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Title: Sunshine in Mariposa

Date of first publication: 1917

Author: Stephen Leacock (1869-1944)

Illustrator: C. W. Jefferys (1869-1951)

Date first posted: Nov. 14, 2023

Date last updated: Nov. 14, 2023

Faded Page eBook #20231113

This eBook was produced by: John Routh & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net

Editor’s Note.This is a dramatization of Stephen Leacock’s

best known book. Is is not, however, the version that was used by

Cyril Maude under the title “Jeff.” This short-lived effort was the

work of an English dramatist.



The scene of this play is laid in the little town of Mariposa in Ontario,

somewhere between Toronto and the Cobalt Silver Country.

Act I.Act III.
Jeff Thorpe’s Barber Shop.Scene 1. The back parlor of Smith’s Hotel, Mariposa.
Act II.Scene 2. The Vaults of the Mariposa Bank.
Four Weeks Later. 
Thorpe’s “Mining Exchange” (formerly Thorpe’s Barber Shop), Mariposa.Act IV.
Jeff Thorpe’s Barber Shop.
Characters of the Play
(In order of their appearance.)
Mrs. Gillis, scrub lady and wife of Ben Gillis, caretaker of the Bank.Andy, man of all work at Smith’s Hotel.
Peter Pupkin, second Ledger Keeper of the Exchange Bank, Mariposa, and engaged to—Mr. Mullins. Manager of the Exchange Bank of Mariposa.
Myra Thorpe, daughter of Jefferson Thorpe, and employed in the telephone exchange.Nora, the new Irish help at Smith’s Hotel.
Josh Smith, proprietor of Smith’s Hotel.Ben Gillis, caretaker of the Bank.
Lawyer Macartney, of the Mariposa Bar.Mr. Slyde, a stranger in Mariposa.
Bill Evans, Town Constable of Mariposa.Mr. Harstone, partner of Mr. Slyde.
Jefferson Thorpe, once of London, England, now Barber of Mariposa. 

Jeff goes and looks in the glass. “How do you like my new hat, Myra?

Sunshine in Mariposa

Act I.

Scene.Jeff Thorpe’s Barber Shop at Mariposa: 2 barber chairs, chairs for customers, table with newspapers, hat rack and so on. A cigar case. One corner of the shop partitioned off to the height of 6 or 7 feet, with a frosted glass door and the legend Hot and Cold Baths.

At the back of the stage the big window of the shop with a thin muslin over it: through it one sees the Main Street of Mariposa, sleeping in the sun—opposite it is Smith’s Hotel.

It is the noon hour of a drowsy day in June. The curtain rises on:

Mrs. Gillis, cleaning up the shop—angular, in rusty black, bare elbows. Her bonnet and light shawl are on a peg. She is on her hands and knees sweeping up stuff off the floor with a little hand broom into a waste paper basket—a litter of hair, crumpled paper and newspapers. She works energetically; talking to herself as she does so.

Mrs. Gillis.—“Land Sakes! the litter of this here place. You’d never think, to look at it, it was all cleaned up good last Wednesday. The bank’s bad enough and cleaning the hotel’s bad enough, but this here barber shop of Mr. Thorpe’s is the beat of all. Only just yesterday Mrs. Macartney says to me, ‘Mrs. Gillis,’ she says, ‘it ain’t a woman’s work, not for a woman like you——’ Well! I declare (she has picked up a thick wad of black hair and is examining it) if Jim Kedger ain’t been having his hair cut! At last!”

[There is heard someone shaking at the handle of the street door. Mrs. Gillis goes over to the door and speaks close to the crack of it, her head sideways.]

Mrs. Gillis.—“Mr. Thorpe ain’t here, he’s to his house to his dinner.” (She goes on cleaning and talking.) “And it ain’t only the hair and the shaving soap and that. What does Mr. Thorpe do but he must spend all his spare time cutting up newspapers and throwing ’em all over the place.” (She uncrumples and unfolds some crumpled newspapers that are lying on the floor and reads the title, with difficulty.) “To-ronto Mining Noose—C-o-Cobalt NuggetC-o-mCommercial—Something Times—well, I never! That’s the way its been ever since Mr. Thorpe got took up with this mining idee——”

[She has now filled up the basket and goes and empties it over the top of the partitioned space marked Hot and Cold Baths, beating on the bottom with her hand to make it empty. Again someone tries the handle of the door and knocks at it. Mrs. Gillis again goes to the door.]

Mrs. Gillis.—“Mr. Thorpe ain’t here. He’s to his dinner to his house.” (A voice is heard outside making an enquiry, but the words cannot be distinguished.) “Eh, for the excursion on the steamer? Well, he said he’d be back at one and be in lots of time to shave the folks for the excursion.” (She goes on cleaning. She fills her basket and again empties it over the top of the Hot and Cold Baths space. She then picks up a wet cloth and sets to wiping the wood work of the drawer and cupboard with terrific energy. In doing this she accidently pulls one drawer open with great force. The bottom of it falls out and a bundle of odd looking papers falls to the floor.) “There! That comes of brim fillin’ up these drawers with his old truck. You can’t no more than touch anything but it falls to pieces on you.” (She picks up one of the papers and looks at it. It is a big pink certificate, with scroll work and big letters on it. She spells it out.) “C-o-r-o-n-a, Coroney, J-e-Jewel, Mining C-o-r-p-o-r-a-t-i-o-n, Company. Coroney Jewell Mining Company—I-n-t-e-r-i-m, Internal, Certicate—Well, now, of all the litter that man does gather up. If I didn’t get in here oncet in a while to clean up, he’d have the place full of it——”

[She gathers up the certificates, that are scattered over the floor, stuffs them into the basket and empties them over into the Hot and Cold Baths. Someone knocks again.]

Mrs. Gillis.—“Mr. Thorpe is to his—”

Voice of Peter Pupkin outside.—“Oh is that you Mrs. Gillis. Could you just let me in for a moment?”

Mrs. Gillis.—“Oh, is that you, Mr. Pupkin?”

[She unlocks the door. Enter Peter Pupkin, young, neatly dressed, pink and white, foolish, but good.]

Pupkin.—“Mr. Thorpe’s not here, eh!”

Mrs. Gillis (with a sort of simper).—“I’ll garntee it wasn’t to see Mr. Thorpe that you come in, Mr. Pupkin. But if it’s Miss Myra you’re after, she’d ought to be here any minute. She mostly comes in on her way to work after dinner.”

Pupkin.—“Well—yes—I did half think I might—I might sort of see Miss Myra. But I really have business with Mr. Thorpe, too, bank business.”

Mrs. Gillis. “Owendeed!”

Pupkin.—“Yes, confidential business. The point is,—this of course is absolutely confidential,—his note is due to-day for thirty-six dollars and fifty cents, and we’ll have to protest it.”

Mrs. Gillis.—“Well now, think of that. Would they send him to jail for that, likely?”

Pupkin (laughs).—“Oh, no, Mrs. Gillis, why you’ve no idea how many people there are here in Mariposa that have notes protested. Of course we keep it absolutely quiet in the bank—it’s a sort of sacred confidence, don’t you see,—but take this morning alone, Jim Eliot at the drug store, seventy-one dollars. The cement company forty-six dollars. Perry and Perry, thirty-one dollars,—only we don’t talk about it.”

Mrs. Gillis.—“Well, now! And Mr. Thorpe he owes money too! I’m right sorry for it. But I ain’t surprised, Mr. Pupkin, with him running round as he is and with his mind just nowhere. Ever since he’s got took with this mining idee, he’s just here and there and all over the place. ‘Mr. Thorpe,’ I says to him last week, ‘you’re neglecting your business,’ says I. (for I’m an old friend like, Mr. Pupkin: I remember well Mr. Thorpe’s missus, that was, when they first came out from the Old Country here to Marposey years ago: and a sweet woman she was, indeed, Mr. Pupkin, so quiet like: folks said Mr. Thorpe wasn’t never the same after she died, till Miss Myra began to grow up and take her place like—), ‘well,’ I says, ‘Mr. Thorpe.’ I says, ‘your neglecting your business.’ ”

Pupkin.—“And what did he say? Was he angry?”

Mrs. Gillis.—“Angry! Mr. Thorpe don’t never get angry. He just looked at me as if he felt sorry for me. ‘Mrs. Gillis,’ says he, ‘I’m going to be a rich man.’ Him rich, Mr. Pupkin! (she gurgles). Why every lost soul in Marposey knows he ain’t paid Josh Smith no rent for this shop for six months back. ‘Mr. Thorpe,’ I says (for I speak to him like an old friend), ‘you ain’t paid no rent for six months.’ ‘Mrs. Gillis,’ he says, ‘the rent is all right. Renting this shop to me,’ he says ‘is going to be the biggest deal for Josh Smith that he ever put through. When I’m rich,’ he says, ‘I’m going to make Josh Smith my private secretary.’ ”

Pupkin.—“But, I say, Josh Smith can’t read and write, not properly.”

Mrs. Gillis.—“Why, that’s what I said, Mr. Pupkin. I just had to laff, ‘Josh Smith,’ I says, ‘why he can’t read and write.’ ‘He don’t need to read and write,’ says Mr. Thorpe, ‘not to be my secretary. I’m going to be that rich, Mrs. Gillis that my secretary won’t need to read and write. But don’t tell Smith,’ says he. ‘I don’t want him to know it, not till I’m rich.’ Mr. Pupkin, I just had to laugh, and yet I felt kind of sorry too. ‘When I’m rich,’ and ‘when I’m rich,’ and ‘When I’m rich.’—that’s the way he goes or all the time since he’s got took with this Cobalt idee—”

[At this moment a band in heard playing down the street—Oh Canada, Terre de nos aieux.]

[Mrs. Gillis and Pupkin go to the window, looking out sideways and listening.]

Mrs. Gillis.—“Yes, it’s the band playing down to the wharf. They’d ought to set a big crowd to-day. That’s real pretty that. O Canady, aint it. Where my Ben and I was brought up (we’re Nova Scotia people, Mr. Pupkin) we didn’t have that. It was the Maple Leaf down there. But Oh Canady sounds real pretty, don’t it?”

[She breaks off, and points over towards the hotel.]

Mrs. Gillis.—“Well. I declare, there’s Lawyer Macartney going into the bar, over to Smith’s. That’s four drinks he’s had since I came here at half-past twelve, and yet he never don’t seem to show it—and who would that be now standing over in the door—-”

Pupkin.—“I don’t seem to recognize him.”

Mrs. Gillis.—“I guess he’s a stranger in town. He must have come in off the morning train—looks like he came from the city.” (She looks again and speaks in a changed voice.) “Oh, Mr. Pupkin!”

I’m giving this man a sort of rush shampoo.

Pupkin.—“What is it— Oh, I see—”

Mrs. Gillis.—“It’s my man Ben. Mr. Pupkin—look, he’s gone into the bar— Oh, Mr. Pupkin, he’s started in drinking again. All this week he’s been at it. And him such a fine man. Mr. Pupkin, just as long as he don’t touch anything. All the two years we had Local Option (she half sobs) he never touched a drop. ‘Ruth,’ he says to me. ‘I’m going to swear off.’ And he kept it, Mr. Pupkin, he kept to it all the time it was Local Option. And then when they opened the bars again last year he started in again. Oh, Mr. Pupkin, can’t your folks in the bank do something to stop him? He works for yous so he ought to listen to what you’d say.”

Pupkin.—“Why. Mrs. Gillis. I’m awfully sorry. We do what we can. Only last week the manager offered to dismiss him if he didn’t quit. We all want to help him you know——”

[A long steam whistle is heard.]

Mrs. Gillis (recovering herself.)—“There’s the one o’clock whistle. I’ll just open up the shop, Mr. Pupkin. I’ll go to see to Ben and perhaps you wouldn’t mind staying here till Mr. Thorpe or Miss Myra comes—” (She starts to put on her bonnet and shawl and tidy herself up; she goes to one of the mirrors.) “Dear! Dear! The state I’m in—” (She takes up some of the barber powders, cosmetics, etc., and fixes up her cheeks.)

Pupkin.—“Oh, and Mrs. Gillis, perhaps you wouldn’t mind—you’re sure to meet Mr. Thorpe on the street—you might just give him this note, will you? I hardly like—it’s thirty-six fifty. Tell him it has to be paid to-day—but it doesn’t matter—it’s only a matter of form.”

Mrs. Gillis.—“All right. I’ll give it to him (goes to the door)—and here’s Miss Myra coming right along now—so good-bye Mr. Pupkin.”

[Exit Mrs. Gillis.]

Pupkin (looking down the street left).—“Here she comes. By Jove, doesn’t she look nice! If I’m not the luckiest fellow——” (Hurries to the door.)

[Enter Myra.]



[They embrace at the door.]

Myra (as Peter leads her into the shop.)—“What were you saying all to yourself at the door?”

Pupkin.—“I was saying I was the luckiest fellow in Mariposa.”

Myra.—“Oh, you silly boy.”

[They kiss again.]

Pupkin.—“I say, you look awfully nice this afternoon.”

Myra.—“Don’t you see why? Don’t you notice anything?”

Pupkin.—“No-o, not exactly.”

Myra.—“Oh, Peter. You’re so provoking. You never notice anything.”

Pupkin.—“I see you look awfully nice.”

Myra.—“Yes. But my hat, my new hat—(she runs to one of the mirrors.) Just think, only two dollars—but you should have seen it when I got it—hideous—I tore all the trimming off it, so, and threw away the band, and then bent the straw up, so, and put a little bit of muslin and the flower, so—don’t you like it?”

[Turns, facing Pupkin.]

Myra.—“And you know, Peter, after all, it’s awfully nice now that I have a job in the Telephone Exchange, to think that I can save money and help too.”

Pupkin.—“But I say, Myra, you didn’t come into the bank this morning. I watched for you all the time. I had the savings ledger open at the very page, all ready, with Myra Thorpe written at the top of it. It looks fine—didn’t they pay your salary to-day after all?”

