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Full text of "Trelawny of the "Wells"; a comedietta in four acts"

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The iw ells 

A- C OMEDIETTA^ IN • FOUR • ACTJS- 



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ARTHUR- \V • P I NERO 



TRELAWNY of the "WELLS'* 





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K © S E T K E L 



TRELAWNY 
of the "WELLS" 

A Comedietta in Four Acts 
By ARTHUR W. PINERO 




""""'■"""» 



New York R. H. RUSSELL i8gg 




^This play is fully protected by the copyright law, all re- 
quirements of which have been fully complied with. In its 
present printed form it is dedicated to the reading public 
only, and no performances of it may be given without 
the written permission of the author. 

^This Play was produced at the Court Theatre, 
London, on Thursday, January 29th, 1898. 

^^Copyright, 1898, by Charles Belmont Davis. 
*^All rights reserved. Entered at Stationers' Hall. En- 
tered at the Library of Congress, Washington, U. S. A. 








of the 

Bagnigge- Wdli 

Theatre 



^The Original Cast at the Lyceum Theatre, New York 

THEATRICAL FOLK 

Tom Wrench 

Ferdinand Gadd 

James Telfer 

Augustus Colpoys 

Rose Trelawny 

avonia bunn 

Mrs. Telfer, ( Mhs Violet) 

Imogen Parrott, of the Royal Olympic Theatre 
O'Dwyer, promptet- at the Pantheon Theatre 

Mr. Denzil 
Mr. Mortimer 
Mr. Hunston 
Miss Brewster 

Hallkeeper at the Pantheon 



Edward J. Morgan 
Wm. Courtleigh 
Geo. C. Boniface 

Charles W. Butler 
Mary Mannering 
Elizabeth Tyree 

Mrs. Chas. Walcot 



of the Pantheon Theatre 



Hilda Spong 
Grant Stewart 

Thos. Whiffen 

Louis Albion 

Mace Greenleaf 

Adelaide Keim 

Edward H. Wilkinson 



NON-THEATRICAL FOLK 

Vice-Chancellor Sir William Gower, Kt. 

Arthur Gower 
Clara de Fcenix 



bis grandchildren 



Miss Trafalgar Gower, Sir William's sister 
Captain de Fcenix, Clara^s husband 
Mrs. Mossop, a landlady 
Mr. Ablett, a grocer 
Charles, a butler 
Sarah, a maid 

^Fint presented on November 22d, i8g8 



Charles Walcot 

Henry Woodruff 
Helma Nelson 

Ethel Hornick 

H. S. Taber 

Mrs. Thos. Whiffen 

John Findlay 

W. B. Royston 

Blanche Kelleher 



M32454: 



THE FIRST ACT at Mr. and Mrs. T Eh? ^k\ Lodg- 
ings in No. 2, Brydon Crescent, Clerkenwell. May. 
THE SECOND ACT at Sir William Gower's, 
in Cavendish Square. June. 

THE THIRD ACT again in Brydon Crescent. De- 
cember. 

THEFOURTHACT on the stage of the Pantheon 
Theatre. A few days later. 

PERIOD somewhere in the early Sixties. 

^NOTE. — BAGNiGGE-(locally pronounced Bagnidge) 
Wells, formerly a popular mineral spring in Islington, 
London, situated not far from the better remembered 
Sadler's-Wells. The gardens of Bagnigge-Wells 
were at one time much resorted to ; but, as a matter of 
fact, Bagnigge-Wells, unlike Sadler's-Wells, 
has never possessed a playhouse. Sadler's-Wells 
Theatre, however, always familiarly known as the 
"Wells," still exists. It was rebuilt in 1876—77. 





^The costumes and scenic decoration of this little play- 
should follow, to the closest detail, the mode of the early- 
Sixties, the period, in dress, of crinoline and the peg- 
top trouser ; in furniture, of horsehair and mahogany, 
and the abominable ** walnut -and -rep." No attempt 
should be made to modify such fashions in illustration, 
to render them less strange, even less grotesque, to the 
modern eye. On the contrary, there should be an en- 
deavor to reproduce, perhaps to accentuate, any feature 
which may now seem particularly quaint and bizarre. 
Thus, lovely youth should be shown decked uncom- 
promisingly as it was at the time indicated, at the risk 
(which the author believes to be a slight one) of point- 
ing the chastening moral that, while beauty fades assuredly 
in its own time, it may appear to succeeding generations 
not to have been beauty at all. 





TRELAWNY OF THE "WELLS." 



THE FIRST ACT. 



The scene represents a sitting room on the first floor 
of a respectable lodging house. On the right are 
two sash-windows, having Venetian blinds and 
giving a view of houses on the other side of the 
street. The grate of the fireplace is hidden by 
an ornament composed of shavings and paper 
roses. Over the fireplace is a mirror: on each 
side there is a sideboard cupboard. On the left 
is a door, and a landing is seen outside. Between 
the windows stand a cottage piano and a piano 
stool. Above the sofa, on the left, stands a large 
black trunk, the lid bulging with its contents 
and displaying some soiled theatrical finery. 
On the front of the trunk, in faded lettering, 
appear the words " Miss Violet Sylvester, 
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. " Under the sofa 
there are two or three pairs of ladies^ satin 
shoes, much the ivorse for ivear, and on the 
sofa a white-satin bodice, yellotv ivith age, a 
heap of dog-eared playbooks, and some other 
litter of a like character. On the top of the 



2 TBELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

piano there is a wig-block, with a man's wig 
upon it, and in the corners of the room there 
stand some walking sticks and a few theatrical 
swords. In the center of the stage is a large 
circular table. There is a clean cover upon it, 
and on the top of the sideboard cupboards 
are knives and forks, plate, glass, cruet stands, 
and some gaudy flowers in vases — all suggesting 
preparations for festivity. The woodtvork of 
the room is grained, the ceiling plainly white- 
washed, and the ivall paper is of a neutral tint 
and much faded. The pictures are engravings 
in maple frames, and a portrait or two, in oil, 
framed in gilt. The furniture, curtains, and 
carpet are worn, but everything is clean and 
well-kept. 

The light is that of afternoon in early 
summer. 

Mrs. Mossop — a portly, middle-aged Jewish lady, 
elaborately attired — is laying the tablecloth. 
Ablett enters hastily, divesting himself of his 
coat as he does so. He is dressed in rusty black 
for ^^ waiting.'''' 

Mrs. Mossop, 

\In a fluster.] Oh, here you are, Mr. Ablett 1 

Ablett. 

Good-day, Mrs. Mossop. 



tbelawny of the " wells. 3 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Bringing the cruet-stands.] I declare I thought 
you'd forgotten me. 

Ablett. 

[Hanging his coat upon a curtain-knob, and turn- 
ing up his shirt sleeves.] I'd begun to fear I should 
never escape from the shop, ma'am. Jest as I 
was preparin' to clean myself, the 'ole universe 
seemed to cry aloud for pertaters. [Relieving Mrs. 
Mossop of the cruet-stands, and satisfying himself 
as to the contents of the various bottles.] Now you 
take a seat, Mrs. Mossop. You 'ave but to say " Mr. 
Ablett, lay for so many," and the exact number shall 
be laid for. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Sinking into the armchair.] I hope the affliction 
of short breath may be spared you, Ablett. Ten is 
the number. 

Ablett. 

[Whipping up the mustard energetioally .] Short- 
breathed you may be, ma'am, but not short-sighted. 
That gal of yours is no ordinary gal, but to 'ave set 
'er to wait on ten persons would 'ave been to 'ave 
caught disaster. [Bringing knives and forks, glass, 
etc., and glancing round the room as he does so.] 
I am in Mr. and Mrs. Telfer's setting-room, I believe, 
ma'am? 



4 trelawny of the " wells. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Surveying the apartment complacently.] And 
what a handsomely proportioned room it is, to be 
sure I 

Ablett, 

May I h'ask if I am to 'ave the honor of includin' 
my triflin' fee for this job in their weekly book? 

Mus. Mossop. 

No, Ablett— a separate bill, please. The Telfers 
kindly give the use of their apartment, to save the 
cost of holding the ceremony at the " Clown " Tav- 
ern ; but share and share alike over the expenses is 
to be the order of the day. 

Ablett. 

I thank you, ma'am. [Rubbing up the knives with 
a napkin.] You let fall the word "ceremony," 
ma'am 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Ah, Ablett, and a sad one — a farewell cold colla- 
tion to Miss Trelawny. 

Ablett. 

Lor' bless me ! I 'eard a rumor 

Mrs. Mossop. 

A true rumor. She's taking her leave of us, the 
dear. 



trelawny of the " wells. 5 

Ablett. 

This will be a blow to the " Wells," ma'am. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

The best juvenile lady the "Wells" has known 
since Mr. Phillips's management. 

Ablett. 

Report 'as it, a love affair, ma'am. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

A love affair, indeed. And a poem into the bar- 
gain, Ablett, if poet was at hand to write it. 

Ablett. 

Reelly, Mrs. Mossop! [Polishing a tumbler.] Is 
the beer to be bottled or draught, ma'am, on this 
occasion? 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Draught for Miss Trelawny, invariably. 

Ablett. 

Then draught it must be all round, out of compli- 
ment. Jest fancy! nevermore to 'ear customers 
speak of Trelawny of the "Wells," except as a 
pleasin' memoiy! A non-professional gentleman 
they give out, ma'am. 

Mrs. Mossop. 



6 trelawnt of the *' wells." 

Ablett. 
Name of Glover. 

Mbs. Mosbop. 

Gower. Grandson of Vice Chancellor Sir William 
Gower, Mr. Ablett. 

Ablett. 

You don't say, ma'am ! 

Mrs. Mossop. 

No father nor mother, and lives in Cavendish 
Square with the old judge and a great aunt. 

Ablett. 

Then Miss Trelawny quits the Profession, ma'am, 
for good and all, I presoom ? 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Yes, Ablett, she's at the theaytre at this moment, 
distributing some of her little ornaments and fallals 
among the ballet. She played last night for the last 
time — the last time on any stage. [Rising and go- 
ing to the sideboard-cupboard.] And without so 
much as a line in the bill to announce it. What a 
benefit sha might have taken ! 

Ablett. 

I know one who was good for two box tickets, Mrs. 
Mossop. 



teelawnt of the " wells." 1 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Bringing the flowers to the table and arranging 
them, while Ablett sets out the knives and forJcs.] 
But no. "No fuss," said the Gower family, "no 
publicity. Withdraw quietly — " that was the Gower 
family's injunctions — "withdraw quietly, and have 
done with it." 

Ablett. 

And when is the weddin' to be, ma^am? 

Mrs. Mossop. 

It's not yet decided, Mr. Ablett. In point of fact, 
before the Gower family positively say Yes to the 
union. Miss Trelawny is to make her home in Caven- 
dish Square for a short term — "short term" is the 
Gower family's own expression — in order to habitu- 
ate herself to the West End. They're sending their 
carriage for her at two o'clock this afternoon, Mr. 
Ablett — their carriage and pair of bay horses. 

Ablett. 

Well, I dessay a West End life has sooperior ad- 
vantages over the Profession in some respecks, Mrs. 
Mossop. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

When accompanied by wealth, Mr. Ablett. Here's 
Miss Trelawny but nineteen, and in a month-or-two's 
time she'll be ordering about her own powdered foot- 



8 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

man, and playing- on her grand piano. How many 
actresses do that, I should like to know ! 

[Tom Wrench's voice is heard. 

Tom. 

[Outside the door.] Rebecca! Rebecca, my loved 
one! 

Mrs. Mossop. 
Oh, go along with you, Mr. Wrench ! 

[Tom enters, with a pair of scissors in his 
hand. He is a shabbily-dressed ungrace- 
ful man of about thirty, ivith a clean- 
shaven face, curly hair, and eyes full of 
good-humor. 

Tom. 

My own, especial Rebecca ! 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Don't be a fool, Mr. Wrench ! Now, I've no time 
to waste. I know you want something 

Tom. 

Everything, adorable. But most desperately do I 
stand in need of a little skillful trimming at your 
fair hands. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Taking the scissors from him and clipping the 
frayed edges of his sJiirt-cuffs and coUar. ] First it's 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 9 

patching a coat, and then it's binding an Inverness! 
Sometimes I wish that top room of mine was empty. 

Tom. 

And sometimes I wish my heart was empty, cruel 
Rebecca. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Giving him a thump.] Now, I really will tell 
Mossop of you, when he comes home! I've often 

threatened it 

Tom. 

[To Ablett.J Whom do I see! No— it can't be — 
but yes — I believe I have the privilege of addressing 
Mr. Ablett, the eminent greengrocer, of Eosoman 
Street? 

Ablett. 

[Sulkily.] Well, Mr. Wrench, and wot of it? 
Tom. 

You possess a cart, good Ablett, which may be 
hired by persons of character and responsibility. 
"By the hour or job" — so runs the legend. I will 
charter it, one of these Sundays, for a drive to Ep- 
ping. 

Ablett. 

I dunno so much about that, Mr. Wrench. 
Tom. 

Look to the springs, good Ablett, for this comely 
lady will be my companion. 



10 trelawny of the " wells." 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Dooce take your impudence! Give me your other 
hand. Haven't you been to rehearsal this morning 
with the rest of 'em? 

Tom. 

I have, and have left my companions still toiling. 
My share in the interpretation of Sheridan Knowles's 
immortal work did not necessitate my remaining 
after the first act. 

Mrs. Mossop. 
Another poor part, I suppose, Mr. Wrench? 

Tom. 

Another, and to-morrow yet another, and on 
Saturday two others — all equally, damnably rotten. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Ah, well, well! somebody must play the bad parts 
in this world, on and off the stage. There {return- 
ing the scissors], there's no more edge left to fray; 
we've come to the soft. [He points the scissors at 
his breast.] Ah! don't do that! 

Tom. 

You are right, sweet Mossop, I won't perish on an 
empty stomach. [Taking her aside.] But tell me, 
shall I disgrace the feast, eh? Is my appearance too 
scandalously seedy? 




*. •** 



MRS. MOSSOP MAKING TOM PRESENTABLE. 



tbelawnt of the " wells." 11 

Mes. Mossop. 
Not it, my dear. 

Tom. 

Miss Trelawny — do you think she'll regard me as a 
blot on the banquet? [wistfully] do you, Beccy? 

Mrs. Mossop. 

She! la! don't distress yourself. She'll be too ex- 
cited to notice you. 

Tom. 

H'm, yes! now I recollect, she has always been 
that. Thanks, Beccy. 

[A knock, at the front-door, is heard. Mrs. 
Mossop hurries to the window doivn the 
stage. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Who's that? [Opening the window and looking 
out.] It's Miss Parrott ! Miss Parrott's arrived ! 

Tom. 

Jenny Parrott? Has Jenny condescended ? 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Jenny! Where are your manners, Mr. Wrench? 

Tom. 

[Grandiloquently. 1 Miss Imogen Parrott, of the 
Olympic Theatre. 



12 trelawny of the " wells." 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[At the door, to Ablett.] Put your coat on, 
Ablett. We are not selling cabbages. [She dis- 
appears and is heard speaking in the distance.] 
Step up, Miss Parrott! Tell Miss Parrott to mind 
that mat, Sarah ! 



Be quick, Ablett, be quick! The dlite is below 1 
More dispatch, good Ablett ! 

Ablett. 

[To Tom, spitefully, ivhile struggling into his coat.] 
Miss Trelawny's leavin' will make all the difference 
to the old " Wells." The season '11 terminate abrupt, 
and then the comp'ny '11 be h'out, Mr. Wrench — 
h'out, sir! 

Tom. 

[Adjusting his necktie, at the mirror over the 
piano.] Which will lighten the demand for the 
spongy turnip and the watery marrow, my poor 
Ablett. 

Ablett. 

[Under his breath.] Presumpshus! [He produces 
a pair of white cotton gloves, and having put one 
on makes a horrifying discovery.] Two lefts! 
That's Mrs. Ablett all over! 

[During the rest of the act, he is continually 
in difficulties, through his efforts to ivear 



TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 1 3 

one of the gloves upon his right hand. 
Mrs. Mossop now re-enters, with Imogen 
Parrott. Imogen is a pretty, light- 
hearted young tvoman, of about seven- 
and-twenty, daintily dressed. 

Mks. Mossop. 

\To Imogen.] There, it might be only yesterday 
you lodged in my house, to see you gliding up those 
stairs ! And this the very room you shared with poor 
Miss Brooker ! 

Imogen. 

[Advancing to Tom.] Well, Wrench, and how are 

you ? 

Tom. 

[Bringing her a chair, demonstratively dusting the 
seat of it with his pocket-handkerchief] . Thank you , 
much the same as when you used to call me Tom. 

Imogen. 

Oh, but I have turned over a new leaf, you know, 
since I have been at the Olympic. 

Mks. Mobsop. 

I am sure my chairs don't require dusting, Mr. 
Wrench. 

TOM. 

[Placing the chair below the table, and blowing 
his nose with his handkerchief, with a flourish.} 
My way of showing homage, Mossop. 



14 trelawny of the " wells." 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Miss Parrott has sat on them often enough, whe& 
she was an honored member of the "Wells" — 
haven't you, Miss Parrott. 

Imogen. 

[Sitting, with playful dignity.] I suppose I must 
have done so. Don't remind me of it. I sit on 
nothing nowadays but down pillows covered with 
cloth of gold. 

[Mrs. Mossop and Ablett prepare to withdraw. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[At the door, to Imogen.] Ha, ha! ha! I could 
fancy I'm looking at Undine again — Undme, the 
Spirit of the Waters. She's not the least changed 
since she appeared as Undine— is she, Mr. Ablett ? 

Ablett. 

[Joining Mrs. Mossop.] No— or as Prince Cammy- 
ralzyman in the pantomine. I never 'ope to see a 
pair o' prettier limbs 

Mrs. Mossop, 
[Sharply.] Now then ! 

[She pushes him out; they disappear. 

Imogen. 

[After a shiver at Ablett's remark.] In my 
present exalted station I don't hear much of what 



TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 15 

goes on at the "Wells," Wrench. Are your abilities 

still— still 

Tom. 

Still unrecognized, still confined within the almost 
boundless and yet repressive limits of Utility — General 
Utility ? [ Nodding.] H'm, still. 

Imogen, 
Dear me ! a thousand pities ! I positively mean it. 

Tom. 
Thanks. 

Imogen. 

What do you think ! You were mixed up in a 
funny dream I dreamt one night lately. 

Tom. 

[Bowing.] Highly complimented. 

Imogen. 

It was after a supper which rather — well, I'd had 
some strawberries sent me from Hertfordshire. 

Tom. 

Indigestion levels all ranks. 

Imogen. 

It was a nightmare. I found myself on the stage 
of the Olympic in that wig you — oh, gracious ! You 
used to play your very serious little parts in it 



16 trelawny of the " wells." 

Tom. 
The wig with the ringlets? 

Imogen. 
Ugh! yes. 

Tom. 

I wear it to-night, for the second time this week, 
in a part which is very serious — and very little. 

Imogen. 

Heavens ! it is in existence then ! 

Tom. 

And long will be, I hope. I've only three wigs, 
and this one accommodates itself to so many periods. 

Imogen. 

Oh, how it used to amuse the gallery-boys ! 

Tom. 

They still enjoy it. If you looked in this evening 
at half- past-seven — I'm done at a quarter-to-eight — 
if you looked in at half-past seven, you would hear 
the same glad, rapturous murmur in the gallery 
when the presence of that wig is discovered. Not 
that they fail to laugh at my other wigs, at every 
article of adornment I possess, in fact ! Good God, 

Jenny 1 

Imogen. 

[Wincing.] Ssssh! 



TEELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 17 

Tom. 

Miss Parrott— if they gave up laughing at me now, 
I believe I — I believe I should — miss it. I believe I 
couldn't spout my few lines now in silence; my 
unaccompanied voice would sound so strange to me. 
Besides, I often think those gallery-boys are really 
fond of me, at heart. You can't laugh as they do — 
rock with laughter sometimes ! — at what you dislike. 

Imogen. 

Of course not. Of course they like you, Wrench. 
You cheer them, make their lives happier 

Tom. 

And to-night, by the bye, I also assume that beast 
of a felt hat — the gray hat with the broad brim, and 
the imitation wool feathers. You remember it ? 

Imogen, 
Y-y-yes. 

Tom. 

I see you do. "Well, that hat still persists in falling 
off, when I most wish it to stick on. It will tilt and 
tumble to-night — during one of Telfer's pet speeches ; 
I feel it will. 

Imogen. 
Ha, ha, ha! 

Tom. 

And those yellow boots ; I wear them to-night 



18 TBELAWNT OP THE " WELLS." 

Imogen. 
Not 

Tom, 
Yes I 

Imogen. 
Ho, ho, ho, ho! 

Tom. 

[With forced hilarity.] Ho, ho! ha, ha! And the 
spurs — the spurs that once tore your satm petticoat ! 
You recollect ? 

Imogen. 

[Her mirth suddenly checked.] Recollect! 

Tom. 

You would see those spurs to-night, too, if jou 
patronized us — and the red worsted tiglits. The 
worsted tights area little thinner, a little more faded 
and discolored, a little more darned — Oh, yes, thank 
you, I am still, as you put it, still — still— still 

[He ivalJcs away, going to the mantelpiece and 
turning his bach upon her. 

Imogen. 

[After a brief pause.] I'm sure I didn't intend to 
hurt your feelings, Wrench. 

Tom. 
[Turning, with some violence.] You! you hurt my 



TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS. 19 

feelings I Nobody can hurt my feelings ! I have no 

feelings ! 

[Ablett re-enters, carrying three chairs of 
odd patterns. Tom seizes the chairs and 
places them about the table, noisily. 

Ablett. 

Look here, Mr. Wrench ! If I'm to be 'ampered in 
performin' my dooties 

Tom. 

More chairs, Ablett ! In niy apartment, the cham- 
ber nearest heaven, you will find one with a loose 
leg. We will seat Mrs. Telfer upon that. She dis- 
likes me, and she is, in every sense, a heavy woman. 

Ablett. 

[Moving toward the door — dropping his glove.] 
My opinion, you are meanin' to 'arrass me, Mr. 

Wrench 

Tom. 

[Picking up the glove and fhrmving it to Ablett — 
singing.] ' ' Take back thy glove, thou faithless fair ! " 
Your glove, Ablett. 

Ablett. 

Thank you, sir; it is my glove, and you are no 
gentleman. [He withdraivs. 

Tom. 
True, Ablett— not even a Walking Gentleman. 



20 teelawny of the " wells." 

Imogen. 

Don't go on so, Wrench. What about your plays? 
Aren't you trying to write any plays just now? 

Tom. 

Trying! I am doing more than trying to write 
plays. I am writing plays. I have written plays. 

Imogen. 
Well? 

Tom. 
My cupboard upstairs is choked with 'em. 
Imogen. 

Won't anyone take a fancy ? 

Tom. 
Not a sufficiently violent fancy. 
Imogen. 

You know, the speeches were so short and had such 
ordinary words in them, in the plays you used to 
read to me — no big opportunity for the leading lady, 
Wrench. 

Tom. 

M' yes. I strive to make my people talk and be- 
have like live people, don't I ? 

Imogen. 
I suppose you do. 



trblawny of the " wells." 21 

Tom. 

To fashion heroes out of actual, dull, every-day 
men — the sort of men you see smoking cheroots in 
the club windows in St. James's Street; and heroines 
from simple maidens in muslin frocks. Naturally, 
the managers won't stand that. 

Imogen. 
Why, of course not. 

Tom. 
If they did, the public wouldn't. 

Imogen. 
Is it likely? 

Tom. 

Is it 1 ikely ? I wonder ! 

Imogen. 
Wonder — wh at ? 

Tom. 

Whether they would. 

Imogen. 
The public! 

Tom. 

The public. Jenny, I wonder about it sometimes 
so hard that that little bedroom of mine becomes a 
banqueting hall, and this lodging house a castle. 

[There is a loud and prolonged knocking at 
the front door. 



22 teelawny of the " wells." 

Imogen. 

Here they are, I suppose. 

Tom. 

[Pulling himself together.] Good Lord! Have I 
become disheveled ? 

Imogen. 

Why, are you anxious to make an impression, even 
down to the last, Wrench? 

Tom. 

