Act One Scene One

Guard One -- What's going on?

Guard Two -- I've nothing heard?

Gd One -- Have you not ears?

Gd Two -- One on both sides.

Gd One -- Where is guard three?

ENTER Guard Three

Guard Three -- Just in.

Gd Two -- Then say!

Gd Three -- Say what? What say?

Gd One -- Can you not hear a distant tap?

Gd Two -- I hear nothing.

Gd Three -- Neither do I.

Gd One -- My ears are my most precious gift

Gd Two -- Then speak your thought so we can hear.

Gd Three -- Here comes the Master's oldest son.

ENTER Don Junior

Don Junior -- Greetings good fellows. Sleeping's hard these days.

Gr One -- Hail noble prince, how does the Master now? We worried ourselves when we heard the News.

Don Junior -- What did you hear. Come on. Report it now.

Gr One -- It was the Queen, sir. They say she's not well.

Gr Two -- The reason is not clear. Or understood.

Gr Three -- These stories come in pairs, sometimes in threes. Vague and opaque. Portending mystery.

Don Junior – Wait, wait, wait. You heard some news. Unwrap it. What else? Speak.

Gr One -- There was tapping. Now it's stopped.

Don Junior -- I know the sound.

Gr Two -- I have heard tell. It's so?

Don Junior -- Forget this. Forget mother. Listen well. There was no tapping and there was no broil. Let morning come without a single sound.

Let your watch silently be done.

EXIT Don Junior

Guard One -- On that, I'll go. I'll never hear another thing.


Gd Two -- I'll never question his veracity again.

Gd Three -- I'll hold my tongue and keep my thoughts within.

Gd Two – Why look, Don Junior’s faithful brother George, illegal born yet Master’s favorite.

Gd Three – I see.

He comes yet shows fearful haste.

Gd Two – Indeed. Descend and meet him at the gate. (EXIT Guard Two) Things are amiss. There is a mystery afoot. Ah, there they are. Hello, approach all’s peaceful here.

ENTER George, Guard Three

George – You speak of peace. Look to the roiling sky portending nothing but the end of everything.

What of your charge? What have you heard from him?

Gd Two We have heard nothing, sir. We wait to serve your pleasure.

George – Pleasure you say. Have you been struck dumb blind? The word has come and worse will come in time. Look up to where my father in his dudgeon lies beset by devils with deviltry in mind. He has not been himself, his idle hands have failed to make one mark to bring assurance to the land. Were lines secure not fraught with bastardy I would climb up and claim a rightful place. Instead, I watch the heir apparently never sure of what his move should be.

Guard Two – I’m sure sir, that your words are not for me and I shall never speak as one who knows.

But if I can but sense what you must need I will be here to be your friend indeed.

George -- That’s good, a loyal friend is rare as gold that is untouched by human calumny, a solid rock upon this constant sea.

EXIT George

Gd Two – How passing strange this watch.

Gd Three – How strange indeed.