Sunshine in Mariposa

A Play in Four Acts

Stephen Leacock July 1 1917

Sunshine in Mariposa

A Play in Four Acts

Stephen Leacock July 1 1917

Sunshine in Mariposa

A Play in Four Acts

Stephen Leacock

Author of “Sunshine Sketches of a Small Town,“ etc.

ACT III.—Continued.

[Enter ANDY.]

[ANDY is heard groping his way and calling.]

ANDY.—Is any one there? (Calling up the stairs.) Norah! bring a light—I can’t see.

VOICE OF NORAH.—I’m coming, Andy. Any one hurt? What is it?

ANDY. — I don’t know. (Striking a match and lighting the lamp.) Ben! (GILLIS groans.)

Andy.—Norah, it’s Ben Gillis. He’s shot!

[Enter NORAH, hurriedly dressed, a light in her hand—she puts it on the table.]

Norah.—Oh, Andy, they’ve killed him —he’s dying! Who’s done it?

ANDY —I don’t know. I can’t understand. (Bending over GlLLIS, who has opened his eyes.) He’s not dead! [GILLIS groans.]

Norah.—Andy, his wife, bring his wife!

Andy.—Where is she?

Norah.—Here—up-stairs—call to her —she stayed here to-night—they’d had words about his drinking — and she wouldn’t go home to him—and, now he’s dying—Oh, Andy—call to her—call to her to come. (Softs.)

ANDY (at the door).—Mrs. Gillis! Are you there? Come down quick.

MRS. GILLIS’ Voice.—I heard. I’m coming. Is some one hurt? Andy, what is it? Andy.—It’s Ben. Come quick!

[Enter MRS. GlLLIS, hurriedly dressed, a shawl about her shoulders — she enters, sees GILLIS against the wall and runs over to him—her arm about his neck.]

MRS GILLIS. - Ben! Ben! My man Ben ! What have they done to you? Gillis.—Water!

MRS. Gillis.—Norah, quick, a glass— of waterg-there, dear heart, drink it—and speak tourne—speak to me.

GILLIS (trying to speak). . . . (His voice is too low to hear.)

MRS. GILLIS (bending down to him).—

Yes, yes, Ben—tell me-

GILLIS (faintly).—The money . . .

Thorpe’s money . . . the bank . . . robbers ... ah !

MRS. Gillis.—Quick! He’s fainting.

Norah, the brandy!

NORAH (getting a glass from the table). —Here, Mrs. Gillis, here!

[They press a glass of brandy to GILLIS’ lips. He draw s himself up with a convulsive effort to a sitting position —his eyes are wide and glazed—there is death in his face—then with a great voice he says.]

Gillis.—I’m Gillis—Ben Gillis—Nova Scotia fisher folk—honest!

[He falls back.]

SYNOPSIS.—Jefferson Thorpe, barber, of Mariposa, dabbles in Cobalt mining stocks in order to raise enough money to build a Home for Orphans as a memorial to his late wife. The possession of four hundred shares of Corona Jewel Mining Co. certificates nets him over one hundred thousand dollars and he then decides to go into speculation in Cuban lands at the instigation of two New York men, Harstone and Slyde. He opens a real estate office in Mariposa and puts all his money in the fake eoneern. Harstone gets word from New York that the police are after them and they decide to steal the funds that Thorpe has collected from his friends before getting away. They try to bribe Gillis, ex-bank messenger, to helv them, but he turns on them and in the ensuing fracas he is shot.

MRS. GILLIS (throwing her arms about him).—Ben! Ben!



S CENE.—The Cellar Vault of the Mariposa Bank. Time—Midnight. It is almost dark. One sees a dim light and hears voices. The figures of HARSTONE and SLYDE can be half distinguished. SLYDE ts kneeling in front of a large safe, working with a drill; at intervals he pauses and looks about him; his face, even in the dim light, is pale as chalk urith terror. HARSTONE is standing. His right arm is in a sling roughly jnade with a large handkerchief; in his left he has an electric lantern, the light nearly shut off. At the back of the vault a sheet iron door, behind which (when opened) are steps leading up to the street. To the left of this, at the side of the cellar, a small flight of stairs leads up into the bank above. There is a low basement window on the street level, through which, dimly, the electric lights of the street penetrate. At times the lightning lights if up in a glare. There is heard the sound of the drill and outside, the storm. When the act opens, HARSTONE and SLYDE can hardly be seen —only the little patch of light and the dark figures.

A VOICE (tvith /eqr in^it).—Turn up that light I can’t work. I’m afraid.

ANOTHER VOICE. — You must work, damn you. You’ve held us back enough already with your whimpering.

FIRST Voice.—Turn up that light, I say ( with risng terror) ; it’s awful here—it’s dark. Turn up the light.

SECOND Voice.—You fool! They’ll see it from the street Have your own way. [The light is turned on stronger; the outlines of the place appear more cledrly.]

Harstone.—NOW work, and be quick, there’s no time to lose.

[Sound of the drill—dr-r-r-r-r-r-r.] SLYDE (stopping).—What was that? Harstone.—Nothing—the storm. Go on—if that dog hadn’t smashed my arm, I’d have had that open by this time.

Slyde.—Hark! What was that—not the storm. . . . There, through the

HARSTONE (listens a moment There it heard, behind and through ths\storm, the ringing of a great bell).—The town bell! I thought so. Damn them. They’re sounding an alarm to rouse |the town. Work—work! For your life.

Slyde.—1 can’t, Harstone. I I cant. (Breaking off and turning sound.) I killed him ! I never saw a man killed before—look (With a half screbm) over there—out of the dark—his faca!

