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Title: They Knew What They Wanted
Author: Sidney Coe Howard
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Language: English
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Title: They Knew What They Wanted
Author: Sidney Coe Howard



They Knew What They Wanted was first produced at the Garrick Theatre,
New York City, by the Theatre Guild, on November 24, 1924, and closed
on November 14, 1925. Production directed by Philip Moeller. Settings
and costumes by Carolyn Hancock. Following is the original cast:

JOE                   Glenn Anders
FATHER MCKEE          Charles Kennedy
AH GEE                Allen Atwell
TONY                  Richard Bennett
THE R.F.D.            Robert Cook
AMY                   Pauline Lord
ANGELO                Hardwick Nevin
GIORGIO               Jacob Zollinger
THE DOCTOR            Charles Tazewell
HER DAUGHTER          Antoinette Bizzoco
HER SON               Edward Rosenfeld

[Editors note: I.W.W. refers to the Industrial Workers of the World
(aka 'Wobblies'), an international trade union formed 1905.]


The scene of the play is the home of an Italian winegrower in the
Napa Valley in California. All of the action takes place in the main
downstairs room which serves as general living and dining room.

It is necessary to understand that the house is not in the least
Spanish in its architecture. As a matter of fact, it would serve any
respectable Middle--Western farmer as a fitting and inconspicuous
residence. It was built in the 'nineties of wood, is painted white on
its exterior, and has only one story.

A door at the back, the main one to the outer world, gives on the
porch. Another door, to the right of the audience, gives on the
kitchen. The kitchen is three steps above the level of the room and so
placed that the audience can see into it. It is completely furnished.
A third door, to the left of the audience, gives on a flight of steps
which leads to the cellar of the house. A fourth door, also on the left
and farther down stage, gives on the bedroom..

The back wall should also be broken by windows; on the right of the
central door, a bay window, on the left, a double flat window.

The view from the house is over a valley and toward brown Californian
hills. The landscape is checkered with cultivation. Some of the
checkers are orchards. Most of them are vineyards. The foreground is
all vines. Vines twine about the pillars of the porch. In the beginning
of the play, it begins in summer, the grapes on the porch vines are
small and green. In the last act, three months having elapsed, they are
large and purple.

The back stage must be so arranged that people who approach the house
from the highroad appear to mount the porch steps from a much lower
level. At other times, however, it is required that the characters be
able to go and come on the level of the house itself where the farmyard

Inside the room the wallpaper and the carpet are new and garish. The
cheapest variety of lace curtains hangs in the windows. The furniture
is new and includes a golden-oak dining table with chairs to match, a
morris chair, another easy chair, a chest of drawers, a sideboard, a
hat rack.

On one wall hangs a picture of Garibaldi. A picture of George
Washington hangs over the central door. Other mural decorations include
a poster of the _Navigazione Generale Italiana_, a still-life chromo, a
religious chromo, and a small mirror.

On the hat rack hangs a double-barrelled shotgun draped with a loaded
cartridge belt.

The whole impression must be one of gaiety and simple good living.


The red, white and green of Italy combine with the red, white and blue
of these United States in bunting, garlands of fluted paper, pompons
and plumes of shredded tissue, to make up a scheme of decoration which
is, to say the least, violent. The picture of Garibaldi is draped with
an American flag, the picture of Washington with an Italian flag. The
full glare of the early morning sun streams in through door and windows.

The room is fairly littered with boxes. Atop one of these, from which
it has just been extracted, stands a handsome wedding cake, surmounted
by statuary representing the ideal bride and groom in full regalia
under a bell. The boxes are all addressed to:

Tony Patucci,
R. F. D., Napa, Calif.

AH GEE stands on a ladder on the porch outside the open entrance door,
hanging Chinese lanterns. He is a silent, spare Chinaman, of age
maturely indeterminate. He wears blue overalls and a black chambray

JOE, dark, sloppy, beautiful, and young, is busy opening a packing case
in the center of the stage. His back is turned upon the door.

JOE. (as he works, he half sings, half mutters to himself the words of
"Remember," an I. W. W. song, to the tune of "Hold the Fort").

"We speak to you from jail to-day, Two hundred union men, We're here
because the bosses' laws Bring slavery again."

(Through this the curtain rises and FATHER MC KEE is seen climbing the
porch steps. He wears the sober garb of a Catholic priest, not over
clean, what with dust, spots, and all. He nods to AH GEE and comes into
the doorway. He stands a moment to mop his large, pale face with a
red bandana. Then he lowers lugubrious disapproval upon everything in
sight. Then he yawns. He is one of those clerics who can never mention
anything except to denounce it. And his technique of denunciation is
quite special to himself. It consists in a long, throaty abstention
from inflection of any kind which culminates in a vocal explosion when
he reaches the accented syllable of a word upon which his emphasis
depends. This word always seems to wake him up for an instant. Once it
is spoken, however, he relapses into semi--somnolence for the remainder
of his remarks. At heart, he is genial and kindly enough, quite the
American counterpart of the French village cure.)

FATHER MC KEE. Hello, Joe.

JOE. Hello there, Padre. What do you think?

FATHER MC KEE. Looks to me like a bawdy house.

JOE. It's goin to be some Testa...Lily Cups! What do you know about
that for style?

FATHER MC KEE. Where's Tony?

JOE (nods toward the door of the bedroom). In there gettin' dolled
up...Hey, there, bridegroom! The Padre's out here.

FATHER MC KEE. I come up to have a serious talk with Tony.

JOE. Well, for God's sake, don't get him upset no more'n what he is
already. He's been stallin' around all mornin', afraid to go down and
meet the bride. You better leave him alone.

FATHER MC KEE. I'm always glad to have your advice, Joe. I didn't look
to find you still hangin' round.

JOE. Oh, didn't you, Padre?

FATHER MC KEE. Tony told me you'd decided to go away.

JOE. Well, Padre, I'll tell you how it is. (He grins impudently) I
don't believe in stayin' any one place too long. 'Tain't fair for me
not to give the rest of California a chance at my society. But I ain't
goin' before I seen all the fun, got Tony safely married, an' kissed
the bride. (He turns to the door and AH GEE) That's fine, Ah Gee.
Better take these here Lily Cups in the kitchen when you get through.

(Magnificently TONY enters from the bedroom. He is stout, floridly
bronzed, sixty years old, vigorous, jovial, simple, and excitable. His
great gift is for gesture. To-day we meet him in his Sunday best, a
very brilliant purple suit with a more than oriental waistcoat which
serves to display a stupendous gold watch chain. He wears a boiled
shirt, an emerald-green tie, and a derby hat. He carries his new
patent-leather shoes in his hand. He seems to be perspiring rather

TONY. Looka me! I'm da most stylish fella in da world.

FATHER MC KEE. I come up to talk to you, Tony.

TONY. I'm glad you come, Padre. How you like my clothes, eh? Costa
playnta good money! (Attention is called to the shoes) For da feet...

JOE. (a motion to the wedding cake). How's it strike you, Tony?

TONY. Madonna! (He throws his shoes into the morris chair. His hat
assumes a terrific angle. He cannot keep his hands off that cake) Look,
Padre! From Frisco! Special! Twelve dollar' an' two bits! Look! (The
miniature bride and groom particularly please him) He's Tony an' his

JOE. Them lanterns is Ah Gee's per sonal donation.

TONY. Thank you, Ah Gee! Ref. verra fine. Ah Gee, you go an' bring
vino, now, for Padre, eh? (An GEE obeys the order, taking the Lily Cup
with him into his kitchen.)

JOE. Show some speed now, Tony. It's past nine. 'Tain't hardly pretty
to keep the bride waitin'.

TONY (as he sits down to the struggle with his shoes). I'm goin' verra

FATHER MC KEE. I got to have a word with you, Tony, before you go to
the station.

JOE. The Padre's been tryin' to tell me you're scared to have me around
where I can kiss the bride. (He picks up a couple of flags and goes

TONY. (in undisguised terror). You ain't goin' be kissin' no bride,
Joe. You hear dat?

JOE. (off stage he is heard singing).

"We laugh and sing, we have no fear
Our hearts are always light,
We know that every Wobbly true
Will carry on the fight."

TONY. He's too goddam fresh, dat fella, with kissin' my Amy an' all
dose goddam Wobbly songs. Don' you think so, Padre?

FATHER MC KEE. I didn't come up here to talk about Joe, Tony. I come up
to talk about this here weddin'.

TONY. I'm glad you come, Padre. I'm verra bad scare'.

FATHER MC KEE. You got good reason for bein' scared, if you want to
know what I think.

TONY. I got verra special reason.

FATHER MC KEE. What reason?

TONY. Don' you never mind! Da's my secret dat I don' tell nobody. You
tell Joe he go away quick, Padre. Den, maybe, ees all right.

FATHER MC KEE. So that's it! Well, I don't blame you for that.

TONY (deeply indignant at the implication). Oh!...No, by God! You
don' ondrastan', Padre. Joe is like my own son to me! Ees som'thing
verra different. Madonna mia! Ees som'thing I been doin' myself! Ees
som'thing Tony's been doin' w'at's goin' mak' verra bad trouble for

FATHER MC KEE. I'll tell Joe nothin'. You've made your own bed and if
you won't get off it while there's time, you got to lie on it. But
I want you to understand that I don't like nothin' 'bout this here
weddin'. It ain't got my approval.

TONY (the first shoe slips on and he sits up in amazement). You don'
like weddin', Padre?

FATHER MC KEE. No, I don't. An' that's just what I come up here to tell
you. I don't like nothin' about it, an' if you persist in goin' ahead
in spite of my advice, I don't want you sayin' afterwards that you
wasn't warned.

TONY. Dio mio! (He amplifies this with the sign of the cross. Then
his confidence rather returns to him) Aw...tak' a pinch-a snuff! You
mak' me tire', Padre! You think festa is no good for people. You padre
fellas don' know nothing. Work! Work! Work evra day! Den, by-an'-by, is
comin' festa. After festa workin' is more easy. (He resumes the shoe

FATHER MC KEE. Tony, you know perfectly well that I ain't got no more
objection to no festa than I have to any other pomp of the flesh. But
I'm your spirichool adviser an' I been mullin' this weddin' over in my
mind an' I come to the conclusion that I'm agin it. I don't like it at
all. I got my reasons for what I say.

TONY (does the Padre guess his secret?). W'at reason you gut?

FATHER MC KEE. In the first place, you ain't got no business marryin'
no woman who ain't a good Cath'lic.

TONY (immeasurable relief). Ees no matter.

FATHER MC KEE. A mixed marriage ain't no better'n plain livin' in sin.

TONY. Ain' we got you for keep' sin away, Padre?

FATHER MC KEE. Why ain't you marryin' a woman out of your own parish
instead of trapesin' all the way to Frisco to pick out a heretic?

TONY. Is no good womans in dees parish.

FATHER MC KEE. What's wrong with 'em?

TONY. Joe is sleepin' with evra one.

FATHER MCKEE. That ain't the point.

TONY. (enlisting the shoe to help his gesticulation). Oh, ees point
all right, Padre. Joe is told me 'bout evrathing. I been lookin' all
'round here at all da womans in dees parish. I been lookin' evra place
for twent' mile. Ees no good womans for wife here. Joe is told me 'bout
evra one. Den I'm gone to Napa for look all 'round dere an' in Napa ees
no better...ees just da same like here. So den I go down all da way
to Frisco for look after wife an' I find my Amy. She is like a rose,
all wilt'. You puttin' water on her an' she come out most beautiful.
I'm goin' marry with my Amy, Padre, an' I don' marry with nobody else.
She's been tellin' me she is no Cath'lic. I say, w'at I care? By an'
by, maybe, if we bein' patient, we bringin' her in da church, an'
showin' her da candles and da Madonna, all fix up good with flowers
and da big tin heart, an' evrathin smellin' so prett' an' you preachin
verra loud an' da music an' evrathing, maybe...by an' by...(He turns
again to his shoe) But now ees no mater. W'at I care?

FATHER MCKEE. It don't look good to me.

TONY. Ees all right...If you don' want my Amy an' me gettin' married
with good Cath'lic priest like you, den, by God!

FATHER MC KEE. I ain't said I wouldn't marry you.

TONY. Eh bene!

FATHER MC KEE. I'm only tryin' to tell you...

TONY. Ahi! Dio mio...(The shoes goes on, producing intense pain) He
look much better as he feel!

FATHER MC KEE. There ain't no good in no old man marryin' with no young

TONY. You think anybody marry with old woman? Tak' a pinch-a snuff!

FATHER MCKEE. I know one old man who married a young woman an' she
carried on with a stage driver!

TONY. Dio mio!

FATHER MCKEE. He had knowed her all her life, too, an' you ain't knowed
your Amy more'n 'bout five minutes.

TONY. Ees no matter.

FATHER MCKEE. An' I know another fellow who married one of them city
girls like your Amy without bein' properly acquainted an' she turned
out to be a scarlet woman.

TONY. My Amy don' do dat.

(AH GEE enters from kitchen with two glasses and a bottle of wine.)

FATHER MC KEE. Ain't you just now been tellin' me you're scared of her
seein' Joe?

TONY. No, by God!

FATHER MC KEE. Joe ain't the only young fellow around, either!

TONY. Young fellas is no matter. Only Joe. An' I ain' scare' over Joe
excep' for special reason. You tell Joe, Padre...(He is returning to
his old subject, but the wine distracts him) Ah-h-h!

FATHER MCKEE. Why didn't you get married forty years ago?

TONY. I think you know verra good w'y. Ees because I'm no dam'
fool...W'en I'm young, I got nothing. I'm broke all da time, you
remember? I got no money for Navin' wife. I don' want no wife for mak'
her work all da time. Da's no good, dat. Da's mak' her no more young,
no more prett'. Evrabody say Tony is crazy for no' havin' wife. I say
Tony is no dam' fool. W'at is happen? Pro'ibish' is corn'. Salute!
(A glass of wine. AH GEE has returned to his kitchen) An' wat I say?
I say, "Ees dam' fool law. Ees dam' fool fellas for bein' scare' an'
pullin' up da grape' for tryin' growin' som'--thing different." W'at
I'm doin'? I'm keep the grape, eh? I say, "I come in dees country for
growin' da grape! God mak' dees country for growin' da grape! Ees not
for pro'ibish' God mak' dees country. Ees for growin' da grape!" Ees
true? Sure ees true! (Another glass of wine) An' w'at happen? Before
pro'ibish' I sell my grape' for ten, maybe twelve dollar' da ton. Now
I sell my grape' some--time one hundra dollar' da ton. Pro'bish' is
mak' me verra rich. (Another glass of wine) I got my fine house. I got
Joe for bein' foreman. I got two men for helpin' Joe. I got one Chink
for cook. I got one Ford car. I got all I want, evrathing, excep' only
wife. Now I'm goin' have wife. Verra nice an' young an' fat. Not for
work. No! For sit an' holdin' da hands and havin' kids. Three kids. (He
demonstrates the altitude of each) Antonio...Giuseppe...Anna...Da's
like trees an' cows an' all good people. Da's fine for God an'
evrabody! I tell you, Padre, Tony know w'at he want!

