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Title: The Duchess of Coolgardie Author: Euston Leigh and Cyril Clare * A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No.: 1500091h.html Language: English Date first posted: February 2015 Most recent update: February 2015 This eBook was produced by: Hamish Darby Project Gutenberg of Australia eBooks are created from printed editions which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice is included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particular paper edition. Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this file. This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg Australia Licence which may be viewed online.
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A PDF file of this play is available at National Library of Australia
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(ebook Editors note: Stage directions have been italicised and placed in brackets.)
* * *
First Produced at Drury Lane Theatre, where it was acted during the entire Autumn Season of 1896, under the management of John Coleman.
Original Cast at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 19th September, 1896.
THE WARDEN OF COOLGARDIE GOLD FIELDS — Mr HERMANN VEZIN LORD GLENDARGLE — Mr ERNEST BERTRAM, Mr OSWALD YORKE HERR VON SWOP — Mr GOFTON Miners: BIG BEN — Mr CHARLES GLENNEY SAILOR JACK — Mr LAWRENCE CAUTLEY YORKSHIRE DICK — Mr J M LOWNE, Mr JOHN L SHINE IRISH MYLES — Mr RICHARD PURDON THE CAPTAIN — Mr VANDERFELDT BENDIGO BILL — Mr EDWARD O'NEILL MELBOURNE JERRY — Mr WALTER BRUNTON MACDONALD, Chief of Police — Mr ISAACSON WALLAROO, An Aborigine — Miss LAURA JOHNSON KATHLEEN O'MARA — Miss LAURA LINDEN Sisters: NELLIE GREY — Miss EDITH JORDAN. SYBIL GREY — Miss HILDA SPONG [Two Ruffians, Act One Scene Two]
1. THE WARDEN is a mature man, between fifty and sixty. He should be of stalwart proportions, has been a soldier accustomed to command and to be obeyed. He speaks brusquely and imperiously. Undress officer's uniform.
2. LORD GLENDARGLE is a handsome manly "Johnnie" slender and of middle height, distinguished by a certain air of distinction though without an atom of " side." He is a man of thirty-five, light brown hair and moustache. 1st Dress.—A light tweed suit, rather soiled, a soiled lawn tennis shirt, yellow boots, and brown felt hat. 2nd Dress.—ACT V. Frock coat, white vest, light trousers, white hat, and wedding favour.
3. VON SWOP, a German speculator. A man of sixty, with pronounced features. 1st Dress.—A vest of opal velvet is festooned with huge chains, and there is a great diamond stud in his shirt front. A pickle cabbage necktie, white hat with a broad black band. A flaming crimson silk handkerchief continually in evidence. When he is not smoking a cigar he is taking snuff. His hands are covered with rings. He carries a pocket-book full of bank notes, attached to a chain in his pocket. 2nd Dress.—Change for wedding—equally loud toned, a crimson vest, etc.
4. BIG BEN—A handsome, stalwart, broad-chested, finely proportioned man of forty, bronzed and bearded. His hair has been a golden brown, and though streaked with grey here and there, catches the sun, and retains traces of its former beauty. When he makes his first appearance his hair and beard are matted, his eyes bloodshot and inflamed. His whole appearance indicates that he has been drinking, and is under the influence of liquor. His manner though brusque, abrupt, and taciturn has a certain air of distinction, and he is at all times a gentleman. He is sobered the instant SYBIL appears; from that time to the end of the play he "casts his nighted colour off," and is himself again. Whenever he appears he dominates the Scene. 1st Dress.—That of an ordinary digger. Leather hunting jacket, grey flannel garibaldi, heather-brown knickers, old ridingboots, all travel-worn and soiled. Black silk handkerchief loosely tied round neck, soft brown felt hat. Digger's rug and impedimenta for 1st SCENE.
5. SAILOR JACK.—Tall handsome fellow of five or six and twenty, fair and bearded. Frank, open, sailor-like manners, but a little rough. and hot-tempered. Dress.—That of a man-of-war's, very soiled and worn. Trousers tucked into a pair of tanned leather leggings which reach up to the knee. This dress is worn throughout the play—except in Act V where he changes to light suit for wedding.
6. YORKSHIRE DICK, a genuine Tyke. Golden hair, whiskers, and moustache. A sturdily built fellow of five and thirty. He speaks with the accent of the West Riding. "Tho' rugged as his native North, he is as modest as he is manly, as tender as he is true." Dress.-Brown leather jacket and trousers, tucked into leggings of tanned leather. A garibaldi of dark blue flannel. Act V. In deep mourning.
7. MYLES OF CLONAKILTY.—A bright, vivacious "Irish boy" of five-and-twenty; auburn hair and whiskers. 1st Dress.-Knickers of drab Irish freize. Soft felt steeple crowned drab hat. Knitted worsted stockings to match, rolled up above the knees. Yellow boots. Loose white flannel garibaldi. 2nd Dress.—Wedding dress: green frock coat, brass buttons. Drab vest and trousers. Pumps. White top hat. White shirt and green necktie.
8. THE CAPTAIN—Tall, handsome, well-preserved man of five-and-thirty; dark hair, dark military moustache, the bearing of an indolent soldier—a masher and a lady-killer. A man who has been a gentleman, and who still maintains the manners of one. He wears an eyeglass and smokes cigarettes. He is continually adjusting the one and smoking the other. Ordinarily he has a languid, insolent manner, but when roused to wrath he is terribly in earnest. His insolence and brutality are real, his love-making (notably Act III.) is false, but earnestly and admirably simulated. 1st Dress.—Brown velvet jacket. Scarlet garibaldi. Brown sash round waist. Yellow handkerchief for neck. Brown knickers. Yellow knee boots. Drab bowler hat. All kept much more smartly than those of any other man in the field. 2nd Dress.—Act V, The former, soiled and very much worn. His beard has grown. He is haggard, and a woeful looking object.
9. BENDIGO BILL.—An ex-pugilist; a great, stalwart, red headed ruffian with a broken nose, a patch over his left eye, a manner brutal and bullying. Dress.—Dark woollen jacket and trousers. Tanned leather leggings. Yellow garibaldi, striped with black. Black cowboy's hat.
10. MELBOURNE JERRY.—A larrikin of one-and-twenty, one of the criminal classes. A beardless young ruffian. Dark hair, cropped to the poll, except for two carefully-kept love-locks on either side. Dress.—Brown corduroy jacket and trousers. Red and black jersey outside trousers. Yellow and black cap. Trousers and jacket, cut like our own costers', and profusely decorated with mother-of-pearl buttons. 2nd Dress.—In Last Act a grotesquely-cut dress suit, ever so much too big for him.
11. WALLAROO.—Aboriginal Australian. A proper design will be provided for this character.
12. MACDONALD.—Chief of Police. Stalwart Scotsman of forty. Has been a soldier. Dress.—Accurate costume of the period.
1. THE WIDOW O'MARA.—Buxom fine woman of thirty. Frank, pleasant manners. Bright as sunshine. Dress.—Act I.—Light cotton gown. Tucker for neck. Coquettish cap and ribbon for hair. Nattily cut apron, with pockets. Act II.—Scotch kirtle jacket, turned up to elbows. Short woollen petticoat, giving glimpse of ankle. Act III-Dark gown, skirt pinned back showing green petticoat. Change to nightgown and cap for End Of Act. Act IV.—Black gown and dark shawl. Act V.—Wedding dress, orange blossoms, etc.
2. SYBIL GREY.—Young, accomplished, and well-bred. The best type of an innocent English girl. A stranger in a strange land. By her mother's death and the loss of her sister, she is driven to obtain her livelihood by honest work of any kind. Proud without being haughty, reticent without being rude. "A daughter of the gods—divinely tall and most divinely fair;" that is, as fair as a girl with hair of golden brown, deeply fringed eyelashes, dark brows, and rosy cheeks can be. "Her voice is music and her breath sweet air." 1st Dress.—A dark grey woollen travelling costume; long cloak, hat and gloves. Dress quite plain, white band at neck, ditto at cuffs. 2nd Dress.—Cloak and hat removed. Apron with bodice piece, smart cap and ribbon. 3rd Dress.—Act II. Plain blue and white cotton striped blouse. Dark short woollen petticoat, apron dainty, trimned leather shoes, lavender c0loured stockings. 4th Dress.—Act III. Lavender coloured blouse and petticoat to match, trimmed with black, cap, apron. Change to nightdress and cloak of ACT I. 5th Dress.—Same as ACT I. Dark cloak and hat. 6th Dress.—Act V. Deep mourning. Long dark cloak and hat.
3. NELLIE.—Handsome, well-proportioned woman of four and twenty. Although rather coquettish, she is overshadowed with a great sorrow and a great remorse. She is of a weak, but warm and affectionate nature. 1st Dress.—A worn blouse of soiled pink, a striped petticoat, both very much worn and soiled; a worn cloak thrown over her shoulders, a coloured handkerchief over her head pinned under her chin. Everything coquettish, but the worse for wear. 2nd Dress.—Act II. All very bright. New cotton blouse of pink, petticoat and bunch of ribbons to match, dainty embroidered scarlet stockings, natty shoes of tanned leather. 3rd Dress.—Sailor's "man-o'-war's man" shirt and straw hat, band round it. Blue serge shirt, all very smart and bright. Change to nightdress. (Note.—No petticoats undemeath.)
SCENE I.—Rough wooden Bar, with bottles of spirits and champagne (2 to open), glasses, etc. etc., R.H. All secured with wires to bar, so that nothing can be upset during change. Letter rack, mourning letter in same. Large earthenware jug on counter. Small rustic table with pots and glasses on same. Three rustic stools round same—R.C. Four wine cases piled up R.C. Small rustic table and stool.—L.C. Two rustic tables and stools up L.H. Long table with several copies of 'Graphic' on same—L.H. Couple of barrels and a few cases up L.C. Rustic seat outside C. opening.
HAND PROPERTIES.—Dummy Child, beautifully made and dressed. Miner's Pack-Pipe and Tobacco—piece of ore and crown for BEN. Whip, five sovereigns, and revolver for CAPTAIN. Hand bell ready off L.1 E. for PROMPTER. Nugget for MYLES. Coach bells and horn ready off L.
SCENE 2.-Large nugget R.C. Long grass. Horse for SYBIL. Waggon with stores and two horses ready L.C.E.
HAND PROPERTIES.—Pick for SAILOR JACK.
"Flower of Sleep" (a plant about 18 inches high, with a small white flower). It is in a pot made of bark L. of painted tent R. Boxes and grindstone R. of tent R. Green flag with inscription of the "Erin Go Bragh" at top of tent R. Strong iron-bound box containing gold ore and large nugget—two poles to go through cleats of same. Dirty piece of straw matting over same. Large upright sieve up L.H. Wheelbarrow, pails, picks, and shovels up C for MINERS. One pail to have water and fuller's earth mixed. Rope, hook, and pail over wheel to well, up C. Plenty of loose earth. China crash in tent R. Bank with rough canopy over same. Blankets by same for JACK to lie on L.H.
HAND PROPERTIES.—Tray, with twelve glasses, jug of water and bottle of whisky, and hand bell ready in tent R. for KATTY. Ropes and revolvers for BILL and MEN. Knife for CAPTAIN. Pocket-book, and twenty bank notes in same for GLEN. Soft rope, arranged to tie round the necks of BEN, MYLES, and JACK; also for wrists. Leather bottle for WALLAROO.
Boxes, barrel, and form R.H. Long table, and form each side of same in front of window C. Glasses and pots on same. Long table and two forms R. and L. of same up L.C. Pots, etc., on same. Small rustic seat and tabla at back of same up C. Small bar with bottles, etc. etc., inside C. Cradle inside window. White blind to top window to pull down. Red blind to bottom window to pull down. Two panes of glass in bottom window to break. Six boxes and barrels piled up L.H. Lamp to light, over door up R.C. Wooden post and lamp (to light) up L.H. Thunder, lightning, rain, and wind ready.
HAND PROPERTIES.—Flash note and sovereign for CAPTAIN. Knife for LARRIKIN. Bludgeon for WALLAROO. Purse and notes for SYBIL, viz., two ten and one five pound notes, five sovereigns. Pocket-book and notes for BEN.
SCENE 1.—Trunk of tree C. Long grass on battens joining up to same R. and L., and all to pull off R. and L. for change.
HAND PROPERTIES.—Knife and pocket-book and bank notes for CAPTAIN.
SCENE 3.—Witness box and small Bible R.H. Chair by same. Prisoner's box L.H. Judge's box and writing materials up C. Large table, with writing materials and books. Four chairs round same, C.
HAND PROPERTIES.—Knife ready off R. 2 E. (Same as used by CAPTAIN in previous scene.)
Seats R. and L. up stage. Palms behind same. Statues and palms R. and L. of C. stairs. Bar with bottles, glasses, &c., L. H. Two trays of glasses and champagne, L. H. Ditto R.H. Wedding bells.—Loaded revolver for CAPT. Double for PROMPTER at L.C.E. Ditto for MACDONALD. Nugget and satchel for BEN.
SCENE I.—Lights full up, out for change of scene, and gradually up to full again, making sunrise effect for—
SCENE 2.—Full up.
Lights full up—gas lengths R. and L.
Lights full up—gradually down at cue. Light in house at back to be turned out at cue.
SCENE I.—Lights ¾ up—out for change of scene.
SCENE 2.—Lights ¾ up—out for change of scene.
SCENE 3.—Lights full up.
Lights full up. Gas lengths R. and L.
SCENE I.—Yellow line through C. opening.
SCENE 2.—Pink lines gradually on at back of transparency, the R and L. 1st E and flies. White lime on slote at back of cloth for rising sun.
Amber lines Rand L.
Blue lines gradually on at cue.
SCENE I.—Amber lines R. and L. 1st E. ofl quickly for change of scene.
White lines R. and L.
1. Bendigo Bill. 2. Jerry. 3. Captain. 4. W allaroo. 5. Myles and Katty. 6. Dick and Nell. 7. Ben and Sybil. 8. Jack.
1. Wallaroo. 2. Myles and Katty. 3. Dick and Nell. 4. Jack. 5. Ben and Sybil.
1. Captain. 2. Jerry. 3. Myles and Katty. 4. Jack. 5. Dick. 6. Ben and Sybil. 7. Nell and Dick.
1. Jerry. 2. Wallaroo. 3. Captain. 4. Warden. 5. Dick. 6. Jack. 7. Ben and Sybil.
1. Myles and Katty. 2. Dick and Jack. 3. Captain. 4. Wallaroo. 5. Ben and Sybil.
TABLEAU 1.—"SYBIL'S SECRET."
The Bar Saloon of Kathleen O'Mara's Hotel at Coolgardie, the "Erin Go Bragh"—a rough log shanty fitted with with rude furnitmre. Tables and seats are arranged down the stage on both sides to accommodate GUESTS. A Bar is at the R.H. side of the Scene; this is fitted up with the usual small spirit barrels, decanters, tumblers, glasses, etc., used during the action; they are secured to counter by wires, so that nothing can be upset during change. Cigar boxes, fusees, and large jug for water are ranged on the counter for use. The general door of ENTRANCE from the street is placed C. Another door leading to inner apartments is situated at I.E.R. adjoining the Bar. A third door is L. E. L. H.
(When the curtain rises, JERRY, BENDIGO BILL, and a GROUP OF ROUGH MINERS, of all nationalities, are discovered drinking and smoking, playing at cards and dominoes, noisily calling for drinks, etc., hammering on the table.)
MINERS. (Give orders together.) A go of Irish. One of Scotch for me. Mine's rum shrub. Gin and bitters. Same as afore. Stout and bitter, Missis! Look sharp! Bustle now! Stir your stumps!
KATH. (At counter.) Aist boys, aisy! Remember I have only one pair of hands. (THEY ALL go up to bar for their glasses, and pay during dialogue.)
Enter YORKSHIRE DICK L.C.
DICK. (C.) You want somebody to help you, Katty.
MINERS. She do! She do!
KATH. Oh, I shall soon have somebody. My new lady help is due to-day.
OMNES. A new lady-help?
KATH. Yes, she's coming by train from Albany. See, this is her photo. (Hands it to DICK.)
DICK. (Coming down C.) My yeyes, mates! but she's a clipper. (Showing photo to MINERS.)
MINERS. (Crowding round to look.) A clipper! A stunner! A bloomin' beaooty! (ALL exclaim in admiration.)
DICK. A reg'lar Queen o' Sheba.! (Returns photo to KATH.)
Enter GLENDARGLE L.C.
GLEN. Mornin', Dick!
DICK. Morning, my lord! (R.C.)
BILL. (With a sneer.) My lord! What's the good of a lord at the Gold Fields! (L.C.)
GLEN. (C.) Not much. But, after all, a lord is a man and I suppose there's no harm in that man being a gentleman?
JERRY. (L.—Impudently intruding—to GLEN.) Oh, toast me for a herring! I s'pose you call yourself a gentleman?
DICK. Naa., he doant, but he is one all the same—every square inch of him.
BILL. (L.C.) Ha! ha! Gentleman? Pooty gen'leman to come here and take the bread out o' the mouths of honest men.
JERRY. (L.) Ah! Coves with appetites—twists on 'em all.
BILL. Look y'ere. If so be as you is a lord and a sojer to boot, why don't you stick to your trade—mount a red coat, put a helmet on your nut, a sabre by your side, and "go where glory waits you?"
GLEN, Because I mean to make my pile on this field, even if I have to make it at the point of the pick-axe.
BILL. You ply a pick-axe? You—with them fingers?
GLEN. And with these fists, at your service, Mr. ——? I haven't the pleasure of knowing your name.
BILL. My name is Bendigo Bill. (Crosses to R.)
Enter SAILOR JACK L.C.
JACK. Bendigo Bill? Bendigo Bully you mean.
BILL. What—what? Do you see this? (Showing fist, and turning with a roar of rage.)
JACK. And do you feel that? (Giving him a crack in the face.)
(BILL lets out a roar of rage.)
(ALL start up and form a circle.)
(BEN enters at C. door. HE is a picturesque and striking figure, His get-up and appearance are a novel feature in the scene. HE carries on back a prospector's rug, billy, hammer, etc. His manner and bearing are brusque to the last degree. Hair and beard rough and unkempt. All the signs of an habitual drunkard, but the breeding of a gentleman shines. through it all. At sight of BEN, BILL and JERRY retire L.)
JACK. (L.C.) Hullo! Old Bruin! There you are!
BEN. (Brusquely.) Yes, here I am—Bruin the bear.
JERRY. I say, Bill, look out, Bruin bites.
BILL. Then we'd better bunk.
JERRY. Bunked it is.
DICK. (R.C.) Tight as usual, Ben, eh?
BEN. Only more so. Began early this morning with a bottle of whisky.
BEN. Well, you see, we were out of water, and as I was thirsty—
JACK. Good old Ben!
DICK. (C. Helping BEN off with his pack and flinging it off stage R.H.) What luck, lad?
BEN. same as usual. Look at this! (Takes out lump of ore.)
DICK. Up to nowt.
KATH. (At bar. R.) And what have you done with Myles Hooligan, Ben?
BEN. Left him fossicking about a beastly iron blow, but deuce a smell of gold could I see. (Abruptly.) Give me a brandy and soda, Katty. It's dry as a lime kiln I am.
KATH. We've neither soda nor water, Ben.
BEN. Then dilute the brandy with whisky. It will go down the easier. (ALL laugh.)
KATH. And so would you. Ah, man alive, is it afther killing you I'd be?
BEN. (With a hard laugh.) What's it matter, wench? I'm no good living. (Bitterly.) The sooner I'm dead the better.
KATH. Arrah, don't talk nonsense. A live boy like you is betther than a dozen dead men. Sure, it's a bottle of fiz you're wantin', and there it is.
BEN. But I can't pay you.
KATH. Never mind, pay me when you can—and if you can't, sure I'll never ax you.
BEN. You're a brick, Kattie.
GLEN. (L. (Aside.)) Dick, a word with you! (Aside.) Who's your friend yonder?
DICK. (L.C. Aside.) Why, Big Ben, to be sure.
GLEN. (Aside.) Big Ben? He used to be Lionel Leigh in London.
DICK. (Aside.)) Lionel Leigh?
GLEN. (Aside.)) Yes, one of the best-known men in town, a great swell at the Bar, a good man gone wrong through a drunken wife.
DICK. (Aside.)) No!
GLEN. (Aside.)) He disappeared under a cloud only think of his turning up here.
DICK. (Aside.)) Ah, lad, t' world is only a little place after all. (THEY turn aside.)
pp. [soft] Music
(As BEN is standing drinking, swaying by the counter.)
KATH. Ben, here's a letter for you.
BEN. For me!
KATH. It's from home.
KATH. (Sympathetically.) Yes, lad, but sure it's in mourning, so it is.
BEN. In mourning? (Takes letter, mechanically eyeing the black border, then looks at post-mark and starts into C. opens letter eagerly and reads, gives a sigh of relief.)
(Silence—EVERY EYE fixed on BEN during this business.)
pp. Music ends.
DICK. (L. Noting action.) No bad news, old man?
BEN. (Suddenly changing manner.) Bad news? No, no! Blessed news, the best I've had for many a long day!
DICK. I'm glad to hear that. We are all glad to hear it. Who's gone under?
BEN. (C.) One whose death gives me life!
GLEN. (Aside to DICK.) He means the drunken wife.
BEN. I was bound to a corpse—a pestilence which poisoned the springs of life. It has rotted away. The
chains which fettered body and soul are broken. I breathe—I live—I am a man once more—free! Free! free! (Crosses to L. and back to C.)
JACK. (R.) Glad to hear it! Have a drink, old man!
BEN. Aye, aye! (Goes back to counter.) Here's "The Future!"
OMNES. Aye, aye! The future! (THEY ALL drink. Coach horn is sounded outside.)
KATH. There's the coach from Southern Cross. Look out, boys, for my lady-help. (SHE runs to meet HER L.C.)
BEN. I'm off to-morrow by that same coach.
JACK. Where to, man?
BEN. To Melbourne.
JACK. To Melbourne! What to do?
BEN. To turn a fable into a fact—solve the enigma that has baffled mankind ever since the world began. I go to seek—a paradox.
JACK. A para—! What's that?
BEN. A constant woman. (Crosses down to R. radiant with hope.)
JACK. (L. laughing.) Ho, ho, ho! That's a wild goose chase, and one a chap had better get screwed to start on! So take another drink.
BEN. (R. Reckless.) Another? A dozen! I could drink a cellar dry to-day, so fill up. Bumpers!
OMNES. Aye, aye! (THEY fill THEIR glasses.)
BEN. (R.C.) Here's luck, lads, luck! (THEY are ALL about to drink when—)
Enter SYBIL. (L.C.) As SHE reaches C. } ALL uncover, and put down THEIR glasses. } Simultaneously. SYBIL curtsies to MEN, L. Turning to R. SHE } sees BEN. HE sees HER. }
SYBIL. Found, found at last! } } Simultaneously. BEN. She! she! }
(At sight of SYBIL HE is instantly sobered. Up to this moment HE has been more or less slouching about. HE now stands erect, and is radiant with delight)
BEN. (Sotto voce.) Heaven has taken compassion on my misery, and sent her to me! I am the happiest man on the face of God's earth. Sybil—I—(Approaching HER. SHE turns eagerly and delightedly to HIM when KATHLEEN quickly re-enters (L. C.) bearing a child of twelve months in HER arms.)
KATH. (Coming down quickly between BEN and SYBIL.) King Baby here is crying for his mummy. The poor child is tired after his long journey. (To SYBIL.) So must you be, so come to your own room. This way, dear! this way! (Exit KATHLEEN door R.)
(Quick as thought, SYBIL gives BEN an appealing look and Exits door R, BEN Crosses behind to C. HIS eyes fixed on SYBIL. As Music ceases)
BEN. (Bewildered and horror-stricken. C.) The child! The child! (Crosses to L.)
GLEN. (Advancing R.C.) By Jove, she's a scorcher! Instead of a barmaid she ought to be a Duchess.
JACK. (C.) Ought to be—she shall be! She is! (Crosses C.) We'll christen her at once. "The Duchess of Coolgardie!"
OMNES. Aye, aye! "The Duchess of Coolgardie!"
(BEN stands gloomily ruminating.)
BEN. (L.) My God! what does it all mean?
DICK. (C. Who has watched the scene eagerly, Crosses to BEN surprised.) Ben, what's dreaming abaght? Thou hast spilt thy liquor!
BEN. (L.) Damn the liquor!
DICK. Naa, lad, it's bad to damn good stuff. Have another glass. (Handing filled glass.)
GLEN. Another glass! Another bottle! Come on, old man, and let us drink "To the Duchess of Coolgardie!"
OMNES. (Drinking.) Aye, aye, "The Duchess of Coolgardie."
