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Full Online Book HomePlaysTwo Men Of Sandy Bar: A Drama - Act 4 Scene 1
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Two Men Of Sandy Bar: A Drama - Act 4 Scene 1 Post by :Truman Category :Plays Author :Bret Harte Date :May 2012 Read :1097

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Two Men Of Sandy Bar: A Drama - Act 4 Scene 1

ACT IV SCENE 1

(SCENE 1. MR. MORTON'S villa, Russian Hill, Night. OAKHURST'S bedroom. Sofa in alcove C., door in flat left of C. SANDY MORTON discovered, unconscious, lying on sofa; OAKHURST standing at his head, two policemen at his feet. Candles on table L.)

OAKHURST. That will do. You are sure he was unconscious as you brought him in?

FIRST POLICEMAN. Sure, sir? He hasn't known anything since we picked him up on the sidewalk outside the bank.

OAKHURST. Good! You have fulfilled your orders well, and your chief shall know it. Go now. Be as cautious in going out as you were on entering. Here is the private staircase. (Opens door L.) (Exit policeman.

OAKHURST (listening). Gone! and without disturbing any one. So far, luck has befriended me. He will sleep to-night beneath his father's roof. His father! umph! would the old man recognize him here? Would he take to his heart this drunken outcast, picked from the gutters of the street, and brought here by the strong arm of the law? Hush! (A knock without.) Ah, it is the colonel: he is prompt to the hour. (Opens door cautiously, and admits COL. STARBOTTLE.)

STARBOTTLE (looking around, and overlooking SANDY). I presume the other--er--principal is not yet on the ground?

OAKHURST (motioning to sofa). He IS!

STARBOTTLE (starting as he looks towards sofa). Ged, you don't mean to say it's all OVER, without witnesses, without my--er--presence?

OAKHURST. Pardon me, Col. Starbottle; but, if you look again, you will perceive that the gentleman is only drunk.

STARBOTTLE. Eh? Ged! not uncommon, sir, not uncommon! I remember singular incident at--er--Louisville in '47. Old Judge Tollim--know old Judge Tolly?--Ged! he came to ground drunk, sir; couldn't stand! Demn me, sir, had to put him into position with kitchen poker down his back, and two sections of lightning-rod in his--er--trousers, demn me! Firm, sir, firm, you understand, here (striking his breast), but--here (striking his legs)--er--er--wobbly! No, sir! Intoxication of principal not a bar, sir, to personal satisfaction! (Goes towards sofa with eyeglass.) Good Ged! why, it's Diego! (Returning stifly to OAKHURST.) Excuse me, sir, but this is a case in which I cannot act. Cannot, sir,--impossible! absurd! pre--post--or--ous! I recogmze in the--er--inebriated menial on yonder sofa a person, sir, who, having already declined my personal challenge, is--er--excluded from the consideration of gentlemen. The person who lies there, sir, is Diego,--a menial of Don Jose Castro,---alias "Sandy," the vagabond of Red Gulch.

OAKHURST. You have omitted one title, his true one. He is Alexander Morton, the son of the master of this house.

STARBOTTLE (starting in bewilderment). Alexander Morton! (Aside.) Ged! my first suspicions were correct. Star, you have lost the opportunity of making your fortune as a scoundrel; but you have at a pecuniary sacrifice, preserved your honor.

OAKHURST. Yes. Hear me, COL. STARBOTTLE. I have summoned you here to-night, as I have already intimated, on an affair of honor. I have sought you as my father's legal counsel, as a disinterested witness, as a gentleman of honor. The man who lies before you was once my friend and partner. I have wronged him doubly. As his partner, I ran away with the woman he believed, and still believes, to be his wife; as his friend, I have for a twelvemonth kept him from the enjoyment of his home, his patrimony, by a shameful deception. I have summoned you to-night to witness my confession; as a lawyer, to arrange those details necessary to restore to him his property; as a man of honor, to receive from me whatever retribution he demands. You will be a witness to our interview. Whatever befalls me here, you will explain to Mr. Morton--to Jovita--that I accepted it as a man, and did not avoid, here or elsewhere, the penalty of my crime. (Folding his arms.)

Slarbottle. Umph! The case is, as you say, a delicate one, but not--not--peculiar. No, sir! Ged, sir, I remember Tom Marshall--know Tom Marshall of Kentucky?--said to me, "Star!"--always calls me Star,--"how in blank, sir, can you remember the REAL names of your clients?"--"Why," says I, "Tom," always called him Tom,--"yesterday I was called to make will--most distinguished family of Virginia--as lawyer and gentleman, you understand: can't mention name. Waited for signature--most distinguished name: Ged, sir, man signed Bloggins,--Peter Bloggins. Fact, demme! 'Mistake,' I said,--'excitement; exaltation of fever. Non compos. Compose yourself, Bob.'--'Star,' he said,--always called me Star,--'for forty-seven years I have been an impostor!'--his very words, sir. 'I am not'--you understand: 'I AM Peter Bloggins!'"

OAKHURST. But, my dear colonel, I--

STARBOTTLE (loftily). Say no more, sir! I accept the--er position. Let us see! The gentleman will, on recognition, probably make a personal attack. You are armed. Ah, no? Umph! On reflection I would not permit him to strike a single blow: I would anticipate it. It will provoke the challenge from him, leaving YOU, sir, the--er--choice of weapons.

