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“The Execution”  Episode 41/217

G:  “And hope was lost.  And that’s when Meleager appeared, and
crushed Damon’s troups.  Did I mention the part where

X:  “Single-handedly hauls a war-wagon full of Spartan javelins
over twenty leagues of rocky road?  Yeah!  The way you build him
up, his head must be in the clouds.”

G:  “It’s not as if I’m making it up.  He is a hero in the
truest sense of the word.  It  doesn’t bother you, does it?”

X:  “Oh, it doesn’t me.”

G:  “Well, you should hear me tell stories about you.  Then I
really get going.  You know, I wonder what he’s into here.  All
his message said was,  ‘Come quick.’  Excuse me; excuse me,

Man:  “Sorry, I can’t talk.  I gotta get to court.”

X:  “Let’s try in there.”

G:  “A tavern?  Xena, that is the last place we would find
Meleager.  I did mention his-- you know-- small drinking

X:  “Yes, but he conquered it just in time to save your

G:  “Yes, he did.  And think about how much strength that took.” 

X:  “It’s a hard habit to break.  I’ve seen men ruined by

G:  “Well, I don’t like to mention that part.  It’s kind of
personal-- even for Meleager the Mighty.”

Man’s voice:  “Meleager, huh?”

X:  “Excuse me, we’re looking for a friend.”

Assassin/aka Ass:  “Meleager’s your friend?”

G:  “He must be your friend, too.  I’m sure you make toasts to
him all the time, right?”

Ass:  “Toast this!”

G:  “Wait!  Wait!  I said we’re _friends_ of Meleager!”

X:  “I think they’ve got that, Gabrielle!  [They fight]  Nice
friendly little town.”

Ass:  “If you’re here because of Meleager, you’re too late!”

X:  “Late?”

X:  “Late for what?”


X:  “Why do I get the feeling that’s Meleager?”

Mel:  “Gabrielle, I knew you’d come-- Of course, I could’ve used
you before the verdict came in.”

G:  “Wait a minute.  This is a terrible misunderstanding-- Sir?
Your Honor?”

Arbus:  “The name is Arbus, Judge Arbus.”

X:  “Arbus?  I’ve heard of you.  You’re known as a just and fair

Arbus:  “Thank you-- And who are you to the prisoner, young

G:  “A friend-- Whatever he did, I’m sure he didn’t do it.”

Mel:  “Mmmm.”

G:  “Consider this!  When we doubt that heroes exist in this
world, who do the optimists name?  Hercules, Meleager.  This is
a legend in his own time.  The man who slew 100 warriors at the
evil Doll’s Can [I know this isn’t right, but it sure sounds
that way] -- 3 hundred and 17 at the rogue Ligurias.”

Mel:  “Actually, it was, uh, Ligurias that had the 100, all in
the course of, uh, defending innocent lives-- naturally.”

G:  “The point being that this is a very good man-- and a hero.
And I, for one, would swear by him.”

Arbus:  “A very moving testament, young lady.  But I cannot
allow justice to be swayed by the heart.  The prisoner has been
found guilty of cold-blooded murder; the sentence to be carried
out in one turn of the sand glass.  And the sentence-- is



First man’s voice:  “Check the gates.”

Second man’s voice:  “... the noose.”

Third man’s voice:  “Secure the roap!”


G:  “It couldn’t have been a fair trial.  If there had been any
real discussion--”

Mel:  “There’s only one real discussion-- Whether to hang me,
behead me, or tear me limb from limb in the public square.  They
didn’t have a blade big enough; the square wasn’t wide enough;
so hanging wins.  Lucky me.”

G:  “Don’t even think it.  You’re innocent, right?”

Mel:  “Of course I’m innocent, Gabrielle.”

G:  “This trial was fixed.  You heard him; he’s innocent.”

Mel:  “Apparently, your friend doesn’t know me at all.”

X:  “No, but I know Gabrielle.  And even judges make mistakes.
So tell us what happened.  Who got killed?”

Mel:  “Some guy I never even met before, by the name of Kalaman.
It was last winter.  I had already left town when it happened.
I mean, I wasn’t even here at the time.  I passed through again
recently; Arbus had me arrested.  Suddenly, I’m center stage at
an inquisition!”

G:  “This Arbus sounds like the ‘hang him first, ask questions
later’ type.”

X:  “Not from what I’ve heard.  Arbus tried Volkur the Vicious.
The people just wanted to tear him apart, but Arbus insisted on
a fair trial with lawful evidence.  From what I’ve hear, he’s
not someone who rushes to judgment.”

G:  “Maybe-- You know how things get distorted, blown out of
proportion.  What happened to Vulkur-- acquittal?”

