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He’s gone again. He left home hours ago What good is my sorcery if I can’t help my own boy? Answer me, someone He’s not fooling me I know where he is He’s at the magic pool again Love is his curse. He is in love You think I don’t know it? I’ve tried to cure him of it Am I losing my skill as a sorceress? No. No, Sybil Doesn’t my witchcraft cure snakebites chilblains, carbuncles, pinkeye, hangnails and unhappy memories? Yes. Yes, Sybil Then why can’t I rid the boy of this fever? George is a man. And human Human, yes. But hardly a man He’s a mere boy of 20 In love George. Already a man. In love? He ought to be at home learning a good trade Like mine Pool of magic, obey my wish Bring her vision into my sight That’s right. Find her She’s at the palace No, inside Perhaps the throne room No. Try the sunken garden in the palace by the Oriental pool That’s right. There she is There she is I hope the cold water’s chilled your hot temper, my lady – No, I’m just as furious as ever – Oh, Princess

It’s easy enough for you to talk You can do whatever you please Fall in love, fall out of it again A squire one day, a stableboy the next But I might as well be a prisoner in a tower I can’t even speak to a man, let alone have him look at me It’s the penalty of being a princess But even a princess should be allowed romance – How will I ever meet him? – Who, my lady? The one I could love You’ll have your chance someday You run along – But your gown? – I’ll dress myself – Well, then what will you do? – What I always do. Sit here and dream Princess Helene? Who are you? What do you want? Stay away – Don’t you come any closer – No, Princess, I’m going to take care of you Helene! Sybil, where are you? You needn’t shout, George, I can hear you I must leave here. She’s in danger Who in the netherworld are you talking about? Princess Helene I loved her from the first moment I saw her A reflection in the water and you call it love, you silly child Something terrible has happened to her Let me see what you’re talking about Magic mirror, show me what has upset my boy The Princess is gone, Your Majesty She’s not in her quarters, not in the garden, not by the pool Yet no one saw her leave the palace We’ve searched everywhere – Then turn out the guards, Branton – We have done that, my liege Until she is found, no one will be permitted in or out of the palace Who is this? We found him skulking within the eastern postern, my liege – He won’t speak – There are means to make him speak Sir Branton Your Most Serene Majesty You can call off the search The Princess, your daughter, is in my castle Under lock and key Who are you? Lodac The sorcerer? I am flattered that my reputation has preceded me Lodac, you say my daughter is at your castle But why? How have I hurt you? Why have you done this thing? The answer is very simple Your father executed my sister for witchcraft when she was only 18 years old I have waited until your daughter reached that age so that my dragon could relish the flesh of the Princess – Lodac, I beseech you – Beseech nothing, my liege Will you have this worm-eaten sorcerer frighten us? – Be careful, Branton – Not I Lodac, I shall find your castle, free the Princess, and see you destroyed Finding my castle is no great task It’s a short journey of about a week You simply follow the yellow star of the north The trick is, how to get there alive? I shall I’m afraid not Now seven times do I curse the road that lies between this castle and mine Let no one live who dares the Dark Journey Let no man face my seven curses and reach the dragon’s lair Your curses won’t stop me from reaching your castle The Princess Helene will make a delicate dish for my dragon in exactly seven days’ time And now, if you will excuse me Sir Branton, my daughter will die No, sire, for I will rescue her You’ll risk the seven curses? For Helene, I’d risk 70

