A couple of minutes
later. KEVIN is in the bathroom straightening his clothes. INEZ has just
entered the bedroom and is heading for the mirror above the dresser.
Well, that wasnít much.
(From the left of
the corridor HOUSEBOY enters leading ADELE, MILLIE, LES and ARCHIE, all
attired in evening clothes and all eager and excited. HOUSEBOY nods toward
Kevinís room, then receives a huge tip from LES. HE bows in gratitude as
Just my luck to waste it
on the ugliest woman in all five hundred acres. When I think of Miss Tall
Sultry Crimson-Headband---or even Lena Martina--- Why the fuck canít I
(MILLIE taps on Kevinís
door. INEZ opens it.)
I might have known.
Do come in, wonít you? Mr.
Koshkarian will be with you in a moment.
(tiptoeing to the
Kevin, dear. You have guests.
(In the bathroom,
Isnít that revolting!
Can I help it, my dear, if
Mr. Koshkarian prefers whatís in a womanís soul?
Since when is that part of
the anatomy called soul?
(KEVIN emerges from
the bathroom. ADELE moves forward, hand extended.)
Oh, Mr. Koshkarian, I do
hope youíll forgive our barging in this way.
Oh, Iím sorry.
It has nothing to do with
you. Believe me.
Iím Adele Allen. We met at
dinner. And this is Millicent Carstairs, Les Farnsworth and Archie Weatherby.
(KEVIN nods at all
of them, suppressing another yawn.)
I say, old chap, youíve been
the smash of the evening. Weíve done nothing but talk about you since you
left the dinner table.
Weíre thoroughly captivated.
Youíve thought of the most delightfully original approach weíve heard in
I think this calls for a
(HE opens his coat
and strapped inside we see bottles of champagne. From his pockets, he pulls
Les, darling, I knew I could
count on you!
Now Mr. Koshkarian, you must
tell us all about your era.
Go ahead. Tell them.
About the new world, the
Now, now, dear, no tipping
the scales, please. Mr. Koshkarian has already proven he has his own imagination.
So you still think itís some
kind of joke?
Oh, itís not just some
kind of joke. Itís quite the best we ever heard.
Heís really quite brilliant,
you know. Heís pretending weíve hurt his feelings. Really, Mr. Koshkarian,
we believe you. Donít we, everybody?
LES, MILLIE & ARCHIE
We believe you!
All those who want Tinker
Bell to live, applaud!
(Laughter and applause.)
Now do tell us about your
world of the future.
Go on. Tell them.
All right then. If you wonít
tell us about your world of the future, you can at least correct us.
Yes, we thought up the most
scrumdiddliumptious game! All based on your dinner conversation.
Itís like "Going to Jerusalem",
only we call it "Stepping Out of the Future".
Here, old man. I go first.
Iím stepping out of the future with a---a golden wireless.
Archie, really! Anyone can
have a golden wireless now. In the future the wireless has to do something
it doesnít do now---like smell.
I got it! Iím stepping out
of the future with a smelly golden wireless.
He means a golden wireless
that emits odors as well as voices.
You see, then, how the game
And all you have to do is
What did I warn you about
them? Superficial is as superficial does. And all based on myths and lies
and ill-gotten lucre.
Inez, do be quiet. Weíre
playing a game.
Fools, youíre all dancing
to your destruction!
For a Bolshevik, dear heart,
you do have an extraordinary gift for popular song phrases.
Please, all of you. We must
play the game. Archie went first, and you, Mr. Koshkarian, must correct
Correct them. Correct everything.
Thereís no such thing as
a smelly wireless---unless you mean a radio with a piece of Limburger on
Oh, I say! Thatís capital!
Really, Mr. Koshkarian, your
imagination does appear more limited than we had suspected. If itís the
world of the future, why canít there be a wireless that emits odors as
well as sounds?
I donít know why there canít
be. I just know there isnít.
For the sake of the game---
Mr. Koshkarian is absolutely
right---even for the sake of the game.
How on earth do you know?
