Shouts outside. Re-enter CARAMEL and TOTO.
Toto. Married at last.
Caramel. Yes, securely married at last.
Toto. Dear husband!
Caramel. Dear wife!
Toto. To think that my dream is realized, and that I’m a real live brigand queen at last. I’ve longed all my life to be a brigand queen.
Caramel. Yes, it’s a delightful life – so comfortable.
Toto. So unconventional.
Caramel. So snug.
Toto. So romantic.
Caramel. So respectable.
Toto. So – so honest.
Caramel. Yes, ‘so-so’ honest.
Toto. Then there’s such a good feeling between you all. You all hang together so well; that’s the best of it.
Caramel. Yes, we shall all hang together, and that’s the worst of it.
Toto. The life suits me down to the ground. I shall live and die a brigand queen.
Caramel. Quite so. But what a joke it would be if – if, I say – it turned out that we were not real brigands, but only respectable people who were playing at brigands! I say, if that were to take place, what a joke! Oh lord, what a joke it would be!
Toto. Yes, grim, not to say ghastly.
Caramel. Why, what would you do?
Toto. Do? What would I do if I thought you had deceived me? Let me think; – in the first place I would shoot you.
Caramel. Shoot me?
Caramel. You’re joking.
Toto. Am I? Try.
Caramel. But I only said ‘if’.
Toto. I know you did; but ‘if’ is quite enough. I am much obliged to you for the suggestion. It will be extremely useful to me in my profession.
Caramel. How, useful?
Toto. Why, thus. When I want to nerve myself to a deed of unusual daring, when I want to screw myself up to a pitch of remorseless fury, when I want to throw off the woman and assume the tigress, I shall only have to imagine for a moment that I have been made the victim of a practical joke. Do you understand?
Caramel. I think I understand.
Caramel. Thoroughly. I was only joking.
Toto. I am glad of it. ( Exit TOTO.)
Caramel. Whew! Here’s a pretty piece of business. Who’d have thought she had so much devil in her? And how is all this to end? I shall have to carry this sort of thing on to the end of my life; I’m committed to it. We shall get into nice hot water with the police; I know we shall. Gracious goodness! If we should be taken up; she’s always urging me to stop mail-coaches, and secure wealthy travellers. We shall catch a Tartar some day, as sure as a gun.
Caramel. (seeing him.) We are lost; the police are upon us.
Doro. Are you the ferocious Barberini?
Caramel. (in terror.) I am, but I have repented of all my crimes, and in a fit of remorse I was just going to deliver myself up to justice as you came in.
Doro. I am sorry for that, for I came for the purpose of joining your band.
Caramel. Then you’re not the police?
Doro. Not at all.
Caramel. (fiercely.) And yet you have dared, audacious mortal, to beard the ferocious Barberini in his den? Are you not aware that none but the police are ever admitted into this lair? Are ye not terrified at the probable consequences of your presumption?
Doro. Not a bit. You will no doubt be delighted to admit so promising a recruit to your band. I’m a dare-devil fellow, and whenever you have an expedition of unusual danger on hand, I only ask that you will place me at its head.
Caramel. You seem to have a pretty good opinion of yourself, you do.
Doro. No, I’m a reckless, desperate man. This is not courage, it is despair. I want to die.
Caramel. If I can assist you in any way – (Offers him pistol.)
Doro. You can. Appoint me your lieutenant.
Caramel. I think you’re a very pushing young man.
Doro. Then you refuse to admit me into your ranks?
Caramel. Yes, we’ve no opening for you at present. If any vacancy should occur, leave your address, and we’ll let you know.
Doro. Very good. Then, in the meantime, I suppose I must consider myself your prisoner. Take me; I surrender.
Caramel. Now look here! We don’t want any more prisoners. We’ve more than we can manage already. Go away. We’ve nothing for you. You are a very pushing young man.
Toto. Stop; what is all this about?
Doro. (aside.) Why, if I’m neither mad, nor asleep, this is my Toto.
Caramel. This, Toto, is a forward young man, who wants to join our band. I’ve told him we have no vacancy, and he had better join his friends.
Toto. You told him that?
Caramel. That is what I told him.
Toto. Then you’re a donkey. Come here, young man.
Doro. She don’t recognise me. She has forgotten her husband.
Toto. I like your appearance. It pleases me. You’re smart and active – I like your face; I fancy I have seen it before.
Doro. (aside.) She fancies she has seen it before! And this is the wife to whom I was married only three days since.
Toto. You seem to have all the qualities that should make an excellent brigand; I am Queen of the band, and I hereby admit you a member of it.
Caramel. But, Toto, my darling, reflect –
Toto. Silence! (to DORO.) Behave well, show yourself worthy of promotion, and you shall have it! (aside.) I cannot think where I seen that young man’s face before.
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