Act Three

Translated from the Russian by
Gennadi V. Alexeyev & Dmitri G. Alexeyev

Act One       Act Two       Act Three       Act Four


(The interior of the kolkhoz office. Portraits, slogans. Live-stock instruction posters. A wall newspaper. A rolled-up red banner in the corner. A table with an abacus on it. Benches. The only window is closed. Early hours of the morning. A lamp is lit. Hoz is sitting at the table with eye-glasses on, unshaven and unkempt.)

HOZ:     What a night! Stillness! I like when all the elements calm down! When you hear nothing but a human being's breath! (He listens. Someone's snoring outside) Socialist Filka Vershkov is snoring. He harvested a whole stack of grass by himself -- worked all day and night, made use of the moonlight. So he deserves to be credited with ten work-days. No, he's a pseudo-human being -- let it be only four work-days.

          (Ksyusha enters, all skin and bones.)

KSYUSHA:     A message for you. (Fetches a letter from beneath her jacket and hands it over to Hoz). It came with the last mail. The postman said it was pretty hard to find you. Read it now.

HOZ:     (Paying no attention to the letter) I quit reading long ago.

KSYUSHA:     But it might be interesting!

HOZ:     No, it's not interesting, Ksyusha! Have you forgotten that your poor baby now sails on the Caspian Sea?

KSYUSHA:     No, I haven't, Hozushka. How could I? I could never! So alive, so dear, it's as if I see him right before my eyes. I don't have anything to eat myself, but my breasts are swollen with milk. And the only time I can forget them is when I'm fast asleep.

HOZ:     Good. Keep torturing yourself. That's wonderful. I'm reminding you so you don't forget. Now, about mending the sacks. Have you overfulfilled that plan?

KSYUSHA:     I fulfilled it, I fulfilled it, but I couldn't quite manage to overfulfill it. My hands are aching with grief. I've got no tears already. I just keep staring with my eyes wide open like a dead fish.

HOZ:     Ksyusha, my poor, sad thing, come here. Let me embrace and caress you! (He caresses her)

KSYUSHA:     (Holding tight to him) Grandpa Ivan, you're clever, you're kind; tell me how to live now, help me get through my suffering.

HOZ:     Don't cry, Ksyusha. As a child, you cried over a broken bottle or over the loss of some blue cloth. And your grief was just as sad. Now you are crying over the loss of your baby. I used to cry, too. I had four official wives. They all died. They bore me nineteen children--boys and girls; not a single one of them is left in this world. I can't find even their graves. I never saw a trace of the warm step of any of my children on this Earth.

KSYUSHA:     Don't feel sad, gramps. I also feel sad, my poor old man.

HOZ:     Do you have a pharmacy?

KSYUSHA:     A small one.

HOZ:     Go and bring me something chemical I can swallow.

KSYUSHA:     Right away.

HOZ:     Hurry, girl.

           (Ksyusha departs.)

HOZ:     (Calls out of the window) Filip!

VERSHKOV'S VOICE:     What do you want, Ivan Fedorovich?

HOZ:     Come here.

VERSHKOV'S VOICE:     In a moment. Let me stretch myself. I'm cracking my bones.

HOZ:     (Examining and looking through numerous papers) There's a real danger of lagging behind the plan. We haven't finished the grass harvesting. We're also behind schedule for meat deliveries to the State. We don't have enough sacks ready for storage of winter supplies. Two kolkhoz women went into labor yesterday -- they conceived on the same day. My God, where am I going to get women to mend the sacks? Oh, Suenita, breath of mine, return as soon as you can to our huts! Your heart beats more wisely than my brains. I just can't recognize the class enemy. But surely this is all his doing!

           (Filip Vershkov enters)

VERSHKOV:     What do you want?

HOZ:     Just this...why do you spend so much time sleeping?

VERSHKOV:     Well, I'll be damned. I thought you were a counterrevolutionary. But it appears you are made of the same stuff as us. Is it true that abroad the only thing they're interested in is us?

HOZ:     Listen to me, Filka. You're a class enemy!

VERSHKOV:     Me? Yes, I supposed you could say that, but then again maybe not! You could say that's a foul lie, a trick, and slander of our best people. You can look at it however you like, Ivan Fedorovich: forward or backward, but in general it's just a mystery!

HOZ:     You're lying, Filka! And you are socially pernicious! Through the whole of mankind I can see the entirety of fate!

VERSHKOV:     What does it matter what you see? It's all just theoretical.

