The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 247 pages of information about The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays.

JAMES RYAN.  Is it back from the grave you are come?

SHAWN EARLY.  Is it alive you are, or is it dead you are?

TIM CASEY.  Is it yourself at all that’s in it?

MRS. TULLY.  Is it letting on you were to be dead?

MRS. FALLON.  Dead or alive, let you stop Kitty Keary, your wife, from bringing my man away with her to America!

JACK SMITH.  It is what I think, the wits are gone astray on the whole of you.  What would my wife want bringing Bartley Fallon to America?

MRS. FALLON.  To leave yourself, and to get quit of you she wants, Jack Smith, and to bring him away from myself.  That’s what the two of them had settled together.

JACK SMITH.  I’ll break the head of any man that says that!  Who is it says it? (To TIM CASEY) Was it you said it? (To SHAWN EARLY) Was it you?

ALL TOGETHER (backing and shaking their heads).  It wasn’t I said it!

JACK SMITH.  Tell me the name of any man that said it!

ALL TOGETHEB (pointing to BARTLEY).  It was him that said it!

JACK SMITH.  Let me at him till I break his head!

(BARTLEY backs in terror.  Neighbors hold JACK SMITH back.)

JACK SMITH (trying to free himself).  Let me at him!  Isn’t he the pleasant sort of a scarecrow for any woman to be crossing the ocean with!  It’s back from the docks of New York he’d be turned (trying to rush at him again), with a lie in his mouth and treachery in his heart, and another man’s wife by his side, and he passing her off as his own!  Let me at him, can’t you?

(Makes another rush, but is held back.)

MAGISTRATE (pointing to JACK SMITH).  Policeman, put the handcuffs on this man.  I see it all now.  A case of false impersonation, a conspiracy to defeat the ends of justice.  There was a case in the Andaman Islands, a murderer of the Mopsa tribe, a religious enthusiast—­

POLICEMAN.  So he might be, too.

MAGISTRATE.  We must take both these men to the scene of the murder.  We must confront them with the body of the real Jack Smith.

JACK SMITH.  I’ll break the head of any man that will find my dead body!

MAGISTRATE.  I’ll call more help from the barracks.

(Blows POLICEMAN’S whistle.)

BARTLEY.  It is what I am thinking, if myself and Jack Smith are put together in the one cell for the night, the handcuffs will be taken off him, and his hands will be free, and murder will be done that time surely!

MAGISTRATE.  Come on!

(They turn to the right.)

[CURTAIN]

THE BEGGAR AND THE KING[1]

Winthrop Parkhurst

[Footnote 1:  Reprinted from Drama, No. 33, February, 1919, by permission of Mr. Parkhurst and the editors of Drama.  Copyrighted, 1918, as a dramatic composition, by Winthrop Parkhurst.  All rights of production reserved by author.]

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The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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