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Full Online Book HomePlaysTwo Men Of Sandy Bar: A Drama - Act 4 Scene 3
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Two Men Of Sandy Bar: A Drama - Act 4 Scene 3 Post by :JuvioSuccess Category :Plays Author :Bret Harte Date :May 2012 Read :950

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Two Men Of Sandy Bar: A Drama - Act 4 Scene 3

(SCENE 3. Ante-room in MR. MORTON'S villa. Front scene. Enter DON JOSE CASTRO and CONCHO, preceded by SERVANT, L.)

SERVANT. This way, gentlemen.

DON JOSE. Carry this card to Alexander Morton, sen.

SERVANT. Beg pardon, sir, but there's only one name here, sir (looking at CONCHO).

DON JOSE (proudly). That is my servant, sir. (Exit SERVANT.)

DON JOSE (aside). I don't half like this business. But my money locked up in his bank, and my daughter's hand bound to his son, demand it. (Aloud.) This is no child's play, Concho, you understand.

CONCHO. Ah! I am wise. Believe me, if I have not proofs which shall blanch the cheek of this old man, I am a fool, Don Jose!

(Re-enter SERVANT.)

SERVANT. Mr. Morton, sen., passed a bad night, and has left word not to be disturbed this morning. But Mr. Morton, jun., will attend you, sir.

CONCHO (aside). So the impostor will face it out. Well, let him come.

DON JOSE (to SERVANT) I wait his pleasure. (Exit SERVANT.

DON JOSE. You hear, Concho? You shall face this man. I shall repeat to him all you have told me. If you fail to make good your charge, on your head rests the consequences.

CONCHO. He will of course deny. He is a desperate man: he will perhaps attack me. Eh! Ah! (Drawing revolver.)

DON JOSE. Put up your foolish weapon. The sight of the father he has deceived will be more terrible to him than the pistol of the spy.

(Enter COL. STARBOTTLE, C.)

STARBOTTLE. Mr. Alexander Morton, Jun., will be with you in a moment. (Takes attitude by door, puts his hand in his breast, and inflates himself.)

CONCHO (to DON JOSE, aside). It is the bullying lawyer. They will try to outface us, my patron; but we shall triumph. (Aloud.) He comes, eh!--Mr. Alexander Morton, gentlemen! I will show you a cheat, an impostor!

(Enter, in correct, precise morning dress, SANDY MORTON. There is in his make-up and manner a suggestion of the father.)

CONCHO (recoiling, aside). Diego! The real son. (Aloud, furiously.) It is a trick to defeat justice,--eh!--a miserable trick! But it shall fail, it shall fail!

COL. STARBOTTLE. Permit me, a moment,--a single moment. (To CONCHO.) You have--er--er--characterized my introduction of this--er--gentleman as a "cheat" and an "imposture." Are you prepared to deny that this is Alexander Morton?

DON JOSE (astonished, aside). These Americanos are of the Devil! (Aloud and sternly.) Answer him, Concho, I command you.

CONCHO (in half-insane rage). It is Alexander Morton; but it is a trick,--a cowardly trick! Where is the other impostor, this Mr. John Oakhurst?

SANDY (advancing with dignity and something of his father's cold manner). He will answer for himself, when called for. (To DON JOSE.) You have asked for me, sir: may I inquire your business?

CONCHO. Eh! It is a trick,--a trick!

DON JOSE (to CONCHO). Silence, sir! (To SANDY, with dignity.) I know not the meaning of this masquerade. I only know that you are NOT the gentleman hitherto known to me as the son of Alexander MORTON. I am here, sir, to demand my rights as a man of property and a father. I have received this morning a check from the house of Morton & Son, for the amount of my deposit with them. So far--in view of this complication--it is well. Who knows? Bueno! But the signature of Morton & Son to the check is not in the handwriting I have known. Look at it, sir. (To SANDY, handing check.)

SANDY (examining check). It is my handwriting, sir, and was signed this morning. Has it been refused?

DON JOSE. Pardon me, sir. It has not been presented. With this doubt in my mind, I preferred to submit it first to you.

STARBOTTLE. A moment, a single moment, sir. While as a--er--gentleman and a man of honor, I--er--appreciate your motives, permit me to say, sir, as a lawyer, that your visit is premature. On the testimony of your own witness, the identification of Mr. Alexander Morton, jun., is--er--complete; he has admitted the signature as his own; you have not yet presented the check to the bank.

DON JOSE. Pardon me, COL. STARBOTTLE. It is not all. (To SANDY.) By a written agreement with Alexander Morton, sen., the hand of my daughter is promised to his son, who now stands before me, as my former servant, dismissed from my service for drunkenness.

SANDY. That agreement is revoked.

DON JOSE. Revoked!

SANDY (handing paper). Cast your eyes over that paper. At least you will recognize THAT signature.

DON JOSE (reads). "In view of the evident preferences of my son, Alexander Morton, and of certain family interests, I hereby revoke my consent to his marriage with the Dona Jovita Castro, and accord him full permission to woo and win his cousin, Miss Mary Morris; promising him the same aid and assistance previously offered in his suit with Miss Castro.--ALEXANDER MORTON, SEN."

