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Full text of "The title-mart; a comedy in three acts"

THE 



MAPT 



WINSTON 



THE TITLE-MART 



THE TITLE-MART 

A COMEDY 

IN THREE ACTS 
BY 

WINSTON CHURCHILL 



gork 
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

LONDON : MACMILLAN & CO., LTD. 
1905 

Dramatic rights reserved 



COPYRIGHT, 1905, 
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. 



Set up and electrotype*!. Published October, 1905. 



J. S. Cashing & Co. Berwirk & Smith Co. 
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 



OF CHARACTERS 



THE MARQUIS OF TREDBURY 



A young nobleman in finan 

cial straits. 

Son of " Barking s china." 
Railroad President and Cap 

tain of Industry. 
Lawyer, man of the world. 
Reporter on the New York 

Morning Republic. 
Store-keeper and sheriff of 

Carroll County. 
EZRA SWAZEY ...... His clerk. 

TILDEN ........ Valet to Lord Tredbury. 

Butler, footmen, etc. 



REGINALD BARKING, M.P. 
MR. JOHN BLACKWELL . 

MR. LAWRENCE PEPYS . 
ROY CLARKSON 

HIRAM PETERS 



EDITH BLACKWELL . 



MRS. BLACKWELL 

LADY MARJORIE TICKNOR. 



A modern, strenuous, Ameri 
can girl. Incidentally an 
heiress. 

Second wife to Mr. Blackwell, 
stepmother of Edith. 



M748774 



BALCHVILLE IN THE ADIRONDACKS 

ACT I 

SCENE. The Post-office and little general store occupies 
half of the rear of the stage, the left side. It is a low, 
white building, with a porch and checker-paned windows 
on either side of the door, where goods are displayed, 
and signs, 

" MANNA BREAKFAST FOOD," etc. 
There is a small sign, 

" POST-OFFICE," 
and a larger sign over the porch, 

" HIRAM PETERS, GENERAL STORE." 

There is a sign against the wall of the Post-office, of more 
or less permanence and size : 

"TIPTON S HOTEL IN THE MOUNTAINS, 

ON LAKE REGINA, 
EIGHT MILES BY STAGE FROM BALCHVILLE. 

LUXURIOUS SUITES. 

GOLFING, FISHING, TENNIS, BOATING. 

Z. TIPTON, PROPRIETOR." 

There is also a large poster in a conspicuous place adver 
tising, 

"THE BALCHVILLE FAIR," 

with a list of prizes, trotting races, etc. During the act, 
the Fair is supposed to be in progress. At various 

B I 



2 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

intervals, when the action is not interfered with, the boy, 
EZRA SWAZEY, appears disconsolately in the doorway 
of the store. 

In front of the store, in the foreground, is a green, and 
around a great pine tree a seat, carved with various 
designs and initials. In the Right,, rear, is seen the 
landing dock extending into the lake, beyond it the waters, 
and in the distance the hills on the farther side. There 
is a fringe of trees likewise on the extreme Right rear, 
and street is supposed to come in at Right front. 

TIME : About 4.30 on an August afternoon, the present day. 

AT RISE : The boy, EZRA SWAZEY, is discovered standing 
dejectedly on the porch, one hand in his pocket, the other 
holding a scoop such as is used for coffee, sugar, etc. In 
front of him, on the green, stands HIRAM PETERS him 
self, sheriff of Carroll County, a tall, vigorous figure of a 
countryman, sunburned, with a shrewd but kindly face. 
He has a fringe of gray beard on his chin, but no mus 
tache. He wears a blue flannel shirt, trousers tucked 
into his boots, a waistcoat, no coat, and a slouch hat. 
The waistcoat is unbuttoned, his suspenders in evidence. 
On the waistcoat is pinned a shield, the badge of his 
office. 

EZRA 

(Spitting dejectedly on the green.) 
Which hoss won the first heat, Hiram? 

HIRAM 

What s that feller s name that lives over to 
the Centre? Jimson. Don t be cast down, 
Ezry, we can t all git to the Fair. 
(Looking off, Left.) 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 3 

Here comes John Blackwell. When he was 
your age he didn t go to no fairs, and now he kin 
travel from here to Puget Sound on his own 
railroad. Ain t that any comfort? 

(Laughs.) 

(Enter, Left, MR. BLACKWELL. He is a big 
man, with a kindly, rugged face, smooth-shaven, 
and is dressed in an expensive, loose-fitting, 
dark cutaway suit, such as rich men with no 
ostentation affect. He wears square-toed boots, 
a low, turn-down collar, and gray felt hat, 
and over his arm he carries a linen duster.) 
How be ye, John? 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Why aren t you at the Fair, Hiram? 

HIRAM 

Ben thar all day. I jest come over to see ef 
Ezry had eloped with my stock of goods and 
Uncle Sam s mail. He s feelin kinder bad, but 
I was tellin him of your career. The way to 
get rich is to tend store on Fair days. Ain t 
that so, John? 

(MR. BLACKWELL laughs, a hearty, whole 
some laugh, but says nothing.) 
My business ain t what it used to be I ain t 
made an arrest for nigh on to two months, and 
that were only vagrancy. 



4 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

(Sadly.) 

There hain t even a confidence man at that Fair. 

MR. BLACKWELL 
(Laughing.) 
Have you seen any lords around, Hiram? 

HIRAM 

(With interest.) 
Lords! No, have you got a warrant? 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Laughing.) 

I wish you would arrest him, Hiram. My wife 
tells me he s come over here to marry Edith. 

HIRAM 

By jiminy, that feller! The Marquis of 
Tred somethin 

MR. BLACKWELL 
Tredbury. 

HIRAM 

(With mock impressiveness.) 
The Marquis of Tredbury ! He s got a whole 
soot of rooms at Tipton s. Guess Edith s got 
more sense than to invest in a shell game of that 
kind, hain t she, John? 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 5 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Dryly.) 
I hope so. 

HIRAM 

Say, when I heard he was at Tipton s Hotel, 
I says to Bill Morton, it seems kinder strange 
that Mrs. Blackwell hain t got hold of him and 
fetched him up to that palatial camp of yours. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

That s just what she s going to do. She s 
coming over after him in the launch, and he s 
coming down from Tipton s to meet her here. 

HIRAM 

I want to know! 
(A pause.) 

John, you and I used to run around these hills 
barefoot when we were boys, long afore you went 
to New York and got to be a millionnaire. I 
always knowed you was smart, but I never cal- 
lated to see you a captain of industry. And I 
ain t never got above a country storekeeper and 
sheriff. 

(Patting the badge.) 



6 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Laughs deprecatingly, takes out two 
cigars, gives one to HIRAM, and they 
smoke. Sighs.) 

Hiram, do you remember my grandfather, 
the Reverend Cephas Blackwell? 

HIRAM 

(Laughing.) 

Do I remember him? Say, John, I ll never 
forgit the day he caught you and me stealin 
apples outen Deacon Saunders orchard. May 
be he didn t tan us I want to know ! 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Those were happy days, Hiram. 

(Puts his hand on HIRAM S shoulder.) 

HIRAM 

I ve often thought I could put my finger on 
one reason of your success, John. You never 
forgit old friends. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Gruffly.) 
Tut, tut! 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 7 

HIRAM 

Wai, you never did. When you come back here 
fifteen years ago, with all that money, and bought 
your grandfather s farm I was kinder skeered. 
I own to it. I thought you d forgit Hiram Peters. 
But, by godfrey, you most shook my hand off, 
when you seen me in front of this here store. 

MR. BLACKWELL 
(Grunts disapprovingly.) 

HIRAM 

John, them was days afore your first wife died, 
afore you built this grand camp, when you was 
livin plain and comfortable in the Reverend 
Cephas s old house. I always had a fancy for 
that house. Now it hain t nothin but a what 
do you call it? 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Sighing.) 
A lodge. 

HIRAM 

(With contempt.) 

Wai, you hain t changed, though you hev got 
all them powdered mummies in gold lace and 
stockin s to wait on you. 



8 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

(MR. BLACKWELL sighs. HIRAM places 
his hand on his shoulder, sympatheti 
cally.} 

Don t take it so hard, John, I didn t mean 
nothin . One thing, you hain t lost your taste 
for fancy chickens, hev you? Thar s some of the 
finest I ever see over to the Fair, close to that place 
whar they hev the stun bolt contests. Say, John, 
thar s a little black and red cock thar that puts 
up as fine as any bird I ever clapped eyes on. He 
could lick any chicken in your coop. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Hiram, I m ashamed of you. You know I 
don t buy them to fight. 



HIRAM 

No, you don t buy em to fight, but when they 
do fight, you hain t averse to lookin on. John, 
I wasn t brought up with you for nothin . And 
that daughter of yours is jest like you, a nice, 
common lady, no airs, and my, hain t she pretty ! 
(Enter, Left, LORD TREDBURY and MR. REGI 
NALD BARKING, followed by TILDEN, weighted 
down with hat boxes and other luggage, which 
he deposits on the grass. TREDBURY is a well- 
built, clean-cut, athletic-looking young man, 



ACT i THE TITLE-MART 9 

soberly dressed in a Hue serge suit and with 
a quiet manner. MR. REGINALD BARKING 
is heavier built, red-jaced, wears a somewhat 
loud gray checked morning suit, white spats, 
and a monocle.) 
Speakin of the devil, thar s the lord now. 

MR. BLACKWELL 
(Glances at BARKING with anything but 

approval.) 
(To HIRAM.) 

Well, good-by, Hiram ; I ll see you at the Fair. 
Did you say they were near the stone bolt place ? 

HIRAM 

By godfrey, I thought ye couldn t keep away. 
Say, John, take a look at the black and red. 

MR. BLACKWELL 
(Going.) 
Yes, yes. 

HIRAM 
And say, John, thar s a mottled one thar 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Yes, yes. 

(Exit, Left.) 



10 THE TITLE-MART ACT l 

TREDBURY 
Tilden, you may inquire for the mail. 

(Exit TILDEN into the Post-office. HI 
RAM PETERS watches them with curi 
osity, not unmixed with contempt.} 
(To BARKING.) 
No one here yet, Reggie. 

(TILDEN emerges from the Post-office 
with letters. He gives quite a number 
to LORD TREDBURY, and one or two to 
BARKING.) 

BARKING 

(Puts in his glass, looks at his letters, 
and thrusts them into his pocket. To 
HIRAM.) 

I say, my good fellow, is there a chemist in 
this place? 

HIRAM 

Guess you ve made a mistake, Mister, I m a 
damned bad feller. See that badge? 

(Pointing to the badge on his waistcoat.) 

BARKING 

(Adjusting his glass, and examining 

badge.) 

Very interesting, I m sure. But, where is 
the chemist? 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART n 

HIRAM 

The what? 

TREDBURY 
They call em drug stores in America, Barking. 

HIRAM 

(To TREDBURY.) 

Wai, you seem to hev some sense. Thar s 
a kind of a drug store about a block up the road. 
(Points off Right.) 

BARKING 
(To TREDBURY.) 

What an interesting native ! I say, if you don t 
mind, I think I ll be strolling up there. 
(Exit, Right.) 

HIRAM 

(To TREDBURY.) 
Hain t you going to exhibit him at the fair? 

(TILDEN claps his hand over his 
mouth.) 

TREDBURY 

Oh, he s a pretty good sort when you get to 
know him. 



12 THE TITLE-MART ACT I 

HIRAM 

Guess I don t want to know him. If he s a 
lord, then I don t stand for him. 

(Exit, Left, in deep disgust.) 

TREDBURY 

(Laughing quietly: to TILDEN.) 
Just run away and pay that chap who drove us 
down here. 

TILDEN 
Very good, your lordship. 



TREDBURY 

(Taking out his letters, and going over 
and sitting down on the seat under the 
tree.) 

Well, here I am in America, with fifteen thou 
sand pounds worth of debts, two country places 
mortgaged up to the leads, assets, a letter of 
introduction to Mrs. Blackwell, stepmother to an 
heiress worth twenty millions. 

(Lights a cigarette.) 
Let s see what we have here. 

(Opens lills: reads languidly.) 
"Will your lordship please remit - 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 13 

(Tears it up into pieces and throws it 

on the grass. Opens another.) 
"Will your lordship please see that a small 
check - 

(Tears it up, throws pieces on the grass, 

and opens another.) 

"We shall not press your lordship at this time, 
as we understand that your lordship is in Amer 
ica" Ah! 

(Tears it up and throws pieces on the 

grass.) 
Hello, here s a letter from Marjorie. 

(Looks at the outside.) 

Postmarked Newport, R.I., sent to the steamer 
and forwarded here. 

(Opens it, reads a little way.) 
I say, here s a rum go. 

(Then reads:) 

"Newport. 
"Dear Treddy:- 

"I am staying here in Newport 
with the Windhams. I have just had a note from 
Lady Allerdyce saying you were coming to this 
country on the Campagna, and it is entendu that 
you are going to the Adirondacks to visit the 
Blackwells. You and I have always been friends, 
and I don t mind being frank with you. I have 
been in America three weeks, and there are many 
more desirable partis in the country than Edith 



I 4 THE TITLE-MART ACT I 

Blackwell. Heiresses, really attractive ones, are 
very easy to get. This Blackwell girl is unattrac 
tive, hoidenish, impossible. 

(TREDBURY repeats: "Unattractive, hoi 
denish, impossible ! " ) 

Entre nous, she would never do for the Marquess 
of Tredbury. I knew the Blackwells in London, 
where I assisted in getting a few invitations for 
Mrs. Blackwell, for a consideration. It was 
a case of noblesse oblige. Mrs. Blackwell is one 
of those horrid American women who know all 
about titles. If you get this before you start 
for the Adirondacks, don t start. Come to 
Newport. 

"Lady Allerdyce writes me that you are crossing 
with your friend of Oxford days, Reggie Barking, 
of Barking s china. Treddy, why wouldn t he 
do for me ? I shall have to marry some one like 
that soon, so bring him here. And surely he 
can t be after a rich American. He will have to 
marry into the Aristocracy. I saw him once 
from the Ladies Gallery in the House of Com 
mons, when everybody was leaving because he 
was going to speak. But if I married him, I 
shouldn t have to listen to his speeches, and it 
would be better than doing secretary s work at 
house parties. I think I might persuade the 
Duke to get him a title. 

"Whatever you do, don t go to the Blackwells , 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 15 

or that designing woman will marry you to her 
stepdaughter before you can turn around. I 
suppose I shall have to go there before I leave 
America. Mais, que voulez vous? Beggars are 
not choosers. 

"Yours in haste, 

"Marjorie Ticknor." 

(Looking up.} 
By jove, I wish I d got that note earlier. 

(Looking around.) 
I suppose there s no getting out of it now. 

(Enter BARKING, Right.) 

BARKING 

I say, Treddy, Mrs. Blackwell isn t expecting 
me, you know. It would be devilish awkward 
if she didn t want me she only invited you. 

TREDBURY 

Never mind that, old chap, Americans have 
the reputation of being very hospitable. 

(Aside.) 
Unattractive, hoidenish, impossible! 

BARKING 

What did you say? 



16 THE TITLE-MART ACT I 

TREDBURY 

Reggie, I ve had a letter from Lady Marjorie 
Ticknor. She s in Newport. 

BARKING 
What, the Duke of Kay s granddaughter? 

TREDBURY 

(Absently.) 

By the way, she had heard I was travelling 
with you, and wanted me to bring you to New 
port. 

BARKING 

(Putting up his glass.) 
Did she say anything about me? 

TREDBURY 

Ahem yes said she d seen you in the House 
or something of that sort. 

BARKING 
You don t mind reading it, do you, Treddy? 

TREDBURY 

It wouldn t be at all good for you, Reggie. 
She gives you rather a puff, you know. 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 17 

BARKING 

Does she, now ! This is a red-letter day for me. 
(Drawing a letter from his pocket. Im 
pressively.) 

The governor has made a few er contri 
butions to the party, you know and he expects 
to be made a lord any day. 

TREDBURY 

I congratulate you, old chap. Why, that means 
you will have a title. 

BARKING 
Er yes. 

TREDBURY 

You look more like a person with a title 
than I do. Every one s picked you out for the 
lord, at first. 

(Sighs.) 

I wish to the devil you would take my title and use 
it until you get your own. 

BARKING 
What do you mean? 

TREDBURY 

Just that. Take the title and use it as long as 
you want. I should be infinitely obliged to be 



1 8 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

relieved of it for a while, and it can t make a 
great deal of difference here in America. 

(With inspiration.) 

By jove, why not begin on Mrs. Blackwell to 
day? She s sure to take you for me when she 
comes down here. Let her think so. 

BARKING 
By jove, it would be a rum joke. And you? 

TREDBURY 

I will go as plain Mr. Barking, of Barking s 
china. I beg pardon as Reginald Barking, 
M.P. 

BARKING 

(Admiringly: slapping his shoulder.) 
I say, Tredbury, that would be like you. You 
haven t changed a bit since Oxford. I believe 
you re the wildest devil in England. 

TREDBURY 

If you re going to have the title, you ll have to 
get over that beastly habit of thumping people, 
Barking. I suppose you inherit it. 

BARKING 

I suppose I do. My old governor used to say 
that it was worth more to him to be seen slapping 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 19 

a lord on the back than to have his charity sub 
scriptions published. 

TREDBURY 
(Glancing around.) 
And this is wasted ! 

(He sits down on the bench, and lights a 

cigarette.) 

Reggie, I m really serious. Take my title when 
we go up to the Blackwells , there s a good-hearted 
chap. 

BARKING 

But there s the heiress. She might fall in love 
with me, you know. 

TREDBURY 
Oh, no, she wouldn t. 

BARKING 

I don t think it s quite decent to say that. She 
might fall in love with me. 

TREDBURY 

(Looking him over critically.) 
I find it very difficult to lie to you, Reggie. 
She might take a fancy to you, of course there s 
the off chance. I should be willing to make the 
odds twenty to one. 



20 THE TITLE-MART ACT I 

BARKING 

(Indignantly.) 
Pounds ? 

TREDBURY 
Guineas, if you like. 

BARKING 

Of course, you re in a bad humor. That may 
account for it. But upon my word, I don t see 
why you should go out of your way to insult me. 
I ve always thought er I wasn t bad looking, 
you know. 

TREDBURY 
Who said you were bad looking? 

BARKING 

(Offended.) 
You inferred it. 

TREDBURY 

Nothing of the kind. I said it wasn t probable 
that Miss Blackwell would fall in love with you. 
No more it is. 

(Examining BARKING critically.) 
You re a very imposing, distinguished-looking 
person, Reggie, but er you re not precisely 
the kind women leave their husbands for. 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 21 

BARKING 
(Starting.) 

I say! 

TREDBURY 

(Continuing contemplatively. ) 
Now, if you were to go up there to the Black- 
wells , this little affair of Miss BlackwelFs getting 
married to a title would languish of itself. You 
wouldn t want an ugly girl, and she wouldn t 
want you. 

BARKING 

You didn t say she was ugly. 

TREDBURY 

Didn t I? Well, she is. I ve been told so, - 
on the best authority. She s unattractive, hoi- 
denish, impossible, and you won t fancy her. 
It will only be for a day, and we ll go on to New 
port to-morrow. 

(Rises, and crosses over Right.) 
I think I ll go and see what became of Tilden. 

(Exit, lower Right.) 

BARKING 

(Calling after him.) 
I say, you ve quite offended me, you know. 



22 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

(To himself.) 

Confound em, they re so dashed sure of them 
selves ! 

(Enter, Left, EDITH BLACK WELL. She is a very 
handsome girl, dressed in a linen riding habit, 
such as is worn in the country, and she swings 
a hunting whip. She barely glances at BARKING, 
and goes into the Post-office. BARKING takes 
out his glass, fixes it in his eye, and looks after 
her.) 

By jove, what a ripping girl ! 
(EDITH comes out of the Post-office with two letters 
in her hand. She flashes an amused look at 
him, goes slowly down Left, sits down on the 
seat under the tree, and begins to read her 
letters, glancing at him from time to time with 
the same amused look. When she looks at him, 
BARKING looks away, but keeps his glass in, 
and when she drops her eyes, he looks at her 
again. He coughs from time to time.) 
Devilish fetching, by jove ! 

