CHRONICLES OF HALDEN IIA
The Banner:
The Banner: jeans on a pole a
dramatic
tetralogy

by
Robin
Gordon
Part 3: Effie
Act II

Auksford crest: Great Auk with book bearing the words "Ex ovo sapienitia"
-  Auksford, 
2008  -
 
©  Copyright Robin Gordon 2008

Back to Effie Act I

ACT II,  SCENE 1

    A back street.  Tommo and Scouse.  Tommo has an aerosol paint-spray, and he sprays “HALDEN RULE OK” on a wall.  Scouse looks scared and nervous.

Tommo:  Wassammarrer, Scouse?

Scouse:  I thought I heard something.

Tommo:  Scared, are you?  Yellow!

Scouse:  Course not.

Tommo:  Thought they were coming for you?  Aw, diddums, diddums!  Diddums think the nasty boys were going to get him, then?  Aw!

Scouse:  Gerroff!

Tommo:  I heard summat!!  Look out Scouse!  They’re coming for you!

Scouse:  Where?

Tommo:  They’re coming for your pants, Scouse!

Scouse:  Where?!

Tommo:  Ha!  You’re shitting yourself with fright!

Scouse:  Silly bugger!

Tommo:  You should see yourself.

    Scouse leans against a wall.

Tommo:  Gonna be sick, are you?

Scouse:  Course not.

Tommo:  Thought you’d had it, di’n’t ya?  Hey, man, them braces you put on won’t save you.

    Tommo pulls up Scouse’s pullover revealing that his jeans are held up by both belt and braces.  Scouse beats him away.

Scouse:  I don’t know what you’ve got to laugh at.  They’d have got you as well.

Tommo:  Don’t be daft, man.  They’re all down at the beck waving Nails Palmer’s kegs about and yelling for a battle.

Scouse:  That’s what you say.  What did we have to split up for?  At least we’d have had a chance wid’ six of us.

Tommo:  I’ve already told you, haven’t I?  We have to leave Wank and Hutch to guard the van.

    Tommo sprays: T… O…

Scouse:  Well, four then.

Tommo:  If we split up we cover twice as much ground.

Scouse:  I still don’t know what we’re doing.

Tommo:  Looking for a way of getting Nails’s pants back.

Scouse:  I didn’t think you cared whether he got ’em back or not.

Tommo:  You’re bloody thick, you are.  We’re not going to give ’em back to him.  I don’t care whose pants they are.  They’re the Swarrell battle-flag now, and we’re having ’em as our trophy.  Gottit?

Scouse:  Yeah.

    Tommo sprays: R…

Scouse:  What ya writing?

Tommo:  Me name.

Scouse:  Funny way to spell Tommo.

    Tommo sprays: O.

Tommo:  It’s me new name: Toro!

Scouse:  Toro?

    Tommo begins a new word: W… I…

Scouse:  What’s that?

Tommo:  Wild Bulls.

Scouse:  Wild Bulls?  What’s Wild Bulls mean?

Tommo:  That’s us, innit?  The gang.  I’m Toro, and the Wild Bulls is you and Nelly and Claggy and Wank and Hutch.  You gotta have a good name if you wanna be top gang …

    He completes the slogan “Wild Bulls” and stands back to admire it.

Tommo:  … and when we’ve got Nails Palmer’s pants, and mebbe King’s as well, we’re gonna be top gang in Halden and Swarrell.  When Toro says “Jump!”, everybody jumps.

    A group of Swarrell lads, led by Ken and Stan, suddenly appear behind them and jump on them.  Tommo and Scouse are rapidly overpowered.



ACT II,  SCENE 2

    A street.  Effie and Sandra.

Sandra:  Aw cheer up Effie.  I mean, they might not have gone off fighting and that.

Effie:  Course they have!  It’s all finished between King and me!

    They mooch on in silence.  Suddenly a boy hurls himself round the corner and crashes through between them.

