Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People
by Constance D'Arcy Mackay
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MUSIC (for band, orchestra, or piano):

For the Dream Music: Minuet, by L. Boccherini Gavotte: Gavotte Favorite de Marie Antoinette (1774), by Charles Neustedt. Minuet: Minuet from Don Juan, by Mozart.



ABRAHAM LINCOLN NANCY LINCOLN JOHN LINCOLN AMY ROBY TOM BUSH FRANCOIS, a young French-Canadian ANDREW SMITH, a fiddler RED PLUME, the chieftain of a small Indian tribe DARK CLOUD, an Indian brave SKY-OF-DAWN, an Indian maiden Other young people, friends of Lincoln, Indian braves, Indian maidens

SCENE: A clearing beyond the Lincoln cabin, Little Creek, Indiana, 1823.

When the boys and girls who are to take part in the outdoor merrymaking begin to appear, it is seen that the boys wear moccasins, and buckskin is bound in strappings to their knees. They wear, for the most part, dark knee-breeches. Their shirts are dark-blue, dark-red, and dark-plum flannel—any dark flannel shirt will do. These shirts are open at the neck, and a gay handkerchief is twisted about them, tied with loose ends. Francois betrays his French ancestry by a red sash tied at the side.

The girls wear short dark calico, homespun, or woollen dresses of solid color, dark-blue, dark-brown, dark-gray. These dresses should have square necks, which show the throat. The dresses themselves are not much seen, because each girl wears an old-fashioned cloak, gathered at the neck, and falling to the edge of the dress. The cloaks are gay in color—forest-green, red, bright blue; in shape something like the well-known "Shaker" cloaks. Some of the cloaks have hoods that lend an air of quaintness. Several of the girls wear bead chains, evidently the work of their own fingers.

The scene opens with the entrance of Nancy and John Lincoln, and Tom Bush. The rest follow from background. It is evident from their attire and smiling faces that this is a gala occasion. Tom Bush carries a kettle to right, near a fallen log. Then he and the other boys kindle a fire, erect a rude tripod, and swing the kettle not far from where the log lies. Much business of blowing, lighting, etc. A battered tin coffee-pot is produced, ready for making the coffee.

TOM BUSH (calling back over his shoulder, as the preparations begin). Come, Nancy, we've found a fine place to swing the kettle.

AMY ROBY (at right, stooping over basket). And here's a splendid spot for unpacking the baskets!

[Nancy Lincoln runs first to the fire, to see how the work is going forward, and then returns to Amy, who is busily unpacking baskets, with the assistance of the other girls. Nancy takes some of the contents of the baskets, and then hurries to Tom Bush with them.

NANCY LINCOLN. Here are some potatoes and corn-dodgers to put on the ashes.

FRANCOIS (to Andrew Smith). It is mos' time that you had better be tuning up your fiddle, Andrew!

AMY ROBY (to Nancy, who stands center, shielding her eyes, and looking towards background). Isn't Abe coming?

NANCY LINCOLN (shaking her head). No, Abe isn't even in sight yet. But he'll surely be here as soon as he has finished splitting those rails.

ONE OF THE LITTLE GIRLS (joyfully). Andrew is beginning to play!

[Andrew Smith's fiddle gives out the first notes of a reel. Those who are bending at their various occupations begin to nod and trip. In an instant everything is dropped, and the young people are all for merriment. They begin, center of sward, a grand right and left. Andrew Smith stands at right fiddling with the greatest possible gusto.

As the dance ends, Andrew Smith points with his fiddle-bow to a figure seen approaching from the background, a tall, lank, kindly-faced boy, dressed like the others but with an ax over his shoulder.

ALL (with a loud cry—intense delight—at the very top of their lungs). Lincoln! Abe Lincoln!

[They run to meet him. He comes down center with an admiring group on each side.

NANCY LINCOLN (looking up at Abe). It wasn't really a holiday till you came.

[Lincoln smiles at her, and then turns to Tom Bush.

LINCOLN (as he and Nancy and Tom Bush form a group at fire: the rest up stage, left). What have you been doing, Tom?

TOM BUSH. Fixing the fire, and now I'm going to see about getting the right sort of wood for the floor of a squirrel-cage. I caught a squirrel yesterday, and I———Oh, I forgot! You wouldn't be interested in that. You said yesterday that if you were me you would let the squirrel go.

LINCOLN (looking straight before him to something far beyond the narrow world of Little Creek). I don't like to see things in cages: I like to see 'em free. I believe in freedom for everything living!

AMY ROBY (breaking in upon the group). Come, Tom, there's another dance beginning!

[Lincoln sits on log, near fire, and begins to roast some ears of corn which the boys have stacked near by. The young people beckon Lincoln. He shakes his head, watches them, smiling. A Virginia Reel is started at left. Lincoln, who is still seated on log, and those who are dancing the reel, are so absorbed that they are oblivious of a group of Indians stalking down from right. The Indians draw near to Lincoln, and stand motionless, watching the dance, their beads and headgear glittering in the sun, their blankets a brilliant blotch of color against the green. When the dance ends, Lincoln and his companions are aware of the Indians. But the Indians, although their desire is to trade the skins and furs they are carrying, cross to left, feigning entire indifference, and seat themselves in a semicircle. Red Plume in passing Lincoln has given him a grave "How!" to which Lincoln has returned "How!" with equal gravity. The settlers stand in a group at right, a little towards the background, watching the Indians. The Indians continue to sit in a grave circle. An old Indian smokes. Two of the Indian maidens appear to chatter. Finally Dark Cloud rises with a bundle of skins in his hand. The young settlers come down to right foreground. Dark Cloud puts the bundle of skins on the ground. Asks them, by gesture: "What will they give?"

Tom Bush offers a penknife for one of the skins. Dark Cloud stands with arms haughtily folded. Tom Bush adds a gay handkerchief to the penknife. Dark Cloud shakes his head, and stalks back to his circle. Sits with his brother Indians. Much conferring and shaking of heads. Equal pantomime on part of settlers. Lincoln is keenly watching the scene, but still apart from it all. Suddenly Red Plume rises and, with slow dignity, approaches Lincoln.



RED PLUME (with indicatory pantomime). Red Plume know Lincoln. Lincoln heap square. Lincoln heap just. Honest Abe decide.

[Lincoln rises, and comes to center foreground. Dark Cloud rises from his circle and brings skins. He stands at Lincoln's left. The other Indians rise slowly, cross, and stand behind Dark Cloud. At Lincoln's right stands Tom Bush, and back of Tom Bush the youthful settlers. They have gathered together things they wish to trade, such as a fine blanket that was brought with the picnic blankets, hatchets, etc. Tom Bush is the first to start the trading. He adds to the handkerchief and penknife which he showed before a small hatchet. Both Dark Cloud and Tom Bush, after they have laid their possessions on the grass, look at Lincoln. Lincoln nods. The trade is made. Through all that follows Lincoln stands center, as a court of appeal. No trades are consummated until he has given the signal of an affirmative nod.

The Indians offer furs of various descriptions.

Francois trades off his red sash to Red Plume.

Amy Roby trades her chain of beads for an Indian basket.

Red Plume signifies interest in Andrew Smith's fiddle. He takes it up. At this the Indian maidens laugh amongst themselves. Red Plume tries the fiddle. It makes a very hideous squeak. At this two of the Indian maidens laugh outright. But Red Plume continues to be enamored of the instrument. He offers to exchange more and more skins for the fiddle, but Andrew Smith shakes his head. So no trade is made. Red Plume reluctantly relinquishes the fiddle. A backwoods lad trades off a blanket for some of Red Plume's furs, and the chieftain appears mollified. Now that the trading is over both settlers and Indians appear to be pleased with their possessions. Through all that has transpired, Lincoln has been the central figure, appealed to again and again. The Indians solemnly exeunt with their new possessions towards background.

NANCY LINCOLN (turning to Abe). You don't know how proud I am to hear them call you "Honest Abe." I shouldn't be surprised if someday you did something wonderful and splendid!

LINCOLN (smiling at her enthusiasm). "Someday's" a long way off, Nancy!

NANCY LINCOLN (with conviction). Well, I believe that even if a boy is poor, and was born in a cabin, if he's as honest and hard-working as you are, Abe, he's sure to come out finely. Now, let's go home!

[Lincoln, ax on shoulder, exits towards middle background, Nancy and John and all the rest following, with the fiddler playing gaily.

The merrymaking is over, the grassy stage is left vacant, and the scene ends.


The costumes for the young settlers have already been indicated in the episode itself. Francois, the young French-Canadian, wears a cotton khaki suit, cut on Indian lines. That is, the breeches of the suit are fringed, and he wears moccasins. He wears a tan shirt, open at the neck, and a scarlet sash belt.

The costumes for the Indians are of cotton khaki, cut on simple Indian lines. (See description of Indian costumes of "Princess Pocahontas.") Gay painting at neck. Beads. Shells. Wampum. The Indian maidens and some of the braves have blankets. They should be striped in gay colors—red and green, orange and blue—the stripes very wide. A few blankets of solid color. Long pipes for the Indians to smoke. Headdresses of brown and gray feathers. Dark Cloud wears a black feather head-dress. Red Plume wears a headdress of brilliant scarlet feathers.


This dance is for a pageant given on a very large scale. It is formed of commingled groups of the young people of all nations, and is symbolic of the Old World coming to the New. The peasant costumes of Germany, Russia, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, France and Sweden should be worn, and the dances should be the folk dances of the various nations, with their appropriate music.


Care should be taken in choosing the pageant site. The actual stage should be a level sward, with close-clipped grass that will make it as easy as possible for the dancers. It is ideal if the background and sides of this stage can be picturesquely wooded, and present a vista through which the pageant players can be seen approaching. It will be well if the pageant stage itself has a tree or so. This stage should vary in size according to the number of people in the cast. A small cast requires a smaller and more intimate stage. In this way scenes in which a crowd of supernumeraries are needed will give the effect of having more people than are actually there. On the other hand, a large stage is needed for big effects, where a great number of people are used. Too small a stage makes a great number of players seem a huddled mass, and through this pantomimic effects are lost.

