Copyright
Ethel Watts Mumford Grant.

Sick abed : a farcical comedy in three acts online

. (page 6 of 7)
Online LibraryEthel Watts Mumford GrantSick abed : a farcical comedy in three acts → online text (page 6 of 7)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


cedented. ( WIDNER and FLEXNER register amaze-
ment. MACKLYN takes JAY'S hand, feels his head)

MACKLYN. Dear me, dear me, I must test the
heart. (Turns to his bag) My stethescope. A
chair Dr. (MACKLYN opens bag, takes out a stethe-
scope. WIDNER throws up his hands helplessly.
FLEXNER moves a chair to L. of JAY. Then moves
to front of chair L. of table and nearly expires.
FLEXNER grabs hold of WIDNER. MACKLYN set-
tles the stethescope, attaches the ear pieces and
leans over JAY, looking down. His head nods as he
counts the steady, even beats of JAY'S heart with
finger Miss DURANT takes JAY'S chin in her hands
and lifts his face, and kisses him full on the mouth.
JAY'S faces is a study of emotion. His heart has
jumped wildly. MACKLYN'S eyes widen with
horror, he cannot believe his ears, and his finger
counts furiously the quick beats. His face shows
serious alarm, rises quickly as he takes down and
folds the stethescope)

MACKLYN. (Rises, alarmed and facing front)
My God, what a heart ! (Bus.)

( WIDNER expires, flops back against FLEXNER, who
falls back into chair L. of table, with WIDNER
on his knees.)

Curtain.



92 SICK ABED

ACT III

SCENE: Miss DURANT alone. Fixing bed, Crosses
down R., rings bell, goes to foot of bed picks
up ice bowl, puts it on table up R. SAJI enters
cautiously, stands holding door.}

SAJI. You ring?

Miss DURANT. (Up R. c.) Saji, go tell Mr. Jay
to hurry.

SAJI. Yes, missie. (Crosses to R. c.)

Miss DURANT. Tell me, Saji, when you came
through what were the Doctors saying? What were
they doir.f; ?

SAJI. Oh they talk, talk, talk, awful! All talk!
Nobody know what they talk about. All same
Holshevicki. (Crosses to down R.)

Miss DURANT. (A step to down c.) Oh dear,
I'm so afraid.

SAJI. Me too. I awful sick!

Miss DURANT. What's the matter with you?

SAJI. Nervous population. (Exits}

( /inter JAY from dressing-room R. Miss DURANT
crosses to door L. and listens.}

JAY. (Crosses to c.) Nursey come here
(She crosses to him) Please pinch me again.

Miss DURANT. (Crosses to L. of JAY) Sssh
don't be silly !

JAY. (Tries to hold her) Oh don't pull away
from me.

Miss DURANT. (Looking to L.) Oh dear, what
are the doctors saying there?

JAY. I don't care what the doctors are saying
1 don't care if I'm dying you kissed me!

Miss DURANT. I? What! Oh, Mr. Jay!



SICK ABED 93

JAY. You don't deny it?

DURANT. Oh dear now you have got an hallu-
cination. Doctor Macklyn will be furious if he finds
out I've tricked him.

JAY. Oh but it was such a beautiful trick. Talk
about your magic !

Miss DURANT. You'd better not talk we're not
out of the woods yet.

JAY. But I want to be in the woods, a jug of
wine, a loaf and thou beside me! Kissing in the
wilderness.

DURANT. You mean singing in the wilderness

JAY. Well, you can do the singing and I'll do the
kissing. Don't you know, my darling nurse, that
I love you, I love you, I love you

Miss DURANT. Now isn't it too bad ! You were
getting on so nicely. And now you're delirious.

JAY. Delirious ! Deliriously happy ! (She turns
her head and looks at him) No wonder my old
heart jumped when you kissed me.

Miss DURANT. (Door L. starts to open) Sh
sh someone's coming!

(Enter MACKLYN L.)

MACKLYN. (Goes down L ; ) Miss Durant, will
you kindly assist Dr. Flexner. Dr. Widner has
fainted.

