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Full Online Book HomePlaysThe Man From Home - Act 3
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The Man From Home - Act 3 Post by :vinnet Category :Plays Author :Booth Tarkington Date :May 2012 Read :815

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The Man From Home - Act 3

THE THIRD ACT


SCENE: A handsome private salon in the hotel the same evening. There are cabinets against the walls, buhl tables, luxurious tapestried chairs, etc. At back, double doors, wide open, disclose a brilliantly lit conservatory and hall with palms and oleanders in bloom. On the left a heavily curtained window looks out upon the garden; on the right is a closed door. Unseen, an orchestra is playing an aria from "Pagliacci."

The rise of the curtain discloses PIKE sitting in a dejected attitude in an arm-chair. He wears a black tie, collar and linen as before, black trousers, a white waistcoat, cut rather low, and a black frock-coat--"Western statesman" style--not fashionably cut, but well-fitting and graceful.

MARIANO passes through the conservatory at back bearing a coffee-tray. LADY CREECH, in an evening gown of black velvet and lace, follows with stately tread. HORACE, in evening clothes, follows, with MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY on his arm; she is in a handsome, very Parisian, decollete dress. They are deep in tender conversation.

ETHEL follows, on the arm of ALMERIC. She wears a pretty evening gown, ALMERIC in evening clothes; her head is bent, her eyes cast down.

A valet de chambre enters the salon from the hall. He touches an electric button on wall near door. RIBIERE comes quickly and noiselessly from the room to the right. They stand bowing as VASILI enters through the conservatory. Valet immediately closes the doors. VASILI wears an overcoat trimmed with sables, a silk hat, evening clothes, and white gloves; order ribbon in his button-hole.

PIKE (as VASILI enters). I'm mighty glad you've come--I've been waiting.

VASILI (to RIBIERE, and speaking in undertone). You have telegraphed for the information?

RIBIERE. Yes, sir.

(Valet, with coat, hat, etc., goes out, followed by RIBIERE.)

VASILI. I have dined with an old tutor of mine. Once every year I come here to do that.

(Valet returns with vodka and cigarettes, which he places on a table, immediately withdrawing.)

VASILI (with a keen glance at PIKE). And you; I suppose you dined with the charming young lady, your ward, and her brother, as you expected?

PIKE (turning away sadly). Oh no, they've got friends of their own here.

VASILI. So I have observed.

(Sips vodka.)

PIKE. Oh, I don't mind their not asking me.

(With an assumption of cheerfulness.)

Fact is, these friends of hers are trying to get me to do something I can't do--

VASILI. You need not tell me that, my friend. I have both eyes and ears; I understand.

PIKE (troubled, coming near him). I wish you understood the rest, because it ain't easy for me to tell you. Doc, I'm afraid I've got you into a pretty bad hole.

VASILI (smiling). Ah, that I fear I do not understand.

PIKE (remorsefully). I'm afraid I have. You and Ivanoff and me--all three of us. This Hawcastle knows, and he knows it as well as I know you're sittin' in that chair, that we've got that poor fellow in yonder.

(Pointing to the door on the right.)

VASILI. Surely you can trust Lord Hawcastle not to mention it. He must know that the consequences for you, as well as for me, would be, to say the least, disastrous. Surely you made that clear to him.

PIKE (grimly). No; he made it clear to me. Two years in jail is the minimum, and if I don't make up my mind by ten o'clock (VASILI looks at his watch) to do what he wants me to do--

VASILI. What does he want you to do?

PIKE. The young lady's father trusted me to look after her, and if I won't promise to let her pay seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars for that--well, you've seen it around here, haven't you--

VASILI. I have observed it--that is, if you refer to the son of Lord Hawcastle.

PIKE. Well, if I don't consent to do that, I reckon Ivanoff has to go back to Siberia and you and I to jail.

VASILI. He threatens that?

PIKE. He'll _do that!

VASILI (looking at him sharply). What do _you mean to do?

PIKE. There wouldn't be any trouble about it if it was only me. That would make it easy. They could land me for two years (swallowing painfully) or twenty. What makes it so hard is that I can't do what they want, even to let you and Ivanoff out. It ain't my money. All I can do is to ask you to forgive me, and warn you to get away before they come down on me. This feller's _got me, Doc. Don't you see how it stands? Ivanoff can't get away--

VASILI. No; I think he can't.

