SCENE: A small cottage interior. There is an entrance back right (which
may be curtained). Another door to the left must be a practical door. The
furniture is simple, consisting of a small table towards the left, a chair or
two, and a divan rather upstage on the right. On the table is a telephone.
(When the curtain rises Gerrard is standing by the table making a phone
call. He is of medium height, and wearing horn-rimmed glasses . . . He
is dressed in a lounge suit and a great coat. His voice is cultured.)
GERRARD : ... Well, tell him to phone up directly. I must know .. .
Yes, I expect I'll still be here, but you mustn't count on
that ... In about ten minutes' time. Right-ho. Goodbye.
(He puts down the phone and goes to the divan on the left, where there
is a travelling bag, and starts packing. Whilst he is thus engaged, another
man, similar in build to Gerrard enters from the right silently - revolver
in hand. He is flashily dressed in an overcoat and a soft hat. He bumps
accidentally against the table, and at the sound Gerrard turns quickly.)
GERRARD : (pleasantly) Why, this is a surprise, Mr-- er--
INTRUDER : I'm glad you're pleased to see me. I don't think you'll be
pleased for long. Put those paws up!
GERRARD : This is all very melodramatic, not very original, perhaps,
INTRUDER : Trying to be calm and -- er --
GERRARD : ‘Nonchalant' is your word, I think.
INTRUDER : Thanks a lot. You'll soon stop being smart.
GERRARD : Anything you like. I know all the answers. But before we
begin I should like to change my position; you may be
comfortable, but I am not.
INTRUDER : Sit down there, and no funny business. (Motions to a
chair, and seats himself on the divan by the bag.) Now
then, we'll have a nice little talk about yourself!
GERRARD : At last a sympathetic audience! I'll tell you the story of
my life. How as a child I was stolen by the gypsies, and
why at the age of thirty-two, I find myself in my lonely
Essex cottage, how ...
INTRUDER : Keep it to yourself, and just answer my questions. You
live here alone? Well, do you?
GERRARD : I'm sorry. I thought you were telling me, not asking me.
A question of inflection; your voice is unfamiliar.
INTRUDER : (with emphasis) Do you live here alone?
GERRARD : And if I don't answer?
INTRUDER : You've got enough sense not to want to get hurt.
GERRARD : I think good sense is shown more in the ability to avoid
pain than in the mere desire to do so. What do you think,
INTRUDER : Never mind my name. I like yours better, Mr Gerrard.
What are your Christian names?
GERRARD : Vincent Charles.
INTRUDER : Do you run a car?
GERRARD : No.
INTRUDER : That's a lie. You're not dealing with a fool. I'm as smart
as you and smarter, and I know you run a car. Better be
careful, wise guy!
GERRARD : Are you American, or is that merely a clever imitation?
INTRUDER : Listen, this gun's no toy. I can hurt you without killing
you, and still get my answers.
GERRARD : Of course, if you put it like that, I'll be glad to assist you.
I do possess a car, and it's in the garage round the corner.
INTRUDER : That's better. Do people often come out here?
GERRARD : Very rarely. Surprisingly few people take the trouble to
visit me. There's the baker and the greengrocer, of course;
and then there's the milkman -- quite charming, but no
one so interesting as yourself.
INTRUDER : I happen to know that you never see tradespeople.
GERRARD : You seem to have taken a considerable amount of trouble.
Since you know so much about me, won't you say
something about yourself? You have been so modest.
INTRUDER : I could tell you plenty. You think you're smart, but I'm
the top of the class round here. I've got brains and I use
them. That's how I've got where I have.
GERRARD : And where precisely have you got? It didn't require a
great brain to break into my little cottage.
INTRUDER : When you know why I've broken into your little cottage,
you'll be surprised, and it won't be a pleasant surprise.
GERRARD : With you figuring so largely in it, that is understandable.
By the way, what particular line of crime do you embrace,
or aren't you a specialist?
INTRUDER : My speciality's jewel robbery. Your car will do me a treat.
It's certainly a dandy bus.
GERRARD : I'm afraid jewels are few and far between in the wilds of
INTRUDER : So are the cops. I can retire here nicely for a little while.
GERRARD : You mean to live with me? A trifle sudden isn't it; you've
not been invited.
INTRUDER : You won't be here long; so I didn't trouble to ask.
GERRARD : What do you mean?
INTRUDER : This is your big surprise. I'm going to kill you.
GERRARD : A little harsh, isn't it?
INTRUDER : (with heavy sarcasm) Yeah, I'll be sorry to do it. I've taken
a fancy to you, but it's just got to be done.
GERRARD : Why add murder to your other crimes? It's a grave step
INTRUDER : I'm not taking it for fun. I've been hunted long enough.
I'm wanted for murder already, and they can't hang me
GERRARD : You're planning a gratuitous double, so to speak. Admitted
you've nothing to lose, but what have you to gain?