BEN. (Crosses to C. eagerly.) Aye, aye! (Takes glass.) Here's "The Duch—" (Suddenly changing HIS resolution, puts glass down.) No, no! I have drunk my last drink! (Puts glass down on table C.)
JACK. (Surprised.) What, sworn off, Ben?
BEN. Now and for ever.
JACK. (L.C. crosses to C.) 0—Oh! turned teetotal? Ha, ha! (Derisively.)
BEN. (Savagely turning on JACK.) Suppose I have, what's that to you?
JACK. (Angrily.) What! what!
DICK. (Interposing.) Oh, nowt, nowt.
(BEN. turns to R. and up R.)
DICK (Aside to JACK.) Let us alone, lad, he's in one of his tantrums and like to cut up rough.
(Bell of Camel Team heard outside.)
GLEN. Hello! Do you hear that? The Camel Team's in! Water, lads.
(Exit rapidly L.C.E.)
DICK. JACK. MINERS. (Jumping up quickly.) Aye—water—water!
(Exeunt DICK, JACK, and MINERs rapidly and eagerly R.C.)
BEN. (Solus.) And have I lived through ages of loneliness and misery, nerved only by the hope of once more looking on her face—of once more hearing her voice—and now. Now—(Falls into chair L.)
(Enter W ALLAROO from L.C. pursued by the CAPTAIN with horsewhip.)
CAPT. (C.) Where's my money, you thieving hound?
WALL. (Vehemently R.C.) Yaga, yaga, wandang garoo! Baba—Garoo—Niga—Garoo!
CAPT. Lie in English, you thief.
CAPT. Where's my money? (Threatens HIM with whip.)
WALL. (R.C.) Wallaroo no gibbet, cos him no got it. (Folding HIS arms defiantly.)
CAPT. Then I'll cut the life out of you. (Savagely.)
WALL. What! what! what!
BEN. (Quietly from L., remaining seated.) Better not, John Wantley.
CAPT. (C. (Aside.)) He—here! Curse him! (Aloud.) Why not?
BEN. (L.C.) Because I tell you.
CAPT. (Restraining himself with difficulty.) But you don't know. This thief—
WALL. (With an angry exclamation.) What! what!
CAPT. Yes, thief! Runs errands for our camp, and two days ago he swindled me out of a crown for rations and never came back.
WALL. Cos Jerry Larrikin an' Bendigo Bill gib whisky, Wallaroo sleep; when him wake, money gone.
BEN. I see—hocussed and robbed.
CAPT. A lie—an infernal lie! (Raises whip to strike.)
BEN. (Interposing.) Put it down! Put it down!
CAPT. (Pause.) So! You make this quarrel yours then?
BEN. If you like—but I'm not a good subject to quarrel with. (Looking at HIM quietly.) Besides, a crown will repay your loss, and here it is. (Offers crown.)
CAPT. Damn your money, and you too!
BEN. (Pocketing crown.) You are complimentary.
CAPT. Comple—(HIS rage getting the better of HIM.) As for you, you ruddy cuss.
WALL. (Defiantly.) What! what!
CAPT. Look out, for I'll have the crown out of your hide the next time I come across you. (Exit door R.C.)
WALL. (Goes tup to C. vehemently gesticulating and shaking his fist after CAPT.) Ungar gwaba nuhalla—warra—Gangaree mundang garoo!
BEN. Stop! That will do.
WALL. (Vehemently gesticulating.) Baba tell mundang!
BEN. That'll do, I say! Come here and swear in English, if you must swear.
WALL. Iss Massa Ben. (Coming down R.C) But 'oo not know—dat dar white cuss wid de black heart kill Wallaroo's mudder! Wallaroo kill him—kill! kill! kill!
BEN. (L.C.) Better not, lad. The law prefers to do its own killin'—leave him to Jack Ketch.
WALL. Iss, Massa Ben, so long as Massa Jack Ketch ketch him and kill him.
BEN. If he catches him he's sure to kill.
WALL. Yohi! Mundang garoo! Kill him eber so much—kill him twice ober.
BEN. That's a large order. Once will be enough.
WALL. (Comes down R.C.) Yohi! So long as Massa Ketch kill him dead! (Squats down at BEN's feet.) Massa Ben, big chief 'oo am. Wallaroo lub strong hand, kind word—like serbe you, sah.
BEN. Like to serve me, eh?
WALL. Yaas, sah! Eber so much, sah!
BEN. Well, then, you shall. (Gives his hand—WALL. kisses it and starts up in a transport of delight.)
WALL. Yakhar! Yakhar, likit, likit! (Begins to sing and dance—pauses exhausted.) Wallaroo's heart so full, him forget tum tum empty.
BEN. I see—hungry?
WALL. Yohi! Warra baba gangaroo!
BEN. Kangaroo! (Turns laughing.) A mutton chop will do you more good, lad. Here, take this! (Gives him a shilling.) Now be off and get outside that chop.
WALL. (Runs up C. back down C.) Ah! Silver—queen. Yaga—yaga! Gurroo gwaba danugga! Wallaroo fight for 'oo—lib and die for 'oo, Massa Ben. (Runs up C. again.) Fill tum tum, den back quick, less den no time.
BEN. (Solus.) He here! He of all men. In the old time he was always buzzing about her, and now—what brings them together in this remote corner of the earth? Can it be that—no, no! I'll not believe that, and yet—the child! the child!
(Re-enter SYBIL door R. SHE has removed her outer garments and is now dressed as barmaid—apron, etc. As SHE is going behind counter SHE sees BEN L.H. and comes forward R.C.)
SYBIL. (R.C.) Mr Leigh! (Cordially offering her hand.)
BEN. (Coldly declining it, L.C.) Yes, that is my name, and yours, madam—yours?
SYBIL. Still. Sybil Grey.
BEN. You are not a widow, then?
SYBIL. (Smiling.) One cannot be a widow when one has never been a wife.
BEN. (Amazed.) Never! Yet that child—
SYBIL. (Indignantly.) Sir!
BEN. Enough! enough! the world is wide enough for you and me. (Crosses to R. and up C.)
SYBIL. (L.C.) Wide enough indeed, if this be the measure of your confidence.
BEN. (C.) Confidence! (Bitterly.) I gave you hope—faith—a life's devotion! And you in return have given me—(Starting up C.) Oh, woman, woman! God forgive you!
(Exit hurriedly R.)
SYBIL. I—I—(Angrily.) Yet, what else can he think? Well, well, I must bear it as best I may. (Recovering serenity. Crosses to L.) But I have no time to waste in vain regrets, so let me to my work. (SHE turns up her sleeves and moves towards counter.) Ah! the water jug is empty! I must find the well.
(Exit L.H. door with jug.)
CAPT. Oh, shut up! shut up! (Without.)
NELL. (Without.) But, Jack—
CAPT. That'll do! that'll do!
(Re-enter the CAPTAIN at door R.C. Followed timidly by NELLIE.)
CAPT. (R.C.) It's no use badgering me, my good woman.
NELL. (L.C.) Good woman!
CAPT. H'm! T'would be impolite to call you a bad one.
NELL. (Angered.) A bad one! (Restraining herself.) I won't be angry, dear, only tell me where you have been and what you've been doing. For the past three days and nights I have never even seen or heard of you. All that time I've been alone in those squalid lodgings, penniless. and destitute.
CAPT. There—there, that'll do! Since we can't agree, the best thing we can do is to part.
NELL. What! what?
CAPT. Let's see how we stand. Assets—ahem! A budget of lovers' vows—pretty evenly balanced. On the one side—a barbarous ruffian, that's me—on the other—a frail fair one, that's you.
NELL. (Weeping.) Oh Jack! Jack! You've broken my heart. (Falls in chair L.C.)
CAPT. (Cynically.) Ah! Broken hearts are easier mended than broken teacups, dear.
NELL. (Crying bitterly.) Not mine! Not mine!
CAPT. Don't snivel, ma'mie. It makes your eyes red, your nose blue. (NELL ceases to weep.) Ah! I thought that would wake you up. Now revenons! (Examining gold.) Five golden James's. As I like to be generous I'll give you two. (Puts sovereigns in HER hand.) And keep the balance myself.
NELL. (Dazed.) Money—money! For me? For me?
CAPT. Oui, pour vois, ma chere! You are still young and pretty, and can find heaps of admirers, so go your way, cherie, and leave me to go mine.
NELL. What do you mean?
CAPT. I mean—I'm tired of you. (Crosses down to R.)
NELL. Tired! (Starts up.)
CAPT. Yes, you bore me. So adieu, ma chere! Bon voyage!
NELL. (Starting to her feet—indignantly, C.) Take back your money! I wouldn't soil my hands with it to keep me from starvation. Take it! Take it, I say! (Puts money on table R.)
CAPT. Even in this new El Dorado we don't pick up golden jemmies ready coined in the streets, so by your leave. (Picks up gold and pockets it.)
(At this moment the backs of both NELL and CAPT. are to SYBIL.)
(Re-enter SYBIL L.C., returning with jug, which she places on table L. C.)
SYBIL (L.H. Turning down her sleeves and wiping her arms with apron.) Not a drop of water anywhere! (Sees the Two FIGURES.) Ah—customers! What can I do for—
NELL. (C.) That voice! (Turning at sound of HER voice.) Sybil!
SYBIL. Nellie! Alive! Alive! Sister! (With a scream of excitement THEY run into EACH OTHER's arms, embracing in C. SYBIL puts NELLIE to L., standing between HER and CAPT.)
CAPT. (R. C). Her sister! The devil! (Aside.) I shall have two on my back now instead of one! I'm off!
(Turns up R.)
SYBIL. (C. to CAPT.) Stay! So, sir, we meet at last!
CAPT. Delightful, isn't it? Parole d'honneur—you are more charming than ever.
SYBIL. (C.) You presume to speak to me after—
CAPT. (R.C.) I ought to have spoken to you before—I wish I had, for you are just the sort of girl I could adore! Milk sops are not much in my way. I like 'em spicy, peppery, fetching—like—like you!
SYBIL. How dare you?
CAPT. Run away with this young lady? Did I? Well, after all there's no great harm done, so take your soiled dove back to the family ark—a little damaged, perhaps, but not in bad condition for a second-hand article.
NELL. (Rushing over strikes Him in the face.) Devil devil! (HE shrugs his shoulders.)
SYBIL. (Takes HER back.) Nelly, for shame. This creature is beneath your resentment—beneath your contempt!
CAPT. Deuced glad to hear it! At your feet, ladies—at your feet. (Aside.) By Jove! a splendid get off!
(CAPT Exit door R.C.)
SYBIL. (R.C.) Oh, Nellie! Nellie! For this creature you have brought yourself to this pass—but you know him now!
NELL. (L.C.) I do. The glamour which blinded me has vanished, and I loathe where once I loved.
SYBIL. Thank God for that, for your emancipation has already begun. Now for your child!
NELL. Child? My child? Alas, I have none. When I awoke from my long fever my darling was dead.
SYBIL. Who told you so?
NELL. He did.
SYBIL. The villain lied!
SYBIL. Yes—lied! He sent the boy to me with news of your death!
NELL. Mine! Mine! (Astonished.)
SYBIL. Yes, yours. But take heart, for your child lives!
NELL. Lives! (Amazed.)
SYBIL. Lives, and is here!
NELL. Here? (Still more amazed.)
SYBIL. Yes, here, in this very house.
NELL. (With a burst of maternal emotion.) Take, oh, take me to him! Let me clasp him to his mother's heart!
SYBIL. Come, then, darling, come!
(BOTH Exeunt rapidly door R.)
(A tumult of voices is heard outside.)
Enter MYLES HOOLIGAN (L.C.) He carries the—whole of the prospecting pack—rug, billy, etc. He holds aloft a huge nugget of gold, and is followed by LARRIKIN, BENDIGO BILL, and a CROWD OF MINERS.
(positions) MINERS. JERRY. BILL. MYLES. MINERS.
MYLES. (C.) Luk at that, ye miserable spalpeens! Luk at that, ye poor divils, that wash dirt by the ton to find a grain of goold, whilst I pick it up in chunks like this.
BILL. My yeyes! but it licks Ballarat!
JERRY. Ballarat be blowed! It licks creation!
(Re-enter CAPTAIN R.C.)
MYLES. And I discovered it all by myself! Be jabers, but it's the Columbus of Coolgardie I am this blessed day!
CAPT. (Dropping down R.C.) Where is the location? Is it east, west, north, or south?
MYLES, (With a wink.) Oh, ye want the location, do yez?
CAPT. Of course we do.
MYLES. Well, if ye go north by south—
OMNES. Yes, yes!
MYLES. And keep on east by west—
OMNES. Yes, yes!
MYLEs. Begorra, but you'll tumble over it on the top of your nose.
MINERS. Oh, oh!
CAPT. Well, we're all in it, of course.
BILL. JERRY. MINERS. In course we is! Yes, yes, all!
MYLES. Divil a bit! Yon are all out of it. Do you think I went navigating, like Captain Cook, to fill your pockets? Divil a fear! My discovery was made for honest boys like myself!
(Re-enter, quickly and excitedly, door R.C., BEN, DICK, SAILOR JACK, and GLENDARGLE followed by WALLAROO.)
MYLES. And here they are! What do you think of that, boys? (Showiug nugget.)
(BEN, DICK, JACK, GLEN. drop down L.C.)
BEN. (L.C.) By Jove! A hundred ounces, if it's a pennyweight.
DICK. (L.C.) Yea, lad, and nearly all pure stuff.
JACK. (R.C.) Well, this takes the biscuit!
GLEN. (L.C.) It's wonderful!
MYLES. (C.) I thought it would wipe the cobwebs out of your eyelashes.
JERRY. (R.) Well, it does, and no flies!
MYLES. And there's lashens more where this comes from.
MINERS. You don't say so!
MYLES. But I do! Sure it comes croppin' up in ridges like rows of pitaties.
BEN. Of course you secured the claim, Myles? (Abruptly.)
MYLES. Av course! Didn't I find it?
BEN. Yes, but did you peg it out?
MYLES. Ah, sure—I had no time to stop for thrifies like pegs.
BEN. Don't you know that anyone who pegs out before us can "jump" it?
MYLES. The divil they can! (Alarmed.)
CAPT. (Quickly, aside to BILL and JERRY.) Rather! And we're the boys to do it! (Takes his gang up and bundles them off R.C.)
BEN. (Quickly.) While you pack up the tools I'll be off and hire Bennett's team and a couple of camels to follow with water and tucker. Mind, if we mean to secure that claim, we haven't a moment to lose.
(BEN Exit R.C.)
(MYLES, JACK, DICK, and GLEN. turn aside L.C. in eager conference.)
CAPT, (Aside up stage C.) Nor we either, so step it.
(CAPT and following exit in rapid succesion.)
BILL. ((Aside.) Stepped it is! (Exit R.C.)
JERRY. Now we shan't be long! (Exit R.C.)
WALL. (Who has overheard foregoing.) (Shakes his fist behind CAPTAIN.) And Wally won't be short!(Exits R.C.) (From this moment, quick as lightning to end of scene.)
(Enter KATH. eagerly and excitedly from door R.H.)
KATH. (R.C.) Myles, you thafe o' the world, what's this I hear? ye've found a goold mine?
MYLES. (C.) Of course I have, and here's a chunk of it. (Showing nugget.)
KATH. (Taking nugget.) Murther alive! And so this is real quartz?
MYLES. Quarts? Sure it's pints, gallons, kilderkins, hogsheads.
KATH. (Beckoning on SYBIL.) Luk at that jewel—smell it. (Goes up behind counter.)
SYBIL. (Takes it.) And so this is real gold, sir?
MYLES. Faix, you may say that wid your own purty mouth, Miss.
(SYBIL smiles and drops a curtsey as SHE returns nugget and goes up to KATTY.)
(Aside.) Who is that gorgeous creature, Jack?
JACK. (L.C.) The Duchess of Coolgardie!
MYLES. Begorra! she luks like a queen, she's that regal. But who is she at all, at all?
JACK. (Aside.) Katty's new lady-help.
MYLES. (Aside.) Tare an' 'ouns! But it's afeard I'd be to ax her for anything less than champagne wine and five shilling cigars.
JACK. I'll chance it. (C. with an elaborate bow.) Duchess, may we have drinks all round?
SYBIL. (Gaily.) Certainly, Mr Sailor. (Goes up to bar.)
KATH. Give it a name, boys.
MYLES. John Jameson.
OMNES. Aye, aye!
(KATH. and SYBIL quickly fill glasses. SYBIL Crosses to C. with tray filled with glasses. Men help themselves.)
GLEN. Now, boys, all charged?
OMNES. Aye, aye!
GLEN. Then here's the disthressful country—here's to old Ireland.
MYLES. (Enthusiastically.) Right, your sowl, right! Owld Ireland for ever! Here's "The County Wicklow, and the Gap o' Dunloe!"
OMNES. (C.) The County Wicklow, and the Gap o' Dunloe!
(Laughter and three ringing hurrahs.)
(Lights down, in total darkness. Dark front cloth descends. All cleared off in the dark by the CHARACTERC. Each man takes off his own glass and seat.)
END OF SCENE 1.
(Change to Set in the Wilderness.)
TABLEAU II.—THE FIGHT FOR THE GREAT NUGGET.
The wilderness. This scene, which occupies the whole stage, should indicate the wild shrub, dense foliage of the eucalypti and indigenous gum trees of the Australian regions. Practicable rushes should be set at back to enable the CAPT., JERRY, and BENDIGO BILL to hide behind. The scene begins with characteristic Music which should suggest the chirping of birds and m1trmuring of insects awakening from the repose and silence o/ night. The graduation of light conveys the impression that the day is breaking in the forest, and the passage of time from one day to the beginning of another is indicated by skilful manipulation of mediums, floats, borders, and limelights.
The flaming red sun slowly rises from the horizon.
MUSIC seque to Myles Music.
(MYLES descends from eminence C., plucks aside the rushes, comes forward and "Cooeys." BEN, JAVK, and DICK reply from withoit, and then enter severally, carrying miner's swag. BEN. down C. platform. JACK down platform R. DICK down platform L. THEY are followed cautiously by the CAPT., BENDIGO BILL, and JERRY. CAPTAIN down C. BILL down L. JERRY down R.—he comes a cropper, and slides down behind rushes. CAPTAIN and BILL hide behind rushes.)
The MUSIC which has alternately been pp. and ff. now ceases.
MYLES. (R.C.) We are near the spot, boys. Begorra, here it is!
MYLES. Here! no, it isn,'t. But sure it's mighty like it—as like as two paase in one pod.
BEN. That doesn't help us much. Have you no clue of any kind?
MYLES. Bedad, but I have! Sure, I left my pick stickin' in the ground on the very spot where I found the stuff.
BEN. Well, that's better than nothing.
MYLES. Anyhow it's better than a pulthogue on the side o' the head.
JACK. We'd better crowd all sail or we shall have the girls here with the waggon before we begin.
MYLES. To be sure. For Katty has got the tame, and the tint, and the grub, and a case of "boy," and beside that a keg of raal John Jameson,
BEN. Let us each take a separate path and the first who comes upon Myles' pick will give the signal.
(Exit BIG BEN R. 1 E.)
DICK. Reet you are, Ben. Here goes!
(Exit DICK L. 2 E.)
JACK. I'm off this way. (Exit JACK R. 3 E.)
MYLES. And I this. And when we mate agin maybe we'll join sharp, like the divil's toe-nails.
(Exit MYLES L. 1 E.)
(The CAPT., BENDIGO BILL, JERRY, emerge from rushes and beckon down platform four great bearded ruffians, ALL tracked by W ALLAROO who comes down C. and hides behind rushes.)
(The MUSIC begins.)
CAPT. After 'em! Sharp's the word!
BILL. And quick's the action!
(Exit BILL L. 1 E. and two ruffians.)
CAPT. Now, Master Ben, for you!
(Exit after BEN with two other ruffians R. 1 E.)
JERRY. The chippin's a-goin' to begin, so I'll retire and see fair play in the rear.
(Exit JERRY L. 2 E.)
(The face of WALLAROO is now seen through the bushes behind. He crawls forward like a snake on the ground, then springs erect, and rushes over to 1 E.R.H. Looks after CAPT. with a savage chuckle.)
WALL. Last now, Cap'n! First byme-bye!
(He is moving off cautiously after CAPTAIN R. 1 E.)
(MUSIC [loud] ff. of harness bells. WALL. springing to his feet, looks off L. 2 E.)
WALL. (Clapping his hands with delight.) Big gee-gee! lubly white queen and lillie pickalilly! (Runs off L.S.E.)
GLEN. (Without L.S.E.) See to the child, boy, while I disembark the ladies.
MUSIC now ends.
(GLEN. assists in handing out KATH., L. 2 E., who looks around with surprise.)
KATH. (C.) Why, where are we at all, at all, Glendargle!
GLEN. (R.C.) This is the rendezvous, Katty, so, for the present, suppose we call it home!
KATH. Home! G'long with you! Am I to begin business wid the wombats and the kangaroos! (crosses to R.)
GLEN. (L.C.) Oh, when the boys join you'll soon have customers galore. Meanwhile. we must get the tent up and the stores out.
(Exit GLEN. L. 3 E.)
(Enter SYBIL L. 2 E.)
SYBIL. What a lovely spot! A perfect garden of ferns and flowers. (Looks around admiringly.)
(Enter NELL L. 2 E.)
NELL. Sybil, what have you done with the child!
SYBIL. Left him with that fellow Wallaroo, yonder.
NELL. (Alarmed.) With that savage?
KATH. Oh, the crayture's not a cannibal!
NELL. (Aside.) Lost so long—so newly found—I dare not trust my darling out of sight—not even for a moment. Where, oh, where is he?
WALL. (Runs on from L. 2 E. with baby in his arms.) Come along, lillie pickalilly. (Runs off R. 2 E.)
NELL. Harry! Harry! (Runs off after WALL.)
KATH. Ah, thim three'll be as thick as thieves in two minutes. Meanwhile we want wood for a fire, so while I gather some sticks you had betther look after the waggun, Duchess, and make yourself at home.
(Exit KATH. L.C.E.)
SYBIL. (Solus.) Home! Home here! In this wilderness? (Down C.) Yet while he is here—it is a Paradise and not a wilderness! For three years—three long years—it has been my hope by day, my dream by night, that I should find him. Yet now—now that the hour has come, we are as far apart as the poles. (Goes up L.C.) But 'twill not be for ever. No, no! for when he looks into my eyes he will read the truth there. Heaven send it may be soon.
(Exit L. 2 E.)
(Re-enter the CAPTAIN R.H. 1 E.)
CAPT. Missed! Curse him! If only I can get at him, I'll wipe out old scores with this! (Knife.)
(JACK sings Without W.E.R.H.)
JACK. "The wind that blows
The ship that goes
And the lass that loves a sailor."
(At sound of JACK's voice, CAPT. darts up and hides behind the rushes at back L.C.)
Re-enter JACK from eminence at back R. and down C. platform.
JACK. I've found nothing and lost my latitude in this God-forgotten place. Well, this is a rum look-out! I've got back to the spot I started from. (crosses L.) Where can my mates have got to? (Sees wagon off stage.) Christopher Columbus! Bless my yeyes if the gals haven't been, and come, and gone, without a welcome. Hear, my dears. (Singing.) "Here stands a post! Not a soger, but a sailor, with his tiddy iddy riddy widdy—rum tum tum!"
(Hurrying up C. stumbles over piece of rock in centre.)
Deuce take it, I've nearly broken my shin over that infernal snag—beastly rotten old stump!
(In his anger HE gives it a. bash with his pick, knocking off the moss which covers it, revealing to his astonished gaze a monster nugget of gold.)
Stump! It's no stump! It's gold, gold, pure gold!
(CAPT. eagerly beckonson BILL and JERRY who enter from back L.C.E.)
Our fortune's made!
CAPT. (R.) No, ours!
(Music begins pp. and forte till end of Act.)
JACK. (C.) Ha! You here!
CAPT. (R.) Jump in, boys!
JACK. (Raising his shovel menacingly.) Keep off, or I'll maim you! Ben! Dick! Myles!
CAPT. Upon him!
JACK. You will have it then!
CAPTAIN. BILL. JACK. JERRY.
(The fight for the nugget begins. The CAPTAIN rushes on JACK, WHO strikes at HIM with spade. HE recoils R. JERRY now jumps in, clasping JACK's waist. BILL closes behind securing HIS arms. By a vigorous kick JACK sends JERRY sprawling to R.H., and gives BILL a terrific facer which sends him L. with a roar of pain. At that moment the CAPT. strikes JACK a heavy blow on the head with the spade. HE staggers, utters a cry, and falls senseless on the ground C.)
(Music now pp.)
