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“Solstice Carol”  Episode 33/209

Silvus [Sil]:  “On the charge of evading your taxes, I find you
both guilty!  And I sentence you to ten years hard labor.  If
you won’t pay what you owe, then, by Hades, you’ll work it off!
As to the charge of celebrating the Winter Solstice, I find you
guilty of singing carols and decorating a tree-- twelve more
months!  Take ‘em away.”

Sold1:  “Yes, sire.  You heard King Silvus.  Remove the

Sold2:  “Ahh, to the poor house with you-- move it.”

Old man:  “But we’re too old to live in a poorhouse.”

Sold2:  “Then you’ll die there.”

Sil:  “Senticles.”

Senticles [Sent]:  “Yes, your Majesty.”

Sil:  “Have you prepared the eviction lists for today?”

Sent:  “Today?  But, sire, today is, sol--”

Sil:  “Yes?”

Sent:  “Today is so-- late.  So late-- looks nearly dark.”

Sil:  “Then I suggest you hurry.  Unless you want to add your
name to that parchment!  Court adjourned!”


G:  “Now, no spying.  And if one of us sees the other shopping
in a stall, then she turns and walks the other way-- agreed?”

X:  “Yeah.”

G:  “No peeking into other peoples’ bags, too.  I mean, being
surprised is half the fun-- right?”

X:  “Right.”

G:  “Ah, nothing can cost more than five dinars.”

X:  “Then why don’t I just give you five dinars, and you can buy
something that you really like?”

G:  “Because, then it wouldn’t be a gift.  Hey!  What was that

X:  “He stole my chakram.  I’ll meet you out back.”


X:  “Pardon me.”


X:  “Coming through!”


Girl:  “Now all we need is a Solstice pudding.”

Boy:  “And a goose.  Don’t forget the goose.”

Girl:  “Lynal, can you get us a goose, too?”

Lynal:  “One goose?  We’ll need more than that.”

Girl:  “The round thing looks like the king’s crest.”

Lynal:  “In honor of his cold heart.”

X:  “Nice tree.”

Melana [Mel]:  “It’s all right; it’s all right.  May I help

X:  “Yes-- that’s mine.”

Mel:  “Lynal.”

Lynal:  “I just borrowed it for the tree.  I was gonna give it

G:  “Funny how the ribbons bring out its shine.”

X:  “It’s _not_ an ornament.”

Lynal:  “Flashy thing like that?  What else could it be?”

Children:  “Yeah, what else?”

Sent:  “Hear ye!  Hear ye!”

Mel:  “Children, children.  Settle down.”

Sent:  “By order of King Silvus,  be it known you have until
midnight tonight to pay taxes in the amount of 1000 dinars or
face eviction.”

Sold:  “No wait, look around.  They’re violating the
prohibition.  I say, arrest them now!”

X:  “Ayiyiyiyiyiyiyi!  Gabrielle!”

G:  “I didn’t know you did gift-wrapping.”

X:  “What did he mean, ‘violating the prohibition’?  The
children were just enjoying Solstice.”

:  “Yes, but here, celebrating the winter solstice is a crime,
and, anyone who gets caught can expect to pay a price.”



G:  “How could you work for a man who would put orphans on the
street on Solstice Eve?”

Sent:  “I like to eat.  When King Silvus outlawed toy-making, I
had to take whatever job I could.”

G:  “You were a toymaker?”

X:  “Nice try-- Let’s throw him in the cell with the guards.”

G:  “No, wait, wait.  Senticles, Senticles.  Of course!  When I
was a little girl, I had a toy made-- It was this wooden lamb
whose mouth would open when you pulled its tail.  Oh, I loved
that toy.”

Sent:  “I remember that one.  You know, it took me two days to
figure out that mouth joint, and weeks to carve his fleece.  Oh
yes, he was a real challenge.

X:  “So, now you work for the man that put you out of business.
King Silvus sounds like quite a guy.”

Sent:  “Well, he’s always been a hard man.  But the Queen used
to temper him.  And one solstice eve, about-- thirty years ago,
Queen Inalia suddenly died.  He hasn’t been the same since.”

X:  “I understand his loss, but that’s no excuse for banning
Winter Solstice.”

Mel:  “That’s true.  But as hard as his laws are on others, I
imagine the loneliness in him has caused the king to be even
worse [Not quite sure of this last line].”

G:  “That  reminds me of a story I heard once.”

