ACT I. Mrs. Williams’ Ranch House or Country Home, perched on the side of Ute Pass, near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
TIME. Late in an August afternoon.
ACT II. Laura Murdock’s furnished Room, second story back, New York.
TIME. Six months later.
ACT III. Laura Murdock’s Apartments in an expensive Hotel.
TIME. Two months later. In the morning.
ACT IV. Laura Murdock’s Apartments. The same as Act III.
TIME. The afternoon of the same day.
THE EASIEST WAY
SCENE. The scene is that of the summer country ranch house of MRS. WILLIAMS, a friend of LAURA MURDOCK’S, and a prominent society woman of Denver, perched on the side of Ute Pass, near Colorado Springs. The house is one of unusual pretentiousness, and, to a person not conversant with conditions as they exist in this part of Colorado, the idea might be that such magnificence could not obtain in such a locality. At the left of stage the house rises in the form of a turret, built of rough stone of a brown hue, two stories high, and projecting a quarter of the way out on the stage. The door leads to a small elliptical terrace built of stone, with heavy benches of Greek design, strewn cushions, while over the top of one part of this terrace is suspended a canopy made from a Navajo blanket. The terrace is supposed to extend almost to the right of stage, and here it stops. The stage must be cut here so that the entrance of JOHN can give the illusion that he is coming up a steep declivity or a long flight of stairs. There are chairs at right and left, and a small table at left. There are trailing vines around the balustrade of the terrace, and the whole setting must convey the idea of quiet wealth. Up stage is supposed to be the part of the terrace overlooking the canon, a sheer drop of two thousand feet, while over in the distance, as if across the canon, one can see the rolling foot-hills and lofty peaks of the Rockies, with Pike’s Peak in the distance, snow-capped and colossal. It is late in the afternoon, and, as the scene progresses, the quick twilight of a canon, beautiful in its tints of purple and amber, becomes later pitch black, and the curtain goes down on an absolutely black stage. The cyclorama, or semi-cyclorama, must give the perspective of greater distances, and be so painted that the various tints of twilight may be shown.
AT RISE. LAURA MURDOCK is seen leaning a bit over the balustrade of the porch and shielding her eyes with her hand from the late afternoon sun, as she seemingly looks up the Pass to the left, as if expecting the approach of someone. Her gown is simple, girlish and attractive, and made of summery, filmy stuff. Her hair is done up in the simplest fashion, with a part in the centre, and there is about her every indication of an effort to assume that girlishness of demeanour which has been her greatest asset through life. WILLARD BROCKTON enters; he is a man six feet or more in height, stocky in build, clean-shaven and immaculately dressed. He is smoking a cigar, and upon entering takes one step forward and looks over toward LAURA in a semi-meditative manner.