The man who saves Helene will have her hand in marriage, and half my kingdom, too Trust me, sire No, it is I who must save the Princess, not Sir Branton. I love her Do you think I’d let you face Lodac’s sorcery? I’m not afraid Three hundred years ago, my father and brother were devoured by Lodac’s dragon And my family were great sorcerers in their own right But they were no match for Lodac I am no match for Lodac, I confess it – I fear him almost as much as I hate him – But Sybil, l You will stay right here at home where you are safe You can have anything you want, but you’re staying here All I want is my freedom so I can save the girl I love But you wouldn’t understand that, not being mortal I’ve tried to do my best – I know you have, Sybil – Can’t you call me “Mother”? I’m sorry, Mother You were only a week old when your royal parents died from the plague I found you, reared you as my own son You’ve been kind and loving, and I’d do anything for you But I can’t stay here with you anymore I’m not a child. I’m 20, and I love Helene Talk to me of love when you are 420 When you’re human, 20 is old enough to feel love and misery Give me my freedom I must say you’re being very difficult tonight Oh, well, boys will be boys We’ll have to cheer you up Watch Mother now Mother, not that trick again George, I’ve never seen you like this before Look, if you’ll cheer up, forget about that girl and Lodac I’ll let you see the presents I’ve chosen for you when you’re 21 – What sort of presents, Mother? – Come along I’ll show you Do you like him? He’s magnificent He’s yours when you are 21 His name is Bayard He’s no ordinary animal He possesses magic This is the fastest horse in all the world No other steed can beat him See this? You’ll wear it when you ride the stallion – Does this armor possess magic, too? – No weapon can pierce it And this is Ascalon, the blade None like it since the world began It defies all swords in battle Black magic is overcome by a touch of the blade. So there All yours when you are 21 Then I’ll let you go after Lodac, for my revenge as well as your own With the help of their magic, I could save the Princess now No, you’re not old enough You wouldn’t know how to use them Just let me hold the sword Just to get the feel of it – Please? Just for a while – Very well It feels like a part of my own body – I feel stronger – Of course Now come along. It pleases me to show you something else tonight Who are they? Once, the six most valiant knights in the world – That’s real black magic, Mother – I wish I could take the credit I’ve never been as good as that No, it was my brother You like Ascalon, George?

It’s just great – Did the sword do that? – Certainly One touch of the blade, and it opens and shuts floors, doors, walls, and portcullises It shuts things too, you say? What’s down there? I haven’t been down there in centuries It used to be my brother’s safe deposit box for spells, enchantments, magic ritual, and the like Want to see? Is there any other way out if the crack were closed again? Depends on how hard you work at it A cousin of mine took 80 years to whomp up a spell that blew the roof off But don’t be afraid We won’t close the crack behind us I’m not afraid You go first, Mother – Coming, dear? – Yes George, what have you done? George, let me out! – Goodbye, Mother – George, son, let me out this instant You can’t leave me here I told you about my cousin I’ll come back and let you out after I’ve rescued the Princess Helene What if you can’t come back? With a magic armor, magic sword, magic steed, what can stop me now? You don’t know Lodac, George. Let me out If I had six brave men like these, I’d have nothing to fear Monsieur, you have been a long time to come. But on the behalf of my friends, merci bien. Your Majesty Your Majesty, I pledge my sword to your service my life to our mutual hope, and my heart to the Princess Helene Very well said, Branton But I can’t help but feel a little nervous You still won’t take these 50 knights who have offered to ride with you? No, sire, they are all brave men, but one man can venture where 50 cannot You are the bravest of all Return Helene safely, and I’ll be the proudest father-in-law in Christendom That’s a strange ring, Branton Do you wear it for luck? Luck must not play a part when your daughter’s life is at stake Go, my friend And all my good wishes go with you Your Majesty, these knights and I have come to serve you in your hour of need That’s very kind. Who are you? I am Sir George. A knight by virtue of 400 years of noble lineage Welcome, good sir These are my comrades-in-arms – Sir Dennis of France – Your Majesty, it is an honor. – Sir Ulrich of Germany – Mein Kaiser, we come to serve. – Sir Anthony of Italy – AI servizio. – Sir Pedro of Spain – Su servido, Your Majesty. Sir James of Scotland Our hearts grieve for you in your sorrow, Your Majesty And last, Sir Patrick of Ireland We pledge our lives to your service and to the Princess Helene until she is safe Gentlemen, speaking for the King, we are grateful for your offer I am sure that you can be of immeasurable service to His Majesty while I am away That is not what Patrick meant, Sir Branton You know who I am. Have we met? No, I’ve often seen you

