Clyde Fitch.

Her Own Way A Play in Four Acts online

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[Illustration: Macmillan Logo]

Her Own Way






Set up and electrotyped. Published April, 1907.

All acting rights, both professional and amateur, are reserved by Clyde
Fitch. Performances forbidden and right of representation reserved.
Application for the right of performing this piece must be made to The
Macmillan Company. Any piracy or infringement will be prosecuted in
accordance with the penalties provided by the United States Statutes: -

"SEC. 4966. - Any person publicly performing or representing any dramatic
or musical composition, for which copyright has been obtained, without
the consent of the proprietor of the said dramatic or musical
composition, or his heirs or assigns, shall be liable for damages
therefor, such damages in all cases to be assessed at such sum, not less
than one hundred dollars for the first and fifty dollars for every
subsequent performance, as to the Court shall appear to be just. If the
unlawful performance and representation be wilful and for profit, such
person or persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction
be imprisoned for a period not exceeding one year." - U.S. REVISED
STATUTES, Title 60, Chap. 3.

Norwood Press
J.S. Cushing & Co. - Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

Transcriber's Note: various printer's errors - typos and missing
punctuation - were corrected for this e-book.

C.F. 1907



_Ten days elapse._


_Eight months elapse._


_Four weeks elapse._




MRS. CARLEY Her step-mother.
MRS. STEVEN CARLEY Her sister-in-law, born "Coast,"
and daughter of Mrs. Carley by a former marriage.
CHRISTOPHER } Children of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Carley.
ELAINE From next door.
LIZZIE Mrs. Carley's maid.
MISS BELLA SHINDLE "The Lady Hair-dresser."
SAM COAST Louise Carley's own cousin.
STEVEN CARLEY Georgiana's brother.
MOLES Butler to the Carleys.
A FOOTMAN At the Carleys.

Produced at the Star Theatre, Buffalo, September 24, 1903, and on
September 28, 1903, at the Garrick Theatre, New York, with the following
cast: -

Georgiana Carley Miss Maxine Elliott
Mrs. Carley Miss Eva Vincent
Mrs. Steven Carley Miss Nellie Thorne
Philip Master Donald Gallaher
Christopher Miss Beryl Morse
Toots Miss Mollie King
Elaine Miss Marie Hirsch
Lizzie Miss Susanne Perry
Miss Bella Shindle Miss Georgie Lawrence
Lieutenant Richard Coleman Mr. Charles Cherry
Sam Coast Mr. Arthur Byron
Steven Carley Mr. R.C. Herz
Moles Mr. Francklyn Hurleigh
Footman Mr. B.M. Parmenter

Produced at the Lyric Theatre, London, in May, 1905, and afterward at
the Savoy Theatre, London, with the following cast: -

Georgiana Carley Miss Maxine Elliott
Mrs. Carley Mrs. Fanny Addison Pitt
Mrs. Steven Carley Miss Nellie Thorne
Philip Master Donald Gallaher
Christopher Miss Beryl Morse
Toots Miss Mollie King
Elaine Miss Marie Hirsch
Lizzie Miss Susanne Perry
Miss Bella Shindle Miss Georgie Lawrence
Lieutenant Richard Coleman Mr. Charles Cherry
Sam Coast Mr. James Carew
Steven Carley Mr. R.C. Herz
Moles Mr. Francklyn Hurleigh
Footman Mr. B.M. Parmenter


_The nursery. Half-past two in the afternoon. A cool, delightful white
room, with a frieze of children playing in the ocean spray; shelves of
bright-colored books on the walls, and the months of a large calendar by
Elizabeth Shippen Green framed underneath. There is a deep bow-window at
the back; the principal door is at the Left, and a smaller one on the
Right. Toys of all sizes, for all ages, are scattered about with a
holiday air. There is a sofa on the Right and a hobby horse on the

_There are four charming though somewhat spoiled children, with
intermittent manners, with napkins tied up under their chins, sitting
around the table, which is a little to the right of the centre of the

_The_ FOOTMAN _is busy removing the plates; the butler,_ MOLES, _who
stands behind_ PHILIP, _always takes_ PHILIP'S _plate. It is_ PHILIP'S
_birthday._ LIZZIE _stands behind_ ELAINE. _In the centre of the table
is a large cake with seven candles burning on it._

PHILIP. What comes next?


