A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol


INT. THE STUDY - NIGHT

Huge gold lettering on the binding of a book.  Quite unexpectedly, it reads:

			GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Beside it on a shelf are other books: OLIVER TWIST, DAVID COPPERFIELD, and, 
of course, A CHRISTMAS CAROL.  A small hand reaches for this last and pulls 
it off the shelf.  A sober-faced, young GIRL, maybe ten years old, clutches 
the book to her bosom and intently carries it out of the room and into:

INT. THE SITTING-ROOM

A cheerily-lit sitting-room in London, England, one Christmas Eve in the 
1860s.  The girl carries the book to a corner of the room where a man sits 
before a large picture window revealing a snow covered street under a night 
sky.  Handsome, in his late twenties, with a pleasant voice, obviously a 
favorite uncle -- he is surrounded by a noisy circle of children and young 
adults.  He is to be the NARRATOR of the story.  They are pestering him for 
something and he is waving them off.

				NARRATOR  
		I don't know why you should want to hear 
		this story again.  You must have heard it 
		a dozen times by now.

				THE SKEPTICAL ADOLESCENT
		A hundred.

				THE ADOLESCENT WHO 
				WISHED HE WAS AN ADULT
		A thousand.  But it's good for a laugh.

				THE SKEPTICAL ADOLESCENT
		And it's your story as much as it is 
		anyone's.  Isn't it?

				NARRATOR 
			(genuine modesty)
		Maybe it is.  But I'm not sure I'm 
		necessarily the right one to tell it.

				THE SKEPTICAL ADOLESCENT
		Aw, that's not true.  Grandmother says 
		you're the only one who knows how to tell 
		it right.

The others, particularly the younger children, murmur agreement. The ten year 
old girl presses through the little crowd with the book in her hand.

				THE TEN YEAR OLD GIRL
		Please.  We want to hear it from you.

She hands the Narrator the book.  He smiles at it and sets it in his lap 
unopened as the ten year old girl sits at his feet.  Slowly, some of the 
others begin to sit down too.

				NARRATOR 
			(off the book)
		Oh, now, you know, I don't really need this.  

The Narrator, staring at the book, is suddenly lost in thought and talks as 
much to himself as to the others.

				NARRATOR 
		I've been telling this story every Christmas 
		now for oh, I don't know how many years.  
		Since I was a boy.  And I know it by heart.  
		It always begins the same way.

A pause.

				THE TEN YEAR OLD GIRL 
			(very quietly)
		How does it begin?

The Narrator abruptly looks up.  Everyone is now seated.  They stare at him 
expectantly.  And without any warning, he begins.

				NARRATOR 
		Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.  
		This must be distinctly understood or 
		nothing wonderful can come of the story 
		I am going to relate. So, remember, Old 
		Marley was as dead as a door-nail.   The 
		registrar of his burial was signed by 
		Ebenezer Scrooge.  And Scrooge's name was 
		good on the London Exchange for anything 
		he chose to put his hand to.

As he speaks, the view of the street through the window behind him blurs and 
resolves itself into a view of the London Exchange.

INT.  THE LONDON EXCHANGE - DAY

Late afternoon on Christmas Eve, in the year 1843.  The Exchange is packed 
with well-dressed businessmen who hurry up and down, and chink the money in 
their pockets, and converse in groups, and look at their watches, and trifle 
thoughtfully with their great gold seals; and so forth. Among their number 
is a FAT MAN WITH A MONSTROUS CHIN who chats with a RED-FACED MAN WITH A 
PENDULOUS EXCRESCENCE.  Also present is a man with a sharp and bitter face 
-- and as bald as Patrick Stewart, give or take a hair.  This is EBENEZER 
SCROOGE.  Scrooge is bundling up his coat and heading for the exit when the 
fat man makes eye contact with him.

				FAT MAN WITH A MONSTROUS CHIN
		Ah, Mister Scrooge...

				SCROOGE 
		Your servant, sir.

				FAT MAN WITH A MONSTROUS CHIN
		Are you off home to keep Christmas?

				SCROOGE 
		I am not in the habit of keeping Christmas, 
		sir.

				RED-FACED MAN WITH A
				PENDULOUS EXCRESCENCE
		Then why are you leaving so early?

				SCROOGE 
		Christmas has a habit of keeping men from 
		doing business.

				RED-FACED MAN WITH A
				PENDULOUS EXCRESCENCE
		Come, it's in the nature of things that ants 
		toil and grasshoppers sing and play, Mister 
		Scrooge.

				SCROOGE 
		An ant is what it is and a grasshopper is what 
		it is and Christmas, sir, is a humbug.  Good 
		day.

The two men laugh at Scrooge as he exits the Exchange.

								DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. THE LONDON EXCHANGE 

Moments later, on the massive stone steps just outside the Exchange, a 
shivering, POORLY-DRESSED MAN sees Scrooge walking toward him.  Scrooge pays 
him no heed and walks past.  The man follows and clutches at Scrooge's 
sleeve.  The two men descend the steps together.

				POORLY-DRESSED MAN
		Mister Scrooge, sir.

				SCROOGE 
		Who are you?

				POORLY-DRESSED MAN
		Samuel Wilson, sir.

				SCROOGE 
		Oh, yes.  You owe me a little matter of 
		twenty-odd pounds, I believe. Well, if you 
		want to pay it, come to my place of business.  
		I don't conduct my affairs in the teeth of 
		inclement weather.

				POORLY-DRESSED MAN
		I-I can't pay you, sir.

				SCROOGE 
		I'm not surprised.

				POORLY-DRESSED MAN
		Not unless you give me more time.

				SCROOGE 
		Did I ask you for more time to lend you 
		the money?

				POORLY-DRESSED MAN 
		Oh, no, sir.

				SCROOGE 
		Then why should you ask for more time to 
		pay it back?

				POORLY-DRESSED MAN 
		I can't take my wife to a debtors' prison.

				SCROOGE 
		Then leave her behind.  Why should she go 
		to a debtors' prison anyway?  She didn't 
		borrow the twenty pounds.  You did.  What 
		has your wife got to do with it?  For that 
		matter, what have I got to do with it?  Good 
		afternoon.

Scrooge tries to walk off but the man clutches at his sleeve.

				POORLY-DRESSED MAN 
		But, Mister Scrooge.  It's Christmas!

Scrooge shakes the man off.

				SCROOGE 
		Christmas has even less to do with it, my 
		dear sir, than your wife has or I have.  
		You'd still owe me twenty pounds that 
		you're not in the position to repay if it 
		was the middle of a heat wave on August 
		Bank holiday.  Good afternoon.

Scrooge stalks away as the stunned man stands and stares at him.

								DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. A LONDON STREET

Outside Scrooge's counting-house.  Cold, bleak, biting weather.  People in 
the street go wheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts, 
and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. The city 
clocks strike three, but it's quite dark already. Candles flare in the 
windows of the neighbouring offices, like ruddy smears upon the palpable 
brown air. The fog comes pouring in at every chink and keyhole, and is so 
dense that although the street is narrow, the houses opposite are mere 
phantoms. The sign above the counting-house door reads: 

			SCROOGE & MARLEY

A tall man -- whom we will come to know as Scrooge's nephew, FRED -- rapidly 
walks up to the door, opens it, and enters.

INT. COUNTING-HOUSE

Scrooge's clerk, BOB CRATCHIT, sits in a dismal little cell, a sort of tank, 
copying letters. There's a very small fire, so small that it looks like 
there's only one lump of coal.  The clerk puts on his white comforter, trying 
-- and failing -- to warm himself at the candle. Fred appears, all in a glow; 
his face ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkle, and his breath smokes in the 
cold.  He grins at Bob Cratchit who raises an eyebrow, surprised to see him.
Fred crosses to the doorway of an adjacent office in which someone sits, 
hunched over a desk, busily writing.

				FRED 
		A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!

The person at the desk spins around, glaring at the intruder.  It's Scrooge.

				SCROOGE 
		Bah!  Humbug!

				FRED 
		Christmas a humbug, uncle?  You don't mean 
		that, I am sure.

				SCROOGE 
		I do.  Merry Christmas! What right have you 
		to be merry? What reason have you to be 
		merry? You're poor enough.

				FRED 
		Come, then. What right have you to be 
		dismal? What reason have you to be morose? 
		You're rich enough.

Scrooge has no better answer ready.

				SCROOGE
		Bah! Humbug.

				FRED 
		Don't be cross, uncle. 

Fred enters the office and crosses to a gothic window in the wall from which 
is visible the ancient tower of a church.

				SCROOGE 
		What else can I be when I live in such a 
		world of fools as this Merry Christmas! Out 
		upon merry Christmas. What's Christmas time 
		to you but a time for paying bills without 
		money; a time for finding yourself a year 
		older, but not an hour richer; a time for 
		balancing your books and having every item 
		in 'em through a round dozen of months 
		presented dead against you?  
			(beat) 
		If I could work my will, every idiot who 
		goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his 
		lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, 
		and buried with a stake of holly through 
		his heart. He should!

				FRED 
		Uncle!  

				SCROOGE 
		Nephew! 
			(beat) 
		Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me 
		keep it in mine.

				FRED 
		Keep it! But you don't keep it.

				SCROOGE 
		Let me leave it alone, then. Much good may 
		it do you! Much good it has ever done you!

				FRED 
			(casually)
		There are many things from which I might 
		have derived good, by which I have not 
		profited, I dare say. Christmas among the 
		rest. But I am sure I have always thought 
		of Christmas time, when it has come round 
		-- apart from the veneration due to its 
		sacred name and origin, if anything 
		belonging to it can be apart from that -- 
		as a good time: a kind, forgiving, 
		charitable, pleasant time: the only time 
		I know of, in the long calendar of the year, 
		when men and women seem by one consent to 
		open their shut-up hearts freely, and to 
		think of people below them as if they really 
		were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not 
		another race of creatures bound on other 
		journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it 
		has never put a scrap of gold or silver in 
		my pocket, I believe that it has done me 
		good, and will do me good; and I say, God 
		bless it! 

Bob Cratchit, still in the tank, involuntarily applauds. Becoming immediately 
sensible of the impropriety, he quickly pokes the fire, and extinguishes the 
last frail spark. 

				SCROOGE 
			(to Bob Cratchit) 
		Let me hear another sound from you and 
		you'll keep your Christmas by losing your 
		job.  
			(to his nephew) 
		You're quite a powerful speaker, sir. I 
		wonder you don't go into Parliament.

				FRED 
		Don't be angry, uncle. Come! Dine with 
		us to-morrow. 
			(a long pause) 
		Will you come see us?

				SCROOGE 
		Oh, I'll see you all right...  I'll see 
		you in hell.

				FRED 
			(astonished)
		But why? Why?

				SCROOGE 
		Why did you get married?

				FRED 
			(confused) 
		Because I fell in love.

Scrooge looks at him as if falling in love was the only thing in the world 
more ridiculous than a merry Christmas. 

				SCROOGE 
		Because you fell in love! Good afternoon!

				FRED 
		Uncle, you never came to see me before that 
		happened. Why give it as a reason for not 
		coming now?

				SCROOGE 
		Good afternoon. 

				FRED 
		I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of 
		you; why can't we be friends?

				SCROOGE 
		Good afternoon. 

				FRED  
		I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you 
		so resolute. We have never had any quarrel, 
		to which I have been a party. But I have made 
		the trial in homage to Christmas, and I'll 
		keep my Christmas humour to the last. So a 
		Merry Christmas, uncle!

				SCROOGE 
		Good afternoon. 

				FRED  
		And a Happy New Year!

				SCROOGE 
		Good afternoon. 

Fred leaves the room with a wry grin. On his way out the front door and 
buttoning his coat, he exchanges greetings with Bob Cratchit.

				FRED  
		How is Mrs Cratchit and all the small, 
		assorted Cratchits?

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		Very good, sir.

				FRED 
		All champing at the bit waiting for 
		Christmas to begin, eh?

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		Oh, yes, sir. All very eager.

				FRED 
		And the little lame boy.  Which one is he?  
		Tim?

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		Tim, sir.

				FRED 
		That's right. How is he?

				BOB CRATCHIT  
		We're in high hopes he's getting better, sir.

				FRED 
		Good.  A merry Christmas to you.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		Same to you, sir, I'm sure.

				FRED 
		Thank you.

Bob Cratchit watches Fred exit, then glances at Scrooge's office, surprised 
to find Scrooge glaring at him.

				SCROOGE  
		And you!  Fifteen shillings a week, and a 
		wife and family, talking about a merry 
		Christmas. I'll retire to Bedlam.

Bob Cratchit watches Scrooge shake his head and return to his desk.

INT. COUNTING-HOUSE

Not long after, TWO PORTLY GENTLEMEN, pleasant to behold, stand, with their 
hats off, in Scrooge's office. They hold books and papers in their hands, 
and bow to him. The 1st Gentleman glances at a list.

				1ST GENTLEMAN
		Scrooge and Marley's, I believe.  
			(cheerfully) 
		Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr 
		Scrooge, or Mr Marley?

				SCROOGE 
			(melodramatically)
		Mr Marley has been dead these seven years. 
		He died seven years ago, this very night.

The two gentlemen exchange glances while Scrooge grins malevolently at them. 
 The first gentleman hands his credentials to Scrooge.

				1ST GENTLEMAN 
			(to Scrooge)
		We have no doubt his liberality is well 
		represented by his surviving partner. 

At the ominous word "liberality", Scrooge frowns, shakes his head, and hands 
the credentials back.  The 2nd Gentleman takes pen in hand.

				2ND GENTLEMAN 
		At this festive season of the year, Mr 
		Scrooge, it is more than usually desirable 
		that we should make some slight provision 
		for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly 
		at the present time. Many thousands are in 
		want of common necessities; hundreds of 
		thousands are in want of common comforts, 
		sir.

				SCROOGE 
		Are there no prisons?  

The gentleman lays down his pen.

				2ND GENTLEMAN 
		Plenty of prisons. 

				SCROOGE 
		And the Union workhouses?  Are they still 
		in operation?

				1ST GENTLEMAN 
		They are. Still. I wish I could say they 
		were not.

				SCROOGE 
		The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full 
		vigour, then?

				1ST GENTLEMAN 
		Both very busy, sir.

				SCROOGE 
		Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at 
		first, that something had occurred to 
		stop them in their useful course.  I'm 
		very glad to hear it.

				1ST GENTLEMAN 
		Under the impression that they scarcely 
		furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to 
		the multitude, a few of us are attempting to 
		raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and 
		drink, and means of warmth.  What shall I 
		put you down for?

				SCROOGE 
		Nothing! 

				1ST GENTLEMAN 
		You wish to be anonymous?

				SCROOGE 
		I wish to be left alone.  Since you ask me 
		what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. 
		I don't make merry myself at Christmas and 
		I can't afford to make idle people merry. 
		I help to support the establishments I have 
		mentioned: they cost enough: and those who 
		are badly off must go there. 

				1ST GENTLEMAN 
		Many can't go there; and many would rather 
		die.

				SCROOGE 
		If they would rather die, they had better 
		do it, and decrease the surplus population. 
		Besides -- excuse me -- I don't know that.

				1ST GENTLEMAN 
		But you might know it. 

				SCROOGE 
		It's not my business. It's enough for a 
		man to understand his own business, and not 
		to interfere with other people's. Mine 
		occupies me constantly. Good afternoon, 
		gentlemen!

Scrooge returns to his paperwork as the gentlemen exchange astonished looks.

EXT. STREETS OF LONDON - NIGHT

The fog and darkness have thickened.  People run about with flaring torches, 
proffering their services to go before horses in carriages, and conduct them 
on their way. At the corner, some labourers repair gas-pipes, and have 
lighted a great fire in an iron basket, round which a party of ragged men 
and boys gather: warming their hands and winking their eyes before the blaze 
in rapture. The water-plug being left in solitude, its overflowings have 
sullenly congealed, and turned into misanthropic ice. The brightness of the 
shops where holly sprigs and berries crackle in the lamp-heat of the windows, 
make pale faces ruddy as they pass. A lean woman emerges from the butchers' 
with a package of meat. 

EXT. COUNTING-HOUSE

A small BOY nervously approaches Scrooge's window to regale him with a 
Christmas carol: but at the first sound of "God bless you, merry gentleman! 
May nothing you dismay!" Scrooge seizes a ruler with such energy of action 
that the singer flees in terror. 

