SCENE. Six months have elapsed. The furnished room of LAURA MURDOCK, second story back of an ordinary, cheap theatrical lodging-house in the theatre district of New York. The house is evidently of a type of the old-fashioned brown-stone front, with high ceilings, dingy walls, and long, rather insecure windows. The woodwork is depressingly dark. The ceiling is cracked, the paper is old and spotted and in places loose. There is a door leading to the hallway. There is a large old-fashioned wardrobe in which are hung a few old clothes, most of them a good deal worn and shabby, showing that the owner—LAURA MURDOCK—has had a rather hard time of it since leaving Colorado in the first act. The doors of this wardrobe must be equipped with springs so they will open outward, and also furnished with wires so they can be controlled from the back. This is absolutely necessary, owing to “business” which is done during the progress of the act. The drawer in the bottom of the wardrobe is open at rise. This is filled with a lot of rumpled, tissue-paper and other rubbish. An old pair of shoes is seen at the upper end of the wardrobe on the floor. There is an armchair over which is thrown an ordinary kimono, and on top of the wardrobe are a number of magazines and old books, and an unused parasol wrapped up in tissue paper.
The dresser, which is upstage, against the wall, is in keeping with the general meanness, and its adornment consists of old postcards stuck in between the mirror and its frame, with some well-worn veils and ribbons hung on the side. On the dresser is a pincushion, a bottle of cheap perfume, purple in colour and nearly empty; a common crockery match-holder, containing matches, which must be practicable; a handkerchief-box, powder-box and puff, rouge-box and rouge paw, hand mirror, small alcohol curling-iron heater, which must also be practicable, as it is used in the “business” of the act; scissors, curling-tongs, hair comb and brush, and a small cheap picture of JOHN MADISON; a small work-box containing a thimble and thread,—and stuck in the pincushion are a couple of needles, threaded. Directly to the left of the bureau, with the door to the outside closet intervening, is a broken-down washstand, on which is a basin half full of water, a bottle of tooth-powder, tooth brushes and holder, soap and soap-dish, and other cheap toilet articles, and a small drinking-glass. Hung on the corner of the washstand is a soiled towel. Hung on the rack across the top of the washstand one can see a pair of stockings. On the floor in front of the washstand is a pitcher half full of water; also a large waste-water jar of the cheapest type.
Below the washstand, and with the head against the wall, is a three-quarter old wooden bed, also showing the general decay of the entire room. Tacked on the head of this bed is a large photo of JOHN MADISON, with a small bow of dainty blue ribbon at the top, covering the tack. Under the photo are arranged half a dozen cheap, artificial violets, in pitiful recognition of the girl’s love for her absent sweetheart.