George Howells Broadhurst.

Why Smith left home: an original farce in three acts online

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give a man time and he'll explain anything. You
are simply trying to deceive yourself, my dear.

MRS. S. Certainly: in other words, I am trying
to be happy. For of what does a wife's happiness
consist? One part knowledge, four parts ignorance
and five parts self delusion. You see, I have remem-
bered some of your lessons.

MRS. B. And I am glad of it. (going up c.
SMITH enters L. 2, speaking as lie comes)

SMITH, (c.) Marion, I want to set matters
straight. (MRS. B. turns and looks at SMITH)

MRS. S. (R. c.) I shall be very glad to have you
do that, John. I suppose it was an accident.

SMITH, (c.) No, it was a mistake.

MRS. S. (R.) Certainly you were caught.

MRS. B. (L. c. coming down L. c.) Very good,
my dear.

SMITH, (going to MRS. B.) Will you please
keep out of my affairs which concern only my wife
and me. (to MRS. S.) You remember that dress?

MRS. S. (R.) Yes.

SMITH, (c.) Did I know that you had given
it to your maid ?

MRS. S. (R.) I think not.

SMITH. Well, don't you see ?



WHY SMITH LEFT HOME. 41

MRS. S. I must admit that I don't.

SMITH, (c.) She was wearing it, was stand-
ing with her back to me, is about the height as
yourself and has hair nearly the same color. I
mistook her for you, and that's all there is to it.

(SMITH c., MRS. S. R. c. and MRS. B. L. c.). (MRS.
SMITH attempting to put her arms around
MR. SMITH'S neck, but catching MRS. B/s eye
draws lack with a cynical look on her face.
SMITH starts to embrace his wife, sees her
look at MRS. B., turns and goes over to MRS.
B. with an impatient gesture, suddenly turns
and goqs up c. expressing anger. Again turns,
looks at MRS. B., pulls himself together and
down to MRS. S. again.)

SMITH, (c.) Have you ever known me to de-
ceive you?

M.S. (R.) I have never known you to do it.

MRS. B. (L.) Very good again. (SMITH gives
impatient look at MRS. B.)

SMITH. Do you think I am telling you an un-
truth now? Honestly, tell me honestly, do you
think I am telling you an untruth?

MRS. S. (R. c. hesitatingly) I I !

SMITH, (c.) I want to know exactly where I
stand in this matter. I either deliberately kissed
her and am now deliberately trying to deceive you,
or it was a mistake, as I have said, and I am telling
the truth. There is one of two positions open to
you, you believe me or you do not believe me.
Which is it?

MRS. S: (after slight pause) I believe you.
(embracing SMITH)

SMITH, (turning his wife to L., facing MRS. B.
and waving his hand) Auntie! (MRS. B. looks
disgusted. SMITH puts his wife back R.)



42 WHY SMITH LEFT HOME.

MRS. B. (L.) And to think the girl I reared
can be fooled like that, (to SMITH) I would have
you understand, sir, that the dress does not make
the woman, (going to SMITH)

SMITH, (c.) No, but it sometimes breaks the
man.

MRS. B. (L.) If I had been wearing that dress
would you have kissed me?

SMITH, (c.) I refuse to answer for fear of
incriminating myself.

MRS. B. (to MRS. S.) There, you see. It was
not the dress after all. (crossing down to L.)

MRS. S. (going to SMITH) Auntie, I believe
him. Some men tell the truth, you know, (arms
around his neck)

MRS. B. (L. c.) Yes, dear, occasionally. My
first husband did. He talked in his sleep!

SMITH, (c. crossing to R.) That was probably
the only chance he got.

MRS. S. Auntie, you had better come with me.
(smiling at SMITH) I'm going to see about the
luncheon, dear, (exits c.)

SMITH, (u. c.) Luncheon! If that cook only
does her duty!

MRS. B. (up stage, going toward R. indignantly)
And I wish to superintend the preparation.