(Coughs.) 
Devilish fetching ! 

(Coughs again.) 

EDITH 

(Looking up at him again.) 
You really ought to take something. 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 23 

BARKING 

(Overcome.} 

Er I beg pardon. Take something, did you 
say? 

EDITH 

For the cough. I am afraid you will go into a 
decline. 

BARKING 

(Trying to be coquettish. Completely 

misunderstanding her.) 
Oh, I say, how jolly of you ! 

EDITH 

(Coolly.) 

How jolly of me? 

BARKING 
Er to speak to me. 

EDITH 

It was merely charity, because you don t 
appear to be able to take care of yourself. 

BARKING 

It s awfully jolly to have some one to look after 
one, you know. 



24 THE TITLE-MART ACT I 

EDITH 

Is it? 

(Glances at the luggage on the grass.) 
What s become of your guardian? 

BARKING 
Er I m alone. 

EDITH 

That isn t very complimentary to me. 

(BARKING starts to explain.) 
Alone in America, I suppose you mean. How 
appalling ! 

BARKING 
Er that is 

(Hesitates, and continues to look at her 
through the monocle.} 

EDITH 

You have come over here to learn to speak 
English fluently, I gather. I m afraid it will 
take a long time. 

BARKING 
Oh, I say ! 

EDITH 

(Rising, and apparently becoming fas 
cinated by the monocle.} 

I wish I could do that. Do you suppose it 
would fit my eye? 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 25 

BARKING 

(Overwhelmed.} 
I m sure I don t know. 

EDITH 

Does it come off? 

BARKING 

(Solemnly dropping it out oj his eye.) 
See ! Like that. 

EDITH 

I wonder if I could do it. 

(BARKING unfastens it from his coat and 
hands it to her. She puts it in her eye, 
and glances coldly at BARKING.) 

Er Lord Tredbury, I believe. 

BARKING 

By jove ! 

(Aside.) 
She s taken me for Treddy. 

EDITH 

(Mimicking BARKING, drops the glass 
out oj her eye. She hands it to him.) 
I say, my stepmother s coming for you. 



26 THE TITLE-MART 

BARKING 
Er I beg pardon your stepmother? 



EDITH 

Yes, my stepmother. Do you imagine for a 
moment that a young man with a title could be in 
the surrounding country without her coming for 
him? 

BARKING 

(Agitated, astonished.} 
Er might I ask to whom I am speaking ? 

EDITH 
Certainly. I m Miss Blackwell. 

BARKING 

You re you re Miss Blackwell ! 

(Backs away from her, and suddenly 
begins to laugh at the joke on TRED- 

BURY.) 

EDITH 
What s so funny about that? 

BARKING 

(Embarrassed.) 
Nothing. I beg pardon, I m sure. I was er 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 27 

- er surprised that s all surprised. Do 
you know who I thought you were? 

EDITH 
I haven t the faintest idea. 

BARKING 

(Blurting.} 
Dotty Davenport. 

EDITH 
Dotty Davenport ! 

(Laughs.) 
Oh, the actress. 

BARKING 

Er there is a remarkable resemblance, you 
know only you are better looking. 

EDITH 
Thanks. 

BARKING 

(After an awkward pause.) 
Do you know, I expected to find you quite ugly 
and unattractive. 

EDITH 
You must have been reading Henry James. 



28 THE TITLE-MART 



ACT 



BARKING 
I have been thinking, instead, of Guinevere. 

EDITH 
Never heard of her. Was she fast? 

BARKING 

(Overcome.) 

Er fast ! By jove, that s awfully good, you 
know. 

EDITH 
Did she have a record? 

BARKING 

(Bursting into laughter.) 

How awfully jolly you are ! I say, she did have 
rather a record, 

EDITH 
She was a thoroughbred, of course? 

BARKING 

(Laughing loudly.) 

Oh er yes, a thoroughbred. How hu 
morous you Americans are. 



ACT i THE TITLE-MART 29 

EDITH 

I shall look her up. Did you say her name was 
Guinevere ? 

BARKING 

(Screws in his monocle.) 
She wasn t a horse, you know; she was a queen. 

EDITH 
Is that all? 

BARKING 
You ve never read Tennyson? 

EDITH 

Let me see. He wrote one of the Badminton 
series, didn t he ? 

BARKING 
Oh, by jove ! He was a poet. 

EDITH 

(Appearing to lose interest.) 
Oh ! I should hardly have thought you poeti 
cal, Lord Tredbury. 

BARKING 
I say, do you think I look like a lord? 



30 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

EDITH 
Certainly. 

BARKING 
Do I er act like a lord ? 

EDITH 
If one may call it acting. 

BARKING 

(Laughing.) 
Oh, I say, dashed clever! 

EDITH 

I can t stay here talking to you all day. I 
promised my father to meet him at the Fair. 

BARKING 
Oh, I say, mayn t I go along? 

EDITH 

I am afraid you ll have to wait for my step 
mother. I suppose the motor boat has broken 
down again, but don t be discouraged. My step 
mother will get you. 

(Edith picks up the riding whip, smiles 
at him, and exit, Left.} 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 31 

BARKING 

(Sticking in his glass, and looking after 

her.) 

Phew! Ugly, unattractive, hoidenish! By 
jove, I believe I ll go ! What a joke on Treddy ! 
(Enter, Right, LORD TREDBURY.) 

TREDBURY 
Who was the lady, Reggie? 

BARKING 
Er what lady ? 

TREDBURY 
Oh, come now, what lady ! 

BARKING 

Er you mean that was just here? Er 
by the way, Treddy, did you ever see Dotty 
Davenport? 

TREDBURY 

I ve seen her photograph. She s one of the few 
I haven t known, and I ve always wanted to. Do 
you mean to say that was Dotty Davenport? 

(Steps over Left, apparently gazing after 

her.) 
By jove, she can ride! What s she doing here? 



32 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

BARKING 
Er staying at the Blackwells camp. 

TREDBURY 
That s rather fortunate. 

BARKING 

And er I say, deuced odd, you know, 
but she took me for you. She called me Lord 
Tredbury. 

TREDBURY 

I m almost reconciled to going up to the Black- 
wells . Where s she gone now? 

BARKING 
To the Fair, she said. 

TREDBURY 
To the Fair, eh? 

BARKING 
You think Miss Davenport attractive? 

TREDBURY 
Don t you? 



ACT i THE TITLE-MART 33 

BARKING 

E r no t very. You know I never had your 
passion for actresses. 

TREDBURY 

Reggie, I m afraid you ll have to assume the 
title for this visit. It s thrust upon you. 

BARKING 

(With pretended reluctance.) 
Couldn t think of it. 

(The sound of a motor boat is heard.) 

TREDBURY 
(Stepping behind the Post-office and 

looking off into the lake.) 

There comes Mrs. Blackwell now. Do be 
decent, Reggie, it can t do any harm. Er I 
imagine Mrs. Blackwell, from what I hear of her, 
will enjoy the joke. And just say that you have 
a friend you would like to bring along a Mr. 
Barking. 

(Goes over Left.) 

BARKING 

A Mr. Barking. Where are you going? ^ 

(The sound of a band is heard in the 
distance.) 



34 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

TREDBURY 

I think I ll step over to the Fair. It can t be 
far away. I hear it. I ve always been interested 
in Fairs. You might stop there for me if 
Mrs. Blackwell is willing to put me up. 
(Exit Left, swinging his stick.) 

BARKING 

(Calling after him, in a panic.) 
I say, Tredbury, don t be an ass. It s impos 
sible. The man s mad mad ! 

(Calling.) 

I say come back ! 

(Glances fearfully behind him, and goes over 
extreme lower Left and stands with every ap 
pearance of being about to run after him. EZRA 
SWAZEY comes out of the Post-office, his pencil 
behind his ear, a scoop in his hand, and spits. 
Enter from Right, rear of Post-office, MRS. 
BLACKWELL and LAWRENCE PEPYS. MRS. 
BLACKWELL is a pretty woman of about thirty- 
five, very elaborately dressed, has many social 
airs, and talks too rapidly for interruption. 
PEPYS is a comfortable, healthy-looking gentle 
man of about forty years, in gray flannels and a 
straw hat. When he takes off the hat it is seen 
that he is a little inclined to baldness.) 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 35 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Thank heaven, there s the luggage! I was 
afraid we d missed him. 

(Nudging PEPYS, and going forward.) 
There he is ! I should have known him any 
where, Larry. They are so unmistakable ! Ahem ! 

(BARKING turns.) 

I believe I have the pleasure of addressing Lord 
Tredbury. Dear Lord Tredbury, I m so sorry to 
keep you waiting, really. I scarcely know how to 
apologize. But motor boats are so uncertain, 
and there was something the matter with the 
cylinder wasn t it the cylinder, Larry? Yes. 
Once we were on the lake nearly half the night. 
(She has approached him effusively 
and taken his hand. BARKING over 
whelmed with embarrassment, and try 
ing to get a word in.) 

Why didn t you come up to the camp at once, 
instead of going to Tipton s Hotel and sending me 
Lady Deering s letter? You would have been so 
welcome. I love English people, and they have 
been so kind to me. How did you leave dear 
Lady Deering? 

BARKING 

But, I say, Mrs. Blackwell, I m not 
(Enter EDITH, Right.) 



36 THE TITLE-MART ACT I 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
Here s Edith ! 

EDITH 

Isn t Papa here? They told me at the Fair 
he was coming over here with Hiram to get a 
crate for some chickens he d bought. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Going to her: impressively.) 
My dear, here s Lord Tredbury ! 

EDITH 

(Nodding to BARKING, carelessly.) 
Yes, I ve been talking to him. I wonder where 
Papa can be? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

You ve you ve been talking to him ! 

(Aside, to EDITH.) 

Oh, Edith, how could you have left him ! My 
dear, I may not have told you. One of the oldest 
titles in England ! 

EDITH 

Yes, yes, you told me, quite threadbare, I 
should say. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, Edith, you must try not to shock him 
you shock everybody. 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 37 

(Enter man in livery, from motor boat.) 
Gustave, put Lord Tredbury s luggage on the 
boat. 

(Man takes luggage.) 

BARKING 
Oh, please, Mrs. Blackwell, I must explain ! 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

/ am the one to explain. But first let me intro 
duce you formally to Miss Blackwell 

(BARKING bows.) 
and allow me to present Mr. Pepys. 

(The men bow.) 

And now we really must be going if we are to have 
any tea. 

BARKING 
(Aside.) 

My God! what shall I do? I ll let Tredbury 
explain. 

(Aloud.) 

I say, Mrs. Blackwell, would you mind going to 
the Fair for a few moments? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

To the Fair! Dear Lord Tredbury, you 
couldn t possibly take any interest in an ordinary 



38 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

American Fair such a hodge-podge and such 
smells ! And they are not even opened. 

BARKING 

The fact is I should like awfully to see it. 
I have a friend 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Why, of course, it might be amusing it s so 
barbaric if you can stand the smells. Come, 
Edith, we ll all go. 

EDITH 

I have to stay here. I promised Papa I d 
meet him. 

(To PEPYS.) 

Larry, I ll bet you ten dollars my mare beats 
your old motor boat home. 

PEPYS 
(Laughing.) 
You ought to give odds. 

EDITH 

(To EZRA, who is on the porch.) 
Ezra, I want to telephone to the Centre. 

(With a little coquetry, to BARKING.) 
I ll see you at tea, Lord Tredbury. Your 
English seems to be improving. 
(Exit into store.) 



ACT ! THE TITLE-MART 39 

BARKING 

(Looking after her, through his glass.) 
By jove ! 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Smiling with appreciation at his ob 
vious admiration.) 

Edith is quite a personage; I m sure you ll 
like her. Come, Lord Tredbury, we ll go by 
the launch. It s shorter. 

(MRS. BLACKWELL, BARKING, and PEPYS 

going around the Post-office.) 
But mind, I don t hold out any hopes of the 

Fair. 

(Exit MRS. BLACKWELL, BARKING, and 

PEPYS.) 

EZRA 

(Spitting vindictively.) 
Everybody gits thar but me. 

(Enter LORD TREDBURY, followed by 

TlLDEN.) 

TREDBURY 

I wonder how the deuce I missed her 1 

(To TILDEN.) 
What s become of the luggage? 

TILDEN 
I int touched it, me lord. 



40 THE TITLE-MART ACT 1 

TREDBURY 
Where have you been all this time ? 

TILDEN 

I ad to find the man with the osses, me lord. 
I come across im at last in a public ouse. 

EZRA 

Say, Mister, Mrs. Blackwell took your things, 
along with that other lord, and went off to the 
Fair in the la nch. 

TREDBURY 
Oh, thanks. Tilden! 

TILDEN 

Yessir. 

TREDBURY 

Go to the Fair, find Mr. Barking, and be care 
ful to address him as Lord Tredbury 

TILDEN 
Tm a lord, your lordship ! 

TREDBURY 
Call him Lord Tredbury, and speak of me 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 41 

as Mr. Barking. And tell him Mr. Barking is 
here waiting for him. Do you understand? 

TILDEN 

Perfectly, me lord. I ve done strange things 
for your lordship before. 

TREDBURY 

And then you are to go to Tipton s Hotel, and 
stay there until I send for you. 

(TILDEN tips, and exit, Left. TREDBURY 
lights a cigarette, crosses over and sits 
down on the seat with the tree between 
him and the Post-office. EDITH comes 
out of Post-office.) 

EZRA 

(To EDITH.) 
Say, which is the lord, anyway? 

EDITH 
What do you mean, Ezra ? I ve only seen one. 

EZRA 

Well, thar s been two stoppin at Tipton s. 
And while you were in telephonin the other one 
come here with his hired man he s thar now, 



42 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

whar the smoke is behind the tree he come 
here with his hired man and told him to go to 
the Fair and call the other lord something or 
other. Say, I guess I ought to tell Hiram. This 
is a con game. These Fairs always bring crooks. 

EDITH 

(Looks at him, then puts her hand to her 
mouth to suppress laughter. Goes for 
ward, peeks around the tree at the 
unconscious TREDBURY, then returns. 
Takes a dollar from her purse and 
hands it to EZRA.) 

I ll give you that if you say nothing about it to 
any one. And don t tell him who I am even if 
he asks you. 

EZRA 

Gee Whiz, I promise. Cross myself. Say, 
this is better than goin to the Fair. 

(EDITH approaches TREDBURY from be 
hind, and swinging her whip from 
the lash, purposely comes very near 
TREDBURY S head with it.) 

TREDBURY 

(Starting to his feet.) 
Easy there ! 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 43 

EDITH 
Pardon me. 

TREDBURY 
I ve been looking everywhere for you, 

EDITH 

For me? 

TREDBURY 

Yes. I heard you d gone to the Fair, and 
missed you there. You see, I ve always wanted 
to meet you, Miss Davenport. I er ad 
mire the profession. 

(EDITH stifles a desire to laugh, and 

continues to look at him, which he 

finds disconcerting.) 

I ve I ve always wanted to see you, but by 
bad luck I was in Switzerland when you played 
"Banbury Cross" in London. If I may be 
allowed to say so, you re one of the very few 
actresses who doesn t disappoint off the stage. 
And when I heard that Dotty Davenport was 
staying at the Blackwells - 

EDITH 
Is it indiscreet to ask to whom I m speaking? 



44 THE TITLE-MART ACT l 

TREDBURY 

I m not sure that I quite know. 

(Hastily.) 

You see, I m quite overcome at this unex 
pected meeting. 

EDITH 

This not knowing who one is seems to be a 
British characteristic. Perhaps I can help you. 
Have you a card case in your pocket, or an 
accident insurance policy? 

(TREDBURY continues to gaze at her 

with quiet admiration.) 

If I had happened to hit you with the head of 
this riding whip, you might never have been 
identified. In addition to recalling me, have you 
any previous recollections? 

TREDBURY 

(Enraptured.) 

I m rather glad you didn t hit me on the head, 
you know. 

EDITH 
It might have jogged your memory. 

TREDBURY 
I got a nasty lick with a polo mallet once. 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 45 

EDITH 
Perhaps that s what s the matter with you. 

TREDBURY 

(Straightening up.) 

Oh, come now, you don t think there s anything 
the matter with me. 

EDITH 

It does strike me as a little strange that you 
can t remember your name. I met another 
Englishman who looked as if he didn t know his 
name not twenty minutes ago, Lord Tredbury. 
Do you know him? 

TREDBURY 
I er yes. 

EDITH 

You seem a little ashamed of it. Is he dis 
reputable ? 

TREDBURY 

Oh, quite the contrary. A sober, reliable, 
steady-going sort of chap. Would you mind 
telling me what you are laughing at? 



4 6 THE TITLE-MART ACT I 

EDITH 

I m relieved to hear it. I heard he d gamed 
away his castle, and drunk up the family library. 
It s made him awfully dry. And well, I can t 
tell you everything. He s supposed to be the 
worst case in England. 

TREDBURY 

(Sadly.) 

I m sure you do him an injustice. He doesn t 
look like a rake, does he? 

EDITH 

No. If I had seen you two together, I should 
have picked you for the part. 

TREDBURY 

(Bowing.) 
I feel flattered. 

EDITH 
He seems much too stupid. 

TREDBURY 

Thanks very much. Then you were disap 
pointed in Tredbury? 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 47 

EDITH 

Oh, no, not disappointed. He was quite what 
I expected an uninteresting titled person with 
out any brains. 

(TREDBURY laughs.) 

I don t care at all for titles that s one of my 
failings. I hope you haven t one, too. 

TREDBURY 
Have you ever heard the name of Barking? 

EDITH 
I once existed off it in the nursery. 

TREDBURY 
(Solemnly.) 
Er my name s Barking Reginald Barking. 

EDITH 

Are you quite sure? But you look too clever 
to make a mistake of that kind. As for Lord 
Tredbury, of course it is too much to expect that 
he should always remember his name. 

(TREDBURY laughs.) 
What are these things? 

(She stoops and picks up some of the 
remnants of TREDBURY s letters, which 
are strewn on the grass; reads:) 



48 THE TITLE-MART ACT I 

"To H. I. and A. M. the Emperor of Austria. 
Will Lord Tredbury kindly oblige us with a 
cheque? " Is that the way Lord Tredbury treats 
his bills? 

TREDBURY 

Well er in England, the fact is that trades 
men haven t much respect for people who pay 
them promptly. Of course they re paid sooner 
or later 

EDITH 
But who s going to pay Lord Tredbury s? 

TREDBURY 

(Greatly embarrassed.} 
I don t quite know. Why do you ask? 

EDITH 

Oh, for no reason. I heard he was considering 
Miss Blackwell. 

TREDBURY 

(Begins to laugh.} 
That s off. 

EDITH 

Off? What do you mean? I never heard it 
was on. 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 49 

TREDBURY 

You re staying at the Blackwells , aren t you? 

(Craftily.) 
Awfully nice girl, Miss Blackwell ! 

EDITH 
She s nothing of the sort. 

TREDBURY 

That s what er Tredbury heard. And 
you see, he s an odd chap. He hasn t at all 
got the modern idea of marriage, and he feels 
that, as long as he has to sell his beastly title, he 
might as well try for a chance of getting some one 
he could er love, and all that sort of thing. 

EDITH 

This Lord Tredbury doesn t seem very grasp 
ing in his ideas. But who was kind enough to 
give him this very accurate notion of Miss Black- 
well? 

TREDBURY 

Well, I ll tell you, Miss Davenport. We re 
chummy, and all that. 

(Produces LADY MARJORIE S letter.) 
See that letter ! 



5^ THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

EDITH 
Why, it s addressed to Lord Tredbury ! 

TREDBURY 
(Confused.) 

Yes er -he showed it to me. He didn t 
get it till just now too late to turn back, you 
know. Rather a joke on Tredbury. It s from 
Lady Marjorie Ticknor you wouldn t know 
her she s travelled with the Blackwells. 

(Opens the letter.) 

She s staying in Newport, and advises Tred 
bury to come there. Listen : 

(Reads:) 

"This Blackwell girl is hoidenish, unattractive, 
impossible. Entre nous, she would never do for 
the Marquess of Tredbury." 

EDITH 
How kind of Lady Marjorie ! So disinterested ! 

