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man of action察the heroic warrior察the beau sabreur。

AUGUSTUS gloomilyА Madam察I beg Please My military exploits
are not a pleasant subject察unhappily。

THE LADY。 Oh察I know I know。 How shamefully you have been
treated what ingratitude But the country is with you。 The women
are with you。 Oh察do you think all our hearts did not throb and
all our nerves thrill when we heard how察when you were ordered to
occupy that terrible quarry in Hulluch察and you swept into it at
the head of your men like a sea´god riding on a tidal wave察you
suddenly sprang over the top shouting ;To Berlin Forward ┌
dashed at the German army single´handed察and were cut off and
made prisoner by the Huns。

AUGUSTUS。 Yes察madam察and what was my reward拭They said I
had disobeyed orders察and sent me home。 Have they forgotten
Nelson in the Baltic拭Has any British battle ever been won except
by a bold initiative拭I say nothing of professional jealousy察it
exists in the army as elsewhere察but it is a bitter thought to me
that the recognition denied me by my countryor rather by the
Radical cabal in the Cabinet which pursues my family with
rancorous class hatredthat this recognition察I say察came to me
at the hands of an enemyof a rank Prussian。

THE LADY。 You don't say so

AUGUSTUS。 How else should I be here instead of starving to death
in Ruhleben拭Yes察madam此the Colonel of the Pomeranian regiment
which captured me察after learning what I had done察and conversing
for an hour with me on European politics and military strategy
declared that nothing would induce him to deprive my country of
my services察and set me free。 I offered察of course察to procure
the release in exchange of a German officer of equal quality察but
he would not hear of it。 He was kind enough to say he could not
believe that a German officer answering to that description
existed。 With emotion。АI had my first taste of the ingratitude
of my own country as I made my way back to our lines。 A shot from
our front trench struck me in the head。 I still carry the
flattened projectile as a trophy he throws it on the table察the
noise it makes testifies to its weightА Had it penetrated to the
brain I might never have sat on another Royal Commission。
Fortunately we have strong heads察we Highcastles。 Nothing has
ever penetrated to our brains。

THE LADY。 How thrilling How simple And how tragic But you will
forgive England拭Remember此England Forgive her。

AUGUSTUS with gloomy magnanimityА It will make no difference
whatever to my services to my country。 Though she slay me察yet
will I察if not exactly trust in her察at least take my part in her
government。 I am ever at my country's call。 Whether it be the
embassy in a leading European capital察a governor´generalship in
the tropics察or my humble mission here to make Little Pifflington
do its bit察I am always ready for the sacrifice。 Whilst England
remains England察wherever there is a public job to be done you
will find a Highcastle sticking to it。 And now察madam察enough of
my tragic personal history。 You have called on business。 What can
I do for you

THE LADY。 You have relatives at the Foreign Office察have you not

AUGUSTUS haughtilyА Madam察the Foreign Office is staffed by my
relatives exclusively。

THE LADY。 Has the Foreign Office warned you that you are being
pursued by a female spy who is determined to obtain possession of
a certain list of gun emplacements

AUGUSTUS interrupting her somewhat loftilyА All that is
perfectly well known to this department察madam。

THE LADY surprised and rather indignantА Is it拭Who told you
Was it one of your German brothers´in´law

AUGUSTUS injured察remonstratingА I have only three German
brothers´in´law察madam。 Really察from your tone察one would suppose
that I had several。 Pardon my sensitiveness on that subject察but
reports are continually being circulated that I have been shot as
a traitor in the courtyard of the Ritz Hotel simply because I
have German brothers´in´law。 With feeling。АIf you had a German
brother´in´law察madam察you would know that nothing else in the
world produces so strong an anti´German feeling。 Life affords no
keener pleasure than finding a brother´in´law's name in the
German casualty list。

THE LADY。 Nobody knows that better than I。 Wait until you hear
what I have come to tell you此you will understand me as no one
else could。 Listen。 This spy察this woman