INT. COUNTING-HOUSE

The moment the boy has fled, Scrooge's threatening countenance relaxes and 
he grins, rather pleased with himself.

Scrooge glances at the church tower, nearly invisible in the fog, as its 
clock STRIKES the hour, with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth 
were chattering in its frozen head.  Time to shut up the counting-house.  
With an ill-will, Scrooge dismounts from his stool, and nods to Bob Cratchit, 
who instantly snuffs his candle out, and puts on his hat. 

				SCROOGE 
		You'll want all day tomorrow, I suppose? 

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		If quite convenient, Sir.

				SCROOGE 
		It's not convenient, and it's not fair. 
		If I was to stop half-a-crown for it, 
		you'd think yourself ill-used, I'll be 
		bound? 

Bob Cratchit smiles faintly. 

				SCROOGE 
		And yet, you don't think me ill-used, 
		when I pay a day's wages for no work.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		It's only once a year, Mr Scrooge. 

				SCROOGE 
		A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket 
		every twenty-fifth of December,

Scrooge buttons his great-coat to the chin.

				SCROOGE
		But I suppose you must have the whole day. 
		Be here all the earlier next morning! 

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		I will.  I promise.

Scrooge walks out into the street with a growl. Bob Cratchit closes the 
office in a twinkling.

EXT. LONDON STREET

A coatless, shivering Bob Cratchit locks the front door and rushes off with 
the long ends of his white comforter dangling below his waist.

INT. TAVERN 

Scrooge eats a melancholy dinner in a melancholy tavern; the newspapers he 
has just read lie in a stack on his table; he studies his banker's-book.

EXT. SCROOGE'S BUILDING

A dark and threatening building. Nobody lives in it but Scrooge, the other 
rooms are all let out as offices. The yard is so dark that Scrooge gropes 
with his hands through the fog and frost to the black old doorway of the 
house on which is a fairly large knocker. Scrooge puts his key in the lock 
of the door and glances at the knocker.  Without its undergoing any 
intermediate process of change, the knocker is no longer a knocker, but 
Marley's face. Scrooge gasps.

				SCROOGE 
			(whispers)
		Marley?

Marley's face. Not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard 
are, but with a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. 
Not angry or ferocious, the face looks at Scrooge as Marley used to look: 
with ghostly spectacles turned up upon its ghostly forehead; the hair 
curiously stirred, as if by breath or hot-air;  eyes wide open but perfectly 
motionless. That, and its livid colour, make it horrible; but its horror 
seems to be in spite of the face and beyond its control, rather than a part 
of its own expression. As Scrooge lets go of the key and stares fixedly at 
this phenomenon, it becomes a knocker again. Startled, Scrooge puts his hand 
upon the key, turns it sturdily, walks in, and lights his candle. 

INT. ENTRY HALL

Scrooge pauses to look cautiously behind the door, as if he half expects to 
see Marley's pigtail sticking out into the hall. But there's nothing on the 
back of the door, except the screws and nuts that hold the knocker on.  
Scrooge closes the door with a bang.  The sound echoes through the house like 
thunder. He fastens the door, walks across the hall, and up the stairs, 
slowly, trimming his candle as he goes. 

INT.  THE STAIRS

A grand old flight of stairs, very wide, very dark.  Scrooge peers up into 
the darkness and, for a moment, he thinks he sees a something that looks like 
a hearse going on before him in the gloom. He pauses, blinks, shakes his 
head, then continues, muttering to himself.

INT. SCROOGE'S ROOMS - MONTAGE

A suspicious, slightly unnerved Scrooge walks through his gloomy suite of 
rooms -- sitting-room,  lumber-room, bed-room -- to be sure that everything's 
all right.  In the sitting-room, he finds nobody under the table, nobody 
under the sofa; a small fire in the grate; spoon and basin ready; and a 
little saucepan of gruel (Scrooge has a cold in his head) upon the hob. 
Lumber-room as usual. Old fire-guard, old shoes, two fish-baskets, washing-
stand on three legs, and a poker. 

Bed-room as usual.  Nobody under the bed; nobody in the closet.  Suddenly, he 
sees a ghostly white shape in the darkness on the opposite side of the room. 
 Scrooge tenses up for a moment until he realizes it's only his 
dressing-gown, hung up in a suspicious attitude against the wall.

Quite satisfied, he closes his door, and locks himself in; in fact, he 
double-locks himself in, not his custom. Secured against surprise, he returns 
to the bed-room, takes off his cravat and starts to put on his dressing-gown, 
slippers, and night-cap.

INT. SCROOGE'S SITTING-ROOM

Having changed clothes, Scrooge sits down before the fire to take his gruel. 

It's a very low fire and Scrooge sits close to it. The fireplace is an old 
one, built by some Dutch merchant long ago, and paved all round with quaint 
Dutch tiles, designed to illustrate the Scriptures. Cains and Abels, 
Pharaoh's daughters, Queens of Sheba, Angelic messengers descending through 
the air on clouds like feather-beds, Abrahams, Belshazzars, Apostles putting 
off to sea in butter-boats, hundreds of figures.  Scrooge takes a mouthful 
of gruel and glances at the fireplace.  FLASH CUT of every tile adorned with 
Marley's face as it was on the door-knocker.  Scrooge blinks -- and sees that 
the tiles have returned to normal.

Scrooge rises and paces the room, feeling unsettled. After several turns, and 
more than a few nervous glances at the fireplace, he sits down again. As he 
throws his head back in the chair, his glance happens to rest upon a bell, a 
disused bell, that hangs in the room. As he looks, the bell begins to swing. 
It swings so softly at the outset that it scarcely makes a sound; but soon it 
rings out loudly, and for the next twenty seconds, so does every bell in the 
house. Throughout, an uneasy look slowly crosses Scrooge's face.

All at once, the bells cease. Scrooge relaxes, but only for a moment: a 
clanking noise comes from deep down below, as if some person were dragging a 
heavy chain over the casks in the wine-merchant's cellar. The sound of a 
downstairs door flying open with a booming sound, and then the clanking 
noise much louder, on the floors below; then coming up the stairs; then 
coming straight towards his door. Scrooge starts talking to himself.

				SCROOGE 
		It's humbug still! I won't believe it.

The colour leaves Scrooge's face though, when, without a pause, the source of 
the noise comes on through the heavy door, and passes into the room before 
Scrooge's very eyes. Upon its coming in, the dying flame leaps up in the 
fire-place and falls again. 

The same face: the very same. JACOB MARLEY'S GHOST in his pigtail, usual 
waistcoat, tights, and boots; the tassels on the latter bristling, like his 
pigtail, and his coat-skirts, and the hair upon his head. A wrapper, a folded 
kerchief is bound about Marley's head and chin.  A long chain is clasped 
about his middle, wound about him like a tail; and made of cash-boxes, keys, 
padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel. Marley's body 
is transparent so that Scrooge, observing him closely, can look through his 
waistcoat and see the two buttons on his coat behind. Scrooge feels the need 
to crack a joke to keep down his terror.

				SCROOGE 
			(softly)
		I'd often heard it said that you had no 
		heart, Marley, but I never believed it 
		until now. 

Scrooge stares into the ghost's death-cold eyes and reverts to his cold and 
caustic self.

				SCROOGE 
		How now! What do you want with me?

				MARLEY
		Much!

				SCROOGE 
		Who are you?

				MARLEY
		Ask me who I was.

				SCROOGE 
		Who were you then?

				MARLEY 
		In life I was your partner, Jacob Marley.

				SCROOGE 
			(doubtfully)
		Can you -- can you sit down?

				MARLEY 
		I can.

				SCROOGE 
		Do it, then.

Marley sits down on the opposite side of the fireplace, as if he were quite 
used to it. Scrooge stares at the ghost's fixed, glazed eyes as it sits 
perfectly motionless though its hair, and skirts, and tassels, still quiver 
as if by the hot vapour from an oven. 

				MARLEY 
		You don't believe in me. 

				SCROOGE 
		I don't. 

				MARLEY 
		What evidence would you have of my reality 
		beyond that of your senses? 

				SCROOGE 
		I don't know. 

				MARLEY 
		Why do you doubt your senses?

				SCROOGE 
		Because a little thing affects them. A 
		slight disorder of the stomach makes them 
		cheat. You may be an undigested bit of beef, 
		a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a 
		fragment of an underdone potato. There's 
		more of gravy than of grave about you, 
		whatever you are!  You see this toothpick?

Scrooge holds up a toothpick.  The ghost's eyes do not move.

				MARLEY 
		I do. 

				SCROOGE 
		You are not looking at it. 

				MARLEY 
		But I see it, notwithstanding.

				SCROOGE 
		Well! I have but to swallow this, and be for 
		the rest of my days persecuted by a legion 
		of goblins, all of my own creation. Humbug, 
		I tell you; humbug!

At this, the spirit raises a frightful cry, and shakes its chain with such a 
dismal and appalling noise, that Scrooge holds on tight to his chair, to save 
himself from falling in a swoon.  Marley starts taking off the bandage round 
its head, as if it were too warm to wear in-doors.  When Marley's lower jaw 
drops down to his breast, Scrooge falls on his knees, and clasps his hands 
before his face. 

				SCROOGE 
		Mercy!  Dreadful apparition, why do you 
		trouble me?

				MARLEY 
		Man of the worldly mind!  Do you believe 
		in me or not?

				SCROOGE 
		I do. I must. But why do spirits walk the 
		earth, and why do they come to me?

				MARLEY 
		It is required of every man that the spirit 
		within him should walk abroad among his 
		fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and if 
		that spirit goes not go forth in life, it is 
		condemned to do so after death. It is 
		doomed to wander through the world -- oh, 
		woe is me! -- and witness what it cannot 
		share, but might have shared on earth, and 
		turned to happiness!

Again Marley raises a cry, and shakes his chain, and wrings his shadowy hands. 

				SCROOGE 
		You are fettered. Tell me why?

				MARLEY 
		I wear the chain I forged in life. I made 
		it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded 
		it on of my own free will, and of my own 
		free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange 
		to you?

Scrooge trembles more and more. 

				MARLEY 
		Or would you know the weight and length of 
		the strong coil you bear yourself? It was 
		full as heavy and as long as this, seven 
		Christmas Eves ago. You have laboured on 
		it, since. It is a ponderous chain! 

Scrooge glances about him on the floor, in the expectation of finding himself 
surrounded by some fifty or sixty fathoms of iron cable: but he sees nothing. 

				SCROOGE 
		Jacob. Old Jacob Marley, tell me more. 
		Speak comfort to me, Jacob. 

				MARLEY 
		I have none to give.  It comes from other 
		regions, Ebenezer Scrooge, and is conveyed 
		by other ministers, to other kinds of men. 
		Nor can I tell you what I would. A very 
		little more, is all permitted to me. I 
		cannot rest, I cannot stay, I cannot 
		linger anywhere. My spirit never walked 
		beyond our counting-house -- mark me! -- 
		in life my spirit never roved beyond the 
		narrow limits of our money-changing hole; 
		and weary journeys lie before me! 

				SCROOGE 
		You must have been very slow about it, 
		Jacob. 

				MARLEY 
		Slow! 

				SCROOGE 
		Seven years dead. And travelling all the 
		time?

				MARLEY 
		The whole time.  No rest, no peace. 
		Incessant torture of remorse.

				SCROOGE 
		You travel fast?  

				MARLEY 
		On the wings of the wind. 

				SCROOGE 
		You might have got over a great quantity 
		of ground in seven years. 

Marley screams another cry, and clanks his chain hideously. 

				MARLEY 
		Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed!  
		Not to know, that ages of incessant 
		labour by immortal creatures, for this 
		earth must pass into eternity before the 
		good of which it is susceptible is all 
		developed. Not to know that any Christian 
		spirit working kindly in its little sphere, 
		whatever it may be, will find its mortal 
		life too short for its vast means of 
		usefulness. Not to know that no space of 
		regret can make amends for one life's 
		opportunities misused! Yet such was I! 
		Oh! such was I!

				SCROOGE 
		But you were always a good man of business, 
		Jacob. 

				MARLEY 
		Business! Mankind was my business. The 
		common welfare was my business; charity, 
		mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, 
		all, my business. The dealings of my trade 
		were but a drop of water in the comprehensive 
		ocean of my business!

Marley holds up his chain at arm's length, as if that were the cause of all 
his unavailing grief, and flings it heavily to the floor again. 

				MARLEY  
		At this time of the year, I suffer most. 
		Why did I walk through crowds of 
		fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, 
		and never raise them to that blessed Star 
		which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? 
		Were there no poor homes to which its light 
		would have conducted me!

Scrooge shivers. 

				MARLEY 
		Hear me! My time is nearly gone.

				SCROOGE 
		I will.  But don't be hard upon me! Don't 
		be flowery, Jacob! 

				MARLEY 
		How it is that I appear before you in a 
		shape that you can see, I may not tell. 
		I have sat invisible beside you many and 
		many a day.

Scrooge shivers at this, and wipes the perspiration from his brow. 

				MARLEY 
		That is no light part of my penance.  I am 
		here to-night to warn you, that you have yet 
		a chance and hope of escaping my fate. A 
		chance and hope of my procuring, Ebenezer.

				SCROOGE 
		You were always a good friend to me.  
		Thank'ee!

				MARLEY 
		You will be haunted ... by Three Spirits.

Scrooge's jaw drops almost as low as Marley's had done. 

				SCROOGE 
		Is that the chance and hope you mentioned, 
		Jacob?

				MARLEY 
		It is.

				SCROOGE 
		I -- I think I'd rather not. 

				MARLEY 
		Without their visits, you cannot hope to 
		shun the path I tread. Expect the first 
		to-morrow, when the bell tolls One.

				SCROOGE 
		Couldn't I take 'em all at once, and have 
		it over, Jacob?  

				MARLEY 
		Expect the second on the next night at the 
		same hour. The third upon the next night 
		when the last stroke of Twelve has ceased 
		to vibrate. Look to see me no more; and look 
		that, for your own sake, you remember what 
		has passed between us.

Scrooge ventures to raise his eyes again, and finds his supernatural visitor 
confronting him in an erect attitude, with its chain wound over and about its 
arm.  Marley takes his wrapper and wraps it round its head, as before. 
Scrooge winces at the clicking sound Marley's teeth make, when his jaws are 
brought together by the bandage.  Marley walks backward from him; and with 
every step, the nearby window raises itself a little, so that when the ghost 
reaches it, it's wide open. He beckons Scrooge to approach, which he does. 
When they get within two paces of each other, Marley holds up his hand, 
warning him to come no nearer. Scrooge stops, not so much in obedience, as in 
surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand, he becomes sensible of 
confused noises in the air; incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret; 
wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. Marley, after listening 
for a moment, joins in the mournful dirge; and floats out the window into the 
bleak, dark night.  Scrooge follows to the window: desperate in his 
curiosity. He looks out. 

EXT. SCROOGE'S BUILDING

The foggy air is filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in 
restless haste, and moaning as they go. Every one of them wears chains like 
Marley's; some few (they might be guilty governments) are linked together; 
none are free. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. One 
old ghost, in a white waistcoat, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its 
ankle, cries piteously at being unable to assist a WRETCHED WOMAN with an 
infant, whom it sees below, upon a neighboring door-step. The misery with 
them all is, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human 
matters, and have lost the power for ever. Whether these creatures fade into 
the mist, or the mist enshrouds them, is unclear. But they and their spirit 
voices fade together; and the night becomes as it had been when Scrooge 
walked home. 

INT. SCROOGE'S SITTING-ROOM

Scrooge closes the window, and examines the door by which the Ghost had 
entered. It's still double-locked, as he had locked it with his own hands -- 
the bolts are undisturbed. He tries to say "Humbug!" but stops at the first 
syllable.  

INT. SCROOGE'S BED-ROOM

Scrooge closes his bed-room door and crosses to his bed.  Without undressing, 
he gets in, and falls asleep instantly. The light from the fire in the 
sitting-room is visible under the closed bed-room door.

								DISSOLVE TO:

INT. SCROOGE'S BED-ROOM

Scrooge awakes in darkness, some time later.  The fire has gone out in the 
sitting-room.  As the chimes of a neighbouring church strike twelve, Scrooge 
counts with his fingers.

				SCROOGE 
		Twelve? It was past two when I went to bed. 

