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

Mrs. Gwyn.  Oh! my dear Joy, don’t be silly!

Joy. [Wincing; then with sudden passion.] I defy you—­I defy you! [She rushes from their sight.]

Mrs. Gwyn. [With a movement of distress.] Oh!

Lever. [Turning to Mrs. Gwyn with a protecting gesture.] Never mind, dear!  It’ll be—­it’ll be all right!

     [But the expression of his face is not the expression of his
     words.]

The curtain falls.

ACT III

It is evening; a full yellow moon is shining through the branches of the hollow tree.  The Chinese lanterns are alight.  There is dancing in the house; the music sounds now loud, now soft.  Miss beech is sitting on the rustic seat in a black bunchy evening dress, whose inconspicuous opening is inlaid with white.  She slowly fans herself.

     Dick comes from the house in evening dress.  He does not see
     Miss beech.

Dick.  Curse! [A short silence.] Curse!

Miss beech.  Poor young man!

Dick. [With a start.] Well, Peachey, I can’t help it [He fumbles off his gloves.]

Miss beech.  Did you ever know any one that could?

Dick. [Earnestly.] It’s such awfully hard lines on Joy.  I can’t get her out of my head, lying there with that beastly headache while everybody’s jigging round.

Miss beech.  Oh! you don’t mind about yourself—­noble young man!

Dick.  I should be a brute if I did n’t mind more for her.

Miss beech.  So you think it’s a headache, do you?

Dick.  Did n’t you hear what Mrs. Gwyn said at dinner about the sun? [With inspiration.] I say, Peachey, could n’t you—­could n’t you just go up and give her a message from me, and find out if there ’s anything she wants, and say how brutal it is that she ’s seedy; it would be most awfully decent of you.  And tell her the dancing’s no good without her.  Do, Peachey, now do!  Ah! and look here!

     [He dives into the hollow of the tree, and brings from out of it
     a pail of water in which are placed two bottles of champagne,
     and some yellow irises—­he takes the irises.]

You might give her these.  I got them specially for her, and I have n’t had a chance.

Miss beech. [Lifting a bottle.] What ’s this?

Dick.  Fizz.  The Colonel brought it from the George.  It ’s for supper; he put it in here because of—­[Smiling faintly]—­Mrs. Hope, I think.  Peachey, do take her those irises.

MissBeech.  D’ you think they’ll do her any good?

Dick. [Crestfallen.] I thought she’d like—­I don’t want to worry her—­you might try.

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