A longish time. He’s head of the
secret police; him and me used to play together as children down in
Badgery. His folks live in a magnificent castle, with two doors.
(_She becomes a little bewildered._) I’m all mixed up.

    (_The children are soon asleep. She wanders aimlessly to
    the door. The wall closes on the little room, and we now
    see her standing in the street. Our_ POLICEMAN _returns and
    flashes his lantern on her_.)


POLICEMAN. It’s me. But there’s no Godmother! There’s not a
soul.... No.... Good night, Cinderella. Go inside.

CINDERELLA (_doggedly_). Not me! I don’t feel the cold—not much.
And one has to take risks to get a Prince. The only thing I’m
feared about is my feet. If they was to swell I mightn’t be able
to get the slippers on, and he would have naught to do with me.

POLICEMAN. What slippers? If you won’t go back, I’ll stop here with

CINDERELLA. No, I think there’s more chance of her coming if I’m

POLICEMAN. I’m very troubled about you.

CINDERELLA (_wistfully_). Do you think I’m just a liar? Maybe I am.
You see I’m all mixed up. I’m sore in need of somebody to help me

POLICEMAN. I would do it if I could.

CINDERELLA. I’m sure. (_Anxiously_.) Are you good at riddles?

    (_He shakes his head._)

There’s always a riddle before you can marry into a royal family.

POLICEMAN (_with increased gloom_). The whole thing seems to be
most terrible difficult.

CINDERELLA. Yes.... Good night.

POLICEMAN. You won’t let me stay with you?


    (_He puts his lantern on the ground beside her._)

What’s that for?

POLICEMAN (_humbly_). It’s just a sort of guard for you. (_He takes
off his muffler and puts it several times round her neck._)


POLICEMAN. Good luck!

    (_She finds it easiest just to nod in reply._)

I wish I was a Prince.

CINDERELLA (_suddenly struck by the idea_). You’re kind of like him.

    (_He goes away. She sits down on the step to wait. She
    shivers. She takes the muffler off her neck and winds it
    round her more valuable feet. She falls asleep._

    _Darkness comes, and snow. From somewhere behind, the
    shadowy figure of_ CINDERELLA’S _Godmother, beautiful in
    a Red Cross Nurse’s uniform, is seen looking benignantly
    on the waif_. CINDERELLA _is just a little vague, huddled
    form—there is no movement_.)

GODMOTHER. Cinderella, my little godchild!

CINDERELLA (_with eyes unopening_). Is that you, Godmother?

GODMOTHER. It is I; my poor god-daughter is all mixed up, and I
have come to help her out.

CINDERELLA. You have been long in coming. I very near gave you up.

GODMOTHER. Sweetheart, I couldn’t come sooner, because in these
days, you know, even the fairy godmother is with the Red Cross.

CINDERELLA. Was that the reason? I see now; I thought perhaps you
kept away because I wasn’t a good girl.

GODMOTHER. You have been a good brave girl; I am well pleased with
my darling godchild.

CINDERELLA. It is fine to be called darling; it heats me up. I’ve
been wearying for it, Godmother. Life’s a kind of hard.

GODMOTHER. It will always be hard to you, Cinderella. I can’t
promise you anything else.

CINDERELLA. I don’t suppose I could have my three wishes, Godmother.

GODMOTHER. I am not very powerful in these days, Cinderella; but
what are your wishes?

CINDERELLA. I would like fine to have my ball, Godmother.

GODMOTHER. You shall have your ball.

CINDERELLA. I would like to nurse the wounded.

GODMOTHER. You shall nurse the wounded.

CINDERELLA. I would like to be loved by the man of my choice,

GODMOTHER. You shall be loved by the man of your choice.

CINDERELLA. Thank you kindly. The ball first, if you please, and
could you squeeze in the children so that they may see me in my

GODMOTHER. Now let this be my downtrodden godchild’s ball, not as
balls are, but as they are conceived to be in a little chamber in
Cinderella’s head.

    (_She fades from sight. In the awful stillness we can
    now hear the tiny clatter of horses infinitely small and
    infinitely far off. It is the equipage of_ CINDERELLA.
    _Then an unearthly trumpet sounds thrice, and the darkness
    is blown away._

    _It is the night of the most celebrated ball in history,
    and we see it through our heroine’s eyes. She has, as it
    were, made everything with her own hands, from the cloths
    of gold to the ices._

    _Nearly everything in the ball-room is of gold: it was
    only with an effort that she checked herself from dabbing
    gold on the regal countenances. You can see that she has
    not passed by gin-palaces without thinking about them.
    The walls and furniture are so golden that you have but
    to lean against them to acquire a competency. There is a
    golden throne with gold cloths on it, and the royal seats
    are three golden rocking chairs; there would be a fourth
    golden rocking chair if it were not that_ CINDERELLA _does
    not want you to guess where she is to sit. These chairs
    are stuffed to a golden corpulency. The panoply of the
    throne is about twenty feet high—each foot of pure gold;
    and nested on the top of it is a golden reproduction of
    the grandest thing_ CINDERELLA _has ever seen—the private
    box of a theatre. In this box sit, wriggle, and sprawl
    the four children in their nightgowns, leaning over the
    golden parapet as if to the manner born and carelessly
    kicking nuggets out of it. They are shouting, pointing, and
    otherwise behaving badly, eating oranges out of paper bags,
    then blowing out the bags and bursting them. The superb
    scene is lit by four street lamps with red glass. Dancing
    is going on: the ladies all in white, the gentlemen in
    black with swords. If you were unused to royal balls you
    would think every one of these people was worth describing
    separately; but, compared to what is coming, it may be said
    that_ CINDERELLA _has merely pushed them on with her lovely
    foot. They are her idea of courtiers, and have anxious
    expressions as if they knew she was watching them. They
    have character in the lump, if we may put it that way,
    but none individually. Thus one cannot smile or sigh, for
    instance, without all the others smiling or sighing. At
    night they probably sleep in two large beds, one for ladies
    and one for gentlemen, and if one of the ladies, say, wants
    to turn round, she gives the signal, and they all turn
    simultaneously. As children they were not like this; they
    had genuine personal traits, but these have gradually been
    blotted out as they basked in royal favour; thus, if the_
    KING _wipes his glasses they all pretend that their glasses
    need wiping, and when the_ QUEEN _lets her handkerchief
    fall they all stoop loyally to pick up their own_.

    _Down the golden steps at the back comes the_ LORD MAYOR,
    _easily recognisable by his enormous chain_.)

LORD MAYOR. O yes, O yes, make way everyone for the Lord
Mayor—namely myself.

    (_They all make way for him. Two black boys fling open
    lovely curtains._)

O yes, O yes, make way every one, and also myself, for Lord Times.

    (_This is a magnificent person created by_ CINDERELLA _on
    learning from_ MR. BODIE _that the press is all powerful
    and that the ‘Times’ is the press. He carries one hand
    behind his back, as if it might be too risky to show the
    whole of himself at once, and it is noticeable that as he
    walks his feet do not quite touch the ground. He is the
    only person who is not a little staggered by the amount
    of gold: you almost feel that he thinks there is not
    quite enough of it. He very nearly sits down on one of
    the royal rocking chairs: and the_ LORD MAYOR, _looking
    red and unhappy, and as if he had now done for himself,
    has to whisper to him that the seats under the throne are

O yes, O yes, make way for the Censor.

    (CINDERELLA _has had a good deal of trouble over this
    person, of whom she has heard a great deal in war-time,
    without meeting anyone who can tell her what he is like.
    She has done her best, and he is long and black and thin,
    dressed as tightly as a fish, and carries an executioner’s
    axe. All fall back from him in fear, except_ LORD TIMES,
    _who takes a step forward, and then the_ CENSOR _falls

O yes, O yes, make way everybody for his Royal Highness the King,
and his good lady the Queen.

