Ward Macauley.

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for my Edith.

Ezra {turning to Edith). Kent seems to have a lead so
far. It's close, though, and we'll hope till the last vote's

Edith {softly and confidentially). Close your eyes, and
weMl hope just as hard as we can.


Lawson. Pentonville, twenty-two for Little. Burk's
Hill, nineteen for Howell.

Jed. About time we heard from Jupp's, eh?

Howell. Oh, I've got Jupp's nailed down. He won't
get a dozen votes up there. (^Consults book.~) There are
only four more townships to hear from, including Jupp's.

Lawson. Glenville, seventeen for Howell. Courtsburg,
eight for Little.

Howell. Looking better all the time, Jeremy. Forty-
three to the good, and only two more to hear from.

Molly. Was there a soul dismayed ? Not one of us.
Zip, boom, bah !

KiB. Who's going to win ? I want to yell for somebody.

Lawson. You 'tend to your returns, young man.

Page. I guess I can get out an extra — ''Howell
Wins ! "

Wright. We don't concede a thing, sir, not a thing.

Page. Sir, I desire no further conversation with men of
your type.

Wright. Type, sir? An execrable pun. I shall make
note of it in the " Gazette."

Lawson. Jupp's Corners, twenty-six for Little.

Howell; Bring on the restoratives, boys. And I was
so good to those people up there, and they said I was like
Lincoln ! How could they ? How could they ?

Ezra. That makes it pretty close, doesn't it ?

Jed. Close — not a bit. I always liked a tight fit — wear
shoes that pinch me, and all that. We're seventeen to the
good, we be, and only one place to hear from.

(^Goes into post-office^ and returns with soap in hand.)

Howell. It looks good, boys, it looks good. It was
like being drawn through a keyhole, but I guess we get

Lawson. Lemon Haven gives Howell a majority of
twenty votes.

Jed. It's all over now ! It's all over now 1 Whoopee
diddle de boom de dah ! I've rehearsed four weeks on that
yell, I have.

(^Demonstratio7i and cries of ^^ speech " by the Howell ad-
mirers. Jed makes a comic circuit of the stage, waving


his hat. Howell is immensely pleased. Edith and
Ezra serious. Molly very glimi.)

Ezra {offering his hand^. You seem to be the winner,
Mr. Howell. Let me congratulate you. Next to myself,
I'd rather have you win than any man I know.

Howell. We run a close race, Ezry, and I must say,
for an amateur, you've done mighty well.

(^Takes Ezra's hand.')

Jed {excitedly). Eat the soap. Eat the soap.

{Hands Molly soap.)

Molly. Are those figures official ?

Jed. Why, to be certainly. I say so, and I'm half a
deppity to a postmaster and not'ry public.

KiB {pointing alternately to Ezra aiid Howell). My
mother — no, father — told me to take this one.

{Indicates Howell.)

{Exit, c.)

Howell {confidentially to Lawson). Now the little
girl' 11 come around all right. 1 guess everything is ironed
out satisfactory.

Lawson. I hope so, but women are more uncertain than
sweet potatoes.

KiB {excitedly). Say, dad, come in here, quick. Zeke
wants you.

(Lawson afid Howell hastily enter the post-office. The
others, some of whom had started to disperse, crowd
around the door to learfi the cause of the excitement.
Edith and Ezra remain down R.)

Ezra. It looks as though I've lost.

Edith. It does look as though we've lost, Ezra.

{The crowd make room for Lawson and Howell, and
gather arou?td the box as Lawson mounts it.)

Lawson. It seems there was an error in tab'lation or
something up in Sterling County. Anyway, we've got a
message that says Howell carried it by forty-eight instead of
one hundred and forty-eight. {Cries of '* You don't say ? "


^' Then Kent didn't win, eh?^^ Shouts by Molly and
Ezra's adherents, and disgust shown by Howell.* s admirers.^
Zeke made 'em repeat the message, but they won't say any-
thing different. Figure it up, Kent, and see how you come

Howell. Figure what up? That licks me, and no
figuring' 11 change it.

(^The crowd is highly excited. Ezra ^«^ Edith, down R.,
are talking happily and confidentially. )

Lawson. Remember, Kent, I'm mighty ambitious for my

Howell. That's all right. I'm a cork on the ocean of
life. You can't keep me under.

(^The crowd calls loudly for Ezra.)

Edith. They want a speech, Ezra.

Ezra (mounting the box). Friends, I can only say thank
you, and that I'll do my best. That must be enough to-
night. Thank you again.

(^ITe bows, amid a storm of applause, after which the vil-
lagers begin to file out. Howell shakes his hand just as
Lawson comes up. Howell then turns to exit r.)

Lawson. Well, my boy, I didn't think you had it in
you, but I guess you've won your fight.

(Molly, l., holds up cake of soap and is forcing it upon the
protesting Jed. The villagers halt to see the fun y while
the conversation below takes place down stage. ^

Ezra. Yes, but have I won the other fight ?
Lawson. What other fight ?

Ezra. The fight for your consent to a little arrangement
Edith and I have decided upon.
Lawson. So she's decided, eh ?

{Looks over to Edith, 7vho is talking to Mrs. J., r.)

Ezra. I'm going to ask her right now.
Lawson. Well, I guess there ain't anything for me to
say except to the victor belong the spoils.


Ezra (crossing to Edith). I was after two prizes, Edith.
How about the one that only you can giv'e ? Have 1 won
that ?

Edith. You know you won that long ago, Ezra.

(As the curtain goes down, the reluctant Jed, dow7i i.. , is
seen to make an antic and an extremely mry face over his
first bite of soap. The triumphant JMolly is sta?iding
over hifn, and the villagers are laughing.)


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Online LibraryWard MacauleyThe wheatville candidates .. → online text (page 5 of 5)