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The Girl with the Green Eyes - A Play in Four Acts
by Clyde Fitch
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THE GIRL WITH THE

GREEN EYES







The Girl with the Green Eyes

A Play In Four Acts

By

CLYDE FITCH

[Symbol: fleur-de-lis]

The Macmillan Company New York MCMV London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd.



Copyright, 1905, By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. All Rights Reserved.

Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1905.

Norwood Press J. S. Cushing & Co.—Berwick & Smith Co. Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.



To

CLARA BLOODGOOD

Good Friend and Ideal Interpreter of "Jinny"



THE GIRL WITH THE GREEN EYES

ACT I. The Tillmans' House, New York. The Wedding.

(Two months elapse.)

ACT II. The Vatican, Rome. The Honeymoon.

(Three weeks elapse.)

ACT III. The Austins' House, New York. Home.

(The night passes.)

ACT IV. The Same.

Scene I. Dawn of the Next Day.

Scene II. Early the Same Morning.



The Persons More or Less Concerned in the Play

"JINNY" AUSTIN. MR. TILLMAN } Her Parents. MRS. TILLMAN } GEOFFREY TILLMAN. Her Brother. SUSIE. Her Cousin. MISS RUTH CHESTER } MISS GRACE DANE } Her Bridesmaids. MISS BELLE WESTING } MISS GERTRUDE WOOD } MAGGIE. Maid at the Tillmans'. HOUSEMAID. At the Tillmans'. BUTLER. At the Tillmans'. FOOTMAN. At the Tillmans'. JOHN AUSTIN. MRS. CULLINGHAM. PETER CULLINGHAM. Her Son. MRS. LOPP. CARRIE. Her Daughter. A FRENCH COUPLE. A GERMAN COUPLE. A GUIDE. A DRIVER. A GROUP OF TOURISTS.



Originally produced under the management of Charles Frohman at the Savoy Theatre, New York, on the 25th of December, 1902, with the following cast:—

"Jinny" Austin Miss Clara Bloodgood Mr. Tillman Mr. Charles Abbott Mrs. Tillman Mrs. Harriet Otis Dellenbaugh Geoffrey Tillman Mr. John M. Albaugh, Jr. Susie Miss Edith Taliaferro Miss Ruth Chester Miss Lucille Flaven Miss Grace Dane Miss Mary Blyth Miss Belle Westing Miss Helena Otis Miss Gertrude Wood Miss Felice Morris Maggie Miss Lucile Watson Housemaid Miss Angela Keir Butler Mr. Gardner Jenkins Footman Mr. Walter Dickinson John Austin Mr. Robert Drouet Mrs. Cullingham Mrs. McKee Rankin Peter Cullingham Mr. Harry E. Asmus Mrs. Lopp Miss Ellen Rowland Carrie Miss Clara B. Hunter A French Couple { Mr. Henry De Barry { Miss Louise Delmar A German Couple { Mr. J. R. Cooley { Miss Elsa Ganett A Guide Mr. Frank Brownlee A Driver Mr. Lou W. Carter { Miss Elizabeth French A Group of Tourists { Miss Gertrude Bindley { Miss Myrtle Lane



ACT I

A charming room in the Tillmans' house. The walls are white woodwork, framing in old tapestries of deep foliage design, with here and there a flaming flamingo; white furniture with old, green brocade cushions. The room is in the purest Louis XVI. The noon sunlight streams through a window on the left. On the opposite side is a door to the hall. At back double doors open into a corridor which leads to the ballroom. At left centre are double doors to the front hall. A great, luxurious sofa is at the left, with chairs sociably near it, and on the other side of the room a table has chairs grouped about it. On floral small table are books and objets d'art, and everywhere there is a profusion of white roses and maidenhair fern.

In the stage directions Left and Right mean Left and Right of actor, as he faces audience.

Three smart-looking SERVANTS are peering through the crack of the folding door, their backs to the audience. The pretty, slender MAID is on a chair. The elderly BUTLER dignifiedly stands on the floor. The plump, overfed little HOUSEMAID is kneeling so as to see beneath the head of the BUTLER.

HOUSEMAID. [Gasping.] Oh, ain't it a beautiful sight!

BUTLER. [Pompously.] Not to me who 'ave seen a Lord married in Hengland.

MAGGIE. Oh, you make me sick, Mr. Potts, always talking of your English Aristocracy! I'm sure there never was no prettier wedding than this. Nor as pretty a bride as Miss Jinny.

BUTLER. [Correcting her.] Mrs. Haustin!

HOUSEMAID. She looks for all the world like one of them frosted angels on a Christmas card. My, I wish I could 'a' seen her go up the aisle with the organ going for all it was worth!

MAGGIE. It was a beautiful sight!

BUTLER. A good many 'appens to be 'aving the sense to be going now.

HOUSEMAID. Could you hear Miss Jinny say "I do," and make them other remarks?

MAGGIE. Yes, plain, though her voice was trembly like. But Mr. Austin he almost shouted!

[Laughing nervously in excitement.

BUTLER. 'E's glad to get 'er!

MAGGIE. And her him!

HOUSEMAID. Yes, that's what I likes about it. Did any one cry?

MAGGIE. Mrs. Tillman. Lots of people are going now.

HOUSEMAID. What elegant clothes! Oh, gosh!

BUTLER. [Superciliously.] Mrs. Cullingham don't seem in no 'urry; she's a common lot!

MAGGIE. I don't care, she's rich and Miss Jinny likes her; she just throws money around to any poor person or church or hospital that wants it, or don't! So she can't be so very common neither, Mr. Potts!

HOUSEMAID. Say, I catch on to something! Young Mr. Tillman's sweet on that there tall bridesmaid.

MAGGIE. [Sharply.] Who?

BUTLER. Miss Chester. I've seen there was something goin' hon between them whenever she's dined or lunched 'ere.

MAGGIE. [Angry.] 'Tain't true!

BUTLER. I'll bet my month's wages.

MAGGIE. I don't believe you!

BUTLER. Why, what's it to you, please?

MAGGIE. [Saving herself.] Nothing—

HOUSEMAID. Well, I guess it's truth enough. That's the second time I've seen him squeeze her hand when no one wasn't lookin'.

MAGGIE. Here, change places with me! [Getting down from her chair.] If you was a gentleman, Mr. Potts, you'd have given me your place!

[Witheringly.

BUTLER. If I was a gentleman, miss, I wouldn't be here; I'd be on the other side of the door.

[He moves the chairs away.

MAGGIE. [To Housemaid.] Honest, you saw something between them?

HOUSEMAID. Who?

MAGGIE. Him and her? Mr. Geoffrey and Miss Chester—

HOUSEMAID. Cheese it! they're coming this way!

[She and the MAID and the BUTLER vanish through the door Right.

[GEOFFREY and RUTH enter through the double doors quickly at back. GEOFFREY is a young, good-looking man, but with a weak face. He is of course very smartly dressed. RUTH is a very serenely beautiful girl, rather noble in type, but unconscious and unpretending in manner. They close the doors quickly behind them.

GEOFFREY. We'll not be interrupted here, and I must have a few words with you before you go.

[He follows her to the sofa where she sits, and leans over it, with his arm about her shoulder.

RUTH. Oh, Geof,—Geof, why weren't we married like this?

GEOFFREY. It couldn't be helped, darling!

RUTH. It isn't the big wedding I miss, oh, no, it's only it seemed sweeter in a church. Why did we have to steal off to Brooklyn, to that poor, strange little preacher in his stuffy back parlour, and behave as if we were doing something of which we were ashamed?

GEOFFREY. You love me, I love you,—isn't that the chief thing, dearest?

RUTH. But how much longer must we keep it secret?

GEOFFREY. Till I can straighten my affairs out. I can't explain it all to you; there are terrible debts,—one more than all the others,—a debt I made when I was in college.

RUTH. If I could only help you! I have a little money.

GEOFFREY. No, I love you too much; besides, this debt isn't money, and I hope to get rid of it somehow before long.

RUTH. Forgive me for worrying you. It is only that every one is so happy at this wedding except me,—dear Jinny brimming over with joy, as I would be,—and it's made me feel—a little—

GEOFFREY. [Comes around the sofa and sits beside her.] I know, dear, and it's made me feel what a brute I am! Oh, if you knew how I hate myself for all I've done, and for the pain and trouble I cause you now!

[MAGGIE, her sharp features set tense, appears in the doorway on the left behind the curtains and listens.

RUTH. Never mind, we won't think of that any more.

GEOFFREY. I can never throw it off, not for a minute! I'm a worthless fellow and how can you love me—

RUTH. [Interrupting him.] I do! You are worth everything to me, and you will be worth much to the world yet!

GEOFFREY. I love you, Ruth—that's the one claim I can make to deserve you. But it's helped me to give up all the beastly pleasures I used to indulge in!

RUTH. [Softly.] Geof!

GEOFFREY. Which I used to think the only things worth living for, and which now, thanks to you, I loathe,—every one of them.

RUTH. I'm so glad! I've been some help, then.

GEOFFREY. If I'd only got you earlier, I'd have been a different man, Ruth!

RUTH. [Smiling and taking his nervous hand in hers.] Then I mightn't have fallen in love with you if you were a different man!

GEOFFREY. Dear girl! Anyway, this is the good news that I want to tell you—I hope now to have things settled in a couple of weeks.

RUTH. [In glad relief.] Geoffrey!

GEOFFREY. But—I mayn't be successful; it might be, Ruth—it might be, we would have to wait—for years—

RUTH. [Quietly.] I don't think I could bear that! It's not easy for me to lie and deceive as I've had to the last few months; I don't think I could keep it up.

[PETER CULLINGHAM enters suddenly, from the ballroom, a pale young man, but, unlike GEOFFREY, hard and virile.

PETER. Oh, here you are! I say, are you two spoony? Just the way I feel! [Laughing.] I caught and hugged old Mrs. Parmby just now! I think it's sort of in the air at weddings, don't you?

GEOFFREY. [Rising.] I'm surprised to see you've left the refreshment table, Peter.

PETER. They sent me to find Miss Chester—they're going to cut the bridesmaid's cake, and if you two really are spoony, Miss Chester, you'd better not miss it—you might get the ring!

[They laugh as PETER takes out a bottle from which he takes a round, black tablet which he puts in his mouth.

RUTH. [Also rising.] I'd better go.

[PETER is making frantic efforts to swallow the tablet.

GEOFFREY. [Noticing him.] What's the matter with you?

PETER. O dear! I've eaten so many ices and fancy cakes, I've got awful indigestion, and I'm trying to swallow a charcoal tablet.

RUTH. Come with me and get a glass of water.

PETER. No, it's very bad to drink water with your meals; but I'll get a piece of bridesmaid's cake—that'll push it down!

[PETER and RUTH go out through the double doors.

[The moment they are out of the room, MAGGIE comes from behind the curtain and goes straight up to GEOFFREY. He looks astonished and frightened.

GEOFFREY. What do you want? Have you been listening?

MAGGIE. So that's it, is it? You want to marry her when you can get rid of me.