    (_The_ KING _and_ QUEEN _are attired like their portraits
    on playing cards, who are the only royalties_ CINDERELLA
    _has seen, and they advance grandly to their rocking
    chairs, looking as if they thought the whole public was
    dirt, but not so much despised dirt as dirt with good
    points._ LORD TIMES _fixes them with his eye, and the_ KING
    _hastily crosses and shakes hands with him_.)

O yes, O yes, make way everyone, except the King, and Queen, and
Lord Times, for His Highness Prince Hard-to-Please.

    (_The heir apparent comes, preceded by trumpeters. His
    dress may a little resemble that of the extraordinary
    youth seen by_ CINDERELLA _in her only pantomime, but
    what quite takes our breath away is his likeness to our_
    POLICEMAN. _If the ball had taken place a night earlier
    it may be hazarded that the_ PRINCE _would have presented
    quite a different face. It is as if_ CINDERELLA’S _views of
    his personality had undergone some unaccountable change,
    confusing even to herself, and for a moment the whole scene
    rocks, the street lamps wink, and odd shadows stalk among
    the courtiers, shadows of_ MR. BODIE, MARION, _and the
    party in an unfinished coat, who have surely no right to be
    here. This is only momentarily; then the palace steadies
    itself again._

    _The_ KING _rises, and in stately manner addresses his
    guests in the words Cinderella conceives to be proper
    to his royal mouth. As he stands waiting superbly for
    the applause to cease, he holds on to a strap hanging
    conveniently above his head. To_ CINDERELLA _strap-hanging
    on the Underground has been a rare and romantic privilege._)

KING. My loyal subjects, all ’ail! I am as proud of you as you are
of me. It gives me and my good lady much pleasure to see you ’ere
by special invite, feasting at our expense. There is a paper bag
for each, containing two sandwiches, buttered on both sides, a
piece of cake, a hard-boiled egg, and an orange or a banana.

    (_The cheers of the delighted courtiers gratify him, but
    the vulgar children over his head continue their rub-a-dub
    on the parapet until he glares up at them. Even then they

Ladies and Gents all, pleasant though it is to fill up with good
victuals, that is not the chief object of this royal invite. We are
’ere for a solemn purpose, namely, to find a mate for our noble
son. All the beauties are waiting in the lobby: no wonder he is

    (_All look at the_ PRINCE, _who is rocking and yawning_.)

He will presently wake up; but first I want to say—(_here he
becomes conscious of_ LORD TIMES). What is it?

LORD TIMES. Less talk.

KING. Certainly. (_He sits down._)

PRINCE (_encouraged to his feet by various royal nudges_). My liege
King and Queen-Mother, you can have the competitors brought in, and
I will take a look at them; but I have no hope. My curse is this,
that I am a scoffer about females. I can play with them for a idle
hour and then cast them from me even as I cast this banana skin. I
can find none so lovely that I may love her for aye from the depths
of my passionate heart. I am so blasted particular. O yes! O yes!
(_He sits down and looks helpless._)

KING (_undismayed_). All ready?

    (_The_ LORD MAYOR _bows_.)

All is ready, my son.

PRINCE (_bored_). Then let loose the Beauts.

    (_To heavenly music from the royal hurdy-gurdies the_
    BEAUTIES _descend the stairs, one at a time. There are a
    dozen of the fine creatures, in impudent confections such
    as_ CINDERELLA _has seen in papers in_ MR. BODIE’S _studio;
    some of them with ropes of hair hanging down their proud
    backs as she has seen them in a hair-dresser’s window. As
    we know, she has once looked on at a horse show, and this
    has coloured her conception of a competition for a prince.
    The ladies prance round the ball-room like high-stepping
    steeds; it is evident that_ CINDERELLA _has had them fed
    immediately before releasing them; her pride is to show
    them at their very best, and then to challenge them._

    _They paw the floor wantonly until_ LORD TIMES _steps
    forward. Peace thus restored_, HIS MAJESTY _proceeds_.)

KING. The first duty of a royal consort being to be _good_, the
test of goodness will now be applied by the Lord Mayor. Every
competitor who does not pass in goodness will be made short work of.

    (_Several ladies quake, and somewhere or other unseen_
    CINDERELLA _is chuckling_.)

ONE OF THE STEEDS. I wasn’t told about this. It isn’t fair.

LORD MAYOR (_darkly_). If your Grace wishes to withdraw—

    (_She stamps._)

KING. The Lord Mayor will now apply the test.

LORD MAYOR (_to a gold page_). The therm-mo-ometers, boy!

    (_A whole boxful of thermometers is presented to him by
    the page on bended knee. The_ LORD MAYOR _is now in his
    element. He has ridden in gold coaches and knows what
    hussies young women often are. To dainty music he trips up
    the line of beauties and pops a tube into each pouting
    mouth. The competitors circle around, showing their paces
    while he stands, watch in hand, giving them two minutes.
    Then airily he withdraws the tubes; he is openly gleeful
    when he finds sinners. Twice he is in doubt, it is a very
    near thing, and he has to consult the_ KING _in whispers:
    the_ KING _takes the_ QUEEN _aside, to whisper behind
    the door as it were; then they both look at_ LORD TIMES,
    _who, without even stepping forward, says ‘No’—and the
    doubtfuls are at once bundled out of the chamber with the
    certainties. Royalty sighs, and the courtiers sigh and
    the_ LORD MAYOR _sighs in a perfunctory way, but there
    is a tossing of manes from the beauties who have scraped

KING (_stirring up the_ PRINCE, _who has fallen asleep_). Our Royal
Bud will now graciously deign to pick out a few possibles.

    (_His Royal Highness yawns._)

LORD MAYOR (_obsequiously_). If your Highness would like a little

PRINCE (_you never know how they will take things_). We shall do
this for ourselves, my good fellow.

    (_He smacks the_ LORD MAYOR’S _face with princely elegance.
    The_ LORD MAYOR _takes it as a favour, and the courtiers
    gently smack each other’s faces and are very proud to
    be there. The_ PRINCE _moves languidly down the line of
    beauties considering their points, occasionally nodding
    approval but more often screwing up his nose. The courtiers
    stand ready with nods or noses. Several ladies think
    they have been chosen, but he has only brought them into
    prominence to humiliate them; he suddenly says ‘Good-bye,’
    and they have to go, while he is convulsed with merriment.
    He looks sharply at the courtiers to see if they are
    convulsed also, and they are. The others are flung out._)

QUEEN (_hanging on to her strap_). Does our Royal one experience no
palpitation at all?

PRINCE (_sleepily_). Ah me, ah me!

LORD TIMES (_irritated_). You’re well called ’Ard-to-Please. You
would turn up your nose at a lady though she were shaped like
Apollo’s bow.

    (_The_ PRINCE _shrugs his shoulder to indicate that love
    cannot be forced_.)

LORD MAYOR (_darkly_). And now we come to the severer test.

    (_With a neat action, rather like taking a lid off a pot,
    the_ LORD MAYOR _lets it be known to the ladies that
    they must now lift their skirts to show their feet. When
    this devastating test is concluded, there are only two
    competitors left in the room._)

LORD TIMES (_almost as if he were thinking of himself_). Can’t have

    (_Cards such as_ CINDERELLA _saw at the horse show, with
    ‘1st,’ ‘2nd,’ and ‘3rd’ on them, are handed to the_ PRINCE.
    _Like one well used to such proceedings, he pins 2nd and
    3rd into the ladies’ bodices._)

QUEEN (_gloomily_). But still no first.

    (_The_ CHILDREN _applaud; they have been interfering

KING. Come, come, proud youth, you feel no palps at all?

PRINCE. Not a palp. Perhaps for a moment this one’s nose—that one’s
cock of the head—But it has passed.

