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Sherlock Holmes
A Drama in Four Acts

ACT IV
Doctor Watson's Consulting Room, Kensington.
The following evening.

The place is London.

 
SCENE. — DR. WATSON’S house in Kensington. The consulting room. Oak panelling. Solid furniture. Wide double-doors opening to the hall and street door. Door communicating with doctor’s inner medicine room. Another door, center, opens to private hallway of house. The windows are supposed to open at side of house upon an area which faces the street. These windows have shades or blinds on rollers which can quickly be drawn down. At the opening of the Act they are down, so that no one could see into the room from the street.

There is a large operating chair with high back, cushions, etc. Music for curtain, which stops an instant before rise.

DR. WATSON is seated behind his desk and MRS. SMEEDLEY, a seedy-looking middle-aged woman, is seated in the chair next to the desk with a medicine bottle in her hand.

WATSON: Be careful to make no mistake about the medicine. If she’s no better to-morrow I’ll call. You will let me know, of course.

MRS. SMEEDLEY: Oh yes, indeed I will. Good evening, sir. 

WATSON: Good night, Mrs. Smeedley.

(MRS. SMEEDLEY goes out. Sound of door closing heard after she is off.  Pause. The doctor turns to his desk, and ringing bell, busies himself with papers.)

(Enter PARSONS—a servant.)

Parsons!

(PARSONS comes a little towards WATSON.)

(Lower voice.) That woman who just left — do you know her? 

PARSONS (trying to recollect): I can’t say as I recollect  ‘avin’ seen ‘er before. Was there anything—?

WATSON: Oh no! Acted a little strange, that’s all. I thought I saw her looking about the hall before she went out.

PARSONS: Yes sir, she did give a look. I saw that myself, sir.

WATSON (after an instant’s thought): Oh well — I dare say it was nothing. Is there anyone waiting, Parsons? 

PARSONS: There’s one person in the waiting-room, sir — a gentleman.

WATSON (looks at watch): I’ll see him, but I’ve only a short time left. If any more come you must send them over to Doctor Anstruther.  I spoke to him this afternoon about taking my cases. I have an important appointment at nine.

PARSONS:  Very well, sir. Then you’ll see this gentleman, sir?

WATSON: Yes.

(PARSONS goes out. Short pause. WATSON busy at desk. PARSONS opens door and shows in SID PRINCE. He comes in a little way and pauses. PARSONS all through this Act closes the door after his exit, or after showing anyone in. WATSON looks up.)

PRINCE (speaking in the most dreadful husky whisper): Good evenin’, sir!

WATSON: Good evening. (Indicating chair.) Pray be seated.

PRINCE (same voice all through): Thanks, I don’t mind if I do. (Coughs, then sits in chair near desk.)

WATSON (looking at him with professional interest): What seems to be the trouble?

PRINCE:  Throat, sir. (Indicating his throat to assist in making himself understood.) Most dreadful sore throat.

WATSON: Sore throat, eh? (Glancing about for an instrument.)

PRINCE:  Well, I should think it is. It’s the most ‘arrowing thing I ever ‘ad! It pains me that much to swallow that I —

WATSON: Hurts you to swallow, does it? (Finding and picking up an instrument on the desk.)

PRINCE:  Indeed it does. Why, I can ‘ardly get a bit of food down.

(WATSON rises and goes to cabinet, pushes gas burner out into position and lights it.)

WATSON: Just step this way a moment, please. (PRINCE rises and goes up to WATSON, who adjusts reflector over eye, etc. He has an instrument in his hand which he wipes with a napkin.) Now, mouth open — wide as possible. (PRINCE opens mouth and WATSON places tongue holder on his tongue.) That’s it. (Picks up dentist’s  mirror and warms it over gas burner.)

PRINCE (WATSON is about to examine throat when PRINCE sees instrument and is a trifle alarmed): Eh!

(Business of  WATSON putting in tongue holder and looking down PRINCES throat — looking carefully this way and that)

WATSON: Say “Ah!”

PRINCE (husky voice): Ah! (Steps away and places handkerchief to mouth as if the attempt to say Ah! hurt him)

(WATSON discontinues, and takes instrument out of PRINCE’S mouth.)

WATSON (a slight incredulity in his manner): Where do you feel this pain?

PRINCE (indicating with his finger): Just about there, doctor. Inside about there.

WATSON: That’s singular. I don’t find anything wrong. (gas burner back to usual position — and placing instrument on cabinet.)

PRINCE:  You may not foind anything wrong, but I feel it wrong. If you would only give me something to take away this awful agony.

WATSON: That’s nothing. It’ll pass away in a few hours. (Reflectively.) Singular thing it would have affected your voice in this way. Well, I’ll give you a gargle — it may help you a little.

PRINCE: Yes — if you only would, doctor.

(WATSON goes into surgery PRINCE watching him like a cat. Music. Dramatic agitato, very pp. WATSON does not close the door of the room, but pushes it part way so that it is open about a foot. PRINCE moves toward door, watching WATSON through it.  Stops near door. Seems to watch for his chance, for he suddenly turns and goes quickly down and runs up blinds of both windows and moves back quickly, watching WATSON through the door again. Seeing that he still has time to spare, he goes to centre door and opens it, looking and listening off. Distant sound of a when door is open which stops when it is closed. PRINCE quickly turns back and goes off a little way at centre door, leaving it open so that he is seen peering up above and listening. Turns to come back, but just at the door he sees WATSON coming on and stops.  WATSON suddenly enters and sees PRINCE in centre door and stops, with a bottle in his hand, and looks at PRINCE.)

(Music stops.)

WATSON: What are you doing there?

PRINCE:  Why, nothing at all, doctor. I felt such a draught on the back o’ my neck, don’t yer know, that I opened the door to see where it came from!

(WATSON goes down and rings bell on his desk, placing bottle on papers. Pause. Enter PARSONS.)

WATSON: Parsons, show this man the shortest way to the street door and close the door after him.

PRINCE:  But, doctor, ye don’t understand.

WATSON: I understand quite enough. Good evening.

PRINCE:  Yer know, the draught plays hell with my throat, sir — and seems to affect my —

WATSON: Good evening. (He sits and pays no further attention to PRINCE.)

PARSONS:  This way, sir, if you please.

PRINCE:  I consider that you’ve treated me damned outrageous, that’s wot I do, and ye won’t hear the last of this very soon.

PARSONS (approaching him): Come, none o’ that now. (Takes PRINCE by the arm.)

