On a sultry day in Augustan old local train is crawling trough the gorge, puffing and rattling along the winding rails. Carriages, heated by the burning sun, greedily suck in the cool air trough their broken windows, during the jerks made by the train, tired after its long journey. It is neither hot, nor cold in the carriages. In the aisles, that have not been swept for ages, over-grown with small oases of grass, passengers are sitting waiting for their far-away stations. At an unbroken window several men are sitting and have lively talk. Some passers-by, attracted by the conversation, with smiles frozen on their faces are listening to them with interest.
PASSINGER IN BRACES - A woman-tourist returns from Africa. She comes back home and starts howling. She howls and howls, without stopping. "What`s up with you?" her girl-friends ask in surprise. "Oh!" she says weeping. "When I was in Africa, an ape kidnapped me and fucked me in the jungle!" "Well, it`s all over now. There is no use crying!" "Why!" she goes on howling. "He fucked me and then forgot me! Not a single letter, or, at least, a phone call!" Ha, Ha, Ha!
All laugh. Some people have missed the last words, nevertheless they laugh too.
1-ST PASSENGER - What? No - What?
PASSINGER IN BRACES - Ha, Ha, Ha! Not a single or phone call! He forgot me, she says!
PASSINGER IN TOP HAT(laughing) - So you are laughing, aren`t you! But it`s quite possible that all this really happened. When I was on an audit in the mountains (I`m an auditor), shepherds told me about a woman kidnapped by a bear... He had kept her in his den for the whole summer.
2 -ST PASSENGER - Couldn`t she have ascaped?
PASSINGER IN TOP HAT - I don`t know! (Looking attentively at his companions) They couldn`t have found and killed him until October!.. At first they didn`t want to get into the den, but there was some noise coming from it. When they got inside, they were struck dumb at the sight of a naked woman, who was trying to cover herself with an oak-twig.
3 -ST PASSENGER - Oh, you don`t say so!
PASSINGER IN TOP HAT (Lowering his voice) - When they took her out of the den and she saw the dead bear, she started roaring like a real she-bear!
3 -ST PASSENGER - Oh, you don`t say so!
WOMAN FROM THE BACK SEAT - All of us, women, are just the same. The one who saddles us drives us mad; Eh! And we never know what animal we cast in our lot with.
PASSINGER IN TOP HAT(Learning backwards) - Believe me or not. But I must tell you... In town some women... DU IT - with dogs.
3 -ST PASSENGER - Oh, you don`t they afraid of getting pregnant doing it with dogs?
PASSINGER IN BRACES - Of course, they aren`t, old chap. Have you ever heard of a woman getting pregnant from an animal!
PASSINGER IN A TIE - It can be possible and...
PASSINGER IN TOP HAT(interrupting him) - I have some knowledge of medicine!.. I placed my son in a medical college last year! I`d like to make him a surgeon!.. It seems that no such cases have been registered in medical experience! But nevertheless... One can never be sure!
PASSINGER IN A TIE - I do respect medicine, but if one looks info history... Take the sphynx, fox instance - half-woman and half-lion! Or the centaur - half-man and tails! One of such creatures was caught by a legioner and brought to Emperor Sulla. It was yelling so awfully and had such a nasty smell, that Sulla ordered them to let it go!.. Or...
PASSINGER IN BRACES(to the man in top hat) - but you are joking!
PASSINGER IN TOP HAT - Well, it seems to me you are wrong... All of the come from legends. From hallucinations ! From lies!
PASSINGER IN A TIE - No hallucinations whatever! Don`t you know there is no lie without at least, one grain of truth! Thus one can state, though there is lot of lying, something in it may turn true.
PASSINGER IN BRACES(to the passenger in top hat) - It seems something is wrong with him! (to the passenger in a tie)Excuse me, what`s your profession?
PASSINGER IN A TIE - I... I`m an exsplorer , so to say. A detective...
