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Mr. Pim Passes By

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Scene.–The same and furniture exactly as in Act II.

(Mr. Pim is below settee L. standing in same position as at the end of Act II. George Marden is in centre of stage and Lady Marden is at foot of staircase. Their altitude is the same as at the end of Act II, and all are concerned about Olivia's hysteria.)

George. Dead! Dead!

Pim. Oh dear! Oh dear! I'm afraid I broke the news rather hastily. The double shock of losing one husband and being restored to another–

Lady Marden (coming to George). A dispensation of Providence, George. One can regard it in no other light. (Moves to R. of writing-table.)

George (coming to Pim). Yes! Yes! Well, I'm much obliged to you, Mr. Pim, for having come down to us this afternoon, and you understand that your news, though tardy, has been very welcome. De Mortuis, and so forth.

(Lady Marden crosses at back of writing-table to L.)

Pim (sadly repeating). De Mortuis–

George (shaking hands–anxious to get rid of him). Well, good-bye, and again our thanks.

(Crosses below and to L. of Pim and rings bell below fireplace.)

Pim (crossing to centre). Not at all. I shouldn't have broken the news so hastily. (Catches sight of Lady Marden up L., and with a profound bow.) Good-bye, Lady Marden.

Lady Marden (equally profound). Good-bye, Mr. Pim.

Pim. I'm afraid I broke the news too hastily. (Goes to table B.C. and takes up George's cap in mistake for his hat and is moving towards double-doors when George, noting this, picks up Pim's hat from L. of stage where it has been left from previous Act, and crosses with it to Pim.)

George. Mr. Pim, excuse me, but I think this is yours.

Pim (he takes it and looks at it closely, comparing it with the cap). This isn't my hat at all. (Puts George's cap down on table again.)

No, that isn't my hat. (Takes his own hat from George.) This is my hat. Good-bye! (Shakes hands.) Thank you so much. (Looking at cap on table.) Oh, no! Oh, no! (Moves nearer to door R.) Telworthy... I think that was the name.

(Exit doors R.)

(Lady Marden, annoyed at Pim's stupidity, comes down to L. of George.)

George (turning to Lady Marden and with a sigh of thankfulness). Well, this is wonderful news, Aunt Julia.

Lady Marden. Most providential. Well, I must be getting along now, George. Say good-bye to Olivia for me.

George (crossing towards double-doors as if to open them). Good-bye, Aunt Julia.

Lady Marden. No! No! I'll go this way–(going up to L. of writing-table)–and get Olivia out more, George. I don't like these hysterics. (Banging writing-table.) You want to be firmer with her.

George. Yes! Yes! Good-bye.

Lady Marden (going off up L.). Good-bye.

George (back again down centre and with great thankfulness). Dead! Dead! (Moves down to below settee L.)

(Olivia enters from staircase, watching him and coming quietly to C.)

George (approaching her enthusiastically). Olivia! Olivia! (Is about to embrace her, but she restrains him.)

Olivia (drawing herself up). Mrs. Telworthy!

George (taken aback). What? Olivia! I–I don't understand....