Harstone.—You coward (takmg him by the throat and shaking him). Killed him! What if you did? He’d have|killed us. Now listen to what I say—stop looking about—listen. (Shaking him). | Are-you quieter?

Harstone.—Then listen. (HARSTONR speaks with hoarse eagerness.T We’re safe yet if you can keep your nerve. Gillis is shot, yes, and they’ll And him. They have found him. (Ringing of the belL) That’s what that bell is sor—but they’ve no reason to connect hind with us —they thought us gone—and tney’ve no reason to think of the bank; welre safyr here than in the street. Do yog understand?

SLYDE (slightly recovering).—

Harstone.—We can force this tiling open—get the money—and be go« before these slow fools are half awakd we've still time; once out of this, we shrike for the swamp and down through it to the trestle bridge—get on the train there and before daylight we’ll be over the Border— and all hell can’t find us. . . \ Only get yourself together and work quick.

SLYDE (turning the drill, dr-r-r|-r-r).— I am working—I’m steady now.

Harstone—Wait—let me sed—is it deep enough? Give me one of the cartridge«. (Slyde takes one from hie mocket.)' Yes—that’ll do. Hush, keep still. {There's some one moving upstairs!

[They pause and listen.]

SLYDE (tfc a low voice).—Can yfu hear anything?

Harstone.—Yes — I daren’t fite this thing. It’s too big a risk. I must wait for the next clap of thunder—or [stopgive me that iron bar again, herA—perhaps I can wrench it off. No, cuqse it— it’s too strong.

SLYDE (t'n terror, clutching aí HARSTONE’S arm).—Listen again. There’s some one on the stair.

Harstone.—Yes. I hear it. Wefve got to chance it now. It’s too late. Snove in that cartridge—so—that’s it, righit instand back. I’ll strike it with the[barthat’U fire it. Watch out!

[Blow of the bar—explosion ¿/ the cartridfv—door of the safe purste open wuh the lock broken.]

Harstone.—That’s done — resfch in quick and get the box. Ia it there!

Slyde^—Yes, I’ve got it! What’s this other stuff?

Harstone*—Leave it—only litter—old papers—ihe box, grab that, nothing else - Stop! Keep still!

SLYDE fin a panic-stricken whisper).— There’s some one coming down !

HARSTONE —I hear. It’s that accursed young foql. It’s young Pupkin. No noise.

VOICE ©F PUPKIN (on the stairs).—Is any one down there? t

HARSTONE ((«ms his light low).—Don t answer. Quick, move to the door; cover your face; pull your hat down. (SLYDE stumbles on something and makes a noise?) Quiet.

Pupkin*—Who’s that? Who s there.

[PUPKIN appears in the door—he is fully dressed—tn one hand a candle, m the other a poker.)

I’m going to turn on the light. If you’re honest men, answer up !

[PUPKIfi goes toward the street door and tiims on the electric switch that is beside it and puts down his candle. Full light—the broken safe and littered papers appear. HARSTONE and SLYDE are still a little in the shadow so thaf PUPKIN sees the broken safe first.) j

Robbers! The safe robbed! (Then he sees them and recognizes them.) Harstone— Slyde ! What’s the meaning of this?

HARSTONÍ (to Slyde).—Get to the door —quick—let us pass, I say.

Pupkin.—r-No, you don’t. (Getting between HARSTONE and the door.) .If there’s robbery hert, I’ll let no one-

HARSTONI}. — Let us pass, I say-

Curse you, step out of that or I’ll shoot. (Takes revolver from his pocket.)

PUPKIN (planting his back to the door and taking a whistle from his pocket.) You be-

[HARSTONE rgises the revolver.)

SLYDE (hysterical, grabbing the revolver from HARSTONE’S hand).—No! no! not that—not that One killed is enough !

HARSTONE (picking up the iron bar that lies on the flbor).—This then-

[Strides PUPKIN across the head and fells him to the floor.)

Slyde.—Oh! Oh! (Hysterical.)

Harstone.-1—Shut up—he’s not dead. (Stoops down a minute and examines.) I tell you he’s not hurt—quick, hurry now —no, stop. . I . . Wait a minute . . . this is better ! . . . help me lift him.

Slyde.—What do you wanl to do?

Harstone.-*—I’ll show you. Here, lay him so—now,! give that drill. (Put

ting it in PUPKIN S hand as he lies.) Let them find him so.

Slyde.—What do you mean? So as to make them think. . . .

Harstone.—Exactly. It’s thin . . • but it’ll give us time . . . wait, this is better still. . . . Here, give me the

rest of the cartridges!

[HARSTONE takes them and stuffs them into PUPKIN’S pocket.)

There! They can find him like that. . . Come, you gibbering coward. , . . I’ll save your skin yet. (He shuts off the light.)

[Exit HARSTONE and SLYDE, carrying the metal box. There is a long silence. Pale light through the basement window on PUPKIN’S face—the . storm lashes on the pane.)

[Voice of JEFF and voice of ANDY’ off stage.)

VOICE OF JEFF (outside the street door). —Opon the door, here! (Violently shaking sheet iron door from outside.) Open the door! (The door which is only latched opens under JEFF’S hand and stands for the moment partly open.)

VOICE OF Andy.—Don’t go down there

alone, Mr. Thorpe. The robbers may be there and—*—

JEFF (partly entered; there is a half light behind him from the street, with fitful lightning, enough to frame his figure in the door-way).—Hang the robbers! I’m not afraid of fifty of therrf! Run for the constable, Andy! I’m going in.

