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Title: The Naughty Wife (1915)
Author: Fred Jackson (Frederick J Jackson)
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Language: English
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------------------------------------------------------------------------

Title: The Naughty Wife (1915)
Author: Fred Jackson (Frederick J Jackson)


*



The Naughty Wife (1915)
A Comedy in Three Acts
by
Fred Jackson

The fee for the representation of this play by, amateurs is Five
Guineas, payable in advance to Messrs. Samuel French, Ltd.,
26 Southampton Street, Strand, London, W.C.2, or their authorized
agents, who, upon payment of the fee, will issue a licence for the
performance to take place.

No performance may be given unless this licence has first been obtained.

In the event of further performances being given, the fee for each
and every representation subsequent to the first is Four Guineas.
This reduction applies only in the case of the performances being
consecutive and at the same theatre or hall.

Character costumes and wigs used in the performance of plays contained
in French's Acting Edition may be obtained from Messrs. CHARLES H. FOX,
Ltd., Acre House, 72 Long Acre, London, W.0.2.

*

THE NAUGHTY WIFE

Produced on April 11, 1918, at the Playhouse, London, with the
following cast of characters:--

ELOISE FARRINGTON  . . . . . Miss Gladys Cooper

CARTER (a Man-servant) . . . Mr. H. R. Hignell

HILARY FARRINGTON . . . . .  Mr. Charles Hawtrey

DARRELL MCKNIGHT . . . . . . Mr. Stanley. Logan

ANNETTE (a Maid) . . . . . . Miss Mona Harrison

NORA GAIL (a Widow)  . . . . Miss Ellis Jeffreys

THOMPSON (a Chauffeur) . . . Mr. Ernest Graham

Bishop KENNELLY . . . . . . .Mr. Herbert Bunston

Produced by CHARLES HAWTREY

*

SYNOPSIS OF SCENES

ACT I.--Living-room in the Farrington's Apartment in the East Sixties,
New York.

ACT II.--The Farrington Bungalow, Long Island. The same night.

ACT III.--The same as Act II. The next morning.

THE NAUGHTY WIFE

* * *

ACT I

SCENE--The Living-room in the Farrington's Apartment in the East
Sixties, New York.

The room is well furnished and in excellent taste. A large recessed
window, with cushioned windowseat completely fills the R. of the stage,
and overlooks the Street. The windows are hung, with gold coloured
curtains of the sash variety and are drawn aside-on rods, giving a view
of the buildings across the way. Hangings dress the arch forming the
window opening. Along the rear of the room from left to right there is
a plain wing, an arch up R.C. opening into a hallway which leads to the
exterior door. A fireplace and mantel up C. With an oval niche set into
each side of the fireplace. There is a door leading into a bedroom and
above this joins to the back flat. The archway is dressed with hangings
like those at the window. The furniture is arranged as follows. Below
the door L.1. is a low upholstered seat above the door, set against
the wall is a console table with a vase of flowers and a few books. In
the niche L. of the fireplace is a large green cabinet on which rests
a vase of flowers. In the niche R. of the fireplace is a combination
writing desk with glass cabinet. Inside the cabinet, behind the glass
are several various shaped items of bric-a-brac. On the writing desk
stands a large green vase of flowers. On the mantel is a clock and two
porcelain vases at either end. The fireplace is set with fire irons
hand irons and a metal screen. Out in the hallway R.C. is a hall table.
On the hall table is a vase with autumn leaves. Hanging on the wall
above the table is a picture framed in black and hung with heavy blue
silk cords. Right of the arch up R.C is a console table on which stand
a framed photograph, a vase of flowers and a few books. Down R. below
the window is a small round table with a vase of flowers. Over L. a
few feet from L.1 is a couch or a chaise loung with the head towards
the door. Above the head of the couch is a lamp with a silk shade.
Near the couch is a small table or stand with a few books and a match
stand with matches. Over R. is a writing table with an arm chair to the
L. of it. Beside the R. corner of the table is a lamp with a shade. An
armchair faces the R. corner with it's back to the floor lamp.

On the writing-table are a desk blotter-pad, pen-rack with pens and
ink-well, stationery rack with stationery and telegram blanks, a stamp
box, desk telephone, New York telephone book, a silver cigarette box
with cigarettes and a matchstand with matches. A telephone-bell box is
fastened to the underside of this table and rings from off stage R. A
dark painting, done in oil, hangs over the mantelpiece. A side chair
faces the desk up R. of the fireplace.

TIME.--An autumn evening.

LIGHTS.--The room is illuminated by the two floor lamps and an
ornamental hall lamp which hangs outside the arch up R.C.

AT RISE.--ELOISE, a very pretty young woman attired in an effective
dinner gown, is reclining on the chaise lounge L. immersed in a
magazine.

CARTER. the man-servant, enters from the bedroom L.1 carrying a large
tan leather suit-case and crosses below the lounge toward the hallway
Up R.C., Just as he reaches the opening to the hall the telephone
on the table rings and he turns as though to answer it, but ELOISE
prevents him.

ELOISE. (rising and dropping her magazine). All right, Carter, I'll
answer it. (She crosses to the 'phone on the writing-table R.) CARTER.
Yes, ma'am, (He turns and exits into the hall.)

ELOISE. (takes, up the 'phone, and sits L. of the table). Hello!
Oh--(With suppressed excitement.) No, he hasn't gone yet. I told you
I'd 'phone you. Yes, in a few minutes. He's almost ready now.

(She glances toward the door L.1 as her husband HILARY FARRINGTON
enters from the room, carrying a manuscript case partly filled with
manuscripts. He crosses above the lounge to the desk up R. of the
fireplace. ELOISE hastily alters her tone and leans back in the chair
pretending boredom and indifference as she continues the telephone
conversation.)

ELOISE. But, my dear Emily, I can't possibly come to-night, Hilary is
leaving for the Long Island bungalow at Lawrence and I must stay with
him until he goes. Yes, if I change my mind, I'll ring you up later.

(She hangs up the receiver and turns to HILARY, who, while taking a
number of manuscripts from the drawer of the desk up R.C. and glancing
over them, has shown a mild interest in her conversation.)

HILARY. (at the desk up R.c.). Who's that? Emily French?

ELOISE (rising and crossing front of the table to R.). Yes--another
card party on for to-night.

HILARY (busy with the manuscripts). Why don't you go?

ELOISE (over R.) They always bore me.

HILARY. Better than being lonely.

ELOISE (reflectively). Oh, I shan't be lonely.

HILARY (coming down to above the table R. with a quantity of
manuscripts and the manuscript case). That's not very flattering to me,
is it?

ELOISE. Well, I don't see very much of you, do I? (She moves front to
L.C. front of lounge.) And as for wasting any of your conversation on
me--

HILARY (opening the manuscript case). My dear, I can't neglect my work.
Besides, what is there to talk about?

ELOISE (L.C., sarcastically). Exactly. What have we to talk about?
Nothing! We understand each other perfectly. (Sits on lounge L.)

HILARY (slightly surprised at her tone). Have I said anything I
shouldn't?

ELOISE. No, you haven't said anything.

HILARY. What's wrong, then?

ELOISE. Well, you might have asked me to go with you. HILARY
(placing some of the loose manuscripts with the others already
in the case). I've asked you several times and you've always refused.
ELOISE. Because you make me feel that I'd be in-your way--that
I would interfere with your work.

HILARY (looking up from glancing over a manuscript). My dear child, the
only reason I-go down there is to be alone with my work. But, if you
want to come--

ELOISE. No, thank you. You'd spend all your time hunched up over a
writing-desk, and I wouldn't know what to do with myself.

HILARY. Well, I can't promise to entertain you all the time, but the
country is rather nice at this time of the year--

(CARTER enters up R.C and goes above the lounge toward the door L.1.)
and we might rider occasionally.

ELOISE. That would be too exciting.

HILARY (to CARTER, who is over L. by the door). Sure you have packed
everything, Carter?

CARTER. Yes, sir.

HILARY (moving to c. from above the table). Plenty of pipes and tobacco?

ELOISE (turning to CARTER in mock solicitation). Don't forget his
raincoat and goloshes.

CARTER. No, ma'am.

HILARY. You'd better pack my riding things. Mrs. Farrington may change
her mind about coming.

ELOISE. No, I won't change my mind, now.

(CARTER nods and goes into the room L.1.)

HILARY (indifferently). Just as you like, my dear...

(He goes back to above table and continues to arrange his manuscripts.)

ELOISE (as she rises) Hilary! (She crosses to HILARY.)

HILARY. Yes, dear?

ELOISE. (as she crosses). Why can't you give up writing books?

HILARY. Give up writing?

(ELOISE tilts the chair L. of the table forward and leaning on the back
of it). Surely we have money enough?

HILARY. (looking over a manuscript). Not at the rate _we_ live, but
even if we had enough I couldn't give it up. One doesn't work for money
alone.

ELOISE. For what, then?

HILARY. To justify one's reason for existence. I write books because
that is the way I express myself. If I stopped working I might as well
stop living. I should be of no use to anyone--not even to myself. I
should simply be using up air space.

ELOISE: You could at least enjoy life.

HILARY. Not without work, No one can.

ELOISE. (she lets the chair down with a bang and moves down to L.C.).
That's nonsense.

HILARY. Take yourself. The only reason for your dissatisfaction at this
moment, is that you have nothing to do.

ELOISE. I've never been taught to do anything.

HILARY. There are a hundred and one things you might learn to do.

ELOISE. Yes--I might learn to knit things, but that's not doing things.

HILARY. (he crosses to ELOISE). Some day, my dear, when you show
yourself eager for it, I'm going to teach you how to really live. (He
puts his arm about her.) How to think and see things clearly. (Releases
her.) Just at present you're to much of a baby to amuse yourself with
anything but a few coloured baubles.

ELOISE. Indeed? Sometimes I wonder, why you ever married me?

HILARY. Because I fell in love with you, of course.

ELOISE. How could you have fallen in love me (she sits on the
lounge)--if I'm as stupid as you think I am.

HILARY. (He moves to Above the lounge and leans over her). Why, my
dear, I don't think you stupid. (He slips his hand under her chin,
giving her an affectionate little squeeze.) You're charming. (He goes
quickly back to his work as he speaks.) How could I help falling in
love with you?

ELOISE. (childishly). Then why can't you like the things I like?

HILARY. (whimsically). You don't like the things I like. (He turns up to
the desk up R.C. and opens the drawer as though looking for something.)

ELOISE. (sighing). That's why I don't understand what you saw in me.
Our tastes are so different.

HILARY (coming down to near the table R.) Tastes have nothing to do
with love. "Strike flint upon steel and there is a spark. Strike flint
upon wood and there is no spark." (He steps to the table and busies
himself with a manuscript.) Your glance was the flint upon the steel of
my heart, and love was kindled. (Bends over his work.)

ELOISE. That sounds like a quotation from one of your books.

HILARY. (quickly, looking up from his work). It is--but it's true,
nevertheless. Love is a phenomenon. We don't know how it happens. It
just does. (Places some more of the manuscripts in the case.)

ELOISE. But don't you think you'd have been happier with a different
sort of woman?

HILARY. A thin angular person in glasses, devoted to the classics and
the feminist movement?

ELOISE. No, but someone older than I am. More settled--someone more
inclined to lead your life.

HILARY. Nonsense. (He comes back to above the lounge.) I'm perfectly
happy. What if we don't think the same thoughts, or have the same
tastes? (he sits beside her on the lounge, his back-three quarters to
the audience, facing up stage)--nothing unusual about that. We've only
been married a year and haven't yet reached the period of readjustment.
I dare say all married couples are in the same fix some time or
another. Give us time. (He puts his arms around her reassuringly.)
We'll pull through all right.

ELOISE. But you're away so much--and I do get so lonely.

HILARY. Then pack up your things and come with me.

ELOISE. To Lawrence?

HILARY. Why not? It's not half as bad as you try to make out. While I'm
working you can stay out of doors and the fresh air and sunshine will
do you a world of good. Come along. (He draws her to him coaxingly.)

ELOISE. No, I don't think shall be any happier for getting sunburn and
freckles, and I'd be 'bored to death.

HILARY (rising). Oh, nonsense. (Turning up R.C.)

ELOISE (petulantly). You know I would. It's a stupid place, miles away
from anywhere and not a thing to do. It's as dull as ditchwater.

HILARY (above the table R.). I never found it so.

ELOISE. That's because it takes so little to amuse you.

HILARY. That's true. When I'm alone with my work I forget everything
else.

ELOISE. Especially your wife.

HILARY. Oh, come now--don't let's quarrel. If you want to come; well
and good, if not (finishes strapping the manuscript case)

ELOISE. (rising and going C.). Why can't you do your work here?

HILARY (taking up the manuscript case). Too many distractions.

ELOISE. I'll keep out of your way.

HILARY. NO, my dear--too much telephone and all sorts of things. I
wouldn't 'be able to write a word.

(He crosses ELOISE to. L.C., ELOISE moves to R. front of the table.)

CARTER (enters L.1. carrying a black leather bag. HILARY'S overcoat and
hat over his arm. He places the bag on the floor at the head of the
lounge). I've packed your breeches, and boots, sir.

HILARY. (dropping his manuscript case among the pillows at the head of
the lounge and turning to be helped with his overcoat). Good. I don't
expect to use them, but I may as well have them. (Putting on his dint
which CARTER holds.) Strap the bag on the back of the car. (Takes hat
from him.)

CARTER. Yes, sir. (he crosses above the lounge and exits up C. carrying
the bag.)

HILARY (he goes to ELOISE, who is R. by the table). Good-bye, dear.
If you are lonely--run over to Emily French's. She's sure to have
something to amuse you, besides cards.

ELOISE (pleadingly). Hilary I don't want you to go to-night.

HILARY. I must.

ELOISE. I. want you to stay--just to please me.

HILARY. Impossible. I've everything prepared and I simply must finish
my book. Say good-bye to me and let me go. (Attempts to kiss her.)

ELOISE. (taking a step away from him solemnly). Very well, but I want
you to always remember that I did ask you.

(She crosses him to L.C.)

HILARY. Don't be a baby!

ELOISE. (facing the door L.1.). Good-bye, Hilary.

HILARY. (steps to her). Good-bye, dear. (Attempts to embrace her. She
avoids him, moving a little farther to L.) Aren't you going to kiss me?

ELOISE (her back still to him). No.

(HILARY pauses while he looks at her for an instant, then he turns up
toward the arch up R.C. He turns, hesitating to leave her feeling
as she does, but she makes no sign. He wheels abruptly and goes out
through the hallway, up R.C. After a short pause the front door is
heard to slam. As the door slams ELOISE darts across the front to the
window R. and looks out after HILARY. She stands for an instant in
thought, then moves to the R. of the table R. and takes up the 'phone.)

(Standing R. of the table R. on the 'phone). Lexington 7891, please.
Yea. (She taps on the carpet with her foot while waiting for the
connection, to indicate nervousness.) Hello! is Mr. McKnight
there?...Out? Are you sure? Did he leave any message for me? Never
mind--for anyone? No, thanks. No, never mind.

(She replaces the receiver slowly and thoughtfully.)

CARTER (enters from the hall-way up R.C.). Mr. McKnight, ma'am. (He
looks disapproving.)

ELOISE (trying to conceal her excitement). Oh--a--show him in here,
Carter.

(She moves to C.L.) CARTER. Yes, ma'am.

(He exits up R.C.)

(ELOISE hastily repairs her toilet. She turns quickly up toward the
arch up R.C. patting her hair, then suddenly as though wanting to
powder her nose, she _runs_ across in front of the lounge toward the
door L.1.)

CARTER. (re-enters just as ELOISE gets L. on her way to L.1 door and
standing at the R. of the opening, announces). Mr. McKnight.

(ELOISE stops and DARRELL MCKNIGHT enters. He is a handsome
well-groomed man in the thirties.)

DARRELL. (coming down R.C to C., speaking guardedly for CARTER'S
benefit). Hello, Eloise.

ELOISE. (a step toward him. Guardedly). Hello, Darrell.

(CARTER exits up R.C.)

ELOISE. (Making sure that CARTER is gone, she goes quickly to DARRELL,
taking his hand eagerly.) I was just 'phoning you!

DARRELL. (glancing around to see that CARTER is gone). Were you? I was
waiting outside.

ELOISE. What for?

DARRELL. I wanted to see your husband go.

ELOISE. (rather startled). He didn't see, you?

DARRELL. No, I was very careful about that.

ELOISE (with a sigh of relief). He's gone to the bungalow at Lawrence.
He won't be back for several days.

DARRELL. Good! That will give us plenty of time to reach our
destination. Have you packed? (Looks anxiously at watch.)

ELOISE (in front of the lounge). No--not yet. How could I?

DARRELL (at the R. end of the lounge). Well, you'd better begin, hadn't
you? We haven't any too much time if we're going to catch that Western
Express.

ELOISE. It seems a terrible thing to do, doesn't it? (She sinks limply
on the lounge.)

DARRELL. Terrible? Certainly not. It's a wonderful thing to do. You're
not beginning to weaken, are you?

ELOISE. No, but I never realized how awful it was going to be.

DARRELL. Good Lord, Eloise, don't take the romance out of it. We've
got to go through with it, now. I'd be in an awful position if we
didn't--especially after calling everything off with Nora.

ELOISE. (tensely). When did you see her?

DARRELL. Just a few minutes ago--had her to dinner.

ELOISE. What did you tell her?

DARRELL. I told her every-thing. (He sits R. of ELOISE on the lounge.).
I was perfectly frank with her--I told her she and I were having our
farewell dinner--that our engagement was a mistake. (Takes her hands.)
That I'd met another who was more to me than life itself. In fact,
there wasn't anything that I didn't tell her.

ELOISE. (breathlessly). You didn't tell her my name?

DARRELL. (casually) Yes, I did.

ELOISE. (rising in astonishment). Darrell! How could you?

DARRELL (rising, protestingly). I had to, or she wouldn't have believed
me.

ELOISE. (crosses DARRELL to R.C. Greatly agitated). What must she think
of me? (She is facing R.)

DARRELL. (standing lover-like with his arms outstretched). Ah, if she
knew you as Well as I do, she'd think you were the most wonderful woman
in the World. (He goes to her affectionately, and putting his arms about
her draws her to him.) Don't give it a moment's thought, sweetheart.
There will never be anyone but you. (His arms over her shoulders, he
takes her hands in Ms.) We shall be all in all to each other.

ELOISE. (not quite convinced). Oh, Darry--it seems such a-terrible
thing, to sacrifice everything like this.

DARRELL. Life is too short to be wasted with someone who doesn't
appreciate or understand.

ELOISE (looking up at him over her shoulder). And you do understand,
don't you?

DARRELL (tenderly). I love you dear. There is always one real love in
every man's life, and my love for you is that love in mine.

ELOISE. (in rapture. Taking a step forward, then turning to face him).
Oh, Darry, you say such beautiful things to one! (With a quick change
of tone.) I suppose that's because you've had so much experience.

DARRELL. Well, its my experience that makes me sure of myself.

ELOISE. And you are quite sure of yourself this time?

DARRELL. Ab--so--lutely.

ELOISE (her hand outstretched accusingly). And you'll never regret Nora?

DARRELL (taking he hand). Nora? Nora means no more to me now than a
thousand others! (Bends as though to kiss her hand.)

ELOISE (quickly snatching her hand away). A thousand? You didn't tell
me there were _that_ many...

DARRELL (quickly covering his mistake). You know what I mean. I regret
no one--nothing--my real life begins tonight. (He takes both her
hands.) And so must, yours.

ELOISE (joyously). Darry!

DARRELL (suddenly). How long will it take you to pack?

ELOISE. Not long. I know exactly what I want to take.

DARRELL. Well, don't take much. We' haven't a great deal of time,
remember.

(ELOISE moves toward L.)

DARRELL. Can you be ready in half an hour?

ELOISE. (over L. in front of the lounge. Lightly). Oh, easily.

DARRELL (C.). Sure?

ELOISE (as she moves toward door L.1.). I'll be waiting for you.

DARRELL (C. His hands outstretched. ELOISE turns and comes to him. He
takes her hand's tenderly). Good-bye for a little while, then. When you
hear the taxi honk four times outside, come down. (He bends over and,
hastily kisses her hands.)

ELOISE. Very well. (She moves away toward the door L.1.)

DARRELL (starts away impulsively, but turns at up R.C. with another
thought), Oh! You'll leave the usual note, of course?

ELOISE (over L.). Note?

DARRELL. Yes, for your husband.

ELOISE. Oh, is that usual?

DARRELL. Oh, always. Otherwise he wouldn't know what had became of you.
You can give it to your maid to send to him after we've gone.

ELOISE. (vaguely). Oh, yes, of course.

DARRELL. (turning up to the arch up R.C.). In half an hour then...

(He blows her a kiss and she blows one back to him and he exits into
the hallway. After a short pause the outside, door is heard to slam.
ELOISE stands still for an instant listening. When the door slams, she
heaves a deep sigh and moves quickly to the push button set in the
pilaster above the door and rings the bell. As she waits, She crosses
above the lounge to the table R. and takes a sheet of paper and an
envelope from the stationery rack.)

ANNETTE (entering hurriedly L.1). Did you want me, ma'am?

ELOISE (turning with sheet of paper and an envelope in her hand). Oh
yes, Annette! I've been called out of town unexpectedly. I'm going to
my Uncle's in Troy.

ANNETTE (moving to L. of C.). Your uncle, ma'am?

ELOISE. Yes, Bishop Kennelly, you know. (She goes toward the--door
L.1.). Pack me some things in a bag at once.

ANNETTE. Yes, ma'am.

ELOISE. (over L.). And put out some travelling things for me to wear.

ANNETTE. Yes ma'am.

ELOISE (at the door L.1). And be sure I am ready in half an hour!

ANNETTE (C.L.). I'll be ready, ma'am.

ELOISE. (a step toward ANNETTE). Oh, you aren't going. I'm going alone.

ANNETTE (wisely). Alone, ma'am?

ELOISE. Of course, alone! (Sharply.) What do you mean?

ANNETTE. I beg your pardon, ma'am, but without a maid--how will madame
manage?

ELOISE. Leave that to me.

ANNETTE. Very good, ma'am.

ELOISE. (glancing at the clock on the mantel up C.). I must change at
once. Come, help me. (She goes into the bedroom L.1. From the room
L.1.) Annette!

ANNETTE. (remains standing for an instant as if in deep thought, then
quickly). Yes, ma'am--I'm coming. (She exits into the room.)

