Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Lights Out
Show: Profits Unlimited
Date: Jul 20 1943

This script was originally done a couple of times on "Arch Oboler's Plays" in 1939 (once as "Efficiency Island" and later repeated as "Profits Unlimited"). In '43, Oboler used it for "Lights Out." So this is a transcript of the surviving LO version, but with some missing lines from the 1939 version in italics.

SOUND:

(ROWING ... LAPPING OF WATER AGAINST SIDES OF BOAT ... CONTINUES IN BG)

DALE:

It--it just doesn't make sense.

WILLIAMS:

Don't it, miss?

DALE:

But--why must you row me there?

WILLIAMS:

I told you, miss--no boat can get past the reef.

DALE:

But surely my grandfather can afford a power boat.

WILLIAMS:

Last one sank five years ago.

DALE:

Then why doesn't he--? Oh, what's the use of asking any more questions? I've asked and I've asked and every answer just gets me more mixed up than I was before.

WILLIAMS:

It's all very simple, miss.

DALE:

Simple?

WILLIAMS:

All just a question of money.

DALE:

What do you mean--money?

WILLIAMS:

Ten generations the Cordays have lived and died on the island and it's all just a matter of money.

DALE:

But my father--

WILLIAMS:

Yes, yes, all but your father. He was the one they called the fool.

DALE:

(COLDLY) Mr. Williams, I don't think you've any right--

WILLIAMS:

It isn't a matter of right or wrong, miss. It's what THEY said.

DALE:

(IMPATIENT) How much farther is there to go? I can't see--

WILLIAMS:

Yes. Mist is always heavy this time of mornin'. We'll be there soon enough. Aye, all a matter of money.

DALE:

(ANNOYED) Oh, why don't you talk words that mean something? You're like my father was. We could talk perfectly sanely about anything in the world, but the moment I spoke about the island and my ancestors, then there wasn't any clarity or logic any more. Why don't YOU tell me what it's all about?

WILLIAMS:

There's nothing to tell you that you won't know when we get there.

DALE:

(SIGHS) But tell me something!

WILLIAMS:

The sun's rising... The mist'll lift....

DALE:

Look, Mr. Williams, for fifteen years, ever since I've been old enough to know what it's all about, I've been trying to get some information about my family. All I know is that for generations the Cordays have lived on this island. While my father was alive, I could never come here. But now he's dead. And I'm here, and I've got to know something about them--anything! Yes, so that when I meet my grandfather I'll know a little of what it's all about! Please! Tell me!

WILLIAMS:

It's all a matter of--

DALE:

(SHARPLY) Don't say that again! Tell me something that means something to me. Rowing in the middle of nowhere--I tell you, I--

WILLIAMS:

Wait, miss.

SOUND:

(ROWING STOPS ... LAPPING WATER CONTINUES IN BG)

DALE:

Wait? What--?

WILLIAMS:

Ahead. If you'll just look ahead of you.

DALE:

(PAUSE) Land!

WILLIAMS:

Island always comes sudden-like out of the water.

DALE:

(IN AWE) So many trees.

WILLIAMS:

They're always green.

DALE:

(CONFUSED) You're not rowing and yet we move.

WILLIAMS:

There's always a current.

DALE:

(DEEPLY FELT) I--I've waited so long to get here.

WILLIAMS:

(MATCHES HER) Aye.

DALE:

We're moving so swiftly. Wha ... Why, there's a landing pier!

WILLIAMS:

Aye. Hold on. We'll bump.

SOUND:

(ROWBOAT GRATES AGAINST SIDE OF PIER)

WILLIAMS:

Now, I'll hold it--if you'll jump.

DALE:

All right!

SOUND:

(THUD OF HER FEET ON PIER, SLIGHTLY OFF)

WILLIAMS:

You - you'll stand there, please? (GRUNTS WITH EFFORT) Wait for me.

DALE:

(OFF) Yes.

SOUND:

(THUD OF WILLIAMS' FEET ON PIER)

DALE:

(PAUSE, NERVOUS) No one here. My--my grandfather--where is he?

WILLIAMS:

Are ye afraid already?

