(Charles looks as though he is about to say something – but Jack, who has been in the rubbish heap, suddenly climbs out with a tin in his hand which he rattles – he steps towards Charles and Edmund. Charles retreats away from the boy – Edmund hesitantly goes towards him. )
Jack: Spare change? Spare change?
Edmund: Do you have a name young one?
(He takes a coin out of his pocket and puts it in the tin)
Jack: My name is Jack sirs, I ain’t got no surnames I can remember – I been a factory boy all me life, came up here to Rev-shire get factory work see – but they be doing something else there – I made me escape – it ain’t what it looks like sirs.
Edmund: I am Edmund Dashwood, pleased to make your acquaintance.
(He reaches out his hand to shake Jacks – but Jack takes in Edmunds appearance for the first time – he seems speechless)
Jack: A Dashwood! – I meant no offence Sir, I meant none – I best be off – I weren’t even here.
(He runs off stage – tripping once – he looks fearful. Charles comes towards Edmund trembling slightly)
Edmund: What in heavens name was that! He meant no offence by what? I cannot make out his meaning – he seemed fearful when I stated whom I was. Why should he be fearful of me – my family are respected by the factory workers, did you not say they looked to my mother as there own …Charles???
(Charles is trembling)
Charles: I think it best we leave – these people – these factory workers, they are so ungrateful, your mother has given them more than they deserve, I do not think it is safe for you here Edmund.
(He attempts to pull Edmund away – but Edmund will not move)
Edmund: There is something most strange going on in this place – everything seems so altered, why should he fear me? Charles do you not notice it? I shall have to consult my parents – my mother will –
Charles: No! No Edmund that is hardly wise. I do own that things seem to be vastly altered; it seems more Lugubrious than ever if that is possible. But think of your mother, she has had such a burden placed upon her by our untimely arrival, her nerves are not to be trifled with I think it best that you do not trouble her with such trivial things – leave it be at least till after the ball.
Edmund: My Families name is hardly trivial Charles, though there is some truth in what you say – her work does consume her. I shall let the matter rest until the ball and no later –
Charles: That is all I ask! Now come it is unsafe here.