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Title: Remember Caesar
Author: Josephine Tey (writing as Gordon Daviot)
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No.: 1600381h.html
Language: English
Date first posted:  March 2016
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Remember Caesar

by

Gordon Daviot

Cover Image

A Play in One Act

First Published in Leith Sands and Other Short Plays, Duckworth, 1946

This e-book edition: Project Gutenberg Australia, 2016




                              CHARACTERS

                         In order of appearance

                             LORD WESTON.
                             ROGER CHETWYND.
                             LADY WESTON.

A room in the house of RICHARD, LORD WESTON, on a spring morning in
the reign of Charles II. LORD WESTON (until his late elevation to the
bench, Sir Richard) is not wealthy, and the room is a combination of
study and withdrawing-room. Up right is the door to the landing (it is a
first-floor room), in the rear wall a large casement window looking out
to the front of the house, in the left wall the fireplace and, down,
another window through which one can see the trees in the garden. Up
from the fireplace a cupboard in the wall. Hanging on the walls and over
the fireplace are family portraits.

LORD WESTON is seated by the fireplace, a table of books and papers
beside him. He is engaged in filling his pipe. And talking.

Down right, where the light from the side window falls across his small
writing-table, is seated MR. ROGER CHETWYND, a thin, earnest,
absent-minded, and conscientious youth. So conscientious is he that his
mind, even when absent, is absent on his employer's business. He has
begun by listening to his master's lecture, but the lure of his work has
been gradually too much for him, and he is now blissfully copying from
one paper on to another while the measured words flow over him, his lips
forming the phrases while he writes.

  WESTON.: —And furthermore [he pauses to arrange the tobacco] it is
not alone a question of duty; there is your own success in the world to
be considered. It is not your intention to be a secretary all your life,
is it? No. Very well. Diligence, and a respect for detail should be your
care. I did not become Lord Weston by twiddling my thumbs and hoping for
favours. I won my honours by hard work and zealous service. Men who were
at Corpus Christi with me are to-day copying documents for a living,
while I—let us not mince matters—am the best-known, and certainly the
most impartial, judge in England, and a favoured servant of his gracious
majesty, Charles the Second. That, I submit, my good Roger, is an
example to be studied. It is not only unbecoming in you to ask for a
half-holiday, but it is greatly unlike you. I fear . . . [He has turned
towards his secretary, and discovers his misplaced diligence. After a
pause, coldly] Can it be, Mr. Chetwynd, that you have not been
listening to my discourse?

  ROGER.: [Brought to the surface by the cessation of the word music]
What, my lord? Oh, no. Yes, certainly, sir, I am listening.

  WESTON.: What was I talking of?

  ROGER.: Yourself, sir. [Amending] I mean, of your rise to success, my
lord. [It is apparent that it is an oft-heard tale.]

  WESTON.: We were talking of your extraordinary request for a
half-holiday, when you had one only last month. On that occasion, if I
remember well, your parents came to town and you must needs go gadding.
Would it be straining courtesy too far if I were to enquire what prompts
this new demand for heedless leisure?

  ROGER.: I thought perhaps if you did not need me this afternoon, my
lord, I might personally interview the clerk of the Awards Committee,
and find out why he has not sent that document.

  WESTON.: [A little taken aback] Oh. Oh, indeed.

  ROGER.: The lack of it greatly hinders. It holds up my work, you see.
And at this most interesting point . . . [His glance goes longingly to
his desk.]

