Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: In Mizzoura
Part 2 out of 2
of green-backs and--[_Pantomimes._]--got out!
SAM. A hundred and twenty thousand--
JOE. Jump off?
SAM. No--got off at a water-tank.
JIM. I s'pose you'd know him agin?
LIZBETH. [_With nursery alarm._] He must a looked terrible.
SAM. [_Commonplace._] Well, he didn't--nice a lookin' feller as you
want to see. Black mustache--kind a curly hair--looked a little bit,
you know, like a race-horse man.
EM'LY. The company said Sam wrote the superintendent's order himself.
SAM. Oh, yes--got an expert to swear it looked like my writing.
EM'LY. Tain't a bit--like it.
JIM. [_To_ EMILY.] Did you see it?
SAM. No, but I showed her part of the letter he wrote to the
newspaper, saying I was innocent. [_Feels in pocket._] Ain't that
strange? Seems to be a kind-hearted fellow.
MRS. VERNON. Jes' drove to it I s'pose by drink.
SAM. Here it is. [_Hands paper to_ JIM.
JIM. Hello! [_Looks at_ KATE.
JOE. What is it?
JIM _hands paper to_ KATE.
KATE. [_After slight start--haughtily._] What do you mean?
JIM. Oh, not you, Kate. [_Smiling, to_ SAM.] 'Twasn't Kate dressed
up like a man--no! [_General laugh._] Oh, I didn't think that. [KATE
_vexed, goes up-stage._ JIM _in whisper to others._] Mad? [_JOE shakes
his head;_ JIM _nods interrogatively to_ MRS. VERNON.
MRS. VERNON. [_Looking after_ KATE.] Well, I can't see why.
JIM. [_After another look after KATE--to_ SAM.] Well, I suppose you
know you're watched.
SAM. [_Indifferently._] How's that?
JIM. There's a Pinkerton here--come last night--had a letter to me
from the Chief--sayin' they knew of me, an' hoped I'd co-operate with
this fellow in watchin' you--and they'd pay well for it.
SAM. [_Smiling._] What did you say?
JIM _shakes head--goes up centre._
EM'LY. Why, Jim kicked him off--of our stoop.
_General laugh._--LIZBETH _crosses to forge and gets pan._ ESROM
_enters playing jew's-harp._
ESROM. What about the coke, Mistah Vernon?
JOE. [_At forge._] Don't want none. [_Suddenly._] See here; look at
ESROM. Can't understand that--shouldn't ought to be no clinker in dat
JOE. Well, there it is--hard as flint.
ESROM. [_Examines clinker._] Funny clinker.
JOE. Well, there it is.
JIM. Hold on, Joe. I shouldn't wonder if that was that gumbo.
JOE. What gumbo?
JIM. The poultice. I throwed it among that coke.
JOE. Yes, here's some only half-burned.
ESROM. [_Going._] I knowed they shouldn't ought to be no clinker.
JOE. But look at this red piece--as hard as a rock.
JIM. [_Half-startled._] Why, Joe--[_Looks at him._
JIM. Well, nothing--
MRS. VERNON. Well, what about breakfast, everybody?
JOE. Let's finish it--come Sam--
SAM. I've had mine.
JOE. Well, come talk to us.
SAM. [_Going._] All right--got heaps to tell you.
LIZBETH. How do you like the Southern Hotel?
_Exeunt all but_ DAVE _and_ JIM. JIM _takes clinker and turns it
carefully over in his hand. Then looks through forge--goes to bench
near dog, and gets on hands and knees, looking under it._
DAVE. What you lost?
JIM. Here it is--[_Rises._] Some more of that gumbo. [_Crosses to
DAVE. What you goin' to do?
JIM. Burn it. [_Looks about as if hunting help._] Here--come pump
DAVE _crosses and takes bellows._
DAVE. What do you want to burn it for?
JIM. [_Ignoring question._] Say, Dave--
DAVE. [_Working bellows._] Well?
JIM. You know them old coal mines down by Jonesburg?
JIM. What do they sell that slack for?
DAVE. They don't _sell_ it--they _give_ it to anyone that'll haul it
JIM. I wonder if they wouldn't deliver it if you took a good deal.
DAVE. Don't know.
JIM _whistles cheerily a moment and examines gumbo burning._
JIM. [_Pause. Sitting on anvil._] You seem under the weather, Dave.
DAVE. [_Moodily._] Oh, I'd be all right, if I had a stidy job.
JIM. [_Laughing._] A steady job!--why, you've been workin' nights ever
since I knew you.
DAVE. I know--but Joe says--I--I ought to have a stidy job.
JIM. What's Joe got to do with it?
JIM. [_Amused._] Oh!
DAVE. An' I think I could get one, only he don't gimme no time off to
look fur it.
JIM. Wait a minute. [_Takes gumbo from fire._] Yes, sir--she's gettin'
hot. [_Puts it back and whistles a tune._
DAVE. I've almost made a set o' furniture myself.
JIM. Have, eh?
DAVE. Dug it out with that little draw-knife. I tell you--you can
make anything that's made out of wood--with a draw-knife.
JIM. [_On anvil again._] Well, it seems to me, Dave, that you're going
at it the wrong way.
DAVE. How's that?
JIM. The old man won't give his consent till you git a steady job.
DAVE. That's it--
JIM. And you want a steady job so's you can marry Lizbeth?
JIM. Well, you marry--marry Lizbeth, and you'll have a steady job.
[_Gets down._ DAVE, _absorbed with the idea, pumps vigorously._] Hold
on! [DAVE _stops;_ JIM _takes gumbo from fire with tongs, and plunges
it in the water._] Yes, sir, there it is--hard as a rock--and ain't it
a purty color?
DAVE. What you goin' to do with it?
JIM. I don't know but if the Wabash could get enough of it to ballast
that track that washes out every spring, I think they'd take it.
DAVE. [_In admiration._] Well, I'm durned. The raw gumbo is all along
their track. Wouldn't cost you nothin', would it?
JIM. Not if I kin get that Jonesburg slack--ha, ha!
DAVE. Why, that's great!
JIM. [_Drawing watch._] It's a half hour before train time. I'll jump
to St. Louis with the scheme. [_Stands thinking._
DAVE. [_Going._] I got to get the leather put on this shaft--but
that's great. [_Exit._
KATE _appears in outside door._
KATE. [_Coming toward_ JIM, _who is turning gumbo thoughtfully in his
JIM. Why, Kate--[_Gumbo._] See here--how's this for an idea?
KATE. What did you mean--by this? [_She extends letter._
JIM. Why, just that. I thought it looked like his writin',--same
backhand, and no shadin' to it.