GEOFFREY. [With relief.] What do you mean?

MAGGIE. Oh, I may not have heard everything, but I heard and saw enough to catch on that you're in love with Miss Chester.

GEOFFREY. Well?

MAGGIE. Well, you won't marry her—I'll never set you free.

GEOFFREY. Sh!

[Looking about and closing the doors.

MAGGIE. Oh, they're all in the dining room.

GEOFFREY. [Angry.] What do you want, anyway?

MAGGIE. [She pleads a little.] When I came here to your house and got a position, it was because I loved you, if you had treated me bad, and I hoped by seeing you again, and being near you, you might come back to me and everything be made straight!

GEOFFREY. Never! Never! It's impossible.

MAGGIE. [Angry again.] Oh, is it! Well, the dirty little money you give me now only holds my tongue quiet so long's you behave yourself and don't run after any other girls! But the minute you try to throw me down, I'll come out with the whole story.

GEOFFREY. I was drunk when I married you!

MAGGIE. More shame to you!

GEOFFREY. You're right. But I was only twenty—and you—led me on—

MAGGIE. [Interrupting him.] Me! led you on! me, as decent and nice a girl as there was in New Haven if I do do housework, and that's my wedding ring and you put it there, and mother's got the certificate locked up good and safe in her box with my dead baby sister's hair and the silver plate off my father's coffin!

GEOFFREY. We mustn't talk here any more!

MAGGIE. You look out! If I wasn't so fond of your sister Miss Jinny, and if the old people weren't so good to me, I'd just show you right up herenow!

GEOFFREY. I'll buy you off if I can't divorce you!

MAGGIE. You! Poof!

[GIRLS' voices are heard from the ballroom.

GEOFFREY. Look out—some one's coming!

MAGGIE. [Going.] You haven't got a red cent; my cheque's always one of your father's!

[She goes out Right.

GEOFFREY. Good God! what am I going to do—shoot myself, if I don't get out of this soon—I must get some air!

[He goes out Left.

[JINNY opens the double doors, looks in, and then enters. She is an adorable little human being, pretty, high-strung, temperamental, full of certain feminine fascination that defies analysis, which is partly due to the few faults she possesses. She is, of course, dressed in the conventional wedding-dress, a tulle veil thrown over her face.

JINNY. Not a soul! Come on!

[She is followed in by the four BRIDESMAIDS—nice girls every one of them—and also, very slyly, by SUSIE, a very modern spoiled child, who sits unobserved out of the way at the back.

Now, my dears, I wish to say good-by all by ourselves so I can make you a little speech! [All laugh gently.] In the first place I want to tell you that there's nothing like marriage! And you must every one of you try it! Really, I was never so happy in my life!

GRACE. Must we stand, or may we sit down?

JINNY. Oh, stand; it won't be long and you'll only crush your lovely frocks. In fact, I advise you not to lose any time sitting down again until you've got the happy day fixed!

RUTH. You know, Jinny darling, that there is no one so glad for your happiness as your four bridesmaids are—isn't that so, girls?

ALL. Yes!

[And they all together embrace JINNY, saying, "Dear old Jinny," "Darling Jinny," "We'll miss you dreadfully," etc., ad lib., till they get tearful.

JINNY. Good gracious, girls, we mustn't cry. I'll get red eyes, and Jack'll think what an awful difference just the marriage service makes in a woman.

[The doors at the back open, and AUSTIN appears in the doorway.

[AUSTIN is a typical New Yorker in appearance, thirty-two years old, good-looking, manly, self-poised, and somewhat phlegmatic in temperament.

AUSTIN. Hello! May a mere man come in to this delectable tea party?

JINNY. No, Jack! But wait—by the door till I call you!

AUSTIN. [Amused.] Thank you!

[He goes out, closing the door.

GERTRUDE. We'll miss you so awfully, Jinny.

JINNY. Just what I say! Get a man to keep you company, and then you won't miss any one.

BELLE. Yes, but attractive men with lots of money don't come into the Grand Central Station by every train!

JINNY. [Putting her arm about her.] You want too much, my dear Belle! And you aren't watching the Grand Central Station either half so much as you are the steamer docks for a suitable person. Now don't be angry; you know you want a good big title, and you've got the money to pay, but, my dear Belle, it's those ideas of yours that have kept you single till—twenty-six!—now that you must confess was nice of me, to take off three years!

BELLE. [Laughing.] Jinny, you're horrid!

JINNY. No, I'm not! You know I'm really fond of you, or you wouldn't be my bridesmaid to-day; it's only that I want your wedding to be as happy as mine—that's all, and here's a little gift for you to remember your disagreeable but loving friend by!

[Giving her a small jewelry box.

BELLE. Thank you, Jinny! Thank you!

[A little moved.

GRACE. Mercy! I hope you're not going to take each one of us!

JINNY. I am, and come here, you're next!

GRACE. I'll swear I don't want to get married at all!

JINNY. Don't be silly, you icicle! Of course you don't; you freeze all the men away, so that you've no idea how nice and comfy they can be! My advice to you, Grace darling,—and I love you, or I wouldn't bother,—is to thaw! [Laughs.] I used to be awfully jealous of you—

GRACE. [Interrupting.] Oh!

JINNY. Yes, I was! You're lots prettier than I am.

GRACE. Jinny!

JINNY. You are! But I got over it because I soon saw you were so cold, there was no danger of any conflagration near you! Oh, I've watched your eyes often to see if any man had lighted the fires in them yet. And now I'm determined they shall be lighted. You're too cold! Thaw, dear,—not to everybody,—that would be like slushy weather, but don't keep yourself so continually so far below zero that you won't have time to strike—well—say eighty-five in the shade, when the right bit of masculine sunshine does come along! Here—with my best love!

[Giving her a small jewelry box.

[GRACE kisses JINNY.

GERTRUDE. I am the next victim, I believe!

JINNY. All I've got to say to you, Miss, is, that if you don't decide pretty soon on one of the half dozen men you are flirting with disgracefully at present, they'll every one find you out and you'll have to go in for widowers.

GERTRUDE. [Mockingly.] Horrors!

JINNY. Oh, I don't know! I suppose a widower is sort of broken in and would be more likely to put up with your caprices! For the sake of your charm and wit and true heart underneath it all, you dear old girl you!

[Giving her a small jewel box.

GERTRUDE. Thank you, Jinny. I'm only afraid I will do the wrong thing with you away! You know you're always my ballast!

JINNY. Nonsense! Female ballast is no good; masculine ballast is the only kind that's safe if you want to make life's journey in a love balloon. [SHE turns to RUTH CHESTER.] Ruth—the trouble with you is, you're too sad lately, and show such a lack of interest. I should think you might be in love, only I haven't been able to find the man. Anyway, if you aren't in love, you must pretend an interest in things. Of course, men's affairs are awfully dull, but they don't like you to talk about them, so it's really very easy. All you have to do is listen, stare them straight in the eyes, think of whatever you like, and look pleased! It does flatter them, and they think they are interesting, and you charming! Wear this, and think of me! [Giving her a box.] and be happy! I want you to be happy—and I can see you aren't!

RUTH. [Kissing her.] Thank you, dear!

JINNY. There, that's all!—except—when I come home from abroad in October, if every one of you aren't engaged to be married, I'll wash my hands of you—

[They all laugh.

[SUSIE, sliding off her chair at back, comes forward.

SUSIE. Now, it's my turn! You can't chuck me!

JINNY. [Trying not to laugh.] Susie! where did you come from and what do you mean?

SUSIE. Oh, you give me a pain!—I went up the aisle with you to-day, too—what's the matter with telling me how to get married!

JINNY. I'll tell you this, your language is dreadful; where do you get all the boy's slang? You don't talk like a lady.

SUSIE. I'm not a lady. I'm a little girl!

JINNY. You talk much more like a common boy.

SUSIE. Well, I'd rather be a boy!

JINNY. Susie, I shall tell Aunt Laura her daughter needs looking after.

SUSIE. Oh, very well, cousin Jinny. If you're going to make trouble, why, forget it!

[Turns and goes out haughtily, Right.

JINNY. [Going to the double doors, calls.] Now you can come in, Jack.

[AUSTIN enters.

AUSTIN. And now I've only time to say good-by. All your guests have gone except the Cullinghams, who are upstairs with your mother, looking at the presents.

GERTRUDE. Come! All hands around him!

[The five GIRLS join hands, with AUSTIN in the centre.

BELLE. We don't care if every one else has gone or not, we're here yet!

AUSTIN. So I see! But I am ordered by my father-in-law—ahem! [all laugh] —to go to my room, or he thinks there will be danger of our losing our train.

ALL THE BRIDESMAIDS. [Ad lib.] Where are you going? Where are you going? We won't let you out till you tell us.

AUSTIN. I daren't—I'm afraid of my wife!

JINNY. Bravo, Jack!

GRACE. Very well, then, we'll let you out, on one condition, that you kiss us all in turn.

[The GIRLS laugh.

JINNY. No! No! [Breaking away.] He shan't do any such thing!

[They all laugh and break up the ring.

GERTRUDE. Dear me, isn't she jealous!

BELLE. Yes, it is evidently time we all went! Good-by, Jinny! [Kissing her.] A happy journey to Washington!

JINNY. No, it isn't!

[General good-bys. JINNY begins with RUTH at one end, and AUSTIN at the other; he says good-by and shakes hands with each girl.

GERTRUDE. [Kissing JINNY.] Good-by, and a pleasant trip to Niagara Falls!

JINNY. Not a bit!

GRACE. [Kissing JINNY.] Good-by, I believe it's Boston or Chicago!

JINNY. Neither!

RUTH. Good-by, dear, and all the happiness in the world!

[Kisses her.

JINNY. Thank you.

[She turns and goes with the other three girls to the double doors at back, where they are heard talking.

RUTH. Mr. Austin?

AUSTIN. Yes?

[Joining her.

RUTH. [Embarrassed.] You like your new brother, don't you?

AUSTIN. Geof? most certainly I do, and Jinny adores him.

RUTH. I know, then, you'll be a good friend to him if he needs one.

AUSTIN. Surely I will.

RUTH. I think he does need one.

AUSTIN. Really—

[The GIRLS are passing out through the doors.

BELLE. Come along, Ruth.

[THEY pass out and JINNY stands in the doorway talking to them till they are out of hearing.

RUTH. Sh! please don't tell any one, not even Jinny, what I've said! I may be betraying something I've no right to do, and don't tell him I've spoken to you.

AUSTIN. All right!

[JINNY turns around in the doorway.

RUTH. Thank you—and good-by.

[Shaking his hand again.

[JINNY notices that they shake hands twice. A queer little look comes into her face.

AUSTIN. Good-by.

RUTH. Have they gone?—Oh! [Hurrying past JINNY.] Good-by, dear.

[She goes out through the double doors.

JINNY. [In a curious little voice.] Good-by....

[She comes slowly down the room toward AUSTIN, and smiles at him quizzically.] What were you two saying?

AUSTIN. Good-by!

