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skeered 'cause Mr. Lincoln jumps at 'em and hollers
"Boo." He's got a bigger job than Jim Madison



THE COPPERHEAD 17

hed, and thet lasted two years. These hellions are
right on the ground in the very midst of us some
of em's livin' right here in our own state, an' to git
'em out'll be like bugs in a rope bedstid.

MA. (Going toward house) Two years! Joey '11
be eighteen before then.

GRANDMA. Yes if he lives.

MA. (Turning, alarmed) If he lives! Why,
Grandma Perley!

GRANDMA. An' I'll be sevinty-six if / live.

MA. (On porch) Come in and hev some tea,
won't you?

GRANDMA. No, thank you. I've got my pipe and
this hot lead brings back old times a bit. (Enter
HARDY, in captain's uniform. A soldier follows,
without uniform.)

HARDY. Good-afternoon. Is Milt at home?

MA. Good-afternoon, Captain. He's inside.
(Calls) Milt here's Captain Hardy.

HARDY. Good-afternoon, Mrs. Perley.

GRANDMA. How de do, Captain.

HARDY. (Goes to well curb) Doing your share,
I see.

GRANDMA. Tryin' to, Captain an^ I'll keep the
wimmen o' this neighborhood at sumpin' as long as
the trouble lasts. (Enter SHANKS, with baby, which
MA takes. SHANKS is a farmer of thirty-six.)

SHANKS. Afternoon, Captain Tom.

HARDY. You've got a wagon and two horses,
Milt?

SHANKS. I hev yes.

HARDY. My company's got orders to move. The
ammunition and supplies will need four wagons to
carry them.

SHANKS. Well, I kain't stop yer takin' mine, if
you mean that.



18 THE COPPERHEAD

HARDY. I don't want to take it. We'll hire it
and we'll pay you for your time, too.

SHANKS. (Shakes head) I couldn't go myself.

MA. Why not, Milt?

SHANKS. I don't hold fur this coercin' of South-
ern people I don't.

HARDY. You hold for the North defending itself
when the South begins shooting, don't you?

SHANKS. I don't really know as I do. They
haven't come into our territory any yit!

HARDY. They're threatening the arsenal at St.
Louis.

SHANKS. Well, Missouri's a slave State, ain't it?

HARDY. (Impatient) I can't do your thinking
for you now. I want your team.

SHANKS. (Hands up) Well, youVe got the
power.

HARDY. Can't you persuade him, Mrs. Shanks ?

MA. I'm afraid, Captain, that his head's turned
with these secession sympathizers. He's wearin' one
of their copper buttons.

GRANDMA. The Tories tried that "sympathizin' "
business in 1812. We burnt one o' their newspaper
offices and run some o' them theirselves over the line
ter Canada.

HARDY. (Writing) I'll take your team, Milt
but I'll give you a Government warrant that'll get
you the money for it.

SHANKS. Make it in ma's name, Captain. In
my eyes, it'd be blood money.

MA. Will you eat the provisions I buy with the
blood money?

SHANKS. Not if you keep 'em separated from
what I bring in, I won't.

HARDY. There, Mrs. Shanks. 'Tisn't their value,
perhaps, but that's the Government rate.

MA. Thank you.



THE COPPERHEAD 19

HARDY. (To SHANKSJ Show us your team.

MA. Oh, Captain, these buttons does it matter
if I sew clear through the facin's? I kain't pick up
one piece, tailor-fashion.

HARDY. Not a bit. Tie them on, if you want to.
Come, Milt ? (Exits with SHANKS and soldier.)

GRANDMA. Hardy's more tender with Milt than
Nathan Heald would a been.

MA. Who?

GRANDMA. Captain Nathan Heald commanded at
Dearborn. A militia man talked meal-mouthed like
Milt done jest now, and Nathan Heald took his
sword hilt butt end and knocked out all his teeth.
(Enter MRS. BATES from road back of house, carry-
ing a blue coat she works on.)

MRS. BATES. Ain't that Captain Hardy?

MA. Yes. What's the matter?

