Carvil (Lying back). Bessie! (Sits up.) Get my hat, Bessie.... Bessie, my hat.... Bessie.... Bessie. ...
(At the first sound Bessie picks up and puts away her knitting. She walks towards him, picks up hat, puts it on his head).
Bessie, my... (Hat on head; shouting stops.) Bessie. (Quietly). Will you go in, now? Carvil. Help me up. Steady. I’m dizzy. It’s the thundery weather. An autumn thunderstorm means a bad gale. Very fierce—and sudden. There will be shipwrecks to-night on our coast.
(Exit Bessie and Carvil through door of their cottage. It has fallen dusk.)
Capt. H. (Picks up spade). Extravagant fellow! And all this town is mad—perfectly mad. I found them out years ago. Thank God they don’t come this way staring and grinning. I can’t bear them. I’ll never go again into that High Street. (Agitated.) Never, never, never. Won’t need to after to-morrow. Never! (Flings down spade in passion.)
(While Hagberd speaks, the bow window of the Carvils is lit up, and Bessie is seen settling her father in a big armchair. Pulls down blind. Enter Lamplighter. Capt. H. picks up the spade and leans forward on it with both hands; very still, watching him light the lamp.)
Lamplighter (Jocular). There! You will be able to dig by lamplight if the fancy takes you.
(Exit Lamplighter to back.)
Capt. H. (Disgusted). Ough! The people here. . . (Shudders.)
Lamplighter’s Voice (Heard loudly beyond the cottages). Yes, that’s the way.
(Enter Harry from back.)
(Capt. H. Harry. Later Bessie).
Harry Hagberd (thirty-one, tall, broad shoulders, shaven face, small moustache. Blue serge suit. Coat open. Grey flannel shirt without collar and tie. No waistcoat. Belt with buckle. Black, soft felt hat, wide-brimmed, worn crushed in the crown and a little on one side. Good nature, recklessness, some swagger in the bearing. Assured, deliberate walk with a heavy tread. Slight roll in the gait. Walks down. Stops, hands in pockets. Looks about. Speaks.) This must be it. Can’t see anything beyond. There’s somebody. (Walks up to Capt. Hagberd’s gate?) Can you tell me... (Manner changes. Leans elbow on gate?) Why, you must be Capt. Hagberd himself.
Capt. H. (In garden, both hands on spade, peering, startled). Yes, I am.
Harry (Slowly). You’ve been advertising in the papers for your son, I believe.
Capt. H. (Off his guard, nervous). Yes. My only boy Harry. He’s coming home to-morrow. (Mumbles.) For a permanent stay.
Harry (Surprised). The devil he is! (Change of tone?) My word! You’ve grown a beard like Father Christmas himself.