Impromptu Games 79
not being "grin." At their next appearance they seem to be swimming, holding their arms very close to their sides and flopping them about as fishes do their fins, while opening and shutting their mouths, as one observes fishes do in an aquarium. Condemned to still another trial, they enter the room staggering about and imitating the motions of extreme intoxication while periodically drinking from their closed hands. It is not difficult for the audience to recognise the word of their selection and acknowledge that "gin" is the correct answer—whereupon the audience and actors change places.
By way of variation from impromptu tableaux, a burlesque representation of some familiar subject may be given, with the assurance that it will not fail to be found amusing.
For example, the tragic tale of the "Babes in the Wood":
Scene I.—"A Gloomy Wood." The withdrawal of the portieres reveals a darkened space with three or four small Christmas trees in pots set about the room. Enter two very tall persons, dressed in long pinafores, with little caps tied under their chins. They rub their fists in their eyes, look about in a bewildered way, and finally stretch themselves on the ground side by side. The curtain falls, but is immediately withdrawn for
Scene II.—"The Kindly Fowls of the Air." Two or three men hop upon the stage, their bodies much inclined, feather dusters protruding from their coat-tails, and -with palm-leaf fans held in their mouths. They twitter, whistle, hop about, and finally deposit the fans on the bodies of the prostrate babes, going and returning with more fans until they are entirely