Unit 3 The Million Pound Bank Note THE MILLION POUND BANK NOTE Act I, Scene 4 (Outside a restaurant Henry looks at the envelope without opening it and decide to go in. He sits down at a table
next to the front window.) OWNER: HENRY: WAITER: HENRY: WAITER: (seeing Henry’s poor appearance) That one’s reserved. This way, please. (to the waiter) Take this gentleman’s order, Horace. (after sitting down and putting the letter on the table) I’d like some ham and eggs and a nice big Right, sir. I’m afraid it’ll cost a large amount of money. I understand. And i’ll have a large glass of beer. OK. (The waiter leaves and soon returns with all the food.) steak. Make it extra thick. I’d also like a cup of coffee and a pineapple dessert.
HOSTESS: My goodness! Why, look at him. He eats like a wolf. OWNER: We’ll see if he’s clever as a wolf, eh? HENRY: (having just finished every bit of food) Ah, waiter. (the waiter returns) Same thing again, please. Oh, and another beer. WAITER: Again? Everything? HENRY: Yes, that’s right. (sees the look on the waiter ’s face) Anything wrong? WAITER: No, not at all. (to the owner) He’s asked for more of the same. OWNER: Well, it is well-known that Americans like to eat a lot. Well, we’ll have to take a chance. Go ahead and let him have it. WAITER: (reading the bill after the meal) All right. That’s two orders of ham and eggs, two extra thick steaks, two large glasses of beer, two cups of coffee and two desserts. HENRY: (looking at the clock on the wall) Would you mind waiting just a few minutes? WAITER: (in a rude manner) What’s there to wait for? OWNER: All right, Horace. I’ll take care of this. HENRY: (to the owner) That was a wonderful meal. It’s amazing how much pleasure you get out of the simple things in life, especially if you can’t have them for a while. OWNER: Yes, very interesting. Now perhaps, sir, if you pay your bill I can help the other customers. HENRY: (looking at the clock on the wall again) Well, I see it’s two o’clock. (he opens the envelope and holds a million pound bank note in his hands. Henry is surprised but the owner and the waiter are shocked) I’m very sorry. But … I … I don’t have anything smaller. OWNER: (still shocked and nervous) Well, … er … just one moment. Maggie, look! (the hostess screams, the other customers look at her and she puts a hand to her mouth) Do you think it’s genuine? HOSTESS: Oh, dear, I don’t know. I simply don’t know. OWNER: Well, I did hear that the Bank of England had issued two notes in this amount … Anyway, I don’t think it’s a fake. People would pay too much attention to a bank note of this amount. No thief would want that to happen. HOSTESS: But he’s in rags! OWNER: Perhaps he’s a very strange, rich man. (as if he has discovered something for the first time) Why, yes! That must be it! HOSTESS: (hits her husband’s arm) And you put him in the back of the restaurant! Go and see him at once. OWNER: (to Henry) I’m so sorry, sir, so sorry, but I cannot change this bank note. HENRY: But it’s all I have on me. OWNER: Oh, please, don’t worry, sir. Doesn’t matter at all. We’re so very glad that you even entered our little
eating place. Indeed, sir, I hope you’ll come here whenever you like. HENRY: Well, that’s very kind of you. OWNER: Kind, sir? No, it’s kind of you. You must come whenever you want and have whatever you like. Just having you sit here is a great honour! As for the bill, sir, please forget it. HENRY: Forget it? Well … thank you very much. That’s very nice of you. OWNER: Oh, it’s for us to thank you, sir and I do, sir, from the bottom of my heart. (The owner, the hostess and the waiter all bow as Henry leaves.)