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Characters: STORYTELLER, BOBBIE, RALPHIE, RICO, WALT, MARGOT
(STORYTELLER is in place ready to go, but quickly notices that BOBBIE, RICO, and RALPHIE are nowhere to be found.)
STORYTELLER: Hmm . . . well, this is awkward. Where’re my bad guys? (then she pulls out her cell phone and makes a call) Hi, it’s me. Where’re my bad guys? Of course I’m serious! (pause) Okay, well, hurry up! (embarrassed, she puts her phone down and turns to the audience) Sorry, folks.
(Then BOBBIE and RICO enter from the rear of the auditorium and run to the stage.)
STORYTELLER: (rolls her eyes) Where’s Ralphie?
RICO: In the bathroom.
RALPHIE: I’m coming!
(RALPHIE runs down the aisle and joins BOBBIE and RICO in position outside the cabin door.)
STORYTELLER: How many times have I reminded you people to be on time?
RICO: Sorry . . . we were watching I Love Lucy and lost track of time.
STORYTELLER: I Love Lucy? Seriously?
BOBBIE: Okay. We’re ready.
STORYTELLER: (clears her throat, then begins) If you’ll remember from yesterday, Chapter 3 ended with Margot suddenly taking off on the dogsled and Walt chasing her from behind. Then our three treasure hunters, seizing the opportunity, came out of hiding and headed straight for the cabin. And now, our story continues with (as she opens her notebook and begins to read) CHAPTER 4, LOST AND FOUND.
(BOBBIE, RICO, and RALPHIE enter the cabin.)
RALPHIE: Ahhh! It’s so cozy and warm! (as he heads over to the fireplace and takes off his outerwear)
RICO: Yeah, baby . . . I could get used to this!
RALPHIE: I’m already used to it. (as his eyes are fixated on the giant fish over the fireplace) Wow! Look at that!
BOBBIE: Yeah, well, don’t get too comfortable. (as she begins to assemble the metal detector)
RALPHIE: Why’s that?
BOBBIE: ‘Cuz we won’t be here long.
RALPHIE: Why’s that? (as he pours himself a cup of coffee)
BOBBIE: (annoyed) ‘Cuz we have to work fast.
RALPHIE: Why’s that?
BOBBIE: (angry) ‘CUZ THEY COULD COME BACK ANY MINUTE!
RALPHIE: Why’s— (interrupted by BOBBIE)
BOBBIE: (interrupts RALPHIE) AND STOP SAYING, “WHY’S THAT”!
(RALPHIE walks discreetly over to the STORYTELLER.)
RALPHIE: (to STORYTELLER, discreetly) I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I really think Bobbie has anger issues.
STORYTELLER: Thanks, Ralphie. I’ll, uh . . . make a note of it.
(A short period of silence as RICO and RALPHIE watch BOBBIE work on the metal detector.)
RICO: This is so exciting. I’ve never searched for buried treasure before. Have you?
RALPHIE: Sure. Haven’t you ever gotten a box of Cracker Jacks?
RICO: I’m talkin’ about gold! Not plastic toys! (pause) Oh man! I feel like a kid in a candy shop!
BOBBIE: Calm down, Rico.
(Then RALPHIE notices Walt’s Bible and tries to read a verse from it.)
RALPHIE: Hey, look . . . a Bible. I used to have one of these.
BOBBIE: Well, good! Why don’t you read it and be quiet!
(RALPHIE reads the Bible silently for a few moments.)
RALPHIE: Uh . . . hey, guys . . . listen to this from Proverbs, (reading slowly) “How much better to get wisdom than gold.”
BOBBIE: Yeah, so what.
RALPHIE: Well . . . I was just thinking that maybe we should be searching for wisdom instead. I mean . . . that is what the Good Book says.
RICO: But we’re the bad guys in this story, remember?
RALPHIE: So . . . what does that have to do with it?
RICO: Bad guys don’t make good choices . . . like searching for wisdom.
RALPHIE: (to STORYTELLER) Is that true?
STORYTELLER: Yes, Ralphie, generally speaking, bad guys make bad choices and good guys make good choices.
RALPHIE: Hmm . . . can I be a good guy next time?
STORYTELLER: Perhaps . . . that is, if you’re a good bad guy this time.
RALPHIE: (confused) Huh?
STORYTELLER: Never mind. Let’s get back to the story, shall we?
BOBBIE: Okay, it’s ready. Who’s gonna keep watch?
RICO: Ralphie is.
RALPHIE: Why me?
BOBBIE: On second thought, two sets of eyes would be better. Both of you should stand guard. I can do this by myself.
RICO: (disappointed) Oh . . . are you sure?
BOBBIE: (firm) Quite sure. And no “bird calls!” If you see anything, come and get me.
RALPHIE: What if we hear something? Should we come and get you then, too?
(BOBBIE rolls her eyes as RICO elbows RALPHIE.)
