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The Knave Of Hearts

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The Knave Of Hearts

by Louise Saunders

Genre: Fairy Tale
Setting: Fantasy
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


POMPDEBILE. Eating a tart! Eating a tart, did you say? The scoundrel! Bring him here immediately.

(The HERALD rushes out and returns with the KNAVE, followed by the six little PAGES. The KNAVE carries a tray of tarts in his hand.)

POMPDEBILE (almost speechless with rage). How dare you–you–you–

KNAVE (bowing). Knave, Your Majesty.

POMPDEBILE. You Knave, you shall be punished for this.

CHANCELLOR. Behead him, Your Majesty.

POMPDEBILE. Yes, behead him at once.

VIOLETTA. Oh, no, Pompy, not that! It is not severe enough.

POMPDEBILE. Not severe enough, to cut off a man’s head! Really, Violetta–

VIOLETTA. No, because, you see, when one has been beheaded, one’s consciousness that one has been beheaded comes off too. It is inevitable. And then, what does it matter, when one doesn’t know? Let us think of something really cruel–really fiendish. I have it–deprive him of social position for the rest of his life–force him to remain a mere knave, forever.

POMPDEBILE. You are right.

KNAVE. Terrible as this punishment is, I admit that I deserve it, Your Majesty.

POMPDEBILE. What prompted you to commit this dastardly crime?

KNAVE. All my life I have had a craving for tarts of any kind.


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