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'Gold' An alchemical adventure.

A play by Andrew Dallmeyer
Act I. Scene 3.
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The Cockfight

The cockfighting takes place in a high sided circular pit.
The actual fight is thus invisible to the audience and
entirely dependent on the orchestrated reactions of the
gamesters to give it a reality.  As the scene begins, one cock
has just killed another.  There is a cloud of feathers and a loud
cheer.  This being a betting sport, there are winners and losers in
the crowd.  The winners surround Sibbet, the gamemaster.

1st GAMESTER	Come on, Sibbet.  Pay up!
2nd GAMESTER	Aye.  That's right.  Pay up!
3rd GAMESTER	Twa pence fir me.
4th GAMESTER	Mine's a penny ferthing.
SIBBET	Come on lads. Steady there. Steady.
	You'll aw git your money.
5th GAMESTER	Can ye no len us a wee somethin' George?
6th GAMESTER	I canne fir I'm skint oot masel'.
5th GAMESTER	It's mebe as weill.  Ma wife'll kill us if she kens
	I've bin a bettin'.
SIBBET	And there's fir ye Cochrane, and there's
	fir ye Craig.  There ye go lads, aw payt up.
2nd GAMESTER	I bet a penny.
SIBBET	Ye didne.
2nd GAMESTER	I did tae.  See.  Here's ma wad.

		(he produces a ticket)

SIBBET	Oh so ye did. Right enough.
	I wouldne try te geck ye lads.
3rd GAMESTER	Aye.  Ye would tae.

		(Enter Seton and Maxwell)

SIBBET	(To Maxwell) Hello there John!  Gid te
	see ye man. Weill look who's here lads.
	If it isne Mister Seton.
	Good day te you Mister Seton.
SETON	Good day to you Mister Sibbet.
SIBBET	Are ye comm' ower te join wi' us?
SETON	I thank you Mister Sibbet but I do not think that I will.
SIBBET	Oh what a shame!  What a cryin' shame is that.
	I am sure that we would aw consider it a great honour.
	Would we no lads?
lst GAMESTER	Aye. So we would tae.
4th GAMESTER	A privelege indeed.
SETON	I thank you all, but as I am sure you are aware I am
	not a betting man.
SIBBET	No a bettin' man eh?  Did you hear that lad's?
	Mister Seton's no a bettin' man. Then I'm sure we're
	aw distraucht to hear it and we'll jist hey te try te get
	on withoot ye as best we can.  Do ye think that we
	can manage lads?
2nd GAMESTER	Aye. Just git on wi' it Bill.
5th GAMESTER	Aye. I've te be back fir ma dinner soon.
SIBBET	Right lads. Whatever you say.
	And the next contest is betwixt twa rare wee burdies indeed.
	Firstly a Chinese broon fra Tranent belongin te Mister
	Forest and a wee blue crest fra Preston belongin te
	Mister Murray.  Please place yir wads, lads, place yir wads!
3rd GAMESTER	I'll hae a penny on the broon.
4th GAMESTER	A ferthing on the blue.
MAXWELL	Mine's twa pence on the broon.
1st GAMESTER	Me tae, me tae.
2nd GAMESTER	I'll tak the blue.
SIBBET	Stand back there!  Ony more wads?
5th GAMESTER	(to 6th)  Tam Weir's just lent us a penny. He'll mebe 
	do the same fir you.
6th GAMESTER	What aboot yir wife man?
5th GAMESTER	I'll mebe win this time.
SIBBET	Stert the battle movin' and may the best burdie win.

		(Two boxes are brought to the ring and placed either side of it,
		on the floor. At the appropriate moment, the birds are
		released into the ring, through small trap doors on floor level)

	Send them awa!

		(the birds are released.  A long pause. All are absorbed).

1st GAMESTER	Gang te it, gang te it!
2nd GAMESTER	Had aboot!
3rd GAMESTER	Gang aboot!
4th GAMESTER	Get in there! Get ower!

		(The first flurry from the ring. The observers respond with
		'Whoas' and 'Wayays')

3rd GAMESTER	The broon's far the stronger.
4th GAMESTER	Awa man!
3rd GAMESTER	We'll soon see.
2nd GAMESTER	The blue's better spiket.
1st GAMESTER	Wha says?
2nd GAMESTER	I do.

		(Another flurry.  More hooting and hollering from
		the observers).

3rd GAMESTER	The broon'll be the stronger.  He's bin rearit on
	spring water.
4th GAMESTER	Who telt ye that?
3rd GAMESTER	I ken Forest the owner.
2nd GAMESTER	Ye should o' telt us that afore.
3rd GAMESTER	I'd never dae that.  I've mere chance o' winnin.
1st GAMESTER	That's the wey, there!
3rd GAMESTER	Hod him doon!
2nd GAMESTER	Broon bastert!
4th GAMESTER	Spike him to the flair bluey!
5th GAMESTER	Pit him doun!
6th GAMESTER	Spike him!

		(The cockfight continues, though more as a background.
		Maxwell leaves the group and moves across to where
		Seton stands alone.)

