Monday, 2 October 1972

Episode 2.4: Some Saxon Women

Writer: David Osborne


Yorath the Jute’s village. Some of the villagers run to escort a wagon with a large barrel on the back, and it is dragged into Yorath’s village, amid a flurry of activity. Others assemble behind a seat that is brought for Yorath. Yorath comes out and sits down. The wagon pulls up. The Greek trader approaches Yorath.

Greek trader: Greetings, Yorat.

Yorath: [correcting the Greek trader’s pronunciation] Yorath.

The Greek trader laughs. A Jute woman brings a mug and gives it to Yorath. Yorath drinks, and hands the mug to the Greek trader, who casts his whip aside, wipes the rim of the mug, gives Yorath an ingratiating smile, then drinks. He then pretends that the drink disgusts him, but that he is trying not to let his opinion be known. He gestures towards the barrel, which clearly contains something far superior to what Yorath has given him.

Greek trader: There’s your wine – as promised.

Yorath gestures to one of the villagers, who brings a wooden stool for the Greek trader.

Yorath: Sit down.

Yorath taps the seat provided. The Greek trader snaps his fingers at one of his servants, who brings an animal hide to cover the seat. Evidently nothing in Yorath’s village is good enough for him. The Greek trader sits down, and waves the servant away, and flaps and blows at something in the air that offends his delicate sensibilities.

Yorath: Well now. How much? And I won’t pay silly money, eh? Just bronze.

Greek trader: Not money … Jute. A trade.

Rowena appears from behind a group of Jute women.

Yorath: Uh-huh? What then?

Greek trader: [lecherously] Some Saxon women. Five will do.

The Jute women, including Rowena, look perturbed.

Yorath: Ohhh.

Greek trader: A pleasant night’s outing for you. A few throats … slit? A few miles of forest walked. But they must be young.

Yorath chuckles lecherously.

Greek trader: And fair …

Yorath: I see … [chuckles] Herded down onto your boat … [sniffs, as if he smells something rotten] Sent across the sea, eh? To be sold as concubines on the slave blocks of Athens, eh? [laughs and leans over and pats the Greek trader conspiratorially on the arm] You bastard!

Yorath and the Greek trader are both laughing, like wicked children.

Rowena: Father! No!

Yorath looks ashamed, though clearly annoyed. Even the Greek trader looks a bit guilty – or perhaps just annoyed.

Rowena: But Father!

Yorath: GO!

He stands up and pushes his chair over.

Rowena: I too am a woman.

Yorath: Then you will know your place. You will know that a woman is born to be the property of a man.

Rowena looks outraged.



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