(Then BOBBIE walks over to the STORYTELLER to have a “private” conversation. RALPHIE and RICO watch.)
BOBBIE: (to STORYTELLER) Uh . . . excuse me.
STORYTELLER: Yes? Is there a problem?
BOBBIE: Well, isn’t it obvious? (as she glances back at RALPHIE and RICO) . . . I mean, really . . . are these two “clowns” the best you could do??
STORYTELLER: All of our characters, including yourself, have been carefully developed to enhance the story for the enjoyment of our guests. (pause) But, uh . . . I’ll make a note of your complaint.
BOBBIE: Hmm . . . so, in other words, there’s nothing you can do.
(BOBBIE turns and walks back to the cabin.)
RICO: Were they talking about us?
RALPHIE: Yeah, I think they said we’re “the best they could do.”
RICO: Wow! So Boss must really be happy with us! C’mon, let’s go.
(RICO and RALPHIE exit the cabin as BOBBIE puts on headphones and starts to operate the metal detector.)
STORYTELLER: (reads) So, while Bobbie is hoping to find gold beneath the cabin floor, Rico and Ralphie stand guard . . . ready to sound the alarm at the softest sound or the slightest movement.
RICO: Okay . . . I’ll stay near the cabin. You go over there. (as he points to the far end of the stage)
(All is quiet for a few moments as they stand in their positions.)
RICO: (to RALPHIE) What did you say?
RALPHIE: Who? Me? I didn’t say anything.
(Another quiet moment. Then a rustling beaver sound [sfx] is heard.)
RICO: (uneasy) What was that?
RALPHIE: What was what?
RICO: (anxious) Uh . . . I think we should switch places. (as he walks toward RALPHIE)
RICO: Uh . . . I just think we should, that’s all.
(RICO and RALPHIE change places. Soon, another rustling beaver sound [sfx] is heard.)
RALPHIE: (concerned) What was that?
RICO: What was what?
(Then another rustling beaver sound [sfx] is heard and RALPHIE decides to take a look behind the cabin where the sound is coming from. Then he reacts in fright when he sees part of a brown furry animal. He quickly runs over to RICO.)
RICO: What? What is it?!
RALPHIE: (loud whisper) Shhhh!! Well, I just saw part of it, so I’m not sure, but I think it’s uh . . . it’s uh . . . uh . . .
RICO: (loud whisper) What??
RALPHIE: (can’t think) Oh, one of those . . . those big brown things!
RICO: (suddenly frightened) Big brown things? You mean a bear?! I knew it! Hurry! If it gets between us and the cabin, we’re gonners for sure! (RICO runs into the cabin and hides behind BOBBIE.)
BOBBIE: What’s wrong??!!
RICO: Ralphie saw a grizzly bear!
BOBBIE: A grizzly?! Where?!
RICO: Right behind the cabin!
(As RALPHIE enters the cabin, BOBBIE walks over to the window to see for herself.)
RICO: I can’t look!
BOBBIE: I don’t see anything.
RICO: Oh, it’s there all right. We could hear it! It’s probably 10 feet tall! Right, Ralphie?
RALPHIE: What’s 10 feet tall?
BOBBIE: (annoyed when she sees what it is) Oh, wait a minute. I do see something.
RICO: (terrified) Is it coming this way??
BOBBIE: Yes . . . but it’s not a bear, you goofball!!
RICO: It’s not??
BOBBIE: (angry) No!! It’s a uh . . . uh . . . oh, one of those big brown things!
STORYTELLER: (cups her hands around her mouth and shouts) A BEAVER!
RALPHIE: (happy) Beaver! That’s it!
RICO: What? (to RALPHIE) Why didn’t you tell me it was a beaver?!
RALPHIE: I couldn’t think of its name!
RICO: (to BOBBIE) So, did the metal detector pick up anything?
BOBBIE: (frustrated) No.
RICO: (surprised) What?
BOBBIE: I said “NO.” Do I need to spell it out for you?!
RALPHIE: No . . . Rico’s smart. He knows how to spell “no” . . . don’t you, Rico?
RICO: Maybe something’s wrong with it.
BOBBIE: Nothing’s wrong with the detector. There just isn’t any gold under the cabin, okay?
RALPHIE: Can I try it?
BOBBIE: (flat) Be my guest.
RALPHIE: (excited) Really?
BOBBIE: Just take it outside. I don’t want to look at the thing. (pause) I can’t believe it. I was so sure we’d find it . . . but somebody must have gotten here first.
RALPHIE: Maybe the hermit found it. (as he exits through the door with the metal detector and begins to check the area directly behind the cabin)
RICO: Hey, that’s it! Maybe the hermit found it! So we’ll just relieve him of it and then be on our way! I mean, after all . . . what does he need with a pile of gold way up here near the North Pole?
BOBBIE: Right. And that’s exactly why he probably doesn’t have it! If he did, he wouldn’t still be living in a shack in the woods.
RICO: Hmm . . . good point. I hadn’t thought of that. You know, boss, you’re pretty smart.
