Edwin Bateman Morris.

The Arctic architects; online

. (page 1 of 3)
Online LibraryEdwin Bateman MorrisThe Arctic architects; → online text (page 1 of 3)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


■.■<ic.„«i^rfrf>. .-^->.> ■' rmklH/'if^i^^-



073B/fes%^Thc Arctic Architects


Class _|^2iS2S_


^ 4r i* >•

The Arctic Architects

A Farce in Two Acts



Author of "MILLIONS IN IT." "THE FRESHMAN," etc.




Copyright 1910 by The Penn Publishing Company



(g,CI.O 2.I03G

The Arctic Architects

The Arctic Architects


,,;. I architects.

Weissenpimpfle 3

Buster Warren, Star Reporter of Neiv York " Vacuum.^*

Commander Query, an obscure explorer.

Doormat Hencoop, his shadow.

Captain Heave, Skipper of the ^^ Abraham 11.^*

Olsen Gibson,* tnate of the same.

Sailor, with comic opera habits.

Mrs. Spanker, a suffragette leader.

Eugenie, Mrs. Weissenpimpfle' s maid.

Mrs. Weissenpimpfle, formerly Helen Augusta Wind,


Time. — August.

Place. — First Act, New York Harbor.

Second Act, North Pole.
Time in Representation : — One hour and a half.

* Gibson may easily be omitted, if desired.


Olmstein. He should be tall. In Act I he wears
frock coat and light trousers, tight and short. High hat.
Gloves of some pronounced color. Bright red necktie and
large pin. Jewish or German make-up In Act II same
costume, but with fur (may be cotton) around edges of coat,
cuffs, bottom of trousers, hat, etc., and wears large fur gloves.

Weissenpimpfle. He should be shorter than Olmstein,
and very stout. Act I. Loud clothes of exaggerated fashion-
able cut. Derby hat. Act II. Clothes trimmed with fur,
like Olmstein' s, and wears fur gloves and automobile

Buster. Act I. Summer suit and straw hat, and carries
cane and note-book. Act II. White duck or white flannel
suit, white shoes, fur cap, fur gloves, and may wear fur
overcoat at entrance.

Query. Dressed in heavy overcoat (fur if possible) in
both acts, with fur cap and gloves.

Hencoop. Act I. Wears small college cap and sweater
and very large gloves. Dark trousers. Very large rubber
shoes. Act 11. Close-fitting suit covered all over with
white cotton. Large gloves.

Captain Heave. Act I. Blue uniform and cap with
gold braid. Act II. The same, with fur cap (or cotton
around cap worn in Act I) and fur (or very large) gloves.
Muffler around neck.

Gibson. Same as Captain, but no gold on uniform.

Sailor. Sailor suit, trimmed with fur (cotton) in Act II.

Mrs. Spanker. Act I. Large hat, dark glasses, dark
dress, with words "Votes for Women " sewed in white tape
on the back so as to be easily read when she turns her back
to the audience. Carries old umbrella with same words
painted on it in large letters, to be read as she raises it and
turns it slowly. Act II. Hat tied on with automobile veil,
wears automobile goggles. Light dress, covered with light
automobile duster, trimmed with fur (cotton) around bottom
of skirt.

Eugenie. Act I. Maid's costume of black, with wide
white collar, ruffled apron, and little bonnet. Act II.
Light dress, but wears furs. Carries muff, and a parasol.

Mrs. Weissenpimpfle. Act I. Handsome outdoor
dress, and carries parasol. Act II. Low-necked light dress
and light evening hat, but carries muff, and wears furs
around shoulders.



Whistles and glass crash behind scenes. Cigarette, note-
book, pencil, four newspapers for Buster. Five band-
boxes, rain-coat, umbrella, parasol for Eugenie. Three
suit-cases, two hand-satchels, fur coat for Gibson. Small
trunk and large box for Sailor. Lorgnette for Mrs.
Weissenpimpfle. Old umbrella, painted with words
"Votes for Women " (see under costumes), placards, and
badges, bearing same words, for Mrs. Spanker. Flag
with three balls painted on it for Captain. Rope for
Weissenpimpfle. Valise, containing large book and three
toy dogs, on wheels, for Hencoop.


