FRIEND . Hello, Anyman .
MR. ANYMAN . Good morning.
FRIEND . I haven't seen you about for some time.
MR. ANYMAN . I've been away for a month. Took the family down to the sea. We only got back last week.
FRIEND . Have a good time ? You're looking very well.
MR. ANYMAN . The hotel wasn't much good. We went to a new place this year. Had to get something cheaper. but it was a change ; and we were out most of the time. The boys were in the water all day, and I got some good fishing.
FRIEND . And how's Mrs. Anyman ?
MR. ANYMAN . She was looking a little tired when we got back so I sent her off to her sister in the country for a week's rest. Those boys take some looking after. It's quite a good thing that they've gone back to school again. Now we'll have some peace in the house.
FRIEND . Ah, well ; boys will be boys. They're all the same. And girls aren't much better these days. My two are up to tricks all day long. If you take your eyes off them for a minute they get into some sort of trouble. We're sending them to school in the Fall.
MR. ANYMAN . Probably the best thing for them.. And your girls will get on well there.
FRIEND . Yes. They're bright like little monkeys.
MR. ANYMAN . Have a cigarette ?
FRIEND . No, old MAN . I've had to give up smoking. It's not good for my heart.
MR. ANYMAN . Very wise of you. Do you have a match by any chance ? My lighter's not working.
FRIEND . Yes. [Takes a BOX of matches out of his pocket and gives Anyman a light.]
MR. ANYMAN . Are you going down town ?
FRIEND . I'm on my way to the OFFICE . Going in the same direction ?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes. [Pulling out his watch.] It's getting late. I'm seeing my bank manager at 10. The bank is only two doors away from you, so let's go down together. It's about ten minutes' walk from here, isn't it ?
FRIEND . That's about all.
MR. ANYMAN . How's business ?
FRIEND . Not very good. The trouble is, no one's got money for anything because of these high taxes. It's having a very serious effect on the market. but things might be worse. In fact, there are signs that trade is looking up. Our profits are higher this month than they were last.
MR. ANYMAN . It's very had to get any credit at present.
FRIEND . Yes, but it's something that the banks are open at all. If international conditions get much worse there's no saying where we'll be.
MR. ANYMAN . I was talking to a man with a high position in the government the other day, and he said that in his opinion this is going to be the worst winter we've had.
FRIEND . Well, one has to be ready for anything these days. The best thing is not to have all one's eggs in one basket. No basket is safe enough for that.
MR. ANYMAN . Possibly stockings are safer. by the way, didn't Samuel Smiles go smash a short time back ?
FRIEND . Yes, I saw him in the Club two days before -- and he wasn't smiling then, at all. They say he hasn't got a cent. Everything went to his creditors.
MR. ANYMAN . What's he doing, then ?
FRIEND . He's in the hospital at present. Had quite a serious operation. He'd been putting it off for years, but the overwork of the past months made him very much worse. I wouldn't be surprised if the police don't have something to say to him when he gets better.
MR. ANYMAN . Very hard on the family, isn't it ? What will that good-looking daughter do now that he's unable to give any more dances for her ? Mrs. Anyman says she's the best-dressed woman in Society. Well, here we are -- and that's ten sounding now.
FRIEND . So pleased I saw you. Why don't you come and have a meal with us one night, while you're by yourself ?
MR. ANYMAN . That's very good of you.
FRIEND . Are you doing anything on Wednesday ?
MR. ANYMAN .No, Wednesday would do very well.
FRIEND . Right, I'll see you again then.
MR. ANYMAN . So long.
2 . AT THE STORES
MR. ANYMAN . Ah, here you are. Am I late ? I went to the side door first.
GIRL FRIEND . Only a minute or two. That's nothing in London.
MR. ANYMAN . I'm completely in your hands because I've no idea of the prices of things in England. And eve at the best of times I'm at a loss in these great stores.
GIRL FRIEND . Well, I'll be your guide for the morning. What have you to get?
MR. ANYMAN . Washing things come first on my list. I foolishly came away without them.
GIRL FRIEND . Here you are. They're on the left as we go in.
MR. ANYMAN . How much are these sponges?
STORE-GIRL . They're different prices for different sizes, starting from three shillings.
