(The front stalls of a theatre. It is a first night - a lot of
people in dinner jackets etc. About three rows back there is a spare
seat. A general rustle of programs, chocolates and theatrical
murmurs. Suddenly a Sioux Indian enters, clad only in loin cloth,
wearing war paint and with a single strip of hair in the middle of
his head and feather. He carries a bow and a quiver of arrows. He
settles into the empty seat. The Man next to him shifts uneasily and
looks straight ahead. The Indian looks his neighbor up and down a
couple of times.)
Indian: (always speaking with full gestures) Me
heap want see play. Me want play start heap soon.
(Man next to him nods.)
Man: Yes well. I think it .., begins in a minute.
Indian: Me heap big fan Cicely Courtneidge.
Man: (highly embarrassed) Yes ... she's very good.
Indian: She fine actress ... she make interpretation heap
subtle ... she heap good diction and timing ... she make part really
live for Indian brave.
Man: Yes ... yes ... she's marvelous...
Indian: My father - Chief Running Stag - leader of mighty
Redfoot tribe - him heap keen on Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray.
Man: (unwillingly drawn in) Do you go to the
theatre a lot?
Indian: When moon high over prairie ... when wolf howl
over mountain, when mighty wind roar through Yellow Valley, we go
Leatherhead Rep - block booking, upper circle - whole tribe get it
on 3/6d each.
Man: That's very good.
Indian: Stage Manager, Stan Wilson, heap good friend
Redfoot tribe. After show we go pow-wow speakum with director, Sandy
Camp, in snug bar of Bell and Compasses. Him mighty fine director.
Him heap famous.
Man: Oh - I don't know him myself.
Indian: Him say Leatherhead Rep like do play with Redfoot
Man: Oh that's good...
Indian: We do 'Dial M for Murder'. Chief Running Elk - him
kill buffalo with bare hands, run thousand paces when the sun is
high - him play Chief Inspector Hardy - heap good fine actor.
Man: You do a lot of acting do you?
Indian: Yes. Redfoot tribe live by acting and hunting.
Man: You don't fight any more?
Indian: Yes! Redfoot make war! When Chief Yellow Snake was
leader, and Mighty Eagle was in land of forefather, we fight Pawnee
at Oxbow Crossing. When Pawnee steal our rehearsal copies of
'Reluctant Debutante' we kill fifty Pawnee - houses heap full every
night. Heap good publicity.
(The lights start to dim. Auditorium chatter subsides.)
Man: (visibly relieved) I think he's about to start
now, thank God for that.
(They both look towards stage. The overture starts.)
Indian: (leaning across) Paleface like eat
chocolate? (proffers box)
Man: No, thank you very much.
Indian: (helping himself) Hmmm - crunchy frog -
(Cut to stage, house manager walks out in front of tabs. He is
a very nice young man)
House Manager: Ladies and gentlemen. Before the play
starts, I would like to apologize to you all, but unfortunately Miss
Cicely Courtneidge is unable to appear, owing to...
(He is suddenly struck in the chest by first one arrow and
then another. He crumbles to the ground revealing half a dozen in
his back. The air is filled with war-whoops and drum beats and