Copyright
Augustus Thomas.

The copperhead online

. (page 6 of 6)
Online LibraryAugustus ThomasThe copperhead → online text (page 6 of 6)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


went on an' Vicksburg come and one night a feller
galloped into town hyar and hitched. "When'd you
hear from Joe ?" sez he. "Last week," I sez. "How
was he?" sez he, a-foolin' round tightenin' up his
girth. "All right," sez I, and he sez : "Joe's dead."
(Pause. To MADELINE .) I kin see yer gramma yet,
a-cryin' by the well, pettin' the corner of it where
Joey'd been. Bym' by, I leant over to tech her, but
she drawed away, a-tremblin' and a-sayin: "For
Gawd's sake, Milt Shanks, yer unclean !" (Pause.
To MRS. MANNING.,) . His mother (Pause) two
or three days she was pinin' with her face agin the

letters he'd wrote home, and then (Pause.)

At the church instead of the trouble I expected
from the neighbors, they was all strange-like an'
kind, 'cept when I went to look in the black coffin
under the flag, where Joey was. Newt Gillespie

took me by the arm and (Pause.) You tell

'em, Newt, what you said to me. *^_-.

GILLESPIE. I hev told 'em more'n once.

SHANKS. Tell her. She never heered it.

GILLESPIE. I'd give my word 'fore he died.

SHANKS. (To M ADELINE. ) His word to Joey.

GILLESPIE. Yes. He said : "If you take me back,
don't let him see me. If he on'y fought on the other
side, I'd o' been proud, even if he'd been the one
that shot me but no copperhead." An' I did. Right
in the church, I jes' tuk him by the arm and said:

"It was his particular last request " quiet-like,

as I'm talkin' now, and led him out o' the church.
An', by God, I'd do it

MADELINE. Oh, Grandpa!

SHANKS. That left only little Elsie, yer ma an'
she was so little I couldn't leave her alone, and I



90 THE COPPERHEAD

was carryin' her on my arm. Newt Gillespie was
the only man 'at spoke to me and in the whole
United States yes, in the whole world only one
man wrote to me. (Pause) I kep' his letter nat-
ural (Gets letter from box.) I'm gonna ask

Colonel Hardy ter read it. (Takes letter from old
flag and hands it, open, to HARDY.J Careful, Col-
onel. It's a keepsake with me. An' then that's all
I've got to say. If 'twasn't fur Madeline and Philip
and I know they're lovin' each other and sep-
aratin'

HARDY. My God ! Who's crazy you or I
Milt Shanks! Milt Shanks!

RANDALL. What is it, Colonel?

SHANKS. Read it, Colonel Hardy.

HARDY. (Reads) "Executive Mansion, Wash-
ington, April nth, 1865. Mr. Milton Shanks, Mill-
ville. Dear Milt: Lee's surrender ends it all. I
cannot think of you without a sense of guilt, but it
had to be. I alone knew what you did and, even
more, what you endured. I cannot reward you
man cannot reward anything worth while there is
only One who can. I send you a flag handkerchief.
(SHANKS unconsciously touches the flag.) It is not
new, but you will prize it the more for that. I hope
to shake your hand some time. Your friend, A.
Lincoln."

SHANKS. Colonel, do you recollec' the time you
druv me to the train in March o' sixty-one?

HARDY. Very well. You went to look at cattle.

SHANKS. That's what I told you. I wuz called
to Washington by Lincoln, an* two days later, at
night, in his library White House he walked over
to'erd a winder, and, without turnin' round, he says :

"Milt " (Pause.) Funny I remember a clock

tickin' on the mantelpiece (Pause.) I sez:

