.          all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2014
.             refer to
www.church-skits.com

THE FINAL HUMILITY (DRAMA ONLY) – written by Tanis Harms

PREMISE:     The late 1700s.  Marcus Stealthbury,
.       a rich young man, squanders away his father's
.        entire fortune and finds himself destitute.
.     The only one who will take in him and his sister -
.       is their cook – whom he had mistreated under
.       his employ.  Having to actually work to live,
.          Marcus now finds satisfaction in life.
.        But more than that is the strength and joy
.          he finds through his spiritual journey
.              from “poverty” to “riches”.
STYLE:       DRAMA ONLY  (
SCRIPT FOR MUSICAL VERSION)
NOTE:        can be prequel to "
The Ultimate Gift"
TOPIC:       finding God, and choosing a wise lifestyle
SCRIPTURE:   Ps.37, Prov.24:1-6, 27:23–24, 28:19–20,
.            2Cor.6:14, Col.3:23
NOTES:       for CAST, COSTUMES, SET, PROPS and MUSIC

.            $30.00 USD to receive a DIRECTOR’S SCRIPT
.                                   (plus sheet music)
.            
how you receive this & package description

SCRIPT:                    ACT 1
.                CENTER STAGE - CITY SQUARE

MUSIC SCORE BIT #1:  INTRODUCTION

(POOR PEOPLE walk wearily from stage left to right
as if they are coming home from work.
BEGGAR KIDS come out from all directions to hold their
hats out to the POOR PEOPLE, who shake their heads sadly.
ONE MAN tousles the hair of a boy and keeps walking.)

(A GENTRY COUPLE walk out arm in arm.
BEGGAR KIDS rush up holding their hats out to them.
GENTRY MAN shoos them away.  The BEGGAR KIDS run,
scattering as they exit.  A few of them almost run into
an ARISTOCRAT COUPLE who cringe at the sight of them.)

(Feeling safe again, the ARISTOCRAT COUPLE moves across
the stage past the GENTRY COUPLE who bow and tip their
hats.  The ARISTOCRAT COUPLE completely ignore them with
their noses held high.  Each COUPLE exit.  END MUSIC.)

.               CENTER STAGE - RESIDENTIAL STREET       2

(CAROL giggles as she tiptoes in from back stage left,
then exits front stage left.  Also in a playful mood,
MARCUS STEALTHBURY enters from back stage left with his
shirt flapping open.  Obviously he is playing a game of
hide-and-seek with CAROL.  As he looks around for her –
ELIZABETH, and MR. & MRS. WALTERS stroll from back stage
right to center stage.  They each carry a little Bible.)

MARCUS    Carol?  Caaarol?  Where did you go,
.         you little minx?

(Seeing MARCUS’S opened shirt as he turns around,
MRS. WALTERS shields ELIZABETH’S eyes with her fan while
doing her best to look indignant – and not look at him.
MR. WALTERS makes sure his women have their eyes averted,
while scolding MARCUS.)

MR. W     Now what?..  Young man, do you mind!

(MARCUS looks down at his shirt and stifles a giggle.
As MARCUS tries to button his shirt, ELIZABETH steals
a glance, but with more of a disdainful scowl.)

MARCUS    I beg your pardon, ladies and gentleman -
.         GOOD neighbors, all.

MR. W     And when will you become a BETTER neighbor,
.         sir?  Ever since your father passed away –
.         God rest his soul – you have held a party
.         in his stead.

MARCUS    Yes!  A party of mourning.

MRS. W    With such gaiety and goings-on?

MARCUS    To celebrate his life and success.  The length
.         of his illustrious career shall indicate
.         the length of this - “memoriam”.

(MARCUS stifles his giggle when met with stern
expressions, then bows to ELIZABETH’S incensed glares.)

MARCUS    Perhaps one day this party - shall become
.         a wedding celebration.

(ELIZABETH gasps slightly at his insane boldness.)      3

MR. W     Not with MY daughter, it will not.
.         Only a Christian gentleman of upright integrity
.         will befit our Elizabeth.

MARCUS    Miss Elizabeth Walters, can you not speak
.         for yourself?

ELIZ      (firmly)  Only a Christian gentleman
.         of upright integrity will befit me.

MARCUS    (musing)  Funny, those sound strangely similar
.         to your father’s pious words.

ELIZ      My father is a wise man...
.         (thinking, then poses a challenge.)
.         And from what we know, YOUR father
.         was also a wise man - who worked earnestly.

MARCUS    Alas, he had no knowledge of how to enjoy life.
.         After all, a TRUE gentleman does not work.
.         ALL work – or ANY work at all – in my books –
.         spells out a dreary socially unacceptable
.         existence.  And I have a LOT of books!

ELIZ      (sincerely)  Though there is but ONE book
.         that counts, and it spells out the true life
.         of abundant joy.  (motions to her little Bible)

MARCUS    (gags)  You have but one book?
.         And do you carry that with you always?

ELIZ      We are just returning from church, sir.
.         It is not only the Sabbath, but Easter Sunday-

MARCUS    (to MR.W)  Congratulations, Mr. Walters, you
.         have indoctrinated your daughter rather well.

MR. W     And you will NOT be the undoing of her.
.         Good day to you.

MARCUS    You are so sure of that.

(As MR. WALTERS ushers MRS. WALTERS and ELIZABETH away,
toward front right stage, MARCUS muses.
From offstage, CAROL calls him out of his revere.)
.                                                       4
CAROL     (off stage) Yoo-hoo, what kind of foxhunt
.         is this if you get distracted by rabbits?

(Smiling, MARCUS dashes offstage to look for CAROL.
The WALTERS speak as they continue their walk.)

MR. W     Uncouth fool.

MRS. W    Unsavory, to say the least.

ELIZ      Yet still deserving - of our prayers.
.         (seeing her parent’s questioning look)
.         To save his soul, of course!

MR. W     Indeed.

(They nod in somber agreement as they exit.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #2:  from Mozart’s Minuet in C Major

.        CENTER STAGE - STEALTHBURY’S OPULENT HOUSE

(ARISTOCRATS can be heard laughing and partying.  
ALL drinking too much [but make it church-friendly].
CHARLES creeps in while talking, BECKY is close behind.)

CHARLES   Marcus!  Now where is he?

BECKY     Marcus, darling!

(MARCUS appears from another entrance point, walking in
backwards as he addresses those in “another room.”
RICH MAN 1’S VOICE calls out gaily.)

MAN 1     (off stage) Your quip of the moment, good sir!

MARCUS    (pauses to think, like it’s a sort of game)
.         Oh, uh, ah!  Seize the day,
.         and whatever else is within your grasp.

MAN 1     (off stage)  Here-here!

BECKY     (coyly)  Oh, Marcus, darling.

MARCUS    (spins around to find CHARLES and BECKY)
.         You beckon, Becky dearest?
.                                                       5
BECKY     I beckon for Charles.

MARCUS    Ah, but you call out MY name.

BECKY     (laughing)  I beckon you to aid Charles
.         in his beckoning for you.  (turning to CHARLES)
.         Why do you beckoneth, deareth Charles?

MARCUS    (laughing, then mockingly)  Yeth, why
.         dotht thou beckoneth, deareth Charles?

(BECKY thwacks MARCUS playfully on the shoulder with
her fan.)

CHARLES   We are in dire need of more refreshments,
.         my good, DEARETHT - hoth-t.  (lisps on “host”)

MARCUS    Sounds like you both have emptied the cabinet.

CHARLES   And this is exactly why – it needs replem-in-
.         replem-in-ish-ing, it needs replenith-ish-ing –
.         this is why - we need some more.

BECKY     Indeed.  We need some more.
.         We are right out... of everything.

(STEWARD angrily walks by with a tray of dirty things.)

MARCUS    Steward!  Refreshments are required
.         in the main ballroom.  Immediately!
.         Anything of value on that tray?

STEWARD   (eyeing the tray)  The - silverware – sir?

(MARCUS glowers at the STEWARD to hold his tongue,
then turns and playfully shoos CHARLES and BECKY out.)

MARCUS    Run along and have some fun,
.         dear sweet friends.  A reprimand is in order,
.         and you needn’t endure the fiasco.

BECKY     Then do not tarry, Marcus.
.         It is not quite the party without you.

MARCUS    (quipping) Is not the idea “to party” –
.         all based on the art of HOW “to tarry?”
.                                                       6
CHARLES   Well said.

BECKY     (laughing)  Well then, hurry henceforth
.         to carry on the tarrying.

CHARLES   Tarry-ho!

MARCUS    Brilliant!  Now off you go then,
.         and let me go about my business of leisure.
.         (shoos CHARLES & BECKY offstage left, then
.          turns to STEWARD who still stands rigid)
.         This is the second complaint thus far today.
.         Is anyone addressing this matter?  Is someone
.         fetching the administrator as I requested?

STEWARD   Yes sir, but-

MARCUS    -But?  No buts!  I expect a spread delivered-

STEWARD   (imploring) But - sir –

MARCUS    You challenge me?  I have a good mind to
.         send you to the streets at this very moment.

STEWARD   I – I implore you, sir, I have done my best
.         to keep up with all demands.  Your party,
.         has been enjoyable for all, and the feasts–
.         without end – have been splendid -

MARCUS    Get on with it!

STEWARD   As already stated, we are – right out of food –

MARCUS    Yes, as noted by my guests.
.         Now, please- put out more food.

STEWARD   I mean – there is no more to put out -
.         as explained by the cook.

MARCUS    Send the cook out at once.

(STEWARD jumps to and rushes out.  As MARCUS waits,
a SERVANT enters from stage right and announces...)

SERVANT   May I announce your sister, Adriana,
.         who has returned from Paris, sir.
.                                                       7
(ADRIANA, dressed in black, enters, her MAID following
close behind.  The MAID carries a box of chocolates,
which she tries to keep hidden behind her back.)

ADRIANA   (to SERVANT) Servant! Have my things delivered
.         through the back and up to my room at once.
.         (to MAID)  Go prepare my clothes.  I am simply
.         DYING to get out of this dress of mourning.

(ADRIANA hands MAID her muff and/or clutch bag, and MAID
quickly slips her the box of chocolates before she and
SERVANT dash offstage.  ADRIANA now holds the chocolate
box behind her back, as MARCUS pecks her on both cheeks,
trying to express concern through his playfulness.
ADRIANA is familiar with this game and plays along.)

MARCUS    Sister, dear.  I am elated to see you.
.         Did you mourn long and hard for the both of us?

ADRIANA   I did.  And I see that you have partied
.         long and hard – for the both of us.

MARCUS    Aw, sweet Adriana, I’m sure Paris
.         was not the most uncomfortable of places
.         to be sad.

ADRIANA   It was tolerable.  Now, I shall not spend
.         a moment longer in these clothes of death.
.         It is time to live again.  It is time to
.         seek out laughter and gaiety.  Do you not
.         have a quip for the moment, dearest brother?

MARCUS    (thinks)  Parting may bring sweet sorrow,
.         but reuniting and partying can bring sweeeet –

(ADRIANA quickly holds out the chocolate box.)

MARCUS    Chocolates!  Sweet succulent chocolates
.         from Paris!

ADRIANA   Nothing but the best.  A gift for you.

MARCUS    (accepts the box and peeks inside)
.          I am shocked that you refrained from eating
.         them all.  Thank you, indeed.

ADRIANA   Now I shall put on my most splendid dress     8
.         that I bought whilst in Paris.
.         A gift from YOU to me, by the way.

MARCUS    I cannot wait to see what I bought you.
.         I sincerely hope that I have exquisite taste.

ADRIANA   Only the finest.

(STEWARD timidly follows LILY in from back stage left
and waits for ADRIANA to exit stage left.  MARCUS swings
his attention over to LILY’S confident countenance.)

MARCUS    Lily, you have served our family for many
.         years.  And because this is the first time
.         anything like this has ever occurred, I will
.         give you a chance to explain - before I send
.         you to the streets.  We live in a city rich
.         with trades and markets – why did you not
.         have someone go out and buy more supplies?

LILY      Sir, it is impossible to do so without money.