PIKE. They've got this militia all around the place.

VASILI. I passed through the cordon of carabiniere as I came in.

PIKE. (urgently). But you could get away, Doc. Up to ten o'clock you can come and go as you choose.

VASILI (rising). So can you. You have not thought of that?

PIKE. No; and I won't think of it. But as for you--

VASILI. As for me (rings bell near door)--I shall go!

PIKE. That's part of the load off my mind. I can't bear to think of the rest of it. I haven't known how to tell that poor fellow in there.

(Valet enters.)

VASILI (to valet, indicating the door on the right). Appellez le Monsieur la.

(Valet goes to the door, opens it, bowing slightly to IVANOFF, who appears. Valet withdraws.)

(IVANOFF is very pale and haggard looking, but his clothes have been mended and neatly brushed. He comes in slowly and quietly.)

VASILI (in the tone of a superior). You may come in, Ivanoff. Some unexpected difficulties have arisen. Your presence here has been discovered by persons who wish evil to this gentleman who has protected you. He can do nothing further to save you unless he betrays a trust which has been left to him.

(IVANOFF swallows painfully, and looks pitifully from VASILI to PIKE.)

PIKE (coming down to IVANOFF, standing before him humbly). It's the truth, old man. I can't do it.

(IVANOFF'S head falls forward on his chest.)

IVANOFF (in a low voice). I thank you for what you have tried to do for me.

(Gives PIKE his hand. PIKE turns away.)

VASILI. You have until ten o'clock. (Valet appears in the doorway.)

Mon chapeau et pardessus.

(Exit valet.)

In the meantime my friend believes Naples a safe place for me.

(Valet returns with his coat, hat, and gloves.)

And so, auf weidersehn.

(Dismisses the valet with a gesture.)

PIKE (going to him and shaking hands heartily). Good-bye, Doc, and God bless you!

VASILI. To our next meeting.

(Exit briskly through the upper doors. As they close behind him, IVANOFF'S manner changes. He goes rapidly to a table, picks up the cigarettes, which are in a large silver open box, and touches the bottle of vodka significantly.)

IVANOFF. I thought so--Russian!

PIKE. What!

IVANOFF. That man, your friend, who calls himself Groellerhagen, is not a German--he is a Russian--not only that, he is a Russian noble. I see it in a hundred ways that you cannot.

PIKE. Whatever he is, he helped us this afternoon. I'd trust him to the bone.

IVANOFF. I have felt it inevitable that I should go back to Siberia. A thousand times have I felt it since I entered these rooms.

(He goes down toward the window.)

PIKE. I know you feel mighty bad, but perhaps--perhaps--

IVANOFF. There is no perhaps for me. There was never any perhaps after I met Helene.

PIKE (scratching his head). Helene!

IVANOFF. Helene was my wife, she who sent me to Siberia, she and my dear, accursed English friend.

PIKE (thoughtfully). What was his name?

IVANOFF. His name--it was Glenwood. I shall not forget that name soon.

PIKE. What was he doing in Russia?

IVANOFF. I have told you he had contracts with the Ministry of Finance--he supplied hydraulic machinery to the government. Does the name Glenwood mean anything to you? Have you heard it?

PIKE (profoundly thoughtful, pauses, looking at IVANOFF sharply). No. (Then to himself.) And there must be a million Helenes in France.

IVANOFF. I prayed God to let me meet them before I was taken. But I talk too much of myself. I wish to know--you--you will be safe. They can do nothing to you, can they?

PIKE (with assumed cheerfulness). Oh, I'm all right--don't worry about me.

(Loud knock at the upper doors.)

IVANOFF (despairingly). It is the carabiniere.

PIKE. Steady. (Looks at watch.) Not yet. Go back. We won't throw our hands into the discard until we're called. We'll keep on raising.

(Exit IVANOFF through door on the right, closing it after him.)

(PIKE scratches his head and slowly says: "Helene." Then calls: "Come in!")

(MARIANO opens the upper doors from without and bows.)

