Vivat Regina

by Phoebe Roberts

~~~

Dramatis Personae

MRS. VICTORIA HAWKING, lady’s society avenger, early forties
MISS MARY STONE, her housemaid and assistant, early twenties
MR. NATHANIEL HAWKING, her gentleman nephew, late twenties
MRS. JOHANNA BRAUN, a highborn lady, mid twenties
MRS. CLARA HAWKING, Nathaniel’s wife, late twenties
MR. ARTHUR SWANN, a police officer, early twenties
HERR KARSTEN GERHARD, of the German ambassador’s contingent, early forties
Various ladies, gentlemen, embassy guards, policemen

Setting: London, England, 1881

​Set: Optionally, a stylized backdrop that gives the impression of a back wall with a fireplace, with rafters coming forward from the top to give the illusion of a ceiling.

~~~

http://detblirkul.com ACT I

Scene 1

(A fancy Victorian society party. Women glide around in gowns with men in white tie. Waiters carry around trays of champagne glasses and push around serving trolleys. After a moment some peel away from the center, revealing a tall, dark-haired young woman holding a fan to her face. When she moves it aside, we see that it is MARY. She flutters it and speaks seemingly to no one under her breath.)

MARY:

The timing is too coincidental. It has to be someone here. But there’s no sign of them.

(MRS. HAWKING in her stealth suit pokes her head out from her hiding place behind a drapery.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Nonsense. The signs are there, you just aren’t looking properly.

(People approach and MRS. HAWKING hides again. MARY walks quickly away and makes a loop around the party. When people move off again, she returns to the drapery.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Consider the circumstances.

MARY:

The gems are heavy, and there are a number of them. Difficult to secret about one’s person.

MRS. HAWKING:

There’s a start.

MARY:

But there hasn’t been time to go far. They have to still be here somewhere.

MRS. HAWKING:

Sound so far.

(Other guests draw near. She ducks back behind the drapery and MARY acts casual until they leave.)

MARY:

They must have been hidden somewhere nearby. Somewhere within easy reach, but not where others are likely to find them.

MRS. HAWKING:

And where would that be?

MARY:

I… I don’t know.

MRS. HAWKING:

Oh, come now!

(People pass by again and MRS. HAWKING hides. MARY moves to the other side of the stage. MRS. HAWKING pops back out of the drapery on that side.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Think, girl.

MARY:

In the flower arrangements.

MRS. HAWKING:

Too conspicuous to disturb.

(Again MARY moves. MRS. HAWKING disappears behind the drape.)

MARY:

The wall sconces.

MRS. HAWKING:

Not enough concealment.

MARY:

Under the banquet tables?

MRS. HAWKING:

Rank amateurism.

MARY:

The chandelier?

MRS. HAWKING:

Now you’re being absurd. I would have seen them already!

(Someone approaches. MARY sweeps her skirts around so that MRS. HAWKING can hide beneath them.)

MARY:

I don’t know!

MRS. HAWKING:

I said think, Miss Stone! A place nearby, inconspicuous, unlikely to be disturbed, easily accessed to recover the spoils!

(MARY looks about, shaking her head desperately. Then her eye settles on one of the waiters with a serving trolley.)

MARY:

Madam…

MRS. HAWKING:

Now you’ve got it.

MARY:

Shall we, then?

MRS. HAWKING:

Quickly and quietly, now. Go.

(MRS. HAWKING slips out from under MARY’s skirts and back behind the drapery. MARY weaves her way to the waiter. Pretending to look away, MARY moves in front of the trolley and allows it to crash into her.)

MARY:

Oh!

(She dramatically falls over. The waiter startles and hurries to help her up. The other guests watch them in surprise. While they are distracted, MRS. HAWKING darts out of concealment and snatches one of the covered trays off the trolley. She disappears back behind the drapery.)

(After MARY disengages from the waiter, she makes another circuit of the party, accepting people’s concern and gracefully putting them off. At last she settles in front of the drapes again. Her body blocks from view MRS. HAWKING emerging, now in a black maid’s dress, with the tray in her arms.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Mission accomplished. Reconvene at home. About time, Miss Stone.

(She hustles out. MARY smiles.)

get link Scene 2

(The parlor at the Hawking residence. A gas lamp burns, lighting high-backed chairs, a round table, a dark fireplace, and the portrait of MRS. HAWKING’s late husband the Colonel hanging over the mantle. MRS. HAWKING is there still in her disguise, removing it piece by piece. MARY rushes back in through the front with her wrap and hat over her dress, exhilarated.)

MARY:

Oh, that was extraordinary!

MRS. HAWKING:

A task adequately managed, indeed.

MARY:

I did it, I worked it all out, you saw it yourself!

MRS. HAWKING:

Eventually. With some guidance.

MARY:

Still, I did manage!

MRS. HAWKING:

You did at that.

MARY:

And yes, with your guidance. Everything you’ve wanted to teach me, I’ve worked very hard to learn.

MRS. HAWKING:

Yes. Yes, you have.

MARY:

You have seen it, madam, haven’t you?

MRS. HAWKING:

You’ve been a diligent student, Mary. But you’ve a great distance to go yet. The speed at which you think can make the difference between life and death, victory and defeat. Our clients depend on us, as in times of trouble they have nowhere else to turn.

MARY:

(Sighing) Yes, madam.

MRS. HAWKING:

We’ve precious little margin for error. You must constantly endeavor to hone your capabilities if you mean to carry out this work.

MARY:

I understand.

MRS. HAWKING:

Good. Now. Anything else?

(MARY struggles to gather her thoughts and searches around the room.)

MARY:

Ah…. you’ve had some letters.

MRS. HAWKING:

Indeed?

MARY:

There’s one from Nathaniel and his wife.

MRS. HAWKING:

Whatever do they want?

MARY:

They’d like to know if there’s a good time to stop by for a visit.

MRS. HAWKING:

There is not.

MARY:

We could have them–

MRS. HAWKING:

There shall never be a good time for that.

(MARY makes a face, but moves to the next letter.)

MARY:

And another one’s come by messenger, without return address.

(MARY hands it over. She opens it and begins to read.)

MARY:

I believe it’s in the same hand as the last two.

MRS. HAWKING:

That is because they share a sender.

MARY:

Three letters one after the other! Is there… anything to it?

MRS. HAWKING:

No. Nothing to concern yourself with.

(MRS. HAWKING crumples up the letter.)

MRS. HAWKING:

That will be all, Miss Stone.

(She exits, taking the letter with her. MARY sighs and begins gathering up the pieces of her gown.)

see Scene 3

(The next day, MARY dusts in the parlor as the door bell rings. She opens the door to let in NATHANIEL in top hat and long coat.)

NATHANIEL:

Hello, Mary!

MARY:

Nathaniel, good morning! What brings you here?

NATHANIEL:

Just thought I’d pop by to look in on you and Aunt Victoria. See if our cards ever reached you. And… ask about the case.

MARY:

(Laughing) Oh! Well, last night–

NATHANIEL:

I’ve had an idea, you know.

MARY:

Nathaniel.

NATHANIEL:

The thief was clearly someone with familiarity with the private areas of the house–

MARY:

Nathaniel. We solved it last night.

NATHANIEL:

You did? It was Gilchrist, wasn’t it?

MARY:

It was! He disguised himself as a footman.

NATHANIEL:

Ah!

MARY:

If only we’d spoken a day ago.

NATHANIEL:

Ah, well. Congratulations are in order, I suppose.

(Enter MRS. HAWKING, reading a book.)

NATHANIEL:

Good day, Auntie!

MRS. HAWKING:

Oh, Nathaniel, it’s you. What are you doing here?

NATHANIEL:

Well, since it seems you’ve so much work you never have time to visit, I’d meant to offer some thoughts on the current case. But Mary’s told me it’s been handled.

MRS. HAWKING:

Indeed. You may be on your way then.

NATHANIEL:

You know, Clara and I have been wanting to have you to tea, or supper or something, for some time now.

MRS. HAWKING:

As you’ve observed, I’m far too busy for social calls.

MARY:

But we’ve just wrapped things up, so there’s no reason you can’t stay for tea now. May I take your hat and coat?

(NATHANIEL doffs his top hat and she crosses to him to take it. When she is near, MARY leans in to look closely at his face.)

