A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

	A short montage of current newspaper headlines fades in: 

	Over these comes a woman's voice: 
		One small paragraph in this morning's 
		news of death, and blood, and tears
		-- and a sudden wave of nostalgia 
		swept over me. I found myself 
		remembering sharply the Brooklyn of 
		my childhood. And why? The paragraph 
		had nothing to do with me, nor even 
		with Brooklyn. It told of an American 
		soldier in Italy, a Texas boy. They 
		were in danger of being swept into 
		the sea, when the soldier took from 
		his pocket a small box and spilled 
		its contents on the Italian earth.  
		"That's dirt from Texas," he said. 
		"Now I'm standing on Texas soil, 
		let's see them push me off it." As 
		simple as that, but infinitely deep. 
		For that single moment I could not 
		understand why it should take me 
		back to Brooklyn. And then I knew. 
		In the end, that is the true thing 
		for which men so bravely die -- not  
		the pretentious phrases, but for 
		that place which is their own, where 
		grew their roots. It makes no 
		difference where the place is. Most 
		families have their roots in soil; 
		we Nolans drove our roots down 
		through the cement of the Brooklyn 
		sidewalks -- like the occasional 
		miraculous tree -- but no matter. 
		It is all the same. Saturdays were 
		the same, for children in Brooklyn 
		or in Texas -- we were free -- free 
		from school.  There was never 
		anything finer than the beginning 
		of a Saturday in Brooklyn.
	Over this, the headlines dissolve first to the Williamsburg 
	Bridge, and then back through views of modern Brooklyn into 
	the Brooklyn streets of a generation ago. We see horse-drawn 
	beer trucks; the swinging doors of a saloon; a street 
	sweeper; bedding piled on fire escapes; a wooden cigar-store 
	Indian; the tree near the Nolan tenement and finally the 
	Nolan street and tenement.
	This dissolves to the NOLAN KITCHEN. It is early Saturday 
	morning. Katie and Francie are finishing cleaning up the 
	breakfast dishes. Neeley is struggling in from the hall with 
	Katie's scrubbing pail and cloths and mop. He sets them down 
	inside the door.
	KATIE, the mother of the family, is in her early thirties, 
	still young enough to be quick and alive to life. She is 
	attractive, but is always so busy that she never has time to 
	pay much attention to herself. The flat is a small one, on 
	the second floor back, sparsely furnished, but its 
	spotlessness reflects Katie's passion for cleanliness.
 	FRANCIE, her daughter, is about thirteen. She is a rather 
	quiet child. She has inherited from Johnny, her father, a 
	sensitiveness and an imagination that make her by far the 
	more difficult problem in parenthood for the Nolans.
	NEELEY is a year younger, and is completely a normal, 
	healthy boy. He is much more Katie's child, while Francie 
	was born with something of both of them.
			(setting down 
			the bucket) 
		Is that all, mom, can we go now?
		Not so loud, Neeley, you want to 
		wake papa?
			(much quieter, 
			to Francie) 
		Gosh, ain't you through with them 
		ole dishes yet?
		She'll only be a minute. My, I wish 
		you was as anxious to get going on 
		a school morning as on a Saturday.
			(wiping the dishes) 
		Papa was late last night.
		I was dead asleep when he come in, 
		I guess.

		He says if people didn't like to 
		make speeches so much at dinners, 
		waiters could spend more time with 
		their families.

		Wasn't much of a job, I guess. Them 
		club dinners don't tip much.
		Is that all, mama?
		Yes, yes, go on, and I'll do the 
			(she indicates the 
			sack Neeley has 
			dragged out) 
		Don't look like you got much in 
		there this week.
		One of these days Mrs. Gaddis is 
		goin' to throw away that ole wash 
		boiler of hers. Carney will pay us 
		plenty for the copper bottom off of 
		He won't pay you any more than he 
		has to. You watch him on the 
			(in a hurry)
		Yes'm. Good-bye, mom.
		Parents ought to have a day that's 
		like Saturday for kids. Maybe if I 
		start in the lower hall and scrub 
		my way up today it'll make somethin' 
		special out of it. Keep an eye on 
		him now, Francie.
		Yes, mama.
		Aw, come on.
 	Their exit has been a scramble of getting their coats on, 
	and hardly being able to wait to get outdoors. When the door 
	slams behind them, Katie looks after them a second with a 
	little smile, half-envious of their childhood. Then she 
	starts to get her implements together to begin her day's 
	work as janitress, and the scene dissolves to Francie and 
	Neeley pulling their sack of junk along the crowded street. 
	The street is alive and vital with activity, but Francie and 
	Neeley pay no attention to it.
		Well, he was silly to stay down 
		there that long. I'd've kicked and 
		kicked that ole whale's stomach good, 
		so he'd have got sick right off. I 
		wouldn't have waited like Jonah did. 
			(to a passing boy) 
		Hi, Snozzy.
		Hi yourself and see how you like it.
	This brief exchange of courtesy is quite routine. Neeley 
	stops suddenly as he sees something about to happen down 
	the street.
		There she comes!
	From their angle we see a big garbage wagon swing around a 
	corner. Four boys are waiting matter-of-factly, and just as 
	the wagon swings around the corner, they throw a chunk of 
	wood under its rear wheels. It makes the truck take quite a 
	bump, and shakes off some of its cargo. The boys are on 
	this like a shot to redeem anything of value. The driver 
	yells back at them and they shriek answering derision.
		Aw, go chase your self. It's a free 
		country, ain't it? Stick in the mud, 
		and so's your ma. It's a free 
 	One of the boys shies a can at the driver. The wagon goes on 
	and the brief exchange is over. Neeley and Francie make no 
	effort to horn in on the other kids' beat, but watch with a 
	detached interest.
		They done good today.
	Neeley and Francie start on down the street. At that moment 
	a man passes, takes the last cigarette out of a package and 
	throws the empty package into the gutter. Francie and Neeley 
	dive for it. So does another boy. The Nolan teamwork shows 
	long practice. Francie dives onto the other boy, and they go 
	down together while Neeley retrieves the package. The boy
	scrambles up, ready for battle, but thinks better of it when 
	he sees there are two of them.
			(saving his dignity)
		Aw, rag pickers! Rag pickers!
 	He beats it. Francie picks up the junk sack. Neeley 
	separates the tinfoil from the paper. Neeley then becomes 
	fascinated as he drops the paper through the grating into 
	the sewer.
		You know somethin'. I bet she goes 
		clear down to the river. 

			(joining him) 
		Maybe clear to the ocean -- maybe 
		clear over to foreign climes.
			(Neeley lust gives 
			her a "You're nuts" 
			look; and she adds 
		It stinks awful, don't it?
		I bet that's the worst stink in the 
		whole world, don't you?
		I don't know. I can't remember 
		everything I smell. 

	They pick up their sack and move on; the view moving with 
		You know what, I'm goin' to get a 
		job cleanin' up over to the fights. 
		Skinny's cousin's doin' that and 
		you'd ought to see alla stuff he 
		finds -- joolry and pocketbooks and 
		alla candy he can eat.
		Thou talkest very big.
		You talk crazy.
		I do not. I talk like God talks.
		How do you know how God talks? 
		Well, it's in the Bible, and I guess 
		it's His Bible isn't it, and so
		that's the way He talks.
		Aw, you talk crazy.
	Neeley changes the subject rather than admit defeat. They 
	have reached an old stable which carries the sign "CARNEY'S, 
	GOOD PRICES FOR JUNK." Beyond them, inside the old barn, 
	CARNEY can be seen weighing out the junk that some of the 
	children have brought in. Neeley stops Francie and addresses 
	her with male authority.
		Now look, stand on the same side as 
		him when he weighs it so's he can 
		reach you; and don't forget to stand 
		there after he pays you, you forgot 
		that last time, and a penny's a 
		penny, ain't it?
		Well, I guess I know it is. 

		Well, all right then.
	As Francie starts dragging the sack inside, a boy who has 
	sold his junk comes out past them. "Rag pickers, rag 
	pickers!" he jeers. But Neeley passes this insult, being 
	more interested in watching Francie.
	Francie drags the sack in and gets next in line. Carney is 
	paying off the kid who preceded her, counting pennies into 
	his hand.

			(starting to protest)

		Shut your trap. I say what things 
		weigh around here. Who's next?

	The kid subsides and goes out. Francie moves up.

			(seeing her)
		Oh, hello, little girl.
	Francie gives him a mechanical smile in answer. His manner 
	is somehow different with girls. He dumps out the contents 
	of the junk sack, starts to sort and weigh them.
	Francie shoots a look at Neeley. He motions her to edge 
	closer. And as she obeys, Carney finishes the weighing. 

		You done pretty good. Nine cents.
	He counts the pennies into her hand. Francie stays there. 
	Carney chuckles a little and reaches out and pinches her 
	cheek. Having done this, he brings forth another penny. 
	Francie's hand is out immediately. -- Neeley is well-
		And there you are, an extra penny 
		because you're a nice little girl.
	The very matter-of-factness of all this is somehow worse 
	than if it were an ordeal to Francie. The moment she has the 
	penny, she runs out and joins Neeley. His manner is 
		That's better. Gosh, I wisht Carney 
		liked to pinch boys.
		Nine, and my pinchin' penny. That's 
		five for us, and five for the bank.
		Now wait a minute. The pinchin' 
		penny don't count, it's yours by 
		Well, I don't know, Neeley, if you 
		got somethin' it counts, don't it?
		Sure it don't. Look, half what we 
		get for the junk is for the bank, 
		that's what mama says, ain't it?
		Well, yes, but--
		Well, we didn't get that penny for 
		junk, we got it for pinchin', so 
		it's yours, so there ain't use in 
		talkin' any more about it.
		Anyway that leaves nine, don't it, 
		and now you tell me how we're goin'
		to divide nine in half, go ahead.
		Well, we could put--
		You can't do it, not without 
		splittin' a penny in two, and then 
		it wouldn't be any good. So we got 
		an extra penny, and by rights it's 
		mine, cause you already got one. 