North Pole, a column or pyramid of graceful shape,
painted white and standing on (but not fastened to) a
pedestal large enough to conceal a man. Pedestal may be
a box, or a framework covered with cloth or paper. A hole
about six or eight inches wide in top of pedestal is covered
by the Pole. On front of pedestal is sign ** Marked down.
Now $1.98." Platform a few inches high and about two
feet by one foot on ground in front of pedestal. Rocks and
ice, real or imitation, surround pedestal and platform.
American flag covers Pole, until raised by string, according
to stage directions. A white board one foot wide and five
feet high is roughly marked off like a thermometer. A strip
of black cloth or paper two inches wide represents the
"mercury," and moves up and down (pulled by strings),
according to stage directions. The mercury should always
go up with a squeak or whistle, and down with a loud noise.
A toy dog on wheels is set in entrance r. i, with string lead-
ing to Pole. When string is pulled dog moves on to stage,
stops, and then goes on to Pole, according to directions.

About two dozen small pasteboard boxes (half-pound
candy boxes will serve), gilded outside all over, should be
inside of pedestal, ready to be thrown out through hole in
top by man concealed there, or behind drop.

Horns, whistles, and bells, to be heard off. Palm-leaf
fan for Olmstein. Penny, opera-glass, and draftsman's
wooden triangle. Salvation Army cap for Query. Toy
dog for Hencoop. Camera, sheets of paper, pencil for
Buster. Large bottle, Salvation Army bonnet, tambourine
for Mrs Spanker. Bass drum and Salvation Army cap
for Captain Heave.






Act I. — Cabin of Weissenpimpfle's yacht. Up C, wide
entrance, or " companionway " ; two steps to landing and
steps from landing r. and l. Lockers (long seats) against back
R. and L. of centre entrance. Door (to stateroom l. 2).
Entrances r. i and l. i. Table c, with hanging lamp over
it if possible.




r^ \PLArFORM\ r\


Act II. — North Pole. Almost any simple landscape drop
will serve. One with ice, rocks, etc., will be most effective.
Wings show rocks and ice also. Pole, up c, a column on a
square base or pedestal. A small platform in front of
pedestal. Platform and pedestal surrounded by rocks (real
or set), which are partly covered with snow (cotton), etc.
Snow on pole and pedestal, wings, etc. Flag covers pole at
rise. Thermometer down h,


The Arctic Architects


SCENE. — Cabin ^ Weissenpimpfle's steam yachtj *^ Abra-
ham II.'* Yacht whistle blows three times before curtain
goes up. As curtain rises boatswain' s whistle heard
off. Captain Heave heard off.

Captain. Hi, there! Easy with those jars of milk.
There you go ! {Sound of breaking glass behind scene. ^
Well, what do you think this is? Think you're Anna Held,
and have to take a bath in it? Hi, there, Mr. Gibson, put
that man to loading sweet potatoes or something else that
doesn't splash when it breaks.

(^Enter Captain, r. i. Enter Buster Warren, c.)

Buster {lighting a cigarette'). Hello, Captain, you seem
to be peeved.

Captain. Humph ! Who are you ? If you want a job
as stevedore, go see Mr. Gibson.

Buster. Oh, don't worry about entertaining me. I'm
a newspaper reporter.

Captain (calling off). Say, Mr. Gibson, send somebody
back there to lock up the spoons.

Buster. Never mind about that; I'll leave them to

Captain. This ain't no excursion steamer; it's a private

Buster. Mr. Weissenpimpfle's?

Captain. He doesn't allow strangers aboard.

Buster. Where did you say he was cruising to?

Captain. He is going out Fifth Avenue as far as the
Metropolitan Museum.

Buster. You don't tell me ! Oh, are they going to ex-
hibit you up there, Old Salt?

Captain. No, they are not. {Commotion off stage,



shouts y boatswain' s whistle.') Tliere comes Mrs. Weissen-
pimpfle. You'd better beat it while the wind's with you.

Buster. Oh, no. I used to know her when she was in
the pony ballet at Hammerstein's. Ah there, peaches.

(^Enter Eugenie, c, with five bandboxes, rain-coat, um-
brella and parasol, followed by Olsen Gibson with three
suit-cases, two hand-satchels and fur coat, followed by
Sailor with small stea?ner trufik.)

