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Ethel Watts Mumford Grant.

Sick abed : a farcical comedy in three acts online

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that time in Spain with my husband. There's a
good Reggie-weggie (Sits bed L. of JAY)

JAY. Keep off! Let me alone. (She places
her hand on his brow. He wriggles and fights, try-
ing to reach his dressing gown. Rises against head
of bed, covering himself with covers)

CONSTANCE. Don't be absurd. Listen. (She
seats herself on the edge of the bed again. JAY re-
treats to its exireme limits) Be a good old dear,
and help your little Constance. Don't you under-
stand it's for us both you and me, Reggie.

JAY. (Sits on bed) Oh oh

CONSTANCE. Look, Reggie (She pulls out from
the bosom of her dress a crumpled letter) I was
looking over your dear letters last night. I brought
this one with me to-day to remind you.

JAY. (Eagerly) Letters did you bring *em



SICK ABED 55

all? We'll burn 'em right now. (Tries to grab
letter)

CONSTANCE. (On foot of bed) Burn them
never !

JAY. I want to talk to you about those letters.

CONSTANCE. I know, you're just like every other
man. You don't want any woman to have any let-
ters I tell you they are my precious souvenirs.

JAY. But, Constance, suppose they fell into
your husband's hands ?

CONSTANCE. They can't. They're perfectly safe.

JAY. And I've busted a lung trying to majke
Weems consent to a reconciliation well, he's got to,
you've got to, that's all.

CONSTANCE. I don't want a reconciliation I
Reggie did you get my telegram ?

JAY. The one about Pat's getting drunk?

CONSTANCE. Pat ? What are you talking about ?
I telegraphed you to remember the I7th of March.
Reggie, don't you know what day this is?

JAY. Porkless Friday.

CONSTANCE. To-day is the anniversary of our
meeting, five years ago.

JAY. Constance, what makes you so confound-
edly sentimental?

CONSTANCE. You, I guess. (Tickles him)

JAY. Have pity! Go away! I'm a sick man
I tell you.

CONSTANCE. But listen to this dear, and you'll
feel better.

JAY. No, no.

CONSTANCE. Don't be ashamed, it's not the least
bit mushy, just nice. It begins "Just a year ago,"
you wrote that letter on the first anniversary of
our meeting. (She tickles him)



5 6 SICK ABED

JAY. (Starts) Say, now, Constance, you're a
wild woman. Emotion is bad for me, honest it is!

CONSTANCE. Lovely Dee. It's just a year ago
since dear Alice introduced us to Wonderland. Do
you remember, and I am still the devoted Tweedle-
dum of the most beautiful of Tweedledees who by
her great clemency lets me call her Dee-Dee.

JAY. Damn, damn.

CONSTANCE. (Sentimental) A pretty thought
isn't it ?

JAY. Very pretty.

CONSTANCE. You always have such a beautiful
way of saying things. (Enthusiastic) Listen to
this. Do you know what it says here?

JAY. What does it say ?

CONSTANCE. (Giggles) I don't blame the Wal-
rus for being jealous.

JAY. The Walrus? Why should a Walrus be
jealous?

CONSTANCE. (Laughing) Don't you remember
Doctor Macklyn came to the Alice in Wonderland
Ball all dressed up like a Walrus?

JAY. Oh, Dr. Macktyn, the Walrus !

CONSTANCE. He used to write me almost as
pretty letters as you did.

JAY. Did he?

CONSTANCE. And listen (Reading) "But will
tfie fairest of Dee-Dees come to supper to-night
again? If so call me up at the office. I'll be wait-
ing with my poor little heart right in the receiver
for a "yes" from you to Tweedle-Dummy.

JAY. Dummy. Did I write that? Oh my Lord!
This is awful. I'll swear I never wrote it, never,
never.

CONSTANCE. (Indignant) Reggie what's the
matter with you are you mad ?



SICK ABED 57

JAY. Mad mad (Catching at straws)

CONSTANCE. Hush, be quiet !

