Pickering. The inspector made a lot of difficulties. I really think he suspected us of some improper purpose.
Mrs. Higgins. Well, of course he did. What right have you to go to the police and give the girl’s name as if she were a thief, or a lost umbrella, or something? Really! [She sits down again, deeply vexed].
Higgins. But we want to find her.
Pickering. We can’t let her go like
this, you know, Mrs. Higgins.
What were we to do?
Mrs. Higgins. You have no more sense, either of you, than two children. Why—
The parlor-maid comes in and breaks off the conversation.
The parlor-maid. Mr. Henry: a gentleman wants to see you very particular. He’s been sent on from Wimpole Street.
Higgins. Oh, bother! I can’t see anyone now. Who is it?
The parlor-maid. A Mr. Doolittle, Sir.
Pickering. Doolittle! Do you mean the dustman?
The parlor-maid. Dustman! Oh no, sir: a gentleman.
Higgins [springing up excitedly] By George, Pick, it’s some relative of hers that she’s gone to. Somebody we know nothing about. [To the parlor-maid] Send him up, quick.
The parlor-maid. Yes, Sir. [She goes].
Higgins [eagerly, going to his mother] Genteel relatives! now we shall hear something. [He sits down in the Chippendale chair].
Mrs. Higgins. Do you know any of her people?
Pickering. Only her father: the fellow we told you about.
The parlor-maid [announcing] Mr. Doolittle. [She withdraws].
Doolittle enters. He is brilliantly dressed in a new fashionable frock-coat, with white waistcoat and grey trousers. A flower in his buttonhole, a dazzling silk hat, and patent leather shoes complete the effect. He is too concerned with the business he has come on to notice Mrs. Higgins. He walks straight to Higgins, and accosts him with vehement reproach.
Doolittle [indicating his own person] See here!
Do you see this?
You done this.
Higgins. Done what, man?
Doolittle. This, I tell you. Look at it. Look at this hat. Look at this coat.
Pickering. Has Eliza been buying you clothes?
Doolittle. Eliza! not she. Not half. Why would she buy me clothes?
Mrs. Higgins. Good-morning, Mr. Doolittle. Won’t you sit down?
Doolittle [taken aback as he becomes conscious that he has forgotten his hostess] Asking your pardon, ma’am. [He approaches her and shakes her proffered hand]. Thank you. [He sits down on the ottoman, on Pickering’s right]. I am that full of what has happened to me that I can’t think of anything else.