OLIVE    7'1m3f Elisha's miracle gives a widow rent money

(all characters wear tunics and sandals)

SAM -- (enters wearing a fedora with unlit cigarette in mouth,
crosses strolling, to audience) The name is Spade. Sam Spade.
I'm a private investigator. In fact, I'm the world's greatest
private investigator. (stops, removes hat, installs a fake
beard) I suppose you're wondering why I'm putting on a disguise
for my next case. Well, it is a little known fact that I, the
world's greatest private eye am also the world's greatest
disguise artist. (continues crossing, to Olive) I understand
you're looking for a private investigator.

OLIVE -- (enters opposite) You can knock off the disguise,
Spade. You're not fooling anyone. (freezes)

SAM -- (removes beard, to audience) Alright, I'll admit it. I'm
not really the world's greatest disguise artist. But I am the
worlds greatest private eye. (to Olive) Look, I can explain....

OLIVE -- You can explain where my money is! (freezes)

SAM -- (to audience) This case seems to have gotten off to a
rather rocky start. Let me explain. You see, when the private
eye business is slow, we supplement our income with
investigations leading to divorces. In my previous dealing with
this client, I helped her with a divorce. Divorces are rather
messy. (to Olive) Look, it's not what you think.

OLIVE -- What I think is that I gave you a retainer for three
days of investigations and you only did one day of investigating
for me.

SAM -- Yeah, well your divorce came out alright. You got control
of your husband's olive oil business.

OLIVE -- You have a choice: either you go to debtors prison or
you do my next investigation for free.

SAM -- Free is good.

OLIVE -- I thought you'd see it my way.

SAM -- So, what are we looking at? Another messy divorce?

OLIVE -- No. I think this widow (points to opposite exit) is
stealing olive oil from me.

SAM -- A widow.... is stealing olive oil from you?

OLIVE -- That's right.

SAM -- And how much olive oil is missing?

OLIVE -- None.

SAM -- How could she be stealing olive oil from you if you
aren't missing any?

OLIVE -- I don't know, but she is.

SAM -- And how do you know that?

OLIVE -- Because I am the only olive oil dealer in the area.
Where else could she be getting all that olive oil?

SAM -- Are you saying that this widow has more olive oil than

OLIVE -- She's selling olive oil out of her house. She's
undercutting my price. And she's been selling more olive oil
than I have.

SAM -- But you're not missing any oil?

OLIVE -- I don't know how she's doing it, but she's getting it
from my store and she's somehow covering up her theft.

SAM -- And you want me to nail her for you?

OLIVE -- Exactly.

SAM -- What if she isn't stealing from you? What if she has a
legit supplier?

OLIVE -- Let me put it in terms that you can understand. I have
a business. I don't like competition. Either SHE goes to jail or
YOU do. YOU get to decide which one. (exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) Fortunately for me, this is
a small town. Everybody knows everybody else's business in this
town. I paid a visit to the widow's neighbor.

NEIGHBOR -- (enters opposite) Say! Aren't you Sam Spade?

SAM -- (stops, turns, hides face) It depends. Are you a bill

NEIGHBOR -- No. I heard you were the one responsible for the
divorce that broke the olive oil dealer. I heard that after he
lost his business to his ex-wife, he went out and hanged

SAM -- (turns) Listen, I just report the facts as I see them. I
had nothing to do with....

NEIGHBOR -- Oh, I'm not criticizing you! I want to hire you!

SAM -- Oh, really? (to audience) See, folks, word-of-mouth
advertising is the best kind. Not that I'm going to take on
another messy divorce. (to Neighbor) Maybe another time. I'm
right in the middle of another case right now.

NEIGHBOR -- You're investigating the widow next door, aren't

SAM -- You know about the theft?

NEIGHBOR -- Theft? You mean somebody stole something from her?

SAM -- Ah, no. But of all the people in this town, why did you
suspect that I was investigating her?

NEIGHBOR -- It's that prophet, the prophet Elisha.

SAM -- What about him.

NEIGHBOR -- I think he's her sugar daddy.

SAM -- What do you mean?

NEIGHBOR -- I mean this widow was on the verge of bankruptcy
after her husband died. For weeks there's been a parade of bill
collectors coming to her door demanding payment. Then along
comes this prophet and wham! no more bill collectors.

SAM -- What do you make of that?

NEIGHBOR -- I think it's one of those you-scratch-my-back,
I'll-scratch-your-back kind of things.

SAM -- So, you think the widow is making a profit from the

NEIGHBOR -- I'm thinking maybe Elisha is selling the family
jewels from the temple in Jerusalem. (exits)

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) I went up to Jerusalem and
made a few inquiries.

VENDOR -- (enters opposite holding birds in both hands, shouts)
Hey, get your red-hot sacrifices here. Top quality doves for
sale. We got your first-born sacrifices, your fellowship
offerings, your sin offerings right here.

SAM -- Hey, doll-face, do you know a prophet of God named

VENDOR -- Do I know him in the Biblical sense? No.

SAM -- But you know who I'm talking about.

VENDOR -- Sure. Everybody knows Elisha. What about him?

SAM -- I'm trying to dig up some dirt about him.

VENDOR -- Fat chance! The guy is squeaky clean.

SAM -- So, there's no chance he would ever steal olive oil or
pilfer the gold implements from the temple here?

VENDOR -- You got to be kidding, fella! This is Elisha were
talking about here! The guy is pure as the driven snow! Who told
you he was into something hinky?

SAM -- This poor unfortunate widow I know was in danger of
losing her house and her children, then suddenly she's flush.

VENDOR -- And you think Elisha is her sugar daddy?

SAM -- That's what the neighbor thinks. Somebody else in town
says she's stealing olive oil from the local dealer and selling
it under the counter.

VENDOR -- Let me guess. Noone has ever seen Elisha give the
widow money.

SAM -- No.

VENDOR -- And noone is actually missing any olive oil.

SAM -- Sounds like you already know the answer.

VENDOR -- I do.

SAM -- And?

VENDOR -- I'll give you a clue. Elisha is a prophet of GOD.

SAM -- (shrugs shoulders)

VENDOR -- Does the word "miracle" mean anything to you?

SAM -- You mean, if this widow is selling olive oil that she
didn't have before, it's because it came from GOD?

VENDOR -- Wouldn't be the first time. Elisha does stuff like
that all the time. It's a God thing. (turns, exits, shouting)
Hey, get your red-hot sacrifices here. Top quality doves for
sale. We got your first-born sacrifices, your fellowship
offerings, your sin offerings right here.

SAM -- (turns, strolls, to audience) Well, you know what that
means to me, don't you? If I don't go back to town with a patsy
to take the wrap, I go to jail. (looks both ways, exits
sneaking) I think I'll lay low until the heat is off. I wonder
how the weather is down by the Dead Sea this time of year.

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