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BROTHER  9' Detective and the king's long lost brother

Once upon a time a long time ago, in a land far, far away,
Michaela and her family were awakened in the middle of the night
by the thunder of horse hoofs and wagon wheels. When they went
outside, they saw the king's coach that they had seen several
times before. But they were surprised when the footman open the
door and out stepped the queen.

As they all bowed before the queen, Michaela asked, "Your
Majesty, may we asked where the king is?"

The queen replied, "He's very sick. And the doctors all say that
he may die."

Michaela asked, "But I'm a detective. How can I help?"

The queen replied, "There was no warning. The king fell
unconscious all of a sudden during dinner tonight. The doctors
say that the only way he could have gotten so sick so fast is if
he was poisoned."

"Poisoned?!" exclaimed Michaela, "The king was loved by
everyone! Who would want to poison him?!"

The queen replied, "We were hoping YOU could tell us."

Michaela dressed quickly and sped off in the coach with the
queen.

Michaela asked, "Are we at war with any other kingdoms?"

"No." replied the queen.

"Has anyone argued with the king? Or has anyone accused the king
of being unfair?"

"No." replied the queen.

"What was the king doing just before he got sick?" asked
Michaela.

"We were eating dinner and celebrating." replied the queen.

"Celebrating? Celebrating what?" asked Michaela.

"The king's brother is coming to visit tomorrow." replied the
queen.

"Brother?" asked Michaela, "I didn't know that the king even had
a brother."

"None of us knew about him either. Twenty years ago, before the
king married me and took over the throne of my kingdom, his
brother was killed in battle, or so we thought." explained the
queen.

"But he survived?" asked Michaela.

The queen explained, "The reason we thought he was dead, is that
he was missing in battle and was presumed dead. But noone ever
found his body. He was apparently found unconscious by some
Catholic monks and nursed back to health."

"That was twenty years ago?" asked Michaela.

"What took him so long to find his brother?" asked Michaela.

The queen replied, "According to his letter, he had amnesia. It
apparently took twenty years to remember that he was a prince."

Michaela asked, "So, the only reason you know he's still alive
is because of this letter he sent?"

"Yes." replied the queen.

"So, you've never met him?" asked Michaela.

"No," replied the queen, "noone in my kingdom except the king
knows him. The king was so looking forward to seeing his brother
again! He planned to make his brother the commander of the army
when he gets here."

When Michaela arrived at the castle, she examined the food the
king was eating before he got sick. Hardly any of the food was
eaten. But the wine cup was only half full.

Michaela explained, "It looks like the king didn't eat enough of
any of the food to get poisoned by the food. But he drank enough
wine to be poisoned by the wine."

So, she poured the wine from the kings cup through a cloth into
a bowl. When all the wine had dripped into the bowl, Michaela
exclaimed, "Aha!"

"Did you find something?" asked the queen.

"Yes." replied Michaela as she examined the cloth with her
magnifying glass, "There was more than just wine in the king's
wine cup."

"Do you know what it is?" asked the queen.

After a few seconds, Michaela replied, "Two things: there's a
white powder and what looks like a fish scale."

The queen replied, "We didn't have fish for dinner. We had
chicken. How do you suppose a fish scale got into the king's
wine?"

Michaela held the scale up near a candle and replied, "On second
thought, this looks like a snake scale."

The queen replied, "That makes even less sense than a fish
scale. What about the white powder? Do you think it's some kind
of poison?"

Michaela dipped her finger into the white powder and held out
her tongue.

"You're not going to taste the poison, are you?!" exclaimed the
queen.

Michaela tasted the white powder and exclaimed, "Just as I
thought!"

"Are you alright?!" exclaimed the queen.

"Yes," explained Michaela, "the white powder is just sugar."

"Sugar?!" asked the queen, "Why would anyone put sugar in wine?"

Michaela explained, "To cover up the taste of poisonous snake
venom."

"Someone put snake venom into the king's wine?!" exclaimed the
queen, "Why would anyone do such a thing?!"

"I don't know yet." replied Michaela, "But if we can tell what
kind of snake this snake scale came from, it might tell us
something about the person who did it."

Michaela took the snake scale to the kingdom's smartest wizard.
They compared the scale to hundreds of pictures in the wizard's
books.

Meanwhile, trumpets sounded to welcome the king's brother to the
kingdom. The queen welcomed him but then she told him about the
poisoning of the king at dinner last night.

"Poisoned?!" asked the prince. "Who would want to poison the
king?!"

"We don't know. But we're lucky he's still alive." replied the
queen.

"He's alive?!" exclaimed the prince with more surprise in his
voice than about the poisoning, "The king is still alive?!"

"Yes," replied the queen, "but he's unconscious and he's very
sick."

"Good." said the prince.

"Good?!" replied the queen, "What's so good about the king being
unconscious and sick?"

The prince replied, "I mean, it's good that the king is still
alive. And it's also good that I came when I did. SInce the king
is unable to reign over his kingdom, "I" will take over the
throne... until he wakes up.... or until he dies."

"Not so fast, Your Highness!" shouted Michaela as she ran to the
queen.

"What?!" exclaimed the prince, "Who is this... this peasant
child to question my authority?!"

The queen put her arm around Michaela and explained, "This is
Michaela, the world's greatest detective. It was she who
discovered that the king's wine was poisoned with snake venom."

"How on earth could she possibly know that?!" asked the prince.

Michaela replied, "I found a snake scale in the wine. And I
found sugar in the wine that was used to cover up the bitter
taste of snake venom."

The prince replied, "Yes, well, now that I know the king was
poisoned, my first duty as king will be to find out who poisoned
the king."

Michaela replied, "But we already know who the poisoner is."

"Who is it?" asked the prince nervously.

"It's you!" exclaimed Michaela pointing.

"ME?!" gasped the prince, "YOU, a mere child accuse a king of a
crime?"

"You're not a king. You're not even a prince." exclaimed
Michaela.

The whole crowd around them mumbled and murmured.

"Of course I'm a prince! I'm the king's brother!" exclaimed the
prince. "Guards! Arrest that little brat and throw her into the
dungeon!"

"Belay that order!" came a loud voice from behind the prince.

When the prince turned, he saw the king being held up by two
guards because he couldn't stand by himself. The king pointed at
the prince and shouted, "Guards! Arrest that man. He's not my
brother! He's an impostor!"

After the impostor was hauled off to the dungeon, the queen
hugged the king and asked Michaela, "How did you know it was the
prince... the impostor who poisoned the king?"

The crowd turned toward Michaela as she explained, "That snake
scale I found in the king's wine was from a snake who lives only
in the Burgundy region of France. Neither the king nor his
brother ever lived there. But the sailing ship that brought the
impostor here was from Burgundy. The impostor brought the snake
here with him and paid someone to poison the king's wine with
it."

"But why would he do such a thing?" asked the queen.

"He heard about the king's long lost brother and he knew that
noone in this kingdom but the king knew what he looked like. So,
he thought that if he had the king killed, noone could prevent
him from taking over the throne."

"Were you also responsible for the quick recovery of the king's
sickness?" asked the queen.

Michaela explained, "Once we knew which snake the poison came
from, the wizard created a potion to counteract the poison."

And so, because of the great detective work of Michaela, the
world's greatest detective, a king's life was saved and an
impostor was put in prison.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
Do not sell any part of this script, even if you rewrite it.
Pay no royalties, even if you make money from performances.
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http://www.bobsnook.org  email: bob@bobsnook.org

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