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Doctor Mudd

SamuelMudd

Opera Libretto

by Dr. Michael Pratt

  • Prologue: “Sic Semper Tyrannis”
  • Act 1: Mudd’s Case
  • Act 2: The Government’s Case

Cast:

  • Dr. Samuel Mudd – tenor
  • Dr. Mudd – granddaughter of Samuel Mudd – soprano
  • Government Secretary – baritone (double as Lt. Lovett & Gen. Hunter)
  • Sarah Mudd – Samuel’s wife – soprano
  • John Wilkes Booth – bass baritone
  • Davey Herold – Booth’s companion – baritone (double as Abraham Lincoln)

Sets:

The set has three separate areas. A triangle with two corners at extreme downstage/stage left and downstage/stage right. The third corner is upstage center. Center stage will show various scenes from 1865. Stage left is a prison cell in Fort Jefferson (on the Gulf coast of Florida) several years later containing the convicted Dr. Samuel Mudd. Stage right is a contemporary office. A Government Secretary is seated at a desk. Across the desk is Dr. Mudd the granddaughter of Samuel Mudd. A prominent picture of the current president identifies the time period. Lighting must be such that these are three separate and distinct stage areas. The action of the opera will proceed simultaneously in these three different time periods. From time to time Dr. Samuel Mudd will move from his stage left cell to the center stage action and the effect will be to go back in time to the events that occurred.

Prologue: “Sic Semper Tyrannis”

Orchestral prelude. The curtain rises showing Abraham Lincoln (center stage) sitting in a rocking chair – profile to the audience facing stage left. His features are not visible. He has a shawl around him. He is identified by wearing a top hat. In front of him is a bunting covered railing with a black drop just on the other side so Booth can run past Lincoln (upstage) – jump over the railing and behind the drop – giving the effect of jumping out of the theater box and down onto the stage. As the music proceeds an arm appears behind Lincoln with a derringer aimed at his head. The gun fires. Lincoln slumps over. Booth runs past Lincoln, jumps over the railing and onto the stage below (behind the drop) where he yells “Sic Semper Tyrannis”.

Act 1: Mudd’s Case

Scene 1: stage left – Mudd in his cell

Mudd: My name is Mudd. Mudd is my name. Samuel Alexander Mudd. An innocent man in prison. A prisoner of Shark Island. Condemned for the rest of my life. Condemned to this fate through bad luck. Through a miscarriage of justice. A government thirst for vengeance. Bad luck alone sent Booth to me. A doctor’s oath bade me help him. Why did he come to me that night? There were other doctors nearby. Now I’m here. My family alone. Outcast and anathema am I. Bleak and dismal is my future. My name is Mudd. Mudd is my name.

Scene 2: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary seated in an office

Granddaughter: Good day, Mr. Secretary. It is kind of you to see me.

Gov. Secretary: It is my pleasure Doctor Mudd. Your letter was most persuasive. You are Samuel Mudd’s granddaughter? And like him a doctor as well?

Granddaughter: That’s true Mister Secretary. Many descendants followed him. You’ve read the letter I sent you. I want to clear the name of Mudd.

Gov. Secretary: You make a most compelling case. Many people feel as you do. I will help you all that I can. Can you tell me more about it?

Granddaughter: Doctor Mudd just did his duty. He did not know what Booth had done.

Scene 3: center stage – Dr. Samuel Mudd, Sarah Mudd, Booth and Herold in the interior or Mudd’s house. In the center is a door. Stage right of the door is a table. Stage left of the door is a couch. There is a banging on the door.

Mudd: Who knocks on my door so loudly? It is the middle of the night.

Herold: Strangers riding to Washington. My friend here has broken his leg.

Booth and Herold enter. Herold helps Booth who is in great pain and cannot walk unaided. Booth has a cloak thrown about him and his head is covered. He is wearing false whiskers. He obviously keeps his head averted away from Mudd. Booth also has a full, flowing mustache.

