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Full Online Book HomePlaysTwo Men Of Sandy Bar: A Drama - Act 4 Scene 5
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Two Men Of Sandy Bar: A Drama - Act 4 Scene 5 Post by :vbhnl Category :Plays Author :Bret Harte Date :May 2012 Read :1145

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Two Men Of Sandy Bar: A Drama - Act 4 Scene 5

SCENE 5. The drawing-room of MR. MORTON'S villa. Large open arch in centre, leading to veranda, looking on distant view of San Francisco; richly furnished,--sofas, arm-chairs, and tete-a-tetes. Enter COL. STARBOTTLE, C., carrying bouquet, preceded by SERVANT, bowing.

STARBOTTLE. Take my kyard to Miss Morris. (Exit SERVANT.

STARBOTTLE. Star! This is the momentous epoch of your life! It is a moment for which you--are--I may say alone responsible,--personally responsible! She will be naturally gratified by the--er--flowers. She will at once recognize this bouquet as a delicate souvenir of Red Gulch, and will appreciate your recollection. And the fact, the crushing fact, that you have overlooked the--er--ungentlemanly conduct of her OWN cousin Sandy, the real Alexander Morton, that you have--er--assisted to restore the ex-vaquero to his rights, will--er--er--at once open the door to--er--mutual confidence and--er--a continuance of that--er--prepossession I have already noticed. Ahem! here she is.

(Enter MISS MARY in full dress.)

MISS MARY. You are early, COL. STARBOTTLE. This promptitude does honor to our poor occasion.

COL. STARBOTTLE. Ged, Miss Mary, promptness with a lady and an adversary is the first duty of--er--gentleman. I wished that--er--the morning dew might still be--er--fresh in these flowers. I gathered them myself (presenting bouquet) at--er--er--flower-stand in the--er--California market.

MISS MARY (aside). Flowers! I needed no such reminder of poor SANDY. (Aloud.) I thank you, colonel.

STARBOTTLE. Ged, ma'am, I am repaid doubly. Your conduct, Miss Mary, reminds me of little incident that occurred at Richmond, in '58. Dinner party--came early--but obliged to go--as now--on important business, before dessert--before dessert. Lady sat next to me--beautiful woman--excuse me if I don't mention names--said to me, "Star,"--always called me Star,--"Star, you remind me of the month of May."--"Ged, madam,"--I said, "delighted, proud; but why?"--"Because," she said, "you come in with the--er--oysters."--No! Ged, pardon me--ridiculous mistake! I mean--er--"you come in with the--er--flowers, and go before the--er--fruits."

MISS MARY. Ah, colonel! I appreciate her disappointment. Let us hope, however, that some day you may find that happy woman who will be able to keep you through the whole dinner and the whole season, until December and the ices!

STARBOTTLE. Ged! excellent! Capital! (seriously.) Miss Mary! (Suddenly inflating his chest, striking attitude, and gazing on MISS MARY with languishing eyes.) There is--er such a woman!

MISS MARY (aside). What can he mean?

STARBOTTLE (taking seat beside her). Allow me, Miss Mary, a few moments of confidential--er--confidential disclosure. To-day is, as you are aware--the day on which, according to--er--agreement between parties, my friend and client, Mr. Morton, sen.,--formally accepts his prodigal son. It is my--er--duty to state that--er--the gentleman who has for the past year occupied that position has behaved with great discretion, and--er--fulfilled his part of the--er--agreement. But it would--er--appear that there has been a--er--slight delusion regarding the identity of that prodigal,--a delusion shared by all the parties except, perhaps, myself. I have to prepare you for a shock. The gentleman whom you have recently known as Alexander Morton, jun., is not the prodigal son; is not your--er--cousin; is, in fact, no relation to you. Prepare yourself, Miss Mary, for a little disappointment,--for-- er--degradation. The genuine son has been--er--discovered in the person of--er--low menial--or--vagabond,--"Sandy," the--er--outcast of Red Gulch!

MISS MARY (rising in astonishment). Sandy! Then he was right. (Aside.) The child is his! and that woman--

STARBOTTLE. Compose yourself, MISS MARY. I know the--er--effect of--er--revelation like this upon--er--proud and aristocratic nature. Ged! My own, I assure you, beats in--er--responsive indignation. You can never consent to remain beneath this roof, and--er--receive a--er--vagabond and--er--menial on equal terms. The--er--necessities of my--er--profession may--er--compel me; but you--er--never! Holding myself--er--er--responsible for having introduced you here, it is my--er--duty to provide you with--another home! It is my--er--duty to protect--

MISS MARY (aside). Sandy here, and beneath this roof! Why has he not sought me? Ah, I know too well: he dare not face me with his child!

