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parents,) and made me the playmate of little Marian who had just lost her mother and was lonely. I wonder if any. body thought if I had ever had a mother and was lonely? I was only a foundling, speaking a gibberish my father had taught me-learned man that he must be. Why I did not know a word of the English language-I talked Sanscrit even my name was unknown to me. I am convinced, of course, that I was born of noble parents. My father may be the Earl of Sanscrit.

Leigh. You deserve to have a king for a father.

Fanny. No, thank you; I'll be content with common, every day nobility, so that it does not grind a hand-organ and send a monkey around with a tin cup for pennies.

Leigh. But-
MARIAN (entering). Oh, Guy! Guy!
Leigh (running to her). Marian!

Fanny (dusting vigorously). You are not to meet. I'll be discharged. Minerva says so.

MARIAN. Oh, Guy! our dream is ended.

Leigh. Time is a dream. Eternity is the only wakefulness. We wake to never-ending joy.

Marian. How can you say that when our trouble is just beginning. Of course you know about this horrible marriage?

Leigh. Which will never take place.
Marian. How do you propose to prevent it?
LEIGH. Did you never hear of an elopement?
MARIAN. An elopement! That I will never consent to.
LEIGH (angrily). Then you do not love me.

MARIAN. I might say the same to you for insanely persisting in winning at chess with papa.

LEIGH. Your promise to me, then, goes for nothing?
Marian. That promise is sacred to me.

LEIGH. And yet you will do as your father bids you in this ridiculous matter!

Marian. I will not marry Mr. Chester.
LEIGA. I should think not.
Marian. But neither may I marry you.
LFIGH. Then all your fond confessions to me were untrue?

MARIAN (wringing her hands). Oh, why did you win in that fatal game of chess ?

Leight. Marian, listen to me!

Leigh. You must acknowledge that your father is a very pig-headed man.

Makian. A week ago I might have said he was the most pig-headed of men. But since that game of chess, I-I have transferred my opinion.

LEIGH. To me I presume?

Marian. Why did you not take warning ? you knew that the pride of his life was to be thought invincible in chess. Then his gouty foot was hurting him so.

Leigh. Well, Marian, it amounts to this, either you go with me, my bride, this evening, or elseFANNY. Oh gemini! Run! Here comes the cat!

Leigh runs to Right, Marian to Left. Exit. Fanny. The cat really is not out of the bag. Whenever they talk about parting I casually refer to Minerva. This affair is assuming the proportions of a gedy. Behold the Fourth Act,-the agony act! The heavy father! Slow music! Dark stage! The Major!

Enter, limping, the Major.
MAJOR. Girl, go!
Fanny (walking like him). The girl goes.
MAJOR. Girl, stay!
Fanny. The girl stays.

MAJOR. If a strange gentleman should come this morn. ing, show him in.

Fanny. A strange gentleman, sir?
MAJOR (testily). I said a strange gentleman. Show him in.
Fanny. It will be a show. A regular circus.
MAJOR. What is that you say ?
FANNY (innocently). I said I thought it looked like snow.

MAJOR. What is that to me? What do I care if it hails, rains, snows, thunders, freezes all at one time? What are atmospheric phenomena to me? I am above the atmosphere.

Fanny. You angel !
MAJOR. What is that?
Fanny. I said, “ Oh, aint you!”
MAJOR. I am. (Strides up and down.) Girl, go!
Fanny. The girl goes (walking like him).

[Exit. MAJOR. The idea! I have not gotten over it yet. I never shall get over it! A whipper-snapper like Leigh to beat me! (Stamps his foot.) Oh! (Holds it up.) To try to beat me too! By Jove, sir, it is positive-ah-false pretense—it is synonymous with breaking into a man's house. In my own house, under my very nose. The man who is not moved by the concord of sweet sounds-no, no, no, I don't mean that. The man-what do I mean? Bah! And that man to marry my daughter-to become my son! Never; never. How glad I am that I wrote to Featherly. He plays nearly as well as I do Nearly. He sees the heinousness of the offense. He recommends his old friend, Chester, for Marian. Chester has long liked the family and asked all manner of questions concerning it-especially about Minerva, whom he doubtless regards in the light of Marian's mother. And she shall marry him! Oh! (Lifting foot.) Another twinge! He's the right kind of man; don't know a pawn from a castle. And—but why don't he come! Who is Jonathan Chester that he should keep me waiting? I'd like him to know that Andrew Turlington is not the man to be kept waiting.

Aunt M. (entering, fanning herself.) Brother!
MAJOR. Is that you, Minerva!
AUNT M. Has he come?
MAJOR. Who is he? Be plain, Minerva.
Aunt M. I am plain enough.
MAJOR. So the men always said.

Aunt M. Major, I should like you to know that there was a man who did not think so.

