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Bury the Dead

The Columbia Workshop 

Bury the Dead

May 28 1938



CAST:

1ST NEWSCASTER

2ND NEWSCASTER

3RD NEWSCASTER

ANNOUNCER


1ST SOLDIER

SERGEANT

2ND SOLDIER

3RD SOLDIER


1ST CORPSE, Private Driscoll

2ND CORPSE, Private Schelling, a farmer

3RD CORPSE

4TH CORPSE, Private Webster, a mechanic

5TH CORPSE

6TH CORPSE, Private Dean, age twenty


CAPTAIN, educated; a scientist

1ST GENERAL

2ND GENERAL

DOCTOR


1ST VOICE

2ND VOICE

EDITOR

REPORTER


BESS, spare, taciturn; a farmer's wife

MRS. DEAN, mother

KATHERINE, Driscoll's estranged sister

MARTHA, angry; Webster's poor wife


1ST VOICE

2ND VOICE

3RD VOICE

NEWSBOY

PRIEST




MUSIC: A LONE DRUM BEATS A SLOW MARTIAL RHYTHM ... JOINED BY STRINGS FOR A GRIM, OMINOUS THEME ... THEN IN BG


1ST NEWSCASTER: (PAUSE) Today, Germany protested sharply to the Czechoslovakian government regarding alleged frontier violations.


2ND NEWSCASTER: (PAUSE) This morning in Canton, China, Japanese bombers killed six hundred and injured nearly a thousand men, women, and children.


3RD NEWSCASTER: (PAUSE) This afternoon, the British steamer Greatend was bombed and sunk in Valencia Harbor.


ANNOUNCER: (PAUSE) Tonight, as millions of Americans prepare to celebrate Memorial Day, a day consecrated to the memory of our fallen heroes, the Columbia Workshop presents "Bury the Dead."


MUSIC: UP ... THEN FADES OUT ... A FEW ECHOING DRUMBEATS THAT SOUND LIKE DISTANT ARTILLERY FIRE


SOUND: SHOVELS AND DIRT AS SOLDIERS DIG GRAVES ... IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


1ST SOLDIER: Say, Sergeant, they stink. Let's bury them in a hurry.


SERGEANT: What do you think you'd smell like, after you'd been lyin' out dead in the hot sun for two days -- a lily of the valley? Keep diggin'.


2ND SOLDIER: Hey, this is deep enough. What're we supposed to do -- dig right down to hell and deliver 'em over first-hand?


SERGEANT: A man's entitled to six feet o' dirt over his face! We gotta show respect for the dead. Keep diggin'.


1ST SOLDIER: They stink! Bury them!


SERGEANT: That's a fine way to talk in the presence of death!


2ND SOLDIER: Aw, come on. Let's put 'em away.


3RD SOLDIER: What's the difference? They'll just be turned up anyway the next time the artillery wakes up.


SERGEANT: All right, all right! If you're in such a hurry -- put 'em in. (LONG PAUSE AS DIGGING CONTINUES) Put 'em in neat, there.


1ST SOLDIER: (SARCASTIC) File 'em away alphabetically, boys. We may want to refer to them later.


3RD SOLDIER: Ah, this one's just a kid. 


1ST SOLDIER: Bury 'im. He stinks.


3RD SOLDIER: Come on. Let's pile the dirt in on 'em.


SERGEANT: Okay, boys. Shovel it in.


1ST CORPSE: (LOW GROAN)


1ST SOLDIER: (TENSE) Hey, wait a minute. I heard a groan.


1ST CORPSE: (WEAK GROAN)


1ST SOLDIER: I heard a groan.


SERGEANT: Shut up, soldier.


1ST SOLDIER: Stop it! I heard a groan!


SERGEANT: What about it? Can you have a war without groans? Keep quiet!


1ST CORPSE: (WEAK GROAN)


1ST SOLDIER: (HALF TO HIMSELF) Comin' from down there in the grave. (TO ALL) Hold it! Somebody down there groaned!