MRS. BATES. I forget which side of a man's coat
the button-holes go on.

MA. Why, the left side.

MRS. BATES. Air you sure?

GRANDMA. Ain't you never made no clothes fur
yer own men folks ?

MRS. BATES. Not soldier clothes, I ain't.

GRANDMA. Well, the left side fur button-holes
right side fur buttons. Men are all one-handed.
Wimmen's clothes button with the left hand so they
can have their right arm to carry a baby.

MRS. BATES. Jim said I was wrong. I've sewed
this button-hole slip the tailor gave us, on the wrong
side.

GRANDMA. Rip it off.

MRS. BATES. I've cut thro' the cloth that's over it.

GRANDMA. Never mind. They'll find some left-
handed man. (Enter SUE, a girl of fourteen.)

SUE. Oh, Mrs. Shanks !

MA. What is it, Sue?



20 THE COPPERHEAD

SUE. The men are going away.

GRANDMA. Why ain't you at the church pickin'
lint?

SUE. My bundle's all done. They're going right
away.

MRS. BATES. They'll have to wait for this coat,
I reckon.

GRANDMA. (Rising) You sure? (To SUE.J

SUE. Yes, Grandma.

GRANDMA. Then they better have what's done of
these. (Begins to trim the bullets and collect them.)

SUE. Oh, Grandma ! Bullets ! (Re-enter SHANKS.)

GRANDMA. Yes, bullets.

SUE. That don't seem like woman's work.

GRANDMA. In a real war, everything's woman's
work, from bringin' 'em into the world right up to
closin' their eyes.

MA. (Shocked) Oh, Mrs. Perley! (MRS.
BATES also shrinks and exclaims.)

GRANDMA. Oh, you wimmen with yer "faint an'
fall in it" high falutin's are what's makin' the fool
peace talk amongst the men. (Goes to gate with
bucket.) "Close their eyes" yes. A man plows
and threshes and grinds hisself to death in sixty
years and ye call it the Lord's will. I don't. It's
what he dies fur that tells the tale. I lost a husband
at Fort Dearborn, and a father at Detroit, and a
brother on Lake Erie different ages then, but equal
now, 'cause they died fur Freedom fur Liberty.
(Exits.)

SUE. Gramma ought a been a man. (Exits.)

MA. Take this child ; I gotta finish these buttons.
(SHANKS takes baby to house.)

MRS. BATES. What's Milt so downcast about?

MA. The army has took our team. (Points off
left.)

MRS. BATES. Oh there comes Lem Tollard.



THE COPPERHEAD 21

MA. (Going) Yes. Another rebel sympathizer.
Will you come inside?

MRS. BATES. No ; I'll go home and fix this coat
if I kin. (Exit MA in house. LEM TOLLARD
enters left at back. He is a tough Illinois farmer of
1861, with scowl and under jaw, easily dressed and
about thirty-eight years old. MRS. BATES, going,
looks at him. He touches his hat. MRS. BATES
exit. LEM looks cautiously over fence and comes
into yard; reconnoiters house and whistles signal
toward porch. Evidently gets attention inside and
beckons. SHANKS comes from house, sees LEM,
looks back into house, meets LEM left center.)

SHANKS. What'd you find out?

LEM. These fellers air gonta march in a day or
two, from the looks o' things !

SHANKS. Where to ?

LEM. Missouri, I'd say. That visitin' member of
our Lodge that's here from Indiana understands
telegraphin' kin read it by ear.

SHANKS. By ear?

LEM. You bet ! He kin jest lean against a depot
an* tell nearly every word the machine's a sayin*. He
picked up "Camp Jackson" and "St. Louis" and
"Government troops from Quincy" goin* to the
Arsenal there in St. Louis. Company from here is
goin' to Quincy. Now, what's our move?

SHANKS. Why do we have to do anything?

LEM. Why, Camp Jackson's our people.

SHANKS. Air they?

LEM. Yes, at St. Louis.

SHANKS. Why, then, we oughta git word to 'em,
I suppose but, jeemunently how?