Miss DURANT. (Obedient, but terrified to leave
JAY alone with MACKLYN) Yes, yes, doctor, but
(Hesitates)

MACKLYN. Quickly, please (Crosses to front
of table L. c.) I wish to further question the
patient.

Miss DUKANT. Yes, doctor. (Crosses to door)

MACK YN. Oh, Miss Durant tell Dr. Flexner
we will continue the consultation here when Mr.



94 SICK ABED

\\ idner comes to. (Turns to JAY. Behind MACK-
LYN'S back Miss DURANT shakes a warning finger
at JAY and exits. MACKLYN advances to JAY, who
looks at him resentfully. He sees JAY'S expression,
turns to Miss DURANT who quickly tries to cover
up her signs to JAY)

Miss DURANT. Yes, doctor. (Exits)

JAY. (At end of bed) Look here. / haven't
i-oine too, either.

MACKLYN. (Crosses to c.) It is necessary to
learn the cause of your palpitation.

JAY. The cause? Of my palpitation? Why, I
just palp.

MACKLYN. May I ask what sensations lead up to
it?

JAY. Sensations ! That would be telling.

MACKLYN. But I want you to tell me.

JAY. They're perfectly indescribable.

MACKLYN. Please be explicit.

JAY. Well, after that I became unconscious.

MACKLYN. That fit! How did you feel before
you became violent?

JAY. Oh, awful ! Intense, burning, stinging-
pain Phew, I can taste it yet!

MACKLYN. (Turning sharply) You tasted the
ht?

JAY. I did, I tasted it all over.

MACKLYN. And your lack of temperature, what
caused that ?

JAY. Cold. Exceedingly ice cold cold.

MACKLYN. This is no time for flippancy.

JAY. I won't be badgered like this. My nurse
says I've had an hallucination and that's all there
is to it.

MACKLYN. Your nurse says you've had an hal-
lucination, eh? Of what nature?

JAY. A blonde hallucination, in heavenly blue.



SICK ABED 95

MACKLYN. Good God! (MACKLYN has been
standing near table L. c. He picks up the bottle
marked Cannabis Indica. Starts, looks sharply at
JAY) What's this? (Crosses to table L. c. picking
up the bottle) Indian hemp, hey? A very singu-
lar prescription. The nurse may be right about
\our hallucination.

(Enter Miss DURANT L.)

Miss DURANT. Dr. Macklyn, Dr. Widner Has
partially revived.

MACKLYN. Good! Let him come in. (Crosses
iip c. with bottle in hand}

Miss DURANT. (Going to door and speaking
through} Dr. Flexner, will you bring Dr. Widner?

MACKLYN. Miss Durant, kindly accompany Mr.
Jay to his dressing-room. He cannot be present
while his case is under discussion.



(Miss DURANT crosses to L. of JAY.)

JAY. I won't be ordered out. If this is my
autopsy, I'm going to attend it.

MACKLYN. Then I wash my hands of any shock
that may result.

JAY. Wash whatever you like, but I sit here.
( Sits foot of bed)

Miss DURANT. No, no, you mustn't! Come,
Mr. Jay!

MACKLYN. Miss Durant will assist you kindly
get

Miss DURANT. Please, Mr. Jay. (Urging him)

JAY. Oh, very well, if Miss Durant will assist
me (He rises and they cross to the dressing-room
door) Now don't you pinch me again, Nursey, un-



96 SICK ABED

less you mean it. (They exit dressing-room En-
ter WIDNER and FLEXNER)

MACKLYN. And now, gentlemen, I find this bot-
tle of Hashsheech on Mr. Jay's table (Holding
up bottle. Crosses to c.) What is the meaning
of this?

WIDNER. Oh, why did I ever get into this?
(Sits chair R. o table. FLEXNER to back of table,
WIDNER to chair R. of table, sits)

MACKLYN. What about this? Answer me.

FLEXNER. (c. to L. of MACKLYN) That? I
never saw it before. It is doubtless some drug Mr.
Jay is in the habit of taking

MACKLYN. Nonsense !

