Kerala State Board New Syllabus Plus Two English Textbook Answers Unit 2 Chapter 3 The Hour of Truth Text Book Questions and Answers, Summary, Notes.
Kerala Plus Two English Textbook Answers Unit 2 Chapter 3 The Hour of Truth (One act play)
Think And Write
Why was Mr Gresham arrested?
Mr Gresham was arrested because he misappropriated the money of the bank.
Why didn ’t Baldwin explain his position to the papers?
Baldwin did not explain His position to the papers because he did not think it necessary to tell them.
What was the change in the attitude of the members of the family when they came to know the amount of the bribe?
The amount of the bribe was huge, 100,000 dollars. When the family members came to know the amount was such a huge one, they were all looking for excuses to make Baldwin do as Gresham wanted him to do. So far they were all honest people. But when the big temptation came, they were willing to compromise their principles.
How did Baldwin react to the opinion of his family?
He told them that by accepting the bribe he would be doing a dishonourable thing. Even if outsiders may not know about it, the four of them will know. And once a dishonourable thing is done how can they be sure that they will be honest with each other? If he takes the money he will be a sham, a liar, a hypocrite and a thief. If he does a bad act it will stink to the Almighty Heaven.
Was Baldwin disloyal to Mr Grisham? Quote the relevant sentences to support your answer.
He was not disloyal to Mr Gresham. Supporting somebody’s misdeed is not part of loyalty. Baldwin told Gresham he would not lie. Gresham “was not surprised. He’s known me for thirty-five years, and, well anybody who’s known me forthirty five year does not expect me to haggle with my conscience.” Baldwin further says, “He is desperate – he does not know what he is doing – or he wouldn’t have offered the money.”
Activity I (Analysis)
Pick out the striking dialogues of the play, as the samples given below, and try to deliver them in front of the whole class. Now write down the implied meaning of the dialogues in the column.
|Striking Expressions||speaker||What does he/she mean?|
|1. Your father will do his duty, John, no matter what comes of it.||Martha||She says her husband Baldwin is an upright man.|
|2. People have been saying things.||Join||He means the unpleasant news about Baldwin’s suspected rote in the misappropriation of money.|
|Striking Expressions||speaker||What does he/she mean?|
|1. Your father will do his duty, John, no matter what comes of it.||Martha||She says her husband Baldwin is an upright man.|
|2. People have been saying things.||Join||He means the unpleasant news about Baldwin’s suspected rote in the misappropriation of money.|
|3. But you let your name rest under a cloud meanwhile.||Martha||She is telling Baldwin that by not telling what happened he is letting others suspect him.|
|4. I will go to my grave clean.||Baldwin||He says he wants to die without committing any sin knowingly.|
|5. It is going to be a nasty mess if they put John Gresham in jail.||John||It will be very bad if they send John Gresham to jail because he has the same name.|
|6. Gresham had a prettier name for it||Baldwin||When Gresham offered 100,000 he did not call it bribe but he said he was paying that much because he had been underpaying Baldwin for so many years.|
|7. We have seen our soul naked, and they stink to Almighty Heaven.||Baldwin||By asking him to accept the bribe they are showing their true colours and God will not like it, as it is a sin.|
Activity II: (Write-up)
The opening part of the play tells us about:
- The problem confronted by the characters
- The weather
- The mental condition of the characters
The play ends with:
- The appreciation of the protagonist
- The arrival of Marshall
- The revelation of Gresham’s confession
Now, prepare a write up on the opening and ending of the play:
The play opens very beautifully with a fine description of the weather which is hot and sultry. We see the Baldwin family anxiously waiting for the return of its head. It obviously shows there is some trouble. Martha, Evie and John are worried why Baldwin has not returned home. Through this opening, the readers are made ready to receive some bad news that will bring in suspense and mystery.
The play ends settling all the questions that were raised in the beginning and through the events of the story. The good man is rewarded. Marshall, the President of the Third National, a huge prestigious bank comes with an offer of a good position for Baldwin. Baldwin feels happy that he does not have give evidence against his friend Graham as he has confessed his guilt. There is all round happiness. With his new job, the Baldwin family can have better days. Honesty is the best policy.
Activity III (Character sketch)
Read the notes on p. 66and16. Here is the character sketch of Baldwin.
Robert Baldwin is the protagonist of this play. He lives in a trim little cottage with his wife Martha and his son John and daughter Evie. He is working as the governor of a bank owned by John Gresham. His salary is very low, 60 dollars a week. His son John earns only 30 dollars a week. With this limited income they live reasonably happily.
