THE SILVER BOX
A DRAMA IN THREE ACTS
PERSONS OF THE PLAY
JOHN ANTHONY Chairman of the Trenartha Tin Plate Works
EDGAR ANTHONY his Son
FREDERIC H. WILDER |
WILLIAM SCANTLEBURY| Directors Of the same
OLIVER WANKLIN |
HENRY TENCH Secretary of the same
FRANCIS UNDERWOOD C.E. Manager of the same
SIMON HARNESS a Trades Union official
DAVID ROBERTS |
JAMES GREEN |
JOHN BULGIN | the workmen's committee
HENRY THOMAS |
GEORGE ROUS |
HENRY ROUS |
EVANS | workman at the Trenartha Tin Plate Works
A BLACKSMITH |
A RED-HAIRED YOUTH. |
FROST valet to John Anthony
ENID UNDERWOOD Wife of Francis Underwood daughter of John Anthony
ANNIE ROBERTS wife of David Roberts
MADGE THOMAS daughter of Henry Thomas
MRS. ROUS mother of George and Henry Rous
MRS. BULGIN wife of John Bulgin
MRS. YEO wife of a workman
A PARLOURMAID to the Underwoods
JAN Madge's brother a boy of ten
A CROWD OF MEN ON STRIKE
ACT I. The dining-room of the Manager's house.
ACT II SCENE I. The kitchen of the Roberts's cottage near the works.
SCENE II. A space outside the works.
ACT III. The drawing-room of the Manager's house.
The action takes place on February 7th between the hours of noon and
six in the afternoon close to the Trenartha Tin Plate Works on the
borders of England and Wales where a strike has been in progress
throughout the winter.
It is noon. In the Underwoods' dining-room a bright fire is
burning. On one side of the fireplace are double-doors leading
to the drawing-room on the other side a door leading to the
hall. In the centre of the room a long dining-table without a
cloth is set out as a Board table. At the head of it in the
Chairman's seat sits JOHN ANTHONY an old man big clean-
shaven and high-coloured with thick white hair and thick dark
eyebrows. His movements are rather slow and feeble but his
eyes are very much alive. There is a glass of water by his
side. On his right sits his son EDGAR an earnest-looking man
of thirty reading a newspaper. Next him WANKLIN a man with
jutting eyebrows and silver-streaked light hair is bending
over transfer papers. TENCH the Secretary a short and rather
humble nervous man with side whiskers stands helping him. On
WANKLIN'S right sits UNDERWOOD the Manager a quiet man with
along stiff jaw and steady eyes. Back to the fire is
SCANTLEBURY a very large pale sleepy man with grey hair
rather bald. Between him and the Chairman are two empty chairs.
WILDER. [Who is lean cadaverous and complaining with drooping
grey moustaches stands before the fire.] I say this fire's the
devil! Can I have a screen Tench?
SCANTLEBURY. A screen ah!
TENCH. Certainly Mr. Wilder. [He looks at UNDERWOOD.] That is--
perhaps the Manager--perhaps Mr. Underwood----
SCANTLEBURY. These fireplaces of yours Underwood----
UNDERWOOD. [Roused from studying some papers.] A screen? Rather!
I'm sorry. [He goes to the door with a little smile.] We're not
accustomed to complaints of too much fire down here just now.
[He speaks as though he holds a pipe between his teeth slowly
WILDER. [In an injured voice.] You mean the men. H'm!
[UNDERWOOD goes out.]
SCANTLEBURY. Poor devils!
WILDER. It's their own fault Scantlebury.
EDGAR. [Holding out his paper.] There's great distress among them
according to the Trenartha News.
WILDER. Oh that rag! Give it to Wanklin. Suit his Radical views.
They call us monsters I suppose. The editor of that rubbish ought
to be shot.
EDGAR. [Reading.] "If the Board of worthy gentlemen who control the