    (_He drearily resumes his rocking chair. No one seems to
    know what to do next._)

MARIE (_to the rescue_). The two Ugly Sisters! Monsieur le Roi, the
two Ugly Sisters! (_She points derisively at the winners._)

KING (_badgered_). How did these children get their invites?

    (_This is another thing that no one knows. Once more the
    room rocks, and_ MR. BODIE _passes across it as if looking
    for some one. Then a growing clamour is heard outside.
    Bugles sound. The_ LORD MAYOR _goes and returns with
    strange news_.)

LORD MAYOR. Another competitor, my King. Make way for the Lady

KING. Cinderella? I don’t know her.

GLADYS (_nearly falling out of the box_). You’ll soon know her. Now
you’ll see! Somebody wake the Prince up.

    (_The portals are flung open, and_ CINDERELLA _is seen
    alighting from her lovely equipage, which we will not
    describe because some one has described it before. But
    note the little waggle of her foot just before she favours
    the ground. We have thought a great deal about how our_
    CINDERELLA _should be dressed for this occasion: white of
    course, and she looked a darling in it, but we boggle at
    its really being of the grandest stuff and made in the shop
    where the Beauties got theirs. No, the material came from
    poorer warehouses in some shabby district not far from the
    street of the penny shop; her eyes had glistened as she
    gazed at it through the windows, and she paid for it with
    her life’s blood, and made the frock herself. Very possibly
    it was bunchy here and there._

    CINDERELLA _then comes sailing down into the ball-room, not
    a sound to be heard except the ecstatic shrieks of the four
    children. She is modest but calmly confident; she knows
    exactly what to do. She moves once round the room to show
    her gown, then curtseys to the Royal personages; then,
    turning to the_ LORD MAYOR, _opens her mouth and signs to
    him to pop in the thermometer. He does it as in a dream.
    Presently he is excitedly showing the thermometer to the_

KING. Marvellous! 99!

    (_The cry is repeated from all sides. The_ QUEEN _hands
    the_ KING _a long pin from her coiffure, and the_ PRINCE
    _is again wakened_.)

PRINCE (_with his hand to his brow_). What, another! Oh, all right;
but you know this is a dog’s life. (_He goes to_ CINDERELLA, _takes
one glance at her and resumes his chair_.)

LORD MAYOR (_while the children blub_). That settles it, I think.
(_He is a heartless fellow._) That will do. Stand back, my girl.

CINDERELLA (_calmly_). I don’t think.

KING. It’s no good, you know.

CINDERELLA (_curtseying_). Noble King, there is two bits of me
thy son hath not yet seen. I crave my rights. (_She points to the
two bits referred to, which are encased in the loveliest glass

KING. True. Boy, do your duty.

PRINCE. Oh, bother!

    (_Those words are the last spoken by him in his present
    state. When we see him again, which is the moment
    afterwards, he is translated. He looks the same, but so
    does a clock into which new works have been put. The change
    is effected quite simply by_ CINDERELLA _delicately raising
    her skirt and showing him her foot. As the exquisite nature
    of the sight thus vouchsafed to him penetrates his being a
    tremor passes through his frame; his vices take flight from
    him and the virtues enter. It is a heady wakening, and he
    falls at her feet. The courtiers are awkward, not knowing
    whether they should fall also._ CINDERELLA _beams to the
    children, who utter ribald cries of triumph_.)

KING (_rotating on his strap_). Give him air! Fill your lungs, my

QUEEN (_on hers_). My boy! My boy!

LORD MAYOR (_quickly taking the royal cue_). Oh, lady fair!

    (_The_ PRINCE’S _palpitations increase in violence_.)

QUEEN. Oh, happy sight!

KING. Oh, glorious hour!

LORD MAYOR (_not sure that he was heard the first time_). Oh, lady

    (_The_ PRINCE _springs to his feet. He is looking very

LORD TIMES (_probably remembering how he looked once_). The Prince
is about to propose!

LORD MAYOR. O yes, O yes, O yes!

KING. Proceed, my son.

PRINCE (_with lover-like contortions and addressing himself largely
to the feet_). Dew of the morning, garden of delight, sweet petals
of enchanted nights, the heavens have opened and through the chink
thou hast fallen at my feet, even as I fall at thine. Thou art not
one but twain, and these the twain—Oh, pretty feet on which my lady
walks, are they but feet? O no, O no, O no! They are so small I
cannot see them. Hie! A candle that I may see my lady’s feet!

    (_He kisses one foot, and she holds up the other for similar

O Cinderella, if thou wilt deign to wife with me, I’ll do my best
to see that through the years you always walk on kisses.

    (_The courtiers resolve to walk on kisses for evermore._)

LORD MAYOR. The Prince has proposed. The Lady Cinderella will now

KING. Lovely creature, take pity on my royal son.

QUEEN. Cinderella, be my daughter.

LORD TIMES (_succinctly_). Yes, or no?

CINDERELLA. There’s just one thing. Before I answer, I would like
that little glass thing to be put in his mouth.

LORD MAYOR (_staggered_). The Ther-mo-mo-meter?

KING. In our _Prince’s_ mouth!

LORD TIMES. Why not?

CINDERELLA. Just to make sure that he is good.

PRINCE (_with a sinking_). Oh, I say!

QUEEN. Of course he is good, Cinderella—he is our son.

CINDERELLA (_doggedly_). I would like it put in his mouth.

KING. But—

PRINCE (_alarmed_). Pater!

LORD TIMES. It must be done.

    (_The test is therefore made. The royal mouth has to open
    to the thermometer, which is presently passed to the_ KING
    _for examination. He looks very grave. The_ PRINCE _seizes
    the tell-tale thing, and with a happy thought lets it fall_.)


    (_The joyous cry is taken up by all, and_ CINDERELLA _goes
    divinely on one knee to her lord and master_.)

CINDERELLA (_simply_). I accepts.

KING (_when the uproar has ceased_). All make merry! The fire is
going low. (_Recklessly._) In with another shilling!

    (_A shilling is dumped into the shilling-in-the-slot stove,
    which blazes up. The_ PRINCE _puts his arm round his love_.)

LORD TIMES (_again remembering his day of days_). My Prince, not so
fast. There is still the riddle.

PRINCE. I had forgotten.

CINDERELLA (_quaking_). I was feared there would be a riddle.

KING (_prompted by_ LORD TIMES). Know ye all, my subjects, that
before blue blood can wed there is a riddle; and she who cannot
guess it—(_darkly_) is taken away and censored.

    (_The_ CENSOR _with his axe comes into sudden prominence
    behind_ CINDERELLA _and the two other competitors_.)

My Lord Times, the riddle!

LORD TIMES. I hold in my one hand the riddle, and in the other
the answer in a sealed envelope, to prevent any suspicion of
hanky-panky. Third prize, forward! Now, my child, this is the
riddle. On the night of the Zeppelin raids, what was it that
everyone rushed to save first?

3RD PRIZE. The children.

LORD TIMES. Children not included.

    (_The lady is at a loss._)

PRINCE. Time’s up! Hoo-ray!

    (_He signs callously to the_ CENSOR, _who disappears with
    his victim through a side door, to reappear presently,
    wiping his axe and skipping gaily_.)

LORD TIMES. Second prize, forward. Now, Duchess, answer.

2ND PRIZE. Her jewels!

    (LORD TIMES _shakes his head_.)

PRINCE (_brightly_). Off with her head! Drown her in a bucket!

    (_The_ CENSOR _again removes the lady and does his fell work_.)

LORD TIMES. First prize, forward. Now, Cinderella, answer.

    (_The_ CENSOR, _a kindly man but used to his calling, puts
    his hand on her shoulder, to lead her away. She removes it
    without looking at him._)

CINDERELLA. It’s not a catch, is it?

LORD TIMES (_hotly_). No, indeed.

CINDERELLA. There’s just one thing all true Britons would be
anxious about.