BOBBIE: Yeah . . . and that’s why I’m the boss and you’re not.
STORYTELLER: So things look pretty bleak right now for the treasure hunters. Is it possible that they’ve come all this way for nothing??
BOBBIE: What? We better not have come all this way for nothing, or you’re going to hear from my agent. That’s all I have to say!
STORYTELLER: Now, now . . . temper, temper. Let the story develop.
(RALPHIE returns with the metal detector.)
RALPHIE: (to STORYTELLER) I told you she had anger issues. (to BOBBIE) I don’t think this thing is working right.
RICO: Why do you say that?
RALPHIE: ‘Cuz when I was behind the cabin, it was making strange noises.
BOBBIE: Noises?! Let me see that! (as she grabs it from RALPHIE and exits the cabin)
(RALPHIE and RICO follow BOBBIE out the door but stay in view of the audience while BOBBIE goes behind the cabin. Then a metal detector [sfx] is heard.)
BOBBIE: (happy) Haha! I think we hit pay dirt, boys!
RICO: Yee Haw!!
RALPHIE: Did I do good, boss?
BOBBIE: Yes, Ralphie . . . FINALLY, you did good.
RICO: I hear dogs barking!
(Then the sound of dogs barking is heard as the dogsled returns [sfx].)
BOBBIE: C’mon! We gotta get out of here!
RICO: But what about the treasure?
BOBBIE: We’ll come back. But we need a plan first.
(BOBBIE, RICO and RALPHIE quickly grab their stuff and exit toward the rear of the auditorium.)
WALT: (from backstage) Whoa . . . Stop. Good dogs.
STORYTELLER: (reads) So the treasure hunters leave in a rush as brother and sister Wonder return from their little dogsled race.
(MARGOT and WALT enter the stage from behind the cabin.)
MARGOT: Well, now I have a taste of what the Iditarod is like.
WALT: Yeah, that was fun. Maybe next time we’ll get to have real dogs . . . instead of just sound effects.
STORYTELLER: Hey! That’s not in the script!
(Then WALT and MARGOT enter the cabin.)
MARGOT: You know, I can see why you like it here . . . but, do you ever get lonely?
WALT: Sometimes . . . but, it’s okay. I got lonely in the city, too.
MARGOT: Really? Hmm . . . I’m sorry I wasn’t a better sister to you. Actually, there’re lots of things I’m sorry about.
WALT: Can I ask you a question?
WALT: Okay . . . so you say you read the Bible, and now you’re a new person. What I want to know is how reading a book can make such a big difference?
MARGOT: Well, first of all, you have to understand that the Bible is God’s Word, so it isn’t like any other book. And second, I didn’t just read it . . . I believed it and then I obeyed it.
WALT: So . . . what did it say to do? Be nice to people, give money to charity, go to church . . . stuff like that, right?
MARGOT: Well, yes . . . and those are all good things, but that’s not all it said. And that’s not what changed me, either.
WALT: Okay, I’m listening.
MARGOT: Well, I’m sure it’s no surprise to you, but being the president of a large and successful company, I really thought that I had it all together. But then I read the Bible and found out that I really didn’t. Instead, I had a problem . . . a very serious problem.
WALT: Really! What was it?
MARGOT: Sin. I had sinned against a perfect and holy God. I had disobeyed Him and broken His law. And it would have been bad enough if I had only done it once, but I’ve done it over and over and over again.
WALT: But, nobody’s perfect.
MARGOT: Exactly, and that’s the problem. We’re ALL sinners—every one of us . . . and the penalty for sin—even one sin—is death and separation from God forever and ever.
WALT: And so we do good things to cancel out the bad. And that’s how we get to heaven, right?
MARGOT: Wrong. That’s what most people think, but that’s not the way it works at all . . . not even close. The fact is, there’s absolutely nothing we can do to save ourselves.
WALT: Well, if that’s true, then it sounds pretty hopeless.
MARGOT: And it would be hopeless, if God hadn’t made a way for us to be saved. But the good news is that He did!
(MARGOT opens the Bible and pretends to use Scripture verses to explain the gospel message to WALT.)
STORYTELLER: (reads) And so Margot opened the Scriptures and explained to her brother the rest of the gospel message—that because of God’s amazing love, He didn’t leave us in our hopeless condition but sent His Son, Jesus, to earth 2,000 years ago to pay the penalty that we deserved. He lived a perfect life, died on the Cross for our sins, and then rose from the grave three days later—just as He said He would. And so now, to receive God’s forgiveness, we must admit our need, turn away from our sins, and trust in Jesus—and ONLY Jesus—to save us. And when we do that, the Bible says that God washes away our sins and adopts us into His family forever! So, later that day, after a lengthy conversation, a wonderful thing happened. Walt became a believer in Jesus and joined his sister, Margot, in the family of God.
And that’s the end of Chapter 4. (as she closes her notebook) Make sure you’re here tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to our story.