MR. ANYMAN . I see. What's the price of this middle-sized one?
STORE-GIRL. Five shillings.
MR. ANYMAN . I'll take that. Is it a good strong one?
STORE-GIRL . Oh, yes. They're all very good quality sponges. Anything more, please?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes, a tooth-brush—as hard as possible. Yes, that will do quite well. And some tooth-paste, please. That will be all.
STORE-GIRL . Ten shillings, please.
GIRL FRIEND . And now?
MR. ANYMAN . I'm in great need of some new shoes.
GIRL FRIEND . We'll have to go through to the men's part for those. It's this way.
STORE-MAN . Are you having attention, sir?
MR. ANYMAN . No. May I see some walking shoes?
STORE-MAN . Black or brown?
MR. ANYMAN . Brown,
STORE-MAN . And the size?
MR. ANYMAN . Well, I've no idea of the English sizes.
STORE-MAN . I'll get my measure then, sir. You take size nine. I'll see what I have. This is a good strong shoe. And it will do equally well for town or country.
GIRL FRIEND . See what they're like on.
STORE-MAN . How's that?
MR. ANYMAN . The left one's a little tight across here.
STORE-MAN . It's very simple to make that all right, sir.
MR. ANYMAN . And how much are they?
STORE-MAN . Thirty-five shillings.
GIRL FRIEND . That's cheap for shoes of this quality. I'd have them if I were you.
MR. ANYMAN . Very well. Only this one will certainly have to
STORE-MAN . Yes, I'll see that it's done for you. Will you have
them sent or take them with you?
MR. ANYMAN . Oh, send them. I'll give you a check now if
you'll let me have the account.
GIRL FRIEND . If any of the other things you are getting have
to be sent, it would be best to have a card and give a check for
everything at the end, wouldn't it?
MR. ANYMAN . Is that possible?
STORE-MAN . Certainly, sir. I'll make a card out for you. Will
you take some of our special polish for your shoes, at one and
sixpence a pot ? It keeps the leather in much better condition.
MR. ANYMAN . No, that is no use to me. Now for shirts. Where
STORE-MAN . On the first floor.
GIRL FRIEND. Here we are. The shirts seem to be over there.
MR. ANYMAN . May I see some shirts, please ?
STORE-MAN . What color ?
MR. ANYMAN . To go with gray.
GIRL FRIEND . I'd have blue with gray.
MR. ANYMAN . Then let's see what you have in blue shirts.
STORE-MAN . What size do you take, sir?
MR. ANYMAN . Ah, I made a note of that last time I got shirts in London. One minute, I'll see if I have it down in my pocket book. Yes, here we are. Fifteen and a half collar.
STORE-MAN . And about what price, sir?
MR. ANYMAN . Not more than fifteen shillings.
STORE-MAN . I have a very good shirt here at fourteen and six-pence. This is the latest cotton and silk material.
MR. ANYMAN . Very soft, isn't it ? Yes, that's not at all bad. The
darker blue's a good color.
GIRL FRIEND . Is it a good washing material?
STORE-MAN . Oh, very good, madam. And it keeps its color.
MR. ANYMAN . What about collars?
STORE-MAN . There are two collars of the same material which go with the shirt.
MR. ANYMAN . Good.
GIRL FRIEND. But this shirt is dirty. Do you see those marks
on it ? Is there another of the same color ?
STORE-MAN . No. That's the last one I have in the darker blue.
It has probably got a little dirty from being on top. I'll take two
and sixpence oil and let you have it for twelve shillings.
MR. ANYMAN . Good enough. Do I get gloves here?
STORE-MAN . Yes. What sort of gloves ?
MR. ANYMAN . Gray. In a washing leather if possible. The size will be marked inside these which I have with me.
STORE-MAN . Yes, near the edge ; there, sir. Size eight. I haven't
a washing leather in gray. But this is a glove which is self-cleaning and it is very warm. It has wool inside. It's one of the best lines we have.
MR. ANYMAN . What do you say ?
GIRL FRIEND . It's one of the best sort he has.
MR. ANYMAN . And what do you say ?
GIRL FRIEND . Well, in my opinion, there is better value in that than in a washing glove.
MR. ANYMAN . Right. I'll take them. I have a card.
