Produced by Suzanne Shell, Sandra Brown and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
First performed by the Provincetown Players at the Wharf Theatre, Provincetown, Mass., August 8, 1916.
GEORGE HENDERSON (County Attorney)
HENRY PETERS (Sheriff)
LEWIS HALE, A neighboring farmer
SCENE: _The kitchen is the now abandoned farmhouse of_ JOHN WRIGHT, _a gloomy kitchen, and left without having been put in order--unwashed pans under the sink, a loaf of bread outside the bread-box, a dish-towel on the table--other signs of incompleted work. At the rear the outer door opens and the_ SHERIFF _comes in followed by the_ COUNTY ATTORNEY _and_ HALE. _The_ SHERIFF _and_ HALE _are men in middle life, the_ COUNTY ATTORNEY _is a young man; all are much bundled up and go at once to the stove. They are followed by the two women--the_ SHERIFF_'s wife first; she is a slight wiry woman, a thin nervous face_. MRS HALE _is larger and would ordinarily be called more comfortable looking, but she is disturbed now and looks fearfully about as she enters. The women have come in slowly, and stand close together near the door_.
COUNTY ATTORNEY: (_rubbing his hands_) This feels good. Come up to the fire, ladies.
MRS PETERS: (_after taking a step forward_) I'm not--cold.
SHERIFF: (_unbuttoning his overcoat and stepping away from the stove as if to mark the beginning of official business_) Now, Mr Hale, before we move things about, you explain to Mr Henderson just what you saw when you came here yesterday morning.
COUNTY ATTORNEY: By the way, has anything been moved? Are things just as you left them yesterday?
SHERIFF: (_looking about_) It's just the same. When it dropped below zero last night I thought I'd better send Frank out this morning to make a fire for us--no use getting pneumonia with a big case on, but I told him not to touch anything except the stove--and you know Frank.
COUNTY ATTORNEY: Somebody should have been left here yesterday.
SHERIFF: Oh--yesterday. When I had to send Frank to Morris Center for that man who went crazy--I want you to know I had my hands full yesterday. I knew you could get back from Omaha by today and as long as I went over everything here myself--