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Steele MacKaye
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 58 pages of information about Representative Plays by American Dramatists.

Why ask that?

PAUL.

Because Diane de Beaumont is my wife.

NANETTE.

Your wife?

PAUL.

Yes!  For me to betray her father would be to break her heart!  Pain to her is the anguish of the damned to me!  Can you not see that I am—­I must be innocent?

NANETTE.

In these days the fairest faces mask the foulest souls!  Looks and words prove nothing!  Evidence alone will clear you of this crime.

PAUL.

That—­I have not been able to obtain.

NANETTE.

Then get it quickly before it is too late.

PAUL.

Where is Diane—­my wife?

NANETTE.

[Pointing.]

There!—­Praying for the father she believes you betrayed.

PAUL.

No, she cannot!  By the light of her own love she sees the innocence of mine.

NANETTE.

Then love is lunacy!

PAUL.

Send her here to me!

NANETTE.

She will not come.

PAUL.

I’ll stake my life she will!

NANETTE.

You shall see.

[Exit.

JEAN LITAIS enters, watching PAUL intently.

PAUL.

Two things at any cost I must accomplish!  First, prove my innocence of treachery, and save her father from the guillotine.

JEAN.

[Advancing.]

For that I came to help you.

PAUL.

Who are you?

JEAN.

Look well and you will see.

PAUL.

I’ve seen your face before, but have forgotten where we met.

JEAN.

I am Jean Litais.  Six months ago, I was accused, and about to be condemned.  You saw—­took pity—­spoke in my behalf—­and by your eloquence saved my life!  So now the life you saved, and all its service, is yours to use, or forfeit as you please!  A lion freed a mouse—­the mouse now comes to serve the lion.

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