PRINCE (as he walks toward door with PARSONS, turns head back and speaks over his shoulder, shouting out in his natural voice): Yer call yerself a doctor an’ treats sick people as comes to see yer this ‘ere way. (Goes out with PARSONS and continues talking until slam of door outside.) Yer call yerself a doctor! A bloomin’ foine doctor you are! (Etc.)

(PARSONS has forced PRINCE out by the arm during foregoing speech. Door closes after PRINCE. Sound of outside door closing follows shortly. WATSON, after short pause, looks round room, not observing that window shades are up. He rings bell. Enter PARSONS)

WATSON (rises and gathers up a few things as if to go): I shall be at Mr. Holmes’s in Baker Street. If there’s anything special, you’ll know where to send for me. The appointment was for nine. (Looks at watch.) It’s fifteen minutes past eight now —I’m going to walk over.

PARSONS: Very well, sir.

(Bell of outside door rings. PARSONS looks at WATSON, who shakes his head.)

WATSON: No. I won’t see any more to-night. They must go to Doctor Anstruther.

PARSONS:  Yes, sir. (He starts towards door to answer bell.)

(WATSON looks and sees blinds up.)

WATSON: Parsons! (PARSONS turns.) Why aren’t those blinds down?

PARSONS:  They was down a few minutes ago, sir!

WATSON:  That’s strange! Well, you’d better pull them down now.

PARSONS:  Yes, sir.

(Bell rings twice as PARSONS pulls second blind down. He goes out to answer bell. Pause. Then enter PARSONS in a peculiar manner.)

If you please, sir, it isn’t a patient at all, sir.

WATSON: Well, what is it?

PARSONS:  A lady sir — (WATSON looks up) — and she wants to see you most particular, sir!

WATSON: What does she want to see me about? 

PARSONS: She didn’t say sir.  Only she said it was of the hutmost himportance to ‘er, if you could see ‘er, sir.

WATSON: Is she there in the hall?

PARSONS: Yes sir.

WATSON:  Very well — I was going to walk for the exercise — I can take a cab.

PARSONS:  Then you’ll see the lady, sir.

WATSON: Yes. (PARSONS turns to go. WATSON continues his preparations.) And call a cab for me at the same time — have it wait.

PARSONS:  Yes, sir. 

(PARSONS goes out. Pause. PARSONS appears, ushering in a lady — and goes when she has entered. Enter MADGE LARRABEE.  Her manner is entirely different from that of the former scenes. She is an impetuous gushing society lady with trouble on her mind)

MADGE (as she comes in): Ah! Doctor — it’s awfully good of you to see me. I know what a busy man you must be but I’m in such trouble — oh, it’s really too dreadful — You’ll excuse my troubling you in this way, won’t you?

WATSON: Don’t speak of it, madam.

MADGE:  Oh, thank you so much! For it did look frightful my coming in like this — but I’m not alone — oh no! — I left my maid in the cab — I’m Mrs. H. de Witte Seaton — (Trying to find card-case.) Dear me — I didn’t bring my card-case — or if I did I lost it.

WATSON:  Don’t trouble about a card, Mrs. Seaton. (With gesture to indicate chair.)

MADGE:  Oh, thank you. (Sitting as she continues to talk.) You don’t know what I’ve been through this evening — trying to find some one who could tell me what to do. (WATSON sits in chair at desk.) It’s something that’s happened, doctor — it has just simply happened — I know that it wasn’t his fault! I know it!

WATSON: Whose fault?

MADGE:  My brother’s — my poor, dear, youngest brother — he couldn’t have done such a thing, he simply couldn’t and —

WATSON: Such a thing as what, Mrs. Seaton?

MADGE:  As to take the plans of our defences at Gibraltar from the Admiralty Offices. They think he stole them, doctor — and they’ve arrested him for it — you see, he works there. He was the only one who knew about them in the whole office — because they trusted him so. He was to make copies and — Oh, doctor, it’s really too dreadful! (Overcome, she takes out her handkerchief and wipes her eyes. This must all be perfectly natural, and not in the least particular overdone.)

WATSON:  I’m very sorry, Mrs. Seaton — 

MADGE (mixed up with sobs): Oh, thank you so much! They said you were Mr. Holmes’s friend — several people told me that, several — they advised me to ask you where I could find him — and everything depends on it, doctor — everything.

WATSON: Holmes, of course. He’s just the one you want.

MADGE:  That’s it! He’s just the one — and there’s hardly any time left! They’ll take my poor brother away to prison to-morrow! (Shows signs of breaking down again.)

WATSON: There, there, Mrs. Seaton — pray control yourself. 

MADGE (choking down sobs): Now what would you advise me to do?

WATSON: I’d go to Mr. Holmes at once.

MADGE: But I’ve been. I’ve been and he wasn’t there!

WATSON: You went to his house?

MADGE: Yes — in Baker Street. That’s why I came to you! They said he might be here!

WATSON: No — he isn’t here! (Turns away slightly)

(MADGE looks deeply discouraged)

MADGE: But don’t you expect him some time this evening? 

WATSON: No (Shaking head) There’s no possibility of his coming — so far as I know.

MADGE: But couldn’t you get him to come? (Pause) It would be such a great favour to me — I’m almost worn out with going about — and with this dreadful anxiety! If you could get word to him — (sees that WATSON is looking at her strangely and sharply) — to come.

(Brief pause)

WATSON (rising — rather hard voice): I could not get him to come madam. And I beg you to excuse me I am going out myself — (looks at watch) — on urgent business. (Rings bell.)

MADGE (rising) Oh certainly! Don t let me detain you! And you think I had better call at his house again?

WATSON (coldly): That will be the wisest thing to do.

MADGE: Oh, thank you so much. (Extends her hand.) You don t know how you’ve encouraged me!

(WATSON withdraws his hand as he still looks at her.  Enter PARSONS He stands at door)

Well — good night doctor

(WATSON simply bows coldly. MADGE turns to go. The crash of a capsizing vehicle followed by excited shouts of men is heard. This effect must be as if outside the house with doors closed and not close at hand. MADGE stops suddenly on hearing the crash and all shouts. WATSON looks at PARSONS.)

WATSON: What’s that Parsons?

PARSONS: I really can’t say sir but it sounded to me like a haccident.

MADGE (turning to WATSON): Oh dear! I do hope it isn’t anything serious! It affects me terribly to know that anyone is hurt.

WATSON: Probably nothing more than a broken-down cab. See what it is, Parsons.

(Bell and knock. MADGE turns and looks toward door again, anxiously PARSONS turns to go. Sudden vigorous ringing of door bell, followed by the sound of a knocker violently used.)