MARIANO. Miladi Creesh--she ask you would speak with her a few minutes?

PIKE. All right! Where is she?

MARIANO. Here, sir.

PIKE. Come right in, ma'am!

(LADY CREECH enters.)

LADY CREECH (frigidly). I need scarcely inform you that this interview is not of my seeking. (She sits stiffly.) On the contrary, it is intensely disagreeable to me. My brother-in-law feels that some one well acquainted with Miss Granger-Simpson's ambitions and her inner nature should put the case finally to you before we proceed to extremities.

PIKE. Yes, ma'am!

LADY CREECH (crossly). Don't mumble your words if you expect me to listen to you.

PIKE (cordially). Go on, ma'am!

LADY CREECH. My brother-in-law has made us aware of the state of affairs, and we are quite in sympathy with my brother-in-law's attitude as to what should be done to you.

PIKE (in a tone of genial inquiry). Yes, ma'am; and what do you think ought to be done to me?

LADY CREECH. If, in the kindness of our hearts, we condone your offence, we insist upon your accession to our reasonable demands.

PIKE (sardonically). By ten o'clock!

LADY CREECH. Quite so.

PIKE. You say he told all of you? Has he told Miss Ethel?

LADY CREECH. It hasn't been thought proper. Young girls should be shielded from everything disagreeable.

PIKE. Yes, ma'am; that's the idea that got me into this trouble.

LADY CREECH. I say, this young lady, who seems to be technically your ward, is considered, by all of us who understand her, infinitely more _my ward.

PIKE. Yes, ma'am! Go on.

LADY CREECH (loftily). She came to me something more than a year ago--

PIKE (simply). Did you advertise?

LADY CREECH (stung). I suppose it is your intention to be offensive.

PIKE (protesting). No, ma'am; I didn't mean anything. But, you see, I've handled all her accounts, and her payments to you--

LADY CREECH (crushingly). We will omit tradesman-like references! What Lord Hawcastle wished me to impress on you is not only that you will ruin yourself, but put a blight upon the life of the young lady whom you are pleased to consider your ward. We make this suggestion because we conceive that you have a preposterous sentimental interest yourself in Miss Granger-Simpson.

PIKE (taken aback). Me?

LADY CREECH. Upon what other ground are we to explain your conduct?

PIKE. You mean that I'd only stand between her and you for my own sake?

LADY CREECH. We can comprehend no other grounds.

PIKE (solemnly). I don't believe you can! But you _can comprehend that I wouldn't have any hope, can't you?

LADY CREECH. One never knows what these weird Americans hope. Hawcastle assures me you have some such idea, but my charge has studied under my instruction--deportment, manners, and ideals--which has lifted her above the mere American circumstance of her birth. She has ambitions. If you stand in the way of them she will wither, she will die like a caged bird. All that was sordid about her parentage she has cast off. We have thought that we might make something out of her.

PIKE (in a clear voice, looking at her mildly). Make _something out of her--yes, _ma'am!

LADY CREECH (quickly). Make something _better of her. We offer her this alliance with a family which for seven hundred years--

PIKE. Yes, ma'am--Crecy and Agincourt--I know.

LADY CREECH. With a family never sullied by those low ideals of barter and exchange which are the governing impulses of your countrymen.

PIKE. Seven hundred years--(fumbling in coat-pocket)--why, look here, Mrs. Creech!

(At this LADY CREECH half rises from her chair with a profound shudder, sinks back again; PIKE continues.)

I've got a letter right here (takes letter from pocket) that tells me your brother-in-law was in business--and I respect him for it--only a few years ago.

LADY CREECH (angrily). A letter from whom?

PIKE. Jim Cooley, our vice-consul in London. Jim ain't the wisest man in the world, but he seems to have this all right, and _he says Mr. Hawcastle--

LADY CREECH (exploding). _Mr. Hawcastle!

PIKE (placatingly). Well, I can call a person Colonel or Cap or Doc or anything of that kind, but I just plain don't know how to use the kind of words you have over here for those things. They don't seem to fit my mouth, somehow. Just let me run on my own way. I don't mean to hurt your feelings. Anyway, Jim says your brother-in-law was in business in Russia.