MAJOR. Born blind.

Aunt M. The very man who comes here to-day. I have heard that he wrote a sonnet about my curls. Colonel Featherly told me so. I wish to see what sort of looking man he is. Of course I shall thank him for the sonnet. But so long as you insult me I will postpone telling you what I came to tell you.

MAJOR. What did you come to tell me?
AUNT M. That Marian is crying her eyes out.

MAJOR. Women should not have too much eyesight. It gets them into all manner of difficulties.

AUNT M. And it is my opinion she has seen Guy Leigh.

MAJOR. Impossible! She has not left the house. You told Fanny not to admit him?

Aunt M. Fanny! That girl is too romantic to be honest. Now she believes her father must be a duke. (Major rings bell. Enter Fanny.)

MAJOR. Girl, did you let Mr. Leigh into this house to-day! Fanny. I did, not, sir. I have been thinking that I'd like my father to be named Reginald Alphonso

MAJOR. Name your father what you please. Girl, go! Fanny (aside). I threw him the key; he let himself in.( Exit.

Aunt M. All the same, Marian is in anything but a cheerful frame of mind. Now if it were my wedding-day!

MAJOR. We know what would be your frame of mind under such circumstances.

Aunt M. Oh, I am not such an unattractive person, I assure you.

Why only last weekMAJOR. A man picked up a rose you had dropped. Yes, we all know the rose story. Minerva, am I cruel in forcing this marriage upon Marian ?

AUNT M. How should I know? Being such a strange person you should not consult me.

MAJOR. But Leigh beat me at chess, I tell you.

AUNT M. He beat you badly, and he is not such a beautiful player, either.

MAJOR. I tell you he is; he is the best player I ever met, beats Featherly and, no, no, he's a confounded bungler.

Aunr M. Certainly. Yet he beat you.

MAJOR. Beat me! He is the most profound—woman, he's a positive dolt.

AUNT M. So young, too.
MAJOR. Almost a boy-a mere lad.

AUNT M. And could not have had much experience at chess-playing.

MAJOR. None at all-positively none at all.

AUNT M. Exactly. (Lays fan on table.) And you've been at it all your life.

MAJOR. Forty years of it at any rate.
AUNT M. And yet he beat you.
MAJOR. Ha! Ha! Minerva—Minerva, if you were a man-

AUNT M. only pay you for gratuitous insults to me. You are an ungrateful, goutish, unreasonable, highly seasoned individual. And the man did pick up the rose I dropped. And you look forty years older than I am, and you'll have gout in both feet yet.

[Exit. MAJOR. If Minerva were not my own sister I should say my family possessed fools. No experience, young, a bad player, a dolt-and yet he beat me. Me, Andrew Turlington the crack player of the regiment! Bah! a tig for the senti. ment that makes me think of what Marian's mother would have liked her to have in the way of a husband. She marries Jonathan Chester to-night. She does she does. [Exit. Enter Plodder. He carries hat-box and open book. Hat on head.

PLODDER. I find the door left accommodatingly open, and I enter. I may be a trifle absent-minded, but I come out all right, as I shall in this case, which is sadly interfering with the finishing of my book on the art of cultivating the memory. Let me see! (Consults book.) Ninety-seven girl chil. dren found in the month of May, fifteen years ago. I have traced seventy-eight of them. Some of them are grandmothers. And none of them my daughter. I am not the father of a grandmother. Shall I ever forget that day fifteen years back! Never! Let me see! (Consults book.) I had just misplaced her mother in a confectionery shop, where she had gone for an ounce-or was it a pound?-or a ton ?-of peppermint-stick. I walked the city, my child's hand in mine, wondering what candy-shop it was. Suddenly I saw a book on the faults of memory on a book-stand. I looked at it, merely looked at it. When, a month later, I remembered the child I could not find her. Having the natural feelings of a father, I have been looking for her-at intervals—ever since. I have also been looking for her mother. I heard that there was a girl in this house—(Looks at stove.) 'That fire is nearly out. (Puts Aunt Minerva's fan on shovel and 80 into stove. Puts hat-box on table, opens it, carefully deposits fire-shovel in it, and puts hat in coal-scuttle.) I am glad they gave me a box with my new hat; it is so convenient. Let me see! (Seats himself and refers to book.) Number forty's eyes were not pairs. And she had not my initials on her arm. That was a brilliant idea of mine, to mark my wife and my little one with my initials. I can easily identify them as my property-when I find them. Number forty-one; aged fifty-my age. Number forty-two; aged eleven. My girl was five about fifteen years ago, so she must be more than eleven now. If I could only recollect her name, my dear little daughter. She was named after her mother. I am sure I must have called her mother by some name or other. My adored wife, who goes around the world like my tombstone, my initials on her arm! And then (Consults book.)


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