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Dandelion, and other plays 1972

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D A N D E L I O N , AND OTHER PLAYS by CHERIE GRETGHEN STEWART B.A., University of Briti s h Columbia, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of Creative Writing We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1972 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of Br i t ish Columbia,1 I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Dr. Douglas Bankson Professor, Department of Creative Writing for CHERIE GRETCHEN STEWART Department of CREATIVE WRITING The University of Br i t ish Columbia Vancouver 8. Canada Date October 1 9 , 1972 i i ABSTRACT This thesis consists of one full-length play, Dandelion, and two shorter plays. Dandelion is a dark farce about a group of people who escape to the "last vacant l o t " from a world f i l l e d with buildings and pavement. The mad scientist who controls this lot is obsessed with the idea that he can make a brew from dandelions (virtually extinct) which w i l l render humans impotent and stop the growth which i s destroying the world. His cohorts include a wife given to burying things, a romantic poet who loves dandelions, a l i v e l y lady whose monomania is procreation and a 10-year-old g i r l who seems to be a representative of the forces of destruction who wants to take over the vacant l o t . The play was given a professional performance by the New Play Centre i n the Vancouver Art Gallery i n 1972. "One Spring Morning" i s a light comedy about the chance meeting of a young woman and a middle-aged man at a bus stop. Spring infects them causing the man to become both light hearted and light headed much to his embarrassment, i f not sorrow, i n another version of the battle of the sexes. The play was presented by The New Play Centre in the Vancouver Art Gallery in June 1972. "The C l i f f " i s a somewhat blacker comedy about belief, doubt and especially self doubt. A young man marks his twenty-first birthday with profound depression and throws himself off a suicide c l i f f . Miraculously he survives and is named the new messiah by a group of religious fanatics who have been watching the c l i f f and hoping for a saviour. Through their worship and his playing the role of a saviour, the young man becomes convinced that he i s , indeed, immortal. There is one nagging doubt. One of his I l l disciples i s more pragmatic about the need for a leader than about the young man's immortality. To dispel his follower's doubt, the young man leaps a second time from the c l i f f . He doesn't survive. The play was f i r s t presented by the Vancouver L i t t l e Theatre i n 1970. DANDELION a full-length play C H A R A C T E R S GEORGE, middle-aged CINDY, about 11_ MICHAEL, middle-aged. A seedy poet one-time clerk. GRACE, middle-aged. George's wife. Gone to seed. MAPLE, very pregnant, middle thirties THE TIME: The future. 1980's THE PLACE: Lot in the middle of the city. - 1 - SETTINGS A bare stage representing the last l o t . Size, about a city- block....A crude shed constructed i n one corner. (A bare stage with a crude shed i n one corner. There are sounds from within i t . Sound of birds chirping.) GEORGE. (From within) Ah-hah! (Clinking of glass) (Cindy enters, sucking a huge lollipop. She hears George and goes over and tries shed door. It i s locked.) Who * s that! (A slot in the door i s pulled back and George looks out.) CINDY. Me. GEORGE. Go away from the door. (Cindy waits, licking lollipop) (George pulls back slot, comes out cautiously, making certain no-one can see i n . He_ looks shed door puts key i n his shoe.) Who are you? CINDY. Cindy. GEORGE. What do you want? CINDY. You sent for me. GEORGE. What's the password? CINDY. Dandelion. GEORGE. Not so loudly! CINDY. (Softer) Dandelion. GEORGE. How did you know? CINDY. Because I'm the right one. GEORGE. You came alone? CINDY. Of course. GEORGE. How can I be certain? CINDY. (Licking sucker) Because there's no-one else here. GEORGE. (Looking around) Are you sure They didn't send you? CINDY. Who? (Looking around) GEORGE. Them. Out there. CINDY. Do you want a lick? (Holding out sucker) GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. - 2 - You weren ' t sent? I read your n o t i c e on the f ence . What n o t i c e ? Oh y e s . . . W h a t d i d i t say? CINDY. " W a n t e d . . . i n t e l l i g e n t c h i l d f o r a fevr hours a d a y . . . must be d e d i c a t e d . " GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. I c a n ' t remember what I w r o t e . I t ' s been so l o n g . What ' s the pay? Are you sure y o u ' r e dedicated? I l ove candy. Three l o l l i p o p s a day. I n advance? L a t e r . I want the 8 " s t r i p e d ones . Are you sure I can t r u s t you? T h i s i s a neat empty p l a c e . I t would be fun to p l a y h e r e . No p l a y i n g a l l o w e d . I s t h i s what they c a l l " n a t u r e ? " Y e s . I never knew there was a p l ace l i k e t h i s i n the middle o f the c i t y . GEORGE. When I bought i t , i t was 20 m i l e s out o f town. CINDY. What does "out o f town" mean? GEORGE. I h a v e n ' t t ime f o r s o c i a l c o n v e r s a t i o n . These are the r u l e s . . . l i s t e n c l o s e l y . . . No-ones a l l o w e d i n my l a b o r a t o r y Keep o f f the f l o w e r s Walk l i g h t l y Keep your mouth shut Keep your eyes open You h e l p me and I ' l l h e l p y o u . CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. ( L i c k i n g sucker) Sure . You agree? T h i s i s what I want you to do. I know what you want me to do . GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. - 3 - You do? Yes. What? You want someone to bring you news of the Outside. I have someone does that already. But she's slower and less reliable. Also you want someone to bring your supplies. GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. She does that too. But she's getting more and more forgetful. How did you know? And more and more scared to go out. GEORGE. So long ago when I put up that notice...wish I could remember... CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. for you? GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. I'm the perfect applicant. Give me my f i r s t job. It w i l l be a t r i a l . Okay. (Licking sucker) You want me to get some people You can read my mind! It's easy. Not ordinary people...special ones. Like you? We can't afford to be that special. A few high class people of quality and dedication. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. GEORGE. CINDY. Okay. ...one other thing... Yes...? Are you sure you don't work for them? I work for you. You know too much. Just what you want me to. GEORGE. Did they send you? CINDY. No. GEORGE. You can t e l l me. CINDY. I read your notice. GEORGE. No-one else ever read i t . CINDY. The right person did. And I knew the password. GEORGE. And you don't work for Grace? CINDY. I work for you only. GEORGE. A l l right. One other small thing... CINDY. (Licking sucker) Yes??? GEORGE. You must bring me dandelions. A l l you can find. CINDY. I should have asked for four suckers. GEORGE. I know there's not many left...but a child of your a b i l i t i e s . . . CINDY. Okay, I ' l l find you some. GEORGE. Good. And don't take any chances. If you see anything that looks like a flower bring it...Take i t out by the roots... I want i t alive... CINDY. Okay...I'll be back soon. (Kisses him and exits) GEORGE. A kisst After ten years. Ahh...well...back to work. Soon my plan w i l l be underway...at last I (Starts to unlock the shed, then hears Grace offstage singing a dirge.) She's back at la s t l Watch i t , you're dropping my test tubes! GRACE. I'm back! I'm back, George. GEORGE. Yes...yes...welcome home... (Grace enters, loaded with parcels and bags.) Give them to me...careful! GRACE. Look what I found! GEORGE. Watch that bag! GRACE. A dead f l y . GEORGE. Did you get everything? GRACE. Can I bury i t George? GEORGE. Where are my sterilized, gloves? GRACE. I forgot George. GEORGE. Darn you, you do i t on purpose. GRACE. Can I put these down, George? GEORGE. Put them behind the shed... GRACE. Then wi l l you give me my plot, George? GEORGE. Don't I always? GRACE. Yes, George. GEORGE. Careful! You know my gladiola bulbs are planted there. (Grace takes them back to shed) Hurry up. Watch my Come out from behind there, rose bushes! GRACE. (Coming out from behind shed) I put them down, George. GEORGE. That's better. GRACE. Can I have my grave now? GEORGE. Beside the last one. Don't take an inch more. GRACE. Thank you, George. GEORGE. ...were you followed? GRACE. No. GEORGE. Anyone ask suspicious questions? GRACE. No. GEORGE. Anyone hanging around outside the fence? GRACE. No, George. GEORGE. Now then, did you find any dandelions? GRACE. There aren't any. GEORGE. But you found a f l y . And f l i e s are just as rare. GRACE. I found a f l y . But i t ' s dead. (Cradles f l y in her hands and starts to sing a lullaby to i t . ) GEORGE. I bet you never looked. (Grace continues to sing.) I bet you never even tried! (Grace continues to sing) Year after year. Will you never forgive! (Grace continues to sing) Quiet. (Grace stops) GEORGE. You should help me, Grace. You should be on my side. What can you hope to get from Them? They won't l e t you keep your graveyards, you know. (Grace whimpers) No, they won't. GRACE. I want to be buried. GEORGE. They won't l e t you. GRACE. You promised me my own grave! GEORGE. Not i f they take i t away from me, Grace...If you help them take i t away from me... GRACE. I won't...George...1 won't... GEORGE. They might promise you a grave now...but when the time comes they'll laugh at you. You should have stuck with me. Grace. GRACE. Yes, George... GEORGE. The time i s ripe. My experiments are nearly through. Soon I ' l l be ready... GRACE. Can I have my grave, George? GEORGE. But I have to have more dandelions... GRACE. Can I have my grave, George? GEORGE. More dandelions! GRACE. My grave? GEORGE. More dandelions f i r s t . GRACE. No, George! I don't want to go back out there. GEORGE. I need dandelions. GRACE. There aren't any more George... GEORGE. There must be some! GRACE. No! A l l the dirt's gone. GEORGE. (Shuddering) Can i t have gotten that bad! GRACE. I want to bury my baby now... GEORGE. Eight years ago there were s t i l l places where a person could find a few surviving dandelions... GRACE. Come along, baby. GEORGE. Not yet. I haven't given you permission to go. GRACE. Lower your voice. You're i n the presence of the dead. GEORGE. I'm a violent man, Grace. GRACE. The funeral i s beginning. GEORGE. • You would do well to remember that. GRACE. (Starts to hum) GEORGE. It's only your fear of me that keeps you in line. GRACE. "This child i s not dead, he merely sleeps snug in the bosom of the earth..." (Exits) GEORGE. Lucky for her she does as she's told. (Goes into his provisions, carries a bag around to the shed.) Everything I need for my last experiment...Ah...my new lab coat... (Pulls out a smock) Now I can do the job properly. (Puts on smock) (Grace i s heard singing off-stage) GEORGE. Ah...just right. Let's see. (Rummages through bags) Turpentine...ammonia...baking soda...good...(Gets out key, looks around, opens shed door and goes in with supplies. Shuts door.) (Harsh, mechanical noise offstage...sound of construction... Loud and frightening.) (Michael rushes i n , frightened. He i s carrying a briefcase very carefully and panting. He looks behind him i n terror, stops and notices suddenly where he is...looks around him with surprise and begins to relax.) MICHAEL. Ah...wonderful...incredible..."Little did I know when the outside I did leave...That I would stumble into this garden of Eve...T'is strange how out of terror springs delight... And pleasant surprise out of fearful f l i g h t . . . " (Slat opens on shed door and George peers out) (Cindy enters, carrying a FOR SALE sign and eating a chocolate bar.) CINDY. Boy, did you run! - 8 - MICHAEL. They ' re a f t e r me! CINDY. Who? (Throwing down candy wrapper and p l a c i n g s i g n OVER I T . ) MICHAEL. You d i d n ' t see them? CINDY. (Chewing) No. MICHAEL. W i l l I be safe here? CINDY. Sure . MICHAEL. Good, Sanctuary at l a s t . (Turns away) " I f I l i s t e n v e r y c l o s e l y who can t e l l . . . T h e r e might be a sma l l movement i n the t r e e . . . A n d out w i l l pop a t i n y fea thered h e a d . . . And c h i r p and warble s o f t l y j u s t f o r m e . . . " CINDY. (Goes over to shed and knocks on door , s o f t l y ) George, I brought you your f i r s t r e c r u i t . Be sure to l ook i n h i s b r i e f c a s e . I 'm go ing to f i n d you another winner n o w . . . MICHAEL. Wo whom are you t a l k i n g ? CINDY. Make y o u r s e l f a t home. (K i s se s him and l e a v e s , s k i p p i n g ) MICHAEL. A k i s s ! You a n g e l . . . " I t ' s been so l o n g s ince l a s t tha t I was k i s s e d . . . A n d u n t i l now, I d i d n ' t know what I mi s sed . . .How sweet t h a t p e r f e c t s t ranger s should so p a r t . . . I ' l l c a r r y you f o r e v e r i n my h e a r t . " (George has c r e p t out o f shed, shuts door s o f t l y ) What ' s t h i s ? [ P i c k s u £ FOR SALE sign") (George approaches behind h i m . He i s c a r r y i n g an axe . ) Don ' t t e l l me t h i s l o v e l y p lace i s up f o r s a l e ! (Turns and sees George. ) Oh no! Caught a l r e a d y ! I d i d n ' t mean to do i t . Nothing ever goes r i g h t f o r me. P lea se . . .make i t m e r c i f u l l y s w i f t . . . W h a t are you w a i t i n g f o r ? C l e v e r m a n . . . Y o u know the t e r r o r o f w a i t i n g i s worse than the a c t . Don ' t make me s u f f e r . . . ( K n e e l i n g ) Do i t now! (George snatches away s i g n . . . c h o p s i t u p . . . ) (Michae l watches i n amazement.) GEORGE. ( F i n a l l y ) T h i s i s what I do to your k i n d . MICHAEL. Without a t r i a l ? GEORGE. Grace p a i d you to put tha t u p , d i d n ' t she? MICHAEL. What? Who? GEORGE. You ' re work ing f o r h e r , i s t h a t i t ? MICHAEL. I thought I was work ing f o r you ! GEORGE. Who are you? What do you want? MICHAEL. Oh dear , I 'm so confused. GEORGE. Q u i c k l y ! MICHAEL. The l i t t l e g i r l brought me. She s a i d you were l o o k i n g f o r p e o p l e . GEORGE. MICHAEL. GEORGE. MICHAEL. GEORGE. MICHAEL. Not people l i k e you ! What ' s vrrong w i t h me? That s i g n . I d i d n ' t b r i n g i t . She d i d . I t was on your l o t . They've done i t a g a i n ! I t ' s the 4th t h i s week. Are they a f t e r y o u , too? I know how i t f e e l s to be down and o u t . . . p r o s e c u t e d and t o r m e n t e d . . . GEORGE. Why d i d she p i c k you? MICHAEL. People o f s e n s i t i v i t y have always been prosecuted by the masses. The e x t r a o r d i n a r y i n d i v i d u a l i s cursed by the t imes . GEORGE. MICHAEL. GEORGE. MICHAEL. GEORGE. MICHAEL. GEORGE. MICHAEL. GEORGE. L e t ' s see t h a t b r i e f c a s e . No! ( B r a n d i s h i n g axe) Hand i t o v e r . Never! You want to work f o r me o r not? You d o n ' t under s tand . I f you showed i t to C i n d y , you can show i t to me, But I d i d n ' t . You d i d . Open i t o r go. MICHAEL. . . . O n l y an a r t i s t o r poet would c o m p r e h e n d . . . c a r e f u l ! Don ' t j o l t them! GEORGE. MICHAEL. (Grabs case) W e ' l l see about t h a t . . . ( O p e n s case) Ah-hah! Give them back - p l e a s e . GEORGE. ( C a r e f u l l y t a k i n g out a pot o f dande l ions ) In p e r f e c t s h a p e . . . She's worth 4 l o l l i p o p s ! - 10 - MICHAEL. P l e a s e . . . t r e a t them t e n d e r l y . . . w e ' v e s u f f e r e d so much t o g e t h e r . GEORGE. You know about the dandel ion? MICHAEL. You mean - you know too? You and I are go ing to be good f r i e n d s . GEORGE. W e ' l l see about t h a t . T e l l me what you know. MICHAEL. When nature s t a r t e d d i s appear ing . .no-one ever gave a thought to the d a n d e l i o n . . . " S a v e the roses they a l l s a i d , Save the o r c h i d s before t h e y ' r e d e a d " . . . A l l the o t h e r s p e c i e s . . . c a r e f u l l y tended i n the p l a n t r e s e r v e s . . . b u t the d a n d e l i o n . . . s t i l l cons idered a w e e d . . . s l o w l y d i e d o u t . . . h o r r i b l e mass s l a u g h t e r . . . W h a t happened to the cows was n o t h i n g compared to what happened to the d a n d e l i o n s . . . GEORGE. But you have some d a n d e l i o n s . MICHAEL. Y e s . I began to look upon i t as my r o l e i n l i f e . . . t o save the d a n d e l i o n . ..1 p re served a f e w . . . a s p o t t e d p l a n t s . . . B u t t h e y ' r e a f r e e , w i l d , f l o w e r . . . T h e y d o n ' t t h r i v e i n c a p t i v i t y . . . GEORGE. T h a t ' s been my problem. MICHAEL. I kept the s u r v i v o r s on my window a t work. We cheered each o t h e r u p . At f i r s t i t wasn ' t so b a d . . . t h e sun s t i l l got to them once i n a w h i l e . . . A n d i f I s tood on my desk and h e l d them up over my h e a d . . . t h e y cou ld j u s t gl impse a s i g h t o f the ocean. I t gave them a l i t t l e h a p p i n e s s . . . GEORGE. Yes? MICHAEL. But the sun got w e a k e r . . . t h e b u i l d i n g s went u p . . . a n d the ocean d i s a p p e a r e d . . . GEORGE. P l e a s e . . . I was a c l e r k once t o o . . . MICHAEL. We're each do ing what we c a n . Me, by s a v i n g a s p e c i e s . . . and you , by s a v i n g t h i s l a n d . . . W e should have both l i v e d i n the o l d days . GEORGE. Are you go ing to h e l p me? MICHAEL. Of cour se . My dandel ions w i l l l i k e i t h e r e . " A t l a s t my f r i e n d s we've found a home. Where you can grow and I can roam. " GEORGE. So you know a l o t about d a n d e l i o n s . . . ? MICHAEL. E v e r y t h i n g . GEORGE. I can use y o u . But f i r s t I have to be sure . MICHAEL. You can t r u s t me. GEORGE. What's the password? MICHAEL. Death and destruction to the enemy! No? Long live nature! No? GEORGE. I need someone I can trust. MICHAEL. But no-body told me the password! GEORGE. What good would a password be i f anyone knew i t ? Out! MICHAEL. Give me another chance. They'll get me i f I go back out. "An acre a day keeps the bulldozers away..."? GEORGE. Out! MICHAEL. " A l l we really need i s dirt."? Is i t one word or more? GEORGE. (Pushing him) Traitor. Off my land. MICHAEL. Don't...watch my dandelions...! GEORGE. What did you say? MICHAEL. My dandelions... GEORGE. Why didn't you say so i n the f i r s t place? MICHAEL. You mean I got i t ? I can join? GEORGE. You and me against the world! MICHAEL. We can do i t ! GEORGE. You're game? MICHAEL. Yes, I ' l l do anything to help, I ' l l be your friend. GEORGE. I don't want a friend. They've tried that before. Accomplice yes, friend...never. Grace put them up to i t . I chased them off...built up my fences...but they s t i l l sneak i n and put up FOR SALE signs on my lot...trying to frighten me. MICHAEL. You could sue them for trespassing. GEORGE. I never see them. It's magic how the signs get there. I'm afraid to go to the edges of my lot any more. They have every- one on their side. MICHAEL. Except me. GEORGE. It must be Grace. And I can't send her away. They're out to get me, so I have to get them f i r s t . MICHAEL. How? - 12 - GEORGE. Wouldn ' t you l i k e to know? Ask no ques t ions and w e ' l l get a l o n g . MICHAEL. As you say. GEORGE. Now you must take the oa th and then we can get down to b u s i n e s s . Speak a f t e r me. " I swear I ' l l keep my mouth shut and my b i g f e e t o f f the p l a n t s . . I swear not to step on a n y t h i n g , l i t t e r , o r s p i t . . . b u t to keep my mind on the c a u s e . . . a n d my eyes on the g r o u n d . . . " A n d , f i n a l l y . . " I promise t h a t I 'm an enemy o f the System, and a f r i e n d to n a t u r e . . ' MICHAEL. I c o u l d put t h a t i n rhyme b e a u t i f u l l y . GEORGE. Yes ! Now come over to my l a b . MICHAEL. A h . I t f e e l s so good to be s a f e . Let us i n t r o d u c e o u r s e l v e s . . . I ' m M i c h a e l . And y o u ' r e George. GEORGE. How d i d you know tha t ? MICHAEL. The g i r l t o l d me. I s she your daughter? GEORGE. Don ' t say t h a t . . . S h e ' s my messenger . . . MICHAEL. S o r r y . . . GEORGE. Y o u ' r e sure y o u ' r e ready . MICHAEL. I 'm r e a d y . . . I ' v e been l i v i n g my whole e x i s t e n c e j u s t f o r t h i s . Wait a moment, w h i l e I shed my mi se rab le o t h e r h a l f . . . (Takes o f f j a c k e t , t i e , shoes and socks . ) GEORGE. Grace w i l l bury them i f you leave them t h e r e . MICHAEL. Who's Grace? GEORGE. Our enemy. Come to my l a b . MICHAEL. (As George u n l o c k s shed) A f i n e t rue f r i e n d i s v e r y hard to f i n d . I l ooked f o r years but might as w e l l have been b l i n d . . . GEORGE. Y o u ' r e the f i r s t person I ' v e a l l o w e d i n h e r e . . . MICHAEL. " I gave up hope and thought my l i f e was t h r o u g h . . . And t h e n , George, j u s t i n t i m e , I have met y o u . . . GEORGE. Get ready f o r a s u r p r i s e . (Opens door) Have a peak. MICHAEL. My l imbs tremble w i t h a n t i c i p a t i o n . . . GEORGE. The coast i s c l e a r . Go i n , but take care where you s t e p . . MICHAEL. I t ' s so dark i n h e r e . . . ( E n t e r i n g ) - 13 - GEORGE. Watch i t ! MICHAEL. g l a s s I c a n ' t see a n y t h i n g . (Bump_s a g a i n s t s h e l f , t i n k l e o f GEORGE. C a r e f u l ! MICHAEL. Can i t be? I s i t p o s s i b l e ? ? GEORGE. S u r p r i s e d , eh? MICHAEL. them. Oh you b e a u t i e s . . . y o u angels o f j o y . . . r o w upon . . L e t me touch y o u . . . L e t m e . . . O h h h . . . O h - o h l row o f GEORGE. Are they a l l r i g h t ? MICHAEL. No t h e y ' r e a i l i n g . "My l i t t l e globes o f s u n l i g h t d o n ' t g i v e u p . . . There ' s s t i l l hope y e t , o f n e c t a r f o r you to s u p . . . " They' l i k e re s u f f e r i n g from l a c k o f sunshine and a i r . . . mine w e r e . . . B u t we can f i x t h a t . . . ( C o m i n g out ) GEORGE. How? MICHAEL. With the same f e r t i l i z e r I used on mine. GEORGE. What i s i t ? MICHAEL. I ' v e never t o l d a s o u l . But y o u ' r e my f r i e n d . Soda pop. GEORGE. Amazing! Y o u ' r e sure? MICHAEL. A b s o l u t e l y . Except f o r one s i d e - e f f e c t . GEORGE. We can send Cindy f o r soda pop. MICHAEL. A c t u a l l y , t h e y ' r e d i s a s t e r o u s s i d e - e f f e c t s . GEORGE. What are they? MICHAEL. You s a i d you knew about The d a n d e l i o n . GEORGE. T e l l me anyway. MICHAEL. You h a v e n ' t asked why t h e y ' r e a f t e r me. I t ' s because o f the power o f the p o t . GEORGE. The what? MICHAEL. C indy knew. I d o n ' t know how, but she d i d . I t was an a c c i d e n t . She found me on the s t r e e t and brought me h e r e . GEORGE. What are you t a l k i n g about? MICHAEL. I thought you knew. I t o l d you about my j o b . . . a n d the pots I kept on the w i n d o w . . . GEORGE. So? MICHAEL. W e l l they f i r e d me. They s a i d i t was e i t h e r the pots o r me. I c o u l d n ' t g ive my pots u p . I had two t h e n . As I was l e a v i n g . . . o n e pot s l i p p e d . . . a n d f e l l . . . s h a t t e r e d i n t o a m i l l i o n p i e c e s . They 'd never b e l i e v e i t was an a c c i d e n t . GEORGE. You mean t h e y ' r e a f t e r you f o r l i t t e r i n g ? MICHAEL. Nol I t exploded when i t h i t the c e m e n t . . . t h e whole b u i l d i n g went up . . . 