All I know is what I personally
would want. And I certainly wouldnít want a wireless that emits odors.
Think of how unbearable it would be if a politician was making a speech
and started sweating.
Or if heíd just eaten a very
large plate of baked beans.
Start again, Archie.
Personally I like a smelly
Sorry, old man. This is a
democracy, and youíve been overruled.
Quiet. Iím thinking. The
trouble with the democratic system is it does have the most execrable way
of freezing oneís creative juices.
So does a whole quart of
scotch before dinner.
All right. Iím stepping out
of the future with---
I say, Adele, do button your
lip. Iím stepping out of the future and taking with me---a little black
box with a strange device which will bring me back to the future with Mr.
Thatís not fair!
And why not? Really, Mr.
Koshkarian, I do loathe this era. So vulgar, so lacking in human dignity.
What Iíd like---
What heíd like would be a
medieval castle and a crown.
Do tell us, Mr. Koshkarian,
that your world of the future has some beauty in it.
Go on with the game!
Tell me itís more like the
past. Tell me it has the Elizabethan imagination, the Renaissance excitement,
the Grecian intellect---tell me---
You really want to see the
(HE goes to his laptop
and brings it to them.)
Looks like a small movie
screen. What does it do?
Just about anything you can
(HE switches it on,
but nothing happens. HE jiggles it, shakes it, still nothing.)
Shit! I was using it just
before. You can ask Lena. She saw me using it.
I want to play the game!
You see, my dear fellow,
what the noble submissive American woman has become.
If you think thatís bad,
you should meet my wife! Wait! I do have something from the future.
(HE hurries to his
briefcase and pulls out a folder, hands it to Archie and Millie and Adele
while LES refills the champagne glasses.)
robust, active Senior Citizens".
What on earth is a "robust,
active senior citizen"?
Those are people over sixty-five.
Oh, old people.
We donít use that phrase.
(INEZ has been rummaging
through the briefcase. SHE pulls out a paperback and her eyes widen with
The Huomo Myth: A Portrait
in Mass Ingenuousness.
(KEVINís back arches
in fear. HE pounces on her and wrests the book from her hands.)
You didnít tell me you had
it on you!
Give it to me!
I was going to use it to
check some of the interior photographs.
I must see that book!
Inez, what on earth are you
doing to Mr. Koshkarian?
(LES, ARCHIE and
ADELE are too absorbed in the brochure.)
Give it to me!
(KEVIN makes a fist
as if to sock her and SHE retreats. HE slips the book into his jacket pocket.)
I say, this is something,
Very interesting lithography.
The color reproductions!
You see how one simple thing
like the printing process has advanced in seventy years.
Do come off the future thing,
Koshkarian, and tell us how this was done up.
It isnít the printing, Les.
Itís the photographs of the houses and the interiors and the text. You
must read this.
But who can afford to live
this way except the very wealthy?
Thatís the point. Itís not
for the very wealthy. Itís for middle-income senior citizens.
Itís for a time when there
will be no very wealthy.
Is this a kitchen?
Thatís the kitchen in Model
Goodness gracious, what are
all these things?
Thatís an oven over there.
An oven? So high?
And hereís the rest of the
oven over here.
Come on now!
How can you have one part
over here and another part over there?
Think of what hell it would
be on the witch in Hansel and Gretel! I doubt whether sheíd be able
to lift those two "robust, active" little children after theyíd eaten half
of her roof.
Thatís simple. You put one
kid in this oven and the other one in that.
Hush---both of you. Tell
us, Mr. Koshkarian.
You can see from the photograph
it can be done.
We see itís there. But that
doesnít mean it can work.
Work? There are devices you
never dreamed of. Push buttons, automatic timers, microwaves which cook
your food in one quarter of the time---
Truth, equality, division
Will you get away from me!
And this refrigerator here---this
In other words, itís an electric
ice box---only you donít ever need ice. It gives you ice. And not great
chunks of ice. But perfectly formed little cubes.
And you invented all this
Good God, no! Itís been invented
and improved upon by many over the years.
You are clever, arenít you?
