The Unwarranted Assassination of Francois Vitte
















The Unwarranted Assassination of Francois Vitte




By





Jeremiah Liend and Jesse Whiting























Copyright 2003

Forward:

    I can't remember if I convinced Jesse to do it, or if Jesse convinced me, but some years ago we wrote a madrigal diner. To date, it may be the ONLY madrigal dinner written, but never performed. There was some really tragic and epic drama that surrounded the failure of its production. High drama indeed. Everything sort of died when Greg Gasman said he couldn't pull of "The Madrigal Taco Feed". Jesse and I were broken by the process. We walked away from Francois Vitte broken, but not defeated. Later we would write and perform many crap plays together, and apart. But it seems a tragic shame that the piece should die with its creators. And so it is here. For you to read. Perhaps to laugh? Maybe to remember the people and places and things that never were. We should not have mentioned the Christian God perhaps. Who knows? This piece is set in 1603, at James the Firsts coronation. The administration had wanted to move the time period forward from the traditional madrigal, and then went on to entirely ignore any historical context or significance. We tried to create a sense of history here. Six years later I would play Cervantes. It's a weird world out there. Stay safe, kids. <3 jt="" span="">

Ye Olde Cast 'O Characters

Mertensire:
That lovable wizard/apothecary/kings advisor no one can quite admire.

The Jester:
Funny? No. Plucky? At times. Orange and Yellow? Always.

King James the First:
Thick Scottish accent. Mom was Marry Queens of Scots. Likes iced cream, but who doesn't?

Francois Vitte:
The fall guy. Father of modern Algebra. French.

Lord Tokugawa:
Head Shogun of the empire of Japan.

Cervantes:
Author of "Don Quiotes"...Spanish I imagine.

Galileo:
Italian physicist...kinda. Father of dropping things off of tall places.

Francis Bacon:
Philosopher. Scientist. Only two degrees away from Kevin.

The Boars Head:
Integral to the plot.

Wood Sprite:
A wood sprite. Blue. Fairy like, you get the picture.

Dryden Mandrake:
Grand druid, bearded man, older. Like Gandolf only cheesier.

High Court of England/Madrigal singers. Panderers all. Also heralds, Beggars, Troubadours etc. etc.

Others I'm sure.











Scene:
[The intrinsically magical enchantment that comes with being surrounded by Styrofoam, and people in costumes. Feed them and sing frigging songs for them. That's the idea. Here we go. Jester takes center stage as a white spot illuminates a vision of insanity clad in orange and red, here we go:]

Jester: [Deadpan.]
Good evening. And welcome to this years Madrigal Dinner Singing Spectacular. No doubt you have taken the liberty of perusing the program and have seen that the title of our piece is "The Unwarranted Assassination of Francois Vitte".
Due to a publishing error, this is incorrect. This evenings masque is actually going to be the historical account of how Mertensire single handily retooled the British economy into the financial juggernaut it is today by not only inventing cash money, but by making sure British people were the only ones who knew how to use it.

[Mertensire foppishly wanders on stage with two full burlap sacks adorned with dollar signs clenched in his limp hands.]

Mertensire:
I've done it!!! I've finally done it!! I can finally buy that golden galleon I've been longing for, for oh so many long and tired years! No one can stop me now!! No one!!!

Jester: [Grimly.]
No no, just kidding. Mertensire did no such thing; the only thing history gives him credit for inventing was a brush for cleaning between toes that never caught on.

Mertensire:
Curses!!

[A thwarted Mertensire lurches off stage. The Jester continues his sinister mind game.]


Jester:[One breath.]
But seriously. Tonight’s Madrigal Spectacular revolves around the unfortunate, unfounded, and unsolved murder of Francois Vitte, Father of modern day algebra. Francois Vitte was born in Vende Le'Compte in 1540. Coming as he did from a well to do family Vitte enjoyed all the available educational opportunities, earning his law degree at the Universite Poitiers. His first scientific work dates from 1654 and involves topics which would continue to occupy him throughout his life, namely the mathematics associated with astronomy and cosmology.

[Jester takes a drink of water.]

Jester: [Cont.]
 In 1571 for example Vitte began publication or his tract Cannon Mathematicuss Seu Ad Triangula Cum Appendicbus. which he intended to form the preliminary mathematical part of a major study on the ptolmaic astronomical model. Vitte continued to embrace the geocentric model, despite the fact that Nicholas Copernicus’s Heliocentric Model had come out in 1543 in his revolutionary book, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium. In 1573 he came under the eye of King Charles One Ex. Who appointed him counselor to the Parliament of Brittany. Vitte remained in this post until 1580 when he returned to Paris, to take up the offices of Matride Requetes, and royal privy counselor. Through 1584 to 1589, political intrigue resulted in both his banishment from court and in free time for his continuation of his mathematical studies, especially his evolving ideas on algebra. Henry III called Vitte back in 1589 to serve as counselor to parliament. Late in 1602 he was dismissed for the last time by Henry IV. Vitte died in Paris on February 23 1603...no wait, he was unduly murdered in the Madrigal court of Canterbury...yes...yes that's it.

[The King enteres from behind the Audience.  Afterwards a Messenger hurls himself onstage in a relative tizzy.]

