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Scene Two


Twenty minutes later. The cannon fire is subsiding, and LENA is no longer in his arms. SHE is sitting on the bed, a look of absolute boredom upon her face.
 
KEVIN
(having continued his list through the blackout) Michael Jackson and Mahalia Jackson and Donald Trump and Donald Duck and Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bernie Evers and Warren Buffet and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Anna Nicole SmithÖ

LENA

Theyíve stopped.

KEVIN

So, you see, itís not the end of the world, Lena. Thereís so much more in the future.

LENA

Yeah. Well, you certainly donít make it sound very appetizing.
  (INEZ dashes in from stage right. She is bursting with excitement.)
INEZ
Tovarich! Tovarich Koshkarian! (KEVIN flinches, shrugs to Lena, hastens through the bathroom door a moment before INEZ does. LENA moves to the closet and slips on a marabou dressing gown over her undies.) Tovarich Koshkarian!

KEVIN

I am not Tovarich anything!

INEZ

Anyone named Koshkarian has to be a Tovarich. Iíve seen the wars! The Change! The Victory! The Fall of the False! The Rise of the True! (hurrying to the window and peering out) Yes, heís beneath the pool now.

KEVIN

Who?

INEZ

A century has passed within half an hour! If you could have--- (LENA has moved through the bathroom doors and into his room. INEZ regards her with a look of disgust.) When the catís away, the mice will play.

LENA

Yeah. He shoulda only given you what heís given me for the last twenty minutes.

INEZ

He has, my dear, he has.

LENA

(wearily) Thatís what you think.

INEZ

Only it didnít take us twenty minutes---

KEVIN

Would you believe two and a half?

INEZ

(menacing Lena) We revolutionaries are more expert than stable groomsí daughters.

LENA

You should be. Youíre used to doing it holding a hammer and sickle in your right hand.

KEVIN

Cut it out! Now what happened and why did the cannons go off?

INEZ

Iím surprised youíre really interested.

KEVIN

Tovarich Gouterman! (SHE snaps to attention.) Speak!

INEZ

It was the most thrilling single event of my life! St. Clair met us at the top of the Casa Imperioso staircase. He gave us the usual bull about Huomo being occupied---the bull theyíve been shoveling for years. But Les said, "This is important!" And St. Clair said, "Take it up with me. I handle all of Mr. Huomoís business affairs." And Les said, "This is something we canít take up with anyone but Mr. Huomo!" and St. Clair said to come back tomorrow. And Les said, "It must be now!" And he made a lunge for the door, and St. Clair clapped his hands and all at once there were two hulking henchmen secretaries  trying to push Les down the stairs. Then everyone got suspicious. While Adele was screaming at them, Les disappeared and came back a moment later with a pistol. The henchmen went for him, but Les---! God, I didnít know he had it in him! If I only had, I never would have rejected his advances all these years.

KEVIN

For Godís sake, get on with it!

INEZ

Be masterful, I love it! The two henchmen secretaries are seriously wounded. And St. Clair took out a vial from his jacket pocket, swallowed it and dropped dead.

LENA

Mr. St. Clair!!

INEZ

We got into the room. Adele was screaming and Millie was weeping and Archie fainted. But we got in.

KEVIN

And Mr. Huomo?

INEZ

He wasnít there! The room was empty. Every book was in place, every article on his desk, every photograph, but there wasnít any C. J. Huomo. St. Clair---before he drank the poison---begged Les to listen to him, that Huomo was out of town, in Europe, putting a Bible in every bistro in Paris, but Les wasnít buying any of that. If Huomo was in Europe, why did everyone keep saying he was up in the tower? That is, they kept saying it until someone actually tried to see him.

LENA

Mr. Huomo often goes abroad to put Bibles in bistros, pubs and taverns.

INEZ

Then Les, wild with anger, kept yelling, "Mr. Huomo! Mr. Huomo!" He tore open every door---the one to the closet, the one to the bathroom and then the other one, the last one---

LENA

The one to the chapel?

INEZ

The one to the chapel! Thatís when the cannons started to roar.

KEVIN

You mean the chapel mentioned in The Huomo Myth---where the old man silently took his daily prayers?

LENA

The one with the altar which contains the little ancient silver filigree box in which Mr. Huomo keeps his locket with a portrait of his mother on one side and Wilma Rutkin on the other.

KEVIN

But it wasnít there!