(Up to this point he has gone on rapidly, but after the word "Russia" he pauses abruptly as if startled by a sudden thought and slowly repeats.)

"In business in Russia!"

(He rises.)

LADY CREECH. This is beside the point entirely!

PIKE. It _is the point! Now, between us, ain't Jim right? Ain't it the truth?

LADY CREECH (angry and agitated). Since some of your vulgar American officials have been spying about--

PIKE (with controlled excitement). Your brother-in-law was in business in Russia; so far, so good.

(Leans upon back of chair watching her, eager, but smiling cordially.)

I don't say he was peddling shoe-strings on the corner or selling weinerwursts--

(LADY CREECH gives a slight scream of indignation.)

PIKE (continuing). Probably something more hifalutin' and dignified than that. He was probably agent for a wooden butter-dish factory.

LADY CREECH (enraged). He had contracts with the Russian government itself!

PIKE (staggering back, recovers himself immediately, and, speaking sharply, but in a voice of great agitation). _Not for mining--_not for hydraulic machines!

LADY CREECH. And even so he protected the historic name of St. Aubyn.

PIKE. By God, I believe you!

LADY CREECH. Don't mumble your words!

PIKE. Had he ever lived at Glenwood Priory?

LADY CREECH (indignantly). Is your mind wandering? The priory belonged to Hawcastle's mother. Can you state its connection with the subject?

PIKE. That's how he protected the historic name of St. Aubyn! That's the name he took--Glenwood!

LADY CREECH. What of that?

PIKE (awe-struck). God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform!

LADY CREECH. Oblige me by omitting blasphemous allusions in my presence. What answer are you prepared to make to Lord Hawcastle?

PIKE (in a ringing voice). Tell your brother-in-law that he can have my answer in ten minutes--and he can come to me _here for it! I'll give it in the presence of the young lady and her brother.

LADY CREECH (turning to go). Her brother--certainly! He is in perfect sympathy with our attitude. As for Miss Granger-Simpson's knowing anything of this most disagreeable affair--no!

PIKE. I beg your pardon.

LADY CREECH. I shall not permit her to come near here. As her chaperone I refuse. We all refuse!

PIKE. All right; refuse away.

LADY CREECH. I shall tell Lord Hawcastle--

PIKE. Ten minutes from now and in this room.

LADY CREECH. But Miss Granger-Simpson under no condition whatever.

(Sweeps out haughtily.)

(PIKE closes the doors behind her, touches an electric button over the mantel, then sits at desk and writes hurriedly. Knock at upper doors.)

PIKE. Come in!

(Enter MARIANO.)

PIKE. Mariano, I want you to take this note to Miss Simpson.

(Quickly enclosing note in envelope and addressing it.)

MARIANO. To Mees Granger-Seempson?

PIKE. Do you know where she is?

MARIANO. She walks on the terrace alone.

PIKE. Give it to her yourself--to no one else--(emphatically)--and do it now.

(Gives him the note.)

MARIANO. At once, sir!

(Going.)

PIKE. Hurry!

(Almost pushes him out of the upper doors and closes them. He goes quickly to the door on the right, opens it, and calls.)

Ivanoff!

(IVANOFF opens the door and comes out apprehensively.)

IVANOFF (as he enters). Have they come?

PIKE. Not yet! Ivanoff, you prayed to see your wife and your friend Glenwood before you went back to Siberia.

IVANOFF (falling back with a cry). Ah!

PIKE. If that prayer is answered through me, will you promise to remember that it's my fight?

IVANOFF. Ah! it is impossible--you wish to play with me!

PIKE. Do I look playful?

(A bugle sounds sharply outside the window.)

IVANOFF (wildly). The carabiniere--for me.

(The two rush together to the window.)

PIKE (thrusting IVANOFF behind him). Don't show yourself!

IVANOFF. (looking out of the window over PIKE'S shoulder). Look! Near the lamp yonder--there by the doors--the carabiniere.

PIKE. They've been there since this afternoon.

(Shading his eyes from the light of the room with one hand.)

Look there--who on earth--who's that they've got with them?--Why, good Lord! it's Doc!

(Astounded.)