Messenger:
The Queen is Dead, Long live the King!

King:
Acht!!! My wife! She is dead!!! Who'll do the laundry now?

Messenger:
No no...ha, your wife isn't dead your majesty, it is in fact another queen I was referring to.

King:
Oh mommy you mean?  No no she died along time ago. 

Messenger:
Ha, again no your majesty. The one who had the queen you just mentioned murdered is dead.

King:
Rory the Executioner?!!! Oh No, Who'll Kill my son Charles now?

Messenger:
Alarming Precognition my liege, but think older, think paler, think slightly more blood hungry then the executioner.




King:
Oh mercy! That can be only one person!

Messenger:
Oh yes now we have it

King:
Torquadmada!

Messenger: [head hanging low.]
 Its Queen Elizabeth...Queen Elizabeth.

King:
Acht of course

Messenger:
So I assume you will accompany us back to Canterbury for your coronation?

King:
Oh I'm not entirely sure, I mean, I'm already a King, Do I really need to be two kings?

Messenger:
Well, Your Greatness, think of the power you will have as King of England.  An Armada, Armies, Gold from the Spanish Main, pandering courtiers and as much tobacco as you can eat! Plus you will never again need to immerse yourself in the petty power politics of the Scottish Clans. 

King:
Errrrmm.....

Messenger:
Also your crown and scepter will be slightly larger.

King:
SOLD!!

[The Jester once again and the King exits]

Jester:
So James VI of Scotland traveled south to become James I of England, uniting the Crowns of the separate kingdoms in the personage of the first Stuart King. Knowing the Latin, Greek, Hebrew and French tongues since an early age, he was to be called the English Solomon for his encyclopedic knowledge.




Jester: [Cont.]
 However, he was also a power-mad lunatic who, just as the Tudors before him, refused to yield to parliament in any matter, and instead choose to rule with absolutism. His love for tyranny would be inherited by his son Charles, born out of a loveless marriage with a Danish Princess, he would find both his life and his height cut short before a cheering mob of his own people.

[Enter the Madrigal court, replete in stupid hats. They sing a song I’m sure, and end up at the head table. Begins the Courtiers rhyme (Written by Jesse Whiting):]

Courtier #1:
Welcome Lords and Ladies, welcome all.
As the sunners zephyrs blow not today,
Let us gather round the hearth and pray.
That we shall find good warmth within this hall.

Courtier #2:
Gratious Lords and Fair Ladies of the realm,
THough day and night be cold and most dismal,
Your presence at our table is a balm
that makes sad days ever less abysmall.

Courtier #3:
Upon a Merrie Barge of love we sail,
Towards many places far away and rare
without sad thought or impotent despair,
we bid you come and taste with us Wassail!

[Mertensire leaps onstage.]

Mertensire:
Did somebody say wassail!?!?

[Someone hits a tunning fork, and everyone inhales to begin the Wassail Chorus, but are stopped by the Jesters words.]

Jester:
Wait no! We can't have the wassail yet…

[All look crestfallen.]



Jester:
The guests have not been served yet!

King:
Acht, well played Jester. On with the Wassail then.

Jester:
But wait!!

[Again all are crestfallen, groans from all.]
    
King:
You're starting to enrage me Jester, what is it now?

Jester:
Well sire, it's just that the emirates of many nations have come to anoint you with praise and laurels on this the celebration of not only our Christ's birth, but your birth onto the throne of England.

King:
Make it snappy.

Jester:
Herald!

[A sweaty construction worker walks from the wings with a stein in one hand and a hammer in the other.]

Harold:
Yea!?

Jester:
No no. Herald with an “E”…

Harold:
?

Jester:
Oh for the love of Pete. Announcing person!!!

[The announcing person blows weakly on a trumpet and begins introductions.]


Herald:
From the country of Spain, acclaimed author Miguel Cervantes!! From the ever loved silk and tea bearing empire of Japan Shogun Tokugawa!! From that pasta loving nation of scientists and scholars; Galileo Galilee. Our very own English man of all seasons, I'm speaking not of Thomas Moore of course, but that ever loved Philosopher, mathematician and author Francis Bacon. And last but certainly not least from the country of France renowned astronomer, physicist and mathematician Francois Vitte!!

King:
Acht pleasure to have you all…erm?

[The King looks to Jester for approval. Jester gives him the thumbs up.]

King:
Won't you have a mug of wassail!?!

[And with a flurry everyone goes Ape-Shit-Crazy singing the wassail song like it was pure opium and not simply an enchanting combination of apple juice and spices. The song winds down and the celebrity guests begin to mingle canter stage.]

Mertensire:
So Francois, how have you been occupying your time?

Francois:
Well, I've just been experimenting with a new form of arithmetic.

Mertensire:
Oh, what do you call it?

Francois:
Algebra.

Galileo:
Sounds a-fascinating. I-a myself have been a-conducting experiments at the tower of Pisa.

Francois:
Ah yes, your experimentation with falling things. If  all it takes to be considered a physicist in this age is dropping things, my clumsy mother should be consider for a commendation by the academy Francais.

Galileo:
Well I a-never.

Francois:
I can readily agree. Ooops! [Francois drops his drink on Galileo] I guess we should blame physics eh my fellow "scientist"?