TREDBURY 

Oh, Marjorie could hardly be called disin 
terested, you know. She had special reasons for 
asking Tredbury to Newport. She has an 
eye on Barking. 

EDITH 

On you? 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 51 

TREDBURY 

(Floundering.) 

Oh, yes, of course, on me. A jolly grind on 
me. 

(Reads, jrom sheer embarrassment:) 

"Lady Allerdyce writes me that you are cross 
ing with your friend of Oxford days, Reggie 
Barking, of Barking s china. Treddy, why 
wouldn t he do for me? I shall have to marry 
some one like that soon, so bring him here. And 
surely he can t be after a rich American. He 
will have to marry into the Aristocracy. I saw 
him once from the Ladies Gallery in the House 
of Commons, when everybody was leaving be 
cause he was going to speak. But if I married 
him, I shouldn t have to listen to his speeches, 
and it would be better than doing secretary s 
work at house parties. I think I might persuade 
the Duke to get him a title." 

EDITH 
So you are destined for Lady Marjorie ! 

TREDBURY 

(Alarmed at the situation he has got into.) 
Not me ! Oh, no not me. I d rather marry 
anybody even 



52 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

EDITH 
Even the unattractive Blackwell girl? 

TREDBURY 
I hope you re not a friend of hers. 

EDITH 

Quite the contrary. I ve travelled with her 
too much. 

TREDBURY 

(Jumping at the opening.) 
Travelled ! Er I suppose you travel in the 
summer, when you are not acting. 

(EDITH laughs.) 
Have you ever been in Norway? 

EDITH 

Bother Norway ! Have you ever been in 
Japan ? 

TREDBURY 

(Laughing.) 
Yes. 

EDITH 

Perhaps you picked up something of the Jiu 
Jitsu Japanese wrestling. I m rather interested 
in it, just now. 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 53 

TREDBURY 
I know one or two holds. 

EDITH 
Let s see if I know them. What are they? 

TREDBURY 
You mean to try them here? 

EDITH 

(Coolly.} 
Yes, why not? 

(She lays down the riding whip.) 
Show me the first. 

TREDBURY 

(Delightedly.) 

Well, I don t mind, Dotty. May I call you 
Dotty ? 

(They face each other, TREDBURY hesi 
tatingly y EDITH calmly. She takes 
hold of his arm, giving him a jerk that 
nearly carries him off his jeet. He 
drops Marjorie s letter.) 

EDITH 

That s the simplest one. I suppose you know 
that. 



54 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

(EZRA SWAZEY is enjoying this hugely 
jrom the porch.) 

TREDBURY 
(Recovering himself.) 

Ha, ha ! Yes, I know that. But I ll show you 
one. 

(He lays down his hat, and manoeuvres 

jor a hold, she defending herself.) 
You re jolly good at it. 

(He catches her and she trips.) 

EDITH 

That s not a bad one. But I believe I can 
stop you if you try it again. 

TREDBURY 

That wasn t at all bad. Try it again. 

(They try it again, when enter, around 
Right end of Post-office, MRS. BLACK- 
WELL, BARKING, and PEPYS, who 
stand aghast watching the perform 
ance. TREDBURY catches sight of 
them and breaks loose with an excla 
mation.) 

EDITH 

(Looking around.) 
Hello, Grace ! 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 55 

(MRS. BLACKWELL does not answer, but 
continues to stare through her lor 
gnette. With a glance at the petrified 
party, EDITH picks up her riding 
whip, and incidentally MARJORIE S 
letter, which she pockets, unnoticed 
by TREDBURY, who is staring in a 
horrified way at MRS. BLACKWELL. 
His hat is off, and he is more or less 
dishevelled.} 

(To TREDBURY.) 
Good-by, Mr. Barking. 

(Exit EDITH, Left.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(In an icy voice, to BARKING.) 
I m afraid we really ought to be going, dear 
Lord Tredbury. It s quite late, and none of us 
have had any tea. You must be famished. 

BARKING 

Tea ! Er the fact is, I never drink it. Mrs. 
Blackwell, allow me 

(Is about to introduce TREDBURY.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Putting her hand on his arm: sweetly.} 
Then you shall have something stronger than 
tea, Lord Tredbury? We really must go. 



.$6 THE TITLE-MART ACT i 

(BARKING gives a despairing glance at 
TREDBURY, who is standing mutely 
gazing at them. Exit, MRS. BLACK- 
WELL, dragging BARKING, followed by 
PEPYS. TREDBURY gazes after them 
until the motor boat is heard going of). 
Then he picks up his hat.) 

EZRA 

(To TREDBURY.) 

Say, she kind of put it over you, didn t she? 
You re in the soup all around. 

TREDBURY 

Er perhaps you can tell me how I can get a 
carriage to go to Tipton s Hotel. 

EZRA 

Back to Tipton s - 

(He is interrupted by the entrance, lower 
Right, of MR. BLACK WELL and HIRAM, 
HIRAM carrying a crate of game cocks.) 

HIRAM 

(Peering into the coop.) 

John, that black and red would put up a fight 
worth looking at. 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 57 

MR. BLACKWELL 

I won t hear of fighting, Hiram. You know 
my principles on that point. 

HIRAM 

Still, if they was to get mixed up accidentally, 
you wouldn t object, I ll bet a dollar. 

EZRA 

Here s a feller wants to know how to git back to 
Tipton s. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(To HIRAM: with a glance at TRED- 

BURY.) 

Hello ! Is it possible that my wife let an Eng 
lishman escape ! 

HIRAM 

I guess she took the lord I saw him prancin 
round after her at the Fair. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Slapping his leg.) 
That s just what she did. 

(Approaching TREDBURY, with a bluff 

heartiness.) 
Were you travelling with Lord Tredbury ? 



58 THE TITLE-MART ACT I 

TREDBURY 
Yes, yes I was. 

MR. BLACK WELL 
Have you lost him? 

TREDBURY 
I believe he s gone home with Mrs. Blackwell. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Indignantly.) 
Didn t she invite you? 

TREDBURY 
Well er no, the fact is, she didn t. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Guess your name s Barking, isn t it? They 
told me there was a Barking staying at Tipton s, 
son of the Barking that makes the china. Sir, I 
have a great respect for your father. I d like to 
know him. I m Mr. Blackwell. I m glad to 
meet you. 

(Gives TREDBURY a hearty grip.) 
Just you come right along with me. I guess 
there s room for three of us in the buggy, and the 



ACT I THE TITLE-MART 



59 



chickens, too eh, Hiram ? We re going right up 
to the camp now. 

TREDBURY 
But Mrs. Blackwell - 

MR. BLACKWELL 

She won t worry you. She has her guests, and 
I have mine. I ve got my own wing, and we ll 
have a nice little dinner together some special 
Havanas and 98 Krug, and a good time. Got 
any baggage? 

TREDBURY 
It seems to be gone. 

EZRA 

That feller in the boat took it. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Well, it s lucky I found you. She can have 
her confounded titles I haven t any use for 
em. Well, Hiram, we d better be moving. 

HIRAM 

(Picking up the crate: to EZRA.) 
If any one calls, just say I m up to Blackwells . 



60 THE TITLE-MART ACT I 

EZRA 

Yep. 

(Exit, lower Right, MR. BLACKWELL, 
TREDBURY, and HIRAM carrying the 
crate, EZRA leaning against the post 
and looking after them.) 

CURTAIN 



ACT II 

SCENE. Loggia of Mr. Black-welVs camp in the Adiron- 
dacks, spread with rugs and wicker furniture ; a ham 
mock. A table with a small telephone over Left. 
French novels scattered around. Entrance by French 
windows into house at Left and rear. At Right a lawn, 
with shrubbery and trees at extreme Right. At rear the 
lawn ends in a kind of riistic balustrade that overlooks 
the lake. The lake can be seen beyond the balustrade, 
and the mountains in the distance. 

TIME : About 6.30 in the evening of the same day. 

(Enter MRS. BLACKWELL and PEPYS, a footman 
with powdered hair and knee breeches follow 
ing them. As MRS. BLACKWELL talks to 
PEPYS, she moves about the stage, and the 
footman keeps respectfully behind her y evi 
dently awaiting a chance to speak to her.) 



MRS. BLACKWELL 

Larry, I wonder why you are so satisfactory. 
You never say anything. 
61 



62 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 



MR. PEPYS 
Perhaps that is the reason. 

MRS. BLACK WELL 

What a dear Lord Tredbury is ! How English 
to go to one s room at once, before one has seen 
the view ! 

(Sighs.) 

There is something about the British aristocracy 
that is very difficult for us to achieve. And how 
marked the differences between their own classes ! 
The idea of Edith actually wrestling with that 
vulgar Mr. Barking. I can t get over it. 

MR. PEPYS 

I thought he seemed rather a decent fellow. 
In fact, I fancy him on the whole more than this 
Lord Tredbury. 

(MR. PEPYS sits down in a chair and 
lights a cigarette. MRS. BLACKWELL 
walks up and down, the jootman mov 
ing after her.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
Larry ! You know what trade is in England. 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 63 

MR. PEPYS 
Not as good as it was, I believe. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

It would be just like Edith to fancy this Bark 
ing. I had to snub him. 

(Going close to him: with an air of 

confidence.) 

Larry, she must marry Tredbury. I ve quite 
set my heart on it. 

MR. PEPYS 

Gracious ! Already ! 

(A pause.) 
Why are you so determined? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Don t be ridiculous, Larry. How can you ask 
a man of the world ? Can t you see the 
advantages ? And then I should be quits with 
Adelaide Townsend. She s been simply unbear 
able since Nina became the Comtesse de Santerre- 
Benoit. 

MR. PEPYS 

Then you are only doing this to get even with 
Mrs. Townsend? 



64 THE TITLE-MART ACT II 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Don t be idiotic, Larry. 

(Walks off on the lawn.) 

FOOTMAN 

(Following her.) 
Madam ! 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Irritably: turning.) 

In heaven s name, what is it? Ever since I 
came in you ve been shadowing me like like 
an evil spirit. 

FOOTMAN 

If you please, Madam, Lady Marjorie Ticknor 
is here. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Lady Marjorie ! Larry, Lady Marjorie Tick 
nor ! 

MR. PEPYS 
What about her? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
She s here here. 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 65 

MR. PEPYS 
Lucky woman. How did she get here? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

That s what I want to know. 

(To FOOTMAN.) 
How did she get here? 

FOOTMAN 

If you please, Madam, she came by way of 
Fad s Centre. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
By way of Fad s Centre ! Go on ! 

FOOTMAN 

Yes, Madam. Er Ladyship telegraphed from 
Newport, but it seems the message went to 
Balchville. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

How English, to telegraph to Balchville ! 

(To FOOTMAN.) 
Where is her ladyship now? 

FOOTMAN 
In her room, Madam. 

F 



66 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
(Starts away, Lejt.) 

FOOTMAN 

If you please, Madam, her ladyship gave orders 
she was not to be disturbed under no conditions. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Dear Marjorie ! How delightfully English ! 
I wish we could learn the same sense of feeling 
at home in other people s houses. 
(To FOOTMAN.) 

That will do. You might tell her ladyship s 
maid that a new parcel of French novels came 
to-day. 

FOOTMAN 
Er ladyship has already sent for them, Madam. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Did her ladyship get the kind of tea she likes ? 

FOOTMAN 

Please, Madam, she ad the ousekeeper up, 
and told er to telegraph to New York for it. 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 67 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Quite right. That will do. 

(To PEPYS.) 
Dear Marjorie ! 

(Exit FOOTMAN.) 

MR. PEPYS 
Dear Marjorie ! 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Marjorie did so much for us in London, Larry. 
Her industry in getting us invited places was 
absolutely unremitting. Before she got through 
with us we were quite au courant at all the great 
houses, I assure you. 

MR. PEPYS 
How kind of Lady Marjorie! 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Yes. Just to show our gratitude, I gave her 
a cheque, and told her that John had made a 
venture on the stock market in her name. 

MR. PEPYS 

Very delicate of you ! 



68 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

The aristocracy are in such a bad way, my 
heart bleeds for them. But John would be 
furious if he knew it. He says he never in 
tends to see her. And Edith dislikes her. She 
positively insulted her in London. Dear 
Marjorie is very forgiving. I should never speak 
to Edith again if I were Marjorie. Edith is 
so like John. I wonder if mortal woman ever 
struggled against such odds as Edith and John 
combined ! 

(Telephone on table rings. MRS. BLACK- 
WELL goes to it.) 

Hello! Who is it? Is that you, Adelaide? 
Dear Adelaide. How is the giand-aunt? I m 
so sorry. My dear ! Yes, I have a house party, 
a small one. Yes, dear! Lord Tredbury, of 
course you know him. No? He s charming, 
so au fait, so much the great noble, so completely 
what he ought to be. Who else? A dear old 
friend, Lady Marjorie Ticknor, granddaughter 
of the Duke of Kay, who was so kind to us in 
London. You will love her. She arrived quite 
unexpectedly. 

(A pause.) 

What time? At eight. Are you quite well, 
Adelaide? Good- by, dear. 

(Puts up the telephone.) 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 69 

Larry, it s Adelaide Townsend ! She wants us 
all for dinner. Could anything be more oppor 
tune! 

MR. PEPYS 
Rather short notice, isn t it? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Her grand- aunt s on the point of death, 
she didn t think she d live till dinner-time. I 
wouldn t give the snap of my finger for all 
the titles on the continent. Here comes Edith 

now. 

(Enter EDITH.) 
Oh, Edith, I have a surprise for you ! 

EDITH 
Unpleasant, I suppose. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
Why? 

EDITH 

Your surprises generally are. 



70 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
(To PEPYS.) 

There, Larry, isn t she the most exasperating 
girl you ever saw ! 

(To EDITH.) 
Lady Marjorie Ticknor s here. 

EDITH 

Lady Marjorie Ticknor? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Yes. She arrived unexpectedly from Newport 
this afternoon. 

EDITH 

(Thinking oj the letter she has seen, 
laughs.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

I try to do my whole duty by you. I take you 
out in London, and I have the aristocracy here, 
and you treat them abominably. You fling 
your chances to the winds. You were horribly 
rude to Lady Marjorie in London. I m quite 
surprised she comes here at all. 

(PEPYS walks on terrace, discreetly, dur 
ing this speech.) 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 71 

EDITH 
Then you don t know Lady Marjorie. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

I won t allow you to exasperate me. 

(With sudden appeal.) 

Edith, do be nice to her. She is an old friend of 
Tredbury s. They belong to the same set, you 
know, the only set worth knowing in England. 
As for Lord Tredbury, I ve quite lost my heart 
to him. And it says in the Peerage that he s 
descended from the first baron, who came over 
with Samuel the Conqueror. 

EDITH 
It seems quite wonderful. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Confused.) 
What? 

EDITH 

His descent. No wonder there isn t much left, 
now that he has arrived at the bottom. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, dear, we are wasting so much time, and I 
don t know what to say to you how to appeal 



72 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

to you. Young girls know so little of life, are so 
slow to see where their advantage and happiness 
lies. And, until very lately, we ve always been 
so bourgeois in America. We have always al 
lowed silly, youthful inclinations to govern that 
most important of all matters marriage. Now 
my dear 

(Looking meaningly at EDITH.) 
there s no use mincing things. Lord Tredbury 
has come over here to get a wife. 

EDITH 

I should never have guessed it! Are there 
none left in England? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Edith, this bitterness is very unnatural at 
your age. Lord Tredbury is doing quite the 
usual and honorable thing. In order to keep 
up an aristocracy, you know, there must be 
money. 

EDITH 

And the way the money is obtained makes no 
particular difference. His ancestors fought for 
it, he marries for it. Both are equally dangerous. 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 73 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Edith, if you only could be brought to realize 
your opportunity. Tredbury is half in love with 
you already I can see that. And he is every 
thing that could be desired in a husband im 
posing, and all that, and you know, it isn t 
at all good form to have brains nowadays. 

EDITH 

I shouldn t allow brains to interfere if I loved 
him, Grace. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Interrupting.) 

Love ! Oh, my dear, that isn t necessary in a 
modern marriage, when one need never see any 
thing of one s husband. 

(Approaching PEPYS, and calling to him.) 
Larry, I want to show you the new terra-cotta 
vases which came to-day. 

(Exit, with PEPYS, upper Right, as 
BARKING, in evening clothes, enters 
lower Left.) 

EDITH 

(Remaining seated, and looking up to 

him quizzically, but calmly.) 
Well? 



74 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

BARKING 

(Obviously nervous: putting in his 

eyeglass.) 
I say, what a jolly place, you know ! 

EDITH 
It doesn t seem very jolly just now. 

BARKING 
What do you mean? 

EDITH 

(With a swift look.) 
It s rather quiet, just you and I. Isn t it? 

BARKING 

Ah, delightfully so. 

(Goes over and sits near her.} 
You have such er a bewitching way of 
putting things, Miss Blackwell. I m awfully 
glad I came. 

EDITH 

(Abruptly.} 
Poor Mr. Barking. 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 



75 



BARKING 

(Starting and dropping his eyeglass.} 
Why do you say that? 

EDITH 

Because I feel it. It was mean to leave him 
alone on the landing. 

BARKING 

(Relieved : laughing. ) 

I say, your stepmother gave him a beastly 
snub, didn t she? 

EDITH 
(Severely.) 

It seems to amuse you. If he were my friend, 
I should feel differently. 

BARKING 

(Laughs.) 

There is er there is a kind of a joke con 
nected with all this. I am sure you would laugh 
if you knew it. A deuced good joke on on 
Barking. 

EDITH 

(Gazing off, absently.) 
Oh, on Mr. Barking! 



76 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

BARKING 

(Looks at her suspiciously.) 
Certainly. Why not? 

EDITH 
What is the joke? 

BARKING 

Well er I came here, and he didn t. 

(Laughs heartily, suddenly looks at 

EDITH, and stops.) 
Don t you think it funny? 

EDITH 

(Gravely.) 
It must be your English sense of humor. 

BARKING 
I say, he d give his boots to be here with you. 

EDITH 
They looked very nice. 



What? 



BARKING 
(Mystified.) 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 77 

EDITH 
His boots. 

BARKING 
I say, but you are jolly ! 

(Sits down near her.) 
I rather stole a march on him, you know. 

EDITH 
That remains to be seen. 

BARKING 

(Intensely.) 
I say, I ll tell you something. 

(Leans towards her.) 
I came because you were here. 

EDITH 

(Leaning towards him.) 
Do you know, I guessed it. 

BARKING 

(Enchanted.) 
Really, now. I I hoped you did. 

(A pause, as if making up his mind 

how to go on.) 

Er I say, Miss Blackwell er you don t 
care anything about titles, do you ? 



7 8 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

EDITH 
Why? 

BARKING 
You didn t strike me as a person who would. 

EDITH 

(Gazing at him.) 
I don t care anything about your title. 

BARKING 

(Starting.) 
Er I beg pardon. 

(Evidently reassured by her expression.) 
By jove, you have a subtle way of putting things. 
Er suppose now, merely for the sake of argu 
ment, I were not Lord Tredbury, but plain Mr. 
Barking 

EDITH 
It would make no difference to me. 

BARKING 

Eh ! By jove, wouldn t it? 

EDITH 
You would always be the same to me. 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 79 

BARKING 

I say, should I? How strange! From the 
moment I saw you, I have had the same feeling 
-er about you. Er Miss Blackwell no 
revelation I could make about myself would 
change er would change your feelings tow 
ards me? 

EDITH 
None. 

BARKING 

(Flustered.) 

I was about to say er coming back to 
this er Mr. Barking er his governor 

his father may have a title in the near future, 

which would descend to him. 



EDITH 

How interesting ! 

(Giving him a look.) 

But I am not especially interested in Mr. 
Barking. 

BARKING 

Er of course not. 

(Enter, Lejt, two powdered FOOTMEN, who begin 
to tidy up the porch. Enter, Right, MRS. 
BLACKWELL and MR. PEPYS.) 



8o THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

MRS. BLACK WELL 

(Looks at EDITH and BARKING with ap 
proval, and then coughs discreetly. 
BARKING starts away from EDITH and 
rises. EDITH does not move.) 
Edith, dear, aren t you dressed yet? But it 

never takes you long. Dear Lord Tredbury, 

you must excuse this camp. It is so primitive. 

