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(At the town hall, in front of all the townspeople, who have gathered to vote Woodrow into office as the new mayor)

WOODROW
This should have been the happiest day of my life…it could have been…instead it is the bitterest…It says in the bible "my cup runneth over"…Well my cup runneth over…with gall. This is the last act, the farce is over, the lying is finished, and the coward is at last cured of his fear. …if I could have reached as high as my father's shoestrings, my whole life would be justified and I would stand here proudly before you…instead of as the thief and coward that I am. I postponed until now what I should have told you a year ago when I was discharged from the Marine Corps for medical unfitness…a coward because I didn't want my mother to know…well, it wasn't to save her, it was to save me… I have never been in Guadalcanal or anyplace else…I've been working in a shipyard for the last year. I've never received a medal of any description…naturally since I've never fought… I've told you all this because too many men have bled and died for you…and for me…to live this lie any longer…I guess that's why I told you…I certainly didn't mean to when I came in…I'm gonna pack my things now so this will probably be my last chance to say goodbye to you. I know my mother will give you back the mortgage…and I hope you won't hold it against her that her son didn't…quite come through…there's no use telling you I'm sorry because I wish I was dead. That's all.

Read the next excerpt from The Lady Eve


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