ACT I SCENE I
[Shows a primeval forest, with great trees, thickets in background, and moss and ferns underfoot. A set in the foreground. To the left is a tent, about ten feet square, with a fly. The front and sides are rolled up, showing a rubber blanket spread, with bedding upon it; a rough stand, with books and some canned goods, a rifle, a fishing-rod, etc. Toward centre is a trench with the remains of a fire smoldering in it, and a frying pan and some soiled dishes beside it. There is a log, used as a seat, and near it are several books, a bound volume of music lying open, and a violin case with violin. To the right is a rocky wall, with a cleft suggesting a grotto.]
[At rise: GERALD pottering about his fire, which is burning badly, mainly because he is giving most of his attention to a bound volume of music which he has open. He is a young man of twenty-two, with wavy auburn hair; wears old corduroy trousers and a grey flannel shirt, open at the throat. He stirs the fire, then takes violin and plays the Nibelung theme with gusto.]
GERALD. A plague on that fire! I think I'll make my supper on prunes and crackers to-night!
MIMI. [Enters left, disguised as a pack-peddler; a little wizened up man, with long, unkempt grey hair and beard, and a heavy bundle on his back.] Good evening, sir!
GERALD. [Starts.] Hello!
MIMI. Good evening!
GERALD. Why... who are you?
MIMI. Can you tell me how I find the road, sir?
GERALD. Where do you want to go?
MIMI. To the railroad.
GERALD. Oh, I see! You got lost?
MIMI. Yes, sir.
GERALD. [Points.] You should have turned to the right down where the roads cross.
MIMI. Oh. That's it!
[Puts down burden and sighs.]
GERALD. Are you expecting to get to the railroad to-night?
MIMI. Yes, sir.
GERALD. Humph! You'll find it hard going. Better rest. [Looks him over, curiously.] What are you—a peddler?
MIMI. I sell things. Nice things, sir. You buy?
[Starts to open pack.]
GERALD. No. I don't want anything.
MIMI. [Gazing about.] You live here all alone?
GERALD. Yes... all alone.
MIMI. [Looking of left.] Who lives in the big house?
GERALD. That's my father's camp.
MIMI. Humph! Nobody in there?
GERALD. The family hasn't come up yet.
MIMI. Why don't you live there?
GERALD. I'm camping out—I prefer the tent.
MIMI. Humph! Who's your father?
GERALD. John Isman's his name.
MIMI. Rich man, hey?
GERALD. Why... yes. Fairly so.
MIMI. I see people here last year.
GERALD. Oh! You've been here before?
MIMI. Yes. I been here. I see young lady. Very beautiful!
GERALD. That's my sister, I guess.
MIMI. Your sister. What you call her?
GERALD. Her name's Estelle.
MIMI. Estelle! And what's your name?
GERALD. I'm Gerald Isman.
MIMI. Humph! [Looking about, sees violin.] You play music, hey?
MIMI. You play so very bad?
GERALD. [Laughs.] Why... what makes you think that?
MIMI. You come 'way off by yourself!
GERALD. Oh! I see! No... I like to be alone.
MIMI. I hear you playing... nice tune.
GERALD. Yes. You like music?