CAPT. (Down R.H.) That's settled him!
BILL. (L.C. Drawing knife.) If it hasn't, this shall! (Rushing upon JACK.)
(Re-enter SYBIL R.C.E. With a scream SHE rushes between THEM sheltering JACK.)
SYBIL (C.) Hold! hold! (To CAPT.) Will you stand by and see murder done?
CAPT. We don't want murder, but we do want that! (Indicating nugget.) And we mean to have it!
SYBIL. Help there! Help!
CAPT. Stop her mouth!
SYBIL. Help! help! Murder! (Screams.)
(The CAPT., BILL, and JERRY rush upon HER. A rapid struggle—the CAPT. seizes SYBIL, placing hand upon her mouth, BILL clasping her waist, the LARR. holding her feet. SHE struggles fiercely, during which SHE bites CAPT.'s wrist. HE starts away R.H. in an agony of pain. The other FOUR RUFFIANS of the CAPTAIN's gang now enter at back R. and L., seizing SYBIL and overpowering HER.)
SYBIL. Help! help! Murder!
(Simultaneously—Re-enter MYLES L. down C. platform. DICK down platform L. EACH seizes one of the RUFFIANS. GLEN. and WALL. Enter simultaneously platforms R. and C. EACH seizes one of the RUFFIANS. CAPT., BILL, and JERRY again seize SYBIL.)
SYBIL Help! help; Lionel! Lionel!
BEN. (Without.) That voice! Her voice!
(Re-enter BEN. HE rushes on from R. 1 E., swings CAPT. and BILL down to R. corner. MYLES seizes LAR. L.)
CAPT. (R.) Upon him! Strike him dead! (DICK having settled his OPPONENTS, picks up the nugget.)
BILL. (R.) Aye, aye!
(THEY are rushing on BEN when HE snatches nugget from DICK and holding it aloft, exclaims—)
BEN. Back, back, or I'll brain you!
(CAPT. and BILL recoil. Act Drop quickly descends.)
GLEN and RUFFIAN. WALL. and RUFFIAN
DICK and RUFFIAN. JACK.
CAPT. BILL. BEN. SYBIL. MYLES and JERRY.
For Call:—CAPT., BILL, LAR., and RUFFIANS are off the stage. SYBIL, NELL., and KATH. are grouped round body of JACK, WHO now lies head to R.C. feet to L. C. BEN rests JACK's head on HIS right knee, NELL. kneeling at His feet, SYBIL and KATH. handing HIM drink. GLEN., WALL, MYLES, and DICK grouped round nugget L.C. MYLES and DICK lift it, then let it fall on the slab with a crash.
KATTY. BEN. SYBIL.
JACK. NELL. MYLES.
END OF ACT I.
(An interval of six months.)
"THE GOLDEN HOLE."
Exactly the same as SCENE 2, ACT I., save that the ground is now opened out. The middle cut cloth is removed, a crane is placed C. Behind at L.C. a tent. Great lumps of white quartz are lying about. Trees are dotted about the wild landscape. L. 1 E. Bank and rough canopy held up by two sticks, under which SAILOR JACK is soundly sleeping. WALL. also sleeping beside JACK. On R.H. 2 E. is a large tent improvised as an Hotel by KATHLEEN O'MARA. Green flag with "Erin Go Bragh" on it. In C. of the stage up at the back is the opening of the mine. known as "The Golden Hole." Heaps of earth. Excavations of the mine abound the mouth of the shaft showing, by glittering particles, the rich nature of the ore. In front of "The Golden Hole" is a box or packing-case of rough timber, about 2 feet by 3. The box is padlocked and filled with large nuggets and covered with a piece of dirty matting. Two wheelbarrows, 10 pick-axes, 10 shovels.
MUSIC introduces the Scene, which is an animated one.
(MYLES and YORKSHIRE DICK and a CROWD OF MINERS are variously engaged in washing, sifting, wheeling, and winding up soil from the mine. BEN directing everything.)
(Enter KATH. from tent R. SHE has her sleeves turned up and an apron on. SHE rings a bell. At the sound EVERY MAN knocks off work, and one wheelbarrow is placed C. of stage by DICK. MYLES runs the other barrow behind a great hulking fellow, who falls into it, and MYLES runs him off L. in barrow.)
(All exennt in various directions except DICK, MYLES and BEN.)
KATH. Dinner's ready, boys.
DICK. And, by gosh, I'se ready for dinner, I can put away enow' for haef a dozen.
(Exit into tent R.)
(BEN. washes his hands in bucket, dries them in his handkerchief.)
MYLES. (C.) What's the bill of fare, Kitty, darlin'?
KATH. (R.C.) Cabbage and bacon, toad in the hole, and Norfolk dumplings.
(Exit into tent.)
MYLES. Begorra! I pity them dumplings; they'll never see Norfolk again.
(Exit into tent R. with a laugh.)
BEN. (Now entirely metamorphosed, though still brusque and gloomy. HE looks at JACK.) Poor lad, he has had an awfully long spell of it, but the crisis is past, the fever is over, and he sleeps soundly as a child. (Sits C. on barrow and lights his pipe.) Doctor Wallaroo—Doctor Wallaroo, how did you manage it?
WALL. (L.C.) Gib him lilly drop o' dis. (Shows a leathern bottle which hangs round his neck with a string.)
BEN. (Smiling.) Well, my Aesculapius of the bush, what am dis'?
WALL. (Crossing to a large plant with a small white flower growing R. 1 E.)
Dis am dat.
BEN. And what am "dat?"
WALL. (R.H.) Dat am de "Flower ob Sleep."
BEN. Aha! The famed narcotic of the bush. So this is the wonderful decoction, eh? (Takes bottle, is about to smell contents. WALL. snatches it from HIM eagerly.) Don't be afraid—I'm not going to drink it, Wally.
WALL. Tink not, indeed. Smell kill fly in the air—bird on de tree—lilly drop send white fellow by-bye eber so long—big drop send him by-bye for eber. Me gib sailor man only lilly drop. If Wallaroo gib him big drop, den—
BEN. He might wake up in the happy hunting ground.
pp. MUSIC ends.
WALL. Where am dat, Massa Ben? (Kneeling at feet of BEN.)
BEN. (Pointing to heaven.) There!
BEN. Yes, the hunting ground to which we must all go, but from which none of us ever return.
WALL. Me go wid you dar, Massa Ben. (Sink to HIS feet, crossing HIS legs. BEN pats HIM.) If dey let poor Wallaroo come wid big white chief.
BEN. There will be no barrier there, of caste or colour. All faithful hearts are welcome to the Great Father.
KATH. (Within.) Wallaroo—Wallaroo—you black thafe o' the world, dinner's waitin' for you!
WALL. Iss, Missy Katty—and Wallaroo am waiting for din-din. Massa Ben—no din-din?
BEN. Not to-day, Wally, not to-day.
WALL. Wally know-Massa Ben's heart too full to make room for din-din.
BEN. You know too much, Wally.
WALL. Him only know Massa Ben sad—den Wally am sad too.
BEN. How do you know I'm sad?
WALL. Big white fellow always sad when him no get skinful.
BEN. Perhaps you're right—well, Wally, suppose I were to tell you—
(Enter SYBIL from tent R. with her work basket.)
SYBIL. (R.) Wallaroo, Mrs O'Mara is waiting for you.
(BEN immediately rises and bows coldly to SYBIL. SHE returns salutation with equal coldness.)
Wallaroo MUSIC pp.
WALL. Iss, Missy Duchy. Massa Ben—
BEN. (Brusquely.) Go!
WALL. Big chief not angry with poor Wally?
BEN. No, boy, He's only angry with himself. There, there. (Gives hand.)
WALL. (Kisses it.) Now for soft tom and tucker!
(Exits into tent.)
(BEN goes down L.)
SYBIL. Still cold and distant! (Sits at HER work C. on barrow.)
BEN. (L.) I can endure this no longer. I will have the truth if it kills me. Miss Grey—
(Re-enter DICK from tent with a chunk of bread and cheese.)
DICK. (R.) Ben!
(SYBIL starts up, vexed at interruption).
DICK. Ain't you a-comin' in to dinner?
BEN. (L.) Dinner be damned! (Half aside.)
DICK. (C. Aside.) Dinner be—. Some'ats wrong with his watch works. (To SYBIL.) Duchess, dinner don't seem dinner wi'out you and Ben—wont you come in and have a bite?
SYBIL. (Coldly.) No, thank you, Mr Garth. (Sits.)
DICK. (R.) Muster Garth! Her pen'lum has gone wrong, too. Seems ah'm one too many here, so ah'd better get back tot' grub!
(Exit into tent.)
SYBIL. (C.) Another moment and all would have been clear. Will it be ever thus? Must my pride and his jealous anger always stand 'twixt me and happiness?
Music "Tom Bowling" pp.
JACK. (Awaking, faintly.) Avast there! What cheer?
(SYBIL starts up and goes over to HIM. HE recognises HER.)
JACK. Why it is!—shiver my timbers—if it ain't! The Duchess!
SYBIL. Let me help you. (SHE assists HIM to rise, and to sit on barrow C.)
pp. Music ends.
SBIL (R.C.) You are better? Stronger already?
JACK. As a house a-fire (rises, but staggers and falls back), only I haven't quite got my sea legs yet.
SYBIL. So soon as they've settled about the mine, we must pack you off home.
(Re-enter BEN L. 3 E.)
JACK. Lord love your dear heart—I ain't got no home.
JACK. Neither home nor friends.
BEN. (Coming forward L.) Two, lad! two.
JACK. Ah—Ben, old chap—if it hadn't been for you, I should have been in Kingdom Come long ago.
BEN. (Coldly.) Oh, you owe more to this lady than to me.
SYBIL. (Aloud R.C.) Your friend owes me nothing, sir.
(Aside.) Still obdurate—well, he shall find I can be as proud as he. (Exit behind tent R. 2 E.)
JACK. (R.C.) I say, Ben—I wonder how you came to cotton to a rough chap like me.
BEN. (L.C.) Well, the fact is, you remind me of a brother of mine.
JACK. A brother of yours?
BEN. Yes—an only one—a little chap I lost ever so long ago.
JACK. And you remind me of a brother of mine—an only one.
BEN. (Quickly.) Indeed!
JACK. Yes, indeed—a great big chap that I lost ever so long ago.
BEN. Indeed! (A moment's pause.) What part of the Old Country do you hail from?
JACK. Do you know it?
BEN. I ought to—seeing it's my birthplace.
JACK. Your birthplace? Happen then you've heard of the Leighs?
BEN. Of Holmleigh?
BEN. (Aside.) My God, should it be?
JACK. I was only a little kiddy-widdy when the old folks died.
JACK. And my big brother-
JACK. (Astonished.) You knew him too?
JACK. Damme, if I don't think you know everybody.
BEN. Not exactly—but I knew him.
JACK. My dear eyes.
BEN. You see we were at Balliol together—rowed in the 'Varsity eight together—entered at Lincoln's Inn, and passed together—
JACK. Lord—Lord. Who'd ha' thought o' meetin' a chum o' dear old Leo's out here in the bush? God's truth—I'd give all I have in the world to see his face—to hear his voice.
BEN. Would you?
JACK. Would I? Ah, you don't know! How should you? I'm a precious bad lot—ran away, went to sea and broke poor mother's heart. Leo's sure to be down on me, yet he was fond of me once. And could I only hear him say-" Jack, I forgive you!"
BEN. Jack, I forgive you!
JACK. What—what—you don't mean—you are not!
BEN. Yes—Jack—I am!
JACK. Well, I'm damned. (Pause.) I say, Leo, old chap, d'ye mean it?
JACK. Then tip us your flipper, old man.
(THEY shake hands heartily—then rise.)
JACK. My eyes, Leo, but this will be a surprise to our mates!
BEN. A joyful one—come with me and we'll break it to 'em.
(BEN pulls JACK round L. as HE moves towards tent R.)
JACK. We will—we will. (HE moves towards tent supported by BEN.) Only think, after losin' our reckoning all these years, to find our latitude in this rum way!
BEN. (R.) No matter, since we have met at last.
JACK. (R.C.) Never to part again, old man!
(THEY exeunt into tent R)
Music piz. staccato, "Botany Bay."
Enter JERRY L.C.E. HE crosses platform at back. Coming down L platform HE slips grotesquely and slides down on His back. Jerusalem! Beckons on BENDIGO BILL L.C.E., who get down to C. JERRY approaches tent on tiptoe.
DICK. (Within.) What—what? Brothers?
MYLES. Long life to yez, boys!
JERRY. (In an undertone.) I say, Bill. Blime me if the sailor and the other juggins ain't brothers l
KATH. (Within.) Now, boys, dinner's waitin' this halfhour.
JERRY. Oh, look at 'em, they're a-guttling and a-guzzling all sorts o' stuff while I'm a-dyin' o' thirst. (R.C.)
BILL. (L.C.-Pointing to bucket.) They have been washing gold in this bucket. It is a bit thick, but—
JERRY. (Up C.) Thick or thin, let's have a pull. (Drinks from bucket and smudges his face.) Oh, smother me.
(Sneezing.) Here's a blooming mess I'm in.
(Throws bucket down. BILL laughs and moves wheelbarrow towards L.)
JERRY. That's a pretty thing to laugh at. Lend us your wipe.
BILL. Can't. It's at the wash. (Grins.) (Exit L. 2 E.)
JERRY. Wash your mother. Gawn-'oo are yer a-gettin' at? (Seeing "The Golden Hole.") Ah, here's a well—where there's a well there should be water.
(Goes up, peering down the hole.)
MYLES. (Without.) Wid my ring-ty-ah my ring-ty-eh!
Re-enter MYLES from tent R.
MYLES (R.) Hello! what the divil are ye afther there. ye thief o' the world?
JERRY. (L.C.) I was only lookin' for—
MYLES. What you could stale, of course. Out of that, now, quick, before I break every bone in your body.
JERRY. Easy does it! Bill—Bill! (Calling BILL on and appealing to HIM for protection.) Bill, you're a perfessional bruser, jist cool this wild Irishman's cawfee!
BILL. (L.) I will, make no error. (crosses to C.) Do you want your chump knocked off, Mr Paddy from Cork?
MYLES. (R.C.) It's not Paddy from Cork I am, but Myles from Ballynamuck, Misther Bully Born Drunk.
BILL. (With a roar.) "Born Drunk!"
MYLES. (R.C.) I said "Born Drunk."
BILL. Tell 'ee what it is, I'll give you the darndest hiding—
MYLES. Will ye, now? Arrah, only let me be standin' by when you do it, jewel, and thrust me to give yez your change.
BILL. Remember I licked Sloppy Sam, the champion of Coolgardie.
MYLES. But I am the champion of Ballynamuck, who never was licked, and never mane to be. so come on, bad luck to ye! Come on! (Spars about nimbly.)
JERRY. (L. alarmed.) Oh, slap it on, Bill, and give him "what for! "
(MYLES throws off coat with a yell of defiance. ALL THREE MEN hop about sparring. BILL and JERRY get round R. LARR., dodging behind BILL, gets knocked down.)
JERRY. Oh! (Collapsing.) I've got my eye in a sling!
Enter KATH., she shrieks and runs between the COMBATANTS threatening BILL with tin ladle with which she is serving the soup.
KATH. (C.) Out o' that wid ye, ye dirty spalpeen, or I'll be afther curlin' you hair wid this. (Threatens BILL with ladle.)
JERRY. (L. Frightened.) Cheese it, Bill, cheese it, or she'll begin at the ends and finish at the roots.
(Re-enter DICK from tent smoking.)
DICK. (L.C.) Hullo—what's up, Myles?
MYLES. A fight, yer sowl, a fight—I haven't had one for a fortnight. (Sparring.)
DICK. Go it, Myles—land him one on the boko. (Sits on Box C.)
MYLES. Boko—I'll give him toko; come on now. (Sparring up to BILL.)
KATH. Aisy, Myles, aisy; it isn't for the likes o' you to demane yourself wid the likes o' thim!
MYLES. Faix, you're right, jewel—so I'll let thim severely alone. But how dar you come to our diggin's at all, at all, you dirty blackguards?
(R.) JERRY. BILL. KATH. MYLES. (L.) DICK.
BILL. (R.) Well, you see, seein' as 'ow we're parched with thirst and a-dyin' with hunger.
JERRY. (R.) And you've lots of grub and we've none, we thought you might stand us a bite.
MYLES. (Shrugging his shoulders.) Katty, in Heaven's name give the bla'guards a skinful and let 'em go to the devil. (BILL and JERRY move up R. with alacrity. MYLES goes over to DICK.)
KATH. (R.) This way, ye murtherin' villains. (crosses to tent in front of BILL and JERRY.) And mind ye behave yourselves, or look out for my curlin' irons. (Shaking ladle at them.)
(Exit into tent R.)
BILL. Now for the lush l
(Exit into tent.)
JERRY. And the grub. Lord be praised, that wild Irishman has left me a place to put it in.
(Exit into tent.)
DICK. (L.C.) Myles, hadn't we better keep an eye on them wastrels?
MYLES. By jabers, ye're right, the spalpeens might be afther pocketin' the spoons.
(Exeunt MYLES and DICK R. tent, quiickly.)
(Enter SYBIL and NELL from behind tent. SYBIL, almost romping on, brings NELL forward. SHE holds her by both hands and swings her round L.C. SYBIL's hat hangs on her arm by ribbons.)
SYBIL. Come along, Nellie, come along, you mustn't sit moping all day. (Puts HER hat on NELL.)
NELL. But I don't feel well, there's something in the air.
Enter the CAPT. L.2.E. Seeing SYBIL and NELL, drops down L.C.
SYBIL. Of course there is—there is the blessed sunshine. So come along and take a sun-bath. (Moving over—about to exit L. 2 E. THEY shrink back C. at sight of CAPTAIN.)
(Re-enter BEN from tent. HE is about to light His pipe, and to stroll over to L. in backgronnd.)
CAPT. (L. Flippantly.) Ah, bon jour, chere amie; bon jour!
(At the sound of HIS voice BEN looks round sharply. NELL. shrinks away, getting round to R. of SYBIL. BEN up stage C.)
NELL. SYBIL. CAPT.
(SYBIL confronts the CAPT. with an indignant look. NELL clings to her sister for protection.)
WALL. (Without.) Come along, lillie massy, to mamy!
(Enters from behind tent with LITTLE HARRY in his arms.)
CAPT. So ho! (The audience. CAPTAIN and BEN only catch one glimpse of the CHILD, for SYBIL and NELL rush over to R. and drive W ALLAROO and CHILD off instantly.)
CAPT. (With a brutal sneer C.) So that's the child? Our child, eh?
BEN. (Up L. Starting as if stabbed with a knife. Aside.) His child- HIS???
CAPT. Um—an interesting souvenir of an agreeable acquaintance! (Laughing insolently.)
BEN. (Aside.) Insolent scoundrel. (Subduing HIS passion with a violent effort and coming down L.) Your business here?
CAPT. No business—only pleasure!
CAPT. Yes, the pleasure of renewing my acquaintance with these charming creatures.
NELL. SYBIL. CAPTAIN. BEN.
BEN. I—I—(Aside)—I suppose you were a gentleman once?
CAPT. (C. Sneeringly.) Well, your fair friend yonder seemed to think so. If you doubt me, ask her!
(SYBIL and NELL. turn away indignantly. THEY go up R., cross behind, and drop down L.)
BEN. Ask her—(Aside.)—Shall I kill him—now—here before her eyes. (Stifling HIS rage.) 'Tis useless to appeal to your manhood, I presume?
CAPT. You do presume. You always do. For the rest—(Approaching BEN insolently.)
BEN. (C.) For the rest. (Quietly. Face to face, eye to eye.) Insult these ladies by act or deed, by word or look, and I'll kill you with as little compunction as I would kill a mad dog. You understand?
CAPT. Perfectly. (crosses to tent with Suppressed bitterness.)
Doubtless we shall understand each other even better by and by. (Exit behind tent R.)
SYBIL. (L C. to BEN.) How can I ever thank you?
BEN. (R. Coldly.) You owe me no thanks, madam. (Exit behind tent R.)
(SYBIL turns away hurt and angered.)
NELL. (L.) Sybil—'Tis I who have brought this on you, but he shall know all—now—this very instant. (Going after BEN towards C.)
SYBIL. (R.C.) Stay—I forbid you to speak.
SYBIL. Silence—not a word—not a look.
DICK. (Within, singing.)
" I'll sell you for crown, my boy / And that won't be too dear / For it's my delight on a shiny night /
In the season Of the year."
SYBIL. Hark! the Yorkshireman! Compose yourself.
(THEY go up C. SYBIL resumes her work—NELL stands embarrassed.)
Re-enter DICK from the tent R. laughing.
DICK. Body o' me, but them wastrels are stuffin' themselves till they are welly fit to bust. (HE crosses to L.C.) They're putting it away as if they hadn't had a meal for a month. (Not seeing the ladies, about to light his pipe. Turns round towards C. Sees NELL. Immediately puts pipe away.) Good day again, Duchess. (Embarrassed.) Fine day, Miss Nellie.
DICK. What dost think I saw this morning out yonder?
NELL. Really, I don't know.
DICK. Why, just a clump o' Yorkshire blue forget-me-nots.
DICK. Happen thou'dst might like to see 'em, I'se gotten hafe an hour to spare, and—Wilt come for a bit of a walk?
SYBIL. (R. to NELL.) Go, dear.
NELL. (C. remonstrating.) But-
SYBIL. (Pleasantly.) Go, I say.
NELL. (C.) I am ready, Mr Garth.
DICK. (L.C.) Nay, call me Dick.
NELL. But I have known you so short a time.
DICK. Short—why, it's six long months. No, I mean six short 'uns—but long or short, it seems as if I'd known thee all my life. So do say Dick, please.
NELL. Well, then, Dick.
DICK. That's reet, lass. Jolly—raal jolly. Just lean on my arm. Thear ye are—(Exeunt L. 2 E.)
SYBIL. God has taken compassion on her. In the love of yonder honest soul she will forget the bitter past. 'Tis I alone who am miserable. Yes, for he—he still distrusts—doubts. Ah, were his love like mine—sooner than—doubt he would die. (Exit R. 2 E.)
(Momentary pause.) Music.
A distant "coo-ee " is heard without.
Re-enter WALL. runs on R.C.E., springs on rock and responds.
Re-enter MYLES from tent and looks off L.C.E. ALL the MINERS re-enter R. and L.
MYLES. By the piper that played before Moses it is—no—it isn't—yes- it is Glendargle and the Warden himself. Luk! luk! they're dismountin', and here they come. Three cheers, boys, for the Warden.
Enter WARDEN and GLENDARGLE L. 2 E.
WARD. Thanks, boys, thanks!
Re-enter BEN (R.C.E).
WARD. Well, Ben, how are you?
BEN. Fit as a fiddle and glad to welcome you to "The Golden Hole."
WARD. Thanks, old man, thanks. We got your letter telling us of the last grand find and here we are. (Mopping his head.) By Jove, but it is blazing hot in these diggin's.
Enter KATH. bearing tray with whisky bottle, glasses, and soda on it.
KATH. Would your honour be afther takin' a taste o' the crayture? (Hands HIM a glass.)
WARD. Thanks, Katty. You are a good Samaritan (Drinks.)
GLEN. 'Tis the nectar of the gods.
MYLES. Yes. Raal John Jameson—as good as ever left Oireland.
WARD. Ben, Myles, a word with you. (They confer apart L.C.)
GLEN. (Half aside.) By my honor, Katty, you're more blooming and buxom than ever.
KATH. Ah! be off wid your cunnin' cum-cuddle-me blarney!
GLEN. Cuddle you is it? Faith. I'd like nothing better if I'd a chance.
KATH. Be aisy wid your nonsense, Glendargle. Sure, if Myles heerd you, it's afther killin' the pair of us he'd be. (Exit into tent.)
WARD. (C.) Well now, boys, to business. There are two entries in our books for this claim. And I am here to investigate the matter myself. Who discovered the ground?
MYLES. (L.) Sure 'twas myself and nobody else, your honour.
(Re-enter CAPT. from tent. BILL and JERRY.)
CAPTAIN. WARDEN. MYLES.
CAPT. (R.H.) But we pegged out first! (Astonishment on part of everybody.)
WARD. (C.) Which of you am I to believe?
BILL. (R.C.) Why, the Cap'n of course, he's a genelman, he is.
JERRY. (R.C.) Does he look as if he'd kid yer? Not exactly, he couldn't do it if he wor to try.
WARD. But Ben and Myles are in possession.
MYLES. (L.C.) Ay, be jabers, and that's nine points of the law.
BEN. Besides, we have already extracted some five and twenty thousand pounds' worth of ore. The bulk of it you have already seen in the bank at Coolgardie. Show them our latest find, Myles. (WARDEN gets up C.)
