menu/ THE PRINCESS BRIDE

By William Goldman

SCENE ONE

A young boy is sick in his bed, playing a video game. His MOTHER enters.

MOTHER

Hi, Honey.

KID

[Mumbles quietly] Hi, Mom.

MOTHER

You feeling any better?

KID

A little bit.

MOTHER

Guess what?

KID

What?

MOTHER

Your grandfather is here.

KID

[Pleading] Mom, can't you tell him I'm sick ...

MOTHER

You're sick? That's why he's here.

KID

[Distressed] He'll pinch my cheeks ... I hate that!

MOTHER

Maybe he won't ...

Enter the GRANDFATHER, otherwise known as the NARRATOR.

GRANDFATHER

Heyyyyy ... how's the sick? Huh? [He pinches the KID's cheek]

MOTHER

I think I'll leave you two pals alone.

GRANDFATHER

I brought you a special present.

KID

[Excitedly] What is it?

GRANDFATHER

Open it up.

KID

[Opening the gift] A book?

GRANDFATHER

That's right, when I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick and I used to read it to your father ... and today, I'm gonna read it to you.

KID

[Less interested] Does it got any sports in it?

GRANDFATHER

Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, True Love, miracles.

KID

It doesn't sound too bad. I'll try and stay awake.

GRANDFATHER

Oh, well, thank you very much. That's very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming. Oh ... all right ... The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern, Chapter One ...

From here on, GRANDFATHER will be known as NARRATOR.

NARRATOR

Buttercup was raised on a small farm in the country of Florin. Her favorite past-times were riding her horse and tormenting the farm boy that worked there. His name was Westley. But she never called him that. Isn't that a wonderful beginning?

KID

[With no enthusiasm] Yeah ... it's really good.

NARRATOR

Nothing gave Buttercup as much pleasure as ordering Westley around.

BUTTERCUP

Farmboy, varnish my horse's saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning.

WESTLEY

As you wish.

NARRATOR

"As you wish" was all he ever said to her.

BUTTERCUP

[Holding two empty pails] Farmboy, fill these with water ... please?

WESTLEY

As you wish.

NARRATOR

That day she was amazed to discover that when he was saying "as you wish", what he meant was, "I love you". And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.

BUTTERCUP

Farmboy, fetch me that pitcher.

WESTLEY

[Taking the pitcher and whispering] As you wish ...

KID

[Interrupting the story] Hold it! Hold it! What is this? Are you trying to trick me? Where's the sports? Is this a kissing book?

GRANDFATHER

Wait, just wait.

KID

Well when does it get good?

GRANDFATHER

Keep your shirt on and let me read.

NARRATOR

Westley had no money for marriage so he packed his few belongings and left the farm to seek his fortune across the sea. It was a very emotional time for Buttercup.

KID

I don't believe this!

BUTTERCUP

[Crying] I'm afraid I'll never see you again ...

WESTLEY

Of course you will.

BUTTERCUP

But what if something happens to you?

WESTLEY

Hear this now: I will always come for you.

BUTTERCUP

But how can you be sure?

WESTLEY

This is True Love. You think this happens every day?

They passionately kiss and he leaves.

NARRATOR

Westley didn't reach his destination. His ship was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never left captives alive. When Buttercup got the news that Westley was murdered -

KID

[Interrupting] Murdered by pirates is good!

NARRATOR

[Continuing] She went into her room and shut the door, and for days she neither slept nor ate.

BUTTERCUP

I will never love again.

SCENE TWO

NARRATOR

Five years later the main square of Florin City was filled as never before to hear the announcement of the Great Prince Humperdinck's bride-to-be.

HUMPERDINCK

[Trumpets blaring] My people! A month from now, our country will have its 500th Anniversary. On that sundown I shall marry a lady who was once a commoner like yourselves. But perhaps you will not find her common now. Would you like to meet her?!

CROWD

[Echoing] YES!!!

HUMPERDINCK

My people, the Princess Buttercup!

