One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act III, Scene 3

(In the kitchen with background music from the ballroom  LEA holds a great pot still while TISH scrubs at it.)

TISH:  (Stands, stretches back.)  I know a spot where we can see everything, Lea.  You have to come—you can’t imagine how marvellously bodies can dress until you’ve seen  ball!  I swear, there is one old lady with more jewelry than most people have fleas.

LEA: I’m just too tired, Tish. 

TISH: Oh, I shouldn’t have kept you helping me.  I’ve been…

LEA: A great help, Tish.  You know that.  And you can tell me all about the ball tomorrow.

TISH:  Oh, that will be fun!  I will tell you every detail!

LEA:  Even what the entertainers look like.

TISH:  The entertainers?  Yeah.  I can do that.  (Wipes hands.  Brushes at skirt.)

LEA:  You have fun now…and leave me to my rest.

(TISH waves and skips off stage left.  LEA pours herself a glass of light ale.)

LEA: (Takes sip.  Sighs) Yes, Tish, I can trust you to tell me all about it—tomorrow and all the tomorrows to come.  Such prattling.  And now silence feels ill on my ears.  All that talk—and not an ill word about anyone.  You’d think all my mistakes were her fault. 
(Peers stage left.)  I wonder where Lanzo is tonight.  I guess I could go back to Ritter Hall—I doubt Markus is so devoted to Karina now that they are wed.  Maybe I wouldn’t have to listen to Barbara Allen more than three or four times a night.  (Drinks deeply.)

MARKUS: (Appears in doorway, stage left, carrying a carpetbag.)  Again, the ball is starting and you’re not ready.

LEA:  (Starts, then recovers)  I’m not going to the ball.

MARKUS:  (Laughs) We’ve had this argument before.

LEA:  You want everyone to laugh at my homespun and my brown skin.

MARKUS:  (Indicates bag)  Oh, I’ve brought some gowns.  And what I want is for you to tell everyone that you’ve had a wonderful time but I’ve begged you to come back to Ritter Hall. 

LEA:  Even Karina?

MARKUS: Karina worries about you just as I do.

LEA:  I bet.

MARKUS: And Ulrich has asked about you.

LEA:  He has? 

MARKUS:  As soon as he heard I was offering twenty-five cows..

LEA:  He and Gunda aren’t married?

MARKUS:  It’s very off again, on again.

LEA:  But he was willing to throw me aside for one cow.

MARKUS: Well, you could let me introduce you to Stefan.

LEA:  (Grins)  I could dance with Stefan.  Wouldn’t that show Lanzo?  (MARKUS stares at her.)  Well, he’s left me here to work in this kitchen.  I don’t even know where he is.

MARKUS: (Laughs) Don’t even think of Lanzo. Just get ready for the ball.

LEA:  You’ll allow me two songs to get dressed in?

MARKUS: Two songs. 

(MARKUS exits.  LEA pulls a gown from the bag and hugs it to her.)

LEA: (Patter song) 
Oh, I’ll return to Ritter House
And laugh with my friends once more.
I’ll return to Ritter House
And leave Lanzo at the door.

Or I could be lady of Blackberry
With servants to do as I say.
I could be lady of Blackberry
And let Lanzo go his way.

Or I could become a duchess,
With a high and jeweled seat
An abundantly wealthy duchess
With minstrels at my feet. 

(Lights dim.)

 

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act III, Scene 2

(Kitchen with outside area to the right.  Next morning.  LEA stirs a bowl of flour.  Then dumps spoonfuls of flour on a flat sheet.  Clouds of flour rise.  TISH enters kitchen and watches.  LEA sneezes and the flour spreads.)

LEA:  Oh, drats.  Just when the biscuits were looking good.  (Tries to shape flour back into piles.)

TISH: You have never made biscuits before.

LEA:  Of course, I have.  Haven’t you seen light biscuits before?  These are almost ready for the oven.

TISH:  No.  (Hesitates)  Maybe you forgot something?  Like the milk?

LEA:  Milk?

TISH:  A pitcher of milk.

LEA: That’s what I meant..the biscuits are ready…except for the milk.  Your chatter interrupted me; I usually get it right.

TISH:  Oh, let me get the milk and help you finish up.  (Grabs pitcher.  Pours a little.  Stirs.)  Maybe you can light the oven?

LEA:  The oven?

TISH:  Outside.  Against the pantry wall.

LEA:  I’ll do it. 

(LEA takes a candle and opens door near stage right front where LANZO sits on the ground.  He rises.)

LANZO:  Why this must be the new servant in the house.  The cocky, gypsy-like maiden whose beauty is surpassed only by the skill of her tongue?  A baker who wears flour in her hair to proclaim her trade?

(LEA gives him a hateful look.  Then weeps. Moves to wipe eyes.  LANZO grabs the candle.)

LANZO:  What’s this?  Tears?  Lea cries real tears?

LEA: Why are you so vile?  I’m a terrible baker.  I try but… 

LANZO: (Laughing) Isn’t that the game, Lea?  Catch another when his best isn’t good enough—and tell everyone.  (Lanzo wipes LEA’s face.)  Tell Karina she’s fat and Gunda, she’s old.

LEA:  If the biscuits aren’t right, I won’t get to be the baker, and I don’t get to be the baker I won’t be able to stay here this winter, and if I don’t here this winter, I….

