A Comedy of Errors (1908)
Short, Comedy · 15 February 1908
Mr. Nearbright is busily engaged writing; consults his watch. His wife, accompanied by her "Ma" enters, attired for a journey, carrying small satchels. The husband rises, apparently delighted, and bids them good-bye. When the ladies have gone, Mr. Nearbright rushes to the telephone, gives a message which is gratifying, to all appearances. The door opens, and a friend, Mr. Flirt, enters, followed by other members of a "stag" club. The maid brings a few bottles of wine and cigars; all enjoy themselves. The conversation is all of a coming entertainment to be given by the club of which Mr. Nearbright is president. They conceive the idea of advertising for talent. An "ad" is written up and dispatched by messenger. The next day at breakfast Mr. and Mrs. Flirt are about finished. Mr. Flirt gets up and starts to pack his suit case, telling his wife that he is suddenly called out of town on business. In reality this preparation is only an excuse to attend the "stag," his poor wife being unaware of his belonging to any club. She asks her husband for some money; the request is refused. The poor wife sits down and weeps bitterly. Mr. Flirt slams the door and departs. Mrs. Flirt picks up the paper. The first thing to meet her gaze is the "ad' for talent placed there by her husband's club. She determines to earn the money her "brute of a husband" has denied her. To think is to act, and a harried preparation for departure is made. The scene now reverts to Nearbright's apartments. Mr. Nearbright is reading when Mr. Flirt enters with his suit case. They laugh over the way in which Mrs. Flirt has been fooled. The visitor leaves his suit case on the floor and asks to be excused for a short time. Immediately after his departure the maid announces a lady, who proves to be the talent advertised for (otherwise Mrs. Flirt, who is a stranger to Nearbright). He is quite smitten with the lady, who retires to a room to dress. She appears shortly in fancy attire, and her employer is charmed. Suddenly her eyes rest upon Mr. Flirt's suitcase. She gasps in horror and explains that she is Mr. Flirt's wife. Nearbright pushes her into a room just as Mr. Flirt enters. He is immediately sent for the other members, Nearbright trusting in the meantime to get the unfortunate wife out of her predicament. She is about ready to go, when Mr. Flirt rushes back to inform Nearbright that his wife and mother-in-law are coming back. The poor man is frantic; explains that a young lady has answered the ad and is now concealed in the adjoining room. Mr. Flirt consents to help him, ignorant of the fact that the young woman is his wife. Nearbright's wife and her mother enter, discover parts of female attire on the rack. Mr. Nearbright tries to explain, but does not succeed. The two women start to look for the female, meanwhile berating the husband for his faithlessness. Mrs. Flirt is trying to escape and unexpectedly bumps into the two searchers; all tumble in a heap. Flirt is horrified at beholding his wife. Nearbright collapses and his wife faints. The club members now arrive in anticipation of a jolly time, and stand amazed at the scene before them for a moment, then laugh heartily. The mother-in-law "comes to" and the visitors are put to flight.
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