Four Short Plays by (AKA Lady Bell) Florence Eveleen Eleanore Olliffe

Four Short Plays

by(AKA Lady Bell) Florence Eveleen Eleanore Olliffe

Kobo ebook | March 3, 2015

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A Play in One Act.


Captain William Carteret, R.N. (about 48).
Rachel (his wife, 28).
A maid—not a speaking part—who only
brings in a letter.

Rachel and Carteret sitting in their comfortable drawing room, Rachel in armchair R.C. near a table, cutting a book with a paper-knife. Carteret on small sofa, L.C., with a little table near him on which is an ash-tray. He is smoking, and reading the "Pall Mall Gazette."

Rachel [continuing conversation as the curtain goes up]. Don't you agree with what I'm saying? I'm sure men are like that. Will, do you mean to say you don't agree?

Carteret [absently, looking up and down columns of paper]. Yes, I daresay.

Rachel. I know quite well what it means when a man says in that way [imitating his tone]—'Yes, I daresay,' and goes on reading. It means you're not thinking of what I'm saying—you're thinking of nothing but the paper.

Carteret [still looking up and down the columns]. Well, there are very interesting things in the paper.

Rachel. Of course there are. And it's still more interesting trying to guess which of them are true. But still it is rather boring that you should be reading the newspaper while I'm talking.

Carteret. Oh? I thought you were talking while I was reading the newspaper.

Rachel. That is a one-sided view, I must say.

[Carteret smiles, shakes the ash off his cigarette, and goes on reading without speaking].

Rachel. It is a pity you don't enjoy my society, isn't it?

Carteret [smiling]. A great pity.

Rachel. Will, I suppose that you like me as I am?

Carteret. Absolutely and entirely. Even when you talk unceasingly when I'm having a quiet read and smoke before dressing for dinner.

Rachel. Anyhow, you'd have to be interrupted soon, because you must go up when the clock strikes, and see Mary in bed.

Carteret [laughing happily]. Yes, the little monkey. I should never hear the end of it if I didn't. She's a tremendous tyrant, isn't she.

Rachel. Yes. I wonder what she'll be like when she grows up.

Carteret [smiling]. Like her mother, I daresay. Apt to talk when her husband's reading.

Rachel. To-night I want to talk. Do listen, Will—just this once!

[Carteret smiles and puts his paper down on his knee].

Carteret. Just this once, if you're sure it won't happen again.

Rachel. I was thinking about what men are like, and what women are like.

Carteret. You see, men don't want to be taking their souls to pieces perpetually as women do, to see what they're made of.

Rachel. But it is so interesting to do it, even if one's afraid of what one finds there.

Carteret. Afraid!

Rachel. Oh, yes. There are times when I'm thinking of things, when I'm all over the place. I can't help it.

Carteret. All over the place! Yes, that's quite true. You are.

Rachel. Well, as I said, I've been thinking—and I see that in heaps of ways men and women are so different.

Carteret. That's a very profound remark. Don't get beyond my depth, Rachel, pray.

Rachel. Will, you horrid old thing! But I don't care for your laughing at me. I'll go on. Men are so simple——

Carteret. And women so complicated?…

Rachel. Sometimes. Men take things and people for granted so much more than women do—sailors I do believe especially, are made like that. You take things for granted; you like everybody; you believe in everybody.

Carteret. Well, my experience has shewn me that you come fewer croppers in life if you believe in people, than if you're suspicious of them. It may be an illusion, but that's my experience.

Rachel. I wonder?… And there is another great difference. Women—so many women—are cowards; afraid, always afraid.

Carteret. Afraid of what, you foolish creature?

To be continue in this ebook

Title:Four Short PlaysFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 3, 2015Publisher:ARTHUR L. HUMPHREYSLanguage:English

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