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say? - will appear presently. However, it is MR. KNOWLE who comes in.)

MR. KNOWLE. Ah, Jane!

JANE (looking up). Hallo, Uncle Henry. Did you have a good day?

MR. KNOWLE. Well, Peters and I had a very enjoyable drive.

JANE. But you found nothing at the sale? What a pity!

MR. KNOWLE (taking a catalogue from his pocket). Nothing which I
wanted myself, but there were several very interesting lots. Peters
was strongly tempted by Lot 29 - "Two hip-baths and a stuffed
crocodile." Very useful things to have by you if you think of getting
married, Jane, and setting up house for yourself. I don't know if you
have any thoughts in that direction?

JANE (a little embarrassed). Well, I suppose I shall some day.

MR. KNOWLE. Ah! . . . Where's Bobby?

JANE (carelessly). Bobby? Oh, he's about somewhere.

MR. KNOWLE. I think Bobby would like to hear about Lot 29. (Returning
to his catalogue) Or perhaps Lot 42. "Lot 42 - Twelve aspidistras,
towel-horse, and 'The Maiden's Prayer.'" All for seven and sixpence. I
ought to have had Bobby with me. He could have made a firm offer of
eight shillings. . . . By the way, I have a daughter, haven't I? How was
Sandy this morning?

JANE. I didn't see her. Aunt Mary is rather anxious about her.

MR. KNOWLE. Has she left us for ever?

JANE. There's nothing to be frightened about really.

MR. KNOWLE. I'm not frightened.

JANE. She had breakfast before any of us were up, and went out with
some sandwiches afterwards, and she hasn't come back yet.

MR. KNOWLE. A very healthy way of spending the day. (MRS. KNOWLE comes
in) Well, Mary, I hear that we have no daughter now.

MRS. KNOWLE. Ah, there you are, Henry. Thank Heaven that _you_ are
back safely.

MR. KNOWLE. My dear, I always meant to come back safely. Didn't you
expect me?

MRS. KNOWLE. I had given up hope. Jane here will tell you what a
terrible morning I have had; prostrate on the sofa, mourning for my
loved ones. My only child torn from me, my husband - dead.

MR. KNOWLE (surprised). Oh, I was dead?

MRS. KNOWLE. I pictured the car smashed to atoms, and you lying in the
road, dead, with Peters by your side.

MR. KNOWLE. Ah! How was Peters?

MRS. KNOWLE (with a shrug). I didn't look. What is a chauffeur to one
who has lost her husband and her only child in the same morning?

MR. KNOWLE. Still, I think you might have looked.

JANE. Sandy's all right, Aunt Mary. You know she often goes out alone
all day like this.

MRS. KNOWLE. Ah, _is_ she alone? Jane, did you count the gardeners as
I asked you?

MR. KNOWLE. Count the gardeners?

MRS. KNOWLE. To make sure that none of them is missing too.

JANE. It's quite all right, Aunt Mary. Sandy will be back by tea-time.

MRS. KNOWLE (resigned). It all comes of christening her Melisande. You
know, Henry, I quite thought you said Millicent.

MR. KNOWLE. Well, talking about tea, my dear - at which happy meal our
long-lost daughter will be restored to us - we have a visitor coming, a
nice young fellow who takes an interest in prints.

MRS. KNOWLE. I've heard nothing of this, Henry.

MR. KNOWLE. No, my dear, that's why I'm telling you now.

MRS. KNOWLE. A young man?


MRS. KNOWLE. Nice-looking?



MR. KNOWLE. I forgot to ask him, Mary. However, we can remedy that
omission as soon as he arrives.

MRS. KNOWLE. It's a very unfortunate day for him to have chosen.
Here's Sandy lost, and I'm not fit to be seen, and - Jane, your hair
wants tidying - -

MR. KNOWLE. He is not coming to see you or Sandy or Jane, my dear; he
is coming to see me. Fortunately, I am looking very beautiful this

MRS. KNOWLE. Jane, you had better be in the garden, dear, and see if
you can stop Sandy before she comes in, and just give her a warning. I
don't know _what_ she'll look like after roaming the fields all day,
and falling into pools - -

MR. KNOWLE. A sweet disorder in the dress kindles in clothes a

MRS. KNOWLE. I will go and tidy myself. Jane, I think your mother
would like you to - but, after all, one must think of one's own child
first. You will tell Sandy, won't you? We had better have tea in
here. . . . Henry, your trousers - (she looks to see that JANE is not
listening, and then says in a loud whisper) your trousers - -

MR. KNOWLE. I'm afraid I didn't make myself clear, Mary. It's a young
fellow who is coming to see my prints; not the Prince of Wales who is
coming to see my trousers.

