Dialogue Extract (Volcanic Eruptions)

by Robin Hawdon
PIERRE Welcome to La Bonne Auberge, monsieur.
BORIS I have a surprise for you.
PIERRE A surprise?
BORIS A big surprise! I bring someone to see you.
BORIS An old friend.
PIERRE Old friend?.
BORIS Who in the world would you be most surprised to see in your hotel?
PIERRE I don’t know, monsieur.
BORIS Guess.
PIERRE Er… the King? The Pope? Napoleon?
BORIS Wrong. It’s Madame Rachel Dudley!
BORIS Here. She is outside. I am going to marry her as soon as she is divorced from that dog turd, John Dudley.
PIERRE Marry her?
BORIS Yes, marry! She is leaving that piece of poop and coming to me. I am taking her for a quiet weekend together. She says this is her favourite hotel, so here we are. She wish it to be a surprise. (LOOKS AT PIERRE’S GLAZED FACE) Well? Is it?
PIERRE (NODDING DUMBLY) It’s a surprise, monsieur.
BORIS A bombshell, eh?.
PIERRE (NODDING) You have no idea.
BORIS She is in the car. I get her.
It’s impossible! You can’t stay here! It’s out of the question! It’s…. we’ve…. you’ve…. We’re full up.
BORIS Full up? I made a reservation.
PIERRE We didn’t receive it.
BORIS Yes, you did. Your boy had it there.
PIERRE We did a bubble dook…. a dooking bubble…. we booked double.
BORIS (PICKING UP THE REGISTRATION BOOK) There’s my name. Brakowski. Jasmine room.
PIERRE The room is flooded, monsieur. Immersed, engorged! A slum!
BORIS Well, you must have others.
PIERRE No, monsieur, no others.
BORIS But it’s out of season. (LOOKING AT THE BOOK) They’re all empty. Only two other people here. Mr….
PIERRE (WHIPPING THE BOOK OUT OF HIS HANDS) We’re decorating. All the rooms are incapacitated.
BORIS But this is disgraceful! I make the reservation days ago. Rachel tells me so much about this place. What charm! What hospitality! She say you are old friends.
PIERRE (DISTRAUGHT) Yes, we are, monsieur, but, er…. well you see, er….
BORIS Well you don’t seem very friendly to me. If you can’t find a room for a great actress like Rachel Dudley when the hotel is nearly empty, why you stay open at all?
PIERRE We aren’t open. We’re closed.
BORIS But those other peoples….
PIERRE They’re leaving tomorrow.
BORIS Well, we’ll leave tomorrow if….
PIERRE Tonight! They’re leaving tonight.
BORIS But you said….
PIERRE I’m extremely apoplectic, monsieur. (CALLS) Louis! It’s quite impossible. (SHOUTS) Louis! My deepest commensurations to Madame Dudley…. (BELLOWS) LOUIS!
LOUIS (dashing out) Yes, papa?
PIERRE The furniture in the Jasmine room. Eject it!
LOUIS What, papa?
PIERRE The furniture! It has to come out for the decorations.
LOUIS Decorations, papa?
PIERRE Yes, idiot. After the floodings. We must continue the decorations!
LOUIS But, papa….
PIERRE (BESIDE HIMSELF) Evict the furniture! Out, out! (SEES GASTON COMING OUT OF MIMOSA) Gaston! Help Louis!
PIERRE Aidez Louis avec les meubles. Vite, vite!
BORIS I protest! I don’t understand.
PIERRE My profuse apologies, monsieur. I suggest you sample the hotel down the road. It’s almost as good as this, and….
BORIS (ANGRY) I don’t wish to sample the hotel down the road! Rachel Dudley has her heart set on this hotel. She spent the most happy days of her life here.
PIERRE She forgets, monsieur – they were not so good. (TO LOUIS AND GASTON WHO ARE HESITATING BEWILDERED) The furniture! Out, out! (THEY HEAD FOR THE JASMINE ROOM)
BORIS She talks about the wonderful views….
PIERRE You won’t see them, monsieur, we get inscrutable fog at this time of year.
BORIS The peace and tranquillity….
PIERRE They begin army manoeuvres in the park tomorrow – explosions, guns, bombs!
BORIS The superb food….
PIERRE It’s declining. Two guests died of poison last month, and….
BORIS (BANGING THE DESK) Enough! It’s not acceptable! I am Boris Brakowski! I stay in the best hotels in the world! I get what I want! (STORMS TO THE DOORS) I’m going to tell Rachel. Wait till you hear what she says about this!
PIERRE (FOLLOWING HIM TO THE DOORS) Oh please, monsieur, don’t bring her in here. We’re in quarantine! Please, monsieur….!
  (He has to leap back from the doors as BORIS hurls them open, and exits. PIERRE turns back to the foyer and addresses the audience)
PIERRE Ah mon dieu! What can I do? England’s most famous film star here – with a piece of fluff. The world’s most explosive actress here – with a Russian typhoon. And furthermore – the critic from the Times newspaper arriving any moment. It will be a cataclysm! In walks the Times man to see the most famous actors in England ejaculating my wife’s dinners at each other!
PIERRE What can I do?  What can I do? They must not see each other They must not meet under any circumcisions!