Getting Even With Reggie

General Information

Dear readers,

'Getting Even With Reggie' by Seymour S. Tibbals was published in 1919.

This book has been digitalized and made available on The scanning process resulted in many strange characters, spelling errors, poor quality pictures, and other problems in the file. I have tried to correct as many errors as I could find, but you may still find other issues occasionally. I hope you'll accept the imperfections but still find value in reading this story.

The title image on this website is taken from

K. C. Lee
Story Collector
September 12, 2013

Cast Of Characters

Reginald De Rigor - Editor of The Lamp.
Jim Bates - the cheerful imposter.
Bob Warring, - originator of the scheme.
Harold Harcourt - the leading conspirator.
Walter Phillips - who helps things along.
Dorothy Davis - with a fondness for the stage.
Hazel Harding - who has it in for Reggie.
Nina Morgan - a tennis enthusiast.
Pauline Phillips - who adores authors.
Daisy Ford - who owns an automobile.
Harriet Howard - the studious one.
Vestalia Vernon - the frivolous one.
Gladys Granite - the unapproachable one.

The afternoon tea on the Granite's lawn. The idea is suggested.

Parlor at the Central Hotel. The idea advances.

Parlor at the Central Hotel. The idea is worked out.

The Idea Is Suggested


Garden at the home of Gladys Granite. Lawn setting. Two teatables R & L. Porch furniture arranged about stage. During this act the girls wear pretty summer frocks, the boys duck trousers, dark coats and straw hats. At rise of curtain Gladys, Vestalia and Harriet are seated at table R. Toiver bell off stage chimes four. This effect is secured by striking a suspended steel bar with a mallet.

Gladys - Four o'clock. Well, I'll say those girls are certainly fashionable. I told them three-thirty, and they are past due half an hour.

Ves. - I saw Nina Morgan and Bob Warring over on the tennis court as I came by. Nina never does keep any engagements except to play tennis.

Harriet - And she never plays tennis with anyone but Bob.

Gladys - Says the others aren't interesting.

Ves. - The goose. All men are interesting.

Harriet - I don't see how you can say that, Ves Vernon. I think all men are bores.

Ves - There is something wrong with the girl who thinks all men are bores.

Harriet - Then there must be something wrong with me.

Ves - Have your own way, Harriet. Nobody is contradicting you.

Gladys - Well, I'd hardly say all men are bores.

Harriet - Let us amend the resolution by substituting the term selfish.

Ves - Nor that either. Why, most of the boys about Westfield are dears.

Harriet - Sorry I can't agree with you. They are all absorbed in their own affairs and they treat us girls like something to be tolerated.

Ves - They don't treat me that way.

Gladys - You are different, Ves. I've often wondered how you get along so well with all the boys.

Ves - Easy, Gladys. I love 'em all and let 'em know it. I make them think I look up to them. I flatter them and -

Harriet - lean upon them.

Ves - They like it, too. All men like to have a girl look up to them. It pleases men to feel that they are superior to women.

Harriet - Fiddle-dee-dee. Well, I never was much for the clinging vine. I believe in woman standing alone.

Ves - (rises and strolls about) I've noticed that girls that feel that way usually do - stand alone.

Gladys - Girls. Don't spoil my tea-party before it begins. Stop being nasty. Coming back to the first proposition that all men are bores. I've only found one in the class who might really be found guilty of the charge.

Harriet - You mean Reggie. Excuse me, Mr. Reginald De Rigor. He is more than a bore. He is an egotistical subterfuge.

Ves - Jiminy Christmas! An egotistical subterfuge! That must be something. You certainly are learned, Harriet, to call a man that all in one breath.

Gladys - I've heard Reggie called a good many things, but that certainly is christening him right.

Harriet - Thank you, Gladys. I'm glad somebody agrees with me at last.

Ves - Oh, I'll second the motion. Reggie is certainly all of that, but for a nice, easy term I'd call him a big head.

Harriet - An egotistical subterfuge sounds better from a senior.

Ves - The valedictorian may use such language, of course. But down at the foot of the class where I live we call Reggie a swelled head.

Gladys - You've got to admit he is clever.

Harriet - Yes and sarcastic and critical and ironical and - and -

Ves - Demoniacal! There's a good one for your string of nice adjectives about Reggie.

Gladys - Well, he is unkind. His item about Hazel Harding in the last issue of The Lamp was positively humiliating.

Ves - (sits) I didn't see it. What did he say?

Gladys - You remember the morning she came to class with the stain on her waist? Hazel is always scrupulously neat but her mother was sick and she had to wait on her. That was why she was tardy. And when she found her waist was soiled she was quite cut up about it. But that smart editor, Reggie, hurt her still further by a cheap rhyme in The Lamp that ran something like this:

"A girl should always look her best,
Be an example to the rest.
Now Hazel's pardon I must beg
But girls look best without the egg"

Ves - Oh, he thought that was funny.

Harriet - He's always doing it. And he's so self-sufficient.

Ves - Better and better, Harriet. Now he's a self-sufficient, egotistical subterfuge. Believe me, that's calling him.

Gladys - Well, I wouldn't mind seeing him made ridiculous just once before he leaves us.

(Enter Daisy Ford, R. 3 E. carrying parasol.)

Daisy - Oh, girls. I am so glad I'm not the last. I thought sure I'd be late. Had an awful time.

Gladys - What was the matter?

Daisy - (Puts down parasol and seats herself at tOn hie L. and begins fanning vigorously) Everything. I wanted to drive over in my car.

Ves - (aside to Gladys) You know she has a Ford.

Daisy - And when I went out to the garage -

Ves - (aside) Used to call it the barn.

Daisy - One of the tires was flat. After I had changed tires I cranked and cranked and cranked and the thing just wouldn't start.

Harriet - What did you do then?

Daisy - I gave up and walked. Before I left I had a scene with father.

Ves - What was the row about, Daisy?

Daisy - Oh, Dad's crazy. This afternoon he started putting a new roof on the house and I told him a week ago the car needed new tires.

Harriet - Very inconsiderate of your father, 1 should say.

Daisy - You know he never was enthusiastic about my getting a car. Makes me keep an expense account.. Last night we were checking up and I had an item, M. P. $84.36. "What's this M. P., Daisy? Moving pictures?" asked Pa. "Do yoii think I'd spend $84.36 on movies?" I said. "No, that's motive power."

Gladys - Meaning gasoline, I suppose.

Daisy - Yes. Where are the rest of the bunch?

Gladys - Late as usual. There ought to be a law against girls always being tardy.

Harriet - It never could be enforced.

Ves - (looking off R.) Here come two more.

(Enter Hazel Harding and Pauline Phillips, R. 3 E.)

Gladys - TFe had about given you up.

Pauline- Vm so sorry, Gladys, but I just couldn't lay down the book I was reading. It was wonderful. Such a sweet, sad story and the hero was such a noble fellow. Let me tell you about it.

Hazel - (sits at table L,) Don't let her get started, girls. You know how Pauline is when she begins to talk about authors and novels.

Ves - Yes, Hazel, we all know. She's worse than the girl who wants to tell you the story of a motion picture play.

Pauline - (sits at table L.) Well, either habit is preferable to talking about your neighbors.

Gladys - You should have been here a little sooner. We had quite a pleasant discussion about Reggie De Rigor.

Hazel - You surely didn't waste your time on that poor simp?

Harriet - You don't like him, Hazel? Hazel - I loathe him. If ever I get a chance to get even with him, I'll make him squirm.

Pauline - I don't see why you all have it in so for Reggie. He certainly writes well.

Hazel - With a brutality that is beyond pardon.

Ves - Oh, girls! Harriet has a new description of the swelled headed editor of The Lamp. She calls him a "self-sufficient egotistical subterfuge." Isn't that good?

Hazel - I'll say it is. Only it's too mild. (Harriet has arisen and looks off L,)

Harriet - Hush! Here he comes now. Hazel - I won't speak to him.

Ves - Let Harriet do the talking. She knows how to handle him.

(Enter Reginald De Rigor L. He wears nose glasses with a heavy blaxik cord, carries a cane and looks very literary.)

Reggie - Good afternoon, girls. Sorry to have kept you waiting. Really should not have come at all but felt it a matter of duty to drop in and express my regrets. Pained to miss this pretty little class reunion, but really haven't time for mere frivolities.

Gladys - Oh. (coldly) So being nice to your most intimate friends is a mere frivolity.

Reggie - (removes his hat and dabs at his forehead) Friends are a nuisance when they interfere with one's work. A young man has to get on in the world, you know.