MRS. KNOWLE (turning to JANE). You'll remember, Jane?

JANE (smiling). Yes, Aunt Mary.

MRS. KNOWLE. That's a good girl.

[She goes out.

MR. KNOWLE. Ah! . . . Your aunt wasn't very lucid, Jane. Which one of you
is it who is going to marry the gentleman?

JANE. Don't be so absurd, Uncle Henry.

MR. KNOWLE (taking out his catalogue again). Perhaps _he_ would be
interested in Lot 29. (BOBBY comes in through the windows.) Ah, here's
Bobby. Bobby, they tell me that you think of setting up house.

BOBBY (looking quickly at JANE). Who told you that?

MR. KNOWLE. Now, starting with two hip-baths and a stuffed crocodile
for nine shillings and sixpence, and working up to twelve aspidistras,
a towel-horse and "The Maiden's Prayer" for eight shillings, you
practically have the spare room furnished for seventeen and six. But
perhaps I had better leave the catalogue with you. (He presses it into
the bewildered BOBBY'S hands) I must go and tidy myself up. Somebody
is coming to propose to me this afternoon.

[He hurries out.

(BOBBY looks after him blankly, and then turns to JANE.)

BOBBY. I say, what's happened?

JANE. Happened?

BOBBY. Yes, why did he say that about my setting up house?

JANE. I think he was just being funny. He is sometimes, you know.

BOBBY. You don't think he guessed - -

JANE. Guessed what? About you and Melisande?

BOBBY. I say, shut up, Jane. I thought we agreed not to say anything
more about that.

JANE. But what else could he have guessed?

BOBBY. _You_ know well enough.

JANE (shaking her head). No, I don't.

BOBBY. I told you this morning.

JANE. What did you tell me?

BOBBY. _You_ know.

JANE. No, I don't.

BOBBY. Yes, you do.

JANE. No, I don't.

BOBBY (coming closer). All right, shall I tell you again?

JANE (edging away). I don't want to hear it.

BOBBY. How do you know you don't want to hear it, if you don't know
what it is?

JANE. I can guess what it is.

BOBBY. There you are!

JANE. It's what you say to everybody, isn't it?

BOBBY (loftily). If you want to know, Miss Bagot, I have only said it
to one other person in my life, and that was in mistake for you.

JANE (coldly). Melisande and I are not very much alike, Mr. Coote.

BOBBY. No. You're much prettier.

JANE (turning her head away). You don't really think so. Anyhow, it
isn't true.

BOBBY. It is true, Jane. I swear it.

JANE. Well, you didn't think so yesterday.

BOBBY. Why do you keep talking about yesterday? I'm talking about

JANE. A girl has her pride, Bobby.

BOBBY. So has a man. I'm awfully proud of being in love with _you_.

JANE. That isn't what I mean.

BOBBY. What do you mean?

JANE (awkwardly). Well - well - well, what it comes to is that you get
refused by Sandy, and then you immediately come to me and expect me to
jump at you.

BOBBY. Suppose I had waited a year and then come to you, would that
have been better?

JANE. Of course it would.

BOBBY. Well, really I can't follow you, darling.

JANE (indignantly). You mustn't call me darling.

BOBBY. Mustn't call you what?

JANE (awkwardly). Darling.

BOBBY. Did I call you darling?

JANE (shortly). Yes.

BOBBY (to himself). "Darling." No, I suppose I mustn't. But it suits
you so awfully well - darling. (She stamps her foot) I'm sorry,
darl - - I mean Jane, but really I can't follow you. Because you're so
frightfully fascinating, that after twenty-four hours of it, I simply
have to tell you how much I love you, then your pride is hurt. But if
you had been so frightfully unattractive that it took me a whole year
to see anything in you at all, then apparently you'd have been awfully

JANE. You _have_ known me a whole year, Bobby.

BOBBY. Not really, you know. Directly I saw you and Sandy together I
knew I was in love with one of you, but - well, love is a dashed rummy
thing, and I thought it was Sandy. And so I didn't really see you till
last night, when you were so awfully decent to me.

JANE (wistfully). It sounds very well, but the trouble is that it will
sound just as well to the next girl.

BOBBY. What next girl?

JANE. The one you propose to to-morrow.