Suddenly there is a problem in their lives. John Gresham has misappropriated bank money and he is in jail. The bank is closed and Baldwin will have no job. Only Baldwin is the witness for the misappropriation. If he gives his true testimony, John Gresham will definitely go to jail for a long period. Baldwin is honest and he has taught his family the importance of honesty.
When Baldwin returns home after the arrest of John Gresham, his wife and children rush to him to know the latest news. Initially his wife and the children tell him that he should say the truth during the trial even if it means jail term for Gresham. But when they come to know that Gresham has offered him a bribe of 100,000 dollars just to say ‘I don’t remember’ when some incriminating questions are asked in the court, they change their stance. They try to find out all kinds of loopholes to make Baldwin accept the bribe. Martha, John and Evie do their best to make Baldwih’dhange his mind. But he asserts that he wants to go to his grave clean.
He does love Gresham. He even named his son after him. Even now he remembers how he worked with him for so long. They were boys together. They worked side by side. All this is true, but he is not willing to tell a lie to save his friend and employer even when he is offered a colossal sum of 100,000 dollars.
Baldwin’s honesty is repaid abundantly. Even Gresham is proud of him and he recommends him to Mr Marshall, the President of the Third International. At the end of the play we see Marshall coming to the house of Baldwin and offering him a job at the Third International. We see Baldwin crying in the end. He must have been crying for two reasons – his friend Gresham has confessed his guilt and he will surely be punished. Secondly he is shedding tears of joy in gratitude to God who has amply repaid his honesty. Honesty, Baldwin proves, beyond an iota of doubt, is the best policy.
Activity IV (Group Discussion)
What according to you are the reasons for corruption?
- Extravagant family
- Lack of commitment to society
- Insatiable love for worldly pleasures
- Thinking that one will live for ever
- Lack of faith in the after life
What are the evil effects of corruption?
- Services are not provided in time
- Prevents/blocks development
- Inequality in society
- Poverty, disease and ignorance can’t be eradicated
- Makes people lazy as they look for short-cuts to make money
- Diligence and hard work are not valued
- Brings immorality in the society
- Values are thrown to the wind
- Money becomes god
Make a Group Discussion on the Topic: Corruption Curtails the Development of the Country.
Use the above ideas to conduct a fine GD (Group Discussion).
Activity V (Compering)
Think that you are selected to introduce the actors of die play ‘The Hour of Truth’to the audience. Prepare a script.
These are the main characters:
a) Baldwin is the protagonist (hero) of the play. He is a family man who values honesty before anything else. Even a 100,000 bribe for just saying “I don’t remember’ can’t buy him. In spite of pressures from his wife, son and daughter he sticks to his principle. He wants to go to his grave clean! An exceptional man!
b) Martha is the wife of Baldwin. She is proud of her honest husband. But the bribe of 100,000 dollars to her husband makes her ready to give up her principles. She looks for loopholes to take the money without any guilty feeling: She is a worldly woman who can’t resist the twinkle of money.
c) John is the 27-year old son of Baldwin and Martha. He earns just 30 dollars a week. Initially he supports the truth. But the lure of money makes him forget his morals. Telling a simple lie for 100,000 dollars is not a sin!
d) Evie is the daughter of Baldwin and Martha. She is proud of her honest father and loves him dearly. She wants him to stick to the truth. But on hearing about the offer of 100,000 dollars for a small lie, her morality is shaken to the roots. Normal for a young girl from a not-so-rich family.
Activity VI (Readers’ Theatre)
Reader’s theatre is a vocal rendering of the script of a play. There are no stage settings, costumes or actions involved in it. The script of the play is read out with proper voice modulation. It is used to improve listening and reading skills.
Assume the various roles in the play and present the Readers’ theatre of “The Hour of Truth’ in the class.
This is to be practically done by the students.
Activity VII (Language practice)
Read the passage given on p. 68 of the Text.
a. Fill in the blanks choosing the right option from the brackets.
- Wasn’t selling
- Was waiting
- Was playing
- Was approaching
b. Fill in the blanks using the correct tense forms of the verbs in brackets.
- Sekhar was now with the Xanadu, a government publication. He joined it a year ago. Since then he has been publishing articles on various subjects. Next week he will write on the importance of being honest in public life.
- I reached the school a little late this morning. My friend was waiting for me there. He said that he had been waiting there for half an hour.
- Yesterday, they went home only after they had finished their work. But today they just decided that they would not work after five o’clock.
B. Reported Speech
Read the notes and examples given on below:
[am, is, are – was, were, do/does – did, will – would, can – could, have, has – had, want/like/know/go etc. – wanted/liked/knew/went, etc.]