WIDNER. Oh, that ! It's mine

MACKLYN. Yours ? Then that accounts for your
hallucination

WIDNER. What hallucination?

MACKLYN. Thinking that you are a doctor
(MACKLYN crosses to back of table and puts bottle
down c.) Dr. Flexner, are you familiar with Mr.
Jay's general condition? You are his regular phy-
sician, I presume?

FLEXNER. I never attended him before.

MACKLYN. And you, Dr. Widner ?

WIDNER. He's new to me.

MACKLYN. (To c.) Indeed! Then what made
you take the case?

WIDNER. Five Thousand Dollars.

MACKLYN. (Turns to WIDNER, sharply) Five
Thousand Dollars ?

FLEXNER. (Covering the break Rises, touches
WIDNER'S head and seeing MACKLYN'S gaze turned
away pushes WIDNER'S head to wake him up to his
slip) He is still er light-headed from his faint.
It was an emergency call, Dr. Macklyn.

MACKLYN. Who called you in, Dr. Widner?



SICK ABED 97

FLEXNER. Mr. Chalmers was with him when he
was stricken

MACKLYN. How was he stricken?

FLEXNER. Um the same thing, only different.
(Sits)

MACKLYN. That's very clear. And what did you
give him?

WIDNEK. Nervous prostration.

(FLEXNER kicks WIDNER under the table.)

MACKLYN. (Turning quickly on WIDNER) You
prescribed what ?

FLEXNER. He means (Half rising) we pre-
scribed for nervous prostration and fits.

MACKLYN. Well? And what did you give him,
Dr. Flexner?

FLEXNER. I gave him a sedative. Dr. Widner
prescribed for the fit. Dr. Widner is a specialist on
fits, he has fits himself.

MACKLYN. (Moving to R. c.) I can readily un-
derstand that. Do these attacks occur frequently?

FLEXNER. Before and after meals.

WIDNER. Excuse me, after and before meals.

MACKLYN. (Pacing up c.) Are they always so
exhausting?

FLEXNER. Very. That's what throws him into
the low. The carburretor needs adjusting. The
spark plug

MACKLYN. (Coming down c.) Dr. Flexner, this
is a consultation, not a. garage.

WIDNER. Wake up, it's you who's light-headed !

FLEXNER. Pardon me (Rises) a slight con-
fusion as to terms but the diagnosis stands.

MACKLYN. (To R. c.) But his heart, gentlemen,
his heart it beat perfectly, was normal, steady, full
then wild, fluttering, leaping, my God, how it



98 SICK ABED

leaped ! I wish I had him in a hospital, I'd operate!

WIDNER and FLEXNER. Operate? (FLEXNER
sits)

MACKLYN. I mean, place him under observation.
( Crosses to R. c. ) A most unaccountable heart I

CONSTANCE. (Rushing in, from the sitting room)
Unaccountable heart! I'll account for his heart.
(Crosses to c. to DR. MACKLYN) I've got to see
you alone, and I'll account for his heart !

WIDNER. (Half rising, CONSTANCE turns on
WIDNER and he sits again) Be calm, dear lady !

FLEXNER. Mrs. Weems, this is a consultation.
(Back of table to L. of CONSTANCE)

CONSTANCE, (c.) I don't care if it is, you're a
fool ! You're all fools ! Send those idiots away
you're my doctor, Bobby. (Crosses to down R. c.
to L. of MACKLYN) / brought you into this! If
you don't send them out, I'll scream !

WIDNER. (Rises, crosses to c.) Before scream-
ing

CONSTANCE. (Moving again angrily to WIDNER)
Oh, take that kewpie out of here before I step on
him.

WIDNER. Dear, dear, dear, dear! (Retreats to
L. and exits with FLEXNER)

CONSTANCE. (Crosses to front of bed to R.)
Now, where is she? That horrid, hateful, thing!
I wish I'd run in and scratched her eyes out right
then, I do!

MACKLYN. (R. c. to L. of CONSTANCE) Be calm,
be calm, what is all this?

CONSTANCE. (At R. of MACKLYN) I ran down-
stairs, to telephone my lawyers and I couldn't get
them and I ran all the way back.

