“The King suggests to the Foreign Office that these facts be put before our Ambassadors abroad, and, to pacify the public mind, be given at once to the newspapers.”
My God, and you want peace!
Well, how do you like it?
He’s backed down, he’s backed down. All the world will be shouting tomorrow how our King has backed down. Christo! To accept defeat before you’ve begun to fight!
[He turns again to the map.
If this other plan should be frustrated by the enemy’s navy, look, we could land here and here and—
[The door opens and the PRIME MINISTER enters. He is a stern, titanic figure in the sixties, sallow-skinned, gray-haired.
[Standing in the doorway.
Good evening, gentlemen. Counting your battalions?
And here, joining our armies at—
Thank God, you’re here. Where in sin have you been?
Home on my estates, saying good-bye to my family.
[He smiles grimly, and with his cane makes a thrust in carte and tierce.
You think you are going to war?
[Taking up the paper the CHIEF OF STAFF has let fall on the desk.
Read that. It came from your office.
[Takes it and begins to read.
Eh? The King? Mediation on his own hook?
[With growing anger.
So? So? So?
[He lets the paper flutter to the floor.
Very good. He can find a new Prime Minister. I resign.
No, you don’t!
We stick together in this. You are not going to resign.
My good friends, I am going to resign.
[He picks up the paper off the floor.
Give me your seat at the desk. On the back of this ignoble parley, my resignation goes to him.