KING (_who has been allowed to break the envelope and read the
answer_). But what, Cinderella—what?

LORD MAYOR (_hedging again_). What, chit?

CINDERELLA. Their love-letters.

KING and LORD TIMES (_together, but_ LORD TIMES _a little in
front_). The fair Cinderella has solved the riddle!

LORD MAYOR (_promptly_). Oh, fair lady!

CINDERELLA (_remembering the Venus_). There’s just one thing that
makes it not quite a perfect ball. I wanted Mrs. Bodie to be one of
the competitors—so as I could beat her.

KING. Send for her at once. Take a taxi.

    (_A courtier rushes out whistling, and returns with_ VENUS,
    _now imbued with life. Her arms go out wantonly to the_
    PRINCE. _He signs to the_ CENSOR, _who takes her away and
    breaks her up_.)

PRINCE. I crave a boon. The wedding at once, my lord.

    (LORD TIMES _signifies assent_.)

KING. The marriage ceremony will now take place.

CINDERELLA (_calling to the children_). Bridesmaids!

    (_They rush down and become her bridesmaids. At the top of
    the stair appears a penguin—a penguin or a bishop, they
    melt into each other on great occasions. The regal couple

PENGUIN. Do you, O Prince, take this lady to be your delightful
wife—and to adore her for ever?

PRINCE. I do, I do! Oh, I do, I do indeed! I do—I do—I do!

PENGUIN. Do you, Cinderella, loveliest of your sex, take this
Prince for husband, and to love, honour, and obey him?

CINDERELLA (_primly_). If you please.

PENGUIN. The ring?

    (_It is_ MARIE-THERESE’S _great hour; she passes her ring
    to_ CINDERELLA, _who is married in it. Triumphant music
    swells out as a crown is put upon our Princess’s head, and
    an extraordinary long train attached to her person. Her
    husband and she move dreamily round the ball-room, the
    children holding up the train._ LORD TIMES _with exquisite
    taste falls in behind them. Then follow the courtiers, all
    dreamily; and completing the noble procession is the_ LORD
    MAYOR, _holding aloft on a pole an enormous penny. It has
    the face of_ CINDERELLA _on one side of it—the penny which
    to those who know life is the most romantic of coins unless
    its little brother has done better._

    _The music, despite better intentions, begins to lose its
    head. It obviously wants to dance. Everyone wants to dance.
    Even_ LORD TIMES _has trouble with his legs_.)

KING (_threatening, supplicating_). Don’t dance yet. I’ve got a
surprise for you. Don’t dance. I haven’t told you about it, so as
to keep you on the wonder.

    (_In vain do they try to control themselves._)

It’s ices!

    (_All stop dancing._)

(_Hoarsely._) There’s an ice-cream for everybody.

    (_Amid applause the royal ice-cream barrow is wheeled on by
    haughty menials who fill the paper sieves with dabs of the
    luscious condiment. The paper sieves are of gold, but there
    are no spoons. The children, drunk with expectation, forget
    their manners and sit on the throne. Somehow_ CINDERELLA’S
    _penny clients drift in again, each carrying a sieve._)

None touches till one royal lick has been taken by us four.... (_He
gives them a toast._) To the Bridal Pair!

    (_At the royal word ‘Go!’_ ALL _attack the ices with their
    tongues, greedily but gracefully. They end in the approved
    manner by gobbling up the sieves. It is especially charming
    to see the last of_ LORD TIME’S _sieve unbend. The music
    becomes irresistible. If you did not dance you would be
    abandoned by your legs. It is as if a golden coin had
    been dropped into a golden slot. Ranks are levelled. The_
    KING _asks_ GLADYS _for this one; the_ QUEEN _is whisked
    away by_ MR. BODIE. _Perhaps they dance like costers: if
    you had time to reflect you might think it a scene in the
    streets. It becomes too merry to last; couples are whirled
    through the walls as if the floor itself were rotating:
    soon_ CINDERELLA _and her_ PRINCE _dance alone. It is then
    that the clock begins to strike twelve._ CINDERELLA _should
    fly now, or woe befall her. Alas, she hears nothing save
    the whispers of her lover. The hour has struck, and her
    glorious gown shrinks slowly into the tattered frock of a
    girl with a broom. Too late she huddles on the floor to
    conceal the change. In another moment the_ PRINCE _must
    see. The children gather round her with little cries, and,
    spreading out their nightgowns to conceal her, rush her
    from the scene. It is then that the_ PRINCE _discovers his
    loss. In a frenzy he calls her sweet name. The bewildered
    girl has even forgotten to drop the slipper, without
    which he shall never find her._ MARIE-THERESE, _the
    ever-vigilant, steals back with it, and leaves it on the

    _The ball-room is growing dark. The lamps have gone out.
    There is no light save the tiniest glow, which has been
    showing on the floor all the time, unregarded by us. It
    seems to come from a policeman’s lantern. The gold is all
    washed out by the odd streaks of white that come down like
    rain. Soon the_ PRINCE’S _cry of_ ‘CINDERELLA, CINDERELLA’
    _dies away. It is no longer a ball-room on which the
    lantern sheds this feeble ray. It is the street outside_
    CINDERELLA’S _door, a white street now, silent in snow. The
    child in her rags, the policeman’s scarf still round her
    precious feet, is asleep on the door step, very little life
    left in her, very little oil left in the lantern._)


_The retreat in which_ CINDERELLA _is to be found two months later
has been described to us by our policeman with becoming awe. It
seems to be a very pleasant house near the sea, and possibly in
pre-war days people were at ease in it. None of that, says the
policeman emphatically, with_ DR. BODIE _in charge. He could
wink discreetly at_ DR. BODIE _in absence, but was prepared to
say on oath that no one ever winked at her when she was present.
In the old days he had been more than a passive observer of the
suffragette in action, had even been bitten by them in the way of
business; had not then gone into the question of their suitability
for the vote, but liked the pluck of them; had no objection to his
feelings on the woman movement being summed up in this way, that
he had vaguely disapproved of their object, but had admired their
methods. After knowing_ DR. BODIE _he must admit that his views
about their object had undergone a change; was now a whole-hearted
supporter, felt in his bones that_ DR. BODIE _was born to command:
astonishing thing about her that she did it so natural-like. She
was not in the least mannish or bullying; she was a very ladylike
sort of person, a bit careful about the doing of her hair, and the
set of her hat, and she had a soft voice, though what you might
call an arbitrary manner. Very noticeable the way she fixed you
with her steely eye. In appearance she was very like her room
at the retreat, or the room was very like her; everything in
cruel good order, as you might say; an extraordinarily decorous
writing table near the centre, the sort of table against which
you instinctively stood and waited to make your deposition; the
friendliest thing in the room (to a policeman) was the book-cases
with wire doors, because the books looked through the wires at you
in a homely way like prisoners. It was a sunny room at times, but
this did not take away from its likeness to the doctor, who could
also smile on occasion._

_Into this room_ MR. BODIE _is shown on a summer afternoon by a
maid with no nonsense about her in working hours._

MAID (_who knows that male visitors should be impressed at once_).
This way, sir; I shall see whether Dr. Bodie is disengaged.

BODIE (_doggedly_). _Miss_ Bodie.

MAID (_with firm sweetness_). Dr. Bodie, sir. What name shall I say?

BODIE (_wincing_). Mr. Bodie. Her brother.

MAID (_unmoved_). I shall tell Dr. Bodie, sir.

BODIE (_a fighter to the last_). Miss Bodie.

MAID. Dr. Bodie, sir.