25 s t o r i e s . . . I t was h o r r i b l e . . . GEORGE. A po t ted dandel ion? MICHAEL. A p o t t e d d a n d e l i o n f e r t i l i z e d w i t h soda pop. GEORGE. You blew up a 25 s t o r e y b u i l d i n g ! MICHAEL. My hands were sweaty. I t s l i p p e d . I w o u l d n ' t have s tood a chance. I r an away. Then Cindy found me. GEORGE. What a p l a n ! MICHAEL. I know I d i d a t e r r i b l e t h i n g , but you must l e t me s t a y . I 'm so happy h e r e . GEORGE. A man w i t h the guts and know how to blow up a whole s k y s c r a p e r . M a g n i f i c e n t ! MICHAEL. I d i d n ' t do i t on purpose . GEORGE. A l l those year s you must have r e s e a r c h e d . . . l i k e m e . . . w a i t i n g . . . d r e a m i n g . . . MICHAEL. I 'm i n n o c e n t . . . y o u must b e l i e v e me! GEORGE. What a p e r f e c t team w e ' l l make. Don ' t j u s t get r i d o f the b a b i e s . . . g e t r i d o f the b u i l d i n g s t o o . My p l a n would have taken so much more t i m e . . . b u t the combinat ion o f yours and m i n e . . I t ' s i n v i n c i b l e . ( K i s s i n g him) You ' re a gen iu s ! MICHAEL. I 'm g l a d you s t i l l l i k e me. GEORGE. Now l e t me t e l l you what I ' v e found out about the d a n d e l i o n . . (Grace i s heard o f f s t age ) B l a s t i t , Grace i s coming back. I ' l l t e l l you l a t e r . MICHAEL. What a p e c u l i a r sound. GEORGE. She's w i n d i n g i t up now. (Grace e n t e r s , s i n g i n g ) MICHAEL. How oddly she ' s dre s sed . She 's a t rue c h i l d o f the e a r t h . . . p r i m i t i v e . . . d i r t y . . . GEORGE. Devious . GRACE. A l l i s o v e r . (To M i c h a e l ) Have you come to mourn? MICHAEL. I 'm a f r i e n d . GRACE. George doesn ' t have f r i e n d s . GEORGE. The time comes, Grace , when one needs h e l p to c a r r y out o n e ' s dreams o f a l i f e t i m e . GRACE. (To M i c h a e l ) I t ' s a shame you missed the f u n e r a l . MICHAEL. Good heavens! Whose? GRACE. My b a b y ' s . MICHAEL. No! GEORGE. She l i e s . A l o t . MICHAEL. How t o u c h i n g . GEORGE. ( P o i n t i n g to chopped up s ign) More t h i n g s f o r you to b u r y , L i t t l e Mother . GRACE. Goodie . A shroud! ( P i c k s up M i c h a e l ' s .jacket and shoes, and puts p ieces o f the s i g n i n the . j acket . ) MICHAEL. What an i n c r e d i b l e woman. The s t u f f o f n a t u r e . GEORGE. You d o n ' t mind l o s i n g your j a c k e t and shoes? MICHAEL. No, but i s n ' t h e r hobby messy? GEORGE. I conf ine h e r to a sma l l a r e a . (Grace e x i t s ) MICHAEL. (Watching h e r l e a v e . ) You c h i l d o f the e a r t h , I u n d e r s t a n d . . A l l you d e s i r e i s a l i t t l e l a n d . . . " She ' s your w i f e ? GEORGE. She was. Now she ' s my enemy. GRACE. (Offs tage) Ashes to a s h e s . . . d u s t to d u s t . . . Back i n t o the s o i l from whence we came... MICHAEL. I c a n ' t b e l i e v e t h a t . I de tec t the ghost o f something tender between y o u . . . GEORGE. Ghosts are dead. - 16 - GRACE. (Offs tage) Now mommy w i l l wrap you warm and y o u ' l l never have to be c o l d a g a i n . . . GEORGE. Nine years o f t h i s . . . (Grace s t a r t s " s i n g i n g l u l l a b y ) MICHAEL. Do you have any c h i l d r e n ? GEORGE. Why? MICHAEL. You c a l l e d h e r , " L i t t l e M o t h e r . " GEORGE. Never mind . MICHAEL. You must have l o v e d h e r once. GEORGE. I t was a l o n g time ago. Before the Great C r u s h . MICHAEL. Love i s b e a u t i f u l . GEORGE. Love i s d e s t r u c t i o n . MICHAEL. No! GEORGE. Love makes those h i g h - r i s e s , remember. MICHAEL. But does i t have to? GEORGE. C l e v e r man. Now l e t me t e l l you about my p r o j e c t . My s p e c i a l b r e w . . . MICHAEL. Brew? GEORGE. Y e s . . . o n e s i p o f t h i s s t u f f and you are permanently s t e r i l e . I t took me year s to develop i t . Babies w i l l become a nightmare o f the p a s t . The w o r l d w i l l s l o w l y d i e o f f . There w i l l be room aga in l i k e b e f o r e . They w i l l no longer need my l o t f o r low r e n t a l s . MICHAEL. What are you t a l k i n g about? GEORGE. I knew y o u ' d ca tch on i n s t a n t l y . I know where a l l the p u b l i c water s u p p l i e s are l o c a t e d i n the c i t y . I n one n i g h t you and I c o u l d get to a l l o f them. MICHAEL. I l ove b a b i e s . . . GEORGE. T h i s brew not o n l y makes everyone permanently s t e r i l e but i t a l s o induces m i s c a r r i a g e s i n women a l r e a d y i n tha t u n f o r t - unate c o n d i t i o n o f pregnancy. E v e n t u a l l y we can get to the o t h e r c i t i e s . Our members w i l l g r o w . . . w e ' 1 1 w i n support from r e s p o n s i b l e c l e a r - t h i n k i n g members o f s o c i e t y . W e ' l l have teams work ing i n a l l p a r t s o f the w o r l d ! MICHAEL. Y o u ' r e not s e r i o u s . . . ? ? ? GEORGE. I know i t works because Grace took i t o n c e . . . MICHAEL. No! GEORGE. I t ' s what s t a r t e d me on my p r o j e c t . MICHAEL. Poor Grace ! GEORGE. I f y o u ' r e f o r n a t u r e . . . y o u ' r e a g a i n s t babies . . . remember? MICHAEL. I t ' s m o n s t r o u s . . . GEORGE. Nonsense, i t ' s neces sary . MICHAEL. I c a n ' t b e l i e v e y o u ' d do i t . GEORGE. I knew I c o u l d count on y o u . Now a l l we have to do i s f i n d someone to t r y i t out on once m o r e . . . MICHAEL. "Rockabye baby on the t r e e t o p . . . I t ' s a b e a u t i f u l a c t . . . w e ' r e s a v i n g mankind from i t s e l f . . "When the wind blows the c r a d l e w i l l r o c k . . . " P ioneer s o f a new s c i e n c e . . . "When the wind blows the c r a d l e w i l l f a l l . . . C a l l i t , i f you l i k e , D a n d e l i o n o l o g y . . . "And down w i l l f a l l baby, c r a d l e and a l l . . . " GEORGE. MICHAEL. GEORGE. MICHAEL. GEORGE. MICHAEL. GEORGE. I knew y o u ' d a p p r o v e . . . a n d now, i f C indy would o n l y come back w i t h my o t h e r r e c r u i t . . . W e can s t r i k e t o n i g h t . F i r s t the s t e r i l i z a t i o n , Second the bombs . . . (The n o i s e a g a i n , l o u d e r . . . ) Oh no! T h e y ' l l do a n y t h i n g to scare me! MICHAEL. They ' re a f t e r me. Don ' t g ive me up ! (Grace runs out and huddles c l o s e to George) GRACE. H e l p ! Don' t l e t them get my graves ! GEORGE. The whole e a r t h i s shak ing ! (Noise s tops) MICHAEL. I t ' s s topped. GEORGE. For a w h i l e . GRACE. I hope my g r a v e ' s a l l r i g h t . ( E x i t s ) MICHAEL. What i s i t ? GEORGE. The sound o f d e s t r u c t i o n . And they won' t s top t i l l they get t h i s t o o . MICHAEL. H o r r i b l e ! (Cindy s k i p s o n , e a t i n g potatoe c h i p s ) CINDY. H i ! What's wrong w i t h you? GEORGE. D i d n ' t you hear i t ? CINDY. (Dropping c h i p s ) Hear what? MICHAEL. That n o i s e . CINDY. Want a ch ip? MICHAEL. Amazing. CINDY. I came to t e l l you tha t I found another per son . S h e ' l l be here any minute . Goodbye, I ' l l be back soon. GEORGE. W a i t ! (Cindy e x i t s . Drops bag on way o u t . ) MICHAEL. I d o n ' t unders tand . Where's she gone now? (Maple rushes i n , dropp ing t h i n g s from the enormous l o a d she i s c a r r y i n g . E a s e l , p a i n t s , e t c . ) MAPLE. My God what a h ideous n o i s e . (Sees them w i t h great d e l i g h t . ) Men! MICHAEL. H e l l o . MAPLE. Two men. Wonder fu l . T h i s w i l l do v e r y n i c e l y . I8m Maple . My f r i e n d s c a l l me Maple the M a g n i f i c e n t . GEORGE. What do you want? MAPLE. I 'm go ing to get l o t s o f p a i n t i n g done h e r e . You 'd never m i s t r e a t a l a d y . Oh dear , I ' v e dropped so many t h i n g s . My c o n d i t i o n makes i t v e r y d i f f i c u l t to s toop . MICHAEL. A l l o w m e . . . MAPLE. Thank you , d a r l i n g . Such a wonderful spot ! ( S i t t i n g ) GEORGE. I s a i d , "What do you want"? MICHAEL. You s h o u l d n ' t h a r r e s s the poor Lady, George. You should have some c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r h e r s t a t e . GEORGE. S tate? MICHAEL. Of pregnancy. S u r e l y i t ' s o b v i o u s . GEORGE. Pregnancy! MAPLE. You dear . P r e t e n d i n g you d i d n ' t n o t i c e . Men o f such t a c t f u l n e s s and charm are extremely r a r e these days . I am q u i t e s m a l l w i t h t h i s one a c t u a l l y . U s u a l l y I 'm l i k e a tank on these happy o c c a s i o n s . Smal l babies are so cudd ly a r e n ' t they? E a s i e r to d e l i v e r , t o o , which must take q u i t e a l o a d o f f your minds as y o u ' l l be h e l p i n g . MICHAEL. H e l p i n g ? MAPLE. I t ' s an exper ience you w o u l d n ' t want to m i s s . GEORGE. D i d Cindy send you? MAPLE. Yes . She s a i d you were l o o k i n g f o r an eminent mother. GEORGE. How d i d she know? I d i d n ' t t e l l h e r t h a t . MAPLE. Very e n t e r p r i s i n g c h i l d . My e l d e s t , you knovr. MICHAEL. Your e l d e s t ? MAPLE. I h a v e n ' t seen her i n y e a r s . She's g o t t e n v e r y c u t e . L i k e h e r mother. GEORGE. When are you due? MAPLE. ( S e t t i n g up h e r ea se l ) Any moment. I l ove the o u t - door s . I t ' s such a n o v e l t y . GEORGE. Could you accommodate me by t e l l i n g me the pass word . MAPLE. I l o v e h a v i n g my babies i n spots l i k e t h i s . The f i r s t few weeks are h e a v e n . . . A n d t h e n , o f course , they take them a w a y . . . as soon as t h e y ' r e o f f t h e i r dear mother ' s m i l k . GEORGE. The password, i f you d o n ' t m i n d . . . MAPLE. . . . T h o s e d a r l i n g l i t t l e mouths a t my b r e a s t s . I have orgasms three t imes a day when I 'm brea s t f e e d i n g . . . p u t my t h i n g s down t h e r e . (To M i c h a e l ) GEORGE. I 'm w a i t i n g f o r the password. MAPLE. I t ' s sad , t h a t ' s p r o g r e s s . What good can you expect from the O r g a n i z a t i o n ? They have no p a s s i o n . . . GEORGE. You know i t , o f course? MAPLE. S t a b l e , unemotional young a d u l t s are the end p r o d u c t . . . They are reputed to have no hangups, no inces tuous p h a s e s . . . s u c h a p i t y . (Grace c r a w l s o u t . ) What 's t h a t ! - 20 - MICHAEL. T h a t ' s George's w i f e , Grace . MAPLE. How unfor tuna te f o r both o f u s . GEORGE. Evas ions \ * i l l get you no-where. I t ' s t rue I was hoping f o r a pregnant r e c r u i t . . . b u t she must know the password. MICHAEL. S t r o n g , Ahhh. E t e r n a l mother . . .Where would we be wi thout y o u . . . c apab le , but w i t h such tender s e n t i m e n t s . . . GEORGE. The password o r e v i c t i o n . . . MAPLE. Do you know what I have a c r a v i n g f o r r i g h t now, d a r l i n g ? MICHAEL. B a b i e s . . . a h . . . m o t h e r h o o d . . . MAPLE. Dandel ion w i n e . Do you have any? GEORGE. What was the f i r s t word? MAPLE. D a n d e l i o n . GEORGE. About t ime . MAPLE. W i l l you get me some? I see y o u ' r e s t u d y i n g my p i c t u r e . Do you l i k e i t ? F l a t t e r me, you d e v i l . I t ' s v e r y a r t i s t i c , d o n ' t you t h i n k ? I s p e c i a l i z e i n p a i n t i n g s o f nude men. I a l s o p a i n t bab ies as a s i d e l i n e . Male babies o n l y o f cour se . MICHAEL. " W i t h swo l l en b e l l y , how l i k e a rose i s she. C o n t a i n i n g there w i t h i n a s l e e p i n g beauty . And s u c k l i n g t i n y c h i l d a t h e r b r e a s t . . . S a c r e d i s she and by a l l mankind b l e s t . . . " MAPLE. " S w o l l e n " . . . W h a t an u g l y word . So many n i c e r words to de sc r ibe my happy c o n d i t i o n . " S w e l l i n g " f o r i n s t a n c e . . . t h e r e ' s something sensuous about " S w e l l i n g " . " B e l l y " . . . u g h 1 Sounds so much l i k e a brood mare doesn ' t i t ? I have i t . . . " S w e l l i n g roundness" . . . m u c h b e t t e r . I l ove a m b i g u i t y . " W i t h s w e l l i n g r o u n d n e s s . . . " What was the r e s t , l o v e y poo? MICHAEL. (Hurt ) N o t h i n g a t a l l . MAPLE. I t ' s n i c e to be i m m o r t a l i z e d i n p o e t r y . I f , on the o t h e r hand, one f o r g e t s one ' s own p o e t r y t h a t q u i c k l y . . . GEORGE. Now that I have my r e c r u i t s , I am ready to undergo the f i n a l phase i n my p l a n to save my l o t and the w o r l d . MAPLE. Bab ie s , o f cour se , are d i f f i c u l t m o d e l s . . . b u t such d a r l i n g s . . . s o p r i m i t i v e . Do you have any babies? No, I guess n o t . . . n o t w i t h t h a t , ( i n d i c a t i n g Grace) GEORGE. I t w i l l take t i m e , o f cour se , but e v e n t u a l l y we w i l l be ab le to r e t u r n the w o r l d to the happy s t a te i t once was. - 21 - MAPLE. I ' v e had s e v e r a l . I l ove b e a r i n g c h i l d r e n . One f e e l s so i n harmony w i t h the w o r l d . GEORGE. I would a p p r e c i a t e your u n d i v i d e d a t t e n t i o n . MAPLE. I can t e l l t h a t my p a i n t i n g has not impressed y o u , George. I t does look f r i g h t f u l l y l i m p . . . b u t men f i n d i t so hard to manage an e r e c t i o n when I 'm p a i n t i n g them. Even i f they do, i t almost always g ive s way a f t e r an hour o r two. Do you know d a r l i n g , I can t e l l a l l about a man j u s t by l o o k i n g a t h i s g e n i t a l s ? I should have gone i n t o b u s i n e s s . . . t h e r e ' s good money i n s p e c u l a t i o n . Now y o u . . . f o r ins tance . . .hmmmm.. .would you c o n s i d e r m o d e l l i n g f o r me? GEORGE. T h i s i s my super-p lan I 'm t r y i n g to t e l l you about! My whole l i f e has been d i r e c t e d toward t h i s p r o j e c t . MICHAEL. A h . . . a t rue woman. . .preoccupied w i t h the l i t t l e t h i n g s i n l i f e . . . " T h e i s s u e s o f s t a t e may pass h e r b y . . . B u t she can t e l l you how to make a p i e . . . " MAPLE. Does the s i g h t o f my stomach e x c i t e you? MICHAEL. I...a h . . . GEORGE. I f you work f o r me you 've got to l i s t e n to me! MAPLE. I used to make l o v e i n a p lace l i k e t h i s . . . P l e a s e . . . G e o r g i e . . . t a k e o f f your c l o t h e s . . . . GEORGE. Stop t h a t ! I t ' s o n l y a mat ter o f time u n t i l they get h e r e . MICHAEL. We mustn ' t l e t them. T h e y ' l l get me! GEORGE. Not i f we get them f i r s t . But we must a c t now! MAPLE. Let i t a l l hang o u t , G e o r g i e . . . MICHAEL. What must we do? GEORGE. I t ' s about time you l i s t e n e d ! F i r s t , you must have your b a b y . . . GRACE. Baby? MICHAEL. What about med ica l a t t e n t i o n ? GEORGE. S h e ' l l have i t h e r e . GRACE. I want a b a b y . . . MAPLE. Of cour se . I ' v e d e l i v e r e d a l l my own babies w i t h the h e l p o f my f r i e n d s . - 22 - MICHAEL. There might be c o m p l i c a t i o n s . A f t e r a l l . . . " T o have a baby might be a common t h i n g . . . B u t one never knows what dangers i t can b r i n g . . . " GEORGE. Shut up ! MAPLE. I l ove rude , f o r c e f u l men. I hope my c h i l d takes a f t e r y o u , G e o r g i e . I f i r m l y b e l i e v e t h a t a c h i l d i s i n f l u e n c e d by the f i r s t t h i n g s he sees i n l i f e . . . GRACE. Oh l o o k ! MAPLE. I hate people who hog the c o n v e r s a t i o n . I knew a f r i e n d who had t h i s p e r f e c t l y marve l lous baby on h e r b a l c o n y . . . W e l l , when t h i s c h i l d grew u p . . . h e moved o u t . . . g o t h i s s l e e p i n g bag, t e n t , camp stove and u t e n s i l s and went out to seek h i s fo r tune on the b a l c o n y . MICHAEL. Where i s she going? (Grace has l e f t ) GEORGE. I hate to t h i n k . MAPLE. He even had a l i t t l e t r ee i n a p o t . I t was marve l lous to go over there to v i s i t and to watch h i m , s toop ing over the camp- stove brewing c o f f e e . . . MICHAEL. Why d i d she go out there? GEORGE. I d o n ' t want to k n o w . . . b u t I d o . . . MAPLE. I n the end, o f cour se , they tore down the ba lcony to make room f o r another apartment, and he went c r a z y . L o v e l y c h i l d . . . MICHAEL. George, are you a l l r i g h t ? GEORGE. They've done i t a g a i n . MAPLE. Would you l i k e a snack? I have a l l manner o f goodies w i t h m e . . . p r e t z e l s , d a t e s , a p p l e s . . . s y n t h e t i c o f cour se , but q u i t e n a t u r a l t a s t i n g . A l s o I have l o v e l y f lowered t o i l e t paper and room d e o d e r i z e r , I always b r i n g the n e c e s s i t i e s . One never k n o w s . . . MICHAEL. Such f e m i n i t y . . . s u c h c h a r m . . . (Grace begins her s e r v i c e , o f f s t a g e ) MAPLE. What i s tha t awful n o i s e ? MICHAEL. I s i t another s e r v i c e ? GEORGE. At t h i s r a t e , i t ' l l soon be m i n e . . . MAPLE. I hope she ' s not coming back. MICHAEL. She i s . . . a n d she ' s c a r r y i n g something, George. MAPLE. GEORGE. - 23 - I d e t e s t o t h e r women. I knew i t . MAPLE. I t ' s a cr ime the way baby g i r l s have to grow up and become c o m p e t i t i o n . MICHAEL. I t ' s another s i g n , George. GEORGE. (Shaking) Y e s . . . I know. MICHAEL. But you h a v e n ' t l o o k e d . MAPLE. I hate s h a r i n g . The r a t i o should, be three to one. GEORGE. I t ' s always the same. MAPLE. Or b e t t e r s t i l l . . . t e n to o n e . . . MICHAEL. She's b r i n g i n g i t h e r e . GEORGE. Don ' t l e t h e r . MAPLE. Or bes t y e t . . . t h o u s a n d to o n e . . . MICHAEL. She ' s coming. (Grace e n t e r s , s t i l l s i n g i n g , h a l f dragging l a r g e s i g n w i t h FOR SALE on i t . ) GRACE. C l e a r the path p l e a s e , t h i s i s a f u n e r a l p r o c e s s i o n . GEORGE. Take i t back, Grace . MAPLE. A f u n e r a l p roces s ion? MICHAEL. E a s y . . . G e o r g e . GEORGE. Get me the axe , M i c h a e l . MICHAEL. Never . GRACE. Ashes to a s h e s . . . d u s t unto d u s t . . . GEORGE. The axe! MAPLE. Where? GEORGE. By the s h e d . . . MICHAEL. Y o u ' r e not go ing to h u r t h e r ! GEORGE. Let go, Grace . ( S t r u g g l i n g w i t h h e r to t e a r away s i gn ) GRACE. No, l e t go! - 24 - MAPLE. (Handing him axe) H e r e . . . T a r z a n . . . MICHAEL. C a r e f u l . . . GRACE. ( L e t t i n g go o f s i gn) Give my c o f f i n hack! GEORGE. ( S t a r t i n g to chop s ign) H o l d h e r , M i c h a e l . MICHAEL. (Ho ld ing Grace , who i s sobbing and t r y i n g to get f r e e ) I t ' s a l l r i g h t , G r a c e . . . GRACE. H e ' s smashing i t l MAPLE. How e x c i t i n g . MICHAEL. I t ' s o n l y a p i e c e o f wood, Grace . MAPLE. T h a t ' s i t . Chop, chop, chop! Up and down, up and d o w n . . . Oh, do i t a g a i n . . . d o i t a g a i n . GEORGE. F i n a l l y . . . o n e m o r e . . . d e s t r o y e d . . . GRACE. My c o f f i n . . . (George s taggers away from s ign) GEORGE. You can l e t h e r go now. (Grace runs over to s i g n , weeps over the p i ece s ) MICHAEL. How sad . MAPLE. I l o v e v i o l e n t men. There ' s a s t r o n g c o r r e l a t i o n between a man's v i o l e n t tendencies and the s i z e o f h i s o r g a n . GEORGE. I t ' s time to get down to b u s i n e s s . The next person i n t e r r u p t i n g me w i l l have t h e i r head chopped o f f . MAPLE. How e x h i l l e r a t i n g . . . MICHAEL. Shhh. Quiet , G r a c e . . . ( S i l e n c e ) GEORGE. T h a t ' s more l i k e i t . Now, you were probab ly wondering why you were brought h e r e . . . W h y you were c h o s e n . . . MAPLE. I ' v e always been popular w i t h men. GEORGE. S i l e n c e ! MAPLE. B r