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Augustus Thomas.

As a man thinks; a play in four acts online

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D E LOTA.
Yes.

V E D A H.

[As ELINOR looks to Tier. ] I remember something of Eu-
ropa in our literature class must be all right.

D E LOTA.
Disappointingly proper.

ELINOR.
But the lady at the ball?

D E LOTA.
Costume well, somewhat less than this.

ELINOR.

Less?

D E LOTA.

[Nodding. ] Without the pipes mounted on a sleek
black bull which the students led about the ball room.

ELINOR.
Show Mr. De Lota the photograph.

D E LOTA.
[Taking photo from BURRILL.] That s Mimi.

ELINOR.
Let me have it again.

[DE LOTA gives ELINOR the photograph.



46 AS A MAN THINKS

B IT E E I L L.

Can she possibly have also written ?

D E LOTA.
Mimi a blue stocking? I leave it to you.

E L I N O B,.

Frank knows this woman.

D E LOTA.
Your husband?

ELINOR.

Yes.

D E LOTA.
Of course. I introduced him.

ELINOR.
I was sure of it.

[DE LOTA is startled by ELINOR S seriousness.

S E E L i G.
[Calling from the library, ] Vedah.

V E D A H.

Yes, Papa.

S E E 1, i G.
You and Mr. Burrill come here a moment.

VEDAH.

[To BURRILL.] He wants us [To others.] He doesn t
know you are here.



AS A MAN THINKS 4,7

D E LOTA.
Don t disturb him on my account.

V E D A H.
Your vases anyway I expect

B u R n i L L.

{Excusing his going. ] Pardon.

[ELINOR nods. VEDAH and BURRILL go to the lib
rary.

D E LOTA.
[Alone with ELINOR.] Well?

E L i N o E.
Well?

D E LOTA.
We do meet, don t we?

ELINOR.
Vedah didn t tell me you were to be here.

D E LOTA.
The Doctor invited me.

ELINOR.
Meetings of this kind I can t help.

D E LOTA.
But you won t ask me to your home.



48 AS A MAN THINKS

E L I N O E.

Frank asks you.

D E LOTA.

I ll come when you ask me.

ELINOR.
I shan t ask you.

D E LOTA.
Why?

E L i N o E.
[Pause.] You know why.

D E LOTA.
I don t.

E L I N O E.

[Going to the statuette.] This model you say you in-
.roduced Frank to her?

D E LOTA.

Yes.

E L I N O E.

When?

D E LOTA.
This year.

E L i N o E.
Where?

D E LOTA.

Paris Quat z Arts ball. It was her pose as Europa
that caught Frank s caught his eye.



AS A MAN THINKS 49

ELINOR.

I remember the newspaper comment the day after. On
that particular night Frank went to a meeting of the
American Chamber of Commerce.

D E LOTA.

So did I. At those student dances the interesting things
don t begin until midnight.

ELINOR.
I see.

D E LOTA.

[Insistently. ] But you re changing the subject. Frank
and I see a good deal of each other at the office. He begins
to think it strange I don t accept his invitations to the house.

ELINOR.
Why haven t you?

D E LOTA.

He said he wanted me to call, to know you better
[Smiles. ] I saw you d told him nothing so I await your
invitation.

ELINOR.

You were away when Frank and I first met. [DE LOTA
nods. ] Away when we married [Ds LOTA nods.] I sup
pose all husbands ask their wives if they ve ever cared for
anyone else [She leaves the fireplace and goes to the win
dow.

D E LOTA.

[Pause. ,] And you said ?



50 AS A MAN THINKS

ELINOR.

I said no. Smile if you wish but I hadn t loved anyone
as I loved him.

D E LOTA.
[Following.] Naturally.

ELINOR.

So what I said was true.

D E LOTA.

By the feminine standard yes.

ELINOR.
That s one of the things I always disliked in you, Ben.

D E LOTA.
What?

ELINOR.

Your talk of feminine standards and masculine stand
ards. In morals there is just one standard.

D E LOTA.