DALE:

Afraid? Well, why should I--? Of course I'm not! But they knew I was coming here. My grandfather--why isn't he--?

WILLIAMS:

(INTERRUPTS) Through the trees--look!

DALE:

(SHARP INTAKE OF BREATH)

WILLIAMS:

You want clear answers. There's one of them.

DALE:

(SLOWLY, IN DISBELIEF) Chimneys ... Smoke ... Factories? Yes, they ARE factories, aren't they?

WILLIAMS:

Aye.

DALE:

But factories--here?

WILLIAMS:

They've stood there for ten generations.

DALE:

But on an island in the middle of--? Why here?

WILLIAMS:

It's all a matter of money.

DALE:

(INSISTENT) What? Tell me!

WILLIAMS:

Three hundred and thirty years ago, Pierre Corday came to this island and built them up.

DALE:

But--but why here?

WILLIAMS:

I'm telling you--I've been telling you all along--a matter of money. You know what money is. Well, it's been the day and the night and the sun and the moon of your family for as long as there's been one of ye! Money--aye--and here was the makin' of it! And the horror of it!

DALE:

But why--?

WILLIAMS:

Let me tell you--you wanted to know--let me tell you quick! His profits weren't big enough, Pierre Corday thought to himself, and the trouble was with the men in the factories, he decided. They wanted too much. Oh, yes, shorter hours, more money, and this and that. Oh, it was the men at the machines who were to blame! If he could get men who'd never want, but only work ... Yes, then he got an idea. If he could find a place where only he'd be the boss, where there'd be no organizers and investigators and boards of arbitration, then he'd tell the men what to do and they'd do it, and up with the profits and out with the headaches! And an island, aye, a private island, that was the answer.

DALE:

And this was it.

WILLIAMS:

Aye, it. Beyond the jurisdiction of any man but one of the name of Corday. So here he moved his factories, machine after machine and, when everything was set up, he sent out to the places where men walked the streets lookin' for work and he said, "Listen to me, you single ones. You're hungry, so listen to me. I've a place where there's work for ye--easy work--work at the machines. Ye sit all day and you don't have to think, the machines think for ye. Just sit all day and do the same thing over and over and over. I'll pay ye well and I'll pay ye regular--aye, a life job if you'll do what I say all your lives.

DALE:

And - and men came here?

WILLIAMS:

Aye. Why not? There was plenty in those days tired of worrying about bread, and a place to sleep, so they said to themselves, the devil with the city, we'll go where he says as long as there's food and there's drink. So here they came. Five hundred picked ones, all set for life jobs in the factories of Pierre Corday. Came here three hundred thirty years ago.

DALE:

My grandfather! Take me to him!

WILLIAMS:

(GOING RIGHT ON)....and the things the machines was makin' were shipped all over the world, and the profits began comin' in fast, because now the machines were workin' at a price that was right for Pierre Corday. But the workers had life jobs, so for a while it was all right and at first everybody in the world was talkin' about the factory on the island. But the months and the years went by, and the world forgot, but the machines kept on turnin' and the money kept on comin' in!

DALE:

But why is there smoke coming out of the factories now?

WILLIAMS:

(RAMBLING ON) Five hundred of 'em. And they sat down at the machines and started workin' and Pierre Corday bought women for them to mate with, and my kin was with them, and the machines started turnin'--

DALE:

But the factories--they're still working. Why?

WILLIAMS:

Listen--you wanted me to tell you--so listen! Listen to the rest! Three hundred thirty years ago, and each had his own bit of work at the machines: one to press a lever here, and the other to turn a screw here. Same work hour after hour, day after day. And the months went by and the profits kept on comin' in, but some of 'em began to get tired of it, tired of the machines. Fools they were from the start--Pierre Corday picked 'em that way. Still, they got tired. They wanted to get back to the changin' life of the rest of the world! Give us hunger, they said, but give us change! (BEAT) They said that, aye, but they didn't get what they wanted.

DALE:

Then why didn't they go away?

WILLIAMS:

Where? To drown in the sea? Some did.

DALE:

But--my great-great-whatever he was! Why didn't they go to him?

WILLIAMS:

Some did! The answer was work or starve!

DALE:

Then why didn't they rebel?

