THE COLORS OF THE ROUND TABLE
EPISODE 2: THE CASE OF LADY LILAC
AND SIR CAPEROOT
When the Colors of the Round Table
met, it was always to confer with the Conductor about a current or upcoming Project. There was no protocol, per se, governing these meetings. The Conductors generally encouraged
openness and honesty, and for the most part they were willing to listen to legitimate appeals and complaints, if they were directly related to the Project under discussion. It was
understood, though, that the Conductor did not want to be bothered with squabbles between Families and within Families. Now and then an exception to this unspoken rule was made
when it seemed possible that a Family arguement might have a bearing on the current Project.
On this occasion, the Ladies and Knights of the Round Table had gathered to
talk with the Conductor about matters concerning the great new campaign in their crusade to save the world, a 40 x 95 foot mural. Lady Violet had risen to speak.
“Maybe this is not of much importance,” she began, “but it
seems there is a possibly serious problem involving one of my cousins, Lady Lilac, and a member of Sir Green’s Family, Sir Caperoot.”
“What is the nature of this problem?” inquired the Conductor.
“Sir, as you probably know, there were several Conductors in the 19th
Century who employed Lady Lilac and Sir Caperoot in their Projects, and had them working very closely together. They became very intimate, very attached to eachother. Then, around
the turn of the century, Sir Caperoot fell into disrepute somehow, and he and Lady Lilac have never been together since, not even remotely.”
Everyone at the Table, as well as the Conductor, was perfectly aware of an
unfortunate condition that existed in the Kingdom of Color, namely that there were dozens of Colors from all twelve Families who were almost never used. Some Colors had appeared in
one century, and vanished in another. The neglect was tolerable only because, being immortal, the rarely used Colors knew they would one day be rediscovered. The tragedy was that
all the Colors, including the most obscure, had an equal passion for work. It was only when they were working that the Colors felt alive. It was only when the Colors were working
that they had any real intercourse with their own kind. The rest of the time they were mostly alone and isolated. As elsewhere, life in the Kingdom of Color was unfair. The
spectacular personalities had more than their share of love, admiration and acclaim, while others were overlooked and forgotten. It was wrong, and it caused a certain sense of
guilt, or at least embarrassment, for those who had work. But it was the way things were, and they all had to live with it.
After pausing to glance at Sir Green, Lady Violet continued with her story.
“Of course Lady Lilac and Sir Caperoot both know about the big Project, and they have both got it into their heads that they’re going to work together again. So far,
Lady Lilac has done nothing, but Sir Caperoot seems to have lost control of himself. He’s threatening to do something to disable Sir Hooker, whom he knows you will want to
use for the Project, unless he and Lady Lilac are given work together.” Lady Violet paused and turned to Lady Lime. “And now Lady Lime, who appears to have a more
intimate relationship with my cousin than I had supposed, has intervened on the part of Lady Lilac .....”
“I have not intervened for anybody!” Lady Lime interrupted.
“I have only expressed my sympathy for their plight.”
“Let us hear from Sir Green on this matter,” said the Conductor.
Sir Green rose from his chair and saluted the Conductor. “Yes, I am
sorry to say that my distant relative, Sir Caperoot, has been making some wild threats. But, in the first place, I don’t see how he could do any injury to Sir Hooker, and,
secondly, although no doubt he would like to have work again after a layoff of two centuries, I think we all know he’s only pretending to pine for Lady Lilac.”
“I’m not so sure of that,” said Lady Lime, standing
All the Colors of the Round Table, except perhaps Lady Lime, turned a shade
whiter. This was an ancient and sensitive subject which the Knights and Ladies generally tried to avoid. Did the Colors have real emotions, like the species of the Conductor, or
were the Colors only mimicking the human species in order to understand their Conductors better? Some said that feelings had begun as a pretense but over time had evolved into a
reality. There were so many instances in which the passions appeared to be genuine.
“Please, Lady Lime,” said the Conductor, “let Sir Green
tell us what he knows about Sir Caperoot.”
“Don’t worry,” continued Sir Green. “I’ll talk
to him and settle him down. He’s a good fellow really. He just hasn’t had any work for a very long time. You might consider .....” Sir Green looked
sheepishly at the Conductor and sat down. It had never been considered kosher to ask a Conductor directly to employ another Color. Sir Green, however, knew that Lady Violet, who
loved her cousin, Lady Lilac, would be pleased and happy if she and Sir Caperoot could be together again. Sir Green and Lady Violet had always been very close in spirit and
disposition, and they imagined, at least, that their feelings for each other transcended affection. In short, they were both much inclined to please each other.
Lady Lime then stood up again and, looking the Conductor straight in the
eye, said, “Sir, I realize we have no right to ask any favors of you. But as Sir Green suggests, perhaps you could give it some thought. Personally, I think it might brighten
us all up a little to see Lady Lilac and Sir Caperoot employed in some way on this great new Project. It would boost our spirits and get us off to a proper start, full of energy
and optimism.” And having planted that idea in the Conductor’s mind, she sat down.
There was a traditional procedure through which the Colors of the Round
Table communicated their suggestions and desires to the Conductors. Normally they used their charms, guiles, and mesmerizing qualities to influence the Conductors. It was rare that
direct language was used, and when this did occur it was always under unusual circumstances. The best Conductors were the ones who absorbed all the signals the Colors emitted, and
with those myriad bits of unclassifiable information make their decisions. The exchanges between the Colors and the Conductors were of a somewhat musical nature, without the flavor
of sound. The best Conductors would study each Color with loving care, and receive hints accordingly. No one knew exactly how this relationship worked, only that it often led to
After the meeting of the Round Table had adjourned the Conductor thought
over what had been said about Sir Caperoot and his threats. If Sir Green thought he was basically a good fellow then he probably was, although Sir Green, like Sir Orange, was very
liberal-minded in his opinions of others. One thing to consider was the possibility that introducing a Color unseen for over 200 years would indeed boost the morale of the entire
Table, or at least a good part of it. There would be a lot of space to cover in this mural, so why not give Lady Lilac and Sir Caperoot a role? The Conductor thought of Lady Lime,
one of his favorites, and how delighted she would be to see the two together again.
Thus it was that fourteen days later Lady Lilac and Sir Caperoot were
reunited, after a very long time, and became gloriously entwined in a production of great size and beauty that just might help to save the world.