Francis Bacon:
Ah good show Francois, I've been meaning to put it to that Galileo for years. Well done old bean!


Francois:
Although we share similar first names do not assume we have similar opinions you humanist scalawag.

Miguel Cervantes
I haven’t seen Bacon fry like that since the Spanish Inquisition.

Francois:
With the amount of hot air you are blowing you could power many windmills, windmills like those in your book, Don Quiotes.

Lord Tokogawa:
I don't understand any of this.

Francois
Well I have trouble understanding the concept of young girls turning into cars, but you don't hear me complaining.

[Uncomfortable silence]

Jester:
Listen you moldy cheese munching Frog, now I have to burden myself with the onerous task of cheering everyone up.

[Spotlight on Jester. Begins the Jesters act. While his act winds down the pages enter with the boars head.]

Jester:
So I heard Shakespeare opened up a new play called Hamlet, I should think with so very much ham on stage that Hamlet would be an inadequate description of just how much ham...is...in fact...on the stage. So...how about those Vikings eh? They raided my house!...take my scullery maid, please!!

Courtier: [Pointing to the boars head.]
The Boars head!!!


All:
Thank our Christian God!!

[Francois exits left, and is immediately followed by the celebrity guests.]

Courtier # 4:
The boar was shot right mightily
By a king who hunts a-nightly.
His majesty traveled into the woods so dark,
He found the trail, he read the mark.
He saw the boar through a little hedge,
and in his hear he made a pledge:

King:
I’ll kill that boar, and kill it well.

Courtier # 4:
He raised his bow to fell it well.

[First chorus of boars head, then, without so much as a "How you do" there is then the sound of a horseback rider lancing a victim, an animate samurai stabbing a foe and the sound of cheese being eaten-]

Francois:
Eh...cheese!!

[-followed by the sound of a two ton anvil falling from a great height onto someone’s head. The jester runs offstage and returns seconds later.]

Jester:
Francois Vitte has been murdered!

[There is a slight and uncertain pause.]

Courtier #5:
The arrow flew and struck his side,
The King waited untill it died,
or rather gasped in awe and shock,
As with arrow through heart, it began to walk.

Coutier #6:
The King did shake as he reached for his quiver,
his body belied a silent shiver.
He hit his heart, and he’d do it again,
to spare the beast his horrible pain.

[-second stanza of boars head song.]

Jester:
..well now I’m kinda interested.

Courtier #7:
The arrow flew and struck true,
Into heart it flew like a wicked shrew,
who, catching the flu, through the new flew disappeared from view.


Jester:
What?

Courtier #8:
The arrow was home in the breast of the beast,
but there would be no Christmas feast,
Until two score five bolts would prick his hide,
and even then he would not abide.

Courtier #9:
Forty five arrows, and still it kept going,
With a look in his eye like a man simply knowing,
his time was upon him...in a minute of two,
it was then the kings sword leapt from sheath and-

Courtier #7:[Eager.]
Flew?

Courtier #9:[Irked]
...He beheaded the boar like the champion we know,
He killed it with sword and slew it with bow.
It’s basted with butter and anointed with spice,
Won’t you all gather round and cut off a slice?

[Final stanza of boars head.]

Jester:
I’ll solve this murder...as soon as I have some head.

[ The Jester pulls off a piece of delectable meat and dines. Dinner is served. The suspects may indeed travel around as a men's quartet singing to one and all. After dinner, two guards push in a platform whereon resides the body of Francois Vitte. It is a dummy with a sword and a lance through it's torso, and a 2 ton anvil on it's head. The weight does not necessary have to weigh 2 tons. His clenched hand holds a roll of cheese.]

Mertensire:
Well Jester I knew you could kill the humor in a room, but I didn't think you could murder the guests as well.

King:
Enough banter you two, for I am assigning you both the task of finding his killer.

Mertensire:
Well I understand why you would ask me, sire, but why the Jester?

King:
Silence, or there will be two more corpses in this room.

Mertensire:
Well our first step I imagine is to perform an autopsy.

Jester:
Autopsy?

Mertensire:
We must determine a cause of death.

[Both look to the lanced, chopped and crushed form of Francois.]

Jester:
Aside from the obvious?

Mertensire:
Oh if only I'd paid attention in anatomy classes!

Jester:
Don't worry Merty, I studied pre-med at clown college.

[The Jester unzips the torso of Francois Vitte]

Mertensire:
Clown College pre-med?

Jester:
You should see the balloon animals I can make with a little intestine.

Mertensire:
Small intestine?

Jester:
Found it!

Mertensire:
Heavens to Murgatroid.

[There is the sound of a buzzer.]

Mertensire:
What was that?

Jester:
Ah, I hit the blasted edge again.

[The Jester proceeds to pull out a bunch of parts found in "Operation", the classic Milton Bradley game, butterflies in the stomach, Adams apple, water on the knee etc.]

Mertensire:
What makes you think that after all these years you'll ever find the funny bone?

Jester:
AH HA!!

Mertensire:
What is it?

Jester:
Aside from the obvious puncture wound to the left lung by a lance and the right by a samurai sword this subtle discoloration of the vitreous humor near the pancreatic membrane denotes the introduction of an anti-experent of an oxygenating nature.



