LAST TO GO A coffee stall. A BARMAN and an old NEWSPAPER SELLER.

The BARMAN leans on his counter, the OLD MAN stands with tea. Silence. MAN: You was a bit busier earlier. BARMAN: Ah. MAN: Round about ten. BARMAN: Ten, was it? MAN: About then. Pause. I passed by here about then. BARMAN: Oh yes? MAN: I noticed you were doing a bit of trade. Pause. BARMAN: Yes, trade was very brisk here about ten. MAN: Yes, I noticed. Pause. I sold my last one about then. Yes. About nine forty-five. BARMAN: Sold your last then, did you? MAN: Yes, my last `Evening News' it was. Went about twenty to ten. Pause. BARMAN: `Evening News', was it? MAN: Yes. Pause. Sometimes it's the `Star' is the last to go. BARMAN: Ah. MAN: Or the . . . whatsisname. BARMAN: `Standard'. MAN: Yes. Pause. All I had left tonight was the `Evening News'. Pause. BARMAN: Then that went, did it? MAN: Yes. Pause. Like a shot. Pause. BARMAN: You didn't have any left, eh? MAN: No. Not after I sold that one. Pause. BARMAN: It was after that you must have come by here then, was it ? MAN: Yes, I come by here after that, see, after I packed up. BARMAN: You didn't stop here though, did you? MAN: When? BARMAN: I mean, you didn't stop here and have a cup of tea then, did you? MAN: What, about ten?

BARMAN: Yes. MAN: No, I went up to Victoria. BARMAN: No, I thought I didn't see you. MAN: I had to go up to Victoria. Pause. BARMAN: Yes, trade was very brisk here about then. Pause. MAN: I went to see if I could get hold of George. BARMAN: Who? MAN: George. Pause. BARMAN: George who? MAN: George . . . whatsisname. BARMAN: Oh. Pause. Did you get hold of him? MAN: No. No, I couldn't get hold of him. I couldn't locate him. BARMAN: He's not about much now, is he? Pause. MAN: When did you last see him then? BARMAN: Oh, I haven't seen him for years. MAN: No, nor me. Pause. BARMAN: Used to suffer very bad from arthritis. MAN: Arthritis? BARMAN: Yes. MAN: He never suffered from arthritis. BARMAN: Suffered very bad. Pause. MAN: Not when I knew him. Pause. BARMAN: I think he must have left the area. Pause. MAN: Yes, it was the `Evening News' was the last to go tonight. BARMAN: Not always the last though, is it, though? MAN: No. Oh no. I mean sometimes it's the `News'. Other times it's one of the others. No way of telling beforehand. Until you've got your last one left, of course. Then you can tell which one it's going to be. BARMAN: Yes. Pause. MAN: Oh yes. Pause. I think he must have left the area.


A queue at a Request Bus Stop. A WOMAN at the head, with a SMALL MAN in a raincoat next to her, two other WOMEN and a MAN. WOMAN [to SMALL MAN]: I beg your pardon, what did you say? Pause. All I asked you was if I could get a bus from here to Sheperd's Bush. Pause. Nobody asked to start making insinuations. Pause. What do you think you are? Pause. Huh. I know your sort, I know your type. Don't worry, I know all about people like you. Pause. We can tell where you come from. They' re putting your sort inside every day of the week. Pause. All I' ve got to do, is report you, and you'd be standing in the dock in next to no time. One of my best friends is a plain clothes detective. Pause. I know all about it. Standing there as if butter wouldn't melt in your mouth. Meet you in a dark alley it'd be ... another story. [To the others, who stare into space.] You heard what this man said to me. All I asked him was if I could get a bus from here to Sheperd's Bush. [To him] I've got witnesses, don't you worry about that. Pause. Impertinence. Pause. Ask a man a civil question he treats you like a threepenny bit. [To him] I've got better things to do, my lad, I can assure you. I'm not going to stand here and be insulted on a public highway.

Anyone can tell you're a foreigner. I was born just around the corner. Anyone can tell you're just up from the country for a bit of a lark. I know your sort. Pause. She goes to a LADY. Excuse me lady. I'm thinking of taking this man up to the magistrate's court, you heard him make that crack, would you like to be a witness? The LADY steps into the road. LADY: Taxi... She disappears. WOMAN: We know what sort she is. [Back to position.] I was the first in this queue. Pause. Born just around the corner. Born and bred. These people from the country haven't the faintest idea of how to behave. Peruvians. You're bloody lucky I don't put you on a charge. you ask a straightforward questionThe others suddenly thrust out their arms at a passing bus. They run off left after it The WOMAN, alone clicks her teeth and mutters. A man walks from the right to the stop, and waits. She looks at him out of the corner of her eye. At length she speaks shyly, hesitantly, with a slight smile. Excuse me. Do you know if I can get a bus from here ... to Marble Arch?


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