Mudd: Sit down there and put your leg up. Sarah, get my bag and scissors.

Herold: My name’s Henston. His is Tyson. Can you fix him up? He hurts bad.

Sarah: You will have to cut off his boot. These scissors are heavy enough.

Herold: Can you give him something to drink? I don’t think he can stand the pain.

Mudd: Sarah, pour some whiskey for him. There’s some over there, by the door.

Sarah goes to the table , pours a drink and gives it to Booth.

Herold: Tyson, drink it down. It will help. Thank you very much ma’am. Me too?

Sarah pours Herold a drink.

Sarah: Your friend does not talk much, does he? He has yet to utter a word.

Herold: You’re right ma’am, he’s not a talker. It’s me does most of the talking.

Sarah: Samuel, give that boot to me. Use these slats to make him a splint.

Sarah puts the boot at the end of the couch (downstage) half underneath.

Herold: We need to be on our way soon. Can we rest here for a few hours?

Mudd: That’s all I can do for tonight. Go upstairs and rest for a while.

Herold: Thank you for all of your trouble. Tyson needs to sleep for a spell.

Booth and Herold exit stage right

Mudd: Very curious pair, Sarah. Do they seem strange to you as well?

Sarah: I thought they were acting oddly. Like they had something to conceal.

Scene 4: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary

Granddaughter: He didn’t recognize Booth that night. There was no reason to suspect. He had never heard of Tyson. He had never met Henston before. He kept his face turned to the wall. He was wearing some fake whiskers. He always kept his head covered. He and Booth had only met once.

Gov. Secretary: Are you sure they only met once? Some said it was more times than that?

Granddaughter: He always said they met just once, six months prior to these events. And on the evening of Good Friday in April eighteen sixty-five he was completely unaware that his patient was John Wilkes Booth.

Scene 5: stage left – Mudd in his cell

Mudd: I never saw his face clearly. Now it’s plain he wore a disguise. Anyway, we’d only met once and that was a brief encounter. Nothing to connect Booth that night. Not once did it enter my head. It was a long time since we met and that was just a chance meeting. I went to Mass with John Thompson. After church we had a short talk. I had heard of his name before. His actor family was famous. Nothing was said about Lincoln. Not even the war was mentioned. It was a pleasant afternoon. He said nothing remarkable.

Scene 6: center stage – Mudd and Booth outside of a church

Mudd: Pleasure to meet you Mister Booth. I’ve heard a great deal about you.

Booth: The pleasure is mine Doctor Mudd. You know this area well, sir?

Mudd: I have lived here all of my life. I know this country very well.

Booth: Just the man I wanted to meet. I am looking to buy some land.

Mudd: Some land, you say. What kind of land? Are you looking for land to farm?

Booth: Not to farm. Not even to use. I want to make an investment.

Mudd: For an investment, do you say? What do you see to gain from that?

Booth: The war will be over some day. Lots of people will be in need.

Mudd: And you aim to help fill that need? At a profit to you of course.

Booth: You understand me very well. Opportunities are coming.

Mudd: Well there’s plenty of land to get. And most of it quite a good buy.

Booth: That’s real good news for me to hear. I am anxious to get started.

Mudd: I would be happy to help you. Do you have a horse you can ride?

Booth: No, but I would like to buy one. I will need it to get around.

Mudd: My neighbor has a horse for sale. We could go there this afternoon.

Booth: I am glad that we met today. I can tell that you are my man.

Scene 7: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary

Granddaughter: Doctor Mudd did nothing at all to warrant his going to jail. All the time Booth was in his house he knew nothing about Lincoln. Booth and Herold left the next day and on Easter he heard the news.

Gov. Secretary: There was other help he gave them. He tried to get Booth a carriage.

Granddaughter: That help is not remarkable. After all, Booth’s leg was broken.

Gov. Secretary: And what about the secret map to help him hide out in the swamp?

