A flash light laminates the year: It’s 1828. A bright light then falls over the enchanted stage and the play sets off from a shabby little local town known as Scintella. The town is made up of old colonial built buildings. It’s occupied by wooden market stalls, shops, and tidy metallic canteens. It has dwellers who are typical merchants and economic–stricken buyers. The road cutting through the seemingly ageless town is much dustier but not so wide. There is no distinction between animals and mankind since they both share and savor the same environment. The sun is quite hotter than expected by roadside sitters and beggars. Then, a boy appears from nowhere, staggering through the dusty road side, acting like as if he is injured or drunk. He walks to a complete stranger, a Local Cobbler, who is busy on his work, and engaged with an Old Woman and stands aside, pretending to be a customer, hearing the conversation of the two strangers though it is doubtful if he knows any dialect.
Local cobbler: This time round, as the years
Pass by, we will have something happening to
Old woman: (laughing)
Are you being a future foreteller?
Or you’re day dreaming?
You’re mending my sandal, don’t forget.
Local cobbler: I am not acting like that.
Besides, dreams and dreaming
Have never been tamed.
Old woman: That is your own theory.
Anyway, Scintellians are known
To be theoretical and dreamers.
Old Woman: So you think we’ll have a
Great upheaval, or something that
Will attract everyone’s attention?
Local cobbler: Yes, customer.
Old woman: If at all it ever be falls,
I will award you a gift.
The Local Cobbler has finished mending the Old Woman’s sandal, and hands it over to her. She wears it.
Old woman: Guess it won’t be expensive.
Local cobbler: Twenty five coins, customer.
The Old Woman reaches out into her coat. She pulls out a few coins which she counts. She pays the aforesaid amount and stands up to leave.
Old woman: Thank you.
As she walks away, she looks at the lone figure of the young lad who has been standing-by.
Old woman: Another customer for you.
She leaves moving towards the market center.
Local cobbler: (staring at the young lad)
What is your problem, please;
Can I help you?
The boy leaps forward. He stares at him humbly before handing him a paper, which he has in one of his hands. The boy is not dressed nicely at all. He looks a destitute!
Local cobbler: (receiving the letter)
Whose letter is it?
The boy only nods his head.
Local cobbler: (perturbed)
Am saying whose letter is it?
The boy fails to answer.
Local cobbler: (susceptible)
You can’t talk?
Are you dumb?
The boy shakes his head, to feel its “yes.”
Local cobbler: (concerned)
Where are you from?
The young lad turns his face towards somewhere. He points in that direction, to reply the query that he drew from that end. He again faces the Local Cobbler who looks at him patiently.
Local cobbler: You must have moved miles to get in here.
A Customer comes by with a loose pair of sandals in his hands. He wipes the sweat away from his face as he sits down on a little bench, next to the Local Cobbler, with his dirty hands. He is a factory worker, but having a break now. He greets the Local Cobbler, hands him his pair of sandals.
Customer: You better do it for me fast,
I have to walk back down.
Local cobbler: (receiving the sandal to mend it)
The Customer looks at the boy on the left of the Local Cobbler and studies him off.
Customer: Hula, young boy.
You look new and stranded in town.
Are you lost?
Local cobbler: You better don’t waste your saliva on him.
He won’t say anything to you.
Customer: (staring at the boy)
So why is here?
We Scintellians are great talkers.
We love someone who can talk.
Short of that, you have no place in this town.
Local cobbler: Just forgive the young lad.
A moment of silence sets in. The Local Cobbler is working faster to finish his customer’s sandal so that he returns earlier to his place of work. Meanwhile, an imitated lorry passing, with the sound of it in background, is accompanied by a group of women who walk through the town across the stage and, who are staring at the shabby town of Scintella and its habitants.
Those women look beautiful.
Local cobbler: But not better than those of our small town.
Customer: Of course. Every Scintella woman is more
Beautiful than the sunset.
The Local Cobbler has finally finished mending the loose sandals. He hands them over to the owner who first inspects if they are well repaired.
Customer: How much do you owe me?
Local cobbler: Forty five coins, customer.
Customer: Then how much has this cost?
But judge me fairly.
