Fssst!

CAST

Don

Angela / Young John Hargrave

John Hargrave / Baden Powell

 

An untidy living room. Curtains closed. Above a computer screen to display what is on a lap-top. Don is sitting slobbed in a chair. Angela enters.

Angela:  You look like shit.

     You smell like ...

Don:  Point taken.

Angela:  Right!

She opens the curtains

Angela:  You’ve no objection to light have you? Light’s fine isn’t it?

     And ...

Opens the window

     Oh yes! Air!

     You might remember it? You know that stuff some of us breathe.

     As opposed to

     Fug!

     I mean it’s not as if the wind’s going to reach in through that transom and drag you out into the dreaded ...

Don:  This’ll be you running out of sympathy I take it.

She unloads groceries

Angela:  Bread milk cheese.

Don:  The ...?

She places a bottle of vodka down impatiently

     One?

Angela:  One!

Don:  Come on Angie!

Angela:  Ration it. Mix it.

     Lump it. Or ...

     There’s the shop on the corner. Hold your breath. Wear blinkers.

     I’ll be back on Thursday.

     Four days. Eke it out.

     Newspaper.

     Toilet rolls.

     Aldi’s version of Twix. Called ...

She reads it

     Oh “Jive”.

     One of which I’ll have with the cup of coffee ...

     ... you’ll make for me now.

     That was now!

He sighs and rises – goes off stage

     Thank you sis.

     It’s a pleasure Don.

     I don’t know what I’d do if it wasn’t for you, Angela.

     Oh don’t! You’re embarrassing me.

     No, I really mean it.

    Oh shucks you big lug!

Don calls in from the kitchen

Don:  Okay.  Shall I say it?

Angela:  We might as well get it over with.

Don:  “Sugar”?

Angela:  “No thanks! I’m sweet enough!”

Don:  Right. I’m glad that’s out the way.

She goes to the window - touches the pane - contemplates the dust on her fingers. Picks up a stray sock - disgust on her face. Gingerly wipes the window with it.

Angela:  You’re going to have to be careful.

Don:  Mm?

Angela:  It’s still there!  The outside.  It doesn’t look like it’s going to go away any time soon.

Don:  I’m right then.

Angela:  Mm?

Don:  The sympathy’s wearing thin.

Angela:  Along with your socks.

She throws it down

Don comes in with the cups

            Sorry!

Don:  It’s all right. Sympathy has a sell-by date.

Angela:  No I mean I’m not sure whether that’s the sock corner.

Don:  It’ll do. I tend to improvise.

Angela:  I’ve noticed.

They sip coffee

     So what’s been happening?

Don looks at her

     You know!

     Like ...

     ... how many bowel movements since my last visit?

Don:  Ah!

He pulls a newspaper from under his chair

Angela:  God, they must be struggling for copy.

Don:  There’s an article here.

     Somewhere.

     Shit!

     It’s just a few lines.

     But ...

     Oh come on!

Angela opens the Twix-alike and takes a bite

     Here!

He folds the paper - points

She pulls her head back to focus

     Where’s your glasses?

Angela:  Fuck off!

     There’s nothing wrong with my eyes.  It‘s the light in here.

     The lack of it.

She starts to read. Looks up.

     June?

She starts to count on her fingers

     July ... August ...

Don:  Time’s relative. You ask Einstein.

     Focus!  The bit I showed you.

She reads

Angela:  Fascinating!

Don:  Someone’s remembered him.

Angela:  Whoever he is. And it’s only cos it was his birthday. The usual couple of lines to fill up space – there mustn’t have been much else happening in the world on these days.

     If you don’t count ...

Reads

     D-Day.

     Levi Strauss’s first pair of jeans and ...

Reads

     Three giant turtles found in the Bronx sewage plant.

Don:  I didn’t see that.

     You’re joking!

Angela:  I’m not. It’s here.

     It doesn’t give their names though.

     Anyway ...

Don:  Anyway!

Angela:  Go on.

Don:  It’s a bit of serendipity.

Angela:  Doo da!

            Serendipity ay.  My oh my what a ...

Don:   You know how you ...

Angela:  ... wonderful day.

Don:  ... read something and then you slide over into Google and ...

Angela:  Assuming you’ve got the time.

Don:  Forget it.

She looks at him

     Not telling you now.

     I’m not.

She looks at him

     No!  You’ve missed out now!

