The Private Life of Ernest Hemingway
A play
By William M. Razavi

What you tell me about in the nights. That is not love. That is only passion and lust.
When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve
-- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

So daily I renew my idle duty;
I touch her here and there, I know my place;
I kiss her open mouth, I praise her beauty,
and people call me traitor to my face.

-- Leonard Cohen, “The Traitor”

Scene 1Arms and the Man

A young Ernest Hemingway sits at the wheel of a motor vehicle. As he drives along something in his eyes changes. He drifts into a hazy form of tunnel vision. We see something clouding his vision. He visibly tenses. In the next few moments the sounds of artillery shells are interspersed with moaning and screaming. Hemingway’s eyes grew wider and more desperate as he continues to drive. The noise reaches the peak of a crescendo and then there is silence for a moment. Hemingway is still. A lone woman’s voice speaks gently.

VOICE: Ernie? Are you alright, Ernie?

[Blackout. The ensuing change occurs in a different light, perhaps colored, but Hemingway is lost in stillness until the lights come up to full brightness for the ensuing scene.]

Scene 2Driving

The lights change. Hemingway is now joined by an attractive young woman, Catherine Adams. She carries herself upright and calmly. She has a backbone, but retains a gentle spirit. Hemingway is still lost.

CATHERINE: Ernie? Are you alright, Ernie?

[Hemingway snaps out of it.]


CATHERINE: You were lost.

HEMINGWAY: Well, I’m here now.

CATHERINE: You were thinking about the war.

HEMINGWAY: It’s always the war.

CATHERINE: It’s been ten years.

HEMINGWAY: Eleven. It never goes away. It’s still in my head.

CATHERINE: You shouldn’t have tried to be a hero.
You should have just driven an ambulance.

[Hemingway looks at her for a moment, unable to say anything, then looks away.]


[She looks at him. He looks at her for a moment. Lights fade. Music.]

Scene 3 – That Summer in Paris

Gertrude Stein enters. She is a tough looking woman, almost mannish. She is what you might call frumpy.

GERTRUDE: Summer of 1929. Paris. Paris was Paris was Paris was Paris. Paris was hot.
Ernie was coming back to Paris. He had finally stopped wearing that fake Italian uniform.
Thank heaven for Mussolini. Uniforms, especially Italian ones, were starting to look fascistic, and whatever else Ernie was, he was no fascist. It was a shame for Ernie, because he had come to rely on that uniform to fill in where his natural charm and a cocktail left off. Some women are easily impressed by a black shirt and a couple of standard issue stories. I wouldn’t know.
I’ve never been impressed by fashion. You could say that fashion has never been impressed by me, either.
That summer was the last great summer. Ernie, Alice B., Eliot was there and so was Ezra, Ford Maddox Ford working on his book terrible book, Scott and Zelda. Everyone was there at some point, except the ones who were already dead, though some claimed to have seen Marcel Proust that summer. No one was ever sure when Proust was dead.
That summer we had fabulous apartments in the fashionably dirty part of the city. We spent our days picking up lovers and our nights destroying our friendships in those fabulous rooms next to the Brazilians, who didn’t seem to mind or care that we were there.
It wasn’t even really summer when it all started. I was sitting there with Alice B. and we were playing doctor when the first knock on the door signaled the beginning of it all. All gone now. Gone, gone, gone.

[She takes her seat as the lights change and Alice B. Toklas enters with a small tray of finger sandwiches.]

Scene 4 – Men Without Women

As before. Alice B. Toklas, a pleasantly attractive woman enters carrying a tray of finger sandwiches. The sandwiches have no crusts. She walks behind Gertrude, stopping to kiss the back of her head before putting down the tray, sitting down and pleasantly lounging next to her.
There is a knock at the door.

ALICE B: I’ll get it.

GERTRUDE: Good, because I’m not getting up.

[Alice B. goes to the door. She opens the door and in walks T.S. Eliot wearing a coat and carrying a shoebox. He hands the shoebox to Alice B. while taking his coat off.]

ALICE B: Thomas!

ELIOT: It’s still a little chilly out there.

ALICE B: It’s Thomas.

GERTRUDE: So good of you to come down for the summer, Tom.

ALICE B: And he’s brought spare shoes with him.

ELIOT: It’s not shoes.

GERTRUDE: What do you have in the box?

ELIOT: It’s a kitten. I bought it on the street on the way here.

ALICE B: A kitten? How delightful!

GERTRUDE: Are you sure it can breathe in there?

[Eliot takes the box and holds it at an angle that could only cause the kitten inside some major trauma.]

ELIOT: Oh he can breathe fine. I punched some tiny holes in the top of the box. See?

GERTRUDE: You and your cats.

ELIOT: Are those finger sandwiches?

[There is another knock at the door.]

ELIOT: Ezra was coming up behind me.
[Ezra Pound enters. He is carrying a bag of groceries.]

ALICE B: It’s Ezra.

GERTRUDE: Ezra! How are you?

EZRA: Famished. I’m going to the kitchen.

[Ezra exits to the kitchen. Eliot sits down and Alice follows him. Eliot, Gertrude and Alice B. each pick up a finger sandwich.]

ELIOT: Oh, these are good.

GERTRUDE: Fantastic.

ALICE B: Ezra really outdid himself with these.

GERTRUDE: It’s so good to have a real cook here.

ALICE B: He should start a restaurant.

ELIOT: What would he call it? Chez Ezra?

ALICE B: How about Pound’s?

ELIOT: That sounds absolutely fattening.

GERTRUDE: Pound de Terre.

ALICE B: I like that.

[Ezra enters stirring something.]

GERTRUDE: Pound de Terre. Pound of the Earth.

EZRA: That has a nice ring to it.

ALICE B: We were saying you should start a restaurant.

EZRA: What would I do with a restaurant?

ELIOT: You could make more of these sandwiches.

EZRA: You like them?

ALICE B: They’re delightful.
EZRA: It’s amazing what you can do with horsemeat.

[There is a stunned silence.]

EZRA: What? It’s an old joke.

GERTRUDE: Nobody likes an old joke.

[There is another knock at the door. No one gets up.]

GERTRUDE: I hope it’s not the Irish. I hear they’re in town.
They’re always stealing the spoons.

[Another knock.]

GERTRUDE: I suppose I’ll have to get it.

ALICE B: It’s your turn.

GERTRUDE: I hate democracy.

[She gets up to answer the door. Ford Maddox Ford, a businesslike gentleman enters.]

GERTRUDE: Well, if it isn’t Ford Maddox Ford.

FORD: Hello, Gertrude, hello.

GERTRUDE: Would you like a seat, Maddox, seat?

FORD: Sure, yes, sure. How are the sandwiches?

ALICE B: Dee-lish!

