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Title: Ned McCobb's Daughter
Author: Sidney Howard
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Language: English
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------------------------------------------------------------------------

Title: Ned McCobb's Daughter
Author: Sidney Howard

*

Ned McCobb's Daughter
A Comedy
1926
by Sidney Howard

*

THE CAST OF THE THEATRE GUILD PRODUCTION
As presented at the John Golden Theatre, New York, November 22, 1926.
The production directed by Philip Moeller. Settings by Aline Bernstein.

CHARACTERS (Original cast in order of appearance)

Carrie Callahan  . . . Clare Eames
1st Federal Man  . . . Maurice McRae
Nat Glidden . . .  . . Philip Loeb
2nd Federal Man  . . . Morris Carnovsky
Jenny  . . . . . . . . Margalo Gillmore
Babe Callahan. . . . . Alfred Lunt
Captain Ned McCobb . . Albert Perry
George Callahan  . . . Earle Larimore
Lawyer Grover. . . . . Edward G. Robinson
Ben McCobb . . . . . . Philip Leigh

*

Act I. Inside "Carrie's Spa" at the Merrybay Terminus of the Kennebec
Ferry at Merrybay in May. Noon.

Act II. The parlor of the old McCobb homestead. That evening after dark.

Act III. The same room. The following morning about seven.

Time.  The present.

*

SCENES


A NOTE ON DIALECT

The temptation to spell dialect phonetically is not easy to resist.
I have gone as far in this text as I deemed advisable, the reader
considered. The two dialects with which the play is concerned are the
New Yorkese and the Maine Yankee. In writing the New Yorkese, I have
employed the conventional substitution of the consonant D for the
diphthong TH, and, with the exception of a few minor misspellings,
pretty much let it go at that. Maine talk is not expressible in
spelling. The word "pond," for example is pronounced in two syllables,
but upon three notes. The delicacy of its elisions and the variety of
its inflection defy typographical record. I submit Maine talk as the
most beautiful, the most gracious and the most distinguished speech to
be heard in any part of this country. It is not to be confused with the
ugly Cape Cod Yankee. It should be studied and painstakingly reproduced
by the actors who interpret the Maine characters in this play. It
cannot but enhance the charm of their various performances.

*

NED McCOBB'S DAUGHTER

ACT ONE

Scene: The interior of a humble eating establishment in the Maine
village of Merrybay, beside the terminus of the ferry which crosses
the Kennebec River at that point. The room is a cheaply constructed,
shallow addition to an old farm house. It is painted white within,
as without, and has its own air of untarnishable brightness and
cleanliness. A long window at the back bears the following legend,
painted on the exterior of its several rectangular panes, so that the
lettering is reversed to the audience:

- CARRIE'S SPA
- Shore Dinners
- Fresh Crab Meat Sandwiches
- Antiques

The window looks out over a brilliant landscape of elms and wide river
beyond a garden filled, at the moment, with lilacs in full bloom, all
bathed in a clear marvel of early June swnlight. The entrance door,
beside the window, is also flanked by lilacs. Along the window runs a
lunch counter with usual lunch counter fittings including screen-covered
pies, a coffee boiler, dishes, etc. Stools stand before this. There are,
also, four small tables with four antique painted kitchen chairs at each
one. Each table is covered with a red and white checked table cloth and
each one flaunts a cheap glass vase, filled with lilacs.

The walls display advertisements of Lucerne-in-Maine, Moxie, various
brands of cheap cigarettes and smoking tobacco and of a dance for the
coming Saturday night at Oxhorn Hall, Montsweag.

A door to the left of the audience at the head of a flight of two or
three steps gives access to the house proper.

Whenever anyone enters the Spa by the door from the door yard, the door,
opening, trips a small bell.

The Two Federal Men sit at the counter eating their lunch which Jenny
serves them. They are typical of the prohibition unit; one, about
forty-five, is a Yankee--the other, about thirty, is South Boston Irish.

Jenny is a pretty, fair-haired girl of twenty-four. She is capable at her
work to the point of expertness, but something cheap gives her away.

The other group on the stage consists of Nat Glidden and Carrie
Callahan. Nat is a hearty, down-east type, grown a little too stout for
his height and a little too well pleased with himself. He is agreeable
and can be respectful, at least outwardly, when he is laughing only to
himself. He never tries sharpness on any one who is more clever than
he. Such a one is Carrie. She is thirty, spare, handsome, humorous and
amused. She never gives the impression of hurry and she is never idle.
She realizes, without ever having given the matter a thought, that she
is the equal of any man. She has had a hard time, few ups and many,
many downs, but her disasters have left her unscarred. She wants all
that she can possibly get materially, but she is unconscious of lacking
anything mentally or spiritually. She sits with Nat at one of the
small tables. Nat figures intently on a pad of paper. She watches him,
darning her children's stockings the while, and conversing with the
company.

Carrie. [A pause at darning, then]: Cathance, Winnigance, Skowhegan and
Arousick! Funny names, ain't they?

1st Federal Man. Names ain't the only things strike me as funny 'bout the
State of Maine. Whole State strikes me as funny.

Carrie. [Smiling-]: Them's the names we call the four points of the
compass 'round here.

Nat. [Without looking up from Us fgures]: You certain hev got your
father's manner of speakm', Carrie. Wonder t' me he never taught you
navigatin' and made a sailor of you! You certain are your fathers
daughter!

Carrie. [Immensely pleased]: Well, I ain't ashamed t' be and I don't
reckon my father's ashamed t' own me. Mebbe he would hev taught me
navigation, too if I'd turned out t' be a son instead of what I am. I
declare, every now and then, I jest want t' git up and go and be and do
like the men kin!

2nd Federal Man. [Extracting a bottle from his side pocket.]: I got
a little somethin' here I saved fer you out of the haul we made
yesterday, over t' Georgetown, in the old fort. You talkin' 'bout grog
put me in mind of it. Real Santa Cruz rum.

Carrie. [Accepting with pleasure]: That's real sweet of you, Henry
Butterworth!

2nd Federal Man. Ain't nuthin' your Pa likes better than real Santa
Cruz rum.

1st Federal Man. What's the old man goin' t' be doin' once they git the
bridge finished? Won't be no ferry fer him t' push back and forth then.

Carrie. [Much displeased]: So long as my "old man," as you call him,
hes got a ship t' command, I'll thank you t' speak of him as "Captain."
Mebbe the Kennebec River ain't the Atlantic Ocean, and nobody says
'tis, but a ferry boat floats and wants steerin', don't it? And it's
got t' be commanded, ain't it? If I was wastin' _my_ prime enforcin'
prohibition like you are, I'd likely speak respectful of my elders and
betters...Better watch out fer them doughnuts, too. They're made rich
and they'll rise on you. [Satisfied that she has crushed him, she turns
to Nat.] How you gittin' on, Nat?

Nat. Got through the material. Got t' figure the labor, now.

Carrie. Never seen so much figurin' in my born days. Wonder t' me you
don't charge figurin' as labor!

Nat. Mebbe I do! 'Tain't so easy figurin' how t' build a hotel fer
folks that ain't willin' t' pay no more than the price of a barn door.

Carrie. 'Tain't a hotel. 'Tain't nuthin' but a kitchen big enough t'
cook a meal fit t' eat in. Don't see no use in payin' a penny more than
twelve hundred dollars fer no kitchen.

2nd Federal Man. Fixin' t' expand your business, Carrie? Well, take
care you don't harm the quality of your cookin'.

Carrie. Cookin' or no cookin', I got t' do somethin'! Ever since the
bridge was voted through t' be built over this here river, folks 's
been droppin' in t' tell me ain't it a pity Pa and George is goin' t'
lose their good jobs on the old ferry and what'll I have t' raise the
children on, then? S' I t' myself: This Spa looks t' me like the best
thing I got. If this bridge is goin' t' be built right, men hes got t'
build it. And while they're at buildin' it, they got t' eat. Folks kin
tell me this bridge is my misfortune till they're black in the face;
I'll show 'em different! What's t' prevent me from feedin' all them
bridge builders right here? I got some fight in me. How _kin_ I afford
t' set back waitin' on men folks t' take care of me, with two children
t' raise?

1st Federal Man. Seems like you're makin' a heap of fuss over raisin'
them kids of yourn!

Carrie. When you git old enough t' git some sense in you, you'll mebbe
learn that raisin' kids is jest 'bout the only thing on earth wuth
makin' a fuss over! Not hevin' 'em, mind, but raisin' 'em right, once
you've hed 'em! [And so crushes him a second time.]

Jenny.[In the door, looking out]: Doctor's jest openin' the front gate,
Carrie.

Carrie. [Setting her darning aside]: Well, it's 'bout time!

2nd Federal Man. Who's sick, Carrie?

Carrie. Children's down with the measles.

Nat. Carrie, I kin build your kitchen fer thirteen hundred and fifty
and I can't build it fer a penny less.

Carrie. [A sharp eye at Nat]: You run through the house, Jenny, and let
the doctor in at the front door. [Jenny goes into the house. Carrie
rises.'] Nat Glidden, I don't want t' hear no more nonsense out of you.
You'll build my kitchen fer twelve hundred dollars, or, sure as hell's
a man-trap, I'll build it myself. [And she follows Jenny mto the house.]

1st Federal Man. 'D anybody ever hear the beat of that woman? She
_will_ build it herself and, like as not, she'll do a better job than
you could.

Nat. [Ruefully]: Never worked fer Carrie McCobb yet, I didn't lose
money. Don't think it's womanly fer her t' be as sharp as she is.

2nd Federal Man. I wouldn't call Carrie sharp. She's smart as a steel
trap, but she ain't sharp. She's too honest. Tell you what I'll do. You
build Carrie's kitchen fer twelve hundred and I'll save you a case of
liquor out the next big haul we make.

Nat. [Suddenly very crafty]: Mebbe I ain't as teetotal as my wife 'ud
like t' hev me, but I ain't one t' take bad liquor instead of good
money.

1st Federal Man. Henry's showin' you how t' make up the difference
between what you're askin' and what Mrs. Callahan aims t' pay. Henry's
offerin' you a case of liquor worth, anyway, sixty dollars.

2nd Federal Man. Them city folks up the road'll pay you ten a quart fer
it. If I throw in three quarts extra, you got the whole hundred and
fifty right there.

Nat. A fine thing fer a government official in your line t' turn
private citizens toward bootleggin'!

2nd Federal Man. We got t' stand by Carrie! The case is yours the day
the job's finished.

Nat. The case and three quarts over?

2nd Federal Man. And three quarts over.

Nat. And you guarantee not t' pinch me fer sellin' it? [Jenny returns
to her place behind the lunch counter.]

1st Federal Man. If you got so much objection t' sellin' it, I wouldn't
wonder if we could find you some that was fit t' drink yourself.

Nat. Well, then, I guess we got t' do the right thing by Carrie.

1st Federal Man. You bet you hev!

2nd Federal Man. [Speaking at the same time]: That's the fust good ever
I seen come of prohibition.

[Suddenly Babe Callahan opens the door, speaking immediately upon Nat's
last word.]

Babe. How many a you guys c'n tell me is dis de Callahan residence?
[They turn and see a young man, not unattractive, filled with energy
and rich in the quality called "freshness," snapplly dressed and, in
speech and manner, the perfect flower of New York's East Side. He takes
in the room and those present take him in. The two Federal Men evince
an almost morbid interest in his appearance and conversation as that
last proceeds in the ensuing scene.'] What's de idea? Don't you know or
is it a secret? [General amazement continues. He turns to Jenny.] When
papas ask questions, nice little goils answer up polite! You hoid me!
Is de boss here, George Callahan?

Jenny. Wouldn't wonder.

Babe. George Callahan who used to woik in Boston?

Jenny. Wouldn't wonder.

Babe. Is de boss here, George Callahan, who used to woik in Boston?

2nd Federal Man. Supposin' he was?

Babe. If dat means he is, is he in?

Jenny. No, he ain't.

Babe. Well, we got dat much settled! When d' you expect him back?

Jenny. On the next ferry.

Babe. How often does de ferry run?

Jenny. Every hour.

Babe. Dat's soivice!

Nat. What d'you want on Sunday?

Babe. Dat's so! It is Sunday!

2nd Federal Man. The best thing fer you is t' set down and eat your
lunch while you're waitin' on George.

1st Federal Man. You won't find better cookin' 'n Mrs. Callahan's
between Rockland and Kittery.

Babe. [To Jenny]: Are you Mrs. Callahan?

Jenny. Me? I should say not!

Babe. Oh! [He eyes the two Federal Men again and decides on risking
it.] T'ink you could rustle me up a plate a ham an' eggs an' a cup of
coffee?

Jenny. Jest take a seat.

Babe. Where d'you want me to take it?

Jenny. That your idea of a new joke?

Babe. Why?

Jenny. We was raised on it up here. Sit down. You got plenty of time.
The Captain and George'll be along fer their lunch, soon as the ferry
comes over on the noon trip.

Babe. If you'll excuse me, honey, I'll just step outside an' haul my
car in out a de road. [He goes and his departure at once galvanizes
Federal energy.]

1st Federal Man. It's him!

2nd Federal Man. He certain does look like the description!

Jenny. Like what description? Who d'you think he is?

1st Federal Man. The man we missed yesterday down t' Georgetown.

Nat. Him as hid the liquor in the old Fort? [2nd Federal Man nods
excitedly.]

Jenny. Him?

1st Federal Man. Did you ever hear New York talk this far from New York
without smellin' liquor?

2nd Federal Man. Can't be sure. He's taller than what he ought t' be.
[At the window.] He ought t' be drivin' a Packard, too. That car out
there's a Cadillac.

1st Federal Man. Kin you see his license?

2nd Federal Man. Delaware. That don't prove nuthin' either!

1st Federal Man. Will you look at the way he's turnin' that car 'round!
[Nat resumes his figures. The other three strain their eyes toward
Babe's operations in the road outside.] Ain't he turnin' round so he's
headed away from the river? Wouldn't that mean he's fixin' t' make a
quick getaway?

Jenny. Bless my soul!

1st Federal Man. Do we nab him or don't we?

2nd Federal Man. Anybody'd know you was new at this game! If we hed
somebody here who seen him down Georgetown way, we'd mebbe be able t'
identify him. But we can't hardly arrest no man for smugglin' liquor on
account of the way he turns his car 'round.

Jenny. I think you're both full of prunes! I'll bet he's jest a smart
young city feller from New York lookin' over real estate.

2nd Federal Man. You may be right, Jenny.

Jenny. You're full of prunes. Anybody kin see he's a gentleman.

1st Federal Man. He's comin' back. [The company return very
self-consciously to their places.]

2nd Federal Man. Leave me talk t' him.

Jenny. If he's up t' anythin' wrong, I'll eat my hat.

1st Federal Man. Ssst!

[Babe returns. In the distance, a ferry whistle blows hoarsely.]

Babe. [A pause as he surveys the company, then]: Dat de ferry comin'
over now?

2nd Federal Man. It's the five minute whistle. Means she's gittin'
ready t' haul acrosst.

Babe. [Seats himself with a wary eye on the Law. To Jenny]: Comin' up
with dem ham an' eggs, honey?

2nd Federal Man. Where you from?

Babe. Wilmington. Why?

2nd Federal Man. What's your line?

Babe. What's yours?

Jenny. [Serving him]: We was jest wonderin' 'bout your line and I
guessed you was in the real estate.

Babe. Dat's as good a line as any! Suboiban real estate!

2nd Federal Man. Well, now, we're in real estate, too! Lookin' over
Maine developments, mebbe?

Babe. [His mouth full]: Nope. Just a trip. Took de wife an' kiddies up
to Belgrade Lakes for de fishin'.

1st Federal Man. [Quickly]: Fishin' this early at Belgrade Lakes?

Babe. Dey got all summer. Dey c'n wait.

2nd Federal Man. [Motioning his colleague to silence]: Right pretty
country up Belgrade way. Right pretty all the way t' Quebec. Ever been
t' Quebec?

Babe. [Turning on them in the blandest good humor]: Do dey have
real estate in Quebec or would you t'ink I'd be goin' dere for some
diff'rent reason? Anythin' else you'd like to know? I weigh a hundred
an' seventy five stripped an' I stand six feet two in my socks de day
de wash comes home. Oh, yes, an' I was a twelve poun' baby!...Are you
comin' up wid dat coffee, honeybunch, or do I got to say please? [At
which moment Carrie returns.] Good mornin' to you, too, lady!

Carrie. [Considerably surprised]: Good mornin'!

Babe. Mrs. Callahan, if I'm not mistaken?

Carrie. Yes. What kin I do fer you?

Babe. Not a t'ing. I'm bein' took care of fine by little apple-blossom.
Keep right ahead de way you was goin'. Join de navy an' see de woild!

Carrie. Land's sakes! [She looks from Nat to the Federal Men. They
signal her mutely to take no notice. She is completely bewildered.]

2nd Federal Man. Don't mind him, Carrie. He ain't nuthin' but jest one
of them fresh city fellers.

Carrie. Yeah? Well, we git plenty of them in here. We git all kinds.
[Turning her back on Babe's grin.] How 'bout it, Nat?

Nat. I'll do the right thing by you, Carrie. Come on along outside so
as I kin figure how many trees t' cut down.

Carrie. [Following him out]: Jest you try cuttin' down any of Pa's
elms! Folks that cut down trees ain't no respectors of the works of
Providence. Takes God a long time t' grow a fust class tree!

[During the ensuing scene, Carrie and Nat can be seen most of the time,
busy over the prospective construction. Babe, in the meanwhile, turns
his attention to the Federal Men, meeting their scrutiny and once
more scattering them with his broadest and most impudent grin. This
accomplished, to Jenny's delight, he returns to his food.]

1st Federal Man. [To his partner, most casually]: Well? Do we?

2nd Federal Man. [Shaking his head]: I got a telephone call t' put in
fust.

[And he goes out to join Carrie and Nat.]

Jenny. Which one of you pays today?

1st Federal Man. My turn. [He pays. Jenny makes change.]

2nd Federal Man. What did the doctor say, Carrie?

Carrie. Measles is measles...

2nd Federal Man. Give my best t' George and the Captain.

[1st Federal Man helps himself to toothpicks and goes out.]

1st Federal Man. Sorry we couldn't wait t' see 'em.

[Babe honors their departure with a profound salute.]

Jenny. Hey! What's that mean?

Babe. Just biddin' your friends, de cops, adoo.

Jenny. Whatever give you the idea they was cops?

Babe. Well, now you ask me, I t'ink it must ha' been de kind a feet
dey got. Any time I see feet like dem placed so close to an enquirin'
disposition, I know de law can't be far off...You don't t'ink dey was
gettin' me wrong, do you? You know. Huh? A young realtor like me?

Jenny. Anybody kin see you're a young gentleman, interested in real
estate jest like I said you was.

Babe. An' dat was very nice of you! What's your name?

Jenny. You are pretty fresh, ain't you!

Babe. Not a bit, I ain't!...I got a memory system. You tell me your
name an' I'll show you how de system woiks.

Jenny. Jeanette Duval.

Babe. Ain't dat a pretty name? Dey call you Jenny, too, don't dey? Now
get de memory system. Jeanette--dat's French for Jenny, see? We don't
got to worry wid de last part! I never forget nobody I meet socially.
You c'n call me Babe. Like to ride in fast automobiles, Jenny?

Jenny. Are you invitin' me or jest askin' me questions?