MARY:

I say, Nathaniel— is that a bruise?

NATHANIEL:

Oh, this? It’s nothing, I assure you.

MARY:

Nothing? You look as if you’ve taken quite a bash!

MRS. HAWKING:

Wherever did you get that?

NATHANIEL:

Just— from sport.

MRS. HAWKING:

Sport? Taken up boxing, have you?

NATHANIEL:

As a matter of fact.

MRS. HAWKING:

Surely you’re joking.

NATHANIEL:

Not at all, Auntie.

MARY:

Why on earth have you done that?

NATHANIEL:

Well— if you must know— it’s to make myself more useful to you. In your work. So I can handle myself and lend another arm if things come to it!

MRS. HAWKING:

Nathaniel. Going a few rounds of gentleman’s boxing is hardly going to ready you for the sort of roughs we encounter.

NATHANIEL:

It isn’t right to just hang back and leave it to you ladies. What kind of man would that make me?

MRS. HAWKING:

Ha!

NATHANIEL:

Go ahead and laugh. But how do you think I feel, knowing the two of you are putting yourselves in danger and I’m not fit to help you?

MRS. HAWKING:

I don’t think you quite understand. There are no Marquess of Queensbury rules when you’re fighting for your life.

NATHANIEL:

Even Mary’s had to handle herself. And she just a girl!

MARY:

Sir!

NATHANIEL:

No offense intended, Mary. But if you can swing that poker of yours, surely I’m worth a crack or two.

(MARY looks to MRS. HAWKING, who sighs and puts her book aside.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Very well, then, Nathaniel. If you mean to have a go, have a go at me.

NATHANIEL:

I beg your pardon?

MRS. HAWKING:

If you think you’re fit to take on a real threat.

NATHANIEL:

I say, Auntie, how could I?

MRS. HAWKING:

You ought to know what you’re up against. Show me what you’re made of.

NATHANIEL:

I don’t know—

MRS. HAWKING:

Take his coat, Mary.

(He and MARY look at each other a moment. Then he shakes his head and throws up his hands. She steps forward and he shrugs out of his jacket. She places it aside as he begins turning up his shirt cuffs.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Now come on!

(Uncertainly, NATHANIEL puts up his fists and advances on her. He takes a few half-hearted swings, which she dodges easily as she walks backward.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Is that all? You must do better than that!

(NATHANIEL starts punching in earnest, but still she evades him easily. At last he throws himself at her, and she moves like lightning, landing a sound blow between his shoulder blades that knocks him to the ground.)

MRS. HAWKING:

And if you can’t, you’d best keep out of the way.

(She exits. MARY rushes over to NATHANIEL as he pulls himself up off the ground.)

NATHANIEL:

Well, I’ve made a fool of myself.

MARY:

Oh, not at all.

NATHANIEL:

Go on.

MARY:

She’s been in training for years.

NATHANIEL:

And made short work of me.

MARY:

For my part, I think it’s quite noble of you. That you’re not content to hang back out of harm’s way.

NATHANIEL:

Still, perhaps she’s right. Perhaps I’m not cut out for this.

MARY:

There’s more to this work than knives and brawling. It’s not the end of everything to not be a martial man.

NATHANIEL:

Here now! I’ve a martial side. Why, I’ll have you know I served my bit a few years back!

MARY:

You did?

NATHANIEL:

Don’t sound so surprised!

MARY:

Forgive me, it’s only… well, you’re a gentleman.

NATHANIEL:

And I’ve lived a soft life accordingly, is that it?

MARY:

It isn’t necessarily to be expected of a gentleman.

NATHANIEL:

Miss Stone, I idolized my uncle from the time I was a boy. I’ve spent my whole life wanting to be like him. You can bet that when I was old enough I stepped up to serve my queen and country just as he did.

MARY:

My, sir! Well, I am sorry I expected any less. I am duly impressed.

NATHANIEL:

Oh, you ought not to be.

MARY:

It’s very admirable! You must tell me sometime of your adventures as a dashing servant of the empire.

NATHANIEL:

It was hardly that. Yes, I enlisted when I was twenty or so, before I was married. But do you know where they stationed me?

MARY:

India? Singapore?

NATHANIEL:

Newcastle. At the naval headquarters in the north country. When they learned I was a finance man they assigned me to keep the books for the armory.

MARY:

I see.

NATHANIEL:

Hardly the adventure I imagined it. And not much in the Colonel’s style.

MARY:

They saw you had a talent and they put it to use, though. I can’t help but think we ought to do the same.

NATHANIEL:

I did so want to be of use to her somehow.

MARY:

And so you will. Who knows, Nathaniel? We may run up against something that only you can do.

(Pause. Then NATHANIEL laughs.)

NATHANIEL:

That was quite a belt she gave me. I wonder how long she’s wanted to do that.

opzione binaria definita Scene 4

(In the evening, MARY and MRS. HAWKING sit in the parlor in their nightdress, the maid sewing and her mistress writing in her notebooks. After a moment, they are startled to hear the bell ring.)

MARY:

At this hour?

MRS. HAWKING:

It’s not unheard of in an emergency.

(The bell rings again, twice more in quick succession.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Hm. Best hurry, Miss Stone.

(MARY runs to open the door and a lady steps in. She is finely dressed but has a tired, worn air about her, and she appears aged beyond her middle-twenty years. She speaks with a very slight German accent.)

MARY:

Hawking residence.

MRS. BRAUN:

I must speak to the lady of the house.

MARY:

Who may I say is calling?

MRS. BRAUN:

You may address me as Mrs. Johanna Braun. Is she about?

MRS. HAWKING:

Mrs. Braun. I should have expected this.

MRS. BRAUN:

Forgive the intrusion, madam. But when you did not respond to my letters, I feared perhaps they did not reach you.

MRS. HAWKING:

On the contrary.

MRS. BRAUN:

The circumstances require immediate action. It is a matter of the utmost importance.

MRS. HAWKING:

So you said.

MRS. BRAUN:

Then… will you not come to my aid?

MRS. HAWKING:

The lady will need to give me better reason than urgency.

MRS. BRAUN:

The… the lady?

MRS. HAWKING:

Despite how you’ve introduced yourself, surely you do not expect me to mistake you for one of the rabble.

MARY:

Perhaps madam could… explain her situation?

(MARY gestures her to a chair. MRS. BRAUN looks at her as if surprised that she’s still there, but after a brief hesitation she sits.)

MRS. BRAUN:

It’s… it’s rather a difficult thing to speak of…

MRS. HAWKING:

If the lady could please come to her point.

MRS. BRAUN:

Very well… what would it require for you to kidnap a man from the German embassy?

(Pause.)

MRS. HAWKING:

I beg your pardon?

MRS. BRAUN:

I would have you abscond with a man hiding within the German embassy without being detected.

MRS. HAWKING:

Why?

MRS. BRAUN:

I cannot say.

MRS. HAWKING:

I’m afraid I won’t be undertaking any venture so ludicrous as that without some semblance of reason.

MRS. BRAUN:

It is a matter of extreme delicacy!

MRS. HAWKING:

So is every matter I deal with.

MRS. BRAUN:

I assure you, madam, this is worthy of your efforts. Not only would you be righting a grave wrong, you would be doing a great service to queen and country. So will you help me?

(Pause.)

MRS. HAWKING:

No.

MARY:

No?

MRS. BRAUN:

But you must!

MRS. HAWKING:

No, there is no must.

MARY:

Madam, perhaps we ought to–

MRS. BRAUN:

Name your price.

MRS. HAWKING:

I am not to be bought.

MRS. BRAUN:

Anything you desire!

MRS. HAWKING:

No, no, madam. I do not care what state secrets have been released, what risk your husband has put to his career, nor what precise military strategy has been trammeled up. I am not for use by the establishment, and you may take that message back to whomever has sent you here.

MRS. BRAUN:

No one sent me!

MARY:

But surely, Mrs. Hawking–

MRS. BRAUN:

You are my only recourse!

MRS. HAWKING:

Miss Stone, show Mrs. Braun the door.

(MARY looks at her helplessly, then reluctantly obeys. MRS. HAWKING turns to walk from the room.)

MARY:

I am so sorry, madam, but–

MRS. BRAUN:

It is for my maid!

(MRS. HAWKING stops but does not turn.)

