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Three Hats A Farcical Comedy in Three Acts

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2CHARACTERS. Sam Selwyn, with a night adventure. Fred Bellamy, Selwyn’s unwilling slave. Capt. Katskill, of the Kilkenny Irregulars. Bosco Blithers, Professor of Penmanship. Dibbs, a boy in buttons. Mrs. Selwyn, Sam’s Wife. Grace, Sam’s Daughter. Lottie Blithers, secretly married to Fred. Tilly, a parlor maid. COSTUMES. Selwyn.—At first as described in the “Scene,” afterwards in ordinary dress. Bellamy.—Walking costume. Katskill.—Exaggerated military style. Blithers.—Eccentric old gentleman’s costume. Mrs. Selwyn and Grace.—in ordinary home dress. Lottie.—Showily dressed in walking costume. Tilly and Dibbs.—In servants’ dress. PROPERTIES.

Feather-duster; felt hat; three tall hats of different sizes; sword; umbrella.


Scene.—Drawing-room; door, L., at back looking into hall; chimney piece R. centre; doors on R. side in second and third entrances; door on left second entrance; window left; small sofa and armchair towards front; escritoire front, L. Music to take up curtain, “We Won’t Go Home Till Morning,” played, piano. As curtain rises stage is unoccupied and in semi-darkness, Selwyn opens door at back, L., and quietly creeps across, the collar of his overcoat is up, and his hat is dripping with rain. He goes R. on tiptoe and off third entrance, then returns to fix a paper on door and exit same way. Fred Bellamy then enters by door at back, L., and executes similar business, holding his muddy boots in his hand, exit, L., second entrance.

Enter Dibbs door right second entrance, yawning and stretching himself, he carries feather brush in his hand.

Dibbs. Ooh! What a shame to have to turn out just when you begin to appreciate your pillow. (Reading paper on door, R.) “Call me at tea-time.” (Crossing to L. and reading paper on other door.) “Don’t call me until to-morrow.” (Looking at clock on chimney piece.) Hullo! Only seven o’clock! I’m up too soon! I have cheated myself out of a clear hour in bed. Shall I go back again? No! The governor’s left out his cigars and I know the best brands he keeps three sorts—these cost about sixpence each and he smokes ’em himself—these are worth perhaps twopence and are for the use of his friends—and these he gives to his father-in-law, warranted real cabbage, five shillings a hundred! I’m not his father-in-law, and I’m not his friend, so I’ll have a dip in here. (Taking some from first box.) It’s strange my tastes and the governor’s should be so similar—we both like the best of everything! (Lighting cigar.) I’m not in a bad billet here, nothing to do and no end of leisure to do it in, especially when the missus is away; she’s gone to her aunt’s at Tunbridge Wells, so master and his friend, Mr. Fred Bellamy, are left to do as they like. (Sits in easy chair, L.)

Tilly (entering, R. 2 E.). Nobody’s up yet and so I can go to the window and kiss my hand to the night policeman before he goes off his beat. (Going to window.) There he is, leaning 4against the lamp post like a “Polly bellvurdear” in blue. It’s ’is whiskers as first won my heart! I always had a weakness for whiskers and I’m sure they are the finest in the force! Oh! what rapture to hear the clergyman say to those whiskers, “Wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife,” and to hear those whiskers reply, “I will,” and then to walk arm in arm with them down the church——(Dibbs comes behind her and takes her by the waist; she screams.) Ah!

Dibbs. Caught you, have I? Making signals to the bobby. I’ll signal him! (Puts finger to his nose at window.)

Tilly. Oh! You impudent young rascal, how dare you insult a full-grown man; you without so much, as an ’air to your upper lip.

Dibbs. I’d rather have no mustarchers than a couple of blacking brushes under my ears!...