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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 853 pages of information about Complete Plays of John Galsworthy.

     [Anthony looks in his face, then slowly shakes his head.]

[Disheartened.] No, Sir? [He goes on arranging papers.]

     [Frost places the whiskey and salver and puts it down by
     Anthony’s right hand.  He stands away, looking gravely at
     Anthony.]

Frost. Nothing I can get you, sir?

     [Anthony shakes his head.]

You’re aware, sir, of what the doctor said, sir?

Anthony.  I am.

     [A pause.  Frost suddenly moves closer to him, and speaks in a
     low voice.]

Frost. This strike, sir; puttin’ all this strain on you.  Excuse me, sir, is it—­is it worth it, sir?

     [Anthony mutters some words that are inaudible.]

Very good, sir!

[He turns and goes out into the hall.  Tench makes two attempts to speak; but meeting his Chairman’s gaze he drops his eyes, and, turning dismally, he too goes out.  Anthony is left alone.  He grips the glass, tilts it, and drinks deeply; then sets it down with a deep and rumbling sigh, and leans back in his chair.]

The curtain falls.

ACT II

SCENE I

It is half-past three.  In the kitchen of Roberts’s cottage a meagre little fire is burning.  The room is clean and tidy, very barely furnished, with a brick floor and white-washed walls, much stained with smoke.  There is a kettle on the fire.  A door opposite the fireplace opens inward from a snowy street.  On the wooden table are a cup and saucer, a teapot, knife, and plate of bread and cheese.  Close to the fireplace in an old arm-chair, wrapped in a rug, sits Mrs. Roberts, a thin and dark-haired woman about thirty-five, with patient eyes.  Her hair is not done up, but tied back with a piece of ribbon.  By the fire, too, is Mrs. Yeo; a red-haired, broad-faced person.  Sitting near the table is Mrs. Rous, an old lady, ashen-white, with silver hair; by the door, standing, as if about to go, is Mrs. Bulgin, a little pale, pinched-up woman.  In a chair, with her elbows resting on the table, avid her face resting in her hands, sits Madge Thomas, a good-looking girl, of twenty-two, with high cheekbones, deep-set eyes, and dark untidy hair.  She is listening to the talk, but she neither speaks nor moves.

Mrs. Yeo.  So he give me a sixpence, and that’s the first bit o’ money I seen this week.  There an’t much ’eat to this fire.  Come and warm yerself Mrs. Rous, you’re lookin’ as white as the snow, you are.

Mrs. Rous. [Shivering—­placidly.] Ah! but the winter my old man was took was the proper winter.  Seventy-nine that was, when none of you was hardly born—­not Madge Thomas, nor Sue Bulgin. [Looking at them in turn.] Annie Roberts, ’ow old were you, dear?

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