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.)