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Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Paul Kauvar; or, Anarchy by Steele Mackaye

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LA ROCHE.

Oh, ho!--So you would turn the tables--question me?

PAUL.

Is she alive and well?--I ask to know but this.

LA ROCHE.

I'll tell you more, if you will answer first my questions.

PAUL.

All!--that do not force me to betray my cause.

LA ROCHE.

Explain!--You escaped the guillotine?

PAUL.

The story is too long.

LA ROCHE.

Make it brief, but answer.

PAUL.

In the death-cart I found a priest confessing those about him. He
questioned me, soon saw that I was not the Duke. "My child," he
said, "I die to-day, but as a priest shall be the last to mount the
scaffold.--Let me take your place, assume the same disguise, while you
slip from the cart and live." At first I refused, as I no longer cared
for life! But when he said Diane might not escape unless I lived to
aid her, I yielded.--The night was cloudy. When the moon was hidden,
the priest put on my coat and wig, and as the death-cart neared the
scaffold, I slipped through its slatted floor, and in the darkness
mingled with the crowd.

LA ROCHE.

Who was the holy man who set you free?

PAUL.

The Abbe de St. Simon.

LA ROCHE.

Strange! We heard the Abbe had escaped.

PAUL.

He answered when the Duke was called and so was guillotined; but when
the Abbe's turn had come, they could not find him, and so gave out
that he'd escaped.

LA ROCHE.

Yes, I understand it now.--Proceed!

PAUL.

I found Diane had gone, believing I was guilty of a most ignoble
crime. Too sick at heart to follow her, I enlisted and, seeking death,
obtained promotion to my present grade.

LA ROCHE.

What if your willingness to die to save her father had convinced Diane
that you were innocent, and had taught her a deeper love for you?

PAUL.

Ah! Then life would be worth living once again!--Can you have heard
from her--seen her?

LA ROCHE.

You can see her for yourself--save your own life--and bring boundless
joy to hers.

PAUL.

How?

LA ROCHE.

Espouse our cause!

PAUL.

What!--Betray my country?

LA ROCHE.

No.--Redeem your country!--Desert the side of those who bring disgrace
upon your native land--of fiends, who drown her soil in blood!--blood
bred from the noblest heroes of her history.

PAUL.

Heroes who debauched our women, and enslaved our men!--Libertines who
let harlots reign in France! Despots whose arrogant descendants are
crushed to-day beneath their fathers' sins!

LA ROCHE.

What, sir! You, a soldier, justify these Jacobins--anarchists like
Carrac, who slaughter hundreds of defenceless women every day, and
even outrage little children?

PAUL.

Anarchists are monsters your race bred when it brutalized their
mothers.

LA ROCHE.

Enough, sir! I see that I must leave you to your fate.

PAUL.

But Diane, my wife! Give me one word of her.

LA ROCHE.

Yes. You shall know that she believes you innocent, is sick with grief
and desolation in thinking you are dead.

PAUL.

You have seen her, then?

LA ROCHE.

Yes--here, within an hour.

PAUL.

She is here now, within call--?

[LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN _makes sign of assent_. PAUL _kneels at his
feet_.]

My God! In pity's name, let me see her once again.

LA ROCHE.

And so re-open the old wounds?--re-awaken hope, but to deepen her
despair?

PAUL.

[_Rising slowly_.]

No, no! You're right. I will not purchase joy at the cost of pain to
her!--Call your guards. I die happy, knowing she'll remember me with
love.

LA ROCHE.

For her sake renounce rebellion, and I unite you both forever.

PAUL.

Better I should never see her face again than be unworthy of her love.

LA HOGUE.

Great Caesar! Here's an eagle facing death in loyalty to carrion
crows!--The noble bird is mad! We must not kill, but cure him.

LA ROCHE.

What do you propose?

LA HOGUE.

Put him on parole. Let him give his word that he'll not fight until
he's exchanged.

LA ROCHE.

True! Captain Kauvar, you are a prisoner of war, a man of proven
honour.--Give me your word that you will not lift your sword against
the King, till you're exchanged, and you're paroled and free.

PAUL.

Free with honour, to see my wife once more?

LA ROCHE.

Yes!

PAUL.

Oh, generous foe! Next to my country, my life belongs to you.

LA ROCHE.

I have your word?

PAUL.

