A Ribbon of Lincoln Green

Title A Ribbon of Lincoln Green
Description Episode 11
Message Text Quiet, Please! #11

Wyllis Cooper

Network:
Sun. Aug. 31, 1947
10:00-10:30 PM EDST

WOR:
Mon. Sept 1, 1947
10:00-10:30 PM EDST


REHEARSALS:
Fri. Aug. 29, 2:00-5:00 PM Studio 15
Sun. Aug. 31, 8:00-10:00 PM Studio 15

CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

(SEVEN SECONDS SILENCE)

CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

(MUSIC … THEME … FADE FOR)

ANNCR: Quiet, Please for tonight, written and directed by Wyllis Cooper, and featuring Ernest Chappell, is called “A Ribbon of Lincoln Green.”

(MUSIC … THEME … UP AND FADE)

---

HOOD: Hood is my name. H-O-O-D. Late Captain in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, the old Sixtieth, in His Brittanic Majesty’s Army. Civilian now. Civilian every since June 1940.
Oh, I’m an American.
There were half a dozen Americans in the KRRC. Maybe more. This young fellow, what’s his name, Charles Guy B0olte, started the American Veterans’ Committee didn’t he? He was in the Rifles. From Connecticut. There was quite a few of us.
Well there IS a kind of reason, I suppose. Te name of the regiment when it was organized in 1755, was the Royal American Regiment. They changed that name when the Revolution started, and in 1830 they changed the name to the King’s Royal Rifle Corps; so I guess a few of us Americans that joint it had some kind of – you know, sentimental idea in the backs of our heads about being in an American Regiment in the British Army before our own Country got into the war.
I was young and full of stuff back in 1939 when I first joined up at Winchester, at the Rifle Depot. They were kind of tickled at having an American in the outfit, even though I was only second-generation American, and they saw to it right away that I went to Officers’ Training School. So I got my commission early, and I was in France as a very Junior Captain when the phoney war ended and the shooting war started.
Time flies.
That was seven and more years ago.
May 1940.
Everybody knows about Dunkerque and how the British Army got away to England.
A lot of people have forgotten about Calais.
We were at Calais.
We and some others; and quite a lot of Germans.
They say that if the Rifles hadn’t made a last stand there at the Calais Citadel, the rest of our people wouldn’t have gotten off at Dunkerque.
It’s probably true.
But it wasn’t just the Rifles that did the standing off.
We had help.
That’s what I wanted to tell you about.
We had a pretty rough time. Lot of good people killed; and finally Jerry captured a lot of us. One-eyed Major Lord Cromwell; that big tall baronet with the glasses – what was his name, Lieutenant Hawley; little Jewish Capt. Monico from London … there was a boy! Baldy Gilliat …a lot of good Joes fought till they didn’t have anything left to fight with, and a log got snaffled by Jerry.
Me, I got lost.

(MUSIC … AN ACCENT)

HOOD: You ever been in a battle?
Well, I suppose battles are different. I’ve only seen this one, at Calais, and it was plenty. I’m not going to try to give you a blow-by-blow description of it, because after all I didn’t see much of it.
But what I did see:
It’s very much like one of those dreams:
You’re looking out of a window at a house burning and people running out of it; and all of a sudden
You’re looking at a guy you ought to know lying on the ground in front of you and he’s saying I haven’t change for a shilling old man or something just as silly, and you look again.
And there’s a bridge and a German on a motorcycle, and
There there’s a bell ringing somewhere and
Then you’re running from something, and
You hear people shouting, and you’d swear it’s your voice, and it is, and
There’s the loudest noise you ever heard in all your life,

SOUND: (AN EXPLOSION)

HOOD: And you struggle to your feet in the dark and you start to get out of that place, and there’s the grand father of all noises.

(SOUND … A TREMENDOUS NOISE … THEN SILENCE FOR A FEW SECONDS)

ALAN: (OFF) Captain Hood! (A LONG PAUSE) Captain Hood!

HOOD: (AFTER A PAUSE, LABORIOUSLY) I can hear someone calling me.

ALAN: (OFF) Captain Hood! (TO SOMEONE ELSE) I know he’s about here somewhere, but I can’t find him in the dark!

MARIAN: (INDISTINGUISHABLY) Can’t you light a torch?

ALAN: (OFF) Can’t have a light here! (CLOSER) Captain Hoooood!

HOOD: I try to raise myself, but it’s too much. I try to answer, but I have no voice.

MARIAN: Captain Hood!

HOOD: That was a woman’s voice.

MARIAN: Captain Hood!

HOOD: What is a woman doing here in the ruins of Calais on this twenty-sixth day of May in 1940?

MARIAN: Captain Hood!

HOOD: Or is this Calais … is this .. I was dreaming.

ALAN: (CLOSER) Captain Hood!

HOOD: I’ll turn over and go to sleep again. I was dreaming about Calais, and Colonel Hoskyns was killed … I’ll be all right when I wake up … it’s so dark …

MARIAN: Captain Hood….

HOOD: ‘Tis a woman’s voice. Well, if they want me, let’em come and find me. I’m sleepy.

ALAN: (CLOSER) Captain Hood…

HOOD: I won’t answer. I want to go back to sleep.

SOUND: (OF A DISTANT EXPLOSIOIN)

HOOD: What was that? By gad that WAS a gun! That was a shell or something! I wasn’t dreaming!

ALAN: Where are you, Captain Hood?

HOOD: Who the devil are you?

ALAN: Marian! Here, Marian! I’ve found him!

HOOD: Who are you?

ALAN: (COMING CLOSER) Why, Captain Hood, good even to you! We thought we’d lost ye, and we’ve been prying this place over this long – where are ye, then, in the dark?

