The woman in black, samenvatting + deel van het toneelstuk
Arthur Kipps is an accountant. He's engaged with Stella and he has got a wonderful life. But then his boss, Mr Bentley, sends him away to handle the case of Mrs Drablow. She had died and left an old house called Eel Marsh. You can only reach it when it is low tide, because Eel Marsh lies on a small island.
In the train to Crythin Gifford, the town close to Eel Marsh, Arthur meets Samuel Daily, a rich man who has got a lot of land. At the end of the trip Daily gives Kipps his card and they say goodbye.
Arthur goes to his hotel and wakes up the next morning. He goes to the funeral of Mrs Drablow with Mr Jerome, the agent in Crythin Gifford. There Kipps sees a woman with a black dress. When Kipps asks Mr Jerome who that woman was, Mr Jerome says that there wasn't a woman in black in the church. When Kipps says that he has seen a woman in black, Mr Jerome almost gets a heart-attack. After this incident Kipps goes to Eel Marsh in an pony and trap. The driver of the pony and trap is Mr Keckwick. When Kipps sees the house he wants to stay there a couple of nights. Mr Keckwick agrees and goes back to the town. At Eel Marsh Arthur sees the woman in black again. He tries to reach her, but she runs away. After a few minutes Kipps gives up and goes back to the house. That night he goes outside and he hears the sound of a pony and trap. Kipps thinks it's Keckwick and he waits for him. But suddenly he hears the sound of a drowning horse and a scream of a child. Terrified, Kipps goes back to the house. He managed to fall in sleep, but seven hours later he wakes up because the doorbell is ringing. It's Keckwick. Then Kipps realises that the pony and trap (which drowned) of that night wasn't Keckwick's . Kipps goes back to the hotel and the next day he goes cycling. And in the evening he goes to the house of Mr Daily. There he gets a dog called Spider, because Mr Daily thinks it's much safer with a dog. First, Spider doesn't want to come with Kipps, but after a whistle she follows.
The next day Kipps goes with Spider to Eel Marsh and he goes to work. In the second night at Eel Marsh, Spider has to go outside. Kipps comes with him and once outside they hear a whistle. (dezelfde whistle??)Spider runs away…
Actor - He stands amazed and bewildered, as Spider's small form recedes into the great, open expanse. Then he runs as he has never run before.
We hear Kipps' footsteps, pounding furiously.
Actor - She is floundering in mud. Fighting to retain her balance from the pull beneath her feet. She is yelping loudly…
Kipps - SPIDER!
Actor - He is still just visible…
Kipps - I'm coming Spider… hold on girl…
Again the whistle
Actor - Then he too begins to feel the stickiness and the unsteadiness of the ground as it becomes
Kipps - Stay still, Spider… still as you can…
Actor - He is obliged to wade rather than walk.
Kipps - Have courage… I'm coming…
Actor - The little dog can scarcely hold up… her legs and half her body have disappeared beneath the whirling sucking bog, and her pointed head is held up in the air as she struggles and yelps.
Kipps - Good girl… good girl…
Again the whistle
Kipps - Keep trying, Spider… keep trying, good girl…
Kipps lies down, and fully extended, reaches for the dog
Actor - He grabs her neck, just as the last of her body sinks. He hauls and strains with a strength born of terror, he feels his grip on the slippery wet fur five, the dog begins to slide away, then with a last huge effort he drags his body backwards onto firmer ground.
The dog is suddenly released from the mud. Kipps rolls back, exhausted.
Kipps - (relieved and tearful) Oh Spider, Spider… thank God, thank God…
He lies a while in silence, then looks up, The woman in black stands, looking directly down at him. He stares at her. Then from the back of the classroom comes the sound of a pony and trap. Blackout.
End of the story
When Kipps wakes up, he's in the house. Samuel Daily is with him. Then Kipps knows where the pony and trap that he had heard for the blackout came from: it was Daily's pony and trap. Kipps goes with Daily to his house and stays there a few nights. There he hears from Daily the story of the woman in black.
It appears that Mrs Drablow had a sister called Jennet, who became pregnant of a young man. Her parents were furious and therefor Jennet gave the child to Mr and Mrs Drablow. But Jennet really missed the boy and came to Eel Marsh to visit the boy. But every time she saw him, they were never alone. But they began to look like each other and love each other. Jennet decided finally to take the child with her to another place. She waited for him in front of the house, at the end of the path. But when the boy came home in the pony and trap, it somehow came in the quicksand beside the path. The boy died. Keckwick, the father of the child, was the driver. Since this incident, Jennet began to go mad. Her face turned pale and she got sick. Twelve years after the death of the boy, Jennet also died. But her ghost stayed at earth, as the woman in black. And everytime she appears in Crythin Gifford, a child dies.
A day after Kipps heard this story, Stella, his fiancée, came and took him with her, back to London. But…
Bird song gives way to the sound of a pleasure park… music, laughter, many voices…(doen)
Kipps - There is only one thing left to tell. Within a few weeks Stella and I were married, and a little over a year later, Stella gave birth to our child, a son, whom we called Joseph Arthur
Samuel, and Mr Samuel Daily was his godfather. I never thought of the past, I was filled with joy and contentment in my life.
I was in a particularly peaceful, happy frame of my mind one Sunday afternoon the following summer. We had gone to a large park, ten miles or so outside London. There was a festive, holiday air about the place. Stella and I walked happily with little Joseph. One of the attractions was a pony and trap on which rides could be taken, and little Joseph gestured to it excitedly.
We hear the pony and trap begin to draw away. There is a babble of conversation, and the strains of the band playing a jolly tune.
Kipps - So, because there was only room for two, Stella took Joseph and I stood, watching them bowl merrily down the ride. For a while they went out of sight away round a bend, and I began to look idly about me, quite suddenly, I saw her.
A spot illuminates the woman in black. The pony and trap draws nearer, we hear child's laughter, the sound of the band, voices. The spot leaves Kipps and we watch the woman in black staring as if the trap is bearing towards her. Then, on a sudden movement from her, we hear the neighing of a startled horse, shouts from the driver, shouts from terror from the child, and then a horrifying crash. There is a second while the woman in black remains in the light. Then she is gone.
Kipps - (as the light slowly finds him) Our baby son had been thrown clear. Clear against another tree. He lay crumpled on the grass below it, dead. And ten months later, Stella too, died from her terrible injuries. (pause)
Silence. Then Kipps crosses and switches on the working lights. The actor comes to him, and in silence shakes his hand.
Actor - Thank you.
Kipps - Thank you. (pause) And is it done do you think? Will it now be laid to rest?
Actor - I pray it will. I thank you for your trouble… your enthusiasm… and your effort. At times it was as if I watched myself. I pray that when ne show it to our audience, at last it will be done with.
Kipps - Who is she?
Actor - I beg your pardon?
Kipps - Your surprise. She is remarkable. Where did you find her?
Actor - I'm afraid I don't understand.
Kipps - Your surprise, Mr Kipps… the surprise you found for me.
Actor - (puzzled) My surprise was that I had learnt my words.
Kipps - Yes, yes, you leant them expertly, but the woman you found… the actress. The woman in black. (pause) Who was she? (pause) You organized it as a complete surprise… you had her come here and go through her part and… a young woman. With a wasted face… she…
Silence. The actor is staring at him in horror.
Actor - A young woman?
Kipps - Is there anything the matter? You look unwell.
Actor - I did not see a young woman.
As the lights fade we hear again the sound of the pony and trap.
Geschreven door Yvette Osinga.