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PRIDE COMES BEFORE A BRAWL



“Pride Comes Before A Brawl”  Episode H07/107

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[ACT I]

H:  “We must be close.  Come on, I’ll race you.  It’ll be good practice for tomorrow’s games.  Hey!  You’re going the wrong way?”

I:  “No!  You’re going the wrong way!”

H:  “I am not.  The sign says Thrace is this way.”

I:  “The sign is wrong!  Someone put it there to fool travellers!”

H:  “Iolaus-- look at the road.  It’s obvious everybody uses it.”

I:  “I can’t believe you don’t recognize a trap when you see one.”

H:  “You have to be joking.”

I:  “If you wanna walk into a trap any kid could see-- go ahead.  I’ll be waitin’ for ya in Thrace.”

H:  “You’ll be lucky to get there before the games are over.  I’ll be waiting for you.”

I:  “That’s a bet-- 100 dinars.”

H:  “You haven’t got a hundred dinars.”

I:  “I should worry.  You’re the one that’s gonna have to pay.

H:  “Fine.”

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I:  “Iolaus, this.  Iolaus, that.  He thinks that because he’s the son of a god, he can-- ah!  know everything!  Huh!  Always in his shadow.  Always-- always playing second lute to him.  People always thinking I’m his kid brother-- that doesn’t know how to look after himself.  [Yells]  Right road or wrong road-- I’m gonna be waitin’ for him in Thrace.”

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H:  “A ferry.  Iolaus!  Maybe the walk will burn off his bad mood.”

Ferry-Man:  “Morning, traveller.  Going to the games at Thrace?”

H:  “Yes.  Can you take me there?”

F-Man:  “I’m expecting a lot of trade for the games.  You’ll have to wait for the boat to fill.”

H:  “Ah-- I don’t have time to wait.  How much to go now?”

F-Man:  “A hundred dinars?”

H:  “I’ll swim.”

F-Man:  “I wouldn’t do that, traveller.  Place is infested with serpents.  Swallow you whole.  And piranha fish, too.  We had a traveller-- tried to swim it last year.  Yeah-- he was a big fellow like you.  They picked him clean in twenty seconds.  I lie-- ten-- clean to the bone.  And then there’s the snakes-- and reptiles-- giant eels.”

H:  “Looks like your boat is the only way.  Hmm-- did you put the sign at the fork to make sure you got plenty of trade?”

F-Man:  “No, traveller.  I put it there as a warning to strangers like yourself.  The other way is deadly dangerous.  None return who go that way, my friend.”

H:  “Don’t tell me-- more serpents.”

F-Man:  “Worse.  Ghouls-- fiends-- giant eels that suck ya down into the mud.  Writhing things-- wolves the size of horses, and-- satyrs.”

H:  “Maybe I could, uh-- borrow this boat.”

F-Man:  “Uh-- this boat won’t be ready to launch for a week.  I’ve hired ten men to haul it to the river.”

H:  “If I launch it for free, can I borrow it?”

F-Man:  “You won’t find ten men to work for free.”

H:  “Ah-- I don’t need to.”

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I:  “Uh-oh.  That way-- or that way?  Oh, great.  OK-- ah-- west-- is the night-side of south, so-- a traveller’s coin.  Yeah-- this must be the-- ohhhhhhh!  Oh-- hi, there.  Uh-- any of you guys know the way to Thrace?”

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I:  “Ah!”

Lydia:  “One of them dropped it.  They’re not monstuhs.  They’re men pretending to be monsters.”

I:  “Huh-- I knew I should have trusted my instincts.  I’m Iolaus.”

Lydia:  “Lydia.”

I:  “So, what are you doin’ here, Lydia?”

Lydia:  “Trying not to be scared.  I think they’re gonna kill me.”

I:  “Over my dead body.”

Lydia:  “You’re probably right.  They’re bound to kill us both.”

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Rankor:  “Is this all?!”

1st Man:  “He had nothing else, Rankor.”

Rankor:  “Then he won’t miss his life.  Kill him!”

Men:  “Give me that!”  “I want it!”  “It’s mine!”  “I said it’s mine!”

