Genghis Khan

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AN EVENING AT THE END OE' WINTER

IN THE EARLY 'I'HIRTEENTH CENTURY,

NEAR THE HEADWATERS OF THE YELLOW

RIVER, WHERE THE FRONTIER OF SHENSI

MEETS THE TRAILS THAT LEAD INTO

THE DESERT.

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THE MAIN ROOM OF A WAYSIDE INN.

UPSTAGE, THE OOOR OF THE INN.

THREE TRAVELERS, SEATED ON LOW

~CHAIRS, h"UDDLE AROD'"ND A FIRE. THE

FLAMES LIGHT -CJP THEIR FACES, ALL

TANNED BY THE IVINDS OF THE DESERT.

: IN A. CORNER, THE INNKEEPER DOZES •

THE WOOD FIRE CRACKLES; THE WIND

WHISTLES THROUGH THE CREVICES --- -~ .

AROUND THE DOOR~

. .

f

, ! .• . \iti ' .

A LONG MO}IBNT OF SILENCE.

-~ .

- !' ~-" . .1.

. ·:)"."'

. .

. ;

FIRST TRAVELER

), (STRETCHING) .· Oh, _does that feel good!

.. :,~~t;>, . . . .


SECOND TRAVELER

I have some business to do in Gurgenj.

FIRST TRAVELER

Muslim country? What luck! That's where I'm going: we'll

be traveling companions. (TO THIRD TRAVELER) And you?

THIRD TRAVELER

I'll be with you part of the way. I'm going to Persia.

FIRST TRAVELER THRows · A FEW BRANCHES

ON THE FIRE, POKES IT A LITTLE.

SECOND TRAVELER

The wood's almost gone. Innkeeper! Is there any more wood?

INNKEEPER

Will the gentlemen require anything else?

THE INNKEEPER WAKES ' UP WI~H A START,

GETS A BUNDLE OF BRANCHES FROM A

CORNER OF THE ROOM, PLACES IT BE­

SIDE THE HEARTH.

..

c ·.

FIRST TRAVELER

No thanks, my friend, that'll be all.

SECOND'"'TRAVELER

Do you live all alone here?

Yes, all ·alone.

Aren't you ,afraid?

(SURPRISED)

Of what?

INNKEEPER

SECOND TRAVELER

INNKEEPER

_

. FIRST TRAVELER

Well, the place is so isolated.

SECOND TRAVELER

You're not bothered by highwaymen?

Why should I be?

INNKEEPER

I don't own a.p.ything.

FIRST TRAVELER

And, a few months back, when the Mongols were here--you had

no trouble?

Ir-...TNKEEPER

They made us pay some taxes. That's all.

--

'

----.


3.

FIRST TRAVELER

Well, in any case, it's finished now.

gone away.

The Mongols have

SECOND TRAVELER

Genghis Khan is dead. (TO INNKEEPER) Didn't you know that?

No, I hadn't heard.

INNKEEPER

SECOND TRAVELER .

Dead. A few days ago. Really dead.

THE INNKEEPER SITS NEAR THE FIRE.

INNKEEPER

Ho-W was he- kil1-ed? -Can you gentlemen tell me?

·SECOND TRAVELER

Indeed, how was he killed?

__ _ FIRST TRAVELER

It was General -Ko! He ran his sword right through him·.

..

(

General Ko:

INNKEEPER

isn't that Korocha?

FIRST TRAVELER

That's him, all right. The entire population of Shensi rose

up, and . overcame the Mongol camp. But General Ko, alone,

drove his horse right through a hail of arrows, a barrage

of lances, until he got to the throne of Genghis Khan. Then

he lifted up his sword--.

~ ' TRIRD TRAVELER

But I heardi it was Gemina who killed the Mongol Emperor.

--:__ .

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. ·· ..

- Who is -Gemina?

You don't know?

-~---SECOND TRAVELER

- . -- -~ .

-

- ·. :.: -: - -... - .. : -

.·· ,_c'. FIRST TRAVELER

. .SECOND TRAVELER

Would I be asking if I did? I'm not from these parts •

. FIRST TRAVELER

Arn I from these parts?

-· THIRD TRAVELER

Strictly speaking, - except for the innkeeper, we're all

foreigners. I'm from China.

But Gemina!

FIRST TRAVELER

I know who Gemina is •

. .

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4.

(TO SECOND TRAVELER)

INNKEEPER

Gemina is the Princess of Shensi.

FIRST TRAVELER.

True. I once saw the princess with my own eyes. God, was

she beautiful! More beautiful than a star in the evening sky.

Gemina--and Korocha: beauty--and bravery! ~

INNKEEPER

Are you sure it was the princess who assassinated the Khan?

FIRST TRAVELER

They say it was Korocha.

SECOND TRAVELER

And just who is "they?"

FIRST TRAVELER

Why, they--the people! · The peasants of this place. They

told me the whole story this afternoon, while we crossed the

river ~ If you haven't heard it, I'll tell it to you: (TO

SECOND TRAVELER) And no more questions.

..

SECOND TRAVELER

And to think that a moment ago you described how Korocha

charged through the Mongols... on his horse, how he lifted up

pis sword--as though you had been there yourself!

Well?

FIRST TRAVELER

• .'

SECOND TRAVELER

Well, from what I've heard, it wasn't Korocha.

Then who was it?

FIRST TRAVELER

SECOND TRAVELER

And it wasn't Gemina either.

FIRST TRAVELER

But -then who was it? Come on--enlighten us all? Perhaps it

was you! Perhaps you yourself killed Genghis Khan! Of course-·­

that must be it!

HE ~URSTS

(CONSPIRATORIALY) Well? What do you say?

INTO LAUGHTER.

(SULKING)

SECOND TRAVELER

Are you quite through making .fun of me?

THIRD TRAVELER

(CONCILIATING) Well--go on, tell us. Ever yone's entitled ~o

his opinion.


SECOND TRAVELER

Well then, mine is--that Genghis Khan committed suicide.

GENERAL ASTONISHMENT.

It's true! Put yourself in his place: would you have allowed

yourself to be massacred?

THEY ARE ALL SILENT.

INNKEEPER

It seems that none of us, then, knows exactly how he died. ·

Very complicated.

FIRST TRAVELER

Why is it complicated?

5.

INNKEEPER

· Now I really don't know who should get my taxes?

BEFORE ANYONE CAN ANSWER, THE DOOR

BURSTS OPEN. THE cotD WIND SWEEPS

INTO THE ROOM. A THIN- YOUNG MAN

ENTERS, A BUNDLE SLUNG OVER HIS

SHOULDER, AND CARRYING A STICK.

HE STANDS IN THE OOORWAY, IMMOBILE,

AND LOOKING STRAIGHT AHEAD.

..

Anyone here?

Why do you ask?

YOUNG MAN

+NNKEEPER

Can't you see for yourself?

Shut the door?

~~ · FIRST TRAVELER

That wind is freezing •

. _, YOUNG MAN

I'd like to ask if~ - might spend the night here. I'll leave

in the morning. Is.-that all right?

. · · _:_~· _: -INNKEEPER .

Why not? This is an inn, after all.

YOUNG MAN

I don't have any money. ·

...

. - FIRST TRAVELER

Close the door, for . God's sake!

YOUNG MAN ·

Close it for me, if you would. My eyes are gone. I can't

see.

: :.-·

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'··;;:. ·


6.

The poor man:

SECOND TRAVELER

Here, .sit down by the fire and .warm yourself.

HE GOES TO THE DOOR, SHUTS IT, AND

LEADS THE YOUNG MAN TO THE FIRE.

Don't worry about the money. I've got some. Sit down over

here.

HALTINGLY, THE YOUNG MAN PUTS HIS

BUNDLE AND STICK DOWN, SITS. THE

FIRE REVEALS A GAUNT FACE WITH A

HIGH, NARROW FOREHEAD, SIGHTLESS

EYES, AND A SARCASTIC, BITTER MOUTH.

THOUGH NOT HANDSOME, HE IS NOT WITH­

OUT CHARM OR DISTINCTION.

THIRD TRAVELER

Where are you from~

. YOUNG MAJ.~

I'm from Shensi. I've just crossed the Yellow River.

..

c· -

All alone?

Alone.

SECOND TRAVELER

~

YOUNG MA.i."'J'

·-

Where are you headed?

.......

THIRD TRAVELER

SECOND TRAVELER

If you're going towards Gurgenj--

Or Persia--

·THIRD TRAVELER

: .

YOUNG MAN

Persia, Gurgenj--is that west?

Of course:

FIRST TRAVELER

YOUNG MAN

I thank you, but I'm going in the other direction. Towards

the rising sun. The light of the sun is my guide.

c --..

A MOMENT OF SILENCE, ALL OF THEM

STARING THOUGHTFULLY INTO THE FIRE.

INNKEEPER

Oh, yes: We were discussing how he died. Now then, young man-­

since none of us seem to agree, perhaps you can tell us:

.. ~


7.

HE PUTS A HAND ON THE YOUNG MAN'S

SHOULDER: THE YOUNG MAN JUMPS.

Tell you what?

Genghis Khan is dead.

·I know.

YOUNG MAN

INNKEEPER

Did you know that?

YOUNG MAN

INNKEEPER

But how did he die? Have you heard.

Shensi country.

You've just come from

YOUNG MAN

I left Shensi this morning at dawn, with the last Mongol

soldier crossing back over the . Yellow River. The city was

rejoicing and getting ready to welcome Korocha and the Princess

Gemina.

INNKEEPER

Then you must know the real story. Tell us.

THIRD 'l'RAVELER

Yes--if you know, tell us!

FIRST TRAVELER

What for? I know it already.

SECOND TRAVELER

--

(VEXE.D) Perhaps you know, but we don't! Go ahead, young man.

I

THIRD TRAVELER

We've the whole night ahead of us.

more .wood.

-FIRST TRAVELER

All right, we'll listen to him.

Innkeeper, bring us some

THE INNKEEPER THROWS QUITE A BIT OF

WOOD ON THE FIRE, CROSSES TO THE

CORNER FOR ANOTHER BUNDLE. THE

FLAMES JUMP UP AS THE FIRE CRACKLES

LOUDER. THE YOUNG MAN LOOKS STRAIGHT

AHEAD.

( ;

In· truth--

But I am sure--

YOUNG MAN

FIRST TRAVELER.


'


8 •

Silence!

. SECOND TRAVELER

HE CLAPS THE FIRST TRAVELER ON TI-~

SHOULDER. THE YOUNG MAi\f, IN Ai'l. IN-

FINITELY SWEET VO.ICE, BEGINS HIS

STORY.

YOUNG :MAN

In truth ..••. Genghis Khan was only a pretext.

What!

FIRST TRAVELER

.,

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SECO~D TRAVELER

Oh, for heaven's sake! Pipe down!

1

YOUNG MAN

Genghis Khan was only a pretext. The leader of the most pow­

\~ · · erful nation-1; \ \) _ .---\--

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THE WIND OUTSIDE SUDDENLY; GUSTS

LOUDER, COVERING THE YOUNG }!fu\f 'S

VOICE. THE LIGHTS DIM UNTIL O:t-!LY

THE FACES OF THE TRAVELERS ARE

VISIBLE, AS THEY LEAJ.\f IN TOWARDS

THE FIRE, LISTENING.

..

LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK.

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10.

A FEW DAYS EARLIER.

THE TENT OF GENGHIS KHAN, HEAD­

QUARTERS OF THE MONGOL CAMP AT THE

EDGE OF THE DEFEATED CAP+TAL OF

SHENSI, IN THE SINISTER GLOW OF A

WINTER DUSK.

(

.

RIGHT, A RAISED GOLDEN THRONE, WITH

_ARMS IN THE SHAPE OF DRAGON-HEADS •

NEAR THE THRONE, A LONG TABLE AND

A HUGE BRONZE GONG. ON THE WALL

BESIDE THE THRONE, A . LARGE BOW ~..ND

QUIVER. LEFT A CURTAIN OF PEARLS

SEPARATING THE TENT FROM A SLEEPING-

1li,COVE. AT THE BACK, THE OPEN EN­

TRANCE TO THE TENT, THROUGH WHICH

CAN BE SEEN THE SILHOUETTES OF T >·iO

GUARDS HOLDING CROSSED SPEARS AT

ATTEN-TION. OUTSIDE, THE SOUNDS OF

CAMP: MEN'S VOICES AND THE NEIGHING

OF HORSES. BEYOND TENT ROOFS, THE

RUINED AND STILL-SMOLDERING CITY.

AN OLD MAN, WITH WHITE HAIR AND

BEARD, STANDS BEFORE THE THRONE,

ON WHICH IS SEATED GENGHIS KHA..~:

RUGE, TERRIFYING, AND SEVENTY. HE

HOLDS SEVERAL BOOKS, AND IS CONTEM­

PLATING THEM.

•.

Books.

GENGHIS KHAN

These books: what is their purpose?

( ·.

OLD MAN

They record the words of ~he saints, Your Highness.

GENGHIS. KHAN

The saints. What are they?


11.

( : \

OLD 1-1.~'J

They are the sages of earlier times, Your Highness--such

as Confucius.

GENGHIS KHA.L'li

Did he know how to ride a horse, or shoot an arrow?

OLD MAN

Confucius, Your Highness, was content to write books, and

to teach.

GENGHIS KHAN

And what did he teach?

OLD MAN

Justice, an9 charity. There's not a man, even in bhe remotest

spot of China, who does not know his teachings.

GENGHIS KHAl'.J

Which is why the Chinese were defeated!

use for charity and justice.

We Mongols have no

•.

(.

OLD MA..'li

Charity and justice, Your Highness, are the very foundations

of the art of governing.

GENGHIS KHAN

Being well-fed is more important! So one must teach people

to shoot an arrow and ride a horse--and that is all. You

people of Shensi have lost your country? You have only yourselves

to blame: why do you want to imitate the customs of

the Chinese? But what is it, exactly, that you want of me? --- -

You haven't made that clear.

THE OLD MAN APPROACHES THE THRONE.

OLD M.~'.J

These books are holy books--the last remaining possessions

of the people of Shensi. I offer them to the Khan.

GENGHIS KHAN

My thanks to the people of Shensi.

you--

And as a recompense to

HE TAKES A PEARL FROM HIS SLEEVE,

THROWS IT BEFORE THE OLD MAN.

Pick it up!

Pearls are more precious than books.

OLD MAN

Your Highness; I dare not accept.

lvhat?

GENGHIS KHA.L'li

This pearl--I'rn giving it to you!


OLD MAN

I thank Your Highness, but I cannot accept it. Instead, I

should like to beg something of the Khan: an insignificant

thing, but one which, to the people of Shensi, is more precious

than pearls, more precious than books.

GENGHIS KHAN

And what is that? I allow you to speak.

OLD NAN

It's simply--an order for the Khan's troops to withdraw.