WILLIAMS:

Aye, and some did that. And died for the tryin'.

DALE:

Died?

WILLIAMS:

Aye. Money can always buy men who will kill. (DALE GASPS) They say that of the five hundred men who came here, at the end of two years, half of 'em had fattened the sharks in the harbor.

DALE:

It isn't possible.

WILLIAMS:

(QUICKLY) Aye, it all isn't possible--an island in the middle of nowhere with spinnin' machines and men at 'em--none of it's possible. (BEAT, SLOWLY) But here it is. Three hundred and thirty years old and still the same as it was.

DALE:

Tell me. You mean in those factories are--?

SOUND:

(BLAST OF FACTORY WHISTLE, FAR OFF)

DALE:

What--? What--?

WILLIAMS:

Watch.

SOUND:

(FADE IN, VERY SLOWLY, THE SLUFF-SLUFF OF MANY FEET AS THE WORKERS LEAVE THE FACTORY. IT IS A REGIMENTED MOVEMENT OF FEET, AS IF THEY ARE MARCHING OUT IN LINES -- NOT THE SHARP, DECISIVE SOUND OF SOLDIERS' FEET BUT THE SLOW MARCH OF DEFEATED PEOPLE ... CONTINUES IN BG)

DALE:

People ... marching ... Who - who are they?

WILLIAMS:

Tenth generation of them Pierre Corday brought and kept here.

DALE:

(UNBELIEVING) The way they walk--heads down--arms hanging--men like-- (SUDDENLY) My grandfather! Take me to him!

WILLIAMS:

(FLATLY) Take you to him.

DALE:

Yes! Take me to my grandfather!

WILLIAMS:

Your grandfather's dead.

DALE:

Dead?

WILLIAMS:

(POINTEDLY) The island and THEY - belong to YOU!

SOUND:

(GONG ... PUNCTUATES THE SCENE ... SOUND OF A DESOLATE, BITTER WIND FADES IN AND CONTINUES TO BLOW IN BG)

WILLIAMS:

(AFTER A PAUSE) Believe?

DALE:

(BREATHES HARD, DEEPLY MOVED) His grave is so - so new.

WILLIAMS:

Two weeks. I buried him myself.

DALE:

Did he send for me before he--?

WILLIAMS:

(INTERRUPTS) No. 'Twas me.

DALE:

You?

WILLIAMS:

Me. I knew that you were the last one of 'em left and I wanted you here.

DALE:

But--but why?

WILLIAMS:

I said it, didn't I? You're the last Corday. Three hundred and thirty years and you're the last.

SOUND:

(FACTORY WHISTLE, FAR OFF)

DALE:

Why is the factory working so late?

WILLIAMS:

That's the second shift. There're two a day.

DALE:

All night?

WILLIAMS:

Aye.

DALE:

But why?

WILLIAMS:

It's been that way for three hundred thirty years.

DALE:

It's not true! None of it!

WILLIAMS:

No?

DALE:

(WALKS OFF) I won't listen to you any more!

WILLIAMS:

Wait! (HURRIES AFTER HER, BREATHING HARD) Wait! Where are you goin', girl?

DALE:

Down there!

WILLIAMS:

But you can't go there now!

DALE:

I'm going to the factory--talk to them! Find out the truth.

WILLIAMS:

No, they won't like it!

DALE:

What are you talking about?

WILLIAMS:

They don't like to be disturbed when they're workin'! They've been trained to keep workin'--the rhythm o' production your grandfather called it! They don't like to be stopped!

DALE:

But I don't believe you! I'm going to find out for myself!

WILLIAMS:

All right! All right! Find out for yourself! I want ye to do that! Aye! Aye! Talk to them! Talk to them! Talk to them! Talk to them ...(FADES)

SOUND:

(AFTER A PAUSE, FADE IN RUMBLE OF MACHINERY ... CONTINUES IN BG)

DALE:

(ALMOST DAZEDLY) Row on row of men--and women ... And children....

WILLIAMS:

Aye, why not the children? The more hands--the more production. That was the law of the Cordays, the law of the island.

DALE:

Their faces--empty.

WILLIAMS:

Machines do the thinkin'.