JINNY. But you'd said it once to her already! Why did you have to say good-by twice to Ruth? Once was enough for all the other girls!

AUSTIN. [Banteringly.] The first time I said good-by to her, and the second time she said good-by to me!

JINNY. Do you know what I believe—Ruth Chester's in love with you!

AUSTIN. Oh, darling!

[Laughs.

JINNY. Yes, that explains the whole thing. No wonder she was triste to-day.

AUSTIN. [Laughing.] Jinny, sweetheart, don't get such an absurd notion into your head.

JINNY. [Looks straight at him a moment, then speaks tenderly.] No—no—I know it's not your fault. There was no other woman in this house for you to-day but me, was there?

AUSTIN. There was no other woman in the world for me since the first week I knew you.

[Taking her into his arms.

JINNY. This is good-by to Jinny Tillman!

[He kisses her.

Jack, darling, do you think I could sit on your knee like a little child and put my arm around your neck and rest my head on your shoulder for just five seconds—I'm so tired!

[MRS. CULLINGHAM opens the door.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Oh!

[Shuts the door very quickly and knocks.

[JINNY and AUSTIN laugh.

JINNY. Yes, yes—come in!

[MRS. CULLINGHAM enters. She is a handsome, whole-souled, florid woman; one of those creatures of inexhaustible vitality who make people of a nervous temperament tired almost on contact by sheer contrast. She is the kindest, best meaning creature in the world.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Oh, do excuse me! I haven't any more tact!—and I hate to interrupt you, but I must say good-by. [Calls.] Peter!

PETER. Yes'm.

[Entering with a glass of water and a powder. He sits in the arm-chair at right, and constantly looks at his watch.

AUSTIN. I'm much obliged to you, Mrs. Cullingham, for the interruption, as I was sent long ago to make myself ready for the train, if you'll excuse me!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Certainly!

JINNY. Good-by!

[Taking his hand as he passes her.

AUSTIN. Good-by!

[He goes out Right.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. If it's time for him, it's certainly time for you. I won't keep you a minute!

JINNY. No, really we've plenty of time,— [both sit on sofa.] Wasn't it a lovely wedding!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. I never saw a sweeter, my dear! And it was perfectly elegant! Simply great!

JINNY. And isn't Jack—

MRS. CULLINGHAM. He is! And so are you! In fact I've been telling your mother I don't know how to thank you both. You've asked me to-day to meet the swellest crowd I've ever been in where I was invited, and didn't have to buy tickets, and felt I had a right to say something besides "excuse me," and "I beg your pardon." Of course, I've sat next to them all before in restaurants and at concerts, but this time I felt like the real thing myself, and I shall never forget it! If you or your husband ever want any mining tips, come to me; what my husband don't know about mines isn't worth knowing!

JINNY. I'm as glad as I can be if you've had a good time, and you mustn't feel indebted to us. Ever since we met in Egypt that winter, mamma and I have always felt you were one of our best friends.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Of course you know it isn't for my own sake I'm doing these stunts to get into Society. It's all for my boy. He's got to have the best—or the worst, however you look at it! [Laughing.] Anyway, I want him to have a chance at it, and it belongs to him through his father, for my first husband was a real swell!

[Looking at PETER lovingly.

[At this moment, PETER, having again looked at his watch, tips up the powder on his tongue, and swallows it down with the water.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Poor darling! He suffers terribly from indigestion. That's an alkali powder he takes twenty minutes after eating. Peter, we must say good-by now.

PETER. [Coming up.] Good-by, Miss Jinny.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Mrs. Austin!

JINNY. Oh, I'll always be "Miss Jinny" to Peter!

PETER. Thank you! We've had a great time at your wedding! Bully food! But I'm feeling it! [He turns aside.] Excuse me!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. I was just telling Mrs. Austin—

[Interrupted.

JINNY. "Jinny"—don't change.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Thank you— [Rises to go.] I was just saying we won't forget in our social life, will we, Peter, that Miss Jinny gave us the biggest boost up we've had yet?

[JINNY also rises.

PETER. Well, you know, mother, I don't think the game's worth the candle. It's begun to pall on me already.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. I really think he's going to be superior to it!

PETER. I only go now for your sake.

[MRS. TILLMAN, coming from Right, speaks off stage.

MRS. TILLMAN. Jinny! Jinny!

JINNY. Mother!

[MRS. TILLMAN enters.

JINNY. I ought to dress?

MRS. TILLMAN. [To MRS. CULLINGHAM.] She'll be late if she isn't careful.

JINNY. I'm going to. Is Maggie there?

MRS. TILLMAN. Yes, waiting!

JINNY. Good-by. [Kisses MRS. CULLINGHAM.] Good-by. [Shakes PETER'S hand.]

PETER. Many happy returns!

[JINNY goes out Right.

MRS. TILLMAN. Come, I want to give you some of Jinny's flowers to take home with you. Would you like some?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. I should love them!

[They go out through the doors at back.

[PETER is suffering with indigestion. He takes a charcoal tablet, and SUSIE cautiously enters Right.

SUSIE. There you are! Have you got 'em?

PETER. No, I gave them back to you.

SUSIE. Then they're in there on the table—get 'em quick, the trunks are coming down now!

[PETER goes out quickly at back, as the BUTLER and MAN SERVANT enter Right, carrying a large new trunk with a portmanteau on top of it.

SUSIE. Put them right over there for a minute! [They put them down in the centre of the room, and the FOOTMAN goes out Right.] And mind, you don't split on us, Thomas. Auntie Tillman knows all about it—it's just to be a nice little surprise for Cousin Jinny and my new uncle.

BUTLER. Very well, miss.

[He also goes out Right.

[At the same time PETER reenters at back with a roll of papers and some broad white satin ribbon. The papers are about half a foot broad and two feet long, and on them is printed, "We are on our honeymoon."

PETER. [With gay excitement.] I've got 'em.

SUSIE. Get some water—there's sticky stuff on the back!

[PETER gives her the papers and ribbons and goes out again at back.

SUSIE. Quick! [Ties a big white bow on the portmanteau and on a trunk handle.] If Auntie Tillman sees 'em, I'll bet she'll grab 'em off. She'll be as mad as hops!

[The BUTLER and FOOTMAN reenter Right, and bring down an old steamer trunk and a gentleman's dressing-bag.

BUTLER. [To the FOOTMAN.] Go and see if the carriage is there!

FOOTMAN. Yes, sir.

[He goes out Left.

[As PETER reenters from the back, with the water.

SUSIE. Quick now! Quick!

[They stick one label on the big steamer trunk facing the audience.

PETER. I say isn't that great!

[SUSIE giggles aloud with delight. The BUTLER, standing at one side, smiles. They put another label on the other trunk.

SUSIE. [Giggling.] I heard them plan it,—they're taking one old trunk purposely so as people would not catch on they were just married!

[Giggles delightedly.

[The FOOTMAN reenters with a driver, Left.

FOOTMAN. Yes, sir, it's here.

BUTLER. [To the driver.] You can take that first.

[Pointing to the steamer trunk.

[DRIVER goes out Left with it on his shoulder, and the portmanteau.

BUTLER. Now, James, you're to go over with the luggage to Twenty-third Street Ferry and check the heavy baggage; you know where to.

FOOTMAN. Yes, sir.

SUSIE. [Eagerly.] Oh, where to?

BUTLER. I am hunder hoath not to tell, Miss.

SUSIE. O pish!

[Kneeling in the big arm-chair and watching proceedings from behind its back.

BUTLER. [Continues to the FOOTMAN.] And wait with the checks and Mr. Austin's dressing-bag— [Showing it.] —until they come.

FOOTMAN. Yes, sir.

PETER. And make haste, or, I say, somebody'll turn up and give our whole joke away!

[The DRIVER reenters.

SUSIE. Yes, do hurry!

FOOTMAN. [To the DRIVER.] Come along.

[They take the big trunk out Left. BUTLER follows with the dressing-bag.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. [Calls from the room at back.] Peter darling, are you there?

SUSIE. Phew! Just in time!

[Sliding down into a more correct position in the chair.

PETER. Yes, mother!

[Going to back.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. [In the doorway, at back.] Come, take these beautiful roses from Mrs. Tillman!

[MRS. CULLINGHAM and MRS. TILLMAN enter.

MRS. TILLMAN. [With her arms full of roses.] Thomas will take them down.

PETER. No, I'd like to. Aren't they bully?

[He takes them.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. [To MRS. TILLMAN.] Good-by, and thank you again. I know you must want to go up to Jinny.

MRS. TILLMAN. Yes, she may need me to help her a little. Good-by. Good-by, Peter.

PETER. Good-by, ma'm.

[MRS. TILLMAN goes out Right.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Why, Susie, how do you do?

SUSIE. [Glides out of the chair and stands before it.] How do you do?

[Embarrassed.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. You're a good little girl, I hope?

SUSIE. I don't! I hate good little girls!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. O my!

[She goes out, laughing, Left.

[PETER, coming to SUSIE, catches her in his arms and kisses her, much against her will.

SUSIE. [Furious.] Oh, you horrid, nasty thing, you! [She strikes at him; he runs; she chases him from one side of the room to the other, around a sofa and table, and out Left, screaming as she chases him.] I hate you! I hate you!

[MAGGIE enters Right.

MAGGIE. Miss Susie, Mrs. Tillman wants to see you upstairs.

SUSIE. What for?

MAGGIE. I don't know, Miss.

SUSIE. Pshaw! have I got to go? All right!

[Going toward the door at Right.

[AUSTIN enters, meeting SUSIE.

AUSTIN. Hello! Where are you going?

SUSIE. Oh, up to Auntie Tillman's room. Goodness knows what for; it's an awful bore! Want to come along?

AUSTIN. No, thank you; but if you see your Cousin Jinny, you might tell her I am down.

SUSIE. [Hanging on to him.] I say! Where are you and Cousin Jinny going to, anyway?

AUSTIN. [Smiling.] I don't know.

SUSIE. O my, what a fib! And that's a nice example to set a little girl!

[She goes out Right.

MAGGIE. [Coming forward.] I beg pardon, sir, but may I speak to you a minute?

AUSTIN. Certainly, Maggie, what is it?

MAGGIE. I've been trying for a chance to see you alone. I wouldn't bother you, sir—but it's only because I'm fond of Miss Jinny, and of Mr. and Mrs. Tillman, and they've all been so good to me; I know it would nearly kill 'em if they knew.

AUSTIN. Come, Maggie, knew what?

MAGGIE. Well, one member of this family ain't been good to me, sir. [From this point her feelings begin to get the better of her and she speaks rapidly and hysterically.] He's been bad, bad as he could, and somebody's got to talk to him, and I don't see who's a-goin' to do it but you. If he don't change, I'll not hold my tongue any longer. It's all I can do for their sakes to hold it now!

AUSTIN. Look here, what are you talking about? You don't mean Mr. Geoffrey?

MAGGIE. Yes, I do, sir; he's my husband.

AUSTIN. What!!

MAGGIE. We was married when he was at Yale, sir; I was in a shop there.

