THE GHOST BREAKER
By PAUL DICKEY and CHARLES GODDARD
SAMUEL FRENCH, 25 West 45th St., New York
Two minor typos were corrected and a Table of Contents and List of Illustrations have been added.
(Supplied by Transcriber)
Cast List p. 3 ACT I p. 5 ACT II p. 19 ACT III p. 39 ACT IV p. 56 Stage Manager's Plot p. 70 Carpenter's Plot p. 71 Property Plot p. 72 Electrician's Plot p. 73
(Supplied by Transcriber)
Plate based on Act I p. 17 Plate based on Act II p. 24 Plate based on Act III p. 48 Plate based on Act IV p. 56
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The glad play, by Catherine Chisholm Cushing, after the novel by Eleanor H. Porter. 5 males, 6 females. 2 interiors. Costumes, modern. Plays 2-1/4 hours. An orphan girl is thrust into the home of a maiden aunt. In spite of the trials that beset her, she manages to find something to be glad about, and brings light into sunless lives. Finally Pollyanna straightens out the love affairs of her elders, and finds happiness for herself in Jimmy. "Pollyanna" gives a better appreciation of people and the world. It reflects the humor and humanity that gave the story such wonderful popularity among young and old.
Produced in New York, and for two seasons on tour. Royalty, $25.00. Price, 75 cents.
An optimistic comedy in 3 acts, by Julie M. Lippmann, author of the "Martha" stories. 5 males. 5 females. 3 interiors. Costumes, modern. Plays 2-1/2 hours.
Full of quaint humor, old-fashioned, homely sentiment, the kind that people who see the play will recall and chuckle over tomorrow and the next day.
Miss Lippmann has herself adapted her successful book for the stage and has selected from her novel the most telling incidents, infectious comedy and homely sentiment for the play, and the result is thoroughly delightful. Royalty, $25. Price, 60 cents.
A comedy of youth, in 4 acts, by Booth Tarkington. 8 males, 6 females. 1 exterior. 2 interiors. Costumes, modern. Plays 2-1/2 hours.
It is the tragedy of William Sylvanus Baxter that he has ceased to be sixteen and is not yet eighteen. Seventeen is not an age, it is a disease.
In his heart William knows all the tortures and delights of love. But he is still sent by his mother on errands of the most humiliating sort and depends on his father for every nickel, the use of which he must justify before he gets it.
"Silly" Bill fell in love with Lola, the "Baby-Talk Lady," a vapid little flirt. To woo her in a manner worthy of himself (and of her) he steals his father's evening clothes. When his wooings become a nuisance to the neighborhood, his mother steals them back, and has them let out to fit the middle-aged form of her husband, thereby keeping William at home.
But when it comes to the "Baby-Talk Lady's" good-bye dance, not to be present was unendurable. Now William again gets the dress suit, and how he wears it at the party, and Genesis discloses the fact that the proud garment is in reality his father's makes up the story of the play.
"Seventeen" is a work of exquisite human sympathy and delicious humor. Royalty, $25.00. Price. 75 cents.
SAMUEL FRENCH. 25 West 45th Street, New York City
New and Explicit Descriptive Catalogue Mailed Free on Request
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The Ghost Breaker
A MELODRAMATIC FARCE IN FOUR ACTS
PAUL DICKEY AND CHARLES GODDARD
Copyright, 1909, by Charles W. Goddard and Paul Dickey Copyright assigned, 1914, to Sanger & Jordan
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that "THE GHOST BREAKER," being fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States, the British Empire, and the other countries of the Copyright Union, is subject to a royalty, and anyone presenting the play without the consent of the owners or their authorized agents will be liable to the penalties by law provided. Applications for the amateur acting rights must be made to Samuel French, 25 West 45th Street, New York, N.Y.
New York: SAMUEL FRENCH Publisher 25 West 45th Street
London: SAMUEL FRENCH, LTD. 26 Southampton Street Strand
Royalty on this play payable to our Los Angeles Office SAMUEL FRENCH
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"THE GHOST BREAKER"
All Rights Reserved
Especial notice should be taken that the possession of this book without a valid contract for production first having been obtained from the publisher, confers no right or license to professionals or amateurs to produce the play publicly or in private for gain or charity.
In its present form this play is dedicated to the reading public only, and no performance, representation, production, recitation, public reading or radio broadcasting may be given by amateurs except by special arrangement with Samuel French, 25 West 45th Street, New York.
This play may be presented by amateurs upon payment of a royalty of twenty-five dollars for each performance, payable to Samuel French, 25 West 45th Street, New York, one week before the date when the play is given.
Whenever the play is produced by amateurs the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play: "Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French of New York."
Attention is called to the penalty provided by law for any infringement of the author's rights, as follows:
SECTION 4966:—Any person publicly performing or representing any dramatic or musical composition for which copyright has been obtained, without the consent of the proprietor of said dramatic or musical composition, or his heirs and assigns, shall be liable for damages thereof, such damages, in all cases to be assessed at such sum, not less than one hundred dollars for the first and fifty dollars for every subsequent performance, as to the court shall appear to be just. If the unlawful performance and representation be wilful and for profit, such person or persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year.—U.S. Revised Statutes: Title 60, Chap. 3.
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PRINCESS MARIA THERESA OF ARAGON. WARREN JARVIS, of Kentucky. NITA, the Princess' Maid. HOUSE DETECTIVE, Manhattan Hotel. RUSTY SNOW, Warren Jarvis' Colored Servant. DETECTIVES, from Police Headquarters. HOTEL PORTER. STEWARD, on S.S. Aquitania. CARLOS, Duke d'Alva. DOLORES, the Innkeeper's Daughter. VARDOS, Messenger to the Missing Prince. DON ROBLEDO, a Soldier of Fortune. PEDRO, the Innkeeper. MAXIMO, a Spanish Soldier. GASPAR, a Villager. JOSE, Chauffeur.
TIME: The Present.
ACT I. A Room in the Hotel Manhattan, New York. Five A.M.
ACT II. A Cabin on Board S.S. Aquitania. Same Morning.
ACT III. An Old Tavern, Segura, Spain. Evening.
ACT IV. The Castle. Same Night.
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THE GHOST BREAKER
SCENE: Room 1121, Manhattan Hotel, New York City.
At rise stage dark. Moonlight streams through the window. Small clock strikes five. Pause. Tower clock strikes. Two gun-shots heard off stage right. Door slams off stage. Footsteps heard coming along corridor, growing hubbub and commotion. PRINCESS pokes head through curtains. R. door bursts open and WARREN JARVIS enters hurriedly, in long coat over evening dress, closing and bolting the door behind him.
Princess. Madre de Dios! (Showing only her head.) (JARVIS kicks in door, shuts it, and throws his shoulder against it.) Who's there?
JARVIS. Sh! Don't make any noise.
PRINCESS. (Winding her dressing gown closely about her and coming a little way into the room) What do you want?
PRINCESS. (Switches on lamp on right table) How dare you enter!
JARVIS. Sh! Not a sound—do you understand?
VOICE OFF. (R.) What's the row?
SECOND VOICE. (R.) Somebody fired a pistol.
PRINCESS. What right—?
VOICE. Where'd he go? Look on the fire-escape.
SECOND VOICE. No, he's on this floor.
PRINCESS. What is it? What do you want here? What have you done?
JARVIS. (Turning to her) Now, it's all right. I'm not going to harm you. If you will just keep quiet. Is that clear to you?
PRINCESS. Is it money you want? All the money I have is on that dressing table. (Pointing.) Take it and go.
JARVIS. I'm not a burglar. I don't want your money.
PRINCESS. Well, then, what do you want? (Sound of running in corridor coming toward door R.)
JARVIS. Listen—— (Turns back to door.) They're coming here. (To PRINCESS) They mustn't search this room, do you understand—you must put them off—I'm not what you think I am. (Running dies away. JARVIS turns to PRINCESS.) Is there no way out through that door? (Indicates door 5R.)
PRINCESS. That is my maid's room.
JARVIS. The fire-escape—where is it?
PRINCESS. In the hall opposite.
JARVIS. I thought that red light meant in here. Hell! I beg your pardon.
PRINCESS. Well, why don't you go?
JARVIS. I can't go that way. (Indicating door 6L.) They'll be waiting for me in the hall.
PRINCESS. Well, what do you expect me to do?
JARVIS. The light fooled me. I thought that door led to the fire-escape.
PRINCESS. You said that before.
JARVIS. Ha! Ha!
PRINCESS. Is the situation so amusing?
JARVIS. I beg your pardon. I'm not laughing at you. I blundered in here by mistake. I'm in a tight fix. I can't leave by that door. I must find some other. (Sees door 8, across to door 8, and, disgusted, exclaims when he sees there is no way out there. Notices blood on hand and starts to put handkerchief around it.)
PRINCESS. (Going down stage C.) What's happened? You're wounded! Those shots I heard——
JARVIS. I almost stopped one of the bullets.
PRINCESS. Your hand is bleeding.
JARVIS. Please—I don't see how the devil—— (Runs up and puts up shade at window 3, sees there is no way out.) Damn!
PRINCESS. You have evidently shot someone and are making me shield you from justice.
JARVIS. (Coming down) No, not from justice—but from the law.
PRINCESS. I thought they were the same.
JARVIS. No, not always—there would be no justice for me at the hands of the law.
PRINCESS. Well, that is not for me to decide.
JARVIS. But you shall decide—at least you shall listen and if you find me guilty—I'll—well, I'll take that door or, or anything you say.
PRINCESS. Your presumption is indeed ridiculous.
JARVIS. Hardly ridiculous—I am arguing for my life.
PRINCESS. Can any decision be more unjust than mine must be at the point of a pistol?
JARVIS. (Lays pistol on dressing table L. and crosses to R. of PRINCESS.) There is nothing to prevent your calling for help now—after all, it doesn't matter much whether the end comes today or the day after.
PRINCESS. The end? Then why don't you give yourself up?
JARVIS. That would not have been the end. You don't understand, I know, but I'm not flying from Justice. There was in this a case of shoot or be shot. (Sound of running toward door 6.) Listen—they're here now. (JARVIS crosses door 8.)
HOUSE DETECTIVE. (Knock outside door) Anybody in here? (Knock.) Open the door.
JARVIS. It's up to you to do with me as you like. (Princess points to door L. JARVIS exits.)
NITA. (Off stage door 5) Madame—Madame—(Enters.) What is it? (Running to mistress for protection.) Something dreadful must have happened. (Knock on door repeated.) What shall I do?
PRINCESS. Open it, Nita. (NITA opens door reluctantly.)
HOUSE DETECTIVE. (In doorway) Are you all right in here?
NITA. (Holding door open) Si—Senor.
PRINCESS. What is it, Nita?
NITA. (Indicating PRINCESS) My mistress, Senor.
