Pillars of Society
(SCENE--The same room. BERNICK, with a cane in his hand and evidently in a great
rage, comes out of the farther room on the left, leaving the door half-open behind him.)
Bernick (speaking to his wife, who is in the other room): There! I have given it him in
earnest now; I don't think he will forget that thrashing! What do you say?--And I say that
you are an injudicious mother! You make excuses for him, and countenance any sort of
rascality on his part--Not rascality? What do you call it, then? Slipping out of the house at
night, going out in a fishing boat, staying away till well on in the day, and giving me such
a horrible fright when I have so much to worry me! And then the young scamp has the
audacity to threaten that he will run away! Just let him try it!--You? No, very likely; you
don't trouble yourself much about what happens to him. I really believe that if he were to
get killed--! Oh, really? Well, I have work to leave behind me in the world; I have no
fancy for being left childless--Now, do not raise objections, Betty; it shall be as I say--he
is confined to the house. (Listens.) Hush; do not let any one notice anything. (KRAP
comes in from the right.)
Krap: Can you spare me a moment, Mr. Bernick?
Bernick (throwing away the cane): Certainly, certainly. Have you come from the yard?
Krap: Yes. Ahem--!
Bernick: Well? Nothing wrong with the "Palm Tree," I hope?
Krap: The "Palm Tree " can sail tomorrow, but
Bernick: It is the "Indian Girl," then? I had a suspicion that that obstinate fellow--
Krap: The "Indian Girl" can sail tomorrow, too; but I am sure she will not get very far.
Bernick: What do you mean?
Krap: Excuse me, sir; that door is standing ajar, and I think there is some one in the other
Bernick (shutting the door): There, then! But what is this that no one else must hear?
Krap: Just this--that I believe Aune intends to let the "Indian Girl" go to the bottom with
every mother's son on board.
Bernick: Good God!--what makes you think that?
Krap: I cannot account for it any other way, sir.