Granddaughter: The map he gave was not secret. It was simply the shortest route. There is no case that can be made. The events are plain and simple.

Scene 8: center stage – Mudd, Sarah, Booth and Herold in the interior or Mudd’s house. Booth still has fake whiskers but the mustache is shaved. He still has the cloak and keeps his head covered and face averted.

Mudd: I’m sorry that I could not help. There’s not a carriage to be had. It’s going to pain you a lot. You cannot take much riding.

Herold: We thank you for trying at all. It should not have been a surprise. Tomorrow is Easter, you know. Most folks are using their carriage.

Sarah: Everybody will be out. Visiting their friends and neighbors. Easter Sunday’s the time for that. Visiting and celebrating.

Booth: What’s quickest to Samuel Cox? We must see him before we go. There’s some business to attend to. It should not take us very long.

Mudd: There’s no easy way to Cox’s house. Through the swamp would be the fastest. Zekiah Swamp is over there. Let me draw you a map to help.

Mudd goes over to the desk and draws a map.

Herold: Thank you ma’am for letting us shave. The rest and the food was welcome. It’s good there are people like you. People who care about strangers.

Sarah: My husband and I are Christian. Not only that, he’s a doctor. You don’t need to thank us for that. It’s our duty to be of help.

Mudd hands the map to Booth.

Mudd: This map should get you to Cox’s place. But you’re all alone in that swamp.

Booth: That will not bother us at all. We don’t want any company.

Scene 9: stage left – Mudd in his cell

Mudd: Henston and Tyson were long gone. At least those were the names I knew. That was Saturday afternoon. Lincoln’s fate still unknown to me. Sunday was when I heard the news. I went to Mass at St. Peters. I was as shocked as anyone about the assassination. I had met the man who killed him. But still I made no connection. However, I was suspicious. The men at my house acted strange. There had been a conspiracy. A lot of people were involved. Maybe those two were part of it. I should report it to someone.

Scene 10: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary

Granddaughter: He asked his cousin what to do. A massive manhunt was in place. Soldiers questioning everyone. Looking for Booth and his men. His cousin was Doctor George Mudd. An older man and staunch Union. He told the tale of two strangers. Maybe they were part of the plot.

Gov. Secretary: They decided to report it? To tell the soldiers all they knew?

Granddaughter: That is exactly what they did. The elder Mudd took charge of it. Monday he went to Bryantown. He spoke with Lieutenant Dana. On Tuesday they met together. My grandfather told all he knew.

Scene 11: center stage – Mudd, Sarah, Lt. Lovett in the interior or Mudd’s house.

Mudd: Lieutenant Lovett, like I said. I really did not see his face. His head was always covered up. His face was hidden by whiskers.

Lovett: Was anything unusual? Were they carrying any guns?

Mudd: Yes, I do believe that they were. Tyson was wearing a pistol.

Lovett: Did they leave anything behind? Something to identify them?

Sarah: No, lieutenant, they left nothing. They were only here a short time.

Lovett: You are acting very nervous. Are you sure you’re telling it all?

Mudd: Yes sir, all that I know to tell. Anybody would be nervous.

Lovett: Since he kept his face turned away, could Tyson’s whiskers have been false?

Sarah: I thought they were on Saturday. It looked like they were coming loose.

Mudd: Now that you mention it, that’s true. And he also shaved his mustache.

Lovett: So he still had the beard next day. But not the mustache. Is that right?

Mudd: That’s correct. Now I remember. I thought his appearance was strange.

Lovett: Which way did they go when they left? You said you gave them directions.

Sarah: I did not see which way they went. They asked the way to Sam Cox’s place.

Mudd: That’s right, they did, and I told them. But I didn’t watch them ride off.