[LIZZIE _and_ MOLES _suppress smiles, exchanging looks of delighted
appreciation of_ CHRISTOPHER'S _humor._

TOOTS. Ice cream!

ELAINE. Don't be absurd, Christopher, we've _had_ soup.


TOOTS. I like ice cream!


PHILIP. What comes next, Moles?

MOLES. I don't know, sir.

[_He goes out._

ELAINE. T'ain't manners to ask, anyway, Phil.

PHILIP. Who cares! It's my birthday!

CHRISTOPHER. When will it be my birthday?

[_The_ FOOTMAN _reënters with plates, followed by_ MOLES, _with silver
dish of croquettes._

PHILIP. Here it comes; what is it?

MOLES. Chicken croquettes, sir.

PHILIP. Left overs! Had chicken yesterday! Bring 'em here first!

MOLES. No, ladies first, sir.

[_Serves_ ELAINE.

LIZZIE. And besides, Miss Elaine is company.


PHILIP. That's all right. S'long it's Elaine, everything goes!


[_Sliding down from her chair, she runs to him and kisses him._

PHILIP. [_Hopelessly embarrassed._] Don't! not in front of everybody!

ELAINE. But I do love you, Phil, and you're my beau, and I'm so glad
it's your birthday.

[_Goes back to her place unashamed and contented._

[MOLES _serves_ PHILIP.

LIZZIE. You oughtn't to talk about beaux at your age, Miss - ought Miss

[_To_ MOLES _with a knowing glance._

MOLES. I ain't discussing the sex with you, Lizzie, but I will say all
the girls I've known, began talking about beaux early and ended late.

CHRISTOPHER. I heard Lizzie and Moles talking about Aunt Georgiana's


[FOOTMAN _goes out with the croquette dish._

ELAINE. Mr. Dick Coleman's Miss Carley's beau!

PHILIP. No, he isn't! Mr. Dick's known Aunt Georgiana always, they're
just little boy and girl friends. Lizzie says she's Cousin Sammy Coast's

LIZZIE. [_Indignant, though convulsed._] I never did!

PHILIP. Yes, you did! To Maggie when you thought I wasn't paying

[LIZZIE _and_ MOLES _exchange amused glances._

ELAINE. But Mr. Coast's your auntie's cousin; and your cousin can't be
your beau.

PHILIP. He ain't any relation to Auntie Georgiana. Mamma said so. Mr.
Coast's mamma's cousin, and grandma's nephew, but grandma isn't any real
relation to auntie.


PHILIP. I don't know how, only Aunt Georgiana had a different mamma, she
didn't have grandma.

ELAINE. And the same papa!

PHILIP. Not all the time, mamma had another papa first.

CHRISTOPHER. It's sort of mixy, isn't it?

PHILIP. Yes, I guess mamma and Aunt Georgy are sort of divorced sisters!


[_As if that explained it._

TOOTS. [_Beating the table._] Lemmlelade! lemmlelade!

[MOLES _crosses to pitcher and serves_ TOOTS _first, then the others._

PHILIP. Toots, you're getting tipsy!

[_The children laugh._

CHRISTOPHER. Cousin Sammy comes to see Aunt Georgiana nearly every day.

PHILIP. Yes - he's begun to bring toys just like some of the others did.

CHRISTOPHER. [_With his mouth full._] Hobby horse! Hobby horse!

[_Pointing to the hobby horse._

LIZZIE. Don't talk with your mouth full, Mr. Christopher.

PHILIP. [_Shouting._] He'll choke! He'll choke!

[_All laugh, tremendously amused._

MOLES. Mr. Coast is a very fine gentleman.

PHILIP. Oh, I know! I saw him give you a dollar the other day, when he
came to see auntie, and you advised his waiting and said auntie'd be in
by five.

LIZZIE. Isn't he a case!

MOLES. He certainly is.

[_Returns pitcher to table on the Left._

CHRISTOPHER. I like Mr. Dick best. He's always taking us places and

TOOTS. [_Who has finished his croquette and is now ready for
conversation._] Um! Circus!

PHILIP. And not just 'cause he's stuck on auntie.

MOLES. You oughtn't to use that expression, Mr. Philip.

