You're Here : Home English Plays 2 For the love of Freedom 2

For the love of Freedom 2

"That's it - they can not rule us from inside their tanks...

if we don't let them out -- if we just don't stop resisting!"

I came back to do what you and I have been doing

together, Oscar. I came back to help with the resistance...

OSCAR But there is no resistance now, Feri. You and I are the

resistance... The others were right, I am sure of that -

not you.

FERI I can't believe that. I had the right idea, not they.

We must resist! I am convinced of that.

OSCAR I know you are. I was too. The idea was good, but it

isn't working now. You made a huge mistake.... Most

people are not like you, Feri. You are an idealist, most

people are practical. Most people have given up

already... I am giving up...

Your own father has given up, Feri!

FERI Who? My father? I don't believe you. What do you mean?

OSCAR Your father has joined the Communist Party, Feri!

FERI What?

OSCAR Well, it has a new name, but everyone knows it's

the same party...

Kadar's party... the latest Soviet puppet regime's.

FERI Impossible. My father swore he would never join the

communists! He told me that himself. He said they

could not buy his integrity! I simply do not believe you.

Who told you?

OSCAR Believe it! My father was with him when he did it.

Your father said everybody wanted him to join.

The workers told him he must do it. They wanted him

to be the boss not some real communist bastard.

They knew what kind of a man he is. But that's

not what did it. He told my father your mother had

persuaded him.

FERI My mother?

OSCAR I can see her doing it... She had suffered enough,

too, watching him suffer injustice, you all

doing without during all those years for your

father's "principles"!... I can sure understand her

not wanting to start the same thing all over again

for the next decade... They are not young any more.

Besides, your mother is a wonderful person with

a very big heart... very religious... I think she can

forgive anyone!... Even the Communists!

FERI COLLAPSES ON A CHAIR, THEN SPRINGS

TO HIS FEET

FERI Well, I am not old, and I will not give up my freedom,

nor my integrity. My manifesto is the same as Petofi's.

HE HOLDS UP THE BOOK HE HAS BEEN

HOLDING IN HIS HAND AND RECITES DRAMATICALLY.

"Freedom and Love,

These two I'll heed...

OSCAR For my Love I'll sacrifice my Life,

And my Love for the Freedom I need."

That's poetry... Every Hungarian knows those lines

by heart, Feri. What's your point?

FERI I'll show you what my point is... Oscar, will you be my

witness and remember

the rest of your life what I am about to swear?

OSCAR All right, if that's what you want.

FERI I do, because what I am about to do is a very serious

and solemn thing to me, and I feel the need for a

ceremony... My father raised me to believe that a

man is only as good as his word - and I believed him.

I still do. And now I want to give my word of honor and

I want you to be my witness, and to bear witness to

my father. Will you do it, Oscar? Will you promise?

OSCAR I do solemnly promise.

FERI Then hold this book with me.

THEY HOLD THE BOOK OF PETOFI'S POETRY

BETWEEN THEM WITH BOTH HANDS. FERI RAISES

HIS RIGHT HAND.

I Hunyadi Ferenc do solemnly swear by the Love of

Freedom in this book, that I will never surrender my

integrity nor my personal freedom for as

long as I shall live, and I will never become a communist.

So help me God.

OSCAR SOLEMNLY So help you God.

FERI Will you tell this my father, Oscar?

OSCAR I promise. And I will remember this...

LOOKS AT HIS WATCH I must go now.

FERI What are you going to do?

OSCAR I will have to go back to my army unit... Our family

doctor is a family friend... He will give me a certificate

that I have been ill... Everyone in my unit is

back in the barracks now. I can't delay any longer!

I want to live, Feri! Maybe one day I can fight again...

I can't do that when I am dead. I don't want to

become another martyr. There are enough

martyrs already.

FERI I know... Walter and Erik will probably join them.

OSCAR IN DEAD EARNESTY You must leave the country, Feri.

Even if Walter and Eric won't tell, you won't be able to

blend in like I can... The AVO is after you

already. I am pretty sure of that.

A stranger was asking my mother about you by

name the other day. She was sure he was

an AVO agent.

FERI I have been expecting them. That's why I am hiding out

here. The borders are closed now, or haven't you heard?

OSCAR I know it's almost impossible to get to the border now,

but I would still try if I were you.

FERI I don't know... I have a lot to sort through before I

make up my mind. Up until now I have been thinking

only of the revolution, of our group's next

move. I had no time to think about myself.

OSCAR Be sure you think about it! Goodbye, my crazy,

wonderful friend! Goodbye!

I will deliver your message to your father;

you can count on that. And I will

never forget you.

HE HOLDS OUT HIS ARMS AND THEY EMBRACE.

OSCAR EXITS STAGE LEFT.

