The Messenger's Cottage some
hours later. Dusk is beginning to fall across the stage. OSWYN, AVERY and
GILES are still playing cards at the left table. ROLAND is seated at the
right table reading the periodical Humphrey left behind. He is now dressed
in his regular Elizabethan clothes rather than the monk's outfit. MAUDE
is standing, trying to read over his shoulder while a frustrated ROLAND
attempts to alter his position so that she cannot see. Door to the office
flies open and CUTHBERT appears, angry and distraught.
Any sign of 'em?
(GILES and AVERY shake their
heads. CUTHBERT returns to the room slamming the door behind him.)
(still trying to read over Roland's shoulder)
'Tis dreadful what transpireth
with that lawsuit where that monster Caliban doth sue his master Prospero
for filling the island with spirits to tormenteth him for being late with
(ROLAND gets up and moves
to the opposite side of the table. But SHE pursues him.)
Hast thou ever heardeth of such a
thing? People will sueth for anything these days. Dost not thee agree,
Cease and desist!
You're getting me pissed!
And fermez la bouche.
Leave me alone!
I can't stand that drone!
It sounds like your larynx
Was given a douche!
All that chatter,
All that garbage
Makes me want to flee---
Besides your language is absurd!
Why do you insist on
Placing a "t" and an "h"
Or an "s" and a "t"
On the end of the simplest word?
You'd make any man
An absolute wreck
And cause him to solve it
By wringing your neck
Or pulling out your tongue!
So unless you want your tongue
But everyone doth be interested in
a monster suing his master because of what his master hast doneth because
of his being late with firewood.
Or your neck severely wrung---
You'd better shut the fuck up
(to Giles, Avery and Oswyn)
I'm going out for a smoke.
(HE leaps to his feet, grabs
the periodical and flees out the entrance door. HE seats himself under
a tree, lights a cigarette and proceeds to read in peace.)
Well! He doth certainly not act like
Humphrey and Benedict!
(with a wink toward Avery and Giles)
Ah, but Humphrey and Benedict
You mean he---!
You saw how he acted when Reams told
him to give back the monk's outfit?
He hates giving up that monk's outfit.
It reminds him of a dress.
(SHE collapses into one of
the chairs in shock. The door bursts open and CUTHBERT again appears.)
It's almost closing time and those
two rabbit-suckers ain't back yet! And messages are piling up for tomorrow!
(At that moment, BENEDICT
races up the path and enters the cottage.)
Where the devil---?
She's after me! And she's got him
Who she? And who him?
The Macbeths, of course! Listen.
I'm getting out. There's a lovely lady in Eastcheap who said if I ever
get into trouble I can come to her.
Eastcheap? You mean Doll Tearsheet?
Lovely lady? That syphilitic whore
who gave the clap to the Fat Man?
A syphilitic whore becomes a lovely
lady when you're hiding out in her bedroom.
But where's Tubney?
Isn't he here?
I won't have enough messengers for
Sorry. But I gotta run.
But what about me?
(HE pays no attention whatsoever
and races back out of the door. HE then pauses, looks to the left and then
to the right.)
I forgot where Eastcheap is.
(ROLAND, overhearing him,
points to the right. BENEDICT disappears down that path.)
He hath doneth me wrong!
Doneth you wrong! Look what he's
doneth to me! A fine kettle of canker-blossoms! I need five for tomorrow,
and I only have four!
(suddenly glancing at Maude)
You ever deliver a message?
Well, you're going to tomorrow. Only
not in those rags. Come back here. I got an outfit in the costume closet
I think will fit you.
(HE grabs her by the arm and drags her into the office.)
(glancing out the window)
It's closing time. We've done
nothing today but sit on our rumps and play cards.
And you know how many farthings that
If this continues I'm gonna have
to look for some other means of survival.
Where does one go from messenger?
Well, look at that!
Men with no names,
Men with no faces---
To alien places.
