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Prologue Lyrics

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Prologue

 
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Prologue (A railway cutting. A wild stormy summer night. The Signal Man is in his signalbox. Walter Hartright, carrying a bag and an easel, sees the Signal Man.)

Hartright:
Hallo! Below there! Hallo! Signal Man? Down there… Hallo!

Signal Man:
Who calls me in the dead of night?

Hartright:
Hartright. My name is Walter Hartright.

Signal Man:
What are you doing here, on a night like this?

Hartright:
I'm lost sir. I'm trying to find my way to Limm'ridge House - The train broke down and I'm forced to walk.

Signal Man:
Branch train broke down – what you say is true

Hartright:
Yes, I heard the wires singing in the wind – The noise of them led me to you.

Signal Man:
Why are you going to Limm'ridge House?

Hartright:
I have the post of drawing master- I must arrive tonight for I start tomorrow… Sir, you look upon me with such dread.

Signal Man:
Last night I had a vision
That a stranger would appear
He stood right where you are-
A man such as yourself.
“Alarm on the line!” he said
Alarm on the line!
So I tapped out the message.
And the answer came back
“All well both ways”
But he said “You'll mark my words
When a year to this day
The dead lie on the tracks!
The dead lie on the tracks!”

Hartright:
I can assure you, sir, I know of no imminent danger!

Signal Man:
A man such as yourself!
(The telegraph wires sound again in the signal box)
They are calling me from down the line. There's danger somewhere along the line.

(A woman dressed in white [Anne Catherick] suddenly appears from the trail tunnel and touches Hartright on the shoulder)

Hartright:
Oh, my God!

Anne:
You've got to help me! There's someone after me!

Hartright:
How can I help you?

Anne:
I'm being followed
And I've done nothing wrong!

Hartright:
It's very late for you to be out here alone-

Anne:
You must believe me
That I am free of blame.

Hartright:
Who do you run from?

Anne:
I dare not say his name!

Hartright:
Where do you live?
I'll try to help you if I can.

Anne:
I have a secret
My precious secret
But can I trust you?
But can I trust you?
They cannot take away my secret-
Though it's something I can't share with you.
It's locked inside my heart, my secret-
But there's someone I must tell it to.
Secrets kept inside can hurt you
Mine is sharper than a knife
If I tell the one I seek
I may save her life!

Hartright:
Please you needn't fear me
Truly you can trust me
I would never harm you
I'm not threat – I am Walter…
Walter Hartright. I'll help you to get home.

Anne:
I have no home at all
Nothing but my secret… I have just my secret.

(The noise of a pony and chaise approaching)

There's someone coming!
And I must get away-
I have to get away!
But can I trust you?

(She moves off towards the train tunnel)

Hartright:
Don't go in there!
He said there's danger on the line

Anne:
I'll tell my secret for secrets must be told

(She disappears into the tunnel. A servant enters)

Servant:
You must be Mister Hartright?

Hartright:
Yes

Servant:
I'm sent to bring you straight to Limm'ridge House.

Hartright:
Did you see her?
A woman, dressed in white.

Servant:
I saw no one.

Hartright:
A woman all in white?

Servant:
Sir, I saw no one.
I saw no one.
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