We come here once a year to lead a simple life. 

We Americans are so restless, you know, we are 

just learning the value of repose. 

BARKING 
Er quite so. 

(Glancing at the FOOTMEN.) 
But er I shouldn t call this precisely 
primitive, my dear lady. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Of course, we have to have some comforts. 
By the way, Lord Tredbury, a dear friend of 
mine has arrived quite unexpectedly. You must 
know her Lady Marjorie Ticknor. She is in 
your set, of course. 

BARKING 

(EDITH watching him.) 
Er er Lady Marjorie Ticknor ! 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 81 

(EDITH rises and crosses over to PEPYS, 
whom she punches. PEPYS does not 
understand.) 



MRS. BLACKWELL 

Here she is now. 

(Enter LADY MARJORIE TICKNOR. She is per 
haps twenty-seven, tall, and the least trifle 
angular, a deject which she tries to overcome 
in her gowns, with the careless but engaging 
manners of one who has had to make her own 
way. MRS. BLACKWELL runs to her, kisses 
her on the cheek, which MARJORIE presents.) 
Dear Marjorie ! I m charmed to see you ! 

And to think of your telegraphing to Ead s 

Centre! My dear! I ve such a surprise for 

you. Here s Lord Tredbury! 

MARJORIE 

(Looking at BARKING through her lor 
gnette.) 
Lord Tredbury ! 

(Instantly perceiving that it is BARKING, 
she claps her hand over her mouth 
to stifle a laugh, a muffled sound es 
caping. BARKING, agonized, bows, 
muttering, and puts in his monocle. 



82 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

MRS. BLACKWELL gazes mystified from 
one to the other, and EDITH, remaining 
seated in a corner of the porch, looks 
on in quiet but real delight.) 



MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Uneasily.) 

I hope you haven t quarrelled. You know him, 
of course. 

MARJORIE 

(Recovering.) 

Rather. 

(Goes over and takes the astounded BARK 
ING S hand. Nonchalantly, yet look 
ing at him with eyes full of amusement.) 
I heard you landed, Tredbury. By the way, 
you had somebody with you, didn t you? Oh, 
I know, it was a Mr. Barking. I ve listened to 
him in the House. Talks well, will make his 
mark, and all that. 

(Gazing around.) 
Where is he ? 

BARKING 

(Horribly embarrassed.) 
He er that is 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 83 

MRS. BLACK WELL 

The fact is, Marjorie 

EDITH 

(Rising and crossing over: carelessly.) 
The fact is, that Grace snubbed him. 

MARJORIE 

Snubbed him ? Grace snubbed 

(Glances at BARKING, and puts her hand 
over her mouth to prevent another 
laugh escaping. MRS. BLACK WELL 
looks daggers.) 

EDITH 
Yes, for wrestling with me. 

MARJORIE 
Wrestling with you? 

EDITH 

That was partly the reason. 

MARJORIE 
Partly? 



84 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

MRS. BLACK WELL 

(Wildly.) 
Marjorie, I couldn t Edith ! 

(LADY MARJORIE pays no attention to 
MRS. BLACKWELL, but continues to look 
at EDITH through her lorgnette.) 

EDITH 

Yes. There was some objection about his 
being china. Grace said if he had been a brewer, 
it would have been different. But china I 
suppose she thought if I wrestled with him too 
much, he might smash. So she wouldn t invite 
him here, and left him on the landing. 

MARJORIE 
Oh! 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(On the verge oj tears.) 

Dear Marjorie ! Edith is quite incorrigible, 
you know. I don t know what our young girls 
are coming to. She is mad about athletics, and 
I suppose she led this Mr. Barking on. I 
hadn t invited him here, and as Lord Tredbury 

(Indicating B ARKING . ) 

didn t seem to make a point of it I we came 
without him. 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 85 

MARJORIE 
(Laughing.) 

Quite so. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Gaining confidence.) 

Besides, I had no reason to believe he wished 
to come. I imagine he is very comfortable at 
Tipton s. It is a commendable hotel. 

MARJORIE 

(Carelessly: dropping her lorgnette.) 
I daresay he is well enough off. I quite under 
stand. Of course, he may be Prime Minister 
some day. 

(BARKING starts violently. EDITH laughs.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
Really ! You don t mean it ! 

MARJORIE 

He is very clever quite a coming man. I 
believe we are much more democratic in England 
than you are. 

(Lifting her glasses, and gazing off over 

the lawn towards the lake.) 
What a wonderful country ! 

(Meaningly, to BARKING.) 



86 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

Come and talk to me, Tredbury. I haven t seen 
you for ages. 

(Barking joins her, and they go down 
Right. PEPYS, EDITH, and MRS. BLACK- 
WELL make another group, down Left.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Edith, I ll never forgive you, never. I do every 
thing to get you on in the world, and you reward 
me by humiliation. Oh, what will Lady Marjorie 
think? You are always rude to her. 

EDITH 

(Watching BARKING and MARJORIE.) 
But you tell me it is good form to be rude, 
Grace. 

(Exit MRS. BLACKWELL, in a dudgeon, 
into the house.) 

PEPYS 

(Amused.) 

Poor Grace ! Edith, you must be inhabited 
by a sprite. And what were you punching me 
for? 

EDITH 

(Looking at him.) 
Larry, you re a very comfortable person. 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 87 

PEPYS 

Are you recalling the days when you used to 
sit on my lap? 

EDITH 

Not exactly. But I would just as soon do it 
now. I think it would be eminently safe. 

PEPYS 
It might be for you. 

EDITH 

Don t be a humbug. I can t help confiding 
in you. Larry no one can But you mustn t 
tell. 

PEPYS 
No. What is it ? 

EDITH 

(Pointing at BARKING.) 
Well, that isn t Lord Tredbury. 

(This conversation sinks into dumb 
show. From time to time PEPYS 
evinces signs of great merriment and 
surprise, due to what EDITH is 
telling him.) 

MARJORIE 

I ve often seen your name in the Morning Post, 
and wondered what you were like. 



88 THE TITLE-MART ACT u 

BARKING 
How very odd ! I ve had the same experience. 

MARJORIE 

Do you know, it was very clever of you to think 
of this joke on the Blackwells, and rather daring 
to carry it out. I admire those qualities in a man. 

BARKING 

Do you think so ? By Jove ! Before you 
arrived I was on the point of telling them all 
about it. 

MARJORIE 
Really? Why? 

BARKING 

(Glancing at EDITH.) 

Er I had er qualms of conscience, and 
that sort of thing, you know. 

MARJORIE 

My dear Mr. Barking, aren t you oversensi 
tive? Why, the situation is "killing," as our 
American friends would say. An eager and 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 89 

scheming heiress, a more eager and scheming 
stepmother, and you as Lord Tredbury. 

(Touching him on the arm.) 
What could be more delightful ! 

BARKING 

What, by Jove ? 

MARJORIE 

(With a side glance.) 

Do you know, I believe you are something of 
a devil. Haven t I heard tales? 

BARKING 

Well er I ve had my fling, of course, Lady 
Marjorie. 

MARJORIE 

That s what you men call it a fling. Well, 
this is a master-stroke. 

BARKING 

(Flattered.) 
Do you really think so? 

MARJORIE 

(Tapping him.) 

Oh, I knew you were quite Satanic, let us say, 
the moment I laid eyes on you. 



90 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

BARKING 

I say, but you are clever er to have recog 
nized me, and all that sort of thing. 



MARJORIE 

Recognize you! I listened a whole hour in 
the Ladies Gallery of the House to a speech of 
yours once, enthralled. And when I was con 
fronted with you to-day, as Lord Tredbury, I 
saw at once what had happened, with your repu 
tation for doing bright things and all that. It was 
not very clever of me. 

BARKING 

Er I think it was deuced clever if you 
don t mind. 

MARJORIE 

I don t mind. And what deviltry is Tredbury 
up to? You and he are two of a sort, I rather 
think. 

BARKING 

Oh, he got your letter. 

MARJORIE 
Did he read it? 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 91 

BARKING 

Yes. And by the way, he said there were 
ahem some rather nice things about me in it. 

MARJORIE 
Yes? 

(Hastily.) 

There were. I hope he didn t show them to 
you. 

BARKING 

Oh, no! 

(A pause. Then he laughs.) 
I say, Tredbury thinks Miss Blackwell is Dotty 
Davenport, the actress. 

MARJORIE 
How did he get that notion? 

BARKING 

I told him. Miss Blackwell looks quite a bit 
like Dotty, you know. And er I believe you 
described her to Tredbury as unattractive hoi- 
denish something of that sort. 

MARJORIE 

Yes. When you know her better you will see 
what I mean. Well? 



92 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

BARKING 

Well, he called her Miss Davenport, and she 
fell into the joke, and he thinks she is visiting here 
with Miss Blackwell. 

MARJORIE 

What a situation ! 

(Laughs.) 
What a joke on every one but 

(Looking up at him.) 
you and me. 

BARKING 

By jove, that s so ! But how will it end ? 
That s what I want to know. 

MARJORIE 

(Tapping him.) 

You mischievous man ! You are playing your 
part magnificently. I ll do mine, never fear. 

(Their conversation sinks into dumb 
show.) 

EDITH 

"Hoidenish unattractive -- impossible," I 
have the letter here. 

(Shows it.) 
You ought to hear what she says about him in it. 

(Indicating BARKING.) 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 93 

PEPYS 

Edith, you re too much for me. What are you 
going to do about all this? 

EDITH 

Nothing. Just let things happen. 
(Enter MRS. BLACKWELL, lower Left. She 
glances at MARJORIE and BARKING through 
her lorgnette.) 

PEPYS 

(To EDITH.) 

Things are likely to happen. I m I m 
coming back. 

(Exit, MR. PEPYS, upper Left.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(To EDITH.) 
Can she be making love to him? 

EDITH 

Possibly. It s quite easy. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Edith, how do you know? 

(Across to MARJORIE.) 
I m so glad you have found a friend, dear. 



94 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

EDITH 
It is extraordinary. 

MARJORIE 

(Suppressing laughter.) 

Lord Tredbury has been most amusing. I 
I think it must be the climate. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Edith, you must dress. We are dining at the 
Grant Townsends. I hope Lord Tredbury will 
amuse me. 

(At this moment, a young REPORTER with a hand 
camera enters, upper Right, and approaches the 
party. All turn to look at him, MRS. BLACK- 
WELL and LADY MARJORIE through lorgnettes, 
BARKING through his monocle. The young 
man has a keen, eager jace, is dressed in a sack 
suit and felt hat, white collar, etc. He comes 
on, undaunted by the stares.) 
How did this person get in? I ve given the 
strictest orders to allow no tourists in the grounds. 

REPORTER 

(Approaching undaunted, and singling 

out BARKING.) 
Am I addressing Lord Tredbury? 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 95 

BARKING 

(Glancing fearfully at MRS. BLACK- 
WELL.) 
Er really I 

REPORTER 
(Coolly.) 

Thank you. I thought so. 
(EDITH laughs.) 

BARKING 

(Taking a step back.) 
But I haven t said so. 

REPORTER 

It isn t necessary. Glad to make your acquaint 
ance. My name is Clarkson, of the New York 
Republic. 

(Takes a step forward, draws a card 
from his pocket, and holds it out to 
BARKING.) 

BARKING 

(Gases at the card helplessly through his 

glass, and takes a step backward.) 
Thanks very much, but er I don t think 
I care for it, you know. 



96 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

REPORTER 

(With an injured but brisk air, restores 

the card to his pocket.) 

I hope you don t mind answering a few ques 
tions, the public is interested in the titled 
Englishmen who come to our shores. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
May I ask how you got here, Mr. Mr. ? 

REPORTER 

Clarkson. Certainly. I came from New York 
this morning. I am always sent on these impor 
tant stories. On Wednesday I went to Phila 
delphia on the Oliver divorce scandal, yesterday 
there was a sensational murder in New Jersey, 
and to-day came a telegram that Lord Tredbury 
had left Tipton s Hotel to visit you. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Really, I can t allow Lord Tredbury to be 
annoyed. The English aristocracy do not under 
stand this sort of thing. 
(To BARKING.) 

Dear Lord Tredbury, under our unfortunate - 
Constitution I suppose you would call it 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 97 

we have no rights of privacy. Alas, we have no 
court journal, no nice dignified Morning Post, 
or anything of that sort. 

(To REPORTER: with hauteur.) 
You may say that Lord Tredbury and Lady 
Marjorie Ticknor are my guests, that we are 
dining to-night, most informally, with Mr. and 
Mrs. Grant Townsend. 



REPORTER 

(Writing rapidly: to BARKING.) 
But surely you wouldn t mind telling the read 
ers of the Republic the object of your journey to 
this country, Lord Tredbury? 



BARKING 

I assure you, my dear fellow, I am here with 
no er mysterious object whatsoever. Just 
for a visit. 

(Looks from one to the other of the group, 

as ij in vindication.) 
Just for a visit. 

(EDITH laughs.) 



MRS. BLACK WELL 



Just for a visit. 

H 



98 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

REPORTER 

(Persistently.) 

There is a rumor that Cupid is responsible 
for the visit. 

BARKING 
Oh, I say ! 

EDITH 
How wicked of Cupid! 



MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Horror-struck.) 
Edith ! 

REPORTER 
(Smiling.) 

Cupid brings a great many of the British aris 
tocracy to our shore, Miss Blackwell. And, it is 
said that we Americans, too, are gradually acquir 
ing an aristocracy. 

EDITH 

I suppose you mean that we are acquiring the 
English aristocracy. 

(The REPORTER laughs. MRS. BLACK- 
WELL, LADY MARJORIE, and BARKING 
have fallen into various attitudes.) 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 99 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(On tenterhooks.) 
Edith, you must go and dress at once. 

(To REPORTER.) 
And I must ask you to excuse us, Mr. Mr. 

EDITH 

(To REPORTER.) 

I should merely say that Lord Tredbury 
appeared greatly embarrassed when the question 
was put to him, and remarked that his visit had 
no mysterious object whatever. 

REPORTER 

(Writing rapidly.) 

You would make a success as a journalist, 
Miss Blackwell. 

BARKING 
Oh, by jove, you aren t writing that ! 

LADY MARJORIE 

This is becoming painful, I should say. Grace, 
I think I ll take a turn with with Tredbury 
before dinner. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Edith is so mischievous, you must pardon her. 
Oh, if John were only here ! He is never here 



ioo THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

when I want him, and always when I don t. I ll 

get Larry Pepys. 

(Exit into the house, Left. BARKING 
and MARJORIE cross over, Right. As 
they are about to exit the REPORTER 
slips down on the grass and levels his 
camera at them. Just as he is about 
to snap them, EDITH, who is beside 
him, by a dejt Jiu Jitsu movement 
throws him oft his balance, and very 
nearly upsets him. MARJORIE and 
BARKING exit, lower Right, without 
seeing this.) 

EDITH 
(Calmly.) 

I don t think I d take pictures if I were you, 
Mr. Clarkson. 

REPORTER 

(Regaining his feet, ruffled and aston 
ished. Staring at her, rubbing his 
shoulder.) 
Did you do that? 

EDITH 
Yes. 

REPORTER 
You? 

EDITH 

Yes. There s no one else here to do it. 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 101 

REPORTER 
(Staring.) 

Great Scott ! How in how did you do it ? 

EDITH 

It s very simple only one has to be a little 
careful not to break the other person s collar 
bone. 

REPORTER 
To break 

(Rubs his shoulder.) 
I I feel as if a paving block had hit me. 

EDITH 
I m sorry. I tried to be as gentle as I could. 

REPORTER 
Gentle ! 

(Begins to laugh, admiringly.) 
I don t care to get into trouble with you, Miss 
Blackwell. 

EDITH 

(Calmly.) 
It won t be necessary, I hope. 

REPORTER 
Won t be necessary ! 



102 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

EDITH 

Not if you do what I tell you. You mustn t 
publish anything about myself or my family, 
or about Lord Tredbury. 

REPORTER 
But what am I to say to my paper? 

EDITH 

Telegraph them that you were unexpectedly 
injured in the performance of your duty. Go 
back to the village, and if there is any news, I 
promise you you shall have it. Good-by, Mr. 
Clarkson. 

REPORTER 

(Admiringly.} 

Well, I ll risk it, for you. I ll call to-morrow. 
(As he exits, upper Left, PEPYS saunters 
in, Right.} 

PEPYS 

Hello, Edith, not dressed yet? Your father 
and Hiram Peters have just driven up with a 
bunch of game cocks, and if I m not mistaken, 
your father has the real Tredbury with him. 

(Looks around, Left.) 
They are coming now. 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 103 

EDITH 
(Laughing.) 

I must go, Larry, remember I m an actress 
for the present, unless he has found out from Dad. 

PEPYS 

(Waves his hand, laughing.) 
All right. You re a vixen. 

(Exit EDITH, lower Right. Enter, 
upper Right, from behind the corner 
of the house, MR. BLACK WELL in 
his linen duster, LORD TREDBURY, 
and HIRAM PETERS, followed by a 
powdered FOOTMAN holding out gin 
gerly a small coop of game cocks. 
During the following scene, TRED 
BURY peers around into the house, 
as if looking for EDITH.) 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(To TREDBURY.) 

Here we are, Mr. Barking. Make yourself at 
home; this is my house. Come on, Hiram. 

(To PEPYS.) 

Hello, Larry, I want you to know Mr. Barking. 
Mr. Barking, Mr. Pepys. 

(The two men shake hands, PEPYS 
smiling slightly with quiet amuse 
ment.) 



104 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

You know Hiram Peters, the sheriff of Carroll 
County. 

(PETERS and PEPYS shake hands.) 
Hiram and I were pals before any of this torn- 
foolishness was ever dreamed of. This isn t 
what we used to call a camp, eh Hiram ? Used 
to fancy chickens then, too. I guess that s the 
only youthful passion we ve got left. 

HIRAM 

(Solemnly: awed by his surroundings.) 
The child s the father of the man, John. 

(All this time the FOOTMAN is gravely 

but gingerly holding the crate. HIRAM 

peers into it.) 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Well, Larry, I drove around by the wharf, and 
there was Mr. Barking, and night coming on. 
Grace left him there stranded. What do you 
think of that ? 

(PEPYS makes a comical gesture.) 
It s a good thing I reserved one wing of this 
"camp" for my own guests. I don t care a 
doughnut whether they ve got titles or not. 

(Putting his hand on TREDBURY S 
shoulder.) 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 105 

I said to him, "Just jump into the buggy between 
Hiram and me, and come up, and you needn t 
ever see Mrs. Blackwell and her house parties." 
My guests generally don t. What s the house 
party doing to-night, Larry? 



PEPYS 
Going to dine at the Townsends , I believe. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

That s good that s capital. We ll have the 
place to ourselves and dine out here on this porch. 
What do you say ? 

TREDBURY 
Splendid ! 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(To FOOTMAN.) 

Here, you, just tell the butler to set the table 
for two out here, right away. 

FOOTMAN 
Very good, sir. 

(Sets down the crate, and exits, Left.) 



io6 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

MR. BLACKWELL 

I never can get used to these flunkeys. Lord, 
Larry, didn t he look funny with that crate of 
chickens? Eh, Hiram? 

HIRAM 

(Shaking his head.} 
Wahn t what you d call a natural affinity. 

(Picks up the chicken coop.} 

Guess I ll take em along out to the barns. I 
reckon if your wife was to find me here, on the 
porch, she d get tarin mad. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Hold on, Hiram, I ll go with you. I m afraid 
those cocks might accidentally get to fighting, 
and you know I won t have that. 
(Enter BUTLER and FOOTMAN to set the table. 

To FOOTMAN.) 

When Mr. Barking gets ready to go up, show him 
to the room next to mine. 



FOOTMAN 
Very good, sir. 

(Exit HIRAM, carrying the chickens, and 
MR. BLACKWELL.) 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 107 

PEPYS 

(Handing his cigarette case.) 
Have a cigarette Mr. Barking. 



TREDBURY 

(Looks at him keenly, but with a slight 

smile.) 
Thanks very much. 

(BUTLER and FOOTMAN busy themselves 

setting the table.) 



PEPYS 

(After a pause, which is a trifle awk 
ward, both men lighting cigarettes.) 
Pretty place, isn t it? 