EZRA: They’re horsemeat.

FORD: Stallion or mare?

ELIOT: Gelding.

FORD: My favorite. [He takes a bite.] Oh, these are good. Really good, Ezra. Top of the line.

ALICE B: We think he should start a restaurant.

GERTRUDE: Pound de Terre.

FORD: Oh, that’s good. People will flock to it.
And you could write special cantos for the menu.

EZRA: Why would I write cantos for the menu? Why not write the menu in blank verse?

ELIOT: I’m afraid we’ve given him too many ideas. This will go to his head.

FORD: How are the Brazilians?

ELIOT: Remarkably quiet. This bodes well—if it lasts.

[There is a knock on the door.]

ELIOT: Are we expecting company?

GERTRUDE: Ernie’s back on the continent.
It’s even odds whether or not he’s still wearing the uniform.

ELIOT: It’s been ten years.

EZRA: Eleven.

FORD: Put me down for two dollars against him wearing it.

EZRA: He’ll probably wear it until the next war.

FORD: There’s a paradox, waiting for The War After The War to End All War.

GERTRUDE: Sounds like something the Irish would write, in between spoon thefts.

[There is another, more emphatic knock on the door.]

FORD: Isn’t anyone going to answer that?

GERTRUDE: Should we take a vote?

EZRA: I think Gertrude should answer the door.

ELIOT: I second.

FORD: All in favor.

[Everyone raises a hand, except for Gertrude.]

GERTRUDE: I hate democracy.

[She goes to the door.]

FORD: What’s her problem with the Irish?

ALICE B: She thinks he stole a teaspoon last time he came over.

ELIOT: I suspect she lost it herself but can’t deal with the idea that fate alone could part her
from her beloved silverware.

[Gertrude returns with Hemingway and Catherine.]

HEMINGWAY: These are nice digs.

GERTRUDE: Enough room for us all. Except for Ford.
He likes to stay at the Ritz Carlton Ritz.

HEMINGWAY: I suppose I should do introductions. Catherine Adams, this is Gertrude Stein.

CATHERINE: Gertrude. I’ve heard so much about you.

GERTRUDE: It’s all true, and then some.

HEMINGWAY: This is Alice B. Toklas.

CATHERINE: Alice. Pleased to meet you.

ALICE B: Likewise.

HEMINGWAY: That’s Thomas Stearnes Eliot there with the shoebox.

ELIOT: It’s a cat.


HEMINGWAY: Ford Maddox Ford.


FORD: There’s no need to be formal. Please call me Ford.

EZRA: Nobody likes that joke.

HEMINGWAY: And that’s Ezra Pound. We call him a poet, but his true calling is cooking.
How are the sandwiches?

ELIOT: I’ve never had anything more magical.
GERTRUDE: I’ll arm wrestle you for one, Ernie.

HEMINGWAY: Oh, please.

GERTRUDE: I realize it wouldn’t be fair, but maybe you’d give me a run for my money.

HEMINGWAY: Why don’t we have a drink?

ALICE B: That’s a good idea. We should drink before Scott and Zelda get here.

GERTRUDE: We should drink as much as we can before they get here.

EZRA: They’re apparently trying to kick the habit.
Climbing aboard the temperance wagon, if you will.

ELIOT: It seems odd that they would leave a dry country and come across the ocean to the
Continent and then decide to give up liquor. It would make so much more sense to do the opposite.

CATHERINE: I guess they’re just looking for something forbidden.

HEMINGWAY: It’s just a fad.

[Drinks are passed around. Idle chatter as the drinks are poured. Catherine explores the apartment.]

CATHERINE: What’s behind this door?

GERTRUDE: Whatever you do—

[Catherine opens the door. A wall of Brazilian music comes crashing through. Catherine looks in, captivated, then closes the door. The music cuts off as abruptly as it came in.]

EZRA: Don’t open the door.

HEMINGWAY: What’s that?

GERTRUDE: It’s the Brazilians.

ALICE B: They’re very nice.

CATHERINE: It looked like there was a café in there.

EZRA: There is. They have remarkable coffee.

ELIOT: I found their food quite passable. Better than Portugese cuisine by half.
HEMINGWAY: That door is remarkably soundproof.

ELIOT: These old homes…they don’t build them like that anymore.
[To the shoebox.] Isn’t that right Mr. Ulysses?

HEMINGWAY: That’s a pretty lame name for a cat.

CATHERINE: I think it’s rather charming.

[Hemingway shuts up. Eliot plays with the cat. Ezra stirs his bowl. Gertrude and Alice drink.]

FORD: I should like to—

[There’s a knock at the door.]

GERTRUDE: That should be Scott and Zelda.

ALICE B: Always on time.

[Hemingway goes to the door.]

SCOTT: That’s good. Thank you. Merci.

HEMINGWAY: Scott! Zelda!

[F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald enter. They look fabulous. Scott cuts quite a handsome figure in casual, yet stylish clothes, and Zelda is in rare form.]

GERTRUDE: Come on in! The party is starting already.

ZELDA: I hope we haven’t missed it.

[Zelda eyes Hemingway.]

HEMINGWAY: Not at all, not at all. It wouldn’t be a party without you.

[Hemingway takes her hand somewhat firmly, but careful to block Catherine’s view.]

SCOTT: I’m beginning to think that we should all live in Paris forever.

ELIOT: What would we write about then? Being French?

SCOTT: I suppose you have a point. Not quite the weather to go for a swim yet, is it?

HEMINGWAY: Are you sure you want to be caught in a bathing suit, Fitz?

[Scott is slightly shaken.]

SCOTT: Sure. Why not?

ZELDA: Is that a kitten in your shoebox, Mr. Eliot?

ELIOT: It’s Mr. Ulysses.

ZELDA: That’s such a precious name for a kitten. Isn’t it, sweetie? Oh, yes it is. Yes it is.

[Ezra, who has gotten up to give Scott a handshake and a sandwich, looks out the door.]

EZRA: What’s in all those crates?

ZELDA: Coca-Cola. We just can’t get enough of it, now that we’re on the wagon.

SCOTT: You can’t imagine how hard it was to get it over here.

ZELDA: Oh, but we have to have it. It would be a long summer without a nice refreshing Coke
to come home to.

SCOTT: What’s behind the—

EZRA: I wouldn’t—

[Scott opens the Brazilian door. The same wall of music. A pair of people, presumably
The Brazilians, dip in and then go back. Scott is mesmerized.]

SCOTT: Amazing.

CATHERINE: It’s beautiful and romantic.

SCOTT: Breathtaking. They seem to be like one person.

CATHERINE: Exactly! They move as if they’re part of the same animal.

HEMINGWAY: Animal—that about describes it.