(There is a pause, then HILARY is heard speaking to CARTER out in the
hall-way.)

HILARY (out in the hall-way). Are you sure you didn't pick it up (He
enters quickly, followed by CARTER, the latter in rather a perturbed
state. Glancing about rapidly as he comes down.) I had it in my hands a
moment before I left, I thought I'd given it to you to take out.

CARTER (up R., looking around for the case). No, sir, I don't remember
even seeing your manuscript case.

HILARY (moving up to the desk up R.C.). It must be here, somewhere. (He
looks in the desk. The doorbell rings.) See who that is.

CARTER. Yes, sir. (He exits into the hall-way up R.C.)

HILARY (without waiting for Carter's "Yes, sir "). I'll have a look for
it. (He moves down and front of the lounge toward L.1.) Perhaps I left
it in my room.

(As he reaches the head of the lounge he sees his case among pillows
and picks it up, smiling.)

CARTER. (enters from the hall-way). It's Mrs. Gail, sir.

HILARY. (L.C.). Oh, you'd better tell Mrs. Farrington.

CARTER (up R. of the arch). She asked for you, sir.

HILARY (surprised). Me?

NORA (enters quickly from the hall-way and Comes down to HILARY).
Hello, Hilary?

(CARTER exits into the hall-way.)

HILARY. Nora! What in the world

NORA (C.R.). Thought I'd run in and say how d'ye do.

HILARY (C.L., taking her hand cordially). Delighted to see you, of
course--

NORA. Why "of course"? I've probably prevented you from doing something
you want to do and in your heart you're cursing me at this moment.

HILARY. Nonsense! You're one of the few persons I'm always glad to see.

NORA. That's being polite at any rate. As a matter of fact, I had to
see you, so I took the chance of finding you in.

HILARY. I was just leaving. Had left, in fact, for the Long Island
bungalow; but missed my manuscript case and came back to look for it.

NORA. How fortunate!

HILARY (indicates the chair L. of the table B.). Sit down--(starts for
the door L.1)--and I'll tell Eloise you're here.

NORA (quickly). No, don't. It's you I came to see.

HILARY (turns to her from over L.). Me?

NORA. Don't look so pained. (She sits L. of the table R.) I'm not going
to keep you very long.

HILARY (moving toward her). Do I look pained? I'm only surprised at
seeing you so unexpectedly. I thought you were down in the country.

NORA. I am--came up this afternoon to dine with a friend.

HILARY (C.). A man?

NORA. I said "a friend." At least, he was a friend--until I dined with
him.

HILARY. You will take chances, Nora.

NORA. Not in the way you mean. This happened to be a gentleman I'm very
fond of and naturally when he asked me to dine, I had every reason to
expect a somewhat pleasant evening.

HILARY. And wasn't it?

NORA. Hardly. I expected a heavenly dinner with love and romance to
follow, and, what I got--nearly killed me.

HILARY. Love and romance with a friend, Nora. Is that being quite fair
to McKnight?

NORA. Why not?

HILARY. I understood you were engaged to him.

NORA. So did I.

HILARY. I see. He found out about this dinner and broke it off.

NORA. No, no--it was Darry I dined with.

HILARY. Oh!

NORA. That's what I came over to talk about.

HILARY (as if to avoid an unpleasant subject. He moves to above the
table R.). Well, if you'll excuse me. I don't think I want to talk
about him. (Places the manuscript case on the table.)

NORA (rising and going to L.c.). Oh, I know you don't like Darry, but I
had to talk to somebody about him.

HILARY. (taking off his overcoat). Frankly, I never could understand
what you women see in that fellow.

NORA. I suppose it is difficult to understand--but he makes love
divinely--and that means a lot to a widow. (Turns up to the head of the
lounge and sits on head.)

HILARY (dropping his overcoat over back of chair L. of table). Well,
I'm sorry if I seem to be unsympathetic, if your engagement is really
broken off, I congratulate you.

NORA. I'm not sure that it is really broken off.

HILARY. Oh, I understood you to say--

NORA Yes, that was the impression he gave me.

HILARY. (taking a step away from the table). You don't mean to tell me
that he broke it off?

NORA. (slipping out of her evening wrap which falls on the head of the
lounge). Darry always was deliciously frank, you know.

HILARY. I should think your pride alone would prevent you even thinking
of him again. (He comes to C.L.)

NORA. A woman has no pride when love is concerned and I want to save
him from a great mistake.

(She rises from the head of the lounge and sits on the centre of the
lounge.)

HILARY. The mistake, of course, being another woman?

NORA. Naturally--although I hadn't suspected it until he told me.

HILARY. Did he tell you her name? (He sits. R. of NORA. on the lounge.)

NORA. Oh yes, he told me everything. That's why he asked me to
dine--our farewell dinner, he called it--just to commemorate the
passing of another emotion. Meaning ours. He hadn't known her long,
but their souls were old friends--married, of course. He specializes
in married women. It's so much safer. Neglected by her husband, who
doesn't understand her--which is also unusual--they knew at a glance
that they were meant for each other. Therefore, to be honest with
himself, he had to tell me so that I might feel free to make other
arrangements. (She smiles at HILARY and they both laugh.) Sweet of him,
wasn't it?

HILARY. (laughing). Yes, it's fortunate you have a sense of humour. But
I feel sorry for the husband. Did he tell you who it was?

NORA. Oh, yes.

HILARY: Asked you to keep it secret, I suppose?

NORA. Yes, and that's why I'm going to tell _you_ all about it!

HILARY. (rising and moving to above the table R.). Thanks, but it's no
concern of mine.

NORA. Indeed it is. Outside of myself, you're the one most vitally
concerned.

HILARY (taking up his hat from the table). How so?

NORA. You are the husband.

HILARY (a pause. He looks at NORA, then explodes). What! (Drops his
hat on the table.)

NORA. And your wife is the lady whose soul is attuned to his.

HILARY. I don't believe it.

NORA. I have his word for it and, as I told you, Darry is deliciously
frank.

HILARY (he goes front of NORA toward L.1 as though to call ELOISE. At
L.1 he turns and speaks). But it's so wildly absurd. She's never even
mentioned his name to me.

NORA. Clever Eloise!

HILARY. No, she's not clever, and I don't believe a word of it. (He
goes above the lounge to up C.)

NORA. The husband is usually the first to believe, though often the
last to suspect. But now that you do know, what are you going to do
about it? (She rises.)

HILARY. (coming down R. of the table R. to front of the table). But
it's all so unexpected--I don't know what to say. I'll have to think it
out, and if there is any truth in it...

NORA. Oh, there's no doubt about it.

HILARY (C.R.). Then I'll have to see Eloise and have a frank talk with
her.

NORA. That won't do any good.

HILARY. But, I believe in her.

NORA. Then go to Lawrence and behave as if nothing had happened.

(She sits on the lounge.)

HILARY. I will. (He goes up to above the table R. and takes up his hat
and coat.) I won't insult her by even suspecting her. If there is any
truth in it she'll tell me when I get back. (He takes up his manuscript
case.)

NORA. She won't be here when you get back.

HILARY. Why not?

NORA. She intends to elope with Darrell--tonight.

HILARY. (drops his hat on the table, his coat on the chair). Elope?

NORA. I was hoping you would do something to prevent it without my
telling you this.

HILARY. (moving to C.). Are you sure?

NORA. (emphatically). Positive. He said that you were going away
to-night and that by the time you got back he and Eloise would be
safely settled somewhere out West.

HILARY (stares unbelievingly at her, then suddenly starts for the room
L.1). I'll soon settle this!

NORA (rising quickly and detaining him by catching his arm after he has
crossed her nearly to the door). Now, don't call Eloise, or you'll make
matters worse.

HILARY. They couldn't be any worse, and I want her to tell me the
truth. (He starts for the door again.)

NORA (pulling him, away to C.L.). Yes, and spoil the whole thing.

HILARY. You don't expect me to remain passive, do you?

NORA. I expect you to act sensibly, or I wouldn't have told you about
it.

HILARY. Why did you tell me about it?

NORA. Not for your sake, nor for Eloise's. I wanted to keep Darry from
making a fool of himself. After all, I am fond of him and I don't
intend to lose him if I can help it.

HILARY (L.C.). You mean to tell me you still want this fellow after the
disgraceful way he's treated you? Why?

NORA (C.L.). Does a woman ever know why she wants a man--except
that she wants him? Darry has his good points--though they're hard
to discover. Besides, he's very difficult to manage and that's an
incentive to a woman, isn't it?

HILARY. Upon my soul, I never shall understand you women. (He sits on
the lounge.)

NORA. In spite of the fact that you write novels and are accustomed to
analyse our emotions? (She steps to him.) Oh, what a confession!

HILARY. Don't be sarcastic. What do you think I should do?

NORA. (sitting R. of HILARY on the lounge). Do you really want to keep
Eloise?

HILARY. She's my wife, isn't she?

NORA. Do you really love her?

HILARY. Certainly.

NORA. And you, want to help her as well as yourself?

HILARY. Of course, I do. (He rises.) If this thing is true it's because
he's made her dissatisfied. He's taken advantage of her youth and
inexperience. (He goes above the lounge to up C.)

NORA (on the lounge, turning to face him). That's right, Hilary. Don't
blame yourself for anything. No husband ever does. It's enough that you
married her. What more could she ask of you?

HILARY. (coming down C.). I've given her everything a sane woman could
ask for. (He paces up and down C.)

NORA. Ah, but a woman in love isn't sane. She demands affection and
a whole lot of attention and if she doesn't get it from the one
she's entitled to get it from--she seeks it elsewhere. Take yourself
to-night. (She rises.) You were leaving for Lawrence.

HILARY. I have my work to do. She understands that. (He turns up stage.)

NORA (C.L.). Did you ask her to go with you?

HILARY. (up C.R.). I did. And she refused.

NORA. You probably made her feel you didn't want her.

HILARY. (coming down). I couldn't lie about it. I always prefer to be
alone when I'm working. (He turns up stage.)

NORA. And she probably put it up to you as a last test, to see if you
cared...

HILARY. (coming down to NORA). It's no use your trying to put the blame
on me. I haven't anything to reproach myself with. But I confess this
thing has upset me--terribly. (He stops suddenly as he hears ELOISE
speak in the room L.1.)

ELOISE. (off L.1). Annette (NORA and HILARY look quickly to L.1.) You'd
better give it to Carter, he'll look after it.

ANNETTE. (also in room L.1). I can carry it, ma'am.

NORA. (quickly going to the head of the lounge for her wrap). Isn't
there some other place?

HILARY. What?

NORA. (moving with her wrap to up C.R.). Isn't there some other place?
She's coming!

HILARY. Yes. (He grabs up his hat and coat.) Out here. (They both go
quickly out into the hall. NORA preceding HILARY.)

(The door opens L.1 and ELOISE enters, followed by ANNETTE who carries
a suit-case.)

ELOISE (stepping above the L. end of the lounge to look at the clock on
the mantel). What time is it, Annette?

ANNETTE (looking at the clock on the mantel as she crosses to C.).
Nine-thirty, Ma'am. (Turns to face ELOISE as she places the suitcase on
the R. end of the lounge.)

ELOISE. Heavens, and I'm not ready yet! (Suddenly thinks of the letter
in her hand and comes to in front of the L. end of the lounge.) Oh,
Annette, my uncle's message came after Mr. Farrington had gone, so I've
written a note to him explaining. Be sure and post it to him in the
morning. (She goes to ANNETTE.) It's stamped and addressed. (Gives the
letter to ANNETTE.)

ANNETTE (taking the note). Yes, ma'am.

ELOISE (goes quickly to the door L.1). Come and help me with this
dress. (She exits L.1. closing the door.)

ANNETTE. Just one moment, ma'am. (She kneels to lock the suit-case.)

HILARY. (enters from the hall-way up R.C. and comes down on the R. of
ANNETTE, dropping his coat and hat on the chair L. of the table R. as
he passes). What are you doing, Annette?

ANNETTE. (startled. Springing to her feet with the case in her hand).
Oh, Mr. Farrington sir--you've come just in time!

HILARY. Anything wrong?

ANNETTE. Yes, sir--(giving him the letter)--Mrs. Farrington left this
letter to be posted to you. She's going away, sir.

HILARY. (C.R.). Going away? What do you mean, going away?

ANNETTE. (C.). I know the signs. I was with Lady Bradhurst in England
when she went--and I was with her when he left her in Monte Carlo. I
don't want to see it happen to Mrs. Farrington, sir. She's too young to
understand what she's doing.

ELOISE. (in the room L.1. calling). Annette!

ANNETTE. Yes, ma'am. I'm coming. (Picks up the case. She moves a few
steps to the L. and turns to HILARY.) Don't be hard on her, sir. It's
just that she's young and wants petting.

ELOISE (in the room L.1). Annette! Where are you? (Entering from L.1
in travelling dress not entirely fastened at the back.) You know I'm in
a hurry! (She sees HILARY and stops transfixed, after stepping down
stage to clear the door for ANNETTE'S exit.) Hilary!

(ANNETTE after a look at both of them sneaks off behind ELOISE into the
room L.1, taking the case with her.)

HILARY (when ANNETTE is off). I left my manuscript case and came back
for it.

ELOISE (over L.). Oh, I didn't expect you.

HILARY (indicating the letter in his hand). Obviously.

ELOISE. (moving as though to take the letter from him). There's no need
for it now. I'll tell you what's in it.

HILARY. (gently fending her off. Opening the envelope and extracting
the letter). I prefer to read it myself--(he looks sternly at her)--if
you don't mind...

ELOISE. (weakly, backing away). Hilary

HILARY. (standing R. reads the letter aloud quite casually)...MY DEAR
HILARY,--I don't think what I am going to do will grieve you very much
after the first shock has worn off, because it must be as evident to
you, as it is to me, that we are entirely unsuited to each other and
life is too short to waste it with someone you do not love. So I am
going away with someone I do love and who loves me. I must be _all in
all_ to a man, Hilary, and I was only a very small part in your life. I
hope you will find someone better suited to you and who will make you
far happier than I could ever hope to make you. Faithfully yours--(he
looks quickly at ELOISE and then back at the letter as though he must
have read it wrong)--faithfully yours, ELOISE. (He folds the letter in
silence.)

ELOISE. (after a pause). I didn't mean you to get it till--afterwards.
(HILARY gives her a sharp-look. She sinks down helplessly on the
lounge.) It makes it terribly awkward, doesn't it?

HILARY. (C.). So you have found out that you don't love me as much as
you thought you did?

ELOISE. (frankly). I've found out that I never loved you, Hilary. But I
didn't realize it soon enough, that's all.

HILARY. You were only a year younger when you married me.

ELOISE (blandly). Yes, but I've been married since then and that makes
all the difference in the world.

HILARY (C.). I see. So when you suggested me staying here tonight,
or when you spoke of going with me to Lawrence, it was only done to
prevent me suspecting.

ELOISE. No. I wanted to find out if you really cared, and I found out
you didn't.

HILARY. And is that when you made up your mind?

ELOISE. That's when I decided definitely--yes.

HILARY (C.). I see. And this other man--Who is he?

ELOISE (lightly). I don't see that that makes any difference.

HILARY. You don't suppose I'm going to let you go away with--just
anybody, do you?

ELOISE. I don't quite see how you can stop me!

HILARY. I might!

ELOISE. No, you could only delay me. If I don't go to-night, there is
to-morrow, you know--and the next day. You can't watch me all the time,
can you?

HILARY. (rather indifferently). No-o--that's true. Besides, I'm not
sure that I want to stop you. If you don't love me, why--you DON'T and
that's all there is to it. There's nothing more to be said. It wouldn't
be right for me to keep you here against your will--no matter how much
I wanted it.

ELOISE. (surprised). Do you mean that?

HILARY. Do I look the kind of man who would hold a woman against her
Will?

ELOISE. (hesitatingly). No-o but

HILARY. (C.). Still, I owe it to myself to see that this _other man_ is
worthy of you. I owe that much to myself. (A short pause.) Well, won't
you tell me his name? (ELOISE hesitates uncomfortably, turning her face
away.) You're not ashamed of it, are you?

ELOISE. (rising quickly and facing him). No, I'm proud of it--it's
--Darrell McKnight!

HILARY. (apparently annoyed at his own denseness. He moves to front of
the table R.). Darrell McKnight! Of course! I might have known it!

ELOISE (surprised, somewhat disturbed). And why might you have known it?

HILARY (turning and facing her). Because his specialty is making love
to other men's wives!

ELOISE (loftily, defending DARRELL). Oh, I know he hasn't been a saint.
He told me he had fancied himself in love before.

HILARY (moving to C.). Only fancied, eh?

ELOISE. Well--we all make mistakes!

HILARY. Are you sure he isn't mistaken this time?

ELOISE. (pointing the line). Positive He feels differently about me
than about any woman he has ever known.

HILARY. How do you know that?

ELOISE (impatiently, resenting). He told me so himself!

HILARY. Then, of course, that settles it.

ELOISE (L.C., front of the lounge). If you are trying to insinuate that
he tells me what isn't true, you may as well save yourself the trouble.
I know that he is everything fine and noble!

HILARY. Did he tell you that, himself, too?

ELOISE. Don't try to be funny!

HILARY. (crosses to ELOISE). Very well. I'll be serious. Is it fine and
noble to sneak into another man's home and steal his wife?

ELOISE. Love makes us do many ignoble things, Hilary. That's what you
don't understand because you don't know what love--real love--is.

HILARY. (grimly). Don't I? (ELOISE shakes her head.) Well, perhaps I
don't.

(He turns away a step or two to C.R.)

ELOISE (in a friendly fashion). At first when I came in and found you
here, I was sorry, but now I'm glad.

HILARY (turns and faces her curiously). Why?

ELOISE. (sweetly). Because now we can part friends, can't we? And
you can tell the that you--(a slight quaver creeps into her voice)--
forgive me for this step I'm taking.

HILARY. Do you want me to forgive you?

ELOISE. Yes.

HILARY. Well, I suppose I must then! (He offers his hand.)

ELOISE. (taking his hand in great relief).--Thank you, Hilary.

HILARY. (joyfully, yet quite matter-of-factly). Don't mention it (As
though taking a delighted interest in her leaving.) Where are you
meeting him?

ELOISE. He's coming here for me. (She turns up C.L. to glance at the
clock on the mantel and then continues above the lounge to the door
L.1, speaking as she moves.) Good Heavens! It's about time and I'm not
ready! (Throwing open the door L.1 and calling.) Annette (Reaching up
over her L. shoulder and starting to tug at the fastenings of her gown
as she moves to the front of the lounge.)

HILARY. (calmly). You'd better hurry. Men hate to be kept waiting.

ELOISE. (impatiently stamping her foot and calling). Annette!

ANNETTE. (off stage L.1, answering faintly). Coming, ma'am.

(ELOISE tugs frantically at her gown.)

HILARY. (pleasantly). Can I be of any assistance?

ELOISE. (trying to fasten the gown). No, thanks, I can manage.

HILARY. (interrupting, good-humouredly). I've had some experience with
that gown, you know, and I'm quite sure you can't reach it!

ELOISE. (with a glance at the door through which ANNETTE is due to
arrive. Pleasantly grateful.) Very well, then--if you, don't mind!
(Goes to HILARY and turns her back to him to be fastened.)

HILARY (moving to be above her as he works at the fastenings). Not at
all. (He begins to hook her up.) This is the gown you wore the night we
eloped, isn't it?

ELOISE. (lying). Is it? I don't remember. I put it on because Annette
laid it out for me.

HILARY. (still hooking). I remember distinctly. I remember unhooking
you--(ELOISE gives him a shocked look)--and noticing for the first time
how the hair curls on the nape of your neck. (He finishes and steps,
back to admire.) It's charming! You ought to keep that especially for
an eloping gown.

ELOISE. (shocked, annoyed). Hilary!

HILARY. It's charming.

ANNETTE. (entering from room L.1. carrying the case). You called, ma'am?

ELOISE. (turning to ANNETTE). Yes. Bring my bag, (Takes the case from
ANNETTE, puts it. L. of table R.)

ANNETTE. Yes, ma,'am--it's quite ready.

(She turns to exit L.1.)

HILARY. (stopping her). Just a moment, Annette. (To ELOISE.) Is that
all you're going to take with you?

ELOISE. (R.). There wasn't time to pack any more. You can send the rest
of my things after me. Annette will see to them.

HILARY. (still more surprised). Annette? Do you mean to say you are not
taking Annette with you?

ELOISE. (frowning). No--of course not!

HILARY. (deeply concerned). But--my dear child--you're making a great
mistake. Half of a woman's charm lies in her dainty freshness, her
immaculate appearance, her dazzling raiment.

ELOISE (horrified). Oh! Please--!

HILARY (continuing calmly). Especially on the honeymoon! ELOISE (with
a shocked glance at ANNETTE). Hilareee! Annette!

HILARY. (smiling). Nonsense, my dear. You don't suppose you can pull
the wool over Annette's eyes, do you?

(He goes to ANNETTE who is over L. by the door.)

Annette, do you know where your mistress is going?

ANNETTE. (demurely, innocently). To her uncle, the Bishop's, sir.

HILARY. Yes, I know that's what she told you! Do you know where she is
really going?

ELOISE. (C.). Hilary, this is outrageous!

ANNETTE. Well, sir--

HILARY. Come--speak up--the truth now! Don't be frightened.

ANNETTE. Of course, I don't know, sir, but I suspect that--(She pauses.)

HILARY. Of course you do. (Turns to ELOISE.) You don't suppose you can
keep a thing like that from the servants, do you? From husbands, yes.
From servants, never!

ELOISE (turning away to R. front of the table). Oh!

HILARY (moving a few steps toward her). Now do be guided by me and take
Annette! You know you don't look half the woman you should unless
you're properly groomed and titivated.

ELOISE. (angrily). Indeed!

HILARY. (C.L.frankly). Clothes make even more difference to you than to
most women.

ELOISE. (down, R.). You needn't be spiteful and insulting.

(HILARY takes the case from ELOISE.)

HILARY (surprised, reproachful). My dear child! (He moves to the
lounge.) I am trying to be your true friend. I want you (he sits on the
lounge, placing the case on the lounge on his R.)--to look your very
best. (Over his shoulder to ANNETTE.) Now, Annette, what have we here?
(He opens the case.)

ANNETTE. Just bare necessities, sir. I packed for a trip to the Bishop.