PHILIP. Why not! you do. I heard you tell Lizzie you were stuck on her
last Sunday.

LIZZIE. [_Blushing._] Oh, my!

CHRISTOPHER. Mr. Dick's a soldier!

PHILIP. Yes, siree! He helped stop a strike of street cars in Brooklyn.
His name was in the papers!

CHRISTOPHER. He was hurted bad, and if he was dead, he'd have a
monnyment with "Hero" embroidered on it. Aunt Georgiana said so!

ELAINE. I should think Miss Georgiana was too old, anyway, to have

CHRISTOPHER. Oh, awful old!

LIZZIE. Oh! Miss Carley isn't so old!

PHILIP. Yes, she is, too! She's our old maid aunt.

ELAINE. If she wasn't old, she'd be married. It must be awful to be so

PHILIP. She's nearly thirty, I guess.


[_Loud and long._

CHRISTOPHER. You'll be deader soon after thirty, won't you?

TOOTS. [_Crying._] I don't want Auntie Georgiana to be a deader!

PHILIP. [_Bored._] Shut up!

LIZZIE. [_Comes to_ TOOTS _and comforts him_.] Toots, dear!

PHILIP. I'm glad Aunt Georgiana's an old maid, 'cause I don't want her
to leave us.

[FOOTMAN _enters and stands at the Right_.]

She gave me my birthday party.

MOLES. Yes, and this whole house'd miss your aunt, I can tell you that,
Mr. Philip. [_Takes away the plates._] She just keeps things going
smooth with everybody.

PHILIP. I told her I saw you kiss Lizzie on the back stairs, Saturday.

MOLES. What!

[_Gives dishes to the_ FOOTMAN.

LIZZIE. He didn't! He didn't!

PHILIP. Yes, that's what Aunt Georgiana said, but I know better, and so
does she, I guess!

LIZZIE. Isn't he a case!

[MOLES _goes out with the_ FOOTMAN.

PHILIP. Now what?


PHILIP. Ice cream! I want ice cream!


ELAINE. My mamma don't let my brothers behave so at the table.

PHILIP. Neither don't we, 'cept our birthdays.

[MOLES _reënters with a tray and plates._

CHRISTOPHER. What is it?

PHILIP. [_Screams._] Eeh! Ice cream! It's ice cream!


PHILIP. Go ahead, dish it out!


[MOLES _serves ice cream to_ ELAINE, _then to_ PHILIP, TOOTS, _and_

CHRISTOPHER. Mr. Dick Coleman is gooder as Cousin Sammy Coast.

ELAINE. Aunt Georgiana is goodest as him!

CHRISTOPHER. Aunt Georgiana is gooder as mamma!

TOOTS. And most goodest as grandma.

[LIZZIE _exchanges a glance with_ MOLES _and goes out Right._

PHILIP. Grandma! Rats!


PHILIP. [_Shouts._] Stop, Chris! He's taking too much ice cream!


[_They keep up the clamor, laughing and shouting, till_ LIZZIE _comes

LIZZIE. Children! here comes grandma.

PHILIP. [_Disgusted._] Oh, pshaw!

CHRISTOPHER. Don't want grandma.


[MRS. CARLEY _comes in from the Right. She is a middle-aged woman, of
faded prettiness and frivolous manner. Every line and bit of character
has been massaged out of her face. There is a sudden, embarrassed, and
gloomy silence on the part of the children._

MRS. CARLEY. Well, children, having a lovely party?

PHILIP. [_Grudgingly._] Yes, ma'am!

ELAINE. [_Politely._] Yes, ma'am.

CHRISTOPHER. Aunt Georgiana's party!

MRS. CARLEY. Yes, dear, it's too bad mamma is ill in bed. She says when
you are all through, you may come up and say how do you do, while she
kisses Phil. [_Silence._] That will be nice, won't it?

PHILIP. [_Grudgingly._] Yes, ma'am.

ELAINE. Yes, ma'am.

CHRISTOPHER. Yes, ma'am.


MRS. CARLEY. We are glad you could come in, Elaine, and help celebrate
Philip's birthday.

ELAINE. Thank you, ma'am!