X:  “I’ll go talk to Arbus.”

Mel:  “Yeah, you do that.”

X:  “So, what have you been doing with yourself?”

Mel:  “Oh, this and that-- Saving villages; defending the
helpless; getting convicted of murder.”


Salesman:  “Meleager’s murder weapon-- right here!  An actual
reproduction of the possible murder weapon, that was never
found!  Here you go, little lady-- the perfect souvenir for the

X:  “I’m not a little lady.”

Salesman:  “Oh, point taken, point taken.  But these, um, these,
um, weapons and wooden toys-- they’re but a great keepsake!”
[Not sure of this line]

Rena:  “Hey, move it down!”

Man:  “Hey!”

Rena:  “I’m not missing this.  A lovely day for an execution,
don’t you think?”

Man:  “If you wanted a front-row seat, you should’ve gotten here

Rena:  “Oh, yeah?”

Man:  “Yeah!”

Rena:  “The execution of Meleager is for everyone, not just you
early-birds!  I come when I want.  Now hush!  I got knitting to

Arbus:  “Quiet!”

Man:  “We’ve been waiting--!”

Arbus:  “I said, ‘Quiet!’  Now, listen to me, and listen good.
This is an execution, not a public spectacle!  A man is going to
_die_ here today!  And I will not have that _cheapened_ by this
kind of behavior!  Any _more_ of this!-- the execution will take
place behind locked doors!”

X:  “Some people have some pretty sick ideas of entertainment.”

Arbus:  “Sadly, that can’t be helped.  It has nothing to do with
the reason I ordered this.   If justice is to mean anything, the
people must see it in action.”

X:  “I missed the trial, but I have heard of Meleager’s
reputation.  He’s not known as a murderer.  Mistakes get made.
I’m sure even someone as respected as you can agree that.”

Arbus:  “You know _my_ reputation as well, then.  Just as I know
yours, Xena.”

X:  “I guess formal introductions are out.”

Arbus:  “I’d heard you’d changed your ways, looking to amend
your past.  All well and good; but I could still call you to
judgment for past crimes.  But not without proper evidence and
witnesses--  That’s the law.”

X:  “Which brings us back to Meleager-- A man with no past
crimes against his name.”

Arbus:  “One is all it takes.  Believe me, the eye-witness
testimony was compelling.”

X:  “Someone saw him do it?”

Arbus:  “Rena, come here.  Tell her what you saw that night.”

Rena:  “Well, it was late.  Our mare was near giving birth, dear
thing.  And I was hurrying towards the stable and--”



Rena:  “I saw it in his hand-- It was covered in blood.  I’m
sorry another man’s gonna die, but that’s what I saw.  I gotta
get back to my seat, if that’s OK?”

Arbus:  “You told the truth , Rena.  You can be proud-- Go now.
Sometimes, the truth can be a heavy burden.”

X:  “Yes, it can.”

G:  “Xena, I know what we have to do.  Now, Meleager was camping
with a guy when the murder happened.  He’s some hermit.  He has
one eye.”

X:  “Meleager’s eye-witness is a Cyclops?”

G”  “He’s not a Cyclops; he’s just a one-eyed guy.  It can’t-”

X:  “Sounds like a wild goose chase.”

G:  “What?”

X:  “Maybe you should think about spending the time between now
and tomorrow with Meleager.”

G:  “You think he’s guilty?”

X:  “I don’t think he’s being completely honest with you.
Gabrielle, Gabrielle, Ga--”


G:  “Hello, it’s me again.”

Sold:  “What’s in the cart?  Your Warrior Princess friend?”

G:  “This is Meleager’s last meal.  Do you think it’s enough?”

Mel:  “Oh, Mmmm!  Smells like I’ve died and gone to Elysia
already-- Uh, bring it here!”

Sold:  “Wait!  Boys, it’s our job to sample everything.
.a-ha-ha-ha.  What do you know?  Something to wash it all down.”

Mel:  “You brought me wine?”

G:  “I had a feeling it would never touch those lips.”

Sold:  “What goes with lamb?  White or red?”  [Laughs]

Mel:  “It’s bad enough that I’m gonna die, but my last meal’s
disappearing before my eyes.”

G:  “Just hang in there-- Oh, sorry.”


G:  “A little [?word] kabob, chicken schwarma, in just the right
mix.  You add a little wine--”

Mel:  “Puts ‘em out every time.”

G:  “Go!  You find that one-eyed man and clear yourself.”

Mel:  “Gabrielle, you’re gonna have to leave town.  These guys
are _not_ gonna be happy.”

G:  “Don’t worry about me-- Go!”