Mertensire:
What does that mean?

Jester:
It means I'm pretentious.

Mertensire:
So what actually killed him?

Jester:
A bad attitude.

Mertensire:
Well where do we go from here?

Jester:
Hows about a forensic investigation of the crime scene?

Mertensire:
Suits me.

[The Jester removes a huge magnifying glass.]

Jester:
These walls...something’s wrong.


Mertensire:
What...what is it?

Jester:
They're made of Styrofoam.

Mertensire:
Sweet Zeus! What does this signify?

Jester:
As far as the murder is concerned absolutely nothing. Ah ha!!

Mertensire:
What? What now? Quit saying "Ah ha" and just spit it out!

Jester:
Why...it's some kind of substance!

Mertensire:
Of what nature?

Jester:
Stinky.

Mertensire:
It's cheese!! (Sniff sniff) Camenbae if I'm not mistaken.

[Mertensire desperately tries to pry the roll of cheese from his hands]

Mertensire:
He seems to have stinky cheese in his hand...but he's not letting go!

Jester:
You can have his cheese, when you pry it from his cold dead fingers!

Mertensire:
...what?

Jester:
I don't know.

Mertensire:
 This investigation is going nowhere!! We need a bold new course of action.

Jester:
I've got some truth gathering implements in the cellar!

Mertensire:
You mean dungeon?

Jester:
Whatever.

Mertensire:
Beautiful. I'll get the thumb screws you get the rack.

Jester:
I rack?

Mertensire:
No no. You rack, me thumb screws.

[Our heroes leave and then return with thumbscrews, a rolling rack, red pokers, etc.]

Mertensire:
Now all we need is a vict...volunteer from the audience.

[The audience vies for the part of audience participation.]

Jester:
I think this little girl shrieks the loudest.

[The Jester picks "The Plant". General applause.]

Mertensire:
All right heretic, tell us what you saw!!

Plant:
Cervantes did it! Cervantes did it!!

Mertensire:
Let's not start making wild accusations, put that witch on the rack!!!

[It is done.]

Jester:
Merty, I don't remember anything about a witch.

Mertensire:
Silence or you're next!!

[The Plant is 'inquisited' , then with no results, is handed over to Harold the carpenter.]

Jester:
See what you can do with her Harold.

Mertensire:
Now, while she's being tortu...interviewed, let’s find another solution.

Jester:
How about a scapegoat?

Mertensire:
You're always thinking with your stomach.

Jester:
No no, a scapegoat, a fall guy, a patsy!

Mertensire:
I think your pansy enough for the both of us.

Jester:
No no, not pansy, patsy.

Mertensire:
Brilliant. Now all we need to find is someone so horrible and despicable that his execution will not only be fortuitous, but will be easily swept under the tapestry.

[A single beggar, hunched and lurching enters the stage.]

Beggar:
Mummble mummble hork.

Jester:
Bingo.

Beggar:
Hurumph aphul. Gah.

[Mertensire is perusing the crowd looking for a fall guy. The Jester taps him on the shoulder.]

Jester:
Eh, Yah, you can quit that now, Mertensire, I believe we have found our patsy.

Mertensire:
No, not ME Jester, we are friends!!!!

Jester:
No no not you!  This person here!

Mertensire:
Eh, a Beggar?   Pwahahaha!!

Beggar:
Bwag ah ha na hana

Jester:
Teeheehee!!

Mertensire:
Oh Jester this is brilliant, we will become knighted for this for sure....your Majesty?!!

King:
Acht, what?  Ave ye found ye a patsy?

Jester:
Yes indeed we have, behold, the Royal Patsy

Beggar:
Naga ha on hei no.

King:
Impossible! He could not have killed the deceased!

Mertensire:
HOW DARE YOU!!!!   We have searched the lengths and breadths of this land searching for the most easily blamable person and here you go saying that he is unacceptable...tell me, what is so wrong with him?!!!

King:
He has no hands.

[The beggar makes like he has no hands.]

Mertensire:
...yes...well.

[Mertensire punches the Jester very hard. The beggar lurches off stage, scratching his nose, and snapping his fingers.]

Mertensire:
I'm worried Jester, I'm running out of ideas.

Jester:
Wait! Do we still have that time machine laying around?

Mertensire:
I think so, why do you ask?

Jester:
Well, why don't we go back in time and stop Francois from being murdered?

Mertensire:
Impossible!

Jester:
Why?

Mertensire:
Because if we go back in time and stop him from being murdered we will have had no reason to go back in time in the first place! It would be a paradox!!

Jester:
Hrm. What about we go back in time for some ice cream and "coincidentally" stop the murder?

Mertensire:
Worth a shot I suppose.

[Jester and Mertensire exit to the "Back to the Future" theme. There is a flash of light offstage and return with ice cream cones. The Jester and Mertensire look at the still prone form.]

Jester:
Ah well. Least we got some ice cream out of the deal.

[Dessert is served. After dessert is done Mertensire and the Jester pace back and forth on the stage.]

Mertensire:
You painted boob, what are we going to do!?!

Jester:
Insults aren't going to help us at this point, we may as well just find the true killer.

