The interior of the
home is, at the moment, darkened by a scrim. But the lights are flickering
within the safe, sparsely furnished room at the end of the monastery. WAN
LEI, a handsome young man about 20, is sitting on the bed, book in hand,
desperately attempting to study. Near him sits YANG, a monk of an indeterminate
age, engrossed in a prayer book. The music is lovely and serene. Suddenly
WAN slams his book shut.
How can I bother about the examinations
When there is such a moon!
Your father would be most disturbed.
There is the Widow Cheng!
Something is wrong!
Come, we must help.
(THEY scurry from the room.)
Meilan, please!WIDOW CHENG
The river Hsiang!
What village did the bandits destroy?
But that is two hundred miles from here!
WIDOW CHENGYou wicked girl!
That is the third time you have frightened us
In the past month!
BEITESENBut, madam, it is better to be prepared…(YANG and WAN rush from the monastery door.) YANGWidow Cheng! What is wrong?
WIDOW CHENGIt is nothing.
Forgive us, kind Yang.
It is nothing
But the imagination of our servant girl.
(Bowing with embarrassment, taking Meilan's hand)
(sharply, as she sees BEITESEN gazing longingly at Wan)
(THEY retreat back into the house. WAN stares after them.) WANHer name?
WANThe daughter, old fool. YANGMeilan.
WAN(tasting it upon his lips)
LIGHTS SLOWLY DIM