Citation
And the third day

Material Information

Title:
And the third day an imaginary dialogue in three parts
Creator:
Rogers, James Grafton, 1883-1971
Cactus Club (Denver, Colo.)
Place of Publication:
Denver
Publisher:
The Cactus club
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
53, [1] pages : ; 24 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Drama -- Rocky Mountains ( lcsh )
Rocky Mountains ( fast )
Genre:
Drama. ( fast )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Drama ( fast )

Notes

General Note:
"One hundred and seventy-five copies printed for the Cactus Club."
Statement of Responsibility:
written for the Cactus club of Denver by James Grafton Rogers, and performed at its outdoor theatre in the Rocky Mountains at its fourth annual campfire, September 3, 1922.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
05025693 ( OCLC )
23010838 ( LCCN )
ocm05025693
Classification:
PS3535.O423 A7 1923 ( lcc )

Auraria Membership

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Literature Collections

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Full Text

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AND THE THIRD DAY


AND THE THIRD DAY
AN IMAGINARY DIALOGUE
IN THREE PARTS
WRITTEN FOR THE CACTUS CLUB OF DENVER
BY JAMES GRAFTON ROGERS
AND PERFORMED AT ITS OUTDOOR THEATRE
IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS
AT ITS FOURTH ANNUAL CAMPFIRE
SEPTEMBER 3, 1922
DENVER THE CACTUS CLUB
1923


COPYRIGHT 1923 BY
THE CACTUS CLUB


One hundred and seventy-jive copies
printed for the Cactus Club under direction of the
Yale University Press in June, 1923.


THE CHARACTERS
[With the original cast of September 2, 1922]
Bannard, a Manhattan financier . . . Robert G. Bos worth
Chisholm, his secretary..................Burnham Hoyt
Aeroplane Pilot..........................Richard S. Fillius
Sing Lee.................................E. Clinton Jansen
Blackbeard ..............................Leroy R. Hinman
Kalanau................................... Charles T. Sidlo
Thorgis...................................... Allen T. True
Indian Chronicler....................................Henry W. Toll
Other Apparitions
THEATRE STAFF
Richard L. Livermore, Edmund B. Rogers, Maurice Biscoe,
George William Eggers.
MUSIC
Horace E. Tureman, Irvin J. McCrary.
SITE
By courtesy of G. L. Baird.
THE CAMPFIRE COMMITTEE
James N. Wright, James Grafton Rogers, Fred W. Hart,
Harold Kountze, Walker Van Riper.


AND THE THIRD DAY
HE time is today. The place is a glade in the high-altitude forests
of the Rocky Mountains. The dense woods give way in the center
of the stage to make room for a spring, which seeps out on the steep
hillside which forms the stage. It gathers volume in a little pool, fringed
with bluebells and willow-herb, in the center, and then tumbles in a
little cataract towards the audience into a larger pool, which moat-like
divides the spectators from the players. This pool in turn overflows its
rocky margins both to the right and left, so dividing its discharge. Cir-
cling the glade are thick-bodied, towering spruces. There are little
grassy mounds and slopes around the pool, outside the water-growth.
Behind, a steep hillside of rising spruce forest.
[Darkness. A faint luminosity, green and white, betrays the
water. The stage proper is invisible. A strong green light from
uncertain sources then sets out the spruce trunks in the far
background, and lights smoke boiling from an .urn. The urn
is in the high distance, on the slope among the trees. An Indian
figure obscured now and then in drifting vapor rises behind
the urn. He is impersonal, and symbolic, conventionalized with
tall feathers in his hair, leggings and a wide ceremonial
blanket. He rises out of the smoke and chants to a faint
accompaniment of a tom-tom and unidentified stringed instru-
ments. His face and figure are lighted by the glow from the
urn, as the vapors grow Jew.]
DAWN, Noon and Night are the trackers, unwearying!
Dawn, a gray cougar who slinks from the East,
Licking the drip of Nights wounds on the mountain-tops;
Noon, the tall Sun-God, comes hunting the beast;
THE INDIAN CHRONICLER
[7l


AND THE THIRD DAY
Night is the Thunder-bird, droop-winged and wounded,
Stalking tall Noon with a carrion eye,
Three are the trackers! And three days returning
Mark changes in all things that creep or that fly!
Thrice they track round from the Cave of the Underworld.
One day of turmoil and anger and pain;
One day of cleansing, confession and fasting;
One day of glad resurrection again!
Number the days of the Magpie, the chatterer!
Most like mankind, for he jabbers and steals,
Trailing his tail like a tepee-pole after him
Hark what the Magpie the first day reveals.
Dawn! And the Magpies afloat thro the pine-boughs,
Plotting to steal from a nut-crackers nest.
Dark! He limps down with his sleek feathers trailing,
Boasting and scolding the fate of the blest!
[The green glow fades.]
[8]
-J.


FIRST SCENE
[Darkness. There is the throb of an aeroplane, growing louder,
then it chokes, sputters and stops. The whistle of air in aero-
plane rigging, a crash at the left, a flicker of fire at the left
margin of the stage. Two figures crawl out of the wrecked
wings of an aeroplane, now visible in the growing flame at the
side of the stage. The Pilot and Chisholm look back, dazed,
at the wreck.]
PILOT
Holy Moses, that was close! That ends the aeroplane business
for me.
CHISHOLM
Oh, this is most distressing.
PILOT
Man alive, I could see it coming for five minutes. That damned
carburetor was choking up. We couldnt make it over the Divide.
There was nothing but rocks and trees under us for fifty miles.
Distressin! You didnt know it till we hit the trees.
CHISHOLM
Oh, most distressing, most unfortunate. [Aghast.] Young man,
where is Mr. Bannard? What have you done with Mr. Bannard?
PILOT
Gosh, I forgot all about him. Get that fire out! Not water
thats oil. Dirt!
[They shovel dirt with their hands, and suppress the flames.
[9l


AND THE THIRD DAY
While they still flicker, Chisholm working clumsily with his
hands, the Pilot climbs into the wreckage, and tugs out Ban-
nard, finally pulling him down by the water on a mound at
the left. The stage lights grow and reveal the three. The Pilot
is a trim youngster, in a sheepskin coat, helmet and leggings,
quick, intelligent, naturally light-hearted. Chisholm is a man
of fifty-five. His heavy overcoat is torn, his cap missing, and
long thin gray locks and moustache rumpled. He might have
been a tutor, or an auditor for a Liverpool bank. He is quite at
a loss in the mountains, his adventures having all been under-
gone in the perusal of books, and his recreations being Sunday
afternoon walks. His employer, Bannard, finds him loyal,
docile and tireless in routine. Bannard for the moment is a
huge lump in a fur overcoat and cap. He develops later into
a big man physically, about fifty, conscious of his own force
and keenness, used to leadershipa sample of the business
financier who graduates from a bank in the Middle West to
an office in Broad Street, plays fiercely, successfully and con-
spicuously the only game he knows, that of making money,
neglects his stomach and his family in a multitude of deals,
and contributes himself, possibly as a railroad president or a
notorious curb broker, to the glorification of American busi-
ness enterprise. For the moment he is unconscious, with the
blood from a scalp wound running down his forehead.]
PILOT
[To Chisholm, who follows him helplessly across the stage,
with his hands full of sand.]
Water! Dont put dirt on him.
[Chisholm dips his handkerchief in the pool, and stands by
while the Pilot bathes Bannards face.]
CHISHOLM
Oh, how unfortunate! Young man, he isnt dead, is he? I hope
[10]


