Misha Williams



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 99 
 
"M" 
You didn't use your intuition to get to them on the right 
wavelength. If you had you would have found that their 
destiny was exactly how I said! 
 
BRIAN 
But they failed! 
 
RUTH 
I think they are more popular now than they ever 
were. Mmm. 
 
She takes a bite on one. 
 
"M" 
You have to see it on a different level. 
 
BRIAN  
They've faded from the public memory. 
 
RUTH 
I don't agree. The Women's Institute just ordered three 
hundred of them. 
 
RUTH picks up the cup-cake dish to pass to BRIAN. 
 
RUTH 
Well, try a raspberry one then. 
 
"M" 
Thank you. 
 
"M" takes the cup-cakes and instead of passing them straight onto 
BRIAN (RUTH'S favourite conjuring trick) She begins to waltz round the 
room with them to the music. RUTH stares in horror. 
 
BRIAN 
(Trying to make light of it) It's just a trick, darling. 
 
RUTH 
Oh, Brian! Stop! Stop her! She's here! Stop her!!!!  
 


 100 
She runs out of the room screaming. BRIAN holds his head in his hands. 
Blackout. Later. 
 
 
SCENE NINE. BRIAN'S BUNGALOW. 
 
Next evening. BRIAN, again in dressing gown and pyjamas. He stands 
downstage in spotlight and speaks to audience. RUTH  lies on the sofa in 
a trance. 
 
BRIAN 
The Queen gave a zombie-like Xmas speech on TV. I'm 
sorry for the woman. When will people grow up and 
scrap the Monarchy? Ruth has spent a lot of time in 
bed. A lot of leg pain.  I saw in the New Year with "M" 
but things weren't quite the same. Oh well, we're into 
another year. Yesterday I treated Ruth's rheumatic 
knee. Well, she will eat meat. She's been gorging on 
that Turkey for the last fortnight…. Strange happenings 
last night made me fear that she was breaking up… 
After tea she said she heard singing coming from next 
door. 
 
RUTH 
 It sounds like hymns. And they are singing beautifully. 
 
BRIAN 
Not a sound was perceptible to me.  
 
RUTH 
Is there a church near here? The bells are so loud. 
Now! Can't you hear? They are singing Hallelujah 
(Singing) Halle-lu-jah…Halle-lu-jah…Halle-lu-jah… 
 
BRIAN 
She next joined the phantom voices in "Abide with 
me". Then later, in her bath, she heard the singing as if 
it was coming from the Braddock's next door. At 
bedtime she claimed it was still going on. At 1.15 in the 
morning, she raced out of bed to the window. 
 
 
 
 


 101 
RUTH 
It's outside. It's coming from over the road. It's a 
lovely singing too. There must have been a party. 
Children carrying lights are coming out of the houses 
and walking down the pavement. People are watching 
them from the windows. 
 
BRIAN 
I looked out. Not a soul to be seen, nor a sound to be 
heard. 
 
RUTH 
There's a policeman at the gate. Charles and Diana 
must have arrived and the children are there to 
welcome them. 
 
BRIAN 
Still nothing outside. Prince Philip is due in Carlisle 
soon and a few weeks ago Princess Diana was here on 
a visit but…(To Ruth) Back to bed now. There is 
nothing in the street. 
 
RUTH 
Of course there is!! You'll read about it tomorrow in the 
papers! 
 
BRIAN 
I persuaded her back to bed and eventually we got 
some sleep, but this morning…. 
 
RUTH 
There it is again… It's very lovely music…But I wish 
they'd stop! One doesn't want it all the time. 
 
BRIAN 
Apart from this she is absolutely normal. Old people 
who've lived out their lives are known to become 
super-normally receptive. Is it indeed a sign that her 
end is imminent? ….This evening she started hearing 
Jazz. She thought it came from the Braddock's. To me 
no sound broke the stillness. Later we heard that 
Braddock next door had passed away during these 
phenomena but I wouldn't have thought his 
background was so special as to evoke such astral 


 102 
recognition. These cosmic charges certainly take it out 
on you. Ruthie is fine now, but I'm utterly exhausted. 
 
He goes. JESS enters with phone. Light comes up on her. 
 
 
SCENE TEN.  JESS'S FLAT. 
 
JESS on the phone to ALBERT. 
 
