VINEYAR2 9'1m3f Jezebel commits murder and steals a vineyard

(all characters wear tunics and sandals)

SAM -- (enters wearing a fedora with an 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 ANYBODY can claim to be the world's
greatest private-eye. You're thinking, "How do I know this guy
is the world's greatest private-eye?" Well, I'll tell you. I've
been invited to the palace of the king of the northern tribes of
Israel. What other private-eye do you know who can say that?

JEZEBEL -- (enters wearing crown and too much eye makeup) Are
you the private dick?

SAM -- Yes. I have an appointment with King Ahab.

JEZEBEL -- King Ahab wouldn't be seen in public with a low-life
like you. (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) Look, I can explain. Even the world's
greatest private-eye has to supplement his income with a few
sleezey divorce cases. Problem is: people only remember the
sleeze. (to Jezebel) Well, if the king won't see me, who will?

JEZEBEL -- You'll be dealing with me.

SAM -- And who might you be?

JEZEBEL -- I am Jezebel, queen of the Northern tribes of Israel.

SAM -- (to audience) Big mistake. I didn't even recognize the
queen. She's a foreigner, you know. I'll have to see if I can
get back into her good graces. (to Jezebel) Well, it's nice to
meet you! It's quite clear the king has good taste in women.

JEZEBEL -- Save it.

SAM -- Excuse me?

JEZEBEL -- I said, "Save it". You don't have to butter me up.
You've got the job.

SAM -- You get right down to business, don't you?

JEZEBEL -- You want the job or not?!

SAM -- Of course. How may I serve your majesty?

JEZEBEL -- King Ahab wants to take up gardening.

SAM -- And?

JEZEBEL -- And he wants his garden to be next to his palace.

SAM -- I don't see any problems so far.

JEZEBEL -- There aren't any gardens next to the palace.

SAM -- I can see that. (points offstage) That palace is
surrounded by vineyards. But I don't see any problems. All you
have to do is buy one of the vineyards, pull out the grapevines
and plant your garden.

JEZEBEL -- The problem is the owner won't sell.

SAM -- Offer him more money.

JEZEBEL -- I already did that. He won't sell even if I offer him
the crown jewels.

SAM -- Why not?

JEZEBEL -- The owner is one of those inflexible Jews.

SAM -- You say that like you're not a Jew yourself.

JEZEBEL -- I'm not. I'm a Zidonian.

SAM -- A Gentile ruling over the Jews?

JEZEBEL -- What's wrong with that?! (freezes)

SAM -- Uh. Nothing. (to audience) This interview is not going
very well. I'd better get into the queen's good graces. (to
Jezebel) What I meant to say is, why does this deal go south
just because the owner of the vineyard is a Jew?

JEZEBEL -- The Jews believe that God himself assigned a parcel
of land to each Jewish family as his inheritance to them. It's a
kind of symbol or promise of an eternal place for each family in
Heaven. They think that if they sell their land, they somehow
ruin their chances for a place in Heaven.

SAM -- Oh. I see. But I guess I don't see how I can help you
with this mess.

JEZEBEL -- I want him arrested!

SAM -- Excuse me?

JEZEBEL -- The owner's name is Naboth and I want Naboth

SAM -- So, you're the queen. Arrest him.

JEZEBEL -- I thought of that. But the people of Israel are still
mad at Ahab for marrying a gentile. They hate me. If I have
Naboth arrested, they'll string us up.

SAM -- But I'm just a private-eye. I can't arrest anyone.

JEZEBEL -- What I want you to do is to find some dirt on Naboth.
Give us just cause to arrest him. Then, once he's in jail, we
can confiscate his property to pay his fines.

SAM -- Well, I'm your man. You can count on me.... (rubs thumb
and finger together) for a price.

JEZEBEL -- (gives pouch) Here. Now, make it snappy. (exits)

SAM -- (shakes pouch near own ear, smiles, to audience) This is
why I love dealing with royalty. (turns, strolls) I went down to
the local sheriff's office to see if this guy Naboth had a wrap

CLERK -- (enters opposite carrying clipboard) Next person in

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

CLERK -- Save the sales pitch. This is a busy police station.
Just tell me what you want. (freezes)

SAM -- Oh, ah, sure. I represent the royal.... (to audience) I
changed my mind. From what Queen Jezebel told me, the royal
couple doesn't have a lot of friends among the jews. I decided
to take another tac. (to clerk) I represent some investors who
are looking to do business with a local man named Naboth. But,
my clients are strickly on the up and up. They don't want any
dealings with criminals.

CLERK -- Oh, you don't have to worry about Naboth. He's a fine

SAM -- Oh. He is?

CLERK -- A pillar of the community. And he's a member of the
volunteer fire brigade.

SAM -- Oh. Any complaints at all?

CLERK -- Not a one. Your clients will just love doing business
with Naboth. If everybody was like him, the sheriff would be out
of a job. (turns)

SAM -- Bummer.