Ves - Sure. But he seldom gets far without friends.

Reggie - Oh, I don't know. If a man intends to go in for literature he must make up his mind to lead an uninterrupted and rather lonely life.

Pauline - Quite right, Reggie. You will get on, I feel sure. You write so beautifully. Oh, I do love authors.

Reggie - Quite right, Pauline. Love them as a whole but please don't fall in love with me.

Hazel - (aside) Listen to the snob.

Harriet - Don't flatter yourself, Mr. De Rigor. The girls in our class are not likely to make fools of themselves.

Reggie - Oh, I don't know. Somebody once said "fools rush in where angels fear to tread." You are none of you angels, so you see I really am in some danger.

Ves - You think pretty well of yourself, don't you, Reggie?

Reggie - Every man should think well of himself. But "I am not in the roll of common men."

Pauline - That sounds like Shakespeare. Oh, I do love Shakespeare.

Reggie - A nice guess, Pauline. I am surprised at times at your wide reading. You would make a good critic for The Lamp.

Pauline- Oh, will you, Reggie? Will you let me review books for The Lamp?

Reggie - I will - not. The Lamp is a one-man paper. I feel perfectly competent to edit all its departments myself.

Harriet - It might be more popular if you let some one else write for it occasionally.

Reggie - More popular, yes. But the high standard of the sheet must be maintained.

Daisy - Of course. Real news in The Lamp would be as out of place as a curry comb in a garage. Don't suppose you could use an automobile editor?

Reggie - I would as soon think of printing patent medicine advertisements.

Ves - They pay well, don't they?

Reggie - Probably. But think of the sacrifice to the literary reputation. No, I shall never commercialize any publication with which I am identified.

Gladys - How do you expect to get on in the world?

Reggie - Oh, I'll get on all right. Never fear for me, Gladys.

Ves - Yes, but how?

Reggie - Well, one very simple way for men of my genius and talent is to marry money.

Hazel - (aside) Now, what do you think of that?

Gladys - You might succeed if some girl would take you at the price you are really worth and then sell you at the price you set upon yourself.

Pauline - Thomas Moore said something like that once.

Reggie - Pauline! You really do amaze me. How do you store away so much in that small head of yours?

Ves - Oh, the size of the head doesn't count. I know one young man suffering from a very big head who has very little in it.

Reggie - Naughty. Now you really thought that was clever when it was only vulgar. The greatest egotists are women.

Harriet - Perhaps. But the egotism of a woman is always for two. She never is selfish.

Reggie - Really, Harriet, much learning has made you mad. Don't get me started. You know my views on woman and her place.

Ves - On your way, boy, on your way. You know you only came to leave your regrets, and you are delaying the tea.

Reggie - Thanks for my dismissal,Ves. So good of you to excuse me. Ta ta, girls. Have a nice time with your insipid tea and your silly gossip. "My only books were woman's looks - and folly's all they've taught me." (Puts on his hat with a bow.)

Pauline - Tom Moore said that, too.

Gladys - Sorry you must go, Reggie.

Reggie - (as he exits) Vain regrets, Gladys. The pleasure is all mine. I've wasted too much time now. (Exits h.)

Hazel - Of all the conceited toads. He's the biggest in the puddle.

Pauline - Your quotation is not quite correct. It's the "biggest duck in the puddle" if I remember rightly.

Ves - Cut it out, girls. He isn't worth it. Let's have tea, Gladys.

Gladys - (rising) I did want all the class to come to my tea party but I guess there is no use waiting any longer. I'll get the things. (Exits R. 2 E.)

Hazel - I'm glad Reggie didn't stay. He puts me on edge with his conceit.

Daisy - He's just smart enough to marry some rich girl and slip through life on her money.

Harriet - She would be an awful fool to spend her money on such a gold brick.

Pauline - As Hamlet said, 'Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool nowhere but in his own house."

Ves - You're just full of quotations, aren't you, Pauline?

Pauline - Oh, I know a few. As Young said : "Some for renown, on scraps of learning dote, and think they grow immortal as they quote."

(Enter Nina Morgan, Boh Warring aiid Harold Harcourt, R. 3 E)

Bob - Greetings, visions of loveliness. Hope we haven't missed the eats.

Ves - Gladys has just gone to get them. You're lucky, as usual.

Nina - That boy, Bob, the idol of the class, has been simply beastly all the afternoon. Lucky is right, Ves. He beat me three sets. (Sits at table L.)

Bob - And two of them her regular score was love.

Harold - Oh, don't rub it in on the poor girl. Bob.

Nina - He served villianously. Put the ball all over the court.

Bob - But always just in the right place, Nina. (Sits.)

Ves - Where were you, Harold? We have missed you terribly.

Harold - Had to press my trousers. It is my valet's afternoon off.

Daisy - You talk like Reggie.

Bob - By the way, where is Reginald?

Hazel - He has been here and left his regrets.

Pauline - Said he couldn't waste his time on us.

Harold - Had to write another epic for The Lamp, I suppose.

(Enter Gladys, pushing tea-cart, containing, tea, cups and plates of cakes.)

Bob - (jumping up) Permit me, Gladys.

Harold - (advancing to meet Gladys) Don't let him touch it, Gladys. He'll smash all your pretty cups.

Gladys - Thank you both. I much prefer that you be seated and let me wait upon my distinguished guests.

Bob - (dropping back into chair) So be it, I'm rather weary.

Harold - I should think you would be, after playing tennis with a girl all the afternoon. Such strenuous exercise - beating a girl.

Nina - Well, it wasn't easy, Harold.

Bob - About the same as shooting fish.

(Gladys serves from the tea-cart. Ves and Daisy carrying the cups to the others. During the following dialog, all are busy with the tea ancL cakes.)

Pauline - Speaking of Reggie.

Hazel - I didn't hear anyone speaking of the insect.

Harold - Insect! That's good, Hazel. Because he stung you, I suppose?

Bob - He's stung us all on various occasions.

Daisy - He turned me down when I volunteered to edit an automobile page in The Lamp.

Pauline - He taught me how to beg to write his book reviews then taught me how a beggar should be answered.

Hazel - All of which was nice and gentlemanly, compared to the way he ridiculed me and my soiled shirt-waist.

Bob - We ought to get even with him before commencement.

Ves - Oh, I wonder if we could.

Bob - (rising and putting his cup on the tea wagon) We ought to be able to hatch up a scheme to take him down a peg.

Harriet - Nothing would give us more pleasure.

Pauline - As I recall reading somewhere in Virgil: "Rise from my ashes, some avenger, rise."

Harold - I nominate Bob Warring for the Lord High Executioner.

Nina - Atta boy, Bob! Make the proud Reggie bite the dust. These are mighty good cakes, Gladys. May I have another?

(Gladys passes plate of cakes to Harold, who waits on all the girls.)

Boh - The thing might be done. Let me think a minute. (Goes to hack of stage and paces up and down in deep study.)

Ves - While the jury is out endeavoring to fit the penalty to the crime, we might guess riddles.

Gladys - Or agree on a class motto.

Daisy - Why not decide on our class colors?

Harriet - Nothing is prettier than blue and gold.

Harold- Oh, I think pink and yellow are just the dearest combination.

Ves - Stop your kidding, Harold. You always were color blind.

Harold-Yon don't get the idea, Ves. Pink for you girls and yellow for Reginald.

Boh - (coming down center) I believe I've got the big idea.

Ves - Shoot.

Gladys - Let's put the tea things away, so that we can give our undivided attention to the plot.

Harold - (as he gathers up the cups) And incidentally spare the china from destruction. Gladys has an eye to looking after her property.

Harriet - (helping with the cups) If Bob has a scheme to get even with Reggie, I shall join in most heartily.

Ves - I, too, will lend a helping hand.

Boh - Come, gather around my noble conspirators, and the plan I will unfold.

Hazel - Make it something humiliating, something terribly awful.

Nina - How would it do to burn him in boiling oil?

Daisy- Don't waste the oil. I can use it in my car.

Boh - (as the others all sit, having drawn their chairs around him) Silence. The meeting will please come to order.

Pauline - Ought we have a secretary?

Bob - I should say not. There must be no record made and all must take a vow of secrecy.

Harold- It's all off.

Gladys - Now, Harold. Don't spring that stale one about girls not being able to keep secrets.

Ninor- We'll promise to keep this one.

Ves - Cross our hearts. Hope we may die.

Bob - Now what is Reggie's greatest weakness?

Daisy - Pride.