IVANOFF. It is Herr von Groellerhagen! Did I not tell you he was a Russian? He has betrayed me himself. He was not satisfied that others should. (Bitterly.) I knew I was in the wolf's throat here!

PIKE. Don't you believe it! They've arrested poor old Doc. They got him as he went out.

IVANOFF (pointing). No; they speak respectfully to him. They bow to him--

PIKE (grimly). They'll be bowing to us in a minute. That's probably the way these colonels run you in.

(Sharp knock on upper doors.)

PIKE (urging him toward the door on the right). You wait till I call you, and remember it's my fight.

IVANOFF (turning, half hysterically). You _promise before I am taken that I shall see--

(MARIANO enters at upper doors.)

PIKE (domineeringly, as he sees MARIANO). And don't you forget what I've been telling you--you get the sand out of that gear-box first thing tomorrow morning, or I'll see that you draw your last pay Saturday night.

(IVANOFF bows meekly and exit to right, closing door after him.)

MARIANO. Miss Granger-Seempson!

(Exit.)

PIKE. All right, Mariano!

(ETHEL enters haughtily.)

I'm much obliged to you for taking my note the right way. I've got some pretty good reasons for not leaving this room.

(She is icy in manner, but her hands fidget with the note he has sent her, crumpling it up.)

ETHEL (sitting). Your note seemed so extraordinarily urgent--

PIKE. It had to be. Some folks who want to see me are coming here, and I want you to see them--here. They'd stopped you from coming if they could.

ETHEL (holding herself very straight in her chair). There was no effort to prevent me.

PIKE. No; I didn't give 'em time.

ETHEL. May I ask to whom you refer?

PIKE. The whole kit and boodle of 'em!

ETHEL (not relaxing her coldness). You are inelegant, Mr. Pike.

PIKE. I haven't time to be elegant, even if I knew how.

ETHEL. Do you mean that my chaperone would disapprove?

PIKE. I shouldn't be surprised. I reckon the whole fine flower of Europe would disapprove. "Disapprove?"--they'd _sand-bag you to keep you away!

ETHEL (rising quickly). Oh, then I can't stay.

PIKE (going between her and the upper doors, speaks with ring of domination). Yes you can, and you will, and you've got to!

ETHEL (angrily). "Got to!" I shall not!

PIKE. I'm your guardian, and you'll do as I say. You'll obey me this once if you never do again.

(She looks at him defiantly; he faces her with determination, and continues without pause.)

You'll stay here while I talk to these people, and you'll stay in spite of anything they say or do to make you go.

(Slight pause; she yields and walks back to her chair. PIKE continues.)

God knows I hate to talk rough to you. I wouldn't hurt your feelings for the world, but it's come to a point where I've got to use the authority I have over you.

ETHEL (with a renewal of her defiance). Authority? Do you think--

PIKE. You'll stay here for the next twenty minutes if I have to make Crecy and Agincourt look like a Peace Conference!

(She looks at him aghast, sinks into chair by table; he continues after a very slight pause.)

You and your brother have soaked up a society-column notion of life over here; you're like old Pete Delaney of Terry Hut--he got so he'd drink cold tea if there was a whiskey label on the bottle. They've fuddled you with labels. It's my business to see that you know what kind of people you're dealin' with.

ETHEL (almost in tears). You're bullying me! I don't see why you talk so brutally to me.

PIKE (sadly and earnestly). Do you think I'd do it for anything but you?

ETHEL (angrily). You are odious! Insufferable!

PIKE (humbly). Don't you think I know you despise me?

ETHEL. I do not despise you; if I had stayed at home, and grown up there, I should probably have been a provincial young woman playing "Sweet Genevieve" for you to-night. But my life has not been that, and you have humiliated me from the moment of your arrival here. You have made me ashamed both of you and of myself. And now you have some preposterous plan which will shame me again, humiliate both of us once more, before my friends, these gentlefolk.

(A loud noise without. LADY CREECH'S voice is heard shouting.)

PIKE (dryly). I think the gentlefolk are here.

(The upper doors up centre are thrown open; LADY CREECH hurriedly enters, with MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY and HORACE, followed by ALMERIC.)