    (_He is surveying the room with manly disapproval when
    his sister appears and greets him. She is all that the
    policeman has said of her, and more; if we did not have a
    heroine already we would choose_ DR. BODIE. _At the same
    time it cannot be denied that she is enough to make any
    brother wince. For instance, immediately she has passed
    him the time of day, she seems to be considering his case.
    Perhaps this is because she has caught him frowning at her
    stethescope. There is certainly a twinkle somewhere about
    her face. Before he can step back indignantly she raises
    one of his eyelids and comes to a conclusion._)

DR. BODIE. Oh dear! Well, Dick, it’s entirely your own fault.

    (MR. BODIE _has a curious trick of kicking backwards with
    one foot when people take liberties with him, and a liberty
    has been taken with him now._)

Kick away Dick, but you needn’t pretend that you have no faith in
me as a medical man; for when you are really ill you always take
the first train down here. In your heart I am the only doctor you
believe in.

BODIE. Stuff, Nellie.

DR. BODIE. Then why did you put Cinderella under my care?

BODIE. I didn’t know where else to send her when she was discharged
from the hospital. Had to give her a chance of picking up.
(_Thawing._) It was good of you to give her board and lodging.

DR. BODIE (_sitting down to her day-book_). Not at all. I’ll send
you in a whacking bill for her presently.

BODIE (_kicking_). Well, I’ve come all this way to see her. How is
she getting on, Nellie?

DR. BODIE. She is in the garden. I daresay you can see her from the

BODIE. I see some men only; I believe they are wounded Tommies.

DR. BODIE. Yes. There’s a Convalescent Home down here. That is part
of my job. Do the men look as if they were gathering round anything?

BODIE. They do.

DR. BODIE. Ah! Then that is Cinderella. She is now bossing the
British Army, Dick.

BODIE. I might have guessed it. (_Chuckling._) Does she charge a

DR. BODIE. Not to the military.

BODIE. Nellie, I have had some inquiries made lately about her

DR. BODIE. She doesn’t know much about them herself.

BODIE. No, and we needn’t tell her this. Her mother—ah well, poor
soul!—and the father was a very bad egg. And from that soil,
Nellie, this flower has sprung. Nobody to tend it. Can’t you see
little Cinderella with her watering-can carefully bringing up
herself. I wish I could paint that picture.

    (_Perhaps_ DR. BODIE _sees the picture even more clearly
    than he does_.)

I see her now. She’s on a bed, Nellie.

DR. BODIE. Yes. That is for convenience, for wheeling her about.

BODIE (_waving_). She sees me. And how is she, Nell?

DR. BODIE. She is always bright—perhaps too bright.

BODIE. Can’t be too bright.

DR. BODIE (_controlling her feelings_). A girl who is found frozen
in the street by a policeman and taken to a London Hospital, where
she has pneumonia—poor little waif! You know, she is very frail,

BODIE. I know; but she will get better, won’t she?

    (_He has said it confidently, but his sister looks at him
    and turns away. He is startled._)

Come, Nellie, she is going to get better, isn’t she?

DR. BODIE (_shaking her head_). There isn’t much chance, Dick. Her
body and soul have had to do too long without the little things
they needed.

BODIE. She shall have them now, I promise. What are they?

DR. BODIE. First of all, just food. She has been half starved all
her life. And then human affection. She has been starved of that
also; she who has such a genius for it.

    (_She goes to the window and calls._)

DR. BODIE. No. 7, bring Cinderella in here.

    (CINDERELLA _in her bed is wheeled in through the window by
    the soldier_, DANNY. _She is wearing a probationer’s cap
    and dressing jacket. The bed is a simple iron one, small
    and low, of the kind that was so common in war hospitals;
    it is on tiny pneumatic wheels with ball bearings for easy
    propulsion. Though frail_, CINDERELLA _is full of glee_.)

BODIE. Hurray, Cinderella!

CINDERELLA. Hurray! Isn’t it lovely. I’m glad you’ve seen me in my
carriage. When I saw there was visitor I thought at first it might
be David.

BODIE. David? I didn’t know you.... Is he a relative?

    (CINDERELLA _finds this extremely funny—so does_ DANNY;
    _even the_ DOCTOR _is discreetly amused_.)

CINDERELLA (_to Danny_). Tell the men that! He’s not exactly a
relative. (_She pulls Mr. Bodie down by the lapels of his coat._)
He’s just that great big ridiculous policeman!

BODIE. Oho! Our policeman again! Does he come all this way to see

CINDERELLA (_her shoulders rising in pride_). Twice already; and
he’s coming again to-day! Mr. Bodie, get the Doctor to take you
over the Convalescent Home. There’s a field with cows in it, a
whole litter of them! And the larder? There’s barrel upon barrel
full of eggs and sawdust, and Danny says—this is Danny—

    (DANNY, _who is slightly lame and is in hospital blue,
    comes to attention_.)

Danny says the hens lay in the barrels so as to save time in

    (DANNY _finds the severe eye of the Doctor upon him and is

Mr. Bodie, look! (_displaying her cap_). The Doctor lets me wear
it; it makes me half a nurse, a kind of nurse’s help. I make
bandages, and they’re took away in glass bottles and sterilized.
Mr. Bodie, as sure as death I’m doing something for my country.

DR. BODIE. Cinderella, you’re talking too much.

CINDERELLA (_subsiding meekly_). Yes, Doctor.

DR. BODIE. Dick, I’m going over to the hospital presently. If you
like to come with me—_really_ want to see it—no affected interest—

BODIE. Thanks, I should like it—Dr. Bodie.

DR. BODIE (_to Danny_). You’re not required any more, No. 7.

    (DANNY _is going thankfully, but she suddenly pulls him
    forward to examine his face_.)

No. 7, you are wearing that brown eye again.

DANNY (_who has a glass eye_). Yes, Doctor—you see it’s like this.
First they sent me a brown eye. Then some meddlesome person finds
out my natural eye is blue. So then they sends me a blue eye.

DOCTOR. Yes, where is it?

DANNY. It was a beautiful eye, Doctor—but I had taken a fancy to
little browny. And I have a young lady; so I took the liberty of
having the blue eye made up into a brooch and I sent it to her.

DR. BODIE (_without moving a muscle_). I shall report you.

BODIE (_when the martinet and Danny have gone_). Are you afraid of
her, Cinderella? I am.

CINDERELLA. No! She sometimes dashes me, but she is a fearful
kind lady. (_She pulls him down again for further important
revelations._) She’s very particular about her feet.

BODIE (_staggered_). Is she! In a feminine way?


BODIE. Hurray! Then I have her. The Achilles Heel! (_He is once
more jerked down._)

CINDERELLA. I have a spring bed.


CINDERELLA (_in some awe_). The first time I woke in hospital, an
angel with streamers was standing there holding a tray in her hand,
and on the tray was a boiled egg. Then I thought it was the egg you
get the day before you die.

BODIE. What egg is that?

CINDERELLA (_who in the course of a troubled life has acquired much
miscellaneous information_). In the Workhouse you always get an egg
to your tea the day before you die. (_She whispers._) I know now
I’m not the real Cinderella.

BODIE (_taking her hand_). How did you find out?

CINDERELLA (_gravely_). It’s come to me. The more I eat the
clearer I see things. I think it was just an idea of mine; being
lonely-like I needed to have something to hang on to.

BODIE. That was it. Are you sorry you’re not the other one?

CINDERELLA. I’m glad to be just myself. It’s a pity though about
the glass slippers. That’s a lovely idea.


CINDERELLA. Tell me about _Them_.

BODIE. The children? They’re still with me, of course. I’m keeping
my promise, and they will be with me till you are able to take
care of them again. I have them a great deal in the studio in the

CINDERELLA (_cogitating_). I wonder if that’s wise.

BODIE. Oh, they don’t disturb me much.

CINDERELLA. I was meaning perhaps the smell of the paint would be
bad for them.

BODIE. I see! Of course I could give up painting!

CINDERELLA (_innocently_). I think that would be safest.

    (MR. BODIE _kicks_.)