LEM. I've been to St. Louis in my time, with
hides and taller.

SHANKS. Then you're the man to go, I'd say.



22 THE COPPERHEAD

LEM. I'm ready to go, but it entitles me to rail-
road tickets and my keep while I'm away.

SHANKS. Naturally.

LEM. An* no use callin' a meetin' if you gimme
your word fur it that the circle makes it up to me
when I git back.

SHANKS. I give you my word fur it, Lem.

LEM. All right. (Starts off; stops; returns.)
An' see here, Milt, your boy Joe

SHANKS. What about him?

LEM. He's still drillin' with Newt Gillespie's out-
fit like I said he was.

SHANKS. Why not, if it amuses him? No guns,
and Joe's only sixteen and a little over.

LEM. Every man or boy we keep out of it, the
better.

SHANKS. Besides, Joe's drillin' and cheerin*
keeps suspicion off o' me. Lord, his mother's sewin'
uniforms for Hardy's Company! What do we
care?

LEM. (Not convinced) You may be right.
(Pause.) An' if any suspicion falls on me fur this
St. Louis trip, you're my witness that I went there
on business o' some kind fur you.

SHANKS. You did. There's a mule auction there,
I've heard.

LEM. There is Tenth and Biddle Street.

SHANKS. Well, how's this? These troops has
took my team, and you went there to buy another
team fur me ?

LEM. Why didn't I get 'em?

SHANKS. The army's buyin' 'em. That's a good
reason. Price went up. Everything is goin' up,
ain't it?

LEM. (Pause) I'll write you a letter about 'em
through the post-office sayin' that, and you keep
it-



THE COPPERHEAD 23

SHANKS. 'Nuf said. (Enter MA.)

MA. (On porch) Well, Lem, what is it?

LEM. Good-mornin'.

MA. The President's called fur seventy-five thou-
sand volunteers. Did you see it ?

LEM. I'm thirty-eight years old.

MA. So's Captain Hardy.

LEM. (Fishing) And my insteps ain't strong".

MA. Your insteps air all right, ain't they, Milt?

SHANKS. They air, thank Gawd, but not fur any
twholy cause like an army against our own country-
men.

MA. (To LEMJ I see you're wearin' one o* them
copperheads in yer button-hole, too.

LEM. (Regarding button) The Goddess of Lib-
erty yes.

MA. Liberty, is it? I notice that every brute
that's ever turned a dog loose after a poor black
slave runnin' past here from the Ohio River, is
wearin' one of 'em.

SHANKS. Oh, politics ain't fur women, Ma!

MA. They always have been in this house until
Fort Sumter was fired on an' I never looked for
you to eat yer own words, Milt Shanks.

SHANKS. I ain't eatin' my words. I'm fur peace,
that's all peace. I've got two children ter support.

MA. Ye hed one when the Mexican War broke
out, an* yer was devil bent to go to that.

SHANKS. Mexicans is different but not our own
countrymen. (Turns.) Don't mind her, Lem.

MA. An* as fur protectin' yer children, that's
what I'm askin' yer ter do. It's the shame of it
that's drivin' Joey into the volunteers the shame of
it.

LEM. (Contradicting) No, no. Just boys 1 ways,
Mrs. Shanks.

SHANKS. They don't want men as old as us.



24 THE COPPERHEAD

MA. Then why don't you say jes' that, and stop
yer peace hyprocrisy and throw away that copper-
head off o' yer button-hole?

LEM. That shows we're united, too, Mrs. Shanks.
The lovers of liberty air united.

MA. We understand round here that you owned
a nigger yerself 'fore you left Kentucky.

LEM. In Kentucky everybody owned 'em 'at could
afford it.

MA. That's a lie, Lem Tollard.

SHANKS. Ma, how kin you know ?

MA. I've heard Abraham Lincoln say it was.
(To LEMJ An' I call you mighty poor company,
even fur Milt Shanks. (Enter GILLESPIE and AN-
DREWS, a preacher. Both carry some new uniforms.)

GILLESPIE. Sorry to rush you, Mrs. Shanks

MA. What is it, Mr. Gillespie? Good afternoon,
Brother Andrews.