PASSINGER IN BRACES - A detective! Are you a local police inspector or do you work in the procurator`s office?
PASSINGER IN A TIE(smiling) - Oh, no! I`m a detective! (slaps his stomach) I don`t belong to any organs! Ha, ha, ha!
PASSINGER IN TOP HAT - So what are you looking for, if it isn`t a secret, of course? Have you lost anything? (laughs)...
PASSINGER IN A TIE (after a pause) - Jerusalem! I`m in search for Jerusalem! J-E-R-U-S-A-L-E-M! Sure you`ve heard about the Golden City!
All are surprised.
1 -ST PASSENGER - Well... I see! You must be a mineral-surveyor! What institute are you from?
PASSINGER IN A TIE(surprised) - Oh, no, gentlemen! You... I`m an independent detective!
PASSINGER IN BRACES (ironically) - Please, don`t take offence! We are all passengers here and we would like to know who we are travelling with!
PASSINGER IN A TIE (slowly goes out) - Why do you think you can hurt my feelings? What a ridiculous idea! What I really want is a cigarette! Just to have a smoke! (he leaves)
PASSINGER IN BRACES - He`s just nuts!
PASSINGER IN TOP HAT(meaningfully) - The name of the disease is schizophrenia! Exploration mania!
* * *
A young man is standing at the open door of the carriage with an extinct cigarette in his mouth, thinking. He is about 25. His name is George. The passenger in a Tie enters. He tries to find a packet of cigarettes in his pocket, but in vain. He looks at George, hesitating. They have something in common. Perhaps, it is the haircut, or maybe the features of the face. One would think they were father and son.
PASSINGER IN A TIE - Do you happen to a cigarette? Excuse me, I`ve left my raincoat in the carriage, and the cigarettes are there, in the pocket. I`d rather stay here! Any matches? (getting a light) Thanks.
He inhales tobacco-smoke, witching George.
PASSINGER IN A TIE - I hate it when they try to reach your soul with their dirty and clammy hands. I noticed you when they were speaking about the bear and the woman. You face changed and you went out.
George fastens his eyes on the man`s face.
PASSINGER IN A TIE - Oh, you were there too? Have you anything to do with the event?.. Oh! I`m awfully sorry then! It`s none of my business! Excuse me!
For some time they smoke in silence.
GEORGE - Going on business?
PASSINGER IN A TIE - No! And you?
GEORGE - No!
PASSINGER IN A TIE - Then on a holiday! In the country!
GEORGE - No! I`m going to my father`s funeral!
PASSINGER IN A TIE(confused) - What?.. Is father... dead?
GEORGE (with a sad smile) - Yes, hi is!
PASSINGER IN A TIE(recovering) - Oh, sure. You can`t bury a living... (looks at George) To bury one`s parents is to sow one`s death!.. I`m a detective! I`m in search for Jerusalem!
GEORGE - I know. I`ve heard it!.. (with a smile) But Jerusalem is in Israel, isn`t it? Why look for it?
PASSINGER IN A TIE(shaking his head) - I`m looking for the true Jerusalem! The true one, as in the bible! Everything has its reflection, so has our life. We live a double life - this one and its reflection. It`s like day and night! Like the sun and the shade! Here, in this life it can never be destroyed. Nothing can be destroyed in the world of shadows. Shapes are fluid, lake water, there, Shapes are created there by the faith that we have here. In us!.. Perhaps, a shadow of some city will create Jerusalem... It can ever be a shadow of a village! Who knows, maybe we are going to Jerusalem now. (smiles) It`s faith that matters! A strong faith. Then Jerusalem will come to me by itself.
The last words sound as if they were a joke, somewhat ironically. So George cannot understand whether his interlocutor is fooling him or whether he is serious. The train whistles several times and, slowing down, enters the city.
GEORGE - Cod help you!