STORE-MAN . Are you getting anything more ?
MR. ANYMAN . No.
STORE-MAN . Then if you'll let me have the card, sir, I'll give you the account. There is a pen here if you are giving a check.
MR. ANYMAN . When will the things be sent ?
STORE-MAN . You'll get them tomorrow morning at latest, possibly today.
MR. ANYMAN . Ah, I see there's a restaurant on this floor.
Come and have some coffee or an ice before we go to the pictures.
GIRL FRIEND . I'll not say no to that.
3 . AT THE BOOK STORE
MR. ANYMAN . I'm going in here for some books. Will you
come in with me and have a look round?
GIRL FRIEND . Certainly. What sort of books do they keep ?
MR. ANYMAN . Almost everything -— you might see something
of interest yourself.
GIRL FRIEND . Oh, that's not very probable.
MR. ANYMAN . No, but you might. Isn't there any book on your list which you might come across?
GIRL FRIEND . No, not at present. I'll take a look round, though.
MR. ANYMAN . There seems to be no one about.
GIRL FRIEND . Everyone seems to have made the same discovery.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, quite a number of them have the idea that a book-store is a sort of reading-room. They are there for hours among the new books.
GIRL FRIEND. But wouldn't it be possible to get somebody?
MR. ANYMAN . There's a boy over there.
GIRL FRIEND. He's gone again.
MR. ANYMAN . They don't seem very business-like. It's certainly bad for trade.
There's a man going out now.
GIRL FRIEND. Is that door any use ? Give it a push.
MR. ANYMAN . Is there anyone here, please, to give us a little attention ?
MAN . I'll get somebody, sir.
GIRL FRIEND. Do they have all the new books here ?
MR. ANYMAN . Well, not quite all, but they probably have the best ones.
SECOND MAN . Are you having attention, sir ?
MR. ANYMAN . Not so far. Have you got Voltaire's Candide ?
SECOND MAN . Voltaire -— I've no knowledge of the name. We only have the books
which are ordered most, sir.
MR. ANYMAN . Is it possible to get it for me quickly ?
SECOND MAN . We'll do our best. I'll see first if it's in the trade lists ;
then it might be only two or three days.
MR. ANYMAN . Oh, it's not important. Have you The Foundations of Aesthetics ?
SECOND MAN . That will be the first floor in the medical part, sir -— first on the right.
We have nothing here but new things —- no special books.
GIRL FRIEND. He's gone -- how sad.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, let's go up to the first floor anyway and make one more attempt.
THIRD MAN . Yes, sir?
MR. ANYMAN . Have you got anything by Dostoievski, please?
THIRD MAN . Doctor who?
MR. ANYMAN . Dostoievski.
THIRD MAN . Doctor Tosky?
MR. ANYMAN . No, the Russian writer.
THIRD MAN . No, we don't keep Russian books.
GIRL FRIEND. Not in English ?
THIRD MAN . No, Madam. You might get them on the second floor, if they have any.
MR. ANYMAN . There's no hope !
GIRL FRIEND. Why, there it is on the shelf at your back !
MR. ANYMAN . What is that up there ?
THIRD MAN . What, over there, sir ?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes. It seems to be what I'm looking for.
THIRD MAN . Dostoievski. Oh, Dostoievski -— is that what you said?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes.
THIRD MAN . Seven and six cents.
MR. ANYMAN . This is a very dirty copy. Will you take less ?
THIRD MAN . I'll see. If you go to the second floor, I'll come to you there.
GIRL FRIEND. Hadn't we better come with you ? It will be less trouble.
THIRD MAN . You may have it for seven pounds.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, no ; I'll get a new one somewhere, after all.
It's better to have a clean copy. Now, is there anything for you ?
GIRL FRIEND. I haven't had a look at those books I got the week before Christmas.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, here's something about cats. How much is this?
THIRD MAN . Three and sixty, sir.
GIRL FRIEND. That's quite in my line. And what sweet little pictures !
Why, it's got the Siamese ones in it.
MR. ANYMAN . Good. There you are, then. I'll keep my other needs till later.
Their knowledge of books here, even fiction, is not all it might be.
GIRL FRIEND. There are such numbers, aren't there ? Far more
than anyone would be able to keep in his head.
