Read SCENE VI of East of Suez a Play in Seven Scenes , free online book, by William Somerset Maugham, on ReadCentral.com.

A small room in a Chinese house in Peking.

The walls are whitewashed, but the whitewash is not a little stained.  Three or four scrolls hang on them, written over in large characters with inscriptions.  On the floor is matting.  The only furniture consists of a table, with a couple of chairs, a wooden pallet covered with matting, with cushions at one end of it, and a Korean chest heavily ornamented with brass.  At the back are two windows, elaborately latticed and covered with rice paper, and a lightly carved door.

DAISY is seated in one of the chairs.  She has taken her pocket mirror out of her bag and is looking at herself.  She is gay and happy.  The AMAH comes in.  She carries a long-necked vase in which are a couple of carnations.

AMAH.  I bring you flowers make room look pletty.

DAISY.  Oh, you nice old thing!  Put them on the table.

AMAH.  You look at yourself in looking-glass?

DAISY.  I’m looking young.  It suits me to be happy.

AMAH.  You very pletty girl.  I very pletty girl long time ago.  You look alla same me some day.

DAISY. [Amused.] Heaven forbid.

AMAH.  You velly good temper to-day, Daisy.  You glad because George come.

DAISY.  I didn’t see him yesterday.

AMAH.  He keep you waiting.

DAISY.  The wretch.  He always keeps me waiting.  But what do I care as long as he comes?  We shall have three hours.  Perhaps he’ll dine here.  If he says he can, give him what he likes to eat.  No one can make such delicious things as you can if you want to.

AMAH.  You try flatter me.

DAISY.  I don’t.  You know very well you’re the best cook in China.

AMAH. [Tickled.] Oh, Daisy!  I know you more better than you think.

DAISY.  You’re a wicked old woman. [She gives her a kiss on both cheeks.] What are they making such a row about next door?

AMAH.  Coolie, he got killed this morning.  He have two small children. 
Their mother, she die long time ago.

DAISY.  How dreadful!  Poor little things.

AMAH.  You like see them.  They here.

     [She goes to the door and beckons.  A little, old, shabby Chinaman
     comes in with two tiny children, a boy and a girl, one holding on
     to each hand.  They are very solemn and shy and silent.

DAISY.  Oh, what lambs!

AMAH.  They no got money.  This old man he say he take them and he bring them up.  But he only coolie.  He no got much money himself.

DAISY.  Is he related to them?

AMAH.  No, him just velly good man.  He no can do velly much.  He just do what he can.  The neighbours, they help little.

DAISY.  But I’ll help too.  Have you got any money on you?

AMAH.  I got two, three dollars.

DAISY.  What’s the good of that?  Let him have this.

     [She has a chain of gold beads round her neck.  She takes it off
     and puts it in the old man’s hands.

AMAH.  That chain very ispensive, Daisy.

DAISY.  What do I care?  Let him sell it for what it’ll fetch.  It’ll bring me luck. [To the old man.] You sabe?

[He nods, smiling.

AMAH.  I think he understand all right.

DAISY. [Looking at the children.] Aren’t they sweet?  And so solemn. [To the AMAH.] You go chop-chop to the toy shop opposite and buy them some toys.

AMAH.  Can do.

     [She goes out. DAISY takes the children and sets them up on the
     table
.

DAISY. [Charmingly.] Now you come and talk to me.  Sit very still now or you’ll fall off. [To the little boy.] I wonder how old you are. [To the old man.] Wu?  Liu?

OLD MAN.  Liu.

DAISY. [To the little boy.] Six years old.  Good gracious, you’re quite a man.  If I had a little boy he’d be older than you now.  If I had a little boy I’d dress him in such smart things.  And I’d bath him myself.  I wouldn’t let any horrid old amah bath him.  And I wouldn’t stuff him up with sweets like the Chinese do; I’d give him one piece of chocolate when he was a good boy.  Gracious me, I’ve got some chocolates here.  Wait there.  Sit quite still. [She goes over to the shelf on which is a bag of chocolates.] There’s one for you and one for you and (to the old man) one for you.  And here’s one for me.