[TOOTS _is mashing his ice cream strenuously with a spoon._

MRS. CARLEY. Toots! don't be naughty and don't mash your ice cream up
like that.

TOOTS. I like it.

CHRISTOPHER. Me too - it makes soup!

[_Copying_ TOOTS.

MRS. CARLEY. Your collar's crooked, Chris.

[_Arranging it._



MRS. CARLEY. Phil, shall grandma cut your cake for you?

PHILIP. No, ma'am, Auntie Georgiana's going to cut it.

MRS. CARLEY. Oh, very well. How's your mamma, Elaine? Is she going to
the big ball to-morrow?

ELAINE. Yes, ma'am.

MRS. CARLEY. We feel dreadfully. Philip's mamma's illness prevents our

ELAINE. Mamma said you weren't invited.

MRS. CARLEY. [_Pats_ PHILIP _on the head, to his great disgust and
discomfort._] Your mamma had better mind! Your mamma is mistaken!
Good-by, children, grandma is sorry she can't stay and have a good time
with you. I am going to call, Elaine, on the Countess of Worling, Mrs.
Tom Cooley's daughter. I don't think your mother knows them. Good-by,
dears, enjoy yourselves.

[_She goes out Left._

[_Silence till the door is well shut behind grandma, and then the
children break out with shouts, all of them, of "Good-by, Grandma.
Good-by," repeated ad lib. Then they calm down._

PHILIP. Bully! Grandma's gone!


ALL THE CHILDREN. More ice cream! Ice cream!

PHILIP. Let's see.

[MOLES _hands him the ice cream dish._

CHRISTOPHER. [_To_ PHILIP.] Can I have some more, or will it make me

PHILIP. [_Serves the children._] No, there's plenty. When there isn't
enough, mamma always says it will make us sick.

CHRISTOPHER. And papa - when we have company unexpected, and there isn't
enough of anything, papa always says F.H.B.



CHRISTOPHER. He says it means Family Hold Back, and we all have to say
"No, thank you," when it comes around! Do you like grandma, Phil?

PHILIP. Naw! Grandma's no good.

[MOLES _goes out with the empty ice cream dish._

TOOTS. No good, grandma!

[_A knock outside the door Left._

GEORGIANA. [_Outside._] Hello! Hello!

PHILIP. [_Delighted._] Aunt Georgiana!

ALL THE CHILDREN. Aunt Georgiana!

GEORGIANA. [_Outside._] Is this a private room at Sherry's, or may an
old maid aunt come in?

ALL. No! Yes! Come in - come on in!

[_They clatter on the table with their spoons, and shout "Hurrah! Aunt
Georgiana!" as_ GEORGIANA _enters. She is a beautiful creature, about
thirty, and in the very height of health and spirits - an American Beauty
rose the moment before it opens. She is flushed after her quick walk in
the bracing, sunshiny winter's day. No wonder the children - and
others - adore her!_

GEORGIANA. What a good time!

CHRISTOPHER. Oh, we're having the beautifulest time, Auntie!

PHILIP. Great!

ELAINE. Perfectly lovely!

TOOTS. Um! Ice cream! Lots!

GEORGIANA. That's good! Stuff all you can, Toots! Are you ready to cut
the cake?


PHILIP. We waited for you.

CHRISTOPHER. We wouldn't let grandma.

[GEORGIANA _drops her furs on the sofa and then comes to the table._

GEORGIANA. There's a ring in it. Whoever gets it will be married in a

[_Starts to cut the cake._

TOOTS. I want the ring!

PHILIP. Hush up, you're only a baby!

[_A loud knock on the door Left._

GEORGIANA. Oh, yes, I forgot. Cousin Sam wants to wish you many happy
returns, Philip. May he come in?

PHILIP. Pshaw! Another man!

CHRISTOPHER. [_In a "stagewhisper" to_ ELAINE.] He's the one - auntie's

GEORGIANA. [_Amused._] Nonsense, Christopher, that's silly talk. Stop
that for good! [_Loud knocks repeated. To_ PHILIP.] May Cousin Sam come
in? [PHILIP _nods_.] All right, he's got some presents! Come in, Mr.