LANZO: You will go back to Ritter House, apologize to Markus, have our marriage annulled, and look again at the dozen young men who would like your hand.  Is that such a bad fate?

LEA: (Stares sullenly) You have no idea. 

(TISH comes out, carrying two sheets of biscuits. Seeing her, LEA takes the candle and follows her off stage rear.)

LANZO:  Tears from Lea’s eyes.  Is it possible she’s learned something?

“Alas, my love it pains me so
To see you weep so pitifully,
But I do rejoice at the thought
That you do have a mortal heart.”

(LANZO moves off stage right while LEA and TISH reappear stage rear.)

TISH: Was that your husband? The man who was… (Looks around).

LEA: No….that was…my brother.  Yes, my brother.

(TISH holds door.  LEA enters kitchen.)

TISH:  He looked familiar.  Must be from around here.

LEA:  Sometimes.  He travels a lot. 

TISH: (Looks around) Well, a little wiping here and there and no one will know what a time we’ve had–you did look funny piling flour on the baking sheets.  I’m sorry, I talk too much.  I won’t mention it again.  (Begins wiping up flour.  Giggles).  My lord, girl, how did you grow up without ever making a biscuit?  (Serious.)  You must have been very hungry at times.

LEA: Tish, you’ve been….

(MARY enters carrying a basket of eggs.)

MARY:  I thought those butter-fingered imps would break every egg before I got them.  (Looks around.) Tish, this place is a mess?  What’s the matter with you?  You’re not here as a guest you know.

LEA:  Ma’am, Tish was….

TISH: I’m sorry, Ma’am  I got so busy talking to Lea while she worked, I plumb forgot.  She was showing me just the right amount of flour and salt and…

MARY: Well, Tish, I’m not worried about you learning to bake.  I’m worrying about you lollygagging around my kitchen. 

TISH: (Wipes at flour, then lifts mixing bowl) Did young master arrive?

MARY:  Yes, he did—not that it’s any concern of yours.   Would you believe, Lea, that this time last year this girl couldn’t tell young master from a common beggar?  That’s how much sense she has.

TISH:  Ma’am, he was all ragged and dusty…

MARY: (Laughing) So you had him drawing water and spltting wood—and then offered him the leavings from supper.

TISH:  Really, he looked like real people, all hot and dusty.

LEA:  It could happen to anyone.

MARY: (Laughing) To anyone without more brains than Tish, that is.  I, for one, can always recognize nobility.

LEA:  Really?

MARY:  (Wipes hands and takes a pitcher of milk)  You’ll be able to also once you’ve been around them as long as I have.

LEA: Yes, Ma’am. 

(LEA and TISH watch MARY depart stage right.)

LEA:  Tish,…

TISH:  I’ve taken so much teasing over that.  When Master Stefan heard, he waited by the well and told me that sometimes he walked months without anyone recognizing him.

LEA:  Young master’s name is Stefan?

TISH:  Oh, yes, you’ll see him tomorrow.  He is so nice.

LEA: I can’t do that, I just can’t.

TISH:  Oh, don’t you be scared Lea.  Noble folk can be awfully nice.  I think not having to work gives them more time to think of nice things to do and say, don’t you think?

LEA: One might think so, but…

TISH: Oh, the biscuits…. (Runs off stage right.)

(LEA follows.  Lights dim.)

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act III, Scene 1

(In the kitchen.  Early evening.  TISH scrubs a counter. MARY and LEA enter stage right.

MARY:  I’m glad Hector said you could stay. With this banquet coming up—well, I should have a score of helpers not just you and Tish.
(Motions to Tish)  Tish, come meet our new baker.  What was your name, dear?  LeAnn?  Linza? 

LEA: Tis Lea, Ma’am. 

MARY:  Yes, yes, Lea. 

TISH:  She’s going to be the new baker?  I think I’m a mite stronger, Ma’am—and I get awfully tired of scrubbing pots.  My folks would be so proud if…

MARY:  But, Tish, you are such a good scullery maid!  We couldn’t hold the kitchen together without you.  (Side glance to Lea.)

TISH:  (Sigh) I guess you’re right, Ma’am.  Being a scullery maid is pretty important work—and that one is hardly strong enough to lift a pot.

MARY:  Call her Lea, Tish.  And you may have her help you wash the vegetables before you show her around.

TISH:  Yes, Ma’am.

(As MARY speaks and departs, LEA watches as TISH gets a bucket of water, pours water in basin, puts potatoes, carrots, turnips, etc. on the counter.  LEA hands vegetables one by one to TISH; TISH scrubs.)

MARY:  I just wish we’d get some word from Young Master—he’s never stayed away this long.  Sir George is so nervous he’s driving me crazy.  And the ball is just two days away.  (Exits, stage right.)

TISH: (Indicates a counter to the right) That dough is done with first rising and ready to be put into the pans and placed on the warming shelves. 

LEA: (Heaps all dough into one pan).  Are you sure this is bread?  It’s so heavy.  Where do I take it?

TISH: Oh, no!  The dough can’t all go into one pan!  Split it between the four.  (LEA stares.  TISH divides dough.)

LEA: But the pans aren’t half full.  What kind of bread will that be?

TISH:  (Giggling) You’re joshing with me, aren’t you?  I know I’m not too bright.  Mother’s told me plenty of times—and Mary twice that.  (Picks up all four pans.)
The warming shelf is on the back side of this oven..(Disappears behind barrior.

