mikado : 3 characters (young lovers and old man)
(Nanki-Poo embraces Yum-Yum. Enter Ko-Ko. Nanki-Poo releases Yum-Yum.)
KO. Go on--don't mind me.
NANK. I'm afraid we're distressing you.
KO. Never mind, I must get used to it. Only please do it by degrees. Begin by putting your arm round her waist. (Nanki-Poo does so.) There; let me get used to that first.
YUM. Oh, wouldn't you like to retire? It must pain you to see us so affectionate together!
KO. No, I must learn to bear it! Now oblige me by allowing her head to rest on your shoulder.
NANK. Like that? (He does so. Ko-Ko much affected.)
KO. I am much obliged to you. Now--kiss her! (He does so. Ko-Ko writhes with anguish.) Thank you--it's simple torture!
YUM. Come, come, bear up. After all, it's only for a month.
KO. No. It's no use deluding oneself with false hopes.
NANK. and YUM. What do you mean?
KO. (to Yum-Yum). My child--my poor child! (Aside.) How shall I break it to her? (Aloud.) My little bride that was to have been?
YUM. (delighted). Was to have been?
KO. Yes, you never can be mine!
NANK. and YUM. (simultaneously, in ecstacy) What!/I'm so glad!
KO. I've just ascertained that, by the Mikado's law, when a married man is beheaded his wife is buried alive.
NANK. and YUM. Buried alive!
KO. Buried alive. It's a most unpleasant death.
NANK. But whom did you get that from?
KO. Oh, from Pooh-Bah. He's my Solicitor.
YUM. But he may be mistaken!
KO. So I thought; so I consulted the Attorney General, the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, the Judge Ordinary, and the Lord Chancellor. They're all of the same opinion. Never knew such unanimity on a point of law in my life!
NANK. But stop a bit! This law has never been put in force.
KO. Not yet. You see, flirting is the only crime punishable with decapitation, and married men never flirt.
NANK. Of course, they don't. I quite forgot that! Well, I suppose I may take it that my dream of happiness is at an end!
YUM. Darling--I don't want to appear selfish, and I love you with all my heart--I don't suppose I shall ever love anybody else half as much--but when I agreed to marry you--my own--I had no idea--pet--that I should have to be buried alive in a month!
NANK. Nor I! It's the very first I've heard of it!
YUM. It--it makes a difference, doesn't it?
NANK. It does make a difference, of course.
YUM. You see--burial alive--it's such a stuffy death!
NANK. I call it a beast of a death.
YUM. You see my difficulty, don't you?
NANK. Yes, and I see my own. If I insist on your carrying out your promise, I doom you to a hideous death; if I release you, you marry Ko-Ko at once!
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