Children:  “A story?  Tell us!”

G:  “OK, OK, OK-- OK, sit down.  Once in a land far away, there
was this rich, but miserly man named Cresus.  And his heart was
so hard, that his servants begged the gods to intervene.  They
sent the Fates to separate the strands of his life, so that he
might see himself more clearly.  Unfortunately, Cresus didn’t
mend his ways.

Children:  “What?  Why not?”

G:  “So the gods turned him into a spirit, doomed to walk the
Earth forever-- as invisible to others as they were to him in

Boy:  “I don’t like this story.”

G:  “Actually, I didn’t like the end to that story, anyway.  And
I bet we could change it--”

Child:  “Maybe.”

G:  “-- if we tried?”


G:  “Look, if we can change the king’s mind without changing his
anatomy, think of the example it’ll be to the children.”

X:  “Gabrielle, the eviction notice is set at midnight.  If we
don’t stop it, these kids are out on the street.”

G:  “I know, but it will work.”

X:  “And what if it doesn’t?”

G:  “We clobber him.  Please, just try it my way-- just this
once-- In honor of the Solstice?”

X:  “All right-- if it means that much to you.  But we’re going
to need disguises and access to the castle.”


X:  “Hi.”


G:  “33, 34, 35-- that’s it.”

X:  “You’ll have to stretch it as far as you can.  We  need
everything on the list to make it work.”

G:  “Trust me, Xena.  If there’s one thing I know, it’s how to
bargain.  You just worry about getting to King Silvus-- without
cracking heads.”

X:  “Deal’s a deal.”

Sent:  “Yo!”

X:  “Right, Senticles?”

Sent:  “I’ll take you to him all right.  It’s just that, well,
how do I know you’re not an assassin?”

X:  “Because if I was, he’d be dead already.”

Sent:  “Works for me.”

X:  “Good.  You get everything we need, and I’ll meet you back
at the orphanage.”


Man:  “You stubborn ass! You’ve been nothing but trouble the
entire time we’ve been together.  Now, move!”

G:  “Excuse me, sir.  That’s quite an animal you’ve got there.”

Man:  “You want him?  He’s yours.  Fifty dinars.”

G:  “Fifty?”

Man:  “That’s what the tannery will give me for his hide.”

G:  “You’re taking him to be skinned?  Look-- How ‘bout I do you
a favor?  I’ll take him off your hands for say, ah, 25 dinars?”

Man:  “25?  That’s half of what he’s worth at the tannery.”

G:  “Yeah, well you have to get him there first, right.?”

Man:  “Hmm, 45.”

G:  “30-- Not a dinar more.  Let’s face it.  I’ve seen healthier
hides on a used couch-- Nothing personal.  What do you say?”

Man:  “35, and you got yourself a deal.”


X:  “You’re a lucky man, Silvus.  Now, surprise me, and be
smart, too.  Wake up!”

Sil:  “Ahh!  Who are you?!  How did you get in here?!  What do
you want?”

X:  “My name’s Xena.  We need to talk.”

Sil:  “Listen-- anything you want.  Take it.  Jewels, money,
anything-- take it, take it.  Just-- have mercy on an old man.”

X:  “The same kind of mercy you showed that orphanage you’re

Sil:  “Orphanage?”

X:  “You signed the order yourself.”

Sil:  “Maybe so.  I issue so many-- time’s being what they are.”

X:  “And whose fault is that?  Did you ever stop to think that
maybe if you eased up on your people a little-- let them
celebrate Solstice perhaps-- the times might ease up, too?”

Sil:  “Wait a minute.  You’re one of those Solstice lovers,
aren’t ya?  One of those rebels who thinks that everything and
everyone should stop once a year-- just to raise a glass, eat a
goose, unwrap gifts!  Well, you know what I say to that?”

X:  “Bet I can guess.”

Sil:  “Guards!  Guards!  Quick!”

Guard’s Voice:  “Coming, Sire!”

X:  “You petty tyrants-- so predictable.  But heed my warning,
Silvus.  Change your ways or suffer the consequences.”

Sil:  “No!  Inalia’s gone for good-- and so’s the Solstice.”

Guard’s Voice:  “Break it down!”

X:  “This isn’t over, Silvus.  The truth is, it’s just begun.”

Guard:  “Stop her!”

X:  “Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi!”



X:  “Inalia.”


