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THE PILGRIMS



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MELODRAMA IN THREE ACTS



By REV. JOSEPH KOVALCHIK

558 Bostwick Avenue
BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT



For manvisci'ipt only

Copyright. 1920

All rights reserved



Bridgeport Press, GOG Bostwick Ave. Bridgeport.



i i



THE PILGRIMS''



MELODRAMA IN 3 ACTS.



By Rev. JOSEPH KOVALCHIK



DEDICATED:

TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE MOST REVEREND

JOHN BONZANO D. D,

ARCHBISHOP OF MILITENE
APOSTOLIC EELEGATE OF THE UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA.

With hiofhest expression of esteem

Yours obedient servant:

Rev. JOSEPH KOVALCHIK



No. 297 ,

1919^ V^

NIHIL OBSTAT.

IMPRIMATUR.

Landsford, Pa. 26, November 1919.

GABRIEL MART YAK

EicecGsan adminisl-rator of the g-i-eek-catholics of the U. S. A.



CHARACTERS:

Valentine: youthful robber.
Maroaret: orphan girl.
Sigfried: captain of the robbers.
Sepi : chief guard of the treasure chest.
Mefisto.

Sakter: the cook.
Martha: a blind old woman.
Fortune-teller.
Louis, the king.
The priest.
The holy Mother.
Old beggar.
Sweetmeat-vender.
Circus-crier.
Town drummer.
Hangman.
*olices, robbers, beggars, children, old peasants, etc.

Time: 14. Century.



m\i 16 1920



"THE PILGRIMS"

MELODRAMA IN 3 ACTS.



By Rev. JOSEPH KOVALCHIK

ACT ONE.

The action in the first act takes place in the midst of a deep
v.ccd. The background portrays steep cliffs and centuries-old
trees.' On one side is found a projecting cliff well-covered with
bushes, making- an appropriate hiding-place. Between the wings
on one side should be a continuation of a path leading down from
the mountain.

SCENE 1.

The orchestra plays an o!d Styrian air for the opening, while

the curtain rises slowly.

VALENTINE : (A youthful robber, standing on a mountain

peak) .

How lonely is a robber's life,

Tho he lives in the green woods free,

He owns no mother, sv/eetheart, wife,

Cruel his fate, as cruel can be ;

Love he knows not, from whom to learn

Mountain his home, his roof the skies,

For love he dreams, for love he yearns.

For love's embrace his sad heart cries

Loved by no man, a hunted beast,
I too leve not, my heart's a stone, ^

For me they hunt, both west and east
Come one, come all, fear I have none; —
And yet a strange, a holy feeling
Across my heart steals softly thru.
Before my mother I seem a-kneeling.
Ah, lonesome heart, were this but true !

Ah, yes, a robber's life is a lonesome life ! Here I must stand
on this mountain peak to look out for possible prey. It is my duty
to lead the innocent victims to the knife. And how often is my



THE PILGRIMS



heart moved within me upon hearing the victims' cries of
"Mercy!" But what could I do? Should I protest, I too will be
killed. My comrades will stop at nothing-. How happy that sneak-
ing Mephisto would be to be to see me strung; up. He would walk
around me and grin — and tease the captain for trusting me
instead of him. But no, I will make no such sacrifice for him. let
come what may.

Yet I cannot understand why everyone who passes by this
spot, stops to rest and to humbly ask something of this picture.
What can it be?

I saw an old women here yesterday picking- wood and crying
bitterly. I didn't disturb her seemed greatly troubled. What does
this picture portray to her? Perhaps her husband, or some re-
lative lies buried there. (He steps off the peak, goes before the
crucifix and scrutinizes it).

Oh marvellous ! He dosen't seem different — and yet he does.
His side is pierced, his hands are nailed, his head is covered with
blood, his legs nailed too. Oh, it is terrible I He must have fallen
into robbers' hands, and my own companions may have nailed
him to this tree. He must be buried here ; Is that why that poor
woman comes here and ci'ies. I am frightened ... I tremble ....
Why must I be a robber? Others live together peacefully, while
we are hiding in the woods ?

