THE MAN FROM HOME
BOOTH TARKINGTON and HARRY LEON WILSON
With Illustrations from Scenes in the Play
Harper & Brothers
THE MAN FROM HOME
ORIGINAL CAST OF CHARACTERS IN THE MAN FROM HOME BY BOOTH TARKINGTON and HARRY LEON WILSON PRESENTED UNDER THE MANAGEMENT OF LIEBLER & CO. AT THE STUDEBAKER THEATRE, CHICAGO SEPTEMBER 29, 1907, WHERE IT RAN FOR A YEAR; THEN OPENED IN NEW YORK AT THE ASTOR THEATRE AUGUST 17, 1908
CHARACTERS AND PLAYERS
DANIEL VOORHEES PIKE WILLIAM HODGE THE GRAND DUKE VASILI VASILIVITCH EBEN PLYMPTON THE EARL OF HAWCASTLE E. J. RATCLIFFE THE HON. ALMERIC ST. AUBYN ECHLIN P. GAYER IVANOFF HENRY HARMON HORACE GRANGER-SIMPSON HASSARD SHORT RIBIERE HARRY L. LANG MARIANO ANTHONY ASHER MICHELE ANTONIO SALERNO CARABINIERE A. MONTEGRIFFO VALET DE CHAMBRE C. L. FELTON ETHEL GRANGER-SIMPSON OLIVE WYNDHAM COMTESSE DE CHAMPIGNY ALICE JOHNSON LADY CREECH. IDA VERNON
TIME: THE PRESENT
PLACE: SORRENTO, SOUTHERN ITALY
THE MAN FROM HOME
"OH NO! SHE ACCEPTED ME"
"YES, SIR, DANIEL VOORHEES PIKE, ATTORNEY AT LAW, KOKOMO, INDIANA"
"THIS IS MR. ST. AUBYN"
"THE NEW CHAUFFEUR FOR THE MACHINE, FROM NAPLES"
"YOU'RE AFTER SOMETHING THERE ISN'T ANYTHING TO"
"IVAN! DON'T KILL ME!"
"MY FRIEND, THERE IS SAND IN YOUR GEAR-BOX"
The illustrations are from photographs of scenes in the play made especially for the book by Mr. Luther S. White.
DANIEL VOORHEES PIKE Of Kokomo, Indiana
THE GRAND-DUKE VASILI VASILIVITCH
THE EARL OF HAWCASTLE
THE HON. ALMERIC ST. AUBYN Son of Lord Hawcastle
RIBIERE The Grand-Duke's secretary
MARIANO Maitre d'hotel
MICHELE A waiter
A valet de chambre
Several Sorrentine musicians and fishermen
COMTESSE DE CHAMPIGNY
LADY CREECH Sister-in-law of Hawcastle
ACT I.—The terrace of the Hotel Regina Margherita on the cliff at Sorrento. Morning.
ACT II.—The entrance garden. Afternoon.
ACT III.—An apartment in the hotel. Evening.
ACT IV.—The terrace. Morning.
The time is the present.
The scene is Sorrento, in Southern Italy.
THE FIRST ACT
SCENE: The terrace of the Hotel Regina Margherita, on the cliff at Sorrento, overlooking the Bay of Naples.
There is a view of the bay and its semi-circular coast-line, dotted with villages; Vesuvius gray in the distance. Across the stage at the rear runs a marble balustrade about three feet high, guarding the edge of the cliff. Upon the left is seen part of one wing of the hotel, entrance to which is afforded by wide-open double doors approached by four or five marble steps with a railing and small stoop. The hotel is of pink and white stucco, and striped awnings shield the windows. Upon the right is a lemon grove and shrubberies. There are two or three small white wicker tea-tables and a number of wicker chairs upon the left, and a square table laid with white cloth on the right.
As the curtain rises mandolins and guitars are heard, and the "Fisherman's Song," the time very rapid and gay, the musicians being unseen.
MARIANO, maitre d'hotel, is discovered laying the table down R.C. with eggs, coffee, and rolls for two. He is a pleasant-faced, elderly man, stout, swarthy, clean shaven; wears dress-clothes, white waist-coat, and black tie. He is annoyed by the music.
MARIANO [calling to the unseen musicians crossly]. Silenzio!
[MICHELE enters from the hotel. He is young, clean-shaven except for a dark mustache, wears a white tie, a blue coat, cut like dress-coat, blue trousers with red side stripes, brass buttons; his waistcoat is of striped red and blue.]
MICHELE [speaking over his shoulder]. Par ici, Monsieur Ribiere, pour le maitre d'hotel.
[RIBIERE enters from the hotel.]
[MICHELE immediately withdraws.]
[RIBIERE is a trim, business-like young Frenchman of some distinction of appearance. He wears a well-made English dark "cutaway" walking-suit, a derby hat, and carries a handsome leather writing-case under his arm.]
RIBIERE. [as he enters]. Ah, Mariano!
MARIANO. [bowing and greeting him gayly]. Monsieur Ribiere! J'espere que vous etes—
[He breaks off, turns on his heel toward the invisible musicians, and shouts.]
[He turns again quickly to RIBIERE.]
RIBIERE. [with a warning glance toward hotel]. Let us speak English. There are not so many who understand.
MARIANO. [politely]. I hope Monsieur still occupy the exalt' position of secretar' to Monseigneur the Grand-Duke.
RIBIERE. [sits and opens writing-case, answers gravely]. We will not mention the name or rank of my employer.
MARIANO. [with gesture and accent of despair]. Again incognito! Every year he come to our hotel for two, three day, but always incognito.
[He finishes setting the table.]
We lose the honor to have it known.
RIBIERE. [looking at his watch]. He comes in his automobile from Naples. Everything is to be as on my employer's former visits—strictly incognito. It is understood every one shall address him as Herr von Groellerhagen—
MARIANO [repeating the name carefully]. Herr von Groellerhagen—
RIBIERE. He wishes to be thought a German.
[Takes a note-book from case.]
MARIANO. Such a man! of caprice? Excentrique? Ha!
RIBIERE. You have said it. Last night he talked by chance to a singular North American in the hotel at Napoli. To-day he has that stranger for companion in the automobile. I remonstrate. What use? He laugh for half an hour!
MARIANO. He is not like those cousin of his at St. Petersburg an' Moscowa. An' yet though Monseigneur is so good an' generoso, will not the anarchist strike against the name of royalty himself? You have not the fear?
RIBIERE [opening his note-book]. I have. He has not. I take what precaution I can secretly from him. You have few guests?
MARIANO [smiling]. It is so early in the season. Those poor musician' [nodding off right] they wait always at every gate, to play when they see any one coming. There is only seex peoples in the 'ole house! All of one party.
RIBIERE. Good! Who are they?
MARIANO. There is Milor', an English Excellency—the Earl of Hawcastle; there is his son, the Excellency Honorabile Almeric St. Aubyn; there is Miladi Creeshe, an English Miladi who is sister-in-law to Milor' Hawcastle.
RIBIERE [taking notes]. Three English.
MARIANO. There is an American Signorina, Mees Granger-Seempsone. Miladi Creeshe travel with her to be chaperone. [Enthusiastically.] She is young, generosa, she give money to every one, she is multa bella, so pretty, weeth charm—
RIBIERE [puzzled]. You speak now of Lady Creeshe?
MARIANO [taken aback]. Oh no, no, no! Miladi Creeshe is ol' lady [tapping his ears]. Not hear well. Deaf. No pourboires. Nothing. I speak of the young American lady, Mees Granger-Seempsone who the English Honorabile son of Milor' Hawcastle wish to espouse, I think.
RIBIERE. Who else is there?
MARIANO. There is the brother of Mees Granger-Seempsone, a young gentleman of North America. He make the eyes [laughing] all day at another lady who is of the party, a French lady, Comtesse de Champigny. Ha, ha! That amuse' me!
MARIANO. Beckoss I think Comtesse de Champigny is a such good friend of the ol' English Milor' Hawcastle. A maitre d'hotel see many things, an' I think Milor' Hawcastle and Madame de Champigny have know each other from long, perhaps. This dejeuner is for them.
RIBIERE. And who else?
MARIANO. It is all.
RIBIERE. Good! no Russians?
MARIANO. I think Milor' Hawcastle and Madame de Champigny have been in Russia sometime.
RIBIERE [putting his note-book in his pocket]. Why?
MARIANO. Beckoss once I have hear them spik Russian togezzer.
RIBIERE. I think there is small chance that they recognize my employer. His portrait is little known.
MARIANO. And this North American who come in the automobile—does he know who he travel wiz? Does he know his Highness?
RIBIERE. No more than the baby which is not borned.
MARIANO [lifting his eyes to heaven]. Ah!
RIBIERE [looking at his watch]. Set dejeuner on the terrace instantly when he arrive: a perch, petit pois, iced figs, tea. I will send his own caviar and vodka from the supplies I carry.
MARIANO. I set for one?
RIBIERE. For two. He desires that the North American breakfast with him. Do not forget that the incognito is to be absolute.
[Exit into hotel.]
MARIANO. Va bene, Signore!
[Puts finishing-touches to the table.]
[Enter from the grove, LORD HAWCASTLE. He is a well-preserved man of fifty-six with close-clipped gray mustache and gray hair; his eyes are quick and shrewd; his face shows some slight traces of high living; he carries himself well and his general air is distinguished and high-bred. He wears a suit of thinly striped white flannel and white shoes, a four-in-hand tie of pale old-rose crape, a Panama hat with broad ribbon striped with white and old-rose of the same shade as his tie. His accent is that of a man of the world, and quite without affectation. He comes at once upon his entrance to a chair at the table.]
[MICHELE enters at same time up left, with a folded newspaper.]
HAWCASTLE [as he enters]. Good-morning, Mariano!
MARIANO [bowing]. Milor' Hawcastle is serve.
[Takes HAWCASTLE'S hat and places it upon a stool behind table.]
MICHELE [hands HAWCASTLE newspaper from under his arm]. Il Mattino, the morning journal from Napoli, Milor'.
HAWCASTLE [accepting paper and unfolding it]. No English papers?
MICHELE. Milor', the mail is late.
[Exit up left.]
HAWCASTLE [sitting]. And Madame de Champigny?
[MARIANO serves coffee, etc.]
[As HAWCASTLE speaks the COMTESSE DE CHAMPIGNY enters from hotel. She is a pretty Frenchwoman of thirty-two. She wears a fashionable summer Parisian morning dress, light and gay in color, a short-sleeved little Empire jacket, and long gloves. She carries a parasol. Her elaborately dressed hair is surmounted by a jaunty Parisian toque.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [lifting her hand gayly as she enters, and striking a little attitude before she descends the steps]. Me voici!
HAWCASTLE [half rising and bowing]. My esteemed relative is still asleep?
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [speaking gayly, with a very slight accent, as she crosses to a chair at the table]. I trust your beautiful son has found much better employment—as our hearts would wish him to.
HAWCASTLE. He has. He's off on a canter with the little American, thank God!
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [interjecting the word]. Bravo!
[She turns the hands of her gloves back and sips coffee, MARIANO serving.]
HAWCASTLE [continuing]. But I didn't mean Almeric. I meant my august sister-in-law.
[He reads the paper.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [smiling]. The amiable Lady Victoria Hermione Trevelyan Creech has dejeuner in her apartment. What you find to read?
HAWCASTLE. I'm such a duffer at Italian, but apparently the people along the coast are having a scare over an escaped convict—a Russian.
