For God’s sake, what’s up?
What d’ye mean?
They’ve declared war!
Senator, you’re left.
[With a sob.
God! You buzzard! You buzzard!
[A band in the distance strikes up the national anthem. GROSVENOR, CONROY, POLLEN, TANEY and MAYNARD stand. HARRADAN sinks into a chair.
Senator, it’s the national anthem. Haven’t you got any patriotism?
[GROSVENOR opens the windows. The notes of the anthem are drowned out by shouts and cries and the calls of newsboys.
[The anthem sounds loud and clear, but HARRADAN buries his face in his hands. The stage is gradually darkened. The music grows fainter as if the band were marching away; and now and then the shouts of the crowd make themselves heard above it. These subside, too, into a low, muffled roar, sullen and ominous.
[The stage grows light again. In the foreground, a black group of trees may be dimly discerned; beyond are indistinct hills and the last glow of a bloody sunset. Smoke and dust blacken the scene. Even before the cloud breaks to reveal the valley for a moment, the low roar is suddenly broken by the rattle of musketry, followed by the booming of artillery and the drumming sound of the machine guns. A trumpet sounds the charge. The dust cloud breaks. A thickly crowded mass of men is vaguely seen through the twilight charging with cries and curses. The rear ranks press over the fallen, waver, shout and fall back. The rattle of musketry continues. The men return to the charge, are repulsed once more with awful slaughter and again return. The dust cloud passes over the scene. It is night now. The wounded are tossing on the field, shrieking. Ghouls prowl about. A flock of buzzards flies across the moon. In the distance is heard a shout of victory, then the national anthem once more, played by a trumpeter. A thousand voices seem to rise out of the ground, moaning, drowning out the music. Then a woman’s voice, clear and distinct.