PARSONS: There’s the bell, sir! There’s somebody ‘urt, sir, an’ they’re a-wantin’ you!

WATSON: Well, don’t allow anybody to come in! (Looks at watch.) I have no more time. (Hurriedly gathers papers up.)

PARSONS:  Very well, sir. (Goes leaving door open.)

(MADGE turns from looking off at door, and looks at WATSON anxiously. Looks toward door again.)

MADGE:  But they’re coming in, doctor. (Retreats backward.) 

WATSON (moving toward door): Parsons! Parsons!

(Sound of voices. Following speeches outside are not in rotation, but jumbled together, so that it is all over very quickly.)

VOICE (outside): We ‘ad to bring ‘im in, man.

VOICE (outside): There’s nowhere else to go!

PARSONS (outside): The doctor can’t see anybody.

VOICE (outside): Well let the old gent lay ‘ere awhile can’t yer. It’s common decency. Wot ‘ave yer got a red lamp ‘angin’ outside yer bloomin’ door for?

VOICE (outside): Yes! yes! let him stay.

(Enter PARSONS at door. Door closes and noise stops.)

PARSONS: They would bring ‘im in, sir. It’s an old gentleman as was ‘urt a bit w’en the cab upset!

MADGE:  Oh!

(Sound of groans, etc. outside, and the old gentleman whining out complaints and threats.)

WATSON: Let them put him here. (Indicating operating chair.) And send at once for Doctor Anstruther.

PARSONS:  Yes, sir! 

WATSON: Help him in Parsons.

(PARSONS goes out)

MADGE: Oh doctor isn’t it frightful. 

WATSON (turning to centre door): Mrs Seaton if you will be so good as to step this way, you can reach the hall, by taking the first door to your left.

MADGE (hesitating): But I — I may be of some use doctor. 

WATSON (with a trifle of impatience) None whatever (Holds door open.)

MADGE: But doctor — I must see the poor fellow — I haven’t the power to go!

WATSON (facing MADGE): Madam, I believe you have some ulterior motive in coming here! You will kindly — 

(Enter at door a white-haired old gentleman in black clerical clothes, white tie, etc., assisted by PARSONS and the DRIVER. He limps as though his leg were hurt. His coat is soiled. His hat is soiled as if it had rolled in the street.  MADGE has retired above desk and watches old gent closely from there without moving.  WATSON turns toward the party as they come in.)

HOLMES (as he comes in): Oh, oh! (He limps so that he hardly touches his right foot to floor)

PARSONS (as he helps HOLMES in): This way, sir! Be careful of the sill, sir! That’s it. (Etc.)

DRIVER (as he comes in, and also beginning outside before entrance): Now we’ll go in ‘ere. You’ll see the doctor an’ it’ll be all right.

HOLMES: No, it won’t be all right.

DRIVER: It was a haccident. You cawn’t ‘elp a haccident.

HOLMES: Yes, you can.

DRIVER: He was on the wrong side of the street. I turned hup — (Etc.)

PARSONS:  Now over to this chair. (Indicating operating chair). 

HOLMES (pushing back and trying to stop at the desk chair) No, I’ll sit here.

PARSONS: No, this is the chair, sir.

HOLMES: Don’t I know where I want to sit?

DRIVER (impatiently): You’ll sit ‘ere. (They lead him up to operating chair.)

DRIVER (as they lead him up): Now, the doctor’ll have a look at ye. ‘Ere’s the doctor.

HOLMES: That isn’t a doctor.

DRIVER:  It is a doctor. (Seeing WATSON.) ‘Ere, doctor, will you just come and have a look at this old gent? (HOLMES trying to stop him.) He’s hurt ‘isself a little, an’ — an’ — 

HOLMES (trying to stop DRIVER): Wait, wait, wait!

DRIVER:  Well, well?

HOLMES (still standing back to audience and turned to DRIVER): Are you the driver?

DRIVER:  Yes, I’m the driver.

HOLMES:  Well, I’ll have you arrested for this.

DRIVER:  Arrested?

HOLMES: Arrested, arrested, arrested!

DRIVER:  You cawn’t arrest me.

HOLMES: I can’t, but somebody else can.

DRIVER:  ‘Ere, ‘ere. (Trying to urge HOLMES to chair.)

HOLMES: You are a very disagreeable man! You are totally uninformed on every subject! I wonder you are able to live in the same house with yourself.

(The DRIVER is trying to talk back and make HOLMES sit down. HOLMES turns suddenly on PARSONS. WATSON is trying to attract PARSONS’ attention.)

Are you a driver?

PARSONS:  No, sir!

HOLMES:  Well, what are you?

PARSONS:  I’m the butler, sir.

HOLMES: Butler! Butler!

DRIVER:  He’s the doctor’s servant.

HOLMES: Who’d have such a looking butler as you! What fool would — 

DRIVER (turning HOLMES toward him roughly): He is the doctor’s servant!

HOLMES: Who asked you who he was?

DRIVER:  Never mind who asked me—I’m telling you.

HOLMES: Well, go and tell somebody else.

DRIVER (trying to push HOLMES into chair): Sit down here. Sit down and be quiet

WATSON (to PARSONS): Have a cab ready for me. I must see if he’s badly hurt.

PARSONS:  Yes, sir. (Goes.)

HOLMES (resisting): Quiet! quiet! Where’s my hat? My hat! My hat!

DRIVER: Never mind your ‘at.

HOLMES: I will mind my hat! and I hold you responsible— 

DRIVER:  There’s your hat in your ‘and.

HOLMES (looks at hat): That isn’t my hat! Here! (DRIVER trying to push him into chair.) You’re responsible. (In chair.) I’ll have you arrested. (Clinging to DRIVER’S coat tail as he tries to get away
to door) Here come back (Choking with rage

DRIVER (first wrenching away coat from HOLMES’ grasp at door): I cawn’t stay around ‘ere, you know! Some one’lI pinching my cab. (Exit.)

HOLMES (screaming after him): Then bring your cab in here. I want — (Lapses into groans and remonstrances.) Why didn’t somebody stop him? These cabmen! What did he bring me in for? I know where I am, it’s a conspiracy. I won’t stay in this place. If I ever get out of here alive — (Etc.)

WATSON (steps quickly to door, speaking off): Parsons — that man’s number (quickly to old gent) Now sir if you’ll be quiet for one moment, I’ll have a look at you! (Crosses to end of cabinet as if to look for instrument.)

