When John Builder, solid, middle-class Englishman, finds that his women-folk insist on living their own lives, free from his domineering control, his world crashes in fragments around him. The theme resembles somewhat that of Barrie's "The twelve pound look," more seriously treated. (From the 5th Series Plays)
od deal this morning. It's all nonsense! A family's a family.
MAUD. [More and more disturbed, but hiding it] Father, if I were you, I wouldn't-really! It's not-dignified.
BUILDER. You can leave me to judge of that. It's not dignified for the Mayor of this town to have an unmarried daughter as young as Athene living by herself away from home. This idea that she's on a visit won't wash any longer. Now finish that letter--"worthy, but you may rest assured that I shall do my best to sustain the--er--dignity of the office." [MAUD types desperately.] Got that? "And--er--preserve the tradition so worthily--" No-- "so staunchly"--er--er--
BUILDER. Ah! "--upheld by yourself.--Faithfully yours."
MAUD. [Finishing] Father, you thought Athene went off in a huff. It wasn't that a bit. She always meant to go. She just got you into a rage to make it easier. She hated living at home.
BUILDER. Nonsense! Why on earth should she?
MAUD. Well, she did! And so do-- [Checki