GILBEY. [beside himself, rising] Wheres the police? Wheres the Government? Wheres the Church? Wheres respectability and right reason? Whats the good of them if I have to stand here and see you put my son in your pocket as if he was a chattel slave, and you hardly out of gaol as a common drunk and disorderly? Whats the world coming to?
DORA. It is a lottery, isnt it, old dear?
Mr Gilbey rushes from the room, distracted.
MRS GILBEY. [unruffled] Where did you buy that white lace? I want some to match a collaret of my own; and I cant get it at Perry and John’s.
DORA. Knagg and Pantle’s: one and fourpence. It’s machine hand-made.
MRS GILBEY. I never give more than one and tuppence. But I suppose youre extravagant by nature. My sister Martha was just like that. Pay anything she was asked.
DORA. Whats tuppence to you, Mrs Bobby, after all?
MRS GILBEY. [correcting her] Mrs Gilbey.
DORA. Of course, Mrs Gilbey. I am silly.
MRS GILBEY. Bobby must have looked funny in your hat. Why did you change hats with him?
DORA. I dont know. One does, you know.
MRS GILBEY. I never did. The things people do! I cant understand them. Bobby never told me he was keeping company with you. His own mother!
DORA. [overcome] Excuse me: I cant help smiling.
JUGGINS. Mr Gilbey has gone to Wormwood Scrubbs, madam.
MRS GILBEY. Have you ever been in a police court, Juggins?
JUGGINS. Yes, madam.
MRS GILBEY [rather shocked] I hope you had not been
JUGGINS. Yes, madam, I had. I exceeded the legal limit.
MRS GILBEY. Oh, that! Why do they give a woman a fortnight for wearing a man’s hat, and a man a month for wearing hers?
JUGGINS. I didnt know that they did, madam.
MRS GILBEY. It doesnt seem justice, does it, Juggins?
JUGGINS. No, madam.
MRS GILBEY [to Dora, rising] Well, good-bye. [Shaking
So pleased to have made your acquaintance.
DORA. [standing up] Dont mention it. I’m sure it’s most kind of you to receive me at all.
MRS GILBEY. I must go off now and order lunch. [She trots to the door]. What was it you called the concertina?
DORA. A squiffer, dear.
MRS GILBEY. [thoughtfully] A squiffer, of course. How funny! [She goes out].
DORA. [exploding into ecstasies of mirth] Oh my! isnt she an old love? How do you keep your face straight?
JUGGINS. It is what I am paid for.
DORA. [confidentially] Listen here, dear boy.
Your name isnt
Juggins. Nobody’s name is Juggins.
JUGGINS. My orders are, Miss Delaney, that you are not to be here when Mr Gilbey returns from Wormwood Scrubbs.