JAY. (Pretending madness) You've said it,
you've said it yourself, I'm mad. It's Alice it's
the tea-party. I'm the hatter. I'm the March hare.
You've said it.

CONSTANCE. (Rising alarmed, backing c.) Why,
you you look awful !

JAY. (Waving his hands, kneeling on bed,
salaaming) I hear bells the birds are singing.
Ah, Yusef, give me my trusty chibook! (Stands
up on bed)

CONSTANCE. Reggie, if you keep up this fool-
ishness, I shall get angry and I warn you.
(Crosses to foot of bed) If you won't testify will-
ingly you'll go to prison. (Raising R. hand)

JAY. (Waving his hands wildly) Votes for
\vomen !

CONSTANCE. Reggie I warn you ! You know
a woman scorned

JAY. A woman scorned is twice shy not much
she isn't. (Grabs bed covers) Ha, ha. (CON-
STANCE takes hold of sheet while JAY holds bed
spread so getting them apart. CONSTANCE gets on
bed to prevent JAY going JAY bounds out of bed
on the far side and runs towards the door) Save
me! Save me! (Enter WEENS to down L. JAY
staggers to foot of bed for support}

CONSTANCE. My husband! (At sight of her
husband gives one gasp, and ducks down on bed,
puts sheet to cover head, then runs into dressing-
room. Crawling in stooping position, covered wtih
sheet)

WEEMS. (To JAY, laughing} Oh Reggie, Reg-
gie, who's that?

JAY. It's (Looks at the bathroom and at
WEEM'S and gulps') It's my massage.



58 SICK ABED

WEEMS. And you calling for help! (Laughs)
Great heavens did she hurt you as much as that?

JAY. Something awful, awful, I tell you, she's
a huge great Swede.

WEEMS. Dear me, why did she run away like
that?

JAY. I don't know. I'm too weak for a mas-
sage.

WEEMS. That's all right, my boy, I'll discharge
her. (He turns to the door. JAY holds him back)

JAY. No, no, don't, she'll hurt you. She's lia-
ble to hit you on the head with a sponge.

WEEMS. Oh, I see, excuse me de trop eh?
Well discharge her yourself. (Crosses to c.)
Your affairs are your affairs, my boy. Thank
goodness I've no curiosity. Oh Reggie! (Crosses
to L. and exit, laughing)

CONSTANCE. Has he gone?

JAY. See here, Constance, I'm through.

CONSTANCE. Oh, no you're not.

JAY. I'm disgusted. I'm indignant. Don't you
dare to come here again. (CONSTANCE exclaims,
recovers. JAY comes c. WEEMS re-enters)

WEEMS. Ha, ha, ha. Oh Reggie (Sees CON-
STANCE Comes down L.) Constance! So! You're
the masseuse! (CONSTANCE below bed R. clutching
sheet, screams, and covers her head) And you!
(Turns to JAY who hops into bed over footboard)

JAY. (Trying to calm WEEMS) She got in to
interview me that way, honest it was only that.
I didn't want you to know. I was afraid you'd
think the worst as usual. Oh Lord! She knows
I'm ill, she knows I'm dying I told her so !

WEEMS. You took a chance on this poor sick
boy's life.

CONSTANCE. He isn't sick.



SICK ABED S9-

WEEMS. You lied your way in here

JAY. (Falls on bed} I'm dying !

CONSTANCE. Oh, very well. I wanted to see
how far you'd carry this travesty. Let me tell
you, I'm not deceived (Throws sheet on bed, hits
JAY) and now I shall act!

WEEMS. You've been doing it all your life.

CONSTANCE. Ha !

WEEMS. Ha !

JAY. (Weakly) Ha, ha!

CONSTANCE. You won't laugh when the courts
get through with you. I tell you I'm not deceived.
(At foot of bed)

WEEMS. Nor am I. Don't you suppose I know
your motive in all this ? Don't you suppose I know
you've got an infatuation for a bandolined tame-
cat parlor-snake.

CONSTANCE. John Weems !

JAY. Not that !