LEA: I pray Tish doesn’t get bright enough to see she’s doing my work. 

TISH: (Reappears.  Starts cutting vegetables.)  Have you ever seen rich folk, Lea?  Up close, I mean.   We’re going to have a real ball!  Folks’ll start arriving tomorrow.  I know a place where we can peek down and not be seen.  You’ll laugh at how those fancy folk act. And the jewels—you wouldn’t believe the jewels.  Why…

LEA: I’ve seen fancy folk oft enough.

TISH: Really?  Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to have just one dress like that?  Such colors.  And rings—one lady has a ring for every finger.

LEA: (Aside.) So Markus will be here tomorrow.  And Ulrich…and Gunda.  I would rather face winter snows than have them see me now.
And where’s Lanzo.  Did he know about this?  I vow he’s somewhere laughing at me. That, that….rotten excuse for a human being.

(Lights dim.)

 

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act II, Scene 4

(A village harvest festival.  Early afternoon.  VILLAGERS sell trinkets, haggle over prices, arm wrestle, wager.  Children stop to watch the men. MARY is at a booth stage right. LANZO and LEA enter stage left.  LANZO strums his guitar; LEA stops to look over the trinkets.  LANZO continues walking to center stage.)

LANZO:  Why did I listen to Markus?  She’s too spoiled, he said. Show her how tough life can be.  That will silence her tongue. Ha.  Anything but.
I wanted to bring song and laughter into her life.  Well, that I did.  She can now insult not only her noble friends but all husbands, wives, rich people, minstrels, priests, paupers, mothers, idlers, weavers , bakers, and others—and sing it out so the whole world can hear. 
And the sharper her tongue gets, the more the villagers love her. 
(Rubs head.  Looks out.)  Markus, will you ever forgive me?

(LEA finishes haggling and walks to LANZO.)

LEA:  That ridiculous reptile!  Ten pence for a shawl—and the weaving loose. 
I put a curse on him.  His beard will fall out in three days. 
I’ve had enough of this town.

LANZO: Well, I think I’ll put up for the winter here.

LEA:  (Looks around) Here?  Let’s find someplace with friendlier villagers.

LANZO:  Those villagers love you when the nights are warm and the food plentiful, but when the winds howl?  Not even you will lure them outdoors.
I will find work as a stable hand and you—better we send you back to Ritter Hall.

LEA:  Ritter Hall?  (Laughs.)  Yeah.  So I can spend weeks watching Markus fawn over Karina.  I would rather fare in a hollow log. 

LANZO: (Thinks) Well, if you were good with words…

LEA:  If I were good with words? Are your ears carved of wood, man?

LANZO:  You have a talent at insults—but this would take adeptness of an entirely different sort.

LEA:  Oh?

LANZO:  See that woman?  (Points right toward MARY.)

LEA:  The big-bellied beldam?

LANZO: (Shakes head) No, I knew you couldn’t do it.

LEA:  Do what?

LANZO: Get that portly matron to add you to her kitchen crew.

LEA:  (Looks Head Cook up ad down) The food is good?

LANZO:  (Nods) And you’ll have straw mat all to yourself.  But you could never do it.

LEA:  You have little faith.  Watch. (Runs to MARY)  Oh, Ma’m, Ma’m, the most terrible thing has happened.  I don’t know what to do.  You must help me.

MARY:  Oh, my dear, you have partied too much.  Get along home.

LEA: Oh, Ma’m, if only I could.  That horrid man—he tried to kill my husband (cries into hands)…heaven only knows what he woud do if he caught me.

MARY: (Sympathetic) You poor child.  You must go to your folks.

LEA:  They live far to the north…and I am tired…and so hungry.

MARY: Come with me.  I will see you get a meal.

LEA:  But I couldn’t accept a handout, Ma’am.  Just give me directions to the nearest estate that could use services such as an humble maiden like myself might perform.

MARY:  Well, perhaps.  Do you bake?

LEA:  I vow you’ve never tasted muffins like the ones I can make.

MARY:  Well, follow me, I do need a good baker.

(MARY turns.  LEA follows.)

LEA: (Turns to look at LANZO) And you doubted my skill with words.

(MARY AND LEA exit stage right.  Lights dim.  Spotlight on LANZO.)

LANZO:  I think it’s safe to say that no one has ever tasted muffins Lea has made.  Poor Mary.  I swear her soft heart has gotten her more than she ever bargained for. Now to get a message to Markus—and admit I’m a failure at taming the shrew.
(Stares in direction that Lea has gone)  Such a spirit that one has.  A man could love her—tongue and all.
(Strums guitar).

“Thou couldst desire no early thing
But I would bring it readily,
With music still to play and sing;
If though couldst only love me. 

“Greensleeves was all my joy,
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves was my heart of gold,
And who but my lady Greensleeves.”

Tis over—and time to face my father.

(DEPARTS left.  Spot dims.)

On for the Money, Two for the Show

Act II, Scene 3

(Note: This scene is to depict the passage of several weeks.  It takes place in different villages which are actually in the same place (stage right).  A few VILLAGERS tend to chores until LANZO AND LEA arrive; then a group gathers.  Then others arrive.  The term SHOWCASE is used to indicate where groups may perform.)

(Action between LEA and LANZO is mimed. Instrumental of Hey Li Lee plays in the background while they are walking.)