Voice of G:  “Let me go!”


G:  “Let me go!  Get your hands off me!”

[Xena whistles]

G:  “Quit pulling me!”

X:  “Let her go!  Get back!  Get back!”

Arbus:  “Enough!  Enough!”  There will be no lynching here!”

G:  “Meleager is innocent!  He’s gone to find someone who’ll
prove it!”

Arbus:  “He had every chance to prove it, young lady!  Now, I
intend to hold you responsible for his escape!”

X:  “I’ll bring him back.”

G:  “No, Xena!”

X:  “But, she comes with me!”

Ass:  “She let him go!”

Arbus:  “Very well!  I’ll trust you, Xena.  But even I can’t
hold this town back forever.  I’ll have to send men out if you
don’t return!”

X:  “Go!  Go!”


X:  “He’s headed north-- that makes sense.  The Gauls won’t care
what his crimes are.”

G:  “Xena, you’ve got to give him a chance.  Please, I’m begging

X:  “Don’t make this more difficult than it already is.  I don’t
_wanna_ bring him back, but I have to!”

G:  “He is an innocent man.”

X:  “You don’t know that!  I do have some questions I wanna ask
Arbus, but first things first, and that means getting Meleager
back.  His running won’t help his case any.”

G:  “Neither will his hanging.”

G:  “Meleager, run!  Into the woods!  Hurry!  No!  You’re gonna
have to go through me to get to him!”


X:  “Don’t do this, Gabrielle.”

G:  “Let’s just walk away.  We never even came to this part of
the country.”

X:  “If Meleager is guilty, and I let him escape justice--”

G:  “He is not guilty!”


G:  “Meleager!”

X:  “Give it up, Meleager!”

G:  “Xena!  No!  Run, Meleager!  Run!”

X:  “I’m closing in on you, Meleager!”

Mel:  “I’ll not use a sword on you, Xena.  But I can’t let you
stop me.”

X:  “Well, I can’t let you get away.”

G:  “Xena!”

[Meleager and Xena fight]

G:  “Xena!”
Mel:  “You are so good!  As good as I was once.  But you can’t
stack youth and ambition against age and experience.”

X:  “Oh, I have experience, too.”

G:  “Xena!”

Mel:  “I’m not going back.”

X:  “Well, if not, it’s Gabrielle who’ll pay.  Arbus will hound
her forever for freeing you.  Is that what you want?”

G:  “No!  I won’t let you do this.”

Mel:  “Gabrielle.”

G:  “She’s not taking you anywhere.”

Mel:  “Gabrielle, listen.”

G:  “If I have to go in your place, I will.”

Mel:  “Gabrielle, stop!  Stop it!  There _is_ no one-eyed man.
I ran because I’m guilty.  I killed that man, just as they said.
Everything’s a blur-- I can’t remember details because I was--
drunk at the time.”

G:  “Drunk?”

Mel:  “He must have thought I was trying to rob him.
[FLASHBACK]  He came at me.  After I saw the lady, I ran.  I
held onto the sword-- I didn’t even drop it.  You can take me
back.  I won’t give you any more touble.”

X:  “It’s late.  We’ll camp here and head back in the morning.”

Mel:  “I didn’t want you to know I started drinking again.  I
thought I could handle just one.  Then it was another and
another.  I thought I--”


Mel:  “Xena, you tell Gabrielle I’m sorry.”

X:  “You should tell her yourself.”

Mel:  “I tried, but she never wants to hear from me again.  I
can’t blame her.  I really screwed up when I lied to her.”

X:  “Which lie?  The one about the drinking, or the one about
the killing?”

Mel:  “I deserve that.  But I betrayed her faith and turned her
against you-- her best friend.  Hanging’s too good for me.”

X:  “Out of curiosity, how did those simple villagers catch you
anyway?  Were you drunk then?”

Mel:  “No, I haven’t touched a drop since that night.  No, to
fight my way free, I would have hurt some innocent people.  They
were only doing what they thought was right.”


X:  “Argo’s fed, watered, and so brushed she shines.”

G:  “I’m keeping busy.”

X:  “Keeping away from Meleager, you mean.  He needs a friend
now more than ever.”

G:  “Friends don’t lie.  You were right; he wasn’t being honest.
I’m sorry for not believing you.”

X:  “That’s not an issue.  You and I have plenty of time to talk
about it, but Meleager’s not that lucky.  Besides, I can’t help
wandering if you’re more angry at him or yourself.  You put
people on a pedestal.  Sooner or later, they’re gonna fall, and
your expectations fall with them.”

G:  “I put people on a pedestal?”  

