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Read Complete Plays of John Galsworthy Part 312

Complete Plays of John Galsworthy is a Webnovel created by John Galsworthy.
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In real life, which should I naturally do–put them in here [She touches her chest] or in my bag?

TOPPING. [Touching his waistcoat–earnestly] Well! To put ’em in here, Miss, I should say is more–more pishchological.

MAUD. [Subduing her lips] Yes; but–

TOPPING. You see, then you’ve got ’em on you.

MAUD. But that’s just the point. Shouldn’t I naturally think: Safer in my bag; then I can pretend somebody put them there. You see, n.o.body could put them on me.

TOPPING. Well, I should say that depends on your character. Of course I don’t know what your character is.

MAUD. No; that’s the beastly part of it–the author doesn’t, either.

It’s all left to me.

TOPPING. In that case, I should please myself, Miss. To put ’em in ‘ere’s warmer.

MAUD. Yes, I think you’re right. It’s more human.

TOPPING. I didn’t know you ‘ad a taste this way, Miss Maud.

MAUD. More than a taste, Topping–a talent.

TOPPING. Well, in my belief, we all have a vice about us somewhere. But if I were you, Miss, I wouldn’t touch bettin’, not with this other on you. You might get to feel a bit crowded.

MAUD. Well, then, only put the ten bob on if you’re sure he’s going to win. You can post the money on after me. I’ll send you an address, Topping, because I shan’t be here.

TOPPING. [Disturbed] What! You’re not going, too, Miss Maud?

MAUD. To seek my fortune.

TOPPING. Oh! Hang it all, Miss, think of what you’ll leave behind.

Miss Athene’s leavin’ home has made it pretty steep, but this’ll touch bottom–this will.

MAUD. Yes; I expect you’ll find it rather difficult for a bit when I’m gone. Miss Baldini, you know. I’ve been studying with her. She’s got me this chance with the movie people. I’m going on trial as the guilty typist in “The Heartache of Miranda.”

TOPPING. [Surprised out of politeness] Well, I never! That does sound like ’em! Are you goin’ to tell the guv’nor, Miss?

MAUD nods. In that case, I think I’ll be gettin’ off to my dentist before the band plays.

MAUD. All right, Topping; hope you won’t lose a tooth.

TOPPING. [With a grin] It’s on the knees of the G.o.ds, Miss, as they say in the headlines.

He goes. MAUD stretches herself and listens.

MAUD. I believe that’s them. Shivery funky.

She runs off up Left.

BUILDER. [Entering from the hall and crossing to the fireplace]

Monstrous! Really monstrous!

CAMILLE enters from the hall. She has a little collecting book in her hand.

BUILDER. Well, Camille?

CAMILLE. A sistare from the Sacred ‘Eart, Monsieur–her little book for the orphan children.

BUILDER. I can’t be bothered–What is it?

CAMILLE. Orphan, Monsieur.

BUILDER. H’m! Well! [Feeling in his breast pocket] Give her that.

He hands her a five-pound note.

CAMILLE. I am sure she will be veree grateful for the poor little beggars. Madame says she will not be coming to lunch, Monsieur.

BUILDER. I don’t want any, either. Tell Topping I’ll have some coffee.

CAMILLE. Topping has gone to the dentist, Monsieur; ‘e ‘as the toothache.

BUILDER. Toothache–poor devil! H’m! I’m expecting my brother, but I don’t know that I can see him.

CAMILLE. No, Monsieur?

BUILDER. Ask your mistress to come here.

He looks up, and catching her eye, looks away.

CAMILLE. Yes, Monsieur.

As she turns he looks swiftly at her, sweeping her up and down. She turns her head and catches his glance, which is swiftly dropped.

Will Monsieur not ‘ave anything to eat?

BUILDER. [Shaking his head-abruptly] No. Bring the coffee!

CAMILLE. Is Monsieur not well?

BUILDER. Yes–quite well.

CAMILLE. [Sweetening her eyes] A cutlet soubise? No?

BUILDER. [With a faint response in his eyes, instantly subdued] Nothing!

nothing!

CAMILLE. And Madame nothing too–Tt! Tt! With her hand on the door she looks back, again catches his eyes in an engagement instantly broken off, and goes out.

BUILDER. [Stock-still, and staring at the door] That girl’s a continual irritation to me! She’s dangerous! What a life! I believe that girl–

———-

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