MARIANO [starting slightly, drops a spoon noisily upon a plate on the table]. Pardon, Milor'!
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [setting down her coffee abruptly]. A Russian?
HAWCASTLE [translating with difficulty]. "An escaped Russian bandit has been traced to Castellamare—"
MARIANO [awe-struck]. Castellamare—not twelve kilometres from here!
HAWCASTLE [continuing]. "—and a confidential agent"—[looking up]—secret-service man, I dare say—"has requested his arrest. But the brigand tore himself"—[repeating slowly]—"tore himself"—What the deuce does that mean?
MARIANO [bowing]. Pardon, Milor'—if I might—
HAWCASTLE. Quite right, Mariano!
[Handing him the paper.]
Translate for us.
MARIANO [reading rapidly, but with growing agitation which he tries to conceal]. "The brigan' tore himself from the hands of the carabiniere and without the doubts he conceal himself in some of those grotto near Sorrento and searchment is being execute'. The agent of the Russian embassy have inform' the bureau that this escaped one is a mos' in-fay-mose robber and danger brigand."
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [quickly]. What name does the journal say he has?
MARIANO [hurriedly]. It has not to say. That is all. Will Milor' and Madame la Comtesse excuse me? And may I take the journal? There is one who should see it.
HAWCASTLE [indifferently]. Very well.
MARIANO. Thank you, Milor'!
[Bows hastily and hurries out up left.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [gravely, drawing back from the table.] I should like much to know his name.
HAWCASTLE [smiling, and eating composedly]. You may be sure it isn't Ivanoff.
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [not changing her attitude]. How can one know it is not [pauses and speaks the name very gravely] Ivanoff?
HAWCASTLE [laughing]. He wouldn't be called an infamous brigand.
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [very gravely]. That, my friend, may be only Italian journalism.
HAWCASTLE. Pooh! This means a highwayman—[finishes his coffee coolly]—not—not an embezzler, Helene.
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [taking a deep breath and sinking back in her chair with a fixed gaze]. I am glad to believe it, but I care for no more to eat. I have some foolish feeling of unsafety. It is now two nights that I dream of him—of Ivanoff—bad dreams for us both, my friend.
HAWCASTLE [laughing]. What rot! It takes more than a dream to bring a man back from Siberia.
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. Then I pray there has been no more than dreams.
[Music of mandolins and guitars heard off to the right with song—"The Fisherman's Song."]
[Enter ETHEL gayly and quickly from the grove, her face radiant. She is a very pretty American girl of twenty. She wears a light-brown linen skirted coat, fitting closely, and a country riding-skirt of the same material and color, with boots, a shirt-waist, collar and tie, and three-cornered hat. She carries a riding-crop. She is followed by three musicians (two mandolins and a guitar), who laughingly continue the song. They are shabby fellows, two of them barefooted, wearing shabby, patched velveteen trousers and blue flannel shirts open at the throat, with big black hats, old and shapeless. One makes a low and sweeping bow before ETHEL; she takes money from her glove and gives it to him, the other two not discontinuing the song; the three immediately 'bout face and go out gleefully, capering and still singing.]
HAWCASTLE [who has risen]. The divine Miss Granger-Simpson!
ETHEL [with a pronounced "English accent"]. The divinely happy Miss Granger-Simpson!
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [rising, running to her, and kissing her]. Oh, I hope you mean—
HAWCASTLE [with some excitement in his voice]. You mean you have made my son divinely happy?
[ETHEL, as he speaks, extricates herself laughingly from MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY.]
ETHEL. Is not every one happy in Sorrento—[with a wave of her riding-crop]—even your son?
[Exit laughingly and hurriedly into the hotel.]
[MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY goes to stool behind table and gets her parasol, as HAWCASTLE resumes his seat.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. Ah! that is good. Listen!
[A piano sounds from the room ETHEL has just entered, breaking loudly and gayly into Chaminade's "Elevation." ETHEL'S voice is heard for a moment, also, singing.]
She has flown to her piano. It looks well, indeed—our little enterprise.
HAWCASTLE [grimly]. It's time. If Almeric had been anything but a clumsy oof he'd have made her settle it weeks ago!
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [quickly]. You are invidious, mon ami! My affair is not settled—am I a clumsy oof?
HAWCASTLE [leaning toward her across the table and speaking sharply and earnestly]. No, Helene. Your little American, brother Horace, is so in love with you, if you asked him suddenly, "Is this day or night?" he would answer, "It's Helene." But he's too shy to speak. You're a woman—you can't press matters; but Almeric's a man—he can. He can urge an immediate marriage, which means an immediate settlement, and a direct one.
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [seriously, quickly]. It will not be small, that settlement?
[He shakes his head grimly, leaning back to look at her. She continues eagerly.]
You have decide' what sum?
[He nods decidedly.]
HAWCASTLE [sharply, with determination, yet quietly]. A hundred and fifty thousand pounds!
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [excited and breathless]. My friend! Will she?
[Turns and stares toward ETHEL'S room, where the piano is still heard softly playing.]
HAWCASTLE. Not for Almeric, but to be the future Countess of Hawcastle. My sister-in-law hasn't been her chaperone for a year for nothing. And, by Jove, she hasn't done it for nothing, either!
[He laughs grimly, moving back from the table.]
But she's deserved all I shall allow her.
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [coldly]. Why?
HAWCASTLE [rising]. It was she who found these people. Indeed, we might say that both you and I owe her something also. [Comes around behind table to MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY.] Even a less captious respectability than Lady Creech's might have looked askance at the long friendship [kisses her hand] which has existed between us. Yet she has always countenanced us, though she must have guessed—a great many things. And she will help us to urge an immediate marriage. You know as well as I do that unless it is immediate, there'll be the devil to pay. Don't miss that essential: something must be done at once. We're at the breaking-point—if you like the words—a most damnable insolvency.
[Enter ALMERIC from the grove. He is a fair, fresh-colored Englishman of twenty-five, handsome in a rather vacuous way. He wears white duck riding-breeches, light-tan leather riding-gaiters and shoes, a riding-coat of white duck, a waistcoat light tan in shade, and a high riding-stock, the collar of which is white, the "puffed" tie pink; a Panama hat with a fold of light tan and white silk round the crown. Carries a riding-crop.]
ALMERIC [as he enters]. Hello, Governor!
[His voice is habitually loud and his accent somewhat foppish, having a little of the "Guardsman" affectation of languor and indifference.]
[He drops into a chair at the breakfast-table with a slight effect of sprawling.]
HAWCASTLE [sharply]. Almeric!
ALMERIC. Out riding a bit ago, you know, with Miss Granger-Simpson. Rippin' girl, isn't she?
HAWCASTLE [leaning across the table toward him, anxiously]. Go on!
ALMERIC [continuing, slapping his gaiters carelessly with his crop]. Didn't stop with her, though.
HAWCASTLE [angrily]. Why not?
ALMERIC. A sort of man in the village got me to go look at a bull-terrier pup. Wonderful little beast for points. Jolly luck—wasn't it? He's got a head on him—
HAWCASTLE [bitterly]. We'll concede his tremendous advantage over you in that respect.
[Throws his cigar disgustedly into one of the coffee-cups on the table.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [eagerly]. Is that all you have to tell us?
ALMERIC. Oh no! She accepted me.
[HAWCASTLE drops into a chair with a long breath of relief.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [waving her parasol]. Enfin! Bravo! And will she let it be soon?
ALMERIC [sincerely]. I dare say there'll be no row about that; I've made her aw'fly happy.
HAWCASTLE. On my soul, I believe you're right—and thank God you are!
[Rises as he speaks and walks up centre. Breaks off short as he sees HORACE.]
Here's the brother—attention now!
[HORACE enters the hotel. He is a boyish-looking American of twenty-two, smooth-shaven. He wears white flannels, the coat double-breasted and buttoned, the tie is light blue "puffing" fastened with a large pearl. He wears light-yellow chamois gloves, white shoes, a small, stiff English straw hat with blue-and-white ribbon. When he speaks it is with a strong "English accent," which he sometimes forgets. At present he is flushed and almost overcome with happy emotion. As he comes down the steps MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY rushes toward him, taking both his hands.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [excitedly]. Ah, my dear Horace Granger-Simpson! Has your sister told you?
HORACE [radiant, but almost tearful]. She has, indeed. I assure you I'm quite overcome.
[MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY, dropping his hands, laughs deprecatingly, and steps back from him.]
Really, I assure you.
HAWCASTLE [shaking hands with him very heartily]. My dear young friend, not at all, not at all.
HORACE [fanning himself with his hat and wiping his brow]. I assure you I am, I assure you I am—it's quite overpowering—isn't it?
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. Ah, poor Monsieur Horace!
ALMERIC. I say, don't take it that way, you know. She's very happy.
HORACE [crossing and grasping his hand]. She's worthy of it—she's worthy of it. I know she is. And when will it be?
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. Enchanting.
HAWCASTLE. Oh, the date? I dare say within a year—two years—
[COMTESSE starts to exclaim, but HAWCASTLE checks her.]
HORACE. Oh, but I say, you know! Isn't that putting it jolly far off? The thing's settled, isn't it? Why not say a month instead of a year?
HAWCASTLE. Oh, if you like, I don't know that there is any real objection.
HORACE. I do like, indeed. Why not let them marry here in Italy?
HAWCASTLE. Ah, the dashing methods of you Americans! Next you'll be saying, "Why not here at Sorrento?"
HORACE. Well, and why not, indeed?
HAWCASTLE. And then it will be, "Why not within a fortnight?"
HORACE. And why should it not be in a fortnight?
HAWCASTLE. Ah, you wonderful people, you are whirlwinds, yet I see no reason why it should not be in a fortnight.
ALMERIC [passively]. Just as you like, Governor, just as you like.
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. Enchanting.
HAWCASTLE. My son is all impatience!
ALMERIC [genially]. Quite so!
HAWCASTLE [gayly]. Shall we dispose at once of the necessary little details, the various minor arrangements, the—the settlement?
[Interrupts himself with a friendly laugh.]
Of course, as a man of the world, of our world, you understand there are formalities in the nature of a settlement.
HORACE [interrupting eagerly and pleasantly, laughing also]. Quite so, of course, I know, certainly, perfectly!
HAWCASTLE [heartily]. We'll have no difficulty about that, my boy. I'll wire my solicitor immediately, and he'll be here within two days. If you wish to consult your own solicitor you can cable him.
HORACE [with some embarrassment]. Fact is, I've a notion our solicitor—Ethel's man of business, that is—from Kokomo, Indiana, where our Governor lived—in fact, a sort of guardian of hers—may be here almost any time.
HAWCASTLE [taken aback]. A sort of guardian—what sort?
HORACE [apologetically]. I really can't say. Never saw him that I know of. You see, we've been on this side so many years, and there's been no occasion for this fellow to look us up, but he's never opposed anything Ethel wrote for; he seems to be an easygoing old chap.
HAWCASTLE [anxiously]. But would his consent to your sister's marriage—or the matter of a settlement—be a necessity?
HORACE [easily]. Oh, I dare say; but if he has the slightest sense of duty toward my sister, he'll be the first to welcome the alliance, won't he?
HAWCASTLE [reassured]. Then when my solicitor comes, he and your man can have an evening over a lot of musty papers and the thing will be done. Again, my boy [taking HORACE'S hand], I welcome you to our family. God bless you!
