The main street of the city is dark and empty. Here and there an oil lamp burns, casting crazy shadows across large smooth cobbles stones. A drizzling rain makes the large cobbles wet and slippery. A girl appears on the street, dragging a small case behind her. She is wearing what was once a very fine dress, but that was long ago… a life time ago. Tired and weak from travel, her foot slips and she falls heavily, still holding tightly to her case. She cries out in the darkness but there is no one to hear her. Even a bustling city must sleep sometimes.
The girl lay shivering in the street, too weak to rise. As the night grew deeper, a cool desert wind arose. It was bitterly cold, and she had nothing with which to stay warm. Then a figure appeared in the distance, flitting from shadow to shadow. The girl drew back in fright as a man approached her wearing a dark cloak with a hood pulled over a lean and crooked face.
Thief: How now, a little skirt, alone in the night, lying in the dirt. Tis sad to see, one so frail as thee, frightened… and oh so very helpless…
Mary: Oh Shadow of the night, you fearful figure, with eyes that glint and teeth that glimmer. Your fingers are long, and slyly you move, like a fox in a field, eyeing a hare in a noose.
Thief: Look at the tears, that flow down her cheeks. What have you done, girl in the night, to end up alone, and out of sight…?
Mary: Spare me your pity you vile man. My tapestry is woven, its ugly pattern I have chosen.
Thief: Ah, I know who you are! You are the one, chosen by love to marry the king’s son? We’ve all heard the story, about the girl who listened to a charmer. You could have been a queen! With jewels, and gold, and ladies in waiting. You had it all, but now you have nothing!
Mary: Tis true! I am that one, and oh, what I have done I will take to the grave, for now there is no one left to save.
Thief: Ah, lady of sorrow, your end has not come, there will be a tomorrow. Your life I do not desire, but pearls and gold, or perhaps a beautiful sapphire! [reaches for the girls purse]
Mary: Stay back! Have pity! On a helpless girl, in this great big city!
Thief: [looking through the girls things] A brick of cheese, a crust of bread. Ah ha! A hole in the lining! A clever enough trick, but not for my cunning. Now look! Something magnificent! A gift from the king! To make you his own, a beautiful ring!
Mary: Give that back you cruel man, with heart of stone, whose filching fingers and glittering eyes dare to take what I most prize.
Thief: One seeks treasure and another pleasure. What is the harm, if there is no measure?
Mary: Fine! Take the ring! It is a fitting end. A promise was made, and a covenant broken!
[the thief walks off with the ring in his hand]