(MYLES rapidly opens boxes, showing the specimens of golden ore.)
WARD. (Astonished.) By the living Jingo, this is the wonder of the world. I've been twenty years at the gold fields, and dam me if. I ever saw anything like it. You value this and the Stuff at the bank at five-and-twenty thousand pounds, you say?
BEN. (up C.) Yes, but as we want ready money, if we can do a deal, we'll sell at £20,000.
GLEN. (L.) I'll give it—and look here! I've brought a deposit of £1000 to bind the bargain. Here it is. (Great astonishment.)
(Taking note frorn pocket-book, and handing it to BEN.)
CAPT. (Aside.) £1000!
JERRY. Oh, bile me tender!
WARD. The stuff is yours, my lord, and you can exchange the papers at my office as soon as you get back. (Going up L.C. as if about to exit.)
CAPT. Mr Warden! I protest against this illegal sale; and as for the mine, I claim it for myself and partners.
MYLES. (L.C.) The divil ye do!
BEN. I should like to know how you're going to do that?
WARD. Where's your evidence?
CAPT. Evidence. Ha, ha! (Laughing defensively.) Only give me reasonable time and I'll bring twenty witnesses to their one.
WARD. Very well, then, produce them, and I'll give a final decision a week hence in my Court at Coolgardie.
(About to exit L.)
BEN. (C.) I thought your Court was burned down a month ago?
WARD. Yes, but wherever I am my Court is, and I hold it now at the Circus.
(Exeunt WARDEN and GLEN. L. 2 E.—MINERS R. and L.)
(NOTE.-This is a general exit and must be made with clearness, precision, and rapidity.)
BEN. We shall be there. (Calling after WARDEN)
CAPT. So shall we.
(Exit with his PARTY R. 2 E.)
WALL. And so will Wallaroo! (Exit R. 2 E.)
KATH. (Appearing at door of tent.) Now, boys, tay is ready.
MYLES. And we're ready for tay, darlin'. Ben, owld man, hurry up, look alive and help us to make a good end of a hard day's work. (Exit into tent.)
pp. Music begins.
BEN. (Solus.) A good end, eh? There is but one end for me, and the sooner it comes the better. What is liferiches—the world itself, and all that's in it, without her? God help me, my life is over. (Falls into a passion of tears.)
The CAPT. stealthily re-enters R.C.E. and hides behind rushes, overhearing subsequent speech.
BEN. What, tears—tears? Oh, shame—shame! While I play the woman—he—this reptile—looks on and laughs, but only let me feel my hand uponhis throat—only that that—
JACK and MYLES. (Within, clattering plates.) Ben, Ben!
BEN. Coming, lads, coming. (Exit into tent.)
(CAPT. coming forward C. and looking after BEN.)
pp. Music ends.
CAPT. So, that's your little game, is it? But 'tis one that two can play at. Now for the first deal!
(Beckoning on from L.C.E. BILL, JERRY, and BEARDED RUFFIANS from the bushes.)
Are the ropes ready? (In a low tone.)
JERRY. Here they is. (Produces bundle of ropes.)
CAPT. Mind. It must be done with a rush and a spring. Ready?
OMNES. Ay, Ay.
CAPT. Now, then!
(Exeunt ALL but JERRY.)
Music changes to agitato—spoken through.
(Noise of struggle within—loud exclamations of rage—overturning of tables—breaking of chairs—and smashing of crockery, etc. etc., JERRY remains R.C. shouting directions and encouragement to the unseen COMBATANTS.)
JERRY. Weigh in, boys—pop it on—put 'em through—let 'em 'ave it. (Noise within.) Forward—forward—take your places—the entertainment's just a-going to begin. (Noise within.) But this cheyld is only a spectator.
Re-enter CAPT. and PARTY-dragging on BEN, MYLES, and JACK, WHO have been overcome and bound befoTe THEY enter.
(A rope of soft material is fastened with three loops—a loop aroundnd each MAN's neck—and a long end on each side, by means of which THEY are bound together L. C. THEIR hands are bound behind them, and there are all the signs of a violent struggle.)
Forte Music ends.
(These exclamations are uttered simutaneously)
KATH. Murtherin' villyans!
CAPT. Silence! (Presenting revolver.) Shoot the first man who opens his mouth.
BILL. (To KATH.) Hold your jaw!
(When they are bound MYLES's R. leg is left free.)
MYLES. BEN. JACK.
CAPT. Now for that thousand pounds! (Searches BEN, WHO is covered by revolvers on the R. and on the L.)
BEN. Scoundrel, take your hands from me.
WALL. creeps cautiously on at back R. U, E.
BILL. Now, Missis, bring us your best whisky, dy'hear?
KATH. (Sullenly.) Yes, I hear!
BILL. Then look alive about it.
KATH. We don't serve thieves and jail birds.
OMNES. Thieves! Jail birds!
MYLES. More power to yez, jewel.
BILL. D'ye see this. (Presenting revolver at KATH.)
KATH. And do you feel that. (Gives him a clout on the cheek.) Do you think to frighten me wid your dirty shootin' iron? That for it. (Snapping her fingers.) And that for you! you miserable crayture! That! (Exit into tent.)
BILL, Well, she's a warm 'un, she is; but I like 'em with a little ginger.
(BILL turns away to CAPT. and OTHER RUFFIANS L.C.)
(WALL. rapidly beckons on SYBIL, Who re-enters from R, 2 E. with a rush, WALL. points to group in foreground.)
SYBIL. (Overwhelmed.) Lost! lost!
WALL. Not so, Missy Duchy.
WALL. See dis! (Taking leathem bottle off his neck.)
SYBIL. Ah! The Flower of Sleep! Give it to me, boy give it! (Snatches bottle.) Saved—saved! (Rushes into tent.)
WALL. (Aside.) Just one lillie drop-Massa Cap'n and den—yohi, den—(clutching knife and motions as if to cut a throat. Goes up L. platform, moves on to back platform. looking off sees NELLY.) Ah! Missee Nellee. (Exit L.U,E.)
pp. Music ends.
CAPT. (Having found pocket-book on BEN—exultant.) At last—at last!
JERRY. Let's have a smell—never saw sich a thing in my life afore- only think—a thousand quid! But I say, my noble commander, who's a-going to take care o' the swag?
CAPT. (R.) Why, I am, to be sure. Who else do you think? (Sits down on barrel R.1 E. and makes a cigarette.)
OMNES. Of course—of course.
BILL. (C.) The Capting's all square!
JERRY. (L.C.) M'yaas—square all raand! (Aside.) But a bit crooked at the corners! (As HE moves over to TOBY 1st RLFFIAN, WHO is L., JERRY halts exactly in front of MYLES.)
JERRY (Aside.) Toby, I shall stick to them corners like cobbler's wax!
MYLES. (Giving him a kick which lands him L.) Stick to that, ye dirty blackguard!
JERRY. (With a roar.) What! behind my back—oh, shabby—shabby. Tie him up—no, tie him daawn, I mean! (MYLES' leg is secured by 2nd RUFFIAN.)
JERRY. I'll talk to you, my bold bog-trotter, byme bye m'yaas—in the sweet byrne bye!
Re-enter KATH. from tent with tray bearing seven pannikins of whisky and water—one of them a large one.
KATH. (Sullenly.) Here's the whisky!
(KATH. crosses over to JERRY and 1st RUFFIAN L., serves them.)
MYLES. (indignantly. Aside.) Whisky for them villyans? Whist, Katty!
KATH. Ah, be aisy. Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut! (Aside.)
MYLES. (Aside.) Mum's the word! I'm dumb as an oyster.
(KATH. returning C. serves CAPT. R.; serves 2nd, 3rd, and 4th RUFFIANs, and finally serves BILL.)
BILL. (C. Taking whisky.) So you've changed your mind, Missis Brimstone?
KATH. Yes. (Mimicking HIM) I've changed my mind, Misther Blackguard! And as you're the biggest bla'guard, here's the biggest dose for you. (Giving Him large pannikin.) You bad son of an ugly father!
BILL. Oh, cum I say—my father was a handsome chap! It's easy seein' that, cos I take arter him!
KATH. Then he must have been a beauty!
MYLES. She had you there, Misther Bendigo Bully!
BILL. You shut up, Misther Paddy from Cork.
KATH. (At door of tent.) Well, now you've got my last drop. It's afther doin' you good I hope it'll be, you set of drunken swine! (Exit into tent.)
BILL. It's only her pleasant little way! But she likes me, or she wouldn't have brought me this dolloping lot!
(All the RUFFIANs come well forward, drinking and lighting their pipes.)
Re-enter SYBIL R. 2 E. Unseen by the RUFFIANS, SHE glides rapidly behind them to back of the R.C.
BEN. (Aside.) Jack, try to keep up!
JACK. (Aside.) I can't, old man. They've done for me this time.
BEN. God forbid! Keep a good heart, old chap! (Aside.) Is there no hope—no escape?
SYBIL. (HER face appearing above them in opening of the tree. Aside.) Yes—both! Hist! a moment—one little moment. I will unloose your bonds and set you free!
BEN. MYLES. JACK (Together.) Free!
SYBIL. And list! yonder ruffians are drugged!
JACK. BEN. MYLES. Drugged!
SYBIL. Hush! Look! look!
(The narcotic now speedily begins to take effect in a more or less grotesque manner.)
BILL. (Eagerly drinking.) Never tasted such stuff in my life! It's rumbo! Hie! Why, Jerry, blowed if I ain't
JERRY. (L.C.) You are—you are! Tight as a drum!
BILL. And only one glass done it!
JERRY. A pailful, you mean! Why, it's as big as a bucket!
BILL. So it is—I—hic! (Yawns—OTHERS follow suit)
JERRY. (To 1st RUFFIAN who has bolted his whisky.) Stunning! (HE sips his whisky.) Goes down like a torchlight procession.
(1st RUFFIAN, who is seated L. starts up, puts his hand on his stomach.)
JERRY. Here, I say, Toby—what's up? (1st RUFFIAN falls with a crash.) He's daawn—that's what's up! Why, Capting. (crosses to R.) They're all mops and brooms. (CAPT. Laughs heartily.) It is funny, ain't it? (To 2nd RUFFIAN.) Tommy, did you see Toby? (2nd RUFFIAN falls.) Naaw he's gawn. Well, this is a rum rig!
(The 3rd and 4th RUFFIANs, who occupy the C. of background, start up as if they had been shot, then, being about to collapse, slew round planting themselves back to back, supporting each other.)
JERRY. (crosses over to them.) Here, I say, Hezekiah! What's wrong with your applecart?
(2nd and 3rd RUFFIANS slew round so that THEY meet chest to chest, their heads resting upon each other's shoulders, their features fixed, rigid, and immovable, with an expression of idiotic drunken gravity. Being unable to raise their arms, they only maintain their perpendicular position by leaning against each other. THEY swerve slightly and fall with a crash longways, but in opposite directions, across the stage C. Each MAN lies with his head level with the other's heels.)
JERRY. Naaw they're daawn! It's all along o' the whisky! It was bloomin' strong, and no mistake! (Stretches arms and sways to and fro.)
BILL. (Vainly trying to keep the drop on PRISONERS.) Dooty is dooty. Mind, Mr Paddy from Cork, I've got—hic the drop on you! (Fires pistol in the air and falls.)
JERRY. (With a yell of terror, placing his hands behind HIM.) He's blown my brains out!
(Falls beside BILL, their heads pillowed on 3rd and 4th RUFFIANS—feet to the AUDIENCE.)
CAPT. (Laughing heartily.) Evidently a little whisky goes a long way with these louts! (Aside.) Happy thought! While they are sleeping off their booze I'll mizzle with the thousand quid: But before I go I'll settle accounts here! (R. Aloud to BEN, MYLEs, and JACK.) So—l've got you! I've half a mind to make a good riddance of the lot of you! Anyhow, I'll make sure of you, Mr Lionel Leigh! You, who half an hour ago talked of killing me like a dog—but—(drawing His knife)—it's my turn now! (Advancing upon BEN to kill HIM.)
SYBIL. (Springs forward C. interrupting him.) Stand back, I say, stand back!
CAPT. (Recoiling R.C.) Ha! I'm glad you are here, for you're just in time to see me kill your man!
(WALLAROO re-enters R.C.E. on back platform. Observing the state of affairs HE beckons on NELLY, who, alarmed at SYBIL's peril, frantically waves her handkerchief beckoning DICK on from L. DICK rushes to the back platform from L.C.E)
NELL (points to SYBIL)
DICK. Plucks forth his knife and is about to rush to her rescue, when he sees the narcotic has taken hold of CAPAIN. Assured that SHE is safe, HE quickly and noiselessly (not to interfere with foreground) glides down and slipsbehind the tree with NELLY and cuts the ropes which bind the prisoners. Simultaneously WALLAROO stealthily creeps down R.H. descent. He advances R.C. BEN MYLES JACK and DICK step forward two paces R.C. NELL rushes over to SYBI throwing her arms around her.
SYBIL. No, no!
CAPTAIN. Yes, yes! I'll do it now, before your very eyes!
SYBIL. Kill me first.
CAPTAIN. No, no—him! Out of the way.
SYBL. (Screaming.) Help, help! Dick! Dick!
CAPTAIN. Psha! Out of the way I tell you. (He swings SYBIL round to R.corner, then as HE advances, knife in hand, to despatch BEN) As for you, I'll rip, I will, by—(Knife lifted to strike the blow when the narcotic takes hold of him, he starts back to R.C.) Ha, what's this? My arm is palsied, my head turns around, what can it mean?
SYBIL (Who has got behind him to C.) It means you are powerless to do your wicked will, for the flower of sleep has done it;s work.
BEN (stepping forward) And we are free!
CAPTAIN (falls senseless and WALLARO stands exultant over him)
Kathleen appears at entrance of the tent.
Quiick Curtain drop the instant CAPTAIN falls.
WALLAROO. MYLES BEN JACK DICK
(kneeling over captain and handing BEN the pocket book)
KATH SYBIL (leaning over Jack)
"LOVE LIES BLEEDING."
Set Scene-Main street of Coolgardie occupying whole extent of stage. Buildings of wood of the most primitive kind. Evening—towards sunset. Door. Sign—"The Erin Go Bragh." Embayed window—practical.
Bank of Australasia (L.). Table C. Warden's Court [dock]. L. Rustic seat. To L. of Table. Telegraph Office. R.
SAILOR JACK and WALL. playing cards in foreground.
BOTH seated on ground. JACK (L.C.), WALL. (R.C.). Stool between THEM on which THEY play.
WALL. Napee nap!
JACK. All right, darkey, you've won tuppence.
WALL. Tup—tuppence. (With dignity.) Wallaroo buy trousers.
JACK. Yes, I would; two penn' orth of trousers will go a long way.
WALL. Iss, eber so long, when dey am not too short.
(Enter SYBIL from hotel.)
SYBIL. (C.) Now, Mister Sailor, time for physic. (Offers dose in glass.)
JACK. (L.C.) Physic? Oh, goroo! (Makes a wry face.)
WALL. (To JACK.) Duchee's stuffey not so nicey as Wally's, Massa Jack 1 (Gathering cards up R.C.)
JACK. No, Wally! wonderful stuff that Flower of Sleep.
SYBIL. Yes, it saved your life.
WALL. And gib the Captain his gruel!
JACK. It did! Ah, Duchess, you settled that gentleman's hash.
WALL. (Aside.) No, no! It is Wally who will settle that geneman's hash bym—bye. Yohi! Bym—bye. Wid dis, dis—(Touching knife goes up.)
SYBIL. (To JACK, laughing.) Now come, be a good boy.
JACK. (To SYBIL.) Must I?
SYBIL. Of course, you must! Remember! I am She who must be obeyed.
JACK. (With another wryface.) But where's the jam?
SYBIL. Dear me, I quite forgot that. I left it on the kitchen table. Wally, go, fetch the jam.
WALL. Iss, Missie Duchie. (Runs into hotel.)
JAUK. That little darkey's awfully gone on you, Duchess. Looks as if he'd like to eat you.
SYBIL. (Laughing.) Daresay he would. They say his people are cannibals. I'm always afraid he'll dine on little Harry one of these days, but, hush, he's here.
Re-enter WALL. with jam pot and teaspoon.
[To Stage Manager: Note—This jam pot is made of papier mache.]
JACK. So is the jam. Hooray!
SYBIL. Now, Wally, the jam! (WALL. holds pot 'while SYBIL takes spoonful from it. SHE holds jam in one hand, physic in the other.) Physic first, jam next.
JACK. Very well; here goes. (Takes physic.) Oh, beastly!
(SYBIL gives JACK a spoonful of jam.)
WALL. (Aside-Licking his finger.) Golophous, num—num!
(He squats down R. dips his fingers in the pot and licks them.)
SYBIL, Now, as you have taken your physic like a good boy, you may take a little walk before the sun goes down.
WALL. Nicey, nicey! (Delighted with jam.)
JACK. (With a roar of laughter.) Twig the darkey!
SYBIL. (Restraining her laughter.) How dare you, sir? Give it to me directly. Directly!—Do you hear?
WALL. Iss, Wally hear.
SYBIL. Why don't you give it then?
WALL. 'Cos Wally know better. Dis jam real jam.
JACK. I'll "real jam" you, young devilskin!
(THEY chase HIM round the stage, and HE runs off into hotel.)
(SYBIL hands glass and spoon in through window.)
Enter VON SWOP L.C.E. attended by a porter carrying a couple of bonnet- boxes and a number of small parcels.
SYBIL. (Coming down R.C.) Good day, Herr Von Swop.
VON SWOP. Ach ze day is always good dat gives me ze pleasure of looking on your sweet face, most gracious Duchess.
SYBIL. Ah, Myn herr Von Swop, it is easy to see you are a courtier.
VON SWOP. No, no, but I am a man of taste and know a fair fraulein when I see one. But I have shust return from Albany wid a consignment of dry goots and I came to lay them before you.
SYBIL. (Sarca,tically.) Really, Mynherr, you bring us in touch with civilisation. (Dropping down L.)
VON SWOP Of course, mein fraulein, for civilisation goes hand in hand wid de dry goods of Shermany.
SYBIL. (Calling Nelly on.) Nelly, Nelly, here's our friend Von Swop just returned from Albany.
NELL. runs on from hotel.
NELL. Welcome back; Mr Von Swop. (C.)
VON SWOP. Ah, Mees Nellie. I kiss your hand. I venture to bring you bose a leedle present. Observe de latest fashion. (Procluces two sunshades as he crosses to a.)
(THE GIRLS put them on.)
NELL. (L.C.) Charming, Sybil, charming.
SYBIL. (R.C.) And yours is too, sweet Nellie.
VON SWOP. (C.) Donner and blitzen, nodings cannot be too sweet for you, mein frauleins. Ach Himmell, but you are just two lofely roses on one stalk. When I look at you, you make me sigh for my lost youth. Perhaps had I been going, den I might hab been privileged to wear one of you for ze buttonhole on my breast, Ach Himmell! You might not tink so, but ven I was young, de frauleins used tosmile on Hermann Von Swap.
SYBIL. No doubt, Mynherr, no doubt. (Laughing.)
(Exit into hotel.)
VON SWOP. Ya! dey did dot ven I valk mid my sweetheart under der Linden. Ach Herr Gott, but ze goat Rhine wine ran red in dose days! Nefare mind dot. (Crosses over to table L. on wvhich the parcels rest.) But see what I have got here for der Kaiser.
NELL. (R.C.) For your Kaiser?
VON SWOP. (L.C.) No, fraulein, for yours, der Kaiser baby, who rule ze roast everywhere from ze cottage to the palace. Hein, I know all about zat—I had a leedle Kaiser once myself—nefare mind. Here am ze robe of state for His Majesty. (Producing and showing child's frock and cap.) And dere am him sceptre! (Producing child's rattle.)
Re-enter JACK from hotel.
NELL. Oh, Mynherr, how can I thank you?
VON SWOP. By giving me one smile.
NELL. There are two, and a hundred thanks besides. Look here, Mr Sailor. For little Harry. Is it not lovely?
JACK. Oh, stunning!
Hamish is here
NELL. Sybil, Sybil, Kathleen, look here, look here (SHE rum off into the house.)
VON SWOP. Ach, Mister Sailor, is she not sharming? (L.C.)
JACK. I believe you, Mynherr. (R.C.)
KATH. (Appears at window.) The top o' the morning to ye, Misther Von Swop.
VON SWOP. Ah, Misthress Katty, I lay myself at your feet.
KATH. Oh, do you? Well, then, if you mane to make a doormat of yourself, you'd betther wait till I come out. (Disappears.)
JACK. The Missus is going to wipe her feet on you, Mynherr.
VON SWOP. I vish she vould, but dere ish no such luck for Hermann Von Swop.
(Enter KATH. from house.)
KATH. Now, Misther Doormat!
VON SWOP. Ach! it is the peautiful, plooming creature you are dish day, Misthress Katty.
KATH. (C.) Fine words butther no parsnips. I'd like to know where I come in wid your flummery?
VON SWOP. (R.C.) In ze proper place, mein peauty. I bring you de latest thing out. Observe! (Gives a small parcel. It is wrapped up in various folds of paper which KATTY unwraps. Ultimately it proves to be a pair of striped silk stockings of very pronounced pattern. JACK laughs heartily.)
KATH. How dar you, sir!
(JACK goes up R.)
VON SWOP. Dis ish a splendid line; doubly wove toes and heels—all silk!
KATH. Silk, did you say?
VON SWOP. De best made in Shermany. Take zem, and my heart into ze bargain.
KATH. It's a bad bargain, I'm afraid, I'd be making. Ah! it's a naughty owld man ye are.
VON SWOP. Ya, I am a leedle naughty, but I am very nice for all dot, and if you would only try me.
KATH. G'long wi' you! (R. to L.)
Re-enter WALL. from hotel. HE is clad in CHILD's coat and woollen cap. HE has the rattle in his hand. HE enters with a dignified strut and shakes the rattle. ALL turn round and lautgh.
VON SWOP. (L.C.) Potztauzand, only look at ze monkey on ze barrel organ.
JACK. (R.) He only wants a tail to make him complete.
KATH. (L.) I'll complait him! How dar you, you impudent lump o' biled mahogany? How dar you?
(KATH chases WALL. round the stage. HE runs up and jumps through the window. Crash, and screaming of a child.)
KATH. Murther alive, but the barbarian has smashed the cradle and squashed the baby! (Runs into house calling out)
Here, Duchess, Nellie, where are yez, at all, at all? Sure, there's murther goin' on—that's what there is!
(WALL. is seen inside to be throwing the baby up and down in his arms, pacifying it.)
WALL. Catchee! catchee! yandee, yarrah!
(SYBIL and NELL. enter behind, snatch up CHILD, pluck off outer dress, and disappear. WALL., who remains clad in the Child's chemise, leaps out of window—runs R. 1 E.—is stopped by JACK-turns and bolts L., spilling VON SWOP amidst the bandboxes, etc., pursued by JACK, and exits L. 2 E.)
(VON SWOP and JACK laugh heartily.)
JACK. (L.C.) Well, that Wally is a cure.
VON SWOP. (R.C.) Ya! he ish dot! Hein! Mister Sailor, I bring you a tobacco box wid a leedle bit of real cavendish.
JACK. That is real good of you, Mynherr.
VON SWOP. And I have anozer for your brother, the Herr Ben, but I have oder business wid him. My syndicate in Berlin authorise me to buy ze Golden Hole.
JACK. You're too late. Glendargle has the call.
VON SWOP. Donnerwetter! Dot it ish to be a lord!
JACK. No, that it is to be a man—and that's just what Glendargle is. Then blood is thicker than water, and, you know, although an Irishman, he comes from England.
VON SWOP. Bah! England cannot stand against Shermany.
JACK (R C.) Rot, sir, rot! England can stand against the world! She leads the commerce of the universe, and will do so as long as her flag floats over the sea.
VON SWOP. (R.C.) Bosh! bosh! with big, big B! The conquering Sherman rules everywhere. Ve outvits you ve undersell you—and I am here to do it now. (Chuckles.) Remember, mein lieben friend, I vas made in Shermany ha, ha!
JACK. (L.C.) Ah, we are used to things made there, and don't think much of them, or of Shermany either.
VON SWOP. You vill vhen ve vipes you out! Wait, mein young sailor, till you see our fleet.
JACK. I will, and when we do see it we will wipe that out.
VON SWOP. You vill need a mighty big dish clout for dat job.
JACK. It is ready now, and has been ready ever since we swept the Spaniard out of the sea in the days of Queen Bess! W e call it " The Union Jack," and so long as that flies at the fore of a British ship, manned by British tars, so long will Britannia rule the waves, and hold her own not only against your precious Germany, but against the world. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr "Coots Made In Shermany! " (Exit L. 2 E.)
