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Ludwig Thoma, The First of August [Der erste August] (1915)

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Some of Them
That’ll get us home!

A Young Man
Hans, hurry up!

I’m ready! [He walks, standing straight, to the doors, turns around one last time and calls out.] Good-bye, Mother. Adieu, Father! [And then he is off.]

A Boy
[Imitates the whistle of a locomotive and calls out to them like a conductor.]
All aboard! All aboard the fast train to Paris! [All laugh]

Another One
Let’s go!

A Third [commanding]
Battalion! Forward, march . . . [The accordion begins playing the melody: “Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden [I had a Comrade]” . . . There are some screams of “Yahoo” and “Yippee,” etc. . . . Then the boys start marching off.]

[Runs to the window and calls out]
And make sure you write a lot . . . how you’re doing and things . . .

The boys march out, singing: “Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden” . . . The sound of their singing trails off quickly into the distance . . .

Gschwendtnerin [sighing]
Now he is gone . . .

The Old Weaver
So many boys! So many fresh, young boys!

Curtain falls

Source: Ludwig Thoma, Der erste August; Christnacht 1914. Zwei Einakter [The First of August; Christmas Night 1914. Two One-Act Plays]. Albert Langen: Munich, 1915, pp. 24-43.

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