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Scene Four

 

We first hear the faint chiming of the monastery bells in the . distance. Then the lights rise, and WAN is again pacing the floor of his room, only now he is wearing his very best robe. A rap on his door. HE springs to his feet and opens it, admitting BIETESEN who holds a candle  in her hand.
WAN
At last!
 
BEITESEN
We must hurry.
My mistress is waiting.
Follow me,
And I shall lead you
To the willows by the western gate. (SHE leads him out the door of his room, then in a moment, THEY appear going from the monastery door through the garden. As THEY move upstage, the willows in the background open and reveal a beautiful secluded grove. There MEILAN stands regally, her back to the audience. WAN, aglow with anticipation, approaches her.)
WAN
Meilan… (SHE turns to face him with a look of coldness. SHE then glances with the same frigidity at Beitesen, and BEITESEN immediately retreats, exiting stage left.)
MEILAN
I have asked you here tonight
To speak of a situation
Most important.
 
                                                              WAN
So you can speak, Cousin Meilan.
 
MEILAN
I ask you not to treat me
As a child.
I am not a child,
And I can speak
When there is something to say.
Tonight,
I have something to say.

 

WAN
I have thought of nothing else all day,
I have thought of nothing but your…

 

MEILAN
Please!
My mother and I are indeed grateful
To your kindness for bringing the guard
To protect our home.
My mother opened her door to you
For you were a gentleman
Or so she thought.
But you have insulted her.

 

WAN
I have insulted your mother?!

 

MEILAN
By sending me that poem.
I did not give you the slightest cause
To send me such a verse.
My mother knows nothing of this,
Nor do I plan to tell her.
She would be deeply hurt
If she knew how you have
Taken advantage of us
By what appeared at first
A kind and generous act.
You a gentleman…
(cynically)
And a cousin.

 

WAN
Then why did you answer my poem
With a poem?
Why did you answer at all.

 

MEILAN
I am deeply ashamed of the poem.
It is not what I had intended.
It was done in haste,
And I ask you to forget
It was ever written.

 

WAN
Forget it was written?!

 

MEILAN
It was only a means
Of being sure
You would come tonight.
For I could not write
What I wanted to say.
And I had to see you
To tell you
That this must cease!
Though you are a cousin to my mother,
You are a stranger to me!

 

WAN
I do not understand.

 

MEILAN
It is late,
And I must leave.
If you do not understand,
Then I must repeat
What I have said.
This must cease!
I do not wish
To ever see you again.
 
(SHE turns abruptly and disappears through the willows.  WAN is stunned and decimated.)
 

 

LIGHTS FADE