INEZ

Oh, it was there. Everything was in place---just as we had read and heard all these years.

KEVIN

Then what?

INEZ

If you looked closely, very, very closely, in the inside of the box along the upper edge you could see a faint outline of an inscription. We would have missed it had it not been for Millie.

KEVIN

What did it say?

INEZ

It was written in Spanish---archaic Spanish---we had to revive Archie to read it.

KEVIN

And?

INEZ

This is the translation he gave: To joy an end, an end to grief,
Relieve the nose of the bas-relief
Of course, Archieís a lousy purist, and he had to make it rhyme, although I suspect in the original language itís a bit of a different kettle of doggerel.

KEVIN

Relieve the nose of the bas-relief?

INEZ

God, for a revolutionary, you can be really dense! The bas-relief in the bottom of the pool! One of the panels---the one on the nose---is removable.

KEVIN

But which nose? Maude Huomoís or the Little Baby Cyrusí?

INEZ

What difference does it make? There are only two noses---you were expecting maybe four?---and one of them comes off. Thatís why Les dived into the pool.

KEVIN

What could be underneath?

INEZ

Thatís what weíre waiting to see.
  (LES, ARCHIE, ADELE, MILLIE and HOUSEBOY enter left in a funereal line. Les is sopping wet Archie and Adele are completely dazed. Millie is weeping. All of them have suddenly aged, lines in the face, graying hair, as if forty years had been compressed within a few minutes. Behind them, HOUSEBOY, who has not aged, carries a medium-sized scroll. THEY move somberly toward Kevinís door.)
 
KEVIN
There canít be anything underneath.

INEZ

Why do you say that?

KEVIN

Because if there were, it would have been in The Huomo Myth.
(LES, ARCHIE, ADELE and MILLIE enter the room now. KEVIN, INEZ and LENA face them, startled by the sudden aging.)
 
KEVIN
But--- (HE holds his hand up to his face. LENA scurries to the mirror to check her own face. She is relieved by what she sees. LES summons Houseboy, points to Kevin. HOUSEBOY goes to him, bows, presents scroll.)
 
KEVIN
What?

LES

A present for you, Koshkarian. (KEVIN knits his brow, unfurls the scroll.)


INEZ

Thatís what was beneath the pool?  
(LES nods weakly.)


INEZ

What does it say?

KEVIN

I donít know---itís all in Spanish---

MILLIE

But it isnít so! It canít be!

LES

Archie. What does it say?

MILLIE

I wonít believe it!

ARCHIE

It tells of---Panahara---

KEVIN

Who?

ARCHIE

Panahara, found somewhere in the jagged Andes, an Inca baby, heir to the Inca throne---but discovered by a lowborn couple after a decimating conquistador attack. It tells of how Panahara grew to manhood---strong, brave, honest, heroic---how he would walk to the Great Capitol to learn and study---how he could never tell an untruth. It tells how he fell in love with the beautiful Inca princess, Quadilana---but how, since Panahara was not of royal blood---or so he thought---the marriage could never be. Therefore Quadilana took her own life rather than wed another. It tells of the conquistador wars and how Panahara distinguished himself in combat. And of course it tells of the Great Inca Wrestling Match. It tells of after the wars, how truth and honesty paid off for Panahara when he saved the life of the Great Inca Prime Minister, Frangipironala, traveling in disguise. It tells of---but why go on?

INEZ

Then---?

KEVIN

Of course! Thatís where the Huomo propaganda machine got the story!

ADELE

Who knows if there ever was a Mr. Huomo.

KEVIN

What?!

ARCHIE

He may have been someone---insignificant, just a name---he may have been a combination of people, he may not have been at all.

KEVIN

Thatís absurd! You have the book---The Huomo Myth.

ADELE

Thatís as much a myth as the others.

KEVIN

Not in my time! We have photographs, documents!

MILLIE

We had photographs and documents, too.

KEVIN

But we have scholars and methods unknown to you---erudite men who have spent their lives in research, who can recreate an era and be able to substantiate each detail.

LES

Whatever your world is, it is as much a myth as ours. Only ours is a myth of heroism and hope, and yours is a myth of outhouses.

KEVIN

Thatís nonsense! Donít tell me Huomo never existed. Of course people kidded about it---Iíve even kidded about it. But he existed---he was real---he was a real rotten sonuvabitch---but he still was. How else did all this come about? How was this monstrosity built?

ADELE

Dasa?