HORACE. I'm overpowered, you know—really overpowered.
[Fans himself again and wipes his forehead.]
HAWCASTLE. Come, Almeric.
[Aside to MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY, whom he joins for a moment.]
Let him know it's a hundred and fifty thousand pounds.
[Exit into hotel, followed immediately by ALMERIC.]
[HORACE turns toward MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY; she gives him both hands.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [smiling]. My friend, I am happy for you.
HORACE [joyously]. Think of it, at the most a fortnight, and dear old Ethel will be the Honorable Mrs. St. Aubyn, future Countess of Hawcastle!
[MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY, lightly, at the same time withdrawing her hands and picking up her parasol from the chair where she has left it.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. Yes, there is but those little arrangement over the settlement paper between your advocate and Lord Hawcastle's; but you Americans—you laugh at such things. You are big, so big, like your country!
HORACE. Ah, believe me, the great world, the world of yourself, Countess, has thoroughly alienated me.
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [coming close to him, looking at him admiringly]. Ah, you retain one quality! You are big, you are careless, you are free.
[She lays her right hand on his left arm. He takes her hand with his right hand. They stand facing each other.]
HORACE [smiling]. Well, perhaps, in those things I am American, but in others I fancy I should be thought something else, shouldn't I?
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [earnestly]. You are a debonair man of the great world; and yet you are still American, in that you are ab-om-i-nab-ly rich. [She laughs sweetly.] The settlement—Such matter as that, over which a Frenchman, an Italian, an Englishman might hesitate, you laugh! Such matter as one-hundred-fifty thousand pounds—you set it aside; you laugh! You say, "Oh yes—take it!"
HORACE [his eyes wide with surprise]. A hundred and fifty thousand pounds! Why, that's seven hundred and fifty thous—[He pauses, then finishes decidedly.] She couldn't use the money to better advantage.
[Enter ETHEL from the hotel. She has one thick book under her arm, another in her hand.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [to HORACE, with deep admiration]. My friend, how wise you are!
[She perceives ETHEL'S entrance over HORACE'S shoulder, and at once runs to her, embraces her, and kisses her, crying.]
Largesse, sweet Countess of Hawcastle! Largesse! and au revoir! Adieu! I leave you with your dear brother. A rivederci.
[She runs gayly out, waving her parasol to them as she goes.]
HORACE [going to ETHEL]. Dear old sis, dear old pal!
[Affectionately gives her hand a squeeze and drops it.]
ETHEL [radiant]. Isn't it glorious, Hoddy!
HORACE. The others are almost as pleased as we are.
[He leans back in chair, knees crossed, hands clasped over knees, and regards her proudly.]
ETHEL [opens the books she carries, laying them on one of the tea-tables]. This is Burke's Peerage, and this is Froissart's Chronicles. I've been reading it all over again—the St. Aubyns at Crecy and Agincourt [with an exalted expression], and St. Aubyn will be my name!
HORACE [smiling]. They want it to be your name soon, sis.
ETHEL [suddenly thoughtful, speaks appealingly]. You're fond of Almeric, aren't you, Hoddy—you admire him, don't you?
HORACE. Certainly. Think of all he represents.
ETHEL [enthusiastically]. Ah, yes! Crusader's blood flows in his veins. It is to the nobility that must be within him that I have plighted my troth. I am ready to marry him when they wish.
HORACE. Then as soon as the settlement is arranged. It'll take about all your share of the estate, sis, but it's worth it—a hundred and fifty thousand pounds.
ETHEL [earnestly]. What better use could be made of a fortune than to maintain the state and high condition of so ancient a house?
HORACE. Doesn't it seem impossible that we were born in Indiana!
[He speaks seriously, as if the thing were incredible.]
ETHEL [smiling]. But isn't it good that the pater "made his pile," as the Americans say, and let us come over here when we were young to find the nobler things, Hoddy—the nobler things!
HORACE. The nobler things—the nobler things, sis. When old Hawcastle dies I'll be saying, quite off-hand, you know, "My sister, the Countess of Hawcastle—"
ETHEL [thoughtfully]. You don't suppose that father's friend, my guardian, this old Mr. Pike, will be—will be QUEER, do you?
HORACE. Well, the governor himself was rather raw, you know. This is probably a harmless enough old chap—easy to handle—
ETHEL. I wish I knew. I shouldn't like Almeric's family to think we had queer connections of any sort—and he might turn out to be quite shockingly American [with genuine pathos]. I—I couldn't bear it, Hoddy.
HORACE. Then keep him out of the way. That's simple enough. None of them, except the solicitor, need see him.
[Instantly upon this there is a tremendous though distant commotion beyond the hotel—wild laughter and cheers, the tarantella played by mandolins and guitars, also sung, shouts of "Bravo Americano!" and "Yanka Dooda!" The noise continues and increases gradually.]
ETHEL [as the uproar begins]. What is that?
HORACE. Must be a mob.
[LADY CREECH, flustered and hot, enters from the hotel. She is a haughty, cross-looking woman in the sixties.]
ETHEL [going to LADY CREECH, speaks close to her ear and loudly]. Lady Creech—dear Lady Creech—what is the trouble?
LADY CREECH. Some horrible people coming to this hotel! They've made a riot in the village.
[The noise becomes suddenly louder. MARIANO, immediately upon LADY CREECH'S entrance, appears in hotel doors, makes a quick gesture toward breakfast-table, and withdraws.]
[MICHELE, laughing, immediately enters by same doors, goes rapidly to the breakfast-table and clears it. The others pay no attention to this.]
HORACE [at steps up left]. It's not a riot—it's a revolution.
LADY CREECH [sinking into a chair, angrily]. One of your horrid fellow-countrymen, my dear. Your Americans are really too—
ETHEL [proudly]. Not my Americans, Lady Creech!
HORACE. Not ours, you know. One could hardly say that, could one?
ALMERIC [heard outside laughing]. Oh, I say, what a go! [Enters from the hotel, laughing.] Motor-car breaks down on the way here; one of the Johnnies in it, a German, discharges the chauffeur; and the other Johnny [he throws himself sprawling into a chair], one of your Yankee chaps, Ethel, hires two silly little donkeys, like rabbits, you know, to pull the machine the rest of the way here. Then as they can't make it, by Jove, you know, he puts himself in the straps with the donkeys, and proceeds, attended by the populace. Ha, ha! I say!
[HORACE, gloomy, comes down and sits at tea-table.]
LADY CREECH [angrily, to ALMERIC]. Don't mumble your words, Almeric. I never understand people when they mumble their words.
[RIBIERE, who looks anxious, appears in the hotel doorway, then stands aside on the stoop for MARIANO and MICHELE; they enter and pass him with trays, fresh cloth, etc., for table down right, which they rapidly proceed to set. A valet de chambre enters up left, following them immediately. He carries a tray with a silver dish of caviar and a bottle of vodka. As he enters he hesitates for one moment, looking inquiringly at RIBIERE, who motions him quickly toward MARIANO and MICHELE, and withdraws. Valet rapidly crosses right to table, sets caviar and vodka on the table, and exits up left. The others pay no attention to any of this.]
ALMERIC. I went up to this Yankee chap, I mean to say—he was pullin' and tuggin' along, you see, don't you?—and I said, "There you are, three of you all in a row, aren't you?"—meanin' him and the two donkeys, Ethel, you see.
LADY CREECH [who has been leaning close to ALMERIC to listen]. Dreadful person!
ALMERIC [continuing]. All he could answer was that he'd picked the best company in sight.
ETHEL [annoyed, half under her breath]. Impertinent!
ALMERIC. No meanin' to it. I had him, you know, I rather think, didn't I?
[HAWCASTLE enters with MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY, a number of folded newspapers under his arm. Simultaneously loud cheers are heard from the village and a general renewal of the commotion.]
HAWCASTLE. Disgusting uproar!
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [to ETHEL]. But we know that such Americans are not of your class, cherie.
ETHEL. A dreadful person, I quite fear.
HAWCASTLE. The English papers.
[Lays papers on one of the tea-tables.]
ALMERIC. I'll take the Pink 'Un, Governor. I'm off.
[Starts to go, the Pink 'Un under his arm.]
ETHEL [rather shyly]. For a stroll, Almeric? Would you like me to go with you?
ALMERIC [somewhat embarrassed]. Well, I rather thought I'd have a quiet bit of readin', you know.
ETHEL [coldly]. Oh!
[Exit ALMERIC rapidly up left.]
LADY CREECH [in a deep and gloomy voice]. The Church Register!
[HAWCASTLE gives her a paper. HORACE takes the London Mail. HAWCASTLE takes the Times.]
[ETHEL and MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY walk back to the terrace railing, chatting. The others seat themselves about the tea-tables to read.]
HORACE [unfolding his paper, speaks crossly to MARIANO]. Mariano, how long is this noise to continue?
MARIANO [distractedly]. How can I know? We can do nothing.
MICHELE [smilingly, looking up from table where he has continued to work]. The people outside will not go while they think there is once more a chance to see the North American who pull the automobile with those donkeys.
MARIANO. He have confuse' me; he have confuse' everybody. He will not be content with the dejeuner till he have the ham and the eggs. And he will have the eggs cooked only on one side, and how in the name of heaven can we tell which side?
RIBIERE [appearing in the hotel doorway, speaks sharply but not loudly]. Garcon!
[MICHELE and MARIANO instantly step back from table and stand at attention, facing front, like soldiers. RIBIERE exits quickly again into hotel.]
HAWCASTLE [looking up from paper]. Upon my soul, who's all this?
MARIANO [not turning his head, replies in an awed undertone]. It is Herr von Groellerhagen, a German gentleman, Milor'.
HAWCASTLE [amused, to HORACE]. Man that owned the automobile. Probably made a fortune in sausages.
VASILI [heard within the hotel, approaching]. Nein, nein, Ribiere! 'S macht nichts!
[He enters from the hotel. He is a portly man of forty-five, but rather soldierly than fat. His hair, pompadour, is reddish blond, beginning to turn gray, like his mustache and large full beard; the latter somewhat "Henry IV." and slightly forked at bottom. His dress produces the effect rather of carelessness than of extreme fashion. He wears a travelling-suit of gray, neat enough but not freshly pressed, the trousers showing no crease, the coat cut in "walking-coat style," with big, slanting pockets, in which he carries his gloves, handkerchief, matches, and a silver cigarette-case full of Russian cigarettes. On his head is a tan-colored automobile cap with buttoned flaps. He is followed by RIBIERE, who, anxious and perturbed, wishes to call his attention to the item in the Neapolitan morning paper.]
VASILI [waving both RIBIERE and the paper aside, in high good-humor]. Las' mich, las' mich! Geh'n sie weg!
[RIBIERE bows submissively, though with a gesture of protest, and exit into the hotel. The group about the tea-table watch VASILI with hostility.]
LADY CREECH. What a dreadful person!
[VASILI crosses to his seat at the breakfast-table in front of MARIANO and MICHELE, who bows profoundly as he passes.]
VASILI [lifting his hand in curt, semi-military salute, to acknowledge the waiters' bows]. See to my American friend.
[MICHELE immediately hastens into the hotel. VASILI sits, and MARIANO serves him.]
HAWCASTLE [to LADY CREECH, in her ear]. Quite right; but take care, he speaks English.
LADY CREECH [glaring at VASILI]. Many thoroughly objectionable persons do!