AUGUSTUS all attentionА Yes

THE LADY。 She is a German。 A Hun。

AUGUSTUS。 Yes察yes。 She would be。 Continue。

THE LADY。 She is my sister´in´law。

AUGUSTUS deferentiallyА I see you are well connected察madam。

THE LADY。 Need I add that she is my bitterest enemy

AUGUSTUS。 May Ihe proffers his hand。 They shake察fervently。
〃From this moment onward Augustus becomes more and more
confidential察gallant察and charming。

THE LADY。 Quite so。 Well察she is an intimate friend of your
brother at the War Office察Hungerford Highcastle察Blueloo as you
call him察I don't know why。

AUGUSTUS explainingА He was originally called The Singing
Oyster察because he sang drawing´room ballads with such an
extraordinary absence of expression。 He was then called the Blue
Point for a season or two。 Finally he became Blueloo。

THE LADY。 Oh察indeed此I didn't know。 Well察Blueloo is simply
infatuated with my sister´in´law察and he has rashly let out to
her that this list is in your possession。 He forgot himself
because he was in a towering rage at its being entrusted to you
his language was terrible。 He ordered all the guns to be shifted
at once。

AUGUSTUS。 What on earth did he do that for

THE LADY。 I can't imagine。 But this I know。 She made a bet with
him that she would come down here and obtain possession of that
list and get clean away into the street with it。 He took the bet
on condition that she brought it straight back to him at the War

AUGUSTUS。 Good heavens And you mean to tell me that Blueloo was
such a dolt as to believe that she could succeed拭Does he take me
for a fool

THE LADY。 Oh察impossible He is jealous of your intellect。 The
bet is an insult to you此don't you feel that拭After what you have
done for our country

AUGUSTUS。 Oh察never mind that。 It is the idiocy of the thing I
look at。 He'll lose his bet察and serve him right

THE LADY。 You feel sure you will be able to resist the siren拭I
warn you察she is very fascinating。

AUGUSTUS。 You need have no fear察madam。 I hope she will come and
try it on。 Fascination is a game that two can play at。 For
centuries the younger sons of the Highcastles have had nothing to
do but fascinate attractive females when they were not sitting on
Royal Commissions or on duty at Knightsbridge barracks。 By Gad
madam察if the siren comes here she will meet her match。

THE LADY。 I feel that。 But if she fails to seduce you

AUGUSTUS blushingА Madam

THE LADY continuingfrom your allegiance


THE LADY。 she will resort to fraud察to force察to anything。 She
will burgle your office此she will have you attacked and garotted
at night in the street。

AUGUSTUS。 Pooh I'm not afraid。

THE LADY。 Oh察your courage will only tempt you into danger。 She
may get the list after all。 It is true that the guns are moved。
But she would win her bet。

AUGUSTUS cautiouslyА You did not say that the guns were moved。
You said that Blueloo had ordered them to be moved。

THE LADY。 Well察that is the same thing察isn't it

AUGUSTUS。 Not quiteat the War Office。 No doubt those guns WILL
be moved此possibly even before the end of the war。

THE LADY。 Then you think they are there still But if the German
War Office gets the listand she will copy it before she gives
it back to Blueloo察you may depend on itall is lost。

AUGUSTUS lazilyА Well察I should not go as far as that。
Lowering his voice。АWill you swear to me not to repeat what I
am going to say to you察for if the British public knew that I had
said it察I should be at once hounded down as a pro´German。

THE LADY。 I will be silent as the grave。 I swear it。

AUGUSTUS again taking it easilyА Well察our people have for some
reason made up their minds that the German War Office is
everything that our War Office is notthat it carries
promptitude察efficiency察and organization to a pitch of
completeness and perfection that must be察in my opinion
destructive to the happiness of the staff。 My own viewwhich you
are pledged察remember察not to betrayis that the German War
Office is no better than any other War Office。 I found that
opinion on my observation of the characters of my
brothers´in´law此one of whom察by the way察is on the German
general staff。 I am not at all sure that this list of gun
emplacements would receive the smallest attention。 You see察there
are always so many more important things to be attended to。
Family matters察and so on察you understand。

THE LADY。 Still察if a question were asked in the House of

AUGUSTUS。 The great advantage of being at war察madam察is that
nobody takes the slightest notice of the House of Commons。 No
doubt it is sometimes necessary for a Minister to soothe the more
seditious members of that assembly by giving a pledge 

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