WEEMS. Yes. You've been in love with him for
years. Do you suppose you deceive me ? Where is
your Tweedledum?

(CONSTANCE draws herself up proudly.)

JAY. Tweedledum! Oh! Hop. (Hops back
in bed)

CONSTANCE. (Too upset and surprised at the
assault to resist) You you insult me, sir!
(Crosses to up L.) But you shall see, I'll punish
you both. (Turns to JAY) To think that I ever
left my little white-haired mother for a great brute
like you. (Exit CONSTANCE)

WEEMS. (Follows her up c. Looks after her.
JAY puts ice-bag on head) By Jove ! Reggie, this-
is too bad too bad. Never mind, boy, I shall never
forget what you've done for me never! Who



60 SICK ABED

would dream she'd be so damned clever about it
impersonating a masseuse damned clever woman,
Constance, damned clever. (Turns to JAY) Why
Reginald, what's the matter you're white as a
sheet. You look positively collapsed.

JAY. I am.

WEEMS. But my boy, why, why I'll get you a
doctor! (Crosses to up L. c.)

JAY. (Explosively) No! Not a doctor.
(WEEMS crosses to JAY, helps him out of bed.
Gets out of bed, balancing ice-bag on his head
crosses to R. of table)

WEEMS. (Has helped JAY to chair R. of table)
Here sit down.

JAY. Oh! Lord! I never had such a turn. I'd
rather hunt lions or tigers or or kill harems ! Oh,
I'm done. I'm all in. I've got enough. (Leans on
table WEEMS crosses to bed and gets one of JAY'S
slippers)

WEEMS. Here's your slipper.

JAY. Oh I'm too sick for slippers.

WEEMS. (Having put one on JAY'S foot) Well
one will do. (Back of table) Cheer up! After
all, there's good news an adjournment. (WEEMS
drinks the drink) And I've got copies of her whip-
persnapper's letters.
JAY. (Alarmed) Not originals?

WEEMS. No, only copies, but I'm going to get
the originals and when I do, ah, ah ! ( Crosses to R. )

JAY. I don't like that laugh.

WEEMS. Reginald, do you know I have obtained
a permit to carry a revolver! (Crosses back to R.
of JAY, presses revolver against JAY JAY exclaims,
rises and crosses to L. of table and sits Crosses
to K. c.) There 'd be one Tweedledum less in the
\vor1d, that's all! Tweedledum, ha! (Taking out



SICK ABED 61

a typewritten sheet Paces to c.) Do you know
I can't understand it at all ! I can't understand it.
(Crosses back of table) Constance is clever,
damned clever, and this Tweedledum of hers is
an illiterate yokel, his grammar, his spelling, an-
niversary with an n-nannyversary !

JAY. Nanniversary !

WEEMS. Listen to this !

JAY. No, no, I don't want to.

WEEMS. Listen! "To-day is the nanniversary
of our meeting. M-e-a-t-i-n-g meating. Lovely
Dee." I suppose that's short for Tweedledee. "It s
just a year ago since Alice introduced us to won-
derland. Do you remember? And I am still the
devoted Tweedledum of the most beautiful of
Tweedledees, who of her great clemency spelt with
aK

JAY. Ought to be a L.

WEEMS. Lets me call her "Dee-dee!" Oh
Lord ! And to think that such an ignoramus, such
a nincompoop, should be a recognized authority!
(Crosses to c.)

JAY. (Rises) A a recognized authority on
on what?

WEEMS. The illiterate poppin jay. (Crosses
down R.)

JAY. What's he an authority on?

WEEMS. (Steps mysteriously to c.) Do you re-
member that Macklyn the man who used to be
so in love with (Darkly) Who is still in love
with her?

JAY. The Walrus !

WEEMS. No the Tweedledum

JAY. (Relieved) Oh, you think Dr. Macklyn
is Tweedledum.

WEEMS. Yes, Dr. Macklyn.

