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.
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)