Mertensire:
But how? We've tried everything!!

Jester:
Not quite everything Mertensire my faithless companion, we still have yet to interrogate the suspects.



Mertensire:
'Zounds!

Jester:
What?

Mertensire:
The audience member!!

Jester:
Ahy yai yai!!

[The Jester and Mertensire hurl themselves off stage and come back helping a severely tortured "plant" back to her seat, she shakes from an unseen cold and a haunted expression paints her time worn eyes. She gives a slight and happy enough wave to the audience.]

Jester:
How about a hand for our good sport!

[Harold the carpenter holds up a sign that reads "Mandatory Applause"]

Mertensire:
Well that was close...did we get anything out of her?

Harold:
Nah, she's cool.

Mertensire:
Blast. Where were we?

Jester:
Suspects?

Mertensire:
Yes. Suspects.

Jester:
Yeah, like Lord Tokogawa.

Mertensire:
...what are you implying exactly?

Jester:
Well...it's just that Francois was struck down by a samurai sword.


Mertensire:
...and?

Jester:
...and it is relatively difficult to find such an item around Canterbury.

Mertensire:
...Look Jester, if we start making wild accusations we're sure to offend some people, not to mention we stand a very good chance of solving this murder.

Jester:
It's true.

Mertensire:
Ah to the inferno with it!! It's just so insane it just might work. Who do we sweat down first?

Jester:
Let's start with the most likely suspect...YOU!!!

Mertensire:
WHaaa!?!?

Jester:
Just kidding Merty, let's get Lord Tokugawa in here.

[Enter Lord Tokugowa who takes a seat.]

Mertensire:
Lord Tokagowa, is it not true that you come from the Land of Nippon, known to us as Japan?

Lord Tokugowa:
Hi.

Mertensire:
Oh, yes how foolish of me to forget my manners.  Hello Lord Tokagowa.  Now, is it not true that you were the adviser to Shogun Hidihyoshi during his invasion of China?

Lord Tokugowa:
Hi.

Jester:
Yes yes, hello your greatness.  Now the truth of the matters is that you have excellent knowledge both of Katanas and the use of Katanas on healthy people, is that correct?


Lord Tokugowa: [nods his head]
Hi.

Mertensire:
Oh this is going nowhere.

Jester:
Look, did you or did you not murder Francois Vitte!?

Lord Tokugowa:
HI!!

Mertensire:
Ah curse those foreign language tapes, they always tell you how to greet someone, but never how to respond to a question.

Jester:
I just don't know Merty, this could be a lost cause.

Mertensire:
No no, let's not give up at this point. Since it is obvious Lord Tokogowa lacks the motive, talent, and interest to murder anyone let us move on to our next suspect. Francis Bacon!!

[Exit Lord Tokugowa, enter Francis Bacon.]

Jester:
Hiya Frank! What ho?

Francis Bacon:
And how do you fare my painted fellow?

Jester:
2 pence for the first mile, a farthing every additional league.

Mertensire:
Francis Bacon, it's no secret that you've written all of Shakespeare’s work, but murder? Why'd you do it?

Francis Bacon:
Anon I laid not a perfumed hand on said Frenchmen who resembled less a man and more an amphibian!! Inquire of  anyone! I lack the murdering humor!!

Mertensire:
Ah, so you two have something in common then?

Jester:
Lay off the humorless humor Merty, I'm on a roll!!


Mertensire:
Do go on.

Jester:
Come on now Frank, the entire court saw Vitte lay it on you like a layer of salted fat on a hot cross roll, now just tell us how you did it so we don't have to wake the headsman after hours.

Francis Bacon:
I assure you, you are accusing a relatively innocent man!!  

Jester:
Relatively?

Francis Bacon:
Well...I still feel pretty bad about "As You Like It".

Mertensire:
Okay, listen we know that you are a scientist, or what passes for one these days, so you have working knowledge of all kinds of  nasty poisons.

Francis Bacon:
Poisons?  I love poisons!!!

Jester:
And is it not true that you love to poison even more?!!!

Frank:
Why it is one of my many passions in life!! But I assure you, I only poison those who belong to the lower orders...impoverished entertainers.

[All actors look rather nervous.]

Jester:
Well, that sounds like a pretty solid alibi to me.

Mertensire:
Oh we will never find this murderer, you are free to go.  Next!!!!

[In comes Gallileo out goes Francis Bacon.]

Gallileo:
Heya, wataya want?  I'm a Gallileo

[Audience applauds at the introduction of their favorite celebrity]

Jester:
So...Gallileo, how much you bench [press]?

Gallileo:
I don'ta really knowa.

Mertensire:
About two tons?!!

Gallileo:
eh...whata are youa implying?

Jester:
Look you, we suspect you have a penchant for dropping things from high places...is it not true that you once dropped a cat from the top of the tower?

Gallileo:
Heya, whaddaya takea me for and amature?  I dropped several cats of the tower!!!

Mertensire: [genuinely excited]
What did you discover?

Gallileo:
Cats dropad from da middle had the highest chance of survival cause theyda slow demselves down by a stretchign their little kitty paws out an creatin aerodynamic drag.

Mertensire:
Truly, he is the king of dropping things!

