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Nonviolence Playlets - compiled by Walter Wink - page 22 / 29





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time, so that lawyers can prepare the cases of their clients.  Lawyers

for the defense can now take out individual files for a maximum of

twenty-four hours.  I’m sure you realize what an opportunity this

loophole gives us.  If we can just keep from getting caught, we can copy

these records and expose this murderous government for what it is.

Lawyer:  What if they catch us?

Cardinal Arns:  I will handle that.

Jaime: Well, Cardinal Arns, this is taking ecumenism to a higher level

than ever.  Thank you for your kindness.

Cardinal Arns:  And we can set up the copy machines in lesser known

churches, and move from one church to another whenever it appears that

they have caught our scent.

Lawyer:  This isn’t going to be cheap.  How can we finance it?

Jaime:  Ah, that’s a wonderful story.  To cut it short, Philip Potter,

the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, has pledged

secretly to give us as much as $350,000 dollars.  (Wows all around.)

Jaime: We will need twelve lawyers who will pick up a handful of files

from the archive every afternoon on what I hope will seem to be a random

basis.  We have enough cash on hand to lease three copy machines.  We

will need to hire staff who can keep them running ten hours a day, seven

days a week.  At that rate we can finish the job in three years.  I know

that’s a long time, and it means continual stress.  We are all aware of

the price we will pay if we are caught.  If anyone wants to back out,

there’s no shame.  Just pledge to keep it quiet.  [End of Act One]

(Setting: sometime later, in a rural church with tables pilled with

boxes.  Staff are running the copy machines in a steady, methodical

rhythm.  Jaime is checking out the process.  Cardinal Arns comes in.)

Jaime: Ah, my dear Cardinal.  How good it is to see you.

Cardinal Arns:  It looks like our little project is steaming along quite

well.  How far do you think you’ve come?

Jaime:  Impossible to tell, since our access to the records is so

piecemeal.  We realized sometime back that the danger of losing the

archives is so great that we have been copying them on microfilm and

smuggling them out of the country to Switzerland.

Cardinal:  Yes, no doubt for safekeeping with our friend Philip Potter.

Is there danger that the personnel running the copy machines will figure

out what our project is all about?

Jaime:  I think not.  The whole thing is so decentralized that I don’t

think anyone can figure out what it’s all about.

Cardinal Arns:  Well, I’ve come to warn you to pack up and move again.

Seems someone noticed an unusually high electricity bill .  We have a

nice little church I know of, and if all goes well it should serve our

purposes for a while.

Act 3, scene 1

(Setting: a year and a half later.  Twice as many boxes stacked up.

Jaime and staff.)

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