During my years as a hard-bitten newspaper-man, I rarely had time for culture. But after a court order forced my retirement, at last I was free to indulge in artistic pursuits and to pen gripping works of drama. With that in mind, I now present to you my latest play in two acts, The Happy Bed-Chamber.

CAST:

MR. SWEEBUL, elderly invalid plutocrat

BLANDISH, his faithful man-servant

NURSE, his mechanical ro-bot nurse

THE IRON LUNG, his mechanical breathing device

PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON, leader of the Republic

(ACT 1. A vast but ill-lit and urine-smelling bed-chamber. MR. SWEEBUL is in his bed, being cared for by NURSE. Enter BLANDISH.)

BLANDISH: Forgive my intrusion, sir, but I have a cable here from the President of the United States.

SWEEBUL: Wilson? What in the name of God does he want?

BLANDISH: Nothing specific, sir, but he does mention that he will be visiting the Estate to-day to give you something special.

SWEEBUL: I do hope it is a vial of Dr. Klimpt's Poultry Liniment, as my anus is as hot as Hades and burning-red besides, and it will soothe it.

BLANDISH: Very good, sir.

(Exit BLANDISH.)

(ACT 2. The bed-chamber again. SWEEBUL still abed, with NURSE attending. Enter BLANDISH.)

BLANDISH: Sir, the President.

(Exit BLANDISH. Enter PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON.)

WILSON: Sweebul, old stick, how the devil are you?

SWEEBUL: Get down to brass tacks, Wilson, I'm a busy man.

WILSON: I myself cannot tarry, as I must capture that wretched Pancho Villa. In the meanwhile, here is a small gift to you from me, with my warmest compliments.

(WILSON hands SWEEBUL a small, gaily-wrapped box. With great difficulty, SWEEBUL manages to lift the lid.)

SWEEBUL: A vial of Dr. Klimpt's Poultry Liniment! Glory be! My anus shall be as smooth as velvet once again!

(Curtain.)