CLERK -- (turns) What? (turns, exits)

SAM -- I said okay, thanks. (turns, strolls to audience) This
was not looking good. But I persisted. I went to the local
synagogue. And the answer there was the same as it was all over
the town. So, I went back to Queen Jezebel with my tail between
my legs.

JEZEBEL -- (enters opposite) You blew it, didn't you? (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) Ladies and gentlemen, you are about to see
how I became known as the world's greatest private-eye. The
name of the game is SPIN. (to Jezebel) Your majesty, in all
modesty, my first reaction was to disagree with your way of
handling this problem, but I deferred because of your royalty.

JEZEBEL -- You mean, you have a better idea?

SAM -- Let's just say that WE have a better idea.

JEZEBEL -- Alright, I'm listening.

SAM -- Why settle for arresting this Naboth guy?

JEZEBEL -- How else can we confiscate his property without
causing a riot?

SAM -- Did you know that among the Jews the penalty for
blasphemy is death by stoning?

JEZEBEL -- That sounds promising. Keep talking.

SAM -- According to Jewish law, if two Jews accuse our friend
Naboth of blasphemy in a public meeting, the whole assembly is
required to take the perp outside the city and stone him to
death -- thus absolving YOU and king what's-his-name from any

JEZEBEL -- And with Naboth dead, who can stop us from
confiscating his vineyard?

SAM -- Who indeed?

JEZEBEL -- But where are we going to find two Jews to accuse

SAM -- Leave it to me.... (rubs thumb and finger together) for a
price, of course.

JEZEBEL -- (gives pouch) Thus absolving ME of any connection
whatsoever with the death of poor unfortunate Naboth! Brilliant!
(turns, freezes)

SAM -- (shakes pouch by ear, to audience) Don't you just love
royalty?! (to Jezebel) There was just one more thing.

JEZEBEL -- (turns) Yes?

SAM -- You need to organize a religious festival.

JEZEBEL -- Me?! I'm not a Jew! Why would I organize a religious

SAM -- You're not a Jew but Ahab is. Organize it in HIS name.

JEZEBEL -- But why a RELIGIOUS festival?! I hate religion!

SAM -- A religious festival will assure that religious people
will be there. Religious Jews won't tolerate blasphemy. And
religious people will be the first to pick up stones to stone
the blasphemer.

JEZEBEL -- (exiting) Consider it done.

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) I headed down to the local
night spot to find a couple of low-lifes to implement the plot
against Naboth.

WAITRESS -- (enters wearing apron and carrying drink tray) Well,
if it isn't Sam Spade. (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) You see? When you're the greatest
private-eye in the world, people recognize you. (to Waitress)
So, you've heard of me.

WAITRESS -- Just that you're a low-life sleeze.

SAM -- (looks to audience, shrugs, to Waitress) I need to hire a
couple of low-lifes to do a little mischief for a client of

WAITRESS -- What kind of mischief?

SAM -- What difference does it make to you?

WAITRESS -- I'm the shop-steward for the low-lifes union. The
more dangerous the mischief, the higher the fee.

SAM -- You mean, you get a cut of the fee?

WAITRESS -- You hire me, I hire the mischief-makers. That

SAM -- ... I have no connection whatsoever to the crime.

WAITRESS -- How did you know what I was going to say?

SAM -- Because I thought that was MY job.

WAITRESS -- The low-lifes are all unionized now. Take it or
leave it.

SAM -- Alright, have it your way.

WAITRESS -- What kind of mischief did you have in mind?

SAM -- I just need a couple of guys to accuse a guy of

WAITRESS -- A death penalty case, huh?

SAM -- Well, they don't actually have to kill the guy. They just
have to accuse him.

WAITRESS -- It's not that simple. According to Jewish law, if
the deal goes hinky, the accusers COULD be executed.

SAM -- So, this is your way of saying you want to increase your

WAITRESS -- Five gold coins.

SAM -- Five?! I was thinking of one!

WAITRESS -- Five. Each.

SAM -- Each?!

WAITRESS -- Have it your own way. Find your own mischief makers.

SAM -- Alright. Alright.

WAITRESS -- (turns) That's ten gold coins. In advance.
(holds out tray, freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) This deal is not going to be as lucrative
as I thought. (puts pouch on tray, to Waitress) You drive a hard

WAITRESS -- We in the low-lifes union guarantee our work.

SAM -- (puts small paper on tray) Here's the name of the mark
and the details of the scam.

WAITRESS -- Thank you for your patronage. Please come again.
(turns, exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) Well, thanks to the union
workers, the scam worked as planned. The rest, as they say, is
history. King Ahab got his garden. Now, I know what you're
thinking. You're thinking that if it happened the way I said it
happened, why wasn't Sam Spade ever mentioned in the Bible? It's
because, I, Sam Spade, the world's greatest private
investigator, am a humble man. (exits)

�2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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