VILLAGE 1. 

(Curtain opens with LANZO AND LEA entering stage left front.  LEA is bent, limping, and nagging at LANZO.)

(VILLAGERS embrace LANZO, call for others to join them.  LEA sits, watches others gather and dance, and drinks and eats daintily.)

(SHOWCASE.)

(ALL join in singing Hey Li Lee verses and chorus.)

VILLAGER:

(LEA will snort in disgust and then watch the others.  Other VILLAGERS will laugh and jeer, then join in the chorus.)

Gunda has captured Ulrich’s heart,
Hey li lee, li lee lo,
Fitting 21 cows on a cupid’s dart,
Hey li lee, li lee lo.
Chorus
(VILLAGERS stop to gossip.  LANZO and LEA say their farewells and go to stage left.  Lights dim except for spotlight on LANZO AND LEA walking. LEA is complaining; LANZO is teasing.)

VILLAGE 2. 

(Lights come up on the village.  LANZO AND LEA approach.    LEA stoops less, discontinues mimed complaining, and looks resigned.)

(VILLAGERS embrace LANZO, call for others to join them.  LEA eats the muffins with some gusto.  When offered a bota, she pours wine into her cup and drinks. Occasionally she smiles and sings along.)

(SHOWCASE.)

ALL join in singing Hey Li Lee verses and chorus)

VILLAGER: (LEA will laugh and then watch the others.  Other VILLAGERS will laugh and jeer, then join in the chorus.)
Rumor is Markus will soon be wed,
Hey li lee, li lee lo,
To a wife light as lead,
Hey li lee, li lee lo.)
Chorus

(VILLAGERS stop to gossip.  LANZO and LEA say their farewells and go to stage left.  Lights dim except for spotlight on LANZO AND LEA walking. LEA says nothing, bites her lip and looks resigned; LANZO keeps turning to look at her.)

VILLAGE 3. 

(Lights come up on the village.  LANZO AND LEA approach.    LEA walks without difficulty and is pleased to see people.)
(VILLAGERS embrace LANZO, call for others to join them.  LEA shoves muffins into her mouth.  Wipes the mouth of the bota several times, but finally drinks from it.  She smiles sings along.)

(SHOWCASE.)

ALL join in singing Hey Li Lee verses and chorus.)

VILLAGER: (LANZO will look startled and miss a strum or two.  LEA will  laughing heartedly.  Other VILLAGERS will laugh and jeer, then join in the chorus.)
Trommler Duchy’s only heir,   
Hey li lee, li lee lo,
Is out courting a maiden fair,
Hey li lee, li lee lo
Chorus

(VILLAGERS stop to gossip.  LANZO and LEA say their farewells and go to stage left.  Lights dim except for spotlight on LANZO AND LEA walking. LEA teases, throws grass at LANZO.)

VILLAGE 4. 

(Lights come up on the village.  LANZO AND LEA approach.    LEA is excited and eager.)
(VILLAGERS embrace LANZO, call for others to join them.  LEA shoves food into her mouth and laughs with villagers.  She drinks from the bota readily.  She sings with gusto.)

(SHOWCASE.)

ALL join in singing Hey Li Lee verses and chorus.)

VILLAGER: (LANZO will laugh  LEA will choke, look at the jeering villagers, and then join in the laughing.  Other VILLAGERS will laugh and jeer, then join in the chorus.)
What’s Markus need with a wife new,
Hey li lee, li lee lo,
When his sister’s tongue can cut in two,
Hey li lee, li lee lo.
Chorus

VILLAGE 5. 

(Lights come up on the village.  LANZO AND LEA approach. LEA is excited and eager.)
(VILLAGERS embrace LANZO, call for others to join them.  LEA is shouting and calling with the rest of them.  She shoves food into her mouth and drinks a stream of wine from the bota.  She acts as song leader with a few dance steps thrown in.)

(SHOWCASE.)

ALL join in singing Hey Li Lee verses and chorus.)

LEA: (LANZO will look resigned.  Other VILLAGERS will laugh and jeer, then join in the chorus.)
Lanzo likes to laugh and tease,
Hey li lee, li lee lo,
But his hair is filled with fleas,
Hey li lee, li lee lo.
Chorus

(VILLAGERS stop to gossip.  LANZO and LEA say their farewells and exit stage left. Lights dim.)

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act II, Scene 2

(Evening, four days later.  At a well on a village green.  LEA stumbles in stage left wearing a reed hat and rags on her feet. She is sunburnt and exhausted.  LANZO follows, whistling and strumming a tune.)

LANZO (Steps ahead to point out well)  Cool water.  Shade.  Just as I promised.  (LANZO scoops up water in a gourd and offers it to LEA.)

LEA: (Drinks thirstily. How much farther do we have to walk?

LANZO:  Today, not a step.

LEA: And how many more days.

LANZO: Leaventown is only two days away.

LEA:  Oh, good.  Only two days. (Sits on side of well.)

LANZO: If we were going to Leaventown.

LEA:  We’re not going to Leaventown?

LANZO: We are going to see what we can see.  We are going to travel from sunup to sundown and from snow to snow. 

LEA: So you plan on walking like this forever?

LANZO: Any way you wish.  (Hops a few steps.  Looks at LEA.  Shrugs.  Waltzes backward a few steps.)  Is that better?