KATE. How could Mr. Travers have written it?
JIM. Why, no use gettin' mad, Kate. It kin look _like_ his writin',
KATE. [_Going to anvil and leaning on back of it._] You don't like
him, Jim, do you?
JIM. [_Picks up old horse-shoe._] Well--[_Mechanically pounds gumbo
KATE. [_Pause._] Not much--
JIM. No--not a great deal, Kate.
KATE. [_Displaying the letter._] Do you think he's a bad enough man to
have done this?
JIM. Well, a fellow who takes a risk like that--to clear another man
who's been arrested in his place, ain't so bad.
KATE. A train robber!
JIM. Why, I don't _say_ he done it.
KATE. But you think so.
JIM. [_Laughing._] Oh, no, I don't--there's a ten thousand dollar
reward for the right man.
KATE. Then why hand this letter to me? Why imply it?
JIM. Why, Kate, I'm a friend of--your pa's--I've known you ever since
you was eight or ten years old. I don't know this man Travers--_you_
don't know him. He comes to your house.
JIM. Comes to see you, don't he?
KATE. [_Getting in front of anvil._] He does--what of it?
JIM. Why--I don't think I'd like a preacher of the Gospel if he was
to do that. [_Pause._] I--I never meant to say anything--but when
men--other men--I mean anybody gets to payin' you attention, why, I'm
afraid to keep still any longer--
KATE. [_Turns away._] To keep still--
JIM. [_Advances._] Yes, I've been sheriff here, an' whenever I've
had anything to do, I've said to myself, now don't--do
anything--ugly--'cause Kate--[KATE _turns toward him; he qualifies
tone._] some day, you know--Kate might think more of me if I hadn't
done it. You know yourself that I quit drinkin' a year before the
local option--on account of that essay you read, examination day--why,
Kate, I care more for how you feel about anything than I do for
anybody in the State of Mizzoura--that's just how it is. [_Pause._
KATE _is silent._] You kin remember yourself when you was a little
girl an' I used to take a horse-shoe an' tie it on the anvil an' make
a side-saddle for you--an' I reckon I was the first fellow in Bowling
Green that ever called you. Miss Kate when you come back from school.
KATE. [_Rather tenderly._] I didn't want you to call me Miss Kate,
JIM. Jes' fun, you know--an' now, Kate, when you're a woman, an' it's
only nature for men to like you,--I've got to ask you myself.
KATE. [_Pause._] I'm awful sorry you did it, Jim.
KATE. Yes, because I like you well enough, Jim--but--[_Pause. Enter_
JOE. KATE _stops._
JOE. Say, Jim--
JIM. [_Motioning_ JOE _to silence._] Go on, Kate--I ain't ashamed of
KATE. That's all there is to it--I just like you.
JIM. Well, I didn't know--you used to let me kiss you--
KATE. Yes, when I was coming home from school--I did. I thought I
was going to love you then. But there was the school. [_Pauses_] If I
hadn't gone to Lindenwood I might have thought so still. But we could
never be happy together, Jim--you haven't had proper advantages, I
know, and it isn't your fault. My _education_ has put the barrier
between us. Those four years at the Seminary--
JOE. [_Indignantly._] Why, Kate Vernon--everything you know, Jim
JIM. [_Imperatively._] Hold on--[_Pause._] You've heard her say no,
and--that lets you out. As far as I'm concerned--why, Kate's nearly
right. I don't know any more'n the law allows--but--that's for Kate to
JIM _extends his hand in appeal to_ KATE. KATE _turns her back to
audience--leans on anvil, firmly shakes her head "No,"_ JIM _motions
silence to_ JOE; _makes a struggle, and pulls himself together--turns
and kneels by dog, caressing it._
SCENE. _Same as_ ACT I, _but tidy. Doors closed and lamp lighted. Song
in blacksmith shop before rise of curtain._
DISCOVERED. DAVE _and_ LIZBETH _playing checkers on home-made board._
EM'LY _and_ SAM _looking on._ JOE _reading._ KATE _in walking dress
looking out window._ MRS. VERNON _with glasses mending some garments._
JOE. [_Annoyed by song--frets. Goes to the door._] Here, you
boys--don't hang around that shop; go up in the square an' sing.
MRS. VERNON. What you sen' 'em away fur?
JOE. Oh, it's one o' them blamed "mother" songs. Nobody ever sings
anything about father--except the "Old man's drunk again," or
somethin' like that.
DAVE. Your move, Lizbeth.
LIZBETH. [_Petulantly._] Don't I know it?
SAM. Move there.
DAVE. Hold on, I can't beat both of you.
LIZBETH. Don't tell me, Sam. I'd a moved there anyway. Come on, Dave.
KATE. [_Solus._] A whole hour longer; I cannot wait.
MRS. VERNON. What's fretting you, Kate?
MRS. VERNON. [_Indicates the melodeon._] Play something.
KATE. I can't play on that melodeon, mother.
MRS. VERNON. Poor old melodeon! for all the music we git out of
it--might as well be a folding bed.
ESROM. [_Appearing at window._] I knowed they oughtn't be any clinker
in that coke.
JOE. [_From his paper._] That's all right, Esrom.
ESROM. Don't want no mo' coke, Mistah?
JOE. No, no, no!
ESROM _hands_ KATE _a letter._
ESROM. [_Whispering._] He--he wants an answer.
DAVE. Hold on!
LIZBETH. Well, it's a king!
DAVE. Yes--but I move first.
_A knock at street door._
JOE. Come in.
MRS. VERNON. Good-evenin'.
JOE. [_Not turning._] Who is it?
JIM. You're all here, are you?
JOE. [_Rising._] Hello, Jim.
JIM. [_To_ JOE.] Hello. [EM'LY _goes to him; he puts his arm about
her._] How long you been here?
EM'LY. All day.
JOE _goes to the shelf at back and fills his pipe._
EM'LY. So's Sam.
SAM. Mrs. Vernon made us stay to dinner. Then _supper_.
JOE. Sam didn't feel like seeing the town folks.
SAM. Well, I didn't know how they'd feel about it.
JIM. What, think you did do it?
SAM. I didn't know.
JIM. That's just the reason; why, if you hang back, what can they do?
MRS. VERNON. [_Explaining._] Well, Em'ly was here.
JIM. I know, but Sam ought to have spunk to face 'em. It's got to come
and you might as well know where your friends are.
JOE. That's so.
SAM. [_Starting to door._] Well, I reckon most of 'em's up at the
JIM. [_Emphatically._] Walk right in amongst 'em.
SAM. Dog gone it! I ain't ashamed, but if they hint anything I'd feel
like smashing 'em--huh!
JIM. You got to.
