About the Author

Dianne Warren

DIANNE WARREN is the author of the Governor General’s Award–winning novel Cool Water, as well as the novel Liberty Street, three books of short fiction and three plays. Serpent in the Night Sky was short-listed for a Governor General’s Award for Drama in 1992. In 2004, she won the Marian Engel Award for a woman writer in mid-career. Warren lives with her husband, a visual artist, in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Books by this Author
Cool Water

Cool Water

edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
tagged : literary
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Last Journey of Captain Harte, The
Excerpt

Scene 4:

Harte is sitting on the edge of the hospital bed, packed and ready to go. The letter is open. Harte studies a photograph, then reads the letter. When he's partway through the nurse enters and watches him.

Harte: (Reading.) "Dear William. Or perhaps I should call you Cap. Charlie always called you Cap, short for Captain I understand, but I don't know why. There must be a story. This is a difficult letter for me to write. I know how close you and Charlie were, and I thought you would want to be informed that he passed away a week ago yesterday as the result of a farming accident. The doctors tell me he died instantly with no suffering, so that is a blessing, if there is a blessing to be found anywhere in this. You grasp at straws. Our boys, Andrew and Joel, are too young to really understand what has happened, but they'll miss Charlie and I will try to keep his memory alive for them. I don't know what else to tell you. I hope this letter reaches you. I am sending it to the last address we have for you. Perhaps we'll meet some day in happier times. All the best to you. Sincerely, Marguerite Waker." (Pause.) Charlie. Christ.

Harte folds the letter and exits.

Nurse: Now there's someone you can call.

 

Scene 16:

Harte: I've been trying to call, but the lines...let's just say it's not quite the twentieth century over here.

Marguerite: Where are you calling from?

Harte: Karachi.

Marguerite: Where?

Harte: Pakistan. Karachi, Pakistan. Other side of the world. (Pause.) Marguerite? Are you still there?

Marguerite: Yes. I was just wondering... Pakistan. Imagine. Well, Charlie said you'd spend your life travelling. I guess he was right. Are you still in the merchant marine?

Harte: No. Not for years. Marguerite, the thing is, I've got an opportunity, and I made a promise to Charlie, a long time ago, I know, but would you mind...? I was wondering if you'd mind if I came for a visit. A quick visit. I wouldn't stay long.

Marguerite: A visit? Here? Come all the way from Pakistan?

Harte: This opportunity...

Marguerite: (Interrupts.) Please. Do come. It's been a long time since Charlie... I would be so glad to see you.

Harte: You would?

Marguerite: Of course. A friend of Charlie's is always welcome.

Harte: Really?

Marguerite: He talked about you often. You know, there's a photograph of you and Charlie. I'm sure of it. You and Charlie... I don't remember where, but you're standing in front of a statue. A famous statue somewhere.

Harte: No kidding.

Marguerite: I'll have to try and find that photograph. Put a face to the voice.

Harte: I don't imagine I'll look much like the man in the picture. Lot of water under the bridge.

Marguerite: Yes, well, that old devil time.

Harte: I have a photograph of you.

Marguerite: Of me?

Harte: And Charlie and the boys. The one you sent in the letter.

Marguerite: Letter?

Harte: When Charlie passed away.

Marguerite: I enclosed a picture? It's guaranteed not to be a likeness. Not anymore.

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Liberty Street

Liberty Street

edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook
tagged : literary
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The Diamond House

The Diamond House

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged :
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