1ST CORPSE: (LOW GROAN)


2ND SOLDIER: (HORRIFIED) Oh, my God. 


1ST SOLDIER: He's alive.


SERGEANT: (ANNOYED) Why the hell don't they get these things straight? Pull him out!


1ST CORPSE: (LOW GROAN)


1ST SOLDIER: (UNEASY, HUSHED) There. It came from there.


2ND CORPSE: (GROAN)


2ND SOLDIER: Another one!


1ST SOLDIER: I heard it.


2ND SOLDIER: Another one! Standin' up! Standin' up in his grave!


SIX CORPSES: (ALL START GROANING)


3RD SOLDIER: All of 'em! All six of 'em standin' up! Standin' up in their graves!


MUSIC: BIG ACCENT ... ENDS WITH LOUD ECHOING DRUMBEAT


SERGEANT: (TO CORPSES) What do you want?


1ST CORPSE: (GENTLY, POLITELY) Don't bury us.


3RD SOLDIER: (SCARED) Hey, let's get out o' here!


SERGEANT: Stay where you are! I'll shoot the first man who moves!


1ST CORPSE: Don't bury us. We don't want to be buried.


SERGEANT: (BEAT) Carry on, men! (NO RESPONSE) Carry on, I said! (CALLS WILDLY) Captain?! Captain?! (NO ANSWER, MOVING OFF) Where the hell is the captain?


3RD SOLDIER: Say, I'm gettin' out o' here.


SOLDIERS: (MURMUR UNEASILY, READY TO BOLT)


6TH CORPSE: Don't go away. 


2ND CORPSE: Stay with us.


3RD CORPSE: We want to hear the sound of men talking. 


6TH CORPSE: Don't be afraid of us.


1ST CORPSE: We're not really different from you. We're dead. 


2ND CORPSE: That's all.


1ST SOLDIER: (INCREDULOUS, QUIETLY) That's all?


3RD CORPSE: Are you afraid of six dead men? You, who've lived with the dead, the so-many dead, and eaten your bread by their side when there was no time to bury them and you were hungry?


2ND CORPSE: Are we different from you? An ounce or so of lead in our hearts, and none in yours. A small difference between us.


3RD CORPSE: Tomorrow or the next day, the lead will be yours, too. Talk as our equals. 


3RD SOLDIER: (TO SOLDIERS) That's the kid.


1ST CORPSE: Say something to us. Forget the grave, as we would forget it.


SERGEANT: (RETURNING WITH CAPTAIN) I'm not drunk, Captain! I'm not crazy, either! They just -- got up, all together -- and looked at us. Look -- look for yourself, Captain! Ya see?


CAPTAIN: I see. I was expecting it to happen some day. So many men each day. It's too bad it had to happen in my company. (AN ORDER) Gentlemen! At ease!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


CAPTAIN: I'm only telling the generals what I saw.


1ST GENERAL: You're not making this up, Captain?


CAPTAIN: No, General. 


2ND GENERAL: Have you any proof, Captain?


CAPTAIN: The four men in the burial detail and the sergeant, sir.


1ST GENERAL: In time of war, Captain, men see strange things. Ghosts, for instance.


CAPTAIN: They weren't ghosts. They were men -- killed two days, standing in their graves and looking at me.


1ST GENERAL: Captain, you're becoming trying.


CAPTAIN: I'm sorry, sir. It was a trying sight. I saw them. What are the generals going to do about it?


2ND GENERAL: Don't stand there croaking, "What are the generals going to do about it?" Have 'em examined by a doctor. If they're alive, send them to a hospital. If they're dead, bury them. It's very simple.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


1ST GENERAL: Well, Doctor--?


DOCTOR: Yes, sir?


1ST GENERAL: In your report here you say that each of these six men is dead.


DOCTOR: Yes, sir.