Scrooge scrambles out of bed, and gropes his way to the window. He rubs the 
frost off with the sleeve of his dressing-gown but all he can make out is 
that it's very foggy and very quiet.

				SCROOGE 
		Hmmph! Clock must be wrong. Icicle must 
		have got into the works. 

Scrooge lights a candle and sits on the edge of his bed, looking at his 
bedside alarm clock.  It reads twelve.

				SCROOGE 
		Twelve! Why, it isn't possible. I can't 
		have slept through a whole day and far 
		into another night.

He picks up the clock and checks it, then seems to remember something.

				NARRATOR 
			(voice over)
		Now, of course, the Ghost had warned Mr 
		Scrooge that a spirit would visit him 
		when the bell tolled one ...

Scrooge appears to make a decision of some kind and begins to fiddle with his 
clock.

				NARRATOR 
			(voice over)
		... So he resolved to lie awake until the 
		hour was past; and, considering that he 
		could no more go to sleep than go to Heaven, 
		this was perhaps the wisest decision he 
		could make. Naturally, he didn't want to 
		be caught dozing off, so he made sure to 
		set the alarm on his clock to go off 
		precisely at one.

Scrooge sets the alarm, draws open all the bed-curtains so he may keep a 
sharp look-out on the room, and sits up in bed -- waiting for his visitor.

								DISSOLVE TO:

INT. SCROOGE'S BED-ROOM

About an hour later.  Scrooge, warily sitting up in bed, watches the clock 
tick to one.  The tinny alarm bell goes off.  Scrooge looks around the room.  
Nothing.

				SCROOGE  
		Bah!

He sighs -- whether in relief or disappointment or embarrassment, it's hard 
to tell -- blows out the candle, glances at the door where, the fire having 
gone out, no light shines through from the sitting-room.  Scrooge draws all 
the bed-curtains shut, curls up under the covers, and with a peaceful, 
satisfied look on his face, shuts his eyes.

A long pause.

The church bell sounds with a deep, dull, hollow, melancholy ONE. Scrooge's 
eyes pop open and a wave of dread passes over his face.  A wickedly bright 
light flashes up in the room, and the curtains of Scrooge's bed are instantly 
drawn aside.  Scrooge, starting up into a half-recumbent attitude, finds 
himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them:

It's a weird, impressive figure -- like a child: yet not so like a child as 
like an old man, viewed through some supernatural medium, which gives him the 
appearance of having receded from the view, and being diminished to a child's 
proportions. Its hair, which hangs about its neck and down its back, is white 
as if with age; and yet the face has not a wrinkle in it, and the tenderest 
bloom is on the skin. The arms are very long and muscular; the hands the 
same, as if its hold were of uncommon strength. Its legs and feet, most 
delicately formed, are, like those upper members, bare. It wears a tunic of 
the purest white. Round its waist is bound a lustrous belt, with a beautiful 
sheen. It holds a branch of fresh green holly in its hand; and, in singular 
contradiction of that wintry emblem, has its dress trimmed with summer 
flowers. From the crown of its head there springs a bright clear jet of 
light, by which all this is visible; and which is doubtless why it uses, in 
its duller moments, a great extinguisher for a cap, which it now holds under 
its arm. 

Its belt sparkles and glitters now in one part and now in another.  And it is 
continuously morphing: what is light one instant, at another time is dark, so 
the figure itself fluctuates in its distinctness -- being now a thing with 
one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a 
head, now a head without a body -- of which dissolving parts, no outline is 
visible in the dense gloom wherein they melt away and then re-form, distinct 
and clear as ever. 

				SCROOGE 
		Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was 
		foretold to me?  

				THE GHOST
		I am!

The voice is soft and gentle. Singularly low, as if instead of being so close 
beside Scrooge, it's at a distance. 

				SCROOGE 
		Who, and what are you? 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST
		I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.

				SCROOGE 
		Long past?  

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST
		No. Your past.

Scrooge winces and blinks at the light coming from the Ghost's crown.

				SCROOGE  
		I wonder if you might, er, put a hat on.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		What!  Would you so soon put out, with 
		worldly hands, the light I give? Is it not 
		enough that you are one of those whose 
		passions made this cap, and force me through 
		whole trains of years to wear it low upon 
		my brow!

				SCROOGE 
		I didn't mean to offend. Er, what business 
		brings you here? 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		Your welfare! 

				SCROOGE 
		Well, I'm much obliged, but I wonder if a 
		good night's sleep wouldn't be more conducive 
		to that end. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		Your reclamation, then. Take heed!

The Ghost puts out its strong hand as it speaks, and clasps him gently by the 
arm. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		Rise! and walk with me!

Scrooge rises, but finding that the Ghost leads him toward the window, clasps 
his robe in supplication. 

				SCROOGE 
		It's the middle of the night;  it's below 
		freezing;  I'm wearing slippers, a 
		dressing-gown, and a nightcap;  I'm mortal.  
		And I'm liable to fall.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST  
		Bear but a touch of my hand there ...
			
The Ghost points to its heart.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST  
		... and you shall be upheld in more than 
		this!

Scrooge touches the Ghost's heart and they pass through the wall.

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

Scrooge and the Ghost stand on an open, sunlit country road, with fields on 
either hand.  It's a clear, cold, winter day, with snow upon the ground. 
Scrooge looks about and clasps his hands together.

				SCROOGE 
		Good Heaven! I was bred in this place. I 
		was a boy here!

The Ghost gazes upon him mildly.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST  
		Your lip is trembling.  And what is that 
		upon your cheek?

				SCROOGE 
			(an unusual catching in his voice) 
		It's a pimple. 
			(beat) 
		I beg you, Spirit, lead me where you would. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST  
		You recollect the way?  

				SCROOGE 
		Remember it! I could walk it blindfold.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST  
		Strange to have forgotten it for so many 
		years! Let us go on.

They walk along the road; Scrooge points out every gate, and post, and tree;  
A little market-town appears in the distance, with a bridge, a church, and a 
winding river. Some shaggy ponies, with boys upon their backs, trot down the 
road towards Scrooge and the Ghost.  The boys call to other boys in country 
gigs and carts, driven by farmers. All are in great spirits, and shout to 
each other. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
			(to Scrooge)
		These are but shadows of the things that 
		have been.  They have no consciousness of 
		us.

The jocund travellers approach; and as they pass by, Scrooge's cold eye 
glistens. He hears them wish each other Merry Christmas, as they part at 
cross-roads and bye-ways, for their several homes.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		The school is not quite deserted.  A 
		solitary child, neglected by his friends, 
		is left there still.

				SCROOGE 
			(grim again)
		I know it. 

EXT.  SCHOOLHOUSE

Scrooge and the Ghost leave the high-road and approach a mansion of dull red 
brick, with a little weathercock-surmounted cupola, on the roof, and a bell 
hanging in it. It's a large house, but one of broken fortunes; for the 
spacious offices are little used, their walls are damp and mossy, their 
windows broken, and their gates decayed. Fowls cluck and strut in the 
stables; and the coach-houses and sheds are over-run with grass. The Ghost 
and Scrooge cross to a door at the back of the house. It opens before them, 
and discloses:

INT. SCHOOLROOM

A long, bare, melancholy room, made barer still by lines of plain deal forms 
and desks. At one of these, a lonely boy reads near a feeble fire; Scrooge 
sits down upon a form, and weeps to see his poor forgotten self as he used to 
be. The Ghost joins him. 

				SCROOGE 
		Poor boy!

Scrooge dries his eyes with his cuff, then mutters, puts his hand in his 
pocket, and looks about him.

				SCROOGE 
		I wish ... but it's too late now.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		What is the matter?  

				SCROOGE 
		Nothing. Nothing. There was a boy singing a 
		Christmas carol at my window last night. I 
		should like to have given him something: 
		that's all.

The Ghost smiles thoughtfully, and waves its hand.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		Let us see another Christmas!

Scrooge's younger self suddenly morphs into an older boy, and the room 
becomes a little darker and more dirty. The panels shrink, the windows crack; 
fragments of plaster fall out of the ceiling; But his former self is still 
alone: all the other boys have gone home again for the holidays. 

Young Scrooge is not reading now, but walking up and down despairingly. 
Scrooge looks at the Ghost, and with a mournful shaking of his head, glances 
anxiously towards the door. It opens; and a little girl, much younger than 
the boy, stands at the threshold, looking in. It's Scrooge's sister FAN. The 
elder Scrooge is amazed to see her.

				SCROOGE 
			(whispers)
		Fan...

				FAN
		Ebenezer.

Fan steps toward him, arms outstretched as if to give him a hug and he 
responds.  But as she darts forward, her body passes through his -- for she 
is but a shadow -- and puts her arms about the neck of the younger Scrooge, 
and kisses him.  Though disappointed, the elder Scrooge turns to watch the 
youngsters embrace.

				FAN 
		Dear, dear brother.  I have come to bring 
		you home, dear brother!

She claps her tiny hands, and bends down to laugh. 

				FAN 
			(sings)
		To bring you home, home, home!

				YOUNG SCROOGE 
			(stunned)
		Home, little Fan? 

				FAN 
		Yes! Home, for good and all. Home, for ever 
		and ever. Father is so much kinder than he 
		used to be, that home's like Heaven! 

				YOUNG SCROOGE 
		For you, perhaps.  But not for me.  He 
		doesn't know me or even what I look like.  
		Same as I hardly know you, now that you're 
		quite a woman.

				FAN 
		He spoke so gently to me one dear night when 
		I was going to bed, that I was not afraid to 
		ask him once more if you might come home; and 
		he said Yes, you should; and sent me in a coach 
		to bring you. And you're to be a man! And are 
		never to come back here; but first, we're to be 
		together all the Christmas long, and have the 
		merriest time in all the world.

				YOUNG SCROOGE 
		You are quite a woman, little Fan!  

She claps her hands and laughs, and tries to touch his head; but being too 
little, laughs again, and stands on tiptoe to embrace him. Then she begins to 
drag him, in her childish eagerness, towards the door; and he, nothing loth 
to go, accompanies her. 

EXT. SCHOOLHOUSE

Young Scrooge's trunk is tied on to the top of a coach, not long after. Young 
Scrooge and Fan bid an old schoolmaster good-bye, get in, and drive gaily 
down the country road: the quick wheels dash the hoar-frost and snow from off 
the dark leaves of the evergreens like spray. 

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD

The Elder Scrooge and the Ghost stand at the road-side and watch the coach go 
by, its two passengers laughing and talking.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		Always a delicate creature, whom a breath 
		might have withered.  But she had a large 
		heart!

				SCROOGE 
		So she had. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		She died a woman.  And had, as I think, 
		children. 

				SCROOGE 
		One child.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		True.  Your nephew!

Scrooge seems uneasy in his mind.

				SCROOGE 
			(briefly)
		Yes.

The Ghost casually peers over Scrooge shoulder and when Scrooge turns 'round 
to follow his gaze, he is startled to see:

EXT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

A busy thoroughfare of a city, where shadowy pedestrians pass and shadowy 
carts and coaches battle for the way. The dressing of the shops shows that 
here too it's Christmas time again; but it's evening, and the streets are 
lighted up. Scrooge and the Ghost stand near a warehouse door to which the 
Ghost points. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		Know it?

				SCROOGE 
		Know it!  I apprenticed here!

The Ghost, using a half dozen arms that fade in and out of view, gestures 
"After you" and Scrooge enters. 

INT. WAREHOUSE

At sight of an old GENTLEMEN in a Welch wig, sitting behind such a high desk, 
that if he were two inches taller he would knock his head against the 
ceiling, Scrooge lets out a gasp and turns to the Ghost behind him. 

				SCROOGE 
		Why, it's old Fezziwig! Bless his heart; 
		it's Fezziwig alive again! 

Old Fezziwig lays down his pen, and looks up at the clock, which points to 
the hour of seven. He rubs his hands; adjusts his capacious waistcoat; 
laughs, and calls out in a comfortable, oily, rich, fat, jovial voice. 

				FEZZIWIG
		Yo ho, there! Ebenezer! Dick!

Immediately, EBENEZER -- Scrooge's younger self, now a grown man -- comes 
briskly in, accompanied by his fellow-'prentice, DICK. 

				SCROOGE 
			(to the Ghost)
		Dick Wilkins, to be sure!  Bless me, yes. 
		There he is. He was very much attached to me, 
		was Dick. Poor Dick! Dear, dear!

				FEZZIWIG
		Yo ho, my boys! No more work to-night. 
		Christmas Eve, Dick. Christmas, Ebenezer! 
		Let's have the shutters up... 
			(claps his hands, sharply) 
		... before a man can say, Jack Robinson!

Dick and Ebenezer charge into the street with the shutters -- one, two, three 
-- have them up in their places -- four, five, six -- bar 'em and pin 'em -- 
seven, eight, nine -- and come back before the count of twelve, panting like 
race-horses. Fezziwig skips down from the high desk, with wonderful agility.

				FEZZIWIG
		Hilli-ho! Clear away, my lads, and let's 
		have lots of room here! Hilli-ho, Dick! 
		Chirrup, Ebenezer!

FEZZIWIG CHRISTMAS MONTAGE

In a minute, Dick and Ebenezer have every movable packed off, the floor swept 
and watered, the lamps trimmed, fuel heaped on the fire; and the warehouse is 
as snug, and warm, and dry, and bright a ball-room. 

A fiddler with a music-book enters, goes up to the lofty desk, tunes his 
instrument and starts to play.  MRS. FEZZIWIG, one vast substantial smile, 
enters. Three MISS FEZZIWIGS, beaming and lovable, enter. Six young followers 
whose hearts they broke, enter. All the young men and women employed in the 
business enter, one after another; some shyly, some boldly, some gracefully, 
some awkwardly, some pushing, some pulling -- twenty couple at once; hands 
half round and back again the other way; down the middle and up again; round 
and round in various stages of affectionate grouping; as the dance ends, old 
Fezziwig, clapping his hands, crying out, "Well done!"  The fiddler buries his
 face in a pot of porter and then pops up again, refreshed, to keep playing. 

Throughout, Scrooge and the Ghost watch.  Or, rather, the Ghost watches and 
Scrooge lives and re-lives every moment.  He points out the guests to the 
Ghost and talks about them animatedly, though we can't hear him over all the 
noise.  Eventually, he ditches the Ghost like a bad blind date and follows 
his younger self 'round the room, listening in on conversations and laughing 
along with various jokes. 

More dancing.  Also eating: cake, negus, a great piece of Cold Roast, a great 
piece of Cold Boiled, mince-pies, and plenty of beer. The fiddler strikes up 
"Sir Roger de Coverley." Old Fezziwig dances with Mrs. Fezziwig -- an 
impressive display: advance and retire, hold hands with your partner, bow and 
curtsey; corkscrew; thread-the-needle, and back again to your place.  Young 
Ebenezer, too, dances up a storm as his elder self looks on in amazement.

The clock strikes eleven as the party winds down. Mr and Mrs Fezziwig take 
their stations, one on either side of the door, and shake hands with every 
person individually as he or she goes out, wishes him or her a Merry 
Christmas. When everyone has gone but the two 'prentices, they do the same to 
them;  Suddenly, all is very quiet as the young men are left to clean up. 

Scrooge remembers the Ghost, and becomes conscious that it's looking full 
upon him, while the light upon its head burns very clear. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		A small matter to make these silly folks so 
		full of gratitude.

				SCROOGE 
		Small!  

The Spirit signs to him to listen to the two apprentices.  We overhear a 
snatch of the conversation as they tidy the room.

				DICK
		What a sweet old man is Mr Fezziwig!

				EBENEZER
		The sweetest!  Didja see him dancin' with 
		the Missus -- and the look on his face?  

				DICK
		Oh, yes!

				EBENEZER  
		He was in Heaven -- and fully deserved to 
		be.

				DICK
		And where the devil did he find that 
		fiddler?

				EBENEZER  
		Oh, wasn't he marvelous? Nothing's too good 
		for Fezziwig. I'd say this year's party was 
		finer than the last -- if such a thing is 
		possible.

As the boys head into another room, the Ghost turns to Scrooge.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		Fezziwig spent but a few pounds of your 
		mortal money: three or four perhaps. Is that 
		so much that he deserves this praise?

