Carvil. Never did. Hey! Then you are a still bigger fool.... I want to go to sleep! (Takes off’ his hat, drops it on ground, and leans his head back against the wall.)
Bessie. And I have been a good daughter to you. Won’t you say that for me?
Carvil (Very distinctly). I want—to—go—to—sleep. I’m tired. (Closes his eyes.)
(During that scene Captain Hagberd has been seen hesitating at the back of stage, then running quickly to the door of his cottage. He puts inside a tin kettle (from under his coat) and comes down to the railing between the two gardens stealthily).
Carvil seated. Bessie. Captain Hagberd (white beard, sail-cloth jacket).
Bessie (Knitting). You’ve been out this afternoon for quite a long time, haven’t you?
Capt. Hagberd (Eager). Yes, my dear. (Slily) Of course you saw me come back.
Bessie. Oh, yes. I did see you. You had something under your coat.
Capt. H. (Anxiously). It was only a kettle, my dear. A tin water-kettle. I am glad I thought of it just in time. (Winks, nods.) When a husband gets back from his work he needs a lot of water for a wash. See? (Dignified.) Not that Harry’ll ever need to do a hand’s turn after he comes home... (Falters—casts stealthy glances on all sides).... tomorrow.
Bessie (Looks up, grave). Captain Hagberd, have you ever thought that perhaps your son will not. . .
Capt. H. (Paternally). I’ve thought of everything, my dear—of everything a reasonable young couple may need for housekeeping. Why, I can hardly turn about in my room up there, the house is that full. (Rubs his hands with satisfaction.) For my son Harry—when he comes home. One day more.
Bessie (Flattering). Oh, you are a great one for bargains. (Captain Hagberd delighted.) But, Captain Hagberd—if—if—you don’t know what may happen—if all that home you’ve got together were to be wasted—for nothing—after all. (Aside.) Oh, I can’t bring it out.
Capt. H. (Agitated; flings arms up, stamps feet; stuttering). What? What d’ye mean? What’s going to happen to the things?
Bessie (Soothing). Nothing! Nothing! Dust—or moth—you know. Damp, perhaps. You never let anyone into the house . . .
Capt. H. Dust! Damp! (Has a throaty, gurgling laugh.) I light the fires and dust the things myself. (Indignant.) Let anyone into the house, indeed! What would Harry say! (Walks up and down his garden hastily with tosses, jings, and jerks of his whole body.)
Bessie (With authority.) Now, then, Captain Hagberd! You know I won’t put up with your tantrums. (Shakes finger at him.)
Capt. H. (Subdued, but still sulky, with his back to her). You want to see the things. That’s what you’re after. Well, no, not even you. Not till Harry has had his first look.