1ST GENERAL: Then I don't see what all this fuss is about, Captain. They're dead -- bury them.


CAPTAIN: I'm afraid, sir, that that can't be done. They're standing in their graves. They refuse to be buried.


2ND GENERAL: Do we have to go into that again?! We have the doctor's report. They're dead. Aren't they, Doctor?


DOCTOR: Yes, sir.


2ND GENERAL: Then they aren't standing in their graves, refusing to be buried, are they?


DOCTOR: Yes, sir.


1ST GENERAL: Doctor, would you know a dead man if you saw one?


DOCTOR: The symptoms are easily recognized, sir.


1ST GENERAL: We have witnessed certificates from a registered surgeon that these men are dead. Bury them. Waste no more time on it. Do you hear me, Captain?


CAPTAIN: Yes, sir. I'm afraid, sir, that I must refuse to bury these men.


1ST GENERAL: That's insubordination, sir!


CAPTAIN: I'm sorry, sir. It's not within the line of my military duties to bury men against their will! If the general will only think for a moment he'll see that this is impossible.


1ST GENERAL: (CLEARS THROAT, UNCOMFORTABLY, TO 2ND GENERAL) The, er, captain's right. It might get back to Congress. God only knows what they'd make of it.


2ND GENERAL: What are we going to do then? 


1ST GENERAL: Er-- (CLEARS THROAT) Captain, er, what do you suggest? 


CAPTAIN: Stop the war. 


1ST & 2ND GENERALS: (ARE YOU KIDDING?) Captain!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: NEWSROOM BACKGROUND (TELETYPE, A COUPLE OF VOICES, ET CETERA)


1ST VOICE: Copy!


2ND VOICE: Hurry it up, Boss!


REPORTER: That's the story, Chief! Straight as a rifle-barrel, so help me.


EDITOR: Listen, I been runnin' the newspaper longer'n you been shavin' and I never heard anything like it before.


REPORTER: It's somethin' new. Something's happening. Somebody's waking up.


EDITOR: It didn't happen!


REPORTER: Listen, I got it straight. Those guys just stood up in the grave and said, "You can't bury us!" So help me, it's true!


SOUND: PHONE RECEIVER UP


EDITOR: (INTO PHONE) Get me Macready at the War Department. (TO REPORTER) It's an awfully funny story.


REPORTER: It's the story of the year -- the story of the century -- the biggest story of all time -- men gettin' up with bullets in their hearts and refusin' to be buried. 


EDITOR: Who do they think they are, Je--? (INTENDS TO SAY, "Jesus Christ" BUT STOPS SHORT; INTO PHONE) Hello? Macready? This is Hensen of the New York-- ... Yeah. ... Listen, Macready, I got this story about the six guys who refuse to be-- ... Yeah. ... Okay, Macready, if that's the way the Government feels about it-- ... (DISGUSTED) Aaaaah!


SOUND: SLAMS DOWN RECEIVER


REPORTER: Well, what does he say?


EDITOR: No!


REPORTER: (DISBELIEF) Holy--! But people got a right to know!


EDITOR: In time of war, people have a right to know nothin'!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


CAPTAIN: (TO CORPSES, UNCOMFORTABLY) Gentlemen, I have been asked by the generals to talk to you. To talk to you not as your - your former captain, but as a friend. To talk to you man-to-man. My work is not this - this soldiering. I - I'm a philosopher, a scientist. My uniform is a pair of eyeglasses; my usual weapons test tubes and books. At a time like this, perhaps we need philosophy, need science. First I must say that your general has ordered you to lie down.


1ST CORPSE: We used to have a general. 


3RD CORPSE: No more.


4TH CORPSE: They sold us. 


CAPTAIN: What do you mean -- sold you?


5TH CORPSE: Sold us for twenty-five yards of bloody mud.


6TH CORPSE: A life for four yards of bloody mud.


