Title- The Contrabandista


   

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Act 1
Dialogue Following Song No. 1

Inez:

Sancho, surnamed Lion; José, surnamed Wolf: is it thus you disturb the repose of your Queen, Inez di Roxas? ( Looking at Ladrones .) I have not reviewed the band this morning. (Exit Chorus gradually and sulkily, R. and L.) Hum! (to one Ladrone with a very tall hat .) Get thee a shorter hat, man; it can be seen above the rocks. (He grumbles .) Murmur! and we will shorten you by a head.

Ladrone:

Inez di Roxas forgets she is only Queen by courtesy. We've no chief yet. (Growl from Sancho and José.)

Inez:

True. Your pardon, friend. Retain your hat till happier times.

Ladrone:

Happier times! (laugh from Sancho and José.) The band won't hold out much longer. 'Tis three weeks since we lost your husband, our Captain, and you became a widow; and we've got no one to lead us to glory and plunder. (Goes up sulkily and sits, R.)

Inez:

(C.) So, José, the band have not yet chosen you for their Captain. ( to José, L.H. )

Sancho:

(seated, R.H.) You! Humph!

José:

(observing Sancho.) The sound of "Captain" doesn't seem very pleasant to my rival's ears. However, that difficulty is settled, according to the law of the Ladrones.

Inez:

How so?

José:

Our Captain---

Inez:

My husband!

José:

Died.

Inez:

Shot.

José:

The same thing. And according to the law of the Ladrones, whoever should be chosen by the band as their Captain should be your husband.

Sancho:

Aha!

José:

The band were called upon to select.

Inez:

Well?

José:

Well! Six voted for me, "The Wolf."

Sancho:

And half-a-dozen for me, "The Lion."

Inez:

And that's what you call settling the difficulty.

José:

The same case happened before, and established a precedent. The office of Captain was held in abeyance until chance led some stranger in the way, who has to be invested with the dignity.

Inez:

Did a stranger come?

José:

Well! (Sancho advances down, R.)

Sancho:

He did. Accepted the position of honour, and became our bravest leader---your late husband, Ferdinand di Roxas.

José:

And the precedent, once established became the law of the Ladrones.

Inez:

Then, if even a foreigner appears amongst us?

José:

He must become our Captain---

Sancho:

Or--- (draws dagger.)

Inez:

And I must become his wife.

José:

Such is the law of the Ladrones. (Tenderly.) Had it fallen to my lot---

Sancho:

(savagely interrupting) But---such is the law of the Ladrones!



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Page Created 15 February 2004

   
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