Babe. I'm collectin' data for a taxi line I'm t'inkin' a startin' up
between de ferry an' your fried eggs. Say when!...Don't you got no
napkins in dis joint? [She fetches him one.] I see dey's goin' to be a
dance at Oxhorn on Saturday night...You got funny names around here for
a Yankee neighborhood, aint you? Oxhorn an' Callahan...Well, how about
it? All hunky-dory, huh?

Jenny. You countin' on stayin' here all week?

Babe. I might, at dat. I was lookin' for a good excuse to stick around
a few days. I got interests here.

Jenny. I don't know what t' think of you.

Babe. Just non-plussed, ain't you?

Jenny. Maybe I am.

Babe. How d'you like dat woid, "non-plussed?"

Jenny. What's it mean?

Babe. I read it in a movie magazine. It said how some star was
non-plussed by her sudden triumph. Well, do we dance Saturday?

Jenny. If I kin git off.

Babe. Pretty fast woik, huh?

Jenny. I'll say!

Babe. [He takes her hand in his]: Now, I'll tell you somethin', Jenny.
You want to look out for young realtors like me an' not let 'em woik
too fast. Because de trouble wid you is, you're too easy an' de foist
t'ing you know, I'll wallop you off to Quebec an' buy you a drink an'
den what'll de neighbors say? [He slaps her hand in sudden distaste
and drops it.'] Now, supposin' you fill dis cup up wid another load a
coffee an' keep your trap shut till I tell you to open it. [He leaves
Jenny to her offended astonishment.] Paddle right in, Mrs. Callahan,
an' be a duck wid de rest uv us! I got sensational disclosures to make
to you. [Thunderstruck, Cabbie turns in the door.]

Carrie. Are you speakin' t' me that way?

Babe. Your name's Callahan, ain't it?

Carrie. My Husband's name is Callahan.

Babe. So's mine. How's dat for a coincidence?

Carrie. Don't think so much of it. Knowed two people once myself and
both of em's name was smith!

Babe. But dey wasn't long lost brothers, though!

Carrie. [Incredulous]: You ain't tryin' t' tell me you're George's
brother?

Babe. If he's George Callahan who used to drive for de Yellow Cabs in
Boston, I am.

Carrie. [Still unconvinced]: You ain't!

Babe. Yes, I am. An' dis looks to me like de big Irish-American
Callahan re-union! Ain't you never hoid George mention his brother,
Babe?

Carrie. You ain't Babe?

Babe. Yes I am!

Carrie. [Heartily]: Well, I certain am pleased t' meet you!

[They shake hands. There ensues one of those moments of embarrassment.]


Babe. [Carrying it off]: What d'you know, huh?...How is George?

Carrie. He's jest fine.

Babe. I hoid somethin' about him not bein' so well.

Carrie. He's jest fine, now.

Babe. I kind a lost track a George lately, but I hoid about him bein'
up here, an' you know how it is about blood bein' t'icker'n water.

Carrie. I do declare! Won't George be pleased t' see you, though!

Babe. Oh, George'll be just tickled to deaf!

Carrie. Ain't the world small, though!

Babe. Yeah, ain't it!

Carrie. Well, I'm certain pleased t' meet up with George's brother!

Nat. [Reentering]: Carrie!

Carrie. [To Babe]: Jest excuse me a minute. [To Nat.] Got it all down?

Nat. Hed it 'most down already.

Carrie. [Reading over his shoulder]: Don't see no range mentioned.

Nat. Am I providin' the range?

Carrie. Fer twelve hundred you are.

Nat. Now, see here, Carrie!

Carrie. You kin cut out the sink. I'll git that cheaper from Sears
Roebuck...[Examining the estimate more carefully.] And I won't hev none
of them self-splittin' spruce boards used, neither!

Nat. I figured on pine. How 'bout the paintin'?

Carrie. Do the paintin' myself.

Nat. [Writing]: Twelve hundred dollars.

Carrie. You better sign at the bottom.

Nat. There. [He does sign.]

Carrie. Kin you start in work fust thing tomorrow fore-noon?

Nat. Guess I could.

Carrie.


Nat




Carrie. If I want t' handle that business, I got t' be the fust t' git
after it. [She turns to Babe who has listened with intense interest.]
They're buildin' a bridge acrosst this river, here, and I'm fixin'
t'...Only that don't interest you.

Babe. Yes, it does! I hoid all about it already. Dere ain't nothin'
about dis joint dat don't interest me. An' dat's de trut'.

Carrie. You don't say?

Babe. Well, I c'n see you're a pretty live Yankee, Carrie!

Carrie. Well, I'm liver 'n some I know. [Back to Nat.] Better git 'long
home t' your Sunday dinner, Nat. I'll look fer you fust thing in the
mornin'...Land's sakes, I clean fergot t' introduce you. Mr. Glidden,
our local contractor and builder. George's brother, Mr. Callahan.

Nat. Go 'long! He ain't Georges brother!

Carrie. Yes he is!

Babe. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Glidden.

Nat. Pleased t' make yours...I suppose you really are in real estate?

Babe. Sure, I am!

Nat. Well, it jest goes t' show how wrong 'tis t' jedge by appearances.
[A thought strikes him.] Say, Carrie!

Carrie. What is it?

Nat. Where you goin' t' git that twelve hundred from?

Carrie. Don't see how that concerns you!

Nat. Strictly speakin', it don't. Jest the same I'd like t' know.

Carrie. What I ain't got and can't earn, Pa's goin' t' raise fer me by
mortgagin' this old house. Now you satisfied?

Nat. Don't see how I kin question that arrangement.

Carrie. D'ruther you didn't speak of it t' Pa, though. I ain't told him
'bout it yet. [To Babe.] Hev t' be kind of delicate, discussin' this
Spa with my father. He's old and he's hed reverses and that makes him
twice as touchy 'bout hevin' me support him. Don't you worry, Nat. I'll
bring Pa 'round. You git 'long home t' your dinner and come back here
at seven sharp t'morrow forenoon. [Nat goes, chuckling, with a casual
nod to Babe. She calls after him.'] Give my love t' Sally! [To Babe.]
Sally's his wife. Knowed her all my life.

Babe. Bet Sally ain't the girl you are, Carrie.

Carrie. No, I don't know as she is. [Again the ferry whistle.] There's
the ferry startin' over, now. [She catches Jenny's interest in Babe
and turns it over a moment in her mind.] You run down t' the landin',
Jenny, and tell George his brother's here, so as he'll hurry home t'
dinner. I'll finish gittin' it.

Jenny. [Preparing to obey]: Liver's in the pan, Carrie.

Cabbie. [To Babe]: I fergot t' ask you what your real name is.

Babe. De name de priest wished on me was Raymond.

Cabbie. Guess we'll leave it at Babe. [Jenny, having disposed of her
apron, goes.] She's a good-fer-nuthin' Kanuck from Saco, that girl, but
she's willin' an' she's a hard worker.

Babe. I'll say she's willin'. Is George woikin' on de ferry?

Carrie. [She turns now to preparing dinner, laying the table, etc.]:
Yes, he is. You see, my father's captain of the ferry boat--the
Governor Smith--and George's fust mate. Bein' fust mate on a ferry boat
don't mean exactly the same thing as it does at sea. Not on this ferry
boat, it don't. On this ferry boat the fust mate collects the fares
from the automobiles.

Babe. You don't say! Well, dat sounds like a job George 'ud be suited
to fine.

Carrie. [Unsuspecting of any sarcasm]: Oh, he's happy as a clam, George
is. We make out, livin' all together like we do, Pa and me and George
and my brother.

Babe. You got a brother, too?

Carrie. [Nodding]: My brother, Ben. He's in politics. He's younger than
I am, but he's sech a wonderful speaker I wouldn't be surprised t' see
him governor one of these days. He don't say much, but what he does
say is awful pithy! I'm mighty proud of Ben. He's in the State police
already.

Babe. An' livin' right here in de same house? Well, now, dat must be a
great comfort havin' de state police so handy!

Carrie. Well, I don't know but 'tis, now you speak of it.

Babe. It took a young realtor like me to t'ink a dat!

Carrie. Ben, he keeps company some with that Kanuck, Jenny...She talks
a heap 'bout their bein' engaged, but I don't guess it 'mounts t' more
than jest philanderin'. I ain't worryin' 'bout his marryin' her. A
young feller's got t' do some sparkin'. How long is it since you seen
George?

Babe. Must be ten years. I went down Sout' for a spell, ten years back
an' George, he went to Boston.

Carrie. Don't guess you're no more of a letter writer than George is!

Babe. I hoid about George now an' den. I hoid he was livin' up here for
his healt'.

Carrie. That's why I made him come up here and give up workin' in
the city. An' Pa got him this position in the open all day an' now
he's jest fine. You'll see. If I could only stop him from smokin', he
wouldn't never cough at all:

Babe. Gee! Lungs, was it?

Carrie. Threatenin'. It come on him from havin' flu when he was in the
Navy.

Babe. [Surprised]: Was George in de navy? I never hoid about George
bein' in de navy! Join de navy an' see de woild! You know, huh?

Carrie. Well, I don't know as you'd call it exactly in the Navy, but
he was in the Navy Yard. As a mechanic. At Charleston. That's near
Boston. That was where he took sick with the flu and pneumonia and
like t' died in the hospital and that was where we met, George and I.
I won't never fergit how sick he looked, fust time I ever seen him.
Come near breakin' my heart. I jest wanted t' set right down and care
fer him myself. Nursin' comes natural t' me anyway. You see, I was
nursin' children at the time. In a private family in Boston. And I used
t' go t' the hospital on my day off t' visit with a nurse there who's
a friend of mine, used t' live here, up the road a piece. And she was
George's nurse and that's how I met up with George and we got married.
Kind of sad, ain't it?

Babe. I'll say it was lucky for George!

Carrie. That's nice of you t' say that and I wouldn't wonder if you was
right. I've often hed occasion t' say as much t' George...Funny about
sick people. They're awful appealin', ain't they?

Babe. Yeah.

Carrie. Especially men. They're so helpless. George was still very sick
when I married him. His lungs was threatenin' already, from the flu. So
he left the navy yard, and took work drivin' a taxi.

Babe. Yeah...I hoid about dat.

Carrie. And he was gittin' 'long jest fine and then...

Babe. Must ha' been about dat time he got in trouble.

Carrie. [Pause, then']: Trouble?

Babe. Yeah. I hoid about dat, too.

Carrie. [Pause, then]: Well, if he did git in trouble, it's all over
now and we never mention it.

Babe. How long, did dey send him away for?

Carrie. He got out in a year on account of his conduct bein' so good.

Babe. Oh, yeah! I hoid about dat, too.

Carrie. I was real proud of George. George don't mean t' be bad, you
know. He's weak. He gits frightened, kind of, and then...

Babe. Yeah. I know how it is. It sounded phoney to me, when I hoid
about it. Coppin' a plea like he done when he was only drivin' de taxi.
I'd ha got a lawyer, myself.

Carrie. It was me persuaded him t' plead guilty. Because there wa'n't
no doubt but he was guilty, even if he didn't mean t' be. And I always
think it's better jest t' out and say you done wrong, if you hev...The
rest of 'em hed a lawyer and they all got longer sentences than George
did, so I guess I was jest 'bout right.

Babe. Must ha' been pretty tough on you.

Carrie. [Nodding]: With a little baby, too.

Babe. Gee!

Carrie. I couldn't come home t' Pa because I wouldn't hev wanted Pa t'
find out nuthin' 'bout it. He don't know t' this day George ever hed
a thing in the world against him. And George, he's behaved fine ever
since, so there ain't no reason fer Pa's knowin'.

Babe. No. I c'n see dat.

Carrie. And we never mention nuthin'. I was afraid you might hev
heard, bein' George's brother. You know what they say 'bout bad news
travellin' fast. That's what made me send Jenny out. I was fixin' t'
work 'round and find out if you hed heard. Then I was goin' t' warn
you not t' mention nuthin' 'bout it. 'Tain't only on George's account.
I got the children t' think of, too. So you'll jest remember and be
careful, won't you?

Babe. Sure. How old is George's kids now?

Carrie. Girl's five. Boy's seven. They're sweet children, too. Only you
wouldn't think so, now, the measles makes 'em so cranky. And George
is makin' 'em a real good father. [A thought strikes her.] You ain't
afraid of the measles, are you?

Babe. Not me! I had 'em. I had de woiks!

Carrie. [Eyeing him sharply]: Small-pox?

Babe. [Sensitive]: Did you notice?

Carrie. Fust thing you come in. Can't always be sure, though, whether
a man's hed small-pox or jest got a bad skin. I've knowed many a man
t' look like he'd hed a real bad case of somethin' terrible and, come
t' find out, 'it wa'n't no more'n jest careless shavin'. [The ferry
whistle sounds again, much nearer.] There's the ferry in now! They'll
be along in a minute. I hope you're fixed so as you kin make us a nice
long visit?

Babe. Oh, yeah!

Carrie. That's jest fine. The country's real pretty with all the lilacs
out. You kin see fer yourself. And, pretty soon, when the peonies come
out in the door yard and the larkspur...Oh, you'll git t' like it
'round here same as George done.

Babe. It suits me fine already...I got to hand it to you fer stickin'
to George de way you done!

Carrie. Guess I know my duty as well as most women...They're comin' up
the road now. Call my father Captain. He ain't always been on a river
ferry boat.

Babe. All I got to say is, you're a great girl, Carrie!

Carrie. Well, most of us hes got some good points. I don't know as I
got much use fer people in general, but I can't help likin' 'em...See
how strong and well George looks? I must say, fer brothers, you and
George ain't much alike. George hes got a beautiful complexion.
[Calling through the door.] Here's your brother, George!

George. [Offstage]: Hello, Babe!

Babe. Hello, George! [Captain Ned McCobb enters, a man past sixty, who
wears his uniform as Captain of the ferry boat. He is stalwart and
unbroken of body, but the disasters of his later life have left him
taciturn. They have not, however, marred his humor or his worldliness
and we recognize in him a representative of the old Yankee skippers
who, in their day, made the American race a proud one upon the seas of
the world. Entering, he stops at the sight of Babe.]

Carrie. It's George's brother, Pa. He jest stepped in fer a bite t'
eat...

Babe. Yeah...

Carrie...And found George livin' here.

Babe. Dat's right! Very pleased t' meet you, I'm sure, Captain.

[Captain McCobb shakes hands, smiles politely, says nothing, hangs his
cap on the wall and sits at the table Carrie has been laying.]

Carrie. I got liver fer your dinner, Pa. [To Babe.] Ain't nuthin' so
hard t' git good 'round here as good liver.

[During this remark, at which Captain McCobb has smiled, still in
silence, George enters. He, too, wears his uniform. He is at once less
prepossessing and better looking than his younger brother. He belongs
to the unstable fair type. His lips are a little loose, with a faint
trace of cruelty about them. His eyelashes are both long and blonde.
His eyes are' preternaturally frank. His hands manage to combine fine
muscular strength with complete lack of character. When he speaks,
we hear that his New Yorkese has been worn down by his down-east
residence.]

Carrie. Ain't nuthin' Pa likes better than good liver. Ain't that so,
Pa? [She is already serving him. He smiles up at her with the warmest,
the most beautiful and intimate paternal affection.]

Babe. [Speaking as George enters]: How's de boy, George?

George. [Speaking at the same time]: Wha' d'you know? Where'd you come
from?

Babe. [Shaking hands]: Oh, I dropped in! You lookin' pretty good.

George. Yeah. I'm fine. How'd you find out I was livin' here?

Babe. I found out.

Carrie. Come in here, Jenny, and git t' work. This ain't no time of day
t' be standin' star-gazin'! [Jenny, who has been standing outside the
door, looking back at something which seems not entirely to suit her
fancy.]

[Jenny comes in now, and assists Carrie with the serving of dinner.
Whenever occasion offers she resumes her glances through door or
window.]

Carrie. Set right down, now, George, and eat your dinner before it gits
all cold and nasty. I got a nice fry of hamburg fer you.

George. [Approaching the table where the Captain is already engaged in
nourishing himself]: Don't _I_ draw liver?

Carrie. Not today, you don't. Pa's liver's his own private property.
[This witticism brings another smile and a silent, shaking laugh from
the old man.]

George. [To Babe, indicating Carrie]: Did you get that one?

Babe. She handed me a couple of good ones before you come in.

Carrie. And butter and potatoes and gravy and...Oh, and coffee...You
pass the gravy, Jenny. I'll 'tend t' the coffee...[The action suits the
word.] I'm bringin' the coffee, Pa. Got everythin' else you want?

[A smiling nod and almost as much as an almost audible grunt from the
Captain.]

George. There's worse things than hamburg. Ain't you joinin' us, Babe?

Babe. I ate already. When I come here. But I don't mind if I have
another cup a coffee.

George. That your car I seen out in front?

Babe. Yeah. Dat's mine. Pretty nifty, huh?

George. Fine. If you paid for it.

Babe. [Bridling]: An' who d'you t'ink would ha' paid for it, if I
didn't? Or, maybe I stole it?

George. Oh, I wouldn't ha' thought that.

Babe. Or maybe I got it savin' kewpons? I poichased dat car, George,
wid money I oined honest, bein' a credit to de community from de
Cadillac Agency in New York on de west side a Broadway between de kep'
woman district an' de Chop Suey Belt.

Carrie. Will you listen t' 'em goin' on 'bout their cars, Pa! [The
Captain has listened and found it amusing.]

George. Oh! I see. Well, what's your racket?

Babe. What I got ain't a racket...it's a line...D'you get de fine
difference, Captain? [The Captain understands the difference perfectly
and is delighted with it.]

Carrie. I don't think Pa's half as excited as he ought t' be. Don't
set there, Pa, and act as if sech things happened every day. Long lost
brothers is real romantic. Ain't you got a word t' say 'bout 'em?

Captain McCobb. [Singing with the most charming irony imaginable]: _I
lost my hat At Cape de Gat, And where d'you s'pose I found it? At Port
Mahon, Upon a stone, With all the girls around it!_ [He subsides into
the chuckles of those who are justly well pleased with themselves.]

Carrie. [Laughing]: Why, Pa! Whatever made you think of that old song!
[To Babe.] Pa knows more old songs than you could shake a stick at!

Babe. I'm de lost hat, huh? De lost brown doiby! Well, right here, if I
may make so bold, I'd like to deliver myself uv a few remarks. George,
I'm here to say you married a great little woman. Captain, allow me to
congratulate you upon your daughter!

Carrie. Oh, go 'long!

George. Well, now, Carrie! What d'you think a that? [The Captain, very
seriously begins to disengage a locket from his watch chain.]

Babe. Yes, sir! An' it coit'nly is a pleasure to be here wid you all
an' to make your acquaintance. Dem's my remarks. [The Captain extends
the open locket for his inspection.] Well, now! Who'll dat be?

Carrie. [Looking]: Oh, Pa! I never knew you hed that old thing in your
locket! It's jest terrible! Don't look at it, Babe!

Babe. Well, maybe it don't do you justice, Carrie. [To the Captain.]
How old was she?

Captain McCobb. Ten weeks. [He takes the locket back and returns it to
its proper place on his watch chain.]

George. How long you stayin', Babe?

Babe. Well, I got a date already for de dance next Staturday. Ain't I,
Jenny?

George. [Suddenly annoyed]: Have you?

[Jenny, absorbed in what goes on outside, makes no answer.]

Babe. [Sensing Geobge's annoyance]: You an' Carrie better come along,
an' look after us.

Carrie. We'd like t', wouldn't we, George? If the children's well
enough fer me t' leave 'em. I ain't never been t' one of them dances
up t' Oxhorn. Hear tell they're kind of rough, but real pleasant. You
better come, too, Pa.

Babe. I bet de Captain could dance wid de best of 'em.