MACKLYN. But why?

CONSTANCE. Never mind! Where is she?



SICK ABED 99

MACKLYN. My dear girl, you are positively in-
coherent.

CONSTANCE. Why wouldn't I be incoherent and
she kissing him?

MACKLYN. Come now, don't give away to
nerves !

CONSTANCE. Nerves ? Ha ! She's got the nerve.
Who is that nurse?

MACKLYN. What nurse?

CONSTANCE. That yellow-headed Easter chicken !

MACKLYN. You mean Miss Durant?

CONSTANCE. Yes, who is she?

MACKLYN. She used to be one of my specials.
(Crosses to c.)

CONSTANCE. Does she kiss you too? (Follows
him to c. *

MACKIAN (Turns) What are you talking
about?

CONSTANCE, (c. R. of MACKLYN) Talking? I
saw her do it ! I was standing outside that door !
and I looked through that very keyhole, and I
saw-

MACKLYN. You saw what?

CONSTANCE. You, listening to his heart he sat
right here you using your stethescope. And that
nurse kissed him right on the mouth. And he
jumped and you jumped and you said "My God,
what a heart !"

MACKJ.YN. Oh! (Crosses to L.) You mean
while I was listening to his heart she kissed him?
(Crosses back to L. of CONSTANCE)

CONSTANCE. She did she did !

MACKLYN. Are you sure?
.M STANCE. Positive !

MA< KT.VN. So, that's what gave him palpita-
tion! (A step to L.)

CONSTANCE. Discharge that nurse! Wretched,



ioo SICK ABED

little blondine trickster! Are you going to allow
it? (Moves towards door R.)

MACKLYN. Certainly not! They can't make
game of me like that! (Crosses up c.)

CONSTANCE. Then what are you waiting forr
Go right in and discharge her.

MACKLYN. (Turning on CONSTANCE. Crosses to
end of bed to L. of her) But see here, Constance,
suppose she did kiss him, what's that to you?

CONSTANCE. (At foot of bed) It's an insult to
all womanhood, that's what it is !

MACKLYN. Then why do you resent it?

CONSTANCE. I mean she's a trained nurse.

MACKLYN. Well, they're human, aren't they ?

CONSTANCE. You call an exhibition like that hu-
man?

MACKLYN. Now Constance, what is he to you?

CONSTANCE. He's he's my witness and he's,
shamming sick to get kissed by a trained nurse,
and you let her fool you but / won't let him fool
me never ! ! ( Crosses to L. c. )

MACKLYN. You won't let him fool you. What
about ?

CONSTANCE. /'// show her she can't come in and
snatch him like that! /'// show her!

MACKLYN. You'll show her? (Enter Miss
DURANT and JAY R.) Very well. Ah, Miss Durant,
you're just in time. Now the quickest way to get
to the bottom of this is to let me hear you show her.
(Miss DURANT to -foot of bed. JAY R. of her.
MACKLYN crosses opens dressing room door At
sight of Miss DURANT, CONSTANCE flies into a
passion}

CONSTANCE. Very well. So! There you are!
Just let me tell you, I saw you! Kissing Mr. Jay



SICK ABED 101

when he was perfectly helpless and couldn't de-
fend himself !

(Miss DURANT gives terrified look at MACKLYN
who watches them all grimly.)



Miss DURANT. Kissing Mr. Jay !

JAY. Constance, you're a pest! (Crosses to R.
of her) I've ordered you out of this house a dozen
times. If you think you're going to come back and
make trouble for Miss Durant, I tell you right now
I won't have it.

CONSTANCE. If she thinks she can win you over
like that /'// show her who has a prior claim.

Miss DURANT. What do you mean, prior claim?

JAY. Now you leave her alone and me alone.

CONSTANCE. (Crosses to R. of JAY) I don't care,
T won't have her coming between us. I won't !

JAY. Between us nothing! Can't a fellow even
dare be polite to you, without all this silly non-
sense ?

CONSTANCE. Silly nonsense! So, that's what
you call it! Now I will show her!