Effie:  Well!

Sandra:  It’s Jim Gormley.

    The Dragons explode round the same corner, knocking the girls aside.

Dragons:  Raaay!  Geddim!  Geddim!  Raaay!

    The Dragons pound after Jim.  The girls brush themselves down.

Effie:  No respect for ladies at all!  Just trample all over us.  Oooh!  If I was a boy I’d give that Little Willie such a hiding.

Sandra:  Thought you were a peacemaker.

Effie:  That’s got nothing to do with it.  He needs a lesson, and if I was a boy I’d give it to him.

    Loud cheer from the Dragons.

Sandra:  Just think yourself lucky you’re not.

Effie:  What d’ya mean?

Sandra:  Look!

    Willie and the Dragons reappear, dragging Jim with them.

Effie:  What do you think you’re doing?

Willie:  Taking ’im to the goods yard!  D’you wanna come an’ watch?  We’re going to take his trousers off!

Dragons:  Raaaay!
We’re góing to táke his tróusers off!
We’re going to take his trousers off!

    The Dragons drag Jim off towards the goods yard.

Effie:  Ooh!  The little monster!

Sandra:  And the cheek of him!  As if we would lower ourselves to watching that sort of thing.

Effie:  It’s just getting worse and worse.

Sandra:  Never have been allowed when we were young.  Children were seen and not heard.

Effie:  There you go again!

Sandra:  Aw, I’m sorry.

    Enter King and Ronno.

King:  Hi, girls.  Coming for a drink?

Effie:  Not wi’ you!

King:  What d’ya mean?

Effie:  I’ve told ya till I’m sick of telling ya: I’m not going out wi’ you unless you stop it – the gang and everything.
 
King:  But I stopped ’em!  Didn’t I, Ronno?  Go on, tell ’er!

Ronno:  Yeah.  He did.  Dunno how he did it.  They were howling for blood.  You should’ve heard ’em.  La’al Willie squawking “Buckets of blood, buckets of blood!” like a parrot, and all o’ them shouting what they were going to do to Halden – and King came … and he just stopped ’em.  “No battle,” he said, and that was the end of it.

Sandra:  Really?

Ronno:  Yeah.

Sandra:  And what happened?

Ronno:  He sent ’em off out o’ the goods yard – and they went.

Effie:  Yeah, and what are they doing now?

King:  I don’t know, do I?  Not fighting Halden anyway.

Effie:  No.  Beating up Jim Gormley, that’s what they’re doing.  You haven’t stopped ’em at all.  You’ve just sent ’em somewhere else.  They’re still doing the same things, aren’t they?  Still beating other lads up.

Sandra:  And taking their pants off!

Effie:  Yeah, that’s got to stop, an’all.

King:  You don’t want much, do you?  I stopped a battle – it wasn’t easy – but that’s not enough!  I can’t be everywhere at once, watching ’em all the time, but that’s what you want, innit?  Innit?!

Effie:  You know what I want.

King:  An’ you know what I want.

    He grabs her.

Effie:  You keep your paws off me, Ernie King.

King:  You want a bloody saint!

Effie:  I want a peacemaker!

King:  And I wanna fuck you!

Effie:  Gerroff!  Gerroff me!  Lemme go!

King:  I’m gonna fuck you!

Sandra:  Leave her alone!  Help!!  Ronno!

    Sandra grabs King.  Ronno hesitates.

King:  Ronno, get the bitch off me!

    Ronno pulls Sandra away.  King shoves Effie against a wall.  She struggle but he is stronger.  Suddenly her resistance collapses.

Effie:  All right!  All right!  I give in.

King:  What?

Effie:  You can do what you want.  I don’t care.

    King embraces Effie enthusiastically, planting eager kisses on her face and fumbling at her, pressing her between his body and the wall while Ronno and Sandra look away in embarrassed silence.  Throughout Effie reacts like a lifeless doll, until suddenly King hurls her away from him.  She stumbles and almost falls.  Sandra helps her.

