Saturday, January 4, 2014
Skinner Sweet – A Continental Divide – Brian Manton
The Panama Canal, under construction. A massive scene of early 20th Century progress. A controlled explosion billows from the rockface. (Position the explosion in the reading flow between cap 1 & 2.)
TEXT: 1913. The Panama Canal (work-in-progress).
CAP (1) (Skinner): 160 trains a day haul away wreckage as 27,000 tonnes of dynamite slowly press through the Culebra Cut.
CAP (2) (Skinner): Tearing the future from solid rock.
CAP (3) (Skinner): Plans big as these leave a lot of room to work on your own.
A burly worker strains as he lugs a boulder into a cart. Labourmen clear away debris as demolitions men set more charges.
CAP(Skinner): 6000 men working the cut.
CAP(Skinner): Hungry work.
A train pulls into the large cobbled-together train station. A few of the boxes are passenger carriages but most are cargo laden. Men unload crates of whiskey, food and supplies.
CAP(Skinner): Those 160 trains return with all manner of sustenance.
A lavishly decorated but gloomily lit train carriage. Four businessmen dressed in early century finery are presented with a line up of young women. The men's eyes somehow catch and reflect the light from the wall mounted lamps.
CAP(Skinner): The finest of which is reserved for men who don't need to labour in the sun all day to build up a hunger.
Through a crowded carriage of elegant whores we see Skinner Sweet, brimmed hat tipped - revealing only his smile.
CAP (Skinner): Plans, plans, so many plans.