Then the people of Shensi will know peace once again, and

return to a life free of care. They will be indebted to

Your Highness for generations. (PAUSE) The King of Shensi

is already dead. The Princess of Shensi has become the

servant of Your Highness. The Province of Shensi has been

devastated/ to the last grain of rice. These book~ I have

offered Your Highness are ail that we have left--the last

vestiges of our past. Your Highness, is there anything

left in this country to prevent your troops from leaving?

GENGHIS KHAN

You speak too well. I find you difficult to follow. But

it seems that you consider only the people of Shensi, and

you forget the life-purpose of the Mongols.

OLD }fAJ.'J

But it is the fate of the :Mongol people which concerns me.

I think of the Mongol soldier, away f rom home since childhood,

obliged to spend his life on horseback--a life devoted

to bloodshed. If, however, there could be an order to with­

draw--

GENGHIS KHAN

Do you want to die? Is that what you're after? Mongols

are not interested in peace.

12.

I

OLD MAN

I consent to my death. But whether they come from Shensi

or Mongolia, they are still only men--who dream of their

homes, their wives, their children.

GENGHIS KHAN

The Mongol soldier doesn't have a home. Out there, where

the land is flat--there is his home! And women? Don't

worry about it, for where doesn't he find women? In that

respect, I have to thank the people of Shensi: your princess

is a rare beauty. Gemina. Gernina: the name is pretty. But

she who wears it is·· even prettier.

THE KHAN'S GAZE GROWS DISTANT.

To demolish an entire country, to raze its capital to the

ground; then, on the very night of the victory, amid rivers

of blood and fires still blazing in the skies, to take pos~


session of the enemy's throne and--between two cups of wine

toasting the exploits of the troops-~to choose, from among

the most beautiful women of the vanquished race, the most

beautiful--beautiful, but proud and fierce, like a Mongol

stallion; then, amid rivers of blood and fires blazing in

the skies, to reduce her, by stages, to silence and submission--like

a stallion beneath the iron grip of the Mongol

soldier. Ha! I'm talking too much. But Gemina! What

book is more beautiful than Gemina? Of what worth is your

Confucius, compared to Gemina? And what good is the writing :

of books? What good is the preaching of doctrines? No orie

can teach anyone anything. Each man has his own reason for

living. No one can imitate me·!_·· ;·

13.

THE KHAN PICKS UP A BOOK, LEAFS

THROUGH IT.

(..

Nothing but Chinese characters. The Chinese are too fond

of words. Ah! I forgot to tell you: I can't read. For

me, a precious book is a blank one, without one character.

A silent book: silent, and immense as a desert night;

silent as a beautiful woman who has submitted. (PAUSE)

These books are useless. I give them back to you. I have

no need for charity and justice .

. HE THROWS THE BOOKS TO TI-IE FLOOR ..

THE OLD M.~'1 RUSHES TO PICK THEM

UP.

And now . I give you my answer. You ask what I would have

before I give the order to withdraw my troops? I'll tell ·

you: I would have your crown prince present himself to . me . ....... -.

I await his return to Shensi, so that I may give him back

this throne--the golden throne of Shensi.

THE KH&'J CARESSES THE ARMS OF

THE THRONE, WATCHING THE OLD MAN,

WHO C.Af-.INOT CONCEAL HIS AMAZEMENT.

.\

OLD MAN

But that's impossible! The crown prince cannot return. The

crown prince cannot surrender!

GENGHIS KHAN

You people are as fond of words as the Chinese: "surrender?"

The King of Shensi is dead; hi~ son must return before he

can take back the throne. It is in vain that he hides in

the mountains and wastes his time in wars against me. I

want the prince to come to me. I want it because Shensi

is the gateway to China. ·

OLD MAN

The prince cannot betray his own people.


GENGHIS KHAN

What do you mean, betray? The people of Shensi will

better off than before!

OLD MAN

Having enough to eat is important, but man has other needs

as well.

GENGHIS KHAN

What is it, then, that you people need?

OLD MAN

To live our lives without shame •

14.

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. -- .

. ·GENGHIS KHAN .

You are decidedly too complicated.

I -

OLD MAN

Your Highness may think it complicated, but man has been

known · . to sacrifice everything--his bowl of rice, his

clothing, riches, honors--for that little need.·

..

GENGHIS KHAN

But will he sacrifice this throne?

If necessary. . ;

OLD .MAN

GENGHIS KHAN

As your crown prince is doing?

General Jebayr· -

'.

GUARD'S VOICE

GENGHIS KHAN

Ah, the General has returned at exactly the hour he predicted.

(TO GUARD) Send him in! Old man, you are too ·-ga11:i;b1e.

But stay awhile! You' 11 see.

THE MONGOL GENERAL JEBAY ENTERS,

BOWS HIS HEAD IN SALUTE.

Approach," General. I've been awaiting your news--as have

the citizens of Shensi. This is their emissary. Well? You

may speak before the old man. This matter concerns us all.

Did you meet with the crown prince?

THE OLD MAN IS AMAZED.

JEBAY

Your Highness, I went to the appointed place.

GENGHIS KHA!~

Excellent. Then you saw him.

-- .


JEBAY

In a hut, in the middle of the desert, two days' ride from

the headwaters of the Yellow River.

GENGHIS K.HAJ.'J'

(TO OLD MAN) Did you hear that? Your prince himself proposed

this meeting. He may be young, but he's not so stupid

as you. You still have much to learn, old man. One must

learn from life itself, not from piles of books. (LAUGHING)

The prince knows it is useless to oppose me. Has anyone

ever resisted the hooves of Mongol horses? That is why the

.prince knows he must meet with me. He wants to •!surrender~"

I thank you for teaching me that word: it is a word unknown

to Mongols. Right, General?

OLD MAN

JEBAY MAKES READY TO ANSWER.

(INTERRUPTING) The prince may surrender, but the leaders of

his forces will never--

JEBAY

Wait a minute! Those leaders of his forces: do you mean

Korocha? Do you know him?

15.

(

OLD MAN

Korocha. Yes, I know him. I know him very well.

GENGHIS KHAN·

(INTRIGUED) Who is this Korocha? What does he mean to us?

JEBAY

The old man will have that information.

Your Highness?

May I question him~ _

You may.

GENGHIS KHAN

JEBAY

What do you know about Korocha?

OLD MAN

Korocha? He is tall and straight, like a desert palm. He

has the shoulders of a bear; enormous arms. His eyes burn

like the morning star and the evening star. His brows curve

up like sabers against the sky. In knowledge, Korocha is

the complete man: as well-ver&ed in literature as in the military

arts. As for his character--he is loyalty itself.

( .

JEBAY

What is he, exactly, to the prince?

OLD .MAN

His closest friend, and the soul of our resistance.

amazed that he agreed to the prince's surrender.

I am



16.

JEBAY

Your prince didn't surrender. To be more exact, he didn't

have time to surrender. Your Highness, when I entered the

hut, the Prince of Shensi--

JEBAY HESITATES, LOOKS AT THE ·oLD

MAl'l, DRAWS FRON lJ"NDER HIS TUNIC A

SWORD WHOSE STEEL IS AN AMAZING

BLUE •

. the Prince of Shensi was no more than a body. This sword .

had gone through his breast.

Korocha.

GENGHIS KHAN

JEBAY

Indeed, his name is carved here in the handle.

GENGHIS KHAN

I want to meet this Korocha. (TO OLD MAN) You, who ·heaped

praise on him: you must know where he's hiding • .

•.

OLD :M.AN

No. Korocha appears and disappears like a man from heaven.

No one can know where he's .hiding.

( . ..

\ " ·.

~, ....

Are you sure of that?

JEBAY

OLD MAN

I'm positive! And even if a man knew, he wouldn't have the

right to divulge it to you.

JEBAY

Old man: capturing Korocha is as easy, for me--as picking a

thing out of my pocket.

OLD MAi.'l

Then why don't you do it, General?

JEBAY

I want you to show us your good ·will: I want the answer to

my .question. Where is he hiding? Don't forget that Korocha

himself murdered your prince--The Prince of Shensi and of

your people.

OLD MAN

Korocha did his duty, in accordance with the will of heaven,

and in communion with the wish of the people. He eliminated

a traitor.

GENGHIS KHAN

But because he resists me, he will die.

me: I could squash you like a beetle.

(PAUSE) Listen tq

Instead, I'll give


(

you the chance to exchange your life for the life of Korocha.

Tell us where he is.

Well?

Think it over!

JEBAY

17.

OLD MAN

I don't need time to think.

·Then out with it!

JEBAY

OLD MAN

I don't know where.Korocha is. If I did know, I wouldn't

tell you .. As for my life--it•s in your hands. If the Khan

does not fear the reputation he would bear by killing a

d~fenceless emissary, then it is certainly permissible to

him-- ·

GENGHIS KHAN

Choose your words carefully! I'm not joking.

..

Nei tber am I •

OLD MAN

I would like to say sometli.ing before I die.

GENGHIS KHAN PICKS UP THE GONG­

BEATER, IS ABOUT TO STRIKE, WHEN

THE OLD MAN STEPS FORWARD TO IN­

TERRUPT HIM.

1 ·will allow it.

GENGHIS KHAN

HE PUTS THE BEATER DOWN.

OLD MAN

I will put one single question to Your Highness. The hooves

of Mongol horses have trampled every crop on the Continent;

whole populations have bowed to the Khan's flag-of-nine-flames; .;



18.

( "

( ·

all I want, for the moment. But if I must eliminate the

entire human race to find it out, then I am ready. Do you

understand?

OLD MAN

Can a horse be spurred to gallop forever without tiring?

Will the human race bow its head forever before your flagof-nine

flames? Or will it begin to-- •

~ j_ GUARD'S VOICE

General To~etu;w--~~~ess!

y GENGHIS KHAN

Sen~ him i~ . lo bo tq, -·

~ f'J. _

GENERAL TOGIIE'Pl:J ENTERS, EMOTION

VISIBLE ON HIS FACE. HE SALUTES.

- · ~g 11,l

Your Highness: bad news. One of our companies has been

ambushed.

Go on.

GENGHIS KHAN

~ · A~1-,

-!I'OGUETB

It was on routine patrol; five leagues from the Yellow

River~ it was attacked--completely destroyed, except for

one man who escaped and brought the news .

. GENGHIS KHAN

Bring him here, this- soldier~ i \-

" --------- ~~ Pf,O-L G...O'. v._ r -

roG~T& ~ u o ~~

~t the Khan's command. At. ~ ~ -1 \'\-'\ ul')

TOGWETTI SAT.TIT.ES, EXITS.

OLD MAN

Your Highness--the- human race has begun to rise.

GENGHIS KHAN

I will exterminate it.

A SOLDIER ENTERS, CLOTHES TORN ~~~D

FACE BLOODY. THE KHAN TURNS TO HIN.

"

Well, now?

You didn't die with the rest?

SOLDIER

Your Highness, it was my duty to return with the news.

I'm listening.

GENGHIS KHAN


19.

C.O n ·1,P


.

20.

(

JEBAY

No, Your Highness. We would achieve the same result, however, .<

if we were to "pacify" the populace.

GENGHIS KHAN

Aha! You are right, General. Give orders for five platoons

to patrol the city all this night. In the morning, arrest

five thousand of Shensi. Five thousand at random--men, women,

children, old people: their deaths, for the deaths of

a hundred Mongol warriors.

JEBAY

Orders received, Your Highness.

GENGHIS KHAN

When they have beeri carried out, return here.

more to discuss with you.

I have much

And I

JEBAY

have another matter to bring to the Khan's attention.

JEBAY SALUTES, EXITS • THE KHA.i."'l

LOOKS AT THE OLD MAN A MOMENT.

•.

GENGHIS KHAN

Well then, where is Korocha hiding? Is it west or east of

the river--let's begin with-that. I command you to speak.

OLD MAN

Was this ambush not enough for Your Highness? Mankind has

begun to stir against you. And Your Highness is already too

advanced in age--

.•

Advanced in age!

GENGHIS KHAN

You--you want to die!

OLD MAN

(IMPASSIVE) You are old. It is a truth you cannot hide.

One day, someone else must replace you, and govern the Mongol

people. Can you be sure he will have the authority to hold

onto such a throne?

Silence!

GENGHIS KHAN

I command you to be silent!

THE KHAN COLLECTS HIMSELF, THEN

HIS" FACE TAKES ON A FRIGHTENING

CALM.

'

( ..

I authorize you to speak~

OLD MAN

The words I speak are sincere: they come from the bottom of

my heart. I accept death. I am prepared for it. I only

beg Your Highness to have pity.on the people of Shensi.


.. .. ~

21.

c.:-: t\

GENGHIS KHAN

Pity? I have no pity. Not .even for my owrr son. Fo"r ~_. \ hnom. ,

then, can I have pity? J....__

OLD MAN

Gemina, Your Highness. Gemina is also from Shensi ·. · Your

Highness loves her. For her sake, then--

GENGHIS KHAN

Love! You people are too complicated. For me, there is

only the victor and the vanquished. The one submits to the

other. That is love. I, Genghis Khan, . Emperor of· Mongolia,

am not.old. I cannot grow old. I can spend months on horseback

without tiring. I can put out the eye of a swallow

flying high in the heavens. I, the Emperor of Mongolia, have

no pity. I have no love.

' ·

OLD MAN

The Emperor has no 'pity, has no love, has only hate for

humanity--but God? Does the Emperor not fear that--

(LAUGHING)

God?

GENGHIS KHAN

~fuat is God?

..

OLD MAN

God, Your Highness, is our Supreme Lord, who reigns over all

earthly beings. God is--

GENGHIS KHAN

Ah, then God--is me! •open your eyes, old man, and -see: the

Mongol armies are numberless; the lands under my flag-of-nineflames

are infinite~ Millions of men, united into one. I

give an order--amillion_heads bow in obeisance. I tell them

to advance, and they advance. I tell them to live, and they

live. I tell them to die, and they die.

Now tell ~e where Kor.ocha is hiding.

I am God. (PAUSE)

OLD MAN

Your Highness, I have given you my answer.

You want to die.

:GENGHIS KHAN

JEBAY ...

Orders carried out, Your Highness.

HE PICKS UP THE GONG-BEATER, IS .

AGAIN ABOUT TO STRIKE WHEN JEBAY

ENTERS.

c - - ~

GENGHIS KHAN

You return at a crucial 'moment, General? Old man, I• 11 do

you a favor: I'll ask you for .the last time--where is Korocha?

.. .-

- .


··-'·- ·-- -·-- ~ .:.____ __ .

22.

OLD MAN'

(TIRED) Your Highness, I am a simple man. I have only one

answer.

GENGHIS KH.Ai'J

But the King of Shensi is dead. The Prince of Shensi is dead.

That upstart Korocha, too, will die. I can exterminate the

entire population of Shensi. Have you reflected on the consequences

of silence?

OLD MAN

There is no need to reflect. We must all die eventually-­

even Your Highness.

GENGHIS KHAN

(BELLOWING) • The Khan will not die!

The Khan will rtever--

HE STOPS IN MID-PHRASE, LOWERS HIS

HEAD, DWELLING FOR THE FIRST TIME

ON THE POSSIBILITY OF DEAT~.

