Newspaper Page Text
His Partners We
A Real-Life Play in One Act
?? Sir Mall Caine
.afaitf lo afra. tfa<racr
.Of the f 'uituiltun Army
.Of the ( cjiKitliu? Atmy
Commissioner of Police, rum
LIEUTENANT DAVID HA ??? ?
^MBB. DAMO HAHPER -?.
* \ COSETTE THOMAS.
If BUI ROB?OS.
Copyright, 1920, by Hell Cain?. All
BASED VPON A HEAL EPISODE THAT
DUR1SU THE WAR.
BCBNE: Paris, shortly after the ?tgntng of the armistice..
t^wTHE scene is a sittiny room in an apartment house
in the Hue ?e la Chapelle, Paris. It is night. The
electric light burning.
(Enter Commissioner of Police and Ucneral Jackson.)
COMMI 88IONBR?This Is tbe scene or the crime. I thought
it best to hold the Inquiry on tbe spot.
COM. (calling)?Inspector, send In tbe accused officer. (Com?
missioner and general sit at large table. A lieutenant of
the Canadian army enters by door on right. To lieu
tenant)?This is merely a preliminary inquiry. If the
evidence against you seems sufficient you will be sent for
trial on a charge of causing the death of Daniel Harrlman
In this room, between the hours of ten and elea en last
nigbt. I represent the frenili police. General Jackson
Is here to watch the Inquiry for the Canadian Overseas
Forcee. You are not compelled to speak, hut I warn you
that anything you eay may be ueed against you. You
COM.?You are Lieutenant I.avld Harper, of the Canadian army,
formerly living at this address. It? Rue de la Chapelle.
j . Paris?
L1TB?UT.?No, sir; Lieutenant John Harper, formerly of Wlnnl
? ? peg, Canada. f
*C0M.?You adhere to that story?
COM.?Then you say the lady who lives In this apartment is not
COM.?Her child is not your chlhi? ?
LIEUT, (after short pause)?Ko, sir.
COM.?The dead man, Daniel Harrlman, was not your friend
and your partner?
LIEUT.?No, sir. ?
COM. (calling)?Cosette Thomas. (Enter a young French maid.)
You are tbe maid in this apartment?
COM.?Except yourself, your mistress and her little daughter
are tbe only persons living here?
COSETTE?Oui, monsieur. Mistress's husband has been at the
front since the beginning of the war.
COM.?Tell us what happened last night..
COSETTE?Mistress was dressing and I was putting little Marie
to bed when I heard a l-tag at tbe front door, monsieur.
It was Monsieur Harriman.
COM.?M. Harrlman was a friend of your mistress's?
COM.?He came frequently?
COM.?Generally at nigbt?
COM.?What happened next?
COSETTE??Monsieur Harriman cene through to this room and
I went to tell mistress, monsieur.
COM.?What did she say?
COSETTE?"You can go to bed. Cosette. I'll let monsieur out."
COM.?And about ten o'clock you were awakened by a pistol
COSETTE?Two shots, monsieur.
COSETTE?Mistress began to scream, and I put on some clothes
and came running in here, monsieur.
COM.?What did you see?
COSETTE?Mr. Harriman was on the floor and mistress was
crying over him, "He's dead! He's dead! My husband
has killed him."
?COM.?Cosette, how long have you been In Mrs. Harper's service?
COSETTE?Six months, monsieur.
COM.?Then you were not here when her husband went to the
COSETTE?Oh, no, monsieur. .
COM. in that case you have never seen him?
COMMISSIONER?And then he began
to make love to you?
(Cosette falls back.
a sergeant in the
COM. fcoIHnp;?Sergeant O'Dowd.
?? /'.m ?/ enters.) You are
SERGEANT?I am, sir.
COM.?You belong to the same company as the accused?
s ? ??; ? do. sir.
COM.?He is Lieutenant David Harper, isn't he?
HERO.- I guess he's not. sir.
?COM.?What reason hare you for guessing he's not?
HERO.?Because David Harper is dead.
SRRG. -There was a railway accident to the eleven n'clock train
from l'arie to the station for our camp, sir.
.StK'i ?in of our offit?4M-B were Willed la it, and lieutenant Mill?.
David Hal ?ari Wiaa ?Hie uf Ilion elr.
COM.?Then who do you aay Oils officer is?
HKRU I leuiuimni Jubo Harpei air.
(i U?ERA 11?There ?vere two l.iauieuaut Harpers In your
patiy, leu I that an. neigeant?
