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Gone Lawn 32
Vernal Equinox, 2019

Featured artwork, En Sof, by brothers Fabio Lastrucci and Paolo Lastrucci.

New Works

Paul K Smith

The Women of Paris
A One-Act Ceremony and Dance for the Narrative Stage

Part One: The Secrets of Mata Hari





ROLES

1. MATA HARI —
—as DELILAH seducing Samson,
—as the HOUSEWIFE of a clerk a hundred years ago,
—as a FEMME FATALE (scene 6), and -as a Courtesan,
—as Madame Sarah Bernhardt (scene 6),
—as a damsel in distress & as possible SPY (scene 5)
—as sensual DANCER from Java (scene 4 & scene 8).

2. THE ANCIENT
—as SHAMAN, and TIME (Mata Hari's Enemy), & SEER: to
    whom walking in shoes is like walking with blindfolds on her feet.
—as PHILISTINE (§1,), Artist's PHILISTINE (scene 2)
—as DEATH (in scene 6 and in scene 9),
—as NI-AMA, MATA'S MAID (§4),
—as JUDGE (§7), & -MOTHER SUPERIOR (§9).

3. MARIE CURIE — {can double as Krishna}

4. Isadora Duncan

5. Coco Chanel and NURSE (scene 6)

6. A HERO:
— as SAMSON as a hunk (scene 1),
— as YURI — YOUNG COLONEL of Imperial Russia (§4, §6, §7)
    & MUSICIAN (scenes 2 & 4)

7. A MAN
— as MORNET: Army prosecutor adopting role of Avenging
    Angel.(§4, §7).
ÉMILE — a conventional Parisian HUSBAND (§3, §4, §7, §9),
— MESSENGER (Scene 6), & ORDERLY OF DEATH (Scene 6)
8. The Surgeon; A Boy; 3rd Soldier

9. Djuna Barnes

10. Krishna or, as Mata calls him in her possession trance:
    "Kalu Kumara" (§8)

11. Colette (§3, §7)





SCENE 1

THE ANCIENT

He was the strongest of men. She was the most seductive of women.

When they first met . . . it was a dry summer, the seventh year of the worst drought in memory, a bright, hot day. The air: incandescent with want. Hunger. Desire. Thirst. When they first met: You could hear the rhythm of fingers tapping, coaxing the skin of a drum. A floor thick with planks. Walls of cedar. On one wall, mounted twin bucks: antlers locked forever in a twisted combat that had killed them over a doe.

He sat there, drinking. Every so often, that darkness would open to a shot of light. From outside. From the bright day parched with thirst, desire, hunger, want. As a new female would venture into the den of just-paid men. When she first set foot in that place— He had his eyes on the floor. Then he saw her sandals, and her red, painted toenails. It was not until she was about to walk by that he shot a look at her face.

What he saw doomed this man. Maybe there is a place in nature for free choice, but in that moment, he forgot he had a choice. Like a soft, young rabbit frozen by the eyes of a snake, a snake just roused from winter's sleep, poison sacks overflowing with the first and most potent venom of her hunting season.

"Hullo," she said.

So it was that the strongest of men — grew to love the most enticing of women. A woman from the Valley below.

His name was Samson. Her name was Delilah.

Brilliant, dazzling Sunlight. A seashore.

A Woman. A Man.

She is full of life — physical, exotic, alluring.

He is well-muscled, proud of his strength.


THE WOMAN

Just lie back, on this warm sand, where the shore nestles — next to the water's edge. Listen to the waves lapping at the shore. The next wave: Rising higher. Reaching so close. Almost touching— Stretch out— Feel the water. Feel its wet touch. Lapping at your skin. Nearly giving you — a kiss. Right now. Like this.


THE ANCIENT

It is written that Lords of the Philistines came to her.

And said to this enchantress, the most mesmerizing of women:

"See where his great strength lies. Learn how we may survive his furies. And prevail over him. In return, we are giving you eleven hundred pieces of silver."

DELILAH makes no move.

PHILISTINE gives her silver.


DELILAH

Oh, Samson, yes. Let your chest be my home. Hold me in your arms. Yes — Your strong arms. What makes— you so strong? Tell me your secret.


SAMSON

I can be weak. . . .


DELILAH

Yes?


(Silence:)
I don't believe it.


SAMSON

Believe me— I, too, can be weak.


DELILAH

. . . How?

SAMSON

I can be weak, like most men. If they were to bind me with seven ropes, still new, still green, still wet, not yet dried like this air— .

DELILAH ties SAMSON up with 7 new ropes.
Now it's a dance between DELILAH & SAMSON:


DELILAH

O Samson. The Philistines are upon thee.

SAMSON breaks free.


DELILAH

You but hate me, not love me. You lie to me. You mock me. How could you be bound?

I know: never.


SAMSON

Except. . . When you weave linen, if you work the locks of my hair — all seven — into your weaving— . And nail up the linen whose weaving binds my hair— then, I would be bound. Helpless. Weak. Like any other man with you.

DELILAH relaxes him; he sleeps. She works his
hair into the cloth she is weaving. Nails it to the
wall.


DELILAH

Samson! The Philistines are upon thee!
He awakens. He breaks free. He is as strong as ever.


DELILAH

How can you say, you love me? when your own heart is not with me? You laugh at me. You don't trust me with the Secret. Of what makes these muscles— this bone so strong.


SAMSON:

. . . I have sworn. . . To the Lord God —of my people— . To never let a razor touch my scalp. . . Or if I do — Let all my strength be sucked from me.


DELILAH
(To the Philistine:)

Samson has shown his heart to me.

The Philistine comes to her with money.
She lullabies SAMSON to sleep, on her lap.
The Philistine shaves off Samson's hair.


DELILAH

Wake! wake up— The Philistines are upon thee!


SAMSON
(Waking:)

I will repel them, as I have the other times—


THE ANCIENT

"He was not aware that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him. The Philistines put out his eyes. The Philistines bound him with chains. And Samson walked, round and round, and pulled their millstone, and ground their grain, in their prison. "Then the lords of the Philistines rejoiced. And they praised their god: they said, 'Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy.' " It came to pass, when the people saw him, their hearts grew merry. "They said, 'Call for Samson, that he may make us sport.' " See my face!!! See my blood!!!!!!!! see my markings! my tribe! Every line is a line of wisdom, Dearie. People get old.

All the stars are mirrors. Friends who haven't turned on us yet. Who will cover them when we die? Old people still have fields of knowledge. -And fields of anger. People die, and all that anger swarms into the soul.

