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The Plutocrats [1937]

Chorus — The Plutocrats

Chorus

The Plutocrats.

Bump, bump, bump along the highway. Etc.

These four take some time painfully emerging, singing the whole time.)

Bump, bump bump along the gangway Etc.

(By the time the four have emerged the song is completely finished and they have straightened their ruffled clothes. They stand looking round Oliver playing with his tie, and Stanley with his hair. As the two walk together round the room, the Laurel and Hardy entrance tune is played by a violin in the orchestra.

Vere de Vere. (His voice rough and uncultured, in contrast to his clothes and lordly air.) Phew - its damned hot. Just page break about we het to that drought we had in Aussie in '98, Do you know, during that drought I saw two trees chasing a dog.

Mr. Nemesis.

Names please? (He looks hurriedly through the pages of a large book.)

Stan Sausage.

I am Stanley Sausage.

Oliver Mask.

And I am Oliver Mash.

Mr. Nemesis.

O yes, I remember you Sausage and Mash, the celebrated radio entertainers.

Oliver Mash.

And this is the Reverend Scrounger - known to his intimates as Uncle Sacking, the friendly toad.

Mr. Nemesis.

And who is this? (Pointing to Vere de Vere.)

Vere de Vere.

(Proudly) I am Lord Vere de Vere.

Stan Sausage.

A gentleman of the old school tie.

Oliver Mash.

Have you a cigarette, young man?

Mr. Nemesis.

(Standing up) Certainly.

(He produces before their bewildered eyes four lighted ones from the air. The Plutocrats gape at them and smoke them suspiciously. Mr Nemesis goes through the motions of opening a case and putting a cigarette in his mouth. When his hands are removed he also is smoking a cigarette.)

Stan Sausage.

(Doing finger wiggle excitedly very awe struck) Can you - can you do that often?

Mr. Nemesis.

Why not.

Stan Sausage.

Can you do it with money?

(For answer Mr. Nemesis produces a shower of silver coins from the air.)

Oliver Mash.

Stanley our search is at end! Young man, our economical system was perfect except in one tiny detail, money. We had intended to print it, but if you will go in with us -.

Mr. Nemesis.

Money won't be much use to you in the Fiery Lake.

Stan Sausage.

Is - is that where we are going?

Mr. Nemesis.

If I choose.

Oliver Mash.

If you choose. (Amazed.) Then you are -

Mr. Nemesis.

(Drawing himsslf up to full height - the Plutocrats quail,) Yes I am Mr. Nemesis! I may be a little moth eaten, but I am still the ruler of Dulce Domum.

page break Vere de Vere.

Who is this Dulcie Domum, anyway?

Mr. Nemesis.

But with the rolling away of centuries, my satanical ardour has lessened, I have grown soft - hearted. A tiny flower will move me.

Vere de Vere.

Ever tried Epsom Salts?

Mr. Nemesis.

I used to hate the little devils, but now I find I can even bear children.

Vere de Vere.

Good heavens man, you ought to see a doctor.

Mr. Nemesis.

And if I want to swear - I find I have lost the art. If something drops on my toe, and I want to say - you know - all I can do is squeeze out a miserable bother.

Vere de Vere.

(Intensely sympathetic) That must be really terrible.

Stan Sausage.

(Cautiously) Do - do I surmise that you don't like your job?

Mr. Nemesis.

Your penetration is amazing.

Stan Sausage.

(Even more cautiously) I suppose - you are still determined - to emerse us in this fiery lake of yours.

Mr. Nemesis.

I'm afraid I'll have to. Why?

Stan Sausage.

(Casually) I just thought you might hand the Government over to us.

Mr. Nemesis.

(Horrified) No! It's absolutely unprecedented.

Rev. Scrounger.

(Benignly) There is no precedent for anything when its done for the first time.

Stan Sausage.

Listen - if you don't let us take over, things may be awkward for you. Do you realise that you're liable to a fine for keeping an alsatian unlicensed and unmuzzled?

Mr. Nemesis.

An Alsatian?

Oliver Mash.

He means that thing with all the heads at the doorway.

Mr. Nemesis.

Cerberus?

Stan Sausage.

Yes - it obviously has alsatian blood in it. Do you realize that you are disobeying the Health regulations by that placard above the door - "Abandon soap all ye that enter here"

Mr. Nemesis.

Its 'Hope' not 'saop'. Are you illiterate? page break must be soap from the condition of the witches we saw.

Mr. Nemeses.

Anyway, I'm not subject to your domination.

Oliver Mash.

That's where you're wrong, Upstaires we ruled over a large piece of land, Our dominion extends, as every lawyer knows, to the sky, (hodding his head) and to the middle of the earth.

Mr. Nemesis.

But you're dead.

Oliver Mash.

(Magnificently patting his stomach in a grandiloquent manner.) I am a corporation sole. And a corporation never dies.

Mr. Nemesis.

Well I suppose there's nothing for it. Its a bargain.

(The orchestra strikes up the Toreador chorus, and the Devil's Own march on left led by Messalina, Cleopatra, Madams Pompadour, Lucrexia Borgia, Helen Of Troy Calpurnia, Xanthippe. Each dressed in the appropriate costume of her period. They perform ab elegant but wicked ballet, singing the following chorus.)