Annie. [Flattered] Yes, sir. ’E said I ’ad no strength of mind.
Athene. So you want to come back?
Annie. Oh! yes, Miss.
Athene. All right.
Guy. But what about catching it?
Annie. Oh, sir, ’e said there was nothing like Epsom salts.
Guy. He’s a wag, your young man.
Annie. He was in the Army, sir.
Guy. You said he was respectable.
Annie. Oh! yes, sir; but not so respectable as that.
Athene. Well, Annie, get your things off, and lay lunch.
Annie. Oh! yes, Miss.
She makes a little curtsey and passes through into the kitchen.
Guy. Strength of mind! Have a little, Athene won’t you? [He holds out the marriage licence before her].
Athene. I don’t know—I don’t know! If—it turned out—
Guy. It won’t. Come on. Must take chances in this life.
Athene. [Looking up into his face] Guy, promise me—solemnly that you’ll never let me stand in your way, or stand in mine!
Guy. Right! That’s a bargain. [They embrace.]
towards him. They embrace fervently as Annie
with the bread pan. They spring apart.
Guy. It’s all right, Annie. There’s only one more day’s infection before you. We’re to be married to-morrow morning.
Annie. Oh! yes, sir. Won’t Mr Builder be pleased?
Guy. H’m! That’s not exactly our reason.
Annie. [Right] Oh! no, sir. Of course you can’t be a family without, can you?
Guy. What have you got in that thing?
Annie is moving
across with the bread pan. She halts at the bedroom
Annie. Oh! please, ma’am, I was to give you a message—very important— from Miss Maud Builder “Lookout! Father is coming!”
She goes out.
The curtain falls.
Builder’sstudy. At the table, Maud has just put a
sheet of paper
into a typewriter. She sits facing the audience, with her hands
stretched over the keys.
Maud. [To herself] I must get that expression.
Her face assumes a furtive, listening look. Then she gets up, whisks to the mirror over the fireplace, scrutinises the expression in it, and going back to the table, sits down again with hands outstretched above the keys, and an accentuation of the expression. The door up Left is opened, and Topping appears. He looks at Maud, who just turns her eyes.
Topping. Lunch has been ready some time, Miss Maud.