Children's Classics in Dramatic Form eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 92 pages of information about Children's Classics in Dramatic Form.

EMPEROR.  Ah, yes; bid him enter.

(Aide goes; he reenters with LUDWIG, who wears an old, torn army cloak over his uniform.  He salutes.)

I notice you are a bit lame, Ludwig.

LUDWIG.  Yes, sire; in my left leg.  My dog was hit at the same time.

EMPEROR.  Does your dog go to battle with you?

LUDWIG.  If he can slip into the ranks, sire.  He always goes where I go, sire.

EMPEROR.  Then he went with you to-day, of course?

LUDWIG.  Yes, sire.

EMPEROR.  You are sure the boys didn’t see you?

LUDWIG.  No one saw me.  I kept a sharp lookout.  When I came to a clear space
I went to one side, hiding behind trees, to look ahead.  Then I ran across.

EMPEROR.  That must have tired you, Ludwig.  You’re not quite well yet.

LUDWIG.  I found I couldn’t leap the streams; I had to climb down the banks and wade them.

EMPEROR.  You rested by the way, didn’t you?

LUDWIG.  Yes, sire, and once I stopped to pick berries.

EMPEROR.  You made the return trip by boat up the creek?

LUDWIG.  Yes, sire.

EMPEROR.  That is all.

[The Aide and Ludwig go.  The Emperor claps his hands.  Enter SECOND AIDE. He salutes.]

EMPEROR (to Aide).  Have the lads returned?

AIDE.  No, sire.

EMPEROR.  Do you know when the Captain expects them?

AIDE.  In about half an hour, sire.

EMPEROR.  Bid their mothers return at that time.  I wish them to be present at the test.

AIDE.  Yes, sire.

[He salutes and goes.]

EMPEROR (slowly).  Let me see—­a lame man; a lame dog; running footprints across open spaces; wading streams instead of leaping them; stopping to pick berries—­Why, the story reads itself!

(He sits at table; takes up maps.)

Well, we shall see what we shall see!

SCENE III

TIME:  a half hour later
PLACE:  the Emperor’s tent; the ante-room.

* * * * *

THE EMPEROR. 
THE GENERAL. 
THE CAPTAIN. 
AN AIDE. 
THE MAYOR’S WIFE AND SON. 
THE RICH MERCHANT’S WIFE AND SON. 
THE POOR WOODCUTTER’S WIFE AND SON, PIERRE.

* * * * *

[The LADIES wait in the lower end of ante-room.  Back is a great armchair.]

MAYOR’S WIFE.  I cannot think why the boys were sent into the forest!

RICH MERCHANT’S WIFE.  Nor I!  It seems to me the Emperor should have asked them what they could do.  Now, my boy dances so prettily!

MAYOR’S WIFE.  I was certain he would ask them to ride.  Now, my boy rides so well—­just like a prince!

RICH MERCHANT’S WIFE.  Well, he will no doubt ask them all these things upon their return.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Children's Classics in Dramatic Form from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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