VASILI [apparently oblivious to her remark, to MARIANO]. My American friend wishes his own national dish.
MARIANO [deferentially, and serving VASILI to caviar]. Yes, Herr von Groellerhagen, he will have the eggs on but one of both sides and the hams fried. So he go to cook it himself.
[Loud shouts and wild laughter from the street. HORACE, ALMERIC, and LADY CREECH set their papers down in their laps and turn toward the door.]
MARIANO. Ha! He return from the kitchen with those national dish.
ETHEL [glancing in the doorway]. How horrid!
[MICHELE backs out on the stoop from the doorway laughing, carrying a platter of ham and eggs.]
MICHELE. He have gone to wash himself at the street fountain.
[Tumult outside reaches its height, the shouts of "Yanka Dooda!" predominating.]
VASILI [laughing, clapping his hands]. Bravo! Bravo!
[PIKE enters from the hotel. He is a youthful-looking American of about thirty-five, good-natured, shrewd, humorous, and kindly. His voice has the homely quality of the Central States, clear, quiet, and strong, with a very slight drawl at times when the situation strikes him as humorous, often exhibiting an apologetic character. He does not speak a dialect. His English is the United States language as spoken by the average citizen to be met on a daycoach anywhere in the Central States. He is clean-shaven, and his hair, which shows a slight tendency to gray, is neatly parted on the left side. His light straw hat is edged with a strip of ribbon. The hat, like the rest of his apparel, is neither new nor old. His shirt, "lay-down" collar, and cuffs are of white, well-laundered linen. He wears a loosely knotted tie. A linen motor-duster extends to his knees. His waistcoat is of a gray mixture, neither dark nor light. His trousers are of the same material and not fashionably cut, yet they fit him well and are neither baggy at the knees nor "high-water." His shoes are plain black Congress gaiters and show a "good shine." In brief, he is just the average well-to-do but untravelled citizen that you might meet on an accommodation train between Logansport and Kokomo, Indiana. As he enters he is wiping his face, after his ablutions, with a large towel, his hat pushed far back on his head. The sleeves of his duster are turned back, and his detachable cuffs are in his pocket. He comes through the doors rubbing his face with the towel, but, pausing for a moment on the stoop, drops the towel from his face to dry his hands. All except VASILI and the waiters stare at him with frowns of annoyance.]
PIKE [beamingly unconscious of this, surprised, and in a tone of cheerful apology, believing all the world to be as good-natured and sensible as Kokomo would be under the circumstances]. Law! I didn't know there was folks here. I reckon you'll have to excuse me.
[As he speaks he dries his hands quickly.]
[He hands the towel to MICHELE. PIKE rapidly descends the steps, goes to the breakfast-table, joining VASILI and taking the seat opposite him.]
VASILI [gayly]. You're a true patriot, my friend. You allow no profane hand to cook your national dish. I trust you will be as successful with that wicked motor of mine.
PIKE [chuckling]. Lord bless your soul, I've put a self-binder together after a pony-engine had butted it half-way through a brick deepoe!
[Tucks his napkin in collar of his waistcoat and applies himself to the meal.]
[HORACE and HAWCASTLE read their papers, now and then casting glances of great annoyance at PIKE.]
[LADY CREECH lets her periodical rest in her lap, and without any abating or concealment, fixes PIKE with a basilisk glare which continues. He is unconscious of all this, his back being three-quarters to their group.]
VASILI [no pause]. You have studied mechanics at the University?
PIKE [smiling]. University? Law, no! On the old man's farm.
[VASILI nods gravely.]
HAWCASTLE [blandly, to HORACE]. Without any disrespect to you, my dear fellow, what terrific bounders most of your fellow-countrymen are!
HORACE [greatly irritated]. Do you wonder sis and I have emancipated ourselves?
HAWCASTLE. Not at all, my dear lad.
VASILI [to PIKE]. Can I persuade you to accept a little of one of my own national dishes—caviar?
PIKE. Caviar? I've heard of it. I thought it was Rooshian.
VASILI [disturbed, but instantly recovering, himself]. It is German, also. Will you not?
[He motions MARIANO to serve PIKE. MARIANO places a spoonful of caviar on a silver dish at PIKE'S right.]
PIKE. I expect I'd never get to the legislature again if the boys heard about it. Still, I reckon I'm far enough from home to take a few risks.
[He loads a fork with caviar, and with a smile places it in his mouth. The smile slowly fades, his face becomes thoughtful, then grave; he slowly sets the fork upon his plate, his eyes turn toward VASILI with a look both puzzled and plaintive, his mouth firmly closed, his jaw moving slightly.]
VASILI. I fear you do not like it. A few swallows of vodka will take away the taste.
[Gives him a glass, which PIKE accepts, drinking a mouthful in haste, VASILI watching him, sincerely concerned and troubled. PIKE swallows the vodka, quietly sets the glass down on the table, his eyelids begin to flutter, he bends a look of suffering and distrust upon VASILI, slowly rises and closes his eyes, then slowly sits and opens them. Gradually a faint, distrustful smile appears on his face.]
PIKE [in the voice of a convalescent]. I never had any business to leave Indiana!
VASILI. I am sorry, my friend.
[PIKE takes another large forkful of caviar.]
VASILI [observing this]. But I thought you did not like the caviar?
PIKE. It's to take away the taste of the vodka.
VASILI [laughing]. I lift my hat to you.
PIKE. You never worked on a farm in your own country, Doc?
VASILI. That has been denied me.
PIKE. I expect so. Talk about things to drink! Harvest-time, and the women folks coming out from the house with a two-gallon jug of ice-cold buttermilk!
[Sets down the glass and whistles softly with delight.]
[HORACE shows increasing signs of annoyance.]
VASILI. You still enjoy those delights?
PIKE. Not since I moved up to our county-seat ten years ago and began to practice law. Things don't taste the same in the city.
VASILI. You do not like your city?
PIKE [not with braggadocio, but earnestly, almost pathetically]. Like it? Well, sir, for public buildings and architecture, I wouldn't trade our State insane asylum for the worst-ruined ruin in Europe—not for hygiene and real comfort.
VASILI. And your people?
PIKE. The best on earth. Out my way folks are neighbors.
[HORACE snaps his paper sharply.]
VASILI. But you have no leisure class.
[VASILI is looking keenly at HAWCASTLE and HORACE as he speaks.]
PIKE. Got a pretty good-sized colored population.
VASILI. I mean no aristocracy—no great old families such as we have, that go back and back to the Middle Ages.
PIKE [genially]. Well, I expect if they go back that far they might just as well set down and stay there. No, sir, the poor in my country don't have to pay taxes for a lot of useless kings and earls and first grooms of the bedchamber and second ladies in waiting, and I don't know what all. If anybody wants our money for nothin' he has to show energy enough to steal it. I wonder a man like you doesn't emigrate.
HAWCASTLE [to HORACE]. Your countryman seems to be rather down on us!
HORACE. This fellow is distinctly of the lower orders. We should cut him as completely in the States as here.
VASILI. I wonder you make this long journey, my friend, instead of to spend your holiday at home.
PIKE. Holiday! Why, I never had time even to go to Niagara Falls!
VASILI [to MARIANO]. Finito!
[Sets his napkin carelessly on table and lights a Russian cigarette.]
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. What is it he does with his serviette?
PIKE [moving his chair back from the table slightly, and folding his napkin]. No, sir, you wouldn't catch me puttin' in any time in these old kingdoms unless I had to.
LADY CREECH [loudly, to HAWCASTLE]. Hawcastle, can you tell me how much longer these persons intend to remain here listening to our conversation?
[PIKE half turns to LADY CREECH, innocently puzzled.]
HAWCASTLE. Oh, it isn't that; but it's somewhat annoying not to be allowed to read one's paper in peace.
HORACE. Quite beastly annoying!
LADY CREECH. I had a distinct impression that the management had reserved this terrace for our party.
VASILI [quietly]. I fear we have disturbed these good people.
PIKE [in wonder]. Do you think they're hinting at us?
VASILI. I fear so.
PIKE [gently and with sincere amazement]. Why, we haven't done anything to 'em.
VASILI. No, my friend.
PIKE [smiling]. Well, I guess there ain't any bones broken.
HORACE [throws down paper angrily on tea-table]. I can't stand this. I shall go for a stroll.
PIKE [rising]. I expect it's about time for me to go and find the two young folks I've come to look after.
VASILI. You are here for a duty, then?
PIKE [with gravity, yet smiling faintly]. I shouldn't be surprised if that was the name for it. Yes, sir, all the way from Indiana.
[ETHEL utters a low cry of fear.]
[HORACE, having secured his hat, is just rising to go, drops back into his chair with a stifled exclamation of dismay.]
[HAWCASTLE lays his paper flat on table. All this instantaneous.]
HAWCASTLE. By Jove!
[They all stare at PIKE.]
PIKE [continuing]. I expect, prob'ly, Doc, I won't be able to eat with you this evening. You see—[he pauses, somewhat embarrassed]—you see, I've come a mighty long ways to look after her, and she, prob'ly—that is, they'll prob'ly want me to have supper with them.
[The latter part of this speech is spoken rather breathlessly, though not rapidly, and almost tremulously, and with a growing smile that is like a confession.]
VASILI. Do not trouble for me. Your young people, they have a villa?
PIKE. No; they're right here in this hotel.
HORACE. I must get away!
[He says this huskily, almost in a whisper, as if to himself. His face is tense with anxiety.]
VASILI [with a gesture of dismissal, though graciously]. Seek them. I finish my cigarette.
PIKE. Guess I better ask.
[HORACE is crossing, meaning to get away through the grove.]
PIKE [addressing him]. Hey, there! Can you—
[HORACE, proceeding, pays no attention.]
PIKE [lifting his voice]. Excuse me, son, ain't you an American?
[More decidedly, to MARIANO.]
Waiter, tell that gentleman I'm speaking to him.
MARIANO [to HORACE]. M'sieu', that gentleman speak with you.
HORACE [agitated and angry]. What gentleman?
[MARIANO bows toward PIKE.]
PIKE [at same time genially]. I thought from your looks you must be an American.
HORACE [turning haughtily]. Are you speaking to me?
PIKE [good-humoredly]. Well, I shouldn't be surprised. Ain't you an American?
HORACE. I happen to have been born in the States.
PIKE [amiably]. Well, that was luck!
HORACE [turning as if to go]. Will you kindly excuse me?
PIKE. Hold on a minute! I'm looking for some Americans here, and I expect you know 'em—boy and girl named Simpson.
HORACE. Is there any possibility that you mean Granger-Simpson?
[His tone is both alarmed and truculent.]
PIKE [much pleased]. No, sir; just plain Simpson. Granger's their middle name. That's for old Jed Granger, grandfather on their ma's side.
[He pronounces "ma" with the broad Hoosier accent—"maw."]
I want to see 'em both, but it's the girl I'm rilly looking for.
HORACE [trembling, but speaking even more haughtily]. Will you be good enough to state any possible reason why Miss Granger-Simpson should see you?
PIKE [in profound surprise, yet mildly]. Reason—why, yes—I'm her guardian.
[ETHEL lifts her hand to her forehead as if dizzy. MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY puts an arm around her. ETHEL recovers herself and stands rigidly, staring at PIKE.]
HORACE [staggered]. What!
PIKE [smiling]. Yes, sir, Daniel Voorhees Pike, attorney at law, Kokomo, Indiana.
[HORACE falls back from him in horror.]