Rankor:  “Give me your arrows!  I decide who gets the spoils.  You’ll take what I tell you-- when I tell you!  And not before.”

Man:  “Yes, Rankor.  Sorry, Rankor.”

1st Man:  “What about the girl?”

Rankor:  “Kill her, too.  She’s seen who we are.  Give ‘em the usual treatment-- then throw ‘em on the road to Thrace.”

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I:  “Any idea who these guys are?”

Lydia:  “They’re bandits.  They’ve been terrorizing the road for months.”

I:  “Well, aren’t there any men who can band together and flush them out?”

Lydia:  “No-- they think they’re satuhs, so they’re too frightened to go into the woods.”

I:  “Ah.  These, uh-- bandits-- do they raid the town?”

Lydia:  “They don’t have to.  This is the only good road into Thrace.”

I:  “Then, this is the way to Thrace.”

Lydia:  “It used to be.”

I:  “Where does the other road go?”

Lydia:  “Dead ends at the river.”

I:  [Chuckles]

Lydia:  “What’s so funny?”

I:  “Come to think of it-- not a lot.”

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Man:  “Go back!  She’s mine!”

Other Man:  “I’ll handle her.”

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I:  “I don’t get it.  If the road is so dangerous, why did _you_ use it?”

Lydia:  “We heard that Hercules was coming to the town games so, I volunteered to go find him and ask him to help clear out the satuhs.”

I:  “You came alone?”

Lydia:  “Nobody’d go with me.  Well, somebody had to do it.  He was our only hope.  Besides, I’ve always wanted to meet him.”

I:  “Yeah.  Well-- don’t worry.  I’ll get us out of this mess-- without Hercules.”

Man:  “Ready for me, girl?”

I’s Voice:  “Take your dress off.”

Lydia’s Voice:  “Couldn’t that wait until _after_ you’ve rescued us?”

I’s Voice:  “Take it off.”

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Nemesis:  “Hello, Hercules.”

H:  “Nemesis-- I can’t believe it.”

Nemesis:  “Oh-- sure you can.  As I recall, there is nothing you can’t do.”

H:  “I thought I’d never see you again.”

Nemesis:  “It’s been what-- ten years?”

H:  “At least-- and then you just-- drop out of the clear-blue sky.”  [They laugh.]

Nemesis:  “I-- surprise a lot of people that way.”  [They laugh.]

H’s Voice:  “Put a call in for old-times’ sake.  Come on.”

Fisherman:  “Hmm?”

H’s Voice [Laughs]:  “It’s-- it’s just so good to see you.”
 
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Man:  “Come here!  Let’s see what that pretty smile tastes like before you die.”

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[ACT II]

Man:  “Come on, girl.  Show me what you’ve got!”

I:  “Anything you say-- handsome.”

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I:  “What do you want this stinking thing for?!”

Lydia:  “To prove to the townspeople that these are men pretending to be monstuhs!  Then maybe they’ll have the courage to-- chase them off.  Could I have my skirt, please?  You know, Hercules wouldn’t be lost.”

I:  “Yeah?  Well, don’t bet on it.  He doesn’t know everything.”

Lydia:  “And, how would you know?”

I:  “I just-- do.”

Lydia:  “Well-- who told you?!”

I:  “Nobody told me.  I know him.”

Lydia:  “You know him?!  Oh.”

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Lydia:  “I mean, personally.”

I:  “We travel in the same circles.”

Lydia:  “Well, what’s he like?”

I [Chuckles]:  “Big-- you know, uh-- tall-- shoulders like an ox?  Has the strength of ten men-- like that.”

Lydia:  “They say he’s got beautiful eyes.”

I:  “Well, sure.”

Lydia:  “Is it true that he spends his entire life just helping people?”

I:  “Oh, yeah, he’s very helpful.  He never _stops_ helping people.”

Lydia:  “Well, I don’t think you know him at all.”

I:  “It so happens, I’m his best friend.”

Lydia [Laughs]:  “You are not.”

I:  “I am to!”

Lydia:  “You can’t be!”

