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All rights reserved. The Amateur Fee for each
and every representation of any one of these plays
is five guineas, payable in advance to the Author's
sole agents, Messrs. Samuel French, Limited,
2G Southampton Street, Strand, London, W.C.









VOL. 11



ON OCTOBER 15, 1907





Tom Kemp ..... Charles Wyndham

Mr. Baxter ..... Mr. Sam Sothern

Mrs. Baxter . . . . Miss Mary Moore

Miss Roberts . . . Miss Elaine Innescourt

The scene of the Play is laid in Mrs. Baxter's Sitting-room, at a
house some twenty or thirty miles from London.



SCENE. — MRS Baxter's sitting-room. A pleasant, well-
furnished room. French windows open to the garden,
showing flower-beds in full bloom, it being summer
time. As the audience looks at the stage there is a
door on the left-hand side at the back, and from the
door a few stairs lead down to the room. Nearer and
also on this side is a fireplace. Against this same wall
is a fiower-pot on a table containing a plant in bloom.
There is plenty of comfortable furniture about the

It is evening after dinner. Lamps are lighted and
the windows closed, mr. Baxter, a man about
forty, is seated near a lamp reading " Scribner's
Magazine." The door opens and miss Roberts
comes in. She is a pretty, honest-looking English girl
about twenty-four. She comes towards mr. Baxter.

MISS ROBERTS. Mr. Baxter — are you very busy ?

MR. BAXTER. No, Miss Roberts.

MISS ROBERTS. I Want to speak to you.

MR. BAXTER. Yes. Won't you sit down ?

MISS ROBERTS. Thank you. {She does so.) Wc shall
soon be beginning the summer holidays, and I think
after this term you had better have another governess
for the girls.

MR. BAXTER. You waut to leavc us?

MISS ROBERTS. I don't Want to. I shall be very
sorry indeed to go. You and Mrs. Baxter have always
been so kind to me. You never treated me like a



MR, BAXTER. You liavc been with us so long. We
have come to look on you as one of the family.

MISS ROBERTS. I Can't tcll you how often I have felt
grateful. I don't want to leave you at all, and it will
almost break my heart to say good-bye to the children,
but I must go.

MR. BAXTER {anxiously). You are not going to be
married ?

MISS ROBERTS (smiUng). Oh, no — nothing so interest-
ing — I'm sorry to say.

MR. BAXTER. Have you told my wife you think of
leaving ?

MISS ROBERTS {sUghtly troubled). I began to tell Mrs.
Baxter several times ; at the beginning of the term and
three or four times since — but she was always too busy
or too tired to attend to me ; each time she asked me to
tell her some other time — until I don't quite know what
to do. That's why I've come to you.

MR. BAXTER {slightly disconcerted) . But it's not my
place to accept your notice.

MISS ROBERTS. I know — but if I might explain to

MR. BAXTER. Certainly.

MISS ROBERTS. It's this. I can't teach the girls
anything more. Gladys is nearly twelve, and Margery,
though she is only nine, is very bright ; she often asks
me the most puzzling questions — and the truth is — I
have not had a good enough education myself to take
them any further.

MR. BAXTER. Aren't they rather young to go to
school ?

MISS ROBERTS. I think you need a governess with a
college education, or, at any rate, some one who doesn't
get all at sea in algebra and Latin.

MR. BAXTER. I should havc thought you might read
and study.

MISS ROBERTS. I uscd to think so — but I find I haven't
the time.

MR. BAXTER {thoughtfully) . Too much is expected of
you besides your duties as the children's governess,
I've noticed that — but I don't quite see how I can

MISS ROBERTS. Plcasc don't trouble, and don't think


I'm complaining. I am always glad to be of use to
Mrs. Baxter. It's not for my own sake I want a change ;
it's for the girls'. This is their most receptive age.
What they are taught, and how they are taught now,
will mean so much to them later on. I can't bear
to think they may suffer all their lives through my

MR. BAXTER (poUtely). Oh — I'm sure

MISS ROBERTS. It's vcry kind of you to say so — but I
know what it is. I have suffered myself for want of a
thorough education. Of course I had the ordinary kind,
but I was never brought up to know or do anything
special. I found myself at a great disadvantage when I
had to turn to, and earn my own living.

