OLD MILL FIELD

 

Copyright © 1974 Duane R. Hurst

 

THE NAMES OF ALL THE ACTORS

 

SIR LEONARD, a thin knight.

SIR ELMO, a fat knight.

TOM, SIR LEONARD'S squire.

JACK, SIR ELMO'S squire.

 

              SCENE I.  In a market.

              

              Enter Tom and Jack.

              

Jack.     What ho, master Tom.  Has Sir Long Shanks so

              Observ'd thy sly slanders, which seem come from

              My master’s tongue?  ‘Twould prove good sport, I trow,

              See these two windbags puff and groan in fun.

 

Tom.     ‘Tis nobly said, sir Jack.  We do but lack

              The means wherein our game may be full hatch’d.

              Pray do thou prick Sir Paunch in all small way;

              Yet keep discreet, lest this fray turn us prey.

 

Jack.     What, dost say to pray?  Nay, rather prey to

              Stay the rogue that dares balk to see the play!

 

Tom.     Thou hast true spirit, lad.  What say you now

              To a wager ‘gainst our stout, lean masters?

              He, for his sage warnings, who doth gain the

              Greater sum shall require the other to

              Match it.  What sayest thou, my heart’s desire?

 

Jack.     Done!  Fare thee well, till the morrow.

 

Tom.                                                                       Adieu.                         Exeunt.

 

 

              SCENE II.  Sir Leonard’s castle.

 

              Enter Sir Leonard and Tom.

 

Leon.    I tell thee, Tom, my honest honour gapes

              In wonder still, that this portly pot-gut,

              Lump o’lead, bright bulbous-nos’d, fish-barrel

              Dares slight my true swordsmanship and fair name!

              Elmo!  Why, his very name is ashamed

              To cling to ponderous waste.  Sir Rotund, I

              Dub him.  A hog wallowing in mire

              Has more brains in its noodle than this huge

              Bacon!  But soft, what points hast thou observ’d?

 

Tom.     The hill, in faith, is slow afoot and slides

              Sluggish when press’d to guard his lumpy stumps.

 

Leon.    Bodes well and true, for each mountain fears to

              Lose its foundation when quake shakes it low.

 

Tom.     Sure, you’ll level the fat devil m’lord.

              Yet, should, by chance, he evade thy broad sword,

              The vast expanse near equator provides

              Ample space to dart in, puncture, and leave

              The deflated sphere to topple in fear.

 

Leon.    Egad, methinks I do begin the fair

              Contest to so savor that would the queer

              Blow bag were here, while his mettle I pare.

 

Tom.     Content thyself, m’lord, to know that ‘fore

              The morrow be o’er, the steady drizzling

              Nostrils of the hulkish, beer-guzzling oaf

              Shall ne’ermore protrude to rise above thee.

 

Leon.    Enough.  Relish these points as to my point

              I repair in anticipation of

              The sport.  Good Tom, sly Tom; this gold crown I

              Bestow as just reward for true service.

              Away.                                                                                                 Exit.

 

Tom.                Shalt say profit be made only

              By straight face?  Nay then, I’ll procure yet more

              Means to lay on with other jolly joke.                                             Exit.

 

 

              SCENE III.  Sir Elmo’s castle.

 

              Enter Jack.

 

Jack.     O, what heavy labour is this I take

              To please Old Stout in such manner that he

              Relinquish but a coin in pleasure of

              My good cautions.  List, such heavy clomping

              Proclaim obese Gargantua at large.

              I must now the servile sycophant play.

 

              Enter Sir Elmo, lumbering.

 

Elmo.    Gangling goon, lean green bean!  Dares tweak his beak

              At my magnitude of awesome title?

              Zounds!  I’ll pluck up Sir Gaunt; let frail, scrawny,

              Spindly spider quake in full fright.  Mark me,

              I’ll squash the bug.  I’ll seize thus and consume

              His last feeble struggle!  So, boy, how now?

              Com’st from yon chicken court?  Speak out, what news?

 

Jack.     Succinct then I tell thee, lord.  Strike quick his

              Lengthy limb and shalt sure upset him then.

 

Elmo.    (aside.)  ‘Tis sound counsel this, to cut asunder

              Bony long-leg, for it’s o’erlong to shield.

 

Jack.     And should, perchance, the lean thing fail to yield,

              Thrust deep and fast past poor guard into his

              Slack maw; triumph certain waits you on this.

 

Elmo.    (aside.)  Doubly good this news; most sure I’ll not lose.

 

Jack.     This last, m’lord.  Thy rapid rapier

              Dart in to sting his snout and set to rout.

 

Elmo.    (aside.)  Thrice good cheer.

 

Jack.                                                    Sir –

 

Elmo.                                                           Hence boy, and fetch me beer!

 

Jack.     Noble sire, may I praise thy prowess,

              Acclaim thy true wisdom; applaud this brave

              Heart while all laud thy fame and do extol

              Thy name?  Great one, huge in manly stature,

              Giant of grand glory, vast perfection;

              I do but beg one slight meager favour:

              If my news is well, can’st give some token?

 

Elmo.    What?  Say again!  Mine ear deceives me, slave.

              Token?  A coin, ask’d for a coin?  Why thou

              Saucy villain; thou toad.  I’ll give token,

              Thou rat, knave Jack!  This to repay thy tongue.

                                                                                           Hits Jack on the head.

 

Jack.     Alack, woe is me!                                                               Exit running.

 

Elmo.                                  Halt, villainous knave!                         Exit chasing.

 

 

 

              SCENE IV.  In a market.

 

              Enter Tom and Jack.

 

Tom.     Well Jack, how far’d thee in the cheery game?