Pauline - Conceit.

Ves - Stuck on himself.

Harriet - Vanity.

Nina - Egotism.

Gladys - Self esteem.

Hazel - His swelled head.

Harold - Ye gods! Anything else the matter with the man?

Bob - Then we must make him ridiculous. He rather prides himself on his winning ways.

Ves - Thinks he's a regular lady-killer.

Harold - Soak him on that, Bob. The girls would just love to see one of the fair sex get the best of him.

Bob - The idea isn't entirely original. I recall an old play written by a German.

Harold - Nothing doing!

Bob - I don't intend to put on the play. Just use the idea. In the play, a very conceited chap was fooled by a lady his enemies passed off as a Persian princess who was supposed to have traveled all the way from her native land to meet the distinguished author. His vanity causes him to fall readily into the trap. He becomes deeply smitten, accepts the Mohammedan faith, and goes through a pretended ceremony with no small discomfort to himself. After he has been made a sufficient fool of, his enemies appear and the play closes with their jeers and scornful laughter. (Pause) Well?

Harold - I don't get the connection.

Nina - Too deep for me.

Ves - No it isn't. I think I see the possibilities of using the old play to get even with Reggie.

Boh - Good girl. I knew somebody in our class had brains.

Nina - But he would know any of us who tried to pose as the Persian princess.

Boh - Sure! I give him credit for that much discernment.

Daisy - Well, how you going to put it across ?

Ves - Get a strange girl to come to Westfield and act the part, of course.

Gladys - Must be some one Reggie has never seen.

Boh - Yes, and a dark girl of Oriental temperament. Find the right girl and she'll have the time of her life.

Hazel - I've got her. Dorothy Davis, the elocution teacher at Beaumont. Met her at Atlantic City last summer and we have corresponded ever since. She is coming to visit me at Commencement. She's a good sport and a clever actress. I know she'll come a week earlier and I know she'll do it.

Boh - Fine! Now we want a couple of strange fellows to help the thing along. Good, big huskies who play the part of the traveling companions of the princess, her retainers, guardians, etcetera.

Harold - Jim Bates will answer. He is a cousin of mine who is coming to Westfield next week to look over the opening for a doctor. A fine fellow just out of medical college and a good scout. Clever at amateur theatricals and can play any part.

Ves - Good! We'll leave it to Jim.

Hazel - And Dorothy.

Harriet - But will Reggie fall for it?

Bo6- Fall? Don't we all fall for a pretty girl?

Pauline - I've got a cousin coming, too, next week. Walter Phillips. He's in the navy. Been all around the world. Going to spend his shore leave with us.

Boh - Great! The very chap. He can add the Oriental atmosphere. Maybe this isn't going to be good.

Hazel- Oh, Reggie, Reggie. Woe unto you.

Boh - You get in touch with your friend, Dorothy Davis, right away, Hazel. Tell her to bring a swell Oriental outfit and as soon as you hear from her let me know.

Hazel - Dorothy will make love to Reggie like a house afire. Oh, I know she is going to enjoy it.

Boh - And you, Pauline, put me in touch with your cousin the minute he arrives. I will want a long heart to heart talk with him.

Pauline - I'll write him tonight and tell him to bring all the Persian trinkets he may have. We will want the real Oriental atmosphere.

Boh - Sure! Reggie is no fool and we will have to put this thing on historically and absolutely correct. And Harold, I'm counting a lot on your friend, Jim Bates. He'll have to be the ambassador, minister plenipotentiary, and the special envoy of the princess from Teheran.

Ves - Oh, Gee. It does begin to sound good.

Nina - If he only falls for it.

Daisy - If he does'nt we'll kidnap him and I'll carry him off in my car. We've got to do something to him.

Boh - Now, listen! You must all take a solemn vow or obligation not to reveal this plot. If it leaks out one of us will be responsible. It would never do to trust a soul. Reggie will fall for it if we work it right but if we trust anyone besides ourselves he may get next.

Daisy - Can't I tell Professor Ahrens? He hasn't any more use for Reggie than we have.

Boh - Not a soul. Are you all willing to take the obligation?

All - We are.

Bob - Then stand up. Hold up your right hands and place your left hands over your heart. (They stand and assume position) Now say I, pronounce your names in full and repeat after me.

All - I (each pronounces his or her name)

Bob - Do solemnly swear never to tell.

All - Do solemnly swear never to tell.

Bob - To any one in the world.

All - To any one in the world.

Bob - The plot we have to get even with Reggie.

All - The plot we have to get even with Reggie.

Bob - Cross my heart and may I die.

All - Cross my heart and may I die.

Bob - Cross your hearts. (They do so.) Amen

All - Amen.

Bob - Now, you're sworn.

(Enter Reggie, L)

Reggie - What's the idea? I heard you practicing something. Sounded like a chant or responsive reading. Npt trying to put anything over are you?

Ves - I should say not, Reggie. We were just trying to get a class yell.

Reggie - Don't do it. Of all the simple things, I think a class yell is the simplest. Sounded to me more like a prayer though. I thought I heard you say Amen.

Pauline. - Oh, no, nothing like that.

Reggie - Well, it was like that. Look here. I*m in on anything you do.

Harold - Sure, old man. You're in on everything we do. If we decide to do anything, believe me, we'll always let you in.

Reggie - Well, don't forget it.

All - No, indeed, Reggie, we'll not forget it.


The Idea Advances


Parlor in the Central Hotel at Westfield. This setting may be made as elaborate as the stage and its equipment will permit. If possible use a center door, fancy flat, boxed with doors R. and L. At rise of curtain all the characters in the play except Reggie are discovered. They are sitting and standing about, with Bob, Dorothy and Jim in the center. All are wearing ordinary street clothing.

Bob - Remember, Jim Bates, you are Zam-Zammeh from now on. We have been over it all a dozen times. Go get into your Persian dress suit and be ready when Harold brings Reggie up to the hotel. And you, Miss Davis.

Dorothy - I won't play if you are going to continue calling me Miss Davis. I'm Dorothy or nothing.

Jim - Righto, Friend of the World and Eye of Beauty. Let us indeed drop the distinctions of Western civilization and assume the easy manner of the Orient. Farewell Miss Dorothy Davis, and the rest of you shameless beggars, I go to array and to annoint myself for the great change. When next I look upon thee, Light of the Rosy Dawn, thou shalt be the Princess Bibi Miriam. Wah-Wah. (All stand aside as he goes to center door.) Which is my poor pronunciation of farewell in Persian. (Boies very low) I go to Umballa. (Exit.)

Ves - You can go to Jericho. Just so you are back on time.

B9b - Now, Harold, skip down to the sanctum sanctorum of the editor of The Lamp and be back here with Reggie, as soon as you can. The rehearsal was satisfactory and I am sure all will go well.

Harold - So be, Mahbub Ali. Thou hast spoken and the dog of a slave obeys. As Jim Bates, alais Zam-Zammeh, said, "Wah, wah!" (Rmis off center door.)

Nina - Isn't it going to be great?

Bob - Perhaps. You never can tell. There is an old Persian adage which says "There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip."

Pauline - That isn't so. Aristotle said that in Avitates.

Daisy - For goodness sake, Pauline, where do you get that stuff?

Pauline - Why, as Byron said in "Childe Harold" in canto II, stanza 6. "In my dome of thought, the palace of the soul."

Walter - Please understand the rest of the Phillips family is not afflicted in the same way. Pauline is the only one that has it.

Bob - You had better be getting ready to play the old priest. It will take you some time to make up and we may need you in a hurry. Remember much depends upon you.

Walter - I'm ready. Just one word of caution to all of you. Don't make me laugh when it comes to the wedding ceremony. It is going to be hard enough to get by without any horse play. Be kind to your priest, oh, fellow conspirators. Wah, wah. (Exits center door.)

Hazel - (to Dorothy) You will soon meet the most conceited fellow in Westfield. Don't let him put anything over on you.

Harriet - He thinks he is as wise as an owl and we are all counting on you making a pionkey of him.

Gladys - Oh, do not fail us. A girl like you can do anything to a boy like Reggie.

Dorothy - Now listen, all of you. I'm going to do my best, but it isn't going to be easy. I've played a few parts in amateur theatricals but this thing of making a man fall in love with you is an entirely different matter.

Bob - Not with those eyes. Miss Davis. I mean Dorothy. After it is all over and Reggie has been made a proper fool of, I'm going to fall in love with you myself.

Dorothy - Beware! I warn you I have no time for foolishness.

