(LIGHTS UP on Maid Marian’s tower. Marian is taking the same quiz as Bess.)
MARIAN: How would you best describe yourself as a dessert? Sweet and delightful? Something saucy? Nothing but whipped cream and chocolate sauce? (beat) Hmmm…
(She marks down an answer. The Sheriff and Sir Guy enter.)
SIR GUY: Marian! As radiant as ever. (beat) What are you doing?
MARIAN: Nothing embarrassing.
(Marian hides the magazine.)
SIR GUY: I forgive you for your last escape, Marian. Though you wronged me, I am a man of legendary tolerance and clemency. I’ve come to woo you once more.
(Marian pulls out her makeshift rope.)
MARIAN: Sheriff, would you please be a gentleman and hold this end for me?
SHERIFF: Of course.
(He takes one end. Marian keeps the other.)
SIR GUY: Marian, I’m going to give you my superlative lines now. The very best lines that I have. I expect you to be properly impressed with them. I’ve always prided myself on my substantial charm.
MARIAN: Go ahead. I’m listening.
SIR GUY: All right. Here’s my first one. (proudly) Are you religious?
(Marian walks away, stretching out the rope with a cartoony sound effect.)
SIR GUY: My dear, you’re the answer to my prayers.
MARIAN: You must be an agnostic.
SIR GUY: Why?
MARIAN: You have questionable judgment.
SIR GUY: How do you like your eggs in the morning?
(Marian sets the rope up right behind Sir Guy.)
SIR GUY: Do you have a map?
MARIAN: No. Why?
SIR GUY: I’ve become lost in your eyes.
MARIAN: The only thing lost are your senses.
SIR GUY: What’s your sign?
MARIAN: Do not enter.
(Marian jerks the rope forward, sending Sir Guy flying out of the room. There is a great crashing sound, perhaps accompanied by a moo from the cow.)
SHERIFF: Oh, the humanity!
(Sir Guy enters again.)
SIR GUY: Marian, you will stop being obstinate.
MARIAN: I will never love you.
SIR GUY: I’m not talking about love, Marian. I’m talking about marriage. They’re two very different institutions. Will you marry me?
SIR GUY: Yes.
SIR GUY: Yes.
SIR GUY: No.
SIR GUY: No.
SIR GUY: No, no, no! Wait a minute…
SHERIFF: I wouldn’t have fallen for that twice.
SIR GUY: That’s it. That’s it. I’m through with all of the silly games we’ve been playing all these years. I’m laying down the law and I will stand resolute this time. Either you marry me, or I’ll have you executed.
MARIAN: Then you’ll have to have me executed.
SIR GUY: Are you sure? Do you know what that means? (beat) It means I’m going to have your head chopped off.
MARIAN: Robin will rescue me. He always does.
(Klaxons suddenly go off. Red lights flash. No one can hear very well.)
MARIAN: What’s that?
SIR GUY: The castle security system. We have an intruder. Sheriff!
SHERIFF: I’m on it!
(The Sheriff exits.)
SIR GUY: Well, Marian, my dear. It seems that you’ve made your choice.
SIR GUY: It seems that you’ve made your choice!
MARIAN: What? I can’t hear you!
SIR GUY: It seems that – (beat) It seems that you – (beat) Oh, for heaven’s sake!
(Sir Guy pulls out a remote car key. He clicks it and the klaxons stop.)
SIR GUY: IT SEEMS THAT – (beat, softer) It seems that you’ve made your choice. You will be executed at dusk.
MARIAN: Robin will rescue me! That was probably him setting off the alarm!
SIR GUY: We shall see, my darling. We shall see. I shall miss that pretty, little neck of yours, but I suppose I was a dupe to think of you as anything more than a vile disease carrier.
(Sir Guy lets out an evil laugh and exits. Marian rubs her ears, which are still ringing. She settles down and takes out her magazine.)
MARIAN: (loudly) Which would you call your ideal man? The nutty professor? The disciplinarian? A hands on instructor? What? No “all of the above” choice?
(LIGHTS RISE on the palace lawn. Scarlet is eagerly looking around. Bess enters behind her, followed by the still-tangoing Alan and Little John. They are good and sick of each other.)