              Methinks thou can’st not top my crown of gold.

 

Jack.     Indeed, thou art not the only rogue to

              Be crown’d, though I’d rather have thine than mine!

 

Tom.     So then, give me my due.  Now, where to meet?

 

Jack.     On the morrow, at sol’s high tide, have thy

              Lanky, light knight at the Old Mill appear.

              Now let’s away to urge our lords prepare.                               Exeunt.

 

 

              SCENE V.  Old Mill Field.

 

              Enter Sir Leonard and Tom.

 

Leon.    Seems the beefy turret lies in stupor,

              A sot ‘neath his greasy, slop-strewn table.

              Craven coward, would dare tempt my courtly

              Manner?  The hour is come — Ah, see yon sight?

              Though in truth, I scarce give credence to mine

              Eye.  They must needs trundle the heap here by

              Cart and strive sweaty to disgorge the huge

              Hunk.  I do fully marvel at the feat!

              He’s like mountain boulder rolling aground

              To sink in ooze; he’s a sand-filled gourd.

 

Tom.     The elephant rumbles to meet thy sword.

 

              Enter Sir Elmo and Jack.

 

Jack.     Sir knight, behold the flow’r of chivalry;

              Quiver, tremble before his might.  On this

              Fair field today thou’lt see noble honour

              Reclaim’d from thee.  No more can patience hold

              Back the raging humour within my lord;

              Therefore, strike now or yield with gracious bow.

 

Elmo.    Enough of words, my blade yearns for his blood!

 

Leon.    Thou vast, bulky, bloody clot; most damned

              Demon, begin the play.  I’m come for thee now!

 

              Both knights stand ten feet apart making passes.

 

Jack.     Haste my hearty lord, lest he put on skill.

             

              Both strike at the other’s legs and are parried.

 

Leon & Elmo.  (aside.)  This fellow surpasses his estimate,

              Which had me think his defense quite impair’d.

              Now to reveal his weak guard, which can but

              Unmask faulty training and leave him scar’d.

 

              Both strike at the other’s stomach and are parried.

 

Leon & Elmo.   (aside.)  Curs’d luck.  Some foul demon heavenly sent

              Guides his point to check my mighty lunge.  Would

              That hell send saint to bless him with red rent,

              As with this foil I will make my word good.

 

              Both strike at the other’s nose and are parried.

 

Leon & Elmo.   (aside.)  Hold, ‘tis beyond belief!  O, deaf ear hath

              Here turn’d.  ‘Twould prove folly most gross were I

              To prolong this, lest I receive some scathe.

              I’ll find escape, yet still hang plaudits high.

 

Leon & Elmo.   Sir knight, --

 

Leon.                                     Do thou proceed in bold term, for

              I do perceive in thee admirable

              Sinew, spark of spirit, which behooves me

              Thy plaint to hear.  In a word, I trumpet

              Thy train’d martial art and am inclin’d my

              Past grief to relinquish in deference

              To thy manly manner.  In sooth, this cause

              For quarrel is moot and I would rather

              Resume friendship than hack and hurt thy skin.

 

Elmo.    Humbly I greet thy well beseeming word.

              My heart is most mov’d with joy to grasp my

              One-time partner; off with hot-blooded broil,

              On our satiated honour.  My hand.

 

Leon.    Noble lord!

             

Elmo.                       Good master!                                                They embrace.

 

Tom.                                               O, hold my side!

              I burst at seams to dam flooding passion.

              Good knave, let’s part these two, or ‘fore heav’n, I’ll

              Let loose tumultuous, snorting laughter.

 

Jack.     I hear you.  O, kind sirs, surcease this speech;

              ‘Tis more suited to banquet hall than field.                              Exeunt.

 

 

              SCENE VI.  On a road.

 

              Enter Sir Elmo and Jack.

 

Elmo.    Sage Jack, I feel this duel has restor’d,

              Even increas’d mine own honour.  Take heed

              That all further report include true deed

              Of the day’s hot and strait fray.  Come, receive

              These several sovereigns with my thanks.

 

Jack.    O my munificent master, many

              Heartfelt thanks!  (aside.)  So, he thinks to bribe my tongue.

              I’ll play the game, though should I prove victim

              To devil’s drink, I claim not mine action.                                 Exeunt.

 

 

              SCENE VII.  On another road.

 

              Enter Sir Leonard and Tom.

 

Leon.   Straightway I charge you ne’er relate this past

              Sporting, else you’ll rue your birth and curse fate!

              Weren’t not for my prowess your poor counsel

              Would have me implanted before my time.

 

Tom.     But sir –

 

Leon.                   Silence!  I’ll hear from you no more!                          Exeunt.

 

 

              SCENE VIII.  In a market.

 

              Enter Jack and Tom.

 

Tom.     Ah Jack, does my soul good to greet thee now.

              Direful melancholy hath snatch’d me.  How

              Prank shall turn and give me such foul setback.

 

Jack.    Perchance worry works our minds to whirl, that

              Through haze we might again see better days.

              Enough on this.  Behold my gold, old churl.

              I have four crowns to your one.  Pay me now;

              ‘Tis manifest that I win our small jest.

 

Tom.    By hell, I’ll not follow your game!  Dog, rat;

              Out steel and gore base-born thief and coward!

 

Jack.    Nay, I’ll not fight you here, though my dagger

              Cries to slit your gut.  If you be manly,

              Let’s haste away to Old Mill Field to see

              Who rightly rules these gold jewels!

 

Tom.                                                                         I’m with you!            Exeunt.

 

 

Finis.

 

Duane R. Hurst

DEC 10, 1973

Laie, Hawaii