Boh - Remember you are the Princess Bibi Miriam. I'd rather you'd hang hard to that fact. I don't want Dorothy Davis making eyes at Reggie.

Ves - Why, Bob, I do believe you're jealous.

Pauline - Beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on.

Dorothy - There's the girl that should play the princess. She can talk like a Persian.

Hazel - She can talk like anything, but she can't act.

Nina - Come on. Harold and Reggie may get here any minute and we've got to help Dorothy dress.

Gladys - Yes, come on girls. We mustn't waste any time. (Exit Gladys, Nina, Hazel and Pauline.)

Daisy - We'd better go, too, Harriet. I'm crazy to get into my slave-girl costume.

Harriet - If it only works, this will be one of the happiest days of my sad, young life. (Exit Daisy and Harriet.

Boh - Do you know, Dorothy, I meant what I said. I hate to think of you letting that bonehead make love to you.

Dorothy - Silly. It's all in the play, isn't it? And to think I haven't even seen him.

Boh - All right. I'll go through. Be sure and help us to put proper weight on your wonderful riches. It isn't you Reggie is going to fall in love with. It's your immense fortune.

Dorothy - It wasn't necessary to say that, Mr. Warring. But we shall see. Perhaps before I am through he may love me for myself alone. (Goes to door.)

Bob - Aw, I say. You took me the wrong way. Dorothy - Oh, no, I didn't. You've only put me on my mettle. (Exit.)

Boh - Confound it! I've made her mad. She's a dandy girl and a good scout. If she don't make a monkey of Mr. Reginald De Rigor, I'll eat my hat.

Harold - (outside) He said to meet him here. That's all I know about it.

Bob - Great Scott! Here they come. (Rushes off L. 1 E.) (Enter Harold and Reggie, center door.)

Reggie - I can't see why the fellow could not come to my rooms or the office of The Lamp. I'm not used to running after people. It is much more dignified and becoming an editor to make them come to you.

Harold - But he is such a strange fellow. He wears some weird Oriental costume.

Reggie - That settles it. He is no doubt a patent medicine fakir and you know how I hate them. (Starts off and Harold catches him by the sleeve.) Let me go. I've wasted enough time already.

Harold - Please, Reggie. Listen to me a minute. The man is not a fakir. He is a gentleman. Anyone can see that and I am sure the business upon which he wants to see you is most important. Please sit down a minute and I'll tell him you are here.

Reggie - Pretty soft, old boy. This is some hoax. You are trying to put something over on me. Want me to sit down and wait while you and my classmates hold your watches and count how many minutes I'll play the fool waiting for a distinguished gentleman in Oriental costume. What do you think this is? April first? Not much, Harold, old dear. You'll have to work harder than that to make a fool of Reginald De Rigor. Get out of my way, you simp. (Starts toward door.)

Harold - (in distress) Oh, please, please, Reggie. Don't spoil everything.

Reggie - Spoil everything? So it was a joke, eh? Well all I've got to say is you folks certainly underestimated me if you thought I'd fall for any of your silly schemes. Give them all my love, Harold, and tell them whenever they put anything over on Reggie they have got to change their ways. Good morning. (Goes to door and meets Jim Bates in Persian costume and turban.)

Jim - (holds up his hand. Speaks with much dignity) I beg your pardon. The stars should bow and pay homage to the distinguished young American.

Reggie - (steps back) Who are you, sir? Are you masquerading?

Jim - Would that I were. Indeed, no. I am an American like yourself and I am proud of it. Nevertheless, I wear this foreign costume because it is my right. I take it, sir, I am speaking to Mr. Reginald De Rigor, the celebrated editor of an excellent class paper called The Lamp.

Reggie - That is my name, and yours ?

Jim - Pardon me. What I have to say is in strict confidence. May I ask this gentleman to leave us to ourselves ?

Harold - Certainly. But perhaps you have forgotten that you yourself asked me to bring Mr. De Rigor here.

Jim - A thousand thanks, my young friend. I meant not to offend. But my message to Mr. De Rigor is a strange one and meant only for his ears.

Harold - Of course. I beg your pardon. (Icily) I have no desire to intrude.

Reggie - Stick around Harold. I may want a witness. This thing looks phony to me.

Jim - Then my effort is in vain, for my strict injunction was to speak to you in private.

Harold - Let him have his way, Reggie. I'll not leave the hotel. If he tries to put anything over on you, yell and I'll be in for the finish. (At door) You don't suppose he's one of those Oriental thugs, do you?

Jim - (smiling) I mean no harm to your friend. Perhaps I come to bring him great honors and good fortune. Leave us, I pray thee. (Bows.)

Harold - All right. But Reggie's one of us you know and we stick together. (Exits.)

Jim - Will you be seated, sir? (Ojfers chair.)

Reggie - (sits) May I ask you to be brief. My time is limited.

Jim - Ah, time, my ambitious youth, was made for slaves. If what I have to say interests you at all, it will mean the end of marking time for you.

Reggie - (starts up) You threaten me. I am not afraid of you.

Jim - Be seated, please. I can make it well worth your while to hear me.

Reggie - (sits) What's the idea of the advertising clothes? Advance agent for a show, or patent medicine?

Jim - (sits) I forgive you that. Later you will apologize.

Reggie - Oh, I'll apologize now if I'm wrong. But a fellow who edits a paper goes up against all sorts of games.

Jim - May I speak? And will you regard my revelations in confidence? I must have your promise, otherwise I am not at liberty to say more.

Reggie- Cut out the mystery stuff. I joined a lodge once. I promise never to reveal the secrets of this degree.

Jim - As I told you, I wear this costume because it is my right. I studied medicine, and gome years ago, while with a certain emissary per varios casus, found myself cast adrift in Persia. There I had the luck to become household physician to the Prince of Erzeroum, and at the same time was intrusted with teaching the English language to his daughter, the princess, a beautiful, intelligent and interesting girl. She found the study to her taste, and no expense was spared in gathering together and importing into Persia twenty camel loads of the best English literature that she read or had read to her. Her tender, sensitive feelings were sometimes wrought to so high a pitch that she was forced, through pure delight and rapture to close her eyes. She enjoyed all, praised many, but treasures only one. In the mass of books and periodicals she found a copy of The Lamp, and her favorite poem, my dear De Rigor, is one you wrote entitled "So sweet love seemed."

Reggie - Yes, I recall it. "So sweet love seemed that April morn, when first we kissed beside the thorn." Truly, quite an honor, Mr.

Jim - In Te-he-ran I am known as Zam-Zammeh, but before I left the States I was plain Jim Bates, of Kalamazoo.

Reggie - Let me call you Zam-Zammeh, Sahib.

Jim - As you please. But to continue. Just as Alexander the Great ever carried about with him in a costly casket the works of Aristotle, so does the Princess Bibi Miriam, of Erzeroum ever carry the copy of The Lamp containing your poem, "So sweet love seemed."

Reggie - That is very flattering.

Jim - Oft have I heard her say, with a sigh: "Why does not fate permit me to see this poet?" The charming princess little dreamed that the fulfillment of her heart's desire lay so near.

Reggie - I do not understand.

Jim - Since my most gracious fellow countryman is pleased to listen, I'll continue. The prince, her father, became dangerously ill and at the end of a week, in spite of my utmost endeavor to stay the hand of death, he sank into a gentle and eternal sleep. The Princess Bibi-Miriam inherited her father's domain, and as she henceforth could do as she pleased, she was unable to withstand the temptation of a trip to America in order to come face to face with the man who wrote the poem she so greatly treasured.

Reggie - What! The Princess Bibi Miriam, of Erzeroum, is really in America?

Jim - Even more than that. She has just arrived in Westfield.

Reggie - On my account? This is indeed a great honor.

Jim - She longs to see no other person or thing. I wished to show her many of our great attractions. The National Parks, Niagara Falls, the Statue of Liberty, our mountains, rivers, cities and lakes, but she refused them all. Reginald De Rigor, editor of The Lamp, her poet, is the only object of her heart's desire.

Reggie - (sitting erect and putting on his glasses) I am overwhelmed with this honor. And do you act as her interpreter?

Jim - Merely the interpreter of her heart, for the English tongue has been so thoroughly mastered by her royal highness that you can scarce detect the Persian accent.

Reggie - So much the better. Ah, I will pay her a ceremonious call.

Jim - A fitting invitation is the aim of my visit. At the same time the princess delegated to me the honor of handing you, as the custom obtains in Persia, this gift. (Presents him with a ring set with a cluster of rhine-i stones. The ring should be presented in a large plush jeweler's box.)

