Hubert Henry Davies.

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TONY. I really was awfully sorry for her. She feels
so much, too, that it's all her fault that you are living like
this with Miriam and flaunting her about everywhere so

GEOFFREY. She talked about me then ?

TOXY. Oh, yes — most of the time. She told me how
she went to call on you that day and met Miriam as she
was leaving. I didn't let her know, of course, how you
happened to come across each other in the first place,
but I told her what a good sort Miriam is and how fond
we have all become of her.

GEOFFREY. What did she say to that ?

TONY. Nothing. She just cried and cried as if her
heart would break. It was awful.

(GEOFFREY Hses and moves away to hide his own
emotion before he turns to tony again and

GEOFFREY. D'you think she'd like me to go and see
her ?

TONY. I'm sure she would. It would mean everything
to her, I know — because you see — she talks to me about
you. There's only me she can talk to about you. She's
got you so dreadfully on her mind, I believe she's in love
with you still.

GEOFFREY. Tony ! Think of what you're saying.
Don't use expressions carelessly.

TONY {rather surprised by Geoffrey's tone). No — of
course not. I didn't think there was any harm in saying
I believe she's in love with you still — now that it's all over
on your side.

GEOFFREY. What makcs you think that it's all over
on my side ?

TONY. You seem so happy with Miriam.

GEOFFREY. You really think it would be all right for
me to go and see Valentine ?

TONY. She told me she never would ask you to come
— because that day when she went to call on you, you
said that you didn't want to see her any more.

GEOFFREY. Tell her that I'll come to see her soon.
{Enter miriam. She shows no traces of her recent
tears, but is gentle and subdued, tony rises as
she enters and smiles at her.)

MIRIAM. How d'you do, Tony ?


TONY. I'm all right, thanks. {They meet and kiss ;
then TONY says.) I came to see if you and Geoffrey
would come to supper to-night at Oddy's ?

GEOFFREY. Hc's got Ida Mason coming — the girl you
admired so much when we went to see Over the Way.
MIRIAM. Oh, yes.

TONY. Basil will be there too, and three or four other
people that you know already,
MIRIAM. Shall we go, Geoffrey ?

GEOFFREY. Ycs, dear, I think so. It sounds rather

MIRIAM. All right. Thanks very much, Tony. I'll
wear my new frock in your honour.

TONY. Splendid ! So glad you can come. I must be
off now, I'm supposed to be working ! Oddy's to-night
then. Good-bye.

MIRIAM. Good-bye, dear.

TONY. So long, Geoffrey, old thing. {When he opens
the door he turns to geoffrey and says as an afterthought.)
And I'll tell Valentine you'll be round to see her.

{Exit TONY. He has made his last remark quite
innocently and has no reason to believe that he
has said anything indiscreet, but he has left a
bomb behind him zvhich geoffrey realises as
much as miriam. They begin the scene very
slowly, both attempting to sjjeak casually, but all
the same there is great constraint, miriam does
not speak until geoffrey, after watching the
door close after tony, turns and sees her standing
with her eyes fixed upon him.)
MIRIAM. Valentine ?
GEOFFREY. Lady Morland.

MIRIAM. I know. {After a pause.) Are you going to
see her ?

GEOFFREY. Ycs — somc time.
MIRIAM. Do you meet then, occasionally ?
GEOFFREY. Ncvcr. I liavcn't seen her since that day
she came up to my rooms and you came in while she
was there.

MIRIAM. Why begin it again ?

GEOFFREY. She's unhappy and she wants to see me.

MIRIAM {echoes). Unhappy.



MIRIAM. Has her marriage turned out badly ?


MIRIAM {after a pause, says quietly). I'd rather you
didn't go to see her, Geoffrey.

GEOFFREY. Oh — but I must.

MIRIAM {with more emphasis). I'd much rather you

GEOFFREY {kindly). Please be reasonable. I appre-
ciate your feelings and can understand why you dislike
the idea of our meeting again — even now — though it's
so long since we were engaged, but remember, dear, she's
in very great trouble.

MIRIAM {does not move away from him, but neither does
she respond to his advance. She is very determined as she
says). I should have thought that if she's unhappy
because her marriage has turned out so badly, you'd be
the very last man that she ought to see.

GEOFFREY. You doii't kuow the sort of terms that
she and I used to be on. I wasn't only her lover, I was
her best friend. You can't quite realise, I expect, what
we were to each other.

{As he gets no response from miriam he moves away
again. She waits until he has moved away
before she speaks.)

MIRIAM. I can realise that it's dangerous for you to
go near her while she's in this state.

GEOFFREY {turning towards her). Why dangerous ?

MIRIAM. Because you love her. Because you've
never ceased to love her. D'you think I haven't got
eyes ?

GEOFFREY. But I never see her now. I scarcely ever
mention her name.

MIRIAM, Never — to me — but you hug the thought of
her to your own breast. Many a time have I seen you
sitting there, when you thought I wasn't observing you
— with your mind far far away. I knew full well what
your trouble was. I never spoke to you about it, because
I respected your silence as something sacred. I saw that
there are chambers in your heart where I must never
penetrate — so I sat still and said nothing — but I've shed
some bitter tears behind your back.

GEOFFREY. I've often felt very grateful to you,
Miriam, for your tact in not referring to Valentine.


MIRIAM. It was to me as if she had died. One isn't
jealous of the dead. {Pauses, controlling herself with
difficulty, and looking menacing and desperate as she
continues.) But if she's coming back again to claim
you — I don't know that I can sit still and keep quiet
and be tactful.

{Moves away, trying to control herself.)

GEOFFREY {going towards her). Now, Miriam — don't
distress yourself like this. She doesn't claim me. I
don't know what you mean by that.

MIRIAM {close to him, facing him). You're determined
to go to her ?

GEOFFREY. Ycs — quitc — {shc turns away) to go and
see her — to let her know that I'm still her friend. {She
darts a mistrustful look at him. He takes hold of her
arm as he continues.) Oh, Miriam — please be good and
patient as you've always been — please — for my sake.

MIRIAM {pulling her arm away). I've been patient a
long while for your sake. I've said not one word against
her — ever — because you once asked me not to, I've never
so much as spoken her name — have I — never once — tell
me — have I — ever ?

GEOFFREY. No. Ncvcr. Not once.

MIRIAM. No — and I never would have done so long
as I thought it was her memory you were cherishing, but
if it's herself

GEOFFREY {protesting and trying to control her).
Miriam ! Stop ! Please ! I can't let you go on like

MIRIAM {raising her voice and getting away from him).
Why can't she stick to her own man ? What does she
want with you ? And you must run to her — the minute
she calls — because she's in trouble — never mind how she's
treated you in the past. If she made a bad bargain — let
her keep it. And if that's more than her flesh and blood
will stand — she isn't the first woman who's had to go
through with it and she won't be the last. She made her
own bed. Let her lie in it. {Pauses to choke hack the sobs
which threaten to overcome her utterance.) Much she cared
about you ! She despised you because you were poor.
Pranced off to church with a millionaire and left you then
with a broken heart to drink yourself to death. Fine
leavings you were when I found you. {Pauses again,



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Online LibraryHubert Henry DaviesThe plays of Hubert Henry Davies (Volume 2) → online text (page 20 of 22)