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Characters: STORYTELLER, WALT, MARGOT, BOBBIE, RICO, RALPHIE, DUSTY
STORYTELLER: Wow! It’s already our last day together. Can you believe it? It’s been so much fun, and I just want to thank you for being an amazing audience. (short pause) Well . . . I’m anxious to hear how the story ends, aren’t you? So, let’s get right to it. (as she opens her notebook and begins to read) OPERATION ARCTIC, CHAPTER 5, ANOTHER NEW BEGINNING. It’s been an amazing week at Walt’s place. He’s become a believer in Jesus, which is the best thing that could ever happen to a person. AND he’s getting along with his sister again, just like old times! But today is bittersweet. While they’re rejoicing because of Walt’s new life in Christ, their time together is quickly drawing to a close. Margot has to return home.
(While MARGOT packs the last couple things into her suitcase, WALT is deep in thought.)
MARGOT: When will Dusty be here?
MARGOT: What are you thinking about?
WALT: Well . . . I was just reading and then it occurred to me, that if you could get to heaven by just being a “good person,” then Jesus died for nothing! I mean . . . why would God send His Son to suffer through all that if there were another way?
MARGOT: I know . . . which is why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
WALT: And I realize that now, thankfully . . . but so many people don’t.
MARGOT: If they took the Bible more seriously, they might.
WALT: Yeah . . . it’s a shame we neglected it all these years.
MARGOT: I know . . . so we have to make up for lost time.
WALT: And I plan to. Just like Father, I’m going to read my Bible every day. And not just read it, I’m really going to explore it!
MARGOT: Good, because I was going to challenge you to do that—to not just read a few verses and then check it off your “to do” list . . . but really study it, think about it, memorize it, and, of course . . . obey it. ‘Cause when you do that, that’s when you’ll really begin to love it.
WALT: And that’s what I’m going to do.
MARGOT: Oh, and I’ve got a verse I want to show you. (as she grabs her Bible) I was reading in Psalm 119 this morning. Here it is, verse 162, “I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.” Think about that. Just like someone would celebrate like crazy if they found a treasure, like gold . . . in the same way, we should be rejoicing every day that we have God’s Word!
WALT: Hmm . . . now you’re getting me excited! I’m going to memorize that verse right now. (as he flips through his Bible)
STORYTELLER: (reads) While Walt and Margot are occupied with Psalm 119, the treasure hunters, having concocted a plan to seize the gold, suddenly show up at the door. (then she stops reading as BOBBIE, RICO, and RALPHIE are nowhere to be found AGAIN!) . . . I said, the treasure hunters, having concocted a plan, suddenly show up at the door . . . oh, no . . . not this again.
(Then RICO, RALPHIE, and BOBBIE enter the rear of the auditorium and run to the stage. RALPHIE is wearing a backpack and RICO is carrying a small shovel.)
BOBBIE: It was their fault.
STORYTELLER: Wait, don’t tell me, I Love Lucy?
RICO: No, Andy Griffith.
RALPHIE: Yeah, we love that show!
STORYTELLER: Okay, okay . . . now, it’s time to focus. You’re supposed to be at the cabin door.
(The BAD GUYS go to the cabin door. Then BOBBIE knocks, but WALT doesn’t hear it.)
WALT: Yeah? (without looking up from the Bible)
MARGOT: I think someone just knocked at the door.
WALT: What? That’s impossible. It was probably the wind.
MARGOT: Why do you say that?
WALT: Because there aren’t any people around here. This place is so isolated, even the animals get lonely.
(BOBBIE knocks on the door again.)
WALT: (startled) Someone just knocked at the door.
MARGOT: See . . . I thought so.
WALT: (concerned) Wonder who it could be? (as he quickly gets up and grabs a stick as a precaution)
MARGOT: Maybe it’s Dusty.
WALT: No. She wouldn’t be here yet. And besides, we didn’t hear a plane.
(BOBBIE knocks on the door a third time.)
WALT: Who’s there?
WALT: (to himself) Canoe? (to BOBBIE) Canoe who??