Coming to San Basilica with this.
It has nothing to do with
Just what is your game, Mr.
Obviously heís come here
to get backing from Mr. Huomo.
We donít need backing. Half
the houses are already being constructed.
Then whatís your part in
Iím employed by the man responsible
for the entire project, Howard H. Christiansen.
This Christiansen fellow
conceived and executed it with his own money?
No. Mr. Christiansen conceived
it in close conjunction with a committee. And he didnít finance it himself.
What he did was form a corporation, the Versailles Village Corporation,
which in turn hires Mr. Christiansen at a weekly salary.
It has to be done for tax
purposes, Mr.. Christiansen forms a corporation which in turn hires him
and pays him a weekly salary. Then upon completion of the project, the
corporation sells off each house to individuals. The individuals who have
purchased the homes then assume control of the corporation.
And what happens to Mr. Christiansen?
He goes on to something else
and forms a new corporation.
Which employs him again and
pays him another weekly salary?
You made that all up, didnít
Look. Forget about the corporate
set-up. Just concentrate on the conception of a place like Versailles Village.
Do you like it?
Itís marvelous! Look, Adele,
the things they have for old people---
Oh, I see the point now.
Appeal first to their materialism.
But why make this only for
Senior citizens, old boy.
There are other planned communities
for young marrieds and such---
What is a young married?
Exactly what it sounds like.
It sounds like a bunch of
nymphs and dryads frolicking in a stream.
I happen to be more interested
in a planned community for senior citizens. When youíre young, you can
look out for yourself, create your own future, find your own friends. But
when age sets in, you need the same kind of help and guidance---
You need government control!
You need the same kind of
help and guidance you need when youíre an adolescent.
Thatís provided you age into
an old adolescent.
And you, Mr. Koshkarian,
have already been planning for your old age?
For the old age of the world!
Yes. And thatís exactly what
all of you should be doing.
Give it to Ďem---go on!
Which brings me to the point.
Youíre all impressed by Versailles Village, arenít you? Miss Allen?
Well---yes. Yes, I am.
I think itís marvelous! And
I do think you should show this to Mr. Huomo. Heíd be thrilled.
The thing that impresses
me, old man, is the idea that all those time-saving devices can free ordinary
people to read, to attend concerts and lectures, to study, to improve themselves---
Then youíre all agreed as
to the excellence of this project? Good. Because you can all put your names
down for the house you want now.
Thereís no financial obligation.
After all, how can we be sure which of you would be alive when I get back
to the future? But people live far longer in my time, and youíd be ripe
to take advantage of the peace, beauty, comfort and excitement of Versailles
Village, So why donít you just sign these preliminary no-obligation forms
on the dotted line here.
(HE distributes them
to the Group omitting Inez. ADELE, LES, MILLIE and ARCHIE take them mechanically,
too stunned to speak. LES breaks the silence with a burst of laughter.)
What a superb joke!
I wish my father could hear
I wish Mr. Huomo could hear
I say, itís a helluva lot
better than predicting when the next eclipse will occur. Mark Twain, are
you listening to this?
(This sends them
into more gales of laughter. The lights rise in Lenaís room. SHE has been
sitting disconsolately on the bed, finishing the last of the desserts.
Hearing the laughter, SHE rises and moves toward the bathroom door, pressing
her ear against it.)
Okay, give Ďem the punch.
I donít know. Youíre the
one running the whole shebang. Donít let these rich, shallow ninnies get
the last laugh!
(LENA moves through
the bathroom, opens the door to Kevinís room and pokes her head in timidly.)
I heard laughing.
(with a deep bow)
Come in, my dear.
She already is.
I hope Iím not interrupting
Only an orgy of the future!
(This sends them
into more gales of laughter as LES fills their champagne glasses and ARCHIE
goes to a phonograph on a small table and cranks it up.)
Join our futuristic orgy,
(HE hands her a glass
filled with champagne. As he does, HE spots something on the front of her
(HE brushes it with
(From the phonograph
we hear a tinny version of "Just Across the River from Queens". ARCHIE
grabs Lena and begins to dance about the room.)
