"The Mighty Red Warlock of Charity Cove!"

                                                               by Richard Nathan


Before the lights come up, a voice introduces the story:

                                    In the old Massachusetts Bay Colony in
                                    1692 many innocent women were condemned
                                    to hang as witches.  Their only hope was -
                                    THE MIGHTY RED WARLOCK OF 
                                    CHARITY COVE!!!

Lights come up on the office of Reverend Hanesworthy in Charity Cove, Massachusetts in 1692.  There are two chairs on the set.  In one chair, a tearful woman GOODY GANNON, who is tied up.  She is being harangued by REVEREND HANESWORTHY, who holds a large Bible.  JOHN PINTON, a meek jailor, looks on.

                                    Goody Gannon, you have been sentenced
                                    to hang as a witch.  It is too late to save
                                    your life, but not too late to save your
                                    immortal soul!  Confess your sins!

                                                            GOODY GANNON
                                    I've done nothing!

                                    Are you suggesting the Lord God would allow
                                    his Church to kill the innocent?

                                                            GOODY GANNON
                                    I am innocent!

                                    Blasphemy!  For tomorrow morning, you
                                    will surely die.

                                    Do you really think so?

                                    I said she will surely die.  Do you doubt me?

                                    Of course not, Reverend Hanesworthy.  But
                                    in the past eleven months, we've condemned
                                    fifteen witches to hang, and they all escaped,
                                    every one.  So it seems to me that saying she
                                    will surely die is probably an exaggeration. 
                                    Even if you said, "tomorrow you will probably
                                    die," that would still be an exaggeration, given our
                                    record here in Charity Cove.  We can't seem
                                    to hang a witch to save our lives!

                                    Yes, and it's all the fault of that vile sinner who 
                                    calls himself the Red Warlock of Charity Cove! 
                                    He may have freed all those other witches, but 
                                    this is one witch he will not save!

                                   Are we going to take turns guarding her tonight?

                                    I will trust that task to no one but myself! 
                                    Go, have your evening meal.  I will see she
                                    does not escape.

                                    Thank you, Reverend.

Pinton exits. 

                                    Now all we have to do is wait.  To pass the
                                    time, I will read my Bible.

                                                            GOODY GANNON
                                    Are you so certain he will come to rescue me?.

                                    I have no doubts on that matter.  He will
                                    attempt to rescue you.  And when he does, I 
                                    will capture him!

                                                            GOODY GANNON
                                    Doesn't the Bible say, "Pride goeth before
                                    a Fall"?

                                    Exactly.  And the fact that the Red Warlock
                                    has so much pride that he will dare to match
                                    wits with me will surely lead to his downfall.

Hanesworthy sits in the other chair and begins reading his Bible.  After a moment, the RED WARLOCK creeps in.  He wears a red cowl and cape, which is supposed to hide his features (but the audience will easily recognize him as Pinton).  The Red Warlock carries a sword.  He sneaks up to Hanesworthy and puts the tip of his blade against the back of Hanesworthy's neck.

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Good evening, Reverend Hanesworthy.

                                    The Red Warlock!

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Precisely!  Now, if you would be so good
                                    at to untie that innocent young woman,
                                    you will spare me the unpleasant task of
                                    cutting your throat!

Hanesworthy stands, crosses to where Goody Gannon is sitting, and unties her.

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Now sit there yourself and put your hands 
                                    where she can tie them!

                                    You won't get away with this!

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Tie him up!  Quickly!

Goody Gannon ties Hanesworthy to the chair.  As soon as she's done tying up Hanesworthy, the Red Warlock puts down his sword and inspects the knots.

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Very well done.  These knots will hold him.

But Goody Gannon has picked up the Bible, and she raises it high and brings it down solidly on the Red Warlock's head, knocking him unconscious!  Then she unties Hanesworthy.

                                                            GOODY GANNON
                                    It worked!

                                    Of course it worked!  Did you doubt my plan? 

As soon as Hanesworthy is untied, he gets out of the chair and grabs the Red Warlock.

                                    Let's get him in the chair!  Tie his hands!

They tie the Red Warlock to the chair.  Then Hanesworthy slaps the Red Warlock on the face until he groans and regains consciousness.

                                    It appears the tables have turned, Red Warlock. 
                                    You did not realize Goody Gannon is
                                    actually my cousin!

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Then... it was all a trap!  

                                    Yes.  My cousin and I were the only ones who
                                    knew.  I spread word through Charity Cove
                                    that she would hang, knowing that would
                                    bring you!

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Then you never intended to hang her 

                                    The only one who will hang tomorrow is you.  But
                                    I assure you, in the weeks to come, many witches
                                    will hang.

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Didn't Jesus say, "Judge not, lest ye be judged"?

                                    Jesus did not live in Massachusetts.  If he had,
                                    he wouldn't have been so tolerant. 

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    You don't care for Massachusetts?

                                    No more than I care for Sodom and Gomorrah!
                                    But I will cleanse it!

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Infect it you mean, with your bigotry and
                                    intolerance.  But I foresee that Massachusetts
                                    will emerge as a cradle of liberty and freedom,
                                    where one day men... and women too... will
                                    throw off the old shackles of prejudice and
                                    ignorance and be free to practice their own
                                    beliefs.  Where all races... and genders...
                                    will be treated equally, with equal rights and

                                    What?  Women equal???

                                                        RED WARLOCK
                                    Of course! 

                                    Women are the daughters of Eve!  Everyone knows
                                    they are inherently weak and prone to corruption.

                                                        RED WARLOCK
                                    I foresee a Massachusetts where women are
                                    given an equal say in government.

                                    You're not talking about Massachusetts!  You're
                                    talking about Hell!  Women are inferior!  They
                                    will never be entitled to the rights that men
                                    enjoy!  How anyone could possible believe...

But before he can say anything further, Goody Gannon smashes him on the head with the Bible, knocking him unconscious.

                                                            GOODY GANNON
                                    I never realized what a swine he is!

She unties the Red Warlock.

                                                            GOODY GANNON
                                    What can I do?  When he comes to, he'll realize I
                                    betrayed him!

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Never fear.  Outside of this prison, the Company of
                                    the Red Warlock are waiting.  They will take you to
                                    another colony where you can live until Massachusetts
                                    returns to its senses.

                                                            GOODY GANNON
                                    But what of you?

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    I must stay until my job is done.

                                                            GOODY GANNON
                                    Thank you, for all women, everywhere!

She kisses him.  Hanesworthy groans, and she runs out.  As soon as she is gone,  Pinton rips of his cowl and cape, wraps them around his sword, and hides it.  (He can hide it either on-stage or off, depending on whether there is a place on the set to conceal it).  Hanesworthy groans again and Pinton goes to him.

                                    Reverend Hanesworthy!  What happened?

                                    What?  Pinton!  Did you see him?


                                    The Red Warlock!  Where is he?  Don't tell me
                                    he got away!

                                    I never saw him!

                                    Curse him!  And where is my cousin?   
                                    Gone as well!  I said women were evil!  This
                                    proves I was right!

                                    What will you do now?

                                    I will not give up!  I will not rest!  Not until
                                    I defeat the Red Warlock, and bring all of
                                    Massachusetts back to the ways of the
                                    strict Puritan faith!

                                    You may have a long fight ahead!  





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2005 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

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