Dost Thou Shaft Thy Soldiers, Sirrah?
As Scene 3 opens, Edmund Ironside is talking to General Alfric (I had a bad bout of General Alfric a few years ago . . . but I got better . . . I know, old joke). Eddie asks Alf if the soldiers are all paid up to date and had dinner and drinky thing to their little hearts’ content. (Because everybody knows your soldiers do best when they’re all likkered up.) So Eddie’s tickled pink when Alfric assures him that everybody’s fed to a fare-thee-well and good an’ boozed up. Edmund is delighted to hear it, because any commander who shafts his soldiers just so’s he can be can do the haute couture thing, well, he’s just heading for the fifth circle of hell. Or maybe the sixth.
At this point, Turkillus and Leofric come straggling in, fresh from Cnut’s place. They kneel and Leo speaks, explaining that For we art scum, and we deserveth to be tied up and lashed soundly with a wet noodle until we cryeth uncle and stuff, for we art bad, Oooh, so very bad. So it art up to you, new Boss guy, executeth us or turneth us loose, to no doubt betray you at the drop of a hat (he doesn’t say the last part).
Edmund claps his tiny little hands together, grinning broadly, and when he turns his back, Turk and Leo get in a quick high-five. Channeling biblical-type stuff, Eddie says he’s happier about a couple of losers coming slinking back to the family than he is over the folks who’ve been loyal from start to finish. Immediately, the rest of his army begins making plans for a wee “vacation” to be sure that Eddie gets a couple hundred more comparable thrills in the days to come.