[_Raising his hand_.]

You have.

LA ROCHE.

Captain Kauvar, you are paroled.

PAUL.

And my wife?

LA ROCHE.

[_Going_.]

Shall come to you at once.

[_Exit_.

PAUL.

Great heavens!--I'm going mad with joy!

[_Turning to_ LA HOGUE.]

Colonel, I must explode or die!

[_He embraces_ LA HOGUE.

LA HOGUE.

[_Submitting with gusto_.]

Damme! Embraced by a Sans Culotte! I like it, too!

_Artillery is heard in the distance_.

PAUL.

[_Looking off_.]

By heavens!--The Republicans are sweeping down from Granville!

[_To_ LA HOGUE.]

Colonel, see! My comrades have attacked you under cover of the town I
burned.

[_Crash of artillery again_.

LA HOGUE.

Damnation!

_Enter_ LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.

ORDERLY.

[_Rushing in_.]

General, the enemy are upon us!

LA ROCHE.

[_Excitedly to_ LA HOGUE.]

Quick!--To arms!--We must rouse and lead our men!

PAUL.

But Diane--my wife?

LA ROCHE.

Gone!--to England.

[_Handing a paper_.]

Read, and remember, whatever be my fate, you are on parole.

[_He rushes off with_ LA HOGUE.

_The crash of firearms increases_.

PAUL.

[_Reading_.]

"Dear Henri:--The town is burning, my daughter in peril. I see
Diane embarked for England, and join you on the field.--Duc de
Beaumont."--Gone!--No! I will find her, and fly with her myself.

[_Noise of battle outside_.--PAUL _is about to go, but stops_.]

No, no! My God!--She's lost to me again! I cannot go to seek her, for
I'm a prisoner on parole!

[_He falls prostrate on the stairs_.

CURTAIN.

ACT V.

SCENE. _Same as Act IV--one hour later. Noise of battle in
distance_.--PAUL _discovered looking on and listening in
excitement.--Noise increases and sounds nearer_.

PAUL.

[_Triumphantly_.]

Ah!--The enemy weakens!--gives way!--falls back!--The Royalists
fly!--The Republic wins!--Progress triumphs!

[_The noise of battle grows louder, but the cries of triumph from
Republicans decrease, then die away_.--PAUL _checks his joy and speaks
in changed tones_.]

And I--I have no part in this glorious play--because I'm on parole.

[_Walking up and down excitedly_.]

What torture!--to be here; with heart aflame, and limbs all free;
to see the fight, and yet be bound to idleness by an oath, as much a
prisoner as though in fetters at the bottom of a cell!

[_Changing his whole manner_.]

And Diane--where is she? But now within my reach--almost in my
arms--naught between us but a promise, a mere breath--that breath as
strong as adamantine walls to part us!

JEAN.

[_Entering, sees_ PAUL _and cries out_.]

Kauvar!

PAUL.

[_Turning, starts_.]

Jean Litais!

JEAN.

You, alive?

PAUL.

My wife!--Where is she?

JEAN.

Don't ask me!

PAUL.

You promised to save her.

JEAN.

I did.--But for the burning of the Faubourg, and the attack of the
rebels, she would be alive and safe.

PAUL.

And now--?

JEAN.

She's lost!--She, with her father and the Marquis, fell into an
ambush--were fired on from every side--

PAUL.

Killed! And I am her assassin!

JEAN.

You?

PAUL.

Yes! I planned the burning of the Faubourg, placed the mines that blew
it up, and opened a way for our attack.--In serving my country, I have
killed my wife!

JEAN.

You are a soldier, then,--one of the blues?

PAUL.

Yes--and captured there at dawn. [_Points at the Faubourg_.

JEAN.

And not shot?

PAUL.

No--paroled!--paroled!--paroled!

JEAN.

Impossible! The watchword on both sides is "No mercy."

PAUL.

La Rochejacquelein spared my life, that I might once more see my
wife.--Useless generosity, for she had gone to meet her death!

JEAN.

But he--the General--was merciful, magnanimous to you?

PAUL.

He was. I owe him an eternal debt.

JEAN.

Are you willing to pay your debt?

PAUL.

With my life!

JEAN.

His army is routed. He will be captured--shot like a dog, unless he's
saved.

PAUL.

He must be saved.

JEAN.