The pageant players should, if possible, have the sun at the side. It is very difficult to play facing a strong light. Choice of the time of day in which the pageant is given has much to do with its effectiveness. Late afternoon (from four o'clock on) is by far the best time for outdoor drama. The earlier hours are somewhat garish,—the light too high, the contrasts too sharp and unvaried. But from four o'clock on the light mellows, the shadows become long and sweeping, the outdoor effects grow more and more beautiful. It is as if the first hint of sunset were the signal for ringing down a magic curtain on a scene where nature herself was pageant mistress. This is true of all outdoor plays as well as pageants.

Those who direct the pageant should see to it that the youthful players make a finished exit; that is, that one scene and set of players disappear entirely from view before another set of players begin to come on. Off stage the players should be in groups, arranged in the order in which they are to appear, so that as one group leaves the stage, the next is ready to appear, and confusion is avoided. No talk should be allowed off stage. On a still Summer day sounds carry: a murmur is confusing to the players.

The players should not be dependent on words alone for their cues. Very often a word may fail to carry out of doors; but a gesture can always be seen. Therefore, gesture cues can be used at many of the climaxes. These cues can be quite simple and natural, and while perfectly understandable to the players themselves, need not be at all obvious to the audience. The players and their director can decide upon the cues, and will find them of immense help. Thus, by an upraised arm, or by tossing back a braid of her hair, Pocahontas can signal to Powhatan that her talk with John Smith is finished. Washington shielding his eyes with his hand can be a signal to Carey that it is time for him to enter, etc., etc. Of course, in many cases the ending or beginning of a dance, or the entrance of some principal character will be cue enough in itself.

In the final procession (if the players choose to have a procession), The Spirit of Patriotism should march first, and behind her should follow the other players in the order of their scenes. This preserves the order of the epochs also, and makes an excellent color scheme—the tawny yellows and reds of the Indian garb, the dark Puritan costumes, the pinks and blues of the Colonial period as against the more somber colors of the settler's homespun, etc., etc. In order to give such a procession its full effect it should not seem too stiff and premeditated. Let some of the players march two and two, and then have some important character walking alone. Sometimes it may be possible to have a group of three, or a tall young player with two smaller and younger players, following her. Or again a line of Indians single file. The properties should be carried in the procession to add to its effectiveness. The canoe, as if it were still a matter of portage; the sedan chair of the Duchess of Bourbon; the Indian war-drum used in "Princess Pocahontas," etc., etc. Needless to say these properties are carried in the group and epoch in which they belong. If the pageant is given on a very large scale which includes the Liberty Dance at the end, all those who took part in the dance should form the end of the procession. There should be a space between them and the last of the settlers, as there is between the past and the present. In this space should walk a figure symbolizing Hope and Joy—a young girl in draperies of the palest green, and hair bound with a Greek fillet. In her hands she carries a great laurel wreath.

When the Pageant of Patriots had its first production in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, the youthful players marched around the great oval outside which the audience sat, and having circled it once, marched off the scene. If, however, the future producers of this pageant wish to reverse this order, it can easily be done, by having the march end in the final tableau. It is merely a matter of choice.

In the Final Tableau The Spirit of Patriotism should stand on the stage in the middle foreground, center, and grouped about her should be the young folk of the various centuries. This scene should be well mapped out and rehearsed beforehand, so that the ensemble will be splendidly significant and glowing in its effect, and there should be no clashes in the color scheme. The notes of "America" should be sung with tremendous fervor and power.

In many cases the pageant will, of necessity, have to be rehearsed indoors. Outdoor places to rehearse in are not always obtainable, nor weather always propitious; moreover, with young people the out-of-doors has too many distractions. Armories or halls are excellent places to rehearse in; so are gymnasiums. The episodes should be rehearsed separately. Rehearsing in a small room is fatal. It gives the youthful performers a tendency to huddle, from which they seldom recover. Their motions are cramped, and they lose all sweep and freedom. There should be understudies for all the principal parts, and there must be at least one full-dress rehearsal. The ages of the young people taking part in the pageant should be from eight to eighteen. The principal parts will, of course, be intrusted to the older boys and girls where the occasion demands. John Smith, Powhatan, and others need a certain amount of height and dignity.

The number of young people taking part in The Pageant of Patriotism will be determined by circumstances. From two hundred to five hundred young people may take part in it.

It should be kept in mind that a Children's or Young People's pageant differs widely from a pageant given by older actors. It should have about it an atmosphere of entire simplicity. There should be no striving for effect. Naivete is to be desired rather than ornateness. Scenes filled with crowds of young players should alternate with scenes where solitary little figures appeal by their quaint remoteness, their suggestion of innocence and candor. The Pageant of Patriots is not only a pageant of country but of life's springtime, and interwoven with its episodes should be the glamor of the youth of the world.



(Arrangement of Indoor Episodes)


PROLOGUE Spoken by The Spirit of Patriotism

People of ————, ye who come to see Enacted here some hours of Pageantry, Lend us your patience for each simple truth, And see portrayed for you the Nation's Youth. Into times dim and far I bid you gaze, Down the long vista of departed days, Of hope and aspiration, woe and weal, Famine and hardship, strife and patriot zeal. Back further still our march of years shall go To times primeval: The first scene will show In shadow silhouette the sagamore, The braves and chieftains of the days of yore, Lords of the forest, kings of stream and hill, Of trail and wigwam: masters of the kill! The white man's coming next—while curiously A youthful Indian, pausing, peers to see What strangers tread the shores that he calls home, What white-winged ships have braved the wild sea-foam. Prows of the Norsemen, etched against the blue! Helmets agleam! Faces of wind-bronzed hue! On roll the years, and in a forest green The Princess Pocahontas next is seen; And then in prim white cap and somber gown Lovely Priscilla, Maid o' Plymouth Town. Benjamin Franklin supping at an Inn, A 'prentice lad with all his world to win. Then Washington encamped before a blaze O' fagots, swiftly learning woodland ways. Next the brave times of 1773 When Boston folk would pay no tax on tea. And then with urge of fife and roll of drum In shadow silhouette behold them come— The Patriot lads who for their country died, Who rose and followed when my name was cried—! Leaving the farm and forge and village street— Our hearts still echo to those marching feet! Spirit of '76! Thy deathless fame Burns for us yet, a sacrificial flame! Years pass. Behold a cabin in the West Where on an Autumn night, with mirth and zest, Lincoln's companions take their simple cheer. These are the scenes to be enacted here. Shown to you straightway in a simple guise: Youthful the scenes that we shall here devise On which the beads of history are strung. Remember that our players, too, are young. All critic knowledge, then, behind you leave, And in the spirit of the day receive What we would give, and let there come to you The Joy of Youth, with purpose high and true.


A white curtain of sheeting, or other similar material. A strong light placed behind the curtain throws into high relief the figures as they pass in significant procession. They are shadow silhouettes of a time long gone, of a race who now are shadows. Care should be taken that they move in exactly the right space, so that the shadows will not vary greatly in height or in bulk. First a chieftain passes, wonderful in feathers. Next a young brave, who, standing alone a moment, tries the taut string of his bow. Next an Indian maid, with a basket poised on her head. Then two young braves with fish slung on a pole between them. Then a group of Indian maidens. An Indian child or two. A squaw with fagots on her back. Another with a papoose. Then two Indians with a canoe, representing the portage of a canoe. Then a final group of young braves. The music, which begins as the chief passes, continues throughout the procession until the last Indian has passed, then ebbs and dies, growing fainter and fainter, till it ceases. Mac-Dowell's "From an Indian Lodge" is suitable for this.


This tableau represents a woodland scene, and is supposed to symbolize the coming of the Norseman. A young Indian brave, with skins about his shoulders and hips, his black hair flying, his brown arms barbarically braceleted, stands poised, listening, and looking at a spot where the Norsemen are supposed to be making a landing, off stage. With one hand he shields his eyes. With the other he holds his bow. The tableau should suggest the wild freedom of an untamed spirit. For music, some bars of Grieg's Norse airs.


For this pageant episode see page 12 of the Outdoor Arrangement of the Pageant of Patriots.


The same woodland setting as has been used for Pocahontas. In the center of the stage Priscilla and her spinning-wheel. The scene is outside her dooryard at Plymouth, Mass., in the Spring of 1621. The tableau should be held a full minute. Appropriate music: Senta's "Spinning Song"; or Solvig's "Spinning Song" from Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite."



SCENE: A room in a tavern. Place: Philadelphia. Time, October, 1723.

The room is a private one in the tavern known as The Crooked Billet. It has a neat, cheerful, welcoming aspect. At left a small fire glimmers on the brass andirons of a well-kept hearth. A brass kettle rests on a hob. On the shelf above the hearth candles are alight.

All across the background are a series of small windows curtained in chintz. By these windows a table set for supper, with a white linen cloth and delicately sprigged china. Quaint chairs with spindle legs.

Against the right wall a secretary with a shelf full of handsomely- bound books. Near this two chairs with high backs that would screen from view any one sitting in them.

There is a door at right background opening into the hall.

Another door at left near background, opening into another room.

At the rise of the curtain Roger Burchard is discovered seated at the table, on which a generous supper lies spread; while Elizabeth, his wife, is bending at the hearth.

ELIZABETH. The kettle hath not yet boiled for thy second cup, Roger. 'Tis slow, yet I do not worry, for 'tis only twilight, and there is a good hour yet ere we are due at the special meeting of the Friends, and Deborah Read is to come with us. Does thee know, Roger, I sometimes think that for all her saucy ways Mistress Deborah Read is half a Friend at heart. When I do speak she listens to me most attentively.

ROGER. Thee should not force belief upon another, Elizabeth. ELIZABETH (demurely). I did not force: I did but talk to her, Roger. Thee knows I sun not over eloquent. How should a worldly maid of Philadelphia give ear to me?

[Crosses to Roger: the kettle lies forgotten.

ROGER. How, indeed! Does thee know, Elizabeth, that in so quiet a room as this I can scarce believe that a great city lies about us? 'Tis so still that I can hear the ticking of the clock.

ELIZABETH. For myself, I am glad of a little rest after our journey up from Brookfield to the city. I find myself scarce used to city ways.

