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The Fugitive   By: (1867-1933)

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A Play in Four Acts

By John Galsworthy


GEORGE DEDMOND, a civilian CLARE, his wife GENERAL SIR CHARLES DEDMOND, K.C.B., his father. LADY DEDMOND, his mother REGINALD HUNTINGDON, Clare's brother EDWARD FULLARTON, her friend DOROTHY FULLARTON, her friend PAYNTER, a manservant BURNEY, a maid TWISDEN, a solicitor HAYWOOD, a tobacconist MALISE, a writer MRS. MILER, his caretaker THE PORTER at his lodgings A BOY messenger ARNAUD, a waiter at "The Gascony" MR. VARLEY, manager of "The Gascony" TWO LADIES WITH LARGE HATS, A LADY AND GENTLEMAN, A LANGUID LORD, HIS COMPANION, A YOUNG MAN, A BLOND GENTLEMAN, A DARK GENTLEMAN.

ACT I. George Dedmond's Flat. Evening.

ACT II. The rooms of Malise. Morning.

ACT III. SCENE I. The rooms of Malice. Late afternoon.

SCENE II. The rooms of Malise. Early Afternoon.

ACT IV. A small supper room at "The Gascony."

Between Acts I and II three nights elapse.

Between Acts II and Act III, Scene I, three months.

Between Act III, Scene I, and Act III, Scene II, three months.

Between Act III, Scene II, and Act IV, six months.

"With a hey ho chivy Hark forrard, hark forrard, tantivy!"


The SCENE is the pretty drawing room of a flat. There are two doors, one open into the hall, the other shut and curtained. Through a large bay window, the curtains of which are not yet drawn, the towers of Westminster can be seen darkening in a summer sunset; a grand piano stands across one corner. The man servant PAYNTER, clean shaven and discreet, is arranging two tables for Bridge.

BURNEY, the maid, a girl with one of those flowery Botticellian faces only met with in England, comes in through the curtained door, which she leaves open, disclosing the glimpse of a white wall. PAYNTER looks up at her; she shakes her head, with an expression of concern.

PAYNTER. Where's she gone?

BURNEY. Just walks about, I fancy.

PAYNTER. She and the Governor don't hit it! One of these days she'll flit you'll see. I like her she's a lady; but these thoroughbred 'uns it's their skin and their mouths. They'll go till they drop if they like the job, and if they don't, it's nothing but jib jib jib. How was it down there before she married him?

BURNEY. Oh! Quiet, of course.

PAYNTER. Country homes I know 'em. What's her father, the old Rector, like?

BURNEY. Oh! very steady old man. The mother dead long before I took the place.

PAYNTER. Not a penny, I suppose?

BURNEY. [Shaking her head] No; and seven of them.

PAYNTER. [At sound of the hall door] The Governor!

BURNEY withdraws through the curtained door.

GEORGE DEDMOND enters from the hall. He is in evening dress, opera hat, and overcoat; his face is broad, comely, glossily shaved, but with neat moustaches. His eyes, clear, small, and blue grey, have little speculation. His hair is well brushed.

GEORGE. [Handing PAYNTER his coat and hat] Look here, Paynter! When I send up from the Club for my dress things, always put in a black waistcoat as well.

PAYNTER. I asked the mistress, sir.

GEORGE. In future see?

PAYNTER. Yes, sir. [Signing towards the window] Shall I leave the sunset, sir?

But GEORGE has crossed to the curtained door; he opens it and says: "Clare!" Receiving no answer, he goes in. PAYNTER switches up the electric light. His face, turned towards the curtained door, is apprehensive.

GEORGE. [Re entering] Where's Mrs. Dedmond?

PAYNTER. I hardly know, sir.

GEORGE. Dined in?

PAYNTER. She had a mere nothing at seven, sir.

GEORGE. Has she gone out, since?

PAYNTER. Yes, sir that is, yes. The er mistress was not dressed at all. A little matter of fresh air, I think; sir.

GEORGE. What time did my mother say they'd be here for Bridge?

PAYNTER. Sir Charles and Lady Dedmond were coming at half past nine; and Captain Huntingdon, too Mr... Continue reading book >>

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