[The past simple (did/saw/knew, etc.) can usually stay the same in reported speech, or you can change it to the past perfect
(had done/had seen / had known, etc.)]
e.g. Direct : Tom said, “I woke up feeling ill, so I didn’t go to work.
Report The Following:
“You aren’t worried, are you?” Tony asked.
“Noway, man,” Felix laughed out loud. “Ijustthink it’s cooler if we split right here. After the fight, we can get it together again like nothing ever happened.”
Tony asked Felix whether he was worried. Felix laughed it off saying he wasn’t. He thought it would be better if they split right there. After the fight they could get together again as if nothing had ever happened.
b. Complete the following passage: (The words in the Direct speech are listed below:)
1. “Take the first turning to the left.”
2. “Keep straight till you reach the main road.”
3. “You will see the post office facing you.”
4. “How far is it?”
5. “It’s about half a mile at the most.”
I was walking down the road the other day when a man stopped me and asked the way to the nearest post office. I told him to take the first turning to the left, and keep straight till he reaches the main road, where he would see the post office facing him on the opposite side of the road. He asked me how far it was and I told him it was about half a mile at the most. He thanked me and walked off.
C. The Passive
Read the notes on the Passive given on below:
It is remarkable how rapidly the country is developing. Progress (1) ………….. (make) everywhere. In the town, old houses (2) ………….. (pull down) and fine new blocks of flats (3) ………….. (put up) in their place. Large factories (4) ……………… (build) within easy reach of the town. In these, only the most modern machinery (5) ……………. (install). Good highways (6) ………………… (construct) to connect one town with another. In the countryside, too, a great deal (7) ………… (do) to increase agricultural production through new techniques. Irrigation schemes (8) ……………… (introduce) everywhere. In the south, large areas of land, which were once desert (9) ……………… extensively …………………… (cultivate). It is a pleasure to see how much (10) ……………… (achieve) through planning and hard work.
a. Complete the following passage:
(Here you can choose between the simple present and the present continuous tense.)
It is remarkable how rapidly the country is developing. Progress is (being) made everywhere. In the town, old houses are (being) pulled down and new blocks of flats are (being) put up in their place. Large factories are (being) built within easy reach of the town. In these, only the most modern machinery is (being) installed. Good highways are (being)/have been constructed to connect one with another. In the countryside, too, a great deal has/ is to be done to increase agricultural production through new techniques. Irrigation schemes have/are to be introduced everywhere. In the south, large areas of land, which were once desert, have/are extensively been/being cultivated. It is a pleasure to see how much has been (is being) achieved through planning and hard work.
b. Rewrite the following newspaper report, using the passive forms of the verbs underlined:
Daring Raid at Local Hotel
The Manager of the Ridgeway Hotel was held at gunpoint by thieves last night during a daring raid in which nearly Rs. 50,000 was taken from the hotel safe. Several of the bedrooms also were broken into and articles of value were removed.
The thieves made their escape through the kitchen, where several pieces of equipment were damaged. The chef was injured when he tried to stop them and he was left lying unconscious on the floor. The thieves were arrested early this morning.
Activity VIII (Let’s edit)
Given blow is a letter mailed by the winner of the Golden Gloves Championship Tournament (Amigo Brothers) in response to the show cause notice sent by the Secretary of the Sports Authority.
There are a few errors in it Identify them. Now, re¬write the letter with necessary corrections.
(Hint The errors are in the following areas: spelling, tense, word order, redundancy)
15 August 2005 ‘
845, 3n, Ave., NY
Sub: Not Receiving Medal at the Golden Gloves Championship Tournament
Ref: Your Show Cause Notice dated 8 August 2005
I really regret the inconvenience I caused during the valedictory function of the Tournament. I do believe that in a game a contestant should fight well with true sportsman spirit rather than fight for a medal. I also believe that the value of a medal is not greater than the bond between human relationships. Please remember that my opponent was by closest friend.
I know that I won the match only because of my friend. He frightened me throughout the game. But in the last few minutes I faced only mild punches from him. He wanted me to win the match.
In the circumstances I may kindly be exempted from any disciplinary action.
The Hour of Truth (One-act play) Edumate Questions and Answers
Mr. John Gresham, who is under police custody, sends Robert Baldwin a message expressing his wish to meet Robert as early as possible. Complete the message.
The message begins like this:
I am going through the worst time of my life …………….
t am going through the worst time of my life. As you know I am accused of misappropriation of bank money and I am in jail. I want to see you as early as you can make it. Our meeting is a life and death issue for me. So do not hesitate to come. I want to talk to you some very personal and urgent matters.