MARY:

Your maid?

(Pause.)

MARY:

What happened to her?

MRS. BRAUN:

You see… there is a man in the contingent of the German ambassador by the name of Herr Cristoph Austerlitz, a landed gentleman with a title. I had no thought for him, until one evening when I called for Hannah, my lady’s maid, and she came to me in a terrible state. Distracted, shaking, eyes rimmed red with tears. When I asked what was troubling her, she tried to pretend as if it were nothing, but at last she told me. This man, the attache… he had outraged her in the servants’ quarters.

MARY:

Good heavens. The poor creature…

MRS. BRAUN:

It is for her sake and her suffering that I come to you now.

MARY:

Can you not call for this man’s arrest?

MRS. BRAUN:

There is no proof! Only the word of a maid girl. And he has diplomatic protection as an ambassador of an allied power. Even if I could take the matter to the authorities… I was forbidden from laying such accusations. That is why I turn to you.

MRS. HAWKING:

To propose that we should take him, against his will and without detection, from the German consulate.

MRS. BRAUN:

Since the incident he has hidden away in there. He thinks himself untouchable so long as he does not emerge. It has placed him beyond the reach of all laws of the realm… but not beyond yours. If all that I have heard is true.

MRS. HAWKING:

And what is it that you want from him?

MRS. BRAUN:

Justice. For Miss Mason, the blameless girl he has outraged who may have it by no other means.

MARY:

Why did you not tell us about her?

MRS. BRAUN:

Because I presume to see a lord taken to task for a maid. I could not risk madam’s disbelief or dismissal. As everyone else I’ve turned to has done.

MARY:

We will not turn you away for that.

(MARY shoots a significant glance at MRS. HAWKING.)

MRS. BRAUN:

I see that now. But there is no time to lose. They could spirit him out of the country at any moment, and then he would escape forever. I cannot permit that to happen, but… I cannot accomplish it alone. So please, Mrs. Hawking… Miss Stone… I beg you. Please help me.

MARY:

Madam? What do you say?

(MRS. HAWKING turns back to look at MRS. BRAUN.)

MRS. HAWKING:

We’ll do it.

source Scene 5

(The parlor the next day. MARY and MRS. HAWKING stand at a table, with a spread of papers laid about before them.)

MARY:

What is our plan of attack?

MRS. HAWKING:

Embassies are kept secure, so it will certainly be defended. We must investigate the premises, determine its weak points, and from there devise a way to capture our quarry without detection.

MARY:

However are we going to manage it?

MRS. HAWKING:

We’ll decide once we know what we’re up against. The real trouble shall be what to do with him after we’ve taken him.

MARY:

Shan’t that be up to Mrs. Braun?

MRS. HAWKING:

Perhaps. But it isn’t as if she may hand him over to the authorities.

MARY:

What else can be done?

(MRS. HAWKING toys with her knife.)

MRS. HAWKING:

For a villain of this stripe, I can think of something…

MARY:

Madam! You don’t suppose she intends that we…?

MRS. HAWKING:

I would.

MARY:

I’m sure that doesn’t sit right with me, even for a brute like that.

MRS. HAWKING:

Well, no matter now. We shall cross that bridge when we come to it.

(MARY begins straightening up the papers on the table.)

MARY:

Madam… may I ask you something?

MRS. HAWKING:

You may.

MARY:

Why was it that you were so unwilling to help Mrs. Braun?

MRS. HAWKING:

I am not an errand-runner for hire by wealthy matrons.

MARY:

You have helped highborn ladies before.

MRS. HAWKING:

She made the mistake of invoking some duty to the empire.

MARY:

It’s rather the proper thing, isn’t it? For queen and country.

MRS. HAWKING:

Oh, spare me. It was practically my husband’s battle cry and the motto by which he lived his life.

MARY:

Is it really so different from what you do? Serving others, something greater than yourself?

MRS. HAWKING:

And what might that be?

MARY:

I should think it is in the service of the realm to make it a more just place.

MRS. HAWKING:

Oh, the lady simply thought to appeal to my patriotism. Vivat regina! Obligation to our queen, and the grand social order she laid down!

MARY:

I might have thought you’d admire her.

MRS. HAWKING:

The queen? That factory for children, bent on dominion over white dandies and brown savages?

MARY:

Madam!

MRS. HAWKING:

A woman of whims and rages whose existence was so built around her husband that she would keep the whole nation frozen in grief for twenty years after.

MARY:

I always thought there was something romantic about that.

MRS. HAWKING:

For one’s sun to rise and set over a man?

MARY:

Perhaps not that, but… she loved him very much.

MRS. HAWKING:

She is not the first to lose her head and her self for falling in love.

MARY:

She is still a woman mistress of the most powerful empire in all the world.

MRS. HAWKING:

Indeed. And if she chose, she could put that power to work changing this world in which we all suffer. Instead, she defends it to maintain her own position. I mean to tear down the crumbling walls of London, not shore them back up. No, Mary, you may not toss about “for queen and country” with me.

MARY

I suppose I never thought about all that.

MRS. HAWKING:

But you must. If you are to make your way at this, you must keep the end in mind. We are to stand for the victims of the system, not its enforcers. You mustn’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of for your soft heart.

(There is an insistent, repeated ringing of the bell. A voice can be heard calling from outside.)

CLARA:

Aunt Victoria! Aunt Victoria!

MRS. HAWKING:

Oh, for God’s sake.

MARY:

Who is that?

MRS. HAWKING:

Pretend we’re not at home.

MARY:

Madam!

CLARA:

Aunt Victoria, I know you’re in there!

(MARY gestures helplessly at the door.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Very well, then. It seems, Mary, you shall have the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Mrs. Hawking.

MARY:

I beg your pardon?

MRS. HAWKING:

Not me. The other Mrs. Hawking.

(MARY opens the door to reveal CLARA HAWKING. She pushes into the room past MARY in a flurry of activity and sweeping skirts.)

CLARA:

Aunt Victoria!

MRS. HAWKING:

Clara.

(She rushes over and kisses MRS. HAWKING’s cheek.)

CLARA:

Forgive my pushing in, but it seemed like just the right moment to catch you! We haven’t seen you since Christmas, you know. I was beginning to worry that you might have bricked yourself up inside that study of yours! Of course Nathaniel is glad to be seeing so much more of you these days. Miracles happen, I suppose! And this must be Mary, your lovely house girl. Nathaniel speaks very highly of you, miss. Of course, any girl who’s managed to last as long as you have in dear Auntie’s employ must be a saint! Oh, don’t mistake me, dear, we do love our Aunt Victoria, it’s only to know her is to love her– and we know her! You must come to supper more often, Auntie. I know you’re fiercely independent, but what is family for, if not to take care of widowed relations and see that you eat properly every once in a while? I know that left to your own devices, you might starve to death over your books! I’m sure you try your hardest with her, Mary, but heaven knows it can be like trying to push the boulder up the hill! And I’m sure you’ve been missing Beatrice and little Reggie as much as they’ve missed you. We’d hate to think we’re allowing you to go on lonely. Now! Mary, help me fetch the tea tray, and and I’ll catch you up on everything about the children since last you came about.

(She bustles out.)

MARY:

Good heavens. She’s…

MRS. HAWKING:

Indeed.

MARY:

And so…

MRS. HAWKING:

Oh, my, yes.

(Pause.)

MARY:

I think she’s lovely.

MRS. HAWKING:

You would.

(MRS. HAWKING takes up her hat and jacket from the stand.)

MARY:

Whatever are you doing?

MRS. HAWKING:

Tell her I’ve been called away.

MARY:

Are you serious?

MRS. HAWKING:

As the death of kings. You manage her, if you find her so charming.

MARY:

Really, madam–!

MRS. HAWKING:

In this instance, I assure you, better you than me.

(She strides out the door. MARY stares in disbelief. CLARA reenters carrying a tea tray.)

CLARA:

And where is dear Auntie? Have I frightened her off?

MARY:

Ah– I– I’m afraid so.

CLARA:

(Laughing) Perfect!

MARY:

I beg your pardon, madam?

CLARA:

I think I’ve found your tea things. The kettle was still warm.

(She sets it down and takes a seat.)

MARY:

Oh, you needn’t have troubled yourself, I can manage all that.

