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JACOB    9'1m3f Jacob flees from Esau, later reunited

(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. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're
thinking that anyone can CLAIM to be the world's greatest. But
who but the greatest would be hired by one of the richest men in
Canaan. I'm here in Beersheba to work for Esau son of Isaac.

MAHALATH -- (enters opposite) You the private-I from Jerusalem?

SAM -- The name is Spade. Sam Spade. I'm a private investigator.
In fact, I'm the world's greatest... (offers hand)

MAHALATH -- Save it. You've got the job.

SAM -- What job? I came here to work for Esau.

MAHALATH -- Esau wouldn't be seen in public with a low-life like
you! (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) Look, I can explain. Back in Jerusalem,
business was a little slow. I had to supplement my income with a
few sleazy divorce cases. Is that such a crime? (to Mahalath)
So, I'll be working with you, aye?

MAHALATH -- Regrettably.

SAM -- So, you must be Esau's wife.

MAHALATH -- Yes. Esau you wants to hunt down a dirty no-good
thief named Jacob.

SAM -- Listen, your family is famous here in the land of Canaan.
I just happen to know that Jacob is Esau's brother.

MAHALATH -- Yes. And he's a thief!

SAM -- What was it he was supposed to have stolen?

MAHALATH -- He stole Esau's birthright.

SAM -- You're upset because Jacob stole Esau's title?

MAHALATH -- It's more than a title. The title of firstborn son
carries with it a double portion of inheritance when his father
dies. Do you know how much money Jacob stole when he stole
Esau's birthright?!

SAM -- Everybody knows that Isaac is the richest man in Canaan.
And everybody also knows that Jacob has been gone a long time.
Why do you want him dead now?

MAHALATH -- Because Isaac is on his deathbed. I want you to
track down Jacob and when you find him, I want you to kill him!
No, wait. When you find him I want you to torture him and then
kill him!

SAM -- Hey, listen, lady. I'm a private investigator.
Investigators investigate. I'll find Jacob for you, but you'll
have to do your own... (shivers) other stuff.

MAHALATH -- It's a shame. You could have doubled your fee,
but... (turns)

SAM -- Double, you say?

MAHALATH -- (turns, pulls out two pouches) You interested?

SAM -- No. I'm a coward. Even if I wanted to I couldn't kill
anybody, let alone... (shivers) other stuff.

MAHALATH -- Then you find him for me, (tosses one pouch, pockets
the other) and I'll kill him myself. (exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) I tracked Jacob from
Beersheba north to Jerusalem, then from Jerusalem to northern
Canaan, but it seems Jacob left the country. I tracked him down
to the homeland of his grandfather Abraham in Er. Now I know
what you're thinking. You're thinking that with a town named Er,
it's probably not much of a country. But it is. You people call
it Iraq. And it's big. But I finally tracked down Jacob at the
farm of his uncle Laban. This is Laban's wife. (points)

LABANA -- Please tell me you came here to offer Jacob a job!

SAM -- Why are you in such a hurry to get rid of Jacob?

LABANA -- He married my two daughters and they had twelve
children.

SAM -- That's a good thing.

LABANA -- I hate kids!

SAM -- (to audience) Now you're about to see how the world's
greatest private-I uses creative communication to achieve the
objective. (to wife) As a matter of fact, back in the land of
Canaan, a job opportunity just opened up.

LABANA -- Good. He's over there. (points, turns) I'll go help
them pack.

SAM -- Well, it's not a job, really. It's more like a business
opportunity. Jacob would need to invest a little money.

LABANA -- (stops, turns) Rats! Jacob doesn't have any money!

SAM -- I was told that Jacob works for Laban as a farmhand.

LABANA -- He does. But Laban doesn't pay him. Jacob agreed to
work for Laban without pay in exchange for marrying my second
daughter. So, Jacob doesn't have any money to invest.

SAM -- What a shame. I guess you're stuck with Jacob. (turns)

LABANA -- Wait.

SAM -- (turns to audience, smiles) Yes?

LABANA -- What I meant was, Laban didn't pay Jacob with money,
but he did pay Jacob with livestock.

SAM -- Oh?

LABANA -- Yes. It turns out that Jacob is a rather skilled
herdsman.

SAM -- And?

LABANA -- And he's good at animal husbandry.

SAM -- And?