HOUSE DETECTIVE. (Inside of door—removing hat) Excuse me, madame, I'm the house detective. Are you all right in here?
HOUSE DETECTIVE. We're sorry to bother you, but we're looking for someone and we thought he might have come in here. If you want anything we'll be out here in the hall. Good night!
NITA. (Shuts door and runs to PRINCESS C.) Forgive me, Madame, but I am so frightened. What is it? What is it?
PRINCESS. Control yourself, Nita. Go to bed, child. (NITA goes to door 5.) I won't need you till six o'clock. (Exit NITA.)
JARVIS. (Entering L.C.) Thank you. Would you mind bolting that door again? He might return. (PRINCESS crosses to door and bolts it.) Do you know what a feud is?
PRINCESS. Feud? Spain is the home of feuds.
JARVIS. So is Kentucky. That's where I came from. You're Spanish?
JARVIS. Then you'll understand—those shots you heard, that was the end of a feud. I was called home suddenly by the death of my father—shot in the back—feud—man after man—two families—the Marcums and my own had shot each other down. Then my Dad fell and I was left to fight it out alone.
PRINCESS. Couldn't you?
JARVIS. Couldn't I? God only knows what I've been through since. Those two shots you heard—that was the finish. This morning when I got back to my hotel, there was a message waiting for me. It was signed Jim Marcum, head of the family, and proposed that, as we were out of Kentucky, we meet and end the feud amicably. He asked me to meet him at this hotel in his room—no matter what hour—he would be waiting. He was leaving at six in the morning and wanted it settled. It was a pretty scheme. I knew the man and I saw the trap. I came over here prepared and went directly to his room. It was on this floor. I flung open the door and met Jim Marcum face to face. He was waiting. Without a word he fired. I fired, and he dropped. Now do you understand why the law would not give me justice?
PRINCESS. Did you kill him?
JARVIS. I don't know—I didn't wait.
PRINCESS. What are you going to do?
JARVIS. I don't know. Do you know what it means to fight single-handed against fearful odds—to fight an endless fight alone?
PRINCESS. Yes—yes—I know.
JARVIS. Endless fight—without even a single word of encouragement?
PRINCESS. Yes, I know what it means.
JARVIS. You know? How could you know? How could any woman know?
PRINCESS. Yes, I do know, because I too am fighting against fearful odds.
JARVIS. There is no man to fight for you?
PRINCESS. No man left who dares.
JARVIS. God, if there had only been some woman to fight for in my fight!
PRINCESS. Your mother?
JARVIS. She's gone, too.
PRINCESS. Are you alone?
PRINCESS. If you're caught it means your life.
PRINCESS. Suppose I decide to help you?
JARVIS. What do you mean?
PRINCESS. You have no fear of death? You are not afraid of ghosts?
JARVIS. No, I'm not afraid of ghosts.
PRINCESS. If you escape from here it will be because I helped you—we might say I saved your life, if what you tell me is true—and if I do it, it will be from a selfish motive entirely—it will be because I have work for you. Do you understand? Work—hard work—dangerous work. It may mean your life in the end.
JARVIS. You are frank, anyway.
PRINCESS. It's a chance—and you have nothing to lose.
JARVIS. And if I agree?
PRINCESS. You will begin by taking the ancient feudal oath of my country.
JARVIS. Oath? Isn't my word good enough?
PRINCESS. You will pardon me if I insist.
JARVIS. Very well—I'll swear the blackest oath you can utter. Let's hear it.
PRINCESS. What's your name?
PRINCESS. Your full name?
JARVIS. Warren Jarvis.
PRINCESS. Kneel, then, Warren of Jarvis. (JARVIS kneels on both knees.) No, not that way—on one knee.
JARVIS. I beg your pardon——
PRINCESS. Now repeat this oath: "I, Warren of Jarvis——"
JARVIS. "I, Warren of Jarvis——"
PRINCESS. "Senor of all the domains, fiefs, keeps and marshes of Warren of Kentucky——"
JARVIS. Whew—— "Senor of all the domains, fiefs, keeps and marshes of Warren of Kentucky—"
PRINCESS. "Do convey to Maria Theresa, of Aragon, all my worldly titles and possessions——" Now take my left hand in both of yours and repeat, "—and receive them back as vassal and retainer."
JARVIS. "And receive them back as vassal and retainer."
PRINCESS. "And do faithfully fight in my lady's cause according to the feudal laws of Castile and Aragon."
JARVIS. "And do faithfully fight in my lady's cause according to the feudal laws of Castile and Aragon."
PRINCESS. Arise, vassal. (JARVIS arises and kisses her hand.) That is part of the ceremony, but I meant to omit it.
JARVIS. I thought that the only sensible part. I beg your pardon—but who on earth is this Maria Theresa that I am hired man to?
PRINCESS. I—am Her Highness—Maria Theresa—Princess of Aragon.
JARVIS. Good night! You a Princess! And I have been ordering you around with a gun. (Sound of running for a moment.) Sh! (Crosses to door R., listens.) It's all right, but how am I going to get out? They've got me in a trap here.
PRINCESS. The trunk——
JARVIS. The trunk? What about it?
PRINCESS. I am sending it on board the Aquitania at six o'clock.
JARVIS. (Dragging trunk down stage) You mean to get in it? Good Lord, is it big enough?
PRINCESS. I think so—and no one could possibly suspect—— (JARVIS takes out trays—locket drops out—back to audience.) Oh——
JARVIS. What is it?
PRINCESS. It's nothing—I mean it's all right—it's just a locket.
JARVIS. Did I break it?
PRINCESS. No—— (JARVIS takes contents out of trunk.) I broke it myself on purpose—yesterday. It means a great deal to me and perhaps to you. Some day you may know the reason why.
JARVIS. (Gets in trunk) Would you mind putting this lid down? (PRINCESS puts down lid of trunk on JARVIS. Grunts.) O-oo-ou-ugh! (Raises lid and stands up in trunk. PRINCESS raises lid all the way back as soon as JARVIS shouts.) I'll die in there.
PRINCESS. But it's a chance.
JARVIS. You're right! I'll take it. (Gets out of trunk and goes to trays.) What are we going to do with these?
PRINCESS. We had better send those by messenger.
JARVIS. (Turning) Hold on—I've got it. No, you had better 'phone. (PRINCESS crosses to 'phone R.) Ask the operator to give you the Hotel Belmont, across the street. My room is 417. Rusty, my servant, is there now, waiting for word from me. (He crosses to PRINCESS.) He can be trusted. Tell him to come here at once—and say "Warren." That will fetch him.
PRINCESS. 417? Hello—— Connect me with the Hotel Belmont, please.
JARVIS. Remember, ask for room 417.
PRINCESS. Yes, I know. Hello, hello! Is this the Belmont?—Give me room 417.
JARVIS. Ask if it's Rusty and be sure and say "Warren."
PRINCESS. Hello—is this Mr. Rusty? Well, listen carefully. You are to come right over to the Manhattan Hotel, across the street from where you are. A bellboy will be waiting for you at the desk, and he is to bring you right up to room 1121.
JARVIS. And tell him to keep his mouth shut——
PRINCESS. And—and—don't talk to anyone.... What's that? "Warren." He'll be coming right over.
JARVIS. Now get the clerk downstairs, and tell them to look out for Rusty and send him up here.
PRINCESS. Hello, hello! I'm expecting a man—
JARVIS. A colored man.
PRINCESS. A colored man. To get some things. He will come right to the desk. Please send him up at once. It is very important. (JARVIS takes out knife and begins boring hole in trunk from inside out. This hole should be already cut and covered with a label.) What are you doing that for?
JARVIS. Got to breathe. I think I can—— (Apparently the knife breaks.) Confound it!
PRINCESS. What did you do?
JARVIS. Snapped the blade. Now how am I going to cut a hole in that trunk?
PRINCESS. (Crossing to dresser) Will my shears do?
JARVIS. If they are not too large. Where are they? (PRINCESS gives JARVIS shears.) Thank you. What time does the boat sail?
PRINCESS. Nine o'clock.
JARVIS. Good—that will give Rusty time to get aboard with these trays and my baggage.
PRINCESS. We've ten minutes before they call for the trunk. (Knock at door 6. PRINCESS looks at JARVIS, who makes gesture cautioning silence and exits door L. PRINCESS crosses and opens door.) Come in, please.
RUSTY. (Enter across center) Where's Marse Warren——? (Enter JARVIS across to RUSTY.) Lord bless you, Marse Warren—I certainly thought he got you!
JARVIS. (Patting RUSTY on the back) Never mind what you thought. Help me with these—it's ten minutes to six—we sail for Europe in three hours.
RUSTY. Three hours! Good Lord! You mean we——
JARVIS. Yes, you and I. What are we going to wrap these in? (Picking up trays.)
PRINCESS. Here, this will do. (Handing steamer rug from chair.)
JARVIS. Fine! (Spreading steamer rug on trunk and putting tray on it, wraps up tray during speech.) Take these, with our baggage, to the steamship Aquitania—Cunard Line. Buy accommodations. Mind, you won't see me till after we get out at sea. Keep in your stateroom and sit tight till you hear from me. You understand? Cunard Line—and the clerk at our hotel will attend to everything and get the tickets. Then you pay the bill. Now get hold of this money. (JARVIS gives RUSTY money.) I beg your pardon! This is Rusty. Rusty, this is the Princess of Aragon.
RUSTY. How do you do, Mrs. Princess?
JARVIS. There—that will do. Now do you understand?
RUSTY. Yes, sir. I take everything to the steamboat—get accom—ac-commoda—accommoda——
RUSTY. Accomo—accommoda—— I know what you mean. (With smile at PRINCESS.) For us and Mrs. Princess?
JARVIS. No, no—not for the Princess—just for we two.
RUSTY. Oh, yas, sir, I understand perfectly, sir.
JARVIS. (Gives parcel to RUSTY) Now, then, what's the name of the boat?
RUSTY. The Aqui-tania.
JARVIS. What's the name of the line?
RUSTY. The Cunard.
JARVIS. Now be off, and don't miss that boat. (PRINCESS opens door.)
RUSTY. (Exiting) No, sir, I won't miss it.
PRINCESS. (As RUSTY reaches door) Good-bye, Rusty.
RUSTY. (Turning) Good-bye, Miss—er—Princess.
(JARVIS resumes work on trunk. PRINCESS crosses to JARVIS.)
PRINCESS. Can you do it?
JARVIS. I think so—yes, it's going—there it goes—through!
PRINCESS. Make another. (She crosses to the dresser.)
JARVIS. Haven't time. I'll widen this one a little. Remember this trunk must not go in the hold of the ship. Have it marked "Wanted" and "This end up." I will lie with my head this way. I'll put the shears in here, and I can cut another hole from the inside if it gets too stuffy.
PRINCESS. (Takes revolver from dressing table and gives it to JARVIS) And you better take this, too.