     What famous plane was dad obsessed with?

Angela:  Sir sir I know!

Don (as University Challenge voice-over):  Grimshaw-As Was. Widnes Comprehensive.

Angela:  Concorde.

     A grown man with an Airfix model dangling over the bed!

Don:  They’d have had sex under it.

Angela:  That’s not something I really want to imagine.

Don:  The string snapping that time. It was never a dusting accident cos it’d have had a soft landing on the bed.  It was sabotage.

Angela:  No black boxes on Airfix kits though.

     Concorde.

     Yes?

Don:  This guy ...

Angela:  Yes?  The clog-popper!

Don:   John Hargrave.  He designed this!

He hits a key on his laptop. A picture flashes up on screen behind them of a valve cabinet

Angela:  One of those old radios? So?  What’s that got to do with ...?

Don:  It’s “Hargrave’s Autonavigator.”

     Mark Two.

Angela:  They’re all right, aren’t they?

Don:  What?

Angela:  These (reads) “Jives”. They’re no different to the real ...

     Sorry.  Sorry.  Go on.

     I assume we are heading towards a point?

Don:  Well - they went and pinched the idea to use in Concorde.

Angela:  They ...? That wouldn’t have been on Concorde! How would that have ...?

Don:  Not like that it wasn’t. / Angela:  It’s ancient.

Don:    This guy designed it in 1941 during the war.  It produced a rolling map. Like an early version of a sat-nav I suppose. It made sure the pilot knew where he was so he could drop bombs in the best place.

Angela:  On people’s heads.

Don:  But the government shelved it.  And then ...

Angela:  Yes?

            Come on!  I’m on the edge of my seat here!

Don:  You shouldn’t have such a fat arse then!

Angela:  Ha ha.

Don:  No, years later it mysteriously turns up in Concorde - in a tarted-up version of course but it’s the same machine – the same idea anyway.  Undoubtedly.

Angela:  You have been busy, you little googler you!

Don:  Hargrave discovers Concorde’s got it on board.

     And there’s an inquiry. Which went on for years.

Angela:  They have a habit of doing that.  Like Chilcote and all the others.

Don:  It goes on for 9 years. He finally gets them to admit it was descended from his machine.

Angela:  Well done Mister ...

Don:  Hargrave. But does he get a penny?

Angela:  Presumably not or you wouldn’t ...

Don:  He lost it on a technicality! Maybe if he hadn’t insisted on representing himself he’d have got somewhere.

Angela:  Except 9 years of legal fees would have eaten up any award anyway.

Don:  So ...

Angela:  So?

Don:  I’m researching him. He died in 82. Back in 76 when the inquiry started he was 82. And deaf as a post. I don’t suppose that helped his case. A good lawyer might have won him money. But ...

Angela:  Like I said - Jarndyce v Jarndyce.

Don:  Exactly. The law is an ass.

Angela:  Wo! Two Dickens references in the space of a minute!

     He knew what he was talking about all right.

     Old Charley D.  

     So are you gonna to research this guy some more?

Don:  I already have. Hence ...

He waves a hand at the screen

     And thank Berners-Lee I don’t have to step outside the door.

Angela:  I suppose it’s something to do with your time. It’s better than you just sitting there with ...

Don:  Don’t mention the vodka.

Angela:  I didn’t. “Vodka” didn’t pass my lips.

Don:  Go on!

Angela:  What?

Don:  No, go on! “Unlike ...”

Angela:  I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.

Don:  Yeh. Sure.

Angela:  Come on! This ...

She reads again

     ... John Hargrave

Don: It turns out he’s lived a pretty full life. I’ve gathered up lots about him. He’s ...

     The White Fox!

Angela:  A super hero?

Don:  Dig ... well “Surf” - and you discover - Suvla Bay - the Kibbo Kift – the Greenshirts.

     And after that - faith healing and Paracelsus!

Angela:  Well that’s clear as a bell.

Don:  Oh! And would you believe a tribute musical by Van Der Graff Generator?

Angela:  Even clearer.

     And when you’ve done the research?

Don:  I’ll write the book.

     Don’t look like that!

Angela:  You forget - I’ve seen your enthusiasm before.

            Several times.

            Briefly.

     It’s like Bonfire night fireworks.

     Cardboard tubes producing a few seconds of bright lights and lots of noise. After that they end up sitting months in the rain.

     Getting soggy.

     Disintegrating.

