(A beauty shop. Eulalia is having her hair done and her nails manicured. The Hair Dresser is Mr. Mann-Mario Mann-and is played by the actor who plays Malachi. The manicurist is Miss Miss-Shirley Miss-and is played by the same actress who plays Lilith. Off to extreme stage right, and not particularly noticeable is the Chief Judge in his black judicial robes and is seated behind the judicial bench. He is heard by the audience to say a few words as if to someone in front of him-no one is visible-and occasionally hits the gavel in his hand, but the three who center stage do not seem to hear or see him-until at the end of the scene when the "spell" of invisibility is broken.)
(Eulalia is seen wrapped in a protective covering as the hair dresser is fiddling with her hair and the manicurist is working on the nails of her left hand. Eulalia is holding the Scroll in her extended right hand and gets Mr. Mann to take it from her)
MR MANN (Taking Scroll reluctantly. He speaks with the theatrical emphasis that is the stereotype of the Hair Dresser) Now Madam Cain, you know that you didn't need to bring this Coupon in order to get special attention a good client like you is always entitled to every courtesy that I can offer. But speaking as your devoted servant I beg of you, don't insist on that drastic cut you have in mind. Don't ask me to cut all your hair off. That goes against every professional bone in my body. Yours has always been the climax to your image. Don't insist on this all off nonsense. I plead with you. (His voice has risen a full octave)
EULALIA: (Smiling) Don't get so excited, Mr. Mann
MR. MANN: There, you did it again. All the time you've been coming here, and you still are so formal with me. Please call me Mario. And I wish you would realize that as your devoted servant I have to try to protect you against yourself when you ask me to do such a drastic change. What you are asking for is beyond style. It's too extreme. It would amount to completely changing your life.
Mario. I want to change my life. (Speaking to the
MISS MISS: Oh, you're so right. They fuss and fuss about their place in the world, but we know what's really important.
CHIEF JUDGE: (From his place on the bench) Strike that last as incompetent and irrelavent. (Bangs his gave) And Eulalia, can't you get them to hurry up, we've late already. Look at the time! (None of the three look at him or seem to have heard, but that doesn't bother him at all)
MR. MANN: I know that complaint. I hear it all the time, and it isn't true of me. I only want to do what's best for you and your hair. And I do wish you'd try to be a little more friendly and trusting like the other girls who come here. They're so cheerful, and they talk and talk. But you never act like the others. Why is that?
EULALIA: It's because I'm on to you! Oh yes, they talk and talk and tell you their secrets-and I believe that is the reason you became a hairdresser. They tell you every hidden secret of their lives and you love it. And I bet you love to gossip about their secrets.
MR. MANN: But I respect their secrets. I don't betray them.
MISS MISS: (To Mario) Don't say that claiming that you don't betray secrets is like saying that you really do. If you don't do it, you wouldn't need to protest.
CHIEF JUDGE: Attorney is not allowed to coach the witness! (The three don't pay any attention)
EULALIA: That's not been my worry up till now I've never had any reason to hide anything so all his prying never bothered me at all.
MR. MANN; But now you do have something to hide.
EULALIA; Yes, of course I do, and so do you.
MR. MANN. I wasn't completely sure, but when a woman says she wants to completely change her hairstyle, you can be pretty sure that something is happening in her life that is significant. (Tentatively at first and then with conviction) And if she's not married, it's a love affair gone wrong. And if she's married, it's a marriage that has ended.
EULALIA: You're right! And thank goodness it came to an end at last.
MR. MANN: Was the parting friendly?
EULALIA: Oh, yes. After some quavering on his part. (To manicurist) I'll bet you've been through it yourself.
MISS MISS: Five times for me!
EULALIA: Really? Only twice for me, but of course the first time was very different.
MR. MANN: How do you mean, different?
EULALIA; In a way it was a lot easier the first time. (Giggles)
CHIEF JUDGE: The defendant is characterizing-we want only the facts. And she must not giggle. (Nobody pays any attention to him.)
MR. MANN: Why was it easier the first time?
EULALIA: That's rather complicated. Oh, and I can't fight you any more. If you won't take all the hair off you can at least trim the back of the neck. They'll have to do the rest of the job later on when the verdict is returned.
MR. MANN: (Applies scissors to the back of the neck) Glad to do that. But about your first husband. You said it was so much easier.
EULALIA: Oh yes, bless his heart, it certainly was.
MISS MISS: What can I do about the color on your nails. This red just won't come off no matter what I try.
EULALIA: I knew that one way or another sooner or later there would be something that would tie me to my first husband's untimely death.
CHIEF JUDGE: (Pounds gavel) At last we're getting somewhere!
MR. MANN: What connection could there be? He was a suicide, wasn't he?
EULALIA: That's what everybody believes.
MR. MANN: Isn't that true?
MISS MISS: (Now speaking directly to the Chief Judge who is now hit by a spotlight.) I object-that's a leading question!
CHIEF JUDGE: (Pounds gavel) Overruled!
MR. MANN: I repeat, isn't that true?
EULALIA: I won't answer that.
MR. MANN: For very good reasons. I'm guessing that it was poison, wasn't it?
EULALIA: How did you guess?
MR. MANN: (To the Chief Judge) May it please the court, I suggest that there is a prima facie case for trial of this defendant.
CHIEF JUDGE; (Standing up) At last. You may serve the Subpoena.
removes the white jacket of the hair dresser jacket and puts on the
Messenger Cap thus assuming his identity as Malachi the Messenger}
EULALIA: (To Malachi) Oh, it's so nice to have this turn out to be a family affair.
MALACHI: You have no idea how right you are!
CHIEF JUDGE: Put the handcuffs on her,
MISS MISS: Oh, is that really necessary?
CHIEF JUDGE: Yes, there are special reasons why we must strictly observe all the formalities.
MISS MISS: OK. And I'm so pleased that we have these special cuffs for you (takes out of box a pair of sparkling bracelets) I think these go very well with your outfit, don't you? (Puts the bracelets around Eulalia's wrists Snaps the clasps of the bracelets}
EULALIA: (Holding wrists up to admire bracelets) Yes, they are very becoming.
CHIEF JUDGE: Bring the defendant into the Chamber.
MISS MISS: You're lucky to have such a conscientious judge.
MALACHI: (Puts the Scroll into Eulalia's hand, presents his arm for support and leads her over to where the Chief Judge is standing)
EULALIA: Thank you, Malachi. You look so happy now that you're a messenger again.
CHIEF JUDGE: Come along now. (Spreads his arms wide to embrace her)