[Angrily.] Stop that ! 

Imogen. 

It's no good your being sweet on her any longer, 
surely? 

Tom. 

[Glaring at her.] What cats you all are, you girls! 

Imogen. 

[Holding up her hands.] Oh ! oh, dear ! How vul- 
gar — after the Olympic ! 

[Ablett returns, carrying three more chairs. 

Abi-ett. 

[Arranging these chairs on the left of the table.] 
They're all 'ome ! they're all 'ome ! [Tom places the 
four chairs belonging to the room at the table. To 
Imogen.] She looks 'eavenly, Miss Trelawny does. I 



TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 23 

was jest takin' in the ale when she floated down the 
Crescent on her lover's arm. [Wagging his head at 
Imogen admiringly.] There, I don't know which of 
you two is the 

Imogen. 
[Haughtily.] Man, keep your place! 

Ablett. 
[Hurt. ] H'as you please, miss — but you apperently 
forget I used to serve you with vegetables. 

[He takes up a position at the door as Telfer 
and Gadd enter. Telfer is a thick-set, 
elderly man, with a worn, clean-shaven 
face and iron-gray hair ^^ clubbed'''' in 
the theatrical fashion of the time. Sonor- 
ous, if somewhat husky, in speech, and 
elaborately dignified in bearing, he is at 
the same time a little uncertain about his 
H's. Gadd is a flashily-dressed young 
man of seven-and-twenty , with brou'u hair 
arranged a la Byron and mustache of 
a deeper tone. 

Telfer. 
[Advancing to Imogen, and kissing her pater- 
nally. ] Ha, my dear child ! I heard you were 'ere. 
Kind of you to visit us. Welcome ! I'll just put my 
'at down 

[He places his hat on the top of the piano, and 
proceeds to inspect the table. 



24 tkelawnt op the " wells." 

Gadd. 

[Coming to Imogen, in an elegant, languishing 
way.] Imogen, my darling. [Kissing her.] Kiss 
Ferdy ! 

Imogen. 
Well, Gadd, how goes it— I mean how are you? 

Gadd. 

[Earnestly. ] I'm hitting them hard this season, my 
darling. To-night, Sir Thomas Clifford. They're 
simply waiting for my Clifford. 

Imogen. 
But who on earth is your Julia? 

Gadd. 

Ha ! Mrs. Telfer goes on for it — a venerable stop- 
gap. Absurd, of course; but we daren't keep my 
Clifford from them any longer. 

Imogen. 

You'll miss Rose Trelawny in business pretty badly, 
I expect, Gadd? 

Gadd. 

[With a shrug of the shoulders.] She was to have 
done Rosalind for my benefit. Miss Fitzhugh joins 
on Monday; I must pull her through it somehow. 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 25 

I would reconsider my bill, but they're waiting for 

my Orlando, waiting for it 

[CoLPOYS enters— an insignificant, wizen 
little fellow ivho is unable to forget that 
he is a low-comedian. He stands L., 
squinting hideously at Imogen and 
indulging in extravagant gestures of 
endearment, while she continues her con- 
versation with Gadd. 

COLPOTS. 

[Failing to attract her attention^ My love ! my 
life! 

Imogen. 

[Nodding to him indifferently.} Good-afternoon, 
Augustus. 

COLPOYS. 

[Ridiculously.] She speaks! she hears me! 

Ablett. 

[Holding his glove before his mouth, convulsed 
with laughter.] Ho, ho! oh, Mr. Colpoys! oh, 
reelly, sir 1 ho, dear ! 

Gadd. 

[To Imogen, darkly.] Colpoys is not nearly as 
funny as he was last year. Everybody's saying so. 
We want a low-comedian badly. 

[He retires, deposits his hat on the wig-block, 
and joins Telfer and Tom. 



26 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

COLPOYS, 

[Staggering to Imogen and throwing his arms 
about her neck.] Ah — h — h ! after all these years ! 

Imogen. 

[Pushing him away.] Do be careful of my things, 
Colpoys ! 

Ablett. 

[Going out, blind with mirth.] Ha, ha, ha I ho, ho ! 

[He collides with Mrs. Telfer, who is enter- 

ing at this moment. Mrs. Telper is a 

tall, massive lady of middle age — a faded 

queen of tragedy. 

Ablett. 

[As he disappears.] I'm sure I beg your pardon, 
Mrs. Telfer, ma'am. 

Mrs. Telfer, 

Violent fellow ! [Advancing to Imogv,^ and kiss- 
ing her solemnly.] How is it with you, Jenny 
Parrott? 

Imogen. 

Thank you, Mrs. Telfer, as well as can be. And 
you? 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Waving away the inquiry.] I am obliged to you 
for this response to my invitation, It struck me as 




O 

o 



O 
CO 

o 

p- 

o 
u 



TEBLAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 27 

fitting that at such a time you should return for a 
brief hour or two to the company of your old associ- 
ates [Becoming conscious of Colpoys, behind 

her, making grimaces at Imogen.] Eh — h — h? 
{Turning to Colpoys and surprising him.] Oh — 
li — h! Yes, Augustus Colpoys, you are extremely 
humorous off. 

Colpoys. 

[Stung.] Miss Sylvester — Mrs. Telfer I 

Mrs. Telfek. 

On the stage, sir, you are enough to make a cat 
weep. 

Colpoys. 

Madam! from one artist to another! well, I — ! 'pon 
my soul ! [Retreating and talking under his breath. ] 
Popular favorite ! draw more money than all the — 
old guys 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Following him.] What do you say, sir ! Do you 
mutter ! 

[They explain mutually. Avonia Bunn 
enters — an untidy, tawdrily -dressed young 
woman of about three-and-twenty, with 
the airs of a suburban soubrette. 

AVONIA. 

[Embracing JmoQEHf.] Dear old girll 



28 trelawnt of the " wells." 

Imogen. 
Well, Avonia? 

AVONIA. 

This is jolly, seeing you again. My eye, what a 
rig-out! She'll be up directly. [With a gulp.] 
She's taking a last look-round at our room. 

Imogen, 
YouVe been crying, 'Vonia. 

AVONIA. 

No, I haven't. [Breaking down.] If I have I 
can't help it. Rose and I have chummed together- 
all this season — and part of last — and — it's a hateful 

profession! The moment you make a friend ! 

[Looking toward the door.] There! isn't she a 

dream ? I dressed her 

[She moves away, as Rose Trelawny and 
Arthur Gower enter. Rose is nineteen, 
wears washed muslin, and looks divine. 
She has much of the extravagance of 
gesture, over-emphasis in speech, and 
freedom of manner engendered by the 
theatre, but is graceful and charming 
nevertheless. Arthur is a handsome, 
boyish young man — " all eyes "for Rose. 

Rose. 
[Meeting Imogen.] Dear Imogen ! 



TRELAWNT OP THE " WELLS." 29 

Imogen. 
[Kissing her.] Rose, dear! 

Rose. 

To think of your journeying from the West to see 
me make my exit from Brydon Crescent ! But you're 
a good sort ; you always were. Do sit down and tell 
me — oh — ! let me introduce Mr. Gower. Mr. Arthur 
Gower — Miss Imogen Parrott. The Miss Parrott of 
the Olympic. 

Arthur. 

[Reverentially.] I know. I've seen Miss Parrott 
as Jupiter, and as— I forget the name — in the new 
comedy [IMOGEN and Rose sit, below the table. 

Rose. 

He forgets everything but the parts I play, and the 
pieces /play in — poor child ! don't you, Arthur? 

Arthur. 

[Standing by Rose, looking down upon her.] 
Yes — no. "Well, of course I do ! How can I help it, 
Miss Parrott? Miss Parrott won't think the worse of 
me for that — will you. Miss Parrott? 

Mrs. Telfer, 

I am going to remove my bonnet. Imogen 
Parrott ? 



30 teelawny of the " wells." 

Imogen. 

Thank you, I'll keep my hat on, Mrs. Telfer— take 
care! 

[Mrs. Telfer, in turning to go, encounters 
Ablett, who is entering with two jugs of 
beer. Some of the beer is spilt. 

Ablett. 

I beg your pardon, ma'am. 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Examining her sJcirts.] Ruffian ! [She departs. 

Rose. 

[To Arthur.] Go and talk to the boys. I haven't 
seen Miss Parrott for ages. 

[In backing away from them, Arthur comes 
against Ablett. 

Ablett. 

I beg your pardon, sir. 

Arthtjb, 

I beg yours. 

Ablett. 

[Grasping Arthur's hand.] Excuse the freedom, 
sir, if freedom you regard it as 

Arthur. 
Eh ? 




> 

O 

o 



X 

u 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 31 

Ablett. 

You 'ave plucked the flower, sir; you 'a ve stole our 

cli'icest blossom. 

Arthur. 

[Trying to get away.] Yes, yes, I know 

Ablett. 

Cherish it, Mr. Glover ! 

Arthur. 

I will, I will. Thank you 

[Mrs. Mossop's voice is heard calling "Ab- 
lett ! " Ablett releases Arthur and goes 
out. Arthur jbms Colpoys and Tom. 

Rose. 

[To Imogen.] The carriage will be here in half an 
hour. I've so much to say to you. Imogen, the 
brilliant hits you've made! how lucky you have 
been! 

Imogen. 
My luck ! what about yours f 
Rose. 

Yes, isn't this a wonderful stroke of fortune for 
me! Fate, Jenny! that's what it is — Fate! Fate 
ordains that I shall be a well-to-do fashionable lady, 
instead of a popular but toiling actx'ess. Mother often 
used to stare into my face, when I was little, and 



32 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

whisper, " Rosie, I wonder what is to be your— fate." 
Poor mother I I hope she sees. 

Imogen. 

Your Arthur seems nice. 

Rose. 

Oh, he's a dear. Very young, of course — not 
much more than a year older than me — than I. But 
he'll grow manly in time, and have mustaches, and 
whiskers out to here, he says. 

Imogen. 

How did you ? 

Rose. 

He saw me act Blanche in the The Peddler of Mar- 
seilles, and fell in love. 

Imogen. 
Do you prefer Blanche ? 

Rose. 

To Celestine? Oh, yes. You see, I got leave to 
introduce a song — where Blanche is waiting for 
Raphael on the bridge. [Singing, dramatically but 
in low tones.] "Ever of thee I'm fondly dream- 
ing " 

Imogen. 

I know [They sing together. 



TEELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 33 

Rose and Imogen. 

" Thy gentle voice my spirit can cheer." 

Rose. 

It was singing that song that sealed my destiny, 
Arthur declares. At any rate, the next thing was he 
began sending bouquets and coming to the stage-door. 
Of course, I never spoke to him, never glanced at 
him. Poor mother brought me up in that way, not 
to speak to anybody, nor look. 



Quite right. 

I do hope she sees. 

And then ? 



Imogen. 
Rose. 

Imogen. 
Rose. 



Then Arthur managed to get acquainted with the 
Telfers, and Mrs. Telfer presented him to me. Mrs. 
Telfer has kept an eye on me all through. Not that 
it was necessary, brought up as I was — but she's a 
kind old soul. 

Imogen. 

And now you're going to live with his people for a 
time, aren't you ? 

Rose. 
Yes — on approval. 



34 trelawny op the " wells." 

Imogen. 

Ha, ha, ha! you don't mean that! 

Rose. 

Well, in a way — just to reassure them, as they put 
it. The Gowers have such odd ideas about theatres, 
and actors and actresses, 

Imogen. 

Do you think you'll like the arrangement? 

Rose. 

It '11 only be for a little while. I fancy they're 
prepared to take to me, especially Miss Trafalgar 
Gower 

Imogen. 
Trafalgar ! 

Rose. 

Sir William's sister ; she was born Trafalgar year, 
and christened after it 

[Mrs. Mossop and Ablett enter, carrying 
trays on which are a pile of plates and 
various dishes of cold food— a joint, a 
chicken and a tongue, a ham, a pigeon 
pie, etc. They proceed to set out the 
dishes upon the table. 

Imogen. 
[Cheerfully.] Well, God bless you, my dear. I'm 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 35 

afraid /couldn't give up the stage though, not for all 

the Arthurs 

Rose. 

Ah, your mother wasn't an actress. 

Imogen. 
No. 

Rose. 

Mine was, and I remember her saying to me once, 
" Eose, if ever you have the chance, get out of it." 

Imogen. 
The Profession? 

Rose. 

Yes. "Get out of it," mother said; "if ever a 
good man comes along, and offers to marry you and 
to take you off the stage, seize the chance— get out 
of it." 

Imogen. 
Your mother was never popular, was she? 
Rose. 

Yes, indeed she was, most popular— till she grew 
oldish and lost her looks. 

Imogen. 

Oh, thaVs what she meant, then? 

Rose. 

Yes, that's what she meant. 



36 trblawny of the " wells." 

Imogen. 

[Shivering.] Oh, lor', doesn't it make one feel de- 
pressed ! 

Rose. 

Poor mother ! Well, I hope she sees. 
Mrs. Mossop. 

Now, ladies and gentlemen, everything is prepared, 
and I do trust to your pleasure and satisfaction. 

Telfer. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I beg you to be seated, 
[There is a general movement.] Miss Trelawny will 
sit 'ere, on my right. On my left, my friend Mr. 
Gower will sit. Next to Miss Trelawny — who will 
sit beside Miss Trelawny? 

Gadd and Colpoys. 
IwiU. 

AVONIA. 

No, do let me I 

[Gadd, Colpoys, and Avonia gather round 
Rose and wrangle for the vacant place. 

Rose, 

[Standing by her chair.] It must be a gentleman, 
'Vonia. Now, if you two boys quarrel 1 

Gadd. 
Please don't push me, Colpoys ! 



TBBLAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 37 

COLPOYS. 

'Pon my soul, Gadd ! 

Rose. 
I know how to settle it. Tom Wrench ! 

Tom. 
[Coming to her.] Yes? 

[CoLPOYS and Gadd nYiove away, arguing. 

Imogen. 

[Seating herself. ] Mr. Gadd and Mr. Colpoys shall 
sit by me, one on each side. 

[Colpoys sits on Imogen's right, Gadd on her 
left, AvoNiA sits between Tom and Gadd ; 
Mrs. Mossop on the right of Colpoys. 
Amid much chatter, the viands are carved 
by Mrs. Mossop, Telfer, and Tom. Some 
plates of chicken, etc. , are handed round 
by Ablett, while others are passed about 
by those at the table. 

Gadd. 

[Quietly to Imogen, during a pause in the hub- 
bub.] Telfer takes the chair, you observe. Why he 
—more than myself, for instance? 

Imogen. 
[To Gadd.] The Telfers have lent their room 



38 TEBLAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Gadd. 

Their stuffy room! that's no excuse. I repeat, 
Telfer has thrust himself into this position. 

Imogen. 
He's the oldest man pi'esent. 

Gadd. 

True. And he begins to age in his acting too. His 
H's ! scarce as pearls ! 

Imogen. 

Yes, that's shocking. Now, at the Olympic, slip an 
H and you're damned for ever. 

GADn. 

And he's losing all his teeth. To act with him, it 
makes the house seem half empty. 

[Ablett is now going about pouring out the 
ale. Occasionally he drops his glove, 
misses it, and recovers it. 

Telfer. 

[To Imogen.] Miss Parrott, my dear, follow the 
counsel of one who has sat at many a "good man's 
feast " — have a little 'am. 

Imogen. 
Thanks, Mr. Telfer. [Mrs. Telfer returns. 



teelawny of the " "wells." 39 

Mks. Telfer. 

Sitting down to table in my absence ! [To Telfer.] 
How is this, James? 

Telfer. 

We are pressed for time, Violet, my love. 

Rose. 
Very sorry, Mrs. Telfer. 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[TaJcing her place, behceen Arthur and Mrs. 
Mossop — gloomily.] A strange proceeding. 

Rose. 

Eehearsal was over so late. [To Telfer.] You 
didn't get to the last act till a quarter to one, did 
you? 

AvONLi.. 

[Talcing off her hat and flinging it across the 
table to COLPOYS.] Gus ! catch ! Put it on the sofa, 
there's a dear boy. [Colpoys perches the hat upon 
his head, and behaves in a ridiculous, mincing ivay. 
Ablett is again convulsed with laughter. Some of 
the others are amused also, but more moderately. 
Take that off, Gus ! Mr. Colpoys, you just take my 
hat off! 

[Colpoys rises, imitating the manners of a 
woman, and deposits the hat on the sofa. 



40 TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Ablett. 
Ho, ho, ho! oh, don't Mr. Colpoys! oh, don't, su"! 
[CoLPOYS returns to the table. 

Gadd, 

[Quietly to Imogen.] It makes me sick to watch 
Colpoys in private life. He'd stand on his head in 
the street, if he could get a ragged infant to laugh at 
him. [Picking the leg of a fowl furiously.] What 
I say is this. Why can't an actor, in private life, be 
simply a gentleman? [Loudly and haughtily.] 
More tongue here ! 

Ablett. 

[Hurrying to him.] Yessir, certainly, sir. [Again 
discomposed by some antic on the part of Colpoys.] 
Oh, don't, Mr. Colpoys! [Going to Telfer with 
Gadd's plate — speaking while Telfer carves a slice 
of tongue.] I shan't easily forget this afternoon, Mr. 
Telfer. [Exhausted.] This '11 be something to tell 
Mrs. Ablett. Ho, ho! oh, dear, oh, dear ! 

[Ablett, averting his face from Colpoys, 
brings back Gadd's plate. By an un- 
fortunate chance, Ablett's glove has 
found its ivay to the plate and is handed 
to Gadd by Ablett. 

Gadd. 

[Picking up the glove in disgust.] Merciful pow- 
ers ! what's this ! 



trelawnt of the " wells." 41 

Ablett. 

[Talcing the glove.] I beg your pardon, sir — my 
error, entirely. 

[A firm rat-tat-tat at the front door is heard. 
There is a general exclamation. At the 
same moment Sarah, a diminutive ser- 
vant in a crinoline, appears in the door- 
way. 

Sabah. 

[Breathlessly.] The kerridge has just drove up ! 
[Imogen, Gadd, Colpoys, and Avonia go to 
the windows, open them, and look out. 
Mrs. Mossop hurries away, pushing 
Sarah before her. 

Telfer. 

Dear me, dear me ! before a single speech has been 
made. 

AVONIA. 

[At the window.] Rose, do look! 

Imogen. 
[At the other uvindow.] Come here, Hose! 

Rose. 

[Shaking her head.] Ha, ha! I'm in no hurry; I 
shall see it often enough. [Turning to Tom..] Well, 
the time has arrived. [Laying down her knife and 
fork.] Oh, I'm so sorry, now. 



42 trelawny of the " wells." 

Tom. 
[Brusquely.] Are you ? I'm glad. 

Rose. 
Glad ! that is hateful of you, Tom WrenchI 

Arthur. 

[Looking at his ivatch.] The carriage is certainly 
two or three minutes before its time, Mr, Telfer. 

Telfer. 

Two or three ! The speeches, my dear sir, the 

speeches! [Mrs. Mossop returns, panting. 

Mrs. Mossop. 
The footman, a nice-looking young man with hazel 
eyes, says the carriage and pair can wait for a little 
bit. They must be back by three, to take their lady 
into the Park 

Telfer. 

[Rising.] Ahem! Eesume your seats, I beg. 
Ladies and gentlemen 

AVONIA. 

Wait, wait! we're not ready! 

[Imogen, Gadd, Colpoys, and Avonia return 
to their places. Mrs. Mossop also sits 
again. Ablett stands by the door. 



TKELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 43 

Telfer. 

[Producing a paper from his breast-pocJcet.] 
Ladies and gentlemen, I devoted some time this 
morning to the preparation of a list of toasts. I now 
'old that list in my hand. Tlie first toast 

[He pauses, to assume a pair of spectacles. 

Gadd. 
[To Imogen.] He arranges the toast-list! he ! 

Imogen. 
[To Gadd.] Hush! 

Telfer. 

The first toast that figures 'ere is, naturally, that 
of The Queen. [Laying his hand on Arthur's 
shoulder.] With my young friend's chariot at the 
door, his horses pawing restlessly and fretfully upon 
the stones, I am prevented from enlarging, from ex- 
patiating, upon the merits of this toast. Suffice it, 
both Mrs. Telfer and I have had the honor of acting 
before Her Majesty upon no less than two occasions. 

Gadd. 
[To Imogen.] Tsch, tsch, tsch! an old story! 

Telfer. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you— [fo CoLPOYS] — 
the malt is with you, Mr. Colpoys. 



44 TRELAWNT OF THE ** WELLS." 

COLPOYS. 

[Handing the ale to Telfkr.] Here you are, 
Telfer. 

Telper. 

[Filling his glass. ] I give you The Queen, coupling 
with that toast the name of Miss Violet Sylvester — 
Mrs. Telfer — formerly, as you are aware, of the 
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Miss Sylvester has so 
frequently and, if I may say so, so nobly imperson- 
ated the various queens of tragedy that I cannot but 
feel she is a fitting person to acknowledge our expres- 
sion of loyalty. [Raising his glass.] The Queen I 
And Miss Violet Sylvester! 

[All rise, except Mrs. Telfer, and drink the 
toast. After drinking Mrs. Mossop 
passes her tumbler to Ablett. 

Ablett. 

The Queen ! Miss Vi'lent Sylvester! 

[He drinks and returns the glass to Mrs. 
Mossop. The company being reseated, 
Mrs. Telfer rises. Her reception is a 
polite one. 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Heavili/.] Ladies and gentlemen, I have played 
fourteen or fifteen queens in my time 



tbelawny of the " "wells." 45 

Telfeb. 

Thirteen, my love, to be exact; I was calculating 
this morning'. 

Mrs. Telfer. 

Very well, I have played thirteen of 'em. And, as 

parts, they are not worth a tinker's oath. I thank 

you for the favor with which you have received me. 

[She sits; the applause is heartier. During 

the demonstration Sarah appears in the 

doorway, with a kitchen chair. 

Ablett. 
[To Sarah.] Wot's all this? 
Sarah. 
[To Ablett.] Is the speeches on? 

Ablett. 
H'on ! yes, and you be h'off ! 

[She places the chair against the open door 
and sits, fidl of determination. At inter- 
vals Ablett vainly represents to her the 
impropriety of her proceeding. 

Telfer. 
[Again rising. 1 Ladies and gentlemen. Bumpers, 
I charge ye ! The toast I 'ad next intended to pro- 
pose was Our Immortal Bard, Shakspere, and I had 
meant, myself, to 'ave offered a few remarks in 
response 



46 TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

Gadd. 

[To Imogen, bitterly.] Ha! 

Telfer. 

But with our friend's horses champing their bits, I 
am compelled — nay, forced — to postpone this toast to 
a later period of the day, and to give you now what 
we may justly designate the toast of the afternoon. 
Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to lose, to part 
with, one of our companions, a young comrade who 
came amongst us many months ago, who in fact joined 
the company of the "Wells "last Februai'y twelve- 
month, after a considerable experience in the 
provinces of this great country. 



Hear, hear! 



COLPOTS. 



AVONIA. 



[Tearfully.] Hear, hear ! [With a sob.] I de- 
tested her at first. 



Order ! 

Be quiet, 'Vonia ! 



COLPOTS. 

Imogen. 
Telfer. 



Her late mother an actress, herself made familiar 
with the stage from childhood if not from infancy, 
Miss Rose Trelawny — for I will no longer conceal 



TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 47 

from you that it is to Miss Trelavvny I refer 

[Loud applause.] Miss Trelawny is the stuff of 
which great actresses are made. 

All. 
Hear, hear! 

Ablett. 

[Softly.] 'Ear, 'ear! 

Telfer. 

So much for the actress. Now for the young lady 

— nay, the woman, the gyirl. Rose is a good girl 

[Loud applause, to tvhich Ablett and Sarah con- 
tribute largely. Avonla. rises and impulsively 
embraces EosE. She is recalled to her seat by a 
general remonstrance.] A good girl 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Clutching a knife.] Yes, and I should like to 
hear anybody, man or woman ! 

Telfer. 

She is a good girl, and will be long remembered by 
us as much for her private virtues as for the com- 
manding authority of her genius. [More applause, 
during which there is a sharp altercation betiveen 
Ablett and Sarah.] And now, what has happened 
to "the expectancy and Rose of the fair state "? 