HOUSEBOY

Me know nothing.

ADELE

Tell them!

HOUSEBOY

Me know only because me distant---because whole race distant---us no think of Mr. Huomo---other documents say Huomo he created over many years---

KEVIN

Bull!

HOUSEBOY

Build little here---little there---

KEVIN

This is all bull, I tell you! Why, if that were true--- (pointing to the scroll) And this--- (then around the room) And this--- And all of you, too. If this were true and such a revelation did occur, then it would all be in that wet paperback. And if they---those who created Huomo---were so damned clever, why did they leave the box with the inscription so that somebody could come along and find it. Why did they plant this scroll beneath the bas-relief?

ARCHIE

We, too, tried to live by reason.

KEVIN

What kind of an answer is that?

ADELE

What kind of an answer is any of it?

KEVIN

I donít know about you, but the one thing I can tell you---the one thing Iíve learned is---you canít argue with facts. (pointing to the book) And those are the facts!

LES

Think what you will and know what you wish to know. We donít care really. The scroll is yours. And so is this.
  (HE hands him back the soggy book. The QUARTET turns to go.)
 
INEZ
Where are you going? Adele?

ADELE

Who knows and who cares?

INEZ

But what difference does it make whether Huomo lived or didnít live?

ADELE

If you donít know that, Inez, then I feel very sorry for you.
  (LES, ARCHIE, MILLIE and ADELE exit. INEZ shouts after them.)
 
INEZ
You feel sorry for me?! Thatís a laugh! Let me tell you, Adele Allen---let me tell all of you---thereís not one goddamned thing to feel sorry about! Not one goddamned thing!
  (SHE returns to the room.)


LENA

Were they trying to say Mr. Huomo---there isnít any Mr. Huomo?

INEZ

It takes her a little while to catch on.

LENA

But thatís the silliest thing I ever heard! Mr. Huomo isnít---! I seen Mr. Huomo! I seen Mr. Huomo so many times I canít even count them! And they say---
  (SHE almost falls to the floor laughing.)


KEVIN

Lena, Iím on your side.

INEZ

(to Kevin) Youíve got work to do!

KEVIN

Huh?

INEZ

Those capitalistic imbeciles are leaving San Basilica---St. Clair killed himself and those two henchmen are seriously wounded---

KEVIN

So?

INEZ

So what about San Basilica?

KEVIN

It goes to the state.

INEZ

The state? You know what the stateíll do with it. Theyíll charge admissions which will be pocketed by crooked bureaucrats.

KEVIN

Look here. Whatever you think has happened hasnít happened. San Basilica remains in Huomoís hands until his death in 1951, then itís taken over by---

INEZ

I know! (whirling on Houseboy who has been crouching in the corner) Hifu!

KEVIN

What?

INEZ

Hifu---

KEVIN

Hifu?

HOUSEBOY

Hifu likea me
Like I likea you...


KEVIN

Thatís Dasa.

LENA

Oshie.

INEZ

Hifu. San Basilica is yours! (HOUSEBOY regards her in stunned amazement as SHE picks up the telephone.) Corinne? Get Hifuís family over here right away. Theyíre in the woodshed down by the foot of the hill. Also get the cook, the gardener, the steward, the scullion, the stable groom--- (glancing at Lena) Forget the last, but get the others---and their families. (ringing off and regarding Houseboy) Hifu---you inherit all this.

HOUSEBOY

Me no want it.

INEZ

I donít care if you want it or not---itís yours.

HOUSEBOY

Too much---

INEZ

Youíll know how to use it and use it properly. Too long have you been kept the slaves of this corrupt system.

HOUSEBOY

Me want little house with little garden.

INEZ

Youíre getting this house with this garden and shut up about it!

LENA

Youíre giving away San Basilica?

INEZ

You betcha sweet life.

LENA

Even if Mr. Huomo died, who says you can give away San Basilica?

INEZ

Because Iím doing it in the name of the people!

LENA

In the name of which people?

INEZ

In the name of good people, simple people, downtrodden people.

LENA

Even if Mr. Huomo was dead and even if you could give San Basilica away, Oshie doesnít even want it.

INEZ

Hifu doesnít want it now. But heíll get used to it. And soon heíll thank me for giving it to him.

LENA

Ya wanna bet?

INEZ

Yeah, I wanna--- Why am I discussing profound political theory with a philistine with a bleached blonde brain?

LENA

Howíd you like a paste in the mouth?