Captain McCobb. In my day, I could. I've danced. In this house. More
than once. I've seen forty couples dancin' together in this house.
Dances you young folks never heard on. Hull's Vict'ry and sech dances.
Long time ago, now. Before Carrie was born.

Carrie. I kin remember folks dancin' here, Pa. I kin remember once when
you come home in the Circassian A Maid from Madagascar. All the folks
'round here come t' our house t' dance that night. That was jest a
little bit before Ben was born and Ma died. Sure Pa'll come Saturday.
We'll bring a jug of cider 'long with us...Oh, Pa, wait'll you see
the fine present you got. Jest wait! [She finds that quart of rum the
Federal Man gave her.] Henry Butterworth was in here this mornin' and
left you this out of what they got last night down Georgetown way.
[Babe looks up in great interest.] They said there wa'n't nuthin' you
liked better.

Captain McCobb. There ain't, if it's real.

Babe. If it came out a Georgetown, it's real.

Carrie. What do _you_ know about Georgetown?

Babe. You'd be surprised what a young realtor like me hears about!

George. We could take it along instead a the cider Saturday

Carrie. Afraid rum 'd be awful heatin' t' dance on! What you starin'
at, out there, Jenny? Why don't you set down and eat your dinner?

Jenny. I ain't hungry!...I ain't starin', neither...I'm only wonderin'
what brings your brother Ben home at this time of day. [There is
something arresting in her voice. George sits suddenly erect, listening
and tense.]

Carrie. Ben? That Ben out in the door-yard? Who's that with him? [She
cannot quite see from where she is sitting.]

Jenny. Lawyer Grover, ain't it?

Carrie. Lawyer Grover? So 'tis! It's John Grover, Pa.

Jenny. He come over on the ferry with Ben.

Carrie. Ben wa'n't on the ferry, was he? Told me he hed t' go up t' the
courthouse this mornin'!

Jenny. I seen him git off the ferry with Lawyer Grover. [George half
rises.] They been standin' out in the road talkin' ever since.

Carrie. Now what d'you s'pose them two's up to, George?

Geoege. I don't know. I don't know.

Carrie. I'll ask 'em in. [From George's sudden nervous condition, it
would seem that he could do without their society.]

Carrie. What's ailin' you, George? Ain't you feelin' good? You look
jest awful!

George I ain't feelin' so good, at that. I'm all in. Guess I'll go up
an'lay down on my bed till it's time to go back to work.

Carrie Land's sakes! I hope you ain't comin' down with the measles!

[Lawyer Geover entering, stops George's departure. Lawyer Grover
belongs to Captain McCobb's generation and school of Yankee thought. He
is the best dressed and the best educated man we have yet met in this
play. At the moment, his face wears a very serious expression. So does
Ben's face, as he appears, in his motor cop's uniform, young, grave,
troubled, anxious, in the door behind the lawyer.]

Lawyer Grover. Mornin', Ned! Mornin', Carrie!

Captain McCobb. Mornin', John! Come in. It's good t' see you.

Lawyer Grover. It's good t' see you, Ned. You ain't goin', George?

Carrie. George ain't feelin' so good. He thought he'd jest lay down fer
a spell upstairs.

Lawyer Geover. Guess he ain't feelin' so sick he can't set here fer a
spell. I got somethin' t' say t' him.

George. [Voiceless]: To me, Mr. Grover?

Carrie. [Surprised]: To George?...What?...

Babe. [Enjoying George's discomfiture]: Stick around, George, an' we'll
open up a bottle a glue!

Lawyer Grover. Mebbe we'd best go in the house where we won't be
interrupted. [His eye falls on Babe.] It's a family matter.

Carrie. A family matter?...What?...This gentleman is George's
brother...Mr. Grover, Mr. Callahan...

Babe. Pleased to meet you...Don't mind me...I c'n step outside...

Geobre. [With deliberate lightness]: No, don't. It can't be nothin' so
private as all that.

Lawyer Gbover. Private? Well, depends on how you look at it.

George. What...what is it?

Captain McCobb. Somethin' wrong, John?

Lawyer Gbover. Afraid so, Ned.

Carrie. [Quickly]: Jenny, you go inside and set by the children for a
spell...Go on!...I'll call you when I want you. [Silence, until Jenny
has gone into the house. Carrie closes the door after her.] Don't like
t' take Lawyer Grover in the house on account of his carryin' measles
t' his grandchildren.

Lawyer Gbover. Thank you, Carrie. That's very thoughtful of you.

Captain McCobb. Well, John, if there's somethin' wrong, better tell us
what 'tis.

Lawyer Gbover. [Turning to George]: Suppose you tell me, George, how
much money you've robbed the ferry of. [An awful pause.]

Babe. [The first to react]: Uhuh!

Captain McCobb. How's that, John?

Carrie. Oh, George! You ain't!

George. Of course, I ain't. I don't know what he's talkin' about!

Ben. [Drily from the door]: 'T ain't goin' t' do you one bit a good
t' deny nuthin'. Company's hed spotters on you ever since Decoration
Day. I rode on the ferry every trip this mornin' t' check up on the
spotters. You didn't see me, mebbe, but I was there. I got a warrant
fer your arrest in my pocket.

George. [ Wildly]: Say! What d'you mean by comin' into a man's house on
Sunday an' callin' him a thief!


Captain McCobb. [Harshly]: 'Tain't your house, George, it's mine. And
it don't make no difference what day 't is.

Carrie. Of course it don't, George!

Ben. You better keep quiet and...

Captain McCobb. [Thundering]: Let John Grover do the talkin' [Another
pause. Carrie shrinks over beside her father. All eyes on Geobge.]

Lawyer Gbover. I don't suppose you know how much you've taken
altogether?

George. I tell you, I don't know what you're talkin' about!

Lawyer Grover. Didn't you jest hear Ben tell you we've hed spotters
coverin' you? In the twelve days since Decoration Day, you've held
out ninety-four dollars. On Decoration Day, alone, with the heavy
traffic goin' up t' the cemeteries, you held out...[He consults a
memorandum.]...thirty-two dollars, or the fares on sixty four cars out
of two hundred and forty-seven carried. With the traffic light as 't
was this forenoon, you held out six dollars. That's twelve fares out of
fifty-one carried.

George. 'Tain't so!

[A faint shuddering moan from Carrie.]

Ben. 'Tis so, George! Wa'n't I there on the ferry, all forenoon,
watchin' you?

Lawyer Gbover. The company suspects that you've been at this a long
time. Last summer, too.

Captain McCobb. Last summer!

Lawyer Gbover. Receipts last summer fell below the summer before. The
company's pretty certain more traffic was carried.

Captain McCobb. So 'twas!

Lawyer Gbover. Even so, the company didn't suspect you, George...They
didn't, Ned, until they put spotters on to see just where the leak
was. That was on Decoration Day...[Back to Geobge.] And that was the
first evidence against you...Oh, we might hev come t' a warrant a week
sooner. Only, I wanted t' git some idea of your average so as I could
figure on last summer.

Carrie. Oh, George

George. That's right, believe him an' call me a thief an' a liar. I
tell you I don't know what he's talkin' about.

Ben. What'd you buy that car on, George?

George. You mean my old Buick?

Carrie. [Hopefully]: Mr. Grover, I give him the hundred and fifty t'
pay fer that old car out of what I made on the Spa last winter.

Lawyer Grover. Who gave him the balance of the eighteen hundred it cost
him?

Carrie. Eighteen hundred!

Lawyer Grover. It wasn't an old Buick. It was a brand-new Buick and he
went t' Portland and gave eighteen hundred fer it.

Carrie. [Pleading]: George, you tell him how cheap you got that car and
how you painted it yourself t' make it look right. George knows how t'
paint cars, Mr. Grover. He used t' be a chauffeur. In Boston. When we
was fust married.

Ben. Lawyer Grover's right, Carrie. I was up t' Portland yesterday and
checked up on it. Eighteen hundred dollars George paid fer it and you
know he couldn't hev paid that much without stealin'.

Carrie. [A gasp]: Oh!

Lawyer Grover. And now I hear, Carrie, that you're plannin'
improvements on the house t' the tune of twelve hundred dollars more.

Carrie. Only a new kitchen fer the Spa!

Lawyer Grover. I don't believe that you're in any way responsible,
Carrie. I only want you t' see how badly this looks for all of you.
Even for you, Ned.

Captain McCobb. Somethin' else?

Lawyer Grover. Yes. Did you know, when you asked the company t' give
your son-in-law a position of trust, that he came to it straight from
prison?

Captain McCobb. What!

Lawyer Grover. Straight from a year on Deer Island, Ned, served for his
part in a hold-up in Boston.

Carrie. Pa didn't know that. I never told him.

Lawyer Grover. You didn't!

Carrie. I never told nobody!

Captain McCobb. Daughter!

Lawyer Grover. No, Ned. I kin understand Carrie. She thought her
husband hed hed his lesson. She wanted him t' hev his second chance.
[Carrie nods miserably.] I think I kin understand all of it. But, I
wanted you t' see how it looked t' the directors.

Captain McCobb. I've always been an honest man, John.

Lawyer Grover. I know that, Ned. And the directors know that. And now
I'll tell you what they've decided t' do. On account of your record and
out of consideration for you, Ned. And fer you, Carrie. Fer you, too.

Captain McCobb. What hev they decided t' do?

Lawyer Grover. The warrant fer George's arrest won't be served, Ned, if
George can pay the sum of two thousand dollars into their hands by noon
tomorrow.

Carrie. [Dazed]: Two thousand dollars? By noon tomorrow?

Lawyer Grover. At which time, the directors will accept his resignation
and agree t' say no more.

Captain McCobb. [Completely broken]: Thank you, John.

Ben. And it's mighty generous of the directors, too!

Lawyer Grover. No, 'tain't generous. It's business. They figure George
must hev taken all of two thousand. They couldn't prove it in a court
of law. They'd ruther hev their money back than put George in jail. I
guess George would rather git that money, somehow, than go t' jail,
wouldn't he?

Carrie. Oh, we couldn't hev George goin' t' jail...Nobody knows 'bout
this? Only the company and us?

Lawyer Grover. That's all, Carrie. So far...And that's all I came t'
say. [To Ben.] Now it's up t' you, young fellow, t' see he don't git
away. I guess you kin take care of him.

Ben. I guess I kin.

George. [With sudden violence]: It's all a god-damn frame-up. I never
took a nickel.

Lawyer Grover. D'you want t' take your chances on proving your
innocence in Court?

George. Sure I do!

Carrie. No, he don't want nuthin' of the sort. Thanks fer comin' over,
Mr. Grover. It was real kind of you t' take so much interest. We'll hev
the money by noon tomorrow, somehow.

Lawyer Grover. I hope so, Carrie. Good day, all. [He goes out leaving
the family to dismayed silence. Suddenly the whole thing strikes Babe's
funny bone.]

Babe. [At George]: Well, you ain't changed much, have you?

George. [Angrily]: What d'you mean?

Babe. I'll tell you what I mean. Dey's free kinds a people in dis
woild, see? One kind 'ud like t' be honest, only dey know it don't pay,
so dey starts out to be crooks. An' de second kind wouldn't mind bein'
crooks only dey know dat don't pay, so dey starts out to be honest like
you an' Carrie done, Cap. Only your trouble was you was too trustin'!
An' dere's a t'oid kind dat's just got cold feet an', whichever way dey
starts out dey lose de old noive an' go de opposite way. An' dem's de
washouts, George, an' you're one a dem. You're a washout.

George. You shut up or I'll break your back!

Babe. [Scornfully]: Aw, join de navy an' see de woild!

Carrie. Now don't git t' wranglin'...You're both as crazy as cats!

George. [Savagely at Captain McCobb and Carrie]: An' don't you two be
lookin' at me that way, neither!

Carrie. [As her father turns]: Now, you quit, all of you! We got t'
think what we're goin' t' do 'bout this. Seems like as if 'tain't one
thing it's bound to be another, don't it? I wish the children hedn't
took sick with this comin' on.

George. [Stubbornly defensive]: With what comin' on? Say! You're a fine
wife to take everybody's word against mine. I'd think a man's wife 'ud
believe him no matter what was said against him. It's what I might ha'
expected of you, though, knowin' you like I do.

Carrie. I'm sorry you ain't satisfied with the kind of wife I been t'
you.

Ben. How long hev you been at this, George?

George. Ain't I told you I never...

Ben. [Persisting]: How much you taken in all?

George. I ain't never taken one cent.

Ben. But if they hed spotters on you like Lawyer Grover said...

George. What do I care what he said?

Ben. Ever since Decoration Day!

George. I don't care if they had spotters ever since Christmas, it's a
frame-up!

Ben. How about me this mornin'?

George. Yeah. You're just the same kind uv a brother-in-law as she is a
wife. You're two uv a kind, all right. You McCobbs is all alike!

Carrie. George! [Sullen silence from George.] Will two thousand cover
what you took, George? [Sullen silence from George.] Will two thousand
cover it?

[A pause, then]:

George. Yeah. I guess so. I lost track, but I guess so.

Carrie. [Sighs]: That's better. Now we kin begin t' figure things out.
Don't you feel bad, Pa. It's my fault.

Ben. Your fault, sis?

Carrie. Fer not tellin' Pa 'bout that other trouble George got into
down in Boston.

George. That's right. Throw that up at me!

Carrie. I ain't throwin' nuthin' up at you. I ought t' hev told him.
But I thought you'd learned your lesson. Shows how much sense I got. I
hedn't learned my lesson, hed I? Guess nobody ever learns nuthin' much
in this world...But don't you feel bad, Pa.

Captain McCobb. [He looks up and takes his daughter's hand]: There
ain't nuthin' goes wrong in this world, no matter how small, that
you kin blame all of it on any one human, Daughter. Ain't no good in
recriminations and hard words, now. I thought my troubles was over, but
I kin see they ain't. [He turns to Babe]: You were right, young feller,
when you said that 'bout honest men bein' too trustin' fer good sense.
This ain't the fust time I made this mistake.

Babe. No?

Captain McCobb. Once before, it cost me one hundred and seventy-five
thousand dollars t' clear my name. All I hed in the world. But I
cleared it.

Babe. How was dat, Captain?

Captain McCobb. [Reaching back through a lifetime of delusion]: It was
an enterprise called "The Greenland Coal and Colliery Company." S' I
t' my old friend Tim Newell: "Tim," s' I, "there's coal in Greenland,"
and I sailed off t' Africa and fergot all about it. And when I come
home again, Tim hed his "Greenland Coal and Colliery Company" all set
up and sellin' stock like a house afire and my name bein' used as
president on a whole pile of circulars purportin' t' be the report of
one Thomas W. Wilkes, fust class minin' engineer from Colorado. Fust
class hocus-pocus he turned out to be. Come t' find out, hedn't nobody
in the whole concern set foot in Greenland t' look at my coal. I was
the president of a swindlin' scheme. S' I t' Tim: "Tim, what d'you mean
by sech goin's on?" He didn't say nuthin'. Jest went home up river here
and tuk his boat out and went fishin'. Everybody said his drowndin' was
accidental. I paid the bills and bought back every share of that stock.
[Back to George.] I never held nuthin' against Tim. Seems like lookin'
after the weak must be the price a real man hes t' pay fer bein' able
t' look after himself. Don't guess it's no different fer a real woman,
Carrie. Well!

[While the old man talked, Babe has seen the three McCobbs live through
their respective lives and rise again from the ashes. This impresses
Babe. Only George is oblivious to it.]

George. Maybe you'd like for me to go fishin' and not come back.

Captain McCobb. No. I wouldn't want that.

Babe. You couldn't ask for anythin' fairer 'n dat, George!

George. No...

Carrie. You ought t' git down on your knees and thank Pa after all the
trouble you made.

George. All right. I do.

Captain McCobb. You're Carrie's husband and your children are my
grandchildren. We got t' git you clear. Seems funny, don't it, when
I raised so much before, that I can't think, now, here this two
thousand's comin' from!...I'll hit on somethin'...

Carrie. You kin mortgage the house, Pa.

Captain McCobb. Eh?

Carrie. You kin mortgage the house. I was aimin' t' ask you t' do that.
Fer my Spa. We kin let my Spa go and you kin do it fer George. Don't
know what we'll do without my Spa. But George comes fust, don't he?

Captain McCobb. [We wonder what it is he is holding back as his stern
eyes break down Geobge's impudent look]: The children and our name come
fust, daughter.

Carrie. You wouldn't mind mortgagin' the house, would you, Pa? Fer sech
a good reason?

Captain McCobb. I'll hit on somethin'...I'll hit on somethin'...

Carrie. I know you will.

Captain McCobb. Mebbe I kin git more time.

George. That's the idea. That's the way to talk. See, Carrie? The
Captain knows how to take this. He knows it don't amount to nothin'.

Carrie. Nuthin'! Two thousand dollars, nuthin'!

George. What I mean is, he don't rub it in. An' you don't want to rub
it in, either. Because if you rub it in like you done last time...

Captain McCobb. Eh?

George. I'm just warnin' her, Captain. So she'll be a good sport, too,
like you are.

Captain McCobb. You're doin' no sech thing. You're tryin' t' make light
of this. I'll not hev you makin' light of this!

George. No, I ain't, Captain...I'm only sayin'...

Captain McCobb. I'll not hev you makin' light of nuthin' any more
'round this house!

George. Aw, for cripe's sake, Captain! It's too bad, of course, but,
supposin' I did hold out on 'em, now an' then! Show me the collector
who don't hold out some!

Captain McCobb. I'll not hev you justifyin' yourself!

George. Who's doin' that?

Carrie. You are, George.

George. No, I ain't. I'm only sayin' what I done don't amount to so
much if you look at it in the right spirit.

Captain McCobb. I won't hev you makin' light of theft!

George. Makin' light a what?

Ben. Now don't git up on no high horse, George. What you done is theft.

George. Maybe it is if you want to use big words. But I'd like to know
what right you three got talkin' tall to me?

Captain McCobb. Eh?

George. Yes, I would! I'll be gettin' sore in a minute. Who was I
graftin' for? Tell me that! Who got the money? Didn't you three get it?
An' them kids inside? Didn't they get it? Supposin' I did buy a good
car! Who's been ridin' in it?

Captain McCobb. I ain't sure he hedn't better go t' jail, Daughter!

Carrie. [In agony]: No, Pa!

Captain McCobb. I been an honest man all my life. Don't you hear him
trying to make me out one of his kind?

George. I'm makin' you out nothin'. I'm tellin' you what's what. How
d'you think we been runnin' this house like we have an' livin' like we
done on the best of everything I'll tell you how. Because I been givin'
Carrie twice what my wages was. An' that's how that works. Yeah. An'
look at Brother Ben, drivin' up to the courthouse every mornin' in my
car! My car, see, the same the lawyer was tellin' about him goin' to
Portland to investigate yesterday! My car! You McCobbs talkin' tall to
me, an' me supportin' you, by God! [A babble of protest from the three
McCobbs.] Wait a minute!...I'm tellin' you!...If I go to jail, there's
three more goin' with me as accessories. You an' you an' you...[A
finger at each of them, though his voice sticks again in Carrie's
honor.] An' I'll see to that. So you haul on outta here, old salt, to
that company office an' tell 'em I gotta have a good break an' see that
I get it.

Captain McCobb. You call me your accessory?

George. That ain't half what the courts'll call you if you don't do
like I'm tellin' you. Accomplice, fence, God knows what...[Captain
McCobb starts for him.] Look out, now, Captain. [He gets a table
between them.] Don't start nothin' you can't finish. [A babble of
protests. Ben holds his father. Babe steps over in front of Geoege.
Carrie gasps.]