CLARA:

Oh, don’t worry over me, I like to keep busy. My goodness, from your cupboards you’d think this place was a remote military outpost. You haven’t even any decent tea biscuits!

MARY:

Madam doesn’t like to keep them in the house.

CLARA:

Barbarism! At any rate, I needed to give Auntie a chance to slip off. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the six years I’ve been part of the Hawking family, it’s that if you care to get rid of Aunt Victoria, the surest way is the threat of a polite social visit.

MARY:

But, madam– if you didn’t wish to see her, then what brings you by?

CLARA:

It’s rather to talk with you, as a matter of fact.

MARY:

Me, madam?

CLARA:

As you know, Nathaniel’s taken it upon himself to look after her. She and I are not what one would call close, but it’s quite important to him, and so also to me.

MARY:

It’s very kind. Of both of you.

CLARA:

I confess I’d rather wondered what came over him. Of course he’d care to do right by his dear uncle’s widow, but I thought perhaps when we’d had her help sorted he might not worry so much. Instead he’s spent more time here than ever of late.

MARY:

Indeed…

CLARA:

Nathaniel admired his late uncle so. I think he feels that it’s something the Colonel might have wanted. But I’m not entirely convinced it’s doing her much good.

MARY:

Because she is so… unwilling?

CLARA:

Because she is so horrid. That is to say, we love her, but she is. I’d make my apologizes for speaking ill of your mistress, but I reckon you’d understand better than any of us how difficult she can be. I certainly don’t mind telling her, as you saw!

MARY:

Oh, it isn’t for me to say, madam. But… I do admire your courage to say it to her face.

CLARA:

Ha! You’re a sensible girl, I see. In all possible ways. But here’s the rub. Nathaniel insists that something’s different with her now. That there’s a real chance for him to reach her. So he’s bent on keeping at it. I, however, still have my doubts, and I’d hate to let him go on if she’s only going to kick him in the teeth for it.

MARY:

I do see what you mean.

CLARA:

Which brings me to you now. So, honestly, miss, you must tell me. Do you think there’s any hope?

MARY:

Well, madam… I should hate to speak out of turn, but… I rather think there is.

CLARA:

Really? How so?

MARY:

I know I’ve not been with her long, but… I think she is different now. That… her life, and Nathaniel’s part in it, is different now. She doesn’t yet realize what that’s done for her, but… his being here now, as that changes– I believe it could be a very great thing, for him as well as her.

CLARA:

How so? She make no bonds with anyone.

MARY:

I think she’s beginning to learn.

CLARA:

You believe that’s possible?

MARY:

She started with me.

(Pause.)

CLARA:

Well. That’s very much not what I expected.

(Pause.)

CLARA:

Thank you, Mary, you’ve been most helpful. Do you think we shall wait, then, for Auntie to make her return? And let’s do have some lovely conversation. It will bother her to no end to see you enjoy my company.

(MARY laughs and goes to join CLARA for tea.)

CLARA:

Now, tell me something about yourself. What are your interests when you’re not wrangling Mrs. Hawking?

uiq option demo Scene 6

(MARY is in the parlor when the bell rings. She opens the door to let in NATHANIEL.)

MARY:

You got my message!

NATHANIEL:

I did! And I heard at last you met my Clara.

MARY:

Yes, she was quite fun, I may say. She ran Mrs. Hawking right out of here!

NATHANIEL:

That’s my girl! Cocked guns and drawn blades can’t fright off Auntie, but Clara can. Whatever happened, though? She said it was a social call, but I can’t imagine Aunt Victoria was happy to see her.

(Enter MRS. HAWKING, looking annoyed.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Among others. Back again?

MARY:

Yes, I sent a messenger this morning. We’ve a new case!

NATHANIEL:

Indeed? Splendid! What’s the game?

MARY:

Oh, it’s a terrible business– we’re after a fellow who assaulted a lady’s maid, but the authorities can’t touch him because he’s attached to a diplomat.

NATHANIEL:

Good lord!

MARY:

His name is Herr Christoph Austerlitz, the agricultural attache to the German ambassador–

MRS. HAWKING:

That’s enough, Mary. We must prepare for tonight’s investigation.

NATHANIEL:

Where are you investigating?

MARY:

The embassy.

NATHANIEL:

Tonight? There’s a reception there tonight. Some German opera singer is in town.

MRS. HAWKING:

How do you know that?

NATHANIEL:

I had a card about it; I receive all manner of invitations at the office.

MRS. HAWKING:

Blast. I had hoped it would be abandoned. But we can’t afford to wait, they could smuggle our quarry off at any moment. We’ll have to risk it.

NATHANIEL:

You mean to capture the man in the midst of all that?

MRS. HAWKING:

Of course not, not before we know what we’re up against. Still, we must get the lay of the land before we move.

MARY:

What shall we look for?

MRS. HAWKING:

Institutions like this keep records of all their business activity– schedules, supplies, that sort of thing. If I can find a logbook, we should be able to determine our best opportunity to strike.

NATHANIEL:

Brilliant! How may I assist?

MRS. HAWKING:

I beg your pardon?

NATHANIEL:

What may I do to be of assistance?

MRS. HAWKING:

We have things well in hand.

NATHANIEL:

Oh.

MRS. HAWKING:

So why don’t you be on your way?

(He exchanges a hangdog glance with MARY, then turns sadly to the door. But before he reaches it he stops short and turns back around on his heel.)

NATHANIEL:

Aunt Victoria— why won’t you trust me?

MRS. HAWKING:

Oh, do spare me, Nathaniel.

NATHANIEL:

No. No, you mustn’t put me off. I know I haven’t been the quickest study when it comes to this business of yours, but I’ve been giving it a serious go. I surely do mean to be of help to you, and by God, on occasion I even have. Isn’t that so?

MRS. HAWKING:

Yes. You have.

NATHANIEL:

Then… why won’t you let me on? Really let me on? Is it— is it because I’m a man?

MRS. HAWKING:

Nathaniel.

NATHANIEL:

Is it because I’m not clever enough? Do you think that once in a tough spot, I’ll lose my head and disappoint—

MRS. HAWKING:

You look so much like him!

(Pause.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Too damn much.

MARY:

Like whom? Do you mean— the Colonel?

NATHANIEL:

You never told me that. Others have, but not you.

(MARY looks to the Colonel’s portrait on the mantle.)

MARY:

I never noticed it.

MRS. HAWKING:

The years and the whiskers throw it off, but all the men in the family have that look. Your uncle, your father, your brother, and you. Your boy will have it too before long. Strong jaw, devil-may-care grin, handsome as the day is long. The sort of face to win anything a man could want in the world. But that was face I first looked into twenty years ago when a promising young soldier was first transferred to New Guinea and trammeled up my life forever. The same eyes from which I had to hide everything of any meaning to me so I might be permitted to have it.

NATHANIEL:

I don’t want you to feel that way about me. Not anymore.

MRS. HAWKING:

I know that… and not for nothing. But the years I lost and the pains I took…

NATHANIEL:

I know.

MRS. HAWKING:

Yes. Now you know. So it galls me, boy. I tell you, it galls me to look into those eyes and that face and give all the game away to them.

NATHANIEL:

I can’t help who I look like.

MRS. HAWKING:

No. But all the same, he’s in everything in you. His blood and his name and every effort in the world to be just like him.

NATHANIEL:

But… I’m not like him.

MRS. HAWKING:

To your eternal sorrow.

NATHANIEL:

Still. I’m not him. I can learn better.

(Pause.)

NATHANIEL:

And I mean to. But I’ll need you to teach me. I can’t do it without you.

(Pause.)

NATHANIEL:

Rather… none of us could. The Colonel neither. Because the God’s honest truth is you don’t know if he couldn’t have learned. You never gave him the chance.

(NATHANIEL strides quickly from the room. MRS. HAWKING turns to look at MARY, who stares in silent disapproval.)

MRS. HAWKING:

What?

MARY:

You know.

MRS. HAWKING:

Not now, Mary. We have work to do.

enter site ACT II

Scene 1

(The street before the embassy. MARY and MRS. HAWKING stand in the light of a street lamp, wearing cloaks.)

MARY:

There are so many people about.

MRS. HAWKING:

Who would have thought so many would come to hear caterwauling in German?