There's a secret passage from this castle to the glen. If I could put
his pursuers off his track, he would escape.

PAUL.

Bring the General here and leave the rest to me.

JEAN.

You will aid him?

PAUL.

I will.--Be quick; we're wasting time.

[JEAN _crosses to door and beckons; enter_ LA HOGUE, LA
ROCHEJACQUELEIN _and_ DENISE.

PAUL.

[_Putting off his coat and crossing_.]

General, off with your coat!

LA ROCHE.

What does this mean?

PAUL.

You were merciful to me--'tis my turn now! We exchange uniforms; I am
captured in your place, mislead your pursuers while you escape.

LA ROCHE.

For you to assist me is treason to your cause.

PAUL.

Ingratitude is treason to my God!--I owe you more than life; let men
call this what they will; I have a divine right to pay my debt.

LA ROCHE.

I refuse to let you do a deed that may bring dishonour on your head.

PAUL.

Then I refuse to owe my life to you.--Accept my assistance, or

[_Drawing pistol from the belt of_ LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.] with my own
hand I'll shoot the prisoner you paroled.

LA HOGUE.

[_Grasping_ PAUL'S _arm_.]

Stop! This can be arranged.

PAUL.

How?

LA HOGUE.

You are a prisoner on parole.--The General is as good as captured
now.--Let him release you from your word, then his escape will only be
an exchange of prisoners.

PAUL.

Will you consent to this?

LA ROCHE.

No, I cannot. The exchange would not be fair to the side you serve. I
am a General; you, but a Captain.

LA HOGUE.

But we have the other prisoners, the comrades of the Captain; we can
shoot them all at once, or exchange them if we choose for you.

PAUL.

Free them--and I but make a fair exchange in helping you to get away.

[_Shouts outside_.

[_Cheers_.

JEAN.

My God! The crowd rush on this way.

DENISE.

[_Kneeling to_ LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.]

In Mercy's name--!

LA HOGUE.

The King's cause dies with you!--You are bound to live for him!

LA ROCHE.

[_Stripping off his coat_.]

Enough--I consent.

DENISE.

Thank God!

PAUL _and_ LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN _exchange uniforms_.

LA ROCHE.

By heavens! I never thought to wear this colour on my back! I do it
for King Louis' sake.

PAUL.

And I wear this in honour of the King of Kings, who is our common
Father.

LA ROCHE.

My saviour!

PAUL.

Nay, your brother!

PAUL _and_ LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN _look in each other's eyes a moment,
then part in silence_. JEAN _and_ DENISE _cross to panel in wall_. LA
ROCHEJACQUELEIN _crosses and turns_.

LA ROCHE.

[_Saluting_ PAUL.]

Long live the King!

PAUL.

[_Saluting_ LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN.]

Long live the Republic!

LA HOGUE.

[_As_ LA ROCHEJACQUELEIN _goes out,_.]

Your comrades are there.

[_Pointing_.]

This key will set them free.

PAUL.

[_Taking_ LA HOGUE'S _hand_.]

Our lives are yours!--Farewell!

LA HOGUE.

Damme! I never thought I'd live to love a Sans Culotte!

[_As_ LA HOGUE _goes out_, JEAN _crosses to_ PAUL.

JEAN.

When you are recognized, our pursuit will recommence.

PAUL.

How much time is needed to make sure your escape?

JEAN.

At least one hour.--If your disguise is discovered in less time, you
will have risked your life in vain.

PAUL.

Don't fear!

JEAN.

I have your word, and no matter what happens, you will play your part
for one whole hour?

PAUL.

You have my word, however tragic this comedy may become.

JEAN.

When the General is free, I shall return.

[_A bell tolls the hour of Two_.]

Listen! Remember, you have pledged your honour to endure all things
for an hour. Till then--God help you!

[_Exit_.

_Shouts and yells outside from Republican soldiers_; PAUL _sits near
the fire and pays no attention. Firing outside, followed by cries and
cheers_.

POTIN.

[_Outside_.]

This way!--This way!--That's his nest!--We'll find the bird in there!

[_Rushes on, followed by_ SOLDIERS.]

[_Looking around_.]

Deserted! The rogue of a royal General is hiding like a mouse! We'll
unearth him!--Come on!

[_He is going toward door, followed by his_ MEN, _when he sees_ PAUL,
_and starts back_.]

