of the personages, he first looks around to make sure that no suspicious character is about, and then, lowering his voice, tells you, 'I had that from Mr. Farthing himself--he is the secretary of the Bethnal Green Branch,--h'sh!'
There is a commotion about finding a worthy chair for the reverent, and there is also some furtive pulling down of sleeves, but he stands surveying the ladies through his triumphant smile. This amazing man knows that he is about to score again.
MR. WILLINGS, waving aside the chairs, 'I thank you. But not at all. Friends, I have news.'
MRS. MICKLEHAM. 'News?'
THE HAGGERTY WOMAN. 'From the Front?'
MRS. TWYMLEY. 'My Alfred, sir?'
They are all grown suddenly anxious--all except the hostess, who knows that there can never be any news from the Front for her.
MR. WILLINGS. 'I tell you at once that all is well. The news is for Mrs. Dowey.'
MRS. DOWEY. 'News for me?'
MR. WILLINGS. 'Your son, Mrs. Dowey--he has got five days' leave.' She shakes her hea