Herman Heijermans.

The Good Hope, a drama of the sea in four acts; online

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DAAN. I say time's up. We eat at four and the
matron is strict.

CLEM. That will be necessary with you old fel-
lows.

DAAN. Peh ! We've a lot to bring in, haven't we?
'An Old Man's Home is a jail scoldings with your
feed as if y'r a beggar. Coffee this morning like
the bottom of the rain barrel and peas as hard as
y'r corns.

CLEM. If I were in your place keep your mouth
still I'd thank God my old age was provided for.

COB. Tja tja I don't want to blaspheme,
but

DAAN. Thank GodT Not me sailed from my
tenth year voyages more than you could count



THE GOOD HOPE 19

suffered shipwreck starvation lost two sons at sea
no no. I say the matron is a beast I'd like to
slap her jaw.

CLEM. That will do ! This is no dive.

DAAN. I know that, but it makes your gorge rise.
I wasn't allowed to go out last week because, beg-
ging your pardon, I missed and spat beside the sand
box. Now I ask, would you spit beside a box on pur-
pose? An old man's home is a jail and when
they've shut you up, in one of them, decent, they're
rid of you. Wish the sharks had eaten me before I
quit sailing.

COB. [Giggling.] He! he! he! Man, the sharks
wouldn't eat you you were too tough for them.

CLEM. Keep your lips still !

COB. Tja, tja.

DAAN. Sharks not like me They'll swallow a
corpse. Peh! I saw old Willem bitten in two till
the blood spouted on high. And he was a thin man.

CLEM. Was old Willem eaten by a shark?

DAAN. By one? By six. Quick as he fell over-
board they grabbed him. The water was red.

CLEM. Hey! How frightful. And yet I'd
rather like to see a thing like that.

DAAN. Like to see it! We had to.

CLEM. Did he scream?

DAAN. Did he scream!

COB. Tja, wouldn't you if you felt the teeth in
your flesh ? He hehe !

[Sound of a fiddle is heard outside. COBUS sways
in his chair in time to the tune.] Ta da da de da
da da

CLEM. [Hastily closing the sketch book.] There
then! [Rises.] Tomorrow you sit still You hear!

COB. [Stretching himself.] All stiff! [Dances t



20 THE GOOD HOPE

snapping his fingers, his knees wabbling.] Ta de
da da da-da-da.

DAAN. [At the window.] Psst! Nobody home.

JELLE. [Playing at window outside.] If you
please.

DAAN. Nobody home.

JELLE. I come regular once a week.

DAAN. They have gone to the harbor.

CLEM. [Throws a coin out of the window.] There !
[Playing stops.]

JELLE. Thank you. [Searches for the coin.]

COB. Behind that stone, stupid.

DAAN. No; more that way.

CLEM. I threw it out that way. Hey! what a
donkey ! Is he near-sighted ?

COB. He's got only half an eye and with half
an eye you don't see much. [To JELLE.] Behind
you!

JELLE. I don't see anything.

DAAN. [BABEND appears at door.] Psst! Hey!
Barend, you help him

CLEM. There is a ten-cent piece out there.

BABEND. [Basket of driftwood on his back.] Give
it to 'im in his paws then. [Enters.] [Throws
down basket with a thud.] Here!

COB. Did you hear that impudent boy?

CLEM. Say there, big ape, were you speaking
to me?

BAR. [Shy and embarrassed.] No, Miss. I did
not know you were there, I thought

COB. What right had you to think better be
thinking of going to sea again to earn your Mother 's
bread.

BAB. That's none of your business.

COB. Just hear his insolence to me when he's
too bashful to open his mouth to others. [Taunt-



THE GOOD HOPE 21'

ing.] I'm not afraid lie-lie-he! No, I don't get
the belly ache when I must go to sea he-he-he !

DAAN. Come along now. It's struck four.

CLEM. Ten o'clock tomorrow, Cobus.

