MR.JOHN: had only grumbled a little when the Municipal Council acquired his farm land for a youth Camp.But when he was told that his house must be demolished to enable the council to carry out a new Town Planning scheme, he though the time had come for him to fight for his ‘right’. When the passage opens,MR. JOHN has just read the council’s letter giving him a month’s notice to quit his house, and is discussing it with MRS. JOHN and their daughter mary. MARY.(horrified:A month? Where on earth can one get a house at such short notice in this crowded town? Surely they don’t expect us to live in a hut, and where else is there?
MR JOHN:Don’t they? They don’t care if we all have to sleep in the gutter.
MRS JOHN:But this is the most heartless thing to talk of doing. MR.JOHN: But they’ll do it all the same. They commit the very worst crimes and they claim they are doing everything for ‘the common good’. Take my farm for example. Didn’t these same men grab that fertile piece of land and convert it into a camp for idle teen-agers? Did they spare a thought for me or my family? Not at all.
MRS JOHN: But have we no friends? What about Councillor Coker?Surely we can rely on him? He won’t allow this to happen to us. MR. JOHN(contemptuously): Coker! Heh, how can you think so highly of such men? Coker is a thoroughly rotten egg. They’re all alike. They all croak alike, just like frogs before a storm. Councillor Coker always supports whatever side will benefit him most. He won’t do anything for us.
MRS JOHN: Have you consulted the D.O.?He’s a nice fellow and very understanding. At least that’s everybody’s opinion of him. MR.JOHN: I suppose he’s understanding when he chooses to be. But apparently this is one instance where he refuses to listen to reason. He’s no better than all the rest of them- in spite of what everybody says.
MARY: But, father, there are three boys on his scholarships at Training College, and…
MR JOHN:(interrupting):Does that make him a reasonable man? It only shows he can afford it.(To MRS JOHN) Anyway, I have been to him. I put our case to him several times and he’s no use. The last time I as with him, he kept on preaching to me of the good in having a well-planned city with drainage and all that- as though I were an idiot. The D.O. is merely a useful tool in the hands of the councillors-a yes-man.
MRS JOHN(heaving a sigh):Well, if the Council is determined to have its own way, and if the D.O. Chooses to back them, I don’t see what else we can do. As things stand,this surely isn’t a fight we can win. And I would hate you to set yourself up against the Authorities.
MR.JOHN(indignantly): The Authorities my foot! If Authority only speaks the language of force, what stops me from speaking the same tongue?
MARY: I think Mama is right.
MR JOHN: Think what you like,child. But why should the Council deprive me of my reghts? They have no authority to turn to me out. tehy can only do It by force.
MARY: Y-e-e-s, but it’s not only the Authoriteis we’re up against.Think of the people too. Evertone would say it’s you who oppose everything progressive the Council plans for the community. A ll the good you’ve done would be forgotten. And when the Council ultimately wins, there’ll be no sympathy left for you… anywhere. Have you thought of that, father?
MR JOHN: No, no, child. You talk of the people. Am I an animal?Am I not one of the people? I see you don’t understand. Listern, MARY.This is a fight we must win or worse thing will follow. Do you think I vote for these men to have myself stripped of everything I own? They’re doing these things to me because they think I’m powerless … Yes, they think I’m powerless. But I ‘ll show them they are mistaken.