HILARY. This is nothing to do with the Bishop. We'll need a different
outfit altogether. (He begins to draw out the contents.) What's this?

ANNETTE. A--a negligee, sir.

HILARY. White?

ANNETTE. I chose white on account of the Bishop, sir.

HILARY. (the négligée in his hand). But this is not for the Bishop.
Get a pink one, with lots of fluff about it. Men like pink, especially
in the morning. It's so cheerful! (He tosses the white négligée to
ANNETTE.)

ANNETTE (catching the négligée). Yes, sir. (She exits, L.)

(ELOISE R. by the front of the table impatiently tapping her foot.)

ELOISE (crossing angrily to him). I won't have you interfering like
this?

HILARY. But you don't understand. I have only your interest at heart.

ELOISE (angrily). Oh! (She turns away to R.C.)

ANNETTE (entering L.1 with a fluffy pink négligée). Will this do, sir?

HILARY (rising and taking it. ELOISE tries to take it; he transfers
it R. to L. hands). Ah, that's better! (He sniffs it.) Ah--sachet--
charming! (He sniffs again, ecstatically.) I really displayed a
most discriminating taste when I selected that. I hope McKnight will
appreciate it.

ELOISE (angrily). You are--exasperating! (Crosses to R.)

HILARY. Annette--can't you find a steamer trunk?

ANNETTE (at the door L.1). Yes, sir.

HILARY. Well, bring it in!

ANNETTE. (eagerly). I'll get it at once, sir! (She exits room L.1.)

HILARY. (L.C. Pleasantly to ELOISE, who is over R. nearly bursting with
exasperation). A steamer trunk full of finery will make the honeymoon
last at least a week longer!

ELOISE. (R. front of table. Turning to him furiously). One would think
my attractiveness began and ended with my clothes!

HILARY. (rising). Not at all. (Steps to C. She turns away.) But I
understand men, my dear, and I know McKnight. He never made love to a
dowdy woman in his life.

(ELOISE shrugs.)

ANNETTE. (enters dragging an empty steamer trunk). Will this do, sir?

HILARY. (crosses quickly to her and takes the trunk). Oh, splendidly.
(He drags the trunk to C.)

ELOISE. (advancing to R. of HILARY. Furiously, after the trunk is C.).
But, I--don't--want--it.

HILARY. Now, my dear! Do be guided by me in this. (ELOISE,
exasperated, moves to R. He leans casually on the trunk.) Now let me
see. Oh, Annette--

(ANNETTE, who has started to exit, stops at the door L.1.)

(To ELOISE.) Where is that orange-coloured dress you wore at the
Neilson's dance?

(ELOISE turns away to over R., exasperated.)

ANNETTE. Orange-coloured dress?

HILARY (frowning as he strives to describe it). Yes, a soft
gauzy-looking thing; you think you can see through it, but you can't.
Seems to me it had a bit of black here and there.

ANNETTE. The mousseline-de-soie!

HILARY. The what?

ANNETTE. (repeats). The mousseline-de-soie!

HILARY. (beaming). Yes, that sounds like it.

ANNETTE. Shall I bring it in, sir?

HILARY. Yes, with all its fixings--and everything else you can find

(ANNETTE starts to go.)

HILARY. Oh--and that green snakey one.

ANNETTE (over L. near door). The snakey one?

HILARY (to ELOISE). The one you wore at the concert a few weeks ago.

ELOISE (over R., impatiently). He means the green spangle from Callot!
(She goes up R. of table.)

ANNETTE. Oh, yes--to be sure.

HILARY. And that rose-pink one with the little silver fandangles all
over it.

ELOISE. That's worn out--it's in rags!

HILARY. That's too bad, McKnight would have liked it. Well--the one
you wore at our last dinner party--the shivery one.

ANNETTE. Shivery one?

HILARY. (to ELOISE). You know, my dear--the one you wore the night Nora
Gail dined here?

ELOISE. (up R. between' table and window. Distractedly, with a nervous
outburst). He means the purple and silver!

HILARY. (jubilantly). The purple and silver. (Takes the trunk which is
standing on end and lowers it to the floor.)

ANNETTE. Oh yes, sir. At once, sir! (She exits hastily L.1.).

ELOISE. (coming down to R. of HILARY). I can't think of taking all
those things!

HILARY. You would be mad to go without them. Do as you like, of course,
but I warn you--you'll, spoil the whole elopement. (He sits on the
trunk, facing R.)

ELOISE. Well, it's my elopement, isn't it? I should think if you cared
anything about me, you'd try to keep me from going at all!

(She moves to front of table R.)

HILARY. (loosening the trunk clasps). Why, I wouldn't dream of
interfering. My first thought is always your happiness.

ELOISE. (R. in front of the table--provoked). I believe you're glad to
get rid of me!

HILARY. (lightly). On the contrary. But, I don't want to distress you
by betraying my grief.

ELOISE. If that's sarcasm, I must say it's in very poor taste.

HILARY (rising). It isn't sarcasm. It's the downright honest attitude
of a sportmanslike loser! I want to prove to you that I'm man enough
to grin, even though my dreams may be dead and my future in ashes.

(He bends over and raises the cover of the trunk.)

ANNETTE (enters L.1. with gowns, lingerie, waists, stockings and
slippers; etc., over her arms). Here you are, sir! (She crosses to
HILARY.)

HILARY (reaching out his arms to receive them. ANNETTE lays the gowns,
etc. over his arms). Ah! That's more like it! Are these all?

ANNETTE. Yes, sir.

HILARY. Then you'd better get your own things ready.

ANNETTE. Yes, sir. (She exits L.1.)

HILARY (to ELOISE). Let me call your attention to the way I pack, my
dear.

(He drops the arms full of clothing into a disordered heap on the floor
R. of the trunk.)

ELOISE. (horrified). Oh!

HILARY. I'm really quite an artist at it!

(He selects a frock and spreading it carefully on the carpet by
the trunk he kneels on it and makes ready to pack, half humming,
half-singing "An Old Fashioned Wife." He takes up another frock and
rolls it up and throws it in the trunk.)

ELOISE. (Watches him for a moment, then crosses, slowly, to the chair
L. of the table and sits. When HILARY gets half way through the song,
she Speaks. Protestingly, a tearful note in her voice). You know
you don't love me, Hilary--not as you are capable of loving some
brainier woman--Some more experienced woman. The sort that reads
your books--and raves over you and talks about--egos and the nebular
hypothesis.

HILARY. (he has scarcely paid any attention to her speech, being busy
With the packing. He is now folding carelessly the green spangled gown
and speaks as he puts it in the trunk. Indifferently). Don't I?

ELOISE. (passionately). No! Oh, we care for each other in a sort of
way, I suppose--but not tremendously--(in ecstasy)--not with a fierce,
triumphant, all-absorbing passion!

HILARY. (busy with the packing. Dispassionately). No? Well, perhaps
you're right. (Another gown into the trunk.)

ELOISE. (rising quickly, provoked at his indifference). You know I'm
right, but you won't be frank enough to admit it. I believe you are
just as anxious to have this divorce as I am, only you won't come right
out and say so! (She turns away R. to front of the table.)

HILARY (stops packing and looks up). Do you want me to--come right out
and say so?

ELOISE. Of course I do...It would make me feel a lot more comfortable
if I were sure you didn't mind my leaving you.

HILARY (folding a gown). Very well, then. This is the happiest night of
my life.

ELOISE (in front of table R. Aghast). What?

HILARY. The happiest since my wedding night, I mean. Of course I
was...happy that night, because I thought a lot of things about you that
weren't true!

ELOISE. Oh, did you?

HILARY. (taking up three slippers). Yes. I had no idea then, that I
was marrying a pretty, frivolous, vain, empty-headed little doll!

ELOISE. (angrily). Hilary

HILARY. When you married me, you thought, matrimony, was going to be an
absolute monarchy, with you for monarch and me for prime minister--(he
slams a slipper in the trunk)--courtier (slams another slipper into
trunk)--and slave! (Throws the third slipper in with a bang.)

ELOISE. How perfectly absurd!

HILARY. I believe matrimony to be a republic of two, each bearing
burdens and both sharing benefits.

ELOISE. (calm but furious). You didn't, make ours turn out that way,
did you?

HILARY (taking up a pink silk stocking). How could I, with never a
thought in your head but teas, dances, theatres and clothes? (He
dabs at his face with the stocking as though using a handkerchief.)
No, my dear--we were sadly unsuited to one another--(he puts the
stocking in his breast pocket)--and if you are going to be happy with
McKnight--(realizes that the stocking is not a handkerchief and pitches
it into the trunk)--well, all I can say is--good luck and God-speed.

ELOISE. (tearfully). I think you are perfectly horrible! (Then
explosively, going close to him.) It's a good thing I decided to leave
of my own accord! I suppose if I hadn't, you'd soon have turned me out!

HILARY (still on his knees by the trunk). You know me too well to think
I should ever dream of doing a thing like that.

(A motor-horn, is heard tooting four times outside window R. ELOISE,
startled, looks front.)

HILARY. What's that?

(The sound of the horn is repeated.)

HILARY. A signal?

ELOISE. Yes. (She runs quickly to the window R. and looks out. She
turns to HILARY). It's Darrell. (She crosses above the table R. to
above the lounge L. and takes up the case, speaking as she moves) I'll
go down and meet him in the taxi!

HILARY. (he rises). Nonsense! We'll have him in! (He dumps the
balance of the clothing into the trunk.) I should like a few words with
him myself! (He step's up and rings the bell on the L. of the arch up
R.C.)

ELOISE (above the R. end of the lounge. Shocked). Never!

HILARY. Oh, don't be frightened! I'm not going to make a presentation
speech. I only want to satisfy myself he's going to do the right thing
by you!

ELOISE. Well, you needn't trouble--I trust him, implicitly!

HILARY. (up R.C.). Obviously--but I don't

CARTER. (enters from the hall-way up Ex.). Did you ring, sir?

HILARY (turns to CARTER). Mr. McKnight is at the door in a taxi--just
say to him that Mrs. Farrington wishes him to come in.

CARTER. Yes, sir. (He starts to exit.)

HILARY. Say Mrs. Farrington, mind.

CARTER. Yes, sir. (He exits into the hall-way.)

(HILARY comes down to the trunk and, tucking in the various garments,
makes ready to lock the trunk.)

ELOISE. (as CARTER exits). How can you do such a thing? I never heard
of a husband behaving as you are--in a situation like this!

HILARY. (sitting on the trunk, his back to ELOISE and locking the
trunk). Exactly! They usually use cuss words--have fireworks--break the
furniture--throw things--but you see, my dear, most husbands are not as
clever as I am.

ANNETTE. (enters L.1. with ELOISE's coat and hat). Your hat and coat,
'ma'am. (She places the coat and hat on the head of the lounge.)

HILARY. (rising) Annette!

ANNETTE. (over L.). Yes, sir?

HILARY. Make haste. Get your things. You'll be leaving with Mrs.
Farrington almost immediately.

ANNETTE. Very good, sir. (She exits L.1. closing the door.)

ELOISE. (she crosses above the lounge to the head and takes up her
hat). Darrell will be perfectly furious! (She jerks her hat down on
her head)

HILARY. You leave Darrell to me.

ELOISE. (decisively, grabbing up her coat). Very well! I will leave
him to you.

(She turns to go out the door L.1, but HILARY'S voice stops her.)

HILARY (taking a step toward her). I prefer you to remain--if you don't
mind.

ELOISE. (over L. by the door). But I do mind!

HILARY. (he goes to ELOISE. Sternly, commandingly). Just to oblige me!

(He takes her by the hand and, backs toward C., leading her. She
follows, yielding unwillingly. He passes her across in front of him to
C. and seats her forcibly on the trunk. He goes up between the trunk
and the lounge to the desk up R. of the fireplace and opening the
drawer takes out a small automatic revolver which he, slips in his R.
hand coat pocket. He glances out into the hall-way as he moves along
the rear of the room and coming down R. of the table R. to the down R.
corner he takes a cigarette from his case.)

DARRELL (enters quickly from the hall-way. He does not see HILARY and
comes quickly down to R. of ELOISE, speaking as he enters) I say,
Eloise--what the deuce is the matter? You said you'd be ready.

HILARY (over R. He coughs and DARRELL looks at him in amazement.
Pleasantly). Good evening, McKnight!

DARRELL. (almost speechless). O-oh--good evening--(he moves above the
trunk to L. of ELOISE. Puzzled, floundering) I was just passing--and
I--thought--I'd drop in.

HILARY. (moving forward to front of the table R.). Yes, I heard you
passing--that's why I sent Carter for you!

(He strikes a match at the matchstand on the table and lights his
cigarette.)

DARRELL. (dumbfoundedly). You--sent Carter--

ELOISE. (on the trunk C., she looks up at DARRELL Sharply). You needn't
lie about it, Darrell. He came back unexpectedly and found the note you
wanted me to write him.

DARRELL. Oh, I see (Doggedly--on the defensive. To HILARY.) Well? What
are you going to do about it?

HILARY. (R. of ELOISE, in front of the table R.) Sit down and we'll
talk it over.

DARRELL. Sorry, but I haven't much time. I'm taking a train for the
West in just three-quarters of an hour. (He looks at ELOISE.)

HILARY. (advancing a step or two). The West?--The West? You mean to
spend your honeymoon--on a train?

DARRELL (gasping). Honeymoon?

HILARY. Well, let's call it that. You mean to take my wife With
you--to-night--on a train?

DARRELL. (defiantly). Suppose I do?

HILARY. Why--the idea is absolutely ridiculous--preposterous--opposed
to the very first principles of romance!

DARRELL. (curiously). What do you mean?

(ELOISE sits dazedly looking front.)

HILARY. (R. of ELOISE) Don't you realize that the first fleeting
moments are the most intoxicating, the most exhilarating, the most
entrancing? A rattling, smoky train! Oh, it's unthinkable; simply
unthinkable!

(He turns away R. and flicks the ashes from his cigarette to the
ashtray on the table R.)

DARRELL. (he stares at HILARY dazedly, then crosses front of ELOISE to
R. C. He turns and looks at ELOISE, but gets no encouragement from her.
Then turns to HILARY) But--we'll have to leave town, you know--and...

HILARY. (R. front of the table). Yes, I know--but not on a train.

DARRELL. (stupidly). No

HILARY. (shaking his head). No. What you want is some lovely delightful
solitude where you'll be undisturbed.

DARRELL. (to HILARY, after another, hopeless glance at ELOISE). What
would you suggest?

HILARY. You must go to some place near. Some place that can be reached
in a car.

ELOISE. (sarcastically). Oh; must we?

HILARY. (eloquently). Think of spinning through the mysterious
night, side by side, think of arriving in a few hours at some cosy
little bungalow far from the haunts of men! Think of sitting in the
garden--in the moonlight of roaming hand in hand along the sandy
beach--and bathing in the sea! That's the sort of setting for such a
love as yours--a love that has swept you both off your feet! (Changing
his tone.) You want a place like mine at Lawrence. (He turns away R. a
few steps.)

DARRELL and ELOISE (in unison). Lawrence!

(ELOISE rises.)

HILARY. (turns to them quickly--startled by the inspiration). Why not?
It's open and ready to receive you! An ideal spot!

(DARRELL L. turns and looks at ELOISE.)

ELOISE. (she goes to HILARY). Do you actually propose that I elope with
another man to your summer place?

HILARY. (calmly). Why not?

ELOISE. (at loss for words). But--it's--it's preposterous--and what
would everybody say?

HILARY. Nobody will know anything about it. If you are going to elope,
you might as well elope there as anywhere else.

(DARRELL moves to L.C.)

ELOISE. (protestingly). But you were going down there to work.

HILARY. Only because I was going to be alone. If there is going to be
nobody here, I can work here, just as well!

ELOISE. (accusingly). Ah, ha! So it was to avoid me, you used to go to
Lawrence--

HILARY. Not entirely, but--

DARRELL (over L.C. interrupting. Waving away the idea with a gesture).
No--no. No use of any further discussion. It's awfully good of you to
offer your place and we appreciate it. (He moves to L.) But we simply
couldn't accept it.

HILARY. But I insist! (He goes to DARRELL.)

DARRELL. Insist?

HILARY. Yes. After all, a husband has some rights surely!

DARRELL. Really, you know--we are willing to meet you halfway, but--

ELOISE (interrupting. Emphatically to DARRELL). No, no, no, no (To
HILARY.) No!!

HILARY (C. by the trunk). But I won't take "No" for an answer. You
must go to Lawrence at once--and while you are pleasantly
billing and cooing, I'll set the legal machinery in motion.

ELOISE (C.R.). You are too anxious

HILARY. Not at all. I merely want to make the road clear for you. You
know you can't marry a second time--until you have disposed of your
first husband!

ELOISE. But I insist upon arranging my own divorce!

HILARY. I can't have you mixed up in anything so distasteful. All you
have to do is to go quietly down to Lawrence with McKnight and wait
there until you are free!

ELOISE. But I hate Lawrence.

HILARY. My dear, at a time like this, it doesn't matter so much where
you are as who is with you!

DARRELL. (with comic seriousness). I don't think I care about Lawrence,
either!

HILARY. My dear fellow, you'll love the place when you see it!

DARRELL. (doubtingly). Well, I--

ELOISE. (C.R., interrupting). It's positively indecent of you, anyway,
Hilary, to want to choose our destination for us!

DARRELL. Yes, it is. And if you weren't a husband you could see that.
So if it's all the same to you, we'll go, West as planned.

HILARY. (growing, serious) But it's not all the same to me. (He moves
close to DARRELL.) I insist that you go down to Lawrence and stay
there until the divorce is granted and you can be properly married.

DARRELL. What do you mean?

HILARY. In plain English. I mean that I don't trust you!

DARRELL. What?

HILARY. My wife isn't the first woman you've taken a fancy to, and
you've got out of your previous entanglements far too easily. This time
I intend to see you do the square thing.

DARRELL. (rather impudently). Oh, do you?

HILARY. Oh, I'm not going to interfere with the elopement--because I'm
resigned to the loss of my wife.

ELOISE. (indignantly). Oh!!

HILARY. But I intend to see that you marry her and save her reputation.

DARRELL. (defiantly.). Well, suppose I refuse to be bossed by you, what
then?

HILARY. You'll either go down to Lawrence tonight as I suggest--or
--you'll go straight to--(he quickly produces the revolver from his
pocket) where you belong! (He covers DARRELL with the revolver.)

ELOISE. (terrified). Hilary! (She goes quickly to HILARY and grabs him
by the arm)

HILARY. (still facing DARRELL). Well?

DARRELL. Oh, I don't think you'd shoot me!

HILARY. (grimly, keeping, him covered). That where you're wrong!

ELOISE. (weakly, she goes to DARRELL in deathly fear of the revolver.
she moves across HILARY, she turns with arms, outstretched to ward off
the revolver) Darry! Let us go to Lawrence, after all it doesn't matter
where we are, as long as we're together.

DARRELL. (with a glance at the revolver). Well, Of course, if you want
to go--

ELOISE. (fearfully). Yes, I want to.

DARRELL. I'll go. I'll go.

HILARY. Good! (He puts the revolver back in his pocket.) But I warn
you--if you attempt to bolt, I'll shoot you like a dog.

(He goes quickly and rings the bell up R.C.)

(ELOISE and DARRELL go front to R.C., watching him as he goes up to the
bell button.)

HILARY. (comes down a little after ringing the bell and calls) Annette!

ANNETTE. (entering L.1, cloaked and hatted). Yes, sir.

HILARY. Take your mistress's bag downstairs--dismiss the taxi that Mr.
McKnight came in and wait in my car. You'll find it at the door.

ANNETTE. (crosses in front of the lounge, taking up the case as she
passes and goes up to the arch up R.C.). Yes, sir!

HILARY. (as she reaches the arch to the hall-way). Oh--Annette send
Thompson to me, please (Turns to table above lounge and puts out
cigarette on ash-tray.)

ANNETTE (as she exits into the hall-way). Yes, sir.

DARRELL (well over R.). Oh Lord!

ELOISE (L. of DARRELL). What's the matter? Are you sorry we're 'going?

DARRELL. No-o, but I don't like your husband butting into my affairs!

ELOISE. But we can be as happy at Lawrence as elsewhere, can't we?

DARRELL. How do I know--I never saw the place! (He helps her on with
her coat.)

CARTER (entering from the hall-way). Did you want me, sir?

HILARY (up L.C.). Yes, Carter. Carry Mrs. Farrington's trunk down to
the car, please.

CARTER. Yes, sir.

(He comes down to the trunk and starts to pick it up. HILARY helps
CARTER get the trunk up, on his shoulder. CARTER carries the trunk out
into the hall-way.)

THOMPSON. (who enters as CARTER starts up with the trunk and comes to
the L. of the arch, has cap in his hand). Yes, sir.

HILARY. (up' above the lounge). Thompson, I want you to drive
Mrs. Farrington and Mr. McKnight and Annette down to the bungalow
at Lawrence. Drive carefully--don't speed--(he gives THOMPSON a
significant look)--don't speed--(THOMPSON nods understandingly)--and
don't under any circumstances alter your destination. Do you understand?

THOMPSON. Yes, sir.

HILARY. Good! That's all.

THOMPSON. Yes, sir. (He turns and exits into the hall-way, putting on
his cap.)

HILARY. (moving down to c. and offering ELOISE his hand). Good-bye--

(ELOISE goes slowly to HILARY and takes his hand)

HILARY. And good luck!

ELOISE. (wistfully). Don't you--Want to--kiss me--for the last time?

HILARY (politely to DARRELL) If Mr. McKnight has no objection.

DARRELL (angrily). Oh, go to the devil! (He moves up R. of the table
to the arch up R.C.)

HILARY (refusing her lips and kissing her lightly on the brow). All the
luck in the world, my dear.

ELOISE (tearfully). Thank you, Hilary. The same to you, Hilary--always.

(DARRELL reaches out his hand to her and draws her up to the arch. She
turns to HILARY.)

ELOISE. Good-bye.

HILARY. (gently). Good night.

(ELOISE with along last look around; bursts into tears and exits almost
reluctantly with DARRELL.)

HILARY (stands motionless until the outside door slams and then moves
quickly to the push button up L. of the arch and rings for CARTER. He
rushes down to the 'phone on the table and picks up the receiver).
Hello--get me Mrs. Gail at the Biltmore. Gail. G-A-I-L. Yes, shes
stopping there. I don't know the number. Call me when you get her.
(Hangs up the receiver and puts down the 'phone. Sits in the arm-chair
L. of the table and, taking a telegram blank, writes feverishly.)