  WESTON.: That, of course, is a different matter. I see no reason [he
looks for a spill for his pipe, first on the table and then, rising, by
the fire] why you should not take a walk to Mr. Clay's in the afternoon
if the weather is fine. I am relieved that your thoughts are on sober
matters, as befits a rising young man. Diligence, courage, and attention
to detail: these are the three . . . Where are the spills? These are
what bring a man to success and endow him with dignity . . . No tapers
and no spills, as usual! [Looking on the table for a scrap of paper and
finally feeling in his pockets] Without an orderly mind no man can hope
[ROGER has gone back to his work] to excel in any of the learned
professions. [He has found a scrap of paper, rather crushed, in his
pocket and smooths it out, uninterestedly, to make a rough spill.]
Detail, my good Roger, attention to detail. That is the beginning of
greatness. That is the . . . [reading automatically and with some
difficulty what is written on the scrap of paper] "Remember Caesar."
[Repeating, with vague interest] "Remember Caesar." [He turns the
paper back and forth, at a loss. And then a new idea occurs to him, a
rather horrible idea. To ROGER] What is the date to-day? [As ROGER,
buried again in his work, does not answer] Roger! I said, what day of
the month is it?

  ROGER.: [Hardly pausing] It is the fourteenth, my lord.

  WESTON.: The fourteenth! The fourteenth of March. The Ides of March!
[Looking at the paper again; in a horrified whisper] "Remember Caesar"!
[Louder] So they want to kill me, do they? They want to kill me?
[ROGER comes to the surface, surprised.] That is what it is to be a
judge over men [all his pompousness is dissolving in agitation], an
instrument of justice. Sooner or later revenge lies await in the
by-ways. And the juster a judge has been, the more fearless [he waves
the paper in the astonished ROGER'S face], so much greater will be
the hate that pursues—

  ROGER.: What is it, my lord? What is it?

  WESTON.: My death warrant if I am not careful. What cases have we had
lately? The treason affair—I refused to be bribed! [The boast gives
him a passing comfort.] The piracy—both sides hate me for that! Or
there was that footpad—

  ROGER.: Is it a threat, the paper? Where did it come from?

  WESTON.: It was in my pocket. Someone must have . . . Yes, now I
remember. A man brushed against me yesterday as I was leaving the
courts. A small, evil-looking fellow, very sly.

  ROGER.: What does it say, the paper?

  WESTON.: [Much too occupied with his own fate to attend to his
secretary's curiosity] Just at the door, it was, and he didn't wait for
apology. I remember. Well, I can only thank them for the warning. I may
die before my time but it will not be to-day if I can help it. Go
downstairs at once, Roger, and lock and bar all the doors. Lock, bar,
and chain them. And ask my wife to come to me at once. At once. Stop!
Are there any strangers in the house? Workmen or such?

  ROGER.: Only Joel the gardener, my lord; he is cleaning the windows on
the landing. [He indicates with his head that Joel is just outside.]

  WESTON.: Send him away at once. Tell him to leave everything and go,
and lock the door behind him. And the windows—see that the windows,
too, are closed.

   ROGER goes with speed. One can hear him begin his order to Joel
      before he shuts the door: Joel, his lordship says that you must
      . . . and the whistling which has become audible through the
      opened door dies away. WESTON, left alone, peers cautiously from
      each window in turn. Then his mind, temporarily relieved, goes to
      the cupboard and is greatly exercised again. He stares at it
      fearfully for a moment or two, and then puts his fear to the test.
      He takes a pistol from the drawer of his desk.

  WESTON.: [Facing the cupboard with levelled pistol] Come out! Come
out, I say. [There is silence.] Drop your weapon and come out or I
shall shoot you now. [As there is still silence he forces himself to
close in on the cupboard door, and standing to the side pulls it quickly
open. It is empty. As soon as his relief abates he is ashamed, and
hastily returns the pistol to its drawer.]

   Enter, bright and purposeful, LADY WESTON. A charming creature.
      One knows at a glance that she is an excellent housewife, but to
      the last one is never sure how much intelligence and sweet malice
      there lies behind her practical simplicity.

  LADY WESTON.: [Looking back as she comes in] I do wish that Joel
wouldn't leave pails of water on the landing! What is it, Richard? It's
baking morning.

  WESTON.: [Going to her and taking her hand in his reassuringly] My
dear, don't be alarmed—

  LADY WESTON.: I'm not. But the surest way to make me is to pat my hand
and tell me not to be.

  WESTON.: My dear, your husband's life is in grave danger.