MR. ANYMAN . Yes, probably, if you take them all as of equal value.
GIRL FRIEND. The trouble is that they've no time for reading.
And reading's so necessary if you have anything to do with
books. When you take that into account, they aren't so bad.
MR. ANYMAN . Yes, by a happy chance you do sometimes get something.
4 . AT THE MOVING PICTURE HOUSE
MR. ANYMAN . Here I am. Which are we to go to ? "The Loves of the Dog-fish," or something with Maurice Chevalier ?
GIRL FRIEND. Is there one on with Chevalier?
MR. ANYMAN . Certain to be.
GIRL FRIEND. But you're not certain.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, I'll have a look in the paper.
GIRL FRIEND. No need, because there certainly isn't one.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, I'll get a paper and see what selection there is. Paper, please.
NEWS BOY. Silver Moon and Red Flame. Ten to one.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, of all the . . .
GIRL FRIEND. Has he gone off with your penny ?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes. Probably that's all anyone gets it for. He gives them the
important news and they let him keep the penny.
GIRL FRIEND. Then let's go in anywhere. This will do.
MR. ANYMAN . Not for me. I'm all against Buster Keaton.
GIRL FRIEND. Poor Buster ! What's he done ?
MR. ANYMAN . Nothing —- that's why.
GIRL FRIEND. You haven't ever seen him.
MR. ANYMAN . There are numbers like him, I'm certain. It would be much better
to see the pictures outside before making a decision.
GIRL FRIEND. Well, what about these then ?
MR. ANYMAN . This is all legs and acting.
GIRL FRIEND. Then what about the one on the other side of the road ?
MR. ANYMAN . If possible, let's have something with sea and waves in it.
That's my bright thought for a night like this.
GIRL FRIEND. Well, if there's no sea across the road, I'll go to Buster Keaton by myself.
MR. ANYMAN . All right. I say, it is sea.
GIRL FRIEND. Good, we'll go here then.
MR. ANYMAN . Two circles, please.
MAN . Front, sir ?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes, please.
GIRL FRIEND. No -— there's bad air coming up over the front seats.
MR. ANYMAN . So there is. We've had that experience before.
MAN . You may take any seat round here, sir.
MR. ANYMAN . This will do.
GIRL FRIEND. Which picture is this?
MR. ANYMAN . What a question. Is it important ?
GIRL FRIEND. Why, yes -— one has the sea in it and the hasn't.
MR. ANYMAN . I say, do you see what we've done ?
GIRL FRIEND. What ?
MR. ANYMAN . This is the same thing which was on across the road.
GIRL FRIEND. Buster Keaton ?
MR. ANYMAN . That's it.
GIRL FRIEND. Well, it may be better than the sea thing. Give it a chance, anyhow.
MR. ANYMAN . Happily it's coming to an end now.
GIRL FRIEND. How sad.
MR. ANYMAN . Now you will have a little music, no doubt.
GIRL FRIEND. And see all about coming events.
MR. ANYMAN . It seems you're equally wrong this time. It's the news.
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, that's generally good.
MR. ANYMAN . No, it's the chief picture after all. Now for the sea.
GIRL FRIEND. It's Buster Keaton.
MR. ANYMAN . So it is.
MAN . May I see your tickets, sir ? You're in the wrong seats.
MR. ANYMAN . Are we ? Where do we go ?
MAN . Over here, sir. I'll keep in front of you with the light.
MR. ANYMAN . Don't go to the very front.
MAN . There's only one here and one at the back.
MR. ANYMAN . Oh, that's no good.
MAN . You may take a place by the wall and see if anything better is free later.
MR. ANYMAN . That's not good enough, is it ?
GIRL FRIEND. Well -- if it's the only way. But there's the first place,
the one across the road.
MR. ANYMAN . So there is. Come on then.
MAN . Your tickets, sir.
MR. ANYMAN . They're no use now ; we are going.
GIRL FRIEND. What a loss !
MR. ANYMAN . Not in my opinion.
GIRL FRIEND. Welt, if you're happy about it, it's all the same to me.
MR. ANYMAN . Let's go and get some tea.
GIRL FRIEND. But I have a special desire to see Buster.
MR. ANYMAN . All right, then.