SICRii_Ther? woto. getterai.
?. ? NERA!. -Itelated'
HERO.?Not that I know of, air
HERO.?As like as two peae, elr.
COM.?You say Ltouleuant David Hariaer was one of the eeveu
('anadian officers killed lu last ulght? railway accident?
??Kit?. I do, sir. I found hlui animi? the dead, sir.
HERO. ? Don't speak of
COM.?Then how did you
SERO_As we used to do
on the battlefield?
by bis identifica
tlon dlak. sir.
COM.?What waa tt?
COM.?And what is Lieu
tenant John Har
COM_Bo if the accused
Is Lieutenant John
Harper his ?.lenti
flcatton disk will
bear the latter
SERO.?It will, elr. ?
(Sergeant steps up
to lieutenant, opens
his tunic, draws out
the disk and hands it
are satisfied? M.
COM. (sternly) ? Ser
geant O'Dowd, look
at this officer and
anawer me on your
word of honor aa
a soldier ? is he
Harper or la he
SERO, (after a moment,
', firmly)?He le not.
COM?You can go, ser
geant. Cosette, call
GENERAT? ? The wife?
In tbe first hours
of her bereave
ment? Is this nec
essary, M Commi??
COM.?I'm afraid it is,
general. (A young
woman enter?. Her
eyes are red, as if
she had been ory
ing.) You are tbe
wife of Lieutenant
MRS. H.?Widow, ?ir.
COM.?He waa a good
man and a good
MiRS. H? The beet man and the beat husband In tbe world, air?.
COM.?You knew the dead man, Daniel Harrlman?
MRS. H. (dropping her head)?Ye?, elr.
COM.?fWaa he a good man, also?
MRS. H. (fiercely)?,He was a fiend, sir.
COM.?Yet you were on Intimate terms with him?
MRS. H.?God forgive me, yes. ?
COM.?When did your intimacy begin? e *
MRS. H_I knew him before my marriage, sir.
COM.?Was he your lover, then, or merely a friend?
MR8. H.?A friend?he wished to marry me.
COM.?And you refused him in favor of David Harper?
MRS. H.?Yes, sir.
COM.?They were partners?
MRS. H.?Yea, ?sir.
COM.?When the wur broke out your
husband Joined up immedi
MRS. H.?Yes; ?being a Canadian he
Joined the Canadian forces, sir.
COM.?Leaving Harriman to carry on
MRS. H.?Yee; Mr. Harriman was to
pay my husband's share of tbe
pronte to me.
COM.?And did he?
MRS. H.?For two years, yes.
MRS. H.?Mr. Harrlman came-to tell
me that the business had tie
come bankrupt, that my in
come was at an end, that he
could eend me no more money.
COM.?The stopping of your income
waa a serious shock to you?
M2R8. H_It waa frightful. I had
my little Marie to care for.
COM.?-What happened eventually?
MRS. H ? When I could not pay my
rent, end my house was to be
?old, and I was told that I
would have to part with my
child, and put her Into a borne,
and go out to some kind of
service Mr. Harrlman came
COM.?He had started In business again ?by this time?
MRS. H.?Yes, with large Government contracta.
COM?And then he began to make love to you?
MRS. H. (dropping her head)?Yen.
COM.?Told you there waa no need for you to leave your beau
tiful home and eend your child Into a home nnd go out
to eervlce If you would only consent to receive his money?
COMI?And did you? ,
MRS. H. (breaking down)_Ob, ? waa a coward, a miserable,
wicked coward. But I couldn't part with my child and I
couldn't s?e tt suffer. Qod forgive me! God forgive roe!
COM.-Come to the fact? of the crime. What happened rosy
(0) itWV latematlaaal reatara lea ?lea, iBe.
"But don't think to trap me, as you've trapped others since
your husband went to the war.'*
H.?Mr. Harrlman called up to aay he waa ?..min,? lu tha
evening, but I tried to cut him off
MK8. n liai"? I had heard from my basbaud lhat be was
?back In eatap and eipetind u. gel home Immediately.
' <?M ? ??<? you tell Han-linen that?
Mitri H.?I daren't. He was always threaten ?ue ttiat be would
kill my buabaod If. he lived tin ..ugir the war and caitM
tien?? tu claim me.
COM.?Ho Harrlixaiati cauaet
COM.?And while ho was bore your li unbend arrived?
MR**). 11.?There was a terrible st??sae.
COM.?Describe It ?
