Complete Plays of John Galsworthy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,284 pages of information about Complete Plays of John Galsworthy.

Rous. [Dashing his hand across his brow.] Damn!  I can’t!

Madge. [Swiftly.] Do it for me!

Rous. [Through his teeth.] Don’t play the wanton with me!

Madge. [With a movement of her hand towards Jan—­quick and low.]
I would be that for the children’s sake!

Rous. [In a fierce whisper.] Madge!  Oh, Madge!

Madge. [With soft mockery.] But you can’t break your word for me!

Rous. [With a choke.] Then, Begod, I can!

     [He turns and rushes off.]

     [Madge Stands, with a faint smile on her face, looking after
     him.  She turns to Mrs. Roberts.]

Madge.  I have done for Roberts!

Mrs. Roberts. [Scornfully.] Done for my man, with that——! [She sinks back.]

Madge. [Running to her, and feeling her hands.] You’re as cold as a stone!  You want a drop of brandy.  Jan, run to the “Lion”; say, I sent you for Mrs. Roberts.

Mrs. Roberts. [With a feeble movement.] I’ll just sit quiet, Madge.  Give Jan—­his—­tea.

Madge. [Giving Jan a slice of bread.] There, ye little rascal.  Hold your piping. [Going to the fire, she kneels.] It’s going out.

Mrs. Roberts. [With a faint smile.] ’T is all the same!

     [Jan begins to blow his whistle.]

Madge.  Tsht!  Tsht!—­you

     [Jan Stops.]

Mrs. Roberts. [Smiling.] Let ’im play, Madge.

Madge. [On her knees at the fire, listening.] Waiting an’ waiting.  I’ve no patience with it; waiting an’ waiting—­that’s what a woman has to do!  Can you hear them at it—­I can!

[Jan begins again to play his whistle; Madge gets up; half tenderly she ruffles his hair; then, sitting, leans her elbows on the table, and her chin on her hands.  Behind her, on Mrs. Roberts’s face the smile has changed to horrified surprise.  She makes a sudden movement, sitting forward, pressing her hands against her breast.  Then slowly she sinks’ back; slowly her face loses the look of pain, the smile returns.  She fixes her eyes again on Jan, and moves her lips and finger to the tune.]

The curtain falls.


It is past four.  In a grey, failing light, an open muddy space is crowded with workmen.  Beyond, divided from it by a barbed-wire fence, is the raised towing-path of a canal, on which is moored a barge.  In the distance are marshes and snow-covered hills.  The “Works” high wall runs from the canal across the open space, and ivy the angle of this wall is a rude platform of barrels and boards.  On it, Harness is standing.  Roberts, a little apart from the crowd, leans his back against the wall.  On the raised towing-path two bargemen lounge and smoke indifferently.

Harness. [Holding out his hand.] Well, I’ve spoken to you straight.  If I speak till to-morrow I can’t say more.

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Complete Plays of John Galsworthy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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