Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works eBook

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     [He puts his whistle in his mouth and draws the woman to the
     door.]

Jones. [With a rush.] Drop her, and put up your ’ands, or I ’ll soon make yer.  You leave her alone, will yer!  Don’t I tell yer, I took the thing myself.

Snow. [Blowing his whistle.] Drop your hands, or I ’ll take you too.  Ah, would you?

     [Jones, closing, deals him a blow.  A Policeman in uniform
     appears; there is a short struggle and Jones is overpowered. 
     Mrs. Jones raises her hands avid drops her face on them.]

The curtain falls.

SCENE II

     The BARTHWICKS’ dining-room the same evening.  The BARTHWICKS
     are seated at dessert.

Mrs. Barthwick.  John! [A silence broken by the cracking of nuts.] John!

Barthwick.  I wish you’d speak about the nuts they’re uneatable. [He puts one in his mouth.]

Mrs. Barthwick.  It’s not the season for them.  I called on the Holyroods.

     [Barthwick fills his glass with port.]

Jack.  Crackers, please, Dad.

     [Barthwick passes the crackers.  His demeanour is reflective.]

Mrs. Barthwick.  Lady Holyrood has got very stout.  I ’ve noticed it coming for a long time.

Barthwick. [Gloomily.] Stout? [He takes up the crackers—­with transparent airiness.] The Holyroods had some trouble with their servants, had n’t they?

Jack.  Crackers, please, Dad.

Barthwick. [Passing the crackers.] It got into the papers.  The cook, was n’t it?

Mrs. Barthwick.  No, the lady’s maid.  I was talking it over with Lady Holyrood.  The girl used to have her young man to see her.

Barthwick. [Uneasily.] I’m not sure they were wise——­

Mrs. Barthwick.  My dear John, what are you talking about?  How could there be any alternative?  Think of the effect on the other servants!

Barthwick.  Of course in principle—­I wasn’t thinking of that.

Jack. [Maliciously.] Crackers, please, Dad.

     [Barthwick is compelled to pass the crackers.]

Mrs. Barthwick.  Lady Holyrood told me:  “I had her up,” she said; “I said to her, ’You’ll leave my house at once; I think your conduct disgraceful.  I can’t tell, I don’t know, and I don’t wish to know, what you were doing.  I send you away on principle; you need not come to me for a character.’  And the girl said:  ’If you don’t give me my notice, my lady, I want a month’s wages.  I’m perfectly respectable.  I’ve done nothing.’"’—­Done nothing!

Barthwick.  H’m!

Mrs. Barthwick.  Servants have too much license.  They hang together so terribly you never can tell what they’re really thinking; it’s as if they were all in a conspiracy to keep you in the dark.  Even with Marlow, you feel that he never lets you know what’s really in his mind.  I hate that secretiveness; it destroys all confidence.  I feel sometimes I should like to shake him.

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