Virginia City Territorial Enterprise/November, 1863
[“Ingomar, the Barbarian,” was presented at Maguire’s Opera House in Virginia City during the fall of 1863. Mark Twain reviewed the play after this own fashion:]
REVIEW OF “INGOMAR THE BARBARIAN”
ACT. 1.—Mrs. Claughley appears in the costume of a healthy Greek matron (from Limerick). She urges Parthenia, her daughter, to marry Polydor, and save her father from being sold out by the sheriff—the old man being in debt for assessments.
Scene 2.—Polydor—who is a wealthy, spindle-shanked, stingy old stockbroker—prefers his suit and is refused by the Greek maiden—by the accomplished Greek maiden, we may say, since she speaks English without any perceptible foreign accent.
Scene 3.—The Comanches capture Parthenia’s father, old Myron (who is the chief and only blacksmith in his native village) they tear him from his humble cot, and carry him away, to Reese River. They hold him as a slave. It will cost thirty ounces of silver to get him out of soak.
Scene 4.—Dusty times in the Myron family. Their house is mortgaged—they are without dividends—they cannot “stand the raise.” Parthenia, in this extremity, applies to Polydor. He sneeringly advises her to shove out after her exiled parent herself. She shoves!
ACT II.—Camp of the Comanches. In the foreground, several of the tribe throwing dice for tickets in Wright’s Gift Entertainment. In the background, old Myron packing faggots on a jack. The weary slave weeps—he sighs—he slobbers. Grief lays her heavy hand upon him.
Scene 2.—Comanches on the war-path, headed by the chief, Ingomar. Parthenia arrives and offers to remain as a hostage while old Myron returns home and borrows thirty dollars to pay his ransom with. It was pleasant to note the varieties of dress displayed in the costumes of Ingomar and his comrades. It was also pleasant to observe that in those ancient times the better class of citizens were able to dress in ornamental carriage robes, and even the rank and file indulged in Benkert boots, albeit some of the latter appeared not to have been blacked for several days.
Scene 3.—Parthenia and Ingomar alone in the woods. “Two souls with but a single thought, etc.” She tells him that is love. He “can’t see it.”
Scene 4.—The thing works around about as we expected it would in the first place. Ingomar gets stuck after Parthenia.
Scene 5.—Ingomar declares his love—he attempts to embrace her—she waves him off, gently, but firmly—she remarks, “Not too brash, Ing., not too brash, now!” Ingomar subsides. They finally flee away, and hie them to Parthenia’s home.
ACTS III and IV.—Joy! Joy! From the summit of a hill, Parthenia beholds once more the spires and domes of Silver City.
Scene 2.—Silver City. Enter Myron. Tableau! Myron begs for an extension on his note— he has not yet raised the whole ransom, but he is ready to pay two dollars and a half on account.
Scene 3.—Myron tells Ingomar he must shuck himself, and dress like a Christian; he must shave; he must work; he must give up his sword! His rebellious spirit rises. Behold Parthenia tames it with the mightier spirit of Love. Ingomar weakens—he lets down—he is utterly demoralized.
Scene 4.—Enter old Timarch, Chief of Police. He offers Ingomar—but this scene is too noble to be trifled with in burlesque.
Scene 5.—Polydor presents his bill—213 drachmas. Busted again—the old man cannot pay. Ingomar compromises by becoming the slave of Polydor.
Scene 6.—The Comanches again, with Thorne at their head! He asks who enslaved the chief? Ingomar points to Polydor. Lo! Thorne seizes the trembling broker, and snatches him bald-headed!
Scene 7.—Enter the Chief of Police again. He makes a treaty with the Comanches. He gives them a ranch apiece. He decrees that they shall build a town on the American Flat, and appoints great Ingomar to be its Mayor! [Applause by the supes.]
Scene 8.—Grand tableau—Comanches, police, Pi-Utes, and citizens generally—Ingomar and Parthenia hanging together in the centre. The old thing—The old poetical quotation, we mean—They double on it—Ingomar observing “Two souls with but a single Thought,” and she slinging in the other line, “Two Hearts that Beat as one.” Thus united at last in a fond embrace, they sweetly smiled upon the orchestra and the curtain fell.