.MIRK H.?Mr.. Harrlman Jumped to the conclusion that I had
led hi m Into ? trap
mid he curved me.
MRS. H My hu?beud
struck blm and he
MRS. H ?I don't know.
I fainted, and when
1 recovered tun
Hclousness I waa
on the floor and
Mrs. Harrlman was
dead and my hus
buntl was gone.
COM. (sternly) ? Mrs.
Harper, you are an
are you noti
COM.?Brought up In a
COM.?Then look at this
officer. No, look at
him. (With a great
effort she looks at
give me your sol
emn word?Is that
your husband, yes
MRS. H. fie?* an effort)
back to his seat,
gathering ap hi? pa
pers. Mrs. Harper
sinks on to music
are sat i s tied, M.
COM.?Satistled or not, I
can go no further.
(A child's cry comes
from the inner room.)
MRS. H. fin terror)?
(There is a breath
less ?Hence for a mo
ment. Then the door
on right is pushed
open and a child of
seven comes to the
threshold. She sees
the lieutenant, breaks
into a emile of recog
nition and runs to
him with a cry.)
CHILD?Papa ! Papa !
(Alt rise, holding their breath. For a moment the
lieutenant is seen to be going through a fearful ttruggle.
Then, with a tragic cry, he snatches the child up in his
LIBUT?Marie! My little Marie!
COM. (with a look of triumph)?Ah!
LIEUT., (putting down child, who goes to her mother)?Very
well, I admit It.
COM?And that you murdered Daniel Harrlman?
LIEUT.?If you call It murder to kill a scoundrel who had
COM.-l have nothing to do with that. II everybody with a
grievance were allowed to
take the law Into his own
hands there would be no
sani-lty in human Ufe.
GENERAL?Walt! Lieutenant, you
hear what the commissioner
saya. If your wifj has told
us the truth you are the only
person now living who knows
all that took place in this
room last night. Tell us your
LIEUT, fbracini* Mmself,??I was to
have come home on leave, as
It were, to-day, and yesterday
morning I received a message
from my wife.
COM.?8he telegraphed to you?
LIEUT.?Yes. She was overjoyed
by the news that I was com
ing back to her at last; had
laughed and cried over it; and
?ut going to bed at nine
o'clock to dream a dream on
LIETT. (fiercely)?At eight o'clock
I received an anonymoua letter.
COM.?What did It say?
LIEUT?That my wife had been
falae to me, that ehe waa living
with Harriman, and if I came
up that nicht I would find
COM?What did you do?
LIEUT, (grimly)?Caught the nine o'clock train to Paris.
COM.?What were yoH going for?
LIBUT. (with intensity)? To kill my wife.
COM,?You arrived at the Gare de l'Eet?
COM.?It would he ten o'clock by that time?
LIBUT.?Tie clock of the prison Ht. Lazare was striking ten
as I ran out of ttie etation.
COM.?You were running?
LIBUT.?Yes, all the way up the honlevatls until I came oppo
site this house, and then I drew np with a shock. The
windows ot this room were biasing with lieht! And she
had told me sbe whs going to bed at nine!
COM.-?*When you reached the door ?
Ora?! Pill.In ltlft.1? Ra.rr.a4
LIEUT. raat???*r,?</ his face,
mualc from this room.
which is now fearful)?I IveattiU
wats playing the -'taut? and singing. It ? a?
COM. -You lot youraolf In with your latchkey?
LIBUT.?Yea, Into the vootlbule. At the neat moment I haul
bruiteti upeu ratal door and burst luto thla room
<t?M What did you aee bare?
1.1 hi I ? My wife, there, at the piano, wearing jewel? I bad
never ??-en before, and Harrluian looking cloate ut? bei
eyes and cheering.
? While the lieutenant speak? the .toge U bluckod
out. In the darkness a woman's loice is heard einging
IV 'a. ?? the lights go up?low red light.?the .ame toowi
is revealed, but with commissioner, general, etc.. gone,
and the scene as the lieutenant has de.eribed tt, with
Mrs. Hai-per at piano and Harriman, in evening drtms.
HARRIMAN ? half intoa-toaled, laughing t nd clapping hi. hands)
?Brava! Brava! And now a klse!
Mit.?? H.?No, no! You must go bow. I muet get to bed. ..
HARRIMAN?A kiss first! You must! You shall*
.//? lays hold of her about the waist and is about to
* lease her when the door on right is flung open and Lieu
tenant Harper bursts into the room, wild, disheielled.)