MR. BAXTER. Gladys and Margery won't have to earn
their own livings.

MISS ROBERTS. No ouc uscd to think that I should
have to earn mine — till one day — I found myself alone
and poor— after the shipwreck — when my father and

mother — and my sister

{She turns her head away to hide her emotion from


MR. BAXTER (kindly). We shall all miss you very much
when you go. {Leaning towards her.) I shall miss you
very much. {She nods.) We've had such good walks
and talks and games of chess.

MISS ROBERTS {brightly). Yes ! I've enjoyed them all.

MR. BAXTER. I hopc you havc a nice place to go to.

MISS ROBERTS {simply). I haven't any place to go to.
I hoped Mrs. Baxter would help me find a new situation.
I can't get one very well without her help, as this is the
only place where I have ever been a governess, and after
being here four years {smiles) I must ask Mrs. Baxter
to give me a good character.

MR. BAXTER {meditatively). Four years — it doesn't
seem like four years I don't know, though — in some
ways it seems as if you had always been here. {Looking
at MISS ROBERTS.) It is very honest of you to give up
a good situation for a conscientious reason like this.

MISS ROBERTS. I don't kuow.

MR. BAXTER {as an afterthought). I suppose it really
is your reason for leaving ?

MISS ROBERTS {laughing). It's not vcry nice of you to


compliment mc on my honesty one minute and doubt
it the next.

MR. BAXTER (scriously). No, Miss Roberts, no. I
don't doubt it. I was only wondering. I thought perhaps
there might be some other reason why you find it
diffieult to live here — why you think it would be wiser
not to stay

MISS ROBERTS (ifinocently) . No

MR. BAXTER. I see. Well — as I leave everything to
do with the girls' education to Mrs. Baxter — perhaps
you will tell her. Tell her what you have told me.
MISS ROBERTS. And — will you sit in the room ?
MR. BAXTER. Why ? What is going to be the

MISS ROBERTS {embarrassed). I can't explain very well
to you — but if you wouldn't mind sitting in the room.
{She rises.) I think I hear Mrs. Baxter coming.

(MRS. BAXTER enters. She is a pretty womxin

about thirty-five, vague in her movements and

manner of speaking. She comes down the room

as she speaks.)

MRS. BAXTER. I've been wondering where Scribner's

Magazine is.

MR. BAXTER. I havc it. Havc you been looking
for it ?

MRS. BAXTER. No — uot looking — only wondering.
MR. BAXTER. Do you waut it ?

MRS. BAXTER {pleasantly). Not if you are reading it —
though I was just half-way through a story.
MR. BAXTER. Do take it.

MRS. BAXTER {taking magazine). Don't you really
want it ?

{She looks about, selecting the most comfortable chair.)
MR. BAXTER. It doesn't matter.

MRS. BAXTER {smiUng). Thank you. {She sits.) Oh,
Miss Roberts, I wonder if you could get me the cushion
out of that chair ?

{Pointing to a chair near a window.)
MISS ROBERTS. Certainly.

{She brings the cushion to mrs. Baxter and places
it behind her back.)
MRS. BAXTER {settling herself). Thank you. Now I'm
quite comfortable — unless I had a footstool.


MISS ROBERTS. A footstool ?

(She gets a footstool, brings it to mrs. Baxter and
places it under her feet.)
MRS. BAXTER (without an attempt to move while miss
ROBERTS is doing this). Don't trouble, Miss Roberts.
I didn't mean you to do that. / could have done it.
{When MISS Roberts has placed the footstool.) Oh, how
kind of you, but you ought not to wait on me like this.
{Smiles sweetly.) The paper-knife, please. Who knows
where it is ? (miss Roberts takes the paper-knife from
MR. BAXTER and gives it to mrs. Baxter. To mr.
BAXTER.) I didn't see you were using it, dear, or I
wouldn't have asked for it. {To miss Roberts.) As
you're doing nothing, would you mind cutting some of
these pages ? I find there are still a few uncut. {She
gives the magazine and paper-knife to miss Roberts,
then says, smiling sweetly.) Your fingers are so much
cleverer than mine, (miss Roberts begins cutting the
magazine, mrs. Baxter leans back comfortably in her
chair and says to mr. Baxter.) Why don't you get
something to do ?

