The Foreigner

THE FOREIGNER
CHARLIE

            Charlie- A thin, quiet Englishman who seems permanently lost. He just left his sick wife back in England and wants nothing more than to be left alone and to speak to no one in the mountain cottage inn where his cheerful friend has brought him for three days.

           I shouldn’t have come. No, I—oh, don’t think me ungrateful Froggy. I know the enormous trouble you’ve taken to bring me here–. I should have stayed with Mary at the hospital. When a man’s wife is dying, he belongs with her, not—not in Georgia. I haven’t talked to anyone about our problems. I’ve tried to but I’m no good at it you see. Talking. Talk. I–. I can’t seem to–. I never finish sentences, I–. I have an active fear of—of—of–. Yes, talk. Please. Try to understand. I can’t talk to anyone now. Please. All right, fix it for me. What on earth–? What have you done? (2 beats) You’ve told her I can’t speak English?! But I can’t. I can’t pretend. I’m sorry, I simply can’t. (beat) So long. (Froggy, his friend, leaves. He is spoken to by another man in the house.) Thank you. (Goes to phone.) Oh, do hurry…Hello? May I speak with Staff Sergeant Le Sueur, please? Charlie Baker. No, it’s not a code, it’s my name….Hello, Froggy? Could you come get me please? Froggy you don’t know what you’ve done. No, I mean my pretending not to speak English…No, well, I decided to, after all. Oh, I overheard something I shouldn’t have, and—well it seemed best. But Froggy—they don’t leave me alone. No! The old woman does nothing but shout at me. The others talk about me as if I were a potted palm. That screaming girl, and her poor addled brother? One thoroughly unpleasant chap began saying the most awful things about my mother…Well something to the effect that he doubted there were enough of her left to spread on toast. I don’t know. No of course I sha’n’t tell mother, but still–. And that minister, something very odd is going on with him, I think. I don’t know. What is a “Christian hunt club”? No. Nor I. Yes, I’ll hold on. (The boy enters and looks at Charlie, Charlie smiles and looks back at him.) Thank you. No, that was the boy. I don’t think he knows about me just yet. Yes, he is rather hopeless I’m afraid; still I can’t help feeling that he’s being—(As Betty enters) Zhmeetko azmad yi—uh, Gallipoli, m’nyeh. (Beat) Peevno…omsk—uh—(She leaves) Frog? Yes sorry. No, never mind. Don’t send the jeep. No. No—it’s only two days. But I want to say this, Froggy. And it’s important—(Betty reenters. Charlie gives up. Into phone.) Peem? Bosco-bosco.

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