JARVIS. How do you know you can trust me?
PRINCESS. I don't—I have to take that chance.
JARVIS. You must have a pretty good reason.
PRINCESS. I have.
JARVIS. Now, before I get in this, there's just one or two things I would like to know. What about the ghost?
PRINCESS. Are you afraid?
JARVIS. Lord, no, I just wanted to know—that's all.
PRINCESS. You'll know in time, Mr. Jarvis.
JARVIS. Are you really—a sure thing—Princess?
PRINCESS. Why did you say that?
JARVIS. Oh, I don't know. Somehow you're not quite like what I thought a Princess would be.
PRINCESS. I'm sorry.
JARVIS. Oh, I didn't mean it that way. I mean that you're different from the popular idea of a Princess. You have more understanding—more sympathy—more heart.
PRINCESS. (Icily) In that respect, sir, you will find me quite like your popular idea.
JARVIS. (Squelched) I wonder if that hole will let in enough air?
PRINCESS. I hope so. (PORTER knocks.) It must be the men for the trunk. Who is it, please?
JARVIS. (Getting into trunk) Remember? This trunk must not go into the hold of the ship. You must have it marked "Wanted" and "This side up." You might add, "With Care," if you've a mind to.
PRINCESS. Are you all right?
PRINCESS. (Shuts trunk, crosses and opens door) The trunk is ready.
PORTER. (Enter and cross with truck L. of trunk) Very good, ma'am.
PRINCESS. Have the other trunks gone?
PORTER. Yes'm, last night.
PRINCESS. This goes on the special wagon, Porter.
(Enter HOUSE DETECTIVE and sees broken door.)
PORTER. (Setting trunk on end) Yes, mum. I'll see that a special sticker is put on it.
PRINCESS. (Crosses left of trunk) Have it marked "Wanted" and "This end up."
PORTER. (Putting trunk on truck) You'll find it in your room when you get down to the steamer.
PRINCESS. And, Porter, handle it gently.
PORTER. Shore, I never smashed one in my life. (Starts off R.) I'll handle it like it had glass on the inside, so don't worry one little bit.
HOUSE DETECTIVE. (Stopping trunk C. to PRINCESS) Just a minute, Porter. How did that lock get broken?
PRINCESS. (Frightened, but trying not to show it) It was broken when I came.
DETECTIVE. How long have you been here?
PRINCESS. We came yesterday.
DETECTIVE. How long are you going to stay?
PRINCESS. We sail this morning for Europe.
DETECTIVE. Huh! Excuse me, Madame, but the police are making an investigation and they would like to take in this room. Do you mind?
DETECTIVE. What time does your boat sail?
PRINCESS. We are sailing at nine o'clock.
DETECTIVE. Does this trunk go on board?
PRINCESS. (Relieved) Yes, I want it to go on a special wagon.
DETECTIVE. All right, Porter. Go ahead. (Exit PORTER with trunk. To the Police who are supposed to be off R.) Come in.
SCENE: An elegantly furnished stateroom on the S.S. Aquitania.
AT RISE is empty, shuffling and murmuring of crowd on deck. "All visitors ashore!" heard in distance.
Door L., leading to promenade deck outside; door R. leading to another room; windows or portholes in rear looking out; closet down R. Lights full up, amber and white.
Trunk that was carried off stage in first act discovered stage C., wrong side up. Markings that were put on it first act are now upside down. Trunk on end. When curtain rises up trunk begins to rock back and forth as though something inside was trying to turn it over. When probable laugh has died away, door L. opens. Stateroom STEWARD is showing PRINCESS and NITA in.
STEWARD. (Opening door L. and standing aside to allow PRINCESS and NITA to enter. PRINCESS enters first and trunk upside down immediately catches her eye. When PRINCESS well in room, enter NITA, who stumbles over raised sill. Solicitously) Oh, I'm sorry! Did you hurt yourself? (STEWARD lays bags and satchels on seat, back to audience.) Rather inconvenient, those doors, till you get used to them, but necessary to keep out the water in rough weather.
PRINCESS. (L., paying very little attention to STEWARD, only anxious to get rid of him and NITA so she may turn trunk over.) You don't anticipate a bad passage, Steward?
STEWARD. (R., fussing about) Rather uncertain at this season, but your location is good, Madam, and you'll find she's as steady as a church.
PRINCESS. (Looking around as STEWARD arranges things fussily) This is very pleasant. (NITA arranges bags and grips on window seat.)
STEWARD. Quite the best suite on board, Madam. Here is the clothes press, and the other rooms are off there. (Opening door L. and closing it again.) If you want anything—(Points L.)—there is the telephone. (Notices trunk in middle of room for first time. Takes hold.) I'll place your trunk—— (Starts to move trunk and drags it to side.)
PRINCESS. (Quickly stopping him) Never mind now, Steward. You can place it later. (STEWARD releases trunk, but does not set it down.) You might turn it right side up.
STEWARD. (Noticing labels) Oh, I'm sorry! (Turns trunk. PRINCESS sighs.) I hope the contents are not upset, madam.
PRINCESS. I hope not.
STEWARD. Anything more, Madam?
PRINCESS. (Anxious to get him out of room) Not now, thank you, Steward. How soon do we sail?
STEWARD. Very soon now. (Voices off calling, "All ashore!" four times; voice approaches and dies away.) They're already calling "All ashore," Madam. (Exit and closes door.)
Nita. (L.C.) Your Highness has the key to this trunk?
PRINCESS. (C.) Yes—yes—you may—leave this trunk as it is, Nita, till later. (Crosses to R.) Go to your room and get settled; then unpack the other trunks. I'll call you when I want you.
NITA. (Going toward door R.) Yes, your Highness. (When R., near door, stops suddenly and timidly says) Will your Highness pardon me if I am mistaken in thinking I recognize the DUKE, your exalted cousin, among the passengers?
PRINCESS. (Without showing NITA that she is startled, but audience sees it) My cousin, impossible. He is at Madrid.
NITA. (In excellent servant style, yet knowing she is right) Yes, your Highness. (NITA bows and exits R., closing door.)
PRINCESS. (Quickly fumbles with keys—selects right one, inserts in lock, unlocks and opens lid. Just as lid up) Are you all right, Mr. Jarvis? (Knock at door as PRINCESS starts to raise lid.) Wait—— (Shuts down lid again. Knock repeated. PRINCESS crosses and opens door L., disclosing DUKE. Exclaims in dismay) Carlos——
DUKE. (Raising hat—standing in open door) Fair cousin—if I but knew you were as pleased as surprised at seeing me. (During speech he has entered; takes PRINCESS' hand and carries it to lips and kisses it.)
PRINCESS. Why did you leave Spain?
DUKE. (Shuts door) First say you are glad to see me.
PRINCESS. Why are you here?
DUKE. (R.C.) Are you not glad to see me?
PRINCESS. (L.C.) Why, of course, Carlos, I—I'm always glad to see you. But why have you come to America?
DUKE. Who could bring me to America but you?
PRINCESS. How did you find me?
DUKE. It wasn't easy. Spain had no attraction for me after you left, and I followed. Is not that true devotion? (Two long whistles. PRINCESS gets up confusedly as though she would not listen and goes to window back.)
PRINCESS. (Up to window C.) Oh, come! We are starting! Let's go out on deck—I want one last look at America.
DUKE. Thank you, cousin, I can do very well without it.
PRINCESS. Oh, Carlos, don't be absurd! Please. (Whistle.) We'll be gone in ten minutes. (She goes toward door. CARLOS gets up and opens it for her. Not wanting to, PRINCESS exits, followed by CARLOS, who closes door after him. Trunk lid raised slowly after PRINCESS and DUKE exit. JARVIS' head appears and looks about. Throws back lid and stands up. Gets cigarette and matches out of pocket, lights and smokes. Expresses satisfaction. Lifts one leg to step out of trunk; gets stitch in back at movement.)
JARVIS. Oh—oh—Lord! (Carries this business at far as legitimate. With every movement getting out of trunk finds new pain.) If I only had that last baggage man by the neck! Oh—a—oh, Lord! (Crosses left and drinks water.) Well, I'm all here, most all. (Feels elbow that is evidently skinned. Shoes are bent up from being doubled up in trunk. Sees them.) My feet are bent. (Goes to stoop down to get them—gets stitch in back. Drinks.) Oh—oh—o! (Hobbles over to looking glass, then to telephone R.) Hello—hello—give me Mr. Jarvis' stateroom. Please—Jarvis—Warren Jarvis. No. I don't know the number. All right. (Pause.) Hello—Rusty? Come on up here quick and bring me an overcoat, cap and scarf. What's that? Hold on, I'll see. (Pause, then opens door L. and looks at number on outside; shuts door; back to telephone) Stateroom A—promenade deck—and bring up that big bundle—quick, now! (Hangs up—crosses and looks out window.) Well, good-bye, America. I don't know when I'll see your shores again. (Shuts trunk and sits on it.) If Rusty gets here before that Exalted Cousin returns, I'll be all right. Hm—ouch!—I wonder what the game is? (Knock at door.) Go away—we're all very ill. (JARVIS, uncertain who it is, starts to hide. Door opens very cautiously. Enter RUSTY carrying bundle of trays taken in first act.)
RUSTY. (Looking over shoulder) I knows where I'm goin', all right.
JARVIS. Come on in, Rusty.
RUSTY. (Crosses to back of trunk) How did you get on board?
JARVIS. I came in that trunk.
RUSTY. You came in that trunk?
JARVIS. Did you see any signs of the police?
RUSTY. No, sir.
JARVIS. Are you sure?
RUSTY. Yes, sir.
JARVIS. Did you look?
RUSTY. No, sir. (Handle of door R. rattles. JARVIS to open door. Princess enters.)
RUSTY. How de do, Mrs. Princess?
PRINCESS. How do you do, Rusty? (Exclamation C.R.) Oh, there you are! You're all right, aren't you?
JARVIS. (Rubbing sore places) Yes, I'm all right.
PRINCESS. But your hand—you must have that attended to at once.
JARVIS. That's all right. I'll see the ship's surgeon.
PRINCESS. Do, please.
JARVIS. (R.) You can go now, Rusty. Oh, listen! What is the number of your stateroom?
RUSTY. Number Seven twenty-nine.
JARVIS. Seven twenty-nine. Now get this: Go there, lock yourself in, and don't talk to anyone. You're deaf and dumb—understand?—deaf and dumb.
RUSTY. I got you first. (Exit upper deck.)
PRINCESS. There is something I must tell you. My cousin, the Duke D'Alva, is on board this boat.
JARVIS. (Whimsically) He professes to love you devotedly.
PRINCESS. You overheard?
JARVIS. (Pointing to trunk) The trunk. It wasn't my idea, you know. (With feeling—yet knowledge) You are afraid of him? Why?