G:  “I’m sorry-- there’s nothing I can do.  I’m afraid you have
to leave.  Look, I know it’s not fair, especially on Solstice
Eve, but what can I do?  Look, I know, I know, but Melana said
you can’t stay inside.  And the place is hers-- until midnight.
Look, I guess, I guess it’s bunking under the stars for you, my
friend.  Now, let’s go.  Come on, I’ll stay with you, so you
won’t get lonely.  Come on.  Tobias, come on!  You know, I’m
beginning to understand your former owner.”

Lynas:  “Come on, you rugrats-- time to wash up” [Whistles].

G:  “Well, I’ll be [Whistles]-- Just like Argo.  I wonder what
Xena will say to this.”


X:  “Nice work.  You just saved someone years in prison changing
the sentence like that.”

Sent:  “It’s nothing.  I change a letter here, a number there.
Hoping to do a little good.  But-- believe me, it’s nothing.”

X:  “So’s your part in my plan.  It’s nothing.  All you have to
do is--”

Sent:  “No!  I won’t risk being arrested-- I can’t.  I’d die
locked up in a cell, closed in like that.  I couldn’t face going
to prison.”

X:  “What do you think would happen if the king found out about
these changes you made to his orders?”

Sent:  “Found out?  But, surely, you wouldn’t-- you couldn’t--”

X:  “Of course, not.  But the point is, if he did find out,
you’d be thrown in prison anyway.  You’re braver than you give
yourself credit for.  So don’t deny your courage-- or the


G:  “And from that day on, we’ve honored and celebrated it-- as
a time of rebirth for our wishes and our dreams.  The time of
coming together in joy and peace.  It’s the shortest day of the
year-- and the longest night.  But on this special night, a new
light, a new chance is born to us all.  So, it’s a time for
miracles-- and goodwill towards all living creatures.  That’s
why the Winter Solstice means so much-- and touches us all so

Girl1:  “I have a Solstice wish.”

Children:  “Me too!”

G:  “Let’s hear it.”

Girl1:  “I wish we could have a big Solstice dinner-- with all
the trimmings.”

Children:  “Me too.”  “Yeah.”

Girl2:  “I wish we could each have a Solstice present of our
very own.”

Boy:  “I wish everyone in the world could be as happy as we are
right now.”

Mel:  “I think those are all fine wishes.  Now, why don’t we go
and gather our stockings and put them by the fireplace?  Come
on, let’s go.”

X:  “You’d better hope this plan works.  Otherwise, I’ll do
whatever it takes to keep those kids from getting hurt.”

G:  “She’s a very physical person.  I completely agree with you.
If the plan fails, we punch faces.  Until then, we do it
peacefully-- in the spirit of Solstice.”

X:  “Who’s your friend?”

G:  [Laughs] “Xena, meet Tobias.  Now, isn’t he sweet?  And he’s
trained just like Argo-- you just whistle.  He cost me all of
our money, but-- I couldn’t let him go to a tannery-- not on
Solstice Eve.”

X:  “It’s all right.  I got everything we need at the castle.
Now, all we have to do is figure out the details.  And then hope
I can restrain myself long enough to pull it off.”


X/Clotho:  “Silvus-- wake up.  Silvus, arise.  Open you eyes.
Silvus, wake up!”

Sil:  “Oh, what is this, the town square?!  Who are you?  What
do you want?!”

X/Clotho:  “Mankind calls me Clotho-- First of the Fates, whose
province is the past.”

Sil:  “Nonsense!  You’re nothing but a dream, probably brought
on by indigestion-- a fatty piece of beef-- a bit of gristle.
Get out and let me sleep!”

X/Clotho:  “Your commands have no sway over me.  Rather, I
command you-- to arise, and walk by my side.”

Sil:  “How do I know you’re really a Fate?  For all I can tell,
you could be a thief, or another of those Solstice cracks.”

X/Clotho:  “Hmm, perhaps this will convince you that time is
mine to rule as I will.  I am the Fate of the past.”

Sil:  “Long past?”

X/Clotho:  “Your past, which I will show you-- then you will
turn to the present with my sister.  And as for your future--”

Sil:  “All right, I believe you.  What now?”

X/Clotho:  “Come!”


Sil:  “Where are we going?”

X/Clotho:  “To a place you have forgotten-- though it haunts
your every thought.”


G/Inalia:  “Silvus-- Silvus.  Dear husband.”

Sil:  “Inalia?”