Reggie - (takes it and gazes in rapture) I cannot hope to - ah - such a costly, magnificent gift!

Jim - It is merely, if I am not mistaken, a forerunner of many greater marks of favor on the part of her royal highness. I know so well the charming Bibi Miriam - a trifle too enthusiastic, her veins full of hot Oriental blood - that I should not be surprised in the least, to see you, my fellow countryman, before long decorated with the Order of the Sun, and indeed honor you as my master.

Reggie - As a matter of fact, Doctor Zam-Zammeh, if modesty were not a virtue that I am inclined to overdo, I really fear you might turn my head. The princess is beautiful, you say?

Jim - As beautiful as the dawn. As fair to look upon as June roses bathed with dew.

Reggie - And these diamonds testify that she is rich.

Jim - Beyond the dreams of avarice. She is a sovereign princess.

Reggie - I hasten to prostrate myself at her feet. Where may I find her?

Jim - We are stopping here at the Central Hotel. A poor place, indeed, for one of regal blood, but the best the village affords.

Reggie - Kindly assure the Princess Bibi Miriam of Erzeroum that Reginald De Rigor, the poor American poet, is devoured by desire to kiss the hem of her garment.

Jim - (rising) It is well. This embassy will win for me some handsome reward. Pray await her sweet presence here. I have no doubt she will see you at once. (Bows low and exits C. D.)

Reggie - (rises and strolls about) What a strange thing life is after all. What fine things may happen to one who knows how to use his head and pen. This ring seems to be of priceless value - tomorrow I'll have a jeweler tell me its true worth. Reginald, you're a lucky chap. A princess in love with you. That's going some, I should say. I hope she will not be disappointed when she meets me. And yet, how could she? I am young, a good figure, and I have talent. To think that I have appeared in her sweet dreams and that she loves me for what I have done.

(Enter Jim Bates C. D.)

Reggie - Ah, she will see me? She is coming?

Jim - In just a moment.

Reggie - And what did the princess say?

Jim - Well, she said - nothing; she sighed - cast down her eyes - threw herself upon a couch - glanced at me with a blush - and then suddenly drew her veil to hide her confusion.

Reggie - (highly pleased) It appears that Persian ladies are not unlike our American girls.

Jim- Then she said: "Alas, Doctor Zam-Zammeh,. I fear I was very foolish to leave my native land."

Reggie - (laughingly) Why so?

Jim - This I also asked with deep respect. "Can you ask such a question?" she replied. "The reefs of the Caspian sea are less dangerous than your charming description."

Reggie - (shaking his finger at him) I fear youi flattered me.

Jim - You will not object to submitting yourself to Oriental custom?

Reggie - How's that?

Jim - By bending the knee when her royal highness, appears. You know it is a tribute to which she is accustomed.

Reggie - You said, did you not, that the Princess is beautiful ?

Jim - Wondrously beautiful.

Reggie - Well, who would not gladly bend his knee to such a charming lady?

Jim - (goes to door) I wish you well, my fellow countryman. She comes.

(Enter Dorothy, heavily veiled, in a rich Persian costume. She is followed by Daisy and Harriet, also heavily veiled and in Persian costumes, but of much less rich appearance. Reggie advances to meet the priyicess in center of the stage and falls upon his knees before her.)

Reggie - The happy mortal that your royal highness has condescended to receive, lies at your feet.

Dorothy - Arise. I speak English not well, else should I give you some charming compliments.

Reggie - (aside, rising) Already the sweet tones of her voice make my heart thrill with rapture.

Dorothy- You are a great man- greater than our poet Saadi.

Reggie - It were easy to surpass him, were I permitted to sing your charms.

Dorothy - I not beautiful - ah! Would that I were it.

Reggie - Why is this jealous veil allowed to hide your charming features?

Dorothy - You not flatter must. I want to talk of your land - America - of poetry - I want to learn - large voyage I maka to see you - you know everything - you say everthing beautiful.

Reggie - You are too kind. From now I forget everything but you.

Dorothy - I love America - love romance - you talk to me in poetry.

Reggie - That is very difficult; my poems are few and far between. Oh, Princess, I know nothing but you.

Dorothy - But poetry?

Reggie - It is nothing to the light in your eyes. My -verses are light, smoothly flowing and read well, I know. But hereafter they shall be even better since all my poems shall be of you.

Dorothy - See, Doctor Zam-Zammeh. I said well. He alone in America, great man.

Jim - I have never contradicted you, my Princess. (Bows very low.)

Dorothy- I so moved - so pleased. I know not how to myself express. You take this pin. (Offers him stick pin.)

Jim - (protesting) Most gracious princess, the costliest stone in your father's treasure!

Dorothy - You keep peace. Not enough costly for Reginald De Rigor.

Reggie - (takes pin) Your royal highness, I am struck dumb. (Aside.) What a magnificent solitaire!

Dorothy - Each line of your writing is more worth.

Reggie - The ring you gave me and now this pin, are certainly very precious, yet, if I may dare to beg a favor that has still greater value in my eyes-

Dorothy - Dare, dare!

Reggie - If I may be permitted to raise that envious veil and look upon the beauty of a goddess.

Dorothy - You ask too much. In Persia I cannot dare to unveil before a brother.

Reggie - We are in America, most gracious princess. Here the beauty of woman is not withheld from her brothers.

Dorothy - But the Prophet

Reggie - The Prophet shall not learn a word about it.

Dorothy - But, Doctor Zam-Zammeh. May I, think you so?

Jim - The will of the princess is the will of her servants.

Dorothy - I can you nothing deny. (She unveils herself and looks at Reggie languishingly.)

Reggie - What do I see? Has Venus arisen? Is. Hebe reincarnated? (Aside.) By Jove, she's a stunner. What do you think of that?

Dorothy - One shouldn't trust the words of a poet.

Reggie - Not words, my princess, but the promptings of the heart. Your bewitched poet stands speechless before your beauty.

Dorothy - You are pleased?

Reggie - I'm knocked out.

Dorothy - I not understand.

Reggie - My eyes glow, my lips tremble. . Dorothy - You like me?

Reggie - It is wonderful. Oh, Princess Bibi Miriam, Goddess of the Far East, I throw myself at your feet. (Kneels before her.)

Dorothy - (putting her hand on his head and winking at the others.) My poet should not humble himself.

Reggie- I acknowledge rrf slavery. My freedom is gone forever.

Dorothy - You would wear my chains? Reggie - Always. Until death.

Dorothy - But what of me? I forget my domain, Erzeroum, and also the mighty Sophi of Teheran, my cousin.

Reggie - Love levels all ranks. It lays the shepherd's crook beside the scepter. Love forgets everything.

Dorothy - Love! Reginald De Rigor.

Reggie - It changes gods into swans and princesses into faithful wives. (Rises.)

Dorothy - My head swims - my royal blood grows cold - I totter - I fall. (Falls into Reggie's arms.)

Reggie - I will support you - always.

Dorothy - (Drawing away) Oh, what have I done! Am I crazy? Great Prophet! Doctor Zam Zammeh, how can I save me from this dangerous man? Doctor, follow me, give me a potion. I very ill. (She exits hurriedly supported by Daisy and Harriet.)

Jim - (following them) Pray remain but a moment. 'Tis nothing serious. I will return. (Exit.)

Reggie - (Strolls about.) I know that 'tis nothing serious. Such fainting fits are cured neither by potion or prophets - a rapid triumph, as usual. I must follow it up. Her princely pride must be laid low. This is a stroke of rare luck. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. She is rich and beautiful and there can be no doubt about her being gone on me.

(Enter Jim Bates, much excited.)

Jim - Alas ! What have you done, my worthy fellow countryman.

Reggie - (sits languidly in chair and puts on nose glasses) Oh, such things happen to me occasionally.

Jim - She is bathed in tears.

Reggie - All women cry. I'll dry them.

Jim - She is in despair.

Reggie - She will recover. They always do.

Jim - She swears she cannot live without you.

Reggie - Then she shall live with me.

Jim - Thoughtlessly she cries: "I shall share my throne with him."

Reggie - That may be.

Jim - But alas!

Reggie - (toying with nose glasses) Well, why the alas!

Jim - Alas ! Alas !

Reggie - Is she somewhat afraid of the Sophi of Persia?

Jim - Not that. He is an old man, in his second childhood; she can do with him what she will.

Reggie - So much the better.

Jim - But alas!

Reggie - Is she engaged to some prince? Some marriage of state provided for?

