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Shadow and Solitude

Shadow and Solitude

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Published by lalalanica
Full text of Claro M. Recto's Shadow and Solitude.
Full text of Claro M. Recto's Shadow and Solitude.

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Published by: lalalanica on Oct 17, 2010
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Shadow and Solitude: a Play in One actSHADOW AND SOLITUDEA play in one actbyCLARO M. RECTOCharacters :Gabriela - The WifeAndres - The husbandMarina - The sisterDon Narciso - The uncleLuisa ' - The family friend
The Scene is a living room marked by simplicity, good taste, and the atmosphere of the cultured middle class. Door at left leadsinto the clinic and laboratory of Andres; two doors at right lead into the bedrooms and, the rest of the house. At rear, center,between wide sunny windows, is the main door, which opens into awide hall.It is five o'clock on an April afternoon in 1917«As curtain opens, Andres sits reading, Gabriela sits knitting, and Don Narciso is just coming in through the main door.
Good afternoon, Tio Narciso
(rising and making a gesture, kisses the older man's hand): Hola,Tio Narciso.
What news, children? I have come to be informed. And Marina ² Where is she?
Very busy with her patients. Oh, she hasn't been, still a minutesince she came back. Everybody who is sick wants to have her,especially the men folk. I do believe some of them even pretend tobe ill. You have no idea how popular she is.
And how was her vacation in Zamboanga?
Just wonderful. She has come back looking gorgeous ² andwith such a lovely color. Don't you think so, Andres?
(dryly) I really hadn't noticed.
And you, Andres ² how did you get that scratch? And how isyour heart, Gabriela? Now, look ² one must not trifle withthe emotions; the human heart is most untrustworthy. Andat any moment at all... Oh, all right, all right. I amglad it was nothing. But, caramba, it seems to be the talkof the town. Look Andres ² would you like to tell me how itall began?
Quite simply. Last night, at the club, that scoundrel of aFlores thought fit to amuse his friends by hinting that...Oh, nothing; a vile slander! The kind of rumor that's sonasty you could choke people for uttering it. . But you knowhow It is here in Manila. There's so much mud-slinging noreputation can consider itself safe.
But what was the rumor? Tell me.
It's unspeakable
Oh, tell him, Andres. Why worry? No sensible person be-lieves it.
Well² -the rumor is that between Marina and me... Oh it'sOutrageous! You know what I mean, Tio Narciso?B. NARCISOYes, yes, I understand. And Flores dared to imply that?Without any basis?
To vilify Is not difficult. And one can always invent areason to Justify oneself. Well ² I grabbed him by the neckas soon as I heard what he was saying. I was so blind withrage I- didn't even notice he had knifed me.' - .  - 2 -
D. NARCISOAnd those who were present? ^ANDRESThey separated us .D. NARCISOI mean, how did they take what Flores said?ANDRESWell, you can imgine. A few seemdd to be shocked. Butthe others ² the majority ² could hardly conceal , their de-light. Naturally. A new topic for gossip, another homefor the brutes .D. NARCISO2nd Gabriel?ANDRES ²Oh, she had already been informed of the incident, bytelephone, even before I came home from the club. And soshe had this heart-attack which could have cost us so muchanguish. You know how excitable she is. Fortunately it was.nothing serious.GABRIEL*!, If these scandalmongers would only think of the harm they- do* -D. NARCISOIt is good not to give occasion for gossip.ANDRES _;But even better not to pay any attention to it. Let themtalk. What else can we do? The world lives on slander and,-=like Satura§.ydevours its own children.D. NARCISOLet us be fair, .Andres . Gossip often serves the cause ofmorality. The fear of what they will say is like a swordof Damocles and stops us from committing a lot of follies.Ultimately, .gossip is a necessary evil. However, the worldusually does not molest you ² unless you defy it first.ANDRESAnd who is defying it?GABRJELAWhat do you mean,- Tio Narciso,

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