"Mr. President " (Pause.) "Milt, how much

do you love yer country?" (Pause.) "I cahilate



THE COPPERHEAD 91

I'd die for it," I sez. (Shakes head.) "Thousands
o' boys is a-cryin to do that." Then he turned
round. "Would you give up sumpin' more'n life?"
(Pause.) "Try me," I sez. The President run his
hands through his hair an* went on : "It means to be
odious in the eyes of men and women ter eat yer
heart out alone fur you can't tell yer wife ner
chile ner friend." (Pause.) "Go on," I sez.
(Pause.) "The Southern sympathizers are organiz-
ing in our State really worse than the soldiers. I
want you ter jine them Knights o' the Golden Circle
ter be one of them their leader, if you kin. I
need you, Milt. Yer country needs you." (Pause.)
Hadn't been two minutes since he was laffin', but he
lifted his hands, and it seemed we wuz the only
folks in the world (Pause.) and that clock
(Pause.) funny I remember that. (Pause.) "I'll
do it," I sez. (Pause.) He tuk a little flag out o'
his pocket like as not this very one put it on the
table like I'm puttin' it. (Pause.) "As Chief
Magistrate of the nation, I'll muster you inter the
nation's service," he said. He laid my hand where
the blue is and all the stars, and put his hand over
mine. (Business suggested with cast.) Only open,
of course (Uses his own hand.) and said nothin*
(Pause. Nods.) jes' looked in my eyes an'

looked (Pause.) Well, I jined J em. (Pause.)

It was terrible, when I couldn't tell my boy (Looks
at PHILIP,) when he marched off. (To MRS. MAN-
NING.,) Sixteen, you know blue eyes (Pause.

MADELINE takes his hand and kisses it. The action
startles him a little.) It ruined the Governor that
pardoned me out o' Joliet, where I was convicted to
but I've allers figured he had his orders from
Washington same as me an' couldn't talk about
it. An even when Vicksburg come, and Joey was
dead, why, the war wasn't over.



92 THE COPPERHEAD

HARDY. But, damn it, in all these years we've
despised you, why haven't you told ?

SHANKS. Told who? Couldn't tell Joey or his
mother, and, with them gone tellin' anybody seemed
so so useless. Only now, when it's separatin' her
an' Philip an' spoilin* her election in the school
board

HARDY. Her election ! Why, damn it, that story'd
elect a wooden Indian ! (GILLESPIE grabs SHANKS'
coat.)

RANDALL. What are you doing?

GILLESPIE. Take that off. This coat don't belong
on me.

SHANKS. Newt not yer Grand Army coat?

GILLESPIE. Git in it ! Here's the hat. ( Goes to
door, carrying SHANKS' coat.) Bring him to that
meetin'. I'm a damn fool, but, by God, I ain't no
skunk ! (Exit.)

MADELINE. Oh, Grandpa!

SHANKS. (Loving the coat) The blue

RANDALL. The hat, Mr. Shanks!

SHANKS. An' a cord round it. If they was only
a lookin' glass.

MRS. MANNING. Come, Colonel. ('HARDY crosses
to SHANKS returns the letter. The two men join
hands in speechless emotion a moment.)

SHANKS. (Forviving) Tom! (HARDY pats
SHANKS' shoulder and moves on. With flag.) All
right, now, to carry this, ain't it?

PHILIP. I should say it was !

SHANKS. God! It's wonderful (Pauses and
inhales) to hev friends agin ! (Goes. PHILIP takes
MADELINE in his arms MRS. MANNING watching
them from right.)

(CURTAIN.)



KICK IN



?>lay in 4 acts. By Willard Mack. 7 males, 5 femalai,

g interiors. Modern costumes. Plays 2^ hours.

"Kick In" is the latest of the very few available mystery
plays. Like "Within the Law," "Seven Keys to Baldpate,"
'The Thirteenth Chair," and "In the Next Room," it is one
of those thrillers which are accurately described as "not having
dull moment in it from beginning to end." It is a play with
all the ingredients of popularity, not at all difficult to set or to
act; the plot carries it along, and the situations are built with
that skill and knowledge of the theatre for which Willard Mack
is known. An ideal mystery melodrama, for high schools and
colleges. (Royalty, twenty-five dollars.) Price, 75 Cent*.



