made an unsuccessful attempt to have the University buildings,
MISS BEECH, their old governess
DICK MERTON, their young friend
HON. MAURICE LEVER, their guest
TIME: The present. The action passes throughout midsummer day on the
lawn of Colonel Hope's house, near the Thames above Oxford.
The time is morning, and the scene a level lawn, beyond which the river is running amongst fields. A huge old beech tree overshadows everything, in the darkness of whose hollow many things are hidden. A rustic seat encircles it. A low wall clothed in creepers, with two openings, divides this lawn from the flowery approaches to the house. Close to the wall there is a swing. The sky is clear and sunny. COLONEL HOPE is seated in a garden-chair, reading a newspaper through pince-nez. He is fifty-five and bald, with drooping grey moustaches and a weather-darkened face. He wears a flannel suit and a hat from Panama; a tennis racquet leans against his chair. MRS. HOPE comes quickly through the opening of the wall, with roses in her hands. She is going grey; she wears tan gauntlets, and no hat. Her manner is decided, her voice emphatic, as though aware that there is no nonsense in its owner's composition. Screened from sight, MISS BEECH is seated behind the hollow tree; and JOY is perched on a lower branch hidden by foliage.
MRS. HOPE. I told Molly in my letter that she'd have to walk up, Tom.
COLONEL. Walk up in this heat? My dear, why didn't you order Benson's fly?
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