MR. BAXTER {rising). I'm going to my room to have
a smoke.

(miss ROBERTS puts the magazine on the table and

goes to MR. BAXTER with the paper-knife in her


MISS ROBERTS. No, Mr. Baxter, please, I want you to

help me out. I want you to stay while I tell Mrs. Baxter.

MRS. BAXTER. What's all this mystery ? {Seriously.)

Take care you don't snap that paper-knife in two. Miss


(mr. BAXTER sits down again.)
MISS ROBERTS {to MRS. BAXTER). I was telling Mr.

Baxter before you came into the room

MRS. BAXTER {holding out her hand). Give me the

(miss ROBERTS givcs her the paper-knife, which she
examines carefully.)
miss ROBERTS. I told you at the beginning of the

term, and several times since

MRS. BAXTER. It would havc been a pity if that paper-
knife had been snapped in two. {She looks up pleasantly
at MISS ROBERTS.) Ycs, Miss Roberts ?


MISS ROBERTS. I WES Saying that I thought

(MRS. BAXTER dwps the paper-knife accidentally
on the floor.)

MRS. BAXTER. Oh, doii't troublc to pick it up. (miss
ROBERTS picks up tJic papcr-knifc and holds it in her hand.)
Oh, thank you, I didn't mean you to do that.

miss ROBERTS. I was Saying

MRS. BAXTER. It isu't chipped, is it ?

MISS ROBERTS (nearly losing her temper). No.

(She marches to the table and lays the paper-knife

MRS. BAXTER. It would havc been a pity if that paper-
knife had been chipped.

MISS ROBERTS (facing MRS. BAXTER with determination,
and sjyeaking fast and loud). I said I must leave at the
end of the term.

MRS. BAXTER (blandly). Aren't you happy with us,
Miss Roberts ?

MISS ROBERTS. Oh, ycs, thank you. Very.

MRS. BAXTER. Really happy, I mean.

MR. BAXTER. Miss Robcrts feels that Gladys and
Margery are getting too old for her to teach.

MISS ROBERTS (glancing her gratitude to mr. Baxter
for helping her). Yes. (To mrs. Baxter.) I've taught
them all I know ; they need some one cleverer ; there
ought to be a change.

MRS. BAXTER. I think you do very nicely.

miss ROBERTS. You don't know how ignorant I am.

MRS. BAXTER (swcctly). You do yoursclf an injustice,
dear Miss Roberts.

(miss ROBERTS tums appcalingly to mr. baxter.)

MR. BAXTER. It was the algebra, I think you said.
Miss Roberts, that you found so especially difficult ?

MISS ROBERTS. Ycs. I'vc no head for algebra.

MRS. BAXTER (chccrfully). Neither have I, but I don't
consider myself a less useful woman for that.

MISS ROBERTS. You'i'c uot a govcrncss.

MRS. BAXTER. Wlio said I was ? Don't let us wander
from the point. Miss Roberts.

(miss ROBERTS looks appcalingly at mr. Baxter

MR. BAXTER. The Latin

MISS ROBERTS. Ycs, I givc mysclf a lesson at night to


pass on to them in the morning — that's no way to do,
just keeping a length ahead.

MRS. BAXTER. Perhaps Mr. Baxter will help you with
the Latin. Ask him.

MISS ROBERTS. I'm afraid even that

MRS. BAXTER. Mr. Baxter's a very good Latin scholar.
{Smiling at mr. Baxter.) Aren't you, dear ?

MR. BAXTER {reluctantly). I read Virgil at school. I
haven't looked at him since. After a time one's Latin
gets rusty.

MRS. BAXTER {cheerfully). Rub it up. We might
begin now, while you're doing nothing. Ask Miss
Roberts to bring you the books.

MR. BAXTER. Oh, uo, dear.

MRS. BAXTER. Why shouldn't we improve our minds ?
{She leans her head back on the cushions.)

MR. BAXTER. Not after dinner. {To miss Roberts.)
I don't see why you want to teach the girls Latin.

miss ROBERTS. Mi's. Baxter said she wished them to
have a smattering of the dead languages.