CARTER. (enters from the hall-way and comes down to c. above the
table). Yes, sir?

HILARY. (busy writing telegram). Oh, Carter--I'm going on a trip. Get
your hat and coat.

CARTER. Yes, sir.

HILARY. I want you to come with me. We'll jump into the runabout at
the garage, stop at the telegraph office and send this wire to Bishop
Kennelly. (He rises, folding the telegram and placing it in his pocket.)

CARTER. Yes, sir. (He exits into the hall-way.)

HILARY. (taking up the 'phone). Hello--That you, Nora? This is Hilary
speaking. Yes. They've gone to Lawrence. Yes. He behaved exactly as
you, said he would. I'm leaving now. What? Mind, I depend on you! You
won't fail me? Good-bye.

(He hangs up the receiver and puts down the 'phone.)

CARTER. (enters from the hallway wearing his overcoat and carrying
his hat. He comes down to the arm-chair L. of the table and takes up
HILARY'S overcoat as he enters.) I'm ready, sir.

HILARY. (slipping into the overcoat which CARTER holds for him)...Good!
You're not afraid to drive with me, are you, Carter?

CARTER. (helping HILARY on with his overcoat) Oh no, sir. Not at all,
sir.

HILARY. (as he steps quickly to above the table and takes up his hat
and the manuscript case). Because you're going faster to-night than
you've ever gone before!

CARTER. Where to, sir?

HILARY. To Lawrence--and--we must make it in record time.

CARTER (astonished). To Lawrence, sir?

HILARY. Yes, I'm giving a small house party at the bungalow ...Come
on!..(He dashes out into the hall-way, followed by CARTER, as the
CURTAIN falls.)

AVERAGE TIME OF ACT 37 minutes.

ACT II

Interior living room of the Farringtons bungalow on Long island,
indicating the good taste of the owners. A railed balcony runs along
the length of the scene from which three doors to bedrooms open. The
room usually occupied by ELOISE is C. with guest rooms on either
side. Stairways beginning up L. and up R. meet at the small landing
in front of ELOISE room. Up C. beneath the balcony are French doors
opening onto a garden. At L.1 is the door to HILARY's room and R.1.
is a fireplace and mantel and above this at R.2 a doorway leads into
the kitchen. The furniture is arranged as follows. Below the door L.1
a side chair. Above this door a Vocalion. At the foot of the left
staircase and set against the left wall is a small console desk covered
with several books and a few magazines. Up L. of the low C. arch is
a writing-desk and chair. The desk is completely furnished with desk
blotter, stationery, pens, ink well, matchstand and matches and a desk
lamp, and photograph of HILARY in a silver frame. Hanging from
under the balcony, and a little to the L. of the writing-desk is a
wicker bird-cage. At the R. of the C. arch is a small square table on
which is a desk telephone, with a suburban telephone book on the shelf
underneath. Just at the R. of this small table is an oblong library
table on which are several nicely bound books, a checker board and box
containing checkers, several decks of playing cards, and a matchstand
with matches. At the foot of the stairway R. is a small stand with
a smoking-set, the receptacles containing cigars, cigarettes and
matches. Hanging from underneath the balcony, a little to the R. of
the oblong table is another bird-cage. At the fireplace down R. there
is a fire-log, black iron fire-dogs and a black fire-screen. On the
mantelpiece are two tall brass candlesticks with red candles. Over
the mantel hangs a painting in a bright red frame. Set a little out
from the fireplace and facing the footlights is a large over-stuffed
settee or couch with two large sofa pillows. At the L. end of this
couch is a small "kidney" table on which are a table lamp, silver
cigarette box containing cigarettes, a matchstand with matches and a
book or two. A little to the L. of C. is a round table with a blue silk
doyly on it. Side chairs R. and L. of this table. Up on the balcony
at either end are arm-chairs placed below the end doors. Above the up
L. door against the back wall is a small console table. Above the Up
R. door is a small round table. At R. and L. of the C. door on the
balcony, centred on the back wall, are two wall lamps. Underneath the
balcony, on the wall at the foot of the stairways R. and L., are two
wall esconcers. These lamps are practical and are controlled by a
brass plate wall switch which is just above the door L.1. A valance
of bright-coloured cretonne borders the front edge of the balcony and
side curtains and valance of the same material are hung at the small
arch up C. White silk French blinds hang at the French glass doors up
C. Carpeting of a warm neutral tint covers the floor, the stairways and
the balcony floor.

TIME--About two hours later the same night.

LIGHTS.--The CURTAIN rises on a dark stage: except for the blue
night-light seen outside the French, doors up C.

AT RISE.--As the CURTAIN rises a motor is heard approaching from a
distance and as the CURTAIN is well up, two little beams of light from
the motor headlights appear on the backing up C. gradually growing
larger as the noise of the motor increases. The floods of light swing
down into the room as though the car had circled around a circular
drive way and the motor stops. There is the sound of footsteps outside
on the porch and the key is heard to turn in the lock. The French doors
are thrown open and HILARY enters carrying his manuscript case and a
pocket flashlight which he turns this way and that about the room. He
is closely followed by CARTER, who carries the bags and several wrapped
parcels.

(After flashing the flashlight around, HILARY comes directly down to
the table lamp on the "kidney" table at the L. end of the couch and,
turns on the lamp.)

HILARY. (after he turns on the lamp) Looks as if we're first, doesn't
it? (Crosses to R. and opens pantry door, looks into room, then closes
door.)

CARTER. (placing the bags on the floor L. of the table C. and the
parcels on the chair L. of the table). Yes, Sir. We ought to be first
at the rate you was driving...

HILARY. (coming down the end of couch and glancing at the fireplace.
Putting the flashlight in the side pocket of his overcoat and glancing
about the room). You Weren't frightened were you, Carter?

CARTER. (L. of the table) No, sir. Nothing frightens me, sir.

HILARY. (shivering). B'rrrr! By George, its cold in here. (He crosses
front to L.) It's warmer outside than in.

CARTER. (crosses above the table up B.C.): The house has been shut up
too long, sir.

HILARY. (moving to the wall switch above the door). You'd better light
the fire.

(On the word "fire" he presses the switch, Lights go full up and the
motor headlights dim slowly out. HILARY places his manuscript case on
the Vocalion above the door L.1.)

CARTER. (taking a matchstand from the upper end of the "kidney" table
as he goes to the fireplace). It's all prepared, sir. Shall I put a
match to it?

HILARY. (over L. Glancing around the room). Yes, do.

CARTER. (at the fireplace). Yes, sir.

(He strikes a match, and holds it to the fire-logs, reaching in above
the fire screen.)

HILARY (going above the table and looking out the c. doors) I wonder
if they're in sight yet? (Coming back down to L. of the table.) No. No
sign of them, We've got time enough. What was it Nora told me to do? (A
slight pause while he looks about to see what can be done to make the
place more cheerful.) I know, make the place as bright as possible. Are
there any flower's in the greenhouse?

CARTER. (placing the matchstand back on the "kidney" table). Any
quantity of them, sir.

HILARY. Let's have some in--bright colours, anything--(CARTER moves up
to the C. doors.) decent you can find.

(CARTER stops at up C. HILARY crosses in front of table toward the
fireplace R.)

CARTER. Yes, sir. (He goes out through the c. doors and of L. into the
garden.)

(HILARY warms his hands at the fire for an instant and then, turns to
C. whistling a few bars of "There's a little bit of bad in every good
little girl." He pauses at C.R. and turning his back to the audience;
he assigns the bedrooms to his prospective guests in pantomime,
beginning with the room up R. on the balcony and thence along, the
balcony till his eye rests on the door, of his own room. He starts to
whistle again and does quickly to the door L.1. Opens the door and
reaching in turns a light switch and the room L.1 is flooded with
light. He crosses to the L. of the table and taking up his bags, he
carries them off into the room L.1.)

(CARTER enters front off L. with his arm full of flowers as HILARY
goes into the bedroom with the bags. He comes down to the c. table and
places the flowers on the table. HILARY enters from room L.1. closing
the door.)

CARTER. (As he places the flowers on the table). Will these do, sir?

HILARY. Splendid! (Starting to arrange them.) Get me something to put
them in.

CARTER. Yes, sir. (He, crosses R. and exits into the pantry R.2.)

(Above the table C. HILARY is arranging the flowers.).

CARTER. (Enters from the pantry R. with one low flower bowl and two
tall vases which he brings to the table). All I could find, Sir.

HILARY. They'll do. (Fills one tall vase with flowers.) There, we are.
Put that on the mantelpiece.

(CARTER carries the vase to the fireplace R. and places it on the
centre of the mantel, HILARY placing the short stemmed flowers in the
sand in the low bowl.)

HILARY. Nothing like flowers to brighten up a room, eh, Carter?

CARTER. (at the fireplace, giving a final touch to the flowers.). No,
sir.

HILARY (moving the low bowl to the L. side of the table to make room
for CARTER). Come along, now. You do the other yourself. (Continues
working over the low bowl.)

CARTER. Yes, sir. (He comes to the table and taking a handful of
flowers and a vase, goes to the table up R.C., and fills the vase as
he speaks). I'm rather good at arranging flowers, sir. Cook is always
complimenting me on my taste at it.

HILARY. (still working with the flower bowl). Is she? I had no idea that
cook was such, a connoisseur.

CARTER. Oh, yes, sir. She always has a bunch or, two in the kitchen to
give her inspiration.

HILARY. Inspiration, eh? (He takes off his overcoat as he steps back
to admire his handiwork. He steps up stage and throws his overcoat
over the balustrade of the L. stairway and places his hat on the
writing-desk. As he puts down his hat, he notices his photograph on
the desk. He picks it up and glances at it admiringly, dusts it off
with the sleeve of his sack coat and bringing it down stage, he Places
it on the L. front side of the table C. He laughs softly to himself)
just put this here. It will make them both feel thoroughly happy and
comfortable. (L. of the table C.) The next thing is to see what can be
done in the way of some supper before they get here.

CARTER (coming down and gathering up the remaining flowers from the
table C.). Shall I put these upstairs in your room, sir?

HILARY. No. I'm-going to sleep down here to-night. (Indicates the room
L.1.)

CARTER. Are you, sir?

HILARY. Take them, into the kitchen. They may give you inspiration.

CARTER. Yes, sir. (CARTER exits into the pantry R. with the flowers and
small brown bag.)

(The sound of the motor is heard again and the headlights appear, as in
the beginning of the act swinging down, into the room. HILARY listens
to the sound of the motor, smiles joyfully and grabbing up from the
chair L. of the table, runs off into the pantry R. The motor stops, and
after a. pause DARRELL and ELOISE enter C. from off R.
They are dressed as last seen in Act 1. ELOISE has a handkerchief to
her eyes as though she had been crying.)

DARRELL (looks about in astonishment. He enters). Hello!--There must
be servants here. (He comes down R.C.)

ELOISE (coming down to front of the chair R. of the table). He probably
telephoned when he thought he was coming himself.

DARRELL. (above L. end of the couch R.). Jolly thoughtful of him, I
call it. (He sees the fire and goes to it.) Ah! We can stand fire on a
night like this. (Warming his hands at the fire.) I hope there's some
food in the place.

ELOISE. (front of chair R. of the table). Annette Will find something
for us.

DARRELL. (warming his hands again). This isn't half bad. (Turns his back
to the fire). Especially with everything prepared like this.

ELOISE. (with a slight show of spirit). Well, he owed us some
consideration after forcing us to come here.

DARRELL. (taking off his overcoat). Well, after all I think he was
right. It would have been beastly on a train, and this strikes me as
being almost an ideal spot for a honeymoon.

ELOISE. (front of chair R. of table. With vexation.) Oh!--

DARRELL. What's the matter?

ELOISE. When I think of the awful things he said to me, I could almost
cry.

DARRELL. (R. front of couch). Please don't. You've been crying ever
since we left town.

ELOISE. Well I can't help it. He said it was only my clothes that made
me attractive.

DARRELL. Nonsense: You'd be just as attractive without them (Throws
overcoat and cap down on R. end of couch.)

ELOISE. (quickly). What?

DARRELL. (turning quickly). I mean--you'd be attractive in anything.
(He goes to her.) You're the most wonderful woman in the world.

ELOISE. Well, it makes me just furious to think that I didn't answer
him properly. I never do think of the right thing to say until it's too
late (Unbuttoning, her coat.).

DARRELL. (soothingly, as he pets her a little and starts to take off
her coat). There, there, dear--don't think of him any more, 'He's
-passed out of our lives--for ever. Now take off your coat and settle
down in our little love nest.

(He hangs her coat over the back of the chair R. of the table.)

ELOISE. (sits in chair R. of table): You're too comforting; Darry. I
don't know what I'd do without--(Suddenly.) If you ever deserted!

DARRELL. Desert you! (Kneels at her side.) Why, sweetheart--a whole
lifetime would be too short to prove such a love as mine.

ELOISE. And you do love me--don't you?

DARRELL. (matter of factly). you bet your life, I do.

ELOISE. You don't think I'm an empty-headed little doll, do you?

DARRELL. Empty headed? Is that what he called my brainy little girl?

ELOISE. Yes, he said I was a tyrant, I tried to make a slave of
everybody--(She turns to face L.)

DARRELL. What do you care what he said? Remember, you're never going to
see him again. There will be nobody in the world but just YOU and me.

ELOISE (turning to DARRELL) You're so good to me, Darry!

DARRELL. I wish I could carry you off to some desert island where we
could be alone forever and ever.

ELOISE. (entranced, looking front). Oh, that would be too wonderful.
(Turning, placing her arm about him) Darry!--

DARRELL (throwing his arms around her). my precious!--(He is about to
kiss her as ANNETTE enters up C. from off R., carrying the bags.).

ANNETTE (sternly, as she enters and takes in the situation). Which
room, ma'am?

(At the sound of her voice, DARRELL and ELOISE rise, in confusion.
DARRELL moves away to front of L. end of couch)

ELOISE. (as DARRELL releases her, she steps to the front L. of table.
Embarrassed). My usual room.

ANNETTE (with a disapproving glance at DARRELL). Yes, Ma'am.

(She goes to the L. stairway and goes up the stairs keeping her eyes
on DARRELL. DARRELL fidgets uncomfortably under her stare. When she
reaches the door c. on the balcony, she gives her head a haughty toss
and exits.)

DARRELL (moves uncomfortably farther away to R. under the influence of
ANNETTE'S disapproving stare. As ANNETTE exits). I don't like that girl.

ELOISE. (with a cry as she discovers HILLARY's photograph on the
table). Oh! (She reaches and takes up the photograph.) O--Oh!

DARRELL (moving toward her from over R.). What's the matter now?

ELOISE (holding the photo at arm's length in front of her and looking
at it). Every time I think of Hilary, I can't help thinking of the
awful things he said to me.

DARRELL. (taking the photo from her). I think it's about time you were
forgetting him and thinking a little of me. (He crosses up R.C. and
places the photo on the table up R.C.)

ELOISE. (in front of table). It's all very well to say that, but it
isn't so easy to do. (She moves R. to front of the couch.) Especially
here where everything reminds me of him.

DARRELL. (up R.C.). Why should everything remind you of him?

ELOISE. We spent our honeymoon here, too.

DARRELL. (coming down, R.C.) What!

ELOISE. Only then it was June, and the roses were in bloom. (She sinks
on the couch R.)

DARRELL. (he crosses to C.L.). Well; I'm damned!

ELOISE. (sharply). Darrell!

DARRELL. (turns to her at C.L.). Why didn't you tell me that before we
agreed to come here?

ELOISE (on the couch R.). I didn't want Hilary to think it made any
difference. But now that I see all these familiar things--(She begins
to cry again.)

DARRELL. (he goes to R.C.). Now please don't cry. (Leaning over the
"kidney" table at L. end of the couch.) Crying doesn't help matters and
it doesn't add to anyone's happiness, so please stop it.

(ANNETTE enters from the room up C. on the balcony and comes down the
L. stairway, quietly taking in the situation.)

ELOISE. I don't see how you can speak to me like that. With all his
faults, he never did.

DARRELL. Well, you ran away from him.

(ELOISE bursts into tears again.) Oh, damn! (He moves C.)

ANNETTE (down L. TO DARRELL). She's cold and tired, sir. That's all
that's wrong. Perhaps a drop of something hot or a bite to eat might
fetch her round. I'll see if I can find something in the pantry.

(She starts up L.C. DARRELL Crosses L.)

(As ANNETTE says "or a bite to eat" HILARY enters from the pantry R.
carrying a large tray upon which is a chafing dish with alcohol burner
blazing, a decanter of wine, two wine-glasses, two plates, two bouillon
cups with bouillon, serviettes; knives and forks and spoons, and large
ebony-handled serving fork and spoon.)

HILARY (Not waiting for ANNETTE to finish her line) Precisely what I
was thinking myself.

ELOISE (rising quickly in surprise). Hilary!

HILARY. Something hot and tasty. (He moves to above the table C.)

(ANNETTE takes the low bowl of flowers from the table C. and places it
on the console table up L. at the foot of the stairs.)

DARRELL. How the devil--

HILARY. Behold supper. (He puts the tray down on the table.) Hot soup!
Eggs Mornay and a little wine.

DARRELL. (L.). Well--we just needed you to make our happiness complete.

HILARY. (innocently). I hope I'm not _de trop_? (Placing bouillon cups
and plates R. and L. on table.)

DARRELL (sarcastically). Oh, no--not at all. We were just wishing you'd
come.

ELOISE. (puzzled, moves slowly to the chair R. of the table) How did you
get here ahead of us?

HILARY. (C. above the table). Well you see, my dear, after you'd gone,
it suddenly occurred to me that you might find the place damp, cold and
uninviting and as you really came here at my suggestion, well, I simply
couldn't have that happen, could I?

DARRELL. (L.). No, you couldn't--

HILARY. (placing the serviette's at R. and L. of the table). So I
jumped into the runabout--took the shortest cut and got here in time to
put the place in order for you.

DARRELL. (sarcastically). Very kind of you, I'm sure.

HILARY. Don't mention it.

DARRELL. In fact, kind isn't the word.

HILARY. To tell the truth I wasn't thinking so much about you, I was
thinking more about my wife. I didn't want her to feel uncomfortable.

ELOISE (R. of table C.). It was most considerate, Hilary, and I know
you meant well--but, it's rather awkward--don't you think?

HILARY. My being here, you mean? Oh, don't let that bother you. I shall
be leaving almost immediately. (He turns to ANNETTE.) Annette, will you
ask Thompson to fill my petrol tank for me.

(ANNETTE nods and exits up c. and of to R.)

(To DARRELL). It leaked coming out. (To ELOISE.). Now, my dear, sit
down and have a little hot soup.

ELOISE. No, thanks--I'm not hungry.

HILARY. (trying to coax her to sit). It will warm you up after your
cold ride.

ELOISE. (reluctantly). No--o, thanks.

HILARY. (starting to put her down in the chair). Just a little!

ELOISE. (hungry, but feeling forced to decline). But I'm not hungry.
Really I'm not!

HILARY. (seating her). Its really not bad at all. I made it myself.
(Inviting DARRELL.) McKnight?

DARRELL. (emphatically). No thanks. (He pulls the chair L. of the table
away from the table.) I'm warm enough. (He sits.)

HILARY. (persuasively). Just a taste? (Taking up the decanter and
filling a glass.) Well, a glass of this very excellent white wine. I
can recommend it for honeymoon occasions. (Places decanter back on
tray.) It will make you see things--(He looks at DARRELL. DARRELL
glares at hint)--in a more romantic light. (He places the glass of
wine in ELOISE'S hand.)'

ELOISE. (smiling up at HILARY). Thank you, Hilary. I am thirsty--and
I remember how very delicious this is. (To DARRELL.) We had it on our
honeymoon. (She drinks the wine.)

DARRELL. (sarcastically). Oh, did you...?

HILARY. (taking the bouillon cup from off the plate in front of DARRELL
and placing it back on the tray). We did, indeed. (Removing the lid
from the chafing dish.). And now for the _piece de resistance_. Eggs
Mornay! (Removes the bouillon cup from ELOISE'S plate and places it on
the tray.)

(ELOISE turns hungrily to the table, moving her chair close in
anticipation)

HILARY. (to ELOISE). You always did like Eggs Mornay.

ELOISE. (holding her plate, eager to be served). Did I?

HILARY. Yes, Don't you remember the night you tried to make it yourself?

ELOISE. Yes; and I dropped it all over the table!

(They both laugh merrily.)

(DARRELL laughs sarcastically to call their attention to the fact that
he is still one of the party.)

HILARY. (after a slight awkward pause) And that's another thing you'll
have to learn, McKnight, to make Eggs Mornay. I'll give you the
recipe--(He helps ELOISE to a liberal portion of the Eggs Mornay and
prepares to serve DARRELL.) Hold your plate, McKnight.

DARRELL. (reaching over snatching his plate from the table). You leave
my plate alone.

HILARY. (referring to DARRELL'S plate). Not over there--over here.

DARRELL. I don't want any!

HILARY. Well, is there anything else I can do to make you happy and
comfortable? (He turns out the light under the chafing dish.)

DARRELL. Don't tell me you've run out of cheery little suggestions.

HILARY. (pretending to apologize). You see, my position is so new. I
was afraid I might seem remiss.

DARRELL. On the contrary. (Bow to each other.)

HILARY. Well, if you're quite sure you're not hungry--perhaps you'll
let me take your place.

DARRELL. What?

HILARY. Only so far as the food is concerned. You see, I've been so
busy getting things prepared for you that I've had no time to think of
myself. And I'm beginning to feel the need of something.

ELOISE. (in chair R. of table). Of course, how stupid of us--you must
be hungry too.

HILARY. I am--although I hadn't thought of it before. And it's rather a
long way down to the village.

DARRELL. Why not wait until you get to the village?

ELOISE. (reprovingly). Don't be so selfish, Darry. We can't turn a
starving man out of his own house--even if he is my husband.

HILARY. Thank you, my dear. (Stepping to DARRELL.) If you don't mind,
McKnight. (Takes hold of the back of DARRELL'S chair, urging him out.)

DARRELL (rising reluctantly and stepping to above the table). Oh--,
well--

HILARY. Thanks. (Seating himself in the chair he has practically forced
DARRELL to vacate.) It seems like old times to be sitting here with a
chafing dish between us. (Proceeds to help himself to the Eggs Mornay.)