ROGER. No more do I, Elizabeth, no more do I. I cannot think this lavish life is seemly. This table, now! Does thee note its profusion? More bread and honey and cheese and chicken pie than we can eat. Sheer waste— unless we can share it. If there was but some poor traveler in this inn whom we might bid to supper, and——

[A knock on the door leading to hall.

ELIZABETH. 'Tis William, the inn boy, with tea cakes.

[Elizabeth opens the door. William enters with tea cakes on tray. He deposits the plate of cakes on table.

ROGER. As I was saying—if there was but some traveler in this inn to share our evening meal—some one with pockets that were well-nigh empty——

ELIZABETH. Perhaps the inn boy knows of such a one. (To William.) Does thee not, William? Some one whose purse is not too over-burdened?

WILLIAM (sturdily). Aye, that I do. A lad came here this noon from Boston. A journeyman printer so he says he is, and I'll warrant he has not above four shillings with him. (To Roger.) He's come to search for work in Philadelphia, and says he was directed to this tavern by a—by a Quaker, sir.

ELIZABETH. Directed here by a Quaker—! (To Roger.) Then, Roger, all the more reason why we should bid him in. What is his name?

WILLIAM. He says his name is Franklin.

ROGER. Then ask friend Franklin if he'll sup with us. Tell him we, too, would hear the news from Boston—that he'll confer a favor if he'll come. And mind, no hint about an empty purse! I fear at first I put the matter clumsily. Give him my later message. That is all.

WILLIAM. I will, sir.

[Exit, with a flourish, right background

ROGER. I hope he comes.

ELIZABETH (fondly). 'Tis ever like thee, Roger, to have a care for the friendless and forlorn.

WILLIAM (knocking, opening door from hall, and announcing). Benjamin Franklin, Journeyman!

[Enter Franklin, shabby, travel-stained, and boyishly appealing. Exit William.

ROGER (stepping hospitably forward). I bid thee welcome, friend Franklin. I hear thee is from Boston, and come to search for work in Philadelphia. Will thee not sup here? We are ever anxious for news such as travelers may bring. This is my wife, Elizabeth Burchard, and she will make thee welcome. I mind me of the time when I was once a stranger. Will thee not do us the pleasure to sup with us?

FRANKLIN. I scarcely, sir, know how to thank you for such kindness. All Quakers must be kind, I think, for it was a Quaker who directed me hither.

[Franklin crosses to fire, Roger taking his hat from him. In brief pantomime behind Franklin's back Roger has indicated that Franklin is to take his place at table, and that he himself will sup no further. During the conversation that follows Elizabeth is taking fresh silver out of a quaint basket that is on the table, Franklin stands at fire, and Roger is seated at right.

ELIZABETH. Perhaps my husband can advise thee further where best to look for work upon the morrow.

FRANKLIN. I thank you. I will hear him gladly. He that cannot be counseled cannot be helped. [Footnote: From Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanac".]

ROGER. Thee means to seek for work at once, I see.

FRANKLIN. Lost time is never found again, and since time is of all things the most precious, I am loth to lose it. [Footnote: From Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanac".]

ROGER. There is a wise head upon thy shoulders, friend. (Indicates table, and rises.) Sit thee down, lad. Sit thee down.

ELIZABETH (hurrying to hearth where kettle stands). Alas! I have forgotten the kettle! The tea is not yet ready. (To Roger.) Do thee and Benjamin Franklin talk while I prepare it. Show him the volumes lately come from London. Thee knows the print and paper is most pleasing.

[Roger Burchard and Benjamin Franklin sit at right in the high-backed chairs, the volumes upon their knees. That they are true book-lovers is instantly apparent. They are lost to everything that goes on about them. They sit with their backs towards the door at left, quite screened from the view of any one entering there. There is a pause. Then Deborah Read taps softly at the door at left. Elizabeth turns and opens the door.

DEBORAH (finger on lip). S-ssh! Not a word! (Glances towards the back of Roger's chair.) I've crept up the stairs on tip-toe!

ELIZABETH. Sweet rogue! Thee startled me to the point of dropping the kettle! Yonder is my husband so deep in a book that the crack o' doom would scarce rouse him. And with him is a young printer whom we have bid to be our guest. Roger and I have finished our evening meal, so perhaps thee will keep our young guest company while I prepare for meeting.

DEBORAH (holding up warning finger). Primp not too much for meeting, fair friend Elizabeth! A grave demeanor goes with Quaker bonnets! (Laughs.) Yes, yes, I'll serve your printer, play hostess, or aught else that will please you, and you can call me when 'tis time to leave him. (Throws off her cloak, and sits by hearth on footstool.) La! such a day! This very morn I saw the strangest sight! I went to the door to get a breath of air, and as I stood there what should I see approaching down the street but a lad with dusty clothes and bulging pockets—nay, wait, Elizabeth! The drollest part is yet to come! I vow he had stuffed one pocket full of stockings, and from the other protruded a loaf of bread! And in his hand was a great fat roll, and he was eating it! Gnawing it off, an you please, as if there were no one to see him! Then he looked up, and——

ELIZABETH (shocked). Deborah! Thee did not laugh at him! Thee did not mock at him!

DEBORAH (wiping tears of mirth from her eyes). Mock at him? Oh, lud! I laughed till my sides ached! (Rises, as she happens to see that Roger Burchard and his guest are rising, yet continues gaily.) And when he caught sight of my face——

[Just as Deborah utters these words she and Franklin perceive each other. Deborah is utterly taken aback and quite speechless.

ROGER (seeing nothing amiss). Welcome, Deborah Read. I present to thee Benjamin Franklin.

[Franklin bows. Deborah drops a fluttering courtesy, and then clings to Elizabeth Burchard.

DEBORAH (quaveringly). I—I feel somewhat faint, Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH (seeing nothing amiss). Then sit at the table, dear Deborah, and a cup of tea will revive thee.

DEBORAH (protesting). No—! No—! I—I will help you to dress.

ELIZABETH. Then who will serve Benjamin Franklin? Thee promised that thee would be hostess, so unless aught is amiss——

DEBORAH (recovering herself, and suddenly displaying a haughty self- possession). Naught is amiss, Elizabeth. I will serve tea if you bid me.

[Deborah sits at one end of the table, Franklin at the other.

ELIZABETH. Thee knows the Friends' special meeting to-night is at the same hour as that of the other churches, so when thee hears the church-bells ringing 'twill be time to prepare, sweet Deborah.

DEBORAH (with a gleam). I'll not forget the time. I promise you that, Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH. Come, Roger. Thee must wear a fresh neck-cloth.

[Roger and Elizabeth exeunt left. There is a very long pause.

DEBORAH. Will you have tea, Master Franklin?

FRANKLIN. If it pleases you, Mistress Read.

DEBORAH. Cream? Sugar?

FRANKLIN. I thank you.

[She passes him his cup. There is another long pause.

FRANKLIN (with a great sigh). 'Tis a silent place, Philadelphia!

[Another pause.

FRANKLIN. Will you have some bread, Mistress?

DEBORAH (coldly). I thank you, no.

FRANKLIN (bluntly). Have you ever pondered, Mistress, that pride that dines on vanity sups on contempt? [Footnote: From "Poor Richard's Almanac."]

DEBORAH (outraged). Master Franklin!

FRANKLIN. I know right well that my poor coat offends you; yet in truth, Mistress Deborah, why should I dress in finer cloth when silks and satins put out the kitchen fire. [Footnote: From "Poor Richard's Almanac."]

DEBORAH. 'Tis not your coat offends me, 'tis——

FRANKLIN. 'Tis that I am neither the son of a gold-laced governor nor a wealthy merchant but only a poor journeyman printer. Then, Mistress, you have yet to learn that he who hath a trade hath an estate, and he who hath a calling hath an office of profit and honor. [Footnote: From "Poor Richard's Almanac."]

DEBORAH (with spirit). There you read me wrong, Master Franklin. I have supped with printers before this.

FRANKLIN. Then 'twas the printer's loaf you mocked this morning, Mistress Deborah; and not the printer. Yet in truth, why should eating in the street displease you, since 'twas a matter of necessity. Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse, and my purse was not over full. But— diligence is the mother of luck, and heaven gives all things to industry. [Footnote: From "Poor Richard's Almanac."]

DEBORAH (with a toss). You speak as if you and Industry were boon companions.

FRANKLIN. And what better companion could I have? Heaven helps them that help themselves.

DEBORAH (witheringly). 'Tis a fine thing to have high hopes, I doubt not.

FRANKLIN (blithely). Oh, I have more than hopes, Mistress Deborah; for he that lives upon hope will die fasting. To apply one's self right heartily is to do more than hope. Sloth makes all things difficult; but industry all things easy. You are not eating, Mistress Deborah. (She rises.) Have my blunt ways offended you? Have I again displeased you? [Footnote: From "Poor Richard's Almanac."]

DEBORAH (with chilling dignity). You could not an you tried, Master Franklin. I was but going to fetch the tea-kettle.

FRANKLIN (starting up). If I can help you—

DEBORAH (still frostily). I thank you, I am in no need of help. A-ah!

[With a cry she drops the kettle.

FRANKLIN. You have burned yourself, Mistress Deborah! The poor little hand! (He tears up his handkerchief.) Let me bandage it for you! It is sorely blistered!

DEBORAH (tears in her voice the while she submits her hand to him). I can tolerate blisters, Master Franklin. They are far less irksome than—than——

FRANKLIN (gravely bandaging her hand). Than journeymen printers who eat their bread in the street. Perhaps you are right, Mistress Deborah. I trust that the blisters will soon heal; and that the memory of the journeyman printer will not trouble you further.

DEBORAH (as the church-bells begin to ring without). The memory of a chance traveler is easily forgot, Master Franklin.

ELIZABETH (outside door, left). Come, Deborah, we shall be late! Come quickly, child! (Deborah snatches up her cloak.) Bid Benjamin Franklin to wait my husband's return. He would talk to him further concerning books. Come, Deborah!

[Exit Deborah, left, without a glance at Franklin.

FRANKLIN (dropping into chair by secretary, right). Do blisters burn as keen as words, I wonder? "Chance travelers...easily forgot!" (Sits with bowed head.)

