So you’re not going to marry her?
Marry her! Good Lord, no. Why, you’d never dare ask her. She’s not that sort. I tell you she’s a sort of queen. And (Good Lord!) she’d be a queen if it wasn’t for Hussein, or something very like one. We can’t go marrying queens. Anyhow, not one like her.
Why not one like her?
I tell you—she’s a—well, a kind of goddess. You couldn’t ask her if she loved you. It would be such, such . . .
Such infernal cheek.
I see. Well, I see you aren’t in love with her. But it seems to me you’ll be seeing a good deal of her some day if we pull this off. And then, my boy-o, you’ll be going and getting in love with her.
I tell you I daren’t. I’d as soon propose to the Queen of Sheba.
Well, Johnny, I’m going to protect you from her all I can.
Protect me from her? Why?
Why, because there’s lots of other girls and it seems to me you might be happier with some of them.
But you haven’t even seen her.
Nor I have. Still, if I’m here to protect you I somehow think I will. And if I’m not . . .
Well, and what then?
What nonsense I’m talking. Fate does everything. I can’t protect you.
Yes, it’s nonsense all right, Archie, but . . .
I am here.
[Hussein enters. He is not unlike Bluebeard.]
John Beal [pointing to Archie]
[Archie shakes hands with Hussein. Hussein looks at his hand when it is over in a puzzled way. John Beal and Hussein then bow to each other.]