The Shadowed Star

Episode #16

VOICE: Is anybody listening?!

SOUND: (HEARTBEATS)

VOICE: Is anybody listening?

(MUSIC ... THEME ... IN)

ANNOUNCER: Is anybody listening ... to this half-hour-long program designed to 
bring you something interesting and unusual in the field of radio drama? 

Well, if anybody IS listening, you'll hear something called "The Shadowed 
Star" -- a radio drama based on the play by Mary MacMillan.

(MUSIC ... THEME ... OUT)

--

ANNOUNCER: In late 1922, Station WLW of Cincinnati, Ohio, was among the first 
radio stations in America to broadcast drama on a regular basis. On December 
22nd of that year, a one-act play by local author Mary MacMillan was presented 
-- "The Shadowed Star" -- one of the earliest broadcasts ever of a Christmas 
play. Here, then, is a contemporary audio production of "The Shadowed Star":

(MUSIC ... FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG)

NARRATOR: The time is Christmas Eve. The place is a very bare room in a very 
poor tenement house -- uncarpeted, the boards being much worn, and from the 
walls the bluish whitewash has scaled away. There is a window that looks out 
on a black night; a door; a cooking stove with a feeble fire; and a round, 
worn dining table on which stands the stunted scraggily bit of an evergreen-
tree. In the corner is a bed on which lies a sick, pallid woman named Mary. 
Mary's mother, a very old woman, sits in a nearby rocking chair, talking to 
herself.

(MUSIC ... OUT)

SOUND: (CHAIR ROCKS GENTLY IN BG)

THE OLD WOMAN. David an' Michael might be kapin' the Christmas wid us to-
morrow night if we hadn't left the ould counthry. They'd never be crossin' the 
sea -- all the many weary miles o' wetness an' fog an' cold to be kapin' it 
wid us here in this great house o' brick walls in a place full o' strange 
souls.  They would never be for crossin' all that weary, cold, green wather, 
groanin' an' tossin' like it was the grave o' sivin thousan' divils.  Ah, but 
it would be a black night at sea.

If they hadn't to cross that wet, cold sea they'd maybe come. But wouldn't 
they be afeard o' this great city, an' would they iver find us here? Six 
floors up, an' they niver off the ground in their lives. What would ye be 
thinkin'? (NO ANSWER) What would ye be thinkin'? Mary, have ye gone clane to 
slape? 

THE WOMAN. (SIGHS, SICK AND WEARY, HER THROAT SORE) No, mother, I on'y wisht I 
could. Maybe they'll come -- I don't know, but father an' Michael wasn't much 
for thravel. Maybe they'll not come, yet - (SLOWLY) - maybe I'll be kapin' the 
Christmas wid them there.  

THE OLD WOMAN. (IGNORES THE LAST SENTENCE, LOST IN MEMORIES) No, they'll niver 
be lavin' the ould land, the green land, the home land. I'm wishing I was 
there wid thim.  

Maybe we'd have a duck an' potatoes, an' maybe something to drink to kape us 
warm against the cold. An' the boys would all be dancin' an' the girls have 
rosy cheeks.  

SOUND: (DURING ABOVE, FOOTSTEPS IN THE HALL ... THEN, A KNOCK AT THE DOOR)

THE WOMEN. Come in ...

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS)

THE NEIGHBOR. Good avnin' to ye, ladies; I came in to ask if I might borrow 
the loan o' a bit o' tay, not havin' a leaf of it left.

THE WOMAN. (BETWEEN COUGHS) We have a little left, Mrs. Nolan, just enough -- 
we was savin' for ourselves to-night, but you're welcome to it -- maybe the 
girls will bring some. Will ye get it for her, mother? Or she can help herself 
-- it's in the safe. It's on the lower shelf among the cups an' saucers an' 
plates.

THE NEIGHBOR. Thank ye.

SOUND: (NEIGHBOR GOES TO SAFE ... CLATTER OF PLATES, GLASSES, ETC.)

THE NEIGHBOR. I'm, ah, not findin' it readily.

SOUND: (MORE CLATTER, CRINKLE OF PAPER)

THE NEIGHBOR. Here's a tiny paper bag with an ounce perhaps o' tay in it. It's 
just a scrap, though! 

THE OLD WOMAN. To be sure! We use so much tay! We're that exthravagant! 

