A voice. Enough of your ugly mug!
A rough. Give ’im one!
Two flung stones strike
more. He staggers and nearly falls,
then rights himself.
A girl’s voice. Shame!
Friendly voice. Bravo, More! Stick to it!
A rough. Give ’im another!
A voice. No!
A girl’s voice. Let ’im alone! Come on, Billy, this ain’t no fun!
Still looking up at more, the whole crowd falls into an uneasy silence, broken only by the shuffling of feet. Then the big navvy in the front rank turns and elbows his way out to the edge of the crowd.
The navvy. Let ’im be!
With half-sullen and
half-shamefaced acquiescence the crowd
breaks up and drifts back whence it came, till the alley is
More. [As if coming to, out of a trance-wiping his hand and dusting his coat] Well, Steel!
And followed by steel,
he descends the steps and moves away.
Two policemen pass glancing up at the broken glass. One of them
stops and makes a note.
The curtain falls.
The window-end of Katherine’s bedroom, panelled in cream-coloured wood. The light from four candles is falling on Katherine, who is sitting before the silver mirror of an old oak dressing-table, brushing her hair. A door, on the left, stands ajar. An oak chair against the wall close to a recessed window is all the other furniture. Through this window the blue night is seen, where a mist is rolled out flat amongst trees, so that only dark clumps of boughs show here and there, beneath a moonlit sky. As the curtain rises, Katherine, with brush arrested, is listening. She begins again brushing her hair, then stops, and taking a packet of letters from a drawer of her dressing-table, reads. Through the just open door behind her comes the voice of Olive.
Olive. Mummy! I’m awake!
But Katherine goes
on reading; and Olive steals into the room in
Olive. [At Katherine’s elbow—examining her watch on its stand] It’s fourteen minutes to eleven.
Katherine. Olive, Olive!
Olive. I just wanted to see the time. I never can go to sleep if I try—it’s quite helpless, you know. Is there a victory yet? [Katherine, shakes her head] Oh! I prayed extra special for one in the evening papers. [Straying round her mother] Hasn’t Daddy come?
Katherine. Not yet.
Olive. Are you waiting for him? [Burying her face in her mother’s hair] Your hair is nice, Mummy. It’s particular to-night.