A Family Man
Julia, I tell you-- [The outer door is heard being c1osed] Damnation! I will not
have it! They're all mad! Here--where's my hat?
[He looks distractedly round him, wrenches open the door, and a moment
later the street door is heard to shut with a bang.]
Ten o'clock the following morning, in the study of the Mayor of Breconridge, a
panelled room with no window visible, a door Left back and a door Right forward.
The entire back wall is furnished with books from floor to ceiling; the other walls
are panelled and bare. Before the fireplace, Left, are two armchairs, and other
chairs are against the walls. On the Right is a writing-bureau at right angles to
the footlights, with a chair behind it. At its back corner stands HARRIS,
HARRIS. What--[Pause] Well, it's infernally awkward, Sergeant. . . . The Mayor's
in a regular stew. . . . [Listens] New constable? I should think so! Young fool!
Look here, Martin, the only thing to do is to hear the charge here at once. I've
sent for Mr Chantrey; he's on his way. Bring Mr Builder and the witnesses round
sharp. See? And, I say, for God's sake keep it dark. Don't let the Press get on to
it. Why you didn't let him go home--! Black eye? The constable? Well, serve him
right. Blundering young ass! I mean, it's undermining all authority. . . . Well, you
oughtn't--at least, I . . . Damn it all!--it's a nine days' wonder if it gets out--! All
right! As soon as you can. [He hangs up the receiver, puts a second chair behind
the bureau, and other chairs facing it.] [To himself] Here's a mess! Johnny
Builder, of all men! What price Mayors!
[The telephone rings.]
Hallo? . . . Poaching charge? Well, bring him too; only, I say, keep him back till
the other's over. By the way, Mr Chantrey's going shooting. He'll want to get off
by eleven. What? . . Righto !
[As he hangs up the receiver the MAYOR enters. He looks worried, and is still
dressed with the indefinable wrongness of a burgher.]
MAYOR. Well, 'Arris?
HARRIS. They'll be over in five minutes, Mr Mayor.