     [The children and the Chinaman eat the chocolates solemnly.  The
     AMAH returns with a doll and a child’s Peking cart
.

AMAH.  Have catchee toys.

DAISY.  Look what kind old amah has brought you. [She lifts the children off the table and gives the doll to the little girl and the cart to the boy.] Here’s a beautiful doll for you and here’s a real cart for you. [She sits down on the floor.] Look, the wheels go round and everything.

AMAH.  Have got more presents.

     [She takes out of her sleeve little bladders with mouthpiece
     attached so that they can be blown up.

DAISY.  What on earth is this?  Oh, I love them!  We must all have one. [She distributes them and they all blow them up.  There it the sound of scratching at the door.] Who’s that, I wonder?

AMAH.  If you say come in, perhaps you see.

DAISY.  Open the door, you old silly. [She begins to blow up the balloon again.  The AMAH goes to the door and opens it.  LEE TAI steps in.] Lee Tai.  Send these away. [The AMAH makes a sign to the old Chinaman, he gives each child a hand and with their presents they go out.  The AMAH slips out after them.] I thought you were dead.

LEE TAI.  I’m very much alive, thank you.

DAISY.  Ah, well, we’ll hope for the best.

LEE TAI.  I trust you’re not displeased to see me.

DAISY. [Gaily.] If you’d come yesterday I should certainly have smacked your face, but to-day I’m in such a good humour that even the sight of you is tolerable.

LEE TAI.  You weren’t here yesterday.

     [The AMAH comes in carrying on a little wooden tray, two Chinese
     bowls and a tea-pot
.

DAISY.  My dear Mamma seems to think you’ve come to pay me a visit.  You mustn’t let me keep you too long.

LEE TAI.  You are expecting someone?  I know.

[The AMAH goes out.

DAISY. [Chaffing him.] I always said you had a brain.

LEE TAI.  No better a one than yours, Daisy.  It was a clever trick when you got me to try to put your husband out of the way so that you should be free for George Conway.

DAISY.  It was nothing to do with me.  I told you I’d have nothing to do with it.  You made a hash of it.  One can forgive the good for being stupid, but when rascals are fools there’s no excuse.

LEE TAI.  The best laid schemes of mice and men, as my favourite poet Robert Burns so elegantly puts it, gang aft agley.

DAISY.  I don’t care a damn about your favourite poet.  What have you come here for to-day?

LEE TAI.  As it turns out I do not see that there is any cause for regret that George Conway got the knife thrust that was intended for your husband.  I wish it had gone a little deeper.

DAISY. [Coolly.] As it turns out you only did me a service.  But still you haven’t told me to what I owe the honour of your visit.

LEE TAI.  Civility.  I like to be on friendly terms with my tenants.

DAISY. [Surprised.] Your what?

LEE TAI. [Urbanely.] This happens to be my house.  When I discovered that your honourable mother had taken the rooms in this courtyard so that you might have a place where George Conway and you could safely meet I thought I would buy the whole house.

DAISY.  I hope it was a good investment.

LEE TAI.  Otherwise perhaps I should have hesitated.  It was clever of you to find so convenient a place.  With a curio shop in front into which anyone can be seen going without remark and an ill-lit passage leading to this court, it is perfect.

DAISY.  What is the idea?

LEE TAI. [With a twinkle in his eyes.] Are you a little frightened?

DAISY.  Not a bit.  What can you do?  You can tell Harry.  Tell him.

LEE TAI. [Affably.] George Conway would be ruined.

DAISY. [With a shrug.] He’d lose his job.  Perhaps you would give him another.  You’re mixed up in so many concerns you could surely find use for a white man who speaks Chinese as well as George does.

