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Page 1

HALF AN HOUR IN A CONVENT

A Play In One Act

Page 2

Holt am.Hour in a. Convent was first perform~ over the
radio, Station KZRM, on April 4, 1937, under Lamberto V.
Avellana's direction. Original Cast:

YOLANDA-Daisy P. Hontiveros
REV. MOTHER SUPERIOR-Patria Panaj6n
SISTER VITALIS----CitaTrinidad
SISTER THE-RESA-Nati N. Valentin

First stage performance: By the University of the PhiIip~
pines Class of Acting and Directing, directed by Jean G. Eda..;
des, at the U.P. Little Theatre, January 15, 1938.

",'Original cast: YOLANDA-Luz Baluyot ~'.
REV. MOTHER SUPERIOR-J"ulita Valdez
SISTER VITALIS-Nellie Sevillano
SISTER THERESA-Felisa Manzano

HALF AN HOUR .IN A CONVENT

CHARACTERS:

YOLANDA
THE REVEREND MOT'HE.RSUPERIOR
SISTER VITALIS
SISTER THERESA

The office of the MOTHER SUPERIOR in a local convent
school. A desk on the right covered with books and a flower
vase with roses. A few chairs. A door in the middle rear.
A crucifix over the door. On the left, a picture of the Madonna.
Several religious pictures around the walls. A window downright.

The MOTHER SUPERIOR is tall and has a very severe-
looking face. SISTER VITALIS is tiny, with a kind face.
Her eyes are as clear as a ba'by's and a constant smile plays on
her lips.

Lights go out completely, except the footlights. Immediate-
ly, Gounod's Ave Maria, sung backstage, is heard. When the
singer starts singing Sancta M«tria Mater Dei, the curtain
slowly goes up.

We see the MOTHER SUPERIOR kneeling on the pre.-dieu,
SISTE-R VITALIS, also kneeling, near the table. Both are
deep in prayer.

The song ends.

The MOTHER SUPERIOR and SISTER VITALIS make the
sign of the cross. MOTHER SUPERIOR stands hastily, goes,

·"'tothe table, gets some papers from drawer: SISTER VITALIS
looks at the MOTHER SUP.ERIOR as if she wanted to speak
to her. MOTHER SUPERIOR sits down, reads papers. SI~
TER VITALI8 approaches.

Page 3

SISTER VITALIS. You must believe me, Mother. She's
not really a bad girl.

MOTHER SUPERIOR. You don't call a girl bad who is dis·
obedient, rebellious, and disorderly? I insist she is, Sister Vi·
talis.

SR. VITALIS. Those faults alone do not mean a bad
nature. She needs understand-ing-she needs discipline, of
course--but she needs understanding first. I've watched her
.for a long time. She seems unhappy-seems hurt, bewildered.
I'm sure that something is worrying her, and that, perhaps, is
why she unconsciouslygives us trouble. Sh~'s being rebellious
'because she's bitter about somethin·g. But I assure you that
she doesn't mean any harm, Mother.

M. SUPERIOR. (Sits, left center.) You defend her ex·
ceedingly well, Sister Vitalis.

SR. VITALIS. It's because I understand her, Mother. If .
you-if we--could only give her a chance to explain, I'm sure./:
she would change for the better. :',

M. SUPERIOR. But after last night's incident, there can
be no chance for her now. You know what we've decided.

SR. VITALIS. I know she can explain last night's incident,
Mother. ,

M. SUPERIOR. How does she propose to explain it?
By lying shamelessly, I suppose. Do you thi~ that. l' shall
forgive her this time after she was caught talkmg WIth that
servant last night? She knows it's aga:inst the rules to talk
to the men-servants-she knows it very well-but, no, she
chooses to disobey deliberately, because she feels like doi~g so.
She must be punished and punished severely.: She should be
taught a lesson-otherwise, the other girls wiU fol!ow ~er
example' and we might as well close the school. She s ~Ullty
of disorderly conduct, and she must be punished! .:
, SR. VITALIS. She's different from other glrl~., We
should help her. She suffers much, I can see. But she s very
reserved-she doesn't talk much. . ' .
. M. SUPER10R. Yes, indeed, she is different-so different
that she's the worst girl in' the school. .

SR. VITALIS. But surely, Mother, expulsion is too drastic
a punishment.

M. SUPERIOR. She should have been expelled long ago but
for your own repeated pleadings, Sister. (Goes to window.)
Besides, you remember last month when Elsa was caught with
several love letters under her pillow. From whom? Ah, yes,
from that basketball player in the boys' school next door. She
was expelled. Why should Yolanda be the exception? Preced·
ents are always dangerous.