OLD MAN

No one can resist the laws of nature. What is important is

to know how to choose one's death.

..

. .

I

GENGHIS KHAN

will choose yours for you •

OLD :MAN

I have been prepared for it a long time. It's an abuse of

· :,the gifts of heaven to have lived as long as I have already.

Now, thanks to your solicitude, I shall know a worthy death.- -

. I

GENGHIS KHAN

:· A worthy death! Ha! I see you have no idea what is in store .

for you •

--. ~

.. . . ,;

. .: ~ . ·: .

., .

. .

. •'

'.:

·. . OLD 1-f..AN

· . You may tear out my eyes, cut all my tendons, break my bones,

remove my flesh bit by bit, and even pulverize what is left

of me. I shall die a thousand deaths, but I shall not be

vanquished. And that is all that matters. Your Highness

· may give the order •

THE KHAN STUDIES HIM A MOMENT, THEN

HES!TANTLY RAISES THE GONG-BEATER •

C .

. ·. _-,,, .

Your Highness--

What is it?

JEBAY

GENGHIS KHAN

. .. , j .'.~ ' ;: _.. ~:: .: ' , ••

-. 1:· .. ,~· >.·- . '"i

. '


23.

JEBAY

This man can tell us something else, if Your

permit me.

Go ahead.

GENGHIS KHAN

I wish you luck.

•: .

OLD MAN

What more can you ask of me, General?

JEBAY

This question is a simple one: it's about a bird. A bird

that sings at dawn and flies extremely high. The higher it flies, the more beautifully it sings. What is the name of 1

that bird?

1

(TERRIFIED)

OLD MAL'J

I don't understand--

JEBAY ·

Corne on, old man! It's called the lark.

1

I

i

I

I

!

:

I

..

The lark?

OLD MAN

JEBAY

That's right: the skylark.

JEBAY GP~BS THE OLD MAN BY THE

.. SHOULDERS, SHAKES HIM VIOLENTLY,

HIS VOICE SNAPPING LIKE A WrlIP.

"The Skylark" is also the nickname of a man! The Skylark

knows where Korocha is hiding! \


':;;'

-· . \

·.\.

OLD MAN

(DAZED) Oh, God! Korocha's brother.

- ... <

JEBAY THROWS THE OLD MAN TO THE

GROUND.

JEBAY

That's all I wanted to know. There is something I couldn't

report before I had that bit of information.

What is it?

GENGHIS .,.KHPu'I

..

"· i

C

- ,

JEBAY

When I walked into that .hut, the Prince of Shensi was not

quite dead. With his last agonized breath, he gasped two

words.

- ~·: . ·.

. ; .. . ·


24.

The Skylark.

GENGHIS KHAN

JEBAY

When I returned here, I sent men out to round him up, tho11gh ·

I wasn't sure what · use he would be f:o us. I've ju.st · learned

that he's been found, and is being brought to camp.

GENGHIS KHAN

I congratulate you, General. Well done.

JEBAY

People here think him a madman, wandering aimlessly about

the countryside. That is why I doubted his importance to

us. A madman, I thought, lead us to Korocha? But now,

thanks to this old man-- (TO OLD MAN) We are indebted to you.

OLD MA.~

But the Skylark is truly a madman! He knows nothing of Korocha.

How can you believe the ravings of insanity? Or do

you mean to make him a hostage? Korocha is not a man.to

abandon .his cause for sentiment!

•.·

JEBA.Y

Old man, you face death on three counts: first, you talk too

much; second, you know too much about our plans; third--but

there is no need to point out that crime to you. .Just how

old are you?

. "" "

·, ...

OLD M.i\.N'

·. -So, my third crime is that of being old. I know very well·

that I am at the age of death. But as I look around, I ·find____

I'm not the only one guilty .of thgt crime.

b · t.C. !'-''dZ\. 1\-j- k..t. lj t"-{. ~4"- .--· · .

GUARD'S VOICE

The Skylark awaits the orders of the Khan!

Send him in?

Ha!

. ·' ·. GENGHIS KHAN

Korocha--we'll have you yet.

. H.._ \~ ·H...c. -&-c ,._J.v_ (7~

THE KHAN'S AIDE~DE-CAMP ENTERS.

Your Highness--

AIDE

c· ..

Well, where is he?

GENGHIS KHAN

AIDE

Your Highness--the Skylark refuses to enter.

What?

GENERAL ASTONISHMENT.

GENGHIS KHAN


AIDE .

Your Highness, may I .report the manner of his refusal?

25.

Speak.

GENGHIS KHAN

AIDE

He says that he is not here of his own free will--that

Highness had him brought in, and therefore needs him.

addition, he is convinced that he is not long for this

·And that is why--

THE, AIDE HESITATES.

Your

In

world.

Go on!

GENGHIS KHAN

I ' . .

AIDE

He will enter only on three conditions •

Who is this--

. -

. GENGHIS I


26.

(

GENGHIS KHAN

Thanks to the General's reasoning, you will keep your head

for now. (TO AIDE) Have him locked up.

Yes, Your Highness.

AIDE

I

thank you, General.

OLD MAN

JEBAY

You ought, rather, to thank the Skylark.

OLD MAN

I feel that Your Highness will want to see me again.

GENGHIS KHAN

(POINTING TO THE PEARL) I keep my word. I gave you that

pearl. Pick it up.

OLD :MAN

I too keep my word. I said that I could not accept it.

(TO AIDE) Let's be off.

/

i . :·.

~:

THEY EXIT. GENGHIS KHAN PICKS UP

THE PEARL, ADMIRES IT, SETS IT ON

THE TABLE.

GENGHIS KHAN

What a foolish old man.

THE AIDE RE-ENTERS, STANDS AT AT~

T&\JTION.

Ah, but there are two more conditions!

Go on.

AIDE

He would like to rest tonight. He will appear before the

Khan tomorrow afternoon. He is too tired to think freely.

{AFTER A. HESITATION)

GENGHIS KHAN

So be it. And the third?

. AIDE

I dare not report it without the Khan's promise to spare my

life.

JEBAY

You have the Khan '.s · consent to speak.

AIDE

He says--that he cannot sleep alone, because he's afraid of

ghosts. He requests a pretty maidservant, to help him forget

that the night is long.

_,


27.

·.· ..

.... :. ~

GENGHIS KHAN

Is this madman toying with me?

Your Highness:

JEBAY

in any case, his life is in our hands.

( .-. . .

.

'.: ·.- .

( :_.

GENGHIS KHAN

Go tell the Skylark that we will give him satisfaction. Have

them do whatever is needed. You may go.

THE AIDE BOWS, EXITS •._ THE KHAN .

BEGINS TO PACE. A SINISTER RAY

OF SUNLIGHT FALLS ON THE . ARM OF

THE THRONE, CARESSING THE DRAGON'S

HEAD AND SENDING A GOLDEN REFLEC­

TION ACROSS THE ROOM. T~E RAY

FADES; THE DAY DIES. THE KHAN

STOPS PACING. HIS VOICE IS DEEP

AND EVEN IN THE DESCENDING DARK­

NESS.

This is the first tirne--the first time that I've bent to

the wishes of another. And to the Skylark--a madman! Ha!

This day: Korocha. And the old man of Shensi. I am old.

But how can I grow old? It is my duty to live! General,

do you remember how old I am?

JEBAY

I've been in the service of Your Higfiness since I was a

youth. In those days, we used to laugh that we were born

on the same day. And this year, I believe I shall be--

'--i

HE HESITATES, LOOKS AT THE KH.AJ.~.

THEY SMILE AT ONE ANOTHER.

GENGHIS KHAN

(SOFTLY) Then how old are we, General'Jebay?

JEBAY

In the spring, · I shall be seventy.

THERE IS A LONG MOMENT OF SILENCE ·•

. GENGHIS KHAN

(DISTANTLY) And so the Khan is seventy. Seventy long years

of living on horseback, intoxi~ated with blood, trampling

the plains of the continent. And to what end? One day soon,

I too shall be put into the earth.

J~BAY

Your Highness is still as strong as a god.

GENGHIS KHAN

Jebay, Jebay: no one escapes death. Each life carries in

itself the seed of its own destruction. It is the law of


----

..


G· i

i

/ ,.

nature.)\ Then, one day, I will be no more • . Who will take

my place on the throne of Mongolia? ·who will have the stature

to lead my people? All these immense territories,

conquered with such eff ort, will be chopped up into a thou- .

sand pieces. My powerf ul armies will disband. The myriad

peoples who bow to my flag-of-nine-f~--the Tangut, the

Chin, the Persians, the Muslims, the Shensi--all will .re..:.

volt! My sons? They are of little value. They are envious,

and hate one another. There is only one possibility: there

is only Jushi.

JEBAY

The prince is both virtuous and gifted.

C

'- ·.

"/ :_... .


~~·

·'

GENGHIS KHAN

I know he is. But being virtuous and gifted is not enough

to hold the , Mongols together. He must also submit .to my ·

will..

JEBAY

Your Highness, in my opinion--·

He has betrayed me?

GENGHIS KHAN

You didn't know that, General?

JEBAY

No, by God! How could that be? Ever since he went to rule

the Arabian territory, each of his actions has been governed

by the desire to please Your Highness.

..

c'

GENGHIS KHAN

-

Not now! Now he has refused--not once, but three times-- :

to return here ·at my bidding. He has even taken it upon ---­

himself to raise his own army. He has dismissed all the

trusted men r sent him as counsellors--

Your Highness-

JEBAY

' ! .

GENGHIS KHAN

No! Don't try to defend him. While you were gone to meet

with the Prince of Shensi, I dispatched my counsell.or Ly Tu

with an ul.timatum to my son.

What was it?

JEBAY

GENGHIS KHAN

That he return here at once. My final order. Either he

returns with Ly Tu--and no one else--to confer with me, or--

·(-~

._;. ,

Or what, Your Highness?

JEBAY

··.·


~/) \ 29.

GENGHIS KHAN \

has no right to live--even if he is my _~

his orders, and knows what he must do. ·

JEBAY

Even tigers do not devour their own offspring.

~

t-:Ju \ f Y

~o . \

CG\~l, ~ .

GENGHIS KHAN \ l

(ADAMANT) Man must be more intelligent than the beasts. \~Q

Jebay, who does not feel affection .for his children? Wh:J

does not love his flesh and blood? But I a:m · -··

the Khan of Mongolia. I haven't the right ~o feel .·pity. OO'~V\ -

I do not comprehend pity. The Khan does not pity. · ~ u

. . .

JEBAY

(FALLING TO HIS KNEES) I am unpardonable.

; -

·r \

GENGHIS KHAN -- - - ~ -- - -

Nor You are not at fault. Get up. Night has fallen, and ·., '

you have traveled much. Go get some rest. You must be dead_, · _

with fatigue.

JEBAY

I don't know the meaning of the word.

.\;

I

\. ,

•• <

.(

i~ · . I

...... _

GENGHIS KHAN

My Jebay is truly a man of valor. But I want him to go rest.

Do you remember the vow we made when we were young?

JEBAY

I was born the same day as Your Highness. I vowed to serve

him the rest of my l .ife-- -- .

·GENGHIS KHAN

Yes, but we also -swore that, when the time came, we would

die the same day. Remember? Well, then: go get some rest.

JEBAY SALUTES, CROSSES TO EXIT.

By the way, Ly Tu's mission to my son is known to no one e~

cept you, General.

JEBAY EXITS . . THE KHAN, ALONE,

GESTURES AS IF TO WAVE OFF AN

OPPRESSIVE THOUGHT. HE CROSSES

TO THE THRONE, SITS •

...

How quiet it is! My sons. Each under a different sky.

Jushi: was my decision too hasty?

HE STRIKES THE GQNG.

ENTERS.

~~ 'r\ ~ -Tc. ~o-v-..

THE AIDE

Your Highness?

AIDE er. - · s~ ~ ~ - ~


. '

"'("'"·. \

r

\

GENGHIS KHAN

Bring something to drink.

Even my son betrays me.

THE AIDE EXITS.

30.

Then who is to be trusted?

·l (

(JJ...~ l

I am still as potent as a youth. . ~ovJ~

~yd...¢o'f'.V>l~ .

THE AIDE ENTERS WITH ThO LIGHTED

CANDLES. THE KHAN RISES SUDDENLY,

HURSLS THE GOURD, BREAKING IT TO

PIECES.

One candle only.

Put it on the table.

THE AIDif &ts"-~~o ?L

· Now open wide the entrance to my tent.

--- .

THE AIDE FOLDS BACK THE TENT-FLAPS.

OUTSIDE, TOTAL DARKNESS.

x 'R. J-., cs

Now, leave here with the other candle, · and walk>straight

ahead. Count off a hundred paces, and stop. A-~ cl


C -\

~;J )

AIDE

Your Highness is a man from God.

GENGHIS . KHAN

I am not a man from God. I am God.· Do you understand?'

How old are you?

--· ""

31.

R_ ' -

.

. !

--

V AIDE1'

I have served Your Highness since I was eighteen.

time, seven seasons of snow have passed into--

Since that

_.,

····...

. ~ ..·•·

GENGHIS KHAN

I ask him his age, and he gives me Chinese poetry? · So, you

are o~ly twenty-five.

UE . !I'IfROl'iS Tim :BOW Atp 'l'l:l£ .. "\IDE' S

~.

Pick up·- thakhow, and draw it.

. 0-~ C'S

THE AIDE_TEIES, IS UNABLE ro DO SO.

AIDE

. The bow of Your Highness, the Khan of all Mongolia--

Try again!

GENGHIS KHAN

..

,; .-'•.._.;..

.., ...

. ;

. ··---~ ' . ·- :·~

. j

.; ·'.L

: .. ,• ~

.·.. ,. : ~

I

-

.....___ __ -· _:: ..

HE .DOES SO, FAILS, FALLS TO HIS

KNEES .

~-~ _ -< , AIDE

am unpardonable--but I am too weak, Your Highness.

. ~Ji;IA KU:..'?z?i 60&£ 'I'O 'I'm!: TZ\~L"&, PI€KS

_ ~THE gfilIBL, THROWS IT BEFORE HIM.

_ ~~ -~stu..ia


32.

GENGHIS KHk'\J'

I don't have the right to grow old.

Immortal. And why not?

I am forever young.

GUARD'S VOICE

Gemina, Princess of Shensi?

GENGHIS KH.Ai.'l\J

Gernina. (SHOUTS) She may enter: Gernina.

TWO HANDMAIDENS APPE,AE AT THE TENT

OPENING, EACH CARRYING A LANTERN.

THEY SEPARATE, AND GEMINA PASSES

BETWEEN THEM, BOWS.

Ah, Gernina: (TO SERVANTS) You may leave us.

THE SERVANTS BOW, EXIT . THE KHAN

GOES TO TABLE, TAKES THE CANDLE,

CROSSES SLOWLY TO GEMINA AND LIFTS

UP . HER CHIN. IN THE CANDLE-LIGHT

HER FACE APPEARS, A STAR IN THE

DESERT SKY.