LEE TAI.  I find even your shamelessness attractive.

DAISY.  I’m profoundly grateful for the compliment.

LEE TAI.  But do not fear.  I shall do nothing.  I bought this house because I like you to know that always, always you are in my hand.  Where you go, I go.  Where you are, I am.  Sometimes you do not see me, but nevertheless I am close.  I do nothing.  I am content to wait.

DAISY.  Your time is your own.  I have no objection to your wasting it.

LEE TAI.  One day, and I think that day is not very far distant, you will come to me.  I was the first and I shall be the last.  If you like I will marry you.

DAISY. [With a smile.] I thought you had two, if not three, wives already.  I fancy that number four would have rather a thin time.

LEE TAI.  My wife can be divorced.  I am willing to marry you before the British Consul.  We will go to Penang.  I have a house there.  You shall have motor cars.

DAISY.  It’s astonishing how easy it is to resist temptations that don’t tempt you.

LEE TAI.  Sneer.  What do I care?  I wait....  What have you to do with white men?  You are not a white woman.  What power has this blood of your father’s when it is mingled with the tumultuous stream which you have inherited through your mother from innumerable generations?  Our race is very pure and very strong.  Strange nations have overrun us, but in a little while we have absorbed them so that no trace of a foreign people is left in us.  China is like the Yangtze, which is fed by five hundred streams and yet remains unchanged, the river of golden sand, majestic, turbulent, indifferent, and everlasting.  What power have you to swim against that mighty current?  You can wear European clothes and eat European food, but in your heart you are a Chinawoman.  Are your passions the weak and vacillating passions of the white man?  There is in your heart a simplicity which the white man can never fathom and a deviousness which he can never understand.  Your soul is like a rice patch cleared in the middle of the jungle.  All around the jungle hovers, watchful and jealous, and it is only by ceaseless labour that you can prevent its inroads.  One day your labour will be vain and the jungle will take back its own.  China is closing in on you.

DAISY.  My poor Lee Tai, you’re talking perfect nonsense.

LEE TAI.  You’re restless and unhappy and dissatisfied because you’re struggling against instincts which were implanted in your breast when the white man was a hungry, naked savage.  One day you will surrender.  You will cast off the white woman like an outworn garment.  You will come back to China as a tired child comes back to his mother.  And in the immemorial usages of our great race you will find peace.

     [There is a moment’s silence. DAISY passes her hand over her
     forehead.  Against her will she is strangely impressed by what
LEE
     TAI has said.  She gives a little shudder and recovers herself.

DAISY.  George Conway loves me, and I- Oh!

LEE TAI.  The white man’s love lasts no longer than a summer day.  It is a red, red rose.  Now it flaunts its scented beauty proudly in the sun and to-morrow its petals, wrinkled and stinking, lie scattered on the ground.

[There is a sound of a footstep in the courtyard outside.

DAISY.  Here he is.  Go quickly.

     [GEORGE opens the door and stops as he catches sight of LEE TAI.

GEORGE.  Hulloa, who’s this?

     [LEE TAI steps forward, smiling and obsequious.

LEE TAI.  I am the owner of this house.  The amah complained that the roof leaked and I came to see for myself.

GEORGE. [Frowning.] It’s of no consequence.  Please don’t bother about it.

LEE TAI.  I wish I needn’t.  The amah has a virulent and active tongue-I am afraid she will give me no peace till I have satisfied her outrageous demands.

GEORGE.  You speak extraordinarily good English.

LEE TAI.  I am a graduate of the University of Edinburgh.

DAISY.  Robert Burns is his favourite poet.

LEE TAI.  I spent a year at Oxford and another at Harvard.  I can express myself in English not without fluency.

GEORGE.  Let me compliment you on your good sense in retaining your national costume.  I think it a pity that the returned students should insist on wearing ugly tweed suits and billycock hats.

LEE TAI.  I spent eight years abroad.  I brought back with me no more admiration for Western dress than for Western civilization.