STARBOTTLE (aside). She turns away! it is maiden coyness. (Aloud.) If, Miss Mary, the--er--devotion of a life-time; if the--er--chivalrous and respectful adoration of a man--er--whose record is--er--not unknown in the Court of Honor (dropping on one knee with excessive gallantry); if the--er--measure--

MISS MARY (oblivious of COL. STARBOTTLE). I WILL--I MUST see him! Ah! (looking L.) he is coming!

(Enter SANDY.)

STARBOTTLE (rising with great readiness and tact). I have found it (presenting flower). It had fallen beneath the sofa.

SANDY (to MISS MARY, stopping short in embarrassment). I did not know you--I--I--thought there was no one here.

MISS MARY (to STARBOTTLE). May I ask you to excuse me for a moment? I have a few words to say to--to my COUSIN!

STARBOTTLE bows gallantly to MISS MARY, and stiffly to SANDY, and exit R. A long pause; MISS MARY remains seated pulling flowers, SANDY remains standing by wing, foolish and embarrassed. Business.

MISS MARY (impatiently). Well?

SANDY (slowly). I axes your pardon, miss; but you told THAT gentleman you had a few words--to say to me.

MISS MARY (passionately, aside). Fool! (Aloud.) I had; but I am waiting to first answer your inquiries about your--your--child. I have fulfilled my trust, sir.

SANDY. You have, Miss Mary, and I thank you.

MISS MARY. I might perhaps have expected that this revelation of our kinship would have come from other lips than a stranger's; but--no matter! I wish you joy, sir, of your heritage. (Going.) You have found a home, sir, at last, for yourself and--and--your child. Good-day, sir.

SANDY. Miss Mary!

MISS MARY. I must make ready to receive your father's guests. It is his orders: I am only his poor relation. Good-by, sir. (Exit L.

SANDY (watching her). She is gone!--gone! No! She has dropped on the sofa in the ante-room, and is crying. Crying! I promised Jack I wouldn't speak until the time came. I'll go back. (Hesitating, and looking toward L.) Poor girl! How she must hate me! I might just say a word, one word to thank her for her kindness to Johnny,--only one word, and then go away. I--I--can keep from liquor. I swore I would to Jack, that night I saw the old man--drunk,--and I have. But--I can't keep--from--her! No--damn it! (Going toward L.) No!--I'll go! (Exit L.

(Enter hurriedly and excitedly JOVITA, R., followed by MANUELA.)

JOVITA. Where is she? Where is HE?--the traitor!

MANUELA (entreatingly). Compose yourself, Dona Jovita, for the love of God! This is madness: believe me, there is some mistake. It is some trick of an enemy,--of that ingrate, that coyote, Concho, who hates the Don Alexandro.

JOVITA. A trick! Call you this a trick? Look at this paper, put into my hands by my father a moment ago. Read it. Ah! listen. (Reads.) "In view of the EVIDENT PREFERENCES of my son, Alexander Morton, 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!" Call you this a trick, eh? No, it is their perfidy! This is why SHE was brought here on the eve of my betrothal. This accounts for his silence, his absence. Oh, I shall go mad!

MANUELA. Compose yourself, miss. If I am not deceived, there is one here who will aid us,--who will expose this deceit. Listen: an hour ago, as I passed through the hall, I saw Diego, our old Diego,--your friend and confidant, Diego.

JOVITA. The drunkard--the faithless Diego!

MANUELA. Never, Miss Jovita; not drunken! For, as he passed before me, he was as straight, as upright, as fine as your lover. Come, miss, we will seek him.

JOVITA. Never! He, too, is a traitor.

MANUELA. Believe me, no! Come, Miss JOVITA. (Looking toward L.) See, he is there. Some one is with him.

JOVITA (looking). You are right; and it is she--SHE, Miss Mary! What? he is kissing her hand! and she--SHE, the double traitress--drops her head upon his shoulder! Oh, this is infamy!

MANUELA. Hush! Some one is coming. The guests are arriving. They must not see you thus. This way, Miss Jovita,--this way. After a little, a little, the mystery will be explained. (Taking JOVITA'S hand, and leading her R.)

JOVITA (going). And this was the correct schoolmistress, the preceptress and example of all the virtues! ha! (laughing hysterically) ha!

(Exeunt JOVITA and MANUELA.)

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