  LADY WESTON.: The last time it was in danger you had been eating game
pie. What is it this time?

  WESTON.: [Annihilating her flippancy with one broadside]
Assassination!

  LADY WESTON.: Well, well! You always wanted to be a great man and now
you have got your wish!

  WESTON.: What do you mean?

  LADY WESTON.: They don't assassinate nobodies.

  WESTON.: [Showing her the paper] Read that, and see if you can laugh.

  LADY WESTON.: I'm not laughing. [Trying to read the writing] What a
dreadful scrawl.

  WESTON.: Yes, the venomous scribbling of an illiterate.

  LADY WESTON.: [Deciphering] "Remember Caesar." Is it a riddle?

  WESTON.: It is a death warrant. Do you know what day this is?

  LADY WESTON.: Thursday.

  WESTON.: What day of the month.

  LADY WESTON.: About the twelfth, I should guess.

  WESTON.: [With meaning] It is the fourteenth. The fourteenth of
March.

  LADY WESTON.: Lawdamussy! Your good-sister's birthday! And we haven't
sent her as much as a lily!

  WESTON.: I have deplored before, Frances, the incurable lightness of
your mind. On the fourteenth of March Caesar was murdered in the Forum.

  LADY WESTON.: Yes, of course. I remember. They couldn't stand his airs
any longer.

  WESTON.: [Reproving] He was a great man.

  LADY WESTON.: [Kindly] Yes, my dear, I am sure he was. [Looking
again at the scrap of paper] And is someone thinking of murdering you?

  WESTON.: Obviously.

  LADY WESTON.: I wonder someone hasn't done it long ago. [Before the
look of wonder can grow in his eye] A great many people must hate
judges. And you are a strict judge, they say.

  WESTON.: It is the law that is strict. I am a judge, my good Frances,
not a juggler. I have never twisted the law to please the mob, and I
shall not please them by dying on the day of their choice.

  LADY WESTON.: No, of course not. You shall not go out of the house
to-day. A nice light dinner and a good glass of—

  WESTON.: I have sent Roger to barricade all the doors, and I think it
would be wise to close the ground-floor shutters and see that they are
not opened for any—

  LADY WESTON.: Is it the French and the Dutch together you are
expecting! And this is the morning Mr. Gammon's boy comes with the
groceries. How am I to—

  WESTON.: My dear, is a little pepper more to you than your husband's
life?

  LADY WESTON.: It isn't a little pepper, it's a great deal of flour. And
you would be the first to complain if the bread were short, or the gravy
thin. [Giving him back the paper] How do you know that the little
paper was meant for you?

  WESTON.: Because it was in my pocket. I found it there when I was
looking for something to light my pipe. [With meaning] There were no
spills.

  LADY WESTON.: No spills. What, again? Richard, you smoke far too much.

  WESTON.: [Continuing hastily] It was slipped into my pocket by a man
who brushed against me yesterday. A dark, lean fellow with an evil face.

  LADY WESTON.: I don't think he was very evil.

  WESTON.: What do you know about it?

  LADY WESTON.: It was kind of him to warn you. And wasn't it a mercy
that the spills were finished and that no one had made any more! If
there had been even one there you would never have seen the paper. You
would have gone for your noon walk down the Strand and someone would
have stuck you like a goose on a spit, and I should have been a widow
before dinner-time—

  WESTON.: [Sinking into a chair] Stop, Frances, stop! It upsets me
to—

   Enter ROGER, a little out of breath after his flying tour round
      the house.

  WESTON.: Ah, Roger. Have you seen to it all? Every door barred, every
window shut, all workmen out—

  ROGER.: [A little embarrassed] Every door except the kitchen one, my
lord.

  WESTON.: [Angry] And why not the kitchen one?

  ROGER.: [Stammering] The cook seemed to think . . . That is, she said. . .

  WESTON.: Well, speak, man, what did she say, and how does what the cook
thinks affect my order to bar the kitchen door?