[Deborah stands again in doorway at left, sees him, comes to him swiftly and remorsefully.

FRANKLIN (raises his head; sees her). Is it—

DEBORAH. 'Tis naught—naught but Deborah Read come to say to you—to say to you—that she should have remembered that you were a stranger in a city full of strangers. (Pleadingly.) Indeed, indeed I did not mean to hurt you! I do not mind your rusty clothes; I do not mock your—your faded hat. I—I have been full of foolish pride. Will you forgive me?

FRANKLIN (rising; amazed). Deborah!

DEBORAH (hurrying on). I had not meant to laugh at you this morning. Will you forgive that, too?

FRANKLIN (moved). Deborah!

DEBORAH. I know I sometimes judge by foolish standards. Will you forgive?

FRANKLIN. With all my heart, my friend. (They clasp hands on it.) And will you, Deborah, forgive me my blunt speeches? I knew not how to please you. I meant no harm.

DEBORAH (earnestly). I forgive all.

FRANKLIN. And we are friends for life—for all our lives, Deborah.

ELIZABETH (speaking somewhat impatiently from beyond the door at left). Deborah! Child!

DEBORAH (prettily). Yes! Yes! I'm coming!

[Hastens out the door with a friendly backward glance at Franklin. He stands for a moment where she has left him.

Crosses to secretary, takes book, seats himself, opens it slowly, looking after her. Then sits a-dream in the fading fireglow. Presently he looks at the book again, and reads the first line upon which his eye chances to fall.

FRANKLIN (reading). "Count thyself rich when thou hast found a friend."

(The curtain slowly falls.)


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. Travel-stained suit of dark-brown, guiltless of braid or ruffles, coat and knee-breeches being of the same color. The material either of corduroy or homespun (woolen). A white vest flowered with brown roses. A white neckcloth. Black stockings. Low black shoes. A three-cornered black hat, which he carries under his arm. Hair worn long and unpowdered.

ROGER BURCHARD. Coat and knee-breeches of the same style as Franklin's, made of homespun, and Quaker-gray in color. A Quaker-gray vest. White neckcloth. Gray stockings. Low black shoes with silver buckles. Unpowdered hair.

ELIZABETH BURCHARD. Dress of gray satin, simply made, with a crossed kerchief of snowy white lawn. Gray stockings. Gray slippers with silver buckles. Hair worn simply, and unpowdered. (Gray glazed cambric for her dress if satin cannot be had.)

DEBORAH READ. Quilted petticoat of pale-blue satin. Colonial overdress and bodice of white, brocaded with pale-blue roses. Fichu of white lawn. Black picture hat with black plume. Black cloth cloak lined in pale-blue. Black stockings. Low black shoes with gold buckles. Unpowdered hair, worn pompadour. (If satin and brocade cannot be had, have blue glazed muslin and cretonne instead. Or flowered muslin worn over a white dress.) Black patches. Black velvet ribbon at neck. White lace mitts, or black gloves coming to the elbow.

WILLIAM. Maroon suit, of a heavy woolen material. Gold buttons down the front and two in back. Cream-colored vest. Neither braiding nor ruffles. Black stockings. Low black shoes without buckles. A white neckcloth. Unpowdered hair worn in a cue.


For this pageant episode see page 46 of the Outdoor Arrangement of the Pageant of Patriots.



SCENE: The tavern known as The Golden Pheasant. Place, Boston.

TIME: Six o'clock on a December evening, 1773.

The tavern-room is low-ceilinged and wainscoted with dark woodwork. There is a door in middle background, and windows on each side of it.

At the right, towards foreground, a chimney-place, with smoldering fire. Above is a shelf on which are iron candlesticks and short bits of candles that show economy. Against the right wall a round mahogany table. On it another iron candlestick, which has been lighted. A punch- bowl. Cups. A ladle. Also a brass bowl beneath which a small charcoal flame burns, keeping hot the lemonade. Beyond this table a dark wooden chest with a heavy lock. Under the window in left background a similar chest.

By the hearth, facing audience, a long seat with a high back and pew- like ends. At the rise of the curtain, Thomas Rigby, the rubicund landlord, is lighting with a taper the candles that stand on the mantelshelf, the buttons on his plum-colored waistcoat twinkling in the gleam. He has only lighted one when the door is pushed open, and there enter two young British lieutenants, mere lads, whose scarlet cloaks, exaggerated lace wrist ruffles, and brilliant gold braiding make a fine showing. But Thomas Rigby shows no look of welcome.

MARSH. Hey, landlord! Brrrr! It's cold! Give us something to warm us.

PENROSE (foppishly). Aye, and be brisk about it. I do not wish to be served in a loitering fashion.

[Rigby makes as if to speak; but restrains himself, and, with a look of quiet scorn, serves them hot lemon punch. Penrose is by the fire. Marsh by the window.

MARSH. It promises to be a chilly eve after a cloudy morning.

PENROSE (with a shiver). More snow and bitter weather!

MARSH (looking out the window). Nay, not so bitter. The window-panes are clear and unfrosted. The twilight gathers quickly. The streets are gray, and there's scarce a gleam in the darkness of the harbor.

PENROSE (as Marsh leaves window for fire). Not e'en a light in the rigging o' Francis Rotch's ships? The sailors must be supping at the taverns. They're weary now of staying harborbound. There'll be rejoicing when the tax is paid, and the stiff- necked Yankees bring the tea to land.

MARSH. There be some who call themselves patriots, and swear they'll never pay it.

PENROSE (sipping). Not pay it? They'll defy us? Pooh! We could bring them to time with a twist of the wrist did we but wish to! (Looking with approval at his own apparel.) A mere handful of men with scarcely any lace for their ruffles, and tarnished buckles for their shoes! They defy us? You're jesting! No, no, my dear Sidney! In spite of all their protests and town meetings they'll be glad enough to give in at the end, and to pay the tax right speedily. For, mark you, in spite of all the rumors of defiance that we've heard, the town to-night lies as quiet as a church.

MARSH. Aye, so it does.

PENROSE (rising). Too quiet for my spirits. Let's seek another tavern where there's more revelry than there is here.

MARSH (draining his glass). We'll not find shrewder lemon punch at any. On my way back I'll have another glass.

[Tosses money at Rigby, who lets it lie where it falls. He shakes a clenched hand after the retreating figures of the two lieutenants, and then goes back to lighting his candles on the mantelshelf. Marsh and Penrose exeunt. After a moment there comes from without the sound of a halting step, the door is opened, and Richard Stockton enters, a lad with the eyes of a dreamer, and the bearing of a doer of deeds. Thomas Rigby, at sound of the entering step, turns, taper in hand.

RICHARD (coming forward). 'Tis only I. Go on with the candles, landlord. RIGBY (joyfully). Only you, Dick Stockton! Zounds! There's none whom I'd sooner see! Quick! Tell me the news! These be stirring days, and here am I tied to this tavern-room, and afraid to leave it lest those brawling red-coats loot it while I'm gone. To leave a tavern-room empty is to invite disaster—and yet—what patriot should bide indoors on days like these! 'Faith! I'm torn 'twixt necessities! Come! Your news. Sit by the fire and out with it! What's to become of the tea we won't pay taxes on?

RICHARD. Give me breath and I'll tell you! There's news to make your blood boil. I've been at the town meeting in the Old South Church all day. What think you—! The governor at Milton has refused a pass to Francis Rotch, and the tea ships cannot leave the harbor. The British have sworn they'll make us pay the tax or wring our scurvy necks.

RIGBY (outraged). Zounds! There are necks I'd like to have the wringing of! What else, lad, what else?

RICHARD. The Old South Church could not hold half the patriots who wish to talk and listen. Such speeches! Oh, they'd stir your blood if you could hear them!

RIGBY (eyes a-gleam). 'Tis stirred enough already! Go on, lad, quickly!

RICHARD. Josiah Quincy is presiding at the New Old South. 'Twas he who thought of sending word to the governor. And now the governor has refused, and if there's nothing done we're beaten—beaten, Tom Rigby, we who so love freedom!

RIGBY. Tut! Tut! Lad! The night's not done yet. Are they still at the meeting?

RICHARD. Aye, and are like to be for the next hour. 'Tis scarcely six—just candle-lighting time.

RIGBY. You look white, lad. Have you eaten?

RICHARD. Eaten! On such a day as this!

RIGBY. Nonsense, lad. You must keep up your strength. (Crosses to serving- table where bowl stands.) Here! If you will not eat, at least you can drink a cup of steaming lemon punch. No lads who come to my tavern get anything stronger—unless, mayhap, a cup of apple juice. Youth is its own best wine. Cider for you. Burgundy for your betters, eh, lad? (Gives Richard a cup and takes a cup himself.) Here's to taxless tea! (Drinks.)

RICHARD (joining him in the toast). And the confounding of the British! And now, since there are no red- coats about, I may tell you that the Old South Church is not the only place that's to hold a meeting. There's going to be one here.

RIGBY (surprised). Here?

RICHARD. In less than half an hour the lads will meet me. We call ourselves "The Younger Sons of Freedom."

RIGBY (somewhat severely). All that I have is at your service; yet 'tis only lately that lads have been allowed to rove past curfew time.

RICHARD. Such days as these lads grow to men right quickly. Do you think we waste our time with games and—and snowball forts, Tom Rigby? No! The Younger Sons of Freedom have learned to fight and fence, to run and swim, and to swarm up a ship's ladder if need be. How could any lad be idle these last nineteen days, with fathers and brothers patrolling the wharves day and night to keep the tea from landing; when patriot sentinels are stationed in every belfry; and when all Beacon Hill is topped with tar-barrels ready to blaze out into signals at a moment's notice. I tell you—my very dreams are of defiance! But my deeds—what can a lad do when he goes through life halting? A maimed foot makes a maimed ambition, unless—unless as I would fain believe, the spirit is stronger than the body. It is the will that counts.

RIGBY. You're wiser than most lads, Richard. You've a head on your shoulders. I've known you long; but you have never spoken—until to-night. It was your will that took you through your puny childhood, fatherless, motherless, and made your stern old uncle proud of you. Why now be down-hearted? I've heard you spoken of as a lad of spirit by Dr. Warren, aye, and by Paul Revere.