		But Neeley, mama said--
		All right, wisenheimer, you show me 
		how to split a penny! 

		Well, I guess-- Well, maybe the next 
		time it don't come even the bank 
		gets it--
		Sure, ain't that just what I been 
		sayin'. And that leaves eight -- 
		two more for me, two for you, and 
		four for the bank. 
			(Francie divides 
			the pennies) 
		You see, it comes out just right. I 
		don't see why you got to be so dumb.
	He leads the way as they start on down the street, while 
	other children come up with some junk.
			(as scornfully as 
			they were yelled at)
		Rag pickers! Rag pickers!
	As they go on down the street the scene dissolves to the 
	exterior of CHEAP CHARLIE'S, a neighborhood store, one of 
	the places where the boys hang out. -- Francie and Neeley 
	come down the street, kicking a little block of wood down 
	the sidewalk, and trying to keep it on the sidewalk. The 
	game automatically ceases as they come to the door of the 
		Now wait a minute! Don't go in like 
		you was with me.
		Well, hurry up then.
	Neeley swaggers in and in a moment Francie follows him into 
	CHEAP CHARLIE'S. Neeley joins some boys before a form of 
	punchboard, the prizes hung on the wall -- a few good ones 
	-- a catcher's mitt, a pair of roller skates, a doll. This 
	is the sort of place that is the forerunner to the poolhall 
	where the boys will hang out when they are older. One of 
	the boys puffs a cigarette self-consciously. -- Francie 
	lingers near the cash register. -- One of the boys has just
	taken a chance on the board and is opening the envelope.
		Fourteen! A pencil! It's a gip! 
		Looka the sucker thinks he can win 
		somep'n! Gimme a drag, Red. Get 
		away, I got dibs on butts.
	Neeley dives for the board immediately and pulls a number.
			(he looks at the board) 
		A penwiper!
		Prize or candy, mister?
		Candy -- a lickorish whip. 

	Charlie hands him one, which Neeley wraps around his wrist. 
	Charlie starts toward the register to wait on Francie, but 
	keeps an eye on the boys.
		It's a gip! Aw, there ain't no 
		numbers for them good prizes!
			(as he passes them) 
		All of life's a gamble, gentlemen, 
		you never win if you don't keep on 
		takin' chances. 
			(coming to Francie) 
		What's yours, young lady?
			(counting out five 
			pennies onto the 
		Change to a nickel, please.
		Well, I'll get fat on that kind of 
	But he grudgingly takes the pennies and gives her a nickel 
	from the cash register. She slips out without answering, and 
	Cheap Charlie looks after her a second before he starts back 
	to the boys.
	Francie hurries down the street. A group of girls are 
	playing pottsie -- a form of hopscotch -- on some marked-out 
	squares on the sidewalk. Francie has to pass near them.
		Hi, Francie. How much did you get? 
		Want to play, Francie?
			(hurrying past them) 
		I can't. I'm in a hurry.
 	This dissolves to a FIVE AND TEN CENT STORE, where Francie 
	is seen wandering languidly down an aisle. She is in the 
	midst of the beauty of the world. Her longing to be here is 
	not at all the desire for acquisition; there is nothing 
	wistful or envious about her. Being here is complete 
	fulfillment. She pauses a time or two to look at or touch 
	something as if she were in fairyland. -- A floorwalker 
	observes her curiously. -- Unaware of him, she continues
	to look her way down the counter. She is fascinated by a 
	pile of colored bathing caps and picks one up tentatively. 
	A salesgirl steps up and Francie puts it down quickly. -- 
	The floorwalker steps up to her.
		Do you want something, young lady?
			(with great dignity, 
			opening her hand to 
			display the nickel) 
		I'm merely looking, thank you. I got 
		a right. I got money.
	Her confidence that the money justifies her being there is 
	complete. She goes on her way. Her attitude rather than the 
	nickel defeats the floorwalker. He looks after her as she 
	stops again to look at something and then moves on 
	unhurriedly to the door.
	Francie emerges from the store replete with the fulfillment 
	of the adventure. She gives a deep and happy sigh, then 
	starts down the street. She has only gone a few feet when a 
	fragrance strikes across her dream world and penetrates to
	her healthy child's stomach. The stomach wins hands down 
	over the dream. Her manner changes completely as she turns 
	to the window and sees the candy. She looks at it for a 
	moment and goes in.
	Inside the CANDY STORE, Francie presses close to the case to 
	make her important choice. The proprietor comes up.
		Three cents worth of peppermint 
		drops, please.
 	The proprietor isn't particularly pleased by the magnitude 
	of the sale but reaches for a sack as the scene dissolves 
	to the STREET. The bag of candy in one hand, her mouth full 
	of peppermint, Francie is absorbedly trying to avoid 
	stepping on the cracks in the sidewalk.
			(to herself)
		Step on a crack, break your 
		mother's back.
	She pauses to readjust the peppermint drop in her mouth. 
	You don't chew these, and if you suck them just right they 
	last longer. In the midst of this process of careful 
	adjustment, she hears the shrill yelling of some boys, and 
	looking off she sees a CAR TRACK where Neeley and a gang of 
	boys are putting a tin can on the track so that the 
	streetcar will smash it. -- Francie comes into the scene and 
			(seeing the car 
		Here she comes! Cheese it!
	They tear to the sidewalk. -- The streetcar rolls over the 
	tin can without a tremor. -- The boys emerge cautiously, as 
	though they had done something very daring.
		That ole can's mashed good and flat. 
		Boy, did you see the look on that 
		motorman's face. That ole car came 
		near jumpin' the track, I bet.
	They retrieve the can and study it.
			(from the sidewalk)
		Neeley, we got to go home.
	The boys turn. They are aware of her for the first time. 
	Neeley is in a spot, in being told what to do by a mere 

		Beat it.
		Mama said. 

		Mama said! Go on, we don't want no 
		skirts around! Look who's got to do 
		what his mama said!
	Neeley is definitely in a spot. Keyed by the situation, one 
	of the boys gets a new idea. He staggers as if drunk.
 			(walking drunkenly)
		Look at me, I'm Neeley's old man.
 	There is laughter. Both Nolans stiffen. They are together 
	now. Neeley unwinds what is left of the licorice whip and 
	gives it to Francie to hold.
			(ready for battle)
		Do that again!
		Do what? -- Auggie pushed me.

		Go on, I dare you.

		He didn't say nothin'. It's a free 
		country, ain't it?

		I never said it wasn't. 

		Then the sidewalk's free, too!

		I guess what I'm standin' on is 
		mine while I'm standin' on it. 

		Then I guess what he's standin' on 
		is his.
		Sure, and I can do what I want to on 
		Well, let him come over on my piece 
		and say somethin', I dare him.

		Well, who wants your old piece?
		Well then, don't talk like you was 
		on my piece.
		Well, who wants to.
		Well, all right, then.
	This procedure doesn't make much sense but it seems to 
	satisfy the immediacies. Neeley is victorious. With a lordly 
	air he walks over to Francie and takes back his licorice 
	whip and starts to wind it around his arm again.
			(to Francie) 
		Come on.
 	They start down the sidewalk together and the scene 
	dissolves to the TENEMENT HALL as Francie and Neeley come up 
	the stairs to where Katie, their mother, is on her knees 
	beside a bucket, scrubbing the floor.
		Heaven's sake, is it that late 
		already? I'll have to leave these 
		stairs go till later. 

	She gets to her feet.
			(showing the pennies)
		Four cents.
		Pretty good. Dump the bucket, Neeley.
		Mama, can I--
		No. Bring the bucket and dump it. 
			(starting up 
			the stairs) 
		It's the day for the insurance 
		collector. I don't want him to catch 
		me lookin' like this.
	They go up the stairs, Neeley struggling with the bucket. 
	They pass a blowzy woman going down with a basket on her 
		Hot, ain't it?

		Yes, but Christmas'll be here before 
		you know it.
		I got enough troubles without 
		thinkin' about that.
	They go on down the hall toward the flats at the back. 
	Neeley disappears into the lavatory to dump the bucket. --
	Katie stops at the door to search for their key. A boy, 
	HENNY GADDIS, comes out of the door across the hall.
		How's your sister today, Henny?
		Poorly, thank you.
	Just as he answers, Neeley comes up with the bucket. His 
	answer means so little to him that almost simultaneously 
	Henny kicks the bucket out of Neeley's hand. It clatters to 
	the floor. Henny beats it and Neeley gives chase.

