At the last possible moment, Edricus somehow manages to pay a quick visit to Canute to promise that everything’s a go – Ironside’s forces are coming, and he’ll change sides at the best moment. When Canute exits, Edricus snickers to the audience, saying he’ll just stand back and see who wins and help that side, although he’d actually rather it be Canute if he had his druthers.
Cue the war. Ironside attacks and Canute retreats. Edricus changes sides, and Canute forces Ironside to retreat. Edricus loiters a bit to talk to Canute, saying that he’ll follow Ironside since “To stay long here would breed suspicion.”
Okay, hang on.
I quote from the stage directions: “Edricus backs Canutus.” This has got to give a whole new meaning to pushing your luck. You’re telling me this bozo is gonna slink back to Ironside and tell him what, that he was just funnin’ when he changed sides in the middle of the battle, and didn’t mean anything by it? We look forward confidently to Edricus’ slow fileting . . .