Angus in the Woods
SCENE I. A forest
Enter ANGUS followed by BANDIT.
Nay and no, sir!
I aim not away but merely sideward.
If it vexes I should angle my station
through this woodland endeavor I of course offer
only my regret bejeweled apologies.
For I thought not to offend,
nor to misguide, certainly not to flee,
and to my utmost not to discover features which you
so sternly instructed are to remain secret.
My action was agreeably not clever but rather anxious.
The farmer oft toil over uncultivated lands
as the nun doth pray more fervently
should she stumble herself upon a brothel.
To the tip of your arrow I find myself no less acute.
But if your desire stands that I should remain as your Polaris
and not waver as the moon I with diamond clarity do understand.
But to this point may I inquire
as to the manufacturer of your crossbow?
Be the weapon of Danish, German, or even Eastern descent?
Could you speak with approbation to its oak-ness?
For I doubt not the sturdiness of your arm nor finger.
My travel companion’s now deeply tunneled eardrum
may testify to the many seasons
in which the fruit of your skill hath ripened.
But to my fancy it strikes not uncommon
even a distinguished gentleman of your profession
may acquire his arsenal through less reputable vendors, perhaps.
I speak not to belittle but merely to express
the typical depiction of the roguish type
as painted to those fenced within the boundaries of law.
Not exclusively mind you.
As it were my darling wife, Helena,
lost her second eldest brother
to the accidental twain of such a contraption
as the one you so sturdily poise upon the aft of my beating heart.
The absolute stern, mind you.
Only the stern, as clearly the sight of my port and starboard
ripples you and I wish our waters placid.
But pray thee, if I am not to bend even in the slightest
from our forward trajectory may I
at least rest in the blanket of knowing
your crossbow was not forged by a Frenchman?
Should my two daughters, Hero and Luce,
lose their father well before his winter,
I’d like him not slain in the same manner as their uncle.
Treachery from a bandit lofts a certain romance
over the malfunction of a taut string and bolt.
Speak not further of their future mistrust of crossbows.
Although Helena raises them as ladies I possess little
doubt He may challenge my girls to the necessities of survival.
Should cross events transpire
calling upon them to throttle at the grips of crossbows
I merely ask we ensure they do not come to doubt
the functionality of the tools at their disposal.
Think upon my daughters, sir.
Allow me to let them know
the weapon operates strictly as advertised.
And with that matter settled, we may journey forth
with no future misunderstandings betwixt us.
For I shall remain steadfast in your employ, a loyal hostage.
You, an opportunistic adventurer, most shrouded.
I shall concern myself only in carrying
these gold sacks, your rightful possessions
with myself merely the vessel of their transport.
You concern yourself only in man’s own fallible
requirement of occasional slumber. But trouble not over me again.
By crest and kin I am weightier than a bird
and won’t take flight.
Genuinely, I am merry to assist in this
capitalistic little venture you've bestowed upon me.
For I grew bored last evening stewing about my campsite.
My cargo constituted mere luxuries for my abode.
The purse was meant to breathe
and I may make substitute purchase upon its next inhale.
My travel companion twas but a lug hired to lug.
He was of no personal consequence and to the ranchers
I’m certain most easily replaced.
Betwixt us and the trees, he fares better left as food for the wolves.
So as you swift as the fox may deduce,
I view our encounter as a delightful diversion
through seldom traveled countryside. Nothing
more than a tale to rouse dinner guests over in coming Sundays.
The depiction of yourself will fluctuate greatly
in every merry telling, mind you. For I know not the face
of my captor and per his command
it leaves me only in the company of noncommittal imagination.
But perhaps you fancy yourself portrayed in a particular fashion?
Shall your height be doubled? Do you wish
me to speak of your barbarian arms
or perhaps with demon fires ablaze beneath your eyes?
Speak now. Tell me of the legend I’ll boast of once you set me free!
ANGUS takes bolt from crossbow and stabs BANDIT.
Your eyes do tremor, sir.
The only demon revealed within crouches now,
a reflection of no other than my true self
aiding to soften your fall.
Do fight the blood you drown in.
For whatever oblivion awaits
a pestering pup who attacks a bear
is but two steps beyond the horizon.
Should this be your finale I wish you to squeeze
every drop and celebrate in that
you’re still given the grace to suffer.
Although the book on life’s great lessons closes
many half read chapters early, should this
thin veil be wrenched aside and the thickness
of eternity be revealed I offer you some parting words.
The crossbow makes but a bandit.
Tis the close blade that forges a man.
Rest now, pup.
Leave this fool to his fancy untruths and rest.