Elizabeth Interviewed

"Interview: Mrs. Rothschild, I Presume"

Who: Elizabeth & Konstantinov
When: October, 1936
Where: Albacete, Spain

What: Konstantinov pays photographer Elizabeth a little visit. They
have a little chat about politics and religion and all those nice little

Blank Room
The Grid-----> > > > > THE GREATEST GENERATION
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The single lane cobble stone street is reserved for pedestrian traffic
only. The street is well preserved and free of rubbish. Running through the
middle of the street are numerous garden beds containing a variety of colored
flowers. Lined on either side of the road is a serious of closely built
stores that double as houses on the second floor. You can find many
small businesses here from shoe shops to liquor stores. Occasionally a wooden
bench is placed in front of a store allowing those walking the street
have a place to rest.

East South

The weather is quite pleasant out, and as such, the window in the
rather quaint, comfortable room that Rothschild had managed to secure for the
pair is open, lace curtains blowing gently in the afternoon breeze. Standing
in the window, looking out over the quiet street, is Elizabeth, her hat
and gloves off. Sketchbook in hand, half-perched on the windowledge, she
seems to be busily running charcoal over paper, drawing what she sees. The
door to the room is half-open, allowing the wind to run clean through abnd into
the hallway

Konstantinov knocks once, but he does not bother to wait until he is
invited before coming in. The door was open, after all. That is invitation
enough. He takes a long look around the room, before his eyes zero in on
Elizabeth. "Mrs…Rothschild, I presume." His accent is unmistakably Russian, and
his uniform unmistakably military. He has brought no other men with him,
though he does wear a pistol.

A pistol is hardly terrifying to the woman on the windowledge. Without
looking up, she nods, gaze leaping out the window again to capture a
detail as her fingers continue to move, smudged with dark grey. "One moment,"
comes her warmly Aussie accent, rubbing a finger over where she'd just drawn
a line, smudging the charcoal.

"I would prefer," Konstantinov says, his voice smooth and utterly
reasonable. "To get this concluded promptly. A moment will only delay
that." He strides over to stand over her, and her sketch. "I am Captain
Konstantinov." He doesn't seem to feel he requires any further
introduction. Perhaps he doesn't, if Elizabeth recognizes the import of the red
commissar piping on his uniform collar. "I believe Captain O'Callaghan told you I
would be speaking with you. Where is your husband? Does he so often
leave you so…unattended?"

Now that catches Elizabeth's attention. Pausing, finally, her head
slowly tilts up to allow her to take in the tall Captain. She wisely holds her
tongue for a moment, long enough to take the man in before, "I am
hardly a child, Captain, who needs attending." Just as smooth and utterly
reasonable, she carefully flips her sketchbook shut and moves to stand to her,
given the time period, rather impressive height for a woman. Brushing past him
towards the washstand in the room, careful to bump him only just slightly, she
murmurs the faintest, "Excuse me, I must clean up," as she moves.

Konstantinov's cold little eyes bore into Elizabeth. There's no
particular menace in them. They're just smooth and cold. He follows he to the
washstand. He doesn't seem to feel anything she's doing will be
interrupted by him. "I understand you are here as a member of the…press. I
welcome you to Spain. It is important, now, that we have those with eyes and ears
to see the *truth* of the fight here. It is an important conflict we find
ourselves in, Mrs. Rothschild. I hope you appreciate the importance of it, and
treat it accordingly."

"My camera is my eye, Mr. Konstantino…well, I know it isn't
Konstantinople, and do forgive me, I meant -Captain." Elizabeth
answers, sounding as if she genuinely slipped on the title, though if he could
see her eyes and knew her well at all, he'd know it was utterly deliberate.
"If you are concerned about what will be written, you're best suited
speaking with my husband. I can not change the images captured by my camera.
They are more truth than any word."

"Captain Konstantinov," the plump Russian informs her. Coolly, but
still oh-so-cordially. He smiles at her. "I shall take it up with him. Do not
worry. But it is you I am speaking to now. And do not concern yourself
with names. It is a difficult name to remember. Much like yours. Mrs.
Rothschild." Those cold eyes level at hers. "An unusual name. For
an…" He pauses for a beat. "…Australian."

"Perhaps. My maiden name was Quinn,w hich I hope is suitably Australian
for you." Lissie answers unperterbed as she reaches over for a towel on
which to dry her no-longer charcoal-blackened hands. "It is still customary on
the Continant to take one's husbands' name, is it not?"

"Quinn." Konstantinov repeats the name, continuing to stare at her in
that vaguely questioning way. "Oh, quite customary, Mrs. Rothschild. It is
an…unusual pairing of names, is all. Your husband is…not Australian."

"No. American. It's all listed in our papers, Captain, which I'm sure
you were fully aware of." Elizabeth answers, turning and moving towards the
tiny wardrobe, pulling the door open and reaching up for one of the hat
boxes on the top shelf, pulling it down.