Imogen. 
Good, Telfer! good! 



48 TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

Gadd. 
[Tb Imogen.] Tsch, tsch I forced ! forced 1 

Telfer. 

I will tell you — [impressively] — a man has crossed 
her path. 

Ablett. 

[In a low voice.] Shame ! 

Mrs. Mossop. 
[Turning to him.] Mr. Ablett I 

Telfer. 

A man — ah, but also a gentle-man. [Applause.] 
A gentleman of probity, a gentleman of honor, and 
a gentleman of wealth and station. That gentleman, 
with the modesty of youth, — for I may tell you at 
once that 'e is not an old man, — comes to us and asks 
us to give him this gyirl to wife. And, friends, we 
have done so. A few preliminaries 'ave, I believe, 
still to be concluded between Mr. Gower and his 
family, and then the bond will be signed, the com- 
pact entered upon, the mutual trust accepted. Riches 
this youthful pair will possess — but what is gold? 
May they be rich in each other's society, in each 
other's love ! May they — I can wish them no greater 
joy — be as happy in their married life as my — my — 
as Miss Sylvester and I 'ave been in ours! [J^ais- 
ing his glass.] Miss Rose Trelawny — Mr. Arthur 



TBELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 49 

Grower ! [The toast is drunk by the company, up- 
standing. Three cheers are called for by Colpoys, 
and given. Those who have risen then sit.] Miss 
Trelawny. 

Rose. 

[Weeping.] No, no, Mr. Telfer. 

Mks. Telfbb. 

[To Telfer, softly.] Let her be for a minute, 
James. 

Telfer. 
Mr. Gower. 

[Arthur rises and is well received. 

Arthur. 

Ladies and gentlemen , I — I would I were endowed 
with Mr. Telfer's flow of — of — of splendid eloquence. 
But I am no orator, no speaker, and therefore cannot 
tell you how highly — how deeply I appreciate the — 
the compliment 

Ablett. 

You deserve it, Mr. Glover ! 

Mrs. Mossop. 
Hush ! 

Arthur. 

All I can say is that I regard Miss Trelawny in the 
light of a— a solemn charge, and I — I trust that, if 



50 TKELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

ever I have the pleasure of — of meeting' any of you 
again, I shall be able to render a good — a — a — satis- 
factory — satisfactory 

Tom. 
[In an audible whisper.] Account. 

AKTHtTR. 

Account of the way — of the way — in which I — in 

which [Loud applause.] Before I bring these 

observations to a conclusion, let me assure you that 
it has been a great privilege to me to meet — to have 
been thrown with — a band of artists — whose talents 
— whose striking talents — whose talents 

Tom. 
[Kindly, behind his hand.] Sit down. 

Arthur. 

[Helplessly.] Whose talents not only interest and 
instruct the — the more refined residents of this 
district, but whose talents 

Imogen. 
[Quietly to Colpoys.] Get him to sit down. 

Arthur. 
The fame of whose talents, I should say 



TBELA.WNY OF THE " WELLS." 51 

COLPOYS. 

[Quietly to Mrs. Mossop.J He's to sit down. Tell 
Mother Telfer. 

Arthur. 

The fame of whose talents has spread to — to 
regions 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Quietly to Mes. Telfer.] They say he's to sit 
down. 

Arthur. 
To — to quarters of the town— to quarters 

Mrs. Telfer. 
[2b Arthur.] Sit down! 

Arthxjr. 
Eh? 

Mrs. Telfer. 
You finished long ago. Sit down. 

Arthur. 

Thank you. I'm exceedingly sorry. Great 
Heavens, how wretchedly I've done it ! 

[He sits, burying his head in his haiids. 
More applause. 



52 trelawnt of the " wells." 

Telfer. 
Bose, my child. 

[Rose starts to her feet. The rest rise with 
her, and cheer again, and wave handker- 
chiefs. She goes from one to the other, 
round the table, embracing and kissing 
and crying over them all excitedly. 
Sarah is kissed, but upon Ablett is 
bestowed only a handshake, to his evident 
dissatisfaction. Imogen runs to the 
piano and strikes up the air of ' ' Ever of 
Thee.^^ When Rose gets back to the place 
she mounts her chair, with the aid of Tom 
and Telfer, and faces them with flashing 
eyes. They pull the flowers out of the 
vases and throw them at her. 

Rose. 

Mr. Telfer, Mrs. Telfer! My friends! Boys! 
Ladies and gentlemen! No, don't stop, Jenny! go 
on! [Singing, her arms stretched out to them.] 
" Ever of thee I'm fondly dreaming. Thy gentle 

voice " You remember ! the song I sang in The 

Peddler of Marseilles— which, made Arthur fall in 
love with me ! Well, I know I shall dream of you, 
of all of you, very often, as the song says. Don't 
believe [wiping away her tears], oh, don't believe 
that, because I shall have married a swell, you and 

the old "Wells "—the dear old "Wells " ! 

[Cheers. 



TBELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 53 

Rose. 

You and the old "Wells " will have become nothing 
to me ! No, many and many a night you will see me 
in the house, looking down at you from the Circle — 
me and my husband 

Arthub. 

Yes, yes, certainly! 

Rose. 

And if you sead for me I'll come behind the curtain 
to you, and sit with you and talk of bygone times, 
these times that end to-day. And shall I tell you the 
moments which will be the happiest to me in my life, 
however happy I may be with Arthur? Why, when- 
ever I find that I am recognized by people, and 
pointed out — people in the pit of a theatre, in the 
street, no matter where; and when I can fancy 
they're saying to each other, "Look! that was Miss 
Trelawny! you remember — Trelawny! Trelawny of 
the 'Wells!'" 

[They cry "Trelawny ! " and ' ' Trelawny of the 
* Wells ! ' " and again " Trelawny ! " 
wildly. Then there is the sound of a 
sharp rat-tat at the front door. Imogen 
leaves the piano and looks out of the 
window. 

Imogen. 
[2b somebody below.] What is it? 



64 TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

A Voice. 
Miss Trelawny, ma'am. We cau't wait. 

Rose. 

[Weakly.] Oh, help me down 

[TJiey assist her, and gather round her. 



END OF THE FIRST ACT. 



TEELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 55 



THE SECOND ACT. 

The scene represents a spacious drawing-room in a 
house in Cavendish Square. The walls are 
somber in tone, the ceiling dingy, the hangings, 
though rich, are faded, and altogether the ap- 
pearance of the room is solemn, formal, and 
depressing. On the right are folding-doors 
admitting to a further drawing-room. Beyond 
these is a single door. The ivall on the left is 
mainly occupied by three sash-windows. The 
wall facing the spectators is divided by two 
pilasters into three panels. On the center panel 
is a large mirror, reflecting the fireplace; on the 
right hangs a large oil painting — a portrait of 
Sir William Goiver in his judicial wig and 
robes. On the left hangs a companion picture— 
a portrait of Miss Goiver. In the corners of the 
room there are marble columns supporting 
classical busts, and between the doors stands 
another marble column, upon which is an oil 
lamp. Against the lower window there are two 
chairs and a card-table. Behind a further 
table supporting a lamp stands a three-fold 
screen. 

The lamps are lighted, but the curtains are not 
drawn, and outside the windows it is twilight. 



56 TRELAWNY OP THB " WELLS." 

[Sir William Gower ia seated, near a table, 
asleep, with a newspaper over his head, 
concealing his face. Miss Trafalgar 
Gower is sitting at the further end of a 
couch, also asleep, and with a newspaper 
over her head. At the lower end of this 
couch sits Mrs. de Fcenix— Clara— a 
young lady of nineteen, with a ' ' mar- 
' ried''^ air. She is engaged upon some 

crochet work. On the other side of the 
room, near a table, Rose is seated, wear- 
ing the look of a boredom which has 
reached the stony stage. On another 
couch Arthur sits, gazing at his boots, 
his hands in his pockets. On the right 
of this couch stands Captain de Fcenix, 
leaning against the wall, his mouth open, 
his head thrown back, and his eyes 
closed. De Foentx is a young man of 
seven-and-twenty — an example of the 
heavily -whiskered "' swell '''' of the period. 
Everybody is in dinner-dress. After a 
moment or two Arthur rises and tiptoes 
down to Rose. Clara raises a warning 
finger and says "'Hush!'''' He nods to 
her, in assent. 



Abthtjr. 
[On Rose's left — in a whisper.] Quiet, isn't it? 



teelawnt of the " wells." 57 

Rose. 

[To him, in a whisper.] Quiet! Arthur ! 

[Clutching his arm.] Oh, this dreadful half-hour 
after dinner, every, every evening ! 

Arthur. 

[Creeping across to the right of the table and sit- 
ting there.] Grandfather and Aunt Ti'afalgar must 
wake up soon. They're longer than usual to-night. 

Rose. 

[To him, across the table.] Your sister Clara, over 
tliere, and Captain de Foenix — when they were court- 
ing, did they have to go through this? 

Arthur. 
Yes. 

Rose. 

And now that they are married, they still endure 
it! 

Arthur. 
Yes. 

Rose, 

And we, when we are married, Arthur, shall 
we ? 

Arthur. 

Yes. I suppose so. 



58 TKELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

Rose. 
[Passing her hand across her broiv.] Phe — ew ! 
[De Fcenix, fast asleep, is now sicaying, and 
in danger of toppling over. Claea grasps 
the situation and rises. 

Claka. 
[In a guttural whisper. '\ Ah, Frederick! no, no, 
no! 

Rose and Arthur. 

[ Turning in their chairs. ] Eh— what ? ah — h 

— h— h! 

[As Clara reaches her husband, he lurches 
forward into her arms. 

De Fcenix. 
[His eyes bolting.] Oh! who f 

Clara. 
Frederick dear, wake ! 

De F(ENIx. 
[Dazed.] How did this occur? 

Clara. 
You were tottering, and I caught you. 

De Fcenix. 
[Collecting his senses.] I wemember. I placed 
myself in an upwight position, dearwest, to prevvent 
myself dozing. 



tbelawny of the " wells." 59 

Claka. 

[Sinking on to the couch.] How you alarmed met 
[Seeing that Rose is laughing, De Fcenix 
comes down to her. 

De FfENix. 

[In a low voice.] Might have been a very serwious 
accident, Miss Trelawny. 

Rose. 

[Seating herself on the footstool] Never mind! 
[Pointing to the chair she has vacated.] Sit down 
and talk. [He glances at the old people and shakes 
his head.] Oh, do, do, do! do sit down, and let us 
all have a jolly whisper. [He sits.] Thank you, 
Captain Fred. Go on! tell me something — any- 
thing ; something about the military 

De F(enix. 

[Again looking at the old people, then wagging 
his finger at Hos^.] I know; you want to get me 
into a wow. [Settling himself into his chair.] 
Howwid girl ! 

Rose, 
[Despairingly. ] Oh— h— h ! 

[There is a brief pause, and then the sound of 
a street-organ, playing in the distance, is 
heard. The air is " Ever of Thee." 



X 



60 tkelawnt op the " wells." 

Rose. 
Hark I [Excitedly. ] Hark 1 

Clara, Arthub, and De Fojiax. 



Hush I 



Rose. 



[Heedlessly.] The song I sang in The Peddler — 
The Peddler of Marseilles! the song that used 

to make you cry, Arthur ! [They attempt 

vainly to hush her down, hut she continues dra- 
matically, in hoarse whispers.] And then Raphael 
enters— comes on to the bridge. The music con- 
tinues, softly. "Raphael, why have you kept me 
waiting? Man, do you wish to break my heart — 
[thumping her breast] a woman's hear — r — rt, 
Raphael?" 

[Sir William and Miss Gower suddenly whip 
off their newspapers and sit erect. Sir 
William is a grim, bullet-headed old 
gentleman of about seventy ; Miss Gower 
a spare, prim lady, of gentle manners, 
verging upon sixty. They stare at each 
other for a moment, silently. 

Sir William. 
What a hideous riot, Trafalgar I 

Miss Gower. 
Rose, dear, I hope I have been mistaken — but 




ROSE TRELAWNY. 



TRELAWNT OP THE " WELLS." 61 

through my sleep I fancied I could hear you shriek- 
ing at the top of your voice. 

[Sir William gets on to his feet; all rise, 
except Rose, ivho remains seated sullenly. 

Sir WiLLLi^M. 

Trafalgar, it is becoming impossible for you and 
me to obtain repose. [Turni7ig his head sharply.] 
Ha! is not that a street-organ? [2b MiSS Gower.] 
An organ? 

Miss Gower. 

Undoubtedly. An organ in the Square, at this 
hour of the evening — singularly out of place ! 

Sir William. 

[LooJcing round.] Well, vsrell, well, does no one 
stir? 

Rose. 

[Under her breath.] Oh, don't stop it ! 

[Clara goes out quicJcly. With a great show 
of activity Arthur and De Fcenix hurry 
across the room and, when there, do 
nothing. 

Sir William. 

[Coming upon Rose and peering down at her.] 
What are ye upon the floor for, my dear? Have we 
no cheers? [To Miss Gower— producing his snuff- 
box.] Do we lack cheers here, Trafalgar? 



62 teelawny of the " wells." 

Miss Gower. 

[Going to Rose.] My dear Eose! [Raising her.] 
Come, come, come, this is quite out of place ! Young 
ladies do not crouch and huddle upon, the ground — 
do they, William? 

Sill William. 

[Taking snuff.] A moment ago I should have 
hazarded the opinion that they do not. [Chuckling 
unpleasantly.] He, he, he! 

[Clara returns. The organ music ceases 
abruptly. 

Clara. 

[Coming to Sir William.] Charles was just run- 
ning out to stop the organ when I reached the hall, 
grandpa. 

Sir "William. 

Ye'd surely no intention, Clara, of venturing, 
yourself, into the public street — the open Square ? 

Clara. 

[Faintly.] I meant only to wave at the man from 

the door 

Miss Gower. 

Oh, Clara, that would hardly have been in place! 
Sir William. 

[Raising his hands.] In mercy's name, Trafalgar, 
what is befalling my household? 



TEELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 63 
MlBS GOWEK. 

[Bursting into tears.] Oh, "William ! 

[Rose and Clara creep away and join the 
others. Miss Gower totters to Sir Wil- 
liam and drops her head upon his breast. 

Sm WiLLLAM, 

Tut, tut, tut, tut! 

Miss Gower, 

[Betiveen her sobs.] I — I — I — I know what is in 
your mind. 

Sir William. 

[Drawing a long breath.] Ah — h — h— hi 

Miss Gower. 
Oh, my dear brother, be patient ! 

Ser William. 

Patient ! 

Miss Gower. 

Forgive me; I should have said hopeful. Be 
hopeful that I shall yet succeed in ameliorating the 
disturbing conditions which are affecting us so 
cruelly. 

Sir William. 

Ye never will, Trafalgar ; Tve tried. 



64 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Miss Gower. 

Oh, do not despond already! I feel sure there are 
good higredients in Rose's character. [Clinging to 
hhn.] In time, William, we shall shape her to be a 

fitting wife for our rash and unfortunate Arthur 

[He shakes his head.] In time, William, in time! 

Sir William. 

[Soothing her.] Well, well, well! there, there, 
there! At least, my dear sister, I am perfectly 
aweer that I possess in you the woman above all 
others whose example should compel such a trans- 
formation. 

Miss Gower. 

[Throiving her arms about his neck.] Oh, brother, 
what a compliment 1 

Sir William. 
Tut, tut, tut! And now, before Charles sets the 
card-table, don't you think we had better — eh, Tra- 
falgar? 

Miss Gower. 

Yes, yes — our disagreeable duty; let us discharge 
it. [Sir William takes snuff.] Rose, dear, be 
seated. [To everybody.] The Vice Chancellor has 
something to say to us. Let us all be seated. 

[There is consternation among the young 
people. All sit. 



teelawny of the " wells." 65 

Sir William. 
[Peering about him.} Are ye seated? 

Everybody. 

Yes. 

Sir William. 

What I desire to say is this. When Miss Trelawny 
took up her residence here, it was thought proper, in 
the peculiar circumstances of the case, that you, 
Arthur — [pointing a finger at Arthur] you 

Arthur. 
Yes, sir. 

Sir William. 

That you should remove yourself to the establish- 
ment of your sister Clara and her husband in Holies 
Street, round the corner 

Arthur. 
Yes, sir. 

Clara. 
Yes, grandpa. 

De FffiNix. 
Certainly, Sir William. 

Sir William. 

Taking your food in this house, and spending other 
certain hours here, under the surveillance of your 
great-aunt Trafalgar. 



66 trelawny of the " wells." 

Miss Gower. 
Yes, William. 

Sir William. 

This was considered to be a decorous, and, toward 
Miss Trelawny, a highly respectful, course to pursue. 

Arthur. 
Yes, sir. 

Miss Gower. 
Any other course would have been out of place. 

Sir William. 

And jet— [again extending a finger at Arthur] 
what is this that is reported to me? 

Arthur. 

I don't know, sir. 

Sir William. 

I hear that ye have on several occasions, at night, 
after having quitted this house with Captain and 
Mrs. De Foenix, been seen on the other side of the 
way, your back against the railings, gazing up at 
Miss Trelawny's window; and that you have re- 
mained in that position for a considerable space of 
time. Is this true, sir? 

Rose. 
[Boldly.] Yes, Sir William. 



trelawny of thb " wells." 67 

Sir William. 

I venture to put a question to my grandson, Miss 
Trelawny. 

Arthur. 
Yes, sir, it is quite true. 

Sir William. 

Then, sir, let me acqueent you that these are not 
the manners, nor the practices, of a gentleman. 

Arthur. 
No, sir? 

Sir William. 

No, sir, they are the manners, and the practices, of 
a Troubadour. 

Miss Gower. 

A troubadour in Cavendish Square! quite out of 
place ! 

Arthur. 

I — I'm very sorry, sir; I — I never looked at it in 
that light. 

Sir William. 
[Snuffing.] Ah— h — h— h! ho! pi — i — i — sh! 
Arthur. 

But at the same time, sir, I dare say — of course I 
don't speak from precise knowledge — but I dare say 
there were a good many — a good many 



68 trelawny of the " wells." 

Sir William. 

Good many — what sir? 

Arthur. 

A good many very respectable troubadours, 

sir 

Rose. 

[Starting to her feet, heroically and defiantly.] 
And what I wish to say, Sir William, is this. I wish 
to avow, to declare before the world, that Arthur 
and I have had many lengthy interviews while he 
has been stationed against those railings over there ; 
I murmuring to him softly from my bedroom win- 
dow, he responding in tremulous whispers 

Sir William. 

[Struggling to his feet]. You— you tell me such 

things ! [All rise. 

Miss Gower. 

The Square, in which we have resided for 
years ! Our neighbors ! 

Sir William. 

[Shaking a trembling hand at Arthur. ] The— the 
character of my house ! 

Arthur. 

Again I am extremely sorry, sir — but these are the 
only confidential conversations Eose and I now 
enjoy. 



trelawny of the " wells." 69 

Sir William. 

{Turning upon Clara and De Fcenix. ] And you, 
Captain de Foenix — an officer and a gentleman ! 
and you, Clara! this could scarcely have been 
without your cognizance, without, perhaps, your 
approval ! 

[Charles, in plush and powder and ivearing 
luxuriant ivhiskers, enters, carrying two 
branch candlesticks with lighted candles. 

Charles, 
The cawd-table. Sir William? 

Miss Gower. 

[Agitatedly.] Yes, yes, by all means, Charles; 
the card-table, as usual. [To SiR William.] A rub- 
ber will comfoi't you, soothe you 

FCharles carries the candlesticks to the card- 
table, Sir William and Miss Gower seat 
themselves upon a couch, she icith her arm 
through his affectionately. Clara ayid 
De Fcenix get behind the screen; their 
scared faces are seen occasionally over 
the top of it. Charles brings the card- 
table, opens it and arranges it, placing 
four chairs, ichich he collects from differ- 
ent parts of the room, round the table. 
Rose and Arthur talk in rapid U7ider- 
tones. 



70 TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Rose, 
Infamous ! infamous ! 

Arthur. 
Be calm, Rose, dear, be calm ! 

Rose. 
Tyrannical ! diabolical ! I cannot endure it. 

[She throivs herself into a chair. He stands 
behind her, apprehensively, endeavoring 
to calm her. 

Arthur. 
[Over her shoulder.] They mean well, dearest 

Rose. 
[Hysterically.] Well! ha, ha, ha! 

Arthur. 
But they are rather old-fashioned people 



Rose. 

Old-fashioned ! they belong to the time when men 
and women were put to the torture. I am being 
tortured — mentally tortured 

Arthur. 
They have not many more years in this world 



teelawnt of the " wells." 71 

Rose. 

Nor I, at this rate, many more months. They are 
killing me — like Agnes in The Specter of St. Ives. 
She expires, in the fourth act, as I shall die in 
Cavendish Square, painfully, of no recognized 
disordei' 

Arthtr. 
And anything we can do to make them happy 

Rose. 

To make the Vice Chancellor happy ! I won't try ! 
I will not ! he's a fiend, a vampire ! 

Arthur. 
Oh, hush ! 

Rose. 

[Snatching up Sir William's snuff-box, ivhich he 
has left upon the table.] His snuff-box ! I wish I 
could poison his snuff, as Lucrezia Borgia would 
have done. She would have removed him within 
two hours of my arrival — I mean, her arrival. 
[Opening the snuff-box and mimicking Sir William.] 
And here he sits and lectures me, and dictates to me ! 
to Miss Trelawny ! "I venture to put a question to 
my grandson, Miss Trelawny!" Ha, ha! [Taking 
a pinch of snuff, thoughtlessly but vigorously.] 
" Yah— h— h — h! pish! Have we no cheers ? do we 
lack cheers here, Trafalgar? " [Suddenly.] Oh ! 



72 TRELAWNT OP THE " WELLS." 

AUTHUR. 

What have you done? 

Rose. 

[In suspense, replacing the snuff-box.] The 

snuff ! 

Arthub. 
Rose, dear ! 

Robe. 

[Putting her handkerchief to her nose, and ris- 
ing.] Ah ! 

[Charles, having prepared the card-table, 
and arranged the candlesticks upon it, 
has withdrawn. Miss GowER and SiR 
William now rise. 

Miss Gower. 

The table is prepared, William. Arthur, I assume 
you would prefer to sit and contemplate Rose ? 

Arthur. 
Thank you, aunt. 

[Rose sneezes violently, and is led away, 
helplessly, by Arthur. 

Miss Gower. 

[ To Rose. ] Oh, my dear child ! [Looking round.] 
Where are Frederick and Clara? 



teelawny of the " wells." 73 

Clara and De Fcentx. 

[Appearing from behind the screen, shamefacedly.] 
Here. 

[The intending players cut thepacJc and seat 
themselves. Sir William sits facing 
Captain de Fcenix, Miss Gower on the 
right of the table, and Clara on the left. 

Arthur. 
[While this is going on, to Rose.] Are you in 
paiu, dearest? Rose ! 

Rose. 
Agony ! 

Arthur. 

Pinch your upper lip 

[She sneezes twice, loudly, and sinks back upon 
the couch. 

Sir William:, 

[Testily.] Sssh! sssh! sssli ! this is to be whist, I 
hope. 

Miss GOWER. 

Rose, Rose ! young ladies do not sneeze quite so 
continuously. [De Fcenix is dealing. 

Sir William. 

[With gusto.] I will thank you. Captain de 
Fcenix, to exercise your intelligence this evening to 
its furthest limit. 



V4 TRBLAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

De Fcenix. 

I'll twy, sir. 

Sir William. 

[Laughing unpleasantly.] He, he, he ! last night» 
sir 

Clara. 
Poor Frederick had toothache last night, grandpa. 

Sir William. 

[Tartly.] Whist is whist, Clara, and toothache is 
toothache. We will endeavor to keep the two things 
distinct, if you please. He, he ! 

Miss Gower. 

Your interruption was hardly in place, Clara, dear, 
—ah! 

De Fcenix. 
Hey! what ? 

Miss Gower. 
A misdeal. 

Clara. 
[Faintly.] Oh, Frederick ! 

Sir William. 
[Partly rising.] Captain de Fcenix ! 




CO 

Pi 

o 

o 

X 

< 

C 

< 

W 

< 

u 

o 



TBELAWNT OF THB " WELLS." 75 

De Fcenix. 