King:  Bitch!  Stinking, rotten, bloody cow!

Effie:  Well, what did you expect?

King [almost in tears, to Ronno]:  Said I could do it, then went like a corpse on me!

Effie [with dignity]:  I said you could do what you liked.  I said I couldn’t stop you.  That’s all I said.

King:  Bitch!

    King makes to strike Effie.  Sandra and Ronno try to prevent him.  They glare at each other in angry silence.

    Enter Ken, running, breathless.

Ken:  Hey, man, King … come on, quick!

Ronno:  What’s up?

Ken:  Halden lads.

King:  What?

Ken:  Two of ’em.

King:  Where?

Ken:  Spraying slogans … we caught ’em.

Ronno:  Where are they?

Ken:  Under the bridge … Come on, quick … Willie’s after ’em.

Effie:  You’ve got to stop him!

Ken:  Stan and them are guarding ’em … We said they’re our prisoners.

Ronno:  Who?

Ken:  Tommo and Scouse.

Effie:  Let them go, Ernie.  Please!

Ronno:  That Tommo deserves all he gets.

Sandra:  What’s he ever done to you?

Ronno:  Traitor to his own leader.

Ken:  Gonna be top gangleader … him and his Wild Bulls … that’s what he was saying.

Ronno:  Yeah?

Ken:  Yeah.  “When Tommo says jump everybody jumps,” – so we jumped – right on top of him.  Took him to the bridge.  You better come quick.  Bring the key.  Lock ’em up before Willie gets ’em.

King:  What’s Willie got to do with it?

Ken:  Met him and the Dragons at the engine sheds – chucking some lad’s pants around.

Ronno:  As usual.

Sandra:  Jim Gormley.

Ken:  Soon as they saw the prisoners they came rushing over: “Hey look!  Halden lads!  We’re going to take their trousers off!  We’re going to take their trousers off!”

Ronno:  What did you do?

Ken:  Told him they were King’s not his.

Sandra [sarcastically]:  I bet that stopped him.

Ronno:  Did he try and get them?

Ken:  Would’ve done, but the lad they were mucking about with made a break for it.

Effie:  What?

Ken:  Grabbed his kegs right out o’ Willie’s hands and ran straight for that gap in the fence.

Sandra:  Did they catch him?

Ken:  Dunno.  He got a good start.  Took off along the street like a bat out o’ hell with the whole mob after him – hey!  Look out!  Here they come!

    Enter the Black Dragons, on their way back to the goods yard, led by Willie.

Dragons [singing]:  What’ll we do with the Halden prisoners?
What’ll we do with the Halden prisoners?
What’ll we do with the Halden prisoners?
Take their trousers off them!
Raaaay!
We’re going to take their trousers off!
We’re going to take their trousers off!

King:  Hey, Willie!  Come ‘ere!

Willie:  What d’ya want?

King:  Where you gan?

Willie:  They’ve got two Halden lads at the bridge.  We’re going to de-keg ’em.  We’re gonna give them a worse going over than we gave Nails Palmer.  We’re gonna torture ’em!  We’re gonna throttle ’em and put grass down their necks!  We’re gonna carve our initials on their chests and debollock ’em and put ’em through the mill and give ’em Chinese torture and fling ’em in the nettles!  We’re gonna chop ’em into little bits and grind ’em into pulp!  We’re gonna take their trousers off, a’n’t we, lads?

Dragons:  Raaaay!  We’re going to take their trousers off!  We’re going to take their trousers off!

Effie:  Ernie!  You’ve got to stop them!

    Effie throws her arms around King in her desire to plead with him.  He is fully occupied in trying to disentangle himself.  Willie looks on mutinously, then mutters to Pete.

Willie:  If they try an’ stop us we’ll have their kegs off an’all.

Pete:  Sh!

Ronno:  What did you say, La’al Willie?

    Ronno grabs Willie.