VOICE OF ANDY (as he hurries away). —Wait there till I bring-

JEFF (enters; an ancient gun in his hand).—If there’s any one here, speak up, or I’ll shoot. . . . There’s a light here somewhere. Ah—there!

[Turns on the switch near the door— electric light—and coming forward.) Peter! (Comes near to look at him.) Peter! My God, Peter! Killed! (Feeling at his heart.) No, thank heaven! not killed. . . What does it mean? What’s happened? . . . God help us, what’s

this ... a drill ... in his hand . . . the safe open. . . . No, no,

it’s not possible . . . the safe rifled . . . everything gone. . . . Peter! Peter—what can it mean . . . what

mad idea is this . . . no, no, it isn’t

possible . . . here, wait ... I

must look first . . no one must see. . .

[Runs to the door and slides a bar across it Just as JEFF does this, there are sounds outside—voices and people and noise—“What's that light

there—open the door there"; sounds of hammering at thed oor—and voices outside, “What’s that light there— open the door in the name of the law.")

VOICE OF Mullins.—Force in the door, constable, I authorize it Let drive at it, now together. (Violent blows at the door.)

JEFF (going to the door and opening it.) —Stop! It’s I, Thorpe. I’m opening the door. . . .

[Door opens—burst of storm and rain -MULLINS and BILL EVANS in waterproofs, with lanterns, the semblance of other people outside, noises and


MULLINS (turning, after EVANS gets in and holding the door half shut).—No more—stop—keep back there—no one else —bar the door, Constable. . . No, wait a minute. (As BILL goes to bar the door.) Is Lawyer Macartney there?

[Voice “Here!")

Let Macartney in—no one else.

[MACARTNEY enters—door barred.) Now, what’s all this? What’s here? Thorpe, what’s the meaning of it? Ha! (Sees PUPKIN as he lies.)

Jeff.—You—you see it for yourself.


Jeff.—No—stunned, I think.

[BILL EVANS has knelt beside him, his hand against PUPKIN’S side.)

Bill.—His heart’s beating—it’s faint but it’s beating. ...

MACARTNEY (who has been examining the safe).—It’s robbery . . . look here, Mullins . . . the safe’s rifled.

Mullins.—Robbery—I thought so . . the safe’s broken open . . . Take notice here, Constable, and you Macartney.

BILL (examining).—The lock’s blown out-—drill hole and a cartridge—see— powder mark—the shell will be on the floor somewhere — yes (picking it up), here!

MACARTNEY.-A drill! . . Why, see

here, Mullins ... in his hand!

Mullins.—In his hand! Yes. . . . What does it mean? . . . Wait, touch

nothing, move nothingThorpe, what

does all this mean?

Jeff.—How can I know. . . .

Mullins.—You found him here, like this?

JEFF (angry and agonized).—Look for yourself. See for yourself. What do I know? . . . Don’t question me.

MACARTNEY (who has been re-examining the safe). — Papers pulled out —

everything scattered. What papers are these, Mullins—valuable?

MULLINS. — Nothing—old stuff — mere litter.

MACARTNEY. — Is anything of value gone?

Mullins.—Let me look. . . . Yes, I thought so . . clean gone . . .

that was what they were after no doubt. Macartney.—What?

Mullins.—Why, the box—the deposit box — Thorpe’s money, or his friend’s money that he put here—take notice, Mr. Thorpe, this is no responsibility of the bank. . You wouldn’t deposit it

upstairs. . . .

Jeff.—I know it. I hold no one responsible.

MACARTNEY (eager and anxious).— What? What? That money here? Mullins, there was a thousand dollars Of mine in that box. ... Do you understand . . . one thousand dollars.

Mullins—Well . . . it’s gone . . stolen.

MACARTNEY. — Gone! Stolen. . . . But how! Where? Who’s done it?

Bill.—God only knows—they’ve blown this here safe open—got the box and off wTith it.

Macartney.—Blown it open ! Then, by Georgg, there’s the thief that did it. . .

There he lies with the very drill in his hand that did it.

BILL (shaking his head).—Couldn’t be . . . he couldn’t have blowed it up and

then stunned himself and then gone off with the money.

Macartney.—No, but it’s plain as day what happened. . . . You don’t need a

lawyer’s brain to see that. . • • He

had another with him. . . . They did

it together. ... He got hurt when the safe blew open. . Ha! look, see, there on his temple. . . . The mark

where it struck him . . . the other took the money and left.

Mullins.—No, no, it could’t be.

MACARTNEY ( with rising excitement). —Couldn’t be ! I say it was. . . . Who had access here? Young Pupkin. Who had the keys of that door? He had.

Mullins.—But what motive?

MACARTNEY. — Motive enough. Six thousand dollars. . . . But for an accident he’d have got away with it, and I could have whistled for my thousand. Constable, I say, arrest him, arrest him, where he lies. . Damn him. . •

Jail him till he tells where my money is. . . . I’ll have the law, Constable, the

' law.

Bill.—Mr. Macartney, you can’t do this. You can’t have him arrested. I admit there’s a sort of case, but--

Macartney—I say arrest him; if he’s innocent, let him prove it. ... I don’t believe he’s hurt, anyway. He’s shamming. (Bending over.) Ha! ha! look here, look at that! (Taking the cart-

ridges from PUPKIN’S pocket.) There are the cartridges that did the job! Now is he guilty? Tell me!

BILL (examining a cartridge thoughtfully).—That’s bad . . . bad.

Macartney.—Arrest him.

BILL. — Macartney, you’re the boy’s friend, or you let on to be, and I’m his friend . . . you sat with him at the

cards not two hours ago. . . . Now,

you’d haul him to jail. I’ll not do it.