I — I'm fwightfully gwieved, sir 

[The cards are re-dealt by Miss Gower. Rose 
now gives way to a violent paroxysm of 
sneezing. Sir William rises. 

Miss Gower. 

William ! [ The players rise. 

Sir William. 

[2b the players.] Is this whist, may I ask? 

[They sit. 
Sir William. 
[Standing.] Miss Trelawny 

Rose. 

[Weakly.] I— I think I had better— what d'ye call 
it? — withdraw for a few moments. 

Sir William. 
[Sitting again.] Do so. 

[Rose disappears. Arthur is leaving the 
room with her. 

Miss Gower. 
[Sharply.] Arthur! where are you going? 

Arthur. 
[Returning promptly.] I beg your pardon, aunt. 



76 tkelawny of the " wells." 

Miss Goweb. 
Really, Arthur ! 

SiK William. 
[Rapping upon the table.] Tsch, tsch, tsch 1 

Miss Gower. 
Forgive me, William. [They play. 

Sir William. 

[Intent upon his cards.] My snuff-box, Arthur; 
be so obleegiug as to search for it. 

Arthur. 

[Brightly.] I'll bring it to you, sir. It is on 
the 

Sir William. 

Keep your voice down, sir. We are playing — 
[emphatically throwing down a card, as fourth 
player] whist. Mine. 

Miss Gower. 
[Picking up the trick.] No, William. 

Sir William, 
[Glaring.] No! 

Miss GOWEE. 
Clara played a trump. 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 77 

DE F(ENIX. 

Yes, sir, Clara played a trump — the seven 

Sir William. 

I will not trouble you, Captain de Foenix, to echo 
Miss Gower's information. 

De Fcenix. 
Vevy sowwy, sir. 

Miss Gower. 
[Gently.] It ivas a little out of place, Frederick. 

Sir William. 

Sssh! whist. [Arthur is now on Sir William's 
right, with the snuff-box.] Eh? what? [Talcing the 
snuff-box from Arthur.] Oh, thank ye. Much 
obleeged, much obleeged. 

[Arthur walJcs aivay and picks up a booh. 
Sir William turns in his chair, watching 
Arthur. 

Miss Gower. 

You to play, William. [A paused William, 

dear ? 

[She also turns, following the direction of his 
gaze. Laying down his cards, Sir Wil- 
liam leaves the card-table and goes over to 
Arthur slowly. Those at the card-table 
look on apprehensively. 



78 trelawny of the " "wells." 

Sib Willtam, 
[In a queer voice.] Arthur. 
Arthur. 
[Shutting his book.] Excuse me, grandfather. 

Sir William. 
Ye — ye're a troublesome young man, Arthur. 

Arthur. 
I — I don't mean to be one, sir. 
Sir William, 

As your poor father was, before ye. And if you 
are fool enough to marry, and to beget children, 
doubtless your son will follow the same course. 
[Taking snuff.] Y — y — yes, but I shall be dead 'n' 
gone by that time, it's likely. Ah— h — h — h! 
pi — i — i — sh ! I shall be sitting in the Court Above by 

that time [From the adjoining room comes the 

sound of Rose's voice singing ^' Ever of Thee^'' to 
the piano. There is great consternation at the 
card-table. Arthur is moving towards the folding- 
doors, Sir William detains him.] No, no, let her 
go on, I beg. Let her continue. [Returning to the 
cardrtable, with deadly calmness.] We will sus- 
pend our game while this young lady performs her 
operas. 

Miss Gower. 

[Rising and taking his arm.] William 1 



TEELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 79 

Sir William. 

[In the same tone.] I fear this is no longer a com- 
fortable home for ye, Trafalgar ; no longer the home 
for a gentlewoman. I apprehend that in these days 
my house approaches somewhat closely to a Pande- 
monium. [Suddenly taking up the cards, in a fury, 
and flinging them across the roo7n.] And this is 
whist — whist ! 

[Clara and De Fcenix rise and stand together. 
Arthur pushes open the upper part of the 
folding-doors. 

Arthtir. 
Bose! stop! Bose! 

[The song ceases and Rose appears. 

Rose. 
[At the folding-doors.] Did anyone call? 

Arthur. 
You have upset my grandfather. 

Miss GOWER. 

Miss Trelawny, how — how dare you do anything 
so — so out of place? 

Hose. 
There's a piano in there, Miss Gower. 



80 teelawny of the " wells." 

Miss Gower. 

You are acquainted with the rule of this house- 
hold — no music when the Vice Chancellor is within 
doors. 

Rose. 

But there are so many rules. One of them is that 
you may not sneeze. 

Miss Gower. 

Ha ! you must never answer 

Rose. 

No, that's another rule. 

Miss Goweb. 
Oh, for shame! 

Aethttr. 

You see, aunt, Rose is young, and — and — you 
make no allowance for her, give her no chance 

Miss Gower. 
Great Heaven ! what is this you are charging me 
with? 

Arthitr. 

I don't think the "rules " of this house are fair to 
Rose ! oh, I must say it — they are horribly unfair 1 

Miss Gower. 
[Clinging to Sir William.] Brother I 



teelawny of the " wells." 81 

Sir William. 

Trafalgar ! [Putting her aside and advancing to 
Arthur.] Oh, indeed, sir! and so you deliberately 
accuse your great-aunt of acting toward ye and Miss 
Trelawny maid fide 

Arthttr. 
Grandfather, what I intended to 

Sir William. 

I will afford ye the opportunity of explaining what 
ye intended to convey, downstairs, at once, in the 
library. [A general shudder.] Obleege me by fol- 
lowing me, sir. [To Clara a7id De Fcenix.] Cap- 
tain de Fcenix, I see no prospect of any further social 
relaxation this evening. You and Clara will do me 
the favor of attending in the hall, in readiness to take 
this young man back to Holies Street. [Giving his 

arm to Miss Gower.] My dear sister [To 

Arthur.] Now, sir. 

[Sir William and Miss Gower go out. 
Arthur comes to Rose and kisses her. 

Arthur. 

Good-night, dearest. Oh, good-night! Oh, 
Rose ! 

Sir William. 
[Outside the door.] Mr. Arthur Gower! 



82 TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

Arthttr. 
I am coming, sir [He goes out quickly. 

De Foenix. 

[Approaching Rose and taking her hand sympa- 
thetically.] Haw ! I — weally — haw! 

Rose. 

Yes, I know what you would say. Thank you, 
Captain Fred. 

Clara. 

[Embracing Rose.] Never mind! we will con- 
tinue to let Arthur out at night as usual. I am a 
married woman ! [joining De Fcenix], and a married 
woman will turn, if you tread upon her often 

enough ! 

[De Fcenix and Clara depart. 

Rose. 

[Pacing the room, shaking her hands in the air 
desperately.'] Oh — h — h! ah — h — h! 

[The upper part of the folding-doors opens, 
and Charles appears. 

Charles. 
[Mysteriously.] Miss Rose 

Rose. 
What ? 



tbelawnt op the " wells." 83 

Chaeles. 

[Advancing.] I see Sir William h'and the rest 
descend the stairs. I 'ave been awaitin' the chawnce 
of 'andin' you this, Miss Rose. 

[He produces a dirty scrap of paper, ivet and 
limp, with writing upon it, and gives it to 
her. 

Rose. 

[Handling it daintly.] Oh, it's damp ! 

Charles. 

Yes, miss ; a little gentle shower 'ave been takin' 
place h'outside — 'eat spots, cook says. 

Rose. 

[Reading.] Ah ! from some of my friends. 

Chables. 

[Behind his hand.] Perfesshunnal, Miss Rose? 

Rose. 

[Intent upon the note.] Yes— yes 

Charles. 

I was reprimandin' the organ, miss, when I 
observed them lollin' against the square railin's 
examinin' h'our premises, and they wentured for to 
beckon me. An egstremely h'afFable party, miss. 
[Hiding his face.] Ho! one of them caused me to 
laflei 



84 trelawnt of the " wells." 

Rose. 

[Excitedly.] They want to speak to mQ— [refer- 
ring to the note] to impart something to me of an 
important nature. Oh, Charles, I know not what 
to do! 

CnARLES. 

[Languishingly .] Whatever friends may loll 
against tliem railin's h'opposite, Miss Rose, you 'ave 
one true friend in this 'ouse — Chawles Gibbons 

Rose. 

Thank you, Charles. Mr. Briggs, the butler, is 
sleeping out to-night, isn't he? 

Charles. 

Yes, miss, he 'ave leave to sleep at his sister's. I 
'appen to know he 'ave gone to Cremorne. 

Rose. 

Then, when Sir William and Miss Gower have 
retired, do you think you could let me go forth ; and 
wait at the front door while I run across and grant 
my friends a hurried interview? 

Chakles. 
Suttingly, miss. 

Rose. 

If it reached the ears of Sir William, or Miss 
Gower, you would lose your place, Charles ! 



trelawny of the " wells." 85 

Chaeles. 

[Hatightily.] I'm aweer, miss; but Sir William 
was egstremely rood to me dooring dinner, over that 

mis'ap to the ontray [A bell rings violently. 

S'william ! 

[He goes out. The rain is heard pattering 
against the windoiv panes. Rose goes 
from one ivindoiv to another, looking out. 
It is now almost black outside the 
windows. 

Rose. 

[Discovering her friends.'] Ah! yes, yes! ah— h — 
h — h ! [She snatches an antimacassar fi^om a chair 
and jumping onto the couch, ivaves it frantically 
to those outside.] The dears ! the darlings ! the faith- 
ful creatures 1 [Listening.] Oh ! 

[She descends, in a hurry, and flings the anti- 
macassar under the couch, as Miss 
GowER enters. At the same moment 
there is a vivid flash of lightning. 

Miss Gower. 

[Startled.] Oh, how dreadful! [To Rose, 
frigidly.] The Vice Chancellor has felt the few 
words he has addressed to Arthur, and has retired 
for the night. [Tliere is a roll of thunder. Rose 
alarmed, Miss Gower clings to a chair.] Mercy on 
us! Go to bed, child, directly. We will all go to 
our beds, hoping to awake to-morrow in a meeker 



86 TEBLAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

and more submissive spirit. [Kissing Rose upon the 
broiv.] Good-niglit. [Another flash of lightning.] 

Oh ! Don't omit to say your prayers, Rose — and 

in a simple manner. I always fear that, from your 
peculiar training, you may declaim them. That is 

so out of place— oh ! 

[Another roll of thunder. Rose goes across 
the room, meeting Charles, tvho enters 
carrying a lantern. They exchange 
significant glances, and she disappears. 

Charles. 

[Coming to Miss Gower.] I am now at liberty to 

accompany you round the 'ouse, ma'am 

[A flash of lightning. 

Miss GoWER. 

Ah ! [Her hand to her heart.'] Thank you, 

Charles — but to-night I must ask you to see that 
everything is secure, alone. This storm — so very 

seasonable; but, from girlhood, I could never 

[A roll of thunder.] Oh, good-night ! 

[She flutters away. The rain heats still more 
violently upon the window panes. 

Charles. 

[Glancing at the window.] Ph— e— e— w! Great 
'evans ! 

[He is dropping the curtains at the window 
when Rose appears at the folding-doors. 



TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 87 

ROSB. 

[In a whisper.] Charles! 

Chables. 
Miss? 

Rose. 

[Coming into the room, distractedly.] Miss 
Gower has gone to bed. 

Charles. 

Yes, miss— oh ! [A flash of lightning. 

Rose. 
Oh ! my friends ! my poor friends ! 

Charles. 

H^and Mr. Briggs at Cremorne! Reelly, I should 
'ardly advise you to wenture h'out, miss 

Rose. 
Out ! no ! Oh, but get them in ! 

Charles. 
In, Miss Rose ! indoors ! 

Rose. 

Under cover [A roll of thunder.] Oh! 

[Wringing her hands.] They are my friends ! is it 
a rule that I am never to see a friend, that I mayn't 
even give a friend shelter in a violent storm? [To 
Charles.] Are you the only one up? 



88 TEBLAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

Chaeles. 

I b'lieve so, miss. Any'ow the wimming-servants 
is quite h'under my control. 

Rose. 

Then tell my friends to be deathly quiet, and to 

creep — to tip-toe [The rain strikes the window 

again. She picks up the lantern which Charles 
has deposited upon the floor, and gives it to him. 

Make haste ! I'll draw the curtains [-He hurries 

out. She goes from window to window, dropping 
the curtains, talking to herself excitedly as she does 
so.^ My friends! my own friends! ah! I'm not to 
sneeze in this house ! nor to sing ! or breathe, next ! 
wretches ! oh, my ! wretches ! [Blowing out the can- 
dles and removing the candlesticks to the table, 
singing, under her breath, wildly.'] "Ever of thee 

I'm fondly dreaming " [Mimicking Sir William 

again.] " What are ye upon the floor for, my dear? 
Have we no cheers? do we lack cheers here, Trafal- 
gar ? " [Charles returns. 

Chaeles. 

[To those ^vho follow him.] Hush! [To Eosb.] I 

discovered 'em clustered in the doorway 

[There is a final peal of thunder as Avonia, 
Gadd, Colpoys, and Tom Wrench enter, 
somewhat diffidently. They are appar- 
ently soaked to their skins, and are alto- 
gether in a deplorable condition. Avonia 




AVONIA BUNN. 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 89 

alone has an umbrella, which she allows 
to drip upon the carpet, but her dress and 
petticoats are bedraggled, her finery limp, 
her hair lank and loose. 

Rose. 



'Vonia I 



AVONIA. 

[Coming to her, and embracing her fervently. "l 

Oh, ducky, ducky, ducky ! oh, but what a storm ! 

Rose. 

Hush ! how wet you are ! [Shaking hands with 
Gadd] Ferdinand — [crossing to Colpoys and shak- 
ing hands with him] Augustus — [shaking hands with 
Tom] Tom Wrench 

AVONIA. 

[To Charles.] Be so kind as to put my umbrella 
on the landing, will you ? Oh, thank you very much, 
I'm sure. 

[Charles ivithdraws with the umbrella. Gadd 
and Colpoys shake the rain from their 
hats on to the carpet and furniture. 

Tom. 

[Quietly, to Rose.] It's a shame to come down on 
you in this way. But they would do it, and I thought 
I'd better stick to 'em. 



90 TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

Gadd. 

[ Who is a little flushed and unsteady.] Ha I I shall 
remember this accursed evening. 

AVONIA, 

Oh, Ferdy ! 

Rose. 

Hush ! you must be quiet. Everybody has gone to 
bed, and I — I'm not sure I'm allowed to receive visi- 
tors 

AVONIA. 

Oh! 

Gadd. 

Then we are intruders? 

Rose. 
I mean, such late visitors. 

[CoLPOYS has taken off his coat, and is shale- 
ing it vigorously. 

AVONIA. 

Stop it, Aup^ustus! ain't I wet enough? [To Rose.] 
Yes, it is latisli, but I so wanted to inform you — hero 
— [bringiug Gadd forward] allow me to introduce 
— my husband. 

Rose. 

Oil! no! 

AVONIA. 

[Livghing merrily,'] Yes, ha, ha, hal 



tkelawny of the " wells." 91 

Rose. 
Sssh, sssh, sssli! 

AVONIA. 

I forgot. [To Gadd.] Oh, darling Ferdy, you're 
positively soaked ! [To Rose.] Do let him take his 
coat oif , like Gussy 

Gadd. 
[Jealously.] 'Vonia, not so much of the Gussy ! 

AVONIA. 

There you are, flying out again ! as if Mr. Colpoys 
wasn't an old friend ! 

Gadd. 
Old friend or no old friend 

Rose, 

[Diplomatically.] Certainly, take your coat off, 
Ferdinand. 

[Gadd Joins Colpoys ; they spread out their 
coats upon the couch. 

Rose. 
[Feeling Tom's coat sleeve.] And you ? 

Tom. 

[After glancing at the others— quietly.] No, thank 
you. 



92 TBELAWNY OF THE " WELLS. 

AVONIA. 

[Sitting.] Yes, dearie, Ferdy and I were married 
yesterday. 

Rose. 

[Sitting.] Yesterday! 

AVONIA. 

Yesterday morning. We're on our honeymoon 
now. You know, the " Wells " shut a fortnight after 
you left us, and neither Ferdy nor me could fix any- 
thing, just for the present, elsewhere; and as we 
hadn't put by during the season — you know it never 
struck us to put by during the season — we thought 
we'd get married. 

Rose. 

Oh, yes. 

AVONIA. 

You see, a man and his wife can live almost on 
what keeps one, rent and ceterer; and so, being 
deeply attached, as I tell you, we went off to church 
and did the deed. Oh, it will be such a save. [Look- 
ing up at Gadd coyly.] Oh, Ferdy ! 

Gadd. 

[Laying his hand upon her head, dreamily. ] Yes, 
child, I confess I love you 

COLPOTS. 

[Behind Rose, imitating Gadd.] Child, I confess 
I adore you. 



tbblawny of the " wells." 93 

Tom. 

[Taking Colpoys by the arm and swinging him 
away from Rose.] Enough of that, Colpoys ! 

COLPOTB. 

What! 

Rose. 
[Rising.] Hush! 

Tom. 

[Under his breath.] If youVe never learnt how to 

behave 

Colpoys. 

Don't you teach behavior, sir, to a gentleman who 
plays a superior line of business to yourself ! [Mut- 
tering.] Ton my soul ! rum start ! 

AVONIA. 

[Going to Rose.] Of course I ought to have writ- 
ten to you, dear, properly, but you remember the 

weeks it takes me to write a letter [Gadd sits in 

the chair Avonia has just quitted ; she returns and 
seats herself upon his knee.] And so I said to Ferdy, 
over tea, "Ferdy, let's spend a bit of our honeymoon 
in doing the West End thoroughly, and going and 
seeing where Rose Trelawny lives." And we thought 
it only nice and polite to invite Tom Wrench and 

Gussy 

Gadd. 

'Vonia, much less of the Gussy I 



94 TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

AVONIA. 

[Kissing Gadd. ] Jealous boy ! [Beaming.'] Oh, 
and we have done the West End thoroughly. There, 
I've never done the West End so thoroughly in my 
life! And when we got outside your house I couldn't 
resist. [Her hand on Gadd's shirt sleeve.] Oh, 
gracious! I'm sure you'll catch your death, my 

darling ! 

Rose. 

I think I can get him some wine. [To Gadd.] 
Will you take some wine, Ferdinand ? 

[Gadd rises, nearly upsetting Avonia . 

AVONIA. 

Ferdy ! 

Gadd. 

I thank you. [With a wave of the hand.} Any- 
thing, anything 

Avonia. 

[To Rose.] Anything that goes with stout, dear. 

Rose. 

[At the door, turning to them.] 'Vonia— boys— be 
very still. 

Avonia. 
Trust us ! 

[Rose tiptoes out. Colpoys is now at the 
card-table, cutting a pack of cards which 
remains there. 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 95 

COLPOYS. 

[To Gadd.] Gadd, I'll see you for pennies. 

Gadd. 
[Loftily.] Done, sir, with you ! 

[They seat themselves at the table, and cut for 
coppers. Tom is walking about, survey- 
ing the room. 

AVONIA. 

[Taking off her hat and wiping it with her hand- 
kerchief.] Well, Thomas, what do you think of it? 

Tom. 
This is the kind of chamber I want for the first act 
of ray comedy 

AVONIA. 

Oh, lor', your head's continually running on your 
comedy. Half this blessed evening 

Tom. 

I tell you, I won't have doors stuck here, there, and 
everywhere ; no, nor windows in all sorts of impos- 
sible places I 

AVONIA. 

Oh, really ! Well, when you do get your play ac- 
cepted, mind you see that Mr. Manager gives you 
exactly what you ask for — won't you? 



So TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS. ' 

Tom. 

You needn't be satirical, if you are wet. Yes, I 
will! [Pointing to the left.] Windows on the one 
side [pointing to the right], doors on the other — 
just where they should be, architecturally. And 
locks on the doors, real locks, to work ; and handles — 
to turn ! [Rubbing his hands together gleefully.] 

Ha, ha ! you wait ! wait ! 

[Rose re-enters, with a plate of biscuits in her 
hand, followed by Charles, who carries a 
decanter of sherry and some wine-glasses. 

Rose. 
Here, Charles 

[Charles places the decanter and the glasses 
on the table. 

Gadd. 

[ Whose lucJc has been against him, throwing him- 
self, sulkily, onto the couch.] Bah ! I'll risk no further 
stake. 

COLPOYS. 

Just because you lose sevenpence in coppers you go 
on like this ! 

[Charles, turning from the table, faces 

COLPOYS. 

COLPOYS. 

[Tearing his hair, and glaring at Charles 
wildly.] Ah — h — h, I am ruined! I have lost my 
all ! my children are beggars 1 



teelawnt of the " wells. 97 

Charles. 
Ho, ho, ho! he, he, he! 

Rose. 

Hush, hush! [Charles goes out laughing. To 
everybody.] Sherry? 

Gadd. 
[Rising.] Sherry! 

[AvoNiA, CoLPOYS, and Gadd gather round the 
table, and help themselves to sherry and 
biscuits. 

Rose. 
[To Tom.] Tom, won't you ? 

Tom. 
[Watching Gadd anxiously.] No, thank you. 
The fact is, we — we have already partaken of refresh- 
ments, once or twice during the evening 

[CoLPOYS and Avonia, each carrying a glass 
of wine and munching a biscuit, go to the 
couch, ivhere they sit. 

Gadd. 

[Pouring out sherry— singing.] "And let me the 
canakin clink, clink " 

Rose. 
[Coming to him.^ Be quiet, Gadd! 



98 TBBLAWNY OP THE " WELLS." 

COLPOYS. 

[Raising his glass.] The Bride 1 

Rose. 

[Turning, kissing her hand to Avonia.] Yes, 

yes [GrADD hands Rose his glass ; she puts her 

lips to it] The Bride ! 

[She returns the glass to Gadd. 

Gadd. 
[Sitting.] My bride ! 

[Tom, from behind the table, unperceived, 
takes the decanter and hides it under the 
table, then sits. Gadd, missing the de- 
canter, contents himself with the biscuits. 

Avonia. 

Well, Rose, my darling, we've been talking about 
nothing but ourselves. How are you getting along 
here? 

Rose. 

Getting along? oh, I— I don't fancy I'm getting 
along very well, thank you! 

CoLPOYS AND Avonia. 

Not ! 

Gadd. 
[His mouth full of biscuit.] Not 1 



trelawnt of the " wells." 99 

Rose. 

[Sitting by the card-table.] No, boys ; no 'Vonia. 
The truth is, it isn't as nice as you'd think it. I sup- 
pose the Profession had its drawbacks — mother used 
to say so — but [raising her arms] one could fly. 
Yes, in Brydon Crescent one was a dirty little Lon- 
don sparrow, perhaps; but here, in this grand 

square ! Oh, it's the story of the caged bird, over 

again. 

AVONIA. 

A love-bird, though. 

Rose. 

Poor Arthur? yes, he's a dear. [Rising.] But the 
Gowers — the old Gowers ! the Gowers ! the Gowers ! 

[She paces the room, beating her hands to- 
gether. In her excitement, she ceases to 
whisper, and gradually becomes loud and 
voluble. The others, following her lead, 
chatter noisily — excepting Tom, who sits, 
thoughtfully, looking before him. 

Rose. 
The ancient Gowers ! the venerable Gowers ! 

AVONIA. 

You mean, the grandfather ? 

Rose. 
And the aunt — the great-aunt — the great bore of a 



100 TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

great-aunt! The very mention of 'em makes some- 
thing go " tap, tap, tap, tap" at the top of my head. 

AVONIA. 

Oh, I am sorry to hear this. Well, upon my 
word ! 

Rose. 

Would you believe it? 'Vonia — boys — you'll never 
believe it! I mayn't walk out with Arthur alone, 
nor see him here alone. I mayn't sing; no, nor 
sneeze even 

AVONIA. 

[Shrilly.] Not sing or sneeze ! 

COLPOYS. 

[Indignantly. ] Not sneeze ! 

Rose. 
No, nor sit on the floor — the floor ! 

AVONIA. 

Why, when we shared rooms together, you were 
always on the floor ! 