[COAST _comes in and goes straight to_ PHILIP. SAM COAST _is a tall,
slender, but strong-looking man, rather "raw-boned." He is dressed most
fashionably and most expensively, - over-dressed, in fact, and yet not
too vulgarly. A man of muscle and nerve, who makes his own code and
keeps his own counsel._

COAST. Shake, Phil.

[_Shakes his hand._

PHILIP. [_His hand hurt._] Golly! He can squeeze, can't he, Aunt

GEORGIANA. Well, really! Miss Elaine Jackson - Mr. Coast.

ELAINE. [_Embarrassed, rises, and curtseys._] How do you do?

COAST. Pleased to make your acquaintance. Hello, rest of you.


CHRISTOPHER. Are you Auntie Georgiana's beau?



CHRISTOPHER. Lizzie says so!

LIZZIE. I never!

TOOTS, CHRISTOPHER, and PHILIP. Yes, you did! You did too! You did too!

LIZZIE. [_To_ GEORGIANA.] I never did, miss!

PHILIP. Yes you did, you did too!

GEORGIANA. I hope you didn't, Lizzie. You may leave the children with me

LIZZIE. Yes, ma'am.

[LIZZIE, MOLES, _and_ FOOTMAN _go out at Right, each taking some plates,

GEORGIANA. [_To_ COAST.] I hope you don't mind.

COAST. Of course I don't. It's true as far as I'm concerned.

GEORGIANA. [_Laughing._] It's not!

COAST. Listen, will you bet?

GEORGIANA. [_Laughing._] Not before the children!

PHILIP. Come on, let's cut the cake!

GEORGIANA. Blow out the candles!

[_All the children blow out the candles and then get down from the

COAST. And here's my contribution to the party.

[_Brings out six big German mottoes from his pocket, and goes to table
with them._

GEORGIANA. [_In pretended excitement._] What? Mottoes!

ALL THE CHILDREN. [_In delighted chorus_.] Oh, mottoes!

PHILIP. Are those the silver mines?

COAST. No! Why?

[_Laughing and handing the mottoes around, while_ GEORGIANA _cuts the

PHILIP. I heard grandma say the other day, you had pockets full of
silver mines.

GEORGIANA. The cake's ready!

[_All take a piece of cake. The children line up and down Centre from

COAST. Your motto!

[_Handing one to_ GEORGIANA.

GEORGIANA. One for me too! Oh, thank you!

COAST. Certainly, because I want a bit of cake. I'm after that ring.

[_Goes up back of table for cake._

GEORGIANA. Don't anybody swallow the ring.

[_All eat the cake and now speak with their mouths full._

CHRISTOPHER. I haven't got it yet, Auntie.


GEORGIANA. Don't talk. Everybody eat till some one gets it!

TOOTS. [_Crying._] I can't eat my cake! I can't eat my cake!

GEORGIANA. Why not, dear?

TOOTS. 'Cause I haven't got no place! I haven't got no place to put it!


PHILIP. He's full up!

GEORGIANA. Never mind, Toots, dear, you shall have a piece for supper.

TOOTS. Will I have room then?

CHRISTOPHER. [_A sudden loud and frightened cry._] Oh! Oh!

ALL. What's the matter?

[_All gather around_ CHRISTOPHER.

GEORGIANA. [_Frightened._] What is it, Chris?

CHRISTOPHER. [_Screaming._] Oh!

GEORGIANA. What is it, dear?

CHRISTOPHER. I've swallowed it!

ALL. What?

CHRISTOPHER. I've swallowed the ring!

ELAINE. That isn't fair!

PHILIP. Just like Chris, 'fraid some one else'd get it.

GEORGIANA. No, Chris, dear! [_To_ COAST.] What will we do?

COAST. Chris has made a mistake, here is the ring! [_Finding it in his
own piece of cake._] There weren't two, were there?

GEORGIANA. No, that's the one!

CHRISTOPHER. [_Smiling and greatly relieved._] Oh! I guess I 'magined
it, then.

GEORGIANA. [_Affectionately pretending to shake him._] Well, young man,
you can imagine yourself spanked for giving us all a fright. Now, come
along, the mottoes. [_To_ COAST.] Of course the ring wasn't meant for
you. What are you going to do with it?

COAST. Keep it.

GEORGIANA. No, you mustn't; it's the children's!

COAST. Philip, may I keep the ring?

PHILIP. [_On the hobby horse._] Yes, sir.

