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Location: Susquehanna Depot, Pennsylvania, United States

Well, if you got here via the bi-chromatic Universe and "Dez", thanks. Their being available means they can be rented out, so to say, to vendors. For example, they'd be great in promoting pastries. Kids love cookies, so do adults. As for that ascending numeral three, it came about by way of ignorance. More than once, I'd see that same numeral with wings or a halo or both even on this or that pickup truck. And, dumb me, I'd think they were like golden horse shoes or four-leaf clovers ... good luck charms. It wasn't until later, I found out those threes are meant to commemorate one posthumously charismatic NASCAR driver. To inspire all those signs of grief, that guy might've had the makings for ... well, that's likely better left to the intuition of NASCAR votaries.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

CRYSTAL STAR - segment 02

In this segment, I'm publishing pages 11 through 13 in Scene 1, and pages 14 through 20 in Scene 2. As readers encounter the following segments, they shall be reminded about how the text is being published. In the following segment, a few succeeding pages in the original are published. And in the segment after that, a few pages that succeed those are published, and so forth for the rest.

Copyright (c) 1978 by Albert A.M. Stella

Scene 1: page 11

Rabbi: For you, it’s an expense that I’m happy to bear.

Volumna: I am told the price of coffee is easier for you to bear than most people would expect.

Rabbi: What are you coming to?

Volumna: Well, you cross the border into Poland twice a week.

Rabbi: I see what you mean. I earn a few extra marks when I teach Latin and Greek at a small Polish Center of higher learning.

Volumna: “A few”. Hmmm. That squares with my impression that you don’t seem to get paid all that much.

Rabbi: Ach, my students don’t seem to get educated all that much.

Volumna: Let’s stick to the price of coffee. It’s cheaper in Poland. Right?

Rabbi: Ja, it is very much so cheaper.

Volumna: Now, if somebody could buy coffee in Poland and somehow get it into East Germany without paying duty.

Rabbi: That somebody would be a smuggler.

Volumna: True. And supposing this somebody could do it twice a week, couldn’t this somebody make a nice sum of money?

Rabbi: Not necessarily. Very likely, this somebody would have to be very clever or have the authorities turn a blind eye. Either of which involves a good deal of money.

Scene 1: page 12

Volumna: You are right. Still, … isn’t it true that you carry a valise with you when you commute to and from that Polish school?

Rabbi: That valise is for my Latin and Greek books and papers.

Volumna: I see. The authorities go along with that.

Rabbi: Why should they not?

Volumna: Funny, though.

Rabbi: Funny what?

Volumna: The authorities, I’m told, never bother to check your valise. Tell me, Rabbi Gottesmann, if they did, what would they find? Latin and Greek books and papers…-- … or…

Rabbi: ***(Swallows hard on his coffee.)*** Wahr, sehr, wahr, Fraulein. I carry Polish coffee in my valise across the East German frontier. ***(Tone of voice is what else do you want ---blood-? )***

Volumna: You didn’t know Elsa was such a blabber-mouth, did you?

Rabbi: Sehr richtig. Our local, friendly Communist municipal secretary is such a miser. She pays me less than the Polis provincial educationsl authority.

Volumna: So, you are a smuggler. You deal in the black market.

Rabbi: Why not just say that I am engaged in non-regulated commerce?

Volumna: Then, why are you engaged in “non-regulated commerce”?

Scene 1: page 13

Rabbi: For the money. ***(Are you ever dumb.)***

Volumna: And with this money, you buy bricks and mortar.

Rabbi: Ja, I buy bricks and mortar.

Volumna: Bricks and mortar. I’ve asked you about them before. And all I get from you is something about a fountain. ***(Pauses a bit.)*** Please understand, Rabbi, I’ll never write down a word of this, but I’m just dying to know for sure. Do you---

Rabbi: Ja, Fraulein Cliothal, I also carry German pork sausage across the Polish frontier.

Volumna:: ***(She’s just giggling.)***

Rabbi: Are you laughing at a poor, aged rabbi and sinner?

Volumna: You’re no sinner. I just think the part about your smuggling German pork sausage into Poland is deliciously funny.