				SCROOGE 
		It isn't that. It isn't that, Spirit. He 
		has the power to render us happy or unhappy; 
		to make our service light or burdensome; a 
		pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies 
		in words and looks; in things so slight and 
		insignificant that it is impossible to add 
		and count 'em up: what then? The happiness 
		he gives, is quite as great as if it cost 
		a fortune.

The Ghost raises an eyebrow at this, and Scrooge stops. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		What is the matter? 

				SCROOGE 
		Nothing particular. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		Something, I think?

				SCROOGE 
		No. No. I should like to be able to say a 
		word or two to my clerk just now. That's all.

Suddenly, the room darkens as young Ebenezer re-enters and turns down the 
lamps. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		My time grows short.

The room continues to darken until the scene fades to black.

EXT. GRAVEYARD - DAY

The black hole of a freshly dug grave -- on a frosty green cemetery lawn 
under a sunny blue sky.  Nearby is Ebenezer, older now, a man in the prime of 
life, but without the harsh and rigid lines of later years: merely a few 
signs of care and avarice. An eager, greedy, restless motion afflicts his 
eye. He sits on a bench under a shady tree watching a fair young girl in a 
mourning-dress placing flowers by a tombstone -- her tears sparkle in the 
light that shines out of the Ghost of Christmas Past, who stands on the 
opposite side of the 'stone. An astonished Scrooge stands beside the Ghost, 
staring at her, his face just inches from hers.

				SCROOGE 
			(whispers)
		Belle ...

He reaches out to touch her, but she abruptly turns and crosses to his 
younger self, going from sunshine to shade.  BELLE joins Ebenezer on the 
bench and takes up what appears to be an ongoing conversation.

				BELLE
		It matters little, to you, very little. 
		Another idol has displaced me; and if it 
		can cheer and comfort you in time to come, 
		as I would have tried to do, I have no 
		just cause to grieve.

				EBENEZER 
		What Idol has displaced you? 

				BELLE 
		A golden one. 

				EBENEZER 
			(tries to be reasonable)
		This is the even-handed dealing of the 
		world! There is nothing on which it is so 
		hard as poverty; and there is nothing it 
		professes to condemn with such severity 
		as the pursuit of wealth!

				BELLE 
		You fear the world too much.  All your 
		other hopes have merged into the hope of 
		being beyond the chance of its sordid 
		reproach. I have seen your nobler 
		aspirations fall off one by one, until 
		the master-passion, Gain, engrosses you. 
		Have I not?

				EBENEZER 
		What then? Even if I have grown so much 
		wiser, what then? I am not changed towards 
		you.

Belle shakes her head. 

				EBENEZER 
		Am I?

				BELLE 
		Our engagement is an old one. It was made
		when we were both poor and content to be 
		so, until, in good season, we could improve 
		our worldly fortune by our patient industry. 
		You are changed. When it was made, you were 
		another man.

				EBENEZER 
			(impatiently)
		I was a boy. 'Tis true, I am not now what I 
		was then.

				BELLE 
		I am. That which promised happiness when 
		we were one in heart, is fraught with 
		misery now that we are two. How often and 
		how keenly I have thought of this, I will 
		not say. It is enough that I have thought 
		of it, and can release you from our 
		engagement.

				EBENEZER 
		Have I ever sought release?

				BELLE 
		In words? No. Never.

				EBENEZER 
		In what, then?

				BELLE 
		In a changed nature; in an altered spirit; 
		in another atmosphere of life; another Hope 
		as its great end. In everything that made 
		my love of any worth or value in your sight. 
		If this had never been between us, tell me, 
		would you seek me out and try to win me now? 
		Ah, no!

He seems to yield to the justice of this supposition, in spite of himself. 

				EBENEZER 
		You think not.

				BELLE 
		I would gladly think otherwise if I could, 
		Heaven knows! When I have learned a Truth 
		like this, I know how strong and 
		irresistible it must be. But if you were 
		free to-day, to-morrow, yesterday, can 
		even I believe that you would choose a 
		dowerless girl -- you who, in your very 
		confidence with her, weigh everything by 
		Gain: or, choosing her, if for a moment 
		you were false enough to your one guiding 
		principle to do so, do I not know that 
		your repentance and regret would surely 
		follow? I do; and I release you from our 
		engagement. With a full heart, for the love 
		of him you once were.

A pause.  He is about to speak; but with her head turned from him, she 
resumes. 

				BELLE 
		You may -- the memory of what is past half 
		makes me hope you will -- have pain in this. 
		A very, very brief time, and you will dismiss 
		the recollection of it, gladly, as an 
		unprofitable dream, from which it happened 
		well that you awoke. May you be happy in the 
		life you have chosen!

Abruptly, she rises and leaves him. 

				SCROOGE 
		Spirit! Show me no more! Conduct me home. Why 
		do you delight to torture me?

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		One shadow more!  

				SCROOGE 
		No more! No more. I don't wish to see it. 
		Show me no more!

But the relentless Ghost pinions his arms, and turns him 'round to observe:

INT. BELLE'S SITTING-ROOM - NIGHT

A room, not very large or handsome, but full of comfort and Christmas 
decorations. All is quiet.  Falling snow is visible out the windows.  Near 
the fireplace, sits a beautiful young girl, nearly identical to Belle.  Belle 
herself, now a comely matron, is also by the fire -- sitting opposite her 
daughter. Scrooge gazes upon them in awe, particularly the daughter.

				NARRATOR 
			(voice over)
		I suspect it must have staggered Mr Scrooge 
		to see these women, especially the younger 
		one, because had he played his cards 
		differently, a woman such as she might well 
		have called him father, and been like a 
		spring-time for him in the haggard winter 
		of his life.  
			(beat) 
		Of course, he might well have had more than 
		one child ...

Nearly a dozen children explode into the room, making a tumultuous noise, but 
no one seems to care; on the contrary, the mother and daughter laugh 
heartily, and enjoy it very much; and the latter mingles with them and gets 
clobbered ruthlessly. They stream around a startled Scrooge, running, jumping 
and playing with enormous energy.

				NARRATOR 
			(voice over)
		... Oh, what would I not have given to be 
		one of those children! Though I never could 
		have been so rude, no, no! I wouldn't for 
		the wealth of all the world have behaved so 
		wildly, God bless my soul! 

Upon a knocking at the door, the children stampede immediately, and the 
daughter is borne towards it in the centre of the flushed and boisterous 
group, just in time to greet their father, who comes home laden with 
Christmas toys and presents.  Shouting and struggling, the kids swarm their 
father, BELLE'S HUSBAND: scaling him, with chairs for ladders, to dive into 
his pockets, despoil him of brown-paper parcels, hold on tight by his cravat, 
hug him round the neck, pummel his back, and kick his legs in irrepressible 
affection! They shout with wonder and delight at each package they receive.  
Belle has risen from her chair to watch the proceedings and happens to stand 
next to Scrooge who watches her and her family closely, no doubt pondering 
what might have been.

								DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BELLE'S SITTING-ROOM

Later that evening.  Gift-wrapping litters the floor.  The children have gone 
to bed and all is quiet again.  Scrooge and the Ghost look on as Belle's 
husband, having his eldest daughter leaning fondly on him, sits down with her 
and her mother at the fireside;  The husband turns to his wife with a smile.

				BELLE'S HUSBAND
		Belle, I saw an old friend of yours this 
		afternoon.

				BELLE 
		Who was it?

				BELLE'S HUSBAND
		Guess!

				BELLE 
		How can I?  Tut, don't I know. Ebenezer 
		Scrooge.

				BELLE'S HUSBAND
		Scrooge it was. I passed his office window; 
		and as it was not shut up, and he had a 
		candle inside, I could scarcely help seeing 
		him. His partner lies upon the point of 
		death, I hear; and there he sat alone. Quite 
		alone in the world, I do believe.

Scrooge, sitting beside the Ghost on the far side of the room, shuts his eyes 
and shakes his head.

				SCROOGE 
		Spirit! Remove me from this place.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST 
		I told you these were shadows of the things 
		that have been. That they are what they are, 
		do not blame me!

				SCROOGE 
		Remove me! I cannot bear it!

Scrooge turns upon the Ghost, and sees that it looks at him with an oddly 
morphing face, in which there momentarily appear fragments of all the faces 
it has shown him: his younger selves, Fan, the Fezziwigs, Dick Wilkins, 
Belle, etc.  Terrified, Scrooge physically attacks the Ghost.

				SCROOGE 
		Leave me! Take me back. Haunt me no longer!

The Ghost offers no visible resistance of its own but remains undisturbed by 
Scrooge's attack, the light from its head burns high and bright; Scrooge 
seizes the extinguisher-cap from under its arm and presses it down upon the 
Ghost's head. The Ghost seems to shrink beneath it, so that the extinguisher 
covers its whole form; but though Scrooge presses it down with all his force, 
he can't hide the light, which streams from under it, in an unbroken flood 
upon the ground. In a last great effort, he throws the whole of his body atop 
the cap and the light goes out.  Blackness.

INT. SCROOGE'S BED-ROOM

The room is dark -- no light shines under the bed-room door from the sitting-
room. Scrooge -- in roughly the same position we last saw him -- lies in his 
bed atop his pillow.  In the middle of a prodigiously tough snore, Scrooge 
awakens with a start and sits up in bed.  He lights his candle and looks 
around.  His bedside clock reads five minutes to one.

				NARRATOR 
			(voice over)
		Now, Marley's Ghost had warned Scrooge that 
		a second spirit would haunt him at the 
		stroke of one.  I don't mind telling you 
		that Scrooge was now prepared for a good 
		broad field of strange appearances, and 
		that nothing between a baby and a rhinoceros 
		would have astonished him very much. By this 
		time, he was ready for almost anything ...  

From the church clock, the chimes strike one.  Scrooge steels himself.

				NARRATOR 
			(voice over)
		... But, you see, he was not by any means 
		ready for nothing ...

And nothing is exactly what happens.  After a lengthy pause, Scrooge checks 
his clock, sighs and, with a last look around, blows out the candle and lies 
down on the bed.  Suddenly, he bolts straight up -- staring at his bed-room 
door.  Light is again streaming in from the sitting-room.  Scrooge gets up 
softly and shuffles in his slippers to the door.  His hand is on the lock 
when a voice from the sitting-room calls out.

				VOICE 
		Scrooooooge?  Come in, Scrooge!

A trembling Scrooge opens the door and enters:

INT. SCROOGE'S SITTING-ROOM

It's his own room, but it's undergone a transformation. The walls and ceiling 
are so hung with living green, that it looks a perfect grove; from every part 
of which, bright gleaming berries glisten. Crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, 
and ivy reflect back the light like so many little mirrors; and a mighty 
blaze roars in the fire-place. Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of 
throne, are turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, 
sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of 
oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious 
pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that make the 
chamber dim with their delicious steam. In easy state upon this couch, there 
sits a jolly Giant, glorious to see: who carries a glowing torch, in shape 
not unlike Plenty's horn, and holds it up, high up, to shed its light on 
Scrooge, as he comes peeping round the door. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT
		Come in! Come in and know me better, man! 

Scrooge enters timidly.  The Spirit's eyes are clear and kind, but Scrooge 
does not look at them. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		I am the Ghost of Christmas Present!  Look 
		upon me!

Scrooge does so. The ghost wears a simple green robe, or mantle, bordered 
with white fur, hanging so loosely on the figure, that its capacious breast 
is bare, as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. Its 
feet, observable beneath the ample folds of the garment, are also bare; and 
on its head it wears no other covering than a holly wreath, set here and 
there with shining icicles. Its dark brown curls are long and free: free as 
its genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice, its 
unconstrained demeanour, and its joyful air. Girded round its middle is an 
antique scabbard; but with no sword in it, and the ancient sheath is eaten up 
with rust. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		You have never seen the like of me before?

				SCROOGE 
		Never. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		Have never walked forth with my elder 
		brothers born in these later years?

				SCROOGE 
		I don't think I have.  I am afraid I have 
		not. Have you had many brothers, Spirit?

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		Approximately eighteen hundred and 
		forty-two. 

				SCROOGE 
		A tremendous family to provide for! 

The Ghost of Christmas Present smiles and rises. 

				SCROOGE 
		Spirit, conduct me where you will. I went 
		forth last night on compulsion, and I learnt 
		a lesson which is working now. To-night, if 
		you have aught to teach me, let me profit by 
		it.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		Touch my robe!

Scrooge does as he's told, and holds it fast. Holly, mistletoe, red berries, 
ivy, turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, meat, pigs, sausages, oysters, 
pies, puddings, fruit, and punch, all vanish instantly. So does the room, the 
fire, the ruddy glow, the hour of night...

EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

Scrooge and the Spirit wander the city streets on Christmas morning, where 
the severe weather causes the people to make a rough, but brisk and not 
unpleasant kind of music, in scraping the snow from the pavement in front of 
their dwellings, and from the tops of their houses.  Scrooge and the Spirit 
see that the corner poulterer's shop is still open, and in its window hang 
two Prize Turkeys.  One is the size of a boy, the other a little smaller.  
Happy crowds pour forth into the streets on their way to church, dressed in 
their Sunday best.  Scrooge and the Spirit press on into Camden Town. 

EXT. BOB CRATCHIT'S HOME

On the threshold of the door, Scrooge watches as the Spirit smiles and stops 
to bless Bob Cratchit's four-roomed house with an unspoken prayer.

INT. BOB CRATCHIT'S HOME

MRS CRATCHIT, Bob Cratchit's wife, dressed out but poorly in a twice-turned 
gown, but brave in ribbons, which are cheap and make a goodly show for 
sixpence; and she lays the table-cloth, assisted by BELINDA, second of her 
daughters, also brave in ribbons; while the adolescent Master PETER Cratchit 
plunges a fork into the saucepan of potatoes, then into his mouth. Two 
smaller Cratchits, boy and girl, come tearing in, screaming something 
incomprehensible; and basking in luxurious thoughts of sage-and-onion, these 
young Cratchits dance about the table. The eldest, Peter Cratchit, blows the 
fire, until the slow potatoes, bubbling up, knock loudly at the saucepan-lid. 

				MRS. CRATCHIT
		What has ever got your precious father then. 
		And your brother, Tiny Tim! And Martha warn't 
		as late last Christmas Day by half-an-hour! 

As if on cue, MARTHA, the eldest daughter, enters.

				MARTHA
		Here's Martha, mother! 

				THE TWO SMALL CRATCHITS 
		Here's Martha, mother! Hurrah! There's such 
		a goose, Martha!

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		Why, bless your heart alive, my dear, how 
		late you are!

Mrs Cratchit, kisses Martha, and takes off her shawl and bonnet for her with 
officious zeal. 

				MARTHA 
		We'd a deal of work to finish up last night 
		and had to clear away this morning, mother!

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		Well! Never mind so long as you are come. 
		Sit ye down before the fire, my dear, and 
		have a warm, Lord bless ye!

				THE TWO SMALL CRATCHITS 
		No, no! There's father coming.  Hide, 
		Martha, hide!

So Martha hides herself, and, to Scrooge's surprise -- for until now, he 
hadn't a clue as to whose house this was -- in comes little Bob Cratchit, the 
father, with at least three feet of comforter hanging down before him; and 
his threadbare clothes darned up and brushed, to look seasonable; and TINY 
TIM upon his shoulder. He sets Tim down gently.  Alas for Tiny Tim, he bears 
a little crutch, and has his limbs supported by an iron frame.  He limps 
badly, favoring his right leg.  Bob looks around.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		Why, where's our Martha?

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		Not coming.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
			(heartbroken)
		Not coming!  Not coming upon Christmas Day!

Martha doesn't like to see him disappointed, even if it were only in joke; so 
she comes out prematurely from behind the closet door, and runs into his 
arms, while the two young Cratchits help Tiny Tim to the wash-house, that he 
might hear the pudding singing in the copper. Bob hugs Martha to his heart's 
content until she breaks away to tend to the supper.  Husband and wife are 
alone for a moment.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		And how did little Tim behave in church?

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		As good as gold, and better. Somehow he 
		gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so 
		much, and thinks the strangest things 
		you ever heard. He told me, coming home, 
		that he hoped the people in church saw 
		him, because he was a cripple, and it 
		might be pleasant to them to remember 
		upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars 
		walk, and blind men see. 
			(a long pause) 
		He's growing stronger and heartier every 
		day, isn't he?

The look that crosses Mrs Cratchit's face is not encouraging.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
			(quietly)
		Yes, dear.  He is.

