This is the sixth book issued by the Beaumont Press 24 copies (four of

which are not for sale) have been printed on Japanese vellum signed

by the author and numbered 1 to 24 and 250 copies on hand-made paper

numbered 25 to 274 This is No. 46





Captain Hagberd (a retired coasting skipper).

Josiah Carvil (formerly a shipbuilder--a widower--blind).

Harry Hagberd (son of Captain Hagberd, who as a boy ran away from home).

A Lamplighter.

Bessie Carvil (daughter of Josiah Carvil).


A small sea port.

To rights two yellow brick cottages belonging to Captain Hagberd, one

inhabited by himself the other by the Carvils. A lamp-post in front. The

red roofs of the town in the background. A sea-wall to left.

Time: The present-early autumn, towards dusk.



CURTAIN RISES DISCLOSING CARVIL _and Bessie moving away from sea-wall.

Bessie about twenty-five. Black dress; black straw hat. A lot of

mahogany-coloured hair loosely done up. Pale face. Full figure. Very

quiet. Carvil, blind, unwieldy. Reddish whiskers; slow, deep voice

produced without effort. Immovable, big face._

Carvil (_Hanging heavily on Bessie's arm_). Careful! Go slow! (_Stops;

Bessie waits patiently_.) Want your poor blind father to break his neck?

(_Shuffles on_.) In a hurry to get home and start that everlasting yarn

with your chum the lunatic?

Bessie. I am not in a hurry to get home, father.

Carvil. Well, then, go steady with a poor blind man. Blind! Helpless!

(_Strikes the ground with his stick_.) Never mind! I've had time to make

enough money to have ham and eggs for breakfast every morning--thank

God! And thank God, too, for it, girl. You haven't known a single

hardship in all the days of your idle life. Unless you think that a

blind, helpless father-------

Bessie. What is there for me to be in a hurry for?

Carvil. What did you say?

Bessie. I said there was nothing for me to hurry home for.

Carvil. There is, tho'. To yarn with a lunatic. Anything to get away

from your duty.

Bessie. Captain Hagberd's talk never hurt you or anybody else.

Carvil. Go on. Stick up for your only friend.

Bessie. Is it my fault that I haven't another soul to speak to?

Carvil (_Snarls_). It's mine, perhaps. Can I help being blind? You fret

because you want to be gadding about--with a helpless man left all alone

at home. Your own father too.

Bessie. I haven't been away from you half a day since mother died.

Carvil (_Viciously_). He's a lunatic, our landlord is. That's what he

is. Has been for years--long before those damned doctors destroyed my

sight for me. (_Growls angrily, then sighs_.)

Bessie. Perhaps Captain Hagberd is not so mad as the town takes him for.

Carvil. (_Grimly_). Don't everybody know how he came here from the North

to wait till his missing son turns up--here--of all places in the world.

His boy that ran away to sea sixteen years ago and never did give a sign

of life since! Don't I remember seeing people dodge round corners out

of his way when he came along High Street. Seeing him, I tell you.

(_Groan_.) He bothered everybody so with his silly talk of his son being

sure to come back home--next year--next spring--next month------. What

is it by this time, hey?

Bessie. Why talk about it? He bothers no one now.

Carvil. No. They've grown too fly. You've got only to pass a remark on

his sail-cloth coat to make him shut up. All the town knows it. But he's

got you to listen to his crazy talk whenever he chooses. Don't I hear

you two at it, jabber, jabber, mumble, mumble------

Bessie. What is there so mad in keeping up hope?

Carvil (_Scathing scorn_). Not mad! Starving himself to lay money

by--for that son. Filling his house with furniture he won't let anyone

see--for that son. Advertising in the papers every week, these sixteen

years--for that son. Not mad! Boy, he calls him. Boy Harry. His boy

Harry. His lost boy Harry. Yah! Let him lose his sight to know what real

trouble means. And the boy--the man, I should say--must 've been put

away safe in Davy Jones's locker for many a year--drowned--food for

fishes--dead.... Stands to reason, or he would have been here before,

smelling around the old fool's money. (_Shakes Bessie's arm slightly_.)


Bessie. I don't know. May be.

Carvil (_Bursting out_). Damme if I don't think he ever had a son.

Bessie. Poor man. Perhaps he never had.