NARRATOR

Buttercup's emptiness consumed her. Although the law of the land gave Humperdinck the right to choose his bride, she did not love him. Despite Humperdinck's reassurance that she would grow to love him, the only joy she found was in her daily ride.

The scene fades to BUTTERCUP riding her horse alone in the forest the next morning. Enter VIZZINI, a Sicilian, INIGO Montoya, a Spaniard, and FEZZIK, a Giant.

VIZZINI

[Halting BUTTERCUP] A word my lady? ... We are but poor lost circus performers. Is there a village nearby?

BUTTERCUP

There is nothing nearby. Not for miles.

VIZZINI

[Cruelly] Then there will be no one to hear you scream!

FEZZIK quickly grabs the princess by the neck, rendering her unconscious. They take the princess to their ship.

INIGO

What is that you're ripping?

VIZZINI

It's fabric from the uniform of an army officer of Guilder!

FEZZIK

Who is Guilder?

VIZZINI

The country across the sea! The sworn enemy of Florin! [He attaches the cloth to BUTTERCUP's horse] GO! Once the horse reaches the castle, the fabric will make the prince suspect that the Guilderians have abducted his love. When he finds her body dead on the Guilder frontier his suspicions will be totally confirmed.

FEZZIK

You never said anything about killing anyone ...

VIZZINI

[Angrily] I hired you to help me start a war. It's a prestigious line of work with a long and glorious tradition!

FEZZIK

I just don't think it's right ... killing an innocent girl.

VIZZINI

Am I going mad, or did the word "think" escape your lips? You were not hired for your brains you hippo-britanic land mass!

INIGO

[Interrupting] I agree with Fezzik.

VIZZINI

Oh, the sod has spoken! What happens to her is not truly your concern. I will kill her! And remember this, never forget this - [yelling at INIGO] When I found you, you were so slobbering drunk, you couldn't buy brandy! [Turning to FEZZIK] And you! Friendless, brainless, helpless, hopeless!! Do you want me to send you to where you were? Unemployed, in Greenland?!

VIZZINI walks away, angered, and sets the ship free.

INIGO

Vizzini, he can ... fuss.

FEZZIK

Fuss, fuss, I think he likes to scream at us.

INIGO

Probably he means no ... harm.

FEZZIK

He's very, very short on ... charm.

INIGO

You have a great gift for rhyme.

FEZZIK

Yes, yes, some of the time.

VIZZINI

[Overhearing FEZZIK] Enough of that!

INIGO

Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?

FEZZIK

If there are, we all be dead.

VIZZINI

No more rhymes now, I mean it!

FEZZIK

Anybody want a peanut?

VIZZINI

Arggghhhhh!!!!!!

SCENE THREE

It is night, all three and BUTTERCUP are still at sea.

VIZZINI

We'll reach the cliffs by dawn. Why are you doing that? [directed at INIGO who is staring behind]

INIGO

Making sure nobody is following us.

VIZZINI

That would be inconceivable.

BUTTERCUP

[Jumping overboard] Despite what you think, you will be caught; and when you are, the prince will see you all hanged.

VIZZINI

Of all the necks on this boat, Highness, the one you should be worrying about is your own ... [pausing, then glancing at Inigo] Stop doing that! We can all relax! It's almost over.

INIGO

Are you sure nobody is following us?

VIZZINI

As I told you it would be absolutely, totally, and in all other ways inconceivable! No one in Guilder knows what we've done, and no one in Florin could have gotten here so fast. [Pauses] Out of curiosity, why do you ask?

INIGO

Suddenly, I just happened to look behind us and something is there.

VIZZINI

[in disbelief] What?! [Spying a ship in the distance] ... Probably some local fisherman out for a pleasure cruise at night through eel-infested waters.

BUTTERCUP suddenly jumps overboard.

VIZZINI

What?! Go in!! Go after her!!!

INIGO

[frankly] I don't swim.

FEZZIK

[turning to Vizzini] I only dog-paddle ...

VIZZINI

Arrgghhhhh!!!!!! Veer left! ... left! ... left! [Suddenly, horrible screeching is heard] Do you know what that sound is, Highness? Those are the shrieking eels! If you don't believe me, just wait. They always grow louder when they're about to feed on human flesh! If you swim back now I promise no harm will come to you ... I doubt you'll get such an offer from the eels.