	Katie unlocks the door just as Flossie, Henny's sister, 
	appears in the doorway. She is pathetically thin, with dark, 
	luminous eyes; and is dressed unlike any other occupant of 
	the tenement in a soft, feminine dress. She is very 
	conscious of the dress as she smiles shyly at them.
		Why, hello, Flossie dear.
		Hello, Mrs. Nolan. 
			(then, shyly) 
		Don't -- don't you notice somethin'?
			(not getting it) 
		Why, seems to me you look mighty 
		well. Much better, don't she, 
		No, I don't, I don't--
	This is not what she wanted to hear. She slams the door shut 
	quickly. The sound of coughing can be heard. Katie stares at 
	the door for a second without understanding and then unlocks 
	her own door and goes in.
 	The NOLAN KITCHEN as Katie and Francie enter: The kitchen is 
	the most used room of the flat. -- They cook and eat and 
	live here. It is bare but clean and neat. It has an iron 
	stove. A fire escape can be seen past the window. Beyond 
	this we get a glimpse of the scraggly tree in the yard.
			(as she crosses 
			to the bedroom)
		Heat up the coffee while I fix up.
 	Francie starts to make the fire. Neeley appears in the 
	doorway, triumphantly, with Henny meekly carrying the bucket. 
	He sets it down inside the kitchen.

		That's better.
	Neeley pushes Henny outside and shuts the door. Being always 
	hungry, Neeley starts to look for something to fill in until 
	dinner is ready and finds a few crumbs in a cracker box on 
	the table. As he does so, he sees the four pennies where 
	Francie has put them down. He stares at them a moment, and 
	an idea takes shape in his mind.
			(from the bedroom)  
		Yes, Neeley.
		Mom, if there was a rule about 
		somethin', that doesn't mean you 
		couldn't do somethin' else once in a 
		while, I mean if it was important, 
		does it?
		No, Neeley.
		If it was important, I mean, people 
		could change their minds about 
		somethin', and it's all right, ain't 
			(still offscene)
		Yes, I guess so.
		Well, mom, I was just thinkin', you 
		know I never smoke cigarettes 
		because you said I mustn't, even if 
		some of the fellers make fun of me. 
		I don't but, it's been kinda hot 
		lately, and--
			(interrupting, quite 
			pleasant about it)
		Neeley, you cannot have any of those 
		pennies to buy an ice-cream cone. 
		They go in the bank, same as usual.
	Neeley gives this a quick, startled reaction. How in the 
	world did Katie know what he was trying to do before he 
	really got to his point? It is a distinct letdown. -- 
	Francie, busy at the stove, smiles at his reaction.
			(from another room)
		Bring 'em in here, Neeley.
	Dutifully Neeley picks them up and starts for the other 
	room, and the scene cuts to the BEDROOM, which is small, 
	with a lumpy double bed and an old bureau with a wall 
	mirror. Katie is primping before the mirror, and you have to 
	be rather careful to look in the right place or it will 
	distort. Neeley enters with the pennies. Katie goes to the 
	closet, and Neeley follows her. -- The closet contains very 
	little in the way of clothes. The condensed milk can, used 
	as a bank, is nailed to the floor.
		Half of everything we get goes into 
		the bank. That's the way it is, and 
		that's the way it's going to stay. 
		Now put 'em in there.
		Gosh, I bet we got about a hundred 
		dollars in that ole bank by now!
	Katie comes out of the closet and returns to the mirror.
		Nine's more like it. 

	There is a sound outside of a limb of a tree splitting. At 
	this the scene cuts to the KITCHEN where Francie has turned 
	from the stove in time to see the limb outside the window 
	sway and disappear from view.
		Mama -- they're cutting the tree!
	Neeley tumbles into the kitchen followed by Katie carrying 
	her hairbrush. They crowd behind Francie at the window to 
	look out.
	Looking out the window from their angle, we see two men 
	sawing the limbs off the tree. Katie stares at it a moment.
		Oh, that's too bad, it was kind of 
		pretty there, and the birds sittin' 
		in it sometimes like they do.
		Papa loved that tree.
		Oh, quit moonin' over it, it got in 
		the way of the washing. A tree ain't 
		goin' to put no pennies in the bank.
	She starts for the bedroom. Francie is mildly bewildered by 
	this sudden change. Katie is a little sorry for her 
	abruptness, but before she can say anything there is a 
	knock on the door.
		It's Mr. Barker. Get out the saucer 
		and give it a wipe. I think there's 
		matches in it.  
			(then, as a small 
			apology for her 
		If -- if you want you can stay in 
		the room while he's here.
	Katie hurries back into the bedroom. Francie gets the saucer 
	out, sets it down, and then hurries to the door to admit Mr. 
	Barker. Mr. Barker is a kindly enough little man, rather 
	old, but with the soul of a busybody. He is an important 
	visitor, since in making his collections he sees almost 
	everyone, and is a sort of newspaper for the neighborhood 
	gossip. Consequently the Nolans treat him with their best 
			(with her best 
		How do you do, Mr. Barker. Mama is 
		temporarily detained, but will join 
		you directly. 

	Neeley gives her a withering look.
		You got manners right out of a book, 
			(to Katie as 
			she enters) 
		And company or no company, Mrs. 
		Nolan always looks the lady. You 
		should see some of my people, even 
		ladies with husbands that work 

	He stops, realizing this is not a very good point to 
	bring up. Katie stiffens a little.

			(with dignity)
		Won't you come in the parlor and 
		have a cup of coffee.

		That I will, and your hospitality is 
		very kind, Mrs. Nolan.
	They start for the parlor. Mr. Barker bows gallantly for 
	Katie to precede him through the door. She pauses to take 
	some coins out of an old cup on a shelf. Francie 
	automatically starts to get the cup of coffee.
	The PARLOR is dark, small, and stuffy. It is seldom used. 
	The couch that serves as Francie's bed is under the window. 
	-- Katie and Mr. Barker are followed by Neeley. Mr. Barker 
	seats himself in the best chair, and takes out his fountain 
	pen to write the receipts. He talks steadily.

		Well, old man Gentry's off to jail 
		That's too bad.

		But she's keepin' up his insurance 
		just the same.

		And here's ours -- ten cents for me, 
		ten for Mr. Nolan, a nickel for each 
		of the children.
		And you'll never regret it.  A fine 
		funeral for every member of the 
		family, heaven forbid.
	He is busy writing the receipts as Francie appears with the 
	cup of coffee and can of condensed milk. Mr. Barker accepts 
	it and pours the condensed milk lavishly. -- The Nolan 
	family watch fascinated as he continues to pour the milk. 
	-- Mr. Barker finally ceases pouring, and the Nolans are 
	relieved. He talks steadily as he does this.
		Thank you, Francie. And your weekly 
 		receipts, Mrs. Nolan. 
			(he gives them to her) 
		Now there's one party, not far from 
		here, I wouldn't like to say who, 
		that didn't get no receipts this 
		week. And not naming any names, I 
		will say that it's a family that the 
		Angel of Death has marked on its 
		invitation list, heaven forbid.
		Henny says his sister's got one leg 
		in the grave. 

		It'll mean Potter's Field, most 
		likely. Well, that's what people 
		get, wastin' good money to give her 
		dresses instead of insurance, 
		dresses that'll last longer than she  
		will. It all depends on what folks 
		thinks is important.
		But papa says that sometimes--
		That's right, Mr. Barker, it all 
		depends on what folks think is 
		And how is Mr. Nolan, is he working 
		or not working, some tell me one 
		thing, some another -- I don't 
		Mr. Nolan bein' a singing waiter, Mr. 
		Barker, and what you might call an 
		artist, his work don't come steady 
		like other peoples'. But I'm sure 
		you'll remember, when you talk to 
		folks, that the Nolans have always 
		paid their insurance on the dot.
	Francie gives her mother an admiring look for this defense 
	of Johnny.
		You surely don't think I'd go around 
		spreadin' gossip about my clients, 
		Mrs. Nolan?
		Oh, sure not. How is my mother, Mr. 
		In the prime, Mrs. Nolan, fine as 
		can be, she says to tell you she'll 
		be over tonight the same as usual. 
			(then, with relish) 
		And I trust you're happy with the 
		news about your sister.
 	Katie is instantly alert. It is quite evident that here is 
	news she does not know, but she does not like to admit it.
		Just which news do you mean, Mr. 
		Well, it must be she's savin' it to 
		surprise you with tonight when the 
		family's all here together.
		I'd take it kindly if you told me 
		what you mean.
			(warming to his work)
		Well, I trot around the same as usual 
		to collect her weekly dime, and what 
		do you think happens -- well, sir, 
		she gives me two dimes. 
			(he pauses for effect) 
		Yessir, she's done it again, she's 
		got herself a brand-new husband, 
		Oh, no!
	She breaks off abruptly. It is none of Mr. Barker's business 
	that Sissy had never been divorced from her last spouse. The 
	children are fascinated. Mr. Barker is in his element. 
	Katie's worry about the marriage will make a fine story 
		Well, now, I suppose you mean about 
		her still bein' married. I don't 
		mind sayin' the same thought 
		occurred to me. But I'm sure it must 
		be all right, she must have made 
		some arrangement, but--
		I'm quite sure she did, Mr. Barker, 
		I'm sure that--
		Does she call this one Bill, too?
	His question makes Katie sharply aware of the presence of 
	the children. They shouldn't be hearing such a discussion.
		You children run along now, and do 
		the marketing. Take some money from 
		the cup--
		Aw, but mom! I want to hear about 
		Aunt Sissy!
		Take the money and get a five-cent 
		soup bone off of Hassler's; don't 
		get the chopped meat from him 
		though, he grinds it behind closed 
		doors, and heaven only knows. Go to 
		Werner's for the meat, get round 
		steak chopped, ten cents worth, and 
		don't let him give it to you off the 
		plate. Take an onion with you and 
		ask him to chop it in. And don't 
		forget, just at the last, to ask for 
		a piece of suet to fry it with.
	During this domestic discussion, Mr. Barker does a little 
	snooping. He tries, with his finger, to see if there is any 
	dust on the table, and is disappointed when there is none. 
	Then he moves a small hassock with his foot and is delighted 
	to discover, as he suspected, that it covers a hole in the 
	carpet.  The Nolans are unaware of this.
		He won't always do that, mama, he--
		Tell him your mother said. And then 
		go for the bread.
		It's Saturday, mom, can we--
		All right, all right. Ask for a nice 
		pie, not too crushed, and go on now 
		and do it.
			(reluctant to go)
		Mama, we know Aunt Sissy's been 
		married before.
		Sure, I can remember two Uncle Bills.
		That's nothing for you to talk 
		about; go on now and get things 
	Reluctantly they leave. Katie turns back to Mr. Barker.
		You got no right, Mr. Barker, to be 
		carryin' tales about my sister as 
		though there was somethin' wrong. 
		She's funny some ways, maybe, but 
		she wouldn't do nothin' wrong. So 
		I'd like it if you didn't talk to 
		anybody about it like it was.
			(lying, of course)
		Strike me dead if I'd ever think of 
		mentionin' it to anybody but you. 