LIEUT.?Is this what you've been doing while I've been away-?
lighting for you at Uie front?
MRH. H.?Don't kill me, David. It waan't my fault. Before
God, tt waan't my fault I'm Innocent, (she turns to
Harriman, laying hold of his arm and crying): Bay I am
HARRIMAN (i/rindiny his teeth and throwing her off)?Innocent!
You Innocent? Do you think I don't see through the trick
you've played on me?bringing your husband here to catch
me? Nobody but you knew that I wae coming. Innocent, by
Ood! Why, every rag on your body and every etick in
your place has been paid for by me. I've given you hun
dreds? thousands. You jilted me to marry this brute,
and now you hate brought him here to threaten me with
tbe courts. But don't think to trap me, as you've trapped
others since your husband went to tbe war. Let me get
obt of this house, damn you!
(He is pushing ?. r savagely aside, and making for the
door, when Lieutenant Harper leaps at him and seixes
him by the neck of his shirt.)
LIEUT.?You lie, you dog! You lie, you coward and villain!
LIEUT.?My wife was a good woman until ehe met with you.
ist ? iking him and flinging him off.) You devil. You dogi
(Harriman falls, then struggles to hi? feet and puts
his hand to his hip pocket.)
HARRIMAN?Make way to let me pane.
MRS. H. (fainting)? David! David! (She faints and falls.)
HARRIMAN (drawing revolver)?Let me pass or I'll blow your
brains out! (He raises the revoir er to fire.)
(Lieutenant Harper stoops, leaps under his arm and
knocks it up. The shot is' fired into the ceiling. Harri
man is about to fire again, when Lieutenant Harper
whips out his service revolver and fires. Harriman,
with a cry, falls heavily.)
LIBUT. (laughing wildly)?You fool! Kill me, would you? Do
you think I've been four years at tbe front for nothing.'
(Dead silence. Then lieutenant looks down at Harrlman
and realizes what he has done.) Dead! Dorothy! (Xo
answer.) Dorothy! The worst has happened?l'\e killed
Harriman. I'm sorry for you, but you've brousrht this on
1 yourself, you know. Go for the police. I'll not run away.
Why should I? (StUl no answer. lie looks rttMsd unC
see? her on the floor.) Fainted! (He looks toward the
door on left and calls.) Cosette! Cosette! (There it a
moment'? ?Hence; then a child's cry is heard.)
CHILD (within)?Mama! Mama! Mama!
LIBUT. (with emotion)?My child! My little innocent Marie!
(AU hi? courage i? ?ecn to ebb away.) She's coming out?
I can't look Into her face?I daren't. (Utterly broken he
turn? and flies out door.)
(The stage is blacked out again. When the white
lights go up the ?cene revealed i? the ?ame a* at first.j
COM.?You were going back to the railway station?
COM.?You saw your fellow-officers on the platform?
LIEUT.?Yes. They had ?pent a Jolly evening somewhere and
were laughing and joking. I tumbled Into an empty
COM.?What did you intend to do?
LIEUT.?Give myself up to tbe colonel. But as the train nut
Into the country there was a crash.
COM.?The railway accident?
LIEUT.?Yes, but I was unhurt, ami, clambering out of the car
riage, I helped to rescue the dying. One of them wae Lieu
tenant John Harper, and he was dead. Tearing open bis
tunic to feel his heart my hand struck against his disk.
And then a new thought came to me?why, why e.iould
I give myself up? Why should I die for wiping out a
scoundrel who had corrupted my wife by preying on her
poverty and the starvation of my child? Why shouldn't I
change places with my dead comrade? What harm would
it do to him to carry my name to his grave? I could live]
I coulai escape! Thank Ood! Thank God!
OKNERAIa?Commissioner, are you satisfied?now?
COM.?Perfectly! No court would convict In such a case. Har
rlman would have killed the lieutenant If the lieutenant
had not killed him. Lieutenant, you are free! (He exits.)
GENERAI/?Antl remember, my. boy, remember the good prayer
which says, "Forgive us our trnspssses aa we forgive them
that trespass against us." (He exit?.)
(lAeutenant Harper lookes fUrdly forward. Child tug?
at her mother'? hand. Mr?. H. rite?, goes to her hutband
and falls to her knee?.)
CHILD (taking her father* hand)?Papa!
LIBUT. i-??.? m.? lifting his wife up and clasping her in M?
erst* with great emotion)? Dorothy!