OAKHURST. Hush! he is moving! Take your stand here, in this alcove. Remember, as a gentleman, and a man of honor, Col. Starbottle, I trust you not to interfere between the injured man and--justice! (Pushes COL. STARBOTTLE into alcove behind couch, and approaches SANDY.)

SANDY (waking slowly--and incoherently). Hush, Silky! hush! Eh? Oh, hush yourself! (Sings.)


Oh, yer's yer Sandy Morton,
Drink him down!


Eh! Oh! (Half sits up on couch.) Eh! (Looking around him.) Where the devil am I?

OAKHURST (advancing and leaning over SANDY'S couch). In the house of your father, Alexander MORTON.

SANDY (recoiling in astonishment). His voice, John Oakhurst! What--ah! (Rises, and rushes towards OAKHURST with uplifted hand.)

STARBOTTLE (gesticulating in whisper). A blow! a single blow would be sufficient.

SANDY (looking at OAKHURST, who regards him calmly). I--eh! I--eh! Ha, ha! I'm glad to see--old pard! I'm glad to see ye! (COL. STARBOTTLE lifts his hand in amazement.)

OAKHURST (declining his hand). Do you understand me, Sandy Morton? Listen. I am John Oakhurst,--the man who has deceived your father, who has deceived you.

SANDY (without heeding his words, but regarding him affectionately). To think of it--Jack Oakhurst! It's like him, like Jack. He was allers onsartain, the darned little cuss! Jack! Look at him, will ye, boys? look at him! Growed too, and dressed to kill, and sittin' in this yer house as natril as a jaybird! (Looking around.) Nasty, ain't it, Jack? and this yer's your house--the old man's house--eh? Why, this is--this is where she came. Jack, Jack! (Eagerly.) Tell me, pard, where is she?

STARBOTTLE (aside, rubbing his hands). We shall have it now!

OAKHURST. She has gone,--gone! But hear me. She had deceived you as she has me. She has gone,--gone with her first husband, Henry PRITCHARD.

SANDY (stupefied). Gone! Her first husband! Pritchard!

OAKHURST. Ay, your wife!

SANDY. Oh, damn my wife! I'm talking of Mary,--Miss Mary,--the little schoolma'am, Jack; the little rose of Poker Flat. Oh! I see--ye didn't know her, Jack,--the pertiest, sweetest little--

OAKHURST (turning away coldly). Ay, ay! She is here!

SANDY (looking after him affectionately). Look at him, boys! Allers the same,--high-toned, cold, even to his pardner! That's him,--Jack Oakhurst! But Jack, Jack, you're goin' to shake hands, ain't ye? (Extends his hand, after a pause. OAKHURST takes it gloomily.)

COL. STARBOTTLE (who has been regarding interview with visible scorn and disgust, advancing to OAKHURST). You will--er--pardon me if, under the--er--circumstances, I withdraw from this--er--disgraceful proceeding. The condonation, by that man, of two of the most tremendous offences to society and to the code, without apology or satisfaction, Ged, sir, is--er--er--of itself an insult to the spectator. I go, sir--

OAKHURST. But, Col. Starbottle--

STARBOTTLE. Permit me to say, sir, that I hold myself for this, sir, responsible, sir,--personally responsible.

(Exit STARBOTTLE, glancing furiously at SANDY, who sinks on sofa laughing.)

OAKHURST (aside). He will change his mind in half an hour. But, in the mean time, time is precious. (Aloud.) Sandy, come!

SANDY (rising with alacrity). Yes, Jack, I'm ready.

OAKHURST. We are going (slowly and solemnly)--we are going to see your father.

SANDY (dropping back with bashful embarrassment, and struggling to release his arm from OAKHURST). No, Jack! Not just yet, Jack; in a little while, ole boy! in about six months, or mebbe--a year, Jack! not now, not now! I ain't feelin' exactly well, Jack,--I ain't.

OAKHURST. Nonsense, Sandy! Consider your duty and my honor.

SANDY (regaining his seat). That's all very well, Jack; but ye see, pard, you've known the old man for nigh on a year, and it's twenty-five since I met him. No, Jack; you don't play any ole man on to me to-night, Jack. No, you and me'll just drop out for a pasear. Jack, eh? (Taking OAKHURST'S arm.) Come!

OAKHURST. Impossible! Hush! (Listening.) It is HE passing through the corridor. (Goes to wing R., and listens.)

SANDY (crowding hastily behind OAKHURST in alarm). But, I say, Jack! he won't come in here? He's goin' to bed, you know. Eh? It ain't right for a man o' his years--and he must be goin' on ninety, Jack--to be up like this. It ain't healthy.

OAKHURST. You know him not. He seems to need no rest (sadly). Night after night, long after the servants are abed, and the house is still, I hear that step slowly pacing the corridor. It is the last sound as I close my eyes, the first challenge of the morning.

SANDY. The ol' scound--(checking himself)--I mean, Jack, the ol' man has suthin' on his mind. But, Jack (in great alarm), he don't waltz in upon ye, Jack? He don't p'int them feet in yer, Jack? Ye ain't got to put up with that, Jack, along o' yer other trials?

OAKHURST. He often seeks me here. Ah--yes--he is coming this way now.

SANDY (in ludicrous terror). Jack, pard, quick I hide me somewhere, Jack!

OAKHURST (opening door R.). In there, quick! Not a sound, as you value your future! (Exit SANDY hurriedly R.

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