I:  “Why not?!”

Lydia:  “Nobody talks about their best friend that way.”

I:  “Nobody talks about their-- ”

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Rankor:  “They got away?!  Then we’ll hunt them.  And we’ll chase them and stick ‘em and roast ‘em like pigs before they die.  [Laughs]  Get the dogs!”

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I:  “They’ve got hunting dogs!  Quick-- roll in the mud with me.”

Lydia:  “Aw-- I don’t _think_ so!”

I:  “Listen to me-- if those dogs get our scent, we won’t stand a chance.  Now, do what I tell you, or we’ll be eaten alive.  It’s an old hunters’ trick.  An animal can smell a human from a mile away.  We’ve gotta get rid of our scent.  Do it!”

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I:  “Now-- stay perfectly still-- and don’t-- breathe.”

Lydia:  “But we’re out in the open.  They’ll see us.”

I:  “No, no, no, no-- they’ll be too busy, beating the bush, to look  in this direction.  Trust me.”

Lydia:  “That’s what all the boys say!  Aw-- you’re terrific!”

I:  “I know!”  [They laugh.]

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H:  “Remember how long it took me to get up the courage to kiss you for the first time?”

Nemesis [Laughs]:  “Yeah, you were ten, and it took about three seconds.”  [They laugh.]

H:  “Uh, yeah.  What have you been doing all these years?”

Nemesis:  “I work for the gods.”

H:  “And what do you do for them?”

Nemesis:  “I deliver divine justice.  Whenever some mortal gets too powerful, too arrogant-- whatever-- I-- drop on by and arrange his comeuppance.”  [Chuckles]

H:  “You ever get the wrong guy?”

Nemesis:  “How would I know?  I’m just doing my job-- kind of like you.  Are you still saving maidens and-- killing monsters?”

H:  “No, mostly I-- save people from the tyrants you work for.”

Nemesis:  “Looks to me like we’re both in the punishment business.”

H:  “There’s a difference.”

Nemesis:  “Hmm-- amaze me.”

H:  “I find out whether they deserve it, first.”

Nemesis:  “Oh, come off it, Hercules.  That’s a very convenient excuse.  You’re telling me you never make a mistake?”

H:  “Well, if I do, I don’t try to defend it.  What I do is for a purpose, not a career.  When did your sense of justice fly away, Nemesis?  Or did you just-- sell out?”

Nemesis:  “No-- I bought in.”

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I:  “Do you see anything you recognize?”

Lydia:  “Well, that looks familiar.  I’m not sure, but I think I’ve seen it from the river ferry.”

I:  “Ferry.  You mean there’s a ferry?”

Lydia:  “Sure.  People sometimes use it now to avoid the old road-- but it’s pretty expensive.”

I:  “Where does it start?”

Lydia:  “Oh, just back at the fork.  It’s only a few hundred yards from the sign.”

I:  “Oh, I don’t believe it.  He’ll be floating along like a prince.”

Lydia:  “Who?”

I:  “Nobody.  Come on, let’s see if we can make that hill before our imaginary monsters pick up our trail.”

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Lydia:  “Here, let me take the rope for a while.”

I:  “It’s all right.  I can manage.”

Lydia:  “If you can help me-- I can help you.”

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Rankor:  “Idiots!  He was right under your feet!”

Man:  “He’s clever, this one!”

Rankor:  “If he gets to town, and tells them that we’re men and not monsters, we’re in big trouble!  I want him killed!”

Men’s Voices:  “Yeah, OK.”  “Yes, sir.”  “Right.”

Man:  “They’re headed for the lake.”

Rankor:  “Ah-hah!  Not so clever!  He doesn’t know what’s waiting for him in there!

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Lydia:  “Oh-- not the water.”

I:  “It’s OK.  They’ve gone.”

Lydia:  [Screams]

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Rankor:  “Let’s go!”

Man’s Voice:  “Yeah, come on.”

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I:  “Get out of the lake, Lydia!  It’s all right, Lydia!  I can handle it!  It’s just a serpent!”

Lydia:  “How on Earth did you kill it?!”