MARCUS    So is the administrator on his way, then?

(STEWARD nods with a bow.)

LILY      Are you not aware that the administrator quit
.         last week?  And whilst we are on the subject,
.         I will be handing in my resignation-

MARCUS    What?!  WHY?!  WHAT is happening?!
.         Where would I find another cook at this time?
.         AND, why would you ever quit my employ?
.         Certainly I pay you more than fair wages!

LILY      Sir, I will stay on until the month’s end.
.         Now! You have a situation on your hands.
.         I MIGHT be able to scrounge up enough for
.         two square meals TODAY, leaving just a bit
.         for tomorrow.  THEN - there will be nothing.

MARCUS    No, no scrounging.  I expect all tables
.         to remain laden with splendor! – Nothing but
.         the best!  GO! – kill the fatted calf!

LILY      The only livestock left are your horses – sir.
.                                                       9
MARCUS    Oh, well, we cannot have that...

(SERVANT ushers in the ADMINISTRATOR.)

SERVANT   The administrator has arrived, sir.

MARCUS    (hands the chocolates to LILY)
.         Add this to the mix - and do the best you can.

(LILY bows and motions for SERVANT and STEWARD
to follow her out.  Fists on hips, MARCUS stares
at ADMINISTRATOR.)

MARCUS    What is this shortage all about?  Petty cash
.         amounts should always be maintained at-

ADMIN.    Sir, I no longer work for you.
.         I was relieved of my duties last week
.         by your company’s board of directors –

MARCUS    They cannot do that without my say so –

ADMIN.    Oh but they can.  You gave signing rights over
.         to your – friend-of-sorts... Mr. Henry Madison.

MARCUS    Yes, I can trust Henry Madison.

ADMIN.    Hm, well, not every detail has been disclosed
.         to me, but - there was something to do with
.         a risky foreign business venture.

MARCUS    I was not aware.  I should speak to Henry –

ADMIN.    You should have thought about that
.         much sooner.  What is done is done.

MARCUS    WHAT is done?

(ADRIANA enters, now wearing a stunning gown -
followed by MAID, and CAROL - just in time to hear.)

ADMIN.    Oh, NOW you wish to know...
.         You have nothing left... sir.

MARCUS    I still have all my land and assets –

ADMIN.    All used to finance that venture.            10
.         It pains me, somewhat – to say this.
.         Understand, at some point soon,
.         there will be men who will come –
.         to carry you out – if need be.

MARCUS    They’ll not give me time to pack my valuables?

ADMIN.    All included with your assets, sir.

MARCUS    Not my CLOTHES!

ADMIN.    To be sure - they will let you to keep
.         the clothes on your back.

ADRIANA   And MY clothes?  All of my things?  MY clothes!

ADMIN.    I am sorry, ma’am.

(CAROL quickly exits with the fresh gossip.)

ADRIANA   (turns her wrath on MARCUS)
.         What have you done?  What – have you done?

MARCUS    It could turn around.

ADMIN.    If you wish NOT to be humiliated, you will
.         make arrangements and leave immediately.

MARCUS    Wait, what do you mean?  Make arrangements
.         for WHAT - and WITH what?

(ADMINSTRATOR shrugs and moves to exit.  MAID steps
in front of him boldly.  STEWARD and SERVANT,
with a tray of food, enter and stop to listen.)

MAID      They will pay all the help first, will they
.         not?  We have a month’s wages left owing.
.         (ADMINISTRATOR shakes his head and leaves.
.           MAID glares at ADRIANA, then to SERVANT)
.         Do not bother taking my luggage to my room.
.         Since we’ll not be paid a penny more, I’ll not
.         stay a second longer.  (stomps out of room)

ADRIANA   No–don’t leave me!
.         (to MARCUS)  What have you done?!

(ADRIANA flails weak punches at MARCUS.  Giving tray   11
to SERVANT, STEWARD pulls ADRIANA off MARCUS, nods, then
takes tray and exits.  ALL guests sneak out past MARCUS.)

MARCUS    Wait, no, where are you all going?  Can anybody
.         house my sister and me? Temporarily, of course.
.         Charles, I have been a host to you for several
.         months, could you perhaps now return the favor?

CHARLES   (escorting CAROL and BECKY)
.         Sorry, ol’ chap, we are off to another party.
.         But, all the best, really.  Cheers.

MARCUS    Are we not also invited?

CHARLES   (cautiously)  Marcus, you know how it is.

ADRIANA   (grabs MARCUS’ arm)  We can stay at an inn.

MARCUS    With what?  How shall we pay?

ADRIANA   Can we quickly take a few things and run?

MARCUS    I’ll start with the study, you begin in -

ADRIANA   -my bedroom.  All my jewelry!

(MARCUS and ADRIANA rush to exit stage left.  Anxious
pounding at the door brings STEWARD to let in 2 big MEN.)

STEWARD   We know.  Servants are quickly collecting
.         their personal belongings.

BIG M 1   Take nothing else, and we’ll have no issue
.         with the help.  Now, where are they?

STEWARD   Lord Stealthbury is in the study.
.         I believe the lady went upstairs –

(As the 2 BIG MEN exit stage left, STEWARD rushes out.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #3:  Mozart’s Sonata No.4 Minuet 1

.             CENTER STAGE - RESIDENTIAL STREET

(The BIG MEN push MARCUS and ADRIANA out from stage left.
If they had wigs before, they have been removed.)
.                                                      12
ADRIANA   Unhand me and return my wig and tiara at once!

MARCUS    At least let me find an appropriate jacket.

(BIG MAN 1 grabs candlesticks from inside MARCUS’ vest.
BIG MAN 2 holds out his open hand to ADRIANA and waits.)

ADRIANA   What? – Oh, please.  Please, no!  Have mercy!
.         (gaining no sympathy, she becomes angry)
.         Well fine, then!
.         (takes off jewels)  Make sure you don’t
.         keep these for yourself.  These are
.         very famous jewels.  Very recognizable.

MARCUS    Could we at LEAST have our wigs back?
.         It is a sign of our status.

BIG M 1   Which you no longer have.

(ADRIANA whimpers as she tries to touch up her messy
hair.  BIG MAN 1 sticks his fingers into MARCUS’S vest
pocket to pull out the a pocket watch by its chain.)

MARCUS.   That was my father’s pocket watch.

ADRIANA   Like you cared that much about Father!
.         Only his money, and now THAT is gone.
.         What have you done?-What have you done?

(ADRIANA attacks MARCUS with weakly thrown punches.
BIG MAN 2 pulls ADRIANA off MARCUS.  Getting the last of
the valuables from them, BIG MEN 1 & 2 enter the house.)

ADRIANA   (crying out)  Now what?!  What ever will we do?

MARCUS    (pondering, he sees something at stage right)
.         Elizabeth!  And someone is with her.  Please...
.         try to look – demure.

ADRIANA   Demure?

MARCUS    Yes, you know the word.

(ADRIANA puts on a pathetic expression as ELIZABETH and
BERNARD approach.  BERNARD glances at ELIZABETH.)

BERNARD   Is this the cad -?                           13

ELIZ      Now really Bernard, do not use such language.

MARCUS    Miss Elizabeth, how lovely to meet you AGAIN
.         on such a - (searching) -a lovely day –

ELIZ      It is a lovely day.  We were just taking in an
.         afternoon walk.  Lord Stealthbury,
.         please meet my cousin, Mr. Bernard Walters.
.         (BERNARD gives a curt bow)
.         Bernard, this is Lord Marcus Stealthbury,
.         and his sister, Lady Adriana – our neighbors.

MARCUS    Funny thing, we shall no longer be neighbors.

ELIZ      Oh, ah, how – sad.  You will be missed.
.         (smiles at ADRIANA and notices the dress)
.         I see you are no longer mourning
.         your father’s passing.  Still, I extend
.         my sympathies and prayers to you.

MARCUS    Could you maybe extend a tiny bit more
.         than that?

(Gasping, ADRIANA covers her face in shame.)

ELIZ      What do you mean?  What has happened?

MARCUS    Just a tiny bit of confusion.  Probably just
.         a misunderstanding in regards to our finances.

BERNARD   Did you lose the family fortune?

(ADRIANA purses her lips and does her best to hold back
her anger and flails weak fists at BERNARD.
MARCUS holds her back while ignoring her antics.)

MARCUS    It would seem there was some sort of oversight.

BERNARD   Or perhaps some sort of over-extension!

MARCUS    Elizabeth, I humbly appeal to your benevolent
.         nature and Christian kindheartedness.

BERNARD   Oh, so you will not mock Christianity –
.         now that a generous handout would benefit you.
.                                                      14
MARCUS    No-No! I would pay that back.  And as I already
.         have designs to MARRY Elizabeth-one day -soon -
.         well, of course, then you should know that I –
.         would be good for it - to pay back the loan.

ELIZ      (almost amused, puts hand out to stop BERNARD)
.         And since when have you had ANY such designs
.         to marry?  Let alone – ME?

MARCUS    Since I met you on the lawns – this morning –
.         it was all that I could think on.  I realized –
.         at that very moment – what I really wanted,
.         and needed - was a woman of good character.
.         even though you do have a lower status-

ELIZ      But sir, do you not remember?  I require
.         for MYSELF a Christian gentleman of good
.         character.  Clearly, you are NOT such a man.

(ADRIANA bursts out a guffaw.  MARCUS tries to remain
dignified and throws a glare back at ADRIANA.)

BERNARD   I am afraid we will not be able to assist you.

ELIZ      Now, Bernard, how uncharitable.  One issue
.         has very little to do with the other.

BERNARD   Of course.  (to MARCUS)  A charitable loan
.         might be arranged.  Please make an appointment
.         with Mr. Walters during next week.

ELIZ      Will that be sufficient, Lord Stealthbury?
.         Or is there anything else?

(MARCUS thinks while ADRIANA determines the outcome.)

ADRIANA   Oh, you do not think we require charity?!
.         My brother tends to – overreact to news.
.         Please do not fret about us.  We are just fine.
.         And we were just getting ready to take in
.         an afternoon walk ourselves.
.         (puts hand to head and remembers she is without
.            her wig, then adds nervously...)
.         Without sporting my wig or ANY of my splendid
.         jewelry - because - they weigh me down so.
.         Well, good day to you then!
.                                                      15
ELIZ      Good day - then.  And best wishes.

(BERNARD nods, then pushes ELIZABETH away.)

ADRIANA   (once alone)  I’d despise owing anything
.         to that pious, GENTRY-classed family!  Psh!
.         We don’t need their pathetic charity anyway.

MARCUS    Except – that we DO.

ADRIANA   (turns on MARCUS with flailing fists)
.         What have you done?-What have you done?

(As arms tire, ADRIANA begins to sob.  MARCUS grabs her
and they fall into a hug.  Behind them, LILY enters at
back stage left with a small trunk, then a basket filled
with kitchen utensils and a lantern hanging from it, then
belongings wrapped in a bundled blanket, and a carpetbag.
With everything outside, LILY looks over at MARCUS and
ADRIANA.  STEWARD now appears with his bit of luggage.)

STEWARD   (to LILY)  All the best to you, ma’am.
.         I’ve enjoyed working with you.

LILY      Where will you go?

STEWARD   I have some kinfolk in the next town over.
.         (glances at MARCUS and ADRIANA)  I have half
.         a mind to go over there and let them know
.         just how terrible they both were, and how
.         they are VERY deserving of this calamity–

LILY      That would demonstrate half a mind, all right.

STEWARD   Bad idea?  (melting at LILY’s calming look)
.         I shall miss your wise counsel, ma’am.
.         All the best to you, Lily, dearest.  Cheers!

(STEWARD exits.  LILY glances over at MARCUS and ADRIANA
then approaches them, clearing her throat for attention.)

LILY      Excuse me, sir, m’lady, I will be departing.

MARCUS    (looks up, blinking)  Of course. Ah, thank you,
.         Lily.  I suppose, that is all.  I do regret
.         not being able to pay you for this last month.
.                                                      16
LILY      (about to leave but stops)  Where will you go?

