Scene Seven


We are back in the Messenger's Cottage a few days later. OSWYN, GILES and AVERY are seated exactly where they were in the first scene except instead of playing cards they are each reading a periodical. HUMPHREY, BENEDICT and MAUDE are at the second table, also perusing periodicals. ROLAND is standing against the wall stretching his back as if it pains him. HE, too, has a periodical in his hands. They are all, including Maude, dressed in new, more expensive clothes.
BENEDICT
                                                                   (to Humphrey)
Am I in yours, too?

HUMPHREY

Sure.

BENEDICT

Technically I wasn't there with a mutton leg.

ROLAND

Hell, you started it.

BENEDICT

I guess you can say I did.

AVERY

I don't think this illustration does you justice, Humph.

HUMPHREY

Neither do I. But the gals at the tavern love it.

MAUDE

They didst better for you than they didst for me. They dreweth me with my bear head on. (CUTHBERT enters from the right, crosses the stage and comes through the side door.)
CUTHBERT
Well…well…well. Look who's already here. The Mutton Leg Seven.

BENEDICT

Six. I was still in Eastcheap.

CUTHBERT

All with new clothes and your own personal keys now!

OSWYN

You resent that?

AVERY

Good God, we've made messengers a household word!

CUTHBERT

You've made messengers a mockery! I ought to fire the lot of you. Never in all the years I've been here…

GILES

What are you complaining about? There were only minor injuries, and we all agreed to forgive and forget.

ROLAND

They benefited as much as we did.

HUMPHREY

You can't buy publicity like this!

CUTHBERT

You know how long this will last? Fifteen minutes---that's how long!

BENEDICT

Fifteen minutes is fifteen minutes.

OSWYN

                                        You can soar and you can plummet,

GILES

                                       But in no case is your will ever free;

AVERY

                                       You never know when you've reached the summit,

OSWYN, GILES, AVERY

                                       Or just what the summit will be. (CUTHBERT throws up in hands in disgust and retreats to his office slamming the door behind him.)
OSWYN, GILES, AVERY, HUMPHREY, BENEDICT, ROLAND & MAUDE
We finally have a face!
We finally have a name!
Believe it or not
We finally got
Our fifteen minutes of fame.

After years of silence
And feeling in the dregs,
We're now known for violence
And slugging people with mutton legs.

We finally won applause,
We finally won acclaim!
You can't ask for more---
Who cares what it's for?
Our fifteen minutes of fame!
Our fifteen minutes of fame!

(THEY go into a joyous dance and when it has ended, THEY repeat the final verse.) We finally won applause,
We finally won acclaim!
You can't ask for more---
Who cares what it's for?
Our fifteen minutes of fame!
Our fifteen minutes of fame! (CUTHBERT bursts into the room his arms laden with scrolls.)
CUTHBERT
Okay, that's enough of that. Let's get back to work. The requests are pouring in.

ROLAND

You see. What did we tell you?

CUTHBERT

May have to hire a couple of temps.

HUMPHREY & BENEDICT

We finally won applause,
We finally won acclaim!
You can't ask for more---
Who cares what it's for?
Our fifteen minutes of fame!
Our fifteen minutes of fame!


CUTHBERT

I said enough!
                                                           (THE GROUP retreats back to their tables.)
Okay. Let's get going.
                                                           (checking the first scroll)
Now. Who's for Inverness? (Deadly silence. One looks to the other. In the background we hear the strains of "Kill the Messenger!")
 
SLOW CURTAIN