Myra (confused).—“Yes, dear, they gave it to me—only—only I spent it.”

Pupkin (disappointed).—“Spent it? Why, Myra—— Oh, of course, it’s all right, dear. I know you need clothes and things. And your new hat——”

Myra (still confused).—“No, no, Peter, it wasn’t my hat—it was——”

Pupkin.—“Oh, Myra—I see what you mean. You gave the money to your father again?”

Myra.—“Yes, dear. I gave it to father, Peter. I couldn’t help it. He seemed to need it so badly, Peter. Don’t think that father asked me for it. He’d never, never do that. It was for a mine, the Lone Star Mine. Father said if he had thirty dollars he could turn it into three thousand in a week—and he seemed to need it so badly—and it’s in my name and father says he wants us to buy a house with the three thousand, for when we’re married. He’s going to take me to look for one right away. Oh, Peter, do you think it possible, could father make all that money with it?”

Pupkin (shaking his head sadly).—“No, dear, utterly impossible. We see it in the bank every day. It’s only the big people, the inside people, that make money from the silver country. I don’t want to be unkind, dear, and really I’m not thinking of the money for ourselves, but don’t, please don’t, give money again to your father. Only harm comes of it Myra, you don’t know how awful speculation is. We see it every day in the bank—since the silver boom began. People that had had savings with us for years—ruined—drawing out their last cent, and their hands trembling as they write—to gamble it on silver. It’s dreadful. I’ll never forget when the Abbitibbi mine broke and Nightgale shot himself over in the back room at the Hotel. He’d worked next to me for ten years in the bank—all his mother’s money. Myra, think of it—and lost. I saw him in his coffin. They couldn’t even let his mother look at him”—(he shudders). “Myra, darling, try to keep your father from it, if you can.”

Myra.—“I know, Peter. I know. I think of it all the time. But father seems so set on it all. He thinks about nothing else and all the time at the mining exchange and the newspaper office—to-day he didn’t come home to dinner at all—it was all ready and he didn’t come. But he’s not like the others. Peter, really not. He doesn’t care for money for itself. He says he wants it for a great purpose, for a great good that he’s going to do.”

Pupkin (gently and kindly).—“They all say that, Myra, dear.”

[Voices outside. Myra glances from the window.]

Myra.—“Here are some people coming. It’s Lawyer Macartney and Mr. Smith. I must go. I’ll talk with father.”

[Enter Mr. Smith and Lawyer Macartney. Smith, the proprietor of the hotel, is rotund, shrewd, kindly-looking. Macartney, grim, grizzled, rusty black, a wide-awake hat—a pettifogging country lawyer and selfish. There is nothing to admire in him.]

Mr. Smith (as they come in).—“Jeff ain’t in, eh? Don’t let me interrupt——”

Myra.—“Father will be back in a minute, Mr. Smith. Good afternoon, Mr. Macartney. If you’ll wait, father’ll be here in a minute. I must run now. Good-bye Peter.”


If I didn’t get in here once in a while to clean up, he’d have the place full of it.

Smith—Macartney.—“Good afternoon, Miss Myra.”

[Exit Myra.]

Smith.—“Getting a shave, eh, Pete?” (Laughs.)

Pupkin.—“Yes—that is—I just ran in—I thought I’d—have my hair cut—but I guess I’ll run along. They need me up at the bank——”

Smith (jocosely).—“Yes, and I guess Miss Myra might need you to walk up street with her—so long, Peter.”

[Exit Pupkin.]

[Smith and Macartney take papers and sit down. Smith takes a picture paper.]

Macartney (putting on his glasses and taking a look at the heading).—“I see here where it says that Sir Wilfred Laurier says——” (Jumps up with a start and dashes the paper to the table.) “Vuff! It’s the Mail!

Smith.—“What’s the matter?”

Macartney.—“Vuff! It’s the Toronto Mail—miserable Conservative rag” (he picks up the “Globe” and starts reading the headings with deep grunts and growls of internal satisfaction.) “Big Liberal gain in Essex—hm—bye election favors Laurier—hm—Conservative party doomed. That’s more like a newspaper.”

[There appears in the doorway Bill, the town constable of Mariposa. He wears a sort of uniform and carries a baton. He has a sleepy face.]

Constable (with a huge yawn).—“Jeff—in?”

Smith.—“Come in, Bill. Jeff’s up street. He’ll be here in a minute.”

Constable.—“Well (yawn). I guess I’ll (yawn) set down and wait—kind o’ thought—I’d get an egg shampoo. It helps to keep a feller awake,” (yawn).

[He takes a paper and sits down.]

Macartney.—“There’s two of us ahead of you already. Constable.”

Constable.—“S’all right. I aint in any hurry. Drowsy afternoon, aint it?”—(huge yawn).

Macartney.—“I suppose you are only in a hurry when you’re arresting somebody, eh, Constable? Har! Har!”

Constable.—“Aint arrested any yet—not here in Mariposa—only been here two years. Where I was before I arrested a feller once. Kind o’ complicated case.”

Macartney.—“What was it, murder?”

Bill.—“No—not altogether. Selling peanuts without a license. Made a big stir.” (yawn).

[The band as before heard rather faintly playing “O, Canada.” A steamboat whistles.]

Smith (looks out of window).—“Playing for the excursion, eh? They’d ought to get a good crowd to-day.”

[Voices outside.]

Smith.—“Here’s Jeff coming now.”

Jeff’s voice outside (very brisk).—“All right, ten cents a share, fifty shares. Done. I’ll take it.”

[The band continues to play “O, Canada,” and in comes Jefferson Thorpe. He enters with a buzz—half a sandwich in his hand, his pockets full of newspapers, mining journals and certificates, with a great air of business; he continues eating his sandwich, at the same time putting his newspapers down and changing into his barber’s coat.]

Jeff.—“Now, then, next! Whoever’s first’s next. Good afternoon Mr. Macartney—Josh—Bill—if any one of you’s going on the excursion I’ll take him first.”

[The three all start protesting in favor of the others.]

Smith.—“I aint in no hurry.”

Macartney.—“After you, Smith, after you.”

Bill.—“S’al right. You fellows go on.”

Jeff (briskly stropping his razor).—“Now then, is any of you three boys going on the excursion?”

Smith—Macartney.—“No, I didn’t think of it.”

Bill (yawning).—“Well I kind of thought I might take it in. I’m on duty. I’ve got to be somewhere.”

Jeff.—“All right. Come along then. I’ll shave you first.” (Motions Bill to the chair, cranks it back with a jolt till Bill is nearly flat, throws a barber’s sheet clean over him. Violent stropping of razor. Then he suddenly uncovers Bill.)

Jeff.—“Hot or cold water?”


Jeff.—“Hot it is.” (Covers him up again.) “I’ll just put the kettle on and boil it up.”

[He lights a very small flame, a mere taper, under a very large iron kettle. Then all at once an air of quiet leisure comes over Jeff’s movements. He comes back from the kettle to the chair and leans against it with his back to Bill. He takes a paper out of his pocket, puts on spectacles and starts to read it.]

Macartney.—“Is that the noon paper?”

Jeff.—“No. Train aint in yet (looking through the headings). Fair and warm. It’s last night’s. Ten-pound bass caught in the Lake. I was looking for a piece Johnson said was here. Aged couple celebrate—that’s not it. Old beaver dam found in Toronto Park—no—new coffer dam for Welland Canal—no——”

Smith.—“Beat’s all what a lot of noose there is in summer time.”

Jeff.—“Will damm all Niagara—no—Ohio breaks damm——”

Macartney.—“Are you looking for a silver mine?”

Jeff.—“Why, I thought it said something about the Lone Star, but it don’t seem to.”

Macartney.—“The Lone Star! Har! Har! You won’t find it in the paper any more. Why, the thing’s clean broke.”

Jeff.—“Broke! Why I tell you that mine’s just beginning. There’s more money in that mine——”

[Enter Andy, the man of all work at Smith’s Hotel. He has a club foot that drags, and a decent face, and speaks with a hunk-de-hunk in his voice.]

Andy (looking toward Smith).—“Say, Billy sent me over from the bar. That stranger that just come in from Toronto this morning wants a drink.”

Smith.—“Well, why don’t Billy give it to him?”

Andy.—“He says he wants a Noo York Golden Fizz.”

Smith.—“Well, tell Billy to make him one.”

Andy.—“Billy says he don’t know how.”

Smith.—“He don’t? Well tell him to—to take about a half a pint of whiskey and—is there any eggs in the bar?”

Andy.—“Only what was there from last week.”

Smith.—“Them’ll do. Tell him to put a couple of eggs in—and anything else he’s got handy—and to shake it up good. That’s a Sparkling Fizz. And tell him to shake it behind the bar, see?”

Andy.—“Behind the bar!” (Starts to go out.)

Smith.—“Yes—and say—(Andyis now outside the door). Tell Billy them Golden Fizzes is fifty cents apiece—or sixty cents for two if he wants another.”

Andy (off stage in the street).—“Alright.”

Smith (gets up and speaks through the door).—“Or, Andy! Tell Billy sixty cents—he won’t want two.”

Macartney.—“Who is this stranger, Josh?”

Smith.—“Dunno. Come in this morning’s train.”

Jeff.—“Mining man, do you think?”

Smith.—“Dunno. Come in off the early train. Asked for a room with a bath.”

Macartney and Jeff.—“Room with a bath!”

Bill (putting hit head up from under his sheet).—“A room with a bath!”

Jeff.—“What’s his idea in that?”

Smith.—“Why, they say it’s all the go now in the big hotels in the city. If you have a room with a bath right in it, no one need ever know if you take a bath or not.”

Jeff.—“That’s it. Get down again, Bill! I haven’t forgotten you. Quick shave you want, I know. The water’s just heating. Well, you boys were just talking of the Lone Star Mine, and I was just going to say——”

[Door opens and there enters Mr. Mullins, manager of the Exchange Bank, Mariposa. Neat and business-like, light grey suit, clean shaven.]

Mullins.—“Thorpe here? Good morning, Jeff.”

Jeff.—“Good morning, Mr. Mullins. You’re next. I was just giving Bill a hurry-up shave, but I guess he can wait if you’re in a hurry——”

Mullins.—“No, no, it’s all right,” (picks up a paper). “Well, Jeff (jocosely) how are stocks and shares to-day? Made your fortune this morning?”

Jeff.—“Why, I was just starting to tell the boys about the Lone Star Mine.”

Mullins.—“Oh, yes, that’s the one that you say the city crowd were scrambling for, eh?” (laughs).

Jeff.—“Yes, sir, she’s the biggest proposition between Cobalt and the Hudson’s Bay to-day.” (Looking around among his shelves and pulling out papers) “There’s the shares of her—no, that’s not. That’s the Kippewa—four cents a share, ten per cent. cumulative preferred. That’s a big thing, too. I just had an argument with Johnson. He said she was no good. So I bought in his shares. There (taking a blue certificate) that’s the Lone Star (gives it to Mullins). See what it says.”

Mullins (reading).—“Lone Star Mining Company, Limited, par value one dollar. Well, what about it?”

Jeff.—“Well, I bought them for twenty cents. There’s eighty cents clear profit right at the start.”

Mullins.—“Why, no, not necessarily.”

Jeff.—“Oh, I know it might be more. Might go away above par. Of course, the Nipissing and some of them big mines, with a par of one dollar have gone clean to five, ten and fifty dollars a share. But I’m not reckoning on that. That’s mere speculation. I say, take it simply at par——”

Macartney.—“Par! Pough! Par! How will it ever get to par?”

Jeff.—“It would get there alright if they give the mine a chance. But they won’t. I bought her at twenty. What was she next day? Eighteen cents. Then sixteen, and inside a fortnight ten cents. Then I knew they were trying to shove her down, the city crowd. I let them shove. They worked her down to five cents. I hung on. They got her down to three cents. All right, I says, you can’t make me quit, you can’t make me let go, my grip’s firm, says I. Come on!” (Jeff is acting in Pantomine the struggle for the shares.) “They beat her down to two cents—I clung to her. Then to one cent.”

Mullins.—“And then?”

Jeff.—“They shoved her clean off the market. Put her out of the newspapers. But wait, wait, I tell you, gentlemen—the day’s going to come—you’ll see it come. Wait you’ll see it come. (Jeff speak with a sort of suppressed excitement, half to himself, moving about and arranging towels and things without seeing what he is doing.) There’s a fortune—I know it—a big fortune.”

Mullins.—“And then you’ll be endowing a university?”

Jeff (turning about).—“When I get my money, no university nor no professor shall over see a cent of it. Let the professors work.”

Mullins.—“What then, public libraries?”

Jeff.—“Not one cent.”

Mullins.—“What will you do with it?”

Jeff.—“Do with it? It’ll be my money. I’ll do with it what I want to do with it.”

Smith (his tone is quiet, as if concerned for Jeff’s avarice).—“Jeff, you’d do better to let it all alone. There’s no money in that Cobalt country. I’ve seen it all, from the Mattawa clear down to the Bay—just rock and pine and desolation. For a dollar in silver you find in it you lose ten in getting it. Jeff, quit it. There’s nothing to it.”

Jeff.—“I don’t say it’s all good. There’s some of it——”

[The door opens and Nora, the new Irish help at Smith’s, enters. She comes in in a hesitating way. The men turn and look at her. She is very pretty.]

Jeff.—“Good morning, Nora.”

Nora.—“Good morning, Mr. Thorpe. Oh, Mr. Smith, the strange gentleman sent me out to get cigars.”

[At the sound of Nora’s voice Bill comes up from the sheet and remains looking at her open mouthed.]

Smith.—“Aint there cigars in the hotel?”

Nora.—“He says the ones over there aren’t good enough. He wants two for half a dollar” (showing the fifty cents).