Why must we always hide ? I cannot understand . . . ! It is
because we are robbers ! Our Captain tells us we are the world's
handsomest men — and yet we have no sweethearts. I don't under-
stand, I don't understand. It is because we are so handsome and so
brave, the women fear to approach us? And then our Captain
cautions us, "Boys, we have but one enemy whom we must feai'
and avoid, it is Women !" And yet, I don't think women are so
ugly!

But I will cover this man who has suffered so much, with
cool branches, so that he will not be annoyed by the stings of the
mountains flies . . . But what are the voices I hear ? Quikly to my
hiding place ! for I must be an guard ! I will listen, and if there be
any booty then to-night we will have a good supper and good
cheer.

SCENE II.

MARGARET: (young girl)

Red strawben-ies for supper I gather,
trala lala la la la,



THE PILGRIMS



While gayly the fragTant woods I roam

trala lala al la la
Tho to remain here I would rather,

trala lala la la la,
With filled basket must hurry home

trala lala la la la.

OR:

Picking- sweet stra\^'berries here and there,

here and there, here and there.
Flitting thru fields and woods anywhere,

anywhere, anywhere,
O'er flowery path tripping to echo's clear ringing,

thru the air.

Oh look, a great big strawberry — and here a four-leaf clover'.
I have never teen to this spot before. I've been told not to come
because there are many poisonous snakes in the grass, but if I
see a snake I shall run away. I shall pick a few more ben-ies and
then run home.

VALENTINE :

What a pretty child! Must we fear creatures like this? Our
Captain must be a coward to be frightened by such folks. Let me
approach the dreaded enemy ! (To Margaret) Tell me. little dove,
what do you seek in this great woods which even the birds avoid ?
I am not afraid of you. Not I ! no indeed, I'am not afraid !

MARGARET : (frightened)

But I am afraid of you, because 3^ou have a gun and a knife
at your side. I am frightened — oh so frightened !

VALENTINE :

This is great ! Our Captain warns us to fear women and lo
ard behold ! They ai'e afraid of us. Be brave, my boy as brave as
your were at the Carinthain Fair where you beat up eight const-
ables single-handed. Woman! don't move, or I will shoot!

MARGARET :

I am not a women. I-Iam a girl, I won't move. Dare move
either. I am not afraid of you or your weapons. (Aside) He is a
coward, for a moment ago he was feared me.

VALENTINE:

Curses! I afraid of you! Look here! (He draws his knife)
See this ! You are as good as a dead if you move !



THE PILGRIMS



MARGARET:

Aha! I will move! What? Afraid of you? (Goes to youth
coaxingly) Tell me, is it right to scare a little girl like me ? Who-
ever heard of heroes such as you, terrorizing little girls? Put
that knife back into your belt. (Taking his hand which holds the
knife, she gently forces him to place knife back into his belt.)
There, now we can talk.

VALENTINE :

Think of it — ^this little mite to disarm me without the use of
a weapon. I never saw such a thing. But it is also true that I
never saw a prittier little elf-elf than this. Well, Captain, we will
see wheter you told the truth or hot, for this little 'one is not
so frightful after all.

Well, women, what do you want of me? Speak quickly, for
this time it will not be my knife but my gun, that I will point at.
you woe be to you, if you move!

MARGARET:

I am not a women, you idiot ! Can t you see that I am a young
girl ? I thought I was speaking to a gentleman, but I find him a
stupid animal. If I dare to move . . . Wait, you grizzly bear, it is
you who will move in a hurry, and dance, too. I will make this
bear dance ! That I will !

VALENTINE:

A girl ! Then she isn't a woman ! Oh, then there is no danger,
for our Captain told us to beware of woman. What in tarnation
is a girl ? I will investigate, but carefully cautiously, or I may spoil
it all. Now to question this woman, that is, girl, because I want
to know what a girl is!

DUETT:
VALENTINE:

Tell me please what a girl is,
Don't conceal what a girl is!