JAY. (Relieved rises) Macklyn oh yes



<62 SICK ABED

yes Dr. Macklyn oh yes, of course! How stupid
of me and I've been worrying. (Crosses to L. of
WEEMS)

WEEMS. What

JAY. (Quickly correcting himself) I mean
wondering who it was.

WEEMS. Yes, it's one thing when she can dis-
grace me, and of course, she's peeved about the
Letice Mont joy business, and, on my honor, Reggie,
I was a bit of a fool, you know. Constance is a
damn fine figure of a woman. Damn fine.
(Crosses to down L. c.) Once I can get the shoe
on the other foot damn pretty foot my wife has,
too.

JAY. You bet ! (R. of WEEMS)

WEEMS. What !

JAY. That's what you said.

WEEMS. Just pretend to be ill a few days more
and I fancy I can promise the whole mess will be
all right.

JAY. (Making a last effort) Now see here,
Guardy. Can't you drop this retaliation thing. Just
be reconciled.

WEEMS. Why, I'd never be master in my own
house. I want Constance subdued.

JAY. So do I ! Oh so do I! (Crosses to bed
He is on the point of making a clean breast of
it but realizes the danger and the uselessness) Oh,
I'm sinking. Call my nurse. (Crosses to R.)

WEEMS. Your nurse. Certainly my boy.

JAY. My day nurse. (Drops onto bed)

WEEMS. Oh Miss Durant! (With a knowing
wink at foot of bed) Damn pretty woman, Miss
Durant, damn pretty! You're a lucky dog. (Miss
DURANT enters. WEEMS to c. DURANT crosses
and puts tray from table L. c. to table up L. then
to c.)



SICK ABED 63

WEEMS. Oh, good morning, Miss Durant.
(Takes her hand)

Miss DURANT. Good morning, Mr. Weems.

JAY. Good morning. Good morning. (Getting
no attention, turns and says good morning to the
pillows}

WEEMS. Be gentle to the patient, he's a nice
boy, be kind and tender as you would be to my-
self.

JAY. Leave my nurse alone.

WEEMS. (Nurse crosses to R. c. WEEMS crosses
to foot of bed) All right, my boy! I'm off. Just
wanted to tell you it won't be long now before you're
out.

JAY. Thank you.

WEEMS. Cheer up cheer up, my boy. Let this
be a lesson to you. Never write letters, it's cost
many a good man his life. Never write letters!
(Goes up c. to L. of DURANT, he bows deeply and
cocks a wicked old leer at her) Miss Durant, good
morning.

Miss DURANT. Good morning.

WEEMS. Be kind to him be gentle

DURANT. Good morning. (Cutting him off)

WEEMS. (Crushed) Er good morning.

(Crosses to door L., exit WEEMS, sticking head
back for a last look at Miss DURANT, winks)

JAY. Oh, I wish I'd never learned to write.

DURANT. (Cross and sit down side of bed)
Dear me ! Why you're trembling !

JAY. Oh, I am. (Holds out treambling hand; she
takes it) This one's trembling too. (Holds out
other)

Miss DURANT. (Her hand on his brow) Ami
your head ?

JAY. Burning !



64 SICK ABED

Miss DURANT. This won't do this won't do at
all.

JAY. I'm dying. (Puts his head on her
shoulder)

Miss DURANT. Oh no you're not.

JAY. Yes, I am.

Miss DURANT. I'm taking care of you.

JAY. Oh!

Miss DURANT. And all my patients get well.

JAY. (Jealously) Oh do they? Do you save
'em all?

Miss DURANT. All?

JAY. Do you have many men patients ?

DURANT. Oh yes, a great many.

JAY. Do you save them all too.

Miss DURANT. Positively all!

JAY. I think that's wasteful.

Miss DURANT. You're just over-tired. You've
seen too many people.

JAY. Oh, if you only knew!

Miss DURANT. You must be quiet. I'm going
to take your temperature. (Takes thermometer
from table at head of bed)

JAY. Are you? (Miss DURANT goes to bath-
room sings) Beautiful voice!