( . :.

"- .: ,

Gemina .•••• do you know what love is?

GEM INA

(GLACIAL) I belong to a conquered people. Your Highness is

· the conqueror. I do not know what love is.

THE KHAN THROWS THE CANDLE TO THE

FLOOR. THE TENT IS PLUNGED INTO

DARKNESS. THE KHAN .BURSTS INTO

LAUGHTER • . -

~ ~. . . ..

. .

.-.--··

..

- 1 -

LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK.

c· ... 1


•.

ACT TWO

..

' I

. >

: ·. -


I=" '-+- ~ >'\ l Q_'i

\\\~

IO

34.

. .

U

. . I

I

/.

1

I

!

i

\

' .

'··,

' ....

! .,..

.

LATE AFTERNOON THE NEXT DAY.

KOROCHA' S SWORD IS STILL WHERE

IT WAS ON THE TABLE • .

\ THE OLD ~.Al'\J OF SHENSI ST-ANDS PA­

\ TIENTLY IN A CORNER OF THE TENT.

-~ ···-- - -------. j THE PEARL CURTAIN STIRS; THE AIDE

·-·--. .z_SILENTL Y ENTERS FROM THE SLEEPING-

ALCOVE.

\~

I/ / --~~__

:--_ -~----OLD MAN '

/,,You there--young man! It's late afternoon, well past the

hour of the cock; The Khan surrunoned me this morning, for ...___ __

the .hour of the monkey--and I '.m stil.l waiting here .to see

him. '· · - · -

•.

. TRANCE.

-'"" '

Lt;-~

·::~~ -- ~ori--v9-leE

The Skylark .awaits orders!

THE AIDE STOPS, LOOKS AT THE OLD

MAN A MOMENT; THEN, WITHOUT A WORD,

HE CONTINUES TOi-iARDS THE TENT EN-

\1 . . He- -may enter!

L__-

T~ SKYLARK ENTERS , WITH A LIGHT ·

STEP. HE IS YOl.~G, GAUNT, WITH

A HIGH, NARROW FOREHEAD. HIS GAZE

IS PENETRATING, ALTERNATELY RE-

_ FLECTING REVOLT AND DESPAIR, BUI'

LIGHTENED AT MOMENTS BY A MISCHIEV­

OUS GLEAN. HIS SMILE IS CANDID,

YET PINCHED LIPS ALREADY DENOTE A

A CERTAIN BITTERNESS. HE IS NOT

HANDSOME, BUT DOES NOT LACI{ CHAR!'-i


35.

OR DISTINCTION. HE CROSSES TO THE

MIDDLE OF THE TENT, . POINTS TO THE

EMPTY THRONE.

(TO AIDE)

THE SKYLARK

Where is he?

AIDE

His Highness left orders for you to wait.

Until when?

THE SKYLARK

It's already past the hour of the cock.

AIDE

Wait there, and don't ask questions.

you. Wait your turn.

This old man is before

• .

The Skylark?

OLD MAN

THE AIDE EXITS.

..

Ah!

THE SKYLARK

It's you, venerable old man!

( .·

OLD MAN

I thank you for saving my life yesterday.

THE SKYLARK

Genghis Khan isn't here?

OLD MAN ---

I don't know. His Highness summoned me this morning. I've

waited hours, and still haven't seen him. (TO HIMSELF) Why

did he call us both in together? Skylark, what are you going

to ·do?

- - ~ .

THE SKYLAH.K

Venerable old man, what can I do?

OLD MAN

.Do you know why you've been arrested?

It hardly matters.

. THE SKYLARK

OLD MAN

But it's extremely important--the welfare of all our people!

( :.

(LAuGHING)

Oh!

Why do you laugh?

THE -SKYLARK

OLD MAN

~"


36.

( ·

THE SKYLARK

Forgive me, old man . . I'm afflicted with that fault:

laugh--especially at things of great importance.

I

Skylark!

OLD MAN

This is a solemn moment.

THE SKYLARK

Then tell me about it. I'm impatient to know more.

OLD MAN

You must thank the heavens. You shall have the honor of

making a sacrifice~

Sacrifice!

what?

-THE SKYLARK

An important wor.d. But sacrifice what-;-and for

, .

(.

OLD MAN

An insignificant life, for something high and eternal.

THE SKYLARK

Life is not only insignificant; it is absurd--especially my

own. But what is there that is so grand, so high, so eternal?

History.

OLD MAN

The past of an entire people.

THE SKYLARK

History! Another important word. In my humble opinion,

history is the personal property of men like you--of aged·

men. Whereas I, not yet twenty, not yet with any past to

~peak of-~how should I d~re to speak. of history?

-- - - · OLD MAN

But history is the property of_ us all. Each man worthy of

the name has the right _to inscribe history with characters

· of blood. History belongs to heroes.

-THE SKYLARK

To glorious men, to virtuous women, whose example shines

across a thousand generations! True. But then history is

not for me. I don't. want to become a famous man. I detest

heroes. Do you know why I asked, yesterday, that your life

be spared?


_.

I'm not too sure, now.

OLD MAN

(

THE SKYLARK

Why, because it was death you hoped for. Every man must die-­

be it through sickness, warfare, or old age. If that be so,

then to ask that a Mongol sword cut off one's life, when that


37.

(

life is already at an end, is, all in all, a cheap move.

You hardly lose a thing, yet you assure yourself a nice

niche in history.

Don't be impertinent.

OLD :MA.i'J'

THE SKYLARK

Nothing hurts like the truth. It is true, however! I was

afraid that history might feel obliged to write the name of

one more hero. Ah, I feel sorry for the Mongol troops: there ·

they are--making war, slicing away, massacring millions-- ·

only to enrich the history of others.

OLD MAN

Your words are blasphemy. Is your way of life, then, the

only one worth living?

THE SKYLARK

No way of life is worth living, Since we had no choice b:ut

to be born, we might as i,~e11 accept life. Each man, however,

must choose his own way. The life of heroes is, as well as

my own, a way of life. I criticize no one.

(

OLD MAN

Then what is your way of life?

THE SKYLARK

To imitate no one. To be master of my fate. Not to let myself

be one of a series, cut with others from the same mold-­

even if that mold is a golden one.

OLD K.l\N

I can only pity Korocha for the misfortune to have a brother

like you. '

THE SKYLARK

Ah, Korocha! My model of a brother. There, now: there's a

golden mold; there's your jade stallion! There's a hero.

OLD MAN

You .have no right to blaspheme like that! Korocha is no

· 1onger your brother.

THE SKYLARK

Venerable old man, your servant has no intention of keeping

him as a family heirloom. I solemnly give that hero to history.

THEY ARE BOTH SILENT A MOMENT.

(

Now, listeri carefully:

knew the whole sto~y.

OLD HAN

you ·couldn't say such things if you

It concerns not only the fate of your


other, but the fate of your people, my owri fate, and yours

as well.

THE SKYLARK

Leave my fate out of this.

OLD }Li\.N'

That's impossible. Like it or not, you play a part. (LOW­

ERING HIS VOICE) The Prince of Shensi would have surrendered

to the Mongols. Your brother Korocha killed him.

THE SKYLARK

What has that to do with me?

OLD MAN

Let us suppose .... let us suppose that you knew where your

brother is hiding.

38.

(SMILING)

Ah?

THE SKYLARK

But, to suppose I knew would be superfluous!

OLD MA.J.'J

..

Ah.

Yes.

THE SKYLARK

THE OLD }1.i\J. 'J PONDERS THIS A H01'-1ENT.

OLD }!AN

Skylark, I ask one thing of you. In the name of our people,

I invoke all that you hold sacred in this life--

For example?

THE SKYLARK

.OLD MAN

The ghost of your father, who was my friend--

\

THE SKYLARK

Let the dead rest in peace.

Our country!

OLD MA.'J

THE SKYLARK

Is that the King of Shensi? Or the crown prince?

Friendship.

I have no friends.

OLD NAN

THE SKYLARK


39.

(

Love?

OLD MAN

THE SKYLARK

What do you know of love? Venerable old man, you are beyond

the age that deals with love. (GIVING IN) All right, then-~

what is it you want?

IN THE ENCROACHING DARKNESS, JEBAY

APPEARS IN THE TENT OPENING, A

CANDLE IN HIS HAND. HE IS UNPER-

CEIVED BY THE OTHER TWO. , .

I

OLD MAN

ask only that you do not tell them Korocha's hiding place •.

THE SKYLARK

Don't insist, old man. That matter concerns me alone.

JEBAY

(ENTERING) On the contrary, that matter concerns us ~11.

General Jebay?

Shensi?

OLD MAN

(TO HIMSELF) God wishes the destruction of

JEBAY

You're the Skylark, Korocha's brother?

JEBAY PUTS DO NN THE CANDLE.

I am the Skylark.

THE SKYLARK

That's enough for me.

JEBAY

Let's get right to the point.

is hiding?

Do you know where your brother

I

If I say no?

Don't lie ,to me!

THE SKYLARK

JEBAY

I heard everything.

THE SKYLARK

(LAUGHING) If you heard everything, why do you ask?

(TREMBLING)

OLD MAN

Skylark, you don't have the right to tell them.

(


THE SKYLARK

You think I don't have the right?

You must speak.

JEBAY


THE SKYLARK

And you--you want me to speak. On one side stands ~heJ~ation,

the people, the past, history; on the other side . ~~

sword and fire. Poor Skylark--standing in the frying-pan,

wondering shou·1d he jump!

OLD MAN

The people of Shensi will curse you for generations.

JEBAY

And I will have your head.

THE SKYLARK

But this is terrible! How can I please you both?

40 .•

You must choose.

OLD MAJ.'i

THE SKYLARK

Of course I must choose--but I will not capitulate. (TO JEBAY)

I find that three's a crowd: wonderful for conversat~on, but

rarely leading to anything serious.

OLD MAN

I regret that I did not die yesterday.

JEBAY

But there is always today. Isn't that right, Skylark?

I have no idea.

THE SKYLARK

JEBAY

His Highness has given me full power.

----

OLD MAN

Then what are you wa~t~~g .for?

JEBAY STRIKES THE GONG.

(TO THE SKYLARK)

There you are. Are you satisfied?

THE SKYLARK

Not entirely. This is just the beginning.

THE AIDE ENTERS. JEBAY DRAWS HIS

SWORD, THROWS IT TO THE FLOOR, IN­

DICATES THE OLD I'!Al'J.

~· . ... _,.

AIDE

At your command, General.

OLD .MAN

I hope that my death will open your eyes!


( .

\

A heroic death!

extremely lucky.

THE SKYLARK

Your wish has been fulfilled.

Go~dbye, venerable old man.

You are

41.

THE AIDE APPROACHES THE OLD HAi'J,

BUT HE GOES VOLUNTARILY TO THE

EXIT, HIS HEAD HELD HIGH.

SILENCE, THEN THE ROLL OF A DRUM.

The hist~y of Shensi records one more patriotic death.

thank yciu, General.

/

THE AIDE RE-ENTERS, PRESENTS THE

SWORD TO JEBAY, BOWS, EXITS.

JEBAY

~ow, as you wished, there are· only two of us--and we can

talk seriously. What are you thinking?

THE SKYLARK

I'm ·thinking . that I don't like your mug.

I

JEBAY .

My sword, however, is very sharp.

calmly, shall we?

So let's discuss this

(

\

THE SKYLARK

Discuss? With you? Send Genghis Khan in here instead.

JEBAY CROSSES TO THE PEARL CURTAIN.

(CALLING)

JEBAY

Your Highness!

GENGHIS KHAN

The order for the patrols?

THE CURTAIN MOVES ASIDE INSTANTLY,

REVEALING GENGHIS KHAN, V..1HO HAS

BEEN STANDING THERE ALL ALONG.

HE CROSSES TO THE THRONE, SITS.

JEBAY

Five platoons will set out with the first watch, Your Highness,

the same ·as last night.

Who commands?

Tobotai.

· GENGHIS KHAN

JEBAY

( /

GENGHIS KHAN

And the five thousand Shensi?


(

'

( -

JEBAY

Detained, and awaiting Your Highness's orders.

Good.

GENGHIS KHAN

You may go, General.

.I

I

JEBAY SALUTES, EXITS. IN THE

ENSUING SILENCE, THE KHAN AND THE

SKYLAHK EXCHANGE EVALUATING- STARES •

Your liJEle chat with the old man of Shensi was arranged, you

see.

THE SKYLARK

So you are Genghis Khan. _

. GENGHIS KHAN

Very benevolent to those who submit.

THE SKYLARK

I don't belong .to "those who submit"--and you know it. So

let's have a truce on threats, and get down to facts.

GENGHIS KHAN

My threats are never idle.

THE SKYLARK

But they're a waste of time. You want me to show you Korocha

's hide-out. Am I right?

Right.

That's a p~ecious

GENGHIS KHAN

THE SKYLARK

secret!

GENGHIS KHAN.

Precious--but not priceless. Do you want to bargain?

willing to pay a lot for it.

r•m

How much?

Your life.

THE SKYLARK

GENGHIS KHA.J.'l

-THE SKYLARK

That's not enough. A while ago, I had a more attractive offer:

a place in history. I refused. Better than that, I sent a

man to his death, to- free myself of all ties. You see, I had

to be free to choose, in this talk with you. But now, it•s

different.

GENGHIS- KHA.J.'J

You've decided against it?


43.

c

THE SKYLARK

Nothing is certain.

GENGHIS KHAN

Skylark, I heard your ~onversation from start to finish.

You' re 1~· e no one I• ve ever met.

Bring something to drink.

THE AIDE EXITS.

Snow falls night and day in this place. A little alcohol

will warm the blood.

TWO CUPS, EXITS. GENGHIS KHAN

-Drink! You are like no one I've ever met.

THEY DRINK.

c··

The wine of China?

ride like the Mongols, but they have a way with alcohol.

~early t·Kenty.

past.

GENGHIS KHAN

That's good. You are made like me.

THEY DRINK.

No one has ever spoken to me as you have. Yet suddenly I

feel--serene. I no :- longer know what I'm thinking ••••

THE SKYLARK

.{ ~·

Now, you• re still young:

'Khat do .. ou most desire? You shall have it. I• 11 give you

time to, think. .

/ HE STRIKES THE GONG; THE AIDE ENTERS.

THE AIDE ENTERS WITH A GOL1RD AND

FILLS THE CUPS, GIVES ONE.TO THE

SKYLARK.

The inhabitants of that country cannot

Their wine is warm and scented, like the breath of a beautiful

woman. How old are you?

THE SKYLARK

But I'm older than you Mongols, who have no

--- GENGHIS KHAN

I don't understand that, but no matter. Have you ever loved?

THE SKYLARK

Love means more than one. At present, I think only of myself.

A woman ••.• a flame dancing · in the hearth •••• a white cloud

stretched· across a mountain-top •.•• a flock of sheep, immaculately

white •••• a field of verdant grass •••. a song on a shepherd•

s flute ••••


44.

