Additional Telephone Conversations
Дополнительные телефонные разговоры
GRETCHEN: I called Jean at your house and she told me where you are. I hope I'm not disturbing
RUDOLPH: No, no. I'm just dawdling idly (1) in that well-known holiday spot, Dallas les Bains. Where are you anyway?
GRETCHEN: Los Angeles. I wouldn't have called you, but I'm out of my mind.
RUDOLPH: What is it?
GRETCHEN: It's Billy. Did you know he dropped out of school a month ago?
RUDOLPH: No. He hardly ever whispered his secrets to me, you know.
GRETCHEN: He's being drafted, now that he's not a student any more.
RUDOLPH: Well, it might do him some good. A couple of years in the Army might make a man of him.
GRETCHEN: You have a baby daughter. You can talk like that. I have one son, I don't think a bullet through his head is going to make a man of my son.
RUDOLPH: Now, Gretchen, don't make it so automatic. Induct (2) the boy and two months later send the corpse home to mother. There are an awful lot of boys who serve their time and come home without a scratch.
GRETCHEN: That's why I'm calling you. I want you to make sure that he comes home without a scratch.
RUDOLPH: What can I do?
GRETCHEN: You know a lot of people in Washington.
RUDOLPH: Nobody can keep a kid out of the draft if he's goofed school (3) and he's in good health, Gretchen.
GRETCHEN: I'm not so sure about that, either, from some of the things I've heard and read. But I'm not asking you to try to keep Billy out of the Army.
RUDOLPH: Then what are you trying to get me to do?
GRETCHEN: Use your connections to make sure that once Billy is in he doesn't ever get sent to Viet Nam.
RUDOLPH: Gretchen, I wish you could figure out some other way...
GRETCHEN: The only other person I know who might be able to do something is Colin Burke's brother. He's a general in the Air Force. He's in Viet Nam right now. I bet he'd just fall all over himself with eagerness4 to keep Billy from hearing a shot fired.
RUDOLPH: Not so loud, Gretchen. I hear you perfectly well.
GRETCHEN: I'm going to tell you something. If you don't help me, I'm coming to New York and I'm taking Billy with me to Canada or Sweden. And I'm going to make one hell of a loud noise about why I'm doing it.
RUDOLPH: Christ, Gretchen. What's wrong with you? (He heard the phone slam at the other end. Some minutes later he went over to the phone and asked for the Gretchen 's number in California.
When she answered, he said:) All right, Gretchen. I'll stop over in Washington on the way north and see what I can do. I think you can stop worrying.
GRETCHEN: Thank you, Rudy. I knew you'd come through.
- I'm just dawdling idly. - Я просто бездельничаю.
- to induct - призывать на военную службу
- if he's goofed school - если он бросил школу
- he'd just fall all over himself with eagerness - он бы из кожи вон вылез