  ROGER.: [In a rush] The cook said she was a respectable woman and had
never been behind bars in her life and she wasn't going to begin at her
age, and she was quite capable of dealing with anyone who came to the
kitchen door—

  LADY WESTON.: Never mind, Roger, I shall speak to cook—

  WESTON.: [Interrupting her, furious] Is the woman mad? Did you tell
her that her master might be killed in her very presence if the door
were not—

  ROGER.: I did, my lord, I did. She said there would be a killing there
and then if I did not leave her kitchen. She is a very formidable woman,
my lord, and there was the matter of a rolling-pin . . . I thought it
best to desist.

  LADY WESTON.: Be calm, Richard. It is only that the cook's temper is
apt to be uncertain in the morning. I know how to coax her into a better
humour—

  WESTON.: Coax! Since when have my servants to be coaxed! She shall
leave my house this very hour.

  LADY WESTON.: Oh, nonsense, Richard! All cooks are strange tempered. It
comes from standing over hot stoves and breathing in pepper. I shall
see—

  WESTON.: This very hour! If her silly mind is so careless of her
master's safety she has no right to his roof. Tell her to pack her
things and leave the house at once, and see that the door is barred
after her.

  LADY WESTON.: And who will cook your pet dishes when I go to stay with
Sibylla? Be calm, Richard. The kitchen door will be locked, and cook
will see to the barring of it herself, and be proud of her handiwork, I
promise you. That is what a mistress is for, to sweep up after the
master. I shall also see that all the downstairs windows are shuttered
as you suggest. We can always haul the groceries through an upper
window. That will be entertaining for poor old Lady Gascoigne, anyhow;
glooming there in her window. She has had no amusement out of this
street since the dog-fight on Ash Wednesday. [As she is going,
pausing] Would you like me to block up the chimneys, perhaps?

  WESTON.: [Controlling himself] I think that so frivolous a suggestion
at so anxious a time is in poor taste, Frances, and unworthy of you—

  LADY WESTON.: Did it appear frivolous to you? How strange! I had
thought it odd to shutter the walls and yet leave openings in the roof
that one could drive a coach and horses through. However! [She comes
back into the room, takes two candelabra from different places in the
room, and goes to the door.]

  WESTON.: What do you want with these?

  LADY WESTON.: If we are to be in darkness below we shall want all the
candles we can gather.

                                                                 [Exit

  WESTON.: The aptness of the female mind to busy itself about irrelevant
and inconsiderable minutiae is a source of endless wonder to me. [Almost
without noticing what he is doing he moves over to the fireplace and
sticks his head into the chimney to view the width of it. As he
withdraws it, he becomes aware of ROGER, standing watching.] I see no
reason now why you should not resume your work, Roger.

  ROGER.: Oh, my lord, it is beyond my power to work while you are in
danger. Is there not something I could do?

  WESTON.: [Mightily flattered] Nonsense, my good Roger, nonsense!
Nothing is going to happen to me.

  ROGER.: I could perhaps go and warn the authorities, and so prevent—

  WESTON.: [Very brave] No, no, no. Am I to spend the rest of my life
with a guard at my heels? A pretty figure I should cut! Go on with your
work and . . . [his eye has lighted on a package which is lying on a
chair against the right wall. The box is oblong—roughly 18 in. by 10
in. by 4 in.—and tied with cord. Sharply] What is this?

  ROGER.: That came for you this morning, sir.

  WESTON.: What is it?

  ROGER.: [With the faint beginnings of doubt in his voice] I don't
know, my lord. A man came with it and said that it was important that
you should have it to-day.

  WESTON.: And you didn't ask what it was! You fool!

  ROGER.: [Humbly] It didn't seem to be my business. I never do ask
about the contents of your lordship's . . . I showed your lordship the
package when it came, and you said to leave it there.

  WESTON.: [Peering with growing uneasiness at the thing] The man who
brought it, what did he look like? Was he small? Dark?