ANDREWS. Sister Shanks.

GILLESPIE Got to have everything that's finished.

ANDREWS. The Company has orders to march.

MA. Thank God that temptation's goin' away
from Joey at last. They're done, Newt. Only bast-
in' threads to take out. (Exits.)

GILLESPIE. Don't stop fur that. Any feller they
fit kin pick out the threads.

SHANKS. Where air you goin' ?

GILLESPIE. What the hell's that to you? Excuse
me, Brother Andrews. (To SHANKSJ Git a gun an'
fall in, like you oughta, and you'll find out.

LEM. Don't answer him, Milt. (Exit.)

ANDREWS. The military men are not permitted
to give information of that character, Mr. Shanks.

GILLESPIE. He knows that well enough and we
wouldn't give it to the enemy if we did. (Re-enter
MA with two suits of blue.)



THE COPPERHEAD 25

MA. (Handing clothes) Nothin' to brag on,
Newt, fur looks but they won't blow apart.

GILLESPIE. You oughta have a right ter wear 'em
yerself, 'stead o' sech as him.

MA. That spot'll wash out. It's only a little
curdled milk stummick teeth. I had to take her
up a while when I was sewin' last night.

GILLESPIE. Fur stummick teeth and curdlin', my
woman gives 'em lime water. (Enter HARDY.)

HARDY. Make haste, Gillespie.

GILLESPIE. (Salutes) Jest foldin' 'em, Captain.
Come on, Brother Andrews.

ANDREWS. (To HARDY,) I'd go with you, Cap-
tain, if I were young enough.

HARDY. I'm sure you would, sir. (To GILLESPIE,)
Where's the rest of your squad?

GILLESPIE. All over town.

ANDREWS. Twenty ladies been sewin'. ('GIL-
LESPIE salutes. Exit with clothes, on run. AN-
DREWS follows.)

HARDY. Thank you, Mrs. Shanks.

MA. God bless you, Tom Hardy !

HARDY. (Pauses and pleads) Come on, Milt.

SHANKS. 'Taint possible, Tom. (HARDY looks at
MA.)

MA. I've told him I'd git on Joey's as good at
sixteen as a man twenty-one. (The baby cries off
right. Exit MA.)

HARDY. You wanted to go with me in "47.

SHANKS. That was different, Tom.

HARDY. And you wanted to go to West Point
when I did.

SHANKS. Yes.

HARDY. I wish you had gone. (Pause.) Did
you hear Colonel Grant muster in our Company last
week?



26 THE COPPERHEAD

SHANKS. (Shakes head) I wasn't there.

HARDY. He said a dead rebel would be envied
compared to the man on the Northern side who
stayed home and gave comfort to the enemy.
(Pause.) They tell me, Milt, you've been making
that mistake yourself comfort to the enemy.

SHANKS. I don't know as I have.

HARDY. That button shows it.

SHANKS. It stands fur peace and the liberty our
fathers won.

HARDY. How did our fathers win their liberty?

SHANKS. Why fightin'.

HARDY. Exactly ! And the fight isn't over. Come
on! Remember who's calling our own candidate
our own neighbor our own friend Lincoln.

SHANKS. Lincoln wasn't fur war when we elect-
ed him. He's lettin' 'em make him jest an instru-
ment in the devil's hands. (Enter MA with baby.)

HARDY. (Hand to SHANKS' throat) Stop!
(Pause.) I'd shoot another man that said that.
(MA exclaims. Pause.) I'm sorry, Mrs. Shanks
sorry.

MA. (Pause) I'm sorry, Captain. (Enter JOEY.)

JOEY. Mother mother

MA. Well, Joey?

JOEY. You gave Newt Gillespie my uniform.

MA. 'Twasn't yours, dear.

JOEY. Why, you made it to fit me didn't you?

MA. I tried it on you, boy, to get it straight;
that's all.

JOEY. Captain Hardy, 'tain't fair! I'm as good
in the drill as any man in your company.

HARDY. You're only sixteen, Joe.