Willie:  Gerroff!

    Pete and a few of the Dragons make a move to help Willie.  Ken and steps forward and they fall back.

Ronno:  You’re getting too big for your britches, La’al Willie, aren’t ya?  You wanna watch it, you do.

Willie:  Gerroff!  I’ll get you for this!

Ronno:  What?

Willie:  Aaaargh!

Ronno:  You’re gonna find out what happens to la’al kids that get in our way.

Willie:  Yow-ow!

Ronno:  You’re a cheeky … [Ronno cuffs Willie] … la’al … [cuff] … kid [cuff]. – Aren’t ya?

Willie:  Just wait … Ow … yarooogh!  Ow, ya sod!  Aaargh!

Ronno:  If you wanna stay in the gang, La’al Willie, you better say you’re sorry!

Willie:  Ya bugger! – Ow! – I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry!

Ronno:  Just mind on then.

    Ronno releases Willie just as King extricates himself from Effie’s clutches.

King:  Will you gerroff me!

Effie:  Oh, Ernie, please don’t let them do it.  Please!  You promised.  You know you did.  It’s all I’ve ever wanted.

King:  Peacemaking?

Effie:  Yes.  Please, Ernie!

Ronno:  You’re not going to listen to her, are you?  They’ll not stand for it.

King:  Who’s leader?

Ronno:  You are.

Ken:  You are.

King [to Willie]:  Who’s leader?

Willie [sullenly]:  You are.

King:  Right!  Then we do things my way.

Willie:  We go and debag ’em?

King:  No.

Willie:  Eh?

Ronno:  What?

Willie:  We do!  We’re góing to táke their tróusers óff!

Dragons:  We’re going to take their trousers off!
We’re going to take their trousers off!

King  [grabbing Willie]:  Shurrup, you!  I said we’re doing things my way.  Trouble with you, Willie, is you’ve got a one-track mind.  Soon as you see Halden lads you start squawking about taking their pants off.  No imagination!  Well, from now on we’re doing things my way! – We’re gonna put them to the Count!

Ken [impressed]:  Hey!

Willie:  What’s the Count?

King:  Don’t know everything, do you Willie?  You and all your initiation ceremonies.  She’ll tell you. [King indicates Effie].

Willie [to Effie]:  What is it?

Effie:  How should I know?  Please, Ernie.  You’ve got to let them go.

King [ignoring her]:  You’ll enjoy it, Willie.  Bring a ruler.

Willie:  What’ for?

King:  What d’ya think?

Willie:  I thought you said …

King:  We’ll give ’em a real going over.  Far worse than Nails Palmer.

Willie:  Measure ’em?

King:  And put ’em to the Count!

Willie [light dawning]:  Hey!  Hey, can I do it?

King:  Naw.

Willie:  Why not?

King:  It’s gonna be summat special.  You can take the pants off them, but the Count – that’s her job! [King indicates Effie].

Ronno:  Eh?

Willie [impressed]:  Hey!  Hey, great!  The Count!
We’re going to take their trousers off!
We’re going to take their trousers off!
The Count!  The Count!  Raaaay!

Dragons:  Raaaay!  The Count!
We’re going to take their trousers off!
We’re going to take their trousers off!  Raaay!

Willie:  Girls doing it!

Dragons:  Raay!

Effie:  I won’t!  I won’t!

King:  Oh yes you will!  Cos if you don’t we’ll have your knickers off an’all!

Effie:  What?!

King:  That’s summat La’al Willie hasn’t thought of – but I bet he’d enjoy it.  Lock her in with the prisoners!  She can think about Willie ripping her knickers off in front of hundreds of lads, then mebbe she’ll change her mind.  I’m in charge now, and she’ll do as I tell her.  Get the gang together, lads!

Ronno:  Great!  King rules, OK!

