THEATER OF THRILLS AND HIGH ADVENTURE!

"The Mighty Red Warlock of Charity Cove Triumphs Again!"

                                                               by Richard Nathan

 

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

                                                            VOICE
                                    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.  JOHN PINTON, alone on the stage, is cleaning the office.  Enter REVEREND HANESWORTHY, who is unusually cheerful.

                                                            PINTON
                                    Good morning, Reverend Hanesworthy.

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    Good morning, Pinton!  And a very good
                                    morning it is, too!

                                                            PINTON
                                    Is everything all right, Reverend?

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    It would take a holy miracle for things to be better. 
                                    Why do you ask?

                                                            PINTON
                                    You do not seem your dour and gloomy self, if you
                                    don't mind my saying so.

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    It is true that I do not like frivolity.  There is little reason
                                    for it in a world so cursed with sin.  But perhaps, after
                                    today, the world will be a trifle less sinful, due to the
                                    impending capture and execution of one if its principal
                                    sinners.  I speak of course of that fiend who calls himself
                                    the Mighty Red Warlock of Charity Cove. 

                                                            PINTON
                                    The one who frees all the women you accuse of
                                    witchcraft?

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    Do you know of any other Mighty Red Warlock of
                                    Charity Cove?

                                                            PINTON
                                    No.  He's the only one.  But what makes you think
                                    you're finally going to catch him?

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    I am convinced he is a resident of Charity Cove!  When he
                                    is not dressed in his scarlet cape and mask, he must seem to
                                    be an ordinary, unassuming man.  But today I shall discover
                                    his real identity!

                                                            PINTON
                                    How do you plan to do that?

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    I am bringing in an expert!  Ann Hill, the most celebrated
                                    witchfinder in all of Massachusetts!  Her father is Sir Nathanial
                                    Hill, one of the wealthiest and most esteemed men in the New
                                    World.  His daughter Ann will recognize the Red Warlock 
                                    even without his costume.  She will lead me to him!

                                                            PINTON
                                    When are they coming to Charity Cove?

                                                            HANESWORTHY   
                                    They're here!  They arrived lat last night.  I stopped by
                                    the inn just now to welcome Sir Hill.  He said Ann
                                    was still abed.  I told him he must rouse her at once!  
                                    There is God's work to be done!

                                                            PINTON
                                    And you really think Ann Hill can find the Red Warlock?

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    She cannot fail!  She has an uncanny sensitivity to depravity
                                    and sin!

There is a knock on the door.

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    I think that must be them now.  Come in!

Enter SIR NATHANIAL HILL and his daughter ANN HILL.  Ann should be approximately eight to twelve years old.

                                                            HANESWORTHY  
                                    Sir Hill!  And you must be Ann!  What an honor
                                    to meet you.

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Ann, this is Reverend Hanesworthy.  He is the man
                                    we came all this way to help.

Ann looks up at Hanesworthy, and after a moment, she screams at the top of her lungs.

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    Aaaaahhhhhh!

Until the point noted in the stage directions below, Ann acts as though she were being tortured.

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Daughter?

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    Why?  Why do you do this to me?  Why?

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    You know you can't stay in bed all day.  We must   
                                    find the evil in this town.

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    Why do you bring me to the devil's servant?  The evil 
                                    one is here!  His spirit is pinching me!  He's hurting me!

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Here in this room?

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    Yes!  He's hurting me!  Make him stop!

Hanesworthy look around the room.  The only one he can possibly suspect is Pinton.

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    Pinton?  My trusted clerk?  All this time, has it been
                                    you???

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    Not him!!!  You!!!

She points an accusing finger at Hanesworthy.

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    This man is the devil's slave!

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    No, child, you are mistaken!

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    I doubt that.  There have been over a score of
                                    witches caught here in Charity Cove, and not one
                                    hanging.

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    But I tried to hang them!

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Am I to believe that any human being could be so
                                    incompetent as to let every witch escape?

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    It was the Red Warlock!  He is the agent of Satan!

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    And no doubt he has another agent of Satan assisting
                                    him!

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    He pinches me!  He pinches me!

Nathanial Hill looks at Pinton and points at Hanesworthy.

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Restrain him.

                                                            PINTON
                                    But Sir Hill...

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    I am Chief Magistrate Hill.  Restrain him, or I will
                                    have you both executed!

                                                            PINTON
                                    Sorry, Reverend.

Pinton leads Hanesworthy to a chair and ties him to a chair.  As soon as this happens, Ann stops acting as though she were being hurt.

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    May we go back to Salem now?  I don't
                                    like it here.

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Now, Ann! Don't you want to stay for the
                                    hanging tomorrow?

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    All right.

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    That's my girl!  We'll go back to the inn, and see this
                                    sinner hanged first thing in the morning!

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    Then may we go back to Salem?   

