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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 4,784 pages of information about Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works.

The squire.  I don’t know if your husband shoots, but if——­

     [Maud, catching his eye, taps the third finger of her left
     hand.]

—­er—­he—­does—­er—­er——­

     [Herself looks at the squire surprised.]

Maud. [Turning to her husband, repeats the gesture with the low and simple word] Look!

The rector. [With round eyes, severely] Hannibal! [He lifts him bodily and carries him away.]

Maud.  Don’t squeeze him, Bertie!

     [She follows through the French window.]

The squire. [Abruptly—­of the unoffending Edward] That dog’ll be forgettin’ himself in a minute.

     [He picks up Edward and takes him out.]

     [Lady Ella is left staring.]

Lady Ella. [At last] You mustn’t think, I——­You mustn’t think, we ——­Oh!  I must just see they—­don’t let Edward get at Hannibal.

     [She skims away.]

     [Herself is left staring after lady Ella, in surprise.]

She.  What is the matter with them?

     [The door is opened.]

The maid. [Entering and holding out a wedding-ring—­severely] You left this, m’m, in the bathroom.

She. [Looking, startled, at her finger] Oh! [Taking it] I hadn’t missed it.  Thank you, Martha.

     [The maid goes.]

     [A hand, slipping in at the casement window, softly lays a pair
     of braces on the windowsill.  She looks at the braces, then at
     the ring.  Her lip curls.]

Sue. [Murmuring deeply] Ah!

Curtain

DEFEAT

A TINY DRAMA

CHARACTERS

The officer
The girl.

Defeat

During the Great War.  Evening.

An empty room.  The curtains drawn and gas turned low.  The furniture and walls give a colour-impression as of greens and beetroot.  There is a prevalence of plush.  A fireplace on the Left, a sofa, a small table; the curtained window is at the back.  On the table, in a common pot, stands a little plant of maidenhair fern, fresh and green.
Enter from the door on the Right, a girl and a young officer in khaki.  The girl wears a discreet dark dress, hat, and veil, and stained yellow gloves.  The young officer is tall, with a fresh open face, and kindly eager blue eyes; he is a little lame.  The girl, who is evidently at home, moves towards the gas jet to turn it up, then changes her mind, and going to the curtains, draws them apart and throws up the window.  Bright moonlight comes flooding in.  Outside are seen the trees of a little Square.  She stands gazing out, suddenly turns inward with a shiver.

Young off.  I say; what’s the matter?  You were crying when I spoke to you.

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