AUSTIN. But—! Well, after all, isn't this your and Geoffrey's affair? Why bring me in?

MAGGIE. Because he's making love to Miss Chester, and promising to marry her now, and if he don't stop—I'll make trouble!

AUSTIN. But if he's married to you, as you say—he can't marry—any one else.

MAGGIE. He's tried to make me believe our marriage ain't legal, because he was only twenty and he'd been drinking!

AUSTIN. What makes you think Mr. Geoffrey cares for—Miss Chester?

MAGGIE. I just heard and see him making love to her here!

AUSTIN. This is a pretty bad story, Maggie.

MAGGIE. Yes, sir, and the worst is, sir, I know I ain't good enough for him, and that's why I've kept still about it these three years, but I can't help loving him no matter how ugly he's treated me. [Breaking down into tears.] I just can't help it! I love him, sir, even if I'm only a servant girl, and I can't stand it thinking he's going to try and get rid of me for some one else!

[She sobs out loud.

AUSTIN. Sh!—Maggie. Sit down a minute, and control yourself. Somebody'll hear you, and besides they'll be coming down presently. I'll have a talk with Mr. Geoffrey when I come back—

[Interrupted as GEOFFREY enters Left. He doesn't see MAGGIE, who is collapsed in a corner of the sofa.

GEOFFREY. [To AUSTIN.] Ah! Thank goodness I've caught you; I had an awful headache and went out for a breath of air, and then I was afraid I might have missed you! I knew in that case Jinny would never forgive me, nor—I—myself—for that—matter—

[His voice grows less exuberant in the middle of his speech and finally at the end almost dies away, as he sees the expression in AUSTIN'S face and realizes that something is wrong somewhere. When he stops speaking, MAGGIE gives a gasping sob. He hears it, and starting, sees her.

GEOFFREY. Maggie!

AUSTIN. Geoffrey, is what this girl says true?

GEOFFREY. That I married her in New Haven? Yes.

MAGGIE. [Rises.] I'll go, please, I'd rather go.

AUSTIN. Yes, go, Maggie; it's better.

[MAGGIE goes out Right.

GEOFFREY. [As soon as she is out of the room.] Promise me, Jack, you won't tell any one! It's awful, I know! For two years at college I went all to pieces and led a rotten life,—and one night, drunk, I married her, and it isn't so much her fault. I suppose she thought I loved her,—but this would break up the old lady and gentleman so, if they knew, I couldn't stand it! And Jinny, for God's sake, don't tell Jinny. She respects me. You won't tell her, will you?

AUSTIN. No. But Maggie says you want to marry some one else now.

GEOFFREY. [With a change, in great shame.] That's true, too.

[He sits in utter dejection on the sofa.

AUSTIN. How are you going to do it?

GEOFFREY. I must make money somehow and buy off Maggie.

AUSTIN. Yes, go out to Sioux Falls, get a divorce there on respectable grounds, and settle a sum of money on Maggie.

GEOFFREY. But I can't do that!

AUSTIN. Why not?

GEOFFREY. I can't do anything that would give publicity, and that divorce would.

AUSTIN. Any divorce would; you can't get rid of that.

GEOFFREY. I tell you I can't have publicity. Ruth—Miss Chester—would hear of it.

AUSTIN. Well, if she loves you, she'll forgive your wild oats, especially as every one sees now what a steady, straight fellow you've become.

GEOFFREY. It's Ruth! But I can't do that. No, Jack, you must help—you will, won't you? Oh, do, for Jinny's sake! Help me to persuade Maggie to keep silent for good, tear up that certificate of marriage. I was only twenty; it's hardly legal, and I'll settle a good sum—

[Interrupted.

AUSTIN. [Going straight to him, puts his hand heavily on his shoulder.] Good God, you're proposing bigamy! You've done enough; don't stoop to crime!

[The two MEN face each other a moment. GEOFFREY'S head drops.

AUSTIN. Forget you ever said that; do what I tell you when Jinny and I have gone abroad, so she will be away from it a little, and if you want money, let me know.

[JINNY enters Right, with nervous gaiety, covering an upheaving emotion which is very near the surface.

JINNY. Ready! And there you are, Geof. I've been sending all over the house after you! Good-by! [Throwing her arms about him.] Dear old Geof! Haven't we had good times together! Always, always from the youngest days I can remember—I don't believe there were ever a brother and sister so sympathetic; I know there was never a brother such a perfect darling as you were—I'll miss you, Geof! [The tears come into her voice, anyway.] I used to think I'd never marry at all if I couldn't marry you, and I do think he is the only man in the world who could have taken me away from home, so long as you were there! [To AUSTIN, smiling.] You aren't jealous?

AUSTIN. No!

JINNY. [In jest.] Isn't it awful! You can't make him jealous! I think it's a positive flaw in his character! Not like—us, is he?

GEOFFREY. Dear old girl—

JINNY. [Whispers to him.] And I've noticed how you've overcome certain things, dear Geof. I know it's been hard, and I'm proud of you.

GEOFFREY. Sh! Jinny, dear old sister! I'll miss you! By George, Jin, the house'll be awful without—but you— [His voice grows husky.] —just excuse me a minute!

[He is about to break down, and so hurries out Right.

JINNY. [Sniffling.] He was going to cry! Oh, Jack, you'll be a brother to Geoffrey, won't you? You know he's been awfully dissipated, and he's changed it all, all by himself! If he should go wrong again—I believe it would break my heart, I love him so!

AUSTIN. I'll do more for him, if he ever needs me, than if he were my own brother, because he's yours!

JINNY. [Presses his hand and looks up at him lovingly and gratefully.] Thank you. Wait here just a minute; I know he won't come back to say good-by. He's gone up to his room, I'm sure—I'll just surprise him with a hug and my hands over his eyes like we used to do years ago.

[She starts to go out Right, and meets MR. and MRS. TILLMAN, who enter.

TILLMAN. The carriage is here!

JINNY. I won't be a second—

[She goes out Right.

MRS. TILLMAN. Where has she gone?

AUSTIN. Up to her brother.

MRS. TILLMAN. Her father's been locked up in his study for three hours—he says thinking, but to me his eyes look very suspicious!

[Taking her husband's arm affectionately.

TILLMAN. [Clears his throat.] Nonsense!

MRS. TILLMAN. Well, how many cigars did you smoke?

TILLMAN. Eight.

MRS. TILLMAN. The amount of emotion that a man can soak out of himself with tobacco is wonderful! He uses it just like a sponge!

TILLMAN. Jack, the first thing I asked about you when I heard that—er—that things were getting this way was, does he smoke? A man who smokes has always that outlet. If things go wrong—go out and smoke a cigar, and when the cigar's finished, ten to one everything's got right, somehow! If you lose your temper, don't speak!—a cigar, and when it's finished, then speak! You'll find the temper all gone up in the smoke! A woman's happiness is safest with a man who smokes. [He clears his throat, which is filling.] God bless you, Jack, it is a wrench; our only girl, you know. She's been a great joy—ahem!

[He quickly gets out a cigar.

MRS. TILLMAN. [Stopping him from smoking.] No, no, dear, they're going now!

TILLMAN. Well, the best I can say is, I wish you as happy a married life as her mother and I have had.

MRS. TILLMAN. Thirty-five dear years! But now, George, let me say a word—you always have monopolized our new son—he'll be much fonder of you than me!

TILLMAN. Old lady!—Jealous!—

MRS. TILLMAN. Turn about is fair play—you're jealous still of Jinny and me. [She pauses a moment.] I think we'd better tell him!

TILLMAN. All right. The only rifts in our lute, Jack, have been little threads of jealousy that have snapped sometimes!

MRS. TILLMAN. Nothing ever serious—of course, but it's a fault that Jinny shares with us, and the only fault we've ever been able to find.

TILLMAN. We called her for years the girl with the green eyes. She goes it pretty strong sometimes!

AUSTIN. Oh, that's all right—I shall like it!

MRS. TILLMAN. You'll always bear with her, won't you, if she should ever get jealous of you?

AUSTIN. Of me? I'll never give her the chance.

MRS. TILLMAN. It isn't a question of chance; you just can't help it sometimes, can you, George?

TILLMAN. No, you can't.

MRS. TILLMAN. And so—

AUSTIN. Don't worry! Your daughter's safe with me. I'm not the jealous sort myself and I love Jinny so completely, so calmly, and yet with my heart, and soul, and mind, and body, she'll never have a chance even to try to be jealous of me!

TILLMAN. Sh!

[JINNY enters Right.

JINNY. I found poor Maggie up in my room crying! She says she can't bear to have me go away. I think she's sorry now she wouldn't come with me as maid—and I said good-by to cook and she sniffed!

[AUSTIN looks at his watch.

AUSTIN. Oh! we ought to go!

MRS. TILLMAN. Good-by, darling!

[Kissing JINNY and embracing her a long time, while AUSTIN and TILLMAN shake hands warmly and say good-by.

JINNY. [Going to her father.] Good-by, father. Dear old father!

[With happy emotion.

[AUSTIN meanwhile is shaking hands with MRS. TILLMAN.

JINNY. [Returns to her mother.] Darling—oh, how good you've always been to me! Oh, mummy darling, I shall miss you! You'll send me a letter to-morrow, won't you, or a telegram? Send a telegram—you've got the address!

MRS. TILLMAN. [With tears in her eyes.] Yes, it's written down!

JINNY. You can tell father, but no one else!

[Hugs and kisses her mother.

TILLMAN. Come, Susan! They'll lose their train!

[JINNY again embraces her father.

ALL. Good-by! Good-by!

[JINNY, starting to go with AUSTIN, suddenly leaves him and runs back again to her mother and throws herself in her arms. They embrace, in tears.

JINNY. Good-by, mother!

MRS. TILLMAN. Good-by, my darling!

TILLMAN. Come, come! they'll lose their train!

[JINNY runs to AUSTIN, and with his arms about her, they hurry to the door Left. They go through the doors at back to window in the corridor. JINNY stops at the door and she and AUSTIN face each other a moment.

JINNY. [Looking up at him.] Oh, Jack!

[She throws her arms about his neck and buries her face on his shoulder.

AUSTIN. Jinny, Jinny dear, you're not sorry?

JINNY. [Slowly raises her head and looks at him, smiling through her tears, and speaks in a voice full of tears and little sobs.] Sorry? Oh, no! Oh, no! It hurts me to leave them, but I never was so happy in my life!

[He kisses her and they hurry out, with his arm about her.

MRS. TILLMAN. [In the corridor, lifts the window.] I hear the door—

TILLMAN. There they are!

[SUSIE rushes across the stage with a bowl of rice in her arms and goes out Left.

[MR. and MRS. TILLMAN wave and say "Good-by!" "Good-by!" "Good-by!" They close the window in silence. The sound is heard as the window frame reaches the bottom. They turn and come slowly forward, TILLMAN wiping his eyes and MRS. TILLMAN biting her lips to keep the tears back. They come into the front room and stop, and for a second they look around the empty room. TILLMAN puts his hand in his pocket and takes out his cigar case. MRS. TILLMAN, turning, sees him; she goes to him swiftly and touches his arm, looking up at him through her tears. He turns to her and slowly takes her in his arms and holds her there close and kisses her tenderly on the cheek.