Miss DURANT. (Enters from bathroom with
thermometer) Come now open your mouth.

JAY. And shut my eyes? (She takes out the
thermometer, stands L. of JAY who sits on bed)
Nursey, you take it from me, it's a lot safer to keep
your eyes open and your mouth shut.

Miss DURANT. Not when you're running a tem-
perature.

JAY. That's exactly the time - - when you're
all het up.

Miss DURANT. Come now, do as I tell you.

JAY. I don't want to shut my eyes.



SICK ABED 65

Miss DURANT. Then don't. Here! (She holds
out thermometer)

JAY. I want to look at you.

Miss DURANT. Very well. (She pops the ther-
mometer into his mouth; he looks at her like a sick
calf Goes up and gets chart from table up R. and
comes back to bed, turns to chart, JAY tries to see
it) Patient not allowed to see his chart. (Holds
chart away from him)

JAY. (Takes thermometer in and out of mouth
like a cigarette) Nursey, you saved my life.

Miss DURANT. That's my vocation, Mr. Jay.
(Put ling thermometer back into his mouth and
crosses to table to get pencil. Returns to bed)

JAY. (Mumbling through the thermometer)
Thank heavens I've got your hour fixed from
ten to ten. I can miss Hep almost altogether sleep
right through her that's a comfort, anyway.

Miss DURANT. (Marks chart and puts it up
K. c.) Now I'll get you ready for breakfast.

JAY. But I want my bath.

Miss DURANT. No, the doctor says a little
nourishment first.

JAY. Oh, Nursey!

Miss DURANT. And in half an hour, the bath.
(At finish of this, enter SAJI with breakfast
wagon} Good morning, Saji. {Goes in bathroom)

SAJI. (Crossing to c.) Good morning, good
morning, missie

JAY. Ah-ha ! Saji.

SAJI. Nice breakfast for you Mista Jay ! Puts
wagon at down side of bed.

JAY. What have you got there?

SAJI. (Foot of bed) Glape fluit, tea, toast and
scandal egg.

JAY. Scandal eggs! (Lifts cover from dish)

SAJI. Excuse please, how you feel now?



66 SICK ABED

JAY. Much worse, Saji how do you feel?

SAJI. I feel much worse than you, Mista Jay.

it foot of bed)

JAY. What's wrong, Saji?

SAJI. Very sick, Mista Jay.

JAY. Can I get you anything ?

SAJJ. Yes please, I like you get me nurse.

JAY. Saji, I'll go you 50-50. I'll be sick in the
day time and you can be sick at night.

SAJI. (With an awful face) No thank you. I
all right now. (Exits L)

(DURANT enters from bathroom.)

DURA NT. Oh what a nice breakfast.

JAY. (Attacking his breakfast) M'mmm
Nursey had your breakfast ?

Miss DURANT. Long ago. (Sits foot of bed)
Salt and pepper?

JAY. No. Some tabasco. (DURANT helping
him) Just a dash. (DURANT puts tabasco on
vigorously. Enter SAJI) I said a dash not a
splash.

SAJI. Flowers, for Mista Jay! (Bus. Miss
DURANT rises, crosses to c. and takes box of Amer-
ican beauties from SAJI. JAY is all excited interest.
SAJI exits)

Miss DURANT. (Opens box looking for note. To
back of table) Oh, Roses.

(JAY starts eating and burns his mouth with
tobasco.)

JAY. Oh ! (Drinks water)
DURANT. Oh, I'm so sorry. Here's a note, Mr.
Jay. (Hands up note)
JAY. You can read it !



SICK ABED 67

Miss DURANT. (Opens note and reads) "Angel
child.

JAY. That's me.

Miss DURANT. "I can't bear to think of you ill,
perhaps dying. It seems so strange to be sending
you roses. Do try and get well and get back to our
original arrangement. Your own Maisie."

(SAji enters with a number of boxes and a small
rose tree in pot.}

JAY. That's a dear old lady I used to buy my
vegetables from.

SAJI. (Crosses to back of table) More flowers,
Mista Jay.