AND THE THIRD DAY
for your own sake, young man, he isnt dead. Mr. Bannard is one
of the leading financiers of America, young man. It would go very
hard with you. It would be a great loss.
PILOT
I dont think hes dead. Hes breathing and bleeding like a pig.
CHISHOLM
I advised Mr. Bannard against this trip. I told him not to take
an aeroplane across the Rocky Mountains, particularly out here
where they dont understand the things. But he had his plans.
He always does. He said it just fitted. He said it attracted just
the right publicity. Oh, how distressing!
PILOT
Publicity! I thought you didnt want publicity. He told our
company to keep this trip under their hats.
CHISHOLM
Oh, yes, quite so! quite so! Thats what I meant. Wouldnt
attract the right publicity. I mean wouldnt attract the wrong
publicity.
PILOT
Well, well get publicity now all right, Ill tell the world. There!
Hes coming to. Gosh, I hope he aint hurt bad.
BANNARD
[Sitting up slowly, rubbing the blood from his eyes, and estimat-
ing the situation.\
H-m-m-m! [After a pause.] Thank you. You both all right?
[They nod anxiously.] Machine wrecked? [They point it out, and
he looks at it.] Im all O.K. Now lets get to business. Chisholm,
take a telegram!
[ii]


AND THE THIRD DAY
CHISHOLM
Very well, sir. Quite so, sir! But . one moment, sir, I
havent a pencil about. I think it possible, sir, the telegraph office
it might not be open. I havent been down.
bannard [Smiling.]
I forgot. Besides I thought for the moment you were my secre-
tary. Pardon me. I shouldnt have asked an engineer to take a
telegram. You see, my boy, my head is muddled. Where are we?
PILOT
I think were right on the Divide, Mr. Bannard.
BANNARD
The Continental Divide?
PILOT
Yes, sir, but were miles off our route, the route you marked
on the map for me to follow.
BANNARD
I see. Well, may I ask, was this landing here just a bright idea
of your own, or is it part of that splendid aeroplane system your
advertising describes?
PILOT
Im sorry, sir. I tried to follow that route. I overheard you say
to the engineer it was a plan for a railroad. So I stuck as low
down as I dared so you could watch the country. But when we
came to get over the Divide she began missing, and I couldnt
get up any higher. There wasnt a place you could make a landing
for fifty miles. So I saw this low gap, away up to the north, so
[12]


AND THE THIRD DAY
low the pines grew right over a pass, and I tried to make itand
we hit a hydrantor something.
BANNARD
I see. Very humorous. Now, I suppose your perfected aeroplane
system involves an all-night ten-mile walk to some mining camp
where we wait four days for the weekly train.
CHISHOLM
Surely theres a tavern or a taxi to be had somewhere.
BANNARD
Myhm, engineer wants you to telephone for a taxi. Columbus
55, isnt it, Chisholm?
PILOT
The only way I know to get anywhere is to follow a creek
down. They all lead to a town or a ranch somewhere.
BANNARD
Lets go. {He rises, totters and limps.] Great Scott! My knee!
[He settles down again.] Chisholm! Whos the leading knee doc-
tor! Wire for him. Wire for nurses. This idiot and his damned
company have broken my leg.
CHISHOLM
Oh, how unfortunate, Mr. Bannard! I hope not.
BANNARD
Hope not, do you! Now Ill spend two months in some con-
founded hospital while that Strauss and Meyer crowd get control
of the Pacific Southwestern and batter about a million and a half


AND THE THIRD DAY
out of the market on everything Im in. Ill break that aeroplane
company for this. Ill get em! Whos their bank? Ill buy their
paper tonight. Chisholm, look up their securities. Well break em.
Well show em how to dump K. Z. Bannard in a damned wilder-
ness with a broken leg, with nothing but trees and woodticks.
Chisholm, wire the office to buy their stock
[Remembering the situation.]
PILOT
Now, boss, you better sit tight. Youve started your head bleed-
ing again. Ill go find somebody to pack us out.
CHISHOLM
Indeed, theres nothing you can do, Mr. Bannard. You just
sit and smoke a cigar, while this young man goeserr, around the
cornerand gets us a car or something.
BANNARD [More calmly.]
H-m-m! How far? How long?
PILOT
I ought to be back before midnight, sir. Its just darkunless
I get lost.
BANNARD
Meantime Im to enjoy the landscape your company advertises.
Four hours! Ants. Trees. Stars. Clear out! Wait! Have you got
any money?
PILOT
No, sir. I dont usually
BANNARD
Chisholm, give him a couple of hundred. He may need it.
[ i4l


AND THE THIRD DAY
PILOT
Anything I can do before I
CHISHOLM
You might light a
BANNARD
Light nothing! Get out! [The Pilot pockets the bills from
Chisholm and goes eagerly to the east, through the trees.\ Chis-
holm, you can amuse me for the next four hours by trying to light
a fire yourself.
CHISHOLM
Quite so, Mr. Bannard. How unfortunate!
BANNARD
Make it funny. My leg hurts like fifty per cent call money.
Give me a light before you waste all the matches.
[He lights a cigar, props himself against a rock, and as Chis-
holm muddles over the pre-budding, talks, half to himself.]
BANNARD
Chisholm, how many times have you heard my sermon on how
to get away with the other fellows coin? The bird that gets the
worm is the bird who looks too lame to jump for him. My boy,
I can make this sprained knee worth a million dollars. Who ever
heard of faking a broken leg?
CHISHOLM
Quite so, sir. Of course, in the sugar fraud cases, you didnt
really have appendicitis, but
[15]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
Oh, thats old business. Everybody uses that get-away from a
grand jury. But Chisholm! This broken knee is absolutely con-
vincing. Its beautiful. I wasnt sure whether the trip would get
enough publicity to affect the market. Even with the newspapers
oiled and the aeroplane stunt, but man aliveK. Z. Bannard
lost in the Rocky Mountains with a broken leg is a front page
story on every paper in Broad Street. Chisholm, you musnt let
them take your picture. So far, these cow-puncher reporters think
youre a real railroad engineer. But everybody east of the Alle-
ghanies knows you what you are, as the Bible says. Dont light
your fire so near. Thats better. And, Chisholm, dont let any
newspaper reporter see you light a fire. Any cub would know
you were a Secretary from 120 Broadway.
Quite so, sir.
CHISHOLM
BANNARD
We must reach the office. They must issue a statement in the
morning positively denying that our trip has anything to do with
building a new line. Just health and rest stuff. Doctors orders, you
know. Why, even the hicks in Marion, Ohio, or Lincoln, Nebraska,
these days, dont believe that line. Then there must be a little
word about our route, clear across the continent, you know, de-
scribing it, just about a hundred miles north of the Pacific South-
western, so nobody will see the point of it but those wise Hart,
Schaffner and Marxes down on the curb. And I can just see Meyer
rubbing his hands, like a greasy pawnbroker, and telling that
Potash and Perlmutter crowd there. Chisholm, thisll cost Meyer
more than he put in that Florida tabernacle of histhis leg of
mine. Mein friend, hell say, talking to Strauss, you know,
you see dot about Bannard, in de Times dis morning, hein? Dot
Bannard is yust fool enough to be doing something foolish.
Hein? You know how he says Hein? Chisholm. Dot fool
[16]