u t e . GEORGE. You are probab ly a l s o wondering what the password means. I ' l l t e l l y o u . I t ' s our l a s t h o p e . . . t h e D a n d e l i o n ! - 25 - MICHAEL. Ah . . . r ay b a b i e s . . . GEORGE. M i c h a e l was chosen because o f h i s knowledge o f the d a n d e l i o n . He i s my a s s i s t a n t . Maple , because she i s p r e g n a n t . . . she i s my s u b j e c t . . . MAPLE. Of c o u r s e . . . t h e c h i l d r e n are our f u t u r e . GEORGE. And both o f you share a common l o v e o f nature and d i s l i k e f o r the O u t s i d e , which i s necessary as we are go ing to change i t . MICHAEL. I l ove you d a n d e l i o n , I r e a l l y do, Without you l i f e i s n o t h i n g and s k i e s a r e n ' t b l u e . . . ( G e o r g e r a i s e s axe) O o p s . . . s o r r y . . . I got c a r r i e d a w a y . . . GEORGE. I t goes w i t h o u t s a y i n g t h a t I am the l e a d e r and t h a t you w i l l obey me wi thout q u e s t i o n . MAPLE. I ' v e always been s u b s e r v i e n t . GEORGE. Anyone not do ing t h e i r job w i l l be thrown out to the mercies o f the e s t a b l i s h m e n t . MICHAEL. Not t h a t ! GEORGE. Any ques t ions? GRACE. Can I bury now? GEORGE. Not u n t i l I 'm f i n i s h e d . You ' re my p r i s o n e r . Any o t h e r ques t ions? GRACE. When can we make l o v e , Georgie? GEORGE. Any o t h e r Questions? I t ' s important that t h i s i s n ' t overheard by enemy e a r s . (Drops v o i c e ) Ovef the y e a r s , I ' v e been exper iment ing i n my l a b and I have d i s covered t h i n g s . . . because o f the dande l ion soon t h e r e ' s go ing to be r i v e r s and f o r e s t s a g a i n , and y o u ' l l a l l p l a y a v i t a l p a r t i n h e l p i n g i t happen v e r y s o o n . . . MAPLE. What does the d a n d e l i o n do , Georgie? GEORGE. (Whispering) I t makes t h a t wine you were c r a v i n g . . . MICHAEL. No, G e o r g i e . . . ! MAPLE. Yummy. GEORGE. And i t ' s not o r d i n a r y w i n e . Come c l o s e r . . . MAPLE. W i t h great p l e a s u r e . GEORGE. I t turns you o n . MAPLE. An a p h r o d i a s i a c ! GEORGE. MAPLE. - 26 - Among o t h e r t h i n g s , y e s . Wheel Can I have some now? MICHAEL. I won' t permit i t ! Dear Maple , you know not what awai t s y o u . . . MAPLE. What do you mean, sweetie? GEORGE. You can t r y some v e r y soon. But now I must speak to my a s s i s t a n t . A l o n e . Go and p a i n t u n t i l I 'm ready f o r y o u . MAPLE. You've become so m a s t e r f u l . I 'm bes ide myse l f w i t h pa s s ion f o r y o u . I ' l l a t t a c k my p a i n t i n g w i t h g rea t a rdor but I warn you i t won' t d r a i n my e n e r g i e s . S u b l i m a t i o n has never worked f o r me. (Goes back to h e r ea se l ) GEORGE. GRACE. GEORGE. GRACE. GEORGE. GRACE. Now, Grace , you can go and b u r y . Thank y o u , George. Don ' t t r y to escape, I warn y o u . D o n ' t send me back out there a g a i n , George! You ' re a g r e a t a c t r e s s , Grace . Yes , G e o r g e . . . ( E x i t s ) MICHAEL. I t h i n k y o u ' r e wrong about Gracet "Her s o u l i s t h a t innocence and g r i m e . . . S h e i s n ' t capable o f any c r i m e . . . " GEORGE. Never mind tha t s t u f f . L e t ' s get something s t r a i g h t , Are you f o r me o r a g a i n s t me? MICHAEL. What do you mean? GEORGE. Are you go ing to h e l p me w i t h my p lans? MICHAEL. You d o n ' t mean t r y i n g the brew on Maple GEORGE. T h a t ' s the o b j e c t . MICHAEL. I c a n ' t permit i t . GEORGE. Then y o u ' l l have to l e a v e . MICHAEL. You c a n ' t do t h a t to me! GEORGE. I c a n . I 'm a desparate man. MICHAEL. N o . . . p l e a s e . . . < - 27 - GEORGE. Keep your v o i c e down. Remember, i t ' s harmless to a d u l t s , and much n i c e r than b l o w i n g up b u i l d i n g s . Maple w i l l thank us i n the end. MICHAEL. Oh d e a r . . . o h d e a r . . . GEORGE. I ' l l g ive you t i l l f i v e . Help me o r go. O n e . . . t w o . . . MICHAEL. I t ' s h o r r i b l e . GEORGE. T h r e e . . . MICHAEL. I t ' s c r i m i n a l . . . GEORGE. P o u r . . . ( A d v a n c i n g ) MICHAEL. I c a n ' t . . . GEORGE. F i v e ! MICHAEL. N o . . . p l e a s e . . . a l l r i g h t . . . a l l r i g h t . . . ! ( C o l l a p s e s ) GEORGE. ( H e l p i n g him up) I know how you f e e l but you must r e a l i z e we have no c h o i c e . C o n t r o l y o u r s e l f , Maple i s w a t c h i n g . Remember, C h u r c h i l l had no cho ice e i t h e r . . . a t t a c k o r be a t t a c k e d . . . Now, i f we c o u l d o n l y get some soda pop to perk up tha t l a s t batch o f d a n d e l i o n s . (Grace e n t e r s , hugging C i n d y , who i s d r i n k i n g pop and a l s o c a r r y i n g a case o f pop. ) GRACE. CINDY. GRACE. MAPLE. GEORGE. CINDY. MICHAEL. GEORGE. MAPLE. CINDY. GEORGE. I found my baby. Yes , mother. ( K i s s i n g h e r ) My baby k i s s e d me. (Beaming) Don ' t k i s s t h a t d i s e a s e , c h i l d . She k i s s e d me b e f o r e . (To C indy) Where d i d you go to? I c a r r i e d out your o r d e r s . See. (Showing pop) She brought the f e r t i l i z e r . But I never t o l d you t o ! Dear C i n d y , my o l d e s t c h i l d . But I work f o r y o u . Where's my sucker? L a t e r . There ' s work to be done now. Seeing as we ' re a l l t oge ther , a l l the members o f the dande l ion b r i g a d e . . . I t h i n k we should pledge our a l l e g i a n c e . Together n o w . . . ( H a n d i n g out the b o t t l e s o f pop) "We pledge o u r s e l v e s to the k i n g o f f l o w e r s . " - 28 - A L L . "We pledge o u r s e l v e s to the k i n g o f f l o w e r s . " GEORGE. We pledge our a l l e g i a n c e to me. A L L . "We pledge our a l l e g i a n c e to y o u . " CINDY. H e r e ' s to the o l d dande l ion and h e r e ' s to the b r e w . . . H e r e ' s to t h i s l o t and to everyone o f y o u . GEORGE. H e r e ' s to the dande l ions that soon w i l l change the s c e n e . . H e r e ' s to the s p e c i a l brew and you know what I m e a n . . . (Winking a t Maple) MAPLE. H e r e ' s to a r e a l good time and l o t s more o f the same. . . H e r e ' s to super Georgie and a l so w h a t ' s - h i s - n a m e . . . MICHAEL. H e r e ' s to Map le , and h e r e ' s to h e r c h i l d . . . H e r e ' s to dande l ions t h a t w i l l soon be growing w i l d . . . GRACE. H e r e ' s to the d a n d e l i o n S ing a l u l l a b y f o r my b a b y . . . And h e r e ' s to i t s g r a v e . . . MAPLE. Ugh. MICHAEL. I t doesn ' t rhyme. GEORGE. Never mind . H e r e ' s to everyone o f u s , t h a t we get the job done w e l l . . . A n d h e r e ' s to the golden f u t u r e t h a t w i l l come sooner than we can t e l l . . . H e r e ' s to the d a n d e l i o n ! A L L . The Dande l ion ! CINDY. That was fun - now a r e n ' t we go ing to d r i n k some dande l i on wine? MAPLE. What a good i d e a ! GEORGE. How d i d you know about the vri.ne? CINDY. I 'm your h e l p e r . Get the wine ready . Time to prepare f o r f u n . GEORGE. A l l r i g h t , good i d e a . (To Maple) You s t ay there and s tay pregnant . (To M i c h a e l ) Watch them f o r me. (Enter s i n t o shed) CINDY. ( D r a i n i n g pop to M i c h a e l ) She's my mother, i s n ' t she n i c e ? Do you want a s i p ? GRACE. I 'm g l a d you came back, baby. MAPLE. Don ' t touch my c h i l d you unplowed a c r e ! - 29 - CINDY. I t ' s O .K . mommy (Winking a t M i c h a e l ) . My mother i s sweet and n i c e and l o v e s babies and p o e t r y . Y o u ' l l l ove h e r baby t o o . MICHAEL. P lea se - I d o n ' t want to h e a r . MAPLE. What 's wrong, d a r l i n g ? CINDY. She's k i n d and she love s h e r babies v e r y much. I t would break h e r h e a r t i f a n y t h i n g happened to them, w o u l d n ' t i t mommy? MICHAEL. (Tortured) Stop i t ! MAPLE. Nothing ever happens to my b a b i e s . CINDY. (To_ Grace) Come on mommy. I ' l l h e l p you b u r y . MAPLE. Do you have to humor t h a t sow? Don ' t break your f i n g e r n a i l s ! (Cindy l eads Grace to the s ide ) I s n ' t she a sweet c h i l d ? (George i s heard s i n g i n g i n shed, M i c h a e l t rembles ) What ' s wrong, sweet i e , are you i l l ? MICHAEL. Not me, i t ' s y o u . MAPLE. I f e e l f i n e - how sweet o f you to be concerned. MICHAEL. Y o u ' r e such a n i c e l a d y . MAPLE. You d e v i l ! MICHAEL. Your h e a r t i s f u l l o f innocence and charm, Heaven f o r b i d you come to any harm! MAPLE. Nonesense. I 'm a s t r o n g h e a l t h y woman. MICHAEL. I d o n ' t know what to do! MAPLE. Then k i s s me, you tease ! (George comes o u t , shaking l a r g e b o t t l e ) GEORGE. I t ' s ready! CINDY. (Dropping pop b o t t l e and l e a v i n g Grace) Good. Can I have i t ? GEORGE. Why? - 30 - CINDY. Because I know what to do. (Takes bottle, in barker tones) Gather around folks - It's turn on time. MAPLE. Super! CINDY. You see here...the one...the only...wonder drug at a price you a l l can afford. (They gather around) Let me t e l l you, Ladies and Gentlemen, you cannot afford to be without Dr. George's latest discovery. What can Dr. George's dandy drink do for you? Everything. Now who's going to be the f i r s t lucky one to try? The f i r s t bottle free to the one who'll demonstrate right here... the wonderous properties of Dr. George's wonder drug. MAPLE. Me, Miss. I ' l l take a bottle. CINDY. The f i r s t bottle to this l i t t l e lady...Now, who's next? GRACE. Will i t give me a baby? CINDY. It w i l l do anything, my dear. (Gives Grace a bottle, to George) And, you, sir? GEORGE. Me? Well...ah...actually... CINDY. Don't be bashful, don't be shy. Why not give Dr. George's a try? (George takes i t ) MICHAEL. That's good! "Don't be timid, have no fear... Now that Dr. George i s here." CINDY. That's right, so take a bottle, Everyone relax...it's try out time. (They a l l s i t down) Maple f i r s t . . . . MICHAEL. No! (George threatens him) MAPLE. Hooray...(Takes drink) Hmmm/Good. CINDY. Turn, turn on! MAPLE. Your turn, super-balls. (To George) GEORGE. Yummy...(Takes a drink) MAPLE. (To Michael) Get with i t , Lover. (George nudges Michael) MICHAEL. I don't want to. MAPLE. Turn on, turn on! CINDY. Turn on, turn on! (together) - 31 - MICHAEL. What can I l o se n o w . . . ( D r i n k s ) (To Grace) Your t u r n , now. MAPLE. GEORGE. Turn o n , t u r n on ! Turn o n , t u r n onl (Together) GRACE. No, I took i t b e f o r e . . . ( P u s h e s b o t t l e s away) GEORGE. (Quick ly ) She won' t take i t . M a p l e ' s t u r n ! MAPLE. G r e a t . ( D r i n k s ) (Michae l r i s e s - George p u l l s him down) GEORGE. (Threatening) Turn o n , t u r n o n ! (When M a p l e ' s f i n i s h e d ) W e l l ? MAPLE. Oh! GEORGE. What i s i t ? MAPLE. ( W r i t h i n g ) O h . . . O h ! MICHAEL. Are you a l l r i g h t , Maple? (He bends over h e r , she grabs him) MAPLE. Oh, f a n t a s t i c . Oh! MICHAEL. H e l p ! MAPLE. Oh, DON'T, d o n ' t . . . o h h h . MICHAEL. She's choking me! GRACE. I s the baby a l l r i g h t ? GEORGE. I t ' s w o r k i n g , i t ' s w o r k i n g , M i c h a e l ! MAPLE. S top , s top ! GEORGE. T h i s i s n ' t g o i n g to be p l e a s a n t , M i c h a e l , t u r n your back. MICHAEL. I c a n ' t get away. My t h r o a t ! GRACE. I s i t a l l r i g h t ? MAPLE. ( i n c o n v u l s i o n s ) I 'm d y i n g . . . o h ! GEORGE. What ' s keep ing h e r ! MICHAEL. I c a n ' t b r e a t h . . . GEORGE. I t should be over by now. MAPLE. Ohhh. (Goes l i m p ) - 32 - GRACE. Don ' t l e t i t be dead! GEORGE. Shut up , Grace , i t ' s too l a t e now. (Michae l makes t o r t u r e d n o i s e s , f i n a l l y f r e e s h i m s e l f ) Get on your f e e t , M i c h a e l ! (Cindy has taken gum from her pocke t , thrown the wrapper down, and i s b lowing bubble s , as she watchesT) MICHAEL. Thank Heavens she r e l e a s e d h e r h o l d . . . j u s t i n t i m e . GEORGE. I t d i d n ' t work, M i c h a e l . MICHAEL. Thank God! I s she s l e e p i n g now? GEORGE. We've k i l l e d h e r . MICHAEL. K i l l e d h e r ! GRACE. I ' l l make a b i g grave f o r mother and c h i l d . . . I wi sh I c o u l d have been b u r i e d w i t h my c h i l d . MICHAEL. She's dead! Oh n o . . . y o u s a i d . . . ! GEORGE. A great experiment i s seldom s u c c e s s f u l the f i r s t t ime . MICHAEL. (Weeping over Maple) Oh no , my poor M a p l e . . . m y b a b y . . . GEORGE. I suppose you c o u l d s t r e t c h the p o i n t and c a l l i t a s o r t o f m i s c a r r i a g e . I t ' s not r e a l l y a complete f a i l u r e . . . (Maple s ighs and s t r e t c h e s , M i c h a e l jumps up i n t e r r o r ) MAPLE. Ahhh. M u l t i p l e o r g a s i s m s . . . b e a u t i f u l . . . MICHAEL. Are you a l l r i g h t ? MAPLE. Worn o u t , d a r l i n g , but o therwise g r e a t . . . GRACE. So much f o r the b i g g r a v e . . . GEORGE. (Examing the b o t t l e ) How c o u l d i t have happened? MICHAEL. ( H e l p i n g Maple up) Thank God y o u ' r e a l l r i g h t . MAPLE. Did you have the same e r o t i c exper ience? MICHAEL. W e l l . . . I d i d exper ience a choking s e n s a t i o n . GEORGE. What went wrong? Try the b a k i n g soda i n i t t h i s t ime . CINDY. (Grounds the bubble gum i n t o the stage) - 33 - GEORGE. Do you t h i n k t h a t ' s i t ? MICHAEL. P l e a s e . . . n o t a g a i n . Give i t u p , George. GEORGE. Y o u ' r e s t r a i n i n g my p a t i e n c e , M i c h a e l . . . CINDY. I 'm sure t h a t ' s i t . GEORGE. I t h i n k y o u ' r e r i g h t . CINDY. And t h e r e ' s no time to l o s e . MICHAEL. P l e a s e . . . G e o r g e . . . l i s t e n to m e . . . MAPLE. Oh George, y o u ' r e not go ing i n t o tha t h o l e a g a i n ! I h a r d l y see you anymore. GEORGE. Enough from y o u . (To Cindy) Keep a lookout f o r me. (Enter s shed) GRACE. (To_ Cindy) Come s i t bes ide me. I 'm go ing to put you to s l e e p . CINDY. I n a minute , mommy... MAPLE. Don' t l e t her maul you c h i l d , she ' s v e r y w e i r d . Come h e r e , your h a i r needs combing. MICHAEL. ( C r a d l i n g h i s pot ) I need your comfort , my l o v e l i e s . . . I d o n ' t l i k e what ' s happening . "How suddenly f e a r creeps i n your mind j u s t when you t h i n k you 've l e f t i t a l l b e h i n d . " CINDY. (As Maple combs h e r h a i r ) I d o n ' t t h i n k George l i k e s you , mother. MAPLE. Men always l i k e me. CINDY. But he keeps h i d i n g from you . MICHAEL. (Rocking back and f o r t h w i t h h i s f l o w e r s ) I need to f e e l your p e t a l s aga i n s t my c h e e k . . . E s p e c i a l l y when I f e e l a f r a i d and weak. MAPLE. How p e c u l i a r . CINDY. Yes , but you l o v e men w i t h sexual hangups. MAPLE. You ' re r i g h t . MICHAEL. (To f l o w e r s ) Y o u ' r e a l l I have . "When I was born the sun re fused to shine My mother screamed and s a i d she wasn ' t mine. My f a t h e r swore I c o u l d n ' t be h i s son He s a i d h e ' d never f a t h e r e d such a one . MAPLE. How sad . - 34 - CINDY. ( E a t i n g sunf lower seeds from h e r pocket ) But you 've always "been turned on by i n s i g n i f i c a n t , u n d e r p r o v i l e g e d men. MAPLE. Y o u ' r e r i g h t a g a i n ! (Going over to M i c h a e l ) And h e ' s such a gentlemen. CINDY. (To Grace) L e t ' s go and f i n d t h i n g s to b u r y , mother. GRACE. Oh G o o d y . . . . ( T a k e s h e r hand and they l eave ) MAPLE. I c a n ' t unders tand why I never n o t i c e d you b e f o r e , you adorable mouse . . . MICHAEL. Poor l a d y . . . w h a t can I do f o r y o u . . . MAPLE. How about a l i t t l e hanky-panky. Come c l o s e r . They say I 'm v e r y good. The f i n a l month i s when I enjoy i t most. One i s fo rced to come up w i t h more o r i g i n a l i d e a s . I ' v e t r i e d oat 24 c o i t a l p o s i t i o n s d u r i n g my l a t e pregnanc ie s . Would you l i k e a date? MICHAEL. I t breaks my h e a r t to t e l l you t h i s , but f o r your own s a f e t y , you should leave immedia t ly . MAPLE. But I c o u l d n ' t leave y o u , M i c h a e l d a r l i n g . . . MICHAEL. I f o n l y the baby would come r i g h t now. MAPLE. I t w i l l come soon e n o u g h . . . i n f a c t , I 'm go ing to c a l l i t M i c h a e l , a f t e r you . P l e a s e . . . r e c i t e some o f your marve l lous poe t ry to me a g a i n , you l o v e l y hunk o f a m a n . . . MICHAEL. I 'm b e i n g t o r t u r e d . . . MAPLE. W i t h d e s i r e , no doubt . Then why deny y o u r s e l f . . . O h . . . i t j u s t k i c k e d . . . H o w e x c i t i n g . F e e l i t . Can i t f e e l i t k i c k ? MICHAEL. No! Leave me a l o n e ! (Jumps to h i s f e e t ) " T h i s pounding o f my h e a r t , what can i t b e . . . T ' s d e s i r e to have a son and l i v e w i t h t h e e . . . " MAPLE. A h , you cudd ly l i t t l e r a b b i t , I accept ! I ' v e always wanted to be a w i f e . MICHAEL. I f o n l y I c o u l d s tay here a l l my l i f e . . . Wi th j u s t my dandel ions and my w i f e . . . MAPLE. I ' M y o u r s . (She g i v e s him a bear hug , shed door r a t t l e s and George comes out w i t h another b o t t l e . ) GEORGE. T h i s i s i t , M i c h a e l . Where's Cindy? (Cindy e n t e r s , e a t i n g l i f e s a v e r s ) (Grace t r a i l s behind her ) - 35 - CINDY. I'm h e r e . GEORGE. Where d i d you go? I t o l d you to watch . CINDY. I was w a t c h i n g . And I always come when you need me. MICHAEL. Put t h a t b o t t l e down, George. GEORGE. What do you mean? MICHAEL. I cannot a l l o w what you p l a n to do today . My conscience and my h e a r t stand i n the way. (Stands i n f r o n t o f Maple) GEORGE. You know where Y o u ' l l be i n two m i n u t e s . . . MICHAEL. Even that i s b e t t e r than what you p l a n to do. In every per son ' s l i f e t h e r e ' s a moment of s t r e n g t h . I ' v e reached mine. (Takes M a p l e ' s hand) MAPLE. Are we g e t t i n g marr ied? (Cindy has snuck behind M i c h a e l and p i c k e d up h i s p o t . She g ive s i t to_ George, s m i l i n g ) MICHAEL. What ' s tha t ? What have you got? GEORGE. (Backing towards shed) I 'm s o r r y to have to do t h i s , M i c h a e l . MICHAEL. (Going towards him) Show. . . GEORGE. ( U n l o c k i n g shed q u i c k l y ) I ' l l g ive them back when you come to your senses. MICHAEL. (Looking around) My d a n d e l i o n s . . . w h e r e are they? (George ducks i n t o shed, puts i n p o t , l o c k s up shed) Kidnapper ! (Lunges a t him) MAPLE. How e x c i t i n g . I t ' s been so l o n g s ince men have fought over me. CINDY. Do you want a l i f e s a v e r ? GEORGE. ( P u l l i n g M i c h a e l away from the shed) I t ' s no u s e . They ' re s a f e . . . s o l o n g as you do as y o u ' r e t o l d . Once i t ' s over you can have them back . MICHAEL. P l e a s e . . . h a v e p i t y . . . t h e y » r e not used to s e p a r a t i o n . . . CINDY. ( P i c k i n g up b o t t l e and shaking i t ) I t ' s t u r n on time a g a i n ! MAPLE. Goody! - 36 GRACE. GEORGE. ( S t a r i n g at Maple) I want more b a b i e s . Good g i r l . I t ' s time f o r another d r i n k o f D r . George's Dandel ion CINDY. w i n e . . . D r i n k t h i s wine and y o u ' l l sure f e e l f i n e . . . MICHAEL. MAPLE. GEORGE. GRACE. MAPLE. (B lubber ing) N o . . . n o . . . But what ' s wrong w i t h M i c h a e l ? (Goes to him) A b s o l u t e l y n o t h i n g . ( F o l l o w i n g Maple) I want b a b i e s ! L i k e you have . W e l l d e a r i e , y o u ' r e i n no c o n d i t i o n to s t a r t now. Why d i d n ' t you t h i n k about i t t en years ago? I t h i n k i t ' s c r i m i n a l the way some women renounce t h e i r n a t u r a l f u n c t i o n s . What do you t h i n k you were made f o r ? GRACE. Grave d i g g i n g . MAPLE. I ' v e had t en c h i l d r e n . I t keeps me young and f i t . Look a t y o u r s e l f . CINDY. The f i r s t d r i n k goes to the b e a u t i f u l l a d y i n the f r o n t r o w . . . ( T o Maple) (Michae l makes t o r t u r e d n o i s e s , George c u r t a i l s him) MAPLE. You sweetheart . (Takes b o t t l e , d r i n k s ) I ' l l t r y a n y t h i n g o n c e . . . o r t w i c e . . . o r three t i m e s . . . GRACE. (Backing away) N o . . . D o n ' t d r i n k . GEORGE. How do you f e e l ? MAPLE. A b s o l u t e l y n o t h i n g ' s happening. GEORGE. Yes? MAPLE. (Leaping up) Whoooo. . .peeee! MICHAEL. Dear Maple ! GEORGE. Leave her a l o n e . T h i s i s i t ! MAPLE. Yaaaa-hoo! (Begins to dance) GEORGE. She 's gone c r a z y . MAPLE. I l ove to dance, I l ove to prance I l o v e to t ea se , I l ove to p l e a s e . . . - 37 - MICHAEL. T h a t ' s not good f o r the bahy. Let me s top h e r . GEORGE. I wonder i f I used too much bak ing soda? MAPLE. I l o v e to s p i n , I l ove to r o c k , I l ove to do i t round the c l o c k . . . GEORGE. She's r u i n i n g my g r a s s , but I c a n ' t stop h e r now. MAPLE. When you see them shake, you know t h e y ' r e not f a k e . . . MICHAEL. S h e ' l l h u r t h e r s e l f ! GEORGE. Any minute now! MAPEL. (Stops dead, so lemly) And so , I appeal to you a l l , to have f a i t h and to w a i t . . . MICHAEL. U n b e l i e v a b l e . GEORGE. Her mind ' s u n h i n g e d . I t ' s bound to be an improvement. MAPLE. I must ask f o r abso lute s i l e n c e . Jesus w i l l come. S a l v a t i o n i s near . But o n l y f o r those who are r i g h t e o u s . . . o n l y f o r the a b s t a i n e r s , o n l y f o r those who have renounced t h e i r e v i l ways and the p lea sures o f the f l e s h . MICHAEL. What w i l l we do? MAPLE. S i l e n c e ! I