The Assassin, a Play in Three Acts

By Irwin Shaw | Go to book overview

ACT THREE

SCENE IV

SCENE: In the darkness, a single spotlight shoots out, hits ROBERT facing the audience, his hands tied behind him, standing against a wall.

ROBERT

This is the wall where speculation ends. Brothers, how did I get here? What am I doing here? You wander into a bar by accident on a November night and on Christmas there are the twelve rifles . . . and in between, somehow, you change the history of the world . . . Why was I picked for the accident? Why are you killing me this morning? Why me? Quality. Vauquin is always talking about quality--it is my quality to be killed. Well, Vauquin would be killed for me, if it came to that, and for you, too, whether you're worth it or not, and so would Gannerac, and Stein, and Gerard, too . . . And before it's over, how many of them must die? It must not be for nothing. We must not be martyrs, we must be seeds--seeds . . . We can be forgotten, but only the way the acorn is forgotten in the oak, the grape in the wine . . . (With savage scorn) Brothers, will you remember me? The sword will come down and you'll kill me, and go back to your barracks and complain over breakfast because Albert made Sergeant. And what of your quality? Will you ever change from being sly, and crooked, and bloodthirsty, and comfortable? Why am I here? What am I doing here? The necessary accident . . . The green dress, cut too low . . .

-157-

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The Assassin, a Play in Three Acts
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • By Irwin Shaw ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Act One 1
  • Scene I 3
  • Scene II 39
  • Scene III 52
  • Act Two 63
  • Scene I 65
  • Scene II 75
  • Scene III 96
  • Act Three 127
  • Scene I 129
  • Scene II 137
  • Scene III 145
  • Scene IV 157
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