“The Doctor’s Patients” Part II

This is the second part of “The Doctor’s Patients”, by J.B. Trenwith. First published in November 1906, the drawing room play is a bit different to what you’ll find in the “Friend” today!

Once again, this fantastic illustration comes from our very own Manon.

We hope you enjoy!

Characters and Costumes:

DR FRANK TRUELOVE, a Mental Specialist — Ordinary Morning Dress.

DOLLY TRUELOVE, his Wife — Ordinary Morning Dress.

JEREMIAH PIPKIN, Frank’s Wealthy Uncle — Large Check Suit, White Waistcoat, Crimson Tie. Make-up — Stout, Elderly, Red Face, Sidewhiskers.

MARIA TIBBLE, Dolly’s Wealthy Maiden Aunt — Eccentric Old-Maidish Costume, Corkscrew Curls.

DOOLEY, Frank’s Manservant — Shabby Broadcloth Suit, Open Front, Red Nose, Red Wig.


SCENE — The Truelove’s Drawing-Room. Doors Right (R.) and Left (L.)


TIBBLE: (Aside) Ah, this must be the patient.

DOOLEY: (Aside) It’s toime I was out av this. (To Pipkin) Make yersilf agreeable, sorr, as ye value yer loife. (Exit (R.))

(TIBBLE and PIPKIN sit on chairs, visibly nervous)

TIBBLE: (Aside) Alone with the lunatic — the Sultan of Turkey! Oh, dear!

PIPKIN: (Aside) Alone with the Queen of the Cannibal Islands. Oh, my!

(Pause, during which they glance furtively at each other, starting nervously when they catch the other’s eye)

PIPKIN: (faintly, mopping brow) F-fine day, your Majesty.

TIBBLE: (aside) Your Majesty! (To Pipkin) Lovely day, your Highness.

PIPKIN: (aside) Your Highness! Quite mad! (To Tibble) I-I-hope you are very well, your Majesty.

TIBBLE: (aside) Frank said I must be bold. (Loud voice) Remarkably well, your Magnificence.

PIPKIN: (starts, aside) I must humour her. (To Tibble) You-you enjoy good digestion, your Majesty?

TIBBLE: (aside) Very strange, but I must keep it up. (To Pipkin) Oh yes, your Gorgeousness. (Loudly) In fact, I feel quite hungry now!

PIPKIN: (starts, and shifts his chair away quickly. Aside) O-oh! I hope she won’t want to eat me! (Timidly, to Tibble) Do-do you-like ‘em boiled, your Majesty?

TIBBLE: (aside) Boiled? What can he mean? Oh, the fowls, of course! (Loudly, to PIPKIN) No, roasted, your Magnanimity!

PIPKIN: (aside) What a dreadful creature! (To Tibble) R-roasted?

TIBBLE: (loudly) Yes; roasted, before a big fire.

PIPKIN: (starts and shifts chair away). O-oh!

TIBBLE: And basted well, you know!

PIPKIN: (groans) Been k-killing many lately, your Majesty?

TIBBLE: No; it’s rather late in the season, your Mightiness.

PIPKIN: You like ‘em young and tender, I s’pose, your Majesty?

TIBBLE: (eyeing him) Not too young. Just medium, you know.

PIPKIN: (aside) My age, in fact. Oh, dear, she means me! (Nervously) But you-you don’t catch ‘em yourself, your Majesty?

TIBBLE: (puzzled) Catch ‘em? (Aside) He’s getting excited.

PIPKIN: (agitated) Yes; run after ‘em, and — and catch ‘em.

TIBBLE: (aside) He’s getting worse! (To Pipkin): Run after what, your Prodigiousness?

PIPKIN: Why, the-the men, you know?

TIBBLE: (rising angrily) I run after men? (Stamps foot. PIPKIN starts) How dare you? How dare you? I don’t require to! I could have a man now if I wished!

PIPKIN: (aside) That’s me! (Jumping up and retreating) Keep off, you horrid woman; keep off!

TIBBLE: (aside) Mad as a hatter! Oh dear! I must try to cow him with my eye — like they frighten the lions!