Smith.—“He wants two for half a dollar. Well, he’ll get ’em. Jeff, what have you got in the case there?”

Jeff (looking over the case carefully).—“I’ve some pretty good ones here. Claridad perfectos, eight cents each—two for twenty. And I’ve the Idealas—they’re a good cigar—twelve cents each.”

Smith.—“All right, Jeff—give her two of them. Wrap them up in something—separately. It looks better.”

[Jeff looks about him. Picks up what is evidently a mining share (a big pink certificate, lying on a shelf and evidently the same as the ones Mrs. Gillis threw away), tears large bits off it and wraps up the cigars.]

Nora (giving Jeff the fifty cents).—“Is that right, Mr. Thorpe?—twelve cents each, two for half a dollar. I don’t understand the Canadian money.”

Smith (breaking in).—“No, but you’ll get on to it after awhile. It’s quite easy.”

Nora (about to go out).—“And the stranger gentleman wanted to know where he could get a quick shave.”

Jeff.—“Right here. Nora. Tell him right here.”

Nora.—“All right. Mr. Thorpe. I’ll tell him.”

[Exit Nora.]

Mullins.—“Who’s the girl?”

Smith.—“She’s the noo help over at my place. Came yesterday.”

Bill.—“Some help, all right. Her voice is peculiar. Where’s she from (yawn)—Lower Canada?”


Bill (with a yawn).—“I noticed there was something in her voice. In the police business we get pretty quick at sizing up voices.” (Jeff is stropping a razor.) “Oh, say, Jeff. I forgot. I didn’t want a shave. What I wanted was an egg shampoo.”

Jeff.—“An egg shampoo?”

Bill.—“Yes, it sort of freshens a fellow up.”

Jeff.—“A quick shampoo?”


Jeff.—“All right—now. Just sit up in the chair a little higher. There! Now then—a quick shampoo—an egg shampoo—now where have I put the eggs? They were here last week all right.” (Jeff starts moving about the shop looking for the things he needs and talking to himself.) “Egg-shampoo—egg-shampoo—a quick-egg shampoo.” (In looking about he picks up the other part of the certificate that he tore up for the cigars and holds it up and half looks at it as he says)—“no, I don’t say that all the mines are good—egg shampoo—here’s one where I got stung—egg shampoo.”

Macartney.—“What is that?”

Jeff (giving him the scrip).—“Read what it says—egg shampoo.”

Macartney (reading the first half of the certificate that is still complete).—“Corona Jewel Mining Corporation Interim Option Certificate—I see—I see. . . In consideration, etc. I see—the sum of five cents lawful money of the Dominion, etc., etc., J. Thorpe. Esq., of Mariposa—I see—Option to purchase etc., etc. One share, etc. Further payment of 25 cents. Oh, yes. I see—you paid five cents as an option and can pay twenty-five cents more to own the share outright.”

Mullins (laughing).—“Well, you don’t lose much on that deal. Jeff. That’s only five cents.”

Jeff (still hunting for eggs and speaking abstractedly).—“Egg-shampoo. One share, Mr. Mullins?—I’ve got about four or five hundred of them somewhere in the shop—I thought—egg shampoo—they were in that drawer, but they don’t seem to be—egg shampoo.”

Smith.—“How did you get them shares?”

Jeff.—“Off a feller that wanted a trade. Traded him my winter coat. I don’t need it in summer. And then Jim Eliot and three or four of the boys took a lot of the same shares. Then later when they found they couldn’t sell them they put the blame on me—egg shampoo—for leading them into it they says. So I took the whole lot off their hands—just not to have any bad feeling. As I say, I’ve got, I guess, five hundred shares—but you see they’re no good—and a feller’d have to go and pay cash money down, twenty-five cents a share before he’d own them anyway—egg shampoo.”

Macartney (still examining).—“And you’d have to take them up pretty quick—see what it says—payable at the Head Office of the Company or at any branch of the Exchange Bank of Canada. Why, it’s through your bank, eh, Mullins?”

Mullins.—“Is that so? I didn’t know it. They make out options like that every day. But we hardly keep track of them Nobody ever takes them up.”

Macartney.—“Well, Jeff’d need to be pretty quick. It says, the option’s to expire at 2 p.m. of June 30, nineteen hundred—why that’s this afternoon.”

Jeff.—“Is it? Well, it’s all the same to me—egg shampoo. They ain’t worth nothing anyway (he shuts the drawer decisively). I ain’t got any eggs, Bill. I’ll have to give you a Roman massage instead.”

Smith.—“Ain’t got no eggs. Hold on a minute.” (He goes to the door and calls.) “Andy, go into the bar and ask Billy for a half a dozen eggs.”

Jeff.—“No, sir, with shares like those you got to just write them off. That’s the only way in business—in big business. If you gain anything you count it so much to your credit; if you lose, then you write it off, see——”

[Enter Andy with an old black hat with six tough-looking eggs.]

Andy.—“Billy says he doubts they’re very fresh.”

Jeff.—“That’s all right. They’s no call to be fresh, not for a shampoo.”

[Exit Andy.]

[Jeff takes out the eggs from the hat and puts them on the ledge. He takes one in his hand as if to break it on Bill’s head.]

Jeff.—“You see, boys, when you begin to get an insight into big business——.” (Now and in what follows he constantly makes a motion as if about to smash the egg on Bill’s head, and is constantly checked either by his own talk or someone else’s.)

[Enter Gillis (caretaker and messenger of the bank), a heavy, shambling, unkempt man with thick black hair, bloodshot eyes and the loose stoop of a drunkard. He stands, half swaying in the doorway.]

Gillis.—“Mr. Mullins here?”

Mullins (briskly).—“Yes.”

Gillis.—“They want you right away up at the bank.”

Mullins.—“What’s the trouble?”

Gillis.—“I don’t know. Mr. Pupkin says it’s confidential. I heard him explaining it to the folks in the bank. But the place is so full of people I couldn’t understand right—but he said it would be two o’clock in fifteen minutes—unless you came right away. That’s all I understand.”

Mullins (getting his hat and stick in a hurry).—“Yes, I guess it is. (Contemptuously) See, here, my man, you’ve been drinking. You’re drunk.”

Gillis.—“I’m not drunk.”

Mullins.—“You’re drunk and you’re drunk while you’re on bank business. Now, I’ve warned you once. I warn you again. Let me see you drunk again in bank hours and out you go. Do you understand, out you go——”

Gillis (with dark anger in his eyes).—“Don’t you threaten me or boss or no boss, by God I’ll——” (he lurches forward with his fist closed).

Smith (interposing and taking hold of him).—“Here. Ben, don’t be a damn fool. (He leads him by the arm to the door.) Mr. Mullins is right. You’re drunk. Go over to the hotel and sit down in the bar and get sober—for your wife’s sake, now, go and sit in the bar.” (He puts Gillis out.)

Mullins.—“If it weren’t for his wife I wouldn’t keep that drunken brute a day! Well, I must get up to the bank.”


Jeff (going on with his egg preparation).—“So as I was saying, every loss should be written off well before it happens——”

[Enter Slyde. Well dressed, city man, air of a crook; over-polite.]

Jeff.—“Come in, come right in, sir. I’m just giving this man a sort of a rush shampoo. You’re next.”

Smith.—“Jeff, this is the gentleman from Noo York that we was speaking about, over to the hotel. Mr. Slyde, shake hands with Mr. Thorpe (they shake hands) And this is Mr. Macartney. And this is Bill—of the police.”

Slyde (with sudden apprehensive start at the word police).—“Eh?”

Bill (with a great yawn).—“Police—and detective-service,” (yawns, and practically falls asleep as he sits).

Slyde.—“I’ve been hearing a lot about you Mr. Thorpe. They tell me down in the city you’re one of the big men in the mining business up here.”

Jeff.—“Oh, I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t put it that way. No, not one of the big men. They said big, did they?”

Slyde.—“Yes, that’s what they say.”

Jeff.—“Big, well—no—I’m free to say there are thousands of men—yes hundreds of them that know more than I do about the mines—dozens of them—half a dozen, anyway. There must be half a dozen—I should think—somewhere.”

Slyde.—“Well, I don’t know anything about mines. It’s not my business. But I said to some friends of mine, pretty big men in the city. I’ve got to go up to Mariposa and I think. I’ll pick up a few hundred dollars of mining stock. ‘All right,’ they said, ‘you go to Jeff Thorpe.’ ”

Jeff.—“They did, eh?”

Smith (with a laugh).—“Sell him some of that mine you wrap cigars in!”

Jeff.—“No, no. I wouldn’t sell a man a thing like that. But here, now did you ever hear them talk in the city of the Lone Star.” (Takes out certificate.)

Slyde.—“No, I can’t say——”

Jeff.—“No, I guess they’re keeping it pretty quiet. They’ve got her shoved off the market. But that mine——”

Macartney.—“That’s a wonderful mine. Pretty near as good as the Corona Jewel, itself.”

Slyde (quickly).—“ ‘Corona Jewels’. Is that the name? I’m not used to these names. Have you got some options on that?” (Smith looks up.)

Jeff.—“About five hundred, but I wouldn’t sell you them. They’re just waste paper. That’d be cheating you.”

Smith.—“Say, stranger, what made you call them options? Who said they was options——”


[Voices outside.]

“Toronto morning papers—noon edition—Toronto morning papers——”

Smith and Macartney.—“There’s the papers in off the train.”

[Exit Smith and Macartney hurriedly.]

Bill (wakes with a yawn).—“Finished, eh? (looking in the glass). Say that looks fine—feels a lot better, too. Nothing like a shampoo to make a feller feel fresh. What is it. Jeff, twenty-five——”

Jeff (absent-mindedly).—“No, twenty without massage. I don’t think I gave you a massage, did I? Twenty—all right—good afternoon, Bill.”

[Exit Bill.]

Slyde (moves quickly and decisively, with the air of a man who knows his own mind and wants to make the most of a limited time).—“Mr. Thorpe, if you got any interim options on the shares of the Corona Jewel Mine, I’d like to buy them from you (checking himself a little). That is, just for fun.”

Jeff.—“Why. Mr. Slyde——”

Slyde.—“Oh, I’m not a mining man. I don’t know anything about the mine, or any other mine, but I thought being here (he takes out a roll of bills) just for fun now. I’ll pay you five cents a share for the five hundred——”

Jeff.—“Why, it’s this way——”

Slyde.—“Come, I’ll pay you ten cents.”

Jeff.—“I couldn’t do it, Mr. Slyde. You see if you were in the mining business, I’d do it in a minute. Between two mining men any deal’s fair. But you’re just a plain, honest outsider. You say to me, ‘Thorpe, I don’t know anything about the mine.’ I answer, ‘All right, I do, and I won’t sell it to you. It’s not worth a cent.’ ”

Slyde.—“That’s all right now. You’ve got your price. Name it.”

Jeff.—“What do you mean, I’ve got my price?”

Slyde.—“I mean I know what you’re up to. If twenty cents a share won’t buy the shares, what will?”

Jeff (indignantly).—“Do you think I’d lie about them shares? You think I’m that kind of——”

[Enter Myra hurriedly.]

Myra.—“Are you Mr. Slyde?”


Myra.—“I’m from the telephone exchange. Long distance is calling you. New York wants to speak to you and they said it’s a hurry up call.”

Slyde.—“Is there a ’phone here?”

Myra.—“No. You can go up to the exchange, or across to the hotel.”

Slyde.—“I’ll be back, Mr. Thorpe.”


Myra.—“Father, who is that man? (looks after him). I don’t like him.”

Jeff (with a certain indignation on him).—“Like him? I guess not. He as good as called me a cheat, a liar.”


Jeff.—“Over a mining deal—shares he wanted to buy. The Corona Jewel mine. Thought I was running the price up on him—thought I was dishonest about it. Can’t a man buy and sell shares and be honest?”

Myra.—“Oh, father, it’s about that I’ve been wanting so much to talk to you.”

Jeff.—“Why, Myra!”

Myra.—“You won’t be angry, will you, father?”


Myra.—“No, I know you won’t. But, father, don’t you think it’s all a mistake, you trying to buy and sell mines?”

Jeff.—“A mistake? Why, look at that and that (getting certificates from the shelves and drawer). There, the Lonely Lake. I bought that for 20 cents a share, two hundred shares. Suppose it rises to a dollar—to five dollars—to ten dollars a share—suppose it rises to a hundred—”

Myra.—“I know, father, but——”

Jeff.—“Didn’t the Mattawa go to five hundred dollars a share. Didn’t the Nipissing?”

Myra.—“I know, father, and, of course I know how clever you are and how easily you could make money but father, is it worth it all?”

Jeff.—“Worth it?”

Myra.—“Yes, worth it. Surely we were so content and so happy and nice when you came home, and I got supper for you and you told me all about what had happened in the day. And now, it’s getting all so changed.”


Myra.—“Yes, father, changed. Everything around is. Father, I didn’t mean to say it, but even your friends, even people like Mr. Smith, that like you so much, see it and they’re saying——”

Jeff.—“Yes, they’re saying——”

Myra.—“That—that—you’ve altered, that you’ve grown different, so eager and anxious for money. You think only of money——”



Jeff.—“That I think—only—of money——”

Myra.—“Father, father. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

Jeff.—“That I think—only—of money. Is that it? Do they think, do you think, I want money just for myself, or even just for you. Myra, I didn’t mean to tell you now, it’s for your mother’s sake. Myra, for your mother’s memory that I want the money. Something I want to do.”


Jeff.—“It was something that she wanted done, if we ever got rich, she and I, here in Canada. I never told you this, but—she was ‘in service,’ your mother was (Jeff speaks with a sort of sudden and bitter passion). That’s what they call it, ‘in service.’ Yes, and more than that, before that, she was a workhouse child, my Martha was. And it was the bread of charity she ate the bread of charity and tears.”

Myra.—“But, father, you needn’t have kept it back from me. I could love mother’s memory just as well.”

