Rob Storrs

Act II, page 25


ALGY.    (Reading card.)  Parker and Gribsby, Solicitors.  I don’t know anything about them.  Who are they?

JACK.    (Takes card and reads it.)  Ah — you’d better show Messrs. Parker and Gribsby in, Merriman.

MERRIMAN.  There is only one gentleman in the hall, sir.

JACK.    Show either Mr. Parker or Mr. Gribsby in.

MERRIMAN.  Very good, sir.  (Exits.)

JACK.    Parker and Gribsby.  I wonder who they can be.  I expect, Earnest, they’ve come about some business for your friend, Bunbury.  Perhaps Bunbury wants to make his will and wishes you to be executor.  I hope, Earnest, that I may rely on the statement you made to me last week when I finally settled all your bills for you.  I hope you have no outstanding accounts of any kind.

ALGY.    I haven’t any debts at all, my dear Jack, thanks to your generosity.  I don’t owe a penny, except for a few neckties, I believe.

MERRIMAN.  (Enters with LAWYER.)  Mr. Gribsby.  (MERRIMAN exits.)

GRIBSBY.    Mr. Earnest Worthing?

MISS PRISM.  This is Mr. Earnest Worthing.

GRIBSBY.    Mr. Earnest Worthing?

ALGY.    Yes.

GRIBSBY.    Of B4, The Albany?

ALGY.    Yes, that is my address.

GRIBSBY.  I am very sorry, sir, we have a writ of attachment against you for twenty days at the suit of The Savoy Hotel Company, Ltd., for £762 14 shillings and tupence.

ALGY.    Against me?

GRIBSBY.  Yes, sir.

ALGY.    What perfect nonsense.  I never dine at The Savoy at my own expense.  I always dine at Willis’.  It is far more expensive.  I don’t owe a penny to The Savoy.

GRIBSBY.  The writ is marked as having been served on you personally at The Albany on May the 27th.  Judgement was given in default against you on June the 5th.  Since then we have written to you no less than thirteen times without receiving any reply.  In the interest of our clients, we had no option but to obtain an order for the committal of your person.

ALGY.    “Committal”?  What on earth do you mean by “committal”?  I haven’t the smallest intention of going away.  I’m staying here for a week.  I’m staying with my brother.  If you imagine that I’m going up to town the moment I’ve arrived, you are extremely mistaken.

GRIBSBY.  I am merely a solicitor, myself.  I do not employ personal violence of any kind.  The officer of the court, whose function it is to seize the person of the debtor, is waiting in the fly outside.  He has considerable experience in these matters, as is why we always employ him.  In the point of fact he has arrested in the course of his duties nearly all the younger sons of the aristocracy, as well as a good many members of the House of Lords.  But no doubt, you will prefer to pay the bill.