Macartney.—I say you’ve got to do it. It’s your sworn duty. Put him under arrest.

BILL (wavering).—If I arrest him, Mr.

Thorpe, you can prove him innocent

later. •-

Jeff.—You can’t do it. . . . You

daren’t arrest that boy for this! You’ll ruin him. You’ll ruin his name forever.

. . . You say he can be proved innocent later. W’hat’s that? The thing will stick to him. . . . Arrested for bank robbery —it’s ruin, ruin.

Bill.—I’m afraid I can’t help it, Mr. Thorpe. He’s my friend and yours. But Mr. Macartney’s right—it’s my duty, Mr. Thorpe.

Jeff.—You can’t arrest him. . . Ypu can’t!

Bill.—I’ve got to. I don’t need to take him to the jail. We can take him to the hospital, or to your own house, anywhere vou like, but he’s got to go under arrest. There’s no help for it.

JEFF. - But you see. yourselves, he couldn’t have done it—or not alone . . . the others . . . who got the money

arrest’ them. They’re the

guilty ones. . . . If he opened the safe they must have made him open the safe.

BILL (shaking his head).—Show me the guilty party, Sir. Thorpe. .' Tell

me who they are and where they are and I won’t arrest Peter.

JEFF (with'an idea).—Ha! Show you the guilty party, and you won’t arrest him?

Bill.—That’s what I said. Give me the right man to take to jail and I’ll never bother Peter. But as it is-

Jeff.—You won’t, you won’t, eh? Right, then, I’ll give him to you—right here and now.

BILL and Mullins.—Eh! W’hat.

Jeff.—Constable Evans, get out your handcuffs. . . Here, these are the

wrists for them. ... If there’s ruin and robbery in Mariposa to-night, these are the hands that shall bear the fetters for it.

Bill.—W’hat do you mean?

Jeff.—Constable, take me under arrest. It was I that robbed the bank . . . I confess.

BILL, MACARTNEY, Mullins.—You!

JEFF (his hands out).—I did it. Take. me under arrest and let Peter go. I robbed the bank.



SCENE. — Time—The next morning, Thorpe's Barber Shop, formerly Thorpe's Mining and Land Exchange. Curtain rises on JEFF THORPE and MRS. GILLIS busily engaged in tearing down all the placards about stocks, shares of the Land Company, etc., and in restoring the place to being a shop as it was before. ,-JLSPF,/¡as still his sporting suit on, but his cocetis off.

MRS. GILLIS (she talks with sobs in her voice).—Take this down, too, Mr. Thorpe?

JEFF (busily ivorking).—All of it, every last bit. ... I want this to look the1 plain, honest place it used to be. I’m done with speculation, done with money. Last

night has finished me on it.....

down with it out with it!

(As he pulls down a placard.) Cuba! Cuba! Damn Cuba! . . . (Fires it

out of the side window.) Have they heard anything of Andy yet? Has he come back to the hotel?

MRS. Gillis.—Not a wórd, Mr. Thorpe.

. . . Away all night and not back, . . and there’s Norah crying her heart out.

. . . Do you want me to pi t brushes and the soap and thin; fa Jeff.—I want everything jut t to be—plain «and honest—the fair day’s work around. . . these up again. (He has tatiç drawer a set of placards.) I down when I went intothatCoba Back they go!

out your ?

as it used signs of a Here put n from a took them It foolery.







MRS. Gillis.—Any more?

Jeff.—That’s the lot? Therfe! That feels like home! Now, if they| come to arrest me, let it be right he Plain old Jefferson Thorpe in h|s barber shop wait. I’ll strop up my

razors—if I’m arrested I’ll be [arrested with sharp razors anyway. Holq on.

Is that some one going by? (R window.)

MRS. Gillis.—I think so.

JEFF (going to the door and cafling).— Here! Do you want a shave?

[Votre—“No thanks, JEFF.”]

(Still calling.) Your hair 1 (Returning.) All right—he’s goáe* Keep an eye for another, Mrs. Gillis. [ If I’m arrested, I‘d sooner be shaving wqen théy do it

MRS. »GILLIS. — Arrested? W)iat for would they arrest you?

Jeff.—Because . . . nevek mind

. . . you’ll see. . . . They refused to last night. But I won’t take no They’ll have to. (To MRS. GILLIS.) Here, here, what are you crying about

MRS. GILLIS. — I can’t help It, Mr. Thorpe. (Sobs.) I’m crying for [Ben.

Jeff.—For Ben . . . Ben’s afl right . . . Didn’t you tell me you

the doctors say they’ll pull him

MRS. Gillis.—Yes, Mr. Thorpe, not for that I’m crying . . .

thankfulness, Mr. Thorpe

tning ta

cs long.

f that ugh? ut it’s |t’s for all

night he lay there so white and st ill and

just hover’n between life and deat i

saide And this morning he opened his eyes and saw me, and he just ga re one groan and fainted dead away again.


Jeff.—He’ll be all right. Pshaw You can’t kill a Nova Scotia man just by shooting him.

MRS. Gillis.—Then presently hi came to again and he put out his hand fo mine and he spoke, and his voice was we* k. but it was that soft and kind—just ike it used to be years ago when he was courting me. ...

JEFF (blowing his nose).—No doubt . . . no doubt.

MRS. Gillis.—And he said, “Bern over me,” and I bent over and he whis; >ered, “Mary, if God spares me I’ll never touch a drop o’ drink again. . . . 01, Mr.

Thorpe. (Sobs.)