Don:  A bit of a contrived simile that!

Angela:  Sorry. Pretty good though, don’t you think - off the cuff.

     And - well - you know ...

     Stick at it! Show me!

     Why this guy though?

Don:  Like I said – a personal connection.

     Of a sort.

Angela:  Of a very sort.

Don:  Rehabilitation.

Angela:  You or him?

Don:  Both of us.

     Maybe.

     What do you tell them?

     Mam and dad.

     What do you say?

Angela:  I lie of course. I say you’re getting better.

Don:  How much better will I be getting?

Angela:  It’s slow progress.

Don:  Is it?

Angela:  Yes. You’re getting counselling.

Don:  Am I?

Angela:  Yes.

Don:  ‘s it a man or a woman?

Angela:  It’s a man. He’s ... thin. He’s grey-haired - and he has a beard. His breath smells.

Don:  You’d think I’d be able to remember him, wouldn’t you?

Angela:  He’s called Clive.

Don:  So what’s Clive’s verdict then?

Angela:  That you’ll be able to take your first steps outside within the next year or so.

Don:  And when I don’t?

Angela:  I’ll add another six months.

     I’ll keep adding them.

Don:  Till they die?

     They know, don’t they?

     Well, don’t they? They’re not stupid.

     That’s why they don’t visit.

Angela:  Would you want them to come round?

Don:  Christ no! Don’t even suggest it!

Angela:  There you are then.

Don:  Here I am then.

Angela:  Ho hum.

Don:  Definitely.

Angela:  Thanks for the coffee. It was shit too.

Don:  I like to be consistent.

Angela:  Don Don Don!

Don:  Angela Angela Angela!

Angela:  Right!

     I must be off ...

Don:  ... or I wouldn’t smell like this! / Angela:  ... or I wouldn’t smell like this!

Angela:  Do it.

     The research on was’name.

Don:  John Hargrave.

     I will.

Angela:  You won’t.

Don:  I know what you’re doing there, you know. I’m not that stupid. It’s meant to stir me into action isn’t it?

Angela:  Damn! He’s seen through me!

     No - do it. What else you got to keep you busy?

Don:  Self pity.

Angela:  Look Don - you got to ...

Don:  Pull myself together. Accentuate the positive.

     Actually I’ve already got the first chapter.

Angela:  Written?

Don:  Up here.

He taps his temple

Angela:  Right.

Don:  It just needs ...

Angela:  Writing.

Don:  That’s the easy bit.

Angela:  You don’t have a mirror handy do you?

Don:  Why?

Angela:  Just to check whether this face looks convinced.

Don:  Where’s the positive reinforcement?

Angela:  Sorry. “She takes a deep breath and ...

She takes a breath

     ... summons up an expression indicative of enthusiasm”

     Here!

She points at her own face

     Quick before my muscles weaken!

     So? This first chapter? Sitting there in your head. Give me a quick summary.

Don:  What? Now?

Angela:  Tweet sized.

Don:  I look at his early influences.

Angela:  ?

Don:  Baden Powell.

Angela:  The scout man? Dib dib dob dob? Woggles and short pants?

Don:  Hargrave came up through the scouts. He had ...

Angela:  Low hanging woggles?

Don:   A top position with them.  The trouble is ...

Angela:  Yes?

Don:  You trawl in loads of stuff. It’s hard to decide what to leave out. Powell’s interesting enough to deserve a chapter on his own.

She looks at her watch

Angela:  Christ! The kids ‘ll be home. Look. I’ll see you Thursday.

     Do it.

     Amaze me.

He nods - she leaves. He waits - gets up - holds one hand against the side of his face and edges towards the window. With his spare hand he pulls it shut then closes the curtains. He sits down at the computer. Types. The audience sees what’s on his computer come up on the screen.

 "The life of John Hargrave”

Deletes “The life of”

Adds “A life” so it now reads:

“John Hargrave - a life”

Deletes “a life”

Types “Remembering”

“Remembering John Hargrave”

Deletes “Remembering”

Adds “a forgotten man”

“John Hargrave - a forgotten man”

Deletes “a” and inserts “the”

“John Hargrave - the forgotten man”

Pauses

He goes onto the internet

Types in the website of the local takeaway

Goes back to the page he’s typing - looks at it

Returns to the takeaway page and clicks on the drinks page - looks at it - clicks on vodka

Returns to the page still reading “John Hargrave - the forgotten man”. Deletes “John Hargrave” and inserts “remembering” It reads:

“Remembering the forgotten man”  

Changes “the” back to “a”

“Remembering a forgotten man”

Sits back

Don:  That’ll do pig!