[Laughing."] Were there many other things you disliked
in me?

ELINOR.

This is one other.

D E LOTA.
What?

ELINOR.

Your mood of cat-like cruelty.



AS A MAN THINKS 51

D E LOTA.



Cruelty cat-like?



ELINOR.



Yes cruelty and it goes with your smile. That is
like a cat s your manner is like a cat s. When you play
the piano it is a cat walking on the keys.

D E LOTA.
There were times,, however, when you asked me to play.

E L i N o R.
There are times when I like cats.

D E LOTA.
Elinor [He starts impulsively toward her.

ELINOR.

[Avoiding him.] No

D E LOTA.

[Regarding her with admiration.] Damn it we d have
been happy together you and I.

ELINOR.
No.

D E LOTA.
The history of my people supports me.

ELINOR.
Spanish history?



52 AS A MAN THINKS

D E LOTA.

Jewish history. Our girls have often been unhappy
when they ve married outside. But our men have ab
sorbed the women of other races.

ELINOR.

You mustn t talk to me in that strain. [She walks
angrily away.

D E LOTA.

A man in sentimental bankruptcy may at least enumer
ate his assets. We would have been happy.

ELINOR.

No.

DEL O.T A.

One of us would have been happy, of that I m sure.
I loved you, Elinor, because you were a queen me you
sacrificed because [Pause. ] I was a Jew.

ELINOR.
And because you are a Jew you still speak of it.

D E LOTA.
Exactly.

ELINOR.
But you must cease to speak of it.

D E LOTA.

Not while you listen.



AS A MAN THINKS 53

ELINOR.

[Starting toward the door.] I will never be alone with
you again.

D E LOTA.

[Interposing.] Then I must tell you now.

ELINOR.

[Commandingly.] Play something or I shall leave.

D E LOTA.

Thank you I prefer this way myself. [He laughs and
goes to the piano which he play brilliantly and with pas
sion.

[SEELIG, VEDAH and BURRILL re-enter in turn and
join ELINOR.

[Enter HOLLAND who whispers to SEELIG. SEE
LIG goes out with HOLLAND and returns with
CLAYTON as piano ceases.

VEDAH.

[Meeting CLAYTON and shaking his hand.] We feared
you were forgetting us.

CLAYTON.
Never [He nods to his wife.] my dear.

VEDAH.
Mr. Clayton, may I present Mr. Julian Burrill.

CLAYTON.
[To BURRILL.] I thought you an older man.



54 AS A MAN THINKS

VE D A H.
He is. [BURRILL laughs. ]

CLAYTON.
In the Salon six years ago, weren t you?

BURRILL.
Yes.

CLAYTON.

Medal, if I remember?

[ BURRILL nods. CLAYTON turns to SEELIG with a
shrug.

SEELIG.

No justice at all in the discrimination of these archi
tects.

ELINOR.

[Calmly.] That is Mr. Burrill s latest work. [She
indicates the dancing figurine.

CLAYTON.
Charming.

ELINOR.
Do you recognize the lady?

CLAYTON.

[Playfully.] I d like to.

ELINOR.

Mimi Chardenet.



AS A MAN THINKS 55

CLAYTON.
Chardenet ?

ELINOR.

You must remember rode the black bull at the Quat z
Arts ball.

[A swift glance passes between DE LOTA and
CLAYTON.

CLAYTON.

Ah, indeed. [To BURRILL.] From that celebrated
model.

[ BURRILL nods.

ELINOR.
[To BURRILL.] Let Mr. Clayton see the photograph.

BURRILL.
I can t think it would interest him.

[CLAYTON tries to engage SEELIG in conversation.

ELINOR.

Oh, yes. [To CLAYTON.] Frank! [CLAYTON turns to
her.] Look at this photograph please. [To BURRILL.

BURRILL.

[Reluctantly yielding the photograph.] Miss Seelig had
some curiosity about it.

CLAYTON.
Oh, yes.



56 AS A MAN THINKS

ELINOR.

Mr. Burrill was inclined to doubt that the lady repre
sented your magazines.