X:  “Meleager’s made his mistakes-- drunk and sober.  Tomorrow
he might have to pay for one-- at least talk to him.  If you
don’t, you’ll regret it.  You don’t deserve that guilt.”


X:  “Meleager, when you saw Kalaman get off his horse, did he
look all right?”

Mel:  “Yeah, I guess so, I don’t know.  It’s hard to remember.
But, I think he stumbled a bit.  But if you’re asking me whether
he fell on his sword, I wish I could say yes.  That witness
wasn’t wrong about what she saw.”

G:  “But, she didn’t actually see you kill Kalaman.”

Mel:  “The bloody sword was in my hand, so, I would say that
_was_ the tipoff.”

X:  “Well, someone told me it was never found;  what happened to

Mel:  “Next morning, I woke up in a cave with it beside me.  I
don’t know why I held onto it. It was a clumsy skull-encrusted

X:  “Kalaman was a big man, burly-- Butt-ugly in a good light?”

Mel:  “Yeah, you knew the guy?  Whoa!  Nice catch!”

X:  “Gabrielle, get down!”

Mel:  “Second round!”

X:  “Meleager, don’t move!  You dropped these!”

Man:  “Let me go!  I’m supposed to bring Meleager in!”

G:  “Dead or alive?”

Mel:  “More dead than alive, apparently?  Long arm of the law, I
take it?”

Man:  “An execution’s an execution, whether it takes place here
or in town!  I’m within my rights!”

X:  “You tell Arbus that I said _I_ would bring Meleager in.
Let’s go.”

Mel:  “Excuse me if I have mixed feelings at the moment, but,
you just saved me from an execution to take me back for my

X:  “I’m not taking you back-- not yet.”

G:  “Where are we going?”

X:  “Meleager’s cave.”

G:  “Why?”

X:  “I wanna see that sword.”


Mel:  “There it is-- right where I left it.”

G:  “Xena, if you bring it back, it’ll be more evidence against

X:  “No it won’t.  Because now I know you’re innocent.  You
didn’t kill that man.  I did.”



X:  “It was last winter when Gabrielle was at the Athens
Academy.  On the road outside Quellmire [not right],
[FLASHBACK], I saw this Kalaman attacking an unarmed man.  We
fought.  When it was all over, he’d taken his own sword right
through his chest.  His horse must have headed instinctively
back to the stable, where Meleager and the witness lady crossed
paths with him.  I was at the stable earlier, and I noticed some
dried blood on a saddle, but I _didn’t_ think anything about it
until you told your story.  Nobody could have suspected that he
was already dying at my hand.”

Mel:  “Gabrielle, I wasn’t lying; at least I didn’t know I
wasn’t lying.  I _am_ innocent.”

G:  “How are we going to prove this to Judge Arbus?”

X:  “The little guy that Kalaman was trying to kill could prove
it.  He was scared witless and kept raving about some more
assassins coming after him.”

Mel:  “Why would he be a target?”

X:  “Ah, he wouldn’t say.  I told him about a hiding place my
men used to use.”

Mel:  “You think he’s still there?”

X:  “There’s one way to find out.  You two stay here.  Once I
have him, I’ll bring him back to Arbus.”


Arbus:  “I thought Xena was a woman of her word.  Now, it looks
as though she’s siding with Meleager.”

Man:  “I tried!  But she’s just too, too, Xena!”

Ex:  “I believe someone here sent for me.”

Arbus:  “Ah, the executioner.  Welcome, welcome.  There’s been
ay, uh, a slight delay.  So, there’s no point in getting ready
just yet.  Why don’t you go change into some comfortable
clothes?  I’ll-- call for you when we’re ready.”

Ex:  “These are my comfortable clothes.  I’ll be at the inn.”

Arbus:  “Gather the men.  This time, I’ll lead them myself.  I
will make sure that justice is carried out.”


Man:  “This is where they left me.  This is the place.  There’s
the rope I told you about.”

Arbus:  “This way!”


Scared man:  “Go away!”

X:  “I’m not going to hurt you.  Remember me?  I saved you from
that assassin.”

Scared man:  “How do I know you haven’t taken the job for

X:  “‘Cause if I had, you’d already be dead.  I see you’ve made
yourself quite at home.”

Scared man:  “No choice.  I figure I’m safer here.  That man
must think I’m dead, still.  And that’s why he didn’t send
another assassin.”

X:  “Who?  Who thinks you’re--”

Scared man:  “Who?!  The power-hungry hypocrite who pretends
he’s a man of justice.  But I know the truth.”

X:  “Judge Arbus?”