DARRELL. (sarcastically). Oh, does it?

HILARY. Yes, you don't know what you're missing, old man.

DARRELL. I could miss a lot of things without feeling, sorry.

ELOISE (pausing from eating). Oh--! I miss something, too.

HILARY. What?

ELOISE. The paprika--you've forgotten it.

DARRELL. Paprika?

ELOISE. Yes--I knew it didn't taste the same, but I couldn't think what
was missing until now.

HILARY. (stops eating) Fancy my forgetting something like that on an
occasion like this! I'll get it immediately. (He starts to rise.)

ELOISE. (quickly stopping him). No, no, stay where you are. Let Darry
get it--he's up.

(HILARY sits again.)

DARRELL (indignantly). What?

HILARY. Why not? The least you can do is to provide the spice.

ELOISE. Besides Hilary is our guest--in a sort of way.

HILARY. Exactly--get the paprika, old man.

DARRELL. How do I know where the damned old paprika is?

HILARY. You'll find it in the pantry--on the second shelf.

ELOISE. You may as well get used to the place, Darry, if we're to stay
here.

DARRELL. (after an indignant look at them). Oh, Hell--(He goes 'toward
the pantry door, R.)

(HILARY sniggers. DARRELL stops at the pantry, door R.)

DARRELL. What shelf did you say it was on?

HILARY. The second shelf, old man. You can't miss it. It looks like red
pepper.

DARRELL. (silencing him with a wave of his hand). Oh, I know what it
looks like. (He exits into pantry R.)

HILARY. (to ELOISE) I'm sorry to put him to all this trouble, my
dear, but I was in such a hurry to have things ready for you--

ELOISE. (interrupting). Oh, don't apologize--(a quick glance toward the
pantry. Joyously)--because you didn't really forget the paprika at all.

HILARY. What?

ELOISE. No--you didn't forget a thing. It's beautifully seasoned. I
just made that up to get rid of Darry for a minute.

HILARY. Oh, I see.

ELOISE. I wanted to talk with you alone, before you left. You see, he
doesn't understand you as I do.

HILARY. Naturally.

ELOISE. Of course, I know why you came and how sweet and thoughtful
you've been, but its not the way husbands usually act in a situation
like this is it?

HILARY. No, I suppose, not.

ELOISE. So you mustn't mind if he seems upset about having you here.

HILARY. Upset? Why should he be upset? I've done everything, possible
to make him feel comfortable.

ELOISE. I know you have--but he's not so used to having you around, as
I am.

HILARY. You mean to say he's getting jealous of me?

ELOISE. Well--I'm afraid so.

HILARY. Oh, that's absurd.

ELOISE. (spiritedly). It, may seem absurd to you, that anyone should
feel jealous of me, but Darry has a very affectionate nature and feels
this sort of thing very keenly. He's very sensitive, You know.

HILARY. Why, I wouldn't hurt his sensitive soul for the world. What do
you want me to do?

ELOISE. I want you both to be friends.

HILARY. What?

ELOISE (pleadingly). I want you to be his friend as well as mine. It
will make it so much nicer for all of us, and after the first strain
of things has worn off we can visit each other just as if nothing had
happened.

HILARY. (joyously). That's a splendid idea!

ELOISE. Oh, thank you, Hilary!

HILARY. Not at all.

ELOISE. I knew you'd see it in the right way. (Starts eating again as
though through with the subject.)

HILARY. It'll give me something to do during the long winter
evenings--I'll run in on you, for dinner, at the flat, or wherever
you're going to live--stretch myself out before the fire--listen to
McKnight's complaints--and brood over what I've escaped. (He turns in
his chair to face front.)

ELOISE. (letting her fork drop on her plate). What?

HILARY. My dear (Rising quickly, leaning forward and taking her hand
across the table.) I accept your invitation with thanks.

(He sits again as DARRELL enters.)'

DARRELL. (enters from the pantry R. with the paprika, speaking as he
enters). That's the messiest pantry I ever saw. (He goes to above the
table as he speaks. Offering paprika to ELOISE.) Here's the paprika.

ELOISE. Thank you, Darry. (Uses serviette on her lips) I don't need it
now.

HILARY. You were so long about getting it, that we've neatly finished.

DARRELL. Yes, finished _me_, I suppose?

HILARY, We did mention you. In fact, Eloise made a brilliant suggestion.

DARRELL. What was it?

HILARY. Well, we've, decided that as soon as you're settled permanently
in a flat or home of some sort--I'm dropping in for some cheery,
chummy evenings. Sort of family revival meetings...

DARRELL. (clasping his hands together in front of him)
won't--that--be--lovely!

ELOISE. Darry!

DARRELL. (to HILARY) What do you take me for?

HILARY. For better or worse--it was her suggestion, not mine.

ELOISE. Why, Darry, the least we can do is to invite him up for dinner
occasionally.

DARRELL (sarcastically). Yes, and send me out for the paprika while you
two enjoy yourselves. But you don't put anything like that over on me.

ELOISE (angrily). What a perfectly horrid thing to say.

DARRELL. And when I come back with the damned stuff you say you don't
need it! (Slams the paprika down on the table.) Sneeze bus. [business
of sneezing?])

ELOISE (rises quickly) Darrell!

HILARY (rises, trying to pacify, them). Come, come, children,
you mustn't quarrel before strangers. (They look at him.) so
embarrassing--to the stranger! (After a short pause.) Well, if there's
nothing more I can do for you--I'll be trotting along if you'll excuse
me.

(He moves to the newel post up L. and takes his hat and coat. ELOISE
sits again.)

DARRELL (sarcastically). Don't speed, will you? (Sits in the chair L.
of the table.)

HILARY (as he goes to the C. doors with his hat and coat). I'll try
to keep within the traffic laws. (He turns at the doors.) Au revoir,
Eloise. So long, McKnight. (He exits C. to R.)

DARRELL. Good-bye! (He moves his chair close to the table, muttering
to himself.) Wouldn't you think he'd knew enough to keep away at a time
like this? (Lifts the cover off the chafing dish as though about to
help himself to the contents.)

HILARY. (re-enters quickly from off up R.). Oh--!

DARRELL. (drops the cover with a bang and shoves his chair away from
the table disgustedly). Good God!

HILARY. (coming down). It suddenly occurred to me that if there is
anything else I can do to contribute to your comfort, you have only to
telephone me.

DARRELL. There is just one thing you can do if you want to please me.

HILARY. Yes, I know, old man, I'm sorry, but I really can't stay. (He
turns up to the a doors.)

ANNETTE (enters c. from off R. and comes to R. of HILARY). If you
please, Sir.

HILARY. Well?

ANNETTE. Thompson says there is no petrol in the place and none in
either car.

HILARY. No

DARRELL. There was plenty in our car.

ANNETTE. (to DARRELL). No, sir. Thompson Says it's all gone.

(DARRELL rises and turns L., disgusted.)

HILARY. Surely he must have enough to get me back to town?

ANNETTE. No, sir. He says he found a hole in the tank and it's all
leaked out.

HILARY. (to DARRELL). Now--isn't that too bad?

DARRELL (down L.). And why should there be a leak in your tank at this
particular time?

HILARY (up L. of c.). Why? Well--that's just it--why?--Well, it's an
ill wind that blows nobody good. After all, I don't see why I can't
work down here to-night just as well as I could in town. (Puts down hat
and overcoat at newel post up L.)

ELOISE. (rises, gasping). You mean--you are not going?

HILARY. (surprised). How can I?

DARRELL. (down L.). Do you mean to say that you are going to stay here
with us?

HILARY. (calmly). What else can I do? I promise to leave you to your
own devices.

DARRELL. (as he crosses over to couch R. To ANNETTE, who is up R. C.).
Annette, get our bags--we're not going to stay after all. (Takes up his
hat and coat from the couch.)

(ELOISE steps above the chair and takes, her coat from the back of the
chair.)

(ANNETTE goes to the stairway and starts up.)

HILARY (coming down L. of the table). Nonsense!

(ANNETTE stops on the first landing and waits further orders.)

HILARY. Of course you're going to stay!

DARRELL. I think not. (Angrily, losing patience.) I've had enough of
your confounded interference and dictation! (He confronts HILARY.)

HILARY. (suavely). I'm sorry if I annoy you, but I am still Mrs.
Farringtons's legal guardian, though I have waived my claims as her
husband, and I feel it my duty to protect her interests. That's why I
want you to remain under my roof.

DARRELL. (C.L.). I absolutely decline to consider it!

ELOISE. (R.C. ashamed--advancing toward them a few steps). It was bad
enough to be here alone together. But with you also here. Really!

(She halts, at loss for words and moves R. to front of couch.)

HILARY. But you can ignore me. Forget that exist.

DARRELL. Impossible!

HILARY. Then what are you going to do?

DARRELL. We're going to leave here at once. (He moves' to up R.C.)
Come, Eloise--Annette! Get our bags!

(ANNETTE goes up the stairway R. and exits into the c. room, on the
balcony.)

HILARY. (L. of the table). How are you going to do it? Both cars are
out of commission.

DARRELL. Perhaps I can do something about that. I know quite a lot
about cars.

HILARY. It isn't a question of mechanism...It's a question of lack of
petrol.

DARRELL. (above the chair R. of the table). Oh, very well! We'll do
without the cars, then...We'll walk!

ELOISE (over R. Startled). Walk?

HILARY. The nearest village is six miles through the woods and the
roads are not lighted.

DARRELL. (confidently) Oh, we'll find our way.

ELOISE. (protesting). But Darrell! Six miles! At this time of night?

DARRELL. (going to ELOISE), Well we can't stay here now, with your
husband here, can we?

ELOISE. (going in front of DARRELL and up to the C. doors). I'd rather
stay here--than go into those woods! (She shivers.) Just look out!
(She looks off R. through' the open doors.) There's not a light
anywhere And the moon doesn't reach among the trees!

HILARY (L. to R. of the table). To say nothing of snakes and mosquitoes.

DARRELL. Mosquitoes? At this time of year?

HILARY. Yes, that's the kind we have here, old man.

ELOISE. (coming down toward DARRELL, seeking Protection) Darrell?

DARRELL. (groping--then inspired). I'll tell you what we'll do we'll
telephone to the liveryman in the village for a cab of some sort.
(Throws down his cap and coat on R. end of couch.)

HILARY Ah! That's a good idea. That's a brain wave. (He sits L. of the
table.)

(DARRELL moves up R. of couch to the 'phone on small table up R. He
picks up the 'phone and takes off the receiver.)

ELOISE. (as DARRELL moves up to the phone, takes of her coat and drops
it on the L. end of the couch. Takes off her hat and places it on the
"kidney"). He won't be there at this time of night. (She sits on the
couch R.)

DARRELL. We'll try him! (In the 'phone.) Hello! Hello! Hello! (To
HILARY.) What's the number?

HILARY. Oh just ask for the livery stable...

DARRELL. (into the 'phone). Give me the livery stable--Johnson? I
don't care what his name is! Yes get him for me will You please!
(To HILARY.) Oh, we'll get him out, all right. (Quickly into 'phone.)
Hello--what? Doesn't 'answer?--well, try him again.

ELOISE (on couch R.). It's no use, I tell you! He's never there at
this time of night. We tried him several times when we were on our
honeymoon. D'you remember the night we...

(She looks across at HILARY. HILARY laughs in pleasant recollection.
She laughs. They feel DARRELL glaring at them and suddenly stop.)

DARRELL (glaring' at them. In the 'phone). What? All right! Never mind!

(He hangs up the receiver and comes down to the chair R. of the table.)

(ANNETTE enters from the C. room on the balcony and comes down the L.
stairway to L. of HILARY. She carries the bags. Wears hat and Coat.)

ELOISE. I'm afraid there's no help for it, Darry.

DARRELL (resignedly. To ELOISE.). Oh, very well--I suppose we'll have
to stand him, then. (To, HILARY.). But we'll leave here the very first
thing in the Morning. Mind that!

HILARY. (shrugging his shoulders indifferently)...Just as you like!

ANNETTE. (L. of HILARY). I have the bags, sir.

HILARY. (hospitably to ANNETTE). Our guests have changed their minds
and they will stay the night, after all, Annette. So carry them up
again.

ANNETTE (wearily). Yes, sir.

(Goes up the L. stairway with the bags. ELOISE rises, flounces down R.
and returns to R.C. again, sees ANNETTE.)

ELOISE. Darry! (Startled, calling sharply as ANNETTE reaches the first
landing, on her way up with the bags.) Wait! Annette Where are you
taking them?

ANNETTE. To the big room, ma'am. That's where you told me to take them,
before.

ELOISE. (R. front of 'the couch). But not both bags!

HILARY. There--there! Don't mind me. (He rises.) Behave exactly as if
I weren't here.

ELOISE. (firmly). I won't have any other bag with mine.

HILARY. (to ELOISE). Just as you like, my dear. (Turns to ANNETTE.)
Annette, put Mr. McKnight's bag--all by its lonesome--in the room
adjoining.

ANNETTE. (with alacrity). Yes, sir. (She continues up the stairs and
going along the balcony, exits into room R. She puts down DARRELL'S bag
and after a five seconds pause, she re-enters, crossed to the room c.
on the balcony and exits with the other.)

HILARY. (moving to front of the table). My one thought is to make you
comfortable and happy! You know that!

DARRELL. (moving, down to R. of HILARY. Resentful and disappointed). If
that's true, why don't you go?

HILARY. (grieved). My dear man.

DARRELL. (interrupting). You must realize your presence here is making
it exceedingly awkward for all of us!

HILARY. Ye-es, I do, but

DARRELL. (breaking in). We've done what you wanted! We've come here
instead of going elsewhere as we'd planned--surely the least you can do
is to go, and leave us to enjoy ourselves in peace!

HILARY. You don't expect me to walk back, do you?

DARRELL. I would--if the situation were reversed...

HILARY. Unfortunately, we've no means of proving that assertion.

DARRELL. (he turns up R.C. in a rage). I can't go on arguing.

HILARY. (following up a few steps on the L. side of the table).
However, if you'll just quiet down and finish your supper without
giving Eloise nervous indigestion, I'll see if I can't attach wings to
my motor and fly back to town. (Up C. at the doors.) You'll excuse me,
won't you?'

DARRELL. (sarcastically). With pleasure!

HILARY. (lightly). Don't mention it. (He exits C. and off to R.)

(DARRELL goes quickly up to the c. doors and looks off after HILARY.)

DARRELL. (coming down to L. of the "kidney" table. Angrily). I'm
on to his little scheme all right!--He thinks he'll make us look
ridiculous, get tired of the situation and call the elopement off. (He
moves over L. of the table.) But he's got another think coming!

HILARY. (off up R.). Hello! Well, well--this is a surprise! Come in!
(He enters C. moving to the L. of the C. opening.)

NORA. (she follows HILARY on through the C. doors, dressed in an
elaborate afternoon gown. A heavy white veil at first disguises her
identity. Up C. removing her veil as she speaks). I beg your pardon. I
saw the lights and--

DARRELL. (recognizing her). Nora! (Falling back to L.)

ELOISE. Mrs. Gail!

NORA. (stares at her, gazing from one to another. Speaks as she comes
down, R.F. to front of the table). Well, of all things wonderful and
strange! Where am I?

HILARY (coming down). In my house, dear lady--How do you do?

NORA (C.R.). How do I do? I'm cold and tired and disgusted. I've been
sitting in a motor-car--a cheap, uncomfortable motorcar--for an hour
at least, while my stupid chauffeur fooled about trying to discover why
it had stopped. After taking everything to bits, he found out we'd run
out of petrol!

HILARY. (C.L.). What? You too?

DARRELL. (L.). This seems to be empty-tank night.

NORA. (she crosses to DARRELL). Oh, hello, Darry!

DARRELL. (shaking hands with no enthusiasm). Hello!

NORA. Its wonderful to run into you like this. (She turns to HILARY.)
If I'd known it was your place, I'd have come in long ago! Why don't
you have an electric sign out for the benefit of benighted travellers
in this wilderness?

HILARY. I would, if I thought it would bring me many such a charming
traveller as yourself.

NORA. (she turns to DARRELL). There, Darry--I'm sure you couldn't say
anything as pretty as that. (To HILARY.) Has anyone a cigarette?

HILARY. (offering his case). Yes, here we are. (DARRELL offering his
case.)

NORA. (freezing DARRELL out). Thanks--I smoke only one at a time.

(DARRELL jams his case back in his pocket.)

NORA. (NORA smiles at HILARY and accepts a cigarette from his case.)
What is on here--a house-party?

ELOISE. (front of couch R. Hastily). Ye-es--a sort of house-party.

HILARY. There are only three of us, you see. (Takes out match safe and
lights match.)

DARRELL. (L.). And three people hardly constitute a house party.

HILARY (holding match for NORA to light her cigarette). We just took a
notion to motor down for a few days. I have a book to finish.

(He starts putting the dishes back on tray to make room for the coffee.)

NORA. Yes? (She sits L. of the table.)

HILARY. And McKnight volunteered to keep Eloise from being bored. (He
is busy with the dishes, working from the R. front side of the table.)

NORA. Yes?--I recommend him to keep any woman from being bored. He used
to keep me from being bored, once! (She smiles sweetly at DARRELL, who
turns up stage. HILARY sits R. of the table.)

CARTER (enters from the pantry with coffee percolator on a tray. The
alcohol flame is burning and the coffee ready to serve). The coffee,
sir. (He goes to above the table C. NORA. puts DARRELL's plate on
the tray already on the table and draws the tray toward her to make
room for the coffee. CARTER places the coffee in front of HILARY and
arranges the things on the Eggs Mornay tray, making it ready to carry
off.)

NORA. Coffee! The one thing I wanted most on earth.

HILARY. (drawing coffee from the percolator). Then you must have the
first cup.

NORA. Thanks.

HILARY. Black, or do you prefer cream and sugar?

NORA. Black, if it's good coffee--sugar and cream, if it's not.

HILARY (handing her the cup). Perhaps you'd better taste it.

NORA (taking the cup) Perhaps I had. (She sniffs.) It smells
scrumptious (She tastes it.) Thanks, I'll drink it black.

HILARY (with a little laugh). Thanks for the compliment.

(CARTER starts toward the pantry R. with the "Eggs Mornay" tray.)

NORA. Well, if you really appreciate it, perhaps I might beg some
cognac!

HILARY (drawing the second cup of coffee). Indeed you may. (Turns to
CARTER.) Some cognac, Carter.

CARTER (near the pantry door R.). Yes, sir. (He exits R.)

NORA. I know it's bad for me, but I don't care.

(HILARY rises and goes to ELOISE, offering her coffee.)

NORA. I like things that are bad for me. (She smiles sweetly at
DARRELL, who looks disgustedly at her.)

ELOISE. (refusing the coffee). No, thanks.

NORA. (to ELOISE). You have to consider your complexion, my dear.
That's where I have the advantage. Nothing that I do interferes With
Mine. (She takes a lip-stick from her hand-bag and a small mirror and
rouges her cheeks.)

HILARY. (he goes back to the table, offering the coffee to DARRELL).
McKnight?

DARRELL. (leaning against the Vocalion L.). No, thanks!

NORA. So you are deep in a new book, eh?

HILARY. (sits R. of the table). Yes, it's almost finished.

NORA. And may one ask what it's about? What problem, that's been
troubling the universe, do you solve this time?

HILARY (after a look at ELOISE and DARRELL). The problem of matrimony.

NORA. If you succeed in solving that problem, you'll deserve the prize.

CARTER (enters from the pantry R. with decanter of cognac and four
"pony" glasses on a tray. The glasses are filled). The cognac, sir.

(He goes to above the table.)

HILARY. For Mrs. Gail, Carter.

(CARTER, holds the tray to Nora.)

NORA. (taking a glass). Thank you, Carter. Will you ask my chauffeur to
let me know when he's ready?

CARTER. Certainly, ma'am.

(He turns up with the tray and catches DARRELL's eye, who signals for
him to leave the cognac. He places the tray on the desk up. L.C. and
exits C. and off to R.)

NORA. (sipping her cognac). You have a discriminating taste, my friend.
The only advantage I ever found in being married to a drunkard was that
I learned the difference between good liquor and bad. Ned Gail was a
connoisseur, you know.

HILARY. (in chair R. of table). Yes, so I've heard.

NORA. It was learning to be one that finished him. You can't be a
connoisseur of liquor and drive a motor-car at the same time.

ELOISE. (sweetly cattish. She is on couch R.). It's less than a year
since he died, isn't it, Mrs. Gail?

NORA. Well, yes and no. It's less than a year officially, but he'd been
dead to me for a long time before that.

(DARRELL leaves his place at the Vocalion, and turns up to the desk and
takes a glass of cognac from the tray and drops down to the L. corner.)

ELOISE (sweetly). Yes, I heard it was a romantic marriage.

NORA. Romantic? I should say it was. We spent our honeymoon in the
woods. I was to do the cooking--Ned was to shoot and do all the little
odd jobs and we were to sleep in the open--bathe in the brook and get
to know each other in the sylvan solitudes.

HILARY. Didn't it work?

NORA. Hardly! My cooking failed me. Ned chopped his hand instead of
the wood and on my way to bathe in the rippling brook--I tumbled into
a bed of stinging nettles. My dear!

ELOISE. If you'd really been in love, such little things wouldn't have
mattered. (She smiles across at DARRELL.)

(DARRELL over L. smiles and nods approvingly.)

NORA. (resenting) Little things! Have you ever tumbled into a bed of
stinging nettles?

ELOISE. Can't say that I have.

NORA. Well, don't do it on your honeymoon. (She smiles at ELOISE and
DARRELL.). fact, don't do it at any time. Don't even go where nettles
grow. They're deadly to romance. After three days of that sylvan
misery, Ned and I began to hate each other and to realize that marriage
is a mistake.

HILARY. Don't you think that any marriages are happy? I always end my
stories with a wedding.

NORA. Exactly. You know what the finish would be, if you carried them
any further.

(She and HILARY laugh merrily.)

CARTER (enters C. from off R.). If you please, sir, Thompson says we've
no petrol to lend Mrs. Gail's chauffeur.

NORA. (rising). No petrol?

HILARY. (rising). We haven't a drop on the place. Both the tanks
on both our cars leaked to-night, thereby putting both cars out of
commission!

(CARTER comes down to above the table and puts the coffee things back
on the tray, leaving only NORA'S cup.)