Death shelters time. A baby calf is born. Tribes die. A great forest tumbles into the earth, droughts end, new families of stars appear. Oh Lord, you have given us Time— to heal our wounds. But the waters are rising, the bound giant is breaking his chains. Kill him, Lord. At night the stars will be dark.

But now, the silence. Men are killed when the rivers go dry! killed when there are no waterholes. No: crossroads. Killed when the sun is cool. Listen to the vultures' wings. They root high in the Ash tree. When the rats gnaw her roots away, all men will die.

Do you not hear the waters rising, against the rocks?

Eight days and nights, I hung on the windswept tree. No meat. No water. Suspending myself under the stars. By my fingers, and I lost. . . fingers. You learn secrets on that Ash tree. I know what heals.

I — saw secrets !



SCENE 2

Paris, early 1900's.

LIGHT: the soft, golden, sandstone tones —with a
tinge of pink— of the City of Light a century ago.
The hue of candlelight, the hue of butter — suffuse
the very air.

A café.

{ A young JOSEPHINE BAKER dancing to a jazz
piano, stalking her audience. The pianist calm,
steady. She is a panther on the prowl. }

Painting-in-progress: one of those living paintings
popular a century ago. A Bible-story. The subject:
Samson and Delilah. A Philistine frozen in place
trying to rope and hold Samson, his head shaved.

MATA HARI plays Delilah— her hair long, her skin
almost all bare, laughing & leering at him.
She keeps a safe distance, waving Samson's hair in
one hand, taunting him.<

The Ancient as THE SEER enters, wearing a cape.


THE ANCIENT

Place de la Concorde. . .

Les Champs Elysées. . . .

(She plucks Mata Hari from the café:)

You do not summon me, — then fail to feed me.


MATA HARI
(Responds with the Old Testament verses:)


"And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, 'Call for Samson, that he may make us sport.'

They called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: They set him between the pillars. Samson said to the boy holding his hand, 'Let me feel the pillars upon which the house stands. That I may lean upon them.'

"Now the house was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines. And upon the roof: three thousand. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said:


SAMSON


'O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, strengthen me. Only this once, that I may be avenged.'


MATA HARI


"And Samson took hold of the two central pillars on which the house was borne up, one with his right hand, the other with his left."


SAMSON


Oh GOD, let me die with the Philistines.


MATA HARI


"He pushed out his arms — harder — he pushed the pillars with all his might."


THE ANCIENT


"And the great hall fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were inside. More men he slew in his death than those he had slain in all his life."


MATA HARI


That was your dinner, Granny. Dinner. Go away.



SCENE 3

MATA HARI, asleep, screams.

She wakes from a dream. Says nothing.

The Man as ÉMILE, her husband, is with her.


ÉMILE

Only a dream. My dreams, Margreet, are real, they've come true, you make them true. To come home from the day at The Office, to find you. To find: all dirt Banished! from every room. All dust swept from the floor. All pans scrubbed. All drawers neatly pushed in. Good, tight lines. My pants ironed— firm, good creases. . . If I work late at The Office— I come home to find my food on the stove, my woman in the bed But these days you are so secretive what do you do so that is such a secret? What are you doing when you go out? What are your mysteries, your— secrets...? But— do I have a surprise for you! Nous devons célébrer ton anniversaire.

Sudden Darkness. He lights little candles. The
candlelight reveals a birthday cake with candles.

(ÉMILE presents the birthday cake:)

Tonight: forty candles.


MATA HARI

Forty?!?! Forty candles? Émile. Look at me. It used to be, when I smiled, men would adore me. Do you adore me? Now— when I smile, by my eyes, there are only: wrinkles.

She disrobes. Gathers oils — for her skin, for her bath. A bath by candlelight.

I feel, inside, I feel twenty. In my mirror, already I see a woman turning sixty. In her face, her hair. Don't look!


ÉMILE

If you are covering your grey with black? you missed a spot — Here—


MATA HARI

It is too soon! am just turning forty. I am not yet twenty — inside.

(Gets into tub:)

Give me your hand. I can shave my legs — by touch. For later. For Yuri.

How does that make you feel?


ÉMILE

Let go my hand.


MATA HARI

Please? Would you?

Do you mind? P l e a s e . . . . . . .

Oh, you do mind, don't you?

I want at least my skin to look enticing — smooth legs—

Can you—? Please, would you hand me my little gold razor?

Thank you — good-bye. —Rough fingers.

Oh, you'd rather put that razor along my throat and slice into me—— wouldn't you? With MATA HARI still reclined in the tub, ÉMILE dips her razor in the water, then runs it along her leg in a long, slow, sweeping stroke. Then another, beginning high up the leg. His arm slowly moves down her leg, his hand holding the gold razor.


MATA HARI

Oh that—— not hard! —slow——. Dip it first in the warm water— get it hot— yes— one, long line . . . yes. Do me however you like——. Feels good—-smooth. Feel: —Better?

It is not fair to Yuri, to be with him, but to want you.

You make me feel good. (She laughs.) You make me feel, wonderful.

She puts her arms around him. She hugs ÉMILE
tightly to her. Making his dreams about her come
true. She squeezes him, nuzzles against his heart
like old times:

Why do you need me so bad? Why? There's no point.

You see that— don't you?

Why do you keep holding onto me so hard? Why can't you let go?

You are so dear to me. Leaving? Émile— don't do anything wild —?


ÉMILE

Why do you say things you know will get me angry? Why do you do things you know—: why?

ÉMILE's anger builds, churns, erupts. He is
relentless. He grabs hold of MATA HARI, his
arms wrapped round her, steady at his task.
And rough.


MATA HARI kicks and pushes to get away.
ÉMILE holds her tight. Will not let go. She fights
for air. {Tension builds without let-up until the
final moments of this scene.}


MATA HARI

Damn you — let me breathe!

MATA HARI pounds at ÉMILE, scared: any
moment her neck could snap. Darkness is
shutting in on her.
(Screams for help, hurtling the cry up from her
guts:)

Yuri!

She goes limp. ÉMILE eases his hold.

MATA HARI escapes, and flees.

ÉMILE runs after her.

Grabs her. Holds her. Hauls her back.

YURI enters, , drawn by ÉMILE's angry shouts,
capped by MATA HARI's screams of fear.


ÉMILE

It's a good feeling! isn't it?—


MATA HARI

Help me!


ÉMILE

—to know you hold a man's life in your hands?


MATA HARI

Help—!