LADY CREECH. My dear child, what are you doing in this dreadful place with this dreadful person?

MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. My dear, les convenances!

HORACE. Ethel, I'm extremely surprised; come away at once!

ALMERIC. Oh, I say, you know, really, Miss Ethel! You can't stay here, you know, _can you?

PIKE. I'm her guardian; she's here by my authority, she'll stay by my authority.

(LORD HAWCASTLE appears in the open doors and bows sardonically to PIKE.)

HAWCASTLE (suavely). Ah, good-evening, Mr. Pike!

HORACE. Lord Hawcastle, will you insist upon Ethel's leaving? It's quite on the cards we shall have a disagreeable scene here.

HAWCASTLE (smiling). I see no occasion for it; we're here simply for Mr. Pike's answer. He knows where we stand and we know where he stands.

PIKE (with a grim smile). I reckon you're right so far.

HAWCASTLE (continuing). And his answer will be yes.

PIKE (with quiet emphasis). But you're wrong there!

HAWCASTLE (to HORACE, with sudden seriousness). Perhaps you are right, Mr. Granger-Simpson. Painful things may be done. Better the young lady were spared them. Take your sister away.

(He motions HORACE toward the door.)

ALMERIC. For God's sake do--it may be quite rowdy.

LADY CREECH (to ETHEL at the same time). My dear, you positively must!

HORACE. Ethel, I command you!

(ETHEL, troubled, half rises as if to go)

PIKE (imperiously, to ETHEL). You stay right where you are!

ALMERIC (angrily). Oh, I say!

LADY CREECH. Oh, the lynching ruffian!

HORACE. Ethel, do you mean to let this fellow dictate to you?

ETHEL (breathlessly and loudly, as if resistance were hopeless). But--he says I _must_!

(She sinks back into her chair.)

PIKE (to HAWCASTLE). You're here for an answer, you say?

HAWCASTLE (on the defensive). Yes!

PIKE. An answer to what?

HAWCASTLE (painfully resuming his suavity). An answer to our request that you accede to the wishes of that young lady.

PIKE. And if I don't, what are you going to do?

HORACE. Ethel, you _must go!

MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. This man is an Apache!

LADY CREECH (simultaneously). Barbarian!

PIKE (to HAWCASTLE). I'll leave it to you to tell her.

HAWCASTLE. A gentleman would spare her that.

PIKE. _I won't! Speak out! Why do you come here sure of the answer you want?

HAWCASTLE (intensely annoyed). Tut, tut!

LADY CREECH. Don't mumble your words!

PIKE. I'll make it even plainer than you like.

HORACE. I protest against this!

ALMERIC. Throw the rotter out of the window!

PIKE (particularly addressing ETHEL). This afternoon I tried to help a poor devil--a broken-down Russian running away from Siberia, where he'd been for nine years.

(She rises; her eyes eagerly meet his.)

A poor weak thing, hounded like you've seen a rat in the gutter by dogs and bootblacks. Some of your friends here saw us bring him into this apartment; they know we've got him here now. If I don't agree to hand over you and seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars of the money John Simpson made, it means that the man I have tried to help goes back to rot in Siberia and I go to an Italian jail for two years, or as much longer as they can make it.

HAWCASTLE (violently). Nonsense!

ETHEL (stepping toward PIKE, indignantly). I knew that you had only a further humiliation in store for me--

HAWCASTLE (following her and trying to interrupt). But my dear--

ETHEL (with dignity). No--you need make no denial for yourselves.

(To PIKE, haughtily.)

Do you think I would believe that an English noble would stoop--

PIKE (with passionate indignation). Stoop! Why, ten years ago in St. Petersburg there was a poor revolutionist who, in his crazy patriotism, took government money for the cause he believed in. He made the mistake of keeping that money in his house, when this man (pointing at HAWCASTLE) knew it was there. He also made the mistake of having a wife that this man coveted and stole--as he coveted and stole the money. Oh, he made a good job of it! Don't think that to-night is the first time he has given information to the police. He did it then, and the husband went to Siberia--

HAWCASTLE (staggered and enraged). A dastardly slander!