[SUSIE enters Left, with empty bowl, sobbing aloud, as

THE CURTAIN FALLS



ACT II

(Two months later)

The Vatican, Rome; the Tribune of the Apollo Belvedere; a semicircular room with dark red walls; in the centre is the large statue of Apollo. There are doorways at Right and Left. There is a bench on the right side of the room. A single LADY TOURIST enters Right, takes a hasty glance, yawns, and looking down at her Baedeker, goes out Left. A PAPAL GUARD is seen passing outside in the court. A FRENCHMAN and his WIFE (with Baedekers) are seen approaching; they are heard talking volubly. They enter Left.

BOTH. Ah!—

[They stand a moment in silent admiration.

HE. [Reading from Baedeker.] Apollo Belvedere. [He looks up.] C'est superb!

SHE. [Beaming with admiration.] Magnifique! Voila un homme!

HE. Quelle grace!

SHE. Quelle force!

[Both talk at once in great admiration and intense excitement for a few moments. Then he suddenly drops into his ordinary tone and manner.

HE. Allons, allons nous!

SHE. [In the same tone.] Oui, j'ai faim!

[They go out Right.

[JINNY and AUSTIN enter Left, he looking over his shoulder. They stand a moment just inside the doorway.

JINNY. What are you looking back so much for, Jackie?

AUSTIN. I thought I saw some one I know.

JINNY. Who?

AUSTIN. I didn't know who; it just seemed to be a familiar back.

JINNY. [Playfully.] Oh, come! I think the present works of art and your loving wife are quite enough for you to look at without hunting around for familiar backs!

AUSTIN. And Baedeker! [Reading from Baedeker about the Apollo.] Apollo Belvedere, found at the end of the fifteenth century, probably in a Roman villa—

JINNY. Of course, Apollo!

AUSTIN. Great, isn't it?

JINNY. Stunning! [She turns and looks at him, smiling quizzically.] Still—but I suppose I'm prejudiced!

AUSTIN. [Obtuse.] Still what?

JINNY. You dear old stupid! You know, Jack, you're deeply and fundamentally clever and brilliant, but you're not quite— brightnot quick!

[Laughing.

AUSTIN. Don't you think having one in the family quick as chain lightning is enough? What have I missed this time, Jinny? You don't mean you've found a family likeness in the statue over there? I don't want to be unappreciative, but it doesn't suggest your father to me in the least,—nor even Geoffrey.

JINNY. Stupid!! Of course it doesn't suggest anybody to me—I was only thinking I sympathized with Mrs. Perkins of Boston,—don't you know the old story about her?

AUSTIN. No, what was it?

JINNY. [After a quick look around to see that they are alone.] Well—Mrs. Perkins from Boston was personally conducted here once and shown this very statue, and she looked at it for a few moments, and then turned around and said, "Yes, it's all right, but give me Perkins!"

AUSTIN. Jinny!

[Laughing.

JINNY. Are you shocked? Come, I'm tired; let's sit down here and read my letters—there's one from Geof.

[They sit on the bench at Right, and JINNY takes out a letter from GEOFFREY.

AUSTIN. I'll read ahead in Baedeker and you tell me if there's any news. [He opens the Baedeker and reads, and she opens and reads the letter.] Where is Geof's letter from?

JINNY. New York, of course; where else would it be?

AUSTIN. I had an idea he was going away.

JINNY. Geof! Where?

AUSTIN. West, a good way somewhere.

JINNY. But why would he go West?

AUSTIN. Oh, he had some business, I believe; I remember thinking it was a good idea when he told me. It was the day we were married—I was waiting for you to come downstairs.

JINNY. I think it's very funny Geof never said anything about it to me.

AUSTIN. My dear, what time had you? You were getting married!!

JINNY. I was! Thank heaven! I'm so happy, Jack!

[Snuggling up to him on the bench.

AUSTIN. [Steals a little, quick hug with his arm about her waist.] Bless you, darling, I don't think there was ever a man as happy as I am!

[They start apart quickly as a GERMAN COUPLE enter Right, with a YOUNG DAUGHTER, who is munching a cake, and hanging, a tired and unwilling victim, to her mother's hand.

WOMAN. Ach! schoen! sehr schoen!!

MAN. Groesses, nicht?

WOMAN. Yah!

[They stand admiring.

AUSTIN. By the way, when you answer your brother's letter, I wish you'd say I seemed surprised he was still in New York.

JINNY. [Reading.] Um—um—

MAN. [Wiping his warm brow.] Wunderbaum!

WOMAN. Yah!!

[They go out Left, talking.

JINNY. [Looking up from her letter.] Oh! what do you think?

AUSTIN. That you're the sweetest woman in the world.

JINNY. No, darling, I mean who do you think Geoffrey says is over here and in Italy?

AUSTIN. I haven't the most remote idea! So far as I've been able to observe there has been absolutely no one in Italy but you and me.

JINNY. If you keep on talking like that, I shall kiss you!

AUSTIN. What! before the tall, white gentleman? [Motioning to Apollo.] I am dumb.

JINNY. [Very lovingly.] Silly! Well!—Mrs. Cullingham and Peter are over here and have brought Ruth Chester!

AUSTIN. [Speaking without thinking.] Then it was her back.

JINNY. [With the smallest sharpening of the look in her eye.] When?

AUSTIN. That I saw just now.

JINNY. [With the tiniest suggestion of a strain in her voice.] You said you didn't know whom it reminded you of.

AUSTIN. Yes, I know, I didn't quite.

JINNY. But if you thought it was Ruth Chester, why not have said so?

AUSTIN. No reason, dear, I simply didn't think.

JINNY. Well— [Sententiously.] —next time—think!

AUSTIN. What else does Geoffrey say?

JINNY. Oh, nothing. The heat for two days was frightful—already they miss me more than he can say—

[Interrupted.

AUSTIN. I'll bet.

JINNY. Father smoked nineteen cigars a day the first week I was gone.

AUSTIN. I haven't had to smoke any!

JINNY. Mercy! don't boast!—and he thinks they will all soon go to Long Island for the summer.

AUSTIN. Doesn't he say a word nor a hint at his going West?

JINNY. No, he says he may go to Newport for August, and that's all.

[Putting away letter, and getting out others.

AUSTIN. Going to read all those?

JINNY. If you don't mind, while I rest. Do you mind?

AUSTIN. Of course not, but I think while you're reading I'll just take a little turn and see if I can't come across the Cullinghams.

[Rising.

JINNY. [After the merest second's pause, and looking seriously at him.] Why don't you?

AUSTIN. I'll bring them here if I find them—

[He goes out Right.

[JINNY looks up where he went off and gazes, motionless, for a few moments. Then she throws off the mood and opens a letter.

[Two tired Americans enter Right, a girl and her mother, MRS. LOPP and CARRIE.

MRS. LOPP. What's this, Carrie?

CARRIE. [Looking in her Baedeker.] I don't know; I've sort of lost my place, somehow!

MRS. LOPP. Well, we must be in Room No. 3 or 4—ain't we?

CARRIE. [Reads out.] The big statue at the end of Room No. 3 is Diana the Huntress.

MRS. LOPP. This must be it, then,—Diana! Strong-looking woman, ain't she?

CARRIE. Yes, very nice. You know she was the goddess who wouldn't let the men see her bathe.

MRS. LOPP. Mercy, Carrie! and did all the other goddesses? I don't think much of their habits. I suppose this is the same person those Italians sell on the streets at home, and call the Bather.

[JINNY is secretly very much amused, finally she speaks.

JINNY. Excuse me, but you are in one of the cabinets—and this is the Apollo Belvedere.

MRS. LOPP. Oh, thank you very much. I guess we've got mixed up with the rooms,—seems as if there's so many.

CARRIE. [Triumphantly.] There! I thought it was a man all the time!

MRS. LOPP. Well, what with so many of the statues only being piecemeal, as it were, and so many of the men having kinder women's hair, I declare it seems as if I don't know the ladies from the gentlemen half the time.

CARRIE. Did the rest of us go through here?

JINNY. I beg your pardon?

CARRIE. Thirty-four people with a gassy guide? We got so tired hearing him talk that we jes' sneaked off by ourselves, and now we're a little scared about getting home; we belong to the Cook's Gentlemen and Ladies.

JINNY. Oh, no, the others haven't passed through here; probably they have gone to see the pictures; you'd better go back and keep asking the attendants the way to the pictures till you get there.

MRS. LOPP. [With rather subdued voice.] Thank you! We've come to do Europe and the Holy Land in five weeks for $400—but I don't know, seems as if I'm getting awful tired—after jes' sevin days.

CARRIE. [Affectionately.] Now, mommer, don't give up; it's because you haven't got over being seasick yet; that's all!

JINNY. [Helplessly.] Oh, yes, you'll find it much less tiring in a few days, I'm sure.

MRS. LOPP. Still Rome does seem a powerful way from home! How'll we ask for the pictures?

CARRIE. Why, mommer! "Tableaux!" "Tableaux!" I should think you'd 'a' learned that from our church entertainments! Good-by; thank you ever so much.

MRS. LOPP. You haven't lost your party, too, have you?

JINNY. [Smiling.] I hope not! He promised to come back!!

MRS. LOPP. Oh! pleased to have met you—Good-by!

[They start off Left.

JINNY. No, not that way—back the way you came.

MRS. LOPP. Oh, thank you!

[She drops her black silk bag; out of it drop crackers, an account book, a thimble, a thread-and-needle case, a bottle of pepsin tablets, etc. They all stoop to pick the collection up, JINNY helping.

JINNY. [Handing.] I'm sure you'll want these!

MRS. LOPP. Yes, indeed; don't you find them coupon meals very dissatisfactory?

CARRIE. Thank you ever so much again. Come on, mommer!

[MRS. LOPP and CARRIE go out Left.

[JINNY looks at her watch and goes back to her letter.

[MRS. CULLINGHAM enters Left.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. [Screams.] Jinny!

JINNY. [Jumps up.] Mrs. Cullingham! [They embrace.] Did Jack find you?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. No, we haven't seen him! Ruth and Peter are dawdling along, each on their own; I like to shoot through a gallery. There's no use spending so much time; when it's over you've mixed everything all up just the same!

JINNY. [Laughing.] Well, I've this minute read a letter from Geoffrey saying you were over here. And Jack, who thought he got a glimpse of you a little while ago, went straight off to try and find you.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. What fun it is to see you—and how happy you look!

JINNY. I couldn't look as happy as I feel!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. [Glancing at the statue.] Who's your friend? Nice gent, isn't he?

[Laughing.

JINNY. Mr. Apollo! Would you like to meet him?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. [Hesitates.] Er—no—I don't think! You must draw the line somewhere! He wouldn't do a thing to Corbett, would he?

JINNY. Who was Corbett?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. He was a prize fighter, and is—but that's another story— Do you mean to say you've never heard of him?