MARY:

Perhaps we ought to wait another night after all.

MRS. HAWKING:

There’s nothing for it, we’ve no time to lose.

MARY:

What would you have me do?

MRS. HAWKING:

You shall stake out the perimeter. You must observe the lay of the land, the pattern of the guards as they go about their rounds, and anything else that might be of significance. We never know what may be useful later.

(She removes her cloak and hands it to MARY, revealing her stealth suit beneath it.)

MARY:

And you?

MRS. HAWKING:

I will do the same on the inside.

MARY:

But what if you’re spotted?

(MRS. HAWKING pulls her hood down over her face.)

MRS. HAWKING:

I won’t be.

MARY:

Very well. Be careful, madam.

MRS. HAWKING:

You as well. I shall see you back at home.

(MRS. HAWKING exits. Once she is gone, MARY paces back and forth, peering. As her cloak swings with her steps, we see she carries her fireplace poker, leaning on it like a walking stick.)

(Suddenly shouting voices and a bobby whistle are heard from offstage. Soon two men enter downstage from her, a roughly dressed miscreant running with a man in the blue uniform of a policeman hard on his heels.)

ARTHUR:

Stop! In the name of the law!

(The policeman seizes hold of the thug and spins him around. The the two exchange blows, until the thug lands a hard punch that knocks the officer off his feet. He pulls out a knife and looms over the man.)

(MARY watches horrified, in torturous indecision. Then finally, she dashes over, raises her poker, and gives the thug a good hard crack. He falls in a heap onto the police officer, unconscious.)

MARY:

Good heavens! Are you all right, sir?

ARTHUR:

Blimey! Where did you come from?

(He shoves the thug’s unconscious body off of him.)

ARTHUR:

Did you do this?

MARY:

I’m afraid I did. You so looked like you could could use the hand.

ARTHUR:

I suppose I did at that.

MARY:

Now I must be off.

ARTHUR:

Wait a moment! Who the devil are you?

MARY:

I’m sorry, I can’t dally.

ARTHUR:

More ruffians to brain?

MARY:

I’m carrying out some important business!

ARTHUR:

And what might that be?

MARY:

Really, sir, I’m not in the habit of giving out my affairs to strangers!

ARTHUR:

A fair cop. In that case, the name’s Swann. Officer Arthur Swann of Scotland Yard. But… you might call me Arthur.

(He extends his hand to shake. MARY takes it.)

ARTHUR:

It’s polite to exchange introductions.

MARY:

Oh! Mary.

ARTHUR:

Mary what?

MARY:

Mary… Stone.

ARTHUR:

Charmed, I’m sure. So charmed, as a matter of fact, I’ve almost given up wondering at what important business a pretty thing like you has on a street corner after sundown. With a… what’s that you’ve got there? A poker?

MARY:

Ah… yes. I’m a maid of all work, a tool of the trade, you see.

ARTHUR:

Not many hearths out on the high street.

MARY:

Well… never know when you might come upon a policeman in need of a spot of help.

ARTHUR:

(Laughing.) You’re not about to tell me, are you?

MARY:

I’m afraid I can’t.

ARTHUR:

At least let me see that you’re walked home.

MARY:

And what will you do with your man there?

(She points to the thug.)

MARY:

Perhaps I should be the one walking you.

ARTHUR:

Hmm. Got me there. On both counts.

MARY:

Then I’ll thank you to leave me to my business.

ARTHUR:

You’re quite the rare bird, aren’t you?

MARY:

I don’t know what you mean, sir.

ARTHUR:

Bloody hell you don’t. You’re sure you’re all right here?

MARY:

Perfectly so.

ARTHUR:

And I’ve your word you don’t mean no trouble with that poker you’re swinging?

MARY:

Hand to God, sir.

ARTHUR:

Well. I suppose I’d best not keep you any longer. But… I make patrol here but for every second Sunday. Be sure to come hang about again sometime.

MARY:

In case you need more rescuing?

ARTHUR:

Or in case I can return the favor.

(He tips his cap to her. Then he goes to the unconscious thug and gathers his hands into manacles. He pulls his prisoner up on to his shoulder and drags him offstage.)

ARTHUR:

Ho, Woodrow! Give me a hand with this bloke!

(MARY turns and makes as if to walk off the other way. Once he is gone, she glances over her shoulder to make certain, then returns to her post overlooking the embassy. She fidgets nervously for a moment, then shakes her head and laughs.)


binäre optionen handeln sinnvoll Scene 2

(Inside the German embassy. A crowd of well-dressed men and women mill around. Enter NATHANIEL and CLARA, elegantly attired with drinks in their hands.)

CLARA:

I would have expected a German party to be duller, but this is rather nice. Are you feeling any better?

NATHANIEL:

Afraid I’m not, darling.

CLARA:

I wish you would tell me what was troubling you. Nothing happened at Aunt Victoria’s, did it? She’s awful when she wants to be, but it doesn’t usually upset you so.

NATHANIEL:

I’d really rather not talk about it.

CLARA:

Very well, dear. No matter, before long I’ll have my ways of managing her for you.

NATHANIEL:

Still bent on making Mary your eyes and ears, eh? I fear it may not work out as you plan.

CLARA:

I assure you, dear, I’ve it all in hand. Do cheer up, though, or you’ll miss sight of that fellow you’re after. The… agricultural attache, was it?

NATHANIEL:

Not to worry, I’ve got my eye out.

CLARA:

Well, I do hope he turns up soon, the recital’s about to begin. Now, if you’ll excuse me a moment, I do believe I spy the dowager Lady Worthing. She’s out for the first time since her husband passed, and I ought to pay my respects.

(She kisses him on cheek and glides out. NATHANIEL continues scanning the ballroom. At last he goes to lean against the banquet table near the bowl of punch.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Nathaniel!

(He startles slightly but recovers.)

NATHANIEL:

Madam!

(He glances about but she is nowhere to be seen.)

NATHANIEL:

I’ve never been snapped at by a punch bowl before.

MRS. HAWKING:

What are you doing here!?

NATHANIEL:

Why, I’m taking in some culture. You know how I love the opera.

MRS. HAWKING:

How dare you push your way in? I told you I had no need of you!

NATHANIEL:

You can’t know that. You said we must be ready anything. This way if you should need any help, I’ll be close at hand.

MRS. HAWKING:

Help? Can you creep into the rafters or pick your way past a locked door?

NATHANIEL:

Well, no, but–

MRS. HAWKING:

Then you are an albatross around my neck.

NATHANIEL:

Madam!

MRS. HAWKING:

I don’t have time for this. I must make my way into the offices, before someone notices you conversing with a punch bowl.

NATHANIEL:

As I recall, the albatross was a sign of good luck until someone shot it.

MRS. HAWKING:

Then do your best to stay out of the line of fire.

(She creeps out from under the far left end of the banquet table, checks to be certain the coast is clear, and darts offstage.)

(NATHANIEL watches her for a moment, then quickly averts his gaze so as not to draw attention. He paces back and forth in front the table in frustration and tosses back his drink.)

(Downstage of NATHANIEL, two men have a discussion in German, one of them consulting a notebook. The man closes his book, then NATHANIEL snaps to attention as he turns and strides off in the same direction that MRS. HAWKING has gone. NATHANIEL dithers a moment, then hurries to catch him. NATHANIEL steps in front of him and affects a broad smile, stopping him in his tracks.)

NATHANIEL

Excuse me, sir, you look as though you know your way around the place.

GERHARD:

Why, yes, I–

NATHANIEL:

Hawking’s the name, Nathaniel Hawking.

(He seizes the man’s hand in a handshake.)

GERHARD:

A pleasure, sir. I am Karsten Gerhard, secretary to the lord ambassador. I was just on my way to–

NATHANIEL:

Actually, sir, I thought you and I might have a word!

GERHARD:

Yes, sir? About what?

(GERHARD tries politely to extract himself, but NATHANIEL keeps him pinned.)

NATHANIEL

Well– well, you see– I’ve a small investment firm here in London and we’re always on the lookout for new ventures. My sources tell me there’ve been some interesting developments in German farming technology that could bear some real return. I was told your man for agriculture was a fellow by the name of Austerlitz. Might I be able to speak with him?

GERHARD:

My apologies, Mr. Hawking, but Herr Austerlitz is otherwise engaged tonight. He is attending to some important affairs before he must be departing for the homeland.