Your delay in coming would cost me my liberty and you your job in the bank. So do come immediately and don’t delay.
John Gresham offered hundred thousand dollars to Robert Baldwin. But he rejected it. Later he told his family ‘I’ll go to my grave clean!’ What trait of Baldwin’s character is evident here?
The trait of character evident here is his honesty. He does not want to take a bribe, however big it is, and tell a lie. He wants to die as a man of integrity and truth.
On the eve of John’s arrest, Robert Baldwin sent him an e-mail persuading him to close down the bank. Draft the e-mail for Robert Baldwin.
Sub: Closing down the Bank
I have got some definite information that the police will come and arrest you soon. Somebody has complained against you and accused you of misappropriating bank money. I was going through the records and I find there are many discrepancies which we can’t explain to the police, if they come to the bank to investigate the matter. So in the best interest of all, I strongly recommend that you close down the bank. Keeping it open will bring you more troubles. With more time in our hands we can see how we can settle the things in a proper way.
I hope you will take my suggestion seriously and close the bank down.
Robert Baldwin decides to join Third National. He writes a letter to Mr. Marshall expressing his willingness to join Third National. Write the likely letter.
II /47 Kennedy Street
Mr. Marshal Smith
President, Third National
Sub: Willingness to join Third National
Thank you for your offer letter TN/Est/Per/143 dated
November 5,2016.1 am willing to take up the job.
I request you to give me a period of 2 weeks to settle certain matters with which I am busy at the moment.
I will be able to join on November 23.
Read the excerpt from the play ‘The Hour-of Truth.’
Evie : And Mr. Gresham hasn’t done anything really wrong.
John : It’s a technicality, that’s what it is. Nobody loses a cent. Nobody wants to see him punished.
Do you agree with Evie and John? Substantiate your views in a paragraph.
I don’t agree with Evie and John. Both of them know Mr. Gresham has misappropriated bank money. If Robert Baldwin, their father, simply says three words during the trial of Gresham, he is promised a bribe of a colossal sum of 100,000 dollars. Forthe poor family, this is a huge sum. If that money comes to the family, Evie and John can do some of the things they want to do, but were unable to do because of the lack of money. So they are making excuses to make their father accept the bribe.
Evie says Mr. Gresham has not done anything really wrong as if she is the judge! John dismisses the misdeed of Gresham by calling it a mere technicality. Moreover he says nobody will lose a cent and nobody wants Gresham to be punished. So his logic is there is nothing wrong if his father takes the 100,000 dollars offered to him. These young children are talking like some modern lawyers who twist the truth for their advantage. They don’t mind twisting the truth if the payment is good.
Evie and John Baldwin are the true representatives of the modern world where money moulds choices. In the light of the reading of The Hour of Truth’ express your opinion on the above statement.
Money Moulds Choices
Evie and John are definitely true representatives of the modem world where money moulds the choices. Both of them knew very well that Mr. Gresham has misappropriated bank money. When they come to know that if their father, Robert Baldwin, simply says three words “I don’t know” during the trial of Gresham, he is promised a bribe of a colossal sum of 100,000 dollars, they want their father to say those three words and collect the money. For the poor family like Evie’s and John’s, this is a huge sum. If that money comes to the family, Evie and John can do some of the things they want to do, but were unable to do because of the lack of money. So they are making excuses to make their father accept the bribe.
Evie says Mr. Gresham has not done anything really wrong as if site is the judge! John dismisses the misdeed of Gresham by calling it a mere technicality. Moreover he says nobody will lose a cent and nobody wants Gresham to be punished. So his logic is there is nothing wrong if his father takes the 100,000 dollars offered to him. These young children are talking like some modem lawyers who twist the truth for their advantage. They don’t mind twisting the truth if the payment is good.
This is the typical attitude of the modern world. Honesty, integrity and truth have no meaning to most of the modern people who can simply close their eyes to truth if it is beneficial to them. Forthe modem people addicted to the consumer culture, money is God. They are prepared to sacrifice anything – their conscience, soul and spirit – for money. Mammon is the modem god and people do not even feel shame to worship him in the open! They have forgotten the old ditty: “If you lose wealth, you lose nothing; if you lose health, you lose something; but if you lose character, you lose everything!”
The employees of John Gresham under the leadership of Donovan, the assistant cashier, decides to take all possible steps to put John Gresham behind the bars forthe wrong he has done. On behalf of Donovan, draft a letter of complaint to the Chief of Police highlighting the need to curtail such illegal activities in future.
Secretary, Employees Union
John Gresham Banking Co.