THE NEIGHBOR. It hurts me to take it from ye -- maybe I'd better not.

THE OLD WOMAN. The girls will bring more. We always have a cupboard full o' 
things. We're always able to lend to our neighbors.

THE NEIGHBOR. It's in great luck, ye are. For some of us be so poor we don't 
know where the next bite's comin' from.  An' this winter whin iverything's 
high an' wages not raised, a woman can't find enough to cook for her man's 
dinner. It isn't that ye don't see things -- oh, they're in the markets an' 
the shops, an' it makes yer mouth wather as ye walk along the sthrates this 
day before the Christmas to see the turkeys an' the ducks ye'll niver ate, an' 
the little pigs an' the or'nges an' bananies an' cranberries an' the cakes an' 
nuts an' -- it's worse, I'm thinkin', to see thim whin there's no money to buy 
than it was in the ould counthry, where there was nothing to buy wid the money 
ye didn't have. 

THE WOMAN. (GASPING, SHORT OF BREATH) It's all one to us poor folk whether 
there be things to buy or not. I'm on'y thinkin' o' the clane air at home -- 
if I could have a mornin' o' fresh sunshine -- these fogs an' smoke choke me 
so. The girls would take me out to the counthry if they had time an' I'd get 
well. But they haven't time. (BRIEF COUGHING FIT) 

THE OLD WOMAN. But it's like to be bright on Christmas Day. It wouldn't iver 
be cloudy on Christmas Day, an' maybe even now the stars would be crapin' out 
an' the air all clear an' cold an' the moon a-shinin' an' iverything so sthill 
an' quiet  an' gleamin' an' breathless - (WHISPERS) - awaitin' on the Blessed 
Virgin.

But look out the window here, Mrs. Nolan. No, there's not a sthar, not one 
little twinklin' sthar, an how'll the shepherds find their way? Iverything's 
dull an' black an' the clouds are hangin' down heavy an' sthill.  How'll the 
shepherds find their way without the sthar to guide thim? (ALMOST WHIMPERING) 
An' David an' Michael will niver be crossin' that wet, black sea! An' the 
girls -- how'll they find their way home? They'll be lost somewhere along by 
the hedges. Ohone, ohone!

THE NEIGHBOR. Now, grannie, what would ye be sayin'?  There's niver a hedge 
anywhere but granite blocks an' electric light poles an' plenty o' light in 
the city for thim to see all their way home. (TO THE WOMAN) Say, where are yer 
daughters, Mary? Ain't they late, the both of thim?

THE WOMAN. They're always late, an' they kape gettin' lather an' lather.

THE NEIGHBOR. Yis, av course, the sthores is all open in the avnin's before 
Christmas. 

THE WOMAN. They go so early in the mornin' an' get home so late at night, an' 
they're so tired.

THE NEIGHBOR. They're lucky to be young enough to work an' not be married. Ah, 
well. I've got to go home to the childer an' give thim their tay. Pat's gone 
to the saloon again, an' to-morrow bein' Christmas I misdoubt he'll be 
terrible dhrunk again, an' me on'y jist well from the blow in the shoulder the 
last time. 

THE OLD WOMAN. Sthay an' kape Christmas wid us. We're goin' to have our 
celebratin' to-night on  Christmas Eve, the way folks do here. I like it best 
on Christmas Day, the way 'tis in the ould counthry, but here 'tis Christmas 
Eve they kape. We're waitin' for the girls to come home to start things -- 
they knowin' how -- Mary an' me on'y know how to kape Christmas Day as 'tis at 
home.  But the girls'll soon be here, an' they'll have the tree an' do the 
cookin' an' all, an we'll kape up the jollity way into the night.

THE NEIGHBOR. (SURPRISED AND DISTURBED, BUT TRIES TO HIDE IT)  Nay, if Pat 
came home dhrunk an' didn't find me, he'd kill me.  We have all to be movin' 
on to our own throubles. G'night, Mary. G'night, grannie.

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS OUT, DOOR CLOSES, FOOTSTEPS AWAY DOWN THE HALL ... ROCKING 
CHAIR RESUMES ROCKING GENTLY)

THE OLD WOMAN. (CROONS WORDLESSLY IN A HIGH, BROKEN VOICE IN TIME WITH THE 
ROCKER)

THE WOMAN. (INTERRUPTS WITH A COUGHING FIT, AFTER A PAUSE) If I could on'y be 
in the counthry!