[HAWCASTLE, excited but cool, makes a quick, imperative gesture to LADY CREECH, who majestically sweeps up to ETHEL, kisses her on the forehead in lofty pity, and sweeps out.]
[MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY kisses ETHEL compassionately on cheek and follows LADY CREECH off.]
[MARIANO and MICHELE, having cleared the table, exeunt.]
HORACE [hoarse with shame, to PIKE; slight pause after PIKE'S last speech.] I shall ask her if she will consent to an interview.
PIKE [at same time, astounded]. "Consent to an interview"? Why, I want to talk to her!
HAWCASTLE [quickly and earnestly to ETHEL]. This shall make no difference to us, my child. Speak to him at once.
[Exit into the hotel.]
PIKE [to HORACE]. Don't you understand? I'm her guardian.
HORACE [with a desperate gesture]. I shall never hold up my head again!
VASILI [gravely, to PIKE]. When you have finished your affairs, my friend, remember my poor car yonder.
PIKE [with a melancholy smile]. All right, Doc, I'm kind of confused just now, but I reckon I can still put a plug back in a gear-box.
VASILI [at same time]. Then au revoir, my friend.
[Strolls off through the grove.]
PIKE [watching him go, thoughtfully]. Yes, sir!
ETHEL [haughtily, yet with the air of confessing a humiliating truth, her eyes cast down]. I am Miss Granger-Simpson.
[As she speaks he turns and lifts his hand toward her as if suddenly startled. He has not seen her until now. He stands for a moment in silence, looking at her with great tenderness and pride.]
PIKE [with both wonder and pathos in his voice]. Why, I knew your pa from the time I was a little boy till he died, and I looked up to him more'n I ever looked up to anybody in my life, but I never thought he'd have a girl like you!
[She turns from him; he takes a short step nearer her.]
He'd 'a' been mighty proud if he could see you now.
ETHEL [quickly, and with controlled agitation]. Perhaps it will be as well if we avoid personal allusions.
PIKE [mildly]. I don't see how that's possible.
ETHEL [sitting]. Will you please sit down?
PIKE. Yes, ma'am!
[ETHEL shivers at the "ma'am."]
[He sits in the chair which HORACE has occupied, still holding his hat in his hand.]
ETHEL [tremulously, her eyes cast down]. As you know, I—I—
[She stops, as if afraid of breaking down; then, turning toward him, cries sharply.]
Oh, are you really my guardian?
PIKE [smiling]. Well, I've got the papers in my grip. I expect—
ETHEL. Oh, I KNOW it! It is only that we didn't fancy, we didn't expect—
PIKE. I expect you thought I'd be considerable older.
ETHEL. Not only that—
PIKE [interrupting gently]. I expect you thought I'd neglected you a good deal [remorsefully], and it did LOOK like it—never comin' to see you; but I couldn't hardly manage the time to get away. You see, bein' trustee of your share of the estate, I don't hardly have a fair show at my law practice. But when I got your letter, eleven days ago, I says to myself: "Here, Daniel Voorhees Pike, you old shellback, you've just got to take time. John Simpson trusted you with his property, and he's done more [his voice rises, but his tone is affectionate and shows deep feeling]—he's trusted you to look out for her, and now she's come to a kind of jumpin'-off place in her life—she's thinking of gettin' married; and you just pack your grip-sack and hike out over there and stand by her!"
ETHEL [frigidly]. I quite fail to understand your point of view. Perhaps I had best make it at once clear to you that I am no longer thinking of marrying.
PIKE [leaning back in his chair and smiling on her]. Well, Lord-a-Mercy!
ETHEL. I mean I have decided upon it. The ceremony is to take place within a fortnight.
PIKE. Well, I declare!
ETHEL. We shall dispense with all delays.
PIKE [slowly and a little sadly]. Well, I don't know as I could rightly say anything against that. He must be a mighty nice fellow, and you must think a heap of him!
[With a suppressed sigh.]
That's the way it should be.
[He smiles again and leans toward her in a friendly way.]
And you're happy, are you?
ETHEL [with cold emphasis, sitting very straight in her chair]. Distinctly!
[PIKE'S expression becomes puzzled, he passes his hand over his chin, looks at her keenly. Then his eyes turn to the spot where HORACE stood during their interview, and he starts, as though shocked at a sudden thought.]
PIKE. It ain't that fellow I was talkin' to yonder?
ETHEL [indignantly]. That was my brother!
PIKE [relieved, but somewhat embarrassed]. Lord-a-Mercy!
[Recovering himself immediately and smiling.]
But, naturally, I wouldn't remember him. He couldn't have been more than twelve years old last time you were home. Of course, I'd 'a' known you—
ETHEL. How? You couldn't have seen me since I was a child.
PIKE. From your picture. Though now I see—it ain't so much like you.
ETHEL. You have a photograph of me?
PIKE [very gently]. The last time I saw your father alive he gave me one.
ETHEL [frowning]. Gave it to you?
PIKE. Gave it to me to look at.
ETHEL. And you remembered—
PIKE [apologetically]. Yes, ma'am!
ETHEL [incredulously]. Remembered well enough to know me?
PIKE. Yes, ma'am!
ETHEL. It does not strike me as possible. We may dismiss the subject.
PIKE. Well, if you'd like to introduce me to your [laughing feebly and tentatively, hesitates]—to your—
ETHEL. To my brother?
PIKE. No, ma'am; I mean to your—to the young man.
ETHEL. To Mr. St. Aubyn? I think it quite unnecessary.
PIKE. I'm afraid I can't see it just that way [with an apologetic laugh]. I'll have to have a couple of talks with him—sort of look him over, so to speak. I won't stay around here spoilin' your fun any longer than I can help. Only just for that, and to get a letter I'm expectin' here from England. Don't you be afraid.
ETHEL. I do not see that you need have come at all. [Her lip begins to tremble.] We could have been spared this mortification.
PIKE [sadly]. You mean I mortify you? Why, I—I can't see how.
ETHEL. In a hundred ways—every way. That common person who is with you—
PIKE [gently]. He ain't common. You only think so because he's with me.
ETHEL [sharply]. Who is he?
PIKE. He told me his name, but I can't remember it. I call him "Doc."
ETHEL. It doesn't matter! What does matter is that you needn't have come. You could have written your consent.
PIKE [mildly]. Not without seeing the young man.
ETHEL. And you could have arranged the settlement in the same way.
PIKE [smiling]. Settlement? You seem to have settled it pretty well without me.
ETHEL. You do not understand. An alliance of this sort always entails a certain settlement.
PIKE. Yes, ma'am—when folks get married they generally settle down considerable.
ETHEL [impatiently]. Please listen. If you were at all a man of the world, I should not have to explain that in marrying into a noble house I bring my dot, my dowry—
PIKE [puzzled]. Money, you mean?
ETHEL. If you choose to put it that way.
PIKE. You mean you want to put aside something of your own to buy a lot and fix up a place to start housekeeping—
ETHEL. No, no! I mean a settlement upon Mr. St. Aubyn directly.
PIKE. You mean you want to give it to him?
ETHEL. If that's the only way to make you understand—yes!
PIKE [amused]. How much do you want to give him?
ETHEL [coldly]. A hundred and fifty thousand pounds.
PIKE [incredulously]. Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars!
ETHEL. Precisely that!
PIKE [amazed]. Well, he has made you care for him! I guess he must be the Prince of the World, honey! He must be a great man. I expect you're right about me not meetin' him! I prob'ly wouldn't stack up very high alongside of a man that's big enough for you to think as much of as you do of him. [Smiling.] Why, I'd have to squeeze every bit of property your pa left you.
ETHEL. Is it your property?
PIKE [gently]. I've worked pretty hard to take care of it for you.
ETHEL [rising impulsively and coming to him]. Forgive me for saying that.
PIKE [smiling]. Pshaw!
ETHEL. It was unworthy of me, unworthy of the higher and nobler things that life calls me to live up to [proudly]—that I shall live up to. The money means nothing to me—I am not thinking of that. It is merely a necessary form.
PIKE. Have you talked with Mr. St. Aubyn about this settlement—this present you want to make him?
ETHEL. Not with him.
PIKE [amused]. I thought not! You'll see—he wouldn't take it if I'd let you give it to him. A fine man like that wants to make his own way, of course. Mighty few men like to have fun poked at 'em about livin' on their wife's money.
ETHEL [despairingly]. Oh, I can't make you understand! A settlement isn't a gift.
PIKE [as if humoring her]. How'd you happen to decide that just a hundred and fifty thousand pounds was what you wanted to give him?
ETHEL. It was Mr. St. Aubyn's father who fixed the amount.
PIKE. His father? What's he got to do with it?
ETHEL. He is the Earl of Hawcastle, the head of the ancient house.
PIKE. And he asks you for your property—asks you for it in so many words?
ETHEL. As a settlement!
PIKE [aghast]. And your young man knows it?
ETHEL. I tell you I have not discussed it with Mr. St. Aubyn.
PIKE [emphatically]. I reckon not! Well, sir, do you know what's the first thing Mr. St. Aubyn will do when he hears his father's made such a proposition to you? He'll take the old man out in the back lot and give him a thrashing he won't forget to the day of his death!
[The roll of drums is heard, distant, as if sounding below the cliff; bugle sounds at the same time.]
[MARIANO and MICHELE run hurriedly from the hotel and lean over balustrade at back, as if watching something below the cliff.]
[RIBIERE enters quickly with them, takes one quick glance in same direction, and hurries off.]
[PIKE and ETHEL, surprised, turn to look.]
MARIANO [calling to ETHEL as he enters]. A bandit of Russia, Mademoiselle! The soldiers think he hide in a grotto under the cliff!
[ALMERIC comes on rapidly from the hotel, carrying a shot-gun.]
ALMERIC [enthusiastically, as he enters]. Oh, I say, fair sport, by Jove! Fair sport!
PIKE [to ETHEL, indicating ALMERIC, chuckling]. I saw him on the road here—what's he meant for?
ALMERIC. Think I'll have a chance to pot the beggar, Michele?
[He joins MICHELE at balustrade.]
MICHELE. No, Signore, there are two companies of carabiniere.
[PIKE, delighted, chuckles aloud.]
ETHEL [angry, calling]. Almeric!
ALMERIC [turning]. Hallo!
ETHEL [frigidly]. I wish to present my guardian to you. [To PIKE.] This is Mr. St. Aubyn.
ALMERIC [coming down]. Hallo, though! It's the donkey man, isn't it? How very odd! You'll have to see the Governor and our solicitor about the settlement. I've some important business here. The police are chasing a bally convict chap under the cliffs over yonder, so you'll have to excuse me. I'll have to be toddling.
[Goes up to terrace wall overlooking cliffs.]
You know there's nothing like a little convict shooting to break the blooming monotony—what?
[The bugle sounds. ALMERIC turns and rushes off.]
Wait for me, you fellows! Don't hurt him till I get there!
[His voice dies away in the distance.]
PIKE [turning to ETHEL with slow horror]. Seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars for—How much do they charge over here for a real man?
[She is unable to meet his eye. She turns, with flaming cheeks, and runs into the hotel. He stands staring after her, incredulous, dumfounded, in a frozen attitude.]
END OF THE FIRST ACT
THE SECOND ACT
Scene: Entrance garden of the hotel.
In the distance are seen the green slopes of vineyards, a ruined castle, and olive orchards leading up the mountainside.