MACKLYN. Show her what?

CONSTANCE. I'll go and get the letters.

MACKLYN. My letters?

CONSTANCE. No, Mr. Jay's letters.

MACKLYN. (Goes up c. relieved) Oh, that's
different !

( CONSTANCE crosses to door L. JAY crosses to L. of
Miss DURANT.)

CONSTANCE. Wait till I get back with those let-
ters and then. Bobby, you bounce her and bounce
her hard ! (Exits slamming door)



102 SICK ABED

(MACKLYN comes down to L. of JAY, looking after
CONSTANCE.)

MACKLYN. So there have been letters, eh?

JAY. (Trying to square himself with MACKLYN)
Look here, Dr. Macklyn, that girl's beside herself.
You can't believe a word she says.

MACKLYN. I have reason to believe some things
she says.

JAY. No, you casnot believe one thing!

MACKLYN. (Crossing as he speaks to sitting
room door) I've learned a number of things, but
here's one for you to learn, Mr. Jay, you can't make
game of Science and the Law, and get away with it r
Hven if you do qualify as a sick Romeo! You've
elected to be sick, now you're going to go through
with it and all the way through. (Crosses to door
and opens it)

JAY. Oh nursey, nursey, save me!

MACKLYN. (Opening door L.) Gentlemen!

(Enter WIDNER and FLEXNER. WIDNER comes
down and catches sight of his face in mirror
and is shocked at his appearance.)

MACKLYN. It's all right, doctor, it's only your
face.

( WIDNER sits armchair L. FLEXNER to L. of table. )

Miss DURANT. (Following him) Doctor, let me
explain ! Really, you're under a misapprehension.

MACKLYN. I'm under no misapprehension now.
The patient cannot remain here. He will be re-
moved to a hospital at once ! Where he will be
placed under my personal observation. And under
the care of a competent doctor.



SICK ABED 103

FLEXNER. Meaning ?

MACKLYN. Precisely, and a specially trained
nurse.

DURA NT. Oh !

JAY. I tell you flat I won't go. I'm a perfectly
sound, healthy man, and I will not be separated
from my nurse. (Crosses to c.)

MACKLYN. You will go and you're going now !

FLEXNER. I protest ! I protest !

WIDNER. You're right, but I don't agree with
you!

FLEXNER. I'll make a statement: this is nervous
prostration. This excitement may kill him.

WIDNER. I hope so!

MACKLYN. May I use your phone.

JAY. What for?

MACKLYN. Call the ambulance. (Goes up to
phone up R.)

ALL. The ambulance!

( WIDNER rises and crosses up to side of FLEXNER.)

MACKLYN. Certainly he goes to the hospital at
once. Immediately !

Miss DURANT. (Following up to L. of MACK-
LYN) Before you give that call, Dr. Macklyn, let
me have a word with you in private.

MACKLYN. There's no time now, Miss Durant.

Miss DURANT. But there must be time. Dr.
Macklyn, as nurse in this case I insist on being
heard.

MACKLYN. Very well.

Miss DURANT. (A step to c.) Gentlemen, will
you excuse us, please? It is a professional matter.

FLEXNER. We are ordered around like a couple
of flunkeys. (Exit FLEXNER and WIDNER)



104 SICK ABED

Miss DURANT. Mr. Jay, will you please leave
us? (Crosses to JAY at R.)

(MACKLYN comes down c.)

JAY. I don't trust that man, he's too slick.

Miss DURANT. (Urging him to go) You can
trust me, please go.

JAY. I'll trust you, and I'll go. But I'll return,
;md when I return well, I'll return. (Exits)

MACKLYN. Now, Miss Durant.

Miss DURANT. (Crosses to foot of bed) Dr.
Macklyn, when I've nursed for you, you've been
good enough to commend me.

MACKLYN. Up till now, yes. But this time
you've failed me. I granted you this interview, not
because of anything you want to say to me, but for
what I want to say to you.

Miss DURANT. But Doctor !

MACKLYN. Not only did you betray a sacred
tiust but you exposed me personally to professional
ridicule. And for this I could have you black-
listed in every hospital, and nurses' register in the
state.