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS COMING UP THE HALL)

THE OLD WOMAN. Someone's in the hall. Maybe that would be the girls comin'!

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS COME UP TO DOOR AND THEN GO BY, AWAY DOWN THE HALL)

THE OLD WOMAN. (DISSAPOINTED) Ah, they went by. (APPREHENSIVE) If David and 
Michael was to come now an' go by -- there bein' no sthar to guide thim! 

THE WOMAN. Nay, mother, 'twas the shepherds that was guided by the sthar an' 
to the bed o' the Blessed Babe.

THE OLD WOMAN. Aye, so 'twas. What be I thinkin' of? The little Blessed Babe!

But they could not find Him tonight. 'Tis so dark an' no  sthars shinin'.  

An' what would shepherds do in a ghreat city like this? 'Twould be lost they'd 
be, quicker than in any bog. Think ye, Mary, that the boys would be hootin' 
thim an' the p'lice, maybe, would want to be aristin' thim for loitherin'.  
They'd niver find the Blessed Babe, an' they'd have to be movin' on.  

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS COMING UP THE HALL)

THE OLD WOMAN. That would sure be the girls this time!

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS COME UP TO DOOR AND THEN GO BY, AWAY DOWN THE HALL)

THE OLD WOMAN. (SIGHS) Ah, but 'tis weary waitin'!

'Twas on that day that David an' me was plighted -- a brave Christmas Day wid 
a shinin' sun an' a sky o' blue wid fair, white  clouds. An' David an' me met 
at the early mass in the dark o' the frosty mornin' afore the sun rose -- an 
there was all day good times an' a duck for dinner and puddin's an' a party at 
the O'Brady's in the evenin', whin David an me danced.  Ah, but he was a 
beautiful dancer, an' me, too -- I was as light on my feet as a fairy. (CROONS 
AN OLD DANCE TUNE)

SOUND: (IN BG, THE OLD WOMAN'S FOOTSTEPS AS SHE ATTEMPTS TO DANCE, TIRING 
QUICKLY) 

THE OLD WOMAN. Aye, but I danced like a fairy, an' there was not another 
couple so sprightly an' handsome in all the country. 

(WEAKLY) Ah, but I be old now, and the strength fails me.

SOUND: (DURING ABOVE, SHE SLUMPS INTO THE ROCKER AND BEGINS TO ROCK SLOWLY)

THE OLD WOMAN. 'Twas the day before the next Christmas that Michael was born 
-- the little man, the little white dove, my little son!

THE WOMAN. (COUGHS) Mother, could ye get me a cup o' wather? If the girls was 
here to get me a bite to ate, maybe it would kape the breath in me the night.

SOUND: (THE OLD WOMAN STOPS ROCKING, RISES, WALKS TO WATER PAIL, DIPS TIN CUP, 
DURING FOLLOWING:)

THE OLD WOMAN. Ye should thry to get up an' move about some, so ye can enjoy 
the Christmas threat. 'Tis bad bein' sick on Christmas. 

SOUND: (THE OLD WOMAN WALKS TO MARY)

THE OLD WOMAN. Try, now, Mary, to sit up a bit. The girls'll be wantin' ye to 
be merry wid the rest av us. 

THE WOMAN. (SAD, WISTFUL) I wouldn't spoil things for the girls if I could 
help. Maybe, mother, if ye'd lift me a little I could sit up.

SOUND: (THE WOMEN STRUGGLE, GRUNT WITH EFFORT, THE GIVE UP, PANTING FOR 
BREATH)

THE WOMAN. (GASPS) Maybe I'll feel sthronger lather whin the girls come home 
-- they could help me -- they be so late!   
  
Maybe I'll be sthrong again in the mornin'-- if I'd had a cup of coffee. -- 
Maybe I could get up -- an' walk about -- an' do the cookin'.

SOUND: (DURING ABOVE, FOOTSTEPS IN THE HALL ... THEN, A KNOCK AT THE DOOR)

THE WOMEN. Come in ...

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS)

THE WOMAN. Well, if it isn't Tim, the little messenger boy. Why, Tim, boy, 
come in. Sit ye down an' rest, ye're lookin' weary. 