TILLY OF BLOOMSBURY

'("Happy-Go-Lucky.") A comedy in 3 acts. By Ian
Hay. 9 males, 7 females. 2 interior scenes. Modern
dress. Plays a full evening.

Into an aristocratic family comes Tilly, lovable and youthful,
with ideas and manners which greatly upset the circle. Tilly
is so frankly honest that she makes no secret of her tre-
mendous affection for the young son of the family; this brings her
into many difficulties. But her troubles have a joyous end in
charmingly blended scenes of sentiment and humor. This comedy
presents an opportunity for fine acting, handsome stage settings;
nd beautiful costuming. (Royalty, twenty-five dollars.)

Price, 75 Cent*



BILLY

Farce-comedy in 3 acts. By George Cameron. 10 males,
6 females. (A few minor male parts can be doubled, mak-
ing the cast 7 males, 5 females.) 1 exterior. Costume^
modern. Plays 2% hours.

The action of the play takes place oa the S. S. "Florida,*'
bound for Havana. The story has to do with the disappearance of
a set of false teeth, which creates endless complications among
passengers and crew, and furnishes two and a quarter hours of
the heartiest laughter. One of the funniest comedies produced in
the last dozen years on the American stage is "Billy" (some-
times called "Billy's Tombstones"), in which the late Sidney
Drew achieved a hit in New York and later toured the country
everal times. (Royalty, twenty-five dollars.) Price, 75 Cents.

SAMUEL FRENCH, 25 West 45th Street, New York Q
Our New Descriptive Catalogue Sent Free on R?ues



DADDY LONG-LEGS

A charming comedy in 4 acts. By Jean Webster. The
fuH east calls for 6 males, 7 females and 6 orphans, but
the play, by the easy doubling of some of the characters^
may be played by 4 males, 4 females and 3 orphans.
^Dhe orphans appear only in the first act and may be played ,
hy small girls of any age. Four easy interior scenes*
Costumes modern. Plays 2% hours.

Many readers of current fiction will recall Jean Webster'*
"'Daddy Long-Legs." Miss Webster dramatized her story and ifc
tra presented at the Gaiety Theatre in New York, under Henry
Miller's direction, with Ruth Chntterton in the principal role.
* 'Daddy Long-Legs" tells the story of Judy, a pretty little
drudge in a bleak New England orphanage. One day, a visiting
trustee becomes interested in Judy and decides to give her a
chu-nce. S'h.e does not know the name of her benefactor, but
simply calte him Daddy Long-Legs, and writes him letters brim-
ming over with fun and affection. From the Foundling's Home
she goes to a fashionable college for girls and there develops the
roRiane-e that constitutes much of the play's charm. The New
York Timss revmww, on the morning after the Broadway pre-
ductioa, wrote the following: "If you will take your pencil and
write down, one below the other, the words delightful, eharmingv
sweet, beautiful and entertaining, and then draw a line and add
them up, the answer will be 'Daddy Long-Legs.' To that result
you might even add brilliant, pathetic and humorous, but the
answer even then would be just what it was before- the play
which MJss Jean Webster has made from her book, 'Daddy Long-
Legs,' and which was presented at the Gaiety last night. To
attempt to describe tha simplicity and beauty of 'Daddy Long-
Legs' would be like attempting to describe the first breath of
Spring after an exceedingly tiretome and hard Winter." "Daddy
Long-Legs" enjoyed 5 two-years' run in New York, and was then
toured for over three years. It is now published in play form for
the first time. (Royalty, twenty-five dollars.) Price, 75 Cents.

THE FAMOUS MRS. FAIR

A comedy in 4 acts. By James Forbes. 3 males, 10
females. 2 iateriors. Modern eestumes. Plays a fttH
evening.

An abj30x<&3 play of modern American family life. "The
Famous Ms. Fair" is concerned with a strenuous lady wha
returns from over-sea*? to lecture, and consequently neglects her
daughter, who is just saved in time from disaster. Acted with
great success by Blanche Bates and Henry Miller. (Royalty,
twenty-five dollars.) Price, 75 Cents.