DAAN. He can't do it, Miss, we must pull weeds
in the court yard.

COB. Yes, we must scratch the stones.

CLEM. Tomorrow afternoon, then.

COB. Tja! I'll be here, then. Good day, Miss.
[To B ABEND.] Good day, pudding breeches.

CLEM. [Pinning on her hat.] He teases you,
doesn't he?

BAR. [Laughing bashfully.] Yes, Miss.

CLEM. Been out searching the beach I [He nods
embarrassed.] Found much!

BAR. No, it was ebb last night and and [Gets
stuck.]

CLEM. Are you really afraid to go to sea, silly
boy? [He nods, laughing.] They all go.

BAB. [Dully.] Yes, they all go.

CLEM. A man must not be afraid

BAB. No, a man must not be afraid.

CLEM. Well, then?

BAB. [Timidly.] I'd rather stay on shore.

CLEM. I won 't force you to go How old are you ?

BAB. Rejected for the army last month.

CLEM. Rejected?

BAB. For my for my I don't know why, but I
was rejected.

CLEM. [Laughing.] That's lucky A soldier
that's afraid!

BAB. [Flaring up quickly.] I'm not afraid on
land let them come at me I'll soon stick a knife
through their ribs!

CLEM. Fine !

BAR. [Again lapsing into embarrassment.] Beg



22 THE GOOD HOPE

pardon, Miss. [The soft tooting of a steamboat
whistle is heard.] That's the Anna there's a corpse
on board

CLEM. Another one dead?

BAB. The flag hung half-mast.

CLEM. Tu-tu-tu-tu The second this week. First,
the Agatha Maria

BAB. No, 'twas the Charlotte.

CLEM. Oh, yes ! The Agatha was last week Do
they know who? [He shakes his head.] Haven't
you any curiosity?

BAB. Ach you get used to it and none of our
family are aboard. [Embarrassed silence.] Father
can't Hendrick can't Josef can't you know about
them and and Geert he's still under arrest.

CLEM. Yes, he's brought disgrace on all of you.

BAB. Disgrace disgrace

CLEM. When is he free?

BAB. I don't know.

CLEM. You don't know?

BAB. They gave him six months but they de-
duct the time before trial we don't know how long
that was, so we can't tell.

KNEIBTJE. [Through the window.]] Good day,
Miss.

CLEM. Good day.

KNEIB. How did the chickens get out? Do look
at that rooster ! Get out, you salamander ! Kischt !
Jo! Jo!

BAB. Let them alone. They'll go of themselves.

KNEIB. [Entering the room.] That's an endless
devilment, Miss. [To B ABEND.] Come, you, stick
out your paws. Must we have another row with Ari?

BAB. Then we'll have a row. [Goes off indiffer-
ently, chases away the chickens, outside.]



THE GOOD HOPE 23

KNBIB. Then we'll such a lazy boy, I wish he'd
never been born Sponger ! Are you going so soon,
Miss?

CLEM. I am curious to know what's happened
on the Anna.

KNEIB. Yes I was on the way there but it takes
so long and I've had my fill of waiting on the pier
if that pier could only talk. Have you finished my
brother's portrait?

CLEM. Tomorrow. I want to make a drawing
of Barend also just as he came in with the basket
on his shoulders.

KNEIB. Barend f Well All the same to me.

CLEM. He doesn't seem to get much petting
around here.

KNEIB. [Annoyed.} Pet him! I should say not!
The sooner I get rid of him, the better! [Through
the window.] Chase them away ! Kischt ! Kischt !

BAB. [Outside.] All that yelling makes the rooster
afraid.

KNEIB. Afraid ! He takes after you, then ! Kischt !

CLEM. Hahaha! Hahaha! Say, he's enjoying
himself there on Ari's roof.

Jo. [Coming through the door at left. Brown
apron gold head pieces on the black band around
her head.] Good day.

KNEIB. The chickens are out again ! The rooster
is sitting on Ari's roof.

