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'FATE'S DECREE.', Issue 10419, 14 September 1897
At the Pnncess's Theatre on Friday and Saturday next the Roscius Dramatic Society give the first interpretation of Palgrave Simp, sons brilliant and powerful threu-aot drama Fateis Decree.' When first produced at the New Queen s Theat.e, Long Acre, London, the cast included snob, stars of the English stage as Messrs Lionel Brougb, J. L. Toole, Gaston Murray, Alfred Wigan, and Misses NeJHe Moore, P. Markham, and H, Hodson. It may be said at once that the main incidents of an absorbing plot, really hinge on; two charactersSir PWip .Deverell and Marian Beck-both or whonu possess what. is • - euphemistically termed ,' v a past." The-first scene opens at the country seat of Mr Franklyn, a wealthy banker,.;: whose son Charles is discovered urging his suit to the hand of his cousin, Miss Luo£Foirfax.. The young lady, however, has a predileotion' for a handsome but hot-tempered young fellow named George Aylmer. Through a misunderstanding a violent quarrel occurs between the lovers, which ultimately leads to their parting with high words on eachaide. At this stage Sir Philip'Deverell, in the guise of a county magnate, appears on the scene with Frankly n the banker, and the ensuing conversation reveals that Franklyn holds certain bills forged by Deverell years ago, and that detectives are hot on the trail. The bills, by a series of untoward circumstances, apparently find their way into the hands of Charles Iranklyn, who is entrusted with them by his father, to give them to the police in London. Deverell, rendered desperate, offers to accompany Charles Franklyn to London in the hope of somehow gaining possession of the documents, and the pair depart accordingly. During the foregoing events, however, Deverell, unknown to himself, has had the eyes of an oldtime acquaintance fixed on him. The housekeeper to the Franklyn family is a woman who had in former days been associated with Deverell s gang, but, basely deserted by their chief, she eventually, attains the- respectable position before mentioned. This woman, Marian Beok by name, with anxious heart sees Deverell and Charles Franklyn depart for London, but is unable to frustrate the* evident intention of her whilom companion in crime. An hour later Deveiell, pale and fainting, staggers back with the startling intelligence of the murder on the dark country road of the banker's son, and the general belief is entertained that George Aylmer committed the deed. In the next'act the cine to the murder, the forged bills, turn up in the hands of one Montgomery Brown, who, having been entrusted with them at the last moment by Charles Franklyn, is simply demented at the idea of. being found with them in his possession. Tortured by his over-bearing wife's desire to learn his secret' trouble, Brown gladly partß with the. damning evidence to one Daniel Medlicott, an unscrupulous « bill - discounter and ex - member of Deverell's clique. . Medlicott first tries to win back his former roaster, to his old associates; but, baffled in this attempt, he announces hi 3 intention of giving the bills to the police. Deverell thereupon rushes at him-, and a fierce encounter takes place, in the midst of which Marian Beck glides between the combatants, seizes the papers, and faces Deverell, who, thunderstruck at the sudden appearance of the mistress he had long regarded as dead, is too paralysed to prevent her escape. The final act discloses Deverell pleading passionately with Marian Beck for the bills. She rejects his overtures of friendship, entreats him to repent, and finally, for the sake of memories of brighter days, eventually burns the bills. Dazed by the trying scenes he hai undergone, Deverell excuses himself to the company and retires to rest. Harrowed in his fitM slumber by dreams of the awful murder he has committed, he, however, rises from his bed in a sleep-walking trance arid proceeds unwittingly into the very midst of the assembled company. Here Medlicott seizes the opportunity to question him on the subject of the crime. Unconsciously Deverell re-enacts the murder scene, and, awakened suddenly, the shock proves .fatal, and the doubly-dyed villain meets his doom at last by the unerring hand of Fate. The proceeds will be devoted to the free public library fund.
'FATE'S DECREE.', Issue 10419, 14 September 1897
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