Scene 12: stage left – Mudd in his cell

Mudd: I knew they didn’t believe me. You could see the look on their face. They were desperate to find Booth. They were looking for a scapegoat. I was a likely candidate. I could tell what they were thinking. I figured that they would be back. It was just a matter of time. I tried not to act so nervous. I knew it made me look guilty. I was afraid they’d arrest me simply because I helped those men. I told Sarah they’d be coming back and probably arrest me too. It was on Friday they returned. One week after Lincoln was shot.

Scene 13: center stage – Mudd, Sarah, Lt. Lovett in the interior or Mudd’s house.

Lovett: Doctor Mudd, a few more questions. How did you treat his injuries?

Mudd: He was in a great deal of pain. He told me his leg was broken. Also his back hurt him a lot. I had him sit down over there. In order to look at his leg I had to cut off his left boot.

Lovett: You cut off his boot over here? And what did you do with the boot?

Mudd: I really do not remember. I have not seen it since that night.

Sarah: That’s strange, I haven’t seen it either. I wonder what became of it? You cut it off. Threw it aside. Perhaps it got kicked under here. Sarah finds the boot under the couch.

Lovett: That’s it. Let me look at that boot. Maybe he had his name in it. There it is. You can clearly see. He was here all right. John Wilkes Booth. Mudd, you harbored the criminal. I am placing you under arrest. Lovett ties Mudd’s hands and drags him off.

Sarah: Please, dear God, this cannot be true. Please, don’t take my husband away. He is only a poor doctor. He was just doing his duty. He did not know who the man was. He did not know what the man did. He had nothing to do with it. Dear God, this can’t be happening.

Scene 14: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary

Granddaughter: A military court tried him. Even though he was not a soldier. They had no jurisdiction. The civilian courts were open. War was done. Lee had surrendered. Marshall law had not been declared. But in a military court a conviction would be certain. President Johnson set it up. He authorized the tribunal. The Secretary of Defense was in total agreement. He was tied to seven others as part of a conspiracy. A conspirator he was not. The injustice of it is clear.

Scene 15: stage left – Mudd in his cell

Mudd: Eight of us stood trial as one. We were tried by nine officers. The trial lasted for eight weeks. The court never once questioned me. We tried to separate ourselves. But the court would not allow that. As a conspiracy we stood. The fate of all tied together. Not one witness tied me to it. Not one witness stood up and said I know Mudd helped Booth kill Lincoln. There was no evidence at all. Simply because I had helped him. I was made out part of the plot. Right from the start we were guilty. That was as clear as it could be.

Scene 16: center stage – Mudd, Sarah, Herold, General Hunter in a courtroom.

Sarah: Two months enduring this nightmare. What if they sentence him to hang? His children without a father. His wife without a husband. And he is only thirty-one. His whole life is ahead of him. But he will not live to see more. They all must pay, guilty or not.

Herold: I really do not want to die. But at least it is worth the price. Abe Lincoln was an evil man. He had to die to save the South. I only wish they all had died. Johnson and Seward and Grant too. That would have stopped the North for sure. Then we’d all be free men again.

Mudd: Gaze at your wife for the last time. For now they will hang you for sure. There will be no more tomorrows. It will soon be over. Guilty. You’ve pled your case to no avail. Everything fell upon deaf ears. Guilty the verdict all along. Someone must pay and I am here.

Hunter: You are charged with conspiracy to kill Lincoln, to kill Johnson, to kill Seward and to kill Grant. Fortunately only one died. For that death your souls are blackened. Villainous names for history. David E. Herold you will hang. Samuel Mudd life in prison.

Scene 17: stage left – Mudd in his cell

Mudd: My name is Mudd. Mudd is my name. Samuel Alexander Mudd. An innocent man in prison. A prisoner of Shark Island. Condemned for the rest of my life. Condemned to this fate through bad luck. Through a miscarriage of justice. A government thirst for vengeance. Bad luck alone sent Booth to me. A doctor’s oath bade me help him. Why did he come to me that night? There were other doctor’s nearby. Now I’m here. My family alone. Outcast and anathema am I. Bleak and dismal is my future. My name is Mudd. Mudd is my name.