(bowing to Millie)
May I, madame?
(Together THEY dance.
ADELE, holding her champagne glass, begins to Charleston alone. Then SHE
jumps onto the table and Charlestons madly. The dance becomes more frenzied
and more joyful for all of them.)
Look at them!
Looks like fun.
Looks like fun! A party member
who says, Looks like fun!
Iím not a party member!
And I allowed you to---violate
I was the one who was violated.
Oh, you and your kind make
me sick to my stomach. You ought to have your Party Card ripped to shreds.
For the love of Christ!
You can go on lollygaging
if you want, but not Inez Gouterman!
(In a quick gesture,
SHE grabs the paperback from his jacket pocket. HE chases her around the
room through the dancing quintet. At last HE catches up with her, grabs
her about the waist, struggling to retrieve the paperback. Gradually DANCERS
cease, compelled by the conflict.)
I say, you two!
Oh, heís always fighting
(KEVIN wrestles Inez
to the ground. OTHERS form a semi-circle around them.)
Odds. Iíll take odds.
Oh, Iíll bet on Inez. Sheís
the only discus-thrower we had at Radcliffe.
Inez, for goodness sakes,
get up from there!
What are they fighting about
She has a book or something.
Any book thatís worth a fight
(HE steps to the
proper place where he can slyly remove the book from Inezís outstretched
hand. INEZ screams. ARCHIE peruses the title. A look of fear and confusion
comes over his face. KEVIN and INEZ get to their feet. KEVIN wrests the
book from Archieís hand, hides it behind his back.)
What is it? What was the
(Simulating his former
On with the dance!
Iíll tell you what it was!
Huomo Myth: A Study in Mass Ingenuousness.
You heard me!
I warned you.
Mr. Koshkarian. The book
Itís nothing really.
Nothing??!! Itís everything!!!
Do you want to get me killed?
Koshkarian, this is serious
Look. This---this is a book
which---well It purports to have certain facts---
Certain facts about what?
What a rotten fraud that
plutocratic bastard up there in his ivy tower with his---
Shut up, damn you!
Inez, if you were a man---
Hand the book over.
(KEVIN has been backing
up to the window. HE reaches out and lets the book fall.)
He let he book fall into
(LES doubles his
fist and slugs Kevin. KEVIN tries to slug him back, but LES is too quick
for him and KEVIN falls to the floor.)
Leave him alone! Heís a sick
Might as well warn you, old
chap. He was our boxing star at Princeton.
Get on your feet!
Les, stop that!
Any man who brings a book
into this place called---
Are you just going to sit
there and let this capitalist bozo pummel you! Are you a man or a mouse?
Get outa here, will ya?
Get up on your feet and fight!
Fight for freedom!
Telling them will accomplish
nothing. Dr. Bellagio says one must know who he is and then make an adjustment
to society. Only he didnít say anything about adjusting to the Twilight
(LES knocks him down
You fucking asshole!
(ADELE and MILLIE
are absolutely shocked by this.)
Okay, just for that, Iím
going to tell you whatís in that book!
Itís a book with facts. Not
those silly lies you people were raised on. Itís a book which tells the
true story of Cyrus Julius Huomo.
Why do you have to go on
about Mr. Huomo? Why canít ya leave well enough alone?
Because all of you asked
for it, and itís about time you knew. We might not be too much better off
than you, but at least our search is for truth.
(LES makes a move
to slug him again, but ADELE restrains him.)
Les! Weíre rational intelligent
adults, not rowdy school boys.
I wonít stand by while Mr.
Huomo is vilified.
Certainly we know enough
about Mr. Huomo, certainly our love is strong enough so that we need not
become violent at that tiny faction of communists and fascists who have
attempted to destroy him.
You say your search is for
truth, Mr. Koshkarian. Then what is the truth?
Step by step?
I donít know what you mean
How was Mr. Huomo found?
Stop about Mr. Huomo already!
Besides everyone here knows how Mr. Huomo was found.