HOZ:     But practically, you're vermin! I've entered the second century of my life, and I've taken the measure of real events. You don't love our Party's policy; you're only pretending to be with us, but actually you stand with Europe and the rich!

VERSHKOV:     Stop getting on my nerves. I'll start stammering and shove something up your.... If you don't stop I may just as well hit you with something, I assure you, very heavy... Who was it that piled up a giant haystack? Who did ten days worth of work in a single day?

HOZ:     That was you, Filip Vasilevich. I gave you credit for four work-days.

VERSHKOV:     Four days!'re making me crazy. I'm forgetting the facts! You're developing indignation in me, you remnant of the past!

           (Ksyusha enters.)

KSYUSHA:     It's started to get loud at sea. It must be frightening to be alone on the water.

HOZ:     Give me my powders.

KSYUSHA:     Take what you want; I brought everything.

           (She opens up the pharmacy box. Hoz gulps down three powders, one by one.)

HOZ:     There's nothing to drink. It's high time to make kvas on your kolkhoz.

VERSHKOV:     Take them dry.

HOZ:     Don't irritate me, you insignificant nothing!

VERSHKOV:     I'll give you insignificant! You know where all the insignificant people are?! All we have here are people of great significance!

HOZ: Stop making me crazy! Get out of the office!

VERSHKOV:     He's gone bureaucracy-crazy already!

KSYUSHA:     I can't stay silent either. We have a collective economy here, and we should have a comradely tone here. To be smearing people with unverified evidence -- it's disgusting.

VERSHKOV:     Let's go, Ksyusha. Let's get away from this alien class. We don't want to sully our world-view.

           (Vershkov and Ksyusha exit.)

HOZ:     (happily) And so these almost-holy creatures live on. They play various games and the result is world history! It will start to get light soon. I'd better finish with all this accounting for the district authorities.

           (Day is breaking. The Kolkhoz Guard appears with a rifle in hand.)

THE GUARD:     Haven't had a wink of sleep, I see?

HOZ:     Not yet. Still rooting around in the collective life.

THE GUARD:     It's high time for you to hit the hay, I think you're younger than me, aren't you?

HOZ:     And how old are you?

THE GUARD:     I think a hundred already, or maybe not. I might be wrong! My mind is getting foggy -- I see the wide world around me, but I take no interest in it.

HOZ:     So, you're clever, are you?

THE GUARD:     When I can be. Sometimes clever, then again not. I've got clouds floating across my mind.

HOZ:     Well, clever fellow, go guard the kolzhoz borders.

THE GUARD:     But can you tell me straight if I'm a class enemy or not?

HOZ:     If you are, why are you hanging around here? Go to the District authorities and tell them to arrest you. It's high time for you to learn a little consciousness.

THE GUARD:     I've already been there. I begged them to arrest me twice. But they won't take me. They say I've got no characteristic features of a class enemy, that I'm just a poor man. They just rationed me a slice of bread and sent me home.

HOZ:     That means you're socially useful.

THE GUARD:     Me? I hardly think so. I've read somewhere in a book that people have lived through a hundred thousand years on this Earth -- and all in vain, all came to absolute nothing. So you think something's going to get accomplished in only five years? No way!

HOZ:     Get out of here, you class enemy!

THE GUARD:     I said that because I'm hungry. Besides, I wanted to check up on your vigilance. Who knows, maybe you're an agent of Ashurkov! I'm a guard here. So I guard everything: the equipment, ideology.... Dawn is coming. Hit the hay and have a good sleep, otherwise you'll be no good during the day. Nowadays, one working day on a kolkhoz is like a thousand years, and the kolkhoz revolution is like a hundred thousand years! That's how it is! That's how it is with us! Have a rest!

           (The Guard departs. A slight pause.)

HOZ:     (alone) Can't understand anything: my mind is getting cloudy!

           (The dawn reddens over the kolkhoz. Vershkov enters).

HOZ:     Why aren't you sleeping?

VERSHKOV:     Can't sleep. I have a lot of things to look after. A new day's coming, but we have nothing to eat. And the people can't get to sleep either. They're tossing and turning

HOZ:     Well, irritate me, irritate me, interfere with my work.

VERSHKOV:     (heaving a sigh) I'm astonished at world-wide humanity. Take imperialists, for instance. They're far from being silly people, but they came to you to solve the riddle of their lives. You're a backwards person. You can't even solve the problems of a shepherds' kolkhoz! I would have solved all the world's problems long ago -- and would have done it without traveling anywhere, but sitting comfortably in my room, eating and thinking! You can't even imagine what I would come up with then!