With his active little crutch, Tiny Tim returns, escorted by his brother and 
sister to his stool before the fire; 

				THE TWO SMALL CRATCHITS 
		The goose is cooked!  The goose is cooked!

CHRISTMAS DINNER MONTAGE

Bob Cratchit turns up his cuffs and compounds some hot mixture in a jug with 
gin and lemons, and stirs it round and round and puts it on the hob to 
simmer;  Peter, and the two ubiquitous young Cratchits fetch the goose and 
carry it to the table.  Mrs Cratchit pours the gravy, hissing hot; Peter 
mashed the potatoes with incredible vigour; Miss Belinda sweetens up the 
apple-sauce; Martha dusts the hot plates; Bob takes Tiny Tim beside him in a 
tiny corner at the table; the two young Cratchits set chairs for everybody, 
not forgetting themselves. At last, the table is set -- goose, apple-sauce 
and mashed potatoes. 

				SCROOGE 
			(to the Spirit, matter-of-fact)
		Hmmph.  Not much of a goose.

				TINY TIM
		Bless us, O Lord! and these Thy gifts, 
		which we are about to receive from Thy 
		bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

A breathless pause, as Mrs Cratchit, looking slowly all along the carving-
knife, prepares to plunge it in the breast; but when she does, and when the 
long expected gush of stuffing issues forth, one murmur of delight arises all 
round the table, and even Tiny Tim, excited by the two young Cratchits, beats 
on the table with the handle of his knife, and feebly cries "Hurrah!"  In a 
moment, everyone's mouth is full. 

				BOB CRATCHIT 
			(to Mrs Cratchit)
		I don't believe there ever was such a goose 
		cooked. So tender.

				MARTHA 
			(to Mrs Cratchit)
		And delicious.

				ONE OF THE SMALL CRATCHITS 
			(to Mrs Cratchit)
		And big.

				MRS CRATCHIT 
			(wryly)
		And cheap. 

				TINY TIM 
			(to Mrs Cratchit)
		It's lovely, Mother.  This a goose we shall 
		remember for as long as we live.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		Thank you, Tim.

After a DISSOLVE, Miss Belinda changes the plates.  Mrs Cratchit is visibly 
nervous.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		I can't stand to look at the pudding.  
		Suppose it should not be done enough? 
		Suppose it should break in turning out?

				BOB CRATCHIT 
			(mock horror)
		Suppose somebody should have got over 
		the wall of the back-yard, and stolen it, 
		while we were eating the goose?

Bob's mouth makes a perfect O and his eyebrows almost leave his head.  The 
two small Cratchits become livid and start yelling at him. Everyone roars 
with laughter at this, even Mrs Cratchit.  Belinda bursts into the room 
accompanied by a great deal of steam and, in an instant, the pudding is out 
of the copper like a speckled cannon-ball, hard and firm, blazing in half of 
half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck 
into the top.  Everyone oohs and aahhhs as Mrs Cratchit blushes and smiles 
proudly. 

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		Oh, a wonderful pudding! 

Bob Cratchit holds up a glass to propose a toast.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. 
		God bless us!

Which all the family re-echoes. 

				TINY TIM 
		God bless us every one! 

The family drinks and gets to work on the pudding.  Tim sits very close to 
his father's side upon his little stool. Bob holds Tim's withered little hand 
in his, as if he wished to keep him by his side, and dreaded that he might be 
taken from him.  Scrooge watches them with fascination -- it's a side of 
Cratchit he's never thought of.  Without taking his eyes off them, he nods to 
the Spirit.

				SCROOGE 
		Spirit ... tell me if Tiny Tim will live.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney-
		corner, and a crutch without an owner, 
		carefully preserved. If these shadows 
		remain unaltered by the Future, the child 
		will die.

				SCROOGE 
		No, no. Oh, no, kind Spirit! say he will 
		be spared.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		If these shadows remain unaltered by the 
		Future, none other of my race will find him 
		here. What then? 
			(assuming Scrooge's voice) 
		If he be like to die, he had better do it, 
		and decrease the surplus population.

Overcome with penitence and grief, Scrooge hangs his head to hear his own 
words quoted.

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		Man, if man you be in heart, not adamant, 
		forbear that wicked cant until you have 
		discovered What the surplus is, and Where 
		it is. Will you decide what men shall live,
		 what men shall die? It may be, that in the 
		sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and 
		less fit to live than millions like this 
		poor man's child. Oh God! to hear the 
		Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too 
		much life among his hungry brothers in the 
		dust! 

Scrooge bends before the Spirit's rebuke, and trembling, casts his eyes upon 
the ground. 

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		Mr Scrooge!

Scrooge looks up, startled to hear someone call his name. Bob Cratchit holds 
a glass up to him, making a toast.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		I'll give you Mr Scrooge, the Founder of 
		the Feast!

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
			(blushes)
		The Founder of the Feast indeed! I wish I 
		had him here. I'd give him a piece of my 
		mind to feast upon, and I hope he'd have 
		a good appetite for it.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
			(gently chiding)
		My dear, the children; Christmas Day.

				MRS. CRATCHIT  
		It should be Christmas Day, I am sure, on 
		which one drinks the health of such an 
		odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Mr 
		Scrooge. You know he is, Robert! Nobody 
		knows it better than you do, poor fellow!

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		My dear, have some charity.  It's Christmas 
		Day.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		I'll drink his health for your sake and the 
		Day's, not for his. Long life to him. A 
		merry Christmas and a happy new year! He'll 
		be very merry and very happy, I have no 
		doubt!

The children drink the toast after her, the first time they show no 
heartiness. Tiny Tim drinks last of all, not caring. Scrooge sees he is the 
Ogre of the family and turns away from them, toward the window where the 
evening sun sets.

EXT. MOOR - SUNSET

Scrooge and the Spirit stand on a bleak and desert moor, where monstrous 
masses of rude stone are cast about, as though it were the burial-place of 
giants; where nothing grows but moss and furze, and coarse, rank grass. Down 
in the west the setting sun leaves a streak of fiery red, which glares upon 
the desolation for an instant, like a sullen eye, and frowning lower, lower, 
lower yet, was lost in the thick gloom of darkest night. 

				SCROOGE 
		What place is this?

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		A place where Miners live, who labour in 
		the bowels of the earth. But they know me. 
		See!

A light shines from the window of a hut, and swiftly Scrooge and the Spirit 
advance towards it. Passing through the wall of mud and stone, they find:

INT. HUT - NIGHT

A cheerful FAMILY assembled round a glowing fire. An old, old man and woman, 
with their children and their children's children, and another generation 
beyond that, all decked out gaily in their holiday attire. The old man, in a 
quiet but fervent voice, sings them a Christmas song, and they all join in 
the chorus.  The Spirit gestures to Scrooge to hold his robe, and the two 
rise up through the roof of the hut and high into:

EXT. THE NIGHT SKY

They fly above the moor, speeding out to sea. To Scrooge's horror, looking 
back, he sees the last of the land, a frightful range of rocks, behind them;

EXT. THE OCEAN

The Spirit and Scrooge: two rapidly moving silhouettes skimming the ocean's 
surface.

EXT. LIGHTHOUSE

Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks, some league or so from shore, on 
which the waters chafe and dash, there stands a solitary lighthouse. Great 
heaps of sea-weed cling to its base, and storm-birds -- born of the wind one 
might suppose, as sea-weed of the water -- rise and fall about it, like the 
waves they skim. 

INT. LIGHTHOUSE

Two LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS have made a fire, that through the loophole in the 
thick stone wall sheds out a ray of brightness on the awful sea. Joining 
their horny hands over the rough table at which they sat, they toast each 
other a Merry Christmas in their can of grog; and one of them -- the elder, 
with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather, as the figure-head 
of an old ship might be -- strikes up the song heard in the miners' hut. Just 
outside their window, a hundred ten feet in the air, Scrooge and the Spirit 
watch.  The Spirit gives Scrooge a tug -- and off they fly.

EXT.  SHIP MONTAGE - DAY

As the sun rises on a distant horizon, Scrooge and the Spirit observe: the 
helmsman at the wheel as a fellow sailor quietly wishes him a Merry 
Christmas; the look-out in the bow as he hums a carol; two officers on watch 
exchanging gifts; dark, ghostly figures in their several stations; but every 
man among them, lost in thought. In the galley, an illiterate sailor dictates 
a letter to a friend.

				SAILOR 
			(dictates)
		My dearest, dearest Emily.  The holiday 
		season finds my thoughts turning ever more 
		to you ... 
			(to the friend) 
		How's that, so far?

The friend merely looks at him and shrugs.

				SAILOR 
			(dictates)
		I should like to have been home this 
		Christmas, but I am afraid I have been 
		shanghaied ....

From behind him, Scrooge hears a long, hearty -- and familiar -- laugh.  
After a moment, he recognises it.

				SCROOGE  
		Fred?

He turns toward the laugh, suddenly finding himself in:

INT. HIS NEPHEW'S SITTING-ROOM - NIGHT

A bright, dry, gleaming room in a finely-appointed house.  The Spirit, 
standing smiling by Scrooge's side, looks at Scrooge's nephew with approving 
affability. Scrooge's nephew Fred laughs: holding his sides, rolling his 
head, and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Scrooge's 
NIECE, by marriage, laughs as heartily as he. And their assembled friends 
being not a bit behindhand, roar out lustily. 

				FRED 
		He said that Christmas was a humbug, as I 
		live! He believed it too!

				NIECE
		More shame for him, Fred!

Scrooge's niece is exceedingly pretty. With a dimpled, surprised-looking, 
capital face; a ripe little mouth, that seems made to be kissed -- as no 
doubt it often is; She is seated in a large chair with a footstool, in a snug 
corner right by the door -- and never leaves this position. 

				ONE OF THE GUESTS
		I should very much like to meet your uncle, 
		Fred.  The droll way in which you portray 
		him makes me curious.

				FRED 
		He's a comical old fellow, that's the truth: 
		and not so pleasant as he might be. However, 
		his offences carry their own punishment, and 
		I have nothing to say against him.

				NIECE 
		I'm sure he is very rich, Fred. At least you 
		always tell me so.

				FRED 
		What of that, my dear? His wealth is of no 
		use to him. He don't do any good with it. 
		He don't make himself comfortable with it. 
		He hasn't the satisfaction of thinking -- 
		ha, ha, ha! -- that he is ever going to 
		benefit Us with it. 

				NIECE 
		I have no patience with him. 

				ANOTHER WOMAN  
		Nor I.

				FRED 
		Oh, I have! I am sorry for him; I couldn't 
		be angry with him if I tried. Who suffers 
		by his ill whims? Himself, always. Here, 
		he takes it into his head to dislike us, 
		and he won't come and dine with us. What's 
		the consequence? He don't lose much of a 
		dinner.

				NIECE 
		Indeed, I think he loses a very good dinner.  
		Really, Fred, I think you're being awfully 
		charitable.

				FRED  
		If that's so, it may be because my mother, 
		God rest her saintly soul, was very fond 
		of him.  She loved him.

The Spirit glances at Scrooge who tries to appear unmoved.

				NIECE 
		But do go on, Fred. 
			(to the guests) 
		He never finishes what he begins to say. 
		He is such a ridiculous fellow!

				FRED 
		I was only going to say, that the 
		consequence of his taking a dislike to us, 
		and not making merry with us, is, as I 
		think, that he loses some pleasant moments, 
		which could do him no harm. I am sure he 
		loses pleasanter companions than he can find 
		in his own thoughts, either in his mouldy 
		old office, or his dusty chambers. I mean 
		to give him the same chance every year, 
		whether he likes it or not, for I pity him. 
		He may rail at Christmas till he dies, but 
		he can't help thinking better of it -- I 
		defy him -- if he finds me going there, in 
		good temper, year after year, and saying 
		Uncle Scrooge, how are you? If it only puts 
		him in the vein to leave his poor clerk 
		fifty pounds, that's something; and I think 
		I shook him yesterday.

Before Fred finishes, one of the female guests has begun to play a simple 
little tune upon the harp; and the others choose partners and take to dancing 
about the room. There might be twenty people there, young and old, but they 
all dance.  The rhythm is infectious and Scrooge keeps time with his feet, 
enjoying himself in a quiet way. The Spirit seems greatly pleased to find him 
in this mood.

								DISSOLVE TO:

INT. HIS NEPHEW'S SITTING-ROOM

Later that evening.  Everyone is seated.  Scrooge's niece is in her usual 
chair by the door.  Scrooge and the Spirit -- whose hair has by now greyed 
considerably -- stand nearby.  One of the guests, TOPPER, stands in the 
center of the room trying to keep everyone's attention.

				TOPPER
		Now, then, it's a Game called Yes and No. 
			(to Fred) 
		Since you're the host, you'll go first. 

But Fred is reluctant and waves him off.  The others jeer at him to take part 
and he forces himself to rise.

				SCROOGE 
			(to the Spirit) 
		I think we should at least stay until the 
		guests have departed. 

				FRED 
			(to Topper)
		Oh, dear.  What do I have to do?

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		I'm afraid that cannot be done. 

				SCROOGE 
		Here is a new game. One half hour, Spirit, 
		only one!

				TOPPER 
			(to Fred)
		You think of something, anything, and the 
		rest of us must find out what it is; But you 
		may only answer our questions 'yes' or 'no', 
		as the case may be. 

				FRED 
		Ah, all right.  Well .... Oh, I've got it.  

				TOPPER
		You've thought of something?

				FRED 
		Yes. Fire away.

				NOT TOO BRIGHT GUEST
		Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?

				TOPPER 
			(to the guest)
		No, no, no.  It has to be a question he can 
		answer 'yes' or 'no'.  
			(to Fred) 
		Are you thinking of an animal?

				FRED 
			(grins) 
		Yes.

				NOT TOO BRIGHT GUEST
		Living or dead?

Everyone giggles at the Not Too Bright Guest.  Topper sits down.

				SOMEONE ELSE
		Is it living?

				FRED 
		Yes.

				ANOTHER GUEST
		A wild animal?

				FRED 
			(laughs)
		Well ...

				SOMEONE ELSE
		Can it be found in London?

				FRED 
		Yes.  I'm afraid so.

				ANOTHER GUEST 
		Does it live in a menagerie?

				FRED 
		No!  Wouldn't go near it.

				THE PLUMP SISTER
		Is it a horse?

				FRED 
		No!

				NIECE 
		Is it an ass?

At this, Fred roars with laughter; and is so inexpressibly tickled, that he 
doubles over and stamps his foot.

				FRED 
		No!

				SCROOGE 
		Is it a cow?

The Spirit gives Scrooge a look as if to say: "They can't hear you..." and 
Scrooge scowls as if to say: "Shut up.  I'm having fun."

				SOMEONE ELSE 
		Does it walk the streets?

				FRED 
		Yes!

				NIECE 
		Is it some kind of rat?

				FRED 
			(laughs, clutches his sides)
		No!  Maybe a pack-rat.

				TOPPER
		Wait!  Is it a man?

Fred bites his lip to keep from laughing and nods, Yes.

				THE PLUMP SISTER
		I have found it out! I know what it is, Fred! 
		I know what it is!

				SEVERAL GUESTS 
			(ad-lib) 
		What is it? What?

				THE PLUMP SISTER
		It's your Uncle Scro-o-o-o-oge!

				FRED 
		Yes!

Everybody, even the Spirit, roars with laughter, except Scrooge, who is 
stunned -- and a trifle humiliated.  The niece, right beside Scrooge, grins 
mischievously and wags a finger at Fred.

				NIECE 
		That's not fair!  When I asked 'Is it an 
		ass?', you should have answered 'yes'!

Everybody roars even louder at this, except Scrooge, who is now completely 
humiliated.  Fred picks up his glass of wine.

				FRED 
		He has given us plenty of merriment, I am 
		sure, and it would be ungrateful not to 
		drink his health. I say, 'Uncle Scrooge!'" 

				SEVERAL GUESTS 
			(ad-lib)
		Well! Uncle Scrooge. Here's to 'im!

				FRED 
		A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to 
		the old man, whatever he is! He wouldn't 
		take it from me, but may he have it, 
		nevertheless. Uncle Scrooge!

The Ghost and Scrooge exchange glances.  The niece drinks and sets down her 
empty glass.