GRANDFATHER

She doesn't get eaten by the eels at this time.

KID

What?

GRANDFATHER

The eel doesn't get her ... I'm explaining to you because you looked nervous.

KID

I ... I wasn't nervous. Well, maybe I was a little bit concerned, but that's not the same thing.

GRANDFATHER

... Because we can stop now, if you want.

KID

No, you could read a little bit more, if you want.

NARRATOR

[Reading VIZZINI's part] "Do you know what that sound is, Highness? Those are the shrieking eels!"

KID

Pass that, Grandpa. You read it already.

GRANDFATHER

Oh ... oh, my goodness, I did. I'm sorry. Beg your pardon. [Mumbling to himself] All right, all right, let's see ... uh ... she was in the water, the eel was going after her, she was frightened, the eel started to charge her and then...

FEZZIK reaches out of the boat, hits the eel on the head, and pulls BUTTERCUP back on board.

VIZZINI

Put her down! Just put her down!

INIGO

[looking back at the other ship again] I think he's getting closer!

VIZZINI

He's no concern of ours! Sail on! [Turning to Buttercup] I suppose you think you're brave, don't you?

BUTTERCUP

Only compared to some.

SCENE FOUR

Dawn, the next morning.

INIGO

Look! He is right on top of us! I wonder if he's using the same wind we are using?

VIZZINI

Whoever he is, he's too late! See! [Pointing skyward] The Cliffs of Insanity!!! Hurry up! Move ... the thing ... and that other thing! Move it!!! [Climbing out] We're safe ...only Fezzik is strong enough to go up our way. He'll have to sail around for hours 'til he finds a harbor.

FEZZIK, with all three clinging to him, proceeds to climb a rope up the side of the cliff.

INIGO

[in amazement] He's climbing the rope ... and he's gaining on us.

VIZZINI

Inconceivable! ... Faster!!

FEZZIK

I thought I was going faster.

VIZZINI

You were supposed to be this colossus, you were this great legendary thing and yet he gains!

FEZZIK

Well, I'm carrying three people, and he got only himself.

VIZZINI

I do not accept excuses! I'm just going to have to find myself a new giant, that's all.

FEZZIK

Don't say that, Vizzini, please?

VIZZINI

Did I make it clear that your job is at stake?

Finally, FEZZIK reaches the top. VIZZINI quickly cuts through the rope with a dagger. All three peer over the edge of the cliff.

FEZZIK

He's got very good arms.

VIZZINI

He didn't fall! Inconceivable!

INIGO

[Confused] You keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means. [Looking back down] My God, he's climbing!

VIZZINI

Whoever he is, he's obviously seen us with the princess and must therefore die. [To FEZZIK] You carry her. We'll head straight for the Guilder frontier. Catch up when he's dead. [To INIGO] If he falls, fine; if not, the sword.

INIGO

I'm going to do him left-handed.

VIZZINI

You know what a hurry we're in!

INIGO

Well, it is the only way I can be satisfied. If I use my right, it's over too quickly.

VIZZINI

Oh, have it your way!

FEZZIK

[To Inigo] You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.

VIZZINI

[Impatiently] I'm waiting ...

INIGO unsheaths his sword, and practices a few steps. He then calls to THE MAN IN BLACK.

INIGO

Hello there. Slow going?

THE MAN IN BLACK

Look, I don't mean to be rude but this is not as easy as it looks, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't distract me.

INIGO

[Apologetic] Sorry.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Thank You.

INIGO

[Pause] I do not suppose you could speed things up?

THE MAN IN BLACK

If you're in such a hurry you could lower a rope or a tree branch or find something useful to do.

INIGO

I could do that. I still got some rope up here. But I do not think you would accept my help, since I am only waiting around to kill you.

THE MAN IN BLACK

That does put a damper on our relationship.

INIGO

... But I promise I will not kill you until you reach the top.