GIRL FRIEND. Here we are. We'd better make certain this time.
MR. ANYMAN . When does Buster Keaton come on, please ?
MAN . The chief picture is coming to an end in five minutes, sir.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, when's Buster ?
MAN . That's the one now on. Then comes a good laugh, sir.
MR. ANYMAN . No, we came specially for Keaton.
MAN . I'm like you, sir. He's my idea of a good thing. Goodnight, sir.
5 . AT THE THEATRE
MR. ANYMAN . It's half-past seven now, so it's time we made some decision about
what we are going to do tonight. How about a theater ?
GIRL FRIEND. Do let's go to a play. That's a good idea. I haven't been to anything
for such a long time.
MR. ANYMAN . And though I've been in London more than a week,
I've had so much work to do in connection with this new
branch of the business that there's been no time for amusements.
I haven't even been reading the papers. Now the question is,
what to go to. What's the best thing to see ?
GIRL FRIEND. Everyone's talking about the new play which has
come on at the Haymarket. But there'd be no chance of getting
seats for that ; it's been full for weeks.
MR. ANYMAN . No, it's no use even attempting it. But why not
go to that play by a Frenchman about the political future of
Europe ? It's said to be the best thing of the sort which has been done.
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, dear, is it necessary to be quite so serious as
all that? You'll be getting on to war plays in a minute. Let's go
to something with some humor in it.
MR. ANYMAN . And music ?
GIRL FRIEND. No, not necessarily music. There's nothing very
good of that sort on at present. But something bright.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, how about "The Taming of the Shrew " then ?
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, but that's Shakespeare !
MR. ANYMAN . And what's wrong with Shakespeare ?
GIRL FRIEND. Well, I haven't been to any of his plays, but isn't
he very uninteresting ? He was given us at school for reading.
MR. ANYMAN . What strange ideas you have ! There are more good laughs in Shakespeare
than in most of the writers of today. That's why I made the suggestion.
GIRL FRIEND. And isn't it all in verse ?
MR. ANYMAN . Not "The Taming of the Shrew." But don't go
if you have any doubt about it. My one fear was that you might
be tired of seeing Shakespeare.
GIRL FRIEND. Come on. We'll go. It'll be something new anyway. But don't be angry
with me if I go to sleep.
MR. ANYMAN . Good. The ticket offices will all be shut at this time of day.
We'll have to see what they have at the theater. It's only a short walk from here.
Or have you very thin shoes on ?
GIRL FRIEND. No, that's all right.
MR. ANYMAN . Have you any seats for tonight ?
MAN AT BOX OFFICE . For two ?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes.
MAN AT BOX OFFICE . I've nothing but Dress Circle.
MR. ANYMAN . Have you anything near the front and in the middle ?
MAN AT BOX OFFICE . Yes, C22 and C23.
GIRL FRIEND. There's nothing wrong with those, is there ?
MR. ANYMAN . No, I'll take them. When does the curtain go up ?
MAN AT BOX OFFICE . At eight-fifteen.
MR. ANYMAN . We're very early.
GIRL FRIEND. But let's go in now and then we'll see everyone come in.
THEATER GIRL. Tickets, please. Third from the front. You go down the other side.
GIRL FRIEND. Here are our seats. I say, what comfort! This is one of the newest theaters
MR. ANYMAN . That's why the lighting is so good. The place is certainly full.
GIRL FRIEND. Who's acting in this ?
MR. ANYMAN . We'll see. Where's the girl ?
GIRL FRIEND. She's coming now. She saw you waving.
MR. ANYMAN . How much is that?
THEATER GIRL. Sixty cents, please. Will you have any chocolates ?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes. Give me one of those green boxes.
GIRL FRIEND. Most of these names are strange to me.
MR. ANYMAN . Naturally. This is a company which does Shakespeare all the year round.
GIRL FRIEND. Ssh! The curtain's going up. It's a very small stage.
MR. ANYMAN . That's the end of the first act. We have ten minutes now. Are you regretting that you came ? We might get into the pictures if we go quickly.
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, no. This is the best thing I've seen for a long
time. I'm quite in love with Petruchio. He's the man for me.
But what a foolish woman Katherine is ! Hasn't she a sweet dress though?
