THE STORY OF “A COUNTRY GIRL”
ACT I: A DEVONSHIRE VILLAGE.
The sleepy peace of a pretty little Devonshire village is suddenly shattered by a series of events, which bring important changes into the lives of some of its inhabitants.
Commander Geoffrey Challoner (son of Squire Challoner, who ruined himself over a tin mine, and had to let his old home to Sir Joseph Verity) arrives back after several years at sea, with his faithful servant Barry, to find the village in a ferment over an approaching election. One of the candidates for this election is Douglas Verity, son of Sir Joseph Verity, Challoner’s tenant.
Also arriving back at the village at the same time is Marjorie Joy, Geoffrey’s boyhood flame, who in his absence, and unknown to him, has been to London and become a famous singer. She manages to deceive him, however, by resuming her former village clothes.
Douglas Verity is in love with the village flirt, Nan, who does not, however, give him much encouragement as she has always been hopelessly in love with Geoffrey. Douglas’s election campaign is supported by a Mrs. Quinton Raikes, who is accompanied by Sophie, another village girl and Barry’s light-o-love, who has cleverly advanced her social position by taking advantages of Mrs. Raikes’ inability to pay her dressmaking bills.
The resourceful Barry, in a bid to redeem his master’s fortune, determines that he Geoffrey, shall also stand for Parliament in opposition to Douglas, and begins to make elaborate plans towards that end. On the way home he invited a certain English Rajah and Indian Princess, who had been on board their ship, to stay with Geoffrey. This, of course, is technically impossible, as the house is now occupied by Sir Joseph Verity. Barry, however, easily persuades the rich Princess that Geoffrey is in love with her. Lord Anchester, the Minister of Fine Arts, who comes to the village in order to speak to the electors on behalf of Douglas, is induced by Barry to give his support instead to Geoffrey. As a final thrust, Sir Joseph Verity is made by Barry, through a trick, to buy the useless tin mine.
So Geoffrey finds himself a candidate for Parliament, with a sizeable cheque in his pocket. Marjorie, however, is heartbroken when she hears that he is to marry the Princess, and returns unhappily to London to resume her artistic career.
ACT II – BALLROOM AT THE MINISTRY OF FINE ARTS.
In due time Geoffrey is elected to Parliament, and Act II takes place at a reception given at the Ministry of Fine Arts. Marjorie is there, but she is known as Miss Montague, the singer. Geoffrey is struck by her resemblance to his little Marjorie of former days, but he is still being pursued by the Princess. Douglas Verity and Nan are there, and also, of course, the gay and sprightly Sophie. Barry arrives disguised as an old dame, and this, as can be imagined, gives rise to many humorous situations. He very amusingly completely detroys [destroys] a promising flirtation between Sophie and a certain Lord Grasmere, and is even funnier when he himself flirts madly with Sir Joseph Verity, and manages to make the poor man propose marriage to him. Sir Joseph’s anger when he discovers how he has been deceived can well be imagined.
In the end the various love affairs straighten themselves out. Largely through the efforts of Nan. Marjorie and Geoffrey are reunited, and Nan resigns herself to life with Douglas Verity. Barry marries Sophie, and the Rajah and the Princess return to their peaceful Valley of Bhong.