7 November 2016
The Chief of Police
Sub: Misappropriation of Bank Money by John Gresham
As the representative of the Employees of John Gresham, I want to bring to your notice the misappropriation of Bank money by Mr. Gresham. He has misappropriated a very huge amount causing the crash of the Bank. Currently he is in jail awaiting trial.
Mr. Robert Baldwin is the governor of the Bank. As far as we know he is an upright person who will do nothing against his conscience. So, the sole culprit is John Gresham.
Banking is an industry built on faith and John Gresham has done great damage to that faith. We all lost our jobs and we are in trouble. We request you to take strict measures against John Gresham and recoverthe misappropriated amount from him. He should be given such severe punishment so that it will be deterrent to the people who want to cheat people.
Hoping you will take immediate action,
Mr. Tom, an incredibly accomplished and successful businessman, while addressing young professionals, once said:
“It’s absolutely essential to think freely. I’ve seen people very busy who never really seem to do any thing.” If you think, you’ll realize that it’s impossible to concentrate on fifty different things at a time. It’s high time we take things seriously and make sure to give that activity your full attention. To be precise, you need to make money by doing something that has already been proven successful.
Replace the italicized portion choosing appropriate idiomatic expressions from the options given below, (get down to business, smooth sailing .think out of box, in a nutshell, glimpse Into the future, in a beehive)
think freely-think out of the box
very busy – in beehive
take things seriously – get down to business
to be precise – in a nutshell
The following are some of the key points noted down by a reporter who was assigned the task of reporting the John Gresham-bank crash case.
- Wrecking of the bank
- Mr. John Gresham found guilty
- Mr. Gresham arrested
- Robert Baldwin-only witness
- The trial begins in twenty four hours
- The bank closed down
Based on the points, prepare a report of the incident. Give a catchy title to the report.
Bank Crashes – Misappropriation Alleged
Washington DC: The John Gresham Bank has crashed. Its owner John Gresham is arrested and is in jail. The Bank is closed and sealed. Customers are panicky not knowing what has happened.
On contacting the governor of the Bank Mr. Robert Baldwin, he said he knew nothing about the misappropriation. If anything has happened, as alleged, he does not know anything about it. He is only the governor of the bank and major business is transacted by the owner Mr. Gresham himself.
We also contacted Mr. Donovan. He is the Asstt. Cashier of the bank and he has been working there for the last 8 years. He was as surprised as we were about the crash of the bank. He said he had planned to work in the bank all his life because he had considered the bank an excellent one. He even got married on the strength of his job here. He was now more worried than even the customers!
The police say that John Gresham has taken away huge sums from the Bank and deposited them in the numbered Swiss Bank accounts. He was planning to run away with his family to Switzerland and live there comfortably with his misappropriated money.
The trial of the case will begin in 24 hours.
Your school is staging the one act play The Hour of Truth.’As the director of the play, you are asked to introduce the play to the audience. Prepare the script for introduction.
(Hints: theme, message, relevance of the play in the present day world etc.)
Respected Principal, teachers and friends,
You are going to see a one-act play titled The Hour of Truth’ by Percival Wilde. In the play we see how money moulds minds in the modern world. Robert Baldwin is the governor of the John Grisham Bank. His wife is Martha and he has two children Evie and John. His salary is just 60 dollars a week. Robert is a man of honesty and he has taught his family of the importance of being honest.
John Gresham misappropriates bank money and he is in jail. The bank crashes. Robert is asked to meet John urgently in the jail. John offers him a bribe of 100,000 dollars to say “I don’t remember” in the court when the case comes to trial. By saying those words, Robert will save John from punishment.
Robert comes home and talks about the offer to his wife and children. The three of them suddenly start thinking of ways to get the 100,000 dollars. They give suggestions to Robert. Will Robert take their suggestions and accept the money from John and say in the court “I don’t remember” when the judge asks him about the misappropriation?
I will not tell you the answer now. See it on stage! Have a nice time watching the play!
Go through the excerpt taken from The Hour of Truth’
John : They’re going to punish Gresham, aren’t they?
Baldwin : I’m afraid so.
John : What for?
Baldwin : For misappropriating the fund of the bank.
John : Oh, I know that. But what crime has he committed?
Report this conversation from Martha’s point of view.
John asked Baldwin whether they were going to punish Gresham.
Baldwin replied that he was afraid so.
John again asked what it was for.
Baldwin replied that it was for misappropriating the fund of the bank.
John commented that he knew that and asked but what crime he had committed.
