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The Finger Of God

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The Finger Of God

by Percival Wilde

Genre: Drama
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed

EXCERPT:

STRICKLAND [slowly]. So you think there are few honest men?

THE GIRL. No: there are many of them. But there is something about you that is different: something in the tone of your voice: something in the way you shake hands: something in the look of your eye, that is reassuring. There is never a doubt–never a question about you. Oh, it’s splendid! Simply splendid! [She pauses.] What a satisfaction it must be to you to walk along the street and know that every one you meet must say to himself, “There goes an honest man!” It’s been such an inspiration to me!

STRICKLAND. To you?

THE GIRL. Oh, I know that I’m just one of the office force to you. You don’t even know my name. But you don’t imagine that any one can see you as I have seen you, can work with you as I have worked with you, without there being some kind of an effect? You know, in my own troubles–

STRICKLAND [interrupting]. So you have troubles?

THE GIRL. You don’t pay me a very big salary, and there are others whom I must help. But I’m not complaining. [She smiles.] I–I used to be like the other girls. I used to watch the clock. I used to count the hours and the minutes till the day’s work was over. But it’s different now.

STRICKLAND [slowly]. How–different?

THE GIRL. I thought it over, and I made up my mind that it wasn’t right to count the minutes you worked for an honest man. [Strickland turns away.] And there is a new pleasure in my work: I do my best–that’s all I can do, but you do your best, and it’s the least I can do.

STRICKLAND [after a pause]. Are you sure–I do my best? Are you sure I am an honest man?

THE GIRL. Don’t you know it yourself, Mr. Strickland?

STRICKLAND [after another pause]. You remember–a few minutes ago, you spoke the name of Alfred Stevens?

THE GIRL. Yes.

STRICKLAND. Suppose I told you that there once was an Alfred Stevens? [The girl does not answer.]


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