BOBBY. You know, Jane, when you talk like that I feel that you don't
deserve to be proposed to at all.

JANE (loftily). I'm sure I don't want to be.

BOBBY (coming closer). Are you?

JANE. Am I what?

BOBBY. Quite sure.

JANE. I should have thought it was pretty obvious seeing that I've
just refused you.

BOBBY. Have you?

JANE. Have I what?

BOBBY. Refused me.

JANE. I thought I had.

BOBBY. And would you be glad if I went away and never saw you again?
(She hesitates) Honest, Jane. Would you?

JANE (awkwardly). Well, of course, I _like_ you, Bobby. I always have.

BOBBY. But you feel that you would like me better if I were somebody
else's husband?

JANE (indignantly). Oh, I _never_ said that.

BOBBY. Dash it, you've been saying it all this afternoon.

JANE (weakly). Bobby, don't; I can't argue with you. But really, dear,
I can't say now that I will marry you. Oh, you _must_ understand. Oh,
_think_ what Sandy - -

BOBBY. We won't tell Sandy.

JANE (surprised). But she's bound to know.

BOBBY. We won't tell anybody.

JANE (eagerly). Bobby!

BOBBY (nodding). Just you and me. Nobody else for a long time. A
little private secret.

JANE. Bobby!

BOBBY (coming to her). Is it a bargain, Jane? Because if it's a
bargain - -

JANE (going away from him). No, no, Bobby. Not now. I must go upstairs
and tidy myself - no, I mustn't, I must wait for Melisande - no, Bobby,
don't. Not yet. I mean it, really. Do go, dear, anybody might come in.

(BOBBY, who has been following her round the hall, as she retreats
nervously, stops and nods to her.)

BOBBY. All right, darling, I'll go.

JANE. You mustn't say "darling." You might say it accidentally in
front of them all.

BOBBY (grinning). All right, Miss Bagot . . . I am going now, Miss
Bagot. (At the windows) Good-bye, Miss Bagot. (JANE blows him a kiss.
He bows) Your favour to hand, Miss Bagot. (He turns and sees MELISANDE
coming through the garden) Hallo, here's Sandy! (He hurries off in the
opposite direction.)

MELISANDE. Oh, Jane, Jane! (She sinks into a chair.)

JANE. What, dear?

MELISANDE. Everything.

JANE. Yes, but that's so vague, darling. Do you mean that - -

MELISANDE (dreamily). I have seen him; I have talked to him; he has
kissed me.

JANE (amazed). _Kissed_ you? Do you mean that he has - kissed you?

MELISANDE. I have looked into his eyes, and he has looked into mine.

JANE. Yes, but who?

MELISANDE. The true knight, the prince, for whom I have been waiting
so long.

JANE. But _who_ is he?

MELISANDE. They call him Gervase.

JANE. Gervase _who_?

MELISANDE (scornfully). Did Elaine say, "Lancelot who" when they told
her his name was Lancelot?

JANE. Yes, dear, but this is the twentieth century. He must have a

MELISANDE (dreamily). Through the forest he came to me, dressed in
blue and gold.

JANE (sharply). Sandy! (Struck with an idea) Have you been out all day
without your hat, darling?

MELISANDE (vaguely). Have I?

JANE. I mean - blue and gold. They don't do it nowadays.

MELISANDE (nodding to her). _He_ did, Jane.

JANE. But how? - Why? Who can he be?

MELISANDE. He said he was a humble woodcutter's son. That means he was
a prince in disguise. He called me his princess.

JANE. Darling, how could he be a prince?

MELISANDE. I have read stories sometimes of men who went to sleep and
woke up thousands of years afterwards and found themselves in a
different world. Perhaps, Jane, _he_ lived in those old days, and - -

JANE. Did he _talk_ like an ordinary person?

MELISANDE. Oh no, no!

JANE. Well, it's really extraordinary. . . . Was he a gentleman?

MELISANDE (smiling at her). I didn't ask him, Jane.

JANE (crossly). You know what I mean.

MELISANDE. He is coming this afternoon to take me away.

JANE (amazed). To take you away? But what about Aunt Mary?

MELISANDE (vaguely). Aunt Mary? What has _she_ got to do with it?

JANE (impatiently). Oh, but - - (With a shrug of resignation) I don't
understand. Do you mean he's coming _here_? (MELISANDE nods gravely)
Melisande, you'll let me see him?

