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DABNEY (brushes back his sleeve and prepares to write with all the flourishes of old-fashioned penmanship): Well, well. We'll try it.
FLORA (watching him, suddenly exclaims): You have it, too! DABNEY (starts): What?
FLORA (watching his arm, fascinated): That drawing... painting on your arm.
DABNEY: Yes. Tattoo.
FLORA (as though to herself): Tattoo. I have a friend that has it. Birds and flags and things. (Quietly): He says he has it on his-(her hand indicates her bosom, but she falters and says)-back, too.
DABNEY (without looking up): So have I: the ten command
DABNEY (rising): And here-(giving a great thump on his chest). John Three Sixteen. I bear witness. And it is with this body, marked, that I shall rise again, when the trumpet shall sound.
FLORA: You must be a sailor?
DABNEY: I have been.
FLORA: Then you must know lots of them-seamen?
FLORA: Do you know...? Have you ever heard of the ship Caribee, that goes to Porto Rico?
DARNEY (his eyes on the table): Yes, I have heard of her. FLORA (edging around the table toward him): Do you know the second officer?
DABNEY: No. What's his name?
FLORA: Charles Hammersley.
DABNEY (heavily): No. I do not know him. Some young chap, belike.
FLORA (closer; quickly): But you go often to ships' offices, and sailors' hotels. You'll ask about him, and bring me word? DABNEY: No. I never go back to such places.
FLORA: But you must have friends that do. Other seamen. They will know.
DABNEY (trenchantly): No, I do not know seamen any more.
FLORA: But you can hunt up some old friends that will know. It will be easy to find this out for me. I must know. I can't go on any longer. I can't live with nothing.
DABNEY: I'm sorry, girl. I can do nothing. Think of other things. I'm not a seaman any more. They don't speak to me any more. I've done something they don't like.
FLORA (passionately): It wouldn't hurt you to humble yourself just once, and find him. It doesn't hurt to be laughed at. It's nothing.
DABNEY: Get up. I tell you it is impossible. It's not only that they don't like what I did. They're after me.
FLORA (hushed): But you couldn't...do anything...so bad, with those...things on.
DABNEY: I didn't say it was wrong. I know the reasons I had. Weighty reasons. Righteous reasons. They may think it was wrong.
FLORA (faintly): I don't believe it.
DABNEY (with slight touch of humor): I am not going to tell you about it, young lady. It was very near before you were born. FLORA (thinking of something else): The man in the hall will show you to your room. Nestor!
DABNEY: I thank you, madam.
FLORA (to her brother at the back): The room by the plum tree, Nestor.
NESTOR: Some one for you here, Flora. This way, sir. (He leads off Dabney, and shows in a little old man with white hair.) FLORA: You want a room alone?
GAYLORD: Yes, miss. Not too many stairs, miss.
FLORA: Fifteen dollars a month, then?
GAYLORD: Thank you, miss. Can I go right up now, miss? FLORA: Write your name in this book. (While he is writing Nestor and Sarah enter from the hall). Well?
NESTOR: The hall's crowded with 'em. They're sitting on the stairs, half the way up. Let them go and wait for you in the back drawing-room.
SARAH: Certainly not. The silver is in the sideboard. They might do anything. I can't keep my eye on so many at once. Dreadful people. Oh, stop this now, Flora, before it's too late.
FLORA (with an eye on Gaylord, who is staring at them, sharply): Mind yourself, Aunt Sarah. Nestor, you lead them in here, and I'll interview them in the back drawing-room. Come with me, sir; I've not finished with you.
(Flora takes the book from him, and leads him into the back drawing-room. Nestor draws aside the curtains, showing the applicants sitting on the stairs.
NESTOR: You may come in here and wait, ladies and gentlemen, until Miss Storey is able to see you.
(A silent and furtive crowd files gradually into the room. "The halt, the deaf, the dumb and the blind," figuratively speaking. A strange company, shabby, cautious and suppressed. Conspicuous among them is a young mother with a crying child in her arms. They settle into the chairs, their faces assume a fixed expression, staring either at the ceiling or the floor, and the curtain falls.)
END OF ACT I.
(To be continued.)
Thornton N. Wilder.
We respectfully call the attention of our patrons to the following tentative Table of Contents for the November issue, appearing on November 7th. We shall print month by month poems and stories of pure literary merit, and essays, covering the broad field of art and literature, the philosophy of college institutions, and questions of interest to a general public. Through our editorials and the newly-organized Discussion Column, and by special articles we shall keep in direct touch with the reorganization movement, presenting as many sides of the various problems as possible. We feel that we have a definite and large place in the University and would ask the friendly support of all who are interested in Yale.
TENTATIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR
The Trumpet Shall Sound (Play), continued from October issue.
By Thornton N. Wilder
The Common Freshman Year Discussed.....By Ganson Goodyear Depew Shall Teachers Strike?..
By John W. Andrews
The Alumni Committee-A Clearing House for Educational
By Samuel H. Fisher, 1889
In addition to these leading articles, poems, stories, and literary essays will appear.