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by Bret Harte


The Prodigals.

"SANDY" . . Son of Alexander Morton, sen.

JOHN OAKHURST . . His former partner, personating the prodigal son, Sandy.

COL. STARBOTTLE . . Alexander Morton, sen.'s, legal adviser.

OLD MORTON . . Alexander Morton, sen.

DON JOSE . . Father of Jovita Castro.

CAPPER . . A detective.

CONCHO . . Major-domo of Don Jose's rancho.

YORK . . An old friend of Oakhurst.

PRITCHARD . . An Australian convict.

SOAPY & SILKY . . His pals.

JACKSON . . Confidential clerk of Alexander Morton, jun., and confederate of Pritchard.

HOP SING . . A Chinese laundryman.

SERVANT of Alexander Morton, sen.--POLICEMEN.

MISS MARY MORRIS . . The schoolmistress of Red Gulch, in love with Sandy, and cousin of Alexander Morton, sen.

DONA JOVITA CASTRO . . In love with John Oakhurst, and daughter of Don Jose.

THE DUCHESS . . Wife of Pritchard, illegally married to Sandy, and former "flame" of John Oakhurst.

MANUELA . . Servant of Castro, and maid to Dona Jovita.


The Rancho of the Blessed Innocents, and House of Don Jose Castro.


Red Gulch.


The Banking-House of Morton & Son, San Francisco.


The Villa of Alexander Morton, sen., San Francisco.


ALEXANDER MORTON ("SANDY").--First dress: Mexican vaquero; black velvet trousers open from knee, over white trousers; laced black velvet jacket, and broad white sombrero; large silver spurs. Second dress: miner's white duck jumper, and white duck trousers; (sailor's) straw hat. Third dress: fashionable morning costume. Fourth dress: full evening dress.

JOHN OAKHURST.--First dress: riding-dress, black, elegantly fitting. Second and third dress: fashionable. Fourth dress: full evening dress.

COL. STARBOTTLE.--First dress: blue double-breasted frock, and white "strapped" trousers; white hat. Second dress: same coat, blue trousers, and black broad-brimmed felt hat; cane, semper; ruffles, semper. Third dress: the same. Fourth dress: the same, with pumps.

YORK.--Fashionable morning dress.

JACKSON.--Business suit.

CONCHO.--First dress: vaquero's dress. Second dress: citizen's dress.

HOP SING.--Dress of Chinese coolie: dark-blue blouse, and dark-blue drawers gathered at ankles; straw conical hat, and wooden sabots.

DON JOSE.--First dress: serape, black, with gold embroidery. Second class: fashionable black suit, with broad-brimmed black stiff sombrero.

OLD MORTON.--First, second, third, and fourth dress: black, stiff, with white cravat.

CAPPER.--Ordinary dress of period.

MISS MARY.--First dress: tasteful calico morning dress. Second and third dress: lady's walking costume--fashionable. Fourth dress: full dress.

DONA JOVITA.--First dress: handsome Spanish dress, with manta. Second dress: more elaborate, same quality.

THE DUCHESS.--First dress: elaborate but extravagant fashionable costume. Second dress: traveling dress.

MANUELA.--The saya y manta; white waist, and white or black skirt, with flowers.



SCENE 1.--Courtyard and Corridors of the Rancho.

MANUELA (arranging supper-table in corridor L., solus). There! Tortillas, chocolate, olives, and--the whiskey of the Americans! And supper's ready. But why Don Jose chooses to-night, of all nights, with this heretic fog lying over the Mission Hills like a wet serape, to take his supper out here, the saints only know. Perhaps it's some distrust of his madcap daughter, the Dona Jovita; perhaps to watch her--who knows? And now to find Diego. Ah, here he comes. So! The old story. He is getting Dona Jovita's horse ready for another madcap journey. Ah! (Retires to table.)

Enter cautiously from corridor, L., SANDY MORTON, carrying lady's saddle and blanket; starts on observing MANUELA, and hastily hides saddle and blanket in recess.

Sandy (aside). She's alone. I reckon the old man's at his siesta yet. Ef he'll only hang onto that snooze ten minutes longer, I'll manage to let that gal Jovita slip out to that yer fandango, and no questions asked.

Manuela (calling SANDY). Diego!

Sandy (aside, without heeding her). That's a sweet voice for a serenade. Round, full, high-shouldered, and calkilated to fetch a man every time. Only thar ain't, to my sartain knowledge, one o' them chaps within a mile of the rancho. (Laughs.)

Manuela. Diego!

Sandy (aside). Oh, go on! That's the style o' them Greasers. They'll stand rooted in their tracks, and yell for a chap without knowin' whether he's in sight or sound.

Manuela (approaching SANDY impatiently). Diego!

Sandy (starting, aside). The devil! Why, that's ME she's after. (Laughs.) I clean disremembered that when I kem yer I tole those chaps my name was James,--James Smith (laughs), and thet they might call me "Jim." And De-a-go's their lingo for Jim. (Aloud.) Well, my beauty, De-a-go it is. Now, wot's up?

Manuela. Eh? no sabe!

Sandy. Wot's your little game. (Embraces her.)

Manuela (aside, and recoiling coquettishly). Mother of God! He must be drunk again. These Americans have no time for love when they are sober. (Aloud and coquettishly.) Let me go, Diego. Don Jose is coming. He has sent for you. He takes his supper to-night on the corridor. Listen, Diego. He must not see you thus. You have been drinking again. I will keep you from him. I will say you are not well.

Sandy. Couldn't you, my darling, keep him from ME? Couldn't you make him think HE was sick? Couldn't you say he's exposin' his precious health by sittin' out thar to-night; thet ther's chills and fever in every breath? (Aside.) Ef the old Don plants himself in that chair, that gal's chances for goin' out to-night is gone up.

Manuela. Never. He would suspect at once. Listen, Diego. If Don Jose does not know that his daughter steals away with you to meet some caballero, some LOVER,--you understand, Diego,--it is because he does not know, or would not SEEM to know, what every one else in the rancho knows. Have a care, foolish Diego! If Don Jose is old and blind, look you, friend, we are NOT. You understand?


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