CAPTAIN: We had to take that hill. General's orders. You're soldiers. You understand.


1ST CORPSE: We understand now. The real estate operations of generals are always carried on at boom prices.


6TH CORPSE: A life for four yards of bloody mud. Gold is cheaper, and rare jewels, pearls and rubies.


3RD CORPSE: I fell in the first yard.


2ND CORPSE: I caught on the wire; hung there while the machine gun stitched me through the middle.


4TH CORPSE: I was there at the end and thought I had life in my hands for another day, but a shell came and my life dripped into the mud.


6TH CORPSE: Ask the general how he'd like to be dead at twenty. (CALLS) Twenty, General; twenty!


CAPTAIN: Other men are dead. 


1ST CORPSE: Too many.


CAPTAIN: Men must die for their country's sake -- if not you, then others. This has always been. Men died for Pharaoh and Caesar and Rome two thousand years ago and more, and went into the earth with their wounds. Why not you?


1ST CORPSE: Men, even the men who died for Pharaoh and Caesar and Rome, must, in the end, before all hope is gone, discover that a man can die happy and be contentedly buried only when he dies for himself or for a cause that is his own and not Pharaoh's or Caesar's or Rome's.


CAPTAIN: I - I see, gentlemen.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG


1ST GENERAL: Have you got any suggestions, Captain?


CAPTAIN: Only one thing left to do now, General. Get their women.


2ND GENERAL: (SKEPTICAL) Huh. What good'll their women do?


CAPTAIN: The women'll fight the general's battle for them -- in the best possible way -- through their emotions. It's the general's best bet.


1ST GENERAL: Women! Of course! Gad, you've got it there, Captain. Get out their women. Get them in a hurry. We'll have these boys underground in a jiffy. Women! By Gad, I never thought of it! Send out the call for women!


MUSIC: UP AND OUT


1ST GENERAL: (A ROUSING SPEECH) Ladies, you are all Gold Star mothers, wives, and sweethearts. You want to win this war. I know it. Now, here is your chance to do your part, a glorious part. You're fighting for your homes, your children, your sisters' lives, your country's honor. You are fighting for religion, for love, for all decent human life. Wars can be fought and won only when the dead are buried and forgotten. How can we forget the dead who refuse to be buried? We must forget them! There's no room in this world for dead men. They will lead only to the bitterest unhappiness -- for you, for them, for everybody. Go ladies, do your duty! Your country waits upon you!


MUSIC: SNARE DRUM ROLL WITH A SOUR BUGLE CALL ... ENDS WITH LOUD ECHOING DRUMBEAT


BESS: Did it hurt much, John? 


SCHELLING: How's the kid, Bess?


BESS: Oh, he's fine. He talks now. He weighs twenty-eight pounds. He'll be a big boy. Did it hurt much, John?


SCHELLING: How's the farm? Is it goin' all right, Bess?


BESS: It's going. The rye was heavy this year. Did it hurt much, John?


SCHELLING: What color's his hair?


BESS: Blond. Like you. What are you going to do, John?


SCHELLING: I would like to see the kid -- and the farm.


BESS: They say you're dead, John. 


SCHELLING: I'm dead, all right. 


BESS: Then how is it--?


SCHELLING: I don't know. Maybe there's too many of us under the ground now. Maybe the earth can't stand it no more. You got to change crops sometime. What are you doin' here, Bess?


BESS: They asked me to get you to let yourself be buried.


SCHELLING: What do you think? 


BESS: You're dead, John. 


SCHELLING: Well? 


BESS: What's the good?


SCHELLING: I don't know. Only there's something in me, dead or no dead, that won't let me be buried.


BESS: You were a queer man, John. I never did understand what you were about. But what's the good?