Ben. Hold on, now, Pa! Keep cool.

Babe. None a dat! None a dat!

Carrie. You ought t' be ashamed of yourself, George. [To her father.]
We'll raise the money on the house. 'Twon't be so much. We kin sell the
car t' pay back part of it. And I'll earn the rest out of this Spa.
Don't you worry, Pa.

Captain McCobb. Daughter, I...I don't know what t' do.

Carrie. Jest don't worry.

Captain McCobb. 'Tain't only the money...That's bad enough.; But...

Carrie. I know...But George didn't mean what he said then... Ain't that
true, George?...Won't you tell Pa you're sorry? Fer what you said, I
mean as well as fer what you done?

Captain McCobb. Would you believe him, daughter?

Carrie. Oh, Pa, it is my fault! I ought t' hev told you not t' trust
him. [George winces, but holds his sullen peace.]

Captain McCobb. You trusted him, didn't you?

Carrie. [Nodding miserably]: Yes.

Captain McCobb. So did I. 'Tain't your fault, daughter. It's more mine
than yours.

Carrie. Pa!

Captain McCobb. [Darkening]: It's more mine than yours, because this
won't be the fust time I helped George.

Carrie. Not the fust?

Captain McCobb. It ain't the fust time, is it, George?

George. [Defiant]: What if it ain't?

Captain McCobb. What I done before t' git you out of that other scrape,
I done fer Carrie's sake. I done it because Carrie set sech store by
you. I done it t' save Carrie's home.

Carrie. Pa!

Captain McCobb. [A steady crescendo of anger]: I'll do as much again
fer Carrie's sake and Carrie's home. As much and more! But Carrie ain't
never goin' t' set no more store by you nor you ain't goin' t' hev no
more part in Carrie's home!

George. Oh, ain't I!

Captain McCobb. No. Nor no one here's goin' t' put no more trust in you.

Carrie. [Terrified] What you talkin' 'bout, Pa?

Captain McCobb. I'm comin' to that, daughter. So as you won't never
waste your love nor your trust on him again. I'm goin' t' hurt you,
daughter. Fer your own good. There's hurts that are kinder than
kindness.

Carrie. [Wild]: What is it, Pa?

Captain McCobb. A year ago this time your husband come t' me fer one
thousand dollars.

Carrie. What did you want with it, George?

George. None a your damn business...

Captain McCobb. I'll tell you, daughter. This husband of yours is a
good-fer-nuthin' blackguard!

Carrie. [A stifled shriek] Pa!

Captain McCobb. A good-fer-nuthin'...black... [All expression vanishes
from his face. He stares at her in dumb bewilderment.]

Carrie. What's the matter, Pa?

Captain McCobb. Got t' git back t' the ship...Got t' git back t' the
bridge...

[He topples forward, falling full length on his face. A scream from
Carrie. General outcry. Ben and Babe rush to the old man's assistance.]

Ben. Git him up on the table. [The Captain is turned over, being too
heavy to lift.]

Babe. Can't lift him. Better leave him still.

Carrie. Pa! Pa! What's the matter? [The Captain's only answer is the
stertorous snore of apoplexy.]

Ben. It's a stroke. It must be...[He calls.] Jenny! Jenny!

Carrie. Can't you speak t' me, Pa? It's Carrie! Can't you speak t' me?

Jenny [Appears.] Oh!

Ben. That you, Jenny? Git the doctor, quick! [They stand off. Carrie,
clinging to her father's hand sobs desperately. Jenny runs out.]

Babe. A stroke, huh? Yeah. I hoid a dem.

CURTAIN


* * *


ACT TWO


[Scene: The parlor of the old McCobb house is beautiful with the cool,
homely beauty of those merchant palaces which were built in Maine
between the Revolution and the War of 1812. Its furniture is worthy of
its proportions and its woodwork. The back wall is broken by a most
lovely flat arch through which the first treads and newel of the flying
stair are visible. The wall to the left of the audience is broken by
two windows. It must be understood that the left wall is the facade of
the house and it is from the left that those come into the entry who
enter the house by the front door. A door im the right wall leads to
the Spa. The walls are hung with old oils of sailing ships, the floor
is covered with hooked and braided rugs. The curtains at the windows
are inexpensive but charming. The lights are glass oil lamps, one or
two of them large and several small. Moonlight bathes the lilacs of
the door-yard. Captain McCobb lies in his coffin, surrounded by lovely
branches of lilac bloom and placed, in the setting, with a discreet
regard for the sensibilities of the audience. It is the evening of the
same day.]

Jenny sits as far from the coffin as possible, staring before her in a
kind of still horror. George is walking nervously about the room.

George. Here we been talkin' all this time an' we ain't come to no
conclusion yet. [At no answer from Jenny.] Aw, Jenny, don't be that way
with me. I come in here t' keep you company. I thought it was terrible
a Carrie t' put this off on you...Carrie never thinks a nobody but
herself.

Jenny. I was glad t' do it. Washin' up and workin' outside'll take her
mind off her troubles. I didn't ask fer your company that I remember. I
don't like dead men, but there's worse things. You're a worse thing.

George. You're a fine one to say that to me!

Jenny. Micks like you never know when t' stop. I know. I ain't goin' t'
let you mix me up in this.

George. As if you wasn't mixed up in it already!

Jenny. I ain't nuthin' of the kind!...I'm through with you. I been
settin' here thinkin' and I'm through...'Tain't alone on account of you
gittin' caught. I been settin' here thinkin' 'bout Carrie and how good
she's been t' me. Carrie's treated me straight. I ain't goin' t' double
cross her no more. I wouldn't wonder if I married Ben.

George. I would.

Jenny. Who's goin' t' stop me? You, mebbe?

George. Fat chance a Carrie ever lettin' any Kanuck marry into the
McCobb family!

Jenny. She wa'n't so fussy when she got married!

George. If you throw me over now...

Jenny. [Impudently]: Now what hev you and me ever hed t' do with each
other that I could be in a position t' throw you over? Nuthin' that I
remember.

George. Oh, hell!

Jenny. [A pause, then, craftily]: What are you figurin' t' do?

George. I ain't decided.

Jenny. Ain't Carrie decided? She'll git you out, won't she?

George. How can she? All that money?

Jenny. Can't she raise it? She told me she could raise it on the house.

George. You know she can't raise nothin' on this house.

Jenny. [Impudently]: And what should a poor little servant girl like me
know 'bout things like that?...Why don't you skip?

George. Skip?

Jenny. Yeah. Hop in the car and skip. It's better than goin' t' jail,
ain't it?

George. Would you come with me? [She shakes her head.] Why not? [She
shakes her head.] We'd go to Boston, Jenny. To New York. Chicago maybe.

Jenny. No.

George. Rather stay here an' wash dishes, wouldn't you?

Jenny. I told you I was through and I meant it.

George. God, but it's fine the way you stand by me when you think a who
'it was got me in wrong in the first place!

Jenny. In the last place, you mean. You was born in wrong. So was
I!...But as far as you and me is concerned, I took my chances just as
brave as you took yours...Mebbe more!

George. I know you did, Jenny.

Jenny. Well?

George. You better come along, though. I'm tellin' you. When Carrie
starts in tryin' to raise this money an' finds out she can't, she's
goin' to begin askin' questions, ain't she? Have you ever tried lyin'
to Carrie?

Jenny. Never could...But I heard you do it often enough!

George. Well, it's no cinch...An' she ain't exactly in a trustin' mood
where I'm concerned now...An' I got to tell her somethin', ain't I?

Jenny. Couldn't you say the old man give you the money t' pay some
doctor bills?

George. How d'you mean?

Jenny. Not that doctor!...You kin say they was fer your mother.

George. Fat chance a Carrie believin' that!

Jenny. [Desperate]: Well, then, you jest got t' skip.

George. I'm willin'!

Jenny. Alone.

George. Aw, Jenny!

Jenny. I ain't comin' with you!

George. [Darkly]: Supposin' I was to tell Carrie the truth? I guess
you'd come then, wouldn't you?

Jenny. You wouldn't do that?

George. I dunno. I might.

Jenny. But...[Craft again] How much cash you got left?

George. A couple a hundred.

Jenny. You see? It's fer your own good, George! You don't want no
girl taggin' after you, now! You can't afford it! You got t' skip too
far and too fast!...We hed a fine time while it lasted and now you're
caught and I'm through. So be a good sensible Mick and beat it before
there's any talk comes up, and leave me here.

George. You're a pretty wise kid for a Kanuck, ain't you?

Jenny. What a girl can't learn in a Saco mill ain't worth learnin'.

George. Saco! That's it! You're a damn Yankee, too! You're just as hard
as Carrie is.

Jenny. [Craftily feeling her way]: Carrie's no fool, either. 'Ceptin'
'bout you. That's what I got on her. Carrie don't understand Micks like
I do, that's Carrie's trouble. I hed all kinds in my day. Micks and
Poles and Portugee boys and a Swede--a couple of Swedes--and plenty of
Americans and one Jew. Micks is all right and hunky dory when things
is goin' good and when things ain't so good, Micks is terrible. You
never know where you are with a Mick...Before you come in here, I was
thinkin' over all the fellers I ever went with and the only one I'd
like t' see now is that Jewish boy. He wa'n't no good on a party and
he couldn't dance fer sour apples, but I took sick, once, while I was
goin' with him, and, believe me, he was there! If he was in your shoes,
he wouldn't be askin' me to tag after him on two hundred dollars. No,
siree! He'd beat it and keep his mouth shut and git himself a job and
then, mebbe, he'd send fer me t' join him. And that's what you better
do. And leave me here t' look after Carrie and see if I can't help her
through.

George. Aw, Jenny! [He tries to touch her.]

Jenny. Now, George, remember there's a dead man in the room and
act proper. [George shudders.] Yeah. It kind of gives me the
heebee-jeebies, myself! Shhh...

Babe. [Suddenly heard singing, as he enters by the front door to the
tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean"]:

"My mother sells snow to de snow boids,
My brother sells synt'etic gin,
My sister sells love for a livin',
Good God, how de money rolls in!"

George. Say, is that any kind of a song to sing in the same room with a
dead man?

Babe. What kind uv a song would you sing? [He resumes.]

 "My father's a missionary,
He helps foreign ladies in sin,
He'll sell you a blonde for a dollar,
Good God, how the money rolls in!"

Jenny. If I was you, I wouldn't smoke in here, either.

Babe. What's de idea? Afraid de stiff'll catch fire?

George. No. 'Tain't that. She's thinkin' a the respect due to the dead.

Babe. Aw, join de navy! He wouldn't care. He was regular.

Jenny. Maybe he wouldn't care. But Carrie would.

Babe. Why didn't you say dat in de foist place? [He extinguishes his
cigarette and drops into the chair beside the coffin. Unconsciously, he
lifts his feet to a more comfortable position.]

George. Say!

Babe. What?

George. Take your feet off that coffin.

Babe. [Obeying]: My mistake...If I was president a dis here U. S. A.,
I'd pass a law forbiddin' funerals. A man can't act natural widin a
mile a one...I remember one funeral I seen in France in de war. I
forget de French name a de place. Dey must ha' had t'irty stiffs dat
day. An' a priest--Callahan, his name was, like us--an' a ordinary
minister--chaplains, dey calls dem--an' a rabbi: it was de New York
division. An' I'm on duty, see? Presentin' arms an' all dat bunk. An'
each one a de holies speaks his piece an', after dat, de boys t'rew in
de doit on de stiffs. An' what got my goat so bad was de noise de doit
didn't make when dey t'rew it in. Because dey didn't have no coffins,
see? No coffins at all. Only gunny sacks. Each stiff in a gunny sack.
An' de doit on de gunny sacks didn't make no noise, see? When I hoid
dat, a buddy a mine an' me sneaks off behind a stone wall an' puts our
lunch together like a pair a god-damn love boids.

Jenny. I hevn't got no use fer funerals, neither. They don't do nobody
no good.

George. Remember Ma's funeral?

Babe. I didn't go.

Geoege. I thought all ten of us was there!

Babe. Not me!

Geoege. Where was you?

Babe. I went out. An' don't try gettin' slushy about Ma's funeral. De
last t'ing Ma did for me was club me wid a stove lifter. An' dat wasn't
no more'n an hour before she died.

Geoege. Ma was terrible that night.

Babe. She was. Terrible...It's a funny t'ing, de way people die. Like
gettin' de bum's rush when you least expect it. An' half de time on
account a somethin' somebody else started. Like de Captain, here, dead
on account a what you done. [The feet back, unconsciously.] It's funny
t'ing, deaf is! Anyway you look at it.

George. Funny as a crutch! Say, will you take your feet off that coffin?

Babe. [Obeying again]: Join de navy, will you? Me bein' comfortable
don't indicate no disrespect. [But he moves his chair so that he can
rest his feet on a table. While he is moving, Ben enters from the Spa,
a toothpick in full swing.]

Jenny. That you, Ben?

Ben. Yeah. What you doin' in here?

Jenny. Jest watchin' while Carrie washes up.

Ben. Well, you go out and help Carrie. I'll do the watchin'.

Jenny. I don't mind.

Ben. 'Tain't no fit job fer you.

Jenny. I was terrible scared, Ben.

Ben. [Almost tenderly]: Sure, you was. Run along, now.

[Jenny is going by the Spa door into the light and the clatter
of dishwashing. Ben turns sharply to George. She pauses.]

Ben. You git out, too. Don't want you in here. Don't want you anywheres
near my father.

George. What harm am I doin'?

Ben. You done enough harm without doin' any more. Killin' my father...

George. Wha'd' you mean, killin' your father?

Ben. If you didn't kill Pa, who did?

George. Nobody. He had a stroke.

Ben. What brought it on?

Babe. Now! Now!

Ben. You good-fer-nothin' pocket-pickin' taxi driver! If I hed my way,
you'd be strung up tomorrow forenoon, that's what you would!

George. Oh, would I?

Ben. [A little hysterical for the law]: Yeah! Fer murder, too! Ain't no
other name fer it. You killed Pa, jest as sure as if you done it with a
gun.

Babe. I know how you feel, but...[A row seems impending, when Carrie
comes in. Immediate silence. She is dressed as she was in the first
act. She walks wearily over to the coffin and looks down at the dead
man.]

Carrie. [In a broken little voice]: Oh, Pa! [She kneels beside the
coffin and prays a moment. Ben frankly sobs. George and Babe stand
awkwardly. After a moment, Carrie rises and pats Ben's heaving
shoulders.] Got t' be brave, Ben!

Ben. [Through his tears]: Oh, sis!

Carrie. I know. We jest got t' remember he's better off than we are.
[She sees George and Babe.] You been settin' with him, George? And you,
too, Babe? [She turns back to Ben.] I set with him a while. Then I got
t' thinkin' and I was afraid I'd lose control of myself, so I went in
the Spa and washed up the dishes...Maybe I ought t' hev shut down t'
night. But I reckoned we 'need every penny we kin git our hands on. We
took in near four dollars since supper. [She fishes in her pocket and
draws out a handful of dollar bills and silver.] That makes thirteen
twenty on the day. 'Tain't so good fer Sunday, but 'tain't so bad fer
this time of year. [She goes deliberately about locking the money in a
drawer of an old desk, continuing, as she does so.] Seems like there
ain't nuthin' matters in this world but jest money. Church goin' don't
matter, nor obeyin' the law, nor keepin' house, nor the children bein'
sick, nor nuthin'. Jest money. Leastways, seems that way t'night,
don't it? [She looks about at the others.] You all been so good t' me,
t'night, I got no call t' be goin' on like I'm doin'. You been good,
too, Jenny. You git t' bed and git some rest. I'm keepin' the Spa open
all day t'morrow, too, 'cept durin' the funeral. And you'll hev t' look
after everythin' in the forenoon, because I got t' go acrosst river t'
see what I kin do with Lawyer Grover and the Company. So you git t' bed.

Jenny. [Almost reverently]: Good night, Carrie. Call me if you want
anythin'.

Carrie. Be sure and remind me in the mornin' t' git some Camels when I
go acrosst river. We're pretty near out.

Jenny. I will, Carrie. [She goes up the stairs.]

Carrie. Want t' do somethin' fer me, Ben?

Ben. Yes, I do, sis. What is it?

Carrie. Run down t' Nat Glidden's house and fetch him up here. He was
t' begin work here t'morrow. I want t' talk t' him.

Ben. That all, sis?

Carrie. That's all.

Ben. You'll hev t' come with me, George.

George. Me?

Ben. Can't leave the house without you.

Carrie. Take him in the car, George. [George rises, surlily, and
follows Ben out the front door. Carrie stands looking at her dead
father. Babe watches her.]

Babe. I expect dem kids a yours 'll feel pretty sore when dey hear
about gran'pa's bein' gone.

Carrie. I expect they will. I ain't told 'em yet.

Babe. Dat's right! What dey don't know won't hurt 'em.

Carrie. No.

Babe. Maybe you don't never need to tell 'em. You c'n say: Gran'pa's
just stepped out or gone cruisin' or sometin' in dat line. An' dey'll
forget.

Carrie. Guess that's 'bout true.

Babe. Sure it is! An' dat's where dey got it over us like a tent! Why I
forgot more when I was a kid dan I ever remembered since.

Carrie. [Still motionless beside the coffin]: Did you?

Babe. [Distressed]: Carrie!

Carrie. [Her voice choking with tears']: Yeah?

Babe. Don't be standin' dere dat way! It gets my goat. It'll get yours
if you don't quit...I know how it is. I been t'rough de same t'ing. An'
de only way to get t'rough is to put your old man out a your mind an'
t'ink about somethin' pleasant.

Carrie. [Turning in agony]: Oh, what?

Babe. Dat's so! Dere ain't much!

Carrie. [Turning toward him]: I'm all right. Thinkin' 'bout Pa's
pleasant. I loved Pa. Only 'tain't thinkin', is it? What I was jest
doin'. It's feelin'.

Babe. Maybe so.

Carrie. Seems like folks kin feel 'bout no end of things, but I don't
reckon they think 'bout much 'cept money.

Babe. Two thousand berries! Dat's enough to make anybody t'ink!

Carrie. 'Tain't that...I kin raise that on this house...It's a good
house...The land ain't so much, but it's placed handy and the house is
stout as a trigger...No, I ain't worryin' so much over what happens
t'morrow. It's after t'morrow I'm thinkin' on.

Babe. [His plans come in]: After tomorrow?

Carrie. The rest of the summer and the winter t' come. How we goin' t'
make out lackin' Pa's salary? Don't see how George is goin' t' earn
much with this against him. Because it's bound t' leak out some...The
worst thing is givin' up enlargin' the Spa...Oh, I'm goin' t' try and
see if Nat won't do the work on credit. But I ain't got much hope. And
the Spa, like it is, don't make much more'n pin money.

Babe. You know what you're doin' to me?

Carrie. What?

Babe. You're curin' me a my prejudice against women.

Carrie. Am I? How?

Babe. Most women would ha' blamed George for what he done an' took on
terrible over it.


Carrie. I do blame him. But I never seen no good yet come of takin' on.

Babe. You got a wonnerful character, Carrie.

Carrie. Think so?

Babe. Yeah...An' dat's what counts in dis world. Character. By God,
if it don't! Beauty fades, but character goes on forever. You know.
Huh? I don't know nothin' I admire like I do character. Dat's George's
trouble. He ain't got none.

Carrie. He ain't got much.

Babe. But take me, now. I'm like you, Carrie. Not so good lookin' as
some but just full a character.

Carrie. Think so?