GEORGE.  That is very interesting.

LEE TAI.  You are pleased to be sarcastic.

GEORGE.  And you, I think, are somewhat supercilious.  Believe me, the time has passed when the mandarins of your country, in their impenetrable self-conceit, could put up a barrier against the advance of civilization.  If you have any love for China you must see that her only chance to take her rightful place in the world is to accept honestly and sincerely the teaching of the West.

LEE TAI.  And if in our hearts we despise and detest what you have to teach us?  For what reason are you so confident that you are so superior to us that it behooves us to sit humbly at your feet?  Have you excelled us in arts or letters?  Have our thinkers been less profound than yours?  Has our civilization been less elaborate, less complicated, less refined than yours?  Why, when you lived in caves and clothed yourselves with skins we were a cultured people.  Do you know that we tried an experiment which is unique in the world?

GEORGE. [Good-naturedly.] What experiment is that?

LEE TAI.  We sought to rule this great people not by force, but by wisdom.  And for centuries we succeeded.  Then why does the white man despise the yellow?  Shall I tell you?

GEORGE.  Do.

LEE TAI. [With a smiling contempt.] Because he has invented the machine-gun.  That is your superiority.  We are a defenceless horde and you can blow us into eternity. [With a tinge of sadness.] You have shattered the dream of our philosophers that the world could be governed by the power of law and order....  And now you are teaching our young men your secret.  You have thrust your hideous inventions upon us.  Fools.  Do you not know that we have a genius for mechanics?  Do you not know that there are in this country four hundred millions of the most practical and industrious people in the world?  Do you think it will take us long to learn?  And what will become of your superiority when the yellow man can make as good guns as the white and fire them as straight?  You have appealed to the machine-gun and by the machine-gun shall you be judged.

     [There is a pause.  Suddenly GEORGE gives LEE TAI a
     scrutinizing glance
.

GEORGE.  What is your name?

LEE TAI. [With a thin, amused smile.] Lee Tai Cheng.

GEORGE. [With a frigid politeness.] I’m sure you are very busy, Mr.
Lee.  I won’t detain you any longer.

LEE TAI. [Still smiling.] I wish you a good day.

     [He bows slightly and shakes his own hands in the Chinese manner. 
     He goes out.  He leaves behind him an impression that is at once
     ironic and sinister.

GEORGE.  What the devil is he doing here?

DAISY. [Amused.] He came to make me an offer of marriage.  I pointed out to him that I was married already.

GEORGE. [Not without irritation.] How did he know you were here?

DAISY.  He made it his business to find out.

GEORGE.  Does he know that...?

DAISY. [Coolly.] You know China better than most Englishmen.  You know that the white man can do nothing without the Chinese knowing it.  But they won’t tell other white men unless-unless it’s to their advantage to do so.

GEORGE.  You told me that this house belonged to the amah.

DAISY. [Smiling.] That was a slight exaggeration.

GEORGE.  You put it very mildly.

DAISY.  You said you wouldn’t come to the temple.  It meant finding some place where we could meet or never seeing you at all.

GEORGE. [Sombrely.] We began with deceit and with deceit we’ve continued.

DAISY. [Tenderly.] There’s no deceit in my love, George.  After all, our love is the only thing that matters.

GEORGE. [With a certain awkwardness.] I’m afraid I’ve kept you waiting.  Andre Leroux came to see me just as I was leaving the Legation.

DAISY. [Remembering.] I know.  Mrs. Stopfort’s young man.

GEORGE.  He said he knew Mrs. Stopfort’s friends were rather anxious about her future and he wanted them to know that he was going to marry her as soon as she was free.

DAISY.  Oh!

GEORGE.  Of course it’s the only decent thing to do, but I wasn’t sure if he’d see it.  He’s a very good fellow. [With a smile.] He spent at least half an hour telling me how he adored Mrs. Stopfort.

