The flower girl [to Pickering, as he passes her] Buy a flower, kind gentleman. I’m short for my lodging.
Pickering. I really haven’t any change. I’m sorry [he goes away].
Higgins [shocked at girl’s mendacity] Liar. You said you could change half-a-crown.
The flower girl [rising in desperation] You ought to be stuffed with nails, you ought. [Flinging the basket at his feet] Take the whole blooming basket for sixpence.
The church clock strikes the second quarter.
Higgins [hearing in it the voice of God, rebuking him for his Pharisaic want of charity to the poor girl] A reminder. [He raises his hat solemnly; then throws a handful of money into the basket and follows Pickering].
The flower girl [picking up a half-crown] Ah—ow—ooh! [Picking up a couple of florins] Aaah—ow—ooh! [Picking up several coins] Aaaaaah—ow—ooh! [Picking up a half-sovereign] Aasaaaaaaaaah— ow—ooh!!!
Freddy [springing out of a taxicab] Got one at last. Hallo! [To the girl] Where are the two ladies that were here?
The flower girl. They walked to the bus when the rain stopped.
Freddy. And left me with a cab on my hands. Damnation!
The flower girl [with grandeur] Never you mind, young man. I’m going home in a taxi. [She sails off to the cab. The driver puts his hand behind him and holds the door firmly shut against her. Quite understanding his mistrust, she shows him her handful of money]. Eightpence ain’t no object to me, Charlie. [He grins and opens the door]. Angel Court, Drury Lane, round the corner of Micklejohn’s oil shop. Let’s see how fast you can make her hop it. [She gets in and pulls the door to with a slam as the taxicab starts].
Freddy. Well, I’m dashed!
Next day at 11 a.m. Higgins’s laboratory in Wimpole Street. It is a room on the first floor, looking on the street, and was meant for the drawing-room. The double doors are in the middle of the back hall; and persons entering find in the corner to their right two tall file cabinets at right angles to one another against the walls. In this corner stands a flat writing-table, on which are a phonograph, a laryngoscope, a row of tiny organ pipes with a bellows, a set of lamp chimneys for singing flames with burners attached to a gas plug in the wall by an indiarubber tube, several tuning-forks of different sizes, a life-size image of half a human head, showing in section the vocal organs, and a box containing a supply of wax cylinders for the phonograph.
Further down the room, on the same side, is a fireplace, with a comfortable leather-covered easy-chair at the side of the hearth nearest the door, and a coal-scuttle. There is a clock on the mantelpiece. Between the fireplace and the phonograph table is a stand for newspapers.