JEFF —Here! here! get óut of my shop, woman! Get out of my shop. ... I can’t stand crying in a shop. . . . Get out, go back and sit with your hus >and. (Takes her by the arm.) You’re n> use here! You’ll never be any use again: why is it a woman is only of some use vhen Continued on page 95

Sunshine in Mariposa

Continued from page 53

you treat her badly? . . . Out, out, you go!

[He hustles her out. Enter BILL.]

Jeff.—Arrest me, arrest me!

Bill.—Good morning, Mr. Thorpe.

Jeff.—Arrest me! I robbed the bank, I confess it. . . . Arrest me!

BILL (sitting down and shaking his head). — Can’t be done, Mr. Thorpe. (Yatans.)

Jeff.—Why not? I’ve confessed.

Bill.—Sorry, you didn’t rob it

Jeff.—But I say I did. I broke in at night. I blew open the safe. I took the money. I meant to run off with it to spend it on horse races . . . dog fights . . . anything!

Bill.—Sorry. We know you didn’t. We can prove it

Jeff.—You can’t

Bill.—Yep. First you weren’t there at the time.

Jeff—I was.

Bill.—Second (yawn) you was somewhereelse.

Jeff.—I was not

Bill.—You was, and third, young Pupkin has come to and told all about it.

Jeff.—Peter come to!

Bill.—Yep! He ain’t much hurt. Head a bit cracked. (Yawns.) A constable’s head would thinlc nothing of it.

Jeff.—That’s a different kind of head . . . but . . . he’s better, that’s one relief . . . one big relief.

Bill.—Yep . . . out in two or three days, doctor says.

Jeff.—And who did rob the bank. . . What’s the truth of it all?

Bill.—Well, here’s Mr. Mullins coming . . . he’ll tell you all about it.

I've got to go and help hunt for Andy Clnggett.

[Exit BILL. Enter MULLINS.]

MULLINS (comes with his hand out to-

wards Jeff).—Mr. Thorpe, may* I shake your hand? I owe you an apology for the boy’s sake . for Pupkin’s.

You needn’t try to shield him any-more. There’s nothing to shield.

Jeff.—Shield him? I wasn’t trying—

Mullins.—Come, come . . . we’ve

got the whole story now. ’. Young Pupkin has come to and told us all that happened in the bank. I’ve telegrams here from New York and from Toronto that give us the rest. They say they’ll have the robbers caught any minute now . . . they can’t escape . . . the trains are watched . . at the border. They’ll never get clear . . we should have

known it was them right away.

Jeff.—I don’t understand . . . who?

Mullins.—Harstone and Slyde . . . your precious friends. Your New York promoters . . Harstone and Slyde.

Jeff.—Harstone and Slyde!

Mullins.—I have it all here in black and white. (Showing telegrams.) There’s a man Olson in New York that was arrested yesterday and has turned state’s évidence. The whole thing is out now. Harstone and Slyde and their land company and all the rest of it was just a plan, Mr. Thorpe—just for your loney.

Jeff.—For my money!

Mullins.—Nothing else. And they got word they were to be arrested and cleared out.

Jeff.—But they left town before the robbery. We saw them go.

Mullins.—No, we didn’t They never went near that eleven-thirty at all!

Jeff.—Where are they then?

Mullins.—We don’t know. They got out of town somehow, later ... no train till six this morning . . . that

was searched . . . they weren’t on it

. . . they can’t get far.

Jeff.—And Peter? What was Peter doing in-

Mullins.—Peter ! By gad, Thorpe, the boy’s a hero. You’ll have a son-in-law to be proud of. He heard them there in the vault, came down and, single-handed, he fought them—fought the two of them— saved the bank. But for him they might have had a try at the big safe, the real safe upstairs. Thorpe, there was a hundred thousand dollars in currency, grain money, in that safe last night—and he’s saved it for us. . . I’ve been talking on the ’phone to the head office; they’ll do something big for Peter, mark my words, something big. Our bank knows how to be generous.

JEFF —Thank God, thank God! I knew it, Mr. Mullins, that he was innocent, but all the same this is the greatest news and - ( fíntis and strops a razor i'iolently. )

Mullins.—Well, it’s good news . . . but I’m afraid it’s not all good news. I’ve got some pretty bad news for you, too,. Thorpe, your money’s gone.

Jeff.—Gone! I knew that. Six thousand dollar^ there was in the box they took, bût I can make that good easy enough. My fortune can stand it.

Mullins.—You don’t understand, Mr. Thorpe. . . . Your fortune’s gone.

Jeff—Gone! It’s in New York. You sent it there yourself.

MULLINS (shaking his head). — The gang got it before the arrest, and cleared with it. It’s gone.

Jeff.—My—money—is—gone? Do you mean that I have no money to make good what my friends have lost? . . Peter’s two thousand? Norah’s money . . .

Johnson’s. . . . Macartney’s

everybody’s? Mr. Mullins, it can’t be.

MULLINS —What money have you here in the office?

JF.FF.— Here, in the shop? (Looking in

a till.) That (shows it in his hand) — only two—four dollars and eighty cents.

Mullins.—And at your house?


Mullins.—I’m sorry to say it, Thorpe, but what you have here is all you have in the world.

JEFF (leaning against the chair where he was stropping the razor).—It’s ruin . . . all that I had . . . robbed . . . gone . . . not for myself—I don’t mind that. . . . My friends. .

[Enter MACARTNEY, in great excitement.]

MACARTNEY. - Mullins! Is it true — what they’re saying in the street? I hadn’t realized it! Is this man’s money gone—his fortune gone?

Mullins.—It has.

MACARTNEY. - I)o you mean that he can’t repay . . . can’t make restitution cf the thousand dollars that he took from me?