Captain. Say, there, you lump of scrambled egg-plant,
how many more of them trunks is there?

Sailor (touching hat). Only seventeen, sir.

Captain. Well, you take that back and put it all for-
ward with the freight. This cabin is no storeroom.

(^Exit Sailor, r. i, zuith trunk, and Gibson, r. i.)

(^Enter Mrs. Weissenpimpfle, c.)

Mrs. W. I wonder what detains him. {Looks off r. i.
Meantime Eugenie has put down her various bundles, and
seated herself on the dress-suit cases. Buster produces a
fan from his pocket, and sitting alongside, begins to fan
her. Mrs. VV., do7V7i r.) Captain, I am thinking of in-
troducing some improvements on the yacht. We're going
to have a marble tile floor on the deck, a silver hand-rail,
mahogany masts, a solid gold wainscot in the dining-room,
and all the crew in silk hats and plush trousers. Why,
Mrs. Wonderbilt spent three millions on her yacht, and we
have only spent one. (^Sees Buster and Eugenie. Eu-
genie jumps to her feet.) Eugenie, take those five hat
boxes, and three suit-cases, to my stateroom at once. (^Exit
Eugenie, l. 2, taking as tnany hat boxes, etc., as possible,
dropping them, and falling over them at intervals. Mrs.
W. puts up lorgnette.) Who is this person? Some low-
brow individual, no doubt.

Captain. Yes, madam. He's a newspaper man.

(^^// Captain, l. i.)

Mrs. W. Oh, indeed! {To Buster.) No, I have
nothing to say. I have not made any social plans. We are
going to Narragansett for a month or so, where our friends
the Wonderbilts and Gilds are.

Buster. 1 wanted to speak to Mr. Weissenpimpfle,


Mrs. W. There is no use waiting, then. Mr. Weissen-
pimpfle does not speak for publication. 1 never allow him
to have his name in the paper.

Buster. You don't seem to realize that he is a famous

Mrs. W. My dear young man, only a successful archi-
tect. He married a rich woman. That is the principle of
success in his profession.

Buster. Was he poor before he married you ?

Mrs. VV. The day before he married me he paid fif-
teen cents for his lunch. Now I could let him pay fifteen
dollars, but I don't. (^E titer Sailor, r. i, with dance step.')
Why do you dance that way ?

Sailor (touching hat). I'm a comic opera sailor, madam.
I get two dollars more a week for dancing.

Mrs. W. I will give you two dollars to stop it.

Sailor (touching hat). Thank you, miss. Mrs. Spanker
has come aboard.

Mrs. W. Bring her right down to my cabin. (Sailor
touches hat a?id exits c.) Mr. Reporter, say that Mrs.
Weissenpimpfle when interviewed had on a black satin
de sole gown, trimmed with organdie blue old lace, and
wore diamond earrings with shoes and stockings to match.

{Exit Mrs. W., l. 2.)

Enter Sailor with Mrs. Spanker, c.)

Sailor. This way, madam. (^Motions toward l. 2.)

{Exit Sailor, c.)

Buster. Pardon me, I am J. J. Warren, official repre-
sentative of the New York "Vacuum." Are you not the
famous Mrs. Spanker of England, the world -renowned ex-
ponent of Woman's Suff'rage?

Mrs. S. I have the pleasure.

{She raises her umbrella, turns it slowly, and then furls it ;
it bears '^ Votes for Women " painted in large letters.)

Buster. Will you grant me a few words? What do
you think of America ?

Mrs. S. I think the American women have more brains
and judgment than any other women in the world.


(IVa/ks up c, showing her back, which has " Votes for

Women ^^ on it.)

Buster {writing in a book). Then you don't expect the
suffragette movement to amount to much in this country ?

Mrs. S. {coming down). I'm going to make it amount
to something. I'm a smasher, I am. I've been in jail time
and time again.

{Pins a large *' Votes for Women " placard on wall.)

Buster. Don't mention it, madam. So have I.
Mrs. S. I have fought with the police.

{Pins large badge on Buster.)

Buster. I know. And don't you feel like a fool the
next morning waking up in a cell in your dress suit ?

