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.

PIERRE.  The water had not yet settled, and the rocks were still damp.

EMPEROR.  Good!  Very good!

PIERRE.  Sire, I fear this man is one of the enemy!

EMPEROR.  Indeed!  What proof have you of that?

PIERRE.  This, sire.

(Handing a small piece of cloth to Emperor.)

’T is the color of the enemy’s uniform.

EMPEROR.  It is, my lad.  How came you by it?

PIERRE.  I found it on a thorn-bush.  It was torn from his cloak, sire.

EMPEROR.  And why from his cloak?

PIERRE.  The thorn-bush was at least three feet from the man’s line of travel.  The wind blew the cloak about.

EMPEROR (handing the cloth to an aide; whispering to him).  Take this to
Ludwig.

(The Aide goes.)

Well, Pierre, do you think we should be in fear of this enemy?

PIERRE.  I do not know, sire.  I only know that he has a good disposition.

EMPEROR (surprised).  A good disposition?  How do you know that?

PIERRE.  The dog was always near him.  When the man stopped to rest, the dog lay down at his feet.

EMPEROR.  But he may have held the dog there, my lad.

PIERRE.  Not while he was picking berries, sire.

EMPEROR.  So our enemy picked berries, did he?

PIERRE.  Yes, sire, the dog lying by the bushes all the while.

EMPEROR.  Do you think we could capture this man?

PIERRE.  Yes, sire, for he was very tired.

EMPEROR.  How do you know that?

PIERRE.  He climbed down the banks of every small stream.  I should have leaped them.

EMPEROR.  You think it would be an easy matter, then, to follow and capture him?

PIERRE.  Not easy, sire, for he was always on the lookout.

EMPEROR.  How do you know that?

PIERRE.  Whenever he reached a clear space, he went to one side, hiding behind trees to look ahead.  Then he ran across the open.

EMPEROR.  Your proof of this, my lad?

PIERRE.  His footprints in every clear space showed only the balls of the feet.

EMPEROR.  Good!  You followed him only to the river.

PIERRE.  Those were the orders, sire.  Had I gone on, I could have overtaken him by evening.

EMPEROR.  That you could not, my lad, for the man is now here, in camp.  He returned by boat.  Ladies, the test is over.

(He turns to Pierre’s mother.)

Madam, your son shall be my guide.  I am proud to have a boy of such keen sight and quick thought in my kingdom.  And ’t is much to be the mother of such a lad.  I salute you, madam!  With greatest respect I salute you!

[He bows to the happy woman with great courtesy.]

EMPEROR (turning to the ladies).  Ladies, I bid you farewell.

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS

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