SMITH. (R. corner) Auntie.

MRS. B. (up stage, turning) Sir!

SMITH. Ta-ta. (exit MRS. B., c. to R. H.)

SMITH, (going to c.) Well, I got out of that
luckily. If Marion had her aunt's disposi-
tion !

(The GENERAL enters L. 2, grasps SMITH'S hand
and shakes it warmly.)

GENERAL. (L. c.) Let me congratulate you, my
boy. Let me congratulate you. I did not know



WHY SMITH LEFT HOME. 43

zat you were one of us, one of ze Old Guard, one
of ze devil of a fellow like me. I did not know
zat, my boy, I did not know it.

SMITH, (c.) What are you talking about?

GENERAL. Did I not see you kiss her? Did I
not understand? But I do not blame you, my
boy. Not at all, not at all.

SMITH. But that was a mistake, (down R.)

GENERAL. Of course. Of course it was all ze
mistake. You may tell zat to ze ladies, but not to
me. Oh, no, not to me, my boy, not to me.

SMITH, (back to GENERAL) General, you are
wrong. She was wearing Marion's dress. I mis-
took her for my wife.

GENERAL. (L. c.) Lofely, lofely! You should
not be the contractor. You should be ze special
correspondent. (SMITH lows) You lie so beau-
tifully.

SMITH, (c.) But it isn't a lie. It's the truth.

GENERAL. (L. c.) My dear fellow, you hurt my
feelings to joke wiz me like zat you hurt my
feelings. Do you not see I am one of you, you
are one of me, are we not one of ze Old Guard?
(placing hand on SMITH'S shoulder)

SMITH, (impatiently going to R.) I am not
joking. I was never more in earnest in my life.

.GENERAL. And was it was it really ze grand
mistake ?

SMITH. (R. c.) That's what I've been trying to
tell you.

GENERAL. And you are not one of us after all?

SMITH, (coming to c.) Well, hardly.

GENERAL, (going L.) Zat is too bad, zat is too
bad. (turns, looks at SMITH) And it was ze
dress, it was ze dress.

SMITH, (c.) Yes, it was the dress.

GENERAL, (crossing to SMITH) That is too



44 WHY SMITH LEFT HOME.

bad again. Pardon, one minute. Do you think
my wife's dress would fit zat girl?

SMITH. What's that?

GENERAL. (going down L.) Oh, I was just
sinking about something, zat was all. (turning,
going towards SMITH) Pardon, one minute more.
And have you told about zis dress to your wife?

SMITH. Yes, and everything's all right, (going
R. c.)

GENERAL. Lucky fellow. And have you seen
ze girl to get ze story straight wiz her?

SMITH. The story is true and I don't have to
see her. (going . R. c.)

GENERAL. (L. beckoning SMITH to him) My
boy, my dear boy, you see ze girl and fix it up. Ze
crooked man wiz ze straight story, he is all right,
but ze straight man wiz ze crooked story he is ip
the bouillon. You fix it, my boy (crossing to dooi
L. 2, turning to SMITH again) you fix it. (Exits
L. 2)

SMITH. (L. going to door where GENERAL exits)
Well, isn't he a dizzy old reprobate. But I wouldn't
be surprised if he were right. If anyone questioned
the girl, and her version didn't agree with mine-'
(points to himself) bouillon! (puts hand to pocket
and takes roll of money out and looks at it) Ah,
there's the money I drew for Marion this morn-
ing. It was mean of me to refuse her just because

her aunt was coming. However, I will ! (starts

up stage and sees maid)

( JULIA enters c. from R.)

NOTE: This scene must be played by JULIA with
a great deal of decisiveness and assumed in-
nocence. SMITH'S facial expression must
help out his points.
JULIA, (c. up stage) Excuse me, sir. I



WHY SMITH LEFT HOME. 45

thought Mrs. Smith was here, (turns to go)

SMITH. (R. c. Goes up and takes her by the
arm) I wish to see you a moment, (brings her
down c.)