Halt!

[_Points at_ PAUL.]

See!--There is La Rochejacquelein!

[_To the_ MEN.]

Make ready--Aim!

[SOLDIERS _aim at_ PAUL, _who does not move_]

[_To_ PAUL.]

General La Rochejacquelein, we recognize your uniform. Surrender!

[PAUL _does not move_.]

General, your sword, or we fire!

PAUL.

[_Rising coolly_.]

Fire!

POTIN.

We do not want to kill you.

[_Advancing with extended hand_.]

We'd rather have your sword.

PAUL.

[_Recognizing_ POTIN, _speaks aside_.]

Potin!--The wretch!--He may recognize me before the hour is up!

[_He draws his sword and extends it backward_.

POTIN.

[_Taking the sword_.]

General, you are our prisoner.

[_To_ SOLDIERS.]

Comrades, to us--a squad of the battalion of the Bonnet Rouge--is due
the glory of taking the leader of these Royalist Brigands!--Hurrah for
our Battalion!

[_All cheer_.

VOICES.

[_Outside_.]

Long live the Republic!

POTIN.

[_Looking off_]

Bah! Here come the rabble--a crowd of anarchists!

GOUJON.

Who never share the fighting.

POTIN.

But claim all the glory fighting brings.

GOUJON.

Curse these civil shouters!

SOLDIERS _all groan. Cries of "Carrac! Carrac!" with cheers heard
outside_.

POTIN.

Here they come, led on by Scarlotte--

GOUJON.

Scarlotte! A woman in form--a fury in nature!

POTIN.

Like my wife.

[_Cheers outside_.]

Good heavens! Worse and worse! Yonder comes Carrac--the king of
curs!--Damme! The devil himself is a saint compared with him.

GOUJON.

The beast!

POTIN.

The bloodiest beast of all--a tiger!

[_To_ SOLDIERS.]

Quick, form on this side [_Pointing to the left_.] and protect the
General.--This hog will want to eat him, before we can deliver him to
Kleber and get the credit of his capture.

[SOLDIERS _form in front of_ PAUL.

SCARLOTTE.

[_Outside_.]

This way, you fools!--Death to Rochejacquelein. Come on!

MOB.

[_Outside_.]

Death to Rochejacquelein!

SCARLOTTE.

[_Entering, followed by_ MOB.]

Rochejacquelein!--Rochejacquelein!--Where is Rochejacquelein?

MOB.

Down with Rochejacquelein! Down with Rochejacquelein!

BOURDOTTE.

[_Appearing_.]

Silence! Here comes Carrac, the great Carrac--representative of the
Republic--who never spares an enemy!

[_Comes down stage_.

POTIN.

And never makes a friend.

MOB.

Carrac!--Carrac!--Long live Carrac!

CARRAC _appears, followed by a second_ MOB, _and makes a gesture
commanding silence_.

CARRAC.

So--this is the ancestral hall of that cursed kin of kings, La
Rochejacquelein!--Ha! He's doubtless sneaking like a coward in some
safe corner of his den. Is the place surrounded?

BOURDOTTE.

On every side.

SCARLOTTE.

Good!--Tear his house about his ears!

CARRAC.

Aye--strip the old hawk's nest.

MOB.

Aye!--Aye!

[_The_ MOB _dismantle the house, with yells of exultation_.

SCARLOTTE.

[_Urging them on_.]

Heroes of Liberty!--demolish every trace of beauty in the place!

_Amid a scene of anarchic rage and turmoil, the room is stript stark_.

CARRAC.

Well done--noble levellers of the age!--Pull the boasted culture of
the nobility to the gutter.--Bravo!--We've demolished the old nest;
now to hunt the young hawk down!

MOB.

Aye!--Aye!

POTIN.

[_Waving the_ MOB _back_.]

Stop!--La Rochejacquelein is found!

SCARLOTTE.

Where is he?

POTIN.

There--our prisoner.

SCARLOTTE.

Drag him to the river!

MOB.

Aye--to the river!

POTIN.

Stand back!--He belongs to our battalion.

CARRAC.

What insolence is this? We demand his surrender here--to us.

POTIN.

We surrender him to none but our own Colonel.

CARRAC.

We are the people and supreme!--We represent the civil power of the
State, that rules the soldier.

MOB.

