Rolf. Sins of the fathers.
Jill. Unto the third and fourth generations. What sin has my father committed?
Rolf. None, in a way; only, I’ve often told you I don’t see why you should treat us as outsiders. We don’t like it.
Jill. Well, you shouldn’t be, then; I mean, he shouldn’t be.
Rolf. Father’s just as human as your father; he’s wrapped up in us, and all his “getting on” is for us. Would you like to be treated as your mother treated Chloe? Your mother’s set the stroke for the other big-wigs about here; nobody calls on Chloe. And why not? Why not? I think it’s contemptible to bar people just because they’re new, as you call it, and have to make their position instead of having it left them.
Jill. It’s not because they’re new, it’s because—if your father behaved like a gentleman, he’d be treated like one.
Rolf. Would he? I don’t believe it. My father’s a very able man; he thinks he’s entitled to have influence here. Well, everybody tries to keep him down. Oh! yes, they do. That makes him mad and more determined than ever to get his way. You ought to be just, Jill.
Jill. I am just.
Rolf. No, you’re not. Besides, what’s it got to do with Charlie and Chloe? Chloe’s particularly harmless. It’s pretty sickening for her. Father didn’t expect people to call until Charlie married, but since——
Jill. I think it’s all very petty.
Rolf. It is—a dog-in-the-manger business; I did think you were above it.
Jill. How would you like to have your home spoiled?
Role. I’m not going to argue.
Only things don’t stand still.
Homes aren’t any more proof against change than anything else.
Jill. All right! You come and try and take ours.
Rolf. We don’t want to take your home.
Jill. Like the Jackmans’?
Rolf. All right. I see you’re hopelessly prejudiced.
[He turns to go.]
Jill. [Just as he is vanishing—softly] Enemy?
Rolf. [Turning] Yes, enemy.
Jill. Before the battle—let’s shake hands.
[They move from the
lintels and grasp each other’s hands in the
centre of the French window.]
A billiard room in a provincial hotel, where things are bought and sold. The scene is set well forward, and is not very broad; it represents the auctioneer’s end of the room, having, rather to stage Left, a narrow table with two chairs facing the audience, where the auctioneer will sit and stand. The table, which is set forward to the footlights, is littered with