Babe. Wid a character like yours, I wouldn't wonder if t'ings toined
out better'n you t'ink!

Carrie. I'll be lucky if they don't turn out worse.

Babe. I suppose you're plannin' on stickin' to George like you said
before?

Babe. He's my husband, ain't he?

Babe. Even stickin' to husbands has its limits.

Carrie. Don't see what that's got t' do with it!

Babe. Well, as you was sayin' just now, I don't see how George'll be
much use from now on.

Carrie. No.

Babe. But I c'n see a way I might be a whole lot a use.

Carrie. You?

Babe. Yeah...I got to woik it out, yet...But I c'n see dat you an' me,
wid our characters, was just made to be partners.

Carrie. You an' me?

Babe. Funny dat didn't strike you, too!


Carrie. [Suspiciously]: You ain't suggestin'...

Babe. I'm t'inkin' a business pure! I'm t'inkin' a how I could help you
an' you could help me...after dis is all over...so you wouldn't never
have nothin' to worry you no more. Just gravy.

Carrie. Gravy?

Babe. [The front door opens. Ben appears.] We'll talk about it later
on...[Nat and George follow Ben in.]

Nat. Carrie, I was mighty sorry t' hear 'bout this.

Carrie. Thanks, Nat...T was nice of you t' come up.

Nat. I'd hev come sooner, only I was down t' the bridge head figurin'
on a bunkhouse they want built there t' take care of the workmen.

Carrie. It's all right. Sally was up early this afternoon. She brought
me most of them lilacs.

Nat. Kin I take a look at him?

Carrie. Go ahead. [Nat looks at the dead man.] Looks natural.

Nat. Yeah. A little pale, mebbe.

Carrie. That ain't surprisin'.

Nat. Well, he was a fine man, Carrie. We ain't never hed none finer
'round here.

Carrie. No.

Nat. Don't guess there's many of his kind left, now.

Carrie. No.

Nat. Well, don't take it too hard. Hed t' happen sooner or later, as I
was sayin' t' Ben, comin' up. S' I t' Ben, s' I: He hed his ups and his
downs, but he lived a grand life and I reckon he enjoyed it.

Carrie. I certain do hope so.

Nat. He was proud of you and Ben, Carrie. Don't you fergit that...He
was proud of the children, too.


Carrie. Pity they got the measles and hes t' miss the funeral.

Nat. Yeah. And when he went, he went quick.

Carrie. Yeah...Only I didn't ask you up t' talk 'bout Pa, Nat.

Nat. No?

Carrie. No...'bout my kitchen.

Nat. [His manner changing]: Oh!

Carrie. I wouldn't want you t' begin work t'morrow mornin'.

Nat. I didn't guess you would.

Carrie. But day after t'morrow's all right...that is...if you...if you
was willin'.

Nat. I'm willin', Carrie.

Carrie. I mean, things is kind of different now that Pa's gone and
there's somethin' I'd want you t' understand before you was t' begin.

Nat. What's that?

Carrie. Well, it's...I kin see I'm goin' t' be kind of pressed fer
money these next few weeks...And twelve hundred...Well, twelve
hundred's a heap t' pay out fer a body who's got other expenses...And
I got some unexpected obligations t' meet...Amount t' a couple of
thousand dollars...'Tain't as though Pa hed any insurance, you
see...He used t' hev insurance, but he hed t' give it up quite a while
back...And then George...He'll be quittin' the ferry now that Pa's
gone. He wouldn't want t' keep on there without Pa, would he?...So,
seein' as I'll need all I kin git my hands on t' meet them obligations
I mentioned, I thought, mebbe you'd be willin' t' go ahead on the
work and then...And let me pay you from time t' time, when I could,
through the summer and fall...'T wouldn't take so very long t' pay
you twelve hundred dollars...I hate t' ask it, Nat. And I wouldn't
ask it...I don't like beggin' favors of nobody, not even old friends
like you...It's only that I need it so bad...Fer George and me t' live
on...The children need it, too...My Spa's 'bout the only thing we got
t' live on from now...You see how 't is...


Nat. [Pause, then]: Yeah, I see, Carrie. And I certain wish I could do
it fer you.

Carrie. You mean, you can't do it?

Nat. Well, I might, if 'twas later on in the season. But, this early,
I ain't got no cash t' go on, yet, and I'd hev t' pay men and buy
material, you know.

Carrie. Yeah. I didn't think you could do it.

Nat. I'd like to.

Carrie. Yeah. That's all I wanted t' ask you.

Nat. If I could see my way clear, later on, mebbe...

Carrie. Yeah. It don't matter.

Nat. Nuthin' else I kin do fer you?

Carrie. [She shakes her head]: The funeral's at four t'morrow.

Nat. Ben told me. I'm durned sorry, Carrie...Mebbe if you could pay me
half...

Carrie. [She thinks a moment, then shakes her head again]: It don't
matter.

Nat. Well, I'll say good night, then. [He bids each of them good night,
in turn, and in his most funereal manner. Just as he completes his
round, the ferry whistle blows from the far side of the river.]

Cabbie. I jest can't hear that whistle without...[Her voice chokes. Nat
starts to go. Ben is following him.]

Nat. [Under his breath, indicating Carrie]: You stay here with her. I
kin walk.[He goes.]

Ben. [Tenderly]: Why don't you go t' bed, Carrie?

Carrie. I want t' stay here and talk t' George. You git your sleep.
When I git tired settin' here, I'll call you and you kin set a spell.

Ben. Don't think I ought t' sleep where I kin keep an eye on George, do
you?

Carrie. No. He won't try nuthin' like that.

Ben. All right. [He goes up the stairs. Cabbie turns to Babe and sees
that he has become deeply engrossed in the family Bible.]

Carrie. Babe!

Babe. Yeah?

Carrie. Didn't you hear me say I wanted t' set here alone with George
fer a spell?

Babe. No, I didn't, Carrie. I was readin' the Bible.

Carrie. You kin take it along with you, if you want.

Babe. No, I wouldn't care to read no more. [He returns it to its
place.] I c'n see it's a good book, Carrie, only it's printed so
funny...I'll just go upstairs and...[He administers a vigorous slap to
Carrie's shoulders as he passes her on his way out.]

Carrie. [After a pause, to George]: I don't know how t' begin. [Geobge
flinches nervously.] Don't do that. I ain't goin' t' rub it in, as you
say. I jest got t' tell you some of what's on my mind.

George. What is on your mind?

Carrie. I got two children t' raise. I can't help thinkin' of 'em.

George. Yeah. I think uv 'em too.

Carrie. Mebbe if you'd hev thought of them a little sooner, we wouldn't
be so hard put now.

George. There's no use sayin' that. You can't accuse me a holdin' out
on you.

Carrie. I ain't accusin' you of nuthin'! You're my husband. I married
you fer better or worse and you ain't been so bad you couldn't hev
been worse. You ain't been a drinkin' man and you ain't never hurt me.
You've given me plenty t' regret, but you ain't never made me mad.
Guess that's more'n most women kin say 'bout their husbands. I jest hev
t' remember that. You ain't strong like I am and you don't think twice
like I do. Well, so long as you don't make me mad...

George. You're a pretty square shooter, Carrie. I got to hand it to you
there. I'd think I done enough t' make God Almighty mad.

Carrie. I ain't God Almighty. Women don't git mad 'cept for special
reasons, George. Women's reasons. Drinkin' makes women mad, of course.
Too much of it. But treachery's what they hate most. Carryin' on with
other women on the sly. Lyin' things like that. You ain't been a bad
husband on them grounds. You been a good father. There's some worth in
you.

George. Thanks.

Carrie. But there's one thing you got t' promise me.

George. What's that?

Carrie. You got t' promise me t' try t' be worthy of your children.
'Tain't enough fer children only t' love their father. They want
t' respect him, too. You got two of the sweetest children, George,
that God ever gave any man. I've yet t' hear I will or I won't from
either one of them...Well, mebbe, some, since they took sick with the
measles. At that, they ain't as bad as many I've seen. So you jest got
t' promise me, George, that you won't never again, never, do nuthin'
that could make your children respect you less than children ought t'
respect their father. You got t' promise me that.

George. [His voice sticking]: All right, Carrie. I promise.

Carrie. 'Tain't as if you didn't love your children. I know you do.
I know you wouldn't never willin'ly or meanin'ly do nuthin' t' hurt
your children. Any more than you'd willin'ly or meanin'ly hurt me. Now
we'll never say one other word 'bout this. I'll go over t'morrow and
I'll see Lawyer Grover and I'll see the bank and I'll see the whole
ferry company, if need be. And I'll jest make 'em give me money or time
or anythin' we need t' git out of this mess. All I want you t' do is
behave yourself and make them children proud of you.

George. [Diffidently]: What would you say, Carrie, if you an' me was to
go away from here? Pack up an' sell out an' go away an' begin new some
place else? Out West, maybe. Where I ain't known. You been so square
with me, Carrie, I want to be square with you an' believe me, I will
be, too, only I'm thinkin'...Well, people are bound to hear about what
I done and I'll git a bad name 'round these parts.

Carrie. [Decisively]: No!

George. Why not?

Carrie. Runnin' away ain't no business. It's the same as lyin'. The
best thing you kin do is stick here and let 'em find out. Ain't nuthin'
a man can't live down if he gives himself half a chance, and sets his
mind to it. Besides, we got the Spa here and that's somethin'--Hang on
t' what you got. That's my motto. What you ain't got mayn't be half as
good.

George. But supposin' things don't go like you figure tomorrow?

Carrie. What's t' prevent?

George. Well, supposin' the bank ain't willin' t' give you the
mortgage. What then?

Carrie. [Pause, then]: We'll cross that bridge t'morrow.

George. You ain't scared a nothin', are you?

Carrie. Don't know as I am! Now we hed our talk, I don't see nuthin' t'
be scared of. [George's head falls.] Don't you feel bad, George. Jest
you remember what Pa said. What was it? "Ain't nuthin' so small in this
world that any one man's altogether t' blame fer it?" You take comfort
in that. Mebbe this is all jest as much my fault as it is yours.

George. Maybe so.

Carrie. [Suddenly peppery]: Now don't you go blamin' me, though, fer I
won't hev it.

George. But you said...

Carrie. I only said it t' comfort you. And you ought t' be ashamed t'
be comforted.

George. I only meant...

Carrie. Never you mind what you meant! [A knock at the front door.]
Land's sakes! Who kin that be at this hour?...Maybe Nat's comin' back
again to reconsider. [Opening the door.] Why, it's Lawyer Grover! Come
right in, Mr. Grover! [Lawyer Grover enters.]

Lawyer Grover. Carrie, I only jest heard. My old friend! My dear old
friend!

Carrie. It's nice of you t' come over, Mr. Grover.

Lawyer Grover. And it happened jest after I left!

Carrie. 'Bout ten minutes after. He died in 'bout an hour. He never
knowed nuthin'. Wouldn't you like t' see him?

Lawyer Grover. [Looking--his voice choking]: Ned! Ned McCobb!

Carrie. He was a good friend of yours, Mr. Grover.

Lawyee Grover. Ned McCobb! I knew him forty years. And more.

Carrie. Looks peaceful, don't he?

Lawyer Grover. He's at peace. [Then feeling that he has not done
himself justice.] "Alas, poor Yorick! He was the noblest Roman of
them all...The rest is silence..." [To Carrie, confidentially.']
Shakespeare. Selected at random.

Carrie. Yeah. Pa won't mind.

Lawyer Grover. [Eyeing George sharply]: At least, we know what killed
him! [George squirms wretchedly.]

Carrie. [Loyally]: Well, I guess Pa was pretty near tuckered out, Mr.
Grover.

Lawyer Grover. You're a patient woman, Carrie. Like your father in
that. Patient and long sufferin'. I can't help thinkin' there ain't
many men as honest as he was. Assumin' debts that weren't in any wise
his fer fear of some shadow becloudin' his good name. Not like others
I could mention, slippin' out of one scrape only t' git right int'
another.

Carrie. Mr. Grover, I'll hev t' ask you not t' make slurrin' remarks
'bout George before me.

Lawyer Grover. Mebbe you're right, Carrie. "Though I speak with the
tongue of men and of angels and hev not charity, I am become as
soundin' brass or a tinklin' cymbal." Will I read t' you out of the
Bible? Would it, mebbe, comfort you?

Carrie. Mebbe 'twould.

Lawyer Grover. [His hand on the great family Bible]: What part will I
read?

Carrie. Guess that part 'bout Samson and the foxes is 'bout as funny as
any of it.

Lawyer Grover. I wasn't thinkin' of makin' you laugh, Carrie.

Carrie. Guess mebbe you better not read t' me. Never could keep my mind
on religion when I hed anythin' important t' think 'bout.

Lawyer Grover. Carrie!

Carrie. I was comin' over t' see you t'morrow forenoon, Mr. Grover, t'
ask you what am I goin' t' do. You're an old friend of my father's.
What am I goin' t' do?

Lawyer Grover. Do, Carrie?

Carrie. How am I goin' t' git that money? Pa was sayin' jest 'bout the
last thing he ever said, that he thought mebbe the company 'ud give us
more time. I'd only want a few days. I know I can't raise money on Pa's
estate till it is settled. You see, I jest got t' hev a little more
time.

Lawyer Grover. What part of your father's estate were you plannin' t'
raise money on, Carrie?

Carrie. Why, on this house! It's all there is t' Pa's estate.

Lawyer Grover. You can't get a second mortgage on this house.

Carrie. Second mortgage? I ain't talkin' 'bout no second mortgage.

Lawyer Grover. Don't you know that it's mortgaged already?

Carrie. [Thunderstruck]: It ain't!

Lawyer Grover. Fer a thousand dollars.

Carrie. I don't believe it!

Lawyer Grover. But, Carrie, your father came t' me t' arrange the loan
for him. And I did it.

Carrie. He never told me!

Lawyer Grover. Where did you think the money came from?

Carrie. [Increasingly bewildered]: What money?

Lawyer Grover. The thousand dollars!

Carrie. But I never heard...

Lawyer Grover. It was you the money was fer.

Carrie. Me!

Lawyer Grover. You hed t' hev it, he said.

Carrie. I don't understand one word of this, Mr. Grover. Oh, God, Mr.
Grover, if I can't raise money on this house, where am I goin' t' git
it from?

Lawyer Grover. I wish I knew, Carrie.

Carrie. But...Then George'll jest hev to...Oh, no! I couldn't hev that!
They got t' give me time! Lawyer Grover Carrie 'twon't do you any good
t' ask fer time, because I'll hev t' tell the company that 'twon't
do them any good t' give it to you. I'd help you myself if I could.
There isn't anythin' I wouldn't do t' help your father's daughter, if
I could. But I'm a poor man...If you'll take my advice, you and your
husband both, he'll give himself up and plead guilty. Then you kin pay
back by degrees as you make your money out of your Spa here. And he
won't be in prison so long as he would be if he stood trial and got
convicted...And when he gits out, in a year or so, you kin both sell
this place and go away and start in all over again. I know it's hard,
Carrie. But I don't see what else you kin do. Do you?

Carrie. I'll hev to think, Mr. Grover.

Lawyer Grover. I'm sorry, Carrie.

Carrie. 'Tain't your fault. The sooner we know the worst, the more time
we hev t' think...[The ferry whistle blows.]

Lawyer Grover. There's the five minute warnin'. Your father's heard
that whistle fer the last time, Carrie.

Carrie. [Her eyes on George]: Yeah...

Lawyer Grover. Well, I must git back acrosst river.

Carrie. It was nice of you t' come over. I'll be over t' see you in the
mornin' and tell you what we decide. [Her eyes back to George again.]
Mebbe I'll bring George with me.

Lawyer Grover. That would be best. Good night.

Carrie. Good night. The funeral's at four t'morrow. Pa'd like it fer
you t' come.

Lawyer Grover. Of course. [A silence falls, Lawyer Grover thinking
of nothing to say. Then he goes over to the coffin and looks down
once more at his dead friend.] Well, Ned! Your troubles are over! [He
returns to Carrie.] Good night, Carrie.

Carrie. [Mechanically, her eyes still fastened on George]: Good night,
Mr. Grover. [She lets him out by the front door. Then immediately the
door is closed after him, turns back to George.] What was it you wanted
that money fer, George?

George. I didn't want it--I--

Carrie. Pa got it fer you.

George. Who says?

Carrie. Pa said so this mornin'.

George. I didn't hear him. He must ha' been talkin' wild.

Carrie. He said he got you out of a scrape a year ago this time. That
scrape and this money is the same thing.

George. What makes you think so?

Carrie. What was it Pa meant by that scrape if they wa'n't the same?
What was the scrape he meant?

George. How do I know? He was talkin' wild.

Carrie. He did give you the money, didn't he?

George. He lent me some.

Carrie. A thousand dollars?

George. Pretty near that.

Carrie. What fer?

George. [Cornered and floundering]: Well. It was for some doctor bills.

Carrie. Doctor bills!

George. Yeah. I had to pay some doctor bills.

Carrie. What kind of doctor bills?

George. For my mother.

Carrie. Your mother's dead.

George. Sure, she is. But she couldn't die without bein' sick, could
she?

Carrie. She's been dead fer ten years.

Geoege. Yeah. What a that? Nobody never paid the doctor an' he was
goin' to sue me.

Carrie. Were you responsible? How about the rest of the family?

George. I was the only one he could locate. [And he adds hotly.] I
didn't want no discredit bein' cast on my mother's memory, did I? My
poor old mother, lyin' in her grave...dead, too...an' still owin'
doctor bills! D'you wonder I wanted to pay up? You're always goin' on
about honor an' honesty.

Carrie. Why didn't Pa tell me?

Geoege. Well, I made him promise not to.

Carrie. Why d'you do that?

Geoege. Well, I was ashamed for you to know.

Carrie. Don't see much t' be ashamed of in payin' your mother's
doctor's bills.

George. Can't you understand? After the way I was sick so much an'
all?...An' after what happened down in Boston? You understand, Carrie.
I was ashamed to make you any more trouble.

Carrie. Pa said a "scrape." I don't believe you, George.

Geoege. I can't help that.

Carrie. Will you swear it?

George. On anythin' you like.

Carrie. On the Bible? Because I got t' know, George. I got t' know you
wasn't doin' nuthin' wrong. If I'm goin' t' keep on stickin' t' you and
standin' by you, I got t' know that. Will you swear it on the Bible?

George. Sure I will!

Carrie. Lay your hand on it and swear after me.

George. [Obeying]: Go ahead.

Carrie. I solemnly swear...

George. I solemnly swear...

Carrie. That I got that thousand dollars off'n Captain McCobb...

George. That I got that thousand dollars off Captain McCobb...

Carrie. Deceased...

George. [His voice sticking a little]: Deceased...

Carrie. For the purpose I hev stated...

George. For the purpose I hev stated...

Carrie. An' for no other...

George. And for no other...

Carrie. And I call upon the dead t' bear me witness...

George. An' I call upon the dead...Do I got to say that, too? [Carrie
nods.] An' I call upon the dead to bear me witness.

Carrie. All right. I'll try t' believe you, George. I want t' believe
you.

[In their excitement they have not heard Babe's step on the stairs. He
stops when he sees what is toward, and stands in the shadow, watching
and listening.]

George. You see, we got to go away. There ain't nothin' else we can do.

Carrie. You mean fer us t' skip off now.

George. D'you see any other way out?

Cabbie. But I couldn't skip off! I couldn't! We jest got t' stand up in
our shoes, George, and trust in the Lord. If we can't do that, we ain't
much good, are we? There ain't nuthin' but what Lawyer Grover said!