SAM. All right. [_Exit._
JIM. Don't let me stop the game.
LIZBETH. Dave thinks all night.
EM'LY. [_To_ JIM, _putting him around._] Where have you been?
JIM. St. Louis. Been to see the railroad people. Say, Joe!
JIM. Sam's got the express people scared.
JOE. How's that?
JIM. Hearin' I was his friend, they hinted to me that they'd like to
JIM. [_Nodding his head._] I worked it up for him. Said Bollinger was
a regular terror.
EM'LY. Will the express company have to pay Sam?
JIM. Well, rather. And after they do, Sam ought to go down to their
president's office and kick 'em all around the back-yard.
JOE. What's ailing Kate?
MRS. VERNON. Seems out o' sorts--mebbe she'll tell me alone. [_Exit._
DAVE. [_Protesting._] You can't move backwards.
DAVE. That's cornered.
JOE. He's got you, Lizbeth.
JIM. I saw the Wabash folks.
DAVE. Have a talk with them?
JIM. [_Hands_ DAVE _a paper._] Yes--there's a memorandum
agreement--they'll take all I can give 'em at thirty dollars a
JOE. What's that?
JIM _takes a piece of gumbo from pocket and hands it to_ JOE.
JIM. [_To_ DAVE.] Now I've got a proposition for you.
JIM. You superintend the burnin' of the stuff, and I'll take you in.
DAVE. Why, Jim--[_Rises in delight._
JOE. What's this fur?
JIM. Yes, that road-bed that washes out. [_Pause._] Thirty dollars a
JIM. Me an' Dave.
DAVE. Why, Jim, I ain't got no claim on you.
JIM. You pumped the bellows this morning while I burned it.
JIM. And you want a steady job, don't you?
DAVE. Well--[_"I should say so," understood; turns to him._
JOE. But see here--[JIM _looks at him--waits._]--You goin' into this?
JIM. Wouldn't you, if you got the contract?
JOE. But Dave--Dave's helpin' me!
JIM. You told him to git a job, didn't you?
LIZBETH. [_Ready for a fight._] An' that's what you told me.
JIM. [_Abetting_ LIZBETH.] Yes.
JOE. But my business needs somebody.
JIM. Then why don't you let them git married?
JOE. An' me support them?
JIM. [_In disgust._] Hell!--
JOE. What's the matter?
JIM. Ain't he worth his wages?
JOE. I never said he wasn't.
JIM. [_In superlative display._] And he's made nearly a whole set of
JOE. But if I went to Jefferson, I was goin' to leave this shop with
LIZBETH. [_With pride._] Dave!
JIM. Well, that's different. See here! You let 'em get married. I only
want Dave to superintend this burnin'--it won't take two half-days a
week to kind a-look it over--we kin get niggers to do the work, and
Dave kin stay here.
DAVE. [_Hushing her._] Sh--
JOE. Well, I'll think it over and--
JIM. [_Positively._] No!
JIM. _I_ can't fool with you, Joe; he gits the girl or we quit.
LIZBETH. An' the girl goes too.
JIM. Yes, the girl goes too. [_Pause and smile._] It's your say, Joe.
[_Foot on chair._] Well, Joe, it's up to you.
JOE. [_Giving up._] Well, I can't help it.
JIM. [_Passing the approval to_ DAVE _and_ LIZBETH.] There's
your girl. And you've got a stiddy job! [DAVE _and_ LIZBETH _half
embrace._] What do you think of that? [_To_ JOE, _who is mechanically
looking at gumbo._] Thirty dollars per car.
JOE. [_Glad to change the subject._] Thirty, eh?
JIM. Every per car--and see here--Joe--
JIM. [_Draws second paper from pocket._] I've fixed up a kind of a
JIM. Yes. I can't tend to this new business and do much work as
sheriff, so I'm goin' to resign the sheriff part of it.
JOE. You mustn' do it, Jim--why, you've been keepin' the district like
JIM. Well, somebody else kin sing the Doxology--you turn that into the
council fur me.
_Enter_ KATE _and_ MRS. VERNON.
MRS. VERNON. I've put my foot down, Kate,--you can't go.
KATE. I am going.
MRS. VERNON. Joe Vernon, it's time you took a hand a-managin' this
JOE. What's the matter?
MRS. VERNON. I've told Kate she can't go out.
JOE. Well, ma,--Kate ain't a child.
MRS. VERNON. Your carelessness'll make her disgrace the whole family.
JOE. Hol' on, ma.
MRS. VERNON. I know what I'm talking about. I see that nigger give
Kate a letter.
JOE. Why, he don't know how to write.
MRS. VERNON. You don't suppose I think the nigger wrote it! It's from
JOE. Who is it from, Kate?
KATE. I don't care to tell. I'm going out. [_Starts_.
MRS. VERNON. [_Interposes_.] No, Kate, you ain't.
JOE. Why, ma--if Kate wants to go walkin'--
MRS. VERNON. All right, she kin walk. But getting letters sneaked to
her, and going out to meet a man's another thing. [_Persuasively going
to her_.] Why don't you tell, Kate?
KATE. [_Down to end of table_.] No one has a right to my letters.
JOE. Of course not. No _right_, Kate, but your ma's naturally anxious,
and she's only tryin' for your good.
KATE. [_Ready to weep_.] I'm awfully tired of it.
JOE. But you kin tell me--you ain't ashamed of it, air you?
KATE. No, I'm not!
MRS. VERNON. It's Travers, ain't it?
JOE. [_Coaxing_.] Is it, Kate?
KATE. Yes, it is.
JOE. Well, there, ma--see. [_Walks away as though matter were closed.
MRS. VERNON. Air you losin' your senses, Joe Vernon?
JOE. [_Irritated_.] The girl's tole you, ain't she?
MRS. VERNON. And jes' what I thought, too. She's goin' to meet him.
KATE. Well, what of it? You're polite enough to his face.
MRS. VERNON. Of course, if he'll come here like a man. But when I was
a gurl--it'd a been an insult fur a man to send a note askin' her to
meet him after dark.
JOE. [_Loudly chaffing_.] Oh, ma--now don't forget--
MRS. VERNON. You upholdin' her? Jim, that's the way I have to fight to
keep this family straight. What's _your_ opinion?
JIM. Well, 'tain't no business o' mine, Mrs. Vernon, and--
MRS. VERNON. Do you like his looks?
JIM. [_Pause_.] He ain't jes' my kind--but may be he don't like mine.
MRS. VERNON. Do you uphold his sending letters to Kate?
JIM. Why, Mrs. Vernon, I can't blame other men fur likin' Kate.
MRS. VERNON. Meetin' them after dark?