NORA. (anxiously). But surely there's a place where petrol can be
bought, isn't there?

DARRELL. (grimly sarcastic). Not within six miles--I'm told!

NORA. (startled). Good Heavens! Then I'm stranded here--not only for
the moment, but for the night?

HILARY. I am delighted to tell you, dear lady, that you are!

ELOISE. (rising suddenly). Good Heavens! (She turns to the fireplace.)

(HILARY turns and smiles broadly in her direction and then turns to
NORA.)

NORA. Isn't it a good thing I fell among friends?

HILARY. I hope you won't mind making a very welcome fourth Mrs. Gail?
We'll be a small party--only two couples. But so Congenial!

NORA. Thank you. I shall be charmed. (She turns and smiles broadly at
DARRELL.) I shall be charmed.

(DARRELL hastily gulps down the balance of his drink and turns up L. to
the desk and puts the glass down on the tray.)

HILARY (who has turned up R.C. on DARRELL'S business). I dare say--
Eloise can help you with some things.

ELOISE. (over R. Without warmth). Certainly.

NORA. (L. of the table). That's very sweet of you, dear. But
fortunately I have a few extra things with me.

HILARY. (up R.C.). Really? How astonishing!

NORA. Yes, they're in my bag in the car.

HILARY. Good. (He starts up to the doors c.) I'll go and fetch them for
you.

NORA (crosses to C.). No, don't bother.

HILARY (up C.). Oh, I insist. You stay here and keep the young people
pleasant, happy and amused. I won't be long.

(He exits C. and off to R.)

NORA (after a slight pause, during which she looks at DARRELL, then at
ELOISE, ELOISE turns away to the fireplace). Well, this is quite an
adventure, isn't it? Lucky you hadn't an even number here already.

ELOISE. (sweetly sarcastic). Yes, isn't it?

NORA. (front of the table). An extra woman always upsets things so.
Trying to capture the other women's men. It's so much nicer to be
paired off--like this.

ELOISE. (exasperated. She crosses up by the R. end of the couch to the
R. stairway and goes quickly up the stairs). If you'll excuse me, I
think I'll see what, has become of Annette!

NORA. (crosses to her C.R. looking up at her). Annette?

ELOISE. (up C. on the balcony. Sarcastically). My maid. I have one, you
know. (She exits into the c. room on the balcony.)

NORA. (indifferently). Oh, certainly. (She moves to front of the couch
R., speaking as she goes.) Well, Darry--it wasn't good-bye after
all--was it?

DARRELL (he goes up R.). How did you know we were down here?

NORA. Oh, come now, Darry (she sits on the couch R.) You're not going
to accuse me of deliberately following you here.

DARRELL. You're a very clever woman, Nora.

NORA. You flatter me, darling.

DARRELL. It's strange--your arriving at this particular spot at this
particular hour of the night--after telling me you were going to stay
in town.

NORA. I hadn't counted on the reaction after your charming dinner. It
was such a shock to me, and I felt so lonely I decided to go home.

DARRELL (R.C.). Your home, being in the opposite direction from
here--or have you moved since dinner?

NORA. No. We took the wrong turning by mistake.

DARRELL (sarcastically). Yes, and landed at the Farringtons' door--with
your luggage in the car--all prepared to stay.

NORA. You always were suspicions, Darry.

DARRELL. Well, I have a right to be, haven't I?

NORA. (she rises). No, you haven't. You told me you were going West.
(She crosses in front of DARRELL to C.) How was I to know you were down
here?

DARRELL. How do you always know everything? (He moves R. to front of R.
end of couch.)

NORA (turning to him). Divine intuition, I suppose. But you've nothing
to worry about this now that all you said at dinner was true. We never
could have been happy together and it's happened for the best. As for
Eloise...

DARRELL. What about her?

NORA. (C.L.). It is rather an embarrassing situation for her. I dare
say she feels a bit uncomfortable.

DARRELL (R.). Naturally.

NORA. I want you both to ignore me, utterly. Behave exactly as if were
not here.

DARRELL. Yes, that's what Farrington said.

NORA. (she goes to DARRELL as she speaks). Oh, Hilary?--don't worry
about him. I'll take him off your hands. I'm going to return good for
evil, Darry dear. I'll see that Hilary is kept out of your way so that
you and Eloise can bill and coo to your hearts content.

(ELOISE enters from the C. room on the balcony and comes slowly down
the L. stairway, overhearing.)

NORA. There now, you'll admit that I'm being nice, won't you?

DARRELL. (doubtingly). something, anyway.

NORA. (gaily, realizing that ELOISE is overhearing) Oh, it isn't going
to bore me, I find Hilary most interesting and amusing. In fact, I
like Hilary.

DARRELL. (he faces her accusingly). Oh, do you?

NORA. (pleasantly, but defiantly). I do--but 'don't worry--it's purely
platonic.

(ELOISE holds on the first landing until HILARY speaks to her.)

HILARY. (enters C. from off R., followed by THOMPSON, who carries a
large black leather suit-case. As he enters) Here we are. Where is
Eloise? (As he sees ELOISE at the foot of the stairs L.). Oh, Eloise,
Shall we put Mrs. Gail in the corner room?

(ANNETTE comes from the C. room on the balcony and goes into the room
L. She has taken off hat and coat.)

ELOISE. (moving down to L.). I've just told Annette to have it made
ready.

HILARY. (from the L. side of the table). Good. (He turns to THOMPSON.)
The corner room, Thompson. (Indicates the room up L. on the balcony.)

THOMPSON. Yes, sir. (He carries the bag up the L. stairway and crossing
the balcony exits into the L. room.)

HILARY (coming down L. of the table. To NORA). You'll find it
comfortable, I'm sure.

NORA. (C.R.). Oh, I can be comfortable anywhere, But don't bother about
me. I'm not going to, turn in yet.

HILARY. Aren't you tired

(THOMPSON enters from the room L. on the balcony, followed by ANNETTE.
THOMPSON comes down the L. stairway and smiles up at ANNETTE who smiles
at him. THOMPSON goes up to the C. doors. ANNETTE crosses the balcony
and comes down the R. stairway and exits into the pantry R.)

NORA. Yes, but I must have a breath of fresh air, first. (With a glance
at DARRELL.) There's a wonderful moon and I'd love to see your garden
in the moonlight.

HILARY. Delighted, dear lady. Come along!

(THOMPSON. exits C, and off to R.)

NORA (to DARRELL). There, Darry--am I not nice? (She moves up to the
doors up C.)

DARRELL. Hm! (He sits, on the R. arm of the couch, his back to her.)

HILARY (moving to ELOISE, who is L.). Don't look so disappointed, my
dear. I'll' keep Mrs. Gail out of doors as long as I possibly can.

ELOISE. That's kind of you, I'm sure.

NORA. Coming, Hilary?

HILARY. Yes, in one moment, dear. (He goes to the table up R.C.)
There's everything here to entertain yourselves with. (Taking books,
playing cards and dominoes, etc., which are arranged for him on the
table up R.C. by couch.) Cards--books--

DARRELL. (over his shoulder, sarcastically). Yours?

HILARY. (bringing the checkerboard, etc., to the table C.). Yes, very
interesting (Placing the books, etc., on the table.) And tiddley winks.

DARRELL (he rises, exploding) Tiddley winks

HILARY (above the table). I'm sure you play, old man.

(DARRELL sits on the couch.)

HILARY. (As he crosses above the table to chair L. of the table.) Ring
for Carter if you want anything to drink. The lid's off for to-night.
(Placing the chair L. of the table for ELOISE) Here you are, Eloise,
Come along.

(ELOISE crosses to front of the chair L. of the table. HILARY seats
her.)

HILARY. Forget that there is anyone, here but yourselves. (Smiling
broadly at DARRELL and ELOISE, he crosses up on NORA's R. She is
standing L. of the C. opening.) That's right.

(DARRELL and ELOISE stare gloomily front.)

NORA. Don't they make a charming, domestic picture.

(She and HILARY laugh.)

DARRELL. Huh!

HILARY. (to NORA) You're sure you feel quite safe with me in the
moonlight?

NORA (laughing). The question is--do you feel quite safe with me?

HILARY. I'll take a chance.

(They both laugh and exit C. and off to L.)

ELOISE (turning to DARRELL). Of all the women in the world, it had to
be her--and of all the places, it had to be here. Could anything be
more aggravating.

DARRELL. Well, it's not the sort of an evening I expected to have.

(NORA and HILARY laugh loudly off up L.)

(DARRELL rises, looks disgustedly at ELOISE, who turns away. He moves
up to the push-button set in the stairway and rings for CARTER. After
pressing the button he stands looking out into the garden off up L.)

CARTER. (enters from the pantry R.). Did you ring, sir?

DARRELL. (speaking sharply). Yes. Bring me a whisky and soda.

CARTER. Yes, sir. (He exits R.)

ELOISE. (in chair L. of the table). Another Darrell? You had about four
out of your flask on the way out.

DARRELL (coming down R. of the table. Irritably). Well, suppose! Is
that any reason why I shouldn't have six--or a dozen--of them?

ELOISE No-o, but why do you want them?

DARRELL (gloomily). Oh, it's this place! It's driving me to drink!
(He moves R. to front of the couch.)

ELOISE. It is dull--but I knew that before I came.

DARRELL. Well you kept mighty quiet about it!

CARTER. (enters from pantry R., with a whisky and soda on as tray and
comes down R.C. to DARRELL.). Your whisky and soda, sir.

DARRELL (taking it). Thanks. (He sips it appreciatively.)

CARTER. Anything else, sir?

DARRELL. Yes, another one.

CARTER. Very good, sir. (He turns and exits into the pantry R.)

(NORA and HILARY are heard laughing and chatting off up L.)

ELOISE (exasperated). They seem interested enough out there!

DARRELL (looking enviously toward the C. doors). Don't they?

ELOISE. And here we are, boring each other to death.

DARRELL (wearily). Well, we've nothing to do!

ELOISE. If I were a man, alone with the woman I loved, I'd find
something to do! They have!

DARRELL. Well, they're easily satisfied--With walks in the garden and
conversation. It takes more than a copy of the Vicar of Wakefield to
give me an exciting evening!

ELOISE (rises). Do you remember telling me--that you'd like to carry me
off to a desert island, where we'd be alone for ever and ever?

DARRELL. I do--what of it?

ELOISE (wearily). Thank God you didn't do it, Darry--that's all!

(She' sinks wearily into the chair L. of the table. NORA and HILARY
laugh loudly off up L.)

DARRELL (goes quickly up to the C. doors and looks off L. Imitates
NORA's laugh. After a moment's pause, he comes down to the back of the
chair R. of the table, smiling wisely). I'm beginning to think they're
putting something over on us.

ELOISE. What do you mean?

DARRELL. When he was so willing to divorce you--I began to wonder. And
when Nora turned up here' so--unexpectedly--I began to wonder more!

ELOISE. You began to wonder--what?

DARRELL (leaning over-confidentially). Did you notice how she acted
when she first came in? How excited and bewildered she was?--How
surprised to see us?

ELOISE (puzzled). Yes?

DARRELL. And he had to prompt her with questions.

ELOISE. (in chair L. of the table. Still guessing). Did he?

DARRELL. And she brought her luggage, too.

ELOISE. (her interest quickening). Well?

DARRELL. Remember the supper?--the flowers?--the fire? Even if
Farrington did beat us here by taking a short cut, do you suppose he'd
have had time to arrange all this?

ELOISE. (rising, aghast). You don't--mean?

DARRELL. Exactly--this meeting was prearranged.

ELOISE. (she takes a step back). Darrell!

DARRELL. Either he intended to call it off when he sent us down
here--or he didn't remember about it, until after we'd left. As soon as
he realized we'd meet her here, he came, too!

ELOISE. (horrified): You think they had planned to meet here to-night?

DARRELL. (emphatically). I do! (He goes to front of the couch R.)

ELOISE. (long indrawn breath). Then he's been deceiving me! Oh! This
is too much!

(NORA and HILARY are heard laughing off)

ELOISE. (goes up to the C. doors as she hears NORA and HILARY laughing
in the the garden.) I can't believe she'd be so brazen. In my own
house--under my very nose.

DARRELL (front of couch R.). Two and two make four, I think.

ELOISE. (as she comes down L. of the table). Well I'm going to find
out, that's all. I'll never rest now till I know the truth.

NORA. (enters C. from off L.). There's a storm coming up and we thought
we'd better come in. (Noticing ELOISE's strange expression, and going
down to her.).--What's the matter, dear?

ELOISE. (about to speak, hesitates and suddenly starts for the up L.
stairway).--Going to bed. (She rushes up the stairs and exits into C.
room on the balcony.)

NORA. (moving to front of the table and calling after her) Good night,
dear. (She moves to DARRELL, who is R.) hope she isn't annoyed at our
coming in so soon. Hilary is simply frozen, stiff from sitting out in
the cold.

DARRELL. (finishes his drink and puts the glass on the mantel.) I.
didn't notice anything--cold between you.

NORA. Now Darry, behave. I thought you were having a perfectly ducky
time together. If I'd known that you weren't taking advantage of our
absence, I wouldn't have kept poor Hilary out there so long.

(HILARY is seen outside up C., looking up at the approaching storm.)

DARRELL. Don't try to pull the wool over my eyes, Nora. It won't work.
I'm on to the whole game.

NORA. Really?

DARRELL. I'm nota fool. This meeting was prearranged. You and he
planned to meet here. That's how you happened to run out of petrol at
this particular spot with a carefully prepared wardrobe.

NORA. How clever you are, Darry.

HILARY. (enters up a.). We're going to have a bad storm, I'm afraid.
It's beginning to rain. (He closes the French doors and locks them.)

NORA (she moves front to L.C.). Not a thunderstorm, I hope. I'm
terribly afraid of lightning!

HILARY (coming down R. of the table). Where's Eloise?

DARRELL. Gone to bed...

HILARY. Good idea. Perhaps we'd better follow her example.

NORA. Isn't it rather early?

HILARY. (with pleasant sarcasm). Past midnight.

NORA. Dear me, I had no idea it was as early as that. (Moving up toward
the L. stairway.)

HILARY. (to above the table). Is there anything more I can do for you?

NORA. (up L. near foot of stairs). I hope you haven't a tin roof.

HILARY. Why?

NORA. Rain always makes me feel so lonely.

HILARY (laughs). I'm afraid we have.

NORA. Good gracious. I shan't sleep a wink! (She goes up the stairs to
up L. on the balcony.)

HILARY. (up C., looking up at her). Well--if you are awake--and
thinking--Why not of me?

NORA (up L. on the balcony. Coyly, for the benefit of DARRELL). After
our talk in the garden, how could I help it? Good night, Darry!

DARRELL. Goodnight.

NORA. Goodnight, Hilary.

HILARY. Good night, dear.

(Lightning and very faint thunder.)

(NORA exits into room L., on the balcony. A pause while HILARY goes up
to the doors up C. and lowers the French blinds. He cones down
to up R. and starts, to straighten things up. DARRELL has picked up a
book and turns the pages over.)

HILARY. (To DARRELL) Aren't you going to bed? (Bringing the tray down
to the table C.)

DARRELL. (Over R. turning over pages) Aren't you?

HILARY. Just as soon as I've cleared up some of these things. (Fussing
with the cards and books. Finally he takes up a book and imitates
DARRELL.)

(After a long pause DARRELL throws down, his book in disgust and goes
up R. to the stairs and onto the balcony.)

DARRELL (from up R. on the balcony). I say, Farrington?

HILARY (looking up). Yes?

DARRELL. Strange how all three cars happened to run out of petrol at
the same time.

HILARY. Yes, wasn't it funny?

DARRELL. Damned funny!

(He exits into room up R. on the balcony.)

(HILARY moves about making ready for the night. He takes the cards,
books, etc. from the C. table to the table up R.C. He goes back to the
C. table and taking up the tray, carries it into the pantry R. There is
a slight pause and the light in the pantry R. goes out. He re-enters
and going to the table lamp on the "kidney" table at the L. end of
the couch, he turns off the lamp. He moves to the desk up L.C. and
turns on the desk lamp. He glances around the room and goes to the
Switch, above the door L.1 and after pausing to look up at DARRELL'S
room, he switches out the bracket lights. He closes the door L.1 and
moves toward the desk up L.C. He pauses and glances up at DARRELL'S
room. He then faces front and takes his revolver from his pocket, looks
at it, then up at DARRELL's room. Places the revolver down on the desk
and sits at the desk in the dim light of the desk lamp. He draws paper
to him and taking up his pen, prepares to write.)

(DARRELL's door opens slowly. The door squeaks. HILARY looks up.
DARRELL is seen entering clad in a velvet lounge robe. He silently
curses the noisy door, leaving it open. He looks out front, listening.
He starts to move carefully along the balcony toward ELOISE's door. The
balcony flooring creaks at each step. HILARY half-rises and watches but
remains unseen by DARRELL. The audience realizes that HILARY is in an
agony of doubt. DARRELL reaches ELOISE's door and looks about. He still
fails to see HILARY. He knocks Softly on the door. The rain stops here.)

ELOISE. (faintly from within). Hello? who is it? (DARRELL looks
cautiously about. He knocks again. ELOISE opens the door, starts back
in disappointment. In a hoarse whisper.) Oh, it's you!--What is it?
(She half-closes the door.)

DARRELL (takes her L. hand in his R. hand and draws her forward so that
she is entirely out of the room. In a hoarse whisper). I want to speak
to you.

ELOISE. Well? You'll have to hurry, I'm half-undressed.

DARRELL (still whispering). We Can't talk here. Mayn't I come in?

ELOISE. Certainly not. (She starts to retreat.)

DARRELL. (restraining her). Why mayn't--I?

ELOISE. I'm tired and the storm's beginning. I'm terribly afraid of
thunder and lightning.

DARRELL. But, I want to talk to you.

ELOISE. In the morning, Darry

DARRELL. No, now I Let me come in a minute. (Attempting to crowd past
her into the room.)

ELOISE (restraining him. Raising her voice). Now, Darry, please--you
mustn't!

(HILARY rises as though to interfere.)

NORA. (opens her door and speaks through the crack). Hello!

(DARRELL bolts quickly into ELOISE's room and closes the door. ELOISE
stands trembling before it holding it shut as NORA enters attired in a
charming negligee.)

NORA. Is anything the matter?

(HILARY sits again, relieved.)

ELOISE. (nervously). Why no--of course--not--why?

NORA (moving a little toward ELOISE). I thought I heard someone calling.

ELOISE. It must have been the rain.

NORA. You're sure you're not nervous, dear?

ELOISE (with forced laugh). Nervous? No, indeed.

NORA. I don't mind coming in with you for a few minutes--if you are.
(She moves forward as though to go in room.)

ELOISE (desperately, quickly stopping her). No, thank you--it's just
the storm that keeps me awake. (Looks critically at NORA.) You'd better
go to bed before you catch Cold in that flimsy thing.

NORA (cheerfully). It is thin, isn't it? But then, I didn't know whom I
might meet out here.

ELOISE (shocked). Oh!

(NORA goes back into her door. Lightning and thunder.)

ELOISE. (Opening her door. Speaking sharply in a whisper). Come on out.

DARRELL. (cautiously peeping out. Speaking in a low, hoarse whisper).
Has she gone?

ELOISE. Yes. Come out!

DARRELL. (catching hold of her and tugging). You come in--

(HILARY rises, tense. His hand on the revolver.)

ELOISE. (fending him off). No Stop! I'll scream. Darrell!

(HILARY. coughs to notify them. They both pause instantly)

ELOISE. (In a whisper.) Who was that?

(DARRELL sneaks across the balcony on tiptoe and goes into his own room
R. closing the door. HILARY sits again. ELOISE closes her door and
looks about, then descends the stairway. When she reaches the foot of
the stairs, she sees HILARY, who is sitting calmly at work at the desk.)

ELOISE. Hilary.

HILARY. (looking up from his work). I can't possibly work with so much
noise going on.

ELOISE. (indignantly, insulted. Advancing to the chair R. of the
table). Oh! You were there, all the time!

HILARY. Yes, but had no intention of interfering.

ELOISE. No, suppose not. You'd be glad to have me disgrace myself.

HILARY. (rising and coming down to chair L. of the table). Not at all,
You eloped with this man, of your own free will, didn't you?

ELOISE. (to front of the table. With spirit.) Yes, I did elope with
him--but only because I thought you wouldn't give me a divorce unless I
was compromised. I didn't know that you were just as anxious to have
one, as was I.

HILARY. (C.L.). I?

ELOISE. Oh, don't try to deny it! I can see through your little game
with Nora Gail.

HILARY. With Nora Gail?

ELOISE. (angrily). Oh, you're both very innocent, I know, but I'll tell
you this much, Hilary Farrington, if either of us gets a divorce I'll
be the one to get it! And if either of us is compromised, you'll be
the one!

(She crosses HILARY to L.)

HILARY. (startled). What do you mean?

ELOISE. (over L. turning to HILARY). It was very clever of you to plan
for _me_ to pull your chestnuts out of the fire--but your little plan
isn't going to work! (She turns to the-door L. 1, Her hand on the
knob.)

HILARY. Where are you going?

ELOISE. I'm going to sleep in your room, and you can have the room
adjoining Mr. Darrell McKnight! (She goes into the room L.1, banging
the door.)

(HILARY stands for an instant thinking, looking front. He suddenly
starts to enter the room L. and the key is heard to turn in the lock.
He laughs softly, then turns up to the desk up L.C. and turns out the
desk lamp. He looks toward the door L.1 and laughs again. He goes up
the L. stairway to up C. on the balcony and leaning over the railing
toward the L.1 door, laughs again. He turns and exits into the room
C. on the balcony. There is a series of flashes and a loud clap of
thunder. After a short pause, DARRELL'S door opens slowly and he looks
out. He comes out of the room, leaving the door open behind him and
peeks cautiously over the balcony railing at the room below. Satisfied
that the coast is clear, he tiptoes to the room now occupied by HILARY
and raps gently on the door.)

DARRELL. (At L. of the door, calling sweetly, softly): Oooh--oo Ooh--oo
(There is no answer. After a pause, he knocks softly again.) Oooh--ooo!
Ooh--ooo! Sweetheart! Oooh--oo!

HILARY (as he suddenly throws the door open and appears in his
shirt-sleeves. In a loud voice). What the hell do you want?

DARRELL (staggering back against the balcony railing--his hand
clutching his forehead). Oh, my God (He hurries along the balcony till
near his own door and then turns quickly and speaks.) She's deceived me!