TREDBURY 

Ah, very - 

(A pause.) 

Do you happen to know whether Miss Dotty 
Davenport is staying here? Mr. Blackwell didn t 
seem to know much about her. He says he doesn t 
ever see his wife s guests. 

(Exit BUTLER and FOOTMAN, having set 
the table.) 



- I0 8 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

PEPYS 

(Trying to be solemn.) 
Ahem! 

(Aside.) 
What the devil am I to say - 

(Peers ofj Left: relieved.) 

I believe there is some one coming. Excuse me. 
(Strolls off to upper Right and looks over 
balustrade toward the lake, TRED- 
BURY looking ajlcr him, as EDITH 
enters, Lejt, dressed in a very simple 
dinner gown.) 

TREDBURY 

(Turning quickly.) 

Ah, there you are ! I was just trying to find out 
from that chap if you were here. 

EDITH 
If I was here? 

TREDBURY 

I thought you might have been chaffing me; 
Mr. Blackwell didn t seem to know much about 
you. I came up to see you, you know. 

EDITH 
How in the world did you get here? 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 109 

TREDBURY 

Oh, Mr. Blackwell had pity on me. He s a 
deuced good sort. He brought a sheriff up with 
him and they talked chickens all the way. It 
seems he picks his own guests without regard to 
er 

EDITH 
Titles? 

TREDBURY 
(Laughing.) 
He seems to have some such prejudice. 

EDITH 
Aren t you afraid of Mrs. Blackwell? 

TREDBURY 

I m to keep on the other side of the house, you 
know. But when am I to see you? 

EDITH 

I ll give you a piece of advice. Don t let Mrs. 
Blackwell see you here to-night, at all events. 

TREDBURY 
If you like, of course. But why? 



i io THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

EDITH 

She d be very angry with me. And I m - 
on her side of the house, you know. If you see 
any one coming, you must run. 

TREDBURY 

(Indicating PEPYS.) 
How about that chap? 

EDITH 

Mr. Pepys. Oh, he s in my confidence. He s 
an old friend. 

TREDBURY 
Nothing more? 

EDITH 
Of course not. 

TREDBURY 

I say when shall I see you ? Wouldn t it be 
jolly if I were to dine here, 

(Indicates table.) 
with you, instead of the old party? 

EDITH 

Very, but I think you are rather cool to come 
up after you ve been snubbed. What would you 
have done if if Mr. Blackwell hadn t found 
you? 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART in 

TREDBURY 

Oh, I should have managed. Tell me, when 
am I to see you? 

EDITH 

I ll come to the window and wave to you once 
in a while. You ll have a very good time with 
the "old party." He plays golf, you know, and 
you might teach him Jiu Jitsu. Good-by. 

TREDBURY 
Good-by? 

EDITH 
Yes. Some one s coming, you must go. 

TREDBURY 

Where? 

EDITH 
To to your own wing. 

TREDBURY 
But when am I to see you? 

EDITH 

Never if you don t obey me. Come, I ll 
show you the way. 



H2 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

(Exit, upper Left, followed by TREDBURY. 
Enter, lower Left, BARKING and MAR- 

JORIE.) 

BARKING 

But I say, the beastly freedom of these chaps. 
I didn t at all count on having a reporter. 

MARJORIE 

(Interrupting.) 

You dealt with him very cleverly. I can im 
agine you treating aspirants for office like that 
when 

(Looking up at him.) 
you are Prime Minister. 

BARKING 

Prime Minister, I say; I can t quite tell you 
what a strange effect you have on me, Lady 
Marjorie. You quite make me tingle with er 
ambition. 
(Enter, Left, EDITH and MRS. BLACKWELL, and 

MR. PEPYS comes forward.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Dear Marjorie, have you got a shawl? 

(Seeing the table set.) 
Who s going to dine here? 

(EDITH laughs, and looks at PEPYS.) 



ACT H THE TITLE-MART 113 

EDITH 
Dad has Hiram Peters with him. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Sighing.) 

Hiram Peters! John has the most senseless 
ideas of equality. To think of dining here with 
Hiram Peters. 

EDITH 

I wish I were going to, he s much more in 
teresting than Grant Townsend. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Edith, you re positively anarchistical. Why 
did you put on that gown? It makes you look 
like a village belle. And where are your pearls? 
(Sighs.) 

EDITH 

I m going to paddle Lord Tredbury across the 
lake. You may go in the launch. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Mollified.) 

I suppose you wouldn t be happy unless you 
were exercising. And it will be a new experience 



ii4 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

for Lord Tredbury an Adirondack canoe at 
sunset. Don t be late ! 

(Exit, Lejt, MRS. BLACKWELL, PEPYS, 
MARJORIE.) 

EDITH 

You seem to be quite intimate with Lady 
Marjorie. 

BARKING 
(Aside.) 
By jove, she s jealous ! 

(Aloud.) 

Yes, I ve always been fond of er of Mar 
jorie, you know. 

(Lights a cigarette.) 

EDITH 

Interesting if true ! But let s go down to the 
lake. If you have any money in your pockets, 
take it out and put it in your lap. 

BARKING 
I say, would you mind telling me the reason? 

EDITH 

And, by the way, don t smoke your cigarette on 
one side, even for an instant. I hope you swim 
well. 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 115 

BARKING 
Oh, by jove, is it as bad as that ? 

EDITH 

Then you could rescue me. Wouldn t that be 
romantic? The lake is fed by springs, and the 
water s deliciously cold. 

(Enter BUTLER and FOOTMAN.) 

BARKING 

If I d known that now, I d have worn a bathing 
suit. 

(Laughs confidently.) 

I think I can manage a canoe I used to row a 
bit at Oxford, you know. 

(Exit EDITH, upper Lejt, followed dubi 
ously by BARKING.) 

FOOTMAN 

(Setting dishes at a side table.) 
I s y, Stetson, e s a rum one for a lord, e is. 
E ain t got no cornets nor nothin on is shirts. 
An the other one, Mister Barking, did you ear 
im a-callin of Miss Edith Dotty Davenport? 



n6 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

BUTLER 

She s allus up to some devilment, Lord bless 
er. If it wasn t for er, I wouldn t stay in this 
ouse a blessed minute. 
(Enter, Right, MR. BLACKWELL and at the same 

time, Le}t y LORD TREDBURY.) 



MR. BLACKWELL 

Oh, here you are, Barking ! Sit down. 

(Sits down at table, and waves TREDBURY 

to a seat opposite.) 

Well, this is cosey, ain t it, all by ourselves, with 
that cussed house party out of the way? 

(BUTLER and FOOTMAN begin to serve 



TREDBURY 
Very. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

That s right. These house parties never turn 
over till ten, and then some of em breakfast in 
bed, a slovenly habit, sir. I always got up 
early shouldn t be where I am now if I hadn t. 
This place is glorious in the morning, sir, glorious. 
We ll breakfast here about seven o clock, sav. 
How does that strike you? 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 117 

TREDBURY 
Delightful ! 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Good. At seven-fifteen my buggy will be at 
the door and I ll show you this country. We ll 
make a day of it. I ll drive you over to Ead s 
Centre, and let you see the house where I was 
born. 

TREDBURY 

You re very kind. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Not at all. Then we ll go to Walker s Corners, 
and I ll show you where I made my first start in 
life, sweeping out a store. Store s there yet. 
I daresay your own father began that way. 

TREDBURY 

You mustn t have me on your mind, you know. 
I m quite content here er keeping out of 
the way of the house party. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Glad to do it. I want you to enjoy yourself. 
You found your room all right did Stetson 
show you? 



ii8 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

TREDBURY 

Miss Davenport showed me. I am next to 
you, I think. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Who the devil is this Miss Davenport, and how 
did she know? 

(BUTLER and FOOTMAN turn their backs 
to laugh.) 

TREDBURY 

She appeared somewhat familiar with your side 
of the house. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(With vehemence.) 

I never saw the woman, sir; I give you my 
word I never saw her. 

TREDBURY 

(Polite, but unbelieving.) 
I found the view very fine from my window. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

I d like to know what this Davenport woman 
has got to do with my rooms. 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 119 

TREDBURY 

I think that she, too, rather liked the view 
from that side. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

She s a designing hussy, sir, I warn you to be 
careful. But you won t have much chance to 
see her. I confess I don t grasp the principle 
on which these house parties are made up, an 
actress, a lord who hasn t anything but mortgages 
to his name, and I daresay wants to marry my 
daughter. By thunder, he shan t have her, sir. 
A plain business man, such as you, sir, is good 
enough for me. I ve heard all my life of your 
father s china plant, and I ve a great admiration 
for any one who can build up such a concern. 
I d like to know something of the details of the 
business. I suppose it s incorporated? 

TREDBURY 
Oh, yes, thoroughly incorporated. 

MR. BLACKWELL 
What is the amount of your capital? 

TREDBURY 
The fact is, I don t quite remember. 



120 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Swallowing.) 

Don t remember? 

TREDBURY 

You see, I m er in Parliament. My 
father rather wanted me to be a public man. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

A great mistake. I d have put you in the busi 
ness. Now, for instance 

(Exit BUTLER, and enter, Right, in a 

leisurely fashion, HIRAM.) 
Why, Hiram, I thought you d gone home. 
Changed your mind? That s good. Sit right 
down here and have some dinner. 

HIRAM 

No, I didn t come for that. Say, John, that 
little black and red cock we both liked has got 
kinder mixed up with the mottled one. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Jumping^) 
What? 

HIRAM 

Thought ye might be interested. 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 121 

MR. BLACKWELL 

How long has this been going on ? Excuse me, 
Mr. Barking, I ll be back presently. 

(Exit, precipitately, Right, carrying his 
napkin.) 

HIRAM 

Kinder thought he d like to know. 

(They both look after him. It is now 
deep twilight. Unperceived by either 
of them, BARKING, dripping, bedrag 
gled, wet to the skin, carrying his 
coat, passes along the terrace back 
of the loggia, from Right to Lejt, 
and disappears.) 

You don t seem to take much to chickens, Mr. 
Barking. 

(Exit Right. TREDBURY sits down. 
Voices and a commotion are heard 
within the house, off Left, and enter 
EDITH, lower Left. TREDBURY rises 
in astonishment. Enter, Left, BUTLER 
and FOOTMAN, showing signs of mer 
riment.) 

EDITH 

Isn t it too bad ? Lord Tredbury fell into the 
lake, 



122 



THE TITLE-MART ACT n 



(Ingenuously.} 

and there s no way of my keeping my dinner en 
gagement at the Townsends . They re telephon 
ing. 

TREDBURY 

Tredbury has fallen into the lake ! 

EDITH 

Oh, I fished him out with the paddle. You 
see he was so sure that he could manage a canoe 
that I let him get in first. Perhaps I shouldn t 
have done it. He s gone up to change his clothes. 
I m afraid they re ruined, and he can t afford to 
get any more, poor man; his tailors won t give 
him any more credit. 

(Glancing at the vacant seat.} 
May I have some dinner? I m famished. 

(Sits down in MR. BLACKWELL S chair, 
opposite to TREDBURY s, and BUTLER 
hands her a dish.} 

TREDBURY 

(Transported.} 

Mr. Blackwell s called away to a cock fight. 
I hope it lasts forever. 

EDITH 
A cock fight? 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 123 

TREDBURY 

Providence, assisted, I suspect, by Hiram, has 
mixed up the black and red game cock with the 
mottled one. By jove, Dotty, Providence has 
been more than decent to shuffle off Tredbury 
into the lake, too, and transform me from an out 
cast on a wharf into Aladdin s palace, dining with 
you. 

(Hysteric signs of merriment from the 

BUTLER and FOOTMAN. TREDBURY 

lifts his glass.) 
Let s drink to the absent. 

EDITH 

(Looking at him critically.) 
You re cleverer than I thought you were. Of 
course, that isn t saying a great deal. 

TREDBURY 

(To the BUTLER.) 
Fill Miss Davenport s glass. 
(BUTLER has a spasm.) 

EDITH 

I don t care for wine, it puts one rather out 
of condition. But we might send some up to 
Lord Tredbury. I hope he won t take cold after 
his wetting. 



124 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

TREDBURY 

(Laughing joyfully.) 
It serves him jolly well right. 

(Looking at her admiringly.) 
Ton my word, Dotty, I believe you did it on 
purpose. 

EDITH 
(Coolly.) 
Did what? 

TREDBURY 
Doused him. 

(Leaning forward.) 

I believe you did, so that we two could have an 
evening together. By jove, I d like to have seen 
him pitching into the water. How did you 
manage it? 

EDITH 

By letting him do it himself. That s all one has 
to do with men they ll drown themselves if one 
only provides the water 

(Looking across at him.) 
or the wine. 

TREDBURY 

You ll catch it rather when Mrs. Blackwell 
comes home and finds out that you ve wet 
Lord Tredbury. 

(Laughs.) 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 



125 



EDITH 

Well, I hope the water didn t hurt his title any. 
That s the main thing, and it s still here. Water 
doesn t harm titles, does it? 

TREDBURY 
(Laughing.) 

Mr. Blackwell was awfully squeamish about 
your showing me to my room. 

EDITH 
Who told him? 

TREDBURY 

I had to, he asked me. By the way, I said you 
seemed to know quite a bit about his side of the 
house, and he swore by all things he d never 
heard of you. The old chap was quite worked 
up, vowed he took no stock in the noblemen and 
actresses and all that sort of trash his wife had 
here. What are you laughing at now? 

EDITH 
I m very fond of Mr. Blackwell. 

TREDBURY 
(Annoyed.) 

Do you know, I thought he was foxing. He 
protested too much. But really, I can t see what 



126 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

there is in the old boy to attract you. He s a 
good sort, and all that, of course. 

EDITH 
(Calmly.) 
I love him 

TREDBURY 

(Starting back in his chair.) 
Oh, come now, Miss Davenport 

EDITH 
as a father, of course. 

TREDBURY 

(Incredulously.) 
Why does he deny it? 

EDITH 

He probably thought you might doubt the 
quality of my affection. He ll be back presently, 
and then 

TREDBURY 
And then 

EDITH 
I ll prove it. 

(The servants put the coffee on the table 
and exit, Left.) 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 127 

I have a piece of news for you. You had 
better be careful, Mr. Barking Lady Marjorie s 
here. 

TREDBURY 
(Starting.) 

Marjorie here ! Marjorie ! You say she s here. 
How the how did she get here ? 

EDITH 

She came by way of Ead s Centre, I believe. 
You seem to be quite intimate with her, in 
spite of the fact that she only saw you once 
when everybody was leaving and all that. 
Are you quite sure that there hasn t been some 
little affair? How am I to know she wasn t 
deceiving Lord Tredbury? 

TREDBURY 

Ton my word, Dotty, there s nothing of that 
kind. Oh, I swear it. Nothing of that kind. 
I wouldn t marry her not if she were the 
granddaughter of all the royalties in Europe. 
Don t you believe me? 

EDITH 

Well, I ve seen her, and that makes me rather 
inclined to. I don t like your calling her by her 
first name. 



128 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

TREDBURY 

It was only because, well because Tredbury 
does. What a nasty, characteristic thing for 
Marjorie to do to leave Newport and come here. 
What the deuce could have put her up to it ? 

EDITH 

Her hosts moved out, I suppose. I believe 
you re afraid of her. 

TREDBURY 
I? Oh, no. Where is she now? 

EDITH 
She s gone to dine at the Grant Townsends . 

TREDBURY 

Would you mind telling me what happened 
when Tredbury met her? 

EDITH 
Well, she seemed rather surprised 

TREDBURY 
Did she, eh? And he? 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 129 

EDITH 

He seemed considerably surprised. That was 
all. They talked awhile, and if I remember 
rightly Lady Marjorie said a number of 
pleasant things to Tredbury about you. That 
you were to be Prime Minister some day. 

TREDBURY 

(Breaking into laughter.) 
Prime Minister ! 

(Suddenly becoming sober.) 

Oh, did she? Nice of her, I m sure. Don t 
let s talk about her any more, time s too short. 
Dotty, how long are you going to stop with Mrs. 
Blackwell? 

EDITH 

Oh, indefinitely. How long are you going to 
stop with Mr. Blackwell? 

TREDBURY 

Until he puts me out. I m afraid that ll be 
rather soon when he finds out what great 
friends we are. Do you know, Dotty, I ve 
never had precisely the same feeling about any 
one that I have about you. We ve the same 
sense of humor, and all that. 

(Earnestly.) 
Could you care for me if I didn t have any money ? 



130 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

EDITH 

(Thoughtfully.) 

I haven t enough imagination to answer. The 
question is : Could you care for me if you didn t 
have any money ? That s always what a woman 
wants to know. 

TREDBURY 
Dotty since I met you, since 



EDITH 
Since you wrestled with me. 

TREDBURY 

I m not jesting. Since I met you, you ve 
Dotty the whole world has changed. 

(He reaches across the table for her 

hand. She withdraws it.) 

Dotty, listen! Since I met you to-day you ve 
become everything to me. What are you think 
ing of? 

EDITH 

I m wondering what you had before that. 

TREDBURY 
Oh! 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 131 

EDITH 

(Critically: looking at him.} 
There are many things about you I don t 
approve of. 

TREDBURY 
What? 

EDITH 
Well, first of all, your passion for actresses. 

TREDBURY 

Ah, but it isn t a passion for actresses, you 
know. I scarcely know how to describe it. I 
should have the same feelings if you were er 

EDITH 

An heiress? 

TREDBURY 
(Starting.) 

Why do you say that? 

(Laughs.) 
Well, yes, only if you were. an heiress, you d be 

EDITH 

Unattractive, hoidenish, impossible ! 



i 3 2 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

TREDBURY 
Instead of the dearest little girl in the world. 

EDITH 
I don t like being called little. 

TREDBURY 

(Leaning forward.) 

The old chap will be coming back now and 
making a row. When can I see you? He 
wants to take me off at some beastly hour to 
morrow morning to Ead s Corners, or some place 
like that, in his buggy, to show me the spot where 
he was born. I believe he wants to keep me away 
from you. I wonder what he d say if he knew? 

EDITH 
Knew what? 

TREDBURY 
How much I cared for you. 

EDITH 

(Glancing off, Right, across the lawn, 

and rising.) 
Here he comes now. We might ask him. 



ACT II THE TITLE-MART 133 

TREDBURY 

(Rising: alarmed.) 

Dotty, what the deuce are you going to do? 
(Enter, upper Right, MR. BLACKWELL in his 
shirt- sleeves, carrying his coat. He pauses 
when he sees EDITH, who runs to him, and 
they talk at the back 0} the stage in dumb show 
for a moment. MR. BLACKWELL pats EDITH 
on the cheek and exits, upper Lejt.) 

EDITH 

(Returning and resuming her seat: 

calmly.) 

He ll be down presently. I told him I d eaten 
his dinner, but he doesn t seem to care. He says 
there is plenty more, and that the mottled bird 
won. 

TREDBURY 

(Agitatedly.) 

Dotty, I don t at all like his tapping your 
cheek. You er don t know these old chaps 
as well as I do. 

EDITH 

(Laughing.) 
I know this "old chap" better than you do. 



134 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

TREDBURY 

(Sulkily: sitting down.} 

Of course it s none of my affair, but why did 
he tell me he didn t know you ? He s a sly old 
fox. I think he knows you rather well. 

(EDITH laughs.) 

I can t make him out. He didn t seem to mind 
my being here with you. 

(Leaning forward.) 

See here, Dotty, he ll be coming back, now. 
When shall I see you? Can t you see that I m 
mad about you ? 

EDITH 

Yes, I can see it. 

TREDBURY 

I m quite ready to chuck everything and stay 
in America and follow you round. 

EDITH 
What would you chuck? 

TREDBURY 

(Laughing.) 
China, I suppose. 

EDITH 
If you chuck china, it breaks, doesn t it ? 



ACT 



THE TITLE-MART 135 



TREDBURY 

Dotty, listen! Why do you torment me? 
(Reaching for her hand.) 