FATHER MCKEE. Whatever made you think a man of your age could have
children? (This staggers TONY) I tell you, Tony, it ain't possible.

TONY. Eh? Tony is too old for Navin' kids? I tell you, Tony can have
twent' kids if he want! I tell you Tony can have kids w'en he is one
hundra year' old. Dio mio! From da sole of his feet to da top of his
hat, Tony is big, strong man! I think I ondrastan' you verra good,
Padre. Tony is not too old for havin' kids. He's too rich, eh? (This
rather strikes home) Yah! Tony is rich an', if he don' have no kids,
den da church is gettin' all Tony's money an da Padre is gettin Tony's
fine house all fix' up good for livin' in, eh?

FATHER MC KEE (a very severe shepherd). Tony!

TONY (the horns of the devil with his fingers). Don' you go for puttin'
no evil eye on Tony an' his Amy!

FATHER MCKEE. You're givin' way to ignorant superstition, which ain't
right in no good Cath'lic.

TONY (on his feet in a panic). Dio mio! My Amy is comin' on dat train
an' here you keep me, sittin', talk--in'...

FATHER MC KEE. You irreverent old lunatic, you, if you're bent on
marry--in', I'll marry you. (JOE reappears in the doorway) But I don't
want you comin' around afterwards squawkin' about it.

TONY. Eh, Joe! Da Padre don' want me gettin' marry with my Amy because
he's scare' da church don' never get my money!

JOE. For cripe's sake, Tony, ain't you heard that whistle?

TONY. I go! I go!

JOE. Train's in now.

TONY. Porco Dio! Ah Gee!

JOE. Fix your tie.

TONY. I fix...(AH GEE, comes from the kitchen for his master'sorder) Un
altro fiasco. ( AH GEE returns to the kitchen.)

JOE. You won't make no hit if you're drunk, Tony.

TONY. Not drunk, Joe. Only scare'. Verra bad scare'.

JOE. Bridegrooms is always scared.

TONY. Jes' Chris', maybe I'm sick!

JOE. No!

TONY. Santa Maria, I am sick! JOE. What's wrong with you?

TONY. I don' know! I'm sick! I'm sick! I'm sick!

(AH GEE returns with the wine bottle refilled. TONY seeks prompt
solace. AH GEE goes back to his kitchen.)

JOE. You'll be a helluva sight sicker if you don't lay off that stuff.

TONY. I canno' go for get my Amy, Joe. I canno' go...

JOE. All right. I'll go...

TONY. Oh, by God! No! NO!

JOE. Tony, if you drive the Ford down the hill in this state of mind
you'll break your dam' neck.

TONY (more solace). I feel good now. I drive fine. I don' want nobody
for go for my Amy but only me...(Then he weakens again) Joe, I'm
scare', I'm scare', I'm scare'!

JOE. What you scared of, Tony?

TONY. Maybe my Amy...

JOE. Come on, beat it!

TONY. I feel good now an' I don' want nobody for go for my Amy but only
me. You bet! (He starts.)

JOE. That's the boy!

TONY (another relapse). Joe, you don't get mad if I ask you som'thing?
I got verra good reason, Joe...Joe...how soon you goin' away, Joe?

JOE. You don't want me to go, do you?

TONY. I think ees much better. Joe. What's the idea, Tony?

TONY. Joe...som'thing is happen', da's all...You go, Joe. I been trvin'
for three days for ask you lees, Joe, an' I been scare' you get mad. I
pay you double extra for goin' to-day, for goin' now, eh? Joe? Verra

JOE. An' miss the festa? Like hell!

TONY. Joe, you don' ondrastan'...Jos. Forget it, Tony.

TONY. Joe...

JOE. If you keep her waitin', she'll go back to Frisco.

TONY. Dio Mio! (He goes to the door and turns yet once again) Joe...?
(He catches FATHER MC KEE'S eye) Som'thing verra bad is goin' happen
with Tony...Clean evrathing clean before my Amy come. (He is really
gone. JOE follows him out and stands on the porch looking after him. A
Ford motor roars and dies away into high speed.)

FATHER MC KEE. (at the window). Look at him!

JOE. He could drive that Ford in his sleep.

FATHER MCKEE. I don't hold with no old man gallivantin'.

JOE. Den't you fret, Padre. Didn't I tell you not to get him all
worked up? (This ruffles the good priest who makes to follow TONY. JOE
intercepts him and forces him back into the room.)


JOE. Sit down a minute. You been tellin' Tony what you think. Now I got
some tellin' to do.

FATHER MC KEE. Have you, indeed? Well, I don't see no good!

JOE. Maybe I don't see much good, but what the hell!

FATHER MC KEE. Young man! That's the pernicious doctrine of Lacey

JOE. What's that?

FATHER Mc KEE. A French expression meanin' "Sufficient unto the day."

JOE. What of it? If folks is bent on makire mistakes, an' you can't
stop 'em, let 'em go ahead, that's what I say. I don't want nobody
hatin' my gets for bein too dam' right all the 'ime, see? Not bein' a
priest, I aim to get along with folks. That way, when they're in wrong,
I can be some use.

FATHER MC KEE. That ain't in accord with the teachin's of Jesus!

JOE. A helluva lot you an' me know about the teachin's of Jesus.

FATHER MC KEE. Joe, if you ain't goin' to be rev'rent...

JOE. I'm talkin' now.

FATHER MC KEE. Oh, are you?

JOE. Yeah. I wouldn't have no harm come to Tony, not for anything
in the world, see? An' I been agitatin' against this weddin' a lot
longer'n you have an' I know what it's all about, see? I'm here goin'
on five months, now, an' that's longer'n I ever stayed any one place.


JOE. Excep' once in jail, it is. An' I been lookin' after Tony all
the time since I come here. I come in to bum a meal an' I stayed five
months. Five months I been workin' for Tony an' lookin' after him and
he's treated me dam' good an' that's God's truth. I wouldn't have
worked that long for him if he hadn't treated me dam' good, either. I
ain't none too strong for stayin' put, you know. I like to move an' now
I'm goin' to move. I'm what the papers call a "unskilled migratory" an'
I got to migrate, see? Tony wants me to go an' I want to go. But, what
I want to know is: who's goin' to look after Tony when I'm gone?

FATHER MCKEE. Ain't that his wife's place?

JOE. Sure it's his wife's place. But suppose this weddin' don't turn
out so good? Are you goin' to look out for him?

FATHER MC KEE. Ain't Tony my spirachool charge an' responsibility?

JOE. All right! An' I ain't so sure you're goin' to have much trouble,
either. Amy looks to me like a fair to middlin' smart kid an' she knows
what she's in for, too.

FATHER MCKEE. You seem to be well informed, Joe! Do you happen to know
the lady?

JOE. I ain't never laid eyes on her. (Then the implication percolates)
Oh, I may go chasin' women plenty, but I don't chase Tony's wife, see?
An' I ain't fixin' to, neither. Just get that straight.

FATHER MC KEE. I'm glad to hear it, Joe.

JOE. But I happen to know about her. Didn't I have to write all Tony's
letters for him? You wouldn't expect Tony to be writin' to no lady with
his education, would you?

FATHER MC KEE. NO, I can't say that I would.

JOE. Why, I even had to read him the letters she wrote back. That's
how I got my dope. An' what I say is: she's got plenty of sense. Don't
you fool yourself she hasn't. I'll show you. (He goes to the chest of
drawers for some letters and photographs. He brings them back to the
PADRE) You can see for yourself. (And he submits Exhibit A--a letter)
Tony goes to Frisco lookin' for a wife, see? The nut! An' he finds Amy
waitin' on table in a spaghetti joint. Joint's called "Il Trovatore."
Can you beat it? He ain't even got the nerve to speak to her. He don't
even go back to see her again. He just falls for her, gets her name
from the boss an' comes home an' makes me write her a letter proposin'
marriage. That's her answer.

FATHER MC KEE. It's good clear writin'. It's a good letter. It looks
like she's got more character'n what I thought. But, just the same, it
ain't no way to conduct a courtship.

JOE. There's worse ways.

FATHER MC KEE. She says she likes the letter you wrote.

JOE. The second time I wrote, I told her all about the farm an' just
how she was goin' to be fixed. Oh, I was careful not to say nothin'
about Tony's money. Only the Ford. I thought she ought to know about
the Ford. (He hands the second letter over) An' she wrote this one back.

FATHER MC KEE. She likes the country, does she? She wants Tony's photo.

JOE. Say, you ought to have seen Tony gettin' his face shot! By God! It
took me a whole week to talk him into it. An' when I did get him down
there--you know that place across from the depot?--dam' if he wasn't
scared right out of his pants!


JOE. By the camera! Would you believe it? We had to clamp him into the
chair, both of us, the photographer an' me! You ought to have seen that
wop sweat! And when we try to point the machine at him, he gives a yell
you could hear a block an runs right out in the street!


JOE. I couldn't get him back, only I promised to let the guy shoot
me first. They was some pictures! Tony's (he hands a specimen to the
PADRE) sure looks like him, but she must have seen somethin' in it,
because she sent hers right back. (He studies AMY'S photograph for a
moment before submitting it) Here. Not bad, huh?

FATHER MC KEE (a long and very pleased contemplation). There ain't
no explainin' women! (He returns the photograph) Do you think she's
straight, Joe?

JOE. What the hell! If she ain't, she wants to be. That's the main

FATHER MCKEE. Maybe it won't turn out so bad, after all. There's always
this about life: no man don't never get everything he sets out to get,
but half the time he don't never find out he ain't got it.

JOE. Oh, if you're goin' off on that tack!

FATHER MC KEE. It's the tack life travels on, with the help of Almighty

JOE. What the hell! Life ain't so bad.

FATHER MC KEE. I'm delighted to hear you say so!

JOE (he has returned the exhibits to the drawer). I never put over
anything half so good myself!

FATHER MC KEE. Do you think Tony's goin' to put it over?

JOE. Wait and see.

FATHER MC KEE. Well, I don't know how I can approve of this weddin',
but I'm willin' to give it the benefit of my sanction an' to do all
I can to help it along an' look out for Tony. Does that satisfy
you?...Just the same, I don't believe in unnecessary chances, Joe. Pull
along out of here like Tony asked you to.

JOE. Say, you make me sore! Why, anybody 'ud think, to hear you talk,
that I'm all set to...

(The R. F. D. has appeared on the porch. He carries a dusty coat on his
arm, and wipes the sweat from his brow with his blue handkerchief. He
wears a gray flannel shirt, old trousers hitched to suspenders that are
none too secure. His badge is his only sign of office. He is an eager,
tobacco-chewing old countryman.)

THE R. F. D. Hey, Tony! Tony! (As he reaches the door) Where's Tony?
'Mornin', Padre.

JOE. Tony's gone to town. You're early.

THE R. F. D. That's more'n Tony is. I got to get his signature on a
piece of registered mail.

JOE. What is it?

THE R. F. D. It's his wife. (JOE and the PRIEST rise astonished) Sure!
I got her outside in the buckboard an' she's madder'n hell because Tony
didn't meet her. She's some girl, too. I never heard the beat! Lands a
girl like that an' don't even take the trouble to--(The other two are
already at the windows.)

JOE. Where'd you find her?

THE R. F. D. I finds her pacin' up and down the platform an' I gives
her a lift. I sure do hate to see a good-lookin' girl cry an' she sure
was cry--in'. I reckoned Tony couldn't get the Ford started so--

FATHER MC KEE. He went down all right. I wonder what happened to him?

JOE. He must have took the short cut.

FATHER MC KEE. Didn't you pass him?

JOE. I knew I ought to have went instead.

FATHER MC KEE. He wasn't in no condition.

THE R. F. D. I'll have a look on my way back.

JOE. What are we goin' to do with her?

THE R. F. D. Ask her in.

JOE. Ah Gee! (He goes out, calling) Giorgio! Angelo! (THE R. F. D.
follows him. AH GEE comes from his kitchen and evinces some confusion,
but does not hold back from the summons. FATHER MC KEE arranges his
costume and goes out last. The stage remains empty for a moment. A
babble of voices is heard, voices that speak both English and Italian.
JOE is heard shouting) Lend a hand with that trunk!

AMY'S VOICE. How do you do? I'm pleased to meet you. I certainly had
some time getting here. I certainly expected somebody would meet me at
the station.

FATHER MC KEE'S VOICE. The old man left all right.

JOE'S VOICE. He started a little too late.

THE R. F. D.'s voice. I'll have a look for him. (The rest is lost in a
babble of Italian as AMY comes on to the porch and the others follow
her, not the least among them being the two Italian hands, GIORGIO and
ANGELO whose volubility subsides only as AMY enters the room. As for
AMY, she is all that TONY said of her and much more. She wears a pretty
dress, new, ready-made, and inexpensive, and a charming and equally
cheap hat. Her shoes are bright coloured and her handbag matches them.
But her own loveliness is quite beyond belief. She is small and plump
and vivid and her golden hair shimmers about her face like morning
sunshine. She herself shines with an inner, constitutional energy. Her
look is, to be sure, just a little tired. She probably is not more
than twenty-two or--three, but she seems older. Her great quality is
definiteness. It lends pathos to her whole personality. At the moment,
her vanity is piqued by TONY'S remissness and she carries matters with
a hand a little too high to be entirely convincing. She is embarrassed,
of course, but she won't admit it.)

AMY (as she enters). I must say it ain't my idea of the way a gentleman
ought to welcome his blooming bride. I don't get it. I don't get it at
all. What was the matter?

JOE. Why, nothin'.

FATHER MC WEE. He was scared.

AMY. Scared of me? Why didn't you come yourself?

JOE. I wanted to, but...

AMY (the decorations have caught her eye). Say, did you folks go and do
all this for the wedding?

JOE. Sure we did.

AMY. Well, if that ain't the cutest ever! A regular wop wedding! Excuse
me. I meant Italian. (The "I" is long.)

JOE. That's all right.

AMY. And here's the priest, too, all set and ready. Say! I can see
right now I'm going to like it here.

JOE. I don't guess nobody's goin' to kick at that.

