Rada eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 11 pages of information about Rada.

NANKO
Be careful!  Or you’ll smash
The Christmas tree!  You’ll smash the gramophone!

[A soldier tries the door on the right.  Suddenly it is opened from within and RADA appears on the threshold with the revolver in her hand.]

FIRST SOLDIER
Liars!  Liars!

RADA
There is one woman here,
One woman and a child——­
And war they tell me is a noble thing;
It is the mother of heroic deeds,
The nurse of honour, manhood.

SECOND SOLDIER
Christ, a speech!

RADA
Yes, and your training benefits your health.

NANKO
[Who is crouching over the fire again.]
Certainly, Rada!  Military training! 
Life is a battle.

RADA
You hear, drunk as you are,
Up to your necks in blood, you hear this fool,
This poor old fool, piping his dreary cry;
And through his lips, and through his softening brain,
You and the men that buy you, statesmen, kings,
Teach the poor sheep of the world that war is good. 
Go!  Take your manhood out of this.  Or else——­
[She threatens to shoot.]
I have one bullet for the child, and five
To share between you and myself!

FIRST SOLDIER
O, Christ,
A speech!
[They fall back before the revolver as she raises it.]

RADA
If you have children of your own,
Listen to me ...  The child is twelve years old. 
She has never had one hard word spoken to her
In all her life.

FIRST SOLDIER
Nor shall she now, by God! 
Where is she?  Bring her out!

SECOND SOLDIER
Twelve years of age! 
That’s ripe enough for marriage to a soldier.
[They laugh.]

FIRST SOLDIER
She can’t shoot!  Look at the way she’s holding it! 
Duck down and make a rush for it!  Come on!
[Several of them make a rush, RADA steps back and shuts the door in
their faces.
]

SECOND SOLDIER
Locked out, by God!  We’ll have to break it down.

MICHAEL
She’ll keep her word.  You’ll never get ’em alive.

ARRAM
Never.  I know that kind.  You’d better clear out!

FIRST SOLDIER
Come on!  We’ll burst the door.
[They put their shoulders to the door and it begins to give.  ARRAM
makes a sign to MICHAEL, urging him to interfere.  A revolver shot is
heard within.  The men pause, and there is another shot.
]

ARRAM
By God, she’s done it!
[There is a booming of distant artillery.]

MICHAEL
Hear that!  The enemy! 
Making a night attack!
[There is a loud bugle call without.]

ARRAM There goes the bugle! [They all rush out, except NANKO, who looks out into the night after them, then closes the outer door, takes a crystallized plum from the table, crosses the room and stares at the floor, near the door on the right.]

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Rada from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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