Abby Morton Diaz.

The Jimmyjohns, and other stories online

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wish Miss Flora out of sight, she is such a little angel.
Indeed and in truth, my lady, in all the world can t be
found a child sweet-tempered like her.

LADY C. Oh, do not call her an angel, good Mar
gery ! call her a lamb or a kitten, if you will, or even
a squirrel, but never an angel.

(Children s voices outside. Enter FLORA, singing and

skipping. ELSIE follows quietly.)
FLORA. O mamma ! see her wreaths and garlands,
and the white dress she has on for the May-day dances !
Doesn t she look lovely, mamma ? oh, just as lovely as

oh, I don t know !

LADY C. (smiling) . Indeed she does, my dear. El
sie, do all the lassies wear white?

ELSIE. Yes, my lady, white, with right gay garlands.

FLORA. Good-by, mamma: it is time to go now.
(Goes to her mother.)

LADY C. O Elsie! will you take good care? She
never went far from me before. I shall be very anx
ious !

ELSIE. Yes, indeed, my lady, I will take great care.

FLORA. And I will stay with Elsie, and be so good !

oh, just as good as oh, you can t think !

(A company of singers heard outside, as if passing at

a distance.)

FLORA (skipping, and clapping hands). Oh, hark,
mamma ! do hark to the May-songs ! Come, Elsie,
quick ! Good-by, mamma !


LADY C. (embracing her) . Good-by, darling ! good-
by ! [Exit F. and E.

MARGERY. I must see to their lunch-baskets.

[Exit MARGERY. Curtain falls.

SCENE II. Pretended gypsies seated in a tent, or on the
ground. OLD WOMAN counting over silver, OLD MAN
looking on. He is dressed in old, ill-fitting clothes.
WOMAN has a black handkerchief wound about her
head, shabby dress, blue stockings, and something
bright around her neck.

MAN. Wai, old Beauty Spot, how many d ye count ?

WOMAN. Eight spoons, six forks, five thimbles, one

MAN. Is that all we ve took on this beat?

WOMAN. Not by somethin ! Look ye here, dad !
(Holds up a ladle.)

MAN (delighted) . Now jou be the beater ! (Rubs
his hands.) Let s take a look. (Examines it.) Real,
is t? But where s Peg?

WOMAN. Off on her tramps about the grand house
yonder. Owner s away : nobody left but my lady and
servants. Never a better time, daddy.

MAN. Nor a better day. Tompkins will set up his
show tent. Everybody stirring. Pockets to pick,
fortunes to tell !

WOMAN (rubbing her hands) . Lads and lassies dan
cing on the green, old uns looking on, nobody taking
care of the spoons n the house.

MAN (slapping her on the shoulder) . We re in luck,
old woman, in luck ! (Enter PEG, dressed in red bod
ice, black skirt, red stockings, light blue handkerchief on


her head, pinned under her chin.) Here comes Peg,
now. Wai, my Nimble Fingers, any game to-day?

PEG (takes a few articles from her pocket) . Not
much now, dad, but some a-coming, if you an her
(points to WOMAN) be up to it.

MAN (earnestly). What s that?

PEG. Oh ! a nice little job.

MAN and WOMAN (earnestly) . Speak out, gal.

PEG. Wai, you see I walked in through the park,
and along by the hedge-row, and into the kitchen-gar
den, thinkin to go boldly in at the back-door, as you
told me, to ask for cold bits.

BOTH (bending eagerly forward) . Yes.

PEG.. But jest when I got my mouth open to say,
Charity for my poor sick mother

BOTH. Wai?

PEG. Why, a servant ordered me off.

MAN. An what then ?

PEG. Why, then I turned to come away. But next
I sees

WOMAN. Sees what?

PEG. Somethin in our line.

BOTH (impatiently). Tell away, can t yer?

PEG. Sees my lady s child a-walkin out with her

WOMAN. Wai, what o that?

PEG. You keep quiet, an I ll tell; jest you keep
on a-interruptin , an I m mum s a fish.

MAN (to WOMAN). Hush up, now, can t yer? (To
PEG.) Sees what?

