The two murderers waited beside the road. The parkland was disappearing into the deepening gloom and they knew that it wouldn’t be long before they would be completely invisible to anyone passing. A figure came slowly towards them from the direction of the palace. He seemed to be looking for them and stopped in front of them.
‘All ready?’ he said.
They had never seen him before.
‘Who told you to join us?’ said one of them.
‘He doesn’t have to be suspicious. He’s told us what to do and we’re doing it.’
‘Alright then,’ said the other. Come and stand with us. It’s almost dark. Our traveller won’t be long now.’
They waited without speaking until the newcomer said: ‘Listen, I hear horses.’
The horses came nearer and then they heard a voice – Banquo’s – shouting to the grooms. ‘Bring me a light!’
‘It’s him,’ said one of the murderers.
‘The grooms are taking the horses,’ said the other. ‘And they’re walking.’
‘Everyone walks from here to the palace gate,’ said the stranger.
‘Alright, get ready.’
‘Banquo’s voice came out of the dark: ‘Looks like rain tonight.’
They jumped on him. ‘Let it come down, then!’ one said.
Banquo struggled and fought but it was no use. They pinned him to the ground with their knives.
‘Oh treachery,’ he gasped. ‘Run, Fleance, run, run. Oh you devil,’ he sighed with his last breath.
They chased after Fleance but he disappeared into the dark woods.
‘We’ve only half done the job,’ one of them said.
‘Well, anyway,’ the other said. ‘Let’s go and tell him what we’ve done.’