DANIEL2  9'1m3f Daniel and the Lion's den

(all characters wear tunics and sandals)

SAM -- (enters wearing a fedora with unlit cigarette in mouth,
crosses strolling, to audience) The name is Spade. Sam Spade.
I'm a private investigator. In fact, I'm the world's greatest
private investigator. I suppose you're wondering what the
world's greatest private-eye is doing here in Babylon. Well,
frankly, I just followed the Jews here from Israel. Apparently,
the Jews turned their backs on God, so God turned his back on
the Jews and let them be conquered and brought here to the home
of their captors, the Babylonians. And wherever the Jews go
there's trouble. And wherever trouble is, there's business for

WIFE -- (enters opposite) Are you the private-eye? (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) See what I mean? I have a nose (touches
nose) for trouble. (to wife) The name is Spade. Sam Spade.
I'm a private investigator. In fact, I'm the world's greatest
private investigator.

WIFE -- And humble too.

SAM -- Excuse me?

WIFE -- I have a case for you.

SAM -- I'm guessing that this case of yours is about one of the
Jews from Israel.

WIFE -- How did you know?!

SAM -- I'm a professional. I have a nose (touches nose) for such
things. So, which Jew did you want me to investigate?

WIFE -- Daniel.

SAM -- Daniel?!

WIFE -- Yes. Something wrong with that?

SAM -- Well, I may be new to the area, but everybody in the
whole Medo-Persian Empire knows that King Darius just named
Daniel as one of the empire's three most powerful leaders. A man
could get himself killed investigating a man that powerful.
(turns, begins walking)

WIFE -- (pulls out coin pouch, jingles coins) Are you sure I
can't change your mind?

SAM -- (stops) Is that what I think it is?

WIFE -- Gold coins. Lots of gold coins. (freezes)

SAM -- (turns) Alright, I'll take the case. (to audience) I know
what you're thinking. You're thinking that I have no
scruples, that I'm motivated by money, that I'll do anything for
money. You're right. (to wife) Are you his wife? You want me to
dig of dirt for the divorce?

WIFE -- No. Daniel is not married.

SAM -- What then?

WIFE -- My husband is one of the other two Satraps that King
Darius just promoted.

SAM -- And?

WIFE -- Well, let's just say that there's only room in this town
for ONE satrap, if you know what I mean.

SAM -- I know what you mean.

WIFE -- (tosses pouch) Make it snappy. The faster Daniel is
out of the way the faster my husband can be promoted. The faster
he is promoted, the more money YOU make as a bonus.

SAM -- (catches and shakes pouch near ear) A bonus, you say?

WIFE -- (turns, exits) IF my husband is the last man standing.

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) I realized as I started up
the investigation that digging up dirt on Babylon's top
leaders could raise more than just a little dust. So, I decided
to keep my distance from the royal palace. Instead, my first
stop was at the watering hole that was frequented by the palace

WAITRESS -- (enters opposite wearing apron, carrying beverage
tray with glasses) Well, hello there handsome. How about a
little libation? A little hard cider?

SAM -- No thanks.

WAITRESS -- White wine? Red wine?

SAM -- No.


SAM -- I need some information.

WAITRESS -- What a shame. I was hoping that you and I could get
acquainted over a little drinky winky.

SAM -- Sorry, I'm on duty.

WAITRESS -- You a cop?

SAM -- Private investigator.

WAITRESS -- Who you investigating?

SAM -- A Jew from Israel named Daniel. You seen him in here?


SAM -- And?

WAITRESS -- And what?

SAM -- I'm looking for a little dirt on him.

WAITRESS -- You won't get none from me.

SAM -- Why not?

WAITRESS -- He came in here with the two other satraps. They
drank the hard stuff. Daniel had water.

SAM -- Water?! Daniel must be a tight-wad.

WAITRESS -- Actually, he's a great tipper. He paid for all the
drinks and left me a big tip. Not much dirt for you, though,

SAM -- Did he hit on you or any of the female patrons?

WAITRESS -- Daniel?!

SAM -- Yeah.

WAITRESS -- The guy is squeaky clean. Why do you think King
Darius named him as one of the satraps?

SAM -- Oh.

WAITRESS -- You sure I can't get you a beer?

SAM -- Thanks but no thanks. I'm strickly business on this case.
I get a bonus if I close this case quickly. Thanks for the info.

WAITRESS -- Anytime, big boy. (turns, exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) Squeaky clean. Not good
news for a detective trying to dig up dirt for a living. My next
stop was to Daniel's bank.