NATHANIEL:

Oh– oh, he’s leaving, you say? And when might that be?

GERHARD:

Yes, it was quite sudden, but he was called away unexpectedly. He’ll be on his way by Monday morning.

NATHANIEL:

Indeed! What a shame.

GERHARD:

Not to worry, sir. His replacement arrives within the month. We should be pleased to see that you have an appointment when he does. If you’ll follow me to my office, I can mark you down–

(NATHANIEL throws himself in GERHARD’s path again.)

NATHANIEL:

No! That is to say– don’t trouble yourself. I’m in no hurry at all. To be perfectly frank, I’ve only come tonight to hear Madam Lichtenwald’s performance.

GERHARD:

You are a devotee of German opera?

NATHANIEL:

Why– yes, of course! Wagner changed the face of the art!

GERHARD:

I so agree! Good heavens, it is rare indeed to encounter such perspective from an Englishman. Why, Strauss’s Die Fledermaus has yet to open upon a London stage!

NATHANIEL:

Die Fledermaus, you say? I don’t know that one. But… I would so love to hear more about it.

GERHARD:

Oh, sir, then you shall! If you’ll just come with me to the library, there’s a phonograph and cylinders of the score in its entirety…

(GERHARD throws an arm around NATHANIEL’s shoulder and sweeps him off in the opposite direction. NATHANIEL casts one last glance in the direction of the offices before looking to GERHARD with an expression of extreme interest.)

click here Scene 3

(The next morning, MARY works distractedly in the parlor when the bell rings. She opens it to let in CLARA.)

MARY:

Madam!

CLARA:

Good morning, Mary! Is Auntie about?

MARY:

She’s not, I’m afraid.

CLARA:

Very good, saves me putting on a show. I’ve only a moment, but after seeing the state of your cupboards I wanted make sure I sent over a few things.

(CLARA calls in a trio of grocery boys who march in and pile armloads of grocery bags on the table. She tips them, and then waves them out again.)

CLARA:

I’m sure it will be nice to be able to have things properly for once.

MARY:

Madam, you shouldn’t have–

CLARA:

Oh, nonsense. If she’s cross, just blame it on me. I mean to make myself useful to you on occasion, if we’re to be friends. After all, what would we do without you?

MARY:

I’m sorry?

CLARA:

For Auntie, I mean.

MARY:

Me?

CLARA:

If Auntie’s changed, well, what makes the difference must be you.

MARY:

Oh, I don’t know about that. If I’m to be honest, madam… I feel as if nothing about me measures up. Not for her.

CLARA:

Mary. Do you know how many maids we tried to engage for Aunt Victoria before you came along?

MARY:

I suppose I don’t.

CLARA:

Six, I’ll have you know. And she showed the door to, or else chased off, every last one of them. She would have done the same to you, if she hadn’t somehow…made a bond with you, as you said.

MARY:

I don’t know if she’d put it that way, madam.

CLARA:

Really, Mary. She doesn’t know everything, however she may act it. Now, I ought to be getting home.

(She turns to leave but stops short.)

CLARA:

Oh, I nearly forgot! These are for you.

(She takes a tin of fancy tea biscuits from one of the bags and hands it to MARY.)

CLARA:

I shan’t tell if you shan’t.

(CLARA exits out the front door. MARY sets the biscuit tin on the table and thoughtfully regards it. After a moment MRS. HAWKING enters, still a bit bleary and glowering.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Why didn’t you wake me? We have work to do.

MARY:

You were up all night, you needed some rest.

MRS. HAWKING:

We still don’t have a plan, and no time to waste.

MARY:

I know, I know.

(MRS. HAWKING paces past the table with the groceries. Then she stops short and stares at them. She turns a questioning glare to MARY.)

MARY:

Oh. Yes. Clara was here. She stopped by.

(Pause.)

MARY:

But it’s all right. She’s gone now. I handled it.

(Wordlessly MRS. HAWKING holds up the tin of biscuits. MARY thinks fast.)

MARY:

Ah… oh! You said you found a kitchen door that led out into an alleyway. What if we… gave him a good knock on the head and dragged him out unconscious?

(MRS. HAWKING set the biscuit tin aside and starts to pace.)

MRS. HAWKING:

But who knows how many people we’d have to bear him past to get there? No, I despair of us ever being able to take him out of there against his will. What we ought to do is waylay him when he makes his escape for Germany, but we can’t lie in wait for him without knowing his plans!

MARY:

Is there no other way to draw him outside the embassy?

MRS. HAWKING:

He knows he is vulnerable once he leaves.

MARY:

What if we found something to lure him with?

MRS. HAWKING:

Such as?

MARY:

Well. We know he has a… taste for maids.

MRS. HAWKING:

What are you saying?

MARY:

Perhaps… perhaps I might serve as bait.

MRS. HAWKING:

No.

MARY:

If we’ve no other way–

MRS. HAWKING:

Put that thought out of your mind, Mary!

MARY:

I’m running short of ideas.

MRS. HAWKING:

Clearly, if you thought that made for a viable plan!

MARY:

I am doing my best!

MRS. HAWKING:

I must be able to place more faith in your judgment that than gives me!

MARY:

(Starting to break down) Madam, please…

MRS. HAWKING:

What this calls for is a trap of some kind waiting outside, something we can spring when he stumbles in unawares.

MARY:

Waiting outside? Perhaps… I could ask Arthur…

MRS. HAWKING:

Arthur? Who the devil is Arthur?

MARY:

That is, Officer Swann. He’s a policeman I met while I was scouting the outside.

MRS. HAWKING:

You were noticed by a policeman!?

MARY:

He didn’t know what I was up to! But… he seemed a decent fellow.

MRS. HAWKING:

Unbelievable. First you thrust Nathaniel upon me, now you’d drag this policeman into our affairs? Would you give the game away to every man in London?

MARY:

But he might know some way we could bring down the force of the law upon our quarry!

MRS. HAWKING:

What have I only just explained to you? We do not work with the establishment! For heaven’s sake, Mary, have you not listened to a word I’ve said?

MARY:

Madam, stop!

(Pause.)

MARY:

I can’t bear it. You always telling me I must do this, or I shan’t manage, or that I mustn’t do that, or all will be lost!

MRS. HAWKING:

I’m trying to teach you.

MARY:

And I am trying to learn! Are none of my efforts enough?

MRS. HAWKING:

You must understand, Mary. I’ve been at this work for half my life now, and before you, I’d always done it alone.

MARY:

But I have not! And I can’t do it alone.

MRS. HAWKING:

That’s just it! That’s not what I expect of you.

MARY:

Then why are you so hard on me?

MRS. HAWKING:

I must be.

MARY:

Why? So I shan’t ruin all your enterprise–

MRS. HAWKING:

I mean to make you my protege!

(Mary freezes and stares at her.)

MARY:

What?

MRS. HAWKING:

As I said. Before you, I worked alone, and I’d assumed I always would. I thought that when it came time that I could not keep on with it any longer… that would be the end of it. All my efforts would die with me. But since you’ve come along… you’ve changed everything.

MARY:

I have?

MRS. HAWKING:

You’ve risen to every challenge that’s come your way. I would never have guessed what help you would be to me.

MARY:

Oh, madam. Do you mean that?

MRS. HAWKING:

I do.

MARY:

I’m sure I’m not the assistant you would have imagined.

MRS. HAWKING:

Perhaps not. And yet I see now that… you are precisely what I needed. And one day, you could carry on my work in my stead.

MARY:

Mrs. Hawking… I don’t know what to say.

MRS. HAWKING:

It’s not an easy life, nor a safe one. But is it a path that you could see for yourself?

MARY:

After everything you’ve shown me… it’s the only path I can see.

(Suddenly the front door is thrown open and a frantic NATHANIEL bursts into the room.)

MRS. HAWKING:

You, sir, have a great deal of gall to show your face here–

NATHANIEL:

Monday morning!

MRS. HAWKING:

What?

NATHANIEL:

That’s when Austerlitz will be leaving.

MRS. HAWKING:

How do you know that?

NATHANIEL:

The ambassador’s secretary told me. At the reception. And more about German opera than you’d ever care to know.

MARY:

However did that come about?