PRINCESS. Well, he is very powerful—and I may be driven into his hands.
JARVIS. You mean—you might have to marry him?
PRINCESS. (Looking nervously toward door C.) Yes, if you fail.
JARVIS. (Breath being taken away) If I fail—Say, hold on a minute! Things are coming too fast for me. I—you—how do I——
PRINCESS. (Interrupting) He may come back any minute—and I don't dare tell him what happened at the Manhattan Hotel—but he will want to know who you are and why you are with me.
JARVIS. That's what I want to know. You forget I am completely in the dark.
PRINCESS. (Looking out of window) The police can't be on board now. (Down stage.)
JARVIS. (Going to window beside her, and then back again) You can't tell until you see who goes ashore with the pilot. They may be working on Rusty as a clue, but it won't lead them to anything so long as they don't connect him with me. We'll take no chances until we get past the danger line. Now let's get down to business. What is the matter—and what am I to do?
PRINCESS. (Hesitating) I hardly know how to begin—it seems absurd in this broad daylight to talk of ghosts—but the fact is, my castle is haunted.
JARVIS. (Laughing) Spooks?
PRINCESS. (Very seriously) Call it anything you like, but the castle is haunted, just the same. My grandfather was one of the wealthiest nobles in Spain. When he died my father went to take possession of his estate in Segura. He found the town full of weird stories of uncanny happenings—the castle was deserted, everyone had fled and all told of something in armor that stalked the halls at night.
PRINCESS. My father laughed at the silly natives and said he would go into the castle and show them how foolish their fears were. He went, and was never seen again.
JARVIS. (Naturally deeply interested) What happened to him?
PRINCESS. No one knows. He disappeared—vanished utterly, without leaving a single clue—and the treasure's gone.
JARVIS. (More interested at word Treasure) Treasure—what treasure?
PRINCESS. My grandfather is known to have converted all his wealth into Spanish gold. It amounted to about a million dollars in your money.
JARVIS. How long ago was that?
PRINCESS. Fifteen years ago. Since then two other men have disappeared—just as my father did—and now, the Duke tells me that my brother has entered the castle. You see it runs in the blood. Up to a week ago my brother had sent me a cable every day, then suddenly the messages ceased. All this week not a word. Now I know—my brother has entered the castle, and—well, that is the end.
JARVIS. Why did you leave Spain?
PRINCESS. A part of the legend was that a plan had been made showing just where the treasure was located—but this plan could never be found. Only by accident I learned that this plan had been hidden in the back of a locket and the locket, I discovered, had been sold and was in America. It was to find this locket that I left my brother and came here.
JARVIS. Then my work now is to find your brother and solve the mystery? All right! We'll explain to the Duke that you are taking me to Spain for no other purpose than to solve the mystery. In America we've had trust-breakers and strike-breakers, and now why not Jarvis, the Ghost Breaker?
PRINCESS. Why, yes, why not? Carlos would believe almost anything of you Americans.
JARVIS. (Whimsically) And you will tell him you have made me a—er—what is it? A vassal?
PRINCESS. (Almost shyly) I think not—not just yet.
JARVIS. By the way, your—er—just how should a perfectly good vassal address his Princess?
PRINCESS. (Hesitatingly) Highness—is correct.
JARVIS. Highness—tell me, your Highness, a vassal doesn't amount to much, does he? I thought he was a piker.
PRINCESS. (Mystified) A piker—a man who carries a pike?
JARVIS. (Trying to explain) No, no—a piker is a tin horn.
PRINCESS. Tin horn?
JARVIS. Well, a sort of pawn in this game of chess—along with your kings and queens and castles and things. (Seriously, yet playfully) Could a good, hard-working, reliable vassal work his way up to be a Duke or a Lord, or something like that?
PRINCESS. (Almost playing with him) You're an ambitious vassal, aren't you? I'm afraid you wouldn't be content with being anything less than a king.
JARVIS. (Meaningly) A king—a prince—or a bandit.
PRINCESS. A bandit? And why a bandit?
JARVIS. A king might command—a prince request—a bandit seize.
PRINCESS. Seize what?
JARVIS. (Daringly) That which a mere vassal can only admire. (Knock at door. Both brought back to earth.)
PRINCESS. There he is now.
PRINCESS. What shall I call you?
JARVIS. (Whispering) Oh, any old thing—Warren, Mr. Warren. (Pause. PRINCESS crosses to door, hesitates a moment, then opens it.)
PRINCESS. Come in.
(Enter DUKE. Stops at sight of JARVIS.)
DUKE. Oh, I'm intruding. (Spoken as though he expected JARVIS to go.)
PRINCESS. Allow me to present Mr. Warren, whom I am bringing from America to solve the mystery of the castle. My cousin, Duke D'Alva. (She crosses L.)
JARVIS. (Cross to DUKE—easily) Glad to know You. (PRINCESS back R.)
DUKE. (Patronizingly) I am honored. Interesting task you have undertaken. May I ask if that is your regular profession?
JARVIS. That is my business, solving mysteries, looking up the family skeleton, hunting out spooks. What we call in America a Ghost Breaker!
DUKE. Ghost Breaker? A strange calling. I indeed never heard of anything more extraordinary.
JARVIS. It is not surprising, your Excellency. We are living in an age of specialists—and like every other profession, this calls for its own peculiar training.
PRINCESS. (Interrupting) I am so glad you are here, cousin—you will be able to tell Mr. Warren, so much better than I, all the circumstances.
DUKE. I'll be delighted to throw any light I can on the mystery, but first tell me—(To PRINCESS)—why did you leave your brother to come to America?
PRINCESS. (Takes locket from reticule) This little locket is what brought me to America.
DUKE. (Crosses to her, holding out hand to take it) May I see it?
PRINCESS. (Takes out memo.) No, Carlos, you may see the locket—no one must see the memorandum.
JARVIS. (Seated on trunk—to DUKE) A wise precaution.
DUKE. (Picking up locket) Curious old piece of work—and you came all the way to America for this?
DUKE. You were very fortunate to find it so soon. (Cross R.)
PRINCESS. I knew where to go to find it—and yet I was nearly too late. Think of it, after that dear old locket had lain in an antique shop for ten years, suddenly in one day there came two inquiries for it. (JARVIS sits looking at CARLOS.) Mine was the second. A distinguished-looking gentleman had been there in the morning, described it roughly to the old man and got him to hunt for it. He had just found it when I came in. I doubled the distinguished-looking gentleman's offer and got it. (Another look at DUKE.) Who do you suppose wanted that locket, Carlos?
DUKE. (R., being cornered and with effort to throw it off lightly) I see that it has already occurred to you that I am the distinguished-looking gentleman whose offer you doubled.
PRINCESS. (With curiosity) But how did you learn about the memorandum, Carlos? (JARVIS sits on trunk.)
DUKE. I didn't, Cousin. I had not the slightest suspicion that the locket contained the supposed secret. I was merely following my pet hobby, trying to recover some of those precious heirlooms which have been scattered to the four winds. (Quickly) You would be surprised, Mr. Warren, to see the collection I have already rescued and which some day may be yours, Maria.
JARVIS. (Breaking in impatiently) Well, so much for the treasure. Now let's hear about the ghost. What's your opinion of this, your Excellency? Do you put any stock in ghosts?
DUKE. Yes, Mr. Warren, I am convinced there are such things.
JARVIS. You believe that this castle is haunted?
DUKE. I know it.
JARVIS. You think this ghost is dangerous to encounter—that it is the cause of the deaths and disappearances in the castle?
DUKE. I do.
JARVIS. Well, what do you think about that? Ghosts—— That's a pretty broad term, your Excellency. Can you tell me just what you believe this ghost is?
DUKE. There are certain occult forces in this world, Mr. Warren, that science cannot fathom, and some of them are manifested in that castle now. A priest might call it a demon or a fiend; a psychologist, perhaps a returning spirit. I can't say—but I know there is something real, a malignant force which lurks in that castle, and while it haunts those halls, it is madness for any man to expose himself there.
JARVIS. Have you ever seen this ghost?
PRINCESS. My brother has.
JARVIS. Good night!
PRINCESS. So has my father, and the others when they disappeared. No one has seen it three times and lived.
JARVIS. (Interrupting and looking at DUKE) In just what way do you connect this spook with the treasure?
DUKE. Spook? I see no connection. What do you mean?
JARVIS. Oh, there is always money where the ghost walks.
DUKE. I don't know what your experience has been, Mr. Warren. You are evidently a brave man—but you have yet to encounter a real ghost.
JARVIS. Brave! It takes no bravery to fight a coward. That is what this ghost is—it's a coward like every other ghost. I tell you that men are not half so afraid of spirits as spirits are afraid of men. Face the supernatural—and it is beaten to a frazzle before the fight begins. Spooks—horse-thieves—and peevish wild-cats can all be tamed by the same little charm.
PRINCESS. (Mystified) Charm?
DUKE. (Leaning forward) What is it?
JARVIS. I'd hate to tell you. It's part of my system. (Taking out pistol.)
DUKE. (Scornfully) I had been hoping, Mr. Warren, that you had some subtle method of handling this problem, but you evidently propose to meet the forces of the supernatural with firearms. I—I may tell you that this specter has been shot at before without the slightest effect.
JARVIS. (Smiling) Quite likely, your Excellency. I have seen rifle fire that had not the slightest effect on a wild-cat for the very reason that the firing was wilder than the cat.
DUKE. (As though pitying him) I am sorry for you Mr. Warren. You will find the ghost more real than the treasure.
PRINCESS. (Rising) But the treasure is real, Carlos. Would I have crossed the ocean for this locket unless I knew? Why, with this paper anybody—a total stranger—could walk right up to the very stone that hides it——
JARVIS. (Meaningly) Pretty dangerous paper to have around. Look out somebody does not get there ahead of you.
DUKE. (Meaningly to JARVIS) Yes, it is a dangerous paper—if it leads anyone into the castle.
JARVIS. (Laughingly) Well, your Excellency, I'd go a long way for the fun of unravelling a good mystery with a little spice of danger thrown in.
DUKE. You needn't have gone so far, Mr. Warren. You are leaving a very unusual case behind you in New York. The papers are full of it. Have you read them? (Picking up newspaper.) It will interest you too, Cousin. You were at the Manhattan last night, I believe.
PRINCESS. Yes! (JARVIS and PRINCESS look at each other and DUKE reads from newspaper.)
JARVIS. Why, no—— (Glancing at trunk.) I was so wrapped up in my baggage I really didn't have a chance. (Looks at PRINCESS.)
DUKE. "Pistol duel in Manhattan Hotel. Colonel James Marcum, a prominent and wealthy Kentuckian, nearly met his death at five o'clock this morning in a pistol duel in his room at the Manhattan Hotel." (Glancing down a little further) "At a late hour the police had no clue to the identity of his assailant, except the remarkable fact that the person is still hiding somewhere in the hotel."