VON SWOP. Dose English sailors are right down coot fellows, but dey are so conceited. We never can teach dem " Dot dem dot fights and runs away / Will live to fight anoder dey." No, de fools prefer to stay and be killed. Ah! we knows a dam sight better dan dot in Shermany! (Exit into Court R.)
Enter SYBIL from the hotel, followed by NELL. SYBIL is knitting. She sits C.
NELL. (R.C. in hysterical excitement). Oh! Sybilla, Sybilla, he's going home.
SYBIL. (C.) He! Whom?
NELL. Why, Dick!
NELL. My Dick!
SYBIL. (Archly). Oh! your Dick. (Sits C.)
NELL. Yes! He told me so a moment ago. Told me, too, that he wished to speak to me—alone.
SYBIL. Well, there is nothing so terrible in that. (Her sang froid contrasts strongly with NELL.'s hysteria.)
NELL. But it is terrible. Very terrible. For he must know all.
SYBIL. He must.
NELL. When he does know it. (Going down R., returning C.) When he does—
SYBIL. (Archly.) He will know something else.
NELL. And that is—?
SYBIL. He will know that the woman he loves trusts him with all her heart, with all her soul.
NELL. Yes! yes!
SYBIL. And if he loves her, he will trust her.
NELL. Yes! yes!
SYBIL. (Grately.) But if he does not?
NELL. Don't, Sybil! don't, I can't bear it. Death were better than that. (crosses to L. and back up C.)
SYBIL. (Pausing in her work, with great sympathy.) Poor child, Do you then love this rough diamond of yours so much?
NELL. Much; More than life itself. (L.C.)
SYBIL. (Half reproachfully.) Yet it seems but yesterday since—since—
NELL. Since I was foolish—mad. True, true, but that was not love. 'Twas but the infatuation of a froward, thoughtless girl, who took a piece of pinchbeck for sterling gold. Love! I knew not then the meaning of the word.
SYBIL. You know it now (smiling) though.
NELL. Ah! yes. Those six months out in the bush yonder revealed to me a heaven on earth of which I had never dreamt before, even in my wildest dreams.
SYBIL. And so this Yorkshire paladin has led you to the gates of Paradise. (Still smiling.)
NELL. (Dropping upon her knees beside SYBIL.) You don't know him. Though rugged as his native North, he is as modest as he is manly—as tender as he is true.
SYBIL. (Decidedly) The more reason, then, that you should trust him.
NELL. (Starting up.) I dare not! I dare not! were he to despise me—
SYBIL. He will not despise you.
NELL. He might. He might! And then Where could I look for hope—for consolation?
SYBIL. (Dropping her knitting and rising with ardour.) Here, in these arms, here in this heart. (Embrace.)
NELL. You teach me my duty, dear, and with God's help I'll do it.
SYBIL. That's right, dear! (Goes rapidly up to door.)
NELL. (Following SYBIL.) Yes, my Dick shall know the truth, even if the telling it breaks my heart.
SYBIL. That's my own darling! Come, dear, come. (Exeunt into hotel)
(A shout from within, " Hurray! " Enter tumultuously a CROWD OF MINERS. GLEN and MYLES from Court House R. All very quick and with animation.)
MYLES. (C.) Owld Ireland and Victory for ever.
GLEN. (R.C.) You've won the battle, Myles.
MYLES. Battle? Sure it was not a battle but a rout—a regular slaughter of the enemy. Begorra, we drove 'em out of the field wid a rush, because they daren't show their faces in it. (Goes L.C.)
Enter VON SWOP from Court House R.
VON SWOP. Donner and blitzen, but dot ish so, Mynherr Myles.
(Enter BEN from Court.)
BEN. The opposition didn't appear, so judgment has gone by default, and the mine is ours, boys.
(Exennt MINERS R. and L.)
GLEN. Aye, Ben, and you've got the Golden Hole besides.
VON SWOP. (L.) Ya, and all de golden stuff in it.
GLEN. Let's crack a bottle on it for the honour of Old Ireland.
MYLES. A bottle? A dozen bottles! (All go up towards—door of hotel.)
BEN. Hold hard, Miles! Business first, pleasure next. You are still of the same mind, Glendargle?
GLEN. Of course, I am.
VON SWOP. But, Herr Ben, I am prepared to make a bid.
BEN. Too late, Mynherr.
VON SWOP. But see here, I'll give five thousand more.
BEN. Not if you were to give fifty thousand. I've given my word to Glendargle, and he has the call.
(Exit BEN. into hotel.)
VON SWOP. Potz Tansand!
GLEN. Come and have a drink, Von Swop.
(Exit GLEN. into hotel.)
VON SWOP. Donnerwetter! Donner and blitzen!
MYLES. An' don't stand swearin' there, but go in like a.dacent owld man, and wish the boys luck.
VON SWOP. Potz Tans and. Ei vos?
MYLES. Of coorse ye wur. Away ye go, now.
(Pushes VON SWOP into hotel.)
(KATH. appearing at window, cleaning glasses, etc.)
KATH. (Looking admiringly at MYLES.) So you've won the day, Myles? Ye were always proud of your country. Now your country will be proud of you. I could jump out of my skin wid joy.
MYLES. Do, darlin', do—jump into my arms, and taste peace and plenty. Oh, it's the proud boy I am this day. (Triumphantly.) Be jabers, I'll not spake a sober word for a month, unless I am drunk.
KATH. Then divil a drink ye'll get from me this blessed night out. (Disappears.)
MYLES. Oh, listen to that! The barbarous crayture, to deprive a poor boy of his mother's milk. I that was waned on it. (Exit into hotel.)
(Enter CAPT. and JERRY, They are footsore and weary.)
CAPT. Too late for the Court.
JERRY. Then we're a day arter the fair. (Goes to window)
Enter WALL. L.C.E.
WALL. (Aside.) But Wallaroo am just in time. (From this moment WALL. tracks the CAPT. like a bloodhound, shadowing his every movement.)
CAPT. (Looking into hotel.) That Yorkshire lout and Nellie are coming out. What are they up to?
CAPT. Shut up!
JERRY. Shut up it is. (WALL. disappears.)
(CAPT. claps hand on JERRY's mouth, and drags him behind tree L.C.E.)
(Enter NELL. from hotel, followed by DICK.)
DICK. (R.C.) Nellie! May I call thee, Nellie? I wuz just thinkin'—
NELL. (L.C.) Of what?
DICK. Well, tha' see'st ah've got five thaasand a'ready. T' Golden Hole's likely to be sold for thaasands more, and as ah'm abaght stinkin' o' brass ah've made up my mind to get back to Yorkshire.
NELL. It's a lovely place, is it not?
Music-" North Countree."
DICK. It's just abaght t' bonniest on t' face o' t' earth. Hey! tha' should'st see aar green valleys, aar becks and brigs, and aar grand owd minster in aar grand owd city. There's nowt like it i' a' t' world.
DICK. Aye, for soor. Then thear's Rosedale, t' prettiest village i' t' sweetest valley i' all t' county. There's a sweate little cottage a' over Virginny creepers, honeysuckles, woodbine, and sweet-smellin' clematis, an' a wee bit rose garden wi' a wee bit stream at bottom that runs daawn till it reaches aar river that raaces away into t' grand owd Humber, reet down to the sea. And eh, lass, bonnier nor all, there's a grand owd woman wi' white hair and big blue eyes just like thine, who sits at her spinnin' wheel from mornin' till neet, countin' t' hours till her great lout of a lad—her only one—comes whoam. Ah'm t' lad; and ah'm goin' whoam; an' if thou'lt on'y goa wi' me, lass, ah think ah sud be t' 'appiest chap i' t' wide world. Thear; it's aht na, lass! (Rises, dropping down R.)
pp. Music ends.
(NELL. sits trembling, turns away silently, weeping.)
DICK. Greetin? Why ma pretty! What have ah said or dun to mek thee greet?
NELL. Nothing, I am only cryin' because—
NELL. Because I am not worthy of you.
DICK. Naa; ah'll none believe that.
NELL. 'Tis truth—gospel truth. (Pause.) Turn away your face. Don't look at me, or I shall die of shame. Don't look at me, I say.
DICK. Ah'm not lookin', lass!
NELL. (In a low, trembling tone.) While yet almost a child—an innocent, ignorant child—I fell a victim to the arts of a villain. Deceived, betrayed, I—who have never been a wife—became a mother.
DICK. A muther?
NELL. Yes, the mother of yonder child! (Falls upon her knees. He starts.) To spare me exposure and disgrace, my sister, my noble- hearted sister, took upon herself the burden of my shame. But she is innocent, innocent as the hapless child of whom I am the unfortunate but guiltless mother. Yes, guiltless, for as God is my judge, I erred in ignorance but not in guilt. But there, there! protestations are idle—words, mere wasted breath; and tears (even were I to shed an ocean!) can never blot out the past, which flows 'twixt you and me, like a lake of fire in which all my hopes lie consumed by unavailing regrets for that which might have been once, but never can be now—no never—never!
(Falls into a great passion of grief, sobbing as if her heart were fit to break. HE remains perturbed but silent.) (Dashing aside her tears in desperation and springing to her feet, speaks quickly and decidedly.) I knew it must come to this sooner or later, but I hoped it wouldn't come quite so soon. Your kindness, however, wrings the truth from me. (crosses in front of DICK to R., then up the stage.)
And, now that all is over between us, forget—forgive. (Turning away.)
DICK. Ah've nowt to forgive, lass.
NELL. But you have something to forget—yes—forget that we have ever met—and now—good-bye! (Moves towards door of hotel.)
DICK. Naa, naa. Doan't leave me, Nellie.
NELL. I must—I must. Your honest name shall never be sullied by my shame.
DICK. Nay, lass, there's no shame where there's no sin. Only gi'e me t' rate to protect thee, and ah'd like to see t' man or t' woman who'd look askance at Dick Garth's wife. Cum, lass, cum, and my muther s'al be thy muther—thy child, my child.
NELL. God bless you, Dick. (THEY embrace.)
DicK. He has blessed me already in thee—in thee, my hope, my pride. (Leads HER tenderly up R.) Doan't greet, lass, doan't greet.
NELL. They are tears of joy.
DICK. Let me kiss 'em away, my own bonnie dearie. Cum, lass, cum. [DICK and NELL. exeunt R.C.E.
pp. Music now ends.
(CAPT. comes forward with a cynical grin on HIS face, followed by the LARR. and WALLAROO from L.C.E,)
CAPT. Quite idyllic, isn't it? Ha, ha, ha! (Laughs sardonically.)
JERRY. Idyllic—hydraulic, you mean; too hydraulic for me. (Boohooing.) I'm too tender 'arted.
CAPT. You are too tender to live. (Laughs.)
JERRY. Well, you swells are rum uns; I shouldn't chuckle that way if I saw another bloke a-huggin my Sal!.
CAPT. Shouldn't you?
JERRY. No, I shouldn't. Remember what Handel says in his him mortal hanthem—" Never hintroduce your donah to a pal." But, there—there—they all do it, in fact, I done it myself.
CAPT. (Seeing BEN and GLEN. returning.) Oh, shut up!
JERRY. Shut up it is! (THEY retire and hide L.C.E., preceded by WALL.)
Re-enter BEN and GLEN. from inn, very qnick.
BEN. You understand the price?
GLEN. Perfectly! £150,000 cash and shares, and £50,000 working capital.
BEN. And a deposit of £2000 for six: months' option.
GLEN. Right you are. I'm off to the bank to get the needful. Back in five minutes. [Exit L,C.E,
(BEN makes note in pocket-book.)
CAPT. (Aside.) £2000! If we could only nobble that! (Exit L.C.E.)
JERRY. If we only could! (Exit L.C.E.)
WALL. Wallaroo nobble oo bofe, dam tiefs! (Exit L.C.E.)
(Re-enter JACK L. 2 E.)
JACK. (L.) Ben.
BEN. (C.) Hello! there your are.
JACK. Yes, here I am. What's left of me. (Sits down L.C. fanning himself.)
BEN. That won't be much if you take to loafing about in this way.
JACK. It's the first walk I've had since we left" The Golden Hole." The fact is " She " won't let me stir out.
BEN. She? Whom?
JACK. "She" who must be obeyed—the Duchess.
BEN. Ah'm! The Duchess! (Impatiently.)
JACK. She will have her own way. It's "Mr Sailor this and Mr Sailor that! Time to get up, time to go to roost, time for soup and slops, time for tea and toast; above all, time for physic! " Oh, that beastly physic, I can taste it now; o—o—o—h! But, bless her dear heart, for all that she's an angel.
BEN. A fallen one, I fear.
JACK. She fallen! Can you look on her face and say so?
BEN. I have seen a face as fair as hers mask the heart of a devil.
JACK. A devil!
BEN. Yes; the devil who wrecked my life and sent me forth an outcast and a wanderer—ruined, disgraced, degraded.
JACK. My poor brother.
BEN. Abandoned both by God and man, on my way to banishment, I met your friend the Duchess, as you call her. To look upon her was to love her.
JACK. I can well believe that.
BEN. the voyage out passed like one long happy dream till we reached Melbourne. Then came the awaking.
JACK. The awaking!
BEN. Yes; for it was then that I realised that I had no right to cast the shadow of my shame upon the brightness of her life, so I turned, and without a word or look, fled into the wilderness. For three years—three long, dreary years—! wearied God with tears and prayers that the time might come when I should be free to meet her once more. The time came, and when it did, she whom I adored, stood before me unabashed, with the evidence of her shame in her arms—on her breast.
JACK. You mean the child?
BEN. I mean the child.
JACK. Pshaw! She is not married and never has been. (Rising.)
BEN. I know it, for she told me so herself.
BEN. Herself! Worse even than that, barely a week ago, I saw with these eyes, heard with these ears, that scoundrel Wantley claim the child for his own.
BEN. I tell you it's true. These were the words—" So this is the child—our child!"
BEN. I was about to strike the ruffian to my feet, to trample his detested features out of all semblance to humanity, when a sudden revulsion came. The love that had sanctified my life was stricken dead, and my heart was turned to stone! (Dropping dou;n R.C.)
JACK. (L.C.) Turned to butter you mean. Why, it's
melting at this moment.
BEN. (Savagely.) Don't jest with me! (Facing JACK.)
JACK. I'm not jesting; I'm soberly, seriously in earnest. Now, just you tell me one thing. When that blackguard spoke about the child, was there anyone else present?
BEN. Certainly; little Nell was there.
JACK. I thought so. Now, I'll bet my share of "The
Golden Hole" to an empty 'baccy box, that Nell is the
mother of that child.
BEN. You don't mean-
JACK. I do. While I've been lying on my back these six months half awake, half asleep, I've seen and heard strange things.
JACK. Yes! Many a time and oft at nightfall "She"—that's the Duchess—gets me into a corner and begins to cross—question me about you, and mighty artful she is about it. When I tell her what a pickle you were when a boy her bosom rises and sinks like a lake in a storm, her eyes grow bigger and bigger, her breath comes and goes in little gasps, her voice trembles into music, until the stars stand still to listen. Then, my dear eyes! it's a caution to see her turn pale as death one minute, and at the next kindle into flame at the very sound of your voice.
BEN. If this were true!
JACK. It's gospel truth. Why, man alive, with all her beauty and all her pride, she adores the very ground you walk on!
BEN. Do you think so?
JACK. Think? I know it; I'm sure of it.
BEN. It is; it must be so! God! what a brute beast I've been! But I'll kneel at her feet and never rise till she forgives me! Oh, how changed it all is. A moment ago 'twas dark as night, now 'tis bright, as the living day. A moment ago I doubted the Eternal Justice, now I know God reigns in heaven, while Love, his first-born, is lord of all on earth, and the heart which I thought dead, is beating, bounding
here, till well nigh fit to burst with joy. And I owe it all to you, Jack—to you! God bless you, old man, God bless you! (He falls on JACK'S sh01dder overcome.)
GLEN. (Withold.) Ben! (At sound of his voice the BROTHERS separate.)
Re-enter GLEN. L.C.E.
GLEN. (Infront.) Ben, here's the deposit.
BEN. Oh, the two thousand, you mean?
NOTE.-From this moment BEN is radiant with hope and happiness.
GLEN. Yes; here you are; twenty notes for a hundred each.
BEN. (R.C.) A moment, and I'll give you a receipt. (Takes out pocket-book and pencil, and writes a receipt.)
Re-enter MYLES and KATH. from hotel quickly.
KATH. Now, Misther O'Hooligan, make yourself useful.
MYLES. Born for your Use! I live but to oblige ye, Mistress O'Mara. (Sets table and forms for tea, 1vhile SYBIL hands out of window tea tray to KATH., who places it on table while business is going on.)
(Re-enter VON SWOP from hotel.)
VON SWOP. (C. to GLEN.) I thay, look here, my lord,
can't you let me have a hand in this deal?
GLEN. (L.C.) By and by. (They go up.)
BEN. Jack! a word with you.
JACK. A dozen, old man. (Exeunt L. 2 E.)
MYLES. (To KATH.) There ye are, jewel! But is the catlap ready, dar lin'?
KATH. Catlap, indeed! Sure, it's the finest Bohea that ever came out of China. Look alive and get me a chair sir or I'll have nothing to sit down on.
MYLES. Oh yes, you will, and something mighty substantial and convaynient.
KATH. Be off wid your impudence, or I'll give you a box on the lug.
(Re-enter SYBIL from hotel quickly.)
SYBIL. Tea is ready. (All go up to table and sit.)
(SYBIL. At head of table facing audience, girt by GLEN up L., VON SWOP down L., MYLES up R., KATH down R., all seated at table.)
(KATH. and SYBIL serve out tea.)
KATTY. What's become of Nelly, Duchess?
SYBIL. I—I don't know.
MYLES. But I do! Sure I saw Yorkshire Dick makin' sheep's eyes at her a while ago, as big as a duck's egg, and then they strolled out quite promiscuously and purposely, by accident. Katty, darlin', it's near pairin' time, and if you'd only be afther makin' up your mind; and if the Duchess would only follow suit, and give one o' the boys that's dyin' to make a doormat of himself for her to wipe her purty feet on, the chance of a look—in, we might all be spliced at onst [once].
(Re-enter DICK and NELL, arm in arm, radiant with happiness R.C.E.)
GLEN. Splendid idea, Myles. I'll be the best man.
VON SWOP. And I'll be de "fader of she," and give de whole family away.
DICK. (R.C.) There's many a true word spoken i' jest. Nellie and ah are goin' to get wed, good people.
OMNES. (Astonished.) No!
NELL. Yes! and I invite you all to the wedding.
GLEN. All right—we'll be there.
VON SWOP. Ya! All dere, Mees Nellie.
MYLES. Katty, your sow!, come on! Sure the same weddin' breakfast will do for the whole boilin' of us.
(HE puts his arm round her waist. SHE puts the hot teapot on his hand, and he starts away.)
KATH. Be off wid yez out o' that.
(SYBIL goes rapidly down L.C. to NELL. and DICK.)
SYBIL (To NELL, aside.) You have told him?
NELL. (Aside.) All.
SYBIL. (Tenderly embracing her.) That's my own sister. (Anxiously, putting NELL. round L.) And you, Mr Garth?
DICK. (Aside.) Ah've told her-" My mother sal be her mother, and her child my child."
SYBIL. Then her sister shall be your sister, Richard.
SYBIL. Yes. There's my hand! (Gives her hand to DICK. SHE then joins their hands. DICK puts NELL. tenderly round to R. so that HE stands between them.)
DICK. Eh, Duchess, wi' such a wife and such a sister ah'm that proud.
MYLES. (Coming down L.C.) Ye are—ye are—ye're as proud as a dog wid two tails.
DICK. (Laughing.) Ah've niver seed one, but if he's a happier dog this day than ah'm, ah sud like to know where to find him. (HE places the arms of the Two GIRLS in HIS.)
MYLES. Begorra, when I see you standin' there wid beauty on one arm and ilegance on the other, I'm mortal sure there isn't a boy in Coolgardie but will say, "How happy could I be with either."
DICK. But thear's where ah've gotten the pull, for ah'm happy wi' both.
MYLES. Well, if you aren't you ought to be, for by jabers, the three of yez make a purty fine couple.
(They go up to tea-table.)
(Re-enter JACK 2 E. L.)
JACK. I always turn up in time for tea, for your brew is tip-top, Duchess.
DICK. It is that, Jack.
JACK. And as for your jam, Kitty—it almost reconciles me to my physic. Thank you, don't mind if I do! (About to take jam pot.)
MYLES. No you don't—I'll do it myself.
VON SWOP. Meestress Katty, I have taken ze liberty of bringing my leetle contribution to ze feast. (Xcrosses behind to table L. and produces from box a huge sausage.) Dis sausage made in Shermany!
SYBIL. (Laughing.) Good gracious! What a big one!
DICK. A regular whopper!
MYLES. Arrah! How many pigs did it take to make that monsther?
JACK. Hand it over, old man, and I'll sample it. (Snatches it and runs down to bottom of table, chased by VON SWOP, who tries to regain it, but is forced into his seat by DICK and GLEN.)
JACK. Give us a knife, Nell.
NELL. Here you are. (Giving one.)
(JACK standing with back to audience, cuts slices from the sausage. N.B.-This is a trick sausage. Case at top contains the slices which JACK is supposed to cut.)
JACK. (Fills his plate with slices and goes to his place at table.) There you are! You couldn't be better served in a sausage shop.
KATH. Sausage shop! Misther Jack, I'd have ye to know the " Erin Go Bragh" is the first hotel in Coolgardie!
JACK. Oh, of course—of course—that goes without saying.
MYLES. And the sausage is going without saying too. I'll trouble you for another slice, Nellie.
JACK. Well, Myn Herr, if all the goods made in Germany were half as good as this, I wouldn't mind turning German myself.
MYLES. Begorra! I'm half German already—it's delicious.
(Chokes. KATH. and JACK pat him on the back.)
(When silence is restored BEN. re-enters L.C.E.)
BEN. How beautiful she looks! She has smiles for everybody—everybody but me! (Drops down L.)
NELL. Ah! Mr Ben, I think I must scold you for being so late. Tea for Mr Ben, Sybil. (SHE runs up and brings tea and bread and butter down to BEN.)
BEN. Thanks. (Takes tea from NELL, who resumes HER seat.)
BEN. (Aside.) She won't even look at me! But she shall. I'll know my fate—now—this very hour. (Averts his gaze.)
SYBIL. (Aside, stealing a look at BEN.) Colder and sterner than ever. I detest him!
MYLES. So it's after goin' horne ye are, Dick?
DICK. (R.) Aye, please God.
SYBIL. Home! Oh! little word that means so much.
BEN. Much? It means everything! It reminds the exile of his native land with its stately minsters, and its trophied towers; its peaceful hamlets, and its crowded cities; its flowing rivers; its fertile valleys, and its smiling plains. It recalls the lost, the distant, and the dead! Oh, blessed sound that conjures up the dear loved faces, the sweet familiar voices, and all the thousand happy memories of old! Nell, sing us the sweet old song you sang the other night.
NELL. I fear my heart's too full, but if you'll bear with me I'll try!
Song—NELL.-" Home, Sweet Home."
(ALL remain silent and touched for a moment.)
BEN. (Aside.) Right, right—"There's no place like home!"
JACK. And no home like—Holmleigh, Ben!
GLEN. Except Glendargle, and I wish—oh, d—n it all. (Staring up.) I can't stand this! I'm off.
(Exit R. 1 E.)
DICK. Eh, Nell, lass! Thou'st tekken me back to Rosedale, for suar.
SYBIL. (Taking up teapot.) And me to Lincoln. Dear old Lincoln! (Exit into inn.)
VON SWOP. And me to Shermany. (Crying.) Dear old Shermany!
(Exit R. 1 E.)
KATH. And me to my dear owld cabin at Ballymena. (Crying.)
MYLES. And me to my beautiful bog at Ballynamuck!
KATH. I can see the meddy and Biddy, my owld cow!
MYLES. And I the pigstye and Barney, my owld pig.
KATH. Ah! but I can smell the clover. (Cryying.)
MYLES. And I the pigstye. Begorra, but it's in it I am this blessed minit! (Howling.)
KATH. Arrah, come out o' that wid you and your dirty pigstye, and be after givin' a hand here.
MYLES. A hand! Sure it's a dozen I'd give you if I had 'em. But anyhow here's two at your service.
(Lights gradually lowered. SYBIL appears at window, NELL, DICK, and JACK hand things through to HER; MYLES and KATHLEEN exeunt into hotel carrying tray.)
(NELL and DICK and JACK all stand together L.C.)
BEN. (Going off L.C.E. Stops.) Confound it!
JACK. (R.C.) What's up?