Jeff.—“Her memory! Aye, I’ll see to that. Give me the money and I’ll see to that. You don’t know the old country, Myra. It’s not like this, the old country. Here it’s a land of hope and sunshine—and there’s a chance for all. But there it’s hard—bitter hard—for the poor—for folks like Martha and me. And we were married—that’s five and twenty years ago—and come to Canada—and we thought, as they all think, that some day we’d be rich—and we planned she and I did—what we’d do—that we’d take money and found a home—a real home of kindness and sunshine—for destitute children like my Martha was. That’s how we planned it. And I worked and waited and some how the fortune didn’t come. There were no mines then—and then, and then—just after you were born—I lost her——”


Jeff.—“Even at the last she spoke it—her hand in mine—her voice so faint—‘Don’t forget,’ she said. I have never forgotten. I waited. There seemed no chance. Then the silver mines were found, here close beside us. And I knew. I knew, that it had come (Jeff is greatly agitated). Too late for her, but it had come. Martha! Martha!” (He is greatly moved and stands with his hands clenched at his side, gazing into space. There is a moment’s pause before Myra speaks.)

Myra.—“Oh, father, there are people coming. They seem excited. I’ll go out this way.”

[Enter Macartney, Smith and Bill. They are in a state of great excitement, Macartney brandishing newspaper.]

Smith.—“Say, Jeff, here’s one for you, all right.”

Macartney.—“Say, wouldn’t that wake a feller up——”

Jeff (recovering himself from his emotion).—“Eh—yes—eh?”

Smith.—“Listen to this. Read it out to him, lawyer. There’s something big doing.”

Macartney.—“Here it is—noon paper (reads). ‘Toronto. June 30. Great silver strike in Cobalt. It is rumored in mining circles that startling disclosures will be made within the next twenty-four hours. It is being said on the exchange that a vein of silver of almost fabulous richness has just been discovered in one of the newer mines. It appears that the mine in question was not regarded as a paying proposition and the company professing to operate it was only organized for speculation purposes. Interim options had been unloaded on the buying public with no expectation of real development. It now appears that the new mine, the name of which is being zealously guarded, is likely to prove. . . . At the time of going to press the whole exchange was in commotion with wild bidding for favored shares.’ ”

Jeff.—“What’s the mine? What’s the mine? Don’t it say the name?”

Macartney.—“No, it doesn’t say.”

Bill.—“Don’t they know. Somebody must know.”

Smith.—“What sort a fool newspaper——” (all together).

Jeff (excitedly starting to strop a razor).—“I know it. It’s the Lone Star. I always knew it was a fortune. Here, I’ve got the shares of it—here and here—or, no, I bet it’s the——”

[Enter Slyde, hurriedly and eagerly.]

Slyde.—“Now, Mr. Thorpe, our little deal. Let’s close it up, eh? Five hundred options—or what was the name of it—the Corona Jewel—wasn’t that it? I’ll buy——”

Smith.—“Hold on with that. Buy shares off him? Ain’t you heard there’s a million dollar boom on? Not a share do you buy off Jeff. All he has is his’n. Jeff ain’t selling anything now.”

Slyde.—“Why, I——”

[Enter Myra, hurriedly.]

Myra.—“Father, those shares you spoke of. Don’t sell! The news has just come——”

Jeff.—“Myra. Myra. Keep calm, don’t be excited. It’s only business (stropping a razor in violent agitation). Who’s next—who wants a shave?”

Myra.—“I heard it over the telephone wires and came right out. I’ll lose my place for telling it—the mine——”

[Voices outside of newsboys on the street. “Special edition Mariposa ‘Newspacket.’ Corona Jewel Mine. Great silver strike. Corona Jewel Mine.”]

[Enter Norah.]

Norah.—“Mr. Thorpe, they want you right over at the hotel on the telephone.”

Jeff.—“Telephone, yes, telephone.” (trying to change his coat).

[Exit Norah, enter Andy.]

Andy.—“Mr. Thorpe, the telegraph office is calling for you to come up there.”

[Voices of men outside, “Corona Jewel—Corona Jewel—Great silver strike.”]

Jeff.—“The telegraph, yes, the telegraph.” (trying to brush his hair).

[Enter Pupkin, wildly excited.]

Pupkin.—“Mr. Thorpe. Mr. Thorpe—right away. Come to the bank. The manager—Corona Jewel option——”

Jeff.—“Yes, yes, the bank. I’ll just shave.”

Pupkin.—“By two o’clock—ten minutes. It’s millions—Mr. Mullins has the transfer ready. He says hurry the shares—buy the shares. He says it’s confidential.”

Jeff.—“Yes, the shares. Corona Jewel shares. Here they are. Where are they? There are five hundred shares——”

Macartney.—“My dear Thorpe—my dear fellow—congratulations. Keep calm—get the shares.”

Smith.—“Keep steady, Jeff—don’t you know——”

Jeff.—“Yes, right here in that drawer. (They all make a run at it and tear it open)—or in this (another run). No, up here in the shelves.” (general scramble).

Jeff (pausing and regaining calm a little).—“They were here, they were here yesterday. I’ve mislaid them.”

Myra.—“Father, I know. Mrs. Gillis when she cleaned——”

Jeff.—“That’s it—Mrs. Gillis.”

Macartney and Bill.—“Mrs. Gillis!”

Smith.—“She’s right across there cleaning the hotel steps. Mrs. Gillis!” (He rises).

Macartney and Bill.—“Mrs. Gillis!” (They all three make a rush to drag her over from the hotel).

Jeff (still hunting).—“They were here—or else there—or no—here——”

[Re-enter Smith, Macartney and Bill hauling in Mrs. Gillis.]

Smith.—“The shares——”

Macartney.—“When you cleaned——”

Bill.—“The Corona Jewel——”

Jeff.—“Keep calm.”

Mrs. Gillis.—“Land sakes! What——”

Macartney (dominating everybody with his voice).—“Stop! Stop! Don’t fluster her—don’t shout at her—now, Mrs. Gillis, I put it to you with all the brevity and clearness of which I am capable. When you cleaned, swept up, dusted, and otherwise, adjusted, tidied—any word you like—this room—premises, shop—call it what you will—did you or did you not see any interim option share certificates! Good God! Can language be plainer?—of the Corona Jewel Mining Co., Incorporated——”

Mrs. Gillis (her mouth falling open).—“Oh, Coroney Jewel——”

All.—“Yes! Yes! Corona Jewel.”

Mrs. Gillis.—“Why sure enough—when I came in here to dust what should I see but a whole packet of them there lying on the floor.”

All.—“Yes, yes, and what did——”

Mrs. Gillis.—“Why, I thought Mr. Thorpe will want them put away somewhere and so——”

All.—“Yes, yes.”

Mrs. Gillis.—“Why, I packed them all away in there” (points to the Hot and Cold Baths).

[The men make a rush for the place, bursting open the door.]

Macartney.—“Here they are, Thorpe. Here they are, my dear Thorpe. Ten, fifty——”

[Re-enter Pupkin.]

Pupkin.—“For heaven’s sake, in five minutes, it’ll be too late and Mr. Mullins says you must bring the money, in cash, to take up the option. Twenty-five cents a share—a hundred and twenty-five dollars.”

Jeff.—“A hundred and twenty-five dollars?”

Pupkin.—“Yes, don’t you see? It has to be cash, paid before two o’clock, to hold the option. Don’t you see?”

Jeff.—“A hundred and twenty-five dollars—why, Peter (in blank despair) I haven’t got it!”

Slyde (who has been all this time a spectator).—“Why, Mr. Thorpe, here’s where perhaps I can be of some help. (Taking out money.) I’ll go in with you in this. I’ll pay the hundred and twenty-five and take half and half on all that—”

Smith.—“You will like hell! Them shares is Jeff’s. (He strides to the door and calls across the street.) Billy, take the money in the bar, all the money—give it to Andy to bring over here. Yes, all right, put it in that! Hurry. Jeff. A hundred and twenty-five——”

[Enter Andy with an old satchel. Smith grabs it and dumps out a mass of money—coppers, silver, bills—on the table.]

Smith.—“There! That’s what my bar can do. Here, Pete, ten, twenty, fifty—that’s right. You take it, Pete. Come on boys to the bank. Hurry—scoot!”

[Exit Pupkin with the money accompanied by Smith, Macartney and Billin a flock. Slyde follows them out.]

Jeff (his back to the wall, all excited and yet collected).—“Are they still in time? Look from the window.”

Myra (looking sideways from the window).—“Yes, yes. I think so. I can’t see well. There’s such a crowd in front of the bank. Yes, yes, they’ve gone in (turns and comes swiftly to him). Father, you’re ill!”

Jeff.—“No, no, only faint. It’s nothing—it’s sudden—it’s been so long—never thought it would come—her wish. Look, look again. I daren’t look. Are they in time?”

Myra (clapping her hands).—“Yes, yes. Oh, father, there’s Peter—he’s come out of the bank. He’s waving his hands and shouting. It’s all right. It’s all right. There’s Mr. Smith. He’s telling the band to play. Oh, father!”

Jeff.—“It has come. I’m rich—rich—rich. Martha! Martha!”

[The band plays “O, Canada” as curtain goes down.]


Two Months Later.

Scene: Thorpe’s Mining and Land Exchange, Mariposa, formerly Thorpe’s Barber Shop.

The place is transformed. The Hot and Cold Baths are gone. There is a glazed side door (leading evidently to an inner room) with the words “Mr. Thorpe, Private.” Round the walls are big placards, stock sheets, bond advertisements, etc.—especially one of Cuban Land Company; big pictures of Harbor of Havana, etc., etc. In one corner is a clumsy old-fashioned safe with big combination wheel lock. There is one barber’s chair in a corner, but no sign of mugs, razors or appliances. The curtain rises on Myra seated at a typewriter table, operating a machine. Mrs. Gillis is cleaning the windows outside; one gets an occasional glimpse of her through the window and hears the swish as she swabs the water against the panes. She is only in sight now and again.

[Enter Jeff. Very neat and spruce, Panama hat, sportive-looking green suit, arm full of letters and mail.]

Myra.—“Oh, father, what a lot of letters!”

Jeff.—“A good many, a good many—naturally—can’t run a business the size of mine without getting a lot (dumps the letters on a table then starts picking them up one by one looking at the addresses and reading them). ‘J. Thorpe, Esq.,’ ‘Thorpe’s Mining and Land Exchange,’ ‘The Thorpe Land Agency,’ ‘Jefferson Thorpe, Law and Mining Agent.’ ” (He reads them in a self-important voice.) “ ‘Jeff Thorpe, Barber, Mariposa’—hump! Ignorant ass! How do you like my new hat, Myra?” (he goes and looks in the glass).

Myra.—“Awfully nice, father.”

Jeff.—“A hundred dollars.”

Myra.—“Oh, father! I didn’t think there was a hat in Mariposa that cost that much.”

Jeff.—“There wasn’t—special price—just for one. They sent to Panama for it. Feel how light it is, eh?”

Myra.—“It seems awfully expensive, father.”

Jeff.—“Not at all—not for a man in my position. Only yesterday Mr. Slyde said to me, ‘Mr. Thorpe, you ought to wear a hundred-dollar hat. People expect it.’ Do you know what Mr. Morgan’s hat in New York costs, Myra?”

Myra.—“No, father.”

Jeff.—“A thousand dollars. Slyde said so himself. And, anyway, now that I’m to be a director of the Land Company (Mr. Slyde and Mr. Harstone both insist I’m to be on the Board) I’ll have to dress up to it. Slyde says so every day.”

Myra (a little weary).—“Father, I wish you didn’t always quote Mr. Slyde so much. I don’t like him.”

Jeff.—“Nonsense, Myra. You took against Slyde because what he did a few months ago. You were quite wrong, all wrong about it. Ask Peter. Slyde is a big-hearted man—big-hearted. What he was trying to do that day—he’s told me so—was to save me pain, to save my feelings. He meant to buy in the shares and then hand them over to me (breaking off). Where’s Andy?”

Myra.—“He went up to the painters about the new sign to go over the door. He’s not back yet.”

Jeff.—“Oh, no, Myra. Slyde is a big man. And so’s his partner, Mr. Harstone. I owe them a lot. Without them I’d never have got into the Cuban Land Company. I’d still have been bothering away with Cobalt Silver mines and small things like that. But as Mr. Harstone says, ‘you may make a quarter million in Cobalt—But what of it? That’s all you’ll make. Come in with us and you’ll roll over a million in the next six months.’ Roll it over. That’s what he said. Did I show you the telegram from General Perrico?”

Myra.—“No, father. Who is he?”

Jeff.—“The head of the company in New York. This is what he says. ‘Willing to place Mr. Thorpe on board of directors of company on receipt of fifty thousand dollars, unless Rockefeller or Morgan objects.’ ”

Myra.—Rockefeller and Morgan!

Jeff.—No less.

Myra.—But why should they object? I don’t understand.

Jeff.—Jealous. That’s why it’s to be kept quiet. Harstone says not to tell anybody here about it just yet. By the way Mr. Harstone and Mr. Slyde haven’t been in yet, have they?

Myra.—No father, not yet.

Jeff (looking at his watch).—They ought to be here soon.

[Enter Andy.]

Andy.—(puts his head in at the door)—The painters got the sign all ready. Will I bring it down?

Jeff.—Yes, go and bring it, Andy.

[Exit Andy.]

Jeff.—Was anybody else in?

Myra.—Mr. Macartney. He’s coming back.

Jeff.—Yes, I know.

Myra.—And there was a man came in asking to get shaved; he wanted to know if you still did shaving.

Jeff.—If I still did shaving! What does he think? Does he think I’m too proud to shave him? He little knows me.

Myra.—I told him to come back in a few minutes. Shall I get your white coat father, so that you’ll be ready?

[Myra gets Jeff’s little white coat out of the drawer. Jeff takes off his good coat and goes to put on the barber’s jacket.]