SCHELLING: Bess, I never talked so that I could get you to understand what I wanted while I-- Well, before. Maybe now. There's a couple of things, Bess, that I ain't had enough of. Easy things. Things like the fuzz of green over a field in spring where you planted wheat and it's started to come out overnight. Things like takin' a cold drink of water out of the well after you've boiled in the sun all afternoon, and feelin' the water go down and down into you, coolin' you off all through from the inside out. Things like seein' a blond kid, all busy and serious, playin' with a dog on the shady side of a house. There ain't nothin' like that down here in the grave, Bess.


BESS: Everything has its place, John. Dead men have theirs.


SCHELLING: My place is on the earth, Bess. My business is with the top of the earth, not the under-side. It was a trap that yanked me down. I'm not smart, Bess, and I'm easy trapped -- but I can tell now. I got some stories to tell farmers before I'm through. I'm going to tell 'em.


BESS: We could bury you home, John, near the creek. It's cool there and quiet and there's always a breeze in the trees.


SCHELLING: Later, Bess, when I've had my fill of lookin', smellin', and talkin'. A man should be able to walk into his grave, not be dragged into it.


BESS: How'll I feel -- and the kid -- with you walkin' 'round like - like that?


SCHELLING: I won't bother you. I won't even come near you.


BESS: Well, even so. Just knowin'--


SCHELLING: I can't help it. This is something bigger than you -- bigger'n me. It's something I ain't had nothin' to do with starting. [It's somethin' that just grew up] out of the earth -- like - like a weed, a flower. [Cut it down now and it'll jump up in a dozen new places. You can't stop it. The earth's] ready for it.


BESS: You were a good husband, John. For the kid and me -- won't you let me bury you?


SCHELLING: Go home, Bess. Go home.


MUSIC: BRIDGE 


MRS. DEAN: Let me see your face, son. 


DEAN: You don't want to see it, mom.


MRS. DEAN: (PLEADS FOR ONE LOOK) My baby's face. Once, before you--


DEAN: You don't want to see it, mom. I know. (BEAT) Didn't they tell you what happened to me?


MRS. DEAN: I asked the doctor. He said a piece of shell hit the side of your head, but even so--


DEAN: Don't ask to see it, mom.


MRS. DEAN: Baby, listen to me. I'm your mother. Let them bury you. There's something peaceful and done about a grave. 


DEAN: I was only twenty, mom. I hadn't done anything. I hadn't seen anything. I never even had a girl. I spent twenty years practicing to be a man. And then they killed me. Being a kid's no good, mom. You try to get over it as soon as you can. You don't really live while you're a kid. You mark time, waiting. I waited, mom. But then I got cheated. They made a speech and played a trumpet, dressed me in a uniform and then they killed me!


MRS. DEAN: Oh, baby. Baby, there's no peace this way. Please, let them bury you.


DEAN: No, mom.


MRS. DEAN: Then once, now, so's I can remember -- let me see your face, my baby's face.


DEAN: Mom, the shell hit close to me. You don't want to look at a man when a shell hits close to him.


MRS. DEAN: Let me see your face, Jimmy.


DEAN: (BEAT, RELUCTANT) All right, mom. Look.


MRS. DEAN: (PAUSE, THEN SHE QUIETLY WHIMPERS AND MOANS, SLOWLY BUILDING TO A BLOODCURDLING SCREAM THAT ENDS ON A FALSETTO SHRIEK)


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... ENDS WITH LOUD ECHOING DRUMBEAT


KATHERINE: (APPROACHES, TRYING TO STAY CALM AMONG THE CORPSES) I'm Katherine Driscoll. I - I'm looking for my brother. He's dead. Are you my brother?


5TH CORPSE: No.


KATHERINE: (APPROACHES) I'm looking for my brother. My name is Katherine Driscoll. His name--


3RD CORPSE: No. 


KATHERINE: (APPROACHES, TO 2ND CORPSE) Are you my--? (STOPS SHORT, REALIZES IT ISN'T HER BROTHER; THEN TO 1ST CORPSE) I'm looking for my brother. My name is Katherine Driscoll. His name is-- 


DRISCOLL: I'm Tom Driscoll. 