BEN. (C.) This precious deposit! (Taking out pocketbook) It is too late to pay it into the bank.
JACK. (R.) The £2000 you mean?
CAPT. and JERRY (Simultaneously aside.) Ahl
BEN. It's a big sum to carry about, and if it were known
NELL. (L.) You would be in danger?
JACK (R.C.) Better let me come with you.
DICK (L. C.) Nonsense. I'll be up wi' him, and yon wastrels will think twice afore they tackle Big Ben and Yorkshire Dick.
BEN. For all that, I wish these notes were under lock and key.
NELL. Trust them to me. (crosses to C.)
BEN. To you?
NELL. Yes, there is a strong iron-bound trunk in my room.
CAPT. Ha! (CAPT. listens at back.)
NELL. And here's the key. (Shows BEN key.) I'll lock them up till morning.
BEN. Capital. Here they are. Take the pocket-book as well, it will save the trouble of counting them. (Gives pocketbook.)
SYBIL. (Within, brightly and quickly.) Come, Mr Sailor, time for Bedfordshire.
JACK. Right you are, doctor. (SYBIL disappears.) (To BEN) Now's your time. (Aside.)
BEN. (Hesitating.) But I—
JACK. Don't "but" me—but go for her. Damme, if you don't, I'll go for her myself!
(Exit JACK and BEN into hotel.)
DICK. Good neet, ma bonnie dearie. Tell me once more that you love me, Nellie.
NELL. (Throwing her arm around his neck.) I love you,
DICk, I love you. (SHE runs up to hotel door and kisses her hand to him.)
DICK. (Bursts into a joyouts refrain.) "So early in the morning / So early in the morning / Before the break of day."
(Exit NELL. , Exit DICK L, 1 E)
CAPT. (Looking eagerly after BEN.) Curse her—curse the whole lot of 'em.
JERRY. That's right; chuck it off your chest!
CAPT. (Angrily.) Oh! chuck it yourself.
JERRY. Chucked it is.
WALL. (Aside.) Wallaroo chuck oo bofe bymbye.
SYBIL. (Within.) Not another word.
CAPT. The Duchess!
JERRY. The devil! (Starts back behind tree.)
(Re-enter SYBIL from hotel, followed by BEN. SYBIL is angry and excited, she gets down L.C.)
BEN. (R.C.) You will not hear me, then?
SYBIL. I've heard too much already! From the very moment of my arrival you've insulted me!
SYBIL. For the past six months your every word—every look—has been an outrage. (crosses to R. and up R.C.)
BEN. (L.C.) An outrage!
SYBIL. (R.C.) I said an outrage—and now you-
BEN. Now, I come to ask your forgiveness.
SYBIL. (Obdurately.) Before I can forgive, I must forget.
BEN, "Forget!" Forget what? Forget that he who out of the depth of his love, the agony of his despair wronged you, loved you then—loves you now, beyond all hope of happiness in this world, or salvation in the next! Nay, more, that he would gladly lay down the burthen of of his wretched life to spare yours one single pang. Think of that—and then- "forget" me—if you can!
(Exit BEN. L. 2 E.)
SYBIL. (Solus.) "Forget!" Forget his manliness—his devotion—above all—his great love. And forgive? Ah dear! though my proud heart would never let me speak the words, I forgave you long ago. But I will take it all back! (Runs over to L. calling) Lionel! Lionel! Too late. He's gone! Is it not strange that I who can see so clearly for others am blind as a mole in my own light? When a moment ago my heart prompted my tongue to say, "I love you, dear—I love you! " the recollection of his unjust suspicions stirred my hot blood and my wayward temper into fire- and now we are further apart than ever. But it
shall be our last misunderstanding, for to-morrow—yes, to-morrow-! will bare my heart before him—and then, Lionel—my Lionel (Quotes) "Eyes clearer grown the truth will see / And every cloud shall roll away / That darkens life 'twixt you and me." (Exit into hotel)
CAPT. (Absorbed in thought, comes forward C. followed by JERRY L.C.) Nell's room! her room! and £2000. How are we to get at those twenty hundred pound notes?
JERRY. (Stares at him—puzzled L. C.) Oh! Garn, ax me another. How are we to get at twenty pence, which is one and eightpence, according to Cocker.
CAPT. £2000. How many dinners would that buy? Only calculate.
JERRY. I can't. It makes me woracious. Oh! when are we agoin' to have a skinful?
CAPT. Pooh! That's a trifle.
JERRY. Is it? A saveloy, or a sausage, or even a cold tater, would be no trifle just now.
CAPT. Are you so hard set?
JERRY. Hard set? My teeth is sharper nor a new ground saw.
CAPT. (Giving coin.) Here. This will take the edge off. (crosses to L.)
JERRY. A joey. (Aside.) What can a cove do with a joey?
(Counts tops of fingers. crosses to C.)
CAPT. (Having got over to L.) I have it. (Aside.) Jerry.
JERRY. (L.C.) Oh! bother. I am dividin' nothin' by half, and addin' up the tottle, and the amount fogs me.
CAPT. (C.) Lend me your knife.
JERRY. What for?
CAPT. To cut a plug of cavendish. (Reaching for knife)
JERRY. Well, here it is, but, mind, I bar hoysters! (CAPT. snatches it.) And look out, for it's got a pint like a needle.
CAPT. I'll take care. (Cutting a plug of cavendish.)
JERRY. Here goes for a tightener in the shape of a penny buster—a cup o' corfee and a real Billingsgate pheasant, by-bye, my noble commander. Now I shan't be long.
(Exit 1 E. R.)
CAPT. (C.) This may be useful in case of—hem—interruption. (Pockets knife.)
WALL. (L.C. up stage.) So may dis. (Clutching knife.)
CAPT. Her room—but which is her room? That's the question. If I could only get at her. (Reflects.)
(NELL. appears at window below with HARRY in her arms. SHE sits rocking him to sleep humming a song.)
CAPT. (Cautiously advancing to L. of Window.) By Jove, there she is- alone, too. (Taps window, NELL. starts up.)
Hist. (In a whisper.) Nellie, Nellie.
NELL. You here—you—you? (Alarmed, and putting CHILD in cradle.)
CAPT. (L.C.) Yes, me! Weary, footsore, starving, without a roof to cover me.
NELL. I am sorry.
CAPT. Sorrow can't help me, but you can.
NELL. I? Can you ask me after—1
0AI'T. I know all you would say; but I was drunk—mad. You will forgive me, if only for the child's sake, won't you? And you won't leave me to die of cold and hunger, you haven't the heart to do it.
NELL. How can I help you?
CAPT. Money—a little money!
NELL. I have only a few shillings.
CAPT. Well—they will suffice for food and shelter.
NELL. You don't deserve it; but I'll see what I can do. (Exit L.H.)
CAPT. (L.) I can still twist the little fool round my finger, and if I can only get from her which is her room—the room in which that strong box is—trust me to find a way to? open it!
(Re-enter NELL. at back from L., followed by SYBIL. who starts when SHE sees CAPTAIN in foreground.)
NELL. (Stepping out of door of hotel. Aside.) My heart misgives me! But with all his faults the wretch is still the father of my child, and I cannot leave him to perish in the streets. (Drops down R. Aloud.) Here is the money!
CAPT. Damn the money! It's not the money I want but you!
NELL. (Shrinking away in horror.) No, no! Don't (advancinq C.) touch me—don't come near me!
CAPT. I must-I will!
SYBIL. (Comes down C. between them.) You will not! (HE recoils L.) Go to your own room—go, I tell you, and leave this reptile to me.
NELL. (R.C.) Sybil!
SYBIL. No words! Do as I bid you—go!
(Exit NELL. door R.)
SYBIL. (R.C.) Now, what do you want here?
CAPT. (L.C.) My wife!
SYBIL. She is not your wife, and what is more, thank God, she never will be now.
CAPT. At any rate, I am the father of her child.
SYBIL. (R.C.) The child whom you abandoned, while you left his mother to the tender mercies of the streets. Go, whilst you are safe! within hail there are men—men who will know how to deal with a scoundrel like you.
CAPT. Have you done?
SYBIL. Unless you wish me to summon the police to discuss the robbery at "The Golden Hole."
CAPT. Will that redound to the credit of the family? Isn't it wiser to wash our dirty linen at home? Look here, I want to get out of this infernal place, but I'm stoney broke.
SYBIL. How much do you require?
CAPT. Thirty pounds.
SYBIL. If I give it, will you go?
CAPT. Upon my honour.
SYBIL. Your honour?
CAPT. Well, the security's shaky, but it's the best I've got.
SYBIL. (Contemptuously.) Bad is the best—but needs must—
CAPT. When the devil drives. (With a sneer.)
SYBIL. Just so; one moment. (Goes up to hotel door, is seen to cross behind window from R. to L.)
CAPT. (Solus.) Well—I've landed that thirty quid, anyhow—l feel as if I had it already.
Re-enter SYBIL crossing rapidly from L. to R. behind window,
and entering froom hotel door.
(SYBIL takes out purse, and handing three Bank of England notes to CAPT)
SYBIL. 'Tis nearly all I have in the world, but take it—take it and begone.
CAPT. I'm off. A fond, a last farewell to Nellie; and a blessing, a broken-hearted father's blessing, to the boy. Farewell, be happy as you are virtuous—ta, ta—so long—ta, ta!
(Bows, laughs, and exits L. 2 E., followed by WALL.)
SYBIL. (C.) I have saved my darling. She will never look upon his odious face, or hear his hateful voice again. Sheltered by the strong arms and the faithful heart of the man who loves her, and whom she loves, her happiness is secure. (Approaches door.) And I—yes, I shall be happy too, for he will know the truth at last.
(Re-enter JERRY R. 2 L.)
JERRY. The grub shops are all shut, Oh, my poor tummy! What shall we do till morning? If I could only git a plug o' baccy now. What's becum o' the Cap'n I wonder? (Exit into inn)
(Roar of DRUNKEN VOICES outside-)
" We won't go home till morning."
JERRY. (Through the singing.) P'raps I might git a crust or a dram there! Here goes for a try!
(Thunder and lightning.) (Exit L. 2 E.)
KATH. (Within.) Away wid you, out o' this. Sure, it's time for all daycent people to be in bed. (Re-enter KATH. and MYLEs from house.) Be off wid you.
MYLES. Have you the heart to send me adrift on a night like this?
KATH. You are nayther sugar nor salt, and ye won't melt.
MYLES. But the storm's coming.
KATH. Faix. I'm glad to hear it, for wather's half a crown a gallon to-night.
MYLES. Never mind, jewel, it'll be sixpence in the mormng.
KATH. So much the betther. Now, be off wid yez.
MYLES. Divil a bit—(takes HER waist)—widout a taste of comfort.
KATH. Aisy now. Fair and softly go far in a day. (Bundles him out.)
MYLES. But, sure, soft and sweet's betther for night wear. (Holding her hands L.C.) Och, Katty, darlin', just one shmell?
KATH. (R.C.) Must I box ye? Sure, I'm too tired for nonsense, and I am that wake. (Throws him off violently to L.)
MYLES. Yes, wake as an elephant or a stame engine. Well, there is one comfort, when I am landlord here—
K ATH. Ye'll have to pay the taxes.
MYLES. But there's one tax you'll have to pay first—poll tax. One smack, darlin', I must and will have. (About to kiss her.)
KATH. Take it then. There! (Smacks his face, slams door, bolts it, and is heard laughing inside.)
MYLES. Begorra! but I've got it and no mistake.
(A roar of drunken voices without R., " We won't go home till morning." Then a row as if quarrelling.)
MYLES. Murdher alive; but is it a fight that's goin' on, and I not in it? and my joints getting stiff for the want of a baitin'. Hurroo! boys, who'll rub me down wid a stick? I'm coming for the cure. (Yells, and exits R. 2 E.)
(KATH. closes window, draws curtains.)
(A pause. Silence.)
Re-enter CAPT. L.C.E. with bottle of whisky. Drinks.
CAPT. This is the stuff to give a fellow resolution. The street is empty—all is quiet. I mean to have that two thousand pounds. (Producing JERRY's knife—goes to door of hotel, and after feeling about tries the lock with knife.) If these cursed clouds would only lift. (HE feels his way round the house.)
(Seque to Nellie's Music. A light in room above.)
(Looking up.) At last!
(CAPT. forces door and exits.)
(The moon now shines bright and clear, filling the whole stage with silvery splendour.)
(Pause, during which CAPT. Counts five, then a piercing scream is heard within the hotel.)
(To stage manager and leader of orchestra:Be careful to make this number pp. And if. to suit the action and not drown the voices.)
NELL. (Within house.) Help! help! thieves!
CAPT. Let go your hold!
NELL. Never, never! Help, help! Sybil, Dick, Jack!
(CAPT. and NELL. enter from door struggling for the pocket-book.)
CAPT. Take your hands from my throat, hell cat! (Swings her round to L.)
NELL. Never with life! Help, help!
CAPT. You will have it? There, then! Curse you, there!
(Stabs her. With a piercing scream she staggers back mortally wounded, and falls against table L.C.)
NELL. Murderer, you've killed me!
CAPT. (In a momentary paroxysm of remorse.) God forbid, I didn't mean it, Nell. No, no, I didn't mean it! (Approaching her.)
NELL. Don't touch me, don't come near me, midnight robber, thief, assassin! Help there, help!
(She staggers up to window, snatches jug from table L. C. and smashes panes of glass. CAPT. gets round L. and hides behind tree, L.C.) Help, help, murder!
(Staggering forward rapidly, she falls down stage, L. C.)
(SAILOR JACK, only partly dressed, dashes window open, leaps on to table, from thence to stage, and then rushes over to NELL.)
JACK (C.) A woman, who is it, who is it? (Lifts her to the light.) My God, it's Nell, little Nell! What's up, lass, what's up? Speak!
NELL. (L.C.) Murder!
(Voices outside, "Murder "—the noise of hurrying feet.)
(Re-enter SYBIL, rushing on from hotel, partly dressed, KATH., in nightdress, appears at door with a lighted candle in her hand. She casts it aside and rushes down to NELL.)
(At sight of SYBIL, NELL. extricates herself from JACK exclaiming—)
NELL. (C.) Oh, Sybil, Sybil, I'm dying!
NELL. Yes, murdered!
(Simultaneously DICK, BEN., and MYLES re-enter L.1 E. hastily.)
SYBIL. (simultaneouly) Heaven forbid!
DICK. (C.) Naa, naa lass, for God's sake doan't 'ee say that!
NELL. I—I—oh, my child, my poor motherless child!
(SHE falls on SYBIL's shoulder for a moment.)
To BEN.-To save me she took the shame on herself. I wanted to tell you, but she wouldn't let me—she wouldn't let me. (Embracing SYBIL and weeping.)
BEN. I know-! know!
NELL. Ben—remember—she loves you.
BEN. Loves me?
NELL. She always loved you—and!—Dick, you won't quite forget me?
DICK. Never, lass, never!
NELL. Kiss me, dear. (HE does so—she springs from him into SYBIL's arms.) Sybil—sister!
(CAPTAIN comes forward and stands behind JACK R.)
BEN. Who did it? Who did it? His name—his name?
NELL. His name-I—(Gasps.)
CAPT. (Aside.) Is she going to give me away?
BEN. His name—his name, I say!
NELL. His name—oh, Jack—Jack. (Falls dead C.)
(CAPTAIN steals round behind to L.C.)
SYBIL. Speak to me, Nellie, darling—speak—one word one look—dead—dead! (With a piercing scream she throws herself on the body.)
OMNES, (Simultaneously) Dead!
(MACDONALD enters from Court.)
(Re-enter WALLAROO. L.C.E. with a rush)
CAPT. (L. audaciously advancing L.C.) Yes, and there stands her murderer.
WALL. (Aside.) Ah!
(At sound of CAPT.'s voice, every Soul on the stage starts with amazement, not only at the accusation, but at his presence.)
(SYBIL looks up with a start of horror.)
MYLES. (L.C.) A lie, you thafe o' the world, a lie.
CAPT. (Shrugging his shoulders contemptuonsly.) I saw the struggle—saw him strike the blow.
(MACDONALD beckons on POLICE R.)
JACK. (R.C.) I am innocent—innocent. I call God and man to witness it.
DICK. I believe thee, lad.
SYBIL. So do I. I'll stake my life—my soul—upon his innocence, as she would could she but speak. Alas! She'll never speak again! Oh, Nellie!—Nellie! (Falls sobbing over body.)
(MAC and POLICE surround JACK.)
BEN. Fear nothing. I'll answer for your life with my own! Nay, more, with God's help I'll prove your innocence, and the assassin's guilt!
SYBIL sobbing over NELLIE. BEN. WALL> pointing to CAPT.
MAC. NELLIE. DICK. (kneeling)
"MURDER WILL 0UT."
Front wood. A large log of fallen tree C. Reeds and rutshes in the foreground.
Enter CAPT. L. 1 E., hurriedly, looking round. HE throws himself breathless and exhausted on the log.
CAPT. (Opens pocket-book and takes out notes.) Twenty of 'em—two thousand quid—enough to make a fresh start with. Found on me here they mean death. Yet to lose 'em involves privation and misery worse than death. Death! Self preservation is the first law of Nature, and 'twas a lucky inspiration to put the job on that lout of a sailor. Yes, I'd rather he should swing for it than I. While he is laid by the heels I can bolt and reach 'Frisco.
(WALLAROO peeks on)
Once there, I can change these into coin, meanwhile where can I hide 'em I Where, where? (Rises, looks off R.H., during which action, WALLAROO. steals on from L. 1 E., then hides behind log, watching CAPT.) I have it—I'll dig a hole and—(Takes knife starts)—Ha, blood, blood, her blood! I can't endure the sight of it. No, no, there, there! (Throws knife off.)
(Exit WALL. glides off unseen after the knife R.H.)
CAPT. I didn't mean to do it, but it was her life or mine! Poor Nell—poor little Nell. (Sits. Takes flask from pocket and drinks.) So—that's better—as for these, on second thoughts I'll keep 'em and chance it. (Putting pocket-book in breast pocket.)
(Enter JERRY, L. 1 E.)
JERRY. (L.C,) Well, you are a nice 'un, you are, to mop the drop on a pal. The idea of leavin' a cove in the street on such a beastly night. And you call yourself Jonnuck? [dinkum, honest]
CAPT. I was in the street myself.
(Re-enter WALL. R. 1 E. HE hides behind log and overhears the subsequent conversation.)
JERRY. (L.C.) Oh! that alters the case. (HE sits down beside CAPT.) You didn't nobble that two thousand quid then, arter all? (Eyes HIM suspiciously.)
CAPT. How could I, when someone else had been there before me?
JERRY The ruinous effect of competition in business. (Pause, then significantly.) I say, this is a hawful fakement, this is.
CAPT. What is?
JERRY. Why, the cookin' o' that yere pore little donah's goose!
CAPT. (With a shudder.) It is awful.
JERRY. H'm, I believe yer. (Pause.) Do you think it was the sailor wot put the peas in the pot?
CAPT. Looks like it. (THEY eye each other donbtfully.)
JERRY. H'm—M'yes—but the darbies ain't allays on the right wristesses, you know. Did you raally see him put it through?
CAPT. Of course I did.
JERRY. Well, it's a big plug to chaw!
CAPT. (Rises—annoyed.) Big or little, it has to be swallowed. (Abuptly.) By the by, we may both be
wanted about that job at the Golden Hole.
JERRY. (Alarmed.) Ginger beer!
CAPT. So you'd better bunk at once. Train starts in half an hour. Take the rail to Albany, catch the boat, and in a few days you'll be safe in Sydney!
JERRY. (Rises.) lt's all very fine to say " Take the rail and—catch the boat "—but who's to do it without a blessed mag?
CAPT. H'm—I nobbled a bit last night.
JERRY. A bit—who did you do?
CAPT. Never mind, so long as it was done. Here's a fiver and a golden Jimmy. (Gives flash note and gold.)
JERRY. Oh! roast me quick and do me tender! (Delighted.) Well, you are a oner to stand by a pal in a
hole, you is. But I say—(Suspiciously)—look here, as we're both in it, why don't you bunk too?
CAPT. Because I have to wait till tonight for more oof!
JERRY. Oh, got summut else on, eh 'I (Suspicionsly.)
CAPT. (Annoyed at HIS distrust.) Yes, damn you, yes!
JERRY. 'Nuff said—I'm off. (Going L.H., stops.) By the by, hand over mv chivy.
CAPT. (R.C.) Your chivy?
JERRY. Yes, my knife—the knife I lent you last night.
CAPT. Oh, the knife—I Remember—of course.
JERRY, In course you does, so weigh out.
CAPT. (Pretends to search HIS pockets.) Where can it be? I suppose I must have dropped it.
JERRY. The doose, you have? But look here, it was a love token from my donah, and if I go back without it Sally'll play up "Dicky round the orchard."
CAPT. Better that than be coppered here.
JERRY. (Alarmed.) Right you are, my oracle. I takes your tip and slings my hook—sudden! (Moves L.) When you race with the bobbies it's no use beatin' 'em by a head, you've got to leave 'em at the start. You can stay for the finish, but I means to come in fust, flags down, so here goes. (Runs off quickly L. 1 E.)
CAPT. Gone! Ha! ha! Safe! Him! Safe from him-
WALL. (Springing up and holding aloft knife.) But not from W allaroo I
(BOTH exit R.1.E)
Sequel to NELLY's Music.
The Warden's Court.
(The WARDEN on bench C. LORD GLEN. and BEN are seated below R. and L. SAILOR JACK in the Dock L. guarded by a POLICEMAN. A POLICEMAN also guarding the witness box. MACDONALD, chief of police. An excited CROWD. Conspicuous figures to the L. MYLES cmd KATH. seated under Dock. As the Scene opens DICK in the box giving evidence.)
WARD. And in that way she died?
DICK. Aye! She never spoke again.
WARD. You knew deceased well?
DICK. Aye, for su—ur.
WARD. It is reported you were engaged to each other?
DICK. Aye. aye, we were, and suld ha' been wed if it hadna bin—if it hadna bin—poor wench—poor wench.
WARD. You know the prisoner at the bar?
DICK. Know Sailor Jack, aye! We've worked side by side ever sin he cum to Coolgardie!
MYLES. (L.) Ave coarse he did, and so did a hape of us on the same side—all round him, ye know.
WARD. Silence in Court!
KATH. (L.) But sure it is the truth my boy's spakin'!
MYLES. Of coorse it is , divil a lie in it.
KATH. Don't ye want the truth?
MAC. Oh, shut up, woman! (crosses over to KATH.)
KATH. Arrah! who are you callin' a woman, I'd like to know, Misther Mac?
WARD. Remove them both.
MAC. Come on now! (MAC. seizes MYLES they struggle behind wardens' bench down to R.H. KATHLEEN follows them in front. By one clean and dexterous movement MAC. swings MYLES into arms of POLICE. The following dialogue up to and inclusive of KATHLEEN's exit speech accompanies the above action.)
MYLES. Divil a peg I'll stir out o' this.
KATH. That's right, Myles.
MAC. Come along!
KATH. Take your hands from my boy, or I'll be afther laying my ten commandments on your ugly face.
MAC. Out you go.
MYLES. Hands off! I'll not be chucked.
(Excitement in Court. MYLES is thrust off R.1.E. by POLICE.)
KATH. Don't hurt my boy. (Shrieks.) Och, murdher, ,there goes his coat. (Follows THEM off R. 1 E. expostulating.)
WARD. Really, these interruptions are scandalous. Let us get on with the case. H'm! I believe prisoner was also attached to deceased. was he not?
DICK. Well, if he wur, ah never heerd on it.
WARD. Then I presume there had been no quarrel between them on your account?
DICK. None as ah know of.
WARD. Were you present when deceased took charge of the bank notes for £2000 that are missing?
DICK. I wur.
WARD. Was the prisoner there?
DicK. Aye, for sure.
WARD. Are the numbers of the notes known? (To GLEN.)
GLEN (R. of table.) Oh yes. And I have just been to the bank to stop them.
WARD. In that case the crime won't be of much service to the criminal.
GLEN. Not much. In fact, the notes may lead to his detection.
WARD. Let us hope they may. (To DICK.) When did you last see deceased prior to—to the murder?
DICK. Abawt hafe-past eleven last neet.
WARD. Was there anything peculiar in her demeanour at that time?
DICK. Well, there was summat peculiar.
WARD. Something remarkable?
DICK. Aye, vaary remarkable.
WARD. What did she say?
DICK. Not much, but she did a lot.
WARD. What did she do?
DICK. That's ma business.
WARD. What did she do?
DICK. Mun ah tell him, Ben?
BEN. (L. of table.) Yes, certainly.
