NANKO Exactly! Exactly! I used to be a schoolmaster, you know, in the old days; and, if you knew what I know, you’d understand, my dear, it’s entirely a question of the survival of the fittest! The survival of the fittest! That’s what it is.
ARRAM Wouldn’t they have done the same to us, if they’d had the chance? We’ve got women and children at home snivelling and saying, “O my God, O my God,” just like you. Don’t you trouble about God. What can He do when both sides go down on their marrow-bones? He can’t make both sides win, can He?
O God! God! God!
MICHAEL [Getting up and standing in front of her.] Look here. We’ve had enough of this music. We’ve been cutting throats all day, and now we want to unbuckle a bit. There’ll be hell to pay when the other boys come back. A pretty wild-goose chase you’ve sent them on, too, with your tale about the old Jew’s money-bags. What was the game? You seemed mighty anxious to wheedle us all out of the house; and you’d never get out of the village alive to-night. Listen to that!
[There is an uproar outside, a shot, and a woman’s scream, followed by the terrified cry of a child: “Ah! Ah! Father!”]
ARRAM The men are mad with zaki and blood and—other things. There’s no holding them in, even from the children. What chance would there be for a fine-looking wench like yourself?
MICHAEL Don’t tell me you were going out into that? [He points in the direction of the uproar.] Something to hide on the spot, eh? Well, now you’ve got the others out of the way, we’re going to have a look. What’s in there? [He points to the little door on the left.]
RADA [Rising to her feet slowly, steadying herself with one hand against the wall, and fixing her eyes on his face.] This is war, isn’t it? If I choose to revenge myself on those I hate— listen to me. I suppose you—want money. And I can tell you where to find it.
Another wild-goose chase to the other end of the valley?
RADA No. In the old mill-house. Not a hundred yards away. Money, money enough to make us all rich. But [a cunning expression comes into her face] if I tell you where to find it, you must come back and give me my share.
MICHAEL [Staring at her.] Another pack of lies! What are you up to, eh?
ARRAM It’s been too much for her nerves. Don’t worry her, or she’ll go out of her mind, and then there’ll be nobody to get us our supper.
NANKO That would be selfish, Rada. You know it’s Christmas Eve. Nobody ought to think of unpleasant things on Christmas Eve. I don’t think it’s right to spoil people’s pleasure on Christmas Eve. What have you done with the Christmas tree, Rada?
ARRAM And who’s to blame? That’s what I want to know. You don’t blame us, do you? Why, as likely as not, we shall be fighting on your side against somebody else before next Christmas.