LA RUE’S RETURN
Edward Thorpe & Scott Cherney
MIMI: You don’t think he would come back, do you?
IKE: He might.
IKE: Just to be on the safe side, we’d better lock up everything of value. He’ll take every red cent. (To LAZLO) Speakin’ of scents, why don’t you take bath?
LAZLO: What-and spoil my earthy charm?
IKE: (Grabbing cash register) C’mon, Mimi.
MIMI: Oui, oui.
IKE: Yeah, you can do that on the way.
IKE and MIMI EXIT through kitchen door.
LAZLO: Now for some serious drinking! (Grabs bottle from behind bar and raises it to his lips as IKE ENTERS, grabs bottle, and re-EXITS) Rats! (Grabs spittoon) Nah!
LAZLO then grabs the bar rag, wrings it out in a glass, and prepares to drink it. JACQUES LA RUE peers over the saloon doors and watches LAZLO.
LA RUE: Hey! (LAZLO spills drink) Hey! Free whisky at the stable!
LAZLO: Free whisky? Where’d I hide my bucket? (EXITS out saloon doors)
LA RUE: (ENTERS) Works every time. Oh, Jacques La Rue, you are such a nasty guy. (Sings to the tune of “I Got Rhythm”)
“I’m so nasty’
I’m so nasty
I’m so nasty
Who could ask for anysing more?” (Laughs)
What a showstopper! Well, Lafayette, I am here! (Looks about) How lovely it is to be back in this dump... (Looks out window) …That still overlooks the dump. It is to gag. (Gags and pours himself a drink at bar) I see that Polly still has our favorite, Chartrise ’72. Come to papa. (Drinks) Vinegar! I have just drunk the vinegar! Patooie! Not bad… (Spots portrait of COL. MORTIMER) So, I see Polly still has you on the wall, you bumbling old fool. Maybe if you had been here before, I would not have been able to nearly take your daughter for all that she had. Some day Colonel Mortimer, you and I shall meet on the field of battle and you will see what Jacques La Rue is made out of. Someday, Colonel, someday, but you are not important right now because I have returned to settle my old score with that stool pigeon, Ack! (LA RUE’s pronunciation of IKE, rhymes with back) And I shall take my revenge, served up etouffe’, ce vous plait! (Drinks another glass of bad wine, then looks for some place to spit it out behind bar)
LT. ALAN WEXSTAD opens saloon door with right hand.
ALAN: Greeting and salutations, Sir. (Salutes, freeing door to swing back and knock him back)
LA RUE: (Aside) Ack can wait. This may be good.
ALAN: (Re-enters, sidestepping door quickly) Greeting and salutations, Sir. (Salutes again)
LA RUE: I am sorry. The cub scouts are not meeting here tonight. Are you a weblo?
ALAN: No sir. Is this not the establishment of Polly Montclair, daughter of the late Colonel Montclair?
LA RUE: (Aside) The late colonel, Hmmm… (To ALAN) The late colonel’s daughter is not here at the present time
ALAN: Oh, gosh darn it all to heck. Oh, pardon my French.
LA RUE: That was French?
ALAN: Forgive me. You see, I have travelled a very long way. And you are…?
LA RUE: Ah, Miss Polly has left me in charge. My name is…Ack.
ALAN: (Confused) Ack?
LA RUE: Not Ack. A-a-a-ck.
LA RUE: (Impatiently) Ack! Ack! Ack!
ALAN: That’s a nasty cough you have there.
LA RUE: No, no. You misunderstand me. My name is… (Points to eye) …ck!
ALAN: Oh! Ike! My name is Lieutenant Alan Wexstad of the United States Cavalry, at your service! (Comes to attention and salutes)
LA RUE: At ease. Tell me, what business do you have with the mademoiselle?
ALAN: It concerns… (Peers about to see if anyone is listening then whispers) …money.
LA RUE: (Loudly) Money!