AND THE THIRD DAY
Bannard is going to parallel the Pacific Southwestern, Strauss.
Vot else is he doing out dere in de Vest? Aint we bedder do
sometinks? And old Strauss, the old hypocrite, will suck in his
lips, pretending he can think just as fast as Meyer and hell say,
Otto, ve haff a great deal of dot Pacific Southwestern. I was
tinkin you was very radical in buying so much against my advice,
Otto. And Meyer will say, Klinkel told me Bannard was selling
it short, last mont. But Klinkel is a liar. You told Klinkel to
tell him that, didnt you?
CHISHOLM
Yes, sir. But what does one do next, sir, having gathered the
kindling?
BANNARD
Damn the kindling! Think of Meyer and Strauss. Theyll go
out and sell their rails, my boy, and the market will sag, and get
worried, and by Friday all that Nassau Street crowd will be mur-
dering each other to execute selling orders on Pacific South-
western, and by Tuesday the stock wont be worth over fifteen
and we can get it at our own price. I thought it would take six
weeks, and, by God, this knee will get it to me in a week.
CHISHOLM
Very likely. But, Mr. Bannard, theres one thing in the whole
scheme that Im uneasy about. Im very uncomfortable about pre-
tending to be an engineer, but youll probably get by with that,
sir, and youre very keen about denying all these plans and still
giving the impression you are not candid and all that. But, Mr.
Bannard, will they ever believe youd build a railroad?
Sure.
BANNARD
CHISHOLM
Why, sir, Ive heard you say a hundred times and theyve heard
[17]


AND THE THIRD DAY
you say Fools build railroads and wise guys grab them. Let the
ambitious fools build things. Well take them away when theyre
built.
BANNARD
Chisholm, thats the right system and thats mine. Youll never
find K. Z. Bannard wasting any office hours over this constructive
finance. But, sooner or later, everybody else does. They make
their stake and then they get hungry to be an international finan-
cier or a Morgan or a Harriman or a Henry Ford. All but K. Z.
Bannard. He lets em sugar out the sap, and if its sweet, he waits
awhile and trades em an all-day-sucker for a pound of maple
cake. All the rest get ambitious, and want to be Secretary of the
Treasury, or found an art gallery or build a national park. And,
Chisholm, they all think Ill fall for it, too. Every man with a
bank account south of City Hall Square is waiting to crack just
one more of his neighbors safes before he begins to reform. All
but K. Z. Bannard.
CHISHOLM
Very well, sir, you know.
BANNARD
I know. You bet I know. Chisholm, we must get the office on
long distance before this search party finds usbefore the market
opens. This is the greatest chance for a good honest old-fashioned
burglary since I moved from South Bend. Ill have that railroad
of Meyers before Wednesday night, and its a good road if it is
his. But[He rises, totters, and then leans heavily on Chisholm,
who catches him] confound this knee! Wheres that damned avia-
tor? Which way did he go? Why isnt he back? Ill break his one-
horse company!
CHISHOLM
He said he went down stream, sir.
[18]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
[Limping heavily to the front of the stage, where he can look
both ways.]
Which way is down?
chisholm [Looking.]
Very curious, sir, it seems to flow both ways.
BANNARD
Both ways? Impossible! No stream flows two ways.
CHISHOLM
It does. Didnt he say this was the Continental Divide?
BANNARD
Yes.
CHISHOLM
Well, sir, this spring must be just on the Divide. This way the
water runs to the Atlantic, and the other to the Pacific. Thats
very curious, sir, very interesting, very romantic, I may say.
BANNARD
Interesting nothing! Theres only one interesting place on
earth, my friend, and that sticks into New York Bay. I dont see
anything interesting in these jungles.
CHISHOLM
Quite so, sir. I spoke thoughtlessly, sir.
BANNARD
Its pitch dark. Wheres your fire?
[ i9 ]


AND THE THIRD DAY
CHISHOLM
Well, sir, I was not entirely successful. I
BANNARD
Ill light your fire. Im dizzy. This cut on my head. Help me
over.
[Chisholm helps him, hobbling, back to the center. The dark-
ness grows. Bannard, painfully getting down, strikes a match.
His voice, in the dark, as the match flickers and then goes
out.]
BANNARD
Do you suppose that boy knew that stream flowed two ways?
Chisholm, Id send you after him with a telegram if I knew which
way he went. Very awkward, flowing both ways.
[Darkness. The forestage disappears. Then slowly the phos-
phorescence in the stream reappears. Then the tom-tom, the
vapors and glow in the trees in the background. The Indian
Chronicler is again visible. He chants.]
THE CHRONICLER
Three are the days, and the second dawns moodily.
Only the robin is up and alert.
Raindrops of penitence drip on the Magpie,
Huddling a spruce trunk and mourning his hurt.
Raindrops of penitence, cleansing, caressing,
Hushing the boaster and mending his wing.
Raindrops of gloom but they carry a blessing
Rain is the mother of many a thing!
Rain was first music, and water first laughter,
Dripping from pine sprays and coursing the hill.
Rains the reminder of past and hereafter!
So thought the Magpie, and then he was still.
[The phosphorescence dims. The Chronicler disappears.]
[20]


SECOND SCENE
[Darkness. Then again a light on the main stage, beginning in
faint flickers from a fire which Chisholm is blowing awk-
wardly in the left center.
A sort of shelter of branches and overcoats has been built in
the left foreground against the hillside. Under it lies Bannard,
smoking a cigar, propped against the bank, unshaven and
dirty. A smudgy campfire in the center, steaming with wet
wood. Chisholm hugs the campfire opposite Bannard. He
is fanning it with a cap and a book in the dusk. Raindrops on
the foliage, the trace of a day of rain just cleared.]
BANNARD
Chisholm, is this my last cigar?
CHISHOLM
Yes, sir, youve smoked a whole box since last night.
BANNARD
Thats nothing. Twenty-five cigars in twenty-four hours is only
one an hour, elapsed time. Ive beaten that when I wasnt hungry.
Give me a match.
CHISHOLM
Couldnt I light it with a torch or a coal, sir? We have only
two matches left. That chauffeur may not turn up for another
day, sir.
BANNARD
Two matches! I gave you a full box last night.
[21]