[Hemingway looks at Zelda and Zelda looks at him and they look together in that look that speaks so much but does not say anything. They are lost. They breathe together for a moment as everyone else goes about their business and the lights fade down and the Brazilian music gives way to other music. Scott and Catherine are still staring at the Brazilians. Eliot stokes the cat and Ezra is stirring. Gertrude and Alice drink and Ford is still caught in mid-sentence.]

Interlude – The Black Watch

A café table, perhaps on a sidestage. A well-dressed businesswoman, Reilly Borogoves, enters and sits down. In a second a man, Maxwell Perkins enters with two cups of coffee and sits down.

MAXWELL: Thanks for meeting here, Reilly.

REILLY: Sure thing, Max. What’s the story?

MAXWELL: Everyone’s in Paris. I thought I’d warn all the associate editors to brush up on
their French and look over a map of the city. Errors are to be avoided, and we’re the ones to do the avoiding.

REILLY: I’ll never understand why they congregate like this. It’s really unoriginal.

MAXWELL: Sure, sure, but it makes our work more concentrated too. Everyone knows a little
French so we don’t have to do the legwork to keep the writers honest. Can you imagine what it would be like if they were all over the map? We’d end up having to pay someone who can speak Persian. Or worse yet, we’d have to take the author’s word that they know what they’re writing about.

REILLY: I see your point there.

MAXWELL: I have a special case for you here.

REILLY: What is it?

MAXWELL: It’s a who.


MAXWELL: Morley Callaghan. He’s come up from Toronto, worked on the paper there with
Hemingway. Nice young kid.

REILLY: They’re all nice young kids these days.

MAXWELL: Keep an eye on him. Look after him. He’s got some stories—some boxing
stories—quite good, quite good. Needs some care.

REILLY: Sounds like you’re asking me to be his guardian angel.

MAXWELL: In a way.

REILLY: Is that what I’m being paid for?

MAXWELL: We are like shepherds—
REILLY: Maxwell, you’re sounding downright ecumenical.

MAXWELL: We have a responsibility, not just to the individuals—the readers and the
writers—but to posterity. Our charge is to take these men and women, take their flesh and bones, take their blood and their ink and to make writers out of them.

REILLY: That’s the most beautiful description of proofreading I’ve ever heard.

MAXWELL: You can laugh at me, Reilly Borogoves, but you know it’s true. An editor is like
a navigator on a ship. We guide, we cajole. We tell them the truth when nobody else will dare say anything to them. We keep writers honest.

REILLY: Honesty in fiction—there’s a paradox. Should we put that on our book jackets?

MAXWELL: What is the first duty of an editor, Reilly?

REILLY: To keep a writer’s head from getting too big.

MAXWELL: Exactly! But what else do we have to do?

REILLY: Keep them from being afraid.

MAXWELL: Now isn’t that like some sort of angel? We keep their spirits alive, we feed them
with our praise and we keep them in line with our criticism. We keep the balance.

REILLY: So what does Mr. Morley Callaghan from Toronto need—a shepherd, a navigator,
a proofreader, or an angel?

MAXWELL: I think he may need it all.

REILLY: Sounds like a big job. When do I start?

[Maxwell Perkins smiles.]



Scene 5 – The Good Soldier Good

Summer. Paris. A bright shiny day. Eliot enters carrying the shoebox with Mr. Ulysses inside.

ELIOT: It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it, Mr. Ulysses? Just look at the bright summer sun. Look at it, revel in it. Bask, bask, bask.

[We hear a faint, annoyed mew.]

ELIOT: What’s that? Okay, okay, enough basking. I suppose your eyes aren’t accustomed to
the light, or to the darkness. You’re just a small thing and it’s a big world. But you’ll be fine, won’t you, Mr. Ulysses? Won’t you? Because you’re a strong cat. You’re a brave cat. And brave cats survive and live all their nine lives. Would you like some ham, Mr. Ulysses? We have some nice ham, yes we do. Yes we do.

[Gertrude enters.]

GERTRUDE: Hasn’t anyone smothered that cat yet?

ELIOT: Someone woke up on the wrong bank of the Seine this morning.

[Gertrude throws a pillow at Eliot, who uses the shoebox to deflect the projectile. Alice B. enters. She picks up the pillow and return it to its place carefully, then walks up to Gertrude and kisses her cheek.]

ALICE B: Good morning, Thomas. How are you?

ELIOT: I was fine.

ALICE B: Not fine anymore?

ELIOT: Ducking pillows.

ALICE B: Oh. Well, it’s just that—

GERTRUDE: Don’t listen to her, she’s delusional.

[Alice B. walks over and whispers something to Eliot.]

ELIOT: Ohhh. Really? Ohhhh. Oh. My. Well. Oh.

ALICE B: And after the speckled trout it wasn’t a good idea.

GERTRUDE: Why do you have to bring up the trout?

ALICE B: It’s integral to the story.
GERTRUDE: There is no story. It’s just words, phrases, sentences. Fragments.

ALICE B: It’s just a story.

GERTRUDE: It’s not a good story. Tell your own story, not mine.

ALICE B: It’s my story too.

GERTRUDE: I’ll arm wrestle you for it.

ELIOT: There has to be a more civilized way to settle this.

[Ezra and Catherine enter. Ezra is carrying some sort of food stuff in mid-preparation. Alice B. and Gertrude arm wrestle. Alice B is determined, but Gertrude slams her hand into the table. Alice is hurt, but Gertrude is too busy being triumphant to notice.]

CATHERINE: Mr. Pound has made a lovely breakfast.

EZRA: I was fortunate to find fresh ingredients. The rest was just luck.

CATHERINE: You’re too humble.

GERTRUDE: I wonder what’s keeping Ernie?

CATHERINE: He seems to have wandered off in the past few weeks.

ELIOT: He’s about due for a novel. I’m sure he’s scribbling away diligently.

GERTRUDE: The only thing he’s diligently working on is wine bottles.

CATHERINE: He’s been through a lot.

GERTRUDE: I know. We should have rented a place with a cellar.

CATHERINE: He’s had some rough times. His mind is swimming. You can see it in his eyes.
He’s looking for things to hold on to. Sometimes I wonder how he’ll survive, how he’ll go on with that look in his eyes.

[Ford Maddox Ford enters.]

ALICE B: Ford! Good morning.

EZRA: Wait!

[Ezra runs out. Ford is caught once again in midsentence. Everyone looks around puzzled. Ezra runs back in with a mysterious foodstuff.]
EZRA: You have to try this.

[He stuffs the foodstuff into Ford’s mouth. Ford chews…and chews…and chews. Ford is puzzled.]

EZRA: It’s a bit chewy, but it should be alright.

[Ford mumbles something incomprehensible.]

