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After All


Dialogue Following Song No. 1


PEN. You’ll excuse my keeping you waiting, sir, but the fact is —

SEL. Why, Pennyfather, old boy, don’t you know me?

PEN. Oh, of course, yes; how d’ye do? (Shaking hands.) I say, though — who are you?

SEL. Don’t you remember Harry Selworthy?

PEN. (putting on pince-nez) Why of course I do! (Shaking hands.) But — how much you’re altered! Ah, yes, of course — it’s the beard. Sit down, sit down; I’ve very glad to see you, very glad indeed. (SEL. sits C. PEN. stands R., regarding him.) And what have you been doing with yourself since I saw you?

SEL. You know I left England intending to invest that legacy of mine in cattle-farming in America.

PEN. And did you do so? (Sitting R. of table.)

SEL. (with assumed indifference). Yes. Went into partnership with a Western man; I found the capital, he the experience.

PEN. And how did you get on?

SEL. Oh, the old story. In six months he had the capital and I had the experience.

PEN. Dear me! What did you do next?

SEL. Bought a toothbrush and a revolver, and went down to Texas.

PEN. What did you do there?

SEL. The first thing I did was to shoot a sheriff. People were so delighted with my spirit of enterprise, that they offered me his berth.

PEN. Do you take it?

SEL. No. Played euchre same night with a silver-miner, my toothbrush against his boots; won his boots. Played him toothbrush and boots against his shirt; won that. Played him toothbrush, boots, and shirt against his braces; won again. Played toothbrush, boots, shirt and braces against his —

PEN. (looking round). S-s-s-h!

SEL. Well, I won the entire outfit.

PEN. What did you do then?

SEL. Crossed over the Rio Grande into Mexico. They were getting up a Revolution there, and, as I had two shirts, they made me Governor.

PEN. Did you govern long?

SEL. No. I collected the revenues as quickly as possible, and abdicated one night 20 September, 2007 took ship for England, and — here I am!

PEN. Well, after doing all that, I dare say you’d like a brandy and soda. (Going to bell on table, back of R.C.)

SEL. I shouldn’t mind. And what have you been doing?

PEN. Oh, the old drudgery. (Rings.)

SEL. Ah, you business-men always grumble at your professions, but I know you really love them.

PEN. We’re obliged to stick to them; but there’s no love lost between us. It’s just like — but you know the ordinary routine of a solicitor’s existence? (Returning, and coming forward, R.C.)

SEL. Not in the least. (Rising)

PEN. Then allow me to inform you.

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