He was found after an Indian
attack by two happy pioneers, Maude and Stanislau Huomo. Maude heard the
Little Baby Cyrusí cries as if in a dream---
Go to it, Kev!
Mr. Koshkarian, we all know
that story. It is a sweet, romantic cliché. Surely you must realize
we are enlightened modern people. These foolish legends spring up about
every great man.
Then how was the Little Baby
Cyrus found after the Indian raid?
Iíll thank you not to use
that facetious tone with me. And Iíll also thank you not to use that precious
infantile appellation for Mr. Huomo as a young child. He loathes it.
Whatís she talking about?
Mr. Huomo was not found in
any Indian raid. He was born quietly and unobtrusively into a family of
seven at the foot of Imperioso hill.
That wasnít the real story!
Very good, Miss Allen. Now
what was the story behind his chopping down the barn for his motherís operation?
Just what did this bamboozler
come here for anyway? We donít have to defend---
Les, please. His motherís
operation, Mr. Koshkarian, is another humbug schoolchild legend. And it
wasnít a barn he chopped down. It was a woodshed. And he did so when his
father was gone because his family was freezing and one of his brothers
was in bed with pneumonia.
And so, according to your
"enlightened version", he didnít walk fifty miles to return a nickel either?
Yes, he did!
What kind of fool do you
take Mr. Huomo for? Walking fifty miles to return a nickel! It was five
And his romance with Wilma
Rutkin who died at twenty-two leaving Cyrus Julian Huomo celibate for life?
I say, must we continue this?
This curious young man is repeating only the tales told by idiots and tenant
Of all the crust!
Then consider me an idiot
tenant farmer. Later I will show you the extent of your idiocy, old chap.
I beg your----!
(doubling his fist
I swear, Koshkarian---!
Men, please! Mr. Koshkarian,
itís true that Wilma Rutkin was the great love of Mr. Huomoís life.
And he has remained celibate
Yes! Yes, he has!
Good Lord, how are any of
us to know whether heís remained celibate or not?
But he has!
Thatís about as accurate
as The Great Muskegon Wrestling Match.
Which happens to be fact!
Which lasted four hours?
Hell, of course it didnít
last four hours---it was more like thirty minutes. But it did stop the
Muskegon wars. Check any history book for that.
I know how accurate your
history books can be.
Mr. Koshkarian, we have a
Matthew Brady photograph of the Muskegon brave Mr. Huomo threw, just as
we have photographs of Wilma Rutkin and Mr. Pietre Jones.
Oh, yes, Mr. Pietre Jones.
Go ahead, Mr. Koshkarian.
Tell us the version you are trying so hard to tear down---how Mr. Huomo
one day helped a little old man across the street and that little old man
died a few days later leaving his entire fortune to Mr. Huomo.
You appear to know the story
quite well, Miss Allen.
But itís such a silly story.
It is not!
I bet if we went to Mr. Huomo
right now and told him that story, which Iím sure heís heard a thousand
times, why, heíd just laugh.
He would not! You are all
terrible! Youíre worse than him. Those beautiful stories about Mr. Huomo---saying
theyíre all lies and for tenant farmers.
And we might add, my dear,
for stable groomís daughters.
Your elegant, enlightened
dinner companion happens to be the daughter of San Basilicaís head stable
No! Thatís not true!
How do you know?
Mr. Koshkarian, one does
not keep a secret like that for long.
Then everything you told
Everything I told you was
My dear Mr. Koshkarian, Lena
was invited to this guest house only through the persistent entreaties
of her father. He thought that might be a good way of keeping her from
corrupting all the male hired help.
(LENA, sobbing, rushes
from the room, back through the bathroom doors and into her own room.)
That was an awful thing to
But it was you, Mr. Koshkarian,
who is searching for truth, are you not?
What are you concerned about
that silly blonde tramp for---when thereís the WORLD!
We were talking about Mr.
Pietre Jones. Weíve all heard that old-man-crossing-the-street business.
Itís a tale told to children like those legends of King Arthur and the
pitcher of milk. In actuality the truth is far more interesting.