MATA HARI's neck gripped in his hands, ÉMILE
all but strangles her. ÉMILE THE MAN barely
keeps control of ÉMILE THE EXECUTIONER.

ÉMILE relaxes his grip. Pulls out a handgun:


ÉMILE

Hold this. Keep it trained on her. . .


YURI

(To ÉMILE, as he looks MATA HARI in the eyes:)

Like this?

And YURI the soldier chooses to help ÉMILE.

YURI stands with ÉMILE against MATA HARI.

ÉMILE explodes into action—

He grabs MATA HARI by the throat, drags her
forward.


MATA HARI

(MATA HARI knowsjust knows— that YURI
will defend her. He won't hurt her —and he won't
let ÉMILE hurt her: )


YURI!

ÉMILE draws out a broad-bladed skinning knife.

At once, YURI rushes to MATA HARI.


ÉMILE

No —it will be more pleasurable to do this by hand. The blade must pierce the aorta. You need a massive severing of the artery. To cause the hemorrhage needed for this one to die. Otherwise, why bother?


YURI

(Calm and commanding:) ÉMILE, give me the knife.


ÉMILE

Or, just make it easy on yourself: do the carotid artery on her neck. Right there!

YURI takes the knife from ÉMILE, attends to
MATA HARI.


MATA HARI

What are you doing???


YURI

Don't look at me like that. Worse comes to worst, they'd punish me not for murder — but for hunting a woman without a license.


ÉMILE

— Do it.

THE ANCIENT ONE enters.

She sees that MATA HARI is being held by
ÉMILE.


THE ANCIENT ONE

— Do it, later.

Takes the knife.

Takes the gun.

When the time is ripe.

ÉMILE releases MATA.

THE ANCIENT shoos the two men out.

MATA HARI backs away.

THE ANCIENT ONE as Time intercepts brings
the cake to MATA HARI.

but MATA HARI is joined by other women who
have turned 40 or are soon to turn 40:

1) ISADORA DUNCAN enters.

2) MARIE CURIE enters.

3) COLETTE enters, and then

4) COCO CHANEL enters, joining them.

They circle MATA HARI and that 40th year
Birthday Cake.

A protective circle, they drive THE ANCIENT
ONE away.



SCENE 4
in which:

ISADORA DUNCAN CREATES MODERN DANCE.

Both MATA HARI selves appear:

As wife to ÉMILE, & as Seductress of YURI

Hotel ballroom. MATA HARI and ÉMILE dressed
formally for the evening. She wears long evening
gown, jacket, fur wrap, gloves.

MORNET watches MATA & EMILE waltz.


MUSICIAN

And now if you will clear the dance floor, we have a special request. A Dies Irae, a dance in memory of the fallen. In this "war to end all wars."

MATA HARI take the floor & dances a free-form
dance to music that blends Mozart— & the Orient.


ÉMILE

Do the dance, Margreet. Do your dance, "Mata".

MATA HARI transforms herself with hairpins and
sarong into a sultry Javanese dancer. A panther
stalking her audience. Then she takes, into her arms,
a man wearing a tuxedo with a red cummerbund.

She dances with him.

Warned off by MORNET in military staff uniform,
he leaves. MATA HARI tries another partner. He
leaves, too. Another partner — and he leaves.


ÉMILE
(To Musician:)

She thinks she is Isadora Duncan. Well, Monsieur, whatever makes her happy, n'est-ce pas?

MATA HARI as the Dancer from Java:
Binds her wrists, upper arms, and legs with Oriental
bracelets. Ties her sarong loosely, with a belt of
jewels. It exhibits her skin. Her bra is swirled with
jewels that adorn her. She rubs her body with oil —
for the sheen. Her maid from the East Indies begins
to play the flute. MATA begins her sensual, temple
dance. Wearing layers of sheer shawls, she casts
them away as she dances.

MATA HARI opens her arms to ÉMILE -then sees
a Russian officer. This is Yuri, with eye patch.


MATA HARI:

Yuri — !

(To ÉMILE:)

Oh Émile! I must go to him. Am I being terrible? I am being terrible, aren't I? I feel so guilty.

But look at him — has he lost an eye—? I must see him.

She leaves Émile to be with Yuri. Dances up to
Yuri. Dances between the men — Émile to Yuri,
Yuri to Émile. Peels off the faithful Wife—
becomes feral Woman:


(To YURI:)

You're a Colonel, now. I didn't expect this.

(Back to ÉMILE:)

I've been the good wife. I've been home every night. I've not been out in months— All the evenings waiting for you. Wait here. I haven't seen him since his Easter leave.

Émile, please don't leave.

We were— we were to go riding, nothing more, we were not intending to be intimate but-

(Removes the fur wrap from her shoulders:)

Oh, mon Émile, do you mind very much?

(Peels off her white evening gloves:)

I should sit and be with you, shouldn't I?

(Shrugs out of her jacket:)

But after all, we must encourage our soldiers. Right? I haven't seen him for so long — you are wonder— tell me it is all right. Look! — he is leaving —— I must go- — Bon soir, Émile!


THE ANCIENT
(As Ni-Ama, Mata's maid: )

I could tell them what you are and what you did. Like Death — I keep a long calendar.


YURI

You don't follow me where I am going.


THE ANCIENT

(To the audience, as in the opening of the first scene:)

The spider walks, and carries her web.


MATA HARI

Yuri, you have such defenses — when I touch you. Can you feel my fingers? They don't even touch you. Just fly, flutter, float above your skin. Your neck, your shoulders, your arms, you... You have such defenses. Tell me your secrets, the secrets of your defenses. Yuri Antonivich! — Don't turn away. I hate when a man ignores me. I just needed someone to want me, I could never say good-bye.

(MATA uncertain what role to play, which to select from: )

I could say the wrong words and lose you.

This is everything I've ever wanted to feel. And nothing I have ever felt before you entered my life. And I plunged in— with all my heart! Not even knowing, do you have a woman?


YURI

If you betray me: . . . They will tie you to a stake— And I will blow half your face away.


MATA HARI

Relax. I could make you feel so good.


(She walks away from him:)

If you let me.

(Turns back to him:)


Yuri, if you irritate the skin — sometimes it hurts. And sometimes, it feels exquisitely good.
(She caresses him:)


Anybody can have an orgasm. This goes beyond ecstasy. So —Yuri—Might I come be with you?


YURI

No.

YURI — and everyone — stand stock still.


MATA HARI

Why? Why not?

She leaves the ballroom.

Yuri's voice is heard as she walks.