MARGARET:

A girl is everything nice,

Heaven's gift straight from the skies,

A soul-mate from above sent,

Comfor when joy is spent.

Sharing sorrow, easing pain,

Rainbow coming after rain. . . . Repeat.



THE PILGRIMS



MARGARET:

Now my turn it is to know,
About women what you know.

VALENTINE :

Women is like Autumn day;

Light that slowly fades away

Peasing- Spring, approaching fall,

Gentle loving true and all.
Another's true mate is she,
Do not rob her, let her be. . . (Repeat)

MARGARET:

I think he knows now that I am not a woman.

VALENTINE :

Of course, of course. And so I am not afraid of you, for out-
side of this dark woods I have nobody, . . . neither mother or
father, nor friends in life. I have only companions who do not
desire friends, nor wives. But I do ! I would like to have a friend
who would share my troubles with me, who would not be angry
with me, like my companions, they do not know what love is,
for they have never loved anything but this woods. . . this dark,
dreary woods. I would like such a friend, but who would be such
a friend to a poor, lonesome boy like me ?

MARGARET:

Oh, you can have friends too! Seek the Madonna, our good
Mother, who knows everyone, and loves us, because she is our
good Mother. Listen, she is calling now. Dont you hear the eve-
ning bell ? That is her voice calling us. See ! I will ask her to send
me a good friend too, a real friend. \

HYMN. (Margaret)
Holy Mother, Virgin Mary,
Look down on us from Heaven we plead,
Upon our knees we pray to Thee
Our humble plea we beg thee heed.
Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus Tecum, Ave Maria.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et Benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesus,
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis,
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis. Amen.



THE PILGRIMS



VALENTINE :

Oh, how beautiful your plea is. Behold, I will also plead with
you.

DUETT:

Holy Mother, etc.

MARGARET:

It is getting late, I must go. I live in the nearest charcoal
biumer's house. If you care to, you may come to see me; my
dear mother will not be angry. You are not so fearful as I thought,
in fact, you are sturdy fellow. Well goodbye, till we meet again.
Till we meet again . . .

SCENE m.
WALENTINE : (muttering to himself) I feel so strange . . .
1 feel we're different, as if I were another person. . . (In the (-.is -
tance is heard the robbers' signal)

VALENTINE :

I hear the captain's voice.

SIGFRIED: (Captain of the robbers)

SONG OF THE CUCKOO)

Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo (echo — cuckoo cuckoo

Well boys, how do you do ? (echo) — you do — you do
(Robbers arriving from all sides, singing)

No chance for booty we found

Not a soul today has tee round ;

Let's pitch our tents for sleep

To-morrow fresh vigil we'll keep.
Refrain :

Let's pitch our tents, etc.

SIGFRIED :

Well, Valentine, my son, why are you so sad? Because we
found no booty to-day? That is nothing! that has happened be-
fore and is sure to happen again. Supper will soon be ready an .
with wine and sorg, we will forget to-day. I like you more than
anything else in the world. I don't like to see you worry.

VALENTINE :

Tell me please. Captain, who were my father and mother !

SIGFRIED: (alai-med)

Father . . . mother ? I don't know. We found you and brought



THE PILGRIMS



you along- with us . . . since then you have belonged to us. But
why are you so anxious to know about your father and mother?
We have no fathers nor mothers ; the field and woods are our
homes, the green grass is our bed, the flowers our pillows. . .
could anyone wish for a happier life? There is no better life then
the robber's life.

MEFISTO : (who had been listening-)

Ho ho ! Captain ! Don't be so gay ! Don't forget that we have
returned to-day with emty sacks, and eat we must. Lately you
haven't paid much attention to our profession. I blieve you are
stalling. Oh, things aren't like they used to be in the good old
days . . . when to the tune of joyful music we surrounded and
robbed the G . . . . convent ! But we were in a fine fix next day !

SEPI: (Chief guard of the treasure chest:)

You said something, old boy! There the monks cooked our
supper and we ate in grand style. We drank their good wines. . .
and all that church treasure — Whew! There was so much gold
that two horses could hardly carry it !