RICHARD. There's a patriot for you! Would I could do such deeds as he can do. Oh, all I think of is to serve my country—my city and my country!

RIGBY. That's all I think on, too.

RICHARD (amazed). You, Tom Rigby?

RIGBY (somewhat bitterly). Did I seem to you only a waistcoat with buttons? Nay, don't protest! 'Tis how most folks think of me. What have I to do with valor? I'm Tom the landlord, Tom the tapster, Tom the tavern-keeper! How should they guess in me Tom the patriot, Tom the hero-worshiper? And yet there's not one bit of my country's past, not one smallest Indian war but what has meaning for me. What do you think those chests are full of? Trophies!

RICHARD. Trophies!

RIGBY. From all the wars we've had. (Unlocks chest at right wall, excitedly.) Look! Tomahawks. Headdresses. (Taking things out of chest.) Feathers. A war-knife. An Indian robe taken in Philip's war.

RICHARD. (delighted: interested). In Philip's war.

RIGBY. (with emotion). They're more to me than a king's ransom!

[He pauses, looking over contents of chest.

RICHARD (going back to seat by fire, and speaking to himself as he sits by it). A king's ransom! What have we to do with kings, who cannot even thwart the tyrant who would rule us! If there was but some way——

[Sits, lost in thought.

RIGBY (putting trophies back in chest, looking at them fondly, and singing softly for the sheer joy of touching them). "Oh, a seaman's life is a jolly life—Trol de rol, de rol!" Wampum. A woven blanket. A peace-pipe. (Sings.)

I had a goodly old sea-chest, Twas filled with—India dyes. Oh, wide the harbor, deep the sea, Five fathoms down it lies! Five fathoms down it lies!

RICHARD (half-hearing Tom's voice, and repeating to himself). "Five fathoms deep it lies——" (In a suddenly electrified voice.) Tom! Tom Rigby! I have the way! Your song has given it to me! I have the way!

[He has rushed to Rigby.

RIGBY (as sounds of approaching footsteps are heard without). Hush! Here come the Sons of Freedom! (Door is flung open. Rigby's professional manner asserts itself.) Welcome, my lads. Come in! Come in!

WINWOOD (to Richard). Are we on time? What have you planned for us, Dick? My hands and heart are ready for a night's work! (Offering his portion of cider in loving- cup fashion.) Some cider?

RICHARD. No. I've supped on revolution!

WINWOOD. Would there were something stirring!

RICHARD (throughout with growing excitement). Are folk still in the Old South Meeting-house?

WINWOOD (impatiently). Aye, still talking of what's to be done. Hancock and Paul Revere are at a coffee-house.

COREY (as the lads gather about table). Come, Dick, you've heard the governor's reply. How would you deal with the taxers?

RICHARD (at table, center, one foot on table and one on chair). I'd set their tea to brew!

ALL (amazed). What!

RICHARD. In a monstrous teapot!

PEABODY (jesting). As big as Rigby's bowl.

RICHARD (flaming with excitement). Oh, larger! Larger!

AMESBURY (indicating large cockade). Or as Frank Wharton's hat.

RICHARD (inspired). Larger by far!

AMESBURY. You mean——

RICHARD (impassioned). I'd take the ocean!

ALL. The ocean! Zounds! The harbor! Does he mean it?

RICHARD. Overboard—all of it! Listen. The ships are deserted: the sailors on shore drinking at different taverns. If we can go disguised, we can slip to the water front unnoticed. You know how many Indians roam our streets, and no one ever heeds them. We'll all be braves and chieftains.

AMESBURY. But where are our disguises?

RIGBY (opening his chests, tossing out his treasures, wild with delight). Here! Here and here!

RICHARD. Wait. We must have other followers. Followers, said I? Leaders—with sagacity. Run, Winwood! Speak to John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Dr. Warren. You know the coffee-house they sup at. Tell them there are disguises for us all. But let no red-coat hear you. Quick! The time is passing.

[Exit Winwood, on the run.

RIGBY (half-overcome with his emotion). Richard!

RICHARD (helping him and the rest to dress, assisting first one and then another). Be quick. Let me help you. Here are feathers. Beads. A knife. Hatchets. A Frenchman's sash-belt. A head-dress.

AMESBURY (hurriedly fastening on his disguise). Where are yours, Dick?

RICHARD. Hush! (Touches his knee.) I cannot scale a ladder. Listen! Here's Winwood.

WINWOOD (bursting in). Paul Revere, John Hancock, Dr. Warren—all come with us. I've run ahead to tell you they'll meet us on the way. Give me disguises. (They clap an Indian robe across his shoulders, and he takes an armful of Indian finery.) John Hancock says there's a boat and oars at the foot of the wharves, and Paul Revere will lead us. Come quickly, lads!

[He dashes out the door, with his armful of finery. The others follow one by one, as their readiness of costume determines.

RICHARD (to himself). And Paul Revere will lead them!

RIGBY (his hand on Richard's shoulder). Richard, you've been the brains, and we are but the fingers! We toss the tea: but 'twas your heart that planned it. Will you not serve us— serve us here on land? If any British come, see they don't go a-roving. The fewer on the streets the better. D'ye catch my meaning? And, Richard, one word more. You can see the ships from here. The work we'll do will take but twenty minutes. If we succeed, I'll send you a signal. I'll wave this lantern three times in the darkness.

RICHARD. Bless you, Tom Rigby.

[Richard is left alone, and goes to seat by fire.

RICHARD (dreaming aloud). First they'll go to the wharves...stealing quietly through the darkness. Then there'll be the muffled dip of oars...and then——Oh, would that I could aid them in this hour! But I am impotent, impotent!

PENROSE (querulously, as he and Marsh enter). This tavern's still deserted. Is there naught alive in this town save the half-dozen Indians we've met a-prowling the streets! Where's the landlord? RICHARD (mock-humble). He's absent, sir, on business of importance. But he will soon return. If I may serve you—some cider, sir, or steaming lemon punch?

PENROSE (haughtily). Let it be punch, and see that it is steaming.

RICHARD (busying himself). At once, sir.

PENROSE (languidly). Mark how importantly he takes the landlord's place. How old are you, young tapster?

RICHARD. About your own age, sir, I have been thinking.

MARSH (with a laugh). Zounds! You're well answered, Penrose.

RICHARD (seeing that Penrose starts up angrily). Indeed 'twas truth I meant, sir, and no insult.

MARSH. Sit down. Sit down. He is a simple fellow. (Taps his forehead.) He means no wrong. We might have sport with him.

RICHARD (still mock-humble). If I can serve you, sir, to anything?

MARSH. Suppose we call for tea?

RICHARD (simply). We do not serve it.

MARSH (amused). Oho! Oho! This is a rebel tavern. And so—no tea. You Yankees do not serve it.

RICHARD. No; but we sometimes brew it—with salt-water.

MARSH (more and more amused). 'Tis as I said. Simple. Let's try him further. This tea you brew. It must have a new flavor?

RICHARD. Aye, a new flavor. Some will find it bitter. It is a brew that will be long remembered. MARSH. I doubt not, if 'tis made as you have said.

PENROSE (yawning impatiently). Come! I am weary for adventure! (Draws his cloak about him. Marsh somewhat reluctantly follows his example.) Let's see if there be sport about the wharves——

RICHARD (to himself). The wharves——

MARSH (still reluctant). On such a night as this—! Why, but a moment since you swore it was too cold! Besides, at the last tavern that we visited that fool of a Barton took my sword in jest. (Darkly.) He thought 'twas a rare bit of nonsense; but 'tis one I'll make him pay for! I'll not go roaming without my sword.

PENROSE (insisting). But I have mine. One sword's enough for both. More than enough for any Yankees we are like to meet. We could give some of them a rare fright, comrade. Come, then, in search of——

RICHARD (who has utilized the time in which they were talking by silently taking a foil from the nearest chest). Back! Do not come any nearer. You see this door is guarded.

[Stands before it, his mock humility gone, his voice resounding.

MARSH (angrily). What does this mean?

RICHARD (suavely). One of my crack-brained fancies. I wished to keep you, sirs, for twenty minutes.

PENROSE (insulted). Even a crack-brained lout may go too far.

MARSH. Have at him! He's but one——

RICHARD (clearly and passionately, his voice a-thrill). Behind me are a hundred—a thousand souls—all those who stand for freedom. Although you do not see them, they are there!

PENROSE (astounded). What! Would he challenge us?

MARSH (scornfully). A turn of the wrist and the thing is done. Have at him, Penrose.

[Penrose and Richard engage. Richard fights coolly, with his back ever to the door. Penrose grows more and more flustered. Marsh holds an iron candelabrum aloft, for the other candles have gutted and the room is shadowy.

PENROSE (fear in his voice). The candles—higher. They're getting low. I cannot see——

[Richard and Penrose engage a second time, and Penrose's foil is flung across the room to left. Marsh is about to crash the candelabrum on Richard's sword, when Richard, with a deft movement, seizes it and hurls it to the floor, where it falls with a dull clatter. Marsh, discomfited, turns to Penrose, who has picked up his fallen sword, and is holding his wrist.

PENROSE (peevishly). The lout has turned my wrist, and torn my ruffles.

RICHARD (who has darted to window, and stood looking out for the space of a second before he turns to them). A thousand pardons! (Bows ironically.) Go! The play is ended! (With growing fervor.) Through the black night I've caught my prompter's signal. I've seen a light—a light that swings in the darkness—a light that swings three times——

PENROSE (querulously, leaning on Marsh's arm as they go towards door). What does he mean? A signal?

RICHARD (turning on them with passionate triumph). A signal that a blow is struck for freedom! A signal that your tea is overboard! A signal that the time will come when liberty will be the watchword of our nation!

MARSH. Come! Come! He dreams!

[They go out.

RICHARD (with face upraised in the waning fire-glow). May all such dreams come true!



RICHARD STOCKTON. Coat and knee-breeches of dull-blue cloth. Loose white shirt. Soft white collar turned down on his coat. Black stockings. Low black shoes. Unpowdered hair.