Jim - Not that. She has shown until now an utter indifference to all men.

Reggie - So much the better.

Jim - But alas !

Reggie - Oh, the devil! What do you mean by this perpetual alas?

Jim - Her royal highness Princess Bibi Miriam of Erzeroum is a pious lady, who zealously submits to the teaching of the prophet, and you, my most worthy fellow countryman, are alas ! an infidel dog.

Reggie - Oh, if it's nothing more than that' we'll get around it easily.

Jim - What! you can make up your mind to

Reggie - Why not?

Jim - Wear the turban.

Reggie - Why not? (Rises.)

Jim - (impetuously embracing him) You great man! Now I appreciate your liberal and unprejudiced mind. I'll no longer conceal that the enamoured princess, accustomed to having her royal desires fulfilled at once, delegated to me the delicate task of sounding you on this point. For she cried out in agony: "I would rather die than marry a Christian."

Reggie - She shall not die. Tell her that I am quite willing to believe anything she desires.

(Dorothy laughs happily outside.)

Reggie - What was that?

Jim - She overheard us, and is laughing from pure delight.

Reggie - May I go to her?

Jim - Not yet. She has sworn by All's grave to see you a Mussulman or never to see you again.

Reggie - All right. Go tell her I'm a Mussulman.

Jim - First a trifling ceremony is necessary.

Reggie - Oh, I say. Can't we cut it?

Jim - (shrugging his shoulders) No. We have in our retinue an old orthodox priest who is also father confessor to her royal highness. He'll attend to it.

Reggie - Can you guarantee that I'll get through all right?

Jim - I'll give you the benefit of all my skill.

Reggie - Well, a throne is worth some sacrifice.

Jim - The ceremony is, in truth, somewhat vexatious.

Reggie - Kings and kaisers must also often endure them. It goes ! I'll get through. But hasten, for I am burning with desire to make the beautiful princess happy.

Jim - A moment's patience. (Exits.)

Reggie - (drops into chair) This is a matter of princely domain. I should indeed be a fool if I hesitated a second. The Sophi of Persia will be my uncle, and who knows what may happen if we can put his sons out of the way. Americans have won in foreign intrigues before and I am an American. Play the game, Reginald. All Persia looms up large in your star of destiny.


The Idea Is Worked Out


The curtain rises on Reggie sitting in chair as he was at the end of Act II. The scene remains unchanged as only a few minutes are supposed to have elapsed. At rise of curtain there is a short interval of silence, then the rythmic beating of an Oriental drum is heard outside. This effect may be secured by tapping a tambourine with a lead pencil. This should be kept up throughout all scenes when Reggie is on the stage during this act.

Reggie - (yawns and looks about.) They are coming at last. I feel like I might be going to join the Princes of the Orient.

(Enter Jim Bates still wearing his Persian costume. Behind him enter Walter Phillips, disguised as a Persian priest, Bob Warring and Harold Harcourt, wearing long flowing white beards, turbans low on the forehead, and robes. Bob carries a large Oriental bowl containing water and a big sponge. Harold carries an Oriental jar in which is a dish containing burnt cork. Jim is carrying a censer in which joss sticks are burning. Walter has a big book resting on a shelf suspended from his neck. The book is supposed to be the Koran. They enter through center door and parade once around the stage to the beat of the drum outside. If an orchestra is used have Oriental music played softly. On the second round they stop to the right of Reggie forming a line.)

Jim - (swinging censer, hows low) Al Hejr! Al Araf ! Al Ahkaf !

Others - (bowing low and chanting) Mulle, mulle, mulle.

Jim - (stvinging censer under Reggie's nose) Serdinalla umidelda, femambriki. I am driving out the evil spirits.

Reggie- Thanks.

Walter - (advances as Jim steps back into line) Ali ! Ali I port o port.

Others - (chant and bow as before) Mulle, mulle, mulle.

Walter - (takes wand from Jim which he has hitherto concealed in his robe and passes around behind Reggie. Jim, takes book from Walter and reads.) Say: O unbeliever, I will not worship that which ye worship; nor will ye worship that which I worship. Neither do I worship that which ye worship ; neither do ye worship that which I worship. Ye have your religion, and I my religion.

Others - (chant) Al Cawther, Al Hejr, Al Araf.

(Harold whacks Reggie three blows across his back with the wand.)

Reggie - Here. Cut that out.

Jim - Peace ! Be still. Now he drives out the devil.

Reggie - (shaking his shoulders) He's pretty rough about it.

Jim - Be patient or you may lose all.

Walter - (coming around in front of Reggie) Al Cawthar, Al Laheb, Al Hotama, Al Hotama. (takes sponge from bowl carried by Bob and holds it above Reggie's head) Minkel-pinkel-tatta-pinkel. (Squeezes sponge and water pours over Reggie.)

Reggie - Aw, I say. (wipes water out of his eyes)

Jim - Be quiet ! This is the essence of consecration.

Reggie - (sputtering) Well, it don't taste good.

Jim - (aside to Reggie) It's mostly salt water. Won't hurt you. Let him have his way.

Walter - Ali, Ali, plasma murre.

Others - (jumping up and down) Al Hejr, Al Araf, Al Ahkaf .

Walter - (dips his fingers in the burnt cork in jar carried by Harold) Torra minkel, torra dedum. Ali Cawthar. (Makes three black marks on Reggie's face.)

Others - (chant) Mulle, mulle, mulle.

Jim - Now he has annointed you. (Returns book to Walter)

Reggie - Will he soon have finished?

Jim - This part of the ceremony is over. We must however go to the old priest's room for a moment where you will be questioned as to your family, age, and soforth. A record will be made of your answers.

Walter - (rocking first on one foot and then on theother, he sings) Lidum, ladum, reebo, raybo.

Others - (doing the same) Moxa, moxa, ali kaboo..

(Harold and Bob take Reggie by the arms. Walter leads off and Jim follows after the others. They march once around the stage all chanting.) All - Lidum, ladum, reebo, raybo. Moxa, moxa, ali, kabo.

(Repeat until after they have all gone off R. 1. E)

(Nina and Pauline stick their heads in on opposite sides of center door. Look about then tiptoe on stage. They run about looking in all directions, then go back to door and beckon. Enter Daisy, Harriet, Vestalia and Gladys. All the girls wear Persian costumes, which may be bright figured kimonas with bright colored skirts. Each of the girls wears a white veil covering the face to the eyes and a head dress well down on the forehead. The costumes may be as fantastic as desired but none must be so elaborate as the one worn by Dorothy,)

Nina - They've gone.

Pauline - Thus we play the fool with the time; and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock usv. Henry the Fourth said that.

Daisy - For mercy's sake, Pauline, cut out the quotations.

Harriet - Everything seems to be going well.

Ves-All but these veils. I'm about smothered. Let's; take 'em off a minute. Untie me, Gladys.

Gladys - (as the girls help each other in removing veils) I'd rather be an American scrub-woman than a Persian princess, if I had to wear a thing like this all my life.

Nina - How do you suppose they do it?

Ves - (with her veil off) Gee, that's a relief. I think this is as hard on us as it is on Reggie.

Daisy - Makes me feel like a spook at a Hallowe'en party. (All the veils are off and girls stand looking at each other.)

Pauline - (shaking her veil) With a vile mask the Oorgan would disown, a cheek of parchment, and an eye of stone.

Harriet - The Persian women must be homely to cover up their faces so.

Gladys - But think of the talcum and rouge they save.

Ves - Do you suppose a man ever kisses them?

Pauline - Teach not thy lips such scorn; for they were made for kissing, lady, not for such contempt. Shakespeare.

Daisy - Well, believe me, old Shakespeare knew.

Nina - And he had no use for veiled ladies.

Harriet - How long will they be gone?

Ves - Bob said only a few minutes but they would tap the drum before they came back. We must not be caught napping.

Gladys - What did they do to him?

Daisy - Just made a monkey of him.

Pauline - It was mean of Bob not to let us see it.

Harriet - But, ladies, the big show is not yet half over. We have been promised that the best is yet to come.

Ves - The poor simp. I'm beginning to feel sorry for him.

Pauline - (goes up to Ves and scans her closely) Tear falling pity dwells not in this eye.

Ves - I suppose that's Shakespeare, too.

Pauline- Right. Richard III. Act four, scene 2. Harriet- You make me tired with your learning. Pauline- (turning to Harriet) Indeed? Much learning doth make thee mad.

Harriet- I didn't say mad. I said tired.

