The Little Princess

THE LITTLE PRINCESS


SARA
Why are they sending so many soldiers, Daddy, if it's only gonna
be a little war?

CREWE
To make those stubborn Boers take us seriously this time, my
darling. When they realize how much the Intensive will put a stop
to their nonsense, they'll quiet down.

SARA
They better. Anyhow, when you get there, you'll stop them, won't
you, Daddy?

CREWE
I'll do my best, dear.

SARA
I'm gonna miss you.

CREWE
I'll be back and we'll be together again before you can say
"knife."

SARA
I can say "knife" a good many times in a year.

CREWE
But the school will have charming little girls to play with,
books to read, a pony to ride and, after all, there'll be Emily,
you know.

SARA
Yes, there will be Emily and she does look as though she'll be an
understanding friend, don't you think, Daddy?

CREWE
With that intellectual forehead, I'm sure of it.

SARA
Not a very cheerful looking school, is it, Daddy?

CREWE
I'm afraid nothing would seem very cheerful to us at the moment.

SARA
Well, maybe it'll be better on the inside.

CREWE
Of course, it will.

MAN 1
Oh, I'm sorry.

BERTIE
We're all sorry. Sorry. So sorry. Get it out.

MINCHIN
The very idea of delivering a thing like this at the front door.

SARA
Oh, look Daddy, my pony.

MINCHIN
Your employer will answer for this. Now take him away.

BERTIE
Yes, far away.

SARA
Oh, no, Daddy.

CREWE
Oh, I say. Just a moment. You are Miss Minchin?

MINCHIN
I am.

CREWE
I am Captain Crewe. I am afraid I've caused you no end of
inconvenience.


MINCHIN
You most certainly have, Captain Crewe.

CREWE
May I step inside and explain?

MINCHIN
Come in.

CREWE
Wait here with the pony.

MAN 1
Right-O, Governor.

CREWE
I'm terribly sorry I didn't mean to have the pony delivered
inside your house.

MINCHIN
There are number of things besides the pony. Parcels have been
arriving here collect to your daughter for hours. Follow me,
please.

MINCHIN
Apparently you are not aware, Captain Crewe, that I conduct one of the most dignified and exclusive schools in London.

CREWE
Oh, yes, yes, so I understood. That's precisely the reason why I
brought my daughter to you.

MINCHIN
I would not have gathered that from your actions.

CREWE
Really now, I am not entirely to blame. You see, Sara and I have
only just arrived from India. Sara has lived there practically
all her life. We've no more than got here when I learned that my
regiment was to leave at once for South Africa. So, we had to act
hurriedly.

MINCHIN
But I wrote you, explaining that I do not take young ladies
without an interview and the most impeccable references. I wrote
you also that at the moment I had no vacant rooms.

SARA
Well, in that case, Daddy, we might as well move on.

CREWE
This is a bit awkward. You see, your letter never reached me. I'm
afraid that it hadn't occurred to me that any school wouldn't
welcome my little Sara.

MINCHIN
Obviously.

CREWE
If it's a question of my social standing, my father was Sir
George Crewe. You've heard of him, perhaps.

MINCHIN
Oh, naturally.

CREWE
And the best financial references I can give you would be the
direction of the South African holding syndicate. I'm the
principal stock holder in the syndicate.

MINCHIN
My brother, Captain Crewe, our professor of elocution and
dramatics.

CREWE
How do you do?

BERTIE
Charmed. I'm sure. I say, isn't the Eclipse Diamond Mine one of
your holdings?

CREWE
One of the most important, of course.

BERTIE
Of course.

CREWE
I'm sorry to appear casual, Miss Minchin. The situation is quite
distressing. I sail in an hour from the East Indian Docks.

SARA
I suppose you just have to take me to Africa with you, Daddy.

MINCHIN
Oh, no. And what would a little girl like you do in Africa?
Forgive me, Captain Crewe, I feel I've been over zealous. The
reputation of my school, you know, one has to be so cautious. But
after this interview, I can see at a glance. This is a dear
little child. It'll be a pleasure to have her with us.