George. Plead guilty? You want me to go to jail, don't you?

Carrie. No, I don't...Only I can't think what else...

George. I'll tell you what else. I'll skip out now. Without you. And
send back after you.

Carrie. And leave me here after I give my word t' Ben? Leave Ben and me
in all that trouble?

George. How about me? Ain't I in trouble enough to suit you?

Carrie. Yeah, but...I got t' think of Ben, too, you know. I can't git
him in trouble, too!

George. Who comes first? Your brother or your husband?

Carrie. Oh, my God! Oh, my God!

George. Hold on to yourself! Hold on! Somebody'll hear you!

Carrie. I can't help it! I don't want you t' go t' jail but...You see
what comes of...Oh, Pa! Pa!

George. Shhh! [She controls herself.] That's better...Now get me some
grub...

Carrie. What fer?

George. So I won't have to stop to eat on the way. Because I'm goin'
an' I'm goin' now...[He turns toward the door and sees Babe.] Where in
hell did you come from?

Babe. [Pause; then]: I come down just when you was woikin' dat funny
business wid de Bible. I been listenin' ever since.

Carrie. You ain't!

Babe. I told you before I had a idea, didn't I? You don't got to do
nothin' desperate, Carrie. I might give you dis cash you want fer
tomorrow.

George. Oh, God, Babe! I never thought a that!

Carrie. Would you help George and me?

Babe. Well, dey's one or two conditions...

Carrie. What are they?

George. What do we care what they are? We're up against it.

Babe. Worse 'n you was when I went upstairs?

Carrie. The house is mortgaged already. By Pa. And I never knowed.

Babe. [Thinking fast]: Oh! So dat's what de t'ousand dollar Bible oath
was all about!...Now, wait a minute...wait a minute Carrie, what you
need is a nap...You'll feel a lot better an' I want a few woids wid
George alone...

Carrie. Why don't you tell me?

Babe. [Very persuasively]: Let me do it my way, will you please?

Carrie. Mind, though! I ain't bound by nuthin' I don't know 'bout!

Babe. Surest t'ing you know! [She goes upstairs. Babe watches her out.
The instant he is certain that she is out of hearing, he swings on
George in a fierce whisper.] Now I want to know what you been spendin'
your money on.

George. Different things.

Babe. Women? I want de facts, now!

George. Some.

Babe. Jenny?

George. Yeah.

Babe. De t'ousand, too?

Geoerge. She got knocked up.

Babe. By you?

George. Who d'you think?

Babe. An' de old man give you de jack?

George. He kicked some, but he come through.

Babe. What kind uv a line did you hand him?

George. I told him it was an old girl threatenin' suit for breach of
promise.

Babe. What den?

George. Then I sent Jenny down to a doc in Boston who helped me out
before.

Babe. An' you give him de t'ousand?

George. There was other expenses.

Babe. So you an' Jenny's de reason why Carrie's up against it now?

George. An' you can imagine how terrible that makes me feel!

Babe. I wouldn't ha' sworn on no Bible...If you ask me, you belong in
jail. An' anythin' I do ain't intended for your benefit. You had about
all the benefits dat are comin' your way. But I got my idea still an'
dis makes it better'n ever!...An' now dat I got you where I want you,
we come to de conditions.

George. Shoot!

Babe. From now on you take your orders from me around here widout
opposition.

George. What are you goin' to be doin' around here?

Babe. Me an' Carrie's goin' into business as partners.

George. A fat chance you got, startin' anythin' with Carrie!

Babe. I'd sooner get funny wid grandma than start anythin' like you
mean wid Carrie.

George. Well, what is the racket?

Babe. I'm comin' to dat. De point is dat I'm de boss here from now on
an' you're on probation.

George. Does it look to you like I'm in any position to argue?

Babe. I'll say it don't!

George. I wish you luck, that's all. Livin' with Carrie ain't half the
picnic you think it is.

Babe. She's got too much character for you. Dat's your trouble. It
won't be mine. An' you c'n have your happy home back again when I'm
done here...Now, if dat's all clear to you, you c'n call Carrie. [He
draws a wallet from his breast pocket and begins counting bills.'] Five
hundred. One t'ousand. Fifteen hundred, two t'ousand.

[George is watching him, staggered by the sight of so much money. Their
eyes meet. George, greatly excited, runs to the foot of the stair.]

George. [Calling up.]: Carrie! Carrie! Carrie. [From above]: Yes? [She
comes down the stair and back into the room.'] Well?

George. Here's four five-hundred dollar bills. Dat makes two t'ousand,
don't it?

Carrie. Five hundred each one? I never seen sech big bills!

Babe. I need big bills in my business.

Carrie. What is your business?

Babe. Real estate.

Carrie. I kind of thought mebbe 't was liquor.

Babe. Yeah, it is.

George. Huh?


Carrie. I don't mind. Pa an' I never did hold with prohibition. It's
awful nice of you t' lend this t' George.

Babe. Not to George, I ain't lendin' it!

George. He's lendin' it to you, Carrie.

Carrie. It's the same thing.

Babe. And I ain't exactly lendin' it either, because she don't have to
pay it back.

Carrie. Oh, I would pay it back! I'd ruther! D'you think I'd take it
any other way? And it's awful nice of you, Babe.

Babe. No, it ain't. I'm investin' dis jack.

Carrie [Puzzled]: How's that?

Babe. I got close on fifty t'ousand dollars wort' a stock down de river
at Georgetown. Dem Federal boys got a little uv it yesterday. If I
don't get it out a dere, dey'll find de rest uv it. I can't get it out
in trucks because dey're watchin' for me. De only t'ing I can do is get
it out in boats. If I do dat, I gotta find some place to land an' store
it, ain't I? Well, you got a fine big barn an' you stand in good with
dem boys. As far as I c'n see, dis place is just ideal.

Carrie. Oh!

Babe. An' dat ain't all!...I come here in de foist place wid dis in
mind. Now t'ings has broke my way so good, I'm figurin' to go right on
operatin' from here. An' dat's my proposition. I'm offerin' to lease
dis joint indefinite for de sum a two t'ousand dollars an' it's a high
rent, too!

Carrie. 'Tain't so high fer sech a risky business.

Babe. I ain't goin' no higher, if dat's what you mean.

Carrie. If we got raided, I'd git in trouble, wouldn't I?

Babe. You said it was a risky business.

Carrie. An' if I was t' git in trouble, what 'ud become of my children?

Babe. You got to take your chances on dat.

Carrie. [A pause, then]: No. Thank you, but I couldn't.

George. 'Twon't be for long, you know, Carrie.

Babe. You're a great girl, Carrie, an' I'm all for you. Only t'ink
twice.

Carrie. I can't think. I'm too tired.

Babe. All right...I'll t'ink for you...How's dis sound?...You got free
chances to choose from. De foist is skippin' wid George, an' spendin'
all de rest a your life on de watchout for de police, movin' here
an' movin' dere, no steady woik, hidin' in big towns in dumps an'
tenements, till George gets fed up an' leaves you flat or gets nabbed,
maybe, an' leaves you flat anyway...De second is stayin' here alone
widout George an' starvin' on what you can make out a de Spa wid a
mortgage over your head till de bank gets tired a waitin' an' takes
de old house away from you...An' de t'oid is takin' a chance on me.
[Carrie begins to cry softly.]

George. For cripe's sake, Carrie! There ain't nothin' to it! Can't you
think a the kids? [Still crying, Carrie shakes her head.]

Babe. Don't say I didn't warn you. Oh, God, I coit'nly feel sorry for
dem kids! I coit'nly feel sorry for dem! [Carrie shakes her head again.]

George. There's your Yankee character for you, Babe! She'll let the
kids go to hell rather than hurt her own damned conscience!

Babe. Dat's a point, too, Carrie. You shy away from a little
bootleggin' deal which may be illegal, but it ain't no crime. An' a
minute ago you was on de voige a connivin' to help George escape from a
conviction a grand larceny!

George. Take time to think it over, Carrie!

Carrie. I tell you I can't think! I can't think at all!

Babe. I'll let you keep de money, if you want. An' you c'n give me your
answer in de mornin'.

George. I guess that's fair enough, ain't it?

Babe. [Drops the bills in her lap]: Take it, Carrie. It's yours if you
want it.

Carrie. [Looking up desperately]: But why? What good kin I be t' you?

Babe. God, ain't I explained all dat? Ain't dis place just what I need?
Ain't it got a good name an' a stand in wid everybody? Ain't your Spa
a fine blind t' work under? Ain't it got you wid your sense an' your
noive an' your character t' keep it out a trouble?

Carrie. But I don't like it. I don't want t' git mixed up in no sech
business. And I don't want t' git my children mixed up in it!

George. Carrie, for God's sake!

Carrie. [Frantic--springing to her feet]: Give me a minute, can't you?
I'm try in' t' do the right thing! I got you pullin' me one way and Pa
pullin' me another and my children pullin' me a third! I don't want
you t' go t' jail! But, God A'mighty, I got t' hang on t' somethin'
I believe in! I got t' hev somethin' left that's decent! Give me a
minute, can't you? Jest give me a...[In her hysterical excitement, she
strides about the room. She sees or hears something outside the house
which stops her dead.] George...George Yeah?

Carrie. Who...Who's that out in the dooryard?

Babe. [Frightened']: Huh? Where?

Carrie. There's somebody out in the dooryard...Slip out in the entry
and see. It's dark out there...[George goes and is seen crouching
beside the front door, looking through the side panes.]

George. [Rising from his inspection]: Well! [He returns.] Aha! [He
smiles broadly at Babe and from Babe to Carrie.] D'you want to know
who's out there, Babe, my boy?

Carrie. Who?

George. The whole prohibition unit, that's who.

Babe. [Frightened]: Huh?

George. Yeah!...[A broad smile of triumph.] They ain't come for Carrie
or me, neither. It looks to me like they got the house surrounded, too.
It looks to me like the boss around here ain't sittin' so pretty all of
a sudden!

Carrie. What you gittin' at, George?

George. Who am I gettin' at, you mean! I'm gettin' at this little
brother a mine, that's who! We got his money, ain't we? Well, what's to
prevent me from openin' that door an' invitin' the boys in? They take
Babe away with 'em and we sit tight, all hunky dory an' a yard wide!

Babe. [Furiously, at Geobge]: You try anythin' like dat!

Geobge. [At Babe]: Ha! Ha! [He starts for the door, Babe in pursuit.]

Carrie. [Wildly]: George! [Her tone stops both of them.] Git back from
that door! Git back, d'you hear me? [In spite of themselves, they
obey.] Land's sakes! [To George]: Of all the low down, gormin tricks
ever I heard on!...Betrayin' the man you're most beholden to!...That's
the worst you done yet! [To Babe]: You got no call t' git so heated!
Did you think I'd let George do anythin' as mean as that? What kind of
people d'you think us McCobbs is, anyway? You keep a hold of yourself
and I'll keep a hold of George! [A knock at the front door.] Quiet,
now!...I'll 'tend t' this myself! [Like two moths, Babe and George flit
toward the coffin and immerse them selves in mourning. Carrie glares
scornfully at them and then goes to open.'] Why, Henry Butterworth, of
all people!

2nd Federal Man. [Appearing in the door]: 'Evenin', Carrie!

Carrie. Whatever you doin' here at this time of night?

2nd Fedebal Man. I certain do hate t' disturb you, Carrie.

Carrie. Well, so long as you're here, you may as well come in. You
know you're always welcome. [He enters, eyeing Babe with the coldest
and most intense suspicion. His partner follows him, replacing him in
the door.] If you ain't brought that partner of your'n with you! [To
the 1st Fedebal Man]: Don't be standin' there like you didn't hev good
sense! Come in and shet the door! You'll hev the whole house chuck full
of June bugs! [He obeys, meekly. Carrie follows the situation down into
the room.] Well, Henry?

2nd Fedebal Man. The law's the law, Carrie!

Carrie. Guess I knowed that without you comin' all this way t' tell me!

2nd Fedebal Man. The liquor law's took a sudden interest in your house!

Carrie. 'Tain't that quart of rum you left here this mornin'?

2nd Fedebal Man. No. [Indicating Babe]: On account of that gentleman.

Babe. [Beginning]: Me?

Carrie. Go 'long, Henry!

2nd Fedebal Man. We want t' know what he's doin' here, Carrie.

Babe. Didn't I told you dis mornin'?

Carrie. You don't think he's a bootlegger!

2nd Fedebal Man. Would I be here now if I didn't hev good reason t'
think so?

Carrie. Well, I declare!

2nd Fedebal Man. And if he'll jest step outside with me a minute, I'd
like fer him to meet a friend of mine from Georgetown.

Carrie. Who'll that be?

2nd Federal Man. Snitch Perkins, Carrie.

Carrie. Snitch Perkins who keeps the store down t' Georgetown?

2nd Federal Man. Yes, Carrie. Snitch thinks he knows this gentleman.

Carrie. Why would anybody step out of his way t' meet Snitch Perkins,
I'd like t' know?

2nd Federal Man. Would you rather I asked Snitch in?

Carrie. Can't abide Snitch Perkins. Never could abide him. Pa didn't
hev no use fer him, neither.

2nd Federal Man. Can't help that, Carrie!

Carrie. I declare I'm beginnin' t' suspect you don't know who this
gentleman is!

2nd Federal Man. Guess I know what he is, though. I ain't been down t'
Georgetown all afternoon fer nuthin'! [To Babe]: Where's the rest of
that liquor!

Babe. What?

Carrie. The whole town's been talkin' 'bout nuthin' but this gentleman
all afternoon. You call yourself a government detective and you ain't
heard that he's my husband's brother come t' pay us a visit!

2nd Federal Man. [Thunderstruck]: He ain't!

Carrie. D'you think my husband's brother 'ud be mixed up in sech like
goin's on?

2nd Federal Man. I wouldn't want t' think so...but...

Carrie. Did you ever hear of me bein' mixed up with boot-leggin'?

2nd Federal Man. No, I didn't, Carrie, but...

Carrie. You kin take my word fer him, can't you?

2nd Federal Man. I'd like to, Carrie, but...

Carrie. Did the law ever tell you t' come intrudin' on a house of
mournin' on account of what that durned fool Snitch Perkins said?

2nd Federal Man. No, it didn't, Carrie, but...

Carrie. Henry Butterworth, I'm ashamed of you!

2nd Federal Man. [Miami after the hurricane']: Carrie, I'm ashamed of
myself!

Carrie. [To hide Babe's sigh of relief]: You ought t' be! Now let
me make you acquainted with George's brother. Mr. Callahan, Mr.
Butterworth.

2nd Federal Man. I'm real pleased to meet you, Mr. Callahan, and I beg
your pardon. I certain do.

Babe. [So nobly]: Don't mention it, Mr. Butterworth. Well, what d'you
know?

Carrie. Better git 'long home 't your bed, now, Henry. Reckon mebbe
you're better at sleepin' than sleuthin'.

2nd Federal Man. Reckon mebbe you're right, Carrie. Good night, all.

Babe. Good night.

Carrie. [Letting him and his partner out]: Good night, Henry. [She
calls after them]: Funeral's at four tomorrow, Henry! [She closes the
door.]

Babe. [Under his breath]: Join de navy an'...

Carrie. [Turning on him]: Guess that's answer enough fer you! I'll hev
t' take my chances on your proposition. There ain't nuthin' else I kin
do. But don't you be thinkin' I don't see through you! You're takin'
advantage of me jest the same as your brother took advantage of my Pa.
You two are brothers jest the same as Pa and me's father and daughter.
You're two of a kind and Pa and me's two of a kind. Your pair's got the
pair of us licked. I got one thing over Pa, though. Pa's dead of his
lickin', but I ain't dead of mine! Not by a long sight, I ain't!

Babe. [As she slams the bills into the desk drawer]: You coit'nly got
character, Carrie!

Carrie. Well, you watch out! You jest watch out!



CURTAIN


* * *


ACT THREE


Scene: Seven o'clock on the morning of the day following; bright,
beautiful, June again, in the same room.

Carrie is sitting beside her father's coffin, sewing diligently on a
black blouse. In the distance a blast goes off. She starts up, listens,
then goes to the window. She looks out.

Jenny comes down the stair. Seeing Carrie, she stops uncertainly,
wondering, it would seem, if Carrie has found out about her. Carrie
turns, still at the window, sees her and miles.

Carrie. Morning Jenny!

Jenny. [Relieved]: Mornin', Carrie. [Another blast.] Land's sakes,
what's that?

Carrie. Blastin'. They begun on this end of the bridge. You kin see the
smoke and the dust flyin'. Wouldn't hev thought there'd be so much
dust this early in the year.

Jenny. A dry June means a dry summer.

Carrie. Yeah. And a lean one. The lilacs was early this year, too. See!
They're beginnin' t' go this mornin'. Lilacs is sech sad flowers. Like
cosmos and golden rod. I kind of fancy 'em, though. [She has opened the
window and broken off some sprays of lilacs; she takes them over to the
coffin, and lays them upon it.] See, the brown comin' in the blossoms?
Pa used t' fancy lilacs. Pa was proud of his lilacs.

Jenny. You ain't been settin' here all night, hev you, Carrie?

Carrie. Oh, no! I set here till 'bout two o'clock. Then Ben come down
and he set here a spell with me and then I went up and got some sleep.
Real sound sleep, too. I was surprised.

Jenny. You must hev been tired.

Carrie. [Nodding]: I slept right through till five so I ain't only been
settin' here for two hours or so since I sent Ben back t' bed. Ben
needs so much sleep...I got your fire started and the coffee's all on
and all.

Jenny. You oughtn't t' hev bothered with that, Carrie.

Carrie. You'll hev enough t' do t'day. I'm goin' acrosst river on the
eight o'clock ferry if I kin git ready in time. And we'll keep open no
matter what folks say 'cept fer an hour durin' the funeral...What was
it I asked you t' remind me t' git acrosst river?

Jenny. Camels.

Carrie. Oh, yeah! Lucky Strikes is low, too...Here, I'll give you some
money fer the cash register...[She unlocks the drawer of the desk and
takes out some change. She gives silver and a bill or so to Jenny,
talking on as she does so.] Will you listen t' me talkin' at random
when I got somethin' so important t' say t' you, Jennie!

Jenny. [Frightened again]: T' me, Carrie? What is it?

Carrie. You'll hev t' be lookin' fer another place now.

Jenny. [Breathless]: Why...Why's that?

Carrie. Well, you see, I come into some pretty heavy expenses.

Jenny. [Relieved]: Oh, if that's all that's botherin' you, you don't
need t' worry 'bout my wages.

Carrie. I ain't goin' t' enlarge the Spa for a spell yet, so I kin
manage all right.

Jenny. It'll keep you pretty busy, Carrie.

Carrie. It'll keep me as busy as a one-armed paper-hanger, but what I
can't afford I can't afford and that's all there is to it.

Jenny. I wouldn't want t' leave you, Carrie, even if you don't pay me
nuthin'. I'd feel like I was jest workin' 'round home. Girls don't git
wages for workin' 'round home, do they?

Carrie. It's real sweet of you t' say that, Jenny. But I can't let you
stay. And I don't think you'd like it so much here the way it's goin'
t' be from now on.

Jenny. What's goin' t' be different?

Carrie. 'D ruther not say.

Jenny. [Boldly]: If you kin stand it, I kin. If you kin stay here, I
want t' stay. I don't never want t' leave you. Please don't send me
away!

Carrie. I'm thinkin' mebbe I'll hev t' send the children away, too.

Jenny. [Horrified]: Carrie!

Carrie. You kin see from that how different things is goin' t' be.

Jenny. But, Carrie, what's goin' t' happen?