Rabbi: ***(Catches pun and snorts.)***

***(Now, the old rabbi and the girl are startled by three loud knocks on the door. Off-stage, a flute softly plays a strain from A THOUSAND YEARS.)***

*Scene Two: Same location and time with another principal.* page 14

Rabbi Gottesmann: Sit there, Miss Cliothal. I had better answer the door.

***(The good rabbi goes over and opens the door to a middle-aged man, tall, powerfully built and dressed in an evening suit. His suit must be elegant---evidence he’s a man used to champagne and chemin de fer. A handcuff dangles off his left wrist, its mate closed and speckled red. Because of the positions of the door and the table, Volumna is hidden from the man, who remains in the door-way.)********

Rabbi Gottesmann: Guten Abend, mein Herr, how may I help you at this time of night?

Middle-aged Man: Guten Abend, I would like to contract you for a certain service.

Rabbi: A certain service? What do you need me for?

Man: I need you for a guide.

Rabbi: I hope you did not mistake my little house for a tourist bureau.

Man: At this time of night, I should be a strange tourist. Still, I need you for a guide.

Rabbi: And to where would you like me to guide you?

Man: Where the Volkspolizei cannot find me.

Volumna:: ***(This is something out of the ordinary.)*** The police???

Scene 2: page 15

Man: ***(Just about springs through the door-way shoving aside the rabbi, slams the door shut and ends up staring down on Volumna.)*** Was haben wir hier? ***(After a few seconds of sizing her up.)*** Ach, mein Alter, you are not only an old fox, you may even be an old stallion.

Rabbi: Mein Herrr, that girl is an American reporter. She is my guest, and she is here to write a story about me.

Man: ***(Exhaling in contempt.)*** A story on a pork-sausage smuggling Jew!

Rabbi: I will tolerate no insults from--- ***(The rabbi falls silent and stares intently at the man for a moment.)***

Volumna: ***(Just taking this all in.)***

Rabbi: Doch, this is wirkliech a special night.

Man: Wahr, it will also be a profitable night for you, when I am safely hidden.

Volumna: How come you’ve got to hide?

Rabbi: That, Fraulein Cliothal, is something you need not know.

Man: That pleased me to hear you say that. There is not much time for you to go aabout the business of hiding me.

Rabbi: What makes you believe that I can hide you?

Man: You, old Jew, survived war-time Germany. There gives no life for the fox that can be sniffed out by the hounds.

Rabbi: How close are the hounds to you?

Scene 2: page 16

Man: In a few moments, you will hear how melodically the Volkspolizei can bay.

Rabbi: I would rather like to hear what you have to offer me as your guide.

Man: How does five hundred West German marks sound to you?

Rabbi: Like music.

Man: We have a deal. But what about this American piece of fluff? ***(Indicating Volumna>0***

Volumna: I resent that!

Man: ***(Ignoring her.)***Does she have enough sense to stay out of this affair?

Rabbi: Keine Sorgen, mein Herr, keine Sorgen. ***(With a re-assuring gesture.)***

Man: Gut.

Rabbi: Volumna, leave swiftly, there gives not too much time.

Volumna:: ***(With some sarcasm.)*** And this was supposed to be such a special night that you wanted me to stay a while.

Rabbi: This night is much more special than I thought.

Man: There is not much time left to me. ***(Command.)*** Bitte!

Rabbi:: Our “guest” is correct. Leave now.

Volumna: You don’t think you can trust me?

Scene 2: page 17

Rabbi: In this matter, trust is not involved. Much risk is.

Volumna: I’m used to taking risks.

Man: And the Volkspolizei are used to taking people like you. Mein Herr, there has for us little time ***(Showing the dangling hand-cuff.)***

Man: ***(Continuing.)*** Once tonight I have evaded the teeth of the Volkspolizei. They do not intend to have me do that again.

Rabbi: ***(To the man.)*** Ja, Ja ***(To Volumna.)*** I beg you for your own good.

Volumna: ***(Somehow a nerve got touched.)*** Own good this. Own good that. I’m sick and tired of hearing “for your own good.”