PEG. I seed as how little miss was a-dressed out in all
her finery, her velvet, an her silks, an gold beads an


bracelets . ( Clasps throat and wrists . ) Very good things
to have. (Old couple nod approvingly at each other.)

MAN. Mcbby they be (holding up old bag) ; but
how be they a-goin to jump in this ere?

PEG. There ye go agin a-interruptin .

WOMAN (to MAN). Hush up, dad! Let the gal
speak, can t yer?

.PEG. Then I watches to find out where wud they be
a-goin ter (old couple nod to each other), an I sees
em take the path down by the hedge-row. So I creeps
along softly,. a-tiptoe, on t other side, just like this
(shows how she crept along) , a-peepin through.

WOMAN (rubbing her hands together). Sharp gal
you be, Peg.

MAN (to WOMAN) . Keep still ; don t bother her.

PEG. When they goes down on the grass to rest, I
goes down too, on t other side, ye know, to rest, so.
(Sits down.)

MAN (laughing). Yes, yes : so ye did. Poor little
gal, wasn t used to trampin !

WOMAN (to MAN). Gabble, gabble, gabble ! The
gal 11 neveii git done.

MAN. Tell away, Peg.

PEG. I listens, an I finds little miss is a-goin with
her maid to sec the dances. There, I ve started the
game : let s see ye foller it up.

(Old couple sit in silence for a few moments, turning
over the silver.)

MAN (tlioughtfully) . Tis deep water; but I sees

PEG (bending forward) . Let s hear. (WOMAN lis


MAN. Tomkins s show draws all the crowd, missy
among em.

PEG. Go on, dad.

MAN (rising). They two, missy and maid, stands
agapin at it, so. (Imitates.) You creeps in be
tween, so. (Imitates.) I stays outside.

PEG. Yes, yes !

MAN. In the middle of it I gets myself knocked
down outside, and groans and roars, "Help, help!
thieves ! murder! "

WOMAN (eagerly) . Then everybody ll run.

MAN. Then ever} r body ll run. Peg catches hold o
little miss, runs her off. I say, " I ll take care of
yer." Neat job, hey? (Rubs hands.)

PEG (briskly) . Then I ll lend her some of my clothes,
cause they s better for her, you know, an help her eat
what s in the buful basket ; an she ll be my little sis
ter, an she ll tramp with us (rises) an our merry,
merry crew. (Sings. Old couple join in chorus, and
all keep time with feet and hands.)

Oh ! we re a merry gyp-sy crew, Roaming all the country thro ,

Plenty to eat and little to do.Roaming thro the wildwood. Sing ri fa la li

zEz 3L Z 3::3i

- =^* ~* - - *-

lu li oh ! Plenty to eat and little to do,Roaming thro the wildwood.


Want and care we never know :
Sun may sliine, or winds may blow;
All the same we come and go,

Roaming through the wildwood.
Sing ri fa la li lu li oh!
Plenty to eat, and little to do,

Roaming through the wildwood.

SCENE III. Enter FLORA and ELSIE, hand in hand.
Both have flowers; and ELSIE carries a pretty lunch-

FLORA. What pretty flowers there were in that
meadow ! Why, I wanted every one !

ELSIE. Then we d have to fetch a wagon to carry
them home in, I guess.

FLORA. A wagonful of flowers ! What would mam
ma say to that, I wonder?

ELSIE. All the vases together wouldn t half hold

FLORA. Then I d put them in my little crib, and
have them for my bed.

. ELSIE. Margery wouldn t spread her white sheets
on such a bed as that.

FLORA. But I could take flowers for bed-clothes,
and smell them all night. Oh ! what a (stops sudden
ly, and listens). I hear music. Hark ! (Music heard
faintly, as if afar off.) O Elsie! they re coming,
they re coming ! Hark ! don t } T OU hear the singing?

ELSIE. Yes (looking in the direction of the music) :
they re marching this way.

(Singing comes gradually nearer, until the chorus is
heard outside. Enter a procession of girls and boys,


blind fiddler following. Boys are dressed in white
trousers, with bright or striped jackets, flowers at the
button-hole; girls in white ^ with garlands. All
march round the stage, singing ; then either eight or
sixteen of them form a circle for dancing the May-
dance. At intervals, in some pretty figure, the
dancers pause, and sing a May -song, in which all
join. Dancing ends ivith a march, which is inter
rupted by a girl rushing in from the show.)