THE OLD WOMAN. Come to the stove, Timmie, man, an' warm yourself. We always 
kape a warm room an' a bright fire for our visitors. 

THE BOY. (APOLOGETIC) I was awful cold an' hungry an' I come home to get 
somethin' to eat before I started out on another trip, but my sisters ain't 
home from the store yit, an' the fire's gone out in the stove, an' the room's 
cold as outside. I thought maybe ye'd let me come in here an' git warm. The 
cars are so beastly col' an' so crowded a feller mostly has to stand on the 
back platform.

THE OLD WOMAN. Poor orphan! Poor lamb! To be shure ye shall get warm by our 
sthove.

THE BOY. No, thank ye -- I don't want to go so near the stove yet; my feet's 
all numb an' they allays hurt so when they warms up fast.

THE OLD WOMAN. Thin sit ye down off the sthove.

THE BOY. If ye don't mind I'd rather stand on 'em 'til they gets a little used 
to it. They been numb off an' on mos' all day.

THE WOMAN. Ye look fearful tired and worn, Timmie. Soon as yer sisters come, 
ye'd betther go to bed -- 'Tis the best place to get warm.

THE BOY. I can't -- I got 'most a three-hour trip yet. I won't get home any 
'fore midnight if I don't get lost, and maybe I'll get lost -- I did onct out 
there. I've got to take a box o' 'Merican Beauty roses to a place eight mile 
out, an' the house ain't on the car track, but nearly a mile off, the boss 
said.  I wisht they could wait till mornin', but the orders was they just got 
to get the roses to-night. You see, out there they don' have no gas goin' 
nights when there's a moon, an' there'd ought to be a moon to-night, on'y the 
clouds is so thick there ain't no light gets through.

THE OLD WOMAN. There's no sthar shinin' to-night, Tim. (SLOW AND SAD) Niver a 
sthar. An' the shepherds will be havin' a hard time, Tim, like you, findin' 
their way.

THE BOY. Shepherds? In town? What shepherds?

THE WOMAN. She manes the shepherds on Christmas Eve that wint to find the 
Blessed Babe, Jesus.

THE OLD WOMAN. 'Tis Christmas Eve, Timmie; ye haven't forgot that, have ye?

THE BOY. You bet I ain't. I know pretty well when Christmas is comin', by the 
way I got to hustle, an' the size of the boxes I got to carry. Seems as if my 
legs an' me would like to break up pardnership. I got to work till midnight 
every night, an' I'm so sleepy I drop off in the cars whenever I get a seat. 
An' the girls is at the store so early an' late they don't get time to cook me 
nothin' to eat.

THE WOMAN. Be ye hungry, Timmie?

THE BOY. (SHYLY) No, I ain't hungry now.

THE WOMAN. Be ye shure, Timmie?
 
THE BOY. Oh, I kin go till I git home. 

THE WOMAN. Mother, can't you find something for him to ate?

THE OLD WOMAN. To be shure, to be shure. We always kapes a full cupboard to 
thrate our neighbors wid whin they comes in. (SLYLY) Ah, Timmie, lad, what: 
would ye like to be havin', now?  If you had the wish o' yer heart for yer 
Christmas dinner an' a good fairy to set it all afore ye? Ye'd be wishin' 
maybe, for a fine roast duck, to begin wid, in its own gravies an' some apple 
sauce to go wid it; an' ye'd be thinkin' o' a little bit o' pig nicely browned 
an' a plate o' potatoes; an' the little fairy woman would be bringin' yer 
puddin's an' nuts an' apples an' a dish o' the swatest tay.  

THE WOMAN. But, mother, you're not gettin' Tim something to ate.

THE BOY. She's makin' me mouth water all right. 

THE OLD WOMAN. Maybe ye'll meet that little fairy woman out there in the 
counthry road where ye're takin' the roses!  

SOUND: (SHE BUSTLES ABOUT ... CLATTER OF JARS, DISHES, PLATES ... SETS TABLE)

THE OLD WOMAN. Here's salt an' here's pepper an' here's mustard an' a crock 
full o' sugar, an', oh! Tim, here's some fine cold bacon -- fine, fat, cold 
bacon -- an' here's half a loaf o' white wheat bread! Why, Timmie, lad, that's 
just the food to make boys fat! Ye'll grow famously on it. 'Tis a supper, whin 
ye add to it a dhrop o' iligant milk, that's fit for a king.