AMY. All right, then, I'll forgive you. That's the way I am. Forgive
and forget! I always believe in letting bygones be bygones. And down
at the station I was thinking: Well, if they ain't got enough sense
of politeness to come after the bride, I'm going to hop the very next
train back to Frisco. I'd have done it, too, only--would you believe
it?--I didn't have the price of a ticket! I spent the last cent I
had on this hat. Say, when I remembered that, maybe I didn't cry!
That's what I was crying over when you come up. (This to the R. F. D.;
otherwise her eyes have scarcely left JOE's face.)

THE R. F. D. Pleased to have been of service, ma'am.

AMY. Well, you certainly was of service. But here I am alive and well,
as they say, so I guess we don't need to fuss about that any more. I
guess I'll sit down. (She does so.)

JOE. Here's the cook an' the hands to pay their respects.

ANGELO (a deep obeisance to AMY). Eh, la nostra padrona! Tanti auguri,
cara Signora, e buona festa! Come la? Ha fatto buon viaggio? (Here
GIORGIO adds his voice.)

ANGELO & GIORGIO (together)

Siamo tanto consia la benvenuta, tenti di vedevla egregia. Signora.
Speriamo che si Auguriamo la butroverÓ sempre ona fortuna a lei, bene
e felice nel--e al suo stimatisla casa ospitale simo sposo. Che del
nostro gene--la Santa Madonroso padrone na le dia la sua benedizione e
che tutti i santi l'accompagnino nel matrimonio!

JOE. Hey, that's enough!

AMY. Now, that was very nice of them. I liked every word they said.
I guess I better study up on the lingo. All I know is words like
spaghetti and raviole...

ANGELO and GIORGIO (sotto voce). Ah! La Signora parla Italiano!

AMY...I guess you got plenty of that around. Well, you can't make me
mad. I just love it. (Then she sees AH GEE'S ceremonious obeisance) How
do you do? Are you the cook?

AH GEE. Yes, missy. Velly good cook.

AMY. Say! I didn't know I drew a chef. You didn't tell me. (AH GEE
takes himself off) Say, my baggage is out there.

JOE. All right boys, lend a hand. (ANGELO and GIORGIO go down the

AMY. If you don't mind I'll just keep an eye on them. My wedding dress
is in that trunk. I bet you didn't expect me to bring a wedding dress.
Well, I didn't expect to, myself. And I don't know why I did. But I
did! I just blew myself. I said: "You only get married once" and I got
a veil, too. I got the whole works. (She hears her trunk en route) Go
easy there! (She is out on the porch.)

THE R. F. D. Well, that's her.

JOE (as he goes to help). She ain't bad.

FATHER MC WEE. No, she ain't half bad.

AMY (calling down). Not upside down! Be careful, can't you?

THE R. F. D. I don't hold much with city girls myself, but--

JOE (calling down). Careful boys! Look out for that vine! Gimme the

FATHER MC KEE. Oh, she's above the average.

THE R. F. D. (nudging him). Do you think she...?

FATHER MC KEE. I wouldn't hardly like to say off-hand, but...

THE F. D. R. I wouldn't think so.

FATHER MC WEE. Joe, do you think she...?

JOE. No. Not her. Not on your life. (He puts grip down inside the
bedroom door. At the same time ANGELO and GIORGIO carry in AMY'S
pathetic little trunk, which they take into the bedroom.)

THE R. F D. Well, I got my deliveries.

FATHER MCKEE. come along with you. You stay here an' keep things
conversational, Joe.

JOE. No! I'll come, too.

THE R. F. D. Till the groom turns up, Joe. You don't want her to get
all upset again, do you?

FATHER MC KEE (as AMY comes along the porch to the door). Shh! Don't
get her worryin'.

AMY (in the doorway, finishing the feminine touch of powder to the
nose). I thought a little of this wouldn't make me any harder to look

THE R. F. D. We'll have to be movin' on, ma'am.


AMY (shaking hands with him). I'm pleased to have made your

THE R. F. D. I hope to have the pleasure soon again.

AMY. Why, ain't you coming to the wedding?

THE R. F. D. Sure I am, if I'm invited.

AMY. I'll never forgive you, if you don't. And I certainly
want to thank you for the lift. (A handshake to him) Thank

THE F. D. R. Good-bye, ma'am. (He shuffles out. JOE starts to follow.)

AMY. You ain't going, too?

JOE. Well, I--

THE R. F. D. (through the window). Just the Padre an' me.

FATHER MC KEE (as he goes, to JOE). We'll send him right up.

THE R. F. D. (as they disappear). Good-bye, ma'am.

AMY. Good-bye. See you later. (Awkward silence) I ain't sorry they
went. I think they ought to have done it sooner and left us to get
acquainted. They got me all fussed up staring that way. I just couldn't
think of what to say next. A girl gets kind of fussed, coming off like
this to marry a man she ain't never seen. I was a mile up in the air.
I--I guess I must have sounded kind of fresh. I wouldn't want you to
think I was fresh.

JOE. I didn't.

AMY. I'm glad you didn't. You know, I like it up here already. You got
it fixed up so cute and--(She discovers the cake) and that...It was
awful nice of you to think of that. And the view! Is them all vines?

JOE. Yeah...(An awkward pause.)

AMY. It certainly is a pretty sight. Coming up I could taste the wind
way down inside me. It made me think of where I used to live.

JOE. Where was that?

AMY. In the Santa Clara. You know, I wrote you.

JOE. Oh, yeah. In the Santa Clara. I forgot.

AMY. We had a big place in the Santa Clara. Prunes and apricots. Ninety
acres in prunes and fifty in apricots...(Again an awkward silence)
I guess I'll sit down. (She does so) There ought to have been good
money in prunes and apricots. But the prunes didn't do so good and the
apricots got the leaf curl.

JOE. You're quite a farmer.

AMY. My old man was, but he got to drinking.

JOE. That's bad.

AMY. So we lost it after my mother died. But I used to love it there.
In the spring, when the blossoms was out, I used to climb up on the
windmill at night, when there was a moon. You never saw such a pretty
sight as them blossoms in the moonlight. You could see for miles and
miles all round--for miles and miles.

JOE. It must have been pretty. (Awkward pause.)

AMY. Ever been in the Santa Clara?

JOE. Sure. I worked there before I come here.

AMY. Where did you work?

JOE. Near Mountain View. I forget the guy's name.

AMY. I went to school in Mountain View. Our place was near there. Ever
know Father O'Donnell?

JOE. No.

AMY. Thought you might have, being a Catholic and all.

JOE. I was organizer for the Wobblies.

AMY. The Wobblies?

JOE. I. W. W.

AMY. Say! You ain't one of them?

JOE. I used to be.

AMY. I sure am glad you gave that up. You don't talk one bit like an

JOE. I ain't. Only by descent. I was born in Frisco.

AMY. Oh, in Frisco? I see...I'm Swiss by descent myself. My father
was born in Switzerland and my grandfather, on my mother's side, he
was born there, too. I don't know what that makes me--Swiss cheese,
I guess...(She laughs. JOE does not. This crushes her and there is
another awkward gap) Our old house in the Santa Clara was bigger than
this one, but it wasn't near so pretty. I must say you keep this house
nice and clean for having no woman around. Our house got awful dirty
toward the end. You see, my mother got to drinking, too. Hard stuff,
you know. I got nothing against beer or vino, but the hard stuff don't
do nobody any good...That how you stand on prohibition?

JOE. Sure, I guess so.

AMY. I'm glad to hear that. I sure am. I don't want no more experience
with the hard stuff...That certainly is some view. Got the Santa. Clara
beat a mile. The Santa Clara's so flat. You couldn't get no view at all
unless you climbed up on that windmill like I told you about...Our old
house had a cellar. Has this house got a cellar?

JOE. Sure, it has. Underneath the whole house. (She goes to the cellar
door to see.)

AMY. I used to hide in our cellar when things got too rough upstairs.
You could hear the feet running around over your head, but they never
come down in the cellar after me because there was a ladder, and when
you're that way you don't care much for ladders...They always took it
out on me.

JOE. Did they?

AMY. Yeah. I always had the cellar though. I used to play down there
hot days. It smelt like apricots.

JOE. Our cellar smells like hell. It's full of vino.

AMY. That's a nice clean smell. It's sour, but it's healthy.

JOE. You're a regular wop, ain't you?

AMY. Well, after two years in a spaghetti joint! I like Italians. They
always left me alone. Guess it wouldn't have done 'em much good getting
fresh with me, at that...Say, I'm getting pretty confidential.

JOE. Go right ahead.

AMY. All right...I guess I ain't got much reason for being shy with
you, at that. I wouldn't never have said I was going to marry an
Italian, though. But I guess I just jumped at the chance. I ent so
tired of things. Oh, everything! I used to think I just couldn't keep
on any longer.

JOE. Poor kid!

AMY. Oh, I usually know which side my bread's buttered on. I just
said to myself: "He looks all right and I like the country and anyway
it can't be no worse than this." And I said: "Why shouldn't I take a
chance? He's taking just as much of a chance on me as I am on him."

JOE. That's fair enough.

AMY. Sure it is. And maybe I hadn't ought to say it--but when I come
in here and seen all you done, fixing things up for the wedding and
all, and looked out the window, and smelt that wind, I said to myself,
I said: "Amy, old kid, you're in gravy." Now, what do you think of that
for an admission?

JOE. You're dead right. That's just what I said when I come here. I
only intended to stay a few days. I'm that way, see? I been here goin'
on five months now.

AMY. Is that all?

JOE. That's the longest I ever stayed any one place since I was old
enough to dress myself.

AMY. You have been a rover!

JOE. I been all over---with the Wobblies, you see. Before I come here,
that is.

AMY. What did you used to do?

JOE. Cherries an' hops--melons down in the Imperial an' oranges down
South an' the railroad an' the oil-fields...Before I come here. When I
come here I just stayed. Maybe I was gettin' tired of bummin'. Now I'm
tired of this. But I don't mind.

AMY. 'Well, don't get too tired of it. I'm not a bit strong for moving
myself. I had all I want of that in my time.

JOE. I guess you have.

AMY. I wonder what you think of me coming all the way up here like
I did, all by myself, to marry a man I ain't never seen, only his

JOE. You couldn't have picked a better man.

AMY. Say! Don't get a swelled head, will you?

JOE. Who, me?

AMY. Oh, no, nobody! (AH GEE passes along the porch) I hope you're
right that's all. And I guess you are, at that. And believe me, if
I thought this wasn't a permanent offer, I wouldn't be here. I mean
business. I hope you do.

JOE. Me?

AMY. Well, I certainly ain't referring to the Chink.

JOE. Say, who do you think...?

AMY (touching his sleeve with a kind gentle diffidence which is her
first attempt at intimacy). Don't get sore. The minute I came in I knew
I was all right. I am. Why, I feel just as comfortable as if we was old
friends. There don't seem to be anything strange in me being here like
I am. Not now, anyhow. It just goes to show you: you never can tell how
things is going to turn out. Why, if a fortune-teller had told me that
I would come up here like I did, do you know what I would have said to
her? I'd have said, "You're no fortune-teller." Life sure is funny,
though. It's lucky for me I can say that now and laugh when I say it. I
ain't always been so good at laughing. I guess we'll get used to each
other in time. Don't you think we will, Tony?

JOE. Tony? Say, I ain't...! Oh, Jesus! (His words are lost in the roar
of a Ford motor as it approaches, and the motor, in turn, is drowned in
wild cries of dismay from GIORGIO and ANGELO. The tension between the
two in the room is broken by the excited entrance of AH GEE, who has
evidently seen, from his kitchen window, the cause of disturbance.)

FATHER MC KEE (calling from off stage). Joe! Joe!

JOE (following All GEE toward the door). What is it? (From the porch he
sees what it is) What--Is he dead?...Take that bench! (He disappears
in the direction of the disturbance which continues in both English and

AMY. What's the matter? Is somebody hurt?

(The DOCTOR, with his fedora hat and his little black satchel, appears.
He is the perfect young rural medico, just out of medical school and
full of learned importance.)

THE DOCTOR. I'll get the ambulance.

JOE (following him in). Is he bad, Doc?

THE DOCTOR (as he goes into the bedroom). Both legs above the knee,
compound fractures.

JOE. Why didn't you take him to the hospital?

THE R. F. D. (as he enters). The Ford went right off the bridge.

FATHER MC KEE (as he enters). Not two hundred yards from here, Joe.

THE R. F. D. Must have fell twenty feet!

FATHER MC KEE. Never seen such a wreck! (To AMY) We found him lyin' in
two feet of water. The car was turned right upside down.

AMY. But who is it? I don't get it. I don't know what's happened.

FATHER MC KEE. TWO broken legs, that's what's happened.

THE DOCTOR (he reappears in his shirt sleeves) Better lend a hand, Joe!
(He vanishes again. GIORGIO and ANGELO appear, carrying the bench and
apostrophizing the deity in Italian. TONY is recumbent and unconscious
on this improvised stretcher. Much "Steady" from JOE. Much "There now,
Tony" from the R. F. D. Much and prolonged groaning from TONY.)

JOE (as the bench is set down). All right now, Tony.

TONY (reviving). AH-h-h!...Ees you, Joe?

JOE. Yeah. It's me. Amy's here.

TONY. Amy? Ees all right, Joe? You been makin' evrathing all right?

JOE. Sure. Everything's fine.

TONY. Where is my Amy? (He sees her where she stands dumbfounded
against the wall) Ah-h-h, Amy!...Amy, don' be standin' way off dere!
Come over here for shake hands. (AMY shakes her head) You ain' mad with
me, Amy?...(AMY shakes her head again.) Amy ain' mad with me, Joe?

JOE. Nobody's mad...Don't you worry.

TONY. Den we have da weddin' just da same? We have da weddin' just da
same? (The DOCTOR appears in the bedroom doorway, holding a hypodermic.)

JOE. Sure, we will.

THE DOCTOR. All right, boys, bring him in. I want to give him another
one of these and clean up his cuts.

JOE. Come on now, boys! Avanti! Careful there!

TONY. Amy!...Amy!...(The jar of movement hurts him. He breaks down into
groans and is carried into the bedroom. All others go with him except
JOE and AMY.)

JOE (as he starts to go, a strangled sound from AMY arrests him. He
turns and meets her gaze. He closes the door) This is tough on you.

AMY (almost voiceless with her terrible surmise). Who--who is that old

JOE. That? That's Tony...

AMY. Tony?

JOE. It's too bad he never got to meet you. It's too bad he wasn't here
when you come. (AMY sways desperately a moment, then, with a choked
cry, makes for the bedroom) You can't go in there.

AMY. I want my trunk.

JOE. Now, listen! It ain't Tony's fault he's had an accident...

AMY. Of all the dirty, low-down tricks that was ever played on a girl!

JOE. An' it ain't his fault you made a little mistake.