– In the field? – Not in the field And I also know you wish to marry the Princess Helene Quite true. You are all welcome to stay and dance at my wedding Many thanks But I’d prefer to dance at my own You talk in riddles, young man Don’t try to solve them till we’ve rescued the Princess Helene “We”? I shall rescue Helene Monsieur, try to understand. We are all sworn to save Sir George’s beautiful lady Sir George’s lady? What does the Frenchman mean? Only that I love her and I intend to marry her You arrogant boy Do you know the perils of the Dark Journey? We do, Sir Branton If you don’t share our enthusiasm, we shall be happy to go on without you How dare you? Your Majesty, have I your permission to give this stripling a lesson in the use of arms? I shall not draw Except in behalf of Princess Helene A coward? Draw Enough. That’s enough Sir Branton, I like these knights Surely there is safety in numbers? You and seven good swords? Seven swords and seven curses When do we start, Sir Branton? Now I’m Helene We know We heard you were brought in this morning I’m Princess Laura, and this is my sister, Grace – This is our seventh day – Seventh day? Our last day, unless Surely you don’t believe that about the dragon? There were others here when we arrived But they’re gone now Then your father will do something to save you Why, his army is probably approaching the castle this very minute Do you really think so? Of course You’ll be on your way home by morning The two sisters We’re free to go home now? Father arranged for our release? – You’re not going home – Surely you must have spoken to him? I’ve had three long, dull sessions with him But nothing could persuade him to give up what I asked for I don’t believe you. He’d pay you anything Nothing Instead, he sent an entire company of his bravest knights on the Dark Journey The poor lads never even reached the third curse. Take them away – Come on – No! You can’t do this That just can’t be happening There just couldn’t be anybody as cruel and evil as you Really, Helene. This isn’t the first time that a princess has been fed to a dragon And at least around here, it happens only once a week Unless you get what you want What ransom are you asking for me? I’m sorry, but you happen to be a particular case I’m not asking any ransom for you at all Then why did you bring me here? My little pet will be hungry again in six days’ time – Come, let’s watch – No, please, no Listen in. The wind carries well Don’t turn your head away You’ll miss all the fun See? It all happens very quickly – Now my little pet can sleep – Oh, it’s horrible But it won’t happen to me Their father sent a company Well, mine will send an army And I hate to disillusion you Actually, for a while your father seemed content to let just one knight undertake your rescue Don’t blame your father The knight talked him into it And who is this very brave man? I’m sure you know him. Sir Branton – Sir Branton? – You don’t like Sir Branton? Oh, come now A damsel in distress can’t afford to pick and choose

Anyway, don’t worry. Neither he nor his companions will ever get here Companions? I thought you said Sir Branton was alone He would have been But some foolhardy young man named George insisted on coming with him – George? – Of course, you don’t know him Where is he? – Would you care to see him? – See him? Certainly. I’ll show you the young fool – Tell me, which one is George? – The youngest He’s in the lead, riding with Sir Branton Those who are wise will turn back now Keep back, all of you, he’s mine! – That horse is swift. It couldn’t be that – What? No, just a stupid thought that crossed my mind So the horse is swift My ogre will kill them both Are you quite sure? He won. He beat you at your own game So he did – He’ll save me. I know he will – Not a chance No one has ever survived the seven curses of Lodac. That was only the first Help. Save us. Let us out

– Over here – Help. Let us out. Save us Help us. Save us. Free us Let’s go back to your cell, shall we? And still not a sign of our gallant commander, Sir Branton Is the man heathen not to pay respects when poor Ulrich and Pedro are laid to rest? Or is the man a coward, not to have lifted his sword against that monster? Branton’s no coward, I’m sure of that – Talk of the devil himself – We missed you at the burial, Sir Branton My regrets, gentlemen, are as deep as your own But since every minute counts I thought it wiser for me to ride ahead and reconnoiter What did you find? Mount your horses, gentlemen, and come see for yourselves Will you look at that, George?

