II III IV
V VI VII
Dawn. Same as Scene Two, the dividing
line of forest and plain. The
nearest tree trunks are dimly revealed but the forest behind them
is still a mass of glooming shadow. The
tom-tom seems on the very spot, so
loud and continuously vibrating are its beats. Lem enters
from the left, followed by a small squad of his soldiers, and
by the Cockney trader, Smithers. Lem is
a heavy-set, ape-faced old savage of the extreme African type, dressed
only in a loin cloth. A revolver and cartridge belt are about his
waist. His soldiers are in different degrees of rag-concealed nakedness.
All wear broad palm leaf hats. Each one carries a rifle. Smithers
is the same as in Scene One. One of the soldiers, evidently
a tracker, is peering about keenly on the ground. He grunts and
points to the spot where Jones entered the forest. Lem
and Smithers come to look.
a glance, turns away in disgust) That's
where 'e went in right enough. Much good it'll do yer. 'E's miles
orf by this an' safe to the Coast damn 'S 'ide! I tole yer yer'd lose
'im, didn't I?—wastin' the 'ole bloomin' night beatin' yer bloody
drum and castin' yer silly spells! Gawd blimey, wot
We cotch him. You see. (He makes
a motion to his soldiers who squat down on their haunches in
Well, ain't yer goin 'in an' 'unt 'im
in the woods? What the 'ell's the good of waitin'?
down himself) We cotch him.
away from him contemptuously) Aw! Garn!
'E's a better man than the lot o' you put together. I 'ates the
sight o' 'im but I'll say that for 'im. (A
sound of snapping twigs comes from the forest. The soldiers
jump to their feet, cocking their rifles
alertly. Lem remains sitting with an
imperturbable expression, but listening intently. The
sound from the woods is repeated. Lem makes a quick signal
with his hand. His followers creep quickly but noiselessly into
the forest, scattering so that each enters at a different spot.)
the silence that follows—a contemptuous whisper)
You ain't thinkin' that would be 'im, I 'ope?
We cotch him.
fat 'eads! (then after a second's thought—wonderingly)
Still an' all, it 'might 'appen. If 'e lost
'is bloody way in these stinkin'
woods 'e'd likely turn in a circle without
'is knowin' it. They all does.
Sssh! (The reports of several
rifles sound from the forest, followed a
second later by savage, exultant yells. The beating of the tom-tom
abruptly ceases. Lem looks up at the white
man with a grin of
satisfaction.) We cotch him. Him dead.
a snarl) 'Ow d'yer know it's 'im an' 'ow
d'yer know 'e's dead?
dey got 'urn silver bullets. Dey kill him shore.
They got silver bullets?
bullet no kill him. He got urn strong charm. I cook
urn money, make urn silver bullet, make urn strong charm, too.
breaking upon him) So that's wot you
was up to all night, wot? You was scared to put after 'im till you'd
moulded silver bullets, eh?
stating a fact) Yes. Him got strong charm. Lead
his thigh and guffawing) Haw-haw! If
yer don't beat all 'ell! (then recovering himself—scornfully)
I'll bet yer it ain't 'im they shot at all,
yer bleedin' looney!
Dey come bring him now. (The
soldiers come out of the forest, carrying Jones' limp
body. There is a little reddish purple hole under his left breast.
He is dead. They carry him to Lem who
examines his body with great
over his shoulder—in a tone of frightened awe) Well,
they did for yer fight enough, Jonsey, me lad!
Dead as a 'erring! (mockingly) Where's yer 'igh an' mighty
airs now, yer bloornin' Majesty? (then
with a grin) Silver bullets!
Gawd blimey, but yer died in the 'eighth o' style, any'ow!