THE MAN IN BLACK

That's very comforting, but I'm afraid you'll just have to wait.

INIGO

I hate waiting. I could give you my word as a Spaniard?

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Struggling up the cliff side] No good. I've known too many Spaniards.

INIGO

Is there another way you'll trust me?

THE MAN IN BLACK

Nothing comes to mind.

INIGO

I swear on the soul of my father, Domingo Montoya, you will reach the top alive.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Throw me the rope.

INIGO throws the rope to THE MAN IN BLACK and helps him to a clearing.

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Exhausted] Thank you.

He struggles to draw his sword.

INIGO

Wait wait wait wait wait wait 'til you're ready.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Again, thank you.

THE MAN IN BLACK sits and removes a stone from his boot.

INIGO

I do not mean to pry, but you don't by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Revealing his five fingers] Do you always begin conversations this way?

INIGO

My father was slaughtered by a six-fingered man. He was a great sword-maker, my father. When the six fingered man appeared and requested a special sword, my father took the job. He slaved a year before he was done.

INIGO unsheathes his sword, and shows it to THE MAN IN BLACK.

THE MAN IN BLACK

I've never seen its equal.

INIGO

Six-fingered man returned and demanded it ... but at one-tenth his promised price. My father refused. Without a word, the six-fingered man slashed him through the heart. I loved my father, so naturally I challenged this man to a duel. I failed ... six-fingered man leave me alive, but he gave me this [indicating a scar down his cheek] and this [indicating a matching scar].

THE MAN IN BLACK

How old were you?

INIGO

I was eleven years old. When I was strong enough, I dedicated my life to the study of fencing; so the next time we meet I will not fail. I will go up to the six-fingered man and say: "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Intrigued] You've done nothing but sword-play?

INIGO

More pursue more than study lately. You see, I cannot find him ... it's been twenty years now and I'm starting to lose confidence. I just work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There's not a lot of money in revenge.

After a moment's silence, THE MAN IN BLACK stands and prepares to do battle.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Well I ... I certainly hope you find him someday.

INIGO

You all ready then?

THE MAN IN BLACK

Whether I am or not, you've been more than fair.

INIGO

[Drawing his sword] You seem a decent fellow ... I hate to kill you.

THE MAN IN BLACK

You seem a decent fellow ... I hate to die.

INIGO

[Confidently] Begin.

Slowly, a great battle ensues. INIGO tests THE MAN IN BLACK, and THE MAN IN BLACK tests INIGO. They continue to battle.

INIGO

You are using Bonetti's Defense against me, ah?

THE MAN IN BLACK

I thought it fitting considering the rocky terrain.

INIGO

Naturally, you must suspect me to attack with Capo Ferro?

THE MAN IN BLACK

Naturally ... but I find that Tibal cancels out Capo Ferro, don't you?

INIGO

Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa ... which I have.

They continue to exchange attacks and parries.

INIGO

You are wonderful!

THE MAN IN BLACK

Thank you. I've worked hard to become so.

INIGO

I admit it, you are better than I am.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Then why are you smiling?

INIGO

Because I know something you don't know.

THE MAN IN BLACK

And what is that?

INIGO

[Switching hands] I am not left-handed!

INIGO switches to his right hand, and appears to overwhelm THE MAN IN BLACK.

THE MAN IN BLACK

You're amazing!

INIGO

I ought to be after twenty years.

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Struggling to keep Inigo away] There's something I ought to tell you.

INIGO

Tell me!

THE MAN IN BLACK

I'm not left-handed either.

THE MAN IN BLACK switches to his right hand, and performs a few amazing feats. They stop fencing for a brief moment.

INIGO

[Awed] Who are you?

THE MAN IN BLACK

No one of consequence.

INIGO

I must know.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Get used to disappointment.

INIGO

[Disappointed] Okay ...

The battle rages on again but this time, THE MAN IN BLACK is dominant. He knocks the sword out of INIGO's hand, and circles in behind him.

INIGO

[Kneeling] Kill me quickly.

THE MAN IN BLACK

I would as soon destroy a stained glass window as an artist like yourself. However, since I can't have you following me, either ...