MELISANDE. Yes. I've thought it all out. I wanted you here, Jane. He
will come in; I will present you; and then you must leave us alone.
But I should like you to see him. Just to see how different, how
utterly different he is from every other man. . . . But you will promise
to go when you have seen him, won't you?

JANE (nodding). I'll say, "I'm afraid I must leave you now, and - - "
Sandy, how _can_ he be a prince?

MELISANDE. When you see him, Jane, you will say, "How can he not be a

JANE. But one has to leave princes backward. I mean - he won't
expect - _you_ know - -

MELISANDE. I don't think so. Besides, after all, you are my cousin.

JANE. Yes. I think I shall get that in; just to be on the safe side.
"Well, cousin, I must leave you now, as I have to attend my aunt." And
then a sort of - not exactly a curtsey, but - (she practises, murmuring
the words to herself). I suppose you didn't happen to mention _me_ to
him this morning?

MELISANDE (half smiling). Oh no!

JANE (hurt). I don't see why you shouldn't have. What did you talk

MELISANDE. I don't know. (She grips JANE'S arm suddenly) Jane, I
didn't dream it all this morning, did I? It did happen? I saw him - he
kissed me - he is coming for me - he - -

(Enter ALICE)

ALICE. Mr. Gervase Mallory.

MELISANDE (happily). Ah!

(GERVASE comes in, an apparently ordinary young man in a loud golfing

GERVASE. How do you do?

MELISANDE (looking at him with growing amazement and horror). Oh!

(JANE looks from one to the other in bewilderment.)

GERVASE. I ought to explain. Mr. Knowle was kind enough to lend me
some petrol last night; my car broke down; he was good enough to say I
might come this afternoon and see his prints. I am hoping to be
allowed to thank him again for his kindness last night. And - er - I've
brought back the petrol.

MELISANDE (still with her eyes on him). My father will no doubt be
here directly. This is my cousin, Miss Bagot.

GERVASE (bowing). How do you do?

JANE (nervously). How do you do? (After a pause) Well, I'm afraid I
must leave you now, as - -

MELISANDE (with her eyes still on GERVASE, putting out a hand and
clutching at JANE). No!

JANE (startled). What?

MELISANDE. Don't go, Jane. Do sit down, won't you, Mr. - er - -

GERVASE. Mallory.

MELISANDE. Mr. Mallory.

GERVASE. Thank you.

MELISANDE. Where will you sit, Mr. Mallory? (She is still talking in
an utterly expressionless voice.)

GERVASE. Thank you. Where are you - - (he indicates the sofa.)

MELISANDE (moving to it, but still holding JANE). Thank _you_.

(MELISANDE and JANE sit down together on the sofa. GERVASE sits on a
chair near. There is an awkward silence.)

JANE (half getting up). Well, I'm afraid I must - -

(MELISANDE pulls her down. She subsides.)

MELISANDE. Charming weather we are having, are we not, Mr. Mallory?

GERVASE (enthusiastically). Oh, rather. Absolutely top-hole.

MELISANDE (to JANE). Absolutely top-hole weather, is it not, Jane?

JANE. Oh, I love it.

MELISANDE. You play golf, I expect, Mr. Mallory?

GERVASE. Oh, rather. I've been playing this morning. (With a smile)
Pretty rotten, too, I'm afraid.

MELISANDE. Jane plays golf. (to JANE) You're pretty rotten, too,
aren't you, Jane?

JANE. Bobby and I were both very bad to-day.

MELISANDE. I think you will like Bobby, Mr. Mallory. He is staying
with us just now. I expect you will have a good deal in common. He is
on the Stock Exchange.

GERVASE (smiling). So am I.

MELISANDE (valiantly repressing a shudder). Jane, Mr. Mallory is on
the Stock Exchange. Isn't that curious? I felt sure that he must be
directly I saw him.

(There is another awkward silence.)

JANE (getting up). Well, I'm afraid I must - -

MELISANDE (pulling her down). Don't go, Jane. I suppose there are a
great many of you on the Stock Exchange, Mr. Mallory?

GERVASE. Oh, quite a lot.

MELISANDE. Quite a lot, Jane. . . . You don't know Bobby - Mr. Coote?

GERVASE. N - no, I don't think so.

MELISANDE. I suppose there are so many of you, and you dress so much
alike, and look so much alike, that it's difficult to be quite sure
whom you do know.

GERVASE. Yes, of course, that makes it more difficult.

MELISANDE. Yes. You see that, don't you, Jane? . . . You play billiards
and bridge, of course, Mr. Mallory?

