(This time the Chamber of Degrees is brightly lit. While the inquisitorial chair is still prominently displayed, this time it is festooned with colorful crepe paper decorations. Eulalia and the Chief Judge enter arm in arm with a cheerfully weary manner, as if after a party)
EULALIA: (Holds out hands) Would you please take these bracelets off my wrists.
CHIEF JUDGE: (Unsnaps bracelets and opens jewel box and puts them into it.) There, we won't be needing these very soon. And you can let me have the Subpoena now that you are safely here.
EULALIA: You don't fool me for a minute.
CHIEF JUDGE: I really am the Chief Judge. (Points to the framed certificate on the wall.)
EULALIA: Then tell me why you are hiding behind the fake beard.
CHIEF JUDGE: Hiding? The beard is real. Just as the office is real. The beard simply grew there, and I found myself behind it.
EULALIA: Oh, you know what I mean. The office, the Chamber, the beard, your wall mounted certificate-all designed to conceal your identity-and also unsuccessfully to fool me.
CHIEF JUDGE: The beard gives me dignity. The office gives me power.
EULALIA: I never thought I'd hear you say anything like that-Hermann.
CHIEF JUDGE: You never listened to anything I said.
EULALIA: I must have. The moment I heard your voice, I knew it was you. Even after ten long years, I immediately knew the truth. You may have been able to change your exterior, but you just couldn't hide that sweet baritone with the very slight tremolo.
CHIEF JUDGE: Hard to realize that ten years have gone by. But speaking of truth telling, what about your indirect but inescapable confession that you had killed me. That's perjury unusual, but still a lie.
EULALIA: What would be the punishment for that?
CHIEF JUDGE: Offhand, maybe three to five years.
EULALIA: You'll have to do better than that. You can't really get me on perjury anyway. I didn't actually claim to have killed you. Mr. Mann guessed that I had poisoned you, and I simply said, "How did you guess?" And he just assumed I was confessing to your murder.
CHIEF JUDGE: Very clever. But then, you always were.
EULALIA: And what about that "suicide " of yours ten years ago. Wasn't that a bit of cleverness, too?
CHIEF JUDGE: As you know, suicide is illegal. You should have known I would never have done something so forbidden. Besides, I didn't actually say I was committing suicide. The note said I was doing away with myself-in other words what I meant was that I was stepping aside, getting out of your way so you could devote yourself to helping our son achieve greatness.
EULALIA: But in reality, you left me to take on the task all alone.
CHIEF JUDGE: And I was proven to have done the right thing. You did a fine job.
EULALIA: Don't you dare make fun of me.
CHIEF JUDGE: I'm not. I knew that your dedication would find the right way.
EULALIA; But Abel has failed in every way. That's why I tried to claim that I'd killed you.
CHIEF JUDGE; (Visibly taken aback) Why? I just don't understand.
EULALIA: Here's my reasoning. I believe that Abel failed as Chief Executioner only because he has never had a completely friendly, fully cooperative client.
CHIEF JUDGE: And you you want to be that fully cooperative client.
EULALIA: Exactly. And by my cooperation, Abel will become great. Think of how history will record the event. The Chief Executioner fulfills his anguishing duty-he executes his own mother for the murder of his father.
CHIEF JUDGE: It will be astounding! We'll do it! (Becomes very solemn. Adjusts his judicial robes.) In view of all the extenuating circumstances, I the Chief Judge find you not guilty of the charge of perjury. But in view of that fact,I must pronounce you guilty of your confessed murder of your first husband, Hermann Cain, a capital crime and therefore you are sentenced to be taken the properly appointed place and to be put to death by the properly designated official, your son, Abel Cain.
EULALIA: Thank you, my dear. And now, don't you think it's time to call Abel in and start him on the task ahead.
CHIEF JUDGE: You're right. (Punches intercom button and speaks into mike) Abel, my boy, I have some splendid news for you. A new client-and the chance for greatness you have always wanted. It may seem a little unconventional, but I want you to meet the client right away.
ABEL: (Offstage amplified voice) I'll be right in.
CHIEF JUDGE: He's a good lad.
EULALIA: You had better do the talking. I'm too nervous and he'll need to hear the explanation of what is involved.
ABEL: (Comes rushing in without knocking seeing Eulalia, he is taken aback) Mother what are you doing here?
CHIEF JUDGE: As you well know, Abel, your mother has been worried about your career. I think her concern is somewhat overdrawn, but that's how mother's are, She is determined to help you in your ultimate aim-to achieve greatness. And I do believe she has found a uniquely original way to help you. You see, Abel, she has just been found guilty of a capital crime, and as the Chief Judge it is my duty to sentence her to death. And that of course is where you come in.
ABEL: (Stunned) Mother, you are the new client?
Yes, she is. And this is your opportunity to achieve greatness. And
of course, the reason that it assures you of that achievement is something
I must tell you now. Hold steady, Abel, in fact please sit down. (Abel
in shock sits)
ABEL: Is this true? Did she do that?
CHIEF JUDGE: Of course not because the man she is supposed to have killed is standing right here in front of you myself.
ABEL: You you are my father?
CHIEF JUDGE; Yes, my boy! How long I have wanted to call you that with the right intonation. My boy, my boy, My boy. (He embraces Abel)
ABEL: How wonderful to meet you at last, and to find out that you are not dead! So much to celebrate. The chance for greatness and both of you are making it possible. To be reunited as a family like this. It proves that our family is a strong, proud ensemble. I'm so proud of both of you.
EULALIA: And you know that we're proud of you.
ABEL: (Suddenly perplexed) But something bothers me. Father, you were supposed to have committed suicide.
CHIEF JUSTICE: A little misunderstanding. The note was ambiguous.
ABEL: (To Eulalia) Then it wasn't such a masterpiece after all.
CHIEF JUSTICE: Depends on the point of view. It served my purpose very well all this time. But that isn't the point right now. We should be thinking about your mother being willing to sacrifice her own life, her willingness to die at your hands so as to insure your achievement of greatness.
ABEL: You're right, father. How wonderful to say that word for the first time in so many years. Let's make the most of this occasion our devotion to me is beyond anything I've ever heard of. You mother with your confession--fraudulent but so brilliant--and you father with your power to sentence her to death. I'm the luckiest son in the whole world.
CHIEF JUDGE: And now you have greatness within your grasp.
ABEL: Yes, I better get started on my preparations. You know what? I think I could get it broadcast on the World of Work. That would show them that I'm not a failure.
EULALIA: I really would prefer something quieter. Nothing fancy, Abel. But it should be simple and elegant.
ABEL: As always, mother, your sense of style is trustworthy. I'll do as you ask.
EULALIA: Then listen to me, my son. Just a plain, traditional hanging is all I ask.
ABEL; Yes, of course. I'll make sure that everything is done to perfection. I better get started right now.
CHIEF JUDGE: And don't forget your Warrant of Execution. (Hands Abel the Scroll)
ALL THREE IN UNISON: On to the scaffold! (Abel flourishes the Scroll)