Jo. [Laughing merrily.] Hahaha! He 'snot go-
ing to lay eggs there !

KNEIB. [Crossly.] Hear her talk! She knows
well enough we almost came to blows with Ari be-
cause the hens walked in his potato patch.

Jo. I let them out myself, old cross patch Truus
dug their potatoes yesterday.



24 THE GOOD HOPE

KNEIR. Why didn't you say so then?

Jo. What am I doing now ? Oh, Miss she would
die if she couldn't grumble; she even keeps it up in
her sleep. Last night she swore out loud in her
dreams. Hahaha ! Never mind ! scold all you like ;
you're a good old mother just the same. [To BAREND,
who enters the room.] Ach, you poor thing! Is the
rooster setting on the roof? And does he refuse
to come down?

BAR. You quit that now!

Jo. I'll wager if you pet the hens he will come
down of himself from jealousy. Hahaha ! He looks
pale with fear.

CLEM. Now, now.

Jo. Say, Aunt, you should make a baker of him.
His little bare feet in the rye flour. Hahaha!

BAB. You can all [Goes angrily off at left.]

Jo. [Calling after him.'] The poor little fellow !

CLEM. Now, stop teasing him. Are you digging
potatoes ?

Jo. Tja; since four o'clock this morning. Noth-
ing Aunt all rotten.

KNEIR. We poor people are surely cursed rain
rain the crops had to rot they couldn 't be saved
and so we go into the winter the cruel winter
Ach, Ach, Ach !

Jo. There! You're worrying again. Come,
Mother, laugh. Am I ever sad? Geert may return
at any moment.

KNEIR. Geert and what then?

Jo. What then? Then then then, nothing!
Cheer up! You don't add to your potatoes by fret-
ting and grumbling. I have to talk like this all
day to keep up her spirits See, I caught a rabbit !

CLEM. In a trap?

Jo. As neat as you please. The rascal was living



THE GOOD HOPE 25

on our poverty the trap went snap as I was dig-
ging. A fat one forty cents at the least.

CLEM. That came easy I must go now.

Bos. {At door.} Hello! Are you going to stay
all day May I come in f

KNEIR. [Friendly manner.} Of course you may,
Meneer; come in, Meneer.

Bos. My paws are dirty, children.

KNEIR. That 's nothing. A little dry sand doesn't
matter will you sit down?

Bos. Glad to do so Yes, Kneir, my girl, we're
getting older every day Good day, little niece.

Jo. Good day, Meneer. [Points, laughing, to her
hands.} You see

Bos. Have you put on gloves for the dance?

Jo. [Nods saucily.} The hornpipe and the High-
land fling, hey?

Bos. Hahaha! Saucy black eye. [To CLEMEN-
TIKE.] Come, let me have a look.

CLEM. [Petulantly.} No, you don't understand
it, anyway.

Bos. Oh, thanks ! You educate a daughter. Have
her take drawing lessons, but must not ask to see
come ! Don 't be so childish I

CLEM. [With spoiled petulance.} No. When it
is finished.

Bos. Just one look.

CLEM. Hey, Pa, don't bother me.

Bos. Another scolding, ha ha ha!

[BAREND enters.}

BAR. [Bashfully.} Good day, Meneer.

Bos. Well, Barend, you come as if you were
called.

BAR. [Surprised laugh.} I?

Bos. We need you, my boy.

BAR. Yes, Meneer.



26 THE GOOD HOPE

Bos. The deuce! How you have grown.

BAB. Yes, Meneer.

Bos. You're quite a man, now How long have
you been out of a job?

BAB. [Shyly.] Nine months.

KNEIB. That's a lie It's more than a year.

BAB, No, it isn't.

Jo. Well, just count up November, December

Bos. That'll do, children. No quarreling. Life
is too short. Well, Barend, how would the forty-
seven suit you? Eh, what?