(MADGE advances near to the old gentleman, looking at him closely. She suddenly seems to be satisfied of something, backs away, and reaching out as if to get to the window and give signal, then coming face to face with WATSON as he turns, and smiling pleasantly at him. Business with glove. She begins to glide down stage, making a sweep around toward door as if to get out.  She shows by her expression that she has recognized HOLMES, but is instantly herself again, thinking possibly that HOLMES is watch her, and she wishes to evade suspicion regarding her determination to get off at door. Quick as a flash the old gentleman springs to the door and stands facing her. She stops suddenly on finding him facing her, then wheels quickly about and goes rapidly across toward window)

HOLMES (sharp): Don’t let her get to that window.

(WATSON, who had moved up a little above windows, instantly springs before the windows. MADGE stops on being headed off in that direction.)

WATSON: Is that you, Holmes?

(MADGE stands motionless.)

HOLMES: Quite so. (Takes off his wig, etc.)

WATSON: What do you want me to do?

HOLMES (easily): That’s all, you’ve done it. Don’t do anything more just now.

(MADGE gives a sharp look at them, then goes very slowly for a few steps and suddenly turns and makes a dash for centre door.)

WATSON: Look out, Holmes! She can get out that way. (A step or two up.)

(MADGE runs off. HOLMES is unmoved.)

HOLMES: I don’t think so. (Saunters over to above WATSON’S desk.) Well, well, what remarkable weather we’re having, doctor, eh? (Suddenly seeing cigarettes on desk.) Ah! I’m glad to see that you keep a few prescriptions carefully done up. (Picks up a cigarette and sits on desk.) Good for the nerves! (HOLMES finds matches and lights cigarette.) Have you ever observed, Watson, that those people are always making— 

(Enter the DRIVER.)

FORMAN (speaking at once — so as to break in on HOLMES): I’ve got her, sir!

(Very brief pause.)

WATSON: Good heavens! Is that Forman?

(HOLMES nods “Yes.”)

HOLMES: Yes, that’s Forman all right. Has Inspector Bradstreet Come with his men?

FORMAN: Yes, sir. One of ‘em’s in the hall there ‘olding her. The others are in the kitchen garden. They came in over the back Wall from Mortimer Street.

HOLMES: One moment. (Sits in thought.) Watson, my dear fellow — (WATSON moves toward HOLMES at desk.) As you doubtless gather from the little episode that has just taken place we are making the arrests. The scoundrels are hot on my track. To get me out of the way is the one chance left to them — and I taking advantage of their mad pursuit to draw them where we quietly lay our hands on them —one by one. We’ve made a pretty good haul already — four last night in the gas chamber — seven this afternoon in various places, and one more just now, but I regret to say that up to this time the Professor himself has so far not risen to the bait.

WATSON: Where do you think he is now? 

HOLMES: In the open streets — under some clever disguise —  watching for a chance to get at me. 

WATSON: And was this woman sent in here to—

HOLMES: Quite so. A spy — to let them know by some signal, probably at that window — (pointing) — if she found me in the house. And it has Just occurred to me that it might not be such a bad idea to try the Professor with that bait. Forman! (Motions him to come down.)

FORMAN: Yes, sir!

HOLMES (voice lower) One moment (Business) Bring that Larrabee woman back here for a moment, and when I light a fresh cigarette — let go your hold on her — carelessly — as if your attention was attracted to something else. Get hold of her again when I tell you.

FORMAN:  Very well sir.

(Goes quickly to re-enter bringing in MADGE LARRABEE. They stop. MADGE calm, but looks at HOLMES with the utmost hatred. Brief pause.)

HOLMES: My dear Mrs. Larrabee — (MADGE, who has looked away, turns to him angrily) — I took the liberty of having you brought in for a moment — (puffs cigarette, which he has nearly finished) —in order to convey to you in a few fitting words — my sincere sympathy in your rather — unpleasant — predicament,

MADGE (hissing it out angrily between her teeth): It’s a lie! It’s a lie! There’s no predicament.

HOLMES: Ah — I’m charmed to gather — from your rather forcible observation — that you do not regard it as such. Quite right, too. Our prisons are so well conducted now. Many consider them quite as comfortable as most of the hotels. Quieter and more orderly.

MADGE: How the prisons are conducted is no concern of mine! There is nothing they can hold me for—nothing.

HOLMES: Oh — to be sure. (Putting fresh cigarette in mouth.) There may be something in that. Still — it occurred to me that you might prefer to be near your unfortunate husband — eh? (Rises from table and goes to gas burner. Slight good-natured chuckle.) We hear a great deal about the heroic devotion of wives, and all that — (lights cigarette at gas) — rubbish. You know, Mrs. Larrabee, when we come right down to it — (FORMAN carelessly relinquishes his hold on MADGE’S arm, and seems to have his attention called to door. Stands as if listening to something outside. MADGE gives a quick glance about and at HOLMES who is lighting a cigarette at the gas, and apparently not noticing anything. She makes a sudden dash for the window, quickly snaps up blind and makes a rapid motion up and down before window with right hand — then turns quickly, facing HOLMES with triumphant defiance. HOLMES is still lighting cigarette.)

Many thanks. (To FORMAN.) That’s all, Forman. Pick her up again.

(FORMAN at once goes to MADGE and turns her and waits in front of window — holding her right wrist.)

Doctor, would you kindly pull the blind down once more. I don’t care to be shot from the street.

(WATSON instantly pulls down blind.)

(NOTE — Special care must be exercised regarding these window blinds. They must be made specially strong and solid, so that no failure to operate is possible.)

MADGE (in triumph): Ah! It’s too late.

HOLMES: Too late, eh? (Strolling a little.)

MADGE: The signal is given. You will hear from him soon.

HOLMES: It wouldn’t surprise me at all.

(Door bell rings.)

(Voices of BILLY and PARSONS outside. Door at once opened, BILLY on a little way, but held back by PARSONS for an instant. He breaks away from PARSONS. All very quick, BILLY dressed as a street gamin and carrying a bunch of evening papers)

(As BILLY comes.) I think I shall hear from him now. (Shout.)  Let — (BILLY stands panting) — him go, Parsons. Quick, Billy.  

(BILLY comes close to HOLMES.)

BILLY:  He’s just come sir.

HOLMES: From where?

BILLY: The house across the street; he was in there a-watchin’ these windows. He must ‘ave seen something for he’s just come out— (Breathlessly.) There was a cab waitin’ in the street for the doctor — and he’s changed places with the driver.

HOLMES: Where did the driver go?

BILLY: He slunk away in the dark, sir, but he ain’t gone far, there’s two or three more ‘angin’ about.

HOLMES (slight motion of the head towards FORMAN):  another driver to-night.