ADRIANA   (breaking down)  We are destitute!  My brother
.         squandered everything.  I’m left in the lurch!

MARCUS    (to LILY)  I thought of seeking out friends-

ADRIANA   What friends?! They were all here at our party.
.         All fled from our sight.  Even Charles!
.         There is no one - we have nothing!

LILY      You...  You may - come with me then.

MARCUS    (hopefully)  You will take care of us?

LILY      (laughs)  Oh no!  You would learn to take care
.         of yourselves.  After all, as you stated,
.         you owe me for a month’s rent at least.

ADRIANA   You will hold us hostage for outstanding
.         payment?

LILY      You would simply work it off.

ADRIANA   Are you mad?!  We are not that desperate.

MARCUS    No – wait.  (to ADRIANA)  Are YOU mad?
.         We ARE that desperate!  Unless you feel
.         confident that the alleyways or
.         the sewer tunnels should be comfortable enough
.         and MORE to your liking?
.         (to LILY)  We do accept your generous offer.

LILY      Good!  I wasn’t sure how to carry all my
.         belongings but God is so good and provides
.         all our needs.  (puts the basket in ADRIANA’s
.            unsure hands, gives the bundle to MARCUS)
.         I am sure you are able to handle this one here.
.         We shall stay this night at an inn.

(LILY picks up carpetbag and one handle of the trunk, and
motions with her head for MARCUS to take the other end.
MARCUS picks up the trunk by the handle tentatively.)

MARCUS    We are walking?

LILY      Carriage rides are beyond the means          17
.         for the likes of us.  Brace yourselves
.         for a nice long walk.

ADRIANA   (hisses quietly)  What - have - you - done?!

(LILY, MARCUS and ADRIANA exit stage right.)

.                          ACT 2
.                CENTER STAGE - CITY SQUARE

MUSIC SCORE BIT #4

(POOR come out with their wares, their steps are slow,
some are yawning, as they get ready for the workday.
As the LIGHTS get brighter, things become livelier and
ARISTOCRATS and GENTRY step out to buy things.
LILY steps out from back stage right.  MARCUS and ADRIANA
straggling weakly behind, lugging LILY’S belongings.)

MARCUS    I cannot take one more step.  My every limb
.         is about to fall right off.  Not to mention
.         my aching head.  This sobering experience –
.         has some rather - sobering effects.

ADRIANA   I will soon faint from hunger and
.         exhaustion.  How much sooner until death
.         overtakes us?

LILY      You both will live.

(LILY looks excited and strong as she grips some papers
and holds them to her chest, quickly looking up
in a short prayer.  Looking around again, she sees
WOMAN with a basket of bread and waves her over.)

LILY      I will take 3 loaves of bread, please.

(LILY places a coin in WOMAN’S hand, then takes 3 loaves.
As WOMAN walks away, LILY braces herself before entering.
She can pull back optional curtains to reveal interior.)

.                STAGE RIGHT - LILY’S HOUSE

(LILY enters like it is a palace.  MARCUS and ADRIANA
show their disdain, afraid to touch anything.)

LILY      Is this not wonderful?!  Such an answer      18
.         to prayer.

MARCUS    For the price of these shambles, we – ah, YOU -
.         could have stayed at the inn for several months
.         with full service.

LILY      Marcus!

MARCUS    You are bold to use my Christian name.

(LILY sets down belongings and bread onto the side table.
MARCUS and ADRIANA clumsily drop everything with scowls.)

LILY      Your position is gone and in case you have
.         not yet realized, you are now under MY employ.
.         You may use my Christian name. But now, Marcus,
.         here is a lesson.  Listen well if you are wise.
.         AFTER a few months of luxury, all money would
.         be gone. Then where would I be? On the streets-
.         with you.  I toiled and carefully saved up my
.         income over MANY years, I will NOT squander
.         that away.  I have chosen to invest it wisely –
.         in this property.  It may not look like much,
.         but it is mine.  And its value will continue
.         to increase.  Meanwhile, aside from taxes and
.         maintenance, I have a place to live- for free–
.         for the rest of my days.

ADRIANA   (eyeing bread)  Will you share the bread?

LILY      First, let us put this room into order.
.         Adriana, collect the chairs.  Marcus,
.         help lift this table.
.         (MARCUS lunges to lift the tipped over table)
.         Stop!  Make sure to lift with your legs.
.         (MARCUS stretches out a foot to the table)
.         Not what I meant.  Grab it with your hands,
.         but instead of bending at the back, use the
.         strength of your legs.  I need you free
.         of injury.

(MARCUS carefully follows instruction, and he and LILY
set the table up properly.  ADRIANA drags a chair over.)

ADRIANA   There is but one chair.

LILY      (points)  Here is a stool and                19
.         there is a crate.

(MARCUS collapses into the chair. Seeing LILY’S inquiring
eyes, he slinks off to collect the stool to sit on that.
At ADRIANA’S pout, he gets up and offers her the stool.
She plops down with a sulk.  MARCUS collects the crate
to sit on.  LILY pulls 3 items from the basket to serve
as plates, then brings the bread to the table.  Breaking
it into 3 portions, she hands it out with the “plates”.
ADRIANA and MARCUS both go to bite, but LILY stops them.)

LILY      Wait. In MY house we will first thank the Lord.

MARCUS    For WHAT?

ADRIANA   Oh, get on with it then.  Pleeease.

(LILY bows her head.  MARCUS and ADRIANA roll their eyes
at each other. ADRIANA then fixes her eyes on the bread.)

LILY      Oh Lord, we thank You so much for how You
.         have blessed us and have provided for us so
.         generously.  We thank You for our daily bread.
.         And we thank You for how You will continue
.         to bless our ways.  In this we pray, amen.

(ADRIANA dives into the bread without any manners
as LILY nibbles.  MARCUS studies the bread, then LILY.)

MARCUS    Is there no clotted cream?  Butter, or honey?

LILY      Perhaps, if you would like to go in search and
.         collect the honey from some bee hive.  Or, you
.         could wait until my cow is delivered, milk it,
.         wait until the cream rises, and then churn THAT
.         for several hours until it becomes butter.

MARCUS    This should be just fine.

(MARCUS struggles to chew the dry bread.  As ADRIANA
shovels the bread into her mouth, she looks back at
the side table and eyes the other two loaves longingly.)

LILY      One loaf for supper tonight, and the other
.         tomorrow’s breakfast.

MARCUS    Just - bread?                                20

LILY      I noticed someone selling potatoes up the road.
.         But you will have to chop some firewood.
.         (noticing their confused expressions)
.         Fire is required to cook.  As an experienced
.         chef, I cannot recommend eating raw potatoes.
.         I will buy some while purchasing seed.

MARCUS    Seed?!  What have we gotten ourselves into?

(LILY ignores the terror in the eyes of the others.)

LILY      Oh, well, so glad you asked.  Adriana,
.         you will always be in charge of keeping this
.         abode as clean as possible - after every meal.

ADRIANA   Why so often?

LILY      Unless you want to leave out little invitations
.         for all the bugs to move in.

ADRIANA   Bugs?  (looks around warily, afraid to move)

MARCUS    Ha! That fear alone should keep her going.

LILY      Marcus, today you will plow the field.
.         I will get you started, then go to market.
.         I will also milk the cow for today, but
.         tomorrow, I will give both of you lessons.

(MARCUS suddenly struggles to swallow his bread.)

ADRIANA   Unfortunately I’m also very fearful of animals,
.         and – I know NOTHING of how to clean, or -

LILY      Do not fear anything.  Especially cows.
.         They are big, but harmless.
.         Now, the cooking pot will also have to serve
.         as a wash basin - for dishes, and for us.
.         (getting to work, pulls a pot from the basket)
.         The water pump is outside, aaaand... oh, THIS –
.         (takes out pitcher & cup, places on side table)
.         -we will keep filled with drinking water.  And
.         share this cup.  (searching trunk)  There’s a
.         shift that has seen its last days.  Here it is!
.         We can use this material for rags and towels.
.                                                      21
(LILY pulls out an old dress and lays it over chair.)

LILY      Fortunately, I have three dresses.  Adriana,
.         you may use this one to work in – if you wish.
.         Thereby preserving the one you are wearing,
.         for – going out into public.

ADRIANA   I no longer wish to be seen in public.

LILY      (handing the pot and pitcher to ADRIANA)
.         There now, go fetch some water.
.         (addressing ADRIANA’S helpless stare)
.         Just place these items, one at a time,
.         beneath the spout, and pump the little stick
.         up and down.  There’s a good girl.
.         (ADRIANA slowly exits, LILY ties on an apron)
.         Let’s start getting that field ready, shall we?
.         God won’t help those who won’t help themselves.

MARCUS    Interesting quip, I suppose.  But if we help
.         ourselves, what help do we need from God?

LILY      Who do you think causes the sun to shine and
.         the rain to fall in order for plants to grow?

MARCUS    (changes subject) And what do you plan to grow?

LILY      Vegetables and grain, some to eat,
.         and the rest to sell or use in trade.

MARCUS    And Adriana and I will get some of that money?

LILY      As soon as you pay off your debt.
.         And just as you paid me, most of that
.         goes toward room and board.

(LILY notices MARCUS’ balk at this.)

LILY      You will find me to be a reasonable employer.
.         Now we must get on with it before the sun sets.

MARCUS    (mumbling)  What is the rush?

(ADRIANA enters, struggling to carry both pot and
pitcher.  LILY pulls out a rag and gives a quick demo.)

LILY      Ah, good, come here.  Use this rag.          22
.         Get it damp, wring it out, wipe everything
.         down.  Top to bottom, cleanest to dirtiest.
.         When the water gets murky, get some more.

(LILY and MARCUS exit, and ADRIANA begins her chore
tentatively.  Dipping rag into the water, she pulls it
toward herself and drips onto her dress.  Quickly putting
the rag over the pot, she finally thinks to wring it out.  
Holding the rag out, she looks around – totally lost –
then finally turns to the table.  LIGHTS FADE.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #5:  Mozart’s Minuet in F Major

(LIGHTS COME UP.  ADRIANA sits on the floor, trying to
scrub while reaching around her dress. MARCUS enters with
wood, exits, then returns with straw to place on cot.)

ADRIANA   What is THAT?

MARCUS    THIS, dear sister, is our bedding.  Apparently
.         I shall sleep right here, whilst you and Lily
.         take the inner room.

ADRIANA   Is there not any feather down?

MARCUS    I think I’m so tired I could sleep - well –
.         even on a bed of rocks.

ADRIANA   Well, I do not want ANY of – THAT – (points)

MARCUS    Straw?  This was left in the hayloft.
.         Lily says it is FRESH straw – whatever
.         that means.  Are you sure - even for a pillow?

ADRIANA   We have no pillows?!

(MARCUS puffs up the straw at the head of the cot.
Finding an extra rag, he lays it on top of the pile.)

MARCUS    ‘Tis what Lily explained to do for a pillow.

(MARCUS collapses in the chair. ADRIANA crawls to stool.)

ADRIANA   Are we done for the day?

MARCUS    Apparently, to begin, Lily is going EASY on us.
.                                                      23
ADRIANA   Whatever will “DIFFICULT” look like?

MARCUS    I know not, but I fear that by tomorrow,
.         my hands will be incapacitated.  Look –
.         look at this.  What are these?
.         There’s excruciating pain involved.
.         (showing ADRIANA his hands, who shudders)

ADRIANA   Marcus, have you for once in your life thought
.         things through?  MUST we be doing THIS?

MARCUS    I can think of nothing else, Adriana.

ADRIANA   But we have been reduced to the status of -
.         servants!  Slaves!

MARCUS    Better than beggars on the street.

ADRIANA   At least there, we’d have no one to answer to.

MARCUS    Except the law and criminals.  Adriana,  I know
.         nothing of how to survive in this harsh world.
.         Neither of us have any skills to speak of.
.         And I doubt I’d even make a talented criminal.

ADRIANA   Surely there’s someone who would take us in.