MAXWELL	It's no as bad as aw that. Ye shouldne tak on so.
	If ye'd tak a closer look you'd mebe enjoy it mair.
SETON	I am perfectly happy over here, thank you John.
MAXWELL	Have ye seen a fight afore?
MAXWELL	If ye ken what te look fir ye get mere fun oot o' it.
	How's Ann keepin'?  It's a long time since last I saw her.
SETON	Oh, she is fine.  Fine.
MAXWELL	If ye dinne mind us sayin so Sandy ye seem a wee
	bit down the day.  Here tak a nip o' this.

		(He hands Seton a bottle).

	It'll mebe chirk ye up.

SETON	I thank you John but I am not thirsty.
MAXWELL	Please yoursel'. (Maxwell drinks from the bottle)

		(There is a roar from the cockfighters).

SETON	Please do not feel under any obligation to talk to me John.
	I have no wish to spoil your sport.
MAXWELL	Sandy!  Ye are not the man ye used to be.
	I mind fine a time when you'd aye be the first te ony perty.
	Aye and the last to leave tae.
SETON	Times change.

		(Another cheer from the crowd)

	Do not let me keep you from your sport.

		(Maxwell returns to the group)

1st GAMESTER	Haud onto him, man, haud onto him!
2nd GAMESTER	See him go!
3rd GAMESTER	Thraw his craig!
4th GAMESTER	Aye, kill him, bluey, kill him!

		(Another cheer)

1st GAMESTER	See the blood there!
2nd GAMESTER	He's bleedin' awright!
3rd GAMESTER	That's the wey!
4th GAMESTER	Now gently does it!
6th GAMESTER	Go canny!
1st GAMESTER	Cry canny!
4th GAMESTER	That's it.  Let him bleed!
3rd GAMESTER	Now fir the feenish!
2nd GAMESTER	There's aye the feenish!

		(More noises of sadistic enjoyment from the gamesters.
		They are watching the death throes of the brown cock.
		Suddenly Seton can tolerate this no longer.
		He explodes with great force.)

SETON	Cease! Stop! Cease! No more pray:

		(The gamesters turn in astonishment)

	How can you watch such tragic slaughter?
	I caunot comprehend this strange desire.
	To watch two of God's most innocent creatures as they
	tear each other limb from limb, beaks batherit,
	flesh torn and feathers thick with blood.
	Can this be sport?  Is this amusement?
	Forgive me, but such cruelty is abhorrent to me.
	Tis not the sport of kings but cowards.
	There.  I have spoken.  All is said.

		(There is a long and awkward silence during which 
		the brown cock dies).

SIBBET	Right lads! Payin' up time!
	Come on lads!  Payin' up! 
	James!  You're a winner.

		(The atmosphere is broken)

	What's the maitter wi' yous, eh? What's the maitter?

1st GAMESTER	Mebe the man's got somethin' there Bill.
SIBBETT	Got somethin'?  Got somethin'?
	Dinne be daft man.
	What's mair natural in the world than cruelty?
	Answer me that Mister Seton. You're a fermer so you 
	should ken aw about cruelty.  Gang oot in the field and what 
	will you see?  The eagle eats the badger, the badger the 
	beetle, and the beetle survives on the mite. Cruelty and 
	nature are yin and the same. They aye go togither, haun in
	haun, so dinne talk daft man, dinne gie us aw that.
SETON	You talk with the zeal of a man whose very living were 
	at stake.
	Good day to you Mister Sibbet.

		(Exit Seton)

SIBBET	Right lads! Come on, payin' up!
2nd GAMESTER	He's a strange man to be sure.
SIBBET	Come on lads! What's the maiter wi' yous?
	You're not usually so laggardly in comm' on forrit.
	Come on lads!  Come on!
1st GAMESTER	I fear that we are all somewhat affectit.
SIBBET	Och!  Dinne worry about Seton. Listen lads,
	I'll telt ye aw somethin' just twixt the group o' us
	here. A body telt us just the other day that our Mister 
	Seton is a practitioner o' magic and somethin' o' an 
	adept in the Black Erts.
SIBBET	Aye.  It's true.
MAXWELL	Who telt you that?
SIBBET	John, I canna reveal ma source but I've heard he can
	change hissel' into a cat. Aye.  And they say he can
	flie an aw.
1st GAMESTER	Come on man. Let's hae anither fight.
SIBBET	Aye, but if it's aw the same te you mebe Tam here
	could tak ower the job o' gamemaister fir a wee while.
	To tell ye the truth I'm feelin' reedy fir a braith o'
	fresh air.  Tam!
SIBBET	Are ye game Tam?
3rd GAMESTER	I'm game.
SIBBET	Good man.  Then it's ower te you.

		(Sibbet steals away)

3rd GAMESTER	And the next contest is betwixt twa rare wee burdies,
	Thomas Hunter's cock o' the North and Davie Duncan's
	big black cockerel. Place your wads, lads, place your wads.

		(All crowd round him)

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