BILLY: They’re all in it, sir, an’ they’re a-layin’ to get you in that cab w’en you come out, sir! But don’t you do it, sir!

HOLMES: On the contrary, sir, I’ll have that new driver in here sir! Get out again quick, Billy, and keep your eyes on him!

BILLY: Yes, sir — thank you, sir! (Goes.)

HOLMES: Yes, sir! Watson, can you let me have a heavy portmanteau for a few moments—?

(MADGE now watching for another chance to get at the window.)

WATSON: Parsons — my large Gladstone — bring it here!

PARSONS: Yes, sir. (Goes out.)

WATSON: I’m afraid it’s a pretty shabby looking— 

(MADGE suddenly tries to break loose from FORMAN and attempt to make a dash for window. FORMAN turns and pulls her a step or two away. Slight pause.)

HOLMES: Many thanks, Mrs. Larrabee, but your first signal is all that we require. By it you informed your friend Moriarty that I was here in the house. You are now aware of the fact that he is impersonating a driver, and that it is my intention to have him in here. You wish to signal that there is danger. There is danger, Mrs. Larrabee, but we don’t care to have you let him know it. Take her out, Forman, and make her comfortable and happy.

(FORMAN leads MADGE up to centre door as if to take her out. She pulls him to a stop and gives HOLMES a look of the most violent hatred.)

And by the way, you might tell the inspector to wait a few moments. I may send him another lot. You can’t tell!

FORMAN: Come along now! (Takes her off)

(As MADGE is pulled up, she snaps her fingers in HOLMES’S face and goes off laughing hysterically.)

HOLMES: Fine woman!

(Enter PARSONS, carrying a large portmanteau or Gladstone valise.)

Put it down there. (Pointing down before him at floor.) Thank you so much. 

(PARSONS puts portmanteau down as indicated.)

Parsons, you ordered a cab for the doctor a short time ago. It has been waiting, I believe.

PARSONS:  Yes, sir, I think it ‘as.

HOLMES: Be so good as to tell the driver, the one you’ll now find there, to come in here and get a valise. See that he comes in himself When he comes tell him that’s the one.

(PARSONS goes.)

WATSON: But surely he won’t come in.

HOLMES: Surely he will! It’s his only chance to get me into that cab! He’ll take almost any risk for that. (Goes to above desk.) In times like this you should tell your man never to take the first cab that comes on a call — (smokes) — nor yet the second — the third may be safe!

WATSON: But in this case—

HOLMES: My dear fellow, I admit that in this case I have it to my advantage, but I speak for your future guidance.

(Music Melodramatic danger agitato very subdued)

(Door opens. PARSONS enters, pointing the portmanteau out to some one who is following.)

PARSONS:  ‘Ere it is — right in, this way.

HOLMES (goes to WATSON above table. In rather a loud voice to WATSON): Well, good-bye, old fellow! (Shakes hands with him warmly and bringing him down left a little.) I’ll write you from Paris—and I hope you’ll keep me fully informed of the progress of events.

(MORIARTY enters in the disguise of a cabman and goes at once to valise which PARSONS points out, trying to hurry it through and keeping face away from HOLMES but fidgeting about, not touching valise. PARSONS goes out.)

(Speaks right on, apparently paying no attention to MORIARTY) As for these papers I’ll attend to them personally.  Here my man — (to MORIARTY) — just help me to tighten up these straps and bit — (He slides over to valise and kneels, pulling at strap, and MORIARTY bending over and doing same.) There are a few little things in this bag — (business) — that I wouldn’t like to lose — (business) — and its Just as well to —  Eh — (looking round for instant) — who’s that at the window?

(MORIARTY quickly looks up without lifting hands from valise and at the same instant the snap of handcuffs is heard, and he springs up with the irons on his wrists, making two or three violent efforts to break loose. He then stands motionless. HOLMES drops into chair, a cigarette in his mouth. MORIARTY in rising knocks his hat off and stands facing audience.)

(Music stops.) 

(In a very quiet tone.) Doctor, will you kindly strike the bell two or three times in rapid succession.

(WATSON steps to desk and gives several rapid strokes of the bell.

Thanks!

(Enter FORMAN. FORMAN goes down to MORIARTY and fastens handcuffs which he has on his own wrists to chain attached to that of MORIARTY’S. This is held an instant — the two men looking at each other.)

Forman!

FORMAN: Yes, sir.

HOLMES: Got a man there with you?

FORMAN: Yes, sir, the inspector came in himself.

HOLMES: Ah — the inspector himself. We shall read graphic accounts in to-morrow’s papers of a very difficult arrest he succeeded in making at Dr. Watson’s house in Kensington. Take him out, Forman, and introduce him to the inspector — they’ll be pleased to meet.

(FORMAN starts to force MORIARTY off MORIARTY hangs back and endeavours to get at HOLMES — a very slight struggle.)

Here! Wait! Let’s see what he wants!

MORIARTY (low voice to HOLMES): Do you imagine, Sherlock Holmes, that this is the end.

HOLMES: I ventured to dream that it might be.

MORIARTY: Are you quite sure the police will be able to hold me?

HOLMES: I am quite sure of nothing.

MORIARTY: Ah! (Slight pause.) I have heard that you are planning to take a little trip — you and your friend here — a little trip on the Continent.

HOLMES: And if I do?

MORIARTY (a step to HOLMES): I shall meet you there. (Slight pause.)

HOLMES: That’s all, Forman.

(FORMAN moves up to door, quietly with MORIARTY.)

MORIARTY (stopping at door): I shall meet you there. You will Change your course — you will try to elude me — but whichever way you turn— there will be eyes that see and wires that tell. I shall meet you there — and you know it. You know it! — and you know it. (Goes with FORMAN.)

(Pause.)

HOLMES: Did you hear that, Watson?

WATSON: Yes—but surely you don’t place any importance on such— 

HOLMES (stopping him with wave of hand): Oh! no importance. But I have a fancy that he spoke the truth.

WATSON: We’ll give up the trip.

HOLMES (a negative wave of the hand at WATSON): It would be quite the same. What matters it here or there—if it must come (Sits meditative)

WATSON (calling): Parsons!

(PARSONS comes in WATSON points to the valise PARSONS removes it and goes.)

HOLMES: Watson, my dear fellow— (smokes )— it’s too bad.  Now that this is all over, I suppose you imagine that your room will no longer be required. Let me assure — let me assure you (voice trembles) — that the worst is yet to come.

WATSON (stands in front of desk): The worst to — (Suddenly thinks of something. Pulls out watch hurriedly.) Why, heavens Holmes we have barely five minutes.

