THRILLS AND HIGH ADVENTURE!
"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
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!
I've done nothing!
Are you suggesting the Lord God would allow
his Church to kill the innocent?
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.
Now all we have to do is wait. To pass the
time, I will read my Bible.
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!
Doesn't the Bible say, "Pride goeth before
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.
Good evening, Reverend Hanesworthy.
The 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.
Now sit there yourself and put your hands
where she can tie them!
You won't get away with this!
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.
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.
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!
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
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
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.
You don't care for Massachusetts?
No more than I care for Sodom and Gomorrah!
But I will cleanse it!
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???
Women are the daughters of Eve! Everyone knows
they are inherently weak and prone to corruption.
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.
I never realized what a swine he is!
She unties the Red Warlock.
What can I do? When he comes to, he'll realize I
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.
But what of you?
I must stay until my job is done.
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!
here to go to more
THEATER OF THRILLS AND HIGH ADVENTURE!
© 2005 by Richard Nathan. All rights reserved
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