(MRS. B. appears at door.)

SMITH, (speaks to maid) I want to see you
about that little mistake that occurred this-jnorn-
ing. For it was a mistake, wasn't it?

JULIA. (R. c.) I didn't know it was a mistake,
sir.

SMITH, (c.) I had never kissed you before,
had I?

JULIA. No, sir, but then everything has to have
a beginning.

SMITH. (R. c.) And did you think I had kissed
you knowingly?

JULIA, (c.) I hadn't thought of that, sir. I
only knew that you had kissed me and in the pres-
ence of witnesses, (looks up at SMITH)

SMITH. But it was all a misunderstanding, and
if anyone questions you, I want you to tell them so.

JULIA. I couldn't do that, sir. It would make
me look so ridiculous, (looking up at SMITH, then
throwing eyes down modestly)

SMITH, (c.) You ridiculous? How would it
make me look? Oh, come, now, it was a mistake,
and you know it.

JULIA. (R. c.) I don't know it, sir, but I might
be made to think it. (looking at SMITH for an
instant)

SMITH, (c.) What do you mean?

JULIA. (R. c.) Well, sir, I should imagine I
was doing myself an injustice if I thought it was
a mistake (pause) for less than five hundred
dollars.

SMITH, (moving away from her towards L.)




46 WHY SMITH LEFT HOME.

Five hundred dollars! Five hundred ! (back

to JULIA) What is this blackmail?

JULIA. Blackmail! Blackmail! (looking at
SMITH, then casting her eyes down) And I
thought you were a gentleman. I wouldn't think
it a mistake now, not for a thousand dollars.

SMITH, (aside) A thousand now. (to JULIA)
You wouldn't, eh! Well, what are you going to
do about it?

JULIA. You'll see, sir. You'll find there's a law
in this country, a law for the poor as well as for
the rich; that is, if they have good witnesses. And
I couldn't ask for better witnesses than your wife
and her aunt, (looking up at SMITH) Could I,
sir?

SMITH. (L., looks at JULIA, goes L. aside) I'm
being worked, and I can't help myself, (back to
JULIA) And if I gave you five hundred dollars, do
you think you could think it was a mistake ?

JULIA. (R.) I don't know that I ought to, sir,
the damage to my feelings is much more than that.
To be kissed by you, and then find I was mistaken
for Mrs. Smith that's very humiliating, sir.
(looking at SMITH, then down) But you've al-
ways been good and kind to me, so I'll take the
five hundred, think it was a mistake and try to
forget it.

SMITH, (c. turns) Well, I'll be ! You'd

like to have the money immediately, of course?

JULIA, (n. c.) If you please, sir.

SMITH, (crosses to desk) Ye s. Well, I
might as well give you the check now as at any
other time.

JULIA. (crossing to sofa L. after speech)
Excuse me, sir, but if it's all the same to you, I'd
rather have the cash.

SMITH. Oh, you would, would you? Well, I
have the amount with me. (going to JULIA. The



WHY SMITH LEFT HOME. 47

GENERAL and MAJOR appear c. from R. and see
SMITH give JULIA the money. An action of sur-
prise on their part, and exit. SMITH counts money
up to five to JULIA)

JULIA. (L. c.) I hope this doesn't inco^v n
ience you, sir?

SMITH. (L.) Inconvenience me? Oh, dear, no.
I get these little attentions every day. (going L.)
Do you know, I think you're an awfully clever
girl.

JULIA. Thank you, sir. (courtesy)

SMITH. Yes, I do. (crossing to door R. opens
door, turns to JULIA) Yes, I do. I think you are
so touchingly clever that you'd better not stay
round Ijere.

JULIA, (going to L. c.) I thought of that too,
sir, and I'm going to give notice to-day.