He goes back to the take-away web site - orders two bottles - types in his card and sends.

Don:  Okay. Here we go then!

     Chapter one – early influences.

Types: “One cannot begin an account of the life of John Hargrave without looking at his early influences”

He leaves the desk. Walks across to the vodka bottle - opens it - pours un-drunk coffee into a plant pot and then vodka into the cup. He sits down and drinks. Closes his eyes.

The computer itself types “Baden Powell”

A man in drag enters dancing - swirling his skirt. He is moustachioed. Solemn faced. Angela enters dressed as a boy scout (the young Hargrave) - watches.

Baden-Powell:  Ah Hargrave!

     I’m glad you caught that! Me rehearsing my trademark skirt dance!

A slight look of embarrassment turns to confident bluster

     Morale John. Morale. An army might march on its stomach but, I tell you my boy, morale is its beating heart. Without it we’re done for. This skirt has long earned its place in my military trunk.

     It was there with me when we faced the Boers.

     We were 217 days John. Holding out out there in Mafeking. We would not have survived the siege without some degree of levity. Take my advice, young man; in whatever you do my boy, put on a show!

     There are three essential components!

     To survival.

     Strength of arm, John! Lightness of heart!

Young Hargrave: And guile.

Baden-Powell: And guile!

     A re-enactment!

Young Hargrave: Sir?

Baden-Powell: Out there!

Hargrave peers into the audience

     Do you see them?

     Then imagine them!

Young Hargrave:  Oh yes!  I see them!

Baden-Powell: There’s eight thousand of those rascals, out there on the veldt, just waiting their opportunity. They’re poised for the killer offensive.

     Now!  How many of us do you see?

     I’ll save you counting.  A mere eight hundred serving men bolstered by locals and young boys. Our ammunition and rations are running low.

     The odds are 100 to 1.  And the Boers are placing their bets.

     But!

Young Hargrave: But?

Baden-Powell: Here!

Young Hargrave:  ?

Baden-Powell: It’s a spade.  Dig a hole.

Hargrave digs.

     Right!  Now!

Powell hands him a circular piece of nothing.

     Well, put the spade down.

     It’s a re-enactment!

Young Hargrave: Yes sir, sorry.

He wipes his hands on his shorts and takes hold of the nothing

     What shall I ...?

Baden-Powell: Put it in the hole.

Young Hargrave: Right.

     Sir?

Baden-Powell: Yes?

Young Hargrave: What is it?

     I mean what are we pretending it is?

Baden-Powell: It’s exactly what does it looks like.

Young Hargrave:  ?

Baden-Powell: It’s nothing.

Young Hargrave: ?

Baden-Powell:  Now! 

     Imagine you’ve dug lots of holes, you’ve put nothing in them and then filled them in.

     Check on the Boers.

He hands Hargrave “a pair of binoculars”

Young Hargrave: They’re still out there.  There’s a couple with their binoculars trained on us. 

Baden-Powell: What are we doing?

Young Hargrave:  ?

Baden-Powell: What do they think we’re doing?

Young Hargrave:  Erm ...

Baden-Powell: We’re laying land-mines!

     And now!

     Copy me.

Powell walks backwards seemingly unwinding something.  Hargrave watches him and after a look from Powell copies him.

     Now!  We’re laying barbed wire.

Young Hargrave: Ah!

Baden-Powell: Except we aren’t

Young Hargrave: More nothing?

Baden-Powell: Exactly!

      “We’ll never get through those defences” the Boers are thinking. “All that wire! All those mines! We’d lose too many men.”

And that’s how we keep the rascals at  bay.  Until the 218th day of the siege, when ...

Young Hargrave: Mafeking ...

Baden-Powell: ... is relieved.

He waves invisible flags.  Hargrave looks them.

     These are actual flags!

Young Hargrave: Ah!

Baden-Powell: Yes, the brain my boy.

     Nothing, during those long days, stood between us and obliteration.

     Nothing except ... pure ...

Young Hargrave:  ... nothings.

Baden-Powell:  ... theatre.

     Muscles alone will not preserve the Empire! We need guile – we require intellect. And boys like you my boy - the right type of boy, who in time, will become the right type of man.