JIM. Kate knows how I feel about her--[_Pause_.] And if she wanted my
opinion I'd give it to her--but on the other hand--I've got an awful
lot o' confidence in Kate.
MRS. VERNON. Why don't you answer his letter, Kate, an' say you'll
be happy to receive him at your home? He won't think none the less of
KATE. I've promised to meet him, and I'm going to keep the
MRS. VERNON. Is she, Joe?
JOE. Well, ma, I can't tie her.
MRS. VERNON. Take Lizbeth with you.
KATE. I don't want Lizbeth with me.
LIZBETH. I won't play proprietary for her!
KATE. [_Starting up_.] I'm going alone. [_Crosses right_.
MRS. VERNON. [_With her back to street door_.] Not this door, you
KATE. Then the other. [_Exits, followed by_ MRS. VERNON.
MRS. VERNON. [_As she disappears by door_.] We'll see!
_Enter_ BOLLINGER _from street_.
BOLLINGER. [_In great excitement_.] Say, boys--man killed up at
JOE. [_Catching the thrill_.] Man killed?
LIZBETH _and_ EM'LY. Oh!
JOE. Run over?
BOLLINGER. [_Revelling in the gossip_.] Travers shot him. Sam Fowler
came in the drug-store, and the minute he saw him he said, "That's the
man robbed my car--"
JIM. [_Quietly_.] What's he look like?
BOLLINGER. [_Impatiently_.] Why, _Travers_--Sam says that's the
man--and Travers started for the window--stepped right into the
perfumery case, then on the sody-water counter, and this fellow
grabbed him. First we see Travers had his gun right against the
fellow's neck and--bang--he turned around with both hands up, this
way, and kneels down right at Bill Sarber's feet.
EM'LY. And Sam?
BOLLINGER. Oh, Sam's all right--say, kin one of you boys lend me a
gun--we're huntin' fur him.
JOE. Hunting who?
BOLLINGER. [_Intolerant of_ JOE'S _stupidity_.] Why, Travers.
JIM. [_In quiet contrast_.] Where'd he go?
BOLLINGER. Right through the window--knocked over both them green
lights--kicked a box o' lickerish all over the sidewalk--kin you spare
JOE. [_Bustling about_.] I ain't got but one, and I reckon I'll take a
JIM. [_To_ EM'LY.] Come, little gal, we got to go home.
JOE. [_At door. Calls_.] Ma--ma!--Say, Jim, you can't resign
to-night--I knowed they'd be trouble if you quit.
JIM. Better meet at the Court House. [_Exit with_ EM'LY _and passes
window going left_.
_Enter_ MRS. VERNON.
JOE. Where's my gun?
MRS. VERNON. What you want it fur?
JOE. [_Who is running a circle_.] What do you s'pose--fry eggs? Where
LIZBETH. Travers killed a man.
MRS. VERNON. [_Adding her part to the hubbub_.] Lor'! Travers!
JOE. Where is it, Lizbeth?
BOLLINGER. Ain't you got anything you kin lend me?
MRS. VERNON. Here it is. [_Hands gun_.
MRS. VERNON. Don't pint it.
JOE. That--the butt end--come on!
BOLLINGER. A butcher-knife's better than nothing.
LIZBETH. Here! [_Hands knife to_ BOLLINGER.
DAVE. [_As_ LIZBETH _holds him_.] You don't think I'm scared.
_Exeunt_ BOLLINGER _and_ JOE.
MRS. VERNON. I don't want you to shoot anybody, Joe; pint it in the
DAVE _exits; when off calls_ "Good-bye!"
MRS. VERNON. [_Impatient in doorway_.] I can't see what business it
is of Dave's when they's three policemen in town; uniforms--where's
LIZBETH. Jim took her home.
MRS. VERNON. Did somebody say Travers?
KATE. What is it?
LIZBETH. Travers shot a man.
KATE. What man--why?
MRS. VERNON. [_Accusingly._] Jus' natural deviltry--purty pass things
is coming to!
KATE. Whom did he shoot?
LIZBETH. We don't know--shot him here, in the neck.
_Enter_ Sarber _from street, hurriedly._
SARBER. Hello,--where's the boys?
MRS. VERNON. Have they ketched him?
SARBER. Don't know--we're all huntin'--[_Starts off._
KATE. [_Quickly._] Mr. Sarber--
KATE. Who is hurt?
SARBER. [_Shouting._] Don't know his name--Clark stuffed the hole full
of cotton. [_Indicating neck._] Says city'll have to pay for his green
lights and lickorish.
KATE. Did Mr. Travers shoot the man?
SARBER. Yes'm--nearer than you an' me--which way'd they go?
LIZBETH. Court House.
SARBER. Been an awful hot day. [_Exit._
KATE. [_In haunted fear._] What have you heard about it?
MRS. VERNON. Why, it don't surprise me, Kate.
LIZBETH. They say Travers is the _train-robber_--
LIZBETH. Sam Fowler knew him the minute he saw him--, that's why
Travers had to shoot--to git away!
MRS. VERNON. Not Sam?
LIZBETH. No, didn't shoot Sam.
KATE. There has been some mistake--these people have never liked Mr.
MRS. VERNON. I knowed he'd bring disgrace on the whole house,
Kate. [_Getting sun-bonnet._] I'll go in through Mrs. Clark's back
way--_she'll_ know--come, Kate, I'm your mother, and a mother never
deserts her child. [_In stage heroics._
KATE. [_Recoiling._] I don't care to go.
LIZBETH. Take me, ma.
MRS. VERNON. Come on, [_Exit with_ LIZBETH.
KATE. [_In wild-eyed panic._] Oh, how dreadful! This is what I have
felt coming all the day. It is my fault, too. If I had said 'yes' last
night, or only gone with him this morning--it couldn't have happened.
How horrible!--killed a man! They didn't tell me whom. I--I wonder
if my name was mentioned? They said--_Lizbeth_ said--_a
train-robber_--[_She leans on table for support._] That letter! Jim
thought the writing looked like his. Jim--Jim has told others his
suspicion--Yes--Jim Radburn has done it! I see! I see! Jim hated
him--they have persecuted him for _me_--Oh! oh! Why did I not go last
_Enter_ TRAVERS, _pale and breathless--revolver in hand. He closes the
door behind him._
TRAVERS. Who's there? [_Points toward shop._
KATE. No one. What is the matter? Tell me what you did--that pistol!
TRAVERS. In self-defence--they would have killed _me_ if they could.
KATE. You _shot_ him?
TRAVERS. Yes. [_As she hides her face._] Kate! Kate! I can't come in
front of the window--where can I go?