Jeff.—Certainly I’ll put it on! Do you think I’m too proud to wear a white coat just because I’ve made $100,000? Certainly I—ll—put—the—(getting into it with difficulty and disgust)—damn thing on. (Squaring it in front of the glass)—Myra, I don’t believe this coat fits. I’ve outgrown it.

Myra.—Oh father, you’ve worn it for years.

Jeff (tearing it off).—It’s damp I won’t wear it. A damp coat is simply death. Give me my other—Ah! That fits better. Anyway, I’ll have to write my letters first. If anybody comes in he must wait. Now, let’s see (pulls open a letter and reads it to himself in a couple of seconds and starts to answer it as he walks up and down, Myra seating herself at the typewriter).

Jeff (dictating like blue lightning).—Dear Sir,—In answer to your esteem favor of the 28 proximo, I beg to state—

Myra.—Oh, too fast, father, too fast.

Jeff.—Too fast! That machine can do 200 words a minute. They said so when I got it.

Myra.—Yes, but I can’t—You see, father, it takes time to learn this wretched thing. It’s awfully nice of you to pay me two hundred dollars a month to be your secretary, but really it’s far more than I’m worth. But then you pay everybody too much.


Myra (consulting a little account book).—Look, father, last month. Andy for helping in shop, $100, Mrs. Gillis for cleaning $100. But I don’t mind that. Poor thing, she’ll need it. Is it true father that Mr. Mullins has dismissed Gillis.

Jeff.—I’m afraid so Myra. He couldn’t do anything else. Ben’s not fit to be a caretaker. He’s drinking too much. Perhaps I can do something for him. I might get him on the board of a company, or something where his drinking won’t matter.

Myra (still looking at the accounts).—That money for Mrs. Gillis was all right I suppose. Then look at this. You sent Mr. Macartney, all the way to New York but two weeks ago. Hundreds and hundreds, that cost.

Jeff.—That was merely business. Macartney went as my lawyer to look into the Cuban Land Company. I wanted to know it was all right, but before I put $50,000 into it.

Myra.—But father, Mr. Macartney’s expenses without his fee were over two hundred dollars for two days. Could Mr. Macartney really eat and drink two hundred dollars in two days?

Jeff (shaking his head).—In New York you can.

Myra.—Look at this (pointing to an item) midnight supper, 20 dollars.

Jeff.—Exactly—that shows. There was Macartney working away till midnight,—in my interest. Think of that man, Myra, slaving away, and not able to break off and get supper till midnight! It touches me.

Myra.—Then I won’t say any more, father. But have we really got all this money?

Jeff.—It’s not what we have, Myra, that counts. It’s what we’re going to have. Do you know how much I realized on the Corona Jewel Mine?


Jeff.—A hundred and twelve thousand dollars!

Myra.—A hundred and twelve thousand dollars!

Jeff.—Sixty thousand is being deeded to the Home. Macartney has the papers nearly ready. And fifty thousand was sent two days ago to New York to the Cuban Land Company. Harstone and Slyde will be in here this morning to tell me if they’ve taken it. (Impatiently walking up and down.) By——, I hope they take it!

Myra.—Why shouldn’t they take it?

Jeff.—Harstone says it all depends on General Perrico, the head of the Company. He’s a Cuban, and you know how proud the Cubans are. He might not take it. But Harstone is using all his influence. He has great hopes—he’ll know this morning. And, Myra, if I get that fifty thousand dollars worth of stock, in one year, or less, it will be worth five hundred thousand dollars!

Myra.—Oh, father, is that possible?

Jeff.—It’s not only possible—it’s a fact. It’s in the prospectus (pulling out of his pocket a printed sheet and reading), “It is confidently expected that in one year or less the stock of the company will advance to ten times its par value.”

Here you are, here is Cuba.

Myra.—It seems too wonderful.

Jeff.—You all said that about the Corona Jewel—and wasn’t I right? But this time I want all my friends to share in it. Harstone is asking the General to allot another ten thousand of stock for my friends. All they have to do is to give me their money—much or little, he says—just what they have. He says the company is prepared to treat any friends of mine as they’d treat me! This time I want everybody in Mariposa to be rich! I want the whole town to be rich—all of us! But stop, I must get these letters. (Opening one.) Ha, didn’t I say so? (Opening a great fat letter from which falls a big roll of bills.) There you are, first thing!

Myra.—What is it, father?

Jeff (looking at the letter).—From Bill Evans. (Reading.) “I enclose two hundred and fifty dollars; please give me the worth of it in your new Cuban Land Company. I may be able to raise her to two hundred and fifty-five next month.” The worth of it? I’ll give him ten times the worth of it. I’ll write to Bill at once. Put this down. “Dear Friend Bill”—no, no—“William Evans, Esqre., Constable of Mariposa, Mariposa Street, Mariposa.” That’s better—“Yours of the 29th proximo received——”

Myra.—Proximo, father? Shouldn’t it be ultimo?

Jeff (thinking it over).—Proximo—ultimo—proximo. I think proximo sounds neater, more business-like.

Myra.—But proximo means next month.

Jeff.—Then it’s quite right. Bill said next month. That’s all right. (Going on dictating.) “With enclosure as stated. Very truly, J. Thorpe.” Now, I’ll put the money in the safe with the rest. (Goes to safe with the bundle and starts fumbling with the combination.) . . . This two hundred and fifty from Bill—five hundred from Johnson—four hundred from Jim Elliot—Peter’s money will be here to-day—that will be nearly six thousand.

Myra.—Is it safe there, father?

Jeff.—Safe? Safe as a good tight combination lock can make it. . . . (Fumbling at the lock.) Three, one—no, three, four—what is the number of this thing?

Myra.—I don’t remember, father.

[A splash of water at the window reminds him of Mrs. Gillis.]

Jeff.—Ah! Mrs. Gillis, she’ll know. (Raising his voice.) Mrs. Gillis, what’s the number of the safe?

Mrs. Gillis (putting her head in, a wet mop cloth in her hand).—Eh?

Jeff.—What’s the number of the safe?

Mrs. Gillis (calling from the doorway).—Three, two, four, three, turn two.

[Shuts door and exits.]

Jeff.—Ah, yes—three, two, four, three—great thing a safe. (As he opens the door and puts the money in.) I always wanted a safe. Gives one a sense of security. Three, two, four, three, turn two—I’ll just write that down. (He writes it on the white wall beside the safe in big figures.) There!

[Noise outside. As the door opens, voice of Andy, “Steady, there, look out, Mrs. Gillis.”]

Jeff.—Ah, here’s Andy with the sign.

[Door opens, and the long end of a big sign board wrapped in paper, is stuck in, moving inward.]

Andy’s (voice).—Steady with that end there . . . get hold of it, Mrs. Gillis.

Mrs. Gillis’ (voice).—. . . Lands sake! You’ve got me jammed agin the telegraph pole. . . .

Jeff.—Hold on now—don’t get excited! (The long end of the sign sways to and fro continuously; Jeff grabs it and is pulling and hauling at it as he speaks.) Now then—bring her to me—Yo!—here she comes.

Mrs. Gillis’ (voice).—. . . You’re getting me agin a buggy wheel!

Jeff.—Now then—bring her to you, Andy—take hold, Myra——

Andy.—Yo, he!

Mrs. Gillis.—Yow!

[Business of struggling with the long sign as it sweeps this way and that in their trying to get it through the doorJeff at the end, Andy in the doorwayMrs. Gillis exclaiming and howling but not seen until—with a burst in they come, sign and all, Mrs. Gillis dragged in in a heap.]

Mrs. Gillis (picking herself up—puffed and red—exclaims).—My lands, Andy, if you ain’t almost ruined this gown!

Jeff.—Never mind that. There (giving her money) go get a new gown. Get a dozen. [Exit Mrs. Gillis.] Now, get the paper off it . . . break the strings, Andy . . . don’t get excited . . . wait, turn it clear over . . . that’s it, ha!

[Sign is stood up on its side on the floor all along one side of the shop.]

Jeff (standing back and admiring it.)—Looks good, doesn’t it? “Jefferson Thorpe, Land and Mining Exchange,” pretty good, eh? . . . But, stop a minute, Andy, that’s not all of it. Didn’t you tell him I wanted “Barber Shop” on it, too?

Andy.—It’s all right—it’s there—he says there’s a piece in the middle that you let down.

[He stoops and fumbles—a little hinged bit of wood opens out thus.]

Jeff.—That’s better. I don’t want anyone to think I’m too proud for my trade. . . . That’s much better. . . . Now fold it up again, Andy, like it was.

[At this moment enters, somewhat timidly—a customer—stands in the doorway; takes his hat off; very rustic; a great mop of hair.]

The Customer (in a heavy yokel voice with a drawl.)—Mr. Thorpe here?


The Customer.—Still doing barberin’, ain’t yer? Well, I need a hair cut.

Jeff.—I should say you did. Sit right down there . . . er . . . Andy—comb out his hair till I’m ready. . . . Now, Myra, give me the rest of the mail while I do his hair . . . scissors?

[Myra gets a pair out of a closed drawer.]


[Jeff with the scissors goes to the customer. Andy to the window, Myra to her desk.]

Jeff.—Now let’s see. Yes, Myra, write down this: “Answering your letter of the third instant . . . (click, click of the typewriter—and snip, snip, snip of the scissors—all the sounds together.) I beg leave to state (click—snip) that I am authorized to offer you shares in the Cuban Land Company . . . etc., etc.”

[As Jeff dictates with his eye on the letter, he clips wildly and rapidly into the customer’s hair without looking at it. Myra writing full speed—and the scissors flying.]

Andy (who has been looking out of the window.)—I think I see Mr. Harstone and Mr. Slyde coming down street, Mr. Thorpe.

Jeff.—Is that so? Mr. Harstone and Mr. Slyde—here——(taking customer by the arm and leading him out of the chair to the side door). You see down there where that sign is—well, that’s another barber shop—Hillis’s—here—here’s a dollar—go and get your hair cut—and get a shave—get a shampoo—get anything—Andy, take him out and show him.

[Exit Andy and customer through the side door.]

Myra.—If they’re coming, I’ll take my work in here, father.

[Exit Myra.]

[Then through the front door, enter Harstone and Slyde.]

Harstone (well dressed, smooth shaven, face hard as flint, a gentleman criminal, suggestive of recklessness and nerve).—Good morning, Mr. Thorpe.

Jeff.—Good morning, gentlemen.

Slyde.—Good morning.

[Shaking hands with Jeff.]

Harstone.—A fine day, Mr. Thorpe—another glorious day—a lot of sunshine you get in Mariposa.

Jeff.—Lots of it—no place like Mariposa for sunshine.

Harstone.—That’s right. But we’ve got to get you out of it all the same. We want you in New York. Men like you are all too scarce in New York. Aren’t they, Slyde?

Slyde.—That’s right. They’re looking for men like you in New York, Mr. Thorpe.

Jeff (rubbing his hands).—Well, well—some day, perhaps, but I like this place.

Harstone.—Well, I’ve got some good news here that’ll make you like New York.

[Taking out a letter.]

Jeff.—Good news. From General Perrico?

Harstone.—No less. Listen to this: “We have received and cashed Mr. Thorpe’s draft for fifty thousand dollars. Pray convey to Mr. Thorpe my appreciation, not for the money itself”—Perrico is worth millions—“but of his sympathy and co-operation in the cause of renovating and reorganizing my beloved Cuba. Pray say to Mr. Thorpe that we are prepared to take on his behalf for stock at par the further sum of money, the sixty thousand of which you speak. This stock it is understood will be held as a trust in favor of the Martha Thorpe Home for Destitute Children. This generous endowment of Mr. Thorpe has our warmest sympathy and we are prepared to receive in its behalf for stock at par any and whatever sums Mr. Thorpe may send. Please say to Mr. Thorpe that we are prepared also to take at par the money which we understand he is collecting from his Mariposa friends. We will treat them all as we are treating him. Accept, dear Mr. Harstone, the expression of my most cordial sentiments, Ximenes Blanco Perrico.”

Jeff (with a great breath of relief).—Splendid. This will endow the Home as I never could have hoped to. Gentlemen, my best thanks. (Shaking hands with them with some feeling.) Why, this will mean, what, half a million, won’t it?

Slyde.—Can’t fail to.

Harstone.—Absolutely certain. You see, Mr. Thorpe, our Company is a sure thing; here you have Cuba.

[Going to the map and pointing.]



Jeff (nodding).—I see.

Slyde.—Full of waste lands.


Harstone.—People lazy.


Slyde.—No capital.


Harstone.—Well, in we come with our money, our northern energy, the brains of men like you, your driving power—your grit—why, Mr. Thorpe—it’s millions, millions——

Jeff.—Splendid. It’s not for myself I’m so pleased, gentlemen. It’s for the Home I’m founding—in my wife’s memory—it means a lot to me——(much moved).

Harstone (with a great show of being touched, comes over and takes Jeff’s hand).—Thorpe, you’re a good man.

Jeff (recovering himself).—Well, I’ll go and get Macartney at once and have the papers made out to transfer the sixty thousand—I’ll find you gentlemen here later.

Harstone.—Here or at the hotel.

[Exit Jeff.]

Harstone and Slyde (they look at one another and laugh).

Slyde.—Isn’t he too easy?

Harstone.—Easy. It’s so easy it—almost spoils the fun of it.

Slyde.—Didn’t I tell you!

Harstone.—Yes, you were right to bring me here! It’s the easiest thing—and to think of his sending old man Macartney to New York to look into the company!

[They laugh.]

Slyde.—I can just see Olson acting as General Perrico and taking Macartney round New York—entertaining him—got him full and kept him full—and stuffed him up till Macartney thought the “General” was worth millions—it’s too easy.

Harstone.—And they’re all as bad—all gone clean crazy over it—that young ass Pupkin is gone clean daft. Got “big money” on the brain. They can’t get over Thorpe making a hundred thousand in a mine. Pupkin is to bring in two thousand to-day.