VOICE OF YURI

You do not go to a combat zone. You don't ever enter a war zone. You walk in — you
are dead. Vittel is not a place you can go to. Vittel is a war zone. They would think
you were a spy, Mata Hari. They would shoot you.

ISADORA DUNCAN appears, robed, dancing —
{perhaps her "Iphigenia in Aulis" (music by Gluck)}
into her "paroxysm of joyous abandon."

MATA HARI as EXOTIC DANCER shadows
ISADORA, in parallel to her dancing.


ISADORA DUNCAN

The movement of the waves, of the winds, of the earth is in harmony, n'est-ce pas (= "nes-pah") the same lasting harmony.

We do not stand on a beach and ask the ocean what was its past and what will be its future.

We know that the movement that expresses its nature is eternal to its nature.

We shall dance the freedom of women ...

The dance: Isadora Duncan's search for what is
naturally beautiful in human motion. Her dances
employ the dancer non-representationally. So that
what the dancer is doing stands for something.
Like the play of natural forms. Clear ideas and
forms. As a dancer, Isadora Duncan rebels against
tradition. Her dancing reflects the individual, not
just a set of old rules. The naturalness and beauty of
the dancing body, the pure, fluid beauty of motion.

SHE CREATES MODERN DANCE.

And the exuberance of dancing as discovery — and
dancing as creation.

Then MATA HARI breaks away from Isadora
Duncan's spell. She moves — dances — outside, in
the night, circling the stage space.

She moves between Paris and a barbed-wire,
WARZONE FENCE. She dances up to the GATE —
back to "PARIS" —back to the GATE —arrives at a
BARRIER—& a sign — it reads: VITTEL.

She crosses the line — breaking free from 3 figures
seen holding her back.



SCENE 5
THE DANCE

IMAGE: Three figures — three scarecrows — arms
splayed out — three French soldiers transfixed by
fear near trenches and against a barbed wire fence.
THE DANCE: Echoes Josephine Baker. A Dance of
Stalking the audience. A Dance of seducing a
soldier.

The pleasure of listening, of feeling a man's
attention. Seduction. Fleshy, solid, interpretive
Dance, like her heroine Isadora Duncan's
"Iphigenia". performance.

Perhaps MATA sees her face in a pool of water in a
trench — and recoils. Perhaps it was that 40-candle
birthday cake.

Something sets her off, to recapture herself as a
young woman, a desirable woman, her desirability
becomes her identity.

Mata Hari stalks each of the three, shell-shocked
soldiers. Dances sensuously, seductively.
One by one the couples dance.

She coils and uncoils, and again coils her body:
serpentine.

She comforts them.

The men discover her erogenous zones: her ears:
they kiss her earlobes, they whisper to her.
IMAGE: A man embracing his lover, as he
whispers in her ear.

In her dancing, MATA builds and brings the
soldier-dancer's excitement to a pitch — and then
immediately modulates it into different intensities.
Allowing no lapses in the continuity of her
movement, her flow. One by one, she gestures for
the man to get on with it, to begin the disrobing part
of the ritual of lovemaking.

The aftermath: MATA HARI goes to follow them —
they turn their backs to her, forming a wall of
exclusion, visibly shunning her.

They shut her out.

Finally, the youngest turns to her:


A BOY SOLDIER

Are you a spy?

MATA HARI

Well . . . I might be . . . .

A 2nd SOLDIER

A "femme fatale?"

MATA HARI

Mmmmmmmm. Wouldn't you like to know?

A 3rd SOLDIER

I would!

LIGHT: Then a battlefield searchlight reveals the
faces of the other two men:

MORNET

And I!

Her husband ÉMILE watches her with the men.

Jealous, wounded, angry, vengeful.

MORNET watches and judges her.

His is a look to make a woman feel that she is a
worm just venturing into the light from under-
darkneath a rock.

Immediate Searchlights — Bright LIGHT — We are
in the COURTROOM:

BUT THEN COURTROOM SCENE IS INTERRUPTED
BY HER KEY MEMORY SCENE:



SCENE 6

The setting is the Front, the cold winter of 1916—
1917. The place is Vittel.


The suggestion of a medical tent. A wounded boy
with blond hair lies in a cot. It is YURI.
Mata Hari has crossed the forbidden front-lines
perimeter, to comfort the young man she loves —
and to save his life.


MATA HARI

Yuri.

Three times during this scene, an orderly all in
Black with squared-off cap comes in with a big,
wide, flat cart:

ORDERLY OF DEATH

Wagōn! Wagōn! Wagōn!

Each time, he lightly heaves dead soldiers into his
wagon— then leaves with his catch.

The SOLDIER is injured badly — they haven't cut
out the bullets from his leg, yet. A NURSE peels
away thick, linen bandages.

A SURGEON appears. Intent, serious — the effect
menacing, not healing — and not humorous — He
holds a scalpel —and wields an enormous bone-saw.
MATA HARI reacts. She responds. She TRANSFORMS.
She becomes a demi-goddess: she becomes the
divine SARA BERNHARDT: In this extreme,
boundary condition SHE IS MADAME SARAH.

Her face blazing, eyes accusing, feet planted, arms
stretched out, fingers pointing, stance commanding:


MATA HARI as SARA BERNHARDT

SAVE HIM!

The overwhelmed SURGEON clearly is not even sure
where to find the bullets, how deeply they've
penetrated the boy's flesh. Amputation would be
quicker than surgery. {And the soldier registers
how alarming that is, how threatening that saw
feels so close to his bared leg.}


NURSE
(Gives her the scuttlebutt:)

Aujourd'hui! aujourd'hui! Le Professeur de la Sorbonne arrivera.

Some academic is coming— a bookish professor of
physics all the way from Paris. —Le Professeur is
coming from the Sorbonne to inspect the French
wounded: Perhaps it's for some scholarly thèse
acadÉmique on medical care in the trenches.


ORDERLY OF DEATH

Wagōn! Wagōn! Wagōn!
But they need to get on with the scheduled
surgery.

SOUND of a heavy truck outside. Driven in first
gear—hard, fast, determined. Sputtering.
Backfire.

Unmuffled engine. It stops, very loud, very close.
The TRUCK DRIVER, still wearing driving
gauntlets, bursts in. It's a woman. She is
impervious to the cold. But the others are
still shivering.


MARIE CURIE

"Marie Curie."

She's dressed like widow — which she is.
She carries a large, long bottle of blown glass —
carries it under her arm like a quarterback
guarding his football. Wheels in a square-box-
machine. Red letters label a white box
"PETIT CURIE", and "RADIOLOGIE." Lots of
wires. She hooks it up.