SR. VITALIS. It's true, but in this case-(F'ollotlJs MO·
THER SUPERIOR to window.)

M. SUPERIOR. Sister, you've a very soft heart. It's not
always good. Harden that heart, Sister, harden it. And don't
worry, I've called Yolanda to my office to explain. (A krwck
is heard. MOTHER SUPERIOR sits at desk.) Come in.

(YOLANDA enters., She is rather tall for her aget thin,
and nerv0U8. Her intense nature is revealed in the expression
of her IMe. Her most remarkable feature is her eyes, larue
and with am exceedingly rhtttrt expressiont haunting in their
sG.dness. She is dressed all in white. Carries a bo(f1cor two.
On seeing SISTER VITALIS, YOLANDA smiles timidly, but
the smile dies on meeting the severe eyes of the MOTHER
SUPERIOR. SISTER VITALIS leaves quietly.)

M. SUPERIOR. Take a seat, .Yolanda. (YOLANDA sits
near the desk. MOTHER SUPERIOR sits before her desk
a,ndreads a letter. Once in a while she shake8 her head.)

YOLANDA. You wanted to see met Mother?
. M. SUPERIOR. Yes, of course. Do you think I called
you that you may stare at the ceiling? Just be patient till
I finish this. (YOLANDA is obviouslyner.vous. The MO·
THER SUPERIOR finishes reading.) WeIl,. Yolanda, I'm'
surprised at your poor conduct lately. That's why I called
you to my office. For the past month and a half I've been
receiving nothing but bad reports from the Sisters. Poor
scholarship, rebellion, disobedience, disorderly conduct, quarrels
with your classmaies-all sorts of complaints. You were never
like this before, Yolanda. Since you came here to study five
years agot you've always behaved weIl. Rather gloomy, it's true,

Page 4

but quiet and studious; never gave us trouble, except occasion-
ally, of course. Last year you were just as good as the previous
years. No, no, now that I come to think of iIt, I began
noticing that you acted strangely-in October, I think it was.
No, I remember now, just after your. arrival from the Christ-
mas vacation. And this school year-it's only Augu/t now-
your conduct has become disgraceful.

YOLANDA. Oh, no, Mother I
'M. SUPERIOR. Let me finish, my child. Sister .Theresa

left an hour ago, informing me of your refusal to take your
lunch this morning. You didn't like the fried chicken, she said.
And Sister Gertrudis told me la,at night that you also refused
to play in the games yesterday and the day before. It is for
your own physical welfare that you're obliged to take' part in
some games daHy. (During the next sentence she goes to the
filing cabitnet, taku <mt a card, Zooks at it, and replaces it,
YOLANDA followitng.) Your marks for this month and last
July were particularly poor--especiaHy in mathematics ~nd his-
tory. And this morning, you came too late for Mass; as a
mater of fact it was a little after the fi~st Gospel. (Returns
to ~er soot; YOLANDA sits again al.8o.) And you didn't look
very tidy ei'ther. And these-(takes two books from the dr(JJwer
in the desk) these books were found under your pi1ldw-Sadie
McKee by Vitia Delmar-a.nd this other one-Practical Psycho-
logy. Are these books references for your class in English
Iiterature?-I ask you, Yolanda,-are they?

YOLANDA. No, Mother.
M. SUPERIO~. (Im."Oatiently.) What can be the matter

with you then, Yol~nda?
YOLANDA. I don't know, Mother, I don't know! 'I don't

even know why I do this and why I do that. I just feel-
sometimes-something inside me-I can't explain it-it just
drives me to do things beyond my control.

~{.SUPERIOR. My dear child, don't tell me that that is your
sole excuse for doing all the things you've done. There's noth-
'ing we can't control, if we really want to. And with the grace
of God, nothing's impossible. Don't tell me that you can't
help being rebellious and disobedient.

YOLANDA. It isn't that, Mother! You don't understand!
M. SUPERIOR. I see. Now I don't understand. I suppose .

you're going to give me lessons on how to handle the school next.
YOLANDA. How can I explain?
M. SUPERIOR. Your conduct last night (YOLANDA

stares at her nerv.ously)-yes, that's why I called you-your
conduct last night when you were caught tallcing to that ser-
vant downstairs near the Music Hall. You know the rules
very well, Yolanda. You've given a bad example to the rest
of the girls. The whole school has learned of last night"s
incident.