AMY. What do you think you are--a bunch of Houdinis? (She tears open
her handbag which she put down on the table at her first entrance and
produces a photograph) Is this your photo or isn't it?

JOE (in amazement). Where did you get it?

AMY. Where do you think I got it?

JOE. Good God, Tony didn't send you this, did he? For God's sake, tell
me! Did Tony send you this?

AMY. Ain't I just told you?

JOE. By God, he must have been plumb crazy! By God, he was so dead gone
on you he was afraid you wouldn't have nothin' to do with an old man
like him...He didn't have the nerve...An' he just went an' sent you
my photo instead of his...Tony's like that, Amy. He ain't nothing but
a kid. He's like a puppy, Tony is. Honest, Amy, it's God's truth I'm
telling you...I wouldn't have had nothin' to do with no such thing.
Honest I wouldn't. I did write the letters for him, but that was only
because he don't write good English like I do.

AMY. That ain't no excuse.

JOE. But there wasn't one word in them letters that wasn't God's own
truth. I never knew nothin' about this photo, though. Honest to God,
I never! An' Tony never meant no harm neither, Amy. Honest he never.
An' he's been after me to beat it, too. Every day he has...Sure it was
a dirty trick an' he was crazy to think he could get away with it. I
ain't denyin' it's the dirtiest trick I ever heard of...Only he didn't
mean no harm.

AMY. Oh, didn't he? Well, how about my feelings? How about me?

JOE. I'll do everything I can to square it. I'll drive you right down
to the station now, and you can hop the first train back.

AMY. Oh, can I? And what do you expect me to do when I get there? Ain't
I thrown up my job there? Do you think jobs is easy for a girl to get?
And ain't I spent every cent I had on my trousseau?

JOE. I'll make Tony square it.

AMY. Oh, my God! Oh, my God! I got to go back and wait on table!
What'll all those girls say when they see me? And I ain't even got the
price of my ticket!

JOE. We can fix that.

AMY. I'll get a lawyer, I will! I wish to God I hadn't never heard of
no wogs!

JOE. Don't start cryin'. (He tries to comfort her.)

AMY. You take your hands off me and get my things.

ME. All right...(He looks at her a moment, his distress quite evident.
Then he gives it up and goes into the bedroom. As he opens the door,
the DOCTOR and TONY are audible. He closes the door after him.)

(AMY picks up the few belongings she has left about the room. She
stands a moment holding them, looking about her, at the four walls, at
the country outside. Then her eye falls upon JOE'S photograph which
still lies, face-up, on the table. She takes it in her hand and looks
at it. Mechanically she makes as though to put it into the bosom of her
dress. She changes her mind, drops it on the table and looks around her
again. She seems to reach a decision. Her face sets and she pushes the
photograph vigorously away from her. JOE returns with her satchel.)

JOE. The doc's give him something to make him sleep. They're goin' to
get an ambulance an' take him to the hospital. We can take the doc's
Ford an'...It's a shame, but...

AMY. I ain't going.

JOE. What?

AMY. No. I ain't going. Why should I go? I like the country. This place
suits me all right. It's just what I was looking for. I'm here and I
might as well stick. I guess he ain't so bad, at that. I guess I could
have done a lot worse. If he wants to marry me, I'm game. I'm game to
see it through. It's nice up here. (She pulls off her hat and sits,
exhausted. JOE stares in mute admiration as the curtain falls.)




The Scene remains unchanged. It is late evening of the same day. The
lanterns out-of-doors have been burining so long that some of them
have guttered out. The room is lighted with two oil lamps. TONY lies
groaning faintly on a cot, his legs encased in plaster cast, his
eternal wine bottle by his side. The DOCTOR sits beside him. Outside
the firsta is in full swing. A desperate Italian tenor is singing
"La Donna e Mobile" from "Rigoletto" as the curtain rises. His tones
ring frantically out. A short pause follows the song, the hiss of a
skyrocket is audible. The light from the rocket flares through the
windows and a long "Ah" rises from the crowd outside.

TONY. Fireworks!

THE DOCTOR. Lie Quiet!

TONY. Someone verra sick in bed. Povereto! Povereto! Tony miss festa.
(Gay voices outside call to children and children answer. The DOCTOR
rises impatiently and goes to the door. TONY turns his head ever so
slightly) Eh, Doc! W'ere you go?

THE DOCTOR. It's high time those coyotes went home.

(Applause rings from the crowd. The tenor is again vigorously repeating
the last phrase and cadenza of "La Donna e Mobile.")

TONY. Dat fella is no coyot'! He is music artiste.

THE DOCTOR. It's a marvel to me the man has any lungs left. He's been
howling for five hours.

TONY. You don' ondrastan' such music. Come e bella! Ees "Rigoletto!"

THE DOCTOR. Look here now, Tony! I let you out of the hospital to get

TONY. You bet your life! You think any goddam doc is stoppin' me from
gettin married?

THE DOCTOR. I'm talking medicine, not love.

TONY. You talkin' too goddam much. You been spoil evrathing.

THE DOCTOR. Now, be reasonable, Tony. I let them bring you in here
where you could see your friends.

TONY. An' den you mak' all my friends go outside.

THE DOCTOR. You're a sick man.

TONY. Ah! Tony is verra sick...verra sick!

THE DOCTOR. Enough's enough. Why, half of what you have been through
to-day would have killed a white man! You wogs are crazy.

TONY. I don't let nobody stop no festa in my house. You go outside an'
have a good time.

THE DOCTOR. I don't sing and I don't dance and I don't talk Italian and
I don't drink.

TONY. I'm surprise' how much you don' know, Doc. (He laughs. The jar is
painful. He groans. The DOCTOR comes over to his bedside) Where is my

THE DOCTOR. She's all right. Keep quiet.

TONY. You goin' look for my Amy, Doc? You goin' see if she is havin'
fine time?

(Mandolins, a guitar, and an accord ion strike up a sentimental waltz

THE DOCTOR. If you'll be quiet. (Humoring him, he goes to the door)
I can see her from here and she's having a splendid time. Does that
satisfy you?

TONY. Now evrabody goin' for dance!

(A brief silence filled by the dance music to which TONY, the
incorrigible, beats time. Then JOE and AH GEE come along the porch
pushing a wheelbarrow, a little flurry of the crowd in their wake. The
DOCTOR shoos out the crowd. JOE and All GEE come in.)

JOE. How you makin' out, Tony?

TONY. Verra sick, Joe. Is festa goin' good?

JOE. Festa's goin' fine, Tony. Me and Ah Gee's after more vino.

TONY. Da's good! Da's good!

JOE. Sure it's good. But it's a wonder everybody ain't drownded already.

TONY. Italian fellas don' get drownded in vino. Is my Amy havin' good
fun, Joe?

JOE. Sure, she is! She's playin' with the kids.

TONY. Ah!...You go in da cellar with Ah Gee, Joe, and bring back
playnta vino. Den you come back here and mak' little talk with Tony.

JOE. That's the idea...(He goes into the cellar, followed by AH GEE.)

THE DOCTOR (in the door, a fractious eye on the festa). Those mothers
ought to be reported for keeping youngsters up this time of night. (A
pause filled with voices and laughter.)

TONY (crescendo). Doc! Doc! Doc! (The DOCTOR turns.) You think I am
well next week, Doc?

THE DOCTOR. I sincerely hope, Tony, that you may be well in six months.

TONY. Six month'?

THE DOCTOR. You don't seem to realize what a bad smash you had. (As
he sits down to his professional manner) Both tibia and fibula are
fractured in the right leg. The femur is crushed in the left, and the
ischium damaged as well. Now, if no systemic complications develop...

TONY. Oh, my God!

THE DOCTOR...six months...

TONY (crescendo again). Six month'! Six month'! Six month'!

THE DOCTOR. You won't make it any shorter by exciting yourself.

TONY. Da's right, Doc. Ees no good get excit'. I ondrastan'. But six
month'...(A pause) Doc, I'm goin' ask you som'thing an' you goin' tell
me just da truth, eh?

THE DOCTOR. I know what's on your mind, Tony. If you keep quiet and
take care of yourself, you'll have all the kids you want.

TONY. How many?

THE DOCTOR. Ten, anyway!

TONY. Three is playnta.

(The music is loud again as JOE and AH GEE come back from the cellar
with the new barrel of wine. They load it on the wheelbarrow and AH GEE
takes it off to the thirsty populace. JOE remains behind.)

THE DOCTOR. In the meanwhile Amy's going to have her hands full, taking
care of you.

TONY (violently). I don' marry with no woman for mak' her work. I don't
want my Amy do nothing but only be happy an' fat.

JOE. There ain't nothin' too good for Tony. He marries a fine wife to
play the piano for him an' he's goin' to rent a trained nurse to take
care of him.

(AH GEE is greeted with shouts of "Vino! Vino!" from the men and "Viva
Antonio" from the girls.)

TONY. You bet your life!

THE DOCTOR. Renting trained nurses is expensive, Tony.

TONY. I got playnta money.

(The concertina and the mandolin begin playing the chorus of
"Funiculi, Funicular." The music is continued throughout the following

JOE (cigarette business). You old son of a gun! Give us a light, doc.

THE DOCTOR. Not in here, Joe! (JOE takes his cigarette outside. He sits
with a wave to the crowd, who answer, "Joe! Joe!")

TONY. Is my Amy havin' good fun, Joe?

JOE. Sure. She's dancin' with the postman.

TONY. Da's good! Ees verra funny weddin' for me, Joe, but my Amy must
have good time.

THE DOCTOR. Tony's got it bad.

JOE. Don't blame him. She's some girl.

TONY. I got to talk verra secret with Joe, Doc. You go outside for talk
with my Amy. You better get good acquaint' with my Amy, Doc.

(Applause outside for the dancers.)

JOE. You could do worse, an' that's a fact.

THE DOCTOR. Tony's got to go to sleep.

(The crowd outside shouts vociferously.)

JOE. I won't keep him up.

TONY. Just a little wile, Doc? Fifteen minute'?

THE DOCTOR. Well, don't make it any longer. I want some sleep myself.
Anybody would think I haven't a thing to do but take care of Tony.

JOE. We know you're a busy baby, Doc.

THE DOCTOR. Busy is right. (Very expansive) To-morrow, now, I've got
two confinements I'm watching and an appendicitis, all up on the St.
Helena road. Then, just the other side of town, I've got the most
beautiful tumor you could hope to see. And the sheriff's wife! Operated
her yesterday. Gallstones. Gallstones? They were cobblestones. I
never saw such a case! And then, with my regular practice and my own
scientific researches to keep up with things.

TONY. Corpo Dio, goddam, Doc; don' be tellin' me no more 'bout who is
sick and w'at he's sick for! I'm sick playnta myself, an' I got playnta
trouble here. You go outside an' leave me for talk with Joe.

THE DOCTOR. All right, but I won't have any more nonsense when I come
back. (He goes; to JOE on the porch) I cannot be responsible unless the
patient enjoys complete quiet, after a shock like this to his nervous

JOE. Has Tony got a nervous system?

THE DOCTOR. Of course he has! (He disappears. A shout welcomes him.)

TONY. W'at is nervous system, Joe?

JOE. It's what make things hurt, Tony.

TONY. I got playnta.

(JOE comes in and stands over TONY for a moment with a look of
half-tender amusement on his face. TONY hums distractedly keeping time
with one hand to the music of "Funictai, Funicula." With the end of the
music he drops his hands with a sigh.)

JOE. What's on your mind, Tony?

TONY. Oh, Joe!...Joe!!...Joe!!

JOE. What's the matter, Tony. Ain't you feelin' good?

TONY. Ees Amy!...

(JOE sits in the DOCTOR'S chair, hitching it closer to the bed.)

JOE. What do you want for a nickel? She married you, didn't she?

TONY. I'm scare', Joe. I'm scare' verra bad. I love my Amy, but my Amy
don' love me.

JOE. Give her time, can't you? She wouldn't have married you if she
wasn't all set to go through on the level.

TONY. You think?

JOE. Hell, I know.

TONY. W'at Amy say wen she see me dees morning?

JOE. Oh, forget it, I tell you.

TONY. I got to know, Joe. You got to tell me. She's pretty goddam mad,

JOE. Well, if she was, she got over it.

TONY. W'at I'm goin' to do for mak' evrathing all right, Joe? Da's w'at
I want to know.

JOE. I tell you everythin' is all right, Tony. Oh, I ain't sayin' you
ain't got to keep things movin' along easy an' friendly an' all. But
that ain't goin' to be so hard. Just be good to her and take care of
her. That's what Amy needs. She's tired, poor kid!

TONY. I'm all ready for tak' care like hell.

JOE. From what Amy was tellin' me this mornin', she's been a-havin' a
helluva hard life for a girl, an' if she come through straight like she
did, well, there ain't no credit due nobody but just only herself, and
that's a fact.

TONY. You're a goddam smart fella, Joe.

JOE. I dunno how smart I am, Tony, but you can't tell me much. Not
about women, you can't. Believe me, a girl gets a lousy deal any
way you look at it. (He reflects upon this for an instant before he
illustrates) Take a fella, now, a young fella like me, see? It's goin'
to do him good to knock around an' have his troubles an' all. (A
solemn shake of the head.) But knockin' around just raises hell with
a girl. She can't stand it. She can't stand it, because it ain't in
her nature to get away with the whole show like a fella can. (TONY is
much impressed and signifies approval with a grunt.) If a fella wants
a meal, he swipes it, don't he? A girl can't be swipin' things. It 'ud
make her feel bad. She'd think she was doin' somethin' wrong. (This
surprises TONY, but he is willing to take JOE's word for it.) Gee, I
sure would hate to be a woman!

TONY (nodding agreement). Nobody is wantin' to be woman, Joe ... But
ees playnta good womans like my Amy!

JOE. Sure, there's good ones an' bad ones. But that ain't exactly what
I mean, Tony. What I mean is, as far as I can see, it don't make a
helluva lot of difference what a woman is: good or bad, young or old...

TONY. I lik' best fat!

JOE...all women is up against it, and it's a dirty shame, too, because
women ain't so bad. They ain't much use, maybe, but they ain't so bad.

TONY. My Amy is goin' have evrathing she want.

JOE. Ever heard anythin' about this dam' women's rights stuff? You
know. Equality of the sexes. Woman doin' a man's work an' all that bunk?

TONY. Da's crazy idea! Jon. The idea ain't so bad.

TONY. Ees crazy idea! Looka me! You think any woman is goin' be doin'
my work? No, by God! I tell you, Joe, woman is best for sit in da house
an' love da husband.

JOE. The trouble with women is, there's too goddam many of 'em. Why, I
was readin' in the paper only the other day about England havin' three
and a half women to every man.

TONY. W'at you mean?--half a womans!

JOE. I'm only tellin' you what the paper said.