SMITH. Good. Such mistakes, while not ex-
actly .unpleasant, are decidedly too expensive.
(exit into smoking room, stops) Done, done for

five hundred. Had I kissed her twice. Oh !

(exits R.)

JULIA. (L. looking at money, then at door
where SMITH went off) He's a good, kind man,
that's what he is. (laughs heartily, goes c. GEN-
ERAL and MAJOR re-enter c.)

GENERAL, (c. shaking his finger at JULIA) Ah,
ha, we saw you, we saw you, did we not, Major?

MAJOR. (L. coming down c. with GENERAL)
Right you are, General, right you are.

JULIA. (R. c.) You evidently misjudge me,
gentlemen. I simply struck Mr. Smith for an in-
crease of salary.

GENERAL. (c.) Oh, zen you are the young
lady of whom I read so much ze striking beauty.
(turning to MAJOR and giving him a wink) Ah,
Major ! Zat is ze joke ze French - joke.

MAJOR. (laughingly) The striking beauty.
Capital, General, capital.



'48 WHY SMITH LEFT HOME.

GENERAL, (c. to MAJOR) Just one word wiz
you, please, Major. (MAJOR nods yes. GENERAL
turns to JULIA, bowing) Pardon! (to MAJOR in
pantomime, pointing to JULIA as if to say, "May
I speak with her!")

MAJOR. Certainly, certainly. Still one of the
Old Guard.

GENERAL. Still one of ze Old Guard.

MAJOR. Eh, General.

GENERAL. Eh, Major.

MAJOR. Never surrender!

GENERAL. Nevaire surrender, (lock arms and
go to door L. 2, looking at each other)

GENERAL and MAJOR. Ah ! (exit MAJOR)

GENERAL, (turning meets JULIA c.) And now
sit down one minute and talk about to-night !

JULIA. (R.) I'm afraid it would not be right.
Besides it's dangerous.

GENERAL. Oh, it will be all right, I can assure
you. Sit here wiz me one minute and tell me about
ze party.

( JULIA and GENERAL sit on tete-a-tete sofa. GEN-
ERAL down stage and JULIA opposite.)

JULIA. Well, as all the family are going out
to-night, the girls are going to give a fancy dress
ball.

GENERAL. Oh, zat will be lofely.

JULIA. I'm going as (gives description of dress
she is to wear) but so there will be no mistake, I
will wear an evening star in my hair.

(MRS. S. and MRS. B. appear at c. door. JULIA
sitting around to shield the GENERAL from their
sight.)

GENERAL, (passing arm around to JULIA'S



WHY SMITH LEFT HOME. 49

rigid shoulder) Ze evening star in ze hair. I will
remember zat.

MRS. B. (c. to Mus. S.) Your husband!
Making another mistake. You should have one
trained like mine, (coming down c.) And now,
Mr. Smith, what is your explanation? (GENERAL
jumps up, takes L. JULIA rises)

MR^ S. (R. c. seeing GENERAL, astonished, turns
to MRS. B., points to GENERAL) Auntie, my hus-
band ! (MRS. S. laughs)

Picture (1.)

MRS. B. crosses.

MRS. S. crosses. JULIA crosses.

GENERAL crosses.

MRS. B. (R. c. in consternation) How dare. you,
sir, how dare you? (go up c. and down c. angrily.
JULIA comes down L. corner. GENERAL appealing
to MRS. S. in pantomime)

GENERAL. (L. c. pointing to- JULIA'S dress) It
was ze dress, my dear, it was ze dress.

MRS. S. (R.) Don't you understand. Of course,
it was the dress the dress, (following MRS. B. up
stage) What could be more natural?

GENERAL, (crossing to MRS. B.) Zat is it
just like Smith just like Smith.

MRS. B. (excitedly walking up and down stage.
Coming down to GENERAL) That will do, sir, that
will do. March right out of here.

GENERAL. (L. c.) It was ze dress.

MRS. B. (c.) I'll settle with you after a while.