JAY. I feel like Gallli fnrri's farewell

Miaa DXJKAIMT. (Opens the box and read* curil)
"I>lue water lilies from your heart-broken little
mermaid." (Looks at JAY and smiles knowingly)
1 suppose she's the lady you used to buy your fish
from.

JAY. That was two summers ago. She's a
slicker.

Miss DURANT. And a rose tree, from Rose.

JAY. Poor little Rose. (Looks at the rose tree)
She blew herself.

(Enter PAT L., carrying funeral wreath.)



PAT. (Foot of bed) For the love o' Mike, Mr.
}ay, somebody sent you a wreath.

JAY. What?

PAT. Somebody must be looking forward to your
wake.

Miss DURANT. (To L. of PAT Reading the
card on funeral wreath)



68 SICK ABED

"Here lies Reggie, the champion liar
If Gabriel raised him he'd go him higher
He shuffled home on a heaving deck
But we bet he ain't cashed in no check."

JAY. Not yet.

DURANT. From the Thursday night Poker Club.
Oh. (Crosses to back of table)

JAY. (Poppy-eyedly incensed) Nursey you
write on that card "He rose from the dead for his
nurse's sake. And is ready to play them for any
stake." Send that back and tell them they're the
dead ones.

PAT. (Crosses to L.) Sure I will, and we'll not
be havin' any funerals around here. It's bad luck

60 it is and you're too yovmg to die. And beggin'
jrwui pa i dun, Mr. Jay, while I'm here, will you be
after telling your night nurse to keep away from
me, a respectable married man with eight children.
I don't want (Exits grumbling)

Miss DURANT. (Busy fixing flowers Back of
table) Oh here are some violets. Mr. Jay, why
they're directed to me. How odd ! Who can have
sent them ?

JAY. I sent them.

Miss DURANT. You didn't.

JAY. I did, and you'll get a bunch every morn-
ing. (JAY starts to get out of bed)

Miss DURANT. (Crosses to JAY, upside of bed)
You go right back and stay still. QAY hastily
gets back under covers) Cover up you must be
careful. Don't forget you're ill.

JAY. All right nursey, you're the boss. What's
the matter, don't you like violets?

Miss DURANT. Of course. (Picks up boxes and
takes them to chair down L. over which hangs a
mirror)



SICK ABED 69

JAY. Aren't you going to wear them?

Miss DURANT. Nurses aren't allowed to.
(Crosses to chair L.)

JAY. Say, Nursey.

Miss DURANT. Yes? (She has her back to him,
setting boxes on chair down L. at L.)

JAY. Look !

(She looks in mirror.}

Miss DURANT. (Smiling in mirror) I can see
you right in there. (Points to mirror)

JAY. (Crawls to foot of bed) Can you see me?
Then look ! ( Throws her a kiss. Then quickly gets
back into bed)

Miss DURANT. (Backs toward him and turns
smiling) You silly boy! (Crosses to down side
of bed)

JAY. No, I'm not. I'm just your patient
patient. Isn't it true?

Miss DURANT. (Gets chart, and then crosses to
foot of bed) Yes, it is true that you've been very
good.

JAY. But I get awful blue sometimes. (Crawl-
inn to foot of bed)

Miss DURANT. Blue why? (Stands at foot of
bed)

JAY. (Holds her arm) Oh, tired of everything
myself. You know, when I lie here at night,
listening to the honk of automobiles and the snores
of Hep.

Miss DURANT. Mr. Jay!

JAY. It gives you a lot to think about.

Miss DURANT. What? The snore or?

JAY. No, the silent loneliness of it all.

Miss DURANT. What! An explorer lonely?

JAY. (Draws her to him) Nursey, did you ever



70 SICK ABED

think about getting married?

Miss DURANT. Mr. Jay! (Moves away a step)

JAY. What's the matter?

Miss DURANT. (At foot of bed) You musn't
say things like that to me.