DALE:

But they sit so quietly--not talking--none of them. Williams, why is this? Crouching over their tools like - like animals? Are they always like this?

WILLIAMS:

When the whistle blows, they eat. When it blows again, they march back to the barracks behind the factory.

DALE:

Barracks?

WILLIAMS:

Aye, barracks--kennels--name it what you want, that's where they live. Live until after twelve hours the whistle calls them back to work.

DALE:

But the children--?

WILLIAMS:

I told you the children do like the rest! They work as soon as they can walk. That's been the law of the Cordays for over three hundred years without change. It's the only law they know. (BEAT) Look at this worker, Miss Corday. Look at him, I tell ye.

SOUND:

(HAMMER TAPS ON ORE: CLINK-CLINK, CLINK-CLINK, CLINK-CLINK)

DALE:

What is he making?

WILLIAMS:

Look at his face. Lovely thing, ain't it? And his blood is the same as their blood--mixed together all through the factory. Look at them, Miss Corday. Yours! Yours, I tell ye! Yours--all yours--to sit here at the machines until the flesh rots from their bones and they drop in their places. Ye inherit 'em--a thousand of 'em! (PAUSE, POINTEDLY) Ain't ye proud of your inheritance?

DALE:

What is he making?

WILLIAMS:

What does it matter what they're makin'? The things they're makin' ain't been shipped from this island in a hundred years.

DALE:

What?

WILLIAMS:

Aye, for a hundred years they've been at the machines, but it's like a dog chasin' his tail, without beginnin' and end! What comes out of the last machine is brought back to the first machine and broken up and started all over again. Nobody wants what they're makin' and nobody gets what they're makin'. And as far as the thousand of 'em are concerned, all that matters in life is that what's been trained in the blood and the nerves of 'em, they can do over and over and over! I ask ye again, Miss Corday--ain't ye proud of your inheritance?

DALE:

Why don't they stop?

WILLIAMS:

Stop? Stop? How can you stop a rhythm that's been in the blood for ten generations?

DALE:

(DISTRESSED) Why don't they talk?

WILLIAMS:

Ah! You're scared now, Miss Corday.

DALE:

They'll talk to me! Of course they will! This one. This one. This one. This one. (FADES)

SOUND:

(MACHINERY UP ... FOR A TRANSITION, CONTINUES IN BG)

DALE:

(OVER THE NOISE) You--uh--I beg your pardon. Would you stop work a moment and talk to me? (NO ANSWER) I said, would you stop work a moment and talk to me?! (MORE QUIETLY) Williams, doesn't he hear me?

WILLIAMS:

He hears ye.

DALE:

Then why doesn't he even turn his head?

WILLIAMS:

Not him, not any of 'em.

DALE:

I don't believe you! This woman--she'll-- (UP, STARTS TO PANIC) Lady? Would you please stop work and talk to me?

WILLIAMS:

Scared to look at 'em.

DALE:

Lady, talk to me! I'm Dale Corday!

WILLIAMS:

Aye, scared, all right.

DALE:

I insist that you talk to me! (TO HERSELF, DAZEDLY) Doesn't answer.

WILLIAMS:

I told you. Not while they work. Oh, your family bred 'em right!

DALE:

Bred?

WILLIAMS:

Yes, yes, like you breed dogs the way you want 'em! Pierre Corday's idea, too, and it worked. Yes, look at'em and see how it worked! See that one! Long fingers for delicate work! (FADE) And this one! (IN FULL) Hands of him tough enough to reach right into the forge! Yes, for three hundred and thirty years, bred to sit and work and no nonsense. Never to talk up for their rights, just sit and work the way they're told. Ye stand there lookin' at me--ye don't believe me, do you? Well, try to get 'em to stop work, try to get 'em to say somethin' to ye, try to get 'em to act like human bein's. Well, they're not human bein's--they're workers! Yes, workers for the family of Corday. (MEANINGFUL PAUSE) And what are ye goin' to do about it?

SOUND:

(GONG ... PUNCTUATES SCENE ... BITTER WIND BLOWS ... IN BG)

DALE:

(WARM, REASSURING) Don't be afraid of me.

