|26 EXTERIOR - GLADE - DUSK
CUT TO the glade in the forest again.
ARTHUR: Oh, Knights of Ni, here is your shrubbery. May we go now?
TALL KNIGHT: That is a good shrubbery. I like the laurels particularly - But there is one small problem.
ARTHUR: What is that?
TALL KNIGHT: We are now no longer the Knights Who Say Ni!
ONE KNIGHT: Ni!
ONE KNIGHT (whispers): Sorry.
TALL KNIGHT: We are now the Knights Who Go Neeeow ... wum ... ping!
ONE KNIGHT: Peng!
OTHERS: Sh! Sh!
TALL KNIGHT: Therefore ... we are no longer contractually bound by any agreements previously entered into by the Knights Who Say Ni!
ONE KNIGHT: Ni!
TALL KNIGHT: Shut up!
TALL KNIGHT (to ARTHUR): Therefore, we must give you a test, a Test to satisfy the Knights who say Neeeow ... wum ... ping!
OTHERS (terrific chorus): Neeeow ... wum ... ping!
ARTHUR: What is this test, Knights of N... (can't say it) ... Recently Knights of Ni!
TALL KNIGHT: Firstly. You must get us another shrubbery!
OTHER KNIGHTS (half seen): More shrubberies! More shrubberies for the ex-Knights of Ni!
ARTHUR: Not another shrubbery -
TALL KNIGHT: When you have found the shrubbery, place the shrubbery here, beside this shrubbery ... only slightly higher, so you get a two-level effect with a path through the middle.
OTHER KNIGHTS: A path! A little path for the late Knights of Ni!
Chorus of "Ni! Ni!"
TALL KNIGHT: When you have found the shrubbery, then you must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest ... with a herring.
OTHER KNIGHTS: Yes! With a herring! With a herring! Cut down with a herring!
ARTHUR: We shall do no such thing ... let us pass!
TALL KNIGHT: Oh, please!
ARTHUR: Cut down a tree with a herring? It can't be done!
OTHER KNIGHTS (they all recoil in horror): Oh!
TALL KNIGHT: Don't say that word.
ARTHUR: What word?
TALL KNIGHT: I cannot tell you. Suffice to say is one of the words the Knights of Ni! cannot hear!
ARTHUR: How can we not say the word, if you don't tell us what it is?
TALL KNIGHT (cringing in fear): You said it again!
ARTHUR: What, "is"?
TALL KNIGHT (dismissively): No, no ... not "is"!
OTHER KNIGHTS: Not "is"! Not "is"!
Suddenly singing is heard from deep in the forest.
SIR ROBIN'S SINGERS: Bravely good Sir Robin was not at all afraid To have his eyeballs skewered ...
TALL KNIGHT (irritated): "Is" is all right ... You wouldn't get far not saying "Is"!
BEDEVERE: My liege, it's Sir Robin!
TALL KNIGHT (covering his ears): You've said the word again!
SIR ROBIN and his SINGERS appear in the clearing. The SINGERS are going on cheerfully as usual and ROBIN walks in front of them, continually embarrassed at their presence.
SINGERS: ... and his kidneys burnt and his nipples skewered off ...
ROBIN holds his hand up for silence.
ARTHUR: Sir Robin!
He shakes his hand warmly.
ROBIN: My liege! It's good to have found you again ...
TALL KNIGHT: Now he's said the word!
ARTHUR: Where are you going good Sir Robin?
ROBIN'S SINGERS (starting up again): He was going home ... he was giving up, He was throwing in the sponge.
ROBIN (to SINGERS): Shut up! (to ARTHUR) No ... er ... no ... I ... er ... I ... er ... I certainly wasn't giving up ... I was actually looking for the grail ... er thing ... in this forest.
ARTHUR: No ... it lies beyond this forest.
TALL KNIGHT: Stop saying the word!
OTHER KNIGHTS: Stop saying the word! The word we cannot hear! The word ...
ARTHUR (losing his patience with the fearful KNIGHTS OF "NI"): Oh, stop it!
Terrific confusion amongst the KNIGHTS OF "NI", they roll on the ground covering their ears. The TALL KNIGHT remains standing trying to control his MEN.
OTHER KNIGHTS: They're all saying the word ...
TALL KNIGHT: Stop saying it. AAAArghh! ... I've said it ...
OTHER KNIGHTS: You've said it! Aaaaarghhh! ... We've said it ... We're all saying it.
ARTHUR beckons to BEDEVERE and ROBIN and they pick their way through the helpless KNIGHTS OF "NI" and away into the forest.
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