AND THE THIRD DAY
CHISHOLM
Very true. But I used half of them lighting the fire last evening,
and today the box got wet in the rain. I left them in my overcoat
over your head there.
BANNARD
Chisholm, if that damned chauffeur comes back before we
starve, Im going to have you elected the Imperial Granum of
the Boy Scouts.
CHISHOLM
Im very sorry, sir.
BANNARD
Give me a match. If I starve to death, Im going to do it right.
Im not going to have my last cigar ruined by a torch from any
fire you built. Besides, your fires arent warm enough to light a
cigar.
\He is handed the match, and silently lights the cigar, then
settles back.]
CHISHOLM
A horribly wet day, sir. A horrible day!
BANNARD
One of the finest days of my life, Chisholm, if we had some-
thing to eat.
CHISHOLM
Fine? Why, sir, it rained all day till just now. And Im wet as
a bath towel, sir.
BANNARD
Im wet myself. But smell the woods, man! Why, man, they
build marble fountains to imitate that drip and smell. Its fine to
get down to fundamentals once in a mans life, Chisholm.
[22]


AND THE THIRD DAY
CHISHOLM
Im afraid I prefer a good hotel.
BANNARD
Is that still the same book youre reading?
CHISHOLM
Yes. I have only the one book.
BANNARD
One book, one match, one cigar, one sprained knee! Youre
right. Thats a fine outfit for a second night in the woods after
an all-day rain.
CHISHOLM
Its very unfortunate, sir, very. Perhaps the chauffeur will come
back, Mr. Bannard, when hes spent the money you gave him.
BANNARD
Thats comforting, Chisholm. Two hundred dollars will last
him all summer out here. This isnt Broadway. Will your book
last all summer?
CHISHOLM
Hardly, sir. But Ive read it before. I could read it again.
BANNARD
Read a book twice! Chisholm, you are a card. I cant read a
book once. But Im going to be ready to eat one by morning.
Arent you too hungry to read?
CHISHOLM
The book makes me forget Im hungry. Literature is a great
refuge in trouble, Mr. Bannard.
[23]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
The devil it is! I suppose it puts you to sleep. What kind of a
book is it?
CHISHOLM
Well, sir, Ithat isits only a romance, sirthat is to say
not a serious book at all, sir. I have a great taste for romances,
sir, for adventure and all that sort of thing.
BANNARD
The devil you have! Whats the name of it?
CHISHOLM
Its called A History of Pirates, sir.
BANNARD
Why, Chisholm, thats a childs book.
CHISHOLM
Well, sir, II hardly know how to explain. Pirates and robbers
and explorersIm very fond of reading about them, sir. It takes
me out of myself, sir. I
BANNARD
Chisholm, I thought you didnt have any vices. Do you read
Frank Merriwell?
CHISHOLM
Well, sir, I have sometimesbut not regularly, not regularly
at all.
BANNARD
Read me some of that book.
[24]


AND THE THIRD DAY
CHISHOLM
Oh, Mr. Bannard, you wouldnt be interested. Its a very idle
bookits
BANNARD
Go ahead! If it makes me forget Im hungry its worth a hun-
dred dollars a page. I cant think of anything but planked steak.
CHISHOLM
Im sure it will bore you. Theres no business in it, no
BANNARD
Business! There must be the pirate business in it. Thats my
business, Chisholm. Every man on the streets a pirate, and Im
king of em. Go ahead!
CHISHOLM
Very well, sir. The author takes up the pirates by seas, sir.
One part is about the pirates of the Pacific, the Malays and
Chinese; and another part is about the pirates of the Atlantic, sir,
and so on. Its very fine about the pirates of the Atlantic, The
Vikings and Captain Kidd and Teach, and all those. What shall
I read, sir?
BANNARD
I dont care. Read about the Atlantic pirates. Read right where
you are. I suppose Im an Atlantic pirate.
CHISHOLM
I was reading about Captain Blackbeard, sir. In 1780, sir. He
used to disguise his pirate craft like a friendly man-of-war or a
merchantman, and, when he got very close, open fire and slaugh-
ter them all.
[25]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
Exactly! Hes a pirate and Im a pirate. Only I pretend Im
building a railroad, and that youre my engineer, my first mate
or whatever it isand when we get up close well open fire and
grab the Pacific Southwestern, and let Meyer walk the plank.
Lets hear about this Blackbird.
Blackbeard.
CHISHOLM
BANNARD
Blackbird never built ships, Chisholm, or sailed with a cargo
of his own, did he?
CHISHOLM
Oh, no, sir, Blackbeard was a true pirate.
BANNARD
What did I tell you, Chisholm? Let the other fellowthe fellow
with a yellow streakdo that. Then when he gets out in the deep
water, the game is to grab it from him when hes asleep.
CHISHOLM
Yes, sir, quite so. Thats what you always said, Mr. Bannard.
BANNARD
Said it! I do it. Im doing it now. Lets hear about this Black-
beard.
CHISHOLM
Well, sir, Blackbeard has just captured a sloop near the Bar-
badoes by strategy, sir. He was a very bloody man,God forgive
him! Just now hes slaughtering the crew of the ship he captured.
[26]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
Go ahead! Perhaps it will tell me something to do to Meyer.
CHISHOLM
[He reads in a strained voice, gradually rising to his feet and
acting the narrative, absorbed in the story.]
There was no sound except the slap of the Atlantic swell
against the sides of the captured vessel. Blackbeard stepped over
the bodies of the slaughtered men. He stepped nearer the captain
of the unfortunate sloop. Even the pirates own crew trembled
in suspense. The captive stood by the splintered foremast, his
head sunk upon his breast, his arms pinioned in the grasp of two
surly ruffians. No Viking who raked those same seas in earlier,
wilder days, no Malay robber skulking behind his sail of mats,
ever earned a fouler name than Blackbeard deserved today. With
the blood streaming from a gash in his scalp, the pirate chief
strode across the slippery deck. He wrenched up the head of his
victim until he could gaze into his eyes. Where are the treasure
chests? he snarled. I know you left Jamaica with chests of taxes
for the king. Give me the gold and Ill turn you free in a dory
with a jug and a keg of biscuit. Deny me the gold, and youll hang
by the thumbs from the yard arm while I find it for myself.
[Chisholm pauses, out of breath and overwhelmed.]
BANNARD
Go on.
[Calmly.]
CHISHOLM
[Shyly resuming, then gradually sinking deeper into the action.]
The captain stood alone on the deck, except for the circle of
leering pirates and the prostrate forms of his own crew. Then he
threw a proud glance about him, and said:
Blackbeard, an hour ago I was almost ready to surrender to
[ 27 ]


