Ralph. Well, Well!
With a lingering look
at his brother, who has sat down sullenly at
the writing table, he goes out into the hall.
staring in front of him. The dining-room door
opens, and CAMILLE’s head is thrust in. Seeing him, she draws back,
but he catches sight of her.
Camille comes doubtfully up to the writing table. Her forehead is puckered as if she were thinking hard.
Builder. [Looking at her, unsmiling] So you want to be my mistress, do you?
Camille makes a nervous gesture.
Well, you shall. Come here.
Camille. [Not moving] You f—frighten me.
Builder. I’ve paid a pretty price for you. But you’ll make up for it; you and others.
Camille. [Starting back] No; I don’t like you to-day! No!
Builder. Come along! [She is just within reach and he seizes her arm] All my married life I’ve put a curb on myself for the sake of respectability. I’ve been a man of principle, my girl, as you saw yesterday. Well, they don’t want that! [He draws her close] You can sit on my knee now.
Camille. [Shrinking] No; I don’t want to, to-day.
Builder. But you shall. They’ve asked for it!
Camille. [With a supple movement slipping away from him] They? What is all that? I don’t want any trouble. No, no; I am not taking any.
She moves back towards the door. Builder utters a sardonic laugh.
Oh! you are a dangerous man! No, no! Not for me! Good-bye, sare!
She turns swiftly and goes out. Builder again utters his glum laugh. And then, as he sits alone staring before him, perfect silence reigns in the room. Over the window-sill behind him a boy’s face is seen to rise; it hangs there a moment with a grin spreading on it.
Boy’s voice. [Sotto] Johnny Builder!
As builder turns sharply, it vanishes.
’Oo beat ’is wife?
Builder rushes to the window.
Boy’s voice. [More distant and a little tentative] Johnny Builder!
Builder. You little devil! If I catch you, I’ll wring your blasted little neck!
Boy’s voice. [A little distant] ’Oo blacked the copper’s eye?
Builder, in an
ungovernable passion, seizes a small flower-pot from
the sill and dings it with all his force. The sound of a crash.
Boy’s voice. [Very distant] Ya-a-ah! Missed!
leaning out, face injected with blood, shaking his
The curtain falls for a few seconds.