"I have seen your papers," Konstantinov affirms, continuing to rove
after Elizabeth around the little room. "Papers…they so rarely tell the
whole story. It is in talking that true bonds are made. Tell me, Mrs.
Rothschild. Are you and your husband involved in any sort of political parties?
Causes? Have you any…religious convictions?"

"We are reporters, Captain. To be involved with any political parties
would cloud our judgement." comes Elizabeth's answre as she lifts the lid off
of her hat box, carefully peeling back tissue paper to reveal the hat in
its safe haven. "You wouldn't have us give a partisan view, now would you?"

"I would have you give the truth, Mrs. Rothschild," Konstantinov says,
still all cordial smiles. "Having convictions does not cloud truth. As long
as they are the proper convictions, no? You never did answer my last

"And who decides the proper convictions, Captain? You? Germany during
the Great War? The next man in power? My affiliations, political or
otherwise, will not colour my reporting of your war, Captain, I assure you,"
Elizabeth answres carefully, lifting her hat to set it on her head, a long hat
pin pulled out afterwards to pin it to her head.

Konstantinov is not entirely pleased with this answer. A faint frown of
irritation comes to his face. The most emotion he's showed since
entering. "Minds far wiser than mine have decided the proper convictions, Mrs.
Rothshild. I merely see that our…friends, agree with them. And I
would very much like it if we could be friends, Mrs. Rothschild. With your
husband to, of course." He changes subject, then. "This is not a job one often
finds a woman in."

Ahhing softly, Elizabeth inclines her head. "I see. Well, I have been
doing this job for nearly twenty years. I was on the front in France doing
this job, younger than most of the boys doing the fighting." she explains,
leaving the hat box on the bed and pulling on gloves. "As to your
questions, I did answer it. I have no strong leanings. I learned a long time ago
that strong leanings will get one killed."

Konstantinov smiles slimly at Elizabeth. "You are not a woman of faith
then, Mrs. Rothschild?" Of this, he seems to approve. "Neither I am. I was in
my youth. I studied." He chuckles. "To be a priest. When I was a younger
man. That was before I learned the truth of the world. You worked in France,
you say? In the…Great War. As the English call it."

"Yes, as the English call it. I worked in France, and other places, but
France during the latter part of the war. With my brother, who was also
a reporter before…" And she trails off, shaking her head. Lizzie gives
her gloves a final tug before turning back to her closet and pulling out a
matching navy jacket.

Konstantinov eyes Elizabeth even more intently, if that were possible,
when she mentions her brother. "And you are here now again, with your
husband. A very circular life you lead, Mrs. Rothschild. Were I believer in
destiny, I might suggest there were something to that. But I do not. We all
determine our own course. You photographed for the army, if I have read
correctly. Very patriotic." He approves, ever so faintly.

"I photographed for my brother's writing." And her own personal
collection, but that doesn't need to be mentioned. "They were for the army, and
various papers worldwide." Explanation given, Elizabeth pulls her jacket on,
buttoning it around her nipped in waist.

Konstantinov just watches Elizabeth for a moment, with those cold
little eyes of his. Finally, he nods a little, to himself. "And why, now, do
you come to Spain?"

"Spain is where the news is being made, Captain Konstantinov,"
Elizabeth answers, the name rolling off of her tongue with surprising ease.
Smiling brightly, she tugs the cuffs on her jacket to make certain they are in
place. "Now, if you're finished with your interview, I have things to

"Indeed, Mrs. Rothschild. It is now, I believe, where the most
important news in the world is being made." As to her question, Konstantinov
nods. "I am finished with you, I think. For now." His tone makes it clear that
may change at any time he wishes it. "Where is your husband? I must speak
with him as well, of course."

"He is out for a walk." Elizabeth answers without really answering.
Turning, she moves towards the door, capturing her pocketbook on the way out.
"Captain?" And she motions him out.

"Do you know where he is walking?" Konstantinov presses. "I would, as I
say, like to conclude this promptly. So you can get on with your work. I am
sure your husband is as…in order as you are." He doesn't move toward the
door yet.

"I'm afraid I don't. I'm not familiar with this adorable little town,
so I can't even fathom a guess as to wher eyou can find him." Pausing a
moment, hand on the doorknob, Elizabeth eyes the captain before, "If you insist
on remaining, Captain, please be so kind as to close the door on your way

"I will find him," Konstantinov says dismissively. He sounds quite
confident in his ability to do so. "There are only so many…amusements a man can
find for himself in this town. It shall be an interesting puzzle, to see
which your husband chooses." He smiles, slipping his plump frame out the
door. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Rothschild. I look forward to seeing
you again."

"Likewise, I'm sure," Elizabeth answers, closing the door and locking
it as she waits for the Captain to continue on his way. A brief walk around
the block to cool her had and she'll be back…

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