JINNY. Oh, the name sounds familiar. But this, you know, is Apollo.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. No, I don't know; was he a champion?

JINNY. No, he was a Greek god!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Oh, was he? Well, I wouldn't have cared about being in the tailoring business in those days, would you? Let's sit down. [They sit on bench Right.] Of course you know we wouldn't accept a thing like that in Peoria, where I come from, as a gift! No, indeed! If the King of Italy sent it over to our Mayor, he'd return it C.O.D.

JINNY. Sounds like Boston and the Macmonnies Bacchante!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Oh, my dear, worse than that! It reminds me of a man at home who kept an underclothing store in our principal street and had a plaster cast of this gent's brother, I should think, in his window to show a suit of Jaegers on,—you know, a "combination"! And our Town Committee of Thirteen for the moral improvement of Peoria made the man take it out of his window and hang the suit up empty!

JINNY. Poor man!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. You ought to see our Park!—you know we've got a perfectly beautiful park,—and all the men statues wear Prince Alberts, and stand like this— [She poses with lifted arm at right angle to body.] —as if they were saying, "This way out" or "To the monkey cage and zoo."

JINNY. [Laughing.] But the women statues?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. My dear! They only have heads and hands; all the rest's just clumps of drapery—we only have "Americans" and "Libertys," anyway. They apply the Chinese emigration law to all Venuses and sich ladies!

[They both laugh.

JINNY. Where did you say Peter and Ruth were?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Well, I left Peter—who isn't at all well; I hoped this trip would help his indigestion, but it seems to have made it worse!—I left him—er—in a room with a lot of broken-up Venuses—I thought it was all right; he was eating candy, and there wasn't a whole woman among 'em!

JINNY. [Slight strain in her voice.] How did you happen to bring over Ruth Chester?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Well, you know I always liked her. She never snubbed me in her life—I don't think any one you've introduced me to has been quite so nice to Peter and me as Mrs. Chester and her daughter.

JINNY. O they are real people!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Ruth is terribly depressed over something. She's thin as a rail and the family are worried. She says there's nothing worrying her, and the doctors can't find anything the matter with her,—so Mrs. Chester asked me if I wouldn't take her abroad. They thought the voyage and change might do her good, and I seem to have a more cheery influence over her than most people. So here we are! [As PETER enters Left, eating.] Here's Peter! How do you think the darling looks?

PETER. How do you do, Mrs. Austin?

JINNY. How do you do, Peter? [They shake hands.] I'm sorry to hear you are seedy, but you eat too many sweet things.

PETER. I'm not eating candy; it's soda mints! [Showing a small bottle.] I am bad to-day, mother.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. If you don't get better, we'll go to Carlsbad.

JINNY. How do you like Rome, Peter?

PETER. Oh, I don't know—too much Boston and not enough Chicago to make it a real lively town.

JINNY. [Laughing.] I think I'll go look for Jack and tell him you've turned up.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Perhaps he's found Ruth.

JINNY. [With a change in her voice.] Yes, perhaps.

[She goes out Right.

PETER. [Going to the doorway Right, calls after her.] Ruth's in a room on your left, with rows of men's heads on shelves, Emperors and things,—but gee, such a job lot!

[Comes back and looks up at the statue.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Isn't it beautiful, Peter?

PETER. No, it's too big!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Still this one isn't broken!

PETER. That's a comfort! Yes, it has been mended, too! [Examining.] Oh, yes, it's only another of these second-hand statues. Say, you missed one whole one, the best I've seen yet! A Venus off in a fine little room, all mosaics and painted walls,—that's where I've been.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Why, Peter Cullingham! Alone? What kind of a Venus?

PETER. Oh, beautiful! I forgot to take my medicine!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Was she—er—dressed, darling?

PETER. We—you know—she had been, but she'd sort of pushed it a good way off!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. [With a sigh.] You know we ought to admire these things, Peter darling; that's partly what we've come to Europe for!

PETER. O pshaw! here comes a gang of tourists. Come on, let's skip!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. But Ruth and Mrs. Austin?

PETER. We didn't agree to wait, and we can all meet at our hotel.

[A crowd of TOURISTS, led by a GUIDE, presses and crowds in the doorway. They drag their tired feet in a listless shuffle across the room and stand in a somewhat sheepish and stupid bunch at the statue. One or two of the younger women nudge each other and giggle. The GUIDE stands a little in advance of them. The GUIDE describes the statue, and while he is doing so PETER and MRS. CULLINGHAM go out Right. Most of the TOURISTS turn and watch them go instead of looking at the statue.

GUIDE. This is the Apollo Belvedere, discovered at the end of the fifteenth century, some say in a Roman villa or farm-house near the Grotter Terratter. Very fine specimen both as marble and man. This statyer is calculated to make Sandow et cetery look like thirty cents. Height seven feet, weight—

A MAN TOURIST. How much?

A GIRL TOURIST. Was he married?

[Titters from the group.

GUIDE. Give it up! Should judge he was. The god once held a bow in his left hand and probably a laurel wreath in his right.

ANOTHER WOMAN TOURIST. A what?

GUIDE. A laurel wreath. You want to take a good look at this, as it is a very fine piece. Now come along, please—make haste; we must finish up this place before feeding!

[He leads the way out Right, and the TOURISTS follow, shuffling along, without speaking, MRS. LOPP and CARRIE lagging in the rear.

[AUSTIN enters Left, followed by RUTH.

AUSTIN. This is where I left her with Apollo! [Calls.] Jinny! She seems to have gone!

[He looks behind the statue and out door, Right.

RUTH. Probably the Cullinghams, who were headed in this direction, found her, and they've all gone back for us; you see I walked all around the court first without going into the rooms, so I missed them, but found you.

AUSTIN. What shall we do? Sit down here and wait for them to come back, or shall I go in search?

RUTH. Oh, no, you might miss them, and then we'd all be lost! If you left Jinny here, she's sure to come back to meet you.

[She sits on the bench and AUSTIN stands behind her.

AUSTIN. I'm sorry to learn you've been ill.

RUTH. Oh! it's nothing.

AUSTIN. Ah, I'm afraid it's a good deal. Will you forgive me if I say I think I know what it is!

[She looks up startled.

[After a moment.

You haven't forgotten the day of Jinny's and my wedding, when you told me Geoffrey Tillman needed a friend?

RUTH. I hoped you'd forgotten; I oughtn't to have told you; I oughtn't to have!

AUSTIN. Why not? I had a talk with Geoffrey, then, and he told me everything.

RUTH. He did! You are sure?

AUSTIN. Sure.

[He sits beside her.

RUTH. That he and I—

AUSTIN. Love each other.

RUTH. Oh, but that isn't all.

AUSTIN. I know the rest!

RUTH. He told you—about—about—

AUSTIN. The marriage?—Yes?

RUTH. Oh, I'm so glad, so glad! Now I can speak of it to some one, and some one who can advise me, and will help us.

AUSTIN. I have already advised him, but he doesn't seem to be taking my advice; it has worried me.

RUTH. When I left he was awfully depressed. He said he saw no prospect of being able to publish our marriage for years, maybe!

AUSTIN. What marriage?

[In astonishment.

RUTH. Our marriage, in Brooklyn! [She notices his expression and is alarmed.] You said he had told you!

AUSTIN. [Recovering himself, and speaking at first with hesitation.] Yes, but not the details, not—wait, I'm a little confused. [Rising and walking a moment.] Let's get it all quite clear now, that's the only way I can help you—both; I ought, of course, to have gone through it all with him, but there really wasn't time.

RUTH. I can't go on like this much longer. It's killing me to deceive mother; I must tell her soon!

AUSTIN. [Quickly, stops walking.] No. You mustn't, not yet, if I'm going to help you; you'll obey me, won't you?

RUTH. Yes, if you only will help us!

AUSTIN. You said you and Geoffrey Tillman were married where?

RUTH. In Brooklyn.

AUSTIN. When?

RUTH. A month before your wedding.

AUSTIN. [To himself.] It's impossible!

[Walking up and down.

RUTH. [Smiling sadly.] Oh, no! I remember the date only too well.

AUSTIN. I didn't mean that.

RUTH. I lied to my mother that day for the first time—at any rate, since I was a child—and I've been lying to her ever since.

AUSTIN. [Probing her.] But—but why were you married so secretly?

RUTH. We couldn't afford to marry and set up for ourselves. He expected then to be sent off at once to the Philippines, and—well he didn't want to leave me behind, free; I'm afraid he's rather jealous—you must have found out by now that Jinny is. They all are! And I didn't want him to go so far off without my belonging to him either; I'm that jealous, too! [Smiling.] So—that's why!

AUSTIN. And this long period of secrecy since then—do you understand that?

Ruth. Hasn't he explained to you his debts? You know before he loved me he was very fast, but since—

AUSTIN. Yes, I know how he gave up every one of his old habits with a great deal of courage.

RUTH. Nobody knows what it cost him! How can you help us? Get him something to do to pay off his debts? Or can't you make him feel even if we do have to go on living at our different homes for a while, it is better to publish the fact that we are married?—

AUSTIN. I shall go back at once to America if I can persuade Jinny!

RUTH. And I, too?

AUSTIN. No. You must stay abroad till I send word for you to come home. If I am going to help you, you will help me by doing exactly as I say, won't you?

RUTH. Yes.

AUSTIN. It's very important that you should absolutely obey me!

RUTH. I will.

[A pause.

[JINNY, unnoticed by either of them, appears in the doorway at Right. AUSTIN is walking up and down. RUTH is leaning her elbow on the back of the bench and burying her face in her hands.

AUSTIN. It's awful! My God, it's awful!

JINNY. [In a strained, assumed, nonchalant tone.] What is?

RUTH. Jinny!

[Rising.

AUSTIN. I didn't hear you, Jinny!

JINNY. No, you both seemed so absorbed.

RUTH. [Going to JINNY.] I'm so glad to see you.

[Kisses her, but JINNY only gives her her cheek and that rather unwillingly; she is looking all the time at her husband.

JINNY. Thank you, I've just left the Cullinghams. They sent word to you they were going and would wait for you outside.

RUTH. Oh, then, I mustn't keep them waiting. We'll all meet at dinner to-night, won't we? Good-by—good-by.

[With a grateful look at AUSTIN, she goes out Right.

JINNY. [Watches her go; then turns to AUSTIN.] That wasn't true, what I told her—I haven't seen the Cullinghams, and I don't know where they are, and what's more, I don't care!

AUSTIN. What do you mean?

JINNY. [Beginning by degrees to lose control of herself.] What did she mean by following you to Rome?

AUSTIN. Jinny!

JINNY. Oh, don't try to deny it; that'll only make me suspect you!

AUSTIN. My dear girl, you don't know what you're saying!

JINNY. She's ill, they say at home! Yes, and they don't know what's the matter with her, do they? No! But I can tell them! She's in love with another woman's husband!

AUSTIN. [Taking her hand.] Hush! I won't allow you to say such things!