MARCUS    As penniless paupers?  Would WE have cared
.         for such?  No, we would have denied their
.         very existence.  And THUS, we have been
.         shut out from all society.  You know how crying
.         puffs your eyes.  So you see, there’s no point
.         in crying-for this is what it is, or spend
.         your life crying, for this is what it is.

ADRIANA   (drying her tears)  Is this your quip
.         for the moment, dear brother?

MARCUS    I am unequipped and uninspired to have
.         any quips.  At the moment, I can barely think.
.         And when I do, it is consumed with madness over
.         what I would say – and do - to Henry Madison.

ADRIANA   I HATE Henry Madison.  You should never have
.         given him signing rights.  I practically hate
.         YOU for giving Henry the signing rights.
.                                                      24
MARCUS    As well, I hate myself.

LILY      (enters with basket of carrots & bucket)
.         I purchased seed at a wonderful price, as well
.         as a wheelbarrow to haul the seeds to our barn.
.         Meanwhile, I milked the cow! So drink right up.
.         (sets basket down & takes sip from the bucket)
.         Come on. Not only will it go bad overnight, but
.         there will always be fresh milk twice a day.

(Wincing, ADRIANA tries taking a careful sip of milk.)

MARCUS    (hopefully)  I chopped wood for potatoes.

LILY      Alas, they were sold out.  I did find some
.         carrots though.  These we can eat uncooked.

MARCUS    I chopped wood all for nothing?

LILY      (cheerfully) ‘Tis never for nothing.
.         Fear not, we will always need chopped wood.
.         (studying lantern)  There’s not much oil,
.         so let us try not to use the lamp.  We will eat
.         and retire.  Tomorrow begins bright and early.
.         (busies now herself at the side table)

ADRIANA   Just look, we are in hell and she is in heaven.

MARCUS    (under his breath)  Henry Madison must pay!

(LIGHTS DIM.  ADRIANA & LILY exit.  MARCUS lays down.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #6

(LIGHTS GO UP SLIGHTLY – it’s daybreak.  LILY enters
from inner room and kicks the cot where MARCUS sleeps.)

LILY      Rise and shine.

MARCUS    Noooo!  Sleep.

LILY      Our schedule is at the mercy of the cow.
.         Milk builds up, bringing discomfort to it.

MARCUS    What of my comfort?

LILY      Milk in your stomach!  For which             25
.         you need to work.  “A slacker is
.         a brother to destruction.”

MARCUS    This is your quip for the moment?

LILY      That comes straight from the Bible-

MARCUS    -In that case, I care not to hear it.
.         (tries to sit, wincing with every movement)

LILY      (purses her lips, then speaks while waiting)
.         I’m thinking, we could strike up a deal with
.         our neighbors.  Some milk in exchange for eggs.

MARCUS    Eggs?

LILY      We have a cow, they have chickens.  Come-come.

MARCUS    I am making every effort, woman.
.         (hobbling along, LILY motions for him to get
.          the bucket, even this gives excruciating pain)
.         What is wrong with my body?  I hurt.  So much.
.         I cannot move.  I – I am completely - broken.

LILY      Keep moving and you shall loosen up.

MARCUS    Have you no compassion?

LILY      Make note, I have plenty of compassion –
.         as well as patience.

(LILY’S stare gets MARCUS moving, and finally
LILY leads MARCUS out.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #7:  Mozart’s Minuet in F Major

(ADRIANA hobbles in, stiff and shivering.  Curious, she
uses a plate to see her reflection, without success.  She
sits down wearily, and tries to “feel” how her hair must
look.  LILY and MARCUS return with the bucket of milk.)

LILY      You were cold last night?  I wish you told me.
.         I have one blanket but my winter cape would do.
.         And as the Lord provides, we will buy another.
.         Now, after Adriana cleans up here,
.         she will come help us. We need to sow and weed.
.                                                      26
ADRIANA   I thought I only was required for indoor work.

LILY      When there is indoor work.  When there isn’t,
.         you will help outside.  That will warm you up.

ADRIANA   This requires mucking about in the dirt?!

MARCUS    Can you not wait until our bodies heal?
.         Look at the state of my hands. (showing hands)

LILY      Ah, blisters.  Fear not, see?   (showing hers)
.         Very soon they become callused, like mine. Then
.         you will finally have the hands of a real man.

(ADRIANA cringes at the thought.)

MARCUS    Not in my book.  A gentleman never lifts
.         a finger, because he has means.

LILY      And what means have you now?

MARCUS    I still have my pride!

LILY      “And pride - goeth before the fall.”  And,
.         “Oh how the mighty have fallen!”

MARCUS    Let me guess, quips from the Bible?  Spare me.

(LIGHTS DIM.  MARCUS takes bucket and follows LILY out.
ADRIANA exits to inner room.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #8:  Mozart’s Contradance in G Major

(LIGHTS GO UP.  MARCUS enters carrying bucket.  LILY and
ADRIANA come from the inner room.  Today ADRIANA wears
the old dress.  LILY carries her Bible and sets it on the
table.  LILY notices ADRIANA patting her hair in place.)

LILY      Does my hair look all right?

(ADRIANA obligingly pats LILY’S hair in place.)

MARCUS    For weeding the fields?

ADRIANA   Are you going to market?

LILY      It is the Sabbath, darlings. Except for      27
.         milking the cow, fixing meals and cleaning up
.         after, there is no work.  For once in my
.         adult life, I am able to attend church service.

MARCUS    Why only now?

LILY      My LAST employer - had us work nonstop.

(MARCUS looks sheepish then irritated.  LILY unlocks
her trunk to take out her bonnet.  ADRIANA catches sight
of something in the trunk, then becomes nonchalant when
LILY stands up, forgetting to lock it again.)

LILY      You are welcome to accompany me.

MARCUS    No!  I would like to ENJOY my time off.
.         (seeing the Bible)  Have you anything to read?

LILY      I... could leave you my Bible.

MARCUS    Have you nothing else?

LILY      I am most fortunate to have this.  My father
.         was a minister and was honored to receive this
.         as a gift from a wealthy parishioner...
.         Would you like me to leave it behind?

MARCUS    (thinks, rolls his eyes, then sighs)
.         I would not object.  It would be - at least –
.         something to peruse.

LILY      As you love your quips so much, I’d recommend
.         the book of Proverbs.  I will see you later.
.         (places bonnet on her head and leaves)

ADRIANA   (laughing)  You miss reading that much?

MARCUS    (shrugs then leans back in chair)  Oh,
.         what to do with this glorious, precious time?

ADRIANA   How little there is!

MARCUS    (sits up, perplexed)  You are so right.  Thus,
.         one would want to make the best use of it.
.         Yet, without money, what does one do?

ADRIANA   I would love to attend a party.              28

MARCUS    Eat and drink at the finest of restaurants.

ADRIANA   Ohhh, or take in a play, or the orchestra.

MARCUS    (scheming)  We could go on a scavenger hunt -
.         in search of Henry Madison.

ADRIANA   Please take your mind off that monster.
.         As you dwell on him, YOU become a monster.

MARCUS    I will not have peace of mind until I see him
.         face to face, and-

ADRIANA   And do what?  Anyway, you ask every soul
.         you meet.  When they do answer, they have
.         no idea where he is.  He has moved, so –
.         onward YOU must move.

MARCUS    For now...  We could stroll through the lawns –

ADRIANA   We cannot!  I’m a mess!  What would people say?

MARCUS    Put on your nice dress?

ADRIANA   I do not have a wig, nor the energy to change.

MARCUS    I am surprised that I DO have some energy.
.         Lily was right though, my body has healed.

ADRIANA   Do you realize it has been one entire week?
.         And tis only the beginning of a horrible
.         ending...  I should have married Theodore.

MARCUS    Yes!  And why did you not marry Theodore?
.         We would be fine right now if you had.

ADRIANA   He is such a bore.  That is why.  And why
.         did you squander our fortune away?

MARCUS    I did not WANT to be a bore.  And now, I have
.         become one anyway.  Is this poetic justice?

ADRIANA   Have you any quip to lighten the mood?

(MARCUS notices the Bible.)
.                                                      29
MARCUS    (mocking)  Oh!  Let us read from the good book,
.         shall we?  There must be something in here to
.         “enlighten” the mood. (Bible opens at Matt.5:3)
.         (reads loudly)  “Blessed are the poor!”
.         (snidely)  Perhaps I did us a favor.

ADRIANA   Superior nonsense.

MARCUS    (reads more seriously)  “Blessed are the poor
.         for they shall inherit the earth.”

ADRIANA   Really?  And when will that be?  I cannot wait!

(MARCUS looks for Proverbs 1 and reads with flippancy.)

MARCUS    (looks for Proverbs 1 and reads with flippancy)
.         The recommended reading – from – Proverbs.
.         (clears throat)  “To know wisdom and
.         instruction”  Ahhhh...  “A wise man will hear
.         and increase in learning.  And a man of
.         understanding will acquire WISE counsel” –
.         (looks up)  This would exclude such men as –
.         Henry Madison.

ADRIANA   (dryly)  That’s just common sense.

(ADRIANA shrugs, then picks at her nails.  She uses the
tabletop to file at them, while MARCUS scans the Bible.
Bored, ADRIANA glances at the trunk.  Finally, she goes
to open it and rummage through the items.)

MARCUS    What are you doing?

ADRIANA   I’m just looking. She forgot to lock the trunk.

(Finding a purse, ADRIANA shakes it to hear jingling.
MARCUS glances curiously.  Suddenly ADRIANA rushes for
the door.  MARCUS jumps up, and blocks her path.)

MARCUS    And where do you think you’re going?

(MARCUS fights the purse from ADRIANA’S hands, then
sits down to look inside.  While ADRIANA paces, MARCUS
suddenly bolts for the door.  ADRIANA blocks his path.)

ADRIANA   You would leave me in the lurch?  Again?
.                                                      30
MARCUS    There isn’t enough money here for the both
.         of us.  (sighing, he sits to count the money)

ADRIANA   We could maybe get as far as Paris.

MARCUS    Perhaps if you also sold your dress.

ADRIANA   (gasps)  That dress is my only hope.  Besides,
.         once we got to Paris – what would I wear? This?
.         They would not accept me through the servant’s
.         door - let alone the front doors.

MARCUS    Very true. Even if we could get there,
.         what then?  We would be in a worse situation.
.         Humiliation AND ridicule!  And maybe even
.         the gallows.  You know how the French love
.         to behold a good beheading.

ADRIANA   (clutches her neck, then gets idea)  At least
.         we could take some money and see a show.

MARCUS    I am quite sure Lily has counted every penny.
.         And I do not want our next shelter to be
.         prison. (hands ADRIANA the purse)  Put it back.

ADRIANA   (returning purse to trunk, her eyes widen)
.         Our chocolates!  She STOLE our chocolates.
.         Some fine Christian she is!

(Hearing LILY at the door, MARCUS quickly takes the box
and tosses them back into the trunk and slams it shut.
ADRIANA plunks into a chair with her arms crossed.)

MARCUS    (hisses) I will use this against her somehow.

(MARCUS searches the Bible with a scheming attitude.)

ADIANNA   (hissing)  Even I know there is something    32
.         in there that says, “Thou shalt not steal.”

(LILY enters and removes her bonnet tentatively.)

MARCUS    (reads)  “How blessed is the man who finds
.         wisdom and gains understanding.  For its profit
.         is better than... silver, or fine gold – more
.         precious than fine jewels!” (scorned surprise)
.                                                      31
ADRIANA   As if!  As if there is anything finer
.         than those!

LILY      (tentatively)  You are enjoying the book?

(As MARCUS talks and reads, LILY puts her bonnet back
into the trunk and realizes she had not locked it.)

MARCUS    If nothing else, it is amusing.

ADRIANA   (watching LILY pick up purse and look inside)
.         Fear not, we took nothing from YOU.

(Putting the purse down, LILY sees the box of chocolates.
She closes the lid and stands there fidgeting with her
hands.  MARCUS feigns continued interest in the Bible.)

MARCUS    Oh listen, (reads)  “Long life is in her right
.         hand; in her left hand are riches and honor–“
.         Wait!  So wisdom is better than riches,
.         “but with wisdom comes riches and honor?”...
.         Am I not wise?