Gadd. 

[Producing a pipe, and JcnocJcing out the ashes on 
the heel of his boot.] In Heaven's name, what kind 
of house can this be ! 



TRELAWNY OP THE " WELLS." 101 

AVONIA. 

I wouldn't stand it, would you, Ferdinand? 

Gadd. 
[Loading his pipe.] Gad, no ! 

AVONIA. 

[To COLPOYS.] Would you, Gus, dear? 

Gadd. 

[Under his breath.] Here! not so much of the Gus 
dear 

AVONIA. 

[To CoLPOYS.] Would you ? 

COLPOTS. 

No, I'm blessed if I would, my darling. 

Gadd. 

[His pipe in his mouth.] Mr. Colpoys! less of the 
darling! 

AVONIA. 

[Rising.] Rose, don't you put up with it! [Strik- 
ing the top of the card-table vigorously.] I say, 
don't you stand it! [Embracing Rose.] You're an 
independent girl, dear; they came to you, these peo- 
ple ; not you to them, remember. 



102 teelawny of the " wells." 

Rose. 

[Sitting on the couch.] Oh, what can I do ? I 
can't do anything. 

AVONIA. 

Can't you I [Coming to Gadd.] Ferdinand, ad- 
vise her. You tell her how to 

Gadd. 

[Who has risen.] Miss Bunn — Mrs. Gadd, you have 
been all over Mr. Colpoys this evening, ever since 
we 

AVONIA. 

[Angrily, pushing him back into his chair.] Oh, 
don't be a silly ! 

Gadd. 

Madam ! 

AVONIA. 

[Returning to CoJJPOYS.] Gus, Ferdinand's foolish. 
Come and talk to Eose, and advise her, there's a dear 
boy 

[Colpoys rises; she takes his arm, to lead him 
to Eose. At that moment Gadd advances 
to Colpoys and slaps his face violently. 

Colpoys. 
Hev ! 



trelawnt of the " wells." 103 

Gadd. 
Miserable viper ! 

The two men close. Tom runs to separate 
them. EosE rises ivith a cry of terror. 
There is a struggle and general uproar. 
The card-fable is overturned, with a crash, 
and AvoNiA utters a long and piercing 
shriek. Then the house-hells are heard 
ringing violently. 

Rose. 

Oh ! [The combatants part; all look scared. 

At the door, listening.] They are moving — coming! 

Turn out the ! 

[She turns out the light at the table. The 
room is hi half-light as Sir William en- 
ters, cautiously, closely foUoived by Miss 
GowER. They are both in dressing-gowns 
and slippers; Sir William carries a thick 
stick and his bedroom candle. Eose is 
standing by a chair; G-add, Avonia, 
CoLPOYS, and Tom are together. 

Sir William. 
Miss Trelawny ! 

Miss Gowek. 
Rose ! [Running behind the screen.] Men ! 

SiK William. 
Who are these people? 



104 TBELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Rose. 
[Advancing a step or two.] Some friends of mine 
who used to be at the " Wells " have called upon 
me, to inquire how I am getting on. 

[Arthur enters, quickly. 

Akthur. 
[Loohing round.} Oh! Rose ! 



Sir William. 

{Turning upon him.] Ah — h — h — h! How come 
you here? 

Arthur. 

I was outside the house. Charles let me in, know- 
ing something was wrong. 

Sir William. 
{Peering into his face.] Troubadouring ? 

Arthur. 

Troubadouring; yes, sir. [To RoSE.] Rose, what 
is this? 

Sir William. 

{Fiercely.] No, sir, this is my affair. {Placing 
his candlestick on the table.] Stand aside! {Rais- 
ing his stick furiously.] Stand aside ! 

[Arthur moves to the right. 



trelawnt of the " wells." 105 

Miss Gowek. 

[Over the screen.] William 

Sib William. 
Hey? 

Miss Goweb. 
Your ankles 

Sib William. 

[Adjusting his dressing-gown.] I beg your pardon. 
[2h Arthur.] Yes, I can answer your question. 
[Pointing his stick, first at Rose, then at the group.] 
Some friends of that young woman's connected with 
— the playhouse, have favored us with a visit, for 
the purpose of ascertaining how she is — getting on. 
[Touching Gadd's pipe, which is lying at his feet, 
with the end of his stick.] A filthy tobacco-pipe. 
To whom does it belong? whose is it? 

[Rose picks it up and passes it to Gadd, 
bravely. 

Rose. 
It belongs to one of my friends. 
Sir William. 
[Taking GtADD^s empty ivine-glass and holding it to 
his nose.] Phu, yes! In brief, a drunken debauch. 
[To the group.] So ye see, gentlemen — [to Avonla] 
and you, madam; [fo Arthur] and you, sir; you see, 
all of ye, [sinking into a chair, and coughing from 
exhaustion] exactly how Miss Trelawny is getting on. 



106 TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

Miss Gower. 
[Over the screen.] William 

Sin William. 
What is it? 

Miss Gower. 
Your ankles 

Sir William. 
[Leaping to his feet, in a frenzy.] Bah! 

Miss Gower. 
Oh, they seem so out of place ! 

Sir William. 

[Flourishing his sticJc — to the group down L.] Be- 
gone! a set of garish, dissolute gypsies! begone! 

[Gadd, Avonia, Colpoys, and Wrench 
gather, the men hastily putting on their 
coats, etc. 

AVONIA. 

Where's my umbrella? 

Gadd, 
A hand with my coat here I 

CoLPOYS. 

'Pon my soul ! London artists 1 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 107 

AVONIA. 

We don't want to remain where we're not heartily 
welcome, I can assure everybody. 

Sir William. 
Open windows ! let in the air ! 

AVONIA. 

[To Rose, who is standing above the wreck of the 
card-table.] Good-bye, my dear 

Rose. 
No, no, 'Vonia. Oh, don't leave me behind you ! 



Rose- 



Abthur. 



Rose. 



Oh, I'm very sorry, Arthur. [To Sir William.] 
Indeed, I am very sorry, Sir William. But you 
are right— gypsies— gypsies ! [To Arthur.] Yes, 
Arthur, if you were a gypsy, as I am, as these friends 
o' mine are, we might be happy together. But I've 
seen enough of your life, my dear boy, to know that 
I'm no wife for you. I should only be wretched, 
and would make you wretched ; and the end, when 
it arrived, as it very soon would, would be much as 
it is to-nighi 1 



108 trelawny of the " "wells." 

Arthur. 

[Distractedly.] You'll let me see you, talk to you, 
to-morrow, Rose? 

Rose. 
No, never I 

Sir "William. 
[Sharply.] You mean that? 

Rose. 

[Facing him.] Oh, don't be afraid. I give you 
my word. 

Sir William. 
[Gripping her hand.] Thank ye. Thank ye. 

Tom. 

[Quietly to Arthur.] Mr. Gower, come and see 
me to-morrow [He moves away to the door. 

Rose. 
[Turning to Avonia, Gadd, and Colpoys.] I'm 
ready 

Miss Go web. 

[Coming from behind the screen to the back of the 
couch.] Not to-night, child! not to-night I where 
will you go? 



TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 10^ 

AVONIA. 

[Holding Rose.] To her old quarters in Brydon 
Crescent. Send her things after her, if you please. 

Miss Gower. 

And then ? 

Rose. 

Then back to the " Wells " again, Miss Gower t 
back to the "Wells" ! 



END OP THE SECOND ACT. 



110 TEBLAWNY OF THE " WELLS. 



THE THIKD ACT. 

The scene represents an apartment on the second 
floor of Mrs. Mossop's house. The room is of a 
humbler character than that shown in the first 
act ; but, though shabby, it is neat. On the 
right is a door, outside which is supjjosed to be 
the landing. In the wall at the back is another 
door, presumably admitting to a further 
chamber. Down L. there is a fireplace, with a 
fire burning, and over the mantelpiece a min^or. 
In the left-hand corner of the room is a small 
bedstead with a tidily-made bed, which can be 
hidden by a pair of curtains of some common 
and faded material, hanging from a cord slung 
from ivall to wall. At the foot of the bedstead 
stands a large theatrical dress-basket. On the 
wall, by the head of the bed, are some pegs upon 
which hang a skirt or two and other articles of 
attire. On the right, against the back ivall, there 
is a chest of drawers, the top of ivhich is used as 
a ivashstand. In front of this is a small screen, 
and close by there are some more pegs ivith 
things hanging upon them. On the right Wall, 
above the sofa, is a hanging bookcase ivith a few 
books. A small circular table, with a somewhat 
shabby cover upon it, stands on the left. The 
walls are papered, the doors painted stone-color. 
An old felt carpet is on the floor. The light is 
that of morning. A fire is burning in the gr'ate. 



TKELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." Ill 

[Mrs. Mossop, now dressed in a workaday 
gown, has just finished making the bed. 
There is a knock at the center door. 

Avon I A. 

[From the adjoining room.] Eose! 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Giving a final touch to the quilt.] Eh ? 

AVONIA. 

Is Miss Trelawny in her room ? 
Mrs. Mossop, 
No, Mrs. Gadd ; she's at rehearsal. 

AVONIA. 

Oh 

[Mes. Mossop draws the curtains, hiding the 
bed from vieiv. Avonia enters by the 
door on the right in a morning icrajjper 
which has seen its best days. She carries 
a pair of curling-tongs, and her hair is 
evidently in process of being dressed in 
ringlets. 

Avonia. 

Of course she is ; I forgot. There's a call for The 
Peddler of Marseilles. Thank Gawd, I'm not in it, 
[Singing.] " I'm a great guerrilla cliief, I'm a robher 
and a thief, I can either kill a foe or prig a pocket- 
handkerchief " 



112 TBBLAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Dusting the ornaments on the mantelpiece.] 
Bless your heart, you're very gay this morning ! 

AVONIA. 

It's the pantomime. I'm always stark mad as the 
pantomime approaches. I don't grudge letting the 
rest of the company have their fling at other times — 
but with the panto comes my turn. [Throiving her- 
self full length upon the sofa gleefully.] Ha, ha, 
ha! the turn of Avonia Bunn! [With a change of 
tone.] I hope Miss Trelawny won't take a walk up 
to Highbury, or anywhere, after rehearsal. I want 
to borrow her gilt belt. My dress has arrived. 

Mrs. Mossop. 
[Much interested^ No ! has it ? 

Avonia. 

Yes, Mrs. Burroughs is coming down from the 
theatre at twelve-thirty to see me in it. [Singing. 
" Any kind of villainy cometh natural to me. So it 
endeth with a combat and a one, two, three ! " * 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Surveying the room.] Well, that's as cheerful as I 
can make things look, poor dear! 

* These snatches of song are from The Miller and His Men, a 
burlesque mealy-drama, by Francis Talfourd and Henry J. 
Byron, produced at the Strand Theatre, April 9, 1860. 



TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 113 

AVONIA. 

[ Taking a look round, seriously. '] It's pretty bright 
— if it wasn't for the idea of Rose Trelawny having to 
economize ! 

Mrs. Mossop, 
Ah-h! 

AVONIA. 

[Rising. ] That's what I can't swallow. [Sticking 
her irons in the fire angrily.'] One room ! and on 
the second floor! [Turning to Mrs. Mossop.] Of 
course, Gadd and me are one-room people too — and 
on the same floor ; but then Gadd is so popular out 
of the theatre, Mrs. Mossop— he's obliged to spend 
such a load of money at the ' ' Clown " 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[ Who has been dusting the bookcase, coming to the 
table.'] Mrs. Gadd, dearie, I'm sure I'm not in the 
least inquisitive ; no one could accuse me of it — but I 
should like to know just one thing. 

AvONLi.. 

[Testing her irons upon a sheet of paper which she 
takes from the table.] What's that ? 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Why have they been and cut down Miss Trelawny's 
salary at the "Wells"? 



114 TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

AVONIA. 

[Hesitatingly.'] H'm, everybody's chattering about 
it; you could get to hear easily enough 

Mrs. Mossop. 
Oh, I dare say. 

AVONIA. 

So I don't mind — poor Eose ! they tell her she 
can't act now, Mrs. Mossop, 

Mrs. Mossop. 
Can't act ! 

AVONIA. 

No, dear old girl, she's lost it; it's gone from her — 

the trick of it 

[Tom enters by the door on the right, carrying 
a table-cover of a bright pattern. 

Tom. 

[Coming upon Mrs. Mossop, disconcerted.l 
Oh ! 

Mrs. Mossop. 

My first-floor table-cover ! 

Tom. 

Y — y — yes. [Exchanging the table-covers.] I 
thought, as the Telfers have departed, and as their 
late sitting room is at present vacant, that Miss Tre- 
lawny might enjoy the benefit— hey? 



tkelawny of the " wells." 115 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[Snatching up the old table-cover.] Well, I 
never ! [She goes out. 

AVONIA. 

[Curling her hair, at the mirror over the mantel- 
piece.] I say, Tom, I wonder if I've done wrong 

Tom. 

It all depends upon whether you've had the 
chance. 

AVONIA. 

I've told Mrs. Mossop the reason they've reduced 
Eose's salary. 

Tom. 

You needn't. 

AVONIA. 

She had only to ask any other member of the 
company 

Tom. 

To have found one who could have kept silent! 

AVONIA. 

[Remorsefully.] Oh, I could burn myself! 

Tom. 

Besides, it isn't true. 



116 TKBLAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

AVONIA. 

What ? 

Tom. 

That Rose Trelawny is no longer up to her work. 

AVONIA. 

[Sadly.] Oh, Tom ! 

Tom. 
It isn't the fact, I say ! 

AVONIA. 

Isn't it the fact that ever since Rose returned from 
Cavendish Square ? 

Tom. 

She has been reserved, subdued, ladylike 

AVONIA. 

[Shrilly.] She was always ladylike I 

Tom. 
I'm aware of that! 

AVONIA. 

Well, then, what do you mean by ? 

Tom. 
[In a rage, turning away.] Oh i 

AVONLA. 

[Heating her irons again.] The idea! 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 117 

Tom. 

[Cooling down.] She was always a ladylike 
actress, on the stage and ofp it, but now she has 
developed into a — [at a loss] into a 

AVONIA. 

[Scornfully.] Ha! 

Tom. 

Into a ladylike human being. These fools at the 
' ' Wells " ! Can't act, can't she ! No, she can no 
longer spout, she can no longer ladle, the vapid 
trash, the — the — the turgid rodomontade 

AVONIA. 

[Doubtfully.] You'd better be careful of your lan- 
guage, Wrench. 

Tom. 

[With a tivinJcle in his eye— mopping his brow.] 
You're a married woman, 'Vonia 

AVONIA. 

[Holding her irons to her cheek, modestly.] I 
know, but still 

Tom. 

Yes, deep down in the well of that girl's nature 
there has been lying a little, bright, clear pool of 
genuine refinement, girlish simplicity. And now the 
bucket has been lowei-ed by love; experience has 



118 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

turned the handle; and up comes the crystal to the 
top, pure and sparkling. Why, her broken engage- 
ment to poor young Gower has really been the mak- 
ing of her! It has transformed her! Can't act, can't 
she! [Drawing a long breath.] How she would 
play Dora in my comedy! 

Avon I A. 
Ho, that comedy! 

Tom. 
How she would murmur those love-scenes! 

AVONLA, 

Murder 1 

Tom, 

[Testily.] Murmur. [Partly to himself.] Do 
you know, 'Vonia, I had Rose in my mind when I 
imagined Dora ? 

AVONIA. 

Ha, ha! you astonish me. 
Tom. 

[Sitting.] And Arthur Gower when I wrote the 
character of Gerald, Dora's lover. [In a low voice.] 
Gerald and Dora — Rose and Arthur — Gerald and 
Dora. [Suddetily.] 'Vonia ! 

AVONIA. 

[Singeing her hair.] Ah—! oh, lor' ! what now? 



tkelawny of the " wells." 119 

Tom. 
I wish you could keep a secret. 

AVONIA. 

Why, can't I? 

Tom. 

Haven't you just been gossiping with Mother 
Mossop? 

AVONIA. 

[Behind his chair, breathlessly, her eyes bolting.] 
A secret, Tom? 

Tom. 

[Nodding.] I should like to share it with you, 
because — you are fond of her too 

AvONIA. 

Ah ! 

Tom. 

And because the possession of it is worrying me. 
But there, I can't trust you. 

AVONIA. 

Mr. Wrench! 

Tom. 

No, you're a warm-hearted woman, 'Vonia, but 
you're a sieve. 

AVONIA. 

[Going down upon her Jcnees beside him.] I 
swear! By all my hopes, Tom Wrench, of hitting 



120 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

'em as Prince Charming in the coming pantomime, I 
swear I will not divulge, leave alone tell a living 
soul, any secret you may intrust to me, or let me 
know of, concerning Rose Trelawny of the " Wells." 
Amen I 

Tom. 

[In her ear.] 'Vonia, I know where Arthur 
Gower is. 

AVONLA.. 

Is ! isn't he still in London ? 
Tom. 

[Producing a letter mysteriously.] No. When 
Rose stuck to her refusal to see him — listen — mind, 
not a word ! 

AVONIA, 

By all my hopes ! 

Tom. 

[Checking her]. All right, all right! [Reading.] 
" Theatre Royal, Bristol. Friday " 

AVONIA. 

Theatre Royal, Br ! 

Tom. 

Be quiet! [Reading.] "My dear Mr. Wrench. 
A whole week, and not a line from you to tell me 
how Miss Trelawny is. When you are silent I am 
sleepless at night and a haggard wretch during the 



TRBLAWNY OF THE * WELLS." 121 

day. Young Mr. Kirby, oui' Walking Gentleman, 
has been unwell, and the management has given me 
temporarily some of his business to play " 

AVONIA. 

Arthur Gower ! 

Tom. 

Will you? [Reading.] "Last night I was 
allowed to appear as Careless in The School for 
Scandal. Miss Mason, the Lady Teazle, compli- 
mented me, but the men said I lacked vigor," — the 
old cry! — "and so this morning I am greatly de- 
pressed. But I will still persevere, as long as you 
can assure me that no presuming fellow is paying 
attention to Miss Trelavvny. Oh, how badly she 
treated me ! " 

AVONIA. 

[Following the reading of the letter.] " How 
badly she treated me ! " 

Tom. 
" I will never forgive her — only love her " 

AVONDV. 

" Only love her " 

Tom. • 

"Only love her, and hope I may some day be- 
come a great actor, and, like herself, a gypsy. Yours 
very gratefully, Arthur Gordon." 



122 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS," 

AVONIA. 

In the Profession ! 

Tom. 

Bolted from Cavendish Square — went down to 
Bi'istol 

AVONIA. 

How did he manage it all? [Tom taps his breast 
proudly.] But isn't Rose to be told? why shouldn't 
she be told? 

Tom. 

She has hurt the boy, stung him to the quick, and 
he's proud. 

AVONIA. 

But she loves him now that she believes he has 
forgotten her. She only half loved him before. She 
loves him ! 

Tom. 

Serve her right. 

AVONIA. 

Oh, Tom, is she never to know? 
Tom. 

[Folding the letter carefully.] Some day, when he 
begins to make strides. 

AVONIA. 

Strides! he's nothing but General Utility at 
present? 



teelawnt of the " wells." 123 

Tom. 
[Pnfiing the letter in his pocJcef.] No. 

AVONIA. 

And how long have you been that? 

Tom. 
Ten years. 

Atonia. 

[With a little screech.] Ah — h — h! she ought to 
be told! 

Tom. 
[Seizing her wrist.] Woman, you won't 1 

AVONIA. 

[Raising her disengaged hand.] By all my hopes 

of hitting 'em ! 

Tom. 
All right, I believe you. [Listening.] Sssh! 

[They rise and separate, he moving to the fire, 
she to the right, as Rose enters. Rose is 
now a grave, dignified, someivhat dreamy 
young woman. 

Rose. 

[Looking from Tom to Avonia.] Ah ? 

Tom and Avonia. 
Good-morning. 



124 teelawny of the " wells." 

Rose. 
[Kissing AvoNiA.] Visitors! 

AVONIA. 

My fire's so black [showing her ii'ons] ; I thought 
you wouldn't mind 

Rose. 

[Removing her gloves.] Of course not. [Seeing 
the table-cover.] Oh ! 

Tom. 

Mrs. Mossop asked me to bring that upstairs. 
It was in the Telfei's' room, you know, and she 
fancied 

Rose. 

How good of her! thanks, Tom. [Taking off her 
hat and mantle.] Poor Mr. and Mrs. Telfer! they 
still wander mournfully about the "Wells"; they 
can get nothing to do. 

[Carrying her hat and umhrella, she dis- 
appears through the curtains. 

Tom. 

[To AvoNiA, in a whisper, across the room.] The 
Telfers ! 

AVONIA. 

Eh? 



trelawny of the " wells." 125 

Tom. 
She's been giving 'em money. 

AVONIA. 

Yes. 

Tom. 
Damn ! 

Rose. 

[Reappearing.] What are you saying about me? 

AvoNLi. 

I was wondering whether you'd lend me that belt 
you bought for Ophelia ; to wear during the first two 
or three weeks of the pantomime 

Rose. 
Certainly, 'Vonia, to wear throughout 

AVONIA. 

[Embracing her.] No, it's too good; I'd rather 
fake one for the rest of the time. [Looking into her 
face.] What's the matter? 

Rose. 

I will make you a present of the belt, 'Vonia, if you 
will accept it. I bought it when I came back to the 
"Wells," thinking everything would go on as be- 
fore. But — it's of no use ; they tell me I cannot act 
effectively any longer 



126 TBELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Tom. 
[Indignantly.] Effectively ! 

Rose. 

First, as you know, they reduce my salary 

Tom and Avonia. 
[With clenched hands.] Yes ! 

Rose. 

And now, this morning — [sitting] you can 

guess 

Avonia. 
[Hoarsely.] Got your notice? 

Rose. 
Yes. 

Tom and Avonla.. 
Oh-h-h! 

Rose. 

[After a title pause.] Poor mother! I hope she 
doesn't see. [Overwhelmed, Avonia and Tom sit.] 
I was running through Blanche, my old part in 
The Peddler of Marseilles, when Mr. Burroughs 
spoke to me. It is true I was doing it tamely, but — 
it is such nonsense. 

Tom. 
Hear, hear ! 



trelawny of the " wells." 127 

Rose. 

And then, that poor little song I used to sing on 
the bridge 

AVONIA. 

[Singing, softly.] "Ever of thee I'm fondly- 
dreaming " 

Tom and Avonia. , 

[Singing.] *' Thy gentle voice my spirit can 
cheer. " 

Rose. 

I told Mr. Burroughs I should cut it out. So ridic- 
ulously inappropriate ! 

Tom. 

And that— did it? 

Rose. 

[Smiling at him.] That did it. 
Avonia. 

[Kneeling beside her, and embracing her tear- 
fully.] My ducky! oh, but there are other theatres 
besides the ' ' Wells " 

Rose. 

For me? only where the same trash is acted. 

Avonia. 

[With a sob.] But a few months ago you 1 — 1 — 
liked your work. 



128 trelawny of the " wells," 

Rose. 

Yes [dreamily], and then I went to Cavendish 

Square, engaged to Arthur [ToM rises and 

leans upon the mantelpiece, looking into the fire.] 
How badly I behaved in Cavendish Square ! how 
unhke a young lady! What if the old folks ivere 
overbearing- and tyrannical, Arthur could be gentle 
with them. "They have not many more years in 
this world," he said — dear boy I — " and anything we 

can do to make them happy " And what did I 

do? There was a chance for me — to be patient, and 
womanly ; and I proved to them that I was nothing 
but — an actress. 

AVONIA. 

[Rising, hurt hut still tearful.] It doesn't follow, 

because one is a 

Rose. 

[Rising.] Yes, 'Vonia, it does! We are only 
dolls, partly human, with mechanical limbs that 
will fall into stagey postures, and heads stuffed with 
sayings out of rubbishy plays. It isn't the world we 
live in, merely a world— such a queer little one! I 
was less than a month in Cavendish Square, and very 
few people came there ; but they were real people — 
real! For a month I lost the smell of gas and 
oranges, and the hurry and noise, and the dirt and 
the slang, and the clownish joking, at the " Wells." 
I didn't realize at the time the change that was going 
on in me; I didn't realize it till I came back. Aud 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 129 

then, by degrees, I discovered what had happened 

[Tom is now near her. She takes his hand and 
drops her head upon Avonia's shoulder. Wearily.] 

