Colonel. [Bowing his head.] I never would have believed she’d have forgotten herself.
Miss beech. [Very solemnly.] Ah, my dear! We’re all the same; we’re all as hollow as that tree! When it’s ourselves it’s always a special case!
[The colonel makes
a movement of distress, and Miss beech goes
Don’t you take it so to heart, my dear!
Colonel. [Shaking his head.] I couldn’t have believed Molly would forget that child.
Miss beech. [Sadly.] They must go their own ways, poor things! She can’t put herself in the child’s place, and the child can’t put herself in Molly’s. A woman and a girl—there’s the tree of life between them!
Colonel. [Staring into the tree to see indeed if that were the tree alluded to.] It’s a grief to me, Peachey, it’s a grief! [He sinks into a chair, stroking his long moustaches. Then to avenge his hurt.] Shan’t tell Nell—dashed if I do anything to make the trouble worse!
Miss beech. [Nodding.] There’s suffering enough, without adding to it with our trumpery judgments! If only things would last between them!
Colonel. [Fiercely.] Last! By George, they’d better——
[He stops, and looking up with a queer sorry look.]
I say, Peachey Life’s very funny!
Miss beech. Men and women are! [Touching his forehead tenderly.] There, there—take care of your poor, dear head! Tsst! The blessed innocents!
[She pulls the colonel’s
sleeve. They slip away towards the
house, as joy and Dick come back. They are still linked
together, and stop by the hollow tree.]
Joy. [In a whisper.] Dick, is love always like this?
Dick. [Putting his arms around her, with conviction.] It’s never been like this before. It’s you and me!
[He kisses her on the lips.]
The curtain falls.
A DRAMA IN THREE ACTS
PERSONS OF THE PLAY
John Anthony, Chairman of the Trenartha
Tin Plate Works
Edgar Anthony, his Son
Frederic H. Wilder, | William Scantlebury,| Directors Of the same Oliver Wanklin, |
Henry Tench, Secretary of the same
Francis Underwood, C.E., Manager of the same
Simon Harness, a Trades Union official