KNOX. If the Gilbeys have found out, it’s all over between Bobby and Margaret, and all over between us and them.
MRS KNOX. It’s all over between us and everybody. When a girl runs away from home like that, people know what to think of her and her parents.
KNOX. She had a happy, respectable home—everything—
MRS KNOX. [interrupting him] Theres no use going over it all again, Jo. If a girl hasnt happiness in herself, she wont be happy anywhere. Youd better go back to the shop and try to keep your mind off it.
KNOX. [rising restlessly] I cant. I keep fancying everybody knows it and is sniggering about it. I’m at peace nowhere but here. It’s a comfort to be with you. It’s a torment to be with other people.
MRS KNOX. [going to him and drawing her arm through his] There, Jo, there! I’m sure I’d have you here always if I could. But it cant be. God’s work must go on from day to day, no matter what comes. We must face our trouble and bear it.
KNOX. [wandering to the window arm in arm with her] Just look at the people in the street, going up and down as if nothing had happened. It seems unnatural, as if they all knew and didnt care.
MRS KNOX. If they knew, Jo, thered be a crowd round the house looking up at us. You shouldnt keep thinking about it.
KNOX. I know I shouldnt. You have your religion, Amelia; and I’m sure I’m glad it comforts you. But it doesnt come to me that way. Ive worked hard to get a position and be respectable. Ive turned many a girl out of the shop for being half an hour late at night; and heres my own daughter gone for a fortnight without word or sign, except a telegram to say shes not dead and that we’re not to worry about her.
MRS KNOX. [suddenly pointing to the street] Jo, look!
KNOX. Margaret! With a man!
MRS KNOX. Run down, Jo, quick. Catch her: save her.
KNOX. [lingering] Shes shaking bands with him: shes coming across to the door.
MRS KNOX. [energetically] Do as I tell you. Catch the man before hes out of sight.
Knox rushes from the room. Mrs Knox looks anxiously and excitedly from the window. Then she throws up the sash and leans out. Margaret Knox comes in, flustered and annoyed. She is a strong, springy girl of eighteen, with large nostrils, an audacious chin, and a gaily resolute manner, even peremptory on occasions like the present, when she is annoyed.
MARGARET. Mother. Mother.
Mrs Knox draws in her head and confronts her daughter.
MRS KNOX. [sternly] Well, miss?
MARGARET. Oh, mother, do go out and stop father making a scene in the street. He rushed at him and said “Youre the man who took away my daughter” loud enough for all the people to hear. Everybody stopped. We shall have a crowd round the house. Do do something to stop him.