KATHERINE: Hel-hello. (BEAT) I don't know you. After fifteen years and--


DRISCOLL: What do you want, Katherine?


KATHERINE: You don't know me either, do you?


DRISCOLL: No.


KATHERINE: It's funny -- my coming here to talk to a dead man -- to try to get him to do something because once long ago he was my brother. They talked me into it. I don't know how to begin.


DRISCOLL: You'll be wasting your words, Katherine.


KATHERINE: They should have asked someone nearer to you -- someone who loved you -- only they couldn't find anybody. I was the nearest, they said.


DRISCOLL: That's so. You were the nearest.


KATHERINE: And I, fifteen years away. Poor Tom. It couldn't have been a sweet life you led those fifteen years.


DRISCOLL: It wasn't. 


KATHERINE: You were poor, too?


DRISCOLL: Sometimes I begged for meals. I wasn't lucky.


KATHERINE: And yet you want to go back. Is there no more sense in the dead, Tom, than in the living?


DRISCOLL: Maybe not. Maybe there's no sense in either living or dying, but we can't believe that. 


KATHERINE: You're dead. Your fight's over.


DRISCOLL: The fight's never over. I got things to say to people now -- to people who nurse big machines -- and the people who swing shovels and the people whose babies die with big bellies and rotten bones. I got things to say to the people who leave their lives behind them and pick up guns to fight in somebody else's wars. Important things. Big things. Big enough to lift me out of the grave right back onto the earth into the middle of men just because I got the voice to say them. If God could lift Jesus--


KATHERINE: Tom! Have you lost religion, too?


DRISCOLL: I got a religion. I got a religion that wants to take heaven out of the clouds and plant it right here on the earth where some of us can get a slice of it. It isn't as pretty as heaven -- there aren't any streets of gold and there aren't any angels, and we'd have to worry about sewerage and railroad schedules in it, and we don't guarantee everybody'd be happy in it, but it'd be right here, stuck in the mud of this earth, and there wouldn't be any entrance requirements, like dying to get into it. Dead or alive, I see that, and it won't let me rest. I was the first one to get up in this black grave of ours, because that idea wouldn't let me rest. I pulled the others with me -- that's my job, pulling the others. They only know what they want -- I know how they can get it.


KATHERINE: There's still the edge of arrogance on you.


DRISCOLL: I got heaven in my two hands to give to men. There's reason for arrogance.


KATHERINE: I came to ask you to lie down and let them bury you. It seems foolish now, but--


DRISCOLL: It's foolish, Katherine. I didn't get up from the dead to go back to the dead. I'm going to the living now.


KATHERINE: Fifteen years. It's a good thing your mother isn't alive. How can you say good-bye to a dead brother, Tom?


DRISCOLL: Wish him an easy grave, Katherine.


KATHERINE: A green and pleasant grave to you, Tom, when finally, finally-- (AT A LOSS FOR WORDS) Green and pleasant.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... ENDS WITH LOUD ECHOING DRUMBEAT


MARTHA: (ANNOYED) Well, say something. 


WEBSTER: What do you want me to say, Martha?


MARTHA: Something, anything. Only talk. You give me the shivers standing there like that -- lookin' like that.


WEBSTER: Even now -- after this -- there's nothing that we can talk to each other about.


MARTHA: Oh, don't talk like that. You talked like that enough when you were alive. It's not my fault that you're dead!


WEBSTER: All right, Martha. What's the difference now?


MARTHA: Well, I just wanted to let you know. Now I suppose you're gonna come back and sit around and ruin my life altogether?


WEBSTER: No. I'm not going to come back. 


MARTHA: Then, what are y--?


WEBSTER: I - I couldn't explain it to you, Martha.


MARTHA: No. Oh, no -- you couldn't explain it to your wife. But you could explain it to that dirty bunch of loafers down at that old garage of yours! And you could explain it to those bums in the saloon on F Street!


