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'Gold' An alchemical adventure.

A play by Andrew Dallmeyer
Act I. Scene 4.
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In the dungeon

Seton sits on the floor.  His hands and feet are crudely
bandaged.  A guard stands outside the barred gate of the cell.

SETON	(With great difficulty). Talk! Talk to me!  
	Will you not talk to me?  (Pause) 
	Perhaps you cannot speak.  Perhaps  you have been orderit
	not to communicate. Water!  Have you water?  (Pause.)
	I would not thank you for food but a drop of water would 
	be greatly appreciatit. What say you?  (Pause.)
	Nothing.  So be it.  Would you mind if I were to talk to you?  
	It would help to take my mind of the pain.
	Are you a married man I wonder?  Married or single?  What a 
	wonderful thing is a wife!  What is become of my belovit Ann? 
	It will be spring time now in Port Seton. Perhaps she will have 
	employit some assistance for the sewing of seeds.  What say you?
	I hope she will not have attemptit it all on her own.
	Perhaps it is one of those miraculous mornings where everything 
	appears to be bursting at the seams.  Sea buckthorn breaking, 
	curlews calling, spring tides filling the rock pools to o'er 
	flowing. All along I was living in Paradise had I but been able to 
	see it and grasp it! And there, in the trees, stands my good, 
	sturdy house.  And inside my house there stands my belovit.  
	Perhaps by the fireplace, her eyes downcast, attending to duties.
	Oh Ann!  Oh Ann!  How I wish now that I had told you more 
	often how much I love you.  Oh Ann!
	Perhaps all this is but wishful thinking. Perhaps she will have 
	given me up for lost. Marriet again.  Or been houndit from
	home by Meenister Wardlaw.  But why should I torture 
	myself with these thoughts? Have I not pain enough as it is?
	One thing is for certain.  I rue for ever the unfortunate day
	when I startit to dabble in the alchemical arts.
	I must try to stand.  If I do not, then I fear that I may never 
	walk again.

		(He tries to rise.)

	Do you know what pain is?
	I thought that I did, but now I know that I did not.

		(Enter King, led by Alberto.)
		(The guard stands to attention and unlocks the door.
		The King enters the cell.)

KING	Leave us Alberto!
ALBERTO	Yes, sire.

		(Exit Alberto.)

KING	Tell me, Mister Seton, how are you to-day? (Pause)  
	What?  Not speaking?
	Come, come!  It is surely not as bad as all that.
SETON	It is worse.
KING	What! Are you lying on the floor?
	Seton? Allow me to assist you to your feet.
SETON	I cannot stand. I have recently tryit.
KING	It is customary for commoners to stand when speaking to 
	royalty.  To stand or to kneel.  Lying down is scarcely 
	acceptable.  However, in view of the unusual circumstance, it
	might be overlookit on this occasion.
	You know, of course, why you are punishit? You are punishit 
	for deliberate failure.
SETON	But I did not fail deliberately.
KING	Did you follow the usual procedure?
SETON	I did.
KING	And the ingredients. What of the ingredients?
SETON	As far as I could tell they were identical.
KING	Then why did you fail?
SETON	I know not.
KING	Still obstinate!
SETON	Still in the dark!
KING	I see! Look you here. I have now at my disposal both your
	method and recipe and I therefore propose to try for rnyself.
	Is there anything else that I need to know before attempting
	my own transmutation!
SETON	Indeed there is! Your attitude of mind is all important.
	Success comes only with endless devotion.
KING	(Very angry)  There you go again!  I am warning you 
	Seton! What are you implying? What are you saying?  That I 
	have not the mental capacity for this?  You arrogant, stupid, 
	vain creature! You think that you are the only one in the world 
	with this sort of talent, this (kind of) power?  What makes you 
	so special?  Answer me that!
	What make you so singular among men?  Tell me!


	Seton, why are you crying?  Seton?
SETON	Because I feel your pain as well as my own.
KING	I will go now and try out the powder.  If it does not work this 
	time I will consider that you have failit me once again and that 
	further treatment will unfortunately be necessitatit.  I am told 
	that our wrack is quite exceptional in its brutality.

		(Enter Alberto)

	Good day to you Mister Seton.  You will be hearing from
	me once again.

		(Alberto leads the King out. The guard locks the door.)

SETON	How can any man be so misguidit?

		(Enter Meg disguised as a guard)

MEG	(In a man's voice)  My turn for duty. I have had orders to 
	relieve you early. Have you the keys?

		(The guard gives Meg the keys and exits.

MEG	Alexander:
MEG	Tis I! Meg!
MEG	Aye. Can you hear me?
MEG	Can you hear me?
SETON	I can. But I cannot believe it.
	Meg!  How did you get in here?
MEG	I have no time to tell you. Quick! On your feet!
SETON	I cannot walk.
MEG	You can and you must!  I will assist you. We must get 
	you to the courtyard.  There a horse awaits you.  But three 
	hours ride should take you to safety.  You must head for 
	Saxony. There you will be safe.
SETON	But...
MEG	Do not ask questions! Here.  I will help you.
SETON	God bless you Meg!  Bless you! Ah!  My poor feet.
MEG	It is not too far.
SETON	It is almost unbearable.
MEG	Tis nothing to what awaits you tomorrow if you are still here.  
	I have heard the guards talk of the wrack. I have hidden my skirts 	nearby in my sack and will soon be a  woman once more.  
SETON	Will not you come with me?
MEG	I am sure that I will not be. Besides I have decidit to stay here 
	in Prague and open a stall in the Street of the Alchemists. Herbal 
	remedies.  I like it much here. There are mountains nearby.  
	Come on man! That's it!  Go  steady!  Go steady! I will 
	soon have you out of this place.
SETON	Meg!  Have you water?
MEG	Outside in my sack.
SETON	God bless you!
MEG	Go steady!
SETON	God bless you!

		(They stagger out.)
		(Galloping noise and sea sound to denote the passage of time.)

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