Men with no backgrounds,
(THEY sing it now as though
it were a dirge. They are stopped by the office door opening and MAUDE
appearing dressed as a boy followed by CUTHBERT)
Men with no goals,
Men with no shadings,
Men with no souls.
(grabbing her rump)
I shall see you here tomorrow
at nine sharp.
But where can I stayeth?
Not here, you can't!
(At that moment ROLAND enters.
MAUDE takes one look at him and an idea pops into her head.)
Sun's going down, and I'm getting
out of here.
(lowering her voice to simulate a man's.)
Good evening. My name is Ted.
(backing away in revulsion)
(at the door)
See you guys tomorrow. Unless
I come down with the infectious pestilence.
(HE starts down the path. CUTHBERT shouts after him.)
Don't you dare!
(HE disappears into his office.)
But you hath told me…
(SHE begins to cry.)
It's all right, Ted. You can bunk
in with Avery and me. Ain't much room, but…
(returning with five scrolls in his arms all in different colors)
This is what's up for tomorrow.
Now if any of you fuck up like Chylton and Tubney…
Of course we won't!
Ok. I'm leaving them right here on
this table. You three go home. And take Ted with you. I'll lock up.
(OSWYN, AVERY and GILES exit
with MAUDE. CUTHBERT watches them disappear down the left path, takes a
key from his doublet and locks the door. HE exits on the right path. A
moment's pause. LADY MACBETH and MACBETH enter from the right, he lagging
a few steps behind her.)
Is this it?
Aye, 'tis where I pay the monthly
messenger bill. Otherwise, I would have to hire a messenger to pay the
messenger bill. Messengers ain't cheap, you know.
Thou certainly shall not pay it this
month! If I was thee, I wouldst demand a rebate.
Once thought of going into the messenger
racket meself, but then all this king stuff came up.
(SHE is at the door now.)
Methinks we arrived too late.
Too late? Of course we arrived too
late---with you futzing around with those accursed witches! We've missed
catching that fly-bitten viper!
We hadst better return to Inverness.
Have you got feathers in your noggin?
Break the door down!
Tis against the law.
You, who are on the verge of murdering
half of Scotland---you worry about breaking down one little door! Put thy
shoulder to the wood this instant!
(Obediently, he pounds his
shoulder against the door, but to no avail.)
Those witches were right about one
thing---you're getting too long in the tooth and too round in the belly.
(SHE shoves him aside and
pounds her shoulder against the door. The door gives way. THEY burst into
How now! Tis anyone here?
Of course there's no one here!
Let us away. One never knows who
might be in our castle right now. You heard what those witches were saying
to that young man.
(SHE pays no attention to
him. Surveying the room SHE spies the scrolls on the table, goes to the
purple one, unfurls it and begins to read.)
"Letters, my lord, from Hamlet:
"This to your majesty, this to
Ah, I see how it is done! If
we cannot find the messenger to kill him, there are other ways…
(SHE moves to the office door, opens it and disappears.)
We couldst burn the place down if
only I had brought matches.
(SHE reappears through the
door carrying five colored scrolls, two quill pens and two bottles of ink.
SHE sets three of the scrolls, one of the pens and one of the bottles on
the left table, the other two scrolls and the other pen on the right table.)
What art thou doing?
(SHE pushes her husband into
a chair facing front, hands him the purple scroll she was just reading
and a pink scroll from the ones she had taken from the office. Then she
pushes the quill pen in his fingers.)
Imbecile! Copy what is on the purple
scroll to the pink scroll I, in turn, shall copy what is on this pink scroll
to this yellow scroll.
(MACBETH shrugs his shoulders
and begins to copy. SHE, in turn, seats herself at the right table, unfurls
the pink scroll and begins to copy it to the blank yellow scroll. A great
malevolent smile crosses her face.)
And by tomorrow evening, we shall
see absolute mayhem.
LIGHTS SLOWLY DIM