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Home > Holidays > Columbus Day > Drama Plays and Skits > Christopher Columbus > Scene III

Christopher Columbus Play for KidsChristopher Columbus
by Augusta Stevenson

[Enter from gates, the JESTER in cap and bells,


TIME: five months later; evening.
PLACE: on board the Santa Maria.


[The SAILORS are seen sitting on deck in a group. They are gloomy and dejected.]

FIRST SAILOR. 'T is a sea of darkness!

SECOND SAILOR. Last night I heard the angry sea-gods!

THIRD SAILOR (nodding). Aye, I heard them!

FOURTH SAILOR. What were they crying?

SECOND SAILOR. Angry words to us for coming into their own waters.

FIRST SAILOR. 'T is the Italian Columbus the sea-gods should destroy!


SECOND SAILOR. We'll never see Spain again!

THIRD SAILOR. We should compel him to return!


[Enter COLUMBUS with CAPTAIN PINZON. They cross to bow of ship. The Captain glances uneasily at the sailors.]

CAPTAIN. Admiral, I must tell you frankly, the sailors are dissatisfied.

COLUMBUS. I am sorry to hear that, Captain.

CAPTAIN. What shall we do, sir?

COLUMBUS. Do? Why, sail on!

CAPTAIN. I'll see to it, sir!

[Captain goes.]

FIRST SAILOR (crossing). Admiral, the men have chosen me to speak for them.

COLUMBUS. What do they wish?

FIRST SAILOR. To return to Spain, sir!

COLUMBUS. Tell them we may see land any day now.

FIRST SAILOR (shaking head). They'll no longer listen to that!

COLUMBUS. Then tell them that I mean to sail on.

FIRST SAILOR (starting). Sail on?

COLUMBUS. Yes; to sail on and on. Go tell them that.

[Sailor goes. Enter CAPTAIN.]

CAPTAIN. Admiral, the sailors below show signs of mutiny!

COLUMBUS (alarmed). Mutiny?

CAPTAIN (nodding). The same as these on deck. Only look at them!

[The Sailors talk together excitedly and gesticulate wildly.]

COLUMBUS. Ah, if I could only give them my courage!

CAPTAIN. I fear for your life, Admiral, if the order is not given to return.

COLUMBUS. I cannot give it, Captain.

[The Sailors on deck are joined by others from below. They rush down upon Columbus.]

FIRST SAILOR (angrily). You must take us back to Spain, sir!

SECOND SAILOR. We'll not go farther, sir!


COLUMBUS. I'm sure we will soon find land—

SAILORS (interrupting; angrily). Hear him! Hear him!

COLUMBUS. To the one who first sees land, the Queen has promised money—

FIRST SAILOR (interrupting). Money! to feed to the sea-monster!

SECOND SAILOR (threateningly). Will you turn back?

COLUMBUS (with determination). No!

CAPTAIN. Now, men, back to your duties.

THIRD SAILOR. Alas! we'll never see our homes again!

FOURTH SAILOR. Nor our friends!

FIRST SAILOR. We are lost, men!

SECOND SAILOR. What shall we do?

ALL SAILORS. What shall we do? What shall we do?

[As their anger turns to despair, Columbus is touched.]

COLUMBUS. Listen, men,—I make you this promise: if we do not see land within three days, we will return to Spain.

CAPTAIN. There, now,—that's a fair promise! Go now to your duties!

COLUMBUS. And let every man watch for land as he has never watched before!

SAILORS (pleased). Aye, aye, sir!

[Sailors cross to a distant part of deck.]

COLUMBUS (sadly). Alas for my plans and my hopes, if these three days bring not land!

[He talks aside with the Captain.]

FIRST SAILOR. We were too easily won over, men.

SECOND SAILOR (nodding). Fearful things may happen to us in these three days!

THIRD SAILOR. Suppose we reach the edge to-morrow!

FOURTH SAILOR. Suppose the sea-monster should come for us to-night!


FIRST SAILOR (cautiously). Come closer, men! There's something I would say to you!

[Sailors close about him; Captain goes.]

FIRST SAILOR (pointing to Columbus, who stands in bow looking at the stars). Why should he not fall into the seas to-night?

SECOND SAILOR. What! You mean—

FIRST SAILOR. I mean he must fall into the seas to-night. Are you with me, men?


FIRST SAILOR (cautiously). 'T is my plan to push him over as he stands there looking at the stars.

FOURTH SAILOR. Why not creep upon him now?

FIRST SAILOR. Are you willing, men, to have the deed done now?


FIRST SAILOR (to Second and Third Sailors). Come with me, you two! We'll creep up on his left.

[They creep upon Columbus, who is seen to suddenly bend forward, looking eagerly into the distance.]

COLUMBUS. Land! Land!

[Sailors stop; enter the CAPTAIN.]

CAPTAIN. Did you say land, sir?

COLUMBUS. Land, Captain, land! Come, Sailors, come! Land! Land!

SAILORS (looking; joyfully). Land! Land!

COLUMBUS (lifting his arms). Now Heaven be praised!

NOTE TO TEACHER.—This play conforms to the spirit of the traditional story of Columbus, but the dramatization has made it necessary to condense into one scene the somewhat prolonged negotiations with Ferdinand and Isabella.

Footnote 1: (return)

The explanations in brackets may be read by the teacher.

Footnote 2: (return)

The words in parentheses are not intended to be read aloud; they will give the child the cue as to how the part should be rendered.

Footnote 3: (return)

A Mohammedan judge.

Footnote 4: (return)

Pronounced R[=o]'k[=a].

Footnote 5: (return)

Pronounced Pän'ch[=o] (ch as in church.)

Footnote 6: (return)

Pronounced R[=e]-ver'rä.

Footnote 7: (return)

Pronounced Pin'th[=o]n



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Christopher Columbus Play for KidsColumbus Day Skits

Christopher Columbus
by Augusta Stevenson
Scene I

Scene II

Scene III

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