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A Cup of Tea

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A Cup of Tea

by Maxwell Struthers Bart

Genre: Comedy
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: 15 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


Inside a little fire was smouldering, and seated with his back to us was a big, broad-shouldered buck, with a dark blanket wrapped around him. ‘Your good wife,’ I began cheerily–I was getting pretty darned sick of silence–‘has allowed me to make some tea over your fire. Have some? I’m shipwrecked from a canoe and on my way to Lower Post. If you don’t understand what I say, it doesn’t make the slightest difference, but for God’s sake grunt–just once, to show you’re interested.’ He grunted. ‘Thanks!’ I said, and poured the tea into the three tin cups. The squaw handed one to her buck. Then I sat down.

“There was nothing to be heard but the gurgling of the river outside and the rather noisy breathing we three made as we drank; and then–very clearly, just as if we’d been sitting in an English drawing-room–in the silence a voice said: ‘By Jove, that’s the first decent cup of tea I’ve had in ten years!’ Yes, just that! ‘


A traveler in American Indian territory runs across a thoroughly cultured Brit…what on earth is he doing in Indian territory?

Unfortunately, the storytelling here is a story-within-a-story about a man-with-a-past…so until the surprise ending, there’s nothing which happens in present tense, making for an undramatic premise for a musical.


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