G/Inalia:  “Stop!  Come no closer.  I am but a shadow from your
past.  Sent to beg you-- turn from your narrow, greedy ways,
before it’s too late.”

Sil:  “Too late?  Great Zeus.”

X/Clotho:  “Here, drink this.”


Sent:  “Easy, big fella.  Steady-- steady, big boy.”

Guard:  “Hey, check this out.”  [Whistles, then says something
incomprehensible to me]



X/Clotho:  “A warning-- that our time is nearly up.”

Sil:  “No-- not yet.  Don’t leave me, Inalia-- please-- not

G/Inalia:  “I’m sorry, Silvus.  You’ve grieved long enough.  You
must forget my death on that Solstice Eve so long ago.”

Sil:  “Death?  What do you mean?  You-- you didn’t die.  You--
you-- you walked out on me.  I don’t understand.”

G/Inalia:  “I was speaking metaphorically.  We-- we shadows from
the past tend to do that.”

X/Clotho:  “Yeah.”

Sil:  “Meta-- metaphor.  Wait-- what’s-- what’s going on here?
What’s happening?  Who-- who are--?”

G:  “Is he all right?”

X:  “Fine-- but that sleeping herb I put in his wine won’t last
long.  We’d better get moving.”

G:  “I thought Senticles said his wife was dead.”

X:  “He also said he’d handle Tobias.  We start Phase 2.  You
get changed and see what happened.  I’ll meet you back at the

G:  “OK.”

X:  “Come _on_, King.”


G:  “Senticles. Senticles.  Where are you?  Senticles.  Tobias--
Good job, boy.  Now where’s Senticles?  What?  Are you trying to
tell me something?  Do you know where Senticles is?  OK-- let’s
find him.  Smart donkey.”


X/Lachesis:  “Silvus, wake up!”

Sil:  “Am I to understand that you are--” 

X/Lach:  “Lachesis-- second of the Fates.  Here to show your
present.  Now, arise and dress.”

Sil:  “Put on these?  But I’m the king.  Why would I wear
something common as this?”

X/Lach:  “Tonight, we go among your subjects-- as anonymous to
them as they are to you.  The better to show you how your cruel
laws and harsh judgments affect them.”

Sil:  “To what point?  In hopes I’ll change my life?”

X/Lach:  “In the hopes that you might change theirs.  Unless
you’d like me to find a more-- forceful way of persuading you.
Uh-uh-- You won’t be needing that.”


G:  “Hello-- Senticles.  Are you in there?  Hello!  It’s me,
Gabrielle.  Senticles.  What happened?  You were supposed to
stay with Tobias.  You know, Xena and I were nearly caught.”

Sent:  “So was I.  Two guards came by.  If I hadn’t run, I don’t
know what would have happened.”

G:  “You ran away?”

Sent:  “Well, what else could I do?  You didn’t expect me to
stay there and get caught, did you?”

G:  “No-- no-- but what about us?  What about Tobias?”

Sent:  “You forget-- I’ve seen your warrior friend in action.  I
knew you’d be OK.  As for the donkey-- What are they gonna do to
a donkey?  Whereas me-- they could lock in prison for the rest
of my life.  It’s like I told your friend, I can’t do that.  I
can’t.  Shut up in a small space.  I’d die.  Look-- I’m sorry if
I let you down  But, I warned you-- I’m no hero.  So, why don’t
you just go, all right, just leave me alone!  Go!”

G:  “What is all this?”

Sent:  “It’s nothing.  I shouldn’t have left them out.”

G:  “Are you crazy?  It’s amazing.  Look at all these toy.  Her
eyes open and close.”

Sent:  “Yes, well-- that’s because I use this little--”

G:  “Oh, look at this.  This is exactly like the toy I had
growing up-- remember?  I told you how much it meant to me.  Oh,
all these toys.  They’d mean so much to the orphans too-- Don’t
you think?  Every child could have a toy of his very own.”

Sent:  “That would be true-- if they were legal-- which they

G:  “Well-- don’t worry about that.  By the time we’re done with
King Silvus-- he’ll be handing them out himself.  We _could_ use
this-- We could take the toys to the orphanage and hide them.
And, uh-uh-- I’ll have to disguise you, just in case we do run
into guards.  We don’t want them to recognize you.”

Sent:  “No-- I won’t risk going to prison.”