I:  “I bit its eyes out.”

Lydia:  “Don’t tell me!”

I and Lydia:  “An old hunters’ trick!”  [They laugh.]

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Nemesis:  “So-- tell me about this friend you’re travelling with.”

H:  “He’s a great guy-- good company-- courageous, loyal-- fearless-- the best friend a man could have.”

Nemesis:  “So-- why did you split up?”  [Laughs]

H:  “He got angry at me this morning because I-- helped him out of a brawl.  Then we argued about which way to go to Thrace.  He got mad and-- bet a hundred dinars he could beat me there.  He has a lot of pride.”

Nemesis:  “Well, you know what they say?  ‘Pride comes before a fall.’”

H:  “Oh, he won’t fall.  He’s too smart for that.  But, not smart enough to win a hundred dinars.”

Nemesis:  “Ah.  [Laughs]  So, what’s his name?”

H:  “Iolaus.  What’s wrong?”

Nemesis:  “Iolaus is the name of the man I’ve come to kill.”

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[ACT III]

I:  “You’re sure Iolaus is the right target.”

Nemesis:  “Yes-- it’s him.”

H:  “But why?”

Nemesis:  “Pride.  Pride, arrogance, and ego.”

H:  “Among the gods, pride, arrogance, and ego are virtues.  What’s his punishment?”

Nemesis:  “The penalty is his life.”

H:  “What?!”

Nemesis:  “Hercules, it’s not my decision.”

H:  “Make it your decision!  Go back and say you couldn’t find him or something.”

Nemesis:  “I can’t.  It’s out of my hands.”

H:  “What are you talking about?  Nemesis!”

Nemesis:  “My job is to set things up so that the mortal brings retribution on himself.  ‘Pride comes before a fall.’  That’s what the brawl on the bridge was all about.  It’s too late.  It’s already started.”

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Lydia:  “What are our chances of getting away from them?”

I:  “We’ll make it.”

Lydia:  “I can take the truth.”

I:  “Lydia.  Lydia-- it’s OK.  I think we can beat them.”

Lydia:  “Nice try, Iolaus, but there are too many of them.”

I:  “Yeah-- well-- we’ll just pick ‘em off-- one by one.”

Lydia:  “What?  With two arrows?”

I:  “That’s all we’re gonna need.  Any fool can shoot arrows.  But a smart fighter uses cunning.”

Lydia:  “I think we should be running away.”

I:  “No!  That’s exactly what they want us to do.  Come on.  Give me a hand, Lydia.”

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Man:  “It’s his!”

Rankor:  “Spread out!  Ten dinars to whoever brings me his head!”

Man:  “Fifteen for the girl!  If she’s alive.”

Rankor:  “Let’s go!”

Man’s Voice:  “Let’s get going!”

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H:  “How is he supposed to die?”

Nemesis:  “I can’t tell you that.  Only the gods are allowed to know.”

H:  “The gods.  Iolaus is my friend, and so are you.  Bend the rules, Nemesis.  How is he supposed to die?”

Nemesis:  “By an arrow.”

H:  “Who ordered it?”

Nemesis:  “Mm-mmm.”

H:  “Fine-- just give me the parchment.  Give me-- the parchment.”

Nemesis [Laughs]:  “I never could say, ‘No’ to you.”

H:  “Hera.  She ordered you to kill my friend-- because she can’t kill me.  That’s the kind of tyrant you work for.”

Nemesis:  “Even you can’t defy the will of the gods, Hercules.  There is nothing you can do.”

H:  “That’s where you’re wrong.  Iolaus needs my help.”

Nemesis:  “No, Hercules.  Don’t you see?  Your help is the last thing he needs.”

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Lydia:  “Hello.”

I:  “Hey, buddy.”

Lydia:  “Oh, sorry!”

I:  “Next time, try harder.”

Lydia:  “Harduh-- right.”

I:  “Lookin’ for me?  Thanks, guys-- I missed this.”

Rankor:  “The broken bow was a trick!  To get us too close to use our bows!  I can play clever games, too!  Aim!”

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Lydia:  “Wow!  That was great!”