GENGHIS -KHAN

(LOST IN REVERIE) A long time ago, when I was young, I

used to sing a song .••. a shepherd's song.

THE KHAN BREAKS INTO SONG, BUT SO

OFF-KEY THAT THE SKYLARK BURSTS

OUT LA_UGHING . THE KHAN STbPS SHORT,

ANGRY; THEN, SUCCUMBING TO THE

YOUNG MAN'S SPONTANEITY, LAUGHS

HEARTILY HIMSELF.

General Jebay?

VOICE OF GUARD

JEBAY APPEARS AT THE ENTRANCE.

THE LAUGHTER STOPS. THE MO:MENT -

OF COMl"fUNION IS ENDED. GENGHIS

KHAN AGAIN BECOMES THE MONGOL EM­

PEROR.

Enter!

GENGHIS KHAN

--

Your Highness--

Speak freely.

JEBAY

GENGHIS KHAN

JEBAY ENTERS QUICKLY.

HE STOPS, INDICATING THE SKYLARK.

JEBAY, INSTEAD, CROSSES TO THE

THRONE, SPEAKS QUIETLY TO THE KB&~.

GENGHIS KHAN

Tobotai? General Tobotai?

Tobotai, Your Highness.

JEBAY

I don't understand.

matter.

GENGHIS KHAN

What happened?

Speak up--it doesn't

JEBAY

Your Highness, the five platoons were preparing to set out,

but when the hour was at hand, we learned that their com­

mander--

Tobotai--

GENGHIS.KHAN


45.

(

JEBAY

Tobotai had deserted,, alone, sometime around the hour of the

cock.

Deserted! But why?

Where is ye gone?

.GENGHIS KHAN

Haven't I always been generous to him?

.I

JEBAY

Hecan'1Jfhave got very far, wherever he is.

GENGHIS KHAN

But the first watch is already over.

JEBAY

The first watch is just over. If Your Highness wil~ grant

permission, r~ - 11 go after him myself.

Take a platoon.

GENGHIS KHA.J.\J'

Will that be enough?

JEBAY

For exterminating a traitor, it's more than enough.

•.

I .

""

GENGHIS KHAN

Bring him back alive.

JEBAY

Then 1•11 need the platoon.

GENGHIS KHAN

And the five platoons on -patrol ·must set out immediately.

Find them another commander. Have them patrol all night.

At your command.

JEBAY

JEBAY SALUTES, EXITS. THEN, MEN'S

VOICES OUTSIDE, THE WHINNYING OF

HORSE, THE ROLL OF DRUMS. GENGHIS

KHAN SITS, PENSIVE.

GENGHIS KHAN

Tobotai. A valiant Mongol officer. Why? But if even my

son harbors thoughts of treason, how should they not occur

to others? Is it beginning to, crumble? And later, without

me, who will have the strength to take over? My son Jushi?

Ha! Too late . . I must live. I must live forever.

HE NOTICES THE SKYLARK.

(

Ah!

You're here.

I'm still here.

THE SKYLARK

.•


(

GENGHIS KH.Al'J

I've forgotten what we were talking about.

What was it?

46~

You were singing.

THE SKYLARK

/ ·· GENGHIS KHAN

Me? Si~fng? Oh, yes--a shepherd's song.

/ THE SKYLARK

The breath of a woman, intoxicating as wine--

GENGHIS KH.ru'J

It's finished.· Far away. Now, it's you, the Skylark, and

your brother Korocha.

And General Tobotai.

General Jebay!

THE SKYLARK

VOICE OF GUA.RD

GENGHIS KHAN

Enter! (TO SKYLARK) You're right: and Tobotai.

..

Well, General?

JEBAY EXTERS.

JEBAY

Your Highness, Tobotai awaits the Khan's orders.

GENGHIS KHAN

Good work! But so quickly? Where was he hiding--under -your.

horse?

JEBAY

Your Highness, we had hardly stepped out of camp when we

saw him. He had come back to us on his own.

GENGHIS KHAN PONDERS THIS A MOMENT,

THEN STRIKES THE GONG. THE AIDE

ENTERS.

Tobotai!

Your Highness.

GENGHIS KHAN

THE AIDE

THE AIDE EXITS.

You may go, General.

GENGHIS KHAN

JEBAY SALUTES, EXITS. TOBOTAI ·


47.

ENTERS, PROUD AND DEFIANT. HE IS

A HUSKY }10NGOL GENERAL, STILL YOUNG.

GENGHIS KH.~'J DOES NOT LOOK AT HIH,

DOES NOT SPEAK Hvf1'1£DIATEL Y.

. GENGHIS KHAN

(CALMLY) /ke11, Tobotai? Why did you come back? Not enough

courage? / I have always been generous to my troops. All the

less re~ 'son that you, a valiant :Mongol officer--you who have

served;me so many years-- You deserted! Why? What were you

plotting? You have betrayed me and the Mongol people~

TO BOT AI

Don't raise yo~r voice to me. I don't consider you the Mongol

people.

GENGHIS KHAN'

What.} wb.o, then, has led the Mongol people? Who has sent

the hooves of Mongol horses thundering across the continent?

. TOBOTAI

The hooves of our horses thunder, but is it the will of the

Mongol people? Or is it only the spectacle of your own ambition?

You pretend to lead the Mongol people, yet you have

led them only from one battlefield to another, from one massacre

to another. Your only goal is to conquer, for your

personal profit, all the thrones o= the continent--of Tangut,

of China, of Persia, of Arabia, and now of Shensi. You are

seated on a sea of blood--the blood of the :Mongols. It is

you who are the traitor of our people!

GENGHIS KHAN

And that is .the reason you left me?

TO BOT AI

No. Not exactly. In truth, I left in search of--in search

of the green bank of a river. I ·wanted to stretch out in

the grass and spend the rest of my useless life watching the

water flow by. I was tired. I'd had enough--enough of everything.

GENGHIS KHA!'\J'

(CONTEMPTUOUSLY) The green bank of a river~ You expect me

to believe--so there: there is all the ambition of a Mongol

officer!

TO BOT AI

But I found it was useless~ Everything is useless.

GENGHIS KHAN

So you came back. What's stopping you from kneeling to me

now, and begging mercy?


48.

·.

,..

(

TO BOT AI

I know I'm about to die. I came back--simply to ask you a

question.

Ask it!

GENGHIS KHAN'

Have yo~~ver once

stretc9"out, to lie

GENGHIS KHAl'J

And think of a woman--

A Mongol

TO BOT AI

felt tired? Tired, and wanting only to

quietly somewhere--

TOBOTAI

woman, warm as wine--

(TO ;THE SKYLARK)

white-~

TO BOT AI

Under a clear blue sky--

GENGHIS KHAN

And look at a flock of sheep, immaculately

..

(

' \

e.: ·'

GENGHIS KHAN

And listen to the song of a shepherd?

HE SINGS THE SAME SHEPHERD'S SONG.

TOBOTAI, Du~!BFOONDED, STARES AT

WHAT MIGHT BE A MADMAN. GENGHIS

KHAN STOPS ABRUPTLY AND BURSTS IN­

TO LAUGHTER.

You see, ~'m just. like you. There are moments when I, too,

think of childishness. But at present--

TO BOT AI

At present, you have eyes only for the red of blood, the cold

. blue of steel.

GENGHIS KHAN

And ears only for the moans of the tortured--the shriek of

a babe as its head is lopped off, its mother's nipple still

in its mouth; the sobs of a young wife over the warm corpse

of her husband; the lugubrious song of a dull blade hacking

into fresh bone. Tobotai? M~ destiny is to build an empire?

You are a firefly: how could you understand the stars?

TO BOT AI

I regret that I don't have a sword in my hand.

GENGHIS KHAi.'J

You're not worthy to hold--

------


49.

(

Skylark, that's not a toy for children.

You're rilt:

.I

HE SEES THE SKYLARK PUTTING HIS

HAND ON KOROCHA'S SWORD.

THE SKYLARK

it's a toy for grown-ups.

You reg{etted the lack of a sword.

HE H.A.1'1DS THE SWORD TO TOBOTAI.

TOBOTAI TAKES IT.

And now I'm about to see how grown-ups amuse themselves.

THE KHA:.'\J PICKS UP THE GONG-BEATER, : .

STOPS IN MID-SWING, PLACES ~T BACK

ON THE TABLE.

GENGHIS KHAN'

I could call the guards--but I want to see if you have the

courage.

•.

( . . · .

TO BOT AI

You don't have time to call them.

of steel? Your wish is granted!

GENGHIS KHAN

I could use a glass of wine.

The red of blood, the blue

What more could you ask?

TO BO TAI

Drinki Give yourself courage! It's your last.

THE KH.A.1'1

FICKS UP THE GOURD, DRINKS •

. GENGHIS KHA.i'J'

Wine, warm and scented, like the breath of a beautiful woman.

· THE SKYLARK

You're repeating yourself! Can't ·you think of anything better?

A beautiful woman?

TO BOT AI

Find one in the next life. Look!

THE FLASHING SWORD DESCRIBES AN

ARC AIMED AT THE KHAN'S HEAD.

GE:'-JGHIS KHAN BLOCKS THE BLOW WITH

THE GOURD--WITH SUCH FORCE THAT

THE SWORD FALLS TO THE GROUND. TO­

BOTAI IS TOO SURPRISED TO GO AFTER

·IT.

Well, Skylark?

GENGHIS KHAN


50.

(- .

THE SKYLARK PIC~S UP THE SWORD,

PUTS IT BACK ON THE TABLE.

Now it's your move.

THE SKYLARK

!

" GENGHIS KHAN

THE KHAN PICKS UP THE GONG-BEATER.

This wiJ!l be an order for your head.

/

. TOBOTAI

· r•ve chosen death. Spare me your blabbering.

GENGHIS KHAN

You will die not for your treason, not for your desertion,

not even for your try at assassination. You will die for

another crime. Do you know what it is?

THE SKYLARK

For being a Mongol officer who can't hold onto a sword.

GENGHIS KHAN

This child of Shensi is very astute.

( ·

Tobotai!

Do you have anything to say?

THE KHAN STRIKES THE GONG.

You too will die.

.

Long after you!

TO BOT AI

GENGHIS KHAN

THE AIDE ENTERS.

TO BOT AI

No! You will die here, in this very city. For such is the

will of the Mongol people; such is the will of all peoples

on this earth. You wish to appear · calm, serene--but you

lose both sleep and appetite. Disquiet gnaws at you, day

and night. You are haunted! Haunted by the phantom of a

man.

And who is that?

GENGHIS KHAN

Korocha!

TO BOT AI

c

(AN ORDER)

Death!

GENGHIS KHAN


(

THE AI.DE APPROACHES TOBOTAI, WHO

BRUSHES HIH ASIDE AND EXITS, HEAD

THE AIDE FOLLOWS OUT.

A DRUM-ROLL I &'\JD THEN QUIET. THE

KHAN GETS UP SLOWLY, AND BEGINS TO

PACE.

51.

HELD HIGH.

I

GENGHIS KHAN

Skylark: ,/wasting words is not my nature.

THE SKYLARK

You wan ( me to lead you to Korocha.

GENGHIS KHlu"J

Exactly.

THE SKYLARK

If I refuse?

GENGHIS KHAN

the largest precious stones of India, the. most beauti~ul

with eyes like Persian velvet--

THE SKYLARK

And if I refuse?

(. .:

GENGHIS KHAN

.

You don't realize what it means to die. You can't imagine

look up at the sky for the last time,

the last time, .. before they close forever.

THE SKYLARK

But let's suppose that you were in my shoes.

.do?

FECTION. THEN HE WITHDRAWS THE

HAND AND TURNS AWAY.

GENGHIS KHAN

You are the same age as my children. I give you back your

question: in my shoes, what would you do?

'

THE SKYLARK

Neither choice is easy. But if I were you--

, .--

\" '

You are still young. Consider that I have in my possession

girls,

that moment when the sword is on your throat, when your eyes

and see that blue for

I know tha~ you're sincere with me, and I thank you for it.

What would you

THE KHAN LOOKS AT HIM, PUTS A HAND

ON HIS SHOULDER IN A GESTURE OF AF~

THE SKYLARK GOES TO THE TABLE,

PICKS UP THE GONG-BEATER, STRIKES

THE GONG, TOSSES THE BEATER ONTO

THE TABLE.

. '


52.

There!

I would've chosen that, long ago.

THE AIDE APPEARS.

THE AIDE

Your Highrn~ss

I

.

. GENGHIS KHAN

Skylark, ' open your eyes wide and look

colors~forms, features, silhouettes.

.out his eyes •

for the last time:

(TO THE AIDE) Put

You disappoint me.

THE SKYLARK

Is .that the best you could do?

Rest easy:

GENGHIS KHAN

this is only the beginning.

THE SKYLARK AND AIDE EXIT. A

DRUM-ROLL, THEN A PIERCING CRY IN

THE NIGHT. A MOMENT LATER; THE

AIDE RETL'RJ.'JS.

•,

THE AIDE

The Skylark awaits further orders.

GENGHIS . KHAN

Is that enough for you?

THE SKYLARK STAGGERS IN, HIS FACE

COVERED WITH BLOOD. EVEN SO, HE

MAKES AN EFFORT AT COMPOSURE, STANDS

IMMOBILE.

(LAUGHING)

THE SKYLARK

Sick to your stomach already?

' \


-.. GENGHIS KHA.J.'l

Guard, the five thousand Shensi.

THE AIDE

Awaiting the orders of your Highness.

GENGHIS KHAN

Skylark, listen to me well: you can no longer see, but you

can still hear--even better than before. So listen to the

orders I'm about to give. (TO AIDE) Have them cut of the

heads of five Shensi--no matter which: men, women, children.

And use the drum. Do you hear, Skyla~k? A roll of the drum-­

one more head. (TO AIDE) . Let the drum be loud.

At the Khan's command.

THE AIDE


53.

One head.

THE AIDE EXITS. ·A MOMENT LATER,

SHATTERING THE NIGHT'S SILENCE, '

CRIES OF SUPPLICATION AND DISMAY.

DOMINATING THESE; THE FIRST GRAVE ·

AND SINISTER DRUM-4.ROLL.

I .

GENGHIS KHAN .,, ..

'5 f (.. )\ 0 -rv.s

ANOTHER DRUM-ROLL, MORE CRIES.

;. .Two!

THE . S&"ll1E .

3 Three! ·

THE SANE.

t}-

Four?

THE SANE.

•,

Skylark! . ·Did you hear?

Five heads are in the dust.

r·.·-z: .. L\. .

\ '

THE AIDE

Orders carried out, ·Your Highness •

·, .. ·-.-

THE AIDE ENTERS.

. -·.-.

"GENGHIS KHAN

· ~: Well, Skylark ~ - do you need more drums? No answer? Then . you

:-,::..consent to more. (TO AIDE) Five more drums! Five more heads-:

;

··.....