TONY. Ees crazy idea! Half a womans! I tell you, Joe...

JOE. I been lookin' women over from San Diego to Seattle an' what most
of 'em is after is a home. A good safe home, whether they get any
rights with it or not. You take my advice an' make everythin' nice an'
comfortable for Amy an' you won't have no trouble. Amy's satisfied
here. Don't you kid yourself she ain't.

(Outside the crowd is off again, the tenors leading them in "Maria

TONY. You're a good boy, Joe, you're pretty smart.

JOE. I'm just tellin' you the truth. You're dam' lucky you picked a
girl like Amy.

TONY (a moment of comfort; then despair again). Ees no good, Joe ees no

JOE. Oh, for cripe's sake, Tony!

TONY. I'm tellin' you, Joe, ees no good. I'm the most unhappy fella in
the world. W'y? Because I been verra bad sinner an' God is goin' get me
for sure! He's broke both my legs already an' he's not finish' with me
yet! God is no cheap fella, Joe. God is lookin' out at Tony right now,
and you know what he's sayin'? He's sayin': "Tony, you been one goddam
sonuvabitch for playin' god-dam dirty trick on Amy!" Da's w'at. God is
sayin', Joe, an' I know verry good wat God is goin' do more. Just for
playin' goddam dirty trick like dat on Amy, Tony don' never have no
kids, never! W'at you think is mak' me do such a thing, Joe?

JOE. Oh, hell, you always was crazy.

TONY. Ees no good, for such a bad fella like me gettin' married. God is
goin' fix me playnta, all right.

JOE. I seen God let worse guys'n you get by.

TONY. You think?

JOE. If you want to square things, you better make Amy glad you done
what you done.

TONY. You think?...Yes...(Pause) Look, Joe...(He draws a plush box from
under his blanket.) Ees present for Amy. You open him.

JOE (obeying). Say! Them's what I call regular earrings!

TONY. You bet your life! He's cost four hundra dollar'!

JOE. Are them real diamonds?

TONY (nodding). I guess Amy like em pretty good, eh?

JOE. She'll be crazy about 'em. You're a pretty wise old wop, Tony,
ain't you? (He hands the box back to TONY, who laughs delightedly. JOE
looks at him for a moment then goes to door and calls out) Amy!

TONY. Eh, Joe!

JOE. You're goin' to make the presentation right away now. That'll
settle your worries for you...Amy, come here! Tony wants to see you!

TONY. You think is good time now?

JOE. I know...Amy?

(AMY appears in doorway. She wears her wedding dress and veil. The
dress is undeniably pretty and only wrong in one or two places. The
veil has been pulled rather askew. The whole picture is at once
charming and pathetic.)

AMY. What's the idea? (Her voice is a little tired. She does not look
at JOE.)

JOE. Tony wants you.

AMY (she comes in stolidly and takes the chair farthest from TONY'S
cot. She sits there stiffly) Well, here I am.

TONY (ultra-tenderly). My Amy is tire'!

AMY. You don't blame me, do you? I've had quite a day. Gee, them kids
out there have been climbing all over me.

TONY. Da's good.

AMY. Oh, I don't mind kids if they go to bed when they ought to and
know how to behave. Believe me, if I ever have any kids, they're going
to behave.

TONY. You hear dat, Joe?

AMY. I said "if." (A silence.) I wouldn't object.

TONY (amorously). Amy...Come over here.

AMY (rising quickly). I guess I ain't so tired. I guess I better go
back or they'll be wondering what's become of the blooming bride. Some
bloom, huh? (The fireworks hiss and flare again and AMY, very like a
little girl, is out on the porch for the delight of seeing them. The
enthusiasm of the crowd fairly rattles the windows.) They sure do yell
out there! When you get enough wops together and put enough vino in
'em, they sure can speak up!...I think I'll take off my veil. (She
does) Phew! That thing don't look like no weight at all, but it feels
like a ton of bricks.

TONY. Amy, come over here.

AMY. I'm all right where I am.

TONY. Amy!

AMY. What?

TONY. You like earrings, Amy?

AMY. Earrings? I'm human, ain't I?

JOE. That's the idea.

AMY (a real snarl). I didn't speak to you. I was addressing Tony.

TONY. Ah, you call me Tony for da first time!

AMY. Expect me to call my husband mister? That'd sound swell, wouldn't
it? Tony. Short for Antonio. Antonio and Cleopatra, huh? Can you beat
it? You'll have to call me Cleo.

TONY. I like better Amy.

AMY. There ain't no short for Amy. It's French and it means beloved.
Beloved! Can you beat it? The boss in the spaghetti palace told me that
the night he tried to give one a twelve-dollar pearl necklace. Twelve
dollars! He was some sport. When he seen I couldn't see it that way, he
give it to Blanche. She was the other girl that worked there. He had
a wife and three kids too. (TONY beckons again and AMY takes further
refuge in conversation) I like that name Blanche. I used to wish my
name was Blanche instead of Amy. Blanche got in trouble. Poor Blanche!
Gee, I was sorry for that girl!

TONY. Come over here, Amy. (He holds out the box.)

AMY. What's that?

TONY. Ees my present for my Amy.

AMY. What you got there, Tony?

TONY. For you.

AMY. Something for me? (By this time, she has got over to the cot. She
takes the box) Honest? Well, now, if that isn't sweet of you, Tony.
(She opens it.) Oh!...Oh!!...Oh!!!

TONY. Ees for mak' Amy happy.

JOE. They're real! Real diamonds!

TONY. You bet our life! Four hundra dollar'.

AMY. I...I...(Tears come) Real diamonds...(She sits in the DOCTOR'S
chair and cries and cries.)

TONY. Don' cry, Amy! Don' cry! Ees no' for cry, earrings! Ees for
festa' Ees for marryin' with Tony!

AMY. I don't know what to say! I don't know what to do!

JOE. Put 'em on. (He gets the mirror, brings it over to where AMY sits,
and holds it for her while she begins to put the earrings on. Her sobs
gradually subside.)

AMY. I had another pair once, so I got my ears pierced already. Ma
pierced my ears herself with a needle and thread. Only these kind screw
on! Say, ain't they beautiful! My others were turquoises and gold. Real
turquoises and real gold. But these here cost four hundred dollars! Oh,
I never dreamed of anything so gorgeous! (She takes the mirror from

TONY. Amy...Amy...

AMY. Can I wear 'em whenever I want?

TONY. You can wear 'em in da bed if you want!

AMY. Oh, thank you, Tony! (She is just about to kiss him.)

JOE. Now, everything's fine!

AMY (furiously). Say what's the idea? What have you got to do with
this? You're always buttin' in. Say...(Suddenly she remembers the
momentous photograph which still lies on the table) Wait a minute. (She
picks it up and hands it quite 'violently to JOE) Here's your picture.

TONY (watching in terror). Santa Maria!

AMY. Here! You better take it! Take it, I tell you! I don't want it.

(JOE looks first at the photograph, then at the lady.)

ZOE. I guess you ain't far wrong. Amy I hope there ain't no hard

AMY. Why should there he any hard feelings?

TONY. Benissimo!

JOE. All right. Only I didn't want you to think...(A long pause.)

AMY (very steadily). You ain't got much of a swelled head, have you,
Mr. Joe?

(JOE's face falls. The tension is snapped by a gesture from TONY.)

TONY. Tear him up, Joe! Tear him up! (JOE obeys.)

AMY. Now we don't ever have to think of that again.

TONY. Madonna! Da's verra good.

AMY. You see, that's the only way to do. There ain't no use of keeping
things around to remind you of what you want to forget. Start in all
over again new and fresh. That's my way. Burn up everything you want
to put behind you. No reminders and no souvenirs. I been doing that
regular about once a month ever since I was a kid. No memories for me.
No hard feelings. It's a great life, if you don't weaken. I guess, if I
keep at it long enough, I may get somewhere, some day. (She turns and
deliberately kisses TONY on the brow.)

JOE (to TONY). Will that hold you? I guess you don't need to worry no
more after that. I guess that fixes your troubles for good. I guess you
better admit I was pretty near right.

TONY. Now you know for w'y I been wantin' you go away, Joe. Dat god-dam
picture photograph! But evrathing is fix' now. Evrathing is fine. You
don' need go away now, Joe.

JOE. You don't need me now. I guess I can migrate now. You got Amy to
take care of you.

TONY. No! No! I need you here for tak' care of my vineyard.. I don' let
you go away now. Amy don' let you go away now.

AMY. Is he thinking of going away, Tony?

TONY. He don't go now, Dio mio! Ees no good Joe goin' away and leavin'
Tony sick in da bed with nobody for rennin' vineyard!

JOE. You'll get somebody.

AMY. When's he going?

TONY. He say to-morrow. You don't let him go, Amy?

AMY. I got nothing to say about it.

TONY. You hear dat, Joe. Amy is askin' you for stay here.

AMY (scorn). Yes, I am!

JOE. I got to go, Tony. I just plain got to go.

AMY. If he won't stay for you, Tony, he won't stay for me. It ain't the
place of a lady to be coaxing him, anyhow...(She again turns malevolent
attention upon JOE) Where you headed for?

JOE. The next place.

AMY. What's the idea?

JOE. I just got to be on my way, an' that's all there is to it.

TONY. Ees all dose goddam Wobblies, Amy. You tell him stay here w'ile
Tony is so sick in da bed like dees. You don' go to-morrow, Joe You and
me is talkin' more by-an--by, in da mornin'.

JOE. Oh, what's the use? I'm goin', I tell you.

AMY (smiling darkly). It must be pretty swell, being free and
independent and beating it around the country just however you feel
like, sleeping any place the notion hits you, no ties, work a day
and bum a week, here and there, you and the--what do you call 'em?
Wobblies? Huh! I never could see much in it myself. Calling in at
farmhouses for a plate of cold stew and a slab of last Sunday's pie.
Down in the Santa Clara we used to keep a dog for those boys. I guess
it's a fine life if you like it. Only I never had much use for hoboes

TONY. Joe ain' no hobo, Amy!

AMY. Ain't he?

JOE (completely discomfited). I goes, I'll say good-night.

FATHER MC KEE (furiously shouting off stage). You got no business
callin' it sacramental, because it ain't got no sanction from the

(TONY looks at the pair of them in unbelieving horror. JOE starts to
go. AMY smiles triumphantly. Then the situation is saved by a tumult of
voices and the porch is suddenly packed with the guests of the festa:
men, women, and children, old and young, fat and lean. They follow THE
DOCTOR and FATHER MC KEE, who are engaged in a furious argument.)

THE DOCTOR. Is the Church opposed to the law or is it not?

FATHER MC KEE. The Church is opposed to interfering with the divine
gifts of Providence.

THE DOCTOR (as he enters). It's the greatest reform since the abolition
of slavery.

FATHER MC KEE (as he enters). "The ruler of the feast calleth the
bridegroom and sayeth unto him: 'Every man setteth on first the good

THE DOCTOR. Oh, hell!

FATHER MC KEE. You're a godless heretic, young man, or you wouldn't
be talkin' such blasphemy! I ain't got no sympathy with drunkenness,
but there's plenty of worse things. How about chamberin'? Ain't
chamberin' a worse sin than drunkenness? You think you can put a stop
to drunkenness by pullin' up all the grapes. I suppose you can put a
stop to chamberin' by pulling up all the women!

JOE. There's an argument for you, Doc.

THE DOCTOR. Alcohol is a poison to the entire alimentary system whether
you make it in a still or in a wine barrel. It's poison, and poison's
no good for any man. As for the Church...

FATHER MC KEE (beside himself). It ain't poison if you don't get drunk
on it, an you don't get drunk if you're a good Cath'lic!

THE DOCTOR. I suppose that drunkenness is confined to such scientific
heretics as myself?

AMY. You certainly was lappin it up outside, Doc.

TONY. Don' fight!

FATHER MC KEE You'll have to pardon me, Tony, but when I hear these
heretics gettin' full on bootleg liquor and callin' it sacramental!

(The rest of the argument is drowned in the pandemonium of the crowd.
At first THE DOCTOR tries to keep them out.)

THE GUESTS. Buona notte! Buon riposo! Evviva Antonio! Tanti auguri!
Felice notte! Tante grazie!

JOE. Festa's over.

THE GUESTS. Come sta Antonio? Come vas Voglio veder la padrona! Grazie,
Antonio! Buona notte! Tanti auguri! A rivederci!

THE DOCTOR (to JOE). Tell them to cut the row!

THE GUESTS. Grazie, Antonio! Mille grazie, Antonio! Buona notte,
Antonio! Tanti auguri! A rivederci!

THE DOCTOR. Keep those wops out of here! There's been enough noise
already with this bigoted old soak.

FATHER MC KEE. You heretical, blasphemin'...

TONY. Padre, Madonna mia, don' fight no more! (To the crowd) Eh!

THE DOCTOR (still holding the crowd back in the doorway). No, you can't
come in here!

THE GUESTS. Si, si, dottore! Si, si dot--tore! Prego, dottore!

THE DOCTOR. No! Tony's too sick!

TONY. Tak' a pinch-a snuff, Doc, an sit down. (The guests surge in as
TONY calls to them) Vieni! Vieni qui! Venite tutti! Venite tutti!

THE GUESTS. Come va? Sta bone? Sta meglio, Antonio? Ha tanto sofferto,
poveretto! Poveretto!

TONY (picking out a small boy). Ecco it mio Giovannino! Ah, corn' c
grande e hello e forte! Quanto pesa?

GIOVANNINO'S MOTHER. Ah, si, 6 grande, non 6 vero? Pesa sessanta cinque

TONY. Sessanta cinque! (To AMY) Amy, looka him! He weigh' sixty-five
pound', an' he's only...(To the mother) Quant' anni?


TONY. He's only nine year' old an' he weigh sixty-five pound'!

ANOTHER MOTHER. Antonio, ecco la (A little girl runs to throw her arms
around TONY'S neck and kiss him. Exclamations of delight.)

TONY (to the mother). Ah! Come so chiama?

THE SECOND MOTHER. Maria Maddalena Rosina Vittoria Emanuela.

TONY. Maria Maddalena Rosina Vita (To AMY) Looka Maria Maddalena! Ah,
Maria Maddalena is goin' grow up an' be a fine, beautiful lady like my


Santa Madonna! Ella non e piu bella che it mio Giovannino!

MARIA'S MOTHER (furious). Si, e piu bella! E molto piu bella che un
ragazzone come questo.

GIOVANNINO'S MOTHER. Non e ragaz zone, senti!

MARIA'S MOTHER. Ma, la mia carina.

THE MEN (hilariously). Giovannino! Giovannino!

THE WOMEN (at the same time). Maria Maddalena! Maria Maddalena!