HOOD: I’m here, and I want to know who you are! Take it easy, I’ve got a pistol here….

ALAN: (LAUGHS) Whey, Captain, I’d’ve thought ye’d recognize my voice.

MARIAN: (CLOSER) Where is he, Alan?

ALAN: Leastwise ye’ll know Marian’s voice, Captain….

HOOD: Marian! Who’s Marian?

ALAN: (LAUGHS)

HOOD: Answer me! Who are you?

ALAN: Why, Captain, we be the Shrewood Foresters as ever was! What’s wrong with ye? Are thy senses knocked from thy head?

MARIAN: (CLOSER) Where, Alan?

ALAN: Here, lass. Give me tha hand. So, now, mind the fallen stones –

SOUND: (MARIAN SCRAMBLES OVER SOME ROCKS)

MARIAN: Where is he?

ALAN: Here – tha’ll tread on him; take care!

MARIAN: My love – my dearest love – we have looked for thee high and low – oh, and art tha hurt, then?

ALAN: True, we thought we’d lost thee again, for good, Cap’n.

MARIAN: Dearest, dearest – where is thy hurt? Kiss Marian! Ah, kiss me, love!

HOOD: (BEING KISSED) I don’t know who you are –

MARIAN: Why, love, art thy brains addled, then? ‘Tis Marian – Marian, thy own true wife! Kiss me!

(MUSIC … FOR A TRANSITION)

HOOD: No, friend. So far as I knew, I had no wife on the twenty-sixth of May 1940. and I certainly had no wife named Marian, speaking with a North-Country accent and talking about my being gone from here AGAIN. Nor could I understand how the Sherwood Foresters, which is the nickname of the Notts and Derbyshire Regiment, could have come to Calais, when I knew from Army orders I’d seen that they were not within hundreds of miles of us that night. And this Alan, who traveled with her. Who was he? I asked about my own people, the King’s Royal Rifles, and there were vague about them.
I asked what we were to do, alone in the ruins of the Citadel, and Alan spat into the darkness and gave me his answer.

ALAN: Well, Cap’n, I’m not sure I know. We heard, as you know, that the English was in a strait here, bein’ surrounded by the enemy on all sides except the sea, and we was to come and see what we could do to help.

MARIAN: And we mustered the Foresters, and we come, love.

ALAN: Ay, so we did. And so here we are, but it’s quiet and – Cap’n, have the English won, then?

HOOD: I don’t know, my friend.

ALAN: Where did they go?

HOOD: I don’t know.

MARIAN: Hold my hand, Love, I’m feared in the dark.

HOOD: What are you two doing alone here?

ALAN: Why, I said I was lookin’ for ‘ee, Cap’n. Marian and me.

HOOD: Where are the rest of – the Foresters?

ALAN: Prowlin’ the streets, Cap’n, lookin’ for the enemy in the dark.

HOOD: How many men do you have?

ALAN: Why, tha knowest, Cap’n, there are three-and-thirty of us.

HOOD: Thirty-three men! What do you expect to do with THEM?

ALAN: Why, Cap’n, we’re the foresters o’ Sherwood!

MARIAN: Ay, Cap’n, love.

HOOD: And are you in command of them?

ALAN: (LAUGHS) Why, tha knows I’M not, Cap’n!

HOOD: No? Who is, then?

ALAN: Cap’n art tha sure tha’s not been knocked silly by that great bomb?

HOOD: What?

ALAN: Why, who’s ever in command but thy good self, Cap’n Hood?

(MUSIC … FOR A TRANSITION)

HOOD: I said to myself, Hood, you have been knocked silly by that great bomb. I said, Hood, either you have been knocked silly, or you are dreaming, or maybe you’re dead … I said, look Hood, only a few minutes ago the German planes were diving on this place and the German shells were smashing into the parapet where Captain Bower and Lieutenant Scott and Colonel Hoskyns and I were standing. Only a few moments ago, the German armour was coming across the bridge down there, and there was a corporal with a Lewis Gun standing up by that corner of the citadel firing at them. You saw him die, I said. And now you’re sitting here, and there’s not a sound anywhere, except the voices of two strange people, one of whom says she’s your wife. What is this, Hood, I asked myself. Are you silly or are you dreaming, or – are you dead? The man said I am in command of the Sherwood Foresters. I am in command of the Sherwood Foresters. I heard him:

ALAN: (BACK) Why, who’s ever in command buy thy good self, Captain Hood?

HOOD: And slowly, idiotically a thought forms in my mind.
My name is Hood.
Do you know what my first name is?
Although I am six feet two and I weighed two hundred and ten back in 1940, my friends in the regiment called me “Bobbie.”
Bobbie Hood.
My name’s Robert.
My mother had ANOTHER nickname for me when I was a kid; and there in the blackness of the ruined citadel in Calais, with these two people I could not see, I remembered something.
I remembered some names.
Marian.
Alan.
I remembered some others.
And I wondered what would happen if I tried something. I’d find out whether I was dead, or silly, or dreaming. I felt foolish, though, at first, when I spoke, in the dark.
I said Alan.

ALAN: Eh, Captain?

HOOD: Alan, where’s Friar Tuck?

ALAN: Who?

HOOD: I felt more than foolish, but I repeated the name, Friar Tuck.

ALAN: Oh, Tuck? He’s likely in some cellar, Cap’n, seekin’ wine.

(MUSIC … AN ACCENT)

HOOD: I tried to keep my voice steady. Marian, I said, have you see Will Scralett?

MARIAN: Will and Little John and the Miller bide on the parapet, watching, Robin.

(MUSIC … AN ACCENT)

HOOD: Robin. Robin Hood.
Robin was the nickname my mother had for me.
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Ownership Astro1
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Submission Date Aug 20, 2003