This seems to be an unsavory region, Sir Branton Would you be sure now that we were taking the right road? Or is it a road we’re on at all? The fog’s getting thicker. Where’s Dennis? Where’s James and Anthony? James! Dennis! Anthony! I’m over here Well, then, keep with us, keep close – Where’s Anthony? – Anthony! I’m over here! Which way are you? Here! Find him! Anthony, where are you? – Where are you? – I’m here! Help me! I’m being pulled under Give me your hand Save yourself, or you’ll die too! No, look! My sword will save us, if only I can reach it Have you seen nos amis? – Where is Anthony? – Where is George? We will ride on, gentlemen They are lost for good, both of them Not both, look Anthony has joined Pedro and Ulrich Forward, gentlemen My, what a job getting out of there

– Wait till I get my hands on him – George? After all I’ve done for that boy To trick me. Put me in his power, me, his own foster mother Where is he? Lodac George. His life is in danger You’re tired, tired. Rest, rest I’ll never rest again until I know he’s safe Oh, my boy, what have you done? Mirror of magic, bring me a vision of my boy Why must you insist my companions turn back, Sir Branton? You and I have a good reason to continue the Dark Journey Both of us in love with the same girl, each of us hopes to rescue her But what reason have the others to face Lodac’s curses? As your commander, I honestly advise you to turn back now while there is still time Do you hear that, George? We should turn heel and ride back to safety, leaving you and Sir Branton? – Sir Branton makes good sense – Are your wits addled? Lodac’s curses have already claimed Ulrich, Pedro and Anthony As long as there is one of us left alive, there’s hope that the Princess can be saved Nevertheless, I couldn’t blame you for leaving Between the curses of Lodac and Branton’s treachery, you’ll be needing us You Irish dog, what do you mean by such insolence? – Dog, am I, you two-faced hypocrite? – Stop it, Pat! – I demand an explanation – And you shall have one My knights believe you prefer to continue the journey alone – so you could get rid of me – What nonsense You can’t deny that From the first, you refused our help Well, of course, I didn’t want you coming along After all, what man wants to join forces with his rival? But once we had begun the Dark Journey, I accepted you completely – I have come to like you, even admire you – Yet you would have us leave Sir George What suspicious minds Only because of the dangers involved Lodac’s curses are killing us off one by one, curse by curse Be that as it may, I stay with George To the end We’d still be statues staring at that blasted wall if George hadn’t turned us into men again And what good is it being a man again if you can’t help win the fair colleen? Thank you, Pat. All of you There’s your answer I have to admire your courage Good night, gentlemen His tongue is like the honey from a clover patch I do not believe a word the man says If his game proves to be treachery it will be Sir Branton who does not return from this journey This I swear – Hello, Branton – Where are you? I’m right here Well, I see you’re in a good mood On the contrary, I’m in a savage mood I can’t stand incompetence You were to come here alone on this phony rescue but instead, I must waste my curses to destroy George and his knights Talking about incompetence in three days, you’ve only managed to destroy three of these interfering fools – with all your magic powers – Not all my magic powers, Branton Give me my ring, and I’ll dispose of these men in quick order

What use is the ring to you? No mortal can command its magic You’ll get your ring back when I get the Princess. That was our bargain – Don’t you trust me? – Not an inch You are insolent What if I cast a spell over you and turn you into a dog or a rat or a cat and take the ring? – Go ahead – Give me my ring, now Lodac, you can’t hurt me while I wear your ring But once you have it back, what’s to save me from your curses? Why would I want to hurt you? Why wouldn’t you? You’re only helping me now because you want to get back this ring which you so stupidly lost Well, I’ll keep my word I’ll give it back in five days’ time when these curses are behind me and I’ve claimed the Princess You’re a tough trader, Branton We both know what we want, and we’re both going to get it so long as you dispose of these knights, especially Sir George Sir George, yes Twice he’s squirmed out of your trap, and he could do it again Stop worrying, Branton, you’re worse than an old woman If George and his knights are not dead by week’s end They’ll die long before that And in circumstances worse than anything I’ve conjured up yet One of them is coming here now to his death Well, the gallant Frenchman – He followed me. He’s seen my horse – All right Don’t lose your head Let him come in here We’ll be ready for him – My little one, do you speak French? – Naturally, mister. – Who are you? – Mignonette, mister. Dearest Mignonette. I have waited for you Finally, I have found you. I have also waited Oh, Dennis, I love you dearly. That’s beautiful. – Kiss me again – No, my beloved. My dear, I have always loved you. Me too, dear Dennis, I love you too. That was close You saved my life, mon ami. We Frenchmen, we have a weakness for a pretty woman Lodac bewitched you Yes. I should have known that such a pretty creature will not be out this early hour But I was robbed of all thought except one Lodac knows how a Parisian feels Why did you come here? I don’t remember – Wait. Mon Dieu – What is it? – Branton – What about him? He’s in that mill. I’m sure of it I saw his horse. He’s still there – Sir Branton? – Seigneur Branton?