JINNY. [With a disagreeable little laugh.] Oh, won't you? You'd better be careful,—my eyes are opened!

AUSTIN. Yes, and much too wide.

JINNY. A half-blind person would have known there was something between you two. When I came into this room just now, it was in the air—it was in both your faces!

[She sits on the bench.

AUSTIN. You've worked yourself up to such a pitch you're not responsible for what you're saying!

JINNY. I not responsible! What was it you were saying was so "awful" when I came in here? "My God, so awful!"

[He doesn't answer.

[Almost hysterical, she rises.

She had told you she loved you! She'd confessed she'd followed you over here!

AUSTIN. Absolutely false, both your suppositions!

JINNY. Oh, of course you'd protect her; you're a gentleman! But if I thought you knew she was coming over—

AUSTIN. Jinny! Jinny! How can you have such a thought?

JINNY. Well, why didn't you tell me when you thought you saw her a little while ago?

AUSTIN. Oh—

JINNY. Oh, it's very easy to say "Oh!" [Imitating him.] but why didn't you?

AUSTIN. I told you I didn't think who it was; I only thought something familiar flashed across my eyes. Jinny darling, this is sheer madness on your part, letting yourself go like this. It has no reason, it has no excuse! Ask your own heart, and your own mind, if in speaking to me as you have, you haven't done me at least an injustice and my love for you a little wrong.

JINNY. Well, I'm sure she's in love with you, anyway.

AUSTIN. No, she isn't! And it's disgraceful of you to say so! I know she isn't—

JINNY. How do you know she isn't?

AUSTIN. There's no question of it. I'm sure of it! You mustn't think, dear, that because you love me, everybody does—you idealize me!

[Smiling apologetically.

JINNY. Oh, you're so modest you don't see! but I do—on the steamer, in the hotels, everywhere we go, always, all the women admire you awfully! I see it!

AUSTIN. [Laughing.] What utter nonsense! [Taking her into his arms.] You've got something in your eyes!

JINNY. Only tears!

AUSTIN. No, something else,—something green.

JINNY. [Laughs through her tears.] Somebody's told you my old nickname!

AUSTIN. What?

JINNY. [Laughs and is a little embarrassed.] The girl with the green eyes.

AUSTIN. Ahem!—

JINNY. Well, I don't care if it is appropriate, I can't help it.

[Slipping from his arms.

AUSTIN. You must—or it will threaten our happiness if you let yourself be carried away by jealousy for no earthly reason outside of your dear, little imagination, like you have this time—

[Interrupted.

JINNY. You honestly don't think she cares for you?

AUSTIN. Not a bit!

JINNY. But what was it you were so serious about—what is between you?

AUSTIN. She is in a little trouble, and I happen to know about it.

JINNY. How?

AUSTIN. [After a second's hesitation.] That you mustn't ask me; it was not from her I knew of it.

JINNY. Truly?

AUSTIN. Truly.

JINNY. I don't care, she hadn't any business to go to you! I should think she'd have gone to a woman instead of a man for sympathy. She's got Mrs. Cullingham!

AUSTIN. She can't go to her, poor girl. Mrs. Cullingham knows nothing about it.

JINNY. Now don't you get too sympathetic—that's very dangerous!

AUSTIN. Look out, your imagination is peeping through the keyhole.

[A moment's pause.

JINNY. [In a sympathetic tone, the jealousy gone.] What is her trouble, Jack?

AUSTIN. That, dear, I can't tell you now; some day, perhaps, if you want me to, but not now. Only I give you my word of honor, it has nothing to do with you and me—does not touch our life! And I want you to tell me you believe me, and trust me, and won't let yourself be jealous again!

JINNY. I do believe you, and I do trust you, and I will try not to be jealous again!

AUSTIN. That's right.

JINNY. You know that book of De Maupassant's [They move away together.] I was reading in the train the other day,—about the young girl who killed herself with charcoal fumes when her lover deserted her?

AUSTIN. [Half laughing.] This is apropos of what, please? I have absolutely no sympathy with such people.

JINNY. In America that girl would have simply turned on the gas.

AUSTIN. You're getting morbid, Jinny!

JINNY. No, I'm not! but if ever—

AUSTIN. [Interrupting—laughing it off.] I shall install electric light as soon as we get home!

[They both laugh.

JINNY. I'm sorry I was so disagreeable to Ruth, but I'll try to make up for it in every way I can.

[She sits on the bench and he leans over the back toward her.

AUSTIN. There's one other thing, Jinny, I'd like to speak of now. Would you mind giving up the Lakes and going home this week?

JINNY. Going home—at once?

AUSTIN. Yes—Wall Street is very uncertain. I'm worried,—I don't mind telling you,—and I want to see Geoffrey about his business.

JINNY. [Half in earnest.] Jack! You're not running away from her, are you?

AUSTIN. Jinny! After all we've said!

JINNY. No! I wasn't in earnest! I'm ready to go. I've seen the Lakes, and whether you are in Italy or in New York, so long as we are together, it's our honeymoon just the same.

AUSTIN. And may it last all our lives!

JINNY. Still, I don't mind owning up that leaving Ruth Chester behind here is rather pleasanter! [She rises quickly with a sudden thought.] She is not going back, too?

AUSTIN. Oh, no, not for a long time. They are over here indefinitely.

JINNY. I've been too horrid and nasty for words this morning, Jack—I'm so sorry.

AUSTIN. It's over and forgotten now.

JINNY. You do forgive me?

AUSTIN. Of course, dear; only I want to say this one thing to you: to suspect unjustly a true love is to insult that love!

JINNY. I didn't really suspect you.

AUSTIN. Of course I know you didn't; this is only by way of a grandfatherly warning! It is possible to insult a true love too often—and love can die—

JINNY. Sh! don't, please, say any more. You have forgiven me, haven't you?

AUSTIN. Yes!

JINNY. Then kiss me!

AUSTIN. [Smiling.] Here! My dear, some one will see us!

JINNY. No, only Apollo; see, there's no one else about—it's luncheon hour!

AUSTIN. But—

[Taking her hand.

JINNY. [Pulling him.] Come along, then, behind the statue. No one will see us there!

[They are behind the statue a moment and then come around the other side.

JINNY. There! no one saw us, and I'm so happy, are you?

AUSTIN. "So happy!"

[JINNY takes his arm and they go to the Left entrance. She stops and looks up at him.

JINNY. Are my eyes green now?

AUSTIN. Now they're blue!

JINNY. Hurrah! and I'm going, from now on, to be so good, you won't know me.

[And hugging his arm tight they go out as

THE CURTAIN FALLS



ACT III

(Three weeks later)

The Austins' library; a warm, attractive room, with dark woodwork, and the walls hung in crimson brocade; Dutch marqueterie furniture; blue and white china on the mantel and tops of the book shelves; carbon photographs of pictures by Reynolds, Ronney, and Gainsborough on the wall. There is a double window at the back. A door at Right leads to the hall, and another on the Left side of the room leads to JINNY's own room. MRS. TILLMAN sits at a pianola Right, playing "Tell me, Pretty Maiden"; she stops once in a while, showing that she is unaccustomed to the instrument. JINNY enters from Left, singing as her mother plays.

JINNY. Darling mother!

[She puts her arms about her and kisses her.

[They come away from the pianola together, to a big arm-chair.

MRS. TILLMAN. I really must get one of those sewing-machine pianos for your father. I believe even he could play it, and it would be lots of amusement for us.

JINNY. Jack adores it; I gave it to him for an anniversary present.

MRS. TILLMAN. What anniversary?

[Sitting in the chair.

JINNY. Day before yesterday. The eleventh Tuesday since our marriage. Have you been in town all day? I am glad to see you!

[She sits on the arm of the chair with her arm about her mother.

MRS. TILLMAN. Yes, and I told your father to meet me here and we'd take the six-thirty train from Long Island City.

JINNY. Jack and I are going to the theatre to-night.

MRS. TILLMAN. I thought they were all closed!

JINNY. Oh, no, there are several musical comedies on,—Jack's favorite form of amusement,—and I've bought the tickets myself for a sort of birthday party.

MRS. TILLMAN. Is it his birthday?

JINNY. No, that's only my excuse!

MRS. TILLMAN. [Laughing.] Had we dreamed you and Jack were coming home in June, your father and I wouldn't have gone into the country so early.

JINNY. We've been home two weeks and it hasn't been hot yet.

MRS. TILLMAN. And you're still ideally happy aren't you, darling?

JINNY. Yes—

[She rises and goes to a table near the centre of the room and looks at the titles of several books without realizing what they are.

MRS. TILLMAN. Why, Jinny,—what does that mean?

JINNY. Oh, it's all my horrid disposition!

MRS. TILLMAN. Been seeing green?

JINNY. Um! Um! Once in Rome, and on the steamer, and again since we've been back.

MRS. TILLMAN. Nothing serious?

JINNY. [Hesitatingly, she turns and faces her mother.] No—but the last time Jack was harder to bring around than before, and he looked at me for fully five minutes without a particle of love in his eyes, and they were almost—dead eyes!

MRS. TILLMAN. What was it all about?

JINNY. Ruth Chester, principally.

MRS. TILLMAN. Why Ruth?

JINNY. Well, the first real scene I made was in Rome in the Vatican. I was jealous of her; I can't explain it all to you—as a matter of fact, it hasn't been all explained to me! Something was troubling Ruth that Jack knew, and he said he'd help her.

MRS. TILLMAN. What?

JINNY. That's just it; Jack won't tell me. And the day we sailed from Naples a telegram came, and of course I opened it, and it said, "Trust me, I will do everything you say. Ruth."

MRS. TILLMAN. Why haven't you told me anything of all this before, dear?

JINNY. [Going back to her mother.] I was ashamed to! Somehow, in the end I always knew I was wrong and had hurt him—hurt him terribly, mother, the man I love better than everything else in the world! Yes, even better than you and father and Geoffrey—all together!

[In her mother's arms, crying a little.

MRS. TILLMAN. Oh, this curse of jealousy! I was in hopes he was so strong he would help you to overcome it.

JINNY. He does try hard, I can see sometimes; but he hasn't a spark of it in him, and he can't understand it, and I know I'm unreasonable, and before I know it I am saying things I don't know what, and some day he won't forgive them! I'm sure some day he won't!—

[Breaking down again.

[She rises and turns away.

MRS. TILLMAN. [Rising and putting her arms about her.] Come, dear! Now you're getting yourself all unstrung, and that won't do you any good; you've got to fight this battle out, I'm afraid, by yourself, trusting in the deep love of your husband to teach him forbearance. Your father's and my troubles were never very big because we shared the curse, so we knew how to sympathize with each other!

JINNY. What an awful thing it is!

MRS. TILLMAN. Yes, my dear child. Jealousy has no saving grace, and it only destroys what is always most precious to you. Jinny, don't let it destroy your best happiness!

JINNY. Mother, if it should, I'd kill myself!

MRS. TILLMAN. [Shocked, but quite disbelieving her.] My dear!

[MAGGIE enters Right.

MAGGIE. Mr. Tillman is downstairs, madam.