DAISY. [Good-humouredly.] Oh, you know I’m not the sort of woman to grouse because you’re a little late.  I can always occupy myself by thinking how wonderful it will be to see you.  And if I get bored with that I read your letters again.

GEORGE.  I shouldn’t have thought they were worth that.

DAISY.  I think I have every word you have ever written to me-those old letters of ten years ago and the little notes you write to me now.  Even though they’re only two or three lines, saying you’ll come here or can’t come, they’re precious to me.

GEORGE.  But do you keep them here?

DAISY.  Yes, they’re safe here.  They’re locked up in that box.  Only amah has the key of this room ...  George.

GEORGE.  Yes.

DAISY.  Will you do something for me?

GEORGE.  If I can.

DAISY.  Will you dine here to-night?  Amah will get us a lovely little dinner.

GEORGE.  Oh, my dear, I can’t!  I’ve got an official dinner that I can’t possibly get out of.

DAISY.  Oh, how rotten!

GEORGE.  But I thought Harry was coming back this morning.  He’s been gone a week already.

DAISY.  I had a letter saying he had to go on to Kalgan.  But don’t say anything about it.  He told me I was to keep it a secret.

GEORGE.  He must hate having to be away so much as he’s been lately.  The death of that man Gregson has upset things rather.

DAISY. [Smiling.] I wish I could thank Gregson for the good turn he did us by dying at the psychological moment.

GEORGE. [Dryly.] I don’t suppose that was his intention.

DAISY.  Except for that Harry would have insisted on going to Chung-king.  Now there’s no possibility of that for at least a year.

GEORGE.  I suppose not.

DAISY.  We’ve got a year before us, George, a whole year.  And in a year anything can happen.

GEORGE. [Gravely.] Do you never have any feeling that we’ve behaved rottenly to Harry?

DAISY.  I?  I’ve been happy for the first time in my life.  At last I’ve known peace and rest.  Oh, George, I’m so grateful for all you’ve given me!  In these three months you’ve changed the whole world for me.  I thought I couldn’t love you more than I did.  I think every day my love grows more consuming.

GEORGE. [With a sigh.] I’ve never known a single moment’s happiness.

DAISY.  That’s not true.  When I’ve held you in my arms I’ve looked into your eyes and I’ve seen.

GEORGE.  Oh, I know.  There’ve been moments of madness in which I forgot everything but that I loved you.  I’m a low rotten cad.  No one could despise me more than I despise myself.  I’ve loved you so that there was room for nothing else in my soul.  Waking and sleeping you’ve obsessed me.

DAISY.  That’s how I want you to love me.

GEORGE.  And I’ve hated myself for loving you.  I’ve hated you for making me love you.  I’ve struggled with all my might and a hundred times I thought I’d conquered myself and then the touch of your hand, the softness of your lips-I was like a bird in a cage, I beat myself against the bars and all the time the door was open and I hadn’t the will to fly out.

DAISY. [Tenderly.] Oh, darling, why do you make yourself unhappy when happiness lies in the hollow of your hand?

GEORGE.  Have you never regretted anything?

DAISY.  Never.

GEORGE.  You’re stronger than I am.  I’m as weak as dishwater.  It’s funny that it should have taken me all these years to find it out.  I was weak from the beginning.  But I was weakest of all that day.  I was distracted, I thought you were dying, I forgot everything except that I loved you.

DAISY. [With passion.] Oh, my sweetheart!  Don’t you remember how, late in the night, we went outside the temple and looked at the moonlight on the walls of the Forbidden City?  You had no regrets then.

GEORGE. [Going on with his own thoughts.] And afterwards your tears, your happiness, the dread of giving you pain and the hot love that burnt me-I was in the toils then.  I too knew a happiness that I had never known before.  On one side was honesty and duty and everything that makes a man respect himself-and on the other was love.  I thought you’d be going away in two or three weeks and that would be the end of it.  Oh, it was no excuse-there are no excuses for me, I can never look Harry in the face again, but though my heart was breaking at the thought, I-I knew that in a few days I should see you for the last time.