JOEY. Coin' on seventeen. I'm in the same class
at school with Sam Perley and Jim Evers and Henry
Bates. They're goin'. 7 cut wood and swing a
scythe and lift a bag of oats with any of 'em.



THE COPPERHEAD 27

HARDY. Well, there'll still be wood to cut, Joey,
and farm work to do back here.

JOEY. And the uniform fits me my own mother
made it.

MA. For the army, Joey not for you.

JOEY. Why, Mother, you put yer hands on my
face and said : "Don't ever disgrace it, boy."

MA. Yes like I'd say fur the flag. (HARDY
starts.)

JOEY. Don't go, Captain. If she says yes? Say
yes, Mother say yes !

MA. Why, Joey, me and Elsie needs somebody.
I ain't despaired yit of yer father goin'.

JOEY. Why (Pause.) Has he changed his
mind ? (Pause.) Dad ?

SHANKS. (Pause) I can't go I can't knowin'
everything as I do.

HARDY. (To MA) Good-by. (Goes quickly.
JOEY throws himself on the well curb in tears. After
a pause MA walks to him and puts her hand on his
shoulder. JOEY turns at her touch and buries his
face in her lap as he kneels. With the baby in her
arms, the three make an effective group.)

MA. (Pause) Joey Joey (The boy looks up.)
I used ter carry you this way, dearie.

JOEY. (Rising) Well, I kud carry you, now.

(Re-enter GRANDMA, without her pipe.)

MA. That's what I'm askin' you ter do, son.

JOEY. But not tied ter yer apron-strings, ma. All
the fellers that air goin' air doin' it fur their folks
at home defendin' them.

GRANDMA. Gimme that child. Yer plumb tuck-
ered out. (Takes baby.)

MA. Kain't you say nothin', Milt Shanks?

SHANKS. I'm fur peace. I've said that time and



.5 THE COPPERHEAD

agin. Joey's heered me. (Exit G*AXD*A nM bd>y
toktmst.)

JOEY. / ain't fur peace when they're shootin* at
the ^r !

SHAJTES. Bat I understand a boy's f eeKn's, too.
'When, I was sixtcr ii I'd o felt jest the way Joey
Ina

MA. Yer nrgin' him to go?

No. by God, I ain't nrgin* him! He



don i y^* 1 ter n^^n it. I 4Mklj sar it s natural, and



(Pmmte and control.) FH remember he




JOET. Kami yer see 7 got ter do it?
MA. Yer only siitef n, Joey.

T i. f~* j^ir_n_i_ _ mn 9 A 1 1 i ..I f '! t

JOEY, im strong as ivemy an a Maineo s^gnt



MA, Yc __^

JOEY. I been wounded by a pitchfork and Per-
fe^s dog hit me. I ~k*d mf qokker'n a feller o'

MA. ' Some boys wffl git HBerf, Joey. I kain't let
jm go at suilff IL

JOEY. If I hang roond tin Fm older, yooH only

_. !__ _ - _ 'r f_ i "ft i

git tonocr ot me, an it a teuer B gona DC lolled,

_ _ *t t \ -jy . j . ^

wr^.: 5 -_f n^rrtnr^ *"*..TC_. ~r .'.e^..".

MA. (ToSHAXKSJ Yer see how he's a-strainin*
ter git away, Milt. I ain't sem&f either of



(To JOEYJ Bat yon won't go, Joey, if yer father
KS, wffl inon? (Watches SHAJTKS anxiously.)
JOET. We coakm't fraUk leave you and Elsie, of



MA. There,. Mik. (SHAMKS xftdfcef htad .)
Jeer. (Imabmrst) God A'ndghty, Ma, let me
parent I kin lookup to! Quick! Please,

- "_._ : .

otucr teller 11 gn my ttmtorm m a




THE COPPERHEAD 29

MA. It's big enough f er yer father. You git it
and we'll see about who goes with the Company.

JOEY. Aha! Bully! (Exit; runs off back of
house. MA watches him out of sight, her hand to
her lips. Then turns.)

