Pillars of Society HTML version

(SCENE--The same room. The work-table has been taken away. It is a stormy evening
and already dusk. Darkness sets in as the following scene is in progress. A man-servant is
lighting the chandelier; two maids bring in pots of flowers, lamps and candles, which
they place on tables and stands along the walls. RUMMEL, in dress clothes, with gloves
and a white tie, is standing in the room giving instructions to the servants.)
Rummel: Only every other candle, Jacob. It must not look as if it were arranged for the
occasion--it has to come as a surprise, you know. And all these flowers--? Oh, well, let
them be; it will probably look as if they stood there everyday. (BERNICK comes out of
his room.)
Bernick (stopping at the door): What does this mean?
Rummel: Oh dear, is it you? (To the servants.) Yes, you might leave us for the present.
(The servants go out.)
Bernick: But, Rummel, what is the meaning of this?
Rummel: It means that the proudest moment of your life has come. A procession of his
fellow citizens is coming to do honour to the first man of the town.
Bernick: What!
Rummel: In procession--with banners and a band! We ought to have had torches too; but
we did not like to risk that in this stormy weather. There will be illuminations--and that
always sounds well in the newspapers.
Bernick: Listen, Rummel--I won't have anything to do with this.
Rummel: But it is too late now; they will be here in half-an- hour.
Bernick: But why did you not tell me about this before?
Rummel: Just because I was afraid you would raise objections to it. But I consulted your
wife; she allowed me to take charge of the arrangements, while she looks after the
Bernick (listening): What is that noise? Are they coming already? I fancy I hear singing.
Rummel (going to the verandah door): Singing? Oh, that is only the Americans. The
"Indian Girl" is being towed out.
Bernick: Towed out? Oh, yes. No, Rummel, I cannot this evening; I am not well.