YOLANDA. But, Mocher, I was merely talking to him.
Surely there's nothing wrong in talking to a man?

M. SUPE·RIOR. Insolent! Of course there's nothing wrong!
No, nothing wrong! Howa:bout this? (Produces a letter from
her sleeve. YOLANDA is startled, but says nothing.) A let-
ter addressed ,to him-by you! It was found by Sister As-
sumption. Yau must have dropped it in the corridor near
the cha.pel. Well, what. have you got to s·ay to this? (YO-
LANDA tries to speak, but noticing the Lack of sympathy from
the MOTHER SUPERIOR, she ,halts and casts down her eye8.)
Well?-You're silent. Therefore-you're guilty!-Elsa was
caug.ht with several love letters under her pillow last month.
That'-sstrictly prohibited here under penalty of expulsion. And
Elsa was expelled. You're just as guilty as she was. There-
fore, you must !"

YOLANDA. (Springing up from her chair.) No, Mother,
not that! Please, anything-anything but expul~ionI

M. SUPERIOR. Sit down, Yolanda. Calm yourself-And
don't seream at me like that. Sit down, I said.-How old nfO
you, Yolanda?

YOLANDA. I'H be sixteen in a few days, Mother.
M. SUPERIOR. At your age you should be mol'OHcnslblo.
YOLANDA. How can I make you understand, Mother, that

Pm not bad? I just ca:n't explain what's wrong- wIth me. Tt.
was only during this past summer vacation, that I noticed n
change in me. I don't even know what the chnnp,-cfR.

M. SUPERIOR. Probably your health is poor. Do you
sleep well?

,;
Oft

( - "~

, ..I

"1·'
, ,

Page 5

YOLANDA. It isn't my health, Mother.
M. SUPERIOR. Only people in bad health are moody and

sad-looking-just like you.
YOLANDA. I can't explain it clearly, but at times I feel

restless-I feel diseouraged-and at other times, gay and
carefree. But hardly anything cheers me up or gives me pleas-
ure. I find that the friends I had now bore me-that the
books I used to read have become dun and insipid~that the
things I used to take great pleasure'in are now uninteresting.
I don't understand it, Mother.

M. SUPER~OR. Is that how you explain your poor behav-
ior during the last month?

I YOLANDA. (Bitterly.) No, Mother, no! Please-try to
understand!

M. SUPERIOR. (Severely.) I am trying to understand,
YolandaI

YOLANDA. Oan,I help it if I seem unhappy or if I act as
I do?

M. SUPERIOR. Try to be cheerful then. Try to smile,
try to see the sunny side of life. Stop dwelling ori morbid
things, like psychology,' for instance.

YOLANDA. It isn't anything like that, Mother. :
M. SUPERIOR. You should pray more, my child.,
YOLANDA. But I dol It helps me little.
M. SUPERIOR. (Impatiently.) What then can be the

cause?
YOLANDA. I don~t know, Mother!
M. SUPERIOR. It must be the books you read then. Why

do you read such books as Sadie McKee---;...and psychology?
They're more dangerous than profitable to a young girl like
you. What does a girl like you want to read books on psy-
chology for?

YOLANDA. Because-
M. SUPERIOR. Well-?
YOLANDA. Because I want to read something better-than

the dull books--in our school library I
M. SUPERIOR. So! Dull books in our library t So you

think our books aren't good enough for youI If you didn't
read those kinds of books, you wouldn't be so rebellious and
stubborn. There's nothing wrong with you except that you're
by nature that way. 'Y:'oudiaobey becaus'e it's your nature
to be disobedient. You quarrel with the girls because you
want to hurt them. You refuse to play in the games because
you think it undignified. You talk to the servants because
you've no sense of moral conduct! '

YOLANDA. Irt;isn't true, Mother I No, not (A knock itJ
heard. A brief pause.)

M. SUPER~OR.. Come in. (SISTER VITALIS comes in
and hands a letter to MOTHER SUPERIOR. The latter reads
it luuttily.) Oh, so he has arrived. Is he waiting at the por-
teria?

SR. VITALIS. Yes, Mother.
M. SUPERIOR. Sister Vitalis, please watch Yolanda for

a few minutes while I see him. I'll be back soon. Your fa-
ther is here, Yolanda. (MOTHER SUPERIOR gOBS out.)

YOLANDA. (With fear in her eyes.) My father I What
is he doing here, Sister?