KATE. They will find you here. [_He turns, facing door with pistol,
left hand holding door shut, menacingly._] No,--not that--you wouldn't
shoot again! My father may come here!
TRAVERS. Kate! Do you believe me?
TRAVERS. [_Pleading._] In self-defence--they were ten--ten to one.
KATE. You are bleeding!
TRAVERS. [_Covers hand._] The window cut me--give me a drink--I'm
parching. [_She gets water in a dipper from bucket on bench._ TRAVERS
_drinks with the tin rattling on his teeth. Noise of a galloping horse
passes. He drops the dipper._] I don't think they saw me come in here.
KATE. Why did you come?
TRAVERS. Where else? I ran--turned every corner till I lost them. If I
can hide or get a horse!
KATE. [_Doubting him._] Why did they try to arrest you?
TRAVERS. I--I don't know, Kate--some mistake.
KATE. They said the express robbery.
TRAVERS. It isn't so--
KATE. [_Goes to table and leans on it with her back to_ TRAVERS.] Ah!
TRAVERS. Kate, [_Pause._] Kate, [_Pause._] you must believe me! Why
should I be here [_Pause._] in this little town--
KATE. Why did you shoot?
TRAVERS. I had to--they would have killed me--it is all a
KATE. What shall we do?
TRAVERS. If I had a horse--
KATE. But why?
_There is again the sound of approaching hoofs._
KATE. Some one is coming--[_He turns at bay._] No--I couldn't stand
it--go in here--[_Opens closet._] Quick!
TRAVERS. Yes! [_He enters the closet--she closes the door of the
closet and throws open the street door; goes to table._
JIM _rides into view and drops from his horse._
JIM. [_In door._] Hello?
KATE. [_Behind table._] Well?
JIM. [_After looking slowly about._] Where is he?
KATE. I--I--where is who?
JIM. [_In a matter of course way_] Travers.
KATE. Why, how should I know?
JIM. Then why don't you jes' say you don't know?
KATE. [_Behind chair._] Well, then, I don't know.
JIM. [_Shaking his head._] Too late now.
KATE. Too late?
JIM. Yes--if it'd been all right, you wouldn't a-tried to dodge me.
KATE. [_Near melodeon._] You may think as you choose.
JIM. [_Pause._] I'm awful sorry for you, Kate.
KATE. Oh, you needn't be.
JIM. [_On the "qui vive."_] But I want to see Mr. Travers.
KATE. [_In distress._] You--you annoy me very much. [_Sits left of
JIM. [_In real tenderness._] Why, Kate--Katie--see here--I'm your
friend--they ain't anybody in the world feels as bad for you as I
do--but be reasonable--it's only a question of time. I s'pose every
man in Bowlin' Green that owns a gun or a bowie knife's collectin' up
there at the Court House--your own pa and Dave--they'll be back here
after a while--and what then?--don't you see?
KATE. It's horrible--don't tell me it is duty makes them hunt a
fellow-man like that. [_Rises._
JIM. I don't pretend to know anything about that--[_Pause. Picks up
dipper; looks at_ KATE.] Poor chap--thirsty--oh, well--that's your
business, Kate. [_Puts dipper on the bench._
KATE. [_At bay herself._] You're not a man, Jim Radburn, you're a
bloodhound--you _hunt_ men.
JIM. Yes! [_Pause._
KATE. Yes. [_End of rocker-chair._
JIM. See here, Kate--I want a word or two with Mr. Travers. I think
the honestest thing he ever done was liking you--I--
KATE. [_Fiercely._] And that is why you _hate_ him! You think he likes
_me_! You think if it hadn't been for _him_ I might have liked _you_!
Well, I do like him--[_Pause._] that's why you hunt him! It isn't your
duty prompts you--it's your jealousy!
JIM. [_A pause in which he decides the question._] He's in that
KATE. [_Turning._] He is not.
JIM. [_Straddling a chair and facing closet. Speaks in ordinary
tone._] Travers, _come out_. If you don't come out, I'll shoot through
TRAVERS. [_Bursting from closet and levelling pistol._] Throw up your
JIM. [_Pause. In fateful monotone._] You're a damn fool! The sound of
a gun now would fill both them streets with pitchforks.
JIM. Oh, he won't!
TRAVERS. Do you think you can arrest me--alive?
JIM. It don't make no difference to me.
KATE. [_Anxiously pleading._] If you are innocent, Mr. Travers--if you
have acted in self-defence--
JIM. Wait, Kate--we ain't got time to _try_ him now. He ain't got
time; the boys are waiting up at the Court House. Mr. Travers, this
young lady likes you--very much. [_He slowly rises._
TRAVERS. [_Still covering him._] I know the cause of your hatred, Mr.
Radburn--I know you are here because I love her.
JIM. No, I'm here because _she_ likes _you_--if she didn't like you
'twouldn't make any difference to me how quick we came to terms; but
she likes you--your Pinkerton friend--[_Pause. Indicating neck._]
dead--the boys are up at the Court House. Clark is pretty hot about
them Jumbo bottles, and they wouldn't be reasonable--my hoss is
standing at the door--with anything like a fair start he can hold his
own--Louisiana town is eleven miles away, and jist across from that is
Illinois--and then you'll have to look out for yourself--now go!
KATE. [_With emotional appreciation._] Jim!
JIM. [_With a restraining gesture._] Never mind, Kate.
TRAVERS. You tell me to go?
JIM. [_Pause._] Yes.
TRAVERS. Why, there's ten thousand dollars' reward--
JIM. For the man that--went--in--that--car--but you ain't that man.
TRAVERS. On your horse?
TRAVERS. Kate--[_Starts toward her._
KATE. [_Shrinking._] Oh--h!
TRAVERS. [_Holds out hand._] Jim Radburn!
JIM. No--I give you my horse, but I'm _damned_ if I shake hands with
_Exit_ TRAVERS. KATE _sinks in chair sobbing._ JIM _in doorway regards
SCENE. _Exterior of_ JIM RADBURN'S _cabin-front, stoop and steps
showing. Rail-fence partly broken down is across the stage at right
and continues in painting on the panorama back-drop of rough country
with stacks of cord wood. Many stumps showing. A mud road winds into
the distance, a stile crosses fence._
DISCOVERED. JIM _on step with pencil and queer note-paper, writing on
a piece of broken board._
JIM. Hello! Dropped my pencil. [_Picks it up._] Of course fell on the
"buttered side," an' I've got to whittle it agin. [_Takes enormous
knife from his pocket and opens it._
_Enter_ EM'LY, _with milk-pails filled._
EM'LY. Say, Jim--
JIM. [_Whets knife on boot._] Well?
EM'LY. You let the pony out?
JIM. [_Sharpens pencil._] No.