Mrs. S. But I've advanced the cause. I fear nothing,
because I'm always a lady. When I throw bricks at the
police, I am never afraid, for my natural refinement sweeps
everything before it. Are you taking this down ?

Buster. Yes.

Mrs. S. When I go into a public place and screech to
be heard, it is my beautiful manners that make the multi-
tude stand spellbound before my eloquence. I could stran-
gle a Prime Minister and never lose my self-repose for an
instant. {Gestures violently toward Buster.)

Buster {nervously). Thank you. I — I'm quite sure
of it.

( Whistle blows, great commotion off stage, shouting, etc.)

{Enter Captain and Sailor, Cf.)

Captain {going to locker and taking out flag, with three
balls on it). Run up the owner's flag !

{Hands flag to Sailor.)

Sailor. Yi, yi, sir.

{Takes flag and exits c, with quick dance step.)

Buster. What's all this commotion ?
Captain. Mr. Weissenpimpfle and Mr. Olmstein are
coming aboard,


Mrs. S. They must not see me.
(^Exit, L. 2.)

Buster {standing at entrance z.y and looking 7if). Great
Scott ! What are they doing with that derrick up there ?

Captain. Oh, just bringing Mr. Weissenpimpfle aboard.
He's a big man !

{Shouting heard off ; blowing boatswain^ s whistle.)

Voice {off). All right below there ?
Captain. Lower away !

( Whistle heard off. Weissenpimpfle appears c. , lowered
by rope which is fastened around him. Olmstein also
appears c.f walking. As soon as ^ms.^s feet touch the
ground he is drawn up again, wildly gesticulating and

Weis. Hey, what do you think I am ? An organ-grinder-
monkey — is it ?

{He is let down again.)

Olm. Here, Weissen. Let me unharness you.

{Takes off rope, which is pulled up.)

Captain {calling off). All right.

{Exit I.. I, Captain d!«^ Buster.)

Weis. {pulling down waistcoat and straightening cloth-
ing generally. He puffs and pants, but smiles cheerfully.)
Say, Olmy, ain't that a great scheme, that elevator? It
makes me feel like a steerageable baloon already !

{Takes several dance steps.)

Olm. Take it easy, Weissen, take it easy. You ain't so
thin as you was once.

Weis. Never mind your business about it, Olmy. I
would rather be nice and stout and comfortable already,

* If it is inconvenient to lower Weissenpimpfle, he may come down
stairs from L., and enter c. door with rope around him, Olmstein com-
ing at same time down stairs, r., and enter c. Weissenpimpfle may
be pulled back by rope, then reenter,


than wear it one of them twenty-story frock coats and a
skyscraper high hat. My gracious, Olmstein, since you
begin to get rich you look like a floorwalker.

Olm. Veil, thank goodness, I can wear it what I please.
I didn't marry any rich lady, to be ordered around like you
are. Why, if Mrs. Weissenpimpfle saw you

Weis. Shh ! (^Catches Olm.'s arm, atid looks around
fearfully.') Shh ! Olmy. She might hear you. Say,
Olmy, you recollection those philopena what we et to see
who gets the lady ?

Olm. Yes. I lost, and you took the lady and sixty per
cent, of the gate receipts.

Weis. That's right. And you got it forty per cent.
You got the most, Olmy. You got more as me.

Olm. Why, no. How is that ?

Weis. You didn't have to take the lady. Oh, well !
Ah ! {They both sigh, very loud and long.') Olmy, I'm
goin' into society.

Olm. Oh, pinch yourself, Weissen. Listen to the alarm
clock. Wake up !

Weis. It's right. Now, Mrs. Weissen, she says to me
one night, she says, '' Hector "

Olm. Hector? Oh, excuse me — Hector!

Weis. Veil, vat you laughing at ? She says Isadora
ain't a swell name no more, so she calls me ''Hector."
We're goin' to spell our last name different, too.

Olm. What you goin' to call it ?

Weis. Veil, Mrs. Weissenpimpfle likes the W all right,
but she don't like the rest of the name. Maybe we keep
the W and get somethings nice and tony to go mit it. Well,
Mrs. Weissenpimpfle, she says to me, ''Hector, we got to
break through the crust." That means we got to slip in
mit the smooth ones.