CLAYTON.

[Evasively. ] Oh, that arrangement was never com
pleted discussed but [He returns the photograph to
BURRILL.

D E LOTA.

[Trying to help the strained situation.] Mimi had more
than one side to her.

ELINOR.
[Regarding the bronze.] So it appears.

D E LOTA.

I mean ?he could think. Antoine told me that she
caught the meaning of a line as quickly as any woman
that ever came into his theatre.

V E D A H.
[Starting at the name.] Antoine?

D E LOTA.

Yes, Antoine the manager. I got her a place in his com
pany.

V E D A H.
When was that?

D E LOTA.

Oh, nine or ten years ago before she posed profession
ally.



AS A MAN THINKS 57

[VEDAH looks to BURRILL who avoids her inquiry.

CLAYTON.
She said she could write of the theatre.

ELINOR.
Well I must go.

VEDAH.

Really? Am I to be the only woman in this council of
war?

ELINOR.
Leave it all to the men, my dear.

CLAYTON.
The car s at the door take it if you wish.

ELINOR.

[Frigidly. ] I ll walk, thank you. [Pause.] Mr. Bur-
rill, I m very glad to have seen you.

BURRILL.
Thank you.

ELINOR.

And your model well a delightful reminder of Paris,
Mr. De Lota. [DE LOTA turns to her.] As you also know
the lady, Mr. De Lota you shall tell me more of her. I
hope you ll call on us. [She gives DE LOTA her hand.

D E LOTA.
I ve been promising Mr. Clayton to do so.



58 AS A MAN THINKS

E L I N O B.

You must [Going with VEDAH to the hall ] You ll
bring Mr. Burrill to see me too?

VEDAH.
Delighted, Mrs. Clayton.

[VEDAH and ELINOR go out.

D E LOTA.

I put my foot in it but hang it, I was completely off
guard. Mrs. Clayton said "Why Frank knows this woman"
and I blurted "of course I introduced him." [Turns to
BURRILL for confirmation.

CLAYTON.
Forget it.

S E E -L i G.
Trouble?

CLAYTON.

En promenade with the girl Elinor met us. I said busi
ness.

S E E L I G.

[Seriously.] Mmm. Too bad after the the other
trouble so soon.

CLAYTON.

Damn it a man can t go to Paris and live on bread and
milk. I ve got to know the world I live in. I publish
three magazines and a metropolitan newspaper.

S E E L I G.
The wife met you walking with the woman?



AS A MAN THINKS 59

CLAYTON.

That s all [To DE LOTA with some anxiety.] You told
her nothing more?

D E LOTA.
[Expostulating.] My dear Frank

CLAYTON.

[Relieved.] Oh, I can fix it.
[VEDAH enters.

SEELIG.
Well shall we discuss this business of the architects?

CLAYTON.
Yes.

S E E L I G.

Suppose we go into the library I ve your papers there,
Mr. Burrill.

CLAYTON.
Yes.

[The men start to the library.

VEDAH.
Mr. Burrill! I ll send Mr. Burrill immediately.

BURRILL.

[To SEELIG.] You permit me?

[SEELING pauses, regards VEDAH intently
[DE LOTA, CLAYTON and SEELIG go out.



60 AS A MAN THINKS

V E D A H.

[In sudden alarm.] He is the man I saw your face
when he said he had introduced this girl to Antoine.

B u R R I L L.
Antoine s name startled me that was all and

V E D A H.
You thought you d seen him in Paris.

B U R R I L L.

Probably did many times.

V E D A H.

You think you saw him in that court room on trial for
n crime.

B U R R I L L.

[Evasively.] No no.

V E D A H.
The man on trial had spoken to Antoine for the girl.

B u R R I L L.

A dozen men may have done that. Engagements in the
theatre require many introductions.

V E D A H.

I read the doubt in your heart. You re not the conven
tional coward that most men are tell me. I am promised
to marry Benjamin De Lota doesn t that mean anything
to you?






AS A MAN THINKS 61

B U R E I L L.