JOHN COREY. Suit of the same fashion as Stockton's, made of black cloth. All the lads, unless otherwise indicated, wear low black shoes, black stockings, and have unpowdered hair. But if the wigs of longish natural hair which they should wear are too expensive, then they may have powdered wigs made of white cotton batting stitched to tight- fitting white skull-caps.

NED PEABODY. Suit of same style in dark-brown.

PHIL AMESBURY. Suit of same style in somewhat shabby black velvet, with black braiding. It is evident that the suit has been "handed down" to him.

JEFFERSON WINWOOD. Suit of same style in slate-gray, with buttons and pockets of cobalt blue.

FRANK WHARTON. Suit of very dark green. Green buttons. Has a black cloak, and a black three-cornered hat.

THOMAS RIGBY. Well-worn suit of dark plum-color. Plum-colored waistcoat. Gold buttons on it. White shirt with full soft sleeves. A white stock. Black stockings. Low black shoes.

PENROSE. Scarlet jacket with gold buttons and epaulets. White broadcloth breeches tucked into high topboots. White vest. Lace stock. Lace wrist ruffles. Scarlet cloak with gold braiding. Carries a sword.

MARSH. The same as Penrose. Carries no sword when he comes in a second time.

If "The Younger Sons of Freedom" cannot obtain suits of the colors described, let them wear the usual boys' coats with Colonial pockets basted on, and let them have full knee-breeches, such as those of gymnasium suits. For older boys who play the parts, black evening suits, the coats shaped and basted back to resemble Colonial coats. White lace stocks and cravats, and lace wrist ruffles, and jabots.


Thrown into shadow silhouette by a strong light placed behind a white curtain, the figures of the young patriots appear. Music of fife and drum in orchestra, clear, high, blood-stirring. First a small drummer- boy passes, with a cocked hat, and poised drum-sticks. Then a boy of the same age carrying a musket that is much too large for him. Then two taller patriot lads, very soldier-like. Then a country boy with a hoe over his shoulder. Then two figures, one playing a fife, the other a drum. Then a lone patriot lad with a cocked hat and musket. Then another drummer-boy. Then a boy with a flag, and a half dozen patriots following him. The music grows fainter and fainter, as if with the tread of marching feet.




SCENE: The Lincoln kitchen and living-room. Place: Little Pigeon Creek, Indiana. Time, 1823.

The room is bright and clean, showing both thrift and poverty. There are two windows in background, with well-mended, faded curtains of the cheapest cotton. Between these two windows a stout door, which gives on the outside road. On the door is tacked a raccoon skin.

By the window at right a plain pine table and chair. The end of the table is set with a plate, knife, fork, drinking-cup, etc., for one person, and there are corndodgers in generous quantities, and a jug of molasses.

In the middle of the right wall there is a wide-mouthed fireplace, with black andirons, several iron pots, and a skillet. Above the hearth strips of leather nailed to the wall serve as holders for empty powder- horns, knives, etc. There is a pine bench by the hearth, placed so that those sitting on it face the audience. Also a three-legged pine stool. Beyond the hearth, towards the background, a dresser with a few dishes.

Fastened to the wall, left foreground, is a pine shelf on which stand Abraham Lincoln's books, well-worn copies of "Robinson Crusoe" "Aesop's Fables," "Pilgrim's Progress," etc., etc. Above this shelf a clock, battered yet adequate. A bearskin rug on the floor. The whole scene is homely, peaceful, intimate.

The embers on the hearth give out a dull glow which leaves the room in semi-darkness, yet lights up several objects by the hearthstone— namely, a heap of pine cones, some dried spice-wood bushes, a rude corn-popper, a snow-shovel, and a neatly-mended tongs.

In the frosty out-of-doors the wind blows gustily from time to time. Otherwise the room is quite still, save for the ticking of the clock, which points to half-past seven. For a moment after the curtain's rise the stage is deserted. Then come two brisk knocks at the door, and it is opened from without by Polly Prentice, who first thrusts in her head, looks about, and then crosses the threshold, speaking back over her shoulder to Amy Roby and Tom Bush. Polly wears a scarlet cloak, and her cheeks are as red as apples. All carry lanterns.

POLLY. There's no one home. Wherever can Nancy be? She said if she wasn't here we were to wait for her. Come in, Amy, and you, too, Tom Bush, and be careful to close the door. (All enter.) The fire is nearly spent. B- rrrrrr! It's a cold night for this time of year. My fingers are tingling. That's right, Tom, put on some spice bushes for a blaze. I'll put my lantern over here by yours, Amy. What time is it?

AMY. Half-past seven. I wish that Nancy would hurry. The corn-husking begins at eight, and we are to call for Jason Brown and Lucy before we start.

TOM (warming his hands). Yes, and come back here to have Abe go with us. He's been out in the woods all day, swinging that ax of his. I could hear him down by the spring.

POLLY. There's his supper set out for him—corn-dodgers and molasses.

AMY (primly). Polly, it isn't nice to look at things in other people's houses!

POLLY (saucily). You looked at the clock only a minute ago, and I'm sure Abe's supper is as easily seen as the clock is! Easier, too, if you happen to be glancing that way. I wish that Nancy would hurry!

TOM (as they seat themselves about fire). And I wish that Abe would hurry. He must be trying for luck.

POLLY. Luck?

TOM. Yes, you know they say that rails split by moonlight bring folks good fortune. Not that Abe needs good fortune—he's lucky at everything he puts his hand to. He can shoulder an ax and swing it better than any one I ever saw, and as for his books—there's no one who can beat him.

POLLY. He's always at them—even after a hard day's work.

TOM. There's nothing he won't read if he can get his hands on it, and at spelling he's head of his class every time.

AMY (amused). You'd think he was a hero, Tom, the way you talk.

TOM (eyes a-light). Well, sometimes he does seem like a hero to me, he's so strong and clever and kind. At school people are always coming to him with their disputes, and out of school, too. Even the Indians respect his knowledge. And with it all he can see a joke as soon as anybody, and isn't a bit puffed up. And then I like him, because even though he's quiet and it takes a long time for him to get angry, when he does get angry it's on the right side. I think some day he'll be a great lawyer. Come, Amy, what do you think he'll be?

AMY (mischievously). Well, as you think he knows so much—almost as much as Mr. Andrew Crawford—I think perhaps he'll be a teacher.

TOM. What do you think he'll be, Polly?

POLLY (absorbed in examining corn-popper, tongs, etc.). I don't know. Oh, see! He's mended the tongs. I saw him working at it the other day. (Facing about, laughing.) I'll tell you what I think he'll be—he'll be a mender! (To Amy.) Look out, Amy, that's Abe's precious snow-shovel. Dear knows why he has it out this early.

AMY. Because paper is expensive, goosey. By the light of some pine cones he can figure on this, and then scrape it off again.

TOM (admiringly). Nobody but Abe would think of such a thing. I tell you the day will come when we'll be proud we knew him.

AMY (gaily). Bravo, Tom! You'll be making speeches soon, or lead in our next debate.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN (speaking from outer doorway, ax on shoulder, a gaunt, rawboned, kindly-eyed lad). Who said debate—?

AMY (jumping up with a burst of delighted laughter). There he is now! (To Lincoln.) If any word would bring you, that one would, I know!

POLLY. Nancy isn't here. She said we were to wait. Go on with your supper, Abe, and don't mind us. I know you're hungry.

LINCOLN. Thank you, I will. (Puts by ax and goes towards table.) Hungry! I feel half-starved! And my muscles are as stiff as boards. (Turns.) Here, Tom, I'm a fine host—neglecting my guests! There's the corn-popper, and (diving hand into cupboard and bringing out a bag) there's the corn!

NANCY (appearing in the outer door with Francois Durand, and little John Henry). And here's Nancy with a bag of salt, just in time. I'm glad you all waited for me. Come to the fire, Francois.

FRANCOIS (shyly to all, as they kindly make way for him). Bon soir! Bon soir!

NANCY (rattling on). B-rrrrr! It's chilly. It's nice to be in by the fire. How's your supper, Abe? I fixed it for you.

LINCOLN (genially). It's fine, Nancy, thank you. (Goes back to table and half-smiles, dryly-humorous.) And the best thing about it is that there's enough of it! (To John.) Well, John, how are you?

JOHN (drawling, wide-eyed, childlike). Did you see any bears in the woods?

LINCOLN (with a twinkle, solemnly imitating him). No, I didn't see any bea-r-s in the woods; but I brought home some nuts for you! (Gives them.)

[Francois, under pantomimic urging from the group around the fire, has taken up his fiddle, tunes it, and from a mere ghost of an air breaks into a gay tune. Little John Henry takes the corn-popper, swaying it in time to the music, while the rest, with the exception of Lincoln, do a step or so of an old-fashioned reel. Lincoln watches them as he eats. John watches them also, to the detriment of the corn-popping.

NANCY (pausing in dance, with little shriek of dismay). Oh, mercy! The corn! I smell it burning!

ALL (gathering about her, and thus hiding corn-popper from view of audience). Is it burnt? No! Yes! No! Oh, it's saved. (Lincoln, who has risen, goes back to his supper.)

JOHN. I didn't mean to!

NANCY (relenting). But when Francois plays the fiddle you can't think of anything else, eh?

AMY (as they group themselves in fire-glow). Sit over here, Nancy. Isn't the corn splendid?

LINCOLN (from where he is sitting). Any news, Tom? How's the wolf-hunting getting on? Anybody got one?

TOM. I heard in the store to-night that Hugh Foster had killed one. It may be only a rumor. You're not fond of hunting, are you, Abe?

LINCOLN. Oh, I try at it once in a while, Tom, but I'm not very keen. You boys get more out of it than I do.

TOM. Remember the raccoon hunt we had last summer?

LINCOLN. Yes, I remember. (Facing about.) To tell you the truth, Tom, I don't mind if things have to be killed outright; but I hate to see them in cages. I like to see 'em free.

TOM. I know you do, Abe.

POLLY (merrily). Oh, Abe, before you came we were all guessing——

LINCOLN. Guessing?

POLLY (nodding). What you were going to be. Tom said you'd be a lawyer. Amy said you'd be a great teacher, and I said you'd be a mender!