CONCHO. Ah! Carramba! Do you not see the trick,--eh, the conspiracy? It was this man, as Diego, your daughter's groom, helped his friend Mr. Oakhurst to the heiress. Ah, you comprehend! It was an old trick! You shall see, you shall see! Ah! I am wise, I am wise!

DON JOSE (aside). Could I have been deceived? But no! This paper that releases HIM gives the impostor no claim.

SANDY (resuming his old easy manner, dropping his formality, and placing his hand on DON JOSE'S shoulder). Look yar, ole man: I didn't allow to ever see ye agin, and this yer ain't none o' MY seekin'. But, since yer here, I don't mind tellin' ye that but for me that gal of yours would have run away a year ago, and married an unknown lover. And I don't mind adding, that, hed I known that unknown lover was my friend John Oakhurst, I'd have helped her do it. (Going.) Good-morning, DON JOSE.

DON JOSE. Insolent! I shall expect an account for this from your--father, sir.

SANDY. Adios, DON JOSE. (Exit C.

CONCHO. It is a trick--I told you. Ah, I am wise. (Going to DON JOSE.)

DON JOSE (throwing him off). Fool! (Exit DON JOSE.

CONCHO (infuriated). Eh! Fool yourself--dotard! No matter: I will expose all--ah! I will see Jovita;--I will revenge myself on this impostor! (Is about to follow, when COL. STARBOTTLE leaves his position by the door, and touches CONCHO on the shoulder.)

STARBOTTLE. Excuse me.

CONCHO. Eh?

STARBOTTLE. You have forgotten something.

Conhho. Something?

STARBOTTLE. An apology, sir. You were good enough to express--er--incredulity--when I presented Mr. Morton: you were kind enough to characterize the conduct of my er--principal by--an epithet. You have alluded to me, sir,--ME--

CONCHO (wrathfully). Bully! (Aside.) I have heard that this pomposo, this braggart, is a Yankee trick too; that he has the front of a lion, the liver of the chicken. (Aloud.) Yes, I have said, you hear I have said, I, CONCHO (striking his breast), have said you are a--bully!

STARBOTTLE (coolly). Then you are prepared to give me satisfaction, sir,--personal satisfaction.

CONCHO (raging). Yes, sir, now--you understand, now (taking out pistol), anywhere, here! Yes, here. Ah! you start,--yes, here and now! Face to face, you understand, without seconds,--face to face. So. (Presenting pistol.)

STARBOTTLE (quietly). Permit me to--er--apologize.

CONCHO. Ah! It is too late!

STARBOTTLE (interrupting). Excuse me, but I feared you would not honor me so completely and satisfactorily. Ged, sir, I begin to respect you! I accede to all your propositions of time and position. The pistol you hold in your hand is a derringer, I presume, loaded. Ah--er--I am right. The one I now produce (showing pistol) is--er--as you will perceive the same size and pattern, and--er--unloaded. We will place them both, so, under the cloth of this table. You shall draw one pistol, I will take the other. I will put that clock at ten minutes to nine, when we will take our positions across this table; as you--er--happily express it, "face to face." As the clock strikes the hour, we will fire on the second stroke.

CONCHO (aside). It is a trick, a Yankee trick! (Aloud.) I am ready. Now--at once!

STARBOTTLE (gravely). Permit me, sir, to thank you. Your conduct, sir, reminds me of singular incident--

CONCHO (angrily interrupting). Come, come! It is no child's play. We have much of this talk, eh! It is action, eh, you comprehend,--action.

(STARBOTTLE places pistols under the cloth, and sets clock. CONCHO draws pistol from cloth; STARBOTTLE takes remaining pistol. Both men assume position, presenting their weapons; STARBOTTLE pompously but seriously, CONCHO angrily and nervously.)

STARBOTTLE (after a pause). One moment, a single moment--

CONCHO. Ah, a trick! Coward! you cannot destroy my aim.

STARBOTTLE. I overlook the--er--epithet. I wished only to ask, if you should be--er--unfortunate, if there was anything I could say to your--er--friends.

CONCHO. You cannot make the fool of me, coward. No!

STARBOTTLE. My object was only precautionary. Owing to the position in which you--er--persist in holding your weapon, in a line with my right eye, I perceive that a ray of light enters the nipple, and--er--illuminates the barrel. I judge from this that you have been unfortunate enough to draw the--er--er--unloaded pistol.

CONCHO (tremulously lowering weapon). Eh! Ah! This is murder! (Drops pistol.) Murder!--eh--help (retreating), help!

(Exit hurriedly door C., as clock strikes. COL. STARBOTTLE lowers his pistol, and moves with great pomposity to the other side of the table, taking up pistol.)

STARBOTTLE (examining pistol). Ah! (Lifts it, and discharges it.) It seems that I am mistaken. (Going.) The pistol WAS--er--loaded! (Exit.

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