AND THE THIRD DAY
men who attacked against odds as bravely and boldly as you,
rascals as you are. But, by the cross of St. George, I have no gold
at all for cowards and torturers.
Blackbeard drew back, for a moment abashed. As he hesi-
tated, his eyes ran over the flapping white sails and the towering
masts of the good ship Bristol Jane, and came to rest again,
calmer and saner for their travels.
Long John, he said, you and your boat-crew search forward,
the rest of you abaft. Carpenter, find this man an oar, water and
biscuits, and set him free in a boat. Blackbeard hangs no such
man as this.
Without another word, Blackbeard strode away.
BANNARD
Look out, Chisholm! Youll land in the creek. And that creek,
Chisholm, will take you to the Atlantic or Pacific, as it likes, you
know, right down into the front office of one of the pirates.
CHISHOLM
Pardon, Mr. Bannard, Im afraid I get so carried away I
BANNARD
Go on!
Chisholm [Reading.\
But as Blackbeard turned away, sour and discontented looks
from his pirate crew followed him. The crew searched fruitlessly
far into the night for the treasure. Dark figures gathered and
whispered among the masts and plotted treachery against their
chief.
BANNARD
Chisholm, that reminds me. Have you seen any animals around
today?
[28]


AND THE THIRD DAY
No, Mr. Bannard.
CHISHOLM
BANNARD
Well, never mind. Ive just had a kind of a feeling all afternoon
that we werent alone. Its this empty stomach, I suppose.
CHISHOLM
[He listens. He hears nothing, but for Chisholm and the audi-
ence there is a faint suggestion of sea-song, trailing off into a
wail from somewhere down the two streams.]
Im sure it must be, sir. Your injury and the hunger, sir. Might
very well set up a fever, sir.
BANNARD
Never mind, I guess its nothing. Go ahead!
Chisholm [Reading.]
The pirates soon broke into the wine lockers of the ship.
Before dawn she was burning to the waters edge, while the pirates
paddled drunkenly back to their own vessel. No records indicate
whether Blackbeard secretly recovered the treasure from the sink-
ing ship and removed it unbeknownst to his drunken crew, or
what became of the gold, if he did so. The treasure of the Bristol
Jane was lost to history, at any rate, that moonlight night off the
Barbadoes.
[Chisholm pauses. The daylight is failing fast.]
Are you asleep, Mr. Bannard?
BANNARD
No.
CHISHOLM
Pardon the interruption, sir. No doubt youre planning just
what well do to Meyer and the railroad.
[29]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
I had forgotten all about Meyer.
Beg pardon, sir?
CHISHOLM
BANNARD
[Rising and limping slowly down towards the pool, gazing into
patches of eastern sky between the treetops.]
Im just watching for the big star that came up last night about
this time over the trees there. Did you see it?
CHISHOLM
Why, no, sir, I didnt. I never cared for stars.
BANNARD
No, you wouldnt, Chisholm. Come to think of it, I never did
myself till now. Never had time to look at em, I suppose. Maybe
this is a new star.
CHISHOLM
Very probably. It must be, sir, for you to notice it. Shall I
read any more, sir?
' BANNARD
Is there anything good about a pirate in that book?
CHISHOLM
I cant say there is. They were very rough men.
BANNARD
Well, you just read to yourself then. That Blackbeard was a
kind of a rotten cheese, I think. He dont seem to fit out here
[30]


AND THE THIRD DAY
where the woods are so big andall washed clean with the rain
todaylike the paving in New York at night.
CHISHOLM
Yes, sir, I hardly thought youd care for romance.
BANNARD
Romance! That isnt romance. That Blackbeard didnt even
have nerve. Why, the Captain had the nerveto get out on that
sea without moren a six-shooter maybe when he knew it was
full of low-down sneaking porch-climbers like that Blackbeard.
Theres the nerve.
CHISHOLM
But, Mr. Bannard, Ive heard you say a hundred times
BANNARD
I dont care what I said. You read your book to yourself. Im
going to watch for that star. Ill bet a hundred its a brand new
star I discovered myself. Ill bet a hundred dollars that Black-
beard never saw that staror he wouldnt be the rotten cheese
he was.
CHISHOLM
The next part of the book is about the Chinese pirates. Its
quite different, sir.
BANNARD
Did they ever do anything decent?
CHISHOLM
Well, sir, I
BANNARD
Then I wouldnt read about em if I were youor one of these
pine trees or mountains will get tired and step on you.
[31 ]


AND THE THIRD DAY
CHISHOLM
You mean, sir, I shouldnt read to myself?
BANNARD
Oh, no. Never mind.
CHISHOLM
I dont understand.
BANNARD
You wouldnt understand, Chisholm, you wouldnt understand
by Christmas.
[The lights dim. Again the smoke cloud is illuminated in the
trees above and the tom-tom commences and The Indian
Chronicler replaces Bannard and Chisholm.]
THE CHRONICLER
Three are the days! And the third day comes glittering,
Drunk with forgetfulness, rousing the glade
To a fiesta of scrambling and twittering!
All but the Magpie, and he is afraid.
Hunger and rain are the prophets of littleness,
Pondered the Magpie and limped from his bough.
Trees that creak loudest betray their own brittleness.
Lo, Im a sage and philosopher now!
So he hopped gingerly, preening repentedly,
Soothing the wrens who fled chiding aside,
Cloaked in humility, never a thought that he
Swam but the currents the earth-gods provide!
[The light sinks. The Indian Chronicler becomes invisible.]
[32]


THIRD SCENE
[The fore-stage again develops. Bannard is in the foreground,
bathing the caked blood on his forehead in the stream. Chis-
holm stands over him, attentive but noticeably lackadaisical.
The shelter and the fire the same, but a new fire and crude
shelter in the center background some distance farther up
Mil.]
CHISHOLM
Is the knee less painful, Mr. Bannard?
BANNARD
Its better. The first night it was swollen. Last night it throbbed,
but its better tonight. Tomorrow I could walk if we had a square
meal.
CHISHOLM
You mustnt think of it. Im sure therell be a rescue party in
the morning. I shall certainly speak to the pilot when he arrives.
Three days, indeed, and nothing to eat and no cigars for you!
I am indignant.
BANNARD
Indignant! Im hungry.
Quite so, sir.
CHISHOLM
BANNARD
Chisholm, one of us must go for help in the morning.
[33]