SR. VITALIS. I'm sorry to tell you-but Mother Superior
telegraphed your father early this morning to come here-and
take you back with him to the province.

YOLANDA. Take me? To the province? No, it can't be
true: Sister I I've done nothing wrong! My father-he'll
pUnIsh mel

SR. VITALIS. Calm yourself, my child, he hasn't taken you
yet. Probably he never will.

YOLANDA. But I'm afraid to see my father!
SR. VITALIS. (Gently p'ropels YOLANDA to table, left.)

Come, ~ome, Yolanda, do not talk nonsense. Why should you
• be afraId to. see your father? (Sits left benter am.d moti01l8
• ~O~ANDA ~nto left chair.) Ten me, Yolanda, why are you

glVlng us so much worry and trouble? Why did you talk
to that young servant and why did you write him letters and
notes?

YOLANDA. Sister, you must believe me. Only you and
he understand me here. I'm not bad-really I'm not.

Page 6

SR. VITAL1S. I know you're not, Yolanda. ~
YOLANDA. I've been unhappy for so long that my eyes

never seem to get dry. Mother Superior doesn't like me in
the least.

SR. VITALIS. You mustn't say that, Yolanda.
YOLANDA. But she doesn't. !tis true!
SR. VITALIS. Tell me-What is troubling you?
YOLANDA. At home I'm unhappy. Since my mother died

two years ago, I've been wretched at home-and here. My
father is unkind to me.

SR. VITALIS. You mustn't talk that way 1lJboutyour fa-
ther.

YOLANDA. But it is true,- Sister! He scolds me for the
most trivial thing. He thought I was lazy while I was at home
during this last summer v1lJCati-on.He nagged me, kept finding
fault with' me constantly. "Stop day-dreaming and reading
books"-these words kept ringing in my ears. (SISTER VI-
TALIS drops her rosatry. YOLANDA picks it up and kneels

. at her right.) That is why I'm afraid to go back to the prov-
ince. And when Mother Superior tells him of the things I've
done here, he'll make my life miserable. And I'll be lonely
there t Oh so lonely! -

SR. VITALIS. He prob3ibly doesn't understand you, my
child.

YOLANDA. I know-neither does Mother Superior-but
why, why, why?

SR. V1TALIS. We all have our own Crosses to bear. You
must bear yours-as I bear mine--without a word of complaint.

YOLANDA. That isn't always possible, Sister. And the
Cross-is so heavy sometimes.

SR. VlTALLS. No heavier than other people's Crosses, Yo-
landa. But you're young-when you're older.-Tel1 me' again:
why did you write to that servant? It was imprope~. You
know that. -

YOLANDA. The truth, Sister?
SR. VITALIS. Yes, the truth.
YOLANDA. Because I needed-affection! Because 1

needed-love IYou're the only ones who've been kind to me here

-you, Sister, and hel Only he and you! He understood me,
he never laughed at meI And he liked me! I'm not ashamed
to say it, Sisterl Yes, he loved me 1 But believe me we did
nothing wrong. As God is my witness we did nothin~ wrong 1

SR. V1TALLS. Hush, child! Leave the Lord's name out of
this I

Y.OLANDA.. I'm Borry. (She stands, gets right ccnt~·
cka'tr, places 'tt near SLSTER VITALIS, and sits on it.) But
I ?on't c-a:e that he is a servant. He studies in the evening
-IS studYIng law, #" told me. And I don't care what he is!
At least he was decent to me. I needed someone whom I could
talk to and who would love me--or like me-yes, just like me.
For years now I've craved affection-the affection which I
never got at home since Mother died-how my heart thirsts
for it !-And when I got this chance--this chance to escape
from so much unhappine'ss-I snatched it hungrily, greedilyl
(SISTER VITALIS rises abruptly and g-oes down, left. YO-
LANDA follows.) Sister, have I sinned in wanting love? Have
I done wrong in looking for affection? Tell me! But you Me
crying, Sister 1 Have I s-aid anything to hurt you? Have 17

SR. VITALIS. No, Yolanda, no. Only my eyes bother me.
Go on.

YOLANDA. You understand me, don't you, Sister?
SR. VITAL1S. (Sadly.) I do. (SISTER VITALIS replaces

the ckat".r.)
YOLANDA. Sister Vitalis, Father is here 1 Is Mother

.superior going to expel me? Please, talk to her-make her
unde;stand 1 Explain to her how miserable I'll be there in the
prOVl:nce.Tell her that Father will be so ashamed of my con-
duct he'll punish me! A"!k her for one more chance-just
one!
.SR. VITALIS. Yes, Yolanda. I shall t~lk to her. Do not

worry.. Pull .yourself together; you're very much excited.
Everythlr:g WIll be all right. I will even talk to your father
and explam to him.