Jester:
Hey G, weren't you once under investigation by the most holy Christian Inquisition?

Gallileo:
Oha yesa yesa, thosea boys allota fun!!!

Jester:
And you were tortured yes?

Gallileo:
Oha yesa.

Mertensire:
-and inquisitiond?

Gallileo:
Oha severala times.

Jester:
-and as a final insult they?

Gallileo:
-locked a me up ina the towera.

Mertensire & Jester:
WHAT!!!

Gallileo:
Locked me up ina the tower...house arreste.

Mertensire:
So that means...

Jester:
...he couldn't have been here at the time of the murder!

Mertensire:
His alibi is air tight. You may go.

Gallileo:
You a couple of a good boys. Good luck to ya!!

Jester:
Thanks G.

[Exit Galileo.]

Mertensire:
We're running out of suspects. All we have left is Cervantes.

Jester:
Better get him in here and hope he's in a confessing mood.

[Enter Miguel Cervantes.]

Mertensire:
Miguel Cervantes!

Miguel Cervantes:
Ho jes?

Mertensire:
You were a member of the Spanish Regulars during the Battle of LePonto were you not?

Miguel Cervantes:
I deed that thing.

Mertensire:
A naval battle against the Ottoman empire...I imagine you were quite scared.


Miguel Cervantes:
Ho no, I was not scared. For it is what I was born to do.

Mertensire:
And that is?

Miguel Cervantes: [To Jester.]
...do you like eggs?

Jester:
Erm...yeah...yeah I like eggs...why?

Miguel Cervantes:
I like them too, you and me, we have a lot in common.

Jester:
Golly....I guess you're right.

Mertensire:
Don't let him pull you in Jester, Cervantes is well known to have mesmerizing powers!!

Miguel Cervantes:
Hey Mertensire, you grew up on a farm didn't you?

Mertensire:
How did you know?

Miguel Cervantes:
I know a lot about you...it was a beaver farm wasn’t it?

Mertensire:
...yes.

Jester:
Don't let him inside your head Mertensire!!

Mertensire:
My family shipped them from the Americas to start their own hat manufactory.

Miguel Cervantes:
And when spring came?

Mertensire:
They...they shaved them.

Miguel Cervantes:
Can you hear them Mertensire? Can you hear the Beavers squeal?

Mertensire:
Yes!!
Jester:
Merty!!

Mertensire:
What!?

Jester:
Lets just let this one go huh?

Miguel Cervantes:
And you Jester, you came from a shoe making family didn't you?

Jester:
You are a certifiable boob sir.

Miguel Cervantes:
Can you hear the screaming of the clogs Jester!?

Mertensire:
You're creeping us out! You may go.

Miguel Cervantes:
I like the way you guys wear your pants. Es real neat.

[Exit Miguel Cervantes.]

Mertensire:
Well, this it, we are both going to die.

Jester:
Oh look on the bright side.  At least we'll be leaving behind beautiful corpses, unlike certain Frenchman I could mention.

Mertensire:
I only wish that-

[But before he can say another thing he is interrupted by an ethereal voice.]

Boars Head:
Behold!!

Mertensire & Jester:
AH!

Mertensire:
What can that be?

Jester:
I don's know, but I don's like it.

Boars Head:
It is I, the Boars Head!!!

Mertensire:
But...but how?!?

Jester:
Did you kill Francois Vitte?

[Mertensire stares at the Jester.]

Jester:
What? What?

Mertensire:
Let me do the talking OK Jester?

Jester:
Familiar with negotiating with pigs are you?

Mertensire:
Well I do deal with the madrigal court.

Jester:
Fair enough.

Mertensire:
Oh strange and well seasoned Boars Head, why do you talk to us, and further more why is no one noticing?

Boars Head:
Only you and the Jester can hear my telepathic communication (and the audience of course).

Mertensire:
Go on.

Boars Head:
I speak to you because we can help each other complete our mutual tasks, you to find the killer of Francois Vitte, and I to regain my body.

Jester:
You know who killed Francois Vitte?

Boars Head:
Oh yes. You see, boars have exceptional eye sight and I saw the entire thing.

Mertensire:
I see, but what is this about your body? I think in order to find it all we're going to be up all night privy diving.

Boars Head:
No no. To tell my story full would take far too long and so I shall give you the abridged version. Long ago I was in love with a girl fair and true. Her hair was like flax, and her cheek was rosy too. I was a man then, a man named Arthur Mansworthy. Unfortunately the father of my beloved was a mad warlock. After I declared my intentions to marry his daughter he Polymorphized my body into that of a boar. As a final end to what was to turn out to be a pretty rotten day I was shot several times, stabbed, gored, mutilated and finally decapitated by a hunter and my head was removed. And well...here I am.

Jester:
But how is it that you still can see and hear and psychically communicate?

Boars Head:
There is little to no time to explain, for now I must tell you the price for my assistance.

Mertensire:
I still don't see how-

Boars Head:
Silence!!

Mertensire:
Rightyo!!

Boars Head:
You must travel into the northwoods of Canterbury. There you shall find a druid by the name of Drygen ManDrake. He alone possesses the item which shall transform me back to my mannish form.