EZRA: That’s right, just chew. There you go.

CATHERINE: How are the Brazilians today?

ELIOT: Haven’t peeked in. Unusually quiet, though.

CATHERINE: It seems so amazing still. Should we take a look?

GERTRUDE: Go ahead, knock yourself out.

[Catherine opens the door. The Brazilian music can be heard. She stands there transfixed by something. She closes the door, and walks back slowly.]

ELIOT: They seem to be at it early today.

CATHERINE: Yes. Very early.

[Scott enters. He is carrying a Coca-Cola which he takes sips from constantly.]

SCOTT: Morning, all.

ALICE B: Morning, Scott.

GERTRUDE: Where’s Zelda?


GERTRUDE: We just assumed you’d walk in together. You always seem to—

SCOTT: Always seem to what?

ALICE B: It’s just that—

SCOTT: What is it? Is there something wrong—

ALICE B: Nobody meant anything.

GERTRUDE: You can say that again.

CATHERINE: I’m sure Zelda will be here shortly.

ELIOT: Certainly. It’s Paris; people go for long walks.

SCOTT: By themselves?

ELIOT: By themselves or with other people.

SCOTT: Other people?

ELIOT: It’s a morning thing. You walk along the riverside and talk and listen. It’s quite nice.

[Scott takes a long drink.]

CATHERINE: I’m sure she’s fine.

ALICE B: Besides, Ernie’s with her.

[There is a moment of silence.]

SCOTT: Ernie’s with her.

CATHERINE: Yes. I’m sure it will be fine.


ELIOT: He can keep away the riff-raff.

GERTRUDE: Other than himself.

ALICE B: You know, they’ve been spending an awful lot of—

EZRA: Maybe you’d like to try some of this new dish I’ve been working on.

ELIOT: That sounds like a capital idea.

[Ezra gives some of the chewy food to Scott.]

EZRA: Now, you have to chew it pretty well.

[Scott mutters something incomprehensible.]

EZRA: There you go. Tasty, isn’t it?

[There is a knock at the door.]

GERTRUDE: That must be them.

[Alice B. goes to the door and returns with two people in tow. It is not “them.” Morley and Lowrey Callaghan enter. Morley is a writer and is dressed like one. A little too warmly dressed for the summer. Lowrey is charming and attractive and a little underdressed for summer in Paris.]

MORLEY: I’m Morley Callaghan, from Toronto.

ELIOT: Oh, yes, the Canadian fellow. Welcome to Paris.

MORLEY: This is my wife Lowrey.

ALICE B: They’re Ernie’s friends from Toronto.

GERTRUDE: You’ve picked a fine summer to be in Paris.

MORLEY: It’s a beautiful morning, with the sun and all that.

ELIOT: That’s terribly poetic. Terribly.

GERTRUDE: I suppose introductions are in order. I’m Gertrude. The charming woman who
let you in is Alice B. Toklas. Don’t let her tell you any stories about trout. The fellow with the mouthful of chewy food over there is Ford Maddox Ford. If he wasn’t chewing so intently he’d tell you an awful joke about how you should call him Ford to be less formal. This is T.S. Eliot.

ELIOT: And this is Mr. Ulysses.

MORLEY: You named your shoes?

[Eliot holds up the shoebox at an uncomfortable angle.]

ELIOT: It’s a kitten.

LOWREY: Doesn’t that hurt the kitten?

ELIOT: Not at all. They’re very resilient. Isn’t that right, Mr. Ulysses?

GERTRUDE: The cook over there is Ezra Pound. We call him a poet, but he seems to be more
comfortable working with more perishable ingredients.

EZRA: I have breakfast ready if you’d like something.

LOWREY: That would be lovely.

GERTRUDE: You know Scott Fitzgerald, of course.

MORLEY: We met in New York.

SCOTT: Mm-hmm.

ELIOT: Ezra seems to have been experimented with a recipe for India rubber.

EZRA: It’s a more refined taste that requires an effort.
You only get out of it what you put into it.

GERTRUDE: And finally, this is Ernie’s friend, Catherine Adams.

CATHERINE: I’ve heard so much about you.

MORLEY: I’m flattered that Ernie would say anything about me,
much less anything you’d remember.

LOWREY: Where is Ernie? I’ve been looking forward to seeing him.

ALICE B: He’ll be coming in any minute now.

CATHERINE: Yes. Any minute.

ALICE B: You should have a seat.

GERTRUDE: We’ll have to play musical chairs.

ELIOT: A bit early in the morning for party games, I’d say.

GERTRUDE: We can arm wrestle for a seat.

EZRA: I think our new guests should at least be able to sit down.

GERTRUDE: That’s not the American way, surely.

EZRA: Well, we’re not in America, are we?

[Morley and Lowrey sit down as others make way. Scott seethes in the corner.]

CATHERINE: Will you be staying the whole summer?

ELIOT: Do you like cats?

LOWREY: It would be a shame if we didn’t, especially if Ernie is going to be here the whole
time. I miss his company.

MORLEY: I can’t say I’ve really dealt with cats.

CATHERINE: He is charming.

ELIOT: You should get to know them. They’re just like people.

LOWREY: Oh, he’s fabulous.

HEMINGWAY: Who’s fabulous?

[The sound of Brazilian music. Hemingway enters. He is wearing a big confident grin on his face. Zelda is hanging on his shoulder with a martini in one hand.
She looks content. When Scott sees this he spits out his chewy food into Eliot’s shoebox.]

LOWREY: Ernie!

[Lowrey gets up and goes to Hemingway, who deftly moves Zelda away and takes Lowrey into his arms and gives her a more than friendly kiss to which she replies in kind. Morley looks at Catherine, Catherine looks at Hemingway. Scott looks at Zelda, but Zelda is looking back at Hemingway. Eliot looks at the goo in the shoebox.]

ELIOT: Ezra, what is this stuff?

EZRA: I made it with pastry dough and guar gum.

HEMINGWAY: What the hell is guar gum?

EZRA: I was curious to find out myself.

ELIOT: You really shouldn’t experiment with people’s lives.

EZRA: We only get one life—one chance to have new experiences.

LOWREY: How have you been Ernie? Have you had any new adventures?

HEMINGWAY: Just a little bear I ran into back in Michigan.

LOWREY: That sounds terrible.

HEMINGWAY: It was just a little bear. Hey, Morley, are you ready to go another couple of
rounds with me.

[He mimes sparring with Morley.]
MORLEY: Anytime, Ernie. Anytime you want.

ZELDA: We should have a cocktail party.

SCOTT: You really shouldn’t be drinking.

ELIOT: Do you have a napkin I may use to remove this guar gum from Mr. Ulysses’ abode.

EZRA: I wonder if the cat will eat it.