Jeff.—Macartney, I’ll pay you . . . every cent of it . . . give me time . . I’ll work, I’ll get it back. . . No one shall lose—I’ll work.

MACARTNEY (ar¡gry and excited). — Work! Har! This tuppeny, ha’penny barber business—to pay back a thousand dollars .. . thousands of dollars . . that \#tTby Gad! That’s the word? That you’ve robbed from your feHow townsmen.

/Jeff.—I only say, give me time. . . . It’s all I ask . . . time.

Macartney.—Time! I’ll distrain on him, Mullins, I’ll seize his store, I'll take his fittings—I’ll seize his soap. I’ll have his premises. (irti/fctn.ç up and down.)

MULLINS (shaking his head). — Can’t do that. Macartney, it’s all rented. .

Macartney.—Then I’ll-

Jeff.—Macartney. . . This has

come as a hard blow. . . . I’m an old, old man. ... It hits me hard . . . but I’m not beaten. . . . You give me time.


Jeff.—I’ll pay it all. I’ll start over: I’ll work here again . . . night and day . . . I’ll pay it all, and I’ll get money

enough to found the Home again. That’s all I care for—that’s the only part that touches 7/ic. ... To have lost that! but-

Mullins.—W’hy, that’s not lost, Mr. Thorpe!


MULLINS. - The Home you founded? That’s right where it was.

Jeff.—How do you mean? That money went to New York, too. That’s gone.

Mullins.—No—draft left yesterday; cancelled by wire before arrival. . . .

Here’s the telegram, “Draft for sixty thousand, stopped payment as ordered.” We bankers are not so slow after all. . .

JEFF (overjoyed).—'W’hy, Mr. Mullins, Mr. Mullins—this is glorious—this is all I ask. . . . This is everything to me.

Mullins.—Yes, we stiH have the sixty thousand ... in trust for the Martha Thorpe Home for Destitute Children . . as sole trustee your cheque is good at our bank this minute—for anything up to sixty thousand—as trustee, of course.

MACARTNEY (who has listened with

growing interest and change of expression).—Ah, then, Thorpe, our whole position is altered ... I congratulate you —er—my dear Thorpe—most heartily— everything can be paid now. Luckily, as sole trustee you can—er—practically»— use this money as you like—pay your creditors — all or single — pay me, for instance. . .

Jeff—Pay you?

Macartney.—Yes, certainly.

Jeff.—Out of the Home money?

Macartney.—Assuredly . . . nothing easier, my dear Thorpe. We need, of course ( he laughs ) some sort of small legal fiction, har! har! A bill of charges of IJLJOOO against the Home for such and such services—purely imaginary—but— har! har! luckily there’s no one to question it I’ll just sit down and draw it up.

Jeff.—Stop! You mean you want nie to take a thousand dollars of the money that’s in trust for the children to pay my debt to you. Is that it?

MACARTNEY. - Quite so, Mr. Thorpe, har ! har ! Simple as . . . now . . .

JEFF (striking his hand on the table). Then, Macartney, before I do that, I’l! see you-

Macartney.—YOU what?

Jeff.—I’m no financier but I understand clearly enough that that money is deeded in trust for destitute children and there’s no court and no law can alter it. There it is and, William Macartney, there it stays.

Macartney.—Ar—r? Is that it? I’ll have the law on you for misappropriation of my funds. ... You shall see the inside of a jail, Jefferson Thorpe.

MULLINS. - Come, come, Macartney, you’re getting-

Jeff.—Macartney, this is my shop. . .

[Enter BILL.]

BILL (entering).—Say, what’s all this, Macartney? I could hear your voice a block away . . . what’s ’matter?

Macartney.—Matter, matter enough.

Jeff.—Stop. I’ll tell him. Bill, that money you gave me, that two hundred and fifty dollars, is lost . . . every cent of it.

BILL (yawn).—Lost, eh? You don’t say so?

Jeff.—Lost! Gone!

Bill.—Well! Well! (Yatvn.) Ain’t it a caution the way money gets lost . . . beat’s all. (Yatvn—then more energetically.) Say, Jeff, did you lose youm, too?

Jeff.—Bill, I have lost every cent I had in the world . . . that’s why I can’t pay ... I am ruined.

Bill.—By gosh ! that’s hard. . . . But say, Jeff, don’t let that worry you . . . most fellers that I have seen that was ruined, in the city anyway, seemed richer than ever . . . anyway, Jeff,

you’ve got your friends. . . . There’s Macartney here and me, and-

[The loud and burly voice of MR. SMITH is heard as he enters—fresh from the city — valise — dressed up—a large aster in hie buttonhole.]

SMITH (dumping down hie valise).— Here ! what’n hell is gone wrong with this town—can’t I leave it for a day? Here’s the whole hotel upside down—Andy lost —little Norah there doing nothing but cry.

Jeff.—Why, Josh, Andy’s lopt and she and Andy-

Smith.—Was in love with one another? Why! Didn’t I know that the first day I seen them working together. First Sunday she was there I seen Andy fixing up his Sunday hat with a peacock feather

. . . and Norah putting a pink bow

crosswise in her hair . . . and the two of them off for a walk down by the lake! But Andy lost! Ybu can’t lose Andy! He’ll be back next mealtime, or I’m a liar.....

MULLINS. — There’s more than that, Smith. . . . The bank’s vault was robbed. . . . Thorpe’s money’s gone.

Smith.—Do you think I don’t know that? That was all over Toronto by daybreak. Where do you think I’ve been? What do you think I’ve been doing?