GENERAL. (L. c. appealingly to MRS. B.) But
it was ze dress it was ze dress.

MRS. B. (c.) Not another word, sir. (stamp-
ing her foot) Not another word.

(GENERAL exits c. off R. protesting.)
MRS. B. (c. coming down to JULIA) And as



50 WHY SMITH LEFT HOME.

for you, Miss, pack up your things and leave imme-
diately.

JULIA. (L.) You are making a slight mistake.
I am not working for you, and you can't discharge
me.

MRS. B. (c.) But my niece can. (goes to MRS.
SMITH R. c.) Of course you will not allow this
person to remain under your roof another minute.

MRS. S. (c. crossing L.) Julia, under the cir-
cumstances, I think you had better.

JULIA. (L.) Just as you say, ma'am. But a
little incident occurred this morning of which you
were both witnesses. It was all a mistake, I know,
on Mr. Smith's part; but it would be very disagree-
able to explain in court, especially as I should have
to call on you to testify.

MRS. S. and MRS. B. (R.) What do you mean?

JULIA. (L.) If you discharged me, it would
seem as though you doubted my character, and I
should have to bring suit against Mr. Smith in
self-defense, especially as I am to be married in
three weeks. But if you would let me give you
two weeks' notice, I wouldn't think of such a
thing, because you've been so good and kind to
me.

MRS. S. (c. apart crossing to MRS. B. down R.)
It would never do for this thing to get out.

MRS. B. (R. apart) We must hush it up, of
course, but don't let her stay an hour after her
notice has expired.

MRS. S. (c.) Well, Julia, as you're to be mar-
ried very soon, I'll allow you to remain until two
weeks from to-day.

JULIA. (R.) Thank you, ma'am.

MRS. B. (crossing c. to MARION) Now, Marion,
let us go and find the General. I am just aching
to have a few minutes' quiet conversation with him.
(bell)



WHY SMITH LEFT HOME. 51

MRS. S. (c.) Auntie, if my husband were
trained like yours, I wouldn't have to worry about
him, would I?

MRS. B. (c.) Marion! (MRS. S. and MRS. B.
go up c. to exit.)

(Enter ELSIE L. 3 E. with card.)

MRS. S. (R. c.) What?

ELSIE. (L.) A gentleman to see Mr. Smith,
ma'am.

MRS. S. (L. c.) I'll take the card. Show the
gentleman in. (reads card) "Count Wilhelm Von
Guggenheim."

(ELSIE exits c.)

MRS. B. A count!

MRS. S. Yes. I wonder what he can want with
John. Come, Auntie. (MRS. B. and MRS. S. exit
c.)

(Enter ELSIE, followed by COUNT. ELSIE courte-
sies to COUNT and exits. COUNT comes down
c. as JULIA crosses to door in partition.
COUNT sees her, JULIA turns, and the COUNT
beckons.)

COUNT, (c.) You work mit dose people dat is
here ? No ? Yes ?

JULIA. (R.) Yes, sir.

COUNT, (c.) And you know about dose people,
what is going on. No? Yes?

JULIA. (R. c.) Well, I should say so.

COUNT. Den told me about Miss Schmidt. Is
she is she ( COUNT taking stage L.) Ach mein
gott. How shall I say him. (turns and rushes
back to JULIA R. c.) Is she going mit anoder man
to marry, already? No? Yes?



52 WHY SMITH LEFT HOME.

JULIA. (K. c.) Miss Smith? Well, I should
say not.

COUNT. Den a chance there is for me. Maybe,
perhaps.

JULIA. (R. c.) A chance for you, with Miss
Smith?

COUNT. I see two ladies on der street mit one
anudder side by each.

JULIA. Side by each ?

COUNT. Der one lofely and young, der odder
unlofely and unyoung. I to my friend say, "Who
are dey. He say, "Mrs. and Miss Schmidt," und
dough der mudder, I like me not, I in lofe do fall
right away mit der beautiful Miss Schmidt.
(taking L. c.)

