Man and Superman By George Bernard Shaw Act III

MENDOZA. Did you dream?

TANNER. Damnably. Did you?

MENDOZA. Yes. I forget what. You were in it.

TANNER. So were you. Amazing

MENDOZA. I warned you. [a shot is heard from the road]. Dolts! they will play with that gun. [The brigands come running back scared]. Who fired that shot? [to Duval] Was it you?

DUVAL. [breathless] I have not shoot. Dey shoot first.

ANARCHIST. I told you to begin by abolishing the State. Now we are all lost.

THE ROWDY SOCIAL-DEMOCRAT. [stampeding across the amphitheatre] Run, everybody.

MENDOZA. [collaring him; throwing him on his back; and drawing a knife] I stab the man who stirs. [He blocks the way. The stampede it checked]. What has happened?


THE ANARCHIST. Three men —

DUVAL. Deux femmes —

MENDOZA. Three men and two women! Why have you not brought them here? Are you afraid of them?

THE ROWDY ONE. [getting up] Thyve a hescort. Ow, de-ooh lut's ook it, Mendowza.

THE SULKY ONE. Two armored cars full o soldiers at the end o the valley.

ANARCHIST. The shot was fired in the air. It was a signal.

Straker whistles his favorite air, which falls on the ears of the brigands like a funeral march.

TANNER. It is not an escort, but an expedition to capture you. We were advised to wait for it; but I was in a hurry.

THE ROWDY ONE. [in an agony of apprehension] And Ow my good Lord, ere we are, wytin for em! Lut's tike to the mahntns.

MENDOZA. Idiot, what do you know about the mountains? Are you a Spaniard? You would be given up by the first shepherd you met. Besides, we are already within range of their rifles.


MENDOZA. Silence. Leave this to me. [To Tanner] Comrade: you will not betray us.

STRAKER. Oo are you callin comrade?

MENDOZA. Last night the advantage was with me. The robber of the poor was at the mercy of the robber of the rich. You offered your hand: I took it.

TANNER. I bring no charge against you, comrade. We have spent a pleasant evening with you: that is all.

STRAKER. I gev my and to nobody, see?

MENDOZA. [turning on him impressively] Young man, if I am tried, I shall plead guilty, and explain what drove me from England, home and duty. Do you wish to have the respectable name of Straker dragged through the mud of a Spanish criminal court? The police will search me. They will find Louisa's portrait. It will be published in the illustrated papers. You blench. It will be your doing, remember.

STRAKER. [with baffled rage] I don't care about the court. It's avin our name mixed up with yours that I object to, you blackmailin swine, you.

MENDOZA. Language unworthy of Louisa's brother! But no matter: you are muzzled: that is enough for us. [He turns to face his own men, who back uneasily across the amphitheatre towards the cave to take refuge behind him, as a fresh party, muffled for motoring, comes from the road in riotous spirits. Ann, who makes straight for Tanner, comes first; then Violet, helped over the rough ground by Hector holding her right hand and Ramsden her left. Mendoza goes to his presidential block and seats himself calmly with his rank and file grouped behind him, and his Staff, consisting of Duval and the Anarchist on his right and the two Social-Democrats on his left, supporting him in flank].

ANN. It's Jack!

TANNER. Caught!

HECTOR. Why, certainly it is. I said it was you, Tanner, We've just been stopped by a puncture: the road is full of nails.

VIOLET. What are you doing here with all these men?

ANN. Why did you leave us without a word of warning?

HECTOR. I want that bunch of roses, Miss Whitefield. [To Tanner] When we found you were gone, Miss Whitefield bet me a bunch of roses my car would not overtake yours before you reached Monte Carlo.

TANNER. But this is not the road to Monte Carlo.

HECTOR. No matter. Miss Whitefield tracked you at every stopping place: she is a regular Sherlock Holmes.

TANNER. The Life Force! I am lost.

OCTAVIUS. [Bounding gaily down from the road into the amphitheatre, and coming between Tanner and Straker] I am so glad you are safe, old chap. We were afraid you had been captured by brigands.

RAMSDEN. [who has been staring at Mendoza] I seem to remember the face of your friend here. [Mendoza rises politely and advances with a smile between Ann and Ramsden].

HECTOR. Why, so do I.

OCTAVIUS. I know you perfectly well, Sir; but I can't think where I have met you.

MENDOZA. [to Violet] Do YOU remember me, madam?

VIOLET. Oh, quite well; but I am so stupid about names.

MENDOZA. It was at the Savoy Hotel. [To Hector] You, sir, used to come with this lady [Violet] to lunch. [To Octavius] You, sir, often brought this lady [Ann] and her mother to dinner on your way to the Lyceum Theatre. [To Ramsden] You, sir, used to come to supper, with [dropping his voice to a confidential but perfectly audible whisper] several different ladies.

RAMSDEN. [angrily] Well, what is that to you, pray?

OCTAVIUS. Why, Violet, I thought you hardly knew one another before this trip, you and Malone!

VIOLET. [vexed] I suppose this person was the manager.

MENDOZA. The waiter, madam. I have a grateful recollection of you all. I gathered from the bountiful way in which you treated me that you all enjoyed your visits very much.

VIOLET. What impertinence! [She turns her back on him, and goes up the hill with Hector].

RAMSDEN. That will do, my friend. You do not expect these ladies to treat you as an acquaintance, I suppose, because you have waited on them at table.

MENDOZA. Pardon me: it was you who claimed my acquaintance. The ladies followed your example. However, this display of the unfortunate manners of your class closes the incident. For the future, you will please address me with the respect due to a stranger and fellow traveller. [He turns haughtily away and resumes his presidential seat].

TANNER. There! I have found one man on my journey capable of reasonable conversation; and you all instinctively insult him. Even the New Man is as bad as any of you. Enry: you have behaved just like a miserable gentleman.

STRAKER. Gentleman! Not me.

RAMSDEN. Really, Tanner, this tone —

ANN. Don't mind him, Granny: you ought to know him by this time [she takes his arm and coaxes him away to the hill to join Violet and Hector. Octavius follows her, doglike].

VIOLET. [calling from the hill] Here are the soldiers. They are getting out of their motors.

DUVAL. [panicstricken] Oh, nom de Dieu!

THE ANARCHIST. Fools: the State is about to crush you because you spared it at the prompting of the political hangers-on of the bourgeoisie.

THE SULKY SOCIAL-DEMOCRAT. [argumentative to the last] On the contrary, only by capturing the State machine —

THE ANARCHIST. It is going to capture you.

THE ROWDY SOCIAL-DEMOCRAT. [his anguish culminating] Ow, chock it. Wot are we ere for? WOT are we wytin for?

MENDOZA. [between his teeth] Goon. Talk politics, you idiots: nothing sounds more respectable. Keep it up, I tell you.

The soldiers line the road, commanding the amphitheatre with their rifles. The brigands, struggling with an over-whelming impulse to hide behind one another, look as unconcerned as they can. Mendoza rises superbly, with undaunted front. The officer in command steps down from the road in to the amphitheatre; looks hard at the brigands; and then inquiringly at Tanner.

THE OFFICER. Who are these men, Senor Ingles?

TANNER. My escort.

Mendoza, with a Mephistophelean smile, bows profoundly. An irrepressible grin runs from face to face among the brigands. They touch their hats, except the Anarchist, who defies the State with folded arms.

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Ann has great respect for Violet because she believes Violet