YOLANDA.· You must, Sister.
SR. VITALIS. Stay here. I'll see them now.

Page 7

HALF AN HOUR IN A CONVENT

YOLANDA. (Taking her hand impulsively.) Thanks, Sister
Vitalist Thanks! (Kisses her hatnd.) . ' .

SR. VITALIS. No, no, Yolanda. Don't ~e too ImpulsIve-
Wait here while I call Sister Theresa to be wIth you. (SISTER
VIT ALIS goes out. For a few seconds Y~L~DA stays alone
in the room. She approaches the desk t'tmidly; ~oks at rher
father's note. In. her face fear is pictured agal/!n. .'SISTER
THERESA comes in. She is small and fat. She eyes YOLAN-
DA suspiciously.) .'

SR. THERESA. Yolanda! What are you doing? .~n{)Opmg
through the Mother Superior's desk?

YOLANDA. No! (Yolanda paces indignantly dOWn lef~.)
SR. THERESA. No? Then why are you near .i~? (Sits

right center.) Take that chair and be still until. .Mother
Superior comes back. Hmp,you are in trouble ~gam-~nd
this time serious trouble, very serious. Hmp, you re ~ettmg
no better. Always giving us trouble. Well, why don t you
sit down?

YOLANDA. I'm not tired!
SR. THERESA. Not tired! .(Half rises. peers over. t~

desk.) Hmp, I thought so-this pIece of pap~r seems, .ruffled
what's this? (Tries to read'it.) Hmp, I can tread withoUJtmy
glasses. Did you open this, Yolanda?

YOLANDA. Certainly not!
SR. THERESA. Ave Maria purisima! You dare answer

me in such high tones!
YOLANDA. Why can't you all leave me alone:
SR THERESA. Virgen del Rosario! SUc~ Insolence! I

shall' report your behavi?~ ft t% ~::h;~or s)urpe~~. th~~S:i~o~
it young lady. (Proce~ '.' I t

~~n~t be melted by your sad-looking eyes. and aIr of co~p ~~
USister Theresa-please-let It pass-I won t .

;~aoce~:e. 1promise." Hmp, that's what you alwayJl":say when
. :hou-and then do worse things the mom~nt. my back
is cturneX. But not t~is time, young lady, not thIS 71me. (1s
about to open the dOM.) . Th

YOLANDA. (Pleading in ,a sincere manner.) SIster e·
res a-please don'~

SR. THERESA. (Turning.) .Oh, no, not this time, young
lady, not this time. If I didn't report you, I wouldn't be ful-
filling my duty.

YOLANDA. You've been always so kind to me, Sister.
Just this time-I promise-

SR. THERESA. (Faltering.) Hmp, no, no. I shall see
that you get punished. Oh, yes, you will be punished. (Steps
are heard. SISTER THERESA goes above desk.) Here comes
Mother Superior now. (REVEREND MOTHER SUPERIOR
and SISTER VITALIS come in.)

M. SUPERIOR. What is it, Sister?
SR. THERESA. Oh -er - this girl, Mother - er - she

Oh, well - nothing, nothing.
M. SUPERIOR. (To SISTER VITALIS.) It's no use,

Sister. Nothing can be done about it. And you heard what
he said-he agrees with our decision. (They como in. SIS-
TER THERESA shrugs her shOulders and leave.'I. YOLANDA
approaches SISTER VITALIS and tries to g1t8S8 the decision.
But SISTER VITALIS shakes her head .'I(ldJlI and morelll
squeezes the girl's hand, amd then breaks mVo,lI. MOTHER
SUPERIOR SU8 at her desk.)

M. SUPERIOR. Well, Yolanda, after due deliberation, I've
come to the decision that you must be expel,led Crom Rchool.
You may pack your things. Your father I~ wllftln« nt the
porteria.

YOLANDA. (Ru-IIhes fo the desle.) Expul~lon I My futher!
Oh, no, nol

M. SUPERIOR. There's nothing more we CRn do for you,
Yolanda. You've proved yourself time and again to be a nuis-
ance not only to the Sisters and the girls,but to the whole school
in general. We cannot have you here any longer. We've
tried our best. To forgive you would start a bad precedent.
And I was just telling Sister Vitalis that bad precedents are
always dangerous. The rules in this school must be carried
out strictly. So we've deeided to let you go.