Aye!--Aye!

POTIN.

[_To the_ SOLDIERS.]

Make ready!--Aim!

[SOLDIERS _aim_;--_the_ MOB _fall back_.]

You're ten to one.--Come on, you civil rulers, and take him if you
can.

CARRAC.

This is treason!

SCARLOTTE.

Aye--treason!--Treason!

[_The_ MOB _groan_.

POTIN.

Soldiers have no rulers but their officers!

CARRAC.

Someone go for General Kleber. Bid him come at once--to quell this
mutiny.

SCARLOTTE.

I will bring him.

[_Crosses_.]

Death to all who dare to balk the people's will!

[_Exit_.

BOURDOTTE.

Meantime, Citizen Carrac, we have some prisoners here at hand that we
can dispatch at once.

CARRAC.

How many?

BOURDOTTE.

Five.--Two men, and three women--perfect beauties!

CARRAC.

Bravo! Their beauty and their lives are ours!

[_Cheers from_ MOB.]

Bring them in!

[_Exeunt eight_ SANS CULOTTES.]

Citizens, we've won to-day a glorious victory.

POTIN.

There he goes boasting, when he never struck a blow.

CARRAC.

Let's complete our triumph--prove our power--

MOB.

Bravo!--Bravo!

CARRAC.

You are the people!--You are France!--Let the Nation voice her will
through you.--What shall we do with our prisoners?

BOURDOTTE.

Kill them.

MOB.

Aye--kill them--kill them!

BOURDOTTE.

Drown the men like puppies, and put the women to public shame!

MOB.

Aye! Aye!

CARRAC.

The voice of the people is the voice of God.--Have your will--it is
God's command!

_Enter_ CITIZENS, _dragging the_ DUKE, GOUROC, DIANE, NANETTE, _and_
ALINE, _a young girl_.

_The_ MOB _groan and laugh mockingly.

The young girl is dragged forward--two_ SANS CULOTTES _contending for
her_.

FIRST SANS CULOTTE.

She's mine!

SECOND SANS CULOTTE.

You lie!--I caught her first!

ALINE.

Mercy!--Kill me if you will,--but spare me this!

CARRAC.

[_Laughing_.]

Citizens,--behold your victims!

[MOB _rush forward with ferocious yells_.

DUKE.

[_Interposing_.]

No, no!--Let my grey hairs suffice!

[_The_ MOB _pause_.

PAUL.

[_Starting up, speaks aside_.]

My God!--That voice!

[_During what follows_, PAUL--_screened from the_ MOB'S _view by his
soldier_ GUARDS--_expresses in pantomime his conflicting emotions_.

CARRAC.

[_To the_ DUKE.]

Who are you?

GOUROC.

[_Speaking quickly_.]

We are Citizens of the Republic!--He

[_Pointing at the_ DUKE.]

is George Leblanc--and I, Citizen Gouroc of the Committee of Public
Safety.

[CARRAC _and_ MOB _draw back with astonishment_.

PAUL.

[_Aside_.]

And Diane!--Is she there?--I must see!

[_Starts, stops_.]

No, no!--They would know me; the hour is not up!

CARRAC.

You, Citizen Gouroc?--I don't believe it.

GOUROC.

[_Holding out papers_.]

Here are our credentials.

CARRAC.

They may be forgeries.

MOB.

Aye--forgeries! forgeries!

CARRAC.

[_To the_ MOB.]

Silence! While we proceed in our examination.

[_The_ MOB _utter low murmurs_. CARRAC _turns to_ NANETTE.]

Who are you?

NANETTE.

[_Advancing defiantly_.]

I am Citizeness Nanette Potin.

POTIN.

[_Aside_.]

My wife!--

[_Sneaks behind comrades_.

CARRAC.

Ha, wait!

[_Seeing_ DIANE, _he drags her forth_.]

By the gods!--here's a feast for Jupiter himself.--Speak out,
delicious wench, and tell us who you are.

DIANE.

I am Diane--

GOUROC.

[_Interrupting quickly_.]

She is Diane Gouroc.--

[_Pointing at the_ DUKE.]

His daughter and my wife.

PAUL.

[_Exploding_.]

Liar!

[_All start and turn toward_ PAUL, _who speaks aside_.]

God help me!--I forget; the hour is not ended.

CARRAC.