ADRIANA   (thinking, while LILY bites her lip, wondering)
.         You are not wise, but you ARE very clever.
.         Clever with your wit and words.
.         But not as clever as Henry Madison
.         at manipulating people and finances.
.         Hm, cleverly taking something that isn’t
.         theirs.  What does it say about that?

(ADRIANA aims this toward LILY who quickly and silently
gets lunch ready, while MARCUS reads silently.
ADRIANA smirks and addresses LILY directly.)

ADRIANA   Was it a lovely service, Lily?  What was the
.         sermon on? Stealing, or anything such as that?”

LILY      (turning abruptly)  I must confess something.
.         I am very sorry, I took your chocolates...
.         (goes to the trunk to get the chocolates)
.         At the moment we were to leave your house,
.         I tried to justify myself, that you owed me
.         a month’s wages.  I thought I might enjoy
.         eating them at some point, but instead,
.         the guilt has been eating away at me.
.                                                      32
(LILY gets the chocolates and hands them to MARCUS.)

LILY      I – stole these from you.  I hope you might
.         forgive me?

(MARCUS places the chocolates on the table and stares at
them.  LILY goes back to fixing lunch but begins to cry.)

MARCUS    You really feel bad about this.

ADRIANA   And so she SHOULD!

MARCUS    Adriana!  They are only chocolates!

ADRIANA   They are all that we have left!

LILY      It matters NOT how much or how little,
.         stealing is stealing.

ADRIANA   Ach, we forgive you-we forgive you!
.         Just let me have some.  I am famished.

(ADRIANA reaches for the chocolates, but MARCUS holds
them out of her reach.  ADRIANA whacks his shoulder.)

MARCUS    We will all share.

LILY      No-no-please, I feel bad enough.

MARCUS    (muses over this then a bit compassion sets in)
.         Still, you have been very generous with us.
.         (ADRIANA gasps as MARCUS peeks inside the box
.           to count and ignore LILY’s protests)
.         There arrrreee-

ADRIANA   (boldly confessing)  There are fourteen missing
.         because I had some whilst on the ship, and
.         thirteen whilst on the carriage ride home
.         from the docks-

MARCUS    Thus - 21 chocolates.  Seven for each.

LILY      You do not have to do this –

MARCUS    I want to do this.  Seven are yours.

LILY      Then, I will just have one for now.          33
.         I will have one every Sunday until gone.

ADRIANA   (takes a chocolate and speaks with mouthful)
.         You are NEVER one to overindulge?

LILY      (humbly)  I know not to worry about tomorrow
.         because the Lord will provide.  But the Lord
.         expects us to be wise, work for our own keep,
.         helping and sharing with others, yes!  But we
.         are also told to be good stewards of what
.         we have been given.

MARCUS    So where is the balance then?

LILY      THAT – is the question.  “For the love of money
.         is the root of all sorts of evil.”

ADRIANA   The Bible says that money is evil?

LILY      No dear, the LOVE of money. See the difference?

ADRIANA   Then why NOT buy some luxuries with what you
.         have?  Like silver which never loses its value.

LILY      Right now, I need other things more.  And we
.         do not know how the crops will do.  We may need
.         that money for food just to survive until next
.         year’s crop, or the next.  Things happen.

ADRIANA   (practically)  Then you sell the silver.

LILY      Only if there are buyers.  But why are you so
.         set on silver?  Silver tarnishes, so you must
.         spend a lot of time polishing it.

ADRIANA   Carpet on the floors then – for warmth.

LILY      You think cleaning THESE floors are difficult?

ADRIANA   At least a chamber pot!  I dread the outhouse.

LILY      Be thankful this property came with one, and
.         that we do not have to share a community
.         outhouse.

ADRIANA   But a chamber pot in the comfort of your room!
.                                                      34
LILY      And who will empty and clean it?

ADRIANA   (balks at thought)  The outhouse is just fine.

LILY      Everything in life needs cleaning,
.         even our souls.

MARCUS    (changes subject)  So why are you not married
.         and have children?

LILY      What sort of wife and mother would I have made
.         while having to work constantly?

ADRIANA   You mean, like we are now?

LILY      I worked longer hours under your employ.

MARCUS    You drive us very hard.

LILY      I have treated you like children.

ADRIANA   You would make your own children work
.         like this?

LILY      I would be a terrible parent if I did not
.         train up a child to know how to survive.

MARCUS    And you would have been a terrible
.         Christian had you not taken us in?

ADRIANA   Is that so?  And how was today’s service?

LILY      Oh, it was lovely.  The minister gave a timely
.         message.  And the choir was magnificent.

ADRIANA   (perks up a little)  There is music?

LILY      Wonderful music.  Oddly enough, this is the
.         church that Mistress Elizabeth Walters attends.

MARCUS    Miss Elizabeth Walters?! (now warily)  Tho’
.         you must’ve been segregated from the wealthy.

LILY      Surprisingly not.  This church refuses
.         to conform to society’s interpretations,
.         but boldly teaches God’s truth.
.                                                      35
ADRIANA   Is that not what churches do?

LILY      Well, there is a dangerous trend - since common
.         folk cannot read or afford to own a Bible -
.         governments will use the church, and twist the
.         scriptures, in efforts to control the people.

ADRIANA   Such a strange power that small book has.

MARCUS    Indeed.

(LIGHTS DIM.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #9:  “The Marriage of Figaro” Aria

(LIGHTS COME UP.  MARCUS, LILY and ADRIANA enter from
outside.  LILY motions ADRIANA to the pot of water.)

LILY      Here, wash up.

ADRIANA   The day is not done yet.

LILY      I will finish the weeding.  I need you both
.         to go to the market for a few things.
.         (goes into trunk to get her purse,
.           then drops some coins into MARCUS’ hand)
.         This is to buy more flour.

ADRIANA   For me to make more bread?

LILY      And this - is your week’s payment.
.         As of last week, your debt was paid off.

(LILY gives MARCUS and ADRIANA each a coin.  ADRIANA
clutches her coin while MARCUS looks at his with awe.)

MARCUS    How will we spend this?

LILY      It is your money.  But, if you do not mind
.         some advice, you do not HAVE to spend it – yet.
.         (exits “outside” to finish the weeding)

MARCUS    (thinking)  True.  Or – at least not all of it.

ADRIANA   I will don my dress.  (rushes to inner room)

MARCUS    (studies coin) The beginning of my empire!   36
.         I will find the means to seek retribution from
.         Henry Madison and reclaim my family’s fortune.

(LIGHTS DIM.)

.                          ACT 3
.               CENTER STAGE - CITY SQUARE

SCENE CHANGE EXCERPT 10:  (enough for ADRIANA to change)

(POOR go about their work.  OTHERS shop.  MARCUS
escorts ADRIANA who is now wearing her nice dress.)

MARCUS    Glorious, precious money! Money which I’ll use
.         to bring about the downfall of Henry Madison.

ADRIANA   You will require a strong arm and excellent aim
.         in order to hit him between the eyes with it.

MARCUS    I will think of something better than that.
.         (admiring coin again)  Who would have thought
.         I would be so grateful over one small coin?

ADRIANA   ‘Tis ridiculous.  Now, do not walk so close.
.         I do not want people to think I am taken.

MARCUS    (steps away, wondering)  And what will
.         people assume when they see you unchaperoned?

ADRIANA   Shush, now.  I could still find a gentleman.
.         Perhaps not with GREAT means, but someone
.         who could provide at least a proper house,
.         with a servant or two.

(ADRIANA nods at passing GENTLEMAN, who nods back.)

GENTLEMAN (stops)  Have we ever met before?

(GENTLEMAN’S breath is bad, and ADRIANA pulls away with
with a frown and wave of her hand, using it like a fan.)

ADRIANA   No - sir.  I thought I recognized you, but I
.         was quite mistaken. Good day.  (turns, wincing)

MARCUS    (to GENTLEMAN)  But would you happen to know
.         where Mr. Henry Madison is residing these days?
.                                                      37
(GENTLEMAN balks and quickly walks away.)

MARCUS    Why so picky?  You may have turned down
.         the very last eligible and willing gentleman.

ADRIANA   (still gags and waves hand in front of face)
.         He had the most atrocious breath!
.         What I wouldn’t give for a fan!

MARCUS    Fan or not, is this the way a lady behaves?!

ADRIANA   I AM a lady and this IS the way I am behaving.

(ADRIANA swings away from MARCUS and nods her head at
another passing HUSBAND 1, who looks at her with a nod.
WIFE 1 catches up to him and whacks him on the head
with her fan.  WIFE 1 then glares back at ADRIANA.)

WIFE 1    Tart!  Stay away from my husband,
.         you vulgar - tart!

(Wounded, ADRIANA gasps.  Meanwhile MARCUS looks around
the square eagerly and sees HELEN with basket of tarts.)

MARCUS    Hm, I am hungry for a tart.

(WIFE 2 pulls HUSBAND 2 to the other side of the street
while giving ADRIANA a scowl.  Beggar-boy BRICE lurks.)

ADRIANA   I beg your pardon.  I am a LADY!

(BRICE steps up boldly, putting out his hand.)

BRICE     So lady, do you have some spare coins?

ADRIANA   Get away from me.

BRICE     But lady –

ADRIANA   Look, I really do not have anything –

(ARISTOCRAT LADY 1 & 2 walk by, giggling and gossiping.
ADRIANA fights her tears and scowls at BRICE.)

ADRIANA   Get away from me.  You are making me look bad!

(BRICE walks away, hurt, making ADRIANA feel           38
even worse.  HELEN walks by carrying a tray of tarts.)

HELEN     You desire a tart?  Best tarts in town.

MARCUS    I assume you’re referring to these pastries?

HELEN     Oh, aren’t we smarmy.

ADRIANA   (dryly dabbing tears away)  Smarmy would be he.

HELEN     So you ARE referring to my pastries?

MARCUS    Yes.  And I’m not sure I can even afford THAT.

(BRICE pushes the littlest, TINA, forward, followed
by more BEGGAR KIDS.)

TINA      Buy me one, mister?  Lady?

MARCUS    Your parents should be the ones feeding you.

BRICE     We ain’t got parents.

(ADRIANA saddens and MARCUS begins a grammar lesson.)

MARCUS    You do not HAVE any parents.  Now say it
.         properly.

BRICE     I...?

MARCUS    I do not - have - any parents.

BRICE     I – do not - have any parents.

ADRIANA   Well, shouldn’t you be at the orphanage then?

BRICE     They ain’t got - They do-not-ain’t-have room.

MARCUS    They do not - have - any room?

TINA      And they’re very mean.  They make us work
.         all day in the factories.

HELEN     (impatiently)  So did you want any?

MARCUS    Sorry, they cost too much.
.                                                      39
(ELIZABETH enters with SERVANT 1 trailing behind her
and overhears the last bits.  Marcus turns and almost
runs right into her, which increases the embarrassment.)

MARCUS    (turning) Oh, ah... good afternoon,
.         (sheepishly)  Miss Elizabeth - Walters.

ELIZ      It has been a while.  You never did come by
.         to speak with my father.

MARCUS    I am certain that would have been pointless.
.         (quickly)  What brings you to these parts?

ELIZ      This lady’s tarts.  They ARE the best in town.
.         Our own cook cannot make tarts nearly as good.
.         (to HELEN)  I’d like all that you have, please
.         (to ADRIANA)  I’m holding a tea this afternoon.

(ADRIANA feigns interest then rolls her eyes as ELIZABETH
turns to pay and direct SERVANT 1 as to how to put the
tarts into their basket.  ELIZABETH holds a tart aside
and feigns a dilemma, then shoos SERVANT 1 to the side.)

ELIZ      Oh dear, we cannot fit them all into our
.         basket.  (holds the tart out to MARCUS)
.         Would you be a dear and relieve me of this?
.         There, I pray that you are doing – fine.

MARCUS    (accepts tart with a bow)  Splendid, thank you.

ELIZ      I am glad.  After the humiliation you both
.         suffered, I was quite worried.