Miss DURANT. But you wouldn't if you knew
i \y reason.

MACKLYN. Your reasons have nothing to do with
it. You were trusted and you failed.

Mrss DURANT. But I haven't failed, in protect-
i ig my patient from the advantage you were taking
< f him; I also am protecting you.

MACKLYN. Protecting me?

Miss DURANT. Yes, you! Everyone knows that
you were in love with Mrs. Weems and that you

rote a lot of foolish letters.

MACKLYN. We leave Mrs. Weems out of it.

Miss DURANT. We can't. She's the cause of



SICK ABED 105

the whole unfortunate affair. In trying to get this
divorce from her husband who adores her, she is
using you as her tool.

MACKLYN. Me ! Her tool !

Miss DURA NT. Yes and spelt with an F.

MACKLYN. F double o Oh, thank you, Miss
Durant. (A step to L.)

Miss DURANT. Don't mention it, Dr. Macklyn.
In shamming sickness Mr. Jay is trying his best to
stop that silly child from further folly. And you are
blocking it.

MACKLYN. Again you fail to convince me.

Miss DURANT. (A step to R. of MACKLYN) Then
I'll try again. If you persist in forcing Mr. Jay to
testify everyone will think you helped the divorce
in order to marry Mr. Weems yourself.

MACKLYN. I never thought of that.

Miss DURANT. Therefore I'm protecting you.

MACKLYN. All very well for you, but what of
me? When a man has been goaded beyond en-
durance ?

Miss DURANT. Ah, you admit you were goaded ?

MACKLYN. I admit nothing.

Miss DURANT. Then don't go on with this per-
secution, don't send Mr. Jay away and don't take
me off the case. Why, you see. Mrs. Weems
wouldn't want to divorce her husband if she knew
that Mr. Jay was well interested in someone else.

MACKLYN. Oh, I see! So that's the way the
cat jumps!

Miss DURANT. But she hasn't jumped yet.

MACKLYN. She might though. If she gets the
chance.

Miss DURANT. She won't if you help the mouse.
Will you?

MACKLYN. A nurse, perhaps; but not a jay-



106 SICK ABED

bird. (Sternly) No, Miss Durant (Pointing to
JAY'S room. Crosses front of bed to R.) That
young scalawag got himself into this. Now let him
get out of it as best he can.

Miss DURANT. (At foot of bed) Very well,
Doctor. Then don't blame me if the cat shows her
claws!

MACKLYN. You mean you'll fight me for him

(Enter CONSTANCE.)

CONSTANCE. Oh Bobbie, they're gone, they're
gone, they're gone! (Crosses to L.)

(Enter JAY R.)

JAY. (Down R. ) Constance, what's the mat-
ter?

MACKLYN. What's gone? (Crosses to c.)

CONSTANCE. All your letters, they're stolen!
Save me! Save me! My husband's got your let-
ters! (Crosses to JAY)

JAY. I told, you to burn them.

CONSTANCE. Oh, he'll kill me, he'll kill me.
(Clutches at JAY)

MACKLYN. A cat and a mouse and now the bull
dog! I'm going! (Crosses to L.)

(Enter SAJI L. Crosses to R. of JAY.)

SAJJ. Mister Jay ! Mr. Jay ! Mr. Weems, he
come crazy ! Kick door, kick me, my God ! More
better you go France!

(Noise off stage. WEEMS' voice as door quickly
opens, WIDNER and FLEXNER enter hastily.)



SICK ABED 107

WEEMS. (Offstage} Open that door !
WIDNER. He's a madman!
FLEXNER. (To c.) A lunatic! A lunatic!
JAY. Oh he's shamming!

WIDNER. He isn't shamming, believe me, he's
real!

(FLEXNER holds door L. WEEMS' voice off stage.
CONSTANCE crosses to c.)

WEEMS. Open that door ! Open that door !

(CONSTANCE grabs nearest man to her who happens
to be WIDNER to R. of her.)

CONSTANCE. You save me !