Mean anything! [He starts impulsively toward VEDAH,
stops and after a moment s effort at self-control says calmly
and tenderly.] I love you ! [VEDAH inhales quickly, her
glance falls before BURRILI/S look, she turns irresolutely
toward the room into which DE LOTA has gone a pause.

CURTAIN.



ACT




ACT TWO

CENE: Lounging room of MR. FRANK
CLAYTON S house. The walls are cov
ered with green canvas on which is a
profusion of illustrations furnished to
CLAYTON S magazines by various artists.
The room, square and shallow and low,
is furnished in mahogany and leather. Two five foot
arches on either side of centre open to rooms back. That
at right shows hallway in red, with staircase leading to sec
ond story. That at left shows music room in yellow with
Chippendale furniture and pictures in gilt frames. A sofa
above fireplace which is at right f stands at right angle to
fireplace.. A low table for tobacco is at end of this sofa.
On this table is a big reading lamp. A large writing table
is at back. A smaller table near the window at left side
has a desk telephone.

At Rise of Curtain the stage is empty. MRS. SEELIG and
VEDAH and ELINOR enter from the dining room by a door
above the fireplace* They are in evening gowns.



Vedah.
Mama?



MRS. SEELIG.

VEDAH.
MRS. SEELIG.



[To ELINOR.] Mr. Clayton s found my gloves, but my
handkerchief is gone.

ELINOR.



[Starting back to dining room. ] I ll get it.
65



66 AS A MAN THINKS

MRS. SEELIG.
Let Vedah.

ELINOR.
No trouble.

[She goes out.

VEDAH.
See this picture, Mama.

MRS. SEELIG.
Which?

VEDAH.
This.

MRS. SEELIG.
What is it?

VEDAH.
At Jerusalem. The Wailing Wall.

MRS. SEELIG.

Poor fellows. It s dreadful to take religion so seriously.
[ELINOR enters.

ELINOR.

Mr. De Lota is bringing your handkerchief wouldn t
let me have it.

MRS. SEELIG.
An excuse to join us.

[DE LOTA enters from the dining room waving a
lace handkerchief playfully.



ATS 1 A MAN THINKS 67

D E LOTA.
Found! Lady s handkerchief no marks.

MRS. S E E L i G.
[Extending her hand.] Thank you.

D E LOTA.

[Withholding the handkerchief] On one consideration.
{To ELINOR.] Mrs. Seelig says the talking machine has
spoiled Celeste Aida for her ears [To MRS. SEELIG.]
If you think you are mistaken when you hear Caruso to
night you must stand up and wave this to me as a signal
of surrender.

MBS. SEELIG.

I agree [Takes handkerchief.] because we shall be too
late to hear that solo.

D E LOTA.
Sharp practice, madam.

ELINOR.
Are we so late!

V E D A H.
Oh let s not hurry.

D E LOTA.

This room attracts me more than the opera. {He re
gards the drawings on the wall.

MRS. SEELIG.
Originals, aren t they?



68 AS A MAN THINKS

ELINOR.

Yes. They were in the offices of the magazine when Mr.
Clayton bought it.

D E LOTA.

Here s one by Frost. I used to watch for his sketches
when I was a boy.

[SUTTON, the Clayton butler, enters with coffee.

MRS. S E E L i G.

[At another drawing. ,] And Remington [To the but
ler. ] Thank you [Takes coffee.

[CLAYTON and BURRILL come from the dining
room.

CLAYTON.
You found the cigars?

D E LOTA.
I ll take a cigarette. [He does so.

ELINOR.

[To BURRILL.] Here s a libretto of Aida. Find that
passage of which you spoke.

BURRILL.
There were several.

MRS. SEELIG.
Our coffee won t interfere with your cigars.



[AS A MAN THINKS 69

D E LOTA.



Do you mind?



E L i N o R.



This room is dedicated to nicotine. [To MRS. SEELIG.]
Besides, we re going to take Mr. De Lota to the piano.

D E LOTA.
Are you?

ELINOR.
[To VEDAH.] Aren t we?