MR. ANYMAN . Poor Katherine ! Petruchio was a little rough with her.
GIRL FRIEND. Only because she wouldn't be kind to him. The acting is very good, isn't it?
MR. ANYMAN . The acting's good enough, but in my opinion the producing's a little feeble.
GIRL FRIEND. Why, what's wrong?
MR. ANYMAN . Oh, no new ideas. And the stage effects were bad. Come out and have a cigarette.
GIRL FRIEND. That's a good suggestion. But don't let's be late.
[Bell goes.] Oh, they're all coming back. It's no good going now.
6 . AT THE DANCE
MR. ANYMAN . Hello! So you are here. I had my doubts about your coming. That's why I'm so late.
GIRL FRIEND. —-
MR. ANYMAN . No answer ?
GIRL FRIEND. I was here at nine-fifteen.
MR. ANYMAN . If you hadn't come, I would have gone back again.
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, you wouldn't do that with such a number of others here.
MR. ANYMAN . I have no use for these great society dances.
GIRL FRIEND. Well, but yours is not the only point of view.
MR. ANYMAN . I get on much better with two or three friends only.
GIRL FRIEND. So do I, but I do my best for Lady Invertribe.
After all, the poor woman has to go through with it herself.
MR. ANYMAN . Is she a friend of yours ?
GIRL FRIEND. No, but that's not the point. She has taken all this trouble for our amusement, and it's up to us not to let her down.
MR. ANYMAN . She wouldn't be any the wiser if we were here
or not. In a place of this size, anyone may get anywhere.
GIRL FRIEND. Why, are the other floors open to us ?
MR. ANYMAN . No, but there are four or five green-houses, and
any number of seats outside, with a summer-house at the far end.
GIRL FRIEND. Hadn't we better have a dance first, or at least
go and say a how-do-you-do to her ?
MR. ANYMAN . Well, if that's your suggestion. But I'm for some food.
SERVANT. Will you give me your coat, sir ? The drinks are over
there, by the smoking-room. The tables will be ready for you to
take your seats at eleven-thirty.
MR. ANYMAN . That's good news.
GIRL FRIEND. I didn't have much myself before coming here.
MR. ANYMAN . What will you have ? Tongue and white wine ?
GIRL FIEND. Cold beef for me, please.
MR. ANYMAN . One tongue and one cold beef here, please.
GIRL FRIEND. Hi ! That's enough -— any amount !
MR. ANYMAN . Let's take them to the summer-house. How's that for an idea?
GIRL FRIEND. All right—put some cakes on your plate.
MR. ANYMAN . It's this way—take care of the steps. There are
holes in the iron-work, and your shoes might get fixed in them.
GIRL FRIEND. Wherever are we?
MR. ANYMAN . Go straight on though this door and keep your
head down. The plants are hanging low.
GIRL FRIEND. Any farther ?
MR. ANYMAN . One more -— we'll get under the light and have a look at the gold-fish.
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, are there any?
MR. ANYMAN . See.
GIRL FRIEND. That's sweet.
MR. ANYMAN . Yes.
GIRL FRIEND. You're not looking.
MR. ANYMAN . Yes, I am -— at your face in the water.
GIRL FRIEND. What's it like?
MR. ANYMAN . What would you say ?
GIRL FRIEND. No idea.
MR. ANYMAN . There's an old Indian writer who says that goldfish are like the quick looks which the river gives at what's hanging over it.
GIRL FRIEND. What has that to do with it ?
MR. ANYMAN . Nothing. What about this for a seat ?
GIRL FRIEND. Would it do any damage ?
MR. ANYMAN . No. They are only plants. Are you happy here ?
GIRL FRIEND. Yes, quite.
MR. ANYMAN . Certain ?
GIRL FRIEND. Certain.
MR. ANYMAN . Your hands are cold.
GIRL FRIEND. It's only because I've had them on the edge of the basin.
MR. ANYMAN . Which is you and which is plant ? The flowers here have a strange smell.
GIRL FRIEND. You're wrong : there aren't any flowers in the summer-house. Nothing but green things.
MR. ANYMAN . Where did you get it, then ?
GIRL FRIEND. Gabriello gave it me. Has it your approval ?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes, it seems to me very clean and natural.