THE DOCTOR. Come on, now, get out! We've had enough of this!

ANGELO and GIORGIO (facing the howling mob). Basta! Basta! Via! Via!
Fuori! Avanti! Al diavolo! (Uproar and retreat.)

AMY (on the porch, she stops them). No, wait a minute! I want to tell
'em all good-night. Good-night! Goodnight! Thank you. I've had the
very best wedding that ever was and I'm the happiest girl in the world
because you've been so good to me. Come back to-morrow and see Tony and
tell him all the news. Good-night and God bless you.

VOICES. Siamo molto contenti! Corn' 6 gentile! Corn' 6 bella! Corn'
simpatica! Grazie tanto, Amy!

JOE. They say thank you and God bless you...Beat it, now. Buona notte!
Run along. Come back to-morrow.

(As they go down the hill, tenor, concertina, and chorus strike into

TONY. Oh, Amy, I w'isper in vault ear, Amy. You ain' goin' be mad with
Tony for bein' so crazy-wild with love? You come in da house like da
spring come in da winter. You come in da house like da pink flower dat
it on da window sill. W'en you come da whole world is like da inside da
wine cup. You ondrastan', Amy? I canno' help talkin' dees way. I got
for tell you, Amy, an' I ain't got no English language for tell you. My
Amy is so good, so prett!' My Amy...(He fairly breaks down. AMY pats
his hand.)

JOE (to FATHER MC KEE). Look at the poor wop. (He is just going.)

THE DOCTOR. Don't go, Joe. I want a hand with Tony.

FATHER MC KEE. Listen...(He holds up his hand for them to attend to the
music. He pours wine into a cup) Here's to the bridal couple!

JOE (same business). Doc?

THE DOCTOR. No, thanks.

AMY. Oh, Doctor!

TONY. Doc, you no drink Tony's health?

THE DOCTOR. Oh, all right! (He drinks with the others) Nasty stuff. (He
drains his glass. They laugh, all of them) Off to bed with you now,

TONY. My leg is hurt too much. I can--no' sleep.

THE DOCTOR. I've got something that'll make you sleep. (He mixes a
powder in water and presents it to TONY for consumption.)

TONY. Jes' Chris'! I canno' drink water, Doc! (With the DOCTOR'S
consent he adds wine to the draught.)

THE DOCTOR. That's right...Drink up...(The potion is downed.)

TONY. Amy, you lookin' sad!

JOE. Do you blame her? She' had some day. (A pat on her shoulder. She
shrinks angrily.)

AMY. I ain't sad...It was a swell wedding and everybody had a swell
time. Hear that? They're still singing. Ain't it pretty? And I don't
want to hear no more of what the Doc was telling me outside about
bringing a trained nurse up here from Napa. I'm all the nurse Tony
needs, and don't nobody be afraid of my working, because there's
nothing I like better. And when Tony's good and strong and don't have
to be in bed all the time, we'll have Giorgio and Angela carry him out
in the sun and I'll sit beside him and read the paper out loud and
we'll look at the view and feel that nice wind and we'll just enjoy
ourselves. And the doc'll come up and see us. And the Padre, too, if
they can keep from fighting. And if Joe goes away--why--he goes away,
that's all. Don't nobody fret about little Amy. She's going to be all
right. (The DOCTOR and the PRIEST exchange approving glances.)

FATHER MC KEE. Amy, you're a credit to the parish.

THE DOCTOR (at the head of the cot). Joe, take that end!

TONY (still spellbound). My Amy...

AMY. Yes, Tony?

TONY. I'm sleepy.

THE DOCTOR. (as JOE and he lift the cot.) Not too high.

TONY (groaning, he can still reach to take his bottle along). Wait!

JOE. Steady! You hold the door, Padre.

THE DOCTOR. Easy now! Not too fast.

AMY. Watch out for his hand!

THE DOCTOR. Take shorter steps, Joe. Every man ought to be taught how
to carry a stretcher. Why, when I was in France...(He backs through the
door) Lower your end, Joe! You'll give him apoplexy.

TONY. Oh!...

JOE. I got him...(He follows through the door with the foot of the cot.
Another groan from TONY. AMY takes a step toward door.)

FATHER MC KEE. Better give 'em a minute. (He goes into the bedroom.
AMY is left alone. She stands quite still for a moment; then, giddily,
drops into a chair. FATHER MC KEE returns.)

FATHER MC KEE. You're a fine brave girl.

AMY. Thanks.

FATHER MC KEE. We have our trials, all of us.

AMY. Sure, I know that.

FATHER MC KEE. If ever you need a word of comfort, call on me, my

AMY. Thanks.

FATHER MC KEE. You may not be a Cath'lic, but I'll do my best by you.
(AMY smiles wanly) I had my doubts of this here marriage, but God knows
who's meant for who in this world. He ain't done a bad turn by either
you or Tony.

AMY. I got no kick.

(The DOCTOR enters, quietly closing the bedroom door after him.)

FATHER MC KEE. Be patient with him. He's old enough to be your father,
and no man ain't got no business marryin' at his age, but he's a good

AMY. I guess I better go in there now.

THE DOCTOR. (wiping his hands medically on his spotless handkerchief).
He's asleep. I've never known the like. Never in all my years of
practice. It's a case that ought to be written up for the whole,
entire medical profession. Both legs broken in the morning. Tibia,
fibula, femur, and ischium. X-rayed and set inside of an hour after the
accident. Patient married at noon and survives ten hours of whooping
Dago celebration with no apparent ill effects.

AMY (grim). Yeah! What do you want me to do, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR. Let me send up a nurse in the morning.


THE DOCTOR. A man in a cast's a handful. It's going to be a long siege.

AMY. I can manage. (Suddenly desperate) God! I got to have something to

THE DOCTOR. Well...(He shrugs his shoulders.) If he wakes up tonight,
give him another one of those powders in a little wine. Wine won't harm
the drug and the water might kill the patient. Eh, Padre?

AMY. Is that all, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR. That's all. I'll come up early in the morning.

AMY. Thanks.

THE DOCTOR. Sure about the nurse? (She nods) You take it pretty calmly.

AMY. Ain't much else I can do, is there?

THE DOCTOR. Good-night. Joe's fixing you up a bed. He'll be here if you
want him.

FATHER MC KEE (going with the DOCTOR). I ain't kissed the bride.

THE DOCTOR. Come on! (He pushes FATHER MC KEE in front of him and they
go off. Their voices die away.) (AMY goes to the table and mechanically
removes her earrings. AH GEE enters by the outer door with a tray of
glasses. JOE enters from the bedroom, closing the door carefully after

JOE. You turn in, Ah Gee. I'm going to sleep in here. (All GEE goes to
his kitchen. JOE watches AMY with the same puzzled frown he has worn
since she first turned upon him.) Amy...(She stiffens) I got you fixed
up in Tony's big bed. I'm goin' to sleep in here in case you want any

AMY. All right.

JOE. Well, good-night. (He goes about making himself comfortable for
the night.)

AMY. Good-night, Joe.

JOE. Keep a stiff upper lip. Everything's going to turn out O. K.

AMY. You certainly do think you're God Almighty, don't you?

JOE. I don't get you.

AMY. Oh, well, let it go. I guess I don't feel so good.

JOE (still busy with his bed). Maybe it's the vino. It don't agree with
some folks.

(A slight pause.)

AMY. I guess I'm just nervous.

JOE. I'd be nervous myself if I'd just been married.

AMY. Would you?

JOE. If I was a girl, I would.

AMY. Maybe that's why I'm nervous

JOE. Sure it is. I often think how it must be for a girl takin' a big,
important step like gettin' married. Everything new an' diff'rent an'
all that.

AMY. Yeah.

JOE. But I wouldn't let it worry me if I was you.

AMY. I won't, Mister Joe. (She takes up one of the lamps.)

JOE. That's the idea. Good-night.

AMY. Good-night. (She turns and looks desperately at him.)

JOE. Say, look here, Amy...

AMY. I don't remember of giving you leave to use my Christian name.

JOE. Excuse me...only...there's something I just got to say to you
before I go away. Because I am going. I'm going in the morning just
as soon as Tony wakes up so's I can tell him good-bye. But there's
something I just got to ask you.

AMY. What is it?

JOE. You like Tony all right, don't you?

AMY. I married him, didn't I? And I let him give me jewelry, too,
didn't I? A nice, self-respecting girl don't accept jewelry from a man
she don't like. Not real jewelry.

JOE. I know that...only...it ain't just what I mean. Because, Tony--oh,
he's a nut an' a wop an' all that, but he's just the best old fella
I ever knew. Regular salt of the earth, Tony is. I wouldn't like to see
Tony in trouble or unhappy or gettin' his feelings hurt or anything in
that line...

AMY (dangerously). Oh, wouldn't you?

JOE. No. An' it's all up to you now...An'...well, you see what a fine
old fella he is, don't you?

AMY. I ain't been complaining about him that I remember. When I start
in complaining there'll be plenty of time then for outsiders to butt in
and make remarks.

JOE. Don't get sore.

AMY (fury again). Who's sore? Say, listen to me. I know what I'm about
see? I married for a home, see? Well, I got a home, ain't I? I wanted
to get away from working in the city. Well, I got away, didn't I? I'm
in the country, ain't I? And I ain't working so very hard, either, that
I can notice. Oh, I know what's expected of me and I ain't going to lay
down on my job. Don't you fret. You be on your way, and mind your own

JOE. Oh, all right!

AMY. I got all I bargained for and then some. I'm fixed. I'm satisfied.
I didn't come up here...like I did...looking for love...or...or
anything like that.

JOE. All I got to say is it's a good thing you got so dam' much sense.

AMY. I'll thank you not to swear about me, too...

JOE. You got me wrong, Amy. I apologize. Maybe I was only seein' Tony's
side of the question. Some girls would have been sorer'n you was over
what old Tony done to get you here. But you're a real sport, that's
what you are. You're a great girl an' I'm all for you. (He emphasizes
his approval with another patronizing pat on her shoulder.)

AMY. Oh, for God's sake, leave me alone, can't you?

JOE (who can grow angry himself). Sure, I can! Good-night!

AMY. Good-night! (She stands quite still, so does he. Far, far away the
irrepressible tenor resumes "Maria Mari.")

JOE. I'm sleeping in here in case...

AMY. There won't be any need of you putting yourself out.

JOE. How do you know but what Tony...

AMY. I can take care of Tony and the further off you keep yourself the
better I'll be pleased. (Their eyes blaze.)

JOE. Well, if you feel that way, I'll go back to my own shack. (He
grabs his coat and makes for the door) That wop'll be singing all
night. (He is out on the porch.)

AMY. Joe!

TOE. What? (He returns.)

AMY. Would you mind waiting just a minute? There's something I got to
ask you.

JOE. Shoot...

AMY. You got to tell me the truth this time. You just got to tell me
the truth...You really and honestly didn't know nothing about his
sending me that photo of you instead of his own, did you? You didn't
know nothing at all about that?

JOE. Honest to God, I didn't...Honest to God...

AMY. On your sacred word of honor?

JOE. Honest.

AMY. I'm glad. And I want to apologize to you for what I said just
now...and for that other thing I said about your being a common hobo
and all...I'm sorry, Joe. Will you forgive me?

TOE. Oh. that's all right.

AMY. I wouldn't want to have you go away to-morrow thinking what a mean
character I got.

JOE. Nothing like that.

AMY. You mean it?

JOE. Shake. (They shake hands, standing in the doorway) You're
cryin'!...What's the matter, kid?

AMY. Oh, I don't know...Nothing...I'm all right...

JOE. Come on! Don't get upset. Just make the best of things.

AMY. It ain't that.

JOE. Well, just make the best of things, anyway.

AMY. I'm trying to! I'm trying to!

JOE (his hands on her shoulders). You're married to a good man. I know
the weddin' was kind of funny with Tony all smashed up an' all. But you
just hold on a while an' everythin'll be O.K. You'll see!

AMY. I bet all those people are laughing at me.

JOE. No, they ain't.

AMY. I bet you're laughing at me.

JOE. I ain't, Amy. I'm sorry...

AMY (moving back from him). Leave me alone, can't you?

JOE (his voice very low). Say, you're all right, Amy...You're plumb all

AMY. I always was all right till I come up here. Now I wish I was dead!
I wish I was dead!

JOE. Don' talk that way. You're all right...(Clumsily, he takes her
arm. She stumbles. He catches her. There is a moment of silence
broken only by their deep breathing as the physical being of one
is communicated to the physical being of the other. Suddenly and
irresistibly he clutches her to his breast and kisses her. She
struggles a moment, then abandons herself.)




The scene is unchanged, but the woman's presence has made itself felt.
Handsome, though inexpensive, cretonne curtains grace the windows. A
garish jardiniŔre of porcelain holds a geranium plant and stands upon
a colored oriental tabouret. The lamps have acquired art shades: one
of some light-colored silk on a wire form and adorned with roses of
the same material in a lighter shade, the other of parchment painted
with windmills and Dutch kiddies. New pictures selected from the
stock-in-trade of almost any provincial "art department" hang upon
the walls; one of them, perhaps, a portrait of a well-known lady
screen star. These have replaced Washington and Garibaldi and the
Italian Steamship Company's poster. Painted and elaborately befringed
leather sofa cushions fill the large chairs. It is hoped that one of
the variety showing the head of Hiawatha can be secured for this,
as they say, "touch." A brilliantly embroidered centerpiece covers
the dining-room table and the flowers in the middle are palpably
artificial. A white waste-paper basket is girt by a cerise ribbon which
makes some corner of the room splendid. A victrola [gramaphone] graces
another corner.

Three months have passed. It is mid-afternoon.

An invalid chair has been made by laying a board between the seat of
the morris chair and the top of a box. In this TONY reclines, his
crutches lying on the floor by his side. FATHER MC KEE nods drowsily in
another chair. JOE sits on the porch rail outside the window perusing
the scareheads of an I. W. W. paper.

FATHER MC KEE (continuing the discussion). Now, Joe, don't be tryin'
to tell me that things is goin' to be any for revolution, because they
ain't. Gover'ment's always gover'ment, no matter what you call it an'
no particular kind of gover'ment ain't no more'n a label anyway. You
don't change nothin' by givin' it a new name. Stick a "peppermint"
label on a bottle of castor oil an' then drink it an' see what happens
to you. Castor oil happens!

TONY. I am work' just as much like Joe an' I don' want changin' nothing.

JOE. I suppose you both come over here in the first place because you
was satisfied with everythin' just like it was in the old country?

FATHER MC KEE. Human nature ain't nothin' but human nature an' the only
way you ever could make a gover'ment is by obedience. Scalliwaggin'
around about grievances an' labels don't accomplish nothin'. An' the
only way you can make a revolution anythin' but a mess to no purpose is
to change the people's ideas an' thank goodness there ain't nobody can
accomplish that. It can't be done.

