The Thirteenth Chair (1917).pdf


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MRS. CROSBY. But really, Mr. Wales, don't you think—
WALES. I think my action is almost indefensible. I'm admitting that. But I
have very good reasons for what I am doing. (He turns to CROSBY.)
Roscoe, I've been your close friend for a great many years. You've trusted
me and believed in me. I'm going to ask you to wait. After all, twenty-four
hours can't make any difference, and it may save you all a great deal of
unhappiness.
WILLIAM (coming to WALES a step). This is intolerable.
CROSBY. Ned, I can't understand—
WILLIAM. Father, this is my affair.
WALES. I'm sorry.
WILLIAM. Sorry? I should think you would be.
HELEN. Billy, I told you what would happen. Mr. Wales, I don't know what
you have discovered. But it's nothing of which I am ashamed, nothing.
WILLIAM. Dear, you mustn't mind what he says.
HELEN (crossing in front of WILLIAM and moving a few steps
towards WALES). Oh, but I do, I can't bear it. Why, my mother is the most
wonderful woman in the world. I won't have her attacked. Do you know
what she did? When I was ten years old she sent me away from her. I was
the one thing she had in the world to love and she gave me up because she
thought—because she thought it was the best thing she could do for me. I
was sent to a fine school, then to college, and then when I was nineteen,
quite by accident, I found out that she wasn't dead, as they'd always told me,
and when I went to her all she said was, "Well, my dear, I wanted to make a
lady of you."
(Turns toWILLIAM C.He takes her in his arms, thenHELENmoves over
toR.of him.)
MRS. CROSBY (in front of table R.). I think she succeeded, my dear.
WALES (L.C.). Miss O'Neill, I didn't even know that you had a mother.
WILLIAM (C.). Then you'd better tell us now whatever your objection is.
WALES. I can tell you nothing until to-morrow. (He turns to WILLIAM.)
Billy, I'd rather be shot than do what I'm doing. If I'm wrong I'll come to you
gladly and eat dirt. I'll beg this young lady's pardon, on my knees if she
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