One-Act Plays
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a play in one-act

by Horace Holley

The following one-act play is reprinted from Read-aloud Plays. Horace Holley. New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1916. It is now in the public domain and may therefore be performed without royalties.



[A corner table in a Broadway restaurant, at evening. Between the man and woman who have just taken seats is a bouquet of red roses.]

MARIAN: No, I don't want any oysters or clams. I ate enough sea food in Atlantic City to last a season. I want some—Oh, what gorgeous flowers! Umm! I love the smell of roses! Especially out of season. Why, the other tables haven't any! Fred, did you—?

FRED: Sure I did, Marian. I knew you'd like 'em.

MARIAN: I do. But you mustn't be a silly boy any longer, Fred!

FRED: I will, too. It isn't silly, to give you flowers.

MARIAN: That's all right, Fred. Goodness knows I like the flowers. But I'm not a young idiot who expects her honeymoon to last forever. I've had one experience, you know.

FRED: Yes, but you mustn't judge all men by him.

MARIAN: I don't. I knew well enough you're different, or I'd never have married you. But at the same time—

FRED: Well, I'm going to show you that a real man don't get over the fun of being married to a peach like you in just two weeks. You don't want me to, do you?

MARIAN: Course not, Fred! Didn't I say you were different? But I don't want you to set a pace you can't keep up. You'd hate me in no time if I did.

FRED: I couldn't hate you, girlie! Besides, isn't this our first night back in the old town? We shan't be having dinner out like this every day.

MARIAN: Well, only I don't want to have you flop all of a sudden, like he did. What'll you have, a cocktail?

FRED: Let's see.... What's the matter, Marian?

MARIAN: Sh! Don't turn round!

FRED: What's up?


FRED: Him who?

MARIAN: George!

FRED: Good Lord! Well, don't mind him. He hasn't got anything on you now. You're mine.

MARIAN: Sure I am. He isn't looking. He's with a woman. By jingo! It's that millinery kid!

FRED: What millinery kid? Besides, what difference does it make? Let him have a hundred, if he wants 'em. We're happy.

MARIAN: The nerve of him! I knew it was her right along. He tried to throw a bluff it was some swell. I'll bet he paid good for those clothes!

FRED: Oh, come on! What'll you have? Besides, she might have made the clothes herself.

MARIAN: Made 'em herself! Say, a fine lot you know about ladies' gowns! That came from the Avenue, straight.

FRED: Well, what if it did? I'll get you a better one, you just wait.

MARIAN: Sh! He's looking over here!

FRED: Hm! Look at me and you won't see him.

MARIAN: The nerve!

FRED: What's he done?

MARIAN: He smiled right over like nothing had ever happened. I'll bet he's going to say something mean about me. Oh!

FRED: Let's change our seats. I'm hungry!

MARIAN: Change nothing! Catch me giving him a laugh like that! I could tell her things, the young—There, now she's looking!

FRED: What if she is? Say, look here—

MARIAN: He's getting up! Well, of all the brass!

FRED: What?

MARIAN: He's coming over here!

FRED: He is! Don't you say a word. I'll take him on!

MARIAN: If he dares—

GEORGE: Hello, Marian!


GEORGE: What, got a grouch on your honeymoon? That's a bad sign, Marian!

MARIAN: No, I haven't got any grouch! Don't you worry! You're the only grouch I ever had, thank the Lord!

GEORGE: Well then. It isn't every woman gets rid of an incompatible husband and gets hold of a compatible one, all in same season.

FRED: Look here!

MARIAN: That's just like him! Coming over here with a grin on like a kid with a new toy. Well, we don't want anything to do with you. See?

GEORGE: Sure. Excuse me for butting in. I just wanted to make a little announcement.

MARIAN: Oh, you did! Well, I'm surprised! I didn't think she was the kind you had to marry.

GEORGE: Huh! I knew you'd have your little knife out for her. But why you should have to be jealous now I can't see.

MARIAN: I'm not jealous!

GEORGE: What you worrying about, then?

MARIAN: I'm not worrying! I'm only sore because you butted in when we were so happy together here without you.

GEORGE: Oh, excuse me! As a matter of fact, I didn't come over to make any announcement. It's too late for that. I—

MARIAN: Married already! Anybody'd think you might wait a little while for common decency!

GEORGE: I waited a day longer than you did, anyhow.

MARIAN: That's different.

FRED: I beg your pardon! We were just ordering dinner. If you didn't come to make any announcement, why—

MARIAN: Yes, what did you butt in for?

GEORGE: Why, I got a letter from your friend Grace, and—

MARIAN: Grace? What did she have to say to you?

GEORGE: She said she was sorry I had to get a divorce, but I told her—

MARIAN: Sorry you had to get a divorce! Well, if I don't fix her!

GEORGE: Oh, she's getting married, too.

MARIAN: Who to?

GEORGE: That fellow, what's his name, that's got the garage over on Seventh Avenue.

MARIAN: Snider! So he's the one! Well! And I suppose she'll be all over town in a new car.

GEORGE: Sure. Saw him to-day. A big yellow one. I always told you she was out for money. And you thought she was in love with Jackson!

MARIAN: Hypocrite! She was. Or she told me so. Cried all over me. Have you seen Jackson?

GEORGE: Yes. He's as blue as your old kimono. He said—

FRED: Look here, Marian! I'm not going to wait all night for my dinner!

MARIAN: Order your old dinner! What did Jackson say, George?


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