JARVIS. (Interrupting) He's probably a long way from the hotel by this time.
DUKE. (Looking at paper) They say that he couldn't have gotten out without being seen.
JARVIS. That's the theory of the police or reporters.
DUKE. What do you think?
JARVIS. He might have escaped in a thousand ways—but that work is hardly in my line. That belongs to the "Gum-shoes."
JARVIS. Yes, ordinary detectives. (Enter NITA.)
NITA. Excuse, Madame——
PRINCESS. No, Nita! Not just yet. I'll call you when I want you.
JARVIS. We are keeping you from getting settled, I am afraid. (Cross toward door.) So, if you will excuse me, I'll see you at luncheon, perhaps. Hooray! I am glad to have made your acquaintance, your Excellency.
DUKE. Thank you, Mr. Warren, I find you most interesting. I shall be glad to hear more of your remarkable profession. (WARREN crosses to door and opens it, disclosing two detectives and steward.)
DETECTIVE. Are you Miss M. T. Ar—ra—gan?
PRINCESS. (L.C.) Yes!
DETECTIVE. You was at the Manhattan Hotel last night?
DETECTIVE. The lock on your door was broken?
DETECTIVE. (Removes hat) I am from headquarters, Madame, and I have orders to clear up one or two little matters with that affair at the hotel last night.
DUKE. Orders, orders! To break in here—what headquarters?
DETECTIVE. Police headquarters.
DUKE. Do you know whom you are addressing?
DETECTIVE. Say—that will be about all from you!
PRINCESS. Yes, Carlos. Please let me attend to this matter. Won't you come in, gentlemen?
DETECTIVE. Thanks. (Realizing they are already in the room) That's all, Steward. (Exit STEWARD; enter DETECTIVES, closing door. JARVIS slips wounded hand into coat pocket.)
JARVIS. Yes, we were just discussing that mystery, Inspector.
DUKE. You are, I take it, one of the—er—gum-shoes? (JARVIS laughs and goes up stage.)
DETECTIVE. (Glaring angrily for a moment, walks over toward him and shouts in his face) Gum-shoe! Say, are you trying to be funny?
DUKE. Well, sir, you are talking rather loud and with undue asperity. I presume I have offended you.
DETECTIVE. You presume! That's a hot one! Say, who are you, anyhow?
DUKE. I am Carlos Hernando Duke D'Alva. I have other titles, but they would hardly interest you.
DETECTIVE. Dook de Alver—and then some, eh? Ain't that nice? Well, if you was the Archbishop of Canterbury I'd run yer in and take yer 'shore if yer give me any more lip! (To PRINCESS, sucks his teeth contemptuously and turns his back on DUKE. Produces notebook from pocket and addresses PRINCESS.) As you was saying when we was interrupted, you was in the hotel when the shooting occurred. Did you hear it?
PRINCESS. Yes, I heard two shots.
DETECTIVE. Did you hear anything else?
PRINCESS. Yes, I heard some people running near my door.
DETECTIVE. Any one come in?
PRINCESS. Yes, my maid was frightened and came in.
DETECTIVE. Aha! How did the lock on your door get broken?
PRINCESS. It was broken when I came. I explained all that at the hotel.
DETECTIVE. Um—all right. What about the colored man who came to your room and carried away a large bundle.
PRINCESS. That was my servant. I sent for him. They were purchases I made too late to put in my trunk. They are here, unopened; you may examine them if you wish.
DETECTIVE. That's all right, Miss, but what do you know about this? (Produces knife from pocket—walks slowly to her, examining it.) The initial on it is "W."
PRINCESS. Did I leave that? Thank you. I'm so glad you found it.
DETECTIVE. Then it's yours? Who is W? Your name is Aragon, I believe.
PRINCESS. I am Maria Theresa of Aragon.
DETECTIVE. But who is W?
PRINCESS. Why, er, it isn't W—you had it upside down. It is M—Maria Theresa.
DETECTIVE. That's all right, ma'am. Now there's just one thing more.
DUKE. (Cross and touch DETECTIVE on arm) You will pardon me, but I wish to inform you that this man's name is Warren——
DETECTIVE. (Crossing toward him) Say! Who's conducting this inquiry, you er me?
DUKE. But, my dear man——
DETECTIVE. I am not your dear man. Cut that! You get out of here. (Forces him toward door.)
PRINCESS. Yes, do go, Carlos. Leave us to attend to this matter. I am sure we can finish this better without you.
DUKE. I merely wished to point out——
DETECTIVE. (Interrupting and hustling DUKE out) You hear what the lady says. (SECOND DETECTIVE cross to DUKE.) Cut it, or out yer goes, and if ye butt in again I'll fan yer. Do you hear? (SECOND DETECTIVE slaps DUKE on arm, motions him to door R.)
DUKE. (At door) Infernal outrage! I shall report this to the King!
DETECTIVE. To the King, huh? Did you get that, Tom? Well, what do you know about that? (SECOND DETECTIVE closes door.)
JARVIS. Don't be disturbed, gentlemen; he's quite harmless. You heard him talking about the King—he suffers from Regalmania. He has grandiose ideas.
DETECTIVE. (Aside) What does that mean, Tom?
SECOND DETECTIVE. (With gesture to head) Wheels.
DETECTIVE. You mean he is crazy?
JARVIS. Yes, he is at times; but he is not at all dangerous.
DETECTIVE. You lookin' out for him?
JARVIS. Yes, that's my job.
DETECTIVE. Sorry I had to be rough with him like that, Miss, but you saw he was gumming the game. I'm going back to New York in the pilot boat shortly and there wasn't no time to waste. Now just one question more. How do you account for the blood on that knob of your door?
PRINCESS. Blood, on my door—— Why, I——
JARVIS. I think I can explain that, Inspector.
DETECTIVE. Go ahead, then.
JARVIS. (Cross C.) Allow me.
JARVIS. The colored man, the one you were talking about, the one who brought the bundle, that bundle there, carelessly broke the blade of that knife and cut his hand. That was it, wasn't it? You see the large blade is snapped off near the handle.
DETECTIVE. Where is this colored man now?
PRINCESS. He is in stateroom 729.
DETECTIVE. All right, I will just take a look at him. 729? Sorry to bother you. They was the Chief's orders. Good-bye. (Exit.)
PRINCESS. But his hand isn't cut.
JARVIS. (Cross to 'phone) No, not yet—but it soon will be. Hello, give me 729. (Pause.) Hello, hello, hello, Rusty? Damn it all, answer me, do you hear me? (Pause.) Yes, I know I did, but I am telling you to talk now. Do just what I tell you and do it quick. Take your knife and cut your left hand. What? No, no, you a—damned fool, don't cut it off, but just enough to make it bleed a little and then tie it up with a handkerchief. Never mind. Do it quick, and remember, don't answer questions. You're deaf and dumb again. (Hangs up receiver and turns to PRINCESS.) By gee, you're game! You certainly buffaloed that Detective. Then your cousin Carlos broke in at the psychological moment to scatter their gum-shoe wits. (Laugh.)
PRINCESS. They believe he's crazy.
JARVIS. That's just it. Now they won't listen to him. Yes, he'll be crazy, all right. Do you think you can handle him?
PRINCESS. Yes, you have your hand dressed.
JARVIS. Then I'll hunt up the ship's surgeon—and be back directly. Gee, you're game! (Cross to door R. DUKE enters at door R. JARVIS turns.) Crazy! That's funny! (JARVIS exits, laughing.)
DUKE. (Showing suppressed emotion, stands R.C. glaring at PRINCESS) Well!
DUKE. Well, I'm waiting!
PRINCESS. For what, Carlos?
DUKE. For some explanation. Who is this man Warren?
PRINCESS. He is a professional ghost breaker, as he explained.
DUKE. How did you find him?
PRINCESS. I met him quite by accident.
DUKE. What do you know about him?
PRINCESS. Why, he is as well known in America as you are in Spain.
DUKE. Indeed! (Cross to center.) Well, he will be better known when I turn him over to the police.
PRINCESS. Why, Carlos, what do you mean?
DUKE. I think you know that which I mean, Maria. (DETECTIVE sticks head in door.)
DETECTIVE. It's all right, Madame, but you might have told us that your nigger was a dummy.
DUKE. (To PRINCESS) One moment, gentlemen, one moment. (DETECTIVES enter.) If this person is famous, these gentlemen should know him. Do you know Warren, the Ghost Breaker?
DETECTIVE. The what?
DUKE. The Ghost Breaker!
DETECTIVE. (Both grinning) He's off again, Tom. (Enter JARVIS.)
DUKE. Now we'll see. Is this man Warren, the Ghost Breaker? (Warren winks at DETECTIVES.)
DETECTIVE. (To SECOND DETECTIVE) He's hip, all right.
JARVIS. Agree with anything he says.
DUKE. (Furiously) Answer my question—is this man Warren, the Ghost Breaker?
DETECTIVE. Now, that's all right, Dook. Sure he's a Ghost Breaker, ain't he, Tom?
SECOND DETECTIVE. Surest thing you know.
DUKE. Sacristi, am I, Carlos Hernando D'Alva, to be mocked at by two grinning, bull-necked scullions? (Ship's officer appears in door.)
SHIP'S OFFICER. Hurry up, there, if you're going ashore with the pilot!
DETECTIVES. (As they go through door) You're all right, Dook, old boy! Ghost Breaker! Ha, ha! (They exit.)
DUKE. (Crossing toward door) I'll see the Captain.
JARVIS. (Back against door) I think not just yet!
SCENE: The main room of an Old Spanish tavern, Segura, Spain. Singing and mandolins heard from Wine Room.
AT RISE, MAXIMO, an old discharged Spanish veteran, and GASPAR, a villager, discovered playing cards at table down C. This continues some time. MAXIMO slaps down cards exultantly, leans back in chair and laughs. GASPAR stares peevishly at cards.
DOLORES discovered gazing out of window, D.L. Enter VARDOS, old follower of PRINCE BASILLIO, C.L., carrying basket, covered by lid or napkin. Seeing DOLORES. Spaniard on steps.
Lights full up, amber and white. Blue lights behind in windows, R. and L.
VARDOS. Still watching for a signal, Senorita?
DOLORES. (Turning to VARDOS) Yes, Vardos. Have you any news?
VARDOS. Nothing. Here's the basket of food untouched as usual. This is the fifteenth night.
DOLORES. Once tonight I thought I saw a light in the tower, Vardos.
VARDOS. If you did, Senorita, it was an unblessed flame.
DOLORES. You haven't given up hope, have you, Vardos?
VARDOS. I gave up hope when the Prince went into the castle. Tonight I waited till an hour past sundown, and twice I called. Once a wail came back to me. It sounded like a sigh of the damned. When I called the second time, something moved in the turret of the keep, like a man waving; and my heart leaped for joy. Then, with a harsh cry, a black, ugly bird flew from the turret straight toward where the sun had set—on my left, mind you, the sinister side, the left, the left! (Castanets heard off stage, left.)