WEBSTER: I guess I could. Things seemed to be clearer when I was talkin' to the boys while I worked over a job. And I managed to talk so people could get to understand what I meant down at the saloon on F Street. It was nice, standing there on a Saturday night, with a beer in front of ya, and a man or two that understood your own language next to ya, talking -- oh, about Babe Ruth or the new oiling system that Ford was puttin' out or the chances of us gettin' into the war.


MARTHA: Yes, you were happy those times. But you weren't happy in your own home. Oh, I know, even if you don't say it. Well, I wasn't happy either. Living in three rotten rooms that the sun didn't hit five times a year. Watching the roaches make picnics on the walls. (LOW, WITH DISGUST) Happy!


WEBSTER: I did my best.


MARTHA: Eighteen-fifty a week! Your best. Eighteen-fifty, condensed milk, a two-dollar pair of shoes once a year, five hundred dollars' insurance, chopped meat-- Oh, how I hate chopped meat! Eighteen-fifty, being afraid of everything -- of the landlord, the gas company, scared stiff all the time and gettin' nothin' out of life. Why shouldn't I have had a baby? Who says I shouldn't have had a baby? Eighteen-fifty, no baby.


WEBSTER: (SLOWLY) I woulda liked a kid.


MARTHA: (STUNNED, QUIETLY) Would ya? You never said anything.


WEBSTER: It's good to have a kid. A kid's somebody to talk to.


MARTHA: At first, in the beginning, I - I thought we'd have a kid some day.


WEBSTER: A kid - would've helped.


MARTHA: Oh, no, it wouldn't. Kids don't help the poor. Nothin' helps the poor! Oh, no, I'm too smart to have sick, dirty kids on eighteen-fifty. Now --- now it's worse. Your twenty dollars a month. You hire yourself out to be killed and I get twenty dollars a month! What's the war to me that I have to sit home alone at night with nobody to talk to?! What's the war to you that you had to go off and get yourself--?!


WEBSTER: That's why I'm standin' up now, Martha.


MARTHA: Yeah, that's just like ya -- to wait until it's too late. There's plenty for live men to stand up for! All right, stand up. It's about time you talked back. (TO CORPSES) It's about time all you poor miserable eighteen-fifty guys stood up for themselves and their wives -- and the kids they can't have! Tell 'em all to stand up! Tell 'em! Tell 'em!


MUSIC: TUMULTUOUS BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG--


REPORTER: (PLEASED) It didn't work! Now you've gotta put it in! I knew it wouldn't work! Smear it over the headlines! It didn't work!


EDITOR: Put it in the headlines! They won't be buried!


NEWSBOY: (SHOUTS) It didn't work! Extra! It didn't work! Here ya are, read all about it!


1ST VOICE: It didn't work. They're still standing. Somebody do something.


REPORTER: Sure, they're standing. From now on they'll always stand! You can't bury soldiers any more.


1ST SOLDIER: They stink. Bury them.


2ND VOICE: What'll happen to our war? We can't let anything happen to our war.


PRIEST: The Day of Judgment is at hand.


1ST SOLDIER: (SARCASTIC) File 'em away in alphabetical order.


SERGEANT: Keep it quiet.


BESS: My husband--


KATHERINE: My brother--


MRS. DEAN: My baby--


2ND GENERAL: We've got to put them down.


REPORTER: Never! Never! Never! You can't put 'em down. Put one down and ten will spring up like weeds in an old garden!


2ND GENERAL: Use lead on them! Lead put 'em down once. Lead'll do it again!


1ST GENERAL: Bury them! Bury the dead!


PRIEST: The dead have arisen, now let the living rise, singing!


3RD VOICE: Do something! Do something!


NEWSBOY: Extra! They're still standing! Here you are, read all about it!


3RD VOICE: Do something! 


1ST VOICE: They're licked. 