Scene 18: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary

Granddaughter: Four years later he was pardoned. Yellow fever had broken out. He rendered heroic service. President Johnson pardoned him. He tried for the rest of his life even though he had been pardoned to reverse the guilty verdict which hovered over like a shroud.

Gov. Secretary: But the pardon that set him free also changed the guilty verdict. What you want to do is change facts. You want to rewrite history.

Granddaughter: The name Mudd demands clearing. History’s wrong and should be changed.

Gr. Dau. & Mudd: He is (I am) innocent. Clear his (my) name. He is (I am) innocent. Clear his (my) name.

Act 2: The Government’s Case

Scene 1: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary

Gov. Secretary: You make a most compelling case but you leave a lot of things out. There is much more to the story. This man was a southern agent. He was a courier for mail. He hid southern soldiers near by. Clandestine meetings at his house. Plans were made to kidnap Lincoln. This conspiracy he joined in. Kidnapping Lincoln for ransom. Ransom for southern prisoners. This would help turn the tide of the war.

Granddaughter: Most of these things are unproven. Unsubstantiated charges.

Gov. Secretary: Scores of witnesses say proven. A conspiracy from the start.

Scene 2: center stage – Mudd and Booth outside of a church

Booth: Mudd, I’m glad to meet you at last. I have heard a lot about you.

Mudd: Your reputation precedes you. I would like to hear of your plans.

Booth: The North would not negotiate. A prisoner exchange is out. We must have a plan to force it. And I think I have such a plan. We must have something to exchange. Something the North desperately wants. Something they will trade our men for. And that something will be Lincoln. Kidnap Lincoln to force their hand. Kidnap Lincoln and steal him South. Hold him for ransom for our men. Then we would have the upper hand.

Mudd: But will it work? Can you do it? It’s such a bold and daring plan.

Booth: Yes, I am sure it can be done. I will need help from men like you.

Mudd: You can count on me. You know that. I will do whatever I can.

Booth: That’s just what I wanted to hear. Your help is just what I need now. The kidnapping will not be hard. He’s in his carriage every day. The trick will be to get him out. I need a certain escape route. You know this country very well. Help me map out a route through it. Tell me everyone I can trust.

Scene 3: stage left – Mudd in his cell

Mudd: This was the man I was certain. This was the man to save the South. Desperate times meant daring moves. To kidnap Lincoln was daring. To hold him for ransom was bold. Boldness was just what we needed. They’d never be looking for that. Not from a man like John Wilkes Booth. Kidnap Lincoln. Get our men back. A mortal blow to the Union. A great victory for the South. We would turn the tide of the war. This was the man to do all that. This was the man meant for the job. When he asked me I did not shrink. I would help him all that I could.

Scene 4: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary

Gov. Secretary: That was not their only meeting. A month later in Washington in a National Hotel room they mapped out the plan together. There were people who saw them there. Along with Surratt and Weichmann. They mapped out the conspiracy to kidnap Lincoln for ransom. The testimony was quite clear. Samuel Mudd was clearly involved. He was for the plan from the start and he was actively involved. He provided the escape route. He wanted the plan to succeed. He knew everyone that would help. He was a key to the plan’s success.

Scene 5: center stage – Mudd and Booth in a hotel room in Washington

Mudd: Show me on the map what you mean. I don’t know the route you propose.

Booth: Through here, and here, and then here. Nobody will detect us there.

Mudd: That may be true but all through here the land’s nearly impassable. It would certainly take you longer. That is not a very good route.

Booth: What we need is a direct route. Speed will be very important. And it must be isolated. They will be searching everywhere.

Mudd: To do that we will need some help and I know just the men for it. Go through here, and here, and then here. You’ll find help here and here and here.