SOUND: (POURS MILK)

THE BOY. (QUIETLY) I ain't had nothin' since a wienerwurst at eleven o'clock.

THE OLD WOMAN. Now, dhraw up, Timmie, boy, an' ate yer fill; ye're more thin 
welcome.  

SOUND: (WITHOUT SITTING, THE BOY EATS AND DRINKS HUNGRILY FOR A MOMENT, 
SMACKING HIS LIPS, ETC.)

THE WOMAN. (CONCERNED) Don't they niver give ye nothin' to ate at the gran' 
houses when ye'd be takin' the roses?

THE BOY. (MOUTH FULL) Not them. They'd as soon think o' feedin' a telephone or 
an automobile as me. 

THE WOMAN. But don't they ask ye in to get warm whin ye've maybe come so far? 

THE BOY. (BETWEEN BITES) No, they don't seem to look at me 'zacly like a 
caller. They generally steps out long enough to sign the receipt-book an' shut 
the front door behind 'em so as not to let the house get col' the length o' 
time I'm standin' there. Well, I'm awful much obleeged to ye. Now, I got to be 
movin' on.

THE OLD WOMAN. (INCREASINGLY DESPERATE) Sthop an' cilibrate the Christmas wid 
us, Timmie. We ain't started to do nothin' yet because the girls haven't come 
-- they know how -- an' they're goin' to bring things -- all kinds o' good 
things to ate an' a branch of rowan berries -- ah, boy, a great branch o' 
rowan wid scarlet berries shinin', an' we'll all be merry an' kape it up late 
into the night.

THE BOY. (UNEASY AT HER TONE) I guess it's pretty late now. I got to make that 
trip an' I guess when I get home I'll be so sleepy I'll jus' tumble in.  Ye've 
been awful good to me, an' it's the first time I been warm to-day. Good-by. 

THE OLD WOMAN. (COAXING) Ah, don't ye go, Michael, lad! Now, bide wid us a 
bit.  

THE BOY. (SURPRISED) Michael?

THE OLD WOMAN. (PLEADING) Ah,  boy, ah, Mike, bide wid us, now ye've come! 
We've been that lonesome widout ye!

THE BOY. (FRIGHTENED) I've got to be movin'.

THE OLD WOMAN. No, Michael, little lamb, no!

THE BOY. (TERRIFIED) I got to go!

SOUND: (THE BOY RUSHES OUT, SLAMMING DOOR BEHIND HIM ... FOOTSTEPS AWAY DOWN 
HALL DURING FOLLOWING:)

THE OLD WOMAN. (SOBS) Michael! (BREAKS INTO WEEPING) Michael ...

SOUND: (STILL WEEPING, SHE TOTTERS TO ROCKER AND SLUMPS INTO IT ... SOBBING 
AND ROCKING FOR A MOMENT ... AND THEN:)

THE OLD WOMAN. Oh, to have him come an' go again, my little Michael, my own 
little lad! 

THE WOMAN. Don't ye, dearie; now, then, don't ye! 'Twas not Michael, but just 
our little neighbor boy, Tim. Ye know, poor lamb, now if ye'll thry to 
remember, that father an' Michael is gone to the betther land an' us is left.

THE OLD WOMAN. Nay, nay,'tis the fairies that took thim an' have thim now, 
kapin' thim an' will not ever give thim back.

THE WOMAN. Whisht, mother! Spake not of the little folk on the Holy Night! 
Have ye forgot the time o' all the year it is? Now, dhry yer eyes, dearie, an' 
thry to be cheerful like 'fore the girls be comin' home. 

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS COMING UP THE HALL)

THE WOMAN. Thim be the girls now, shure they be comin' at last. 
 
SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS COME UP TO DOOR AND THEN GO BY, AWAY DOWN THE HALL)

THE WOMAN. But they'll be comin' soon.  

SOUND: (THE ROCKING CHAIR ROCKS FOR A MOMENT ... MORE FOOTSTEPS COME UP THE 
HALL ... THEN, A KNOCK AT THE DOOR)

THE WOMEN. Come in ...

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS)

THE OLD WOMAN. Good avnin' to ye! We're that pleased to see our neighbors! 