NATHANIEL:

I got the chap talking! He was heading to the offices, and I thought to send him off somewhere else, but he ended up squiring me all over the place. So long that Clara cleared off without me! I hope she’s not still cross–

MRS. HAWKING:

He showed you around the embassy?

MARY:

Nathaniel, that’s brilliant!

NATHANIEL:

Are you joking? He told me the time straight away, and then he insisted on regaling me about some operetta about a bat. I lost hours in there, and I never had a chance to help madam look for the logbook!

MARY:

Nathaniel, don’t you see? In taking you about the grounds, he may have told you something about the building that we can use! And you succeeded in keeping him away, Mrs. Hawking did find the book.

NATHANIEL:

Really? I did? You did?

(MRS. HAWKING tosses it down on the table.)

NATHANIEL:

Might I take a look?

MRS. HAWKING:

Fancy yourself quite the detective now, do you?

NATHANIEL:

Please, I kept logs just like this one when I served in the armory at Newcastle.

MRS. HAWKING:

Very well, go on, then.

(He sits at the table and pages through the logbook. MRS. HAWKING begins pacing again in furious thought.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Monday morning… we’ll need to act the night before, to see that we’re in wait. Nathaniel– did the secretary mention where the border between German and English sovereignty was on the grounds?

NATHANIEL:

Why, yes! Yes, he did, it’s where the good old English street runs up against it.

MRS. HAWKING:

Then we may take him when he boards the carriage!

MARY:

But we still don’t know what to do with him once we’ve got him.

MRS. HAWKING:

Blast it! Nathaniel, the log– does anything strike you?

NATHANIEL:

Nothing particularly, I’m afraid. These records are quite strange.

MRS. HAWKING:

How so?

NATHANIEL:

They’re kept to the precise minute! And… there’s something that they seem to receive in, and then send back out again every month or so. I can’t tell what, my German’s rather weak.

(MRS. HAWKING glances at it.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Pineapples?

NATHANIEL:

They send out wagons of pineapples? Is that some sort of… Teutonic idiom?

MRS. HAWKING:

What time? What time do they arrive?

NATHANIEL:

It appears to be… in the wee hours of the morning.

MRS. HAWKING:

Ha! Oh, a record for everything, eh? Bless the Germans and their mad efficiency.

MARY:

What does that mean?

MRS. HAWKING:

Spies. It’s the comings and goings of spies.

NATHANIEL:

But they’re our allies!

MRS. HAWKING:

Oh, don’t be a fool. All the major powers keep eyes on one another. It’s the way the game is played. Still… it would be very improper indeed for the hosting nation to see hard proof of it. England would have to take action on it and Germany would have to disavow it.

MARY:

So if our man were taken for a spy, he’d have no one to protect him!

MRS. HAWKING:

All we need now is means by which to frame him, and he’s ours.

NATHANIEL:

But whom to? Who will catch him with the evidence?

(All three fall silent in thought. Then MARY springs forward.)

MARY:

I have an idea.

MRS. HAWKING:

Excellent. Because I have a plan.

opcje binarne jaki broker Scene 4

(The next day. MRS. HAWKING waits alone in the parlor, stabbing into the mantlepiece with her knife. The bell rings and she opens the door to let in MRS. BRAUN.)

MRS. BRAUN:

I came as soon as I could, madam. Where your maid Miss Stone?

MRS. HAWKING:

She is not here at present, she is making arrangements for the managing of your problem.

MRS. BRAUN:

You are fortunate to have her. It’s a precious thing, to have someone on whom you can so completely rely.

(Stiffly MRS. BRAUN takes a seat. MRS. HAWKING paces around her.)

MRS. HAWKING:

I quite agree. Though I must say, your concern for your lady’s maid is remarkable.

MRS. BRAUN:

Why remarkable?

MRS. HAWKING:

You’ve enmeshed yourself in no small trouble on her behalf.

MRS. BRAUN:

She means a great deal to me. She’s been a true friend, one of the few who has. Would you do any less for your girl?

MRS. HAWKING:

Not a jot. Still, it’s hardly to be expected from a woman of your exalted stature.

MRS. BRAUN:

What stature?

MRS. HAWKING:

You may abandon the charade. I know who you are.

MRS. BRAUN:

I beg your pardon!?

MRS. HAWKING:

Come now, madam. You did not come to me because you thought I was a fool.

(Pause.)

MRS. HAWKING:

It was clever of you to use a German name. I doubt the average Briton is aware of your family’s accents. I wonder if they are aware how little regard you have for their suffering when foreign relations are involved.

MRS. BRAUN:

You are dreadfully impertinent in how you speak to me.

MRS. HAWKING:

I shall be so daring. If you had any power to exact your own punishments, you’d have no need of me.

MRS. BRAUN:

Is this why you called me here? To abuse my wretchedness?

MRS. HAWKING:

To report to you on the state of things.

MRS. BRAUN:

Yes?

MRS. HAWKING:

We have investigated the embassy. It is busy and well-defended. I do not see any viable means to extract him from within those walls.

MRS. BRAUN:

Then… all is lost.

MRS. HAWKING:

Not yet, lady. We may snare him, but it shan’t be for the crime he’s committed. We must trap him by other means. That’s the system your mother has made for us.

MRS. BRAUN:

It’s not my doing.

MRS. HAWKING:

Because you’ve done nothing. You may as well be her lapdog.

MRS. BRAUN:

She has need of me. I have no choice.

MRS. HAWKING:

She makes it so many of us have no choice.

MRS. BRAUN:

What else am I to do? I was four years old when she made me her mourning toy. One by one, my sisters escaped, to marriage, to positions, to other countries. Only I had no intervening duty, so she stitched me to her side. When majesties and potentates bow before her, how is one such as I to defy her?

MRS. HAWKING:

Then I should think you’d have more pity those of us who will not stand for it.

MRS. BRAUN:

As you might for me, if I suffer as her victim too. We cannot not all be warriors, Mrs. Hawking. And yet we must all find some way to survive.

(Pause.)

MRS. HAWKING:

There is one other thing, madam. I have need of an official diplomatic pouch. I trust you can secure one for me?

MRS. BRAUN:

I believe so. But what for?

MRS. HAWKING:

Why, madam, to lay our snare.

http://champsportsinfo.com/?tyrid=che-cos-e-opzioni-binarie Scene 5

(The street outside the embassy in the dead of night. A carriage sits in the middle of the stage. Two men load bags into it, then exit.)

(Enter MARY and NATHANIEL, her in her hooded cloak and he in a top hat and great coat. They look this way and that to ensure the coast is clear, then hurry over to the carriage. NATHANIEL shoves a pole into the spokes of a wheel on the far side, while MARY uses a pry bar to force open the downstage window in the cab.)

NATHANIEL:

What now?

MARY:

Now we wait. They’ll bring the horses soon, and our quarry will follow.

(They pace nervously, watching.)

NATHANIEL:

I rather envy your cool head about it all. I’m quite nervous, I won’t lie.

MARY:

You know you were extraordinary the other night. Gathering that information from the secretary.

NATHANIEL:

Do you really think so?

MARY:

Of course. You know, I never did tell you why Clara came to visit. She wanted to know if I thought it was worth your putting up with all of Mrs. Hawking’s trouble, if you were doing any good.

NATHANIEL:

And you think I am? In spite of it all?

MARY:

Neither Mrs. Hawking nor I could have managed what you did. And she must know it.

NATHANIEL:

Am I mad to hope that she might have said it?

MARY:

Heaven knows with her. How are you on that count?

NATHANIEL:

I suppose I ought to be cross with her for it. But do you know, what I can’t get out of my mind is the poor old Colonel. How it must have been for him, shut out from so much of her life like that.

MARY:

I wonder… did she ever tell him?

NATHANIEL:

Tell him what?

MARY:

How unhappy she was.

NATHANIEL:

I don’t know. But, if I were to guess… I should think she didn’t.

MARY:

She was so angry, though. One says things in anger.

NATHANIEL:

She would have had to trust him to tell him what she really thought. And that she could never do.

MARY:

It would have been an incredible risk.

NATHANIEL:

I know. She would have gone to great pains to keep it from him. Still, I wonder if he knew anyhow.

MARY:

So much rage… it’s a difficult thing to hide.