G:  “Look-- you say you’re afraid of small spaces.  Well, that’s
exactly how you live your whole life-- in a small space-- afraid
to stand up for yourself or anyone else.  Don’t you see?  What
you’re most afraid will happen, has happened?  The question is,
what are you going to do about it?”


Sil/Peasant:  “I know-- I know it’s-- it’s late.  So, ah-- slam
the door if you want to.  Wouldn’t surprise me a bit.”

Lynal:  “Slam the door?  On Solstice Eve?  That’s a good one.
Come in.  How can I help you?”

Sil/Peasant:  “Well-- We are-- we’re-- we’re”

X/Lach:  “Strangers.”

Sil/Peasant:  “Strangers-- right.  We’re strangers.  We’ve been,
uh, travelling all day and we-- we--”

Lynal:  “Need a bit of food and drink?.  Well, we don’t have
much.  But, you’re welcome to share what we’ve got.”

Sil/Peasant:  “Oh.”

X/Lach:  “The charity of your king and country is legendary.”

Lynal:  “Our king?  Charitable?  You really are strangers here.”

Sil/Peasant:  “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Lynal:  “Just that, King Silvus is the meanest, most
tight-fisted ruler this side of the Aegean.”

Sil/Peasant:  “Is that so?”

Lynal:  “Absolutely.  You’ve heard of Midas, right?  Greediest
man in the world, until Hercules helped him.  Well, our king
makes him look like Lady Bountiful.”

X/Lach:  “Surely, you exaggerate.”

Lynal:  “I wish!  This is an orphanage.  And, ‘cause we can’t
pay our taxes, King Silvus is kicking us out of here at
midnight.  What kind of king does that to kids on Solstice Eve?”

X/Lach:  “Good question.


G:  “Coast is clear.”

Sent:  “Let’s go.”


G:  “Come on, Tobias.”

Sold:  “Remember the king’s command.  Any resistance, we storm
in full force.”

Sent:  “Look-- they’re headed straight for the orphanage.”

G:  “We have to warn  Melana.”

Sent:  “How?  They’ll be guarding the doors.”

G:  “Well, then, we’ll find another way inside.  OK?  Come on.”


Children sing:  “Stars tonight, oh skies excite [?],
On Solstice night, on Solstice night.
Chestnuts [?]  while [?] burns bright.
Solstice night is here.
Snow so white casts winter’s light
On Solstice night, this quiet night.
Our song so light sends hope of light 
This longest night of the year.
Time of wonder, time for cheer,
The greatest time of all.
Can’t help it when
The love we share
Shines bright in everyone.”

Sil:  “Take me home.  I’ve seen and heard enough.”

X/Lach:  “Enough to stop your eviction?  Enough to bring back
Winter Solstice?”

Sil:  “Enough!  I won’t be lectured-- especially when it’s all
your fault.”

X/Lach:  “My fault?”

Sil:  “If you Fates-- hadn’t separated Inalia and me-- I might
have been a different man-- a better king.  But you did-- you
let her leave.  She walked out on me, just as I’m walking out on
you-- right now!  Happy Solstice!”

Sold:  “Halt!  You’re under arrest, by order of the king.”

Sil:  “Don’t be absurd.  I am the king.”

Sold:  “Right, and I’m the Queen of the Amazons.  Seize them!


X/Lach:  “Hold it, boys.  Where’s your Holiday-- Spirit?”

Sold:  “What are you waiting for?!  Arrest them!

Sil:  “Did you see that?  They attacked me!  Me, their king!”

Lynal:  “You and your friend better go.”

X:  “I’m not going anywhere.”

Lynal:  “Xena!  Thank the gods it’s you!  The guards in the
basement have escaped!”

X:  “Believe me, Lynal, that is the least of our worries.”

Sold:  “Attention, everyone in the building.  Either you come
out voluntarily or we’re coming in to get you.  But, either way,
you’re gone!”


Mel:  “Are you sure he’ll be all right?”

X:  “His pulse is strong.  Once the shock wears off, he should
be fine.”

Mel:  “Dear gods, I hope so.”

X:  “On second thought, maybe you should stay with him-- just in
case anything develops.”

Mel:  “But, I can’t.  I mean, what about the children?”

X:  “Lynal will look after them.  Right?”

Lynal:  “Well, sure, but-- who’s gonna help you?”

Sent:  [Screams]

G:  [Screams]

X:  “Go and see to the kids.  The reinforcements have arrived.”