INT. CHARITY WARD

Where someone else sets down an empty glass:  a wretched woman with an infant 
-- the one Scrooge saw from his window during the visit of Marley's Ghost -- 
one of many destitute people, wrapped in blankets, lying on cots in the 
crowded room.  Scrooge watches as a young BOY comes around to pick up her 
glass.  Others like him attend to a multitude of the sick and the poor.

				WRETCHED WOMAN 
		Thank you.  Thank you, so much.  

				BOY
		Do you feel rested now?

				WRETCHED WOMAN 
		I do. Bless your dear gentle heart. You know, 
		my dear, I-I'm very grateful for all you're 
		doing.  If I'd've known you people were here, 
		I'd've come sooner.  And brought friends.  
		There are a lot of people I know who could 
		use your help--  Tell me, why-why aren't 
		there more places like this?

The boy doesn't quite know how to respond.

				BOY
		I don't know.  

He can only smile weakly, touch her arm, and move on.  He walks past a couple 
of familiar faces: the two portly gentlemen who paid a visit to Scrooge the 
day before seeking a charitable donation.  They stand off to one side 
surveying the scene with mixed emotions.

				2ND GENTLEMAN  
		Quite a turn-out.

				1ST GENTLEMAN  
		More than expected.  
			(matter-of-fact)
		We haven't enough funds to last until next 
		week.

				2ND GENTLEMAN  
		Something will turn up, I'm sure.

Scrooge observes the 1st Gentleman pulling a fancy watch from his pocket and 
staring at it.  The 2nd Gentleman looks him over sympathetically.

				2ND GENTLEMAN  
		It's been long day.  Thinking about going 
		home to the family?

The 1st Gentleman shakes his head, No.

				1ST GENTLEMAN 
			(wryly)
		Thinking about selling a watch.

The watch reads but a few minutes before midnight.

								DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. THE SHADOW OF A CHURCH TOWER

The church clock reads but a few minutes before midnight.  Scrooge and the 
Spirit stand below it.  While Scrooge remains unaltered in his outward form, 
the Ghost has grown older, clearly older, its hair whitened with age. Scrooge 
squints at the Spirit as they stand together.

				SCROOGE  
		Your hair is grey.  Are spirits' lives so 
		short? 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		My life is very brief. It ends to-night.

				SCROOGE 
		To-night!

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		To-night at midnight.

Scrooge's gaze goes from the clock to the Spirit's robe.

				SCROOGE 
		Forgive me if I am not justified in what I 
		ask, but I see something strange, and not 
		belonging to yourself, protruding from your 
		skirts. Is it a foot or a claw?

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		It might well be a claw, for all the flesh 
		there is upon it.  Look here.

From the foldings of its robe, it brings two children; wretched, abject, 
frightful, hideous, miserable. They kneel down at its feet, and cling upon 
the outside of its garment. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		Oh, Man! look here. Look, look, down here!

A boy and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, 
too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their 
features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and 
shrivelled hand, like that of age, has pinched, and twisted them, and pulled 
them into shreds. 

				SCROOGE 
		Spirit! are they yours?

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		They are Man's.  And they cling to me, 
		appealing from their fathers. This boy is 
		Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them 
		both, and all of their degree, but most of 
		all beware this boy, for on his brow I see 
		that written which is Doom, unless the 
		writing be erased. Deny it!

The Spirit stretches out its hand towards the city. 

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
		Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for 
		your factious purposes, and make it worse! 
		And bide the end!

				SCROOGE 
		Have they no refuge or resource?

				THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT 
			(assuming Scrooge's voice)
		Are there no prisons?  Are there no 
		workhouses?

Scrooge winces at this. The church bell strikes twelve. Scrooge looks about 
him.  The Spirit is gone.  Another, a solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, 
comes, like a mist along the ground, towards him. 

				SCROOGE 
			(to himself)
		Midnight.  The last of the spirits.

The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently approaches. Scrooge bends down upon his 
knee; for in the very air through which this Phantom moves it seems to 
scatter gloom and mystery. It is shrouded in a deep black garment, which 
conceals its head, its face, its form, and leaves nothing of it visible save 
one outstretched hand. But for this it would be difficult to detach its 
figure from the night, and separate it from the darkness by which it is 
surrounded.  It is tall and stately and its mysterious presence fills Scrooge 
with a solemn dread. The Phantom neither speaks nor moves. 

				SCROOGE 
		I am in the presence of the Ghost of 
		Christmas Yet To Come? 

The Phantom answers not, but points onward with its hand. 

				SCROOGE 
		You are about to show me shadows of the 
		things that have not happened, but will 
		happen in the time before us.  Is that so, 
		Spirit?

The upper portion of the garment contracts for an instant in its folds, as if 
the Phantom had nodded its head.  

				SCROOGE 
		Ghost of the Future! I fear you more than any 
		spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose 
		is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be 
		another man from what I was, I am prepared to 
		bear you company, and do it with a thankful 
		heart. Will you not speak to me?

It gives him no reply. The hand points straight before them. 

				SCROOGE 
		Lead on! Lead on! The night is waning fast, 
		and it is precious time to me, I know. Lead 
		on, Spirit! 

The Phantom moves away as it had come towards him. Scrooge follows in its 
shadow, which seems to bear him up and carry him along. 

INT. THE LONDON EXCHANGE - DAY

They scarcely seem to enter the Exchange; for the Exchange rather seems to 
spring up about them, and encompass them of its own act. They stand amongst 
the businessmen;  The Phantom stops and points to one little knot of men. 
Scrooge peers at them.  Among them are the fat man and the red-faced man he 
had spoken to the day before.

				SCROOGE 
		Yes, I know these gentlemen.  Business 
		associates.

The Phantom continues to point.  Scrooge takes the hint and advances to 
listen to their talk. 

				FAT MAN WITH A MONSTROUS CHIN
		No, I don't know much about it, either way. 
		I only know he's dead.

				2nd MAN 
		When did he die?

				FAT MAN WITH A MONSTROUS CHIN
		Last night, I believe.

				3rd MAN 
		Why, what was the matter with him? I thought 
		he'd never die.

				FAT MAN WITH A MONSTROUS CHIN 
			(yawns)
		God knows. 

				RED-FACED MAN WITH A 
				PENDULOUS EXCRESCENCE
	 	What has he done with his money? 

				FAT MAN WITH A MONSTROUS CHIN
		I haven't heard. Left it to his Company, 
		perhaps. He hasn't left it to me. That's all 
		I know.

Everyone laughs. 

				FAT MAN WITH A MONSTROUS CHIN
		It's likely to be a very cheap funeral, for 
		upon my life I don't know of anybody to go 
		to it. Suppose we make up a party and 
		volunteer?

				RED-FACED MAN WITH A 
				PENDULOUS EXCRESCENCE
		I don't mind going if a lunch is provided.  
		But I must be fed, if I make one.

Another laugh. 

				FAT MAN WITH A MONSTROUS CHIN
		Well, I am the most disinterested among you, 
		after all, for I never wear black gloves, 
		and I never eat lunch. But I'll offer to go,
		if anybody else will. When I come to think 
		of it, I'm not at all sure that I wasn't his 
		most particular friend; for we used to stop 
		and speak whenever we met. Bye, bye!

The men stroll away, and mix with other groups. Scrooge looks towards the 
Spirit for an explanation. The Phantom glides on into another street. 

EXT. LONDON EXCHANGE

The Phantom's finger points to two middle-aged men meeting on the massive 
stone steps. 

				SCROOGE 
			(to the Phantom)
		I know these men, perfectly. Men of 
		business: very wealthy, and of great 
		importance. I've made a point always of 
		standing well in their esteem -- in a 
		business point of view, that is; strictly 
		business. 

				1st BUSINESSMAN 
		How are you?

				2nd BUSINESSMAN 
		How are you?

				1st BUSINESSMAN 
		Well! Old Scratch has got his own at last, 
		hey?

				2nd BUSINESSMAN 
		So I am told. Cold, isn't it?

				1st BUSINESSMAN 
		Seasonable for Christmas time. You're not 
		a skaiter, I suppose?

				2nd BUSINESSMAN 
		No. No. Something else to think of. Good 
		morning!

The two men part. A puzzled Scrooge follows the Phantom through the streets.

EXT. CITY STREET

A busy street corner.  Scrooge peers curiously at the Phantom.

				SCROOGE  
		I am rather surprised that you should 
		attach importance to conversations 
		apparently so trivial.

No response from the Phantom.

				SCROOGE  
		They must have some hidden purpose, or 
		else you wouldn't be showing them to me. 
		Is that right?

No response.

				SCROOGE  
		They could scarcely have any bearing on 
		the death of Jacob, my old partner, for 
		his death was in the Past, and this is 
		the Future.

Scrooge looks around at the multitudes of pedestrians pouring past him.

				SCROOGE 
		I can't help but notice that this is my 
		accustomed corner, and I see by the clock 
		that this is my usual time of day for being 
		here... but I see no likeness of myself. 

Caught up in what he's saying, Scrooge fails to see the Phantom move off.

				SCROOGE 
		Not that I'm surprised, you understand.  
		You see, I've been revolving in my mind a, 
		er, change of life.  And I should like to 
		think...  that is, I rather hope... that my 
		not being here is the result of my having 
		carried out some, ah, resolutions regarding -- 

Scrooge suddenly notices that the Phantom has moved on down the street and 
hurriedly follows it.

EXT. BAD PART OF TOWN - DUSK

Scrooge trails the Phantom, looking over this neighborhood, near sunset.  The 
ways are foul and narrow; the shops and houses wretched; the people half-
naked, drunken, slipshod, ugly. Alleys and archways, like so many cesspools, 
disgorge their offences of smell, and dirt, and life, upon the straggling 
streets; and the whole quarter reeks with crime, with filth, and misery. 

INT. SHOP - NIGHT

A low-browed, beetling shop, below a pent-house roof, where iron, old rags, 
bottles, bones, and greasy offal, are bought. Upon the floor within, are 
piled up heaps of rusty keys, nails, chains, hinges, files, scales, weights, 
and refuse iron of all kinds. Secrets that few would like to scrutinise are 
bred and hidden in mountains of unseemly rags, masses of corrupted fat, and 
sepulchres of bones. Sitting in among the wares he deals in, by a charcoal 
stove, made of old bricks, is a grey-haired rascal, nearly seventy years of 
age who smokes his pipe in all the luxury of calm retirement. This is OLD JOE.

Scrooge and the Phantom come into his presence, just as a CHARWOMAN with a 
heavy bundle slinks into the shop. But she has scarcely entered, when another 
woman, a LAUNDRESS, similarly laden, comes in too; and she is closely 
followed by a man in faded black, an UNDERTAKER, who is no less startled by 
the sight of them, than they had been upon the recognition of each other. 
After a short period of blank astonishment, in which Old Joe joins them, they 
all three burst into a laugh. 

				CHARWOMAN 
			(to all)
		Let the charwoman alone to be the first! 
		Let the laundress alone to be the second; 
		and let the undertaker's man alone to be 
		the third. 
			(to Old Joe) 
		Look here, old Joe, here's a chance! If we 
		haven't all three met here without meaning 
		it!

				OLD JOE
		You couldn't have met in a better place.  
		Come into the parlour. You were made free 
		of it long ago, you know; and the other two 
		ain't strangers. Stop till I shut the door 
		of the shop. 

He shuts the door which creaks badly.

				OLD JOE 
		Ah! There ain't such a rusty bit of metal 
		in the place as its own hinges, I believe; 
		and I'm sure there's no such old bones here, 
		as mine. Ha, ha! We're all suitable to our 
		calling, we're well matched. Come into the 
		parlour. Come into the parlour.

They follow him into:

INT.  THE PARLOUR 

A space behind a screen of rags. Old Joe rakes the fire together with an old
stair-rod, and having trimmed his smoky lamp, with the stem of his pipe, puts 
it in his mouth again. While he does this, the charwoman throws her bundle on 
the floor, and sits down in a flaunting manner on a stool; crossing her 
elbows on her knees, and looking with a bold defiance at the other two. 

				CHARWOMAN 
		What odds then! What odds, Mrs Dilber? 
		Every person has a right to take care of 
		themselves. He always did!

				LAUNDRESS
		That's true, indeed! No man more so. 

				CHARWOMAN 
		Why then, don't stand staring as if you 
		was afraid, woman; who's the wiser? We're
		not going to pick holes in each other's 
		coats, I suppose?

				LAUNDRESS
		No, indeed! 

				UNDERTAKER
		We should hope not.

				CHARWOMAN
		Very well, then! That's enough. Who's the 
		worse for the loss of a few things like 
		these? Not a dead man, I suppose.

				LAUNDRESS
		No, indeed! 

				CHARWOMAN 
		If he wanted to keep 'em after he was 
		dead, a wicked old screw, why wasn't he 
		natural in his lifetime? If he had been, 
		he'd have had somebody to look after him 
		when he was struck with Death, instead of 
		lying gasping out his last there, alone 
		by himself.

				LAUNDRESS
		It's the truest word that ever was spoke. 
		It's a judgment on him. 

				CHARWOMAN
		I wish it was a little heavier judgment, 
		and it should have been, you may depend 
		upon it, if I could have laid my hands on 
		anything else. 
			(turns to Old Joe) 
		Open that bundle, old Joe, and let me know 
		the value of it. Speak out plain. I'm not 
		afraid to be the first, nor afraid for them 
		to see it. We know pretty well that we were 
		helping ourselves, before we met here, I 
		believe. It's no sin. Open the bundle, Joe.

But the undertaker mounts the breach first and produces his plunder of which 
there's not much: a seal or two, a pencil-case, a pair of sleeve-buttons,
and a brooch of no great value. Old Joe examines and appraises them and then
chalks up his asking price for each, upon the wall, and adds them up into a 
total. 

				OLD JOE 
			(to the undertaker)
		That's your account, and I wouldn't give 
		another sixpence, if I was to be boiled for 
		not doing it. Who's next?

The laundress is next. Sheets and towels, a little wearing apparel, two old-
fashioned silver teaspoons, a pair of sugar-tongs, and a few boots. Old Joe 
chalks her account on the wall in the same manner.  As he does, Scrooge turns 
to the Phantom beside him.

				SCROOGE  
		This is disgusting.  I can't look at this.  
		Haven't you anything better to show me?

Scrooge turns his back on the group and stares at the wall.

				OLD JOE 
		I always give too much to ladies. It's a 
		weakness of mine, and that's the way I ruin 
		myself.  That's your account. If you asked 
		me for another penny, and made it an open 
		question, I'd repent of being so liberal 
		and knock off half-a-crown.

				CHARWOMAN 
		And now undo my bundle, Joe. 

Joe goes down on his knees for the greater convenience of opening her bundle, 
and having unfastened a great many knots, drags out a large and heavy roll of 
some dark stuff. It's Scrooge's bed-curtains.

				OLD JOE 
		What do you call this?  Bed-curtains?

The charwoman laughs and leans forward on her crossed arms.

				CHARWOMAN 
		Ah! Bed-curtains!

				OLD JOE 
		You don't mean to say you took them down, 
		rings and all, with him lying there? 

				CHARWOMAN 
		Yes I do.  Why not?

Scrooge, still with his back to the scene, listens to this dialogue in horror. 

				SCROOGE  
		Huh!  Rings and all!

				OLD JOE 
		You were born to make your fortune, and 
		you'll certainly do it.

				CHARWOMAN 
			(coolly)
		I certainly shan't hold my hand, when I can 
		get anything in it by reaching it out, for 
		the sake of such a man as he was, I promise 
		you.

Old Joe pulls out some more material.

				CHARWOMAN 
		Joe, don't drop that oil upon the blankets, 
		now.

				OLD JOE 
		His blankets?

				CHARWOMAN 
		Whose else's do you think?  He isn't likely 
		to take cold without 'em, I dare say.

Old Joe stops and looks up. 

				OLD JOE 
		I hope he didn't die of anything catching? 
		Eh?

				CHARWOMAN 
		Don't you be afraid of that. I ain't so 
		fond of his company that I'd loiter about 
		him for such things, if he did. Ah! you 
		may look through that shirt till your eyes 
		ache; but you won't find a hole in it, nor 
		a threadbare place. It's the best he had, 
		and a fine one too. They'd have wasted it, 
		if it hadn't been for me.

				OLD JOE 
		What do you call wasting of it?  

