Captain Hagberd (a retired coasting skipper).
Josiah Carvil (formerly a shipbuilder — a widower — blind).
Harry Hagberd (son of Captain Hagberd, who as a boy ran away from home).
Bessie Carvil (daughter of Josiah Carvil).
To right, two yellow brick cottages belonging to Captain Hagberd, oneinhabited by himself the other by the Carvils. A lamp-post in front. Thered roofs of the town in the background. A sea-wall to left.
Time: The present-early autumn, towards dusk.
CURTAIN RISES DISCLOSING CARVIL and Bessie moving away from sea-wall.Bessie about twenty-five. Black dress; black straw hat. A lot ofmahogany-coloured hair loosely done up. Pale face. Full figure. Veryquiet. Carvil, blind, unwieldy. Reddish whiskers; slow, deep voiceproduced without effort. Immovable, big face.
Carvil (Hanging heavily on Bessie’s arm). Careful! Go slow! (Stops;Bessie waits patiently.) Want your poor blind father to break hisneck? (Shuffles on.) In a hurry to get home and start thateverlasting yarn with your chum the lunatic?
Bessie. I am not in a hurry to get home, father.
Carvil. Well, then, go steady with a poor blind man. Blind! Helpless! (Strikesthe ground with his stick.) Never mind! I’ve had time to make enoughmoney to have ham and eggs for breakfast every morning — thank God!And thank God, too, for it, girl. You haven’t known a single hardship inall the days of your idle life. Unless you think that a blind, helplessfather — .
Bessie. What is there for me to be in a hurry for?
Carvil. What did you say?
Bessie. I said there was nothing for me to hurry home for.