JESS 
Pigeons? You're taking pigeons? As if! Oh, carrier 
pigeons. I see. What's wrong with a mobile phone?… 
Ah, you're broke. I'm not surprised. I heard Brian is 
very ill. He's having tests in hospital. I'm just on my 
way up to visit him…. Because he called and said he 
had a soft spot for you. That he regretted his brutal 
behaviour and would I keep him in touch with your 
progress. Oh, dear. Nothing changes in the Fawcett 
Saga…Yes. I had a great time in L.A. Ida is going 
ahead with the Fawcett movie as a musical. So the 
world can enjoy a facile yarn while the real secret story 
stays sacrosanct. That's good isn't it? Well, just chill 
out and enjoy yourself out there…Yeah, I stayed with 
her. She's fantastic…. I'm not callous and cold-hearted! 
Don't be so dramatic. You'll be alright. You just want 
re-assurance all the time….Oh, how can you say that 
after everything you've done to me?…(exasperated) 
O.K. Good-bye
 
She sighs, irritated. 
Blackout. 
 
 
SCENE ELEVEN.  HOSPITAL.  
 
BRIAN in bed. He speaks to audience. He is very weak. 
 
BRIAN 
Thought my time had come last night and woke up 
Ruth who was deeply shocked. Got up feeling like 
death. Nose bleeds. I had to devise a method of 
holding up my enormously distended scrotum before I 
could dress this morning. But the doctor had fixed up 


 103 
some tests. So I'm at least being monitored. But I feel 
worse than ever. My scrotum is almost down to my 
knees.  There is something very wrong. Joan  
recommended some zinc tablets to open the urethra 
and these gave a little relief but… 
 
There is a knock and JESS enters.  
 
JESS 
Hullo. 
 
BRIAN 
Ah. Come in dear. 
 
JESS 
Are you alright? What is it exactly? 
 
BRIAN 
Valdenstrom macroglobulen aenemia, merely. 
 
JESS 
(Joking) Oh, in that case you'll be out in no time. 
 
 
They both laugh. She opens her bag and hands him a bag of fruit. 
 
BRIAN 
Fruit. How lovely of you.  
 
JESS 
Not really. I'm sure you'd have preferred a volume of 
Madame Blavatsky. 
 
BRIAN 
Anyway…To the point. If anything happened to me, 
thirty volumes of secret diaries, not to mention much 
of my father's highly confidential writing, would be left 
in my cupboard for anyone to gawp over. The Royal 
Geographical Society would have a field day. They 
accused him of being a mystic and dreamer and these 
papers certainly reveal that and very much more which 
the gross material world is just not ready for. Here's 
the key. (He hands it to her) Ruth knows you are 
coming on an errand. I said something to do with 


 104 
publishing. You see, heaven knows who my family 
might show these papers to once I'm gone. I can't 
trust their discretion.  
 
JESS 
Sure. I'll get them. Then what? 
 
BRIAN 
I want you to burn the lot. Burn them thoroughly won't 
you. You've always thought the mystery was a load of 
bollocks, so I thought you were just the right person to 
consign it to the flames. 
 
JESS 
I'll happily do that. It's ruined enough lives. Not to 
mention Albert's. He's somewhere in Mato Grosso with 
six carrier pigeons in a canoe can you believe. Heading 
for lost cities! He's cut his own throat as far as a career 
is concerned. You men and your childish illusions! What 
a waste…Well, good luck with the tests. .I'll visit again 
soon. Bye. 
 
She starts to go. 
 
BRIAN 
Bye... Oh, ask the nurse to pop in, would you. I need 
some pain-killer. 
 
JESS. 
Certainly. 
 
She exits. A moment later "M" enters. A cold chill replaces their usual 
rapport. 
 
BRIAN 
Ah. 'Wondered where you'd got to. The afterlife. Tir-
nan-og. Will I feel at home there?  
 
"M" 
It's what you make of it, dear. It's a subjective land of 
the imagination. It's peopled by the mind's own 
creatures and is entirely what you choose to make of 
it. Anyway. You're not there… yet.  
 


 105 
He lies back and she kisses him. 
Blackout. Music. 
 
 
SCENE TWELVE.  HOSPITAL. 
 
JESS speaks to audience. 
 
JESS 
I surprised myself. I hesitated in carrying out my 
promise to Brian.  My curiosity got the better of me. I 
started reading. There was certainly a message in 
those papers…Their time will come. Or perhaps it 
won't…. Brian was in and out of hospital and after 
some weeks I heard the news about Albert so I went 
on another visit.  
 
She walks from the spotlit area into BRIAN'S hospital bed area. 
To BRIAN. 
 
JESS 
He got these carrier pigeons from a missionary nun
would you believe. She agreed to pass on news to the 
consul in Sao Paolo who was given my address….. He 
set off alone in a canoe… down the Juruena River. Only 
one pigeon got back with its message. Pigeon number 
three.  
 
She gets the tiny scrap of paper out of her bag and hands it to BRIAN 
who reads it. JESS stares out of the window for a few frozen seconds. 
 
SCENE THIRTEEN.  AMAZONIA 
 
 
ALBERT revealed in a spotlight, lying down on his stomach. He looks 
extremely feverish. 
 
