'Gold' An alchemical adventure.

A play by Andrew Dallmeyer
Act I. Scene 5.
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SCENE 5

The Quayside. Amsterdam

Various passers-by.  Enter a gypsy woman Meg.  She
carries a sack. She mutters furiously to herself "I must at 
all costs leave this Godforsaken place" etc.
We cannot discern her words but she is clearly unhappy. She 
exits.  Various passers-by.  Enter Seton.  He walks 
unsteadily like a man who has been long at sea. Various passers-
by.  To Seton they appear as if from another planet.  Enter 
two young women.

SETON	Pardon me ladies, but I was wondering if you 
	could direct me to an hostelrie or inn?  A 
	place, perhaps where I may lay
	my head for a night or two?

		(They look at one another in amusement.  They giggle)

	Somewhere to sleep.  To lay my head.

		(They look at one another and giggle.)

	A place to lie.  You (he points at them) tell 
	me (he points to himself) a place to sleep  
	(he mimes sleep, with a pillow gesture).

		(The girls giggle) 

	You!  Me!  Sleep!

		(The girls are under the impression that 
		they have been propositioned. One of 
		them gives Seton a fearful clout across the face.)

SETON	Ah!  Ladies, I fear that you do not understand my meaning.

		(The girls go out.  Seton sits down, nursing his jaw.  
		Enter Meg.  She looks at him, he looks at her.)

MEG (In Latin)	You!  You are a sailor sir?
SETON	Eh?
MEG (In Latin)	At what time does your boat depart?
SETON	I crave your pardon madam but I fear that I do not 
	comprehend your meaning.
MEG	What!  What is this?  Did I hear awright? Did I 
	hear 'comprehend' and 'meaning'?
SETON	You did indeed.
MEG	Then woe is me for I fear that I have met an Englishman!
SETON	An Englishman!	Do not insult me, for I
	am a Scotchman through and through.
MEG	A Scotchman, eh?  Then God be praisit! For it 
	is truly wonderful to hear some talk that is in 
	a tongue that I can understand but to tell the 
	honest truth to you, sir, I cannot abide the 
	English. No!  God bless you, sir, God bless you! 
	(She embraces him) Scotchman!
SETON	And pray tell me, madam, whence comes yourself?
MEG	To tell the truth, sir, that is some story. Some 
	story indeed sir!  For all my natural life I 
	have been houndit from post to pillar and from 
	dale to dell, sir. Three times I have been taken 
	for a witch and burnit, twice have I escapit 
	clean away and once have I been left for dead 
	sir. I have travellit along all the ways and 
	woodlands of a dozen lands, sir.  I have pickit 
	the orange fruit from the tree in the land of 
	Granada and crossit the frozen lake in the 
	Nordic land of the midnight sun. So now no place 
	do I call home but every place is home, sir.  
	Up until the age of ten, sir, I livit in the 
	land of Gwent in the town of Monmouth.  Do you 
	know it?
SETON	No, I cannot say that I do.
	Until this time I never venturit forth from the Scottish lowlands.
MEG	Then what brings you, sir, to Amsterdam?
SETON	That is also some story.
MEG	You are I think a sailor sir?
SETON	No.  To trade I am a farmer.
MEG	A farmer, eh? That is too bad.
	For I am sorely in need of a boat.
SETON	A boat to where?
MEG	To anywhere, sir. To anywhere. For
	truth be told I do not greatly like this land, sir.
SETON	No?
MEG	No indeed.  The people are alright, sir, to be 
	sure for they are friendly and well mannerit enough.
SETON	Oh?
MEG	But there is not a mountain to be seen and such 
	a landscape is mighty queer, sir, and what is 
	more it fits not well my peculiar condition of 
	mind.  I have walkit much inland from here and 
	I have seen strange sights indeed sir.  Tall 
	towers with revolving arms to catch the breeze 
	and great wooden doors across rivers which open 
	up to let the water pass and close again for to 
	keep it in.  All this have I seen and more 
	besides.  But hills and mountains have they 
	none and Meg without her mountains is like a 
	fish without water or a dog without a bone.  
	What ails you with your cheek, sir, that you do 
	rub it so?
SETON	Oh, tis nothing.
MEG	A bruise, is it? Now stay you there, sir!
	I have a remedy for that.

		(She rummages in her sack)

SETON	Pray what have you in mind madam?
MEG	Hold still sir!
SETON	What is it?
MEG	Tis but the leaves of agrimony.
SETON	But madam -
MEG	Do not jig about!  Hold still!

		(She holds him forcibly and presses the leaves 
		onto his cheek)

	There, there.  It will soon soothe. Soft 
	awhile!  Soft!
SETON	I can see that you have learnit much in your hard life.
MEG	Hard life?  No, sir, not so hard. Sometimes I 
	have been cold and hungry to be sure, but no 
	more often than most I believe.  Besides I have 
	seen the deer leap the brook at the first light 
	of dawn and felt the warm rays of the midday sun.
	I have smelt the sweet smell of the fresh 
	pressit grape and heard the brown owl hoot in 
	the deep, black night.  So when all is said and 
	done life has not treatit me so badly, although 
	in recent times my life is not so very happy.  
	I am well pleasit to meet you, sir.  Mister?
SETON	Seton. Alexander Seton.
MEG	My name is Megwyn, but I am known as Meg or 
	Nutmeg.  Whither are you bound Mister Seton?
SETON	I am bound for Prague.
MEG	Prague, eh?  In Bohemia?
SETON	The same.
MEG	I have heard many tales of Prague though I have 
	never been there myself.
SETON	Tales.  What kind of tales?
MEG	I have heard that they are kind to witches.
	You have some business in Prague?
SETON	I do.  In a manner of speaking.
MEG	How far is it to Prague?
SETON	Four hundred miles.  Five hundred perhaps.

		(Pause)

MEG	I will come with you.
SETON	You will?
MEG	I like you Mister Seton, sir.
SETON	But what about your sea voyage?
MEG	It makes no difference to me.  Prague or Paris.  
	It makes no difference.  So long as it is not 
	Amsterdam.  Shall we go?
SETON	I....
MEG	Why not?  The sooner we set out, the sooner we arrive.
SETON	Well, I....
MEG	Come on, Mister Seton, on your feet! Let
	us see what a Scotchman is made of.

		(Exeunt)



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