Jeff.—I thought you were at a hotelmen’s conference.

Smith.—Hotelmen! Do you fellows think a hotelman has nothing else to do but sit round and discuss temperance? Do you think if a man’s a hotelman he’s got no sense? Do you think if a man’s a hotelman he’ll stand round and see his town plundered and robbed and ruined by a couple of crooks and not lift a hand? No, sir, I’d sooner see this town go local option! Hotelmen! The hotelmen I went down to see was the Provincial Detective Office. Jeff, I warned you, I tried to give the hint

JEFF (contritely).—You did, Josh, you did.

Smith.—But you wouldn’t hear me . . but I got the warrants and back here on the early train with three officers with me. They’re over in my bar now, with Billy. They say they may pick up a clue there. They’re pumping Billy and Billy’s pumping the beer. But they’ll have them two rounded up before noon, you see it!

Macartney.—But do you understand, Smith, Thorpe here has lost every penny, his own — mine — everybody’s — some of yôurs, too, I don’t doubt And I’m telling him I want my thousand, by Gad! I'll have my thousand dollars!

SMITH (eyeing him quietly).—Yes, or you’ll do what?

Macartney.—I’ll have the law on him —I’ll seize his goods. By gad, I’ll jail him.

Smith.—For what?

Macartney.—For my thousand dollars —he lost it—he as good as stole it.

Smith.—You’ll jail Jeff, will you, Mac? Well, somehow I guess not. . . . Here! (He takes from his pocket a huge roll of bills.) I alius like to carry money— never know when it comes handy—here— fifty, seventy-

JEFF (running to stop him).—No, no, Josh, I won’t have it! Not from you— let him jail me—anything—I-

[Enter NORAH hurriedly.]

Norah.—Oh, Mr. Smith, you’re back! You’re back—and will you find Andy . . he’s lost. ,

SMITH ( patting her protectingly).— Give me five minutes. ... I ain’t got started yet!

* NORAH (beginning to cry).—Oh, Mr. Smith, it’s killed him they have.

Smith.—Not a bit, Norah—don’t you be ascared for Andy. Now tell me, Billy says you 3een him last, eh?

Norah.—Yes, Mr. Smith, after we’d got Ben upstairs and got the doctor to him—

SMITH.-^Í know--

Norah.—Then Andy came back from taking Mr. Thorpe to the bank, and says, “Norah, darling, I believe I know who’s done it”—and he had your gun in his hand from the rack in the hall and his face was that white and set, it scared me.

Smith.—And where did he go?

Norah.—Sure, I don’t know—he just

I went out—out into the night and the storm—“They’ve done for Ben,” he says, “and I’ll kill them.” I clung to him, but he went. Oh, Mr. Smith, Mr. Smith, will he come back?

Smith.—Back, sure he’ll come back—

whyCome back ! look ! here he comes

[Enter ANDY*, dishevelled, pale, his clothes wet and muddy; his coat he carries under his arm wrapped about a gun and something else.J

ANDY (sinks panting into a chair).— I’ve seen them—*he robbers—it was Harstone and Slyde—they done it—they shot ¡ Gillis to rob the bank-

Jeff.—Yes, yes, we know. They’re after them now. They’ll arrest them any minute.

ANDY (solemnly). — Never in this world, Mr. Thorpe—they’re dead—they’re killed.

NORAH. — Oh, Andy — you’ve killed them?

Andy*.—Not I—look for yourself—the gun is loaded still. . . . But I meant to —I went from the hotel meaning to—I’d heard them talking with Ben, just as I went upstairs, and I heard them speak of the trestle bridge in the big marsh.

Jeff.—Yes, yes, other side of the big swamp.

Andy.—And they asked after the midnight express from the north, if it stopped —I didn’t see what it meant till the word came that the bank was robbed—then I saw what it meant. ... I took the gun.

Norah.—Yes, yes, Andy, I told them that.

ANDY.-. . . I guessed they had made through the big swamp to the marsh where the trestle bridge is . . . but it was dark, black dark, I could only see when the lightning came. . . . Therç’s a way through the marsh, a dry path, if you can find it, that leads to the centre of the bridge where the tank-

Mullins.—Yes, I know, the trainmen j use it sometimes-

Andy.—I meant to get to the bridge that way and wait for them to kill them —but I was late—as I got close to the bridge there came a great flash of lightning all white—and in it I saw them for a second standing on the bridge—there in the centre-

Jeff.—Harstone and Slyde?

Andy*.—The two of them—and right then—all of a sudden I heard the train, the night express, and heard the roar of it and the long whistle as it took the trestles—and I knew from the sound and the rush of it that it wasn’t going to stop-

Smith.—And them on the bridge-

ANDY.-. . . . Tearing and shrieking it came—and the glare of the headlight lit up the bridge and I saw them. . . . Mr. Thorpe, Mr. Smith, I give you my word that when I saw them there, all thought of killing them went from me and I called to them to leap over the bridge. It’s a forty-foot drop from the trestles— but they could have done it, could have leaped into the water of the marsh-

Jeff.—Yes, yes, of course they could, why didn’t they?

Andy.—Mr. Thorpè, that was the awful part of it—they couldn’t. I could see Harstone trying to get to the edge . . .

and Slyde, clinging to his throat, and shrieking as he tried to drag him down in i front of the train:—shrieking like he was

crazy! Then the train struck them— it hurled them over—I seen them fall— down into the dark—I could hear Slyde screamIt’s in my ears—I can’t forget it. . .

Mullins.—Did the train stop?

Andy.—No. I think no one saw but me —the storm was too wild.

Mullins.—What did you do?