BAB. [Anxiously.] The forty-seven

Bos. The Good Hope

CLEM. [Surprised.] Are you going to send out
the Good Hope ?

Bos. [Sharply.] You keep out of this ! Keep out,
I say!

CLEM. And this morning

Bos. [Angrily.] Clementine!

CLEM. But Pa

Bos. [Angrily stamping his foot.] Will you
please go on?

CLEM. [Shrugging her shoulders.] Hey! How
contemptible, to get mad how small Bon jour!
[Exits.]

KNEIB. Good day, Miss.

Bos. [Smiling.] A cat, eh! Just like her Mama,
I have to raise the devil now and then, hahaha!
or my wife and daughter would run the business
and I would be in the kitchen peeling the potatoes,
hahaha! Not but what I've done it in my youth.

KNEIB. And don't I remember

Bos. [Smacking his lips.] Potatoes and fresh
herring! but what's past is gone. With a fleet of
eight luggers your mind is on other things
[Smiling.] Even if I do like the sight of saucy black



TEE GOOD HOPE 27

eyes Don't mind me, I'm not dangerous there was
a time. Hahaha !

KNEIB. Go on, Meneer. Don't mind us.

Bos. Well, our little friend here, what does he
say?

KNEIB. Open your mouth, speak !

BAB. I would rather

KNEIB. [Angrily.} Bather rather!

Jo. Hey! What a stupid!

Bos. Children! No quarreling. Boy, you must
decide for yourself. Last year at the herring catch
the Good Hope made the sum of fourteen hundred
guilders in four trips. She is fully equipped, Hengst
is skipper all the sailors but one and the boys
Hengst spoke of you for oldest boy.

BAB. {Nervously.} No, no, Meneer

KNEIB. Ah, the obstinate beast ! All my beating
won't drive him aboard.

Jo. If I were a man

Bos. Yes, but you're not; you're a pretty girl
ha, ha, ha ! We can 't use such sailors. Well, Daddy !
And why don't you want to go? Afraid of seasick-
ness? You've already made one trip as middle
boy

KNEIB. And as play boy.

Jo. He'd rather loaf and beg. Ah! what a big
baby.

Bos. You are foolish, boy. I sailed with your
grandfather. Yes, I, too, would rather have sat by
Mother's pap-pot than held eels with my ice cold
hands ; rather bitten into a slice of bread and butter
than bitten off the heads of the bait. And your
father

BAB. [Hoarsely.'] My father was drowned
and brother Hendrick and Josef no, I won't go!

Bos. [Rising.] Well if he feels that way bet-



28 THE GOOD HOPE

ter not force him, Mother Kneirtje; I understand
how he feels, my father didn 't die in his bed, either
but if you begin to reason that way the whole fishery
goes up the spout.

KNEIR. [Angrily.} It's enough to

Bos. Softly softly You don't catch tipsy her-
rings with force

Jo. [Laughing.] Tipsy herring, I would like to
see that !

Bos. [Laughing.'] She doesn't believe it, Kneir !
We know better ! Eh, what !

KNEIK. Ach it's no joking matter, Meneer, that
miserable bad boy talks as if as if I had forgotten
my husband and my good Josef and and but I
have not. [Ends in low sobbing.]

Jo. Come, foolish woman ! please, Aunty dear !
Good-for-nothing Torment !

Bos. Don't cry, Kneir! Tears will not restore
the dead to life

KNEIR. No, Meneer I know that, Meneer. Next
month it will be twelve years since the Clementine
went down.

Bos. Yes, it was the Clementine.

KNEIR, November '88 He was a monkey of
seven then, and yet he pretends to feel more than I
do about it.

BAR. [Nervously.] I didn't say that. I don't
remember my father, nor my brothers but but

Bos. Well, then?

BAR. I want another trade I don't want to go
to sea no no

KNEIR. Another trade What else can you do?
Can't even read or write

BAR. Is that my fault?

