BLTC Press Titles

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

Beyond the horizon

by Eugene O'Neill


Everything in the room is clean, well-kept, and 28

in its exact place, yet there is no suggestion of primness about the whole. Rather the atmosphere is one of the orderly comfort of a simple, hardearned prosperity, enjoyed and maintained by the family as a unit.

James Mayo, his wife, her brother, Captain Dick Scott, and Andrew are discovered. Mrs. Mayo is a slight, round-faced, rather prim-looking woman of fifty-five who had once been a school teacher. The labors of a farmer's wifa have bent but not broken her, and she retains a certain refinement of movement and expression foreign to the Mayo part of the family. Whatever of resemblance Robert has to his parents may be traced to her. Her brother, the Captain, is short and stocky, with a weather-beaten, jovial face and a white moustachea typical old salt, loud of voice and given to gesture. He is fiftyeight years old.

James Mayo sits in front of the table. He wears spectacles, and a farm journal which he has been reading lies in his lap. The Captain leans forward from a chair in the rear, his hands on the table in front of him. Andrew is tilted back on the straight-backed chair to the left, his chin sunk forward on his chest, staring at the carpet, preoccupied and frowning.

As the Curtain rises the Captain is just finishing the relation of some sea episode. The other* are pretending an interest which is belied by the absent-minded expressions on their faces.

The Captain[Chuckling.] And that mission woman, she hails me on the dock as I was acomin' ashore, and she says—with her silly face all screwed up serious as judgment—"Captain," she says, "would you be so kind as to tell me where the sea-gulls sleeps at nights?" Blow me if them warn't her exact words! [He slaps the table with the palm of his hands and laughs loudly. The others force smiles.] Ain't that just like a fool woman's question? And I looks at her serious as I could, "Ma'm," says I, "I couldn't rightly answer that question. I ain't never seed a sea-gull in his bunk yet. The next time I hears one snorin'," I says, " I'll make a note of where he's turned in, and write you a letter 'bout it." And then she calls me a fool reat spiteful and tacks away from me quick. [He laughs again uproariously.] So I got rid of her that way. [The others smile but immediately relapse into expressions of gloom again.]

Mrs. Mayo[Absent-mindedlyfeeling that she has to say something.] But when it comes to that, where do sea-gulls sleep, Dick?

Scott[Slapping the table.] Ho! Ho! Listen to her, James. 'Nother one! Well, if that don't beat all hell—'scuse me for cussin', Kate.

Mayo[With a twinkle in his eyes.] They unhitch their wings, Katey, and spreads 'em out on a wave for a bed.

Scott—And then they tells the fish to whistle to 'em when it's time to turn out. Ho! Ho!

Mas. Mayo[With a forced smile.] You men folks are too smart to live, aren't you? [She resumes her knitting. Mayo pretends to read his paper; Andrew stares at the floor.]

Scott[Looks from one to the other of them with a puzzled air. Finally he is unable to bear the thick silence a minute longer, and blurts out:] You folks look as if you was settin' up with a corpse. [Wif7» exaggerated concern.] God A'mighty, there ain't anyone dead, be there?

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