PASSINGER IN A TIE(shakes his hand) - I`m sorry, indeed. Perhaps, there, in the other world, life is better. Thousands and thousands go there but nobody has ever come back! (with a sigh) It must be better there!..
The train stops. George gets off.
GEORGE - Happy journey!
PASSINGER IN A TIE - Oh, yeah.
Several passengers get out of the train. The Passenger in a Tie looks at the platform and sees his double, standing at the lamp-post, Wearing exactly the same kind of clothes, as he has on. There is a suitcase and a bunch of plastic flowers in his hand.
PASSINGER IN A TIE - By gosh!
He shuts door of the carriage angrily. The train leaves. In the forthcoming scenes the passenger in a Tie will be referred to as the "passenger", since this definition is more appropriate for his function, as one will be able to see in the subsequent episodes.
* * *
George is slowly walking along the street. Quick footsteps are heard behind.
(Voiceover) -Stop! Stop! Wait for me!
Someone seizes George`s hand. He turns and sees the Passenger, short of breath after the run, with a suitcase and flowers in his hand.
PASSINGER IN A TIE - It`s me, have jumped off. Running as fast as I could. I will accompany you! I will! accompany you! I will!
George stares at him in surprise. Then he turns and continues his walk. The Passenger follows him.
PASSINGER IN A TIE - I`ll cause you no trouble, but... You know, I remember now. When a person dies. When a person dies! When such a dear man dies!.. There is an instant when a crack appears on the frontier, separating this world from the other one! His soul squeezes in through the crack! And if we are quick enough, we`ll be able to see it - from this life - the other one! And... Perhaps, I`ll also see my Jerusalem! Please, take me with you!
George seizes him by the shoulder.
GEORGE - You think I`m nuts too, don`t you?
He pushes the Passenger, but the latter grips him round the waist and does not let him go.
GEORGE - Let go! Let...
He cannot get rid of him. Other passengers witch them with interest.
* * *
A short-haired woman in black walks along the edge of the forest. She is about 30.. At some moment she Turns round - there us nobody. She continues her walk. Suddenly a bear`s paw touches her shoulder.
WOMAN - You!
She turns round with her eyes full of admiration. A huge brown bear is standing in front of her. Suddenly face darkens again.
WOMAN - Oh, it`s you, George!
George is looking at his sister Tamar for a long time. The Passenger is standing behind him. George tenderly takes her in his arms, she resisters for a while, but soon gives up.
GEORGE - Hello! (touches her hair) - What about your hair?
TAMARA (looking into his eyes) - He had cut it himself two hours before... before it happened...
They embrace again. The Passenger coughs in confusion.
GEORGE(realizing his presence) - Meet my... new friend. This is... my... sister. Tamara!
The Passenger gives her his hand.
PASSINGER - I`m very sorry.
TAMARA - Well, there is nothing we can do about it. All of us are born from death!
PASSINGER - Yeah, however strange it may seem!
George, putting his arm round Tamar`s shoulders, goes ahead. Behind him the Passenger is dragging, with a suitcase and flowers in his hand.
GEORGE (whispering to her) - Nothing can be brought back. We must just remember, wherever we are, we all share a single life. (singing) I`ve returned.
TAMARA (with sadness) - Yeah!
GEORGE(kissing her) - Let him stay at Grisha`s! He`s a little bit strange, but... (remembering) Where`s Mom?
TAMARA- In her room. Wish to call in?
GEORGE - First put him up and then let`s call in! (changing his mind) No, I`d better see her alone!
They approach the house. Tamar follows George with her eyes. Then she turns to the Passenger.
TAMARA - Excuse me, but we can`t put you up at our place. You`ll have to stay here, at the neighbours`. (Looking at him very attentively) You remind me of someone I know very well!..
PASSINGER (carefully choosing every word) - I also feel as if I`d been here before and had known you!
For some time they are looking at each other attentively. Then Tamara turns away.
TAMARA(calls) - Grisha! Grisha!