EM'LY. Ain't in his stall.
JIM. I know. [EM'LY _looks at_ JIM _a moment and exits back of
house. Looking at paper._] I reckon that's right--Mayor and City
Council--[_Writes--first wetting pencil in his mouth._] Huh--I
s'pose I ought to write it in ink--dog gone it--[_Writing through his
speech._] If it wasn't for Em'ly I wouldn't care--not a damn--[_Looks
up._] I wonder whether it's U.G. or E.G. [_Writes._] I'll jus' kinder
round off the top an' play it both ways. "Resignation," and after
that, why they kin see me personally.
_Re-enter_ EM'LY, _with pails empty._ EM'LY _sings._
EM'LY. [_Pause._] Who did let him out?
EM'LY. Why, I thought you said you didn't.
JIM. Well, not to pasture; I give him to a feller.
EM'LY. [_Surprised._] Give him?
JIM. [_With meaning._] He needed him awful bad. [_Writes._
EM'LY _stands looking at him a moment; then turns to go._
EM'LY. Say! [_Puts pails down._
EM'LY. Here comes Sam.
JIM. [_Writing and not looking up._] Bully!
EM'LY. You want him?
JIM. No, but I reckon you will.
EM'LY. [_Smiling._] Git out.
JIM. [_Writing._] "P.S. This goes into effect from last night, and is
a copy--Joe Vernon has the original document."
EM'LY. [_On the stile. Looking off._] Hello!
SAM. [_Off._] Hello!
EM'LY. Awful glad.
SAM. Hello, Jim.
JIM. Hello, Sam.
SAM. Know where your pony is?
JIM. Gone East.
SAM. He's in Louisiana.
JIM. Who's got him?
SAM. Why, ain't you heard?
JIM. Ain't heard nothing this morning.
SAM. [_To_ JIM.] Travers stole him. [_To_ EMILY.] Stole Jim's pony
after shootin' the Pinkerton.
EM'LY. Why, Jim--
JIM. Never mind, Em'ly. [_To_ SAM.] Who told you?
SAM. The fellers. You know Travers was--er--
EM'LY. The train-robber--yes, you told us last night that--
SAM. Yes, but I mean you know he was--killed?
JIM. [_Rising. With some interest._] Killed? When?
SAM. Last night--didn't you know?
SAM. [_Puzzled._] Why, I thought you did--why, the fellers said--why,
dog gone it, they were blamed funny about it--they said, "Oh, I reckon
Jim knows"--then stuck their tongues this way in their jaw--I thought
maybe--[_Pantomimes pulling trigger._
JIM. No, hadn't even heard of it.
SAM. Going to run an extra this morning--over a dozen goin' down just
to see. Thought maybe Em'ly 'd like to go 'long and take a look at the
EM'LY. [_Eagerly._] Jim!
JIM. You're going, are you, Sam?
SAM. Why, calculated to.
JIM. Well, I wish you'd stay home this mornin' and kind a look after
JIM. I'm goin' to be pretty busy, I think, eh?
SAM. [_Willing to stay._] Sure.
_Exit_ JIM _into house._
EM'LY. Something's worrying Jim. [_Crosses to porch._
SAM. I guess this fellow's getting away last night.
EM'LY. No, something else. The operator waked me up after twelve
o'clock with a telegram--an' Jim answered it, and then got up and
dressed himself, and took both his guns and sat out on the porch
here--oh, for an hour.
SAM. Telegrams, eh?
SAM. Well, I guess some other robbery or something. A sheriff has so
much of that.
EM'LY. I know. But Jim's worried.
SAM. Well, I couldn't sleep myself last night.
EM'LY. Me neither. After you left here, and a-telling me about it, it
seemed I could see Travers shooting the man's neck every time I closed
SAM. He's a good deal better this morning.
SAM. The Pinkerton that was shot.
EM'LY. The Pinkerton?
EM'LY. I thought he was dead.
SAM. Oh, that's what Clark said--but the other doctor turned him over
and got him breathing again.
EM'LY. I'm so glad--poor fellow--and Jim kicked him so
yesterday--clean across that stile.
SAM. When he come here?
EM'LY. Yes, with that letter.
SAM. Speakin' of letters, I got one myself this morning.
EM'LY. [_Gets letter from pocket._] Who from?
SAM. Looks like a girl wrote it.
SAM. It's in typewritin' an' so I guess a girl did write it--but its
from the company.
EM'LY. More mean things?
SAM. Nicer than pie. See _here_, [_Reads:_] "_And regretting deeply
our error, we of course cannot deal with any lawyer, but would be
pleased with a personal call from you--your salary awaits you for the
time you have been absent--_"
EM'LY. [_Indignantly._] Been absent!
SAM. And they having me locked up in a hotel.
EM'LY. I should say so.
SAM. [_Reading:_]--"_been absent. And we can guarantee your regular
employment in our offices here or at any other station you may prefer.
Yours very truly, etc.,--Superintendent._"
EM'LY. Well, what do you think?
SAM. Not much--Bollinger says we can get twenty thousand dollars.
EM'LY. I know--that's what he told Jim too--he wanted us to put off
EM'LY. He said it would make a stronger case.
SAM. [_Resenting the idea._] Well, see here, Em'ly--
EM'LY. I'm only telling you what Bollinger said.
SAM. Put off our wedding?
EM'LY. He said for about two months.
SAM. What's he take me for?
EM'LY. Jim heard him.
SAM. What did Jim say?
EM'LY. He said--why, he said that was about ten thousand a month, just
SAM. No, sir-ee.
EM'LY. An' Bollinger, tryin' to encourage me, said he'd let his wife
go that long for half the money.
SAM. Well, do you think it's right?
SAM. Why, this postponing for damages.
EM'LY. Not if you don't--only Bollinger said it wouldn't hurt any to
SAM. See here, Em'ly--seems to me you ain't any too anxious you'self.
EM'LY. Well, how can a girl be, Sam--I can't just up and say I won't
wait--especially when they're your damages--I haven't got any right to
say I'm worth ten thousand dollars a month.
SAM. [_Embracing her._] Well, you bet your life you are.
EM'LY. [_Acquiescing._] Well--
_Enter_ DAVE _and_ LIZBETH.
DAVE. Hello, Sam.
LIZBETH. [_Pleased with the example of_ SAM _and_ EM'LY.] Dave!
EM'LY. Why, how do you do?
DAVE. Where's Jim?
SAM. In the house.
LIZBETH. Isn't it awful, Em'ly. [_She and_ EM'LY _go to the little
SAM. What's the matter?
DAVE. People don't understand it.
SAM. What do you mean?
