Quiet, Please!

Title Quiet, Please!
Message Text Okay, I'm transcribing "Quiet, Please!" -- the episode, not the whole series! Oh, Astro1, what hath you wrought?!


CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

(MUSIC...THEME...FADE FOR)

ANNOUNCER: The American Broadcasting Company presents "Quiet, Please!" which is written and directed by Wyllis Cooper, and which features Ernest Chappell. Your "Quiet, Please!" story for tonight takes its name from the title of the series, "Quiet, Please!"

(MUSIC...THEME...END)

---

TOR: There are books left.

Many books and I suppose I've read them all. I remember things, too. I remember a long white road between the shoulders of the hills.

(MUSIC ... NOSTALGIC ... IN BG)

TOR: And the distant clusters of the live oaks against the uplands beyond. And the wide, light blue of the sky. There was a wind that wandered the edges of the hills that brought the soft smell of the sea so that it mingled with the loamy scent of the grass and made a perfume that I have not smelt in so many years.

There was a great plain where the hills fell away in tumbled, rocky magnificence. A plain all cut into green and brown and yellowing squares. And a little stream with bridges of stone that strolled its way across the wide plain and sparkled at last into the distant Western ocean.

There was life on the hills and on the plains. The field beasts that moved serenely through the pleasant grasses and rested at noon under the shadowed kindness of the green-gray oaks. There were men - and cheerful women - in the white-walled houses where the road curved. And the children that played noisily and sweetly in the cottage dooryards -- are long since dust.

Shall I tell you of the graceful beaches where the sound of the surf was a measured, majestic melody we thought would never cease? Shall I speak of the great ships, prone upon the breast of the ocean -- the ships that are seen no more?

SOUND: (WIND, THUNDER, RAIN - AS DESCRIBED)

TOR: Would you hear of the wind-whipped nights and the lightning in the forests? And the gentle rain in the dawn-time?

Would you remember? And not forget? I remember.

I alone remember.

This was a temple. And this, a place dedicated to the arts. And there, where the waves sped upon the beach, the shattered walls of stone we made remain to mock us. And there, where the white road was, is the desolation. The winds die down and the sun wanes and the moon is sickly.

Yet I remember the lights on the hillsides and the stars above them, wheeling their ancient way across the sky. There was a day when I could name them all. They seem - very far away tonight. Antares and Betelgeuse and Aldebaran. Arcturus and Vega and Procyon. In these days, Orion the Mighty Hunter draws away from us and the glory of Berenice's Hair is thinned in the heavens.

I would welcome the sound of the thunder again on the horizon. But all the manifestations of nature are ended. And only the twilight of eternity remains above the bleakness. I would welcome the voice of a hungry wolf even, this night. Or the hiss of the serpents that once we hated, that once we trampled upon. I would welcome even the voice of old Krogh and listen with delight - and laugh happily to hear him tell again the schemes he dreamed - that brought us to this end.

(MUSIC OUT AS WE CROSSFADE TO)

KROGH: So though it is true that men cannot live without wars amongst themselves, why should not we be the ones to win the wars? Every man plots against every other. And men speak of honor and laws and fair fighting. But, if a war is to be won, then do away with fairness and honor - and let us win - and be the Masters - and they, the Slaves.

TOR: Yes, I could laugh to hear that voice.

(MUSIC IN BG)

TOR: And to see those hard black eyes glitter again in the light of the little lamps. I could take old Krogh and lift him up and say, "Look upon your work, old Krogh! Your work and mine and the work of all of those who could not live without wars!"

But Krogh is dust - and may not speak. And for a little time while I live, the dust shall speak its final words to those who would listen.

(MUSIC ... FILLS A PAUSE)

TOR: It was a fair world, our world. And I would not have you believe that all who dwelt in it were like old Krogh, plotting wars and seeding the countrysides with discontent. We knew love, too - and all the virtues. Some of them we even practiced.

I am old now and my speech is set in somber ways - for I've looked on somber things for long. But there was a time when I was young in this very world and my speech was the speech of the young of every world. Careless, gay, happy.

And there was one whose speech was like mine. Young and gay and very dear to me. ... Morna.

(MUSIC ... ROMANTIC)

TOR: There was a night - on the shores of the lake - when there was music and laughter and lights somewhere in the distance. And we sat alone together. And I remember - I would speak. But Morna laid a hand on my lips. And laughed.

MORNA: [chuckles softly]

TOR: And spoke.

MORNA: [softly, sweetly] Quiet, please.

TOR: And for a long time there was only the music. And we watched the stars.

(ROMANTIC MUSIC UP ... THEN BACKGROUND FOR A PLAYFUL CONVERSATION)

MORNA: Tor? Do you love me?

TOR: Silly question.

MORNA: Do you?

TOR: What do you think?

MORNA: Know what I think?

TOR: What?

MORNA: I don't think you love me very much.

TOR: You don't?

MORNA: If you loved me, you'd kiss me.

TOR: Well, lean over this way.

MORNA: Why, you conceited creature!

TOR: You're the one that wanted to be kissed.

MORNA: Well, I don't any more.

TOR: All right. Just for that, you're going to get kissed. Come here.

MORNA: Tor! Look out, you're mussing my hair.

TOR: [whispers] Quiet, please.

(A PAUSE AS THEY KISS)

MORNA: Why, Tor, you do love me.

TOR: [dead serious] There just aren't any words to tell you, Morna.

MORNA: Hold me, darling.

TOR: [narrates] Then the music began again and we sat silently and the stars moved above us.

MORNA: The stars are so beautiful tonight.

TOR: They're not all stars.

MORNA: What? What are they, then?

TOR: Some of 'em are planets.

MORNA: Oh, smarty.

TOR: Sure.

MORNA: Tor? Do you suppose there are people on some of the other planets?

TOR: Probably.

MORNA: Earth. That's the nearest one, isn't it?

TOR: Mm, I think so.

MORNA: Do you suppose there are people there?

TOR: I wouldn't know.

MORNA: People that look like us and have - have music and - and nights like this?

TOR: Nobody on Earth - could have a night like this.

MORNA: You sweet-- No, I mean it, Tor. Do you suppose they have houses and automobiles and wonderful stores like ours and - and they have babies like we do and - everything?

(MUSIC ... MATCHES TOR'S MOCK OMINOUS DESCRIPTION)

TOR: And they're probably eighty feet tall and have six arms and sixteen eyes!

MORNA: Oh, no! Now, Tor--

TOR: And someday they'll come roaring out of space at us in terrific big space ships and disintegrator guns and death rays--

MORNA: And we'll say "Boo!" at them - and they'll all turn 'round and go right back where they came from.

(MUSIC ... REFLECTIVE)

TOR: Maybe they will. ... And maybe they won't.

MORNA: What would we do if they invaded us from Earth, Tor?

TOR: Fight?

MORNA: I hope we're not alive when it happens.

TOR: Yeah, so do I.

MORNA: Or - maybe they'd be nice.

TOR: Don't kid yourself about that.

MORNA: I wonder what they call our world?

TOR: Why, probably the same thing we do.

MORNA: "Mars"?

TOR: Well, sure. Why not? After all, it IS Mars, isn't it?

(MUSIC ... A PLAYFUL ACCENT)
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Submission Date Sep 19, 2003