HOLMES (looks up innocently at him) For what?

WATSON: To get to Baker Street — your rooms!

(HOLMES still looks at him.)

Your appointment with Sir Edward and the Count! They were to receive that packet of letters from you.

HOLMES (nods assent): They’re coming here.

(Pause. WATSON looking at HOLMES.)

WATSON: Here!

HOLMES: That is — if you will be so good as to permit it.

WATSON Certainly — but why not there?

HOLMES: The police wouldn’t allow us inside the ropes.

WATSON: Police! Ropes!

HOLMES: Police — ropes — ladders — hose — crowds — engines —

WATSON: Why, you don’t mean that — 

HOLMES (nods): Quite so — the devils have burned me out.

WATSON: Good heavens — burned you —

(Pause. HOLMES nods.)

Oh, that’s too bad. What did you lose?

HOLMES: Everything! — everything! I’m so glad of it! I’ve had enough. This one thing — (right hand strong gesture of emphasis — he stops in midst of sentence — a frown upon his face as he thinks —  then in a lower voice) — ends it! This one thing — that I shall do — here in a few moments — is the finish. (HOLMES rises.)

WATSON: You mean—Miss Faulkner?

(HOLMES nods slightly in affirmative without turning to WATSON.)

(Love music. Very pp.)

HOLMES (turning suddenly to WATSON): Watson — she trusted me! She — clung to me! There were four to one against me! They said “Come here,” I said “Stay close to me,” and she did! She clung to me — I could feel her heart beating against mine — and I was playing a game! — (lower — parenthetical) — a dangerous game — but I was playing it! — It will be the same to-night! She’ll be there — I’ll be here! She’ll listen — she’ll believe — and she’ll trust me — and I’ll—be playing — a game. No more — I’ve had enough! It’s my last case! 

(WATSON has been watching him narrowly.)

Oh well! what does it matter? Life is a small affair at the most — a little while — a few sunrises and sunsets — the warm breath of a few summers — the cold chill of a few winters — (Looking down on floor a little way before him in meditation.) And then — (Pause.)

WATSON: And then —?

(HOLMES glances up at him. Upward toss of hand before speaking.)

HOLMES: And then.

(The music stops.)

WATSON (going to HOLMES): My dear Holmes — I’m afraid that plan of — gaining her confidence and regard went a little further than you intended —

(HOLMES nods assent slightly)

HOLMES (mutters after nodding): A trifle!

WATSON: For — her — or for you?

HOLMES: For her — (looks up at WATSON slowly) — and for me.

WATSON (astonished. After an instant’s pause): But — if you both love each other — 

HOLMES (putting hand on WATSON to stop him sharply): Sh — ! Don’t say it! (Pause.) You mustn’t tempt me — with such a thought. That girl! — young — exquisite — just beginning her sweet life — I — seared, drugged, poisoned, almost at an end! No! no! I must cure her! I must stop it, now — while there’s time! (Pause.) She’s coming here.

WATSON: She won’t come alone?

HOLMES: No, Térèse will be with her.

(HOLMES turns and goes to door to surgery, getting a book on the way, and placing it in the way of door closing. Turns to WATSON)

When she comes let her wait in that room. You can manage that, I’m quite sure.

WATSON: Certainly — Do you intend to leave that book there 

HOLMES (nods “Yes”): To keep that door from closing. She is to overhear.

WATSON: I see.

HOLMES: Sir Edward and the Count are very likely to become  excited. I shall endeavour to make them so. You must not be alarmed old fellow. 

(Bell of outside door rings off HOLMES and WATSON look at one another.)

(Going to centre door.) She may be there now. I’ll go to your dressing-room, if you’ll allow me, and brush away some of this dust.

WATSON: By all means! (Goes to door.) My wife is in the drawing-room. Do look in on her a moment — it will please her so much.

HOLMES (at door): My dear fellow, it will more than please me! (Opens door. Piano heard off when the door is opened.) Mrs. Watson! Home! Love! Life! Ah, Watson! (Eyes glance about thinking. He sighs a little absently, suddenly turns and goes out.)

(WATSON turns and goes to his desk — not to sit. Enter PARSONS.)

PARSONS: A lady sir, wants to know if she can speak to you. If there’s anyone ‘ere she won’t come in.

WATSON: Any-name?

PARSONS: No, sir. I asked her and she said it was unnecessary — as you wouldn’t know ‘er. She ‘as ‘er maid with ‘er, sir.

WATSON: Then it must be — Show her in.

(PARSONS turns to go.)

And Parsons — (PARSONS stops and turns.)

(Lower voice.) Two gentlemen, Count von Stalburg and Sir Edward Leighton will call. Bring them here to this room at once, and then tell Mr. Holmes. You’ll find him in my dressing-room.

PARSONS: Yes, sir.

WATSON: Send everybody else away — I’ll see that lady.

PARSONS: Yes, sir.

(He goes, leaving door open. Brief pause. PARSONS appears outside door, showing some one to the room. Enter ALICE FAULKNER. ALICE glances apprehensively about, fearing she will see HOLMES. Seeing that WATSON is alone, she is much relieved and goes towards him. PARSONS closes door from outside.)

ALICE (with some timidity): Is this — is this Doctor Watson’s room?

WATSON (encouragingly — and advancing a step or two): Yes, and I am Doctor Watson.

ALICE: Is — would you mind telling me if Mr. Holmes — Mr. — Sherlock Holmes — is here?

WATSON: He will be before long, Miss — er — 

ALICE: My name is Alice Faulkner.

WATSON: Miss Faulkner. He came a short time ago, but has gone upstairs for a few moments.

ALICE: Oh! — (with an apprehensive look) — and is he coming down — soon?

WATSON:  Well the fact is Miss Faulkner he has an appointment with two gentlemen here and I was to let him know as soon as they arrived.

ALICE: Do you suppose I could wait — without troubling you too much — and see him — afterwards?

WATSON: Why certainly.

ALICE: Thank you — and I — I don’t want him to know —that — I —that I came.

WATSON: Of course, if you wish, there’s no need of my telling him.

ALICE: It’s — very important indeed that you don’t, Dr Watson. I can explain it all to you afterwards.

WATSON: No explanation is necessary Miss Faulkner. 

ALICE: Thank you (Glances about) I suppose there is a waiting room for patients?

WATSON: Yes or you could sit in there (Indicating surgery door) You’ll be less likely to be disturbed.

ALICE: Yes, thank you. (ALICE glances toward door.) I think I would rather be — where its entirely quiet.