ALBERT 
I think…it's malaria. I'm so cold. It's very dark. But I 
saw the ruins!! There's no doubt about it. I saw 
Fawcett's city. Co-ordinates; 13 South, 60 West. 'Lost 
the camera, damn it…I can't move…I just can't…Jess, 
could you kindly do me a favour?…I ordered a 
book…"Mysteries of South America" by Harold 


 106 
Wilkins…from the little book shop. Would you…pick it 
up for me…I'll pay you back… later… 
 
He dies.  
 
 
SCENE FOURTEEN. HOSPITAL. 
 
 
JESS  
(Carrying on impassively)  He says that he'll be 
sending the exact co-ordinates and a sketch map of the 
location of the city on carrier pigeon "number four". 
Predictably "pigeon four" never arrived. His claim 
seems a bit crazy.  
 
BRIAN 
Why? 
 
JESS 
Because the consul writes to me that it sounds like an 
invented story and that there are absolutely no lost 
cities to be found there. And also that he's heard 
recent rumours that Albert's canoe was found by 
prospectors with him in it dead and discoloured. 
 
BRIAN is shocked as JESS continues unaffected. 
 
It's rumoured he was poisoned by Indians and set 
afloat, as this is their favourite way of dispatching 
unwelcome visitors into their lands. Ah well, rumours. 
 
BRIAN 
You seem so detached. I thought you and he… 
 
JESS 
Oh, that's long ago. Well, he had only himself to 
blame. He was obsessed. I did my best to wean him off 
Fawcett mania, but it was pointless. He had a 
chequered career. Never fulfilled his potential. Always 
wanting re-assurance. Always dramatising. Never 
learned to chill out. I got fed up with it. 
 
She starts to leave. 


 107 
 
 I don't think he has a next of kin. 
 
BRIAN 
(Grasping at a straw)..But… do you think he found 
Daddy's city?  
 
The light fades on them but stays up on the face of the dead ALBERT for 
a moment and then fades. 
 
Weird piano chords tinkling. Light fades up on  BRIAN who sits on the 
edge of his bed.. JESS moves into a separate light on the other side of 
the stage as if arriving back at her flat. 
 
 
SCENE FIFTEEN.  HOSPITAL.  
 
BRIAN 
Coming back to me like in a dream are those spacious 
days at Waterside. Mother so much on top of life. 
Daddy just arrived back from one of his expeditions 
and still charming to everybody even Joan. Jack 
tinkling on his piano - so happy - the treasured first 
born, destined to vanish in unknown Amazonia. 
 
He stands up in his pyjamas and bare feet. He is frail. "M" appears in the 
shadows behind him.  
 
Life begins with such an impetus…Then, slows up - 
perhaps even stops and slips back. Reminds me of a 
motorcycle doing a freak hill climb. There's the same 
tempestuous, confident, racing start - the same 
slowing as the steepness of the hill is felt. 
Waterside…the container of childhood memories. Will 
one of the last flashes of memory to pass through my 
dying brain be a recollection of what exactly it was that 
I so often searched for, or dreamed I searched for at 
Waterside? In the lumber-room, that butler's pantry off 
the hall, where the great safe is?…. I wanted it so 
badly, but…I couldn't find it.  
 
 


 108 
BRIAN stands dead still in his pyjamas. "M" takes a white hospital pillow 
case and covers his face with it. She then walks slowly to arrive silently 
behind Jess who sits at her table with documents spread out. 
 
 
SCENE SIXTEEN. JESS'S FLAT. 
 
 
JESS 
 
Back home I faced the secret archives still all over my 
desk. I'm becoming very intrigued by their strange 
hold. I get a feeling that I'm just not going to be able 
to burn those damn papers.  
 
A strange eerie silence.  She becomes aware that someone is in the 
room behind her. She turns and is terrified. 
 
JESS 
Who are you? …(In a hoarse whisper) WHO ARE YOU? 
 
"M" walks to JESS who is frozen to the spot, moves behind her slowly 
and puts her arms round JESS'S neck. 
 
"M" 
It's alright….It's alright… 
 
 A pause. JESS is terrified and then calmed by the woman's warm smile. 
 
"M" 
(Jauntily) I think… I've got you…. 
 
Blackout. 
 
      
 
 
 
THE END 
  
  
 
  
 


 109 
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 
    
 
 
   
     
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Document Outline

  • AmaZonia by Misha Williams
  • Preface
  • Who was he?
  • "Exploration Fawcett"
  • The Skeleton Hoax
  • What Brian Concealed
  • The Great Scheme
  • Fawcett's actual route
  • "M" decides what should be revealed
  • The Cast of Characters
  • Nina
  • Ruth
  • Raleigh Rimell
  • Jack
  • Brian
  • "M"
  • Albert de Winton and Jess
  • Fawcett
  • AmaZonia The Play
  • Act One
  • Act Two
  • The End



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