THE AIDE EXITS. THE CRIES AND C.l\.41""""l

DRUM-BOLLS START AGAIN. AFTER 'SE:° .

THE THIRD:

. ·.;\ '

-Have them stop!

-

.-·THE SKYLARK

GENGHIS KHAN

. Ah! You have something to say?

!

FOURTH DRUM-ROLL.

' \ "" ·

THE SKYLARK

Genghis Khan! Why not kill .mg_? They're innocent people! ·

FIFTH DRUM-ROLL.

GENGHIS KHA.1"\J

Neither choice is easy. They are Shensi.

A MOMENT FOR AN ANSt·JER.

., .

.. · .... .

•: • '~


54 • .

You won't speak? You hold there, do you? Your life, and

.. the life of five thousand innocent people, in exchange for

a single word. °t'lnat more do you want?

THE SKYLARK

I only want to keep the. promise I made to myself.

You're mad.

Guard!

GENGHIS KH.AJ."\l

But I wish to learn the extent of your madness.

THE AIDE ENTERS • THE "KHAN lVliIS-'

PERS TO HIM.

. . ·~· ...

At the Khan's command.

THE AIDE

•' .-;- ·

THE AIDE EXITS.

GENGHIS KHAN

I regret that I had your eyes put out. Now you will ?nly

· hear the horrible spectacle I am preparing for you.

..

THE AIDE ENTERS.

-·-·· ..... - __ - ·.

...:. -...:...;.~ ·::;-

THE AIDE

Ready, Your Highness.

·, GENGHIS KHAN

_Have them enter •

·:,,·,

: ... ·: ~··: - . ·-··

THE AIDE SIGNALS OUTSIDE. A

YOUNG WOMAN ENTERS, CARRYING ~"J

INFANT.

..__ ____

-. "".'---.: __ -

. " _-

THE- WOMA!"\l KNEELS BEFORE THE KHAN.

Are you from Shensi?

··:

:' I was born here~

has been -killed •

... .

(SOFTENING)

THE WOMAN

I am innocent, Your Highness.

Ali I have left is my baby.

GENGHIS KHAN

How old are you? ...

My husband

Twenty.

THE WOMAN

GENGHIS KHAN

Do you hear, Skylark? Twenty. The same as you. And the

baby?

. :r :


55.

Six months.

THE WOMAN

He still feeds at my breast.

GENGHIS KHAN

{TO THE SKYLARK) The mother twenty; the infant still at

her breast . wnat a pity~

THE WOMAN

I appeal to the benevolence of Your Highness?

I

GENGHIS KHAN

would wish it so--but you shall die. You and your babe.

Oh God!

THE WOMAN

GENGHIS KHAN

For that -is the wish of this obstinate young man.

THE. WOMAN NOTICES THE SKYLARK ..

THE WOMAN

..

GENGHIS KHAN

Do you know he's Korocha's brother?

THE WOMAN

·,

( :~ i

. .

c

.-- - GENGHIS KHAN

-

Do you know where his brother his hiding? That's all I · wish--

.. to be told •

.--~ ·~ ... THE WOMAN

. Your Highness, Korocha appears and disappears like a man

· from heaven. No- one can know where he is •

: --~- --:"" -.. .-.

···-- · - GENGHIS KHAN

The Skylark knows. But he keeps it secret. A secret more important

to him than his eyes, as you can see. If he consents

to speak, I will spare you all--you, your babe, and all those

innocents outside. You see? It's all up to him.

THE WOMAN'

Your Highness will release everyone?

GENGHIS KHAN

My word does not c~ange.

{TO THE SKYLARK)

I hear everything.

THE WOMAN

Do you hear that?

THE SKYLARK


,,.

THE WOMAN

Then what are you waiting for? Where is Korocha?

tell them!

SILENCE.

·'

3)~

Tell them, Skylark! Do you not hear the weeping and pitiful '

cries of those people outside?· Are they not Shensi,. the same

as you?

SILENCE.

Our country is no more. Our king is dead. Alone, what can

Korocha do against the whole Mongol army? You have no right

to sacrifice thousands of innocent live's for a l::la@less hope!

P\)•"'i . •. . . . :

THE SKYLARK

You don't understand me. I have no hope • .

.:_.-- _,

THE WOMAN

Then wnat' s st'opping you? Tell them, Skyiark!

-·- . ~ ..... _.-__ -

-.- • 1 ' •

/:;;/ · . THE SKYLARK

-1 .· ·.:~ '--~': •.''

: __ 7-· - -- . ~- - ·' ~...:

~·_::~-::~:.__ .·-- - THE WOMAN

.,,_ .., ·- ..

o Godt' ::-:C o heaven1y-·God! What crime have· I committed, to deserve ·

·. -No.

death? · And my little son? My· husband is already dea Have them beat. the drum without end! Not five heads, not

·ten, but-a thousan~ _ heads! Until I give .the order to stop.

. · . ,·. THE WOMAN

Please,. -Y-C>ur _Highness!

THE KHAN PUSHES HER ASIDE WITH

HIS FOOT •

. ____:__.:.. . -.~.

-:--GENGHIS KHAN

This one as well.

c.~~ 'St

THE AIDE DRAGS THE WOMAN OFF. THE

DRUM-ROLLS BEGIN ANEW, AT EVER-DECREAS- ·

ING INTERVALS. THE SKYLARK, IN SPITE

OF HIMSELF, TREMBLES WITH EACH ROLL.

Annihilation? Annihilation? Do you hear the drums, Skylarlc?

· 1•11 massacre every last one of them! And then it'll -be

your turn. I'll choose, for you, an original death--it will be a

.. ~

.

~.

,.

,., •.·'

_,,,,,, - ~ : ..

~· .·.

. , . ~ ,

.


I


death without precedent. You will join the ranks of the

headless phantoms. I'll exterminate them to the last one:

I am seated on a sea ·of blood--Tobotai was right. But I

don't thirst for blood--I kill only thosP---whg-dare-t.q oppose

. b . ,,,;;-- ~ ......... ..........

my will. Even To ota.i. Even my son. r canno~ trus~ anyone!

I must--I must become immort.~ j V\

I have ; committ~d an unpardonable crime. It is I who orde~ed

the drum to stop.

:· · ·

.. ...

- ...._ .,

; ·. GENGHIS KHAi'l'

,~:": . .. . ·· - G~mina, --you warit to save them? But you' re no longer of Shensi ·•

-._

·.:. . . ~-~: __ _

·-" ....:· · '- _ GEMINA XL~~

~} I have entrusted my fate to Your Highness. I am no. longer·- of

Shensi, . but I find it pointless to murder innocent people.

Your Highrtess could keep the drum beating all night, and

.•achieve nothing •

_ - ----~.~- .. .... ____ ,. GENGHIS KHAN

Pointless? Of . course it's pointl.ess. These people mean. ab~

solutely--·nothing to me. But I will spare them all if this

young fool will tell me where Korocha is hiding. (TO THE SKY­

LARK) The lives of five thousand innocents are still in your

hands. I will start the drums again. You still refuse to

talk?

..

..

• THE SKYLARKS~~ ~'-~

Talk of what? Shall ·the Skylark sing the charms of Gemina.,

the jewel of Shensi? I regret ·that I no longer have eyes, so

I may admir~ her legendary beauty. But beware, Genghis Khan,

the males of this country are jealous of you--including Ko~

rocha. _ Gf


(INTRIGUED)

GENGHIS KHAN

In priva:te? Well, then?

)(~ K.N...;i1

SHE wtfISpRR$ TO TIU:: l


i

I

. . ~ - .

:" ,_ ...

GEMINA 'j'

The person who will I?ersuade I


. In my hands.

'/ GEMINA . ,· .

Are you .joking?

GENGHIS KHAN

'. GEMINA K-~ Kl\."-"" ~ ""°~._ .

Is this a moment for joking? Your Highness must simply

decide whether to believe me., or not.

THE KHA..~

CONTEMPLATES HER A MO-

MENT, THEN STRIKES THE GONG • t_ ~ ~ o "'~

THE AIDE ENTERS.~;"' . .

GENGHIS KHAN x~u.s~

Have them release all the Shensi except the Skylark.

wouldn't do to release Korocha's brother!

It

~··' . :. •,.--. · '

:. ~-· :

- ·":"\

... .

... ·.·...,. -- ~

,.·

.- · ...... -,;-

: :.·

: ·. ' ~ .

~· : -·~ ..

.:

\· SI.

. .

GEMINA

The Skylark is only a madman.

There's no need to keep hirr..

. GENGHIS KHAN

I feel--a kind of sympathy for him. (TO AIDE)"' Keep him

under ~rd.

THE AIDE BOtvS, / CROSSES TO EXIT ~ir-t-(e d-

GEMINA X~

(TO AIDE) Wait: Your Highness, the rest of my plan requires

the Khan's consent.

Speak.

·.

-

- . .,.

GENGHIS KHAl'l

. .. GEMINA X~~i..t..'4. ~"

(TO ArDE) Tell the people that they must prepare quickly:

on the ·. third night from tonight, Korocha will be here!

- ···· · ···•

..

-'·c--~-=:-

· ' . GENGHIS KHAN

What?

GEMINA )(.J- ~""

Your .Highness, in two days peace will have returned. I want

the people to know the good news. Hay the drum announce the·

preparations for peace, Your Highness?


.

'"'"S.£ ..

THE KHAN NODS ASSENT TO THE AIDE, \Joi"-:,

WHO THEN EXITS. THREE .n!!Uft RQLi:S. '-*Gt

A PAUSE, THEN JUBILANT ~RIES • o/. 1t1·d.c.."1

GENGHIS KHAN

I have kept my promise. Now where is this person? I!ll

have him sent for.

There is no need.

GEMINA

The person stands before you.

.. :...


61.

You?

GENGHIS I


J

I

62.

GEMINA

There is only inexpiable hate.

HE SMILES, CROSSES TO THE GONG,

STRIKES IT.

GENGHIS KHAN

I shall avenge you. You have my word. I shall avenge the

c:.rown lrince as well. )( +.-c di:.~

THE AIDE ENTERS ,S

What: "time is it? l-JlVit \$ ~ .ht)\.\.(°

THE AIDE

The second watch has just begun, Your Highness.

GENGHIS KHAN X ye_ o t- V..C.

_

Have them-- 1 ight a huge bonfire outside the camp.· · It is to

· burn all night tonight and the· next two nights. Go! ·

At the Khan's command.

THE AIDE


•,

.. ·

.. ,.

·.

. ;

._ . ..;


,· \ .

' . . '

~

·\

~ ·' .

. '·

·'·.

..... •'

·· . ..

. )~: ..

THE AIDE E~.~

\/ ~ X~L... ~GENGHIS I


-·.

~~-t--.

."

\

GENGHIS KHAN

(THE SAME) What are you plotting?

GEMINA

My only wish is to serve Your Highness.

.. · "'

:\ -.. _: .

lr-...._ ; .

- ~

'· :.

.. . ~i ( li~t ..

GENGHIS KHAN

You hide too many things from me.

GEMINA ' TAKES ' KOROCH!r--s -s'WORD

. - . ,

KNEELS, HOLDS THE SWORD UP TO

HIM.

.. \,.· GE MINA >< k> t) L.. 1's(.t.)o~ .

If HUi..Bighness does not trust me, then he should act accordingly.

~ask to die by the same sword that slew my

brother • . · ,p~ s,..•I ~:::.:r~u..l ~ · , ~ ~vj~ .,,J...._

·- GENGHIS KHl'u"'J .

. Gemina. ~- Love~_-do you know what love is?

·-. • C.·· .-·--

--.,-., .. ~ ~1 ---/ .: .·..

J,..:

.,_, ·.

HE. .. 1_'P.KF$ --THR S WORD FROM HER, LIFTS

HER-UP AFFECTIONATELY•

THE SKY OUTSIDE GROWS LIGHTER

AS THE BONFIRE BEGINS TO BURN.

. .-:~· •- GENGHIS . KfLi\.N

--.,-~. c_No longer ~ -:--~ Now,- for me, you are only Gemina.

'. .. ; . •••• . , ',

.

'·;..· ...

• -•.• , ... 1.

'' ·' '• ... .

'.:.·

......

.,·

.J~····

THE .DRUM BEG INS . " ,, .. ~· "


·'-- -

. l~: :;\\;

GEMINA ·

.. .. -~ -The fire .has been started?. Your Highness, the fire has been

· =~ started!

.. - . · -{ . . .. -- - ·. ..

0

- ·. · · ... GENGHIS KHAN ·

. Tonightl


{ Jl;'

\ ~-·~.

Gernina!

£x /-1\ "0 "'-'

GENGHIS KHAN (OFF)

GEMINA STARTS; A SHADOW OF SADNESS

PASSES ACROSS HER FACE. SHE MOVES

TO THE TABLE, PICKS UP THE SWO~D.

HER FACE BRIGHTENS. SHE CARESSES

THE THREE CHARACTERS ON THE HILT.

GE MINA

(SOFTLY) Korocha. Tonight is the first -night. There's

.still t9rnorrow night. Still two long nights.

_.:_ ...

GENGHIS KHAN (OFF)

Gerninat·-· I 'rn waiting?

GEMINA PUTS THE SWORD BACK QUIETLY~

CROSSES TO THE CURTAIN, LIFTS IT

BACK.

GEMINA . E£;c C + ~e""-+o b \ l)c;.-- l~

.:..

..

LIGHTS FADE

+

- .... ._

r: .:· .._, . , -. '

,· ...' ,,1- • •,,·.;I_--·. .


-~ .

. • 4:-:...

ACT THREE

..

. i.

f~ .. :

- \ .

.-

_,


66.

i

!

J

..

(

Y

General- Jebayl

TWILIGHT, TWO DAYS LATE~. THE ·

AIDE, A BO~·lL IN HIS HANDS, CROS- ·

SES TOWARD THE ALCOVE Ct.JRTAIN.

--

4 iclL-

. VQTCR OP- @WhflD

..

THE AIDE DOlJ13LES BACK TOl·lARDS THE

TENT ENTRANCE AS JEBAY APPEARS.

' ·

·· ·· THE AIDE

-~ ~: Hl.s Highness ~s resting.

~- . ,..._ .

I

. JEBAY

· .. What's going on with. His Highness?

. . THE AIDE

I've told you, His~ Highness is resting.

. '

·"' " .

. ·JEBAY · ·

· But I have to talk . to him. It's urgent? I haven't been all

·owed in since yesterday. No? Day before yesterday--the

night of the first fire. You keep sending me away with the

_same words: . His Highness is resting. Why?

- . ... .

• THE AIDE

I regret it, Gener~l, but I have orders from His Highness

that no one is to be allowed ih--

But that doesn't a~ply

JEBAY

to met

RJ

~

> ·i

··:. •,.,:_ .

i . ;(.i~)t.

THE AIDE

I'm afraid it does; General• There are only two exceptions.

Who are they?

JEBAY

.'1 -


67.

(

THE AIDE ·

The Princess of Shensi--

And?