(Bell of front door outside rings)

WATSON (going to surgery door): Then step this way. I think the gentlemen have arrived.

ALICE (goes to door and turns): And when the business between the gentlemen is over would you please have some one tell me?

WATSON: I’ll tell you myself Miss Faulkner.

ALICE: Thank you (She goes)

(PARSONS enters)

PARSONS: Count von Stalburg. Sir Edward Leighton.

(Enter SIR EDWARD and COUNT VON STALBURG. PARSONS goes, closing door after him)

WATSON: Count — Sir Edward — (Bowing and coming forward)

SIR EDWARD: Dr Watson (Bows) Good evening (Placing hat on pedestal.)

(VON STALBURG bows slightly and stands)

Our appointment with Mr. Holmes was changed to your house, I believe

WATSON: Quite right, Sir Edward. Pray be seated, gentlemen.

(SIR EDWARD and WATSON sit.)

VON STALBURG: Mr. Holmes is a trifle late. (Sits.)

WATSON: He has already arrived, Count. I have sent for him.

VON STALBURG: Ugh!

(Slight pause.)

SIR EDWARD: It was quite a surprise to receive his message an hour ago changing the place of meeting. We should otherwise have gone to his house in Baker Street.

WATSON: You would have found it in ashes, Sir Edward.

SIR EDWARD: What! Really!

VON STALBURG: Ugh!

(Both looking at WATSON.)

SIR EDWARD: The — the house burnt!

WATSON: Burning now, probably.

SIR EDWARD: I’m very sorry to hear this. It must be a severe blow to him.

WATSON: No, he minds it very little.

SIR EDWARD (surprised): Really! I should hardly have thought it.

VON STALBURG: Did I understand you to say, doctor, that you had sent for Mr. Holmes?

WATSON: Yes, Count, and he’ll be here shortly. Indeed, I think I hear him on the stairs now.

(Pause. Enter HOLMES at centre door. He is very pale. His clothing is re-arranged and cleansed, though he still, of course, wears the clerical suit, white tie, etc. He stands near door a moment. SIR EDWARD and COUNT rise and turn to him. WATSON rises and goes to desk, where he soon seats himself in chair behind desk. SIR EDWARD and the COUNT stand looking at HOLMES. Brief Pause.)

HOLMES (coming forward and speaking in a low clear voice, entirely calm, but showing some suppressed feeling or anxiety at the back of it): Gentlemen, be seated again, I beg.

(Brief pause. SIR EDWARD and the COUNT reseat themselves. HOLMES remains standing. He stands looking down before him for quite a while, others looking at him. He finally begins to speak in a low voice without first looking up)

Our business to-night can be quickly disposed of. I need not tell you, gentlemen — for I have already told you — that the part I play in it is more than painful to me. But business is business — and the sooner it is over the better. You were notified to come here this evening in order that I might — (pause) — deliver into your hands the packet which you engaged me — on behalf of your exalted client — 

(COUNT and SIR EDWARD bow slightly at “exalted client.” )

— to recover. Let me say, in justice to myself, that but for that agreement on my part, and the consequent steps which you took upon the basis of it, I would never have continued with the work. As it was, however, I felt bound to do so, and therefore pursued the matter — to the very end — and I now have the honor to deliver it into your hands.

(HOLMES goes toward SIR EDWARD with the packet. SIR EDWARD rises and meets him. HOLMES places the packet in his hands, COUNT VON STALBURG rises and stands at his chair.)

SIR EDWARD (formally): Permit me to congratulate you, Holmes, upon the marvellous skill you have displayed, and the promptness with which you have fulfilled your agreement.

(HOLMES bows slightly and turns away. SIR EDWARD at once breaks the seals of the packet and looks at the contents. He begins to show some surprise as he glances at one or two letters or papers and at once looks closer. He quickly motions to COUNT, who goes at once to him. He whispers something to him, and they both look at two or three things together.) ,

VON STALBURG: Oh! No! No!

SIR EDWARD (stopping examination and looking across to HOLMES): What does this mean? (Pause.)

(HOLMES turns to SIR EDWARD in apparent surprise.)

These letters! And these — other things. Where did you get them?

HOLMES: I purchased them — last night.

SIR EDWARD: Purchased them?

HOLMES: Quite so — quite so.

VON STALBURG: From whom — if I may ask?

HOLMES: From whom? From the parties interested — by consent of Miss Faulkner.

SIR EDWARD: You have been deceived.

HOLMES: What!

(WATSON rises and stands at his desk.)

SIR EDWARD (excitedly): This packet contains nothing — not a single letter or paper that we wanted. All clever imitations! The photographs are of another person! You have been duped. With all your supposed cleverness, they have tricked you! Ha! ha! ha!

VON STALBURG: Most decidedly duped, Mr. Holmes!

(HOLMES turns quickly to SIR EDWARD.)

HOLMES: Why, this is terrible! (Turns back to WATSON. Stands looking in his face.)

SIR EDWARD (astonished): Terrible! Surely, sir, you do not mean by that, that there is a possibility you may not be able to recover them!

(Enter ALICE and stands listening.)

HOLMES: It’s quite true!

SIR EDWARD: After your positive assurance! After the steps we have taken in the matter by your advice! Why — why, this is — (Turns to COUNT, too indignant to speak.)

VON STALBURG (indignantly): Surely, sir, you don’t mean there is no hope of it?

HOLMES: None whatever, Count. It is too late now! I can’t begin all over again!

SIR EDWARD: Why, this is scandalous! It is criminal, sir! You had no right to mislead us in this way, and you shall certainly suffer the consequences. I shall see that you are brought into court to answer for it, Mr. Holmes. It will be such a blow to your reputation that you —

HOLMES: There is nothing to do, Sir Edward — I am ruined — ruined —

ALICE (coming forward): He is not ruined, Sir Edward. (quiet voice, perfectly calm and self-possessed; she draws the genuine packet from her dress.) It is entirely owing to him and what he said to me that I now wish to give you the — (Starting toward SIR EDWARD as if to hand him the packet.)

(HOLMES steps forward and intercepts her with left hand extended. She stops surprised.)

HOLMES: One moment — (Pause.) Allow me. (He takes packet from her hand.)

(WATSON stands looking at the scene. Pause. HOLMES stands with the package in his hand looking down for a moment. He raises his head, as if he overcame weakness — glances at his watch, and turns to SIR EDWARD and the COUNT. He speaks quietly as if the climax of the tragedy were passed — the deed done. ALICE’S questioning gaze he plainly avoids.)

