The Dear Departed by Stanley Haughton

The Dear Departed by Stanley Haughton 
            “ The Dear Departed”  is a humorous play in which the two daughters of Abel Merry weather, a seventy year old man are greedy and fight for his things before his death.  The comedy begins, when they mistakenly conclude that the old man is dead. 

            At the time of the play, Abel lives with his daughter, Amelia, and her husband, Henry Slater after his stay with his other daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Ben Jordon. Neither daughter treats the father with love and affection. They are only after his insurance money and other things.
            The Slaters assume that  Mr. Abel is dead,  and  send a telegram to the Jordons.  Before their arrival, the Slaters shift the old man’s bureau and his clock to their room. Henry wears the old man’s new slippers. The Jordons arrive, and they talk about the old man’s assets. Elizabeth lies that according to her father’s desire, his gold watch should be given to her son, Jimmy. To check  whether her father has paid his insurance premium, Amelia sends her daughter, Victoria to bring  his  bunch of keys. 
            So Mr. Abel  is not dead, and he is shocked to find out that the Slaters  have taken away his things, mistaking him to be dead. Elizabeth finds fault with her sister, Amelia, but Amelia exposes her lack of love for their father. In the end, Mr. Abel  announces his decision to marry the keeper of  the public house, the widow of John Shorrocks.  He feels that she loves him, and he wants to leave his property with her after his death. Thus the old man outwits his two daughters. 

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