HOZ:     Filka! All world-wide fools are always searching for the world-wide truth.

VERSHKOV:     So much the better. But you and I aren't fools. You're a universal double-dealer, and I'm a kolkhoz shock-worker-shepherd. And that's all there is to it.

HOZ:     Filka! Read me the letter. What is Europe writing to me? Write down the answer for that kulak kolkhoz. Now I can see that you're a great man!

           (Hands the envelope over to Vershkov. Vershkov opens it.)

VERSHKOV:     Yes, I'm whatever you want. It depends. Sometimes a great man, sometimes an absolute nobody! What are you gonna do? Life is a never-ending undertaking. You have to adapt.

HOZ:     I'm the same as you, Filka, depending on the circumstances. Both of us are working people.

VERSHKOV:     Do you think I'm blind? I see and know who you are! (Not even looking through the letter, he writes down a resolution) Bolshevik-man can see right through you, fools!

           (He hands the letter with the envelope back to Hoz.)

HOZ:     (reading the resolution) Filka! Is it really true? Could it really be possible that the world economic enigma was resolved by just four words of yours!

VERSHKOV:     There is always a reason behind what we write. Take my word for it. (Pause) Yes, there is.

HOZ:     (pondering) Yes, that's it. You should know better. And what do they write me from abroad?

VERSHKOV:     Nothing much. Things are unsatisfactory. You may read it aloud yourself.

HOZ:     (reads with omissions, in an angry halftone) From Moscow came the news... At the railway station you intended to marry a famous beauty, the shepherdess Suenita... Due to a certain limitation of your mental abilities... Concentrated circle of European tragedy... Send us.... New principle... Solution of the world political and economic enigma...

VERSHKOV:     So I wrote it down. Now there isn't any world enigma.

HOZ:     You wrote it very clearly. There's no enigma. We should send it off. Morning has come.

VERSHKOV:     And now sign it. I'll countersign it.

           (They sing humorous folk- songs [chastushki]. They sign and seal up the envelope... An old man from the District appears with a briefcase and some rolled-up red banners made out of red calico and bast matting)

THE DISTRICT OLD MAN:     Hello! Put out the lamp. What's the use of your sitting here? I've come by foot from the District Committee to see how the socialist competition goes.

           (The District Old Man removes a Red Banner made out of a fine cloth from the corner of the room and replaces it with one made out of bast matting.)

VERSHKOV:     What are you insulting us for?

THE DISTRICT OLD MAN:     And you deserved it, it seems. Typical!

           (The District Old Man exits)

HOZ:     Suenita Ivanovna will get irritated.

VERSHKOV:     That's nothing. What we should worry about, Ivan Fedorovich, is feeding the people. They haven't had anything to eat for some days; they just lie on the ground and cry.

HOZ:     I don't hear anything.

VERSHKOV:     You should be thinking, not listening. Oh, go ahead and listen if you like!

           (He swings the office window wide open. They can hear men and women swearing and the occasional, distant, peaceful crying of children.).

HOZ:     They're not crying; they're quarrelling.

VERSHKOV:     They're gnawing on each other; it's worse than tears. People never cry of hunger, they just eat themselves up and die of spite.

HOZ:     Close the window. How long has Suenita Ivanovna been gone?

VERSHKOV:     (Closes the window) Nine days and nights already.

HOZ:     And what about you, aren't you hungry?

VERSHKOV:     No, I am not. I'm living on sheer consciousness. You can't really live on food around here, can you?

HOZ:     Go call Ksyusha for me.

VERSHKOV:     There's no point. But I'll go. (He exits.)

HOZ:     (alone) My God, life, where is your comfort? I must finish the accounting for the District Center.

           (Ksyusha enters)

KSYUSHA:     I would've come myself. I was already up. (Blows on the lamp, extinguishing it. The early morning sun rises in the window.) Give me the duty roster.

HOZ:     Ksyusha! Your heart is breaking. Let it rest.

KSYUSHA:     What kind of advice is that? What if the GPU suddenly finds my baby, and I'm loafing around here? That would be nice, wouldn't it?

HOZ:     Ksenya, bring me something chemical. I've grown weak.

KSYUSHA:     (Calming down) Okay, in a moment. Do you want some milk? My breasts are swollen. I'm going to squeeze it out onto the ground. A woman's milk is useful.

HOZ:     Okay, go. Milk yourself. Bring it to me in a bottle. And don't forget the chemicals!

KSYUSHA:     Okay. You can't live without your powders!