Gentlemen— (putting watch back in pocket) — I notified you in my letter of this morning that the package should be produced at a quarter-past nine. It is barely fourteen past — and this is it.  The one you have there, as you have already discovered, is a counterfeit.

(Love music.)

(HOLMES turns a little, sees ALICE, stands looking at her. ALICE is  looking at HOLMES with astonishment and horror. She moves back a little involuntarily.)

SIR EDWARD and VON STALBURG (staring up with admiration and delight as they perceive the trick): Ah! excellent! Admirable, Mr. Holmes! It is all clear now! Really marvellous! (To one another, etc.) Yes—upon my word!

(On SIR EDWARD and COUNT breaking into expressions of admiration, WATSON quickly moves up to them, and stops them with a quick “Sh!” All stand motionless. HOLMES and ALICE looking at one another. HOLMES goes quickly to ALICE and puts the package into her hands.)

HOLMES (as he does this): Take this, Miss Faulkner. Take it away from me, quick! It is yours. Never give it up. Use it only for what you wish!

(Stop music.)

SIR EDWARD (springing forward with a mild exclamation):  What! We are not to have it? (Throwing other package up stage.)

(VON STALBURG gives an exclamation or look with foregoing.)

HOLMES (turning from ALICE —but keeping left hand back upon her hands into which he put the package —as if to make her keep it. Strong — breathless — not loud — with emphatic shake of head): No, you are not to have it.

SIR EDWARD: After all this?

HOLMES: After all this.

VON STALBURG: But, my dear sir— 

SIR EDWARD: This is outrageous! Your agreement?

HOLMES: I break it! Do what you please — warrants — summons — arrests — will find me here! (Turns up and says under his breath to WATSON.) Get them out! Get them away! (Stands by WATSON’S desk, his back to the audience.)

(Brief pause. WATSON moves toward SIR EDWARD and the COUNT at the back of HOLMES.)

WATSON: I’m sure, gentlemen, that you will appreciate the fact — -

ALICE (stepping forward — interrupting): Wait a moment, Doctor Watson! (Going to SIR EDWARD.) Here is the package, Sir Edward! (Hands it to SIR EDWARD at once.)

(WATSON motions to PARSONS, off to come on.)

HOLMES (turning to ALICE): No!

ALICE (to HOLMES): Yes — (Turning to HOLMES. Pause.) I much prefer that he should have them. Since you last came that night and asked me to give them to you, I have thought of what you said. You were right — it was revenge. (She looks down a moment, then suddenly turns away.)

(HOLMES stands motionless, near corner of desk, his eyes down. PARSONS enters and stands waiting with SIR EDWARD’S hat in his hand, which he took from off pedestal.)

SIR EDWARD: We are greatly indebted to you, Miss Faulkner— 

(Looks at VON STALBURG.)

VON STALBURG: To be sure!

SIR EDWARD: And to you, too, Mr. Holmes — if this was a part of the game. (Motionless pause all round. Examining papers carefully. COUNT looking at them also.) It was certainly an extraordinary method of obtaining possession of valuable papers — but we won’t quarrel with the method as long as it accomplished the desired result! Eh, Count? (Placing package in breast pocket and buttoning coat.)

VON STALBURG: Certainly not, Sir Edward.

SIR EDWARD (turning to HOLMES): You have only to notify me of the charge for your services — (ALICE gives a little look of bitterness at the word “charge”) — Mr. Holmes, and you will receive a cheque I have the honour to wish you —good night.

(Music till end of Act)

(Bowing punctiliously.) Dr. Watson. (Bowing at WATSON.) This way, Count.

(WATSON bows and follows them to door. HOLMES does not move. COUNT VON STALBURG bows to HOLMES and to WATSON and goes, followed by SIR EDWARD. PARSONS exits after giving SIR EDWARD his hat. WATSON quietly turns and sees HOLMES  beckoning to him. WATSON goes to HOLMES, who whispers to him after which he quietly goes. HOLMES after a moment’s pause, looks at ALICE.)

HOLMES (speaks hurriedly):  Now that you think it over, Miss Faulkner, you are doubtless beginning to realize the series of tricks by which I sought to deprive you of your property. I couldn’t take it out of the house that night like a straightforward thief — because it could have been recovered at law, and for that reason I resorted to a cruel and cowardly device which should induce you to relinquish it.

ALICE (not looking at him): But you — you did not give it to them —

(Pause.)

HOLMES (in a forced cynical hard voice): No — I preferred that you should do as you did.

(ALICE looks suddenly up at him in surprise and pain, with a breathless “ What?” scarcely audible.  HOLMES meets her look without a tremor.)

(Slowly, distinctly.) You see, Miss Faulkner, it was a trick — a deception — to the very — end.

(ALICE looks in his face a moment longer and then down.)

Your maid is waiting.

ALICE (stopping him by speech — no action): And was it — a trick last night — when they tried to kill you?

HOLMES (hearing ALICE, stops dead): I went there to purchase the counterfeit package — to use as you have seen.

ALICE: And — did you know I would come?

(Pause.)

HOLMES: No.

(ALICE gives a subdued breath of relief)

But it fell in with my plans notwithstanding. Now that you see me in my true light, Miss Faulkner, we have nothing left to say but good night — and good-bye — which you ought to be very glad to do. Believe me, I meant no harm to you — it was purely business — with me. For that you see I would sacrifice everything. Even my supposed — friendship for you — was a pretense — a sham — everything that you — 

(She has slowly turned away to the front during his speech. She turns and looks him in the face.)

ALICE (quietly but distinctly): I don’t believe it.

(They look at one another.)

HOLMES (after a while): Why not?

ALICE: From the way you speak — from the way you — look — from all sorts of things! — (With a very slight smile.) You’re not the only one — who can tell things — from small details.

HOLMES (coming a step closer to her): Your faculty — of observation is — is somewhat remarkable, Miss Faulkner — and your deduction is quite correct! I suppose — indeed I know — that I love you. I love you. But I know as well what I am — and what you are — 

(ALICE begins to draw nearer to him gradually, but with her face turned front.)

I know that no such person as I should ever dream of being a part of your sweet life! It would be a crime for me to think of such a thing! There is every reason why I should say good-bye and farewell! There is every reason — 

(ALICE gently places her right hand on HOLMES’ breast, which stops him from continuing speech. He suddenly stops. After an instant he begins slowly to look down into her face. His left arm gradually steals about her. He presses her head close to him and the lights fade away with ALICE resting in HOLMES’ arms, her head on his breast.) 

(Music swells gradually.)
 

CURTAIN

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