DOLORES. Oh, if her Highness were only here.
VARDOS. What can she do?
DOLORES. She would go straight to the castle, and will Segura have it said that they let her go alone as they did the Prince?
VARDOS. God forbid it should come to that. (Gives basket.) Good night, Senorita. (Start for door down R.)
DOLORES. Good night—(Crosses C.)—Vardos. You will go again tomorrow night?
VARDOS. Yes, Senorita, willingly, until I know it is useless. (Off stage voice: "Bravo, Senorita!") Good night! (Off stage voice: "Bravo, Senorita!" Laughing and clapping of hands. Exit C. VARDOS.)
(Exit MAXIMO, GASPAR and SPANIARD, door R. DOLORES lifts napkin and looks into basket; crosses and exits D.R. Enter door L.C. ROBLEDO; stands, looks about insolently for a second.)
ROBLEDO. Eh—hey, you, Pedro! (Receiving no answer, he crosses to table L.C., bangs crop on table and shouts again.) Hey, you, Pedro! What's the matter here? Where are you? (Enter PEDRO, door R. Seeing ROBLEDO, is immediately scared and anxious to please.)
PEDRO. Oh, Senor Robledo!
ROBLEDO. Wake up! What's the matter with you?
PEDRO. One thousand pardons, Senor. What can I do for you?
ROBLEDO. My horse is outside; he has had a hard ride. Wash him off, and don't give him any water until he is cool.
PEDRO. Yes, Senor, it shall be just as you say. (Starting.)
ROBLEDO. And leave the saddle on. I may want to use him again.
PEDRO. Yes, Senor. Yes, Senor. (Starts toward door C. ROBLEDO halts him.)
ROBLEDO. Where is your daughter?
PEDRO. I will call her, Senor. (He crosses to door R., calling.) Dolores, Dolores! She will come, Senor. She will come. (Cross to door L.C.)
ROBLEDO. And, Pedro——
PEDRO. Yes, Senor——
ROBLEDO. If that rat-infested larder of yours is empty, get it filled before the Duke arrives.
PEDRO. The Duke coming here, Senor! When?
ROBLEDO. Tonight! Don't stand and stare. Hurry up and see to my horse.
PEDRO. Yes, Senor. Yes, Senor. (Exit door L.C. DOLORES entering R.)
DOLORES. Yes, Father? (Sees ROBLEDO.) Oh, it's you.
ROBLEDO. (Pause—cross toward her) Well, well! Can't you say you're glad to see me?
DOLORES. I can, but I won't. Where's my father?
ROBLEDO. Never mind your father. I want to talk to you.
DOLORES. You do? Well, you won't in that tone. (Start to cross left.)
ROBLEDO. (Intercepting her C.) I won't hey?—And why not? You little spit-fire!
DOLORES. What do you want to say to me?
ROBLEDO. You little devil! (She starts away; he grasps her wrist.) Come here! (Throws her quickly and easily around stage L., still holding her wrist.) Say, what's come over you these days? You are about as fond of me and as sweet tempered as a tigress. What have I done?
DOLORES. It is what you have not done, Don Robledo. For fifteen days your Prince has been in need of you and you have not had the courage to go to him. (Enter MAXIMO door R. and beckons GASPAR and VILLAGERS up.) Let go my wrist! (Struggling. MAXIMO, GASPAR and VILLAGERS watch end of scene.) Let go my wrist!
ROBLEDO. Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You can't get away. Do not try. (She strikes him, frees herself and crosses L. to window.) You little cat, I'll trim those claws! (VILLAGERS laugh. MAXIMO nudges GASPAR.)
GASPAR. Sh! sh! sh! Look out!
ROBLEDO. (To them) Well, what are you laughing at?
MAXIMO. Why, why—— (Stammering.)
GASPAR. A jest in the wine room, Senor.
ROBLEDO. Huh! Lucky for you! Get out of my way! (Pushes them aside and swaggers through door R.)
DOLORES. Gaspar! Maximo! Come here quickly!
MAXIMO. (Crossing to DOLORES) What is it?
GASPAR. What is the matter? (Crossing to DOLORES.)
DOLORES. A light! A light in the castle!
GASPAR. I thought I saw it a while ago.
MAXIMO. I don't see it.
DOLORES. But I tell you I did see it. (She runs R.C., calling) Father—Father—come quickly.
PEDRO. (Entering R.) What is it? What are you looking at? (Cross C.)
DOLORES. (L.C., pointing out window) A light—a light in the castle. I saw it!
PEDRO. (Going to window) Nombre de Dios. (MAXIMO and GASPAR back to L.C.)
DOLORES. (C. to GASPAR and MAXIMO) Well, why don't you do something? Are you going to stand there like scared sheep, and let a man, your Prince, signal to you in vain?
ROBLEDO. Who's the little devil tearing to pieces now? (C. cross to DOLORES.)
DOLORES. You, Don Robledo, sword-fighter, toreador, fire-eater, hero of a hundred duels—you—Don Robledo—coward! (He chucks DOLORES under the chin. She throws his hand off.) I asked you to go into the castle and rescue your Prince. I ask you now to answer the signal that I just saw in the tower window. Perhaps your Prince has just crawled to that tower window where he can see our lights. Perhaps he has burned something, a scrap of paper, in the hope that some of you gentlemen would notice it and come to his assistance, but he doesn't know what cowards you are or he wouldn't have wasted his matches. Don Robledo—coward!
ROBLEDO. Coward, never! A fair fight in the open and I'll meet the best man that walks the earth. (Turns to VILLAGERS.) Any two or three! (To table L.)
DOLORES. I don't ask you to kill one or two or three of these poor whimpering sheep! I ask you to dare something. (DUKE enters C.) I ask you and these gentlemen—(Point to VILLAGERS)—to go to the aid of your Prince—and there isn't a man among you who dares! God, how I could love such a man!
DUKE. (Down C., sarcastically to DOLORES) A pretty speech, Senorita!
ROBLEDO. (Seeing DUKE, removes hat and bows) Your Excellency!
GASPAR. The Duke D'Alva! (VILLAGERS remove hats and bow to DUKE.)
PEDRO. His Excellency!
VILLAGERS. The Duke, His Excellency, etc.
DUKE. Charming sentiments you express for your fellow townsmen, whose healthy common-sense prevents them from rushing to a fool's death. Still, all fools are not dead yet. One of them will be here tonight. And you, Senorita, will doubtless be pleased to look upon him, as he has come all the way from America for the privilege of entering the castle and playing your hero.
DOLORES. (To ROBLEDO) And did her Highness have to go all the way to America to find him?
DUKE. Yes, he's from America, where all the fools come from. (Everybody laughs but DOLORES. To ROBLEDO) A word with you alone, Senor.
(ROBLEDO looks at GASPAR and MAXIMO. PEDRO, scared, motions VILLAGERS off to R. PEDRO, MAXIMO and VILLAGERS exit door R.)
DOLORES. Can I get your Excellency anything?
DUKE. Don't mind me. I'll look out for myself. Her Highness will be here very soon and will doubtless remain here for the night. I drove ahead to prepare you.
DOLORES. Yes, your Excellency! (Bowing—exit door R.)
DUKE. (Half sits on table L., watches DOLORES off. To ROBLEDO) You've got work before you—Robledo.
ROBLEDO. (Center) I'm ready, Excellency.
DUKE. (Rising, across to ROBLEDO) Yes, but this American may be dangerous.
ROBLEDO. In what way?
DUKE. Unless he is stopped he will go into that castle tonight—and I look upon you to stop him. He is coming here to solve the mystery and to find the Prince. I shall endeavor to stop him, but if I fail, Robledo, it rests with you.
ROBLEDO. I can assure your Excellency I will convince the American that his presence in the castle tonight is quite unnecessary. Have you any instructions?
DUKE. Any way you please, Robledo—means are of no consequence in this world. What I want is results. Only don't underestimate your man. He will shoot, and I think he will shoot quick.
ROBLEDO. Good! (Enter PEDRO door R. with tray and bottles and two glasses. Cross and put them on table up C.)
DUKE. (Taking coin from pocket) Here, take this and have them drink to my health and that of her Highness! (ROBLEDO bows and exits R.)
PEDRO. Is there anything else your Excellency desires?
DUKE. Yes, hot water, soap and towels. (Looks at hands.)
PEDRO. This way, your Excellency. (Exit DUKE and PEDRO upstairs and off L.)
ROBLEDO. (Heard off stage R.) To his Gracious Excellency, the Duke D'Alva!
VILLAGERS. (Off stage) The Duke! The Duke! The Duke!
(Enter DOLORES R., crossing to window L.)
ROBLEDO. Louder, you beggars, louder, or I'll give you something to yell for!
VILLAGERS. (Much louder) The Duke! The Duke! Long live the Duke! The Duke! etc.
(Lights seen of automobile approaching.)
DOLORES. Her Highness! (Calls) Father! Father!
PEDRO. (Entering) What is it, Dolores?
DOLORES. Quick! Her Highness is here!
PEDRO. Her Highness! (He bustles downstairs.) Her Highness! (Calls off R.) Her Highness!
(VILLAGERS enter door R. Enter PRINCESS, NITA and JOSE in motor clothes. PRINCESS comes C. JOSE door L. NITA left center up stage. DOLORES L.C. PEDRO right center, C. VILLAGERS in door R., bowing low.)
PEDRO. Your Highness does my humble inn great honor—— (VILLAGERS bow.)
PRINCESS. Thank you. (She nods to VILLAGERS, extends her hand to DOLORES, who carries it to her lips, curtseying.)
DOLORES. Your gracious Highness, we are ill prepared for this great favor. Your exalted cousin gave but short warning of your coming.
PRINCESS. My child, any place to remove the dust of travel will do for the present. Jose, I shall want the car later.
NITA. (L.C.) Your Highness is not thinking of going on to the castle tonight?
PRINCESS. I must have news.
NITA. But you're all worn out. You're all unstrung.
PRINCESS. When Mr. Warren comes, tell him I will be down directly.
DOLORES. I will tell the Senor American, your Highness.
PRINCESS. Thank you. (Exit PRINCESS and NITA, PEDRO showing them upstairs.)
(Enter JARVIS D.C.; followed by RUSTY, both carrying suitcases. DOLORES bows. RUSTY comes to DOLORES. JARVIS L.C. RUSTY crosses JARVIS to L. DOLORES returns bow.)
DOLORES. Gentlemen—a man!
JARVIS. Rusty, we're discovered! Did you by any chance address me, Senorita?
DOLORES. I called the attention of these valiant gentlemen of Segura to the only man who dares to enter the castle.
JARVIS. How did you know?
DOLORES. All Segura knows by this time.