Harstone.—Yes, if Thorpe would only give it into our hands—but he sticks all his friends’ money in that damned old safe—says he’s waiting till he gets it all.

Slyde.—Well, we’ll get it presently——

Harstone (shaking his head).—Yes, but we need to hurry. There are things I don’t like—I don’t like that man Smith (pointing over his shoulder with his thumb) at the hotel—nor Mullins—they—

Slyde.—Well, they’ve nothing to go on—it looks all straight—Macartney’s report and the rest of it.

Harstone.—Yes, but the other end—the other end—what’s happening in New York? Listen to this. This came in the mail this morning—from Olson (reads). “Better put things through as fast as you can. We have cashed the draft for fifty thousand. Get the further sixty thousand and quit—there’s a leak somewhere”—and listen here (continues), “a Pinkerton man was in here yesterday prying around—Olson recognised him; but there’s something wrong. We are all ready to clear if you send word. Edwards thinks they are getting warrants for you and Slyde in Toronto.”

Slyde (visibly scared as he listens).—I don’t like that. I’d rather—wouldn’t it be better to get?

Harstone.—What! With sixty thousand dollars almost in our hands, and six thousand right in there (pointing to the safe) and I want it all. I’m damned if I quit till I get it all.

Slyde.—Yes, but in this damn country, a warrant is . . . I . . .

Harstone.—Here, man! Where’s your nerve? Did you think it was play? You’re white as that soap—come out in the air—we’ll walk down street and you can pull yourself together——

[Exit Harstone and Slyde by side door.]

[Enter Jeff and Macartney—Macartney carrying a bundle of documents under his arm.]

Now then—bring her to me—Yo!—— Here she comes.

Jeff.—Everything’s ready, is it, Macartney?

Macartney.—Everything, my dear Thorpe, everything. (Spreading out his documents.) Now, let us see, “Endowment deed of the Martha Thorpe Home for Destitute Children”—good; needs only the signature of two witnesses and a notary. (Indicating with his finger). . . (Picks up the papers one by one). Hum—yes—“J. Thorpe in account with W. Macartney for drawing deed——”

Jeff.—Your bill, eh?

Macartney.—Exactly. . . . Yes. “Accepted plan of architect.”

Jeff.—Let me see. (Turning it round and round.) North elevation—south elevation—east elevation—here, Macartney, is it elevated every way at once?

Macartney.—Har! har! You will have your joke, Mr. Thorpe. Now, let us see, “accepted plan of architect”—and—yes—“J. Thorpe in account with W. Macartney re accepting plan——”

Jeff.—Your bill, eh?

Macartney.—Yes. Fee for acceptance of contract. Now, let’s see, “Rejected plan of architect”—another architect. . . “J. Thorpe in account with W. Macartney re rejection.”

Jeff.—One fee for accepting and another for refusing?

Macartney.—Oh, we lawyers have to be quite impartial, you know. That safeguards you.

Jeff.—Well, I begin to feel pretty safe, Macartney.

Macartney.—. . . And here—fee and expenses of W. Macartney to New York re investigation of Cuban Land Development Company—fee, so much—expenses, so much—contingent expenses, so much—non-contingent expenses, so much—other expenses, so much—additional expenses, so and so—all clear, is it not?

Jeff (laughing).—Oh, clear as day. . . . and quite right. I didn’t expect you to go for nothing, and you brought back the information I wanted.

Macartney.—A splendid company, my dear Thorpe—splendid—your money’s safe with them; and the head—General Perrico—a delightful man—I’d no idea Cubans were so white—spoke excellent English, too, and entertained me in my spare time like a prince—such little rags of spare time, that is, as a lawyer finds—dinner, theatres, everything——

Jeff.—Theatres, ah, yes, I saw Shakespere once—long ago in London—A Winter’s Tale.

Macartney.—Winter’s Tale—that was it—or no—nearly that—Winter Garden, that’s it. But, come, tell me what it is that you want me to add to this (tapping the endowment document) before we sign? Tell me just as clearly and simply as possible, in a few words what you want—and I’ll go and run it into legal terminology in half an hour.

Jeff.—I want to say I’ll give to the Home sixty thousand dollars’ worth of stock in the Land Company instead of cash.

Macartney.—Excellent. Couldn’t be plainer. I’ll just make a note of it (scribbles at table) say—“I, Jefferson Thorpe, of the town and township of Mariposa, do hereby give, bequeath, transfer, devise and assign”—oh, yes, I can rush that off in——

[Gathers documents to go.]

Jeff.—And don’t forget an account for it, Mac!

Macartney.—Har! har! you will have your joke!

[Exit Macartney, side door. Enter Josh Smith, greatly dressed up, colored waistcoat, flower, valise in hand.]

Smith.—Well, Jeff, I’m off.

Jeff.—Going to the city, are you?

Smith.—Yep! next train. Hotelmen’s meeting—to fight the temperance movement.

Jeff.—What are you going to do?

Smith.—Why, get together about it. I says to the other boys—boys, we’ve got to get together shoulder to shoulder and fight this thing or it will beat us. So we got a meeting down in the city to-night—private—I says to the boys, the way is for a few of us to get together round a table, over a glass of whiskey—and fight it—yes, sir—and beat it. But say, Jeff. (Sinking his voice.) I want a word with you—alone, Jeff—them friends of yours—this here Harstone and this Slyde—I don’t like ’em——


Smith.—I know they’re your friends—but they ain’t mine—I wouldn’t have them in my hotel if I could help it—Jeff, they’re crooks——

Jeff.—Josh, you’re an old friend and a good friend——

Smith.—I tell you they’re crooks—the two of them—and I’ll tell you more, Jeff, though I oughtn’t to. (Looking around to be sure.) The police is after them. I’ve had the word to watch them. They’re after them from Toronto and from Noo York—there’s a man Olson in Noo York, the head of the concern, that they want first—and the minute they get him——

Jeff.—Stop, Smith, stop. I won’t listen, I——

Smith.—Well, Jeff, I can’t persuade you. But I warned you. Well, I can’t wait. I’ll be back to-morrow early—so long.

Gillis.—“A knife! Would you—a knife? You hound—I’ll brain you.

Jeff.—So long, Josh. Take care of yourself.

[Exit Smith by front door. Enter Norah, by side door—tip toe, she has a bag in her hand and is laughing.]

Norah.—Is Mr. Smith gone?

Jeff.—This minute.

Norah.—I watched him go. I didn’t want him to catch me. I’ve got my money, Mr. Thorpe, all the savings I brought from Ireland, to put into the new company.

Jeff.—That’s right, Norah, that’s right.

Norah.—It’s a sight of money, Mr. Thorpe, seven pounds, ten shillings and four pence, Irish. . . . I’d given it all to Mr. Smith to keep—he’d put it in his room—and I knew he was dead set against the company—so I stepped in and stole it back, Mr. Thorpe. (She laughs.) Isn’t it a lot of money? (She pours it on the table.) Seven pounds, ten shillings and four pence! What would that be in Canadian money, Mr. Thorpe? Would it be more or less?

Jeff.—More, Norah, ever so much more. That’ll be—I tell you—that shall be a hundred dollars, Norah.

Norah.—And, oh, Mr. Thorpe, Andy says to put his money in along with mine, and it’s to be just one share for the two of us.

Jeff (laughing).—Yes, I’ve been hearing something about that—so it’s just one share for the two of you, already, Norah, is it?

Norah (clapping her hands).—Oh, Mr. Thorpe! And is it true what they say that we’ll make a lot more with it?

Jeff.—Norah, you can’t fail to. Here’s the way it is. Here’s Cuba.

[Pointing to the map.]

Norah.—Yes, Mr. Thorpe.

Jeff.—An island.

Norah.—Yes, Mr. Thorpe.







Jeff.—No capital.

Norah.—Is there no capital to the place, Mr. Thorpe, like Dublin in Ireland?

Jeff.—They say not. No capital. Then in you come, Norah, do you see, with your northern energy, and your brains, and there you are—millions!

Norah (laughing).—Well, I’ll have to run back, Mr. Thorpe, for I must keep on working at the hotel till I get my millions, musn’t I?

[Exit Norah. Enter Pupkin.]

Pupkin.—Here it is, Mr. Thorpe, I’ve brought it all in cash, that’s the way you wanted it, isn’t it?

[He takes a roll of bills from a wallet and lays them on the table.]

Jeff.—Right, Peter, right—now let me count it—nothing like being business-like. (Counting the bills.) Fifty, a hundred, a hundred and fifty, a hundred and sixty—one of the first things to learn in business, big business, Peter, is to count your money—a hundred and sixty, two hundred and ten—stop, no—fifty, a hundred—if you can’t be exact, you may as well—two hundred—did I say two hundred and twenty—no—well, I guess it’s all right—how much is there, Peter?

Pupkin.—Two thousand, that’s all I can realize just now. Mother has ten thousand altogether——

Jeff.—Get the rest, Peter, get all she has—you’re her trustee, aren’t you? Well, put it all into the Land Company—ten thousand! She’ll make quite a fortune with it. I was telling Mr. Harstone and Mr. Slyde about your mother and they were quite affected—quite affected. They’re not such hard men as some people think.

Pupkin.—Oh, I know! They’re splendid fellows, really.

Jeff.—Quite affected—get all she has, they said, take everything she’s got. There were tears in their eyes.

Pupkin.—By Jove!

Jeff.—There! I’ll put it in the safe here for to-day. It can stay there till night. That’s my system, you know. At night you take it and put it with the rest up at the bank.

[Jeff opens safe and puts money in.]

Pupkin.—In the cellar vault, in your tin box, I know. By the way, Mullins doesn’t like it. He says it’s irregular; says you ought to deposit it properly with the rest of your money.

Jeff.—I don’t want to. I want this money by itself till I get it all collected.

Pupkin.—And Mr. Mullins said that I was to tell you (as a matter of business—he said) that the bank isn’t responsible for this money that you are putting in the cellar vault.


Pupkin.—Not for money put down in the cellar vault. You see, all the bank’s cash is kept upstairs. The cellar place is only used for old papers and things that don’t matter. He says if you put it there it’s at your own risk.

Jeff.—Tut, tut! Poor Mullins, he’s fussy—jealous, Peter, jealous.

[Re-enter Harstone and Slyde.]

Jeff.—Well, gentlemen, here you are (pointing to the safe). Two thousand more in there now.

Harstone (cheerily).—Well done! (Turning to Pupkin.) So we’re to have you too among our shareholders, eh! That’s good. Congratulations (claps him on the shoulder). We need some bright young fellows like you to keep us going.

Jeff.—Fine—isn’t it? I was reckoning, that makes six thousand now.

Harstone.—Good! Gather it in, Mr. Thorpe. Your friends are our friends, don’t forget.

Jeff.—Well, now, I’m off to get Macartney with his papers—come along with me, Peter. You wait here, Mr. Harstone and Mr. Slyde. We’re going to sign up the trust deed of the Children’s Home. I want you all here, everybody—and I’ve got a little surprise for you, too (rubbing his hands) a little treat. (Going to door) Myra, come along with me (she comes out pinning on her hat and nodding to Mr. Harstone and Mr. Slyde as she comes), come up street with me and see if you can find Andy and Mrs. Gillis. . . . Come along. . . . Wait here.

[Exit Jeff, Pupkin, Myra.]

Slyde (nervously).—A little surprise? What’s his damn surprise? Nothing wrong, eh? Don’t like it!

Harstone (laughing).—Pah! You’re nervous. Only some little foolery, I suppose, over signing up his damned deeds—

[Enter Gillis, evidently drunk.]

Gillis.—Are you Mr. Harstone?

Harstone.—Yes. That’s my name.

Gillis.—Well, this is for you.

[Hands him a telegram.]

Harstone.—Who gave it to you?

Gillis.—Up street—at the office. They gave me the price of a drink to bring it.

Harstone (looking at him narrowly as he opens the telegram).—You’d do a good deal for the price of a drink, wouldn’t you? You’re the man they dismissed this morning from the bank?

Gillis.—Dismissed! Yes, and wait till I——

Harstone (with the telegram open).—By God, see this!

Slyde.—What is it? What is it?

Harstone (to Gillis).—You get outside. Wait there. I may want you.

[Exit Gillis.]

Harstone.—Look at this. (Spreads out the telegram in front of them.)

Slyde (looking at it).—What does it say? I can’t read that damn cipher. What is it?

Harstone (absolutely calm).—It’s from Olson. That is what it says. Listen, and keep quiet can’t you, you damn——“All up. Warrants out here. Edwards has cleared with money. Warrants out Toronto you and Slyde to-morrow.”

Slyde (in a panic, reaching for the telegram).—Harstone, by God, does it say that?

Harstone.—You can work it out for yourself—there it is—warrants out. (Striding up and down.)

Slyde.—They’ll arrest us. They’ll be here any time . . . we must get out . . . get out this minute.

Harstone.—GET OUT? You fool! Get out with what? . . . The money . . . the money.

Slyde.—Edwards has cleared with it . . . all we can do now is to get out before they arrest us.

Harstone (pausing in his stride).—I’m damned if I’ll get out. Not empty handed. There are six thousand dollars in there. . . . I’ll take that with me anyway. I’m damned if I’ll go without that.

Slyde.—But you can’t . . . right here in daylight. You can’t——

Harstone.—Shut up and let me think. . . . Stop clutching that, for God’s sake! (Slyde’s hands have been scratching convulsively at the table.) Let me think it out. . . . We’ve got twenty-four hours yet if this is true (picking up the telegram) “warrants to-morrow.” (With determination.) Slyde, we stay right where we are till to-night. When we go, we take that six thousand dollars with us. To-morrow we’ll be safe across the border with it. Let them find us if they can.