		Yeah, sure, I know. 
			(she sits down) 
		Well, you might as well go on and 
		tell me what you do know. No point 
		in my bein' the only one that don't 
		hear it.
				MR. BARKER  
			(eagerly starting 
			his story)
	The scene dissolves to WERNER'S BUTCHER SHOP, with Francie 
	and Neeley in front of the counter. Werner is waiting on 

		Ten cents worth of round steak. You 
		want it ground?
		You're sure now? Wasn't twenty 
		minutes ago I ground that whole 
		plateful fresh.
		No, thank you.

	Werner takes some chunks of meat out of the case and starts 
	to wrap them.
		Oh, I forgot. My mother wants it 
			(giving her a 
			dirty look)
		You don't tell me!
	The children make no answer. He gives an angry exclamation 
	and gives up -- starts to grind the meat. Francie reaches 
	timidly across the counter with her onion.
		Mama said to chop up this onion in it.
		Oh, she did!
	But he takes the onion angrily and puts it in the grinder 
	with the meat.  He starts again to wrap the ground product. 
	At this point Francie takes a deep breath and blurts out the 
	last instructions.
	Werner stands for a moment as though turned to stone.
		Sweet jumpin' Christopher! 

	But he takes the piece of suet and puts it on top of the 
	meat as he folds the paper around it. The Nolans have won.
	This dissolves to HASSLER'S BUTCHER SHOP. Neeley is peering 
	through the window to watch Francie, on the inside, make her 
	purchase. He is taking pains to keep himself and the package 
	of ground meat out of sight.
	Inside the BUTCHER SHOP, Hassler, a kindly man, is 
	exhibiting a husky-looking soup bone before he wraps it up 
	for Francie.
		Ain't that a beauty, though? Now you 
		tell your mama when she cooks it, 
		tell her to take the marrow out and 
		spread it on a piece of bread for 
		you. That's good, and you need to 
		get some meat on your bones. 
			(he laughs at this 
			joke as he slaps the 
			package down) 
		And here. 
			(he slices off a thin 
			slice of liverwurst and 
			offers it to Francie) 
		Do me a favor -- try this and see if 
		you think it's all right for my 
	He is "thin-make" covering up a good deed and Francie knows 
	it. She takes the slice of liverwurst and tastes it.
		Yes, sir.

		Well, that's fine. Now you finish 
		that before you get home. How's 
		your papa?

		He's fine, sir! 

	Francie exits, Hassler smiling after her.

	Outside the butcher shop, Francie joins Neeley and they 
	start down the street. She breaks the piece of liverwurst in 
	two and gives Neeley half. He wolfs it.

			(moved by the kindliness 
			of the world)
		He made out he wanted me to tell him 
		did it taste all right. 
			(she blurts out 
			with sudden passion:) 
		I wish we could buy all our meat 
		from Hassler's. I wish he didn't 
		grind his meat behind closed doors.
		Well, you don't have to bawl about 

	Francie isn't really crying, but she could.
 	This dissolves to the exterior of LOSHER'S BAKERY and STALE 
	FOR 5." A long queue is waiting patiently for the doors to 
	open. The scene moves to the bakery window next door where 
	Francie and Neeley, meat packages tucked under their arms, 
	are gazing longingly into the window at a huge chocolate 
	cake on display.
		You know, mama thinks we don't know 
			(getting the 
			drift at once)
		Yeah, she acts like we were kids or 
			(they edge along to 
			a platter of cream 
			puffs and stare) 
		I bet she has a fight with Aunt 
		Sissy tonight.
		It's got something to do with men 
		who like Aunt Sissy too much.
		Papa says we'd ought to make 
		everybody like us.

		I guess maybe ladies shouldn't.
			(then, thoughtfully)
 		Maybe Aunt Sissy wouldn'ta changed 
		husbands so much if any of her 
		babies had lived. She's crazy about 

		Look who's talkin' about babies! A 
		lot you know!
		I know as much as you do!
		You don't know nothin'.
		You think you're so smart. Boys make 
		me sick!

		Well, what do ya think girls make 
		people, you think--
	But there is a sudden interrupting shout from the crowd as 
	the stale bread store door is thrown open and the people 
	push forward.
	Francie and Neeley, their argument forgotten at once, adjust 
	their packages and stalk toward the entrance. Their eyes 
	flash with the light of battle, like a fighter advancing 
	across the ring to engage his opponent.
	At the entrance the crowd is pressing forward. A kid dashes 
	out of nowhere to the head of the line and worms his way 
	through the door. This seems to be the signal for the 
	disappearance of all semblance of order. Neeley fights his 
	way in; Francie follows through the hole made by him. The 
	crowd is storming the counter behind which two harassed 
	clerks dole out the bread and collect the money.
		Two loaves! I was first! Four loaves! 
		Quit shovin'!
 	Neeley squirms, pushes, fights his way to the counter; 
	Francie is right behind him.
		Six loaves.
		And a pie not too crushed!
	This dissolves to the NOLAN KITCHEN where the children are 
	just dumping their packages onto the table. This marks the 
	end of their chores, and the beginning of that part of the 
	day which is theirs. Katie examines the bread.
		This bread's fine. I wouldn't be 
		surprised if it wasn't more'n three 
		days old.
		Is that all, Mom? Can we go now?
		Yes -- you're free.
	Neeley bolts for his room and Francie for the parlor, while 
	Katie starts to put the things away. In a moment Neeley 
	reappears with a baseball glove, and heads for the door. 
	Francie emerges more quietly with a library book.
		Where's the fire?  
			(on his way)
		There's a Dodgers scout around.
 	He disappears and the door bangs behind him.
			(to Francie)
		Where you goin'?

		Oh, no place much. 

		Well, don't go dream walkin' 
		crossin' the streets.
	Francie is gone too, and as Katie smiles after them the 
	scene dissolves to the exterior of the PUBLIC LIBRARY.
	It's a rather small library, but it has dignity. Francie 
	hurries down the street, her attitude and pace changing as 
	she arrives. She stops a moment, then starts slowly and 
	reverently to mount the shallow steps as the scene dissolves 
	through to the interior. Francie enters into the hush of the 
	room, the door closing soundlessly behind her and she 
	advances to the librarian's desk. A few people are reading 
	at the tables or are at the stacks.
	At the desk she offers her book. The librarian takes the 
	card, stamps it mechanically, returns it without once 
	looking at her. Francie meantime has reverently touched the 
	blue bowl with yellow flowers and the polished desk. Now 
	she takes her card and almost tiptoes to the shelves. The 
	librarian stacks the returned book; we see it is by 
	FRANCIE, passing the shelves, lingers at the C's. Then she 
	turns dutifully to the B's, runs her finger through the 
	Brownings, and chooses the volume which comes next. She 
	goes back to the desk.
	At the desk, she offers the B book. The librarian stamps 
	mechanically, then notices the title: Burton's Anatomy of 
	Melancholy, and for the first time looks curiously at 
		Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy! Are 
		you sure you want this?
		Yes, ma'am.

		Don't you think it's a trifle over 
		your head?
		Yes, ma'am -- I mean, yes, ma'am.

		Well, why did you select it?
		Well, I -- I read all the authors 
		that far, all the ones that begin 
		with A and then the B authors up to 
		Burton. It's next.
		You don't mean you're trying to read  
		your way straight through the 
		Yes, ma'am.
		But a book like that, you'll only be 
		confused and--
		Please, I want to go on, through the 
		alphabet -- I want to get to know 
		everything in the world. 

	The librarian stares at her a moment. It is evident that 
	Francie means it.
		Well, all right. 
			(she marks the book --
			then before she hands 
			it to Francie she adds:)  
		Only -- look, do something for me, 
		will you -- take another one too -- 
		here, Lavender and Old Lace -- just 
		for fun. It's Saturday. I'll have a 
		headache thinking about you wrestling 
		with The Anatomy of Melancholy all 
		weekend. Will you?
			(smiling shyly)
		Yes, ma'am. 

	The librarian marks the book and Francie starts out with it, 
	the librarian smiling after her.
	This dissolves to the YARD of the NOLAN TENEMENT in the 
	afternoon. The tree, shorn of its limbs, stands like a 
	scarecrow. A man is mounted on a ladder retying the 
	clotheslines. Women hang from the windows giving free advice 
	and gossiping.
		A little to the left, Mrs. 
		Crackenbox! You think I want for Mrs.
 		Wittely's baby-clothes to drip on my 
		good sheets? Why don't you try oil of  
		cloves? Nothin' won't make her stop, 
		she's cuttin' her teeth. Didja hear 
		old man Hammerslaw taken out last 
		night? They'd oughta make the stairs 
		wider or the coffins narrower ... 