HOZ:     I'm dying.

           (Ksyusha exits)

HOZ:     I feel the warmth of humanity in this country... The report for the District Center is finished, thank God. I've written books, but I've never felt so happy. (Signs with a flourish) Good!

           (The cursing and shouting of women and the crying of children is heard through the closed window. Vershkov quickly enters, followed by The Guard, carrying his rifle)

VERSHKOV:     You hear how they're grumbling? Ivan Fedorovich, now you're going to have to rely on the guard. He has a rifle; he's been certified by the District authorities.

THE GUARD:     Don't worry. It'll come to nothing! The people will only vent on each other. That's the way it always is. But they'll never touch outsiders.

HOZ:     You, Filka, are a class enemy! The people must be fed.

THE GUARD:     That's right. We old men know everything!

VERSHKOV:     And what will we feed them with? Just politics! With a slogan that comes flying off the top of your head!

HOZ:     Guard, place him under arrest. You see -- a kulak has been revealed.

THE GUARD:     I see. Your leadership works well.

HOZ:     Take him to our prison hut, the one that Antoshka built.

THE GUARD:     I'll take him. And you haven't changed your mind about feeding the people?

HOZ:     No. Go and do your duty.

THE GUARD:     Right away. I didn't offend you, did I? (He pushes Vershkov with the butt of his rifle) Get out of here, you, bloody double-dealer!

           (Both of them exit. Ksyusha rushes in with a bottle of milk)

KSYUSHA:     Grandpa Ivan, what's going on here? Everybody's shouting, moaning, getting too nervous, irritating each other.

HOZ:     (taking the bottle) The milk is yours?

KSYUSHA:     Yes, it's mine. From my own breasts. Only I couldn't fill the bottle. The men kept trying to grab it and guzzle it. Take these pills as well.

HOZ:     How many children do we have in the kolkhoz, not counting yours and Suenita's?

KSYUSHA:     Let me think... (counting to herself) They were seven. Two have been buried -- that makes five of them left.

HOZ:     And how much milk do you still have in your breasts?

KSYUSHA:     Enough to feed both youngsters and oldsters -- and still something will be left in reserve.

HOZ:     (hands the bottle with milk back to her) Go and feed all the children with your own milk. As much as you are able to, until you run dry.

KSYUSHA:     (feeling happily surprised) Right you are, grandpa Hoz! What a fool I was, sparing myself and suffering so much about it!

HOZ:     Distribute chemical pills among the men and women -- one to each. Tell them that I've ordered that they take them. I take them myself, and I've been living for more than a century.

KSYUSHA:     Oh, they are clever enough and very patient, grandpa Hoz! They need just little something to eat, and they'll forget about their heartaches.

HOZ:     Go and feed them from your breast and from the medicine chest, Ksyusha.

KSYUSHA:     I'm going, gramps. (She exits)

HOZ:     (he takes the pills and chews them) Good. And nourishing! (A pause) I will go on living like our guard lives, guarding all kinds of chance occurrences and valuables!

           (Laughing, Suenita appears unnoticed. Hoz, deep in his thoughts, does not see her.)

SUENTIA:     Hello, grandpa Hoz!

HOZ:     Suenita! You've returned to us, my surprising one! And where's your baby?

SUENTIA:     My baby is here on the kolkhoz. Fimka Koschunkina is looking after him now. She's the only one who's seen me. Ksyusha's baby is also safe and sound. I've brought them both--they're alive! And now give me a report on the economic situation.

HOZ:     Wait a bit with these inhuman matters: economy, report, state of affairs! (He opens the window. All is quiet on the kolkhoz in the late, bright morning) It has become quiet, the people have had little something to eat. Let me give you an old man's kiss!

SUENTIA:     Well, okay, kiss me. I won't dry up.

           (Hoz kisses Suenita on the forehead.)

HOZ:     Oh, my eternal darling! I have searched for you for so long -- a hundred years!

SUENTIA:     I was nonexistent then -- so you were searching in vain.

HOZ:     I was waiting for your birth.

SUENTIA:     You showed up too late -- I've already given birth myself.

HOZ:     I've managed to feed the people. My leadership is working well.

SUENTIA:     We shall check up on it.

HOZ:     And where is our kolkhoz bread? Our sheep? Have you taken them back from the class enemy?

SUENTIA:     In the airplane, we caught up with our kolkhoz ship. The GPU patrol boat towed it to Astrakhan.

HOZ:     Where's Ashurkov?