When Mr. Marshall enters the scene and speaks about Gresham’s confession Martha, Robert’s wife feels extremely proud of her husband. She speaks volubly on the ideal qualities of Robert Baldwin.
My husband: …………………………………………………………………… Now, complete it for her.
(Hints: Principles Robert stood for, his self-confidence, uncompromising attitude, commitment towards the family etc.)
My husband Robert is a gem of a person. Without hesitation, I can say that he is a synonym for honesty. He has practiced it all his life and he has been trying to instill it into our two children and also me. His salary is very small. He gets only $60 a week but he will never think of increasing his income by questionable means. He is a man of self-confidence and he is sure of himself. He has an uncompromising attitude. He is highly committed to his family and he spends a lot of prime time with us.
My husband neither drinks nor smokes nor gambles. He could have easily taken the money offered by John Gresham and we could have lived a more comfortable life. In fact Evie, John and even I tried to persuade him that saying “I don’t remember” in the court is not a big sin at all and he should say it and get the money promised to him by John Gresham. He loves John Gresham and that is why he named our son John. But neither his love for Gresham nor his desire to give his family better comforts would persuade him to take a bribe. That is my husband and I am proud of him.
The Hour of Truth (One-act play) About The Author
– Percival Wilde – (1887-1953)
Percival Wilde (1887-1953) was known for his plays and detective stories. This play is from the volume entitled “A Question of Morality and Other Plays”. It is a striking psychological study on the corrupting influence of money on people.
The Hour of Truth (One-act play) Summary in English
The Scene: At Baldwin’s
It is a hot and sultry Sunday afternoon. The sun overhead and the baked clay underfoot are merciless. In the distance, lowering clouds promise rain. At the Baldwin family, the people are awaiting the return of Baldwin.
John, Baldwin’s son, is an average youth of 27. He is smoking a pipe as if today is not anything different from the other days. His mother is knitting without much progress. Evie is trying to conceal her nervousness.
There is a tense pause. Nobody wants to break the silence. For the tenth time, in ten minutes, Evie goes to the window and look? oyt along the road.
Martha says that he should have come by now. She hopes he has not forgotten his umbrella as usual. She thinks it might rain and asks Evie about it. Without waiting for an answer Martha goes to the window and looks out anxiously. She says the sky is dark. Suddenly she starts because there was a flash of lightning.
Page 51: John moves to a nearby centre-table and knocks the ashes out of his pipe. His mother turns to him. She asks him to go to his father’s room and see that the windows are closed. John goes.
Evie tries to get the attention of her mother. She asks her why Mr. Gresham wanted her father. Has he done anything wrong? Martha says he has done nothing wrong. Mr. Gresham wanted to talk to him. Evie wants to know what is the thing that Mr. Gresham wanted to talk about. Mr Gresham has been arrested and they are going to try him the following day. Why does he want her father?
Martha says he is going to give evidence. Evie wants to know since her father is going to give evidence against Mr Gresham why does he want to see her father. Martha says she does not know. Robert does not say much about his business affairs. She did not know there was anything wrong with the bank until she saw it in the newspapers. Robert did not tell her to draw her money out. By doing that it would not be loyal to Mr. Gresham. But she withdrew the money against his wishes because she suspected something.
Evie wants to know if her father had anything to do with the wrecking of the bank. Did he know what was going oh. The papers are saying bad thing about him. Martha says they haven’t been fairto him.
Page 52: Evie says the papers said that he must have been a fool not to know that. Only he and Gresham could have known it. Then why didn’t he stop it? Martha says he was acting under Gresham’s orders. Evie wanted to know why her father should follow Gresham’s orders. Martha believes Robert never did a wrong thing in his life. He did not know he was wrong. He found it by accident. He found out what Gresham was doing. Evie wants to know how she knows all this.
Martha says she does not know it,for saw. But she suspects it. She is sure that Robert has not done anything Evie sees herfather coming. Martha asks Evie to stay where she is. She would like to talk to her husband first. John and Evie look at each other. John wonders what Gresham had to tell him. He looks through the window and sees it has started raining. John suddenly opens the door and greets his father. Baldwin comes in followed by Martha. He shakes hands with John and kisses Evie.
Page 54: Martha asks Robert if his shoes are wet. Baldwin says he took the car and so he is not wet. He goes to a chair and sits. John asks his father to tell them something about the problem. Baldwin pretends he did not understand. John says that people have been talking rotten things about his father. He could not contradict them. Baldwin asks why he could not. John says he did not know. Baldwin says but he knows his father. He says it was only a day before the smash-up he found out what Gresham was doing. He then asked Gresham to put all the money he had taken away back into the bank. But he said he could not. Then he told him to close the bank. But Gresham did not want to do that. But he made him do it. He was very angry. But Baldwin had the upper hand.