MEFISTO:

You sure did show us what you knew there ... we were al-
most caught with the goods because of your cleverness. If it
wasn't for me, we would all have been marching with a bal and
chain around our ankles. But I had sense enough to bring the
G ..... . goldsmith along, who melted the gold for us so that it

couldn't be recognized. There's brains, here, Sepi, old boy!

SEPI:

Your head is full of sawdust, not brains! How about the
time we robbed the Jew, din't I save your Captain and tlie whole
band? You din't understand Jewish tricks. Do you remember
when he said, "Brave gentlemen, there is only one thing I ask
of you, let me see my wife and children just once again. Take
me to them or bring them here to see me." "Woldn't that be
fine", said the Captain. But we will lead you to your wife." And
friend Jew kept "oj-oj-ing" until we found ouselves sur-
rounded by the police. He prayed his son out of the window
and he brought the police on us. Just let me catch another Jew —
I assuare you he'll never pray again. A little while ago it was this
kid, Valentine, prevented me from sending one of them to King-
dom Come. But he's only a kid, so I am not suprised.



10 THE PTLGRTMS



MEFISTO:

He's a child no more, but a full-grown man. I can't stand
the kid because he has the Captain in his power. For quite a
while now, our Captain has paid no attention to business at all.
and you know that our business is the most important thing- in
the world to us, for them there is always something good
cooking in the cauldron. Isn't that soy friend Sakter? You must
hand it to Sakter here, he is a great ooock, he knows all abaout
kitchen work.

COUPLET:

SAKTER :

What shal I cook to-day, no food have we here,

A hungry mob,captain, before you does appear!
To our business then, boys, rob where rob we can,
To keep this pot boiling, will strive every man.

MEFISTO:

Our business is to rob, our pleasure too, this;
To make men tremble, ah ! And for mercy cry.
To hear them curse ! Ha, ha ! True delight that is.
If us they should resis-t, for then they must die.

SEPI:

Love, happiness, what rot, for these some men sigh.
Girls, women, the whole sex, you know how they lie.
Our business let's attend — let women alone
Else we will have to eat, not even a tone.

VALENTINE :

Women's love, or maid's love means so much to me
'Twould be my joy, my wealth, my life it would be.
To be loved by a women, I've heard often tell
Is to taste here on earth, either heav'n or hell.

SIGFRIED : (Sings last two lines, "To be loved by women
etc. with Valentine).

How true it is! Valentine, you will taste either heaven or
hell right here on earth if you ever come accross the love of a
women. I wish I had never learned what love is ! I wish I had
set eyes on a woman. Then I would not be here among you.

Oh, but Tarn, ^ct soft I have no more feelings. I am a
wild warrior of the woods, men fear me and tremble before
me. . . just as I too fear all men!



THE PILGRIMS 11



MEFISTO: (To Sepi)

Didn't I tell you that the captain went crazy ? Goodbye, good
old times ! The old man has turned soft. But as for me ... I
only like the sight of blood . . . blood brrrrr ! ! !

SEPI:

If it's blood you like, eat blood pudding.

MEFISTO:

Blood pudding? Alright. I'll eat blood pudding! But of whose
blood it will be made. I know not. I feel like fighting, killing, mus-
sing up everj^thing.

SAKTER:

Why don't you join the army?

VALENTINE :

I would suggest the made-house.

MEFISTO:

What did you say, Kid ! You'll die for it. Let me at your bel-
ly so that I can pull our your insides.

SEPI:

Well, you don't have to be a tiger. It takes two to make a
bargain.

MEFISTO:

Two . . . I'll show you. (Draws dagger) Die, you damned
suckling. Die our Captain's evil spirit. . . (Others grab him. . .
The Captain awakens because of the commotion.)

SIGFRIED: ^

Well, what's up? Do you want to start a fight? Don't you
have enough fighting in the woods? What! you want to stab
one another? Well, this is a nice piece of work, I must admit.

MEFISTO: ;"

Valentine sent me to the mad-house. '^

SAKTER: "-f

Well, he couldn't send you to God's house.

