The scene takes place in Italy, and the American humor shows up brilliantly against the foreign background.
tle it weeks ago!
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [quickly]. You are invidious, mon ami! My affair is not settled--am I a clumsy oof?
HAWCASTLE [leaning toward her across the table and speaking sharply and earnestly]. No, Hélène. Your little American, brother Horace, is so in love with you, if you asked him suddenly, "Is this day or night?" he would answer, "It's Hélène." But he's too shy to speak. You're a woman--you can't press matters; but Almeric's a man--he can. He can urge an immediate marriage, which means an immediate settlement, and a direct one.
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [seriously, quickly]. It will not be small, that settlement?
[He shakes his head grimly, leaning back to look at her. She continues eagerly.]
You have decide' what sum?
[He nods decidedly.]
HAWCASTLE [sharply, with determination, yet quietly]. A hundred and fifty thousand pounds!
MADAME DE CHAMPIGNY [excited and breathless]. My friend! Will she?
[Turns and stares toward ETHEL'S room, where the pia