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The Pigeon   By: (1867-1933)

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A Fantasy in Three Acts

By John Galsworthy


CHRISTOPHER WELLWYN, an artist ANN, his daughter GUINEVERE MEGAN, a flower seller RORY MEGAN, her husband FERRAND, an alien TIMSON, once a cabman EDWARD BERTLEY, a Canon ALFRED CALWAY, a Professor SIR THOMAS HOXTON, a Justice of the Peace Also a police constable, three humble men, and some curious persons

The action passes in Wellwyn's Studio, and the street outside.

ACT I. Christmas Eve.

ACT II. New Year's Day.

ACT III. The First of April.


It is the night of Christmas Eve, the SCENE is a Studio, flush with the street, having a skylight darkened by a fall of snow. There is no one in the room, the walls of which are whitewashed, above a floor of bare dark boards. A fire is cheerfully burning. On a model's platform stands an easel and canvas. There are busts and pictures; a screen, a little stool, two arm. chairs, and a long old fashioned settle under the window. A door in one wall leads to the house, a door in the opposite wall to the model's dressing room, and the street door is in the centre of the wall between. On a low table a Russian samovar is hissing, and beside it on a tray stands a teapot, with glasses, lemon, sugar, and a decanter of rum. Through a huge uncurtained window close to the street door the snowy lamplit street can be seen, and beyond it the river and a night of stars.

The sound of a latchkey turned in the lock of the street door, and ANN WELLWYN enters, a girl of seventeen, with hair tied in a ribbon and covered by a scarf. Leaving the door open, she turns up the electric light and goes to the fire. She throws of her scarf and long red cloak. She is dressed in a high evening frock of some soft white material. Her movements are quick and substantial. Her face, full of no nonsense, is decided and sincere, with deep set eyes, and a capable, well shaped forehead. Shredding of her gloves she warms her hands.

In the doorway appear the figures of two men. The first is rather short and slight, with a soft short beard, bright soft eyes, and a crumply face. Under his squash hat his hair is rather plentiful and rather grey. He wears an old brown ulster and woollen gloves, and is puffing at a hand made cigarette. He is ANN'S father, WELLWYN, the artist. His companion is a well wrapped clergyman of medium height and stoutish build, with a pleasant, rosy face, rather shining eyes, and rather chubby clean shaped lips; in appearance, indeed, a grown up boy. He is the Vicar of the parish CANON BERTLEY.

BERTLEY. My dear Wellwyn, the whole question of reform is full of difficulty. When you have two men like Professor Calway and Sir Thomas Hoxton taking diametrically opposite points of view, as we've seen to night, I confess, I

WELLWYN. Come in, Vicar, and have some grog.

BERTLEY. Not to night, thanks! Christmas tomorrow! Great temptation, though, this room! Goodnight, Wellwyn; good night, Ann!

ANN. [Coming from the fire towards the tea table.] Good night, Canon Bertley.

[He goes out, and WELLWYN, shutting the door after him, approaches the fire.]

ANN. [Sitting on the little stool, with her back to the fire, and making tea.] Daddy!

WELLWYN. My dear?

ANN. You say you liked Professor Calway's lecture. Is it going to do you any good, that's the question?

WELLWYN. I I hope so, Ann.

ANN. I took you on purpose. Your charity's getting simply awful. Those two this morning cleared out all my housekeeping money.

WELLWYN. Um! Um! I quite understand your feeling.

ANN. They both had your card, so I couldn't refuse didn't know what you'd said to them. Why don't you make it a rule never to give your card to anyone except really decent people, and picture dealers, of course... Continue reading book >>

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