KNEIR. No it is mine, of course! Three years
I had an allowance the first year three the second



TEE GOOD HOPE 29

two twenty-five and the third one dollar the other
nine I had to root around for myself.

Bos. Have you forgotten me entirely?

KNEIE. I shall always be grateful to you, Meneer.
If you and the priest hadn't given me work and a
warm bite now and then to take home then then
and that booby even reproaches me !

BAB. I don't reproach I I

Jo. Out with it ! The gentleman is looking for a
place to live off his income.

BAB. Shut up! I will do anything dig sand
plant broom salting down I'll be a mason, or a
carpenter or errand boy

Jo. Or a burgomaster ! Or a policeman ! Hahaha !
And walk about dark nights to catch thieves Oh!
Oh ! what a brave man !

Bos. Little vixen!

BAB. You make me tired ! Did I complain when
the salt ate the flesh off my paws so I couldn't sleep
nights with the pain?

KNEIB. Wants to be a carpenter the boy is in-
sane A mason see the accidents that happen to
masons. Each trade has something.

Bos. Yes, Barendje There are risks in all trades
my boy. Just think of the miners, the machinists,
the stokers the the How often do not I, even
now, climb the man rope, or row out to a lugger?
Fancies, my boy! You must not give way to
them.

KNEIB. And we have no choice. God alone knows
what the winter will be. All the potatoes rotted late
this fall, Meneer.

Bos. Yes, all over the district. Well, boy?

BAB. No, Meneer.

KNEIB. [Angrily, ,] Get out of my house, then
sponger !



30 THE GOOD HOPE

BAB. [Faintly.} Yes, Mother.

KNEIB. March! Or I'll [Threatening.]

Bos. Come, come. [A pause during which BA-
BEND walks timidly away.]

Jo. If I had a son like that

Bos. Better get a lover first

Jo. [Brightly.] I've already got one! If I had
a son like that I'd bang him right and left! Bah!
A man that's afraid! [Lightly.] A sailor never
knows that sooner or later He never thinks of that
If Geert were that way there, I know Aunt, im-
agine Geert

Bos. Geert I

Jo. He'd face the devil eh, Aunt! Now, I'm
going to finish the potatoes. Good bye, Meneer.

Bos. Say, black eyes do you laugh all the time?

Jo. [With burst of laughter.] No, I'm going to
cry. [Calls back from the opened door.] Aunt
speak of Geert. [Goes off.]

Bos. Geert? Is that your son, who

KNEIB. Yes, Meneer.

Bos. Six months?

KNEIB. Yes, Meneer.

Bos, Insubordination ?

KNEIB. Yes, Meneer Couldn't keep his hands at
home.

Bos. The stupid blockhead !

KNEIB. I think they must have teased him

Bos. That's nonsense ! They don't tease the ma-
rines. A fine state of affairs. Discipline would
be thrown overboard to the sharks if sailors could
deal out blows every time things didn't go to suit
them.

KNEIB. That's so, Meneer, but

Bos. And is she smitten with that good-for-
nothing?



THE GOOD HOPE 31

KNEIB. She 's crazy about him, and well she may
be. He's a handsome lad, takes after his father
and strong there is his photograph he still wore
the uniform then first class now he is

Bos. Degraded?

KNEIB. No, discharged when he gets out. He's
been to India twice it is hard if he comes next
week or in two weeks or tomorrow, I don't know
when I'll have him to feed, too although I must
say it of him, he won't let the grass grow under his
feet A giant like him can always find a skipper.

Bos. A sweet beast I tell you right now, Kneir,
I'd rather not take him dissatisfied scoundrels are
plenty enough these days All that come from the
Navy, I'm damned if it isn't so are unruly and I
have no use for that kind Am I not right?

KNEIB. Certainly, Meneer, but my boy

Bos. There was Jacob crooked Jacob, the
skipper had to discharge him. He was, God save
him, dissatisfied with everything claimed that I
cheated at the count yes yes insane. Now he's
trying it at Maasluis. We don't stand for any non-
sense.

