Pygmalion (ACT I, page 1 of 15)


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Covent Garden at 11.15 p.m.

Torrents of heavy summer rain. Cab whistles

blowing frantically in all directions. Pedestrians running for shelter

into the market and under the portico of St. Paul's Church, where there

are already several people, among them a lady and her daughter in

evening dress. They are all peering out gloomily at the rain, except

one man with his back turned to the rest, who seems wholly preoccupied

with a notebook in which he is writing busily.

The church clock strikes the first quarter.

THE DAUGHTER [in the space between the central pillars, close to the

one on her left] I'm getting chilled to the bone. What can Freddy be

doing all this time? He's been gone twenty minutes.

THE MOTHER [on her daughter's right] Not so long. But he ought to have

got us a cab by this.

A BYSTANDER [on the lady's right] He won't get no cab not until

half-past eleven, missus, when they come back after dropping their

theatre fares.

THE MOTHER. But we must have a cab. We can't stand here until half-past

eleven. It's too bad.

THE BYSTANDER. Well, it ain't my fault, missus.

THE DAUGHTER. If Freddy had a bit of gumption, he would have got one at

the theatre door.

THE MOTHER. What could he have done, poor boy?

THE DAUGHTER. Other people got cabs. Why couldn't he?

Freddy rushes in out of the rain from the Southampton Street side, and

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