GIRL FRIEND, Well, it's a new chemical, a discovery of his in Bologna.
MR. ANYMAN . Then that's one to you.
GIRL FRIEND. May I put it on when I come out with you in future?
MR. ANYMAN . Did Gabriello say he made it himself?
GIRL FRIEND. No -— he said I was to get something for my birthday, so I got this at Boots.
MR. ANYMAN . That's better. You certainly did well.
GIRL FRIEND. I'm pleased that you're pleased.
MR. ANYMAN . The sudden thought that Gabriello might have a brain was a shock. Where do you put it?
GIRL FRIEND. I put a little under my ear.
MR. ANYMAN . It's beautiful.
GIRL FRIEND. There's the bell. Let's go in.
MR. ANYMAN . That's nothing to me. What's the use of food
on a night like this ? We've had enough. Don't let's go.
GIRL FRIEND. What's the time?
MR. ANYMAN . My watch doesn't go in the dark. I've no idea.
GIRL FRIEND. Well, I'm going anyhow ; because I have to be
up early in the morning to see Gabriello off to Italy.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, it's no good now saying how-do-you-do
to Lady Invertribe, and letting her see how pleased I am.
GIRL FRIEND. What about?
MR. ANYMAN . Why, the good news. Italy is so healthy for a young man .
7 . A DAY IN THE COUNTRY
[A horn is sounded. Five minutes go by. The horn is sounded a second time.]
GIRL FRIEND. [Coming down the steps] Late again ! You've kept me waiting half-an-hour.
MR. ANYMAN . What a shame ! I was certain you wouldn't be ready so early, or
I'd have come round before. I've been polishing her up a little.
GIRL FRIEND. So I see.
MR. ANYMAN . Then my trouble is rewarded.
GIRL FRIEND. I said that because I saw some brass polish on the headlights.
MR. ANYMAN . I don't seem able to do anything right today. Where's that cloth?
GIRL FRIEND. Don't I see it in the left pocket ? But do let's get
off without wasting any more time. Half the morning's gone,
and I've a feeling the sun's not going to keep out much longer.
MR. ANYMAN . Right ; get in, then. But hadn't you better take
a coat or something ? There's a cold wind today, and that dress
of yours seems very thin.
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, I'm all right. I'm used to it. And anyway,
it says in the paper that we're not going to have rain for another
two or three days. [Gets in.]
MR. ANYMAN . That's nothing to go by. But if you're certain
you'll be warm enough . . . What's wrong?
GIRL FRIEND. How do you get the door shut?
MR. ANYMAN . It has a special trick. That's it. Now give it a
good pull —- but take your fingers out of the way first. Where are
we going to ? The sea, the mountains, or the open country ?
GIRL FRIEND. It would be good to get a breath of sea air after
a week of late nights. Why not go to Loudwater ? There's a first-rate band
on the front there.
MR. ANYMAN . Well, that's not quite my idea of a day in the country. How about -—
GIRL FRIEND. Why put the question at all, if you've made your decision first ?
MR. ANYMAN. But I -- Oh, well, anything for peace. They do at
least have good beer at Loudwater. That's fixed, then. [They go off.]
GIRL FRIEND. There's more room in this than in that other two-seater you had.
Why, in this seat it's almost possible to get one's legs stretched out.
MR. ANYMAN . Not bad, is it? I had a special sports body put on -— so much better-looking, and the springs are stronger. She keeps the road beautifully, even at 70.
GIRL FRIEND. Hm. Brakes good ?
MR. ANYMAN . Well, for the last day or two I've been a little
troubled about them. They're not working quite as well as they
might. In fact I'm pleased that we're going out of town on this
road because it's the best one for testing them on. I'm going to
see how well I have her under control on the sharper slopes.
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, no, you're not. I didn't come out with you
to get smashed up. Much better make those sort of tests when
you're by yourself -— Here, where are you going ?
MR. ANYMAN . This is the first slope. Came on it a little suddenly round that curve,
and there wasn't time for second thoughts. Now, as you see, we simply have to go down because
the brakes aren't gripping at all. I'd no idea they were as bad as this. Are you all right ?
GIRL FRIEND. [Gripping his arm tightly ] Not much good saying that. I've got to be. But it's like going on one of those up and down electric railways. I'm going to be ill in a minute. Please don't go so near the edge. You'll have us over. What's that noise ?