{It is one of the first X-Ray machines to be used
on a battlefield. Her idea.}

They run a power cord for her, plug it in.

Before she brings it close to YURI, we see her
fighting it — how it is so full of charge it bolts —

X-Ray Machine jumps in her arms. Sparking
everywhere. She brings it close to his leg, moves
it high up the leg — a bit alarming — and then
down — And the army doctor — now an
assistant to Professor Curie — watches the
display. He draws circles, then arrows on the
soldier's leg where the bullets are to be found,
in the flesh. Marie Curie gestures that her plate,
apparatus will phosphoresce an image on a big
glass to guide his surgical scalpel. A smaller,
precise, scalpel. She gives him one — its blade of
blue sapphire, thin and sharp, bouncing the
light.


ORDERLY OF DEATH

Wagōn! Wagōn! Wagōn!

This time, the third time he enters, he sniffs the
blood of the wounded boy on a cot, goes to him,
nearly throws him in, too.

— until a collective dread makes him Back off.
Most of all — the heart of the scene
MARIE CURIE cradles that portable X—ray
device — as if it's a viola she holds, coaxes it to
give the performance of its life.

She saves the young Colonel's leg, and his life:

THE SURGEON
(With a confirming glance at the screen: )

Shrapnel, Professeur Sklo-dowska—Curie. Shrapnel. That damage we can mend.

He pulls the photographic plate, leaves to get it
developed, quickly.

MATA reassures the boy that things will be
better.

Sings him a lullaby, in French:

MATA HARI
MON PETIT OISEAU
A PRIS SA VOLÉE
EST ALLÉ SE METTRE
SUR UN ORANGER
A PRIS SA, À LA VOLETTE
SUR UN OR, À LA VOLETTE
SUR UN ORANGER
LA BRANCHE ÉTAIT SÈCHE
ELLE S'EST CASSÉE
ME SUIS CASSÉ L'AILE
ET TORDU LE PIED
ELLE S'EST, À LA VOLETTE
OÙ T'ES-TU, À LA VOLETTE
OÙ T'ES-TU BLESSÉ ?
MON PETIT OISEAU,
VEUX-TU TE SOIGNER?
JE VEUX ME SOIGNER
ET ME MARIER
VEUX-TU TE, À LA VOLETTE
ET ME MA, À LA VOLETTE
ET ME MARIER
(My little bird
Took his flight
Went to put himself
On an orange tree
Took his, on the fly
On a gold, with a flap
On an orange tree
The branch was dry
She broke
I broke the wing
And twisted the foot
She fled
Where are you, on the fly
Where did you get hurt?
My little bird,
Do you want to heal?
I want to heal myself
And get married
Do you want to flit
And me, on the fly
And get married. . . )


MARIE CURIE

He is yours? That won't excuse what you have done. Sneaking by a sentry to be with the boy you love. You slipped by a sentry during the War. You know they will probably shoot him — and you. They see spies everywhere, you know that. You know how they judge us.


MATA HARI

Men.

Thank you.

Yuri wasn't even fighting — he was observing.

But here, no place is safe. Les hommes.

The two women commune, about husbands —
encouraging for Marie; unsupportive for Mata.
The impact Marie's freedom has on MATA registers.


MARIE CURIE

Для любого из нас жизнь непростая. But what of that? right?

We must persevere. We must project confidence.

We must believe we are gifted for great things. And we must attain this. Both of us.

Oh Mata, fear nothing in life. Understand everything you can. Understand more. To fear less.


MATA HARI
(Sings her young man a lullaby, in her native Dutch: )

SLAAP KINDJE SLAAP
DAAR BUITEN LOOPT EEN SCHAAP
EEN SCHAAP MET WITTE VOETJES
DIE DRINKT ZIJN MELK ZO ZOETJES
SLAAP KINDJE SLAAP
DAAR BUITEN LOOPT EEN SCHAAP.
SLAAP KINDJE SLAAP
DAAR BUITEN LOOPT EEN SCHAAP
EEN SCHAAP MET WITTE VOETJES
DIE DRINKT ZIJN MELK ZO ZOETJES
MELKJE VAN DE BONTE KOE
KINDJE DOET ZIJN OOGJES TOE.
(="Sleep, little child, sleep,
Outside, there's walking a sheep,
A sheep with tiny white feet,
Who's drinking his milk so sweet.
Sleep, little child, sleep,
Outside, there's walking a sheep.)
T("Sleep, little child, sleep,
Outside, there's walking a sheep,
A sheep with tiny white feet,
Who's drinking his milk so sweet,
Milk from the spotted cow,
This little boy closes his eyes.")


MARIE CURIE (continued, as MATA sings.)

Look at you!—how you comfort him. In our world, we need practical women.
And, men. Who protect what is theirs. And who remember the good of us all.

MATA HARI is singing, moving in a dance.

MARIE CURIE (continued)

But look at these conditions. Our world also needs люди,которыемечтают: we need dreamers. Нетакли? For whom the blossoming of enterprise is so captivating — it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own benefit. Albert is like that. Albert Einstein. A dreamer who does not merit wealth. Because that is not what he desires. —Are you like that, Mata? Are you?

MATA HARI

No one deserves what she does not want.


MARIE CURIE

Precisely. Yet, society is organized. So we should assure our thinkers of efficiency in achieving their dreams — In a way of living, where we feel freed! from material concerns. Freely giving ourselves to pure research.


MATA HARI

Like you? at the University?


MARIE CURIE

. . . . Yes


MATA HARI

(Sings the wounded a lullaby, in Javanese: )


TAK LELA, LELA, LELA LEDHUNG
TAK LELA, LELA, LELA LEDHUNG

CEP MENENG AJA PIJER NANGIS
ANAKKU SING BAGUS RUPANE

YEN NANGIS NDHAK ILANG BAGUSE
TAK GADHANG BISA URIP MULYA
DADIA SATRIYA UTAMA

NGLUHURKE ASMANE WONG TUWA
DADIA PANDHEKARING BANGSA.
{MATA HARI desires to console; she also wills
that young man to live. But she wants MARIE to
shut up. For all her wisdom and eloquence,
MARIE is in a very different place from MATA.
The boy MATA HARI had come save is fighting
for his life — and MARIE won't stop going
on and on about— MATA doesn't know what.
She can't follow Marie. A woman trying
to console a boy who is dying, she cannot
tolerate someone going on at her about her
view of the world. In the moment, she is
protective of YURI the boy, and wants CURIE
either to help, or to be silent.}


MARIE CURIE

What do the words mean?