JEBAY

THE AIDE

And a hermit from Tibet.

wnatt

JEBAY

THE AIDE

A hermit who has come to His Highness from a solitary life

in the Tibetan mountains.

JEBAY

. (SIGHING) More potions of immortality!

THE AIDE

The hermit meditated all night long, and this morning.prepared

this draught.

Where is this hermit?

JEBAY

/

\ :.

THE ATDE

He's still somewhere in camp.

jEBAY HESITATES, THEN COMES TO A

DRCISION.

JRBAY

Go ask him, to come to headquarters.

of His Highness.

Tell him it's by order

And this draught?

THE AIDE

Give it to me.

JEBAY

I'll .take it in to His Highness myself.

General, I dare not--

THE AIDE

JEBAY TAKES THE BOWL.

JEBAY

Here! I accept responsibility.

outside until I call him in.

Tell the hermit to wait

( ·

THE AIDE EXITS. JEBAY SNIFFS THE

BOWL, SETS IT ON THE TABLE.

Two days! Two days in a row! Incomprehensible!


(

Who's there?

68.

JEBAY GOES TOWARD THE ALCOVE, HES­

ITATES IN A GESTURE THAT WOULD PGSH

THE CURTAIN ASIDE.

VOICE OF GENGHIS KHAl\J'

JEBAY

Your Highness, it's me, Jebay.

GENGHIS KHAN ENTERS, HIS FACE RAV­

AGED, LOOKING MUCH OLDER.

GENGHIS KHAN

I gave the order that no - one was to disturb me.

JEBAY

My disregard of it is inexcusable, but I have news of the

, greatest importance.

News?

GENGHIS KHAN

wbat's happened?

• .

JEBAY

Your Highness--a number of things· ..

I'm listening.

. \ GENGHIS KHAN

JEBAY

First of all, the case of Tobotai.

Tobotai!

_ GENG!jIS KHAN

I gave the order for the traitor's beheading!

JEBAY

It's because of that order. Troop morale is not good.

GENGHIS KHAN

Troop morale! Tobotai deserted: he must pay for his crime.

That doesn't concern the troops in the least •

. _ JEBAY

There are- rumblings in camp--that the sentence was severe

for a general who has served Your Highness since his youth.

GENGHIS KHAN

4 ls that so? Then give the order for all these headstrong

·foot-soldiers to be executed as well.

( -

JEBAY

Your Highness, I fear that order may be too late.

What?

GENGHIS-KHAN


69.

JEBAY

An entire platoon left camp last night.

GENGHIS KHAN

( FlJRIOUS) They deserted? Hhy wasn't I informed?

JEBAY

I asked to see Your Highness. I said it was extremely urgent.

But the order had been given--

GENGHIS KHAN

The order? Ah yes, my order.

THE KHAN WALKS AIMLESSLY TO THE

THRONE, SITS.

And the other news?

.. JEBAY

The patrols report that the city is bubbling with excitement.

The people seem to be preparing for some event-.

THE KHAN LOOKS OUT THE TENT OPEN­

ING.

, \ GENGHIS KHAN

, I

\ Isn't the fire burning any longer?

'·.

JEBAY

It's too early, yet. It has burned these past two nights.

GENGHIS KHAN

Then tonight will be the third. No wonder the population

is excited. They're preparing to receive Korocha tonight? .

JEBAY

I was waiting only for Your Highness to speak of him. Duty

persuades me to say--

I

GENGHIS KHAN

know what you would say; but my decision has been made.

JEBAY

Is Your Highness certa1n that Korocha will give himself up

bodily?

GENGHIS KHAN

I. am sure of it. I've been given a guarantee.

JEBAY

By the Princess of Shensi?

Yes, by her.

GENGHIS KHAN


c-

JEBAY

My exception to that may merit death, but I pray Your Highness

hear me: there exists between Korocha and the princess~-

70.

GENGHIS I


71.

a recipe for immortality?

GENGHIS KHAN

(CONFIDENTLY) The man who prepared this is a Tibetan monk.

One bowl o f it is enough to stop hair f rom t urning white;

wrinkles will vanish, sharp arrows inf lict not a scratch, ·

nor cutting blades break the skin. I shall be immortal.

JEBAY

Does Your Highness remember our old vow?

GENGHIS KHAl'J"

Of course I remember! Born the same day, we will die the

same day! Don't 'i·mrry, General, I' 11 have a bowl prepared

for you too.

JEBAY

Your Highness overwhelms me. But I wish to ask a favor:

I'd like to test it first.

HE GOES TO THE TENT OPENING.

..

Send in the hermit!

(

' -.

THE HERMIT ENTERS. HIS HAIR AND

BEARD ARE SNOW- i·!HITE.

THE HERMIT

Your humble servant presents his wishes for longevity!

This brew:

man?

JEBAY

it's a recipe for immortality, is it not, old

THE HERMIT

I am a man who has withdrawn from life. By day, I am the

companion of trees and flowers; at night, I commune with

moon and stars, from highest summits! I spent all the green

years of my youth searching to understand the secret of Nature.

And by the grace of heaven, I have f ound this recipe.

HE TAKES THE BOWL FROM JEBAY,

HANDS IT TO THE KHAN.

May Your Highness have no fear. The hairs of Your Highness

will stop on their course to w~iteness; wrinkles will disn

appear; sharp arrows will inflict not a scratch, nor--

( ·

JEBAY

Nor cutting blades break the skin. We know. But I, for one,

don't believe it.

I vow it is true!

THE HERMIT


72.

JEBAY

I still don't believe it. Will Your Highness grant me

authority to verify this myself?

I will.

GENGHIS KHAN

,·· ( ;_ .

\:;,-

..

JEBAY

(TO HER.NIT) You will drink this mixture. Take the bowl

.and drink. · ·

THE HERMIT

I could never permit myself! This bowl is destined for is

Highness ..

T.; ' .'v'V

..,..


73.

Well?

JEBAY

THE AIDE

General, your sword is inestimable.

to cry out before his head was off.

that the blade remained spotless.

The hermit hadn't time

The cut was so clean ·

So.

GENGHIS KHAN

THE KHAN LOWERS HIS HEAD.

Night has fallen already.

Light the candles.

JEBAY

THE AIDE EXITS.

GENGHIS KHAN

Tell me the truth, Jebay: am I already old?

..

JEBAY

Your Highness is barely seventy. It is his duty to 11ve.

The Mongol people have need of a leader.

GENGHIS KHAN

I have the impression--

Too much 1 ight !

THE AIDE RETURJ.\J"S WITH Th-0 LIGHTED

CANDLES.

THE AIDE SNUFFS ONE CANDLE, EXITS.

I have the impression that no one needs me. Whereas I, myself--

I ask you--you, my companion since childhood: do

you know what love is?

(EMBARRASSED)

JEBAY

Your Highness, I am already seventy!

GENGHI~ KHAN

Me too. For seventy long yearsJ I have seen nothing but

fields of battle. For me, woman was only one of the spoils

of war. But it is not that: Love is not that. And I--

I am already old; and immortality is only an illusion.

HE RUNS HIS HPu'l'DS OVER THE THRONE.

I shall die, one day. What will become of my empire? The

lands of Chin, of Tangut, of Persia? All will crumble into

dust. Whoever wants to will desert, will traduce, will

abandon. Jebay, why can man not live eternally, like th~


It is for future generations to contin­

74.

JEBAY

Love is a sentiment corr~on to all mortals. But Your High~

ness is a man from God. He hasn't the right to love. ·He

is not .made for--

JEBAY

All life carries in itself the seed of death.

that yourself. It is the law of nature.

GENGHIS KHA.i.'J

I

J'EBAY

Death is a repose.

ue the path. When Your Highness falls, there will be your

son, Jushi Khan.

GENGHIS KHAN

Jushi: the traitor •

JEBAY

Your Highness, my thoughts are unpardonable, but I am convinced

that the prince is not a traitor, and will +eturn .

·to submit to your wishes.

GENGHIS KHAN

.If only that were so?

If he came back, I would prepare him to replace me. But

will he come to me? How many days has it been since Ly Tu

left on his mission to my son?

. . ~

JEBAY

.· .'

.. ,...

The counsellor set out the day I went to meet with the

Prince of Shensi.

·GENGHIS KHAN

Then why has there been no news? From here to the capital

of Arabia is hardly a distance-~

THE AIDE ENTERS.

THE AIDE

.

( - Your Highness--

(·:

. . .

mountains, like great rivers? It is my duty to be immortal-­

for there are so many things--the throne of China, the

people of Mongolia .... and Gemina.

GENGHIS KHA.i.'J

I know: I am not made for love--but for massacre, for . con-.

quest, for domination--and for decay, one day, with all the

prerogative of a weed.

You have said

know all of that. But with death, is everything finished?

If he came back, I would pardon him.

..


75.

(

--f ./"

/

GENGHIS IUIAN ~e:.,.J,.o).,.

You may go, General. I must have tired you again with my

questions. Remember the feast for the troops: give the

order when you go. / r:,.. ,~

I / ~ '.; .. _F

//

JEBAY SALUTES, EXITS.

THE AIDE ~~u.)~

Your Highness, Korocha--

Korocha?

GENGHIS KHAN

He's arrived? Send him in?

THE AIDE

Your Highness--he hasn't come.

What?

GENGHIS KHAN

THE AIDE

But he has sent, as a sign of his submission, an emissary

with a gift for Your Highness, and an assurance that he will

be here hirnsel.f later.

Later? When?

GENGHIS KHAN

THE AIDE

This very night, Your Highness.

GENGHIS KHAN

Ha! · Gemina is truly an extraordinary woman. Make sure you~ - -

treat the emissary p.roperly, and give him some recompense.

. .

THE AIDE~

Your Highness, he's already gone.

GENGHIS KHAN

(PERPLEXED) Then have them bring in Korocha's gift • .


THE AIDE SIGNALS OUTSIDE. A GUARD

ENTERS, CARRYING A COFFER WRAPPED - -

IN RED SILK. THE AIDE DIRECTS THE

GUARD TO SET IT ON THE TABLE. THE

GUARD :COES SO, SALUTES, EXITS.

, .t:\"\ X ~ U..S'-

. ., ....... .

THE AIDE

_ According to Korocha's emissary, this coffer contains a

precious object, unique in the world. Korocha requests-

• that it be opened only in the presence of Your Highness.

e ·,Jo .0 \. ~ X '[) L h


76.

Nait?

Go ask General Jebay to come to me.

THE AIDE

gr

. e the troops are

o Your Highness.

GENGHIS KHA!'\J

TAQA gg 'Eell the Gel!Wl?a] tg ~QH19 l:iga-9 wbgi;i he• s finiBnea-.

THE AIDE EXITS. SILENCE. THE '

KHAN Ru""NS HIS FINGERS OVER THE

SILK IN A CARESS, 'l'HEN GOES TO

THE TENT OPENING, STOPS THERE AND

LOOKS OUTSIDE, HIS HUGE SILHOUETTE

FR&"l\fED AGAINST THE NIGHT SKY, HIS

TUNIC BILLOWING IN THE BREEZE.

JOYOUS SHOUTS, SINGING FROi-1 THE_~£:-~.~- .

TROOPS.

VOICES OF TROOPS

(SEEING THE KIL~) Long lt~~@thed Khan! Long live th~ Khan

of Mongolia! May he liv~ :t-.\~£fiousand years!

THE KHAN GESTURES TO THEM AND

TURNS BACK INTO THE TENT.

GENGHIS KHAN

Millions ·of men, united into one. Korocha will come to me,

and place his fate in my hands. Then there will be only my­

. . self, and Gemina. Jebay must see this object with his own -

eyes. He must open the coffer with his own hands. I want

to see him , abandon his doubts, have faith in my judgement--

JEBAY APPEARS AT THE ENTRAL'\JCE •

Ah, it~s you, General! I've been waiting for you.

·\ JEBAY

·(ENTERING) The orders for the feast have been carried out.

GENGHIS KHAN

I know. I heard the troops. But look here? Look at this?

Do you know what it is?



It is a present from Korocha.

JEBAY LOOKS AT THE COFFER, THEN

AT THE -KHAN

He's arrived?

JEBAY


77.

( -~ I

\.

GENGHIS KHA.!'J

Not yet. But he sends this as a sign that he submits to us.

So he hasn't come.

JEBAY

GENGHIS KHA.!'J

(ANGERED) He will! And this very night. But you know these

people--they have strict rules of behavior and must follow

them. This is a precious object, unique in all the world.

I want you to open it yourself, Jebay. Then we'll see how '

you feel about my judgement. Well, why don't yot.r open it?

JEBAY GOES TO THE COFFER, THE

KHAN TO THE TENT OPENING. SONG

AND LACGHTER OlJTSIDE.

(SEEING HIM)

VOICES OF TROOPS

A thousand thousand years of life to the Khan!

THE KH.~"I

COFFER.

WAVES ; JEBAY uNWRAPS THE

GENGHIS KHAN

Do you hear, General? The army still has faith in me. In

a few hours, Korocha will be in our hands. Ha! I hardly

thought him so naive! But Gemina is extraordinary. I shall

know total victory. The grass of the continent will grow at

my bidding. As for my son, Jushi--

JEBAY LIFTS OFF THE LID.

Jebay, I've been too impatient with my son. He has always

been faithf.ul to me, through all his youthful errors, and

Ly Tu's silence will have a simple explanation.

JEBAY UNWRAPS A GREEN SILK FROM

THE OBJECT IN THE COFFER.

But five days?

my counsellor.

Tomorrow, Jebay, you must set out to find

JEBAY HAS UNWRAPPED THE OBJECT.

JEBAY

There is no need for that. Ly Tu, your counsellor--

UNABLE TO FINISH THE PHRASE, HE

POINTS TO THE COFFER. THE KHAN

LOOKS INSIDE.

Ly Tu.

GENGHIS -KHAN


· .1 .

I

78.

THE AIDE

Urgent news, Your Highness!

Enter .•

THE AIDE ENTERS.

GENGHIS KHA!'I

THE AIDE

:Your Highness--Korocha!

JEBAY

Your Highness should go rest.

THE KHAN' LUNGES TOWARDS THE AIDE,

STAGGEHS, NEARLY FALLS. JEBAY

HOLDS HIM.

GENGHIS KHAN

Jebay, I will kill~massacre--exterminate them all!

(TO THE AIDE)

JEBAY

Send him in.

GENGHIS KHAN

Jebay, I give you full -power in this.

May Your Highness have

JEBAY

no doubts, but go rest awhi1e7 /e-1.--u} ~- -

I

. .

s11

/ My

GEMINA

best wishes to you, General.

HE HELPS THE KHAL'I TO THE ALCOVE •---­

AS THEY DISAPPEAR .BEHIND THE CUR­

TAIN, GEMINA ENTERS, SEES THE COF­

FER. v1EBAY RE-ENTERS.

JEBAY

(HIDING HIS ASTONISIWillNT) And to you, Madam.

GEMINA

You must be surprised to see me.