Jester:
Hrm...just a second

[The Jester pulls Mertensire aside for a moment]

Jester:
What do you think Merty?

Mertensire:
I don't see that we have much of a choice, though I don't see what the big deal is? If he's a boar or a human he's still just going to be a head.

Jester:
And worse comes to worse we could always make a break for Scotland.


Mertensire:
Freedom!!
          
Jester:
What?

Mertensire:
Skip it. [to Boars Head] All right mister head we'll get this item. Just don't go getting eaten while we're out and about.

Boars Head:
I shall try my best.

[And with that Mertensire and the Jester leave. Later the Jester and Mertensire wander in the woods.]

Mertensire:
Well, here we are. The northwoods of Canterbury, on some wild-druid chase that will no doubt end in our transformation into some sort of bottom dwelling suckerfish that feeds off of algae and brine and when it comes to algae, there's nothing worse than-

[The Jester slaps Mertensire.]

Mertensire:
Thanks...I needed that.

Jester:
Anytime Merty.

[A wood sprite enters the scene in a very "Midsummer’s Night Dream" like imitation of child like glee and fantasy like ephemera.]

Mertensire:
A wood sprite!!

Jester:
We're in luck!! That wood sprite has to know where the Grand Druid is!!

Mertensire:
What ho noble (if not mythical) woodsprite!

Jester:
Sup yo?




Wood Sprite:
Who then wanders in my glen?
Be they fools or be they men?

Mertansire:
Oh crumble-buckles it's rhyming.

Jester:
Don't panic, I love this stuff. Ahem:
Travelers from afar we be,
from our death we swiftly flee.
We've come to the glen to find a druid,
Now help us out, don't be ruid!

Mertensire:
I'm going to eat that wood sprite so bad.

Jester:
Shush now, it's responding!

Wood Sprite:
I know your path, I know your quest,
The path I know would serve you best.
The Druid Drygen you do seek,
unfortunately your friend really wreaks!

Mertensire:
I can't wait till clear cutting is invented.
31.

Jester:
You're going to blow this Merty!! Now just shut your figgy pudding hole and let me handle this!!

Mertensire:
Well make it snappy! The king has the headsman sharpening his ax!

Jester:
Right. Now then:
Fairy true and fairy merry,
here we cannot toil or tarry!
We've got to find the druid fast,
or the night we shall not last!

Wood Sprite:
Patience fool I tell you true,
I have a map for you,
solve my riddle and you'll find-



[But before the wood sprite can finish Mertensire clocks her in the frigging jaw, dropping her to the ground like a bad crack habit.]




Jester:
Well that was nice.

Mertensire:
Shut up and get the map.

[The Jester begrudgingly searches the body, then raises a map triumphantly.]

Jester:
Got it!

Mertensire:
Let's get out of these woods before we run into a set of dwarves or some other such nonsense.

Jester:
I'm never working with you on an investigation again.

Mertensire:
Here's hoping.

[With that Our Heroes continue deeper into the deepest parts of the north woods.]

Jester:
Well "x" marks the spot.

Mertensire: [Perusing the map.]
Um...Jester, this is a Capt'n Crunch Treasure Map

Jester:
oh...eh you're right.  We are lost.

Mertensire:
Much like our audience no doubt.

Jester:
What did I tell you about breaking the fourth wall Mertensire?



[At that a bearded and wizened druid enters to a flourish of light and sound. He stands tall and erect and speaks with the voice of a thousand moaning winds through a thousand creaking branches.]



Grand Druid:
Good eve. I am Drygen Mandrake and you have invaded my sacred glen!! For this evil and foolish a-foulment of my personage I shall unconditionally turn you both into extremely large bags of potatos.

Mertensire:
Oh please forgive us evil and cruel being, don't destroy us so terribly. We have traveled far and wide to seek your help in anti-transmogrifying a man!

Grand Druid:
What you ask is in my power, yet still I am inclined to reduce you to a pile of russets!

Jester:
Wise and omnipresent forest dwelling wizard, it is I...the Jester.

Grand Druid:
If you are truly the Fabled Jester of Deep Manor, tell me a joke true and humorous.

Jester:
Ask me if I'm a tree.

Grand Druid:
Are you a tree?

Jester:
No.

Grand Druid:
Truly you are the Jester, as you have foretold...a couple seconds ago. Even still I would like nothing better than to wave this magical stick at you and bend reality, turning you both into equally massed and proportionate man-potato statues.

Mertensire:
Truly your wrath is great, as is your need of tubers, but our intentions are noble...if not completely self serving.




Grand Druid:
All right, fine. I shall give you a test of wisdom, and should you pass, I shall help you, but should you fail, truly I say that your life as men shall cease, and your existence as sprouting ground dwellers shall begin.

Jester:
Administer to us the test.

Grand Druid:
Very well, then here is the test: What is the beginning of everything, the end to time, and inside of you both.

Jester:
I'd say some kind of sausage

Mertensire:
No you fool, it is a shrew!

Grand Druid:
For failing to answer the riddle as it was meant to be answered, I shall transform you both unconditionally!

Both:
Have mercy on us potato-obsessed sorcerer!!

Grand Druid:
Ah all right, I'll let you live, and here is the item, now run along and be good boys. 