DAVE. Why, Jim; lots of 'em thinks he did it.
SAM. Did what? Shoot Travers?
DAVE. No, give him that horse--
SAM. Give to him? Git out.
DAVE. Well, you bet they said so, and Bollinger and Sarber and Cal and
lots of them think so.
SAM. [_Astonished._] Git out!
DAVE. Yes, sir-ee.
SAM. They better not say that to me.
DAVE. Why, they'd say it to Jim--you ought to hear them talking at the
SAM. Is this the day of the convention?
DAVE. 'Tain't come to order yit, but they're all up to the Court
House,--one feller nailed the telegrams on a bulletin where everybody
could read them.
SAM. What telegrams?
DAVE. Why, Jim's.
_Enter_ JIM _from house._
JIM. Mornin', Lizbeth.
LIZBETH. How de do, Jim.
JIM. Kate feelin' all right?
LIZBETH. Well; you know--
JIM. Oh, yes--natural enough--ain't you workin', Dave?
JIM. Sure. Forgot the convention.
DAVE. Me and Lizbeth come together because we thought Sam and Em'ly'd
stand up with us.
JIM. At the Squire's?
DAVE. No, preacher's.
JIM. I reckon. [_Looks at_ EM'LY.
EM'LY. Of course.
JIM. Convention ain't met?
DAVE. Not yit.
JIM. I think I'll go down to the Court House. [_Starts down and stops
as he reaches the stile._] Hello!
SAM. What's up?
JIM. Nothing'--some o' the boys--comin' here, I expect--Say!
JIM. I mean Dave.
DAVE. How's that?
JIM. Will you do me a favour?
JIM. [_Pointing off right._] This letter--give it to the Mayor, or any
of the Council--some of them's sure to be at the convention.
DAVE. All right. [_He goes onto the stile and stops._] Bollinger's
one, ain't he?
DAVE. He's comin' with them fellers--
JIM. Well, give it to him--a little before he gits here.
DAVE. All right, Jim. [_Starts off--stops._] No trouble, you don't
JIM. No, I reckon not.
JIM. I want you and Lizbeth to go in the house. Go on!
EM'LY. [_Going._] What's the matter?
JIM. You go with them, Sam--and take care of 'em.
SAM. [_Joining the girls on the porch._] Why, Jim, if there's goin' to
be any trouble--
JIM. [_Watching the coming mob._] I reckon they ain't--and anyway I
want this side of the fence by myself. [_Exeunt_ LIZBETH _and_ EM'LY
_to house._] Take 'em way back to the kitchen.
SAM. [_At the door._] All right?
JIM. Dead sure.
_Exit_ SAM. JIM _removes his paper collar--adjusts the two guns under
his coat-tails--takes a chew of tobacco, and fatefully waits. Enter
back of fence_, BOLLINGER, SARBER, CAL, ESROM, DAVE, _and_ SUPERS;
DAVE _drifts away from them to left._ ESROM _playing Jew's-harp.
All enter when_ JIM _gets through his preparations and leans against
BOLLINGER. [_Loudly._] Here, stop the band.
SARBER. Stop her.
ESROM _is silent._
BOLLINGER. [Pause.] Hello, Jim. [_His tone carries a nagging
DAVE. I'll tell the old man, Jim. [_Going._
JIM. Oh, no hurry, Dave.
BOLLINGER. Well, they killed our friend down at Louisiana last night.
[JIM _chews and nods once._] Where's your pony?
JIM. [_After pause._] Have you looked in the stable?
BOLLINGER. [_Sneering._] No.
JIM. Well, don't.
BOLLINGER. Didn't calculate to, Jim. [_Pause._] You know what that
fellow said before they shot him.
JIM. [_Shakes his head._] No.
SARBER. [_In quarrelsome bawl. Pointing at_ JIM.] Why, he said--
BOLLINGER. [_Maintaining his leadership._] Hold on! it was understood
I was to do the talkin'.
ALL. Go on! Shut up, Sarber!
SARBER. He was takin' all day fur it.
BOLLINGER. [_Clashing._] I'll take as long as I damn please, and I'll
have the nigger play tunes between times if I want to--
ALL. Go on, Bollinger!
BOLLINGER. [_Resuming his nag of_ JIM.] Know what he said?
JIM. [_Pause. Chews and shakes head._] Don't care.
BOLLINGER. He said you _give_ him the pony.
JIM. You _hear_ him say so?
BOLLINGER. No, but the boys down Louisiana did; they knowed it was
your pony, and they arrested him.
SARBER. [_Again intruding._] Then they telegraphed you--
BOLLINGER. Hold on! [_Growl from_ MOB.] They didn't know he was the
train-robber--only thought he was a hoss thief--so they held him while
they telegraphed you--[JIM _nods. Pause._] That's the way we got on to
him--the operator showed us the message--[_Pause._ JIM _nods._] Showed
us your answer, too. [_Pause._ JIM _nods._] Here's a copy of it marked
Exhibit B. "The man tells the truth. The pony is his'n.--Jim Radburn."
SARBER. And we saw the original.
BOLLINGER. [_His anger now lifting his tone into police court
tirade._] While we were waiting up at the Court House where you told
us to go--and I didn't have a durn thing but a butcher knife--you were
a-standin' in with this feller and a-givin' him your boss to git away
SARBER. [_In same manner._] And durn good reason--Sam Fowler stood in
with him, an' he's a-goin' to marry your sister--in the house now--I
kin see him at the kitchen window. [_All growl, and half start over
the stile toward kitchen._
JIM. [_With sudden vehemence._] Hold on! [_Impressive pause; and quiet
by_ CROWD.] You better talk it over with me first.
BOLLINGER. Well, you give him the pony, didn't you? [JIM _is silent._]
JIM. What's that to you?
BOLLINGER. [_Half laughing._] Well--what is it to us--
_All laugh derisively._
ESROM. [_Emboldened to participate._] I knew 'twasn't no clinker in de
coke, 'cause he frowed de mud in it and--
BOLLINGER. Shoot that nigger.
SARBER. Shut up! [_Smashes_ NIGGER _in the mouth._
BOLLINGER. [_To_ JIM.] Well, say--[_Pause._] That was a fine way for a
sheriff to do,--wasn't it?
JIM. I've resigned.
BOLLINGER. I got your letter. You hadn't resigned last night; you know
there's a law for you, Mr. Radburn.
JIM. That's all right.
BOLLINGER. _You'll_ have to "do time."
JIM. [_Smiling._] When?
BOLLINGER. This session--you git a taste of the jug this morning.
JIM. Not this morning!
BOLLINGER. Well, we'll see--you go with us.