am speaking o f r e l i g i o n . I am speaking o f the gates o f p a r a d i s e . (Crumples to the ground, l i e s s t i l l ) MICHAEL. Have we k i l l e d h e r a g a i n ! GEORGE. A second f a i l u r e . Back to the l a b o r a t o r y . MICHAEL. M a p l e . . . d e a r . . . s p e a k to m e . . . ( M a p l e s t r e t c h e s ) MAPLE. What happened? MICHAEL. You f e l l . I 'm so g l a d y o u ' r e a l l r i g h t . MAPLE. I c a n ' t remember a t h i n g . ( G e t t i n g up) I 'm so u n - c o m f o r t a b l e . When the h e l l i s t h i s baby go ing to come! GEORGE. I ' v e been a s k i n g myse l f the same q u e s t i o n . CINDY. The t h i r d time w i l l have to be l u c k y . Le t me go f o r the s u l p h u r . GEORGE. Do you t h i n k t h a t ' s i t ? CINDY. Must be . And I ' l l buy my suckers t o o . - 38 - GRACE. I d o n ' t want you to go. MICHAEL. (To Maple) I 'm so g l a d y o u ' r e a l l r i g h t . MAPLE. Of course I 'm a l l r i g h t , s i l l y . Watch x^hen you c r o s s the s t r e e t s , c h i l d . . . GEORGE. Be back i n t e n minutes . ( G i v i n g C indy money) Remember who you work f o r . CINDY. Okay. Goodbye, mommy. (K i s se s Maple) MAPLE. D a r l i n g c h i l d . . . d o n ' t t a l k to s t ranger s n o w . . . GRACE. Don ' t go! (Howls and goes a f t e r Cindy) MICHAEL. W i l l Grace be a l l r i g h t ? GEORGE. She won' t go f a r . MAPLE. Too bad. I t ' s so n i c e b e i n g alone w i t h my two f a v o u r i t e men. MICHAEL. P l e a s e . . . G e o r g e . . . g i v e me back my p o t . GEORGE. A f t e r . I 'm not happy w i t h your conduct . MICHAEL. But you d o n ' t under s t and . When t h e y ' r e out o f my s i g h t I have hot f l a s h e s , I f e e l f a i n t . . . m y l i f e b l o o d d r a i n s away. MAPLE. M i c h a e l , dear , those are sure s igns o f l o v e . . . GEORGE. I t ' s your own f a u l t . Toe the l i n e now, and I ' l l r e c o n s i d e r . . , MAPLE. I 'm a pushover f o r men i n c o n t r o l . . . ( G o e s to George) MICHAEL. Stay away from h i m . " J ea lousy i s something I never knew But I f e e l the pangs now that I have met y o u . " M A P L E . (Touched) Ahhh. GEORGE. I thought you were my p e r f e c t p a r t n e r . You've l e t me down b a d l y , George. (The no i se a g a i n , v e r y l o u d t h i s t ime) MICHAEL. I t ' s the end o f the w o r l d ! GEORGE. Almost here ! MAPLE. Not tha t again1 (They huddle t o g e t h e r . Grace rushes i n and huddles w i t h them too) GRACE. GEORGE. MICHAEL. He lp me, George. P r o t e c t me. T h e r e . . . t h e r e . . . W i l l i t never s top ! (Noise s tops) At l a s t ! GEORGE. But t h e y ' r e a l l around us now. (Cindy e n t e r s , l i c k i n g a popsycle and c a r r y i n g a bag) CINDY. I 'm back. GEORGE. What was i t ? CINDY. What? MICHAEL. You d i d n ' t hear anything? CINDY. Jus t the u s u a l t h i n g s . MAPLE. You must have h e a r d . CINDY. H e r e ' s the s u l p h u r . GEORGE. Ahhh. Good. (Examines bag) GRACE. CINDY. MAPLE. a l o n e . . . My baby ' s back . Yes...mommy. (Leading h e r o f f to the s i d e ) Georg i e , I wi sh y o u ' d t e l l that covr to l eave my c h i l d MICHAEL. P l e a s e . . . G e o r g e . . . o p e n t h a t s h e d . . . GEORGE. Ju s t r i g h t . . . t h i s w i l l do. i t . (Cindy has p o i n t e d something out to Grace , she l o o k s o u t , e x c i t e d ) GRACE. Oh l o o k ! (She e x i t s ) GEORGE. What's she l o o k i n g a t ? MICHAEL. P l e a s e . . . G e o r g e . . . t h e k e y . . . GEORGE. I t h i n k i t ' s another s i g n . MAPLE. I l o v e to watch George chop up s i g n s . S t r o n g , e n e r g e t i c men are my weakness. MICHAEL. I c a n ' t s tand i t ! GEORGE. N e i t h e r can I! She ' s b r i n g i n g i t h e r e ! MAPLE. Can I get you the axe , muscles? MICHAEL. No v i o l e n c e ! GRACE. ( E n t e r i n g w i t h s i gn ) The b igges t tombstone o f a l l . Por my v e r y own grave . GEORGE. The axe , the axe! MICHAEL. No you d o n ' t . (Maple g i v e s George the axe , he pushes M i c h a e l a s ide and grabs s i g n from Grace) GRACE. L e t , l e t go! (George s t a r t s chopping) MAPLE. Such s t r e n g t h ! I f he a t t a c k s a wooden s i g n tha t way, what c o u l d he do to a woman! GRACE. No, my marker! (Cindy s i t s , l i c k i n g p o p s i c l e and watching) MAPLE. T h a t ' s r i g h t , George. H i t i t ! O h . . . I f e l t t h a t ! I t was good. Do i t a g a i n , do i t a g a i n ! Over a l ready? What a p i t y . GEORGE. (Exhausted) T h e r e ' s no time to l o s e . . . MAPLE. L o v e l y . . . I adore desparate brood ing m e n . . . MICHAEL. "Oh f i c k l e woman, what a s o u l i s t h i n e . To pretend love f o r him when thou a r t m i n e . " CINDY. Y o u ' r e r i g h t , George. GEORGE. I know, I know. T h i s time d o n ' t l e a v e . I need y o u . CINDY. T h i s time w i l l do i t , G e o r g e . . . MICHAEL. You w o u l d n ' t t r y a g a i n ! GEORGE. Remember your d a n d e l i o n s , M i c h a e l ? MICHAEL. You w o u l d n ' t h u r t them! GEORGE. I ' d do a n y t h i n g i f c r o s s e d . (Enters shed) MAPLE. He goes i n there so much. Do you t h i n k t h a t ' s wise? GRACE. (Weeping over the p i ece s o f the s ign) He d i d i t a g a i n . D e s t r o y e d . . . MICHAEL. CINDY. MICHAEL. CINDY. MICHAEL. CINDY. o t h e r s . , MICHAEL. - 41 - Hush, G r a c e . . . i t ' l l be a l l r i g h t . W i l l i t ? What do you mean? How do you know what h e ' s do ing to your f l o w e r s i n there? He w o u l d n ' t harm them. . .he l o v e s them t o o . . . He c o u l d be making wine out o f t h e m . . . l i k e w i t h a l l the No! MAPLE. (Watching Grace) When i s the l a s t time you had a body wave, dear? CINDY. MICHAEL. I f I were y o u , I ' d get my pot back. But h o w . . . h o w . . . ? CINDY. And I ' d a l s o s w i t c h b o t t l e s so t h a t Maple doesn ' t d r i n k the wrong s t u f f . . . You d o n ' t want a n y t h i n g to happen to h e r baby do you? MICHAEL. No, I d o n ' t ! MAPLE. What k i n d o f toothpaste do you use? CINDY. I can h e l p y o u . MICHAEL. Can you? CINDY. Sure . MAPLE. You r e a l l y should update your grooming h a b i t s . GRACE. Yes , George. MICHAEL. How? CINDY. I have an e x t r a k e y . . . s e e ? (Shows him key) MICHAEL. Give i t to me. CINDY. Have you got any candy? MICHAEL. N o . . . CINDY. Give me some money f o r candy t h e n . MICHAEL. H e r e . . . h e r e . . . CINDY. Okay. (Gives him the key) - 42 - MAPLE. I t ' s i m p o s s i b l e to c a r r y on a c i v i l i z e d c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h t h a t woman! MICHAEL. I ' v e got i t ! CINDY. You sure have. (George comes out o f shed) GEORGE. Ready a t l a s t ! Are you ready , Maple? MICHAEL. W a i t ! GEORGE. You a g a i n . MICHAEL. I t ' s not t h a t . . . I ' m on your s i d e . . . I t ' s j u s t t h a t . . . Maple has something to t e l l you f i r s t . . . GEORGE. W e l l ? (To Maple) MAPLE. What am I supposed to t e l l h i m , M i c h a e l ? MICHAEL. Use your i m a g i n a t i o n . P l e a s e . . . GEORGE. Time i s o f the essence. MAPLE. G e o r g i e . . . y o u ' v e been a v o i d i n g me l a t e l y . . . I must know w h y . . . (C indy q u i e t l y l e a v e s . . . M i c h a e l s t a r t s sneaking up to shed) GEORGE. Keep your d i s t a n c e . (Michae l s l e a t h i l y u n l o c k s shed door , s l i p s i n ) GRACE. (Tugging a t h i s s leeve)(She has seen M i c h a e l ) Look, G e o r g e . . . G e o r g e . . . GEORGE. Quiet Grace (To Maple) What do you want? We have no time to l o s e . MAPLE. You ' re such a c r u e l man. I d o n ' t know why you t u r n me o n . But you do. GEORGE. ( D a r k l y ) I s t h a t a l l ? GRACE. G e o r g e . . . y o u r s h e d . . . l o o k , George. (Michae l comes out o f shed w i t h h i s p o t , l o c k s d o o r . ) GEORGE. Speaking o f t u r n i n g o n . . . MAPLE. I adore d i f f i c u l t m e n . . . GEORGE. I t ' s time a g a i n . M i c h a e l , where are you? - 43 - (Michae l has h idden h i s pot behind the shed, comes out ) MICHAEL. Here , George. GEORGE. What are you doing? MICHAEL. Mourning my d a n d e l i o n s . . . GEORGE. T h i s i s i t , M i c h a e l . (Goes i n t o shed, b r i n g s out b o t t l e ) GRACE. (To M i c h a e l ) You went i n George 's shed. MICHAEL. Shhh. GRACE. I saw y o u . MAPLE. I want a whi te wedding, M i c h a e l , w i t h a l l the t r immings . MICHAEL. I ' v e saved y o u , my s w e e t . . . " I ' v e r i s k e d my l i f e f o r you I ' d do i t aga in For you I ' d s u f f e r a l l ha rdsh ip s and a l l p a i n . . . " GEORGE. MAPLE. MICHAEL. GEORGE. D r i n k . MAPLE. GEORGE. MAPLE. GRACE. Okay, Maple , t h i s i s i t . D r i n k . Do I have to again? Go ahead, dear , t h i s s t u f f ' s okay. (To M i c h a e l ) T h a t ' s more l i k e i t I (Dr inks ) U g h . . . t a s t e s h o r r i b l e . . . D r i n k a g a i n . T y r a n t . . . I d o n ' t d r i n k t h a t . You s h o u l d n ' t d r i n k t h a t . MICHAEL. W u i e t , G r a c e . . . I t ' l l be a l l r i g h t . , GEORGE. W e l l , how do you f e e l ? MAPLE. I 'm d i z z y . . . o h my! (Reel s ) GEORGE. I t ' s happening. MICHAEL. Noth ing can be happening. MAPLE. I 'm b u r n i n g . . . I ' m on f i r e . . . GEORGE. Promi s ing symptoms. . . - 44 - MICHAEL. I t c a n ' t be . MAPLE. I t h i n k my baby ' s go ing to c o m e . . . O h , I c a n ' t move my l e g s . . . ( S i t t i n g down) MICHAEL. Are you a l l r i g h t ? GEORGE. I t ' l l be over soon. Grace i s a good m i d w i f e . . . GRACE. Y e s . . . I ' l l h e l p . . . MAPLE. I have t e n f i n e c h i l d r e n . Soon I ' l l have e l e v e n . Then I can s t a r t i n on the t w e l t h . Don ' t leave me. I 'm not o l d y e t . I 'm s t i l l b e a u t i f u l . I know how to p l e a s e . . . T e l l me you want m e . . . GEORGE. Help me get h e r behind the' shed, M i c h a e l . . . MICHAEL. My deare s t , are you a l l r i g h t . . . O h d e a r . . . (They c a r r y her o f f ) MAPLE. T e l l me you l o v e me...Ohhh1 GRACE. More babies g o n e . . . GEORGE. (From o f f s t a g e ) Grace , come and h e l p . GRACE. I won•t h e l p . . . ( P i c k s up the pot o f dandel ions behind the s h e d . . . ) P r e t t y . . . p r e t t y f l o w e r s . . . P r e t t y . . . p r e t t y . . . b a b i e s . . . A l l dead. (Crad le s pot ) (Maple screams) GEORGE. I t worked! MICHAEL. N o . . . i t c a n ' t h a v e . . . I changed b o t t l e s . . . i t has to be a l l r i g h t . . . GEORGE. Success a t l a s t ! MICHAEL. I d i d i t ! I d i d i t ! Oh my G o d . . . GRACE. "Rockabye baby on the t r e e t o p . . . When the bow breaks the c r a d l e w i l l r o c k . . . (Rocking pot i n h e r arms) GEORGE. Grace . . . come h e r e . . • ( E n t e r s ) Grace , g i v e those to me! GRACE. (Backing away) "When the bow breaks the c r a d l e w i l l f a l l and down w i l l f a l l baby, c r a d l e and a l l . . . " - 45 - GEORGE. M i c h a e l , come and h e l p me, she ' s got your bomb. . . G r a c e . . . g i v e i t to me.. .come on now, G r a c e . . . (Grace backs behind shed) G r a c e . . . w a t c h o u t ! M i c h a e l h e l p me! M i c h a e l ! GRACE. (Repeating) Down w i l l f a l l b a b y . . . d o w n . . . GEORGE. H o . . . G r a c e . . . d o n ' t drop i t . . . ! (They are both behind s h e d . . . s o u n d o f pot b r e a k i n g , and then e x p l o s i o n . . . s h e d c o l l a p s e s ) SILENCE. STAGE IS FULL OF DEBRIS AND GARBAGE. CINDY SKIPS ONSTAGE WITH FOR SALE SIGN, PLACES IT IN CENTRE STAGE AND SKIPS OUT. ONE S P R I N G M O R N I N G a one-act play C H A R A C T E R S MAN, about 40 - c o n v e n t i o n a l dres s GIRL, about 10 OLD LADY YOUNG WOMAN, (20) THE TIME: The p r e s e n t . THE PLACE: Bus Stop on the edge o f the f o r e s t . - 1 - SETTING: Bare s tage . A bench. (Man s i t s on bench r e a d i n g a newspaper. A f t e r a s h o r t time an o l d l a d y hobbles i n . He d o e s n 1 t l ook u p . She comes over and s t a re s down on h i m . ) OLD LADY. Young man, i s there no room f o r me? MAN. Beg your pardon. (Moves over w i t h o u t l o o k i n g u p . ) d i d n ' t h e a r . OLD LADY. ( S i t t i n g ) Of course you d i d . Are you deaf? MAN. (Reading) S o r r y . OLD LADY. I d o n ' t b e l i e v e you , young man. (He reads) Where i s that bus? MAN. Don ' t know. OLD LADY. Why not? MAN. Never wa i t ed here b e f o r e , l a d y . OLD LADY. Nonsense. You must have wa i t ed somewhere. MAN. Not h e r e , l a d y . OLD LADY. Where? MAN. Somewhere e l s e . OLD LADY. How l o n g d i d you have to w a i t there? MAN. I t was f o r a d i f f e r e n t bus . OLD LADY. How absurd . ( S i l e n c e ) T h i s i s i n t o l e r a b l e . Young h o o l i g a n s . No r e s p e c t . Ta lk i n r i d d l e s . . . N e v e r l i s t e n . . . . Don ' t c a r e . . . Y o u n g manJ MAN. Yes? OLD LADY. How l o n g have you been w a i t i n g ? MAN. Pew minute s . OLD LADY. T h a t ' s not much h e l p t h e n , i s i t ? ( S i l e n c e ) I s i t ? I n my day, a gentleman would never read i n f r o n t o f a l a d y . MAN. (Lowering paper) Lady, there are a l o t o f t h i n g s gentlemen are now p e r m i t t e d to do i n f r o n t o f l a d i e s . OLD LADY. What do you mean by tha t ? MAN. Would you l i k e to l ook a t a s e c t i o n o f my paper? - 2 - OLD LADY. I c e r t a i n l y would n o t ! MAN. Do you mind i f I read? OLD LADY. I c e r t a i n l y do mind! I t ' s j u s t what I ' v e been s a y i n g . MAN. Excuse me, t h e n . ( R i s i n g ) OLD LADY. And j u s t what do you t h i n k y o u ' r e d o i n g ! MAN. Good-day, ma'am. OLD LADY. Where are you g o i n g ! MAN. Good-bye. OLD LADY. You 'd leave a de fense le s s l a d y alone i n a p l a c e l i k e t h i s ? (No answer.) A deser ted p lace l i k e t h i s . And a t t h i s unsafe time o f d a y . . . A n d i n the S p r i n g ! MAN. Lady, y o u ' r e s a f e . OLD LADY. Y o u ' l l be s o r r y i f you leave me h e r e . A l o n e . Common c o u r t e s y demands t h a t you s t a y . Respect f o r the e l d e r l y . (He has gone. She breaks o f f , stands up and watches h i m , then hobbles o f f , c a c k l i n g . ) (The man r e t u r n s to the bench from the o t h e r s i d e . He looks around, sees he i s a l o n e , and s e t t l e s comfor tab ly on i t . Opens h i s paper . Reads.) (A young g i r l en te r s s k i p p i n g - LITTLE GIRL. H i m i s t e r ! MAN. (Annoyed) Hmm. LITTLE GIRL. W a i t i n g f o r a bus? MAN. Y e s . LITTLE GIRL. Here? MAN. Yes . LITTLE GIRL. Are you sure y o u ' r e r i g h t bus a t the r i g h t time? MAN. Y e s . LITTLE GIRL. Are you go ing to work, so e a r l y i n the morning? Are you go ing to work, so e a r l y i n the morning? (Sings and s t a r t s s k i p p i n g around the bench) I t ' s morning , i t ' s morning, and everyone i s s n o r i n g . . . A r e you go ing to work? Yes you a r e , n o , y o u ' r e n o t . . . Y o u a r e . . . y o u a r e n ' t . . . y o u a r e . . . y o u a r e n ' t . . . y o u a r e . . . y o u a r e n ' t . . . MAN. I am. Be q u i e t . LITTLE GIRL. Why? Why? Why? (He i gnore s h e r . SHE f l i c k s h e r rope a t h i s paper . He jumps.) Why, huh m i s t e r ? Why? MAN. What the h e l l ! B r a t ! What d i d you do t h a t f o r ? LITTLE GIRL. Awww. D o n ' t be mad, m i s t e r . MAN. ( S tudy ing h e r ) I t h i n k I j u s t met your grandmother. LITTLE GIRL. "Roses are r e d , v i o l e t s are b l u e . . . When I grow u p , I won ' t be l i k e y o u . . . " MAN. Go home. LITTLE GIRL. I ' l l t e l l my grandmother. MAN. Schooo. LITTLE GIRL. I d o n ' t want t o . "Roses are r e d , v i o l e t s are p u r p l e . . . Y o u look l i k e a mashed up o l d g u r p l e . . . " MAN. Good G o d . . . c a n a person have no peace any m o r e . . . ! LITTLE GIRL. Don ' t make me go home. You d o n ' t r e a l l y l o o k l i k e a g u r p l e . . . ( g i g g l i n g ) . MAN. Jus t leave me a l o n e . T h a t ' s a l l I a sk . LITTLE GIRL. OK. (He s t a r t s to read a g a i n . She watches him f o r a w h i l e s m i l i n g . ) But the bus won ' t come you know. "Roses are r e d , and s k i e s are b l u e . . . " The bus won ' t come, and the grass w i l l grow a l l over y o u . . . (She begins to s k i p , f a s t e r and f a s t e r . ) "Roses are r e d , and horses are brown, You l o o k funny when you f r o w n . . "Roses are r e d , dande l ions are y e l l o w . . . You sure are a funny o l d f e l l o w . . . " MAN. Por C h r i s s a k e , shut up ! LITTLE GIRL. Don ' t y e l l . . . MAN. ( R i s i n g ) Scram! LITTLE GIRL. Don ' t chase me away. MAN. F i v e s e c o n d s . . . LITTLE GIRL. (Back ing away) I ' l l c a l l the p o l i c e . . . I ' l l t e l l my t e a c h e r . . . MAN. T h r e e . . . ! LITTLE GIRL. Not I 'm b r i n g i n g my daddy back. T h i s i s my p l a c e . (Cry ing ) I ' l l t e l l them! MAN. Don' t be s i l l y . . . c a l m d o w n . . . LITTLE GIRL. You scared me a w a y . . . Y o u s a i d bad t h i n g s . . . Y o u h u r t m e . . . (Sobbing) MAN. What do you mean? Wait a minute . (She has gone) L i s t e n to tha t r a c k e t . My God! T h a t ' s a l l I need . I ' l l be lynched by the whole neighbourhood. ( H u r r i e d l y get s up) (Leaves . ) T h i s i s g e t t i n g r i d i c u l o u s . ( A f t e r h e ' s gone. L i t t l e g i r l ' s sobbing o f f s t a g e t u r n s to g i g g l i n g . ) (Man ente r s aga in from o t h e r s i d e . S i t s down on bench w i t h a __i_h."5 A h . . . I thought I ' d never f i n d i t . (Opening paper) Should be n i c e and q u i e t h e r e . Sec luded . Ju s t time to f i n i s h my paper . (Reads.) (Young woman e n t e r s , q u i e t l y . She i s f r e s h and p r e t t y , he doesn ' t n o t i c e . She stands bes ide him.") GIRL. H e l l o . MAN. (Jumps.) Good g r i e f ! GIRL. Did I s t a r t l e you? MAN. A l i t t l e . (Returns to h i s paper) GIRL. ( A f t e r a w h i l e ) May I s i t down? MAN. Of c o u r s e . GIRL. ( S i t t i n g down) Gould I t r o u b l e you f o r a l i t t l e more room? MAN. What? GIRL. More room. MAN. Oh (Moves o v e r , d o e s n ' t l o o k up) GIRL. Thank y o u . (Pause) Have you been w a i t i n g long? MAN. Seems l i k e f o r e v e r . GIRL. How long? MAN. 5 - 1 0 minutes . GIRL. T h a t ' s not l o n g . I t c o u l d be a l o n g w a i t . I t ' s s t i l l so e a r l y , and i t ' s s t i l l s p r i n g . ( S i l e n c e ) So I hope y o u ' r e not i n a h u r r y . I hope y o u ' r e a p a t i e n t man. Because not many people use t h i s s t o p . Y o u ' r e g o i n g to need p a t i e n c e . But t h e n , you d o n ' t look l i k e y o u ' r e i n a h u r r y a n y w a y . . . r e a d i n g your paper l i k e t h a t . . . A r e you i n a h u r r y ? (No answer; Are you a p a t i e n t man? (No answer) Do you l i k e me? MAN. What I GIRL. I s your paper i n t e r e s t i n g ? MAN. I must have been h e a r i n g t h i n g s . (Reading again) GIRL. What are you reading? MAN. Nothing i n p a r t i c u l a r . GIRL. But what? MAN. A t t h i s time i n the morning I have always f i n i s h e d my paper . Always . That w i l l teach me to t r y a new bus r o u t e . GIRL. You won' t be s o r r y . T h i s i s a b e a u t i f u l r o u t e . MAN. I ' v e never met such females ! P lease have some o f my paper . GIRL. I ' d much r a t h e r you put i t down. MAN. You d o n ' t have t h a t r i g h t 1 GIRL. Why not? MAN. T h i s i s my paper . T h i s i s my bench. These are my eyes . I l i k e r e a d i n g the paper . I 'm go ing to read the paper . N o w . . . i f you d o n ' t m i n d . . . GIRL . But I do . I s a i d . . . I do m i n d . . . MAN. I heard y o u . GIRL. W e l l ? MAN. W e l l what? GIRL. Why d o n ' t you put i t down. MAN. And do what, miss? GIRL. Ta lk to me, o f c o u r s e . I t ' s i m p o s s i b l e to do b o t h . MAN. What i f I d o n ' t want to do both? GIRL. I knew you d i d n ' t r e a l l y want to read the paper . (Taking o f f h i s g l a s s e s ) Y o u ' l l r u i n your eyes . What s i l l y o l d g l a s s e s . O h . . . w h a t l o v e l y eyes you have . You should never aga in h i d e them i n a newspaper. You c o u l d dazz l e the w o r l d w i t h them. MAN. Good God! (Grabbing h i s g l a s se s and p u t t i n g them i n h i s p o c k e t . ) GIRL. What are you doing? MAN. ( R i s i n g ) Look ing f o r the bus . GIRL. ( S i l e n c e ) Then you must be i n a h u r r y a f t e r a l l . What a p i t y . No bus? MAN. No. GIRL. Are you g o i n g to s tand there and vait? MAN. P r o b a b l y . GIRL. Do I f r i g h t e n you? MAN. Don ' t be s i l l y ! GIRL. Why d o n ' t you come back and s i t down then? MAN. Leave me a l o n e , damn i t l GIRL. bus won ' t Why snap a t me j u s t because y o u ' r e i n a h u r r y and the come? MAN. I wasn ' t snapping . And I 'm not i n a h u r r y . GIRL. Oh good. Then you can r e l a x . MAN. I am r e l a x e d ! GIRL . You seem v e r y s t i f f to me. Don' t you l i k e me? MAN. I wasn ' t h e a r i n g t h i n g s ! GIRL. Don ' t you? MAN. a p e r f e c t What ' s l i k i n g you got to do w i t h anything? Good God; s t r anger and she asks do I l i k e h e r ! GIRL. At l e a s t you t h i n k I 'm p e r f e c t . MAN. I c a n ' t b e l i e v e i t . GIRL. I 'm o n l y t r y i n g to be n i c e . MAN. Why? - 7 - GIRL. Why not? Here we both a r e . . . a l l a l o n e . . . w a i t i n g f o r a bus t h a t may not come f o r ages. Should we spend a l l tha t time p r e t e n d i n g we d o n ' t n o t i c e each o ther? Don ' t you t h i n k t h a t would be phoney and awkward? MAN. T h a t ' s what people do everyday. ( S i t t i n g down) GIRL. Why? MAN. I f people wanted to do i t , they would . For your i n f o r m a t i o n most o f us are j u s t not i n t e r e s t e d i n t a l k i n g to a l l the s t r anger s we run up a g a i n s t . GIRL . Do you c l a s s i f y y o u r s e l f w i t h the masses? MAN. You mean to t e l l me t h a t you t a l k to everyone you meet? I f I was a drunkard s i t t i n g h e r e . . . a l l covered i n sores and vomit . . . w o u l d you s i t down bes ide me, s t a r t up a conver sa t ion? Ask i f I l i k e d you? GIRL. But y o u ' r e n o t ! . MAN. T h a t ' s not the p o i n t . You s a i d tha t you t h i n k everyone should t a l k to everyone e l s e , and I was t r y i n g to p o i n t out to you t h a t . . . . o h h e l l . T h i s i s r i d i c u l o u s ! GIRL. (Taking o f f h i s ha t ) Such a s i l l y h a t . You l o o k l i k e such a fuddy duddy. There . Look a t your f a n t a s t i c c u r l y h a i r . I t l ooks so s o f t . I bet l o t s o f women have p l ayed w i t h t h a t h a i r ! MAN. My God! GIRL . You must know you have wonderful h a i r . MAN. Young l a d y . A l l I want to do i s be l e f t i n peace. I f you want to t a l k to s t r anger s and shock people and upend the o l d c o n v e n t i o n s , I ' d suggest you t r y another s t r anger a t another bus s t o p . T h i s s o r t o f t h i n g d o e s n ' t i n t e r e s t me i n the l e a s t . GIRL . What s o r t o f t h i n g ? MAN. You know what I mean. ( R e t r i e v i n g h i s h a t , but l e a v i n g i t on h i s l a p . ) GIRL. But there are no o t h e r bus stops l i k e t h i s . . . a n d there are no o t h e r s t ranger s l i k e y o u . MAN. Are you t r y i n g to p i c k me up? (Looks a t h e r o l o s e l y f o r the f i r s t t i m e , s t a r t s . ) Good g r i e f , have you got a l i t t l e s i s t e r ? GIRL . I ' d l i k e to get to know y o u . MAN. But I d o n ' t want you to get to know me. I d o n ' t approve o f t h i s . ( R i s i n g ) GIRL. Y o u ' r e not l e a v i n g ? MAN. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , y e s . A g a i n . GIRL. I 'm not d r i v i n g you away am I ? I want you to s t a y . MAN. Thanks anyway, I t i s f l a t t e r i n g i f u n r e s p e c t a b l e . . . (On the p o i n t o f going) GIRL . B e s i d e s . . . t h e r e • s no o t h e r bus s top s . MAN. (Returning) What? GIRL. ( P a t t i n g the seat bes ide her ) No more bus s top s . MAN. No m o r e . . . . ? GIRL. End o f the l i n e . MAN. I d o n ' t under s tand . GIRL. There ' s n o t h i n g beyond t h i s . No body to c a t c h any buses . No bus s t o p s . No buses . Jus t t h i s . MAN. T h e . . . l a s t . . . ? GIRL. Or the f i r s t , i f you l i k e . Come and s i t down. MAN. I d i d n ' t r e a l i z e I ' d come so f a r . Are you sure the bus comes here? GIRL . E v e n t u a l l y . . . A r e you go ing to s tay? MAN. Do I have any cho ice? GIRL. You always have a c h o i c e . MAN. (Returning) Young l a d y , i f you were my d a u g h t e r . . . I would have taught you the c o r r e c t b e h a v i o u r . GIRL. You c o u l d never have a daughter my age. MAN. ( S i t t i n g down) Have the dangers o f t h i s h a b i t never occured to you? GIRL. You mean am I a f r a i d o f g e t t i n g kidnapped o r raped o r murdered o r robbed o r something? MAN. Or m i s t a k e n . . . f o r something y o u ' r e n o t . . . GIRL. You mean f o r a l a d y o f the s t r e e t s ? (He nods) I t ' s what might happen to me i f I d o n ' t speak to s t r anger s t h a t should concern y o u . Imagine go ing through l i f e rubb ing h i p s and elbows and never speak ing . A l l the n i c e people I ' d never know. - 9 - MAN. And the ones t h a t a r e n ' t so n i c e . . . GIRL . I d o n ' t know any o f those . MAN. Then you 've been l u c k y . B e l i e v e me, t h e r e ' s l o t s o f them around, young l a d y . GIRL. E l s i e . MAN. What? GIRL. My name i s E l s i e . MAN. There you go. You see. That s o r t o f approach g ive s a bad i m p r e s s i o n . GIRL. Then d o n ' t c a l l me young l a d y so p a t r o n i z i n g l y , as i f you were ever so much o l d e r and w i s e r . MAN. A r e n ' t I ? GIRL . Not a b i t . MAN. (Laughing) I bet you t h i n k l i f e ' s a r a i n b o w . . . f u l l o f sugar and s p i c e and a d v e n t u r e . . . GIRL. And I ' l l bet l i f e has d i s a p p o i n t e d y o u . MAN. E l s i e , I 'm 40, y o u ' r e probab ly not 20... GIRL. And? MAN. T h a t ' s a l l there i s to i t . L i f e f ades . GIRL. I t doesn ' t have t o . MAN. I wi sh you were r i g h t . But y o u ' r e n o t . GIRL. Y o u ' r e marr ied? MAN. (Gent ly ) T h a t ' s not r e a l l y any o f your bus ines s now, i s i t ? GIRL. You have a wedding r i n g . MAN. Y e s . GIRL. I t ' s much too t i g h t . C h i l d r e n ? MAN. I f you must k n o w , , . t w o . GIRL. Don' t you sometimes get yearny f e e l i n g s ? Wish you c o u l d run away w i t h someone l i k e m e . . . i n t o an enchanted f o r e s t . . . l i k e t h i s one? MAN. Now t h a t ' s q u i t e enough. - 10 - GIRL. Don ' t you want the f reshness back again? The pass ions? MAN. You ' re i m p o s s i b l e . I should have known b e t t e r than to have encouraged y o u . ( P i c k s up h_is paper) GIRL. And so you s t i l l want to h i d e behind your paper? MAN. I want to r e a d , y e s . , . . . GIRL. A l l r i g h t . ( S i l e n c e . He reads . She watches h i m . A f t e r a w h i l e he becomes uncomfor tab le . Looks u p . She i s s m i l i n g . ) MAN. What are you s m i l i n g at? GIRL. Your stomach g rowl e d . (Laughing) MAN. What a g i r l ! (Laughing) GIRL. I t ' s funny. Think o f a l l the people a l l over the w o r l d . . . i g n o r i n g each o t h e r . . . t h e i r stomaches f r i e n d l i e r than they a r e . . . g r o w l i n g a w a y . . . a n d everyone pre tend ing not to n o t i c e . MAN. You do have a way o f making t h i n g s seem r i d i c u l o u s . GIRL. Because they a r e . And y o u ' r e j u s t b e g i n n i n g to r e a l i z e i t . MAN. But w a i t a minute . . . Suppose I 'm i n the h a b i t o f speaking to everyone I m e e t . . . i n c l u d i n g l o t s o f p r e t t y young g i r l s l i k e you . . . g i r l s p a s s i n g me i n the s t r e e t . . . s h a r i n g my bus s t o p . . . i n cafes . . . i n t h e a t r e s . . . W h a t would happen? Would they b e l i e v e t h a t I j u s t wanted to be p l e a s a n t . . . s p r e a d good cheer and happiness? No. Most o f them would i g n o r e m e . . . i n s u l t m e . . . o r even complain to someone. I would get thrown out o f c a f e s . . . k i c k e d out o f t h e a t r e s . . . c h a s e d away from my bus s t o p . Beat up and ca s t away by angry husbands, b o y f r i e n d s , f a t h e r s . . . e v e n a r r e s t e d by the l a w . And j u s t suppose tha t one o f these sweet young th ings doesn ' t i gnore me o r get i n s u l t e d . Suppose she smi led back a t me. What would I do then? She'd expect me to p i c k h e r u p . GIRL. I d i d n ' t expect you to p i c k me u p . MAN. T h a t ' s because y o u ' r e d i f f e r e n t . . . i n n o c e n t . . . t r u s t i n g . . . But most o f them would , b e l i e v e me. Y o u ' r e l a u g h i n g a g a i n . GIRL. I t sounds l i k e you 've t r i e d i t . MAN. I n my younger days , maybe. GIRL. Before you were marr ied? MAN. Yes . GIRL. And not once s ince? MAN. d e v i l ! And now you want to f i n d out about my love l i f e , you GIRL. T h i s i s a l o v e l y p l ace f o r make-be l ieve , i s n ' t i t ? Why d o n ' t yon make b e l i e v e y o u ' r e b r i n g i n g me f l o w e r s because y o u ' r e madly i n l ove w i t h me? I ' l l bet you c o u l d f i n d some back i n the t r e e s . MAN. T h a t ' s c r a z y . GIRL. Why? MAN. R i d i c u l o u s . GIRL. You never know t i l l you t r y i t , and I bet you never have. MAN. T h a t ' d l ook r e a l l y g rea t i f the bus came. GIRL. I t w o n ' t . MAN. Never? GIRL. What do you t h i n k ? MAN. I t does seem an u n l i k e l y s p o t . . . GIRL. Get me f l o w e r s . MAN. Jus t suppose I d i d . . . GIRL. Y e s . . . ? MAN. I went and got you f l o w e r s . . . a n d one o f my neighbours o r f r i e n d s walked b y . . . o r someone from the o f f i c e . . . GIRL. So? MAN. And sees me on my knees p r e s e n t i n g f l o w e r s to a b e a u t i f u l young l a d y . . . GIRL. Go o n . . . MAN. He t e l l s h i s f r i e n d s . The neighbours f i n d o u t . . . m y w i f e i s t o l d by a g o s s i p i n g f r i e n d . . . t h e s c e n e s . . . t h e f i g h t i n g . . . the d i r t y j o k e s . . . a n d a l l because o f a l i t t l e make b e l i e v e . . . GIRL . T e l l me m o r e . . . MAN. She k i c k s me o u t . . . t h r o w s my s u i t c a s e a f t e r me . . .The c h i l d r e n c a l l t h e i r daddy u n p r i n t a b l e names . . . GIRL. Wow! - 12 - MAN. I 'm wandering the s t r e e t s . . . p e n n i l e s s and unwanted. The out-raged C h r i s t i a n s stone m e . . . t h e dogs chase me through the s t r e e t s . . . t h e o l d l a d i e s p o i n t a t me and b a t t e r me w i t h t h e i r c r u t c h e s . . . S t i l l . . . 1 manage to hang on to the f l o w e r s . . . I d i e w i t h them c l a sped to my h e a r t . . . m o a n i n g . . . " E l s i e my l o v e . . . " GIRL. F a n t a s t i c ! MAN. You see what can happen? GIRL. Y o u ' r e good. Go f e t c h me a f l o w e r . MAN. There a r e n ' t any, you hussy . GIRL. But y o u ' r e an a c t o r . MAN. I s tha t one o v e r there? GIRL. M i l l i o n s . . . f r e s h and b looming . MAN. Ju s t one? GIRL. Oh y e s . . . t h e reddest one. MAN. ( P i c k s the imaginary r o s e , on h i s knees) Here you a r e , my d a r l i n g E l s i e . See what I have f o r y o u . I bought i t w i t h my l a s t penny. My c h i l d r e n h a v e n ' t eaten f o r three d a y s . . . t h e wind w h i s t l e s through the h o l e s i n the w a l l s . . . b u t what i s t h a t to me when I have you? H e y . . . w h a t ' s wrong? (She 's turned away from him) I s n ' t t h i s what you wanted? GIRL. A f t e r what you 've d o n e . . . d o you r e a l l y t h i n k you can buy back my love? MAN. What do you mean? GIRL. There can be no r e c o n c i l i a t i o n f o r u s . I saw you w i t h HER. MAN. (Ca tch ing on) But d a r l i n g , i t ' s not what you t h i n k . The g i r l you saw me k i s s i n g was . . .my s i s t e r ! GIRL. Oh H e c t o r , i s i t t rue? MAN. But t r u s t me, my dearest R o s a l i n e . GIRL. A l l the s u f f e r i n g I ' v e gone t h r o u g h . . . o h my l o v e . MAN. You should never have doubted me. You are the o n l y one I ' v e ever l o v e d . GIRL. O h . . . H a r r y . . . MAN. E s m e r e l d a . . . GIRL. What l o v e l y f l o w e r s . . . f o r me? MAW. Forg ive my forwardness . Perhaps I ' v e been too bo ld? GIRL. You do j e p a r d i z e a young v i r g i n ' s honor . MAN. Forg ive m e . . . I c o u l d not h e l p i t . The minute I saw your l o v e l y face through the rose bushes i n your g a r d e n . . .I l o s t c o n t r o l o f my senses . I must know your name! GIRL. But I h a r d l y know you ! MAN. ( G e t t i n g u p , b r u s h i n g o f f h i s pants) I f people c o u l d see us no\*, what would they t h i n k ? GIRL . They 'd t h i n k , "how sweet" . MAN. They 'd t h i n k , "how n a s t y . Look a t tha t d i s g u s t i n g man t r y i n g to seduce t h a t young g i r l . " GIRL. Everybody l i k e s p l a y i n g games. MAN. But people have no i m a g i n a t i o n . They w o u l d n ' t b e l i e v e we were p l a y i n g . GIRL. Of course they would . You have a wonderful s e n s i t i v e mouth. I c o u l d s i t and watch you t a l k f o r e v e r . MAN. A s e n s i t i v e mouth? GIRL. Yes . Few men have . MAN. No-one's ever s a i d tha t b e f o r e . GIRL. I d o n ' t mi s s such t h i n g s . MAN. I 'm not used to be ing f l a t t e r e d , e s p e c i a l l y by such gorgeous g i r l s . GIRL . Do you r e a l l y t h i n k I 'm gorgeous? MAN. Do you r e a l l y t h i n k the bus may never come? GIRL. I c e r t a i n l y have t h a t f e e l i n g , d o n ' t you? T e l l me how gorgeous I am a g a i n . I l ove i t . You f l a t t e r me and I ' l l f l a t t e r y o u . I t ' s a game I l i k e . MAN. S i l l y g i r l . W i t h another man i t c o u l d be a dangerous game. GIRL. I t ' s o n l y words . MAN. Y o u ' r e too n i a v e . You d o n ' t know how dangerous the w o r l d i s . S t i l l , i t ' s r e f r e s h i n g . . . " M y pure , u n t a i n t e d Madonna, you are too pure f o r t h i s f e s t e r i n g w o r l d . " I can s c a r c e l y bear the thought o f tha t moment you w i l l l o s e your i n n o c e n c e . . . a n d y e t . . . - 14 - GIRL. Oh E d w a r d . . . t h e t h i n g s you are do ing to my poor h e a r t . . . MAN. Reveal your agonies to me, my d e a r e s t . . . GIRL. T h a t ' s not what I had i n m i n d . . . MAN. D o n ' t misunders tand . GIRL. S i l l y . I would l i k e something a l i t t l e more s i n c e r e . . . MAN. I was too t h e a t r i c a l ? GIRL. Hammy. MAN. How s i n c e r e then? GIRL. J u s t . . . s i n c e r e . . . MAN. But would you take i t the way i t would be meant? GIRL. What way would tha t be? MAN. You k n o w . . . i n f u n . . . i n n o c e n t l y . . . GIRL. What e l s e ? MAN. Y o u ' r e so i n n o c e n t . People might , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h i n k I was t r y i n g to make a pa s s . GIRL. I w o u l d n ' t . Come o n , l e t ' s s t a r t . MAN. W e l l . . . a h . . . E l s i e . . . 1 t h i n k t h a t y o u ' r e . . . ! m e a n . . . y o u ' r e . . . N o . I c a n ' t . GIRL. Why not? C a n ' t you t h i n k o f a n y t h i n g s i n c e r e t h a t ' s n i c e ? MAN. Of course t h a t ' s not i t . The whole t h i n g i s r i d i c u l o u s , we' ve g o t t e n c a r r i e d away. I t must be t h i s p l a c e . . . I t makes one f e e l somehow d i s o r i e n t e d . . . GIRL. I suppose you want to go back to your paper now. MAN. I seem to have surpassed mysel f i n c e r t a i n d i r e c t i o n s , and now I suddenly f e e l a l i t t l e f o o l i s h . GIRL. I l i k e d you when you were " s u r p a s s i n g y o u r s e l f . " MAN. The bus w i l l come any moment. I t h i n k i t ' s time we a h . . . snapped out o f t h i s , t h a t ' s a l l . GIRL. A l l r i g h t . Back to your paper . Back to your l i t t l e w o r l d . The bus w i l l be coming soon. You c e r t a i n l y d o n ' t want to drop the p o s e . . . y o u d o n ' t want to s t a r t e n j o y i n g y o u r s e l f and a c t i n g n a t u r a l a f t e r a l l these y e a r s , do y o u , M r . Minor E x e c u t i v e Fami ly Man Bread Winner Lawn Mower? D o n ' t get honest now, y o u ' r e r i g h t . I t would probab ly k i l l y o u . MAN. E l s i e ! GIRL . Goodbye. Enjoy y o u r s e l f . ( R i s i n g ) I 'm go ing to enjoy myse l f i n my w a y . . . o n a bench even f u r t h e r i n . . . a q u i e t l o n e l y p l a c e . . . o n l y the bench i s not f o r commuters l i k e y o u . . . n o buses come t h e r e . . . o n l y people l i k e me. . .who l i k e honest p l a c e s . . . r e a l p l a c e s . . . p l a c e s f o r l o v e . . . H a v e f u n . MAN. E l s i e , I d i d n ' t mean to h u r t y o u . (She e x i t s ) Don ' t go! Damn i t , E l s i e ! Stop! (He stands there undec ided , f i n a l l y . . . ) Oh h e l l ! (Drops paper , f o l l o w s h e r o u t . ) ( G i r l en ter s from o t h e r s i d e . S i t s on bench, p i c k s up paper and s t a r t s r e a d i n g ^ ("Man e n t e r s , p a n t i n g . ) There you a r e . Thought I ' d l o s t y o u . E l s i e ? E l s i e , p l e a s e . I 'm s o r r y . Ta lk to me. GIRL. Are you a d d r e s s i n g Me? MAN. Put tha t paper down, E l s i e . GIRL. C e r t a i n l y n o t . MAN. You ' re r i g h t you know. Y o u ' r e more r i g h t than I wanted to admit to m y s e l f . GIRL. P lease leave me a l o n e . I d o n ' t speak to s t r a n g e r s . . . e s p e c i a l l y i n deser ted p l a c e s . MAN. I deserve t h a t . GIRL. Are you t r y i n g to p i c k me up? Shame on y o u , y o u ' r e o l d enough to be my f a t h e r . MAN. E l s i e , t h a t ' s enough. Two s t rangers and a l r e a d y we ' re f i g h t i n g . Can t h i s be happening? G i r l . I guess I ' l l have to c a l l the p o l i c e . MAN. What more can I do? (She i gnore s h i m . He pretends to p i c k a f l o w e r . ) Only t u r n your l o v e l y head and see the o r c h i d I ' v e go t ten f o r you a t great p e r i l to my l i f e . I swam from Hawai i w i t h i t i n my t e e t h . . . p u r s u e d by g i a n t s h a r k s . . . b u f f e t e d by p e r i l o u s s e a s . . . o n l y t u r n your head and I know your c o l d , c o l d h e a r t o f i c e w i l l m e l t . . . I f n o t , I w i l l s tab mysel f w i t h i t ' s s t e e l y b l a d e . . . there w i l l be no p o i n t go ing o n . . . l i f e w i t h o u t you would be meaningless . . . I n f a c t , I have a l r e a d y drank the r o o t o f the hemlock. I am d y i n g an a g o n i z i n g d e a t h . Only t u r n and h o l d me i n your arms before I d i e and I w i l l go w i t h a smi le on my l i p s . . . t e l l m e . . . you f o r g i v e me b e f o r e . . . g a s p . . . t h e p o i s o n . . . r e a c h e s . . . m y . . . . h e a r t . (She i s s m i l i n g ) L i s t e n t o . . m y l a s t . . . w o r d s . . . ( W h i s p e r i n g ) Y o u . . . m u s t . . . k n o w . . . T h e g i r l you saw me k i s s i n g . . . w a s . . . m y s i s t e r . . . (She laughs) Take my o r c h i d . . . p l e a s e . . . GIRL. ( S m e l l i n g i t ) Ugh. I t smel l s l i k e f i s h . What ' s your name? MAN. My name i s E r n e s t . Have you f o r g i v e n me? GIRL. With a name l i k e tha t I f e e l I must f o r g i v e y o u . W i l l you l i v e now? MAN. Your smi le has a r r e s t e d the spread o f the p o i s o n . . . n o w . . . i f I c o u l d o n l y . . . s i t bes ide y o u . . . GIRL. I 'm g l a d you f o l l o w e d me. MAN. I t looks l i k e the same bench. GIRL. The s t o r y goes t h a t year s ago two ardent l o v e r s c a r r i e d i t o f f from a downtown bus stop and brought i t i n here to enact t h e i r r i t e s o f love i n the deep dark f o r e s t . . . O h , l o o k a t your hand. You have n i c e hands . ( H o l d i n g i t . ) B e a u t i f u l and s l e n d e r . . . l i k e a p i a n i s t s . Not h a i r y . Have you got h a i r on your arms? MAN. A h h h . . . I d o n ' t remember. I l i k e d your s t o r y about the l o v e r s . GIRL. L e t ' s see. ( R o l l i n g up h i s s l eeve) MAN. ( H e l p i n g h e r . ) I t ' s d e f i n i t e l y not a bus stop t h e n , i s i t ? GIRL. Good Heavens n o . J u s t as I thought , l o v e l y a r m s . . . N i c e . . . MAN. Y o u ' r e v e r y k i n d . GIRL. And y e t you re fuse to say a n y t h i n g n i c e about me. MAN. You misunderstand my m o t i v e s . I t ' s not t h a t I won ' t but I t h i n k I s h o u l d n ' t . GIRL. Which m e a n s . . . . ? MAN. Of course I t h i n k y o u ' r e a v e r y a t t r a c t i v e young g i r l . GIRL. Why not "woman"? MAN. I t ' s obvious y o u ' r e a woman. One c a n ' t h e l p but n o t i c e . T h o s e . . . a h . . . y o u r b l o o m . . . e v e n t h o u g h . . . o f c o u r s e . . . t h e y have honorable i n t e n t i o n s . . . GIRL. I 'm 56. MAN. What? GIRL. My c h e s t . 