JAY. (Kneeling on bed and talking to nurse over
foot) Why, what's the matter? I haven't said
anything yet. I only asked you a question. Now
I'll tell you a secret. I'm crazy about you. I know
it's sudden I've only known you a week, but I
can't help that I've been sudden all my life.
Nursey, will you marry me?

Miss DURANT. Mr. Jay!

JAY. What's the matter?

Miss DURANT. You must not say such things to
me.

JAY. But I've got to. I can't help it. Won't
you please marry me?

Miss DURANT. I won't listen. Not professional
etiquette.

JAY. Why not? You've got to hear it sooner
or later. And, besides, I want to make sure nobody
else can marry me

Miss DURANT. (With icy determination, disen-
gages herself from JAY'S hold and he nearly falls
over foot of bed) Your bath hour, Mr. Jay.

JAY. Now please don't throw cold water on me.
(Sinks on bed)

Miss DURANT. But the doctors will be here at
any moment, and if they find you haven't had your
morning bath, it will be a good night nurse for me.

JAY. Oh, I don't care for the doctors. Nursey,
won't you please marry me ? (Gets off bed. Starts
10 embrace her)

Miss DURANT. If you don't stop. I'll call the
night nurse.

JAY. I'll be good! (Miss DURANT crosses to



SICK ABED 71

c.) Come back! Nursey I just couldn't live
without you, please marry me.

Miss DURANT. (Crosses L. of JAY front of bed
urging him to bath-room L.) Hurry up water not
too coldno shocks.

JAY. (Hesitating at the door) Nursey, I don't
want to be away from you so long.

Miss DURANT. Never mind the time. Take
plenty, and for heaven's sake take your bath. {Exit
JAY to bathroom. He is heard singing and shiver-
ing, splash of water, etc. Miss DURANT fixes bed,
crosses to table L. c., arranges flowers. Picks up
violets, kisses them, places them in vase near bed.
Crosses to bathroom door and knocks on door)

JAY'S VOICE. (Off) Hello, who is it?

Miss DURANT. Your nurse!

JAY. Day or night?

Miss DURANT. Day.

JAY. Enter. (Starts to sing again)

Miss DURANT. (Knocks at door again) Mr.
Jay, you mustn't sing. It's too great a strain on
your heart.

JAY. I dare you to come in and discipline me.

Miss DURANT. (At door R. shocked) Mr. Jay
will you behave yourself?

JAY. What for?

(Miss DURANT goes to table at bedside and is
straightening out table, when FLEXNER enters.)

FLEXNER. Ah good morning, Nurse.

Miss DURANT. Oh, Dr. Flexner!

FLEXNER. (Crosses back of table to c.) Well,
how's your patient?

Miss DURANT. (Crosses R. of FLEXNER c.) I
think he's had a little set back this morning.



72 SICK ABED

(JAY sings in bathroom}

FLEXNER. (Crosses R. of Miss DURANT, gets
chart up R. c.) Indeed. Let me see his chart?

(Enter WIDNER.)

WIDNER. (Crosses to back of table, puts bag on
table) Why did you leave me to pay the taxi?
Good morning Nurse. Where's the patient?
(FLEXNER crosses to front of bed, chart in hand.
To FLEXNER)

Miss DURANT. (Coming down c.) In his bath.

WIDNER. Late, isn't it?

Miss DURANT. He's shaving.

WIDNER. (Crosses to FLEXNER) Let me see
his chart. (Takes chart. Miss DURANT picks up
flower boxes from chair L. Enter CHALMERS,
Noisily)

CHALMERS. (Crosses to L. of table, puts hat
down. Hastily crosses to FLEXNER at foot of bed)
Oh, Doctors !

FLEXNER. (R. c. R. of CHALMERS) How dare
you burst into a sick room like that ?

CHALMERS. Never mind. Where's Jay?

Miss DURANT. In his bath.

CHALMERS. (Crosses a step to c.) Oh, well,
I Miss Durant, leave us for a moment, if you
please.

Miss DURANT. Certainly. (Goes out. CHAL-
M KRS goes up and closes door)


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