he door faces him, a little to his left, at the other side of the room. The window is behind him. In the fireplace, a gas stove. On the table a bell button and a telephone. Portraits of past Mayors, in robes and gold chains, adorn the walls. An elderly clerk with a short white beard and whiskers, and a very red nose, shuffles in.
AUGUSTUS [hastily putting aside his paper and replacing his feet on the floor]. Hullo! Who are you?
THE CLERK. The staff [a slight impediment in his speech adds to the impression of incompetence produced by his age and appearance].
AUGUSTUS. You the staff! What do you mean, man?
THE CLERK. What I say. There ain't anybody else.
AUGUSTUS. Tush! Where are the others?
THE CLERK. At the front.
AUGUSTUS. Quite right. Most proper. Why aren't you at the front?
THE CLERK. Over age. Fifty-seven.
AUGUSTUS. But you can still do your bit. Many an older man is in the G.R.'s, or volunteering for home defence.
THE CLERK. I have volunteered.
AUGUSTUS. Then why are you