2ND VOICE: This isn't Nineteen Eighteen. This is today! 


1ST VOICE: See what happens tomorrow!


3RD VOICE: Anything can happen now -- anything!


MUSIC: UP, FOR BRIDGE ... ENDS WITH SEVERAL LOUD ECHOING DRUMBEATS


2ND GENERAL: (URGENT) Let me have a machine gun. (CALLS) Sergeant! Machine gun! (TO 1ST GENERAL) I'll show them! This is what they've needed.


1ST GENERAL: (WITH DISTASTE) All right, all right. Get it over with! Hurry! But keep it quiet.


2ND GENERAL: I want a crew to man this gun. (CALLS) You! Come over here! And you! You know what to do. I'll give the command to fire.


1ST SOLDIER: Not to me, you won't. This is over me. I won't touch that gun. None of us will! We didn't hire out to be no butcher of dead men. Do your own chopping. 


2ND GENERAL: You'll be court-martialed! You'll be dead by tomorrow morning!


1ST SOLDIER: Be careful, General! I may take a notion to come up like these guys. That's the smartest thing I've seen in this whole war and I like it! (TO DRISCOLL) What d'ya say, buddy? 


DRISCOLL: It's about time.


1ST SOLDIER: I'll say it is!


2ND GENERAL: What? You insubordinate--


1ST GENERAL: Oh, stop it, stop it! It's bad enough as it is. Let him alone. Do it yourself. 


2ND GENERAL: All by myself?


1ST GENERAL: Yes, yes. Go ahead. Do it! Do it! Do it!


2ND GENERAL: All right. Soon as I get this gun to working--


REPORTER: (FILTER) Never! Never! Never!


MRS. DEAN: (FILTER) Let me see your face, baby.


MARTHA: (FILTER) All you remember is a glass of beer with a couple of bums on Saturday night. 


KATHERINE: (FILTER) A green and pleasant grave.


BESS: (FILTER) Did it hurt much, John?


DEAN: (FILTER) Four yards of bloody mud.


WEBSTER: (FILTER) I fell in the first yard.


REPORTER: (FILTER) Never! Never! Never!


MARTHA: (FILTER) Tell 'em all to stand up! Tell 'em! Tell 'em!


MUSIC: FOR CORPSES SLOWLY MARCHING OUT OF THEIR GRAVE ... IN BG ... BUILDS OMINOUSLY UNTIL END OF PLAY


CAPTAIN: General, look -- they're coming out of the grave. They're coming toward us.


1ST GENERAL: [?] Fire! Fire, you bloody fool!


SOUND: TWO LENGTHY BURSTS OF MACHINE GUN FIRE! ... CONTINUES IN STAGGERED BURSTS DURING FOLLOWING--


CAPTAIN: It's no good! They're still coming!


2ND GENERAL: Nothing will stop them!


REPORTER: You killed them once! You can't kill them again!


1ST GENERAL: [?] Keep on firing! Don't stop! Keep firing!


CAPTAIN: The others -- the living men -- they're falling in behind them!


1ST GENERAL: Stop them, stop them!


2ND GENERAL: You can't stop them!


REPORTER: That's right, General! Once they've started, you can never stop them! Nothing can stop them now!


MUSIC: UP, FOR CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: You have just heard the Columbia Workshop's production of the famous American war play, "Bury the Dead" by Irwin Shaw. "Bury the Dead" was adapted for radio and directed by William N. Robson. 


MUSIC: IN BG, UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: Next week, the Workshop will present an experiment in native rhythms in its production of "Tranga Man, Fine Gah," a radio play of British West Africa written and directed by John Carlisle. In this production, native African drummers will present for the first time a demonstration of their talking drums, the most primitive form of wireless communication. "Tranga Man, Fine Gah," which means "strong man, fine girl," will be heard next week at this same time, seven-thirty p. m., Eastern Daylight Saving Time. This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.


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