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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 right? roeerved. HAPPENED I \. IBM | s 5 ?*? CHARACTER'S LIEUTENANT DAVID HA ??? ? ^MBB. DAMO HAHPER -?. * \ COSETTE THOMAS. SERGEANT O'DOWD. GENERAL JACKSON. If BUI ROB?OS. -)0( Copyright, 1920, by Hell Cain?. All -? )o( BASED VPON A HEAL EPISODE THAT DUR1SU THE WAR. -)0(-' BCBNE: Paris, shortly after the ?tgntng of the armistice.. -)o( 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.) -)o(- # COMMI 88IONBR?This Is tbe scene or the crime. I thought it best to hold the Inquiry on tbe spot. GENERAI. (Surt? 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 understand? ?LIEUTENANT?Perfectly. 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? LIEUT.?I do. COM.?Then you say the lady who lives In this apartment is not your wife? LIEUT?"No, sir. 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? COSETTE?Oui, monsieur. 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? COSETTE?Oui, monsieur. COM.?He came frequently? COSETTTE?Oui, monsieur. COM.?Generally at nigbt? COSETTE?Oui, monaieur. 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 shot? COSETTE?Two shots, monsieur. COM.?And then? 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 war? COSETTE?Oh, no, monsieur. . COM. in that case you have never seen him? COSETTE?Never, monsieur. COMMISSIONER?And then he began to make love to you? (Cosette falls back. a sergeant in the Rergeant Cansdian COM. fcoIHnp;?Sergeant O'Dowd. ?? /'.m ?/ enters.) You are army? 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. COM.?Dead ? SRRG. -There was a railway accident to the eleven n'clock train from l'arie to the station for our camp, sir. ?COM.?Well? 6 .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 iitNtHAL-Au? teeetiiUiaiJce?' 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. COM?Much Injured? HERO. ? Don't speak of it, sir. COM.?Then how did you Identify him? SERO_As we used to do on the battlefield? by bis identifica tlon dlak. sir. COM.?What waa tt? HERO.?101, sir. COM.?And what is Lieu tenant John Har per's number? SERO.?224, sir. COM_Bo if the accused Is Lieutenant John Harper his ?.lenti flcatton disk will bear the latter number? SERO.?It will, elr. ? COM.?Examine it. (Sergeant steps up to lieutenant, opens his tunic, draws out the disk and hands it to commissioner.) SERO.?224, sir. GENERAL?Surely you are satisfied? M. Commissioner? COM. (sternly) ? Ser geant O'Dowd, look at this officer and anawer me on your word of honor aa a soldier ? is he Lieutenant David Harper or la he not? SERO, (after a moment, ', firmly)?He le not. COM?You can go, ser geant. Cosette, call your mistress. GENERAT? ? The wife? In tbe first hours of her bereave ment? Is this nec essary, M Commi?? sioner? 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 David Harper? MRS. H.?Widow, ?ir. COM.?He waa a good man and a good husband? 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 ately? MRS. H.?Yes; ?being a Canadian he Joined the Canadian forces, sir. COM.?Leaving Harriman to carry on the business? 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. COM?And then? 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 again. 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? MRS. II.?Toe. 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 terday? (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 CDM.?Why? 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 ???. ?.?Yea. 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. tOM?LAud then/ MRS. H My hu?beud struck blm and he fell. COM?And then?' 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 American woman, are you noti Mit?. H?Yes. COM.?Brought up In a Puritan family? M*R8. H?Yes. COM.?Then look at this officer. No, look at him. (With a great effort she looks at lieutenant.) Now give me your sol emn word?Is that your husband, yes or no? MRS. H. fie?* an effort) ?No! (Commissioner drops back to his seat, gathering ap hi? pa pers. Mrs. Harper sinks on to music stool.) GENERAL?Surely you are sat i s tied, M. Commissioner? COM.?Satistled or not, I can go no further. (A child's cry comes from the inner room.) What's that? MRS. H. fin terror)? Marie! (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 ! 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 arms.) 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 my wife?yes. 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 story. 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 IL COM?Well? 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 them together. 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? LIEUT.?Yes. 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. tX*M?Music? which is now fearful)?I IveattiU wats playing the -'taut? and singing. It ? a? LUDUT. my wife. 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. leaning oser.) 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 innocent. 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! HARRIMAN?I>et go! 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? LIEUT?Yes. 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 compartment. 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] great 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! CURTAIN.