[The Grand Druid hands the Jester a Gay Garland.]

Jester:
Well that was easy.

[Our heroes return to court after their side adventure]

Mertensire:
Oh deranged boars head, we have for you a present!

Boars Head:
A pineapple glaze?!!

Jester
[very serious] No.  We have a garland.  A gay garland.

Boars Head:
Bedeck me.

[The Jester places the garland on the Boars Head. There is a blur of movement, a horrible noise, and where the Boars Head was there now stands a fully clothed man.]

Arthur Mansworthy:
You have done it! Once again I am a true man!!

Jester:
And now your part of our sinister bargain, who killed Francois Vitte?

Arthur Mansworthy:
I don't know!

Mertensire:
But you said you saw everything!

Arthur Mansworthy:
I lied. I had a bay leaf over my eyes at the time. Later losers!! I've got me a warlock to slay!!

[With that Arthur pulls out a sword, some garlic and runs off stage.]

Mertensire:
Well, now we're in for it.

King:
Jester! Mertensire!!

Both:
Your majesty?

King:
My patience has officially worn out. The headsman awaits you if you do not tell me who has murdered Francois Vitte.

Jester:
Well the thing with that is...well...you see.

Mertensire:
The truth is...

[With that an arrow with a note attached to it flies into the court. Mertensire removes it.]

Jester:
What is it Merty?


Mertensire:
It's a note. A note from the true killer!!

Jester:
What does it say?

Mertensire:
"Dear investigators, I have seen into the future. A grim and dark place where algebra rules supreme. Where abstract formulas confounds our youth and maddens our scientists. I have slain Francois Vitte in hopes of stopping this bastardized arithmetic from populating. I only hope it isn't too late. Signed-"

King:
Yer time is up!!

Mertensire:
But I've just got this-

King:
No excuses! Your time has run out!!

Jester:
It was a nice head, kept all my thoughts, had a nice ring to it.

King:
But-

[Jester and Mertensire perk up.]

King:
Since you both tried your darndest and gave it 110%, I shall spare ye the terrible fate of the headsman’s ax.

Mertensire:
A blessing!!

King:
And instead relegate your continued existence to the basement.

Queen:
You mean ze dungeon?

King:
Acht, whatever.






[And with that a pair of guards toddle the Jester and Mertensire offstage. Madrigal attack formation, singing program. After the singing program the Jester comes on stage and recites a touching and heartfelt recounting of the prior year.]

Jester:
Years end greetings and well tidings to all.
Winters smote the fallen Fall.
And here we sit with friends and cheer.
Another year is cheerfully near.
The year gone past was a commotion potion.
All frozen clashes, static motion.
Falling stars and rising powers.
Fearful grimace and boastful glowers.
Catastrophe and cacophony amidst the masses,
as hand to hand our future passes.

And the world moves trippingly on.

Entertained and amused we glance into the glass,
watching the pictures flash and dance.
Electrical gadgets of every size and function,
Man and technology a function conjunction.
Boys and girls and the lives they inhabit,
Reaching for stars thinking they’ll nabbit.
Shows about people recorded for all,
making men distasteful and women ball.
Not reality, but something near,
motivated by greed or moved by fear.
They’re all reaching for their piece of the pie,
Personally I’m obsessed with C.S.I.

And the world moves trippingly on.

A year of hope, but a year of losses.
Fate, the dice, occasionally tosses.
And tragedy happens to us all at some time,
Life cannot always be a sublime evening rhyme.
From the sky heroes fall, in a blaze like Apollo,
A dying phoenix, a fiery swallow.
Icarus tumbling, awash in stardust,
Their courage; remarkable, their cause was just.
And here on terra, we fear the sneeze,
that brings infirming foreign disease.
Fears thought lost, to a darker time,
a solemn note on a somber chime.
And perhaps the most terrible of tragedy felt,
when a gun is raised, and a judgment dealt.

It happens so often that we have almost grown cold,
but the victims and villains aren’t yet 16 years old.

And the world moves trippingly on.

Desert bound our daughters and sons,
as into the night the villain runs.
A people to liberate, a war to win,
wages paid to a man of sin.
When will it end?
No one man knows.
Still blood to sand swiftly flows.
Politic and Confusing, contentious to be sure.
Emotions blur intentions pure.
Though things collapse and things may burn
We’ll all be happy with our children’s return.

And the world moves trippingly on.

On this Christmastide gathering we bid you be well,
be merry and mirth filled and in happiness dwell.
We’ve broken bread and we’ve shared our chuckles,
We’ve washed down some Wassail and unbuckled our buckles,
So depart in good spirit and may God grant you speed,
And with much cheery cheerfulness my final words heed:
We’ve fed you and sung, and acted a bit,
you’ve seen our vulgarity and you’ve seen our wit.
You’ve had a good night, or at least that’s our intent,
and if you didn’t like it, why don’t you get bent?



[A dirty Mertensire, clenching a worn out spoon in his hand, lurches onstage.]


Mertensire:
Will you quit spouting out that poetry, and help me dig!?

Jester:
Sure thing Merty, I stole a wooden spoon from my ice cream cup!!

[The Jester raises a very small wooden spoon and follows Mertensire offstage.]

The End



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