MATA HARI

A song from my days as a young mother. Married to a Planter. In Malang. In Java.

A song to children — my children — whom, my husband took from me.

My little boy. My little girl. His bitch poisoned them. My boy— died.

A mother sings to her child: "I shall push you to be a champion for your people."

As you are, Marie Curie.


MARIE CURIE

Me? : Count me among the few who whisper that Science has beauty. A scientist explores worlds of wonder in her laboratory. Like a curious child, exploring. With all Nature before her. — With things you cannot see. Like the capacity of a seed: to grow. Or, like these X-Rays. My students ask, if energy is created within a radioactive body.

Or: if its Energy is borrowed from something Outside.

Well, can a woman only get her strength from a man?


MATA HARI

And what do you think? You, Marie.


MARIE CURIE

Look at me, and you know what I think.

I am who I am.

Mata — you become what you live for.

"Mata Hari" — is your name Asian, too?


MATA HARI

"Eye of the Day." Malay. I named myself, no one else. I crowned myself with that name.

Unseen by the two, THE ANCIENT enters the tent.


MARIE CURIE grows pale.

{Foreshadowing the radium poisoning at work
that will slowly kill her.}

Marie's anemia shows in her pale skin, and in
hrt face when the blood rushes to her fingers.

The more MARIE works to save the wounded, — the
paler she gets — It's the corrosive poisoning that
her body is getting from her work.


The ORDERLY OF DEATH enters, agitated,
distraught.

Now MATA HARI sees THE ANCIENT.


THE ANCIENT
(Leaving, to Mata Hari:)

You don't want me back. You don't want to see me again. I think you know why.

I only visit a second time for one reason.

(In a raspy whisper:) And you don't want to see me again. You don't want to see me again.

THE ANCIENT exits.

The ORDERLY OF DEATH goes to the SURGEON.

Whispers to him.


THE SURGEON
(Explains to the others:)

The orderly says, they have entire-ly depleted! the supplies they were issued.

That is why he is empty-handed.

They have run out of wagons-lits.

The others don't get it. & MATA is still shaken from
the ANCIENT's visit, the Time-Collector's visit.


THE SURGEON

It is this man's job to fetch the dead for burial.

He hauls out the boys we've lost.

So many have died — he has run out of carts. To haul them out! of this Tent.

There have been so many, I have lost so many.

(Calls to an unseen Nurse:)

Give him the body bags meant for les chevaux morts!

THE ANCIENT ONE RE-enters: It is as if THE
ANCIENT floats in, dressed as a Nurse.

MATA HARI freaks when she sees her.

THE ANCIENT floats escorts THE NURSE.

THE ANCIENT carries a neat pile of black body
bags. Black, lightweight burlap. For the dead.

The NURSE accepts the black burlap sacks from
her. THE NURSE hands them in batches to the
distraught ORDERLY OF DEATH.

Then she looks up and down at MARIE CURIE, at
the widow's black, utilitarian dress. The NURSE
holds back or takes back one black sack.

The NURSE rubs some salve on her face.

The NURSE youthifies her appearance with the
salve that she rubs and rubs into her face.

She takes out a pair of long-handled shears.
The ORDERLY OF DEATH loads up the black
bags with wrapped bodies of the French soldiers,
like so many big, wrapped loaves of French bread —

Then drags them out to be buried in the dirt.

Meanwhile, the NURSE has been cutting strips
from the black fabric. She works fast, from a pattern
in her head.

The NURSE sews with lengths of medical thread
that she gnaws off with her teeth.
The others exit the tent.

She is alone.

She never speaks.

She holds up her creation.


THE NURSE:
transforms into COCO CHANEL

— and she has invented the little black dress,
très chic.



SCENE 7

Back to the French military courtroom of July 1917.

Summer light, contrast to the previous Winter scene.

MATA HARI brushes out her long, dark hair.

Silence for a time.

A WOMAN very attentive to the proceedings looks
at her watch, and write notes. Keeps shifting where
she sits. Maneuvers herself closer to Mata Hari, a
cat surreptitiously drawing closer to her prey.

This Woman is COLETTE.

Each time COLETTE moves, a shy, smiling GIRL
follows. SMILING GIRL is flamboyantly dressed.

MATA HARI continues to brushes out her long,
dark hair. Filling the room with her scent. ÉMILE,
YURI, and MORNET respond.


MORNET

Why were you in Vittel? Why did you go to the war zone? you were seen with officers. And with pilots. Intimately. What secrets did the Germans pay you to extract, and to tell them?

YURI — walking with a slight limp — and ÉMILE
watch MATA HARI as MORNET questions her.

They watch MATA's pale, thin fingers plunge
hairpins into shanks of her dark hair. Her fingers
lift tresses from her slim neck and push in the
hairpins. Her fingers probe, twirl, and layer ropes
of hair into a bun. And then into a top coil.

ÉMILE'S face registers what he sees. He sees her
hair like a big, plump brioche, soft, yielding, and
warm, into which he could press his face.

As for YURI — he could drink in her almond
fragrance as he took her, from behind, her left hand
tugging what its twisting fingers held in place,
while her right fingers pushed in between the folds.

Even MORNET gets caught up in the fascination.
So it is that her men watch her fingers plunge
hairpins into the folded and layered strands.

MATA HARI is almost finished, when MORNET
introduces his damning evidence of her letters.

It is when MORNET asks the Court for her death,
that she will finishes pinning up her hair.

She makes herself all ready with the final hairpin, a
Cleopatra with her "immortal longings" and before
her, her asp:


MORNET

You went to Vienna in 1908 to build a spy network for Germany: Is that true?


MATA HARI
(As she begins to pin up her hair:)

False.


MORNET

Then you went to Egypt to build a spy network to help Germany take Morocco: is that true?


MATA HARI

False.


MORNET

November, nineteen-hundred twelve finds you in Italy forming another network of spies: true?


MATA HARI

False.


MORNET

Next was England: Is that right?


MATA HARI

No.


MORNET

When war breaks out, you are already in Holland recruiting spies:
is that correct?


MATA HARI

No.


MORNET

Then! you return to England by way of Spain.
In England, the German attaché directs you: to make a conquest of the English Commanding General.
Your spymaster ordered you to steal England's secret plans for a Tank.
You stole those secrets. Am I correct?


MATA HARI

Never.


MORNET

Whom did you seduce, for their secrets?