MRS. BAXTER {complaccntly). I learnt Latin. I re-
member so well standing up in class and reciting " Hie
— haec — hoc " — accusative " hinc — hone — hue."

MR. BAXTER {correcting her). Hoc.

MRS. BAXTER. Huc, dcar, in my book. And the
ablative was hibus.


(mr. BAXTER and MISS ROBERTS both laugh.)

MRS. BAXTER {making wild serious guesses). Hobibus
— no, wait a minute — that's wrong — don't tell me. {She
closes her eyes and murmurs.) Ablative — ho — hi-^hu —
no ; it's gone. {She opens her eyes and says cheerfully.)
Never mind. {To miss Roberts.) What were we
talking about ?

miss ROBERTS. My ignorancc of Latin.

MRS. BAXTER. I Can't Say that 7ny knowledge of it
has ever been of much service to me. I think Mr.
Baxter is quite right. Why teach the girls Latin ?
Suppose we drop it from the curriculum and take up
something else on Latin mornings

MISS ROBERTS {earnestly to mrs. Baxter). I wonder
if you realise how much all this means to the girls ?
Their future is so mportant.


MRS. BAXTER {with the idea of putting miss Roberts
in her place). Of course it is important, Miss Roberts.
It is not necessary to tell a mother how important her
^nrls' future is — but I don't suppose we need settle it
this evening. {Wishing to put an end to the discussion,
she rises, walks towards the table on which stands the
jlowcr-pot and says amiably.) How pretty these flowers
look growing in this pot.

MISS ROBERTS. Would you rather we discussed it
to-morrow, Mrs. Baxter ?

MRS. BAXTER. To-morrow will be my brother's first
day here, and he will have so much to tell me after his
long absence. I don't think to-morrow would be a
good day.

MISS ROBERTS. The day after ?

MRS. BAXTER. Oh, really, Miss Roberts, I can't be
pinned down like that. {She moves towards MR. Baxter.)
Aren't you and Miss Roberts going to play chess ?

MR. BAXTER {rising). Miss Roberts seems so anxious
to have this thing decided. I told her that anything
to do with the girls' education was left to you.

MRS. BAXTER. Nccd it be settled this minute ?

MISS ROBERTS {going towards mrs. Baxter). I've
tried so often to speak to you about it and something
must be done.

MRS. BAXTER {resigning herself). Of course — if you
insist upon it — I'll do it now. I'll do anything any of
you wish. {She sits down.) I've had a slight headache
all day — it's rather worse since dinner ; I really ought
to be in bed, but I wanted to be up when Tom comes.
If I begin to discuss this now I shall be in no state to
receive him — but, of course — if you insist

MISS ROBERTS. I don't Want to tire you.

MRS. BAXTER. It would tirc me very much.

MISS ROBERTS. Then I suppose we must put it off again.

MRS. BAXTER {smiUng). I think that would be best.
We must thrash it out properly — some day.

{She leans hack in her chair.)


we may as well play chess ?

MISS ROBERTS {with resignation). I suppose so.

(mr. BAXTER and MISS ROBERTS sit at a table and
arrange the chess men.)


MRS. BAXTER (finding her place in her magazine,
begins to read. After a slight pause, she says). What an
abominable light ! I can't possibly see to read. I
suppose, Miss Roberts, you couldn't possibly carry that
lamp over to this table, could you ? (miss Roberts
makes a slight movement as though she would fetch the
lamp.) It's too heavy, isn't it ?

MR. BAXTER. Mucli too hcavy !

MRS. BAXTER. I thought SO. I'm afraid I must
strain my eyes. I can't bear to sit idle.

MR. BAXTER {rising). I'll carry the lamp over.

MRS. BAXTER (quickly). No, no ! You'd spill it.
Call one of the servants ; wouldn't that be the simplest
plan ?

MR. BAXTER. The simplest plan would be for you to
walk over to the lamp.