THE MAN IN BLACK hits INIGO on the back of his head with the hilt of his sword, knocking him out.

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Sincerely] Please understand, I hold you in the highest respect.

THE MAN IN BLACK runs off to find VIZZINI, who spies him from atop a huge hill.

VIZZINI

Inconceivable! Give her to me! [He grabs BUTTERCUP] Catch up with us quickly!

FEZZIK

What do I do?

VIZZINI

Finish him! Finish him ... your way.

FEZZIK

Oh, good. My way. Thank you Vizzini. [Confused] Which way's my way?

VIZZINI

[Irritated] Pick up one of those rocks, get behind a boulder, and in a few minutes The Man in Black will come running around the bend. The minute his head is in view, hit it with the rock!

FEZZIK

[To himself] My way is not very sportsman-like.

THE MAN IN BLACK proceeds up the hill, and is met by a rock crashing against a boulder next to him.

FEZZIK

I did that on purpose. I didn't have to miss.

THE MAN IN BLACK

I believe you. [Pause] So what happens now?

FEZZIK

We face each other as God intended; sportsman-like ... no tricks, no weapons, skill against skill alone.

THE MAN IN BLACK

You mean, you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?

FEZZIK

[Holding up a large rock] I could kill you now?

THE MAN IN BLACK

Frankly, I think the odds are slightly in your favor at hand fighting.

FEZZIK

It's not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don't even exercise.

THE MAN IN BLACK charges FEZZIK, but cannot knock him down.

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Agitated] Look, are you just fiddling around with me or what?

FEZZIK

I just want you to feel you are doing well. I hate for people to die embarrassed. [He grabs at him and misses] You're quick!

THE MAN IN BLACK

Good thing, too.

FEZZIK

[Swinging at the man in black] Why are you wearing a mask? Were you burned by acid or something like that?

THE MAN IN BLACK

Oh, no - it's just they're terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.

THE MAN IN BLACK manages to jump onto FEZZIK's back, and tries to choke him. FEZZIK pushes his back against a boulder, almost knocking the wind out of THE MAN IN BLACK.

FEZZIK

I just feared you would give me so much trouble.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Why is that, do you think?

FEZZIK

Well, I haven't fought just one person for so long ... [struggling] ... I've been specializing in groups - fighting gangs for local charities, that kind of thing.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Why should that make such a ... difference?

FEZZIK

[Slowing down] You see, you use different moves when your fighting half a dozen people, than when you only have to worry about one.

FEZZIK falls to the ground, unconscious. THE MAN IN BLACK checks to see if he is still alive.

THE MAN IN BLACK

I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But in the meantime, rest well and dream of large women.

SCENE FIVE

Enter PRINCE HUMPERDINCK, COUNT RUGEN, and the guards, examining the ground on which THE MAN IN BLACK fought INIGO.

HUMPERDINCK

[Examining the terrain] There was a mighty duel. It ranged all over. They were both masters.

COUNT RUGEN

Who won? How did it end?

HUMPERDINCK

The loser ran off alone, and the winner followed those footprints toward Guilder ...

COUNT RUGEN

Shall we track them both?

HUMPERDINCK

The loser is nothing. Only the princess matters. Clearly this was all planned by warriors of Guilder! We must all be ready for whatever lies ahead.

COUNT RUGEN

Could this be a trap?

HUMPERDINCK

I always think everything could be a trap. That is why I am still alive.

HUMPERDINCK and his men scurry off while THE MAN IN BLACK finds and confronts VIZZINI, who is preparing to eat. When he sees THE MAN IN BLACK, he hold's a blade to BUTTERCUP's throat.

VIZZINI

So, it is down to you, and it is down to me ... if you wish her dead, by all means keep moving forward.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Let me explain ...

VIZZINI

There's nothing to explain. You're trying to kidnap what I have rightfully stolen.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Perhaps an arrangement can be reached?

VIZZINI

There will be no arrangements ... and you're killing her.

THE MAN IN BLACK

But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.