ADRIANA   Were you now?  Well, as Marcus said, we
.         are splendid.  There is no humiliation here.

ELIZ      Oh, there is no shame in humiliation.
.         In fact, in reaching the final humiliation,
.         there is great victory.

ADRIANA   Did you hear that, Marcus? We are nearly there.

MARCUS    We have been humbled indeed.

ELIZ      Being humbled before men is one thing,
.         but have you humbled yourself before God?
.                                                      40
MARCUS    Why would I bother with that?

ELIZ      Victory.  Becoming a child of God and receiving
.         eternal life.  Treasures in heaven – and love.

MARCUS    (shows boredom until the last word)  Your love?

ELIZ      I try to love ALL people. But I will never love
.         to the extent that God loves all people.

MARCUS    Then, I thank thee, for thy humble pie.

(MARCUS toasts the air with the tart.  ELIZABETH ekes out
a smile and nods politely as she and the servant exit.
As soon as they are gone, ADRIANA gags her disgust
at ELIZABETH’S airs.  MARCUS eyes the tart eagerly.)

MARCUS    Thank you, Lord!

ADRIANA   You pray?

MARCUS    Habit now, I suppose.

ADRIANA   Well, give me a piece.

(MARCUS and ADRIANA taste a piece and look at each other,
wincing.  ADRIANA now gags in disgust.)

MARCUS    Not nearly as good as Lily’s.

ADRIANA   (swooning)  Oh, yes, remember the magic
.         she would create in our very own kitchen?

(ADRIANA sees BEGGAR KIDS and reaches for the tart.
MARCUS grabs a piece to wrap up in a handkerchief.)

MARCUS    I would like to bring a piece back to Lily.

(ADRIANA gawks curiously, then turns to BEGGAR KIDS.)

ADRIANA   A tart for you all to share.

(The BEGGAR KIDS pounce on the remainder anxiously with
squeals and whines.  ADRIANA jumps out of the way.)

ADRIANA   (to MARCUS, deeply effected)  Goodness!
.                                                      41
MARCUS    (thinking, then to ADRIANA)  I have an idea.

(MARCUS sees TINSMITH with a leather apron walk past
and calls to him.)

MARCUS    Excuse me, sir, you are a tinsmith?  I’d like
.         to speak to you about a possible transaction.
.         (as TINSMITH nods, MARCUS turns to ADRIANA)
.         Find out what goes into making tarts.  Then see
.         how much the basic ingredients cost.  Go on.

(As MARCUS exits with TINSMITH to back of stage right
ADRIANA walks up to HELEN, the tart lady.)

ADRIANA   Excuse me.  What all goes into making those?

HELEN     Now why in the world do you wanna know?

ADRIANA   I have no idea.

(LIGHTS DIM.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #11:  “The Marriage of Figaro” Aria

.                STAGE RIGHT - LILY’S HOUSE

(As LILY enters with milk, MARCUS and ADRIANA burst in.)

LILY      I was wondering where you –

MARCUS    (sets flour sack down)  I have an idea!

LILY      Have you now?  Should I be worried?

(ADRIANA shrugs.  MARCUS snaps his fingers, and ADRIANA
quickly hands him a quill, paper, and an ink well.
He holds it up for LILY to see.  Then he pulls out
his handkerchief and unwraps the tiny piece of tart.)

LILY      Interesting purchases.  I half expected
.         you to buy wine or –

MARCUS    -Tempting as that was – here – I saved this
.         for you.  Try it.

LILY      (nibbling the piece)  Thank you - very much?
.                                                      42
MARCUS    Forget the niceties.  It’s dreadful.  Well,
.         not dreadful, but - nothing like YOUR pastries.

LILY      Oh, why... thank you indeed.

MARCUS    Lily, you could make some – to sell.

LILY      (laughing)  Marcus, we are ill equipped.
.         I do not have enough bowls, and baking pans,
.         not to mention the proper ingredients.

MARCUS    I have calculated the costs.  And this is
.         what a competitor is charging – per tart.

LILY      And you still need people who will buy –

MARCUS    Miss Elizabeth walked the entire way to the
.         market – just to buy those tarts for a tea
.         party – lauding them “the best tarts in town”.

LILY      It is a LOT of work.  Without much guarantee
.         of sales – and there is overhead -

MARCUS    I suspect it would be a safer gamble than the
.         sale of our produce.  In fact, we could grow
.         most of the ingredients required.  The cow
.         could be moved to the shed, freeing up the barn
.         where we would build a large brick oven and
.         work space.  Lily – it is a unique gift
.         which you have... from God!

LILY      Again, it is a lot of work.

ADRIANA   (meekly, dryly)  You taught me to make bread.
.         This is a task to which-
.         (rolls her eyes) – I am not so opposed.

MARUS     This in fact means – she rather enjoys it.

ADRIANA   (glaring at MARCUS, then...) And - (swallowing)
.         I am willing to sell my dress to help finance.

(MARCUS throws a startled expression ADRIANA’S way.)

LILY      I will want to think on this some.  And pray -
.         I will want to pray a lot on this.
.                                                      43
MARCUS    And I am going to show that Henry Madison –

LILY      (worried)  I hope this is not your motivation.

MARCUS    (trying to correct his response)  Of course -
.         I do want to make something of myself!
.         As – an honorable servant – of God.

(ADRIANA guffaws at this.  LILY remains dubious.)

LILY      Still, I will pray about this matter.

MARCUS    (flippantly)  YES!  Let us PRAY on this!

(LIGHTS DIM.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #12: Mozart’s Minuet and Trio in C Major

.               CENTER STAGE - RESIDENTIAL STREET

(MARCUS enters from back stage right, carrying a basket
of tarts to ELIZABETH’S house.  SERVANT 2 notices him.)

SERV.2   May I ask your business?

MARCUS   I am here to visit Mistress Elizabeth - Walters.
.        I just pray that she is-

SERV.2   All deliveries to the back, please.

MARCUS   Oh, of course.  Pardon me.

(MARCUS humbly bows, then wilts a little as he exits
to back stage left)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #13:  Mozart’s Minuet and Trio in G Major

.         CENTER STAGE - WALTERS’ EXTRAVAGANT HOUSE

(SERVANTS 1, 3 bring table and two chairs.  SERVANT 2
walks stage right to stage left, calling into the wings.)

SERV.2    Mistress Walters, there is a delivery man,
.         by the name of Marcus Stealthbury here to
.         see you.  Should I send him away?

ELIZ      (entering)  He is delivering something?      44

SERV.2    Tarts, ma’am. He refuses to deal with the cook.

ELIZ      Tarts?  Oh, well, ah, yes, by all means,
.         please send him in.

(MARCUS enters with his basket and bows humbly.
MRS. WALTERS enters and recognizes MARCUS.)

MRS. W    What is HE doing here?

ELIZ      He delivers tarts.  To spare me - a trip?

MRS. W    Deliveries to the back.  Cook will see to it.

MARCUS    (bowing again)  I humbly ask that you please,
.         try these.  The WORLD’S best tarts.

ELIZ      The WORLD’S best tarts?

MARCUS    As you know, my past lifestyle afforded me
.         the very best that money could possibly buy.

MRS. W    You mean, you THOUGHT you could afford –

ELIZ      Mother, please.

MARCUS    She is correct.  I have learned a valuable
.         lesson through extreme measures.  I am now
.         building up a small business – and I would
.         be most honored if you would sample these
.         pastries, the product of our very own hands,
.         under the expert guidance of a world-class
.         chef, and tell me if they would be
.         of any interest to you in the future.

(ELIZABETH motions to the table.  MARCUS sets the basket
down, then steps away to wait with nervous anticipation.
Each taking a bite, MRS. WALTERS balks and quickly takes
another bite.  ELIZABETH looks up at MARCUS and smiles.)

ELIZ      Why!  These are marvelous.  I must say, as far
.         as I know, these ARE the best in the world.

MRS. W    How much are you asking?

MARCUS    I’ll match the price you pay at the market.  45

ELIZ      I would pay much more –

MRS. W    Elizabeth!

MARCUS    I appreciate that.  But for you, I will
.         match the price, especially if you tell
.         all of your friends-

ELIZ      That I will.

MARCUS    For an extra fee, I could have these delivered.

MRS. W    (grunts)  Well, we will see how dependable you
.         are now, Mr. Stealthbury.  Perhaps you’ll live
.         up to your father’s name yet.

(MARCUS takes the shaky compliment graciously
as MRS. WALTERS continues to eat at the tart.)

ELIZ      What shall we say then, a dozen tarts –
.         every Wednesday?

MRS. W    Hm, well, I would not be opposed to Saturdays
.         as well.

MARCUS    By all means, give the cook some leisure time.

MRS. W    I beg your pardon?

MARCUS    Ah, we can make some stuffed with meats.
.         Those would be double the price, of course.
.         But certainly hearty enough to be a meal.

(Entering, MR. WALTERS stops short after seeing MARCUS.)

MR. W     What is this?

ELIZ      (quick to defend)  Father, Mr. Stealthbury
.         has begun his own enterprise.  They are making
.         these tarts and selling them in bulk to
.         homesteads.  You must try one.

MR. W     (tries a tart, his skepticism turns to delight)
.         And you have placed an order?

(MRS. WALTERS nods, and MR. WALTERS takes another      46
tart.  ELIZABETH notices MARCUS’S concern.)

ELIZ      Not to worry, we shall pay for these.

MARCUS    I wish to peddle my wares to the neighbors.
.         Is there anyone living at my old house yet?

(ELIZABETH and MRS. WALTERS become very sullen.)

MARCUS    What?  What is the matter?

ELIZ      You do not know?

MRS. W    Henry Madison.

MARCUS    Excuse me?!

MR. W     Henry Madison has moved into your house.

(MARCUS stands there quietly stewing.)

ELIZ      You will not go there?  Do not go there.

MARCUS    The man destroyed my life.

MR. W     Young man, you have moved on wisely.
.         To go there would not be wise.

MARCUS    I need to say my peace to the man.

MR. W     I sense that whatever came from your mouth
.         would be anything BUT peace.  Would you
.         destroy your life further?

MARCUS    The man betrayed me –

MR. W     -I have no doubt.  I held little respect
.         for you in the past, but I respect this man –
.         even less.  And I am certain, if you tried to
.         pay him a visit now, he’d have you arrested.
.         (observes how MARCUS fidgets while thinking)
.         Mr. Stealthbury, unbeknownst to you,
.         you have managed to build up
.         your reputation in this town.
.         I pray you continue on this path.

ELIZ      Please be content, Mr. Stealthbury.          47
.         I know my friends up the street will be
.         more than eager to place orders with you.

(MARCUS remains standing rigid as he thinks. LIGHTS DIM.)

.                          ACT 4
.               CENTER STAGE - CITY SQUARE

MUSIC SCORE BIT #14

(OPTIONAL:  during music, POOR step out from stage right,
in mild party-mode.  GENTRY step out from stage right
and stand in their group, while looking across
at the POOR.  The POOR tone down their laughter.
POLICE OFFICERS enter from stage left.  GENTRY get
the attention of the OFFICERS and nod in the direction
of the noisy POOR.  As the OFFICERS calmly saunter
toward the POOR, the POOR quickly leave.  LIGHTS DIM.)

.                STAGE RIGHT - LILY’S HOUSE

(LIGHTS GO UP.  LILY reads the Bible, ADRIANA paces.)

ADRIANA   Where is he?  What could be taking him so long?
.         It is morning light already.

LILY      Pray instead of fret.

ADRIANA   My prayers would be frets.

LILY      At least your frets would be directed
.         to the One who could calm your fretting.

ADRIANA   Hogwash.  Besides, I ENJOY my fretting-

(There is pounding at the door.  LILY jumps to answer,
and 2 OFFICERS drag MARCUS in and set him down at
the table.  MARCUS reels slightly from intoxication.)

LILY      What has happened?

OFFICER1  Ma’am, we found your son causing a disturbance.
.         Normally we’d have thrown him into a holding
.         cell, but we know of your reputation ‘round
.         here.  Just see to it that this does not happen
.         again, or it will be prison next time.
.                                                      48
LILY      Thank you, very much, officers.