You bet it is!
Mr. Huomo has never made
any secret about the way his fortune was accrued. On the contrary, I would
say he was rather proud of having contributed to progress with the invention
of the stall shower.
But itís the way the invention
came about---thatís the beautiful part.
Mr. Pietre Jones was a diffident,
kindly old man who lived across the hall from Mr. Huomo in the days when
Mr. Huomoís law practice was failing and he was forced to live in a tenement
in St. Louis. Mr. Pietre Jones, although reduced to such impecunious circumstances,
remained a man of immaculate cleanliness. However, his feeble condition
made it increasingly more difficult to take advantage of the bathtub in
the kitchen. The bathtub was set too high, and to get into it, Mr. Jones
had to hoist himself up on his aged wrists which could not support the
weight of even his emaciated body. Often he would fall in the tub head
first, thus resulting in a series of enormous welts on his poor head. As
the welts increased, forming a peculiar headdress like a garland if small
red onions, Mr. Huomo took note of this when he would greet Mr. Jones in
the hall. Then one night when Mr. Huomo was in his room studying his legal
books, he heard a terrible thud across the hall followed by a scream for
help. He went running through the open door of Mr. Jonesí kitchen. There
lay Mr. Pietre Jones half in and half out of the tub, gasping for life.
Mr. Pietre Jones had forgotten to turn on the water.
Naturally Mr. Huomo had to
do something to help this frail noble old man, so ingeniously he thought
of converting a small closet into a shower.
Which is exactly what he
did, ripping out the walls to accommodate the new plumbing. Mr. Pietre
Jones was eternally grateful to Mr. Huomo even if both of them were thrown
out of the tenement.
It was the gesture, Mr. Koshkarian,
more than the invention itself which so touched Mr. Pietre Jones. When
they were evicted from the tenement, the old man took every penny of his
meager savings from the years he worked as a deckhand on Charles Darwinís
ship, the H.M.S. Beagle,, and donated it to Mr. Huomo for the sole intention
of setting up a stall shower in the tenement apartments of every old man
in the country.
As luck would have it, the
business boomed, stall showers swept the country, and both Mr. Huomo and
Mr. Pietre Jones found themselves millionaires. Having no relatives, when
Mr. Pietre Jones died, he left his share of the fortune to Mr. Huomo.
And thatís what you "enlightened"
people believe is the way Mr. Huomo made his fortune?
We believe it, because itís
Inez, if you donít be still---
Sheís right, of course. Youíre
all fools. Do you want to know the story that was in the book I tossed
from the window into the pool?
They donít want to
know---they t must know!
Do tell, Mr. Koshkarian.
Why am I beginning to hate that name?
(doubling his fist)
But I warn you---
Oh, Iím only supposed to
tell what doesnít get me a sock on the jaw.
(moving to the bathroom)
Not on your life, buddy.
Iím telling the truth!
(HE steps into the
bathroom and locks the door. OTHERS are bewildered, glance from one to
Can you hear me?
(Lights rise in Lenaís
room. Hearing Kevinís voice from the bathroom, SHE stands in surprise.)
the bathroom door)
Cyrus J. Huomo was not found
in a covered wagon after an Indian raid and he was not born at the foot
of Casa Imperioso hill into a family of seven. He was the illegitimate
bastard of a 48 year old charwoman in a dancehall in Sandersí Gulch, Nebraska.
(LES lunges toward
the door, but ADELE restrains him. As Kevin tells the "real version", a
sense of overwhelming confidence builds in him. HE inadvertently opens
the medicine cabinet, sees the champagne stashed away and begins pouring
This charwoman, one Violet
Pritchard, had the baby conveniently enough when a wagon train was passing
through Sandersí Gulch. She put the kid in the first wagon she could find,
the one owned by Maude and Stanislau Huomo. When they discovered the baby
twelve miles out of Sandersí Gulch, Stanislau Huomo was all in favor of
dumping it over a canyon. He had six kids of his own---what did he need
with another one? Until the hour he died, Stanislau Huomo never missed
a day without telling the Little Baby Cyrus, "I shoulda dumped you over
that canyon, you miserable little bastard." It was Maude Huomo who fought
to keep the child. But it was not out of compassion, may I assure you.