MATA HARI

I accepted their money for my body — for my comfort — not for your secrets.


MORNET

One thousand boys, one hundred thousand, two hundred thousand boys — their first time away from home — will die. Because you betrayed their trust.

How many battles did we lose because you revealed secrets the way you bare your flesh? We don't know the total tally of lost battles, we might have won. Of lost boys who might have lived.

The mountains of bodies you delivered to Death with the words you said. With the words you wrote. With your sweetness that rots each eater. Your sugar, your arsenic, your betrayal. I saw the evidence. From your letters to Germany. Notes you wrote in invisible ink.
MATA HARI

No, not me. Someone— must have opened my letters.... Written such things.

MORNET

Why write Germany? Why? Think of your victims. You are not a woman — you're a creature. Her eyes are twin beauties — yes? Her demeanor — demonic.

The evil she has done. Think of her victims! The most vile spy who has ever crept, or slinked — or danced — among us.

Yes, there are monsters in our midst. You see one before you. Sly, shifty, hard, vulgar. Vermin from Berlin.

Shall we let such a monster breathe our air? Can we let such a monster disease her way into our men? Should we let such a monster live?


HER HUSBAND (ÉMILE)

Confess.


HER LOVER (YURI)

CONFESS.


THE JUDGE (THE ANCIENT)

CONFESS.


A BOY IN UNIFORM comes to MATA HARI.
She takes him into her arms. She comforts him.
He weeps —and screams.
Back to the courtroom: she is alone.


MATA HARI

"Secrets"? Yes—, the boys talked to me about this war. But not about secrets.

They talked. But did I want to listen? non!

They told me!: what it is like when our boys kill their boys. What it is like to crawl a hundred metres on your belly into an enemy's trench — To creep in: silently. And slit another boy's throat.

They told me what it is like to live every day with the stench of the dead. They told me things our newspapers keep secret. Things the newsreels never show. I learned — such things.

(Her acknowledgement soft — low — sad:)
Yes, I learned— secrets:

I learned about the gas canisters that pilots drop from the airplanes. Chlorine gas. Mustard gas. Fosgen gas — you don't see it. —You don't feel it —and you don't die until the next day. After all night sleeping under the killing clouds of poison. I loved them, I wanted to give them something warm to hold. Before they died. I was what they desired. I would never... betray secrets. I could never betray those boys: I knew their darkness.

(Continues, with words and dance:)

You look in the darkness. And you find a boy whose legs are broken. He's thirsty. . . . You give him cold coffee. He thanks you. "Danke, Kamerad, Danke, Danke." He's German: You fix the bayonet to your rifle. "Danke." You step away from him. "Danke, Kamerad, Danke." And then— You can hear: nothing— All is still and then— it is back — pop! pop! pop! Lewis machine guns. Moisin Nagant rifles. -So, the Russians have sent a unit.

Things are crawling around, coughing up blood. Things that were men. Who called you by name—this morning?: Silhouettes kneeling holding their arms out, please, please, please. You have to move out. There's a stab in your thigh, you run to the water— Men rise up from the water dripping blood all over. Here's a man smiling at you— and he doesn't have a face —


THE ANCIENT ONE enters —her image the spirit
of Kokoschka's Pieta, from the eve of World War I.


MATA HARI

(To THE ANCIENT—to TIME — to DEATH:)

And that was your dinner, Granny. Dinner.

(To MORNET:)
Yes, I learned secrets.


MORNET

—Stop. Silence the whore!!
A woman rises from the courtroom gallery. She is
smartly-dressed. Notepad in hand, she rushes to
Mata Hari. It is COLETTE.


COLETTE

I will write about this.
I will.
Paris must know. France must know. The world must know. You are innocent.


MATA HARI

And who are you, my child?


COLETTE

I'm not a child, I am forty. Yes, I just turned forty — a treacherous year — I see in your heart, in your spirit, in your belief, you make change—


MATA HARI

It is you who are innocent. —You are a child.
Who are you?
So I can remember your name.


COLETTE

I write under the name, "Collette".


MATA HARI

Bless you...


MATA HARI
(As she passes MORNET:)


I have to look at you, Monsieur. But I don't have to smell you— do I?

Exits courtroom. As MATA HARI exits,

SMILING GIRL finally comes up to COLETTE.


COLETTE
(Reading what she scribbles:)

"Mata Hari: she cannot dance, but she can undress.
And move a long, thin, proud body as Paris has never seen a woman move before."


SMILING GIRL

I want to be a writer, too.


COLETTE

For the newspapers?


SMILING GIRL

No, of stories. Our stories.


COLETTE

Then, write.


COLETTE gives her a fat pencil.

Take it. Use it.
I'm done with it. I have begun a novel. I will call it Chérie.
What is your name, Chérie?

SMILING GIRL = DJUNA BARNES.

Barnes. Djuna Barnes.
{—à la "Bond. James Bond.}
COLETTE plays with the hair on the nape of
DJUNA's neck, twirls it, layers it up, the way Mata
Hari had earlier layered her own, with pins, as:
the scene ends.



SCENE 8

(Follows the Courtroom Scene.
Precedes the Execution Scene.)

A large prison cell. Months later.

MATA HARI (incarcerated, her hair dreadful).
It's as if— having woken up one morning
transformed by her experience of imprisonment,
and desperate to be free, desperate to regain her
importance as a person, as a woman, here enters
into a trance, a possession-trance, somewhere
between insightful mysticism and delirious ecstasy.

KRISHNA (incarnated as the
seductive, Eastern God of Love),

DJUNA BARNES (taking notes with the pencil
that Colette gave her, in the previous scene.)

KRISHNA (blue-faced) sings and dances in the
classical South Asian style of the Dutch East Indies.
Dances throughout the scene.

SOUND: Music of Java or Sri Lanka.


MATA HARI

From light to darkness is not a pleasant journey. . . Let me look at you.
Your face shows scars like great dents in a shield. You have felt some blows. . . like me. The sword you carry is thirsty. You carry it well.

(Then MATA HARI really sees KRISHNA. MATA HARI is
still adjusting her eyes to light. . . She perceives
him, all dressed in black, as her Dark God.)

MATA HARI

YOU! It is I, MATA HARI! See—- you carry his Hammer! the Crusher.

With hammer and chisel, KRISHNA frees her.
KRISHNA cuts the chains still binding prisoner
MATA HARI's wrists.
MATA HARI

Let Gods of the elder days bless you, Prince of Hindustan. My hair! Take it. Kiss— My Prince, hold my hair. "Imbinavae". Embrace. Breathe deep. There is nothing I love more than these.
MATA HARI kisses her matted locks of hair. She
offers them to KRISHNA for him to kiss.