NATHANIEL:

Heaven knows she is capable of things I never would have fathomed possible… but he wasn’t a fool, Mary. And he loved her, blast it; if there’s one thing I shall never disbelieve of him, it’s that. He would have… had a care that she was so… miserable… with things as they were.

MARY:

But if he knew, how could he have done nothing for it, then?

NATHANIEL:

She would never have wanted him to.

MARY:

Certainly not. But still… I should think he might have tried.

NATHANIEL:

He may have hardly known her, Mary… but I think he knew her well enough to know that. And I believe he would have loved her enough to give it to her.

MARY:

If that’s so… I wonder what else he might have given her. If he knew she needed it.

NATHANIEL:

Well… it’s no use wondering now. Still. I think it’s a terrible shame that she never gave him the chance.

MARY:

She may have learned from it, after all.

NATHANIEL:

What makes you say that?

MARY:

She told you.

(Footsteps can be heard approaching, as well as voices speaking in German.)

MARY:

They’re coming. It’s time, Nathaniel!

(MARY throws up her hood and rushes offstage. NATHANIEL turns up his coat collar and pulls down the brim of his hat over his eyes.)

(Enter their quarry, CHRISTOPH AUSTERLITZ, a well-dressed man in a long coat, carrying a valise. A driver dashes in ahead of him to open the carriage door. Before he can step in, however, NATHANIEL hurries toward him and crashes into him hard. AUSTERLITZ staggers and the valise is knocked out of his hand.)

NATHANIEL:

Oh! Beg your pardon, sir!

(The driver goes to help him back up. NATHANIEL snatches up the lost valise, turns his back to AUSTERLITZ, and slips something inside of it. Then he turns around and hands it back over to its owner.)

NATHANIEL:

Here you are, terribly sorry, all my fault.

(AUSTERLITZ grabs it back in annoyance. NATHANIEL takes off again, trying not to run, and exits.)

(The driver opens the carriage door again and AUSTERLITZ steps inside. MARY enters again, putting light to a firecracker. The driver closes the door behind him and goes to prepare the traces. As soon as his back in turned, MARY sprints over, tosses the firecracker into the open carriage window, and runs off after NATHANIEL.)

(AUSTERLITZ yells in German while the cab fills with smoke. As he cries out, MRS. HAWKING in her stealth suit with her mask down appears on top of the carriage. The driver leaps in surprise while AUSTERLITZ throws open the door and stumbles out, coughing and sputtering. MRS. HAWKING leaps down to land behind the driver, taps him on the shoulder, and when he turns, with one swift punch she knocks him out cold.)

(AUSTERLITZ looks up at her and startles. She whirls on him and kicks him over. He rolls, springs back up to his feet, and hurls himself at her. She keeps him at bay nimbly, dodging his blows as he screams in German. Soon a pair of embassy guards run in. They pause a moment in surprise, then hurry to AUSTERLITZ’s aid. MRS. HAWKING grabs AUSTERLITZ by the lapels and throws him into the first guard, knocking him off balance, then strikes him down with a ferocious roundhouse kick. MARY reenters with her poker and batters away at the second guard.)

(With the guards so occupied, MRS. HAWKING returns her attention to AUSTERLITZ. Dragging him back up, she baits him him swift jabs, until he gives up trying to run and begins swinging back again.)

(A whistle blows. MRS. HAWKING gestures to MARY, who gives up on her assault of the embassy guard and races off. MRS. HAWKING keeps AUSTERLITZ engaged until ARTHUR enters, at a dead run with billy club drawn.)

ARTHUR:

Stop where you are! And that’s an order!

(He grabs AUSTERLITZ by the shoulders and drags him off of MRS. HAWKING, who turns and runs. AUSTERLITZ immediately turns his fury on ARTHUR, yelling and punching. ARTHUR subdues him with a hard crack of his club, then seizes him in a headlock.)

ARTHUR:

What’s this? Brawling in the street and striking an officer of the peace? Gentlemen!

(Two other police officers enter. ARTHUR tosses AUSTERLITZ before them on the ground, then turns to look inside the empty carriage. Enter HERR KARSTEN GERHARD from the embassy, looking about in a state of startled disbelief.)

GERHARD:

Mein Gott! What is the meaning of this?

(ARTHUR finds AUSTERLITZ’s valise in the cab. He flips it open and digs inside.)

ARTHUR:

Police business, sir. We received an anonymous note warning us of an unauthorized person attempting to leave the country in possession of information sensitive to the safety of the realm!

GERHARD:

I beg your pardon! There is no reason for you to assault a noble attache of the German ambassador–

(ARTHUR produces a packet sealed with the symbol of the British empire. GERHARD regards it in horror.)

GERHARD:

Herr Austerlitz, how could you? What have you done!?

(The two men yell furiously at one another in German. ARTHUR’s two police comrades seize him by the arm and drag him to his feet.)

ARTHUR:

We’ll sort him out down at the Yard.

(The officers drag him off. GERHARD hurries over to the beaten embassy guards and snaps at them in German. They drag themselves up and follow him as he exits.)

(ARTHUR is left alone onstage. He looks about contemplatively and regards the diplomatic pouch under his arm. Then he goes to stand for a moment in the same place beneath the streetlamp where he spoke to MARY.)

ARTHUR:

Important business, indeed.

(He jogs off after his fellows.)

opzioni binarie wikihow Scene 6

(The Hawking parlor. NATHANIEL stands at the fireplace while MRS. HAWKING takes a seat across from MRS. BRAUN. MARY folds their cloaks at the table.)

MRS. HAWKING:

He’s in custody now. I heard royal intelligence collected him from Scotland Yard the very next morning.

MRS. BRAUN:

I can hardly believe you’ve done it. It was… hopeless. Impossible.

MRS. HAWKING:

Those are the conditions in which I specialize.

MRS. BRAUN:

I cannot express how grateful I am. Anything that is within my power to give, you may have with my thanks.

MRS. HAWKING:

We’ll remember that. We shall keep it in store until we have need.

NATHANIEL:

It was our duty, madam. Perhaps now your Miss Mason will be able to heal.

MRS. BRAUN:

It is nowhere near enough for that. But… it is something.

(She rises from her seat. MARY retrieves her coat from the rack and helps her into it.)

MRS. BRAUN:

One last thing– I was asked to give this to you.

(From her bag she takes a letter in a plain and unmarked envelope. MRS. HAWKING nods to MARY, who takes it.)

MRS. BRAUN:

Now I shall take my leave.

(She goes to the door and exits.)

NATHANIEL:

Well, Auntie? Are you pleased with things?

MRS. HAWKING:

As a matter of fact.

NATHANIEL:

Even with me?

(Pause.)

NATHANIEL:

I’m not what you hoped for. But perhaps I can be what you need.

MRS. HAWKING:

Very little of my life has gone on as I would have hoped. But one must make the best of what one is given. And… that may make all the difference. Even in those things that one hopes for.

(She looks to MARY, who smiles.)

MRS. HAWKING:

Welcome aboard, Mr. Hawking.

NATHANIEL:

Thank you, Auntie. Thank you so. And… if you don’t mind my asking…

(He glances to MARY.)

NATHANIEL:

I’m aching to know what’s in that letter.

MRS. HAWKING:

Are you? Well, then. I suppose it’s for you now as well. Read it, Mary.

(She tears open the envelope and unfolds the letter to read.)

MARY:

“Dear Madam, we suppose commendations are in order. Your work was very cunning, indeed. We suppose by now we should expect no less. We warn you, however, not to meddle in affairs so closely related to our house and state again. Our coexistence continues uneasily enough without your upsetting our order further.” My goodness…

NATHANIEL:

Whatever is that all about?

(MRS. HAWKING begins chuckling quietly, before bursting into a full belly laugh.)

NATHANIEL:

Good heavens! Madam? Are you… are you all right?

(MRS. HAWKING keeps laughing.)

NATHANIEL:

Mary? What the devil’s going on?

MRS. HAWKING:

Well! It seems we’ve dug under someone’s skin. In that case, jolly well worth it, wasn’t it?

NATHANIEL:

But who…?

(Finally it dawns on him.)

NATHANIEL:

By Jove. You don’t mean…?

(MARY puts the letter back in the envelope and lays it on the mantlepiece.)

MARY:

Vivat regina, indeed.

CURTAIN