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: Willoughby, you look wonderful, darling. Jack Durrance
: Princess Willoughby. Harry Faversham
: Miss Willoughby. William Trench
: A hair is out of place there, Tom. Willoughby
: When are you gentlemen going to grow up? Harry Faversham
: Gentlemen! Did he call us gentlemen? Jack Durrance
: I believe he did. Harry Faversham
: I won't take that from him. Jack Durrance
: Nor will I.
: I've left the army.
[Ethne laughs in disbelief
] Harry Faversham
: No, Ethne, I have left the army. Ethne
: Why? Harry Faversham
: There was talk they might send us abroad. For a year or two. I didn't want to wait that long to get married. Ethne
: I would have waited. Or come with you. My mother did the same for my father. Harry Faversham
: Yes, I know, but it tisn't what I wnated for us. You're all that matters to me now. Ethne
: Where were they going to send you? Harry Faversham
: They weren't sure.
[the church door opens and a delivery boy from the army gives Harry a package that contains three white feathers
: [Picking up the feathers from the floor
] Is this your friends' idea of a joke? What is it, Harry? Harry Faversham
: Feathers of cowardice. Yesterday we were informed that our regement would be shipping out to Sudan. That we would be sent to war. Ethne
: You don't know where they were sending you, you said it yourself. You did it for me. No one in their right mind could call you a coward. Especially not your friends. If there's been some kind of misunderstanding you have to clear it out. You have to go back to the regement and clear it out. Harry Faversham
: No, I can't. Ethne
: Then I will. I'll go see Trench, Willoughby and Castleton myself and tell them it's my fault you resigned. You did it for me. Harry Faversham
: It has nothing to do with you, Ethne! Ethne
: Then why? Harry Faversham
: I never wanted to join the army! I did it for my father. I thought I'd serve my commission for a year or two and keep everyone happy and then I could... Ethne
: Do what? Wait until we were married to tell me the truth? Harry Faversham
: Ethne, I never meant to lie to you. Ethne
: No, but you were quite happy to let me deceive myself. Do you think people will let us forget this? Harry Faversham
: I don't care what people think, Ethne. All I care about is us. Ethne
: It's not about us, Harry. It's just not about us. Jack would give his life for you. Harry Faversham
: Don't you think I know that? Ethne
: Then go back. It's not too late. Tell them you wouldn't have resigned if it weren't for me. Ethne
: I would have resigned. And I wouldn't have gone to war for anything or anyone. Ethne
: Then you are a coward.
: When something like this happens you are lost. You don't know who you are anymore and what you're capable of. Unless I do something this is always how people will remember me. A feather. And that is how I will always see myself: a coward. All I know is that I can't live with myself like this.
: I can't move. Harry Faversham
: The poison's paralyzed your legs. It will wear off soon. William Trench
: I thought it was supposed to kill me.
: Are you a deserter? Harry Faversham
: Something like that. I was sent to fight and I ran away. Abou Fatma
: Why? Harry Faversham
: Why? I just... There are many reasons why. Mostly I was afraid. Abou Fatma
] I found you halfdead crossing the desert alone. And you say you are afraid? Harry Faversham
: There's a different kind of fear. Why are you protecting me? Abou Fatma
: God put you in my way. I have no choice. Harry Faversham
: God? An Englishman... and a Christian? You must have done something terrible to offend him.
: Forgive me. I did you a great wrong. Harry Faversham
: There is nothing to forgive. Ethne
: Yes there is, I should have stood by you Harry. I should have understood. I used to be so sure about everything. Harry Faversham
: We both were, Ethne. Ethne
: And now? Harry Faversham
: And now...
[they tentatively hold hands
] Harry Faversham
: Well... well, now I have no choice, Ethne. God put you in my way.
: Why worry? Be a coward and be happy. Harry Faversham
: I AM a coward, Doctor. If I'd been anything but a soldier I might have lived my whole life and concealed it. But to be a soldier AND a coward is to be an impostor, a menace to the men whose lives are in your hands.