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- Belinda - 6/17 -


BAXTER. I am bound to inform you, Mrs. Tremayne, that even a trained detective could not give you very much hope in such a case. However, I will keep a look-out for him, and, of course, if--

DEVENISH. Fear not, lady, I will find him.

BAXTER (_annoyed_). Yes, you keep on saying that, but what have you got to go on?

DEVENISH (_grandly_). Faith! The faith which moves mountains.

BELINDA. Yes, and this is only just one small mole-hill, Mr. Baxter.

BAXTER. Yes, but still--

BELINDA. S'sh! here is Miss Robinson.

(BAXTER _takes up his hat and moves below the deck-chair to_ R. _to meet_ DELIA.)

If Mr. Devenish will hold the hammock while I alight--we don't want an accident--

(DELIA _comes out of the house_.)

--I can introduce you. (_He helps her to get out, holding the hammock_.) Thank you. Delia darling (DELIA _moves down_ R.) this is Mr. Baxter,--and Mr. Devenish. My niece, Miss Robinson--

(DELIA _shakes hands with_ BAXTER _and moves to_ C. _below_ BELINDA _and shakes hands with_ DEVENISH.)

DELIA. How do you do?

BELINDA. Miss Robinson has just come over from France. _Man Dieu, quel pays!_

BAXTER. I hope you had a good crossing, Miss Robinson.

DELIA. Oh, I never mind about the crossing. (_Very slowly and shyly_.) Aunt Belinda----(_She stops and smiles_.)

BELINDA. Yes, dear?

DELIA. I believe tea is almost ready. I want mine, and I'm sure Mr. Baxter's hungry. (_He sniggers approvingly_.) Mr. Devenish scorns food, I expect.

DEVENISH (_hurt_). Why do you say that?

DELIA. Aren't you a poet?

BELINDA. Yes, darling, but that doesn't prevent him eating. He'll be absolutely lyrical over Betty's sandwiches.

DEVENISH. You won't deny me that inspiration, I hope, Miss Robinson.

BELINDA (_taking_ DELIA'S_ arm and moving with her to below deck- chair_). Well, let's go and see what they're like.

(DELIA _moves up_ R.C. _to below the porch, accompanied by_ BAXTER _on her_ R. _and_ DEVENISH, _who follows her on her_ L. _They all move towards the porch_.)

Mr. Baxter, just a moment.

BAXTER (_apologizing to_ DELIA _and moving in front of the others to back of deck-chair_.) Yes?

(DELIA _gathers a daffodil from a vase_ R. _and places it in _DEVENISH'S_ buttonhole_.)

BELINDA (_secretly_). Not a word to her about Mr. Robinson. It must be a surprise for her.

BAXTER. Quite so, I understand.

BELINDA. That's right. (BAXTER _rejoins_ DELIA. _Raising her voice_.) Oh, Mr. Devenish.

(DEVENISH, _who is evidently much attracted by_ DELIA, _apologizes to her and goes back between tree and hammock to_ L. _of_ BELINDA.)

DEVENISH. Yes, Mrs. Tremayne?

BELINDA (_secretly_). Not a word to her about Mr. Robinson. It must be a surprise for her.

DEVENISH. Of course! I shouldn't dream----(_Indignantly_.) Robinson! What an unsuitable name!

(BAXTER _and_ DELIA _are just going into the house_.)

BELINDA (_dismissing_ DEVENISH). All right, I'll catch you up. (DEVENISH _goes after the other two_.)

(_Left alone_, BELINDA _laughs happily to herself, and then begins to look rather aimlessly about her. She picks up her sunshade and opens it. She comes to the hammock, picks out her handkerchief, says, "Ah, there you are!" and puts it away. She goes slowly towards the house_. TREMAYNE _enters from_ L. _and with his back to the audience tries latch of imaginary gate below scenic painted gateway_ L. BELINDA _turns her head, hearing imaginary click of the garden gate_ L. _She comes slowly back_ R.C.)

BELINDA (_seeing_ TREMAYNE). Have you lost yourself, or something? No; the latch is this side. ... Yes, that's right.

(TREMAYNE _comes in. He has been knocking about the world for eighteen years, and is very much a man, though he has kept his manners. His hair is greying a little at the sides, and he looks the forty-odd that he is. Without his moustache and beard he is very different from the boy_ BELINDA _married_.)

TREMAYNE ( _with his hat in his hand _). I'm afraid I'm trespassing.

BELINDA (_winningly, moving down_ R. _a little _). But it's such a pretty garden (_turns away, dosing her parasol_), isn't it?

(TREMAYNE, _half recognizing her, moves to back of hammock and leans across to obtain a better view of her_.)

TREMAYNE (_rather confused_). I-I beg your pardon, I-er--- (_He is wondering if it can possibly be she_. BELINDA _thinks his confusion is due to the fact that he is trespassing, and hastens to put him at his ease_.)

BELINDA. I should have done the same myself, you know.

TREMAYNE (_pulling himself together_). Oh, but you mustn't think I just came in because I liked the garden---

BELINDA (_clapping her hands_). No; but say you do like it, quick.

TREMAYNE. It's lovely and--- (_He hesitates_.)

BELINDA (_hopefully_). Yes?

TREMAYNE (_with conviction_). Yes, it's lovely. BELINDA (_with that happy sigh of hers_). O-oh! ... Now tell me what really did happen?

TREMAYNE. I was on my way to Marytown---

BELINDA. To where?

TREMAYNE. Marytown.

BELINDA. Oh, you mean Mariton.

TREMAYNE. Do I?

BELINDA. Yes; we always call it Mariton down here. (_Earnestly_.) You don't mind, do you?

TREMAYNE (_smiling_). Not a bit.

BELINDA. Just say it--to see if you've got it right.

TREMAYNE. Mariton.

BELINDA (_shaking her head_). Oh no, that's quite wrong. Try it again (_With a rustic accent_.) Mariton.

TREMAYNE. Mariton.

BELINDA. Yes, that's much better .... (_As if it were he who had interrupted_.) Well, do go on.

TREMAYNE. I'm afraid it isn't much of an apology really. I saw what looked like a private road (_points_ L.), but what I rather hoped wasn't, and--well, I thought I'd risk it. I do hope you'll forgive me.

BELINDA. Oh, but I love people seeing my garden. Are you staying in Mariton?

TREMAYNE. I think so. Oh yes, decidedly.

BELINDA. Well, perhaps the next time the road won't feel so private.

TREMAYNE. How charming of you! (_He feels he must know. A piano is heard off playing "Belinda." The tune is continued until the fall of the curtain_.) Are you Mrs. Tremayne by any chance?

BELINDA. Yes.

TREMAYNE (_nodding to himself_). Yes.

BELINDA. How did _you_ know?

TREMAYNE (_hastily inventing, moving down_ L. _below the hammock_). They use you as a sign-post in the village. Past Mrs. Tremayne'a house and then bear to the left--

BELINDA. And you couldn't go past it?

TREMAYNE. I'm afraid I couldn't. Thank you so much for not minding. (_Going up to the_ L. _of her_.) Well, I must be getting on, I have trespassed quite enough.


Belinda - 6/17

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