I love you - 

(Enter MRS. BLACKWELL, upper Left, and comes 
around behind TREDBURY. The lights are 
burning very low on the table, and when MRS. 
BLACKWELL sees TREDBURY reaching for 
EDITH S hand, she pauses and coughs at some 
distance behind him, mistaking him for BARK 

ING.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Well, here you are. You got word in time that 
Adelaide s grand-aunt died. I supposed you had. 
We went all the way over there, and the butler 
met us at the landing with the telegram in his 
hand, and we haven t had any dinner, and we re 
almost starved. Dear Lord Tredbury, I m so 
glad you weren t put to such inconvenience. 

TREDBURY 

(Rising, greatly flustered.) 
Er thanks. I ve dined quite comfortably, 

thanks. 

(An expression of horror crosses MRS. 
BLACKWELL S face when she recog 
nizes him, and she backs away.) 

We had er just reached the coffee. 



3 6 THE TITLE-MART 



ACT II 



MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Ignoring him her -voice shaking with 

anger: to EDITH.) 
Where is Lord Tredbury? 

EDITH 
(Calmly. ) 

The last I heard of him, he was changing his 
clothes. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Changing his clothes? 

EDITH 

Yes. He got wet. It didn t hurt his title any. 
He was quite careless getting into the canoe. 
(TREDBURY laughs.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(With inarticulate anger.) 
Oh! 

(Pushes an electric bell: turns to TRED 
BURY.) 
And what are you doing here, may I ask, sir? 

TREDBURY 

(Hugely embarrassed, glancing at EDITH.) 
Dining with Miss Davenport. 



ACT ii THE TITLE-MART 13? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

With Miss Davenport? With whom? 
(Enter BUTLER.) 

TREDBURY 

(Waves his hand helplessly at EDITH.) 
With Miss Davenport. 
(BUTLER chokes.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

When I saw you ahem wrestling with 
Miss Blackwell, I had reason to suspect this 
afternoon, Mr. Barking, that you were not in 
your right mind. Now I am sure of it. At any 
rate, 

(Glancing at the champagne.) 
that is the more charitable view. 

TREDBURY 

(Petrified with horror.) 
Wrestling with with Miss Blackwell ! 

(Stares wildly at EDITH.) 
Are you are you 

(Collapses.) 
Oh, by jove ! 



138 THE TITLE-MART ACT n 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
(To BUTLER.) 

Stetson, give his lordship my compliments, 
and say that I trust he feels no ill effects from his 
wetting. 

(Exit, lower Left, sweeping out.) 

EDITH 

I m sorry, but I m the unattractive person 
you read about. And I never acted in my life 
until to-night. 

(She drops him a courtesy, and exits, 
lower Left, TREDBURY staring after 
her.) 

CURTAIN 



ACT III 

SCENE. The drawing-room of Mr. Blackwel^s camp, ft 
is a large room, the wooden walls decorated with antlers, 
and finished in a very costly manner. It has a great, 
rough stone fireplace, middle Left, and a door on either 
side. Over the fireplace is a moose^s head. In the rear 
there are three long windows, like French windows. 
Beyond these can be seen the terrace with balustrade, 
like that in the second act, and the lake and mountains 
beyond. Between two of the windows is a dainty writ 
ing desk. Down Right is a long table on which magazines 
and newspapers are arranged, and a telephone instru 
ment. There is another window at lower Right which is 
supposed to lead out on the loggia shown in the second 
act. 

TIME : About ten o clock in the morning following the 
preceding act. 

AT RISE : LADY MARJORIE is discovered looking languidly 
over the table of magazines, and STETSON, the butler, 
stands respectfully in the middle of the room. 

MARJORIE 
I don t see Truth. 

BUTLER 

We don t ave it in the house, your ladyship. 
139 



I4 o THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

MARJORIE 

I might have known it. Or La Vie Parisi- 
enne. 

BUTLER 
I beg pardon, me lady. 

MARJORIE 
Where are the French papers? 

BUTLER 

Please, me lady, they are in Mrs. BlackwelFs 
room. 

MARJORIE 

(Picking up a silver cigarette box.} 
Stetson, I don t at all like these cigarettes. 

(Puts one in her mouth, and STETSON 

lights it.} 

Can t you find Mr. Pepys? He has some good 
ones Melachrinos. 

BUTLER 

I ll try to find him, me lady. 

(Exit STETSON, lower Right. As he 
exits, TREDBURY is seen peering in 
through one o) the windows. He 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 141 

starts, utters an ejaculation, looks all 
around the room, and enters just as 
LADY MARJORIE is going to the desk, 
rear. They stop face to face.) 

TREDBURY 

(Exclaiming, indignantly. ) 
I say, Marjorie, I don t see why you came here. 

MARJORIE 
(Calmly.) 

The Windhams were leaving Newport; there 
didn t seem any other place to come. 

TREDBURY 

(Looking around cautiously.) 
Is any one else about? 

MARJORIE 
Whatever s the matter with you? 

TREDBURY 
(Fiercely.) 
Where s that ass ? 

MARJORIE 

You mean your china friend who is representing 
you for the time being, I suppose. He s been in 



1 42 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

bed since eight o clock last evening, and I think 
he s afraid to come down. Awfully clever of 
you to send him up in your place, Treddy. But 
you should have seen him when he first met me ! 
He had a frightful quart d heure. 

TREDBURY 

(Vehemently.) 

Confound him! Between the two of you, I 
shouldn t wonder if you d ruined my life. 

MARJORIE 
Rubbish ! 

(Sitting down: innocently.) 
What have I done? 

TREDBURY 

Why did you write me all that stuff about Miss 
Blackwell? 

MARJORIE 

Stuff? What did I say? Sit down, Treddy, 
and have a cigarette. There are some on the 
table. You might give me another; they re not 
very good. 

TREDBURY 

(Angrily: handing her the cigarettes.) 
No, thanks. You said Miss Blackwell was un- 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 143 

attractive, hoidenish, impossible. By jove, how 
could you? 

MARJORIE 

(Lighting cigarette from the other one: 

ingenuously.) 

Isn t she? I thought she was. Of course, 
men are not as good judges of the opposite sex 
as women. 

TREDBURY 

Impossible! Unattractive! She s quite the 
most attractive girl I ever met. 

MARJORIE 

Oh, come now, Treddy, you don t mean quite 
that. Aren t you a bit dazzled by her millions? 

TREDBURY 
(Angrily.) 
I thought she was an actress until last night. 

MARJORIE 
What made you change your opinion? 

TREDBURY 

Reggie told me she was an actress. Con 
founded clever of him! I must say that she 
played the part dashed well. 



144 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

MARJORIE 
(Laughing.) 

Then Reggie ain t such a fool as he looks. 

TREDBURY 

How is it all going to end? 

(Fiercely.) 
I want you to tell me that. 

MARJORIE 

You must be in love with her, or you wouldn t 
be hanging around here like an escaped lunatic. 

TREDBURY 

I want to see her, tell her I ve been an ass, and 
go away forever. 

MARJORIE 

It seems quite unnecessary, Treddy. 

(Laughs.) 

All you ve got to do is to fall on your knees, con 
fess you re Lord Tredbury, and she ll accept you 
before you have time to get up again. 

TREDBURY 

Accept me! She d do nothing of the sort. 
You re you re incapable of appreciating her. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 145 

And do you think I d tell her who I am after 
what has happened? I d cut my tongue out first. 
I simply want to apologize like 

MARJORIE 
Like a china person. That s your role, isn t it ? 

TREDBURY 
Like a decent chap, and then get out. 

MARJORIE 
Where will you go? 

TREDBURY 
I don t know I don t care. 

MARJORIE 

Suppose you come to Lenox. I ll take your 
friend Barking there. 

TREDBURY 

(With jeeling.) 
I never want to see either of you again. 

(Stops, listens, and goes toward the 
windows in the rear.) 



146 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

MARJORIE 
Where are you going? 

TREDBURY 

I m I m not allowed in this part of the house. 
(Coming back, and addressing her in a 

tense voice.) 

I shouldn t at all wonder if you ve ruined my life. 
(Exit rapidly, through rear windows. 
MARJORIE sinks into a chair, and be 
gins to laugh. Enter MRS. BLACK- 
WELL, lower Left. She has a letter in 
her hand.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Why, Marjorie dear, are you down? And it s 
only ten o clock. I hate the morning. You have 
such a sensible custom in England of not facing 
it till lunch time. All the worries and perplexities 
of one s life come in the morning, and now I ve 
had a letter from Sarah Hollingsworth that my 
cook is advertised on the billboards. It s the 
last straw, but I might have known that it would 
come. 

MARJORIE 

Your cook advertised on the billboards ! What 
in the world do you mean? 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 14? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, as using some kind of porridge, or breakfast 
food, as it is vulgarly called. Sally says that the 
first time she saw it was from a car window, 
on a huge board in a swamp. My name caught 
her eye : " Mrs. John Blackwell s cook uses 
Manna." Manna! Nothing is sacred in Amer 
ica, not even the Bible, and poor, dear Antoine, 
how he must relish being called a cook ! 

(Sighs.) 

That is one of the penalties of belonging to the 
aristocracy. 

MARJORIE 

It seems so strange to have an aristocracy 
in a Republic. Doesn t the Constitution, or the 
Declaration of Rights, or whatever you have, for 
bid it? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

My dear, how very English you are ! Our 
aristocracy is founded on republican principles, 
and we have the right to be as arrogant as we 
choose. Any one who has sufficient discrimina 
tion and determination and sang-froid may belong. 
We are not encumbered by duties or responsibili 
ties, and we have a code of our own. 



148 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

MARJORIE 

It s magnificent, but is it an aristocracy? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Certainly. 

MARJORIE 

But there is no peerage or Almanac de Gotha. 
How is one to tell whether one belongs? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

By the increased consideration one receives 
from people who profess not to believe in an 
aristocracy. 

MARJORIE 

Ah, I see. And having one s cook on the bill 
boards is an outward and visible sign, I suppose. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
(Sighing.) 

I am not saying that we do not lack finish. We 
are a nation of barbarians, and we are suffering 
from morality. 

MARJORIE 

How very odd ! I thought it was an English 
trait. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 149 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, we have it, too. What may one expect of a 
people who make a cult of that crudest of sensa 
tions, patriotism? Who keep Decoration Day 
and the Fourth of July, for instance? And our 
men seldom run off with other men s wives. 

MARJORIE 

It isn t necessary, any more. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Have you seen Lord Tredbury? 

(TREDBURY is seen peering in.) 

MARJORIE 

(Absently.) 

Yes. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Turning: with interest.) 
He s come down? 

MARJORIE 

(Laughing.) 

What did I say ? Oh, no, I suppose he s still in 
bed. 



ISO THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Coming back, towards MARJORIE.) 
I sent a footman twice to his room this morning 
he left his valet at Tipton s, you know. 

(Confidentially and tragically.) 
My dear Marjorie, nothing will convince me that 
Edith didn t upset him in the lake in order to 
come back and talk with that vulgar Barking. 

(With inspiration.) 

I ve an idea! Dear Marjorie, why wouldn t he 
do for you? 

MARJORIE 
Did you say that vulgar Barking? 



MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, well, you know, there s no getting around it, 
he is vulgar. He s done the most abominable 
things. Still, my dear, if he married you, you 
and the Duke could do wonders with him, 
and, of course, you needn t see a great deal of him. 
You tell me he has a career in Parliament. He 
is visiting Mr. Blackwell, you know, and I believe 
I ll invite him to my side of the house. 

(Sighs.) 

I invite so few of Mr. Blackwell s guests to see 
me. But, Marjorie, I really think you ought to 
consider him. You ll pardon me for speaking 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 151 

frankly, but the dear Duchess accomplishes such 
marvels by frankness. 

MARJORIE 

Invite him over by all means, Grace, if you 

like. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Dear Marjorie, do consider him. I do so want 
to see you happily settled. 

MARJORIE 

Dear Grace, how kind of you to consider me! 
(Enter, lower Left, EDITH.) 

EDITH 
Morning, Lady Marjorie. Hello, Grace ! 

(EDITH catches sight of TREDBURY as 
he dodges away from the window, but 
does not betray the fact that she sees 
him. He makes frantic signs for her 
to come out.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(A little embarrassed.) 

Edith, I m thinking of asking Mr. Barking to 
visit me. 

(MARJORIE pretends to read.) 



152 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

EDITH 

But I thought you didn t like him. You ve 
been calling him vulgar and commercial and all 
sorts of things. Why this change of heart ? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Nervously: glancing at MARJORIE.) 
Well, my dear, I suppose I was wrong, after all. 

(Sighing.) 

We must recognize the claims of commerce; we 
must admit that new blood is a good thing. Mr. 
Barking has behaved atrociously, but 



EDITH 

But you said of him, Grace, that one cannot 
make a silk purse out of baser materials. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, my dear, it doesn t make so much difference 
about the purse so long as it s full. Lady Mar- 
jorie says he will make a name for himself. 

EDITH 
Oh, I see ! 

(Glancing at LADY MARJORIE, who is 
pretending to read.) 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 153 

Oh, of course, if you are inviting him on Lady 
Marjorie s account 



MARJORIE 
(Sweetly.) 

Pray don t consider me. I am sure / don t 
want him. 

MRS. BLACK WELL 

Dear Marjorie,you are so lacking in worldliness. 
(TREDBURY, who has been peering in, 
disappears behind the wall. MARJO- 
RIE S back is turned to him.) 



MARJORIE 
I have no interest in Mr. Barking whatever. 

EDITH 

An interest in him might be rather a good thing 
if it were paid quarterly. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Laughing.) 

Like alimony. Really, Edith, you are too bad. 
You seem to have taken quite a fancy to him. 



154 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

EDITH 

(Glancing at MARJORIE.) 

There s quite a difference between wrestling 
with a man and marrying him. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

I m delighted to hear you say so. 

(Suddenly catches herself: glancing at 
MARJORIE.) 

MARJORIE 

Oh, pray don t mind me, Grace. / have no 
intention of marrying him. 

EDITH 

Then, since Lady Marjorie doesn t want to 
marry him, why do you invite him? 

MARJORIE 

(Pretending to read: bitterly.) 
I suppose of course there is no other reason. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Well, of course, if neither of you want him, I 
don t. I m sure I should always draw the line 
at china. Only it wasn t very nice of you to 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 155 

trifle with him that way, Edith. I suppose you 
only did it to annoy me. 

(Sighing.) 
I am quite used to that. 

(TREDBURY peers in.) 

I am glad he offended you ; perhaps it will teach 
you a lesson. 

(Rising.) 

Dear Marjorie, I hope you are comfortable. The 
tea you ordered from New York will arrive to 
night. And isn t there any other little thing 
you would like? 

MARJORIE 

(Rising.) 

Perhaps if you would let me take the French 
papers from your room, and if you would lend me 
your secretary to answer my letters 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Certainly, my dear, come with me. I do hope 
dear Lord Tredbury hasn t taken cold. Edith, 
I ll be down presently. I want to talk to you. 

EDITH 

Very well, I ll be here. I ve got to write to 
the vet, and I can t remember whether his name 
is Hoskins or Hawkins. You don t happen to 
know? 



156 THE TITLE-MART ACT m 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, my dear, how should I know? 

(Exit, lower Left, followed by MAR- 
JORIE. EDITH goes to the desk and 
sits down. TREDBURY peers cau 
tiously in, looks around the room, 
enters, and stands be j ore EDITH.) 

EDITH 

(Who has the tip of her pen in her 

mouth.) 

Good morning. I thought you d gone off with 
Mr. Blackwell to see his birthplace. I m trying 
to write to the vet, and I can t remember whether 
his name is Hoskins or Hawkins. Which do you 
think is the more likely? 

TREDBURY 

Miss Blackwell, I ve come to say good-by to 
you. 

EDITH 

I supposed of course you d gone. 

TREDBURY 
I couldn t go without seeing you again. 

EDITH 
Isn t it rather warm to start now? 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 157 

TREDBURY 
Warm ! Did you say warm ? 

EDITH 

I thought you were to start at seven, Mr. 
Blackwell likes to get off early. 

TREDBURY 

Er the fact is, we did start at seven. I 
escaped. 

EDITH 

Escaped ! 

TREDBURY 

I ve been here three hours waiting for a chance 
to speak to you. To tell the truth, I ve been up 
practically all night. 

EDITH 

It doesn t sound practical, it sounds dissi 
pated. I hope my father didn t sit up with you. 

TREDBURY 

Sometime, perhaps, you ll understand. But I 
want to say that I made the mistake of my life. 



I 5 8 THE TITLE-MART ACT ill 

EDITH 
It must have been monumental. What is it? 

TREDBURY 

I can t tell you ; I should be a cad if I did. I 
don t blame you for despising me, Miss Black- 
wcll. You served me jolly well right, and I 
deserve it. And just a word : look out for that 
chap ; I can t tell you why, but look out 
for him. And I wouldn t have any more to 
do with Lady Marjorie than I could help. She s 
ruined my life. 

EDITH 
Not quite, I hope. 

TREDBURY 

(Taking a step nearer her.} 
I should like you to know before I leave that 
m y m y feeling for Miss Davenport was of the 
sincerest nature. Good-by ! 

EDITH 
Mr. Blackwell will be very much disappointed. 

TREDBURY 
I ve left him a line. The old boy is a trump - 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 159 

I beg your pardon your father s a good sort. 
I hated to do it. Some day you ll know why. 

(With more fervor.) 
Some day, perhaps, you ll forgive me. 

(A noise of some one approaching is 
heard off Right. TREDBURY looks anx 
iously in that direction. Holds out his 
hand.) 
Good-by Dotty ! 

(Goes swiftly to window, rear. Turn 
ing, and pointing up towards the ceil 
ing.) 
Don t marry that chap ! 

(Exit. EDITH goes to the window and 
looks after him. Enter, lower Right, 
HIRAM PETERS.) 

HIRAM 
How be you to-day, Edith? 

EDITH 

(Turning quickly.) 
Oh! Hello, Hiram! 

HIRAM 

Whar s the missus? She sent for me to see 
about gittin some help to have a wall built. 



160 THE TITLE-MART ACT m 

EDITH 

She s upstairs. They send for you for every 
thing, don t they, Hiram? 

HIRAM 

I am a kind of a handy man. That and bein 
the sheriff keeps me purty busy. 

(Sadly.) 

But there ain t as many criminals in the county 
as there used to be. How s that ther fool lord 
this morning? 

EDITH 

I believe he s still in bed. 

HIRAM 

In bed! Well, I ll be jiggered! 

(Looks at his watch.) 

I don t take much stock in this here effete 
nobility. 

(An uneasy pause.) 

Say, Edith, I knowed you sence you was a 
little girl. You ain t a-going to marry him, be 
you? 

EDITH 
I don t think so. 

HIRAM 
Don t marry that torn-fool lord. If I had to 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 161 

marry one of them, I d take Barking, durned if I 
wouldn t. 

EDITH 

(Going up to HIRAM, pushing back his 
coat, and taking hold of the shield on 
his waistcoat.) 

Hiram, would you arrest anybody if I asked 
you to? 

HIRAM 
Guess I would! Anybody done anything? 

EDITH 

That Mr. Barking you were speaking of is 
about to make his escape. 

HIRAM 

I ll be jiggered. He was a nice appearin 
feller. What s he done, looted the house ? Took 
any silver? 

EDITH 

Not exactly that, but he s a fraud, and I have 
reason to suspect he is going to try to take the 
train at Balchville. I want you to keep an eye 
on him, and if he tries to get away, bring him 
back here, to me. 



1 62 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

HIRAM 

(Looking at his watch, excitedly.} 
We ll have to go over to the Centre and git a 
warrant. 

EDITH 
A warrant ! 

(Putting her hand on HIRAM S shoulder.} 
Hiram, couldn t you possibly do without the war 
rant? If you could only bring him back here 
quietly, it would save a lot of publicity, you know, 
and father hates publicity. Get him and bring 
him back to me. I ll talk to him. 

HIRAM 

It s irregular, Edith. By godfrey, it might 
bring on a war with Great Britain. 

EDITH 

(Laughing.} 

Hardly that. Hiram, won t you do it for me? 
I ll promise you that it will go no farther. Bring 
him back here to me. 

HIRAM 

(Looks at her and wavers.} 

Wai, it s consarned irregular, but I ll do it for 
you, Edith. I don t know what s gettin into 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 163 

the place. I ain t arrested nobody for three 

months. I ll chance it I ll git him. 

