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Scene. - Deck of the "Santa Maria." Benches or boxes for Sailors to sit or stand on.

José is perched above the rail, concealed by small sail from Sailors, not from audience. Sailors lolling in despondent attitudes, some whittling, some caulking, some painting, some mending ropes. Mournful humming in low tones without words of Chantey No. 1 just before and after Curtain rises.

Mate (to Sailors, impatiently): Santiago! What do you mean by wasting your time like this! Once my eye is off you, Carlos, down fall your hands. Pull that line taut, you landlubber! Paulo! Enrico! All you men! pull away, you goodfor-noughts! I might as well do everything myself as wait for you to do it!

(Carlos, Enrico, Paulo and others slowly rise and begin to haul on the rope.)

Mate (taking up rope-splicer's work from Antonio. Jerks rope angrily apart): Where did you learn to splice rope? No child could do it worse. (Throws rope down; Antonio darts angry look at him.) And do you go on to some purpose with your caulking, Filipe! Put some vim into it, man! (Shows him how.) Like this! To work, all of you, with a will.

Sailors (They fall to work, pull rope, stamp and sing slowly in rhythm):

Farewell to land! Farewell to Spain!
Heave ho! my lads, heave ho, oh!
We'll ne'er see home or friends again!
Heave ho! my lads, heave ho, oh!
The Sea of Darkness yawns ahead,
Then sigh, my lads, then sigh, oh!
Its waves will be our watery bed,

Then sigh, my lads, then sigh, oh!

(The Mate leaves before they reach end of song and they continue listlessly until the end, then drop rope one by one, and resume occupations. Carlos, Enrico and Paulo come forward to side of boat, lean over and look into water.)

Carlos (half-subdued voice): How much longer are we to keep up this pretense? We're doomed men, I tell you, and the Mate knows it, though he keeps us pulling at ropes as though that would save us. (Wildly.) We're caught in a whirlpool! We're sailing round and round! Every day we're drifting nearer and nearer to the center; in the end we'll be sucked down! sucked down! and devoured by the monster who is lurking in its dreadful depths! Oh!

(Shudders and covers face with hands. except Antonio and José, and crowd around.)

Sailors all shudder and groan,

Enrico: I do not much believe in your monsters, no one has ever seen one! but

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Carlos: Ay! ay! that they have! but they've been devoured and could not return to tell of them! The Golden Lion's been gone a year. Where is she? Why hasn't a splinter of her been found?

Sailors: Why not! why not!

Paulo: And the Black Moor, and the Santa Anna, where are they?

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Sailors (in chorus): Where are they? where are they? Enrico: I know nothing of your monsters, but I know we're not sailing round and round, for I've marked the sun and 'tis ever rising behind us and setting before us; but, look you! (Lowers voice.) The stars are changing their courses! The Great Bear seems to dip even to the ocean and the Scorpion is rising again!

Sailors (in scared whispers, looking at each other): The Scorpion is rising?

Paulo: Yes, but even that is not the worst. (The Sailors in anxious terror gather closer about him.) The needle . (He looks over his shoulder to be sure he is not overheard) the needle of the compass! Have you marked how it swings hither and yon, now here, now there? Some devil has bewitched it; it no longer points to the north!

Enrico (eagerly): 'Tis true! (With melancholy satisfaction.) We are lost men; it no longer points to the north.

Sailors (in a panic): We are lost men! The saints preserve us! 'Tis true, it no longer points to the north! (They nod dismally to one another.) By Saint Anthony! What means it? What means it?

Enrico: I know what it means. (They gather around Enrico.) We are near the rim of the world! Any moment we may sail over . . . and down! (Makes dramatic gesture.) Sailors (all shudder and imitate him): Over and down! José (from his perch in folds of sail): What empty, silly chatter you all talk! There is nothing to fear! If the land be farther away than we thought, so much more glory for us when we find it. Surely all these birds we see flock after flock mean land, near at hand too!

Filipe (sadly): Poor babe! he really thinks he sees birds! (José nods) and seaweeds! Some grim demon has laid his spell upon us and makes us think we see flocks of birds, but we are deceived and bewitched! (Wildly.) We are crazy like this Columbus! You're crazy! I'm crazy! (Points to Sailors, who are dismayed and look at each other. Impressively.) There are no birds! (Walks distractedly up and down.) There are no birds! only sea and sky! sea and sky! (Repeats “sea and sky!" wildly several times.)

(Sensation among Sailors. All but five conspirators and two other sailors leave the stage during Filipe's speech. José conceals himself by sail during Antonio's plotting.)

Antonio (coming forward with knife and rope he has been mending, roughly interrupting): Bah! I'm sick of your whining! Are we babes or men? How much longer are we to follow a madman! “Find India," says he. Why don't we? We've given him his chance. We've sailed "On and on," haven't we? All (groans): Ah! "On and on!"

Antonio: Why don't we find India, I say? Because it's not here. We've sailed "On and on," long enough for this lunatic's whim. Now! tonight! he'll sail back for us or — (Makes gesture of throwing overboard. Shudder from some of the Sailors.)

He always walks here

Carlos: 'Twould serve him right! Enrico: Why obey a madman? Antonio: 'Twill be quickly over. towards night. While I speak with him, do you steal in one at a time. If he refuses we'll throw him into the sea and save our lives. (Murmurs of dissent.) Has not a man a right to his own life?

All: Ay! ay! Santa Anna! a man has a right to his own life!

Antonio (contemptuously): Bah! How glibly you say that! At his first words you'll forget it all! Let him but smile and you'll all cry again like magpies, "On and on!"

All: No! no! not this time! we've sailed far enough! (Nod heads determinedly.)

Antonio: Talk no more here! Wait! Don't chatter about this! silence now! - Quick! back to our work! The Mate!

(All take up work—sing dolefully, "Farewell to land," etc. Enter Mate. Watches them.)

Mate: Wonderful industry! wonderful! (Takes spliced rope from Antonio, jerkes it apart.) And this rope is as well spliced as before! (Angrily whipping them with the ends of rope.) Here! be off with you! off this deck, all of you.

(Sailors go. Antonio looks back with angry frown. Mate comes forward, hangs up lantern, sighs and leans over edge of boat. It grows darker.)

José (leans forward cautiously, peers around): Mate! Mate!

Mate (looks around, sees José): What! you José! What's been going on? They are growing ugly again. That Antonio

José (whispers): Come nearer.

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A plot. They'll ask the

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Mate (grasps José's arm and shakes him): When is this to be? Where? Why don't you answer?

José: Now! at once! when he comes as usual to pace the deck.

Mate: Who else is in the plot? (Looks around.) Stay! we

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