VIZZINI

I'm afraid so. I can't compete with you physically, and you're no match for my brains.

THE MAN IN BLACK

You're that smart?

VIZZINI

Let me put it this way: have you ever heard or Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?

THE MAN IN BLACK

Yes.

VIZZINI

Morons!

THE MAN IN BLACK

Really! In that case, I challenge you to a battle of wits.

VIZZINI

For the princess? To the death? I accept!

THE MAN IN BLACK

Good, then pour the wine. [He watches as VIZZINI pours the wine.] Inhale this, but do not touch.

VIZZINI

[Taking the vial from the man in black.] I smell nothing.

THE MAN IN BLACK

What you do not smell is Iocaine powder. It is odorless, tasteless, and dissolves instantly in liquid and is among the more deadly poisons known to man.

VIZZINI

[Shrugs with laughter.] Hmmmmmn.

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Turning his back, and adding the poison to one of the goblets.] All right, where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink - and find out who is right, and who is dead.

VIZZINI

But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine it from what I know of you. Are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemies? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you ... But you must have known I was not a great fool; you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

THE MAN IN BLACK

You've made your decision then?

VIZZINI

[Happily] Not remotely! Because Iocaine comes from Australia. As everyone knows, Australia is entirely peopled with criminals. And criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me. So, I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

VIZZINI

Wait 'til I get going!! ... Where was I?

THE MAN IN BLACK

Australia.

VIZZINI

Yes! Australia! And you must have suspected I would have known the powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

THE MAN IN BLACK

You're just stalling now.

VIZZINI

You'd like to think that, wouldn't you! You've beaten my giant, which means you're exceptionally strong ... so you could have put the poison in your own goblet trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied ... and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!

THE MAN IN BLACK

You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work.

VIZZINI

It has worked! You've given everything away! I know where the poison is!

THE MAN IN BLACK

Then make your choice.

VIZZINI

I will, and I choose ... [pointing behind THE MAN IN BLACK] What in the world can that be?

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Turning around while VIZZINI switches goblets.] What?! Where?! I don't see anything.

VIZZINI

Oh, well, I ... I could have sworn I saw something. No matter.

Vizzini laughs.

THE MAN IN BLACK

What's so funny?

VIZZINI

I ... I'll tell you in a minute. First, let's drink, me from my glass and you from yours.

They both drink.

THE MAN IN BLACK

You guessed wrong.

VIZZINI

You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! YOU FOOL! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is: Never get involved in a land war in Asia!, and only slightly less well known is this: Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

VIZZINI continues to laugh hysterically. Suddenly, he stops and falls right over. THE MAN IN BLACK removes the blindfold from the princess

BUTTERCUP

Who are you?

THE MAN IN BLACK

I'm no one to be trifled with. That is all you'll ever need know.

BUTTERCUP

And to think, all that time it was your cup that was poisoned.

THE MAN IN BLACK

They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up immunity to iocaine powder.

The scene switches back to HUMPERDINCK and his men.

HUMPERDINCK

Someone has beaten a giant. There will be great suffering in Guilder if she dies.

The scene jumps back to THE MAN IN BLACK running with the princess.

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Stopping] Catch your breath.

BUTTERCUP

If you'll release me, whatever you ask for ransom you'll get it, I promise you.

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Laughing] And what is that worth ... the promise of a woman? You're very funny, Highness.

BUTTERCUP

[Catching her breath] I was giving you a chance. It does not matter where you take me. There is no greater hunter than Prince Humperdinck. He can track a falcon on a cloudy day. He can find you.

THE MAN IN BLACK

You think your dearest love will save you?

BUTTERCUP

[Insulted] I never said he was my dearest love. And yes, he will save me - that I know.

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Surprised] You admit to me you do not love your fiance?

BUTTERCUP

He knows I do not love him.

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Snapping] Are not capable of love is what you mean.

BUTTERCUP

[Taken back] I have loved more deeply than a killer like yourself could ever dream!

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Raising his hand at BUTTERCUP] That was a warning, Highness! The next time my hand flies on its own; where I come from there are penalties when a women lies.