MA. I know Captain Hardy will send him back,
an' then then you'll jest hev ter take his place, Milt.

SHANKS. God bless you, Ma. Yer like the won-
derful women that put the stars in the flag, an* I
ain't worthy ter undo the latchets o' yer shoes but
I kain't go inter this army.

MA. 'The stars in the flag!" (Pause.) I stud
here by this well with my arms round yer neck, Milt,
when Joey was only three holdin' yer back that
time from Mexico, and yer talked about "the stars
in the flag" then. I thought you wuz the handsom-
est thing in the whole State of Illinois and I prayed
God to make our boy hev some of your spirit instead
of mine when he growed up to be a man.

SHANKS. Sorry I talked about 'em agin but it's
kind o' the same subject, after all.

MA. We ain't hed riches, and I've hed some sick-
ness, but I've kind o' lived on my respect and trust
in you, Milt. Don't tell me that everything I loved
you fur is dead in you.

SHANKS. I've loved yer, too, Martha.

MA. I think you hev.

SHANKS. An' I still do.

MA. Well, I'm tryin', Milt.

SHANKS. I still do. Fur time and eternity
(Pause) an' without wantin' ter harp on the same
subject jest as sure as the stars air in the flag,
you'll look inter my face some time, an' admit I was
right.

MA. Never never! (Exit to house. SHANKS
lifts his hands to Heaven in protest, pulls himself
together and cleans up the charcoal furnace outfit.)



30 THE COPPERHEAD

(Enter LEM quickly.)

LEM. Milt!

SHANKS. Hello!

LEM. (Excited) They're gonta march to-day
not to-morrow.

SHANKS. Air they?

LEM. Yes. I got to git out on to-night's train
fur St. Louis.

SHANKS. I 'spose yer hev really.

LEM. No chance to see anybody. How much
money you got on you ?

SHANKS. (Counting) I'll see. Six bits.

LEM. Great Scott ! Well, give it to me. If you
can scrape up any more, bring it to me at the depot.
(Starts, stops.) An' remember yer obligation "a
brother Knight's wife or parents, or any dependent
on him." (Holds up right hand as taking; oath.)

SHANKS. (With same sign) "Or any dependent
on him."

LEM. Look in at my place now and agin.

SHANKS. Yes I will.

LEM. Here's Gillespie, runnin*. I told you!

(Enter GILLESPIE on a run.)

GILLESPIE. Any ammunition here?
SHANKS. Ammunition ?

(Exit LEM significantly.)

GILLESPIE. Minnie balls. Your Joey was moldin*
'em.

(Enter ANDREWS, evidently following GILLESPIE. )

SHANKS. Oh, Mrs. Perley took them. (Calls)
Mrs. Perley Mrs. Perley!



THE COPPERHEAD 31

GILLESPIE. Where to?
SHANKS. She'll tell you.

(Enter GRANDMA.,)

GRANDMA. What is it?

GILLESPIE. Minnie balls Joe Shanks was mak-
in'.

GRANDMA. Why, you tarnation idiot I gave 'em
to you yerself !

GILLESPIE. When ?

GRANDMA. In that horse bucket.

GILLESPIE. (Going) Hell's bells ! I packed 'em
with the harness. (Exit.)

GRANDMA. (Calling after) Two bullet molds
layin' on top of 'em. (Going.) Ye'd think the rebels
was ambushin* 'em. (Exit after GILLESPIE.,)

SHANKS. They're gettin' ready.

ANDREWS. Yes.

SHANKS. Brother Andrews see here. (Comes
down excitedly and with caution.) You brought me
a letter in March.

ANDREWS. Yes, Milt.

SHANKS. (Looks off after LEMJ Callin' me
East! (^ANDREWS nods.) I don't know if you
guessed what was wanted of me, and my wife ain't
nur Joey, nur anybody. Yer mustn't hint it if you
do not even to me. (Pause. ANDREWS nods.)
But I was told down there that, in a pinch, I could
turn ter you, and you'd take orders from me. ( AN-
DREWS nods.) Lem Tollard's gittin' the evenin'
train fur St. Louis ter give warnin' ter rebel troops
there in Camp Jackson, that Union reinforcements is
comin'. You kin beat him by buggy or horseback to
Mattoon and the regular Express from there on.