(Enter ROBLEDO door R., pushing through VILLAGERS; DOLORES tries to stop him; he pushes her aside, swaggering toward JARVIS.)
ROBLEDO. So you're the brave American, Senor?
JARVIS. I'm an American. (Turning to RUSTY on L.) Here's another one. (RUSTY salutes.) We're both Americans.
ROBLEDO. And you both want to die? (RUSTY makes wry face and big eyes.)
JARVIS. (L.C.) Well, I'm not really anxious about it, Senor.
ROBLEDO. Better keep out of the castle, then.
JARVIS. Oh, you mean that ghost? Oh, I'm not afraid of a little thing like that, Senor.
ROBLEDO. No? (Turns to DOLORES C.) Well, Senorita, we gentlemen of Segura will drink to your American. (To JARVIS) The maddest fool that ever came to Spain! (ROBLEDO crosses to DOLORES, chucks her under chin, laughing. DOLORES throws his hand off; motions Villagers off, and exits after them. JARVIS and RUSTY watch them off.)
RUSTY. He's a nice man.
JARVIS. Pile the bags up there, Rusty. (Put bags on table L.)
RUSTY. Yas, sir.
JARVIS. Looks like we were in for a warm reception.
RUSTY. Yas, sir, 'tis a trifle warm. (Crosses below table L., back to audience.)
DOLORES. Pardon, Senor. Her Highness wishes me to tell you that she will be down directly.
JARVIS. Thank you, Senorita, and who, may I ask, was the cheerful individual that flattered me with such a toast?
DOLORES. (At C., looking after ROBLEDO—crosses to JARVIS) Don Robledo, Senor.
JARVIS. Don Robledo—sounds dangerous, but doesn't mean much to me.
DOLORES. It may mean much before you reach the castle. Let me tell you something. Quick, your hand, Senor! No, the other one. (Grasps his hand.) I'll pretend to read your palm. Every one of those breaks in your life-line means a moment when you stood face to face with death, and yet, see those little squares of protection around each break! Senor American, there is one break which you have not yet reached, and the protecting square is not perfect like the others.
JARVIS. I reckon that square will take care of itself when the time comes.
DOLORES. But the time is now, Senor.
JARVIS. So—and are the senorita's eyes so sharp that she can tell the day and the hour?
DOLORES. Not my eyes, Senor American, but my ears. (DUKE comes downstairs.) In all my experience I have seen but one hand like yours—it speaks of danger, and that hand belongs to Don Robledo.
DUKE. (Still on stairs) Well, Mr. Warren!
DOLORES. Pardon, Senor! (Curtsies to JARVIS and steps back from him.)
JARVIS. Good-bye, Senorita. Many thanks for your occult wisdom. I'll take good care of that little square. (DOLORES crosses, bows to DUKE, exits R., closing door.)
DUKE. (Coming down) Well, Mr. Warren, looking into the future? (Lays coat on table C. JARVIS L.C.)
JARVIS. Yes, Duke. The immediate future promises to be very interesting. A dark man is to cross my path.
DUKE. (R.C.) Do you believe in such foolery?
JARVIS. I like to, on this occasion, for I hope it means someone I very much want to meet.
DUKE. Mr. Warren, I feel a certain responsibility for Her Highness' actions, and the prospect of your death tonight is most uncomfortable.
JARVIS. You think I won't come back?
DUKE. I think if you go to that castle tonight you take your life in your hands.
JARVIS. I've got a pretty good grip.
DUKE. Look here. You Americans are shrewd traders. You get dollar for dollar when you bargain. You are not giving away your life for nothing. Now, what was the price?
JARVIS. Oh, not very much. The deal was made on bargain day. My life happened to be a little below par.
DUKE. Very well, I will release you from your end of the bargain.
JARVIS. Your Excellency, I am overwhelmed, but the price is paid and we're on the job, aren't we, Rusty?
RUSTY. Yas, sir, we most certainly is!
DUKE. I suppose that means that you will keep faith with Her Highness?
DUKE. I never saw a man quite so anxious to be killed; but there it is: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
JARVIS. I'd rather be an energetic fool than an angel with cold feet.
DUKE. I am sorry for you.
JARVIS. (Crossing to DUKE) Your Excellency, I decline your offer and your advice and your sympathy, and I'll tell you why. I once saw a gambler lay down four aces. Just think of it: four fat aces. He looked the dealer straight in the eye and said: "The play ain't natural." Now, you tried to have me arrested on the steamer, you have tried to block me in every move I have made. Now, all of a sudden you express the utmost anxiety as to what's going to happen to me in the castle. You even offer to buy me off. You advise me to stay out. Shall I take your advice? No. "The play ain't natural."
DUKE. You have intruded into a matter which you neither understand nor appreciate. If, as you say, the play seems unnatural, throw the cards and stay out of the game.
JARVIS. No, I'll stay right in the game, but I am going to watch the dealer. Well, come along, Rusty. (Cross to RUSTY.) Let's see if we can find the landlord. (Picking up bags.)
RUSTY. I'd like to find a piece of chicken.
JARVIS. Chicken, Rusty? What put that in your head?
RUSTY. I's powerful hungry, Marse Warren.
RUSTY. No, sir—it's the same old hunger.
JARVIS. Well, Rusty, you are not going to get anything to eat until we finish the job.
RUSTY. Good Lord, have I got to wait till you're dead before I eat? (They start with bags to cross to stairway. Enter PRINCESS on stairs.)
DUKE. Well, all Segura will be buzzing with your ghost hunt tonight. The whole town will sit up to hear of the outcome.
JARVIS. And where are you going to get the returns, Duke?
DUKE. Unfortunately, I must leave at once. I have an urgent summons to Madrid.
JARVIS. Well, that's too bad. I'm sorry you're leaving us. Won't you even be around at the finish, your Excellency?
DUKE. I am sorry, Mr. Warren, but I must go.
JARVIS. Well, I call that a shame.
PRINCESS. (Coming downstairs—to PEDRO entering R.) Pedro, this is Mr. Warren. Attend to his wants.
PEDRO. (Bowing) Yes, your Highness! (PRINCESS crosses L.C. PEDRO goes upstairs.) This way. (JARVIS and RUSTY following PEDRO upstairs.)
JARVIS. Your Highness, I'd like a couple of good horses and two good lanterns.
PEDRO. Yes, your Highness. (PEDRO exits.)
DUKE. Lanterns? Looking for an honest man, Mr. Warren? (C. Lays hat on table C.)
JARVIS. (Over banister) Not in this neck of the woods, your Excellency. (Exit JARVIS and RUSTY.)
PRINCESS. Carlos, what news of my brother have you heard?
DUKE. (L.C.) Nothing, Maria.
PRINCESS. And yet you are leaving for Madrid.
DUKE. The message is from His Majesty.
PRINCESS. But why must you go so soon?
DUKE. You know my ride is a long one.
PRINCESS. But, Carlos, my brother may be dying, dead—and yet you have not the time and the courage to help me find him.
DUKE. What need of me? You have your Ghost Breaker.
PRINCESS. So, Carlos, that is your excuse?
DUKE. I make no excuse, Maria. I need none. That Yankee adventurer stands between you and me. Send him away, and I will do anything you ask. I'll put off my journey now to the King. I'll send one of my men into the castle to find your brother.
PRINCESS. Yes, you will send one of your men—but you are not brave enough to go there yourself. Yet you ask me to send away this man who of all is willing to sacrifice even his life for me.
DUKE. If he stays, I'll go.
PRINCESS. Very well, then you force me to choose. I do. I choose a man.
DUKE. You love him?
PRINCESS. Perhaps. (R. Turns away.)
DUKE. Well, Maria, you are sending him to his death. (Enter JARVIS on stairs.) Success to you, Mr. Ghost Breaker, when you beard the spectre in his den. (Takes hat and coat from table.)
JARVIS. (Coming downstairs) Thank you, your Excellency. (With mock dignity) I'll do my best. (Changes expression.) To put salt on the spectre's tail.
DUKE. Good-bye! (Exit L.C.)
PRINCESS. (C.) Mr. Warren, we must start at once.
JARVIS. Courage—if your brother is there, I'll find him. You must be patient and remain here where you are safe, and try to rest.
PRINCESS. I cannot rest until I know what has happened to him. I shall go mad if I am left alone.
JARVIS. But it is not safe for you to go.
PRINCESS. Nevertheless, Mr. Warren, I will go to my brother tonight.
JARVIS. Now, my dear child! (Pause.) I beg your pardon, but please—oh, please let me insist on one condition.
PRINCESS. Name it.
JARVIS. Let me go ahead and look over the ground. I will signal when it is safe to follow.
PRINCESS. How can you signal?
JARVIS. With a light—(Cross to window L.)—from one of those towers. You can see it from here. You won't have long to wait. It will shine within an hour.
PRINCESS. (L.C.) But if you—if it does not shine?
JARVIS. Well, then I'll be too busy swapping lead for brimstone with Mr. Spook to stop and hang a lantern.
PRINCESS. Oh, but you are brave! You must have the locket with the memorandum. (Start to stairs.)
JARVIS. Yes, of course, where is it?
PRINCESS. It's in my room. I won't be long. (On stairs.)
JARVIS. Suppose you give me that, and we'll start at once.
PRINCESS. Very well. (Exit upstairs and off.)
JARVIS. (Calling) Rusty! Oh, Rusty!
RUSTY. (Off) Yas, sir! Yas, sir!
JARVIS. Bring down my hat and coat. We're starting.
RUSTY. Yas, sir.
JARVIS. (L.C.) I wouldn't change places with that spook for all the gold—(Enter RUSTY)—that she thinks is in that castle. (RUSTY comes down with hat and coat.) Oh, don't hurry like that, Rusty—I hate to see you hurry.
RUSTY. (On bottom step) I smell something cooking—smells like a Spanish pork chop. (Gives hat and coat to Jarvis.)
PRINCESS. (Calling from upstairs) Mr. Warren—Mr. Warren—— (Darts up steps; is met half-way by PRINCESS.) Mr. Warren——
PRINCESS. The locket!
JARVIS. The locket gone?
JARVIS. And the memorandum?
PRINCESS. Gone, too.
JARVIS. Quick, Rusty! The horses!
RUSTY. Yas, sir.
JARVIS. We've no time to lose.
RUSTY. Yas, sir. (Exits.)
JARVIS. (Both on stairs) Your Highness, I've struck the first trail of the spook that is haunting your castle.
PRINCESS. You think——
JARVIS. I think your cousin has not gone to Madrid. Time is everything now.
PRINCESS. You know the way?
JARVIS. North road—second turn to the right.
PRINCESS. Yes, that leads to the postern gate.
(Enter ROBLEDO—stands in arch under stairs, revolver drawn.)
JARVIS. I understand. (Starting.)