• JEBAY ·

No. I had predicted.that Korocha would not come.

. .

( ·.-! •.

C0 'Y .

GEM INA

That's where you'r~ wrong, General! Korocha will come, as

soon as your Khan and I reach agreement on a certain point.

. JEBAY

Pray speak to me instead. His Highness is resting, and has

given me full power to--negotiate with you.

, ..


- '

All the better!

Go on.

79.

GEMINA

For .you will be more practical than the Khan.

JEBAY

GEMINA

Have you noted the object in this coffer?

JEBAY

It's exactly what Korocha termed it: an object unique in

this world.

GEMINA

Yes, the head of Ly Tu. But it was no more than an intro-:-

ductory offering!

JEBAY

I feel inclined to show Korocha my thanks with a gift of

almost equal worth.

And what is that?

GE:MINA

..

The head of a princess.

JEBAY

GEMINA

(LAUGHING) You can't be serious, General? I pray you listen

to me calmly, for this story is far from being over. Ly Tu

was decapitated and is done with, but I have in my power

another important personage, who is being held hostage at

present. Need I tell you his name?

Jushi?

JEBAY

'

GEMINA

Jushi Khan, yes--how clever of you. He returned with Ly Tu

at his father's bidding; but long before they set out, plans

were ready for their capture.

. .. .

Jushi Khan

JEBAY

GEMINA

Jushi Khan will be free to return here as soon as I have

gone free. A life for a life. The head of a crown prince

for the head of a princess. What do you propose?

I

need time to think.

JEBAY

GEM INA

You don't dare make the decision? Summon the Khan to make


(

i:t for you.

80.

JEBAY PACES, GOES TO THE CURTAIN, .

STOPS.

JEBAY

If I let you go, how can I be sure--

GEMINA

I give you my word that Jushi Khan will return immediately.

Isn't my word enough for you?

JEBAY

Under the circumstances, · I have to find it sufficient.

GEM INA

Then what are you waiting for?

You've been given full power!

JEBAY

But for His Highness, it's a different matter. You're forcing

him to barter--to swap a beloved princess for a son. -

GE MINA

It's a matter of choice~

JEBAY

I beg your pardon, Madam--we Mongols don't have the knack

for subtleties of language. It's a swap. And in commerce,

Mongol.s .always demand some kind of guarantee.

GENGHIS KHAN

I thank General Jebay for thinking of me.

THE PEARL CURTAIN IS PUSHED ASIDE.

THE KHAN ENTERS PURPOSEFULLY, · ONCE

MORE THE KHAN OF MONGOLIA.

JEBAY

Your Highness, I thought of the Mongol empire.

GENGHIS KHAN

General, give orders for the saddling of a good horse, and

have them open the main gate.

JEBAY EXITS. THE KHAN AND GEMINA

SCRUTINIZE ONE ANOTHER.

You are correct: it's a matter of choice. I alone can make

such a decision. Jushi, my son, is necessary to me. There

was a time when I was tormented by love. But now the torment

is past. I am, after all, a solitary traveler. There cannot

be two pole-stars in the desert night.

THE KHAN PICKS UP KOROCHA'S SWORD.


Remember that I could still have your head.

you go. I am not made for love.

JEBAY

Orders carried out, Your Highness.

JEBAY RE-ENTERS.

81.

But I wil'l let

~- )

i.1---._ '

AFTER A PAUSE, GEMINA CROSSES

TO EXIT. THE KHAi'J TAKES A STEP

TOWARDS HER, HIS VOICE TOUCHED

WITH MELANCHOLY.

Gemina?

GENGHIS KHAN

SHE TUP~~S BACK. THE KHAN PICKS

UP KOROCRl\' S SWORD.

I want you to do me a service. This sword belongs to Koro- -

cha. Return it to him. I have never faced an unarmed adversary.

HE OIV'E!S 'f:f"IE 3HORD TO GEHlif~.

•.

~.(..-1.:i x .i.o -s-N ,_i -,·.,\....o l.. ~ ~ ~-~ .se. . ~ '--

'f'b())(-~ ~lo

'St..oll\.Ot..&~~

TaliE! 'l!1'ii:o a•1iay. Ly Tu is no more. I make a vow to avenge -. __ _

him. I await Korocha. · ~ .r. ~ · .- ·

~ JEBJ,Y PICKS UP CJ?IIE COFFER •

. . 'r-0.."'\ . .

General, bring me the news as soon as you see him approaching.

And have them send me his brother • . I want the Skylark to be

present for his brother's arrival.

JEBAY

Your Highness.

JEBAY EXITS.~~ ,Qo\Jo(..-14itif"(. X'.Ji> ~,.~

~¥~ ci s 1

GENGHIS KHAN · &R-

Immortality? \I shall die, but Jushi will replace me. The

hooves of Mongo .orses wil am e e plains of the

continent. My son himself will one day leave this earth, but.

Mongol armies will continue to advance. Immortality. Ny father,

Yesugei Khan .... then me, Genghis Khan ...• and then my

son, ( ::_us hi Khan. Aicte/!A.-k... E-_i'I X ·~ s+co\ L 4-t. J.,,_ E.l( ~

. THE SKYLARK IS LED IN BY THE AIDE . .

THE SKYLARK

I was sure that you'd want me to be present.

_.,


GENGHIS KHAN

You were correct. ·no you know why?

82.

THE SKYLARK 6~-~ ~:Sc.~ w 1:..t.. ':; u-J~.., J. .,._ \x.,.; \.t ~.\.,,lo~

Gemina has left you. (:,e""' -Ir _°3'-'o 'f' 'J(J~fi..al .J.o R.~


" .

·- ,.. ·

JEBAY

I vow to bring back the head of Korocha, or die in the attempt.

THE KHAN MAKES A GESTURE OF DIS- ·

MISSAL. JEBAY EXITS.

.. GENGHIS KHAN . · - ····

What's the good of it? Jushi, my s~:i: : :~ All is ended. (S".e\, ~-i


' -

'.\:'.· .. , .. ··.·-.-:·· .. ;'.- .• ·.7••

p ,

~ '.

Me, of course?

THE SKYLARK

GENGHIS KHAN X.-rtusli" ' '

And do you know what I am doing now? -' C)L;;.t-bSI..

'rHE SKYLARK

You're corning towards me.

64.

' I . ·•

. :.. ··

·. ~· .

. , ~

. .. ,. .:.

,• ~ :' :- "y·, ·:,

> '.~ - • •

·~ ..

. ~-· ~

.. ..

.· .. :- ~ ..

THE KHAN IS ·OOING JUST THAT. HE .

CROSSES BEHIND THE SKYLARK, PUTS

HIS HAN:QS QM TWS Yo~ic -~~ • s ~:eeK •

· Your fingers have become venomous serpents.

'.:_:_'

'\ .

·- .;._·.. --· ..

_.;._ .

_._ ___--·-

,•'

.... ~-·,- '

What are you -waiting for?

Yo~

, GENGHIS KHAl'i

are the same age as my son.

THE KHA..1\f .WITHDRAWS HIS HANDS, . LOOKS

AT THEM AS IF THEY BELO~GED TO ·

SOMEONE ·ELSE •

THE HANDS MOVE BACK 'TO THE NECK. - ..

· :THE f INGERS TIGHTEN •

Cv

s

- }f__\S

GENGHIS I:··;:;:.;,\


.I

·3111

I know.

THE SKYLARK

-.::-.·'.

•.

Your Highness~-urgent

THE AIDE ;.{ S..l.A..y>·,..,..

news?

I'm listening.

, ~.· · - THE AIDE

~ General . Jebay has been l)illed.

·_;· ..

.. ~-~;.;·GENGHIS KHAN

-

. ·:cnrsTANTLY) Jebay! ·: our vow of long ago.

;

.,. · :

~----: --···

What is it . now?

THE DRUM SOUNDS, MIXED WITH MEN'S S-....L

CRIES AND .. THE WHINNY OF HORSE •

.... _ :... - ....

THE NIGHT IS SUDDENLY ALIGHT.

..

THE- AIDE · )I,~ ~~ .+1J~ o~+

__ Your Highness, the Shensi are _attacking.

:,;..,--. l

- r

· ... ..

· ..

' '

. ....

Long live

'

,;; .

,; .

. ~-:

. GENGHIS Kiw~ ~~:w'~~~

Have them open wide the main gate! _._

• 1. ..

TOG HETU

·. Your Highness ..;..-the men are still recovering from tonight• s

feast. ., ..··· ·.--

.. :;,· ""~'Jxi~B· ~t''i:;·:~ilii:~i~~i~;,,}~~--~~r

..


86.

r- ­

'\j :; i.

~.

GENGHIS KHAN 'X ""-f' ~ ~\o..':-

....... . .· • •

· ~ ·

. ~"'~ :~~~ 1·,,.. ( ,:~ r:;?-;:_GENGHIS ~HAN

:·.""1 am here .. . On the .:.throne. To await Korocha.

.: ' -~ ·. . -.-.~v()~~v

-:__. .

i ·.

. "

·r"".•

·/'•:.·.

-.·-. '·' VOICES ....

Long live Korocha !-- ~en thousand years of life!

For thousands of years to come, each time the continent

rumbles with the sounds -of war, your name of Genghis Khan

will ring out like a bell clanging the alarm. For thousands

of generations to come, men will tremble at the thought .of

your name. ____

,.-

, VOICES

Long live the Khan of Mongolia~

Long live Genghis Khan!

. .. :

:"·.

··-· "·

.':•

, '' ...

})/~!,;&~~·:_

.: "

THE SKYLARK

For thousands of generations to come, your name will remain

. accursed.

. --

VOICES

Korocha!" Genghis Khan! Korocha! Genghis

-Khan! Thousands

;•'- ·-·

.. -,, .

• . ~-- - -- l::.::.;.,

./l}li~'.;:·,· , :: ·: ·.;;;·~~f);i•';}:·"·;;.:j~~:/~·i>i:.~~~t:~:Ei.~::,~·: (~~i~~?.:·.~~:&l~!f~~s;\:_~ .. --~:·_··....:·.


. . .:

.~ .~:.: : .. .- :: ;{J;.:·: ;::;)L:: _.

·:~:~~.t~

. , .... --;

- .. ~.._- - ·~· -~- -- ---- - ..: - --·- -...

·.- .

. , : '" ··· ' -..1

.... ·- - ::-·~- i

,.··-: .•• _l" • • -_ •

. ",, ,,,,,h .'.:::t; ~,~:)};;i~(,· . '

87.

j'°"'

t\-l~~; ··

'-£/

of years of life!

THE SKYLARK

You are becoming immortal.

THE SF.OUTS GROW LOUDER, BLENDING

INTO A ROAR WITHOUT WORDS.

ON THE THRONE, GENGHIS KHAN, IM­

MOBILE AS A STATUE.


! ., . .

t '

._LIGHTS FADE c.FO

.. ---- ~ --------·

'BLACK •

..

. -

Go· ---·

~ -:-..

i

•. ·~:.;.....

.• -; -- ..

'. .

'' .

.....: ../

.. _ .. ,..,, .

..

: .

. ~ .:

·-

t_:


~.:· /

·.

..

EPILOGUE

,._,-:···

.· '

·-· ·- $ ·

,· ..


(

~; ·.

-· .....

·;l! .

89.

•.

THE INN OF THE PROLOGUE.

THE FIRE IS ALMOST our. THE TRAV­

ELERS Al\lD INNKEEPER, ABSQRBED BY

THE STORY, HAVE NOT NOTICED.

THE SILENCE CONTRASTS SHARPLY

WITH THE BATTLE SOUNDS OF THE

PREVIOUS SCENE. THE YOUNG·MAN

GETS TO HIS FEET ABRUPTLY.

•,

: .. .

·,

Then--that ts .it?

' It's not. possible!

SECOND TRAVELER

.' FIRST TRAVELER

That can't be all!

0

- ,· THIRD TRAVELER

The story's ,finished?

. • ' . .{;~~.'-

:: It's finished. Ended.

YOUNG MAN

~· .~

·-::_ .. '·-:

Impossible!

. FIRST TRAVELER

Who killed him?

;..

.·--.

Il\TNKEEPER

There we areL We still don •t know how he died!

·"·'

- -·_,:

.'

YOUNG MAN

He had to die: he was old. What more do you want?

THIRD TRAVELER

But there's still Korocha. And Gemina!

.. : :: -... ~

(

·.;· ..

·

~~·: ' .

... ,'

.-J .

YOUNG MAN

. , Naturally, Korocha is to marry Gemina. How else should it be?

INNKEEPER

I still don't know who should get my .taxes!

~ .. •'

. ' .-. ,

. ..

.. -~- .

-. '

;


90.

Korocha.

YOUNG l'-fAN

Pay your taxes to Korocha.

•.

Is that so?

INNKEEPER

YOUNG MAN

_

The throne of· Shensi, which Genghis Khan had only borrowed ·

for a few months, and for which the people of Shensi spilled

so much blood--which even now is being washed, refurbished,

regilded by the best artisans of Shensi--this throne must

.go to the incomparable hero of Shensi. Then pay your taxes

to Korocha! Long live Korocha!

(SINCERELY)

INNKEEPER

Long live Korocha!

AT THESE · WORDS, THE YOUNG MAN

FINDS HIS BUNDLE, SWINGS IT TO

1IIS SHOULDER, PICKS UP HIS STICK

AND. STARTS TO THE DOOR. HE FINDS

IT-, OPENS IT. OUTSIDE, IT ·rs NOT

QUITE DAWN. THE DESERT WIND BLOWS

·. ---:- ~

·•. . .. ACROSS THE PALE STARS IN THE SKY.

. ··- ·· ·.

..

Where

- .. · tW'I~ '~ SECOND TAAVELER

are _you o~-:lto? The sun's not up yet!

···'·.

-. .. .;:..,.

.,.·· ..: .

.!··

-.>·.

··..·::-;- ... .. ·.,.

' '. -

\.' i ..

~·' . ,;..,..... ' ·. ~ !·.·< ;..·~ ~~:.('~~·'. '

' ~· ·! I,·•_].;

. .."

: ~: ..•·..: .

....

. • I '-

....,... .

·,

.....•..:

·:·.~.·

••

. r .'·~,·.'

•·\°"

'.

I'm on my way.

Ah!

YOUNG HAN

The. sun wiil soon be up.

·.. ··:....-_ .. __

HE EXITS .

THIRD TRAVELER.

And with the sUri--the lark!

_

FIRST TRAVELER

The lark? · (JUMPING UP) Of course! The Skylark! It's him!

·-· ... .

. -'4 .. .

...

·skylark!

THEY ALL JUMP UP, RUN TO THE DOOR •

:1

- ALL --1.

Skylark! _\ ~ . ~

- - .__}

BUT THE YOUNG MAN HAS DISAPPEARED

INTO THE DAWN .

,)

...

.-;:!;

. ' •

"' ·

j . •.

• r'•

~.; .,. A •• ;·.

. . ~ :

·> · · -· .: .~,. -~ru~~>

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