(Advances slowly to PIPKIN, staring steadily. PIPKIN backs rapidly in terror. TIBBLE follows him round table)

PIPKIN: Avaunt, madwoman, avaunt!

(TIBBLE, having reached left of table, rushes off at L. door with a scream. PIPKIN rushes off to R. door, colliding with FRANK)

FRANK: Hullo, Uncle Pipkin, what’s the matter?

PIPKIN: (dropping into chair) Oh! Oh! Oh! What an experience. Oh, dear! Frank, if you don’t get rid of that dreadful woman, I won’t stay another hour!

FRANK: I can’t, uncle. She’s my wealthiest patient.

PIPKIN: Pack her off, Frank, and I’ll give you double her fee. Refuse, and I clear out at once; and won’t leave you a penny in my will. Oh, dear!

FRANK: But, uncle —

PIPKIN: Not another word, Frank! Not another word! Either she goes, or I do. (Exit (L.))

FRANK: Now here’s a nice mess. What is to be done? And the man I thought might be a patient was the tax-collector! We’ll have to send old Tibble off—that’s all.

(Enter DOLLY, hurriedly (L.))

DOLLY: Frank, you’ll have to send your Uncle Pipkin away.

FRANK: What?

DOLLY: He’s nearly frightened Aunt Tibble out of her wits, and she says if he doesn’t go she’ll leave the house, and alter her will tomorrow. So he’ll have to go.

FRANK: But he says the very same thing about her. And she’ll have to go.

DOLLY: No, she shan’t. She’s my aunt.

FRANK: Well, he shan’t. He’s my uncle.

DOLLY: Frank, you are simply horrid!

FRANK: Dolly, you are most unreasonable!

DOLLY: Oh, Frank, you—oh—oh—oh! (Exit (L.) weeping)

FRANK: I feel my brain going. At last I’ll have a patient. Myself.

(Enter DOOLEY, (R.))

FRANK: Look here, Dooley, I’m going mad.

DOOLEY: That’s three av ye. You’d better be the Emperor of China, sorr.

FRANK: Look here, Dooley, we’re in the dickens of a mess; and if you can get us out of it, I’ll—I’ll double your wages.

DOOLEY: Right ye are, sorr. I’m yer man.

FRANK: Well, the trouble is that our elderly relations — Aunt Maria Tibble and Uncle Jeremiah Pipkin — have nearly frightened each other out of their wits; and each threatens to leave the house unless the other goes. Now, we can’t afford to let either of them depart in a rage like that — and —

DOOLEY: I’m to be the pace-maker? Lave it to me, sorr.

FRANK: (shaking his hand) Do it, Dooley, and I’m your friend for life. Now, I’ll go and tell poor Dolly. (Exit (L.))

DOOLEY: Now, thin, me bhoy, manage this, an’ your bread’s baked for loife. Ah, here comes the ould leddy. I’ll put the blarney on her first.

(Enter TIBBLE (L.))

TIBBLE: Is he gone? Is the dreadful creature gone?

DOOLEY: Dreadful crayture, mum? Who’s he, mum?

TIBBLE: Why, the madman, of course.

DOOLEY: No, Miss Nibble—

TIBBLE: Tibble!

DOOLEY: Miss Tibble, mum; he’s not gone.

TIBBLE: Not gone yet? Oh, dear. I’ll never forgive Frank for exposing me to possible attack from this horrible man.

DOOLEY: Well, ye see, Miss Dibble—

TIBBLE: Tibble!

DOOLEY: Miss Tibble, mum, ye see, Master Frank has a kind heart, mum—

TIBBLE: Kind heart indeed! To allow a madman to run loose about the house while I am here—

DOOLEY: Sure, mum, it’s this way. Master Frank knew as how the poor gintleman could be cured—

TIBBLE: Cured, Dooley? How?

DOOLEY: (mysteriously) By the sight av a beautiful woman, mum.

TIBBLE: O-o-h! And-and is he cured, Dooley?

DOOLEY: He is, mum.

TIBBLE: What? Really?