     Out there I kept an eye on my boys – I watched them grow daily into manhood.

     Your duty John is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so you can enjoy life when you are a man.

Powell moves across and looks disdainfully down on Don slumped in his chair

     Don't be disgraced like the young Romans who lost the Empire by being wishy-washy slackers without any go or patriotism in them. I see far too many ...

Still looking at Don, he shakes his head

     ... slack-jawed wasters lounging about ... reduced to mere onlookers devoid of ... gumption!

Pause. He turns his back on Don.

     Yes - over my many years of dedicated service to the Empire I have come to recognise the importance of building up the physical and mental strengths of our young men. And, out there, I grew to appreciate the usefulness of bushcraft. The Boy Scout movement, John, will, I most firmly believe, save and secure our great Empire.

     And John ...

Young Hargrave: Sir?

He motions Hargrave towards him

Baden-Powell: One final piece of advice!

Young Hargrave: Yes sir?

Baden-Powell: Your parts John.

Young Hargrave: My parts sir?

Baden-Powell: Your parts my boy.

     The use of your parts is not to play with when you are a boy but to enable you to get children when you are grown up and married.

     There are men who ...

He looks at Don

     ... who have debilitated themselves John - discharged their vital energy by ...

     I tell you my boy if you misuse them while young you will not be able to use them when you are a man: they will not work then.

     Remember that.

Young Hargrave: I shall sir.

Baden-Powell: Good boy

     It’s advice I myself have stuck to.

Young Hargrave: You didn’t marry till you were in your middle years, did you sir?

Baden-Powell: That’s right. I was 45 years old, Hargrave. I remained ... steadfast. I waited for the right woman to come along.

Pause

     Yes, none of our great men played with their parts, John! You can be assured of that. Take Nelson! Do you think Admiral Nelson played with his parts?

     Well?

Young Hargrave: Probably not sir.

Baden-Powell: Definitely not John.

Don snorts stirs wakes. It appears to disturb the two.

     The motto John?

Young Hargrave: Be prepared!

Baden-Powell: Be prepared.

     Be prepared, John, to die for your country if need be; so that when the moment arrives you may charge home with confidence, not caring whether you are going to be killed!

Powell gives one last look of disgust at Don before disappearing. The young Hargrave watches him leave as though considering Powell’s last words. Then he too looks at Don and leaves.

Don looks around – blinks – takes a swig of vodka. Perhaps other bits of business to allow “Young Hargrave” to revert back to Angela. Time passes.

 

Angela enters. She looks at the closed curtains. Sighs. Plonks down the shopping.

Angela:  Sorry about this!

She opens the curtains

      It’s for your own good!

     I’ll give you a time-check.

Pause. She looks out the window.

     It’s autumn.

She opens the window

     Look!

She holds up a leaf

     Confirmation.

Angela shakes her head

Don:  You’re lively. Had a good day?

Angela:  ‘s been all right, actually. I’ve just won ten pound on a scratch card. I never ever buy them. It was an impulse.

Don:  It was destiny.

Angela:  ... but coming through the check-out with this stuff I thought “Take a chance Ang!”

     And ... Voila!

     You have moved since last week, haven’t you?

Don:  For the essentials

Angela:  You’ll have written that book by now.

Don:  I’m working on it.

Angela:  Ah but have you started it?

Don:  It’s still at the planning stage.

Angela shakes her head

     I’ve picked up lots of facts about Baden Powell.

Angela:  I thought it was this other chap you were ...

Don:  There was a twenty five year difference between him and his wife. From his wedding day onwards he’s assaulted by these tremendous headaches. He undergoes dream therapy ...

Angela:  What’s that then?

Don:  Well it’ll be telling some psychologist your dreams I expect - you know like Freud.

     The headaches only leave him when he exchanges the marital bed for a bed on the veranda where he spends his remaining nights.

Angela:  It sounds the perfect relationship.

     I thought it was this other guy you were interested in. This John Thingy.

Don:  Hargrave.

     I am. BP was a kind of launch-pad for him. Scouting introduced him to the great outdoors.

She looks around the room

     Don’t say it!

Angela:  Say what?

Don:  The obvious.

Angela:  Is anything written?

Don:  Well no.  Not as such.

Angela:  “Not as such”. Mm.

Don:  How are the kids?

Angela:  Argumentative.