MATA HARI
(to Djuna Barnes:)

He came to me each night. The first night he came to my dreams, (the) next morning my hair had curled into two balls. Then grew out into these long locks. When I try to cut them, the blood runs from my mind and I faint. If they break, I DIE. I bless you with my matted locks. His gift.

Kalu Kumara!! Sovereign of my body. Please hold my Hair my matted locks of hair, your gift to me, Kalu Kumara, you are he, you come in the night to me. My hair is his lingam.

MATA HARI rubs her hair: KRISHNA lets it go.
(MATA HARI cackles:)

It began for me. . .the night I saw a man here, after years hidden in the darkness from the light, hidden from the pleasures of a man, to see a man naked, being kissed by a woman. In my head I see. . . not the man. But only his, being milked, like a breast to be suckled

DJUNA BARNES becomes the audience of what
may be a dream, while MATA HARI speaks of the
way the Black Prince, Kalu Kumara, comes to her.
KRISHNA and MATA HARI act out the dance.


MATA HARI (continued)

Come. Our first night. . . the scent of freesia. . . . a warmth whispers over me. . . the hairs on my skin rise meeting his zephyr of kisses. Asleep — I am awake —- everyplace he touches — everywhere. This beautiful man comes to my bed. I enjoy his fingers, his gifts of joy in his finger touch beyond any pleasures in life, closer to heaven than ecstasy, caressing, touching me, kissing along my arms, pressing me to him, whispering I am Yours. Kalu Kumara!! Spawn of Thor. Sovereign of my body, guiding my body, pushing me... The air thick. Dark. Hot. Can't breathe —-Heart racing. Holding each other, clutching. Feeling —- Darkness. Clinging. Shaking — Floating. Beautiful and good. My hands caressing his face. Everyplace. Fingers sliding back into his hair. Lips rubbing over lips. Pulling him closer to me. Losing myself in his mouth, kisses spread over me. Wrapped in his arms. Held close. Trembling. Turning. Lost.

DJUNA BARNES

Must sit.

MATA HARI
Hold me.


DJUNA BARNES

Hold me.
MATA HARI


Please to put your hand in my hair?
Yes, that is good.


DJUNA BARNES


Do not go away./


MATA HARI

/Stay./


DJUNA BARNES
/Stay close to me —/


MATA HARI


/Let me touch you and know you are here

What happiness do you desire?


DJUNA BARNES


Me? I have. . . dreams. They haunt me. They are impossible!
They haunt my soul with desires I can never fulfill.


MATA HARI

Simple words from your own lips can make magic. Words make the wish. Grip the Sky Iron tight. TIGHTLY as if dreaming . . . you find a treasure. A ruby, an emerald. You know you dream, but you want so badly to hold onto it. So hold Tightly to your dreams. Breathe your wish. Breathe your wish in. Inhale.


DJUNA BARNES

I wish a world where nothing must be scarce to be treasured.


MATA HARI

For yourself?


DJUNA BARNES

For myself?


MATA HARI

Wish with your body. Not your head. Don't wish what you think you need to wish. Don't you know that our desires are never born in the brain? Desire is born the heart. So open your heart to your passions.


DJUNA BARNES

Put my Conscience to sleep so I could dare.


MATA HARI

Dream of your happiness.


DJUNA BARNES

My happiness is not possible—!


MATA HARI
(Addressing both sides, both selves, within Djuna)

But you— and You — your wishes must not Fight each other. They cannot oppose, or they will go against the grain of the steel. Djuna Barnes, you can wish for dreams but you cannot wish for opposites. Or it will tear you apart.


MATA HARI breaks off her matted locks—or cuts!

cuts! cuts!, and throws her hair into the dirt.


DJUNA BARNES

No!, Mata Hari— you would die.


MATA HARI

I am not Samson! And to think my body is me?: that is stupid.
Sea buckthorn, and grass-green parsley, and tangled anise, pass from this world, but shoot forth again with the new year.

No matter how powerful or loved or wise — with us, not so. We'll sleep in furrows of earth and slide into a sleep from which no one will wake. Let the wish be spoken.

KRISHNA moves in a long, concluding—and
welcoming — FAREWELL DANCE.

KRISHNA dances the final minute in silence.

The dark prison becomes a place full of light:

the open execution yard.



SCENE 9
The open, execution yard.


THE ANCIENT returns (from playing the Judge) as
DEATH, holding a black hood for the condemned.


THE ANCIENT

There is a Day of Wrath, Mata Hari. Before the Day of Judgment.
God created Death so that He could die, too.


MATA HARI

Created. . . You—?

THE ANCIENT


Yes. My dead envy the living. The dead hate the living. They will never forgive you for being alive. If you neglect them, they will use the smallest way you disrespected them — the smallest courtesy you forgot— To justify the pain, the unmended heartache, the disease they rain on you. To make your life painful. The way their death is painful. Once you anger them, the dead can never be satisfied. The dead will never forgive you that you are alive. Never forget voices that are now silent. Never, never forget: the dead have power—.

Let us pray: Oh Lord, you have rivals. You have pain. We share it, You know how to suffer. And you have created me so that You can die, too. After walking among us.


MATA HARI

Why am I crying? I am not crying. I am not going to cry.
Don't cry, Émile.
Don't cry, Yuri.
Don't cry— I don't want your tears.
Not a good idea for you to go with me any further. It does not look safe : for a spy, it is the firing squad.
Dry up the tears.
Get on with what is next.


THE ANCIENT

Fire stops fire, and death stops death.

(Adorns herself in the habit of a Mother Superior:)

Oh Mother of God, pray for us now— at the hour of death.


ORDERLY OF DEATH

(Appears with his cart & passes through the
execution yard:)

Wagōn! Wagōn!
Exits.


ÉMILE

Are we punishing our Mata Hari as a Spy —?
Or as a whore?

YURI


Mon ami, c'est l'amour.


MATA HARI

I don't deserve this, to die like this—.
Je n'Étais qu'un oiseau en vol libre.
{=I was just a bird flying free —}

{KRISHNA re-appears dancing an echo in movement
of Krishna's concluding, welcoming, and evocative —
FAREWELL DANCE. }

The moment The Ancient drops the black hood over
Mata Hari's head & face nothing can be seen.
Sudden, black, total darkness, and silence.

{ FAST BLACKOUT :


{ END OF PLAY }