Oh, Tom ! oh, 'Vonia [F7'om the next room 

comes the sound of the throtcing about of heavy 
objects, and of Gadd's voice uttering loud impreca- 
tions. Alarmed.] Oh ! 

AVONIA. 

[Listening attentively.] Sounds like Ferdy. [She 
goes to the center door. At the keyhole.] Ferdy! 
aint you well, darling ? 

Gadd. 
[On the other side of the door.] Avonia! 

AVONIA. 

I'm in Miss Trelawny's room. 

Gadd. 
Ah ? 

AVONIA. 

[To Rose and Tom.] Now, what's put Ferdy out ? 
[Gadd enters icith a icild look.] Ferdinand ! 

Tom. 
Anything wrong, Gadd ? 

Gadd. 
Wrong ! wrong! [Sitting.] What d'ye think ? 



130 TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

AVONIA. 

Tell us! 

Gadd. 
I have been asked to appear in the pantomime. 

AVONIA. 

[Shocked.] Oh, Ferdy! you! 
Gadd. 

I, a serious actor, if ever there was one ; a poetic 

actor ! 

Avonia. 

What part, Ferdy ? 

Gadd. 

The insult, the bitter insult ! the gross indignity ! 

AVONLA 

What part, Ferdy ? 

Gadd. 

I have not been seen in pantomime for years, not 
since I shook the dust of the T. R. Stockton from my 
feet. 

AVONLA. 

Ferdy, what part ? 

Gadd. 

I simply looked at Burroughs, when he preferred 
his request, and swept from the theatre. 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 131 

AVONIA. 

What part, Ferdy? 

Gadd. 

A part, too, which is seen for a moment at the 
opening of the pantomime, and not again till its 
close. 



Ferdy. 
Eh? 
What part ? 



AVONIA. 

Gadd. 

AVONIA. 



Gadd. 
A character called the Demon of Discontent. 

[Rose turns aivay to the fireplace ; Tom ctirls 
himself up on the sofa and is seen to shake 
with laughter. 

AvONIA. 

[Walking about indignantly.'] Oh! [Returning 
to Gadd.] Oh, it's a rotten part! Rose, dear, las- 
sure you, as artist to artist, that part is absolutely 
rotten. [To Gadd.] You won't play it, darling ? 

Gadd. 

[Rising.] Play it! I would see the "Wells" in 
ashes first. 



132 TBELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

AVONIA. 

We shall lose our engagements, Ferdy. I know 
Burroughs ; we shall be out, both of us. 

Gadd. 

Of course we shall. D'ye think I have not counted 
the cost ? 

AVONIA. 

[Putting her hand in his.] I don't mind, dear — 
for the sake of your position — [sti'uck by a sudden 
thought] oh ! 

Gadd. 
What ? 

AVONL^.. 

There now — we haven't put by ! 

[There is a knock at the door. 

Rose. 
Who is that? 

COLPOTS. 

[Outside the door.] Is Gadd here. Miss Trelawny? 

Rose. 
Yes. 

COLPOYS. 

I want to see him. 



trelawny of the " wells." 133 

Gadd. 

Wrench, I'll trouble you. Ask Mr. Colpoys 
"whether he approaches me as a friend, an acquaint- 
ance, or in his capacity of stage manager at the 
*' Wells " — the tool of Burroughs. 

[Tom opens the door slightly. Gadd and 
AvoNiA join EosE at the fireplace. 

Tom. 

[At the door, solemnly.] Colpoys, are you here as 
Gadd's bosom friend, or as a mere tool of Burroughs? 
[An inaudible colloquy folloics between Tom 
and Colpoys. Tom's head is outside the 
door; his legs are seen to move convul- 
sively, and the sound of suppressed laugh- 
ter is heard. 

Gadd, 
[Turning.] Well, well? 

Tom. 

[Closing the door sharply, and facing Gadd ivith 
great seriousness. ] He is here as the tool of Bur- 
roughs? 

Gadd. 
I will receive him. 

[Tom admits Colpoys, who carries a mean- 
looking '■' part,'''' and a letter. 



134 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

COLPOYS. 

{After formally bowing to the ladies.] Oh, Gadd, 
Mr. Burroughs instructs me to offer you this part in 
the pantomime. [Handing the part to Gadd.] De- 
mon of Discontent. 

[Gadd takes the part and flings it to the 
ground ; Avonia picks it up and reads it. 

COLPOTB. 

You refuse it ? 

Gadd. 

I do. [With dignity.] Acquaint Mr. Burroughs 
with my decision, and add that I hope his pantomime 
will prove an utterly mirthless one. May Boxing- 
night, to those unfortunate enough to find them- 
selves in the theatre, long remain a dismal memory; 
and may succeeding audiences, scanty and dissatis- 
fied ! [CoLPOYS presents Gadd ivith the letter. 

GrADT) opens it and reads.] I leave. [Sitting.] The 
Romeo, the Orlando, the ClifiPoi'd — leaves ! 

AVONLA.. 

[Coming to Gadd, indicating some lines in the 
part.] Ferdy, this aint so bad. [Reading.] 

'* I'm Discontent ! from Orkney's isle to Dover 
To make men's bile bile-over I endover " 

Gadd. 
'Vonia! [Taking the part from Avonia, with 










O 



C/3 

1—1 

Q 

Q 
< 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS. 135 

mingled surprise and pleasure.'] Ho, ho ! no, that's 
not bad. [Reading.] 

" Tempers, though sweet, I whip up to a lather, 
Make wives hate husbands, sons wish fathers farther." 

'Vonia, there's is something to lay hold of here! I'll 
think this over. [Rising, addressing Colpoys.] 
Gus, I have thought this over. I play it. 

[They all gather round him, and congratulate 
him. AvoNiA embraces and kisses him. 

Tom ajsd Colpoys. 
That's right! 

Rose. 
I'm very pleased, Ferdinand. 

AVONLA,. 

[Tearfully.] Oh, Ferdy! 

Gadd. 

[Li high spirits.] Egad, I play it ! Gus, I'll stroll 
back with you to the "Wells." [Shaking hands 
with Rose.] Miss Trelawny ! [Avonia accom- 
panies Colpoys a^id Gadd to the door., clinging to 
Gadd, who is flourishing the part.] 'Vonia, I see 
myself in this! [Kissing her.] Steak for dinner! 

[Gadd and Colpoys go out. Tom shrieks with 
laughter. 



136 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

AVONIA. 

[ Turning upon him, angrily and volubly.] Yes, I 
heard you with Colpoys outside that door, if Gadd 
didn't. It's a pity, Mr. Wrench, you can't find some- 
thing better to do ! 

EOSE. 

[Pacifically.] Hush, hush, 'Vonia! Tom, assist 

me with my basket ; I'll give 'Vonia her belt 

[Tom and Rose go behind the curtains and 
presently emerge, carrying the dress- 
basket, which they deposit. 

AVONIA. 

[Flouncing across the room.] Making fun of 
Gadd! an artist to the roots of his hair! There's 
more talent in Gadd's little finger ! 

Rose. 

[Rummaging among the contents of the basket.] 
'Vonia, 'Vonia! 

Atonia. 

And if Gadd is to play a demon in the pantomime, 
what do you figure as, Tom Wrench, among the half 
a dozen other things? Why, as part of a dragon! 
Yes, and ivhich end ? 

Rose. 

[Quietly to Tom.] Apologize to 'Vonia at once, 
Tom. 



tkelawny of the " wells." 137 

Tom. 
[MeeMy.] Mrs. Gadd, I beg your pardon. 

AVONIA. 

[Coming to him and kissing him.] Granted, Tom ; 
but you should be a little more considerate 

Rose. 
[Holding up the belt.] Here ! 

AVONIA. 

[Taking the belt, ecstatically.] Oh, isn't it lovely 1 
Rose, you dear ! you sweet thing ! [Singing a few 
bars of the Jewel song from Faust, then rushing at 
Rose and embracing her.] I'm going to try my 
dress on, to show Mrs. Burroughs. Come and help 

me into it. I'll unlock my door on my side 

[Tom politely opens the door for her to pass out.] 
Thank you, Tom — [kissing him again] only you 

should be more considerate toward Gadd 

[She disappears. 

Tom. 

[Calling after her.] I will be; I will— [Shutting 
the door.] Ha, ha, ha! 

Rose. 

[Smiling.] Hush! poor 'Vonia! [Mending the 
fire.] Excuse me, Tom — have you a fire upstairs, in 
your room, to-day? 



138 trelawny of the " wells." 

Tom. 

Er — n — not to-day — it's Saturday. I never have a 
fire on a Saturday. 

Rose. 

[Coming to him.] Why not? 
Tom. 

[Looking away from her.] Don't know — crea- 
tures of habit 

Rose. 

[Gently touching his coat-sleeve.] Because if you 
would like to smoke your pipe by my fire while Fni 

■with 'Vonia 

[The key is heard to turn in the lock of the 
center door. 

AVONIA. 

[From the next room,.] It's unlocked. 

Rose. 
I'm coming. 

[She unbolts the door on her side, and goes 
into Avonia's room, shutting the door 
behind her. The lid of the dress-basket is 
open, showing the contents ; a pair of 
little satin shoes lie at the top. Tom takes 
up one of the shoes and presses it to his 
lips. There is a knock at the door. He 
returns the shoe to the basket, closes the 
lid, and walks away. 



trelawnt of the " wells." 139 

Tom. 
Yes? 

[7'he door opens slightly and Imogen is 
heard. 

Imogen. 

[Outside.] Is that you, Wrench? 

Tom. 
Hullo! 

[Imogen, in out-of-door costume, enters breath- 
lessly. 

Imogen. 

{Closing the door — speaking rapidly and ex- 
citedly.] Mossop said you were in Rose's room 

Tom. 

[Shaking hands with her.] She'll be here in a few 
minutes. 

Imogen. 

It's you I want. Let me sit down. 

Tom. 

[Going to the armchair.] Here 

Imogen. 

[Sitting on the right of the table, panting.] Not 

near the fire 

Tom. 
What's up? 



140 tbelawnt of the " wells," 

Imogen. 
Oh, Wrench ! p'r'aps my fortune's made ! 

Tom. 
[Quite calmly.] Congratulate you, Jenny. 

Imogen. 

Do be quiet ; don't make such a racket. You see, 
things haven't been going at all satisfactorily at the 
Olympic lately. There's Miss Puddifant 

Tom. 
I know — no lady. 

Imogen. 
How do you know? 

Tom, 
Guessed. 

Imogen. 

Quite I'ight; and a thousand other annoyances. 
And at last I took it into my head to consult Mr, 
Clandon, who married an aunt of mine and lives at 
Streatham, and he'll lend me five hundred pounds. 

Tom. 
What for? 

Imogen. 
Towards taking a theatre. 



tbelawnt of the " wells." 141 

Tom. 
[Dubiously.] Five hundred 

Imogen. 

It's all he's good for, and he won't advance that 
unless I can get a further five, or eight, hundred from 
some other quarter. 

Tom. 
What theatre ! 

Imogen. 
The Pantheon happens to be empty. 

Tom. 

Yes ; it's been that for the last twenty years. 

Imogen. 

Don't throw wet blankets — I mean — [referring to 
her tablets, which she carries in her muff} I've got it 
all worked out in black and white. There's a deposit 
required on account of rent— two hundred pounds. 
Cleaning the theatre — [looking at Tom] what do you 
say? 

Tom. 

Cleaning that theatre? 

Imogen. 
I say, another two hundred. 



142 trelawny of the " wells." 

Tom. 

That would remove the top-layer 

Imogen. 

Cost of producing the opening play, five hundred 
pounds. Balance for emergencies, three hundred. 
You generally have a balance for emergencies. 

Tom. 

You generally have the emergencies, if not the 
balance? 

Imogen. 

Now, the question is, will five hundred produce the 
play? 

Tom. 
What play? 

Imogen. 
Your play. 

Tom. 
[Quietly.] My . 

Imogen. 
Your comedy. 

Tom. 

[Turning to the fire— in a low voice.] Rubbish ! 
Imogen. 

Well, Mr. Clandon thinks it isn^t. [He faces her 
sharply.] I gave it to him to read, and he — well, he's 
quite taken with it. 



teelawny of the " wells." 143 

Tom. 

[ Walking about, his hands in his pockets, his head 
down, agitatedly.] Claudon— Landon — what's his 

name ? 

Imogen. 

Tony Clandon — Anthony Clandon 

Tom. 

[Choking.] He's a — he's a 

Imogen. 

He's a hop-merchant. 

Tom. 

No, he's not— [sitting on the sofa, leaning his head 
on his hands] he's a stunner. 

Imogen. 

[Rising.] So you grasp the position. Theatre — 
manageress — author — play, found; and eight hun- 
dred pounds wanted ! 

Tom. 
[Rising.] OLord! 

Imogen. 
Who's got it? 

Tom. 

[Wildly.] The Queen's got it! Miss Burdett- 
Coutts has got it ! 



144 trelawny of the " wells." 

Imogen. 

Dou't be a fool, Wrench. Do you remember old 
Mr. Morfew, of Duncan Terrace? He used to take 
great interest in us all at the " Wells." He has 
money. 

Tom. 

He has gout ; we don't see him now. 
Imogen. 

Gout! How lucky! That means he's at home. 
Will you run round to Duncan Terrace ? 

Tom. 

[Looking down at his clothes.} I ! 

Imogen. 

Nonsense, Wrench; we're not asking him to 
advance money on your clothes. 

Tom. 

The clothes are the man, Jenny. 

Imogen. 

And the woman ? 

Tom. 

The face is the woman ; there's the real inequality 
of the sexes. 

Imogen. 

I'll go! Is my face good enough? 



trelawny of the " wells." 145 

Tom. 
[Enthusiastically.] I should say sol 
Imogen. 

[Talcing his hands.] Ha, lia! It has been in my 
possession longer than you have had your oldest 
coat, Tom! 

Tom. 
Make haste, Jenny ! 

Imogen. 

[Running up to the door.] Oh, it will last till I 
get to Duncan Terrace. [Turning.] Tom, you may 
have to read your play to Mr. Morfew. Have you 
another copy? Uncle Clandon has mine. 

Tom. 

[Holding his head.] I think I have — I don't 

know 

Imogen. 

Look for it ! Find it ! If Morfew wants to hear it, 
we must strike while the iron's hot. 

Tom. 
While the gold's hot! 

Imogen and Tom. 
Ha, ha, ha! 

[Mrs. Mossop enters, showing some signs of 
excitement. 



146 teelawny of the " wells. 

Imogen. 

[Pushing her aside.] Oh, get out of the way, Mrs. 
Mossop [Imogen departs. 

Mks. Mossop. 

Upon my ! [To Tom.] A visitor for Miss Tre- 

lawny ! Where's Miss Trelawny? 

Tom. 
With Mrs. Gadd. Mossop ! 

Mrs. Mossop. 
Don't bother me now 

Tom. 

Mossop ! The apartments vacated by the Telfers! 
Dare to let 'em without giving me the preference. 

Mrs. Mossop. 
You! 

Tom. 

[Seizing her hands and swinging her round.'] I 
may be wealthy, sweet Rebecca! [Embracing her.] 
I may be rich and honored! 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Oh, have done ! [Releasing herself.] My lodgers 
do take such liberties 



teelawnt of the " wells." 147 

Tom. 

[At the door, grandly.] Beccy, half a scuttle of 
coal, to start with. 

[He goes out, leaving the door slightly open. 

Mks. Mossop. 

[Knockiny at the center door. ] Miss Trelawny, 
my dear! Miss Trelawny ! 

[The door opens, a few inches. 

EOSE. 

[Looking out.] Why, what a clatter you and Mr. 
Wrench have been making ! 

Mks. Mossop. 
[Beckoning her mysteHously.] Come here, dear. 

Rose. 

[Closing the center door, and entering the room 
wonderingly.] Eh? 

Mks. Mossop. 
* [In awe.] Sir William Go wer ! 

Rose. 
Sir William! 

Mrs. Mossop. 

Don't be vexed with me. "I'll see if she's at 
home," I said. "Oh, yes, woman, Miss Trelawny's 



148 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

at home," said he, and hobbled straight in. I've shut 
him in the Telfers' room 

{There are three distinct raps, with a stick, at 
the right-hand door. 

Rose and Mrs. Mossop. 
Oh— h! 

Rose. 
[Faintly.^ Open it. 

[Mrs. Mossop opens the door, and Sir Wil- 
liam enters. He is feebler, more decrepit, 
than when la,st seen. He ivears a plaid 
about his shoulders and walks ivith the aid 
of a stick. 

Mrs. Mossop. 

[At the door.] Ah, and a sweet thing Miss Tre- 
lawny is ! 

Sir William. 
[Turning to her.] Are you a relative? 

Mrs. Mossop. 
No, I am not a relative ! 

Sir William. 

Go. [She departs; he closes the door iviih the end 
of his stick. Facing EosE.] My mind is not com- 
monly a wavering one. Miss Trelawny, but it has 
taken me some time — months — to decide upon calling 
on ye. 



trelawky of the " wells." 149 

Rose. 
Won't you sit down? 

Sir William. 

[After a pause of hesitation, sitting upon the 
dress-basJcet.] Ugh! 

Rose. 

[With quiet dignity.] Have we no chairs? Do 
we lack chairs here, Sir William ? 

[He gives her a quick, keen look, then rises and 
walks to the fire. 

Sir William. 

[Suddenly, bringing his stick down upon the table 
If ith violence.] My grandson! my grandson! where 
is he? 

Rose. 

Arthur ! 

Sir William. 
I had but one. 

Rose. 

Isn't he — in Cavendish Square ? 

Sir William. 

Isn't he in Cavendish Square! no, he is not in 
Cavendish Square, as you know well. 

Rose. 
Oh, I don't know 



150 trelawny of the " wells." 

Sir William. 



Tsch! 






Rose. 


When did he leave you ? 


Tsch ! 


Sir William. 


When? 


Rose. 




Sir William. 



He made his escape during' the night, 22d of 
August last — [pointing his finger at her] as you 
know well. 

Rose. 

Sir William, I assure you 

Sir William. 

Tsch! [Talcing off his gloves.] How often does 
he write to ye? 

Rose. 

He does not write to me. He did write day after 
day, two or three times a day, for about a week. 
That was in June, when I came back here. [With 
drooping head.] He never writes now. 







Sir William. 


Visits ye — 


— ? 


Rose. 


No. 







tkelawny of the " wells." 151 

Sir William. 

Comes troubadouring ? 

Rose. 
No, no, no. I have not seen him since that night. 

I refused to see him [With a catch in her 

breath.] Why, he may be ! 

Sir William. 
[Fumbling in his pocket.] Ah, but he's not. He's 
alive [producing a small packet of letters]. 
Arthur's alive, [advancing to her] and full of his 
tricks still. His great-aunt Trafalgar receives a letter 
from him once a fortnight, posted in London 

Rose. 
[Holding out her hand for the letters.] Oh! 

Sir William. 
[Putting them behind his back.] Hey ! 

Rose. 
[Faintly.] I thought you wished me to read them. 
[He yields them to her grudgingly, she taking his 
hand and bending over it.] Ah, thank you. 

Sir William. 
[Withdrawing his hand tvith a look of disrelish.] 
What are ye doing, madam? what are ye doing? 

[He sits, producing his snuff-box; she sits, 
upon the basket, facing him, and opens 
the packet of letters. 



152 trelawny of the " wells." 

Rose. 

[Reading a letter.] "To reassure you as to my 
well-beiug, I cause this to be posted in Loudon by a 

friend " 

Sir William. 

[Pointing a finger at her again, accusingly.] A 
fx'iend ! 

Rose. 

[Looking up, with simple pride.] He would never 
call me that. [Reading.] "I am in good bodily 
health, and as contented as a man can be who has 
lost the woman he loves, and will love till his dying 

day—" Ah ! 

Sir William. 

Read no more ! Return them to me ! give them 
to me, ma'am ! [Rising, she restores the letters, 
meekly. He peers up into her face.] What's come 
to ye? You are not so much of a vixen as you were. 

Rose. 

[Shaking her head.] No. 

Sir William. 

[Suspiciously.] Less of the devil ? 

Rose. 

Sir William, I am sorry for having been a vixen, 
and for all my unruly conduct, in Cavendish Square. 
I humbly beg your, and Miss Gower's, forgiveness. 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 153 

Sir William. 
[Taking snuff, uncomfortably.] Pi — i — i — sh ! 
extraordinary change. 

Rose. 
Aren't you changed, Sir William, now that you 
have lost him? 

SiK WlLLLiM. 

I! 

Rose. 

Don't you love him now, the more? [His head 
droops a little, and his hands tcander to the brooch 
which secures his plaid.] Let me take your shawl 
from you. You would catch cold when you go 

out 

[He alloivs her to remove the plaid, protesting 
during the process. 

Sir "Willlam. 
I'll not trouble ye, ma'am. Much obleeged to ye, but 

I'll not trouble ye. [Rising.] I'll not trouble ye 

[He tcalks aivay to the fireplace, and up the room. 
She folds the plaid and lays it upon the sofa. He 
looks round — speaking in an altered tone.] My dear, 
gypsying doesn't seem to be such a good trade with 

ye, as it used to be by all accounts 

[The center door opens and Avonia enters 
boldly, in the dress of a burlesque prince — 
cotton-velvet shirt, edged with bullion 
trimming, a cap, white tights, ankle 
boots, etc. 



154 TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

AVONIA, 

[Unconsciously.] How's this, Hose ? 

Sir Willlam. 
Ah— h— h— h ! 

Rose. 
Oh, go away, 'Vonia ! 

AVONLA.. 

Sir Gower ! [To Sir William.] Good -morning. 

[She ivithdraivs. 

Sir William. 

[Pacing the room — again very violent.] Yes! and 
these are the associates you would have tempted my 
boy — my grandson — to herd with ! [Flourishing his 
stick.] Ah— h— h— h ! 

Rose. 

[Sitting upon the basket — weakly.] That young 
lady doesn't live in that attire. She is preparing for 
the pantomime 

Sir William. 

[Standing over her.] And now he's gone; lured 
away, I suspect, by one of ye — [pointing to the center 

door] by one of these harridans ! 

[A VONIA reappears defiantly. 

AVONIA. 

Look here. Sir Gower 




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trelawny of the " wells." 155 

Rose. 
[Rising.] Go, 'Vonia ! 

AVONIA. 

[To Sir William.] We've met before, if you 
remember, in Cavendish Square 

Rose. 

[Sitting again, helplessly.] Oh, Mrs. Qadd ! 

Sir William. 

Mistress ! a married lady ! 

AVONIA. , 

Yes, I spent some of my honeymoon at your 
house 

Sir WiLLiA.M. 
What! 

A VONIA. 

Excuse my dress ; it's all in the way of my business. 
Just one word about Rose. 

Rose. 

Please, 'Vonia ! 

AvoiOA. 

[To Sir "^^illiam, who is glaring at her in horj^or.] 
Now, there's nothing to stare at, Sir Gower. If you 
must look anywhere in particular, look at that poor 
thing. A nice predicament you've brought her to ! 



16S TRELAWNT OF THE " "WELLS." 

SiK William. 
Sir ! [Correcting himself l\ Madam ! 

AVONIA. 

You've brought her to beggary, amongst you. 
You've broken her heart; and, what's woi'se, you've 
made her genteel. She can't act, since she left your 
mansion; she can only mope about the stage with her 
eyes fixed like a person in a dream — dreaming of him, 
I suppose, and of what it is to be a lady. And first 
she's put upon half-salary ; and then, to-day, she gets 
the sack — the entire sack. Sir Gower! So there's 
nothing left for her but to starve, or to make artificial 
fl^owers. Miss Trelawny I'm speaking of ! [Going to 
Rose, and embracing her.] Our Eose ! our Tre- 
lawny! [To Hose, breaking down.] Excuse me for 
interfering, ducky. [Retiring, in tears.] Good-day, 
Sir Gower. [She goes out. 

SiK William. 

[After a pause, to Rose.] Is this — the case? 

Rose. 

[Standing, and peaking in a low voice.] Yes. 
As you have noticed, fortune has turned against me, 
rather. 