LEA: (Angry.  Half rising)  You rogue!  You think it is funny that I am hot and tired and dirty…and hungry.  (Sits.)  And my feet hurt.

LANZO:  So you’re tired of walking on your feet.  (Takes a few steps on hs hands. Stands.)  Yes, much better.  Rests the feet.  Of course, for long differences, one can use hands and feet.  (Cartwheels.) 

LEA:  Stop.  Just stop.  Give me peace from your vexations.

LANZO: (Laughs) Oh, the lady wants a piece of my vexations.  Now where did I put them?  (Upends bucket.  Water streams into LEA’s lap.)

(LEA starts to stand and scream, but shakes her head and sits.  GRAMS enters stage left, walks slowly with her eyes on the ground. LANZO hurries to her and bows.)

LANZO:  Oh, have pity on a poor wandering mistrel who has traveled day and night for a glimpse of you, my pretty.

GRAMS: (Brightens with recognition) For a taste of my muffins, you mean, young man.  I caught onto you a long time ago.

LANZO:  No, now, I come for the sight of you…though traveling does make me terribly hungry.

GRAM:  It’s time you gave up gallivanting and…(Spies Lea.  Turns to squint.)  And what have we here?  You are dragging a young maid around in this dust and heat?

LEA: (To herself) At least she’s not as daft as he.

LANZO:  My bride.  You have refused me—and even a poor minstrel needs someone to darn his clothes.

LEA: So that was my competition.

LANZO: You should feel guilty for charming such a sweet young thing.

(LEA laughs.)

LANZO:  Honestly, all I did was promise her a taste of the bet muffins the kingdom..with a smidgeon of honey.

GRAMS:  The devil will punish you for such lies—but that girl looks in need of food.  I’ll find something.  (Walks off sprightly, humming Greensleeves.)

LEA:  I pray she returns with some food.

LANZO:  Of course she’ll return.  When Grams tells the others I’m here, we’ll have a party—right here.

LEA: A bring-your-own food party, I hope?

LANZO:  Even better.  A bring-your-own food, make-your-own music, dance-every-dance party.  Too bad you can’t dance.

LEA:  I can dance.

LANZO: No, you can sissy-foot. (Imitates ball room dancing) I don’t even know that you’ve seen real dancing.  (Gives vigorous kicks and spins.)

LEA: That’s more like jousting than dancing.

LANZO:  Oh, but it feels much better.  Maybe we can think of something you can sing.  I know!  There’s a song that they played at Ritter House…(Play Barbara Allen).

LEA: (Standing)  Stop!  Anything but that.

(LANZO switches to “Greensleeves.”  As he sings, GRAMS enters followed by a group of VILLAGERS.)

GRAMS:  See.  He is dragging a poor young maid with him.  Have you ever seen the like?

VILLAGER 1:  It is Lanzo.
VILLAGER 2:  Are you really married?
VILLAGER 3: I can think of better things to do with a new bride than traipse around. 
VILLAGER 1.  You’d think she’d know better.

LANZO:  (Stretches out arms) Friends.  I promised my bride a party.

VILLAGER 2:  Did you steal her?
VILLAGER 3:  He must have.
VILLAGER 1:  No father would let this worthless one near his daughter.

LANZO:  Worthless one?  But I am rich in friends and songs—and kings would trade thrones for Grams’ muffins if they but knew of them.

GRAM: Love hasn’t changed you.

VILLAGER 2.  Seems the honeymoon isn’t over.
VILLAGER 3.  Ah, she’ll find her tongue one day.

GRAM: Let’s see that poor dear gets some food.

(VILLAGERS open baskets and offer Lea food.  LANZO begans playing “Gypsy Rover.  ALL join in chorus. During final chorus LANZO stops to gulp food.)

VILLAGER 1: Now we have our own gypsy rover.
VILLAGER 2.  Lanzo, now we need something to dance to!

LANZO:  Coming up.  I’ve promised my bride she’ll see real dancing.  (Eats a few more bites.)

(LANZO begins a reel.  Villagers form a semicircle and individuals step to the center to dance solos.  ALL hoot or hiss. LEA slumps, then sleeps.)

(Song over.  Stage quiet.)

 

GRAMS:  I do think Lanzo’s bride is sleeping.  Isn’t she a sweet thing?  I’ll leave her these muffins for morning.

(VILLAGERS say their farewells, grip LANZO’s hand, take a final look at LEA.)

LANZO: Such a sweet thing!  Would that I always had a score of people to drown her out.  The sun’s too bright; the road’s too dusty; the bread’s too stale.  I doubt this one can sing or laugh—much less whistle.  (Strums “Greensleeves.”)

“I have been ready at your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave;
I have waged both life and land,
Your love and goodwill for to have.”

(LANZO continues chorus as the lights dim)

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act II, Scene 1

(In front of Ritter House.  Late morning.  DIANA and ELISABETH enter through front door, stage back right.  Move forward while talking.)

DIANA: (Wails) I can’t believe any of this.  I just can’t.

ELISABETH: Well, at least I got you out of there.  You’ve got to calm down before someone hears you.

DIANA: That wasn’t a marriage, was it?  Lea can’t be bound to that man for life?

ELISABETH:  A bride, a groom, a priest-we call that a marriage.  (DIANA wails again.) Of course..well, there are ways out. 