Carrie. I can't explain, Jenny, and you mustn't say nuthin' t' nobody
neither. You jest tell people Carrie Mc Cobb's sech a crank you'd
ruther die than work fer her any longer.

Jenny. [Violently]: I'd ruther die than go away!

Carrie. Ain't you learned yet you can't always hev your 'druthers?

Jenny. [Crescendo]: I won't go! You got t' let me stay! [Carrie shakes
her head.] Please, Carrie! I'll jest git in trouble if you don't keep
me here. Honest, I will, Carrie! You'll make me go back t' the mill t'
work!

Carrie. You'll git in worse trouble here. I'll try t' find a good
place fer you myself, so's you won't hev t' go back t' no mill under
no condition. [As Jennie begins to protest again.] But you jest simply
got t' go, Jenny. You got t' go, because I wouldn't want t' take no
responsibility fer nobody livin' here from now on. This ain't goin' t'
be a safe house t' live in from now on.

Jenny. [Sobbing]: I don't care! I don't want t' go!

Carrie. [Comforting her]: Run along, now, and git breakfast and git the
Spa opened up fer business while I git the children tidied up...Might
bring me up some warm milk and bit of dry toast fer the children's
breakfast...Git along with you, now, Jenny. Here's George comin'
downstairs...Don't want him t' see you cryin', do you?

[Jenny goes, sobbing, into the Spa. A clatter of dishes is heard from
time to time. George appears on the stairs and enters.]

George. That you, Carrie?

Carrie. Mornin', George.

George. Fine mornin', ain't it? [He comes over, hugs her and then, as
they say, gives her a kiss.] Good old Carrie!

Carrie. What's on your mind?

George. Nothin'...Why?

Carrie. It's some time since you kissed me good mornin', ain't it?

George. I'm turnin' over a new leaf an' fixin' to treat you right.

Carrie. [The least bit quizzical]: Jest plumb full of good intentions,
ain't you?

George. [Hurt]: Why shouldn't I be?

Carrie. You know what they say 'bout the pavement of hell!

George. You'll be sorry you said that to me to-day. I'm beginnin' life
all over to-day.

Carrie. [A little quizzical]: Well, I suppose you think kissin's a good
beginnin'! This time, though, you got to mean it, George, and I wonder
if you got it in you t' mean anythin' fer more than two shakes of a
lamb's tail?

George. I'll show you.

Carrie. I ain't goin' t' believe nothin' but showin'. Not this time I
ain't.

George. You certainly can take the heart out uv a man! You Yankees is
all alike!

Carrie. What's wrong with us Yankees?

George. I come downstairs all set to go straight and first you sneer at
my good intentions an' then you as good as tell me you don't believe
'em anyway.

Carrie. [Quizzically hopeful for a moment]: Land's sakes! If you
are showin' some signs of gumption, we'll mebbe be able t' see this
through, George!

George. A man's wife ought to believe an' trust him even if nobody else
does! Ain't that so?

Carrie. [Disillusioned again]: You said that yesterday when you was
lyin' t' Pa 'bout stealin'.

George. I ain't talkin' about yesterday...I'm simply askin' you what
chance do I get, with everybody around this joint suspectin' me an'
persecutin' me an' houndin' me! I got some feelin's, you know. I'm
sensitive!

Carrie. You ain't nuthin' of the sort! You're jest or'nery! Who's
houndin' you?

George. Ain't you begun on it already? An' ain't I got your brother Ben
after me, watchin' me an' drivin' me crazy?

Carrie. Ben'll hev no more hold over you after this mornin'.

George. Just the same, I got to feel I'm bein' trusted. I'm tellin' you
for your own good, Carrie! An' if I don't come through this time, you
won't have nothin' but your suspicious Yankee nature to blame!

Carrie. [A stern pause, then]: George, I live up t' my duty.

George. Duty! That's all you ever think of!

Carrie. You ain't left me much else.

George. That's too bad!

Carrie. Well, I'm saddled with you and I'm tryin' t' keep my eye on
your good points.

George. Thanks!

Carrie. Now, be careful what you say! I can't help my nature no more
than you kin help yours. Folks hev t' git along as best they kin in
this world with what the good Lord gives 'em in the way of natures. I'm
willin' t' let bygones be bygones and so's Ben.

George. Yeah?...Well, if you an' Ben ain't after me, my own brother
will be.

Carrie. I'd be ashamed t' admit I couldn't handle my younger brother!

George. How d'you expect me to handle him when you made him boss here
an' give him the whole works?

Carrie. What I git two thousand dollars fer, I don't consider givin'.

George. Sold, then. If you knowed Babe as well as I do!

Carrie. Little as I know him, I reckon he's a better man than you are.

George. What the hell!

Carrie. You wouldn't want t' come acrosst river with me and give Lawyer
Grover the money yourself, would you?

George. [A shudder]: No!

Carrie. I ain't sure but what you ought to, though. Fer your own good
and self-respect. You got t' grasp the nettle, George! You got t' grasp
it! That's what Pa did.

George. [Desperately]: All right. I'll go. I'll do the right thing if
it kills me.

Carrie. Doin' right kills fewer 'n doin' wrong does. Bein' strong's
mebbe harder 'n bein' weak, but it's a sight safer.

George. [Crushed]: Yeah. And bein' hard-boiled 's a lot pleasanter n'
bein' human, ain't it?

Carrie. Land's sakes, George, don't talk so meachin'! I'll take the
money over. [Another blast.] Hear that blastin'? They started in work
at this end of the bridge this mornin'. Yesterday, this time, I was
makin' plans fer them blasters. Now...[She breaks off gamely.] Well, I
ain't complainin'. [Jenny returns from the Spa, carrying a tray which
is laden with two cups, of hot milk and a plate of toast.] Oh, there
you are, Jenny! Thank you. That's jest fine. I'll take it up to 'em.

Jenny. Breakfast's ready whenever you are.

Carrie. You kin begin eatin' yours, George. I'll 'tend t' the children
and git myself tidied up and snatch a bite as I run. [She goes up to
the children.']

George. All right...[To Jenny.] What's your trouble?

Jenny. [Returning to the Spa]: Nuthin'.

George. What you been cryin' about?

Jenny. I ain't been cryin'.

George. Don't lie to me. I c'n see your eyes, can't I?

Jenny. Supposin' I was cryin'? [Violently.] Carrie jest told me I got
t' go. I'm losin' the only home I ever had on account of what you done.

George. The only home you ever had, huh? Well, you certainly made the
most of it while it lasted.

Jenny. Don't be remindin' me of that! I know I ain't no good!

George. What's the use a that kind a talk?

Jenny. Only I was beginnin' t' learn how t' behave...You know I was!

George. Forget it, will you?

Jenny. I was so! I was so! Carrie was learnin' me every day...Every day
she was learnin' me better and better...and I could hev stayed right
along here and kept my home if it hadn't been fer you!...And, mebbe,
married Ben, by and by...Well, couldn't I? And I'd hev made him a good
wife, too, no matter what I done in the past. I know I done plenty,
but all the time I was learnin'. And I was through with you, wa'n't
I?...Well, wa'n't I?

George. Everybody's through with me!

Jenny. You're a fine one t' be sorry fer yourself! What I want t' know
is what's goin' t' become of me!

Geoege. What's goin' t' become uv any uv us?

Jenny. A lot I care what becomes of you! But me! I was tryin'. Oh, God,
if I hed a gun here I'd shoot you this minute!

George. Oh, shut your trap, will you? I might ha' known you'd be
climbin' on the band wagon with the rest uv 'em!

Jenny. [Screaming]: Stop talkin' t' me! I don't want nuthin' more t' do
with you!

Carrie. [Calling down]: Whatever are you two screamin' 'bout down
there? You're gittin' the children all excited!

George. Nuthin'...Just Jenny!

Jenny. I'm sorry I got so upset, Carrie. Excuse me.

Carrie. Git back t' your work, Jenny, and leave George be.

[Jenny gives George one parting look and goes back into the Spa. George
is following her. He pauses by the desk, his eye on the cash drawer.]

George. Jenny?

Jenny. [Returns, consoling herself with an apple]: What?

George. Where you goin'?

Jenny. Back t' work.

George. Away from here, I mean.

Jenny. I don't know.

George. Back to the mills?

Jenny. I don't know.

George. I'm goin' away, too.

Jenny. Go ahead.

George. I just decided. I'm goin' now an' you're comin' with me.

Jenny. Yes, I am!

George. I'm the only one you got to take care a you now.

Jenny. You're a fine one t' talk 'bout takin' care of anybody!

George. I took pretty good care a you once, didn't I?

Jenny. Stop talkin' t' me, I tell you. [Again she starts for the door.]

George. Listen to me, Jenny...D'you know what done for you an' me in
this joint? Carrie did. Bein' so righteous an' hard boiled. That's what
done for us.

Jenny. You're full of prunes!

George. Last night you said you wouldn't come with me on account a me
not havin' any money. Only a couple a hundred dollars...

Jenny. I did not. I said...

George. Well, I got a couple a thousand, now.

Jenny. You ain't!

George. I'll show you. [He whips a knife out of his pocket and attacks
the lock on the desk drawer.]

Jenny. That in there's Carrie's money!

George. [Through his teeth as he works]: Like hell it is! It's yours
and mine!

Jenny. That's Carrie's money!

George. We need it worse'n she does! [The drawer comes open and George
takes the money.]

Jenny. You shut that drawer, George! I ain't goin' t' stand fer you
stealin' from Carrie!

George. The hell with Carrie! I had a bellyful a Carrie an' all her
dam Yankees with her! Lousy, righteous, hard-boiled hypocrites, that's
what Yankees is! Carrie can get plenty more where this come from. She's
goin' to take up with my brother Babe, now!

Jenny. 'Tain't so!

George. Oh, yes, it is so! An' d' you think I'd stay here while my
wife's livin' with my own brother? I got some self-respect!

Jenny. She ain't goin' t' do no sech thing!

George. The hell she ain't! An' I don't care if she does! I'm goin'
back where I can be human! An' you're comin' with me, honey!

Jenny. I ain't!

George. Aw, Jenny, be reasonable! You and I need each other! You know
that! You say you ain't no good. Well, I ain't much good myself. So
let's get some fun out a life. This ain't no place for us! We can have
a swell party on this jack. In Atlantic City.

Jenny. [Shaking her head]: Not fer me! Not on Carrie's money!

George. Look, Jenny! One. Two. Three. Four. Five hundred berries every
one uv 'em!

Jenny. [Looking spellbound and speaking mechanically]: It's Carrie's
money!

George. It ain't Carrie's. It's Babe's.

Jenny. [Slipping the way of all flesh]: You're stealin' it from Carrie.

George. [As he pockets the bills]: It ain't the first time I stole for
you, is it?

Jenny. [A sudden rally]: It's Carrie's money. I don't care where she
got it from or how she got it! I don't believe one word you said 'bout
her! [Suddenly screaming out with all her might.] Carrie! Carrie!

George. [As he grabs her]: You little bitch!!!

Jenny. Leggo of me! Carrie! Carrie! Carrie! Help!

George. [At the same time, as he gets his hand over her mouth]: God
damn you, shut up or I'll...

Carrie. [At the same time as she comes down the stairs]: Land's sakes,
Jenny! Whatever are you up to! George! Take your hands off Jenny! [She
separates them.] What is it?

Jenny. [Hysterical]: It's George! He's got your money! And he's
skippin' off with it. Now, mebbe, you'll let me stay!

Carrie. George!

George. God damn the lot a you! [He makes a dive for the Spa door.
Carrie and Jenny, both crying wildly for Ben and Babe, intercept and
entangle him. The turmoil is increased by the advent of Babe, partly
shaved and dressed, who throws George with appropriate imprecations.
The riot comes to a sudden and absolute silence as Babe possesses
himself of George's wallet. Ben appears on the stairs in his pajamas,
frowsy and giddy with sleep.]

Babe. [To George]: Get up! [George obeys.] You son of a b...I beg your
pardon, ladies, I didn't say it!

Ben. What's goin' on?

Babe. A little shop-liftin'. George's got de habit. [He
counts the money.] One. Two. T'ree. Four. An' some over...A
hundred...twenty...forty...Two hundred an'...Say, Carrie, we made on
dis transaction!

George. [All but hysterical with rage]: I'll say you made, you bastard!

Carrie. George, stop usin' sech words!

George. He's got my home an' my kids an' my wife an' now...

Carrie. Stop talkin' that way!

George. Now, by God, he ain't satisfied without he takes my money, too!

Babe. Now don't you mind, Carrie. Right here an' now you're goin' to
get rid a de cheesiest specimen uv a husband I ever seen!

George. You don't need to say no more. I'm goin'...

Babe. You're damn tootin' you're goin'!

George. [To Carrie]: You'll be sorry, though! You'll be sorry you ever
had any dealin's with him. You wait till you know him like I do! He
done time, too. A lot more'n I ever done.

Babe. Sure. I done time. An' not in any a dese punk city lock-ups a
yours. I done free years in Atlanta. In de Federal Penitentiary. An'
dat's class! An' I'd ha' got a lot more'n t'ree years, too. Only dey
seen I was too young to know I was doin' wrong! De rest a de outfit's
in dere yet.

Carrie. I wish we was all there! I wish I was there! Then I wouldn't
hev so much t' vex me! [She sinks disconsolately on a chair.]

Babe. You been so frank an' open about me, George, I got half a mind to
tell Carrie a few t'ings I know about you!

George. [A desperate appeal for Jenny]: Aw, for God's sake, Babe! You
wouldn't do that! [His gesture indicates Jenny, who draws over toward
George in alarm.]

Carrie. There ain't no call for tellin' me any more 'bout George than I
know already.

Babe. I'm de judge a dat. You don't know yet...

Carrie. Yes, I do know.

Babe. [Insisting]: You don't know how he had to get dat jack off your
old man to pay a bum doctor in Boston to stop dis Kanuck from havin' a
kid by him!

Carrie. [All incredulous stammers]: Jenny and George?...Jenny and
George?...

Babe. Yeah! An' I wouldn't ha' done a t'ing like dat! I'd ha' let her
have de kid an' told you to lump it or get out! Dat's de kind I am!

Carrie. [Unheeding, rises from her chair and turns from George to Jenny
and from Jenny to George]: You two been carryin' on? All this time you
two been carryin' on? [Ben comes a few steps down the stairs and stands
listening.] All this time I been trustin' you. Answer me! What's he
sayin'...That 'bout the doctor in Boston? Is it true? Is it? [No answer
and she suddenly bursts forth in a terrific paroxysm of rage.] Git out
of my house! Git out of my house! Both of you! Git out of my house! Git
out of my house! Git out of my house!

Babe. [Catching her away from shaking Jenny furiously]: Dey hoid you de
foist time! Take it easy.

Carrie. [A pause until Babe sees it is safe to release her. Then]:
I declare! I 'most lost my temper! [Another pause. Then, with calm
sternness to George]: Go on! This is the last straw. Git out! [Then to
Jenny]: You pack up your things and git along with him!

George. [After another pause, to Jenny]: I'll wait for you outside.
[Jenny shakes her head, weeping violently, and goes up the stairs;
George turns to Babe and Carrie.] God damn the pair a you! That's all I
got to say. The pair of you, see? Talkin' tall to me when you're...

[At a threatening gesture from Babe, he turns away with an exclamation
of noble disgust and, starting toward the front door, is intercepted by
Ben.]

Ben. You can't go. They may kick you out, but you can't go.

George. You got nothin' on me.

Babe. Dat's so, Benny! George is all square wid you. It's de jack dey
want. Not George.

Ben. [Takes the money and looks at it. Then, to George]: All right. Git
out!

George. Well, as I said before...

Babe. Aw, join de navy, will you? [George goes out. Babe adds softly.]
An' see de woild! [Pause. Carrie turns to her brother.]

Carrie. I feel like there ain't nobody ain't been lyin' and lyin'
t' me and holdin' out on me and keepin' things from me...George and
Jenny...And Pa, in a way, too.

Babe. No. Not de old man. He never knowed de goil was so near home.

Carrie. That's some comfort. Mebbe I. been lyin' t' myself. [She turns
to the coffin.]

Ben. What I want t' know is where this money come from?

Babe. It come from me, son!

Ben. What call you got t' be givin' money t' my sister?

Babe. She'll tell you.

Ben. She better! If she kin!

Carrie. [Listlessly]: I leased him the right t' use this house and land
in his business. 'Tain't real estate, like he said. It's liquor. Did
you think there'd be any thin' 'bout it I couldn't explain?

Ben. So that's it! Why wa'n't I consulted?

Babe. We woik while you sleep.

Ben. I'm thinkin' of my prospects. You ought t' hev thought of me
before you agreed t' this. I aim t' be governor of this state one of
these days. Go t' Congress, too, mebbe. You're harborin' bootleggers
ain't so good fer my prospects. I'd hev thanked you t' remember that.

Carrie. I didn't fergit it.

Babe. Harborin' bootleggers ain't no worse for your prospects than
havin' your brother-in-law in jail.

Ben. 'Tain't the bootleggers. It's the talk.

Carrie. What talk?...D'you believe...?

Ben. I wouldn't say as I believe it. But as far as my prospects is
concerned, it might as well be true. I'll hev t' be movin' out, too,
now.

Carrie. You?

Ben. I ain't goin' t' make you no trouble, but I can't very well
associate with you, kin I? Not in public, anyways.

Carrie. No...I guess not...Only, don't let's talk no more 'bout it
now. Your breakfast is ready whenever you are. And you keep the money.
You take it over t' Lawyer Grover for me. I can't. I don't feel up t'
nuthin' more t'day.

Ben. All right. [He starts toward the stairs counting the money.] You
give me too much. More'n two hundred over.

Carrie. Take it all back. It was all stole.

Ben. They'll be satisfied with two thousand and they ain't goin' t' git
a penny more. This here's yours. [He drops the extra bills in Carrie's
desk drawer and walks up the stairs.]

Babe. He'll be governor, all right!

Carrie. [Unheeding]: I wouldn't hev thought so much could happen t' one
woman in sech a little time.

Babe. Father. Husband. Brother...Home, too. Pretty well cleaned out,
ain't you?

Carrie. Seems that way, don't it!

Babe. What de Hell! We're alive, ain't we?

Carrie. [Rising painfully]: Come along. I'll git you breakfast.

[But, as she moves toward the Spa door, her steps falter.]

Babe. Aw, say, Carrie! Ain't you feelin' good?

Carrie. No. I feel terrible.

Babe. My God! I hope you ain't caught de measles!

Carrie. 'Tain't measles. Jest all gone like. Inside. Guess mebbe I
ain't as strong as I look...I'll be all right. Soon as I git a cup of
coffee.

Babe. Dat's de way to talk. Dis proposition ain't goin' to woik out
half as bad as you t'ink, now dat we're all set to get down to business.

[He suddenly becomes conscious of the fact that he is collarless and
finds his collar and tie tucked in his belt. He smooths them out
carefully.]

Carrie. [Who has stood facing the Spa door and listening with her back
at him, now turns]: What did you mean by that?

Babe. Well, what I said.

Carrie. Did you mean t'day?

Babe. We c'n wait 'till after de funeral.

Carrie. Jest how do we begin gittin' down t' business?

Babe. Well, I send some telegrams an' get de boys here.

Carrie. The boys?

Babe. Sure! De boys dat woik for me. You got to put de boys up here,
you know!

Carrie. Is that part of the bargain?

Babe. Oh, I'll pay the expenses for feedin' 'em. [He finds a mirror and
begins to adjust his tie and collar.]