An old stone wall seven feet high runs across the rear of the stage. This wall is almost covered with vines, showing autumn tints, crowning the crest of the wall and hanging from it in profusion. There is a broad green gate of the Southern Italian type, closed. A white-columned pergola runs obliquely down from the wall on the right. The top of the pergola is an awning formed by a skeleton of green-painted wooden strips thickly covered by entwining lemon branches bearing ripening lemons. Between the columns of the pergola are glimpses of a formal Italian garden: flowers, hedges, and a broad flat marble vase on a slender pedestal, etc. On the left a two-story wing of the hotel meets the wall at the back and runs square across to the left; a lemon grove lies to the left also. The wall of the hotel facing the audience shows open double doors, with windows up-stairs and below, all with lowered awnings. There is a marble bench at the left among shrubberies; an open touring-car upon the right under the awning formed by the overhang of the pergola; a bag of tools, open, on the stage near by, the floor boards of the car removed, the apron lifted.
As the curtain rises, PIKE, in his shirt-sleeves, his hands dirty, and wearing a workman's long blouse buttoned at neck, is bending over the engine, working and singing, at intervals whistling "The Blue and the Gray." His hat, duster, and cuffs are on the rear seat of the tonneau.
[Enter HORACE from the garden. He is flushed and angry; controls himself with an effort, trying to speak politely.]
HORACE. Mr. Pike!
PIKE [apparently not hearing him, hammering at a bolt-head with a monkey-wrench and singing].
"One lies down at Appomattox—"
HORACE [sharply]. Mr. Pike! Mr. Pike, I wish a word with you.
PIKE [looks up mildly]. Hum!
[He moves to the other side of the engine, rubbing handle of monkey-wrench across his chin as if puzzled.]
HORACE. I wish to tell you that the surprise of this morning so upset me that I went for a long walk. I have just returned.
PIKE [regarding the machine intently, sings softly].
"One wore clothes of gray—."
[Then he whistles the air. Throughout this interview he maintains almost constantly an air of absorption in his work and continues to whistle and sing softly.]
HORACE [continuing]. I have been even more upset by what I have just learned from my sister.
PIKE [absently]. Why, that's too bad.
HORACE. It is too bad—absurdly—monstrously bad! She tells me that she has done you the honor to present you to the family with which we are forming an alliance—to the Earl of Hawcastle—her fiance's father—
PIKE [with cheerful absent-mindedness—working]. Yes, sir!
HORACE [continuing]. To her fiance's aunt, Lady Creech—
PIKE. Yes, sir! the whole possetucky of them. [Singing softly.] "She was my hanky-panky-danky from the town of Kalamazack!" Yes, sir—that French lady, too.
[He throws a quick, keen glance at HORACE, then instantly appears absorbed in work again, singing,]
"She ran away with a circus clown—she never did come back—Oh, Solomon Levi!"
[Continues to whistle the tune softly.]
HORACE. And she introduced you to her fiance—to Mr. St. Aubyn himself.
PIKE [looking up, monkey-wrench in hand]. Yes, sir [chuckles]; we had quite a talk about shootin' in Indiana; said he'd heard of Peru, in his school history. Wanted to come out some day, he said, and asked what our best game was. I told him we had some Incas still preserved in the mountains of Indiana, and he said he'd like a good Inca head to put up in his gun-room. He ought to get one, oughtn't he?
[Starts to work again, busily.]
HORACE [indignantly]. My sister informs me that in spite of Lord Hawcastle's most graciously offering to discuss her engagement with you, you refused.
PIKE. Well, I didn't see any need of it.
HORACE. Furthermore, you allege that you will decline to go into the matter with Lord Hawcastle's solicitor.
PIKE. What matter?
HORACE [angrily]. The matter of the settlement.
PIKE [quietly]. Your sister kind of let it out to me awhile ago that you think a good deal of this French widow lady. Suppose you make up your mind to take her for richer or poorer—what's she going to give you?
HORACE [roaring]. Nothing! What do you mean?
PIKE. Well, I thought you'd probably charge her [with a slight drawl] a little, anyhow. Ain't that the way over here?
[Turns to work again, humming "Dolly Gray."]
HORACE. It is impossible for you to understand the motives of my sister and myself in our struggle not to remain in the vulgar herd. But can't you try to comprehend that there is an Old-World society, based not on wealth, but on that indescribable something which comes of ancient lineage and high birth? [With great indignation.] You presume to interfere between us and the fine flower of Europe!
PIKE [straightening up, but speaking quietly]. Well, I don't know as the folks around Kokomo would ever have spoke of your father as a "fine flower," but we thought a heap of him, and when he married your ma he was so glad to get her—well, I never heard yet that he asked for any settlement!
HORACE. You are quite impossible.
PIKE. The fact is, when she took him he was a poor man; but if he'd a had seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, I'll bet he'd 'a' given it for her.
[Starts to hammer vigorously, humming "Dolly Gray."]
HORACE. There is no profit in continuing the discussion.
[Turns on his heel, but immediately turns again toward PIKE, who is apparently preoccupied.]
And I warn you we shall act without paying the slightest attention to you. [Triumphantly.] What have you to say to that, sir?
[PIKE'S answer is conveyed by the motor-horn, which says: "Honk! Honk!" HORACE throws up his hands despairingly. PIKE'S voice becomes audible in the last words of the song: "Good-bye, Dolly Gray."]
[Enter LADY CREECH and ALMERIC through the gates.]
HORACE [meeting them]. The fellow is hopeless.
LADY CREECH [not hearing, and speaking from habit, automatically]. Dreadful person!
[PIKE continues his work, paying no attention.]
ALMERIC [to HORACE]. Better let him alone till the Governor's had time to think a bit. Governor's clever. He'll fetch the beggar about somehow.
LADY CREECH [with a Parthian glance at the unconscious PIKE]. I sha'h't stop in the creature's presence—I shall go up to my room for my forty winks.
[Exit into the hotel.]
ALMERIC [as she goes out]. Day-day, aunt! [To HORACE.] I'm off to look at that pup again. You trust the Governor.
HORACE [as ALMERIC goes]. I do, I do. It is insufferable, but I'll wait.
[Exit into the garden.]
[PIKE stands for a moment, contemplating the car in some despondency, still humming or whistling.]
[LADY CREECH, after a few moments, appears at a window in the upper story of the hotel. Unseen by PIKE, she pulls up the awning for a better view, and drops lace curtains inside of window so as to screen herself from observation. Sits watching.]
[Immediately upon HORACE'S exit MARIANO, flustered, enters hurriedly from the hotel, goes to the gates, and fumbles with the lock. At the same time VASILI enters from the garden, smoking.]
VASILI. You make progress, my friend?
PIKE. Your machine's like a good many people—got sand in its gear-box.
VASILI [to MARIANO]. Are you locking us in?
MARIANO [excitedly coming down and showing a big key which he has taken from the lock]. No, Herr von Groellerhagen, I lock some one out—that bandit who have not been capture. The carabiniere warn us to close all gates for an hour. They will have that wicked one soon. There are two companies. [In a lower tone to VASILI.] Monsieur Ribiere has much fears.
VASILI. Monsieur Ribiere is sometimes a fool.
MARIANO [in a hoarse whisper]. Monsieur, this convict is a Russian.
[VASILI waves him away somewhat curtly.]
[Exit MARIANO, shaking his head, carrying the key with him.]
PIKE. Two companies of soldiers! A town marshal out my way would 'a' had him yesterday.
VASILI. My friend, you are teaching me to respect your country, not by what you brag, but by what you do.
PIKE. How's that.
VASILI [significantly]. I see how a son of that great democracy can apply himself to a dirty machine, while his eyes are full of visions of one of its beautiful daughters.
PIKE [slowly and sadly, peering into the machine]. Doc, there's sand in your gear-box.
VASILI [laughing]. So?
PIKE. You go down to the kitchen and make signs for some of the help to give you a nice clean bunch of rags.
VASILI [surprised into hauteur]. What is it you ask me to do?
PIKE. I need some more rags.
VASILI [amused]. My friend, I obey.
[Makes a mock-serious bow and starts.]
PIKE. I won't leave the machine—'twouldn't be safe.
VASILI [halting, laughs]. You fear this famous bandit would steal it?
PIKE. No; but there's parties around here might think it was a settlement.
VASILI. I do not understand.
PIKE [chuckling]. Doc, that's where we're in the same fix.
VASILI. Weidersehn, my friend.
[Exit into hotel.]
[PIKE kneels on the foot-board of machine above gear-box, begins to clean, using an old rag, singing "Sweet Genevieve." A distant shot is heard. PIKE looks up at this, ceasing to sing. Then he continues his work and music. LADY CREECH leans out from her window, staring off to the right with opera-glasses. There is a noise at the gates as some one hastily but cautiously tries to open them. PIKE looks up again, turns toward the gates, and, after a short pause, again begins to sing and work, but very softly.]
[IVANOFF appears on top of the wall at back, climbing up cautiously from lane below. He creeps from the wall to the top of pergola and cautiously along that through the foliage to above PIKE. He peers over the foliage at PIKE.]
[PIKE looks up slowly, and, as slowly, stops "Sweet Genevieve," his voice fading away on a half syllable as he encounters IVANOFF'S gaze. They stare at each other, LADY CREECH observing unseen.]
[IVANOFF is a thin, very fragile-looking man of thirty-eight. His disordered hair is prematurely gray, his beard is a grizzled four days' stubble. He is exceedingly haggard and worn, but has the face and look of a man of refinement and cultivation. He has lost his hat; his shoes and trousers are splashed with dried mud, and brambles cling to him here and there. He wears a soiled white shirt and collar, and a torn black tie, black waistcoat and trousers. He is covered with dust from head to foot; one sleeve of his shirt has been torn off at the elbow. He wears no coat.]
IVANOFF [in a voice tremulous with tragic appeal]. Et ce que vous etes un homme de bon coeur? Je ne suis pas coupable—
PIKE [very gravely]. There ain't any use in the world your talkin' to me like that!
IVANOFF [panting]. You are an Englishman?
PIKE [quietly, rising and stepping back]. That'll do for that. You come down from there!
IVANOFF [in a voice that lifts, almost cracks, with sudden hope]. An American?
PIKE. They haven't made me anything else yet.
IVANOFF [swinging himself down to the ground]. Thank God for that!
[He leans against the car, exhausted.]
PIKE. I do. What makes you so glad about it?
IVANOFF. Because I have suffered in the cause your own forefathers gave their lives for. I am a Russian political fugitive, and I can go no farther. If you give me up I shall not be taken alive. I have no weapon, but I can find a way to cut my throat.
PIKE [with humorous incredulity]. Are you the bandit they're lookin' for?
IVANOFF. They call me that. Do I look like a bandit?
PIKE. How close are they?
IVANOFF [with despairing gesture]. There!
PIKE. Did they see you climb that wall?
IVANOFF. I think not.
[There comes a loud ringing at the gates. At the sound IVANOFF starts violently, throwing one arm up as if to shield his face from a blow.]
IVANOFF. Oh, my God! it is they!
[He staggers back against the machine.]
PIKE [hastily stripping off his working blouse]. Do you know anything about gear-box plugs?
[The ringing continues.]
IVANOFF. Nothing in the world.
PIKE. Then you're a chauffeur. [Puts blouse on him.] Take a look at this one. [With emphatic significance.] It's underneath the machine.