DIANA: Can he refuse Lea’s dowry?  Can’t she take Blackberry Villa regardless of what he says?

ELISABETH: I’m not sure.  I’m sure Markus will be fair.

DIANA: But maybe he arranged all this.  Maybe he told that…that vagrant the answer just so he wouldn’t have to give up the villa.

ELISABETH:  Cousin Markus isn’t that bad.  Remember…he tried to get Lea to wed one of his friends.

DIANA: But he can’t let her just walk away from Ritter House without anything.  What is he…

   (Door opens.)

ELISABETH: Hush, someone’s coming.

(LEA enters wearing carrying two bags, one small and one large and heavy. DIANA and ELISABETH start toward her.)

DIANA: Lea, you can’t go.  How can you think of leaving us?  (Hugs LEA who drops heavy bag.)

ELISABETH:  Stay here, Lea.  Markus wouldn’t dare force you to leave with that man.

LEA: (Walks forward.) Stay?  And give everyone an opportunity to laugh in my face?  Markus?  Ulrich?  Karina? (Pause.) And Gunda.  I could not bear to see Gunda gloat.

ELISABETH: (Puts arm around LEA’s shoulders.  They continue to walk forward.)  You know the longer you are wed, the harder it will be to dissolve the wedding.  You can’t….

LEA: (Faces Elisabeth) Don’t talk like that.  If you are truly my friend, you will tell everyone how happy you are for me…that I’ve found a witty man…and am off…on an adventure.

DIANA:  No, you can’t…

ELISABETH:  You think that’s fair to your friends.  We will have idea were you are, if you’re well or ill…or even alive or dead.

LEA: Oh, I’ll survive.  The road has no terrors equal to the gloating of Karina or Gunda.  They have enjoyed this whole thing too much.  I will survive—even with that squalid, dirty little beast.

ELISABETH:  Lea, listen to yourself…

(Door opens.  ALL look back to it.  MARKUS and LANZO enter.  LANZO wears a backpack and carries a lute.  They stand apart from the girls. The girls talk among themselves.)

MARKUS:  Are you sure you cannot stay a while, Stefan.  The summer is young—you need not start your journey just now.

LANZO:  Lanzo.  (MARKUS looks confused.)
     Not Stefan, Lanzo. (MARKUS nods.)
    Oh, I’m anxious to see how dear Lea likes the gypsy life—and how my father takes the news of what I have done.

MARKUS:  I will come visit before All Saints’…and bring her home if I need to.

LANZO: (Chuckles)  I’ve no doubt you will need to—but  I guarantee Lea will be chastened and changed.

(MARKUS and LANZO embrace.  MARKUS then turns to LEA.)

MARKUS:  And a farewell hug from my sister.

LEA: (Grimaces).  Of course, dear brother. 

MARKUS: (Hugs LEA) I have asked Lanzo to stay the week with us so you could see your brother wed. 

LEA: Ah, I do regret not seeing you and dear, sweet Karina wed, but we are anxious to lose ourselves in the beauty of the countryside…and commune with nature under the glorious stars. 

(DIANA wails.  ELISABETH comforts her.)

MARKUS:  It is decided then.  I bid you both good journey.

LUCAS and LANZO shake hands.  LEA squeezes DIANA’s hand and then ELISABETH’s.  Then she walks stage left without looking back.  Gian hastens to pick us his lyre and follow her.)

LEA: (Turns before exiting)  My bag, you fool.  You didn’t bring my bag.

LANZO:  (Gives “who me” gesture) Methinks you are also the fool then.  You didn’t bring the bag either.

LEA:  I will not take one more step until you get my bag.

LANZO:  (Laughs.) Then statues it is.  (LANZO mimics Lea’s stance and freezes.)

(Lights dim.  Curtain.)

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act I, Scene 5

(Next morning in the empty ball room.  KARL OF GRUNWALD and KARL’S MOMMA enter stage right and, during dialog, move to stage center front.)

KARL’S MOMMA: (Looks around). This has to be the right room.  Why isn’t anyone else here?

KARL:  It’s early, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA:  Well, good.  It would be amusing if no one else showed up.  The nerve of that girl—wanting a man with wit.  Whoever heard of such a thing?  Wit.

KARL:  Yes, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA:  You’ll just have to show wit today, Karl.  And speak out loudly and boldly.

KARL:  Yes, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA:  Loudly and boldly.

KARL:  Yes, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA: (Inhales deeply. Exhales slowly.)  That’s better.  Now remember the riddles we worked on this morning.  When does a cherry have no pit?  When does a ring have no end?  When does a babe make no crying?
Well, tell me.

KARL:  When it’s a blossom, when it’s rolling, and when it’s sleeping, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA:  Well, that’ll have to do.  It would be just like Lea to make up her own riddle though.  That girl is too smart for my taste.  Why does she have to be the one with the great dowry? 
Well, we can’t change that.  Remember—stand straight, speak loudly and have wit.

KARL: Yes, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA: (Moving to stage rear) I’ll be watching and depending on you to do your best.
Oh, what I wouldn’t give to get Blackbird Villa.
(Turn back to Karl while walking) Remember, loudly and boldly.

KARL: Yes, Momma. (Turns to audience. Patter song.)
Karl of Grunwald, do you want this audience or not?
Do you seek Lea’s hand—or what?
     Her hand is just fine,
    In act, it fits well in mine,
But, Lord, what a mouth she has got.