GERVASE. Oh yes.

MELISANDE. They are absolutely top-hole games, aren't they? Are
you - pretty rotten at them?

GERVASE. Well - -

MELISANDE (getting up). Ah, here's my father.

(Enter MR. KNOWLE)

MR. KNOWLE. Ah, Mr. Mallory, delighted to see you. And Sandy and Jane
to entertain you. That's right.

(They shake hands)

GERVASE. How do you do?

(ALICE comes in with tea)

MR. KNOWLE. I've been wasting my day at a sale. I hope you spent yours
more profitably, (GERVASE laughs pleasantly) And what have you been
doing, Sandy?

MELISANDE. Wasting mine, too, Father.

MR. KNOWLE. Dear, dear. Well, they say that the wasted hours are the

MELISANDE (moving to the door). I think I will go and - - (MRS. KNOWLE
comes in with outstretched hands)

MR. KNOWLE. My dear, this is Mr. Mallory.

MRS. KNOWLE. My dear Mr. Mallory! (Turning round) Sandy, dear!
(MELISANDE comes slowly back) How do you do?

GERVASE (shaking hands). How do you do?

MRS. KNOWLE. Sandy, dear! (to GERVASE) My daughter, Melisande, Mr.
Mallory. My only child.

GERVASE. Oh - er - we - -

MELISANDE. Mr. Mallory and I have met, Mother.

MRS. KNOWLE (indicating JANE). And our dear Jane.

My dear sister's only daughter. But dear Jane has a brother. Dear
Harold! In the Civil Service. Sandy, dear, will you pour out tea?

MELISANDE (resigned). Yes, Mother. (She goes to the tea-table.)

MRS. KNOWLE (going to the sofa). I am such an invalid now, Mr.
Mallory - -

GERVASE (helping her). Oh, I'm so sorry. Can I - - ?

MRS. KNOWLE. Thank you. Dr. Anderson insists on my resting as much as
possible. So my dear Melisande looks after the house for me. Such a
comfort. You are not married yourself, Mr. Mallory?

GERVASE. No. Oh no.

MRS. KNOWLE (smiling to herself). Ah!

MELISANDE. Jane, Mother's tea. (JANE takes it.)

GERVASE (coming forward). Oh, I beg your pardon. Let me - -

JANE. It's all right.

(GERVASE takes up a cake-stand.)

MR. KNOWLE. Where's Bobby? Bobby is the real expert at this.

MELISANDE. I expect Mr. Mallory is an expert, too, Father. You enjoy
tea-parties, I expect, Mr. Mallory?

GERVASE. I enjoy most things, Miss Knowle. (To MRS. KNOWLE) What will
you have?

MRS. KNOWLE. Thank you. I have to be careful. Dr. Anderson insists on
my being careful, Mr. Mallory. (Confidentially) Nothing organic, you
understand. Both my husband and I - Melisande has an absolutely sound

MELISANDE (indicating cup). Jane . . . Sugar and milk, Mr. Mallory?

GERVASE. Please. (To MR. KNOWLE) Won't _you_ have this, sir?

MR. KNOWLE. No thank you. I have a special cup.

(He takes a large cup from MELISANDE). A family tradition, Mr.
Mallory. But whether it is that I am supposed to require more
nourishment than the others, or that I can't be trusted with anything
breakable, History does not relate.

GERVASE (laughing). Well, I think you're lucky. I like a big cup.

MR. KNOWLE. Have mine.

GERVASE. No, thanks.

BOBBY (coming in). Hallo! Tea?

MR. KNOWLE. Ah, Bobby, you're just in time. (to GERVASE) This is Mr.
Coote. Bobby, this is Mr. Mallory. (They nod to each other and say,
"How do you do?")

MELISANDE (indicating a seat next to her). Come and sit here, Bobby.

BOBBY (who was making for JANE). Oh - er - righto. (He sits down.)

MR. KNOWLE (to GERVASE). And how did the dance go last night?

JANE. Oh, were you at a dance? How lovely!


MR. KNOWLE. And a fancy dress dance, too, Sandy. _You_ ought to have
been there.

MELISANDE (understanding). Ah!

MRS. KNOWLE. My daughter is devoted to dancing, Mr. Mallory. Dances so
beautifully, they all say.

BOBBY. Where was it?

GERVASE. Collingham.

MR. KNOWLE. And did they all fall in love with you? You ought to have
seen him, Sandy.

GERVASE. Well, I'm afraid I never got there.

