Marlow. [Holding up the empty decanter.] Not a drain! Next time he hits you get a witness and go down to the court——
Mrs. Jones. Yes, I think I ’ve made up my mind. I think I ought to.
Marlow. That’s right. Where’s the ciga——?
[He searches for the silver box; he looks at Mrs. Jones, who is sweeping on her hands and knees; he checks himself and stands reflecting. From the tray he picks two half-smoked cigarettes, and reads the name on them.]
Nestor—where the deuce——?
[With a meditative air
he looks again at Mrs. Jones, and,
taking up Jack’s overcoat, he searches in the pockets.
Wheeler, with a tray of breakfast things, comes in.]
Marlow. [Aside to wheeler.] Have you seen the cigarette-box?
Marlow. Well, it’s gone. I put it on the tray last night. And he’s been smoking. [Showing her the ends of cigarettes.] It’s not in these pockets. He can’t have taken it upstairs this morning! Have a good look in his room when he comes down. Who’s been in here?
Wheeler. Only me and Mrs. Jones.
Mrs. Jones. I ’ve finished here; shall I do the drawing-room now?
Wheeler. [Looking at her doubtfully.] Have you seen——Better do the boudwower first.
goes out with pan and brush. Marlow and
look each other in the face.]
Marlow. It’ll turn up.
Wheeler. [Hesitating.] You don’t think
[Nodding at the door.]
Marlow. [Stoutly.] I don’t——I never believes anything of anybody.
Wheeler. But the master’ll have to be told.
Marlow. You wait a bit, and see if it don’t turn up. Suspicion’s no business of ours. I set my mind against it.
The curtain falls.
The curtain rises again at once.
Barthwick and Mrs. Barthwick are seated at the breakfast table. He is a man between fifty and sixty; quietly important, with a bald forehead, and pince-nez, and the “Times” in his hand. She is a lady of nearly fifty, well dressed, with greyish hair, good features, and a decided manner. They face each other.
Barthwick. [From behind his paper.] The Labour man has got in at the by-election for Barnside, my dear.
Mrs. Barthwick. Another Labour? I can’t think what on earth the country is about.
Barthwick. I predicted it. It’s not a matter of vast importance.
Mrs. Barthwick. Not? How can you take it so calmly, John? To me it’s simply outrageous. And there you sit, you Liberals, and pretend to encourage these people!