PIKE (in a ringing voice).--and he'll do it again to-night. I go to an Italian jail (he suddenly swings his outstretched hand to point to MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY, continuing without pause) and, by the living God, that same poor devil of a husband goes back to Siberia!

(MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY, with an ejaculation of horror and fright, staggers back.)

HAWCASTLE (in extreme agitation). It's a ghastly lie!

PIKE. You came for your answer. Here it is.

(Calls sharply.)

Ivanoff!

(IVANOFF appears in the doorway on the right. He advances, lifts both clinched fists above MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY'S head.)

(MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY, with a shuddering cry, falls on her knees in an attitude of fright and abasement.)

MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY. Ivan!--oh, Mother of God!--Ivan! Don't kill me--

(IVANOFF shudders with weakness, trembles violently, collapses into chair, she still at his feet. IVANOFF sobbing.)

HORACE (starting toward her in extreme agitation). Helene!

PIKE (sternly to HORACE). You keep back, she's his wife.

(Pointing to HAWCASTLE.)

And there stands his best friend!

HAWCASTLE. It's a lie! I never saw the man before in my life.

PIKE (grimly, with a gesture toward MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY). The lady seems to recognize him.

HAWCASTLE. Almeric, go for the police. Call them quickly!

(His voice loud and hoarse.)

MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY (springs to her feet, protesting). No--no--I can't!

PIKE (with his hand on IVANOFF'S shoulder). Call them in--we're ready.

(To ETHEL.)

But I want _you always to remember that I considered it cheap at the price.

(ETHEL, in an agony of shame, turns from him. At same time MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY, never taking her eyes from IVANOFF'S face, and showing great fear, moves back near HAWCASTLE.)

ALMERIC (opening the upper doors and calling). Tell that officer to bring his men in here!

(VASILI enters briskly from the hall.)

(RIBIERE enters immediately after from the same direction.)

VASILI (in a loud, clear voice). There will be no arrests to-night, my friends.

HAWCASTLE (violently, to ALMERIC). Do as I say! This man (meaning VASILI) goes, too.

VASILI (curtly). The officer is not there, the carabiniere have been withdrawn.

(To PIKE, gravely and rapidly.)

For your sake I have relinquished my incognito.

(To HAWCASTLE.)

The man Ivanoff is in my custody.

(Illustration: "IVAN! DON'T KILL ME!")

HAWCASTLE (violently). By whose authority? Do you know that you are speaking to the Earl of Hawcastle?

RIBIERE (in a ringing voice, advancing a step). More respectful, sir! You are addressing his Highness, the Grand-Duke Vasili of Russia.

(HAWCASTLE falls back, stricken.)

PIKE (thunderstruck). Respectful! Think of what _I've been calling him!

VASILI. My friend, it has been refreshing. (To RIBIERE). Ribiere, I shall take Ivanoff's statement in writing. Bring him with you.

(VASILI turns on his heel, curtly, and passes rapidly out through the door on the right.)

(RIBIERE touches IVANOFF on shoulder, indicating that he must follow VASILI.)

(IVANOFF starts with RIBIERE; MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY shrinks back with a low exclamation of fear.)

IVANOFF (hoarsely to her). I would not touch you--not even to strangle you!

(With outstretched hand, pointing to HAWCASTLE.)

But God will let me pay my debt to the Earl of Hawcastle!

(Goes rapidly out with RIBIERE.)

HAWCASTLE (choked with rage, advancing on PIKE). Why, you--

PIKE (genially). Oh! I hated to hand you this, my lord. I didn't come over here to make the fine flower of Europe any more trouble than they've got. But I had to _show John Simpson's daughter.

(Movement from HORACE and ETHEL.)

And I reckon now she isn't wanting any alliance with the remnants of Crecy and Agincourt.

ETHEL (tremulously, coming close to PIKE). But I have no choice--I gave Almeric my promise when I thought it an honor to bear his name. Now that you have shown me it is a _shame to bear it, the promise is only more sacred. The shame is not _his fault. You--you--want me to be--honorable--don't you?

PIKE (after a long stare at her, speaks in a feeble voice, very slowly). Your father--and mother--_both_--came--from Missouri, didn't they?

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