Jill. [Softly] Pitch, Dodo, pitch!
Mrs. H. [Furiously] Jill, be quiet!
Hillcrist. I was brought up never to hurt a
woman. I can’t do it,
Amy—I can’t do it. I should never feel like a gentleman again.
Mrs. H. [Coldly] Oh! Very well.
Hillcrist. What d’you mean by that?
Mrs. H. I shall use the knowledge in my own way.
Hillcrist. [Staring at her] You would—against my wishes?
Mrs. H. I consider it my duty.
Hillcrist. If I agree to Hornblower being told——
Mrs. H. That’s all I want.
Hillcrist. It’s the utmost I’ll consent to, Amy; and don’t let’s have any humbug about its being, morally necessary. We do it to save our skins.
Mrs. H. I don’t know what you mean by humbug?
Jill. He means humbug; mother.
Hillcrist. It must stop at old Hornblower. Do you quite understand?
Mrs. H. Quite.
Jill. Will it stop?
Mrs. H. Jill, if you can’t keep your impertinence to yourself——
Hillcrist. Jill, come with me.
[He turns towards door, Back.]
Jill. I’m sorry, mother. Only it is a skin game, isn’t it?
Mrs. H. You pride yourself on plain speech, Jill. I pride myself on plain thought. You will thank me afterwards that I can see realities. I know we are better people than these Hornblowers. Here we are going to stay, and they—are not.
Jill. [Looking at her with a sort of unwilling admiration] Mother, you’re wonderful!
Jill. Coming, Dodo.
[She turns and runs to the door. They go out.]
with a long sigh, draws herself up, fine and
Mrs. H. Dawker! [He comes to her.]
[I shall send him a note to-night, and word it so that he will be bound to come and see us to-marrow morning. Will you be in the study just before eleven o’clock, with this gentleman?]
Dawker. [Nodding] We’re going to wire for his partner. I’ll bring him too. Can’t make too sure.
[She goes firmly up the steps and out.]
Dawker. [To the stranger, with a wink] The Squire’s squeamish—too much of a gentleman. But he don’t count. The grey mare’s all right. You wire to Henry. I’m off to our solicitors. We’ll make that old rhinoceros sell us back the Centry at a decent price. These Hornblowers—[Laying his finger on his nose] We’ve got ’em!