Olm. Vat ! You break into society ?

Weis. Sure ! Me and Mrs. Weissenpimpfle goes up in
an oitermobile already, and I meet Percy Belmont, and sells
him some stock, ain't it, for our new Self-laying Brick?
That's the only pleasures I got out of it.

Olm. Why don't you sell it some other people?

Weis. My wife says that ain't the way to society, and
she flagged it. Ohnstein, I got to make some moneys. I
got to be independent of this woman.

Olm. How can you do it ?


Weis. I dunno.

(^Enter Sailor, dancings with box, c.)

Olm. What is that ?

Weis. That is a quarter of a ton of candy I bought for
Mrs. Weissenpimpfle, already.

(j^jc// Sailor, c. Commotion off stage.')

{Enter Commander Query and Doormat Hencoop, r. i.
Hencoop carries valise. Query rushes excitedly to centre
of stage.)

Query. I want to see Mr. Ohnstein and Mr. Weissen-

Olm. Veil, here we are. There ain't no charge. Look
us over.

Query. I know all about you, both of you. You can't
fool me.

Olm. Sure you do. I'm the head-liner in Who's Jews
in America.

Weis. And I'm the originator of the President Taft

Query. Gentlemen, I am Mr. Query, of the navy.

Weis. Yes, I have heard of the navy.

Query. I discovered the North Pole.

Olm. Never heard of you. But it has been discovered
so often already it's hard to remember the names of the
writers who did it. A feller named Hook seemed to be
the most important.

Query. Hook, Hook ! That little outing-flannel four
flusher? Why, I could grow pineapples at the place he
calls the North Pole. He didn't get far enough north to
take off his straw hat. Don't you suppose I know ? Didn't
I invent the North Pole? Wasn't 1 the man who copy-
righted the idea of the five hundred thousand dollar expe-
dition ? I, Query, the Polar Star, the Hero of the North,
the Frosted Gingerbread, the Lemon Ice-Cream Soda?
Gentlemen, it brings tears to my eyes when I think what I
have done, trudging day by day through the ultramarine
snow with the green sun shining on a limitless expanse of
ice stretching like molten gold on every side. I, Query, the
invincible ! the peerless ! the Arctic god !


Olm. Oh, yes ; wasn't you the feller that drove nails in
the American flag, yes?

Query. I spent seventeen days with the thermometer
three hundred and twenty degrees below zero.

Hencoop. Now, Cap'n, 1 reckon you'll spile the sale ob
dat book. Gen'l'men, all the beautiful verbosity which Mr.
Query has been elocutin* fo' yo* delectation can be found
on page fo' twenty-fo' ob dat charming and instructive vol-
ume entitled "Query's Dope," or ** How I Discovered the
North Pole." Dis book {takes book from vtilise) maybe
purchased at any or all booksellers for five dollars a copy,
or fifty-five dollars a dozen. Commander Query's auto-
graph and portrait in color in every copy ; also a portrait
of Mr. Doormat Hencoop. — Dat's me. (Kindly remain
seated, and avoid cheering.) Dis portrait is also colored.
Order now, gen'l'men, as de fust edition is limited to five
hundred thousand copies.

Weis. (calling out). Captain, come throw these two
book agents off.

Query. No you don't, Mr. Weissenpimpfle. You can't
get rid of me so soon. I am fully informed of your pirat-
ical intention. You are going on an uncopyrighted cruise
to the North Pole, — my pole, that I labored three hundred
years to discover. You dare to start an expedition north,
and I'll see the boat does not leave Sandy Hook.

Olm. We'll leave the hook. They will need it for you.

Query. You acknowledge to my face that you are
going ?

Weis. No, we ain't children. We got business to at-
tend to.

Hencoop (exafnining box of candy'). Look a yere,

Query {going to box). Confectionery ! Gum drops !
I've proved it ! You are going ! You are going to the

Olm. Cut it; everybody that needs a shave ain't hunt-
ing a pole.

Weis. Search the ship if you want to. {Calls off.)
Captain ! {Enter Captain, l.) Show these gentlemens
over the ship, and let them discover signs of a polar expedi-
tion, if they can.