Well, good morning, gentlemen Is it good? May we ask what you’re doing here? Someone has to do the thinking for you As your commander, I thought it wise to spy out the countryside The upper floor of this mill was the only vantage point The last time you spied out the land, Sir Anthony died – You can always turn back, Sir Dennis – You have heard my answer to that As you will Shall we wake the others and ride on? Gentlemen Bungler! Lodac, I almost killed him. I tried I could have killed them both, but that shield, I couldn’t face it That shield Yes, that shield. Magic – Of course the boy has magic – Sir George? How else could he have escaped three curses? Magic And I didn’t even see it That foster mother, Sybil, is working against me The magic is strong, Lodac. I know it How will you counter it? Won’t you need your ring? Not for Sybil’s magic But once I get my ring, that’s the end of Branton and the Princess will be fed to my dragon All I have to do now is to redouble my magic And all you had to do was destroy that Frenchman You were too slow You need to be taught a lesson – No – Crawl, hag, crawl! For five, six, 10 hours Crawl until I need you again No, Lodac Greetings, Sybil You’re looking older. Let me see, we haven’t met in, what, a hundred years? I don’t want to talk to you But I want to talk to you You’ve caused me quite a lot of trouble Lodac, if you touch a hair of my boy’s head, I’ll fight you Not a chance You never had any real talent for witchcraft – You were always tenth-rate – Tenth-rate? You’re quite helpless, Sybil In four days, the Princess Helene will be fed to my dragon And your George will die even sooner than that There’s nothing you can do except look in your stupid mirror or magic pool And now, I’ll take care of that Lodac, come back Mirror of magic, bring me a vision of Lodac Tenth-rate, am I? Helpless, am I? So, I can’t do anything to help George Oh, Lodac, you’ll be sorry for this Dear me It’s a long time since I’ve tried this one Was it one tablespoon or two? One, I’m sure. Where is the unicorn powder? Now, let’s see Was it two mandrake roots? What else goes in? Eyes. No, I won’t have eyes in this one Oh, yes Of course. Graveyard dirt Witches of Hecate, blacker than black

demons of shame, and flesh on the rack see that our George no power shall lack Double his magic and beat that Lodac! I wonder what Sybil’s cooking up It’s the wrong recipe What have you done, Sybil? I’ve finished poor George, that’s what I’ve done I’ve taken his magic away from him completely George has no more magic Dennis! James! Where are you now? There are the tracks of their horses I can’t believe they’re ahead of us How could they take this heat? It’s getting hotter by the moment You had no right to let them go on without us What could I do? They were up before daylight, and belligerent at that Sir Dennis said that he couldn’t trust me to spy out the land any longer You could have wakened us They swore they’d be back before daylight If the heat’s any worse up ahead, they’ll be burned to a crisp by this time I cannot breathe I cannot move my legs Don’t come. Go back, it’s death up here Stay back – We are finished – Go back Get back Heavenly Father! George, will you be looking at that man? He’s not even hot and we’re burning. Why? Yes. Why, Branton? That, gentlemen, is my secret The horses want water, too – Where the devil is he? – He must be in here somewhere – You mean I was in here, George – Branton I’m sorry I have to leave you now A longstanding appointment with the Princess Helene – And also with my partner, Lodac – Partner? Yes, his castle is just over the hill Any last words for either of them? You won’t escape us, Branton I already have escaped you, George What do we do now? – We break out. With Ascalon’s help – Ascalon? Didn’t you know my sword was magic? It opens floors, walls, gates, anything – It was magic – Like your horse