MRS. BAXTER. Certainly, dear, if it's too much trouble
to call one of the servants. {She rises and carries her
magazine to a chair by the lamp.) I wouldn't have said
anything about the lamp if I'd thought it was going
to be such a business to move it. {She sits and turns
over a page or two while mr. Baxter, who has returned
to his seat, and miss Roberts continue arranging the
chess-board, mrs. Baxter calls gaily over her shoulder.)
Have you checkmated Mr. Baxter yet. Miss Roberts ?

miss ROBERTS. I havcu't finished setting the board.

MRS. BAXTER. How slow you are. {She turns a
page or two idly, then says seriously to mr. Baxter.)
Dear, you'll be interested to know that I don't think
the housemaid opposite is engaged to young Locker.
I believe it's the cook.

MR. BAXTER. Very interesting, dear. {To miss
ROBERTS.) It's you to play.

{After three moves of chess, mrs. Baxter says.)

MRS. BAXTER. Oh, here's such a clever article on
wasps. It seems that wasps — I'll read you what it
says. {She clears her throat.) Wasps

MR. BAXTER {plaintively). Dulcie, dear, it's impossible
for us to give our minds to the game if you read aloud.

MRS. BAXTER {amiably). I'm so sorry, dear. I didn't
mean to disturb you. I think you'd have found the
article instructive. If you want to read it afterwards,
it's page 32, if you can remember that. " Wasps and


all alxMit them." I'll dog-ear the page. Oh, I never
looked out Tom's train. Miss Roberts, you'll find the
time-table tni the hall table, (miss Roberts rises and
MRS. BAXTER j^Oi'5 011.) Or if it isn't there, it may be

MISS ROBERTS (quickly). I know where it is. {She
goes out.)

MRS. BAXTER. What has Miss Roberts been saying
to yon about leaving ?

MR. BAXTER. Only what she said to you.

MRS. BAXTER. I hope she won't leave me before I
get suited. I shall never find any one else to suit me.
I don't know what I should do without Miss Roberts.

(miss ROBERTS re-entcrs tvith small time-table.)

MISS ROBERTS. Here it is !

MRS. BAXTER (cheerfully) . Thank you, Miss Roberts,
but I've just remembered he isn't coming by train at
all ; he's coming in a motor car.

MR. BAXTER. All the way from London ?

MRS. BAXTER. Ycs, at Icast I think so. It's all in
his letter — who knows what I did with Tom's letter ?

MISS ROBERTS {making a slight movement as if to go).
Shall I go and look ?

MRS. BAXTER. Hush. I'm trying to think where I
put it. {Staring in front of her.) I had it in my hand
before tea. I remember dropping it — I had it again
after tea ; I remember thinking it was another letter,
but it wasn't. That's how I know. {Then to the
others.) I'm surprised neither of you remembers where
I i)ut it.

MISS ROBERTS. I'd better go and look.

{She moves to go.)

MR. BAXTER. I think I hear a motor coming.

{He goes and looks through the window.)

MRS. BAXTER {in an injured tone). It's too late now.
Miss Roberts. Mr. Baxter thinks he hears a motor

MR. BAXTER. Ycs, it is a car ; I see the lamps. It
must be Tom.

MRS. BAXTER {smiUng affectionately). Dear Tom, how
nice it will be to see him again. {To mr, Baxter.)
Aren't you going to the hall to meet Tom ?


{He goes out.)


MRS. BAXTER. You've nevcr seen my brother Tom.
MISS ROBERTS. No, I don't think he's been home
since I came to you.

MRS. BAXTER. No, I was trying to count up this
afternoon how many years it would be since Tom was
home. I've forgotten again now, but I know I did it ;
you'd have been surprised.
TOM (outside). Where is she ?

{Confused greetings between tom and mr. baxter
are heard, mrs. Baxter rises smiling, and
goes towards the stairs.)
MRS. BAXTER. That's Tom's voice.

(tom KEMP enters followed by mr. Baxter, tom
is a cheerful, genial, high-spirited man about
forty-five ; he comes down-stairs, where mrs.
BAXTER meets him. He takes her in both arms
and kisses her on each cheek.)
TOM. Well, child, how are you — bless you.
MRS. BAXTER. Oh, Tom, it is nice to see you again.
TOM {holding her off and looking at her). You look just
the same.

MRS. BAXTER. So do you, Tom. I'm so glad you
haven't grown fat.