(As LILY sees OFFICERS out, ADRIANA pounds the table,
causing MARCUS to shrink from the sound.)

ADRIANA   Where have you been?!

MARCUS    Out – walking - thinking.

LILY      Drinking, more like it.

ADRIANA   Did it not go well?  I see that the tarts,
.         as well as the tray itself, are gone.

MARCUS    It went... sh-plendidly.

ADRIANA   Then where is the money?

MARCUS    Gone.  All gone.  Every tart - every cent.

ADRIANA   So did I sell my dress needlessly?!

MARCUS    I’m - such a dishappointment.  But you cannot
.         begin to understand - what I must endure.
.         I wash betrayed... it was rubbed in my fash,
.         as sh’alt into a wound.  (ADRIANA storms out)

LILY      (matter-of-factly)  Do not think you are
.         the only one to be betrayed?  Consider
.         what King David went through.

MARCUS    (holding his head)  No, at this moment,
.         my head cannot withstand any sermon -

LILY      King David - was betrayed by friends as well.
.         Yet he did NOT seek revenge.

MARCUS    I seek revenge!

LILY      David asked God to uphold his integrity.
.         But - will you allow Henry Madison
.         to destroy you a second time?

MARCUS    (stands to pace angrily) I will make my fortune
.         and seek out a way to destroy Henry Madison.

LILY      (quickly opens Bible to read Psalm 52:7)     49
.         “Behold, the man who would not make God
.         his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of
.         his riches, and was strong in his evil desire-”

MARCUS    (growling and pointing at the Bible)
.         Ah!  You think that has all the answers?!

LILY      Aye!  I know it.  These are the words of truth.

MARCUS    I will make my own truths!  (stomps out)

.               CENTER STAGE - CITY SQUARE

MUSIC SCORE BIT #15:  Mozart’s Minuet and Trio in G Major

(A group of gentry walk by.  GENTRY 1 pushes
MARCUS aside.)

MARCUS    I beg your pardon!  No need to be rude.

(MARCUS faces GENTRY, who look down their noses rudely.
GUS, a poor townsman, sees and quickly nudges MARCUS.)

GUS      (aside)  Quickly, bow to the aristocrats.

MARCUS    (facing GENTRY so they can hear him)
.         These men are only gentry.

(GENTRY 1 steps forward trying to intimidate MARCUS.
GUS tugs on MARCUS’ arm to step back and bow.)

GENTRY 1  Just how rude will your offence become?

GUS       (to MARCUS)  Still, man, d’you want your life
.         to become difficult?

MARCUS    How much more difficult can it get?

GUS       You have no idea?

GENTRY 1  Well... will an apology be made, or not?

MARCUS    Why do you desire to be as rude as
.         an aristocrat?

GENTRY 1  What do you know of anything?
.                                                      50
MARCUS    I was once an aristocrat, and NOW I must kowtow
.         to YOU?

GENTRY 1  (laughs and mocks)  He was once an aristocrat?

GENTRY 2  Pray tell, which name did you go by?

MARCUS    Lord Marcus Stealthbury.

(GUS watches nervously.  GENTRY feel a twinge
of pity but still fight their smirks.)

GENTRY 2  I see.  You are famous.

GENTRY 1  Infamous - actually.

MARCUS    Yes-yes - I was a fool.  Might I advise you
.         to walk in wisdom and treat everyone as
.         more important than yourself.

GENTRY 1  (bursts out laughing again)
.         Of course, as it suits you, your – majesty?

MARCUS    It suits us all, if all were to do that.

GENTRY 2  What a wonderful world that would be.

MARCUS    (bitterly)  A man can dream.

GUS       Aye.

GENTRY 1  And you will extend this exact sentiment
.         to -  (to GENTRY 2)  What was his name?

GENTRY 2  (knowingly)  Henry Madison?

(MARCUS clenches his fists in anger.)

GENTRY 1  Oh!  We’ve touched a sore spot, have we?

WOMAN     (catches up to GENTRY 1 with her tiny basket)
.         Look dear, such a deal I got for this trinket –
.         (seeing MARCUS)  Why speak you to a low life?

GENTRY 1  This man was once an aristocrat, darling.

WOMAN     Oh really.  (giggling)  Do tell.             51

GENTRY 1  Might I emphasize, this is one reason not to
.         buy too many trinkets, as you do, deal or not.

(As GENTRY walk away.  MARCUS turns to GUS when
he realizes that GUS has just been staring at him.)

MARCUS    I apologize on behalf of all the rude
.         aristocrats and gentry.  There is a sort of –
.         ignorance there.  I have learned a lot,
.         since my lot in life has been altered.

GUS       Aye.  Alllll right then, mate.  No worries.

MARCUS    Mark my words, though, I shall RE-alter
.         my life.  I WILL rise above, once again!

GUS       Sure-sure, to be true, mate.  These things
.         could happen.  Cheers, then.

MUSIC SCORE BIT #16:  Mozart’s Minuet and Trio in C Major

.                 STAGE RIGHT - LILY’S HOUSE

(LILY and ADRIANA enter and collapse.)

ADRIANA   My brother has become such a slave-driver!

LILY      Who would have thought?

MARCUS    (bounding in)  The orders keep pouring in.

LILY      We need to figure a way to be more efficient.

ADRIANA   That, or live without sleep.

MARCUS    Oh no, please, you know how cranky you become
.         without enough sleep.

(ADRIANA sticks out tongue.)

LILY      (reprimanding)  Children!

ADRIANA   (laughing)  Children?  She called us children.

MARCUS    (laughing, then serious)  ARE we your children?
.                                                      52
(ADRIANA clings to LILY in a playful hug.)

ADRIANA   Mom!  Save me from my evil brother.

LILY      Ah, there-there.

(As LILY laughs, she sees that MARCUS touched.)

LILY      Now, still, what is this obsession with making
.         MORE money?  We are doing well enough.

MARCUS    Compared to what?

LILY      There is more to life than money.
.         “Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it –
.         than a house full of feasting - with strife.”

ADRIANA   Why would it be better to be poor and hungry?

LILY      It is better to be at peace and be poor,
.         than to have all the money in the world
.         and be without peace.

MARCUS    Well, I am poor, and I STILL have no peace.

LILY      Peace does not come from poverty.  No matter
.         the circumstance, peace is found in the soul
.         and comes from choosing to do God’s will.

MARCUS    I certainly do not experience this peace.

(MARCUS begins to pace and think.)

LILY      So you wage war within your soul to do
.         your OWN will and bidding...  What is it
.         that you cannot give up?  What have you left?

MARCUS    My pride!

LILY      Pride can give a very strong argument.

MARCUS    So I am correct to hang on to the very last
.         that I have?

LILY      I did not say that...  And... anything else?

MARCUS    You would shudder to hear such words.        53

LILY      Perhaps you would shudder to know that
.         I do not shudder so easily.

MARCUS    I would love nothing better than to seek
.         the FULLEST of vengeance on Henry Madison.
.         (determined nod)  Hating him is not enough.

LILY      By playing the victim, you become weak...
.         YOU have been reading the Bible.
.         What do you think God would have you do?

MARCUS    Be kind to your enemy so it is like
.         pouring hot coals on his head.
.         Love your enemy.  Pray for your enemy.
.         But I am with King David –
.         I pray for my enemy’s death.  And
.         as I am NOT a Christian believer,
.         I am not required to adhere to any of the laws.

LILY      Oh, at some point you will have to face the
.         Lord, your Judge, and be held accountable
.         for all your actions.  Far better He be your
.         Lord and Savior.

MARCUS    He is only one or the other?

LILY      Indeed.  When you believe in Him,
.         and repent, God will forgive all your sins.
.         Then, He is no longer your Judge.

MARCUS    That sounds too easy.

LILY      Oh really?  Your pride would disagree.  This
.         action requires complete humility...  It means
.         admitting your need for Jesus.  Tomorrow is
.         the Sabbath.  Why not come to church with me?
.         (As MARCUS remains quiet, LILY stands up)
.         Well, the invitation remains.
.         Now, as it is late, I shall retire.
.         (exits to inner room)

ADRIANA   (waits for LILY to be gone)  You will not go,
.         will you?  You have found strength in yourself,
.         why would you NEED God?

MARCUS    Listen to this...                            54
.        (opens Bible to Psalm 62:9-12)
.         “Men of low degree are only vanity –
.         and men of RANK are a lie;
.         in the balances they go up,
.         they are TOGETHER lighter than breath.”
.         See that?  BOTH rich and poor are worthless.
.         But – (reading again)  “I have heard this:
.         that POWER belongs to God;  and lovingkindness
.         is Thine, O Lord, for Thou dost RECOMPENSE
.         a man according to his work.”

ADRIANA   And we have worked – very hard.

MARCUS    I believe it refers to something else.
.         And I long for access to this - Godly power.

ADRIANA   To manipulate to your advantage?

MARCUS    (shrugging)  If - that is possible.

(LIGHTS DIM.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #17: “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded”

.                          ACT 5
.                STAGE RIGHT - LILY’S HOUSE

(ADRIANA enters from the inner room and sits at the table
with a cup of tea.  MARCUS and LILY enter from outside.)

ADRIANA   You actually went to church, brother dear?

LILY      (seriously)  It was a marvelous service.

ADRIANA   Marcus, do you think the same?

LILY      He has been silent the entire walk home.

ADRIANA   Was your dear Miss Elizabeth in attendance?

LILY      (finally answering)  Yes, she was.

ADRIANA   (to MARCUS)  Is something perplexing you
.         which outweighs the topic of a woman?
.         You realize, you do have the choice
.         to ignore their attempts to convert you.
.                                                      55
MARCUS    But how can I ignore what God says,
.         and what God has done – for everyone – for me?

ADRIANA   Do you not have a quip for the moment?

MARCUS    I will give you a quip!  I thought I was
.         greatly humiliated when we lost everything
.         and had to leave our opulent house and status.
.         But God - CHOSE – the ultimate humility.
.         God chose to leave heaven and His heavenly
.         throne of grandest proportions.  God humbled
.         Himself by coming to this earth, to be further
.         humbled by MEN – to hang on a cross as a common
.         thief - to pay for all our crimes!

ADRIANA   I have committed no crimes.

MARCUS    We all have.  Have you never had any evil
.         thoughts?  Have you ever been selfish?
.         Have you ever been jealous?
.         (at ADRIANA’S silence, MARCUS turns to LILY)
.         I need to take a walk.  (exits, LIGHTS DIM)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #18:   Mozart’s Contradance in G Major

.              CENTER STAGE - CITY SQUARE

(As MARCUS walks jauntily along, he sees HELEN selling
her tarts and approaches her.)

MARCUS    (smiling)  It is the Sabbath, dear woman.
.         You should not be working –

HELEN     You have taken most of my business away.
.         This is the only day I can make any money.
.         I fear I cannot survive because of you!

MARCUS    (smile drops and becomes humble)
.         Of course, I never thought of that –

HELEN     Why would you?

MARCUS    (starts to walk away sadly, then steps back)
.         We need your help!  Would you come work for us?

HELEN     What?
.                                                      56
MARCUS    I offer you a job with a generous income.
.         If you wish to work, come to our barn at
.         the edge of town, bright and early.
.         Will you be there?  What is your name?

HELEN     Helen.  Aye.  Ah, yes – yes, I will be there.

MARCUS    Excellent.  Well then, Helen, as your
.         employer, please take the rest of the day off.

(With a nod, MARCUS walks back toward the house.
HELEN is stunned, then smiles and almost skips away.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #19:  Mozart’s Contradance in G Major

.                STAGE RIGHT - LILY’S HOUSE

(MARCUS enters to find LILY reading her Bible.  ADRIANA
does some stitch work. MARCUS waits for LILY to look up.)

MARCUS    You know, I don’t think I have really thanked
.         you, Lily.  You’ve really shared a lot with us.
.         More than you could ever realize.  It outweighs
.         the amount of times we can say thank you.

