War Brides: A Play in One Act eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 19 pages of information about War Brides.

[Hedwig quickly seizes the pistol from the mantel-shelf and moves to the bedroom door.

Amelia, watching her, sees her do it, and cries out in alarm and rushes to take it from her.]

Amelia: [In horror.]

Hedwig!  What are you doing?  Give it to me!  No, you must not!  You have too much to live for.

[Illustration:  AMELIA:  No, you must not!  You have too much to live for.]

Hedwig: [Dazed.]

To live for?  Me?

Amelia:

Why, yes, you are going to be a mother.

Hedwig:

A mother?  Like her? [Looks sadly at the bereaved old mother.] Look at her!  Poor Mother!  And they never asked her if she wanted this thing to be!  Oh, no!  I shall never take it like that—­never!  But you are right, Amelia.  I have something to do first.

[Lets Amelia put the pistol away in the cupboard.] I must send a message to the emperor. [The others are more alarmed for her in this mood than in her grief.]

You said you were going to the front to be a nurse, Amelia.  Can you take this message for me?  I might take it myself, perhaps.

Amelia: [Hesitating, not knowing what to say or do.]

Let me give you some tea, Hedwig.

[Voices are heard outside, and the sounds of sorrow.  Some one near the house is weeping.  A wild look and a fierce resolve light Hedwig’s face.]

Hedwig: [Rushing from the house.]

They have taken my Franz!

Mother:

Get her back!  I feared it.  Grief has made her mad.

[Amelia runs out.  A clamor of voices outside.  Hedwig can be heard indistinctly speaking to the women.  Finally her voice alone is heard, and in a moment she appears, backing into the doorway, still talking to the women.]

Hedwig: [A tragic light in her face, and hand uplifted.]

I shall send a message to the emperor.  If ten thousand women send one like it, there will be peace and no more war.  Then they will hear our tears.

A Voice:

What is the message?  Tell us!

Hedwig:

Soon you will know. [Loudly.] But I tell you now, don’t bear any more children until they promise you there will be no more war.

Hertz: [Suddenly appearing.  Amelia follows.]

I heard you.  I declare you under arrest.  Come with me.  You will be shot for treason.

Mother: [Fearfully, drawing him aside.]

Don’t say that, sir.  Wait.  Oh, no, you can’t do that!

[She gets out her work-basket, and shows him the baby things she has been knitting, and glances significantly at Hedwig.  A horrid smile comes into the man’s face.  Hedwig, snatches the things and crushes them to her breast as if sacrilege had been committed.]

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War Brides: A Play in One Act from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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