KNEIB. May I send him to the skipper then or
direct to the water bailiff's office?

Bos. Yes, but you tell him

KNEIB. Yes, Meneer.

Bos. If he comes in time, he can go out on the
Good Hope. She's just off the docks. They are
bringing the provisions and casks aboard now. She'll
come back with a full cargo You know that.

KNEIB. [Glad.] Yes, Meneer.

Bos. Well Good bye! [Murmur of voices out-
side.] What's that?

KNEIB. People returning from the harbor. There 'a
a corpse aboard the Anna.



32 THE GOOD HOPE

Bos. Pieterse's steam trawler The deuce! Who
is it?

KNEIR. I don't know. I'm going to find out.

[Both go off the stage remains empty a vague
murmur of voices outside. Fishermen, in conversa-
tion, pass the window. Sound of a tolling church
bell. GEERT sneaks inside through the door at left.
Throws down a bundle tied in a red handkerchief.
Looks cautiously into the bedsteads, the cooking shed,
peers through the window, then muttering he plumps
down in a chair by the table, rests his head on his
hand, rises again; savagely takes a loaf of bread
from the back cupboard, cuts off a hunk. Walks
back to chair, chewing, lets the bread fall; wrathfully
stares before him. The bell ceases to toll.]

BAB. [From the cooking shed.] Who's there?
Geert ! [Entering.]

GEERT. [ Curtly. ] Yes it 's me Well, why don 't
you give me a paw.

BAR. [Shaking hands.] Have you have you seen
Mother yet?

GEERT. [Curtly.] No, where is she

BAR. Mother, she she

GEERT. What are you staring at?

BAR. You you Have you been sick?

GEERT. Sick? I'm never sick.

BAR. You look so so pale

GEERT. Give me the looking-glass. I'll be damned.
What a mug! [Throws the mirror roughly down.]

BAR. [Anxiously.] Was it bad in prison?

GEERT. No, fine! What a question They feed
you on beefsteaks! Is there any gin in the house?

BAR. No.

GEERT. Go and get some then if I don't have a
swallow, I'll keel over.

BAR. [Embarrassed.] I haven't any money.



TEE GOOD HOPE 33

GEERT. I have. [Peers in his pocket, throws a
handful of coins on the table.] Earned that in prison
There!

BAB. At the "Bed" around the corner?

GEEET. I don't care a damn so you hurry. [Call-
ing after him.] Is is Mother well? [A pause.]
and Jo ?

BAB. [At door.] She is digging potatoes.

GEEBT. Are they mad at me !

BAB. Why?

GEEBT. Because I [Savagely.] Don't stare so,
stupid

BAB. [Embarrassed.] I can't get used to your
face it's so queer.

GEEBT. Queer face, eh ! I must grow a beard at
once! Say, did they make a devil of a row?
[Gruffly.'} Well?

BAB. I don't know.

GEEBT. Go to the devil! You don't know any-
thing.

[A pause, BABEND slips out. Jo enters, a dead
rabbit in her hand.]

Jo. Jesus ! [Lets the rabbit fall.] Geert ! [Rushes
to him, throws her arms about his neck, sobbing hys-
terically."]

GEEBT. [In a muffled voice.] Stop it ! Stop your
damned bawling stop!

Jo. [Continuing to sob.] I am so happy so
happy, dear Geert

GEEBT. [Irritated.] Now! Now!

Jo. I can't help it. [Sobs harder.]

GEEBT. [Pulling her arms from his neck.] Now
then! My head can't stand such a lot of noise

Jo. [Startled.] A lot of noise?

GEEBT. [Grumbling.] You don't understand it
of course six months solitary in a dirty, stinking



34 THE GOOD HOPE

cell. [Puts his hand before his eyes as if blinded by
the light.] Drop the curtain a bit This sunshine
drives me mad!