Carvil. Ain't that mad enough for you? But I suppose you think it


Bessie. What does it matter? His talk keeps him up.

Carvil. Aye! And it pleases you. Anything to get away from your poor

blind father.... Jabber, jabber--mumble, mumble--till I begin to think

you must be as crazy as he is. What do you find to talk about, you two?

What's your game?

(_During the scene Carvil and Bessie have crossed stage from L. to R.

slowly with stoppages_.)

Bessie. It's warm. Will you sit out for a while?

Carvil (_Viciously_). Yes, I will sit out. (_Insistent_.) But what can

be your game? What are you up to? (_They pass through garden gate_.)

Because if it's his money you are after-------

Bessie. Father! How can you!

Carvil (_Disregarding her_). To make you independent of your poor blind

father, then you are a fool. (_Drops heavily on seat_.) He's too much of

a miser to ever make a will--even if he weren't mad.

Bessie. Oh! It never entered my head. I swear it never did.

Carvil. Never did. Hey! Then you are a still bigger fool.... I want to

go to sleep! (_Takes off' his hat, drops it on ground, and leans his

head back against the wall_.)

Bessie. And I have been a good daughter to you. Won't you say that for


Carvil (_Very distinctly_). I want--to--go--to--sleep. I'm tired.

(_Closes his eyes_.)

(_During that scene Captain Hagberd has been seen hesitating at the

back of stage, then running quickly to the door of his cottage. He puts

inside a tin kettle (from under his coat) and comes down to the railing

between the two gardens stealthily_).


_Carvil seated. Bessie. Captain Hagberd (white beard, sail-cloth


Bessie (_Knitting_). You've been out this afternoon for quite a long

time, haven't you?

Capt. Hagberd (_Eager_). Yes, my dear. (_Slily_) Of course you saw me

come back.

Bessie. Oh, yes. I did see you. You had something under your coat.

Capt. H. (_Anxiously_). It was only a kettle, my dear. A tin

water-kettle. I am glad I thought of it just in time. (_Winks, nods_.)

When a husband gets back from his work he needs a lot of water for a

wash. See? (_Dignified_.) Not that Harry'll ever need to do a hand's

turn after he comes home... (_Falters--casts stealthy glances on all

sides_).... tomorrow.

Bessie (_Looks up, grave_). Captain Hagberd, have you ever thought that

perhaps your son will not. . .

Capt. H. (_Paternally_). I've thought of everything, my dear--of

everything a reasonable young couple may need for housekeeping. Why,

I can hardly turn about in my room up there, the house is that full.

(_Rubs his hands with satisfaction_.) For my son Harry--when he comes

home. One day more.

Bessie (_Flattering_). Oh, you are a great one for bargains. (_Captain

Hagberd delighted_.) But, Captain Hagberd--if--if--you don't know what

may happen--if all that home you've got together were to be wasted--for

nothing--after all. (_Aside_.) Oh, I can't bring it out.

Capt. H. (_Agitated; flings arms up, stamps feet; stuttering_). What?

What d'ye mean? What's going to happen to the things?

Bessie (_Soothing_). Nothing! Nothing! Dust--or moth--you know. Damp,

perhaps. You never let anyone into the house . . .

Capt. H. Dust! Damp! (_Has a throaty, gurgling laugh_.) I light the

fires and dust the things myself. (_Indignant_.) Let anyone into the

house, indeed! What would Harry say! (_Walks up and down his garden

hastily with tosses, jings, and jerks of his whole body_.)

Bessie (_With authority_.) Now, then, Captain Hagberd! You know I won't

put up with your tantrums. (_Shakes finger at him_.)

Capt. H. (_Subdued, but still sulky, with his back to her_). You want

to see the things. That's what you're after. Well, no, not even you. Not

till Harry has had his first look.

Bessie. Oh, no! I don't. (_Relenting_.) Not till you're willing.

(_Smiles at Capt. H., who has turned half round already!_) You mustn't

excite yourself. (_Knits_.)

Capt. H. (_Condescending_). And you the only sensible girl for miles and

miles around. Can't you trust me? I am a domestic man. Always was, my

dear. I hated the sea. People don't know what they let their boys into

when they send them to sea. As soon make convicts of them at once. What

sort of life is it? Most of your time you don't know what's going on at

home. (_Insinuating_.) There's nothing anywhere on earth as good as a

home, my dear. (_Pause_.) With a good husband...