SUENTIA:     When the GPU boat raced after them, they threw half of our bread into the sea. They drowned forty of our sheep--the rest are safe and sound. They threw our hut into the sea and it floated away... Our babies--mine and Ksyusha's--were lying in the hold. Ashurkov himself was watching over them. He cried over them when he was arrested.

HOZ:     A decent man!

SUENTIA:     Yes, he is. He was in love with me once when I was a girl, before the liquidation of the classes...

HOZ:     Where are our sheep and our bread? That's what I am asking you about.

SUENTIA:     Ashurkov is bringing the whole lot back home on our ship from Astrakhan.

HOZ:     Which Ashurkov do you mean?

SUENTIA:     The former bantik. He is sailing with the wind; soon we shall see his sail on the sea. A GPU agent is on board the ship to escort him.


HOZ:     I don't understand anything... Where have you come from?

SUENTIA:     From Astrakhan, old man. Me and Antoshka flew in the airplane to the sovkhoz. And from there we came on foot. You understand? As for Fedka Ashurkov, I asked the GPU to pardon him and give him to me for education. I'll make a kolkhoz-shock-worker out of him. I'm sure he'll be better than most of our fellows. I'll tame him.

HOZ:     So that's what you mean by class struggle! Let the nonsense keep revolving.

SUENTIA:     And you thought the class struggle was only mass slaughter!

HOZ:     All right, then. So we need a class enemy, too. We turn him into a friend, and our friends into enemies, just to keep the game rolling. But what shall we have to eat until Ashurkov comes with all our goods and supplies?

SUENTIA:     Chemicals, old man! You don't understand the game!

           (Ksyusha rushes in and hugs Suenita.)

SUENTIA:     Ksyusha, we are two mothers again!

KSYUSHA:     Oh, yes, my darling Suenita.

SUENITA:     Grandpa Hoz, send Filka Vershkov to me. I'm going to arrest him.

HOZ:     I've arrested him already.

SUENTIA:     Well done, gramps. Then go and bring him here.

HOZ:     All right. Only none of this is serious. (He exits)

SUENTIA:     So, what is it Ksyusha? Where are our children?

KSYUSHA:     Oh, everything's fine, dear Suenita. (They tickle and caress each other) They're sleeping at Fimka's place. I found them.

           (The Guard enters.)

THE GUARD:     Oh, the chief citizen has come back. Glad to see you, lassie.

SUENTIA:     Old man, you know that you're a class enemy...or haven't you realized that yet?

THE GUARD:     I know. I told you long ago that I'm not what I seem.

SUENTIA:     Ashurkov told me all about you... How you pretended to be fast asleep in the middle of our kolkhoz while they dragged the hut away... How you left everything to be guarded by a faceless scarecrow!

THE GUARD:     A free thing, it is.

SUENTIA:     We'll have a General Meeting. You'll have to leave the kolkhoz forever! Put your rifle down in the corner! (Pause)

THE GUARD:     (having put the rifle down) Ksyusha, give me a needle, I'll patch my sack. I had my needle but it was broken. Can they make good needles now? Of course not! They can only exceed quotas, but not make good needles.

KSYUSHA:     (handling him a needle) Just take it, and be off with you while my heart can still endure you!

THE GUARD:     What is a heart? It is made to ache and endure.

           (He takes the needle and exits.)

ANTON'S VOICE:     (on the kolkhoz) I'll test each of you in full accordance with all political lines! Comrade Antoshka knows the despicable, anti-scientific face of the class enemy! He knows why our kolkhoz cart is squeaking! He looks you straight in the face, fearlessly! There does not exist the man who can deceive or frighten Comrade Antoshka Kokhtsov! I shall sort out the whole of humanity according to standard principles! Science! World academicians! You came here to smile. Now go and fight for the quantity and quality of production and against the class enemy!

           (Transparencies with slogans calling for labor enthusiasm, proper care of horses, etc., pass across the stage.)

KSYUSHA:     (respectfully) Antoshka has come.

SUENTIA:     (calling out the window) Antoshka!

ANTON'S VOICE:     (more calmly) In light of the necessity of making a control-check on the grain expected to arrive with the bantik, a need has arisen to test our Fairbanks weighing scales, since they might have been damaged by the silent hand of the kulak.

SUENTIA:     Ksyusha, I don't think I like Antoshka.

KSYUSHA:     He is getting real crazy about all that shock-worker-movement business. They're like two peas in a pod, all these kolkhoz-loving pretenders! As for me, I'd rather deal with bantiks. You arrest one, and he works! And how!