FERI PACES THOUGHTFULLY FOR A FEW SECONDS THEN PULLS OUT A GUN. UNLOADING ITS SINGLE BULLET HE EXAMINES IT CAREFULLY BEFORE RELOADING IT.

FERI It may have been smarter to have saved two bullets...

I only need one, it's true, and that only as an insurance

policy... I should have remembered that some

bullets do not fire. This one better work!

FERI TENSES AS HE NOTICES A LIGHT SCANNING HIS

WINDOW, THEN HURRIES TO STAND BEHIND THE DOOR AS

FOOTSTEPS ARE HEARD. A KNOCK IS HEARD. FERI RAISES

HIS GUN.

FERI Who is it?

KISH It's Miss Kish, Feri. May I come in?

FERI HIDES HIS GUN AND OPENS THE DOOR.

HE STEPS ASIDE WITH A WIDE GESTURE, GREETING

HER WITH A BIG SMILE

Of course, of course... This is your house, you know...

HE LOOKS AT HER WITH INTEREST

Did you bring some news?

KISH I saw your mother at the butcher's... He gives me the

creeps! He wants to know everything ... He noticed that

I have been buying more meat than usual and wanted to

know if I had visitors staying with us... He didn't hear

what we were saying but he saw me talking to your

mother and wanted to know what your mother

gave me...

FERI What did you say?

KISH I told him she gave me a letter to mail.

FERI There is a mailbox outside the store... My mother

could have used it herself... I am afraid

it wasn't a very good lie.

KISH I am not good at lying.

FERI I noticed... Go on!

KISH Your mother told me two of your friends have been

arrested...

FERI I know.

KISH KISH STIFFENS AND QUICKLY CHECKS THE ROOM.

Has someone been here? I told your mother you are

not supposed to have visitors here... That was the

condition of my hiding you here. It is very risky

for me to have you stay here... I could be arrested

along with you... And I have my mother to think

about, too. .. Don't get me wrong, Feri, but if my

neighbours should see strangers coming to my

house, they may very well become

suspicious and call the police! They can't take the

chance not to, now!

Do your friends know you are hiding here?

FERI No.

KISH EYES HIM SHARPLY You are not a very good liar, either.

FERI I guess you are right.

KISH SMILING I could always tell when you were lying even

while you were in my class, coming up with all those

imaginative excuses why you were skipping my

Math and Science classes. I always considered your

inability to tell a lie one of your redeeming features...

And I always liked you. I could even tell your mother

which girl you liked best... The one you shied away

from... I liked your shyness, too.

FERI I guess not much has changed... You could always see

right through me - and embarrass me at will!

KISH Oh , Feri I had no desire to embarrass you. It was more

like you who always surprised me... You seemed to

know a lot of things I would not have expected a person

your age to know, and I never did understand why such

a bright student would want to skip so many classes!

FERI I had been writing poetry at the time, I believe.

KISH See what I mean? Full of surprises! May I see one that

you can show me? GRINS

FERI I destroyed them as I wrote them...

KISH You are lying again!

FERI You are embarrassing me again!

KISH Don't worry, I should not embarrass you very much

longer. I brought good news, Feri. You won't have to

stay here much longer!

FERI All right, tell me the news...

KISH I will, but first I must tell you the message your

mother sent lest I forget to say it.

FERI Go on.

KISH Your mother says you must not go home under any

circumstances... Not even for a brief visit, not even

near the neighborhood!... The AVO is after you -

you, personally.

FERI How does she know?

KISH Four soldiers were looking for you this afternoon...

They were regular army soldiers assigned to the AVO

temporarily to boost their manpower and to fill in for

those who did not return to work after the revolution...

You may not believe this, Feri, but rumor has it that

some of the AVO also defected to the West!

FERI I do not believe that. They should be tried in the West!

KISH At any rate, the soldiers that came looking for you

were very decent... They came at 1 p.m. instead of

1 a.m. that they were supposed to...

They told your mother playing dumb always works

in the Army.

FERI LAUGHING I do believe that, too!

KISH They certainly made enough noise before they came

that you could have slipped away even if you had been

there. They told your mother that the AVO is after you

in earnest. They suggested that you leave the country

if you could...

FERI That seems to be everyone's advice of late! But do go on!

Although I can well imagine her reaction... She probably

served the soldiers some home-baked cookies and

thanked them... No, she probably kissed them!

And when they left, she panicked... My mother loves

me deeply, I know, but she is weak... When I was

younger I lapped up all the love she could give me, but

now I feel she is choking me with her love... I have

grown up... I can take care of myself.

KISH SHARPLY That's why you are here! I am sorry...

FERI See? You are embarrassing me again!

KISH Not intentionally! And you are wrong about your

Add comment


Security code
Refresh