LINCOLN (slowly). A mender—! I never once thought of being a mender, Polly.

NANCY (with a little cry). Polly Prentice, look! Look what the time is! Ten minutes to eight! We'll be late for the corn-husking.

LINCOLN (surprised). Corn-husking?

POLLY (dancing about). Didn't you know there was to be one? Oh, I thought we'd surprise you! We're all going. You, too.

[Lincoln shakes his head.

POLLY (pouting). That means you think you have to study. Oh, Abe—!

NANCY (aside). Don't tease him, Polly. After we've called for Jason and Lucy we'll come back this way—gracious! Look how the minutes are flying! We must be starting. Where did I put my cloak? Oh, here it is! Hurry, Amy!

[They all dart out the door with every sign of haste, little John following as fast as his legs can carry him. Sounds of laughter from without, growing fainter.

LINCOLN (to himself). A corn-husking—!

[Shakes his head. Goes over and gets a book and stretches out in front of fire. A pause.

NOCTAH (quietly entering). How!

LINCOLN (turning). How!

[Noctah, with the quiet of an accustomed visitor, sits on bench by fire: pulls out a long pipe.

LINCOLN (after a pause, looking up). Supper?

NOCTAH, No. Noctah only want to warm at fire. Like to watch Lincoln. Lincoln get wisdom out of books.

LINCOLN (ruefully). Not so much as I'd like to, Noctah. The books are so few that it's just learning by littles. [Footnote: Lincoln's own words.]

NOCTAH. Other people much talk. Lincoln heap silent: heap thinking. (Taps forehead.) Other people try to cheat Indian. Lincoln heap honest.

LINCOLN (twinkling). Oh, come now, Noctah. I guess we're all pretty honest hereabout.

[A pause, during which Lincoln stares at the fire, above his book.

NOCTAH. Lincoln look at fire. See visions of future.

LINCOLN. There won't be any future if I don't work for it!

[Studies again.


[Smokes pipe: a silence.

LINCOLN (after a moment or so, looking up). Anything I can do for you, Noctah?

NOCTAH. No. Noctah want nothing.

[Another short silence. Noctah smokes. Lincoln studies. Then Noctah moves towards door.

LINCOLN (looking up). Going, Noctah? You know you're welcome to stay if you want to. (Noctah continues impassively towards door.) Well, then, good-night.

NOCTAH. Good-night.

[Exit Noctah.

[A moment later there comes the sound of Francois' fiddle, and the same gay group breaks into the room, augmented by Jason and Lucy Brown. They surround Lincoln, who has risen.

TOM. Now, Abe, you know you like a husking better than anything else.

LINCOLN. Better than most things, Tom; but not better than all.

[Looks toward his books.

JASON (coaxing). Come On, Abe, it's no fun without you.

LINCOLN (decidedly). Not to-night, Jason.

FRANCOIS. You'll miss ze husking, Abe.

LINCOLN. I know that, Francois; but then I'll gain—so much else! (Looks again towards his beloved books.) There's husking to do there, Francois.

NANCY. You'll be sitting here all lonely, without any friends.

LINCOLN (with one of his rare smiles). Without any friends—! Why, Nancy!

[Glances towards his books for a third time.

POLLY (with a sniff). He means that he'd rather have Defoe and Bunyan and Aesop than us.

LINCOLN. Now, Polly.

POLLY (with conviction). You would. You know you would.

JASON. Then you're not coming?

LINCOLN. No, boys, I'm not coming. I tell you, it's like splitting rails. Once you get tired or give up, your work gets the better of you. I mean to stick to what I've set out to do.

TOM (regretfully). Well, then, good-night, Abe.

LINCOLN (with the utmost friendliness). Good-night. Good-night. (With a general stir and in the midst of a chorus of leave-taking, he sees them to the door.) Watch your lantern, Amy. Good-night. Good-night, all.

[For a moment he stands and there comes to him the sound of laughter and retreating footsteps, and a gay lilt from Francois fiddle. As the sound grows fainter and fainter he crosses resolutely to the hearth, tosses on a cone or two, places the shovel where it will be within easy reach, and stretches himself on the floor before the fire.

From outside a sudden gust of wind brings clearly a last snatch of the air that Francois is playing in the distance. Lincoln raises his bead and listens, smiles whimsically to himself, and then opens his books.

LINCOLN. And now for the husking!

[He lies full length, absorbedly studying in the fire-glow as the curtain falls.

COSTUMES ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Blue flannel shirt. Faded black knee-breeches and much-worn coat. Tall boots which he wears for out-of-doors, and changes for old slippers.

POLLY. A brown woolen dress and scarlet cloak. Hair worn in quaint fashion with combs.

NANCY LINCOLN. Dark-scarlet woolen dress, and brown cloak. All the dresses of the girls are of the simplest. Their cloaks likewise.

AMY ROBY. Deep-blue woolen dress. Little white apron with pockets. Dark-blue cloak with hood.

LUCY BROWN. Dark-green woolen dress and cloak.

TOM BUSH. Dark-brown flannel shirt. Dark-blue knee-breeches.

JASON BROWN. Faded red flannel shirt. Dark-blue knee-breeches.

FRANCOIS DURAND. Tan-colored flannel shirt. Dark-brown knee-breeches. Crimson sash-belt.

NOCTAH. The usual Indian costume of buckskin. Fringed tunic. Long trousers. Moccasins, or imitation moccasins of khaki. (The suit should be of khaki also—the nearest imitation of buckskin.) He should wear a wig of long, coarse black hair. If this wig cannot be had, simulate it thus: make a tight-fitting skull-cap of black cheesecloth. Stitch it where the parting in the hair should come. Make two braids of plaited black cheesecloth, and fasten them to the skullcap so that they will fall over the ears. They should be bound with a few wisps of red and green. Noctah wears neither war-paint nor feathers, but his face and hands should be stained brown.



While an outdoor stage is by far the best setting for a pageant there are times and seasons when such a setting is not obtainable, and the indoor pageant becomes advisable. And while no number of footlights can hope to give the actual radiance of sunlight and blue sky, the indoor pageant has several assets in its favor. It lends itself to such festivals as Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays, and its performers need have no fear of rain. Its dancers are sure of a level space. Its woodland scenes can be arranged to suit the occasion, and the enhancing effects of fire-glow, sunrise, or dimming twilight can be obtained as in no other way.

If a painted forest scene cannot be had, tree branches fastened to green screens placed right, left, and background can be made to do for the outdoor setting. The screens can be covered with forest-green burlap or cheesecloth. Real pine trees, in stands covered with green to imitate bank of moss, are very effective. For a log to be used as a seat, two vinegar barrels fastened together, covered with bark-brown burlap splashed with green paint for moss and white for lichen. Red electric light bulbs half hidden under fagots for the outdoor fire effect.

The procession at the end can cross the stage, or march through the assembly-room or hall in which the pageant is given. An armory or large gymnasium is an ideal place in which to give the indoor arrangement of the pageant if the stage of a small auditorium or theater is not procurable. Many of the directions for the producing of the outdoor pageant can be applied to the indoor one, and, therefore, those who direct the indoor arrangement of the pageant are referred to the outdoor arrangement. The directions for the final tableau, the march, and the costume of The Spirit of Patriotism will be found there. Throughout the pageant, its entire acts and marches, patriotic airs should be played as much as possible.





From the dim world of dreams Fraught with shadows and gleams We entreat you and beckon and call. Heed and harken you well, Lend your hearts to our spell, Let the soul of the Past hold you thrall.

Radiant, mystical, free Unseen spirits were we As we guarded the Manse long ago; Moving soft through each room In the twilight's gray gloom While the fire on the hearth flickered low.

Hope and joy—these we brought; Peace and fair dreams we wrought For the Manse whose bright hearth was our goal. Oh, then harken you well! Lend your hearts to our spell, Let the tide of the years backward roll.

PROLOGUE (Spoken by the Muse of Hawthorne)

Ye who have known the great Enchanter's art, Whose magic fired your brain and stirred your heart, Whose touch, more potent than King Midas' gold, Wrought Tales of Tanglewood and Tales Twice Told, Whose Marble Faun and Mosses from the Manse Still hold the lasting colors of Romance; Who built 'for you the Hall of Fantasy Through whose bright portals you might pass and see Hester and Miriam and Goodman Brown And Pyncheron, who dwelt in Salem Town— Malvin and Endicott and Ethan Brand, John Inglefield and that old crone whose hand Was lent to fashioning Scarecrows built of straw— All these through the Enchanter's eyes you saw, Strange folk who trod the bleak New England shores, Tithingmen, Sachems, Witches, Sagamores, Puritans, Soldiers, Scholars, Quaker maids, Royalists splendid in their rich brocades! To-day the past has opened wide her door, Scenes long since gone return to us once more, Touched with the alchemy of history's gold. First, ancient Salem, as it was, behold In the grim days when "Witchcraft!" was the cry, When folk declared that they saw witches fly On devil's broomsticks straight across the moon, While the wind piped by night a witch's tune; When, e'en by day, intrepid witch-wives spoke, Then vanished upward through the chimney smoke! The Witches' Wood—this our first scene will show, And all that once transpired there long ago. Our second scene will picture Merrymount Where lived gay royalists who took no count Of Puritanic manners, and who sang And laughed till all the woods about them rang With outlaw merriment. These you will see Engaged in maypole dance and minstrelsy, While Puritans with grave and somber mien Condemn such light-foot revels on the green! These have you known on Hawthorne's living page. Now shall you see them pictured on our stage. Grant us your patience: lend your ears as well. The rest our pageant now will strive to tell.




The scene is an open glade near Salem, 1692.

Trees right, left, and background. Flowers, Ferns. Berry-vines. Herbs. Tabitha Brett, a Puritan child, enters from left. She carries a quaint pewter bowl, and looking about her spies berries, whereupon she calls back over her shoulder to Renounce Wilton.

TABITHA (calling). Renounce! There are berries here! Yet not so many as Goodwife Prudence Hubbard bade us bring. Perhaps 'tis too near the edge of the town, and others have been before us.

RENOUNCE (entering from left). Others before us—Do you mean witches, Tabitha?