_Murmur and start._
JIM. [_Again in sudden warning._] Hold on, boys--[_Pause and recovery
of calm._] I claim everything this side of the fence. Now I know it
ain't sociable, but I don't want you to come in. Whenever the District
Attorney gits his witnesses together, I'll be there, but I won't go
this mornin'--[_Pause._] and anyhow I won't go with such a mangy lot
of heelers as you've scraped up this trip.
BOLLINGER. I reckon you will, Jim.
_Murmur and movement._
JIM. Hold on--[_Pause, with both hands on guns._] I don't want to
break my record, but I'll have to do it if you trespass on the lawn.
BOLLINGER. [_Discreetly on stile. After a pause._] I hope you don't
think we're scared, Jim?
JIM. No--ain't anything to be scared about, Tom--as long as you stay
outside.--Keep off the grass.
BOLLINGER. [_His irritation returning. Threateningly._] And don't you
dare to draw a gun on any of us. Say, Sarber--go down to the Court
House and git a warrant. If you had a warrant we could walk right in.
MRS. VERNON. [_Off._] Now, Kate, be careful.
_Enter_ KATE _and_ MRS. VERNON _over the stile--the_ MOB _parting to
KATE. What is the matter? Jim!
JIM. Won't you come in? Howdy, Mrs. Vernon?
KATE _and_ MRS. VERNON _come on._
KATE. [_Anxiously. To_ JIM.] What do these men want? [_To_ BOLLINGER.]
What is the trouble here?
BOLLINGER. [_Pointing at_ JIM.] Malfeasance.
BOLLINGER. Why, Miss Kate, he gave his horse to a man he ought to have
arrested--a train-robber--a murderer--and--
JIM. Hold on, Bollinger--man's dead, and he used to be a friend to
KATE. [_Crosses to the_ MEN.] No--do not speak of him--we thought he
was a friend--but why do you accuse Mr. Radburn?
JIM. No use talkin', Kate, they know.
BOLLINGER. You bet.
JIM. Lizbeth's inside--you an' Kate better go in, Mrs. Vernon.
KATE. No. Do you blame this man?
BOLLINGER. Blame him! Why, he's an accessory after the fact, and maybe
before--I don't see how he can git out of it! Here's his telegram,
really better than a plea of guilty--we ought to arrest him!
KATE. [_To_ BOLLINGER.] He is not guilty. [_To_ JIM.] Oh, Jim, Jim!
Can you forgive me? [_She extends her hand._
JIM. [_Taking her hand._] Why, Kate, 'tain't none o' their business.
KATE. No, it is all mine. [_Murmur from_ CROWD.--_To the_ MEN.]
Listen; all of you must know that Mr. Travers was attentive to me--I
believed he was a gentleman--we thought he was a friend--[_Half
crying._] but he never was half the friend--never _could_ be half the
friend that Jim Radburn's been--
JIM. [_Expostulating._] Kate!
KATE. [_To_ JIM.] Yes, I know all about it now--my father has told me
all--everything about my college days--I am humiliated to the dust.
JIM. Now, Kate--
KATE. You should have told me in the shop, when I presumed to speak of
JIM. [_To_ MEN.] See here--this is a little matter between me and
Kate Vernon--none of your business--so why don't you saunter off? [MEN
_start to go._
KATE. [_To the_ MEN.] No, I want them to stay. I have nothing to say
of Mr. Travers' doings--we were mistaken--but Jim Radburn thought I
cared for the man, and he was big enough to let him escape for _me_--I
am the one at fault--he has almost given up his life to me. You, Col.
Bollinger, and every one knows that he could win his nomination if he
wanted to--[_Turning to_ JIM.]--But he gave that up, too, because Joe
Vernon, my father, wants it. Oh, Jim! Jim! [_Sinks on steps, sobbing._
MRS. VERNON. [_Crosses to her._] There, Kate, I knowed it would be too
much fur you. [_To_ JIM.] She's took on this way since daylight.
JIM. Say, you fellers ain't got spunk enough to keep hoss flies off a
you. What do you want? Cold victuals?
BOLLINGER. Come on, fellers--[_The_ MEN _start off._] hold on, here's
Joe. [MEN _return._
MRS. VERNON. Joe Vernon!
_Enter_ JOE _and_ DAVE.
JOE. What's the matter, Jim? ain't nobody hurt? Why, Kate--
JIM. You made a pretty mess of it, ain't you?
JIM. [_Pointing to_ KATE.] Tellin' everything.
JOE. Well, that ain't all of it.
JIM. What ain't?
JOE. Why, they put them blamed telegrams up at the convention--I
didn't see them till the fust ballot was over, and they'd nominated
MRS. VERNON. For Jefferson, Joe?
JOE. [_In great excitement._] Yes, for the Legislature.
_Cheers from_ CROWD.
JIM. There, Kate, do you hear that? Now, what's the use cryin'?
JOE. And I made a speech--
MRS. VERNON. Git out.
JOE. Git out yourself--
MRS. VERNON. Say, your pa's been nominated, and made a speech!
JOE. Well, lemme tell you--
JIM. Well, never mind the speech, Joe--you're as good as elected
JOE. And you done every bit of it--why, I took them blamed telegrams,
and I told that convention everything I knew. Everything Kate told
me--about your getting off the track 'cause you liked her. Tom, you
told me yourself that Jim wasn't makin' no canvass fur the nomination.
Do you know why? 'Cause he liked my Kate. Last night he gimme his
resignation as sheriff. Do you know why?
BOLLINGER. Afore he give him the hoss?
JOE. Long before--and Jim Radburn, I believe you knowed then who that
feller was, and I told the convention so. He did give Travers the
hoss, and then I said, "He give up his pony to this feller 'cause
he didn't have the heart to make Kate feel bad"--and I said--"What's
Mizzoura--what's Pike County comin' to if we kin persecute a man like
that," and, by golly, they jus' stood on their hind legs and hollered
BOLLINGER. I'm a-comin' inside myself if he pulls both guns. [_Comes
over the stile._
JIM. Why, Tom.
_They shake hands._
JOE. An' they're up there now, like a pack of howlin' idiots,
unanimously re-electing you sheriff by acclamation, and "Vivy Vochy,"
over and over agin.
JIM. There, there, Kate--you're goin' to Jefferson soon--an' you kin
forgit all about it.
KATE. I don't want to go to Jefferson, Jim--I don't want to--forget
it. [_Turns, weeps on_ JOE'S _breast._
MRS. VERNON. Now, talk to her, Jim!
JIM. Not now--she feels too bad.
MRS. VERNON. But she'll get over that--she's comin' to her senses, an'
_she knows she likes you_. Talk to her.
JIM. Some other time.
Back to Full Books