[She turns away her face. ROBERT rises heavily.]
ROBERT. All right, miss—I won’t: swelp me Gawd, I won’t. Don’t cry, miss. Don’t, miss! Breaks my ’eart—after all you’ve done for me. I ort never to ‘a’ bin born—mekin’ you cry! Thank you kindly, miss: thank you very kindly. I’ll—I’ll tek my ’ook.
MARY. Oh, but I’m so sorry for you!
ROBERT. Thank you, miss.
MARY. I did so want to help you.
ROBERT. You ‘av’, miss.
MARY. Before you go, won’t you tell me your name? Who are you?
ROBERT. I . . .
I got no name worth speakin’ of, miss: I’m—just the bloke wot’s a-lookin’ arter the drains.
[At the door, he turns.]
Sorry I used bad words, miss.
[She runs to him and offers her hand. He takes it.]
ROBERT. Good-bye, miss.
[He goes out.]
[She shuts the door after him, and turns a wretched little face towards the audience as the curtain falls.]
As the curtain rises, the scene and situation remain unchanged. After a moment, Mary comes down to the settee, left, and buries her face in the cushions, weeping. Shortly, the handle of the drawing-room door is turned, and from within there emerges a murmur of voices, the Vicar’s uppermost.
VICAR [within]. Very well, then, after you have finished your letters! . . .
[The voices continue confusedly: MARY rises quickly and goes into the garden.]
[The VICAR enters and goes to the mantel-piece weariedly: a moment later, AUNTIE.]
BISHOP [within], I shall only be about twenty minutes.
AUNTIE [entering]. All right, don’t hurry, James: you have all the morning.
[She closes the door upon the BISHOP’S grunts, and comes, to the middle of the room.]
VICAR. Hm! When he has finished his letters!
AUNTIE. Yes, things seem to be shaping better
than we thought,
William. Perhaps we have a little misjudged him.
[He looks at her curiously.]
To think, my dear, that the rebuilding of the church is becoming possible at last! All your hopes, all your enthusiasms, about to be realised! Now, it only remains to gain your brother Joshua’s approval and help, and the scheme is complete!
VICAR. Supposing he—doesn’t approve of the scheme?
AUNTIE. My dear, he must approve: he will see the advantages at once. I think James made that perfectly clear! . . .