				CHARWOMAN 
		Putting it on him to be buried in, to be 
		sure. Somebody was fool enough to do it, 
		but I took it off again. If calico ain't 
		good enough for such a purpose, it isn't 
		good enough for anything. It's quite as 
		becoming to the body. He can't look uglier 
		than he did in that one.

As they sit grouped about their spoil, in the scanty light afforded by Old 
Joe's lamp, the three watch old Joe put the various items out of sight and 
produce a flannel bag with money in it.  He doles out payment to each.  
Scrooge turns to watch.

				CHARWOMAN 
		Ha, ha! This is the end of it, you see! He 
		frightened every one away from him when he 
		was alive, to profit us when he was dead! 
		Ha, ha, ha! 

A sickened Scrooge turns to the Phantom.

				SCROOGE 
		Spirit! I see, I see. The case of this 
		unhappy man might be my own. My life tends 
		that way, now. That is the lesson I am to 
		draw from this poor man's fate, is it not?

The Phantom, as if in anger at Scrooge's stupidity, violently lashes out -- 
spreading its dark robe over Scrooge, momentarily blinding him -- then whips 
the robe away to reveal:

INT. DARK ROOM

Scrooge finds himself in a dark room, almost touching a bed: a bare, 
uncurtained bed.

				SCROOGE 
		Merciful Heaven, what is this?

The room is very dark, too dark to be observed with any accuracy, though 
Scrooge glances 'round it, anxious to know what kind of room it was. A pale 
light, rising in the outer air, falls straight upon the bed; and on it, 
plundered and bereft, unwatched, unwept, uncared for, is the body of a man. 

				NARRATOR 
			(voice over)
		Oh cold, cold, rigid, dreadful Death, set 
		up thine altar here, and dress it with such 
		terrors as thou hast at thy command: for 
		this is thy dominion! But of the loved, 
		revered, and honoured head, thou canst not 
		turn one hair to thy dread purposes, or make 
		one feature odious. It is not that the hand 
		is heavy and will fall down when released; 
		it is not that the heart and pulse are still; 
		but that the hand was open, generous, and true; 
		the heart brave, warm, and tender; and the 
		pulse a man's. Strike, Shadow, strike! And 
		see his good deeds springing from the wound, 
		to sow the world with life immortal. 

Under the voice over: Scrooge glances towards the Phantom. Its steady hand 
points to the covered head. Scrooge hesitantly approaches the dead man and 
attempts to uncover its face.  But he cannot bring himself to do so.  His 
hand shakes and he backs away. A cat meows somewhere in the dark.  Scrooge, 
his face dripping with sweat, turns to the Phantom.

				SCROOGE 
		Spirit! This is a fearful place. In leaving 
		it, I shall not leave its lesson, trust me. 
		Let us go!

Still the Phantom points with an unmoved finger to the head. 

				SCROOGE 
		I understand you and I would look at this 
		dead man's face, if I could. But I have 
		not the power, Spirit. I have not the power.

The Phantom seems to look upon him. 

				SCROOGE 
		If there is any person in the town, who 
		feels emotion caused by this man's death, 
		show that person to me, Spirit, I beseech 
		you!

The light that falls from above instantly flashes, momentarily blinding 
Scrooge.  When his eyes clear:

INT. BRIGHT ROOM - DAY

Scrooge stands in a room by daylight, where a mother and her children sit. 
The children play quietly.  The mother looks out the window; glances at the 
clock, and tries, but in vain, to work with her needle. At the sound of a 
knock, she hurries to the door, and meets her husband; a man whose face, 
though young, is careworn and depressed. There is a remarkable expression in 
it now; a kind of serious delight of which he feels ashamed, and which he 
struggles to repress. 

				SHE
		Tell me the news.

He appears embarrassed how to answer. 

				SHE
		Is it good ... or bad?  

				HE
		Bad. 

				SHE
		We are quite ruined?

				HE
		No. There is hope yet, Caroline.

				SHE
		If he relents, there is. Nothing is past 
		hope, if such a miracle has happened.

				HE
		He is past relenting. He is dead.

After a long moment, the news sinks in.

				SHE 
			(genuinely)
		I am thankful in my soul to hear that.  
			(a little less convincingly) 
		May God forgive me for having said such a 
		thing.

She clasps her hands together in joy.

				HE
		When I tried to see him and obtain a 
		week's delay, his charwoman told me he was 
		ill; and what I thought was a mere excuse 
		to avoid me, turns out to have been quite 
		true. He was not only very ill, but dying, 
		then. 

				SHE
		To whom will our debt be transferred?

				HE
		I don't know. But before that time we shall 
		be ready with the money; and even though we
		were not, it would be a bad fortune indeed 
		to find so merciless a creditor in his 
		successor. We may sleep to-night with light 
		hearts, Caroline! 

Their hearts are clearly lighter. The children's faces, hushed and clustered 
round to hear what they so little understood, are brighter; Standing in the 
sunlight, next to a window, Scrooge slowly turns to the Phantom.

				SCROOGE 
		So ... it's a happier house for this man's 
		death!  Is that the only emotion you can 
		show me -- pleasure?  
			(beat) 
		But then I don't suppose one can find much 
		tenderness connected with a death?

The Phantom reaches up and pulls down the window-shade, blocking the sun, 
darkening the room.  The Phantom releases the shade and it snaps up and out 
of view to reveal a night sky and the reflection of a lit fireplace in the 
glass.  Scrooge looks at the glass a moment before turning to see where he 
is.

INT. BOB CRATCHIT'S HOME - NIGHT

Mrs. Cratchit and the children sit round the fire. Quiet. Very quiet. The 
noisy little Cratchits are as still as statues in one corner, and sit looking 
up at Peter, who has a book before him. The mother and her daughters sew. 

				PETER 
			(reads aloud)
		...  He shall cover thee with his feathers, 
		and under his wings shalt thou trust: his 
		truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 
		Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by 
		night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 
		Nor for the pestilence that walketh in 
		darkness; nor for the destruction that 
		wasteth at noonday.  A thousand shall fall 
		at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right 
		hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 
		Because thou hast made the Lord, which is 
		my refuge, even the most High, thy 
		habitation;  There shall no evil befall 
		thee, neither shall any plague come nigh 
		thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels 
		charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy 
		ways.  Because he hath set his love upon 
		me, therefore will I deliver him: I will 
		set him on high, because he hath known my 
		name. He shall call upon me, and I will 
		answer him: I will be with him in trouble; 
		I will deliver him, and honour him....

Peter looks up to see Mrs Cratchit lay her work upon the table and put her 
hand up to her face. 

				PETER
		Shall I stop reading?

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		No, no.  It's only the colour.  It hurts my 
		eyes. 

Scrooge is puzzled by this: he peers intently at the group.  Black is the 
colour of the material in the women's hands.  Mrs. Cratchit regains her 
composure.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		They're better now again. It makes them weak 
		by candle-light; and I wouldn't show weak 
		eyes to your father when he comes home, for 
		the world. It must be near his time.

				PETER
		Past it rather. But I think he has walked a 
		little slower than he used to these last 
		few evenings, mother.

Peter shuts his Bible. They are very quiet again. A long pause, and then Mrs 
Cratchit speaks in a steady, cheerful voice, that only faulters once.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		I have known him walk with -- I have known 
		him walk with Tiny Tim upon his shoulder, 
		very fast indeed.

				PETER
		And so have I.  Often.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		But he was very light to carry, and his 
		father loved him so, that it was no trouble: 
		no trouble. 

A noise stirs her.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		And there is your father at the door!

Bob in his comforter comes in -- alone. As the family greets him with his cup 
of tea in an unusually subdued fashion, it finally dawns on Scrooge what has 
happened.

				SCROOGE  
		Oh, my God...

The Phantom makes no move.  Scrooge watches as the Cratchit family draws 
about the fire; Peter tries to read silently to himself; the girls and mother 
return to their sewing; Bob sips his tea.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
			(pleasantly)
		I ran into Mr. Scrooge's nephew in the 
		street today.  He thought I looked a little 
		-- just a little down, you know -- and he 
		inquired as to what had happened to distress 
		me. On which, for he is the pleasantest-spoken 
		gentleman you ever heard, I told him. "I am 
		heartily sorry for it, Mr Cratchit," he said, 
		"and heartily sorry for your good wife." 
			(pause) 
		By the bye, how he ever knew that, I don't 
		know.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		Knew what? 

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		Why, that you were a good wife. 

Mrs. Cratchit smiles.

				PETER
		Everybody knows that. 

				BOB CRATCHIT  
		I hope they do. "Heartily sorry," he said, 
		"for your good wife. If I can be of service 
		to you in any way, be sure to let me know" 
		-- and he handed me his card. Now, it wasn't 
		for the sake of anything he might be able to 
		do for us, so much as for his kind way, that 
		this was quite delightful. It really seemed 
		as if he had known our Tiny Tim, and felt 
		with us.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		I'm sure he's a good soul.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		You would be surer of it, if you saw and 
		spoke to him. I shouldn't be at all surprised 
		if he got Peter a better situation.

				MRS. CRATCHIT 
		Hear that, Peter? 

				MARTHA
		And then, Peter will be keeping company with 
		someone, and setting up for himself.

				PETER 
			(grins)
		Get along with you!

				BOB CRATCHIT 
			(to Peter)
		It's just as likely as not, one of these 
		days; though there's plenty of time for 
		that. 
			(to all) 
		But however and whenever we part from one 
		another, I am sure we shall none of us 
		forget poor Tiny Tim -- shall we? -- or 
		this first parting that there was among 
		us?

				THE CHILDREN 
			(ad-lib)
		Never, father!  No.  Of course not.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		And I know... I know that when we recollect 
		how patient and how mild he was; although 
		he was a little, little child; we shall not 
		quarrel easily among ourselves, and forget 
		poor Tiny Tim in doing it.

				THE CHILDREN 
			(ad-lib)
		No, never, father!  That's right.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
			(at the point of tears)
		I am very happy.  I am very happy. 

Mrs Cratchit kisses him, his daughters kiss him, the two young Cratchits kiss 
him, and Peter shakes his hand. Bob abruptly leaves the room, and goes 
upstairs.  The family members look at one another with concern.

INT. UPSTAIRS ROOM

A bedroom, cheerfully lit, and hung with Christmas decorations. Bob enters 
hesitantly and sits down in a chair close to the bed.  After he composes 
himself with an unspoken prayer, he leans over and kisses the face of Tiny 
Tim, whose body we now see stretched out, lifeless, on the bed. Bob breaks 
down all at once. 

				BOB CRATCHIT 
			(nearly inaudible)
		My little, little child. My little child.

Scrooge watches grimly from the far side of the room.  The Phantom stands 
beside him.  Scrooge shuts his eyes.

				SCROOGE 
			(to the Phantom)
		Tell me what man that was whom we saw lying 
		dead.

When Scrooge opens his eyes...

EXT. LONDON STREET

Scrooge and the Phantom are halfway between Scrooge's counting-house and the 
church tower opposite it.  The Phantom leads Scrooge toward the church.  But 
Scrooge, seeing the counting-house, grasps the Phantom's robe.

				SCROOGE 
		Wait.  That is where my place of occupation 
		is, and has been for a length of time. Let 
		me behold what I shall be, in days to come.

The Phantom stops; the hand points elsewhere. 

				SCROOGE 
		My office is yonder.  Why do you point away?

The inexorable finger undergoes no change. 

				SCROOGE  
		Just wait a moment, please.

Scrooge rushes off.

EXT. COUNTING-HOUSE

Scrooge nervously hastens to the window of his office, and looks in. It's an 
office still, but not his. The furniture is not the same, and the figure in 
the chair is not himself. 

EXT. LONDON STREET

The Phantom points as before. Scrooge joins the Phantom once again, confused, 
and accompanies it until they reach an iron gate. He pauses to look round 
before entering. 

EXT. THE CHURCH YARD

A row of gravestones.  Walled in by houses; overrun by grass and weeds.  The 
Phantom stands among the graves, and points down to One. Scrooge advances 
towards it, trembling. Then stops. 

				SCROOGE 
		Before I draw nearer to that stone to which 
		you point, answer me one question. Are these 
		the shadows of the things that Will be, or 
		are they shadows of things that May be, only?

Still the Phantom points downward to the grave by which it stands. 

				SCROOGE 
		Men's courses will foreshadow certain ends, 
		to which, if persevered in, they must lead.  
		But if the courses be departed from, the 
		ends will change. Say it is thus with what 
		you show me!

The Phantom is immovable as ever. Scrooge creeps toward the grave, trembling;
and following the finger, reads upon the stone of the neglected grave his own 
name, Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge falls to his knees.

				SCROOGE 
		Am I that man who lay upon the bed? 

The finger points from the grave to Scrooge, and back again. 

				SCROOGE 
		No, Spirit! Oh no, no! 

The finger still is there. Scrooge scrambles to his feet and clutches the 
Phantom's robe.

				SCROOGE 
		Spirit!  Hear me! I am not the man I was. 
		I will not be the man I must have been but 
		for this intervention. Why show me this, 
		if I am past all hope?

For the first time, the hand appears to shake. Scrooge falls down before it, 
sobbing violently, his face wet with tears.

				SCROOGE 
		Good Spirit.  Your nature intercedes for 
		me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may 
		change these shadows you have shown me, by 
		an altered life!

The kind hand trembles. 

				SCROOGE 
		I will honour Christmas in my heart, and 
		try to keep it all the year. I will live 
		in the Past, the Present, and the Future. 
		The Spirits of all Three shall strive within
		me. I will not shut out the lessons that they 
		teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the 
		writing on this stone! 

In his agony, as he catches the spectral hand, Scrooge sees an alteration in 
the Phantom's hood and dress. It shrinks, collapses, and dwindles down into a 
bedpost. 

INT. SCROOGE'S BED-ROOM

Yes! and the bedpost is his own. Scrooge lets go of the post and scrambles 
out of bed, falling to his knees.  He is out of his mind, babbling like a 
lunatic.

				SCROOGE 
		I will live in the Past, the Present, and 
		the Future! The Spirits of all Three shall 
		strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven, 
		and the Christmas Time be praised for this! 
		I say it on my knees, old Jacob; on my 
		knees! 

Scrooge folds a bed-curtain over his arm.

				SCROOGE 
		They are not torn down.  They are not torn 
		down, rings and all. They are here: I am 
		here: the shadows of the things that would 
		have been, may be dispelled. They will be. 
		I know they will!

Scrooge's hands are busy with his garments all this time: turning them inside 
out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, mislaying them, etc. He 
laughs and cries in the same breath, stumbling out of the bed-room.

INT. SCROOGE'S SITTING-ROOM

Scrooge stands there: perfectly winded. 

				SCROOGE 
		I don't know what to do!  I am as light as 
		a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am 
		as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as 
		a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-
		body! A happy New Year to all the world! 
		Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!

Scrooge starts off again, going round the fire-place.

				SCROOGE 
		There's the saucepan that the gruel was in!  
		There's the door, by which the Ghost of 
		Jacob Marley entered! There's the corner 
		where the Ghost of Christmas Present, sat! 
		There's the window where I saw the wandering 
		Spirits! It's all right, it's all true, 
		it all happened. Ha ha ha!

Really, for a man who has been out of practice for so many years, it's a 
splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of 
brilliant laughs.

				SCROOGE 
		I don't know what day of the month it is!  
		I don't know how long I've been among the 
		Spirits. I don't know anything. I'm quite 
		a baby. Never mind. I don't care. I'd 
		rather be a baby. Hallo! Whoop! Hallo 
		here!

He pauses as the church bell rings out the hour.  Scrooge starts babbling 
along with it.

				SCROOGE 
		Clash, clang, hammer, ding, dong, bell! 
		Bell, dong, ding, hammer, clang, clash! 
		Oh, glorious, glorious! 

He runs to the window, hurls it open, and looks out.

EXT. SCROOGE'S BUILDING - DAY

Not a trace of fog or darkness.  Golden sunlight; Heavenly blue sky; merry 
bells. Not too many people on the street.

				SCROOGE 
		Oh, glorious. Glorious! 

Scrooge spots a BOY IN SUNDAY CLOTHES, loitering on the sidewalk below.

				SCROOGE 
		What's to-day?

				BOY IN SUNDAY CLOTHES 
		Eh? 

				SCROOGE 
		What's to-day, my fine fellow?