* * *
Grisha and the Passenger come info the yard. Grisha is a peasant of about 50 with a swollen face of a drunkard. He is wearing a baggy sports suit, faded after innumerable washings.
PASSINGER - Everything is all right, don't bother, I know, there are lots of other things you must do!
GRISHA - A time will come when there will be nobody to bother you!
PASSINGER - Excuse me... You know, I`ve noticed a long scar on Tamar`s neck. Can you tell me where`s she got it?
GRISHA - Hasn`t George told you about it? (with a searching look) She was attacked by a bear.
PASSINGER - Was it the bear George killed?
GRISHA (loosing patience) - We don`t kill bears here! They are thick-skinned people, our ancestors!
The passenger smiles distrustfully. Grisha turns and goes towards the house.
* * *
Tamara enters the cellar, she is looking for something, but suddenly the door shuts. Turning abruptly, she sees a dark silhouette of a one-armed man on the wall.
TAMARA (with a condescending smile) - You have been tread on my heels since your arrival. Why?.. Is there nothing else you can do?
MAN - I want to tell you that I... (he can hardly speak)but you turned me out! You chucked me out, you!.. I didn`t want to leave!.. I... didn`t...
TAMARA (coldly) - But you wanted to leave! One should do what he wants!(trying to a bind something on the shelves) Otherwise it would change info a burden with time! And it would make him suffer, and the others too.
MAN - Isn`t it a burden now? Doesn`t it make me suffer!
TAMARA - But you are happy, aren`t you? suffering, but still happy! You don`t play the hero`s part any more!.. You`ve found yourself.
MAN (grabs her) - But I don`t want to live like this!
Tamara tears herself away and pushes him. He falls down.
TAMARA -If you wanted to change, you wouldn`t come back!.. You are satisfied with what you have.
He is lying on the floor, looking at her for a long time, they are silent.
MAN - Why didn`t you escape from him?
TAMARA (thinking) - I used to sing.
MAN - What?
TAMARA - Because I sang and he listened to me!
MAN (laughing) - Didn`t I listen to you?
TAMARA(looking aside) - No! You only eavesdropped! But he did listen (thinking) He did!
The man and Tamara do not look at each other, they are silent. He gets up slowly.
MAN - How silly!.. And painful...
Tamara comes up to the door.
TAMARA - It is not silly when it is painful. (opens the door) And now, get away, you, shitass bastard!
The man comes up to the door and stops at the threshold, hanging his head.
MAN - Eh!
He leaves. Tamara follows him with her eyes, she is about to cry.
* * *
In a semi-dark room George and his mother are standing, he is embracing her. His mother is an elderly short woman. She is rather mistrustful than sad, looking into the faces of the people as if she were checking whether they were really sorry or just pretended.
MOTHER(in a broken low voice) - It seems I felt you would arrive on the third day and not on the first or the second. But just now (she drops her head) I can`t look into his face. I haven`t even looked at him since he died!.. The women say, they couldn`t have closed his mouth... So that`s the way he is lying there, with his mouth half-open... It seems to me, he will die the moment I look into his face... But so far he is alive!
George does not know what to say.
GEORGE - I saw Yura some time ago... Remember you told me he had been killed? But he`s alive.
MOTHER (looking at him) - Is he?.. Oh, we buried him long ago! Your father drank for the repose of his soul many a time!
GEORGE (sighing) - We think of a dead man as if he were alive, and of the living one as if he were dead... I want to see him.
He goes towards the door.
MOTHER - George! (he turns round) George, I remember now. After your words! I haven`t told to anybody. It`s only you whom I tell it. A doctor was here yesterday to embalm him. I was in the kitchen. I couldn`t bear the sight of it. But I had a look at them through the glass in the door, just moving the curtain a little bit aside, I looked there. The doctor was pottering about his stomach... Suddenly your Dad raised his head a little and looked at the doctor. He noticed that, smiled and said, "Excuse me, but it`s common practice! don`t take it heart". After these words your Dad slowly dropped his head and closed his eyes!.. You hear, George, He dropped his head...