JULIA, (aside) This is too good to spoil, (to
COUNT) The ladies are not mother and daughter,
Count. They are sisters-in-law.

COUNT, (back to c.) Is clot so! I am glad you
told me. If I to Mrs. Schmidt had called her mud-
der of Miss Schmidt, I might make offend by her.
No? Yes?

JULIA. (R. c.) She certainly would think it
rather queer.

SMITH, (c. outside) I wonder what he wants
with me.

JULIA. (R.) There's Mr. Smith, (exit JULIA
through door of partition. COUNT takes L. c. as
SMITH enters c.)

SMITH, (c.) Count Von Guggenheim. (SMITH
has some difficulty with the name. COUNT bows)
I am Mr. Smith. What can I do for you?

COUNT. (L. approaching SMITH) I quick to the
point will reach. You a sister possession and I by
her would marry for I lofe her with all the whole-
ness of my boart. (SMITH starts for door R. as
though afraid; stops at door)

SMITH. (R.) I'm afraid my hearing isn't good.



WHY SMITH LEFT HOME. 53

You wish to marry my sister? (coming down to
COUNT)

COUNT. (L. bows) You hafe said. Und so as
is der custom mit der Von Guggenheim, I to you
haf come as der top of der house. (SMITH looks
astonished) You look astonishment.

SMITH, (c.) Yes, it's my turn.

COUNT. (L. ecstatically) But she is so beauti-
ful she is so beautiful, (taking L. c.)

SMITH. (R. c.) My sister beautiful ! Well, they
say that love is blind.

COUNT, (c.) Mit der hair like der blackness
of der night.

SMITH. (R. aside) He's not only blind, he's
color blind.

COUNT. Und so young. Ah ! so lofely and so
young.

SMITH. (R. aside) I wonder what is the mat-
ter with him? Guess I'll get out of here, (starts
for door R.)

COUNT, (dashing over to SMITH) Will you mit
her speak for me, und if "yes" she do say, you will
be mein friend ; mine brudder !

SMITH. I'll be your brudder all right, (hug)
I'm not so sure about the friend.

COUNT. (L. c.) Mit her speak as if it was for
you.

SMITH. (R.) No! Xo! That wouldn't do you
justice.

COUNT. I to Berlin go. I must to-night the
answer get for to-morrow is the day I sail by.

SMITH, (c.) Very well, Count. I will speak
to my sister, and you can come back for your answer,
say at eight o'clock.

COUNT, (crossing R., grasping SMITH'S hand and
shaking it) I here will be. Und if "no" she say
I myself will suicide, (crossing to c.) Yes, Mr.
Schmidt, I your sister so much do lofe dat if she



54 WHY SMITH LEFT HOME.

vill not Countess Von Guggenheim be I will mit
me to der river go und jump in mit my head in
front of my feet, (quick exit L. 3 E.)

SMITH. Well, that beats me. (going to desk L.
sits and busies himself with papers, etc. Enter
Miss SMITH)

Miss S. John (looking around), has the Count
gone?

SMITH. Oh, you know ?

Miss S. (c.) Yes; your wife told me. What
did he want?

SMITH. (L.) Think of the most unlikely thing
in the world and you've got it. He wanted to marry
you.

Miss S. (c.) Me ! Why, I never even spoke
to him.

SMITH. (L.) That probably accounts for it.
But there can be no mistake. He made a formal
proposal, and is coming for his answer at eight
o'clock.

Miss S. (R.) You wanted me to accept the
Major. Your wife spoke of proposals at my time
of life, and after all I am to be a countess,
for I shall accept him, of course. A countess! I
wonder what some people will think, now. (talcing
stage R.)

SMITH, (c. rising, coming c.) Then you jilt
the poor old Major?

Miss S. (R.) Jilt him? No, I never accepted
him.