36 - 17 - MAN. Y e s . . . w e l l . . o n e r e a l l y s h o u l d n ' t d i s c u s s those t h i n g s but then o f c o u r s e . . . i t ' s a l l r i g h t w i t h m e . . . I mean.. .we both know.. .We both unders tand each o t h e r . . . I mean, there are no m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s . . . B u t someone e l s e may, you know, get the wrong i d e a . . . GIRL. But I knew you w o u l d n ' t misunders tand. MAN. I t ' s good to know you t r u s t me. S t i l l . . . p e o p l e do t h i n k the worst a l l the t i m e . I t ' s i m p o s s i b l e f o r a n y t h i n g to be innocent any more . . . everyone t h i n k s the w o r s t . GIRL. I d o n ' t . MAN. People always form the wrong i m p r e s s i o n s . L i k e now, f o r i n s t a n c e , i f they c o u l d walk by and see you h o l d i n g my hand l i k e t h a t . . . p l a y i n g w i t h my b u t t o n s . . . i n t h i s deser ted s p o t . . . t h e y ' d probab ly t h i n k I w a s . . . a h . . . d o n ' t be o f f e n d e d . . . t r y i n g to make y o u . You ' re n o t embarrassed are you? GIRL . I l i k e your b u t t o n s . . . t h e y open so e a s i l y . MAN. I hope you d o n ' t mind my t a l k i n g to you l i k e t h i s , but I f e e l someone has to make you aware o f the e v i l i n the w o r l d before you get h u r t . Does anyone ever come here? GIRL. Never . MAN. (Moving c l o s e r ) Do you understand what I 'm t r y i n g to t e l l you? I would hate to see anyone take advantage o f y o u . Y o u ' r e much too s w e e t . . . a young g i r l has to watch h e r s e l f . . . r i g h t ? GIRL. I ' d r a t h e r you watched me. MAN. I a m . . . I mean, I 'm w a i t i n g f o r your a n s w e r . . . GIRL. I understand what y o u ' r e s a y i n g and I confess what you say sounds r i g h t . MAN. Then I 'm w i n n i n g you over? GIRL. You are v e r y c o n v i n c i n g . . . MAN. I f I c o u l d do t h a t I ' d f e e l a l o t b e t t e r . I f e e l t h a t i n some smal l way I ' v e he lped to save you . A d e s i r a b l e g i r l l i k e y o u r s e l f . . . s h o u l d be s a v e d . . . s a v e d . . . f r o m a l l the r o t t e n people i n the w o r l d w i t h d i r t y m i n d s . . . GIRL. You have a broad c h e s t . I bet you d o n ' t have much h a i r t h e r e . MAN. I ' v e always been ashamed o f not h a v i n g much h a i r . GIRL. You s h o u l d n ' t be . Smooth ches t s are b e a u t i f u l , (un- b u t t o n i n g h i s s h i r t . ) Let me see. MAN. People would c e r t a i n l y get the wrong i d e a i f they c o u l d see us now. GIRL. I t j u s t goes to show how d e c e i v i n g appearances should he . I t pays to keep an open, c l e a n mind. MAN. Yes b u t . . . o h . . . t h a t 1 s n i c e . You have warm hands . GIRL. Jus t as I thought . B e a u t i f u l . MAN. R e a l l y ? GIRL. What 's your back l i k e ? MAN. I d o n ' t t h i n k I ' v e ever l o o k e d . GIRL. W e l l , why d o n ' t we? I ' l l bet i t ' s as p e r f e c t as the r e s t o f y o u . MAN. Y o u ' r e c e r t a i n l y an i n q u i s i t i v e l i t t l e d e l i g h t , a r e n ' t you? GIRL. I d o n ' t o f t e n meet much n i c e men. MAN. Have you done t h i s w i t h s t ranger s a t bus stops before? GIRL. Done what? MAN. W e l l . . . a h . . . c h e c k e d f o r h a i r . . . GIRL. Y o u ' r e the f i r s t . MAN. The f i r s t ? ( E x c i t e d ) GIRL. Y e s , the f i r s t to convince me t h a t my views o f people are wrong. MAN. I 'm g l a d . I 'm so g l a d . Y o u ' r e too t r u s t i n g f o r t h i s w o r l d . Now I f e e l y o u ' l l be ab le to cope w i t h l i f e . GIRL. You have s o f t l i t t l e h a i r s i n the curve o f your back. I wonder what t h e y ' d f e e l l i k e on my tongue. MAN. Don ' t stopJ GIRL. You have such a n i c e f l a t stomach t o o . Lo t s o f men get s o f t and f l a b b y i n the s tomach . . . such a shame. . . MAN. I 'm not so o l d . By body ' s i n p e r f e c t shape. GIRL. So ' s mine. MAN. I can see t h a t . I mean I can guess . Very w e l l developed. B e a u t i f u l . . . d e s i r a b l e . . . ( G r a b s h e r ) GIRL. But perhaps you s h o u l d n ' t do t h a t . I know i t ' s p e r f e c t l y innocent and meant i n good f r i e n d s h i p but you know what people are l i k e . I f they c o u l d see us n o w . . . b u t o f course they c a n ' t . . . t h e y ' d t h i n k t e r r i b l e t h i n g s . They ' re so d i r t y minded. One must be on one ' s guard . MAN. I ' v e convinced yout ( K i s s i n g h e r neck) I 'm so g l a d . GIRL. I ' l l bet you have l eg s l i k e a b a b y ' s . MAN. Do you want to see them? GIRL. Oh I ' d l ove t o . I f you d o n ' t t h i n k people would m i s u n d e r s t a n d . . . MAN. There ' s n o - o n e . . . n o - o n e . . . ( T e a r i n g o f f h i s shoes and, socks) GIRL. Even y o u ' r e f e e t are a r t i s t i c . That a r c h . The t i n y l i t t l e h a i r s on the t o p . . . MAN. You d o n ' t know how g r a t i f y i n g i t i s . . . t o be a p p r e c i a t e d SL"fc Xfitst • • • GIRL. P lease h u r r y . I c a n ' t w a i t to see your l e g s . Let me h e l p . . . MAN. Y e s . . . y e s . . . h e l p m e . . . GIRL. (On her knees i n f r o n t o f him) P a s t e r . . . h u r r y . . . f a s t e r . . . (She p u l l s h i s pants over h i s a n k l e s . ) MAN. And n o w . . . y o u . . . GIRL. Yes . Close your eyes . I ' l l show you how p e r f e c t I am t o o • (He c l o s e s h i s eyes . ) MAN. (Pant ing) H u r r y my d a r l i n g . . . h u r r y . . . GIRL. I t ' l l be over i n a minute my l o v e . . . (The g i r l s m i l e s , e x i t s w i t h h i s c l o t h e s . ) MAN. Can I open them now? E l s i e ? Now? I c a n ' t w a i t any l o n g e r . (Opens h i s eyes . ) E l s i e ? Where are you? Where are my c l o t h e s ? (He r i s e s , a larmed. ) (Sound o f approaching bus) u -t M - * _ M — _ w w _ U M m / 'rt A K M 9t rt W H n M m nHHnnRAHM T H E C L I F F a one-act play C H A R A C T E E S WILLIE, 21_ 1ST MAN, mature, the l e a d e r 2ND MAN, W i l l i e ' s age. the r e b e l 3RD MAN 4TH MAN MOTHER, W i l l i e ' s FATHER, W i l l i e ' s CROWD, f o u r women i n the aud ience , who come onstage d u r i n g the sermon; and a t l e a s t s i x o t h e r s , seated i n the audience , w i t h l o u d v o i c e s . THE TIME: The p r e s e n t . THE PLACE: (a) A c l i f f i n the mountains ; a cave , (b) W i l l i e ' s p a r e n t ' s home. - 1 - SEATING: Bare stage, except for a raised platform i n the centre of the stage which represents the c l i f f . (Curtain rises on the four men, who are watching offstage.) 2ND MAN. It's been a long wait. 3RD MAN. That's true. 4TH MAN. I agree. 1ST MAN. Quiet. 2ND MAN. We should move on. 1ST MAN. We'll stay. 2ND MAN. Why? 1ST MAN. It's a good spot. There's action. 3RD MAN. He's right. 4TH MAN. Already another i s coming. 3RD MAN. A g i r l . 4TH MAN. A pretty g i r l . 1ST MAN. Quiet. Watch. (Girl enters, weeping) 2ND MAN. It's about time! 3RD MAN. She's climbing. 4TH MAN. She'll soon be ready... 2ND MAN. And she'll die. 3RD MAN. You're right. 4TH MAN. It wouldn't be a woman. 1ST MAN. What was the Virgin Mary? Quiet! 2ND MAN. Why doesn't she jump? 1ST MAN. Learn patience. Prepare yourself for the long wait. Our grandfather's have watched...and their grandparents before them. Watched...and waited...and died...without ever seeing what they watched for. Learn patience, or leave us. 2ND MAN. I ' l l stay. Despite you. - 2 - 3RD MAN. She i s p r a y i n g . 4TH MAN. She i s ready to jump. 2ND MAN. Then jump! 3RD MAN. There she goesl ( G i r l walks up on p l a t f o r m , screams and jumps. She f a l l s to the ground. L i e s s t i l l . ) 2ND MAN. I knew i t w o u l d n ' t be h e r . I t ' s too bad. 3RD MAN. Not p r e t t y now. 4TH MAN. I t ' s a l o n g way down. 1ST MAN. Help me remove h e r . (To 2ND) What d i d I t e l l you? 3RD MAN. Where e l s e can you f i n d such a c t i o n ? 4TH MAN. Twenty-seven s u i c i d e s i n the l a s t week, and the s p r i n g rush j u s t s t a r t i n g . (1ST, 3RD and ATE c a r r y o f f the body) 2ND MAN. S t i l l , i t ' s a waste o f p r e t t y g i r l s . They should o n l y a l l o w males to jump. 1ST MAN. (Offs tage) Q u i c k l y . Another one i s coming. 2ND MAN. Good. 1ST MAN. Throw h e r w i t h the o t h e r s . 3RD MAN. 28 now! 1ST MAN. Back to your p l a c e s . H u r r y . Watch. (They enter and watch o f f s t a g e ) 2ND MAN. We are w a t c h i n g . ( W i l l i e en te r s ) WILLIE . There i t i s . I t ' s h i g h . I t should do i t . 2ND MAN. Less t a l k and more a c t i o n . 1ST MAN. Quiet ! 3RD MAN, Why i s he s topping? 4TH MAN. H e ' l l never do i t . 2ND MAN. Jump! - 3 - 1ST MAN. W i l l you be q u i e t and l e t na ture take i t s course? 2ND MAN. I s i t wrong to hope? 1ST MAN. I t ' s wrong to be i m p a t i e n t , f r i e n d . 3RD MAN. A t l a s t ! 4TH MAN. H e ' s c l i m b i n g . 3RD MAN. There he goes! ( W i l l i e jumps, l i e s there f o r a moment, then begins to s t i r ) 1ST MAN. A t l a s t I 3RD MAN. He i s a l i v e ! 4TH MAN. He i s moving! 2ND MAN. I s i t p o s s i b l e ? Did he jump from the r i g h t p lace? ( W i l l i e gets up) 1ST MAN. Any p l a c e i s the r i g h t p l a c e . The m i r a c l e our f a t h e r has promised us has a t l a s t occured ! WILLIE . What happened? How can I be here? 3RD MAN. We saw a m i r a c l e . 4TH MAN. The promise has been f u l f i l l e d ! WILLIE . I f e l t myse l f f a l l i n g v e r y s w i f t l y . I have to be dead. 1ST MAN. Why do we w a i t here? WILLIE . I must end t h i s w e i r d dream. (Approaches the ramp once more) 2ND MAN. He w i l l jump a g a i n . Then we w i l l be c e r t a i n . 1ST MAN. No. Once i s enough. 2ND MAN. Twice i s b e t t e r . 1ST MAN. (To W i l l i e ) S top! You are proven . We acknowledge y o u . 2ND MAN. Damn! 1ST MAN. Come w i t h me, p l e a s e . (To o t h e r s ) You w i l l meet h i m . WILLIE . Who are you? 3RD MAN. We w i l l meet h i m . - 4 - 4TH MAN. Thank God f o r our eyes! 2ND MAN. He should have jumped a g a i n . WILLIE . I d o n ' t under s t and . 1ST MAN. Here he i s . 2ND MAN. I would l i k e to examine h i m . 1ST MAN. I t i s not nece s sa ry . There are no marks. 2ND MAN. (Examining W i l l i e ) S t i l l we must be c e r t a i n . . . a s you have always taught u s . 1ST MAN. And you have always l e a r n t the wrong t h i n g s . . . 3RD MAN. W e l l ? 4TH MAN. What can you see? 1ST MAN. N o t h i n g , o f c o u r s e . 2ND MAN. He appears to be a l l r i g h t . 3RD MAN. I c a n ' t see a n y t h i n g . 4TH MAN. P e r f e c t c o n d i t i o n . 1ST MAN. As I s a i d . I t ' s HIM. 3RD MAN. Yes . 4TH MAN. I t ' s h i m . WILLIE. Yet I wanted to d i e . Today's my b i r t h d a y . I 'm 21 . 2ND MAN. What would b i r t h d a y ' s matter to him? WILLIE. To H e l l w i t h B i r t h d a y s ! 3RD MAN. Would he t a l k t h a t way? 1ST MAN. might not No-one knows how he would t a l k . We were o f t e n t o l d w< recognize him a f t e r so l o n g a w a i t . 4TH MAN. We should t e l l the o t h e r s ! 2ND MAN. Not y e t ! 1ST MAN. Why not? 3RD MAN. Do you doubt? WILLIE. wanted to When I was a k i d they t o l d me I c o u l d be a n y t h i n g I be when I grew u p . 2ND MAN. I o n l y want to be c e r t a i n . 1 S T MAN. You should be c e r t a i n . 4TH MAN. H e s i t a t i o n i s s i n f u l . 3RD MAN. Doubt i s an enemy o f f a i t h . WILLIE . They t o l d me I wasn ' t l i k e o t h e r k i d s . I t ' s my b i r t h d a y . They l i e d to me. 1ST MAN. Remember. There i s no o t h e r e x p l a n a t i o n . I f he wasn ' t the One . . .He would be smashed l i k e the o t h e r s . . . WILLIE . " D o n ' t c r y , s o n , " they s a i d . " P r e t t y soon, y o u ' l l be a man, a great man." 3RD MAN. We would have c a r t e d away h i s b o d y . . . 4TH MAN. Ra i sed the count to 29. WILLIE. "The w o r l d w i l l s i t up and take n o t i c e o f y o u . We know you son, t r u s t u s . " L i e s ! 2ND MAN. 1 S T MAN. 3RD MAN. WILLIE. 4TH MAN. WILLIE . 1 S T MAN. WILLIE . 3RD MAN. WILLIE . o f ea r s . 4TH MAN. WILLIE. 1 S T MAN. WILLIE. 1 S T MAN. 3RD MAN. He should have jumped a g a i n . He i s the one. He has the face o f a s a i n t . . . On my way h e r e , I t r i e d one l a s t t h i n g . The body o f a s a i n t . . . I stepped on every p o s s i b l e f o o t . . . The b e a r i n g o f a s a i n t . . . Spat a t every p o s s i b l e f a c e . . . We needed h i m . . . Shouted curses and o b s e n i t i e s a t every p o s s i b l e p a i r And a t l a s t he came to u s ! F i n a l l y . . . I p u l l e d down my pants and exposed m y s e l f . . When our need was so g r e a t . And s t i l l n o t h i n g . . . N o t h i n g ! I acknowledge the s a v i o u r . (Kneels ) I acknowledge the s a v i o u r . (Kneels ) 4-TH MAN. 1ST MAN. 3RD MAN. 4TH MAN. WILLIE. - 6 - And I . (Kneel s ) (To 2ND) We w a i t f o r y o u . As a lways . S tubborn. Always the l a s t . They never saw me a t a l l . They never saw the 20 year o l d w i t h h i s pants down on h i s way to commit s u i c i d e . Why are you k n e e l i n g ? 1ST MAN. I n o r d e r to worship y o u . WILLIE. WhatI 1ST MAN. You are the one we have been watch ing f o r . 3RD MAN. And now you have a r r i v e d . 4TH MAN. To l e a d us a t l a s t . WILLIE . Me? 1ST MAN. You r e v e a l e d y o u r s e l f to us through a m i r a c l e . 3RD MAN. Yes . 4TH MAN. T h a t ' s t r u e . WILLIE. I d id ? 1ST MAN. You jumped . . .but you d i d n ' t d i e . 3RD MAI?. As a l l the o ther s d i e d . 4TH MAN. True . WILLIE. I t i s s t r ange . 1ST MAN. More than s t r a n g e . 3RD MAN. Much more than s t r ange . 4TH MAN. True . 1ST MAN. You are i m m o r t a l . 2ND MAN. I t c o u l d be j u s t an a c c i d e n t . 1ST MAN. An acc ident ? Look a t t h a t c l i f f t WILLIE. Me, immortal? Never . 1ST MAN. Would you l i k e to see the bodies o f the 28 who jumped before you t h i s week? - 7 - 3 R D MAN. Or the graves o f the hundreds before them? 4TH MAN. Or the thousands before them? 1ST MAN. And t h i s i s o n l y one c l i f f . WILLIE. (To 2ND) And no-one has ever l i v e d before? 2ND MAN. Not t h a t we know. 1ST MAN. B e l i e v e i n y o u r s e l f now. As you always wanted t o . WILLIE . Yes , I always wanted t o . 1s t MAN. B e l i e v e i n y o u r s e l f because we b e l i e v e i n y o u . WILLIE . Do you? 3RD MAN. Yes . 4TH MAN. We do. 1ST MAN. (To 2ND) And so do y o u . 2ND MAN. Of course I ' d l i k e t o . WILLIE . What happens i f I go a l o n g w i t h t h i s ? 1ST MAN. Y o u ' l l come w i t h u s . 3 R D MAN. To the m i l l i o n s o f o t h e r s . 4TH MAN. Who are w a i t i n g f o r y o u . 1ST MAN. They must be t o l d the joyeous news. WILLIE . I t ' s too much. I . . . d o n ' t know. 1ST MAN. (To 2ND) Ask him to come. Do you want to l e t him go? 2ND MAN. No. 3 R D MAN. Of course n o t . We have recogn ized h i m . 4TH MAN. We know who he i s . WILLIE . And who am I? 1ST MAN. Our s a v i o u r . WILLIE . I t c a n ' t be . 1ST MAN. We have made p l ans f o r y o u . 3RD MAN. A l l mankind a w a i t s . WILLIE . 1ST MAN. 3RD MAN. 4TH MAN. WILLIE . 1ST MAN. - 8 - I know a l l about mankind. They d o n ' t g ive a damn. They w i l l now. Now t h a t they know who you a r e . They w i l l worship y o u . (To 1ST) Do you r e a l l y b e l i e v e I 'm the s av iour? I b e l i e v e t h a t i f y o u ' r e not the s a v i o u r , then w e ' l l w a i t i n v a i n f o r e v e r . WILLIE . 1ST MAN. 2ND MAN. WILLIE. 3RD MAN. 4TH MAN. 1ST MAN. WILLIE . 1ST MAN. 2ND MAN. 3RD MAN. W I L L I E . 1ST MAN. you h e r e . 2ND MAN. 1ST MAN. 2ND MAN. 4TH MAN. I 'm confused. But e x c i t e d t o o . Come w i t h u s . You have n o t h i n g to l o s e . I ' d l i k e to see h i s o r i g i n . I should t e l l my p a r e n t s . Yes , l e t ' s meet h i s p a r e n t s . L e t ' s see h i s home. And then you w i l l come w i t h us? Why not? My l i f e means n o t h i n g to me. But e v e r y t h i n g to u s . L e t ' s go. The whole w o r l d w a i t s . I ' l l come. I 'm s t a r t i n g to dream a g a i n . Go to h i s home. I ' l l t e l l the o t h e r s and I ' l l w a i t f o r You won' t come? No, I d o n ' t need t o . ( A f t e r a pause) As you l i k e . (They e x i t , 1ST man l a s t ) H u r r y I ( W i l l i e ' s f a t h e r and mother e n t e r , whee l ing a tea wagon, c a r r y i n g cups , etc.") (He c a r r i e s two c h a i r s ! MOTHER. Time f o r t e a . I must i c e W i l l i e ' s cake . - 9 - FATHER. With choco la te i c i n g . I t ' s W i l l i e ' s f a v o r i t e . I c a n ' t s tand c h o c o l a t e . One lump, as u s u a l . MOTHER. H e ' s a good boy. A r e a l c r e d i t to u s . I 'm so g l a d we o n l y had one. Lemon b i s c u i t ? FATHER. H e ' l l marry a f i n e g i r l and have d i n n e r w i t h us every Sunday and name h i s c h i l d r e n a f t e r us and do w e l l f o r u s , won ' t he? Yes , p l e a s e . MOTHER. D o n ' t you w o r r y , f a t h e r . He ' s a f i n e inves tment . FATHER. He ' s coming. MOTHER. Who are your f r i e n d s , dear? ( W i l l i e and the three men e n t e r ) 2ND MAN. Excuse t h i s i n t e r r u p t i o n d u r i n g t e a - t i m e . 3RD MAN. But there i s no time to l o s e . WILLIE . I jumped o f f a c l i f f . 4TH MAN. He i s no l o n g e r merely your son. 3RD MAN. He i s the second s a v i o u r . 4TH MAN. Whom we recogn ized through a m i r a c l e . FATHER. What? MOTHER. W i l l i e ? WILLIE . I ' v e been t r y i n g to t e l l y o u . . . 2ND MAN. A humble b e g i n n i n g . (Examining the room) 3RD MAN. As i s p r o p e r . MOTHER. Father? FATHER. Don ' t you see, mother? Our son has a t l a s t been r e c o g n i z e d . I t ' s t r u e . I h a v e n ' t done too w e l l . But I gave W i l l i e a l l I c o u l d . P l e a s e , f e e l f r e e to l ook around. MOTHER. We sent him to camp when we c o u l d n ' t a f f o r d a v a c a t i o n f o r o u r s e l v e s . 2ND MAN. Quie t . What about h i s ch i ldhood? MOTHER. O h . . . a h . . . h e was a good c h i l d . 2ND MAN. A n y t h i n g unusual? A FATHER. Oh y e s . He was a v e r y unusual c h i l d . 2ND MAN. How unusual? MOTHER. W e l l . . . h e never p i c k e d h i s n o s e . . . l i k e o t h e r c h i l d r e n . He was t o i l e t t r a i n e d by the time he was 13 months. FATHER. He used to always t r y to c l i m b out the window. He thought he c o u l d f l y . I never l e t h i m , o f cour se . I never r e a l i z e d . 3RD MAN. What 's your occupat ion? FATHER. I . . . I ' m a p a i n t e r . 4TH MAN. T h a t ' s c l o s e . 2ND MAN. Conception? (Shocked s i l e n c e ) MOTHER. ( F i n a l l y ) T h e . . . u s u a l one. 2ND MAN. Not immaculate? FATHER. We're r e s p e c t a b l e peop le ! MOTHER. We d o n ' t go i n f o r t h a t s o r t o f t h i n g . 2ND MAN. Think c a r e f u l l y ! 3RD MAN. Wasn't there a n y t h i n g unusual about i t ? 4TH MAN. A s l i g h t h i n t o f s trangeness? 2ND MAN. Quiet ! ( S i l e n c e . F a t h e r , prompting) FATHER. Mother , d o n ' t you remember? 2ND MAN. Yes? MOTHER. What, dear? FATHER. The n i g h t I was away. 3RD,4TH. Yes , y e s . . . FATHER. Nine months before W i l l y was b o r n . . . Y o u open. C o u l d n ' t i t have been t h a t n i g h t ? MOTHER. Oh, t h a t n i g h t ! WILLIE . Mother , what! 2ND MAN. What happened? 3RD, 4TH. T e l l u s l MOTHER. I had n e a r l y f o r g o t t e n . Dur ing t h a t n i g h t . . . I hate to s leep a l o n e . . . I was r e s t l e s s . Suddenly I c o u l d h a r d l y b r e a t h . There was t h i s p r e s s i n g weight on my c h e s t . WILLIE . Mother ! 2ND MAN. Q u i c k l y ! MOTHER. W e l l . . . I was f r i g h t e n e d . I thought i t was a h e a r t c o n d i t i o n . FATHER. Mother , you d i d n o t ! You t o l d me the next d a y . . . I t was as i f y o u ' d b e e n . . . r a v i s h e d . MOTHER. W e l l . . . l i k e I ' d b e e n . . . e n t e r e d . Something s t a r t e d to t i c k l e . I c o u l d f e e l i t t r a v e l l i n g . A l l the way u p . . . r i g h t up to my womb. FATHER. R i g h t up to h e r womb. WILLIE . Why d i d n ' t you t e l l me! 2ND MAN. Woman, you 've s l e p t w i t h the H o l y Ghost ! MOTHER. Oh! FATHER. I t ' s a l l r i g h t , dear . I f o r g i v e y o u . I always knew he was something more than my son. 3RD MAN. God l e d our f o o t s t e p s i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n when he brought us h e r e . 4TH MAN. B le s sed be t h i s home. 3RD MAN. B le s sed t h i s f a t h e r and mother. 2ND MAN. (To f a t h e r ) A n y t h i n g e l se ? FATHER. What more do you need? MOTHER. Wait a minute . He wasn ' t born i n the h o s p i t a l . We c o u l d n ' t get there i n t i m e . He was born i n the back o f the oar i n a garbage ground. WILLIE . Why wasn ' t I t o l d t h i s before? FATHER. We were p a s s i n g by the dump when the l a b o r got worse . I p u l l e d o v e r . . . a n d out he came. MOTHER. As I l a y t h e r e . . . l o o k i n g out the window. There was t h i s b r i g h t l i g h t . WILLIE . Y e s . . . y e s . . . - 12 - 2ND MAN. I 'm w a i t i n g . . . MOTHER. They were b u r n i n g the g a r b a g e . . . the l i g h t seemed to glow a l l around u s . 3RD MAN. M i r a c u l o u s . . . 4TH MAN. B l e s s e d . . . 2ND MAI1!. T h i s i s more than I had hoped f o r . WILLIE. And t h a t ' s why you always t o l d me I would grow up to be g r e a t ! MOTHER. Yes , dear . 2ND MAN. A n y t h i n g e l s e ? FATHER. Yes ! Remember, mother? As soon as W i l l i e was b o r n , I s t a r t e d the c a r , to d r i v e to the h o s p i t a l . Remember who came? 3RD MAN. The wise men! 4TH MAN. With g i f t s ! WILLIE. Led by the l i g h t . FATHER. They came up to the c a r , and they knocked on the window, and one o f them shone a l i g h t i n t o the back o f the c a r , and they s a i d - remember mother? They shone t h i s l i g h t i n t o the back o f the c a r , and they s a i d , "You c a n ' t do t h i s s o r t o f t h i n g i n the garbage dump." 2ND MAN. T h a t ' s a l l ? MOTHER. W e l l they e s c o r t e d us to the h o s p i t a l . FATHER. And one o f them d i d g ive me a t i c k e t . WILLIE . I ' v e heard a l l I need. I 'm ready to go w i t h y o u . 2ND MAN. Yes . W e ' l l go now. (To mother) We are t a k i n g your son from y o u . He now belongs to the w o r l d . 3RD MAN. W e ' l l t e l l the o t h e r s . 4TH MAN. He never kept a donkey? FATHER. He had a pet t u r t l e . 2ND MAN. We have heard enough. 3RD MAN. D i d he ever confound h i s e l d e r s ? MOTHER. We never understood h i s t a l k when he was 15 months. 2ND MAN. Enough. WILLIE . Good-bye mother . Good-bye f a t h e r . FATHER. A f t e r h i s f e e d i n g , when I burped h i m , i t always came out so m i l o u d i o u s . . . P r o f o u n d . 2ND MAN. Good-bye. T h i s v i s i t has h e l p e d . MOTHER. When I used to change him a t n i g h t . . . t h e r e was a s trange glow from h i s d i a p e r . 2ND MAN. We need hear no more. Come. FATHER. As a baby, he used to d r o o l so m u c h . . . b u t i t wasn ' t l i k e o r d i n a r y s a l i v a . I t smelt l i k e f l o w e r s . WILLIE. To have kept me i n the dark f o r so l o n g ! MOTHER. When he s p i t out h i s pablum, i t w o u l d n ' t s t i c k to h i s f a c e , the way i t d i d w i t h o t h e r b a b i e s . 2ND MAN. F a r e w e l l . Thank y o u . WILLIE. Goodbye. 3RD MAN. H e ' s o f f to g l o r y . 