If: a play in four acts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 89 pages of information about If.

Call on him yourself, Shabeesh.  Amuse us.


Shall one devil serve two masters?


Why not?

Shabeesh [beginning to wave priestly conjurer’s hands]

Very bad man go away.  Go away, bad man:  go away, bad man.  Poolyana not want bad man:  Poolyana only work for good man.  He mighty fine devil.  Poolyana, Poolyana.  Big, black, fine, furry devil.  Poolyana, Poolyana, Poolyana.  O fine, fat devil with big angry tail.  Poolyana, Poolyana, Poolyana.  Send me up fine young pig for the Shereef.  Poolyana, Poolyana.  Lil yellow pig with curly tail. [Small pig appears.] O Poolyana, great Poolyana.  Fine black fur and grey fur underneath.  Fine ferocious devil you my devil, Poolyana.  O, Poolyana, Poolyana, Poolyana.  Send me a big beast what chew bad man’s crocodile.  Big beast with big teeth, eat him like a worm.

[He has spread large silk handkerchief on floor and is edging back from it in alarm.]

Long nails in him toes, big like lion, Poolyana.  Send great smelly big beast—­eat up bad man’s crocodile.

[At first stir of handkerchief Shabeesh leaps in alarm.]

He come, he come.  I see his teeth and horns.

[Enter small live rabbit from trapdoor under handkerchief.]

O, Poolyana, you big devil have your liddle joke.  You laugh at poor conjuring man.  You send him lil rabbit to eat big crocodile.  Bad Poolyana.  Bad Poolyana.

[Whacks ground with stick.]

You plenty bad devil, Poolyana.

[Whacking it again.  Handkerchief has been thrown on ground again.  Handkerchief stirs slightly.]

No, no, Poolyana.  You not bad devil.  You not bad devil.  You plenty good devil, Poolyana.  No, no, no!  Poor conjuring man quite happy on muddy earth.  No, Poolyana, no!  O, no, no, devil.  O, no, no!  Hell plenty nice place for devil.  Master!  He not my devil!  He other man’s devil!


What’s this noise?  What’s it about? 
What’s the matter?

Shabeesh [in utmost terror]

He coming, master!  Coming!


Poolyana, Poolyana, Poolyana.  Stay down, stay down, Poolyana.  Stay down in nice warm hell, Poolyana.  The Shereef want no devil to-day.

[Zabnool before speaking returns to centre and pats air over ground where handkerchief lies.

Then Shabeesh and Zabnool come together side by side and bow and smile together toward the Shereef.  Gold is thrown to them, which Zabnool gathers and hands to Shabeesh, who gives a share back to Zabnool.]


The Shereef is silent.

Project Gutenberg
If: a play in four acts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook