This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
A Drama in Three Acts by Natalya Churlyaeva
Translated from Russian by Jane H. Buckingham
Natalya Churlyaeva olomenskaya !"#$" rasnoyarsk% Russia churyahin&rambler.ru
'oveless by Natalya Churlyaeva
N( )'A(* the o+ner of the a,artment. (R(NA* N( )'A(-. +ife. ANT)N* their son. R(TA* their daughter. /0RA* an old friend of N( )'A(. 1A'(A* /0RA2. +ife. 1AD( * an old friend of (R(NA. (.(.* (gor (osifovich% 1AD( 2. ,artner. A3A* a friend of (R(NA. !st% "nd B)D/40ARD.* bodyguards of (.(.
'oveless by Natalya Churlyaeva
The action takes ,lace in a large room of an a,artment. )n stage% there are t+o doors on the left 5 one goes into the hostess-s room% the other goes to the kitchen. There are also t+o doors on the right 5 one goes into host-s room% the other goes to the foyer. A large +indo+ looks out of the center of the stage.
A ty,ical family drama of our time. 6oney% money% money...com,letely fogs the mind of the hostess and leads her to the brink% carrying along +hat is incorrectly referred to as a family% as it is no longer a family e7ce,t in a,,earance.
'oveless by Natalya Churlyaeva
As the curtain rises, IRINA appears, clumsily dances around the boxes and things scattered haphazardly. Hurray9 Hurray9 Hurray9 :inally9 (Enters carrying a box.) ;hat finally< (R(NA No+ indeed everyone +ill envy me... ;ho-ll envy you< =veryone9 Absolutely everyone9 ;ho-s everyone< N( )'A( N( )'A( (R(NA (R(NA N( )'A(
(R(NA 6y friends% your friends... ;hat do you say about that< No+ they-ll sim,ly die +ith envy9 Think* +ho among them can brag about such an a,artment< Neither they nor their children can even dream of it9 ;hy< N( )'A( (R(NA Because... (Gestures.) Take a look around% +hat a ceiling... Brick +alls... And the kitchen< (t isn-t your standard filthy urban slum. N( )'A( .to, talking nonsense. 6y friends have normal homes. (R(NA Ho8ho8ho8ho9 ( aughs and mimics.) Don-t make ,eo,le laugh. (t-s that /ura% ,erha,s% in ,ublic housing% so normal< Remember% res,ectable ,eo,le don-t live in ,ublic housing. No ,restige.
.hut your tra,. He-s a decent guy. Right% decent.
N( )'A( (R(NA
N( )'A( But didn-t you s,ent half your life in a shanty filled +ith garbage< (R(NA ;ell% let me tell you% no+ no one +ill remember the garbage... (n fact% kno+ +hat< (t-d nice to be done +ith old ac>uaintances as +ith schools. Their dirty mugs are >uite out of ,lace here. N( )'A( (!laces the box on the "loor, "inds a mirror "rom among the pile o" things, and hangs it up on the #all.) Come here. (R(NA ;hy< ;ho +as ( talking to< N( )'A(
(IRINA #al$s o%er to NI&' AI, play"ully s#inging her hips. (e grabs her roughly and turns her to "ace the mirror.) 'ook at your o+n mug% beauty9 N( )'A( (R(NA ()rea$s a#ay, o""ended.) ;hy are you like this< no+ +hat% enough9 'eave these idiotic ?okes of yours. ;e-re starting a ne+ life here no+9 ;hy are you making a face< ( tell you% a ne+ life% understand< Ne+ neighbors% ne+ friends. No+ +e-re having a house+arming and that-s all. ;hat% that-s all< N( )'A(
(R(NA That-s all9 :inish +ith the old% forget the old. :orget% so forget. N( )'A(
N( )'A( (f only like the envelo,e you sli,,ed to the female ?udge and didn-t surface later. (R(NA /ou-re a kid% ,erha,s< Better look at yourself in the mirror9 Head-s already grey but mindless% saying such drivel9 ;hy drivel< N( )'A(
(R(NA Do you think that +as the first time she took anything under the table< Have you seen the bling that hangs on that bitch< N( )'A( .o< (R(NA :or such bling (-d have to slave a+ay for a +hole year% but she changes them almost +eekly9 And you think the others are any better< ;hat others< N( )'A(
(R(NA And that latest rat of a ?udge there% her :rench ,erfume stinks9 Did you see +hat coats she s+ee,s the corridor +ith< N( )'A( ;ell< (R(NA .o you think% is it ,ossible to earn such coats in the court< Huh< Take me% for e7am,le. ( do get money from the till sometimes% and snitch a little from time to time... N( )'A( (Interrupts contemptuously.) /ou steal. (R(NA Get out of here! I work myself to the bones all day and still don’t have a coat like that! And you go on about the envelope...
(R(NA Don-t you +orry% slee, soundly in the ne+ a,artment and forget about this envelo,e. (n our country% envelo,es are used more often for money than letters... (NI&' AI loo$s attenti%ely at IRINA.) (R(NA ;ell% +hy look at me like 'enin looking at the bourgeoisie< ( told you% it +as nothing% forget everything9 A ne+ life ahead% understand< N( )'A( ;h8at< (R(NA That-s that9 )kay% ( have no time to +aste +ith you. 4uests are coming soon% and ( have neither drinks nor snacks. /ou sort things out a little here +ithout me% (-ll make a run to the store... (Exits.) N( )'A( (*al$s to the #indo#, reasons aloud.) (ndeed% forget everything... But +hat-s everything< (!auses.) Here-s e7actly +hat ( +ould like to forget% that cursed holiday. (t +as then that /ura attached himself to me9 He stuck to me like glue% ACome on% come to the girls% celebrate the holiday +ith them...B Ho+ +e celebrated9 Before ,rotection... ( had already forgotten about her% but she ,ressed me% braCenly like a cockroach% A=ither +e no+ go to the registry-s office% or (-ll ruin your career. /ou-ll never get your di,loma9B )h% ho+ scared ( +as then... Ho+ in the +orld +ould ( kno+ that (-d never need this devil of a di,loma< All my life ( never +ork in any s,ecial ,rofession... /e8s... That-s +hat ( +ould like to forget and not remember... 'ater% +hen ( +ent to the maternity +ard for the first time< Can-t say it +as a very ,leasant memory either. Ho+ much shame ( had to endure then. ( stood belo+% +aiting for her. There /ura +as again9 Her friends also a,,eared. They +ere standing there% +his,ering among themselves% and looking at me as at an idiot. And /ura% some friend% asked so +ickedly% A/ou remember +ell +hat ha,,ened that day% forget nothing<B ( +as all hot again from these +ords9 A;hat are you talking about<B ( said. He burst out laughing% A6e< Nothing. (nteresting% +hat are you doing here<B Those friends of hers almost died from laughing. And here mine came do+n% said% AHere% a son for you...B (+here is a noise in the "oyer. AN+'N and RI+A enter.)
R(TA ;here-s 6ama< Don-t kno+. ( don-t shado+ her. ;ill she be home soon< (NI&' AI silently pic$s up a box "rom the "loor, $ic$s another meanly, and goes into his o#n room.) R(TA /ou kno+% Anton% she-s ,robably gone to the store. Curious% +ill she be back soon< ANT)N N( )'A( ANT)N
R(TA ;hat-s it to you< ;hat difference does it make< ANT)N ( +ant to disa,,ear to some ,lace. R(TA No+< /ou sa+ ho+ nasty :ather +as< )nly for a short +hile. ANT)N
R(TA 6other +ill return and she-ll see you-re not home. Do you kno+ +hat kind of ro+ she-ll kick u,< ANT)N )k% ( +on-t go... 'isten% +hat do you think% +ill +e start a ne+ life here< )r +ill everything be the same as before< R(TA ;ell% you-re ,robably thinking% same as before. Have you considered +here +e lived earlier and +here +e-re no+< Don-t kno+ about you% but ( immediately noticed +hat cool guys +ere standing at the entrance... And did you see the girls< Eaid any attention to ho+ they-re dressed< And you say% as before. ANT)N (-m not talking about that.
R(TA Then about +hat< About 6other and :ather... ANT)N
R(TA That they-ll give us little money< Although% no+% of course% more +ould be hel,ful. All the same% there are other considerations and% in general% can-t do anything at discos +ithout greenbacks. ANT)N To hell +ith your discos9 As if there-s no+here else to go... ;hom +ill you take there on greenbacks< ;h8at< R(TA
ANT)N ;hat< Could share +ith your brother. ;hat do you ask such >uestions< ;hat >uestions< R(TA /ou kno+ +hat such >uestions get you< )ur ,arents are right to drive you a+ay... A hick. ;hat< ;hat did you say< (+hreatens RI+A.) ANT)N R(TA ANT)N
(IRINA enters #ith t#o big bags.) 6a9 He-s fighting9 R(TA
(R(NA ( oo$s around, not paying any attention to the children.) ;ell% nobody has done anything here9 Nobody9 ;hy< ;hy such ,unishment for me... (+urns to RI+A.)
;hy are you standing% deaf< ;hy aren-t the things cleared u,< Too laCy to stoo,< Too laCy to sort things out< ;ell% come on% >uick9 (+urns to AN+'N.) ;here-s your father< (!oints to the door.) There. ;hat-s he doing there< The heck ( kno+. ( told him... (R(NA (R(NA ANT)N ANT)N
( oudly.) Nick% +hat are you doing there< Come on% come out >uick9 N( )'A( (Appears at the door a"ter a #hile.) ;hat do you +ant< ;hat do you all +ant from me< (R(NA Nick... N( )'A( ;hat% don-t ( have the right to rela7 in my o+n room after all< R(TA (,urprised.) Eo,% do you really +ant to take that room< N( )'A( ;hat +ere you thinking< ( +as thinking it-ll be my room... R(TA
ANT)N Aha% she talked9 ;ho are you< Erincess on a ,ea% my foot. 4o to 6other... (!oints to the opposite door.) (R(NA 'ook at that% ho+ smart% to 6other9 Did you think of her first< Have to +orry about 6other first of all9
(R(NA No but9 (t-ll be my room. ( also need some ,eace from all of you% at least sometimes. R(TA% ANT)N ;hat about us< (,ilence.) ;here do +e go< ANT)N :ine% ( can be here% enough room for me... (-huc$les.) And let Rita have the kitchen. R(TA (,urprised.) ;hat are you talking about< Ho+ smart9 /ou go live in the kitchen9 )r the bathroom... N( )'A( /ou be >uiet9 )r both go live in the foyer9 (R(NA (Reassuringly.) )kay% sto, the bra+l. Better get busy% time-s tight. Rita% go to the kitchen% fetch the dishes% and you% Tony% un,ack in the foyer% or else can-t even s>ueeCe through in here... (+he children disperse in di""erent directions.) (R(NA Nick% listen% ( have such ne+s9 (magine% ( came out of the store and met 1adik9 Remember% ( told you about him% ho+ our +hole grou, +ent to the vice8 chancellor for him< ;hen he +as almost e7,elled from the institute for vodka s,eculation< Remember< (NI&' AI, as i" not hearing, #al$s o%er to the pile o" boxes, unhurriedly chooses one.) (R(NA .o% this same 1adik +alked by% so full of himself% +ithout a +ord9 And there +as someone +ith him% also stern looking. They +alked to a ?ee,% such a one big9 And started to get in. They hadn-t managed to get in +hen ( shouted in full vie+ of the
street% A1adik9B He only looked side+ays at me and said through his teeth% A;hat the devil% +hat brought you to these ,arts<B ( +as so mad that ( almost reminded him of ancient history9 But ( refrained% calmly said to him% A( live here% but +hat are you doing here% ( didn-t kno+...B (NI&' AI goes into his room.) (R(NA (.ollo#s him #ith her %oice.) He stared at me +ith sur,rise% couldn-t believe his ears9 He held onto his sidekick-s elbo+ and said% A/ou here< .ince +hen<B ( said% A.ince today% 1adik9B And he said% AAs far as ( kno+% you can-t be among the residents of this building by definition...B ( calmly said% ATurns out ( can. 'ook% ( have to hurry% house+arming% +e-re going to celebrate. By the +ay% you and your friend are invited% +e-re al+ays ha,,y for more guests.B 1adik% as soon as he heard about the house+arming% his chin hit the ground and he couldn-t come to his senses. But his friend ans+ered in such a civiliCed manner% A;ith the utmost ,leasure% madam.B ( oudly.) Nikolai% did you hear< He so said9 A;ith the utmost ,leasure% madam.B No+ ( don-t kno+ if they-re coming or not... Nikolai9 (s it okay +ith you< N( )'A( ( oo$s out "rom his room.) ;hat difference does it make if it-s okay +ith me< /ou invite them% you entertain them. R(TA (-omes out "rom the $itchen.) )kay +ith me9 =ven very okay% es,ecially stern ones9 And +ith big ?ee,s... 6um% that stern one...+ith 1adik% he-s not married< N( )'A( Here you are% your u,bringing. (mmediately obvious she-ll go far% if not arrested by the co,s. ANT)N (-omes in "rom the "oyer.) They +on-t. =ven the co,s are scared. R(TA ;hy< Because... so beautiful. ANT)N R(TA
;h8at< ANT)N Beautiful% ( said. =yes all bunched u,% nose flat% mouth all the +ay to the ears. /ou are a freak9 R(TA
ANT)N ;hat did you say< 6e a freak< /ou-re a co+9 R(TA 6um9 He-s calling names9 ;ell% tell him +hy is he this +ay< (R(NA Really% +hy are you this +ay< Not nice to call your sister names. ANT)N .o% okay for her to call her brother names< (NI&' AI thro#s up his hands and goes into his room.) (R(NA Not nice either. Never call ,eo,le names. .till too young to make ?udgment about ,eo,le... ( oo$s at her #atch.) )h% too late9 No time to do the necessary9 R(TA Come on% 6a% +e-ll make it sim,le. Remember that film +e +atch... ;hat film< (t-s called .morgasbord. (R(NA Be off +ith your silliness9 No time for them no+. ANT)N That-s an idea. Here% arrange everything in the corner% s+itch on the music% and% as they say% no ,roblemo. 'et everyone have a good time as one can... (+he doorbell rings.) (R(NA (R(NA R(TA
)h% already here9 Anton% go% o,en the door... )kay% Rita% let-s >uickly set u, this smorgasbord... (AN+'N exits to the "oyer, IRINA and RI+A arrange the boxes in the corner and thro# on a tablecloth. AN+'N enters #ith /0RA and 1A IA.) /0RA Hello% hello... ;ell% +hat +ill you say% hostess% shall +e kiss< (R(NA Be off +ith you9 /ou-d smooch all the time. 1A'(A /ou don-t say9 6ost im,ortantly% he tries it +ith strangers all the time. /0RA ;hat strangers< They-re like family to me9 No+ (2ll kiss my goddaughter... Come% Rita love% give 0ncle /ura a hug... Ho+ do you like that% has become so fine. 1A'(A ;hat% have you gone mad% old fool< .to, this right no+9 ;hat-s that all about< /0RA
ANT)N 0ncle /ura% they understand you +rong. /0RA =7actly% Anton% our ladies al+ays understand everything +rong. Not as it should... .o% +here-s my good friend< Hey% Nikolai9 /o9 ;here are you< Come out9 N( )'A( (-omes out o" his room, arms #ide open.) )h8ho8ho8ho9 /ura9 6y friend9 Hello% hello... 'ong time no see... ((ugs /0RA.) Ho+-s life< (R(NA /ou must e7cuse us% guys% +e-re rather +orn out +ith the move% haven-t had time to ,re,are anything. 1A'(A Doesn-t matter% almost family% it-s fine. No+ +e-ll >uickly +hi, u, something. 'et-s go into the kitchen% +e-ll chat there at the same time...
(+he #omen lea%e "or the $itchen, the men remain.) ;ell% Nikolia% let-s go. ;here< /0RA .ho+ me your ,lace. /ou-re no+ the host. ANT)N 'ook% 0ncle /ura% see ho+ high the ceiling is. Can-t reach it9 (2umps, lands, pic$s up a ball "rom the "loor, thro#s to /0RA.) A little one8on8one< Catch9 /0RA (+ries to catch the ball, a#$#ardly returns it.) no+ +hat% Tony... As family% (-ll tell you a secret. ;hat< ANT)N /0RA N( )'A(
/0RA (n our time% +e didn-t ,lay such games. ;hat games then< ANT)N
/0RA (n our time% +e only ,layed t+o games seriously* business and ,olitics. Besides% e7clusively in greenbacks... (-huc$les.) That so% my man< N( )'A( Don-t you fool around +ith a young mind. He still has to study and learn. Really% found +hat ,layer... Erobably you don-t ,lay much< /0RA Don-t say it% my friend% don-t say it. .till ,laying9 And if you +ant% ( can take you in my team. /ou kno+% Nikolai% (-m no+ an individual of ,ros,ects. Can even say a hairsbreadth a+ay from leader of the ,arty. ;hat< ANT)N% N( )'A(
(!ause.) ;hat ,arty< N( )'A( /ura% have you caved in to the communists< /0RA Ah% Nikolai% Nikolai9 ;hat a bonehead you +ere and still remain. Think +ith your head% +ho needs these communists no+< (!ause.) ;ho +ill give money to them< To you% 0ncle /ura< They +ill< ANT)N
N( )'A( As soon as they see his insolent face. (magine% already did. Aha. Don-t talk nonsense. /0RA (f the ,arty doesn-t +ork out% then in e7change for su,,ort... N( )'A( And +hat ,arty can you organiCe< The ,arty of blabbermouths and crooks% ,erha,s< /0RA ;e8ll... (t-s too bold a title... Although% it you look at it% there-ll ,robably be more members in such a ,arty than in the old Communist Earty... But then again% +hat-s the difference< All the same% they +on-t register a ,arty +ith such a name. .o% Nick my friend% ours +ill be either the ,arty for democracy or the movement for ?ustice. :or all< ;hat for all< ;ell% this... Justice for all< ANT)N ANT)N /0RA /0RA N( )'A(
/0RA ;hat are you% Anton< Already look like a gro+n8u, young man but reason e7actly like a kid9 ;hy like a kid< ANT)N
/0RA Because you should have understood long ago that there can never be ?ustice for all. ;hile a ,erson lives% he bustles all the time chasing after ?ustice% tries to get more of it for himself. Doesn-t even kno+ +hy this ?ustice for him. ;ill this ?ustice be good for his life in this +orld< :or e7am,le% +hat ?ustice is it for me that decent ,eo,le occu,ied a +orthy s,ot< Huh< ;hat< ;here then +ould it be for you% your ,a,a% and me< Eoke around in muck< N( )'A( /ura% but you-re scum. (,urprised.) Ea% +hat did you say< ANT)N
/0RA (-huc$les.) (t-s alright% Tony% it-s alright% everything-s okay. /our ,a,a-s right. .cum every+here on our roads% scum every+here have our res,ect... (*al$s o%er to NI&' AI, slaps him on the bac$.) Am ( right or not< N( )'A( (.ro#ns.) Right.. That-s ?ust it% it-s correct... 6ost distressing. /0RA Tony% you see +hat sour face your ,a,a ,ulled. (f ( haven-t kno+n him my +hole life% very likely ( +ould decide right a+ay that he% so +hite% +ants to +hite+ash us% the blacks% for fun. And +ould even believe that here this mansion... (Gestures.) ...+as forcefully ,resented to him for +ork8related e7cellence. But% ha,,ily% Tony% ( don-t believe this. ANT)N ;hy ha,,ily< Eerha,s unha,,ily< /0RA Don-t say that% Tony% don-t say that. ;hy unha,,ily if +e-ll no+ celebrate this
mansion together< And for this occasion% ( have here something ( ,ut a+ay... (+a$es out a big bottle o" .rench cognac.) .ee% Nick9 N( )'A( ;o+9 ;here did you get it< /0RA ;hat >uestion is that< (n our time mustn-t ask +here but ho+ much... And look at your ,a,a% Tony9 )ne look at this beauty... (,tro$es the bottle.) ...and his eyes lit u, +ith antici,ation. By the +ay% are +e going to antici,ate any longer< Time already to start tasting. 4o% Tony% hurry the ladies% tell them +e-re tired of +aiting... (AN+'N goes to the $itchen.) N( )'A( /ura% this thing +ith ,olitics% it-s a ?oke% right< /0RA ;hat ?oke< (-m >uite serious. Do you kno+ +hat kind of money is floating around there< N( )'A( ( do. .o% there9 /0RA
N( )'A( But aren-t you afraid that their money +ould be so soiled that it could never be cleaned< /0RA ;ell% let-s assume it-s ,ossible to get dirty in surgery... Are +e going to be afraid of dirt< N( )'A( (Grunts.) ;on-t you choke on the dirt< /0RA But it-s necessary for this money. There +ill be money% you +on-t choke% and you can come out of it as you +ish. (-ll tell you this* there +ill be money% that-s all9 )nly not ?ust money but lots of it...
