It’s three years now.
Couldn’t get a regular job, like?
Well, I suppose I might have. I suppose it’s my fault, miss. But the heart was out of me.
Dear me, now.
You’ve a kind face . . .
Yes. Would you do me a kind turn?
Well, I dunno. I might, as yer so down on yer luck—I don’t like to see a man like you are, I must say.
Would you let me come into the big house and speak to the missus a moment?
She’d row me awful if I did. This house is very respectable.
I feel, if you would, I feel, I feel my luck might change.
But I don’t know what she’d say if I did.
Miss, I must.
I don’t know wot she’d say.
I must come in, miss, I must.
I don’t know what she’ll say.
I must. I can’t help myself.
I don’t know what she’ll . . .
[John is in, door shuts.]
[Ali throws his head up and laughs, but quite silently.]
The drawing-room at the Acacias.
A moment later.
The scene is the same as in Act I, except that the sofa which was red is now green, and the photograph of Aunt Martha is replaced by that of a frowning old colonel. The ages of the four children in the photographs are the same, but their sexes have changed.
[Mary reading. Enter Liza.]
There’s a gentleman to see you, mum, which is, properly speaking, not a gentleman at all, but ’e would come in, mum.