By Dr. Pelham Mead
ACT ONE- THE AUCTION HOUSE.
SCENE 1- INT. DAY- JUNE 1975.
The next item up for auction is item number c-2044, a original JAPANESE SAMURAI KABUTO STYLED AFTER GENERAL TAIRA NO MASAKADO’s kabuto. This authentic kabuto or samurai helmet was created in the 1600’s as a copy of the original kabuto from 940, first century Japan. The Kabuto is said to have mystical qualities, and some say it is haunted. No worry, we checked it for ghosts. Ha. The starting bid is $10,000 dollars. Do I hear 11,000? Yes the gentlemen in grey number 55. Do I hear $12,000? Yes over there the lady against the wall. We have 12, make it $12,500? Yes over there on the phone. $13,000. Any one at $13,000. Yes Mr. Devesto number 66. Anyone at $14,000. No? Going once, going twice, sold to John Devesto number 66 for $14,000 for the Taira No Masakado style kabuto.
JIMMY DEVESTO (13)
Dad you did it. You got a first century kabuto created in the 16th century Japan. Wow, it is really old?
JOHN DEVESTO, (55) MILLIONAIRE
I needed that kabuto to go with the samurai armor I had at home. This one is as close as I can get to anything from Taira No Masakado, the Japanese General the organized a rebellion against the Emperor in the 930’s. Let me write a check for the man so we can pick up the kabuto in the next room.
AUCTION HOUSE SALESMAN (40)
Here is your kabuto Mr. Devesto. How do you wish to pay for it sir? Check or credit card? Check is fine. Thank you sir. Here is your receipt and your can pick up your kabuto in the next room.
AUCTION HOUSE SECRETARY50)
Would you like us to put your kabuto in a cardboard box sir?
JOHN DEVESTO, MILLIONAIRE
That would be fine. Thank you. Do you want to carry the box Jimmy?
Sure dad. I would love to. How cool is this? Do you think this helmet is really cursed, dad?
It makes for a good selling story. I doubt if it is cursed. Besides Masakado didn’t really wear this kabuto. It is a 16th century copy by another samurai. Do you realize that Masakado lived over a thousand years ago? That is a long time for a curse.
How did the kabuto of Masakado become cursed dad?
Well that is a long story, but when he was killed in a battle in 940 they cut off his head and brought it back to the Emperor to prove that Masakado was dead. The head was hung on a tree near the eastern market in Kyoto the capital. After several weeks the head flew off, and landed in a village on the coast on a little hill which is now located in Tokyo. They have a memorial shrine for the head and kabuto of Taira No Masakado in Tokyo. Many strange things were attributed to the head, an earthquake, fires and deaths of those who defiled the shrine.
Wow that is quite a story. I have to tell my friends that story. What are we having for dinner? I am hungry.
Wait until we get back to our house in Rye, and I can get this kabuto locked up safe and sound. Anthony we are ready to go home? I will order something from our favorite Italian restaurant in downtown Rye.
Sounds great dad.
ANTHONY, (50) CHAUFFEUR
Should we make any stops sir?
No, just take the FDR home Anthony.
One hour later.
Anthony pull the limo around the back after we get out. I take the box into the house Jimmy. I am going to have a glass display case made with a lock to put the kabuto in eventually. I’ll call the restaurant after I lock up the kabuto.
Order garlic bread and carbonara, my favorite.
John goes to the wall vault and puts in the digital code. The vault door swings open and he takes the kabuto out of the box, and puts it in the spacious vault.
(On the phone) Hello Louey’s? I would like to order spaghetti carbonara, garlic bread, and veal and spaghetti.
When is mom coming home dad?
She will be home from work at the museum soon. We’ll save her some dinner. The are doing a special show at MOMA this week and she has to help set up the displays.
I am going to my room until the food is delivered dad.
I will call you when it comes.
An hour later Kathleen Devesto, Jimmy’s mom returns home from work at the museum.
KATHLEEN DEVESTO (40)MOTHER
I am home everyone. I smell Italian food. I hope you saved me some. I am starved. Hi John, how did the auction go? Did you get anything good?
Hi Kathy. Guess what? I bought a first century samurai kabuto styled after the original worn by Taira No Masakado the Samurai General that led an uprising against the Emperor in the 930’s in first century Japan. Supposedly, there is a curse involving the head of Masakado with his kabuto on. After he was beheaded by his cousins working for the Emperor, his head was taken back to the Emperor to prove that he was dead. The Emperor had the head and kabuto hung from a tree for a week. Suddenly, the head and kabuto flew to what is now called Tokyo where it now rests at a special memorial garden in honor of Taira No Masakado one of the greatest samurai of all time. Masakado was said to have cursed the Emperor for all time, and the power of Masakado’s curse continues to this day.
Wow, that sounds exciting. How did Sothebys get a First Century kabuto?
From another millionaires collection that died, and they were liquidating his entire estate. I will show you the kabuto after you eat. I saved you some spaghetti carbonara and garlic bread. There is also some veal and spaghetti left too. I will heat it up in the microwave for you.