(Lightning and loud clap of thunder.)

QUICK CURTAIN

AVERAGE TIME of act 35 minutes

ACT. III

SCENE.--The same as Act II.

TIME.--The following Morning.

LIGHTS.--The room is flooded with sunlight through the open garden
windows.

CARTER is discovered standing at the R. rear of the table C. arranging
the breakfast dishes. The table is covered with a white tablecloth.
Four coffee cups, saucers and spoons are at ELOISE's place at the R. of
the table. The breakfast plates are placed and the silver is bunched
for CARTER to lay. There is a plate of bread ready to toast in the
C. of the table. CARTER is imbued with a cheerful morning spirit and
hums gaily to himself as he works. NORA enters from the room, up L. on
the balcony and comes down the L. stairway. She is attired in a most
becoming negligee.

NORA. (as she comes &um the stairs). Good morning, Carter.

CARTER. (looking up from work). Good morning,

NORA.(coming down L. of chair L. of table). the first down?

CARTER. Oh, no, ma'am. Both the gentlemen is up and out.

NORA. (L. of the table C.). Not Mr McKnight, surely?

CARTER. Yes, ma'am. He was the first. Must have been up since dawn He
made so much noise in here that he woke me up.

NORA. Dear me, that's most unusual for Darry. Where is he?

CARTER. (above the table). Walking in the garden, ma'am.

NORA. (incredulously). With Mr. Farrington?

CARTER. Oh, no, ma'am--Mr. Farrington has gone to the village.

NORA. (as she goes up to the doors). The village? That's six miles!

CARTER. He said something about expecting a telegram, ma'am.
(Straightens chair L. of table)

NORA. Oh! What a heavenly morning. (She steps out on to the porch.)

(ANNETTE enters from the pantry R. with the coffee percolator on a
tray. She goes to the table and places the tray on the upper R. side.
of the table.)

CARTER (moving to the L. side of the table as NORA. goes R. and
straightens the chair L. of the table). Yes, ma'am, its cleared up
nicely.

CARTER. It's sure to be a beautiful day. (To ANNETTE.) You can tell
Mrs. Farrington breakfast is ready.

ANNETTE (R. of table c.). Shan't I bring the toast?

CARTER (moves to above the table). You can bring that after you've told
Mrs. Farrington.

(ANNETTE crosses front of the table to the door L.1 and knocks. CARTER,
after a look at the table, exits into the pantry R. NORA steps into the
room and remains up c.)

ELOISE. (in room L.1, as ANNETTE knocks). Who is it?

ANNETTE. Your breakfast, madame.

ELOISE. (in the room L.1). Oh, very well.

(ANNETTE, moves above the table C. and exits into the pantry R.
NORA who has watched ANNETTE with growing surprise, comes down L.C.
as ELOISE enters from the bedroom attired in an equally charming
negligée.)

NORA. Good morning, dearest. You look positively blooming this morning.
(Attempts to embrace ELOISE.)

ELOISE. (coldly. Avoiding the embrace). Good morning. (She goes front
to R. of the table C.)

NORA. Oh, come now, you should feel particularly good tempered this
morning. I do. (She moves to L. of the table.)

ELOISE. (fussing with the cups and saucers). You've more reason to be
good tempered than I have.

NORA. Why pretend with me, my dear? sure that Hilary would never have
started on a six mile walk before breakfast unless he felt fairly happy.

ELOISE. Has Hilary gone to the village?

(CARTER enters from the pantry R. with milk jug and sugar bowl and goes
to above the table R.)

NORA. So Carter tells me.

(CARTER takes the bowl and pitcher from the tray and places them on the
table.)

ELOISE. H'mm! He must be happy. But I shan't wait for him. (She sits
in chair R. of the table) I want my coffee.

CARTER. (above the table C.). Shall I tell Mr. McKnight that breakfast
is ready?

ELOISE. (drawing her cup of coffee). Where is he, Carter?

CARTER. Walking in the garden, ma'am, Shall I call him?

ELOISE. Yes--please do.

CARTER. Yes, ma'am. (exits C. and off to L. into the garden, carrying
tray.).

NORA (moving the chair from the desk up L.C. to above the table C.) I
do hope he's good tempered, though. From my knowledge of the species
and their habits before breakfast--(she sits above the table)--I'm
prepared for anything.

(ANNETTE enters, from the pantry R. with the toast. She places it in
front of NORA and goes out.)

ELOISE. He may not be good tempered--but I know of no reason for him to
be disagreeable.

NORA. Don't you? Oh well, it doesn't really matter--but it's SO
pleasant to start the day of with a man. (Handing toast to ELOISE.)
Toast, dear? Do you like your toast crisp? I do, but then I'm on a
diet, like most widows.

(DARRELL enters c. from L.)

ELOISE (looking up as DARRELL enters). Hello, Darry!

DARRELL (coldly. Coming down. R. of ELOISE). Good morning.

NORA. Good. You're just in time for a coffee. Sit down. (Drawing a cup
of coffee from the percolator.)

DARRELL. (he moves in front of table to R. of chair, L. of table) I
don't want any coffee, thank you. (Pulls chair L. of the table away
from the table.)

NORA. Well, you'll have something to eat, won't you?

DARRELL. I don't want anything to eat.

(He sits facing front Back slightly turned to them.)

ELOISE. (leaning forward over-the table). Why, Darry, you must eat
something.

DARRELL. (sore) I don't want to eat anything.

NORA. Well, what do you want, darling child?

DARRELL. A whisky and soda.

ELOISE. At this hour. In the Morning?

DARRELL. The hour doesn't matter. And I want a drink.

NORA. Bless, his heart--he shall have his drink.

(Enter CARTER C. from L. with tray in his hand and crosses to the
pantry R.)

NORA. Carter, a whisky and soda for Mr. McKnight.

CARTER. Yes, ma'am. (He exits into the pantry R.)

ELOISE (to DARRELL). What's the matter with you this morning?

DARRELL. As if you didn't know.

ELOISE. Well, I don't.

NORA. There, there, dear--don't allow yourself to be annoyed by a
man's early morning temper. It's the nature of the beast, as I told you
before. (Turns in chair to DARRELL) What's the Matter, Darry--didn't
you sleep, well?

DARRELL. Was I expected to sleep well?

NORA. I didn't think the storm would disturb you.

DARRELL. (insinuatingly). It wasn't the storm that disturbed me

NORA. What then?

DARRELL (with a withering glance at ELOISE). I'd rather not discuss
it--if you don't mind.

NORA. But I'm frankly curious.

DARRELL. Perhaps Eloise will tell you.

NORA. Does Eloise know?

ELOISE. (rises). No, I don't know? (To DARRELL.) And if you're in the
habit of rising at an ungodly hour in the morning and behaving like
this--

DARRELL (rising). I'm not in the habit of rising in the morning at all,
but if you expected me to sleep under the circumstances--(They lean
across the table quarrelling.)

ELOISE. Under what circumstances?

DARRELL. Don't play the innocent with me! I--I wonder you have the
nerve to look me in the face.

ELOISE. (angrily). Upon my word, I don't know what you're talking about.

DARRELL. Oh, you don't, eh?

ELOISE. No, I don't

NORA. (rising quickly and separating them--soothingly). Now,
children--behave. You mustn't start the day by quarrelling. It's so bad
for your digestion.

(DARRELL turns away to L. NORA sits down again.)

ELOISE. (she sits). Well, he has no right to talk to me like that.

NORA. The poor boy has had a bad night.

(CARTER enters R. with a whisky and soda on a tray. DARRELL sits again
in chair L. of the table.)

NORA. Ah, here is his drink. Perhaps that will make him feel better.
(CARTER goes to above the table and cones down, on DARRELL'S L.)

DARRELL (as he takes the glass from CARTER). Thanks. You might as well
bring me another, while you're about it.

(CARTER nods and going above the table, exits R. with tray.)

ELOISE. Another?

DARRELL. (sore). If you've no objection.

ELOISE. I don't think it's going to help your disposition much.

DARRELL. my disposition isn't it?

NORA. Oh, he needs something to keep him up--if he hasn't slept.

ELOISE. I didn't sleep either. But I've no desire to be made
unconscious now. (With a wrathful glance at DARRELL.)

NORA. (rising, decisively). Perhaps if I left you alone together.

ELOISE. Oh, don't bother to go. (She rises and goes c. with cup of
coffee.) There's no use pretending that you don't understand the
situation here, because we all do and we may as well be frank about it.
(Crosses to couch.) If something has happened this morning to upset
Darry he ought to tell us about it instead of grousing about it like a
disagreeable old bear. (Sits on couch.)

DARRELL (he rises). You know perfectly well what happened--but you
won't admit that I know.

ELOISE. I don't know, and you're doing all this to try and upset me.

NORA. Oh, come now, Darry, you mustn't hurt her feelings--just because
she's fond of you. (She sits above table)

DARRELL (over L.). Oh, yes, she's--just crazy about me--I know that
--especially after last night.

ELOISE (seated on couch, R.). Last night? Why, I didn't sleep a wink
--just for thinking of you. I lay in there--(she indicates the room
L.1.E.)--the whole night without once closing my eyes.

DARRELL (sceptically. He looks toward L.1.E.). In there? (He looks over
at ELOISE.) Huh?

HILARY (enters C. from R. and speaks cheerfully). Good morning,
everybody.

(ELOISE rises.)

NORA. Why, Hilary--I understood you'd gone to the village.

HILARY (placing his hat on the desk up L.C.). That's right

NORA. Did you walk or fly back?

(ELOISE crosses to chair R. of the table.)

HILARY (as he drops down L. of chair of table). Felt like flying--what
with this bracing air and sunshine. I feel great! Good morning, Eloise.

ELOISE. Good morning, Hilary. (She sits R. of the table.)

HILARY. Morning, McKnight. I trust you slept well.

DARRELL. No, I did not.

HILARY. Well, that's too bad. I slept like a top. (Sits L. of the
table,)

(DARRELL moves back of the table to up L.C.)

NORA. You're just in time for breakfast, Hilary.

HILARY. Thanks, I've had mine. I had no idea of finding you people up
and about so early, so had mine in the village.

DARRELL. (coming down R.C.) Did you get any petrol?

HILARY. Yes. I'm having a load of it brought out in a cab.

DARRELL. Good! You'll be glad to know I'm leaving when it comes. (He
moves to front of the couch R.)

ELOISE. (she rises). What?

DARRELL. I'm going, back to town. (He sits on couch R.)

HILARY. Oh, no you're not.

DARRELL. (quickly). Perhaps you know what I'm going to do better than I
know myself.

HILARY. I think I explained to you last night that I couldn't let you
go while there was any chance of a scandal.

DARRELL. You've no objection to my going alone, have you?

HILARY. Alone? (Looks at ELOISE.) Of course, that alters things. (He
rises.)

ELOISE. (R.C., emphatically) You are not going alone. I refuse to
be here in this position. (She steps toward HILARY.) Hilary, as my
husband, I insist that you make him take me with him.

HILARY. (L.C.). You, hear that, McKnight? (He crosses to DARRELL.) The
young lady refuses to be separated--so I'm afraid we can't spare you
just yet.

DARRELL. (he rises). Well, if you think I'm going to submit to your
dictation any longer, you're mistaken. I know when I've had enough. And
I've had enough of this.

HILARY. (R.C.). Enough of what? (He looks at ELOISE.)--Of Eloise?

ELOISE. Oh!!

DARRELL. You know perfectly well what I mean and you're not going to
make a fool of me. (He turns away to the fireplace R.)

HILARY. (following him over.). Calm yourself, old man. I admit the
situation has been a little trying for you, but we'll remedy that as
soon as the petrol comes. (He turns and faces, NORA, who is down L.)
I'm sure Mrs. Gail has no desire to remain any longer and as for
me.(he goes to NORA)--I'll be delighted to escort her home.

NORA. Thank you, Hilary. I'll go and change my dress. (She goes up to
the stairway up L. and starts up the stairs.)

HILARY. (turning to speak to DARRELL). So you'll have the place to
yourselves! That's what you want, isn't it?

DARRELL. (R. leaning on the mantel) It doesn't, seem to matter what I
want.

HILARY. That's just what does matter. Then we'll consider it all
settled.

(He starts Up L.C.)

NORA .(from up L. on the balcony) Oh, Hilary

(HILARY looks up at her.) As I'm to be turned out into the cold, I'll
need something to keep me warm, so mix me a nice cocktail, like a good
man.

HILARY. (up R.C.). Certainly. Bronx--Manhattan--Martini--or Perfect?

NORA: A Perfect, of course if you think you can mix it,

HILARY. It will be something with a kick in it, at any rate. One sip
and you'll feel sixteen again.

NORA. God forbid!

(She laughs merrily, and exits into room L. On the balcony. HILARY
laughs and exits into pantry)

ELOISE. (boiling with rage. She goes toward DARRELL) what is it? you
ought to be ashamed of yourself.

DARRELL. For?

ELOISE. For humiliating me in front of that woman. What will she think,
What will Hilary think?

DARRELL. I don't care what they think.

ELOISE. But I DO care and I' not going to let her have the satisfaction
of gloating over me. (Crosses to front of DARRELL.) see--you're just
jealous of Nora.

ELOISE. No, not jealous, but I want my divorce and I am going to stay
here until I get it.

DARRELL. (he moves to R.C.) Where are you going?

ELOISE (turns to him at L.) To my room

DARRELL. (R.C.) That's not your Room. It's his!

ELOISE. I beg your pardon. We changed rooms last night.

DARRELL. When?

ELOISE. After you tried to come into my room.

DARRELL. (with dawning comprehension. Faces front). Oh, my hat!

ELOISE (taking a step toward DARRELL. She is now L. of table L.) That's
another thing I'll never forgive you for. Disgracing me before Hilary.

DARRELL (he crosses to L.c.). I'm awfully sorry, Eloise. You see--I
thought--

ELOISE. It doesn't matter what yon thought.

DARRELL. Well, what would you have thought if you'd found Nora in my
room last night?

ELOISE. What?

DARRELL, You, didn't, of course, but what the deuce was I to think when
I found Farrington in yours?

ELOISE. Oh--what horrible ideas you have!

DARRELL. It's this place. It's got on my nerves. If we could only get
away from here--even now--

ELOISE. That would be letting him get the divorce.

DARRELL. But you'll never be free of him if you wait to get the better
of him. You ought to know Farrington by this time. He's got ice water
in his veins.

ELOISE. I don't think she has. Her mother was Spanish.

DARRELL. She says it's purely platonic.

ELOISE. Yes, that's why I expect the worst!

DARRELL. Well, I'm not going to spend the rest of my life here. (He
goes to R.C.)

ELOISE (L.). You heard him threaten you if you left.

DARRELL. Well, I may as well be shot as bored to death. Another day in
this place will finish me. I'm damned if I sit around here twiddling
my thumbs just because he told me to. (He goes to the telephone on the
table up R.C.) I'll ring up the livery stable and get a cab sent out.

ELOISE (L.C.). What's the use of doing that when there's petrol coming
for the car. (Moves to upper L. side of the table with her eyes on
DARRELL.)

DARRELL (up R.C. with 'phone in hand). That's only his bluff and anyhow
I'm not going to chance it. (Into the 'phone.).--Hello! Hello! Give
me the livery stable. (Pause. To ELOISE.) the name? Johnston?

ELOISE. Yes.

DARRELL (into the 'phone). Yes, Johnston, that's right. (To ELOISE.)
And another thing--(Quickly into the 'phone.) Hello. Johnston's? Can
you send a cab to the Farrington's place right away? What? One on it's
Way now? Yes I know--with petrol. I want one for passengers. What? How
long since? No, it hasn't come yet. Oh all right--good-bye. (He hangs
the receiver and comes down R.c.) He says there's one on its' way now,
with some man to see Farrington. Came on the 'morning train.

ELOISE. (L.C.). Who can that be?

DARRELL (R. of the table L.C.). I know. I'll bet it's his lawyer.

ELOISE. His lawyer?

DARRELL. That's why he's so anxious for us to stay. He's going to
arrange that divorce straight off. But we'll fool him. Are you coming
or not?

ELOISE. I--I can't stay here alone. Not with a lawyer.

DARRELL. Good. Then tell your Maid to pack.

ELOISE. (ELOISE goes to the foot of the stairs up L.) I just hate that
woman!

DARRELL. And I'll get my things together. (He glances around as though
fearful of being overheard.) And hurry, as the cab may be here any
minute.

ELOISE. All right. (She goes off into the c. room.)

(DARRELL turns up L. to the foot of the stairs. CARTER enters R. with
drink on a tray.)

CARTER. (coming down R. to front of table) Your whisky, sir.

DARRELL (coming down to CARTER). Oh, thanks. (Takes glass from tray and
goes up L.)

(CARTER places the tray on the table and takes up the tray with the
percolator on it and starts R., DARRELL suddenly has an idea and comes
down to L. of table.)

DARRELL. Oh--Carter! CARTER (stops and turns). Yes, sir?

DARRELL. I wonder if I can get you to do something for me.

CARTER. Certainly, sir.

(ANNETTE enters from pantry, carrying tray.)

ELOISE (from her room). Annette!

ANNETTE. Yes, ma'am.

ELOISE. Put my things' together, we're leaving.

ANNETTE. Very good, ma'am. (Hands tray to CARTER, goes upstairs and
exits into ELOISE'S room.)

DARRELL. I'm leaving, in a few minutes--there's a cab coming from the
village. I want you to put a trunk on it, without Mr. Farrington seeing
you.

CARTER. Yes, sir.

DARRELL. It's Mrs. Farrington's trunk.

CARTER. Quite so, sir.

DARRELL. (laying a dollar bill on the tray) You're a clever fellow.

CARTER. Not at all, sir. I'll do what I can to get you safely out of
the house.

DARRELL (with a quick look at CARTER). What do you mean by that?

CARTER. Nothing sir. I understood you wanted it done quite secretly.

DARRELL. I do. (Picking up line quickly) But it's not because I'm
afraid of Farrington. You understand that?

CARTER. Of course not, Why should you be?

DARRELL. Exactly. Why should I be!

CARTER. Is the trunk is ready now, sir?

DARRELL. (with a glance at the room up C.) In A few minutes, I'll let
you know.

CARTER. Very good, sir. (He turns and exits into the pantry at R. with
the percolator on the tray. DARRELL gulps down his drink and places the
glass dawn on the table and goes up the L. stairway and stopping before
ELOISE'S door. He knocks.)

DARRELL. Almost ready?

ELOISE (in room). Almost.

DARRELL. Good. I'll get my things too. (He continues along the balcony
to his own room and exits.)

HILARY (enters from the Pantry R. followed by CARTER. He goes to the
L. end of the table up R.C. and takes up the phone. To CARTER, as he
enters). You're sure about the trunk, Carter?

CARTER. (R. above the couch) Oh, yes sir--he'll let me know when it's
ready.

HILARY. (in the phone). Hello! Johnston's livery stable, please. (To
CARTER.) Watch the road and let me know the moment the cab comes in
sight.

CARTER. Yes, Sir. (He goes out C. and off to R.)

HILARY. (In the 'phone.) Hello--Johnstone? Mr. Farrington speaking.
What about the cab I ordered this morning? And the gentleman I
expected? Yes, grey haired. Both on the way? Good. No, that's all,
thank you. Good-bye.

(He hangs up the receiver and starts for the pantry R., but pauses as
he hears DARRELL entering.)

DARRELL. (entering from room, R. on the balcony and crossed to the C.
door with an assortment of shirts, pyjamas and his dressing gown over
his arm). Eloise! Oh, Eloise!

(HILARY stops looks up and listens.)

ELOISE (off in room). What?

DARRELL. Open the door a minute.

ELOISE. (appears at the door) What do you want?

DARRELL. (holding out the clothes). Have you got room for these in your
trunk?

ELOISE. What?

DARRELL. Won't you put these in your trunk?

ELOISE. Put your clothes in my trunk?

DARRELL. Well why not? I can't go without them, can I?

ELOISE. (exasperated. Snatching the clothes). I'll give them to Annette!
She'll see to them.

(HILARY bursts into quiet laughter exits into pantry at R.)

DARRELL. Don't lose any time. I'll tell Carter to take the trunk as
soon as it's ready.

(She exits, closing the door and DARRELL comes quickly down the stairs
and calls off into the pantry.)

DARRELL. Carter! Oh, Carter!

NORA. (enters from room L. on the balcony) Hello Darry!

DARRELL. Oh, hello! (Comes down R. of the couch.)

NORA. (coming down the L. staircase). What are you shrieking for
now--another-whisky and soda?

DARRELL. (to front of L. end of couch). No--I just wanted to tell
Carter something.

NORA. (to front of table). Got over your morning hate?

DARRELL (steps towards NORA.). I wish you wouldn't be so infernally
cheerful.

NORA. I can't help it, dear. You bring such a ray of sunshine into the
morning.

DARRELL. Well, I had every right to be peevish. The way you hang around
Farrington is disgusting.

NORA. Really, Darry, there's no pleasing you at all. Didn't you
literally beg me to take him off your hands?

DARRELL. Off my hands, yes--but not into your arms!

NORA. Now, Darry--that's too funny. Didn't you take me to dinner last
night just to tell me that you were leaving me for another woman?

DARRELL (C.R.). Well, at any rate, I was honest with you! You deceived
me.

NORA. Oh!

DARRELL. Yes, you did! You sat there and looked sad--and tried to
squeeze out crocodile tears into your soup.

NORA. (interrupting). No, Darry, you're mixing your courses. You
didn't tell, me the sad news until we got to the savoury.

DARRELL (Continuing as though she hadn't spoken). And all the time you
were sitting there sniffling and quivering your chin--and making me
feel like a brute--all that time you were thinking of Hilary.

NORA. How could I help thinking of Hilary when you sat there thinking
of Hilary's wife?

DARRELL. Well I hope he doesn't make you as unhappy as he has Eloise,
that's all.

NORA. If he does, I'll follow Eloise's example and elope with you!

DARRELL. (disgustedly). Oh! (He moves away to R. a little.)

NORA. But he won't make me unhappy--I understand him too well.

DARRELL (turning to Nora.). He's not the sort of man I would have
chosen for you NORA.

NORA. Yes, I know the sort of man you'd have chosen for me--something
old and rickety with long white whiskers--(she indicates a beard to the
waist line)--and a weak heart.

DARRELL. Oh, well--I suppose you know what you want.