Andy.—I wraited—I w’aited there where I was till it was day . and when the light came I found them . . . there

below the bridge ... in four feet of water with the life all beat out

JEFF {quietly and earnestly).—God’s mercy on them. They’re gone beyond man’s judgment now.

Norah.—But what did you do then, Andy? Why didn’t you get here sooner?

Andy.—I went astray in the big swamp —it was hard to get through it—and clambering over the logs; my legs give out . . . and I’ve been ever since trying to get here.

Norah.—My poor darlin’. (Taking his hand ayid caressing it.)

Aî^py.—But wait—that’s not all. Mr. Thorpe, look there — inside my coat — I found it beside them in the marsh. . . .

[THORPE and SMITH run and unwrap the coat. In it is the missing box of money.]

Jeff.—The cash box — my box — the money. Thank God. Is it all here, Andy?

ANDY.Look for yourself. I never opened it.

JEFF (examining).—Yes, yes, here it is —all as I left it. (Taking out a parcel and reading)—Bill Evans, two hundred and fifty dollars. Bill, here’s your money back.

BILL (yawning).—S’all right I ain’t in any hurry for it. Keep it and put it into some other good thing. (Yaum.)

Jeff.—Johnson’s — Norah’s — ha! ha! Norah, yours and Andy’s, together, eh!

NORAH (who has had her arm about ANDY’S neck as he sits).—And it’s my own brave boy, Mr. Thorpe, that’s brought it all back to us—together is it? Together for as long as ever Andy will have me.

Jeff.—Peter’s . two thousand

dollars, P. Pupkin—that’s all right . .

and ha! here’s what I was looking for. W. Macartney, one thousand dollars. There!

Macartney.—My money, har! Thank Heaven that’s safe back again, and, Thorpe, I’ll just give you one word of advice.

Jeff.—No. I’ll give you one, William Macartney. (Looking him over from head to foot.) You—need—your hair cut —and you need it bad (taking him by the arm and leading him to the door). Down the street there is Hillis’ barber shop. Take this twenty-five cents and go and get your hair cut. This shop don’t ever need your custom again.

[JEFF pushes him out.]

Smith.—Bully for you, Jeff!

JEFF (repenting).—Poor old Macartney—perhaps.I was a little too hard, eh, what? After all, you know, he’s only a lawyer—I’ll call him back.

Smith.—Not a bit ... do him good —but look who’s here!

[Enter MYRA, in great joy.]

Myra.—“Look who’s here!” Is that what you said, Mr. Smith? Well, you may well say it! Oh, father, father, look who is here—look out! (Taking him to the door.)

JEFF (looking out).—Not Peter! Not

Peter! Here, help him out of that carefully, wait, I’ll come and(Going out

and helping in PUPKIN, pale and bandaged head, happy.) Careful, steady . . .

but Myra, what madness is this?

The doctor said bed for a week.

Myra.—Oh, bother the doctor. We couldn’t help it . . the news is just too good. . . . Read it to them, Peter, read it.

[PUPKIN takes a telegram out of his side pocket.]

PUPKIN (in a iveak voice).—You read it. Myra.

MYRA (taking the telegram). — It’s from the Head Office of the Exchange Bank: “Peter Pupkin, Mariposa. Have just heard of your splendid courage in protecting the interests of the bank. We appreciate to the full your devotion and courage and in proof of it desire to state that your salary is hereby raised from eighty to eighty-five dollars a month, dating from to-day.” Isn’t it splendid?

MULLINS (proudly).—Didn’t I tell you, Thorpe? I knew they’d do something handsome. The Exchange Bank never forgets its friends.

JEFF. — Eighty-five dollars! W’hy, Myra, that’s—let me see—that’s—well, it’s over a thousand a year. Do you realize that that’s past the bank’» limit, and you and Peter can get married now-

Myra.—Realize it! We’ve been-

Pupkin.—Talking about it all the way down. (Embrace).

Jeff.—Well, well, bless your hearts, there’s good coming out of this business after all—you and Peter married and happy—Andy and Norah I imagine likewise.

Xorah.—On the same day, Mr. Thorpe, if you'll allow it.

Mullins.—Hear! Hear!

JEFF. — The Home founded and endowed—its money aafe—and as to me—aa to me—me! I wouldn't change with a king—aafe back in my old life again. . . Here, Myra . . . my coat . . . my white coat. . . . Ah ! that's something like comfort, that's ease. (Getting in if.) That’s a coat for you . . . now then, my razors . . hurry . . . the

soap, yes, that’s right . . . and the

brushes . . . there we are (flick, flick) and now then. (Turning to assembled lot.) Now, I give you all warning. . . . This is a barber shop. And for the future, barber shop it’s going to stay. It’s not an Exchange, or an office, or a silver mine . . . and if anybody after this ever

breathes the word share, stock or certificate, or says, Cuba, Habana, or Porto Rico in this shop, out he goes to follow Macartney.

ALL IN CHORUS — Hear, hear. Well done, Jeff!

Myra.—Splendid, father.

JEFF. — That’s talk enough. (Flick, flick.) Now, if any of you want a shave, hair cut, facial massage, or wrinkles removed, come forwárd; if not, clear out. .

BILL (yawns).—Well, I did have a kind of idee I’d like one of them egg-shampoos like you gave me two months ago. . . . If you have eggs.

JEFF. — Bill, you’re my best friend, j Eggs! I have the very (getting them, very dingy looking, from a drawer) eggs ! themselves. . . • Little I thought to ! ever use them. I kept them as a souvenir, i (BILL has climbed into the chair.) Now, i then, here goes—egg shampoo!