LABANA -- Jacob talked Laban into letting him keep all the
spotted livestock. And somehow Jacob worked out a way to
increase the production of spotted livestock. Jacob has
thousands of head of livestock.

SAM -- But no cash? (turns) What a shame.

LABANA -- Wait! I tell you what. I hate kids so badly that I'll
slip my daughter Rachel some money to give Jacob.

SAM -- (turns) You mean Laban doesn't want Jacob to leave?

LABANA -- Jacob has been working for Laban for twenty years
without pay. What do you think?

SAM -- But you're willing to pay him to leave?

LABANA -- I'll call it an investment in peace and quiet. You
won't say anything to Laban about this, will you? (exits)

SAM -- Mum's the word. (pantamimes the locking of his lips and
throwing away the key, turns, strolls, to audience) I watched
from the shadows until Laban's wife gave Rachel the money. Then
I approached Rachel. (to Rachel) Well, I understand
congratulations are in order!

RACHEL -- (enters opposite carrying baby) You've come to see my
new baby?

SAM -- What an adorable little girl! (tickles baby's cheek)

RACHEL -- His name is Joseph.

SAM -- Boy. I meant boy. Handsome boy. Say, listen, your mother
(points) said Jacob might be looking for a place of his own.

RACHEL -- Well, as a matter of fact, this baby makes twelve
children in our family. We've kind of outgrown the house. We
were looking for a place to live.

SAM -- Well, back in the land of Canaan....

RACHEL -- ...You mean Beersheba?

SAM -- Well, yes.

RACHEL -- Esau sent you, didn't he?!

SAM -- Not exactly.

RACHEL -- What... EXACTLY?!

SAM -- Actually, it was Esau's wife.

RACHEL -- She sent you here to kill Jacob, didn't she? (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) Now you're about to see a little creative
communication to achieve the objective. (to Rachel) Look, Esau's
wife OFFERED me a lot of money to track down your husband and
kill him, but...

RACHEL -- But what? Are you saying you're NOT going to kill him?

SAM -- Do you know why Esau wants Jacob dead?

RACHEL -- Jacob said it was about his title.

SAM -- It's not just a title. As firstborn, Jacob gets a double
portion of his dad's estate when he dies. The money Esau wanted
to pay me to kill Jacob is a pittance compare to his inheritance
if Jacob dies before his dad.

RACHEL -- Esau WANTED to pay you?

SAM -- I accepted a fee to FIND Jacob. But I refused the fee to
kill him.

RACHEL -- And now that you FOUND Jacob, Esau himself will come
and finish the job.

SAM -- Not if you play your cards right.

RACHEL -- What do you mean?

SAM -- I mean I worked out a way to get Jacob back to Beersheba
AND keep him alive.

RACHEL -- I'm listening.

SAM -- Did I mention that I refused a lot of money in order to
keep Jacob alive? (smiles to audience, turns, rubs thumb and
finger together)

RACHEL -- (tosses small pouch) This better be worth it.
(freezes)

SAM -- (shakes pouch near own ear, to audience) And you thought
I turned down Esau's money on principle. (laughs)

(to Rachel) Look, to Esau it's not about the title of firstborn.
It's about the money.

RACHEL -- So, you have a plan to get Jacob back home without
being killed?

SAM -- Picture this: Esau is waiting for Jacob to arrive. But
before Jacob arrives, two hundred female goats and twenty male
goats are delivered to Esau's house. It's a gift from Jacob. But
Jacob is nowhere in sight. Then, while Esau is still inspecting
his new goats, two hundred female sheep and twenty male sheep
arrive on his doorstep, another gift from Jacob. But Esau still
doesn't see Jacob. Then another gift arrives: thirty female
camels with their young. Then another gift: forty cows and ten
bulls. Then another gift: twenty female donkeys and ten male
donkeys. But Jacob is still nowhere in sight. Then Jacob's wives
and all Jacob's babies arrive at Esau's door to show him that
Jacob is a changed man. He's a family man now. By the time Jacob
arrives, Esau is completely overwhelmed! What do you think?

RACHEL -- Hey, that could work! (exits) Jacob, honey, it's time
to go home to Beersheba!

SAM -- (turns) So, there you have it. I, Sam Spade, the world's
greatest private investigator, am personally responsible for
reuniting Jacob and Esau. Unfortunately for me, I won't even get
an honorable mention in the Bible, because (shows money pouches)
I have already receive my reward in full.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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