George is looking at his mother stupendous, there is a lump in his throat.
GEORGE - Mom! The dead sometimes do it! When there is some nerve in them that is still alive.
MOTHER (seizing him by the shirt) - What do you mean by "The dead do it?" What can they do?.. If something is still alive in a man, why should we call him dead. Why should we... We bury someone who is alive?.. Just because some people think him dead?.. Yura has been thought to be dead, and you see now. Did anybody else, besides him, know he was alive? Did he let them bury him?.. Well... Then why should we bury Dad?
George releases himself.
GEORGE (with energy)- Don`t be silly, Mom! He is dead, understand? Dead!.. We are all dead in some respect and in some respect we are alive. He is dead to us in some respect, so we must bury him! But there are things that are alive in him and these things can`t be buried, no matter how hard we try to. I remember, you said once... (embracing her) Death is the strangest thing in this life!
Mother releases herself from his arms and looks info his eyes.
MOTHER - It would be better for you if were dead.
GEORGE (after a long pause) - For you - TOO.
George wants to leave.
MOTHER - George! I couldn`t find any white cloth, so I`ve covered his face with his flowered pillow-case.
GEORGE - Yes, Mom.
He goes out. Mother looks at the closed door.
* * *
The Passenger quickly enters the room, where Vaniko, Grisha`s son, is sitting at the table with piles of books lying on it. He is about 9. There is something in his look and movements that shows some signs of a mental disorder. The boy is looking at the rotating globe, putting something down in his copy-book. In the other part of the room Vaniko`s Grandma, GriSha`s mother, is lying with her eyes shut.
PASSENGER - Can you tell me why the Earth is round?
He comes up to Vaniko and holds out his hand.
PASSENGER - Hello!
The boy flaps his hand without rising.
VANIKO - The Earth... It is... Round... Because it has no corners
PASSENGER - Don`t be silly!
VANIKO - Then why is it round?
PASSENGER - Because we know it is round. Long ago, when we didn`t know it was round, it used to be flat.
The Passenger past him on the head and smiles.
VANIKO -You look very much like the man... The one who is dead now.
PASSENGER - What about the bear killed by George? Don't I look very much like it (roaring) Uh-uh-uh!
His roaring is very much like the roar of a bear. The boy is frightened, but when he sees the Passenger laugh, he starts laughing too. The noise wakes the old woman.
* * *
There is a large candle burning at the dead man`s head. In the corner, on the bookcase, a lamp, covered with a piece of cloth, is shining. George takes a chair, then pulls it to the coffin, scratching the floor with its leg, and sits down. He does not know what to do - to say something or be silent. So before uttering a word he chews it over for some time, evaluating it.
GEORGE - Hello! (Puts his hand on his father`s hand) God gives each man much as he can bear. I know you are dead... (looks at him for a long time) There is only thing I want to ask you - please, don`t trouble us. We are also to die - each in his time! (rises) I did love you when you were alive (looks at him for a long time).
Suddenly he takes his handkerchief out of his pocket, pulls off the flowered pillow-case from his father`s face and covers it with his handkerchief. Then he turns and goes away.
GEORGE - Good-bye.
Carefully, but firmly, he shuts the door.
* * *
A one - armed man of about George`s age stands at the corner of the verandah. It is talking with an eighteen-year old lad, whose face is all covered with pimples.
LAD - There are 20 tunes on this cassette ... And there are 25 on that one. But the cassette with less melodies contains a lot of classy, sad recordings! Tunes that will make a dead man cry! That`s why it costs two hundred and that one - one hundred and fifty! So it`ll make tree hundred and fifty in all.
VAKHTANG -Suppose we shall play only this cassette all day long?