MEFISTO:

Well, I might as well go there. Here we can't fight — there's
no one to plunder. To-morrow the pilgrimage to Maria Cell begins.



12 THE PILGRIMS



Captain, here's your chance to show us whether you are the fel-
low you were, or a cowardly old voman. Boys, do we go to the
shrine ?



ALTOGETHER: Wo do.



VALENTINE: (To Sigfried,)

But we are not going to commit murders there too? Why,
there will be girls there, not only women! Idon't want to harm
girls. I am against going to the Cell shrine! Come on, Mefisto,
old pal, let's call it off!

ALTOGETHER : We are going to the Cell shrine !

SIGFRIED:

I don't like to harni women and girls, either, let us find some
other kind of work to do,

ALTOGETHER : We want to go to the Cell shrine.

MEFISTO:

You see. Captain, it is a pity to make so many enemies for
yourself just for this kid. Boys! Either our Captain comes along,
or we choose another, a man for our Captain !

SIGFRIED :

Wait! You don't have to choose another. I will go with you
so that you can't say that your Captain is a cowardly dog. It is
settled. Now for the feast, let's have a gay old time and mark
it is not cowardice but decency that makes me look upon the rob-
bing of the pilgrims so wrong. Squat down and fall to eating,
tap two barrels of wine, let us a night of it. Who knows whether
we shall ever have another.

SCENE IV.

(Scene shows robbers feasting, eating, drinking)

VALENTINE: (Off to one side) Captain, I have never seen
you so sad. Tell me what is troubling you ?

SIGFRIED:

I will tell you my heart's innermost secret, if vou wish to
hear it, but do not think me a coward because no man's son has
ever been able to cope with these strong arms.



THE PILGRIIMS l:i



MUSIC... SIGFRIED'S SOLO.

When in my mother's loving- aiTns I lay
As little bird in downy feathered nest,

With a voice sweet and low a prayer she'd say,
To a heavenly Mother to guard my rest.

The prayers she taught me so long ago
Are but sweet holy memory now
I was told to hold my little hands so
And with her my little head I would bow.

But mother died and let me here alone,
My poor broken heart for love fiercely j^earned
A wicked woman claimed me for her own,
The agony of such love I soon learned.

I was her fool, a meek obedient slave,

For her embrace, my foolish heart did crave.

Her cruel lips mocked love with things she muttered

She, the only woman I ever murdered.

VALENTIE :

That was a horrible experience. I don't wonder that now you
detest all womankind. No wonder you warned the boys to fear
no one but women. And yet, such is life, to-day you meet your
fate, to-morrow it is my tuni. Let us not worry, but wait for the
to-morrow.

SIGFRIED:

No indeed, don't you worry, but my God protect you from
women.

VALENTINE : \

Who is this God who could protect me from women ?

SIGFRIED :

My son, we are not worthy to mention his name, because he
is holy and powerful. Every man is his subject. We can not fight
him.

VALENTINE:

Then may God protect me. Yes, he must protect me, because
I am beginning to fear something.

SIGFRIED :

Never fear, but remain alert. And, in order to put your



14 THE PILGRIMS



bravery to the test, I will appoint you guard to-night, for you
can see, these others are all di-unk. Good-night, my son,

VALENTINE:

Good-night, Captain!

( Evening serenade. . . music and robber's lullaby.)

The woods inery silence rests.
Hiding our secret dark and drear,
The birds are huddled in their nests,
Grim spirits flying ever near.

We feel them flitting past our face,
Our limbs grow weak, our blood turns cold,
We tremble from their cold embrace;
Are we the robbers brave and bold?

Soon sleep closed our weary eye,

Into sweet forgetfulness we fall,

While overhead the night birds fly.

And the screech owl gives his gruesome call.