JO:

(LIGHT, YOUNG VOICE BUT HALTING FROM DISUSE) Who? You?

DALE:

I'm Dale Corday.

JO:

(SLOWLY) Cor--day... (NERVOUS) Boss!

DALE:

Please don't tremble. I--what's your name?

JO:

Josa.

DALE:

Josa what?

JO:

Josa.

DALE:

Do you--uh--like it here?

JO:

(AS IF GROPING FOR AN IDEA) Li--? Like? (QUICKLY, BY ROTE) Like work here. No complaints. Like work here. No complaints. Like--

DALE:

No, no, stop! (BEAT) They taught you that very well, didn't they?

JO:

(MURMURS SOFTLY TO HERSELF, LIKE A NURSERY RHYME) Like work here. No complaints.

DALE:

Wouldn't you like to leave this place? Sail away across the sea?

JO:

(NERVOUS) Like work here. No complaints.

DALE:

Don't keep saying that! You don't understand what you say, do you? Look at me--lift your face. Wouldn't you like to leave the factory and do what you please?

JO:

(SLOW, UNCERTAIN) Like--work--here--

DALE:

You've got to understand. You've got to talk to me. Why--why, you're the only one I see that has anything in her face. Oh, Josa, look at me. No, don't hang your head--look at me. I'm your friend. I want to know about you. Don't be afraid. Talk to me. That pretty flower in your hair--what is it? (NO ANSWER) The flower--what's it called? What's its name?

JO:

Jo--forget ...

DALE:

It's very pretty. What do you do in the factory, Josa? What is your work?

JO:

(QUICKLY) Like work here. No complaints.

DALE:

Yes. Would you like to take a walk with me?

JO:

Walk?

DALE:

Yes, through the valley and show me the flowers.

JO:

(INCREASINGLY NERVOUS) No. No walk.

DALE:

Why not?

JO:

Whistle blow soon. Work begin.

DALE:

You don't have to work if you don't want to. Come on.

JO:

No. Whistle blow soon.

DALE:

But I tell you, it's all right. You don't have to go.

JO:

No, I go!

DALE:

But I want you to stay here. You will stay here!

SOUND:

(WHISTLE BLOWS, NOT FAR AWAY ... MARCHING FEET ... IN BG)

JO:

(INCREASINGLY WILD) No! No, let Jo go! Must work! Whistle! Whistle blow!

DALE:

(THROUGH ABOVE) You'll stay here and talk to me! You'll stay! I'm only trying to help--

JO:

(STRUGGLES WILDLY) Let Jo go! Whistle blow! Late! Let go! (BITES DALE)

DALE:

(CRIES OUT IN PAIN)

JO:

(RUNS OFF) Jo late! Jo late! Jos late! (FADES)

DALE:

(TAKES A DEEP SHUDDERING SIGH)

WILLIAMS:

Well, now you'll believe. I told you what would happen.

DALE:

(SHUDDERS) She--she bit me! Like an animal!

WILLIAMS:

When the whistle blows they go to work. That's the law. It's in their blood.

DALE:

In their blood, in their blood, in their blood! I've had enough of that talk!

WILLIAMS:

And what are ye goin' to do about it?

DALE:

Close the factories!

WILLIAMS:

What?!

DALE:

Yes, close them, lock them, shut them out!

WILLIAMS:

(FLATLY) You think you can do that?

DALE:

You'll do it for me!

WILLIAMS:

Will I?

DALE:

Tonight! Between shifts! Lock and bolt the doors! You say the rhythm of the factory's in their blood--all right, I'll stop it! You hear me, Williams--you'll close the factory tonight!

SOUND:

(GONG ... PUNCTUATES THE SCENE ... BITTER WIND BLOWS ... IN BG)

WILLIAMS:

(FADES IN, BREATHING HARD)

DALE:

Well?

WILLIAMS:

Well? Well? It's - it's done.

DALE:

Good. Tomorrow you'll start me back to the mainland. I'll make arrangements to get those people off of here.

WILLIAMS:

(FLATLY) Will you now?

DALE:

You're breathing so heavily.

WILLIAMS:

Soon as I locked the doors I ran back all the way.

