An Act of Nobility
It all started in Isaac Morton's history class. Isaac’s teacher asks the class the meaning of nobility. Isaac pipes up and says that it’s about kings and queens, dukes and earls. His teacher responds, however, that there’s a whole lot more to nobility than that. He assigns Isaac a report about what nobility is and why it’s important. Isaac relays all this information to Whit, who proceeds to tell Isaac a wonderful story about nobility, under the condition that Isaac doesn’t use it in his report. Isaac reluctantly agrees, and Whit tells his story...
In a small country called Muldavia, a young American named James Armer notices that the locals give him odd looks when he walks past. He doesn’t know why until he’s out in the forest and sees a small plane go down nearby. James rushes to the plane and helps rescue the pilot.
Two other men who have been following the plane help as well: General Farnham and Dr. Munroe. They also react strangely to James, for James and the pilot look exactly alike! What’s even more amazing is that the pilot is actually the Crown Prince.
But the pilot is not a very responsible or good prince, according to the general and the doctor. This has made the pilot a target for a political coup, spearheaded by his illegitimate cousin, Baron Von Warberg.
Just before the prince flew off, Von Warberg drugged the prince’s wine, hoping that his plane would crash and he die. Von Warberg could then step in and take over the country. The prince survived the crash, but he is in no condition to go through with the coronation. When he fails to show up, the general and doctor fear Von Warberg will certainly exploit the situation for his own political purposes. At the very least, Muldavia will be plunged into civil war.
So, James comes up with a plan: He will pose as the prince for the coronation. The general and the doctor agree with the plan and set it into motion. The plan works, but when the real prince finds out, he accuses James, the doctor, and the general of trying to steal his crown. The prince (who is now the king) orders James to be arrested. But before James can be taken away, Von Warberg shows up, he has also discovered the secret.
Von Warberg uses the mix-up to his advantage by making it look as if James, Roderick, the doctor, and the general all killed each other. Suddenly, James disarms Von Warberg and his sidekick, again saving the king. King Roderick finally realizes he’s been a fool. He thanks James for teaching him the true meaning of nobility, and ask what he would like in return. James replies by saying that he forgot his watch at home, and hasn't known the time since he's been in Muldavia. Roderick gives him a pocket watch that plays a pretty little tune when opened. He then left Muldavia, never allowed to tell anyone what happened.
Isaac thanks Whit for the story and leaves, wishing that such stories happened in real life. Brooke Myers asks Whit what time it is. Whit takes out his pocket watch - it plays a pretty little tune.
- What is the meaning of nobility?
- Why did James show himself to be more noble than the prince?
- James helped the prince even though he really didn’t deserve help. Would you have?
- Was it right for James to deceive the people into thinking he was the prince?
- Why or why not?
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The broadcast version of this episode included a “Fun Fact” about how Whit became a Christian. However, she says that the episode is included in the album Secrets, Surprises, and Sensational Stories, the old version of Album #3: Heroes!
- James Armer is probably Mr. Whittaker. A clue to this is at the end when Whit opens a pocket watch and we hear a melody. Also his initials, J. A., are similar to J. A. Whittaker. This would explain why nobody had ever previously heard of Armer's actions, and why Whit insisted that Isaac not use the story for his school assignment.
- The country of Muldavia is probably named after the country of Moldova.
- This episode is based on the novel The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope.
QuotesIsaac Morton: James Armer and the pilot looked identical?!
John Whittaker: As alike as two peas in a pod.