  ROGER.: [Who obviously had taken no notice] I think he was smallish.
But as to dark—his hat was pulled over his face. I think—I think he
appeared to have a mole on his chin, but I would not . . . It may have
been just a—

  WESTON.: A mole? [His imagination at work] A mole! Yes. Yes. That man
had a mole. The man who brushed against me. On the right side of his
jaw. I can see it as if he were standing here. We must get rid of this.
At once.

  ROGER.: Do you think it is some infernal machine, sir? What shall we do
with it?

  WESTON.: [Indicating the side window] Open the window and I shall
throw it as far into the garden as I can.

  ROGER.: But it may explode, sir, if we throw it.

  WESTON.: What is certain is that it will explode if we do not! How long
has it been lying here?

  ROGER.: It came about nine o'clock, my lord.

  WESTON.: [In an agony] Nearly three hours ago! Open the window,
Roger.

  ROGER.: No, sir. You open the window. Let me handle the thing. My life
is nothing. Yours is of great value to England.

  WESTON.: No, Roger, no. You are young. I have had my life. There are
still great things for you to do in the world. You must live, and write
my life for posterity. Do as I say. I promise you I shall exercise the
greatest care. [As ROGER rushes to the window] No. Wait! A better
idea. The gardener's pail. It is still on the landing!

  ROGER.: Yes! Yes, of course! [He is out of the room and back in a
moment with the wooden pail of water, which still has the wet cleaning
rag hung over its edge.]

  WESTON.: Stand back. [He picks up the parcel gingerly.] We do not
know what satanic thing may happen. [He inserts the parcel lengthwise
into the pail, at full stretch of his arm, his head averted, his eyes
watching from their extreme corners] There is not enough water! Not
enough to cover it.

  ROGER.: I'll get some. I shall not be a moment.

  WESTON.: No. Don't go. The flowers! [He indicates a bowl of
daffodils.]

  ROGER.: Of course! [He pulls the daffodils from their setting,
throwing them on the desk in his agitation, and pours the water into the
pail.] Ah! That has done it!

  WESTON.: [Dismayed, as he takes his hand from the package] Now it is
going to float! It must be wet through, or it is no use.

  ROGER.: We must put something heavy on top, to keep it down.

  WESTON.: Yes, yes. Get something.

  ROGER.: What shall I get?

  WESTON.: Good God, boy! Have you no ideas once the pen is out of your
hand? Anything, anything that is heavy and that will fit into the pail.
Books, anything!

  ROGER.: [To whom books are objects of reverence, if not awe] Books,
sir? But they'll get very wet, won't they?

  WESTON.: In the name of heaven bring the first six books off the shelf!

  ROGER.: [Snatching the books and bringing them] I suppose it cannot
be helped. Such beautiful bindings too! [He picks the wet cloth off the
edge of the pail, dropping it on the carpet, and plunges the books into
the water, which very naturally overflows at this new incursion.]

  WESTON.: [Letting go his hold on the package and sitting back on his
heels with a sigh of relief] Ah! Well and truly drowned. [He mops his
forehead and ROGER collapses into the nearest chair.]

   Enter LADY WESTON, with a tray on which is a glass of wine and
      some biscuits.

  LADY WESTON.: [Seeing their strange occupation] Lawdamussy, Richard!
What have you got in the pail?

  WESTON.: A package that came this morning. The man who brought it was
the same fellow that knocked against me yesterday and slipped that paper
into my pocket. They thought I would open it, the fools! [He is
beginning to feel better.] But we have been one too many for them!

  LADY WESTON.: [In wild dismay] But how stupid! You are just making a
mess of the beautiful, brand-new—

  WESTON.: [Interrupting her angrily] Frances! [The thunder of her
name quenches her speech.] What does your "beautiful brand-new" carpet
matter when your husband's life is at stake? You shock me.

  LADY WESTON.: [Who has not been going to say "carpet"] Carpet?
[After a pause, mildly] No, of course not, my dear. I should never
dream of weighing your safety against even the finest product of Asia.
Come and sit down and have a glass of wine. [She puts the tray on his
desk, gathering up the scattered daffodils as she does so] You know how
the doctor disapproves of excitement for you.

