The Doctor's Dilemma
In Dubedat's studio. Viewed from the large window the outer door is in the wall on the
left at the near end. The door leading to the inner rooms is in the opposite wall, at the far
end. The facing wall has neither window nor door. The plaster on all the walls is
uncovered and undecorated, except by scrawlings of charcoal sketches and memoranda.
There is a studio throne (a chair on a dais) a little to the left, opposite the inner door, and
an easel to the right, opposite the outer door, with a dilapidated chair at it. Near the easel
and against the wall is a bare wooden table with bottles and jars of oil and medium, paint-
smudged rags, tubes of color, brushes, charcoal, a small last figure, a kettle and spirit-
lamp, and other odds and ends. By the table is a sofa, littered with drawing blocks,
sketch-books, loose sheets of paper, newspapers, books, and more smudged rags. Next
the outer door is an umbrella and hat stand, occupied partly by Louis' hats and cloak and
muffler, and partly by odds and ends of costumes. There is an old piano stool on the near
side of this door. In the corner near the inner door is a little tea-table. A lay figure, in a
cardinal's robe and hat, with an hour-glass in one hand and a scythe slung on its back,
smiles with inane malice at Louis, who, in a milkman's smock much smudged with
colors, is painting a piece of brocade which he has draped about his wife.
She is sitting on the throne, not interested in the painting, and appealing to him very
anxiously about another matter.
MRS DUBEDAT. Promise.
LOUIS [putting on a touch of paint with notable skill and care and answering quite
perfunctorily] I promise, my darling.
MRS DUBEDAT. When you want money, you will always come to me.
LOUIS. But it's so sordid, dearest. I hate money. I cant keep always bothering you for
money, money, money. Thats what drives me sometimes to ask other people, though I
hate doing it.
MRS DUBEDAT. It is far better to ask me, dear. It gives people a wrong idea of you.
LOUIS. But I want to spare your little fortune, and raise money on my own work. Dont
be unhappy, love: I can easily earn enough to pay it all back. I shall have a one-man-
show next season; and then there will be no more money troubles. [Putting down his
palette] There! I mustnt do any more on that until it's bone-dry; so you may come down.
MRS DUBEDAT [throwing off the drapery as she steps down, and revealing a plain
frock of tussore silk] But you have promised, remember, seriously and faithfully, never to
borrow again until you have first asked me.