Slyde.—But how? You can’t——

Harstone.—Yes, I can. . . . I’ve a plan. . . . That money is put at night into the cellars of the bank. I’ve heard that young fool say . . . Hell, the thing’s easy.

Slyde (getting calmer and thinking).—But that place is locked. I looked it over. The street door leading down is iron—I don’t see—you’ve no key.

Harstone.—No. But I know where to get one. He’s either got it still, or he can get it easy enough. (He goes to the door and calls.) Here, you, I want you.

[Enter Gillis.]

Harstone.—You’re a man who would do a good deal for the price of a drink, eh?

Gillis (scowling and suspicious).—Ay.

Harstone.—You see that? That’s fifty dollars. You’d do still more for that, wouldn’t you?

Gillis.—What is it you’re after? Say it out.

Harstone.—And you’d like a chance to get even with the man that fired you, too.

Gillis.—Ay—now you talk—show me that—— What is it you want, boss? Say it out. If it’s for that, I’m your man.

Harstone.—I want nothing now. But I want you for a certain job to-night, see.


Harstone.—Yes. When’s the last train down to the city?

Gillis.—Half-past eleven.

Harstone.—Nothing after that?

Gillis.—Nothing that stops.

Harstone.—Well, what I want of you is this, and listen you to me . . . stop. . . . They’re coming back. . . . You come to me later, at the hotel. . . . This afternoon. . . . Say nothing to anybody. . . . I’ll give you all the chance you want to get even. . . Here, out this way . . . quick, before they come. (Shoves Gillis out.) Now, then, Slyde, keep your nerve. Give me twenty-four hours—give me till to-morrow, to-morrow—and we’ll be safe out of this with six thousand dollars to the good. Then they can bring on their warrants if they like.

[Voices and laughing and talking at the door. In they comeJeff, Macartney, Myra, Pupkin, Andy, Mrs. Gillis, Norah. Jeff and Macartney are lugging a big basket with a napkin over it.]

Jeff.—Here we are. In with it, Macartney.

Harstone.—What have you got there?

Jeff.—Champagne! And plenty of it. We’ll have a toast all round on the signing. You didn’t think we had champagne in Mariposa, eh, Mr. Harstone?

Andy.—The last time I seen champagne——

Myra.—Run, Peter, help get the glasses out.

Macartney (laughing his rasping—Har! Har!).—Steady, Thorpe, or you’ll be all drunk when you sign! By George, I don’t know if it’s going to be legal. Har! Har!

Jeff.—Come on then, we’ll sign first and have the toast after. Where’s your deed, man? Spread it out.

Macartney.—Here you are.

Jeff.—Get the ink, Myra.

[Bill appears in the door.]

Jeff, Macartney, Myra, etc. (speaking all together).—Come in, Bill—just in time. . . . Here you are. . . .

Macartney (rapping).—Now, then, quiet a minute. . . . Gentlemen, I have here a deed of trust establishing The Martha Thorpe Home for Destitute Children. . . . Mr. Thorpe will sign, and two other witnesses. Mr. Thorpe!

Jeff (writing).—Jeff-er-son Thorpe!

Macartney.—Now, . . . here, Mr. Pupkin, . . . you witness first . . . there . . . below that seal.



[Pupkin writes.]

Macartney.—Now, Evans——

Bill.—I ain’t much of a writer (signs).

Macartney.—There! My dear Thorpe, I hereby hand, transmit and deliver to you the deed establishing the Martha Thorpe Home for Destitute Children, endowed with sixty thousand dollars worth of stock in The Cuban Renovated Lands Company. Take witness, all, of this delivery!


Jeff.—This is the proudest day of my life. . . . Now, then, I want to give you all a toast. Now, Peter, out with the bottles.

[Jeff, Peter and Bill start pulling out the bottles.]

Bill (utterly disappointed).—Gosh!

Jeff.—It’s wired up!

Andy.—Gol darn it!

[They look at the bottles.]

Jeff.—It’s wired up. . . . No way to open it! Yes, sir, fixed up with wires. . . . You can’t open it!

Bill (yawns).—Needs some sort of key, or something, I guess. . .

Jeff (very formal).—Gentlemen, I am sorry. I had wanted you to drink a toast but the champagne is wired. Smith has gone away, and I presume wired it up. . .

Harstone.—Perhaps I can help you. . . . Here, that’s how it goes . . . open them up . . . give them their glasses. . . . Now, Mr. Thorpe, give us your toast.

Jeff.—I’ll ask you all to drink to the future of the Martha Thorpe Home for Destitute Children, the future of the Land Company, and our friends here who put their money in it. To-day, gentlemen, is bright, but to-morrow will be brighter still——

Harstone (Interrupting).—I’ll put your whole toast into one word—“To-morrow”—eh? Mr. Slyde. . . Gentlemen, “To-morrow!”




Scene I.

SceneThe back bar-parlor of Smith’s Hotel. Time—Five minutes to eleven the same evening. A door at the side standing open leads into the bar which is lighted. One can see through it a bit of the bar, with glasses, lemons, beer pumps, etc., and one can hear Billy, the bartender, as he moves about mixing drinks, but cannot see him. Doors lead into the corridor of the Hotel, etc. At a table, lighted by a lamp, Harstone, Slyde, Jeff, Bill, Macartney and Pupkin are playing poker with matches. There are glasses beside them. A hot night, they’re sitting in their shirt sleeves. Jeff is dealing.

Jeff (flip, flip, flip—finishes dealing).—Now, then, Macartney, can you open it?


Jeff (to Pupkin).—Peter?

Peter.—No! but, Gee, I nearly could. I had a seven and eight and a jack—I only needed a nine and a ten and I’d have a straight.

Jeff.—Open it, Mr. Slyde?

Slyde.—Not I. Whoof! it’s hot!

Jeff.—Storm coming. I can feel it. Hark! wasn’t that thunder?

Harstone.—Sounds like it. No, I can’t open it.



Jeff.—Nor I. Your deal, Macartney.

Pupkin.—By Jove! Three times round! Takes aces now, doesn’t it? Gad, there’s a lot in the pot now. Eighteen matches! What are they? Ten for a cent.

Jeff (as Macartneydeals).—Five for a cent. Ten for a cent is too slow. Five puts some zip in it—huh! Bill, you’ve got an ace. (The card is turned face up.)

Bill.—S’ll right. I’ll keep it. Might get another.

Slyde (he is evidently nervous, his face is drawn, and his fingers restless).—What’s that? Is that some one at the door?

Macartney.—No—just the thunder. Now, can you open it?

Andy.—Just eleven o’clock, gentlemen. Billy says do you want another drink before he closes up?

Jeff.—Yes, certainly. Gentlemen, it’s on me. Andy, see what they’ll have.

Andy.—What’s yours, Mr. Macartney.

Macartney.—Give me a rye whiskey with lemon and a bit of chopped ice.

Andy (calling to Billy).—One rye with lemon, soda and chopped ice in it.

[Zug, zug, zug—whizz—bang! . . . Noise of Billy mixing the drink.]

Andy.—Yours, Mr. Pupkin?

Pupkin.—Give me rye and seltzer with a dash of sarsaparilla.

Andy.—One rye and seltzer with sarsaparilla!

[Whiz! whiff! POPP! . . . Noise of mixing.]

Andy.—Yours, Mr. Slyde?

Slyde.—I’ll take a Collins.

Andy.—One Collins, Billy.

[Terrific roar of soda with a perfect cascade of chopped ice—whizz—rattle—bang.]

Mr. Harstone?

Harstone.—I’ll take a pony of brandy.

Andy.—One pony of brandy.

[Plop, one short single sound.]

What’s yours, Bill?

Bill.—I’ll take the same with a piece of ice in it.

Andy.—Pony of brandy with a chunk of ice.

[Plop! plunk!]

Mr. Thorpe?

Jeff.—I’ll take a beer—make it a long one, Andy.

Andy.—One long beer!

[Purr-r-r-r-r-r-r—the sound of the long beer goes on interminably.]

[Exit Andy to the bar.]

Macartney.—Now, then, can you open it, Pupkin?

Pupkin.—What does it take—pair of aces or better? No! . . . Hang it. I awfully nearly had a flush. I had three clubs!

[Andy re-enters, puts the drinks on the table, saying as he puts them round.]

Andy.—Yours, Mr. Pupkin; yours, Mr. Macartney, etc. (Last of all to Jeff). Yours Mr. Thorpe; one long beer. (Jeff’s long drink turns out to be only about three inches high in a very narrow glass.)

[Exit Andy.]

Macartney.—Mr. Slyde?


Macartney.—Mr. Harstone?


Bill.—Aces or better (yawns), yes, I’ll open it—for fifteen matches.

Pupkin.—I say, that’s pretty swift! I’m going to stay (piling in his matches).

[All begin counting and piling in matches and talking together.]

All Speaking.—I’m in that. . . Not going to let that go. . . Here’s a go. . . Count me in . . . etc., etc.

[Andy re-enters.]

Andy.—Billy says he’s just going to close the bar and wants to know if you want another drink. He don’t like to be too late with Mr. Smith away.

Jeff.—All right—give us the same again, eh?

All Speaking.—All right . . . suits me . . . etc., etc., . . . same for me.

(All drinking and draining glasses.)

[Exit Andy.]

[The speeches that follow are punctuated with Billy’s furious mixing.]

Jeff (putting in his matches).—We’ll all go in this. This’ll be our last game for a while if you’re off to-night. (This to Harstone) (to Macartney). One card! Whew! it’s hot. There’s a big storm somewhere.

[Sounds of thunder.]

Harstone.—Yes—two cards—we’re off on the eleven-thirty.

Macartney.—You’ve none too much time to get to the depot—one card. (Looks at it) Damn it! Where’s your baggage? (Macartney throws down his cards).

Harstone.—Two cards, thanks. All gone except this valise. Gillis is coming to carry it down.

Jeff (as he finishes his beer).—Well, here’s luck to you and safe back. I didn’t know you had to go so soon. You didn’t say so to-day.

Harstone.—Didn’t know it myself. We’re wanted suddenly in New York. They want us there badly, eh, Slyde?

Slyde (forcing a laugh).—Eh? Oh, yes, yes—damn this heat.

[By this time all have drawn their cards, either as above, or silently.]

Macartney.—Now, then, Bill——

Bill.—I bet five.

Jeff (throwing down his cards).—All yours.

Pupkin (eagerly).—All right, raise you ten.

Slyde.—I’m out.


Bill.—Ten—and ten more.

Pupkin.—Ten more and twenty more.

Bill (after thinking—puts in twenty).—I’ll see you—what have you got?

Pupkin (triumphant, planting down his cards, face up, and starting to pull in the chips).—Three aces!

Bill.—Hold on. (Yawns.) I’ve got three aces, too!

Pupkin.—By Jove! What’s your best ace? Bill.—Ace of—let me look at her—Hearts.

Pupkin.—By Gee! You win. Isn’t it funny the way cards fall?

[Enter Andy, with the drinks.]

Andy.—Bill says if you want anything more to drink before he closes up, to say so right now.

Jeff (laughing).—No, no, I guess this’ll do. Well! I’ve gotto be off.

[All rise to drink.]

I’ll say good-night to you, gentlemen, see you back in a day or two.

Harstone.—Oh, yes, good night.

Slyde (shaking hands).—Good night.

Pupkin.—Well, good night.

Harstone.—You’re off, too?

Pupkin.—I’ve got to be. I sleep over the bank, you know. Have to be there at half-past ten every night. For protection. . . .

Harstone.—Protect what? You or the bank?

Pupkin.—The bank—by Gee—didn’t you notice that loaded revolver in my room when you came up to see me this afternoon.

Harstone (with a laugh).—I noticed it. . . . Well, good night . . . see you in a day or two. . . . Oh, no, thanks. Gillis has taken most of our things down—it’s just a step—you hurry home or you’ll be caught in the storm.


[All shaking hands and saying “Good-night.”]

Andy.—I’ll let you gentlemen out through the bar, Mr. Thorpe; front door’s shut.

[Exit Andy, Jeff, Macartney, Pupkin, Billone hears them saying good-night to the invisible Billy.]

Slyde (uneasily).—You hear what that young fool says?


Slyde.—A revolver in his room! I don’t like it—he’ll hear us—I don’t like it.

Harstone.—A revolver in his room! Yes, so there was . . . loaded, too . . . but it’s not there now, I took it. (Lays it on the table with a grim laugh.)

Slyde (handling it timorously).—It’s loaded!

Harstone.—What else should it be? . . . Here! . . . There’s Gillis. . . Shove it in your pocket.

[Sounds of Gillis blundering in through the side door and corridor.]

Harstone (calling).—Here! . . . In here.

[Enter Gillis, evidently drunk, he staggers in the doorway.]

Steady there—here—sit down . . . well?

Gillis.—I done all you said. Your things is checked for the eleven-thirty—she’s on time they said . . . and here’s your (he lurches as he feels in his pocket and gets out an envelope) tickets, and sleepers and baggage checks. It’s all there. . . .

Harstone.—Right . . and now . .

[Enter Andy from the bar; he yawns heavily and is evidently very sleepy; he carries a bottle of brandy in his hand and puts it on the table with two glasses.]

Andy.—You said a bottle of brandy, didn’t you, Mr. Harstone? . . . for the train—with the cork drawn—did you want to take glasses? (Puts bottle and glasses on the table.) And Billy says he’s closing up and if——

Harstone.—That’s all right. Nothing more—put the bottle here—cork drawn? (Feeling it with his fingers.) Right!

Andy (calling).—Nothing more, Billy, you can close up. . . .

[Sounds of Billy closing; lights in bar go out first one and then another.]

Take the front key of the bar with you, Billy. I’ll lock up this door, good-night.

[Voice, “Good-night”—sound of closing door—darkness in the barAndy closes and locks bar door.]

Harstone.—Well, good-night, Andy, we won’t keep you any longer; Gillis will take us out. You get to bed . . . and here. (He gives him a five-dollar bill.)

