The Thirteenth Chair (1917).pdf
(MRS. CROSBYcrosses toHELEN,pats her hand and stands
WILLIAM. Shall we tell 'em all?
MRS. CROSBY. Tell them? (She laughs.) What do you think they are? Blind
and deaf? It's been a perfectly wonderful dinner. You were so blind to
everything but each other. Oh, Billy, I thought your father would have a fit.
HELEN. I thought he had an awful cold, he was coughing terribly.
MRS. CROSBY. Coughing? He nearly choked to keep from laughing. I told
him I'd send him from the table if he laughed at you.
WILLIAM. Why you never spoke to him once.
MRS. CROSBY. Child, explain to him that wives don't have to—Oh, I
forget you haven't learned that yet. You know, Billy, I can talk to your father
very effectively without words.
(Crosses to below tableR.)
HELEN (turning to MRS. CROSBY). Mrs. Crosby—
WILLIAM. Mother, Nell's all fussed up because we've got money. She
thinks you'll think—I'm—what in novels they call marrying beneath me.
(He and MRS. CROSBY laugh. HELEN looks a little hurt.)
HELEN. Well, he is.
MRS. CROSBY. Nonsense, child, don't be silly. (Sits down stage end of
HELEN (moving a step to MRS. CROSBY). It's not silly, Mrs. Crosby.
Everyone will say it, and they'll be right.
WILLIAM. Let's settle this thing now once and for all, then. In the first
place it's all nonsense, and in the second it isn't true—
HELEN. Oh, yes, it is.
MRS. CROSBY. Oh, the first row! I'll settle this one. Nelly!
WILLIAM. Now then, Nell, out with it, get it all out of your system.
HELEN. In the first place, it's the money.
MRS. CROSBY. Yes, but—Helen—