Scared man:  “Judge Arbus-- Builds his career on the Volkur
case.  But here’s the kicker.  It wasn’t Volkur.  Arbus executed
an innocent man-- and he knew it-- all for his reputation.”


G:  “Don’t go outside.  When Xena says to stay put, she means
right where she left us.”

Mel:  “I don’t think anyone saw me.  As long as you’re scribing,
I’d like to dictate my last will and testament.”

G:  “Don’t be silly.”

Mel:  “I’m not being silly-- Do it; write it.  These are my
belongings.  Everything in the world I own is in here-- mostly
just trinkets given to me by villagers for saving their lives.
Small things-- hah-hah.”

G:  “It doesn’t matter how valuable they are, as long as it’s
priceless to you.  Besides, you wouldn’t have carried it all
around with you.”

Mel:  “You’re right-- They are priceless to me.  OK.  I,
Meleager the Mighty, bequeath all these, my worldy--”

G:  “Slow down.”

Mel:  “Priceless possessions to my family-- To you.  You’re the
closest thing to a daughter I’ve ever known, Gabrielle.  Anyway,
just write it down.  Good,  that’s done.  Did you hear
something?  Nah, that couldn’t be Xena already”.



X:  “Meleager, Gabrielle?”

Scared man:  “Whoa!  Someone had a heck of a party in here!”

X:  “Arbus-- He’s got them.”


Woman’s voice:  “How much longer?”

Man’s voice:  “Over here!”


X:  “Come on, we don’t have time.”  

Scared man:  “No, no-- No way!  I’m not going back.”

X:  “Well, if you don’t, some innocent people are going to die!”

Scared man:  “I thought you were taking me to Athens, or
someplace to testify.  But you’re going back there!  No way.
Arbus owns that town.  Arbus _is_ that town.”


G:  “Postpone the execution.  Xena is on her way here with proof
that Meleager didn’t do it!”

Arbus:  “I’m sorry.  He was found guilty, and the people demand

G:  “This isn’t about justice.  If it were, you would wait.”

Arbus:  “Say your goodbyes.  You don’t have much time.  Post
archers on every gate and parapet.  If Xena show, kill her!”

Ass:  “You heard Judge Arbus, come on!”

G:  “Xena _will_ get here, you’ll see.”

Mel:  “Arbus will hang us both.  It’s best she doesn’t get here.
Look, Gabrielle, when the time comes, don’t look outside.”

G:  “I have to.  I want you to look at me.  I want the last face
that you to see in this world to be a friend.”

Sold:  “If you give us any more trouble, we’ll settle this now.”

Mel:  “I wouldn’t give you the satisfaction.”

Sold:  “Let’s go!”

G:  “No!”


Woman’s voice:  “There he is!”

Woman’s voice:  “Make him pay!”

Woman’s voice:  “You deserve it!”

Man’s voice:  “Executioner!  It’s time!”


Arbus:  “Clear the gate.”

Ass:  “The gate is clear.”


Ass:  “What about Xena and the girl?”

Arbus:  “Tell the archers to stay at their posts.  We’ll try the
girl for setting Meleager free in the morning.  Go now.  Cause
of death:  Justice.”

Mel:  “Is that what you said about Volkur the Vicious?”

Arbus:  “Who’s there?  Who’s there?  You’re dead!  You’ve
crossed to the other side!”

Mel:  “The guilty can never escape the dead, Arbus.  This will
never end for you, unless you confess you killed an innocent

Arbus:  “I don’t care how many innocent people die.  If I pass
judgment, that makes it right!  You, do your job, kill him!”

X:  “I never did the first time.”

Arbus:  “I don’t understand.  I saw him hanged.  I saw the
executioner do it!”

X:  “Don’t believe everything you see.”

[Flashback]  Arbus:  “Clear the gate.”

Ass:  “The gate is clear.”

X:  “Fortunately, Meleager catches on quick.”

Mel:  “Not that quick-- Rope burn.”

X:  “Oh.”

Arbus:  “I gave you all what you wanted-- law and order!
Without me, you are sheep!  All of you!  Lawlessness will rein!

X:  “Come now, Judge Arbus.  For your last official act, you’re
gonna pardon a friend of ours.”


X:  “Gabrielle.”

G:  “You’re too late.”

Mel:  “For what, what did I miss?”

G:  “You’re alive!  You made me think you were dead!”

Mel:  “Well, I practically was.  Xena, that  was close.” 

X:  “Yeah, well I’m sorry.  We had no time to warn you,


Mel:  “See you guys.”

G:  “Bye, Meleager.  When I’m that age, I hope I’m knitting

X:  “Ah, don’t worry about it.  People in our line of work never
get to be that age.”

G:  “That’s a comforting thought.”

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