Sir William. 

[Penitently^ I — I'm sorry, ma'am. I — I believe 
ye've kept your word to us concerning Arthur, 
I-I 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 157 

EOSE. 

[Not heeding him, looking before her, dreamily.] 
My mother knew how fickle fortune could be to us 
gypsies. One of the greatest actors that ever lived 
warned her of that 

Sir William. 

Miss Gower will also feel extremely — extremely 

Rose. 

Kean once warned mother of that. 

Sir William. 

[In an altered tone.] Kean? which Kean? 

Rose. 

Edmund Kean. My mother acted with Edmund 
Kean when she was a girl. 

Sir Wii-ltam. 

[Approaching her sloicly, speaking in a queer 
voice.] With Kean ? with Kean ! 

Rose. 
Yes. 

Sir William. 

[At her side, in a whisper.] My dear, I — J've seen 
Edmund Kean. 

Rose. 
Yes? 



158 TBELAWNY OF THE " WBLL8." 

Sra William. 

A young man then, I was; quite different from 
tlie man I am now — impulsive, excitable. Kean! 
[Drawing a deep breath.] Ah, he was a splendid 

gypsy ! 

Rose. 

[Looking down at the dress-basket.} I've a little 
fillet in there that my mother wore as Cordelia to 
Kean's Lear 

Sir William. 

I may have seen your mother also. I was some- 
what different in those days 

Rose. 

[Kneeling at the basket and opening it.] And the 
Order and chain, and the sword, he wore in Richard. 
He gave them to my father; I've always prized them. 
[She drags to the surface a chain ivith an Order 
attached to it, and a sword-belt and sword— all very 
theatrical and taivdry — and a little gold fillet. She 
hands him the chain.] That's the Order. 

Sir William. 
[Handling it tenderly. ] Kean ! God bless me ! 

Rose. 
[Holding tip the fillet.] My poor mother's fillet. 



TBELAWNY OF THB " WELLS.'* 159 

SiK William. 

[Looking at it.] I may have seen her. [Thought- 
fully.] I was a young man then. [Looking at Rose 
steadily.] Put it on, my dear. 

[She goes to the mirror and puts on the fillet. 

Sir "William. 

[Examining the Order.] Lord bless us! how he 

stirred me! how he ! 

[He puts the chain over his shoulders. Rose 
turns to him. 

Rose. 
[Advancing to him.] There! 

Sir William. 
[Looking at her.] Cordelia ! Cordelia — with Kean ! 

Rose. 

[Adjusting the chain upon him.] This should 
hang so. [Returning to the basket and taking up 
the sword-belt and sword.] Look! 

Sir William. 

[Handling them.] Kean! [To her, in a whisper,] 
I'll tell ye ! I'll tell ye ! when I saw him as Richard — 
I was young and a fool — I'll tell ye — he almost fired 

me with an ambition to — to [Fumbling with 

the belt.] How did he carry this? 



160 trelawny of the " wells." 

Rose. 

[Fastening the belt, with the sword, round him.] 
In this way 

Sir William. 

All ! [He paces the stage, groioling and muttering, 
and walking ivith a limp and one shoidder hunched. 
She ivatches him, seriously.] Ah! lie was a little 
man too! I remember him! as if it were last night! 

I remember [Pausing and looking at her 

fixedly.] My dear, your prospects in life have been 
injured by your unhappy acquaintanceship with my 
grandson. 

Rose. 

[Gazing into the fire.] Poor Arthur's prospects in 
life — what of them? 

Sir William. 
[Testily.] Tsch, tsch, tsch! 

Rose. 
If I knew where he is ! 

Sir William. 

Miss Trelawny, if you cannot act, you cannot earn 
your living. 

Rose. 
How is he earning his living? 



teelawny of the " wells." 161 

Sir William. 

And if you cannot earn your living-, you must be 
provided for. 

Rose. 

. [Turning to him.] Provided for? 

Sir William. 

Miss Gower was kind enough to bring me here in 
a cab. She and I will discuss plans for making pro- 
vision for ye while driving home. 

Rose. 

[Adva7icing to him.] Oh, I beg you will do no 
such thing, Sir William. 

Sir William. 
Hey! 

Rose. 

I could not accept any help from you or Miss 
Gower. 

Sir William. 
You must ! you shall ! 

Rose. 
I will not. 

Sir William. 
[Touching the Order and the sword.] Ah! — yes, 
I — I'll buy these of ye, my dear 



162 TRELAAVNY OF THE " WELLS." 

EOSE. 

Oh, no, no! not for hundreds of pounds! please 
take them off I 

[Thej'e is a hurried knocking at the door. 

Sir William. 

[Startled.] Who's that? [Struggling with the 

chain and belt.] Remove these ! 

[TJie handle is heard to rattle. Sir William 
disappears behind the curtains. Imogen 
opens the door and looks in. 

Imogen. 

[Seeing only Rose, and coming to her and embrac- 
ing her.] Rose darling, where is Tom Wrench? 

Rose. 

He was here not long since 

Imogen. 

[Going to the door and calling, desperately.] 
Tom ! Tom Wrench ! Mr. Wrench ! 

Rose. 
Is anything amiss? 

Imogen, 
[Shrilly.] Tom ! 

Rose. 
Imogen ! 



TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 163 

Imogen. 

[Returning to Eose.] Oh, my dear, forgive my 

agitation ! 

[Tom enters, buoyantly, flourishing the manu- 
script of his play. 

Tom. 

I've found it! at the bottom of a box — "deeper 

than did ever plummet sound "! [To Imogen.] 

Eh? what's the matter? 

Imogen. 

Oh, Tom, old Mr. Morfew ! 

Tom. 
[Blankly.] Isn't he willing ? 

Imogen. 

[With a gesture of despair.] I don't know. He's 
dead. 

Tom. 

No! 

Imogen. 

Three weeks ago. Oh, what a chance he has 
missed ! 

[Tom bangs his manuscript down upon the 
table savagely. 

Rose. 
What is it, Tom? Imogen, what is it? 



164 trelawny of the " wells." 

Imogen. 
[Pacing the room.] I can think of no one else 

Tom. 
Done again ! 

Imogen. 
We shall lose it, of course 

Rose. 
Lose what? 

Tom. 

The opportunity — her opportunity, my oppor- 
tunity, your opportunity, Rose. 

Rose. 

[Coming to him.] My opportunity, Tom? 

Tom. 

[Pointing to the manuscript.] My play — my 
comedy —my youngest born! Jenny has a theatre — 
could have one — has five hundred towards it, put 
down by a man who believes in my comedy, God 
bless him! — the only fellow who has ever be- 
lieved ? 

Rose. 
Oh, Tom! [turning to Imogen] oh, Imogen! 
Imogen. 

My dear, five hundred! we want another five, at 
least. 



trela.wny of the " wells." 165 

Rose. 
Another five ! 

iMOaEK. 

Or eight. 

Tom. 

And you are to play the part of Dora. Isn't she, 
Jenny — I mean, wasn't she? 

Imogen. 

Certainly. Just the sort of simple little Miss you 
could play now, Eose. And we thought that old Mr. 
Morfew would help us in the speculation. Specula- 
tion ! it's a dead certainty ! 

Tom. 
Dead certainty? poor Morfew! 

Imogen. 
And here we are, stuck fast ! 

Tom. 

[Sitting upon the dress-basket dejectedly.] And 
they'll expect me to rehearse that dragon to-morrow 
with enthusiasm. 

Rose. 

[Putting her arm around his shoulder.] Never 
mind, Tom. 



166 trelawny of the " wells." 

Tom. 

No, I won't iTaking her hand.] Oh, 

Rose ! [Looking up at her.] Oh, Dora ! 

[Sir William, divested of his theatrical trap- 
pings, comes from behind the curtain. 

Imogen. 

Oh ! 

Tom. 
[Rising.] Eh? 

Robe. 
[Retreating] . Sir William Gower, Tom 

Sir William. 

[To Tom.] I had no wish to be disturbed, sir, and 
I withdrew [bowing to Imogen] when that lady 
entered the room. I have been a party, it appears, to 
a consultation upon a matter of business. [To Tom.] 
Do I understand, sir, that you have been defeated in 
some project which would have served the interests 
of Miss Trelawny. 

Tom. 
Y— y— yes, sir. 

Sir William. 

Mr. Wicks 

Tom. 
Wrench 



TEELAWTTT OF THE " WELLS." 16Y 

Sir William. 

Tsch ! Sir, it would give me pleasure — it would 
give my grandson, Mr. Arthur Gower, pleasure — to 
be able to aid Miss Trelawny at the present moment. 

Tom. 

S — s — sir William, w — w — would you like to hear 
my play ? 

Sir William. 
[Sharply.] Hey! [Looking round.] Ho, hoi 

Tom. 
My comedy? 

Sir William. 

[Cunningly.] So ye think I might be induced to 
fill the oflBce ye designed for the late Mr. — Mr. 

Imogen. 
Morfew. 

Sib William. 
Morfew, eh? 

Tom. 
N — n — no, sir. 

Sir William. 
No! no! 



168 tbblawny op the " wells." 

Imogen. 
[ShHlly.] Yes! 

Sir William. 

[After a short pause, quietly.] Read your play, 
sir. [Pointing to a chair at the table.] Sit down. 
[To Rose and Imogen.] Sit down. 

[Tom goes to the chair indicated. Miss Gow- 
er's voice is heard outside the door. 

Miss Gower. 

[Outside.] William! [Rose opens <7ie cioor; Miss 
Go WER enters.] Oh, William, what has become of 
you? has anything dreadful happened? 

Sir William. 

Sit down, Trafalgar. This gentleman is about to 
read a comedy. A cheer! [Testily.] Are there no 
cheers here ! [Rose brings a chair and places it for 
Miss Gower beside Sir Willlajvi's chair.] Sit down. 

Miss Gower. 

[Sitting^ bewildered.] William, is all this — 
quite ? 



trelawny of the " wells." 169 

Sir William. 

[Sitting.] Yes, Trafalgar, quite in place— quite in 

place 

[Imogen sits. Rose pulls the dress-basket 
round, as Colpoys and Gadd swagger 
in at the door, Colpoys smoking a pipe, 
Gadd a large cigar. 

Sir William. 

[To Tom, referring to Gadd and Colpoys.] 
Friends of yours? 

Tom. 
Yes, Sir William. 

Sir William. 

[To Gadd and Colpoys.] Sit down. [Impera- 
tively.] Sit down and be silent. 

[Gadd and Colpoys seat themselves upon the 
sofa, like men in a dream. Rose sits on 
the dress-basket. 

AVONIA. 

[Opening the center door slightly — in an anxious 
voice.] Rose ! 

Sir William. 

Come in, ma'am, come in ! [AvONiA enters, coming 
to Rose. A cloak is now attached to the shoulders 
o/Avonia's dress.] Sit down, ma'am, and be silent! 
[AvoNiA sits beside Rose, next to Miss Gower. 



1*70 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Miss Gower. 

[In horror.] Oh — li— h — h ! 

Sir William. 

[Restraining her.] Quite in place, Trafalgar; 
quite in place. [To ToM.] Now, sir! 

Tom. 

[Opening his manuscript and reading.] " Life, a 
comedy, by Thomas Wrench " 



END OF THE THIRD ACT. 



TBELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." IVI 



THE FOURTH ACT. 

The scene represents the stage of a theatre with the 
proscenium arch, and the dark and empty audi- 
torium in the distance. The curtain is raised. 
The stage extends a few feet beyond the line of 
the proscenium, and is terminated by a row 
of old-fashioned footlights with metal reflectors. 
On the left, from the proscenium arch runs a 
wall, in ivhich is an open doorway supposed to 
admit to the Green-room. Right and left of the 
stage are the "P." and " O. P." and the first 
and second entrances, with wings running in 
grooves, according to the old fashion. Against 
the ivall are some ^^ flats.'''' Just below the foot- 
lights is a T-light, burning gas, and below this 
the prompt-table. On the right of the prompt- 
table is a chair, and on the left another. 
Against the edge of the proscenium arch is 
another chair; and nearer, on the right, stands a 
large throne-chair, with a gilt frame and red 
velvet seat, now much dilapidated. In the 
''second entrance-'' there are a ''property'''' 
stool, a table, and a chair, all of a similar style 
to the throne-chair and in like condition, and on 
the center, as if placed there for the purpose of 
rehearsal, are a small circular table and a chair. 
On this table is a work-basket containing a ball 
of wool and a pair of knitting-needles; and 



1Y2 TBELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

on the prompt-table there is a book. A faded 
and ragged green baize covers the floor of the 
stage. 
The wings, and the flats and borders, suggest by 
their appearance a theatre fallen somewhat 
into decay. The light is a dismal one, but it 
is relieved by a shaft of sunlight entering 
through a window in the flies on the right. 

[Mrs. Telfer is seated upon the throne-chair, 
in an attitude of dejection. Telfer 
enters from the Green-room. 

Telfer. 
[Coming to her.'\ Is that you, Violet? 

Mrs. Telfer. 
Is the reading over? 

Telfer. 

Almost. My part is confined to the latter 'alf of 
the second act; so being close to the Green-room 
door [with a sigh], I stole away, 

Mrs. Telfer. 
It affords you no opportunity, James? 

Telfer. 
[Shaking his head.] A mere fragment. 



teelawny of the " wells." 1y3 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Rising.] Well, but a few good speeches to a man 

of yoiir stamp 

Telfer. 

Yes, but this is so line-y, Violet; so very line-y. 
And what d'ye think the character is described as? 

Mrs. Telfer. 
What? 

Telfer. 

" An old, stagey, out-of-date actor." 

[They stand looking at each other for a mo- 
ment, silently. 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Falteringly.] Will you — be able — to get near it, 
James ? 

Telfer. 

[Looking away from, her.] I dare say 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Laying a hand upon his shoulder. '\ That's all 
right, then. 

Telfer. 

And you — what have they called you for, if you're 
not in the play? They 'ave not dared to suggest 
understudy? 



174 trelawny of the " wells." 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Playing with Jier fingers.] They don't ask me to 
act at all, James. 

Telfer. 
Don't ask you ! 

Mrs. Telfer. 

Miss Parrott offers me the position of Wardrobe- 
mistress. 

Telfer. 

Violet ! 

Mrs. Telfer. 
Hush! 

Let us both go home. 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Restraining him.] No, let us remain. We've 
been idle six months, and I can't bear to see you 
without your watch and all your comforts about you. 

Telfer. 

[Pointing toward the Green-room.] And so this 
new-fangled stuff, and these dandified people, are to 
push us, and such as us, from our stools ! 



teelawnt of the " wells." 175 

Mks. Telfer. 

Yes, James, just as some other new fashion will, in 
course of time, push them from their stools. 

[From the Green-room comes the sound of a 
slight clapping of hands, folloiced by a 
murmur of voices. The Telfers move 
away. Imogen, elaborately dressed, enters 
from the Green-room and goes leisurely to 
the prompt-table. She is followed by Tom, 
manuscript in hand, smarter than usual 
in appearance ; and he by O'Dwyer, — an 
excitable Irishman of about forty, tvith 
an extravagant head of hair, — who car- 
ries a small bundle of ^'^ parts " in broivn- 
paper covers. Tom and O'Dwyer join 
Imogen. 

O'Dwyer. 

[To Tom.] Mr. Wrench, I congratulate ye; I have 
that honor, sir. Your piece will do, sir; it will take 
the town, mark me. 

Tom. 

Thank you, O'Dwyer. 

Imogen, 

Look at the sunshine ! there's a good omen, at any 
rate. 

O'Dwyer. 
Oh, sunshine's nothing. [To ToM.] But did ye 



176 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

observe the gloom on their faces whilst ye were 
readin'? 

Imogen. 
[Anxiously.] Yes, they did look glum. 

O'DWYER. 

Glum! it might have been a funeral! There's a 
healthy prognostication for ye, if ye loike! it's in- 
fallible. 

[A keen-faced gentleman and a lady enter, 
from the Green-room, and stroll across 
the stage to the right, where they lean 
against the wings and talk. Then two 
young gentlemen enter, and Rose folloics. 
Note. — The actors and the actress ap- 
pearing for the first time in this act, as 
members of the Pantheon Company, are 
outwardly greatly superior to the Gadds, 
the Telfers, and Colpoys. 

Robe. 

[Shaking hands with Telfer.] Why didn't you 
sit near me, Mr. Telfer? [Going to Mrs. Telfer.] 
Fancy our being together again, and at the West 
End ! [To Telfer.] Do you like the play? 

Telfer. 

Like it ! there's not a speech in it, my dear — not a 
real speech; nothing to dig your teeth into 




IMOGEN PARROTT. 



TBELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 177 

O'DWYER. 

[Allotting the parts, under the direction of Tom 
and Imogen,] Mr. Mortimer! [One of the young 
gentlemen advances and receives his part from, 
O'DwYER, and retires, reading it.] Mr. Denzil ! 

[The keen-faced gentleman takes his part, 
then joins Imogen on her left and talks to 
her. The lady now has something to say 
to the solitary young gentleman. 

Tom. 

[To O'DwYER, quietly, handing him a part.] Miss 
Brewster. 

O'DwYER. 

[Beckoning to the lady, who does not observe him, 
her hack being towards him.] Come here, my love. 

Tom. 

[To O'DwYER.] No, no, O'Dwyer — not your 
"love." 

O'Dwyer. 

[Perplexed.] Not? 

Tom. 
No. 

O'Dwyer. 
No? 

Tom. 

Why, you are meeting her this morning for the 
first time. 



178 TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

O'DWTEK, 

That's true enough. [Approaching the lady and. 
handing her the part.] Miss Brewster. 

The Lady. 
Much obliged. 

O'DWYER. 

[Quietly to her.] It '11 fit ye like a glove, darlin'. 
[The lady sits, conning her part. O'Dwyer 
returns to the table. 

Telfer. 

[To Rose.] Your lover in the play? which of these 
young sparks plays your lover — Harold or Ger- 
ald ? 

Rose. 

Gerald. I don't know. There are some people not 
here to-day, I believe. 

O'Dwyer. 
Mr. Hunston ! 

[The second young gentleman advances, re- 
ceives his part, and joins the other young 
gentleman in the wings. 

Rose. 

Not that young man, I hope. Isn't he a little 
bandy? 



TKELA.WNY OF THE " WELLS." 179 

Telfer. 

One of the finest Macduff s I ever fought with was 
bow-legged. 

O'DWYER. 

Mr. Kelfer. 

Tom. 
[To O'DwYER.] No, no— Telfer. 



O'DWYER. 



Telfer. 



[Telfer draws himself erect, puts his hand 
in his breast, but otherwise remains 
stationary. 

Mrs. Telfer. 
[Anxiously.] That's you, James. 

O'DWYER. 

Come on, Mr. Telfer! look alive, sir! 
Tom. 

[To O'DwYER.] Sssh, sssh, sssh! don't, don't ! 

[Telfer advances to the prompt-table, slowly. He 
receives his part from O'Dwyer. To Telfer, awk- 
wardly.] I — I hope the little part of Poggs appeals to 
you, Mr. Telfer. Only a sketch, of course ; but ther« 
was nothing else — quite — in your 

Telfer. 
Nothing? to whose share does the Earl fall? 



180 trelawny of the " wells." 

Tom. 

Oh, Mr. Denzil plays Lord Parracourt. 

Telper. 

Denzil? I've never 'eard of 'im. Will you get to 
me to-day? 

Tom. 

We — we expect to do so. 

Telfer. 

"Very well. [Stiffly.] Let me be called in the 
street. [He stalks atvay. 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Relieved.] Thank Heaven! I was afraid James 
would break out. 

Rose. 

[To Mrs. Telfer.] But you, dear Mrs. Telfer— 
you weren't at the reading — what are you cast for? 

Mrs. Telfer. 

I? [Wiping away a tear.] I am the Wardrobe- 
mistress of this theatre. 

Rose. 

You I [Embracing her.] Oh! oh! 

Mrs. Telfer. 

[Composing herself.] Miss Trelawny — Rose— my 
child, if we are set to scrub a floor — and we may 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 181 

come to that yet — let us make up our minds to scrub 

it legitimately — with dignity 

[She disappears and is seen no more. 

O'DWYER. 

Miss Trelawny ! come here, my de 

Tom. 
[ToO'DwYER.] Hush! 

O'DWYER. 

Miss Trelawny ! 

[Rose receives her part from O'Dwter and, 
after a word or two with Tom and Imogen, 
joins the two young gentlemen who are in 
the ^^ second entrance, L." The lady, 
who has been seated, now rises and crosses 
to the left, where she meets the keen-faced 
gentleman, who has finished his conversa- 
tion with Imogen. 

The Lady. 

[7b the keen-faced gentleman.] I say, Mr. Den- 
zil! who plays Gerald? 

The Gentlemen. 
Gerald? 

The Lady. 
The man I have my scene with in the third act — 
the hero 



182 TEELAAVNY OF THE " WELLS." 

The Gentleman. 

Oh, yes. Oh, a young gentleman from the coun- 
try, I understand. 

The Lady. 
From the country ! 

The Gentleman. 

He is coming up by train this morning, Miss Par- 
rott tells me; from Bath or somewhei'e 

The Lady. 

Well, whoever he is, if he can't play that scene 
with me decently, my part's not worth rags. 

Tom. 

[To Imogen, who is sitting at the prompt-table.] 
Er — h'm— shall we begin. Miss Parrott? 

Imogen. 
Certainly, Mr. Wrench. 

Tom. 

We'll begin, O'Dwyer. 

[The lady titters at some remarJc from the 
keen-faced gentleman. 

O'DWYEK. 

[Coming down the stage, inolently.] Clear the 



TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 183 

stage there! I'll not have it! Upon my honor, 
this is the noisiest theatre I've ever set foot in ! 

[The icings are cleared, the characters disap- 
pearing into the Crreen-room. 

O'DWTER. 

I can't hear myself speak for all the riot and con- 
fusion ! 

Tom. 

[To O'DwYER.] My dear O'Dwyer, there is no 
riot, there is no confusion 

Imogen. 

[To O'DwYER.] Except the riot and confusion you 
are making. 

Tom. 

You know, you're admirably earnest, O'Dwyer, 
but a little excitable. 

O'Dwyer. 

[Calming himself.] Oh, I beg your pardon, I'm 
sure. [Emphatically.] My system is, begin as you 
mean to go on. 

Imogen. 
But we don't mean to go on like that. 
Tom. 

Of course not; of course not. Now, let me see — 
[pointing to tJie right center] we shall want another 
chair here. 



184 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS. '^ 

O'DWYER. 

Another chair? 

Tom. 
A garden chair. 

O'DWYEB. 

[Excitably.] Another chair ! Now, then, another 
chair! Properties! where are ye? do ye hear me 

callin'? must I raise my voice to ye ? 

[He rushes away. 

Imogen. 

[Tb Tom.] Phew! where did you get Mm from? 

Tom. 

[Wiping his brow.] Known Michael for years — 
most capable, invaluable fellow 

Imogen. 
[Simply.] I wish he was dead. 

Tom. 
So do I. 

[O'DwYER returns, carrying a light chair. 

Tom. 

Well, where's the property-man? 

O'Dwter, 

[Pleasantly.] It's all right now. He's gone to 
dinner. 



trelawny of the " wells." 185 

Tom. 

[Placing the chair in position.] Ah, then he'll be 
back some time during the aftei'noon. [Looking 
about him.] That will do. [Taking up his manu- 
script.] Call — haven't you engaged a call-boy yet, 
O'Dwyer? 

O'DWYER. 

I have, sir, and the best in London. 

Imogen. 

Where is he? 

O'DWTER. 

He has sint an apology for his non-attindance. 

Imogen. 
Oh ! 

O'DWTER. 

A sad case, ma'am; he's buryin' his wife. 

Tom. 
Wife I 

Imogen. 
The call-boy? 

Tom. 
What's his age? 

O'DwYER. 

Ye see, he happens to be an elder brother of my 
own 



1s6 trelawny of the " wells." 

Imogen and Tom. 
OLord! 

Tom. 

Never mind 1 let's get on ! Call Miss [Look- 
ing toward the right.] Is that the Hall-Keeper? 

[A man, suggesting by his appearance that he 
is the Hall-Keeper, presents himself, with 
a card in his hand. 

