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Home -> George Bernard Shaw -> Major Barbara -> Act II - continues

Major Barbara - Act II - continues

1. Act I

2. Act II

3. Act II - continues

4. Act III

5. Act III - Continues

BARBARA [quietly] Father: come here.

UNDERSHAFT [coming to her] My dear! [Seeing that she is going to
pin the badge on his collar, he retreats to the penthouse in some

BARBARA [following him] Don't be frightened. [She pins the badge
on and steps back towards the table, showing him to the others]
There! It's not much for 5000 pounds is it?

MRS BAINES. Barbara: if you won't come and pray with us, promise
me you will pray for us.

BARBARA. I can't pray now. Perhaps I shall never pray again.

MRS BAINES. Barbara!

JENNY. Major!

BARBARA [almost delirious] I can't bear any more. Quick march!

CUSINS [calling to the procession in the street outside] Off we
go. Play up, there! Immenso giubilo. [He gives the time with his
drum; and the band strikes up the march, which rapidly becomes
more distant as the procession moves briskly away].

MRS BAINES. I must go, dear. You're overworked: you will be all
right tomorrow. We'll never lose you. Now Jenny: step out with
the old flag. Blood and Fire! [She marches out through the gate
with her flag].

JENNY. Glory Hallelujah! [flourishing her tambourine and

UNDERSHAFT [to Cusins, as he marches out past him easing the
slide of his trombone] "My ducats and my daughter"!

CUSINS [following him out] Money and gunpowder!

BARBARA. Drunkenness and Murder! My God: why hast thou forsaken

She sinks on the form with her face buried in her hands. The
march passes away into silence. Bill Walker steals across to her.

BILL [taunting] Wot prawce Selvytion nah?

SHIRLEY. Don't you hit her when she's down.

BILL. She it me wen aw wiz dahn. Waw shouldn't I git a bit o me
own back?

BARBARA [raising her head] I didn't take your money, Bill. [She
crosses the yard to the gate and turns her back on the two men to
hide her face from them].

BILL [sneering after her] Naow, it warn't enough for you.
[Turning to the drum, he misses the money]. Ellow! If you ain't
took it summun else az. Were's it gorn? Blame me if Jenny Ill
didn't take it arter all!

RUMMY [screaming at him from the loft] You lie, you dirty
blackguard! Snobby Price pinched it off the drum wen e took ap iz
cap. I was ap ere all the time an see im do it.

BILL. Wot! Stowl maw money! Waw didn't you call thief on him, you
silly old mucker you?

RUMMY. To serve you aht for ittin me acrost the face. It's cost
y'pahnd, that az. [Raising a paean of squalid triumph] I done
you. I'm even with you. I've ad it aht o y--. [Bill snatches up
Shirley's mug and hurls it at her. She slams the loft door and
vanishes. The mug smashes against the door and falls in

BILL [beginning to chuckle] Tell us, ole man, wot o'clock this
morrun was it wen im as they call Snobby Prawce was sived?

BARBARA [turning to him more composedly, and with unspoiled
sweetness] About half past twelve, Bill. And he pinched your
pound at a quarter to two. I know. Well, you can't afford to lose
it. I'll send it to you.

BILL [his voice and accent suddenly improving] Not if I was to
starve for it. I ain't to be bought.

SHIRLEY. Ain't you? You'd sell yourself to the devil for a pint o
beer; ony there ain't no devil to make the offer.

BILL [unshamed] So I would, mate, and often av, cheerful. But she
cawn't buy me. [Approaching Barbara] You wanted my soul, did you?
Well, you ain't got it.

BARBARA. I nearly got it, Bill. But we've sold it back to you for
ten thousand pounds.

SHIRLEY. And dear at the money!

BARBARA. No, Peter: it was worth more than money.

BILL [salvationproof] It's no good: you cawn't get rahnd me nah.
I don't blieve in it; and I've seen today that I was
right. [Going] So long, old soupkitchener! Ta, ta, Major Earl's
Grendorter! [Turning at the gate] Wot prawce Selvytion nah?
Snobby Prawce! Ha! ha!

BARBARA [offering her hand] Goodbye, Bill.

BILL [taken aback, half plucks his cap off then shoves it on
again defiantly] Git aht. [Barbara drops her hand, discouraged.
He has a twinge of remorse]. But thet's aw rawt, you
knaow. Nathink pasnl. Naow mellice. So long, Judy. [He

BARBARA. No malice. So long, Bill.

SHIRLEY [shaking his head] You make too much of him, miss, in
your innocence.

BARBARA [going to him] Peter: I'm like you now. Cleaned out, and
lost my job.

SHIRLEY. You've youth an hope. That's two better than me. That's
hope for you.

BARBARA. I'll get you a job, Peter, the youth will have to be
enough for me. [She counts her money]. I have just enough left
for two teas at Lockharts, a Rowton doss for you, and my tram and
bus home. [He frowns and rises with offended pride. She takes his
arm]. Don't be proud, Peter: it's sharing between friends. And
promise me you'll talk to me and not let me cry. [She draws him
towards the gate].

SHIRLEY. Well, I'm not accustomed to talk to the like of you--

BARBARA [urgently] Yes, yes: you must talk to me. Tell me about
Tom Paine's books and Bradlaugh's lectures. Come along.

SHIRLEY. Ah, if you would only read Tom Paine in the proper
spirit, miss! [They go out through the gate together].

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