I:  “I couldn’t have done it without you!”

Rankor:  “Run, rabbits!  You’re going where your tricks won’t do you any good!”

I:  “Up there.  I can hold a whole army back from that cave.  Come on!”

Lydia:  “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

I:  “Come on, Lydia.”

Rankor:  “Easy, boys-- right where I want ‘em.”

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I:  “Your eyes’ll get used to the dark.”

Lydia:  “It’s not the dark I’m afraid of, Iolaus.”

I [Interrupts]:  “Wait here.”

Lydia:  “There’s something you oughtta know about this-- cave.”  [Screams]

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H:  “Iolaus.”

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I:  [Yells]

Lydia:  “I tried to tell you.”

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[ACT IV]

I [Yells]:  “I’ve killed a hydra before!  Of course-- then I had Hercules with me.”

Lydia:  “Don’t talk to it, Iolaus!  Chop it’s head off!”

I:  “I can’t do that; it’ll grow two more.”

Lydia:  “How can you ever win?!”

I:  “You just keep going till-- something clever occurs to you!”

Lydia:  “How did you beat it last time?!”

I:  “Fire!”

Lydia:  “I don’t see any fire.”

I:  “Yeah-- I noticed that.”

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H:  “An old hunters’ trick.”

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H:  “Which way did he go?  Looks like you haven’t lost your touch, Iolaus.  Excuse me.  Could you give me a hand with this?  Ooh-- that’s gotta hurt.”

Nemesis:  “That is as far as you go, Hercules.  You are _not_ a part of this.”

H:  “That’s my decision.”

Nemesis:  “Oh, no it isn’t.  For once, you cannot interfere with Iolaus’ destiny.”

H:  “Excuse me, will you?  I’m too busy to argue right now.”

Nemesis:  “Don’t turn around.  Wait for it; wait for it.  Now!”

H:  “Thanks.  We make a good team.”

Nemesis:  “We always did.”

H:  “I thought that you said working for the gods meant you could never interfere.”

Nemesis:  “Hmm-- so I freelance once in a while, OK?”

H:  “Mm-hmm.”

Nemesis:  “Mm-hmm.”

H:  “I gotta go.”

Nemesis:  “Oh, no you don’t.”

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Lydia’s Voice:  “I tried to tell you!”

I:  [Yells]

Lydia:  “Go away!  Oh!  Oh!”

I’s Voice:  “Lydia!”

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Nemesis’ Voice:  “Listen to me.”

Nemesis:  “You have to let Iolaus do this for himself.  If you help him now, he will go to his grave hating you.”

H:  “We always help each other.  When Iolaus helps me, I don’t end up hating him.”

Nemesis:  “You weren’t under sentence from the gods.”

H:  “Nemesis-- one way or another, I’m always under sentence from the gods.”

Nemesis:  “Not this one.”

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I’s Voice [Yells]:  “Lydia!  Lydia, what are you doing?!”

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H:  “I spend my life helping strangers!  I ca-- I can’t do less for my friend!”

Nemesis:  “That is the problem!  You gave Iolaus too _much_ help, and his injured pride walked him _right_ into this.  Now, he’s got to get him_self_ out of it.”

H:  “But, what if he can’t?”

Nemesis:  “He has to do it.”

H:  “Why?”

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I:  “What are you doing?!”

Lydia:  “I’m lighting you a fire!”

I [Laughs]:  “I don’t believe it!  You’re a genius!  How did you know how to do that?”

Lydia:  “From my father.”

I:  “How did he know?!”

Lydia:  “He was a hunter.  [Chuckles]”

I:  “This is gettin’ to be a very long day.  How long will the torch keep burning.”

Lydia:  “Not long.”

I:  “When it goes out-- you run for the entrance.”

Lydia:  “I won’t leave you.”

I:  “You will-- if you wanna keep us both alive.  Hey!  You!  Clown!  There’s no hydra in here!  I guess you’re gonna have to try and kill me yourself, huh?”

Rankor:  “With pleasure!”

[Fight]

I:  “Run, Lydia!  Come on!”