DAISY. [Scornfully.] Do you think I’d have gone then?

GEORGE.  And then came that sudden, unexpected, disastrous change in all Harry’s plans.  And this house and all the sordid horror of an intrigue.  And then there was nothing to do but face the fact that I was a cur.  I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy the torture that I’ve undergone.

DAISY. [Full of love and pity.] Oh, my darling, you know I’d do anything in the world to give you happiness!

GEORGE. [Sombrely looking away from her.] Daisy, I think you can never give me happiness, but you can help me, not to make amends because that’s impossible, but to ... [Impulsively, looking at her now.] Oh, Daisy, do you really love me?

DAISY.  With all my heart.  With all my soul.

GEORGE.  Then help me.  Let us finish.

DAISY. [Quickly.] What do you mean?

GEORGE.  I don’t want to seem a prig.  I don’t want to preach.  Heaven knows, I’ve never pretended to be a saint.  But what we’ve done is wrong.  You must see that as plainly as I do.

DAISY.  Is it wrong to love?  How can I help it?

GEORGE.  Daisy, I want to-cease doing wrong.

DAISY.  You make me impatient.  How can you be so weak?

GEORGE.  I want you to believe that I love you.  But I can’t go on with this deceit.  I’d sooner shoot myself.

DAISY.  You couldn’t say that if you loved me as I love you.

GEORGE. [Brutally.] I don’t love you any more.

DAISY. [With a scornful shrug.] That’s not true.

GEORGE. [Clenching his teeth.] I came here to-day to tell you that-well, that it’s finished and done with.  Oh, God, I don’t want to make you unhappy!  But you must see we can’t go on.  Everything that’s decent in me revolts at the thought.  I beseech you to forget me.

DAISY.  As if I could.

GEORGE.  I’m going away for a bit.

DAISY. [Startled.] You?  Why?

GEORGE.  I didn’t trust myself, you see; I’ve lost my nerve, so I applied for short leave.  I’m sailing for Vancouver on the Empress.  I leave here the day after to-morrow.

DAISY. [Suddenly distraught.] You don’t mean that you’re going to leave me?  I didn’t pay any attention to what you said.  I thought it was just a mood.  George, George, say that you don’t mean that?

GEORGE.  It’s the only thing to do, for your sake and Harry’s and mine. [Taking his courage in both hands.] This is good-bye, Daisy.

DAISY. [Seizing him by the shoulders.] Let me look at your eyes.  George, you’re crazy.  You can’t go.

GEORGE. [Drawing away.] For God’s sake, don’t touch me.  I wanted to break it to you gently.  I don’t know what’s happened.  Everything has gone wrong.  I’m going, Daisy, and nothing in the world can move me.  I implore you to bear it bravely. [She looks at him with suffering, anxious eyes.  She is stunned.] I’m afraid you’re going to be awfully unhappy for a little while.  But I beseech you to have courage.  Soon the pain won’t be so great, and then you’ll see I’ve done the only possible thing.

DAISY. [Sullenly.] How long are you going for?

GEORGE.  Three or four months. [A pause.] I knew you’d be brave, Daisy.  Do you know, I was afraid you’d cry most awfully.  It tears my heart to see you cry.

DAISY.  Do you think I’m a child?  Do you think I can cry now?

GEORGE.  It’s good-bye, then, Daisy.

[She does not answer.  She hardly hears what he says.  He hesitates an instant wretchedly, and then goes quickly out of the room. DAISY stands as if she were turned to stone.  Her face is haggard.  In a minute LEE TAI comes softly in.  He stands at the door, looking at her, then gives a little cough.  She turns round and sees him.

DAISY. [Fiercely.] What do you want?

LEE TAI.  I was waiting till you were disengaged.

DAISY.  Have you been listening?