VALENTINE:

It is frightfull : To heve to keep guard alone in the midst of
a dark dreary woods. Ouch, the crows peck at my tired body, and
sorrow fills my soul. No, no, I will not have the women and child-
ren murdered. Oh, God, you who are so powerful, give me light.
What shal I do? Oh, you beautiful woman, Madonna, to whom
Margarett and I prayed — speak, speak tell me what to do to pre-
vent this wholesale slaughter. (Last verse of robbers' lullalaby is
repeated here). God is just, one cannot desert him. I will go. . .
I will go to Margaret ... I will meet the pilgrims, I will warn the
police, I will ga to you my Margaret, you advise me what to do.
What am I to do?

My concience has awakened in me.
Thru my love for a maiden sweet ;
Oh, Heavenly Father, speak to me,
You, too Bles't Mother, I entreat.

(Slowly, carefully, he steals out from the robber's camp,
looks about guardely, spits upon Mefisto (who is sliping) and
disappears.)

Curtain drops to the tune of suft slow music.

END OF THE FIRST ACT.



^ THE PILGRIMS 16

ACT TWO.

SCENE I.

(Scene: A cross-road in the woods. On one side there is the
picture of the Madonna placed in a tree-trunk ... on the other
side there is a simple wooden hut showing a door and a window.
The roads lead from the backgrounds and meet in a V shape at
the center Lack of the stage.)

Upon the rise of the curtain, one finds the stage filled
wi'di gi-oup of prigrims and children

PILGRIM'S SONG.
CHILDREN'S CHORUS:

The sun has risen on the Pilgrim's starting day,

We all travel forth, children, youths, folks old and gray.

Gifts we take to Mary, and childish wishes too,

The lirds sing on our way as the woods we pass thru.

YOUTHS' AND MAIDENS CHOURS.

Girls and youths also bring their request to Mary
Year in, and year out, these requests never vary.
Our hearts it is we bring before thee, oh mother !
In exchange for it, give us love for each other.

OLD PEASANTS CHORUS:

Our desires and pleadings, more serious are they,
For our children's happiness, we will ever pray ;
Bless and protect and love our families great and small,
And guide their steps to know and love thee, each
and all.

(All the Piligrims kneeling in front of the Madotma.)
Oh, Holy Mother, Virgin Mary, etc

(Slowly procession moves off stage, while singing gets
softer and finally dies in the distance.)

SCENE II.

MARTHA: A blind, old woman).

Oh, God, how divinely the Pilgrims sang, and I cannot go
along with them because I am blind ! Come out, Margaret, my
daughter, and if we can't go to the shrine, at least we can pray
before the Madonna's face.



16 THE PILGRi:HS



MARGARET:

Yes. mother dear, at least we can pray to her.

MARTHA: (bhnd prayer.)

Eternal darkness is very hard to bear,
But my faith in God gives me strength not to despair;
How many wicked people enjoying blessed sight,
Deny Eternal Goodness and our Father's might.
Tho my darkened eyes cannot see your smiling face,
Your sun-lit eyes, your ruddy cheeks, your girlish

grace,
I know you're innocent and pure as pure can be.
I pray God 'twill be so for all eternity.

MARGARET:

Mother mine, Precious jewel, let me travel too.
Angles will guide my footsteps and your blessing true.

REFRAIN :

To God's Holy Mother fervently I will pray;

That once again you shall see -the light of blessed day..

MARTHA:

But my dear child, the pilgrims are well along their way bj
now, and I can't let you go thru the deep woods alone! Suppose
you are killed or lost, what will becom.e of me and your little
brothers and sisters ? No, no, my child, no one would demand such
a sacrifice of you, just you stay always with me, and never, ne-
ver leave me.

MARGARET:

But mama dear, I have been thru the woods before and not
I, but a tall man was frightened by me. He was as big as a bear
and still I wasn't afraid of him, although he had a knife and
a gun too. He told me that he was an orphan, he had no one in
all the world, he had no friend and he would be so happy if he
found a friend such as I. Never worry, mother mine, I am a
1 v-1-n oiil^ I am not afraid of my shadow, and then I am a swift
runner.

MARTHA:

Very well then, my child, you may have your wish and may
God's blessings accompany you. But first go inside. Kiss your


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