KEVIN

Hey, you two! This is all absurd, I tell you. Mr. Huomo doesnít die until 1951.
  (From stage right come HOUSEBOYís WIFE, GARDENER, GARDENERíS WIFE, GARDENERíS MOTHER-IN-LAW and STEWARD. THEY go obediently to Kevinís room.)
 
INEZ
Aw, shaddup with that future malarkey, will ya!

LENA

Letís both paste her in the mouth!

INEZ

Ah! Dear workers! (hoisting herself up on the table) I have wonderful news for all of you. By a magnificent triumphal series of predestined events, San Basilica is yours!
  (SERVANTS stare at each other in disbelief.)


LENA

Sheís nuts!

INEZ

Hifu will be your leader.

HOUSEBOYíS WIFE

Hifu?

INEZ

Thatís your husband.

HOUSEBOYíS WIFE

My husband, he Ohu.

INEZ

Ohu?

HOUSEBOYíS WIFE

Ohu beautiful doll,
You great big beautiful doll!


INEZ

Well, heís Hifu now. I shall stay here and guide Hifu and see that each of you gets a fair share of the wealth.

HOUSEBOY

But no want place.

INEZ

I told you to shut up!

HOUSEBOY

Me want little house with little garden.

INEZ

You can build a little house with a little garden anywhere you like on any of these 500 acres.

HOUSEBOY

Me no afford to build.

INEZ

You will once we turn this bastard cathedral into a working commune.

HOUSEBOY

Me go back to Philippines.

HOUSEBOYíS WIFE

You no afford go back to Philippines.

GARDENER

(consistently nudged by MOTHER-IN-LAW) He no want place. I want place.

INEZ

Now thereís a man!

GARDENERíS MOTHER-IN-LAW

We take place.

HOUSEBOYíS WIFE

Go screw. We take place.

LENA

Mr. Huomoís gonna have them all thrown in the jug!

KEVIN

Come down from there and stop making a spectacle of yourself.
  (INEZ makes a move to kick him in the face. HE grabs her ankle and drags her off the table. SERVANTS move back in fear.)
 
INEZ
(kicking and striking out at him) You call yourself a Communist!

KEVIN

Iím not a Communist! I donít know anyone who is a Communist! It didnít work.

INEZ

What didnít work?

KEVIN

Communism. It didnít even last till the end of the century.

INEZ

(slapping him across the face) LIAR! BLASPHEMER!

LENA

(slapping Inez across the face) Get your fat ugly little hands offa him!

INEZ

(to the servants) Arrest them both!

LENA

Who are you to arrest anybody?

INEZ

Arrest them, I say! ARREST THEM!
  (SERVANTS look from one to the other, GARDENERíS MOTHER-IN-LAW nudges him. GARDENER grabs STEWARD and drags him forward. Together THEY descend on Kevin and Lena.)
 
LENA
(to Gardener) Fumiko!
  (OTHER SERVANTS move in, pinning Kevinís and Lenaís arms behind them. Only HOUSEBOY does not participate.)
 
KEVIN
Hey, what the hell do you think youíre doing?

LENA

Fumiko, itís me---Lena! Lena Luzanski! The stable groomís daughter.

INEZ

Donít try to pull rank, you brainless blonde fascist!

LENA

But, Fumiko, remember the day---

INEZ

(pointing to Lenaís room) In there with them!
  (SERVANTS drag them through the bathroom and into Lenaís room.)
 
LENA
---the day in the greenhouse behind the Cyprepedium orchids?

KEVIN

Did you have everyone?

LENA

Look whoís talking! (SERVANTS shove them down on chairs. LENA frees herself and runs to the window and calls out.)
 
LENA
Help! Someone help! Weíre being held prisoner by servants!
  (GARDENER grabs her and drags her back.)


INEZ

Tie them up!
  (SERVANTS bind both to chairs.)


LENA

You canít do this to me!

INEZ

Now lock the doors!
  (SERVANTS and INEZ exit, locking both bathroom and hallway doors.)
 
INEZ
Onto the main house!
  (Trumpets blare as INEZ leads them off stage left,)


LENA

(in tears, shouting after them) Crummy bastards! (looking upward, beseechingly) Mr. Huomo! Mr. Huomo!

KEVIN

(also looking upward) Dr. Bellagio, never in all those sessions did we ever consider the possibilities of anything like this!
 
 

CURTAIN