DALE:

Why?

WILLIAMS:

I wanted to see your face.

DALE:

What?

WILLIAMS:

I wanted to see your face after the whistle blows.

DALE:

Whistle?

WILLIAMS:

Aye, it'll blow just as always.

DALE:

But I told you that--

WILLIAMS:

And I did! I locked the factory--shut the big doors and threw the bolts, but the whistle's at the power house and some of them are always there. Aye, the whistle'll blow and they'll march to work.

DALE:

But they won't get in!

SOUND:

(WHISTLE BLOWS, OFF)

WILLIAMS:

Aye, here they come!

SOUND:

(FADE IN MARCHING FEET AS BEFORE)

DALE:

You'll start me to the mainland very early tomorrow, Williams.

WILLIAMS:

It's a long way.

DALE:

I know it! I know it! But it's got to be done.

WILLIAMS:

Too long a way.

DALE:

You've a sail. Tonight I'm putting an end to their marching--tomorrow I'll--

SOUND:

(SLOW STEADY BATTERING OF FACTORY DOOR, OFF)

DALE:

(AFTER A PAUSE) What's that? Williams, don't you hear it?

WILLIAMS:

Aye, I hear it.

DALE:

It's from the factory!

WILLIAMS:

Aye.

DALE:

As if they were-- As if they were breaking down the door.

WILLIAMS:

Aye.

DALE:

Yes, that's what they're doing! Williams, don't stand there! Go! Stop them! Tell them the factory's closed forever! Tell them it's ended!

SOUND:

(CRASH OF DOOR BROKEN THROUGH, FOLLOWED BY EXULTANT ROAR OF MOB AS THEY FLOODING INTO FACTORY)

WILLIAMS:

Go tell them yourself. They've broken in. Gone back to work.

SOUND:

(GONG ... PUNCTUATES THE SCENE ... RUMBLE OF MACHINERY ... IN BG)

DALE:

(AN IMPASSIONED SPEECH, OVER THE NOISE) People! People, stop working and listen to me! Stop working, I tell you! I've got to talk to you! I've got to tell you important things! A little while ago you broke down the door, but that was because you didn't understand what I was trying to do! And now I want to tell you, so listen to me! My name is Corday and this factory and--and island and everything on it--is my inheritance! And I want to close this factory because I want to help you, help you to begin to live like human beings! Believe me, sitting at a machine for twelve hours a day doing something that means nothing to you, that isn't all there is to life! Living means using the machines just long enough each day to give you what you need, and the rest of the time should be yours for the things of life! Books to be read full of new excitements and understanding, and wonderful music to be played and listened to, and the enjoyment of your homes and conversation and friendship and-- travel to the world that's outside this island! Oh, so many things for you to learn and so much life to be lived! I want to give you the time for that life! And why not? There aren't any chains holding you to these machines--you can be free of them now, yes, now, and then you and I--we can work out a new way of life! Oh, you're not listening to me! None of you! People, listen! Why won't you turn away from your machines?! Why won't you stop 'em?! I want to help you! Listen to me! Please! (SAVAGELY) Just listen to me! Listen to me! (SHUDDERS)

SOUND:

(THE MACHINES FALL SILENT)

DALE:

(VOICE ECHOING IN THE SILENCE) All right, then, you'll listen to this! I'm going to burn the factory down! Do you hear me? If that's the only way to stop you, I'm going to burn it down! (SAVAGELY) Burn it! Burn it! Burn it! Burn it! Burn it! Burn it! (FADES)

SOUND:

(AFTER A PAUSE, FADE IN WIND AND WATER)

WILLIAMS:

It's a good sea this mornin' for sailin'.

DALE:

(QUIET, DEFEATED) Have you everything aboard?

WILLIAMS:

Aye, supplies enough to get the boat there and back twice over.

DALE:

Water?

WILLIAMS:

Aye.

DALE:

If there were only some way to communicate to the mainland without going there.

WILLIAMS:

There's none.

DALE:

What time is it?

WILLIAMS:

Almost seven.

DALE:

And we go when the tide changes?

WILLIAMS:

Aye. (PAUSE, AS WIND BLOWS IN BG) Wind's freshenin'...