BOBBIE: Canoe please come to the door? I’m tired of knocking!
STORYTELLER: Go ahead, it’s okay.
(WALT opens the door.)
BOBBIE: Hello. We’re with the Permafrost Protection Agency, and we’re studying the effects that cabins such as yours are having on the permafrost. May we have a few minutes of your time?
WALT: Uh . . . sure. Would you like to come inside?
BOBBIE: Thank you. These are my assistants.
(BOBBIE, RICO, and RALPHIE enter the cabin. RICO leaves the shovel outside.)
RALPHIE: I want to see the giant fish again!
WALT: You’ve seen my fish?
BOBBIE: (panics) Uh . . . no! Of course he hasn’t seen your fish. I mean . . . how could he, right? Do you even have a fish?
RICO: No, you see . . . last night he dreamed about a big fish over a fireplace and just got mixed up. Isn’t that right, Ralphie?
RALPHIE: Yeah . . . that’s it. Exactly what he said.
MARGOT: Would you like some coffee or hot chocolate?
BOBBIE: Uh, no . . . that’s very kind of you, but we’re not thirsty.
RALPHIE: (disappointed) We’re not?
WALT: So, what can I do for you?
BOBBIE: (to WALT) Well, first of all, I’ve got a couple questions. (as she pulls out a notepad and pen) Did you build this cabin?
RALPHIE: All by yourself? Wow, I could never do that.
RICO: That’s for sure.
RALPHIE: Neither could you!
RICO: Yes, sir!
BOBBIE: Cut it out! (to WALT) And when you were building the foundation, did you uncover anything unusual . . . anything of value?
WALT: Well . . . I did find a few pieces of metal. They looked like they might have belonged to an airplane. But . . . that’s all.
BOBBIE: Are you sure that’s all you found?
WALT: Yes, I’m sure.
BOBBIE: (to herself) Hmm . . . very interesting. (to WALT) Now, we’d like to take some soil samples. You don’t mind, do you?
WALT: No, of course not. Take as much as you like.
BOBBIE: Excellent. Oh, I almost forgot, we found this on the ground behind your cabin. (as she hands part of a dog leash to WALT) Do you have a dog?
WALT: (quickly becomes concerned) Yes. Several of them.
RALPHIE: Not any more.
WALT: What?? How did that happen?? (as he runs out the door)
(WALT runs behind the cabin to check on his dogs.)
STORYTELLER: (read) Of course, our bad guys know exactly how—
BOBBIE: (to STORYTELLER as she cuts her off) Shhhh!!
STORYTELLER: What?? You can’t “shhhh” me! I’m the Storyteller!
(WALT runs back into the cabin.)
WALT: They’re all gone! I don’t know what happened, but I’ve got to find them! (as he quickly grabs his coat)
MARGOT: I’ll go with you! (as she grabs her coat)
BOBBIE: (fake, insincere) Oh dear. I hope everything is okay.
(While the BAD GUYS watch, WALT and MARGOT dash out of the cabin and exit toward the rear of the auditorium yelling dog names as they go—COMET! BLAZE! RACER! SNOWBALL!)
STORYTELLER: As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted—( reads) our bad guys know exactly how the dogs got loose. They cut their leashes, knowing they’d run away and hoping that brother and sister Wonder would go after them. And so they did.
RICO: Way to go, Boss. Your plan worked perfectly!
BOBBIE: Yeah, in spite of Ralphie’s fish blunder.
STORYTELLER: (reads) So now, the treasure hunters can try to claim their prize with no interference from anyone.
BOBBIE: Well, don’t just stand there! Grab the shovel and start digging!
RICO: Right, Boss.
(RALPHIE and RICO disappear behind the cabin. Then the sound of digging [sfx] is heard.)
RALPHIE: (complaining) This ground is hard! How deep do I have to go??
BOBBIE: Until you find the treasure! Keep digging!
(The sound of digging [sfx] resumes.)
RICO: It can’t be that deep. (pause) Wait! I think I see something!