(+he $itchen door opens, IRINA, 1A IA, RI+A, and AN+'N #al$ out #ith trays.) N( )'A( :inally. Had to +ait so long. Chatting% ,robably< 1A'(A /ou have to e7cuse us% Nick% but +e +omen have our secrets. (R(NA =7actly% secrets9 ;hich he shouldn-t kno+ about. N( )'A( ;h8at< (+urns to RI+A.) ;hat-s this she-s scheming again< Didn-t you hear< ( heard nothing. R(TA
ANT)N But ( did9 Ea% 6a has ne+ grandiose ,lans. And for this she needs money% ?ust as 0ncle /ura. (R(NA /ura% are you serious< ;hy do you need money< ('""ended.) .o% you have a reason but it-s ,ointless for me< ;ell% thank you% my dear% nice of you. 1A'(A )h% /ura% ,ardon me% it-s my fault. (t seems +e talked about everything% but that you +ant to be a ,olitical activist com,letely sli,,ed out of my head. /0RA ;ell% no+% call yourself a +ife9 )ne might even say an ally. (f it goes on this +ay% (-d have to e7change you for a younger one. 1A'(A )kay% /ura% okay. (f for business% than ( agree. (R(NA )h% /ura% +atch it doesn-t backfire9 ;ants to e7change his +ife. As if your life +on-t change after+ards. /0RA
1A'(A 'et him take +hom he +ants. ( +on-t ,rotest. (R(NA /ou heard% /ura< ;ag your tongue and you-ll be +ithout a +ife. /0RA 6ost likely% ( +on-t ,erish. Didn-t fall under the heel... N( )'A( Right9 ;hy under the heel< Better live under ,arty banners... /0RA Ne8ver... (,tarts to sing in the tune o" a military song o" the 34s 5 (igher All the +ime.) All the more and more and more6*e #ant to ha%e "rom li"e... Right% kids< R(TA (Enthusiastically.) /eah9 (R(NA (Irritated.) ;hat yeah< Huh< ;hen +ill you learn to s,eak in a civiliCed manner< Not yeah but have to say yes9 /eah% yeah% e7actly like a ,easant9 At least have better li,s than them9 R(TA ;hasa the matter +ith you% 6a< ;hy +ould ( do that< (R(NA ;hat% you-re so retarded% don-t understand< (-huc$les.) /es% of course% she-s retarded. Ea% tell them9 ;hat-s +ith them< Ah8h... (*a%es.) Come on% all of you... ANT)N
R(TA N( )'A(
/0RA Doesn-t matter% Rita9 /our mama is the retarded one% doesn-t kno+ +hat girls need li,s for... ( aughs le#dly.) Ha8ha8ha8ha... 1A'(A )h% you shameless old fool9 ((its /0RA on the bac$.) (-ll sho+ you +hat9 (-ll sho+ you... (R(NA That-s right% 1alia9 4ive it to him... Hit harder9 /0RA (7odges the blo#s.) )uch9 )uch9 :or kissing% for kissing9 ;hat +ere you thinking of< (+hey stop #ith the bu""er bet#een them.) (R(NA )kay% okay% sto,...=verything-s ready... Elease% to the table% everyone9 ;hat table< The buffer table9 N( )'A( ;h8at< ;hat-s this< Ho+ are +e going to do this< No% this isn-t acce,table. /0RA (!ours cognac.) /ou-ve been told* +e don-t sit but hang around a buffer. (R(NA (!oints to the $ids.) ;ell% ( listened to them% did +hat they +anted9 No+ +hat% rearrange everything again< N( )'A( Heck% no9 ;e-re losing time. Buffer% then buffer% +hat the heck. /0RA No+ it-s the acce,table +ay9 (t-s our +ay9 )nce assembled% no use to drag it out... Nick% a toast... To... To the ne+ home9 N( )'A( (R(NA
(E%eryone drin$s and eats standing.) (R(NA )h9 That +ent do+n +ell... Eity the glasses are so small. /0RA Can re,eat... Anyone against it< No< ;ho declines< ;ho-s for< (t-s unanimous9 ANT)N
(E%eryone pours himsel" another.) 1A'(A ;ell% host% No+-s your turn. Toast9 Toast9 'et-s have a toast9 =h8eh... (-annot thin$.) To the ne+ home9 To a ne+ life9 Hu8ur8ray9 ANT)N A'' T)4=TH=R N( )'A(
(E%eryone pic$s it up and shouts 8(urray.9 RI+A turns on the music and dances.) 'et-s dance9 (*al$s up to RI+A.) 'et-s relive the good old days9 1A'(A ;ell% Nick% shall +e dance< 6a% +e-ll dance together< ANT)N (R(NA /0RA
(R(NA 'eave me alone... No dancing for me.
ANT)N (!erplexed.) Again something-s +rong +ith her... .he +anted to dance... (IRINA goes into the $itchen. +he doorbell rings. AN+'N exits and returns #ith 1A7I& and his companion. 1A7I& holds exactly the same cognac that /0RA brought.) 1AD( ;ell% +hat do you say< Receiving guests< ( oudly.) 6a9 4uests9 (Runs out o" the $itchen.) ;ho-s here< )h% 1adik% is that you< ( ho,e +e-re +elcome< (R(NA ANT)N
(R(NA )f course9 /ou have to ask... (-m so glad% so glad... (IRINA leans o%er to $iss 1A7I&, #ho graciously lets her. /0RA ta$es the bottle.) 1AD( 6ay ( ,resent to you (gor (osifovich... kno+n to all as (.(.9 ;h8at< =1=R/)N=
/0RA (In surprise drops the bottle but it does not brea$.) The same< 1AD( The same. Can-t be9 ;hy not< /0RA 1AD(
/0RA (Addresses I.I.) Really< No lies< (.(. No% no lies... (Gi%es IRINA the bou:uet.) 6adam% allo+ me to congratulate you heartily. (R(NA Thank you9 )h% ho+ lovely... Elease% come ?oin us9 Elease feel at home... (+urns the bou:uet, examines it on all sides.) ;hat roses9 Just remarkable... (-ve never seen such roses in my life9 (.(. No sur,rise. :rom Holland% directly to you. (R(NA ;hat are you saying< 6y 'ord% directly from Holland9 (Runs to the $itchen #ith the bou:uet.) 6ust ,ut them in +ater right a+ay... 1A'(A ;ait... (Runs a"ter IRINA.) (-ll hel, you... (AN+'N dances #ith RI+A. /ura #al$s to the "oyer.) (.(. (In an undertone to 1A7I&.) ;ho are +e dealing +ith here< Her or... (Nods %aguely in the direction o" NI&' AI.) 1AD( (Also in an undertone.) (.(. (In an undertone.)
Her% +ith her.
1AD( This here is for a,,earance... A buffoon... (Raises his %oice, loudly and cheer"ully.) Right% Nikolai<
N( )'A( (7rains another glass.) Right +hat< 1AD( That you-re our eagle9 (Grins smugly.) ;ell% eagle or no eagle% but definitely no +im,... (,taggers to a corner, perches on a pile o" things not assembled, and starts to smo$e.) (.(. (In an undertone.) 'ikely you-re right... ;ell then% +e-ll try... But then you-ve kno+n her for a long time. ;hat is she like at least< 1AD( .he< Hmm... .tu,id% greedy... No loyalty and no ,rinci,les. (f so% she suits us ?ust fine. (.(. N( )'A(
/0RA (Returns "rom the "oyer, addresses the dancing AN+'N and RI+A.) /ou-re all still stom,ing around< Rita% +hat gives9 )nce in a blue moon the s+ankest guy in the city comes to you and you ,ay him Cero attention9 R(TA He should be ,aying attention to me9 (-m +aiting% +aiting all the time... /0RA (At a loss.) ;ell% indeed9 Ho+ +ould you take them< .ee for yourself% (gor (osiforich% +hat sim,le ,eo,le live here. (.(. 6ust assume% then% that you aren-t a sim,le ,erson< (f +e use your logic% that-s ho+ +e should take you< Erecisely% not sim,le... (+a$es out a business card.) Elease allo+ me to introduce myself* leader of the 6ovement for Justice9 (t-s necessary to invest something in me as a ,reliminary. /0RA
(.(. (-oldly.) (-ve never heard of such a movement... Besides% ,lease let me mention to you our credo* concrete business and real ,ro?ects. To go after ?ustice< )r% s,ecifically to+ards it< No% it isn-t in our ,lans. And counting on us ,aying you money for this< ( assume this is e7actly +hat you have in mind% it +ould be naive at least. /0RA No +ay% not at all9 ;hat do you take us for< ;e-re indeed ,rogressive ,eo,le... (.(. Erogressive< /0RA Can even say% elite of society9 ;e understand everything% as e7,ected. This name% gentlemen% is for the electorate% but our +ork is for s,onsors. Do ( think correctly% (gor (osiforich< N( )'A( ( oudly, already drun$.) ;h8at< ;hat-s this (osiforich< ;ho-s this% +hy don-t ( kno+ him< 1AD( (*al$s to NI&' AI.) Nick% do you kno+ me< N( )'A( /ou-re (osiforich ,erha,s< (+ries to calm NI&' AI.) Ea% don-t9 Don-t disgrace yourself. .uch ,eo,le come and you-re at your old tricks again... N( )'A( ;h8at< No res,ect for :ather< ;hat such ,eo,le< ANT)N ( oudly.) 6a% :ather-s at it again9 6a% do you hear< Come here9 /0RA Nothing +rong% gentlemen. ;e-re no strangers here% +e understand ,ro,erly. (sn-t that so% (gor (osiforich< (.(. Certainly% certainly... Ho+ever% in fact% +here-s our charming hostess indeed< R(TA
(IRINA comes out o" the $itchen #ith a "illed crystal #ine glass in one hand and a tray o" re"reshments in the other. 1A IA "ollo#s her, carrying a 35liter ;ar #ith #ater and the bou:uet.) (,olemnly.) (gor (osiforich9 1adik9 Have a drink +ith us for the house+arming9 To the ne+ home% a ne+ life9 (Gi%es I.I. the #ine glass.) Elease don-t ?udge too harshly% today +e have a smorgasbord. 1AD( ;hat-s that% +hat< Ah8h% understood% a buffer... ;ell no+% of course% a smorgasbord. (.(. (-almly ta$es the #ine glass.) ( ,ro,ose a toast... To ne+ ,ros,ects9 (+a$es a sip.) To ne+ horiCons9 (R(NA (In admiration.) Ho+ +onderfully you s,oke9 Thank you9 Elease say some more9 (.(. ( beg your ,ardon% but +e have no time at our dis,osal. Really< (R(NA (R(NA
1AD( /ou do kno+ +e-re ,eo,le of business. (.(. As a matter of fact% can say that +e-re here on business... (R(NA ;hat are you saying< (.(. /ou kno+% +e have a very interesting ,ro,osal for you ,ersonally. (R(NA )h9 Really right no+< (-m ready for everything9
1AD( Don-t +orry% rest assured. (-ll find you in a cou,le of days and e7,lain everything... (+urns to I.I.) ;ell< .hall +e< (R(NA ;hat% already< /ou-re leaving already< 1A'(A And +e haven-t even been ,ro,erly introduced. (.(. There-s time for everything. But ( so +anted... 1A'(A
(.(. ( don-t e7clude such a ,ossibility. All in all% if (-m not mistaken% you-re the +ife of the leader of the 6ovement for Justice< 1A'(A /ura managed to blab about his nonsense< /0RA ee, >uiet9 =lse (-ll give you +hat for9 (.(. ;hy are you like that< Don-t treat your +ife this +ay. .he doesn-t deserve this. But +hy her< /0RA
(.(. Elease don-t +orry. (t-s >uite ,ossible that +e-ll find a common to,ic of conversation. At least one should think about this. R(TA And me< Have you thought about this< (Ignores her.) Elease allo+ us to take our leave. (.(.
(R(NA Eerha,s stay for a bit longer< Just a little +hile% Huh<
;e +ould love to% but duty calls.
(E%eryone except NI&' AI, perching on a pile o" boxes, goes out to see I.I. and 1A7I& o"".) (Re%i%es.) ;here am (< ( oo$s around drun$enly.) ;here-s everyone< N( )'A(
+he curtain rises on the same scene. +his time, ne# "urniture and old ;un$ cram the big room helter5 s$elter. In the center, IRINA and A<A sit at a table #ith a dec$ o" cards.
(R(NA (Impatiently.) ;ell< Come on9 (-ve been +aiting for you% +aiting... )nly you tell the +hole truth% like at a confession9 Don-t make u, anything yourself. A3A 6y dear% you kno+ me. ( ,ass on +hat the cards say% add nothing on my o+n. And cards don-t lie% you yourself kno+. (R(NA ( kno+% ( kno+9 /ou-ve already hel,ed me a hundred times. )nly those times +eren-t as scary as no+. A3A No need to fear destiny% my dear... ((ands IRINA the dec$.) Cut the cards. (R(NA (-uts the cards.) )kay% okay% come on. A3A )kay% let-s do it. ;hat are +e reading< The usual% our +ay% family% or secret desire< (R(NA 'et-s do the best. Erovided ( kno+ everything. And the truth9 A3A Then for secret desire... )nly ( +arn you first* have to take everything as it comes% as destiny. Can-t change anything later. (,cared.) ;hat if only bad things turn u,< (R(NA
;hy only bad things< Recently ( read one... /ou kno+ her. (R(NA ;ho< 1al. 1al the redhead< A3A That-s the one. ;hen her husband divorced her and ke,t everything himself... (R(NA ;hat% everything< A3A That-s right. Car% a,artment% cottage... (R(NA (s that really ,ossible< A3A 6y dear% not then. He-s a shar, businessman% registered everything to his firm. .o that not a crumb +ent to 1al. )h% ho+ she ho+led9 ;ould you believe it% she +anted to ,oison herself9 (R(NA ( understand her. ;hy not9 :irst the Canary (slands% then the Bahamas% and then% no+here. A3A Then the cards said% she-d be in a +hite 6ercedes... True% not long after+ards. (R(NA (&no#ingly.) Ah8h9 ( sa+ her not long ago near the bank... .he got ,recisely out of a 6ercedes9 A +hite one... And then% +iggling her rum,% even +alked arm8in8arm +ith a flush8looking one... ;ell% so< Have you decided< ;hat< A3A (R(NA A3A (R(NA
A3A Are +e reading the cards< .ecret desire or +hat< (R(NA (7etermined.) 'et-s% secret desire. A3A ( ays out the cards, moans.) Aye8yai8yai... Aye8yai8yai... (R(NA (,cared.) ;hat-s there< ;hat-s that< ;hat turns u,< A3A )h% my dear... ( don-t kno+ +hat to tell you e7actly... R(TA (-omes out o" the room.) 6a% can ( not go today< (R(NA ;hy not< /ou-re ,lanning on eating today< Try on ne+ outfits< 4o% and no more talk9 R(TA 6a9 ( beg you... (R(NA ;hat did ( say< /our mind ?ust +asn-t here9 R(TA )kay% okay... (!reens in "ront o" the mirror, paints her lips, put something in the purse, and lea%es.) Did you see< ;hat< (R(NA Did you see +hat kind of boarder she-s gro+n u, to be< Nothing. Absolutely doesn-t +ant to do anything. (R(NA A3A
A3A ;hat are you saying< .o laCy% takes after her father9 (R(NA
A3A (ra% but the ladies say that your guy is a real man... (R(NA )h% you sto, it9 ;hat man< ;ouldn-t even ,ick u, a hammer at home9 ;hat he is isn-t... =ven looking from outside. A3A Nothing you can do. 6an% he-s a man. (R(NA ;hat man< Totally useless9 Can-t even consult him... 'ike a stranger +ith the kids... A3A /our kids are already gro+n... (R(NA ;ould my eyes not see him9 No more strength to bear it... A3A (f you don-t +ant to bear it% then get a divorce. (R(NA )h% +hat divorce9 No divorce for me. No+ so many things are +eighing on me% so many... A3A ;ho-s sto,,ing you< Divorce is so >uick... (R(NA (Almost not listening.) 'ater% ACa. ( +as stock,iling so% stashing9 No+ ( don-t kno+ ho+ to get out of the mess... And the devil dragged me into linking +ith this 1adik9 =verything has gone to the dogs... A3A That-s +hat the cards sho+* trouble +ill knock on your door... (R(NA (Not listening, as i" tal$ing to hersel".)
Ho+ +ell everything started out9 =ven this cold fish (gor (osifovich kissed my hand. A/ou-re our true business lady. /ou-ll ,romote our ?oint ,ro?ect...B Eromised mountains of gold% that cheat9 No+ they let the +hole gang out on me... A3A ...;hat horror* a I% a !J% an ace% and all s,ades... (R(NA (Not listening.) ;hat am ( to do< (-m at +it-s end. Can-t think of anything9 ACa% (% +ith all my connections% someho+ can-t come u, +ith ho+ to get out of this situation. A3A Here-s +hat the cards say% only a miracle can hel, you. (R(NA ;hy me< ;hy this ,unishment for me< A3A (ra% do you +ant me to tell you honestly< ;hat% ACa< (R(NA
A3A /ou-re greedy% don-t +ant to share +ith others. (-m not greedy9 (R(NA
A3A /es% you are. All isn-t enough for you. (R(NA ( have a family% children9 /ou yourself understand... A3A )h% (ra% don-t be a hy,ocrite9 /ou don-t have a family% already not for a long time... And time for your children to be married. (R(NA /ou never sto, being a mother9 A mother-s heart al+ays aches for her children. A3A (f you thought about your kids at all% you +ouldn-t have +alked into such business.
(R(NA But they ,romised me so much money9 =ven scary to say ho+ much9 A3A That-s +hat (-m saying% you-re greedy% hanker after money. And you-re like some rat to them% enticed into a tra,. (R(NA But +hat-s better than money< Tell me% +hat< ;ith money% you can buy anything you +ant and ,ay off anyone you +ant... /ou can kill for money and cover your tracks. A3A )h% (ra% it-s not as sim,le as it seems to you... (+he phone rings, IRINA ans#ers.) (R(NA Hello% hello... /es% (... Ho+% seriously< No kidding< (*al$s to the #indo# and loo$s out.) ...;hat if ( made a ?oke< (In con"usion.) .../es< ...:or such ?okes< ...No% but if ( changed my mind< ...;hat< ...;hy< ...;hat to do then< ...Ho+-s this my ,roblem< ....o% you already can-t change anything< ...No< (,lo#ly #al$s to the table.) ...:ine ...:ine ...=verything-s clear... (!uts do#n the phone, says "irmly.) ;ell% let it be... ( oo$s out the #indo#.) A3A (Gets up, approaches the #indo#, and loo$s out.) ;hat-s there< ;hom did you see< Nobody... (-m looking at my car. (R(NA
A3A (!ays attention.) ;hy did you ,ut it there< (R(NA (Rouses hersel".) ;hat< Ah8h% (... 'isten% (-d better tell you. )nly don-t think (-m talking about myself. (t-s about a friend.
A3A ;hich friend< (R(NA /ou don-t kno+ her% she-s in another city. Any+ay% listen% you +on-t believe this9 .he +as stock,iling ?ust as me9 .o< A3A (,its do#n at the table and sorts out the cards.) (R(NA Just like me9 They attacked her% 4od forbid9 A3A .he-s still alive at least% this friend of yours< (R(NA 'isten% don-t interru,t9 (n short% they ran over her so that she couldn-t breathe. .he ,aid out to +hoever +as necessary... ;ell% no saying ho+ much. And imagine% they ,laced a bomb in her car9 A3A A bomb< (R(NA /es... And in fact% they did everything they could. And she never even sa+ them9 ;ell% they try to run over her again% and she said to them% AElease +ait% no+ my husband +ill come and settle everything +ith you...B (*al$s ner%ously around the room, goes o"ten to the #indo# and loo$s out.) ...0h8huh... .o% her husband came out% a,,roached the car% and they +ere already +aiting for him there. He ?ust started to o,en the car door and then it ble+ them all u,9 A3A (Gets up, goes to the #indo#, loo$s thought"ully out the #indo#, then at IRINA.) (ra% did you< (R(NA ;hat< 'ook at the ,ros,ects< A3A (R(NA
;hat ,ros,ects< That +as all9 A3A ;ell% if you say it +as so... (*al$s to the table, gathers the cards.) Then% my dear% here-s +hat (-ll tell you... 'ater your friend either took a long time to heal or +as greatly tormented... (+here is a noise in the "oyer and NI&' AI #al$s in.) (R(NA Not true9 There +as nothing for her to do. N( )'A( (*ith hostility.) .he-s here again< A3A (-m leaving% (-m leaving... Already leaving% my dear. N( )'A( ;ould be better you never came. Al+ays bring trouble +ith you... (n a +ord% a cro+9 A3A (Goes to the #indo# and loo$s out.) )h% my dear9 Trouble to men are not from cro+s but your loving +ives. (R(NA Asa% you +ait% sit for a +hile yet9 .tay% huh< /ou still haven-t finished the reading... N( )'A( Nothing for her to do here9 'et her go +hile the going is good. A3A (-m going% (ra... (Goes to IRINA and $isses her.) 4oodbye. (R(NA ;hy goodbye< ;e didn-t fight% right< .o% not goodbye but till +e meet again... ;e-ll meet again soon% agree< A3A And that% (ra% is 4od-s +ill.
N( )'A( (!ushes A<A to the entrance.) 4o% go... =lse 0ncle Nick +ill give it to you% and kick you out. A3A (ra% think it through% else it-d likely be +orse later. /ou have ,ity and it-ll be too late. N( )'A( /ou go +ith your o+n advice9 Bugger off9 (Almost pushes A<A out.) ;ould +e never see you again... (R(NA ;hat% are you com,letely drunk< Ho+ dare you treat my friends this +ay< N( )'A( This is my home% understand< (-m the o+ner here9 And there-ll be none of your friends here anymore9 Neither +ould you be% if you o,en your big mouth... And if ( see this cro+ here again% (-ll kick her do+n the stairs9 (R(NA (-ontemptuously.) )o8o8o% ho+ scary9 (ndeed% turned out to be the o+ner... His home... ;ho made the sou, in the home< N( )'A( (Also contemptuously.)
Certainly not you.
(R(NA (Indignant.) (nteresting% +hose sou, do you gobble u,< ;ho earns money for the grub< /ou or me< N( )'A( And you do< Here% go and earn some% and leave me alone. (R(NA .o you-ll live off me< /ou already don-t bring a dime home9 ( struggle des,erately alone and you +on-t hel, me +ith a thing9 N( )'A( And don-t intend to9 /ou found a fool. ;ould stick the head in a noose for money. Am ( an idiot ,erha,s< (R(NA
And ( turn out to be the idiot< :eed them% clothe them% and not a +ord of thanks% only criticism... N( )'A( ;hat% am ( su,,ose to cra+l on my knees to you for that< (R(NA no+ +hat< (!hone rings, pic$s up and ans#ers in haste.) .../es... ;hat% already< .../es% yes% yes% yes... As agreed< .../es% yes% yes% yes... No+% no+... /es% yes% yes% yes... (n five minutes< (!uts do#n the phone, changes tone.) Nikolai% you hear me< 4o% bring the car out. N( )'A( :at chance. ( run and stumble. (R(NA ;hat% you don-t understand +ords< 4o% ( said9 N( )'A( (-m not your chauffeur9 /ou go for a drive% you take it out of the garage. (R(NA Nikolai% you kno+ me. (f ( so decided% all the same you-re going. N( )'A( ;h8at< ( don-t give a damn for your decision9 (R(NA (s that so< This is your attitude to+ards me< N( )'A( And you only no+ got it< ( see% you-re not only a beauty% but also beaming +ith intelligence. (R(NA )h% you9 That-s it% ( +on-t stand this anymore9 (-ll make you go take out the car9 N( )'A( Ho+ are you going to do that< At gun ,oint< (R(NA (-ll no+ chase you +ith a stick9 N( )'A( ;atch ( don-t break your s,ine +ith the stick.
(R(NA )o8o8o% ho+ you scare me9 /ou don-t kno+% so you think% +hat a tough guy. N( )'A( And if you kno+< /ou +on-t think< (R(NA (f you kno+% then you-d even laugh at +hat kind of man you are. N( )'A( ;hat kind< A +im,9 (R(NA
N( )'A( And +hat are you< )o% turned out a se7 bomb% trash9 (In a rage.) )h% you9 (R(NA
(Restrains hersel", lo#ers her tone.) (-ll sho+ you a se7 bomb. /ou-ll find out +hom you-re dealing +ith... ( oudly.) (-m telling you for the last time* go no+ and bring out the car. N( )'A( And (-m ans+ering you for the last time* (-m not going any+here9 0nderstand< (R(NA No9 /ou +ill go9 No% (-m not9 4o yourself. N( )'A(
(R(NA (-ll make you all the same9 /ou kno+ me9 N( )'A( =nough9 /ou-ve blocked yourself in already... .to, making a scene% it-s getting tiring... (R(NA ( oo$s at her #atch, runs to the #indo#, loo$s out, changes her tone.) Nikolai% (-m asking you9 Elease move the car9
N( )'A( )nce (-ve said no% it means no. That-s it% end of conversation. (R(NA (Runs up and clutches NI&' AI.) Nikolai% ( beg you9 (+ries to "ree himsel".) 'eave me alone% ( said9 .ticks like leech... N( )'A(
(R(NA (,ha$es NI&' AI.) Nick% (-m begging you9 Be a man% for the last time... 0nhand me9 N( )'A(
(R(NA (,ha$es stronger.) Nicky% (-ll never ask you for anything again9 Never in my life9 N( )'A( 4o to hell9 (.inally thro#s IRINA o"" #ith "orce.) (IRINA "alls and lies on the "loor, not mo%ing.) N( )'A( ;hy are you lying there< Huh< (!auses.) ;ell% you ?ust lie there% rest. (-m going to get a beer... (Goes into the $itchen and returns #ith a bottle o" beer.) .till lying there< 4o ahead% you +on-t get me +ith this stunt... )o8o% +hat scum9 Just for you% filth. Calls herself a hostess9 ;on-t even take a broom in hand... And the daughter is ?ust like you% the same distem,er9 ;ould only ,aint her face% stretch brighter rag over her behind... Hey% you% hostess... Clumsy% that you are. Don-t even kno+ ho+ to make an egg as you should% and there... (=imics.) A( have no time% (-m making money9 There-ll be money and (-ll hire a maid...B .ome business+oman ,ut in an a,,earance... /ou better tell honestly* ho+ much have you stashed a+ay< ...Huh< ....ilence< .cared to tell< ...Doesn-t matter% there-ll be kind ,eo,le +illing to tell everything... )nly you kee, in mind% (-m not giving you my share% not a chance. ( +asn-t a ,art of your shady deals% ( kno+ nothing about them% and ( don-t +ant to kno+9 0nderstand< ...0nderstand or not% ans+er me9 ...Ans+er +hen you-re asked9 (*al$s to IRINA, pushes her slightly.)
.to, ,laying the fool9 (ndeed% she-s lost consciousness. .eems +e-re so delicate... (-ll bring you around no+... (!ours some beer onto IRINA.) ;hat% you hit yourself hard for real< ()ends do#n, slaps IRINA>s chee$s.) Hey% get u,% enough already9 (-hanges tone.) 'isten% do you really feel bad< ( oudly.) Don-t kee, >uiet9 ;hy are you scaring me< ()ends do#n, listens to her heart.) ( don-t understand. ( barely touched her9 Call I!! ,erha,s< (-hanges tone.) ;hat if... No% can-t be... ;hy< ;hat to do< No+ (... (Rushes around the room.) .o% a mirror... ;here is it< (Runs into his o#n room and returns.) .o% a mirror... ;here is it< (Runs into his o#n room and returns.) No+9 (!uts the mirror up to IRINA>s "ace and sits do#n slo#ly.) Not breathing... ( eaps up.) No% no9 No+ (... Artificial resuscitation... Ho+ does it go< (+ries arti"icial resuscitation.) )h8oh8oh8oh9 )nly not this9 (Angrily.) /ou didn-t really die9 Don-t make me mad% ans+er me9 ;hat% you-ve lost your mind< /ou +ant to bury me< /ou sto, this9 (,ha$es IRINA.) (ra9 ...(ra% say something at least9 Ho+ could you do this< (.ear"ully.) )+8o+8o+8o+9 ;hat am ( to do< Need emergency... (!ic$s up the phone and starts to dial, then drops the phone.) But +hat can ( tell them< Ho+ do ( e7,lain this< No one +ill believe me9 )h8oh8 oh8oh9 They-ll thro+ me in ?ail9 ;hat have you done% trash< ( never lay a finger on you in life9 (,tarts to sob.) )o8o8o8o... Here-s +hat you ,ushed me into... (+ries to pull himsel" together.) No9 /ou-re not getting your +ay9 /ou-re not burying me this +ay. /ou +anted to die% so die% but you-re not dragging me to the grave +ith you9 To s,ite you% (-ll live and have fun9 No+ ( ?ust have to get rid of you... ;ho +ill look for you< /our creditors< .o let them look9 (-ll try my best so no one +ill find you... (-ll try my best... (+a$es IRINA by the "eet and drags her into his o#n room.)
R(TA (Enters a"ter ma$ing noise in the "oyer.) Anybody home< (!auses.) Thank 4od% no one here9 Ho+ tired ( am of them all... No life +ith them. ;ith them it-s not this% not that. 6om has become so antsy. 4one >uite craCy about money9 (nteresting% +here does she hide it< At home< (-d find it9 Then (-d >uickly credit it to my account. :irst of all it +ould be cool to buy all sorts of things% and then take off some+here far a+ay. And there% you ?ust +atch% (-d ac>uire myself a +orth+hile guy... ;hat< Am ( +orse than others< (!ic$s up the mirror "rom the table and t#irls in "ront o" it.) ( think (-m even better than many... (,#ings and s#ays.) N( )'A( (Runs out o" his room.) )h% you slut9 Ho+ dare you t+ist your filthy ass here< Com,letely lost any shame< R(TA ;hy are you yelling< ;hat have ( done< ;hat% ( can-t have a life here< Al+ays yelling% screaming% like a mad dog... N( )'A( ;h8at< /ou talk this +ay to :ather< R(TA Are you craCy< Kuite a beast9 (Incensed.) Call :ather a beast< )h% you ingrate9 No+ (-ll grind you to dust9 (,ha$es his "ists in anger.) (RI+A dashes out in terror. +he doorbell rings) N( )'A( ((ysterical.) Don-t o,en the door9 Don-t let anyone in9 R(TA ((eads to the "oyer.) Aha9 And you-re going to beat me u, here< No% let everyone see +hat an animal you are... (In pursuit.) N( )'A( N( )'A(
(-ll ri, out your foul tongue for such +ords9 (Recollects suddenly.) )h% +hat-s the matter +ith me< Have to ,ull myself together... Hold on% Nikolai% be a man... Calmly% have to come u, +ith something... (-ll figure something out... (Goes into his room.) (RI+A and /0RA enter "rom the "oyer.) /0RA ;ell% Rita% +ho-s here< :ather and mother home< :ather-s home. Ho+-s he< R(TA .ome+hat strange. Not >uite himself. /0RA /ou kno+% Rita% all of us has some strangeness... )kay% go call 6other... ( oudly.) Hey% Nikolai9 Come out9 ;elcome guests9 (.rom behind the door.) (-ll be out. N( )'A( R(TA /0RA
R(TA (-omes out o" IRINA>s room.) ( don-t kno+ +here she is. /0RA Nikolai% +here-s your old lady< (!auses.) ;hat are the t+o of you busy +ith in there< (-huc$les.) Remembers your youth% eh% you old goat< R(TA 0ncle /ura... /0RA ;hat 0ncle /ura< Nothing s,ecial in that% everyday life... R(TA
(-m not talking about that. /0RA Then about +hat< .he-s not in there. ;hat do you mean not in there< :ather-s alone. Then +here is she< ( don-t kno+. R(TA R(TA /0RA R(TA /0RA
/0RA .he and ( have agreed9 ;here could she have gone to< (!auses.) Rita% she didn-t give you anything for 0ncle /ura% did she< No% nothing. ;hen did you last see her< ;hen ( left% she +as home. Alone< R(TA No% the t+o of them +ere doing a card reading. /0RA ;ho +as she +ith< This... ACa. R(TA /0RA R(TA /0RA R(TA /0RA
;ho-s ACa< N( )'A( (.rom behind the door.) This cro+. /0RA Ah8h. Clear% your old lady has gone clear off her head... (*al$s o%er to the door and $noc$s.) Nikolai% >uit fooling around% come out... Hear me< ( have a serious business for you. N( )'A( (.rom behind the door.) /ou and ( have no business. /0RA Nikolai% ( urgently need your hel,... Are you my friend or not< Come out% or (-ll break the door. (+he door opens. NI&' AI #ith e""ort drags a huge trun$ out o" his room.) N( )'A( (-ll break you% (-ll break you... (-ll break you so that no surgeon can fi7 you u, later... (+here is a noise in the "oyer and AN+'N enters.) ANT)N (-m starved% no strength left9 )h% hello% 0ncle /ura... ;hy did you bring a trunk to us< ( didn-t. /our father-s. ;hat-s this% Ea,a< None of your business. N( )'A( /0RA ANT)N
ANT)N Rita% +hat-s ha,,ening< ;hat-s +ith them< ;here-s 6other< ;hat% and ( kno+< R(TA
/0RA (Approaches.) Nick% come on% +e better leave the trunk behind and talk calmly... ((ysterical.) 4o a+ay9 ;hat did ( say< And don-t touch my trunk. /0RA (-m not even going to ask you. No+ let-s drag the trunk back and ,ut it a+ay till the hostess returns. The young ,eo,le +ill hel, me. Right% young ones< )f course% +e-ll hel,9 ANT)N N( )'A(
R(TA To hell +ith him9 He-s bad% +ill still start to fight. /0RA No+ +e-ll test this. ;ell% youngsters% +e-ll ,ut our shoulders together... (/0RA ma$es a mo%e to#ards NI&' AI, #ith AN+'N and RI+A a"ter him.) N( )'A( (In a harro#ing %oice.) Don-t come near me9 Nor my things9 (.irst to step bac$.) ( told you9 R(TA
/0RA Nikolai% calm do+n. ( don-t need your things% +hich you intended to drag a+ay in a trunk. )n the other hand% ( came to ,ro,ose my o+n things to you. N( )'A( A fairy tale. /ou never have anything of your o+n. /0RA Never did% but no+ there is. N( )'A( ;ell% re?oice% if there is. And kee, it to yourself so no one +ould take it. /0RA
) % Nikolai% ?okes aside. Be a friend% hel, me9 /ou kno+% they-re digging under me looking for dirt... ;here do ( come in< N( )'A(
/0RA ( urgently need to transfer the account to a reliable ,erson. And he also +on-t ski, out on me. N( )'A( ;h8at< /0RA ( give you my +ord* you +on-t be left a loser9 And needs nothing from you but your ,ass,ort. And you need nothing else< N( )'A(
ANT)N 0ncle /ura% you can take my ,ass,ort... No% mine9 Better mine9 ;o+9 'ook at that9 ;hat< 'et-s transfer the account. R(TA R(TA /0RA
/0RA 'ook at the t+o of you9 .o% young% yet... 0ncle /ura... ANT)N
/0RA ;hat 0ncle /ura< 'ater can-t find you +ith (nter,ol% and then +hat +ill 0ncle /ura be left +ith< Am ( right% Nikolai< N( )'A( ( su,,ose you need someone else-s ,ass,ort to o,en a bogus firm< And +ho +ill ans+er for it later< 0ncle /ura or 0ncle Nick< (+a$es the trun$ and drags it #ith e""ort to the exit.)
/0RA Nikolai% you think too badly of me... /ou +ait9 (-ll no+ e7,lain the +hole scheme in details. N( )'A( =7,lain to your o+n electorate% you schemer of shit. ( have no time to listen to your fairy tale. /0RA ( +on-t detain you9 ) % come on% let me hel, you +ith the trunk% (-ll e7,lain everything on the +ay. N( )'A( ;hat< The trunk< ( aughs hysterically.) ) % you hel,% you hel,... (,urprised.) Nick% you-re really not yourself today... Come on% let-s go... (NI&' AI and /0RA exit, carrying the trun$. RI+A and AN+'N go through the rooms.) R(TA (-omes out o" a room.) .trange... ( can-t understand. ANT)N ;hat can-t you understand< R(TA /ou sa+ ho+ heavy a trunk :ather +as dragging< ANT)N .o< R(TA ;hat did he stuff in it< =verything-s in ,lace. ANT)N )h% never mind. ;hat% you don-t kno+ him< Erobably dragging some ?unk to the garage again. R(TA .o +hy dragged such +eight u,stairs< ;ould >uickly drag to... /0RA
ANT)N ;ell% agreed9 :ound something to stuff the head +ith. Better make something to eat. (-m so hungry my stomach has flattened. R(TA ;hat ne7t9 He +ants to eat... 4o eat +hat-s in the fridge... (AN+'N goes to the $itchen.) R(TA .trange% +hat +as :ather doing< .o mean... And +ith this trunk< Had a fight +ith 6other% ,erha,s< =verything-s in ,lace% both his and hers... They +eren-t thinking u, some dirty trick +ithout us no+< Can e7,ect anything from them... ANT)N (-omes out o" the $itchen #ith a beer and some shrimps.) That-s all... )nly beer and shrim,s in the fridge. R(TA .o% have beer and shrim,s... ;hat% don-t like it< ;hat do you need< ;hat more do you +ant< ANT)N ( +ant to eat% that-s +hat9 Real food... .ou,... )r borsch... Remember ho+ 4randma used to cook for us< R(TA Come on% you9 He remembers 4randma and her borsch... Ho+ many years no+ that she has died9 ANT)N That-s the bad thing% she-s dead... 'isten% ( ?ust can-t figure out +here 6other is. R(TA ;hat-s the difference to you< Don-t +orry% all the same she +on-t cook borsch for you. ;hy not< ANT)N
R(TA Because no one +ill eat it. Come on% eat the shrim,s% or else (-ll eat them myself. (ndeed not9 Ho+ sly... (Goes into the $itchen.) ANT)N
(+he doorbell rings. RI+A goes to the "oyer and returns accompanied by 1A7I& and ? )'7/G0AR7,.) 1AD( (Entering.) Call your mother% and make it >uick. .he-s not here. R(TA
1AD( ( see she-s not in the room. And you% 6argarita Nikolaevna% don-t be laCy% ,lease be so kind to look for her in the other rooms. ;hen you find her% ,lease tell her that our ,atience is running out. Joking +ith us isn-t +orth it. But she-s not home9 R(TA
1AD( ;hat do you mean she-s not home< ;here could she have gone to< R(TA ( don-t kno+. ;hen ( got home% she-s already not here. 1AD( ;hen did you leave< .he +as still home then< ( understand you correctly% 6argarita Nikolaevna< R(TA That-s right. (.(. (Enters "rom the "oyer.) ;ell% +hat have you here< The ,roblem solved< 1AD( (!erplexedly.) Not yet. They say that she isn-t home. (.(. ( don-t understand. Ho+-s this% not home< (+urns to )'7/G0AR7,.) Ho+ to understand this< !st B)D/40ARD .he-s lying about everything. )b?ect didn-t go out.
"nd B)D/40ARD ;e vouch +ith our heads. (.(. Then search here... And try not to find... ()'7/G0AR7, search the apartment and solemnly bring AN+'N "rom the $itchen.) Here% found one9 Hiding in the kitchen% ,unk. ( +asn-t hiding9 Not hiding< No. ( +as eating. ANT)N ANT)N (.(. !st B)D/40ARD "nd B)D/40ARD
(.(. .o% you +ere eating... ;here-s your mother< ANT)N Ho+ +ould ( kno+< ( +as asking the same >uestion. (.(. ;ho< /our sister< ANT)N No. :ather and 0ncle /ura +ere still here. (.(. ;here did they go< ANT)N Didn-t say. 'eft for some+here and that-s all. (.(. 'eft% huh... Together +ith your mother< ( oo$s at )'7/G0AR7,.)
!st B)D/40ARD Com,letely im,ossible. "nd B)D/40ARD Absolutely. ;e had all the bases covered. ANT)N (!erplexedly.) No% not +ith 6other. (.(. ;ith +hom< ;ith a trunk. ;hat trunk< A big% heavy one. 1ery heavy< R(TA /ea9 ;e +ere amaCed% so heavy9 The t+o of them could barely drag it. (.(. (+urns to )'7/G0AR7,.) (diots9 That-s ho+ she got a+ay. !st B)D/40ARD ;e have nothing to do +ith it. There +as no bearing on a trunk. "nd B)D/40ARD /ou yourself told us not to get involved +ith ,olitical figures. (.(. (Angrily.) ( said% ( said... ;here did they go< 1AD( /ou can at least tell us this< !st B)D/40ARD ;ho< These< )f the Justice 6ovement< They +ent in the direction of the ,ark... ANT)N (.(. ANT)N 1AD(
(All go to the #indo# and loo$ out.) "nd B)D/40ARD There they are9 (!oints.) There% both standing by the car +ith the trunk% going to drive off some+here... (+here is an explosion.) R(TA (7esperately.) ANT)N :ather9 (gor (osifovich% better sli, a+ay. 4o. 1AD( (.(.
+he curtain rises on the same scene. /0RA #ith a bandaged head and an arm in a sling sits at the table. AN+'N #al$s near him. /0RA ;ell% Anton% some boat +e got ourselves into% you and (... ANT)N Here (-ve been thinking% thinking all the time... ( remember ho+ everything +as... And ( don-t understand a thing. ;hy did all this ha,,en< /0RA (t-s no use. Think% not think% still has to live. ANT)N But ho+ to live% 0ncle /ura< (t seems ( understand nothing in this life. Ho+ could all this have ha,,ened< ;hy< /0RA Anton% listen here. =nough tormenting yourself in vain. /ou better think less about this% understand< And the main thing% try not to say anything unnecessary to anyone. ANT)N But if they ask me< Ho+ should ( ans+er< /0RA /ou don-t o+e anyone an ans+er. Do you +ant me to give you some advice< :ree of charge< ;hat advice< ANT)N
/0RA /ou say% A( sa+ nothing% kno+ nothing.B 0nderstand ho+ to ans+er< A6y ,arents didn-t let me in on anything. .o% (-m not in the kno+.B ANT)N But ( really kno+ nothing about their affairs. /0RA That-s +onderful. Then better for all of us.
ANT)N ;hy better% 0ncle /ura< Here this ha,,ened% and ( ?ust stand like a dork +hen anyone asks9 )r mumble like a moron. /0RA That-s fine. At your age% and after such trauma... Nothing ,eculiar about it. The main thing% must not stir u, sus,icion. ANT)N ;hat kind of sus,icion< /0RA no+ +hat% Anton< Trauma or no trauma% ?ust don-t go too far... ANT)N ;hat are you talking about% 0ncle /ura< /0RA ...)ther+ise you-ll accidentally hurt yourself and ,ut me in a ,articularly difficult ,osition. Difficult ,osition< =7actly. .o +hat do ( do< ANT)N ANT)N /0RA
/0RA :or the time being% nothing in ,articular. /ou ?ust carry on normally. Allo+ yourself nothing e7cessive. ANT)N ;hat e7cessive< /0RA ( already told you% no unnecessary conversations. ANT)N 0ncle /ura% you-re someho+ talking strangely. The medication affecting you% ,erha,s< /0RA ;hat does medication have to do +ith it here< 'isten% Anton% you-re already a young man gro+n% right<
;ell% yea... Can talk to you seriously<
ANT)N )f course9 )nly about +hat< .o much has already been said... /0RA .aid% discussed% but only +hat-s made u,. 6ade u,< ANT)N
/0RA That-s right. Tony% you and ( really kno+ nothing. ANT)N About +hat% 0ncle /ura< ( sa+ +ith my o+n eyes ho+ :ather and 6other died9 And +hy... /0RA =7actly% +hy< /ou mother at that moment +asn-t in the car% right< .he didn-t go to the car... ANT)N /ou and :ather already carried her out in the trunk9 /0RA Right% in the trunk. )nly here-s the hitch* +hy in a trunk< ANT)N ;hat do you mean +hy< To save her9 /0RA .ave< /es% save. /ou +ere saving her9 .ave% you say< :rom +hom< ANT)N ANT)N /0RA
:rom these... (n a +ord% from those +ho demanded money from them. /0RA 6oney< /es% money. ;hat money< Ho+ +ould ( kno+< ANT)N ANT)N /0RA
/0RA ( don-t kno+ either% Anton. No one kno+s. 6oney% money% money... =verything revolves around some money. And about the money% don-t tell a single soul. No documents% no +itnesses. )nly t+o cor,ses... And one even in a trunk. Ah% if it +asn-t for this trunk9 Ho+ it destroyed my re,utation. No+ +herever you go% +homever you meet% or at any meeting% the >uestion from the audience for sure +ill be about the trunk. .o have to +iggle out% invent all sorts of nonsense. /ou string the blockheads along and think to yourself* 4od forbid% something cro,s u, and snags you9 Besides% snags all it likes% it can. And hooks you such that later you can-t tear a+ay% not choking in the filth for the time being. Then there +on-t be any ,ros,ects% any o,,ortunities for 0ncle /ura... (n a +ord% goodbye to the bright future ca,italist. ANT)N 0ncle /ura% ( can-t understand you today. ;hat you-re talking about. /0RA Nothing. (t-s hard for you to understand% Tony... Honestly% there-re lots ( don-t understand either. And the more you think% the more you try to understand% the more uneasy you become. At times% there-re goose bum,s till you hit u,on something9 ANT)N .o you think that the bomb +as for you< That 6other and :ather ?ust ha,,ened to be +ith you< /0RA ;hy me< ( drive my o+n car% not the one that ble+ u,. ANT)N Ah8h... Then +hat are you afraid of< That they can blo+ u, your car too< /0RA
;ho +ill blo+ me u,< ;ho +ould +ant to... 0nless ( blo+ myself u, to raise the ratings. ;hat about enemies% 0ncle /ura< ;hat enemies< ;ell% these... Eolitical ones. ANT)N ANT)N /0RA
/0RA That +e do9 =nemies... =7ce,t +hen +e sit do+n at a round table. ;ell% +hen +e ask s,onsors for money. Ho+ they su,,ort that9 And if someone ,ut do+n a bottle... ;e ,rom,tly change from enemies to buddies. After all% Tony% +e +ere all little scouts in childhood. ANT)N .o% +hat are you afraid of then< /0RA Tony% there-s al+ays something that a ,erson-s afraid of. ANT)N Death% right< /0RA ;hy be scared of it< ;hether you-re afraid of death of not% it comes to you sooner or later... And most often% +ithout calling first... No% Tony% (-m not talking about that. ANT)N Then +hat< The code of criminals. Criminals< /0RA /es% Tony% criminals. Here-s +hat one should fear e7actly... =s,ecially us. ANT)N /ou fear it< That-s +hat you-re talking about< /0RA ANT)N
/0RA Erecisely. 'et-s take at least one moment. ( haven-t breathed a +ord about this to anyone% only to you. ANT)N ;hat about< /0RA About this. ;hen your ,a,a and ( +ere dragging the trunk% it ,ulled a+ay from our hands and rolled do+n a full flight of stairs... .o< ANT)N
/0RA (t fle+ +ith a +histle% bobbed u, and do+n along the stairs. But you kno+% your mother never even made a sound... /ou dig< (1A IA and RI+A come out o" the $itchen.) 1A'(A There% +e-re done... =verything ,ut a+ay... Come% /ura% let-s go home >uietly. /0RA (Gets up.) And you% Anton% kee, your tail u,9 (n general% be a man% understand< And don-t take it into your head to chatter to anyone about our conversation... R(TA ;hat conversation< ;hat-s being ke,t a secret from me in my home< None of your business. ANT)N
/0RA Rita% don-t you +orry. ;e +ere ?ust having a man8to8man talk... R(TA ;hat are you hiding from me< ( also have a right to kno+9 This is my home9 1A'(A Rita% Rita% calm do+n. 'isten to me% (-ll give you some good advice. Don-t get involved in men-s affairs. /0RA Here% here% that-s right. 'isten to her% she +on-t teach you +rong.
R(TA ;hat calm do+n< ;hy should ( calm do+n< (-m in my o+n home and ( +ant to kno+% +hat-s the secret< ANT)N ;ho cares +hat you +ant< The more you +ant% the less you get. R(TA /ou don-t say9 Had to do this9 6ake yourself out to be cool% but... /ou at least discussed money +ith 0ncle /ura< ;hat-s this< ;hat money< /0RA
ANT)N ;ell% this... Rita and ( intended to... (n short% +e have this matter... R(TA 6umbling to yourself alright9 Call yourself a man% can-t string t+o +ords together. 0ncle /ura% +e need money. (+hro#s up her hands.) Rita9 Tony9 ;hat-s this< 1A'(A
R(TA ;e have no money. Nothing to live on at all. 1A'(A ;herever did you s,end it< ;e didn-t s,end it any+here. ANT)N
1A'(A No% no9 Never s,end money so foolishly. 6oney likes to be accounted for% must s,end it economically% other+ise% there +on-t be enough money for anything... R(TA But +e didn-t s,end it9 Then +hat are you saying< ;e never had any. 1A'(A ANT)N
1A'(A No+ ( don-t believe this. ( kno+ that there +as al+ays money in your family% and it couldn-t have disa,,eared overnight. 6ust be some+here. ANT)N (0ncertainly.) ;e don-t kno+. Eerha,s lying around some+here< /0RA )kay% 6other% don-t be stingy9 Have to hel, the young ,eo,le. A sin not to hel,% at least give a little the first time. R(TA )h% thank you% 0ncle /ura9 Can-t give a lot% you understand. /0RA
1A'(A (-oldly.) /ura 1ladilenovich% don-t encourage the kids. ANT)N ;e-re not asking for much. 1A'(A Tony% +e don-t have the ,ossibility at all to give you money... 0nless loan you money on credit< 'oan% so loan. And ho+ do +e ,ay it back later< R(TA ;e-ll do it someho+. Have to live on something after all. ANT)N ;here +ill +e get the money to ,ay back< Com,lete uncertainty +ith +ork... Then% kids% ( can-t hel, you at all. /0RA R(TA ANT)N
R(TA Don-t listen to him9 ;e-ll give it back someho+. Can-t ?ust sit here +ithout money at all% can +e<
1A'(A ;hat do you say% Anton< Agree or not< ANT)N ;hat else to do< )f course% ( agree9 1A'(A Then sit do+n and +rite an agreement. ANT)N ;hat agreement< ;hy< /0RA /ou don-t kno+ +hy you +rite an agreement< ANT)N ( don-t kno+ ho+ to +rite it. /0RA Doesn-t matter. .it and +rite. .he dictates. .he has a better gras, of these matters. (,its do#n at the table.) 'et-s do it. ANT)N
.o... ;rite this% Anton... (7ictates aloud.) A;e% Anton Nikolaevich uklovskii and 6argarita Nikolevna uklovskaia% +ill commit to ,ay /ura 1aldilenovich .,inolomov by the agreed8u,on date...B Here% Tony% leave a blank... Aa thousand dollars each% borro+ed from him in debt...B ;rote that< ...No+ sign... And you% Rita% also sign. )kay% ( sign... (,igns.) R(TA
/0RA (!uts a#ay the document.) ;ell% no+% kids... (!ulls bills out o" his #allet and puts them on the table.) No+ you can receive your rightful thousand... (-on"used.) R(TA
0ncle /ura% ho+ come... /0RA ;hat-s this< ;hat-s your ,roblem< /ou ,romised each a thousand. R(TA
1A'(A (,#eetly.) No% Rita% you-re obligated to ,ay back a thousand each. /ou signed. ANT)N Ho+-s this< (-on"used.)
/0RA 1ery sim,le. Think for yourself% +ho +ill loan out +ithout a ,ercentage< =s,ecially unkno+n +hen it-ll be ,aid back... R(TA ;hen are +e to ,ay you back< /ou don-t have to rush. No hurry. But you didn-t say... /0RA ;hy talk about this no+< /ou haven-t yet assumed title of inheritance% you have no money% kids% and no assets to your name...And you kno+ better than me about ho+ things stand +ith +ork. (n short% +e-ll name the date later. ANT)N ;ell% 0ncle /ura... ;ell% can you... ( +ould like to say... /0RA No need% Anton. Better not continue% or you-ll be sorry later. Any+ay% +e-re leaving. 1A'(A (ndeed% /ura% +e-ve stayed too long. Time for you to rest... And you% kids% don-t be angry +ith us. (n such a situation% +ho +ill give you credit< ;e-re al+ays glad to hel, you% +e-re no strangers. ;e-re not unsym,athetic% +e understand everything... Any+ay% call and visit. /0RA ANT)N
/0RA ;ell% it ha,,ens... ;hy fro+n< .ay thanks to 0ncle /ura... (1A IA and /0RA exit.) R(TA No+ +e-re loaded9 Anton% +ere you do,ed< ;hy did you sign this devil of a ,iece of ,a,er< And you% likely% didn-t sign. ( really need money% so ( signed. Eerha,s you think ( don-t< ANT)N ANT)N R(TA
R(TA (,tretches her hand out "or the bills.) ( need... ANT)N ()eats her to the bills.) )h% no9 Doesn-t go this +ay. /ou-ll s,end it on all sorts of ?unk% then later... R(TA (+ries to snatch the bills.) 4ive it over9 Told you% come on9 ANT)N Rita% ,a+s off9 Half for you% half for me. And later +e-ll each ,ay back our share of the debt% agree< R(TA ;hat ne7t9 And (-ll agree +ith such cra,9 ANT)N /ou don-t +ant to% so don-t. Then (-ll take everything for myself% agree< R(TA No9 4ive me half. (-ll e7change it and give it to you. ANT)N R(TA
;ell% go% come on% e7change9 And >uickly. ANT)N )kay% (-m going... And you can at least cook some ,otatoes< ( +ant to eat% ( can-t... (Exits.) (!aces around the room.) Aha% ran off9 He +anted to eat ,otatoes... (-ll ruin my manicure... No% ( don-t like it. .ome DJJ bucks. ;on-t buy anything +orth+hile... And have to ,ay back a +hole thousand... ;onder if 6other left anything< Have to go check +hile Anton-s not here... He-s such a dim+it he +on-t notice anything... (Goes into IRINA>s room and returns #ith a ;e#elry box.) .o% let-s see... (,its do#n at the table and goes through the contents o" the box.) 0gh% some ?unk... ;hy did she collect so much ?unk< ...Nothing +orth+hile... Costume ?e+elry... Hmm... ;hat-s this< Also a fake% ,robably< )kay% +e-ll see... (!uts it in her poc$et.) 6ust take it to a ,a+nsho, and check... (+here is a noise in the "oyer.) A3A (Enters.) Hello% Rita... ;hy isn-t your front door closed< R(TA Anton again forgot to close the door. He-s like that all the time% like a little kid. A3A .o% you have to look after your brother. /ou-re the mistress here no+. Elease% you kee, an eye on him. R(TA R(TA
A3A (f you don-t% there-ll be trouble. Not only friends can come in an o,en door. .ometimes% enemies break in +ithout invitation. R(TA Did you come to lecture me< A3A /ou don-t +ant some good advice< R(TA
=nough already% getting sick. A3A ;ell% you-re no+ your o+n mistress. /ou don-t +ant to% you don-t get to hear any. No one else to take charge of your life but yourself. ;hich +ay you turn it% there it-ll go. R(TA Turn +hat< ;here< ;here +ill ( turn +ithout money< A3A Rita% don-t build yourself u, to be a ,au,er. ;hat% (-m flush% ,erha,s< R(TA
A3A Don-t ,retend you-re ,enniless% no need. ;hat do ( have< (ndeed nothing. R(TA
A3A ;hat do you mean nothing< This a,artment< Not ?ust a home but a real mansion. And forgotten about the garage< And the cottage% and the different odds and ends< All this is +orth money% and not a little... And you say% nothing. R(TA .o< (t-s not all mine% half belongs to Anton. A3A But half is already yours. And you% my dear% haven-t yet done a stroke of +ork in your life. R(TA And you have. Turned out to be an overachiever% ca,italist. .uch a hard +orker% not9 A3A Don-t re,roach me for my +ork% still young. R(TA Aha. According to you% it-s obvious you-re all e7hausted by it. A3A ( su,,ort my family9 And they have cereal and milk on the table. And more... /ou don-t even give your guest tea.
R(TA Ho+ do you like that9 .he +ants tea... /ou-d think% +hat a big+ig9 A3A Big+ig or not big+ig% still has to meet the needs of a guest as e7,ected% once you call yourself mistress of a home. R(TA :ine% (-ll get you tea... )nly have to make it first. A3A And (-ll +ait% Rita... 4o% go9 Don-t +orry about me% (-m not hurrying any+here. (RI+A goes into the $itchen.) A3A Thank 4od9 .he finally left... ;hile this rookie isn-t here% (-ll >uickly look all around here... (,earches the room.) ;here could the sainted (ra have hidden it< ...Aha% here it is... (.inds a pac$age taped to a corner at the bac$ o" the side table.) R(TA (-omes out "rom the $itchen.) ;hat are you doing< ;hy are you ,oking around here +ithout asking< A3A ((ides the pac$age behind her bac$.) )h% this. (t-s nothing. R(TA ;hat do you mean nothing< And +hat do you have there< A3A Calm do+n% my dear% it doesn-t concern you... (*ants to hide the pac$age in her bosom.) /ou mother and ( had some business. R(TA ;hat-s this clam do+n< Ho+-s this not my concern< ;hat business you had +ith my mother< )h% you old thief9 No+ give it back9 A3A :or shame9 Curse that tongue of yours9 Ho+ am ( a thief< R(TA
A common thief% that-s ho+9 A3A ( didn-t steal from you. Just taking my o+n. R(TA There-s nothing yours in here9 =verything here is mine no+9 A3A Do you kno+ ho+ much debt your mother o+ed me< /ou don-t kno+% then kee, >uiet. (ra% dead% ?ust hadn-t ,aid me back. R(TA ;hat-s that got to do +ith me< ( o+e you nothing9 And ( don-t intend on giving you anything9 A3A And ( don-t need anything from you% Rita. ( don-t take a out of bite someone-s bread. (-m not your kind% ( kno+ honor... R(TA )h% come on% ho+ noble9 /ou-re a cheat and a thief9 (+here is a noise in the "oyer, AN+'N enters.) But not a murderer... A3A
ANT)N ;ho-s a murderer< ;hat murderer< ;hat-s she talking about< R(TA Don-t you listen to her9 :logs some nonsense but managed to steal something from us already9 ANT)N ;ait% +ait% but +hat about a murder here< R(TA Nothing9 .he-s a thief9 .tole some ,ackage and +on-t give it back9 .eiCe her% Anton9 A3A (-ll seiCe you9 (-ll seiCe you9 (!ulls out a gas canister "rom some#here.)
(-ll seiCe you so nothing +ill sho+... (f you insult me% snot nose% ( +on-t kee, >uiet anymore9 (-ll tell everything as is9 ANT)N ;hat are you talking about< About +hom< :ather< Ho+ do you kno+< ;ho told you< 0ncle /ura< A3A ;hat 0ncle /ura< ( don-t kno+ any 0ncle /ura. ANT)N .,inolomov< A3A (-ontemptuously.) ;h8at< .,inolomov< (ndeed% some character. ;ho needs him% this .,inolomov... And ( kno+ nothing about your father% and don-t +ant to kno+. ANT)N Then +hom +ere you threatening to tattle on< R(TA .he-s lying all the time% old hag9 ;ants to scare us9 A3A :ancy yourself too much. As if ( need this very much% scaring some greenhorns. ANT)N Then +hat about< (f not about 0ncle /ura and :ather% then +hat are you hinting at< ;ell% s,eak u,9 No+9 R(TA
A3A The e7,losion% my dear% the e7,losion. ANT)N The e7,losion< ( don-t understand. A3A :or +hom the bomb +as ,lanted% understand< :or 6other. ANT)N A3A
(,miles.) Aha9 Nothing doing% for mother. ANT)N (f you kno+ something% tell it right a+ay9 R(TA .he kno+s nothing9 =ven if she kno+s something% ho+ +ould it benefit you% Anton< 'et her s,lit her o+n skull +ith this kno+ledge9 ;ho needs this< ANT)N .he kno+s something about our father and mother9 R(TA .o< ;hy think about this no+< ;hat can you do to hel, them< They-re gone and nothing +ill change that% +on-t return them to this +orld... Rita% ho+ can you9 ANT)N
R(TA (-m alive% understand< ( +ant to live9 And ( need money for this life9 The more% the better9 .he stole from us9 'et her return +hat she took +ithout asking9 A3A (=o%es to exit.) ( +on-t all the same... Not for you to take a+ay from me% ,uss... R(TA Anton9 ;hy are you standing there< .he-ll get a+ay no+9 ;hat can ( do< At least do something9 Be a man9 A3A ( aughs.) Ho+ does he kno+ ho+ to be a man< (Already standing by the door.) 6y fare+ell advice to you% doves... R(TA /ou stuff it +ith your advice9 ;e-re not in the country of advice9 A3A ANT)N R(TA
(Reproach"ully.) Ai8yai8yai9 Ho+ rude9 Talk to your guest this +ay... R(TA ( didn-t invite you9 /ou yourself burst in here9 And even ransacked us% old thief9 /ou don-t +ant to give back nicely% then (-ll call the co,s9 /ou +on-t% my dear% you +on-t. ;hy not< A3A ;hat +ill you tell them< ;hat did ( take from you< R(TA A ,ackage% that-s +hat9 And +hat-s in it< 'et the co,s figure it out9 A3A )h% my dear% better not. (t-ll ?ust be +orse for you. ANT)N )h% you sto, it% Rita9 ;hy trades +ords +ith her for nothing< R(TA ;hat% Anton% are you insane< Don-t you understand< ANT)N /es% of course% the devil +ith her% let her go. A3A ( aughs.) 4ood for you% e7actly% here-s a man. /ou% Anton% are in fact smarter than you look... ;ell% doves% goodbye% remember me kindly... (Exits.) R(TA And you-re com,letely out of your mind9 (Runs out a"ter A<A.) A3A R(TA A3A R(TA
ANT)N /ou go nuts here +ith them. Just hinting at something all the time... And each aiming at snagging a ,iece for herself9 'ike ?ackals... And called themselves friends9 ;hat ,eo,le are these< ( don-t understand... And ,eo,le in general< ( understand nothing in this life... Ho+ to live no+< ;ith +hom< :or +hat< (s the +hole ,oint of this life really money< ;ell% fine% let money be the main thing for them... .o% e7ce,t money% is there really nothing +orth+hile left for me< (n fact% ( remember ho+ good it +as earlier +ithout any money. ( remember ho+ :ather and ( +ent fishing. Ho+ 4randma greeted us +ith hot ,ies. Ho+ +e all gathered together at the table% drinking tea% laughing% ?oking around... ;hat fun it +as then9 (t seemed it +ould be like that al+ays. (t +as so good that +e didn-t even think about the future. No+ everything good had gone... ;ill it never be so good for me no+% so ha,,y as it +as< (s money the only thing left that-s good< R(TA (Enters, hissing to hersel".) That-s mean... ( oudly.) /ou at least e7changed the money< ANT)N ( did% ( did. 4ive me my share. (Gi%es her the money.) Here% take it% and leave me alone. R(TA (ndeed% leave me alone... (!uts a#ay the money.) 6ust think (-m stuck to him. ( really need this... Bungler9 ;hat< Re,eat +hat you said. ANT)N R(TA ANT)N
R(TA /ou heard. /ou-re a bungler. ;ho didn-t close the door behind him< Because of you they stole a ,ackage from us. And +e don-t even kno+ +hat-s in it. ANT)N To hell +ith it. (f it-s money< R(TA
;here +ould money come from<
R(TA ;ouldn-t you love to kno+9 6other could-ve hidden it so no one +ould find it. ANT)N (*ith distrust.) /ah. .he +ould-ve hidden it some+here a little better. R(TA ( oo$s around.) no+ +hat< /ou-re ,robably right. ;e should search the ,lace. (f not money% maybe +e-ll find something else. ANT)N ;hat% are you serious< No kidding< R(TA ;hat-s there left for us to do< .tand at a street corner +ith outstretched hands< ANT)N ) % let-s do it. No harm in trying... (AN+'N and RI+A start searching. +hey open dra#ers in tables, stands, side tables. +hey pour the contents onto the "loor and cra#l on their $nees to examine them. ,e%eral times, they go in turn into IRINA>, room, return #ith boxes, and sha$e them out. +he mountain o" things on the "loor gro#s, ;ust li$e in the Act 'ne. ) .hake out everything... ;hat-s this< R(TA )dds and ends... ;ell% +ell% look there< ANT)N .ome ?unk... ;hat-s there< R(TA ANT)N R(TA ANT)N
Nothing s,ecial... :rom a clock... R(TA ;hat-s this garbage< .ome trash... ;hat do you have there< Rubbish... ANT)N ANT)N R(TA
R(TA ;hy did they collect all this rubble< ANT)N The main thing is +hy did they move all this to the ne+ ,lace< R(TA Come on% search. ( am. )nly there-s nothing. .earch% search... (-m searching... 'ook closer... (-m looking... )nly see nothing... Better search some more... ;here still< Doesn-t matter +here. ANT)N R(TA ANT)N R(TA ANT)N R(TA ANT)N R(TA
ANT)N Already dug through everything... .ee% +hat a mess9 (t-ll take a +eek to clean u,. R(TA (+hought"ully.) no+ +hat% Anton< ;e-re searching incorrectly. Ho+ incorrectly< Not scientifically. Ho+ scientifically< ANT)N ANT)N R(TA
R(TA Here-s ho+. Have to start by dividing the ,lace into sections% and then% look over everything. nock on all the +alls% go through every corner% e7amine every crack. Then% ,erha,s% +e-ll find something. Eerha,s your thinking is right. 6y thinking is al+ays right. ;hich corner shall +e start< ANT)N ANT)N R(TA
R(TA Come% Anton% here-s +hat +e-ll do. (-ll e7amine this room and you search :ather-s. ANT)N (ndeed% ho+ sly9 There-s ,robably nothing there. ;hat if you find something here +ithout me< 6ost likely% you +on-t share +ith brother. R(TA .to, it% Anton9 ;here shall ( go< /ou-re going no+here% but... ANT)N
R(TA Come on% go search9 No need to drag out any garbage% ?ust do it.
ANT)N :ine% so be it... /ou-re taking advantage of my goodness... (Goes into NI&' AI>, room.) R(TA (Reasons aloud.) .o... .tart +ith +hat< The +alls... (Goes around the room, $noc$s on the #alls.) Nothing... ;here can it be< ...;ell% +here< ...Eerha,s% here< ...No... Here< ...Also nothing... Bad% oh% ho+ bad... .o% let-s look under the +indo+... Again em,ty... Behind the radiator... ;ell% not outside the +indo+< ...Although% +hy not< Anything could come into her head... (-ll check ?ust in case... ('pens the #indo#, climbs up onto the #indo#sill, leans out, and "umbles #ith her hands abo%e her head outside the #indo#.) Hurry9 ( kne+ it9 Here it is9 :ound it9 Cool9 No+ (-ll get... (,till stretches all the #ay out on her tiptoes.) ANT)N (Runs into the room #ith a pistol in his hand and in excitement.) Rita% look +hat ( found9 (Assumes a stance, aims.) Hands u,9 (-ll shoot9 (A shot rings out.) )h9 R(TA
(2er$s in "ear, loses her balance and "alls out the #indo#.) 6ama8a8a8a999 ANT)N (Runs to the #indo#, shouts.) Rita9 Rita8a8a9 No8o8o8o9 )h% Rita% Rita... ;hat have you done... ()anging on the door.) 1)(C=. ( oudly, roughly.) ),en u,9 ),en u, no+9 ),en u,% this is the ,olice9
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.