	Mixed with this are the sounds of a baby crying and the 
	shouts of kids.
	The camera moves steadily past this bedlam and up to the 
	second-floor rear fire-escape outside the Nolan window, to  
	discover Francie, completely oblivious to all the noise, 
	eating peppermints and having "fun" crying pleasurably over 
	the sorrows of her book. The bedlam continues over her but 
	she hears nothing. She comes to a pausing place where it is 
	just too beautiful to go on, closes the book, and sits 
	reveling in its tragedy -- but managing to take another 
	peppermint through the tears. -- Suddenly her head lifts as 
	she hears singing, faint at first, then stronger. It is her 
	father's voice, singing "Molly Malone." As soon as she is 
	sure, she is galvanized into action and scrambles toward the 
	The KITCHEN: Francie rushes to the door and throws it open 
	as the singing comes closer. She gets it open before the 
	last line is finished, and Johnny, her father, is revealed. 
	This is a game of long-standing, to try to get the door open 
	before he finishes the last line. Johnny holds out his arms 
	and Francie flings herself into them joyfully.
		I won. I won!
 	Johnny laughs and holds her for a moment. Johnny is nice-
	looking, debonair. He is a free soul who could give and take 
	superb happiness if only the world contained no economic 
	problems, no responsibilities beyond the joy of living. It 
	isn't so much that he shirks the responsibilities of a 
	family man, as that he simply cannot cope with them. He is 
	man enough to be bitterly ashamed of his weakness, but not 
	quite man enough to overcome it. The truth is that Johnny 
	has never quite grown up. His charm and his gift of play 
	are something like those of a child. His moods are 
	extravagant and volatile, like a child's. He wears the only 
	suit he possesses -- a shabby Tuxedo, badge of his trade, 
	with it a derby, jauntily worn. At the moment he is in a 
	very high mood because he has a job for tonight, so that 
	momentarily he feels more like the head of his house than 
	he ordinarily does.

		Well now, I wouldn't be so sure o' 
		that if I was you.

		But I did, I got it open before you 
		finished, that's the rules!
		But I come up one flight two steps 
		at a time before I remembered. Don't 
		that make a difference?
		No sir, the rules--

		And in a manner of speakin', you 
		never stopped me at all, because my 
		heart kept right on singin'.

		Oh, papa, you're joking.
		Well, maybe I'll let you get away 
		with winnin' this time, Prima Donna.  
			(looking around) 
		And where's your beautiful mama?
		Finishing the halls. She must be up 
		on the top floor or she'd have heard 
	Unconsciously and almost imperceptibly, Johnny relaxes. He
	is instinctively more at ease with Francie than with Katie.
		Well, in that case you'd better be 
		gettin' busy. Why aren't you layin' 
		out my clothes?
		You're always makin' fun, papa, you 
		know you haven't any more clothes.
		What's this, then?
		A tie.

		What's this? 

		A dickey. 

		And this?
		An apron.

		Them's clothes, aren't they? And 
		you'd better be gettin' that apron 

		Oh, papa, you've got a job for 

			(savoring his 
			good news)
		Do you see the palm o' that hand? 
		That's right where I got the world, 

		Where is it, papa? 

		Klommer's -- big wedding party. 
		There'll be lots of tips. 

		Singing or waiting? 


		Oh, Papa, maybe tonight will be it, 
		maybe he'll he there, the impresario, 
		and he'll hear you and put you on 
		the stage.

		Why not, ain't I the Brooklyn 
		thrush? Only if that's the case, 
		hadn't you better be gettin' that 
		apron ironed?

		I'll have it in a jiffy, papa. And 
		the coffee's on.

		That's my Prima Donna. 
			(then, teasing her)  
		"I've got a lassie, a bonny, bonny 
		lassie, She's as fair as -- as--" 

	He pretends not to remember. 

		Oh, papa, I can't sing.
		Come on, you're holdin' up the 

		"As fair as the flowers in the dell--"
		Better singin' I never heard.
		I love to iron for you, papa.

			(pouring the coffee 
			and bringing it down 
			to the table)
		You know, a day like this is like 
		somebody givin' you a present, 
		everything just right. I wonder how 
		did folks get on before coffee was 
		invented. Ah, the world would be a 
		fine place if--
			(he gets away from 
			this thought as 
			quickly as possible) 
		Prima Donna, do you know you're 
		gonna make a mighty nice wife for 
		somebody some day.
		Oh, papa!
		And pretty, too -- that is if your 
		nose don't grow crooked.    
		Could it really -- honest?

		Ah, it's the prettiest nose in 

		Oh, papa, it isn't!
		Who says it isn't? You just tell me 
		who says so and I'll take care of 
		Papa, you're crazy.
		You know somethin' else, you ain't 
		gonna be ironin' like that no more 
		when that impresario comes around. 
		Things are gonna be different around 
		here, you wait and see.
		Yes, papa.
		What's the wish you wish the most, 
		when our ship comes sailin' in?
			(not looking at him)
		It already came true.
		What was it, baby? 
			(she irons, and 
			won't look at him) 
		Come on, tell me now.
		I -- I wished when you came home 
		today, you wouldn't be -- sick. 

		Who told you to call it sick, baby?  
			(then, trying to 
			get away from this) 
		Ah, now, you shouldn't be wastin' 
		wishes like that; you ought to be 
		savin' them for a silk dress or 
		somethin'. Haven't you got a better 
		wish than that?
		Come on.

		I wish mama won't be too mad with
 		Aunt Sissy.
		What about Aunt Sissy? 

		She's gone and got herself a new 
		husband again.
		No! If there ain't a woman for you 
		-- If one husband don't suit her, 
		she keeps right on lookin' for the 
		best. Uh -- what did your mama say?

		Well -- she didn't like it. 

		Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised.
		Couldn't you -- sort of say 
		something to mama, not to be too 
		Why, sure I could, Prima Donna -- 
		and I will.

		Oh, thank you, papa.
		Now ain't you got a real wish -- one 
		just for you?

		Well -- did you see it, papa? 

		Out the window -- our tree, they've 
		killed it. 

	He crosses to the window, and she follows.

			(looking out)
		Well, look at that now.

		They didn't have any right to kill 
		it, did they, papa?
			(sensing how serious 
			it is with her)
		Wait a minute now, they haven't 
		killed it. Why, they couldn't kill 
		that tree!
		Why sure, baby. Now look, don't you 
		tell me that tree's goin' to lay 
		down and die that easy. You look at 
		that tree, see where it's comin' 
		from -- right up out of the cement. 
		Didn't anybody plant it, it didn't 
		ask the cement could it grow, it 
		just couldn't help growin' so much 
		it pushed that ole cement right out 
		of the way. When you're bustin' with 
		somethin' like that, can't anybody 
		stop it. Like that little ole bird, 
		listen to him--
			(he imitates a bird) 
		He don't ask nobody can he sing. He 
		don't take no lessons, he's just so 
		full of singin' it's got to bust out 
		someplace. Why, they could cut that 
		tree way down to the ground and the 
		root'd shove up some place else in 
		the cement. Just you wait until next 
		Spring, and you'll see, Prima Donna. 
			(their eyes meet and 
			Francie's worry is 
			laid to rest) 
		Well, now, this ain't earnin' the 
		family bread. 
			(he gets his hat and 
			brushes it carefully 
			with his sleeve) 
		Haven't you got one little wish 
		that's just for you?
		No, papa I -- I just --
		Just what?
		I just love you so much, papa!
	She clings to him, tightly. Johnny holds her.
			(gently, moved)
		Well, what do you know. Listen, if I 
		get a lot of tips tonight, you know  
		what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna put two 
		bucks on a horse I know runnin' 
		Monday. I'll win ten, then I'll put 
		the ten on another horse. If I use 
		my head and have any luck, maybe I'll 
		run it up to five hundred. Then you 
		know what I'm gonna do?
		What, papa?
		I'm gonna take you on a trip, just 
		you and me, on a regular train. 
		Maybe we'll go down South, and see 
		where the cotton grows. You know, 
		"Down where the cotton blossoms 
	To make her laugh, he does a little step with this.
			(very gently)
		You're a nice girl, baby. Come on, 
		we better go tell your mama the news 
		about my job.
	He puts his derby on at a rakish angle, and Francie gives 
	him the package with the apron. They go out together. -- We 
	then see them in the HALL. Johnny is feeling very good 
	indeed, and he deliberately turns on the charm as he calls 
	up the stairs.
		Anybody seen Johnny Nolan's wife?
	He starts gayly up, Francie looking after him, adoringly, 
	and the scene cuts to the UPPER HALL where Katie is on her 
	knees on the stairs, scrubbing her way down. She is slightly 
	apprehensive as she looks down quickly.
		Johnny! You all right?
			(coming up the stairs)
		And why wouldn't I be, married to 
		the most beautiful woman in 
		Williamsburg, Brooklyn?

		You're shoutin' it so, they'll hear 
		you over to Manhattan.
		Don't you get fresh with me tonight!  
		Happens I'm workin' at Klommer's -- 
		big weddin' party.
	Katie is pleased in a maternal way, but values the news for 
	what it is -- a one-night job -- whereas to Johnny it 
	changes the complexion of his world and ought to change her 
	world. To Katie his enthusiasms are an old, and now a 
	somewhat humorous, story; her humor is a necessary defense 
	against disappointments.
		I thought you was kinda extra dressy! 
		Well, looks like you won't get home 
		before the sun comes up.
		The later the better; the more tips 
		the more fine silk stockings for my 
		wife's pretty legs.
		Silk stockin's is just what I need.
	She turns away to go on working. A man comes up the stairs 
	past them and a couple of tenants look out from their doors 
	to see what's going on. An audience always inspires Johnny.
		Just a minute, Mrs. Nolan. Don't you 
		think you better kiss me for luck?