AND THE THIRD DAY
CHISHOLM
Very well, sir. I explored quite a distance today, you know,
down both streams. I could scarcely hear when you called, Mr.
Bannard, the last time.
BANNARD
You ought to write a book on your explorations, Chisholm.
Farthest North, or Lost in the Front Yard. Youre about as
much use out of doors as a piano lamp.
CHISHOLM
My tastes have been higher, I hope. Mr. Bannard, civilization
is measured by the degree we remove ourselves from raw nature.
BANNARD
I dont know about civilization. I dont know half what I knew
three days ago, but I know one or two things I didnt know then.
If youre civilization, Im going to vote the Barbaric Ticket
straight from now on.
CHISHOLM
Im very sorry, sir. I meant no offense.
BANNARD
There, there! I guess Im irritable. Ive missed my first seven
meals in forty years and spilled about a quart of blood, and I
havent had my iron today or whatever it is the advertisements
say, and Im as dizzy as a roller skate. So well call it off. Have
you finished that little civilizing book on pirates yet?
CHISHOLM
Well, not quite. Im reading the first appendix now. Its very
edifying. I almost forgot the absence of dinner.
[34]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
Whats the particular crime?
CHISHOLM
Its an account of the Pirates of the Malay Islands. Naked
brown men, sir, and a bloody, vicious immoral lot they were.
BANNARD
Are those what you call Vikings?
CHISHOLM
Oh, no, sir. The Vikings are our own ancestors. Norsemen, Mr.
Bannard, who had fair hair and dressed in skins, but pirates, true
pirates.
BANNARD
Have you read in your book about that Chinaman? The one
Sir Somebody hanged?
CHISHOLM
Sing Lee?
BANNARD
Yes.
CHISHOLM
Ah, yes! Theres a fine account of his trial in the book. Word
for word! Before Sir Edward Host in Hongkong in 1881.
BANNARD
I read it this morning.
CHISHOLM
You did? Is it possible, sir? Then you wouldnt care to hear it
again, sir?
[35]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
No, thanks! Wait. Do you remember, Chisholm, what that fel-
low said when the judge gave him his last chance to talk?
CHISHOLM
A very fine passage, that. Sing Lee was quite a philosopher, sir.
BANNARD
Give me the book. Where is it? Listen. The judge pulled that
line about whether Sing Lee had anything to say before the judge
turned him over to the undertaker. Remember?
CHISHOLM
Not exactly, sir.
BANNARD
After the jury found him guilty, you know, of piracy. And the
interpreter says Sing Lee wants to make a speech, and the old
fossil of a judge says thats about all hes got time to do.
CHISHOLM
I dont remember exactly.
BANNARD
This is the interpreter. Listen, Chisholm. I want to ask you
something when I get through.
Quite so, sir.
CHISHOLM
BANNARD
[Reading.]
Interpreter: Sing Lee says if the Court please, he would
explain himself in the Confucian sense. Sing Lee says he was bom
[36]


AND THE THIRD DAY
on the Yellow River, in a house that floated on a boat, and that
his father was a fisherman who fished with cormorants. And his
honorable father and his other honorable ancestors had labored
honorably fishing with cormorants since the Ta-tsing dynasty.
But when he came of age his father said: Sing Lee, never fish
with cormorants, or all your life long you will fish with cormo-
rants only, and so die fishing. Only fools and cowards, who are
afraid to do otherwise, labor to catch fish and bring and sell them.
Wiser and bolder men take out their sampans before dawn, and,
pretending to be diligently fishing, drift near to and overpower
the honest fishermen. Then they strangle the honest fishermen
you can hear cries sometimes on the river at nightand take the
fish and the boats of the honest fishermen and sell them. Only
fools build sampans and fish for fish. Be not a fool. And Sing Lee
says that, as his father commanded, he went with companions
and strangled fishermen and sold their fish for two years, until
one night his companions strangled Sing Lees own father, and
Sing Lee, unknowing, sold his fathers fish.
CHISHOLM
How very distressing!
BANNARD
Well, it didnt seem to bother your friend, Chisholm. That was
his start in business.
How was that, sir?
CHISHOLM
BANNARD
Listen. [Reading.] Interpreter: Sing Lee says he fled away in
a sampan because his companions, though thieves, considered him
the murderer of his father. Then Sing Lee became a pirate in the
China Sea, and he has sunk more junks than any pirate in a hun-
dred years. And he has killed 180 men and some women and chil-
dren. He is a great pirate. He has even captured a British gunboat.
[37]


AND THE THIRD DAY
It is because he is sharper and bolder than other men. He says
that he is wiser and braver than the judge, and if the judge hangs
him, Sing Lee says it is only because the other cowards who help
the judge are too many for Sing Lee to fight.
CHISHOLM
Very fine, Mr. Bannard. Cant say how delighted I am to find
you enjoying my book. They tell me the Orientals are very
courageous, sir.
BANNARD
Does Sing Lee talk like anybody else you ever heard, Chis-
holm?
CHISHOLM
Cant say, sir, Im sure. I never had the acquaintance of any
Orientals.
BANNARD
No, not a Chinaman. Did you ever hear anybody else say any-
thing that sounded like that line of Sing Lees?
CHISHOLM
Well, sir, I think not. I scarcely meet any sailors, sir.
BANNARD
Well, never mind, go to bed.
CHISHOLM
Quite so, sir. Perhaps I had better go up on the hill, where I
slept last night?
[The daylight begins to fail.]
BANNARD
Yes, go up to your own fire.
[38]


AND THE THIRD DAY
CHISHOLM
I hoped you wouldnt mind if I stayed down here.
BANNARD
Better do what I told you last night. Go up to your own fire and
leave me at mine. For one thing you snore. For another I dont
want to be too close if lightning strikes your civilization. For
another, as Ive told you, theres something around here thats
afraid to come near you or the fire. It may only be my empty
stomach but I want to watch tonight and see.
CHISHOLM
Im sure theres no one about. You make me very nervous.
BANNARD
Go along and read yourself to sleep. Ill call you if I see any-
thing.
[Chisholm goes to the upper shelter, some yards to the right
behind Bannard, and opening his book, squats in front of the
fire, his form in dim silhouette against the firelight.]
BANNARD
Chisholm, turn to that page about Sing Lee, again.
CHISHOLM
Quite so, sir. [Pause.] I have it, sir.
BANNARD
When the interpreter got through with the Chinamans speech,
the judge said something, didnt he?
[ 39 ]


AND THE THIRD DAY
CHISHOLM
Yes, sir. Sir Edward Host was a very stern man, sir,and a
very handsome man, Ive heard it said.
Read what he said.
BANNARD
Chisholm [Reading.]
Sir Edward: Tell Sing Lee he brought nothing into this world
and he will take nothing out. But that his ancestors were unlike
him, for, while they brought nothing in, they went with all that
mandarins and philosophers can take, an honorable and useful
name, and a remembrance of building sound sampans and catch-
ing many fish for hungry men. Tell Sing Lee, as the English law
provides, he shall be taken from the place where he now is to the
place of execution, and there hanged by the neck until he is dead,
and God have mercy on his soul!
[The stage is almost dark.]
BANNARD
[Repeating after Chisholm.]
Tell Sing Lee he brought nothing into this world and will take
nothing out. And God have mercy on his soul. Cheerful fellow,
that judge!
CHISHOLM
Yes, Mr. Bannard, a very pious man and quite a wit on occa-
sion. My mothers aunt married a scrivener, sir, who was in the
foreign office. And Ive heard the most extraordinary tales of Sir
Edward. He hung many a pirate, sir. They say in his black cap
and white wig, he made a fine figure. Theres another passage,
here, about him in the book. [Turning the pages, in dim and
distant silhouette.] Ill find it in a moment, sir, in a moment, in a
moment, in a moment. . .
[The last words become scarcely intelligible, as the light by
Chisholm sinks, and a solitary irregular beam centers on
[40]