DOOLEY: Yes, mum; perfectly cured. And, och, the poor gintleman is heartbroken at havin’ frightened ye, mum! ‘Dooley,’ says he, ‘she’s an angel,’ says he, ‘and I’ve druv her away for iver!’

TIBBLE: Poor fellow! And he’s so handsome, too! What is the gentleman’s name, Dooley?

DOOLEY: Pop-gun, mum!

TIBBLE: Pop-gun? How peculiar!

DOOLEY: Well, mum, it’s aither Pop-gun, or Pop-corn, or Pip-kin — that’s it, mum! Jeremiah Pipkin, mum!

TIBBLE: Jeremiah Pipkin! The name of my old sweetheart, whom I haven’t seen for twenty years! I thought I knew the face. It must be he. Oh, bring him to me, Dooley, at once!

DOOLEY: Right ye are, Miss Scribble. I’ll go and fetch him at wance. (Aside) My wages are doubled! (Exit (R.))

TIBBLE: My poor Jeremiah! We meet thus after twenty years. Insane! And now cured through my beauty. Ah! Here he comes! Silence, my heart.

(Enter PIPKIN (L.))

PIPKIN: Confound it! That mad woman again!

TIBBLE: (advancing) Jeremiah! Don’t you know me?

PIPKIN: (lifting and brandishing chair) Keep off. (Aside) Is this another phase of the disease?

TIBBLE: Jerry! Jerry! Don’t you know your own little Maria?

PIPKIN: Maria? What Maria?

TIBBLE: Why, Maria Tibble, Jerry — your old sweetheart!

PIPKIN: (cautiously putting down chair) Gracious me! I believe it is! Poor creature! I say, Maria, dear, what drove you mad?

TIBBLE: Mad? I’m not mad! ‘Tis you who are mad.

PIPKIN: (aside) Just what Dooley said. Poor Maria! (To TIBBLE) Then what are you doing here?

TIBBLE: Visiting my niece, Dolly, of course.

PIPKIN: Dolly your niece? Why, Frank’s my nephew.

TIBBLE: Then—then you’re not a patient?

PIPKIN: A patient? No!

TIBBLE: And you were never mad?

PIPKIN: Mad? No!

TIBBLE: But—but Frank told me you were mad.

PIPKIN: The young rascal! Why, he told me you were insane.

TIBBLE: Whatever can it mean?

PIPKIN: I don’t know! But, I say, Maria, dear, don’t you think we have wasted enough time apart?

(Crossing to TIBBLE)

TIBBLE: (sighs) Twenty years! Far too long, Jeremiah.

PIPKIN: Then I propose that we waste no more—

TIBBLE: Oh, Jeremiah, this is so sudden! (Sinks into PIPKIN’s arms)

(Enter DOOLEY (R.) rapidly)

DOOLEY: Sure, I can’t foind him, Miss Drivel— Oh! My wages is doubled.

(Enter FRANK and DOLLY (L.) They observe PIPKIN and TIBBLE)


FRANK: The fat’s all in the fire now, Dolly!

PIPKIN: Well, sir, what have you got to say for yourself? How dare you tell this lady that I was mad?

TIBBLE: And what do you mean by stating that I was insane?

FRANK: Well, I may as well make a clean breast of it. The truth is, we thought that you two would be jealous of each other’s presence in the house, and foolishly concocted this plot to conceal your identities.

PIPKIN: Well, well, we are so happy that we can’t be angry with you, for we are going to be married!

DOOLEY, DOLLY and FRANK (together): Married?

TIBBLE: Yes, Dolly; we were sweethearts twenty years ago.

PIPKIN: Yes, Frank, and as you have a large house and few patients, and we have plenty of money and no house, I propose that we all settle down together here—

DOLLY and FRANK: Agreed!

PIPKIN: Two happy married couples—

DOOLEY: And an odd wan. (Stepping forward) But as I’ve just got my wages doubled I’m resolved to remain a bachelor no longer, so if there’s any noise young lady in the audience who would loike to become Mrs Dooley, just step round to the back, and you’ll find me in charge of THE DOCTOR’S PATIENTS.


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Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.