MRS. TILLMAN. Tell him to come up.

MAGGIE. Yes, madam.

[She goes out Right.

JINNY. Don't tell father anything before me.

MRS. TILLMAN. I don't know that I shall tell him at all; he would only advise more cigars!

[TILLMAN enters Right.

[MRS. TILLMAN sits on the sofa at Left.

TILLMAN. Are you here?

JINNY. [Going to meet him.] We are, father dear, and your presence almost completes us. [Kisses him.] I say almost, because Jack hasn't come up town yet, and Geoffrey's heartless enough to stay on fishing at Cape Cod!

TILLMAN. No, he isn't; he's back to-day.

[He sits in the arm-chair at Right.

JINNY. Oh, I do want to see him!

[Sitting near her father.

TILLMAN. He ought to have been in by now—I met them this morning. He was to lunch with Jack, and he's going to put up for a few days at the University.

JINNY. He must dine with us every night.

TILLMAN. Jinny!— [Looking at her.] —You look as if you've been crying!

[The two WOMEN are embarrassed, and JINNY doesn't reply.

TILLMAN. [Hurt.] Oh, if you prefer to have secrets from your father, it's all right! I don't begrudge your mother her first place in your affections!

JINNY. Not at all, father; with you and mother there's no first place. She will tell you all about it on the way home! Please, mother.

MRS. TILLMAN. Very well, dear.

TILLMAN. A little "scrap" between you and Jack?

JINNY. Yes, but it's all over!

TILLMAN. Um!— [Thinks a second, then taking out his cigar case, he empties it of cigars and hands them to JINNY.] Give your husband these, please, when he comes in!

[JINNY and her MOTHER exchange a smile.

JINNY. But, father, Jack's got boxes full—

TILLMAN. Never mind; give him those, from me, with my compliments!

JINNY. [Laughing.] Very well!

TILLMAN. How are you and Maggie getting on?

JINNY. Splendidly.

MRS. TILLMAN. Such a nice girl!

JINNY. And wasn't it odd Jack was bitterly opposed to my taking her?

MRS. TILLMAN. My dear, if we hadn't lent her to you for these few weeks, you wouldn't have got anybody decent for so short a time.

TILLMAN. Why didn't Jack want her to come?

JINNY. I don't know, he just didn't want her; and then last week he talked with her in the library for three-quarters of an hour by my watch.

MRS. TILLMAN. Why?

JINNY. Oh, it seems she has troubles, too! All single young women with troubles, of no matter what class, seem to make a bee line for my husband, even if they have to cross the ocean!

TILLMAN. What do you mean?

JINNY. [Half laughing.] Oh, nothing, but it was about that talk with Maggie that we had our last quarrel.

[MAGGIE enters Right.

MAGGIE. Mrs. Cullingham.

[A second's dead silence, the announcement falling like a bombshell.

JINNY. [Astounded.] Who?

[She rises.

TILLMAN AND MRS. TILLMAN. Who?

MAGGIE. Mrs. Cullingham and her son, madam.

JINNY. They're in Europe.

MRS. TILLMAN. Are you sure you're not mistaken, Maggie?

MAGGIE. Oh, yes'm. Even if you could mistake Mrs. Cullingham, you couldn't mistake Mr. Peter!

JINNY. Ask them to please come up, Maggie.

MAGGIE. Yes'm.

[She goes out Right.

TILLMAN. Why, they only just sailed the other day, didn't they?

MRS. TILLMAN. Yes, and they were supposed to be gone all summer at least, for Ruth Chester's health! What in the world can they have come back for?

JINNY. [With curious determination.] That is what I intend to find out.

TILLMAN. [Rising.] We must be going, Susan; we've lost our train as it is.

MRS. TILLMAN. [Rising.] We can take the seven-two.

[MAGGIE shows in MRS. CULLINGHAM and PETER. PETER shakes hands with MRS. TILLMAN, then with JINNY, and then with MR. TILLMAN.

[MRS. CULLINGHAM kisses MRS. TILLMAN and shakes hands with MR. TILLMAN.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Jinny, you angel, aren't you surprised!

[Kissing her.

JINNY. Well, rather!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Well, you aren't a bit more surprised than I am. [A clock strikes six-thirty.] There goes the half hour, Peter; you must take your powder.

PETER. I beg your pardon, mother; it's the tablet now.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Excuse me, dear, I'm so dead tired.

[Sits on the sofa.

JINNY. [To Peter.] Will you have some water?

PETER. No, thank you, I've learned now to take them au naturel, and without much, if any, inconvenience!

[Takes his tablet with still a certain amount of difficulty, and sits Right.

MRS. TILLMAN. [To MRS. CULLINGHAM.] Did you have a bad voyage?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. No, perfectly beautiful!

PETER. [Reproachfully, and with a final swallow.] Oh, mother!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Except, of course, for poor Peter; he gets worse every trip! He can eat absolutely nothing—that is for long! But it's the Custom House that's worn me out; I was there from twelve till four.

MRS. TILLMAN. But you wouldn't have had time to buy anything!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Of course not! But I took plenty of new dresses for the entire summer; most of them hadn't been worn, and they were determined to make me pay duty.

JINNY. We had to pay awfully for things! I wanted to try and smuggle, but Jack wouldn't let me!

MR. TILLMAN. I'm afraid we must go!

[ALL rise.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. What do you think the Inspector had the impudence to ask me finally,—if I wanted to bring the dresses in as theatrical properties!

[They laugh.

MRS. TILLMAN. You must have some gorgeous frocks!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Oh, there are some paillettes! But who do you suppose he took me for—Sarah Bernhardt!

TILLMAN. [Looking at his watch.] I don't wish to interrupt this vital political conversation, but, Susan, if you don't want to miss the seven-two train, too—!

MRS. TILLMAN. [Rising.] Oh, no, we mustn't do that. Good-by. [To MRS. CULLINGHAM, shaking hands.] It's nice to see you again, anyway. Is Ruth better?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. I'm sorry to say—I don't think she is—good-by.

[To MR. TILLMAN, who says good-bygeneral good-bys.

MRS. TILLMAN. [To JINNY.] You want me to tell your father?

JINNY. Yes, it's better; it does make him jealous if he thinks I tell you things and keep secrets from him.

TILLMAN. Good-by, Peter.

MRS. TILLMAN. Good-by, Peter.

PETER. By-by.

[MR. and MRS. TILLMAN quickly go out Right, JINNY going to the door with them.

JINNY. [Coming back from doorway.] Now do tell me what it means. I thought you were abroad indefinitely, or for the summer at least.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. So did I! I'm just as surprised to be here as you seem to be! [They sit down near each other.] Didn't you really know we were coming?

JINNY. No! How should I?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. I don't know—I thought—

[She hesitates, embarrassed.

[After a pause.

JINNY. What did you think?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Nothing, except that you must know we were coming home.

JINNY. Why—that I must?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. You mustn't put me into a corner like that!

JINNY. How do you mean "corner"? How did you happen to come home like this?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Ruth suddenly got a cable—she didn't tell me from whom—but she said she must go home at once.

JINNY. But her mother's never been better!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. [Carelessly.] The cable wasn't from her mother.

JINNY. Oh, then, you know who it was from? [No answer.] Oh, I see now why you thought I ought to know about it; the cable was from Jack, wasn't it?

MRS. CULLINGHAM. [Relieved.] Yes.

JINNY. Oh, it was!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. I looked at it when she was out of the room; of course, it was sort of by accident— [Very much embarrassed.] —that is, I just happened to see—O dear, there! You know what I mean; it was dreadful of me, but I couldn't help it.

JINNY. [In a strained voice.] Jack and Ruth are very good friends and he looks after some of her affairs. You know having no man in the family complicates things.

PETER. Oh! I say!

[Standing up, suddenly.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. What is it, dear?

PETER. I believe I haven't got my before-dinner tabs.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Oh, look carefully!

PETER. [He looks in his right-hand pocket, takes out a bottle.] Soda mints! [From his left-hand pocket a box.] Alkali powders! [From third pocket a bottle.] Charcoal tablets! [From fourth pocket another bottle.] Dr. Man's Positive Cure! [From fifth pocket a box.] Bicarbonate soda!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. There's your other side pocket!

PETER. That's my saccharine [Showing bottle.] and my lithia tabs. [Showing another bottle.] We'll have to go, mother; I've left them home!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. We must go, anyway, my dear.

[Rising.

[JINNY also rises.

PETER. [Suddenly claps his hand behind him and speaks joyfully.] No, we needn't go after all; I forgot my hip pocket. Here they are!

[Bringing them out.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. We must go all the same! [To JINNY.] Sometimes I think he takes too much medicine stuff!

JINNY. I should think so! Peter, you ought to diet.

PETER. I can't! I've tried, and I lose my appetite right away!

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Good-by, dear. How long will you be in town?

JINNY. I don't know—several weeks, I imagine. Jack came home on some business, you know, and I don't think it's settled yet. Good-by.

[To PETER.

PETER. Good-by. You know you mustn't drink water with your meals; that's the great thing. So I drink only champagne.

[He goes out Right.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. [Waits and speaks to JINNY with real feeling.] I'm awfully ashamed of myself, and I hope I haven't made any trouble or fuss with my meddling. Don't let me!

JINNY. No, of course not.

[With a strained smile.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. I wish I could believe you.

JINNY. Well, do.

MRS. CULLINGHAM. Good-by.

[She goes out Right.

JINNY. Good-by. Where's that telegram that came for him a little while ago? [Going to the desk at Right, and finding the telegram.] Of course it's from her, saying that she's arrived. That's the trouble with telegrams; the address doesn't give the handwriting away. She must have sent it from the dock! Couldn't even wait till she was home! [She walks to the window and stands there a moment, then comes back, looking at her watch.] Nearly seven already, and no sign of him, and we must dress and dine—huh! I think I might as well tear up my theatre tickets! [She paces up and down the room, stopping now and then with each new thought that comes to her.] I wonder if he went down there to meet her—he must have known the boat; if he cabled her to come back, she must have cabled an answer and what boat she'd take! But no other telegram has come for Jack here to my knowledge—oh! of course, what am I thinking of, she sent that one to his office to-day; she was afraid he might have left before this one could get there, so she risked it here. Good Heavens! why am I maudling on like this to myself out loud? It's really nothing—Jack will explain once more that he can't explain, but that Ruth has "troubles," and I'll believe him again! But I won't! He promised me she should stay over there! [Looks at her watch again.] He's there, with her! Nothing ever kept him half as late down town as this! What a little fool I am!

[GEOFFREY enters suddenly Right.

JINNY. [Cries out, joyfully.] Geoffrey! [And rushing to him, embraces him.] You brute, you, not to come straight back to New York when you heard I was home! You dear old darling, you!

GEOFFREY. I couldn't, old girl; there were reasons—I don't have to tell you I wanted to.

JINNY. I don't know! Was there a pretty girl up there, Geof? I'm sure I shouldn't think her pretty if you were in love with her. I believe I shall be awfully jealous of your wife when you get one!

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