YOLANDA. Please, Mother! (MOTHER SUPERIOR
stands up.)

Page 8

HALF AN HOUR IN A CONVENT

M. SUPERIOR. Pack up your things, and hurry! Your fa~
ther wants to catch the 4 :15 train.

YOLANDA. (Pleading.) Don't expel me, Mother! Any-
thing,' anything but that! I'll do everything-I'll study hard-
harder than any girl here-I'll be obedient-I'll follow all the
rules-I won't gI() out-I'll play in the games-I won't quarrel-
I'll not even see him-punish me, anything, Mother, anything
but expulsion!
. M. SUPERIOR. Too late, my child, too late. You should
have thought of tha"t before. Pack up your things, Yolanda!

YOLANDA. (FaUitng to her knees atnd clitngitng to SIoSTER
VITALIS' Wit.) Oh, Sister Vitalis, make her understand!
Tell her that I can't go, that I mustn't go! ~

SR. VITALIS. (Trying to hide her tears.) My dear child-
YOLANDA. (To SISTER VITALIS.) She doesn't under-

stand! Let me stay here!
M. SUPERIOR. Pack up your things!
YOLANDA. (To SISTER VITALIS.) She does,ri't under-

stand! She can't understand! Why don't you explain it to
her?

SR. VITALIS. No-no, Yolanda. There's nothing I can do
-now. I've tried my best. You must-you must obey Mother
Superior. (She brooks loose from the girl.) ,

M. SUPERIOR. (Angrily.) Did you hear me, Yolanda?
Will1lou obey?

YOLANDA. But I can't go, Mother! I don't want to go!
M. SUPERIOR. You think you can always impose your

wiH! I won't stand any more of this foolishness! The decision
has been made, and you must go, Yolanda!

YOLANDA. But you can change it, Mother! You won't
regret it! I can't go back to my home-not now! My father
-he'll punish me! Let me stay, Mother!

M. SUPERIOR. Father is waiting!-Hurry, hurry! (Call-
ing.) Sister Theresa! Sister Theresa! (SISTER THERESA
comes in.)

'SR.'THERESA. Yes, Mother.
M. SUPERIOR. Take this girl to her donnj,tory and: help

her pack her things.
SR. VITALI,S. (Advancing.) Let me do it, Mother.

M. SUPERIOR. I don't think it advisable. Let SiRtef The.
resa do it.

(SI,STER THERESA holds YOLANDA by her amUl, forc-
ing her to the door. YOLANDA resists.)

SR. THERESA. Come, come, Yolanda. You Intillt obey
Mother Superior. You heard what she said. And YUill' father
is fretting; he's terribly impatient.

YOLANDA. No, I won't go! I'd rather do anything than
goback to the province! (To SISTER VITALIS.) Sister Vitalist
I want to stay here! I'd rather diet-I'd rather diet-I'd rather
die!

(Sobbitng hysterically, YOLANDA is dragged O'ut of the
room.)

M. SUPERIOR. (Starts to speak onLy after the girt's cries
have abated.) Good Lord! I never saw such a girl. There's no
denying i,t. She's really a bad girl. (Skakes her head pityingLy
and opens the door. As the MOTHER SUPERIOR is cLosing
the door behind her, SISTER VITALIS, who is leaning on the
table, starts to speak.)

SR. VITALIS. No-no, Mother. It isn't true. She isn't bad
-she isn't. (Her voice is so soft tkat MOTHER SUPERIOR
does not hea,r her. MOTHE:RSUPERIOR goes out.) I'm afraid
she does not understand Yolanda in the least. I'm afraid she
doesn't.

(Stays leaning against the tabLe, as if in a daze, then covers
her face with her i1wm.d. She kneels down before ,the kneeling
form amd b:u:rie8her .head in her karnds. For a few sooond8 the
stage is absolutely silent. S'uddenly a piercing !Scream is heard
outside. I Simultaneously a heavy thud is heard. Voices and
tramping Of feet. SIS~R VITALIS, frightened, springs up
and is about to open the door, when SISTER THERESA, ex-
tremely pale amd 'excited, ru,shesin. She, is 80 nervous that
she C(Jff/, hardly talk coherently.)

SR. THERESA. Sister VitaIis!
SR. VITALIS. That scream-what was it ~
SR. THERESA. Sh~she!
SR. VITALIS. Who? Hurry!
SR. THERESA. Yolanda!-She-
SR. VITALIS. What happened?

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