Walter Wold catalog heading] Fessler.

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face,)

Aldewin— (throws off her hand) Then I will
never look at the face of a woman again! [Exit
R C, quickly.]

Madolin— It was better so, my love. We have
parted in anger, we could not have parted in
tears. Good bye, my love, good bye! (Looks off
C. after Aldewin. Exits in opposite direction.)

Mrs. Bird— (Enters D. L. with Elaine and rings
bell.) I am very glad you will take little Missie
out, Mrs. Moore, as she needsjexercise, and the
walk will do her good. (Barbara enters C.)

Barbara— Did you ring, Mrs. Bird?

Mrs. Bird— Yes; Mrs. Moore is going to take
Missie for a walk. Bring her here! [Barbara
exits C] I've heard yen say you were fond of
flowers, Mrs. Moore; you may gather some as
y®u pass through the garden, if you like.

Elaine-Thank you; you are very kind.

(Barbara enters C. with Pearl, who runs to
Elaine. Elaine kneels by her and kisses her as
she is fixing her bonnet . ) Do you want to go
walking with me?

Aldewin— (Enters C. quickly, sees the child
and goes to her. Elaine shrinks back.) Come,
my dear, I am going for a ride. (Takes the
child in his arms.)

Elaine— Are you going to drive the new pair,
Sir Aldewin?

Aldewin— Yes.

Elaine— Then I beg of you not to take the
child. Oh, do believe me, it will not be saf 4,"



he is so young, so timid; do not take her; pray
leave her here!

Aldewin - If I thought there was any danger, I
should not take her. I require no one, Mrs.
Moore, to teach me my duty as regards my child.

Elaine— You do not understand, you do not
see the danger, and I do. Sir Aldewin, she must
not go.

Aldewin— You are very good to be so anxious
about her, although it is no compliment to me .
But you must understand that I brook no inter-
fereRce.

Elaine— Pray remember that if you were to
lose command of the horses for one moment

Aldewin — I am obliged to you, but I permit no
interference. (Half turns to go.)

Elaine— (Passionately snatches the child from
him.) The child has no mother here to act in
her behalf, Sir Aldewin, and I say she must not
go!

Aldewin— (Takes the child; she does not re-
sist.) lam going to teach her how to drive.
Mrs, Moore, you have exceeded your duty . I
win consider whether I can overlook your con-
duct. I am inclined to think not. It is an insult
to me to suppose that I would endanger my
child . (Exits C. with the child and nurse . )

Mrs. Bird— (touches Elaine on the shoulder.)
You have a kind, tender heart. Cheer up; the
child is the apple of his eye, and he will see that
no harm comes to her.

Elaine — (stretching her arms towards C. D.)
Oh, tjie loving little child . (Crying.)

Mrs. Bird— If she were your own child you
could not take on more.

Elaine— My own child? (wildly) My God! (Ex-
its C.)

Mrs. B^rd— (Goes up C, looks after Elaine and
then comes down L. C,) Poor lady, how strange-
ly she acts !



Servant— (Enters f.) L >rd Briidon.

Braden— (Enters C.) Ah, Mrs. Bir 1, delighted
to see you! (shakes hands.)

Mrs. Bird— This is an unexpected visit, my
lord.

Braden— True, but as I leave England next
week, I thought I would run down and say
good-by . Is Sir Aldewin not at home?

Mrs. Bird— He has just gone out for a drive.

Braden— And Madolin, has she gone with him?

Mrs. Bird— He took no one but his child.

Braden— I stopped on ray way here to see the
Lynnes. Poor old couple, they are not recon-
ciled yet to the loss of their child. They told
me that Madolin was here, and would soon be
married to Sir Aldewin .

Mrs. Bird— We all thought so, but not an hour
ago Sir Aldewin gave orders that the house de-
corations should go no furthe r.

Braden— (surprised) Why, Mrs. Bird, what do
you mean? Surely he intends to marry.

Mrs. Bird — This morning when I asked him a
question, he seemed all upset, and said "I do not
understand; ask me when I return." I was
afraid that he had had news that distressed him.
The servant told me that he received a letter and
that when he opened it he was for some time
like one stupefied. I am sorry, for there is no
better master living than Sir Aldewin, (Mado-
lin screams outside. Aldewin enters C, fright-
ened. Madolin and others follow, Elaine enters
C . after others are on )

Elaine— (scared) What is it— what is it?
Aldewin— The child is hurt, the horses ran
away, [servant enters with child )

Elaine— (takes the child quickly in her arms.)
G», all of you; leave me alone with her: she is



my own child. •

Aldewin— The woman is mad.

Elaine— I call heaven to witness that I am the
mother of this child, and no other hand shal
touch her. Look at your work! (lays child on
•sofa R) You who should have protected her; you,
who should have kept her safe from all danger;
you have killed her. (nurse looking at the child.)

Aldewin— Heaven knows I am sorry. I would
rather have died than have hurt one hair of her
little head.

Nurse— The child is only stunned, and will
.soon be all right.

Elaine— My darling, my baby!

Aldewin — Who are you, that you call my child
yours?

Elaine— It matters little who I am .

Aldewin— (looks sharply in her face.) Great
heavens, who are you? Answer me lest I go
mad!

Elaine~I am Elaine, your wife, whom you
loved so little, that death in life seemed to her
better than life with you. (Aldewin weeps.)
am sorry you know it, I meant to keep my secret
until I died, and I hoped to die soon. I am sor-
ry you have found it out . I will go awav and no
one need know .

Aldewin— You will never leave me again,
never!— Elaine, my wife, (holding out his arms.)

(Elaine goos to him and they embrace . The
o ther characters iook on in surbrise)
CURTAIN-THE END.



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Online LibraryWalter Wold catalog heading] FesslerThe midnight marriage .. → online text (page 4 of 4)