TELLER -- (enters opposite) Welcome to the Bank of Babylon. If
you open a new savings account you get a free toaster!

SAM -- A toaster? What's a toaster?

TELLER -- It's a little hard to explain. We at the Bank of
Babylon are ahead of our time. Would you like to register for
our free drawing?

SAM -- Drawing? For what?

TELLER -- A free trip to Hawaii.

SAM -- Where is Hawaii?!

TELLER -- It hasn't been discovered yet. But as soon as it is,
the Bank of Babylon will give you a free trip there, because we
at the Bank of Babylon are....

SAM -- ...I know, you're ahead of your time. Listen. I'm a
private investigator. I need some information on a customer of

TELLER -- Sure. We at the Bank of Babylon strive to be helpful!
What's this customer's name?

SAM -- Daniel.

TELLER -- Daniel the Satrap?

SAM -- Yes.

TELLER -- Wow! It's happening already!

SAM -- What's the matter? Is there something I should know?

TELLER -- King Darius is promoting Daniel the prime minister of
the empire already, huh?

SAM -- Why would you say that?

TELLER -- Daniel is very methodical.

SAM -- Methodical.

TELLER -- And honest. He's very careful with his money... and

SAM -- Yours?

TELLER -- Yes. He's corrected a couple of errors in our
arithmetic. We overpaid him twenty-eight minas in interest and
he returned the overage.

SAM -- Bummer.

TELLER -- How can you say that?! He's the perfect candidate for
prime minister! If he's careful with OUR money, imagine what
he'll do as prime minister!

SAM -- Listen, don't go spouting off about this prime minister

TELLER -- Oh, of course. Mum's the word until King Darius makes
the announcement. (mimes the locking of her lips and throwing
away the key, exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) Another dead end. The story
was the same all over Babylon. Nobody had anything bad to say
about Daniel.

WIFE -- (enters opposite) Well? What do you have for me?

SAM -- Ah, well, I ah....

WIFE -- Well, spit it out. I paid you a fortune to dig up some
dirt on Daniel. What do I get for my money? (freezes)

SAM -- Ah, well, ah... (to audience) Ladies and gentlemen, you
are about to witness the snatching of victory from the jaws of
defeat. This is what separates the good detectives from the
world class detectives. (to Wife) Daniel prays to the God of

WIFE -- He what?

SAM -- He prays to the God of Israel three times a day.

WIFE -- That's what I paid you a fortune for?! "Daniel is
religious. Hang him from the highest tree!" Are you nuts?!

SAM -- Suppose your husband talked King Darius into making it
illegal to worship the God of Israel.

WIFE -- Just how would he do that?

SAM -- He could flatter King Darius and make him think that he's
not only a great king, he's also a god. You see where I'm going
with this?

WIFE -- If everybody in the empire has to worship King Darius,
it would be illegal to worship the god of Israel. Brilliant! My
husband is as good as promoted to prime minister! Here. (tosses
pouch, exits)

SAM -- (catches pouch, turns, strolls, shakes pouch near ear, to
audience) So, there you have it. Daniel's greatest strength, his
devotion to the God of Israel, turned out to be his downfall...
and my windfall! (holds out pouch proudly)

WIFE -- (follows hurrying) Spade! Sam Spade!

SAM -- (turns) Well, how nice to see you again. You got another
case for me to solve?

WIFE -- (snatches pouch) Never again.

SAM -- What happened? Didn't it work?

WIFE -- Like a charm.

SAM -- Then why did you take back your money?

WIFE -- King Darius sentenced Daniel to death after he
discovered Daniel worshipping the God of Israel.

SAM -- That's a good thing, no?

WIFE -- Except that when the king threw Daniel into the lions
den, the lions didn't eat Daniel.

SAM -- Don't be ridiculous.

WIFE -- The king left Daniel in the lions den overnight. Not a

SAM -- Well, sounds like the God of Israel protected Daniel.

WIFE -- That's why King Darius decreed that everybody in the
empire must now worship the God of Israel.

SAM -- Well, your husband still has a chance....

WIFE -- He's dead.

SAM -- He's what!?

WIFE -- The king had my husband thrown into the lions den.

SAM -- Why?

WIFE -- For promoting the worship of a false god.

SAM -- Bummer.

WIFE -- (turns, exits crying) Now I'll never be a prime
minister's wife!

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) Well, there goes my bonus.
But that's life. You win some. You lose some and some get eaten
by lions. (exits)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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