CHARACTERS IN THE SCENE:
BORS: King of Albion.
ATTENDANT 2: An attendant to the King of Albion. Not to be confused with Attendant 1.
ATTENDANT 1: An attendant too. Not to be confused with Attendant 2.
SOMMERS: Bors’ jester/fool and one of the kings favourite people.
King Bors’ castle
Enter Bors, Sommers, and Attendant 2
Bors: Do we know as of yet whether the man has made it across?
Attendant 2: No, my lord, no message has been sent from the attendant that went to search. However we know from the Regal King of the land that his man hath been dispatched.
Bors: I suppose that could be counted as something.
Sommers: Tis no more than a penny, my lord. But the officers eagerly await more money to be drawn across; until that is, they fail to keep it within their grasp. Now that would be a crime to behold: a bare tree with no fronds.
Bors: I am not much in the mood for such humour, Sommers.
Sommers: The mood has not left the room. Sire, if thy needed something at this moment then a roar from thy voice should at least purr from thy throat.
Bors: I wish it could be as simple as you profess, my boy. A king’s duties must be done if this is to go down well, and yet I fear for the worst at any outcome which is to come.
Sommers: Tis a sad day when a fool is out fooled by another. The witch cannot cackle without their black blood by their side, but will no longer Witch without their Green skinned hide.
Bors: Speak sense, Sommers, not riddles.
Sommers: What is sense but a riddle in disguise?
Bors: You may be right, but now I think neither is appropriate. My nerves lie in bundles upon my brow; I fear I may fall victim to an increased heart rate.
Sommers: (over-dramatically) Beat, beat, beat,
Meat, meat, meat,
Seat, Seat, Seat,
Eat, Eat, Eat.
Bors: All rhymes, no words and no order within that story, fool.
Sommers: Order is merely perception of the mind, my lord. I bow and scrape to the might of words, whether order comes through or not. There is always a meaning hidden ‘tween the pages.
Bors: Ha! You are a strange one, boy, but a good one at heart. I commend you for persistence, and yet a smile still struggles to come to my lips.
Sommers: Smile? Smile? Your pearly white’s shudder within their cave; how long till they’re free from their purr-ison?
Bors: Twill be longer than you think, I fear.
Attendant 2: I feel as though I interrupt your conversation, sire. Perhaps it would be for the best for me to leave.
Bors: No, it is well for you to stay. But, as of now, I suppose heading to the front and spotting for a sign would be as great a help that I need. Yes. Would you please go check on the front for me, attendant? I must know immediately when the independent and attendant arrives.
Attendant 2: Yes, my lord, I will. [Exit Attendant 2]
Bors: I fail to understand how my people may lie to me; yet I fail to comprehend the notion that my oldest friend could wish to harm me so. It is a conundrum that I do not wish to be part of. Why, did I and the King not spend many days running through the golden fields out yon and eating poor food until we made ourselves physically ill? Tis impossible that he be the same man that I knew.
Sommers: There is difference between boy and man. The leopard has been much more afraid when his brother turns into a dark, fully covered coat.
Bors: Much confusion has swept my mind o’er the last few days.
[Enter Attendant 2 + 1]
Attendant 2: Sire, the attendant returns.
Attendant 1: Your majesty.
Bors: Does this mean the Calais has arrived?
Attendant 1: Tis true, m’lord.
Bors: Come! Show him to me.
Attendant 1: I am very much afraid, sire, that he does not wish to see you.
Bors: What! Impertinence comes from all corners of the globe.
Attendant 1: It is not that, sire; he believes that in order to stay impartial he shall not see you until need be, towards the end of the enquiry. He wishes that he could be given an escort to show him the places he must see. He will send his few reports through this servant that you give.
Bors: Fair. I see the fairness in these words; as to whether I am happy with it is another story. Sommers, you will go to the man and discuss with him must be done. I trust you can do this small job?
Sommers: Like the moon and the stars, I will tell the stories that need saying.
Bors: Attendants, I trust you can find a suitable escort for his needs.
Attendants 1+2: Aye, m’lord
Bors: I will go to my room to rest my stressed temples. Tell Cook to send up a drink to calm my nerves. Now, away to your jobs.
Sommers: Twill be done as fast as a flicker.
And thus the Independent arrives. It’s only a very short scene, and certainly doesn’t rank in my favourites, but you do get a clear view of Bors and his awkwardness in this situation. He feels like he’s being asked to choose between his country and his friendship, and he struggles to hear even the vaguely understandable rationality of Sommers’ view on the subject. For now, Bors wants the Independent person to make that decision for him– and his job only starts, in his opinion, when the conclusion is drawn. Secretly though, I think he wants to avoid the subject and not make a decision.
Thanks for reading Part 3 of Act 1. As said in my first Scene, this was a play I wrote a decade ago, based vaguely on a News Story happening at the time and I was studying in Media Studies. It’s not completely accurate to that Story, as it very much just took that as a jumping off base, but I can still relate to that feeling of not knowing how to make a decision on issues like this (like Bors is facing at the minute). What do you think? Would you be struggling like Bors or would you know immediately what to do?