AND THE THIRD DAY
Bannard in front. It is the moon between the branches. Ban-
nard peers into the creek gorge both ways. Again the wordless
phrase of a sea-chant rises faintly, ends in a wail and is re-
peated off among the trees that line both streams.]
bannard [In suspense.]
Theyre coming! Whatever they are, theyre here. Ive felt
them coming since yesterday.
[For awhile the observer is conscious of Chisholm still reading,
inaudibly, and gesturing to himself in the background, as he
does when he reads. After a little he becomes inconspicuous.
An indistinct, noiseless figure creeps up the Pacific branch of
the creek onto the stage. It is a tall brown man, with a curved
wooden knife, a breechclout and a paddle. He is following a
scent up the stream. He passes above Bannard, tastes the
water and finds the scent lost. He turns, hesitating. Then he
detects Bannard, and approaches him, crouching, inquisitive
like a wild animal, and hostile. Bannard on whom the light
gently centers, sees the brown man and watches, at first from
his reclining position, half apprehensive, half curious, quite
unsurprised. Then as the brown man approaches, Bannard
rises and backs away from him. Behind Bannard another
figure has arrived from the Atlantic or left branch of the
stream. The two apparitions are utterly unconscious of each
others presence. The second figure is an early Norse marauder,
sometimes called a Viking, in white skins and a low helmet.
Bannard, retreating before the brown man, backs into the
Viking before he knows of his presence. The Norseman grasps
Bannards wrist, and the brown man clutches at his throat.
Bannard makes a faint struggle, mental rather than physical,
but seems helpless.]
bannard
Help! Help! Chisholm, for Gods sake, help!
[Chisholm is visible but oblivious, as if nothing had occurred.]
[41]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
Let me go, damn you! What do you want?
THE NORSEMAN
[Backing off uncertainly.]
What do I want? I do not know.
BANNARD
Who are you, then? Where did you come from?
NORSEMAN
I smelled the stream where among the breakers the spray was
salt. I came because it called me. I camewho knowsbecause
I must.
BANNARD
Who are you, I say?
NORSEMAN
I was called Thorgis, the Viking. But that was very long ago.
A hundred timesa thousand times the spring has thawed tile
ice pack where the white whales blow since any man called me
at all.
BANNARD
Who is this man?
THORGIS
[Conscious of the brown man for the first time, but indiffer-
ently. ]
I do not know him.
BANNARD
[Authoritatively to the other\
[The brown man backs off unconcernedly.]
[42]
Let go!


AND THE THIRD DAY
THE BROWN MAN
Peace! Kalanau is lost. He came because the blood of one like
him flowed into that fresh water, into the peaceful ocean, where
he wanders alwayslonely as a palm tree on a coral ring. Kala-
nau was lonely, and he smelled his brothers blood.
BANNARD
His brothers blood! I
KALANAU
Peace! I will go higher to the blood I smelled.
BANNARD
Why did you choke me?
THORGIS
Who knows!
KALANAU
Who knows! It was so always that I met menbut I remember
now that they were brown men who paddled log canoes and sang
long songs among the coral reefs. Always we crept upon them in
the dark and strangled themthat way. Perhaps the blood is
higher.
[Kalanau turns to climb, scooping water in his hand to smell
it, and starts uncertainly up stream. Thorgis stands indiffer-
ent. Bannard turns to face up stage, watching Kalanau, and,
as he does so, another figure, then another, in gay Chinese cos-
tumes slip gently on from the Pacific division of the stream.
They are almost upon Bannard when he detects something
and wheels to face them. As he does so he is met by a rush
of figures from the Atlantic side as well. The new group are
dressed as traditional Caribbean pirates. They all halt, stiffen
and then gently slouch away as Bannard faces them.]
[43 3


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
Chisholm, Chisholm! For Gods sake!
[He turns and sees Chisholm still dimly visible, reading and
oblivious.]
BANNARD
He is there. He does not hear. Am I asleep?
[The pirates stand, indifferently, and Bannakd, limping, hesi-
tatingly approaches the Chinese group. He touches the leader,
finds him solid, to his surprise, and rubs his hand across his
own forehead. Then he desperately grasps the Chinamans
shoulder.]
bannard [Boldly.]
Your name!
sing lee [Defiantly.]
Sing Lee. [Indifferently.] I was.
bannard [Suddenly enlightened.]
Sing Lee! [After a pause.] What brought you here?
SEVERAL ON BOTH SIDES
[Pointing to the stream but speaking dully.]
The blood!
SING lee [Simply.]
That stream came down into the sea, stained red with blood,
and the ripples said: This might be your own blood, Sing Lee.
For it is the blood of your brother, the blood of your son, the
blood of one who is as like to you as the splash of the right bow
is to the splash of the left.
BLACKBEARD
And I was lonely. I am lonely always. And I came.
[44]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
[To Sing Lee.]
These others?
SING LEE
Sing Lee does not know them.
You are Blackbeard!
BANNARD
\To the leader of the Atlantic Group.]
BLACKBEARD
I had forgotten, but men called me so.
[Bannard points questioningly at the men behind Blackbeard.
Blackbeard shakes his head vaguely.]
BANNARD [Musingly.]
Is the water still stained with your brothers blood, Sing Lee?
The stain is faint.
SING LEE
BANNARD [As before.]
And was it that same blood that drew you all? [All nod.]
Pirates and murderers and ruffiansbecause you smelled your
like?
[They assent.]
I was lonely.
THORGIS
KALANAU
I was lonely, and the blood stain brought me thoughts of days
that have dried and blown away, like coral sand.
[45]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
[Suddenly reaching the stream above the last jail and plunging
in his hand.]
Is this the stain?
[ The cataract grows red, tinting the water in pool below.]
all [Eagerly.]
The blood!
BANNARD
[In a struggle to adjust and maintain his philosophy.]
Blackbeard, you say you have forgotten. [Brandishing his drip-
ping arm before Blackbeard.] Dont you remember the fights you
fought, the ships you won, the flash of your guns, the strength of
your arm, the men you forced to their knees, and the weaklings
you hated?
I have forgotten.
BLACKBEARD
[His face lighting, then dulling.]
BANNARD
The Bristol Janecant you remember the Bristol Jane?
What did you do with the gold of the Bristol Jane?
BLACKBEARD
The gold?
BANNARD
The gold the Captain hid. Doesnt the Bristol Jane mean
anything?
blackbeard [Feeling his way.]
I knowthe Bristol JaneI think I can remember. Oh, I
remember, I gave a man his life. The Captainhe was a brave
[46]