Are you kind to Gretchen?

BODIE. I hope so. I feel it’s my duty.

CINDERELLA (_with a sinking_). It’ll not be no use for Gretchen if
that’s how you do it. I’m sure I should get up. (_She attempts to

BODIE. Now, now!

CINDERELLA. Are you fond of her, especially when she’s bad?

BODIE (_hurriedly_). Yes, I am, I am! But she’s never bad! they are
all good, they are like angels.

CINDERELLA (_despairing_). Then they’re cheating you. Where’s my

BODIE. Quiet! That’s all right.

    (_A pretty and not very competent_ PROBATIONER _comes in at
    the window, carrying fishing rods, followed by_ DANNY _with
    croquet mallets and balls_.)

PROBATIONER (_laden_). I want to shake hands with you, Mr. Bodie,
but you see how I am placed.

CINDERELLA. Do your pretty bow at any rate.

    (_The attractive girl does her pretty bow to_ MR. BODIE.
    _It is one of the few things she does well, and will
    probably by and by bring her into some safe matrimonial
    harbour; but in her country’s great hour she is of less
    value to it than a ball of twine. She is of a nice nature
    and would like to be of use, but things slip through her
    hands as through her mind; she cannot even carry a few
    lengths of fishing rods without an appeal to heaven. She is
    counting the pieces now with puckered brow._)

DANNY (_one of the few men in the world who can carry four croquet
balls in two hands_). You see, sir, there is a pond in the garden,
and we have a fishing competition; and as there are not enough
rods the men hides them so as to be sure of having a rod next day.

PROBATIONER. It is very unfair to the others, Danny.

DANNY (_warmly_). That’s what I say, Nurse.

CINDERELLA. The Matron found a rod the other morning hidden beneath
one of the men’s mattresses.

PROBATIONER. The odd thing is how he could have got it to the
house without being seen. (_Her counting of the pieces ends in her

BODIE. Anything wrong?

PROBATIONER. There are only nine pieces. A whole rod is missing!

CINDERELLA (_trembling for her_). Nurse, I’m so sorry!

BODIE. After all, it’s a trivial matter, isn’t it?

PROBATIONER (_her beautiful empty eyes filling_). Trivial! I’m
responsible. Just think what Doctor Bodie will say to me!

BODIE. Are you afraid of her too?

PROBATIONER. Afraid! I should think I am.

DANNY. And so am I.

    (_Before_ MR. BODIE _has time to kick, the terrible one

DR. BODIE. I’m going over to the Home now, Dick. You must come at
once, if you are coming.

BODIE (_cowed and getting his coat_). Yes, all right.

DR. BODIE. A great coat on a day like this! Absurd!

BODIE (_remembering what_ CINDERELLA _has told him and pointing
sternly_). French shoes on roads like these, ridiculous!

    (DR. BODIE _kicks this time—it is evidently a family trait.
    Delight of_ DANNY.)

DR. BODIE. No. 7, you needn’t grin unless there is a reason! Is
there a reason?

DANNY. No, no, Doctor.

DR. BODIE. Fishing rods all right this time, Nurse?

PROBATIONER (_faltering_). I’m so ashamed, Doctor Bodie—there is
one missing.

DR. BODIE. Again! I must ask you, Nurse, to report yourself to the

PROBATIONER (_crushed_). Yes, Doctor Bodie.

DR. BODIE (_observing that_ DANNY _is stealing away unobtrusively_).
No. 7!

DANNY (_still backing_). Yes, Doctor.

DR. BODIE. Come here. What is the matter with your right leg? It
seems stiff.

DANNY (_with the noble resignation of Tommies, of which he has read
in the papers_). It’s a twinge of the old stiffness come back,
Doctor. I think there’s a touch of east in the wind. The least
touch of east seems to find the hole that bullet made. But I’m not

DR. BODIE (_brutally_). No, it is I who am complaining.

    (_She feels his leg professionally._)

Give me that fishing rod.

    (_The long-suffering man unbuttons, and to his evident
    astonishment produces the missing rod._)

DANNY (_without hope but in character_). Well, I am surprised!

DR. BODIE. You will be more surprised presently. Come along, Dick.

    (_She takes her brother away._)

DANNY (_the magnanimous_). She’s great! Words couldn’t express my
admiration for that woman—lady—man—doctor.

PROBATIONER. How mean of you, Danny—to get me into trouble.

DANNY (_in the public school manner_). Sorry. But I’ll have to pay
for this. (_Seeing visions._) She has a way of locking one up in
the bathroom.

PROBATIONER (_with spirit_). Let us three conspirators combine to
defy her. Carried. Proposed, that No. 7, being a male, conveys our
challenge to her. Carried.

CINDERELLA (_gleefully_). Go on, Danny.

DANNY (_of the bull-dog breed_). I never could refuse the
ladies. (_He uses the stethescope as a telephone._) Give me the
Convalescent Home, please. Is that you, Doctor? How are you? We’ve
just rung up to defy you. Now, now, not another word, or I’ll have
you locked up in the bathroom. Wait a mo; there’s a nurse here
wants to give you a piece of her mind.

PROBATIONER (_with the stethescope_). Is that you, Miss Bodie?
What? No, I have decided not to call you Dr. Bodie any more.

    (_Alas_, DR. BODIE _returns unseen by the window and hears

Please to report yourself as in disgrace at once to the Matron.
That will do. Good-bye. Run along. Heavens, if she had caught us!

DANNY. It would have meant permanent residence in bathroom for me.

    (_It is then that they see her._)

DR. BODIE (_after an awful pause_). I have come back for my
stethescope, Nurse.

    (_The_ PROBATIONER _can think of no suitable reply_.)

DANNY (_searching his person_). I don’t think I have it, Doctor.

DR. BODIE. Don’t be a fool, No. 7.

PROBATIONER (_surrendering it_). Here it is, Dr. Bodie, I—I—

DR. BODIE (_charmingly_). Thank you. And, my dear, don’t be always
Doctor Bodieing me. That, of course, at the Home, and on duty, but
here in my house you are my guest. I am Miss Bodie to you here.
Don’t let me forget that I am a woman. I assure you I value that
privilege. (_She lingers over Cinderella’s pillow._) Dear, you
must invite Nurse and Danny to tea with you, and all be happy
together. Little Cinderella, if I will do as a substitute, you
haven’t altogether lost your Godmother.

    (_She goes, shaking a reproving finger at_ DANNY.)

DANNY. We’re done again!

PROBATIONER (_reduced to tears_). Horrid little toad that I’ve
been. Some one take me out and shoot me.

    (_The_ MAID _comes with tea things_.)

DANNY. Allow me, maiden.

ELLEN. Dr. Bodie says I’m to bring two more cups.

DANNY (_whose manner is always that of one who, bathroom or no
bathroom, feels he is a general favourite_). If you please, child.

PROBATIONER (_as soon as_ ELLEN _has gone_). Dr. Bodie is an angel.

DANNY (_quite surprised that he has not thought of this before_).
That’s what she is!

CINDERELLA. Danny, can’t you say something comforting to poor

DANNY (_manfully_). I’m thankful to say I can. Nurse, I’ve often
had fits of remorse; and I can assure you that they soon pass away,
leaving not a mark behind.

PROBATIONER. Dear Dr. Bodie!

DANNY. Exactly. You’ve taken the words out of my mouth. The only
thing for us to think of henceforth is what to do to please her.
Her last words to us were to draw up to the tea-table. Are we to
disregard the last words of that sublime female?

PROBATIONER (_recovering_). No!

    (_The extra cups having been brought, the company of three
    settle down to their war-time tea-party, the tray being on_
    CINDERELLA’S _lap and a guest on each side of the bed_.)

DANNY. Our plain duty is now to attack the victuals so as to become
strong in that Wonder’s service. Here’s to dear Dr. Bodie, and may
she find plenty to do elsewhere till this party is over.