O'DWYER. 

[Furiously.] Now then ! are we to be continually 
interrupted in this fashion? Have I, or have I not, 
given strict orders that nobody whatever ? 

Tom. 

Hush, hush! see whose card it is; give me the 
card 

O'DWTER. 

[Handing the card to Tom.] Ah, I'll make rules 
here. In a week's time you'll not know this for the 

same theatre 

[Tom has passed the card to Imogen without 
looking at it. 

Imogen. 
[Staring at it blankly .] Oh ! 

Tom. 

[To her.] Eh? 



teelawny of the " wells." 187 

Imogen. 



Sir William! 
Sir William! 



Tom. 



Imogen. 
What can he want? what shall we do? 

Tom. 

[After referring to his watch — to the Hall-Keeper. J 
Bring this gentleman on to the stage. [The Hall- 
Keeper ivithdraivs. To O'Dwyer.] Make yourself 
scarce for a few moments, O'Dwyer. Some private 
business 

O'Dwyer. 

All right. I've plenty to occupy me. I'll begin to 
frame those rules [He disappears. 

Imogen. 
[To Tom.] Not here 

Tom. 

[To Imogen.] The boy can't arrive for another 
twenty minutes. Besides, we must, sooner or later, 
accept responsibility for our act. 

Imogen. 

[Leaning upon his arm.] Heavens! I foretold 

this! 



188 trelawny of the " wells." 

Tom. 
[Grimly.] I know—" said so all along." 

Imogen. 
If he should withdraw his capital ! 

Tom. 

[With clenched hands.] At least, that would 
enable me to write a melodrama. 

Imogen. 
Why? 

Tom. 

I should then understand the motives and the 
springs of Crime ! 

[The Hall-Keeper reappears, showing the way 
to Sir William Gower. Sir William's 
hat is drawn down over his eyes, and the 
rest of his face is almost entirely concealed 
by his plaid. The Hall-Keeper with- 
draws. 

Tom. 

[Receiving Sir William.] How d'ye do, Sir 
William? 

Sib WiLLLiM. 
[Giving him two fingers — with a grunt.] Ugh ! 



TBELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 189 

Tom. 

These are odd surroundings for you to find 

yourself in [Imogen comes forward.] Miss 

Parrott 

Sir William. 

[Advancing to her, giving her two fingers.] Good- 
morning, ma'am. 

Imogen. 

This is perfectly delightful. 

Sir William. 
What is? 

Imogeit. 

[Faintly.] Your visit. 

Sir William. 

Ugh! [Weakly.] Give me a cheer. [Looking 
about him.] Have ye no cheers here? 

Tom. 
Yes. 

[Tom places the throne-chair behind Sir 
William, who sinks into it. 

Sir William. 

Thank ye; much obleeged. [To Imogen.] Sit. 
[Imogen hurriedly fetches the stool and seats herself 
beside the throne-chair. Sir William produces his 
snuff-box.] You are astonished at seeing me here, I 
dare say? 



190 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Tom. 
Not at all. 

SiK WlLLLA.M. 

[Glancing at Tom.] Addressing the lady. \To 
Imogen.] You are surprised to see me? 

Imogen. 
Very. 

Sir William. 

[7b Tom.] Ah ! [Tom retreats, getting behind Sir 
William's chair and looking down upon him.] The 
truth is, I am beginning to regret my association 
with ye. 

Imogen. 

[Her hand to her heart.] Oh — h — h — h ! 

Tom. 

[Under his breath.] Oh! [Holding his fist over 
Sir William's head.] Oh— h— h— h ! 

Imogen. 

[Piteously]. You — you don't propose to withdraw 
your capital, Sir William? 

Sir William. 
That would be a breach of faith, ma'am 

Imogen. 
Ah! 



tkelaavny of the " wells." 191 

Tom. 
[ Walking about, jauntily.] Ha ! 

Imogen. 
[Seizing Sir Willi ajm's hand. ] Friend ! 

Sir William. 

[Withdraiving his hand sharply.] I'll thank ye 
not to repeat that action, ma'am. But I — I have 
been slightly indisposed since I made your acqueent- 
ance in Clerkenwell ; I find myself unable to sleep at 
night. [TbToM.] That comedy of yours— it buzzes 
continually in my head, sir. 

Tom. 

It was written with such an intention, Sir William 
— to buzz in people's heads. 

Sir William. 

Ah, I'll take care ye don't read me another, Mr. 
Wicks ; at any rate, another which contains a char- 
acter resembling- a member of my family — a late 
member of my family. I don't relish being re- 
minded of late members of my family in this way, 
and being kept awake at night, thinking — turning 
over in my mind 

Imogen. 
[Soothingly.] Of course not. 



19$ TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Siu William. 

[Taking snuff.] Pa— a— a — h! pi— i — i — sh! 
When I saw Kean, as Eichard, he reminded me of 
no member of my family. Shakespeare knew better 
than that, Mr. Wicks. [To Imogen.] And therefore, 
ma'am, upon receiving your letter last night, ac- 
queeuting me with your intention to commence 
rehearsing your comedy — [glancing at Tom] his 
comedy 

Imogen, 

[Softly.] Our comedy 

Sir William. 

Ugh — to-day at noon, I determined to present 
myself here and request to be allowed to — to 

Tom. 
To watch the rehearsal? 

Sir William. 

The rehearsal of those episodes in your comedy 
which remind me of a member of my family — a late 
member. 

Imogen. 
[Constrainedly]. Oh, certainly 

Tom. 
[Firmly. ] By all means. 



TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 193 

Sir William. 

[Rising, assisted by Tom.] I don't wish to be 
steered at by any of your— what d'ye call 'em? — your 

gypsy crew 

Tom. 

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Company, we call 
'em. 

Sir William. 

[Tartly.] I don't care what ye call 'em. [TOM 
restores the throne-chair to its former position.] 
Put me into a curtained box, where I can hear, and 
see, and not be seen; and when I have heard and 
seen enough, I'll return home — and — and — obtain a 
little sleep ; and to-morrow I shall be well enough to 
sit in Court again. 

Tom. 

[Calling.] Mr. O'Dwyer 

[O'DwYER appears; Tom speaJcs a word or 
two to him, and hands him the manu- 
script of the play. 

Imogen. 
[To Sir Willlum, f alter ingly.] And if you are 
pleased with what you see this morning, perhaps you 
will attend another ? 

Sir William. 

[Angrily.] Not I. After to-day I wash my hands 
of ye. What do plays and players do, coming into my 



194 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

head, disturbing my repose! [3Iore composedly, to 
Tom. ivho has returned to his side.] Your comedy- 
has merit, sir. You call it Life. There is a char- 
acter in it — a young man — not unlike life, not un- 
like a late member of my family. Obleege me with 
your arm. [To Imogen.] Madam, I have arrived at 
the conclusion that Miss Trelawny belongs to a set 
of curious people who in other paths might have 
been useful members of society. But after to-day 
I've done with ye — done with ye— — [To TOM.] 

My box, sir — my box 

[Tom leads Sir William up the stage. 

Tom. 

[To O'DwYER.] Begin rehearsal. Begin rehear- 
sal ! Call Miss Trelawny ! 

[Tom and Sir William disappear. 

O'DWYER. 

Miss Trelawny! Miss Trelawny! [Rushing to 
the left.] Miss Trelawny! how long am I to stand 
here shoutin' myself hoarse ? [EosE appears. 

Rose. 
[Gently.] Am I called? 

O'DwYER. 

[Instantly calm.] You are, darlin'. [O'Dwyer 
takes his place at the prompt-table, hook in hand. 
Imogen and Rose stand together in the center. The 



TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 195 

other members of the company come from the Green- 
room and stand in the wings, watching the rehear- 
sal.^ Now then! [Reading from the manuscript. \ 
"At the opening of the play Peggy and Dora are 

discovered " Who's Peggy? [Excitedly.] 

Wliere's Peggy? Am I to ? 

Imogen. 
Here I am ! here I am ! I am Peggy. 

O'DWYER. 

[Calm.] Qt course ye are, lovey— ma'am, I should 

say 

Imogen. 
Yes, you should. 

O'DWTER. 

" Peggy is seated upon the Right, Dora on the 
Left " [Rose and Imogen seat themselves accord- 
ingly. In a difficidty.] No— Peggy on the Left, 
Dora on the Right. [Violently.] This is the worst 

written scrip I've ever held in my hand [Rose 

and Imogen change places.] So horribly scrawled 
over, and interlined, and — no — I was quite correct. 
Peggy is on the Right, and Dora is on the Left. 
[Imogen and Rose again change seats. O'Dwyer 
reads from the manuscript.] "Peggy is engaged in 

— in " I can't decipher it. A scrip like this is a 

disgrace to any well-conducted theatre. [ To Imogen.] 
I don't know what you're doin'. " Dora is— is " 



196 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

[To Rose.] You are also doin' something or another. 
Now then! When the curtain rises, you are dis- 
covered, both of ye, employed in the way de- 
scribed [Tom returns.] Ah, here ye are! [JRe- 

signing the manuscript to Tom, and pointing out a 
passage.] I've got it smooth as far as there. 

Tom. 
Thank you. 

O'DWYER. 

[Seating himself.] You're welcome. 

Tom. 

[To EosE and Imogen.] Ah, you're not in your 
right positions. Change places, please. 

[Imogen and Rose change seats once more. 
O'DwYER rises and goes away. 

O'DwYER. 

[Out of sight, violently.] A scrip like that's a 
scandal! If there's a livin' soul that can read bad 
handwriting, I am that man ! But of all the 1 

Tom. 
Hush, hush ! Mr. O'Dwyer ! 

O'DWYER. 

[Returning to his chair.] Here. 



trelawny of the " wells." 197 

Tom. 

[Taking the book from the prompt-table and hand- 
ing it to Imogen.] You are reading. 

O'DWYER. 

[ Sotto voce.] I thought so. 

Tom. 
[To Rose.] You are working. 

O'DWYER, 

Working. 

Tom. 

[Pointing to the basket on the table.] There are 
your needles and wool. [Rose takes the icool and 
the needles out of the basket. Tom takes the ball of 
wool from her and places it in the center of the stage.] 
You have allowed the ball of wool to roll from your 
lap on to the grass. You will see the reason for that 
presently. 

Rose. 
I remember it, Mr. Wrench. 

Tom. 
The curtain rises. [To Imogen.] Miss Parrott 

Imogen. 
[Referring to her part ^ What do I say? 



198 trelawny of the " wells." 

Tom. 
Nothing — you yawn. 

Imogen. 
[Yawning, in a perfunctory way.] Oh — hi 

Tom. 
As if you meant it, of course. 

Imogen. 
Well, of course. 

Tom. 

Your yawn must tell the audience that you are a 
young lady who may be driven by boredom to 
almost any extreme. 

O'DWTER. 

[Jumping up.] This sort of thing. [Yawning 
extravagantly.] He — oh! 

Tom. 
[Irritably.] Thank you, O'Dwyer; thank you. 

O'Dwtek. 

[Sitting again.] You're welcome. 

Tom. 
[To Rose.] You speak. 



tbelawnt of the " wells." 199 

Rose. 

[Reading from her part — retaining the needles 
and the end of the wool.] " What are you reading, 
Miss Chaffinch?" 

Imogen. 

[Reading from her part. ] "A novel." 

Rose. 
" And what is the name of it? " 

Imogen. 
" The Seasons:' 

Rose. 
•'Why is it called that?" 

Imogen. 
" Because all the people in it do seasonable things." 

Rose. 

"For instance ?" 

Imogen. 
"In the Spring, fall in love." 

Rose. 
" In the Summer? " 

Imogen. 
' ' Become engaged. Delightful 1 " 



200 trelawnt of the " wells." 

Rose. 
"Autumn?" 

Imogen. 

** Marry. Heavenly ! " 

Rose. 
" Winter? " 

Imogen. 
"Quarrel. Ha, ha, ha!" 

Tom. 
[To Imogen.] Close the book — with a bang 

O'DWTER. 

[Bringing his hands together sharply by way of 
suggestion. ] Bang ! 

Tom. 

[Irritably.'] Yes, yes, O'Dwyer. [To Imogen.] 
Now rise 

O'Dwyer. 
Up ye get ! 

Tom. 
And cross to Dora. 

Imogen. 

[Going to Rose.] "Miss Harrington, don't you 
wish occasionally that you were engaged to be 
married? " 



trelawny of the " wells." 201 

Rose. 
"No." 

Imogen. 

** Not on wet afternoons? " 

Rose. 

"lam perfectly satisfied with this busy little life 
of mine, as your aunt's Companion." 

Tom. 

[To Imogen.] Walk about, discontentedly. 

Imogen. 

[Walking about.] "I've nothing to do; let's tell 
each other our ages." 

Rose. 
"I am nineteen." 

Tom. 

[To Imogen.] In a loud whisper 

Imogen. 
" I am twenty-two." 

O'DWTER. 

[Rising and going to Tom.] Now, hadn't ye better 
make that Sia;-and-twenty ? 

Imogen. 
[Joining them, with asperity.] Why? why? 



202 TBELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Tom. 

No, no, certainly not. Go on. 

Imogen. 

[Angrily.} Not till Mr. O'Dwyer retires into his 
corner. 

Tom. 

O'Dwyer [O'Dwyer taJces his chair, and re- 
tires to the ^^prompt-corner,'''' out of sight, ivith 
the air of martyrdom. Tom addresses Rose.] You 
speak. 

Rose. 

"I shall think, and feel, the same when I am 
twenty-two, I am sure. I shall never wish to marry." 

Tom. 
[To Imogen.] Sit on the stump of the tree. 

Imogen. 
Where's that? 

Tom. 

[Pointing to the stool doivn the stage.] Where 
that stool is. 

Imogen. 

[Sitting on the stool.] "Miss Harrington, who is 
the Mr. Gerald Leigh who is expected down to-day? " 

Rose. 
"Lord Parracourt's secretary." 



trelawny of the " wells." 203 

Imogen. 
" Old and poor! " 

Rose. 

"Neither, I believe. He is the son of a college 
chum of Lord Parracourt's — so I heard his lordship 
tell Lady McArchie — and is destined for public life." 

Imogen. 
"Then he's young!" 

Rose. 
" Extremely, I understand." 

Imogen. 

[Jumping up, in obedience to a sign from TOM.] 
' ' Oh, how can you be so spiteful I " 

Rose. 

"I!" 

Imogen. 
"You mean he's too young! " 

Rose. 
" Too young for what? " 

Imogen. 

" Too young for — oh, bother! " 

Tom. 

[Looking towards the keen-faced gentleman.] Mr. 
Denzil. 



804 TRBLAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

O'DWYER. 

[Putting his head round the corner.] Mr. Denzill 
[The keen-faced gentleman comes forward, 
reading his part, and meets Imogen, 

The Gentleman. 

[Speaking in the tones of an old man.] "Ah, 
Miss Peggy! " 

Tom. 

[To Rose.] Rise, Miss Trelawny. 

O'DWYER. 

[His head again appearing.] Rise, darlin' 1 

[Rose rises. 

The Gentleman. 

[To Imogen.] "Your bravura has just arrived 
from London. Lady McArchie wishes you to try it 
over; and if I may add my entreaties " 

Imogen, 

[Taking his arm.] "Delighted, Lord Parracourt. 
[To Rose.] Miss Harrington, bring your work 
indoors and hear me squall. [To the Gentleman.] 
Why, you must have telegraphed to townl " 

The Gentleman. 
[As they cross the stage.] "Yes, but even teleg- 



TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 205 

raphy is too sluggish in executing your smallest 
command." 

[Imogen and the Tceen-faced gentleman go off 
on the left. He remains in the wings, she 
returns to the prompt-table. 

Rose. 

" Why do Miss ChaflSnch and her girl-friends 
talk of nothing, think of nothing apparently, but 
marriage? Ought a woman to make marriage the 
great object of life? can there be no other? I won- 
der " 

[She goes off, the wool trailing after her, and 
disappears into the Green-room. The ball 
of wool remains in the center of the stage. 

Tom. 

[Reading from his manuscript.] "The piano 
is heard; and Peggy's voice singing. Gerald 
enters " 

Imogen. 

[Clutching Tom's arm.] There ! 

Tom. 
Ah, yes, here is Mr. Gordon. 

[Arthur appears, in a traveling coat. Tom 
and Imogen hasten to him and shake 
hands with him vigorously. 



206 teelawny of the " wells," 

Tom. 
[On Arthur's right] How are you? 

Imogen. 
[On his left nervously.] How are you? 

Arthuk. 

[Breathlessly.] Miss Parrott! Mr. Wrench! for- 
give me if I am late ; my cab- horse galloped from the 
station 

Tom. 

We have just reached your entrance. Have you 
read your part over? 

Akthur. 

Read it! [TaJcing it from his pocTcet.] I know 
every word of it! it has made my journey from 
Bristol like a flight through the air! Why, Mr. 
Wrench [turning over the leaves of his part], some 
of this is almost me ! 

Tom and Imogen. 
[Nervously.] Ha, ha, ha! 

Tom. 

Come! you enter! [pointing to the right] there! 
[returning to the prompt-table with Imogen] you 
stroll on, looking about you ! Now, Mr. Gordon ! 



trelawny of the " wells." 207 

Arthur. 

[Advancing to the center of the stage, occasionally 
glancing at his part.] ' ' A pretty place. I am glad 
I left the carriage at the lodge and walked through 
the grounds." 

[There is an exclamation, proceeding from the 
auditorium, and the sound of the over- 
turning of a chair. 

Imogen. 
Ohl 

O'DWYER. 

[Appearing, looking into the auditorium.] 
What's that? This is the noisiest theatre I've ever 

set foot in ! 

Tom. 
Don't heed it ! [To Arthur.] Go on, Mr. Gordon. 
Arthur. 

"Somebody singing. A girl's voice. Lord Parra- 
court made no mention of anybody but his hostess — 
the dry, Scotch widow. [Picking up the ball of wool.] 
This is Lady Mc Archie's, I'll be bound. The very 
color suggests spectacles and iron-gray curls " 

Tom. 
Dora returns. [Calling.] Dora! 

O'DWYER. 

Dora! where are ye? 



208 TEELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

The Gentleman. 

[Going to the Green-room door.'\ Dora I Dora! 

[Rose appears in the wings. 

Robe. 

[To Tom.] I'm sorry. 

Tom. 
Go on, please ! 

[There is another sound, nearer the stage, of 
the overturning of some object. 

O'DWYEK. 

What ? 

Tom. 
Don't heed it ! 

Rose. 

[ Coming face to face with Arthur. ] Oh 1 

Arthur. 
Rose ! 

Tom. 

Go on, Mr. Gordon ! 

Arthur. 
[To Rose, holding out the hall of wool.} "I beg 
your pardon — are you looking for this ? " 

Rose. 

"Yes, I — I — I " {Dropping her head upon his 

hreast.] Oh, Arthur! 

[Sir William enters, and comes forward on 
Arthur's right. 



trelawny of the " wells." 209 

Sir William. 
Arthiir I 

Arthur. 

[Turning to him.] Grandfather! 

O'DWTER. 

[Indignantly.] Upon my soul ! 

Tom. 
Leave the stage, O'Dwyer ! 

[O'DwYER vanishes. Imogen goes to those 
who are in the wings and talks to them ; 
gradually they withdraw into the Green- 
room. EosE sinks on to the stool; Tom 
comes to her and stands beside her. 

Sir William. 
What's this? what is it ? 

Arthur. 

[Bewildered.] Sir, I — I — you — and — and Rose — 
are the last persons I expected to meet here 

Sir William. 

Ah-h— h— h ! 

Arthur. 

Perhaps you have both already learned, from Mr. 
Wrench or Miss Parrott, that I have — become — a 
gypsy, sir? 



210 TEELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Sir William. 

Not I; [pointing to Tom and Imogen] these — 
these people have thought it decent to allow me to 
make the discovery for myself. 

[He sinks into the throne-chair. Tom goes to 
Sir William. Arthur joins Imogen; 
they talk together rapidly and earnestly. 

Tom. 

[To Sir William.] Sir William, the secret of 
your grandson's choice of a profession 

Sir William. 
[Scornfully.] Profession ! 

Tom. 

Was one that I was pledged to keep as long as it 
was possible to do so. And pray remember that your 
attendance here this morning is entirely your own 
act. It was our intention 

Sir William. 

[Struggling to his feet.] Where is the door? the 
way to the door? 

Tom. 

And let me beg you to understand this, Sir 
William — that Miss Trelawny was, till a moment 
ago, as ignorant as yourself of Mr. Arthur Gower's 
doings, of his movements, of his whereabouts. She 



TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 211 

would never have thrown herself in his way, in this 
manner. Whatever conspiracy 

Sir William. 

Conspiracy! the right word — conspiracy! 

Tom. 

Whatever conspiracy there has been is my own — 
to bring these two young people together again, to 

make them happy 

[Rose Jiolds out her hand to Tom; he takes it. 
They are joined by Imogen. 

Sir William. 
[Looking about him.] The door ! the door ! 
Arthur. 

[Coming to Sir William.] Grandfather, may I, 
when rehearsal is over, venture to call in Cavendish 

Square ? 

Sir William. 

Call ! 

Arthur. 

Just to see Aunt Trafalgar, sir? I hope Aunt Tra- 
falgar is well, sir. 

Sir William. 

[ With a slight change of tone. ] Your Great-aunt 
Trafalgar? Ugh, yes, I suppose she will consent to 
see ye 



213 TRELAWNT OF THE " WELLS." 

Arthur. 
Ah, sir 1 

Sir William. 
But /shall be out; /shall not be within doors. 

Arthur. 

Then, if Aunt Trafalgar will receive me, sir, do you 
think I may be allowed to— to bring Miss Trelawny 
with me ? 

Sir William. 

What ! ha, I perceive you have already acquired 
the impudence of your vagabond class, sir ; the brazen 
eflProntery of a set of ! 

Rose. 

[Rising and facing him.] Forgive him! forgive 
him ! oh, Sir William, why may not Arthur become, 
some day, a, splendid gypsy? 

Sir William. 
Eh? 

Rose. 
Like 

Sir William. 
[Peering into her face.] Like ? 

Rose. 
Like 



tbela.wny of the " wells." 213 

Tom. 

Yes, sir, a gypsy, though of a diflPerent order from 
the old oi'der which is departing — a gypsy of the new- 
school ! 

SiK William. 

[To Rose.] Well, Miss Gower is a weak, foolish 
lady ; for aught I know she may allow this young 
man to — to — take ye 

Imogen. 

I would accompany Rose, of course, Sir William. 

Sir William. 

[Tartly.} Thank ye, ma'am. [Turning.] I'll go 
to my carriage. 

Arthur. 

Sir, if you have the carriage here, and if you would 
have the patience to sit out the rest of the rehearsal, 
we might return with you to Cavendish Square. 

Sir William. 
[Choking.] Oh— h— h— h ! 

Arthur. 

Grandfather, we are not rich people, and a cab to 
us 

Sir William. 

[Exhausted.] Arthur ! 



214 TRELAWNY OF THE " WELLS." 

Tom. 

Sir "William will return to his box ! [Going up the 
stage.] O'Dwyer ! 

Sir William. 

[Protesting weakly.] No, sir ! no ! 

[O'DwYER appears. 

Tom. 

Mr. O'Dwyer, escort Sir William Gower to liis 
box. 

[Arthur goes up the stage with Sir William, 
Sir William still uttering protests. Rose 
and Imogen embrace. 

O'DVVYER. 

[Giving an arm to Sir William.] Lean on me, 
sir! heavily, sir ! 

Tom. 

Shall we proceed with the rehearsal, Sir William, 
or wait till you are seated ? 

Sir William. 

[Violently.] Wait! Confound ye, d'ye think I 
want to remain here all day ! 

[Sir William and O'Dwyer disappear. 



teelawny of the " wells." 215 

Tom. 

[Coming forward, with Arthur on his right — 
wildly.] Go on with the rehearsal ! Mr. Gordon and 
Miss Rose Trelawny ! Miss Trelawny ! [Rose goes to 
him.} Trelawny — late of the "Wells"! Let us — 

let [Gripping Arthur's hand tightly, he bows 

his head upon Rose's shoulder.] Oh, my dears 1 

let us — get on with the rehearsal 1 



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