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URIAH    7'1m3f David and Bathsheba, the death of Uriah

(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 I'm doing
here in Jerusalem. Well, I've been summoned by the Prophet
Nathan. You see, when a private eye has a reputation like mine,
he rubs elbows with the elites.

WIFE -- (enters opposite) Is your name Spade?

SAM -- Yes. I understand that the prophet Nathan is expecting
me.

WIFE -- Nathan wouldn't touch a low-life like you with a
ten-foot pole. You'll be dealing with me. (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) Listen, I can explain. The detective
business is just like any other business. We have our ups and
downs. And sometimes during my down periods, I cut a few
corners. (to Wife) So, you must be Nathan's secretary.

WIFE -- I'm his wife.

SAM -- Wife. I meant wife. So, what can I do for the venerable
prophet Nathan?

WIFE -- We heard that King David's army general was killed under
suspicious circumstances. Nathan wants you to get to the truth.

SAM -- I heard that Uriah was killed in battle.

WIFE -- He was. But generals command the battle from afar. They
don't usually draw their swords unless their armies are overrun.

SAM -- But his army WASN'T overrun?

WIFE -- They were on the attack.

SAM -- So, why not just ask around yourself?

WIFE -- Because it looks like someone in the royal palace is
trying to cover up the truth.

SAM -- Well, I'm your man.... for a fee, of course.

WIFE -- Of course. (tosses small pouch)

SAM -- (catches pouch, shakes pouch near ear) Well, you just
hired yourself the world's greatest private eye.

WIFE -- Here. (tosses another pouch)

SAM -- What's this for?

WIFE -- That's to insure that Nathan's name will never be
uttered in the same sentence with the name of a low-life like
you. (turns, exits)

SAM -- Mum's the word. (turns, crosses, to audience) I made my
way over to the house of the supreme commander of the Israeli
army. His name was Joab. If anyone would know how Uriah was
killed, it would be him. (to Joaba) Are you General Joab's wife?

JOABA -- (enters opposite) Who wants to know?

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

JOABA -- I know who you are. (freezes)

SAM -- (smiles to audience) My great reputation precedes me. (to
Joaba) I...

JOABA -- Why are you here? Is my husband filing for divorce?
(freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) Look. I'm not really a bad person. It's a
matter of public relations. They forget that I've solved dozens
of murders, but handle ONE messy divorce case and my reputation
is smeared. (to Joaba) No. This is not a divorce case. I'm
inquiring about the death of General Uriah.

JOABA -- Oh, that.

SAM -- You know something, don't you?

JOABA -- My husband is not here. You'll have to speak to him.

SAM -- Unfortunately, when I speak to him, I might have a few
things to say about YOU.

JOABA -- What about me? He IS filing for divorce, isn't he?!
(freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) Now, you'll see how I became known as the
greatest private eye in the world. (to Joaba) If you tell me
what I want to know, there's no reason that your husband has to
know about.... you know what.

JOABA -- Alright. What do you want to know?

SAM -- How did Uriah get into the heat of a battle when his army
was on the attack?

JOABA -- I... I can't tell you. I'm sworn to secrecy.

SAM -- (turns) Okay, then, I'll just ask your husband. (smiles
to audience)

JOABA -- Wait!

SAM -- (turns) Yes?

JOABA -- It was Joab's doing. HE sent Uriah into battle.

SAM -- Now, why would the chief of staff send a general into
battle?

JOABA -- It was not his idea.

SAM -- Whose idea was it?

JOABA -- (looks around)

SAM -- (turns) Okay.

JOABA -- Alright. I'll tell you

SAM -- (turns) I'm listening.

JOABA -- King David ordered Joab to do it.

SAM -- Now why would a king send a general into battle if he
didn't have to?

JOABA -- I don't know. I just know that King David wanted Uriah
dead. That's all I know. I swear!

SAM -- (turns) Okay, thanks.

JOABA -- Wait a minute.

SAM -- (turns) Yes?

JOABA -- About that... other thing?

SAM -- What other thing? Now that you told me all I wanted to
know, I completely forgot that other thing.

JOABA -- Thank you. Thank you so much!

SAM -- Pleasure doing business with you. (turns)

JOABA -- You're sure that Joab isn't planning on filing for
divorce?

SAM -- (turns) Quite sure. If anyone would know about divorce,
it would be me, wouldn't it?

JOABA -- Oh. Sure. Of course. (turns, exits)

SAM -- (turns, crosses, to audience) I headed over to the house
of the late General Uriah hoping to get some input from his
widow.

MAID -- (enters opposite) Well, hello there, handsome. What's
your name? (freezes)

SAM -- The name is... (to audience) It's times like these that
separate the good detectives from the very best. During this
brief encounter with the widow, it became obvious that she was
not the grieving widow. I decided not to reveal my true identity
right away. (to Maid) My name is Sam. What's yours?

MAID -- Who cares about names? Would you like to come in and
have a drink? My mistress is not home and we'll have the whole
house to ourselves.

SAM -- Your mistress? So, you're not Uriah's wife?

MAID -- No, silly. I'm the maid. Come on in.

SAM -- How can you be sure that we won't be interrupted?

MAID -- Because my mistress has moved out.

SAM -- She moved out?

MAID -- Sure. So, come on in.

SAM -- Where did she move to?

MAID -- To the royal palace. Come on in. I've got wine!

SAM -- And you're sure she's not coming back?

MAID -- Never. I'm only staying here until they sell her house.

SAM -- Why would Uriah's wife move into the royal palace?

MAID -- She's going to marry the king.

SAM -- She what?

MAID -- Look, are you going to come in and party with me or not?

SAM -- Uriah's body isn't even cold yet. How could his wife even
consider marrying another man?

MAID -- She's pregnant with king David's baby. That's why. Now,
are you coming in or not?

SAM -- Not.

MAID -- (exiting) Your loss, baby.

SAM -- (turns, crosses, to audience) Now you see why I'm the
greatest private eye in the world. (raises money pouch to
eye-level) And why I command the big fees. I get results. I
headed back to the house of the Prophet Nathan. (hides pouch)

WIFE -- King David had Uriah killed to cover up his adulterous
affair with Uriah's wife.

SAM -- How could you possibly know that?! I just found out
myself!

WIFE -- Nathan is a prophet. God told him all about it.

SAM -- Well, I solved the case.

WIFE -- That's why I'm letting you keep the money. You're still
bound to secrecy....

SAM -- (recites) Because Nathan doesn't want to have anything to
do with a low-life like me.

WIFE -- I'm glad we have that understanding. (turns, exits)

SAM -- (turns, crosses, to audience) Well, that's a bummer. This
is one of the most high level murder cases I've ever solved. And
I can't even brag about it to anyone. (lifts pouch to eye level)
But I'm sure I'll get over it... somehow. (exits laughing)

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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