King:  Yeah!  La’al Willie’s getting a bit too big for his britches, wid’ his Dragons an’ their initiations and that.  But I’ve not abdicated yet, and I’m not going to.  We’ll have the biggest rally ever for the stripping of the prisoners – then they can all swear allegiance to the three banners of King’s gang.

Ronno:  Right.

    Ronno and Ken drag Effie away.
 


ACT II,  SCENE 3


    A store-room made by walling in one of the arches of a bridge that crosses the goods yard.  We are looking from the back of the shed towards the front wall with small-paned, metal-framed windows and a warped wooden door.  The disused store-room has been taken over by King’s gang.  It contains a packing case, a broken chair, one leg supported on bricks and some smaller boxes obviously used as seats.
    The door bursts open.  Enter Ronno.

Ronno:  Bring ’em in!

    Stan and some other youths bring in Tommo and Scouse.  Their hands are bound behind their backs and their ankles are tied together.

Ronno:  This is it then!  Our gang headquarters.  It’s what you were looking for, innit?  But it won’t do you any good, cos as far as you’re concerned, this is the condemned cell.

    Ronno nods and the youths throw Tommo and Scouse into the shed.  They fall on the floor.

Ronno:  If you’re looking for the Banner – don’t bother.  It’s not here.  We’ll the first one’s not here, but the next two are, aren’t they, lads?

Gang:  Yeah!

Ronno:  Yeah, next time this door opens, you’re gonna be dragged out of here and taken behind the engine sheds.  There’s gonna be more Swarrell lads there than you’ve ever seen in your lives – and we’re gonna give you a worse going over than we gave Nails Palmer.  Have you ever heard of the Count?  Doesn’t matter if you haven’t, you’ll find out soon enough – and we’ve got summat else special lined up for you: special executioner!

    Ronno signals.  Ken and another lad hustle Effie into the shed.

Ronno:  She’s our secret weapon.  She’s gonna strip you, measure you, and I don’t know what else – then she’s gonna put you to the Count.

    Ronno nods.  They push Effie forward so that she stumbles.

Ronno:  If you’ve got any last requests – forget ’em!  We’re gonna enjoy taunting you, Tommo.  Taking your trousers for a banner is gonna put King right on top, where he belongs.  I’m glad it’s you, Tommo.  I’m glad it’s the traitor that stripped his own leader.  Cos you deserve everything you’re gonna get.  Come on, lads!

Effie:  No!  Ronno!  Don’t leave me here!

    Effie tries to catch hold of Ronno.

Ronno:  Gerroff!  You had your chance!  Don’t think King’ll fall for all that again!  You either do it, or La’al Willie and the Dragons’ll have your knickers off!  Now gerroff!

    He pushes her away and follows the others out.  The door is slammed shut and there is the rattle of a padlock and chain outside.  Effie hurls herself at the door and bangs on it.

Effie:  Ronno!  Ronno!  Let me out!  Ronno!
 
    There is no answer.  At last  she stops.

Effie:  Bastards!  Bastards!!

    She sits down on one of the boxes with her back to Tommo and Scouse.

Effie:  I won’t … It’s all … Bastards!  They’re all bastards, the lot of ’em! … You try to help them … D’you think I care any more?  They can fight and kill each other till there’s not one of ’em left alive!  Peacemaking?  Huh, peacemaking!  Look where it’s got me.  You try to help them.  You try to be good.  You try to be a peacemaker, like he said, but it’s all for nothing.  What does it get you?  You have to do things like that – and everybody’ll be saying “She’s just a common tart, doing things like that,” but if you don’t you get raped or something – well, I’m finished with it!  I’m finished wid ’em all, and if Ernie King thinks he can get round me again … I’m finished with him!  Bastard!

    Silence.

Tommo:  You don’t have to do it.

Effie [swinging round]:  Shurrup, you!  It’s all your fault!  If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be here!

Tommo:  How d’ya make that out?

Effie:  You come here, spraying slogans, looking for a fight!

Tommo:  D’you wanna get out of here, or not?