(BERTRAM OF ADLER enters stage left.  Mumbles as though practicing riddles.)

KARL:
Momma told me to come do my best,
Although with wit I am really not blest,
    I know Lea’s a shrew,
    But what else can I do
To earn a villa with sheep and all the rest?

BERTRAM: (Patter song.)
Bertram of Adler, do you want this audience or not?
Do you seek Lea’s hand—or what?
    Her hand is just fine
    And the rest is divine,
But, Lord, what a mouth she has got.

(ODO OF BRANDT enters stage right.  Mumbles as though practicing riddles.)

BERTRAM:
I’ve heard a wife is a terrible expense,
Wanting pounds and shillings rather than pence,
    But the dowry’s a size
    Makes even Lea a prize
Not to be ignored by a man of good sense.

ODO: (Patter song.)
Odo of Brandt, do you want this audience or not?
Do you seek Lea’s hand—or what?
    Her hand is just fine
    And the rest is divine,
But, Lord, what a mouth she has got.

(EXTRAS filter in.)

ODO: 
A woman should devote her hours to praying
When she’s done with the cooking, cleaning, and haying,
    Yet sheep, cattle and steeds
    Are all a man needs
To ignore all the drivel his wife’s saying.

(KARL, BERTRAM and ODO move to center stage.)

KARL, BERTRAM and ODO:
Think man, do you want this audience or not?
Do you seek Lea’s hand—or what?
    Her hand is just fine

KARL: In fact, it fits well in mine.

BERTRAM:  And the rest of her is divine,

ODO:  And the dowry is just fine.

ALL: But, Lord, what a mouth she has got.!

(MARKUS AND LEA enter center rear. MARKUS nods greetings to others as he leads LEA to a seat.)

MARKUS: (Turns to waiting men.)  I have invited you today because my beloved sister plans to wed.  As you know, she has a dowry befitting a lady of refinement…and grace.  Lea asks only that her suitor correctly answer this riddle.  (Hesitates while others wait.)  If you threw a blue shoe into the Red Sea, what would it become?

(ALL talk to themselves.)

ODO: (Steps forward to address Markus) Hmmph.  That is obvious.  It would become ruined.  And a terrible waste it would be.

KARL: (Steps forward and speaks loudly) It would become a boat.  (Quieter.) I mean, you could call it a boat..if it didn’t sink.  (Quieter.) I once had a boat that looked just like a wooden shoe.

BERTRAND: (Steps forward)  A blue shoe in the Red Sea might become purple?

(Loud laughter offstage.  ALL turn to stare as LANZO, dressed in ragged minstrel gear, runs in stage right.)

LANZO: (Triumphant)
Boat or shoe,
Purple or blue,
In the Red Sea set,
All becomes wet.
(Throw arms wide.)  Now where is this wench that prizes wit?

(ALL stare first at Lanzo, then at Markus. LEA looks ill.)

MARKUS:  (Stares, hesitates, then takes LEA by the hand and helps her rise.)  Sir, you have won the hand of my sister Lea, complete with her dowry—Blackberry Villa, 100 sheep…

LANZO: (Laughs and approaches Lea) A skinny wench like this will be enough of a bother without all that sheep and drivel.  (Takes her hand and hops wildly.)
I am no king, and I am no lord,And I am no soldier of arms, said me.
I’m none but a harper, a traveling harper
That am come hither to wed with ye.

(LANZO dances, pulling LEA after him, as  ALL gossip and the curtain falls.)

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act  I, Scene 4 

(Before curtain. In a small garden. Sounds of departing guests offstage. DIANA and ELISABETH enter stage right.) 

DIANA: What a beautiful ball! So elegant.Wasn’t Peter cute? He said, “I’d walk you to the garden and nibble on your ear…if I could reach it.”  (Giggles.) If only he were a little older! 

ELISABETH: And Bertram of Adler had an eye for you. 

DIANA: Nonsense!  He didn’t say more than five words to me all evening. 

ELISABETH: Which is at least three more than he said to anyone else. 

DIANA: You think so?  He is cute—but too serious. I think he’s the only one at the ball who didn’t have a good time tonight. 

ELISABETH: (Short laugh.) You weren’t looking at Markus then. 

DIANA: (Giggling). He shouldn’t take Lea so seriously. Of course she’s going to insult Gunda and Karina. 

ELISABETH: And refuse to talk to Stefan? 

DIANA: Well, she’s in love with Ulrich. 

ELISABETH: And that explains her telling Odo of Brandt that he shouldn’t exhale his pipe smoke? 

DIANA: He’s so cheap he probably appreciated the advice. 

ELISABETH: And telling Karl of Grunwald that his mother should mend his oratory because his bombast was showing? 

DIANA: His what?

ELISABETH: His bombast. His long windedness. His pomposity. 

DIANA: (Laughing) I’m sorry.  I adore Lea. “His momma should mend his oratory… 

ELISABETH: (Laughing) because he bombast was showing.” 

(LEA enters from rear.) 

LEA: Oh, catch me before I float away. Tonight was so fantastic.  Didn’t Ulrich look handsome?  Doesn’t he dance divinely? He raved about my perfume. 

DIANA: You two were together a lot.  He didn’t dance twice with anyone but you and Gunda. 

LEA: Why did you have to mention that old cow when I was feeling so happy? 