Carrie. So I'm runnin' a bootleggers' boardin' house, am I!

Babe. You might call it dat!

Carrie. Yeah.

Babe. Beginnin' to-night at supper.

Carrie. At supper. I see. What happens then? What do you do after
supper?

Babe. Just excuse me for finishin' my toilette, Carrie...After supper
we hires a launch...Unless dey c'n bring one wid 'em from Rockland
or Boot' Bay where we been operatin'. An' we get to woik movin' from
Georgetown up to your barn. An' tomorrow we sleep an' tomorrow night do
de same t'ing over again till de movin's all finished.

Carrie. I see...How many fer supper t'night?

Babe. Let's count...I c'n reach Kibby an' Ralph all right, an' Mannie
an' Eustace is waitin' to hear from me...Dat's a funny name, ain't it?
Eustace! You wouldn't t'ink anybody 'ud ha' given a name like dat to a
hard guy like he is. You'll like Eustace. He's smart! Dey ain't never
convicted him but once, he looks so innocent...I don't suppose you'd
want him to bring his goil wid him?

Carrie. His girl?

Babe. She's tough, but she keeps Eustace out a de booze. We got a
joke on Eustace. When he gets to drinkin' we call him "useless," see?
[Hearty laughter.] You'll like Eustace.

Carrie. Will I?

Babe. All except for one t'ing an' I guess I ought to warn you about
dat. You'll do better to have him bring his goil here because Eustace
is plumb nuts after women, see? You wouldn't hardly be safe in de same
house wid him widout her to keep him straight...Even if you ain't de
Queen a Sheba.

Carrie. Thank you. Is that all fer supper?

Babe. Dat's only four, ain't it? I got two more waitin' on orders in
Portland an' den de free up in Augusta.

Carrie. Will you often hev as many as that?

Babe. Why, you'll see nights dis summer when I got as many as
t'irty-five trucks runnin' over dis road wid two men on each truck!

Carrie. All workin' fer you?

Babe. Sure!

Carrie. And all of 'em 'bout your style, too, I reckon?

Babe. My style? Well, Eustace, maybe. But wait till you see de rest.
Wait till you see 'em, dat's all!

Carrie. As bad as that?

Babe. Just wait till you see 'em!

Carrie. Yeah. I will.

Babe. Dey ain't such bad fellas, you know. Good hearted an' everythin'.

Carrie. But you'll be here, won't you?

Babe. Me? Oh, I'm all over de map. New York, Boston, Philadelphia...I
got a big business now. Dat's what I want Eustace here for. To leave
him in charge, see?

Carrie. I'd ruther hev you stay here if you could.

Babe. Dat's nice a you, Carrie! I must say dat's nice!

Carrie. No. I know what t' expect of you, that's all.

Babe. Oh!...Well, I wish I could oblige you, but considerin' them
Federal friends a yours I don't hardly t'ink dis is a very healt'y
neighborhood for me right now.

Carrie. Eustace!...And so the children and me'll hev whole days and
days of 'em alone...Them and my children!...Eustace and his girl and my
children!...

Babe. Ain't goin' to hurt de kids none, is it?

Carrie. 'Tain't exactly how I'd planned things for 'em.

Babe. Well! Can't have everythin'!

Carrie. No.

Babe. Aw, come on, Carrie! Snap out uv it, will you? You'll get used to
it. I wouldn't wonder if you got some fun out uv it. You want to get
some fun out a life, don't you? We're only young once. An' you ain't so
dam' young, at dat! How old are you, Carrie?

Carrie. Thirty.

Babe. Is dat all! Why, I'd ha' given you twice dat! Why, t'irty ain't
so old! I'm t'irty myself. All you need to bring you out is a little
fun an' some swell clothes. You do de right t'ing here by my boys an'
me an' before de summer's over I'll wallop you down to New York an'
give you a nice little vacation an' buy you all de clothes you want.

Carrie. [Drily]: Thank you.

Babe. You wouldn't look so bad if you was dressed right. Because you
ain't usual. You coit'nly ain't usual...What de hell! If dese louses
around here want to talk, we'll give 'em somethin' to talk about,
huh?...But not right off. Business before pleasure.

Carrie. Couldn't you, mebbe, wait two or three days fer gittin' down to
business?

Babe. What's de idea a waitin'?

Carrie. Jest the children. I certain do hate t' part with 'em...I been
prepared fer it, though...Only I don't jest knew where t' send 'em.
'Tain't as though I hed any kin. Only Ben. But he ain't no use now.

Babe. What d'you mean, send 'em?

Carrie. I wouldn't want 'em here, would I?

Babe. Ain't dey all right here?

Carrie. Well, if you hed any children of your own, you wouldn't want
'em raised in any sech house as this one's goin' t' be...would you?

Babe. [Growing progressively more offended]: Why not? It's a lot
better'n de house George an' me was raised in.

Carrie. Yes, but...


Babe. But you wouldn't want your kids turnin' out like George an' me.
Is dat it?

Carrie. Yes, 'tis, Babe.

Babe. Dey're George's kids, ain't dey?

Carrie. Yes, but...

Babe. Well?

Carrie. If you'd seen 'em, you'd understand. You don't know how sweet
they are. I jest got to do right by 'em.

Babe. An' keepin' 'em here now dat I took over de joint ain't your idea
a doin' right?

Carrie. No.

Babe. Maybe I'd be a bad influence on 'em?

Carrie. Maybe you would, Babe. You wouldn't mean to, but...

Babe. Aw, you make me sick!

Carrie. How?

Babe. Tellin' me I ain't good enough to associate wid George's kids!

Carrie. I never said that. What I was really thinkin' of was Eustace
and his girl. Jest you think of my little girl with...

Babe. [Cutting her off brutally]: Eustace an' Eustace's goil an' me is
all de same, see? An' what's too good for dem is too good for me.

Carrie. [Defiantly]: All right! You ain't good enough fer my children!
There now! I said it! You ain't near good enough!

Babe. [Finally]: Well, maybe I ain't good enough for your kids, but you
ain't goin' t' send 'em away.

Carrie. [Bewildered]: Why not?

Babe. Because you ain't, dat's all.

Carrie. Who's goin' t' prevent me?

Babe. I am.

Carrie. You?

Babe. Dose kids don't leave dese premises.

Carrie. What d'you want with 'em?

Babe. I need 'em in my business, see? An' de holier dey are, de more
I need 'em. Dose two kids a yours is one a de best assets dis joint's
got. Dere ain't nothin' like two well-brought-up kids to keep suspicion
away from my business.

Carrie. [Horrified]: You ain't aimin' t' use my children? Oh, I
couldn't hev that!

Babe. You're goin' to have it. An' dose two kids a yours is goin' to
get de happiest summer dey ever hoid about! cruisin' on de river an'
goin' for hay rides is t'ings dey ain't goin' to do nothin' but! Yeah,
an' all de little friends dey want to ask wid 'em! De more kids I c'n
get on top, de more liquor I c'n stow underneat'! See?

Carrie. [At bay at last]: I tell you I won't hev it! I won't abide
it! I ain't goin' t' let my children be no screen fer your goin's on!
You'll turn my children into criminals! I'll see you further when it
comes t' that!

Babe. Dose kids is mine!

Carrie. They ain't!

Babe. I bought 'em and dey're mine!

Carrie. They ain't!

Babe. Dey goes wid de house! Dey belongs to me!

Carrie. They don't! They don't no sech thing!

Babe. Don't dey? I'll show you!

Carrie. You won't hev a chance t' show me! If I'd hev known you was
plannin' t' misuse my children, I wouldn't never hev agreed t' nuthin'.
I'm goin' t' give you back your money. I ain't goin' t' hev nuthin'
more t' do with you!

Babe. Oh, yes, you are!

Carrie. I ain't! I ain't!

Babe. D'you t'ink I'm goin' to let go a dis joint in de fix I'm in?
Just on account a you bein' stuck on dose two damn kids?

Carrie. [Furiously]: Don't you dast talk that way 'bout my children!

Babe. I'll talk any ways I god-damn well please an' you keep your
Yankee trap shut.

[Carrie staggers against a chair. He pushes her down into it, bullying
her from above.]

Babe. Now listen!...You're goin' to stick by me like you promised an'
I'll tell you why. I'll tell you just what'll happen to you, if you try
crawlin' on me now...Supposin' you could make me take back dat jack an'
walk out a dat door! Can you imagine what I'm doin' den? I'm takin'
George off before de cops has a look in. I'm takin' George off an' I'm
keepin' him nice an' safe in a cool, dry place till de search after him
gets plenty hot. Den I'm toinin' him myself...Right over to de cops,
I'm toinin' him...

Carrie. A lot I care what becomes of George, now!

Babe. Wait a minute!...I ain't done yet!...You just t'ink back about
what George was sayin' yesterday about your old man an' you goin' to
jail wid him as his accomplices. Well, your old man may be safe, but
you ain't.

Carrie. I am so!

Babe. As soon as I got George locked up, I'm down to de jail wid a
slick lawyer, see? George don't know it's me dat toined him. An' me an'
de lawyer's got a whole line a bunk ready about de money graspin' wife
who put him up to de racket an' was de brains a de gang!

Carrie. Me! Me!

Babe. An' de next t'ing you're pinched too, an' I wouldn't wonder
if you done as much time as him just for gettin' him dat job on de
ferry...dat kind uv a job...an' you knowin' all de time he had a record!

Carrie. You say that t' me!

Babe. An' after you're locked up wid George, what happens to de kids,
den? I happen to 'em. Ain't I de dear old uncle? I'm made guardian!
See? Get me?...Now do you want to get funny or do we go t'rough as
originally outlined?

Carrie. [A desperate pause, then]: Supposin' I...

Babe. Aw, shut up! I got you beat any way you look. Dat scheme I just
told you ain't half what I could do if I had time t' t'ink.

[Carrie subsides, terrified but still thinking. Babe laughs. Jenny
comes weeping down the stairs, wearing her pathetic little best dress
and carrying her pathetic little satchel.]

Jenny. [Through her tears]: I'll send after my trunk,
Carrie...Good-bye...I'm awful sorry...I wish you'd believe I was tryin'
t' learn...I ain't no good...But I was tryin' t' learn...I'm goin' back
t' Saco t' the mill...Serves me right...Won't you tell me good-bye?

Carrie. [Pause, then, without looking up]: Reckon you kin stay on if
you've a mind to.

Jenny. [Incredulous gasp]: Carrie, d'you mean it?

Carrie. Reckon I may need you here now...No matter what you done...I
got t' hev somebody...

Jenny. Oh, thanks! Thanks!

Carrie. Go upstairs and take off that dress and put on your apron and
git back t' work.

Jenny. Oh, Carrie! [She bounds up the stairs and can, presently, be
heard singing.]

Babe. [The most ingratiating good-humor]: Don't get upset, Carrie! I
only wanted to show you all de sides a de question.

Carrie. I see. Plain as the nose on your face, ain't it?

Babe. [With the best of good intentions]: I had to hand it to you for
stickin' to George. An' I got to hand it to you for standin' up for
your kids like you done just now. But you want to use your bean about
such t'ings, Carrie. Take it from me dere ain't nothin' in 'em. Duties
is all right to talk about, but if you want to make good in dis woild,
look out for your own interests an' to hell wid de rest, includin'
kids. Dat's how I woik. An' I know!

Carrie. Only a real bad man 'ud make that remark. [She moves toward the
Spa door again.] How d'you like your eggs?

Babe. Toin 'em over gentle. I'll get my coat an' brush my hair...Shake?
[He extends his hand. She shakes her head. The bell on the Spa door
rings sharply. They both turn.] Is dat customers?

Carrie. Sounds that way.

Babe. [Admonishing]: Business as usual, now!

Carrie. No. I ain't up 't business t'day. [She goes out into the Spa.
For a moment Babe stands looking after her. Then, a broad smile on his
lips, and muttering a complacent swear or two, he turns and goes up the
stairs, and triumph and the spirit of ownership are seen to be strong
in him. Jenny is heard singing. Almost before Babe has disappeared,
Carrie is back. She is a new Carrie, though, a restored and vivid
Carrie, one we have not seen since yesterday, before disaster overtook
her. Clenching and unclenching her hands in an excitement, that is far
more a fierce hope than despair, she seems, as she strides about the
room, to progress from wild prayer to wilder resolution. Then she hears
Babe's steps overhead and on the stairs and makes her resolution. But
when Babe appears, properly dressed, she meets him with approximate
calmness.]

Babe. [From the stairs]: Want to know what strikes me, Carrie?

Carrie. [Who cannot quite control the tremor m her voice]: What?

Babe. What strikes me is the amount I done on a empty stomach.

Carrie. I was thinkin' jest now...

Babe. [Eyeing her]: You must ha' been. You look better.

Carrie. Do I?

Babe. What was it you was t'inkin'?

Carrie. Well...last night, it was...You mentioned somethin' 'bout that
Spa of mine bein' a good blind fer your bootleggin'...

Babe. Did I? Well, so it is!

Carrie. And I was thinkin' how much...how much better it 'ud be...as
a blind...if I could build my new kitchen like I wanted to...and was
figurin' on...yesterday...when you come in...You remember?

Babe. [Increasingly affable, as he catches the drift]: Sure, I
remember! What den?

Carrie. I was thinkin' how folks'll notice your rough men hangin'
'round here, so many of 'em, day after day, with things quiet in the
Spa like they are now...and...how your men wouldn't be so noticeable,
would they?...if...I was feedin' a couple of hundred bridge workers
every day...Folks 'ud think your men was bridge workers...

Babe. Yeah, I fought a dat, too. How's dat fer a coincidence?

Carrie. Well, I was thinkin' seein' as how I could make this place a
sight more valuable t' you by enlargin' my Spa so as I could feed the
bridge workers, mebbe...mebbe you'd be willin' t' help me do it!

Babe. Oh, you was t'inkin' dat, was you?

Carrie. Then I wouldn't be beholden t' you fer my keep, either, and I
could pay you back.

Babe. Twelve hundred bucks? When I already give you...

Carrie. I wouldn't need only a thousand more. I got that two hundred
you took off'n George. And with a thousand...

Babe. Tryin' to make de best uv a bad bargain, ain't you?

Carrie. It's a good bargain fer you!

Babe. Tryin' to save your Yankee self-respect, huh?

Carrie. Mebbe I am.

Babe. Would you like me t' show you what kind uv a guy I am?

Carrie. What kind are you?

Babe. Well, as long as you're willing to play ball wid me, I'll play
ball wid you...Now dat you know who's de boss here.

Carrie. Yeah.

Babe. I'll come across wid de t'ousand.

Carrie. Thank you.

Babe. What would you say, Carrie, if I was to tell you I was figurin'
on doin' just dat anyway?

Carrie. Land's sakes, Babe!...I was thinkin'...

Babe. My God, what else?

Carrie. I was thinkin' mebbe you'd be willin' t' give me the money
right off now, so as I could show Nat Glidden I got it and git him t'
work here fust thing t'morrow mornin'.

Babe. [Dubiously]: Well, now!

Carrie. I was thinkin' the sooner you hed your blind, the safer you'd
feel...

Babe. [Admiringly]: You coit'nly woik fast...

Carrie. I ain't got much time t' lose. Ain't the boys comin't'night?

Babe. [Slowly, as he draws out his wallet]: All right...You know, I
like to see anybody come back after bein' cleaned out like you been.
Here you are...One five an' five ones...

Carrie. [Taking the bills]: Thank you...I'll jest...[Jenny bounds down
the stairs.] That you, Jenny? Here...Take this money out and put it in
the cash register...Take this, too. [She adds the small bills from the
desk drawer.] There's some customers out there waitin' on you t' serve
'em breakfast...I told 'em you'd be right down...[Jenny goes. Carrie
has already begun to write something at the desk. She calls after
Jenny.] Leave the door open. [Jenny obeys.]

Babe. Ain't forgot about my breakfast, have you, Carrie? Carrie.

Carrie. Wait till I git this written. It's fer you.

Babe. For me?

Carrie. [Rising and presenting slip of paper]: It's my I.O.U. for three
thousand dollars, payable in twelve months from date at six per cent.

Babe. Huh?

Carrie. That's what 'tis!

Babe. What do I want wid it? You don't got to pay me back?

Carrie. Better take it.

Babe. [Obeying']: What for?

Carrie. Because our deal's off.

Babe. Huh?

Carrie. Yeah...Now git out...Only don't go through the Spa way...The
Spa's jest chuck full of Federal men...Yeah, that's so, Babe. They're
all in there, the whole kit and kiboodle of 'em. And they got Snitch
Perkins from Georgetown with 'em. 'Twas him they had along last night
t' identify you. I wouldn't be seen by Snitch if I was you.

Babe. [Staggered]: Well, I'll be...

Carrie. Don't talk too loud. I hed Jenny leave the door open. Lucky,
wa'n't it; them happenin' in like that!

Babe. What in hell are you tryin' to pull?

Carrie. And don't start nuthin', neither. All I got t' do is yell
once...In case you don't believe me, though...[She goes to the open
door and speaks through it.] Hello, Henry.

Voice. [Offstage]: Yes, Carrie?

Carrie. Jenny takin' good care of you?

Voice. Best in the world, Carrie!

Carrie. [Her eyes blazing at Babe]: That's right!

Babe. Well, I'll be God damned if I don't got to hand it to you!

Carrie. Mind, it's the very same thing made me so mad when George tried
it last night...I wouldn't hev done it, only I seen how you was takin'
all the advantages you could of me. I guess turn about's one kind of
fair play, ain't it?...That's why I'm makin' you pay fer my kitchen.

Babe. [Pause, then]: Carrie, you're a great girl! [And he tears up the
I.O.U.]

Carrie. That's nice of you t' do that. I'll hev the money jest the
same. You come back here in a year's time and I'll hev it ready fer you
with interest.

Babe. I believe you. I told you character was your long suit.

Carrie. Well, we both of us got that, ain't we?

Babe. Yeah! Ain't we?

Carrie. Good-bye.

Babe. Good-bye...Will you shake now?

Carrie. [Shaking]: Better take George with you!

Babe. How do I know dem Federals is in de Spa?

Carrie. You kin look, if you've a mind t' risk it. But I wouldn't if I
was you. Struck me they was actin' kind of suspicious like, bringin'
Snitch Perkins back with 'em a second time. [Once more, as Babe
approaches the Spa door, she calls out.] Takin' good care of Snitch,
too, Henry?

Voice. Best in the world, Carrie!

Carrie. That's right.

Babe. Good-bye. [He goes to the front door. She follows him.]

Carrie. Mind, if anybody was t' hide some liquor in that old barn of
Pa's and I didn't hev t' see nuthin' of 'em, twouldn't hurt me none,
would it?

Babe. Thanks. [He opens the door and goes out.]

Carrie. [Standing in the door]: Keep close t' them lilacs so's they
won't see through the Spa window. [An automobile motor starts up and
roars off into the distance. Carrie closes the door and comes weakly
back into the room. Suddenly, however, she calls out wildly.] Ben! Nat!
Jenny! Come in here! All of you!

[Nat and Jenny appear in the Spa door. Ben appears on the stair.]

Ben. What is it? What's goin' on?

Carrie. We done it! [Wringing his hand]: You answered up fine!

Nat. Oh, I'm the best little Federal agent you ever seen!

Jenny. You certain are!

Carrie. You git your men 'round here fust thing t'morrow mornin'!
[Another blast crashes over the country side.] Blast away, darn you!
I'll be ready fer you! [To the amazed Ben.] I know I ought to be cryin'
but I can't help laughin'. [To her dead father.] Excuse me, Pa!

CURTAIN

The End


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