[Quickly sets his hands on IVANOFF'S shoulders, having forced the blouse on him, and pushes him beneath the car.]
MARIANO [within the hotel, calling]. Subito! Subito! Vengo, Signore! Vengo!
[PIKE at same time rapidly wipes his hands on a rag, puts on his hat, cuffs, and coat, which have been lying on the seat.]
MARIANO [running on, flustered]. Corpo de St. Costanzo! Non posso essere dapertutto allo stesso tempo. Vengo, vengo!
[He hastens to the gates with his key, unfastening busily. Meanwhile PIKE lights a cigar.]
MARIANO. Ecco! [Throws open gates and falls back in astonishment.] Dio mio!
[Two carabiniere, good-looking, soldierly men in the carabiniere uniform, cocked hats, white cross-belts, etc., are disclosed, their carbines slung over their arms, their long cloaks thrown back. Behind the carabiniere stand some fishermen in red caps, dirty flannel shirts, and trousers rolled up to the knee; also a few ragged beggars.]
FIRST CARABINIERE [as gate is opened]. Buon giorno!
[The two carabiniere enter briskly.]
MARIANO. [springing forward and closing gate, calling to crowd outside]. No, no!
FIRST CARABINIERE. Ceerchimo l'assassino Russo.
MARIANO. Dio mio! Non nell' Albergo Regina Margherita.
SECOND CARABINIERE [coming to PIKE]. Avete visto un uomo scavalcare il muro?
PIKE [genially]. Wishing you many happy returns, Colonel!
MARIANO [greatly excited]. It is the robber of Russia. They think he climb the wall, the assassin. The other carabiniere, they surround all yonder. [Gesturing right and left.] These two they search here. They ask you, please, have you see him climb the wall.
FIRST CARABINIERE. Ae quelcuno passato de qui?
MARIANO. He say has any one go across here?
FIRST CARABINIERE [pointing under the car]. Chi costui?
MARIANO. He want to know who that is.
PIKE. The new chauffeur for the machine, from Naples.
MARIANO. E lo chauffeur di un illustre personaggio padrone dell' automobile.
FIRST CARABINIERE [bowing to PIKE]. Grazia, Signore. [To MARIANO.] Cerchereremo nel giardino.
[Exit swiftly FIRST CARABINIERE to the right through pergola; SECOND to the left.]
MARIANO. Dio mio! but those are the brave men, Signore. Either one shall meet in a moment this powerful assassin who may take his lifes.
[Murmur of voice from back arises, sounds of running feet and shrill whistles and pounding on gates.]
[MARIANO runs back, opens the gates, showing excited and clamoring fishermen and beggars in the lane. They try to come in. He drives them back with a napkin, which has been hanging over his arm, crying: "Vate, vate! Devo dire al maresciallo di cacciarvi?"]
[Meanwhile VASILI has entered from the hotel, a bundle of clean white rags in his hand.]
VASILI. Is there a new eruption of Vesuvius?
PIKE [meeting him and taking the rags]. No; it's an eruption of colonels trying to arrest a high-school professor. I've got him under your car there.
VASILI [astounded]. What!
PIKE. I told them he's your new chauffeur.
VASILI. My friend, do you realize the penalty for protecting a criminal from arrest?
PIKE. We'll be proud of the risk.
[Speaks in an undertone to IVANOFF.]
This man owns the car. You can trust him the same as your own father.
VASILI [remonstrating]. My friend, my friend!
PIKE [quietly]. Look out, the Governor's staff is coming back.
MARIANO [closing the gates and wiping his face]. Lazzaroni!
[At the same time FIRST CARABINIERE enters from right; SECOND CARABINIERE from left.]
SECOND CARABINIERE. Niente!
FIRST CARABINIERE. Niente la!
[The two CARABINIERE cross briskly to each other as they speak, and stand conferring.]
MARIANO. Grazia Dio! He has gone some other place!
PIKE [very casually to VASILI]. You'll have to get a new off front tire, Doc. That one is pretty near gone. Better have Jim, here, put on the spare when he gets through.
[The CARABINIERE beckon to MARIANO and speak to him.]
VASILI [seriously, stepping toward PIKE]. Do you know what you are asking me to do?
PIKE [watching CARABINIERE]. To put on a new tire.
[VASILI, with exclamation and gesture of despair grimly tinged with humor, turns away, greatly disturbed.]
MARIANO [addressing PIKE with an embarrassed bow]. The carabiniere with all excuses beg if you will command the chauffeur to step forth from the automobile.
PIKE. No, sir; I worked on that machine myself for three hours. He's got his hands full of nuts and screws and bolts half fastened. If he lays them down now to come out I don't know how long it'll take to get them back in place. We want to get this job finished. [Continues with a plaintive uplift of voice.] This is serious! Tell them to go on up Main Street with their Knights of Pythias parade, and come around some day when we haven't got our hands full.
MARIANO [meekly]. I tell them—yes, sir.
[Turns and confers with the CARABINIERE.]
PIKE. It'll be your turn in a minute, Doc; be mighty careful what you say.
MARIANO. Because the chauffeur have been engaged only to-day and have just arrived, the carabiniere ask ten thousand pardons, but inquire how long he have been known to his employer.
[He bows to VASILI with embarrassment.]
PIKE. How long? Why, he was raised on his father's farm.
[He faces VASILI, and stretches his arm out toward him as if for corroboration.]
MARIANO [to VASILI]. Oh, if that is so!
PIKE. It is so; ain't it, Doc?
VASILI [to. MARIANO, with dignity]. You have heard my friend say it.
MARIANO [to VASILI, in a serious undertone]. Monseigneur graciously consents that I reveal his incognito to the carabiniere.
VASILI. Is it necessary?
MARIANO. Otherwise I fear they will not withdraw; they have suspicion.
VASILI [with a gesture of resignation]. Very well, tell them. I rely upon them to preserve my incognito from all others.
MARIANO [bowing deeply]. Monseigneur, they will be discreet.
[Goes up to CARABINIERE and speaks to them.]
PIKE [aside to IVANOFF]. Make a noise—keep busy. [Then with more emphasis.] But don't you unscrew anything!
MARIANO [to VASILI, smiling]. Monseigneur, they withdraw.
[The CARABINIERE, with great deference and gravity, salute VASILI. He returns the salute curtly.]
FIRST CARABINIERE. Mille grazias, Signore!
[MARIANO throws the gates open, the two CARABINIERE go rapidly out, sweeping the crowd away. MARIANO closes the gates.]
PIKE [giving MARIANO a coin]. You're pretty good. MARIANO. It required but the slightest diplomacy, Signore. Thank you, Signore!
[Exit into the hotel.]
PIKE [puzzled]. He must have mesmerized the militia.
VASILI [glancing off]. It is quite safe for the time.
PIKE [going to the car]. It's all right, old man!
[Extends his hand to IVANOFF and helps him up from beneath the machine.]
IVANOFF. I will pray God for you all my life.
PIKE. Wait till we get you plumb out of the woods.
IVANOFF [to VASILI]. And you, sir, if I could speak my gratitude—
VASILI [crisply]. My American friend yonder has placed himself—and myself—in danger of the penal code of Italy for protecting you. Perhaps you will be so good as to let us know for what we have incriminated ourselves.
IVANOFF [looking at him keenly]. You are a Russian?
PIKE. Don't be afraid—he's only a German.
IVANOFF [bitterly]. The Italian journals call me a brigand, inspired by the Russian legation in Rome. My name is Ivanoff Ivanovitch.
PIKE [reassuringly]. All right, old man!
IVANOFF. I was condemned in Petersburg ten years ago. I was a professor of the languages, a translator in the bureau of the Minister of Finance. I was a member of the Society of the Blue Fifty, a constitutionalist.
PIKE. Good for you.
IVANOFF. I was able to do little for the cause, though I tried.
VASILI. How did you try?
IVANOFF. I transferred funds of the government to the Society of the Blue Fifty. Never one ruble for myself. [Strikes himself on the breast.] It was for Russia's sake—not mine!
VASILI [sharply]. But you committed the great Russian crime of getting yourself caught?
IVANOFF. Through treachery. There was an Englishman who lived in Petersburg. He had contracts with the government—I thought he was my best friend. I had married in my student days in Paris—ah, it is the old story [bitterly]! I knew that this Englishman admired my wife; but I trusted him—as I trusted her—and he made my house his home. I had fifty thousand rubles in my desk to be delivered to my society. The police came to search; they found only me—but not my wife nor my English friend—nor the fifty thousand rubles! I went to Siberia. Now I search for those two.
VASILI [gravely]. Was it they who sent the police?
IVANOFF. After they had taken the money and were beyond the frontier themselves. That is all I have against them.
PIKE [gently]. Looks to me like it would be enough.
VASILI. Then, by your own confession, you are an embezzler and a revolutionist.
PIKE [going to VASILI quickly]. Why, the man's down; you wouldn't go back on him now.
[With a half chuckle.]
Besides, you've made yourself one of his confederates.
VASILI. Upon my soul, so I have.
[Bursts into laughter and lays his hands on PIKE'S shoulders.]
My friend, from my first sight of you in the hotel at Napoli I saw that you were a great man.
PIKE [grinning]. What are you doing, running for Congress?
VASILI [after a grave look at IVANOFF, turns to PIKE again]. I do not think that the carabiniere went away without suspicion.
IVANOFF. Suspicion! They will watch every exit from the hotel and its grounds. What can I do, until darkness—
PIKE [motioning toward the hotel]. Why, Doc's got the whole lower floor of this wing—you're his chauffeur—
VASILI [quickly, grimly]. I was about to suggest it. I have a room that can easily be spared to Professor Ivanoff.
IVANOFF [going to them, greatly touched]. My friends, God bless both of you!
[As he speaks he shakes hands with PIKE and turns to offer his hand to VASILI, who, apparently without noticing it, goes up toward the hotel.]
PIKE. Don't waste time talkin' about that. I shouldn't be surprised if you were hungry.
[Takes him by elbow and walks him to door of hotel.]
IVANOFF. I have had no food for a day.
VASILI [grimly]. My valet de chambre will attend to Professor Ivanoff's needs. No one shall be allowed to enter his room.
PIKE. And don't you go out of it, either.
VASILI. He shall not. This way.
[The three go into the hotel. Immediately on their disappearance LADY CREECH'S curtains are whisked aside; she pops out of the window with the suddenness of Punch, leans far out with her head upside down, at the risk of her neck, trying to watch them even after they have entered the hotel. Laughter of MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY heard at left. LADY CREECH waves her hand as if signalling in that direction and withdraws from window.]
[Enter HORACE and MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY from the garden, he carrying her parasol and looking into her eyes. She is laughing.]
[Enter LADY CREECH from the hotel, wildly excited.]
LADY CREECH. Have you seen my brother—where is Lord Hawcastle?
HORACE. On the other side of the hotel, Lady Creech; down there on the last terrace just as far as you can go.
[Exit LADY CREECH down left.]
HORACE. Ah, but you laugh at me, chere Comtesse!
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [gently]. It is because I cannot believe you are always serious.
HORACE. Serious? Like a lady to her knight of old, set me some task to prove how serious I am. [Deliriously.] Anything!
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. Ah, gladly! Complete those odious settlement! Overcome the resistance of this bad man who so trouble your sweet sister!
HORACE. You promise me when it is settled that I may speak to you [becomes suddenly nervous and embarrassed]—that I may speak to you—
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [sweetly]. Yes—speak to me—
HORACE. Speak as—as you must know I want to speak—as I hardly dare—
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [softly, her eyes upon the ground]. Ah, that shall be when you please, dear friend.