MR. ANYMAN . We're only backfiring. The outlet pipe's probably dirty.
GIRL FRIEND. Ugh ! What a smell ! Stop ! The wind has taken my hat off.
MR. ANYMAN . No chance of stopping now. I'll go back for it later.
GIRL FRIEND. I say, do you see that there's a river running across the road down there,
and no bridge? Do please go a little slower.
MR. ANYMAN . My dear girl, I've got the brakes on as hard as
they'll go. If there was a stone wall in front of us I wouldn't be
able to go any slower. But we're all right. Now ready, don't let
go -— [Splash ! Splash ! Splash ! They get to the other side, and
then come to a stop.]
GIRL FRIEND. I'm wet through. What are we going to do ?
MR. ANYMAN . One minute. Something's gone wrong. It seems very much as if some water
has got into the engine. [Gets out and puts his head into the works.]
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, dear. Why ever did I come out with you ?
I'd got the idea that you were a good driver.
MR. ANYMAN . [Angrily ] If I hadn't been a good driver we wouldn't have got as far
as this safely. But what's the good of argument when one's in a hole ? Here we are,
stopped in the middle of the road, and something may come down on top of us at any minute.
If you'll get out, I'll give her a push into the side. That's it.
GIRL FRIEND. What about my hat ? Something'll certainly come
on top of that if you're not quick.
MR. ANYMAN . I've got an idea. Let's have our meal now while I'm playing about with
the engine. Less time will be wasted if we do that. Here's the food basket. If you put
the things out, I'll go up and get your hat.
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, you've got some food, have you ? Then things
aren't quite so bad. And I might even make a fire to get dry by.
MR. ANYMAN . Not a hope. See that board ?
GIRL FRIEND. [Reading out ] "DANGER : DO NOT MAKE FIRES IN THIS WOOD. BY ORDER." Isn't that the limit ? By order of who ? There are rules wherever you go these days.
MR. ANYMAN . That is a shame. But all the same it wouldn't
be very wise to make a fire here after the dry summer we've had.
Here, take my overcoat. That'll keep you warm, anyway.
GIRL FRIEND. Yes, that is better. Now off with you, and I'll
have everything ready when you come back.
[He goes off and comes back some minutes later with the hat.]
MR. ANYMAN . Here it is. It's got a little dirty, but it will all
come off if we give it a brush when it's dry.
GIRL FRIEND. Oh, but the feather's broken, and the material has been badly rubbed.
I'll certainly not be able to put that on again. And I gave $20 for it.
MR. ANYMAN . You'll have to let me get you a new one.
GIRL FRIEND. No, that's . . .
MR. ANYMAN . Please, it would be a pleasure. Don't let's say any more about it.
Well, is the food ready ?
GIRL FRIEND. I've got everything out on the cloth, but you don't have a tin-opener
and most of the food seems to be in tins.
MR. ANYMAN . There now. I was going to get a new one. A friend of mine went off
with it in his pocket the other night. Anyway we've got some eggs, haven't we ?
GIRL FRIEND. Where ?
MR. ANYMAN . Under that cake.
GIRL FRIEND. But I say, they're all broken. Haven't they been cooked ?
MR. ANYMAN . Yes, I put them in warm water for two or three minutes.
GIRL FRIEND. What's the good of that ? They don't get hard till they've been
in boiling water for about ten minutes. What are we going to do now ?
MR. ANYMAN . Well, there is still some cake.
GIRL FRIEND. That's not enough. And I've said before that seed
cake is disgusting. I'm getting very cold here. How much more
of the engine have you got to take to bits before you get it right ?
MR. ANYMAN . Hello, that's better. She's starting up again.
GIRL FRIEND. Then let's go on to a road-house and get a good meal.
There's one about five miles from here which I went to with Sam last week-end.
And after that you'll simply have to take me back to my rooms to get dry.
MR. ANYMAN . [Under his breath ] That's put an end to Loudwater anyway.
GIRL FRIEND. [Sharply ] What's that you're saying ?
MR. ANYMAN . Nothing. Have a cigarette.
This division is from part of a separate book , Everyday Basic English.