SAMUEL FRENCH, 25 West 43tfa Street, New York City
Our New Descriptive Catalogue Sent Free on Request



ON THE HIRING LINE

Comedy in 3 acts, by Harvey O'Higgins and Harriet
Ford. 5 males, 4 females. Interior throughout. Costumes,
modern. Plays 2^j hours.

Sherman Fessenden, unable to induce servants to remain for
any reasonable length of time at his home, hits upon the novel
expedient of engaging detectives to serve as domestics.

His second wife, an actress, weary of the country and longing
ior Broadway, has succeeded in discouraging every other cook and
butler against remaining long at the house, believing that by so
do-ing she will win her husband to her theory that country life
is dead. So she is deeply disappointed when she finds she cannot
discourage the new servants.

The sleuths, believing they had been called to report on the
actions of those living with the Fessendens, proceeded to warn
Mr. Fessenden that his wife has been receiving love-notes from
Steve Mark, an actor friend, and that his daughter has been
planning to elope with a thief.

One sleuth causes an uproar in the house, making a mess of
the situations he has witnessed. Mr. Fessenden, however, has
learned a lesson and is quite willing to leave the servant problem
to bis wife thereafter. (Royalty, twenty-five dollars J

Price, 75 Cents.



A FULL HOUSE

A f arciaal comedy in 3 acts. By Fred Jackson. 7 males,
7 females. One interior scene. Modern costumes. Time,
2% houTS.

Imagine a reckless and wealthy youth who writes ardent
love letters to a designing chorus girl, an attorney brother-
in-law who steals the letters and then gets his hand-bag mixed
up with the grip of a burglar who has just stolen a valuable
necklace from, the mother of the indiscreet youth, and the
efforts of the crook to recover his plunder, as incidents in
the story of a play in whick. the swiftness of the action
never halts for an instant. Not only are the situations scream*
ingly funny but the lines themselves hold a fund of humor at
all times. This newest and cleverest of all farces was written
tiy Fred Jackson, the well-known short-story writer, and is
backed up by the prestige of an impressive New York success
ami the promise of unlimited fun presented in the most attrac-
tive form. A cleaner, cleverer farce has not been seen for many
a long day. "A Full House" is a house full of laughs. (Royalty,
twenty-five dollars.) Price, 75 Cents.

SAMUEL FRENCH, 25 West 45th Street, New York Cily
Our New Descriptive Catalogue Sent tree on Request



MRS. WIGGS OF THE
CABBAGE PATCH

Dramatization in 3 acts, by Anne Crawford Flexner from
the novel bj Alice Hegan Kice. 15 males, 11 females.

1 interior, 1 exterior. Costumes modern and rustic. Plays
a full evening. ,

A capital dramatization of the ever-beloved Mrs. Wiggs and
her friends, people who have entered the hearts and minds of a
nation. Mrs. Schultz and Lovey Mary, the pessimistic Miss Hazy
and the others need no new introduction. Here is characteriza-
tion, humor, pathos, and what is best and most appealing: in
modern American life. The amateur acting rights are reserved
for the present in all cities and towns where there are stock
companies. Royalty will be quoted on application for those cities
and towfts where it ma." be presented by amateurs.

Price, 75 Cents.

THE FOUR-FLUSHER

Comedy in 3 acts. By Csesar Dunn. 8 males, 5 females.

2 interiors. Modern costumes. Plays 2^4 hours.

A comedy of hustling American youth, "The Four-Fluster" is
one of those clean and bright plays which reveal the most appeal-
ing characteristics of our native types. Here is an amusing story
of a young shoe clerk who through cleverness, personality, and
plenty of wholesome faith in himself, becomes a millionaire. The
play is best described as "breezy." It is full of human touches,
and develops a most interesting story. It may be whole-heartedly
recommended to high schools. (Royalty, twenty-five dollars.)