ANDREWS. I understand.

SHANKS. At the St. Louis Arsenal, the Union



32 THE COPPERHEAD

troops air under Captain Lyon L-y-o-n. Git ter
him personal. He'll know what ter do whether ter
move faster hisself or jes' ter head off Lem.

ANDREWS. Do I say you told me?

SHANKS. (Nods) A farmer by the name of
Shanks. (Impressively. A bugle blows assembly.)

ANDREWS. I'll follow instructions minutely.

(Re-enter SUE.,)

SUE. Mr. Shanks Mr. Shanks!
SHANKS. (Turning) Yes, Sue.
SUE. Joey wants his other shirt and a pair of sox.
SHANKS. What's the matter?
SUE. The Company's going. He's going with
'em.

(ANDREWS exit.)

SHANKS. His shirt and sox. Ma Ma ! (Anx-
iously toward house. Re-enter GRANDMA. A drum
heard in distance. SHANKS stops and listens.)

SUE. That's them.

GRANDMA. (Heroically) We're comin', Father
Abraham, a hundred thousand strong.

SHANKS. God A'mighty! (Exit.)

(SuE runs to fence. Enter MRS. BATES.,)

MRS. BATES. Where's Mrs. Shanks?

SUE. Inside. I've told 'em, Mrs. Bates.

MRS. BATES. My Henry's in the Company, and
they're goin' without supper. (Enter MA.,)

MA. They're just drillin', ain't they?

SUE. No'm, they're really going, Mrs. Shanks.
Joey sent me. (Enter SHANKS with small bundle.)

MRS. BATES. Here they come. (Fife and drum




"THE COPPERHEAD"



See puge 29



MA: "Don't tell me everything I loved you fur is dead in you?"



THE COPPERHEAD 33

effect, increasing with scene until it finishes in song.)
MA. Where's Joey? He can't be with 'em!
SUE. I can see him, Mrs. Shanks. I see Joey.
He's with 'em. (SHANKS goes into road and looks.
MA comes down right, excitedly.)

MA. God! Dear God! (Raises her hands.)
GRANDMA. ( With her) Yer his mother. Don't
fergit that. Let him see you givin' courage to him
as he goes by. (SHANKS comes down from road
and gives SUE the bundle for JOEY; then exit left
rather haunted. Chorus of approaching Company
breaks into "John Brown's Body'') You nursed
him an* you brought him into the world. Come,
keep up his heart ! (Takes MA up. GRANDMA goes
into road and meets Company. The women and
SUE indicate approach of Company. The Company,
in rather irregular uniforms, swings by, singing;
GRANDMA waves her apron, leading them in an in-
spired and symbolic manner. SHANKS sneaks on
above well and hides in bushes. Presently JOEY
passes; he slips from line a moment and kisses MA,
then runs and catches up his place. MA leans against
the fence and the women fan her. The scene may
be enlivened by old men and children trailers.)

(CURTAIN ON SONG.)



ACT II

SCENE: Same set as Act One, but over two years
later. A lilac bush at upper corner of house is
two years larger but without bloom. The month
is July. The back drop shows same topography
as Act One but the field is of ripening corn.
On the post of the porch a cardboard shield of
the U. S. Arms is tacked in lieu of a flag.

TIME: Twilight, fading into moonlight; Friday,
July 3, 1863.

DISCOVERED: MA ironing by the charcoal furnace.
Her ironing board is laid on the backs of two
kitchen chairs. There is a basket of damp linen
and a pile of ironed nearly dry. The baby EL-
SIE, now some three years old, is on an im-
provised bed of chairs, on porch, with a piece
of "quadrille" mosquito net over her. GRAND-
MA sits by knitting sox.

MA. About time fur her medicine, ain't it?

GRANDMA. I'll see.

MA. You set still ; I'll see. (Steps to door.) Yes,


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