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Man on the Box   By: (1871-1932)

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[Illustration: Henry E. Dixey in "The Man on the Box."]




Author of The Grey Cloak, The Puppet Crown

Illustrated by scenes from Walter N. Lawrence's beautiful production of the play as seen for 123 nights at the Madison Square Theatre, New York

To Miss Louise Everts



I Introduces My Hero

II Introduces My Heroine

III The Adventure Begins

IV A Family Reunion

V The Plot Thickens

VI The Man on the Box

VII A Police Affair

VIII Another Salad Idea

IX The Heroine Hires a Groom

X Pirate

XI The First Ride

XII A Ticklish Business

XIII A Runaway

XIV An Ordeal or Two

XV Retrospective

XVI The Previous Affair

XVII Dinner is Served

XVIII Caught!

XIX "Oh, Mister Butler"

XX The Episode of the Stove Pipe

XXI The Rose

XXII The Drama Unrolls

XXIII Something About Heroes

XXIV A Fine Lover

XXV A Fine Heroine, Too

XXVI The Castle of Romance

He either fears his fate too much, Or his deserts are small, Who dares not put it to the touch To win or lose it all.

Dramatis Personae

Colonel George Annesley A retired Army Officer

Miss Betty Annesley His daughter

Lieutenant Robert Warburton Lately resigned

Mr. John Warburton His elder brother, of the War Department

Mrs. John Warburton The elder brother's wife

Miss Nancy Warburton The lieutenant's sister

Mr. Charles Henderson Her fiance

Count Karloff An unattached diplomat

Colonel Frank Raleigh The Lieutenant's Regimental Colonel

Mrs. Chadwick A product of Washington life

Monsieur Pierre A chef

Mademoiselle Celeste A lady's maid

Jane Mrs. Warburton's maid

The Hopeful A baby

William A stable boy

Fashionable People Necessary for a dinner party

Celebrities Also necessary for a dinner party

Unfashionables Police, cabbies, grooms, clerks, etc.

TIME Within the past ten years.

SCENE Washington, D.C., and its environs.



If you will carefully observe any map of the world that is divided into inches at so many miles to the inch, you will be surprised as you calculate the distance between that enchanting Paris of France and the third precinct police station of Washington, D. C, which is not enchanting. It is several thousand miles. Again, if you will take the pains to run your glance, no doubt discerning, over the police blotter at the court (and frankly, I refuse to tell you the exact date of this whimsical adventure), you will note with even greater surprise that all this hubbub was caused by no crime against the commonwealth of the Republic or against the person of any of its conglomerate people. The blotter reads, in heavy simple fist, "disorderly conduct," a phrase which is almost as embracing as the word diplomacy, or society, or respectability.

So far as my knowledge goes, there is no such a person as James Osborne. If, by any unhappy chance, he does exist, I trust that he will pardon the civil law of Washington, my own measure of familiarity, and the questionable taste on the part of my hero hero, because, from the rise to the fall of the curtain, he occupies the center of the stage in this little comedy drama, and because authors have yet to find a happy synonym for the word. The name James Osborne was given for the simple reason that it was the first that occurred to the culprit's mind, so desperate an effort did he make to hide his identity. Supposing, for the sake of an argument in his favor, supposing he had said John Smith or William Jones or John Brown? To this very day he would have been hiring lawyers to extricate him from libel and false representation suits... Continue reading book >>

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