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"The Lost Heiress"
by [?]

Enter Hugh Fitzhugh, Squire.

Fitzhugh (standing behind Rachel, but missing her somehow). Did ever man come into stranger inheritance? A wanderer in Central Australia, I hear unexpectedly of my cousin’s death through an advertisement in an old copy of a Sunday newspaper. I hasten home–too late to soothe his dying hours; too late indeed to enjoy my good fortune for more than one short day. To-morrow I must give up all to the hospitals, unless by some stroke of Fate this missing girl turns up. (Impatiently.) Pshaw! She is dead. (Suddenly he notices Rachel.) By heaven, a pretty girl in this out-of-the-way village! (He walks round her.) Gad, she is lovely! Hugh, my boy, you are in luck. (He takes off his hat.) Good-evening, my dear!

Rachel (with a start). Good-evening.

Fitzhugh (aside). She is adorable. She can be no common village wench. (Aloud.) Do you live here, my girl?

Rachel. Yes, I have always lived here. (Aside.) How handsome he is. Down, fluttering heart.

Fitzhugh (sitting on the log beside her). And who is the lucky village lad who is privileged to woo such beauty?

Rachel. I have no lover, sir.

Fitzhugh (taking her hand). Can Hodge be so blind?

Rachel (innocently). Are you making love to me?

Fitzhugh. Upon my word I–(He gets up from the log, which is not really comfortable.) What is your name?

Rachel. Rachel. (She rises.)

Fitzhugh. It is the most beautiful name in the world. Rachel, will you be my wife?

Rachel. But we have known each other such a short time!

Fitzhugh (lying bravely). We have known each other for ever.

Rachel. And you are a rich gentleman, while I–

Fitzhugh. A gentleman, I hope, but rich–no. To-morrow I shall be a beggar. No, not a beggar, if I have your love, Rachel.

Rachel (making a lucky shot at his name). Hugh! (They embrace.)

Fitzhugh. Let us plight our troth here. See, I give you my ring!

Rachel. And I give you mine.

[She takes one from the end of a chain which is round her neck, and puts it on his finger. Fitzhugh looks at it and staggers back.

Fitzhugh. Heavens! They are the same ring! (In great excitement.) Child, child, who are you? How came you by the crest of the Fitzhughs?

Rachel. Ah, who am I? I never had any parents. When they found me they found that ring on me, and I have kept it ever since!

Fitzhugh. Let me look at you! It must be! The Squire’s missing daughter!

[Gaffers Jarge and Willyum, having entered unobserved at the back some time ago, have been putting in a lot of heavy byplay until wanted.

Jarge (at last). Lor’ bless ‘ee, Willyum, if it bain’t Squire a-kissin’ our Rachel!

Willyum. Zo it du be. Here du be goings-on! What will t’ passon say?

Jarge (struck with an idea). Zay, bor, don’t ‘ee zee a zort o’ loikeness atween t’ maid and t’ Squire?

Willyum. Jarge, if you bain’t right, lad. Happen she do have t’ same nose!

[Hearing something, Fitzhugh and Rachel turn round.

Fitzhugh. Ah, my men! I’m your new Squire. Do you know who this is?

Willyum. Why, her du be our Rachel.

Fitzhugh. On the contrary, allow me to introduce you to Miss Fitzhugh, daughter of the late Squire!

Jarge. Well, this du be a day! To think of our Rachel now!

Fitzhugh. MY Rachel now.

Rachel (who, it is to be hoped, has been amusing herself somehow since her last speech). Your Rachel always!