Pauline - I think it was La Rochefoucauld who said in his "Reflections and Moral Maxims": "Lovers are never tired of each other, though they always speak of themselves."

Ves - Can you beat it? Why don't you compile a dictionary of quotations and get Reggie to print it?

Pauline - Reggie won't speak to any of us after this thing is over.

Daisy - What? Never more.

Gladys - Oh, yes he will. And he'll be all the better for it.

Harriet - It ought to do him good.

Nina - I have no hopes whatever. Reggie was too far gone - on himself.

Ves - He swallowetl the bait - hook, sinker and all.

Daisy - The poor fish.

(Enter Bob R. 1. E. carrying his beard in his hand and laughing heartily.)

Girls - (rushing about him) What are they doing now?

Bob - That fellow, Jim Bates is a star. If you could only hear him gleaning the facts in Reggie's past life.

Girls- Tell us about it.

Bob - There are some things a fellow can't tell. But Reggie is cetrainly being hauled over the coals. He said he was born of poor but honest parents.

Ves - Did he pull that one?

Bob - He did. And Jim wrote it down and never cracked a smile.

Bob - When Jim asked him if he had ever said he would marry for money the poor simp muttered something about love in a cottage.

Nina - The cheerful liar.

Gladys - Don't you think he is next?

Bob - Absotively not. He's fallen for it hard.

(Enter Dorothy and Hazel carrying their veils)

Dorothy - Oh, girls. I've got a big idea.

Bob - Don't spring anything new. The thing is going too good to spoil.

Dorothy - But this will make a fine climax.

Ves - Let's hear it.

Dorothy - I'm going to change places with Hazel for the finish.

Hazel - It's Dorothy's idea, not mine.

Dorothy - Then when he lifts the veil he'll find Hazel and we'll have an extra laugh on him.

Bob - Maybe Jim won't like it.

Dorothy - We are taking no chances. You know I am not to speak until after the ceremony is all over.

Daisy - It's all right. It will only mean another jolt for Reggie.

Bob - As you please. Better hustle and change your robes. They're about through in there.

(Enter Jim, greatly excited R. 1. E.)

Jim - He's coming to. I don't know whether we can hold him to the end.

Dorothy - What do you mean?

Jim - He's getting suspicious. Says he won't go on any further until he has had another look at the Princess Bibi Miriam. I'm getting shaky, Harold almost spilled the beans by laughing and pretending it was a sneeze.

Dorothy - We girls l haven't seen any of the fun. It's got to go on.

Jim - Will you see him?

Dorothy - Sure. Get out all of you, and send him in alone. I'll give him the third degree all by myself. You can listen outside but keep out of sight and don't any of you dare laugh. When I clap my hands three times, Jim, you come in. I'll lash him to the mast so he can't get away. Vamoose, all of you.

(All off center door but Bob who exits R. 1. E. and Jim, who remains.)

Dorothy - You think he's getting wise?

Jim - Shows signs of bucking. Wants an interview before proceeding.

Dorothy - You've been too rough with my poor poet. All right, send him in. I guess I can get away with it. But call back Daisy and Harriet first.

(Exit Jim C. D.)

Dorothy - Here's where I get my share of the fun. I had hoped something like this would happen. If I can't fool that smart young man I'd better give up thinking of being an actress.

(Re-enter Jim with Daisy and Harriet.)

Dorothy - Now listen, girls. Your Reggie is growing suspicious. He is to be granted an interview with the princess. I rather expect him to insist on its being private. But you are to remain as long as we can get away with it. When I dismiss you, make your profoundest bows and disappear.

Jim - Go to it, girls, it's up to you. I'll send him in.

Dorothy - One moment, Dr. Zam-Zammeh. Perhaps it would be best to have Walter come too. It would seem more regular. I'm ready.

Jim - (bowing low as Dorothy seats herself in the chair and Daisy and Harriet take places behind her. All have their veils on.) Your will is law, most adorable Princess, I will send the victim into thy sweet presence.

Dorothy - Get out.

Jim - (as he exits) I'm out.

Dorothy - I think this is going to be good, girls. But don't either of you dare laugh, no matter what happens. Remember it's serious and to gain our end, I must convince this Reginald chap that I am not what I am.

Daisy - He's a vain, conceited flirt.

Harriet - He'll believe anything you tell him.

Dorothy - Be quiet. They are coming.

(Enter Reggie, Walter and Jim)

Jim - I have arranged, my fellow countryman, for you to see the Princess Bibi Miriam. She will speak with you. But I warn you that her customs are not your customs and you must be careful.

Reggie - Oh, I'll treat her in a manner due her station. May I see her alone?

Jim - As to that, I cannot say. I'll ask. (Turns to Walter.) Ali kaysayda, de-i-dum, wollo arah bakanoif ditsum.

Walter - (sternly) Wusha, wusha, deodorum kanti. al karaf al pintum wuxi.

Jim - (turns to Reggie) He says it is most unusual, but if the Princess wishes it he will withdraw.

Reggie - Well, I wish it.

Jim - Pardon, my fellow countryman, you are not the one to be considered.

Reggie - Is that so? How far do you expect a self respecting American to let this foolishness continue?

Jim - (going wp to him) Sh-h! Have a care. I know how you feel and as one American to another I don't care a darn myself. You have grown impatient, but why spill the beans if a little more humility will, win you a beautiful wife and much riches.

Reggie - There's something in that.

Jim - I'll say there is. I've lived in Erzeroum and I know the Oriental ease and comforts. They've got it all over our American system of grinding toil. Besides, I'd like to have a good fellow like you go back with us. Don't throw your chance away.

Reggie - The whole thing seems like a dream to me. It doesn't look regular.

Jim- It isn't regular. It is most unusual. I'll grant that. But there are no strings tied to you. You can walk out of here any time you please. It's up to you. (Walks away.)

Dorothy - Something my poet does not please. Will he not speak? Perhaps some help I may.

Reggie - As somebody in Hamlet said "I smell a rat."

Jim - You're a fool.

Dorothy - I not understand. What is it you would do?

Reggie - I would speak alone with you, Princess.

Dorothy - Ah, can that be, Doctor Zam-Zammeh?

Jim - If you so wish, my Princess.

Dorothy- Then let it be so. Tell Al Kordah depart. Zam Zammeh ullah dellah turmah boka.

Jim - (turns his back to Reggie and stuffs fist in his mouth) Yes, my Princess. (Pulls himself together and crosses to Walter) Didum dactum wagee.

Walter - (goes to Dorothy and bows law) Agga woogie al cantata duo dictum simper alius.

Dorothy - (points to exit) Waudana del dorto moxi. (Walter backs off R. 1. E. bowing low.)

Jim - I will go with him, my Princess, I fear his feelings are deeply hurt. Remember he loves you much. I will return at your bidding. (Bows. As he passes Reggie) Don't spoil it all. (Exit R. 1. E.)

Reggie - (aside) That's what Harold said when this strange performance began. Well, they've got to show me.

Dorothy - Have I pleased you?

Reggie - You are very kind. Princess. But there is much I do not understand.

Dorothy - It is not for us to understand, my poet. The Prophet alone, of all true believers hath understanding.

Reggie - It is all so - so - unusual.

Dorothy - You mean - me - my - coming big voyage - long way - to find you?

Reggie - Yes, that's it. How do I know it is not some hoax.

Dorothy - Hoax? Moxi doodum al deerodum. I no not that word hoax.

Reggie - May we not be alone, Princess?

Dorothy - These girls, slave girls. They no understand English.

Reggie - But I would speak for your ear alone.

Dorothy - I have sent all men away. Even Al Kordah, my confessor. It is not our custom to be alone with brother.

Reggie - It is different in America, Princess. Here when a man loves a woman he wants her to himself.

Dorothy - You - love - me ?

Reggie - I would, if you'd let me.

Dorothy - (to girls, pointing c. i>.) Waudana del dorto moxi.

(Harriet and Daisy bow low and back off At c. D. they shake their fists at Dorothy, as they exit. Reggie's back is totvard them.)

Dorothy - What more to please this man so hard to please.

Reggie - (advances and stands in front of her) I would see your face again. Take off the veil.

Dorothy - (haughtily) I am not used to hear my brothers speak so. In Persia my rank is high. I like not to be command,

Reggie - I do not command. Forgive me. I entreat. It is all so strange. You cannot blame me.

Dorothy - Oh, my De Rigor, you know not the heart of women of the East. We deny nothing.

Reggie - Please then, may I look again upon you?