LAD - We buy the cassettes for all burial rites and funerals! The rate isn`t changed. But if you want to add stereo affect loudspeakers. Then it`ll be 500 dollars a day.
VAKHTANG(haggling)- Wine and food and make it 300.
LAD (smiling - 500! And nothing else, but mineral water... I`ve got to pay off some debts...
VAKHTANG - I`m saying it for your sake. Do you think either the dead man or his relatives really need this music?
LAD - If the dead man needed it, i`d give it to him free of charge. But it`s you who need it!
VAKHTANG (smiling) - If you must die, then you should die with music! 350! You aren`t supposed to play it yourself, are you?
LAD (shaking his head)- If you must part, you should part with music. 500 is, really, cheap. Besides, cassettes wear out!
* * *
Five old men are sitting on a long bench at George`s house in the village street. The Passenger and Valiko are standing not far from them. The old men are smoking long pipes and talking.
OLD MAN WITH A MOUSTACHE - Death is nothing else, but a goods` manager, who has come to take the head man`s life! Eh!
MAN WITH A SHAVEN HEAD - My Grandfather used to say that Death becomes aware of us only when some of our relatives dies. He said: it`s the dead man who tells Death about his living acquaintances. If he hides something, keeps it to himself, Death gets angry and shouts, "If you love them so much, I`ll bring them to you!" That`s why there`re many sudden deaths... The more the dead man tells Death about a person, the better, because Death gets bored of him and doesn`t come to him for a long time... Therefore a famous murderer, an initiator of a war, or a person whom everybody hates lives a long life!.. Death does not need him!
MEN IN A CAP(in surprise) - Nonsense! I`ve never met a man so kind and just, as your grandfather used to be! Every body loved him, and he lived for 120 years...
All laugh, except the man in a cap.
MAN WITH A SHAVEN HEAD - That`s just the case proving i`m right! Because Death can also be bored with love!.. (noticing the passenger) Are you from this village?
PASSENGER (confused) - No, I don`t think so.
MAN WITH A SHAVEN HEAD - I think I know you. Whom have you come to see.
PASSENGER - George. But I`m staying at Grisha`s now!
OTHER OLD MEN - It seems we know you! Yes, we do!
PASSENGER(wants to leave)- Then Death may be bored with me too and i`ll live a long life!
MAN WITH A SHAVEN HEAD(smiling) - Do you think it right!
VANIKO(hurt) - He knows why the Earth is round!
* * *
George appears on the verandah, he lights a cigarette. Vakhtang comes up to him. They embrace. The Passenger does not notice them and goes towards them. George and Vakhtang come info the kitchen. The Passenger does not dare to follow them and comes up to the open kitchen window.
George and Vakhtang sit at the table drinking wine. On the table there is a jar wine, a plate with pickled cucumbers and a dish full of bread.
VAKHTANG - What are you thinking of?
GEORGE - Nothing!.. It seems we haven`t seen each other for ages!
VAKHTANG - An age and a year!.. (presses his fist to his eyes) Fuck this doggish life of mine!
GEORGE - You say it as if you were sorry you`ve survived!
VAKHTANG (looks at him) - I`ve fucked my self two times! Two times! First when Tamar`s bear...
GEORGE - Stop it!.. Nobody has died a natural life since that event!
VAKHTANG - Except your father!
George gets up abruptly. He does not know what to do and goes to the glass door with a lowered curtain.
VAKHTANG (pouring wine) - When we were retreating. We met a girl on the road. She was pregnant! Five month pregnant... We were left alone with her for several hours. We were sitting in a shell-hole! For several hours. With no food... We were awfully hungry... and... You know what she began doing?
GEORGE - What?
VAKHTANG - She began eating the ground!
In the dead man`s room mother is standing with loose flowing hair, smiling happily. She does not notice his look.
VAKHTANG - With all the grass, roots, rotten leaves - she ate it. "What are you doing?" I ask her. "Don`t be surprised." She says, "It wants it," she says! "Who wants it?" I ask...