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Then we may go back to Salem!

Nathanial and Ann exit.

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    Pinton, you know I'm not in league with the Red
                                    Warlock, don't you?

                                                            PINTON
                                    No one knows that better than I.

                                                            HANESWORTHY
                                    Do something, Pinton!  Do something to help me!

Blackout.  After a moment, we hear in the darkness the voices of the RED WARLOCK (who is really John Pinton) and Ann Hill.

                                                            ANN HILL
                                                    (in the darkness)
                                    Where are we?  And where's my father?

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                                    (in the darkness)
                                    That's the surprise I promised you.  It's part of
                                    the game. 

                                                            ANN HILL
                                                        (in the darkness)
                                    I like your cloak, but it's hard to see it now.  
                                    Will you turn on the lantern again?

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                                        (in the darkness)
                                    Soon.

                                                            ANN HILL
                                                        (in the darkness)
                                    I'd like to have a cloak like that.  But
                                    Father won't let me wear red.  He never
                                    lets me go out at night like this.  He is so
                                    boring!  Are you sure he wanted you to
                                    bring me to him?  It's late, isn't it?

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                                        (in the darkness)
                                    First you must show me that you are as powerful
                                    a witchfinder as you say you are.  Remember
                                    that man you claimed was pinching you this
                                    morning?

                                                            ANN
                                                        (in the darkness)
                                    He was pinching me!

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                                        (in the darkness)
                                    We're back in his office.  See?

The Red Warlock slides open a panel in the dark lantern he is carrying.  Light from the candle within the lantern streams out, revealing that the Red Warlock and Ann Hill are in the office of Reverend Hanesworthy.  Someone is tied in a chair with his back to them.  Presumably, it is Reverend Hanesworthy.  Ann begins acting as though his spirit was hurting her.

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    Owww!  He's doing it again!  He's pinching me.

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Who is?  Show me!

                                                            ANN HILL
                                     Him!  That man in the chair!

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    Are you sure?

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    Of course I'm sure!  He's sending his evil
                                    spirit right out of that chair to pinch me!

The Red Warlock turns the beam of his lantern so that it shines on the man in the chair, revealing it to be Nathanial Hill, bound and gagged.

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    My goodness, Sir Hill.  It appears that based
                                    on what your daughter has told me, you must be
                                    hanged tomorrow.

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    You tricked me!

The Red Warlock unties Nathanial Hill and removes his gag.

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Nonsense!  Ann, explain yourself!

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    It was the devil!  The devil must have fooled me!

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Do you realize what you've done?  You've cast into
                                    doubt all the testimony you've ever given!

                                                            ANN HILL
                                    It's his fault!  He made me do it!

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Yes, I believe he did.  He's the one who brought me
                                    here by force, and bound me in that chair.  

Nathanial draws his sword.  The Red Warlock draws his sword.

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    I warn you, I am a master swordsman!

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    That may be, but I have God on my side.

With a single swipe of his sword, the Red Warlock easily disarms Nathanial Hill. 

                                                            RED WARLOCK
                                    You were saying?

Nathanial turns on his daughter.

                                                            NATHANIAL HILL
                                    This is all your fault, you wretched little girl!

                                                                RED WARLOCK
                                    I suggest you both take the next ship back to England,
                                    if you want to live.

                                                                NATHANIAL HILL
                                    Yes, this colony of Massachusetts no longer appeals
                                    to me.  We'll sail to England!

                                                                RED WARLOCK
                                    See that you do.

                                                                ANN HILL
                                    Can I find witches in England?

Nathanial cuffs her.  They exit.  The Red Warlock steps off stage and then re-enters bringing Hanesworthy, who is bound and gagged.  The Red Warlock removes the gag, but leaves Hanesworthy tied up.

                                                                HANESWORTHY
                                    This changes nothing!  You are still my sworn
                                    enemy, and I will hunt you down, you and every
                                    witch in Charity Cove.

                                                                RED WARLOCK
                                    You'll try.

                                                                HANESWORTHY
                                    Why did you do it?  Why did you help me?

                                                                RED WARLOCK
                                    It's as Sir Hill said.  It is hard to believe anyone could be
                                    so incompetent as to let all those women escape.  You
                                    are my ally after all, even if an unwitting one.   

The Red Warlock exits.

                                                                HANESWORTHY
                                    Curse you, Red Warlock!  Curse you and all those
                                    who seek to seduce Massachusetts into vile debauchery! 
                                    But you will never succeed.  Massachusetts will be ruled  
                                    be a ruled by God fearing Puritans forever!

 

BLACKOUT!

THE END

 

 

Click here to go to more
 THEATER OF THRILLS AND HIGH ADVENTURE!
scripts

2006 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use.  No other use may be made without the author's permission.  Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express  permission.

Send e-mail to the author at Richard-Nathan@att.net.