JOE. They're changin' already, Padre.

FATHER MC KEE. I'm talkin' to you with the cassock off, Joe. I'm
lettin' you in on the secrets of the Mother Church. She knows the stock
of ideas the world over an' she knows they don't never change. The
Mother Church just keeps hammerin' an' hammerin' the same old nails
because she knows there ain't no new ones worth hammerin'.

TONY. People come in da Unita State' because ees good place. I been
comin' for mak' money.

JOE. You certainly succeeded.

TONY. You don' ondrastan', Joe. You got crazy idea. I'm comin' here for
mak' money an' you want tak' my money all away.

JOE. What's your idea of progress, Padre?

FATHER MC KEE. Improvin' yourself! Now, Joe, it comes to my notice that
you been 'round here talkin' pretty uppity 'bout the U. S. gover'ment.
'Tain't no good just makin' slurrin' remarks 'bout the gover'ment when
you ain't got the ability nor the power to do nothin' toward improvin'
it. You have got the power to do somethin' toward improvin' yourself,
but I don't see you doin' it.

TONY. W'at I care for gover'ment? Peoples is tellin' me king is no
good an' freedom is verra fine. W'at I care for king? W'at I care for
freedom? Evrabody say dees gover'ment is bad for havin' pro'ibish'. I
say pro'ibish' mak' me dam' rich. Evra man got his own idea w'at is
good for evrabody else.

JOE. You're a bloomin' capitalist, that's what you are!

TONY. You mak' me tire', Joe. Evra minute talkin' 'bout
Russia...Russia...Tak' a pinch-a snuff an' shut up!

JOE. Russia's got the right idea.

FATHER MC KEE. NOW, listen to me, young man. If you had the energy
an' the reverence for authority and the continence that Tony has, you
wouldn't be carryin' on 'bout no revolutions in Russia. 'Tain't sense.
I've read a-plenty of your radical literature an' if you ask me, it's
just plain stupid. I may be a priest an' I may be a celibate, but
that don't make me no less of a man. An' no real man ain't never got
no use for carryin's on. You radicals, Joe, you're always an' forever
hollerin' an' carryin' on 'bout your rights. How 'bout your duties?
There ain't no one to prevent your Join' your duties but you ain't
never done 'em in your life.

JOE. I'm savin' my duties for the brotherhood of man.

TONY. Dio Mio!

FATHER MC KEE. You're talkin' a lot of balderdash. Mind your own
business an' leave the brotherhood of man to me. Brothers is my job.

TONY. You think evrabody's goin' be brother like dat an' don' scrap no
more? Ees crazy idea! You ain' got no good sense, Joe, you an' does
goddam Wobblies.

FATHER MC KEE. I been mullin' this over in my mind, Joe, ever since
Tony asked me to come up an' talk to you. An' I come to the conclusion
that capital an' labor'll go on scrappin' to the end of time and
they'll always be a certain number of people that'll stand up for the
underdog. I been standin' up for the underdog all my life...

JOE (indignant, he comes into the room). Yes, you have! A helluva lot
of standin' up you ever done for anybody but yourself!

TONY (talking at the same time). Now, Joe, don' you be gettin' fresh!
You listen to w'at da Padre's sayin'!

FATHER MC KEE (talking at the same time)...but I learned a long time
ago that the dog on top needs just as much standin up for as the other
kind and I ain't got much use for either of 'em because both of 'em's
always complainin' an' carryin' on.

TONY. I been 'Merican citizen for twent' year'. I been vote evra
year--some times two times. Ees fine thing, vote! I like. He mak' me feel
like I am good man an' patriotic fella. But w'at I know 'bout vote? I
don't know nothing. I don' care nothing. You think you know so much,
eh? You want for change evrathing an' w'en you got evrathing change'
like you want, some other fella is comin' for changin' you. Ees no
good. (A defiant look about him) You look-a me an' do like I done. You
marry with good wife like my Amy an' live quiet in a fine house an'
gettin' rich like me an'...an' raisin' playnta kids like I am goin'
do. Da's w'at is for life. Not for runnin' evra place, goddam to hell
gover'ment with god-dam Wobblies!

JOE. Now you got Tony goin' on kids again. I sure am catchin' all
that's comin' my way. But, just the same, I'm goin' to take my trip to
Frisco an' see what's what.

FATHER MC KEE. Well, Joe, I can understand your wantin' to shake the
dust of this place off'n your feet. But I got to tell you that the
adventures of the spirit is a great deal more interestin' than the
adventures of the flesh. No man can't do no more'n 'bout six things
with his flesh. But he can have a heap of fun with his immortal soul.

TONY. Joe is darn' lucky havin' good job here. Last time he talk 'bout
go-in' away, he tak' my advice an' stay here for runnin' da vineyard.
Dees time he better tak' my advice some more.

(FATHER MC KEE is fingering JOE'S papers ominously.)

JOE. just trouble you for them papers, Padre.

FATHER MC KEE. If you take my advice you'll burn 'em.

TONY. Joe don' mean no harm.

JOE. Maybe I don't mean nothin' at all. Maybe I'm just restless an'
rarin' to go. I read these things an' they make me think. A man ought
to think if he can. Oh, not tall talk. Just what he could be doin'
himself. I think how I could get into the scrap. I ought to have been
in on the dock strike at San Pedro, but I wasn't. I don't want to miss
another big fight like that, do I? You fellows don't understand, but
that's the way it is. An' maybe you're right an' I'm wrong. I can't
help that. Maybe when I get down to Frisco I'll hear the same old bull
from the same old loud-mouths, just like it used to be. Maybe I'll
get disgusted and beat it south for the orange pickin's, or maybe go
back on the railroad, or maybe in the oilfields. But, what the hell! I
been hangin' around here on the point of goin' for three months now. I
might just as well pick up and clear out to-morrow or the day after.
I'll come back some day, Tony. Anyway, there ain't no use of expectin'
anythin' out of a guy like me. Don't get sore. What the hell!

TONY. You goin' in da jail, sure!

JOE. I could go worse places. A guy went to jail up in Quincy, in
Plumas County, awhile back, for carryin' a Wobbly card--like this one,
see? (He displays the famous bit of red cardboard) His lawyer pleads
with the judge to go easy on the sentence. "Your honor," he says, "this
chap served in France an' won the Croy de Gaire an' the Distinguished
Service Cross." An' right there the guy jumps up an' says: "Don't you
pay no attention to that stuff," he says. "I don't want no credit for
no services I ever performed for no gover'ment that tells me I got to
go to jail to stand up for my rights."

FATHER MC KEE. Do you want to go to jail?

JOE. There's worse places, I tell you. I been there before, too. That
guy in Quincy got the limit an' I'd like to shake hands with him, I
would. Tony says this is a free country. Well, Tony ought to know. He's
a bootlegger.

TONY (indignantly). Hah!

JOE. What I say is: about the only freedom we got left is the freedom
to choose which one of our rights we'll go to jail for.

FATHER MC KEE (super sententiously). Joe.

TONY. Shhh! Here's Amy!

AMY (off stage). Ah Cee!

(JOE rises; FATHER MC KEE pauses in his harangue; TONY beams; AMY
enters. She wears a bright dress and a red straw hat which pushes her
hair down about her face. A duster swings dashingly from her shoulders.
Her market basket hangs from her arm. She has stuffed some late lupin
in the top of it.)

AMY. Scrapping again, are you? What's the matter, this time? Has Joe
got another attack of the foot-itch? (She sets the basket down on the
table, doffs hat and duster, and, as she does so, sees JOE's papers)
Oho! So that's it. (Patiently JOE folds the papers up) See them, Tony?
(She exhibits the lupin and begins to stuff it into the vase with the
artificial flowers) Ain't they sweet? They're so pretty they might be

FATHER MC KEE. We been talkin' 'bout reformin' the social system.

AMY. Well, you got a fine day for it. (She hugs TONY'S head and lets
him pat her hand) Ain't the doctor come yet?

TONY. Doc don' come to-day.

AMY. Sure he does.

JOE. He comes on Thursday.

FATHER MC KEE. To-day's Wednesday.

AMY. Well, I never! Here they are reforming the world and they don't
even know what day of the week it is. Ain't men the limit?

CONY. Nobody is so smart like my Amy. (With a toss of her head she
swirls off into the kitchen.)

AMY. Don't let me stop you! Go right ahead. (In the kitchen) Ah Gee ...
Oh, there you are...

FATHER MC KEE. Thursday! It's my day to talk to the boys down at the
parish school.

JOE. Hand 'em what you just been handin' me, Padre.

FATHER MC KEE. What I told you was confidential, Joe. I'm sorry you
won't listen to it.

AMY (she returns, carrying a dish with apples and a knife). See them,

TONY. Apples!

AMY. Guess what for?

TONY. Apples pie?

AMY (she sits beside TONY and falls to on the apples). Well, the world
may need reforming but I got no kick. The grapes is near ripe and ready
for picking. The nights is getting longer, the mornings is getting
colder, and Tony's getting better. Down town they're putting up the
posters for the circus and I hear the show's going into winter quarters
just the other side of Napa. I guess that's all the remarks I got to
make now.

JOE. Here's the doc, now...(A Ford motor.)

THE DOCTOR (off stage). Hello!

AMY. Yoo hoo!

(The DOCTOR appears, shakes hands with AMY, nods to JOE and the PADRE,
and then he comes in to TONY.)

THE DOCTOR. Well, how do the crutches go?

AMY. Just fine.

TONY. You want see me walkin', Doc?

THE DOCTOR. Perhaps, I do. Let's see...(He feels the injured legs)
Tibia ... Fibula...Feels all right.

TONY (with a proud, anatomical gesture). Ischium?

THE DOCTOR (he rises and nods approvingly). All right, Tony, show us
what you can do. No jumping, mind! Lend him a hand, Joe.

(He stands aside to watch. JOE assists TONY. Grunting, TONY stands on
his crutches and grins proudly.)

TONY. Ees hurtin' here. (Indicating arm pits) But ees goin' fine! (A
few tottering steps.)

THE DOCTOR. Steady! Whoa! (Laughter as TONY barely makes a chair) You
ought to be put on exhibition. If anyone had told me that day when I
had you on the table that I should see you on crutches in three months!
Well, all I can say is, it pays to know how to set a fracture.

AMY. I guess it makes you realize what a good doctor you are.

THE DOCTOR. He owes something to your nursing, ma'am.

FATHER MC KEE. It's like the layin' on of hands, her nursin' is.

AMY. Funny you're saying that, Padre. I once had my fortune told down
in Frisco. Out of a palmistry book one of my friends had. Everything in
your hand means something, you know. See those bumps? Ain't they funny?
Well, the book said that those bulnps mean you're good nurse and can
take care of nybody no matter how sick he is. That's why I wouldn't let
you send For no trained nurse, Doc. I was afraid she wouldn't have my
bumps...Gee, I got funny hands!...

THE DOCTOR. I'm not sure that medical science pays much attention to
the nursing bump, ma'am, but you have certainly got it. I'll admit that.

TONY. My Amy is da best nurse I ever see.

AMY. Oh, Tony!

THE DOCTOR. I'm going to put your patient outside in the sun. Is there
a good level place?

AMY. Under the arbor!...Oh Tony!

TONY. After three month' in dees goddam house!

THE DOCTOR. Fix him up right with a big easy chair.

AMY. And plenty of pillows.

TONY. Amy, you ain' forgot how you promise' 'bout readin' da paper
outside in da sun?

AMY. You bet I ain't forgot.

THE DOCTOR. Go on, now. I want to see you fixed.

TONY (hobbles to the door and calls out). Giorgio...Angelo ... Eccomi!

(GIORGIO and ANGELO arrive in a whirlwind of Italian. TONY hobbles out
of sight. AMY follows with two pillows, looking back at the DOCTOR and
laughing. FATHER MC KEE carries the board and box. The DOCTOR goes to
the door as though he intended following them. He stands looking out
and speaks without turning.)


JOE. What is it?

THE DOCTOR. I hear you're going away.

JOE. Yeah. I'm really goin' this time.

THE DOCTOR. Where to?

JOE. Search me. Frisco first.

THE DOCTOR. Hadn't you better take Amy with you? (He turns then and
looks sternly into JOE'S startled eyes.)

JOE. What?

THE DOCTOR. You heard me.

JOE. I don't get you.

THE DOCTOR. Amy came to see me last week. I didn't tell her what the
trouble was. I didn't have the heart. I put her off...Oh, it's easy to
fool a woman. But you can't fool a doctor, Joe. (A step nearer JOE and
eyes hard on his face) Tony isn't the father...He couldn't be. (A long

JOE (under his breath). Oh, Christ!

THE DOCTOR. I thought so. (Another long pause) I've been trying to
figure out how to make things easiest for Tony. It upset me a good
deal. Doctors get shocked more often than you'd think...And a girl like
Amy, too...I didn't know what to do. I guess it's up to you.

JOE. Poor old Tony!

THE DOCTOR. You might have thought of him sooner--and of Amy, too, for
that matter.

JOE. It wasn't on purpose. It was only once! But--honest to God, we
wouldn't either of us have put any thing like that over on old Tony.
Not for a million dollars!

THE DOCTOR. You couldn't have wasted much time about it.

JOE. It was the first night.

THE DOCTOR. Good Lord!

JOE. It just happened. There was a reason you don't know about. I'm a
swell guy, ain't I? To do a thing like that to a fellow like Tony.

THE DOCTOR. Shall I tell Tony? Or Amy?

JOE. No...Gimme time to think.

THE DOCTOR. There's no concealing this. Don't try anything of that
sort. I won't have it.

JOE. No.

THE DOCTOR. This is going to come near killing him.

(JOE nods fearsomely. The DOCTOR turns and is going when AMY appears,
marshalling ANGELO and GIORGIO.)

AMY. Just cut out the welcome to our city stuff and carry this chair
down there under the arbor where the boss is. (As they pick it up, she
turns to the DOCTOR) Say! You'd think to hear 'em that Tony'd just been
raised from the dead. (She turns back to the two Italians) Put it in
the shade...Mind that varnish, you club-footed wops...There...(She has
seen the chair safely along the porch. She returns and makes for the
bedroom, saying, as she goes) He wants a cover and everything you can
think of...

THE DOCTOR (to JOE). Let me know if I can do anything.

(AMY returns carrying a great, thick quilt. She cuts for the door,
muttering happily to herself. On the porch she stops to call through
the window to the stricken JOE.)

AMY. Joe--just hand me them newspapers, will you?

JOE (obeying). Here.

AMY (in the doorway, her arms filled with papers and comforter, she
sees his face). Gee--you look something fierce.