2ND NEIGHBOR. (IGNORES OLD WOMAN, SPEAKS ONLY TO MARY) Hello, Mary. How's yer 
cough?

THE WOMAN. Oh, it's jist the same -- may be a little betther. If I could on'y 
get to the counthry! But the girls must be workin'-- they haven't time to take 
me. Sit down, won't ye? 

SOUND: (NEIGHBOR WALKS TO WOMAN, SITS ON BED)

2ND NEIGHBOR. (SIGHS) I'm 'most dead, I'm so tired. I did two washin's to-day
--went out and did one this mornin' and then my own after I come home this 
afternoon.  I jus' got through sprinklin' it an' I'll iron to-morrow.

THE WOMAN. Not on Christmas Day!

2ND NEIGHBOR. (SNEERS) Christmas Day! Did ye hear 'bout the Beckers? Well, 
they was all put out on the sidewalk this afternoon. Becker's been sick, ye 
know, an' ain't paid his rent an' his wife's got a two weeks' old baby. It 
sort o' stunned Mis' Becker, an' she sat on one of the mattresses out there 
an' wouldn't move, an' nobody couldn't do nothin' with her. But they ain't the 
only ones has bad luck -- Smith, the painter, fell off a ladder an' got 
killed. They took him to the hospital, but it wasn't no use -- his head was 
all mashed in.  His wife's got them five boys an' Smith never saved a cent, 
though he warn't a drinkin' man.  It's a good thing Smith's children is boys 
-- they can make their livin' easier! 

THE WOMAN. (FAINT SMILE) Ain't ye got no cheerful news to tell? It's Christmas 
Eve, ye know.

2ND NEIGHBOR. Christmas Eve don't seem to prevent people from dyin' an' bein' 
turned out o' house an' home. Did ye hear how bad the dipthery is?  They say 
as how if it gits much worse they'll have to close the school in our ward.  
Two o' the Homan childern's dead with it. The first one wasn't sick  but two 
days, an' they say his face all turned black 'fore he died. But it's a good 
thing they're gone, for the Homans ain't got enough to feed the other six. Did 
ye hear 'bout Jim Kelly drinkin' again? Swore off for two months, an' then 
took to it harder'n ever -- perty near killed the baby one night.

THE WOMAN. (WEAKLY) Won't you please not tell me any more? It just breaks me 
heart.

2ND NEIGHBOR. (GRIM) I ain't got no other kind o' news to tell. I s'pose I 
might's well go home.

THE WOMAN. No, don't ye go. I like to have ye here when ye're kinder.

2ND NEIGHBOR. Well, it's gettin' late, an' I guess ye ought to go to sleep. 

THE WOMAN. Oh, no, I won't go to slape till the girls come. They'll bring me 
somethin' to give me strength. If they'd on'y come soon!

2ND NEIGHBOR. Ye ain't goin' to set up 'til they git home?

THE OLD WOMAN.  That we are. We're kapin' the cilebratin' till they come. 

2ND NEIGHBOR. What celebratin'?
 
THE OLD WOMAN. Why, the Christmas, to be shure. We're goin' to have high jinks 
tonight. In the ould counthry 'tis always Christmas Day, but here 'tis begun 
on Christmas Eve, an' we're on'y waitin' for the girls, because they know how 
to fix things betther nor Mary an' me. 

2ND NEIGHBOR. (STUNNED) But ain't they workin' in the store?

THE OLD WOMAN. Yes, but they're comin' home early to-night.

2ND NEIGHBOR. (LAUGHS IRONICALLY) Don't ye fool yerselves. Why, they've got to 
work harder to-night than any in the whole year. 

THE WOMAN. (WISTFUL) But they did say they'd thry to come home early.

2ND NEIGHBOR. The store's all crowded to-night. Folks 'at's got money to spend 
never remembers it till the last minute.  If they didn't have none they'd be 
thinkin' 'bout it long ahead. Well, I got to be movin'. I wouldn't stay awake, 
if I was you.

THE OLD WOMAN. Sthay and kape the Christmas wid us! We'll be havin' high jinks 
by an' by. Sthay, now, an' help us wid our jollity.

2ND NEIGHBOR. Nay, I left my children in bed, an' I got to go back to 'em.  
An' I got to get some rest myself -- I got that ironin' ahead o' me in the 
mornin'.  You folks better get yer own rest.  