Evie says the papers did not mention those things. Baldwin says it was not necessary to tell them. Martha says by not telling the truth Robert is allowing people to doubt him.
Page 55: Baldwin says it will be cleared the following day. Gresham wanted to see him. The trial begins in 24 hours. He is the only witness against Gresham. He asked him to tell the court that he had an attack of poor memory. If he tells all the things he knows Gresham will go to jail. No power on earth can save him. Therefore he wants him to forget a little – the essential things. He told him when they question him he should say “I don’t remember.” They can’t prove whether he remembers or not. John thinks it would be a lie.
Baldwin says it is a lie. But it is done every day. And they could not touch him and they cant convict Gresham. Martha was angry at Gresham’s daring to ask her husband to tell a lie. Evie wants to know what her father’s reply to Gresham was. Baldwin asks John what would he have said if such a- request was made to him. John says he would have told him to go to the devil. Baldwin says he did the same thing. But he did not use the words John used. He is an old friend. But Gresham knew what he meant. Evie wants to know what was Gresham’s reaction.
Page 56: Baldwin says Gresham was not surprised. He had known him for 35 years. Anybody who knew him that long won’t expect him to tell a lie. If it was somebody else he would have hit him on the face. But Gresham and he were boys together and they worked side by side. He has been working for him since he started business. He is desperate now. He does not know what he is doing. He offered him money.
John was surprised to hear that. Baldwin says he was offered 100,000 dollars. But he has only a few years to live and he wants to die clean. Gresham had put aside that money for him without anybody knowing it. He says it is out of his private fortune and not from the depositors’ money. It makes no difference.
Evie could not believe that her father was offered 100,000 dollars. Baldwin says he could get that money simply by saying one word ‘Yes’, or for nodding his head or even a look of the eyes. John wants to know whether Gresham meant what he said. Baldwin says his word is good. He never lied to him. He unlocked his drawer and showed him the 100,000 in cash. Baldwin examined them and found the bills (notes) were genuine. Evie enquires for that amount if her father has to simply say ‘I don’t remember’. Baldwin says yes.
Page 57: Baldwin says those three words would choke him if he tried to speak them. For some others it would be easy. If he told a lie all of his past would rise up and hit him in the face. It would mean he had been a living lie. He wouldn’t be then the honourable man he was thought to be. When John Gresham offered him money, he was angry. But Gresham showed no surprise which was a compliment to Baldwin. John says it was a compliment that cost him 100,00 dollars.
Martha wants to know if the depositors would lose much. Baldwin says they won’t lose a’cent. Evie felt the papers said a different story. Baldwin says they printed something without knowing the truth. They were simply guessing. He said he wanted Gresham to say the position regarding the depositors’ money. It will come out the following day.
John wanted to know why he did not say the truth to the papers before. They had been asking him. Baldwin says nothing forced him to give an answer. Baldwin thinks Gresham will be punished for misappropriating funds. John wonders what crime Gresham has committed. Evie thinks if nobody loses anything there is no crime.
Page 58: Baldwin says they can’t let Gresham go free. He is too conspicuous. John wants to know whether it is right. Baldwin says his opinion does not matter. But he is sorry for Gresham. John thinks it is a technicality. Since nobody loses a cent, why should Gresham be punished! Evie wants to know if it is too bad if her father lets Gresham off. Baldwin says he wants to let Gresham off, but he is not the judge. Evie says he is the only witness against Gresham. John supports her. He further says that it is bad if they put John Gresham in jail because his father named him John Gresham.
Martha wants clarification. She wants Baldwin to repeat what Gresham told him. Baldwin says Gresham told him to get him off tomorrow. Martha wants to know if he can do that. Baldwin says yes, by answering ‘I don’t remember1 when they ask him dangerous questions.
Page 58: Martha wants to know if he remembers everything. Baldwin says yes. John wants to know if he remembers everything. Baldwin says yes because he has notes also. John then wants to know if he will remember things without those notes. He thinks he will have to rely on the notes. Baldwin says everybody else does the same thing. John then says that means if he says ‘I don’t remember’ it won’t be far from the truth. Martha also thinks that Gresham is not asking too much from Baldwin. Baldwin is surprised to see Martha encouraging him to say ‘I don’t remember’.
Martha says she is as honorable as her husband. She thinks it is not right to send an old friend to jail. When their son John was baptized Gresham stood sponsor for him and they were very proud. Does Robert remember what he said that day when they were returning home from Church? He had said, “Martha, may our son always live up to the name which we have given him.”Baldwin says he dimly remembers it.