V E D A H.
We are.

B U R R I L L.

Here s one place [His pencil breaks]. Ah!

CLAYTON.

[Offering a pencil attached to his watch chain.
Here.

B U R R I L L.

[Giving libretto to CLAYTON.] Just mark that passage
"my native land/ etc. [To ELINOR.] Now follow that
when Aida sings Italian and note how the English stumbles.

ELINOR.

Thank you. [To CLAYTON as she takes book.] Will you
order the car ?

CLAYTON.
I have done so.



70 AS A MAN THINKS

ELINOR.

[To DE LOTA.] Come.

[ELINOR, MRS. SEELIG, VEDAH and DE LOTA go to
the music room by the arch left.

B U R B, I L L.

[To CLAYTON with whom he is alone.] See here I ve
an idea you d go to the opera if it weren t for me.

CLAYTON.

My boy, a box at the opera is the blackmail a man
pays for a quiet evening at home.

B u R R I L L.
[Laughing.] Many men do go.

CLAYTON.

And sleep on the rear chairs. No! I planned to stay
home you re part of the excuse. [SUTTON enters with a
note.] Excuse me. [Pause. Reads superscription on the
note,] Vedah [BURRILL gets a cigarette. CLAYTON goes to
the door of the music room and calls.] Vedah [VEDAH comes
to him.] They pursue you even here. [He laughingly
gives VEDAH the note which she opens and quickly scans.
SUTTON goes.

VEDAH.

[Speaking to the ladies and DE LOTA who are not in
view.] Papa will be late. Mrs. Clayton musn t wait for us.

CLAYTON.
Our car carries seven.

[ELINOR and MRS. SEELIG appear in the doorway
DE LOTA follows, they enter.



AS A MAN THINKS 71

E L I N O B.

I m sure we can make room.

CLAYTON.
Make room! You re only four!

ELINOR.
Mr. De Lota and I are to stop for the Underwoods.

MRS. SEELIG.
And we have our cousins Friedman.

D E LOTA.
I can take a taxi.

V E D A H.

That won t help Papa is coming here but later.

MRS. SEELIG.
You go ahead, Mrs. Clayton.

V E D A H.
Yes.

ELINOR.

[To DE LOTA.] What do you think?

D E LOTA.

Any time for me but the Underwoods !
[SUTTON enters.

S u T T o N.
The automobile.

[ELINOR nods; SUTTON goes.



72 AS A MAN THINKS

MRS. SEELIG.

It s all settled you go. So much formality. [She and
CLAYTON go to music room.

ELINOR.
Take this for me. [Hands libretto to DE LOTA.

VE D A H.

[Going out with ELINOR.] Papa will probably be here
before you get away.

[ELINOR goes upstairs talking with VEDAH.
They disappear.

B U R R I L L.

[As DE LOTA starts to music room.] Mr. De Lota
were you in Paris eight years ago ?

D E LOTA.

[Returning.] Yes and twenty-eight years ago I m
there every year.

B u R R i L L.
Did you ever visit the Cour d Assizes?

D E LOTA.
Occasionally if some interesting case were on

B u R R i L L.

I remember one very interesting case A husband pun
ished his wife and also her lover by imprisonment.

D E LOTA.
The French law has that absurd possibility.



AS A MAN THINKS 73

B U R R I L L.

The lover was sentenced to a year s imprisonment.

D E LOTA.

He was fortunate the court in its discretion might have
given him two years.

B u R R i L L.

You are more minutely informed on the subject than
the average American.

D E LOTA.

I am more minutely informed on most subjects than the
average American. I know somewhat of character of
men s temperaments and motives, Mr. Burrill. And your
interest in my life at Paris is very serviceable just now.

BURRILL.
Indeed!

D E LOTA.

Indeed yes. I ve been at a loss to understand the change
in Miss Seelig s deportment toward myself. I was charg
ing it to your superior attraction. I see it was due to your
power of insinuation.

BURRILL.
I have insinuated nothing about you.

D E LOTA.
You have been direct?