SOUND: (NEIGHBOR RISES AND WALKS TO DOOR)

THE OLD WOMAN. David an Michael's comin'. 

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS STOP ABRUPTLY)

THE OLD WOMAN. Yis, were goin' to havea gran' time. (HALF SINGING) David an' 
Michael's comin' an' the shepherds for the fairies will show thim the way.

2ND NEIGHBOR. (UNEASILY, QUIETLY) I got to go.

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS OUT, DOOR SHUTS, FOOTSTEPS AWAY DOWN THE HALL)

THE WOMAN. (AFTER A PAUSE, HALF ASSLEEP) If the girls would on'y come! If 
they'd give me somethin' so as I wouldn't be so tired!

SOUND: (THE ROCKING CHAIR ROCKS)

THE OLD WOMAN. There's niver a sthar an' there's nobody to give thim a kind 
word an' the counthry roads are dark an' foul, but they've got the little folk 
to guide thim! An' whin they reach the city -- the poor, lonesome shepherds 
from the hills! -- they'll find naught but coldness an' hardness an' hurry.  
Will the Fairies show thim the way? Fairies' eyes be used to darkness, but can 
they see where it is black night in one corner an' a blaze o' light in 
another?   

Nay, look out the window, Mary. There's niver a sthar, an' the clouds are 
hangin' heavier an' lower an' the flakes o' snow are fallin'.  Poor little 
folk guidin' thim poor lost shepherds, leadin' thim by the hand so gently 
because there's no others to be kind to thim, an' bringin' thim to the manger 
o' the Blessed Babe.   

(SPEAKS SLOWER AND LOWER, DROPS INTO A QUIET CROONING, THEN FALLS ASLEEP) Poor 
little mite of a babe, so cold an' unwelcome an' forgotten save by the silly 
ould shepherds  from the  hills!  The silly ould shepherds from the strength 
o' the hills, who are comin' through the darkness in the lead o' the little 
folk!  

SOUND: (THE ROCKING SLOWS TO A STOP)

NARRATOR: (AFTER A PAUSE) The pallid, sick woman on the bed dies. Her mother 
being asleep does not notice the slight struggle with death.

THE WOMAN. (A GENTLE GASP)

NARRATOR: The fire has gone out in the stove, and the light in the lamp, and 
the room is in complete darkness when two girls come stumbling in. 

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS IN THE HALL, THE DOOR OPENS)

NARRATOR: They are too tired to speak, too weary to show surprise that their 
mother and grandmother are not awake.

They fumble about for a candle in the darkness and strike a match.

SOUND: (MATCH STRIKES)

NARRATOR: They light the candle and place it on the table by the scraggy 
evergreen tree. 

SOUND: (CANDLE SET DOWN)

NARRATOR: They see their grandmother asleep in the rocking chair. 

They see their mother lying in her bed. 

They stand gazing at her, the surprise, wonder, awe, misery, increasing in 
their faces. 

After a moment, they move to the bed, drop to their knees and bury their 
faces, sobbing, in the bedclothes at the dead woman's feet.

(MUSIC ... TO A FINISH)



--

(MUSIC ... THEME ... IN)

ANNOUNCER: Is anybody listening? Well, you've been listening to "The Shadowed 
Star" -- a radio drama based on the play by Mary MacMillan [a Cincinnati 
author, who wrote plays and poetry and was actively in favor of woman's 
suffrage. Her original one-act play was written for the Consumers League of 
the City of Cincinnati, presented by the College Club, in Cincinnati, Ohio, 
November 23, 1907. A version of the play was presented over Cincinnati radio 
station WLW on December 22, 1922 -- one of the earliest broadcasts of a
Christmas play on American radio].
        
The Old Woman was played by ____________________. 

Her daughter, Mary, was played by ____________________. 

Others in the cast included: _____________, ____________, _____________, and 
________________. 

Music was by ______________________________________________________ .

And ___________________ and _____________________ handled the sound effects.

Next week, if anybody's listening, they'll hear something called ________.

(MUSIC ... THEME ... OUT)

SOUND: (HEARTBEATS)

VOICE: (WHISPERS) Is anybody listening?

SOUND: (HEARTBEATS ... FADE)

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