		The whole house is lookin'!
		Who cares! 
			(But he draws her back, 
			then speaks softly:)  
		This is the best job I had in a 
		couple a months. Maybe I'll get 
		more, from tonight.
	He puts his arm around her. She pretends to be out of 
	patience with him, but she is pleased. None of the other 
	women in the tenement get treated like this by their 

		You better get on then, good jobs 
		don't wait--

		A job's no good without you kiss me.
	She lets him kiss her, and is warmed in spite of herself. 
	Then she gives him a playful push, and speaks almost 
		Well, you still got a way with you, 
		Johnny Nolan! Go on now, before you
		know it those folks at the weddin'  
		will be an old married couple.
		Before you know it, I won't go at 
		all. Theirs ain't the only weddin' 
		that counts.
		Put your hat on now and get out of 
		here before somebody else cops that 
	He puts his hat on jauntily, grins, and comes to the head 
	of the stairs. But he catches Francie's eye fixed on him 
	from the bottom. He turns back to Katie, outwardly jaunty 
	but actually a bit awkward.
		Oh -- Francie tells me Sissy's gone 
		and done it again. Don't -- I mean, 
		maybe he's a nice fellow -- don't be 
		too hard on her, huh?
		They've all been nice fellows. Beat 
		it now, Johnny.
	A little lamely, Johnny turns away. He is glad to have this 
	over with. His jauntiness returns. He tips his hat to Katie 
		That's just a sample, Madam. If you 
		like my stock, drop me a card and 
		I'll be around again.
	Katie has to smile. Johnny starts down the stairs, 
	pretending to be aware for the first time of his small 
	audience. He tips his hat again.
		Oh -- evening, folks. 

	At the foot of the stairs Francie, delighted by the whole 
	scene, slips her hand into his and accompanies him proudly.
	-- The view moves with them and "picks up" Flossie Gaddis, 
	still in her pretty dress, shy and wistful in her doorway. 
	When she sees him, she starts to smile. Johnny stops.
		Well, will you look at our beautiful 
		princess tonight, in a brand new 

			(shyly, but infinitely 
		It's made out of silk.
		Why, let's see. Silk! Why, don't you 
		tell me that -- that dress is made 
		out of flower petals and birds' wings 
		and a little old piece of cloud. 
		Anybody could tell that!
	Flossie laughs softly, and it is beautiful to see. Johnny 
	laughs too, pats her head and starts on. -- Francie's 
	reaction marks her worship of this father of hers. The scene 
	moves on again as they go on down the stairs. They pass two 
	old ladies who are standing in the doorway. On the door is a 
	sign: Piano and Vocal.
			(tipping his hat)
		Evening Miss Lizzie, Miss Maggie.
		We wish you well, Mr. Nolan.
		Thank you, ladies. Evening, Mr. 
			(going up stairs)
		Working tonight, Johnny?
		Sure, big weddin' party. 

	They pass through the front door and on to the street.
 	We get a glimpse of Katie looking down for a moment after 
	Johnny. Her face shows the mixture of her feelings. She 
	sighs a little and turns back to work.
	The STREET: Johnny and Francie come down the front steps, 
	and what is, to her, a small triumphal march, continues. 
	She holds onto his arm and is enormously proud. A couple of 
	young girls are sitting on the steps.
			(tipping his hat again)
		Good evening, young ladies.
		Good evening, Mr. Nolan.
	They giggle, a little flirtatiously. Johnny is unaware but 
	Francie gives them a look. Her head goes higher and she 
	holds tighter to Johnny's arm.
		What did mama say about Aunt Sissy?
		Don't you worry -- it'll be all 
		right. Your Aunt Sissy's a fine 
		woman, Francie.

	Suddenly he stops at the window of the hardware shop as they 
	pass it.
		Look at all the things they got. No 
		use talkin', some day I'm gonna get 
		you them skates.
		Mama said not to be late, papa.
		God invented time, Prima Donna, and 
		whenever He invents somethin' 
		there's always plenty of it. 
			(moving down the window) 
		Look at them knives!
		Mama says time is money.

		Well, I guess maybe He wasn't 
		worryin' about money right then.
			(a little worried) 
		There's your car, papa.

			(looking, and 
			grinning at her)
		Might as well catch it, I guess.
	He kisses her quickly and goes toward the car. Francie calls 
	"goodbye" after him and stands watching anxiously.
	Johnny swings onto the car just as it starts to move on. He 
	smiles back, then tips his hat with a fine flourish to 
 	Nobody but papa has ever yet tipped his hat to her. She is 
	so proud her eyes glisten suspiciously. Her concern is gone 
	and nothing is left but worship. She waves till the car is 
	out of sight. And the scene fades out.

	The NOLAN KITCHEN fades in. It is evening. First we see 
	FRANCIE setting the table but more concerned with reading 
	her book, which is open on the table. Then the scene pulls 
	back to reveal Neeley washing at the sink, and Katie 
	transferring the food from the stove to the table.
		Now tomorrow this bread'll make up 
		real nice with a sauce of ketchup 
		and coffee. Use soap, Neeley. Monday 
		we'll slice it and fry it in bacon 
		fat and -- Francie, you're not 
		listening, put up that book.
		Yes mama ... bacon fat.
		Supper's ready.
	She and Francie sit while Neeley, having splashed his face 
	with water, dries it with a dish towel, looking over 
		Oh boy, we won't have to play no 
		North Pole this week! Hey! Am I 

	He comes to the table, starts wolfing his food standing up.
		And when weren't you?

		Yes, Francie.
		What does white mean?
		Just white, I guess. What do you 
		mean, what does it mean? Neeley, sit 
		down at your place. 

	He sits down.

		Well, what do girls always wear it 
		for when they get married, and when 
		they're confirmed, and when they 
		graduate -- why does it always have 
		to be white?
		I don't know, somebody just started 
		it I guess. Lots of things like that.
		Will I have a white dress when I 
		We'll see. Neeley'll probably need 
		shoes by then.
		But mama.
		Talk to him about it. If you can get 
		him to quit always comin' through 
		his soles ...
		Just because he's a boy ... 
			(she changes; right 
			out of her book) 
		All right, mama. I will gladly do 
		without so my little brother can be 
		happy with new shoes.
		Little brother my eye, you--
		That'll do. 
			(to Francie) 
		You read too much.
 	The door suddenly bursts open and Aunt Sissy comes in -- but 
	she gives the impression of blowing in, like a fresh breeze. 
	She is a couple of years older than Katie, lively, 
	completely natural, looks not unlike a street-walker, but is 
	actually a simple, direct, earthy woman. She carries some 
		Well, hey, everybody!
			(with cries of delight)
		Aunt Sissy, Aunt Sissy! What did you 
		bring us, Aunt Sissy?
	They fly into her arms and she embraces them warmly, 
	magazines, and all.

		I brung myself, chickabiddies, ain't 
		that enough! Oh -- and a couple 
		magazines from the dentist's -- what 
		does he need 'em for -- or me either, 
		I can't read like my eddicated 
		little niece here! --
			(Francie takes the 
			magazines, Sissy 
			looks at Katie) 
		Hello, Katie my darlin'!
			(a little stiffly)
		Good evening, Sissy.