				BOY IN SUNDAY CLOTHES 
		To-day? Why, Christmas Day. 

				SCROOGE 
			(to himself)
		It's Christmas Day! I haven't missed it. 
		The Spirits have done it all in one night. 
		They can do anything they like. Of course 
		they can. Of course they can. 
			(to the boy) 
		Hallo, my fine fellow!

				BOY IN SUNDAY CLOTHES 
		Hallo! 

				SCROOGE 
		Do you know the Poulterer's, in the next 
		street but one, at the corner? 

				BOY IN SUNDAY CLOTHES 
		I should hope I did. 

				SCROOGE 
			(to himself)
		An intelligent boy! A remarkable boy! 
			(to the boy) 
		Do you know whether they've sold the prize 
		Turkey that was hanging up there? Not the 
		little prize Turkey; the big one?

				BOY IN SUNDAY CLOTHES 
		What, the one as big as me? 

				SCROOGE 
			(to himself)
		What a delightful boy! It's a pleasure to 
		talk to him. 
			(to the boy) 
		Yes, my buck!

				BOY IN SUNDAY CLOTHES 
		It's hanging there now. 

				SCROOGE 
		Is it? Go and buy it.

The boy stares in disbelief for a moment, then thumbs his nose at Scrooge in 
disgust.

				BOY IN SUNDAY CLOTHES  
		Walk-er!

				SCROOGE 
		No, no, I am in earnest. Go and buy it, 
		and tell 'em to bring it here, that I may 
		give them the directions where to take it. 
		Come back with the man, and I'll give you 
		a shilling. Come back with him in less than 
		five minutes, and I'll give you 
		half-a-crown!

The boy takes off running down the street.

INT. SCROOGE'S SITTING-ROOM

Scrooge rubs his hands and laughs. He writes Bob Cratchit's address on a slip 
of paper with an unsteady hand.

				SCROOGE 
		I'll send it to Bob Cratchit's! He sha'n't 
		know who sends it. It's twice the size of 
		Tiny Tim. Joe Miller never made such a joke 
		as sending it to Bob's will be!

EXT. SCROOGE'S BUILDING 

Moments later, Scrooge opens the street door, ready for the coming of the 
poulterer's man. As he stands there, with the slip of paper in his hand, the 
knocker catches his eye. He pats it with his hand.

				SCROOGE 
		I shall love it, as long as I live! I 
		scarcely ever looked at it before. What an 
		honest expression it has in its face! It's 
		a wonderful knocker! 

The boy and the POULTERER'S MAN arrive with a gigantic turkey.

				SCROOGE 
			(to the knocker)
		Here's the Turkey. 
			(to the turkey-bearers) 
		Hallo! Whoop! How are you! Merry Christmas!

Scrooge inspects the turkey -- it never could have stood upon its legs, that 
bird. It would have snapped 'em short off in a minute, like sticks of 
sealing-wax. 

				SCROOGE 
		Why, it's impossible to carry that to Camden 
		Town. You must have a cab.

Scrooge chuckles as he says this, and we go into a 

CHRISTMAS DAY MONTAGE

Scrooge chuckles as he pays for the Turkey, chuckles as he pays for the cab, 
chuckles as he recompenses the boy, chuckles as he sits down breathless in 
his sitting-room chair again, and chuckles till he cries. 

Scrooge shaves at his wash-basin.  His hand shakes very much; partly because 
he is laughing and dancing with joy. At one point, he nicks himself and 
laughs even harder.

Out in the street, Scrooge is dressed in his Sunday best. By this time, 
crowds pour forth, as he had seen them with the Ghost of Christmas Present; 
Walking with his hands behind him, Scrooge regards every one with a delighted 
smile. He looks so irresistibly pleasant that three or four good-humoured 
fellows say, "Good morning, sir! A merry Christmas to you!"  Scrooge reacts 
as if these are the sweetest sounds he's ever heard and returns the greeting.

Farther down the street, Scrooge suddenly tenses up.  Coming on towards him 
he sees the portly gentleman, who had walked into his counting-house the day 
before, and said, "Scrooge and Marley's, I believe?" Scrooge slows down for a 
moment, then resolves himself to what he must do.  He quickens his pace and 
takes the gentleman by both his hands.

				SCROOGE 
		My dear sir. How do you do? I hope you 
		succeeded yesterday. It was very kind of 
		you. A merry Christmas to you, sir!

				1st GENTLEMAN 
		Mr Scrooge?

				SCROOGE 
		Yes. That is my name, and I fear it may 
		not be pleasant to you. Allow me to ask your 
		pardon. And will you have the goodness --

Scrooge whispers in his ear. The gentleman reacts as if his breath were gone.

				1st GENTLEMAN 
		Lord bless me!  My dear Mr Scrooge, are 
		you serious?

				SCROOGE 
		If you please.  Not a farthing less. A great 
		many back-payments are included in it, I 
		assure you. Will you do me that favour?

				1st GENTLEMAN 
			(shakes Scrooge's hand)
		My dear sir.  I don't know what to say to 
		such munificence.

				SCROOGE 
		Don't say anything, please.  Come and see me. 
		Will you come and see me?

				1st GENTLEMAN 
		I will!

				SCROOGE 
		Thank 'ee.  I am much obliged to you. I 
		thank you fifty times. Bless you!

CHRISTMAS DAY MONTAGE CONTINUES

Several views of Scrooge in church.  It's been years since his last visit and 
he looks around nervously upon entering. During the singing of a hymn, 
everyone knows the words by heart, save Scrooge -- who rapidly thumbs 
through a hymn-book, until the little boy sitting on his right hands him his 
own hymn-book opened to the correct page, whereupon Scrooge nods to him in 
thanks.  Later, Scrooge pulls out a huge wad of bills and puts entirely too 
much money in the collection plate before handing it to the astonished woman 
on his left -- and upon seeing her startled look, he hastily removes a few 
more bills from the wad and places them in the plate with an impish grin.

Scrooge walks about the streets, watches the people hurrying to and fro, pats 
children on the head, questions beggars, looks down into the kitchens of 
houses, up into the windows: and finds that all these things yield him 
pleasure.

EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT

In a nice part of town.  Scrooge paces uncertainly outside. He slowly 
approaches the front door but at the last moment, he returns to the sidewalk. 
 Finally, he takes a deep breath, finds the courage to go up and knock, and 
makes a dash for it.  He knocks and stands there, tight-lipped and shaking 
nervously.  No answer.  He begins to leave.  A maid opens the door.

				SCROOGE 
		Is your master at home, my dear?

				MAID
		Yes, sir.

				SCROOGE 
		Where is he, my love? 

				MAID
		He's in the sitting-room, sir, along with 
		mistress. I'll show you in, if you please.

INT.  HOUSE

The maid leads Scrooge to the closed sitting-room door.

				SCROOGE 
		Thank 'ee. He knows me. I'll go just in, 
		my dear.

Scrooge crosses to the sitting-room and tenses up as he puts his hand on the 
doorknob. The maid sees this and watches Scrooge curiously.  Scrooge looks up 
to see her staring at him.  From his face, it's clear to her that he is 
scared to enter and she gives him a reassuring nod and smile.  Scrooge 
returns the smile and, taking a deep breath, he turns the doorknob gently and 
sidles his face in, round the door. 

INT. HIS NEPHEW'S SITTING-ROOM

Scrooge sees his nephew Fred surrounded by his party guests -- all laughing a 
long, hearty laugh, exactly as Scrooge had heard it when with the Spirit.

				FRED 
		He said that Christmas was a humbug, as I 
		live! He believed it too!

				SCROOGE 
		Fred! 

Scrooge flings the door open and startles his niece who is, as before, 
sitting in the chair in the corner right by the door.  Scrooge is at once 
apologetic and turns to her.

				SCROOGE 
		Oh, I'm so sorry.  I forgot you were there.

She doesn't know quite what to make of that.  Scrooge's back is momentarily 
turned toward his nephew who gazes on him in disbelief.

				FRED 
		Why bless my soul!  Who's that?

Scrooge turns around to face his astonished nephew, then nervously threads 
his way through the guests to confront him.

				SCROOGE 
		It's I. Your uncle Scrooge. 

An awkward pause ensues as everyone merely stares at Scrooge -- a skunk at a 
garden party.  He realizes he must try to break the ice.

				SCROOGE 
			(flawlessly imitates The Plump Sister) 
		It's your Uncle Scro-o-o-o-oge!  

Scrooge flashes a happy grin.  The guests stare at him in confusion.  He 
grows immediately sober.

				SCROOGE 
			(to Fred)
		I have come as you asked. Will you let me in, Fred? 

				FRED 
		Let you in!  I --

Fred bursts out laughing again and shakes Scrooge's hand so hard, it's a 
mercy he doesn't take his arm off. Fred is still laughing as some of the 
other guests crowd around Scrooge, greeting him, patting him on the back, 
bringing him a drink.  Some of the others move away from him and whisper 
among themselves: Surely this isn't the Uncle Scrooge!

				ONE OF THE GUESTS 
			(to Scrooge)
		You know, I have always wanted to meet you, 
		Mr. Scrooge.  The droll way in which your 
		nephew portrays you has made me curious.  
		I say, have you met Mister...?

One of the female guests has begun to play a simple little tune upon the 
harp; and the others choose partners and take to dancing about the room. 
There might be twenty people there, young and old, but they all dance. 
Including, for the first time in years, Ebenezer Scrooge.

								DISSOLVE TO:

INT. COUNTING-HOUSE - DAY

The day after Christmas.  Bright sunshine pours into Scrooge's office.  All 
is quiet save for the ticking of the clock -- which reads 9:18.  Scrooge sits 
behind his desk, grinning like a madman, with his door wide open so that he 
might see Bob Cratchit come into his tank-like office.  Bob bursts in, his 
hat and comforter already off. He jumps on his stool in a jiffy, driving away 
with his pen, as if he were trying to overtake nine o'clock.  Meanwhile, 
trying to suppress a grin, Scrooge manages an approximation of his old 
caustic personality.

				SCROOGE 
		Cratchit! You're late! What do you mean by 
		coming here at this time of day?

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		I am very sorry, sir. I am behind my time.

				SCROOGE 
		You are? Yes. I think you are. Step this 
		way, if you please.

Bob reluctantly leaves the Tank and joins Scrooge in the office.

				BOB CRATCHIT 
		It's only once a year, sir. It shall not 
		be repeated. I was making rather merry 
		yesterday, sir.

				SCROOGE 
		Now, I'll tell you what, my friend.  I am 
		not going to stand this sort of thing any 
		longer. And therefore ...

Scrooge leaps from his chair, and gives Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that 
he staggers back into the Tank again.

				SCROOGE 
		... and therefore I am about to raise your 
		salary!

Bob gasps, trembles, and inches away from Scrooge, picking up a nearby ruler 
to use in self-defense. 

				SCROOGE 
		A merry Christmas, Bob! A merrier Christmas, 
		Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you 
		for many a year!  
			(quietly) 
		I'm going to raise your salary.  And if 
		you'll let me, I'd like to try to help your 
		family.

An incredulous Bob stares at Scrooge for a long, long moment.

				SCROOGE 
			(laughs)
		Well, let's discuss it this afternoon, over 
		a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob! 
		Make up the fires, and buy another 
		coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob 
		Cratchit.

Scrooge grins at a still uncertain Bob Cratchit.  The distant sound of 
carolers singing an appropriate hymn grows louder.

								DISSOLVE TO:

INT. SITTING-ROOM - NIGHT

The Narrator looks down at the book in his lap, a quiet smile on his face.  
Outside his window, a small group of carolers slowly approach continuing the 
hymn.  The young people circled around the Narrator seem edgy and 
dissatisfied.

				NARRATOR  
		And that's the story.  

				THE SKEPTICAL ADOLESCENT
		How much of that was true?

				NARRATOR 
			(matter-of-fact)
		Well, I was there for some of it. And I 
		heard about some of it. 
			(winks) 
		And I made up the rest.

The children laugh.

				THE SKEPTICAL ADOLESCENT
		Yeah, but did old man Scrooge really keep 
		his word?

				NARRATOR  
		Yes.  In fact, he was better than his word. 
		He did everything he said he would, and 
		much more.

				THE TEN YEAR OLD GIRL 
			(concerned)
		What happened to Tiny Tim?  Did he --?  
		Did he --?

				NARRATOR 
			(reassuring)
		No.  Tiny Tim did not die. And Scrooge was 
		like a second father to him. 
			(a faraway look in his eye)  
		He became as good a friend, as good a 
		teacher, and as good a man, as any person 
		could hope to know.

The girl seems reassured.

				THE SKEPTICAL ADOLESCENT 
			(laughs)
		Oh, come on.  People just don't change like 
		that overnight.

				NARRATOR 
			(shrugs)
		In fact, a lot of people laughed at him 
		when he changed, but he let them laugh, 
		and didn't pay any attention to it; I think 
		he was smart enough to know that nothing 
		good ever happens in this world that people 
		won't laugh at it -- at first.  And that 
		it's better to make people laugh than make 
		them do some other things I can think of. 
			(beat) 
		His own heart laughed: and I think that was 
		good enough for him. 

				THE ADOLESCENT WHO 
				WISHED HE WAS AN ADULT
		And do you mean to say that he had no 
		further intercourse with Spirits?

				NARRATOR 
		Ah, well... 
			(mischievous grin) 
		After that, he adopted the principle of 
		abstinence and no Spirits ever visited him 
		again, as far as he knew.

The Narrator glances around at his audience but there are no more questions.  
He decides to add a final word.  

				NARRATOR  
		Well... It was always said of Mr. Scrooge 
		that if anyone knew how to keep Christmas 
		well, it was him. If only that could truly 
		be said of us. Of all of us.  Merry 
		Christmas.

The Narrator returns the book to the ten year old girl.

				THE TEN YEAR OLD GIRL 
			(quietly, to herself) 
		... and may God Bless Us, Every One.

The Narrator smiles.  Outside, the caroling has gotten steadily louder.  A 
tapping sound causes everyone to turn to the window, where the carolers 
beckon to them.  Everyone in the room hollers ("Hey!" "Look who's here!").  
They rise and rush to the front door -- except for the ten year old girl who 
lingers to help the Narrator to his feet.  He thanks her and, hand in hand, 
they follow the others to the door.  For the first time, we see he carries a 
cane.  And limps, favoring his right leg.   Could this be Tiny Tim all grown 
up?  They join the little crowd just outside the door -- carolers and 
children -- in singing "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" or some such thing.

EXT. THE FRONT DOORSTEP

As they sing, their breath visible in the cold night air, we PAN UP and AWAY 
to find ...

EXT. ROOFTOP 

A spectral figure leaning over the edge of the roof, peering down, smiling at 
the music.  It is MARLEY'S GHOST, a look of peace and satisfaction on its no 
longer glassy face.  Marley turns to reveal another ghost right beside him -- 
Scrooge's.  To the surprise of both, the chain 'round Marley's body jerks to 
life and begins to unspool rapidly, falling away from him as if there were a 
ship's anchor at the end of it.  In a moment, the chain is gone and Marley is 
free.  He clutches his waist and looks himself over. And then beams at 
Scrooge gratefully. Scrooge grins, then realizes something.  Suddenly, he 
reaches up with his left hand and removes the wrapper that keeps Marley's jaw 
in place.  The jaw does not drop.  Marley clicks his teeth together a few 
times to test them, then breaks into a broad smile.  He mouths a "Thank you" 
to Scrooge.  The two ghosts shake hands.  Scrooge looks down at the wrapper 
in his hand and, with a flourish, tosses it over the edge.  The two ghosts 
take flight, into a night sky teeming with free spirits, as the group below 
finishes singing... a Christmas carol.

FADE OUT

A long, silent pause.

FADE IN on what appears to be the FLOOR of Scrooge's room upon which rests 
the extinguisher cap last seen covering the Ghost of Christmas Past.  The cap 
tips over and the ghost appears from under it in a dazzling burst of light.  
The ghost's FACE fills the screen and, after a wink, it begins to morph into 
the faces of all the featured actors.  As each actor's face appears, their 
credit is superimposed beneath them.  The final image is of Tiny Tim in 
Scrooge's arms, giving the old man a hug.

				TINY TIM 
			(whispers)
		May God bless us, every one.

The image blurs and spirals away under the extinguisher cap and suddenly all 
is dark.

END CREDITS

FADE OUT



1