PROBATIONER (_able to toss her head again_). After all, she put us
in a false position.

DANNY. That’s true. Down with her!

PROBATIONER. I drink to you, Danny.

DANNY (_gallantly_). And I reply with mine.

CINDERELLA. It’s queer to think I’m being—what’s the word?—hostess.

DANNY. All things are queer ever since the dull old days before the
war; and not the unqueerest is that Daniel Duggan, once a plumber,
is now partaking of currant cake with the Lady Charlotte something!

CINDERELLA (_nearly letting her cup fall_). What?

PROBATIONER. You weren’t supposed to know that.

CINDERELLA. Does he mean you? Are you—?

PROBATIONER. It’s nothing to make a fuss about, Cinderella. How did
you find out, Danny?

DANNY. Excuse me, but your haughty manner of wringing out a
dishcloth betrayed you? My war-worn eyes, of various hues, have had
the honour of seeing the Lady Charlotte washing the ward floor. O
memorable day! O glorified floor! O blushing dishcloth!

PROBATIONER. That was just a beginning. Some day I hope when I rise
in the profession to be allowed to wash you, Danny.

DANNY (_bowing grandly_). The pleasure, my lady, will be mutual.
(_He hums a tune of the moment._)

‘And when I tell them that some day washed by her I’ll be—they’ll
never believe me’—

PROBATIONER (_with abandon_). ‘But when I tell them ’twas a jolly
good thing for me—they’ll all believe me!’

DANNY. And when I tell them—and I certainly mean to tell them—that
one day she’ll walk out with me—

    (_In a spirit of devilry he crooks his arm; she takes it—she
    walks out with him for a moment._)

PROBATIONER (_coming to_). No. 7, what are we doing!

CINDERELLA. It’s just the war has mixed things up till we forget
how different we are.

PROBATIONER (_with a moment of intuition_). Or it has straightened
things out so that we know how like we are.

    (_From the garden comes the sound of a gramophone._)

CINDERELLA. David’s a long time in coming.

DANNY. The four-twenty’s not in yet.

CINDERELLA. Yes, it is; I heard the whistle.

DANNY (_sarcastically_). Would you like me to see if he hasn’t lost
his way? Those policemen are stupid fellows.

CINDERELLA. None of that, Danny; but I would like fine if you take
a look.

DANNY. Anything to oblige you, though it brings our social to a
close. None of these little tea-parties after the war is over, fine

PROBATIONER. Oh dear! I’ll often enjoy myself less, Danny.

DANNY. Daniel Duggan will sometimes think of this day when you are
in your presentation gown and he is on your roof, looking for that
there leakage.

PROBATIONER. Oh, Danny, don’t tell me that when I meet you with
your bag of tools I’ll be a beast. Surely there will be at least a
smile of friendship between us in memory of the old days.

DANNY. I wonder! That’s up to you, my lady. (_But he will be wiser
if he arranges that it is to be up to himself._)

PROBATIONER (_calling attention to the music_). Listen! No.
7—to-day is ours.

    (_She impulsively offers herself for the waltz; they dance

DANNY (_when all is over_). Thank you, my lady.

    (_She curtseys and he goes out rather finely. It is not
    likely that her next partner will be equal to her plumber.
    The two girls are left alone, both nice girls of about the
    same age; but the poor one has already lived so long that
    the other, though there may be decades before her, will
    never make up on_ CINDERELLA. _It would be grand to see
    this waif, the moment after death, setting off stoutly on
    the next adventure._)

CINDERELLA. He is a droll character, Danny! (_Examining herself in
a hand-mirror._) Nurse, would you say my hair is looking right? He
likes the cap.

PROBATIONER (_who will soon forget her, but is under the spell at
present_). Your David?

CINDERELLA (_on her dignity_). He’s not mine, Nurse.


CINDERELLA. Hey, hey, hey! Nurse, when he comes you don’t need to
stay very long.

PROBATIONER (_in the conspiracy_). I won’t.

CINDERELLA (_casually_). He might have things to say to me, you see.

PROBATIONER. Yes, he might.

CINDERELLA (_solemnly_). You and me are both very young, but maybe
you understand about men better than I do. You’ve seen him, and
this is terrible important. Swear by Almighty God you’re to tell me
the truth. Would you say that man loves little children?

PROBATIONER (_touched_). Don’t frighten me, Cinderella; I believe
him to be that kind of man. Are you fond of your policeman, dear?

CINDERELLA (_winking_). That’s telling! (_Importantly._) Nurse, did
you ever have a love-letter?

PROBATIONER (_gaily_). Not I! Don’t want to; horrid little
explosives! But have you—has he—?

CINDERELLA (_becoming larger_). In my poor opinion, if it’s not a
love-letter, it’s a very near thing.

PROBATIONER. If I could see the darling little detestable?

CINDERELLA. Oh no, oh no, no, no, no! But I’ll tell you one thing
as is in it. This—‘There are thirty-four policemen sitting in this
room, but I would rather have you, my dear.’ What do you think?
That’s a fine bit at the end.

PROBATIONER (_sparkling_). Lovely! Go on, Cinderella, fling
reticence to the winds.

CINDERELLA (_doing so_). Unless I am—very far out—in my judgment of
men—that man is infatuate about me!

PROBATIONER (_clapping her hands_). The delicious scoundrel!
Cinderella, be merciless to him! Knife him, you dear! Give him

CINDERELLA (_gurgling_). I ill-treats him most terrible!

PROBATIONER. That’s the way! down with lovers, slit them to
ribbons, stamp on them.

CINDERELLA. Sometimes I—(_she sits up_). Listen!

PROBATIONER (_alarmed_). It isn’t Dr. Bodie, is it?

CINDERELLA. No, it’s _him_.

PROBATIONER. I don’t hear a sound.

CINDERELLA. I can hear him fanning his face with his helmet. He has
come in such a hurry. Nurse, you watch me being cruel to him.

PROBATIONER. At him, Cinderella, at him!

DANNY (_flinging open the door_). The Constabulary’s carriage stops
the way.

    (_Our_ POLICEMAN _stalks in, wetting his lips as he does so_.)

PROBATIONER (_giving him her hand_). How do you do? You forget, I
daresay, that I met you when you were here last; but I remember
‘our policeman.’

    (_He is bashful._)

There she is.

    (_The wicked invalid is looking the other way._)

POLICEMAN. A visitor to see you, Jane.

CINDERELLA (_without looking round_). I thought it had a visitor’s
sound. (_She peeps at the_ PROBATIONER _gleefully_.)

POLICEMAN (_very wooden_). You don’t ask who it is, Jane?

CINDERELLA. I thought it might be that great big ridiculous

    (DANNY _laughs, and our_ POLICEMAN _gives him a very stern

POLICEMAN (_after reflection_). I’m here again, Jane.

CINDERELLA (_admitting it with a glance_). Perhaps you didn’t ought
to come so often; it puts them about.

POLICEMAN (_cleverly_). But does it put you about, Jane?

CINDERELLA. Hey! Hey! (_With a cunning waggle of the hand she
intimates to the_ NURSE _that she may go_.)

DANNY (_who is not so easily got rid of_). You had best be going
too, Robert. The lady has answered you in the negative.

POLICEMAN (_lowering_). You make a move there.

    (DANNY, _affecting alarm, follows the_ PROBATIONER.)

CINDERELLA. I like fine to hear you ordering the public about,

POLICEMAN (_humbly_). I’m very pleased, Jane, if there’s any little
thing about me that gives you satisfaction.

    (_He puts down a small parcel that he has brought in._)

CINDERELLA (_curious_). What’s in the parcel, David?

POLICEMAN. That remains to be seen. (_He stands staring at his

CINDERELLA (_sneering_). What are you looking at?

POLICEMAN. Just at you.