Man: Gott im Himmel! A typical dumb girl! ***(Why me?)***

Rabbi: Schweigen! Fraulein Volumna Cliothal, get lost. I shall have tough enough time to explain why I am with this man.

Man: ***(A new hardness to his eye and a bite to his voice.)*** To explain why you are with me TO WHOM?

Rabbi: ACH ***(Time for some quick thinking.)*** To my friends who will help me hide you. ***(Will he buy it?)***

Man: Filthy liar, you have no friends. You want to betray me to the Volkspolizei – after you have taken my money, naturliech. I shall gladly slit your throat. ***(Starts towards the rabbi.)***

Scene 2: page 18

Volumna: Kill him and who’s going to hide you? ***(She ain’t too dumb after all.)***

Man: ***(That stopped him in his tracks.)*** ***(Looks first at the rabbi and then the girl; makes quick assessment of the situation.)*** Little, old Jew fox, you shall hide me and fluff.

Rabbi: You are mad, Joachim, I will not let another innocent girl die because of you.

Joachim: ***(Astonishment.)*** Nobody has called me Joachim for so many years.

Volumna: Rabbi Gottesmann, what do you mean another innocent girl die? ***(The gravity of it all has brought her down to earth with a thud. Special emphasis on the word “die”.)***

Rabbi: ***(Quick to make use of Joachim’s indecision.)***Joachim, Joachim, bitte, let her go out of here.

Joachim:: ***(Must have over-done it.)***So she can bring the Volkspolizei onto my trail. Do you take me for a fool?

Rabbi: I take you for the soulless monster automaten that murdered Helushka.

Joachim: I did not kill that girl.

Rabbi: You tore a star out of the heaven. You shed her blood. You destroyed a celestial soul.

Joachim: ***(With icy contempt.)*** What would you know about celestial souls, you pork- sausage smuggling Jew?

Scene 2: page 19

Volumna: A lot more than you ever could.

Rabbi: For your ears, Volumna, I will speak my truth.

Volumna: Now?! ***(Has he gone crackers?)***

Joachim: I demand a hiding place right now, old Jew, or I will kill that -- ***(Some desperation here.)***

Rabbi: Joachim, you will kill no more.

Volumna: What makes you so sure?

Rabbi: Unearthly evil has entered here. It must and shall be dealt with by a strong man with truth in his eye. ***(Matter- of – fact- tone.)***

Volumna: ***(Doesn’t he know this guy is a maniac killer?)*** A gun in his hand just might help somewhat more. ***(American black humor.)***

Rabbi: I shall catch Joachim in a snare. As tomorrow’s sun dispels this night’s dark, it will shed its light for the day of Helushka’s death on justice achieved.

Volumna: That’s why this night is so special. Tomorrow is the anniversary of that girl’s death. How special was that girl?

Rabbi: She was such that everything about her was special. Because of her, this little village is special. She grew up her and loved it so much.

Volumna: This is Helushka’s home town and so you remain here.

Scene 2: page 20

Rabbi: For far greater reason than that.

Joachim: Then it’s not true that you are afraid to fly over water. ***(Maybe with a little humoring.)***

Rabbi: ***(Touching Volumna on the shoulder a bit.)*** I feel her presence here. Her presence sustains me in my purposes.

Volumna: ***(Be discreet.)*** Ah, how did you feel toward each other.

Rabbi: I loved her in a special way, and with my heart I knew she responded in a special way.

Joachim: ”From Afar”, nicht wahr? How else can a senile letcher love?

Volumna: ***(Shoots Joachim a dirty look.)*** It all did happen after your wife died?

Rabbi: Much happened after my wife had departed and left me with my daughter. In the evening of the day I had buried my wife and brought home my infant daughter. I began seeking the medicine for my grief in the Holy Literature of Our Faith.

Volumna: Did you find a reason why? Did you want to find a reason why?

Rabbi: What man can presume to call God into account?

Joachim: So, you can endure to suffer bravely for reasons known but to God? ***(Hectoring the old fellow.)***

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