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  • A Portrait of the Times
  • Armijn Pané (bio)
    Translated by Michael H. Bodden (bio)

Cast of Characters

Suparman, former student in Rotterdam; unemployed

Harsini, Suparman’s fiancée; teacher

Kartono, Harsini’s younger brother; student at the Netherlands Indies School for the Arts (Nerderlands Indische Artsen School)

Martono, volunteer at a government office

Suratman, graduate of Holland’s Islands Kweekschool (Hoogere Inlandsche Kweekschool); unemployed

Sarti, Harsini’s friend

Abu Talib, Sarti’s husband

Puspohadi, father of Harsini and Kartono

Mrs. Puspohadi, mother of Harsini and Kartono

Sumardjo, Sarti’s father; doctor

Manservant

Act One

The central room of a home. In the middle of the room but a little to the rear is a low table, around which are several matching chairs. The chairs are placed around the table so that none has its back to the audience. Seated in the left, right, and rear chairs are Martono, Kartono, and Suratman, playing a game of bridge. Kartono, who is playing the “blind,” plays quickly, rapidly deciding which card to put down, his concentration focused solely on the game. Suratman’s movements are slow. Martono takes a long time to think before playing, but then throws his cards down quickly. With his right hand, Kartono pulls the blind to the center, then looks at Martono and beckons with his index finger.

kartono

Now, where’s your queen? I’m going to take her! [Martono looks at his cards.] Hurry up … I’ll take her anyway. [Suratman yawns, leans back, and stretches his legs.] Your friend has yawned again.

martono

[Throwing down his queen with force.] What can I do?

kartono

[Putting down a king.] I told you. [Suratman looks at his [End Page 1] cards for a moment, yawns, then plays his card.] What kind of a hand do you have?

suratman

I’m unlucky tonight. I didn’t want to play, did I?

kartono

Don’t argue, look at this.

martono

[After looking at the card that Kartono played, examines his own cards, then looks at the played card again.] Let’s go! Hit him with a good card! [Suratman puts a card down.] Ugh, it’s really bad luck playing with you.

kartono

[Smiles, takes the cards already played.] Here …

martono

[Silent for a second.] Well, what can I do?

kartono

[Puts down all of his cards.] Four down! [He writes it down. Martono examines Kartono’s cards, looks at his own cards, repeats this several times.] Well, how about it? Am I right or not? [Martono lays down his cards. As Kartono speaks, Suratman also lays down his cards.]

suratman

[Looking outside.] It’s still raining.

kartono

[To Suratman.] So, shuffle the cards. I’ll deal. [After the shuffling, he extends the deck of cards to Martono.] Cut.

suratman

Let’s just stop playing.

martono

Yes, that would be better. It’s bad luck playing with you.

suratman

There’s no end to this rain … Hey, it stopped. Let’s go home.

kartono

It’s still early and you want to go home.

martono

What, this late and you say it’s still early? Yes, it’s time to go home.

suratman

[About to get up.] Ach, it’s raining again. [Sits back down.]

martono

It’s not going to end soon. We can use an umbrella. [To Kartono.] Do you have one?

kartono

Wait a bit more, until the rain stops, alright? It won’t be long.

[Exits, then re-enters with an umbrella and raincoat.] Here, the two of you can use this umbrella. But this coat is for you, Suratman. You’re always complaining about the cold.

martono

[To Suratman.] You can hold the umbrella. [Suratman takes the umbrella and raincoat from Kartono.] [End Page 2]

kartono

Come again tomorrow night, Tono. Ni will be here.

martono

Sure, I’d like to come.

kartono

[To Suratman.] Why don’t you keep me company tomorrow? You don’t have any work, do you? We could go for a bike ride. [All exit.]

[Offstage, loudly.] Look out, man, don’t get wet!

Kartono enters. He collects the cards from the table and places the deck on a small table to one side of the room. He picks...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-943x
Print ISSN
1045-7909
Pages
pp. 1-24
Launched on MUSE
2015-02-12
Open Access
No
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