(Door bursts open, enter WEEMS, crosses down L. to
front of table, holds position a moment.)

WEEMS. Viper! Serpent! Worm! (Crosses
to c.)
JAY. Serpent ! Worm ?

(CONSTANCE to front of table R. of MACKLYN.
WIDNER creeps back of settee to L.)

WEEMS. Worm that bites the hand that caresses
it. (Turns on CONSTANCE) And you! Hypocrite!
Double-dealer! Conniving Schemer!

CONSTANCE. Oh, he's calling me names ! ( Throws
arms around MACKLYN'S neck)

MACKLYN. No, not me. (Releases himelf from
CONSTANCE)

WEEMS. (Turning to MACKLYN) And you!
What's the meaning of this, madame? A soiree for
your lovers ? A rendezvous for your parlor-snakes



io8 SICK ABED

your boudoir chamelions

(WIDNER and FLEXNER up L.)
MACKLYN. Boudoir camelions!
WEEMS. I have his letters that lounge-lizard's

letters the originals, in your own handwriting

JAY. Whose hand do you think I'd write them



in



CONSTANCE. (L. of WEEMS) You thief!

WEEMS. And now I'm through! I shall bring
suit. And I shall name one of these vipers !
(Pointing to JAY and MACKLYN)

CONSTANCE. No, no, no, you couldn't do that,
you mustn't.

( WIDNER and FLEXNER come down L.)

WEEMS. We shall see to whom a divorce is
granted Do you see the crowded court-room do
you see the reporters in rows do you hear the cold
voice of my lawyer reading? "Meet me at Mr.
Sherry's beauty parlor for tea." But you know, and
doubtless (Turns to MACKLYN)

MACKLYN. I do not. I don't drink tea. Damn it !

CONSTANCE. Johnny you wouldn't let them read
those letters in court, you couldn't be so unfair.

WEEMS. Unfair Miss Durant, listen to this
one !

CONSTANCE. No, no, no !

MACKLYN. Mr. Weems !

WEEMS. You'd better be quiet ! I found some
of your letters too. But I couldn't read your rotten
writing!

MACKLYN. Thank God I'm a rotten writer.

CONSTANCE. I beg, I pray of you, don't !
< Kneels at L. of WEEMS)

JAY. I swear there wasn't a thing in it. I was
just trying to be nice to her, because she was sore
that you neglected her so. I give you my word of
honor.



SICK ABED 109

WEEMS. Your word of honor! You leper!
(Crosses to R. of table to L. of CONSTANCE)

Miss DURANT. Mr. Weems how dare you! A
finer, more honorable man than Mr. Jay never lived.

JAY. And I agree with her.

Miss DURANT. It was a perfectly innocent little
flirtation, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself
Dr. Macklyn, isn't that true ?

MACKLYN. A despicable exhibition of insane
jealousy!

(WIDNER R. of FLEXNER.)

WEEMS. Oh, indeed!

MACKLYN. (L. of table) Yes, indeed!

JAY. I should say so ! And after all I've suffered
for you. At the hands of Dr. Mutt and Jeff.

FLEXNER. Mutt !

WIDNER. Jeff !

MACKLYN. Yes, and shame your poor little in-
nocent wife, who was fool enough to marry you.

Miss DURANT. Your wife says you're a gentle-
man, but the way you're acting now, you're not even
a man !

MACKLYN. That's right. He's not a man !

WEEMS. What do you mean ?

FLEXNER. He's a mental degenerate.

WIDNER. A throw-back to a family of prehis-
toric apes.

MACKLYN. You're a roue and a reprobate ! And
not fit to live with any woman !

ALL. Yes! (WEEMS sinks in chair R. of table)

CONSTANCE. Stop it! (Rises) How dare you
talk to him like that! What do you mean by say-
ing he's not fit to live with !

MACKLYN. Why, he's a

CONSTANCE. Don't you dare abuse him any more.

JAY. But you wanted me to help you to divorce


1 2 3 4 6

Online LibraryEthel Watts Mumford GrantSick abed : a farcical comedy in three acts → online text (page 6 of 7)