Andy.—Thank you, Mr. Harstone. Nothing more you want? I’ll turn down this light low——

[Steps into the hall, out of sight, voice still heard.]

. . . And will you turn it right out when you go. (Hall light goes dim.) Good-night, Mr. Harstone . . . good-night, Mr. Slyde.

[Harstone and Slyde grunt a “good-night”; the room is now in half darkness; there is only the light of a lamp on the table; sound of Andy going upstairs; sound of low thunder and sudden rain on the roof.]

Slyde (starting at the sound).—What’s that?

Gillis.—Rain . . . a storm . . . a big storm. (He speaks in a strange abstracted way.)

Harstone.—A bad night, is it?

Gillis.—Ay . . . storm . . . thunder and a big gale . . . like I’ve seen it many a time down home on the Nova Scotia coast. . . . Hear it! Hear it sweeping over the lake! A bad night. . . (Shambling to a seat on a bench.)

Harstone.—So much the better. Here, are you drunk?

Gillis.—Drunk! Me drunk! No——

Harstone.—Then drink that (pouring out brandy). Here, then—have you done all I said?

Gillis.—Yes, I told you. The things is all on the train.

Harstone.—Then listen to me.

Gillis.—Ay, I’m hearing you.

Harstone (slowly and impressively).—Mr. Slyde and I are not going on that train.

Gillis.—Not going? You told the folks here you was going on the eleven-thirty!

Harstone.—Well, we’re not. They think you’re taking us down to the train, see? And when they ask you in the morning if we went, you’ll say you saw us go, do you understand?

Gillis.—What’s that for?

Harstone.—Because I say so, and I’m going to make it worth your while.

Gillis.—I’m to say you went on the eleven-thirty, well?

Slyde.—And that you saw us leave on it.


Harstone.—Now—you told me there was another train later.

Gillis.—I did, half after one—the night express from the north—but she don’t stop. I told you that this afternoon—she don’t stop. I hear her nights, when I don’t sleep, howling and shrieking through, like the storm——

Harstone.—You said she stops for water——

Gillis.—Yes, mostly, but not here at the depot.


Gillis.—On the trestle bridge over the marsh, where the tank is—three miles from the town.

Slyde.—She stops there. . . .

Gillis.—Yes, most nights, not always.

Harstone.—The bridge is long?

Gillis.—A quarter of a mile, mebbe more——

Harstone.—And how wide?


Harstone.—Room to stand when the train passes?

Gillis.—Yes, about that, no more—say, what is it you want of me? What’s all this for?

Harstone.—Don’t raise your voice that way. They’ll hear you—here drink this.

Gillis (holding the glass and not drinking).—And why not be heard? What is it you’re after?

Harstone.—Drink your drink. Now, I asked you about a key. Have you got it?

Gillis (stubbornly).—Ay. I’ve got it. (Puts his hand to his waistcoat pocket.) What of it?

Harstone.—The key of the door leading to the cellar vault?

Gillis.—Ay, the door to the cellar vault. I kept it back when I gave in my keys to Mr. Pupkin. Say, what is it you want with that key anyway?

[Slams his glass on the table, spilling the brandy and staggering.]

Harstone.—Not so loud, I told you.

Gillis.—You said you wanted that key for to go in this afternoon to get something of yours, something you’d left there.


Gillis.—Then you lied! (He strikes his fist on the table and rises.) You gave me money to get and bring you that key. You gave me fifty dollars to bring you that key. . . .

Harstone.—I did, yes, fifty dollars. Sit down, you fool, and be quiet!

Gillis (With rising noise and anger).—But you didn’t say you wanted that key to break into the vaults at midnight—you didn’t tell me that—at midnight when they thought you’d gone—I see through you robbers, you damn bank robbers—with your money to bribe a drunken man! Take it. (Flings roll of money on the table.) You thought you could buy me, buy Ben Gillis for fifty dollars to help you rob the bank I worked for—I know you——

Harstone (to Slyde).—Close that door quick!

[Slyde closes the door.]

[Harstone continues—he is quite calm and hard.]

Well? What of it? Do you feel so grateful to the bank as all that?

Gillis.—You think you can bribe me with your money——

Harstone.—To help us against the bank that fired you—that put you on the street.

Gillis.—Fired me! And done right to fire me—I’m drunk and I’m low, and I’m on the street—but I’m honest. I’m Ben Gillis, I am—Nova Scotia fisher folk—poor folk but never a robber among them—God! for six cents——

[Gillis has seized a chair; he swings it with giant strength over his head.]

Harstone.—Back, you scoundrel—keep back or—— (One sees in Harstone’s hand a sheath knife that he has drawn from his hip pocket—the blade glitters in the light.)

Gillis (furious).—A knife! Would you—a knife, you hound—I’ll brain you.

[The chair is swung over his head, he rushes at Harstone and strikes him down. Harstone calls to Slyde, “The gun! The gun!Slyde has drawn the revolver; stands jabbering, “Keep back or I’ll shoot”Gillis with the chair raised to strike Harstone again turns towards Slyde.]

Gillis.—You’d shoot, you dog—I’ll kill you both!

Slyde (retreating, crying in panic).—Keep off me!

Harstone.—Shoot! Shoot!

[There is the loud report of the revolver. Gillis reels, falls against the wall with a groan.]

Slyde.—My God!

Harstone (rising).—Curse him—he’s broken my arm.

Slyde (in horror).—I’ve shot him. I’ve killed him.

[Voices and noise above. Andy calls, “What’s that down there! Who fired that shot!”]

Harstone.—Quick, out of this.

Slyde (paralyzed).—I’ve killed him, I’ve shot him.

Harstone.—Don’t jabber—the key—quick—the key!

[Voices.—“What’s that down there? Who’s there?Harstone quickly kneels over Gillistakes the key from his pocket—grabs his valise, drags Slyde by the arm.]

Hurry—the side door.

Slyde.—I’ve killed him—I’ve killed him.

[Harstone blows out the light. Exit Harstone and Slyde, stumbling in the dark.]

[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 Gillis, 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. (Sobs.)

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. Gillis, 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?


Mrs. Gillis.—Norah, quick, a glass—of water—there, dear heart, drink it—and speak to me—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 draws 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.]

Mrs. Gillis (throwing her arms about him).—Ben! Ben!


Scene II.

Scene.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 is 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 with terror. Harstone is standing. His right arm is in a sling roughly made 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 it 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 (with fear 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 rising 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 clearly.]

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 thunder?

Harstone (listens a moment. There is heard, behind and through the 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.—I can’t. Harstone. I can’t. (Breaking off and turning round.) I killed him! I never saw a man killed before—look (With a half scream) over there—out of the dark—his face!

Harstone.—You coward (taking 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. (Harstone speaks with hoarse eagerness.) We’re safe yet if you can keep your nerve. Gillis is shot, yes, and they’ll find him. They have found him. (Ringing of the bell.) That’s what that bell is for—but they’ve no reason to connect him with us—they thought us gone—and they’ve no reason to think of the bank; we’re safer here than in the street. Do you understand?

Slyde (slightly recovering).—Yes.

Harstone.—We can force this thing open—get the money—and be gone before these slow fools are half awake—we’ve still time; once out of this, we strike 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 see—is it deep enough? Give me one of the cartridges. (Slyde takes one from his pocket.) Yes—that’ll do. Hush, keep still. There’s some one moving upstairs!

[They pause and listen.]

Slyde (in a low voice).—Can you hear anything?

Harstone.—Yes—I daren’t fire this thing. It’s too big a risk. I must wait for the next clap of thunder—or stop—give me that iron bar again, here—perhaps I can wrench it off. No, curse it—it’s too strong.

Slyde (in terror, clutching at Harstone’sarm).—Listen again. There’s some one on the stair.

Harstone.—Yes. I hear it. We’ve got to chance it now. It’s too late. Shove in that cartridge—so—that’s it, right in—stand back. I’ll strike it with the bar—that’ll fire it. Watch out!

[Blow of the bar—explosion of the cartridge—door of the safe bursts open with the lock broken.]

Harstone.—That’s done—reach in quick and get the box. Is it there?

Jeff Thorpe, barber-capitalist; Slyde, one of the villains of the piece.

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

Harstone.—Leave it—only litter—old papers—the box, grab that, nothing else—— Stop! Keep still!

Slyde (in a panic-stricken whisper).—There’s some one coming down!

Harstone.—I hear. It’s that accursed young fool. It’s young Pupkin. No noise.

Voice of Pupkin (on the stairs).—Is any one down there?

Harstone (turns 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—in one hand a candle, in the other a poker.]

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

Macartney, the curmudgeon lawyer; Smith, the good-hearted hotel proprietor; Gillis, the hard-drinking bank messenger.

[Pupkin goes toward the street door and turns 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 that Pupkin sees the broken safe first.]

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

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

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

Harstone.—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 raises 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 floor).—This then——

[Strikes Pupkin across the head and fells him to the floor.]

Slyde.—Oh! Oh! (Hysterical.)

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

Slyde.—What do you want to do?

Harstone.—I’ll show you. Here, lay him so—now, give me that drill. (Putting 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).—Open 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 them! 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 the door—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 rainMullins and Bill Evans in waterproofs, with lanterns, the semblance of other people outside, noises and voices.]

Mullins (turning, after Evansgets 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 nothing—— Thorpe, 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.


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 with it.

Macartney.—Blown it open! Then, by George, 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 couldn’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 cartridges 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. What’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. . . You 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 you 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, Mr. 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! What.

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.—What 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. Jeff has still his sporting suit on, but his coat is off.

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

Jeff (busily working).—All of it, every last bit. . . . I want this to look the 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 word, Mr. Thorpe. . . . Away all night and not back, . . and there’s Norah crying her heart out. . . . Do you want me to put out your brushes and the soap and things?

Jeff.—I want everything just as it used to be—plain and honest—the signs of a fair day’s work around. . . Here put these up again. (He has taken from a drawer a set of placards.) I took them down when I went into that Cobalt foolery. Back they go!










Mrs. Gillis.—Any more?

Jeff.—That’s the lot? There! That feels like home! Now, if they come to arrest me, let it be right here. . . . Plain old Jefferson Thorpe in his barber shop . . . wait. I’ll strop up my razors—if I’m arrested I’ll be arrested with sharp razors anyway. Hold on. . . Is that some one going by? (Running to window.)

Mrs. Gillis.—I think so.

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

[Voice—“No thanks, Jeff.”]

(Still calling.) Your hair looks long. (Returning.) All right—he’s gone. Keep an eye for another, Mrs. Gillis. If I’m arrested. I’d sooner be shaving when they do it.

Mrs. Gillis.—Arrested? What for would they arrest you?

Jeff.—Because . . . never 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 all right . . . Didn’t you tell me yourself that the doctors say they’ll pull him through?

Mrs. Gillis.—Yes, Mr. Thorpe, but it’s not for that I’m crying . . . it’s for thankfulness, Mr. Thorpe . . . all night he lay there so white and still and just hover’n between life and death, they said. And this morning he opened his eyes and saw me, and he just gave one groan and fainted dead away again. (Sobs.)

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

Mrs. Gillis.—Then presently he came to again and he put out his hand for mine and he spoke, and his voice was weak, but it was that soft and kind—just like it used to be years ago when he was courting me. . . .

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

Mrs. Gillis.—And he said, “Bend over me,” and I bent over and he whispered, ‘Mary, if God spares me I’ll never touch a drop o’ drink again.’ . . . “Oh, Mr. Thorpe.” (Sobs.)

Jeff.—Here! here! get out 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 husband. (Takes her by the arm.) You’re no use here! You’ll never be any use again; why is it a woman is only of some use when 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. (Yawns.)

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 somewhere else.

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 think 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 Claggett.

[Exit Bill. Enter Mullins.]

Mullins (comes with his hand out towards 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 evidence. 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 money.

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—— (Runs and strops a razor violently.)

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 dollars there was in the box they took, but 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?

Jeff.—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. . . . I’ve ruined them.

[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.—Do you mean that he can’t repay . . . can’t make restitution of 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 (angry and excited).—Work! Har! This tuppeny, ha’penny barber business—to pay back a thousand dollars . . . thousands of dollars . . that you robbed, by Gad! That’s the word! That you’ve robbed from your fellow 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. (Walking up and down.)

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

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 me. . . . To have lost that! but——

Mullins.—Why, 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).—Why, Mr. Mullins, Mr. Mullins—this is glorious—this is all I ask. . . . This is everything to me.

Mullins.—Yes, we still 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 $1,000 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 me 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’ll 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? (Yawn.)

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! (Yawn.) Ain’t it a caution the way money gets lost . . . beat’s all. (Yawn—then more energetically.) Say, Jeff, did you lose yourn, 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 his buttonhole.]

Smith (dumping down his 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 lost 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! You 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 yours, 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 allus 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 seen him last, eh?

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

Smith.—I 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 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—why—— Come back! look! here he comes now.

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

Andy (sinks panting into a chair).—I’ve seen them—the 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. . . . There’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 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. Thorpe, 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 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 scream—— It’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 waited—I waited 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 of them.

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 and caressing it.)

Andy.—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. (Yawn.)

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 weak 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! Why, 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’s 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.

Norah.—On the same day, Mr. Thorpe, if you’ll allow it.

Mullins.—Hear! Hear!

Jeff.—The Home founded and endowed—its money safe—and as to me—as to me—me! I wouldn’t change with a king—safe back in my old life again. . . Here, Myra . . . my coat . . . my white coat. . . . Ah! that’s something like comfort, that’s ease. (Getting in it.) 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 forward; 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. 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. (Bill has climbed into the chair.) Now, then, here goes—egg shampoo!



Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been corrected. Where multiple spellings occur, majority use has been employed.

Punctuation has been maintained except where obvious printer errors occur.

A cover was created for this eBook which is placed in the public domain.

[The end of Sunshine in Mariposa by Stephen Leacock]