Price, 75 Cents.

PALS FIRST

Comedy in a prologue and 3 acts. By Lee Wilson Dodd.
8 males, 3 females. 1 interior, 1 exterior. Modern cos-
tumes. Plays 2^ hours.

Based on the successful novel of the same name by F. P.
Elliott, "Pals First" is a decidedly picturesque mystery play.
Danny and the Dominie, a pair of tramps, enter a mansion and
persuade the servants and friends that they belong there. They
are not altogether wrong, though it requires the intervention of
a judge, two detectives, a villain and an attractive girl to un-
tangle the complications. A moat ingenious play, well adapted
to performance by high schools and colleges. (Royalty, twenty*
five dollars.) Price, 75 Cents,

SAMUEL FRENCH, 25 West 45th Street, New York City
Our New Descriptive Catalogue Sent Free <"



ARE YOU A MASON?

Farce in 3 acts. By Leo Ditrichstein. 7 males, 7 fe
tuales. Modern costumes. Plays 2*4 hours. 1 interior.

"Are You a Mason?" is one of those delightful farces liferf
"Charley's Aunt" that are always fresh. "A mother and ft
daughter," says the critic of the New York Herald, "had hug-
bands who account for absences from the joint household on
frequent evenings, falsely pretending to be Masons. The men
do not know each other's duplicity, and each tells his wife of
having advanced to leadership in his lodge. The older woman
was so well pleased with her husband's supposed distinction in
the order that she made him promise to put up the name of ft
visiting friend for membership. Further perplexity over tha
principal liar arose when a suitor for his second daughter's hand
proved to be a real Mason. ... To tell the story of the plaj
would require volumes, its complications are so numerous. It ia
a house of cards. One card wrongly placed and the whole thinfr
would oollapae. But it stands, an example of remarkable ii
genuity. You wonder at the end of the first act how the fun
can be kept up on such a slender foundation. But it continue*
And grows to the last curtain." One of the most hilariously
musing farces ever written, especially suited to schools and
Masonic Lodges. (Royalty, twenty-five dollars.) Price, 75 Ctenti\



KEMPY

& delightful comedy in 3 acts. By J. 0. Nugent and
Elliott Nugent. 4 males, 4 females. 1 interior throughout.
Costumes, modern. Plays 2% hoars.

No wonder "Kempy" has been such a tremendous hit in Itar
York, Chicago wherever it has played. It snaps with wit and
humor of the most delightful kind. It's electric. It's small-
town folk perfectly pictured. Full of types of varied sorts, eaeh
one done to a turn and served with zestful sauce. An ideal
entertainment for amusement purposes. The story is about a high*
falutin* daughter who in a fit of pique marries the young plumber-
architect, who comes to fix the water pipes, just because he
"understands" her, having read her book and having sworn to
marry the authoress. But in that story lies all the humor that
kept the audience laughing every second of every act. Of course
there are lots of ramifications, each of which bears its own brand
of laughter-making potentials. But the plot and the story are
not the main things. There is, for instance, the work of the
company. The fun growing out of this family mixup is lively and
clean. (Royalty, twenty-five dollars.) Price, 75 Cent*,

^ SAMUEL FRENCH, 25 West 45th Street, New York day
"" Ow New Descriptive Catalogue Seat Free <*a



THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE
STAMPED BELOW



RENEWED BOOKS ARE SUBJECT TO IMMEDIATE
RECALL



LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS



ecent



Book Slip-70m-9,'65(F7151s4)458



AUinura* war ucw



SAMUEL FRENCH

Oldest Play Publisher in the World
\S7 M t 45th Street. NEW YORK CITY



PAMPHLET



412004



, .

[== stocks Thomas, A.

The copperhead



PS3022

C6

1922



LIBRARY

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
DAVIS





1 2 3 4 6

Online LibraryAugustus ThomasThe copperhead → online text (page 6 of 6)