JOE (in a strangled voice). Amy ...

AMY. What is it?

JOE. I got to see you by an' by...I got to see you alone...(She starts
to speak. He sees that he has frightened her) God damn...oh, God damn...

AMY. What's the matter with you? What you scaring me this way for?

JOE. Amy...Just a minute ago...

AMY. Make it snappy...I don't like this being alone with you...It makes
me think...I want to forget all that.

JOE. Yeah...An' me...that's what I mean.

AMY. What?

JOE (after an awful pause). You're goin' to have a kid. (She stares
incredulously at him without making a sound) Yeah...It's so, Amy...I'm
awfully sorry...The doc just told me...He found out when you was sick
last week...He knows all about it...

AMY (she stands a moment without moving at all. Suddenly she lets quilt
and papers slip to the floor and her hands clasp themselves over her
abdomen). Oh, my God! (She picks the quilt and papers up very carefully
and puts them on the table. She drops weakly into one of the chairs as
though her knees had failed her, her face rigid with terror.)

JOE. I know how it is...Just keep your head, now...

AMY. What am I going to do?

JOE. I got to think...

AMY. If you go wrong, you're sure to get it sooner or later. I got it

JOE. That kind of talk won't help any.

AMY. I'm glad of it. It serves me right...

JOE. There's ways, you know...there's doctor...

AMY (shakes her head vigorously). Them kind of doctors is no good.

JOE. But maybe...

AMY. They're no good. I'm too far gone anyway...I know...and
anyway...doing that. It's worse than the other.

JOE. I'm sorry, Amy...

AMY. You being sorry ain't got nothing to do with it, either. I'm
thinking of Tony.

JOE. So'm I.

AMY. Tony's a white guy if he is a wop.

JOE. Yeah...

AMY (desperately loud). What am I going to do? What am I going to do?

JOE. Hey!...Not so loud!

AMY. But I ain't got no money...only my earrings...

JOE. I got money enough.

AMY. You?

JOE. Tony made me save it. It's in the bank. More'n two hundred bucks.
That'll see you through.

AMY. Tony'll be crazy...Tony'll be just crazy.

JOE. The doc said for me to take you away with me.

AMY. You?

JOE. Yeah...An' believe me, Amy, I'll do anything ...

AMY. Going away with you won't help things any.

JOE. I'll treat you right, Amy.

AMY. Poor Tony!

JOE. I'll do the right thing if it kills me.

AMY. I must have been crazy that night.

JOE. We both was...but there's no use sayin' that now.

AMY. No...Tony'll be crazy, (She lifts her head, recognizing the
inevitable) I guess the doc's right. I guess I'll have to go with
you...Somebody's got to help me out...There ain't nobody but you.

JOE. That's all right...I'm willing...

AMY. And afterwards...Oh, my God! ... And Tony'll be thinking that all
the time...you and me...Oh! (This is an exclamation of unutterable
disgust) Poor Tony! You don't know how good he's been to me. And all
the time he was so crazy for a kid...Oh, I can't stick around here now!
I got to go. I got to go quick.

JOE. I'm ready, if you are.

AMY. I'll just pack my grip.

JOE. Don't take it too hard, Amy. (He tries to take her hand.)

AMY (shaking him off). None of that! I don't want no sympathy.

JOE. Excuse me.

AMY. You better get your own things.

JOE. All right...I'll be back in a minute.

AMY. I'll get a move on, too.

(AH GEE comes in with the dishes for dinner and begins to lay the
table. Apparently JOE thinks of something more to say, but is deterred
by AH GEE'S presence. He goes quickly.)

(AMY hears AH GEE and watches him for a moment as though she were unable
to understand what he is doing.)

AH GEE (as he puts down dishes). Velly good dinner tonight, Missy.
Beans an' roas' veal an' apple pie!

TONY (calling from off stage). Eh, Joe! Eh, JOE! Were you go like dat?
Amy! W'ere are you, Amy? (He comes up on to the porch) Ah! Here you are!

AH GEE. Oh, Bossy! Velly good dinner tonight. Apple pie!

TONY (pleased). Ah! Apples pie! (AH GEE goes into his kitchen. TONY leans
against door) Amy! W'y you no' come back?

AMY (who has been clinging desperately to the back of a chair). I don't

TONY. You leave me alone so long.

AMY. I just come in for the papers and...

TONY...An' Joe is tannin' crazy wild an' don' say nothing w'en I'm
askin' him, "Joe, w'ere you goin' like dat?"

AMY. Joe's going away.

TONY. He's no' goin' without sayin' goo'-by?

AMY. I dunno...Maybe he is...

TONY. That boy mak' me verra unhappy. I been lovin' Joe like he was my
own son an' he's goin' away like dat. He's no good.

AMY. People who ain't no good ain't worth worrying about. The thing to
do is let 'em go and forget 'em.

TONY. Da's no' so easy like you think, Amy. I been lovin' Joe like my
own son.

AMY. Joe ain't no worse than other people I could mention.

TONY. I love Joe but he don' love me.

AMY. I love you, Tony! I love you!

TONY. I know, Amy, I know.

AMY. And you ain't never going to believe that I do again.

TONY. W'at you talkin' bout, Amy?

AMY. Something's happened, Tony!


AMY. It's going to make you terrible mad.

TONY. Amy!

AMY (nerving herself). It's going to make you just crazy, but I'm going
to tell you just exactly what it is, Tony, because I ain't going to
have you thinking afterwards that I wasn't grateful or that I ain't
been happy here...happier than I ever been in my whole life...

TONY. Amy!

AMY. Wait a minute...I got to confess, Tony. I got to tell you the
whole business so's you won't be thinking I been any worse than just
what I have...


AMY. Yeah...And I don't want you blaming Joe no more'n what you blame
me and anyway you're abound to find out sooner or later, an' it'll
hurt you a lot less in the long run if I tell you the truth right
now, and I got to tell you the truth anyway. I simply got to. Wait a
minute, Tony! I'm going to tell you the truth and after I go away and
you don't see me no more you can say: "Well, she wasn't no good but it
wasn't my fault." Because it wasn't your fault, Tony. Not one bit, it
wasn't. You didn't have nothing to do with it. And I wouldn't be going
away, neither, not for a million dollars I wouldn't, only for what's

TONY. Amy, w'at you talkin' bout goin' away?

AMY. That's what I'm trying to tell you, Tony, only you got to give me
a chance because it ain't easy to tell you no more'n it's easy to go
away. And I got to go. But it ain't because I don't love you. I do. And
it ain't because I don't appreciate all you done for me. I ain't never
going to forget none of it, nor you, nor this place...

TONY. Amy!

AMY. Listen to me, Tony! You're going to kick me out when you hear what
I got to say, but I don't care if you do. I'm going to have a baby,
Tony...and it's...God help me!...it's Joe's baby.

TONY (raising his crutch with a great cry of anger). Ah!

AMY. Didn't I tell you you'd kick the out?

TONY (faltering). Dio mio! Dio mio! No! Amy, you fool with me? Eh?

AMY. No, I'm not fooling. It's so. And that's why I'm going away, Tony.

TONY (pursuing her as she retreats). You been Joe's woman!

AMY. I was crazy!

TONY. You been Joe's woman!

AMY. I was crazy!

TONY. You been lovin' Joe!

AMY. No...I ain't...I ain't ... I never loved Joe. Honest, I never. I
was crazy.

TONY. You been just like da Padre say you was...You been a whore...

AMY. I ain't!...I ain't! I been straight all my life! Only that one

TONY. W'at night?

AMY. The first night I come here.

TONY. Da night you marry with me!

AMY. I ain't even spoke to Joe alone since that night.

TONY. You lyin'!

AMY. I swear to God I ain't! Not once! Not till to-day after the doc
told him what was going to happen.

TONY. You lyin' to me! You been Joe's woman!

AMY. I ain't, Tony! That's what I'm trying to tell you. It's the truth
I'm trying to tell you and now I'm going away.

TONY. You goin' away with Joe?

AMY. My God, what else can I do?

TONY (furiously he forces her back into the corner where the shotgun is
hanging, spluttering all the time with slobbering, half-intelligible
rage). I don' let you go! I don' let you go! By God, I'm goin' kill dat
Joe! Questo bastardo, Joe! I'm goin' kill him an' keep you here for see
me kill him! Goddam you! You god-dam dirty...(He has got the gun down,
broken it, and is loading it.)

AMY (speaking at the same time). No, you won't, Tony! Don't do anything
like that, now, Tony! You'll be sorry if you do! You know what'll
happen to you if you do that! You know what'll happen to you, Tony!
That ain't no way to act! You'll see what you get! You'll see!

TONY. Goddam! You wait, you dirty...(He flourishes the broken gun.
She covers her eyes with her hands. JOE arrives, sees what TONY is
doing, gives a cry, springs on him, wrenches the gun away. The struggle
upsets TONY'S balance and he topples headlong off his crutches. AMY

AMY. Oh, his leg! (JOE drops the gun and bends over him.)

JOE. I tried to catch him...(TONY'S bellows are terrifying to hear) Did
you hurt yourself, Tony? (TONY'S answer is untranslatable into speech.)

AMY (as she pulls a chair over). For God's sake, pick him up, can't you?

JOE (TONY fights him, trying to choke him, and sinks into the chair,
howling with pain and fury). All right now, Tony! Steady!

AMY. Tony...Tony...(She kneels down by him. TONY'S roars subside into
moans) I had to tell him! Oh, my God! I just had to tell him!

JOE. He didn't hurt himself much. (TONY'S moans break into sobs.)

AMY. This is awful.

JOE. Get your things. Let's pull out of here. We can send the Padre up
to look after him.

AMY. I'm only taking my little grip, Tony. I'm leaving the earrings on
the dresser. (She goes quickly into the bedroom. TONY'S sobs keep up
wretchedly and terribly.)

JOE. Tony, I...(Again TONY springs madly at JOE'S throat. Joe wrenches
away and runs quickly to the table where he gets a glass of wine which
he brings back to TONY. TONY pushes it away, spilling the wine over his
shirt. JOE drops the glass.)

TONY. Amy! Amy! Amy! Amy!

AMY (she comes back, with her hat on and her coat over her arm. She has
her yellow grip half open with clothes sticking out. JOE takes it from
her). Here I am, Tony. Here I am.

TONY. W'ere you goin' Amy? W'ere you goin' away from here?

AMY. I dunno...Frisco, I guess...

TONY (bitter sobs). You goin' be livin' with Joe?

AMY (vague misery). I dunno...No, I ain't going to live with Joe...No
matter what happens, I ain't.

TONY. Who is goin' be lookin' after you, Amy?

JOE. I am, Tony. I'll do the right thing if it kills me.

TONY. You?...You?...Oh, Dio mio! Dio mio! No! No!

JOE. Come on, Amy, for the love of Pete!

AMY. I'm coming.

TONY (a hand out to stop her). You ain' got no money, Amy.

AMY. It don't matter.

TONY. Yes!

JOE. I got plenty.

TONY. No!...No!...No!...Joe is no good for lookin' after womans an'

AMY. Don't take on, Tony...Please don't take on! Let me go, and forget
all about me. There ain't no use in talking any more.

TONY. You goin' have baby!

AMY. God, I know I am!

TONY. How you goin' mak' money for keep him? Before you go, you tell me

AMY. God knows...I don't.

TONY. Pretty quick Joe is leavin' you desert, and den w'at is goin'

JOE. I swear I'll stick, Tony!

TONY. No! No! NO!! Ees no good! My Amy Navin' baby in da street. Ees no

AMY. Don't say that for God's sake, Tony, don't say that...

TONY. W'at is goin' happen, Amy? W'at's goin' happen with you?

AMY. Joe...I can't stand no more of this.

TONY (frenzied). No! No! NO!! NO!!!

AMY. Let go, Tony! Let go of my skirt!

TONY. You ain' goin', Amy! I don't let you go! You stayin' here with

AMY. Don't talk that way, Tony! It ain't no good.

TONY. No! No! You goin' listen to w'at Tony say now. You goin' listen,
Amy. You don' love Joe. You love Tony. You been good wife, Amy...

AMY. Good wife!

TONY. W'at is Tony goin' do without you?

JOE. Come on!

TONY. Amy, I get excite' just now, Amy. Excuse! Excuse! I think verra
good once more. You ain' goin' with Joe. You stayin' here with Tony
just like nothin' is happen', an' by an' by da little fella is come...

AMY. Don't talk that way, Tony!

TONY. W'y no?

AMY. Because it ain't no way to talk!

TONY. Yes, yes, ees good sense! Ees w'at is evrabody wantin' here!
You an' Joe an' me!...Looka Joe. Joe is wantin' go with Wobblies, eh?
Wit's goddam Wobblies. All right...Looka Amy...Amy is wantin' stay here
nice an' safe in dees fine house with Tony. Is not true, eh? (AMY nods
through her tears) Sure is true. Look Tony, Dio mio, an' ask him w'at
he want? Don' he want baby?

AMY. But not this baby, Tony?

TONY. W'at I care?

AMY. But, think of what people would say!

TONY. W'at I care w'at evrabody say? We tellin' evrabody he's Tony's
baby. Den evrabody say Tony is so goddam young an' strong he's break
both his leg' an' Navin' baby just da same!...Eees good, eh? You don'
go with Joe now, Amy?...Oh, Amy!...

AMY (he has swayed her, but she looks at him as at a madman). No...It
wouldn't work, Tony...You wouldn't mean it afterward...You're crazy...

TONY (a last frantic appeal). No! No! No! (Leaning back in his chair
and looking around the room) W'at's good for me havin' dees fine house?
W'at's good for me havin' all dis money w'at I got? I got nobody for
give my house an' my money w'en I die. Ees for dat I want dis baby,
Amy. Joe don' want him. Ees Tony want him. Amy...Amy...for God's sake
don' go away an' leave Tony!

AMY. But, Tony! Think of what I done?

TONY. What you done was mistake in da head, not in da heart...Mistake
in da head is no matter.

AMY. You--you ain't kiddin' me, are you?...You're serious, ain't
you--Tony? You'll stick to this afterwards, won't you, Tony? (She walks
slowly over to him. She throws her arms around his neck and presses
his head against her breast. A prolonged pause) Well, Joe, I guess you
better be going.

JOE. You mean?

AMY. I guess you'd better be going. (JOE straightens in great relief.)

JOE. All right. (He picks up his knapsack which he dropped when he came
in) I guess you're right. (He pulls on his cap and stands a moment in
the doorway, a broad grin spreading over his face) I guess there ain't
none of us got any kick comin', at that. No real kick. (He goes out

AMY (lifting her face). No.

(TONY clutches her even closer as the curtain falls.)


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