Jo. My God Geert

GEEBT. Please ! that 's better.

Jo. Your beard

GEERT. They didn't like my beard The govern-
ment took that become ugly, haven't I? Look as
if I'd lost my wits! Eh?

Jo. [With hesitating laugh.] You? No What
makes you think that? You don't show it at all.
[Sobs again softly.]

GEEBT. Well, damn it! Is that all you have to
say. [She laughs hysterically. He points to his
temples.] Become grey, eh?

Jo. No, Geert.

GEERT. You lie. [Kicking away the mirror.] I
saw it myself. The beggars ; to shut up a sailor in
a cage where you can't walk, where you can't speak,
where you [Strikes wildly upon the table with his
fist.]

BAB. Here is the gin.

Jo. The gin?

BAB. For Geert.

GEERT. Don't you meddle with this Where is a
glass? Never mind [Swallows eagerly.] That's a
bracer ! What time is it ?

BAB. Half past four.

Jo. Did you take bread? Were you hungry?

GEEBT. Yes, no no, yes. I don't know. [Puts
the bottle again to his lips.]

Jo. Please, Geert no more you can't stand it.

GEEBT. No more? [Swallows.] Ripping! Ha-
haha! That's the best way to tan your stomach.
[Swallows.] Kipping! Don't look so unhappy, girl



THE GOOD HOPE 35

I won't get drunk! Bah! It stinks! Not accus-
tomed to it Are there any provisions on board !

Jo. Look a fat one, eh? Trapped him myself.
[Picks up the rabbit.'] Not dead an hour.

GEERT. That will do for tomorrow Here, you, go
and lay in a supply some ham and some meat

BAB. Meat, Geert?

Jo. No that 's extravagance If you want to buy
meat, keep your money till Sunday.

GEERT. Sunday Sunday If you hadn't eaten
anything for six months but rye bread, rats, horse
beans I'm too weak to set one foot before the other.
Stop your talk Hurry up! and and a piece of
cheese I feel like eating myself into a colic. Ha-
haha ! Shall I take another wee drop ?

[BAREND goes off.]

Jo. No.

GEERT. Good, not another drop. Is there any
tobacco ?

Jo. God! I'm glad to see you cheerful again.
tYes, there 's some tobacco left in the jar.

GEERT. That 's good. Fine ! Is that my old pipe ?

Jo. I saved it for you.

GEERT. Who did you flirt with, while I sat

Jo. [Merrily.] With Uncle Cobus !

GEERT. You women are all trash. [Fills his pipe;
smokes.] Haven't had the taste in my mouth for
half a year. This isn't tobacco; [Exhales.] tastes
like hay Bah ! The gin stinks and the pipe stinks.

Jo. Eat something first

GEERT. [Laying down the pipe.] Say, do you
still sleep with Mother!

Jo. Yes, next to the pig stye.

GEERT. [Laughing.] And must I sleep under the
roof again!



36 THE GOOD HOPE

Jo. You'll sleep nice and warm up there, dear.

KNEIR. [Outside.] Why is the window curtain
down!

Jo. [Finger on her lips.] Sst! [Goes and
stands before GEERT.]

KNEIR. [Inside.] What's going on here? Why
is the looking-glass on the floor? Who sits

GEERT. [Rising.] Well, little old one!

KNEIR. God almighty!

GEERT. No it's me Geert

KNEIR. [Dropping into a chair.] Oh! Oh!
My heart beats so !

GEERT. Hahaha! That's damned good! [Tries
to embrace her.]

KNEIR. No no not yet later.

GEERT. Not yet? Why later?

KNEIR. [Reproachfully.] You what have you
done to make me happy !

Jo. [Coaxingly.] Never mind that now

GEERT. I've got enough in my head now. If you
intend to reproach me? I shall

KNEIR. You shall

GEERT. Pack my bundle !

KNEIR. And this is his home-coming !


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