Mother hangs her head and touches the dead man.
VAKHTANG - "He needs it!" She says. And points to her stomach. "But you may die, you, fool!" She smiles and says, that pregnant women sometimes want to eat the ground...
Mother kisses him full of passion.
VAKHTANG - She had been eating for half an hour! Swallowing it with appetite... "What does it taste like" I asked. You know what she answered? Do you? "It`s just delicious!" She said. I was frightened!.. Frightened again and I ran away!..
The Passenger is standing under the windows; a child`s laughing somewhere; the Passenger slowly approched another window. In the room Tamara is decanting milk from her breast, collecting it in a small bottle. A girl is looking at her with astonishment. She laughs loudly.
TAMARA - Hush!.. Why are you laughing?
GIRL(pointing to the milk) -Your milk is exactly the same color !
TAMARA - What do you mean by "exactly the same color "?
GIRL - As the ordinary, cow`s milk.
TAMARA - And what did you expect?
GIRL - I don`t know. Maybe pink or light blue, or yellow like honey. (laughing)But not white! Who is this milk for?
TAMARA(angrily) - It`s none of your business. Is your tongue too long for your teeth? Get away now!
* * *
The Passenger is thoughtfully looking at the sky. Sounds of thunder can be heard.
VANIKO - The sky has a cold is coughing.
PASSENGER - You think so?
Vaniko comes up to him and they two look at the sky.
VANIKO - The sky has been switched off now, but in the morning, when we wake up, God will switch the sky on and it`ll start shining!
PASSENGER (smiling) - What do you think the sun is?
VANIKO - The sun?.. It`s a lamp!
The Passenger thinks for a while.
PASSENGER - Would you like to follow me?
VANIKO - Oh, yes, I`d like to! But Grandma won`t let me go!
PASSENGER - Why not?
VANIKO - Because... I am to close her eyes, because I shan`t be able to do it! Heat enters the dead man`s body through his open eyes and this does not let him die in peace!
PASSENGER - We can escape at night!
VANIKO (with a sigh)- I can`t! I can`t leave Grandma...
* * *
Mother, George and Tamara are on the verandah.
GEORGE - The weather is so oppressive! A nervous day!
TAMARA(with a vacant look) - Both the day and weather depend on what we feel. They both reflect our mood and our feelings!
GEORGE - You are speaking like a philosopher.
MOTHER - After your father`s death l`ve become unwanted... A passing unwanted thing.
GEORGE - Don`t speak like this! Mon!
MOTHER - Oh, there is nothing new in what I say! I also used to be like you... After my father`s death I was constantly thinking of my mother`s death! Because they two used to be like one to me and each one like two. The second half was due to be in the same place where the... the first one was. That was the way I had been brought up. That`s what I`ve taught you too! (she enters the house)
GEORGE - Oh, ma!
Tamara hides a smile. Grisha and one of the neighbor enter.
GRISHA - George! We have some business with you! (comes up to him) It`s pretty awkward to speak about it. But I`ll ask you plainly - How many glasses of wine did your father order us to drink for the repose of his soul? How many?
GEORGE (does not understand) - Who ordered?
NEIGHBOUR - Well, your father did.
GEORGE - Did he order anything?
GRISHA - I don`t know, perhaps not! But there is a rule. That`s the way they usually say it!
NEIGHBOUR - As if it were a will announced by the relatives, they usually order 12, 9, 7, 5 three toasts. How many do you want us to drink?
GEORGE - Is it so necessary?
GRISHA - Law is law!
GEORGE - Then let it be three!
Grisha and the neighborare about to leave.
GEORGE - Grisha! What`s my friend doing?
GRISHA (smiling) - He`s sleeping in the room, wit my son and my mother! A little bit alien here! rather strange!
GEORGE - I1ll go and have a look at him!
GRISHA - You may! Will you be able to find him without me?