Carvil (_Heard from his seat fragmentarily_). There they go... jabber,

jabber... mumble, mumble. (_With a groaning effort?_) Helpless!

Capt. H. (_Mutters_). Extravagant ham and eggs fellow. (_Louder_.) Of

course it isn't as if he had a son to make a home ready for. Girls are

different, my dear. They don't run away, my dear, my dear. (_Agitated_.)

Bessie (_Drops her arms wearily_). No, Captain Hagberd--they don't.

Capt. H. (_Slowly_). I wouldn't let my own flesh and blood go to sea.

Not I.

Bessie. And the boy ran away.

Capt. H. (_A little vacantly_). Yes, my only son Harry. (_Rouses

himself_.) Coming home to-morrow.

Bessie (_Speaks softly_). Sometimes, Captain Hagberd, a hope turns out


Capt. H. (_Uneasy_). What's that got to do with Harry's coming back?

Bessie. It's good to hope for something. But suppose now-------(_Feeling

her way_.) Yours is not the only lost son that's never...

Capt. H. Never what! You don't believe he's drowned. (_Crouches, glaring

and grasping the rails_.)

Bessie (_Frightened, drops knitting_). Captain Hagberd--don't. (_Catches

hold of his shoulders over the railings?_) Don't--my God! He's going out

of his mind! (_Cries_.) I didn't mean it! I don't know.

Capt. H. (_Has backed away. An affected burst of laughter_). What

nonsense. None of us Hagberds belonged to the sea. All farmers for

hundreds of years, (_fraternal and cunning?_) Don't alarm yourself, my

dear. The sea can't get us. Look at me! I didn't get drowned. Moreover,

Harry ain't a sailor at all. And if he isn't a sailor, he's bound to

come back--to-morrow.

Bessie (_Has been facing him; murmurs_). No. I give it up. He scares me.

(_Aloud, sharply_.) Then I would give up that advertising in the papers.

Capt. H. (_Surprised and puzzled_). Why, my dear? Everybody does it. His

poor mother and I have been advertising for years and years. But she was

an impatient woman. She died.

Bessie. If your son's coming, as--as you say--what's the good of that

expense? You had better spend that half-crown on yourself. I believe you

don't eat enough.

Capt. H. (_Confused_). But it's the right thing to do. Look at the

Sunday papers. Missing relatives on top page--all proper. (_Looks


Bessie (_Tartly_). Ah, well! I declare I don't know what you live on.

Capt. H. Are you getting impatient, my dear? Don't get impatient--like

my poor wife. If she'd only been patient she'd be here. Waiting. Only

one day more. (_Pleadingly_.) Don't be impatient, my dear.

Bessie. I've no patience with you sometimes.

Capt. H. (_Flash of lucidity_). Why? What's the matter? (_Sympathetic_.)

You're tired out, my dear, that's what it is.

Bessie. Yes, I am. Day after day. (_Stands listless, arms hanging


Capt. H. (_Timidly_). House dull?

Bessie (_Apathetic_). Yes.

Capt. H. (_As before_). H'm. Wash, cook, scrub. Hey?

Bessie (_As before_). Yes.

Capt. H. (_Pointing stealthily at the sleeping Carvil_). Heavy?

Bessie. (_In a dead voice_). Like a millstone.

(_A silence_.)

Capt. H. (_Burst of indignation_). Why don't that extravagant fellow get

you a servant?

Bessie. I don't know.

Capt. H. (_Cheerily_). Wait till Harry comes home. He'll get you one.

Bessie (_Almost hysterical; laughs_). Why, Captain Hagberd, perhaps your

son won't even want to look at me--when he comes home.

Capt. H. (_In a great voice_). What! (_Quite low_.) The boy wouldn't

dare. (_Rising choler_.) Wouldn't dare to refuse the only sensible girl

for miles around. That stubborn jackanapes refuse to marry a girl like

you! (_Walks about in a fury_.) You trust me, my dear, my dear, my dear.

I'll make him. I'll--I'll -------- (_Splutters_.) Cut him off with a


Bessie. Hush! (_Severe_.) You mustn't talk like that. What's this? More

of your tantrums?