  WESTON.: Perhaps the doctor has never had an infernal machine handed in
at his door of a spring morning.

   LADY WESTON picks up the cloth from the floor, mops the spilt water,
      and pauses to look curiously at the contents of the pail as they
      catch her eye.

  ROGER.: [Who has been staring at the pail in absorbed fascination] I
am afraid we have made a little mess. Please let me do that.

  LADY WESTON.: [In mild conversational tones] That looks like Mr.
Spencer in the water.

  ROGER.: Yes, it is. The thing floated, you see. And time was
all-important. So it was imperative to take whatever was nearest to
weight it down.

  LADY WESTON.: I see. [Handing him the wet cloth, and the flowers]
Would you be kind enough to take these downstairs? [She adds the empty
flower-bowl to his load] One of the maids will fill that for you.

                                                          [ROGER goes.

  WESTON.: Have the kitchen wenches decided that the door of their domain
may at last be bolted?

  LADY WESTON.: Oh, they are all very happy. Cook thinks she knows how to
make bullets by dropping hot lead into cold water, or something of the
sort. And the kitchenmaid thinks that she will stay in London after all.

  WESTON.: Stay in London?

  LADY WESTON.: [Indicating his tray; he is already sipping the wine]
Try the biscuits. They are Sibylla's recipe. Yes, she was leaving
because she found London so quiet after the country.

  WESTON.: [Through his biscuit] Ridiculous!

  LADY WESTON.: In the country, she said, if there wasn't a calving there
was a wedding, and if there wasn't a wedding there was a wake. It was
never dull. A pleasant girl. I am glad London is being livelier for her.

  WESTON.: My household seem to treat my danger as a sort of raree-show.

  LADY WESTON.: No, dear, no. All maids like a little to-do. It makes
life important for them.

  WESTON.: A little to-do! My funeral, I hope will be even more exciting
for them. You must have a wake to please the kitchenmaid.

  LADY WESTON.: [Not listening to him; contemplative, her eyes on the
portrait which hangs opposite the side window] Do you think we had
better remove Great-aunt Cicely?

  WESTON.: In the name of heaven, why?

  LADY WESTON.: She is in the direct line of shots coming through that
window.

  WESTON.: And why should any shots come through the window, may I ask?

  LADY WESTON.: [Mildly objecting to the tone] I was merely taking
thought for your property, my dear Richard. And anyone sitting in the
ilex tree out there would be in a—

  WESTON.: [On his feet] Frances! What made you think of the ilex tree?

  LADY WESTON.: That is where I would shoot you from. I mean, if I were
going to shoot you. The leaves are thick enough to hide anyone sitting
there, and yet not enough to obscure their view.

  WESTON.: Come away from that window.

  LADY WESTON.: What?

  WESTON.: Come away from that window!

  LADY WESTON.: [Moving to him] No one is going to shoot me.

  WESTON.: [Running out of the room, and calling to ROGER from the
landing] Roger! Roger!

  ROGER.: [Very distant] My lord?

  WESTON.: Has the gardener gone away yet?

  ROGER.: No, my lord. He is eating his dinner outside the kitchen
window.

  WESTON.: Tell him to sit under the ilex tree until I give him leave to
move.

  ROGER.: The ilex tree? Yes, my lord.

   WESTON comes back and goes to the drawer of the table where his
      pistol is kept.

  LADY WESTON.: [As he takes out the pistol] Oh, Richard, dear, be
careful. That is a very dangerous weapon.

  WESTON.: [Grimly important] I know it!

  LADY WESTON.: It is so rusty that it is liable to do anything. [As her
husband proceeds to load the weapon] You know that you haven't used it
since you were shooting dancing balls off the fountain. That was the
year after we were married. The butcher's son blew half his scalp off
the other week, trying to fire a rusty pistol. He has no hair left
except a few red tufts over the right ear. His father says the only hope
for him is to become a gentleman so that he can wear a wig.

  WESTON.: There is nothing wrong with my pistol but a little dust.