			(getting the fact 
			that there's a 
			chill on)
		Well, you look fine, Katie.
		Yes, I look fine.
			(with rueful humor)  
		Who spilled the beans -- oh, that's 
		right, I forgot it was old Barker's 
		day here. Where's Johnny? I was 
		kinda countin' on him to be in my 
		Oh, sure, you and Johnny.
			(abruptly putting 
			her arms around Katie)
		Aw, look Katie, I didn't tell you 
		because I wanted to bring Bill 
		around, but I couldn't, he's home 
		sleepin', he's a milkman, see ... Ah 
		listen, you're goin' to wish me 
		happiness, ain't you?
		Naturally I wish you happiness -- 
		this time, too.
		Oh, golly -- can't you just skip to 
		the place where you forgive me. 
		You're goin' to before you're 
		through, you know I'll get around 
		you in the end. Why can't you just 
		be human now and get it over with?
			(laughing in spite 
			of herself)
		Well, I'll say that much, there 
		ain't anybody in the world like you 
		to get around a person -- unless 
		it's Johnny. You better sit down, 
		you're in time for pie.
		Now that's more like it, that's my 
		kid sister talkin'. Just coffee for 
		me. I gotta get home soon and make 
		breakfast for Bill.
		Breakfast? At night?
		Yeah, ain't it a riot. We sleep all 
		day with the shades pulled down to 
		keep out the sun and the windows 
		shut to keep out the noise. It's 
		fun, you don't live like nobody 
		No, you sure don't.
		Easy on the whip, kid. Ah, wait'll 
		you meet my Bill -- you and him 
		Wouldn't you marry nobody that they 
		wasn't named Bill, Aunt Sis?
		She mightn't remember 'em if they 
		Oh, Bill's got some other name -- 
		Steve I think it is -- but I always 
		like Bill. A good man's name with no 
		stuck-up about it. Ah, like I say, 
		you'll be crazy about him, Katie.
		Yeah ... but the question is, how'll  
		him and you get along?
			(genuinely troubled) 
 		It's wrong, Sissy, it's ... I mean, 
		the other ones, and--
		What's wrong about it?  The others 
		was wrong. What's right about keepin' 
		on with a guy when you don't love 
		each other any more?
		But it ain't just as easy as that, 
			(earnestly - dreamily)
		I think Aunt Sissy is right about 
		when love is dead.
			(to Sissy)
		Now look what you started. It ain't 
		anything to talk about in front of 
		them. Every time you come around you 
		fill their heads with--
		All right, kids, you go on 
		downstairs awhile. Your mama's got a 
		spankin' up her sleeve, and she 
		ain't gonna feel right till she 
		gives it to somebody. Might as well 
		get it over with.
	Neeley and Francie start out. Francie turns at the door, a 
	little worried about her aunt and mother.
		You don't want to frown like that, 
		snuggle-pup. The fellows don't go 
		for that at all.
	Her grin is contagious and Francie is relieved. She follows 
	Neeley out. Sissy turns back to Katie with a grin.
		All right, kid, let's have it, the 
		works. I'm a disgrace, you don't 
		know what you're goin' to do with 
		me, you can't hardly face the 
		neighbors with what they must be 
		sayin', I'm old enough to know 
		better. -- Go on, get it all off 
		your chest, and then we can make up 
		and forget about it.
		That's right, talk your way out of 
		it, and you probably will, too. What 
		did mama say?
		Oh, you know mama, she don't say 
		much, but--
		Yeah, I know. 
			(imitating her mother) 
		"Sissy is bad only where the men are 
		concerned, but she is good in the 
			(her smile dies) 
		But that ain't it. You make me 
		ashamed, Sissy. Folks got a right to 
		talk, and the kids are bound to hear. 
		It ain't right for them. And you can 
		get in trouble. You ain't real sure  
		what happened, and there's laws 
		about things like that.
		Look, Katie, so help me, this time 
		it's for keeps. I ain't even goin' 
		to look at another guy. And as for
		the last one, he can't be alive, or 
		I'd have heard from him. I been 
		pretty good. Seven years is a long 
		time for me to wait around, not 
		bein' married -- they said seven 
		years was all you had to wait, and 
		I waited. Where would I get the 
		money for a divorce?
			(Sissy is hopeless)
		Well, for the life of me, I don't 
		know what you've talked yourself 
		into -- but I got a feelin' it ain't 
			(on the level)
		Look, kid, all I know is, it can't 
		be wrong, or I couldn't feel like I 
		do about it. I'm dumb, sure -- but 
		I know this much, if I feel bad 
		about somethin', it's wrong, and if 
		I feel good, it's right. Ah, you 
		couldn't get it, Katie, you got all 
		the breaks I never had -- you got 
		the kids, and you got a guy you're 
		clear overboard about. You're lucky.
			(with a touch 
			of bitterness)
		Yeah, I'm that, all right.
		Sure, you are. And that makes all 
		the difference. You got somethin' to 
		stick to, you--
			(with a sudden flare 
			she didn't know was 
			in her)
		All right, and where does crazy over 
		somebody get you! It don't put no 
		pennies in the bank, it don't buy no 
		clothes for the kids to go to school
		-- maybe you got it better, not 
		stickin' to one man. I wish I wasn't 
		crazy over him sometimes--
		Hey, Katie--
			her voice rises)
		--And I won't have the kids takin' 
		after him either, him and those 
		dreamy ways I used to think so much 
		of -- not if I got to cut it right 
		out of their hearts!
	There is a pause that means a lot. Katie hadn't the least 
	intention of saying that. Sissy stares at her. It is the 
	first knowledge Sissy has had that there was something 
	deeply wrong between Katie and Johnny.
		Hey, kid, what're you sayin?
		Nothing, I--

		Yes you are, you're sayin' plenty. 
		What's happened between you and 
		I don't know what I'm sayin'. I 
		don't know what come over me.
		Well, look, hon, we better find out. 
		Sure, we got somethin' to talk about 
		No, I don't want--

		Uh-uh, you're the kid sister, you 
		listen now. Look, you was awful 
		crazy about Johnny -- Don't tell me, 
		I seen you: it was like every woman 
		wants to be with a guy.
		Yeah, I know, but--
		All right, maybe Johnny didn't turn 
		out just like you figured; sure he 
		drinks and all, and you're the one 
		has had to make most of the livin'. 
		But everybody's got somethin'. And 
		you wasn't crazy about Johnny 
		because he was goin' to be a banker. 
		It was on account of-- well, how he 
		laughed, and how he could talk about 
		things, and -- and how you felt walkin' 
		down the street holdin' on to him and 
		havin' other women look at you -- and
		the way he had of sayin' hello to 
		everybody like -- like he was givin' 
		away somethin'. That's what you was 
		crazy about, and that ain't changed; 
		I don't know, them things couldn't 
		change in Johnny, not even if he 
		tried, he's just -- different. And 
		that's what you was crazy over. If 
		there's been any changin', maybe 
		it's you, kid. You still got all you 
		was crazy over, ain't you?
			(moved, looking 
			away from Sissy)
		Yeah, I--
		Then you thank your lucky stars for 
		what you got, Katie Nolan, and take 
		the rest along with it. And take it 
		from me, you got a lot, and don't 
		think you haven't.
	There is a pause. Sissy really means it. And it has moved 
	Katie enough to make her very near tears, but she would not
	show this for anything in the world. She manages a little 
		I might've known, startin' out to 
		take you apart, I'd wind up with 
		you workin' me over.
	It is as close as she can come to acknowledging in words the 
	truth of what Sissy has said. But their eyes meet, and there 
	is a nice moment between them. These two sisters like one 
	another at that moment as well as they have in a long time.
		Nice goin' -- You're a nice girl, 
 	The warmth between them holds as the scene dissolves to the 
	NOLAN TENEMENT BUILDING: First we see NEELEY, bent over with 
	his hands on his knees, playing he's an infielder. He's 
	playing all by himself. He throws a small ball against the 
	wall, feels it as it bounces back to him and tags out an 
	imaginary runner on second base. He's very intent on all 
	this. Evidently there's some question about the decision. 
	Neeley speaks to the imaginary umpire with righteous anger.
		Aw, he was out a mile, I tell you. 
		Don't give me that -- well, that's 
 	Evidently he wins the argument with the umpire, because he 
	is mollified and returns to his fielding position. The 
	camera pulls back to reveal the front of the tenement just 
	as Sissy emerges from the front door. Francie is sitting 
	quietly on one of the doorsteps fingering a pair of roller 
	skates. A man and his wife are on the steps higher up, and 
	Sissy has to step over them to get down.
		Don't stir yourself, Pal.
 	She steps over him with a grin. He grins in answer. The wife 
	recognizes Sissy.
		We better go in, Alfred.
 	Sissy gets it but doesn't care. Francie looks up eagerly, 
	and Neeley quits his hall game to come over to Aunt Sissy.
		How'd you come out, Aunt Sissy?
		No decision. It was a draw. 
			(she smiles at them) 
		Ah, your mom's bark is worse than 
		her bite -- you know. Look, tell me 
		somethin', when papa's home, I bet 
		him and mama laugh a plenty, don't 
		they -- you know, like they always 
		Sure, pop can make anybody laugh 
		when he wants to, except when he's 
		Sick, Neeley, mama says to call it.
			(returning to 
			his ball game)
		Okay, sick then. Funny, he ain't 
		like other guys when he gets that 
		way, he gets all quiet. 
			(he tags another 
		That'll teach you to steal a base 
		on, I guess.
			(to Sissy)
		Mama kind of doesn't want to, 
		sometimes, but after a while mostly 
		she does.
		Sure, I'll tell you somethin' you 
		can do for me; do all the laughin' 
		you can -- you know, keeps everybody 
			(quoting from 
			a book again)
		Laughter is the singing of the 
		You're a funny kid, head full of all 
		them things, kind of like your pop.

		She tells lies like pop, too. 

		He doesn't tell lies.
		Well, I don't know what you'd call 
		it, he--
			(averting war) 
		Hey, time out, I've had enough 
		battlin' to last me today. 
			(then to change 
			the subject) 
		Where'd you get the skates?
		Oh, they aren't ours. Papa said he 
		was going to get us some though.
		Aw, he didn't mean it, he just said 
		that and I'd like to know what you 
		call that if it ain't lies.
		He did so mean it, Neeley Nolan.
		Easy, now. 
			(to Francie) 
		Kind of like your papa, don't you, 

		He does mean it, doesn't he, Aunt 
		Sure he means it, hon, he means it 
		-- every word. Only -- well, 
		sometimes things, you know, happen. 
		But it kind of ain't his fault, he--
			(realizing she is 
			becoming more and 
			more involved she 
			changes the subject) 
		I tell you what -- let's make out 
		Johnny gave you them skates like he 
		said, and they're yours, it won't 
		hurt nobody.
		But Aunt Sissy, we couldn't, it--

		No sense things standing around and 
		nobody using them. 

	She starts to strap the skates on. Neeley leaves his ball 
	game to come over for this new excitement.

		Hey, can I put 'em on next?
		All right, now. Take it easy.
	Francie laughs in high enjoyment as Sissy steadies her. The 
	front door of the tenement flies open and the little girl, 
	who is the owner of the skates, shows up.

		Hey, you come back here with my 
		skates. Mama!
		It's all right honey, we ain't gonna 
		hurt 'em.
	Sheila's mother appears. She's the woman who was sitting on 
	the step.
		Ma, they stole my skates.
 	The child's father appears in the doorway. The woman 
	advances down the steps.