Local cobbler: It will cost thirty coins, customer.
Customer: I thought it would be twenty five or twenty.
Local cobbler: There is a change in all
The price tags around this town.
Customer: Yes, you’re right.
So now its seventy five coins.
Let me pay you thirty, and the rest will come by.
Then he gets out the thirty coins, which he counts properly. He hands over the money to the Local Cobbler who appreciates and then stands up. Before moving, he looks at the stranded boy. He waves goodbye to him and the boy also does the same.
Customer: (while strolling away)
Protect the young lad and teach him the ways of the
Old local town.
Local cobbler: I will customer.
The Customer finally walks away.
The Local Cobbler immediately gets the paper that he had been given; he notices that it’s addressed to the Captain of the Calvary Regiment, who is not within the reach of the local town.
Young Lad: (mumbling repeatedly)
I want to be a knight like my father was.
Local cobbler: (looking astonished)
You all along knew how to talk?
The boy nods his head, to show its “No.”
The Local Cobbler stares at him disbelievingly.
Local cobbler: (astonished)
A young boy, like you,
You want to be a knight?
You will die young, or else
Even fail to live up to our age.
See yourself, you’re ill looking.
You won’t be your best like your father was.
I doubt it. Have a seat.
He motions the young lad to seat down on the little bench with him. Keeping a keen eye on him then onto the paper, where he finally notices the boy’s name, in the extreme right upper corner, CASPAR AIDE.
Local cobbler: So, Caspar, a great name it is,
I have to take you to the Calvary
Regiment Offices. But, I feel I can’t.
The only thing I can do,
Is to lead you to our Local Police Post
And you get connected to the Calvary officer.
So, keep here, and I come back.
I have to leave a care-taker for
My tidy hand business as I escort
You to the local police post.
The Local Cobbler, who is a real stranger to young Caspar, gets up and walks across the dusty ugly road to a little shop opposite.
Shopkeeper: Can I help you, comrade?
Local cobbler: Oh yes! Yes.
To take care of my little business
Under that huge umbrella.
He points across the dusty ugly road.
Local cobbler: I am just tending the young
Lad you’ve seen close over there
To the Local Police Station.
Shopkeeper: (busy reading a local news article)
That is fifty coins.
Local cobbler: (puzzled looking)
What; that isn’t fair, mister!
Then try somewhere else.
Nothing is done for free nowadays,
You ought to know that.
Local cobbler: (seemingly speechless)
I don’t have that sum.
Shopkeeper: Then what do you have?
Local cobbler: I have only ten coins.
Look, am not even going
To delay where I am heading to.
The time I will spend there,
Won’t cost so much attention nor energy
To guarantee paying you fifty coins.
Shopkeeper: Make it twenty five okay.
Local cobbler: (running a hand through his hair)
I can only add ten coins
To make it twenty shillings.
Just do me a favor,
Then you receive that sum alone.
Local cobbler: (while reaching out for the twenty coins)
But if anything of mine goes
Missing, let’s agree, you’ll be liable.
He receives the twenty coins.
The Local Cobbler walks away from the shop.
He goes back to his usual corridor, close to a market store room. He picks up his identity card from an old sack which contains materials he uses for his work and customers’ shoes plus sandals. He fixes it into his dirty old pants.
Local cobbler: Let’s go to the police station.
Then you’ll get help from there.
We should keep time.
The Local Cobbler begins walking and Caspar, due to his feebleness and improper movements, as soon as he begins moving, he leaps to the dusty ground. He smells the unclean soil. The Local Cobbler rushes to his help upon noticing the young boy falling.
Local cobbler: (saddened)
It’s sickening that you even
Can’t walk by now! Are you still an infant?
Caspar fails to answer. He only stares at the Local Cobbler who wipes dust away from his face and his dirtied cloths using his handkerchief.
Local Cobbler: (helping Caspar to get to his feet)
It seems nobody nursed you
To help you learn how to walk!
That’s a lot of shame. So
How are we going to move then?
We will be laughed at
All through this gossip town.
But let me not care now.
I am to help you move,
Even if you have such difficulty. We will reach for
It is not far from here.
The Local Cobbler soon helps Caspar to move.