(Starts jor the window and turns.) 

Say, tell the missus I ll see her about that wall 

later. 

(Exit. EDITH goes to the window and 
looks ajter him, laughs, sits down at 
the desk, and puts her pen in her 
mouth. Enter MRS. BLACKWELL, 
lower Right.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Excitedly.) 

Edith, Lord Tredbury is up at last he s 
coming down ! 

EDITH 

(Without looking up.) 
You don t mean it. 

(Begins to write.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Edith, I want to talk seriously with you. Why 
do you treat Lady Marjorie as you do? One 
would think you had no manners. 

EDITH 

You know it isn t the thing to have manners 
except for horses. 



164 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, do be serious for once; Lord Tredbury 
will be down any minute. 

(EDITH puts her hand on her heart.} 
What are you doing now? But, as I was say 
ing, Lord Tredbury may be down any moment. 
Do be nice to him, I m sure you spilled him 
into the lake on purpose. It will be all right if he 
never knows it; and the aristocracy are dears, 
they are so undiscerning. 

EDITH 

(Bending over her letter and writing.} 
Please wait a moment, Grace; I must get 
this letter off. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, that s just like you, writing to veterinary 
surgeons when your life s happiness is at stake. 
Sometimes you are so like your father that I want 
to I eat you. 

EDITH 

(Folds the letter, puts it in the envelope, 

and closes it.} 
There ! Now, what is it ? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

O dear, we are wasting so much time and 
I don t know what to say to you. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 165 

EDITH 

Perhaps I can say it, Grace. You want me to 
marry Lord Tredbury, whether I love him or not. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(On the verge 0} tears.) 

Edith, you have a positively brutal way of put 
ting things. 

EDITH 

(Standing up and patting MRS. BLACK- 
WELL on the shoulder. She has a 
man s way 0} doing this kind of thing, 
although she gives it a feminine touch.) 
There, don t cry. I haven t any objection to 
marrying Lord Tredbury. 



MRS. BLACKWELL 



You ve 
him? 



(Gasping, and rising to her feet.) 
i ve no objection! Edith! Do you love 



EDITH 



What difference does that make ? Well, I don t 
mind admitting that I am rather fond of him. 



166 THE TITLE-MART ACT HI 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, my dear, my dear ! 

(Stares at EDITH, totally at a loss.) 
Has he spoken already ? 



EDITH 
I haven t allowed him to. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
Oh, my dear ! And do you think he loves you ? 

EDITH 

Of course that couldn t make any difference, 
either. But I think he does. 

(MRS. BLACKWELL makes a forward move 
ment, and EDITH evades her.) 
Please don t embrace me, Grace I hate to be 
embraced. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Backing off and looking at her.) 
Incomprehensible girl ! Edith, you re a dear ! 
(Enter, lower Left, MR. BARKING. He is dressed 
in a rather louder checked travelling suit than 
the day before, and he has a blustering manner 
which betrays to the audience that he is nervous. 
EDITH has resumed her seat at the desk, where 
she is stamping and sealing her letter.) 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 167 

BARKING 

(Stopping short at sight oj MRS. BLACK- 
WELL.) 
Ah, dear Mrs. Blackwell 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
(Coming forward effusively and taking 

his hand.) 

Dear Lord Tredbury ! I hope you slept well. 
I hope you feel no unfortunate effects from get 
ting wet I m so glad that the lake was cold, - 
Englishmen and cold water go so perfectly to 
gether. As I said to dear Marjorie, if the lake 
had been hot, I should have worried about you. 
But it was quite cold, was it not ? 

BARKING 
By jove, I should rather think so! 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

I am so glad. I told the valet to put a lump of 
ice in your bath this morning. I hope he did it. 
Edith should have warned you about getting into 
canoes the poor child has been so worried. 
Really, her account of the accident was most dis 
tressing, and I almost wept when she told me 
how she saw your hat floating on the water, with 
nothing in it. She said it looked so natural. 



168 THE TITLE-MART ACT m 

BARKING 

I say, did Miss Blackwell say that? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

One notes the pathetic at such times. I hope 
you ve had a good breakfast, Lord Tredbury. 
The dishes were on the sideboard. We follow 
the English custom of getting up and sitting down 
as often as possible. I never could quite under 
stand it with the servants around, but I suppose 
the idea is that it gives one so much exercise. It s 
certainly delightful. 

BARKING 

(He has not perceived EDITH at the desk. 
He has passed her, and his back has 
been turned towards her. EDITH now 
exits quietly by the rear windows.} 
Er the fact is, I wanted particularly to see 
you alone. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Flustered.} 
Of course certainly Edith ! 

(She turns and perceives EDITH is gone.} 
Why, she s gone. She was here only a moment 
ago. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 169 

BARKING 

(Glancing around, uneasily.} 
By jove, I didn t see her! 

(Turning to MRS. BLACKWELL: impul 
sively and jerkily.} 

Mrs. Blackwell there is er there is 
something I must tell you. I feel that it is due 
to you to tell you. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(SofOy.) 

I think I know. 

BARKING 

(Taken aback.) 
You know you knew all the time ? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
I am not so easily fooled as you imagine. 

BARKING 

How you must despise me ! But really, it was 
not my fault I was led into it. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Smiling with comprehension.) 
Oh, don t speak of them! Young men will 



170 



THE TITLE-MART ACT in 



be young men, dear Lord Tredbury. What 
would an aristocracy be without its debts ? That s 
the trouble with us in America ; we pay our bills at 
once, although we are beginning to see that this 
is vulgar. 

(He starts to expostulate, but she silences 

him.) 

Let me finish. I can quite understand your 
delicacy, and I honor it, dear Lord Tredbury. 



BARKING 

Mrs. Blackwell, I entered your house in a false 
light. I must explain. 



MRS. BLACKWELL 

I told you that I quite understood. 

(BARKING looks at her blankly.) 
I quite understand. Dear me, I wish that 
French were still the Court language one can 
express one s self so much better in French. I was 
aware of your mission to this country when I 
asked you to my house. 



BARKING 
My mission ! Mrs. Blackwell, I must explain 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 171 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

It is not necessary. The fact is, your entrance 
was quite opportune. I have been talking to 
Edith, and I feel that I may say to you, quite 
frankly, that I found her unexpectedly reasonable. 
I will also be frank with you and say that I had 
fears. 

BARKING 

(Bewildered: sticking in his monocle.) 
Fears ! Quite so. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Sometimes Edith has ridiculous fancies in 
social matters, and when I saw her wrestling with 
Mr. Barking, my spirits sank. One of the surest 
ways for a man to win her heart would be to 
wrestle himself into it. And yet you seem to 
have won it without resorting to such violent 
methods, Lord Tredbury. 

BARKING 
(Agitated.) 
I I ! I won her heart ? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Your confusion does you credit. I have 
spoken to Edith. She is anything but indifferent 



I 72 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

to you, dear Lord Tredbury, and she has con 
fessed to me that you love her. 

BARKING 
I love her ! 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

There, you must tell that to Edith. It was 
quite honorable to have spoken to me first. I 
was so afraid that she was taking a fancy to that 
Mr. Barking. 

(BARKING starts to expostulate.} 
There, you are loyal to your friend but I under 
stand. In these days when the aristocracy is so 
hard pressed, it is their friends that are thrust 
upon them. And now, you may find Edith; you 
have my permission James. I hope you will 
allow me to call you James. Don t be shy with 
her. She is a problem, but if she is managed 
rightly, she will turn out to be a fine woman. 
She has already something of the English man 
ner the English rudeness, one might say. It 
is enough to begin with. She loves you, James, 
I am sure of it. But I confess that I am as 
tonished that it has come about so quickly. 

BARKING 

Really, Mrs. Blackwell I say I had no 
notion of it, upon my word I m overwhelmed. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 173 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Don t look so frightened. Why is it men are 
always frightened ? Here she comes ! Now do 
be courageous James. 

(Exit, throwing him a kiss.) 

BARKING 

Oh, my God she loves me ! I might have 
known it. Why was I such a fool? I might 
have known it. What am I to say? 
(Enter EDITH, unconcernedly. She looks at him. 

He puts up his monocle and backs away from 

her.) 

Er ahem ! Er ahem ! 

EDITH 

Why, Lord Tredbury ! I m afraid your wetting 
didn t improve your throat any. I m so sorry. 

BARKING 

Er I have a far worse affliction than the 
throat, Miss Blackwell. 

EDITH 

(Approaching him with mock anxiety.) 
Oh, tell me what it is, Lord Tredbury ! 



I 7 4 THE TITLE- MART ACT in 

BARKING 

(Backs away.) 
I say you you mustn t call me that. 

EDITH 
(Meaningly.) 
What shall I call you? 

BARKING 

(Desperately.) 

I I have something to tell you, Miss Black- 
well. I tried to tell Mrs. Blackwell er I 
really can t say how distressed and yet ahem 
- and yet how I er tingle with er 
something I never felt before. 

EDITH 
The symptoms sound familiar. 

BARKING 

(Transported.) 

I say, do they? I came down this morning 
resolved to tell your mother something, to tell you 
something, and and I find I ve lost my head. 

EDITH 

(With concern.) 
Have you missed it long? 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 175 

BARKING 
Eh? 

(Looks at her, but is reassured by her 

sympathetic manner.) 

I can t describe how your presence affects me. 
I didn t sleep a wink last night, not a wink, screw 
ing up my courage to the sticking point. 

(Gazes at her tenderly.) 

I believe no man was ever in such a horrible 
plight, really. You see I m all dressed to go away. 
I found out about the train. I asked the footman 
for a Bradshaw, and he brought me some kind 
of a cocktail before breakfast, mind you. I 
drank it I was in such a state. 

(EDITH is laughing quietly.) 
It seems I wanted the Baby Pathfinder. Now 
I can t go. I hoped yes I hoped for your 
sake, for both our sakes, that this would not come 
about, Miss Blackwell Edith. You are too 
true a woman to love me for my er title. 
If it were otherwise, I would not say what I am 
going to say. 

(MR. PEPYS is seen strolling over the 
terrace towards the windows. They 
both look up.) 

EDITH 

(Runs towards the door, lower Right, 
turns and looks at him bewitchingly.) 



1 76 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

Don t say it now. We might go canoeing 
again this evening. 

(Exit. BARKING crosses over, Right, and 
stands looking after her. Enter PEPYS 
through a rear window.) 

PEPYS 

Morning, Lord Tredbury. We missed you 
last night. 

BARKING 
(Turning.) 

Er yes the fact is, I went to bed early. I 
was er quite exhausted. 

PEPYS 

Hope you re rested. You look fairly fit. 

(Goes to the table, picks up a paper, 
crosses over to a chair, Left, and sits 
down. Unperceived, he gives BARK 
ING an amused look from behind the 
paper.) 

BARKING 

(Walks to the windows, rear, hesitates, 
comes halfway back, looks at PEPYS, 
who is apparently immersed in his 
reading. Coughs.) 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 177 

I say, Pepys, you re a devilish good sort of a 
chap. 

PEPYS 

(Lowering his paper and smiling.) 
Thanks. 

BARKING 

A man of the world, and all that kind of thing. 
A chap who would never er betray a con 
fidence. 

PEPYS 
I can t recall ever having betrayed one. 

BARKING 

I say, I m in the devil of a scrape, don t you 
know. I ve a great mind to tell you all about it 
to er You seem so dashed level-headed. 



PEPYS 
What s the trouble, Lord Tredbury? 

BARKING 

Well er the first trouble is, you know, by 
j ove _ i n tell you. I m not Lord Tredbury. 



1 78 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

PEPYS 

(With pretended astonishment.} 
Not Lord Tredbury ! Would it be impertinent 
to ask who you are? 

BARKING 

Not at all, my dear chap ; I m Reginald Barking. 
(Looking around uneasily, as though 

jearing interruption.) 

It s a long story. The other chap is Lord Tred 
bury. He has to marry an American, and er 
he had Miss Blackwell in mind for the position. 

PEPYS 
(Dryly.) 
Oh, I see. 

BARKING 

But mind you, he got a letter saying she wouldn t 
do at all, and begged me to come up. I said, 
" Suppose she falls in love with me!" "Oh, 
no," said he, "no possibility. Bet twenty guineas 
to one." Guineas ! 

(Backing off, with a gesture.) 
Well, she has. 

PEPYS 

Fallen in love with you ! 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 179 

BARKING 

Yes. I m engaged to her. Mrs. Blackwell 
er proposed this morning, and er told me 
of Edith s affection for me. 

PEPYS 

(Stifling laughter.) 
Then you ve won your bet. 

BARKING 

Oh, damn that ! There s the ahem moral 
question. That s what troubles me. I m happy 
to say I ll have a title of my own some day. 
This has been a bit sudden, you know, but I 
mean to stick by my word. Of course, my 
governor will be horribly cut up he rather 
wished me to marry into the aristocracy. 

PEPYS 
Your feelings do you credit. 

BARKING 

Thanks, old chap. But now er how about 
Mrs. Blackwell? I m afraid she ll rear a 
bit, you know. I thought that you er as 
a man of the world 

(Seeing no encouragement in PEPYS S jace. ) 
Er what would you advise me to do ? 



!8o THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

PEPYS 

Confess, my dear fellow. That s part of the 
joke. 

BARKING 

(Dubiously.) 

Yes. But, by jove, she s so erratic, you know. 
She might do anything. You ll stand by me, old 
chap. And then er it occurred to me last 
night that Mr. Blackwell might take a shot at 
me. I ve heard Americans were so handy with 
revolvers, and all that. 

PEPYS 
(Soberly.) 

You needn t be afraid of John; he isn t a very 
good shot. No, take my advice and confess to 
Mrs. Blackwell. The storm will blow over. 
You re quite right to treat it as a joke. By the 
way, here comes Mrs. Blackwell now. I d like 
to stay here and see the fun if it wasn t for a 
natural delicacy. 

BARKING 
(Wildly.) 

Oh, I say, delicacy be damned! Don t mind 
that ! I say, I d like to have you here. 

(He clutches PEPYS. Enter MRS. BLACK- 
WELL, lower Left.) 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 181 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

I m so glad you ve taken a fancy to Larry, 
James. He s a dear! But where is Edith? 

BARKING 

(Looking at PEPYS.) 

She has er stepped out. Yes, stepped 
out that s it. 

(Puts in his monocle, and gazes foolishly 
off, lower Right.) 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Reproachfully.) 
James, I hope you haven t quarrelled already. 

BARKING 

(Aside, to PEPYS.) 
I say, old chap, couldn t you drop her a hint? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

I suppose James has told you, Larry. Yes, it s 
true. 

(Sighs.) 

When Lord Tredbury spoke to me this morning 
it was a great shock, so sudden, and so little 
time has elapsed. 

(PEPYS turns away and laughs silently.) 



182 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

But it is best to be sensible about these matters. 
They are inevitable. 

BARKING 

(Desperately.} 

Oh, I say, Mrs. Blackwell, I must tell you 
something about myself. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Interrupting.} 

James, you are so painfully honest. Do let 
youthful indiscretions be a closed book. We are 
getting more and more sensible about that sort of 
thing in America. 

(The telephone on the table, down Left, 
rings, and she goes to it. BARKING 
gazes at her helplessly. PEPYS, with 
his hand over his mouth, walks over 
to the window, down Right, and stands 
with his back to them during the fol 
lowing scene, his shoulders shaking in 
termittently with laughter.} 

(Enter, quietly, by the rear windows, the REPORTER. 
He has a rather large hand camera in his hand, 
and unperceived by any one he levels it at BARK 
ING, who is standing in an agonized position, 
puts in the long stop, and photographs him.) 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 183 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
(At the telephone: simpering.} 
Yes, dear, Lord TREDBURY is staying with us. 

BARKING 

(Breaking in desperately.} 
I say, Mrs. Blackwell, one moment. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
(Waving him away with her hand, and 

speaking into the telephone.} 
He is just a nice, overgrown boy so English, 
and he s actually trying to pull me away from the 
telephone. 

(A pause. BARKING starts back.} 
What s that? 

(A pause.} 

Well, dear, how clever you are. Yes, you ve 
guessed it Tredbury and Edith are engaged. 

BARKING 

Oh, by jove, Mrs. Blackwell, you mustn t; you 
know you mustn t. I ll tell you why if you ll 
only listen! Oh, my God! 

(MRS. BLACKWELL puts up her hand 
and smiles absently, listening the while 
to the remarks that come palpitating 
through the telephone. In the rear 
the REPORTER is writing rapidly, a 
beatific smile on his face.) 



184 THE TITLE-MART ACT m 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Into the telephone.) 

Dear Isabel, I don t know Lord Tredbury 
made his proposal in form this morning ; he was 
so nice about it, so comme il jaut. I ll take Edith 
to Paris in September. I think November s a 
good month, but it s difficult for people to get into 
town so early. 

(A pause, during which BARKING stands 

helplessly resigned.) 

Dear Isabel, I don t wonder you re excited. I 
couldn t help telling you. Good-by, dear, James 
has taken such a fancy to me that he won t even 
let me talk. 

(She puts down the receiver.) 



BARKING 
My God, Mrs. Blackwell, what have you done ? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Looking up, beatifically.) 
James, don t be ridiculous. There s no use 
trying to keep a thing like that a secret. 

(REPORTER coughs discreetly and MRS. 
BLACKWELL, BARKING, and PEPYS 
all turn and face him.) 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 185 

(To REPORTER.) 

What are you doing here again? You have 
great temerity, sir, to return. 

REPORTER 

I was once a war correspondent, and my paper 
telegraphed me last night to get the news at any 
cost. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Well, since you are here, I may as well tell you 

(Grandly.) 
that a marriage has been arranged 

BARKING 

(Wildly.) 

Stop, Mrs. Blackwell, stop, I command you! 
You must not ! I must see you alone. I insist 
upon it. I demand it. 

(Enter EDITH, lower Right.) 

REPORTER 

(Picks up his camera, and backs away 
jearfally at sight o) her: to MRS. 
BLACKWELL.) 
Thank you, I think I know everything I 



1 86 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

think I have enough. Good day, Mrs. Black- 
well. 

(Exit, precipitately, by the rear win 
dow.) 

PEPYS 

(Aside, to EDITH, as she passes him: 

delightedly.) 
Oh, you vixen ! 

EDITH 

(Calmly.) 
What s the matter? 

(Enter, lower Left, LADY MARJORIE.) 

MARJORIE 

Whatever s the matter? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Rushing to her, tearfully.) 
Dearest Marjorie, don t you know? You 
should have been told first, the very first, you are 
such a near friend of Tredbury s. 

(MARJORIE bewilderingly tries to dis 
engage herself.) 
Lord Tredbury, I mean James 

(Waves at BARKING.) 
and Edith are engaged to be married. I am so 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 187 

excited. It only happened a little while ago, and 
I haven t had a chance to tell you. 

MARJORIE 

(Dramatic, for once, pointing at BARK 
ING, scornfully.) 

Do you mean that man? Is he engaged to 
Edith? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Certainly. He made his proposal in form half 
an hour ago and in such good form. 

BARKING 

(Wildly.) 

Great heavens, I shall go mad. I did nothing 
of the sort. I have been trying to tell her all 
morning, but she won t listen - 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

James, you can t mean that you have another 
wife! 

BARKING 
No, no, my God, no - 

MRS. BLACKWELL 
Then what are you saying? 



1 88 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

BARKING 
I I I am not 

MARJORIE 

(Interrupting: sweetly.} 

I think he s been trying to tell you, Grace, that 
he is not Lord Tredbury. 

BARKING 
(Groaning.) 
Er I was just coming to that. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Just coming to it? What do you mean? Is 
it that you haven t yet come into your title ? 

BARKING 

Precisely that s it. My governor s er 
services er have meant so much to the 
party, and all that sort of thing 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Your governor ! 

(Glancing from PEPYS to MARJORIE.) 
Has the man gone mad? 

(To BARKING.) 
What are you talking about? 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 189 

BARKING 

I was referring to my father. He was ill 
advised enough to make a great fortune in er 
well, in china. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(With an agonized shriek.) 
China ! China ! 

(Overpowered by the enormity of the 
news, she gazes at him speechless.) 

