Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works eBook

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Mrs. Jones.  No, Sir, I don’t say that, sir.  I think there’s a great deal of good in him; though he does treat me very bad sometimes.  And of course I don’t like to leave him, but I think I ought to, because really I hardly know how to stay with him.  He often raises his hand to me.  Not long ago he gave me a blow here [touches her breast] and I can feel it now.  So I think I ought to leave him, don’t you, sir?

Barthwick.  Ah!  I can’t help you there.  It’s a very serious thing to leave your husband.  Very serious thing.

Mrs. Jones.  Yes, sir, of course I ’m afraid of what he might do to me if I were to leave him; he can be so very violent.

Barthwick.  H’m!  Well, that I can’t pretend to say anything about.  It’s the bad principle I’m speaking of——­

Mrs. Jones.  Yes, Sir; I know nobody can help me.  I know I must decide for myself, and of course I know that he has a very hard life.  And he’s fond of the children, and its very hard for him to see them going without food.

Barthwick. [Hastily.] Well—­er—­thank you, I just wanted to hear about you.  I don’t think I need detain you any longer, Mrs. Jones.

Mrs. Jones.  No, sir, thank you, sir.

Barthwick.  Good morning, then.

Mrs. Jones.  Good morning, sir; good morning, ma’am.

Barthwick. [Exchanging glances with his wife.] By the way, Mrs. Jones—­I think it is only fair to tell you, a silver cigarette-box —­er—­is missing.

Mrs. Jones. [Looking from one face to the other.] I am very sorry, sir.

Barthwick.  Yes; you have not seen it, I suppose?

Mrs. Jones. [Realising that suspicion is upon her; with an uneasy movement.] Where was it, sir; if you please, sir?

Barthwick. [Evasively.] Where did Marlow say?  Er—­in this room, yes, in this room.

Mrs. Jones.  No, Sir, I have n’t seen it—­of course if I ’d seen it I should have noticed it.

Barthwick. [Giving hey a rapid glance.] You—­you are sure of that?

Mrs. Jones. [Impassively.] Yes, Sir. [With a slow nodding of her head.] I have not seen it, and of course I don’t know where it is.

     [She turns and goes quietly out.]

Barthwick.  H’m!

     [The three BARTHWICKS avoid each other’s glances.]

The curtain falls.



     The JONES’s lodgings, Merthyr Street, at half-past two o’clock.

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Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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