B U R R I L L.

I ve avoided discussing your life in Paris.



74 AS A MAN THINKS

D E LOTA.

That is wise, Mr. Burrill. In fact, you could do only
one thing that would be more wise.

BURRILL.

Yes?

D E LOTA.

Avoid discussing any of my affairs.

BURRILL.
My instinct is to do that.

D E LOTA.

Thank you ! [He turns away.

BURRILL.
[Following.] Except with one person.

D E LOTA.
You mean the lady?

BURRILL.

I mean you. I expect to discuss them with you rather
frankly.

D E LOTA.

I shall be pleased. [He throws the libretto on the table
and confronts BURRILL.

ELINOR.
[Entering. ~\ Ready, Mr. De Lota?



AS A MAN THINKS 75

D E LOTA.

[Smiling.] You excuse me?
[BURRILL nods.
[DE LOTA disappears in the hallway..

ELINOR.
I wish you were going with us.

BURRILL.
I wish I were.

[CLAYTON re-enters from the music room.

ELINOR.
You ll see Dick, won t you?

CLAYTON.

Yes.

ELINOR.

He s not started to undress yet. Miss Doane never
knows how to manage him.

[ BURRILL joins VEDAH and disappears with her
in music room.

CLAYTON.
[Alone with ELINOR.] Don t worry. Good night.

ELINOR.
Good night. [CLAYTON offers to kiss her."] No.

CLAYTON.
Still cross patch ?



76 AS A MAN THINKS

ELINOR.
We can t laugh it off, Frank.

CLAYTON.
Think we can pout it off?

ELINOR.

I think you can t tread my sensibilities into the mire by
your affairs with other women and expect me to smile at
cue.

CLAYTON.

Women ! One girl and a man s natural curiosity about
her type. Hang it there must be some freedom.

ELINOR.
Do you suggest more than you ve had?

CLAYTON.

I suggest domestic peace or any other punishment than
this deadly sulking.

ELINOR.
You ve admitted you went to the woman s room.

CLAYTON.

Admitted nothing. I candidly told you I had gone there
inld you in order that you might know all.

ELINOR.

/."I ;]},at you were willing to tell.



AS A MAN THINKS 77

CLAYTON.
I can t keep pace with your imagination.

E L I N o R.

Your wish to have me "know all" is six months after the
fact and when her photograph accidentally exposed you!

CLAYTON.

If you re kicking on the tardiness of your news service,
I m with you.

ELINOR.
I m resenting your breach of faith.

CLAYTON.
Don t assume anv covenant^ my dear that doesn t exist.

ELINOR.

Do you deny your promises after the affair of two years
ago?

CLAYTON.

I didn t promise to stagnate. I m a publisher with a
newsman s curiosity about the world he lives in.

ELINOR.
And what of a woman s curiosity?

CLAYTON.

Colossal! But not privileged. Curiosity of that kind in
a woman is idle and immoral!



78 AS A MAN THINKS

ELINOR.
And in a man?

CLAYTON.

A man s on the firing line a woman s in the commis
sariat.

ELINOR.

Which is a fine way of saying you have a license for
transgression that your wife has not.

CLAYTON
If you will yes.

ELINOR.
[After a defiant paused] You re mistaken.

[DE LOTA enters in wrap and carrying his hat.

D E LOTA.
Ready?

ELINOR.

Yes. [To CLAYTON.] You ll go up to Dick occasionally?

CLAYTON.
Certainly.

ELINOR.

[Calls.] Good night, Mr. Burrill good night. [To
MRS. SEELIG and VEDAH.] I feel awfully selfish.

[MRS. SEELIG, VEDAH and BURRILL come from
music room.

MRS. SEELIG.
Good night.



AS A MAN THINKS 79

V E D A H.
Lovely time at dinner.

[ELINOR and DE LOTA start out.

CLAYTON.

[Getting the libretto from table.] Here isn t this your
libretto?

ELINOR.

Thank you.

[Takes it and goes out with DE LOTA.] [Sound of
front door closing.

