Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

Charles Rann Kennedy
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 65 pages of information about The Servant in the House.

VICAR.  I am in the darkness.  I don’t know what to do.  God has left me stranded.

[MANSON re-enters.  They look at him inquiringly.]

MANSON.  It isn’t the Bishop of Benares, ma’am.

AUNTIE.  Well, who is it?

MANSON.  I didn’t ask his name, ma’am.

AUNTIE.  T-t-t!  How is he dressed?

MANSON.  Rather oddly, ma’am:  I noticed that his legs . . .

AUNTIE.  William, it’s James!  I can’t be seen like this.  Shew him in.  I can slip out this way.

[MANSON goes out.]

William, try and treat him like . . .

VICAR.  How?  Like a brother?

AUNTIE.  I was going to say, like a Priest and a Christian, William.

VICAR.  Like a Christian, then.

AUNTIE.  My dear!

[She goes out by the door to the right, as MANSON begins to turn the handle of the other door.]

MANSON [outside].  This way, if you please.

[The VICAR, braces himself up and turns towards the door with an effort at cordiality.]

VICAR.  Just in time for breakfast, my lord.

[Enter ROBERT SMITH and MANSON.  ROBERT’S costume is a navvy’s, the knees tied With string.]

ROBERT [grimly].  Thanks, Bill Awlmighty, don’t mind if I do.  My belly’s fair aching.

VICAR.  Robert!

ROBERT.  Yus, it’s me, my ’oly brother!

VICAR.  Didn’t you—­didn’t you get my wire?

ROBERT.  Yus, I gorit-:  Drains wrong, eh?  Thought I’d like to ‘av’ a look at ’em—­my job, yer know, drains!  So you’ll excuse the togs:  remind you of old days, eh what?

VICAR.  Robert, what have you come here for?

ROBERT.  You arsk me that?

VICAR.  Yes, I do.  Bob . . .

ROBERT.  Why, to see my little gel, o’ course—­Gawd curse you! . . .

Now go an tell your ole woman.

[The VICAR stands as though stricken.]

Did you ’ear me speak?  Tell ’er!

[The VICAR wavers a moment, and then staggers out silently through the door, right.  ROBERT watches him off with a look of iron.  He pays no heed to MANSON, who stands quite close to him, on the left.]

See that blighter?  That’s the bloke as was born with no bowels!  ‘E might a-made a man o’ me once, if ’e’d tried; but ’e didn’t—­’im and ’is like.  Hm!  Dam foolish, I call it, don’t you?

MANSON.  Yes, both:  foolish and—­damned!

[ROBERT turns and looks into his face for the first time as the curtain slowly falls on the First Act.]

THE SECOND ACT

As the curtain rises, the scene and situation remain unchanged.  Presently, Robert, having completed his inspection of the other’s face and costume, moves away with a characteristic interjection.

ROBERT.  Oh, Jeeroosalem! . . .

’Ere, ‘elp us orf, comride:  I’m wet through.  Rainin’ cats an’ dorgs dahn at the Junction!  ’Ere, I cawn’t . . .  Wot oh!  The very identical! . . .

Follow Us on Facebook