LILY      Well, you can thank God for all of that.
.         He is the One who prompts my heart.
.         And He is the provider of everything.
.         I’d help more people if I could.

MARCUS    Yes, interesting you see it that way.
.         I have just hired some help.  Here name is
.         Miss Helen.  She will start tomorrow.

ADRIANA   Just one person?

LILY      It is one more than now.

MARCUS    As you say, God will provide.

ADRIANA   What is with you?  It is as if a load
.         has been lifted from your shoulders.

MARCUS    Indeed.  That was my next bit of news. I am now
.         a believer.  My sins have been lifted from my
.         heart and soul and shoulders.  I am a new man.
.                                                      57
LILY      Oh, such marvelous news.  You have become
.         like a son to me, and now - you have become
.         a brother in Christ.  (rushes to hug MARCUS)

ADRIANA   (rolling her eyes)  Were we not going to market
.         to make some trades?  Time is wasting.

MARCUS    On the Sabbath, Adriana?  Tomorrow,
.         we will work.  Work as unto the Lord.

ADRIANA   (feels betrayed and continues with resolve)
.         I am merely working for myself, thank you.

MARCUS    I pray you find a higher purpose than that.

ADRIANA   Am I to now hear sermons from you too?

MARCUS    I am done.  Lily, is there a sermon from you?

ADRIANA   Do not encourage her!

LILY      (chuckling)  Peace to you, child.

ADRIANA   Good, now leave me alone to my stitch work.

(LIGHTS DIM.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #20:  Mozart’s Andante in C Major

.               CENTER STAGE - CITY SQUARE

(MARCUS and ADRIANA carry baskets of produce.  ADRIANA
follows MARCUS as he holds up a tomato to examine.)

MARCUS    Look at this, Adriana, ‘tis such a miracle.

ADRIANA   (dryly)  ‘Tis a tomato.

MARCUS    This is produce that we have grown.  This came
.         from the seeds which we placed in the soil
.         ourselves.  It rather fills the heart with awe,
.         does it not?

ADRIANA   Hm, so much awe.

MARCUS    What is your problem?
.                                                      58
ADRIANA   Marcus, less chit-chat and more focus.
.         We have mountains of tarts to make.
.         What happened to the money-hungry slave-driver?

MARCUS    I keep telling you, I am no longer that Marcus.
.         All right, let’s exchange our produce for
.         the pastry ingredients first – and then -

(A gentry couple, AUDREY and JOHN, overhear this.)

AUDREY    Oh, are you the ones who make the world’s
.         best pastries?  (MARCUS nods with a smile)
.         We are having a huge gala next weekend.
.         Would it be possible to order 200 tarts?

JOHN      200?  Audrey, that sounds like a mountain.

AUDREY    Yes dear, but remember, there are 200 guests.
.         We need at least one tart per person.

JOHN      Oh, then should not each man get two?

AUDREY    (to MARCUS)  That would bring it to 300.

(Without letting the couple see her, ADRIANA stares
at MARCUS and shakes her head frantically.)

JOHN      Do what you think best, sweetheart.

AUDREY    300 it is then - for next weekend.

(Setting down her basket, ADRIANA’s expressions
and motions become more and more frantic.)

MARCUS    Of course - we would need at least half of
.         the payment up front.

(MARCUS is met with a questioning look.)

MARCUS    All the ingredients need to be purchased.
.         As well as a few more pans.

JOHN      That should not a problem.  I will come by
.         tomorrow to make the final arrangements.

(As AUDREY and JOHN walk away, ADRIANA flies at MARCUS.)
.                                                      59
ADRIANA   What did you do?-What did you do?

(BEGGAR KIDS see this and laugh.  ADRIANA stops and
tries to calm herself.  MARCUS rubs his shoulder.)

MARCUS    I can honestly say - you have become much
.         stronger.

ADRIANA   But I have not the strength to keep on
.         like this.  We cannot keep up with the orders
.         we already have.  Even with the extra help.

MARCUS    Wait, I thought you wanted to work more?

ADRIANA   NOOOO!  I just wanted you to stop talking about
.         God and such.  So, now what?  What will we do?

MARCUS    God will provide a way.  (ADRIANA gags)

BRICE     Hey, so will this God provide us some tarts?

(ELIZABETH and BERNARD enter in time to see BEGGAR KIDS
distract MARCUS and ADRIANA.  Clenching her fists,
ADRIANA lunges at the KIDS, who scatter a bit.
They laugh again, and get ready to run.  MARCUS holds
ADRIANA back and calls.)

MARCUS    Children!  Wait!  How would you like
.         to have a place to sleep and food to eat?

ADRIANA   (swinging around to face MARCUS)  What?!

KID 1     Tarts?

MARCUS    Maybe on special occasions, but there would be
.         other food.  And a bit of pay for making tarts.

ADRIANA   (aside to MARCUS)  Now what are you doing?

BRICE     What’s the rub, mister?

MARCUS    Yes, wise boy, there IS a rub.  You will work –
.         making tarts, and doing a few other chores.

BRICE     (walking away)  Who wants to work?

MARCUS    That is what I once said.  I had a fortune,  60
.         and refused to work.  I lost it all.

(This gets the attention from a few of the BEGGAR KIDS.)

BRICE     (from a distance) So you understand then –
.         I’m my own boss, and I say I don’t wanna work.

TINA      But I want to eat.

KID 1     And sleep in a warm place.

MARCUS    All right then, those who do not want to work
.         are excused.  Anyone wanting to work,
.         come here. (waits while more KIDS come forward)
.         I expect there to be quality work.
.         You will listen and obey, or you will be out.

(TINA hugs ADRIANA’S legs.  ADRIANA cannot help but
melt slightly, but looks at MARCUS.)

ADRIANA   And where exactly will they sleep?

MARCUS    The hayloft.  We will fix it up nicely.
.         The oven below will keep them warm.

(ADRIANA nods with a realization that this would work.
MARCUS does not notice ELIZABETH and BERNARD at the side,
as he keeps glancing the other way to look for BRICE.)

MARCUS    Why don’t you take the children home,
.         and explain the matter to Lily.
.         I will be along shortly.

(Collecting both baskets, ADRIANA exits stage right
with BEGGAR KIDS, except for BRICE who lingers in the
background.  MARCUS turns to pursue BRICE,
but ELIZABETH steps forward, followed by BERNARD.)

MARCUS    Oh, good day, to you, Miss Walters.

ELIZ      Good day, Mr. Stealthbury.

BERNARD   Quite the labor force, you have there.

MARCUS    At least it will get them off the street.

ELIZ      And much better than working                 61
.         in the factories.

MARCUS    (speaks while keeping BRICE in his sights)
.         And if they are willing, I can hold a few
.         classes to teach them to read and such.

BERNARD   Are you trying to impress Miss Walters?

MARCUS    Huh?  Ah, just thinking aloud.

ELIZ      I think it’s a marvelous idea...  I have also
.         noticed your attendance in church lately.
.         (BERNARD rolls his eyes.)

MARCUS    I – have become a believer.

ELIZ      That is the best news!

BERNARD   And this said with hopes to win the
.         lady’s heart?

MARCUS    I understand and appreciate your skepticism,
.         sir.  If I were not “me”, I would be wary too.

ELIZ      But with your newfound business sense,
.         you could find yourself obtaining the
.         position of a gentry.

MARCUS    The quality of a man is not summed up by
.         his earthly possessions, or his position.

BERNARD   A comforting thought dreamed up by
.         the peasants?  (ELIZ is offended by this)

MARCUS    “Man in his pomp, yet without understanding,
.         is like the beast that perishes.”

ELIZ      That is from the Psalms?  You have changed.

(HENRY MADISON enters at the other side to wander about.
BERNARD sees him, and slowly smiles.)

BERNARD   Well, time will soon tell...

(MARCUS wonders what BERNARD has seen.  Turning around,
MARCUS sees HENRY and quickly turns forward again.)
.                                                      62
MARCUS    (angry)  Henry Madison!...
.         (struggling for composure)  A test!

ELIZ      Are you all right?

MARCUS    I am surprised there is still anger.
.         One can forgive, and forgive again.

BERNARD   Put it to rest!  You aren’t fooling anyone.

ELIZ      What are you encouraging, Bernard?

(MARCUS turns and braces himself before approaching.
OFFICERS 1 and 2 enter in the background.  Seeing the
OFFICERS, BERNARD has an idea and walks over to them.)

BERNARD   (commenting aside to ELIZ.)  As the man said,
.         it is a test.  How he handles this encounter
.         will be telltale.

ELIZ      (unable to stop BERNARD)  Bernard!  Really!

BERNARD   Officers, I must alert you at once.
.         There could be trouble brewing.

(BERNARD points a finger in MARCUS’S direction.
OFFICERS brush past BERNARD, hands ready on their
night sticks.  They watch as MARCUS steps up to HENRY,
who stops short in his tracks and fidgets nervously.)

HENRY     Marcus.  This is most awkward.  H- ah – um.

MARCUS    How am I?  You mean, since you stole my entire
.         estate from beneath me?

HENRY     I – ah – it was n-

MARCUS    You can call it what you want –
.         or have to – in order to sleep at night.
.         Ultimately – you will have to answer
.         to a higher power.  But, to go back
.         to your original question,
.         (lighter) I have been doing surprisingly well.
.         (somber again)  I – have forgiven you,
.         Henry Madison.  ONLY with God’s help, mind you.

HENRY     This does not sound like the Marcus          63
.         Stealthbury I knew.  No more quips?

MARCUS    Indeed, I have a quip.  It took losing
.         everything, in order to gain what was
.         most important.

(MARCUS nods, then steps away to go back to ELIZABETH and
BERNARD.  HENRY collects himself, then exits hurriedly.
The OFFICERS give BERNARD a questioningly look.
BERNARD shrugs, and the OFFICERS exit.  ELIZABETH glares
at BERNARD, then smiles at MARCUS as he returns.)

BERNARD   (back to MARCUS)  That was most impressive.

MARCUS    (sighing)  I am glad that is done.
.         I have been dreading that encounter for months.
.         (smiling)  Now, I really should return home.

ELIZ      Will you perhaps call on me?

MARCUS    Perhaps, but certainly I will see you
.         in church.

ELIZ      What about our pastry deliveries?

MARCUS    (eyes BRICE who lingers in background)
.         Hopefully, I will be hiring someone to handle
.         that job.  (looks to ELIZABETH, smiling)
.         Give my regards to your parents.

(MARCUS nods and walks toward BRICE.  ELIZABETH and
BERNARD nod slightly.  ELIZABETH steals a peek back
as they exit.  MARCUS stops BRICE from running away.)

BRICE     Look, I don’t wanna make no tarts.

MARCUS    What about something else- What if-
.         it was work that you enjoyed doing?

BRICE     What are you talking about?

MARCUS    Driving a horse and wagon.

BRICE     (trying not to like the idea, but really does)
.         That – might be okay.

MARCUS    You can help purchase the horse and wagon,   64
.         which will provide you lessons in negotiating.
.         And I trust you will learn to care for the
.         horse, as well as maintain the wagon.

BRICE     Why are you doing this?

MARCUS    Well, for one, we can help each other.  And
.         for another, someone once did the same for me.
.         And - oddly enough – I care – about you.
.         (BRICE looks skeptically at MARCUS.)
.         I really do.  And I see we are a lot alike.

(MARCUS escorts BRICE off stage right as they talk.)

BRICE     So I can live with you?

MARCUS    Yes, and you will attend church services
.         with us as well.

(BRICE balks at this statement with hands on hips.
MARCUS stops walking briefly to comment.)

MARCUS    You will see, it is possible to find joy
.         in life – in ALL circumstances.

(Smiling, MARCUS guides BRICE off with a hand on
his shoulder.)

MUSIC SCORE BIT #21:  “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”

(LIGHTS FADE to BLACK.)

( – or - you could have...
POOR enter from stage right.  
ARISTOCRATS enter from stage left.  
GENTRY enter from center back (or upper right).  
EVERYONE slowly begins to do a choreographed dance,
mixing statuses.  Then ALL exit.)