Effie:  What do you think?

Tommo:  Untie us, then.

Effie:  Why?

Tommo:  We’ll bust the door down.

Effie:  Oh yeah?  You and whose army?

Tommo:  Could do it easy.  It’s only held together wi’ sticky tape.

Effie:  That’s what you think!  That door’s solid.  Nobody could bust it without a bulldozer.

Tommo:  We could try.  Untie us!

Effie:  Oh yeah?  And when they come back and find I’ve untied you?  What then?

Tommo:  We’ll get out somehow.  We’ll at least have a chance.

Effie:  And then they’ll take it out on me.  No thank you.

Tommo:  We’ll tie you up, if you like.  You could say we broke free.  Blame the kids that tied the knots.

Effie:  You’d like that, wouldn’t you?  You don’t care who gets beaten up as long as it’s not you.

Scouse:  Not us!  Not us!  You’ve gotta let us go.

Tommo:  Shurrup, man!

Scouse:  It’s all his fault.  Him and his big ideas.  Gonna be top gang, he says.  Gonna get the Banner and be top gang.  Wild Bulls, he says.  I’m not a Wild Bull.  I wanna go home.

Tommo:  Will you shurrup?

    Effie turns away.

Tommo:  Now look what you’ve done.

Scouse:  I wanna go home.  I don’t wanna be a Wild Bull.

Effie:  They’re all the same, boys are.  Either their pawing you and trying to have their way with you or they’re kicking each other’s heads in …

Tommo:  Listen …

Effie:  … and when they’re not doing that they’re pulling each other’s trousers off.  I don’t know what they get out of it.  It doesn’t matter what you say to them.

Scouse:  We should never have joined up with Nails Palmer and them in the first place.  That’s what gave him ideas.  Ambition and that.  But he’s not a gang-leader.

Effie:  Blessed are the peacemakers, that’s what he said.  Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.  But he’s only a man, even if he does wear a dog-collar and talk posh: that’s where you chapesses come in, you could have an immense influence for good.  And before he was a man he must have been a boy, and I wonder what happened when his blood was up … but I don’t suppose he really went round the streets with a gang, breaking windows and fighting and that.

Scouse:  That’s why he stripped Nails Palmer.  Thought he was going to be the great leader: invade Swarrell, screw Marlene Foster.  What do I get out of it?  I get me pants taken off, that’s what, wid’ everybody looking on and laughing.  I wanna go home.

Effie:  I tried, I really did.  I thought it would be all right when Sid joined the gang, but he’s worse than any of ’em.  I thought Ernie would listen, but now look: I’m stuck here and I’ve got to do things like that or I get raped!  Bastards!

Tommo:  Will you listen?!  D’you wanna be a peacemaker?  Do you want to be a peacemaker?!

Effie:  I’m sick of being a peacemaker.  Look where it’s got me.

Tommo:  Look where it’s got all of us.  Listen, I’m only here cos I’m a peacemaker.

Effie:  What did you come to Swarrell for, then?  For the Banner!

Tommo:  Yeah.  Course.  For the Banner.  There’ll never be peace while the Swarrell lads are waving Nails’s pants at us and calling us useless wankers.  Think what it’d be like if we had King’s kegs.  The Swarrell lads would come for ’em and keep on coming till they got them back.  They’d have to.  Same with our lads.  Their manhood’s at stake.

Effie:  So you thought you’d get it first , and you’d be top gang-leader.

Scouse:  Toro and the Wild Bulls.  I wanna go home.

Tommo:  No!  Course not!  I was gonna sneak it away.  They’d never know what happened.  They’d all forget.  After all, Nails isn’t in the gang any more …

Effie:  No, you saw to that, didn’t you?  If you can’t start a fight in Swarrell, you start one among yourselves in Halden.  Why do you always have to be fighting and trying to get on top?  Girls aren’t like that, so why are boys?  I suppose you call it manhood, don’t you?  Proving your manhood by being harder than anybody else.  Well it’s a funny sort of manhood, that’s all I have to say, it’s a funny sort of manhood if the only way you can keep it is by kicking somebody else’s head in – and it’s a funny sort of manhood if you can lose it by having your trousers taken off.