MR. KNOWLE. Dear, dear. . . . Peters is in love just now. . . . I hope he
didn't give you cider in mistake for petrol.

MRS. KNOWLE. You have a car, Mr. Mallory?


MRS. KNOWLE. Ah! (to MELISANDE) Won't Mr. Mallory have some more tea,

MELISANDE. Will you have some more tea, Mr. Mallory?

GERVASE. Thank you. (to MRS. KNOWLE) Won't you - -

(He begins to get up.)

MRS. KNOWLE. _Please_ don't trouble. I never have more than one cup.
Dr. Anderson is very firm about that. Only one cup, Mrs. Knowle.

BOBBY (to MELISANDE). Sandwich? Oh, you're busy. Sandwich, Jane?

JANE (taking one). Thank you.

BOBBY (to GERVASE). Sandwich?

GERVASE. Thank you.

BOBBY (to MR. KNOWLE). Sandwich?

MR. KNOWLE. Thank you, Bobby. Fortunately nobody minds what _I_ eat or

BOBBY (to himself). Sandwich, Mr. Coote? Thank you. (He takes one.)

MRS. KNOWLE (to GERVASE). Being such an invalid, Mr. Mallory, it is a
great comfort to me to have Melisande to look after the house.

GERVASE. I am sure it is.

MRS. KNOWLE. Of course, I can't expect to keep her for ever.

MELISANDE (coldly). More tea, Jane?

JANE. Thank you, dear.

MRS. KNOWLE. It's extraordinary how she has taken to it. I must say
that I do like a girl to be a good housekeeper. Don't you agree, Mr.

GERVASE. Well, of course, all that sort of thing _is_ rather

MRS. KNOWLE. That's what I always tell Sandy. "Happiness begins in the
kitchen, Sandy."

MELISANDE. I'm sure Mr. Mallory agrees with you, Mother.

GERVASE (laughing). Well, one must eat.

BOBBY (passing plate). Have another sandwich?

GERVASE (taking one). Thanks.

MRS. KNOWLE. Do you live in the neighbourhood, Mr. Mallory?

GERVASE. About twenty miles away. Little Malling.

JANE (helpfully). Oh, yes.

MRS. KNOWLE. Well, I hope we shall see you here again.

GERVASE. That's very kind of you indeed. I shall love to come.

MELISANDE. More tea, Father?

MR. KNOWLE. No, thank you, my love.

MELISANDE. More tea, Mr. Mallory?

GERVASE. No, thank you.

MR. KNOWLE (getting up). I don't want to hurry you, Mr. Mallory, but
if you have really finished - -

GERVASE (getting up). Right.

MRS. KNOWLE. You won't go without seeing the garden, Mr. Mallory?
Sandy, when your father has finished with Mr. Mallory, you must show
him the garden. We are very proud of our roses, Mr. Mallory. Melisande
takes a great interest in the roses.

GERVASE. I should like very much to see the garden. (Going to her)
Shall I see you again, Mrs. Knowle. . . . Don't get up, _please_.

MRS. KNOWLE (getting up). In case we don't - (she holds out her hand).

GERVASE (shaking it). Good-bye. And thank you so much.

MRS. KNOWLE. Not good-bye. _Au revoir_.

GERVASE (smiling). Thank you. (With a bow to JANE and BOBBY) Good-bye,
in case - -

BOBBY. Cheero.

JANE. Good-bye, Mr. Mallory.

MR. KNOWLE. Well, come along. (As they go out) It is curious how much
time one has to spend in saying "How do you do" and "Good-bye." I once
calculated that a man of seventy. . . .

[MR. KNOWLE and GERVASE go out.

MRS. KNOWLE. Jane, dear, would you mind coming with me to the
drawing-room, and helping me to - er - -

JANE (resigned). Of course, Aunt Mary.

[They go towards the door.

BOBBY (with his mouth full). May I come too, Mrs. Knowle?

MELISANDE. You haven't finished your tea, Bobby.

BOBBY. I shan't be a moment. (He picks up his cup.)

MRS. KNOWLE. Please come, dear Mr. Coote, when you have finished.

[MRS. KNOWLE goes out.

(JANE turns at the door, sees that MELISANDE is not looking, and blows
a hasty kiss to BOBBY.)

MELISANDE. More tea, Bobby?

BOBBY. No thanks.

MELISANDE. Something more to eat?

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Online LibraryA.A. MilneSecond Plays → online text (page 14 of 16)