TOM {laughing). No chance to grow fat out there.
Life is too strenuous. {He turns to mr. Baxter and
gives him a slap on the back.) Well, Dick, you old duffer.


TOM {turning to her). Yes ?

MRS. BAXTER. I waut to introducc you to Miss

(tom gives MISS Roberts a friendly hand-shake.)

TOM. How d'you do. Miss Roberts ?

MRS. BAXTER. Are you very tired, Tom ?

TOM. Tired — no — never tired. {Smiling at mrs,
BAXTER.) You look Splendid.

{He holds her by her shoulders.)

MRS. BAXTER {languidly). I'm pretty well.

TOM {spinning mrs. Baxter round). Never better.

MRS. BAXTER {disUkiug such treatment). I'm pretty

{She wriggles her shoulders and edges away.)

MR. BAXTER {to tom). Havc you dined ?

TOM. Magnificently. Soup^fish — chops — roast beef


{To MISS ROBERTS.) You must live in Colorado,

Miss Roberts, if you want to relish roast beef.

MR. BAXTER. But you've driven from London since
dinner. {To MRS. Baxter.) I suppose we can raise him
a supper ?

MRS. BAXTER. If the things aren't all put away.

TOM {turning from miss Roberts). No — see here —
hold on — I dined at the Inn.

MRS. BAXTER {smUiug graciously). Oh, I was just
going to offer to go into the kitchen and cook you some-
thing myself.

{She sits.)

TOM. I was late getting in and I wasn't sure what
time you dined. {To mr. Baxter.) Now, Dick, tell
me the family history.

MR. BAXTER {scratching his head, says slowly). The
family history ?

MRS. BAXTER {calling out suddenly). His ! Ablative —

TOM. Eh ?

MRS. BAXTER {gravcly to tom). Hie — haec — hoc. His
— his — his.

TOM {looking blankly at miss Roberts and mr. Baxter).
What's the matter ?

MRS. BAXTER {smiUng as she explains). I was giving
them a Latin lesson before you came.

TOM {amused). You ?

MRS. BAXTER {conccitcdly) . I never think we were
meant to spend all our time in frivolous conversation.

TOM {amused, turning to mr. Baxter). Dulcie, giving
you a Latin lesson ?

MR. BAXTER {sadly). I suppose she really thinks she
was by now.

TOM {walking about). It's bully to be home again. I
felt like a kid coming here — slipping along in the dark —
with English trees and English hedges and English farms
flitting by. No one awake but a few English cows,
standing in the fields — up to their knees in mist. It
looked like dreams — like that dream I sometimes have
out there in Colorado. I dream I've just arrived in Eng-
land — ^^dth no baggage and nothing on but my pyjamas.
■^^^ MRS. BAXTER. What is he talking about ?

MISS ROBERTS. I know what you mean !


TOM. I guess you've had that dream yourself. No,
I mean you know how I must have felt.

MISS ROBERTS. Like a ghost revisiting its old haunts.

TOM (sitting near miss Roberts). Like the ghost of
the boy I used to be. I thought you'd understand.
You look as if you would.

MRS. BAXTER. I'm SO glad you haven't married some
nasty common person in America.

TOM {chaffingly to her). I thought you would be. That's
why I didn't do it.

{He talks to miss Roberts.)

MRS. BAXTER (laugMng as she turns to say to mr.
BAXTER). He's always so full of fun.

MISS ROBERTS. / oucc dreamed I was in Colorado —
but it was only from one of those picture post-cards you
sent. I have never travelled.

TOM. And how did Colorado look in your dreams ?

MISS ROBERTS {recalling her vision of Colorado).

TOM. That's right. Pine forests stretching away,
away — down below there in the valley — a sea of tree-
tops waving — waving — waving for miles.

MISS ROBERTS. And mountains.

TOM. Chains of mountains — great blue mountains
streaked with snow — range beyond range. Oh ! it's
grand ! it's grand !

MISS ROBERTS. I should loVC tO SCC it.

MRS. BAXTER. I think you are much better off where
you are, Miss Roberts.

TOM. It's great, but it's not gentle like this. It doesn't
make you want to cry. It only makes you want to say
your prayers.

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