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Act II

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(As the curtain rises, the Camp Scribe is pounding the typewriter or writing and the Chief sits at the desk writing.)

Chief:  How do you spell asthma, Gus?

Scribe:  Never had it. (Still pounding.)

Chief:  That doesn't prevent you from spelling it, does it?

Scribe:  Oh, I thought you said smell it. (Still pounding.)

Chief:  Well, how do you?

Scribe:  (without looking up):  What's the word?

Chief:   (exasperated) :  Asthma.

Scribe:  Spell it. (Chief throws a book at Scribe.)

(Telephone rings.)

Chief (answering) :  Camp [insert name of camp].   Yes, this is the chief.  Why, hello Skipper, I thought you were up at....(listens) : 

(aside to Scribe:  an accident, somebody hurt)

Dan Marsh, eh?  leg.  Man, that's tough, nothing else.  Of course, right away. Where will you be?.... All right, I'll hold it. Wait a minute, till I start things rolling.

(Lays down receiver:  To Scribe) Danny Marsh fell off a cliff and broke his leg. Skipper's got him over on the Long Bridge Road, right where the wood road comes in from Long Pond. Get Cap and the Doc and shoot them right over with the truck to bring him in. (Scribe starts to go) Throw in three or four mattresses.

(Exit scribe on the run :  Chief picks up receiver):  All right, Skipper, what else:  yeah, I know him, first name's Bill, isn't it?....Yes:  Oh, I see:  Sure, sure, that was the right thing to do....No, no, we won't let on. We'll play the game. Yup. Bye.

(Hangs up. Goes to window and looks out.)

Scribe (returns):  That was lucky. Caught them both just outside. Truck's just pulling out the gate now.

Chief:  Listen. It seems that Skipper sent a kid by the name of

(Offstage left, Bill's voice calling----"Chief.")

Chief:  I'll explain later. Go out when I send you and don't come back till the Scout goes out. Play along now.  In your seat, quick.

(Both jump to seats.)

(The door bursts open and in dashes Bill:  hair disheveled, face sweaty and streaked, tear in his shirt, stockings down.)

Bill:  (panting for breath):  Chief, Chief, Dan Marsh is hurt:  on the hike:  broke his leg:  Skipper sent me:  he wants the doctor and the truck right away:  and mattresses :  over on the back road (points) where the trail comes in from Long Pond.

Chief:  O. K., son. (To scribe) Gus, you heard him. Shoot out the doctor and the truck.

Scribe:  But

Chief:  (With a fierce look, and a nod to the door):  Get going.

(Exit scribe.)

Chief:  (To Bill) Sit down, Scout, you look about all shot.

(Places chair center stage. Bill sinks down. Chief tosses him a handkerchief). Here, wipe your face.

(Bill does so.)  What's your name?

Bill:  Bill Wallace.

Chief:  I guess you must have run some, Bill. How did you come?

Bill:  Through the Lost Road.

Chief:  Whew, that must have been some dark trail.

Bill:  I'll say so, but I never minded it:  much. (Shivers.)

Chief:  Well, it was great work, but you must go down to your tent and change your clothes. Rub yourself dry and put on some warm things. Then you can come back and see Dan when he gets here.

Bill (standing):  Yes, sir. (Salutes and exits left.)

Chief (looking after him):  "But I never minded it:  much." Hum:   mm.

Scribe (entering) :  What's the big idea?

Chief (sitting at desk):  Don't act so dumb. After I sent you out the first time, Skipper spun me quite a yarn over the phone. It seems this Bill muffed Guard Patrol last night--afraid of the dark, they found out this afternoon--and when Dan got hurt--Dan's his buddy.

I guess Bill here volunteered to come for the truck through the Lost Road in the dark:  Told Skipper he was scared to death, but that he could do it for Dan. Skipper let him go--you know, with the idea that if he licked his fear once, he could probably keep on doing it.

