The Haitian Trilogy: Plays: Henri Christophe, Drums and Colours, and The Haytian Earth

The Haitian Trilogy: Plays: Henri Christophe, Drums and Colours, and The Haytian Earth by Derek Walcott

Book: The Haitian Trilogy: Plays: Henri Christophe, Drums and Colours, and The Haytian Earth by Derek Walcott Read Free Book Online
Authors: Derek Walcott
steps. )
    Señor, the child, I will buy the boy from you.
    Get out of the way, this is none of your concern.
    ( To PABLO , another sailor )
    You’re fumbling up everything, keep them dancing.
    The boy. The child. I’ll buy him from you.
    I can’t hear you. You want to buy the boy?
    Yes, yes, how much?
                                          Twenty pieces.
    I have only fifteen; will you take fifteen?
    Seventeen. Two more when we land. Fifteen right now.
    All right, enough. Take them below and feed them.
    Fifteen all right with you, he’s a king’s son?
    Let me tell you, you’re a damned fool, mister.
    The boy is sure to die of one thing or another.
    Not if I own him. Come, come to me, child.
    ( The CHILD huddles to him. )
    SAILOR ( Aloft. )
    Sail, sail to leeward.
    What colours, you idiot?
    Inglesi, Inglesi.
    ( The SLAVES herded out through the central door, back. The door is closed. Chanting offstage more urgent now, wails and screams from the WOMEN .)
    Tell them there’s no gold aboard, only niggers.
    ( To JEW )
    Get out of the way, sir, with your purchase.
    Get out the cannon there, stand by to fire.
    ( Cannon fire. MALE SLAVE comes up through the trapdoor, stabs GARCÍA .)
    O Mother of God, get me a priest, I am dying.
    ( He falls. )
    When did I offend you, Jew?
    JEW ( Bending over GARCÍA .)
    It was the slave, I could not kill a man. You killed the King.
    The darkness comes, O Mother of God.
    Do not leave me alone, sir.
    ( Cannon fire. )
                                                     … I have to save the boy.
    What is it?
    I remember Quadrado … Oh God … Life has gone the dial.
    ( He dies. )
    JEW ( With CHILD .)
    That is a passage you must go alone, poor man.
    Come stand by me; perhaps we shall be taken,
    But we shall find roots in the new land together.
    Come, move out of this danger of the battle.
    I will take care of thee, as my own son,
    For we are outcasts together in one sorrow.
    ( Blackout. )
    ( Cannon fire. Music. )
    Scene 5
Boyhood of Raleigh
    Music: Reprise of PACO ’s song. A wintry beach in England. PACO , an old beggar, walking.
    PACO ( Singing BARTOLOME ’s song. )
    You generous burghers, English, Portuguese,
    Who warm white jewelled hands, with winter near.
    Here is old Paco, who sailed the green Indies.
    The winter wind blows round his tattered legs …
    A man may walk on all the broken beaches of this world, and come to the warmth of an inn in winter, and sí, death is the landlord. I’ve seen the four-hued seasons, the fox-coloured autumn, the broad-leafed summer, and the green spring, but I’ll be damned if I can get used to this English winter; it moulders an old man’s flesh. My purse, where’s my purse? The fur from this old Flemish collar’s gone, and my old teeth ache. I need new boots. There’s enough wreckage here to start a fire with. It’s cold, winter’s coming on like the great grey wolf, and me with no summer in these swollen veins. Wait, here’s something half hidden in the sand. ( Finds stumps of wood. ) Nothing, only wood. Still, it will make a fire. Count the coins again, count the purse. Here’s five Spanish pieces, two Dutch, and God knows where I lost Quadrado’s coin these last forty years.
    ( BOYS ’ voices off. )
    Put the coins away, they’re after you. The little dogs are hounding the old bear.
    ( Enter young RALEIGH and young GILBERT .)
    RALEIGH ( Dancing around him. )
    It’s the old Spaniard, Paco, Paco, ay, cannibal!
    Keep from me, you two, I chew human flesh.
    Leave him, Walter, he hates to be annoyed.
    That’s right, you tell him, niño, I chew English flesh.
    You come near old Paco the cannibal and see.
    I’ll split your heads open with this bit of wood.
    Look at his eyes and his hair. Throw it, Spaniard.
    You’re a

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