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

The various properties are described or implied in the text of the play.

THE SERVANT IN THE HOUSE

THE FIRST ACT

As the curtain ascends, Rogers and Manson are discovered laying the table for breakfast, the lad being at the upper end of the table, facing the audience, Manson, with his back to the audience, being at the lower end.  Rogers is an ordinary little cockney boy in buttons; Manson is dressed in his native Eastern costume.  His face is not seen until the point indicated lower down.

Rogers [glancing across curiously].  Arskin’ your pardon, Mr. Manson. . . .

Manson.  Yes:  what is it, Rogers?

Rogers.  Funny thing—­cawn’t get it out of my ’ead as I’ve knowed you somewhere before.  Don’t scarcely seem possible, do it, Mr. Manson?

Manson.  Many things are possible in this world, Rogers.

Rogers.  That’s all right; but ’ow long ‘av’ you been in England, Mr. Manson?

Manson.  I landed late last night, if that’s what you mean.

Rogers.  Well, I never been in the continong of Asia, where you come from; and there you are!

Manson [quietly].  Yes:  here I am.

[He goes to the sideboard and busies himself with serviettes, mats, etc.]

Rogers.  Perhaps it’s this reincarnytion the Daily Mail been writing about.  Ever see the Daily Mail out there, Mr. Manson?

Manson.  No:  we had few advantages.

Rogers.  Rum idea, reincarnytion!  Think, Mr. Manson, perhaps we wos lords once in ancient Babylon, you an’ me!

Manson.  And now butler and page-boy, eh?

Rogers [scratching his head].  Does seem a bit of a come-down, don’t it?

Manson.  That’s one way of looking at it.

[Rogers, enticed of Satan, has conveyed a furtive spoonful of jam towards his mouth.]

[Without turning.] Isn’t there jam in the kitchen, Rogers?

Rogers [scared].  Evings!  E’ve got eyes in ’is boots!  S’y, do you call it stealing, Mr. Manson?

Manson.  Do you? [Persisting.] Do you?

[Rogers drops the spoon and moves mournfully away from temptation.]

Rogers.  ’Pon my word, Mr. Manson, you give me the fair creeps and no mistike!

Manson.  You will get over that when you knew me better.

Rogers.  Mr. Manson!  Do you mind if I arst you a question?

Manson.  No; what is it?

Rogers.  What d’you wear them togs for?  This ain’t India.

Manson.  People don’t always recognise me in anything else.

[He turns for the first time.  His face is one of awful sweetness, dignity, and strength.  There is the calm of a great mastery about him, suited to his habit as a servant.]

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