When they got Dan down to the road, Skipper found a house down the road a piece and called me:  in case:  in case the kid failed, see. But Bill must never know that Skipper called. Nobody on the other end does, and Bill has to think that he alone is responsible for the safety of his buddy--that he carried his message to Garcia. Get me.

Scribe:  Sure, I'm not as dumb as I look. Boy, I wouldn't be very happy about coming through the Lost Road tonight myself.

Chief:  You and me both.

Scribe:  Where's the kid now?

Chief:  Gone to his tent to get some clothes. Let's get a cot ready for the boy when they bring him in. I suppose we'll have to get him to town to the hospital as soon as we can. Isn't there a cot in here ?:  (indicates door right; opens it and looks in):  Yes, here's one:  Give us a hand. (They go out right.)

(There is a moment's pause, then from the left enters a small Scout on the run, his flashlight in his hand.)

Scout (yells, as he enters):  Halt, there. (Stands and looks over room for someone. Hears noise at door, right, Tiptoes over and listens. Gleam of satisfaction comes over face. Sees key in door, turns it and locks door.  Runs to door, left and calls):  Patrol Leader, PATROL LEADER. GUARD PATROL LEADER!

(Chief tries the door from the inside. Rattles it.)

Chief (offstage):  Hey, open the door.

Scout:  I've got you now.

Chief (pounds):  Hey, open that door.

Scout:  You're under arrest.

Chief:  Say, this is the Chief:  Open that door.

Scout:  You can't fool me. I saw you run in here. You're a suspicious person.

Chief (yelling):  Open that door or you stay out of swim for a week. (Pounds.)

(Enter Guard Patrol Leader from left):  What it is, Schmeider?

Scout:  Look me over, I've got a suspicious character in there. Saw him come running down the Lumber Road and up past the Lodge. He came in here. I've got him locked in that room now. Ha-ha. He says he's the Chief. That's a fast one, isn't it? Ha-ha.

(Chief pounds on the door.)

Guard Patrol Leader:  Boy, you'll either be a hero or a dead one after this.

Chief:   Ballinger, is that you?

Guard Patrol Leader:  Yes, sir.

Chief:  Well, open this door.

(Guard Patrol Leader unlocks door and Chief bounds out followed by Scribe. He glares around and sees small Scout who looks like he'd be glad to have the floor open and drop him through.)

Chief:  Did you lock that door?

Scout:  I cannot tell a lie, sir. I thought you were a mysterious person.

Chief (with affected ferocity):  With difficulty I restrain myself. Take him away before I tear him limb from limb. (Waves arm at Scout.)

Guard Patrol Leader:  Come on, insect.

Scout:  I'll go peaceably, but before I go, may I ask one question ?

Chief:  Well?

Scout:  You ain't mad are you?

Scribe:  Get out. (Chases Scout and G. P. L. out door, left.) Chief:  Let's get this cot now. (They go off right and bring in cot.)

(Motor and voices offstage, left. Chief and Scribe go to door, left and open. Enter Skipper, Fat, Stut and two Scouts, carrying Dan on blanket stretcher. Dan's leg is roughly splinted up. Small bandage on face.)

Skipper:  Here we are Dan. How do you feel now?

Dan:  Oh, I feel all right. It doesn't pain much. Say, where's Bill.

Chief:  He'll be up in a minute. He's a game kid.

Scribe:  I'll say so:  through the Lost Road:  OY!

(Chief bends over to examine leg, as door opens and in comes Bill. He goes to back side of cots and sits.)

Bill:  Gee, Dan, I'm glad you got here. Does it hurt much? Dan:  Not so much, Bill.

(Chief gets the attention of others and motions to door, left. Quietly they exit.)

Bill:  I'm glad.

Dan:  You got through the Lost Road all right, didn't you?

Bill:  Yup.

Dan:  In the dark, too.

Bill:  Gee, it was dark, too.

Dan:  But you won't be afraid after dark any more, will you, Bill?

Bill:  Aw, Dan, it's perfect after dark.









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Last modified: October 15, 2016.