Capt. H. (_Quite humble_). No, no--this isn't my tantrums--when I don't

feel quite well in my head. Only I can't stand this... I've grown as

fond of you as if you'd been the wife of my Harry already.

And to be told-------- (_Cant restrain himself; shouts_.)


Bessie. Sh--------! Don't you worry! (_Wearily_.)

I must give that up too, I suppose. (_Aloud_.) I didn't mean it, Captain


Capt. H. It's as if I were to have two children to-morrow. My son

Harry--and the only sensible girl--------. Why, my dear, I couldn't get

on without you. We two are reasonable together. The rest of the

people in this town are crazy. The way they stare at you. And the

grins--they're all on the grin. It makes me dislike to go

out. (_Bewildered_.) It seems as if there was something wrong

about--somewhere. My dear, is there anything wrong--you who are

sensible.. .

Bessie (_Soothingly tender_). No, no, Captain Hagberd. There is nothing

wrong about you anywhere.

Carvil (_Lying back_). Bessie! (_Sits up_.) Get my hat, Bessie....

Bessie, my hat.... Bessie.... Bessie. ...

(_At the first sound Bessie picks up and puts away her knitting. She

walks towards him, picks up hat, puts it on his head_).

Bessie, my... (_Hat on head; shouting stops_.) Bessie. (_Quietly_). Will

you go in, now? Carvil. Help me up. Steady. I'm dizzy. It's the thundery

  • background [´bækgraund] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.背景;经历;幕后   (初中英语单词)
  • helpless [´helpləs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无助的,无依靠的   (初中英语单词)
  • landlord [´lændlɔ:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.地主;房东;店主   (初中英语单词)
  • missing [´misiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.缺掉的;失踪的   (初中英语单词)
  • whenever [wen´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  conj.&ad.无论何时   (初中英语单词)
  • advertising [´ædvətaiziŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.广告a.广告的   (初中英语单词)
  • running [´rʌniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奔跑的;流动的   (初中英语单词)
  • cottage [´kɔtidʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.村舍;小屋;小别墅   (初中英语单词)
  • kettle [´ketl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.水壶   (初中英语单词)
  • reasonable [´rizənəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.合理的;有理智的   (初中英语单词)
  • sensible [´sensəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.感觉得到的   (初中英语单词)
  • domestic [də´mestik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.家庭的;本国的   (初中英语单词)
  • anywhere [´eniweə] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.无论何处;任何地方   (初中英语单词)
  • waiting [´weitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.等候;伺候   (初中英语单词)
  • patience [´peiʃəns] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.忍耐(力);耐心;坚韧   (初中英语单词)
  • sleeping [´sli:piŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&a.睡着(的)   (初中英语单词)
  • dislike [dis´laik] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.不喜爱,厌恶   (初中英语单词)
  • knitting [´nitiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.编织(物);接合;联合   (初中英语单词)
  • everlasting [,evə´lɑ:stiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.永久的,无尽的   (高中英语单词)
  • damned [dæmd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.该死的 ad.非常,极   (高中英语单词)
  • angrily [´æŋgrili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.生气地;愤怒地   (高中英语单词)
  • seeing [si:iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  see的现在分词 n.视觉   (高中英语单词)
  • extravagant [ik´strævəgənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.奢侈的;过度的   (高中英语单词)
  • impatient [im´peiʃənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不耐烦的,急躁的   (高中英语单词)
  • stubborn [´stʌbən] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.顽固的;坚持的   (高中英语单词)
  • restrain [ri´strein] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.抑制;管束;限制   (高中英语单词)
  • loosely [´lu:sli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.松散地   (英语四级单词)
  • reddish [´rediʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.带红色的;微红的   (英语四级单词)
  • mumble [´mʌmbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  v.咕哝 n.咕噜   (英语四级单词)
  • retired [ri´taiəd] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.退休的;通职的   (英语六级单词)
  • immovable [i´mu:vəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不能移动的,固定的   (英语六级单词)
  • lunatic [´lu:nətik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精神错乱的 n.疯子   (英语六级单词)
  • housekeeping [´haus,ki:piŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.家务管理,家政   (英语六级单词)
  • affected [ə´fektid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.做作的;假装的   (英语六级单词)
  • stealthily [´stelθili] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.偷偷地,隐秘地   (英语六级单词)
  • hysterical [hi´sterikəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.歇斯底里的,癔病的   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:17:04
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