COAST. And I'll give each one of you a ring in place of it. What kind
will you have, Elaine?

[_He makes movement towards each child as he asks the question._

ELAINE. One big pearl with two great big rubies.

GEORGIANA. Mercy! Small order!

COAST. Very well. And you, Phil?

PHILIP. I don't want any ring. I want a watch and chain.

COAST. Good! And you, Chris, do you want a ring?

CHRISTOPHER. I want a gun!

COAST. All right. [_Writing._] And Toots?

TOOTS. Nanny goat!

[_They all laugh._ MOLES _and_ FOOTMAN _enter, answering the bell which_
GEORGIANA _has rung._

GEORGIANA. The table, Moles.

MOLES. Yes, ma'am.

[_Takes away small plates, etc.; he then goes out Right, followed by_
FOOTMAN, _who takes everything else from the table, leaving only the
cover and a false nose left from the mottoes._

PHILIP. [_Crosses to_ GEORGIANA _at table._] Grandma's been up and said
we were all to go and see mamma.

GEORGIANA. Go in your mottoes; that will be great fun!

ALL THE CHILDREN. Oh, yes! Hurrah!

[_Running off Left._

GEORGIANA. Ssh! Don't shout so; remember poor mamma's headache!

[_All repeat, "Remember poor mamma's headache" and take hands as they
tip-toe out,_ PHILIP _first,_ ELAINE _second_, CHRIS _third_, TOOTS
_fourth, repeating "Poor mamma's headache" in a whisper till they are
all out._

COAST. I can't get this damned thing on. Too bad Cousin Loo's ill.

GEORGIANA. Oh, she isn't really. Louise is never perfectly well and
happy unless she has something the matter with her, especially if she
has nothing else to do; she's bored to-day, so she's got a headache!
To-night, when there's a big ball to which she is not invited, she'll be
frightfully alarmed about herself for fear of appendicitis, but
to-morrow, when we have smart company at luncheon, she'll recover like a
shot! It's all right for Louise, but it's hard on my brother, who really
adores her.

[_She sits beside the table._

COAST. Adores! Say! That's the word I want to use about you!

[_Follows_ GEORGIANA _to table, moves chair to front, and sits._

GEORGIANA. Nonsense, Sam! Do you know anything about some stocks called
United Copper?

COAST. Rotten! Don't touch it!

GEORGIANA. My brother had a tip this morning on United Copper and wanted
me to give him some money to put in it.

COAST. Listen! don't you do it.

GEORGIANA. I wish you'd use your influence with Steven to help him.


GEORGIANA. You must know how mad he is over speculation? But perhaps you
don't know that he has gone through all his own money, and, if she'll
let him, he'll go through his wife's next. [_Smiling._] Then I suppose
it would be my turn!

COAST. Why doesn't he keep out of it?

GEORGIANA. He can't, we must keep it out of him! Out of his blood!

COAST. There's only one way.


COAST. Ruin him!

GEORGIANA. That's too anarchistic! You speculate.

COAST. But I always win!

GEORGIANA. Can't you teach him?

COAST. Listen, if I could do that, I'd be the richest man in the world
before I got through.

GEORGIANA. Can't you give Steve a tip on some sure things?

COAST. There ain't any sure things.

GEORGIANA. Why, other friends of Steve are always "putting him on to
something good."

COAST. And what happens?

GEORGIANA. [_Smiling distressfully._] Well, he does lose, usually.

COAST. I guess so!

GEORGIANA. But you must often have inside information.

COAST. And how much is that worth?

[_Takes up the false nose from table._

GEORGIANA. Well, it usually costs Steve all he has! But I thought you -

COAST. [_Interrupting._] Miss Georgiana, you see this false nose?


COAST. [_Putting it on._] Well, now what do I look like?

GEORGIANA. [_Laughing._] I shouldn't like to say!

COAST. Exactly! Well, see? That's what I'd be if I believed in tips and
"inside information." If a man gives your brother a good tip, let him
drop it like hot lead. People with a real good tip ain't giving it away.
There's never enough to divide up and go around, - not in this
world, - and inside information that gets told to a lamb like your

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Online LibraryClyde FitchHer Own Way A Play in Four Acts → online text (page 1 of 7)