DICK. Well, she put her arms round my neck and kissed me, and whispered, "Ah love you, Dick! Ah love you!" And so she did, God bless her! So she did! (Overcome with emotion, HE breaks down.)
WARD. (With sympathy.) Mr. Garth, I have no further questions to ask.
BEN. And I have none. Stand down, Dick.
(DICK leaves witness box.)
DICK. Ma poor lass, ma poor lass. (Exit DICK R. 1 E.)
W ARD. Call the next witness.
MAC. (Calling.) Myles Hooligan.
VOICE. (Without.) Myles Hooligan, come into Court!
(Re-enter MYLES and KATH. R. 1 E.)
MYLES. Ah, ha! ye want me back after kicking me out? Well, ye've got me fresh from the gutter wid the bloom upon me. Look here, now, at one of the daisies! (Shows stains of mud.)
KATH. Myles, behave yourself now.
MYLES. Divil a fear o' that, darling. Well, I bear no malice, so shake hands all round. (Eagerly shakes hands with JACK, WARD., POLICEMEN, ALL within reach.) How are yez, owld Mac? How are yez, Jack? How are yez, Ben? How are yez, Mr Warden? How are yez, everybody?
(Leaps on table.)
WARD. Get off the table, sir.
MYLES. What's wrong wid the table? (BEN remonstrates with MYLES.) Sure, it's only the chair that's wantin'! Hand one up! And I'll sit down, as we do at Clonakilty.
MAC. Come off that and come into the box!
KATH. Ah, don't, Myles, don't!
MYLES. I won't. Divil a hinge ye'll put on me. There! (MAC. pulls HIM down from table.) Bad luck to yez, lave go the scruff of me neck. (Leaps among the CROWD L. MAC. pursues HIM. HE leaps out at top, uns over to R., and leaps again among CROWD. MAC. pursues HIM and pulls HIM out R. and lands HIM in the witness box.)
MAC. (Thrusting HIM in witness box.) Get into the box, sir.
MYLES. Arrah, do ye call this thing a box? Look at it, Katty.
KATH. (Standing on chair and looking into box.) I do, and sure it's a pew widout a sate, so it is.
MAC. Take the Book and take the oath. "The evidence you shall give the Court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the ttuth, so help you—"
MYLES. Aisy wid yez, sure I know the rest. (Kisses Book with a loud smack.) But I must say ye have the quarest way—
WARD. Hold your tongue, sir! Now answer me.
KATH. Arrah, how can the poor boy answer your Honour if he howlds his tongue?
(Murmur of voices.)
WARD. You know the prisoner at the bar'?
MYLES. Know Sailor Jack? Av course I do. Many's the drink he has stood me.
WARD. That's immaterial now.
MYLES. But it was might convaynient then, wasn't it, Katty?
KATH. Thrue for ye, for many's the score he paid for you in bad times.
WARD. When did you see him last?
MYLES. This minute, when I looked at him.
W ARD. Yes, yes, but we are referring to yesterday.
MYLES. Ye may be referring to yesterday, but you are spakin' to-day, your Honour.
KATH. Av coorse ye are.
(Langhter in Court.)
WARD. Y ou knew deceased?
MYLES. Troth did I, and the brightest little blue-eyed colleen she was that ever stepped in shoe leather, while, as for her feet—
WARD. Never mind her feet, we can get on without them.
MYLEs. But she couldn't. How the divil could she, I'd like to know?
WARD. Were she and the prisoner on terms of intimacy'?
MYLES. They were as thick as thieves.
WARD. Did they ever fall out?
MYLES. Divil a bit; sure no one could fall out with Sailor Jack.
WARD. Why not?
MYLES. Bekase it takes two to make a quarrel, and that fellow there hasn't the heart to kill a fly or a flea, let alone a woman.
WARD. Were you present at the scene of the murder?
MYLES. I was, to my sorrow.
WARD. How came you there?
MYLES. Oh! aisy enough! on my feet! Ye see I'd just had a taste of a scrimmage—enough to give me an appetite—when I heerd cries of "Murder" and thinking there was another bit of a fight on I tuk my shillelagh wid me, by way av bein' social.
WARD. When you arrived in the Square, what did you see?
MYLES. A sight I'll never forget. The poor darlin' lyin' in the street in her nightgown, all over blood.
WARD. What did she say?
MYLES. Say, arrah! What does a pig say when his throat's cut?
WARD. What did she say, sir?
MYLES. Nothin' at all! And them's the very words she uttered. Weren't they, Katty, darlin'?
KATH. Iss, indeed, for I heerd them myself.
WARD. I can do nothing with you, my good man.
MYLES. And, begorra, I can do less wid you, my good man.
KATH. Ah! whist, Myles.
MYLES. Oh! I am spaichless, honey.
BEN. I have no questions to ask this witness, your Honour.
MYLES. Then you are answered in full, wid fluency. Long life to you, Ben. (MYLES stands down.)
KATH. Well, Myles, ye gave the Warden as good as he brought.
MYLES. Divil a fear, but owld Finn got thirty shillings for his one pound ten. (A roar of laughter. HE bows and SHE curtsies to W ARDEN as THEY cross over to L. THEY shake hands with JACK and sit under dock.)
MAC. Order! order!
GLEN. (To WARD.) Rum idea of order. I wonder how they would deal with these chappies at Bow Street?
WARD. With our rough-and-ready community, strict rule is impossible. But they get justice, and that is all we want in Coolgardie. Call the next witness.
MAC. John Wantley.
VOICE. (Without R.) John Wantley.
Enter CAPTAIN JACK. HE is sworn.
WARD. Now, sir, you knew deceased?
WARD. She was your wife?
CAPT. Not exactly.
WARD. Well, I suppose she ought to have been?
CAPT. If you like to put it that way.
BEN. (Indignantly interutpting.) You were the father of her child anyhow!
CAPT. She told me so. (With a sneer.)
KATH. (L. Indignantly.) Arrah, do you hear that, Myles?
MYLES. (L. Angrily.) Oh! the dirty blackguard; let me get at him.
(MYLES tries to strip of HIS coat to get at CAPT., but is restrained by KATH.)
MAC. Order! order!
WARD. (Severely.) Really, Mr Leigh, these interruptions are intolerable.
BEN. I beg your Honour's pardon.
WARD. H'm! Did you see deceased last night?
CAPT. At the door of the "Erin Go Bragh."
WARD. Did you have any conversation with her?
WARD. What took place?
CAPT. I asked her to come home.
WARD. And she?
CAPT. Well, her sister interrupted us-
WARD. And the result?
CAPT. She refused.
CAPT. I went one way, they went another.
WARD. H'm! Did you see her again before the murder 'I
WARD. Did you see her afterwards?
WARD. State precisely what occurred.
CAPT. Passing by the Bank 0f Australasia I heard cries of "Help- murder."
CAPT. As I came up I saw deceased struggling with the prisoner.
WARD. You are sure it was the prisoner?
CAPT. Quite sure.
MYLES. (Aside.) Oh, the monumental Ananias! (L.)
KATH. (Aside.) Aisy, Myles, aisy. (L.)
WARD. Well, what followed?
CAPT. A knife flashed in the air, and with a cry, she fell to the earth. I accused prisoner of the murder and gave him in charge.
MYLES. Ye did! ye lyin' vagabone! ye did!
WARD. Mr. Leigh, have you any questions to ask the witness?
BEN. A great many, your Honour. (BEN. rises to cross examine WANTLEY.) Now, sir, attend to me. Were you not formerly in Her Majesty's service?
CAPT. I was.
BEN. An officer, I believe?
CAPT. I was, and proud of my regiment.
BEN. Was your regiment proud of you?
CAPT. (Angrily.) Sir!
BEN. Were you not called upon to send in your papers?
CAPT. That has nothing to do with this inquiry.
BEN. But it has a great deal to do with the credence to be attached to your evidence. Did you send in your papers in consequence of having been detected cheating at cards? Yes or no.
CAPT. I decline to answer.
BEN. Very good. Your Honour can draw your own inference. H'm! You know the prisoner at the bar?
BEN. When did you last see him prior to—to—the murder?
CAPT. A week ago.
CAPT. At "The Golden Hole."
BEN. Was that on the occasion when you robbed me of a thousand pounds?
CAPT. I don't know about robbery.
BEN. But I do, and if needs be I shall prove it.
WARD. Mr Leigh, Mr Leigh, you really must proceed by the rules of evidence.
BEN. Rules! Rules that shelter subterfuge and falsehood. Good God, sir, can't you see I'm battling for my brother's life, and yet you seek to fetter me by rottten "rules of evidence."
WARD. Very well, sir, go on, conduct your case in your own way.
BEN. I will, sir.
MYLES. More power to ye, Ben.
BEN. When did you last see the prisoner prior to the robbery at "The Golden Hole?"
CAPT. I forget.
BEN. Try to remember. Was it not six months ago, when you attempted to steal the great nugget, and, failing that, you and your mates tried to murder him?
CAPT. Murder! Rubbish! We fought, and he had the best of it through you.
MYLES. As he will now, plase God.
MAC. Silence! (crosses to R.)
BEN. Is it a fact that I got back the thousand pounds you robbed me of?
CAPT. It is a fact that you drugged and hocussed us, and left us to die out there in the bush.
WARD. Obviously you didn't die.
KATH. Of course not. Them that are born to be hanged may be drugged, but they'll never be drowned.
MYLES. Thrue for yez, darlin'! (Roar of laughter.)
BEN. Will you swear that your object in coming to the "Erin Go Bragh" last night was not to rob me again of that £1000?
CAPT. I will.
BEN. Take care. Did this unhappy woman not endeavour to prevent the robbery?
CAPT. How should I know?
BEN. I will tell you by and by. Meanwhile, with your Honour's permission, I'll postpone the further examination of this witness.
WARD. Certainly. Stand down, sir.
(CAPT. is about to go R.)
BEN. But don't leave the Court.
(MAC. prevents his leaving.)
MAC. Order, order!
(CAPT. sits down in front of witness box.)
WARD. Really, if this goes on, I shall order the Court to be cleared.
MYLES. Aisy, boys, aisy, unless you want to get the order of "the chuck." (Roars of laughter.)
BEN. I shall not waste your Honour's time by making any preliminary observations for the defence, but shall proceed at once, not only to prove the prisoner's innocence of any complicity in this atrocious crime, but to bring it home to the real murderer. (Sensation in Court.) Call Sybil Grey.
MAC. Sybil Grey. (He stands in front of CAPTAIN so that SYBIL does not see HIM when SHE enters.)
Enter SYBIL. Silence and sympathy the moment SHE appears. GLENDARGLE approaches and assists HER into witness box. SHE is sworn by MAC.
BEN. Miss Grey—the deceased Nelly Grey—was your sister?
SYBIL. My only one.
BEN. Look at the prisoner at the bar. (SHE does so.) Do you know him?
BEN. Did your sister know him?
SYBIL. Up to yesterday he was one of her most intimate friends.
BEN. Did anything occur in the course of the day to interrupt their friendship?
SYBIL. Not that I am aware of.
BEN. When did you last see your sister prior to the murder?
SYBIL. About half-past eleven last night.
SYBIL. Just outside the door of the " Erin Go Brag h."
BEN. Was she alone?
BEN. Who was with her?
BEN. If you were to see that man again, would you remember him
SYBIL. (Bitterly.) Remember! I shall never forget him.
BEN. Is he in Court?
SYBIL. I don't know.
BEN. Step down and look round.
(SYBIL slowly descends, assisted by GLEN. BEN. crosses to R.C. while SHE crosses to L., scans the SPECTATORS as SHE faces round her to R. SHE catches sight of CAPT.)
SYBIL. (Pointing to CAPT.) That is the man!
(CAPT. starts up.)
(A TABLEAU of general excitement.)
(After a momentary pause.)
BEN. (R.) You are sure of that?
SYBIL. (L.) Quite sure.
CAPT. Just so! We met last night. I little thought we should meet again so soon, and on so sad an occasion; but we can mingle our tears together, can't we, Duchess?
SYBIL. Wretch! don't speak—don't look at me! The sight of your face- the sound of your voice—sets my blood on fire.
CAPT. Dear me! I'd no idea you were so combustible!
SYBIL. Don't dare to mock my misery. You may baffle human justice, but you can't escape Divine vengeance. It may not be to-day or to-morrow—next week or next year but it will come as surely as I stand here; and when it does come, God grant I may be there to see.
BEN. Amen! amen! Now tell the Court what took place during your interview with this gentleman.
SYBIL. (L.C.) Must I—must I?
BEN. The life of an innocent man is at stake.
SYBIL. I—I—(A pause.)
WARD. The Court is already aware, Miss Grey, of the unfortunate relations between your sister and yonder person, and the truth cannot shame you.
(SYBIL looks appealingly at BEN.)
SYBIL. Must I?
SYBIL. He was endeavouring to induce my sister to return to him to share his infamous life. I refused to permit it. He threatened to expose us both, unless we paid him a sum of money.
BEN. Did you do so?
BEN. How much?
SYBIL. Thirty pounds.
BEN. When you had submitted to this extortion-
CAPT. (Interrupting.) Extortion!
BEN. I said extortion! What followed?
SYBIL. He left us for good, as I imagined. (Significantly.) I saw my sister to her own chamber and returned to mine.
BEN. And then?
SYBIL. I had barely got to rest when I was aroused by a piercing cry of "Murder! " It was her voice. I rushed out, and found her stabbed to the heart and dying in the street.
BEN. Was she alone?
SYBIL. No! The prisoner was supporting her.
BEN. Now, I ask you, was there anything to indicate, or even to suggest, that he had murdered her?
SYBIL. Nothing whatever.
JACK. God bless you, Duchess.
SYBIL. I know who murdered her! God knows! and in His own good time He will make it known to all the world. (Fixing HER eye on the CAPT.)
BEN. He will! He will! be sure of that.
(BEN. resumes his old place L. of table for remainder of cross examination.)
WARD. Sit down, Miss Grey.
KATH. (Supporting SYBIL.) Keep up, darlin', keep up. Sure God's good, and we're all in His hands.
SYBIL. I know it! I know it!
(Sitting L. of table under the dock. SHE fixes the CAPTAIN with HER eyes. HE tries to avert HER gaze; every time that HE does so, HE is drawn back to HER in spite of himself.)
BEN. (Commencing cross examination. To CAPT.) Captain Wantley, I should like to ask you a few more questions. (CAPT. moves as if about to re-enter the box.)
WARD. Don't trouble to return to the box, reply where you stand.
BEN. Now, sir, you have heard the last witness. Is it true that she gave you thirty pounds last night?
BEN. Then why didn't you tell us before?
CAPT. Because I didn't think it necessary.
MYLES. But you got the money all the same, you bla'guard. (A laugh.)
MAC. Order, order!
BEN. Well, sir, after you had levied this blackmail-
CAPT. (Indignantly.) Blackmail!
BEN. I said blackmail!
WARD. Really, Mr Leigh, this exceeds the licence of the advocate.
BEN. Licence! licence! God grant me patience! " Blackmail " is an English word which has a precise significance, so whether you like it or not, Mr Warden, I stick to the word which denotes the infamous occupation of a scoundrel.
WARD. Well, go on, sir, go on!
BEN. So, sir, after you had levied this "blackmail" you took your departure.
CAPT. I did. (Sullenly.)
BEN. And you say you did not see deceased again until the moment of the murder?
CAPT. I did not.
(Re-enter DICK hastily, R.1 E.)
DICK. One moment, Mr Warden, ah've summat important to say to Ben. May ah speak wi' him jest hafe a minit?
(CAPT. resumes HIS seat. BEN comes rapidly down the front to DICK WHO whispers to HIM.)
BEN. (Aflame, aside.) You don't mean it, man? You don't mean it?
DICK. (The same.) But ah do tho'.
BEN. (Aside.) Thank God! thank God! If what you say be true—
DICK. It's God's truth.
BEN. Why, then, I hold his life within my hand. Come, lad, come, quick, quick.
(Exeunt BEN and DICK rapidly R. 1 E.)
JACK. Please, your Honour, mayn't I have a look in here?
WARD. Better hold your tongue.
JACK. But I can't, while that lubber's lyin' like a lodginghouse crimp. Ye see it's like this—I'd just turned into my hammock—
WARD. Mind! Every word you say may be used against you.
JACK. The truth can't harm me, your Honour. You see I'd just dropped off to sleep when I heard a scream, then came cries of "Murder!" It was poor little Nell's voice. So I jumped into my duds, crowded all sail for the spot, and found her staggerin' about like a water-logged barque in a gale. At sight of me she lurches forrard, and founders in my arms, for the poor lass was bleedin' to death—and that's all I know about this cursed business. Ah, Duchess, if I'm getting water-logged it isn't for myself, it's for her and poor Dick, and for you, dear—for you.
(SYBIL extends HER hand, HE kisses it, clasps it in both HIS, and falls silently weeping over it.)
MYLES. (With sympathy and tenderness.) Arrah, don't take on so, man alive! Sure, it'll all come right by and by. Remember, "There's a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft to keep a look-out for poor Jack."
KATH. Luk, luk, Myles! Here's Ben and Dick comin' back.
MYLES. Then—Attention! Heads up! Eyes right! As you was before you wur down in the mouth.
(JACK stands erect and confident.)
(From this moment all is excitement to the end of Act.)
(Re-enter BEN and DICK R. 1 E., in a fever heat.)
BEN. (C. Triumphant, aside.) I have him, man alive, I have him.
DICK. (Aside R.C.) Ah wish ah had, ah'd shake the life out of his cowardly carcase.
BEN. (Aside.) And cheat the hangman? No! leave him to me—to me. Be sure you have them ready when I call.
DICK. (Aside.) No fear. (Exit R. 1 E.)
BEN. (Returns to table L.C.) Now, sir, may I trouble you to stand up again? (CAPT. stands up.) You have sworn that when you arrived at the scene of the murder, you saw deceased struggling with the prisoner?
CAPT. I have.
BEN. You have also sworn that you saw a knife flashing in the air?
CAPT. And so I did.
BEN. Would you know that knife again if you saw it?
BEN. Was it anything like—(showing knife)—this? (Great excitement in Court.)
CAPT. (Staggered.) No—o!
BEN. That you swear?
CAPT. That I swear.
BEN. Very good. (CAPTAIN sits.) Call Wallaroo, the black!
MAC. Wallaroo! Wallaroo!
(WALL. springs on R. 1 E. and bounds into witness box.)
WALL. Here, Massa Ben.
BEN. (To WALL.) Now, attend, Wallaroo. Have you ever seen this knife before?
WALL. At de cross roads des morning, when dat dar dam tief throw him away among de rushes, and Wallaroo find him and bring him here!
CAPT. (Starts up.) The black beast lies. I never saw the cursed thing in my life before!
BEN. We shall see about that. Call Jeremiah Simpson.
MAC. Jeremiah Simpson! (Calling off stage R.)
CAPT. (Aside, derisively.) Ay, call away; he is half-way to Southern Cross by this time.
JERRY. (Outside.) 'Ere, I say. Take your knuckles out o' my neck!
CAPT. My God, he is here l
(Enter THE LARR. [JERRY] in charge of a POLICEMAN R. 1 E.)
BEN. (Quickly to MAC.) Keep those men apart. (MAC. quickly stands between THEM.) Now, sir, look at this knife. Have you ever seen it before?
JERRY. Seein' it's my own, in course I 'ave.
BEN. When did you see it last?
JERRY. Last night.
BEN. Did you lose it or sell it?
BEN. What did you do with it?
JERRY. Lent it.
BEN. To whom?
JERRY. To the Captain there. (Points to HIM.)
CAPT. (Passionately.) A lie, a lie! A cursed lie! Let me pass! Let me pass, I say! (All start up.)
(Rushing over to R. is confronted by DicK, who re-enters 1 E. R.)
DICK. Not this way.
(CAPT. now darts over L., is confronted by MYLES.)
MYLES. (L.) No, nor this.
(MYLES and BEN simultaneonsly seize CAPT. By one clean and dexterous movement they swing HIM round to R.C. In the struggle pocket-book falls to ground L. C.)
KATH. (L. Pointing to book.) Luk! luk!
SYBIL. (L.C. Snatching up book and plucking out notes.) Ha! The notes- the stolen notes! (holds them up in HER R. hand.)
BEN. (C. With HIS right hand holds CAPTAIN by throat, forcing HIM to HIS knees, with HIS left hand pointing to the stolen notes.) Assassin, behold the proof of your guilt!
WARDEN. (Rising without an instant's pause, and in a voice which dominates the crowd.) John Wantley, you are committed to take your trial for the wilful murder of Nellie Grey!
(Rapid act drop.)
END OF ACT IV.
"WALLAROO'S LAST WORD."
(An elapse of three months between ACTS IV. and V.)
(Irish Airs between Acts.)
(The new "Erin Go Bragh. ") A bright scene occupying all the stage. The pavillion gaily decked with bunting, flags, etc. Streamers across with "Welcome to the Erin Go Bragh," palms, ferns, etc. Furniture—A couple of plaster statues, a couple of mirrors. C.—An opening, steps, platform balcony, backed by view of Coolgardie. L.C.E.-Smart bar. L. 2 E. Small conservatory. R.H.—Opening leading off to dining saloon. Inscription-" Dining Saloon," "Uead Millia Failtha." Small table covered with wedding presents. A pearl necklace, a brooch of rubies, a bracelet, and a diamond ring.
Enter KATHLEEN L.D. in bridal array.
KATH. So this is my weddin' morn! Not a wink could I shleep this blessed night for thinking of it and of him—the rapscallion that robbed me of my heart. But if he stole mine, sure he gave me his on the fair May mornin' long ago.
(MYLES, in wedding dress, springs on stage from R.C.E. THEY leap into EACH OTHER'S arms.)
MYLES. (L.C.) Darlin', let me lave my heart on your lips, that I may know it's awake I am, and not dhramin', this blessed mornin', that makes the two of us one. (Embracing ardently.)
KATH. (R.C.) Aisy, Myles, aisy, ye thayfe o' the worls', or it's tearin' the weddin' dress off my back ye'll be.
MYLES. The saints forbid!
KATH. Well, what d'ye think of it?
MYLES. Faix, I can't see the dhress for lookin' at you! Sure it's you I'm marryin', and not your clo'es.
KATH. For all that, you might have the manners to tell me what you think of the gown.
MYLES. Sure its raygal. The Princess of Wales—long life to her!- couldn't be more gorgeous.
KATH. I'm glad o' that, for the Duchess made every blessed bit of it wid her own purty fingers.
MYLES. More power to her! It's the daisy she is!
KATH. Then what do you think of my weddin' presents? The girls sent thim, and the boys those, and the Warden that, and Mrs. Finnerty and the girls—bless their pretty faces!—those. (Showing things spread out on sideboard, then quickly indicating necklace, brooch, bracelet, and ring.) These pearls
were from Ben—bless his heart!—the rubies from Sailor Jack, the bangle from Yorkshire Dick, and this beautiful ring from the Duchess herself.
MYLES. (Taking wedding ring from vest pocket and unrolling three or four coverings of tissue paper, then tenderly) And this plain one from poor Myles. Let's thry if it'll fit.
KATH. I'll not put it on without the keeper. They say it's unlucky. Where's the keeper?
MYLES. Here! Sure 'tis myself is the keeper! And I'll keep yez in sickness and health, in poverty or wealth, for ever and ever till death do us part.
MYLES. (With tenderness and ardour.) That's my own colleen dhas! As for these, what are the diamonds to the jewels in your precious eyes? The pearls to thim in that purty mouth?
Or the rubies to the roses on your beautiful lips? Sure whin I thry to remember you're mine—my own—my very own begorra, I can't believe my good fortune, and I expect to wake up and find you fading away like a fairy gift, or floatin' into the air like a handful of thistledown.
KATH. Myles, clear, don't-! can't bear it. It's spoilin' me you are. Sure, it's only a stupid little woman I am and not an angel.
MYLES. It's better than an angel ye are—for you've no wings to fly away wid, so ye'll have to stay here wid me and set up a little paradise of your own, till the time comes for you to go
straight up to glory. Thin, bad luck to me, if I don't hang on to the tail of your skirt till you reach the Goolden Gates, and maybe St. Pather, who they say's a dacent old gintleman, will let me slip in unbeknownst just to keep you company.
KATH. Don't be profane, sir! Sure it's one big blush you're makin' me from head to foot.
MYLES. Blush away, darling, your blushes become your beauty, and it's beautiful as a butterfly ye are this blessed minit, so come to my arms once more, achora alanna acushla machree. (Embrace.)
Enter GLEN., BRIDESMEN, and BRIDESMAIDS from R.C.
GLEN. Ha, ha; we caught you at it!
MYLES. (L.C.) Faith, then, you couldn't catch me at a better occupation.
GLEN. (C.) Certainly not. But before the awful ceremony takes place, let me present this little souvenir to the bride. (Producing a gold watch and chain.)