4TH MAN. And so are we. (They e x i t ) FATHER. When we took him out o f h i s b a s i n e t t e . . . t h e water was even c l e a n e r than when we had put him i n i t . . . MOTHER. They've gone, f a t h e r . He lp me w i t h the tea t h i n g s . FATHER. D i d n ' t I t e l l y o u , W i l l i e would t u r n out to be a f o r t r e s s to us i n our o l d age? MOTHER. To t h i n k tha t a l l h i s p e c u l i a r behaviour as a c h i l d turned out to have a d i v i n e purpose 1 FATHER. W e ' l l be famous f o r t h i s dear . Tea was v e r y good today , as u s u a l . (They e x i t , w i t h t a b l e , c h a i r s , e t c . ) ( W i l l i e e n t e r s , w i t h 2ND, 3RD and 4TTI w a t c h e r s . ) WILLIE . People f o l l o w us a l r e a d y . 2ND MAN. Thousands. 3RD MAN. And there w i l l toe more. 4TH MAN. We're almost t h e r e . To the cave . WILLIE . Where's the o t h e r man? 2ND MAN. Don ' t w o r r y . H e ' l l be n e a r . 3RD MAN. He i s back w i t h the crowd. Leading them. 4TH MAN. Rather he leads them than u s . 2ND MAN. (To ^ _ _ _ _ 4__) Go back and h e l p d i r e c t them to the cave , o r w e ' l l l o se some o f them. 3RD MAN. As you say. 4TH MAN. To f o l l o w you i s a p l e a s u r e . (They e x i t ) WILLIE. I know that cave . I p l ayed there as a c h i l d . 2ND MAN. D i d you? ( 1 S T man enter s ) 1 S T MAN. They need you out t h e r e . Go h e l p them. 2ND MAN. I t i s no l o n g e r f o r you to g ive o r d e r s . The t rue l e a d e r o f a l l o f us has a r r i v e d , remember? 1 S T MAN. I am not the one who i s i n danger o f f o r g e t t i n g . (To W i l l i e ) T e l l him to go . He i s good w i t h words. They w i l l f o l l o w h i m . WILLIE. (To 2ND) Go and t e l l them who I am. 2ND MAN. I w i l l . When I am c e r t a i n , ( e x i t s ) WILLIE . What d i d he mean? 1 S T MAN. He i s a r e b e l l i o n . WILLIE. Why d i d n ' t you f o l l o w us to my home? 1 S T MAN. I had no f u r t h e r need o f secondary p r o o f s . D id i t go w e l l ? WILLIE . They t o l d us o f f a n t a s t i c t h i n g s I never knew. 1 S T MAN. And everyone was impressed? WILLIE . Yes . And now I 'm hungry. I d i d n ' t s l eep too much e i t h e r . 1 S T MAN. I t ' s f o r t u n a t e t h a t s a i n t s do not r e q u i r e much o f e i t h e r . There i s no time now. - 15 - 2ND MAN. ( E n t e r i n g w i t h 3RD and 4TH.) I have spoken to them. But they are r e s t l e s s . 1ST MAN. T e l l them to spread out and r e s t . We've reached the h o l y ground. 2ND MAN. I ' v e t o l d them t h a t a l r e a d y . 3RD MAN. They've f o l l o w e d an unseen source f o r many m i l e s . 4TH MAN. They w i s h to see t h i s s a v i o u r . 1ST MAN. T e l l them the s a v i o u r needs r e s t but w i l l speak to them v e r y soon. 2ND MAN. You can no l o n g e r g ive commands. I ' l l l i s t e n o n l y to h i m . ( i n d i c a t i n g W i l l y ) 1ST MAN. I hope he w i l l teach you obedience . (To o ther s ) Go. 3RD MAN. We w i l l do our bes t f o r y o u . 4TH MAN. As ve a lways do. (They e x i t ) 1ST MAN. (To W i l l i e ) The crowd must be r e a s s u r e d . WILLIE. (To 2ND) Please go. T e l l them I j u s t need a l i t t l e t i m e . 2ND MAN. They won' t be s a t i s f i e d w i t h me f o r l o n g . ( E x i t s ) WILLIE. You do g ive a l o t o f o r d e r s . 1ST MAN. Only u n t i l you are ready to g ive them y o u r s e l f . How q u i c k l y can you grow a beard? WILLIE. What! 1ST MAN. You must a p p r e c i a t e the importance o f growing one immedia te ly , f o r the image. WILLIE . Are you s e r i o u s ? 1ST MAN. You must be a l t e r e d to f i t the image o f the f i r s t s a v i o u r . People accept new concepts w i t h d i f f i c u l t y . Why make i t d i f f i c u l t ? I have something f o r y o u . (Goes i n t o cave , r e t u r n s w i t h robe and s a n d a l s . ) These are your new c l o t h e s . I suggest you put them on before the crowd sees y o u . WILLIE . Forget i t . No way! 1ST MAN. You 'd be s u r p r i s e d a t how d i f f e r e n t these new c l o t h e s w i l l make you f e e l . Give them a t r y . A l l o w me. WILLIE . Back o f f . I f you r e a l l y want to h e l p me, get me some f o o d . I 'm hungry. - 1 6 - 1ST MAN. Le t me e x p l a i n . They've a l l wa i t ed so l o n g . They ' re not c e r t a i n anymore what i t i s t h e y ' r e w a i t i n g f o r . I t would h e l p them to a d j u s t to you e a s i e r i f you looked and ac ted as the f i r s t s a v i o u r d i d . They d o n ' t r e a l i z e t h a t even s a i n t s and s a v i o u r s a l t e r w i t h the t i m e s . They want t r a d i t i o n i n t h e i r r e l i g i o n , so why not comply? L i s t e n to them. They a l l want y o u . P l e a s e , put your arm through. L a t e r o n , I ' l l come back w i t h some food a f t e r t h e y ' v e gone. But not now. When y o u ' r e i n t h e i r presence , I ' d suggest a l i t t l e b r e a d . . . ; a l i t t l e w i n e . . . b u t t r y not to l e t your stomach g r o w l . D o n ' t b u r p . C o n t r o l your b l a d d e r . You u n d e r s t a n d . . . i n the B i b l e . . . t h e r e ' s no mention o f C h r i s t r e l i e v i n g h i m s e l f . Now p l e a s e . . . t h e o t h e r arm. WILLIE. Y o u ' r e k i d d i n g ! 1ST MAN. L i s t e n to them. P l e a s e . . . t h e s a n d a l s . . . WILLIE . You d o n ' t b e l i e v e i n me. I f I r e a l l y were Him, you know a l l that crap would make no d i f f e r e n c e . 1ST MAN. Yes , i t would . I know these peop le . Accept me as your a d v i s o r . I can make i t e a s i e r f o r y o u . There i s not much t i m e . WILLIE . Look at me! T h e y ' l l laugh a t me i n t h i s o u t f i t . 1ST MAN. Y o u ' l l see d i f f e r e n t l y . They grow i m p a t i e n t . L i s t e n . They are a l l c a l l i n g out f o r y o u . No-one e l s e matters now but y o u . You are e v e r y t h i n g . Put on the s anda l s . WILLIE . (Accept ing) They a l l w a i t f o r me? I t ' s an o l d dream o f mine. 1ST MAN. I t ' s not a dream. Are you ready f o r them now? WILLIE. I d o n ' t know what to say. 1ST MAN. I ' l l h e l p y o u . Jus t a l i t t l e w i l l be enough f o r now. 2ND MAN. Y o u ' l l have to speak to them now. C a n ' t you hear? (There i s a l o t o f s t i r r i n g and c a l l i n g i n the aud ience . ) ( i n d i v i d u a l v o i c e s c a l l o u t , "Where i s h e ? " , e t c . ) ( G e n e r a l u n r e s t ) 3RD MAN. Only your v o i c e w i l l s t i l l them. 4TH MAN. L i s t e n . CROWD. ( i n audience) Speak! Speak! We must hear you ! We w a i t ! Where i s the s a v i o u r ? 1ST MAN. I t i s t i m e . WILLIE. I 'm sca red . 1ST MAN. I 'm r i g h t h e r e . CROWD. A message! A message! Now! Now! 3RD, 4TH, Yes , y e s , a message. Now! 2ND MAN. Give us d i r e c t i o n , i f you c a n . 3RD, 4TH. D i r e c t i o n . We must have d i r e c t i o n ! WILLIE . What do I do? 1ST MAN. T e l l them you are t i r e d and must have peace f o r t o n i g h t . 2ND MAN. We must have answers to b u r n i n g q u e s t i o n s ! 3RD, 4TH, CROWD. Yes , y e s ! Answers! 2ND MAN. We have confe s s ions t h a t have to be h e a r d . 3RD, 4TH, CROWD. Yes , y e s , c o n f e s s i o n s ! Must be heard ! 1ST MAN. See how h e ' s s t i r r i n g them u p . R i s e to the o c c a s i o n . Show h i m . Show them a l l . WILLIE. Then what? 2ND MAN. We have s i n s tha t have to be c l e a n s e d . 3RD, 4TH, CROWD. S ins t h a t have to be c l eansed ! 1ST MAN. You must l e t them see y o u . Come f o r w a r d . (To a l l ) C l e a r the way. Your s a v i o u r w i l l speak. CROWD. Hooray! Our S a v i o u r ! WILLIE . I o & n ' t l 1ST MAN. Yes , you c a n . A l l eyes are on you now, as You've always wanted. WILLIE. But i f y o u ' r e wrong? 1ST MAN. Can so many be wrong? Look. L i s t e n to them. How can you deny y o u r s e l f when you are needed so badly? 2ND MAN. W i l l he speak to us? 3RD, 4TH. He must speak! CROWD. Speak! Speak! 1ST MAN. Now i s the t i m e . I w i l l h e l p y o u . F r i e n d s , our Lord w i l l now address y o u . S i l e n c e , p l e a s e . (A great hush) 1ST MAN. (To V / i l l i e ) I n f r o n t . Where they can see y o u . T h a t ' s r i g h t . See? They l i k e your appearance. Now speak. T e l l them you cannot h e l p them t o n i g h t . You need peace. Go o n . WILLIE. F r i e n d s . . . I cannot g ive you much h e l p t o n i g h t . I need p e a c e . . . ( F a l t e r s ) 1ST MAN. (Prompting) " I am not ye t r e a d y " . WILLIE. I am not y e t ready . 1ST MAN. "You must g ive me time to be a lone w i t h my F a t h e r " . WILLIE. You must g ive me time to be a lone w i t h my F a t h e r . 1ST MAN. For I l ove you too much to g ive you a l e s s than p e r f e c t s a v i o u r . WILLIE. For I l ove you too much to g ive you a l e s s than p e r f e c t s a v i o u r . ( P a u s e ) . . . P l e a s e . . . w a i t u n t i l tomorrow. . .You have wa i t ed t h i s l o n g a l r e a d y . . . w a i t a l i t t l e m o r e . . . W a i t u n t i l t o m o r r o w . . . and t h e n . . . a n d t h e n . . . I w i l l be y o u r s . T i l l t h e n , my f r i e n d s . . . p lease go i n peace and leave me. (The crowd s t i r s and c a l l s out ) 1ST MAN. That was f i n e . Permit me. (Addres s ing crowd) You have heard Him. We must b e g i n by p r a c t i s i n g obedience . Our Lord has shown us t h a t we are o v e r - i m p a t i e n t . Let us l e a r n our f i r s t l e s s o n w e l l . We w i l l r e t u r n tomorrow. 2ND MAN. He has t o l d us n o t h i n g . How do we know he w i l l be here tomorrow? 1ST MAN. You w i l l come to no good. W i l l you be q u i e t ? WILLIE. (To 1ST) Let me. (To 2ND) Look, i f you d o n ' t b e l i e v e i n me, why hang around and cause t r o u b l e ? What have I done. to you? I don ' t i n t e n d to take o f f . Why should I ? I have every- t h i n g . I f y o u ' r e j e a l o u s , o r i f you doubt me, why d o n ' t you jump from the c l i f f y o u r s e l f ? I f you l i v e , I ' l l s tep a s ide f o r y o u . F a i r i s f a i r . Don ' t you t h i n k you c o u l d a t l e a s t g i v e me the c o u r t e s y o f a t r i a l ? You 'd do as much f o r anyone e l s e . 2ND MAN. You have a p o i n t . 3RD MAN. Why not run him out? 4-TH MAN. We d o n ' t need h i s s o r t among u s . WILLIE . On the s t r e n g t h o f your o p i n i o n ? I t changes every minute . I want him to s t a y h e r e . 2ND MAN. ( Surpr i s ed ) Thank y o u . WILLIE . 2ND MAN. WILLIE . 3RD MAN. 4TH MAN. WILLIE. 3RD MAN. tomorrow. 4TII MAN. 1ST MAN. WILLIE. Would you h e l p the crowd to break up? I have to be a lone , Yes , I w i l l . T i l l tomorrow t h e n . ( E x i t s ) (To 2ND and 3RD) W i l l you go, as w e l l ? P l e a s e . . . m a y I? (Approaching) May we touch you? Why not? (Touching h i s robe) Thank y o u . I cannot w a i t t i l l ( L ikewi se ) Thank y o u . I t w i l l be a l o n g n i g h t . I t ' s o v e r . You d i d a l l r i g h t . Not much. 1ST MAN. Enough. But y o u ' l l have to be prepared f o r tomorrow. I have some suggest ions f o r s p e e c h e s . . . WILLIE. 1ST MAN. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. WILLIE . 1ST MA!?. c r i t i c a l . WILLIE . 1ST MAN. Y o u ' r e not going? Not y e t . I ' d l i k e to be a l o n e . I c o u l d get you some food now. I d o n ' t f e e l hungry now. Y o u ' l l need your s t r e n g t h f o r tomorrow. You should e a t . No thanks . Even Jesus accepted f o o d . I ' d l i k e to be a l o n e . I t h i n k we should t a l k a l i t t l e , f i r s t . About what? What y o u ' l l say to them tomorrow. Why? We need to say the r i g h t t h i n g s . Tomorrow t h e y ' l l be more We? What ' s happened to you? - 20 - WILLIE . I ' d l i k e you to go. 1ST MAN. I had planned to s t a y w i t h y o u . WILLIE. Why? 1ST MAN. I thought you needed h e l p . WILLIE. A f r a i d I ' l l run o f f ? 1ST MAN. Of course n o t . WILLIE . You ' re so c a r e f u l to make c e r t a i n the o t h e r s b e l i e v e i n me. . .what about y o u r s e l f ? ? 1ST MAN. Why do you t h i n k I d o n ' t b e l i e v e ? WILLIE . Why d o n ' t you? A m i r a c l e i s a m i r a c l e . Why s h o u l d n ' t i t be me? 1ST MAN. You ' re r i g h t , you d o n ' t need me anymore. WILLIE . Do you t h i n k you 've made me up? 1ST MAN. I ' v e t r i e d to h e l p you a d j u s t to your new r o l e . Make i t e a s i e r f o r everyone. And now t h a t you have , you d o n ' t need me any f u r t h e r . I ' l l s t i l l be there i f you should ever need me a g a i n . ( S t a r t s to go) WILLIE. (S topping him) T h a t ' s not enough. Do you b e l i e v e i n me? 1ST MAI?. Yes , I do . I b e l i e v e i n you as much as I ' d b e l i e v e i n anyone who had j u s t performed a m i r a c l e . I hope you have a good r e s t . ( E x i t s ) WILLIE. Come back. I d o n ' t l i k e t h a t answer. E v e r y t h i n g i s so c o n f u s i n g . A t t h i s moment my parents should be weeping over my smashed body i n a f u n e r a l home, making arrangements w i t h the c h u r c h , a c c e p t i n g condolences . Ins tead I 'm h e r e . L i k e i n my o l d dreams, I 'm someone w i t h a d e s t i n y . I s i t r e a l l y a l l p a r t o f a d i v i n e p lan? (Mother and f a t h e r enter w i t h b i r t h d a y cake and g i f t s ) MOTHER. W i l l i e ? W I L L I E . Who's tha t ? MOTHER. Your mother, dear . FATHER. And your f a t h e r , t o o . WILLIE. What f o r ? MOTHER. You see, f a t h e r , I t o l d you h e ' d be g l a d to see u s . - 21 - FATHER. Ve w e r e n ' t sure i f y o u ' d come back f o r your b i r t h d a y ! MOTHER. So we brought the b i r t h d a y to y o u . WILLIE. How d i d you know where to come? MOTHER. Everyone knows where you a r e , W i l l i e . WILLIE. Do they? FATHER. Oh y e s , son . You've become v e r y i m p o r t a n t . We're so proud . WILLIE . And does everyone know who I am? MOTHER. You've become famous i n a mat ter o f h o u r s . I t ' s a new r e c o r d . WILLIE . And you b e l i e v e i n me? MOTHER. I always knew there was something d i f f e r e n t about y o u . FATHER. We b e l i e v e i n you 100$, boy. MOTHER. And look a t your b i r t h d a y cake . Your f a v o r i t e i c i n g . "Happy B i r t h d a y W i l l i e " i n whi te i c i n g . Won't you open your present s now? WILLIE. No, I c o u l d n ' t . FATHER. We had a l r e a d y bought them before we heard tha t you were the new M e s s i a h . Cons ider i t a symbolic b i r t h d a y , boy. D i g i n . WILLIE. No, f a t h e r . T h i s i s so u n impor ta n t . There are o t h e r t h i n g s n o w . . . FATHER. You need me f o r a n y t h i n g , son? WILLIE . What s h a l l I do , dad? FATHER. The way ahead i s c l e a r , W i l l i e . Y o u ' r e the new s a v i o u r . You've never been one to t u r n away from your r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . WILLIE . And my r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s a r e . . . ? FATHER. To go ahead i n t h i s . You were there t h i s a f t e r n o o n , not I . You ' re the one who knows whether i t was a m i r a c l e o r n o t . WILLIE . I t was. You should have seen where I jumped. FATHER. Then why be u n c e r t a i n ? T h i s i s a g rea t t h i n g tha t has happened to y o u . . . MOTHER. And to your f a m i l y . . . - 22 - FATHER. You are now a man o f d e s t i n y . I t i s now p o s s i b l e f o r you to do great t h i n g s . . . l i k e you 've always dreamt o f . . . l i k e every man has always dreamt o f . You are the o n e . . . W a l k t a l l , son. H o l d your head h i g h . You are now the most important man i n the w o r l d . . . perhaps i n h i s t o r y . L i v e your moment I WILLIE . And those t h i n g s you s a i d about my ch i ldhood? MOTHER. Every one o f them t r u e , and much more. Haven ' t we always t o l d y o u , you would be n o t i c e d ? We knew. . .we always knew some- t h i n g l i k e t h i s would h a p p e n . . . a n d we t r i e d to prepare you f o r i t . FATHER. You were never an o r d i n a r y c h i l d . WILLIE. Mother , f a t h e r ! (Embracing them) Thank y o u . Thank y o u . FATHER. And now w e ' l l l eave you w i t h your t rue f a t h e r . . . MOTHER. W e ' l l g ive you up to h i g h e r t h i n g s , dear . WILLIE. Thank you f o r what you 've done. FATHER. We leave you to your new l i f e . WILLIE. Goodbye ( E x i t s i n t o cave) MOTHER. You see? I t o l d you h e ' d be g e t t i n g c o l d f e e t . FATHER. I t ' s l u c k y we came. Now we're on our way to becoming s a i n t s . MOTHER. People w i l l open t h e i r doors to us everywhere. We can stop your o l d age pens ion c o n t r i b u t i o n s . FATHER. The p o s s i b i l i t i e s are u n l i m i t e d . A l l o f W i l l i e ' s t h i n g s are now worth a f o r t u n e . MOTHER. Do you t h i n k W i l l i e w i l l be a l l r i g h t now? FATHER. He won't back o u t . We brought him up to be an o p p o r t u n i s t . MOTHER. What s h a l l we do w i t h these present s? FATHER. They ' re worth money to us now. No-one w i l l knovr he never r e a l l y owned them. MOTHER. And the cake? FATHER. Throw i t away. You know I hate choco la te i c i n g . (They e x i t ) (Time passage. Next morning . The f o u r men e n t e r . ) - 23 - 3RD MAN. We must walk s o f t l y . 4TH MAN. We are on h o l y ground. 1ST MAN. I t ' s so e a r l y . He may not be ready . 2ND MAN. I t ' s never too e a r l y f o r the L o r d . 1ST MAN. Even the L o r d , needs r e s t , my f r i e n d . WILLIE . (From w i t h i n ) Who's there? 3RD MAN. Your humble s e r v a n t s . 4TH MAN. Assembled f o r your word. 1ST MAN. Are we too e a r l y ? 2ND MAN. The Lord knows no h o u r s . 1ST MAN. W i l l you be q u i e t ? 3RD MAN. H i s impat ience w i l l r u i n us a l l . 4TH MAN. He has no c o n t r o l . 2ND MAN. (To W i l l i e ) W i l l you come out? The crowd i s w a i t i n g . Many o f them s l e p t i n the f i e l d s . 1ST MAN. Why w i l l you not l e a r n ? 2ND MAN. Perhaps because I have n o t h i n g to l e a r n . ( W i l l i e e n t e r s . He i s more c o n f i d e n t . Looks more " the p a r t " ) WILLIE . I heard you and I 'm h e r e . P l e a s e . Get u p . A l l o f y o u . 2ND MAN. Are you ready? 3RD MAN. V/e have wandered w i t h o u t you f o r too l o n g . 4TH MAN. B r i n g us back to peace. WILLIE . I w i l l l e a d you back. Give your l i f e d i r e c t i o n . R e l a x . 2ND MAN. At l a s t ! WILLIE . I w i l l change your l i v e s . 3RD, 4TH. Yes , change u s ! WILLIE. There are so many out t h e r e . Can you a l l see me? Can you a l l hear me? CROWD. Yes , y e s ! - 24 - 3RD MAN. W i l l you g ive us P a r a d i s e . 4TH MAN. W i l l you ban i sh war? 2ND MAN. L o r d , we w a i t . M i l l i o n s o f us w a i t . 3RD MAN. Yes , your sermon. 4TH MAN. We are ready . ( W i l l i e comes f o r w a r d . He looks out a t the crowd, and s t o p s , n e r v o u s l y . He l o o k s f o r the 1st man. They l o o k at one another . Awkward pause. ) 1ST MAN. ( s ens ing h i s need) Quiet I We w i l l now have the sermon. 3RD MAN. The sermon on the mount! 1ST MAN. Quiet ! The Lord w i l l now speak! WILLIE . (Nervous, u n c e r t a i n ) W e l l . . . f i r s t o f a l l . . . a h . . . L e t ' s l ook a t C h r i s t . He w a s . . . a h . . . t h e f i r s t o f t h e m . . . I m e a n . . . t h e f i r s t o f the s a v i o u r s . What I mean i s . . . t h e r e were two. I 'm the second one. We have to r e a l i z e , though, t h a t there i s no way we can be r e a l l y c e r t a i n tha t there w e r e n ' t more. Unrecognized ones , I mean. S a y . . . p e o p l e . . . w h o . . . a h . . . j u m p e d o f f c l i f f s and d i d n ' t d ie t o o . There may have been l o t s o f them, vrho knows? Who knows i f there were m i r a c l e s performed every day, but no-one to know i t cause there was no-one to see i t . What I 'm t r y i n g to get a t i s that you 've made the d i f f e r e n c e . You , w i t h a l l pa t i ence and f a i t h . . . . w a i t i n g . . . w a t c h i n g . . . a n d f i n a l l y . . . r e c o g n i z i n g ! 1ST MAN. Yes , we r e c o g n i z e d ! (He has gone down among the audience and i s t r y i n g to s t i r up the croxvd.) 2ND, 3RD. We r e c o g n i z e d ! 4TH MAN. Yes ! 1ST MAN. Yes ! Yes ! CROWD. Yes ! WILLIE . (Ga in ing conf idence from t h i s ) So we d o n ' t know how many o f those s a i n t s there may have been. S a i n t s o n l y to them- s e l v e s because no-one e l s e ever knew. But I ' l l t e l l you one t h i n g . . . . t h e r e was C h r i s t . . . f o r s u r e . . . a n d now there i s Me. I f y o u ' l l b e l i e v e t h a t . . . y o u ' l l have i t made. Because I know i t i s me. Because I s u r v i v e d . . . a n d you watched me s u r v i v e . . . I know i t ' s me! 1ST MAN. Yes , i t ' s y o u ! 3RD, 4TH. I t ' s you , you ! - 25 - CROWD. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. CROWD. You I The w o r l d w i l l now change f o r e v e r ! Yes , f o r e v e r ! L e t ' s hear i t , l e t ' s hear i t . Forever ! F o r e v e r ! WILLIE. (More c o n f i d e n t ) The h o r r o r s and u n c e r t a i n i t i e s o f l i f e w i l l fade o u t . . . M a n w i l l r ecogn ize M e . . . a n d through me he w i l l r ecognize h i m s e l f . B e c a u s e . . . f r i e n d s . . . M a n i s not j u s t a p a s s i n g p h a s e . . . H e ' s not a t o t a l wipeout . Man i s f o r e v e r ! 1ST MAN. F o r e v e r ! CROWD. F o r e v e r ! 