TABITHA. Hush! Speak not that word! There are no witches flying in the daytime!

RENOUNCE (wide-eyed). But at night, Tabitha, who can tell how many witches may be abroad? Dost thou not know that this is ofttimes called the "Witches' Wood" and Holdfast Bradford says that on the stroke of midnight 'tis here that they foregather. Canst thou not picture them whirling over the tree- tops?

TABITHA (with a cry). Be still, Renounce Wilton! Oh, what was that? (Clutches her.) A shadow? (With more composure.) If you do talk of witches we shall lose half the berries we have gathered, and Goodwife Hubbard will scold us roundly.

[Eats a few berries.

RENOUNCE. You should not eat the berries, Tabitha.

TABITHA. I know. But they are so sweet. As sweet as the barley sugar Goody Gurton gives us.

RENOUNCE. I marvel that our mothers let us hunt for berries at all.

TABITHA (childishly). Aye, 'tis not often they are minded to let us stray to the edge of the forest. I think there is something stirring that we are not to hear, and that is why our fingers are kept busy. My mother and Goodwife Prudence Hubbard were deep in talk together; but when I passed they put their fingers on their lips.

RENOUNCE (pretending to be vastly impressed). Did they so!

TABITHA (looking about her). I wish I knew where some wild plums grew.

RENOUNCE (as they continue to gather berries). Philippe Beaucoeur could tell us, did he but wish to.

TABITHA. Renounce Wilton! I am ashamed of thee! Thou dost not mean that thou hast held converse with Philippe Beaucoeur, who is half French and lives in the woods like an Indian.

RENOUNCE (with spirit). I will hold converse with whom I please, Tabitha Brett. French or no French, Philippe Beaucoeur is a brave lad, and there is naught about the wild things that he does not know. 'Twas because he lives in the forest and not in Salem Town as we do.

TABITHA (in an awed voice). Have you ever seen the place where Philippe lives? Barbara Williams says it a fearsome spot. The forests about it are all black and solemn, and the pines seem to whisper together, and there Philippe dwells in a hut he himself hath builded.

RENOUNCE (sagely). They say he hath dwelt alone there ever since his father died. Think of it! In the forest! I should fear the Indians! But then, I am not like Betty Hubbard, who hath no fears at all. And as for Philippe Beaucoeur, there is naught that can make him tremble. He says that 'tis on account of his "ancestree." And then he laughs and makes a gesture: "Blue blood of France is never chilled by terror, Mistress."

TABITHA. "Blue blood of France—!" Who ever heard the like? I never saw blue blood, nor didst thou! The color of blood is scarlet, as thou knowest right well. Prick thy finger and see!

DORCAS WORDELL (off stage, left). Tabitha Brett! Tabitha Brett! Where are you?

TABITHA (calling in answer). Here, Dorcas, here! Renounce Wilton and I are gathering berries.

DORCAS (entering excitedly). You'll gather no more berries when you've heard the news. Sure, there be stirring things afoot this day in Salem. What dost think? Barbara Williams hath been bewitched!


DORCAS (importantly). Aye, since yesternight she hath clean disappeared. The evening meal was set: she did not come. They have searched the woods, and the marshland, and the roadways. 'Tis plain she hath been spirited away, and Goodwife Abigail Williams is nigh out of her mind. But now that they've found the witch——

TABITHA (eagerly). Found her——

DORCAS (triumphantly). Aye, found her! And you'll never guess who 'tis! Hark! They're coming! She was hobbling this way as I passed, little dreaming that her evil deeds would find her out so soon! The half o' Salem must be at her heels. Look! Look!

GOODY GURTON'S VOICE (from left, a cry of terror). I am no witch. Good sirs, I am no witch. Mercy! Mercy!

RENOUNCE (startled). 'Tis Goody Gurton's voice! Why, she is a poor old woman who hath never done harm to any.

CRIES (off stage, left). A witch! A witch! A-aaaaah! A witch!

[The crowd surges in from left, dragging in the midst of it poor old Goody Gurton. They separate and form a wide semicircle of which Holdfast Bradford and trembling Goody Gurton form the center. In the crowd are Goodwife Williams, Goodwife Hubbard, Mercy Hubbard, Goodwife Brown, Repentance Folger, Vigilant Winthrop, John Giles, Roger Blackthorne, and other people of Salem.

BRADFORD. Silence, and look! Look, people of Salem! You know this spot right well. 'Tis here that witches are reported to hold their wicked revels. What better place have we in which to try a witch? Custom hath had it aforetime that we have tried them in the courthouse. Now let us try them on their own ground. 'Twill show that we fear neither them nor their master. Neither their black books, nor their caldron's brew. Stand forth, Goody Gurton, the accused. What have you to say? There is the woman whose child you have bewitched and stolen.

GOODY GURTON (in a trembling, aged voice). I stole no child. I have bewitched no one. I am a poor old woman, as you all know. I get my living by my needle, and my brews of herbs.

BRADFORD. Stand forth, Abigail. Is it not true that half the town hath searched for Barbara Williams since yesterday at sundown, and not a trace of her hath been found?

GOODWIFE WILLIAMS (wildly). Aye, 'tis true! My child has gone from me! She is bewitched and stolen! Bewitched and stolen! Everywhere I looked and found no token: but at the door of Goody Gurton I found this!

[Holds up small white Puritan cap.

THE CROWD. A-aaaaaah!

BRADFORD. How came this cap to your door, Goody Gurton?

GOODY GURTON (in a shaking voice). The children often visit me for sweetmeats. I gave the child a little barley sugar. She may have dropped the cap. I do not know.

BRADFORD. Where did she turn after she left your doorway?

GOODY GURTON. I did not look which way she went. I do not know. Oh, worshipful sir——

BRADFORD. Silence! Who else accuses Goody Gurton?

GOODWIFE HUBBARD. We've seen strange things about, have we not, neighbors?

ALL. Aye! Aye!

GOODWIFE HUBBARD. Last night the wind wailed in my chimney. And when I crossed the fields at twilight I had a feeling that something followed me.

MERCY HUBBARD (piping up). And Goodman Folger's cow hath died since yesternight. And Goody Gurton was seen going by the pasture.

VIGILANT WINTHROP. Aye, there be many signs. Last night the moon rose red.

JOHN GILES. And the week before there were more bats flying than I have ever seen in Salem.

GOODWIFE BROWN. And Goodwife Eaton says that all night long in the woods behind her house there is something crying—she cannot tell whether it be an owl or a child.

REPENTANCE FOLGER. Last eve, when the wind was blowing, something flapped past me like a witch's cloak.

BRADFORD. What have you to say to these things, Goody Gurton?

GOODY GURTON (quite simply). Why, naught, sir, naught. I noted myself that last week the moon rose red, and that last night the wind blew shrewdly.

BRADFORD. How comes it that you were leaving the streets of Salem, and walking here in the forest? 'Twas here in the forest we found you.

GOODY GURTON. I came to hunt for some simples...for spearmint and checkerberry and tansy.

BRADFORD (with deep sternness). And for wolfbane and hellbore and all other hideous herbs that witches brew in their caldrons. You stand accused, Goody Gurton.

GOODY GURTON (bewildered). Accused?

BRADFORD. Of witchcraft.

THE CROWD (alternately surging close to her, and falling back). A-aaah! To the pond with her! To the pond!

JOHN GILES. If she sinks she is a witch, if she swims——

GOODY GURTON. Have mercy——

GOODWIFE HUBBARD (with a shiver). The water in the pond is deep and cold.

WINTHROP. Here come Caldwell and Blackthorne with a ducking-chair. (Blackthorne and Caldwell carry between them a rude chair fashioned hastily from wood on which the bark still clings.) Well and swiftly fashioned, Blackthorne!

GOODY GURTON. Mercy! Mercy! Gentle sirs, neighbors, goodwives! I am no witch! I swear it. I had naught, naught to do with Barbara Williams.

BRADFORD. A last chance, Goody. Call up your evil powers. Bring back the child, and it shall be the stocks; but not the pond. Call! Call!

GOODY GURTON. I have no words. I cannot bring her back. Mercy! Mercy!

BRADFORD (curtly). To the pond!

GOODY GURTON (in a tremulous shriek as Blackthorne and Caldwell begin to bind her in the ducking-chair). Oh, no, no, no! I am no witch! I swear it! Will no one speak for me— will no one——

[Philippe Beaucoeur, who has approached from right but a moment before, and been partly hidden from view by those in front of him, now steps forward boldly. The knife in his red sash-belt glitters in the sun. His dark face is a-light with interest. His bearing is gallantly determined.


RENOUNCE. It is Philippe!

PHILIPPE (boldly). Stand back, Master Bradford. Be not so swift with your ducking-chair, Goodman Caldwell. By what right have ye bound this poor old woman?

BRADFORD (angrily). By what right can a Jackanapes confront his elders?

PHILIPPE (coolly). By the right of free speech in a free country. By the right of seeing defenseless age that lacks a champion.

GOODY GURTON (her voice sunk to a low moan). Mercy! Mercy!

PHILIPPE (gallantly alert, hand on knife). You have said your say against her. Is there one who hath spoken a word for her?

BRADFORD (blustering). He has no right to confront us. He is not of Salem.

[Nevertheless, since Philippe is the only one armed, none step forward to seize him.

PHILIPPE (with light scorn). The worshipful Bradford speaks true. I dwell in a kinder place. The forest accuses neither man nor woman. Nay, do not frown at me, Holdfast Bradford. My hand is as well matched as yours.

JOHN GILES. By all the signs she is a witch. The moon rose red, and the wind——

THE CROWD (not to be cheated). Aye! Aye!

PHILIPPE. What if the moon rose red? What if the wind wailed in the chimney? Are ye children round the nursery fire that such things should be to you as signs? Ye have seen the same a thousand times before. Is this all ye can say against her? Is there naught ye can say for her—ye who have known her kindness? John Giles, who sat with thy brother when he had the fever? Goodwife Anne Brown, who helped thee keep watch the night thy father's ship was lost at sea? Tabitha Brett, who healed thy childish hurts, and drove away thy tears with sweetmeats? Thrice shame upon you all! The poor old woman!

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