ELIOT: And you will continue to wonder about that forever.

ZELDA: Don’t tell me what I can or can’t do.

SCOTT: I thought we weren’t going to drink.

ZELDA: You thought we weren’t going to drink. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
You thinking for we. I’m not your maid.

SCOTT: If you were I wouldn’t give half a crap.

ZELDA: Take your whole crap and stuff it. Look at you. You think you know what you’re
doing but you have no idea. You’re drinking Coke like it was bourbon.
You’re a small man grasping for big things but all you can hold onto is a bottle.

SCOTT: Whereas you can only handle it by the glass.

MORLEY: Should we be here for this?

GERTRUDE: It’s just starting to get good.

HEMINGWAY: You look wonderful, Lowrey. I love the shape of your neck.

LOWREY: You’re as charming as ever, Ernie.

ALICE B: It’s too early in the morning for this.

CATHERINE: We should try to excuse ourselves.

MORLEY: Are you sure we can make it out of here in one piece?

CATHERINE: I’ve never been sure of that.

[Pause. Morley and Catherine share a smile.]

SCOTT: I can’t believe you.
ZELDA: I’m not asking you to believe in me. You don’t have to believe in anything.
I don’t care.

EZRA: Does anyone else want breakfast?

SCOTT: Of course you don’t care. You can’t care.
You’re not made to care, just to be cared for.

ZELDA: If you were a man, you’d be such a small man.

SCOTT: What do you want?

ELIOT: I think some of your pastry is stuck in Mr. Ulysses’ fur.

MORLEY: Do you ever get the feeling that fate has a sense of humor?

CATHERINE: I wish we could laugh.

[They look at each other again and smile again.]

SCOTT: Well, what do you want?

ZELDA: I want a goddamned cocktail party!

SCOTT: Fine! We can have a goddamned cocktail party!
We can have all the damn parties you want and you can have all the goddamned cocktails you please. Whatever it takes to keep you happy.

ZELDA: You don’t have what it takes to keep me happy.

GERTRUDE: A cocktail party it is!

[Lowrey and Hemingway open the Brazilian door. The Brazilians come bounding out dancing as their music plays. Ezra and Eliot light some sort of candles which they hand to the Brazilians as the lights fade down. The others make their exits leaving the stage to the Brazilians, who dance passionately, each with a candle in one hand and the other in the other hand. This continues into the next scene.]

Scene 6 – Moonlight Sonata

Paris. Summer. Same as before, only now it is night and the room is lit dimly and with candles.
The Brazilians are still dancing, but their dance has become slower, even more sensual.
They exit, as they do they pass their candles to Hemingway and Catherine, who enter.

HEMINGWAY: This is what I always imagined Paris would be like
when I would think about Paris. Candlelight. Music. I would walk along the banks of the Seine and across the bridge and across the city until my legs gave out and I had to find a café where I could just sit and stare out at people for a few hours.
Shattered. I was shattered. They were shattered. Everything was shattered.
But I am here now and the candles are here and so is the music. And you.

CATHERINE: Ernest, you are haunted.

HEMINGWAY: I always thought it would be so simple. The light, the sound, the love.
It would all come together at the right time, if it would happen at all.

CATHERINE: You should just enjoy the night, Ernest.

HEMINGWAY: I’m pretty much hammered already. Cocktails, wine.

CATHERINE: I wonder what the Brazilians are doing tonight.

HEMINGWAY: Doing whatever it is the Brazilians do.
Drinking whatever it is the Brazilians drink. Pernod.

CATHERINE: I hate Pernod.



HEMINGWAY: I’ve never liked the word romantic.


CATHERINE: I wish you wouldn’t look at me that way, Ernest.

HEMINGWAY: I didn’t realize my eyes were inflected.

CATHERINE: It isn’t how you want it to be. I’m sorry.

HEMINGWAY: It’s what it is. That’s all it can be.

CATHERINE: Ernest, I look in your eyes and I see it and I can’t bear to see it.
So many of us—touched.


CATHERINE: You are haunted. I know that.

HEMINGWAY: A man has to go on.
We live our lives day to day and we survive and that’s all there is. Until the end.

CATHERINE: I hope you can have dreams again, Ernest. I really hope you do.

HEMINGWAY: That sounds nice. Too nice.

CATHERINE: It’s not all nightmares. You should know that.

HEMINGWAY: It doesn’t have to be this. It could be something else.

CATHERINE: I didn’t like the destruction during the war and I can’t bear these
destructions either. I see people destroying things, lives, as if it was the war.

HEMINGWAY: It’s always the war.

CATHERINE: It’s been ten years. It’s time to build something better.

HEMINGWAY: I never liked the word romance.

CATHERINE: I’d like to see your eyes when you can have dreams again, beautiful dreams.
Ernest, I—

HEMINGWAY: No. Don’t say it. It doesn’t mean anything. It can’t mean anything.


CATHERINE: I was just going to say that…I…you…you should take care of yourself.

[Catherine exits. Lowrey enters, holding a lit candle.]

LOWREY: Hello.


LOWREY: Mind if I sit down?

HEMINGWAY: Go ahead.

[Lowrey sits down next to Hemingway. She puts her arm around him sympathetically.
She looks at him warmly. He looks at her with desperate hollow eyes. They kiss passionately.
They break apart, breathless. Hemingway gets up and leaves without a word.
Lowrey straightens herself up. Pause. She contemplates. Morley enters holding a candle.]

MORLEY: Mind if I sit down?

LOWREY: Go ahead.

[Morley sits down next to Lowrey, familiar, but not touching.]

MORLEY: Ezra’s making drinks with shaved ice. Very Italian.

LOWREY: Must be nice.

MORLEY: He’s no bartender, but I can’t argue with his recipes.

LOWREY: Is Eliot having a romantic night out with that cat?

MORLEY: Mr. Ulysses likes the night. He must be a werecat.

[Lowrey chuckles.]

LOWREY: Why did we get married?


MORLEY: We were in love. Young. That’s what happens.

LOWREY: Young. It was beautiful then. Did you love me?

[Morley touches Lowrey’s face and runs his hands through her hair. He kisses her gently.]

MORLEY: I love you.

LOWREY: Are we still in love?

[Morley smiles.]

MORLEY: I’m beginning to think that love is a verb. I like it better as a verb—
something you do, not someplace you go or something you sit on. I love you.
It sounds so simple, considering what it encompasses. I love you.
The most complex sentence there is. I love you.

LOWREY: It’s so complicated.

MORLEY: It’s not tangible.

LOWREY: So why do we reach out for it?


MORLEY: We reach out for people, not love.
Love is what we do when we try to touch someone’s heart.

[Lowrey looks into Morley’s eyes. She touches his face.]