Page 60: Martha says it would be very sad if their son’s name should come to grief through him (Robert). Robert wants to know if Martha is telling him to accept the bribe money Gresham offered. Evie wants to know why he calls it bribe money. Robert says Gresham called it with a prettier name. He said he had underpaid him all those years. He said the 100,000 represented the difference between what he had paid and what actually he deserved.
Martha says Gresham was right. Robert had worked sincerely for him all those years. Robert said that Gresham felt that if he had paid him what he should have, Robert would have more than 100,000 by now. John agrees with the logic of Gresham. Baldwin says he never asked him to raise his salary. When he raised it, it was on his own accord. He asks Evie for her opinion.
Evie says what people would think if her father goes to the stand to give witness and they put John Gresham in jail. Robert says they will think he has done his duty. Evie says that when the depositors find out that they have not lost any money, they will not want Gresham to go to jail. They will feel sorry for him. Baldwin agrees.
Page 61: John says people will not be happy with the man who caused Gresham to go to jail. Martha supports John and says people will say that Robert did not help an old friend. John says that when Robert pulls out the notes in court, Gresham will surely go to jail. Evie feels that Gresham has not done anything wrong. John says it is a mere technicality. Nobody loses a cent. Nobody wants Gresham punished. Evie says only her father wants Gresham punished. John wants to know how his father can send the man, whose name he has given to his son, to jail. Martha says she believes in mercy and Gresham has always been good to Robert. Martha also reminds him that he is out of work as the bank is closed.
Baldwin says he will find a position somewhere. John says that if Gresham does not go to jail he will start his business again and he will offer Robert a partnership. The 100,000 could be put in business. Moreover Gresham will remain grateful to Robert.
Page 62: Martha says 100,000 dolars would mean a lot to them. If Robert does not find a job soon, John, their son, will have to support them. John says he gets only 30 dollars a week and that would not be much for the family. Evie begins to weep. John tells his father that he has said nothing to the papers. If he says nothing more tomorrow, it will be simply sticking to his friend. He has done a lot for him and he has to reciprocate.
Baldwin tries to look at each one. They all turn their eyes away. Do they want him to take the money? He wants an answer, yes or no, from at least one of them. He could not go into partnership with Gresham. Martha asks him why. He says people would not trust him. John then says he could go into business with someone else. 100,000 is a lot of money.
Baldwin walks to the window. He says he never thought such a day would come. Whatever they say taking money from Gresham is a dishonorable thing. He asks all of them to admit it. John says nobody will hear of it. Baldwin says but they will know it among themselves. Whatever they are to the world, they should be honest with each other. He looks at each one. He lifts Martha’s head and looks into her eyes. He shudders. He calls them Shams, Liars, Hypocrites and Thieves. He is not better than any of them. They have seen their souls naked. He asks for an answer from them.
Page 63: Martha says it is not wrong. Baldwin says it is not right. John repeats that 100,000 dollars is a lot of money. John thinks he refused the money because he was afraid what they would say. Baldwin agrees. John says nobody will know it. Baldwin says except the 4 of them. John sees someone coming. Martha asks who it is. John says it is Marshall. The door bell rings, a maid enters and goes out through the other. She re-enters and says someone wants to see Robert. She hands him a card. It is Marshall. Martha wants to know if he is the President of the Third National. Baldwin says yes and wonders why he has come there. The maid asks him if he should send the visitor in. Baldwin asks her to send him in. The maid goes out.
Page 64: Martha crosses to him quickly and tells him to be careful of what he says. He is to go on the stand tomorrow. Baldwin says yes. Marshall enters the rom. He asks them if they are spending the afternoon indoors. He shakes hands with Mrs. Baldwin. Martha says they were just going out and calls Evie. Marshall says they don’t have to go out because of him. He tells that he has come to tell Baldwin that if he wants to work with the Third National, he will be given a position.
Baldwin is shocked. He asks Marshall if it is really true. Marshall says it is true. He had gone to see Gresham that afternoon. He told him about the offer he had made. “But he knew no amount of money would make you do something you thought wrong. He paid you the best compliment. Instead of making you testify against him, he confessed.” Baldwin sinks into a chair saying, ‘Confessed!’ Marshall continues and says he told him the whole story. He then turns to Martha and tells her that every man will be telling her how highly he honours and respects her husband. How sincere he was! Martha holds Marshall’s hand and asks him to stop praising as Baldwin is crying.
The Hour of Truth (One-act play) Summary in Malayalam
The Hour of Truth Glossary