AND THE THIRD DAY
manI could not beat himand I gave him his life. Thank God!
I can remember somethingone thing! I gave a man his life!
BANNARD
But the gold, man, the gunshots and the battles for the gold!
BLACKBEARD [Dreamingly.]
I do not remember. [Proudly.] But I thank you, sir. My name
is Teach, sir, at your service, sir, called Blackbeard. You have
helped me, sir. Now I have something to remember, sir. I did!
I gave a man his life! Thank God, once I gave a man his life.
[He steps aside, rubbing his hands, and mumbling joyfully to
himself.]
BANNARD [Disdainfully.]
The fool! [Suddenly seeing him back off.] Where are you
going?
BLACKBEARD
Back to my ocean, back to the Barbadoes and the Keys, where
I belong.
BANNARD
For what?
BLACKBEARD
Oh, I shall remember now. It will not be so lonely.
SING LEE
The white sailor is blessed. Can you also bless Sing Lee with
something to remember?
BANNARD
Remember! You, the greatest pirate in a hundred years! Your
junks, your prisoners, your British gunboat!
[47]


AND THE THIRD DAY
SING LEE
I? Gunboat? I have forgotten!
BANNARD
Even the speech you made to that English dude when he sent
you out with his soldiers to be hanged?
SING LEE
Sing Lee remembers only that he wanders forever, in the Yel-
low Sea, out there, where there are ships that do not see him and
gulls that do not fly at his approach.
BANNARD
The cormorants, man, with rings around their necks, who dived
and brought your father fish!
SING LEE
The cormorants! [Delightedly.] The swimming birds with
green-black necks! Sing Lee remembers now an old mans smile
a man with thin gray hairs around his chin, who pulled all day
upon an oar. The old man patted me upon the head. Why, why,
before it goesremind me why he patted me?
BANNARD
I do not know. Im sorry.
SING LEE
The cormorants! Something about the cormorants!
BANNARD
Sing Lee, I think I understand. Something you did before you
strangled fishermen, before you saw the Yellow Sea. Perhaps you
could remember that.
[48]


AND THE THIRD DAY
SING LEE
I remember. I was a boy, too small to braid a queue. One day
a tall ship in the Yangtze River spilled our boat, and all the
birds would have been lost but I dove overboard, and, swimming
underneath the water, caught them all but one. Sing Lee remem-
bers! You have blest him like the sailor from the other sea.
[Suddenly voices, faint shouts and a glimmer of light in the dis-
tant hillside behind. The figures, except Bannard and Chis-
holm, shrink and vanish in the gloom. The light slowly alters
to a natural dusk.]
CHISHOLM
[Rises, looks up hill and calls excitedly.]
Hello, hello, I say! Mr. Bannard, are you asleep, sir? Theres
someone coming, sir.
BANNARD
Whats that?
CHISHOLM
Theres someone coming. I hear men and horses. It must be a
rescue party. Shall I call?
BANNARD
Wait a minuteI want to think. I want to think. Whos the
best engineer to build a railroad we know?
CHISHOLM
Harvey, I suppose, John Harvey of Chicago. Mr. Bannard, he
built the
BANNARD
Of course, Harvey! Take a telegram, Chisholm. John Harvey,
whatever that building is, Chicago
[ 49 ]


AND THE THIRD DAY
CHISHOLM
Mr. Bannard, Mr. Bannard! You forget, sir, I havent a pencil
and there isnt any telegraph office and
[Chisholm comes down to Bannard.]
BANNARD
Of course, Chisholm, I forgot. But get this, Chisholm,get this.
I need an engineer, Chisholm. Were going to build a railroad,
man,a standard gauge, short line railroad that will cut twelve
hours off America, and make the Pacific Southwestern look like
a Coney Island roller coaster. Do you get me?
CHISHOLM
Of course. Were to say we came up to build a railroad.
BANNARD
No! Were to say nothingthats just it. Were to build this
railroad, Chisholm, not talk about it. Were going to shut our
mouths till I see the men Ive got to see. What I need is an
engineer.
CHISHOLM
But, Mr. Bannard, Ive heard you say a hundred times, Let
the other fellow
BANNARD
I dont care what I said. Theyll never rank me as one of these
second-story porch-climbers who went around stealing babies out
of their baby carriages.
CHISHOLM
But, Mr. Bannard, theyll never believe it of you.
[ 50]


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
Thats the point. Theyll never believe it of me till its too late
to stop me.
CHISHOLM
But, Mr. Bannard, weve never done anything like this. Its
very unsafe.
BANNARD
Unsafe nothing! Ive told you all along that this railroad
scheme was so blamed plausible and sound that theyd believe it
in a minute.
CHISHOLM
So you did.
BANNARD
And, Chisholm, write this out on your Underwood and stick it
under the plate glass on your desk: K. Z. Bannard isnt going to
spend eternity wandering around the clean woods and hiding from
the moon, and smelling blood with Blackbeard and Sing Lee and
Meyer and Strauss. K. Z. Bannard is going to have one place he
can remember, one thing he isnt ashamed to telllike the poor
devils wandering down the creek.
CHISHOLM
The creekwho
BANNARD
Never mind. But, Chisholm, heres your job for the rest of your
life. Keep your eyes on me, and if you ever catch me after a good
dinner telling how smart I am to take it from the babies, just
get me a strait-jacket and break my leg with a mallet, and bring
me back here.
CHISHOLM
Quite so, sir, but I
[SO


AND THE THIRD DAY
BANNARD
And that book of yoursI want you to read that book to me
about once every six weeks, and if it doesnt make me foam at
the mouth, thats your signal to get the strait-jacket and the
mallet.
CHISHOLM
Quite so, sir. It will be very difficult if
BANNARD
Now get up there, and blackguard that aviator until Im ready
to go. So they keep away for half an hour!
CHISHOLM
Quite so, sir. But, Mr. Bannard, they wont understand. Theyll
insist on coming down.
BANNARD
Do what I tell you! Ive got an appointment for half an hour.
CHISHOLM
An appointment, sir?
BANNARD
Yes, an appointmentan appointment with a star!
[The stage dims as Chisholm climbs up the hill, hesitatingly,
uncertain whether Bannard is in his right mind. Bannard
waves him away, amused but impatient. Then Bannard steps
out into the open and looks eagerly up to the sky.]
[The stage darkens. Then again the phosphorescence in the
stream, the green glow and the vapor among the spruces, the
tom-tom and muted strings and the chant of the Indian
spokesman.]
[52]


AND THE THIRD DAY
THE CHRONICLER
Dawn, Noon and Night are the trackers unwearying.
Dawn the slim cougar, and tall Noon behind;
Night is the Thunder-bird. Three are the trackers!
And three are the days of the moods of mankind!
THE END


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