The man. [Fiercely] You won’t. I’ve took her.
Soldier. That’s all right, then. You keep ’er. I’ve got a laugh in me you can’t put out, black as you look! Good-bye, little Daisy!
[The girl makes a movement towards him.]
The man. Don’t touch ’im!
[The girl stands hesitating, and suddenly bursts into tears.]
Soldier. Look ’ere, mate; shake ’ands! I don’t want to see a girl cry, this day of all, with the sun shinin’. I seen too much of sorrer. You and me’ve been at the back of it. We’ve ’ad our whack. Shake!
The man. Who are you kiddin’? You never loved ’er!
Soldier. [After a long moment’s pause] Oh! I thought I did.
The man. I’ll fight you for her.
[He drops his knife. ]
Soldier. [Slowly] Mate, you done your bit, an’ I done mine. It’s took us two ways, seemin’ly.
The girl. [Pleading] Jim!
The man. [With clenched fists] I don’t want ’is charity. I only want what I can take.
Soldier. Daisy, which of us will you ’ave?
The girl. [Covering her face] Oh! Him!
Soldier. You see, mate! Put your ‘ands down. There’s nothin’ for it but a laugh. You an’ me know that. Laugh, mate!
The man. You blarsted——!
[The girl springs to him and stops his mouth.]
Soldier. It’s no use, mate. I can’t do it. I said I’d laugh to-day, and laugh I will. I’ve come through that, an’ all the stink of it; I’ve come through sorrer. Never again! Cheerio, mate! The sun’s a-shinin’! He turns away.
The girl. Jack, don’t think too ’ard of me!
Soldier. [Looking back] No fear, my dear! Enjoy your fancy! So long! Gawd bless you both!
He sings, and goes along the path, and the song fades away.
be right there to-night
Where the fields are snowy white;
Banjos ringing, darkies singing
All the world seems bright!”
The man. ’E’s mad!
The girl. [Looking down the path with her hands clasped] The sun has touched ’im, Jim!
PUNCH AND GO
A LITTLE COMEDY
“Orpheus with his lute made trees And the mountain tope that freeze.....”
PERSONS OF THE PLAY
James G. Frust ..............The Boss E. Blewitt Vane .............The Producer Mr. Foreson .................The Stage Manager “Electrics"..................The Electrician “Props” .....................The Property Man Herbert .....................The Call Boy
OF THE PLAY WITHIN THE PLAY