SONG (briskly, to " The Poacher s Song," or any
lively tune) .

We come, we come, with dance and song,

With hearts and voices gay ;
We come, we come, a happy throng;

For now it is beautiful May.

We ve lingered by the brookside

To find the fairest flowers ;
We ve rambled through the meadows wide

These sunny, sunny hours.

(All move round.}

CHORUS. Oh! we ll dance and sing around the ring

With footsteps light and gay;
Oh! we ll dance and sing around the ring;
For now tis the beautiful May.

GIRL (rushing in) . Oh, come ! do come and see
the show ! Tis the funniest show !

ALL TOGETHER. Where? where? (Pressing about

GIRL (pointing) . Over yonder by the wood. Only
a penny. Come !


ALL TOGETHER (or nearly so). Yes: let s go!
Come ! Only a penny? We ll all go !

(All rush out, ELSIE leading FLORA. Curtain falls.)

SCENE IV. TOMKINS, in flashy costume, preparing
for the show. There should be several objects, sup
posed to be statues or animals, covered with white
cloth. The animals may be boys in various posi
tions. The coverings ivill not be removed, as the shoiv
is to be interrupted. TOMKINS moves about, peeping
under the coverings, dusting the statues, patting and
quieting, and perhaps feeding, the animals. He holds
in one hand a string which is attached to one of them.
Enter TOM THUMB and his BRIDE, arm in arm, fol-
loived by his aged parents and maiden aunt. (Five
little children must be dressed up to represent these.)
TOMKINS helps them to a high platform at the back
part. Old lady is knitting a doll s stocking. Enter
crowd of May -dancers, PEG among them. She tries
several times to separate F.LORA from Elsie while
they are listening to TOMKINS, and finally succeeds.
(This scene may easily be lengthened by adding other
figures to the show, such as a giant, or curious ani
mals, &c.)

TOMKINS (arranging the spectators, speaks rapidly) .
Stan reg lar, ladies and gentlemen, stan reg lar, and
let the tall ones look over the short ones ; for if the
tall ones don t git behind the short ones, and the short
ones gits behind the tall ones, then how s the short
ones a-goin to look over the tall ones? Ladies and
gentlemen, I have the honor to show you the only xhi-


bition of the kind on record. On this casion tis not a
talkin xhibition. Six talkin xhibitions they ve done
to-day. Do I want em to die on my ands? Do I
want to close their xpiring eyes, an say an say
farewell, my dears? No. Let em live to d light the
world, an to dorn to dorn my xhibition. (The
animal gets uneasy. TOMKINS jerks the string.) Sh
sh ! your time 11 come when the Thumbs is all done.
Ladies and gentlemen, you see before you the descend
ants of the real Tom Thumb, who lived in story-books
a thousand years ago. Their grandfather far removed
was carried in his master s waistcoat-pocket, and swal
lowed by a cow. (Animal steps. He pulls the string.)
Sh sh ! They would speak to the audyence : but six
talkin xhibitions they ve done to-day ; an their healths
must be looked to, as their constitootions compares
with their sizes, and tis very nat ral they d be short-
breath d. The old lady, as } T OU see, is knittin a stock-
in for her grandchild that lives in Siam. The old
gentleman takes his pinch of snuff, an would smoke
his pipe, but ladies present. The maiden aunt is
neat about her dress ; and that s why she s smoothin
out the wrinkles, and rubbin off mud-spots. Tom
Thumb is very fond of his bride ; an you won t think
strange of his strokin her curls, an lookin at her face
in admiration. (Animals move a little.) But my an -
mals is uneasy, and I must also proceed to uncover the
statuarys. Thumb family may march round and take
their leave. (They march round and go out, each
turning at the door to salute the audience.) I will now
proceed to uncover the famous, unheard-of, wonderful
animal called (Deep groans heard outside. u Help!


thieves! murder!") Don t be uneasy! (All rush
out. PEG runs off with Flora.) [Curtain fails.

SCENE V. LADY CAROLINE reclining in her chair.
She rings a bell. Enter MARGERY.