2ND MAN. Yes , y e s ! You • re r i g h t . I t ' s t r u e . CROWD. I t ' s t r u e ! WILLIE. Yes , f o l l o w me got a n y t h i n g b e t t e r goin, sure t h i n g . Why not?? , m i s t e r . B e l i e v e me! Why not? Have you s f o r you? No? Then why not? I 'm a ( S p e c i f i c a l l y to 2nd man) 1ST MAN. Why not? 2ND MAN. Yes , why not? Why not? WILLIE. (Going s t r o n g now) Man r e a l l y i s what he always hoped he was . . .Man i s not a speck o f dust i n a f r o g s eye . . .man i s not a p i l e o f crap r o t t i n g on the p a s t u r e . Man has a d e s t i n y . 2ND MAN. Yes , a d e s t i n y . (He comes down i n t o the crowd. 1st man, N o t i c i n g him and a l s o W i l l i e ' s mounting c o n f i d e n c e , now takes a back s e a t . ) 3RD, 4TH. CROWD. A d e s t i n y ! Yes , ye s ! WILLIE . Man i s not a bad scene. Man knows where h e ' s a t . H e ' s a t the r i g h t p l a c e , man. The r i g h t p l a c e ! 2ND MAN. CROWD. WILLIE . 2ND MAN. WILLIE . We are a t the r i g h t p l a c e ! Were t h e r e ! We've a r r i v e d ! V/e've a r r i v e d a t l a s t ! Man i s not a moth hanging on to a coat tha t i s b e i n g t o r n down to make room f o r a w i d e r h a l l . Man i s not a f i s h that ge t s a l l racked up t r y i n g to l a y i t s eggs o n l y to get caught on a f i s h e r m a n ' s hook f i v e f e e t from i t s g o a l ! Man i s more, l e t me t e l l you ! More! - 26 - 2ND MAN. More! More! 3RD, 4TH. Man i s more! WILLIE. P r a i s e God man i s more! CROWD. P r a i s e Good! P r a i s e God! WILLIE . P r a i s e God, who made a l l t h i n g s p o s s i b l e . . . T h e b i g t h i n g s and the s m a l l t h i n g s . The p e t t y t h i n g s and the u l t i m a t e t h i n g s . . . the t r i v i l i t i e s and the mind-b lowers . P r a i s e God! 2ND MAN. P r a i s e God! P r a i s e God! A L L . P r a i s e God! WILLIE . Who makes the pop f i z z and the gravy t h i c k e n and the cof fee perk? God. Who passes around the c o l l e c t i o n p l a t e i n o rder to a i d m i s s i o n a r i e s i n Indo-China , and d r i v e s the cows out o f the storm i n t o the barn? God. 2ND MAN. God! A L L . God! WILLIE . Who puts j e w e l l e d c o l l a r s on Siamese c a t s and mosquitoes on bodies i n the grass? God. 2ND MAN. God! CROWD. God! WILLIE . Who l e t s f l o w e r s grow on the graves o f men who were hanged f o r murder ing t h e i r mothers? Who puts i c e on the s t a i r s where grandmother has to go down to p i c k up the m i l k ? Cancer on the bones on the milkman's r e t i r e d o l d h o r s e . . . a n d pimples on the face o f the f a t t e s t g i r l i n school? 2ND MAN. God! A L L . God! WILLIE . And me! And me! 2ND MAN. God and me! God and me! WILLIE . Who puts lumps i n the mashed potatoes on T h a n k s g i v i n g . . . f l i e s i n the hamburger f o r the Sunday cook-out? 2ND MAN. God and me! God and me! A L L . God and me! God and me! WILLIE. Who puts food between the t e e t h t h a t have to smi le f o r the people? Wax i n the e a r s . . . f u n g u s on the f ee t ? - 2 7 - 2ND MAN. Godenmy! Godenmy! A L L . Godenmy! Godenmy! WILLIE . Yes , y e s , y e s ! 2ND MAN. Yes ! A L L . . Yes ! (Pause, then W i l l i e begins aga in more s l o w l y ) W I L L I E . My f r i e n d s , Love i s the answer. Gather around. L i s t e n to me. (He steps down and walks around among the men.) Come c l o s e r . 2ND MAN. Come c l o s e r . We heard you , L o r d . We heard y o u . (The f o u r woman i n the audience r i s e and go onstage) 1ST W. We heard y o u , L o r d . 2ND W. W e ' l l come c l o s e r to y o u . 3RD. W. Close enough to k i s s your f e e t . 4TH W. We're h e r e , L o r d ! WILLIE. T h a t ' s r i g h t , c l o s e r . We're t a l k i n g about l ove h e r e , peop le . Noth ing but l o v e . Come as c l o s e as you c a n . Smile a t your ne ighbour . Nothing but pure p l a i n l o v e . 2ND MAN. (Back onstage now) Yes , l o v e . (The 1st man i s a l s o onstage and becomes one o f the crowd i n responses?) A L L . Love I WILLIE . Love w i l l put us on the r i g h t t r a c k . Love w i l l b r i n g us peace o f mind . Everybody l o v e . Everybody love everybody. 2ND MAN. (Embracing one o f the woman) Yes , everybody l o v e . A L L . Everybody l o v e . (The o t h e r three men embrace the woman) WILLIE. T h a t ' s r i g h t . K i s s everyone. Love everyone. Everybody love your f r i e n d l y l o a n company. CROWD. Our f r i e n d l y l o a n company. WILLIE . Everybody love our f r i e n d l y p o l i c e . . . CROWD. Our f r i e n d l y p o l i c e . - 28 - WILLIE . Everybody love your f r i e n d l y door- to-door magazine s e l l e r . CROWD. Our f r i e n d . l y door- to-door magazine s e l l e r . (Men and women cont inue to f o n d l e and hug each o t h e r ) WILLIE. Everybody l o v e . Everybody love your w i f e . Everybody l o v e everybody ' s w i f e . CROWD. Everybody ' s w i f e . WILLIE. l o v e , T h a t ' s r i g h t ! T h a t ' s r i g h t ! You've got i t now. Love , l o v e ! Love w i l l save us a l l ! CROWD. Love w i l l save us a l l ! WILLIE. Love e v e r y t h i n g ! CROWD. Love e v e r y t h i n g ! WILLIE . Burnt t o a s t . . . r i s i n g t axes ! CROWD. Burnt t o a s t . . . r i s i n g taxes ! WILLIE. Unwashed a r m p i t s . . . g r e a s y h a i r ^ * . CROWD. Unwashed a r m p i t s . . . g r e a s y h a i r . . . ( P i c k i n g up the rhythm and beg inn ing to dance.) WILLIE . The f l y i n the p i e ! CROWD. The f l y i n the p i e ! WILLIE . The f l e a i n the t r e e ! CROWD. The f l e a i n the t r e e ! WILLIE. The g l a s s i n the g r a s s l CROWD. Gla s s i n the g ra s s ! WILLIE . The t a r on the c a r ! CROWD. more Tar on the c a r ! (The men and women onstage are danc ing , and more abandondly . ) Tar on the c a r ! WILLIE . Bug on the r u g ! CROWD. Bug on the r u g ! Bug on the r u g ! Bug on the r u g ! WILLIE . The gore on the f l o o r . CROWD. Gore on the f l o o r , gore on the f l o o r , gore on the f l o o r ! WILLIE. Dog on the l o g ! - 29 - CROW. Dog on the l o g , l o g on the dog, dog on the l o g l WILLIE. The m i l k on the s i l k ! CROWD. M i l k on the s i l k ! S i l k on the m i l k ! Gore on the f l o o r . Whore on the f l o o r . More , more more! WILLIE. ( A l l j o i n i n ) Whore on the f l o o r . Whore a t the d o o r . l o g on the dog. Dog on the l o g . . . l o g . . . l o g . . . l o g on the d o g . . . h o g . . . h o g . . . h o g i n the h o g . . . b o g . . . b o g . . . h o g i n the g o g . . . f l e a s i n the t r e e s . . . t r e e s on the f l e a s . . . f l e a s . . . f l e a s . . . f l e a s i n the b r e e z e . . . m o r e . . . p l e a s e ! Tar on the c a r . . C a r i n the t a r . , . t a r . . . c a r . . . t a r . . . t a r on the s t a r . . . f l e a s . . . f l o o r . . . b o g . . . h o g . . . g o g . . . g o r e . . . f l o o r . . . w h o r e . . . m o r e . . . m o r e , m o r e ! (They c o l l a u s e on one another , Heavy b r e a t h i n g . ) ( W i l l i e remains s t a n d i n g . Looks around h i m , now convinced o f h i s omnipotence. Calmy, q u i e t l y , he begins a g a i n . ) WILLIE . Very much l i k e the f i n a l e c s t a sy o f c o p u l a t i o n i s the p lea sure that makes you scream w i t h p a i n . . . t h e scream o f the squashed cucumber . . . the s tubb ing o f a v e r y d e l i c a t e b l u e - v e i n e d toe aga ins t u n r e l e n t i n g c o n c r e t e . P l e a s u r e . . . a n d p a i n . . . t h a t o l d mocking p a i r . . . H o t and c o l d sometimes come together to form a u n i o n n e i t h e r hot nor c o l d , but r a t h e r an u n s a t i s f y i n g , t e a s i n g , f r o z e n burn tha t p i n c h e s , t i n g l e s , and l eaves you f e e l i n g chea ted . I n my o p i n i o n , however, the most in tense c o l d i s not a u n i o n . I t i s the c o l d tha t comes d i r e c t l y a f t e r the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t the c o l d i s c o l d . . . P o r example, the c o l d t h a t f o l l o w s the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t the fog i s f o g . . . t h e v o i c e i s o n l y a f o g h o r n . . . a n d tha t you are the s m a l l e s t f o g c l o t . . . o f them a l l . F i n a l l y , I b e l i e v e t h a t the u l t i m a t e r e a l i z a t i o n i s not t h a t o f the departure o f lovedones , nor that o f pas t y o u t h f u l joys and memories, nor o f the g rea t Parad i se to come, but t h a t o f e l e c t r i c i t y b i l l s r i s i n g . . . h a m b u r g e r s l e f t too l o n g i n the f r i d g e . . . u n d e r w e a r l e f t unwashed . . . and m i r r o r s l e f t s t a r i n g . . . Let u s p r a y . Our Fa ther CROWD. Which a r t i n Heaven. WILLIE . Thy kingdom has come. CROWD. Thy w i l l . . . WILLIE . I s be ing done. CROWD. Give us t h i s day. WILLIE. F a i t h i n our new s a v i o u r . CROWD. And f o r g i v e u s . . . - 3 0 - WILLIE . Por your doubts d u r i n g your l o n g wa i t f o r me. CROWD. As we f o r g i v e tho s e . . . WILLIE . Who s t i l l doubt . CROWD. Lead us n o t . . . WILLIE. O f f the t rue p a t h . For we have a r r i v e d . CROWD. Forever and e v e r . WILLIE . Ever and e v e r . Amen. CROWD. Amen. (A great s i l e n c e ) 2ND MAN. A s a i n t . A t rue s a i n t . 3RD MAN. B e a u t i f u l . 4TH MAN. Possessed by God. 1ST W. Such a powerfu l v o i c e . 2ND W. Such a m a g n i f i c a n t s t a t u r e . 3RD W. Such a p r e t t y f a c e . 4TH W. P l e a s e . . . l e t me touch y o u . WILLIE. T h a t ' s enough. (To women) P l e a s e . Go back. 1ST W. P l e a s e , b l e s s us f i r s t . WILLIE . I b l e s s you a l l . Go i n peace. 2ND W. W e ' l l f o l l o w you f o r e v e r . (They go back i n t o audience) 2ND MAN. Must we go too? (Throwing h i m s e l f a t W i l l i e ' s f e e t ) Oh L o r d , p lease f o r g i v e me. I doubt no l o n g e r . Never a g a i n . P l e a s e . . . y o u r sermon has won me o v e r c o m p l e t e l y . Don ' t send me away. WILLIE . P l e a s e . . . g e t u p . I f o r g i v e y o u . You ' re welcome to s t a y . 2ND MAN. You must l e t me serve y o u . I must prove mysel f to y o u . Let me be your d i s c i p l e . I w i l l f o l l o w i n your f o o t s t e p s . . . I w i l l s u f f e r a l l h u m i l i a t i o n . . . i n s u l t and d e p r i v a t i o n . . . i f you w i l l o n l y l e t me f o l l o w y o u . 3RD MAN. Yes , we must be your d i s c i p l e s ! 4TH MAN. We saw you f i r s t . I t i s o n l y r i g h t tha t we should be named as those c l o s e s t to y o u . - 31 - 2ND MAN, Mas te r , honor me. You w i l l never f i n d a more devoted f o l l o w e r from t h i s moment o n . You must g ive me a chance. WILLIE . 2ND MAN. 3RD MAN. WILLIE. 3RD MAN. 4TH MAN. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. WILLIE . 1ST MAN. WILLIE . 1ST MAN. WILLIE . 1ST MAN. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. WILLIE. 2ND MAN. 3RD MAN. 4TH MAN. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. WILLIE. 1ST MAN. P l e a s e . . . t h i s i s too much. You are my d i s c i p l e . Dear Mas te r , thank y o u . You w i l l never r e g r e t i t . And me L o r d . And me. Yes , you as w e l l . (To 4__) And you t o o . I am honored. I w i l l never f o r g e t t h i s moment. (Who has been watching the 1ST MAN) And you? Lord? So q u i e t ? I am overwhelmed. With what? Your g rea tnes s . W i l l you be my d i s c i p l e ? Yes , i f you w i s h . Do you wish? L o r d , my w i s h i s your w i s h . But t h i s doesn ' t s a t i s f y me. He has always been l i k e t h a t . Unplea sant . Overbear ing . Commit y o u r s e l f . You doubt me. I never s a i d t h a t . But you t h i n k t h a t . T h i s i s so u n i m p o r t a n t . Look. They a l l grow r e s t l e s s . They want you among them. You have been so s u c c e s s f u l . Your success i s what i s i m p o r t a n t . WILLIE . 1ST MAN. Your f a i t h i s what i s i m p o r t a n t . Then you have i t , f o r God's sake! WILLIE . No. I never have . 1ST MAN. P l e a s e . . . l e a v e i t a l o n e . 2ND MAN. He d i s p l e a s e d y o u . Let us d r i v e out away. He i s not worthy o f your concern . 3RD MAN. He i s a degenerate . 4-TH MAN. There i s no s o u l i n h i m . WILLIE . And y e t . . . b e f o r e . . . h e was your l e a d e r . 1ST MAN. B e f o r e . . . w h e n we had no f a i t h . . . 3RD MAN. Not now. 4TH MAN. He i s e a s i l y r e p l a c e a b l e . 1ST MAN. They ' re r i g h t . I f I d i s p l e a s e y o u , l e t me go. WILLIE . You c a n ' t go . I know y o u . 2ND MAN. L o r d , may I speak? Most o f the crowd out there has seen n o t h i n g . I f i t i s so impor tant f o r you to convince t h i s man; w o u l d n ' t another m i r a c l e do i t ? A t the same time the r e s t o f the people would see i t as w e l l and t h e i r f a i t h would be doubled . 3RD MAN. Yes , another m i r a c l e ! 4TH MAN. To double our f a i t h ! 1ST MAN. P o o l s ! 2ND MAN. J e s u s . . . y o u remember . . .walked on the w a v e s . . . s t i l l e d the angry s e a s . . . d i s t r i b u t e d bread and f i s h e s to the crowd when they were h u n g r y . . . a f t e r the sermon, you remember? Don ' t you t h i n k t h a t something o f t h i s s o r t may be needed? 1ST MAN. He has a l r e a d y g i v e n us the g rea te s t m i r a c l e o f a l l . The one C h r i s t saved f o r the l a s t . 2ND MAN. I would a l e r t the crowd. 3RD MAN. A l l the doubters would be t h e r e . 4TH MAN. They would see and t r e m b l e . . . j u s t as we have . 2ND MAN. Not f o r u s . . . w h o a l r e a d y k n o w . . . b u t f o r the m u l t i t u d e s . . . 1ST MAN. The m u l t i t u d e s f o l l o w e d Jesus through f a i t h . . . 2ND MAN. W e ' l l prepare the u n b e l i e v e r s and r e p o r t e r s so t h a t they can t e l l o f t h i s m i r a c l e to a l l o f the w o r l d . - 3 3 - 1ST MAN. Y o u ' l l go nowhere. Don ' t g ive the people any more, my L o r d . You have g i v e n enough, b e l i e v e me. WILLIE . So, once more you wish to g ive o r d e r s . (To 2nd) Go. 2ND MAN. I am g o i n g , L o r d . I t i s your g r e a t e s t command. 3RD MAN. We w i l l prepare everyone. 4TH MAN. A l l the w o r l d w i l l be c o n v i n c e d . 1ST MAN. No I 2ND MAN. You w i l l never g ive o rder s to me a g a i n . (Laughs and E x i t s w i tii 3 r d and 4th) 1ST MAN. They are f o o l s I C a l l them back. Don ' t make t h i s m i s t a k e . WILLIE. Mi s t ake? 1ST MAN. I t i s a mistake to be tempted. WILLIE . You w i l l watch a g a i n , and' you w i l l b e l i e v e t h i s t i m e . 1ST MAN. Don ' t do i t f o r me. I t ' s unnecessary . WILLIE . I do i t f o r y o u . 1ST MAN. But I 'm begging you not t o ! (The men c i r c u l a t e among the audience) 2ND MAN. The m i r a c l e i s to be repea ted ! 3RD MAN. Everyone prepare y o u r s e l v e s . 4TH MAN. B r i n g your f r i e n d s ! CROWD. The m i r a c l e ! 2ND MAN. I t won ' t be l o n g . 3RD MAN. Watch the c l i f f ! CROWD. H o r r a y . . . t h e m i r a c l e a g a i n ! 1ST MAN. D o n ' t do i t ! WILLIE . Soon y o u ' l l b e l i e v e l i k e the o t h e r s . . . a n d when you d o . . . o n l y then w i l l I be c e r t a i n . 1ST MAN. But i s i t not b e t t e r to be 99$ c e r t a i n o f a t h i n g , than to take a chance i n o rder to make i t 100$? WILLIE . There i s no chance. - 34 - 1 S T MAN. I s i t not b e t t e r to be almost c e r t a i n o f a t h i n g and to have e v e r y t h i n g than to take a chance i n o r d e r to be comple te ly c e r t a i n and to l o s e a l l ? WILLIE . You t h i n k I ' l l d ie? 1 S T MAN. A l l the p o s s i b i l i t i e s have to be c o n s i d e r e d . CROWD. The m i r a c l e . Where i s he? (The men r e t u r n ) 2ND MAN. E v e r y t h i n g i s ready , my L o r d . 3RD MAN. They are overcome w i t h exc i tement . 1 S T MAN. (To 2nd) You've made a c i r c u s out o f t h i s . 2ND MAN. But y o u ' r e the one who s t a r t e d i t a l l . 3RD MAN. L e t ' s run him o u t ! WILLIE. Quie t . I need him h e r e . ( W i l l i e ' s f a t h e r and mother e n t e r s , loaded w i t h t o y s , e t c . ) FATHER. Son, t h i s i s a proud moment f o r your o l d dad. MOTHER. W e ' l l be r i g h t up f r o n t , dear . 1 S T MAN. I t can s t i l l be s topped. Recons ider . FATHER. T h i s i s the great event we've been w a i t i n g f o r . MOTHER. A l l those p e o p l e . I t ' s so e x c i t i n g . 2ND MAN. Are you ready , Lord? WILLIE . I n a m i n u t e . . . I n a m i n u t e . . . 1 S T MAN. C a l l i t o f f , now. WILLIE. I d o n ' t know. FATHER. W i l l i e . I ' d l i k e to speak to y o u . (Taking him a s i d e ) You bending under the burden o f f a m e . . . a l r e a d y . . . s o n ? 1 S T MAN. (To Mother) I f you love your son , d o n ' t l e t him jump. MOTHER. Who do you t h i n k you are? We've been l i v i n g f o r t h i s moment. FATHER. T h i s i s the great t e s t , son . T h i s i s the supreme moment. You have to prove y o u r s e l f . You ' re too much a man to back out on a l l t h i s now. You c a n ' t t u r n back. Pres s f o r w a r d . . . s o n . . . b r a v e l y . . . Y o u can do i t . - 35 - 2ND MAN. L o r d , are you ready? FATHER. H e ' s ready . W e ' l l be w a t c h i n g , W i l l i e . MOTHER. Don ' t l e t us down, dear . FATHER. T h a t ' s my boyI (They e x i t ) WILLIE . Even my parents b e l i e v e i n me. 1ST MAN. I f i t ' s anyone, i t ' s y o u . WILLIE . Then why s h o u l d n ' t I do i t again? 1ST MAN. Why tempt f a t e ? I w o u l d n ' t . WILLIE . Y o u ' r e not the s a v i o u r . 2ND MAN. The crowd i s r e s t l e s s , L o r d . 3RD MAN. F a c e s . . . f r o m one h i l l to another . 4TH MAN. S t r a i n i n g to s e e . . . 2ND MAN. L i s t e n to your mother and f a t h e r . FATHER. (Who i s c i r c u l a t i n g i n the audience) Step r i g h t u p . Be one o f the f i r s t to own a h o l y r e l i c ! MOTHER. 2ND MAN. W I L L I E . 1ST MAN. 2ND MAN. WILLIE . 1ST MAN. W I L L I E . ( F o l l o w i n g ) M i r a c l e cures . . .made by the s a v i o u r h i m s e l f . The time i s now, L o r d . Yes , I 'm g o i n g . P l e a s e . . . d o n ' t . Le t me h e l p y o u . T h i s i s the g r e a t e s t moment o f a l l . No, I w i l l go a l o n e , as b e f o r e . (To 1ST) Good-bye. Good-bye, My L o r d . I ' l l be back. V/atch me. FATHER. There he goes! I n a minute these p r e c i o u s keepsakes w i l l be worth three t imes t h e i r present v a l u e . Buy now! MOTHER. M i r a c l e a i r p l a n e s . . . e a c h t i n y p a r t g lued by h i s own hands. They a l s o f l y ! FATHER. You ' re the d i s c i p l e s , a r e n ' t you? You, o f a l l people should set an example. You must own a h o l y souveni r f o r the sake o f the peop le . - 36 - MOTHER. Own the sacred words themselves , as w r i t t e n i n the s c h o o l - books o f the h o l y c h i l d h i m s e l f . There , f o l k s , h e ' s c l i m b i n g ! I n a few seconds no-one w i l l be ab le to a f f o r d these museum p i e c e s . (The 1 S T man detatches h i m s e l f from the o t h e r s , tu rns away) 2ND MAN. I ' l l have one o f those books . Maybe a f t e r h e ' l l s i g n i t f o r me. WILLIE . I am a t the t o p . Watch me! (Cheers) MOTHER. Now i s the moment. Buy! Buy! FATHER. And f o r y o u , the c h a i n he wore about h i s neck as a c h i l d . H u r r y , h u r r y , h u r r y , f o l k s . The great moment i s n e a r l y upon u s . W I L L I E . Are you ready f o r me? 2ND MAN. Yes , y e s , ye s ! CROWD. Yes ! FATHER. Las t chance! Las t chance to be the proud owner o f the s a v i o u r ' s own tee s h i r t s . MOTHER. Cut r a t e p r i c e s ! We c a n ' t guarantee them a f t e r the jump! 1 S T MAN. Jump, jump, jump, jump, jump! CROWD. Jump, jump, jump, jump, jump! (A great chant and stamping o f f e e t . ) WILLIE . I know who I am! I f i n a l l y know who I am! (Jumps) FATHER. There he goes! 2ND MAN. Le t me h e l p you u p , L o r d . 3RD MAN. I 'm a f r a i d . 4TH MAN. Me, t o o . ( W i l l i e i s l y i n g s t i l l ) 2ND MAN. (Knee l ing ) Get up L o r d . Get u p . . . p l e a s e . . .You 've h u r t y o u r s e l f . Let me h e l p you r i s e . Make your body whole a g a i n . . . P l e a s e ! 1 S T MAN. (Walking over to the body, and l o o k i n g a t him) H e ' l l never get up a g a i n . 3RD MAN. We almost had a s a v i o u r . - 37 - FATHER. ( E n t e r i n g onstage) D r i n k from the same cup tha t touched . the p r e c i o u s baby l i p s o f our L o r d . MOTHER. Use the same f o r k t h a t was c l u t c h e d by the tender , chubby hands o f the h o l y c h i l d . . . (Father sees W i l l i e ) FATHER. W i l l i e ! How c o u l d you l e t your f a t h e r down l i k e t h i s ! MOTHER. (Screams) W i l l y , get up t h i s i n s t a n t ! How c o u l d you do t h i s h o r r i b l e t h i n g to your mother! 3RD MAN. Give me back my money! 4TH MAN. You know where you can shove t h i s s t u p i d s o u v e n i r ! FATHER. Come, mother, time to l e a v e . (They e x i t i n a h u r r y ) 1ST MAN. (Taking charge again) Le t them go. There are more important t h i n g s to do. C l e a r the a r e a . Send the people home. Get r i d o f the body. You two, take him o u t . ( 3 rd and 4 t h drag out the body) (To 2nd) You, t e l l the people to go home. 2ND MAN. Yes . (To crowd) Everyone, go home. I t was a f a l s e a l a r m . A m i s t a k e . Go home. 3RD, 4TH. (Returning) That makes 29 now. 2ND MAN. Look, someone i s coming. 3RD MAN. Looks l i k e a s u i c i d e . 4TH MAN. He c o u l d be the one! 1ST MAN. A l l r i g h t . Quie t . Watch. (They stand i n the same pose as before and watch) * *x**x Hx xx x

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