Booth: Perfect. Places to hide on route. It will take us several days. We can only travel at night. Stay under cover in daylight. Once we have Lincoln in the South We will demand all prisoners. We will send a note to Stanton. You will see. The plan will succeed. With patriots like you helping we can still turn it all around. The South will prevail yet. You’ll see.

Mudd: Exactly what I’m praying for. Me and a lot of others too.

Booth: I’ll get word to you when it’s time. You have everything all ready.

Scene 6: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary

Gov. Secretary: They had it planned out carefully. But their plan became meaningless. It was done when Lee surrendered. The plan was over with the war. It had all become a moot point. Kidnapping Lincoln made no sense. The prisoners would be released and they would all just go home. Desperate measures were needed so Booth came up with a new plan. To cut off the head of the North. Not just Lincoln but everyone. Mass confusion would reign supreme and the government would collapse. There were still troops out in the field. They would be victorious yet.

Scene 7: stage left – Mudd in his cell

Mudd: I didn’t know what they had done. I had been enthusiastic about the plans that we had made but I never would have helped this. It was done. The war was finished. Six hundred thousand men were dead. The South was a burning ruin. Complete and total disaster. There was nothing to be gained now. This new plan was only revenge. And I knew nothing about it. Nor I would not have taken part. Booth had fallen, broken his leg. I was the closest help for him. Of course he knew where my house was. It made sense for him to come here.

Scene 8: center stage – Dr. Samuel Mudd, Sarah Mudd, Booth and Herold in the interior or Mudd’s house. There is a banging on the door.

Mudd: Who knocks on my door so loudly. It is the middle of the night.

Booth: Mudd, it’s Booth and I have been hurt. Let me in. Quick. I need your help.

Mudd: Over here, lie down over here. Have you had an accident Booth?

Booth: My horse fell on me. My leg’s broke. It hurts like the devil himself.

Mudd: Sarah, get a glass of whiskey. What are you doing out tonight?

Booth: We are returning to Washington. My companion’s Davey Herold.

Herold: Pleasure to meet you, Doctor Mudd. I’ve heard a great deal about you.

Mudd: Here, take this and drink it all down. I’m going to cut off your boot.

Sarah: These scissors are heavy enough. I’ll get some slats to make a splint.

Herold: It’s a good thing you were close by. He could not have gone much farther.

Booth: That’s true, I’m really exhausted. I will need to rest for a while.

Mudd: There’s a room upstairs you can use. You can rest as long as you like. What will happen to our men now? Now that the war’s over, what next? It’s tragic our plan was too late. I know it would have helped the South.

Booth: You’ll find out soon, we’re not done yet. Lee, the coward, has betrayed us. John Wilkes Booth has a destiny. There’s other plans to execute.

Scene 9: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary

Gov. Secretary: Sunday at church he heard the news. That is what he always maintained. Numerous witnesses say else. He heard the news on Saturday. He had gone into Bryantown. The news had already reached there. He was as shocked as anyone. But he soon saw his jeopardy. Lincoln’s killer was in his house. They would think he was part of it. His family was in danger. His neck would be caught in a noose. He had to get Booth out of there. He had to cover up his tracks. He had nothing to do with it but he was in it none the less.

Scene 10: center stage – Dr. Samuel Mudd, Sarah Mudd, Booth and Herold in the interior or Mudd’s house.

Mudd: You must leave my house this instant. How dare you bring this danger here. I am not any part of this. I never agreed to killing.

Herold: I though you were a patriot. We’re free from Lincoln’s tyrant hand.

Mudd: Kidnapping Lincoln was one thing. Killing Lincoln is another. The war is over and we have lost. This has no honor or reason.

Booth: Don’t turn us out. We need your help. Please, I’m begging you. Let us stay.

Sarah: My children are in grave danger. If anyone should see you here. If anyone knows you came here. If anyone should see you leave. The soldiers would know we helped you. They would arrest us without fail.

Herold: How can you be so cowardly? It’s a great thing we have done. Sacrifices have to be made. You were willing to help before.

