Page:Bishop's candlesticks.djvu/13

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9
THE BISHOP'S CANDLESTICKS.
Bishop. No, dear! Good night!

(Persomé Exits r.)

Bishop. (comes to table and opens a book then looks up at the candlesticks) They would pay somebody's rent. It was kind of her to think of that. (He stirs the fire, trims the lamp, arranges some books and papers, sits down, is restless, shivers slightly, clock outside strikes 12 and he settles to read. Music during this. Enter the Convict stealthily, he has a long knife and seizes the Bishop from behind.)
Convict. If you call out you are a dead man!
Bishop. But, my friend, as you see, I am reading. Why should I call out? Can I help you in any way?
Convict (hoarsely) I want food. I'm starving, I haven't eaten anything for three days. Give me food quickly, quickly, curse you.
Bishop. (eagerly) But certainly, my son, you shall have food. I will ask my sister for the keys of the cupboard. (rising)
Convice. Sit down!!!

(The Bishop sits, smiling)

None of that, my friend! I'm too old a bird to be caught with chaff. You would ask your sister for the keys, would you? A likely story! You would rouse the house too. Eh? Ha! ha! A good joke truly. Come, where is the food. I want no keys. I have a wolf inside me tearing at my entrails, tearing me; quick, tell me where the food is.
Bishop. (aside) I wish Persomé would not lock the cupboard. (aloud) Come, my friend, you have nothing to fear. My sister and I are alone here.
Convict. How do I know that?
Bishop. Why I have just told you.

(Convict looks long at the Bishop.)

Convict. Humph! I'll risk it.