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KITTY. She's a great deal sweeter now. All the men for miles around rave about her.
Carr. M. They used to rave about her twenty years ago.
KITTY. Oh, merely to take a house near a college.
Kirty. So that he may have a brisk trade in the families of the sophomores.
Capr. M. (laughing.) You ridiculous Kitty.
CAPT. M. Your aunt is very young in appearance, I presume?
Kitty. I have told you twice that she is a baby. She could not be younger than that.
САРТ. М. Younger! Ah-younger looking than-than me, of course?
KITTY. Of course. Captain M. slyly gets possession of the hand-glass and looks into it.
Capr. M. And--and
KITTY, I only wish she would hurry. Younger looking than you! My goodness! wait till you see her!
Capt. M. She goes out a good deal, eh ?
KITTY. She goes once a week to the rectory to make up flannel for the dear little Indians; two days to church; a half day to read to people who never learned the art. The other three days and a half she is occupied in keeping me from saying anything about her to quizzing elderly gentle
Capt. M. Elderly gentlemen! Do elderly gentlemen come here?
Kitty. There was one here to-day.
Capt. M. (putting down glass and rising.) Yes, Kitty, I am old,-far too old for nonsense, and far too old for you to sit there and laugh at me.
Kitty (rising and going to him). Oh, Captain, pray forgive me; you are too dear to me for me to make a jest of
Enter Miss T. in first dress, and with cap. Miss T. (going to Captain M. and smilingly giving him her hand.) I am very glad to see you, Captain May.
Capt. M. Agatha-Miss Trelawney, after all these years of absence!
Kitty. Why, aunty, you promised me you'd put on your lovely young robe. You look almost elderly in that thing.
Miss T. I am honored by this visit, Captain May; a visit of business presumably.
Capt. M. My old friend!
Miss T. You compliment me by calling me such. Time has dealt kindly with you, Captain May.
Capt. M. Captain May! I should have known you anywhere, Agatha.
Miss T. (laughing.) You flatter me. (Soberly.) But this matter of importance which you have to communicate ? You will pardon me, but I am expected at the rectory
CAPT. M. (stitfly.) Yes, to sew flannel for Indian babies. This welcome quite overpowers me; it is scarcely what one would have looked for after twenty years of separation.
Miss T. I am sorry; but then age makes one practical. And the matter of importance ?
Capt. M. Upon my word, madame!
Miss T. Let me not act as though I am in ignorance of anything you may say to me. Besides, I am anxious to get to the rectory. I know all that you would tell me. When you first entered this room with my niece, I was behind that screen, and before I had a chance to escape, heard something of what you told her. Allow me to congratulate you on the manner in which you have fulfilled your office.
Capt. M. Then you consent to this marriage ?
Miss T. (feebly.) Jack, your nephew! What has Jack, your nephew, to do with it?
Capt. M. Then you do not know the gist of the matter?
Kitty. I knew you were fibbing; you don't know it. But you've said I might accept, - Captain May has your word for it. I never told you, but it's Jack May, the Captain's brother's son, my dear Jack !
Miss T. His nephew! Jack (putting her hand to her head)!
Capt. M. Agatha, tell me—after all these years—my old affection for you—which has never failed
Kitty. Oh, that's coming, too. (Runs to piano and plays softly, “When other lips and other hearts,” etc.)
Capt. M. Speak, speak, Agatha. You thought that Kitty's suitor
Miss T. Kitty! Kitty!
Kitty. Don't appeal to me; I refuse to have anything to do with you. Only let me tell you that I know your story from beginning to end, Agatha Trelawney, Jack told me. Besides (playing), you're in a hurry to get to the rectory.
Capt. M. (excitedly.) Agatha, Agatha, tell me—tell meyou thought
Miss T. From what I overheard I thought-I feared-O Richard, that you were Kitty's suitor.
Capr. M. When I remember twenty years back, Agatha ? He holds his arms out, and Miss T. with a glad cry runs to him, placing her hands before her eyes and resting her head upon
his shoulder, Kilty singing “When other lips,” etc., as curtain falls.
HE WAS NEVER KNOWN TO SMILE.*
ROYSTEROUS PECULIAR Jones, a serious young man.
SCENE.- A parlor with entrances at right and left. Simple furni
ture. Time-Summer afternoon. Modern costumes. After rise of curtain, enter Clara, followed by Mrs. Roberts, at right.
CLARA. I tell you, mother, I cannot stand it any longer Dear Roysterous is so grave and solemn that I fear he is not happy. We have been engaged a month, and he has not smiled once.
MRS. ROBERTS. You must do nothing rash, Clara. Marriage is a serious business, and, of course, dear Mr. Jones takes a becoming view of it. I'm sure he says he's very happy.
CLARA. Then why don't he smile? No! he never, never smiles. He says it's a waste of time. I'm sure nobody ever accused him of laughing. Didn't I ask him how he pronounced do and t-o-o and d-e-w, and how he pronounced the second day of the week?
Mrs. R. That's nothing. Anybody knows it's Tuesday.
CLARA. Dear Roysterous calmly said Monday, without a smile, and it nearly killed me.
Mrs. R. (seriously.) I blush for you, Clara. Such lightminded conduct would make any man grave.
Clara. I shall go to an early grave if this thing goes on. Either Mr. Jones must smile or I shall break off the engagement.
Mrs. R. Why not consult Dr. Cocaine? He is to call on me this afternoon. (Looking at watch.) It's time he should be here. It may be the young man is the victim of some mental trouble that prevents him from smiling. Besides, you know he's an orphan.
CLARA. Yes, I've heard him say so often.
*Written expressly for this collection.
All rights reserved.
Mrs. B. Of course, if he's any trouble on his mind, you couldn't marry him.
CLARA. I shall die if I don't, and I'll die if I do.
MRS. R. Then consult Dr. Cocaine. Here he comes now.. (Crossing behind Clara.) I'll leave you to talk with him and then you can send him to me. Tell him I wish to consult him about my light catarrh. [Exit Mrs. R., at left.
Enter Dr. Cocaine, at right. DR. COCAINE (offering hand to Clara). Ah, good afternoon, Miss Roberts. CLARA. Good afternoon, Doctor Cocaine.
I'm glad you have come.
DR. C. Your mother sent for me. She's at home, I presume. Nothing serious ?
CLARA. Oh, dear, no! Only harping on her light catarrh. But before you go to her I want to consult you myself.
DR. C. Why? You're the picture of health.
Clara. I have begged him with tears in my eyes to smile, but he will not. I took him to the Eden Musée and carried him to the Chamber of Horrors. It was all in vain, He did not even laugh.
DR. C. This is very sad. What is his name?
Dr. C. (surprised.) Not Roysterous Peculiar Jones? (Clara nods her head.) I know his case. At least, I knew it when he was a baby. Listen. 'Tis a gruesome tale.
CLARA. I knew it. I felt sure he had a gruel time when he was a boy. Tell me all.
DR. C. The child's parents died and the infant was left to the care of an untrained nurse in a hospital. I was then a young man and the house surgeon, and seeing that the child was very feeble, I called science to my aid, and to save its life I put the baby in a chicken brooder.
CLARA (horrified). Put the child in a hatching machine ?