You are the support of the army. We go to the dogs, if you leave us.
[Sitting at the desk.
So? “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.” He suggests. So do I suggest—something different.
[In front of the map again.
Three hundred thousand men here, turning the flank of a possible army marching north with that ridge of mountains as a cover—If we can only have the chance!
[Studying the message, suddenly.
By Heaven! If—
What is it? You look as if—
If nothing! Bring me some claret out of that inexhaustible cabinet of yours.
[He draws his pen through a section of the message. The MINISTER OF WAR goes to a cabinet in the rear wall and brings forth a decanter of claret and glasses.
[Pouring a glassful for the PRIME MINISTER.
Here, dear old Titan.
[Gulping it down.
Thanks. More. And cigars.
[The MINISTER OF WAR refills the glass and brings cigars. The PRIME MINISTER wreathes himself in smoke.
[With his back still turned to the others.
I planned this campaign first some twenty years ago. But there was no navy then to speak of, and no airships. It is more intricate now, but very much more interesting as an intellectual problem.
[Indicating his glass.
Another, good man.
You’re smelling blood when you drink like that.
[Turning to the CHIEF OF STAFF.
Here! You old death’s head! You are prepared, you say?
I have been making my plans for twenty years. The present plans have been complete, except for slight revisions, for three years.