           (Hoz enters.)

HOZ:     Filka will be here in a moment. He went to post a letter to Europe. I received a communication from Europe. There's a tragic situation there!

SUENTIA:     All you think about is Europe, while we have a whole world in our hands. Can't you see that?

HOZ:     I see. You've gotten yourself in a muddle. Soon you won't be having anything to eat.

           (Vershkov appears.)

VERSHKOV:     Good morning, Comrade Chairwoman! I congratulate you on your victory over the class enemy bantik!

SUENTIA:     Cut it out. You're also a bantik.

VERSHKOV:     (smiling) You are in a good humor today, I see.

SUENTIA:     I'm not grieving. But you will be soon. Why did you order Antonoshka to put up a scarecrow! So there'd only be a scarecrow on guard when the bantiks appeared?! Take your revolver. Ashurkov ordered that it be given back to you. He wanted to shoot you with it, but he knows that, all the same, I'll de-kulakify you.

VERSHKOV:     (without revolver) So you've gotten to the bottom of everything, you dried up old snakes?

SUENTIA:     Yes, Uncle Filya. We've gotten to the point of your demise.

KSYUSHA:     Die as quick as possible. I don't have the patience to think about you any longer!

VERSHKOV:     I'm an award-winning shock-worker! So, citizens, don't be carried away by your silly jokes!

KSYUSHA:     That's right. He's an award-winner. What's going on in here?! Suenita, I think we'd better have bantiks on our kolkhoz -- they at least will be frightened of us and not be such double-dealers!

SUENTIA:     (to Vershkov) Who had a secret meeting with Ashurkov near the distant well? Who suggested that he attack the kolkhoz and rob us of all the sheep so you could then retire peacefully to the Caucasian region and live there like trade union members?

VERSHKOV:     So what if I said something? It's a bore to sit around silently. So you just say words as a type of experiment. Words don't count. They're just sounds.

HOZ:     Mister Vershkov, allow me to ask you a straight-forward question: are you for the kolkhoz, which means for socialism, or against it?

VERSHKOV:     I am in favor of it, Ivan Fedorovich, and against it. To me it's all the same whether there's socialism or not. None of this is serious, Ivan Fedorovich. It's just a general psychosis infecting the people.

HOZ:     (thoughtfully) Not serious, Uncle Filya. General psychosis!

SUENTIA:     Every fool can run over us, but to defeat us is beyond the capabilities of even the cleverest one... Ksyusha, call Antoshka up here.

KSYUSHA:     (into the window) Antoshka! Come here quick, you nasty fellow.

ANTON'S VOICE:     In a moment! I'm busy repairing the packages.

HOZ:     Mister Vershkov, where is that letter for Europe?

VERSHKOV:     (giving back the letter) Give it to the postman yourself. Now you can judge for yourself: I used to be a shock-worker, managed to solve the world-wide economic enigma -- and after all this, I have to perish.

SUENTIA:     What enigma has he solved?

HOZ:     The world-wide one! He wrote in his own hand: “Long Live Comrade Lenin!”. The world-wide enigma no longer exists!

VERSHKOV:     It's true, no longer. I guessed right away.

KSYUSHA:     What a demon!


SUENTIA:     We are just poor people here and we have nothing but Lenin. We utter his name in a worshipful whisper, and you desecrate it. You are the rich, you have many learned leaders, but we have only him. Who are you, Vershkov?

VERSHKOV:     And who are you?

SUENTIA:     I am a member of the kolkhoz. I shall be socialism itself.

VERSHKOV:     Am I not like you? I am also socialism!

SUENTIA:     We have one Lenin and one socialism. We don't need two.

           (She suddenly plunges a dagger into Vershkov's chest. Vershkov sits on the bench in the agony of dying.)

HOZ:     (to Vershkov) Uncle Filya, what's going on there in the other world? How do you feel?

VERSHKOV:     (feebly) So-so. The same trifles and nonsense...There is nothing serious here as well. There's no reason to die whatsoever.

HOZ:     He sees death the right way.

VERSHKOV:     I am not dying, I'm just switching over.


SUENTIA:     Is he finished?

KSYUSHA:     (feeling his body) Finished. He's starting to get cold.

SUENTIA:     (feeling the dagger) But the dagger is still warm for some reason.

           (Anton appears.)

ANTON:     (not taking in the scene) From now on each of us should live consciously and responsibly!



Act One       Act Two       Act Three       Act Four

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© 2012 Gennadi V. Alexeyev & Dmitri G. Alexeyev All rights reserved.