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The Climbers A Play in Four Acts

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A drawing-room at the Hunters', handsomely and artistically furnished. The woodwork and furniture are in the period of Louis XVI. The walls and furniture are covered with yellow brocade, and the curtains are of the same golden material. At the back are two large windows which give out on Fifth Avenue, opposite the Park, the trees of which are seen across the way. At Left is a double doorway, leading into the hall. At Right, opposite, is a door which leads to other rooms, and thence to other parts of the house. In the centre, at back, between the two windows, is the fireplace; on the mantel are two vases and a clock in dark blue ormolu. There is a white and gold piano on the Right side of the room. The room suggests much wealth, and that it has been done by a professional decorator; the personal note of taste is lacking.

It is four o'clock in the afternoon. The shades of the windows are drawn down. There are rows and rows of camp-chairs filling the entire room.

The curtain rises slowly. After a moment, Jordan, the butler, and Leonard, a footman, enter from the Left and begin to gather together and carry out the camp-chairs. They do this with very serious faces, and take great pains to step softly and to make no noise. They enter a second time for more chairs.

Jordan. [Whispers to Leonard.] When are they coming for the chairs?

Leonard. [Whispers back.] To-night. Say, it was fine, wasn't it!

Jordan. Grand!

[They go out with the chairs and immediately reënter for more. They are followed in this time by a lady's maid, Tompson; she is not a young woman. As she crosses the room she stoops and picks up a faded flower which has fallen from some emblem. She goes to the window at Right, and peeps out. She turns around and looks at the others. They all speak in subdued voices.

Tompson. Jordan, what do you think—can we raise the shades now?

Jordan. Yes, of course—after they've left the house it's all over as far as we here are concerned.

[She raises both shades.

Tompson. Phew! what an odor of flowers!

[She opens one of the windows a little.

[Marie, a young, pretty, French woman, enters from the Right.

Marie. Will I help you?

Tompson. Just with this table, thank you, Marie. [They begin to rearrange the room, putting it in its normal condition. They replace the table and put back the ornaments upon it.] Poor Mr. Hunter, and him so fond of mince pie. I shall never forget how that man ate mince pie.

[She sighs lugubriously and continues her labor with the room.

Leonard. I hope as how it's not going to make any difference with us.

Jordan. [Pompously.] Of course not; wasn't Mr. Hunter a millionnaire?

Tompson. Some millionnaires I've known turned out poor as Job's turkey in their coffins!

Marie. What you say? You tink we shall 'ave some of madame's or ze young ladies' dresses?

Tompson. [Hopefully.] Perhaps.

Marie. I 'ave already made my choice. I like ze pale pink of Mees Jessie.

Leonard. Sh! I heard a carridge.

Tompson. Then they're coming back.

[Marie quickly goes out Right....