A Family Man
BUILDER'S study. At the table, MAUD has just put a sheet of paper into a
typewriter. She sits facing the audience, with her hands stretched over the keys.
MAUD. [To herself] I must get that expression.
[Her face assumes a furtive, listening look. Then she gets up, whisks to the
mirror over the fireplace, scrutinises the expression in it, and going back to the
table, sits down again with hands outstretched above the keys, and an
accentuation of the expression. The door up Left is opened, and TOPPING
appears. He looks at MAUD, who just turns her eyes.]
TOPPING. Lunch has been ready some time, Miss Maud.
MAUD. I don't want any lunch. Did you give it?
TOPPING. Miss Athene was out. I gave the message to a young party. She
looked a bit green, Miss. I hope nothing'll go wrong with the works. Shall I keep
MAUD. If something's gone wrong, they won't have any appetite, Topping.
TOPPING. If you think I might risk it, Miss, I'd like to slip round to my dentist. [He
lays a finger on his cheek].
MAUD. [Smiling] Oh! What race is being run this afternoon, then, Topping?
TOPPING. [Twinkling, and shifting his finger to the side of his nose] Well, I don't
suppose you've 'eard of it, Miss; but as a matter of fact it's the Cesarwitch.
MAUD. Got anything on?
TOPPING. Only my shirt, Miss.
MAUD. Is it a good thing, then?
TOPPING. I've seen worse roll up. [With a touch of enthusiasm] Dark horse, Miss
Maud, at twenty to one.