Don:  Like we were, then?

Angela:  We didn’t argue.

     We just tried to kill one another.

Don:  You’re a godsend you know.

Angela:  Who else would look after you?

Don:  Mam.

     That’s why you’re a godsend.

     I can feel her you know.

Angela:  ?

Don:  Doing it.

Angela:  Doing what?

Don:  Praying.

     Saying “Look, I’m sorry to bother you, God – I know you got a lot on with Syria and whatnot – but – this son of mine ...

Angela:  ‘s her way of handling it. It makes her feel she’s doing something. Helping. If you’d managed to get cancer or you’d developed a dodgy heart she’d be able to understand it. This ...

Don:  You’re struggling too, aren’t you?

     Face it - I’m a loony.

Angela:  You’re no loony, Don, but ... well, no she doesn’t understand. “I can’t see why he can’t pull himself together, Angela.”

     I have difficulty.

Don:  Come here.

Angela:  What?

Don:  Come over here.

She advances cautiously towards him

     Closer.

She edges closer

Angela:  What?  What you gonna do?

Don:  Nothing.

He suddenly reaches out and touches her. There’s a sharp crack and with an “Ow!” Angela leaps backwards

Don:  There!

Angela:  “There” what?

Pause. She’s rubbing her arm.

     It’s static!

Don:  Ah but is it?

Angela:  What else’s it gonna be?

He looks at her – raises his eyebrows

     For God’s sake, Don!

He holds out his hands palms upwards

     It’s a nylon carpet. And ... the soles on your slippers, they’re ... well I don’t know what they are but we used to get it with one of dad’s cars, didn’t we?

     You’re discharged now.

Don:  Am I?

     Come here then.

     Come on!

Angela:  Your stuff’s there. Get it put away.

Don:  Have you brought my pick-me-up?

Angela:  I’ve brought the poison.

Pause. She stands at a distance

Don:  You are you know, sis!

Angela:  What? What am I?

Don:  A godsend.

Angela:  Right.

Pause

     Keep the curtains open eh?

     Try.

     For me. For your sis.

Don:    Okay.

She stands at the door. Smiles. He waggles a finger at her. She shakes her head. Leaves.

Don stands up. As before he closes the curtains. He returns to his seat. Takes a bottle of vodka from a cupboard. Pours it. Drinks.

He taps the lap-top which comes to life. He closes his eyes.  The screen above him reads –

John Hargrave became one of Baden Powell’s staunchest supporters. He ran his own scout group and was a regular contributor to The Scout magazine under the name “White Fox.”  But early in the September of 1914, answering the call of Empire ...

Baden-Powell’s voice: Be prepared to die for your country if need be; so that when the moment arrives you may charge home with confidence, not caring whether you are going to be killed!

... he left all this behind and, in good Quaker tradition, enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Hargrave enters carrying two sticks. He looks at Don. Pauses. Kicks him. Don wakes. Hargrave holds out one of the sticks. Don looks at it and then at Hargrave.

Hargrave:  We need to push on.

Don looks puzzled

     Come on. Up!

Don rises. Hargrave proffers the stick to him. Don takes it.

     Right.

Hargrave holds his stick out in front of him with his two hands at separate ends. He begins to sway from side to side. (It’s the side of a ship). He nudges Don. After a short pause Don copies him.

     Good! Here we go then.  There’s the shore-line!

     Suvla Bay.

He nods in a direction.

     Lala Baba.

He nods again

Don looks at him.  Hargrave’s voice shows irritation.

     Gallipoli!

Sudden explosions. Gunfire. Wounded men are yelling. Several voices are shouting “Stretcher bearers!”

Don looks around nervously

     Look!

     The standard tactics!

     Four abreast and ...

Sound of machine gun fire

     Down they go.

     Mechanical death!

     That didn’t work – so let’s try again! 

     Look. Yes - another four.

Machine gun fire again

     Do they learn?

And again.

     Apparently not.

     But - as we’re medics ...

Don looks at him

Hargrave looks back - says firmly

     Medics!

     And not undertakers ...

     ... the floaters there

He takes one hand off the stick and points

     ... are not our concern.

     Are you ready ...?

     Wo! Head down!

Hargrave forces Don’s head down. There’s a loud explosion and pattering.

     Shrapnel!

     ... for disembarking

Don looks scared

     We must be dis –em –barking mad, mustn’t we?

     Still! Here we go!