SARA
Does that mean I've gotta stay?

MINCHIN
Yes, dear. You're to have that privilege. You and your little
pony.

BERTIE
Such a dear little pony.

CREWE
This is made out to the school. Would it be enough for the
moment?

MINCHIN
Oh, quite.

BERTIE
I should say it would. Why it's stupendous.

CREWE
I beg your pardon, but haven't I seen you somewhere before ?

BERTIE
Quite possible, my dear Captain.

CREWE
Your face is most familiar. Were you ever on the stage? I seem to
associate with you with one of the old music halls.

MINCHIN
Music halls? My brother on stage! Ridiculous.

BERTIE
Ridiculous, indeed. You're quite right.

MINCHIN
And now shall we look at little Sara's room? Just a moment, Miss
Rose. This is Miss Rose, one of our capable teachers. Captain
Crewe has done us the honor of placing his little daughter Sara
with us.

CREWE
How do you do, Miss Rose?

ROSE
How do you do, Captain Crewe? We should do everything we can to
make your little girl happy.

CREWE
I'm sure you will.

MINCHIN
Children, we have a new pupil, Sara Crewe. Say "How do you do?"
to her.

GIRLS
How do you do?

SARA
I'm very well, thank you.

MINCHIN
Lavinia, Jessie, that will do. You may proceed, Miss Rose.

ROSE
Children.

GIRL 1
She's just like a little princess, isn't she?

GIRL 2
That's what she is, a princess. And I expect now some people
around here won't think they're so smart.

LAVINIA
Oh, won't they? Wait and see. Princess indeed.

MINCHIN
Fortunately, the room has just been papered. And the fireplace
has an excellent draft.

SARA
But I thought you didn't have any rooms.

MINCHIN
I didn't know then what a dear little girl was coming.

SARA
Why does that make more rooms, Daddy?

MINCHIN
Lady Bentray's little daughter has only recently vacated the
room. Our best suite, of course.

CREWE
Do you think you could brighten it up a bit? I'd like it made as
gay as possible. I've brought a few things from India but perhaps
you could buy whatever else is necessary.

MINCHIN
With pleasure, Captain Crewe.

CREWE
And I'd like Sara to ride every afternoon, if the weather is all
right.

MINCHIN
Of course. Fortunately, we have a splendid riding master.

CREWE
I expect you think I'm completely spoiling the child. And no
doubt, you're right. But actually, it's good for her. She is much
too inclined to bury her little nose in a book and keep it there
until someone lures her out of it. You see, Ms. Minchin, Sara has no mother. And we've never been separated for more than a few
days.

MINCHIN
How touchy.

CREWE
This is gonna be very hard for her.

MINCHIN
Have no fear, Captain Crewe. I'm a mother to all my little girls.
And now I'll leave you to your farewell.

apparently- widocznie
at a glance- od razu, na pierwszy rzut oka, natychmiast
capable- uzdolniony
casual- niedbały
cautious- rozważny, ostrożny
charming- czarujący
cheerful- radosny, rozweselający
deliver- dostarczać
dignified- dystyngowany
distressing- denerwujący, niepokojący, smutny
draft- ciąg (powietrza)
elocution- dykcja, sztuka wymowy
familiar- znajomy
farewell- pożegnanie
gay- wesoły
hurriedly- pospiesznie
impeccable- nieskazitelny, bez zarzutu
inclined- skłonny
inconvenience- niedogodność, kłopot
indeed- istotnie, w istocie
lure out of- wywabić, odciągnąć (od)
proceed- przechodzić, rozchodzic się
recently- ostatnio
ridiculous- niedorzeczny
splendid- wspaniały
step inside- wejść do środka
stupendous- ogromny, niesłychany
suite- apartament
syndicate- syndykat
touchy- drażliwy, delikatny ( o sprawie, temacie)
vacant- wolny, niezajęty
vacate- zwalniać, opuszczać
zealous- żarliwy

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