LOWREY: I…can’t. I can’t—

[Lowrey gets up and leaves. Morley is left alone. Catherine enters carrying a candle.]

CATHERINE: Do you still think fate has a sense of humor?

MORLEY: I think fate has moved beyond mirth into the realm of absurdity.

CATHERINE: So why can’t we laugh?

MORLEY: We can laugh. We just don’t.

CATHERINE: We don’t have the same sense of humor as fate.

MORLEY: We all have a touch of it. Some of us get used to seeing the world that way.

CATHERINE: Some don’t.

MORLEY: Nothing ever goes according to human plan.

CATHERINE: So you believe in a divine plan?

MORLEY: It’s unfashionable.

CATHERINE: After the war, no one can believe in divinity.

MORLEY: I don’t know why. It was humans that did the killing.
It was humans that should have stopped it. Rational science teaches us that everything goes according to natural laws, but people want to curse a god they don’t want to believe in for not handing them a miracle that they say is impossible according to a rational universe.

CATHERINE: You weren’t in the war, were you?

MORLEY: I was sixteen when it was all over.
CATHERINE: So young. So young still.

MORLEY: I had to grow up fast.

CATHERINE: There were so many who didn’t get to grow up.
I wonder if fate was laughing at them.

MORLEY: The influenza killed as many people as the war.
I don’t think fate shares the same sense of humor.

CATHERINE: You’re more perceptive than Ernest gives you credit for.

MORLEY: I can’t influence anyone’s imaginations. People think what they want to think.

CATHERINE: Still, Ernest sees you as a kid.

MORLEY: Yes, well, I’m not.

CATHERINE: You have kind eyes. I know that sounds strange, but a person’s eyes—
they speak to a person’s heart. You have kind eyes, not mean.

MORLEY: That’s…kind…of you…I suppose.

[They both crack a smile.]

MORLEY: For a writer I can have an awful way with words.

CATHERINE: Everyone is allowed inarticulate moments.

MORLEY: What about you? You always seem to know what to say.

CATHERINE: Seem. Seem.

MORLEY: What are you hiding, Catherine Adams?

CATHERINE: I don’t know what you can mean.

MORLEY: You seem to have this shield that keeps people from knowing you.

CATHERINE: Have you tried Ezra’s Italian ices?

MORLEY: Don’t change the subject.

CATHERINE: You’re getting forceful.

MORLEY: I can be blunt if I have to be.
CATHERINE: Do you have to be?

MORLEY: What’s in your heart?


CATHERINE: That’s the question, isn’t it? What am I supposed to say?
I’m not that interesting.

MORLEY: Everyone is interesting.

CATHERINE: I’m not a fascinating person. You people are all writers.

MORLEY: Except for Ezra.

CATHERINE: Don’t mock me.

MORLEY: I’m not mocking you, I just want to know who you are.

CATHERINE: Is that so important to you?



MORLEY: Why not?

CATHERINE: I asked first.

MORLEY: You still haven’t answered my first question.

CATHERINE: Are you always this—

MORLEY: Relentless? Dogged? Persistent?

CATHERINE: I was going to say obnoxious. You Irish—

MORLEY: I’m Canadian, thank you very much. Don’t change the subject.

CATHERINE: I can’t tell you who I am in one sentence.

MORLEY: You can take all night if you’d like.


MORLEY: Or longer.
CATHERINE: How long?

MORLEY: Until I know who you are.


MORLEY: I don’t have a particular desire to hear myself talking.

CATHERINE: Are you sure you’re a writer?

[They share a smile.]

MORLEY: We were talking about you.

CATHERINE: I don’t understand why.

MORLEY: Neither do I.

[Pause. They smile.]

CATHERINE: I suppose this is the first time since I came to Paris that anyone’s wanted to
know anything about me.

MORLEY: It’s their loss, I suspect.

CATHERINE: How can you be sure?

MORLEY: You have kind eyes.

CATHERINE: I like to take walks. There.

MORLEY: That’s something.

CATHERINE: I like to walk in cities, and in the countryside too. We used to spend summers
in the country. My family, that is. See, that’s not interesting. It’s not important.

MORLEY: I didn’t know that about you before. That makes it important.

CATHERINE: But not interesting.

MORLEY: Interesting is subtext. Interesting is trying to figure out why you like to take walks.

CATHERINE: I’m not sure.

MORLEY: You may not even know yourself. But it might be fun to try to explain it.


CATHERINE: I wasn’t lying when I said you have kind eyes.


MORLEY: Neither was I.

CATHERINE: I’m afraid once you find out what’s in my heart you won’t have anything left to
say to me. It’s not all country walks and kind eyes.

MORLEY: That’s not all there is to life.

CATHERINE: I don’t need a shoulder to cry on, if that’s what you’re expecting.
I’m not weak. I don’t melt when a man touches me.

MORLEY: I can see that.

CATHERINE: If you think that—

MORLEY: I’m not thinking anything. I just think that it might be nice to know who you are.
So I guess I am thinking, but just not thinking about ends.

CATHERINE: I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to—

MORLEY: Don’t be sorry. I don’t want your apologies, just your honesty.


CATHERINE: You really do have kind eyes. What’s in your heart?

MORLEY: A turtle…a snapping turtle.

[Pause. They smile. It turns into a big laugh.]

CATHERINE: I don’t know why that’s so funny.

MORLEY: It’s not funny, it’s true. I swear it.

CATHERINE: Oh, please, a turtle?

MORLEY: Okay, maybe it’s more of a frog.

CATHERINE: You don’t even know what’s in your own heart?

MORLEY: No. I don’t.

[Pause. She takes his hand. He looks at it.]

MORLEY: You have beautiful hands.

[A long moment. They share a smile.]

CATHERINE: Maybe we should go for a walk. Just to cool off.

MORLEY: Of course.

[They exit. Ford enters carrying a candle. He is still chewing. He exits. Hemingway and Zelda enter flirtatiously with candles and drinks. They are both far gone in drunkenness.]

ZELDA: You are an animal.

HEMINGWAY: We’re all animals.

ZELDA: I want you to tear me apart.

HEMINGWAY: Like a lion?

ZELDA: Just like a lion tearing into its prey.

[Hemingway goes to bite her neck. She spills her drink.]

ZELDA: Oh, my. I’ve spilled my cocktail on you. I’ll just have to take care of that.

HEMINGWAY: You should be careful. I’m beginning to think that you can’t hold your liquor.

ZELDA: Oh, I can hold it. I can hold on to it for as long as I want.
But sometimes my hand slips. Am I beautiful to you now? Do you want to screw me? Is that what you want to do? Do you want to put it in me?

HEMINGWAY: I don’t want to do anything.