[Rankor screams]

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I:  “That guy sure is a slow learner!  You gonna keep your promise?  You said there’d be something for me if I rescued us.  Well-- I rescued us.”

Lydia:  “But, that was a joke.”

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Men:  “Look out.”  “OK, let her down.”  “There we go.”  “Come on.”  “There we go.”

Lydia:  “Titus!  Camilla.”

Craftsman’s Voice:  “Fine, crafted spears!”

H [Yawns]:  “I was wondering when you’d get here.  Did you get lost?”

I:  “No, I did not get lost.  How long have you been here?”

H:  “Mmm-- hours.”

I:  “How many, Hercules?”

H:  “Oh, about-- a hundred dinars’ worth.”  [Laughs]

Craftsman’s Voice:  “Only the best craftsmanship, here!”

I:  “Lydia-- this is-- my friend, Hercules.   Hercules, this is Lydia.”

H:  “Hello, Lydia.”

Lydia:  “I’m very pleased to meet you, Hercules.”

Craftsman’s Voice:  “Only ten dinars!”

Lydia:  “Your friend, Iolaus, and I have had quite a day.”

I:  “Yeah.  I saved her from-- a few dozen satyrs-- a hydra-- that’s why I’m late.”

Lydia:  “And an eel.”

I:  “Oh, yeah.  There was an eel, too.”

H:  “Really?  And how big was it?”

I:  “Oh, not much.  You know how eels are.”

H:  “Yeah-- sure.”

Lydia:  “Oh!  He was amazing!  I just wish you’d been there to see it, Hercules.”

I:  “No!  You’d have been in the way.”

H:   “I know.  I-I mean I-- know you can-- handle yourself.  See, there’s nobody else on Earth I’d rather face trouble with, Lydia.  He’s not only my friend-- he’s a great-- hunter-- a warrior, an archer.”

I:  “You really mean that?”

H:  “Sure.  I’d trust you with my life.  You know that.”

I:  “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

H:  “What’re you doing?”

I:  “Hey, uh-- may I?”

Man:  “Suit yourself.”

I:  “Thanks.”

H:  “Well, that’s very-- thoughtful of you.”

I [Chuckles]:  “Well, it isn’t for you.  It’s for me.”

H:  “Oh.”

Men’s Voices:  “Oh, he must be some shot, huh?”  “Yeah.”  “This, I’ve gotta see.”

Lydia:  “One-- two-- three-- four-- five-- six.”

Man’s Voice:  “Quickly, [Nace?]-- this way.”

Lydia:  “Seven-- eight-- nine-- ten.”

All:  “One!  Two!  Three!”  [Cheer]

H:  “Iolaus!  That’s a nice shot.”

Rankor:  “Get your hands off me!”

H:  “It was you.  Thanks, Nemesis-- from both of us.”

Nemesis:  “That’s OK.  Iolaus earned his reprieve.”  [Chuckles]

Lydia:  “This is the man who saved my life.”

Nemesis:  “Ah, it looks like he swallowed his pride.”

I’s Voice:  “All in a day’s work.”

Lydia’s Voice:  “He’s so modest.”

Nemesis:  “You were ready to let him shoot, weren’t you?”

H:  “I had to show him that I trusted him.”

Lydia:  “He fought men and monstuhs with no thought for himself.  He’s a true hero.”

Nemesis:  “He wasn’t going to shoot, Hercules.”

Lydia’s Voice:  “He’s just being modest.”

H:  “You knew that.”

Nemesis:  “Mmm.  It was enough for him to know that you were ready to let him.  He wouldn’t have risked hurting you.”

Lydia:  “And now, this noble warrior has unmasked the satuhs, and freed us to use our road again.”

H:  “What would you have done if his pride had made him take the shot?”

Nemesis:  “I’d have killed him.”

I:  “Who were you talking to?”

H:  “Uh-- nobody.”

I:  “I heard you talking.  Come on-- who was it?”

H:  “Iolaus-- my crazy, irreplaceable friend-- you don’t wanna know.”

Nemesis’ Voice:  “Bye, Hercules.”

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