LADY C. You may bring that round table nearer to
me, Margery : Miss Flora and I will take our tea to
gether. What a treat it will be for her !

MARGERY (bringing the table). Yes, my lady.
(Spreads cloth.)

LADY C. She will be eager to tell all that has
happened, and I shall be just as eager to hear. (MAR
GERY fetches plates, &c.) Bring her small china mug,
Margery (she likes that best) ; and bring her low rock

MARGERY. Yes, my lady. The little dear will be
so tired ! (Brings the things.)

LADY C. Place the chair near me. Is the supper
all ready? What an appetite the little traveller will
have to-night !

]\LARGERY. Every thing is ready, my lady.

LADY C. And fetch her slippers lined with down.
They will be soft to her tired feet. Ah, how many steps
those feet have taken since she kissed me good -by!
(MARGERY brings slippers, and places them in front
of the chair.) So. That is right. Now that all is
read} r , how long seems every moment ! Margery, go
stand by the upper window, and bring me word when
you catch the first sight of them coming along by the


MARGERY. I will, my lady. I ll watch, and not
leave the window, not for one single moment.

[Exit MARGERY. Curtain falls.

SCENE VI. TRAMP and his WIFE. Old bags, bundles,
and baskets lying about. MAN is binding an old
shoe to his foot with a strip of doth. Foot is on
the shoe, not in it. WOMAN is picking over rags of
different colors.

WOMAN. Wai, ole man, here we bees agin. Tis a
year ago this blessed day since Peg ticed the little gal
from Tomkins s show.

MAN. Twouldn t ha been a year, mammy, only
we got no news o the reward. Fifty guineas, an no
questions asked. Wal-a-day ! Many s the weary
tramp we s had that we needn t a .

WOMAN. An many s the trinket I ll buy.

MAN. Now, ole Beauty Spot, you don t git the
spendin o that gold !

WOMAN. I don t ! Wai, we ll see ! I don t, do I?
humph !

MAN. But where s Peg? Meet us by this wood,
she said. An tis past the time set. She must a
reached the hall two days agone.

WOMAN. If I d a had my sa} r , the child should ha*
been sent by some other body ; but Peg she would go

MAN. Tis a marcy an she don t git fast under
lock an key.

WOMAN. Wai, the child s back to where she belongs ;
an lucky she be ; for our Peg, that be a great deal too


smart for us, will go to mind every crook o that young
un s finger, an worse n that. Now I ll tell JG. I
harked one night, late it was, with the stars all so
bright, we inside the tent, they two out, nobody stir
ring, no noise, only corn rustlin a-near us, an a little
matter of a breeze in the trees ; an what does I hear ?
"VVlry, that young un a-tellin our Peg about the
angels, an more besides, an what good was, an what
wicked was. Does I want a gal o mine to hear the
like? No, I doesn t. Peg ain t the gal she was
(shaking her head) . No, no ! She ain t up to half
the smart tricks. (Enter PEG.)

MAX and WOMAN. The money ! The gold, the
gold ! Where s the gold?

PEG. The lady wants to see you at the hall.

BOTH. Ha !

WOMAN. Be we fools ?

MAN. She wants, does she? ha, ha ! She wants !
he, he, he !

PEG. I want, then. And the gold is ready for you

WOMAN. What be we a-goin to the hall for?

PEG. She has a favor to ask.

WOMAN. Yes : the favor o shuttin us up.

PEG. The favor o let-tin* me be servant to Miss
Flora. (WOMAN nods to MAN.)

MAN. Have more sense, gal.

WOMAN. O Peg ! an would ye go from us, an to
be a slave?

MAN (picking up bundles) . Tis all a trap to nab

PEG. No, there be no trap.


WOMAN. An -what use of our seein the lacty?

PEG. She be loath to keep anybody s child without
consent. The little un begs me stay ; an I must.

WOMAN (entreatingty) . Don t, Peg ! Let her go.
She ben t one o our sort.

PEG. I can t ; an the truth must be spoken to ye.
I m tired o trampin , tired o beggin an thievin , an*
skulkin about; an , what s more, I can t lose sight
o her.