She and Stanislau had the six homeliest kids west of the Mississippi and
her great ambition was to some day give birth to a child she could bear
looking at. Next to her own kids, Cyrus J. Huomo was Rudolph Valentino.
Iím gonna smash his ugly
The Little Baby Cyrus grew
up with only two ambitions: to kill his rotten stepfather and to overturn
every outhouse in Mendocino county. It may interest you "enlightened" people
to know that the man who wrote The Huomo Myth, for which incidentally he
received the Pulitzer Prize for biography, says that Huomo had an "outhouse
fetish", which never left him during his entire life and was the result
of careless toilet training.
I wonít stand here and listen
to this rubbish. Iím going to call Mr. St. Clair.
Are you still there?
Weíre still here.
It wasnít a barn he chopped
down, and it wasnít a woodshed. It was---you guessed it! When he finished
overturning the damned things, he chopped them down. Occasionally with
people in them.
Of all the---!
Walked all those miles to
school, did he? He was the most notorious truant in Solvang. And while
weíre on the subject of walking, he never went two steps to return a nickel.
On the contrary. He ran five miles once when heíd undercharged a deaf old
lady fifty cents. And as for this great love affair with Wilma Rutkin---let
me tell you---he married her for one reason and one reason alone. She had
money from the Rutkin Copper Mines---and that was the reason he married
her. But in four years, he had fallen madly in love with a Floradora girl
named Gladys Dupuis. Conveniently Wilma died of influenza leaving Cyrus
a multimillionaire. Only itís mighty strange that all the symptoms of her
illness were those allied to arsenic poisoning.
Iíll kill that bastard!
(HE smashes against
the door, jiggles the knob, but finds it securely locked. HE pounds his
body against it, but it still wonít budge.)
Goddamn you! Iím going to
How can you murder someone
who wonít be born for seventy years?
Donít stop now! Tell them
everything---the Muskegon Wars---
In which Mr. Huomo fought
You bet he fought valiantly,
considering he started them.
(banging on the door
And you, too!
One of his many sidelines
was buying up the magnificent handmade Muskegon carpets for a handful of
glass beads and a crate of bourbon selling them for thousands of dollars
to European nobility. When the Great Chief Manaloosa found out about it,
he cut off Huomoís supply, preferring a more honest middle man. To get
revenge Huomo hired a band of circus roustabouts, dressed them up as Muskegons
and staged an attack on Fort Tomahoola.
And as far as the Great Muskegon
Wrestling Match, that incomparable tale of valiance and muscle---it was
all nothing but a gigantic homosexual fantasy on the part of a swish journalist
for The New Orleans Times Picayune.
(laughing and toasting
himself in the mirror)
Photographs! Documents! Huomo
forged them all! The greatest propaganda machine of the 19th
Century! The stall shower? It wasnít any kind of shower---it was a flush
toilet! Mr. Pietre Jones was the inventor of the flush toilet---Mr. Pietre
Jones, a poor palsied octogenarian with diarrhea. Huomo stole Pietre Jonesí
invention, made a fortune manufacturing flush toilets and never gave Jones
Is that all, Mr. Koshkarian?
Good God, no! Thereís loads
more---these are just some of the highlights. After all itís been three
years since I read the book in hardback.
And now that youíre finished
with your scatological outburst, can you explain why Mr. Huomo has shared
his wealth every worthy cause in the country?
And it might interest you
to know that we personally have been involved in several of these charities.
Iím not denying all the charitable
causes. Oh, heís done that all right. Ever since Teddy Roosevelt took him
aside and said to him, and I quote, "If you donít start parting with some
of that loot, you old bastard, the whole countryís gonna find out what
a cheap motherfucker you really are."
(MILLIE gasps. ADELE
reels back. HOUSEBOY enters stage right carrying a very wet paperback.