Query. Discover ! Ah, that's the word that was in-
vented for Query !


Captain ingoing toward l.). This way.
Query. Stand aside. I want all the glory myself. Hen-
coop, have you the dogs ?
Hencoop. Yassir.

( Takes three toy dogs oti wheels from valise. They have
strings on them. Hands o?ie string to Captain, one to
Query, and keeps one.)

Query. Captain, to you belongs the honor of being the
first Supporting Party. Follow me at a respectful distance
so as not to fall over anything I am able to discover before
I see it.

(^Exit Query, l., dragging dog. Exit a moment later ^
Captain, l., dragging dog.)

Hencoop {shouting). Forward, the second Supporting
Pahty. This yere discovery will not be legal 'less it's in
black and white.

{Exit Hencoop, l., with dog.)

Olm. Listen here, Weissen. The greatest drawbacks to
Query's story is that he took that darkey with him. You
know it no nigger could stand that much cold — what?

Weis. Olmstein, I have an idea.

Olm. Rub your ear, and it will go away. I had one

Weis. Olmstein, let's go to the North Pole.

Olm. Weissen, are you crazy? You think I got time to
stand on the top of the Singer Building and shout, "Liar,
liar, I have been to the North Pole " ? There ain't nodding
to it.

Weis. But, Olmy, there is money in it.

Olm. Oh, money ? Money ? Maybe I didn't hear it
vot you said at first.

VVeis. Now, Olmy, listen to me, and get it through your
wooden head. Query and Hook didn't ever discover the
North Pole, verstehen sie. 'Cause why? 'Cause they would
have discovered something more wonderful and enhancing
than they did. Ven Abraham and Isaac and the Angel
Gabriel and Roosevelt designed the earth, do you suppose they
made the very top just like the rest ? Never ! Not on your
tintype, Olmy, They put something fine and magnanimous


up there, and surrounded it mit ice and snow and cold, so
that nobody couldn't get it already; and, Olmy, we are
going to get it.

Olm. Vot is it ? A gold mine ?

VVeis. Now, Olmstein, I have a theory. You have a
recollections in your head of reading in the History of the
United States all about the Garden of Eden which Adam
and Eve got thrown out of for poking the schnakes mit their
umbrellas. Now, what became of the Garden of Eden?
Did you ever see it ? No. For why ? Because, Olmy, it's
at the North Pole.

Olm. You're sick, Weissen. You got Thaw trouble.
It's a brainstorm you got.

VVeis. All what I say is true.

Olm. Vy, you old pudding, it's too cold up there. You
haven't had any experience with cold — except in an apart-
ment house. But I tell you, Olmy, it is even colder than
that already.

Weis. That is where you are wrong. Sign-atists say
that at the North Pole the only kind of wind that blows is
the South Wind. Now listen. You have the South Wind
blowing from every direction at once, and vot happens?
They all meet with a crash at the top, and so much heat is
generated that it is only possible for the sun to shine half
the year, or else all the vegetation would be burned up,
ain't it?

Olm. Weissenpimpfle, you're a genius. Ain't it queer,
now, I never thought of that.

Weis. Oh, it is nutting. It is a mere truffle.

Olm. Come to think of it, I think I remember reading
about people that live there, Weissenpimpfle. They have a
queen named ''Roaring Boring Alice," ain't it?

Weis. Sure, I've heard of her.

Olm. And it is a land flowing with milk and money,
and all the day long they do nothing but play a game called
North Polo, which consists in burying a brass tube in the
ice, and telegraphing to your friends that you have did it.
If they believe you, you win.

Weis. That is an expensitive game. No?

Olm. Yes, it takes a lot of brass to play it.

Weis. Now, Olmy, that is what we will do. We will
go up there and discover the North Pole.

Olm. How are we going to do it ?


{They move up toward the Pole, examining the ground

minutely. )

(^Enter Query, r. i, dragging dog. Thermometer drops
suddenly to one hiuidred below zero, with noise. ^

Query. What are you doing?

Olm. Oh, Dutting. {Tur?is up coat collar.) It's a

1 3

Online LibraryEdwin Bateman MorrisThe Arctic architects; → online text (page 1 of 3)