INTRUDER : I've got freedom to gain. As for myself, I'm a poor hunted
rat. As Vincent Charles Gerrard I'm free to go places and
do nothing. I can eat well and sleep and without having
to be ready to beat it at the sight of a cop.
GERRARD : In most melodramas the villain is foolish enough to delay
his killing long enough to be frustrated. You are much
INTRUDER : I'm O.K. I've got a reason for everything. I'm going to be
Vincent Charles Gerrard, see. I've got to know what he
talks like. Now I know. That posh stuff comes easy. This
is Mr V.C. Gerrard speaking. (Pantomime of phoning, in
imitation cultured voice.) And that's not all. (He stands
up.) Get up a minute (Gerrard stands.) Now take a look at
GERRARD : You're not particularly decorative.
INTRUDER : No! Well, that goes for you, too. I've only got to wear
specs and I'll be enough like you to get away with it.
GERRARD : What about your clothes? They'll let you down if you're
INTRUDER : That'll be all right. Yours will fit me fine.
GERRARD : That is extremely interesting, but you seem to miss the
point of my remark. I said, you were luckier than most
melodramatic villains. It was not a tribute to your
intelligence. You won't kill me for a very good reason.
INTRUDER : So that's what you think.
GERRARD : You'll let me go, and thank God you didn't shoot sooner.
INTRUDER : Come on. What's on your mind! Better be quick. This
conversation bores me.
GERRARD : Your idea is to elude the police by killing me and taking
on my identity?
INTRUDER : Yes, I like the idea.
GERRARD : But are you sure it's going to help you?
INTRUDER : Now listen here. I've got this all planned. I did a job in
town. Things went wrong and I killed a cop. Since then
I've done nothing but dodge.
GERRARD : And this is where dodging has brought you?
INTRUDER : It brought me to Aylesbury. That's where I saw you in the
car. Two other people saw you and started to talk. I
listened. It looks like you're a bit queer -- kind of a mystery
GERRARD : A mystery which I propose to explain.
INTRUDER : (disregarding him) You phone your orders and sometimes
you go away suddenly and come back just the same.
Those are just the things I want to do. Hearing about you
was one of my luckiest breaks.
GERRARD : Apparently you haven't the intelligence to ask why I am
invested in this cloak of mystery.
INTRUDER : (preparing to shoot) As I said before, this conversation
GERRARD : Don't be a fool. If you shoot, you'll hang for sure. If not as
yourself, then as Vincent Charles Gerrard.
INTRUDER : What is this?
GERRARD : This is your big surprise. I said you wouldn't kill me and
I was right. Why do you think I am here today and gone
tomorrow, never see tradespeople? You say my habits
would suit you. You are a crook. Do you think I am a
The game's up as far as I'm concerned. Things went
wrong with me. I said it with bullets and got away.
Unfortunately they got one of my men, and found things
the fool should have burnt. Tonight I'm expecting trouble.
My bag's packed ready to clear off. There it is.
INTRUDER : It's a bag all right and this is a gun all right. What's all this?
GERRARD : That's a disguise outfit; false moustaches and what not. Now do you believe me?
INTRUDER : (musingly) I don't know.
GERRARD : For God's sake clear that muddled head of yours and let's go.
Come with me in the car. I can use you. If you find it's a frame, you've
got me in the car, and you've still got your gun.
INTRUDER : May be you're right.
GERRARD : Then don't waste time.
(Goes and picks up hat and bag.)
INTRUDER : Careful, boss, I'm watching you.
GERRARD : I have got a man posted on the main road. He'll
ring up if he sees the police, but I don't want to leave ... (telephone bell rings)
Come on! They're after us. Through here straight to the garage.
INTRUDER : How do I know that you are telling the truth?
GERRARD : Oh, don't be a fool. Look for yourself.
(Gerrard opens door and steps away. Intruder leans forward
to inspect it, with his side towards Gerrard, but with the
revolver ready. As he turns his head, Gerrard gives him a
push into the cupboard, knocking the revolver out of his
hand. He slams the door and locks it, picks up the revolver
and goes to the phone, where he stands with the gun pointed
at the cupboard door.)
INTRUDER : (rattles door and shouts) Let me out of here!
GERRARD : Hello. Yes, speaking. Sorry I can't let you have the props
in time for rehearsal, I've had a spot of bother -- quite
amusing. I think I'll put it in my next play. Listen, can
you tell our friend the Sergeant to come up here at once?
You'll probably find him in the Public Bar.
Constitution of India.
Part IV A (Article 51 A)
Fundamental Duties – It shall be the duty of every citizen of India --
(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag
and the National Anthem;
(b) to cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom;
(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India;
(d) to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so;
(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of
India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce
practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
(f) to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture;
(g) to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, wildlife
and to have compassion for living creatures;
(h) to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform;
(i) to safeguard public property and to abjure violence;
(j) to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that
the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement;
(k) who is a parent or guardian, to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as
the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.
Online Lessons with Spoken text and correct pronounciation