Mudd: That was completely different. I never agreed to this plan.

Herold: You would have hanged just as dead then. This carries no more jeopardy.

Booth: Mudd, please. I am pleading with you. I beg you for my mother’s sake. Do not forsake us, we need your help. Let us stay. Only a few days.

Mudd: Not even for a few minutes. You must leave and you must leave now.

Scene 11: stage left – Mudd in his cell

Mudd: When they left I was still frightened. Booth’s vortex might still pull me in. He was gone but he might be caught. If he’s caught they’ll know he was helped. They will want to know who it was. Who was it set his broken leg? Who was it helped him escape? Who was it who aided this man? I cannot say it was not me. They would know that it was a lie. I can say a man came for help. I did not know who that man was. I did not recognize that man. As a doctor, I treated him. I was just doing my duty. I knew not the man or his deeds.

Scene 12: center stage – Dr. Samuel Mudd, Sarah Mudd in the interior of Mudd’s house.

Sarah: Samuel, what are we to do? That was the man who killed Lincoln. And he was right here in our house. We gave him food and shelter. Surely they will arrest us too. As if we committed the crime. Won’t they come here and question us? What will we tell them about this?

Mudd: We will say we did not know him. We will say he gave a false name.

Sarah: They will say you met Booth before. They will say you recognized him.

Mudd: We will say that he was disguised. We will say he wore false whiskers.

Sarah: They will say you still would know him. They will say you met him at church.

Mudd: We will say he covered his head. We will say he kept his head turned.

Sarah: We will say you did your duty. We will say that you’re a doctor.

Mudd: Yes, that’s it. I’m just a doctor. A man came for help in the night. I never met the man before. I did not know who the man was.

Sarah: Yes, yes. That’s what you should say. Tyson had come to you for help. He had fallen and broke his leg. You set it. He rested. He left. You were completely innocent. A doctor doing his duty.

Mudd: That will work. That’s what we will say. We had nothing to do with it.

Scene 13: stage right – Mudd’s granddaughter and a Government Secretary

Gov. Secretary: Mudd’s lawyer helped him all he could. He tried to blunt the testimony. Over five dozen witnesses. But the lies made it very hard.

Granddaughter: A military court tried him. They did not have jurisdiction. And that colored the testimony. On that alone he should be cleared.

Gov. Secretary: You argue nothing but fine points. We cannot change what happened then. History cannot be reversed. And he did help Booth to escape.

Granddaughter: He paid for that on Shark Island. Yellow fever nearly took him. He should never have been sent there. Old wrongs can still be corrected.

Scene 14: finale – Mudd is in his cell – Sarah, Booth and Herold are center stage

Mudd: My life forever changed that night. Why did Booth come to me for help?

Booth: I did not misjudge Doctor Mudd. I knew he would not turn me out.

Sarah: Sam should never have let him in. He should never have been involved.

Herold: We never once mentioned Lincoln. We knew Mudd did not have the spine.

Gov. Secretary: He helped Lincoln’s killer escape. You cannot undo history.

Granddaughter: My grandfather is innocent. Help me clear the name of Mudd.

Mudd: My name is Mudd. Mudd is my name. Marked forever for helping Booth.

Booth: I knew enough to keep silent. Mudd would not help me if he knew.

Sarah: We should have suspected something. We should have known something was wrong.

Herold: He would not help us if he knew. Booth knew about Mudd’s weak nature.

Gov. Secretary: All your arguments are for naught. The moving finger has moved on.

Granddaughter: What was written is in error. A new line needs to be set down.

Mudd: I did my duty.

Granddaughter: My grandfather is innocent.

Booth/Herold: “Sic Semper Tyrannis”

Gov. Secretary: He aided Booth’s escape.

Sarah: And so it must remain.

All: His (my) name is Mudd. History will decide.

Curtain.

Copyright 2010 by Pratt Music Co.

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