ZELDA: But you have to, you have to. You have to, because I’m telling you to, because when
I touch you, you melt like a candle.

HEMINGWAY: You’re drunk.

ZELDA: And you’re not so bad yourself.

HEMINGWAY: You’re not listening.

ZELDA: You know what your problem is, Ernie? You don’t listen. You don’t care about a
damn thing I have to say. And you know what, Ernie? Neither do I. I think we should stop boring each other with words and talk into each other’s mouths.

[She pushes him down into a kneeling position and then kisses him.]

ZELDA: There. Isn’t that better? What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?

[Silence. Hemingway pulls her down on top of him.]

ZELDA: That’s better. You’re the strong and silent type anyway. Making up for your lack of
childhood self-esteem with all your hunting and fishing. That’s right. I know.
You’re always afraid. You’re just a little child. A little boy. Now you can be a man. You can be a man tonight. Do you want to be a man?
Do you want me to make you a man?

[He grabs her roughly, kisses her, then pulls away violently and stumbles off. Zelda is left in a heap on the ground.]

ZELDA: Some men can’t take a joke.

[Scott enters holding a candle and a Coca-Cola bottle.]

ZELDA: It’s my dear sweet lover. How are you, dear sweet lover?

SCOTT: You’re drunk.

ZELDA: You are so perceptive. That must be your consolation for being so small.

SCOTT: This is stupid.

ZELDA: You’re stupid. You’re stupid for hanging on every word Ernie says when he treats
you like a stray dog. You let him kick you around and screw your wife because you’re not strong enough to meet him face to face and take him on.

SCOTT: Is that what you want? A duel? A challenge?
What kind of fantasy world do you live in?

ZELDA: You’re not man enough for my fantasy world. A real man wouldn’t—

SCOTT: Wouldn’t what? Wouldn’t sit here and listen to you? Wouldn’t keep himself from
smacking you around to make you shut up? Do you want me to hit you?

ZELDA: I was wrong. You’re not a weak man, after all. You’re a bastard.

SCOTT: We shouldn’t have tried to quit drinking.
ZELDA: What?

SCOTT: This is what we get for getting on the wagon. We should have just destroyed our lives
with liquor. Then we wouldn’t be looking for other ways to destroy ourselves.

ZELDA: Scotty, why must you talk nonsense? Why can’t you just listen.

SCOTT: I love you, goddammit!

ZELDA: Well, it’s about time you said it to me again.

SCOTT: I say it every day.

ZELDA: Sometimes I don’t listen.

SCOTT: I can’t understand you.

ZELDA: We came here to have a good time. Let’s have a good time.

SCOTT: You seem to be having it for the both of us.

ZELDA: I’ve made some errors of judgement. You can’t blame me. I’m just human.
You’ve made your mistakes, too. And you’re human too. We’re humans.

SCOTT: You’re still drunk.

ZELDA: That doesn’t keep me from seeing that young soldier-boy I married in front of me.
You’re my soldier-boy and I’m your southern belle and we’re just happy.

SCOTT: Happy.

ZELDA: That’s right. And if you want me to drink Coca-Cola until it comes out of my ears,
I will. But you have to listen to me.

SCOTT: Alright. I’m listening.

ZELDA: Every man is just a little boy and you’re my dear sweet lover. And I’m drunk.

SCOTT: Yes, you are.

ZELDA: Will you take care of me, my dear sweet lover?

[Scott helps Zelda stumble off. Eliot enters with his shoebox.]

ELIOT: Isn’t it a quiet beautiful night, Mr. Ulysses? That’s right. It is.
The streetlights are on, the whole city is like a big sugarplum.
Paris. Summer. Beauty. This is life. Will it ever be like this again?
Who knows?

[Eliot exits. Gertrude and Alice B. enter with candles.]

GERTRUDE: I think Ernie needs to be put in his place.

ALICE B: He’s just trying to be his own man.

GERTRUDE: I taught him everything he knows.
Now he waltzes in thinking he’s king of the world.

ALICE B: You should just enjoy the night. Have another cocktail.

GERTRUDE: I hate cocktails. People should just drink liquor straight.

[Gertrude and Alice B. exit. Ezra and Lowrey enter with candles. Lowrey is eating something.]

LOWREY: This is fabulous.

EZRA: It’s just a little something I’ve been working on.

LOWREY: You are a magician, and a poet too.

EZRA: Words are like ingredients and vice versa. You learn to taste words and speak food.

LOWREY: That’s funny.


LOWREY: I thought Paris would be so perfect. I didn’t think it would be so complicated.

EZRA: People are complicated.
If you want black and white, you should go see a motion picture.

LOWREY: I don’t know what I’m going to do.

EZRA: Maybe you need a kitten.

LOWREY: A kitten?

EZRA: It seems to have done wonders for Thomas.
He was so glum when he didn’t have the cat.

LOWREY: I suppose that’s a start. Maybe you can teach me how to cook.

EZRA: I’d be happy to.

[They exit. Morley and Catherine enter. They are holding hands.]

MORLEY: Here we are. The end of the road.

[Pause. They look at each other.]

CATHERINE: This is Paris.

MORLEY: I know where we are.

CATHERINE: Do you know enough about my heart now?

MORLEY: You have beautiful eyes.

CATHERINE: You’re dreaming. I can see it in your eyes.

MORLEY: Maybe I am. People need dreams.

[Silence. She touches his face.]

CATHERINE: What’s in your heart?


CATHERINE: I can’t kiss you.


Interlude – Angel Band

A café table. Reilly Borogoves and Maxwell Perkins enter.

MAXWELL: Order the scallops, they’re fantastic here.

REILLY: Is that an order or a suggestion?

MAXWELL: I won’t take it personally if you don’t get the scallops.

[Pause. She looks at him with a biting stare.]

MAXWELL: I won’t take it professionally if you don’t get the scallops.

REILLY: This is all so complicated.

MAXWELL: What, the scallops?

REILLY: What’s with you and the scallops? Do you get a percentage?

[Maxwell shrugs.]

REILLY: It’s hard to be an angel for someone who’s wrestling with demons.

MAXWELL: Well put. You should be a writer.

REILLY: What, and put some other poor editor through this torture?

MAXWELL: How’s Callaghan’s work?

REILLY: His work is fine. His soul is another matter.

MAXWELL: Is he in danger of selling it?

REILLY: I worry about him. I wonder what’s going on in his heart. I see the words on paper
and they’re not just words. They’re glimpses into a mind. I imagine this is normal, but to see it as it’s happening, to pore over every letter, every spot of ink, and to see when the hand gets shaky from exhaustion. It’s too much.

MAXWELL: Don’t lose yourself in it. You have to be their rock. We are their band of angels,
whether they know it or not.