PRINCESS. Wait! This little cross! Will you wear it for me tonight? (Slips chain over JARVIS' head. ROBLEDO looks up and steps back in alcove.)
JARVIS. Only for tonight?
PRINCESS. You may never see tomorrow.
JARVIS. If I don't see you tomorrow, forgive me for telling you tonight that I love you. (Raises hand to stop her reply.) Don't rebuke me tonight. Wait until tomorrow, if tomorrow ever comes. (Pause.) And now your humble vassal goes forth in his lady's cause—and while all Segura waits, ghosts and Ghost Breaker shall stalk those halls. Your Highness, within the hour I will hang your signal from the castle. (Carries her hands to his lips.)
PRINCESS. God be with you! (Exits upstairs.)
JARVIS. (Watching her off) Highness.—Highness—— (Starts to go. ROBLEDO cocks revolver. JARVIS stops, listens, looks around, starts to fold coat, whistles "Dixie," moves downstairs until near lamp, throws coat at lamp—lights out. Pause. Two shots are fired in the dark. JARVIS crosses left C. ROBLEDO crosses down R.C., falls on second shot. Pause. JARVIS whistles "Dixie." Exits door L.C.)
SCENE: The Hall of the Knights, in the haunted castle. On walls a few old weapons, thick dust everywhere. Moonlight streams through round window high in wall R., striking picture. Curtain rises slowly while orchestra plays "I Dreamed I Dwelt in Marble Halls." Wind moans through grated windows, rats squeal and cross moonlight on floor; light flickers on tower wall.
(Enter JARVIS from door L. with lantern unlit—turns and calls cautiously.)
JARVIS. Come on in, Rusty. (Enter RUSTY with lighted lantern.) They've been in this room. Do you smell that, Rusty? (Cross R.)
RUSTY. (L.C.) Marse Warren, I'm so scared I can't smell nothin'.
JARVIS. The room's full of it—somebody's been carrying a smoky lantern. (Dull thud off left.)
RUSTY. Good God Almighty, what's that? (JARVIS crosses R.C. over table, lights lantern and then stands looking around room.) I want to go home! (Put lantern down C.)
JARVIS. (Looking about) We've been in this room before.
RUSTY. Is this where that poundin' came from? (Cross C. to Jarvis.)
JARVIS. I reckon that pounding and the smoky lanterns went together. (RUSTY sees armor on stairs; backs into JARVIS and sinks to knees; head on floor.)
RUSTY. O—— oh!
JARVIS. (Whirls with gun drawn) What's the matter?
RUSTY. (Pointing to armor on stairs) Look—look—look at them big black things—see 'em standin' there?
JARVIS. (Laughing; putting away gun) These are the same black things that scared you before—don't you remember?
RUSTY. I'm so scared I can't remember anything!
JARVIS. They're nothing but suits of armor. Get up on your pins and don't you bump me again. (RUSTY rises.) The next one of those rear-end collisions and I'm liable to let some moonlight into you. You've been treading on my heels ever since we came in here, and when I stop you bump into me.
RUSTY. I'm powerful scared I might lose you!
JARVIS. A fine chance! (Looking about.) Well, Rusty, we've been through this old castle pretty thoroughly now, from dungeon to tower, and not a sign of the Prince or the Duke or any one else, unless they pound or carry a smoky lantern. It's a clue, Rusty, it's a clue. We'll stick right here till we find out where it leads. I'll swear the Duke never went to Madrid, but came straight here from the inn. (JARVIS crosses to fireplace R. RUSTY follows.) Get away from me. (Strikes a match and holds in chimney.) There's a fine chance for a fire. Good, it draws. The chimney's clear. Now, then, bust up the table and start a fire.
RUSTY. How can I break it? Oh, it's rotten!
JARVIS. You won't feel half so scared with a good blaze behind you. (RUSTY picks up pieces of table.) I'll scout around a bit.
RUSTY. (Drops pieces of table) Don't you do no scoutin' outside this room!
JARVIS. Well, come on, Rusty—get busy and build that fire.
RUSTY. (Dropping to floor and begins fussing with foot) Just as soon as I get this here shoe off.
JARVIS. (Looking at him) What's the matter with your shoes? (Cross L.C.)
RUSTY. 'Tain't my shoe—it's my foot. You know I was holdin' them horses and waitin' and waitin' for you to come out. Dem guns went off and all dem horses jumped right on me.
JARVIS. There were only two horses, Rusty.
RUSTY. I was countin' their feet.
JARVIS. Well, tie up your shoe and get busy. (Looking around.)
RUSTY. Yas, sir. (Rises, picks up pieces of table, crosses to fireplace.)
JARVIS. This room was probably used as a banquet hall.
RUSTY. (Gathering up few pieces of table and taking them to fireplace, puts them on fire; looks up) Yeah—when we goin' to eat?
JARVIS. Not till we have finished this job.
RUSTY. (Putting pieces of table on fire—still at fireplace, back to audience) Tuesday—Wednesday—Thursday—— Ah can't wait no longer than Saturday. (Strikes match and lights fire. Glow from fire.)
JARVIS. (Runs up steps at back, looking left) That way leads through those two long rooms to the postern gate.
RUSTY. (Looking up) That's where that black thing followed me. (Crosses to JARVIS L.C. slowly.)
JARVIS. Well, a black thing followed me, treading on my heels every step I've taken.
RUSTY. Oh, I couldn't see where I was steppin'.
JARVIS. (Looking about) That goes to the Armory.
RUSTY. (L.C. JARVIS on steps) Ah seen eyes in there, and a cold, grimy, green, slimy smell in there. Ain't that where that broad-faced bird flew at me and I fell down them slippery stairs?
JARVIS. (Laughing) That broad-faced bird was an owl, Rusty—just a common, ordinary owl. You know what an owl is.
JARVIS. (Sees door R.C.) Where can that door lead to? That's it. (JARVIS goes to the door in R.C. Steps on trap and falls suddenly.) Wow! That was a close one. (Lantern goes out.)
RUSTY. (Advancing) Lord, Marse Warren, what is it? (Starts up to Jarvis.)
JARVIS. Get back! Give me that lantern. (RUSTY hands lantern.) Give me your hand. Can you hold me? (RUSTY holds out hand and JARVIS cautiously steps on trap door; it sinks and other end rises.) God! I thought so. Water and a long drop! No wonder people disappear in this castle. Good Lord, what if her brother went down there? Rusty, whatever happens, keep clear of this. If you step on this you will never see Kentucky again for sure. (Groan heard off left.)
RUSTY. Did you hear that groan? (Wind changes to low moan.)
JARVIS. Groan—— There it is again. It sounded just like a man.
RUSTY. Ough! Ough!
JARVIS. Shut up! (Crosses to L.C.)
RUSTY. Marse Warren—look out!
JARVIS. Listen! (Crosses and stands moment at door. Wind moans.) I guess it's the wind. (He crosses to fireplace.) This place is getting on my nerves.
RUSTY. (R.C.) That wasn't no wind, Marse Warren. Ah hope to die if that wasn't a sure enough human groan. (He looks at picture L.) And Ah want to tell you som'pin' else. Have you ever been in church or somewhere and all of a sudden a feelin' come over you that there was eyes a-starin' at the back of your head? You just knowed it—until you couldn't stand it no longer, and just turned around and see who it was?
JARVIS. Why, yes, Rusty, I have had that happen. Why?
RUSTY. That's just the way I feel now, like there was eyes a-lookin' at me. (Turns to picture.) You see that picture? Seems like that feller was lookin' at me—like he'd step right out of the frame. (He points to armor on steps.) Or them two battleship boogies—just jump right down here.
JARVIS. It's been a good many years since those boys jumped, Rusty. (Noise off stage of running.) Hark! Listen! (He crosses to L.C., pistol drawn; stands listening.) Somebody's running—coming this way—— (Dull thud at back.)
RUSTY. I want to go home!
JARVIS. What do you know about that?
RUSTY. I don't want to know nothin' about it.
JARVIS. I thought so.
RUSTY. What is it?
JARVIS. The man with a smoky lantern has been up those stairs.
RUSTY. You ain't goin' up there, is you?
JARVIS. I am not—because the Duke or some of his men are probably waiting for me at the top of the stairs with a big long gun, and I'm no book hero.
RUSTY. Suppose it's the Prince?
JARVIS. Well, suppose it is the Prince. He might blow my head off, because he doesn't know what I came here for—and if it's someone else, they'll blow my head off, because they do know.
RUSTY. (Looks at ceiling and following supposed sounds with head R.C.) Sounds like somebody was runnin' round.
JARVIS. (C.) They're trying to scare us, Rusty. They're probably watching every move we make. That's where that pounding comes from. Why don't they shoot? They're trying to scare us, like they did the poor boobs down in the village. (RUSTY crosses to fireplace.) They want to get us out of here. They want to get us out of this room. Rusty, someone was working in the room. Now, where was he working? Where was he——
RUSTY. (Meanwhile has crossed to mantel and picked up hammer and chisel) Look here, Marse Warren—look y'ere! (A few steps from fireplace.)
JARVIS. (Crossing to RUSTY) What is it, Rusty?
RUSTY. (Handing them to JARVIS) Look at them.
JARVIS. Where did you find them, Rusty?
RUSTY. (Pointing to mantel) Up there.
JARVIS. Good boy, Rusty! Now I'll tell you something. These are his tools. Someone was working in this room, so we've beaten him to it. Now, where was he working? (Hands on floor.) Mortar on floor. (Hands on mantel.) Mortar on the mantel——(Puts down tools, looking up and pointing.) Look at that! That's where he was working, Rusty, and we've beat him to it—we've beat him!
(Long pause. Both turn simultaneously and look at picture. JARVIS draws revolver. RUSTY turns to JARVIS and sees that he looks at picture.)
RUSTY. (Scared voice) Did you feel that, too?
(JARVIS crosses slowly and cautiously to picture; feels all around picture and lights a match to examine it; passes light all around frame.)
JARVIS. (Backing away) By God, that's weird! You could feel that just as plain—— (Backs to steps and sits on balustrade, over which figure in armor is standing.) By God, that's weird! (In awed voice. Figure in armor raises sword slowly directly behind JARVIS.)
RUSTY. (Looking at picture) It sure is, Marse Warren, it sure is—— (RUSTY turns just in time to see sword raised above Jarvis' head; screams) Look out! (Ducks behind table in turret R. Fight then takes place between figure in armor and JARVIS. Figure finally gets on trap R.C. and disappears out of sight.) Where is he? (From behind hiding-place.)
JARVIS. Water and a long drop. There's another of the Duke's men gone to hell.
RUSTY. I knowed them battleship boogies was spooks.
JARVIS. (Picks up sword man in armor dropped; C.) We'll just take a look at this other fellow. (He goes to make a swipe at figure on other side of stairs—sees RUSTY.) What's the matter? Are you scared?