SOUND:

(FADE IN SOFT MURMUR OF VOICES ... AS IF CARRIED ON THE WIND)

DALE:

Listen! Listen in the wind. Do you hear it?

WILLIAMS:

I hear.

DALE:

What?

WILLIAMS:

What do you think? It's them.

DALE:

For two days--never even going home.

WILLIAMS:

They heard you say you'd burn it and they're afraid.

DALE:

(BITTERLY) Afraid I'd burn their cage and so they stay there watching, watching. One shift works and the other watches.

WILLIAMS:

That's how it is. But not their cage alone, Miss Corday.

DALE:

What do you mean?

WILLIAMS:

I mean--it's yours.

DALE:

What?

WILLIAMS:

One boat on the island--this--and, in a couple minutes more, it won't be here.

DALE:

What are you talking about? You and I are going--

WILLIAMS:

That's where you haven't got it straight, Miss Corday. Going, yes, but only me.

DALE:

I've wanted to ask you this for days now--why are you always trying to frighten me?

WILLIAMS:

Now I've done it, eh?

DALE:

(UNCOMFORTABLE) The tide's turning--we'd better go.

WILLIAMS:

Yes, I've scared you now, haven't I? Well, say it, say it! Ah, you don't have to--it's in your eyes! Just the thought of bein' left here with them year after year--nothin' but them--aye, it's enough to turn the insides of you white, ain't it? Why do you think I sent for ye? I'll tell ye, and I'll tell ye quick, and then I'm off to sea. I sent for ye because I'm a man born different from all the rest that were here. There were three kinds--workers, servants, and you Cordays! Well, servant I was, but in the borning of me a piece of hate got in my heart and it kept growing through the years of me and it's more than I am! A hate for a name and the sound of the name and those that have it--Corday!
Well, you're the last of 'em and here you'll stay with the sound of 'em and the sound of the factory grindin' in your ears until you're old as I am and the hate for Pierre Corday and the rest of his kind is as old as mine is! The Cordays made their god profits and even when they didn't need the profits, they couldn't stop what they started! Well, you're one of 'em and I said before, and I say it again-- (SLOWLY) This is your inheritance: an island - and a factory - and a thousand perfect workmen who'll never want anything for themselves except the bit of food they grow--who'll sit at your machines until they rot and die. A perfect inheritance for a Corday. I leave it all for you. (STARTS TO FLOAT AWAY) Until you rot and die. (FADES)

DALE:

(DESPERATE) Williams! Williams, come back! You don't understand! These people--I want to--Williams! (BREAKS DOWN AND WEEPS SOFTLY)

JO:

(TIMIDLY) You - cry - ?

DALE:

(GASPS, STARTLED)

JO:

Me - Jo.

DALE:

(RELIEVED TO SEE HER) Jo!

JO:

Me - bad.

DALE:

Bad? What do you--?

JO:

Whistle blow. Me no work.

DALE:

Why?

JO:

Me want - show you - flower.

DALE:

(DEEPLY MOVED, TAKES HER CLOSE) Oh, my dear.

JO:

You - cry ...

DALE:

No. No, I'm not crying. There isn't time. I've so much to tell you. You, first, and then the others. One by one.

JO:

(AFTER A PAUSE) You - talk.

DALE:

First, I want to tell you of freedom. Say it--freedom.

JO:

(WITH DIFFICULTY) Fr-- Free--dom.

DALE:

Three hundred years ago my people and your people gave it up. My people wanted profits, but they lost their freedom to the machinery they set up to give them those profits. Your people wanted the security of a - bare existence and so, too, gave up their rights as men to the machinery of profit. But now we've got to win that freedom back again for all of us.

JO:

Free--dom.

SOUND:

(FACTORY WHISTLE BLOWS ... MARCHING FEET)

DALE:

Come--we'll go to them. I've - I've so much to try and tell them. Things that I understand now. That freedom is the essence of the good life for all men, and that security without freedom is a sham which turns men into regiments of less than men. I've so much to tell them. So much to tell them. (FADES)

SOUND:

(CROSS-FADE MARCHING FEET ... THEN GONG ... FOR A FINISH)