WOMAN (sorrowfully) . O Peg ! An how could the
little un bew r itch ye so ?

PEG. I can t tell that. How can I tell what makes
me pine for a sight o her sweet face, an why tis that
the sound o her sweet voice touches me here (places
hand on her heart) , an why tis I weep when she tells
me of the angels and holy things? Will ye go, or no?
(Moves totvards door.)

MAN to WOMAN (confidentially) . Between you
an me, I d sooner have Peg there. Don t ye see?
(Claps hand on her shoulder.) Many s the nice bit
she ll help us to, or a silver penny, or a spoon.

WOMAN. That she won t. An , if she d do t, ain t
we got money enough wi all that gold? I d sooner
keep my gal. (Folds arms, and looks down sorrowful
ly.) But twon t be for long. (Looks up more cheer-
fully.) Peg ll come back to us. She ll soon pine for
the sweet woods agin . (Ties up her bundles.)

MAN (contemptuously). Enough! enough gold!
(Picks up baskets.) What can the old gal mean?
Enough money? ha, ha, ha ! Enough ! he, he, he !

[Curtain falls.


SCENE VII. (chiefly a tableau) . LADY C. sits with
her arm round FLORA. MARGERY arranging the fur
niture. Enter gypsies, conducted by PEG. LADY C.,
at sight of them, shudders, and turns away. MAR
GERY keeps them at a distance.

MARGERY. Stand back, stand back ! Don t ye see
nry lady almost faints at sight of ye ? (Music, heard
afar off, comes gradually nearer.)

LADY C. (listening). What music do I hear, Mar

MARGERY. Tis the May-party, my lady. They
come to welcome Miss Flora back with a cheerful song.

LADY C. Bid them enter, Margery.

(MARGERY goes to the door. Enter May-party and
blind fiddler. They are arranged by MARGERY.
Gypsies watch the proceedings, OLD GYPSY leaning
on his staff with both hands; OLD WOMAN, rather
sullen, stands with folded arms. PEG moves softly
along-, and sinks upon the floor near FLORA. ELSIE
is among the singers, but stands silent with downcast
looks. MARGERY motions for the young people to
sing, and, when they begin, holds corner of apron to
her eyes.)


Home again, home again !

All her wanderings o er;
At home, sweet home again, to dwell

With loving friends once more !

Flowers, show your fairest hues,

Make the meadows gay;
Dear little birds, oh ! carol forth

Your sweetest songs to-day.


CHOEUS. For home again, home again,
Her weary wanderings o er,
At home, sweet home again, she dwells
With loving friends once more.




JOE and NED, two young clerks from the city. JOE is in,
rough sea-clothes, tarpaulin hat, stout boots, trousers tucked
in; carries cod-lines, oil-clothes, and a rope-handled bucket.
NED is in gentleman s fishing-costume; wears broad-brimmed
straw hat, carries-reed pole, lunch-basket, &c. They enter from,
opposite doors.

JOE. How fares ye, Ned ? Been a-fishing ? So ve I.
Let s sit down on the bank here and talk it over.
(Throws himself down. NED spreads out his handker
chief, then seats himself upon it.)

NED (affectedly, and with a sigh). Ah, well! or,
rather, ah, ill ! Another day of vacation gone. Already
the store the busy, crowded, everlasting store
looms up before me. Customers seem beckoning me
away. I hear, methinks, the rustle of cambrics min
gling with the rustling of the leaves, and and

JOE. And the birds sing out "Cash, cash !" don t
they ? O fiddle-de-dee ! the store is fifty miles off, -
fiftj 7 miles ; and six days ! Another day gone ? well,



don t fret for that. Didn t you get enough for it?
Now, I never fret about letting a piece of goods go, if
I get the worth of it.

NED. Really, Joseph, I don t see what selling goods
has to do with the subject .

JOE. Why, you ve let your day go. Old Time took
it. He buys up a good many of em ; but he pa3 s.
You got the value of your article : you took your pay
in taking comfort. Fair trade enough.

NED. Well, you may talk ; but the day is gone, and
it will never return (sighs) .