  LADY WESTON.: Well, I think it is a poor way to foil an assassin.

  WESTON.: What is?

  LADY WESTON.: Blowing oneself up.

                             Enter ROGER with the bowl of daffodils.

  WESTON.: [Looking round at him as he comes in] Has Joel gone to sit
under the tree?

  ROGER.: Yes, sir. [Putting down the bowl and making for the side
window] At least, I gave him your message.

  WESTON.: Keep away from that window! [As ROGER looks astonished]
There may be someone in the ilex tree.

  ROGER.: But do you think they would try to shoot you as well as—as
. . . [He indicates the bucket].

  WESTON.: Who knows? When you have dealt with the criminal mind as long
as I have . . . Did you open the door to speak to the gardener?

  ROGER.: Oh, no, my lord. I spoke through the shutter. The cook is of
the opinion that we should send for the military.

  LADY WESTON.: Cook is always of opinion that we should send for the
military.

  WESTON.: [Snapping the lock of his pistol] Now we shall see whether
there is anyone lurking in the tree. [He moves over to the side of the
window, peering out with the fraction of an eye.]

  LADY WESTON.: Richard, if you are going to shoot off that thing, you
will please wait until I—

   She is interrupted by a loud knocking on the front door downstairs.
      This is such an unexpected development that all three are
      momentarily quite still, at a loss. ROGER is the first to
      recover.

  ROGER.: Someone at the front door.

   He moves over to the window in the rear wall, from which one can see
      the street. He is about to open the casement so that he may lean
      out to inspect the knocker, when LORD WESTON stops him.

  WESTON.: [Still at the fireplace] Don't open that window!

  ROGER.: But I cannot see otherwise, my lord, who it is.

  WESTON.: If you put your head out of that window they may shoot without
waiting to ask questions.

  LADY WESTON.: But, Richard, it may be some perfectly innocent visitor.

                                            [The knocking is repeated.

  ROGER.: If I were to stand on a chair . . . [He brings a chair to the
window and stands on it, but he is still not high enough to look down on
whoever waits at the front door.]

  WESTON.: Well? Well? Can you tell who it is?

  ROGER.: I am still not high enough, my lord.

  LADY WESTON.: Add the footstool, Roger.

   ROGER adds the footstool to the chair, and aided by LADY
      WESTON climbs on to the precarious erection.

  LADY WESTON.: Now, can you see anyone?

  ROGER.: [Having seen, scrambling down] All is well, my lord. [He
throws open the casement, and calls to someone below] In a moment, my
good sir, in a moment! All is well, my lord. It is only Mr. Caesar. [As
this information is succeeded by a blank pause] Shall I let him in?

  WESTON.: Who did you say?

  ROGER.: Mr. Caesar. You remember: the man you met on Tuesday at Hampton,
my lord. He was to come to see you this morning about rose trees. You
made a note of it.

  WESTON.: [Taking the crumpled piece of paper from his pocket in a
dazed way] I made a note? "Remember Caesar." Is that my writing? Yes, it
must be. Dear me!

  LADY WESTON.: You had better go down and let Mr. Caesar in, Roger. Put
the pistol away, Richard, dear; your visitor might misunderstand it.
[She speaks cheerfully, as to a child; it is obvious from her lack of
surprise that excursions and alarms created by her husband over trifles
are a normal part of existence for her.] And if you take Mr. Spencer
out of the water, I shall send Joel to take away the bucket. Perhaps Mr.
Brutus would like some cordial?

  WESTON.: Mr. Caesar. [He moves towards the bucket.]

  LADY WESTON.: Of course. How could anyone forget a name like that? And
now, if you'll forgive me . . . It's my busy morning.

  WESTON.: [Arresting her as she is going out of the door] Oh, Frances!
What was in the parcel, do you think?

  LADY WESTON.: That was your new velvet cloak, dear. I did try to tell
you, you know.

                                                                [Exit.

   The curtain comes down on LORD WESTON ruefully taking the first
      dripping book from the water.

                                CURTAIN


THE END

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