KATH. A goold watch is it?
MYLES. Wid a chain as long as a rope and as thick as my arm.
GLEN. By your leave, Katty. (Puts the chain round her neck.) There you are, and that's my wedding present.
(Enter VON SWOP L. C., struggling forward with a cradle, showily got up.)
VON SWOP. And dis is mine! (C.)
(A roar of laughter.)
MLES. (L.C.) G'long wid yez, ye ould villyan, sure we'll not be wantin' that those twelve months.
(MYLES drives VON SWOP off the stage It. He comes in contact with JERRY who enters door R. Both JERRY and VON SWOP are spilled by the impact. VON SWOP gets off with the cradle. JERRY pulls himself together. He is a grotesque object, supposed to be a waiter, and dressed in a suit twice too big for him.)
MYLES. Mother o' Moses! what in the name o' fate brings this scarecrow here?
JERRY. (L. With dignity.) Ax the missus.
KATTY. (C.) Well, you see the crayture saved Sailor Jack's life, and as he was left high and dry widout a shilling or a shirt—
JERRY. 'Ere—'ard—'ere—'ard—Don't give me away afore the company. If I hadn't a shillin' I had a shirt—leastways a dickey! Hobserve! There's no deception! (Striking an attitttde.)
GLEN. (L.) So you made him a waiter, Katty?
MYLES. An Aunt Sally you mane! Begorra but it's a fortune he'd be at the races at three shies a penny
JERRY. (Advancing ll. confidentially to KATH.) Never mind him, Missus. You'll find me 'andy, and frolicsome as a fly in a sugar basin when the grub is about.
MYLES. What? in them things?
JERRY. Well, they was the only ready—made dress suit old VON SWOP had in stock. Don't you be uneasy, I'll make em fit. If they don't shrink I must expand. Only wait till dinner is on. (Grins suggestively.)
KATH. Come here, ye omadhaun, and let me thry to make ye daycent. (Swinging HIM round to L.C., and re-arranging HIS Cravat.)
JERRY. (L.C.) Easy does it, Missis, easy! They're tender as tinder, and if they guv way I might suddenly appear as the Greecian statue Neptune risin' from the sea, in the full nautical dress of the period.
KATH. Be off wid yer impudence! (Boxes his ears.)
JERRY. Oh, clean my boots! (Recoiling L.)
MYLES. Come here, ye ijiot, and remember all dhrinks are free to-day.
JERRY. (Goes through conservatory to bar.) Give your orders, gents.- the waiter's in the room.
MYLES. We'll pledge Glendargle in his native gargle, the mountain dew of Ireland. So bumpers all round.
(Re-enter VON SWOP R.)
(JERRY serves out drinks.)
VON SWOP. I'm on in this scene?
MYLES. Av coarse ye are! (To JERRY.) A bumper for Misther Von Swop. Here's your health, Glendargle!
OMNES. Ay! ay!
(MEN bring round wine to girls.)
KATH. But where's my single young man lodger? Where's Sailor Jack?
BRIDESMAIDS. (With great alacrity.) Yes—yes—where's Jack?
JACK. (Entering R.C. and speaking from plaiform.) Here he is, girls, as large as life and twice as natural! (All laugh as they turn round to look at him. He comes down C.) My dear eyes, Kitty, but you are a at Lloyd's—a regular clipper—and I'd like to clip you!
MYLES. (Coming down C. to L.) Divil doubt yez, ye bla'guard! But where have ye been, at all, at all? Faix, ye were nearly in time to be too late.
JACK. Well, you see I was waitin' for my Sunday-go-to-Meetin' togs, and they haven't turned up yet.
MYLES. Never mind the togs so long as you are here.
JACK. Myles, you thief o' the world—you cut me out with the only woman I ever adored.
KATH. G'long with your nonsense.
JACK. Non sense! It's gospel! and I'm that wild at being chucked, I've half a mind, out of sheer spite, to marry someone else—that is if I could get anyone to have me.
KATH. No fear o' that. Here's half a dozen ready to jump at yez—if you'd only give 'em the ghost of a
JACK. Then here goes. Who'll have a single young man with a soft heart and a hard head, sound wind and limb and watch works? By Jove, if I might only set up a Mormon establishment I'd go for the whole blessed lot.
JACK. Yes! But, as you see, unfortunately I can only marry one-at-a-time—why then—
GIRLS. Yes, then—(Eaqerly.)
JACK. I must go and see if that darned tailor has turned up. If he hasn't I'll tan his hide for him.
(Exit door R.)
MYLES. (Going over R. and calling out after JACK.) But I say, Jack, where's Ben?
JACK. (Without.) At the Golden Hole.
KATH. (With a scream.) At the Goolden Hole! But he was to give me away! (Going down C.)
VON SWOP. (Advancing L.) Nefare mind! I'll gib you away, Mistress Katty! though, donner und blitzen, I'd rather keep you for myself.
MYLES. (R.C.) Divil doubt yez, ye owld sinner. (Wedding BELLS.) D'ye hear thim bells? D'ye know what they're sa yin', Katty?
KATH. (R.C.) Sorr!l a bit.
MYLES. Divil a bit of sorrow, but a bucketful of joy. They's sayin' "Good-bye, Katty Darlin', ye're goin' out an O'Mara, and ye'll come in an O'Hooligan." Take your places! Fall in, boys and girls, and divil takes the hindmost.
Music-" Paddy's Wedding."
(Exeunt OMNES R.C.E 1. VON SWOP and KATH. 2. GLENDARGLE and BRIDESMAID. Last of all, MYLES and Two BRIDESMAIDS.)
(Enter YORKSHIRE DICK L.C. HE is in deep monrning.)
DICK. (Spoken on platform C.) Theer they go, and joy go wi' 'em! If ever a couple deserved happiness, it's Myles and Kitty! Happiness and me have parted company ever sin' ever sin'. It doan't bear thinkin' abaat and yet ah can think o' nowt else. Ah think of it by day and dream of it by nect! Ma poor lass! ma poor lass! (Coming down HE sees JERRY.) Hello! what's tha up to theer?
JERRY. (With dignity.) Ahem! The Misses left me in charge!
DICK. Left thee in charge? What for?
JERRY. Cos I saved Sailor Jack from the gallows and put the Captain's neck in the halter.
DICK. To keep thine own out. Ah! thoust nobbut a wastrel! (Comes down R.C.) ,TmmY. In course! In course I yam! What else can you expect when a chap's born in the gutter and never has a chance to git out? (Comes down L.C.) But look y'ere, Mr Yorkshire. I've starved, lied, cadged, thieved for a livin', but I wish I may die if I ever lifted a hand crool 'gin a woman in all my life! I know I'm a bad lot, but I ain't quite so bad as that. (DicK gives ms hand to JERRY.) When I twigged them there bank notes in Court and noo 'ow he got 'em, and when I see the white face and the great starin' eyes of the sweet little donah that he murdered, then I says to myself, says I Jerry, gawn! Chuck it off your chest, and give him his gruel! " And I did. I guv it 'im 'ot with a spoon as big as a ladle. And now the rope's ready, and Jack Ketch a-waitin' to give the darned thief his last chuck.
DICK. (R.C.) Aye, aye. But wur they to hang him as high as Haman—wur he to go straight down to hell—'twould never bring ma poor wench back- no, never, never! (Breaks down as he turns up stage R.)
JERRY. Don't take on so, laddie, don't take on! Cheer up and have a nip.
DICK. (Impatiently.) Naa, naa! (Goes to door R.)
JERRY. Just a toothful.
DICK. Naa, naa, I tell 'ee. It doan't agree wi' me so early
in the mornin'.
JERRY. Early or late, all's one to this cheyld; so, if you won't I will. (Retnrns to cowder.) (Drinks.) (Wedding bells.) Hello! there's the hawful ceremony a-takin' place. Ain't you a-goin' to have a look in durin' the performance?
DICK. What! me go to a weddin'! No, thank 'ee, a-buryin' 'ud be more i' ma way. Ma lass! ma bonnie little lass!
(Exit door R.)
JERRY. Poor Yorkshire! He's got the collywobbles and got 'em bad. I don't wonder at it. Suppose I lost my little Sally, bless her dear eyes! (Singing.) " Of all the gals that are so smart / There's none like little Sally, / She is the darling of my heart / And she lives in our alley." I'm a bit hoff colour myself and I want a pick-me-up. (Goes up to bar.) what's this? Raalold Tom! (Drinks.) It's soothin' and composin'. And this? Scotch! (Drinks.) That's the stuff for trousers. (Drinks.)
(A PISTOL shot is fired withont. He starts.)
JERRY Hello! Who's, who's a-letting off fireworks afore dark?
(Noisses of voices in pursuittit outside L.C.)
MAC. (Withoud.) Stand and deliver! (Another shot.)
MAC. Damnation, missed!
JERRY. Missed! Who's missed? What's missed? (Runt up to platform C.) Jerusalem! Blime me if it ain't the Capting broken loose and on the rampage, running amuck with a revolver. (Another pistol shot. In a paroxysm of terror.) Jumping Joseph! what shall I do? Where shall I go? Ah, I have it. (Jumps over bar and exits.)
(A moment's pause.)
(CAPT. leaps over balcony C., and stands on platform.)
CAPT. Free! Free!
WALL. (Without L.) Dar him am! Yah! Whoo!
CAPT. Ah, that cursed nigger. (Leaps down to C.) Could I only lay my hands on his throat, plant my heel on his face, and trample the black beast into dirt beneath my feet. I'll do it! I will by—(Rushes up, pauses suddenly.) Fool! Fool! He'd rouse the house, bring 'em down on me like a flight of hornets—then the rope—the gibbet! No, no, I know a better game than that. Here, here!
(Leaps over the counter and exits.)
WALL. (Without, yells.) Yah! Whoo!
(WALL bounds on over balcony C., with his spear poised, ready for action. HE looks round the stage, peers through doorway R., shakes his head, turning sees bar.)
WALL. Ah, dar! (Rushes up, leaps over coutnter. As WALL does so JERRY sneaks on from conservatory. He is more grotesque than ever, and is paralysed with terror.)
WALL. Yah! Whoo!
JERRY. No thank you. Not in these boots. (Makes grotesqne bolt through door R.)
WALL. (Coming out of conservatory.) Gone! Gone! Mizzle like de mist. Dam! darn! big dam! But Wallaroo find him and settle all accounts wid dis! wid dis! (Rushes up to platform.) Wallaroo on the warpath! Yah! whoo!
(Re-enter CAPT. from conservatory.)
CAPT. The hue and cry is up! No escape! Yes, this! (Producing revolver.) Five barrels! All loaded; the first for you, Lionel Leigh, the last for me. For they shall never take me alive. No, never! Only let me find him, my enemy. (Looks carefully through door R.) Not there. But I can wait, yes, I can wait! (Going up C., looks off R.) Ah! Who's this? (Turning round savagely with pistol, with a shudder.) Her sister! Not her! No, no! not her!
(CAPT Exit L.C.)
(Enter SYBIL, DICK and SAILOR JACK R.C. SYBIL is in deep mourning.)
JACK. (R.C.) You can't be serious, Dick?
DICK (L.C.) Ah am tho'.
JACK. You don't mean to say that you won't come to the wedding breakfast?
DICK. Sorrow's a sore guest at a feast.
SYBIL. (C.) Right, Richard, right! Our loss is too recent and our grief too great. Besides, our sadness would mar their joy.
DICK. True, lass, true! For my part, ah hate t' cursed place; and ah sail never rest till ah'm well out of it.
SYBIL. Nor I either. (crosses toR. and up stage.)
DICK. Reet, lass, reet! Twelve o'clock to-day is fixed for completion of purchase of t' mine; we've only got to cop t' brass, sign t' papers, and we'll be off wi' t' bairn to-morrow. (Going L.)
JACK. (C.) Going to take the kiddy-widdy with you?
DICK. Aye, lad, for sure! Barely an hour afore ah lost my poor wench ah promised her that "My mother should be her mother, and her child my child," and ah'll keep my word.
(DICK Exit L. door.)
JACK. (Aside.) Poor Dick! (Going into R. corner, turns and sees SYBIL. Rather bitterly.) And so your going to leave us, too, Duchess—going home? (R.C.)
Music-" The Old House at Home." pp.
SYBIL. (L.C.) I am there already. I see it. The garden with its wealth of fruit and flowers, the antique dial stone, the plashing fountain sparkling in the sun, while the weeny red fish dart to and fro in the basin below. Before us stands the old gabled grange, with the tall poplars peeping over the roof; high above our heads, from his eyrie on the steep hill beside the castle keep, rises the old minster like
some grim Gothic giant mounting guard over the heart of England—from the Trent to the Humber, from the centre to the sea.
pp. Musicc ends.
JACK. (Sarcastically.) A mighty pretty picture! How do you mean to get there?
SYBIL. By rail to Albany, and thence by ship to England.
JACK. But that will cost money.
SYBIL, (L.C.) I know. (Smiling.)
JACK. (R.C.) A month ago you told me you had neither money nor friends.
SYBIL. True; but now I have both.
SYBIL. Yes! Since I spoke to you, a sum of £5000 has been placed to my account at the bank, by a friend of my mother's.
JACK. Oh! indeed. May I ask this friend's name?
SYBIL. You may, but I can't tell you.
JACK. (R.C.) Can't tell me! Why not?
SYBIL. (L.C., smiling.) Because I don't know it myself.
JACK. Don't know it!
SYBIL. No. The people at the bank won't tell me.
JACK. Doesn't that strike you as being rather strange?
SYBIL. Well, yes, it does. I can only surmise that it comes from Sir Philip Lascelles, my mother's brother. (Going down L.H.)
JACK. (Significantly, and getting excited.) Suppose, instead of your mother's brother, it came from somebody else's brother?
SYBIL. (L.) Somebody else's brother—somebody else's? What do you mean? (Eagerly and getting excited.)
JACK. (Significantly.) I mean—that if you knew where that money carne from—perhaps—I only say perhaps—for woman are kittle-cattle—you mightn't be in such a deuce of a hurry to get away after all.
(The remainder of this SCENE very quick.)
SYBIL. Mightn't I?
JACK. Or anyhow, perhaps you wouldn't go alone!
SYBIL. And why not, pray?
JACK. Because I don't think you'd have the heart to leave him.
SYBIL. Him? Who?
JACK. Never mind.
SYBIL. (L.C.) But I do mind—of whom are you speaking?
JACK. (R.C.) Can't you guess?
JACK. Do you think there are two men in W estralia who'd leave themselves penniless for your sake?
SYRIL. For my sake—mine?
JACK. There, the eat's out of the bag, so go home—(crosses to R.C.E. in great excitement)—or go to Hong Kong, if you like, but don't expect his brother to say good luck go with you, for you'll leave bitter bad luck and a broken heart behind. (Goes towards R.D.)
SYBIL. Not so, not so! Where is he?
JACK. On the way here.
SYBIL. Here? here? When will he arrive?
JACK. In half an hour.
SYBIL. In half an hour?
JACK. As sure as he's alive. (At door R.C.)
SYBIL. But why? Why did he go away without a word, and why has he remained silent for three long months?
JACK. If you want to know the truth, ask him yourself.
(Exit door R.)
SYBIL,. (Solus C.) I ought to have known it—known it from the first- but he? He took a hasty woman at her word, and left me—left without a sign, a look—and I—I thought I had steeled my heart, and in my loneliness and desolation I longed for home.
Music-" Home, Sweet Home."
SYBIL. Ah, home will be no home without him. (crosses to L.) Come back then—oh, come back, my love, and let me take the sting out of my cruel words; come back, my big, brave man, come back, and take me to your heart!
(Exit L. door into conservatory)
Music.-Sequel to "Paddy's Wedding."
Enter MYLES, KATH., GLEN., VON SWOP, JACK, JERRY, and all the wedding party R.C.
(When all are in position the MusiC ceases.)
OMNES. Hurroo for Myles, hurroo!
JERRY. (R.) And a little one in for the misses.
MYLES. Here we are at home, yer sowls. Welcome everbody. Mrs Hooligan, alanna; ye went out single, ye come home double. (Is about to hug KATH.)
(JACK takes MYLES by the coat-tails, and swings him round to L.; GLEN and OTHERS prevent him from getting to KATH.)
JACK. (Laughing.) Katty, dear, I gave you away; so come and kiss your father.
MYLES. (L.) Away wid yez; out o' that; you are too young.
KATH. (C.) No; they are never too young for that, Myles.
VON SWOP. or too old, Ich tink.
MYLES. Go 'long wid yez,—ye owld gander.
VON SWOP. Gander, derdeyful!
MYLES. No, gander the goose's husband, ye owld geeser.
(A roar of laughter.)
KATH. Manners, Myles, manners, the owld gentleman's right. Sure, it's the proper thing to do. I've been married before, you know.
JERRY. (R.) Of course she has, and knows all about it.
(Roar of laughter.)
MYLES. And I'll make you know all about the size o' my fut, ye blitherin' idiot. (crosses to R., threatening JERRY, who bolts up behind GIRLS, followed by MYLES.)
JERRY. No you don't.
GLEN. Myles! (MYLES, who is up L.C., comes running down L.C.) Look out!
(JACK Kisses KATH.)
JACK. Don't mind me, Myles, My office makes me her father.
MYLES. (L.C.) Then, begorra, it will be my office to make you a grandfather. (Pulls JACK away to L.) Now, Katty, darlin'. (Going towards HER.) (Resrained by VON SWOP and OTHERS.)
GLEN. No, no, the best man first, Myles. (Trying to kiss KATH.)
VON SWOP. Ya, ya, de best man!
MYLES. Arrah, is it the parish pump I'm afther marryin'? If you are best, sure I'm betther, my lord.
GLEN. But I'm first, Myles, and first come, first served.
(Kisses KATH. MYLES pulls him round L.)
JERRY. (R.C.) Pass it round, missis, pass it round. (KATH. gives him a clout.)
JERRY. Oh, l'm in this!
MYLES. (crosses to JERRY.) Ye'd better be afther gettin' out of it, or its knockin' ye into the middle o' next week I'll be.
JERRY. Out I am like a shot. (Bolts R.)
MYLES. (L.C.) Now boys and girls, attention while I show you how to do it.
VON SWOP. (R.C.) Hein—Hein—I show you de Sherman way!
MYLES. I prefer the Irish way.
VON SWOP. Ei vos. We dos everything better in Shermany—kisses especially—and if you'd take a wrinkle from me-
MYLES. Sure, if we tuk a dozen, you could spare 'em, ye owld sinner! (BRIDESMAIDS giggle. VON SWOP fumes.) Heads up for a royal salute—now boys, attintion! Make sure of your mark—ready—present—fire.
(BRIDESMEN kiss the BRIDESMAIDS.)
JERRY. (R.C.) 'Ere—'ere—I've missed—let's make a fresh start.
MYLES. I'll give yez a fresh start, ye omadhaun!
JERRY. (Bolting.) No, thank you; I ain't takin' any just now!
JACK. Myles, leave that idiot alone and give us a song.
MYLES. Sure I only know one.
JACK. What's that?
JACK. That's the very one we want.
OMNES. Aye, aye.
MYLES. Here goes, then—but mind yez don't lave me alone in the chorus.
MYLES, Now, foot it, boys and girls, and more power to your heels and your elbows.
(At the height of the fun enter YORKSHIRE DICK R.C.)
DICK. (C.) Time's up. (Spoken from balcony.)
OMNES. Time's up. (EYERYBODY turning round.)
DICK. (R.C.) Aye, time's up to complete purchase of" The Golden Hole."
GLEN. (L.C.) I'm ready—and the money is lying at the bank.
(Enter BEN R.C. HE is in his digger dress, weary and foot-sore, and contrasts strangely and strongly with BRIDAL GUESTS. HE is followed by a group of MINERS.)
BEN. (C.) Let it lie there!
(A general movement—EVERYBODY turns round to look at BEN.)
NOTE.—From this moment the scene culminates to the end.
GLEN. (L.) But I tell you I am prepared to carry out my contract.
BEN. And I tell you I am not.
GLEN. Why not?
BEN. Because there is not an ounce of gold left in "The Golden Hole."
(Various exclamations of amazement.)
MYLES. (R.C.) The divil!
JERRY. (R.) Jerusalem!
KATH. (R.C. Aside, to MYLEs.) Whether "The Golden Hole's" full or empty there's a colleen beyant that'll jump at him if he hadn't a shilling in the world.
MYLES. Away wid ye then and bring her here, jewel.
KATH. That will I, in less than no time.
(Exit off platform L.C.)
DICK. So then, Ben, " T' Golden Hoel" has turned out a dust hoel after all?
BEN. Not exactly; but it's a mere chute that's quite cleaned out.
JACK. (L.) Then it's all UP.
BEN. Not quite.
OMNES. Not quite?
BEN. Not exactly. Listen!
BEN. I paid off my men to the last shilling and made tracks for home. All at once night came down with a rush—black night, so black that I couldn't see an inch before me. Crawling along, I stumbled over a snag, and down, down I went, till I came to anchor with a crash that shook the life out of me. I remembered nothing more till daybreak, when I awoke and found myself at the bottom of a shaft twenty or thirty feet deep, with a head fit to split and a skin full of aching bones. Beside me, almost within touch of my hand, lay a mouldering skeleton, and clasped to
his bony breast, clutched in his bony fingers, I found this. (Shows nugget.)
JACK. By Jove! it's splendid.
VON SWOP. Splendid! It's magnificent!
MYLES. The most gorgeous stuff I ever saw in my life.
DICK. Ten to one it'll run from five to five hundred ounces to t' ton.
OMNES. Five hundred—five thousand. No!
BEN. Yes! and what's more! It comes from a true fissure vein, where there are thousands and thousands of tons waiting to be got out l
OMNES. You don't say that?
BEN. But I do, though.
MYLES. Then, begorra, it's worth all "The Goolden Holes " in the world!
DICK. (R.C.) Well, all we've got to do now is to find t' brass for t' working capital.
GLEN. How much?
DICK. Say ten or twelve thaasand pound.
MYLES & JACK (Simultaneously) Sure that's a flea-bite; we'll find it ourselves.
GLEN & VON SWOP (Simultaneously) Of course we will.
DICK. Reet you are, lads; say two thaasand a-piece and t' job's done.
JERRY. (R.) Then I'm on the job; who'll lend me the oof? (pause) Don't all speak at once.
(SYBIL rushes on L.C. followed by KATHLEEN, SYBIL is breathless with excitement. SHE remains on platform C. overhearing conversation in foreground.)
BEN, Fair and softly, lads. fair and softly; it's all very well for those who have £2000, but I haven't 2000 pence l
MYLES. (L.C.) The divil!
(General astonishment at BEN's poverty.)
DICK. Then what hast done wi' thy share o' t' brass, lad?
BEN. (C. brusquely.) That's my business l
DICK. (Emphaticallly.) Butsi' thee here, Ben, ah'se Yorkshire up reet and down straight, and ah cannah understand what thou'st done wi' thy £5000.
SYBIL. (Coming forward, L.C.) But I can!
(BEN starts to L.C. OMNES open out C. and L. in amazement.)
OMNES. The Duchess l
(From this moment, a rush at fever heat to the end.)
SYBIL. He parted with it a month ago.
DICK (R.) What! gambled it away?
SYBIL. No, gave it away.
OMNES. Gave it away?
SYBIL. Yes! Gave it to an ungrateful, barbarous woman!
BEN. (L.C. Angrily to JACK.) Oh, Jack, Jack, you've betrayed me
JACK (L.) Betrayed!
BEN. Silence, I tell you, silence!
SYBIL (R.C.) The time for silence is past. Oh, how blind, how base I have been not to have known there was but one man in all the world who would make such a sacrifice for my sake. But I know all now—know my own heart, which has always loved you. Ah, dear, when I was hardest upon you, I loved you best. Take your money back.
BEN. Take it back?
SYBIL. But take me with it.
BEN. Take you?
SYRIL. Yes, take me to that faithful heart, there let me cling through life, and until death. (Advancing towards BEN.)
CAPT. (leaps on balcony C., exclaiming) In death be it then. (Fires at BEN.)
(All the following action quick as thought. General consternation. BEN. staggers back to L. Simultaneously. SYBIL starts R. with a scream. WALL. leaps up C. and stabs CAPT, who falls dead head at foot of step, feet on platform.)
WALL. Wallaroo kill—kill—kill!
SYBIL. (To BEN, without an instant's pause.) But you, dear, you?
SYBIL. (With a ravissement of joy.) Thank God! Thank God! (Leaps into BENS arms C.)
(Shouts, waving of hats and handkerchiefs.)
(The curtain rapidly descends.)
(For call:—POLICE behind WALL. who stands with folded arms, REST as before.)
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