Perhaps Lodac’s magic is a bit stronger It’s no use. You’ll only be dulling the blade There must be some other way out, Patrick George, help me! Through the wall! – He’s escaped again – Sir Patrick, too? No. Patrick is finished But Sir George is riding this way There was no way out of that cave, Lodac Was it magic? – No, not magic – Then how did George escape? I think, yes, something stronger than magic The power of Patrick’s faith He’s coming Nearer He’s arriving at the castle gates Where is he going?

– Helene – No, Lodac, I won’t allow that Don’t worry. It will all work out most satisfactorily, I promise He doesn’t know the way to her cell anyway He doesn’t have to. The spell of the sixth curse is already leading him on I must be dreaming But you are George Or is this more of Lodac’s magic? I’m as real as you are – How did you know me? – I think I would have known you anywhere Lodac has shown me visions of you, just to torture me. You coming nearer and nearer But he always swore that you would never live to get here But I’m here, and we’ll leave together – I’m too happy to even think – Don’t think. Just let me hold you We must go while we can What happened to Sir Branton? Rather ask what will happen when I get him within my sword’s length He’s somewhere here in the castle Let him go. What does anything matter, except us and our freedom together? I’ll see if the way is clear Quietly Welcome, Sir George I was beginning to think you’d never get here You’re looking for this? My lady, it’s time for us to leave – No, Helene – But I want to, George Aren’t you forgetting something, Branton? Oh, the ring I keep my word All right, take her, if you still want her I want her, all right, and she wants me Always and forever – Helene – Who is this? Did you really think I’d keep my word once I had the ring? But I don’t understand. Where is Helene? – Over here – She belongs to me. We made a bargain! – I don’t bargain with mortals. I destroy them – Monster All right, Branton, it’s time to take care of you Prepare her for the dragon Take Sir George to the dungeon Mustn’t give up, or it’s the end of him, the end of them both What will you do, Sybil? I must think Try to remember the right recipe – And give him back his magic, Sybil? – Of course. I have to Where did I go wrong? Witches of Hecate, blacker than black demons of shame, and flesh on the rack It’s the next line, that’s the one I got wrong, and it rhymes with “rack.” Swack? Smack? Snack? No, none of those I’ll go to Lodac’s castle, that’s what I’ll do

I’ll give it some thought on the way Save him, Sybil I’ll try Well, here goes Sir George, this is the real Helene, I swear it All right, now, go ahead Show me how a pair of young mortals in love bid farewell before they die Very tender, but a little late, wouldn’t you say? I love you, George, always remember that I love you, Helene Come, Helene You’ll have a good view from the window, Sir George A feast! Lodac will want a feast! Hurry, you pick the best of the little people for the stew! You’ll pick the wine The rest of you know what you have to do Hurry. Please, quick, hurry Quick, cut the ropes from my wrists! Thank you. I’m grateful to you My sword has lost its magic, but it’s still a sword Destroy him! It is my will! Well, Sybil, come to see the end of George?

The ring? Yes, the ring No sorcerer can cross me now Watch your boy die If only I could give him back his magic Witches of Hecate, blacker than black demons of shame, and flesh on the rack The next line If only I could remember the next line Poor fool He’s even lost the power to attack That’s the word Witches of Hecate, blacker than black demons of shame, and flesh on the rack give to my boy the power to attack – My ring – No, my ring now They will still die, both of them Now do I curse you with all the damnation of hell, curse upon curse Defiant mortal, you dared to challenge me Six curses could not destroy you, but now you must face the seventh Me, the invincible! Now will I grind you to dust! Now, all you vile creatures of hell listen to me as I cast the seventh curse!

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