Plays of William E. Henley and R.L. Stevenson Part 60

MACAIRE. Engagement in Turin!

BRIGADIER. Turin?

MACAIRE. Lyons, Lyons!

BERTRAND. For G.o.d's sake.

BRIGADIER. Well, good-bye!

MACAIRE. Good-bye, good-

CHARLES (_from within_). Murder! Help! (_Appearing_.) Help here! The Marquis is murdered.

BRIGADIER. Stand to the door. A man up there. (_A_ GENDARME _hurries up staircase into Number Thirteen_, CHARLES _following him_. _Enter on both sides of gallery the remaining characters of the piece_, _except the_ NOTARY _and the_ MARQUIS.)

MACAIRE (_aside_). Bitten, by G.o.d!

BERTRAND (_aside_). Lost!

BRIGADIER (_to_ DUMONT). John Paul Dumont, I arrest you.

DUMONT. Do your duty, officer. I can answer for myself and my own people.

BRIGADIER. Yes, but these strangers?

DUMONT. They are strangers to me.

MACAIRE. I am an honest man: I stand upon my rights: search me; or search this person, of whom I know too little. (_Smiting his brow_.) By heaven, I see it all! This morning-(_To_ BERTRAND.) How, sir, did you dare to flaunt your booty in my very face? (_To_ BRIGADIER.) He showed me notes; he was up ere day; search him, and you'll find. There stands the murderer.

BERTRAND. O, Macaire! (_He is seized and searched and the notes are found_.)

BRIGADIER. There is blood upon the notes. Handcuffs. (MACAIRE _edging towards the door_.)

BERTRAND. Macaire, you may as well take the bundle. (MACAIRE _is stopped by sentry_, _and comes front_, _R._)

CHARLES (_re-appearing_). Stop, I know the truth. (_He comes down_.) Brigadier, my father is not dead. He is not even dangerously hurt. He has spoken. There is the would-be a.s.sa.s.sin.

MACAIRE. h.e.l.l! (_He darts across to the staircase_, _and turns on the second step_, _flashing out the knife_.) Back, hounds! (_He springs up the stair_, _and confronts them from the top_.) Fools, I am Robert Macaire! (_As_ MACAIRE _turns to flee_, _he is met by the gendarme coming out of Number Thirteen_; _he stands an instant checked_, _is shot from the stage_, _and falls headlong backward down the stair_. BERTRAND, _with a cry_, _breaks from the gendarmes_, _kneels at his side_, _and raises his head_.)

BERTRAND. Macaire, Macaire, forgive me. I didn't blab; you know I didn't blab.

MACAIRE. Sold again, old boy. Sold for the last time; at least, the last time this side death. Death-what is death? (_He dies_.)

CURTAIN

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