BARKING 

(With an attempt to assert his dignity.) 
My father s choice of a commodity may have 
been misguided, but nevertheless by his industry 
and ability he has built up a business that is 
known wherever wherever 

(He hesitates, seeing that MRS. BLACK- 
WELL is paying no attention to him.) 

EDITH 

(Calmly.} 
Dishes are washed. 

MARJORIE 
(Hastily.) 

Tredbury is so shy, Grace so sensitive about 
people thinking that he wants to sell his title 



190 



THE TITLE-MART ACT in 



BARKING 

(Gaining confidence.) 

And when you took me for him he er 
just backed out. And then you snubbed him, 
you know. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

You don t mean to tell me it was Lord Tred- 
bury that I - 

(At this point MRS. BLACKWELL S eye 
lights on the telephone instrument on 
the table, and, gazing at it, she sud 
denly becomes transfixed with horror, 
struck dumb, as it were. They all 
move a step towards her anxiously.) 

EDITH 
What s the matter, Grace? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Panting.) 
The telephone ! 

(Wildly.) 

I ve announced the engagement. I ve told 
Isabel Sibley, and I m sure it s all around the 
lake by this! Oh, what shall I do? And the 
reporter! Larry, do try to catch him, and tell 
him it s all a mistake. He s only had ten minutes 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 



191 



start. If you run fast, you can catch him before 
he reaches the village. 

(Exit PEPYS, rear.) 

I hope he can run faster than that. And where 
is Lord Tredbury? John had him here only 
last night. I might have known him, he was 
such a mauvais garcon. 

(To BARKING, pointing at the bell.) 
Ring the bell ! 

(BARKING obeys mechanically.) 
Tredbury must be found! 

(Enter BUTLER, lower Left.) 

(To BUTLER.) 

Stetson, do you remember a a Mr. Barking 
who was visiting Mr. Blackwell? 

BUTLER 

Perfectly, Madam. 

(He points out of the window, indig 
nantly.) 

E was ere not an hour ago, Madam. I seed 
a man a-hidin be ind the balustrade, and I goes 
out to ask im is business, and e was gone. 
Once I seed im a-hidin in the syringes. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

He must be found, Stetson. Telephone his 
description to the stables, to the lodge, to the 



192 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

village everywhere. He must be treated with 
every courtesy and brought back. Do you under 
stand, Stetson? He is Lord Tredbury. 

BUTLER 

(Imperturbably.) 
Very good, Madam. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Sitting down.) 

The aristocracy is unaccountable! Oh, what 
shall I do ! 

(As the BUTLER exits Left, he runs into 
MR. BLACKWELL in a linen duster. 
MR. BLACKWELL exclaims, BUTLER 
begs his pardon, and exits. As MR. 
BLACKWELL recoils from the shock, 
his eye lights on BARKING, and at the 
same time MR. BLACKWELL puts his 
hand to his hip pocket. BARKING 
exits precipitately, lower Left, and 
MR. BLACKWELL produces a handker 
chief from his pocket.) 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Looking after BARKING in astonish 
ment.) 
Is everybody crazy? I just met Larry Pepys 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 193 

going like a madman at hare and hounds. He 
wouldn t pay any attention to me. I never saw 
him move faster than a walk in his life. And 
why did he run away? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Rising: not noticing BARKING S exit.) 
John, has he run away? I was in hopes you 
had him. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Had him ! Oh, you re talking about the other 
one. That s what I came in for. Haven t you 
got him? It wouldn t be the first time you d 
enticed one of my guests away from me. I 
thought you d be after him. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Oh, John, you don t mean to say you ve lost 
him. How stupid of you 1 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(With some heat.) 

Stupid ! I don t see why you are so interested, 
Grace, when you snubbed him. How was I 
to know he wanted to escape 1 I went into 
Fowler s chicken yard about half -past seven this 



J 94 THE TITLE-MART ACT m 

morning, left this Barking in the buggy, and 
when I came out, he d tied the horse to the fence 
and skipped. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Skipped ! 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Yes, skipped. Thank God he didn t take the 
horse and buggy. I call that a durned mean 
return for my kindness, when I was going to 
show him the country and the house I was born 
in. I ll never forgive him. He deceived me 
went to bed last night before I had finished my 
dinner so that he might be fresh for to-day s 
pleasure. 

(Snorts. Looks around and his eye 

lights on MARJORIE. Sternly.) 
But I have a notion who s responsible. Have 
you any other ladies in your house party ? 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Mystified.) 
No. Why? 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Interrupting: to MARJORIE.) 
Then I ll thank you to keep out of my rooms. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 195 

MARJORIE 
Out of your rooms ! 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Yes, out of my rooms. The view is very fine 
from my window, is it? 

MARJORIE 

(Haughtily.} 
I don t know anything about your view. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Humph ! Of course not. I ll have you under 
stand I m a respectable man, and not given to 
intrigues. I won t have my good name ruined 
by any woman, and I won t have any woman 
talk about me familiarly behind my back. 

(To MRS. BLACKWELL.) 

You can have your lords and actresses, Madam, 
as long as they are harmless tomfooleries, but I 
stipulate they shan t interfere with me. When 
the actresses come into my rooms, and talk about 
the view from my window, out they go. I mean 
it. Ask this Miss Davenport, or whatever her 
name is, where Mr. Barking s gone. She can 
tell you if she will. 



196 THE TITLE-MART ACT m 

(Towards the end of this speech, BARKING 
is seen peering in through rear win 
dows. M ARJORIE now walks out through 
a rear window, her nose in the air. Is 
seen to join BARKING, and they have a 
short conversation in pantomime before 
they disappear.) 



MRS. BLACK WELL 

(Who has been fidgeting in horror. Run 
ning to MR. BLACKWELL.) 
John, there s some terrible mistake. You don t 
know what you ve done. 

(In an awed voice.) 
That was Lady Marjorie Ticknor! 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Well, I beg Lady Marjorie s pardon. I thought 
you told me all the women were here. Where is 
this Davenport woman? 

(With inspiration.) 

By George, I have it ! Barking s gone off with 
her. 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

(Distractedly: going of} Left.) 
Oh, I can t waste any more time with you. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 19? 

Everything s ruined now by your stupidity. 

Something must be done ! 

(Exit, lower Lejt. MR. BLACKWELL 
watches her go in astonishment, and 
then turns to EDITH, bewildered.) 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Well, this beats me ! I ve seen Grace and her 
parties in a ruction before, but never to equal 
this. Edith, you look sane. Tell me, what the 
deuce is the matter? 

EDITH 

(Putting her arms around his neck.) 
Dear old Daddy, I ll tell you all about it. I 
never meant to fool you. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Laughs.) 

Oh, it s some of your tricks. I might have 
known. 

(Comically.) 

But don t you think it s a little dangerous to push 
Grace as far as that? She s really in a pretty 
bad way. What have you done you you 
witch? 

(Fondles her.) 



<98 THE TITLE-MART ACT m 

EDITH 

Really, it wasn t my fault, Dad. That is, 
most of it wasn t. It s so mixed up I scarcely 
know where to begin. 

(Enter FOOTMAN, upper Left.) 

FOOTMAN 

Please, Miss, Doctor Awkins appened to be 
up at Mr. Townsend s and card about your mare. 
E s in the stable now, Miss. 

EDITH 

Daddy, wait till I come back, and I ll tell you 
all about it. 

(Exit, through rear windows.) 

MR. BLACKWELL 
(To FOOTMAN.) 

Where is this actress who s visiting Mrs. Black- 
well? 

FOOTMAN 

There s no h actress in the ouse, as I know of, 
sir. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(In disgust.) 
You re a darned fool, too. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 199 

(FOOTMAN still stands respectfully.) 
What are you waiting for? 

FOOTMAN 

If you please, sir, a groom was returning from 
the village with the mail and found Mr. Pepys 
sitting by the road, all in a eat, sir, wet through. 
E s taken im into your study. It looks remark 
able like h apoplexy, sir. 

MR. BLACKWELL 

Well, I ll be - I ll go to him. 

(Exit, upper Left, followed by FOOTMAN. 
At the same instant, BARKING and 
LADY MARJORIE are seen looking in 
at the windows, rear. MARJORIE enters 
boldly, followed with some caution, by 
BARKING. They come down centre.) 

MARJORIE 

There s no one here. 

(Laughs.) 

For title-hunters, commend me to the free and 
democratic American nation. These people mean 
to have poor Treddy dead or alive. 

(Looking up at BARKING.) 
You had a narrow escape, rather. 



200 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

BARKING 

I was quite defenceless, you know. There 
was nothing better than a paper cutter at hand. 

MARJORIE 

I was talking about the other danger. As 
I said just now, I could have told you she was 
a designing, cold-blooded girl, if I had dared to 
speak. 

BARKING 

(With feeling.) 

Dared ! Oh, Lady Marjorie ! If you had only 
given me a hint last night that I occupied even a 
small niche in in your er thoughts ! 

MARJORIE 

How could I? You were in bed. 

(Looking up at him, ingenuously.) 
Mr. Barking, I hope you ll forgive me for talking 
to you on the terrace just now like a grandmother. 

BARKING 

I say, you don t look like a grandmother, and 
er I don t feel as if you were. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 201 

MARJORIE 

Flatterer! Well, then, as I tried to impress 
upon you, a man of your career, and your future, 
should marry a woman of the world ; a woman of 
tact, a grande dame, if you like, a person of whom 
you would be proud when you become Prime 
Minister. 

BARKING 

(A step towards her.) 
Lady Marjorie . 

MARJORIE 

(Without seeming to pay attention.) 
She need not be rich necessarily, nor a 
beauty, but she should have well friends at 
court, who will help you to a title of your own, 
when the time comes. A a duke in the family 
goes a long way, you know, even in these days. 
There, I ve said it ! 

BARKING 
Lady Marjorie ! When I saw you 

(MARJORIE goes off, Left.) 
Where are you going? 

MARJORIE 

To tell my maid to pack. I really can t stay 
with Grace after this, and that horrible Mr. 
Blackwell has insulted me. 



202 THE TITLE-MART ACT m 

BARKING 

You 

(Swallows.) 
you are going on my account. 

MARJORIE 

(Standing with her back to him, looking 

over her shoulder, smiling.) 
Let s call it national pride. It sounds better. 
(Turns her head away, but does not go.) 

BARKING 

(Taking a step or two after her.) 
Oh, Lady Marjorie, if I only dared. 

MARJORIE 
(SofOy.) 

I thought you would dare anything. 

BARKING 

I do. I dare! You are the one I have been 
waiting for all my life. You little know it, but 
you have sketched yourself as I have always seen 
you in my heart ! 

(Runs to her, seizes her hand. Her 

head is still turned away.) 
Won t you look at me? 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 



203 



MARJORIE 

(Turns her head and looks at him.) 
We ll talk about it at Lenox. 

(Suddenly EDITH appears in the French 
window, rear, and MARJORIE drops 
BARKING S hand hastily.) 

EDITH 

(Entering and smiling at them. To 

BARKING.) 

It s much more appropriate than if you were to 
marry me, isn t it? 

(BARKING, hugely embarrassed, does not 

answer. ) 

I could have told you that Lady Marjorie 
admired you tremendously. 

BARKING 
Er admired me ? 

MARJORIE 
It s quite evident why you didn t. 

EDITH 

Quite. He was making love to me as Lord 
Tredbury. 



204 



THE TITLE-MART ACT in 



MARJORIE 

And of course you couldn t afford to run the 
risk of losing a title. 

EDITH 

I felt that Mr. Barking couldn t afford to run 
that risk either. That s the reason I didn t show 
him this letter which I believe Lady Marjorie 
wrote to Lord Tredbury. 

(Produces jrom her pocket the letter. 
MARJORIE recognizes it and starts 
forward, blanching.) 
(To BARKING.) 

If you knew the very complimentary things 
Lady Marjorie wrote about you in this letter, I 
am sure you would be convinced. 

BARKING 

I say, did she? I had no idea 
(Looks slyly at MARJORIE.) 

MARJORIE 

(Beside herself.) 

I don t think it quite honorable, let us say, to 
read other people s letters. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 205 

EDITH 

(Looking at her.) 
Neither do I. 

(Smiling. ) 

I happen to know the contents because Lord 
Tredbury read this letter aloud 

BARKING 

Tredbury ! 

MARJORIE 
Lord Tredbury read that letter aloud? 

EDITH 

To Dotty Davenport. You were not the only 
person mentioned, Mr. Barking. 

(Looking at MARJORIE.) 

There was something said about the unattractive, 
impossible, and hoidenish Miss Blackwell. But 
it s all quite true, so there s no harm done. 

(MARJORIE and BARKING are speechless.) 

(To BARKING.) 

If I had not had other indications, I should 
have guessed from this 

(Tapping letter.) 
that you were not Lord Tredbury. 



206 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

BARKING 

You knew I was not Lord Tredbury? You 
knew all the time ? Oh, by jove ! 

EDITH 

I am going to give back Lady Marjorie her 
letter, but I hope she will not tell you what is in 
it. 

(A slight pause.) 
It might turn your head. 

(Hands MARJORIE the letter.) 

MARJORIE 
(Takes it and crushes it.) 

EDITH 

And now, if you will accept my congratu 
lations 

BARKING 

(Starts forward and takes her hand.) 
Upon my word, Miss Blackwell, you re a brick. 
I I don t know what to say. 

EDITH 
Don t say anything. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 207 

MARJORIE 

(Taking EDITH S hand.) 
Edith, I m afraid I did you an an injustice. 

EDITH 
I m afraid you did. 

MARJORIE 
If I ever can be of service to you, in England 

EDITH 

You are very kind. I shall remember it 
if I ever go to England. And now, if you don t 
object to my giving you both a tip, I think if 
I were you I should take a walk in the pine 
woods. 

BARKING 
Thanks awfully. 

(To MARJORIE.) 
Er do you mind ? 

MARJORIE 

(Hesitating: then deciding.) 
Well, I ll go if you like. 

(Exeunt MARJORIE and BARKING, lower 

Right.) 

(A commotion is heard and HIRAM and TRED- 
BURY, accompanied by MR. BLACKWELL, are 



208 THE TITLE-MART ACT m 

seen crossing the terrace, all talking, and ap 
proaching the windows in the rear. Enter 
these three, all talking at once, HIRAM carry 
ing a heavy dressing case, TREDBURY a hand 
bag, which each deposits as he comes down. 
MR. BLACKWELL and TREDBURY are together, 
HIRAM a little apart and behind them. EDITH 
runs to upper Lejt where she remains, unseen 
by the three.) 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(To TREDBURY.) 
You thought my daughter was an actress? 

TREDBURY 

(To HIRAM.) 

Why the devil didn t you say Miss Blackwell 
told you to arrest me? I wouldn t have men 
tioned the ambassador. 

HIRAM 

(Who is apologizing to MR. BLACKWELL.) 

Wimmen is awful critters to tempt a man, 

John, you know that. But, by godfrey, he did 

look like a crook when he was workin through 

Easy Jones woods with that there sample case. 

(Points to dressing case.) 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 209 

(To TREDBURY.) 

So you re a lord ! I want to know ! I don t 
mind shakin hands with ye, anyhow, and sayin 
I m sorry. You ain t such a durned fool after all. 

(Puts out his hand.) 

TREDBURY 

(Taking it: laughing.) 

Thanks, Mr. Peters. If you d only mentioned 
who made the complaint, I would have led the 
way. 

(EDITH disappears, upper Left.) 

MR. BLACKWELL 

(Biting off a cigar.) 

Hiram, I guess young people will be young 
people. 

(To TREDBURY.) 

I won t deny I ve had a prejudice against titles, 
too ; you may have gathered that from my conver 
sation. There, young man, I like you, and you ve 
owned up honestly. I ll forgive you. But she s 
very dear to me, in spite of her tricks. 

(Brushes his eyes. TREDBURY seizes his 
hand, and wrings it in silence. Sud 
denly a great squawking is heard in the 
rear, as of a general cock fight in prog 
ress, and MR. BLACKWELL and HIRAM 



210 THE TITLE- MART ACT in 

both exit through the rear window, pre 
cipitately. EDITH comes in, upper Lejt, 
unconcernedly, and stands a moment gaz 
ing out oj rear windows after them.) 

EDITH 
(Turning.) 

How shameful of the sheriff to neglect his duty ! 
Why has he left the prisoner alone ? 

TREDBURY 

Miss Blackwell ! 

EDITH 

(Coming down and seating herself in a 
large armchair; with mock dignity, 
imitating a judge.} 
Why has the prisoner been released? 

TREDBURY 

May it please your Lordship, the complainant 
didn t appear, you know. 

EDITH 

Well, what have you to say for yourself? Why 
did you run away? 

TREDBURY 

(Gloomily.) 
It s no easier to confess now than it was before 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 211 

I went. Of course, I ve been an ass, I don t 
deny it. 

(Impulsively.) 

If you were only Dotty Davenport, I could tell 
you all. 

EDITH 

That isn t a proper way to address a a 
magistrate. And, besides, I don t expect you to 
incriminate yourself. I will give the prisoner to 
understand that this trial will be conducted in all 
fairness. 

TREDBURY 

By jove, I should say it was a trial. 

(A noise is heard off. TREDBURY looks 

around.) 

And, by the way, I m not supposed to come in 
this part of the house, you know. 

EDITH 

Oh, you needn t be alarmed ; Mrs. Blackwell is 
off looking for Lord Tredbury. 

TREDBURY 
(Starting.) 
For Tredbury? 

EDITH 
Yes. He escaped, you know. Mrs. Blackwell 



212 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

is having the surrounding country searched; the 
woods beaten. I shouldn t wonder if she d of 
fered a reward for him, if produced alive. The 
demand for titles is so great in America that we 
never let one escape without an effort to recap 
ture it. 

TREDBURY 

(Laughs uneasily. ) 

So he s run away. Oh, by jove ! And do you 
mean to tell me they re chasing him? I hope they 
give him a good, round thrashing. You wouldn t 
mind telling me the immediate cause of his flight. 

EDITH 

Well, I think he ran away for fear he would 
have to marry me. 

TREDBURY 

(Starting forward: in anger and amaze 
ment.) 

For fear You don t mean that. You re 
joking you couldn t love him. 

EDITH 

Love is bourgeois; only the lower classes and 
fools marry for love. We are learning better in 
America nowadays our marriages are arranged. 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 213 

TREDBURY 

You didn t agree to marry him. I know you 
didn t. If a man were poor and needy and re 
jected 

EDITH 

(Interrupting.} 
No. I didn t agree to marry Mr. Barking. 

TREDBURY 

(With a sudden flash of understanding.) 
Mr. Barking. 

EDITH 

Don t interrupt. Mr. Barking has already been 
sufficiently punished. He is about to serve a life 
sentence he is going to marry Lady Marjorie. 

TREDBURY 

(Bursting into laughter.) 
To marry Marjorie ! I m I m revenged. 

(Coming forward impetuously.) 
Ah, was there ever such a woman in the world as 
you ! How could I have been such a fool ! I see 
it now, you ve known all the time you knew 
who I was when we met at the Post-office. I 
loved Dotty Davenport. I would have followed 
her to the ends of the earth. I plead guilty, but 
that s my excuse. I love you, Edith 



214 THE TITLE-MART ACT in 

EDITH 
(Rising.) 

Aren t you afraid of being fined for contempt? 
The court will adjourn. 

TREDBURY 

(Seizing her hands.) 

I throw myself on the mercy of the court. 
Edith ! Have you nothing to say ? Can you 
give me no hope? 

EDITH 

Well I think I will give you a life sen 
tence, too. 

TREDBURY 

(Seizing her in his arms.) 
And I will love you and serve you all my life. 
(A pause.) 

EDITH 

(Trying to disengage herself and glanc 
ing out, Right, where the loggia is.) 
Here comes Grace. 

(Looking at him, with laughter in her 

eyes.) 

She will think we have been wrestling again. 
(Enter, lower Right, MRS. BLACKWELL. She 
takes in the situation at a glance.) 



ACT in THE TITLE-MART 215 

MRS. BLACKWELL 

Edith ! You ve found him ! Thank heaven, 
those women won t have a chance to talk ! I ve 
never been so relieved in all my life. 

(Sinking into a chair and fanning her 
self.) 

Oh, James, come here. How could you have 
been so naughty ! 

CURTAIN 



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