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A Christmas Tale in One Act

211 pages
Library of Alexandria
Scene:—A room of considerable size, serving at once as living-room and studio. Everything is simple, clean, and neat. To the right are wooden statues of various kinds, some painted in bright colors, but most of them unfinished. Strewn about the floor are pieces of wood, large blocks, and the like, together with chisels and other implements. The statues of Saint Nicholas and Saint Rose—actors dressed to represent them—stand down-stage to the right, close to each other. Saint Nicholas is an old man with a white beard, who wears the rich costume of a bishop; Saint Rose, little more than a child, with roses in her hair, is dressed like a saint of Fra Angelico. There is a door to the right, just behind these statues. To the left is a large fire-place, in which are dying embers; two children’s shoes lie on the hearthstone. Nearby is the cradle—hung with curtains—in which little Rose is sleeping. At the center of the stage is a table, with a meal set on it, and a chair on either side. Through a bay-window at the back are seen the silhouette of the cathedral of Notre Dame and the roofs of houses covered with snow. It is night, and a few stars are out. On the mantel above the fire-place burns a candle; two other candles, half-burnt, are on the table. As the curtain rises, Jacqueline is seated on a chair. She sits listening to a church bell which strikes five. Then she rises.