Scouse:  I wanna go home.

Tommo:  I’m not like that.  I’m a peacemaker.  Listen, you can’t make peace with a bloke by kicking his head in.  People like you and me, we’ve got to know how to talk.  That’s all I did to Nails.  I just talked to him.  I said to him just what you’ve said.  I told him manhood’s not kicking other lads’ heads in and that.  I told him about peacemaking.  I don’t know what I said to him.  It all just suddenly came to me – put into me mind by some higher power – and it really got through to him, cos he suddenly burst into tears and said him and the gang had got it all wrong about manhood, and he wasn’t fit to be a man at all – and then he takes his pants off and flings ’em away and goes off crying.

Effie:  Pull the other one!

Tommo:  It’s true!  On my mother’s life – I swear it.  We never laid a finger on him, did we, Scouse?

Scouse:  I wanna go home.

Tommo:  I said we never laid a finger on Nails.  He took his own pants off – didn’t he?

Scouse:  Yeah.  Not like us.  I wanna go home.

    Effie turns away.

Tommo:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Poor old Scouse.  I got him into this.  Me and my big ideas about peacemaking.  I thought I could stop the fighting, but all I’ve done is lose me trousers.  I’ll really be finished after this.  No more peacemaking.  I’ll just need to open me mouth and they’ll all start laughing.  The Swarrell lads’ll have me kegs for a banner.  That’s what happens to peacemakers.  But it’s poor old Scouse I’m sorry for.  He doesn’t understand what’s happening.  He thought it would be all right.  I told him peacemaking’s great – and now he’ll have his pants taken off and they’ll put him to the Count and they’ll all be laughing at him, and he’ll have to walk all the way back home in the streets, with people pointing at him and jeering.

Scouse [weeping]:  I wanna go home.  I just wanna go home.

Tommo:  You’ve got to help us.

Effie:  I don’t know what they’re going on about.  Anybody would think they were in the condemned cell.  They’re only going to be debagged, that’s all.  They’re just going to have their pants taken off.  Willie and the Dragons are always pulling each other’s trousers off.  They use debagging as an initiation ceremony, but there’s always new lads joining the gang.  What are they going on about?

Tommo:  The Count!  The shame!

Scouse:  I wanna go home.

Effie:  What do they think it’s like for me?  They don’t seem to think about that. 

    She turns towards Tommo. 

Effie:  You don’t think what it’s like for me, do you?  You and your manhood!  Just think about someone else for a change!  It’s all right for you, isn’t it?  You go fighting and brawling about the streets like hooligans, beating each other up and shouting your filthy slogans – you and your gangs and your initiations and your debaggings and your counts!  Well what d’you think it’s like for me?  I was only trying to save you from killing each other, and now I get all mixed up in your filth and I have to do things or get stripped and raped.  You don’t think about that, do you?

    While Effie has been speaking there has been a growing commotion outside.  The door is rattled.  Boys can be heard cheering.  Willie and the Dragons have arrived.


Dragons:  What shall we do with the Halden prisoners?
What shall we do with the Halden prisoners?
What shall we do with the Halden prisoners?
Take the trousers off them!

Willie [rattling at the door]:  Hey!  We’re going to take you’re trousers off, ain’t we lads?

Dragons:  Raaaaay!  The Count!  The Count!

Willie:  Yeah!  And she’ll be doing it!

Dragons:   Raaay!
Hoo-ray!  We’ll have their trousers!
Hoo-ray!  We’ll have their trousers!
Hoo-ray!  We’ll have their trousers!
And put them to the Cou-ount!

    Willie rattles the door ferociously.


- End of Act II -

Effie: Act I

Effie: Act III

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