NORA. Yes, I may not know much, but I do, know what I want. I'm not
like you, Darry.

DARRELL. We all make mistakes and perhaps I've made more than my share.

NORA. sure you have, dear.

DARRELL. If I have it's because I've never had anyone to keep me
straight.

NORA. Oh, tuh! tuh! tuh! (doing close to DARRELL.) You have lacked
feminine influence, haven't you, dear?

(She chucks him under the chin.)

DARRELL. (in disgust at her kidding). Oh! (Starts up at c.)

NORA. (turning to look after him) Where are you going?

DARRELL. (up C. at the doors). I'm going to get out of this damn place
right away! (He exits a. and off to. R.)

ELOISE (entering from room R. on balcony fully dressed and carrying her
hat and coat, She carries her gloves). Darry going?

NORA. He's going to get out of this damn place right away. (Goes to the
L. end of the couch.)

ELOISE. (coming down the L. stairway). Oh, he's told you we're leaving,
has he?

NORA. He told me he was leaving.

ELOISE. And you'll 'be pleased to know that I am leaving with him.
(Comes down L. of table to front of table.)

NORA. (moves to ELOISE). My dear you're making a great mistake. Darry
is a luxury--like champagne--a little now and then is delightfully
stimulating, at times, almost intoxicating--but as a steady diet--not
at all.

ELOISE. Dear me--that sounds like envy.

NORA. Perhaps it is, but then You see I've 'been intoxicated
before--and you're not used to it.

ELOISE. Oh, I know he proved fickle to you--but it's different with me.

NORA. How?

ELOISE. Well, there's always one real love in every man's life isn't
there?

NORA and ELOISE (together). "And my love for you is that love in mine."

ELOISE (aghast) He told you that, too?

NORA. My dear, it's one of his stock phrases. He says it to every woman
he meets.

ELOISE. I don't believe it! You're just trying to stop me from going--
but you can't because I've made up my mind. (She turns away L.)

HILARY. (enters from pantry R. with four cocktails on a tray). Here we
are! Did you think I was never coming? (Coming down R. of NORA.)

NORA. I was beginning to think the smell of gin had gone to your head.
(Looks at HILARY and laughs as she takes a cocktail from tray.) But why
four of them? (She goes to front of R., as she speaks.)

HILARY (placing tray on the table). Just a parting toast to the happy
couple we are leaving behind.

NORA: (R.C.). It's we who are being left behind, it seems.

ELOISE. (R.C.). What? (He turns and looks at ELOISE in surprise.)
Oh--don't tell me you've put on that eloping gown again.

(NORA sits on R. arm of couch.)

ELOISE. (L. of the table--defiantly). I'm leaving you, for the last
time. Darry and I are going just as soon as the cab comes.

HILARY. (C.). But, my dear, that's impossible. There's somebody coming
out in that cab especially to see you.

ELOISE. Yes, I know--your lawyer.

HILARY. My lawyer?

ELOISE. Oh, you thought you were being very clever, didn't you?--but we
found out all about it--and if there are any legal arrangements to be
made, he can help you make them with Mrs. Gail!

NORA. (R. on R. arm of couch). That's very sweet and generous of you,
dear.

ELOISE. Not at all.

(HILARY moves to R. to clear for DARRELL.)

DARRELL (entering 'quickly' C. from off R. followed by CARTER, Speaking
as he enters) Are you ready Eloise? The cab's here and--(Stops on
seeing HILARY, who has turned R. to NORA.)

ELOISE. I'm quite ready.

DARRELL (to CARTER). Get that trunk on the cab now.

(CARTER goes Upstairs into C. room.)

HILARY. I hear you're leaving us, McKnight.

DARRELL (coming down R. of table) Who told you?

ELOISE (C.L.). I told them...you needn't be, afraid, Darry.

DARRELL. Afraid? (Defiantly.) I'd like to see him stop us, that's all.

HILARY. I don't know that I want to stop you. After all, I'm not sure
than it isn't the best possible solution to a very difficult problem,
so we'll turn the cocktails into a stirrup cup, and drink God-speed to
the parting guests. (Takes tray from the table, and offers cocktail to
ELOISE.) Eloise!

ELOISE. (refusing cocktail). No, thank you.

HILARY. (turns to NORA, who is at L. end of couch and offers her one),
Nora!

NORA. (taking a glass). Yes, I will.

HILARY. (offering a drink to DARRELL). McKnight?

DARRELL (taking a glass). Rather!

HILARY. I felt you wouldn't fail me! (Raising his glass.) Good
luck--good health and all true happiness!

(Bishop KENNELLY starts on.)

NORA. (raising her glass). Hear! Hear! (Drinks and places glass on
mantel)

BISHOP. (up C. removing hat). Well!

(ALL turn and look at him in astonishment.)

ELOISE. (as she turns and sees him). Uncle! (Goes up L. of table to
BISHOP.)

(Putting glass down on "kidney" table). Bishop Kennelly!

ELOISE. Uncle!

(DARRELL puts glass down on table and moves to L. as ELOISE goes up to
Bishop. BISHOP takes ELOISE in his arms and kisses her on both cheeks.)

(Enter CARTER with trunk from C. on the balcony. As the Bishop releases
her, ELOISE takes his hat and places it on the desk up R.)

HILARY. (front L. end couch). Well, well, this is a surprise.

BISHOP. (coming down with ELOISE on his. L.) How are you, Hilary, my
boy?

(As they come down stage DARRELL moves up from down L. and across the
back to down R. of NORA.)

ELOISE. Uncle, however did you know where to find us?

BISHOP. I stopped at the house in town--learned you were out here--and
followed you.

ELOISE: Why didn't you let us know you were coming?

BISHOP. I was just childish enough, to want to surprise you.

HILARY. You certainly have surprised us!

ELOISE. (hugging him again. He kisses her on the cheek)--You don't
know how glad I am to see you, uncle dear!

BISHOP. That repays me a little at any rate--(noticing that she is
dressed for travelling)--but what's all this, what's all this you're
not leaving here, are you?

ELOISE. Oh, no. We're not leaving--that is--

HILARY. One of our guests is leaving Mr. McKnight. (Introducing him.)
Bishop Kennelly.

(HILARY goes up and moving above the table comes down L. of table.)

DARRELL. (goes to meet the Bishop.)

BISHOP (shaking hands with DARRELL). Always glad to meet any friend of
Hilary's. How do you do, Mr. McKnight?

DARRELL. Did you run out of petrol, too?

BISHOP (puzzled). Petrol?

NORA. (crosses DARRELL to the Bishop. DARRELL moves to L.) And Nora
Gail--also a friend of the family.

BISHOP (cordially taking her hand) Delighted, I'm sure.

HILARY. I beg your pardon, Nora--I thought you knew the Bishop.

NORA. I ought to know him. I've heard of him, often enough.

ELOISE. Take off your coat Uncle. (she steps to him and helps him off
with his coat). Sir, We'll get you something to drink. You must be
cold after your long ride.

(She places his coat on the couch and moving back of him, comes down on
his R.)

BISHOP. But I see you're dressed for going out?

ELOISE. I was only going to drive over to the station with Mr. McKnight.

BISHOP. What? Desert your old uncle before he's had a chance to see you?

ELOISE. Well--you see, I promised Hilary--

BISHOP Nonsense...I'm sure Mr. McKnight won't mind, will you, sir?

DARRELL. Well--

BISHOP. Of course you won't.

DARRELL. Perhaps it's just, as well for you to know the truth--

ELOISE. (breaking in quickly) Perhaps Mrs. Gail would like to drive you
over.

NORA. No, thanks. I've no desire to act as camouflage.

ELOISE. Well, I can't let let my little girl go now (Puts his arm about
her and starts her over L. passing her across him to C., where she
stops as CARTER speaks.)

CARTER (C. on balcony with the trunk). About the trunk, ma'am?

ELOISE. (turns her back to the audience, and looks up at CARTER, who
has been up on the balcony with the trunk ever since the Bishop's
entrance waiting for orders. At loss to know what to say; turns to
her and looks at the Bishop Blankly). Oh, yes-the trunk...(Glances
appealingly at HILARY.)

HILARY (coming to her rescue). You'd better take it back again.

CARTER. Yes, sir.

(He drags the trunk back into room C. on balcony and after a short
pause he re-enters and closing the door, comes down the R. stairway and
exits into the pantry R.)

HILARY (continuing to DARRELL). Perhaps Mr. McKnight will stay a little
longer now that the Bishop has come.

NORA. Yes, do stay, Darry.

DARRELL (aside to NORA). I'll have to--I've got some of my things in
her trunk.

NORA. Good! Then we'll all stay.

(DARRELL is disgusted: He throws his hat and coat down on the couch.)

BISHOP. Splendid! (DARRELL moves up to R. of C. door.). Then I shan't
be breaking up the party. (Looks at his hands.) And now I wonder if I
might have a wash.

HILARY. Certainly.

BISHOP (to ELOISE). Have you a room for me?

ELOISE. Of course we have, you dear old thing. That one in there. (She
indicates the room L.1.) I'll see that it's in order.

(She takes a step or two to L. so that she is directly in front of
table, HILARY'S line stops her.)

HILARY. (stepping toward the door). Let me attend to it.

BISHOP. (he crosses ELOISE to HILARY). No, no--you mustn't neglect your
guests on my account.

NORA. (as the Bishop goes to HILARY she moves up C. to the R. of
DARRELL). Oh, don't bother about me and Darry. We'll take each other
off your hands. Besides, you must have a lot to talk about. (She takes
DARRELL by the arm.) Come along Darry, let's go into the garden.

(DARRELL reluctantly allows himself to be led out C. and off to R.)

BISHOP. (as soon as they are well off). Well, well, it seems years
since I've seen you children.

ELOISE. It's only three months, uncle.

BISHOP. I wanted to see how everything was in the dove cot. (takes them
both in with a glance.) Are we as happy as ever?

ELOISE. (at R. of the table) Don't we seem happy?

HILARY. (L.). Oh, yes, we're very happy.

Bishop (L., between ELOISE and HILARY) That's right. Remember I'm
responsible for you both. (To ELOISE.) It was I who gave you to Hilary,
When even your own parents disapproved. It was I who married you. I'm
glad you are happy. You ought to be, for if ever two of God's creatures
were made for each other--you are the two.

(ELOISE turns her face away to R., ashamed. BISHOP turns and winks at
HILARY, then glances at ELOISE.)

BISHOP. Well, I'll only be a moment. (He exits into the room)

ELOISE. (she takes off her coat and hat, she moves to the front of the
couch R. As she goes) This is awful, isn't it? What are we going to do!
(Places her hat and coat on the couch R.)

HILARY. (moving toward ELOISE little R. of her.) Poor old fellow--it
will just break his heart, but I suppose he ought to be told.

ELOISE (R.C.). He mustn't know, Hilary. We mustn't let him.

HILARY. But he's sure to notice the absence of affection between us?

ELOISE (taking a step toward HILARY). Can't we pretend--to be
affectionate?

HILARY. Pretend?

ELOISE. Just when he's about, I mean. (Moving towards Hilary) He
loves us both and it will just break his heart if he found out we're
unhappy. (She plays with the lapel's of coat.).

HILARY. But we're not happy, are we?'

ELOISE. You know what I mean.--It Will be much kinder to let him go
on thinking we--we love each other.

HILARY. But would that be honest? Why pretend an affection We don't
feel!

ELOISE. (stepping away from him and speaking sharply in jealous anger).
I think it's the least you can do for me--after the way you've been
carrying on with that woman.

HILARY. The way I've been carrying on?

ELOISE. Oh, it's none of my business now, but I do think you could
have been fair with me instead of pretending to be so magnanimous and
forgiving--when all the time you wanted a divorce as much as I did.

HILARY I wanted it?

ELOISE.(exploding). And now, when I want you to do the littlest thing
just for uncle--You won't even pretend (She turns away from him
bursting into tears.). sure I'd do it for you. (She sobs aloud.)

HILARY. There, there, my dear--I'll do anything to make you happy
even to pretending that I love you. (He goes to her and tenderly
placing his arms about her he turns her to him.)

(ELOISE gives a little joyous sob and cuddles into his arms.)

DARRELL (he enters C. from L. just in time to get the picture and stops
with a gasp of surprise)...Well!

ELOISE (breaking away to C.). Oh! Darry!

HILARY. (pleasantly). Hello, McKnight.

DARRELL (coming down R. of table--sarcastically). Oh, don't let me
disturb you. Get on with it.

HILARY. What's the matter? You seem a trifle peeved.

DARRELL. Well, I've a right to be peeved, haven't I? The way you two
have been putting it over on me.

HILARY. What do you mean?

ELOISE (R.C.). I'll tell you what he means. He's tired of me and wants
to be free. I realized it when he began to quarrel with me the very
first thing in the morning. But I didn't want to give that woman the
satisfaction of knowing. I kept quiet. He's dissatisfied with his
bargain and so am I and for all I care now (she goes to DARRELL)--he
can go straight to the devil!

HILARY. Eloise!

ELOISE (she turns to HILARY). Oh, I know the position I'm placing
myself in. I've lost my husband, my reputation and everything I
had--and now I've lost my faith in the only other man I ever cared for.
It's what usually happens to a woman who trusts a man, but I don't care
so long as I'm rid of him--rid of both of you! (She crosses to the
stairway up L. and goes quickly up the stairs, speaking the rest of her
line as she goes.) I'm going upstairs to put my things together and go
to some place where never see or hear of either of you again!

HILARY (C.R., his back to audience looking up at her). Ah, but where?

(DARRELL down L. with back to audience, looking up at ELOISE.)

ELOISE. (at door of room up C. on balcony). I don't know, but there
must be some place for women who are sick to death of men, and I am
absolutely. (She exits quickly into C. room, banging the door.)

HILARY (reproachfully shaking his head as he and DARRELL face each
other). McKnight, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

DARRELL. Oh, is that so?

ELOISE. (suddenly throws open the door up C. on balcony and throws
DARRELL'S clothing over the balcony railing to the floor below between
DARRELL and HILARY). These are yours, I believe! (Dashes back into the
room and bangs the door.)

DARRELL (a pause while DARRELL looks indignantly up at the room up C.,
then looking sadly at his clothing, he begins to gather up the various
garments, shaking the dust from them as he drapes them over his arm.
HILARY laughs merrily at his predicament). Where's my? (As he gathers
up the last of his clothing.) Isn't that just like a woman?

(He glances at the door up C. on balcony.)

HILARY. This domestic life is hell, old man. (A pause. HILARY shakes
his head reproachfully.) McKnight, I think you've behaved very badly.

DARRELL. Oh, do you

HILARY. I do indeed. Deliberately winning a woman's heart and then
casting it aside like an old shoe or soiled glove!

DARRELL. Don't you try any of that old story-book stuff on me. And you
needn't pin any medals on yourself either.

HILARY. What do you mean?

DARRELL (L.C.). What do you suppose Nora'll say when I tell her how I
found you here with your wife in your arms.

HILARY (a step toward DARRELL, his arms outstretched in mock pleading).
McKnight, you wouldn't tell her that?

DARRELL (firmly). It's my duty to tell her. I'm not going to let her
break her heart over a man like you!

HILARY. But, McKnight

DARRELL (going up C. and shaking his finger at HILARY who is on his R.
and just below him.) Perhaps you'll stop crowing over me after this.

(He exits C. and off to L., carrying his clothing with him.)

(HILARY takes a step after him and then bursts into peals of merry
laughter.)

BISHOP (enters L.1., and comes to L.C.). Where is Eloise?

HILARY (up L.C.). Upstairs. (He indicates the room a on the balcony.)

BISHOP. Well? How is it working out?

HILARY (Coming down R.). Fine--but you came just in time.

BISHOP. I took the first train I could get out, after (He glances at
the room and lowers his voice.) I received your telegram. You really
think she meant to do it?

HILARY. think there's very little doubt about it.

BISHOP (sighs). Poor poor child. She's so young. You mustn't blame her
too Severely.

HILARY. I don't blame her uncle. I blame myself the more of the two.
No, I don't blame her.

BISHOP. I'm glad of that. I'd feel very sorry if I thought it was going
to make any difference between you.

HILARY. It will make a difference. I never realized before how much she
meant to me.

BISHOP. That's right. (Suddenly.) Didn't some one suggest giving me
something to warm the after My trip?

HILARY. I beg your Pardon, uncle, I'll get it at once. (He starts
toward the pantry R.)

BISHOP. (following him). Is it in there?

HILARY. Yes, but you needn't come for it--(Seeing that the Bishop is
following him, he exits into the pantry R.)

BISHOP. (as he follows HILARY into the pantry. R.). Bless your heart,
I don't mind coming for it. I've been in (he exits into the pantry
R.)--the pantry before.

NORA. (speaks as though continuing a conversation as she enters C. from
L. and comes down. R.C., DARRELL follows at her heels, still carrying
his clothing. She waves DARRELL away) No! No! No, I know you too well
Darry, to pay any attention to your rapid changes of heart. (She moves
to the front of the couch. R)

DARRELL. (coming down to her). But, Nora, this time--

NORA. (R. front of the couch). This time is just like every other time.

DARRELL. I love you, Nora.

NORA: (derisively). Ha!

DARRELL. (going impulsively toward her). I really do. You know there is
always one real love in every man's life and my love for you is that
love in mine.

NORA. (laughs, then reprovingly). Oh, Darry, I don't believe you even
remember having said that to me before--and you sing the same song to
any woman who will listen. (She turns from him and sits on the couch.)

DARRELL. Well--it's my damned susceptible nature--a pretty woman draws
me to her in spite of myself.

NORA. Huh?

DARRELL. (throwing his clothing on the L. end of the couch and sitting
beside her). But not the way you do! There's something about you that
fills me with content. It's like--coming home to a feeling of sweet
security and peace. (He takes her L. hand and presses it to his L.
cheek.)

NORA. (with a deep sigh). Oh, Darry, if I could only believe that you
never said that to any other woman.

DARRELL. Upon my honour, Nora, I've never said that to anyone.

NORA. Darrell?

DARRELL. How could I? I just thought of it this minute.

NORA. (giving in, with a deep sigh. They embrace). I know I'm a fool.

DARRELL. No. You're not a fool.

NORA. Yes, I am--a fool but I can't help it. (She-releases DARRELL from
her embrace and looks at him critically.) It's the mother instinct in
me you appeal to. (She puts her arm around DARRELL. He pillows his head
on her shoulder.) I know miracles don't happen and you're going to be
the same old rascal to the end of your days.

DARRELL (breaking away. Reproachfully). Nora!

NORA. Yes, dear, I know it. I know but I'm resigned to it. (She throws
her arm around DARRELL and they, are locked in a fond embrace as HILARY
enters from the pantry R.)

HILARY (up R. above the couch.) Well, I never!

(ELOISE comes out of her room and downstairs.)

(DARRELL and NORA break their embrace quickly. DARRELL goes R. of NORA)

(HILARY comes down R.C.)

NORA. (taking DARRELL'S arm to HILARY). I've decided to take him in
hand and save a great many women from making mistakes.

HILARY. (to ELOISE) My dear, prepare yourself for a great shock.

NORA. McKnight has changed his mind.

ELOISE (indifferently). Oh, indeed!

DARRELL (over R.). I'm sorry but, you did tell me to go to the devil--
Eloise.

NORA (at R. front of couch). So he came straight to me, and we're going
to be married immediately. (They start to go out.)

DARRELL. (stops at L. end of couch.). Wait minute:

NORA (stops). What's the matter?

DARRELL. My clothes. (Takes up the clothes.)

NORA. What are you going to do with those?

DARRELL. Have you got room for these in your trunk?

NORA (laughing). Oh, go along with you.

(DARRELL goes out C. and off L.)

HILARY. Nora! Nora!

(NORA turns to him. He goes to her and they shake hands over the
success of their plans)

(NORA then exits C.)

(ELOISE crosses to the couch R. as HILARY goes up to NORA. She takes
her hat and coat from L. end of couch, and crosses slowly back,
towards door L.)

HILARY. (Coming down C.) Where are you going?

ELOISE (front of table L.) I don't know.

HILARY (crosses to ELOISE, and takes her hat and coat from her). I
do--you're going to stay here. (Goes to couch and puts hat and coat On.
L. end of it.)

ELOISE. I've made a terrible mistake.

HILARY (C.). Well, we all make mistakes.

ELOISE. Yes, but not fatal ones. I've made an irretrievable blunder.

HILARY. I don't think so. After all, the Bishop still believes in you.

ELOISE. Yes, but only because I've deceived him.

HILARY. Well, I've deceived him too. It's a great thing to have a
Bishop for an uncle--a great safeguard.

ELOISE. If he thought I'd ever cared for--Darry--

HILARY. Of course he'd be terribly distressed, but I don't suppose he'd
believe it even if you told him yourself, any more than I should.

ELOISE. What did you say?

HILARY. I said, any more than I should.

ELOISE. Don't you believe I ever cared for Darry?

HILARY. No, I think you thought you did. But I knew all the time you
only really cared for me.

ELOISE. What extraordinary conceit.

HILARY. Quite so, dear, that's just what pulled me through.

ELOISE. What do you mean?

HILARY. (crosses to table and sits on R. end of it). You blessed
creature, do you suppose I should have taken all this trouble about
you, if I hadn't been absolutely devoted to you?

ELOISE. But you said at the time when you let me go away you were
thinking only of my happiness. Why did you let me go?

HILARY. To get you back again, back again to ask you to forgive me.

ELOISE. To forgive you?

HILARY. Yes--because I felt I was far more to blame than you were.

ELOISE. I don't in the least think so, but oh, Hilary, it's perfectly
sweet of you to say it even if you don't mean it.

(She sits on edge of table L. of Hilary.)

HILARY. But I do mean it--but I should have said it all the same if I
hadn't meant it.

ELOISE. What?

HILARY. Certainly. The Bishop is still here. (The Bishop enters.) Only
a quarter of an hour ago you begged me to pretend to love you, just to
make the old boy happy, and I agreed to do so if, it would make you
happy. Isn't that so?

ELOISE. Yes, but--

HILARY. Look out--here he is. Pretend, Pretend for all you're worth.

(HILARY sings "Mary Green" crosses R., looks at BISHOP and comes back
C. to ELOISE.)

ELOISE (interrupting). Hilary, I'm not pretending! Hilary, I'm not
pretending.

(They embrace.)

CURTAIN.

AVERAGE TIME OF ACT 25 minutes.

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THE END

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