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Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Paul Kauvar; or, Anarchy eBook

Steele MacKaye
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 58 pages of information about Representative Plays by American Dramatists.

I will.—­Be quick; we’re wasting time.

[JEAN crosses to door and beckons; enter LA HOGUE, LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN and DENISE.

PAUL.

[Putting off his coat and crossing.]

General, off with your coat!

LA ROCHE.

What does this mean?

PAUL.

You were merciful to me—­’tis my turn now!  We exchange uniforms; I am captured in your place, mislead your pursuers while you escape.

LA ROCHE.

For you to assist me is treason to your cause.

PAUL.

Ingratitude is treason to my God!—­I owe you more than life; let men call this what they will; I have a divine right to pay my debt.

LA ROCHE.

I refuse to let you do a deed that may bring dishonour on your head.

PAUL.

Then I refuse to owe my life to you.—­Accept my assistance, or

[Drawing pistol from the belt of LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.] with my own hand I’ll shoot the prisoner you paroled.

LA HOGUE.

[Grasping PAUL’S arm.]

Stop!  This can be arranged.

PAUL.

How?

LA HOGUE.

You are a prisoner on parole.—­The General is as good as captured now.—­Let him release you from your word, then his escape will only be an exchange of prisoners.

PAUL.

Will you consent to this?

LA ROCHE.

No, I cannot.  The exchange would not be fair to the side you serve.  I am a General; you, but a Captain.

LA HOGUE.

But we have the other prisoners, the comrades of the Captain; we can shoot them all at once, or exchange them if we choose for you.

PAUL.

Free them—­and I but make a fair exchange in helping you to get away.

[Shouts outside.

[Cheers.

JEAN.

My God!  The crowd rush on this way.

DENISE.

[Kneeling to LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.]

In Mercy’s name—!

LA HOGUE.

The King’s cause dies with you!—­You are bound to live for him!

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