[MRS. SEELIG, VEDAH and BURRILL are with CLAY
TON.

MRS. S E E L i G.

Now, if Papa doesn t come for us you have us both
on your hands.

DICK.
[Coming down the stairs and calling. ] Mama Mama.

CLAYTON.

Mama s gone, Dick. Don t let him call that way, Miss
Doane.

[DICK and Miss DOANE, the governess, appear in
hallway.

DICK. f
I want Mama.

MRS. S E E L i G.

Here s Auntie Seelig, my dear won t she do?
[Miss DOANE and DICK enter.



80 AS A MAN THINKS

CLAYTON.
It s much after his bed time.

MlSS DOANE.

I don t think he s well, Mr. Clayton.

DICK.

My throat hurts.

CLAYTON.
Throat hurts?

Miss DOANE.

He complained at supper. I didn t tell Mrs. Clayton
because she s so easily alarmed.

CLAYTON.

[Taking DICK to the lamp.] Let me see your throat,
Dick. Open your mouth. [To BURRILL.] You know any
thing about throats?

B u n R i L L.
Not inside.

V E D A H.

Mama does.

MRS. S E E L i G.

Papa Seelig s coming in a few minutes, Dick hell cure
your throat. [To CLAYTON as she takes the boy s face in
her hands. ] Feverish.



AS A MAN THINKS 81

CLAYTON.

[To Miss DOANE.] Let him wait then and see the
Doctor.

MRS. S E E L i G.

Doctor can see him better in the nursery. Come Dick
Auntie Seelig will tell you a pretty story while Miss Doane
gets you to bed.

DICK.

[To CLAYTON.] Carry me.

CLAYTON.

[Laughing. ] Carry you? You re taking advantage of
all this sympathy. [Picks him up.~\ Excuse me [To
BURRILL and VEDAH.

MRS. SEELIG.

What is a father for with his magazines and news
papers if he can t carry a little boy upstairs, eh?

[Goes with Miss DOANE after CLAYTON who car
ries DICK upstairs.

VEDAH.
Looks sick, doesn t he ?

BURRILL.
[Nodding.] Poor kid.

VEDAH.

He wants his mother. If Papa says he s ill I can go to
Mrs. Clayton s box and let her know.



82 AS A MAN THINKS

B U R E I L L.

Yes.

V E D A H.

Have you noticed the disposition of our two parties?

B u R R 1 1 L.
Disposition ?

V E D A H.

Mr. De Lota escorts Mrs. Clayton.

B u R R i L L.
Mr. Clayton doesn t care for the opera.

V E D A II.

Some of my friends have been good enough to commen
on the frequency of Mr. De Lota s calls.

B u R R i L, L.
[Pause. ] Do you care?

V E D A H.

A woman s natural pride.

B u R R i L L.

But heartaches? [VEDAH shakes head.] Does Mrs.
Clayton know of your engagement?

VEDAH.
No. [Pause.] Have you done what I asked you?

B u R R i L L.
What?



AS A MAN THINKS 83

V E D A H.
A letter to Paris.

B U R R I I, I..

There s none to whom I could write on such a subject.

V E D A H.

Your model friend she is still there?

B U R R I L L.

I suppose so.

V E D A H.

Why not a line to her?

B IT R R i x, TU.

[Evasively.] She owes me nothing.

V E D A H.
Well?

B U R HI L L.

She d probably take alarm and forward the letter to the
man himself.

V E D A H.
Why "forward" has he left the country?

B u R R i L L.

[Quickly recovering.] Probably or perhaps not but
either way nothing accomplished.

V E D A H.
Either way nothing lost. Won t you try?



84 AS A MAN THINKS

B U R R I L L.

[Disturbed.] It isn t a manly thing to do even against
a rival.

V E D A H.

I

[Smiling."] Thank you.

B IT B, E I L L.

Why?

V E D A H.

Rival.

B U R R I L L.

Well

V E D A H.

So far you ve said only that you loved me.

B u R R i L L.
You don t resent rival?

V E D A H.


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