ALAN: Are you out of your mind, Scarlet? The palace grounds? We’ll be caught any minute.
BESS: I heard the alarm go off.
LITTLE JOHN: Dip.
BESS: I beg your pardon?
(Little John dips Alan. Alan flails wildly and knees Little John in an unfortunate place.)
SCARLET: What better place to start?
LITTLE JOHN: Twirl.
(Little John twirls Alan. He spins out and ends up face first in Bess’ cleavage. He lets out a scream of horror and Little John reels him back in.)
BESS: Well, nothing like the direct approach.
LITTLE JOHN: And would you please stop this dancing?
SCARLET: (writing) Oh, all right, all right.
(Little John and Alan break apart. They both look extremely embarrassed and attempt to “beef up” a bit.)
LITTLE JOHN: No one needs to know about that.
LITTLE JOHN: And why did I have to do the man’s part instead of the lady’s part? I’m much prettier than you.
ALAN: That’s a conversation we’ll have to delay,
The palace guards are running this way!
SCARLET: (writing) All the palace guards turned chicken and ran away.
(There is the sound of chickens stampeding offstage.)
SCARLET: Wow. That was a bit literal.
ALAN: Enough! We just can’t stand here. We have to find Robin!
(The Sheriff enters. He draws his sword.)
ALAN: We’re not here for a fight, Sheriff.
LITTLE JOHN: Speak for yourself.
ALAN: Really, we’ll just be on our way.
SHERIFF: I think not. Oh, I’m going to enjoy arresting you!
(Scarlet writes in the book. The Sheriff drops his sword. He is confused.)
SHERIFF: Huh? This makes no sense whatsoever.
(Scarlet continues to write in her book about him. Try as he may, the Sheriff cannot fight against it. He turns around and bends over.)
ALAN: Oh my…
SHERIFF: What’s going on? Stop it! What are you doing to me?! I am the Sheriff of Nottingham. I am a very important personage!
BESS: What a view!
LITTLE JOHN: That book might not be so bad after all.
(Little John pulls down the Sheriff’s pants, revealing comical boxers. Everyone laughs.)
SHERIFF: This isn’t funny. I’m going to have you all arrested for this!
(The Sheriff pulls up his pants again, a bit too fast, injuring himself in the process.)
SCARLET: (writing) …and started to impersonate a duck.
SHERIFF: (flapping his wings) I demand QUACK that you stop this QUACK immediately QUACK!
LITTLE JOHN: I think he’s quacking up.
SHERIFF: Leave me QUACK alone QUACK! I QUACK am a very QUACK high ranking QUACK.
LITTLE JOHN: I can’t argue with that. He’s a high ranking quack.
SCARLET: (writing) And the Duck Sheriff turned to face Bess.
(The Sheriff turns to face Bess.)
SCARLET: (writing) Looked deep into her eyes.
(The Sheriff leans in, nose to nose with Bess.)
BESS: Oh my.
SCARLET: (writing) And fell deeply, hopelessly, passionately in love with her.
SHERIFF: (fighting it) No-o-o… (as a come on) Qua-a-ack.
(The Sheriff flaps his wings about.)
SHERIFF: Tell me QUACK my lady QUACK. How do you QUACK like your QUACK eggs in the morning?
BESS: I say, Scarlet, would you mind kindly turning off the duck bit? I just think he’d be better with arms.
LITTLE JOHN: Yeah. Normal ducks don’t have arms. That’s why they’re so bad at tennis.
(Scarlet writes. The Sheriff assumes less of a duck stance and more of a skeezy, guy-at-the-bar stance.)
SHERIFF: Has anyone ever told you that the whites of your eyes are the exact color of yellow snow?
BESS: Oooo. I think I like this book.
ALAN: As amusing as this all has been,
We must find Robin and reunite the team.
LITTLE JOHN: What he said.
ALAN: If your writing caused him to lose the contest and run away, where you made him run?
SCARLET: (searching the book) Sticky Buns. That pastry shoppe just down the road.
ALAN: Then why did we come here?