Monday Rewrite: Trouble in the Royal Court

Herod. Ah Chuza, there you are, how are you? How’s your wife?
Chuza. We’re alright, sir, a little problem with cockroaches in the plumbing but nothing we…
Herod. Never mind I’m not really interested. I’ll cut to the chase. There’s been talk.
Chuza. Talk?
Herod. About that woman.
Chuza. That woman?
Herod. Your wife.
Chuza. There often is, sir. She cuts a pioneering trail with her fashion sense and party attendance.
Herod. Nope.
Chuza. Sorry?
Herod. Nothing to do with her latest frock. I’m talking about her latest friends. I pay you well, don’t I?
Chuza. Of course.
Herod. And I don’t dictate how you run your life, do I? Even though you’re my right hand man.
Chuza. No sir, I mean yes sir, or whichever I’m supposed to say.
Herod. You should bring your wife in line, she’s embarrassing me. D’you give her an allowance?
Chuza. I should think so. If not I have large holes in my pockets. It all goes somewhere.
Herod. Well I can tell you where it all goes. On one of my political opponents.
Chuza. Sir?
Herod. They say she goes to rather different parties these days, hangs around with people who don’t wash too regularly and have ideas above their station. I’m talking about a certain bunch from Galilee. You’ve heard of Jesus Bar-Joseph I suppose.
Chuza. Ah him, yes she talks fondly of him.
Herod. I bet she does. Has it not worried you?
Chuza. Not really, he’s an itinerant preacher, they say he helps ordinary people. He’s not armed as far as I know.
Herod. Oh yes he is, with the most dangerous of weapons. Hope. You don’t want to go giving peasants hope. They get ideas. Start thinking they don’t need people like me.
Chuza. Oh I don’t think you need worry about him.
Herod. And if they don’t need people like me, then I won’t need people like you, because there’ll be no Royal Business Affairs to run. D’you get my meaning?
Chuza. I suppose so…
Herod. They say she’s financing his wild parties – your wife. Taking your wages – MY money – and organising ant-government orgies. What d’you think of that?
Chuza. My wife doesn’t like orgies, sir.
Herod. I don’t give a damn about that! She’s paying for this radical lunatic and his cronies to go about spreading their poison. I’m bankrolling his uprising! Against ME! Because of your wife! Do something.
Chuza. Yes sir. Of course, sir. (Chuza turns away, then looks back) You asked me earlier how she was, she wasn’t in a good place you know. But she’s so much better.
Herod. Does this have a point?
Chuza. Yes. He made her better. This radical lunatic you talk about, he seems to have really made a difference to her. That’s one of the reasons she helps him.
Herod. Just sort it out.
Chuza. Of course. But I was wondering about your health sir, it’s never great is it? He seems to be good at helping people. He might be able to help you?
Herod. What!! Get out! Now! And stop paying your wife to help him overthrow me!

[Luke 8 v 3]

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