Action I The
raznotsherstnye inhabitants of a Dublin house this evening were in a state more nervous and animated than usual: the master, Musya, displayed heart-rending passages on bagpipes; female prostitutes ruffled with the damaging fishery of former young men – Rio Rita and Princess Grace; one girl made a scandal because her client turned out to be a Pole, that is, a Communist, but his pounders still reconciled a good Catholic with the prospect of unnatural communication; in the room of Mr. Mallidi caught a member of the charitable company of Miss Gilchrist and expelled with disgrace, although it was enough once to look at this person, to understand that she can earn a living by anything, but not with her body.
Solid patriots of the Irish Republic – Pat, nearly forty years ago (in the court, in the sense on the stage, the year 1958) lost his legs in the glorious battles with the royal troops and since that time the manager at the house of Musi, and his girlfriend and assistant, a retired employee of the brothel Meg – just tensely awaited an event, short waiting for a conversation about life. From this conversation, the viewer mainly learns what kind of house it is, who lives in it and what should have happened here later in the evening.
Let’s start with the owner. His father was a bishop (quietly: not real Protestant), and his mother Irish, and because of this last circumstance he somehow in
After the war (and for it it continues and on its own time) Musi arranged in his house something like winter flats for the veterans of the Republican Army, but money is needed, and therefore the economic pat for a reasonable fee began to let sluts, thieves and other scoundrels, which now constituted the bulk of lodgers; Musiu, however, sacredly believed that all this – patriots who suffered for their faithfulness to the idea. About the owner of the house, Pat held out two solid opinions, not caring at all by the fact that one excluded the other: that Musi was an inflexible fighter for the Irish cause, or a half-wit old man, engaged in utter nonsense. Approximately the same was his view of the current activities of the Irish Republican Army.
It was with the activities of Ira and the event that everyone was waiting for was connected. The fact is that the next morning in Belfast was to be hanged eighteen-year-old Irishman, who shot an English policeman. In response to this atrocity of the occupiers, Ira decided to take the English soldier hostage and shoot him if the sentence in Belfast is carried out. As solemnly declared by Musa, the hostage will be kept in his house.
Finally, at the door, Pat saw a man in a paramilitary uniform and with a badge warning the others that his owner wanted to speak only Irish. “Officer Ira,” Pat guessed. So it was. After conducting the reconnaissance, the officer retired, and soon the radio broadcasted that an English soldier had been kidnapped by three unknown people in Ulster. A little while later the officer returned, accompanied by two republican volunteers and a prisoner, frankly bewildered, to whom and why it was necessary to spoil his pleasant evening.
The Englishman was very young, his name was Leslie, he served in the army for a week without a year. To some disappointment of the inhabitants of the house, Musiu, his frownless face did not bear the shadow of the bestial grin of the occupation regime, but this circumstance did not reduce the general interest in the captive. The first to reach Leslie was Miss Gilchrist, and presented him with a bundle of scraps from Sunday papers devoted to unreadable details from the life of the royal house, but he had little to do with the queen, and before writing the newspapers-and even more so.
Meg, however, reacted to the Englishman quite motherly, prepared a plentiful supper and sent a new young servant, Theresa, to clean his room and make a bed.
Theresa, a village girl who had only just emerged from the walls of the monastic school, turned out to be the same age as Leslie – both of them were in their fortieth year. Young people easily started talking, and soon found out that war, hatred and all that – past things and no one wanted, began to talk about this and that, to tell stories from childhood. Of good feelings, Theresa put on her neck Lasely his image with the Virgin, so that she helped the boy in the upcoming trials. The solitary eighteen-year-olds were involuntarily helped by an officer who, for the sake of conspiracy, imposed a strict discipline in the house and put the prisoner’s rooms to the doors of the sentries. Everything was simply forgotten about Theresa…
When they remembered about it and found it with the prisoner, the officer became worried, however much she would inform the police, but he was assured that it is impossible, all entrances and exits under reliable protection. Leslie was still perplexed that the Irish eccentrics were planning this, until one of the tenants showed him a fresh newspaper. In it it was reported that in spite of everything the sentence of the murderer of the policeman will not be canceled, and also that Ira was captured by the hostage, Private Leslie Alan Williams, who in case of execution of the Irishman will be shot.
Pat, Meg and Miss Gilchrist sat in a prisoner’s room and purposefully drank, Lasley sang “Rule, Britain, the seas!”, And then switched to simple village songs. Preheated by beer, Pat chatted about his military exploits, very cynically painting the bar-dak, which was created during the liberation war. Miss Gilchrist, this, according to Meg, the shadow of a deceased prostitute, noticed that it was not worth talking about the Irishmen in the presence of an Englishman, but she was quickly plugged, and Aesley was invited to the table.
A drunken political discussion ensued, and the young Englishman even admitted that the so-called assistance of Queen Victoria, the so-called aid of Queen Victoria, was wholly deceitful: she then sent five pounds to the support fund, while donating the same amount to a shelter for stray dogs. But anyway, Aesley insisted, it happened a long time ago, and why should he not perish so. Pat, in drunken complacency, promised that in the next fifty years he should be afraid of death except from an atomic bomb.
In addition to comforters, Leslie suddenly found defenders in the face of a whole delegation of prostitutes, led by Rio Rita, Princess Grace and Mr. Mallidi, who demanded that the hostage be released immediately. Pat, in the absence of an officer who took over the functions of commander, put them out, and then, so that Leslie and Teresa could be alone, drove away all the others.
Leslie begged Teresa to go and call the police, telling her that a guy in a Belfast prison would not want Lasley to be sent to the next world after him. Theresa disagreed, and did not refuse. Young people have already managed to come to an agreement on the next meeting, if, of course, Leslie manages to get out alive from this bad alteration, when their conversation was interrupted by the officer Ira, who this time had a gun in his hands.
But then there was a noise, shots, the light went out. The officer, Pat, Meg, and Moussay, who joined them, decided that it was the police, but it turned out that Mr. Mallidi, Princess Grace and Rio Rita and her companions undertook an attempt at forcible release. Pat and Musya soon laid down their arms, the officer and volunteer somehow stood out and appeared already dressed in a woman’s dress, but they were recognized and arrested on the orders of Mr. Mallidi, as it turned out, a secret police agent.
When all was quiet, there was one dead – on the battlefield – the English soldier Leslie Williams. On his neck, Princess Grace in perplexity – was the deceased a Catholic? – noticed (noticed?) image.