Sent:  “I did it!  The gods be praised!  I did it!  That
chimney-- is dark and cold as a grave.  But I just grabbed my
sack of toys and-- Ho-ho-ho!  Down I came!  And, you know what?
I  liked it!  I did-- it was fun!  By Zeus!  I’m gonna do that
every Solstice Eve!  Just see if I don’t.”

G:  “That’s great, Senticles, but we’ve got a problem, here.
Xena, there are a troup of guards outside.”

X:  “I know.”

G:  “I guess my plan didn’t work, after all  So I guess we have
to slash and crash.  But thanks for trying.  Ahh.  Back to
business as usual, right?”


Sold:  “All right, we gave ‘em a chance.  Now, in the name of
King Silvus, attack!”


X:  “Let the games begin.  Hah!”

G:  “Boys!  Come and get your Solstice present.  You wanna help
me play with it?  Senticles!”

Sent:  “Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho!”


Sil:  “Ah.  The gods defend me.  You’re the third one-- the Fate
of the future, am I right?  Atropos-- come to show me--my-- What
is it?  What is this place?  Tell me-- Why am I here?  It’s dark
and-- cold as a-- grave?  Is that it?  Is this my-- tomb?  And
that-- that noise like-- souls-- crying out in pain.  Is this my
future?  No, no, don’t leave me.  Just tell me-- Does it have to
be?  This place, my death?  Can it change if I change my life?
Please-- [Cries]  I-- I don’t want to die alone.  I’ve lived
that way for thirty years.  I can change.  I know I can.  No!  I
won’t go with you-- not yet.  You’ll see-- I’ll show you.  I’ll
prove to you, I’m not the man I was.  I’m not!”


Sold:  “This way!”

X:  “Great stocking stuffers.”

Sent:  “Go ahead-- make my day.”

X:  “Thanks.”

G:  “Nah.”

X:  “Gabrielle, get me a sword.”

G:  “This guy’s driving me nuts!”

Child:  “Come on.”

Lynal:  “Load your weapons!  Ready!  Fire!  Yeah!  [Cheer]”

Soldiers:  “You call yourself soldiers?  Getting beaten by women
and children?”  “Right, come on!”  “We’ll make them pay.”
“You’re pathetic!  Now, tighten your ranks!  Look sharp!  Come
on.  Charge!”

Children:  [Cheer]

Sil:  “Did you see them run?!  Like rabbits?!  Yes, sir!  Ha-ha!
There’ll be no evictions here!  Not tonight!  Not ever!”

G:  “Your Majesty, this is the woman who runs the orphanage.
Her name’s--”

Sil:  “Inalia.”

Inalia:  “Yes.”

Sil:  “Oh, my dearest wife.  Can you-- ever forgive me for
closing my heart to you-- and to our people?  For wasting thirty
precious years in bitterness and greed?  I know I don’t deserve
it, but-- please-- say you’ll try.”

Inalia:  “I heard what you said-- and I forgive you with all my


X:  “I guess you got that happy ending you wanted.”

G:  “And then some.”

Joseph:  “Excuse me, please.  Could you tell us which is the
road going west?”

X:  “You’re on it.  There’s a town on the way if you’re looking
for food and shelter.  We’d be happy to help you get there.”

Joseph:  “Mmm, you’re very kind, but, we’re in a hurry.  Come
dear-- the caravan won’t wait.”

Mary:  “Yes, we’re coming.”

G:  “Wait a minute.  If you’re in a hurry, then, wouldn’t it be
faster if your wife and child rode the distance?”

Joseph:  “Well, of course, but we don’t have the means to--”

G:  “You do now.”

Joseph:  “For us?  But, it’s too much.  We can’t accept it.”

G:  “Sure you can, if you can whistle.  Call it a um-- call it a
Solstice gift-- for the baby.”

Mary:  “May God smile on you always for your kindness.”

G:  “Thank you.  Tobias.  Now take good care of these people,
OK?  Don’t be stubborn.  I’ll miss you, too.”

X:  “That was a nice thing you did back there.”

G:  “What would I do with a silly old donkey, anyway?”

X:  “Uh-huh.”

G:  “They needed him more than me.  Besides, they seem pretty

X:  “Mm-hmm.”

G:  “After all, it is Solstice.”

X:  “Oh, that’s right.  Happy Solstice.”

G:  “Well-- what?  Oh.  I don’t have a gift for you.”

X:  “Gabrielle, you are a gift to me.”

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