JOE. But, if we live till to-morrow, there ll another
one come: .leastways, I hope so; for I ve a plan
ahead. (Earnestly.) I ll do it: I will ! I certainly
will, dogs or no dogs, unless the sea dries up ; and
then I ll walk. But how was river-fishing?

NED. Oh, fair ! that is to say, reasonably fair, for
the first attempt.

JOE. Fine day you had.

NED. Charm/ing day. In the morning we rowed up
stream, with Nature smiling all around us, of course
I mean the dewy fields, sprinkled with flowers ; and
anon we glided through the leafy woods, where the
birds sang melodiously. All was fair and lovely.

JOE. Having fair wind s the main thing: the rest
is well enough. So you made an nil-day trip of it?

NED. Yes : a really charming little excursion, and
the presence of the fair sex hem !

JOE. Made it still more really charming. Yes, I
know. They usually have their charms about them.

NED. Exactly. And at noon we landed, and spread
our repast under the shade of a spreading oak, and


there partook of cold chicken, sandwiches, and fruits.
At the hour of sunset, with a fair wind, and with now
and then a song, we floated calmly down the stream.

JOE. All serene. Now I took it in the rough.
See ! Borrowed real sea-clothes, and sailed on the
briii} sea. Jingoes, if twasn t sport off the Ledge !

NED. Seasick?

JOE. Hem ! WelF, little rily doubling " Hook s
Pint : " soon over it, though, and relished niy lunch
oh, hugely ! None of your chicken-fixin s ; real fish
ermen s fare, sea-biscuit dipped in the sea.

NED. Barbarous fare, I should call that.

JOE. Not a bit. Oh, yes ! I m mistaken : good
many bits. Fish bit lively, and old skipper chowdered
em right out o the water : then we got into a school
o mackerel, and so brought in quite a fare of fish. If
we d only landed on that island But I mean to
(rubbing his hands), dogs or no dogs. What the
dogs do I care ! Let em yelp !

NED. Of what island are 3-011 speaking?

JOE. " Maiden Island " some call it. Skipper said
twas oftener called " The Isle of Dogs."

NED. Why are these names given to it?

JOE. Because there is a maiden there, of course,
and dogs abound. But I ll land (rubbing his hands
excitedly). I ll attack the fort. " Let dogs delight,"
and so forth.

NED. I m curious to hear more of this isle of the

JOE. Listen, then, and I ll toll 3-011 a true story :
only it hasn t any end to it yet. But I ll make an end
(earnestly), I m resolved upon that, unless an
earthquake swallows it up.


NED. Swallows up the end !

JOE. The island.

NED. Can t you explain? (In a pet.)

JOE. Oh, yes ! Explain? certainly. Now hark.
In the middle of the sea that is, off in the harbor
stands a lonely isle ; and on that isle stands a hut ; and
in that hut dwells a stern old fisherman ; and that stern
old fisherman owns a fair daughter ; and, on account
of the island being flooded with admirers, he has defend
ed it with dogs, manned it with dogs.

NED. Really ! Now that isn t quite fair in the old

JOE. Fair? Of course it isn t! But I ve got a
plan. I ll land : I certainly will, if every dog had
as many heads as now, what was that dog s name
that barked down in that dark place ? no matter ; and
if every head had as many mouths, I ll land. " Faint
heart never won fair lady."

NED. But wiiat if they all fly at you?

JOE. Then I ll fly at them. (Sings.)

11 Let dogs delight
To bark and bite."

(Slight noise of rain heard.)

NED (rising hastily). We shall be caught in the
shower. (Going.) Come.

JOE (rising slowly) . Oh, let it rain, let it rain !
Better chance of fair weather to-morrow.

NED (passing out). But will you? will you really
dare ?

JOE. Yes : none but the brave deserve the fair !

[Exeunt both.

(Rain may be made by dropping peas in a tin pan be
hind the scenes.)



SCENE. Out of doors. Tools lying about. MK.
BENSON, a dark-whiskered Yankee, in working-clothes
and overalls, is at ivork on a pump. The pump is a <
man or boy incased in brown paper. He is topped
by a bandboQfrcover, or by any thing which will bear
resemblance to the capping of a ivooden pump. One

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Online LibraryAbby Morton DiazThe Jimmyjohns, and other stories → online text (page 11 of 13)