THE STORY: Having been exempted from military service in World War I, Horace Robedeaux is back home in Harrison, Texas. He and his wife, Elizabeth, along with their infant daughter, are now settled in a new house built for them by Elizabeth’s father, Mr. Vaughn. While their fortunes have improved, the nation reels from a spreading flu epidemic that soon reaches Harrison and infects Mr. Vaughn and Horace. During Horace’s illness his daughter also contracts the flu and dies, bringing to the young parents a sadness that even the armistice can do little to allay. In time Elizabeth becomes pregnant again, and the play ends with brightening prospects for all: The nation is finally at peace; Horace and Elizabeth are blessed with a healthy baby boy; and even Elizabeth’s wayward younger brother, who had been of deep concern for Mr. Vaughn, shows signs of finally coming to terms with the responsibilities of adulthood.
Another component of the nine-play cycle entitled “The Orphan’s Home.” Produced both as a play and as a major motion picture, 1918 expands still further the playwright’s close examination of the saga of the Robedaux family of Harrison, Texas, and, in particular, the fate of young Horace Robedaux and his wife, Elizabeth.