"Our American Cousin" by Tom Taylor. Published by Good Press. Good Press publishes a wide range of titles that encompasses every genre. From well-known classics & literary fiction and non-fiction to forgotten−or yet undiscovered gems−of world literature, we issue the books that need to be read. Each Good Press edition has been meticulously edited and formatted to boost readability for all e-readers and devices. Our goal is to produce eBooks that are user-friendly and accessible to everyone in a high-quality digital format.
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Scene 1—Drawing room in 3. Trenchard Manor, C. D., backed by interior, discovering table with luncheon spread. Large French window, R. 3 E., through which a fine English park is seen. Open archway, L. 3 E. Set balcony behind. Table, R., books and papers on it. Work basket containing wools and embroidery frame. A fashionable arm chair and sofa, L. 2 E., small table near C. D. Stage handsomely set, costly furniture, carpet down, chairs, etc.
Buddicombe discovered on sofa reading newspaper. Skillet and Sharpe busily arranging furniture as curtain rises.
Sharpe I don't know how you may feel as a visitor, Mr. Buddicombe, but I think this is a most uncomfortable family.
Bud Very uncomfortable. I have no curtain to my bed.
Skil And no wine at the second table.
Sharpe And meaner servants I never seed.
Bud I'm afraid Sir Edward is in a queer strait.
Skil Yes, for only this morning, Mr. Binny, Mrs. Skillet says he—
Enter Binny, L. 3 E.
Binny Mind your hown business instead hof your betters. I'm disgusted with you lower servants. When the wine merchant presents his bills, you men, hear me, say he's been pressing for the last six months, do you?
Skil Nor I, that the last year's milliner's bills have not been paid.
Sharpe Nor I, that Miss Florence has not had no new dresses from London all winter.
Bud And I can solemnly swear that his lordship's hair has been faithfully bound in this bosom.
Binny That'll do, that'll do; but to remember to check hidle curiosity is the first duty of men hin livery. Ha, 'ere hare the letters.
Enter John Wickens, L. 3 E., with green baize bag. Binny takes bag, takes out letters and reads addresses.
Binny Hah! bill, of course, Miss Augusta, Mrs. Mountchessington, Lord Dundreary, Capt. De Boots, Miss Georgina Mountchessington, Lieut. Vernon, ah! that's from the admiralty. What's this? Miss Florence Trenchard, via Brattleboro', Vermont.
Bud Where's that, Mr. Binny.
John Why that be hin the United States of North Hamerica, and a main good place for poor folks.
Binny John Wickens, you forget yourself.
John Beg pardon, Mr. Binny.
Binny John Wickens, leave the room.
John But I know where Vermont be tho'.
Binny John Wickens, get hout. [Exit John, L. 3 E.]
Bud Dreadful low fellow, that.
Binny Halways himpudent.
Bud [Looking at letter in Binny's hand.] Why, that is Sir Edward's hand, Mr. Binny, he must have been sporting.
Binny Yes, shooting the wild helephants and buffalos what abound there.
Bud The nasty beasts. [Looking off, R. 2 E.] Hello, there comes Miss Florence tearing across the lane like a three year old colt.
Sharp & Skil Oh, Gemini. [Run off, R. 2 E. Bud. runs off, L. 2 E.]
Enter Florence, R. 2 E.
Flo [As if after running.] Oh! I'm fairly out of breath. Good morning, Binny, the letter bag I saw coming, Wickens coming with it. I thought I could catch him before I reached the house. [Sits R.] So off I started, I forgot the pond, it was in or over. I got over, but my hat got in. I wish you'd fish it out for me, you won't find the pond very deep.
Binny Me fish for an at? Does she take me for an hangler?
Flo. Give me the letters. [Takes them.] Ah, blessed budget that descends upon Trenchard Manor, like rain on a duck pond. Tell papa and all, that the letters have come, you will find them on the terrace.
Binny Yes, Miss. [Going, L. 3 E.]
Flo And then go fish out my hat out of the pond, it's not very deep Binny [Aside.] Me fish for 'ats? I wonder if she takes me for an hangler? [Exit disgusted, R. 3 E.]
Flo [Reading directions.] Lieut. Vernon. [This is a large letter with a large white envelope, red seal.] In her Majesty's service. Admiralty, R. N. Ah, that's an answer to Harry's application for a ship. Papa promised to use his influence for him. I hope he has succeeded, but then he will have to leave us, and who knows if he ever comes back. What a foolish girl I am, when I know that his rise in the service will depend upon it. I do hope he'll get it, and, if he must leave us, I'll bid him good bye as a lass who loves a sailor should.
Enter Sir Edward, Mrs. M., Augusta, Capt. De Boots, Vernon, L. 3 E.
Flo Papa, dear, here are letters for you, one for you, Mrs. Mountchessington, one for you, Capt. De Boots, and one for you, Harry. [Hiding letter behind her.]
Ver Ah, one for me, Florence?
Flo Now what will you give me for one?
Ver Ah, then you have one?
Flo Yes, there, Harry. [Gives it.]
Ver Ah, for a ship. [Opens and reads.]
Flo Ah! Mon ami, you are to leave us. Good news, or bad?
Ver No ship yet, this promises another year of land lubbery. [Goes up.]
Flo. I'm so sorry. [Aside.] I'm so glad he's not going away. But where's Dundreary. Has anybody seen Dundreary?
Dun Good morning, Miss Florence.
Flo [Comes down, L.] Good morning, my Lord Dundreary. Who do you think has been here? What does the postman bring?
Dun Well, sometimes he brings a bag with a lock on it, sometimes newspapers, and sometimes letters, I suppothe.
Flo There. [Gives letter. Dundreary opens letter and Florence goes up R. Dun. knocks knees against chair, turns round knocks shins, and at last is seated extreme, R.]
Dun Thank you. [Reads letter.]
De B [Reading paper.] By Jove, old Soloman has made a crop of it.
Dun A—what of it?
De B I beg pardon, an event I am deeply interested in, that's all. I beg pardon.
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