(BOBBIE quickly joins them behind the cabin.)
BOBBIE: That’s it! Pull it out! . . . C’mon! Hurry up!
(Then they emerge from behind the cabin. RALPHIE drags a large suitcase to center stage.)
RALPHIE: Wheeeuuw! That is one heavy suitcase! Wonder what’s in it.
RICO: Gold bars, silly!
BOBBIE: Haha! Okay boys . . . get ready. Your life is about to change!
RICO: Yeah! We’re gonna be rich!
(BOBBIE opens the suitcase to find it full of Bibles.)
BOBBIE: (stunned) What’s this??! (then she digs through the books looking for gold)
RALPHIE: Wow! That was clever. They made the gold bars look like books.
RICO: No . . . they LOOK like books because they ARE books (as he holds one up) So, where’s the gold?
BOBBIE: (angry) That’s what I’d like to know! (as she turns to look at the STORYTELLER)
STORYTELLER: Hey . . . don’t look at me. I didn’t take it.
(Then WALT and MARGOT enter from the rear of the auditorium and proceed to the stage. RALPHIE sees them.)
RALPHIE: (loud whisper) Hey, they’re coming back.
BOBBIE: (to WALT, pretending concern) No dogs, huh? That’s too bad.
WALT: We’re going to have to gather a search party.
BOBBIE: Well, before you do that, you’ve got another problem to deal with.
WALT: What’s that?
BOBBIE: Our gold is missing.
WALT: What do you mean your gold is missing?
BOBBIE: There was a stash of gold buried behind your cabin, and I want to know what you did with it.
WALT: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
BOBBIE: Well, I think you do. Tie ‘em up, boys!
(RICO and RALPHIE search their backpacks for the rope.)
WALT: What? You can’t do that!
BOBBIE: Oh, yeah? Just watch! (then she notices RICO and RALPHIE looking for the rope) What’s wrong?
RICO: (sheepishly) Uh . . . Ralphie forgot the rope.
BOBBIE: (frustrated) Are you kidding me?
STORYTELLER: This has not been your day, has it, guys. First, you’re late for your cue and now this. (as she exits momentarily to get the rope)
RALPHIE: (to BOBBIE) Sorry.
(STORYTELLER quickly returns with the rope and throws it to RICO.)
STORYTELLER: (reads) So Rico and Ralphie begin to tie up Walt and Margot, but now things are about to get more complicated as the sound of a bush plane is heard overhead.
(The sound of a bush plane arrival [sfx] is heard.)
MARGOT: (to WALT) Dusty’s here!
WALT: You know, if I were you, I’d leave before you get yourselves in trouble.
RALPHIE: Really? Okay. C’mon, guys . . . we better go. (as he starts to leave)
BOBBIE: We’re not going anywhere until they give us the gold. You got that? Now, tie ‘em up!
RICO: But you said yourself they probably didn’t have it.
BOBBIE: Well, I’ve changed my mind. They took the gold out of that suitcase and replaced it with books.
RICO: Or maybe your uncle was wrong. Maybe the books were in there the whole time, and he just thought it was gold.
(Then DUSTY enters.)
DUSTY: Hey, what’s going on here?
WALT: Hi, Dusty. You’re just in time.
MARGOT: Yeah, they were just getting ready to tie us up. They think we took their gold.
WALT: Yeah, they dug up that suitcase behind my cabin expecting to find a stash of gold, but it was full of books instead.
DUSTY: Books, huh? Well, let me just say, no one is going to get tied up.
BOBBIE: Oh yeah? And why should we listen to you? You’re just a bush pilot.
DUSTY: No, I’m not just a bush pilot; I’m also an Alaska State Trooper. See? (as she holds up her badge) And that means I have all the authority I need to fly you over to the station and book you for, let’s see . . . property damage, harassment, unlawful restraint . . . anything else?
RALPHIE: You can probably add trespassing to the list.
RICO: (to RALPHIE) Would you be quiet!
DUSTY: So, what’s it gonna be? You know, I’d just love to use my shiny new handcuffs.
