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On the Rock

Author: Ernesto Caballero
Translated by: Sarah Maitland
Language: English
ISBN: 84-95683-40-7
Price: 2,00 €
File size: (OnThRoEN.pdf) 641 Kb.
Available in: Spanish

(2 men).
The year is 1937. In a hotel in Gibraltar, special correspondent for The Times newspaper in Spain, Kim Philby, meets his old friend Guy Burgess. Both young men are agents of the Soviet Secret Service. Guy must entrust Philby with a very special mission that could bring about a swift end to the Spanish civil war.

On The Rock

A mild summer’s night. Only two men remain on the restaurant terrace of The Rock Hotel, working their way through a bottle of whisky.


GUY  There’s nothing better than a nice walk along the sand after a hearty meal. . . .

KIM  We’ve left our footprints. . . .

GUY  The sea will wash them away soon.

KIM  Same sea as always.

GUY  Our sea.

KIM  Same history as well.

GUY  Our history.

KIM  We could have changed it.

GUY  We did what we could.

KIM  There were also things we didn’t do. . . .

GUY  Don’t go back over that again, Kim. . . .

KIM  I haven’t stopped going back over it all this time. . . .

GUY  Let’s go back to the present.

KIM  Let’s go back. . . .


(Silence. A light breeze runs across the stage.)


GUY  Isn’t it lovely? Not too hot, not too cold.

KIM  It’s one of the precious few advantages there are about being in Spain these days.

GUY  Might I remind you that we’re not actually in Spain?

KIM  But of course. God save the King.

GUY  The Spanish might complain, but Gibraltar will always belong to the Crown. It’s a small matter for the Spanish, though their pride won’t let them admit it. When they truly decide to fight they’re ready to kill even one another, just like what we’re seeing scarcely ten miles away over there.

KIM  The Spanish are fighting fascism. I don’t think it’ll be long before the rest of Europe has to follow suit.

GUY  We’re already fighting fascism, darling. Some of us, anyway. In our own way.

KIM  That’s why we’re here, I suppose.

GUY  You’re right. We’re here for our silent war. (They toast their drinks.) Oh yes, congratulations on your articles, Kim. They’re quite brilliant, truly.

KIM  All I do is take the information the Insurgent Military Command gives me and adapt it to fit the mentality of the average Times reader.

GUY  Exactly. You’d never know it was you.

KIM  That’s our job, isn’t it? Never letting anyone know it was us. You and I are like repertory actors, always ready to play any role they throw at us. Now it’s my turn to play the journalist. . . .

GUY  You’ve always been the journalist.

KIM  An outwardly neutral journalist with hidden nationalist sympathies. In other words, a conservative reporter who detests the leftist adventure currently playing out in southern Europe.

GUY  Well you do a wonderful job of it.

KIM  Everything is a question of style, Guy.

GUY  Yes, as the divine Mr Wilde would say, ‘In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing’.

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