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272    THE CRISIS

DAN: ——Shot down like a dog for daring to defend his home——

LUCY: ——Calling me "Little Brown Princess," and telling mother——

DAN: ——Dead of pneumonia and heartbreak in this bleak climate.

LUCY: ——That when you——

DAN: Maimed for life in a factory of hell! Useless——useless——broken on the wheel.
(His voice breaks in a dry sob.)

LUCY: (Coming out of her trance, throws aside the dish-cloth, and running to DAN, lays her cheek against his and strokes his hair.)

Poor Danny, poor Danny, forgive me, I'm selfish.

DAN: Not selfish, Little Sister, merely natural.

(Enter roughly and unceremoniously CHRIS. He glances at the two with their arms about each other, shrugs his shoulders, hangs up his rough cap and mackinaw on a nail, then seats himself at the table, his shoulders hunched up; his face dropping on his hand. LUCY approaches him timidly.)

LUCY: Tired, Chris?

CHRIS: No.

LUCY: Ready for dinner?

CHRIS: If it is ready for me.

LUCY: (Busies herself bringing dishes to the table.)
You're late to-day.

CHRIS: I have bad news. My number was posted today.

LUCY: Number? Posted?
(Pauses with a plate in her hand.)

CHRIS: I'm drafted.

LUCY: (Drops plate with a crash. DAN leans forward tensely, his hands gripping the arms of his chair.)

LUCY: Oh, it can't be! They won't take you from us! And shoot you down, too? What will Dan do?

DAN: Never mind about me, Sister. And you're drafted, boy?

CHRIS: Yes——yes——but——
(He rises and strikes the table heavily with his hand.)
I'm not going.

DAN: Your duty——

CHRIS: ——Is here with you. I owe none elsewhere, I'll pay none.

LUCY: Chris! Treason! I'm afraid!

CHRIS: Yes, of course, you're afraid, Little Sister, why shouldn't you be? Haven't you had your soul shrivelled with fear since we were driven like dogs from our home? And for what? Because we were living like Christians. Must I go and fight for the nation that let my father's murder go unpunished? That killed my mother——that took away my chances for making a man out of myself? Look at us——you——Dan, a shell of a man——

DAN: Useless——useless——

LUCY: Hush, Chris!

Chris: ——And me, 
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