HORACE [almost choked with gratitude]. Oh!
[He kisses her hand.]
[HAWCASTLE and LADY CREECH enter from the garden, LADY CREECH talking excitedly.]
[ALMERIC enters through the gates.]
LADY CREECH. I tell you I couldn't hear a word they said, they mumbled their words so. But upon my soul, Hawcastle, if I couldn't hear, didn't I see enough?
HAWCASTLE. Upon my soul, I believe you did.
ALMERIC. Quite a family pow-wow you're havin'.
HAWCASTLE. Is there anything unusual in the village?
ALMERIC. Ra-ther! Carabiniere all over the shop—still huntin' that bandit feller.
LADY CREECH. Don't mumble your words!
ALMERIC [shouting]. Lookin' for a bally bandit.
[She screams faintly.]
HAWCASTLE. Be quiet!
ALMERIC. He's still in this neighborhood, they think.
LADY CREECH [to HAWCASTLE]. What did I tell you? Now, how long—
HAWCASTLE. You shall not repeat one word of what you saw. Almeric, find your betrothed and ask her to come here.
ALMERIC. Rumbo! I don't mind, pater!
[Exit into the hotel.]
HORACE. What's the row?
HAWCASTLE. My dear young man, I congratulate you that you and your sister need no longer submit to an odious dictation.
[Enter PIKE briskly from the hotel.]
PIKE [as he enters, genially]. Looks to me like it was going to clear up cold.
[LADY CREECH haughtily stalks off into the garden.]
HAWCASTLE [pleasantly]. Good-afternoon, Mr. Pike.
PIKE [going to the motor]. Howdy!
[Begins touching different parts of the engine.]
[MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY and HORACE haughtily follow LADY CREECH.]
HAWCASTLE [suavely, to PIKE]. Mr. Pike, it is an immense pity that there should have been any misunderstanding in the matter of your ward's betrothal.
PIKE [looking up for a moment, mildly]. Oh, I wouldn't call it a misunderstanding.
HAWCASTLE. It would ill become a father to press upon the subject of his son's merits—
PIKE [plaintively]. I don't want to talk about him with you—I don't want to hurt your feelings.
HAWCASTLE. Perhaps I might better put it on the ground of your ward's wishes—of certain advantages of position which it is her ambition to attain.
PIKE [troubled]. I can't talk about it with anybody but her.
[Enter MARIANO from the hotel with a letter on a tray. Goes to PIKE.]
HAWCASTLE. There is another matter—
[PIKE stands examining envelope of the letter in profound thought.]
I fear I do not have your attention.
[MARIANO goes into the hotel.]
PIKE [looking up]. Go ahead!
HAWCASTLE. There is another matter to which I may wish to call your attention.
PIKE [genially]. Oh, I'll talk about anything else with you.
HAWCASTLE [suavely]. This is a question distinctly different [with a glance at the hotel, his voice growing somewhat threatening]—distinctly!
[ETHEL enters from the hotel.]
ETHEL [to HAWCASTLE, in a troubled voice]. You wished me to come here.
HAWCASTLE [going to her and taking her hand]. My child, I wish you to have another chat with our strangely prejudiced friend on the subject so near to all our hearts. And I wish to tell you that I see light breaking through our clouds. Even if he prove obdurate, do not be downcast—all will be well.
[Turns and goes out into the garden, his voice coming back in benign, fatherly tones.]
All will be well!
[PIKE stands regarding ETHEL, who does not look up at him.]
PIKE [gently]. I'm glad you've come, Miss Ethel. I've got something here I want to read to you.
ETHEL [coldly]. I did not come to hear you read.
PIKE. When I got your letter at home I wrote to Jim Cooley, our vice-consul at London, to look up the records of these Hawcastle folks and write to me here about how they stand in their own community.
ETHEL [astounded]. What!
PIKE. What's thought of them by the best citizens, and so on.
ETHEL [enraged]. You had the audacity—you—to pry into the affairs of the Earl of Hawcastle!
PIKE. Why, I'd 'a' done that—I wouldn't 'a' stopped at anything—I'd' 'a' done that if it had been the Governor of Indiana himself!
ETHEL. You didn't consider it indelicate to write to strangers about my intimate affairs?
PIKE [placatingly]. Why, Jim Cooley's home-folks! His office used to be right next to mine in Kokomo.
ETHEL. It's monstrous—and when they find what you've done—Oh, hadn't you shamed me enough without this?
PIKE. I expect this letter'll show who ought to be ashamed. Now just let's sit down here and try to work things out together.
ETHEL [with a slight, bitter laugh]. "Work things out together!"
PIKE. I'm sorry—for you, I mean. But I don't see any other way to do it, except—together. Won't you?
[She moves slowly forward and sits at extreme left of the bench. He watches her, noticing how far she withdraws from him, bows his head humbly, with a sad smile, then sits, not quite at the extreme right of the bench, but near it.]
PIKE. I haven't opened the letter yet. I want you to read it first, but I ought to tell you there's probably things in it'll hurt your feelings, sort of, mebbe.
ETHEL [icily]. How?
PIKE. Well, I haven't much of a doubt but Jim'll have some statements in it that'll show you I'm right about these people. If he's got the facts, I know he will.
ETHEL. How do you know it?
PIKE. Because I've had experience enough of life—
ETHEL. In Kokomo?
PIKE. Yes, ma'am! there's just as many kinds of people in Kokomo as there is in Pekin, and I didn't serve a term in the legislature without learning to pick underhand men at sight. Now that Earl, let alone his havin' a bad eye—his ways are altogether too much on the stripe of T. Cuthbert Bentley's to suit me.
[He opens the envelope slowly, continuing.]
T. Cuthbert was a Chicago gentleman with a fur-lined overcoat. He opened up a bank in our town, and when he caught the Canadian express, three months later, all he left in Kokomo was the sign on the front door. That was painted on. And as for the son. But there—I don't know as I have a call to say more.
[Takes the letter from the envelope.]
Here's the letter; read it for yourself.
[Gives it to her, watching her as she reads.]
ETHEL [reading]. "Dear Dan: The Earldom of Hawcastle is one of the oldest in the Kingdom, and the St. Aubyns have distinguished themselves in the forefront of English battles from Agincourt and Crecy to Sebastopol.
[She reads this in a ringing voice and glances at him.]
[PIKE looks puzzled and depressed.]
"The present holder of the title came into it unexpectedly through a series of accidental deaths. He was a younger son's younger son, and had spent some years in Russia in business—what, I do not know—under another name. I suppose he assumed it that the historic name of St. Aubyn might not be tarnished by association with trade. He has spent so much of his life out of England that it is difficult to find out a great deal about him. Nothing here in his English record is seriously against him; though everything he has is mortgaged over its value, the entail having been broken.
[ETHEL pauses and looks at PIKE, who, much disturbed, rises, and crosses the stage.]
"As to his son, the Honorable Almeric, there's no objection alleged against his character. That's all I've been able to learn."
[She finishes with an air of triumphant finality, and rises with a laugh.]
A terrible indictment! So that was what you counted on to convince me of my mistake?
PIKE [distressed]. Yes—it was!
ETHEL. Do you assert there is one word in this seriously discreditable to the reputation of Lord Hawcastle or Mr. St. Aubyn?
PIKE [humbly]. No.
ETHEL. And you remember, it is the testimony offered by your own friend [scornfully]—by your own detective!
PIKE [ruefully]. Oh, if I wanted a detective I wouldn't get Jim Cooley—at least, not any more!
[His attitude is thoroughly crestfallen.]
ETHEL [triumphantly, almost graciously]. I shall tell Lord Hawcastle that you will be ready to take up the matter of the settlement the moment his solicitor arrives.
PIKE. No, I wouldn't do that.
ETHEL [in a challenging voice]. Why not?
PIKE [doggedly]. Because I won't take up the matter of settlements with him or any one else.
ETHEL [angrily]. Do you mean you cannot see what a humiliation your interference has brought upon you in this?
PIKE. No; I see that plain enough.
ETHEL. Have you, after this, any further objections to my alliance with Mr. St. Aubyn?
PIKE. It ain't an alliance with Mr. St. Aubyn that you're after.
ETHEL. Then what am I [pauses and lays scornful emphasis on the next word] after?
PIKE [slowly]. You're after something there isn't anything to. If I'd let you buy what you want to with your money and your whole life, you'd find it as empty as the morning after Judgment Day.
[She turns from him, smiling and superior.]
You think because I'm a jay country lawyer I don't understand it and couldn't understand you! Why, we've got just the same thing at home. There was little Annie Hoffmeyer. Her pa was a carpenter and doing well. But Annie couldn't get into the Kokomo Ladies' Literary Club, and her name didn't show up in the society column four or five times every Saturday morning, so she got her pa to give her the money to marry Artie Seymour, the minister's son—and a regular minister's son he was! Almost broke Hoffmeyer's heart, but he let her have her way and went in debt and bought them a little house on North Main Street. That was two years ago. Annie's workin' at the depoe candy-stand now and Artie's workin' at the hotel bar—in front—drinking up what's left of old Hoffmeyer's—settlement!
ETHEL [outraged]. And you say you understand—you who couple the name of a tippling yokel with that of a St. Aubyn—a gentleman of distinction.
PIKE. Distinction? I didn't know he was distinguished.
ETHEL [in a ringing voice]. His ancestors have fought with glory on every field of battle from Crecy and Agincourt to the Crimea.
PIKE. But you won't see much of his ancestors.
ETHEL. He bears their name.
PIKE [with authority and dignity]. Yes—and it's the name you want. Nobody could look at you and not know it wasn't him. It's the name! And I'd let you buy it if it would make you happy—if you didn't have to take the people with it.
[A deepening of color in the light shows that it has grown to be late afternoon, near sunset.]
ETHEL [angrily]. The "people"?
PIKE. Yes; the whole gang. Can't you see how they're counting on it? It's in their faces, in their ways! This Earl—don't you see he's counting on living on you? Do you think the son would get that settlement? Why, a Terre Hut pickpocket could get it away from him—let alone his old man! What do you think would become of the "settlement"?
ETHEL. Part of it would go to the restoration of Hawcastle Hall and part to Glenwood Priory.
PIKE. Glenwood Priory?
ETHEL. That is part of the estate where Almeric and I will live until Lord Hawcastle's death.
PIKE. Then mighty little settlement would come around "Glenwood Priory"!
[Speaks the name as though grimly amused, and continues.]
And this old lady—this Mrs. Creech you been travelling with—
ETHEL [sharply]. Lady Creech!
PIKE. All right! Don't you think she's counting on it? And this French lady that's with them; isn't she trying to land your brother? The whole crowd is on the track of John Simpson's money.
ETHEL. Silence! You have no right to traduce them. Do you place no value upon heredity, upon high birth?
PIKE. Why, I think so much of it that I know John Simpson's daughter doesn't need anybody else's to help her out.
[He comes toward her, looking at her with honest admiration.]
She's fine enough and I think she's sweet enough—and I know from the way she goes for me that she's brave enough—to stand on her own feet!
ETHEL. This is beside the point; I know exactly what I want in life—[she has been somewhat moved by his last speech, is agitated, and a little breathless]—and I could not change now if it were otherwise. I gave Almeric my promise, it was forever, and I shall keep it.