The scene cuts back to HUMPERDINCK, examining the last battle scene.

HUMPERDINCK

Iocaine! I'd bet my life on it. And there are the princesses footprints. She is alive, or was an hour ago ... if she is otherwise, I shall be very put out!

Back to THE MAN IN BLACK, still running.

THE MAN IN BLACK

Rest, Highness.

BUTTERCUP

I know who you are. Your cruelty reveals everything. You're the Dread Pirate Roberts, admit it!

THE MAN IN BLACK

With pride. What can I do for you?

BUTTERCUP

You can die slowly, cut into a thousand pieces!

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Shaking his head] Hardly complimentary, Your Highness. Why do you use your venom on me?

BUTTERCUP

[Upset] You killed my love.

THE MAN IN BLACK

It's possible, I kill a lot of people. Who was this love of yours? Another prince like this one ... ugly, rich, and scabby?

BUTTERCUP

No, a farmboy ... poor! Poor and perfect, with eyes like the sea after a storm. On the the high seas your ship attacked, and the Dread Pirate Roberts never takes prisoners!

THE MAN IN BLACK

I can't afford to make exceptions. I mean once word leaks out that a pirate has gone soft people begin to disobey him and its nothing but work, work, work all the time.

BUTTERCUP

You mock my pain!

THE MAN IN BLACK

Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something. [Pausing for a bit] I remember this farmboy of yours I think. This would be what? Five years ago? Does it bother you to hear?

BUTTERCUP

Nothing you can say will upset me.

THE MAN IN BLACK

He died well, that should please you. No bribe attempts or blubbering. He simply said, "Please, please, I need to live." It was the please that caught my memory. I asked what was so important for him. "True love," he replied. And then he spoke of a girl of surpassing beauty and faithfulness ... I can only assume he meant you. You should bless me for destroying him before he found out what you really are.

BUTTERCUP

And what am I?

THE MAN IN BLACK

Faithfulness he talked of, madam, your enduring faithfulness! Now tell me truly, when you found out he was gone did you get engaged to your prince that same hour or did you wait a whole week out of respect for the dead?

BUTTERCUP

You mocked me once! Never do it again! I died that day!

THE MAN IN BLACK and BUTTERCUP see HUMPERDINCK's horses in the distance.

BUTTERCUP

[Pushing him down the hillside] You can die too, for all I care!!

THE MAN IN BLACK

[Tumbling down and echoing] As ... you ... wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiish!

BUTTERCUP

[Shocked] Oh, my sweet Westley, what have I done?

BUTTERCUP hurls herself down the mountain after WESTLEY. HUMPERDINCK moves in closer.

HUMPERDINCK

They disappeared. They must have seen us closing in, which might account for his panicking into error. Unless I'm wrong, and I'm never wrong, they are headed straight into the Fire Swamp.

WESTLEY and BUTTERCUP finally cease falling. He moves over to help her up.

WESTLEY

Can you move at all?

BUTTERCUP

[Joyously] Move? You're alive! If you want, I could fly!

WESTLEY

[Holding her] I told you I would always come for you. Why didn't you wait for me?

BUTTERCUP

[Sincerely] Well, you were dead.

WESTLEY

But Death cannot stop True Love. All it can do is delay it for awhile.

BUTTERCUP

I will never doubt again.

WESTLEY

There will never be a need.

They kiss.

KID

[Interrupting] Oh, no! No. Please!

GRANDFATHER

What is it? What's the matter?

KID

[Disgusted] They're kissing again. Do we have to hear the kissing part?

GRANDFATHER

Someday you might not mind so much.

KID

Get on to the Fire Swamp, that sounded good!

GRANDFATHER

Oh ... you're sick, I'll humor you. Oh, okay ... [finding the page] Westley and Buttercup raced along the ravine floor ...

WESTLEY

Aha! Your pig fiance? is too late! A few more steps and we'll be safe in the Fire Swamp.

BUTTERCUP

[Worriedly] We'll never survive!

WESTLEY

[Confidently] Nonsense! You're only saying that because no one ever has.

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