KING. And we’ll not buy them. Go, bid my fool take them.
(Courtiers showing surprise.)
Go, I say, and see to it!
[Courtiers talk aside with Jester.]
RIVERRA (to Columbus). I wish you well, sir, for I believe that what you say is true.
COLUMBUS. I’m glad to hear you say that, Captain.
RIVERRA. My ship is in the harbor now, and I
must go. But I wish you well,
Columbus, I wish you well.
[Columbus, throwing his maps on the stone bench near gates, takes Riverra’s hands in his. The Jester creeps up, takes maps, runs into the court with them, and disappears.]
COLUMBUS (with feeling). I thank you, Captain—so few believe in me—
KING. Come now within, Columbus; I’ll look at your maps and charts.
COLUMBUS (turning to take up maps). Why, how is this! My maps were here but just a moment ago!
KING. Who saw his maps?
The Courtiers are silent, sir.
COLUMBUS. I laid them there, sire!
KING. Then there they should be.
COLUMBUS. Some one has taken them—’t is a joke—
KING (interrupting). My Courtiers do not play jokes in my presence.
COLUMBUS. Those maps and charts are precious to me, sire!
KING. Come, now, I’m not so sure you ever had maps or charts.
COLUMBUS. Your Majesty!
KING. Well, produce them.
COLUMBUS. But, sire,—
KING (interrupting). I’ll not hear excuses! Your maps, sir,—at once, sir!
COLUMBUS. I’ll make other maps and charts—
KING. Away with you!
COLUMBUS. Your Majesty—
KING. Away, I say! And come to us no more with tales of unknown lands.
[Enter JESTER from gates.]
JESTER. With people a-walking on their heads—so!
[Jester stands on his head; all laugh. Columbus goes, showing bitter disappointment.]
PLACE: Spain. Court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
* * * * *
COURTIERS AND LADIES.
A MONK, FATHER-CONFESSOR TO THE QUEEN.
* * * * *
[Many COURTIERS and LADIES are seen in audience-room of palace; a throne is in the background. Enter the FIRST COURTIER.]
FIRST COURTIER. The King and Queen!
[Enter KING FERDINAND and QUEEN ISABELLA, followed by COURTIERS, LADIES and the WISE MEN. All bow as the King and Queen cross to throne and sit. Enter the MONK; he advances to throne and bows.]