BOBBIE: (frustrated) C’mon, boys. It’s time to go home.
STORYTELLER: (reads) And so our treasure hunters, who traveled all the way to the Arctic Circle hoping to find their fortune, instead leave empty-handed.
BOBBIE: I knew that was going to happen. The bad guys always lose.
STORYTELLER: And so they should!
RALPHIE: That’s why I’m going to be a good guy next time!
RICO: No, you’re not!
RALPHIE: Yes, I am!
RICO: Nuh, uh!
RALPHIE: Am too!
BOBBIE: Would you stop!
RICO & RALPHIE: Sorry, boss. It won’t happen again.
(BOBBIE, RICO, and RALPHIE exit toward the rear of the auditorium.)
MARGOT: Well, that was interesting.
DUSTY: Yeah . . . and so is this! (as she takes one of the books from the suitcase) As it turns out, they found something worth far more than gold!
MARGOT: What do you mean?
DUSTY: Well, these aren’t just books . . . they’re Bibles.
WALT: Bibles! Really?
DUSTY: I’ll bet they were being smuggled.
STORYTELLER: (reads) What the treasure hunters dug up was a supply of Russian Bibles. The plane that went down all those years ago was part of a mission to sneak God’s Word into Communist Russia . . . and the Bibles were buried so the secret operation wouldn’t be discovered.
DUSTY: You see, years ago, in Russia, you couldn’t walk into a bookstore and buy a Bible. In fact, Bibles were illegal and to own one was a crime. So Christians had to rely on people risking their lives to sneak them into the country. Hmm . . . too bad these never reached their destination. People were counting on them.
WALT: Wow! I had no idea that kind of thing went on!
DUSTY: Oh, yes! And it still does. Maybe not in Russia anymore, but in plenty of other countries, like China and North Korea, where there’s a tremendous need for Bibles.
MARGOT: And to think we just let ours sit on the shelf for years gathering dust. Shame on us!
DUSTY: Yeah, I’ve even heard of whole churches not even having a whole Bible to share. But, you know, God is doing some amazing things to get His Word into those places.
STORYTELLER: (reads) And then Dusty shared a well-known story about a man named Brother Andrew attempting to sneak a whole carload of Bibles into a closed country. When he arrived at the border, he watched nervously as the guards meticulously inspected each car—taking everything out and opening everything up. He knew that if he were caught, he’d be arrested, so he prayed, “Lord, in Your Word, You made blind eyes see. Now, I’m praying that You’d make seeing eyes blind.” And God answered his prayer! When it was his turn, the guards didn’t even look inside his car but waived him on in less than 30 seconds when every other car had been held for at least 40 minutes each!
MARGOT: Wow! And there’re probably lots of stories like that.
DUSTY: Yes, there are.
(Then WALT suddenly returns to his cabin and starts packing his duffle bag.)
MARGOT: Walt? What are you doing?
WALT: I’m coming with you. I can’t justify living up here all by myself anymore. There’s too much to do. I need to get busy serving the One who saved me.
MARGOT: (excited) Really? C’mon, Dusty, let’s help him!
(As MARGOT and DUSTY begin helping WALT pack things up, the stage lights dim to signal the end of the story.)
STORYTELLER: (reads) And so both Walt and Margot left that day. After Margot returned to Wonder Crunch, the company began to print Scripture verses on all its cereal boxes and donate large sums of money for Bible translation. Walt went to work for a ministry that provides Bibles to persecuted believers around the world—even doing some Bible smuggling himself. The Bible’s impact on their lives was nothing short of remarkable. Now they’re doing everything they can to bless others with the Word of God.
Oh, and if you’re wondering whatever happened to Walt’s dogs. Dusty promised that she’d find every last one of them . . . and so she did. And now they’re all safe and sound at the home of a new owner.
And that’s the end of our story. (as she closes her notebook) We hope you’ve enjoyed our time together, but more importantly, we hope you’ve been challenged to trust God’s Word and treasure it like never before! THE END.