REILLY: It’s not ink anymore. It’s blood, on every page. A piece of their souls.

MAXWELL: I used to be able to tell when someone pounded the keys of a typewriter from the
indentations on the paper. Some words pushed deeper than others.
[Pause. Maxwell takes Reilly’s hand and gives it a reassuring squeeze.]

REILLY: I think I’m ready to order.

MAXWELL: What are you having?

REILLY: I think I’ll have the scallops.


Scene 7 – A Movable Fast

Paris. Summer. Same as before. Ernest, Morley, Catherine, Lowrey, Ford, Gertrude, Alice B., Eliot, Scott and Zelda are gathered. Ezra enters with some cake.

EZRA: Dig in, everybody!

[Everyone digs in. Murmurs of approval.]

LOWREY: This is good cake.

SCOTT: Outstanding.

ZELDA: It’s really well done, Ezra.

MORLEY: Very well done.

ELIOT: Good show.

GERTRUDE: You’ve outdone yourself.

ALICE B: This is wonderful.

[Ford mumbles something with a mouthful of cake.]

ELIOT: Excellent.

EZRA: Please, it’s just vanilla.

[Silence for a moment as everyone has a bite to eat.]

HEMINGWAY: You know, Morley. I’ve been thinking about your stories.

MORLEY: Really? I’m flattered.

HEMINGWAY: I don’t think you know a damned thing about boxing.


HEMINGWAY: I think maybe it would be a good idea if we sparred a little—you know, to teach you a lesson or two.


HEMINGWAY: We could have a match.

CATHERINE: You really shouldn’t—

HEMINGWAY: What do you say, Morley? Do you want to take me on?

[Silence. Morley stands up.]

MORLEY: Sure. Whatever you want, Ernie.


HEMINGWAY: Scott can be the official timekeeper.


SCOTT: Sure, Ernie. Sure.


HEMINGWAY: Well, it looks like we’re all set. How does three minutes sound to you?

MORLEY: Fine. Fine with me.


HEMINGWAY: You’re not going to let him cower behind you, are you?


CATHERINE: No. I’m not.

HEMINGWAY: Three minutes, then. Three minutes.

ELIOT: I don’t see the point in this.

HEMINGWAY: There doesn’t have to be a point.

[Blackout. Music.]

Interlude – The Forlorn Hope

A café. Reilly and Max are sitting.

REILLY: So this is how it goes?

MAXWELL: People are predictably unpredictable. Writers are unpredictably predictable.

REILLY: What does that mean?

MAXWELL: I don’t know. H.L. Mencken said it once and I don’t think he knew
what it meant either.

REILLY: It’s hard to be the guardian of a literary soul.

MAXWELL: It’s a privilege, but it’s a responsibility, too. We make demands.
They meet the demands, sometimes. Not always. But it’s our work to be the shepherds.

REILLY: I’m beginning to come around to that idea.

MAXWELL: We can’t beat work out of them. We can’t put their souls into overtime.
We can’t push them or it will destroy them. All we can do is nurture them—
To sustain them, when they’re down; to remind them of their humanity, when they’re on top of the world.

REILLY: It’s a terrible responsibility.

MAXWELL: But wonderful. Wonderful. We are the midwives, the nursemaids, the forgotten
ones who help rear these children into maturity.
We are the ones who hold out hope to them.

REILLY: It’s a forlorn hope, sometimes.

MAXWELL: Not if you do it right. Not if you remember that the most important thing is the
humanity. If we have to lose that to get something—to make something happen—then it’s not worth having.

REILLY: Do you believe in happy endings?

MAXWELL: I believe in endings…and I believe in happiness.

REILLY: I believe I need a drink.

MAXWELL: You’ll be a writer yet.


Scene 8 – The Boxer

Paris. Summer. The room has been converted into a makeshift boxing space.
The whole motley assortment is milling about, waiting for Morley.

GERTRUDE: Remember what I taught you about the upper cut.

HEMINGWAY: I’ll remember. Thanks.

[Morley enters.]

GERTRUDE: I taught him everything he knows.

CATHERINE: This is stupid. You don’t have to prove your manliness.

HEMINGWAY: It’s just good clean fun. You got your stopwatch ready, Scott?

[Scott is distracted by Zelda, who is flirting with him.]

SCOTT: What’s that? Oh, yes. The watch. It’s ready to go.

LOWREY: Please don’t do anything silly on my account.

MORLEY: Don’t worry, I won’t.

HEMINGWAY: Let’s go.

[Morley and Hemingway walk up to each other slowly. They tap gloves and come out fighting. For a few moments they just dance around each other, sizing each other up. Someone opens up the door to the Brazilians.]

EZRA: Sorry.

HEMINGWAY: You know, you’d be a better fighter if you’d been in the war.
But I guess that not everyone could have the guts for it.

[They freeze. Everything freezes.]

GERTRUDE: In 1917 at a place called Vimy Ridge Canadian soldiers mounted an epic assault.
For the first time in history, Canadian men fought in Canadian divisions under a Canadian flag and together they bled on Belgian soil. They say that Canada was born from the blood of Vimy Ridge. Morley Callaghan had three brothers. They all fell on Vimy Ridge, one after another in succeeding weeks. Men die, a nation is born, and the rest are left to pick up the pieces. Not everyone gets to be the brave hero here.

[The action of the fight resumes for a few moments. Morley is silent, grim. Hemingway taunts him. Scott, facing the audience looks at his stopwatch. The time is over. He looks at the watch. He says nothing.]

HEMINGWAY: How brave are you today, Morley Callaghan?

[Music. The action becomes slow motion as Morley Callaghan walks straight into Hemingway and administers a savage beating on him. Hemingway gets a few desperate shots in, but it is Morley’s day. As Hemingway lies on the ground, beaten, everyone else moves in shock or disbelief. Morley remains standing, motionless. Emotionless. Scott smiles wryly. Lights fade.]

Scene 9 – Under the Apple Tree

Lights. Paris. Late summer. Rain. Aftermath. Catherine and Morley.

CATHERINE: I owe you an explanation.

MORLEY: You don’t owe me anything.

CATHERINE: I want to give you an explanation.

MORLEY: That’s better.

CATHERINE: Why must you be so stubborn?

MORLEY: History.

CATHERINE: There’s someone else.

[Morley is silent.]

CATHERINE: You wanted to know what was in my heart—well, here it is.
I hope you understand. There was a soldier once, just a boy really.
He was never a pretty boy, but I thought he was beautiful. He went to the war. It was not a pretty war. The gas and the shells, they nearly destroyed him. He can’t see, wouldn’t want to see, couldn’t believe that anyone could love him with his body in such a state.
He was never—I thought he was beautiful and he will always be beautiful to me, always. I promised to wait for him, until he