Who is it calls this citizen a liar?

GOUJON.

The prisoner.

CARRAC.

Ah, ha! It seems he knows these citizens.--In the name of the law
and the Republic, I summon instantly as a witness Henri de la
Rochejacquelein.

DIANE.

My cousin captured?

[_All turn toward her, amazed_.

GOUROC.

[_Starting_.]

My God!--We're lost!

CARRAC.

So--the prisoner is the beauty's cousin.

[_To_ GOUROC.]

Traitor! You have lied!--This convicts you all.

MOB.

To the guillotine!--To the guillotine!

BOURDOTTE.

No! A marriage! A Republican marriage!

MOB.

Aye! A marriage! marriage!

[BOURDOTTE _drags forth_ NANETTE.

NANETTE.

What are you going to do?

BOURDOTTE.

Tie you to this man and throw you in the river.--That's the way we
marry Royalists!

[_The_ MOB _laugh mockingly_.

NANETTE.

[_Shrieking_.]

Help!

POTIN.

[_Exploding_.]

Damnation!--Tongue or no tongue, I must save her.

[_Bounds forward and frees his wife_.]

Nanette!

NANETTE.

[_Joyfully embracing_ POTIN.]

Dodolphe!

CARRAC.

What does this mean?

POTIN.

This is my wife; the wife of a soldier of the Republic, and so, sacred
to her country.

SOLDIERS.

Aye! Aye!

POTIN.

[_Pointing to_ GOUROC.]

Do what you like with him--for such cattle as he deserve to die!

[GOUROC _turns and glowers_.]

Glare! Who cares? I'm a soldier. 'Tis my turn now!--You shall pay
dearly for making me a perjurer!

[_To_ MOB.]

Citizens, this devil here forced me to swear falsely against a
patriot.

BOURDOTTE.

When was this?

POTIN.

Three months ago in Paris.--I was secretary to my Section.--This man
had a blank warrant signed by our president, Paul Kauvar.--He made me
fill it in with the name of the Duc de Beaumont--and, after, falsely
swear that Kauvar had ordered the arrest.

[_Cries of execration from the_ MOB.

DIANE.

Father! You hear? It is to him that we owe our agony!--One of your own
race.

POTIN.

Kauvar was his friend--this dog betrayed him!

NANETTE.

Yes, while he himself was all the time a Marquis in disguise.

PAUL.

He, my friend--a traitor!

CARRAC.

Death to the brigand!

MOB.

Death to him! To the river! Drown him!

[_They seize_ GOUROC.

GOUROC.

[_Breaking away from them_.]

Fiends--I defy you, and escape you!

[_Draws pistol, fires, and falls dead_.

BOURDOTTE.

[_Feeling_ GOUROC'S _breast_.]

Dead.--Dead as potted pork.

CARRAC.

And the people cheated of their just revenge!

CITIZENS _bear_ GOUROC'S _body off_.

BOURDOTTE.

Ah, look, we have still the old Aristo and his daughter!

MOB.

Aye!--Aye! Away with them! Away with them!

[_They rush on the_ DUKE _and_ DIANE.

PAUL.

My God! Will this hour never end?

CARRAC.

[_To the_ MOB.]

Here! Strip her! Drive her to her death!

[_The_ MOB _howls_.--DIANE _breaks from_ CARRAC.--_Bell tolls_.

PAUL.

[_With a cry of joy_.]

The hour strikes!--I'm free!

[CARRAC _seizes_ DIANE _again and drags her to the centre of the
stage.

Rushing from his concealed position_, PAUL _tears_ DIANE, _fainting,
from the arms of_ CARRAC, _whom he flings to the ground--warning back
the_ MOB, _who pause for a moment, staring in amazement_.

BOURDOTTE.

Ha--the brigand--kill him!--

MOB.

[_Advancing_.]

Kill him!--Kill him!

POTIN.

[_Aiming, with_ SOLDIERS.]

Halt!--He is our prisoner.

[_The_ MOB _recoil_.

PAUL.

[_Flinging off his coat and hat_.]

No! Not your prisoner! Your officer!--Captain on Kleber's staff:
Captain Paul Kauvar.

DIANE.

[_With a cry--quivering, incredulous_.]

Paul!--Alive!

PAUL.

Heaven is merciful at last!

[_He takes her in his arms_.