LEE TAI.  I have heard.

DAISY.  I wish I could have seen you with your ear to the keyhole.  You must have looked dignified.

     [She begins to laugh, angrily, hysterically, beside herself.

LEE TAI.  Let me give you a cup of tea.  It’s quite warm still.

DAISY.  I should have thought you were rather old and fat to stoop so much.

LEE TAI.  Fortunately the windows are only covered with rice paper, so I was saved that inconvenience.

     [He hands her a cup of tea.  She takes it and flings it at him.  The
     tea is splashed over his black robe.

DAISY.  Get out of here or I’ll kill you.

     [He wipes his dress with a large silk pocket handkerchief.

LEE TAI.  You forget sometimes the manners that were taught you at that elegant school for young ladies in England.

DAISY.  I suppose you’ve come to crow over me.  Well, crow.

LEE TAI.  I told you that I thought I should not have to wait very long.

DAISY. [Scornfully.] You fool.  Do you think it’s finished?

LEE TAI.  Did I not tell you that the white man’s love was weak and vacillating?

DAISY.  He’s going away for four months.  Do you think that frightens me?  He’s loved me for ten years.  I’ve loved him for ten years.  Do you think he can forget me in four months?  He’ll come back.

LEE TAI.  Not to you.

DAISY.  Yes, yes, yes.  And when he comes it’ll be for good.  He’ll hunger for me as he hungered before.  He’ll forget his scruples, his remorse, his stupid duties, because he’ll only remember me.

LEE TAI. [Very quietly.] He’s going to be married to Miss Sylvia Knox.

[DAISY springs at him and seizes him by the throat.

DAISY.  That’s a lie.  That’s a lie.  Take it back.  You pig.

     [He takes her hands and drags them away from his throat.  He holds
     her fast.

LEE TAI.  Ask your mother.  She knows.  The Chinese all know.

DAISY. [Calling.] Amah, amah.  It’s a lie.  How dare you?

LEE TAI.  He told you he was going to an official dinner, but he didn’t tell you that as soon as he could get away he was going to play bridge at the Knoxes’.  Pity you don’t play.  They might have asked you too.

[The AMAH comes in.

AMAH.  You call me, Daisy?

DAISY. [Snatching her hands away.] Let me go, you fool. [To the AMAH.] He says George Conway is engaged to Harold Knox’s sister.  It’s not true.

AMAH.  I no sabe.  George’s boy say so.  Knox the night before last at the club, he say to his friend, George Conway and my sister, they going to make a match of it.

     [A horrible change comes over DAISY’S face as all its features
     become distorted with rage and jealousy
.

DAISY.  The liar.

[She stares in front of her, hatred, anger, and mortification seething in her heart.  Then she gives a cruel malicious chuckle.  She goes quickly to the Korean chest and flings it open.  She takes out a parcel of letters and crossing back swiftly to LEE TAI thrusts them in his hands.

LEE TAI.  What is this?

DAISY.  They’re the letters he wrote me.  Let them come into Harry’s hands.

LEE TAI.  Why?

DAISY.  So that Harry may know everything.

LEE TAI. [After a moment’s thought.] And what will you do for me if I do this for you?

DAISY.  What you like....  Only they must get to him quickly.  George goes away the day after to-morrow.

LEE TAI.  Where is your husband?

DAISY.  Kalgan.

LEE TAI.  The letters shall reach him to-morrow morning.  I’ll send them by car.

DAISY.  It’ll be a pleasant surprise for his breakfast.

LEE TAI.  Daisy.

DAISY.  Go quickly-or I shall change my mind.  There’ll be plenty of time for everything else after to-morrow.

LEE TAI.  I’ll go.

[LEE TAI goes out.  DAISY gives him a look of contempt.

DAISY.  Fool.

AMAH.  What you mean, Daisy?

DAISY.  Harry will divorce me.  And then....

[DAISY gives a little cry of triumph.