HE taps at the door. ARCHIE opens it. HOUSEBOY steps in.)
Fish out of pool. Someone
Itís absolutely limp.
Blow on it.
ARCHIE begins to blow on it, but LES pulls it away and strides toward the
Where are you going?
Iím taking this to Mr. Huomo.
We canít let Mr. Huomo see
that---that vile slander. He has so much to do, so much of importance to
Iím not standing by and letting
that animated cuspidor come into San Basilica as Mr. Huomoís guest, eat
Mr. Huomoís food and then vilify the man without his being able to fight
But itís all such an obvious
pack of lies. Take it to Mr. St Clair if you will, but not Mr. Huomo.
Of course not Mr. Huomo.
Youíre afraid of Mr. Huomo.
I most certainly am not.
Mr. Huomo is kindness and goodness---
Les is right. We must show
this to Mr. Huomo.
(LES, ADELE, MILLIE
and ARCHIE hurry through the hall and exit. INEZ waits a moment, then decides
I wouldnít miss this for
all the rice in China.
(KEVIN is suddenly
aware of silence in the other room.)
Hello? Hello out there? Theyíve
(LENA opens the bathroom
door from her side, KEVIN having forgotten to lock it. HE is so startled
he drops the glass of champagne.)
Theyíre gone. To see Mr.
Oh? How come you didnít go?
Because I think the whole
thingís stupid. I think youíre stupid, and I think theyíre stupid.
But you heard?
And you---you donít want
to go see Mr. Huomo?
Why should I see Mr. Huomo?
I told you. The whole thingís stupid. I wouldnít even bother repeating
it to a Raggedy Ann doll.
(retrieving the glass
and refilling it, toasting her)
To you, Lena---to the ability
to believe like you.
(SHE turns and walks
back into her room. KEVIN follows.)
Donít leave, Lena. Maybe
Madame Spinoza was right after all. I donít care if youíre the stable groomís
I donít care what you care.
A stable groomís daughter can sign with Thomas Ince, fly solo non-stop
from Cincinnati to Orange, New Jersey and murder her second husband, too,
You know what, Lena?
While I was in there telling
the truth about Huomo---
That wasnít the truth.
All right. Believe what you
will. But while I was in there I had the most glorious sense of---how can
I say it?---power!
Thereís power in truth, you
Yeah. Thereís also power
in locking the bathroom door.
(KEVIN looks at her
in surprise, then laughs.)
Youíre quite a girl, Lena
Martina. Come here.
(HE pulls her onto
his lap and kisses her passionately.)
Oh, Lena! Lena Martina! Involve
(SHE pulls away,
rises, goes to both doors to make sure theyíre locked, then checks the
What are you doing?
Theyíll be back, you know.
And they were all fit to be tied when they left. Theyíll be much worse
than that when they come back.
(SHE returns to the
edge of the bed dousing the lamp. The room is suffused with moonlight.)
And yet---for all your belief
in Mr. Huomo, youíll still come to me like this?
(SHE starts to undress.
HE runs his hand over her thigh.)
Because Mr. Huomo would want
it that way. Mr. Huomo believes one should turn the other cheek. Mr. Huomo
believes one should love thy neighbor. And Mr. Huomo also believes a condemned
man should eat a hearty meal.
(KEVIN gulps and
his eyes widen in fright as LENA kisses him sensually on the lips. But
the kiss is shattered by the sudden boom of cannons illuminating the room
with angry slashes of light.)
(dashing to the window)
The gold cannons in the sterling
Theyíre all going off! In
all the years I can remember---and my father and his father before them---theyíve
never gone off!
(SHE begins to sob.)
But what does it mean?
The end of the world.
The end of---?
Oh, Lena! Donít be foolish.
Thereís a whole other world later. Why, of course there is. Why itís got
Josef Stalin and Adolph Hitler and Howdy Doody and Wally Simpson and O.J.
Simpson and Homer Simpson and Bart SimpsonÖ
(HE is insecurely
going through the list as the cannons continue their shattering thunder.)