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"William Smith, Editor"
by [?]

Jones. Right you are, sir.


[Smith leans back in his chair and stares in front of him.

Smith (to himself). Arabella!

Enter Boy, followed by a stylishly-dressed lady of middle age.

Boy. Mrs Robinson.


[Mrs Robinson stops short in the middle of the room and stares at the Editor; then staggers and drops on to the sofa.

Smith (in wonder). Arabella!

Mrs Robinson. William!

[They fall into each other’s arms.

Arabella. I had begun to almost despair. (Smith winces.) “Almost to despair,” I mean, darling.

Smith (with a great effort). No, no, dear. You were right.

Arabella. How sweet of you to think so, William.

Smith. Yes, yes, it’s the least I can say. … I have been very lonely without you, dear. … And now, what shall we do? Shall we get married again quietly?

Arabella. Wouldn’t that be bigamy?

Smith. I think not, but I will ask the printer’s reader. He knows everything. You see, there will be such a lot to explain otherwise.

Arabella. Dear, can you afford to marry?

Smith. Well, my salary as editor is only twenty thousand a year, but I do a little reviewing for other papers.

Arabella. And I have–nothing. How can I come to you without even a trousseau?

Smith. Yes, that’s true. … (Suddenly.) By Jove, though, you have got something! You have eight thousand pounds! We owe you that for your articles. (With a return to his professional manner.) Did I tell you how greatly we all appreciated them? (Goes to telephone.) Is that you, Jones? Just come here a moment. (To Arabella.) Jones is my sub-editor; he is keeping your money for you.

Enter Jones.

Jones (producing an old stocking). I’ve just been round to my rooms to get that money–(sees Arabella)–oh, I beg your pardon.

Smith (waving an introduction). Mrs Smith–my wife. This is our sub-editor, dear–Mr Jones. (Arabella puts her hand to her heart and seems about to faint.) Why, what’s the matter?

Arabella (hoarsely). Where did you get that stocking?

Smith (pleasantly). It’s one he wears when he goes bicycling.

Jones. No; I misled you this afternoon, chief. This stocking was all the luggage I had when I first entered the Leamington workhouse.

Arabella (throwing herself into his arms). My son! This is your father! William–our boy!

Smith (shaking hands with Jones). How are you. I say, Arabella, then that was one of MY stockings?

Arabella (to her boy). When I saw you on the stairs you seemed to dimly remind me–

Jones. To remind you dimly, mother.

Smith. No, my boy. In future, nothing but split infinitives will appear in our paper. Please remember that.

Jones (with emotion). I will endeavour to always remember it, dad.