ALAN: Yes. I carry with me the entire estate of the late Colonel Montclair. (Taps pouch on his side, attached to his belt)
LA RUE: It grieves me to hear that the colonel has passed on. Tell me, how did he meet with his demise?
ALAN: It’s rather an unusual story, I’m afraid. Colonel Montclair was sent as a sole emissary of the United States Government to a remote outpost in the Indian nations. He befriended a peaceful tribe and ingratiated himself into their society. So, he became an honorary member of the tribe. In order to be as one with the Indians who adopted him, he tried to become one with nature. In doing so, Colonel Montclair tried to dance with the wolves.
LA RUE: What happened?
ALAN: The wolves discovered he had no rhythm, so they ate him like so much dog food. There wasn’t anything left of him except for some badly chewed medals and this rather sticky picture frame. (Produces small picture frame)
LA RUE: It is a picture of Miss Polly.
ALAN: Yes. Her father carried with him until the very end. I have been ordered to take this, along with the colonel’s financial holdings, to Miss Polly…I mean, Miss Montclair.
LA RUE: Oui, now about the money…?
ALAN: (Gazing at picture) Just look at that face. Ever since I was sent on this mission, I haven’t been able to keep my eyes off of her. I have found myself hypnotized, transfixed, transmogrified, if you will. She has the face of an angel, don’t you think?
LA RUE: Oui. All she needs is the harp. Now about the money…
ALAN: Travelling over hill and down dale, all I could do was look at her and daydream… wonder what her voice would sound like. Would it be like a heavenly choir from on high or more like the tinkle of fine champagne in a crystal goblet?
LA RUE: (Aside) Time for the tinkle if this goes on any longer. (To ALAN) Now, about the mon…
ALAN: Gazing upon the beauteous countenance of Miss Montclair…Polly…made me burst out into song. I sang the entire journey to New Orleans. Would you like to hear?
LA RUE: Non!
ALAN: All right, I will. (Sings “Polly Wolly Doodle”)
LA RUE: A charming little ditty, Lieutenant. (Aside) I am going to heave!
ALAN: Of course, you will have the decency to keep this between the two of us.
LA RUE: Decency is my middle name.
ALAN: Really? How odd.
LA RUE: Now, for the last time, you mentioned…money?
ALAN: Yes. The late colonel left a large sum of money in the care of my commanding officer, General Horatio Barnswallow, who in turn charged me with the duty and responsibility to deliver this sum, in total, to Miss Polly…er, Miss Montclair, a sum equal to twenty two thousand dollars.
LA RUE: That is some sum!
ALAN: Not only that, but there is also a deed to one thousand acres of land in Fresno, California. (NOTE: “Fresno, California” can be changed to any maligned city in or near the area of performance)
LA RUE: Fresno? (Aside) She is better off with the money. (To ALAN) Do not worry, young man. All of that will be safe with me.
ALAN: I cannot, sir!
LA RUE: But why not? Do I not have an honest face?
ALAN: I do not doubt your honesty, sir. It is just my duty as an officer in the United States Cavalry to safeguard any trust put in me, to always strive for truth…justice…and the American way!
LA RUE: Don’t get carried away, Superboy!
ALAN: Sorry. Nonetheless, this case carrying Miss Montclair’s inheritance shall not leave my side until I can deliver it to her personally. When will she return?
LA RUE: Oh, not for a very long time. Lieutenant, I implore you, trust me.
ALAN: But I cannot. I must not. I shall not. I won’t! Now I must take my leave and seek appropriate lodging for the night. Please inform Miss Montclair of my visit. Good day, Ack. (EXITS)
LA RUE: That’s Ack! Impudent clod! So, twenty two thousand dollars, eh? And a thousand acres of land in Fresno. Well, I can always sell it. I must think… must plan…must devise a scheme…must speak in full sentences. I must have that money! It will be mine, all mine! Oh, Jacques, what a greedy guy you are. (EXITS laughing)
Copyright 2004 by Edward Thorpe and Scott Cherney