SMITH. (L.) We'll say then that you refuse
him.

Miss S. Of course I do. Refuse the Major and
accept the Count, (crossing L. sits in tete-a-tete
sofa. SMITH going up c.)

SMITH. Very well, I'll see him when he comes,
and then turn him over to you. (up c. door.
SMITH turns, looks at Miss SMITH) Young,



WHY SMITH LEFT HOME. 55

beautiful, suicide. Oh, this is too deep for me.
(exit R. c.)

Miss S. (rising) A countess! I a countess? The
Countess Von Guggenheim, (bowing. Enter MA-
JOR) How I will snub that sister-in-law of mine.
(coming down in front of seat. MAJOR coming down
to Miss SMITH)

MAJOR, (c.) My dear Juliette!

Miss S. (L.) Major Buncombe.

MAJOR, (o.) Not so formal, Juliette, not so
formal. When I remember that glorious half-hour
in the conservatory last night and the oaths we
swore !

Miss S. Pardon me. If there was any swearing
done, it was not me. Your ideas about last night
seem a little confused.

MAJOR. (L. c.) On some points, perhaps, on
some points. But there is one thing I shall never
forget. You pressed your lips to mine and called
me Willie.

Miss S. (L.) On the impulse of the moment a
girl is likely to do things which she afterwards re-
grets. (Miss SMITH sits in tete-a-tete]

MAJOR, (leaning over back of sofa) Eegrets!

Regrets! Do you mean ! But no, you can't!

You can't last night you told me to put the ques-
tion again to-day and you would answer. I do.
Juliette, Divinity of my boyhood, idol of my man-
hood, dream of my soul, will you be Mrs. William
Duncombe ?

Miss S. While appreciating the honor you do
me, I am compelled to say I must decline it.

MAJOR. What you refuse me. You cannot
mean it, Juliette, you cannot mean it. Last night
my eyes looked love to eyes that spoke again, last
night I held you in these arms, last night !

Miss S. (R. rising from sofa and crossing R.)
Last night has passed and this is to-day. I repeat
I must decline to be Mrs. William Duncombe.



56 WHY SMITH LEFT HOME.

MAJOR, (c. going to c.) But why this change?
If I have done anything or said anything !

Miss S. (R.) No, no! (taking two steps
towards door R.)

MAJOR, (c.) Then what can it be can there
be another?

Miss S. (down R.) And if there is? (at door
R. taking hold of door-knob)

MAJOR. (R. c. advancing towards Miss S.) Then
I'll have revenge, madam. I'll kill him.

Miss S. (opening door in partition and going
into the middle room) Don't try to frighten me,
Major Buncombe. The gentleman I have promised
to marry is fully able to take care of himself.

MAJOR, (holding door open) The gentleman
you have promised to marry?

Miss S. (other room R.) Precisely, (go to
door in R. flat)

MAJOR. Who is he? Who is he?

Miss S. (R.) That you will learn soon enough.
Until then, rest assured that threats and vows of
vengeance will affect him just as little as they
affect me. (giving MAJOR look of scorn and exit
R.)

MAJOR, (speaking as Miss S. goes off R. slam-
ming door) We'll see about that, madam. Able
to take care of himself, is he. We'll see about that,
we'll see about that. ' (crossing to L. 2 E.) -After
waiting twenty years to be jilted like this, (exit
L. 2)

(Enter MRS. SMITH, MRS. B. and GENERAL c. MRS.
B. and MRS. S. coming down. GENERAL re-
mains up stage.)

MRS. B. (R. c.) I never tasted such a luncheon
in all my life. Positively, I never did.

MRS. S. (L.) And she came so highly recom-



WHY SMITH LEFT HOME. 57

mended, I cannot understand it. (going L. to
writing desk. GENERAL coming down c.)

MRS. B. (R. c.) The General here with his
epicurean taste, could not eat a single thing.

GENERAL, (c. up) I am ze guest and would


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