CINDERELLA (_in high delight_). Me! There’s little to look at in
me. You should see the larder at the Home! You’ll have a cup of
China tea and some of this cake?

POLICEMAN. No, Jane, no. (_In a somewhat melancholy voice._) Things
to eat have very little interest to me now.


POLICEMAN. I’ve gone completely off my feed.

    (CINDERELLA _would have liked the_ PROBATIONER _to hear

CINDERELLA (_artfully_). I wonder how that can be!

POLICEMAN. Did you get my letter, Jane?

CINDERELLA (_calmly_). I got it—

POLICEMAN. Did you—did you think it was a peculiar sort of a letter?

CINDERELLA (_mercilessly_). I don’t mind nothing peculiar in it.

POLICEMAN. There was no word in it that took you aback, was there?

CINDERELLA. Not that I mind of.

POLICEMAN (_worried_). Maybe you didn’t read it very careful?

CINDERELLA. I may have missed something. What was the word, David?

POLICEMAN (_in gloom_). Oh, it was just a small affair. It was just
a beginning. I thought, if she stands that she’ll stand more. But
if you never noticed it—(_He sighs profoundly._)

CINDERELLA. I’ll take another look—

POLICEMAN (_brightening_). You’ve kept it?

CINDERELLA. I have it here.

POLICEMAN. I could let you see the word if it’s convenient to you
to get the letter out of your pocket.

CINDERELLA. It’s not in my pocket.

POLICEMAN. Is it under the pillow?


POLICEMAN (_puzzled_). Where, then?

    (CINDERELLA, _with charming modesty, takes the letter from
    her bodice. Her lover is thunderstruck._)

What made you think of keeping it there?

CINDERELLA. I didn’t think, David; it just came to me.

POLICEMAN (_elate_). It’s infall_ay_able! I’ll let you see the word.

CINDERELLA (_smiling at the ridiculous man_). You don’t need to
bother, David. Fine I know what the word is.

POLICEMAN (_anxious_). And you like it?

CINDERELLA. If you like it.

POLICEMAN. That emboldens me tremendous.

CINDERELLA. I don’t like that so much. If there’s one thing I like
more than any other thing in the world—

POLICEMAN (_eager_). Yes?

CINDERELLA. It’s seeing you, David, tremendous bold before all
other folk, and just in a quake before me.

POLICEMAN (_astounded_). It’s what I am! And yet there’s something
bold I must say to you.

CINDERELLA (_faltering genteelly_). Is there?

POLICEMAN. It’ll be a staggering surprise to you.

    (CINDERELLA _giggles discreetly_.)

I promised the Doctor as I came in not to tire you. (_With some
awe._) She’s a powerful woman that.

CINDERELLA. If you tire me I’ll hold up my hand just like you do to
stop the traffic. Go on, David. Just wait a moment. (_She takes off
his helmet and holds it to her thin breast._) Here’s a friend of
mine. Now?

POLICEMAN (_despairing of himself_). I wish I was a man in a
book. It’s pretty the way they say it; and if ever there was a
woman that deserved to have it said pretty to her it’s you. I’ve
been reading the books. There was one chap that could speak six
languages. Jane, I wish I could say it to you in six languages, one
down and another come up, till you had to take me in the end.

CINDERELLA. To take you?

POLICEMAN (_in woe_). Now I’ve gone and said it in the poorest,
silliest way! Did you hold up your hand to stop me, Jane?


POLICEMAN (_encouraged_). But I’ve said it. Will you, Jane?

CINDERELLA (_doggedly_). Will I what?

POLICEMAN. Do you not see what I’m driving at?

CINDERELLA. Fine I see what you’re driving at.

POLICEMAN. Then won’t you help me out?


POLICEMAN. If you could just give me a shove.

CINDERELLA (_sympathetically_). Try Badgery.

POLICEMAN (_brightening_). Have you forgotten that pool in Badgery
Water where the half-pounder used—No, you never was there! Jane,
the heart of me is crying out to walk with you by Badgery Water.

CINDERELLA. That’s better!

POLICEMAN. I would never think of comparing Mrs. Bodie to you. For
my part I think nothing of uppers. Feet for me.

    (_She gives him her hand to hold._)

My dear!

CINDERELLA. You said _that_ was only a beginning!

POLICEMAN. My dearest!

CINDERELLA (_glistening_). I’m not feeling none tired, David.

POLICEMAN. My pretty!

CINDERELLA. Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

POLICEMAN. I don’t set up to be a prince, Jane; but I love you in a
princely way, and if you would marry me, you wonder, I’ll be a true
man to you till death us do part. Come on, Cinders. (_Pause._) It’s
the only chance that belt of mine has.

CINDERELLA. No, no, I haven’t took you yet! There’s a thing you
could do for me, that would gratify me tremendous.

POLICEMAN. It’s done.

CINDERELLA. I want you to let me have the satisfaction, David, of
having refused you once.

POLICEMAN. Willingly; but what for?

CINDERELLA. I couldn’t say. Just because I’m a woman. Mind you, I
daresay I’ll cast it up at you in the future.

POLICEMAN. I’ll risk that. Will you be my princess, Jane?

CINDERELLA. You promise to ask again? At once?




CINDERELLA (_firmly_). It’s a honour you do me, policeman, to which
I am not distasteful. But I don’t care for you in that way, so let
there be no more on the subject. (_Anxiously._) Quick, David!

POLICEMAN. For the second time, will you marry me, Jane?

CINDERELLA (_who has been thinking out the answer for several
days_). David, I love thee, even as the stars shining on the
parched earth, even as the flowers opening their petals to the sun;
even as mighty ocean with its billows; even so do I love thee,
David. (_She nestles her head on his shoulder._)

POLICEMAN. If only I could have said it like that!

CINDERELLA (_happily_). That’s just a bit I was keeping handy.
(_Almost in a whisper._) David, do you think I could have a
engagement ring?

POLICEMAN (_squaring his shoulders_). As to that, Jane, first tell
me frankly, do you think the Police Force is romantical?

CINDERELLA. They’re brave and strong, but—

POLICEMAN. The general verdict is no. And yet a more romantical
body of men do not exist. I have been brooding over this question
of engagement rings, and I consider them unromantical affairs! (_He
walks toward his parcel._)

CINDERELLA. David, what’s in that parcel?

POLICEMAN. Humbly hoping you would have me, Jane, I have had
something special made for you—

CINDERELLA (_thrilling_). Oh, David, what is it?

POLICEMAN. It’s a policeman’s idea of an engagement ring—

CINDERELLA. Quick! Quick!

POLICEMAN. —for my amazing romantical mind said to me that, instead
of popping a ring on the finger of his dear, a true lover should
pop a pair of glass slippers upon her darling feet!

CINDERELLA. David, you’re a poet!

POLICEMAN (_not denying it_). It’s what you’ve made me—and proud I
would be if, for the honour of the Force, I set this new fashion in
engagement rings. (_He reveals the glass slippers._)

    (CINDERELLA _holds out her hands for the little doves_.)

They’re not for hands. (_He uncovers her feet._)

CINDERELLA. They’re terrible small! Maybe they’ll not go on!

    (_They go on._)

CINDERELLA. They’re like two kisses.

POLICEMAN. More like two love-letters.

CINDERELLA. No, David, no,—kisses.

POLICEMAN. We won’t quarrel about it, Cinders; but at the same
time.... However!

    (_He presses her face to him for a moment so that he
    may not see its transparency._ DR. BODIE _has told him


  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  Some hyphens in words have been silently removed, some added,
  when a predominant preference was found in the original book.

  Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the
  text, and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained.

  Pg  7: ‘in the passage.’ replaced by ‘in the passage.)’.

  Pg 30: ‘He stops short’ replaced by ‘(He stops short’.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A kiss for Cinderella: A comedy" ***

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