ELISABETH: You know the jewels cast a spell on him. 

LEA: I wish Markus and Ulrich would settle on the dowry. Then I could quit worrying. 

(Offstage MARKUS calls for Lea and then enters garden from the rear.) 

MARKUS: Lea, I need to talk with you. 

LEA: You’ve talked with Ulrich? 

MARKUS: Diana, Elisabeth, if you don’t mind. 

(DIANA and ELISABETH exit stage right.) 

MARKUS: Stefan came a long way to meet you.  

LEA: He’s short and ugly; his beard looks like a bird’s nest; and he’s as dark as a peasant. 

MARKUS: And he’s witty and responsible and my friend.  You could have been polite. 

LEA: And let my friends down?  They expect me to have the taste and refinement to recognize a boar when I see one. 

MARKUS: Taste and refinement?  You?  Vanity and ignorance is more like it. 

LEA: So get rid of me. Talk with Ulrich. 

MARKUS: Ulrich just turned down the villa with 100 head of sheep, 20 matched horses, ad 20 head of cattle. There are princesses who marry with less. 

LEA: You lie! Ulrich loves me. He’d marry me if I had such a dowry. 

MARKUS: (Shaking head.) I don’t know whether to be angry with you or pity you.  How can you not see that deceiving fop for what he is? He cares for nothing except money. 

LEA: You don’t want me to marry Ulrich. You want me here, begging you for favors and simpering with gratitude.

MARKUS: You? Simpering? That’s a laugh.  I’ll make it 25 cows if I have to. 

LEA: Thirty? Think of having dear sweet Karina here with you night and day. 

MARKUS:  Thirty if I have to. 

(MARKUS leaves center back. LEA, happy, swirls toward stage right. ULRICH enters stage right.)

ULRICH: Lea, how delightful to see you here. (Reaches back to stage right where GUNDA enters.) Gunda, doesn’t our Lea look lovely. 

GUNDA: (Looking only at Ulrich) If you say so, dear. Do tell her of our bethrothal. 

LEA: Betrothal. You and….her?  

GUNDA: Yes, me. Ulrich, have you been a naughty boy, leading other maidens on?  

ULRICH: But I have cared only for you, my sweet. 

GUNDA: I know, dearest. You are so worth a villa with 100 head of sheep, 20 matched horses, and 20 head of cattle. 

ULRICH: Twenty-one head of cattle. 

GUNDA: Oh, yes, twenty-one head of cattle. 

LEA: A villa with 1oo head of sheep, 20 matched horses, and 21 head of cattle? 

GUNDA: Yes, a dowry fit for my handsome love. (Makes kissy, kissy motions.) 

LEA: Doesn’t it upset you to know you had to buy a husband? 

GUNDA: (Laughing) Oh, isn’t our Lea a bit peevish tonight?  (Takes Ulrich’s arm and moves toward stage right exit).  I’ve heard old maids get like that. 

(GUNDA AND ULRICH exit.) 

LEA: One cow.  One cow. Ulrich threw me over for one cow!  So I’m the old maid now.  We’ll see.  I’ll marry before that bovine biddy. I’ll marry tomorrow. Markus!  Markus!  (Runs off stage left.)  

(Lights dim)

 

One for the Money, Two for the Show (Act I, Scene 3)

Scene 3

(At the ball. Musicians at stage right rear. Dancers in action. GUNDA, heavily jeweled, is left front. MARKUS and STEFAN talk left rear. LEA dances in with ULRICH. ) 

LEA: (Sees GUNDA. Stops dancing.) Why, Gunda, you’re looking lovely this evening. 

GUNDA: Of course. People expect it. 

LEA: Of course, dear.  Why you’ve been a beautiful maiden for decades, haven’t you? 

GUNDA: (To Ulrich.) If you can’t control your dog, you really should leave her at home. (Walks to stage left rear.) 

LEA: (Watches GUNDA. Turns to ULRICH.) Must be past her bedtime, poor old dear.

(LEA and ULRICH resume dancing. LEA stops stage center near KARINA.) 

LEA: Karina, so glad you are here tonight. 

KARINA: I’m sure. 

(MARKUS aproaches unnoticed.) 

LEA: I am so looking forward to your moving to Ritter House. 

KARINA. Really? 

LEA: We always have such a problem getting rid of the table scraps when you aren’t here. 

MARKUS: Lea, that’s enough. Excuse us, Ulrich, Karina. Lea and I must talk. 

(ULRICH and KARINA dance away.) 

MARKUS: I didn’t throw this ball so you could insult my guests. 

LEA: Well, what do you expect. I’m bored. You promised to introduce me to a tall, handsome duke-to-be. I certainly don’t see one. 

MARKUS: Hardly fitting when you’re so enthralled with Ulrich. 

LEA: Isn’t he handsome tonight? I know he wants to marry me, Markus. You must talk wth him tonight. 

MARKUS: So you don’t want to meet Stefan? 

LEA: It might be amusing. Let me see him. (MARKUS takes LEA’S arm and guides her.)  You can’t mean that small, brown creature? 

MARKUS: You behave. He’s seen us approaching. 

LEA: But he’s not handsome at all. 

MARKUS: Do this for me. (Reaches out to STEFAN.) Lea, allow me to introduce  my friend Stefan. 

LEA: No. No, I won’t allow it. (LEA walks off stage left.) 

(Lights dim.)