Dorothy - You believe not. You have no faith. Hath not the story of the hosts of Pharoah and of Thamud reached thee? In the Orient we are not like you of the West. We believe.

Reggie - I know. That's all right for you, Princess.

Dorothy - (lets fall her veil) My poet know not. He write beautiful but his heart is not filled with faith..

Reggie - (aside) She is at least a stranger. I have never seen her before. (Aloiod) Forgive me, my Princess. I will do all that you ask. (Aside) By love, she is worth it.

Dorothy - I ask for myself nothing. I give all that I possess to you. The brothers of the East are hard. I want American gentleman to care for me. My poet who will write beautiful and go to my land and my people. (Rises) If you do not care, I go away. I have myself already made too humble.

Reggie - Be seated, Princess. I will explain. I do care. In America we are different.

Dorothy - (sits) I have said all. We live by faith in Erzeroum.

Reggie - I will, do as you say. You are so innocent, so frank, I must believe in you.

Dorothy - It is well. I ask only that you become. Musselman. It is the law with us.

Reggie - I'm taking the degrees.

Dorothy - What you mean - degrees?

Reggie - I'm absoring the faith. What next?

Dorothy - Al Kordah show you the way. (Rises). You follow him to the end. I will repay.

Reggie - I will do as you wish, my Princess. But you too, should have faith. May I not touch your lips before we part? (Advances toward her.)

Dorothy - (hastily puts veil before her face) It cannot be. No brother touch Persian maids' lips before marriage. (Claps her hands three times and Jim enters instantly R. 1. E.) He will follow our custom. He believes.

Jim - (takes Reggie by the arm) It is well, my fellow countryman. The remainder of the way is shorts (They exit R. 1. E.)

Dorothy - So, Mr. Reginald De Rigor you're one of those wise guys from Missouri. You want to be shown, do you? All right, girls, on with the dance. (Exits C. D.)

(Pause of a few seconds during which tap of drum is heard.)

(Enter the procession in the same order in which thsy made their exit R. 1. E. Walter first with the hook, Reggie next, still wearing marks on his face. Bob carries a turhan on a pillow, Harold a Persian rohe. Jim comes last hearing a long tohaceo pipe. They march ahout the stage all chanting the words, "Lidum, ladum, reeho rayho," etc. The girls fall in behind and chant with them, all rocking first on one foot and then on the other. After marching once around the stage they take position in center and all is still.)

Reggie - I must say, my dear doctor, that this ceremony is getting on my nerves.

Jim - (consolingly) I know it may seem silly to you, but whatever your dignity may have suffered your future fame will more than make up for. It will soon be over now.

Walter - (sternly) Ali merlino cedrino bambino.

Harold - (puts robe over Reggie's shoulders, bowing low) Pintschura salmasi kalock.

All - (chant) Mulle, mulle, mulle.

Reggie - Your humble servant. Some bathrobe!

Bob - (places turhan on his head, hows low) Melfonta zambeese krutshuk.

All - (chant) Mulle, mulle, mulle.

Reggie - Thanks again. I feel like the most excellent high potentate in the seventeenth degree.

Jim - (aside to him) Be quiet. The Persian is very sensitive. If they thought you were making fun of their ceremony -

Walter - Ali perlundi korlandi Al Cawthar, AL Hejr, Al Araf, Al Lahe'j, Al Hotama. (Takes pipe from Jim.) Ali maldossa paffoso. (Presents pipe to Reggie.)

Reggie - Kindly receive my thanks. Is it done at last?

Jim - All but the congratulations.

Reggie - I'll dispense with them.

Jim - Ah! but you do not know our old priest. He'll not spare you one bit of Ihe ceremony. All must be done according to Hoyle.

Walter - (raises both hands and sings as he waddles around Reggie.) Mili bona tango menas. Mene, mene, lidum ladum.

(Bob comes forward to greet Reggie just as Walter gets directly behind him. Walter gives Reggie a push and sends him flying into Bob's arms. Bob turns him about and pushes him over to Harold. Harold gives him a push to Jim. The chanting has been kept up by all. Jim siezes him by both hands and holds him off.)

Jim - Now, my fellow countryman, all is happily ended.

Reggie - I - I - almost lost my patience.

Jim - The gates of Paradise open.

(The girls, who have been lined up across rear of the stage, now march three to the right and three to the left. Bob and Harold go up and stand one on each side of the door. Jim has drawn Reggie to the right center. Walter goes up to door to meet Dorothy and Hazel. During this action all chant.)

All- Mulle, mulle, tekle, tekle,
Lidum ladum, reebo, raybo.
Al Laheb, Al Hotama.

(This movement should be done with solemnity and dignity. The chanting kept up until Hazel and Dorothy, who have changed robes, are on and have come down to center of stage facing Reggie and Boh. Walter remains at door. On entrance of Princess all how low, keeping up the chant.)

Reggie - Most gracious princess, may the great prophet ordain that I, in this new costume, find favor in your eyes.

Hazel - (nods hut does not speak.)

Walter - (comes down and stands between Reggie and Hazel) Sarabanda mallorama parsi brumalla.

Jim - (aside to Reggie) He is granting the princess permission to become bethrothed to you.

Walter - (raising his hands) Agga pegga umidilla.

Jim- But first the dowry and morning-gift must be exchanged between you.

Reggie - The dowry?

Jim - Yes; you see the gentlemen of the bedchamber are getting the dowry ready in another room and you will return with us richly laden, I warrant. (Harold and Bob exit C. D.)

Reggie - But the morning gift. What is that?

Jim - That is expected from the bridegroom.

Reggie - (pulling Jim aside) My friend, I am ashamed to acknowledge it, but I have nothing to offer except my heart, my hand and my fame.

Jim - More than enough, my fellow countryman. The Princess Bibi Miriam is indeed fortunate to win you. Still something must be done. Out of respect to our retinue, all of whom are genuine old-school Persians, I sincerely trust that you will submit to this last formality.

Reggie - I would most gladly, but

Jim - Have you nothing about you? No gold, or trifle of value?

Reggie - I have my watch and a five-dollar bill.

Jim, - That'll do. It's only a question of a trifling formality in keeping with a Persian custom. Let me have them. (Reggie gives his watch and bill to Jim.)

(Harold and Bob bring in a large casket covered with a rug. As they place rug and casket on the stage, Jim offers the ivatch and bill to Hazel. She shakes her head and refuses to accept them.)

Reggie - (as Jim comes back to him) The princess scorns my humble morning gift. What shall we do, Doctor Zam-Zammeh?

Jim - Oh, no. It's all right, but I have made an error. The morning gift must be placed in the hands of the priest, who will make a proper use of it at the right time. (He hands watch and bill to Walter.)

Reggie - Are all difficulties now over? May I at last boldly raise this veil?

Jim - You may.

(As Reggie approaches Hazel her veil is thrown back by Dorothy.)

Reggie - What is this? Why, Hazel, how did you get here?

Hazel - Oh, I've been here all the time, Reggie. Let me present my friend. Miss Dorothy Davis, late Princess Bibi Miriam, of Erzeroum, Teheran.

(Dorothy removes veil and steps forward.)

Reggie - It was a hoax. How dare you

Bob - (pulling off beard) Too bad, Reggie. The dream is over.

Harold - (pulling off beard) And to think you fell for it.

Reggie - (throwing turban on the ground) But I didn't.

Girls - (taking off veils, all together) Oh, yes you did, you know you did.

Reggie - (stepping out of robe) I'll get you all for this.

All - Mulle, mulle, mulle.

Reggie - It was low down. It was mean.

Bob - Not meaner than the things you have written.

Reggie - It was unkind.

Hazel - Not so unkind as the things you have said.

Reggie - You've made a fool of me.

Ves - You did that yourself, long ago, Reggie.

Reggie - I'll get my revenge.

Gladys - Meet these boys, Reggie. Jim Bates and Walter Phillips.

Reggie - I don't want to meet any of you again.

All - Mulle, mulle, mulle.

Reggie - Where's my watch and the five dollars?

Nina - You can have your watch. The five dollars goes for ice cream sodas.

Dorothy - Yes, you earned it, getting even with Reggie.

Daisy - Come on, let's all go down to (name of local ice cream parlor). Reggie's going to treat.

Jim - (takes Reggie by arm) Come. I like to know a good fellow like you. Don't spill the beans. Let's, go.

(All form a procession with Reggie and Jim last, and march off C. D. using the rocking step as before and singing:)

All - Lidum, ladum, reebo, raybo. Moxa, moxa, ali, kabo.