POTIN.

By the gods, it is!--The Citizen Kauvar!

GOUJON.

Then La Rochejacquelein has got away?

CARRAC.

[_Rising, to_ PAUL.]

If you are a soldier of the Republic, how is it we find you in the
coat of a brigand?

PAUL.

That's my affair, not yours.

CARRAC.

What! You refuse to answer? [_Coming close to_ PAUL.] Do you know who
I am?

PAUL.

[_With quiet, increasing intensity, before which_ CARRAC _is utterly
cowed_.]

Yes,--Carrac--an anarchist--a fiend--in the name of liberty invoking
the tyranny of terror! An assassin--shouting fraternity and committing
fratricide! A libertine--claiming equality with the good, while
ravishing the pure! A monster--part vulture, part toad--who, in the
holy name of progress, makes our Country and our Cause revolting to
the world!

BOURDOTTE.

Ha! See! Carrac recoils! He's found his match at last!--

[MOB _laugh and jeer_.

SCARLOTTE.

[_Appearing_.]

Room there!--Room for General Kleber.

MOB.

[_Falling back on both sides_.]

Kleber!--Kleber!--Long live Kleber!

KLEBER.

[_Entering with three_ OFFICERS.]

I am told there is mutiny--treason here. Who and where are the
accused?

CARRAC.

[_Pointing at_ PAUL.]

There stands the worst of them!

KLEBER.

[_Astounded_]

Captain Kauvar!--Of what is he accused?

CARRAC.

Treachery to France! He has worn the colours of the Royal Cause.

GOUJON.

We arrested him as Rochejacquelein.

CARRAC.

Whom he has aided to escape.

KLEBER.

A terrible charge! The punishment is instant death.--Captain Kauvar,
what have you to say?

PAUL.

But little.--I led last night the band of men who mined the Faubourg
and cleared the road for our army to advance.

KLEBER.

A desperate undertaking, crowned with great success!--We gave you all
up as dead.

PAUL.

We should have been, but for the clemency of Rochejacquelein. He
spared my men, and put me on parole. He could have shot us all, but by
letting him escape I saved the band of patriots to whom our army owes
its victory to-day.

[_All cheer_.

KLEBER.

Captain Kauvar, you did right!

[_The_ MOB _cheer_.

CARRAC.

Citizens, the watchword sent from Robespierre to Vendee was this:
"Death without mercy to the Aristocrats."

[_Pointing at the_ DUKE.]

Here is one, at least; I claim him for the guillotine.

MOB.

Aye--to the guillotine! To the guillotine!

KLEBER.

[_As the_ MOB _rush on the_ DUKE.]

Halt!

[_The_ MOB _fall back_.]

Citizens, I bring you glorious news! These despatches have just
reached me on the field. They come from the National Convention at the
Capitol of France. Listen!

[_Reads_.]

"The tyrant Robespierre has been guillotined. The reign of terror is
at an end. Proclaim amnesty, mercy, and fraternity to all Frenchmen in
Vendee."

[_All cheer_.

CARRAC.

Robespierre dead! What will the people do without the guillotine?

PAUL.

Drive anarchists and Carracs out of France!

BOURDOTTE.

Aye! Away with him! Away with him!

[_Rushing on_ CARRAC, _the_ MOB _nearly tear him to pieces as they
bear him away_.

SCARLOTTE.

[_Fighting the_ MOB.]

Ingrates--traitors--dogs--ye shall not harm him--back! back! back!

[_Exit, facing the_ MOB, _and trying to save_ CARRAC.

JEAN.

[_Bounding in from panel, speaks to_ PAUL.]

You see I have returned!

DUKE.

And the General?

JEAN.

Has escaped to England, [_Pointing to_ PAUL.] thanks to him.

KLEBER.

[_Taking a cross from his own breast, and advancing to_ PAUL.]

Captain Kauvar, you risked almost certain death to purchase victory
for France. In the name of the Republic, I decorate you for heroic
courage on the field!

[_He places the cross on_ PAUL'S _breast. All cheer_.

DUKE.

[_Extending his hand to_ PAUL.]

My son!--

[PAUL _clasps it_.

DIANE.

At last, thank God, dear France is free of tyrants.

PAUL.

Liberty is wed to Justice, and Anarchy is ended!

CURTAIN.

_End of the Play_.

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