		You bring them back. You put them 
		kids up to it, you--

			(facing her)
		Easy now, nobody's hurt. I only 
		borrowed 'em. 

		She isn't going off with them, Effie, 

			(to her husband)
		Don't you take up for that woman like 
		that, you--
			(smiling at the husband)
		You poor little guy, you got to put 
		up with that all the time?
 	The clamor of the argument has brought forth other neighbors.
			(horning in)
		Ask her whose husband she'd like to 
			(to Francie)
		My mother says your aunt's got dyed 
				A KID
		Hey, the cop!
	The hubbub ceases. McShane, a rather young and nice looking 
	cop, comes in.
		Come on, break it up, break it up 
		now, take it easy.
			(smiling full at him)
		Well. I'm sure glad you come along, 
		handsome. You look like you ought to 
		be able to whip a bunch of women 
		into line.
			(making no response 
			to her impertinence)
		That's fine, but maybe somebody 
		better tell me what all the 
		excitement's about.

		She tried to steal my little girl's 

		She tried to vamp her husband.
		We only borrowed them for just a 
		minute, honest.
		That's right, there wasn't nobody 
		using 'em, and a little fun and 
		frolic on a Saturday never hurt 
		anybody. I'll bet you know all about 
		that, don't you?
		It's kind of you to ask, but I'm 
		afraid I don't, lady.
			(studying him)
		You mean it, too, don't you. Yeah, I
		should've known you weren't the type. 
		That's kind of nice, handsome.
		If you think you're goin' to get out 
		of it makin' eyes at the law--
		Your aunt's goin' to the station 
		house, your aunt's goin' to the
		station house!
	Bedlam breaks loose again. It is at this point that Katie 
	comes but the door and hurries forward.
		Officer, please. 
			(as she comes up to him) 
		This lady's my sister. She didn't 
		mean any harm, I'm sure she didn't.
			(studying her a 
			moment -- impressed)
		Sure, and it doesn't look to me like 
		any harm's been done. 
			(to the crowd) 
		Clear the streets now, all of you.
	His tone is authoritative, and the crowd starts to disperse.
			(turning to Katie)
		I'll see you ladies to your door.
			(with a grin) 
		Thanks, handsome.
			(in reproof) 
		My sister is always trying to be 
		funny, officer, she doesn't mean 
		anything by it. 
			(they pause 
			at the door) 
		I'd like you to know this is the 
		first time my family ever got into 
		any trouble on the streets--
			(looking at Sissy) 
		and I'll see it don't happen again.
		I guess I know a lady when I meet 
		one, ma'am -- My name is McShane and 
		I'm glad I could be of service to 
		you, ma'am. 

	He turns and goes.
		He sure took a shine to you, Katie.
		Go on! 
		Who'd look at me?
		He would.
			(in an odd mood for 
			a moment -- looking 
			at her hands)
		Funny, you kind of forget sometimes 
		that you're a woman.
		He wasn't going to arrest us, mama. 
		Aunt Sissy talked him out of it. And 
		we got to skate on 'em anyway, 
		didn't we, Aunt Sissy?
	This makes Katie look at Francie. Francie has evidently 
	enjoyed the excitement from the adventure, and this 
	disturbs Katie.
		You go on down the street and tell 
		Sheila and her mama you're sorry 
		now, Francie.
		Do I have to, mama?
	Katie doesn't answer, and Francie starts reluctantly down 
	the street. Katie watches her go a minute, and then turns 
	back to look at Sissy levelly.
		I don't like sayin' what I'm goin' 
		to, Sissy.
		Oh, golly, are we off again?
		You're the only sister I got, but-- 
		I don't care for myself, what people 
		think about you, only-- I got the 
		kids to worry over, and if I don't 
		do it nobody else will. You're bad 
		for 'em, Sissy, you got Francie in 
		trouble right on the street. You --
		you might even make 'em trouble at 
			(very quietly)
		What is it you're tryin' to say, 
		Sissy, I'm askin' you not to come 
		around any more. My mind's made up, 
		and don't try changin' it with any 
		more of that soft talk.
		I won't, Katie, not if you mean it. 
		But let's keep on talkin' about 
		you. Soft's one thing, kid, but--
		bein' too hard is another.
		All right, it ain't nice to be hard, 
		but my children are goin' to be 
		somebody if I got to turn into 
		granite rock to make 'em!
	Sissy studies her for a long moment. Their eyes hold. Katie 
	doesn't yield.
			(with a funny 
			little smile)
		I kind of wish you hadn't said that, 
			(she turns) 
		So long, Katie. I'll give your love 
		to Bill.
 	She goes. Katie stares after her. Some of the inflexibility 
	leaves as she watches Sissy go. She is bewildered, mixed up 
	with the inner conflict; she turns abruptly to go into 
	the tenement.
	The scene dissolves to the NOLAN KITCHEN at night. First the 
	cover of a Gideon Bible in Neeley's hands comes into view, 
	then the scene pulls back to reveal Neeley, ready for bed, 
	reading aloud. Francie sits near, holding a volume of 
	Shakespeare. Katie is remaking a dress of hers for Francie. 
	Grandma Rommely sits quietly listening. Grandma Rommely is 
	of Austrian peasant stock, old, given much to silence. She 
	has a faraway look, and nods occasionally while she listens 
	to this reading, which is very important to her. It is a 
	good thing.
		"--and Nahor lived nine and twenty 
		years and begat Terah, and Nahor 
		lived after he begat Terah an 
		hundred and nineteen years." -- boy, 
		that's older'n Grandma, ain't it? -- 
		"and begat sons and daughters" -- 
		Okay, that's the end of the page.

			(reading immediately)
		"And dreaming night will hide our 
		joys no longer, I would not from 
		thee. Cressida: 'Night hath been too 
		brief.' Troilus: 'Beshrew the witch
 		with venomous'"--
		Aw, that ain't even English. 

		It is so. Shakespeare wrote the best 
		English of anybody.

		All right then you tell me what it 
		means, you're so smart. 

		I didn't say I know what it means, I 
		said I liked it. 

		That'll do, now.

		Okay, but I bet you don't know what 
		it means either. 

		Maybe not, but I know it's good for 
			(resuming her reading)
		"'Beshrew the witch'" --
			(grumbling to himself)
		She don't know what it means, mom 
		don't know what it means, Grandma 
		can't even read, and gosh knows I 
		don't know--
		Mama, I can't read if he--
		--Just wastin' time every night 
		readin' stuff nobody knows what it's 
		all about.
		Well, it ain't as bad as that, I get 
		some of it. That about nights is too 
		brief, that means short, and 
		goodness knows they are, and the 
		days too. 
			(she measures the dress 
			against Francie as she 
		Hold still a minute. Now listen, 
		Aunt Sissy brought us that Bible 
		from Sheepshead Bay, and papa blew 
		in all his tips one time on that  
		Shakespeare because Grandma said 
		they was the greatest books and we 
		should read a page every night. So 
		we ain't gonna waste 'em. And I 
		don't know, sometimes it does seem 
		kinda foolish but -- I guess it gets
		you somewhere, might help you find a 
		job someday, you can't tell.
 	Her defense of the custom winds up a little lamely, but it 
	is the best she can muster. None of them notices Grandma 
	until she speaks abruptly.
		This reading will not stop. I say 
		this thing.
	This is said quietly, but with so much determination that 
	all three turn toward her. She is completely immobile as she 
	tries to gather words, which are difficult for her.
		In the steerage we come, to this new 
		land, your grandfather and I. Hard 
		we work, but there is something we 
		look for that we do not find. So 
		this is not different, I think, from 
		that old country. And then I watch 
		my children, and then their children. 
		And then I know, when I am old, I 
		know. In that old country, the child 
		can rise no higher than his father's 
		state. But here, in this place, the 
		children need not to walk out their 
		lives in the shoes of their elders. 
		And this has to do something with 
		the learning which is here free for 
		all people. This is the thing, that 
		with this learning each one is free 
		to go so far as he is good to make 
		of himself. This way each child can 
		be better than the parent, and this 
		is the true way things grow better. 
		This, to me who am old, is the great 
		wonder of this country, in this way 
		to be free. I have missed this thing, 
		and I have let my children miss it, 
		but this shall not be so for my 
		children's children. This reading 
		will not stop.
	Probably never before has Grandma Rommely put so many words 
	together. She is lost in them, almost transfigured, there 
	is deep strength behind her feeling. The others are silent, 
	a little awed by the unaccustomed speech. The argument about 
	the reading is ended forever.
		And you, Katie. It is not just for 
		the job. You do not think well 
		about this, nor about what you do 
		with your sister. You have forgotten 
		to think with your heart. There is a 
		coldness growing in you, Katie.
	She has finished; and she retires inside herself again, 
	settling back in her chair. There is a pause, and there is 
	definitely nothing more to say. It has had an effect on 
	Katie. Francie looks from one to the other. -- Finally 
	Katie's eyes leave her mother and meet Francie's. Katie 
	nods. Francie resumes the reading.
		"'Beshrew the witch! with venomous 
		wights she stays 
		As tediously as--'"
	Katie's eyes go back to her mother. The old lady does not 
	look at her, but nods again, almost imperceptibly. It is 
	good. But her words, coming on top of Sissy's, have shaken 
	The scene dissolves to a STREET late at night. It is 
	practically deserted. The shadowy figure of Johnny, carrying 
	a couple of paper bags, comes down the street from the 
	carline. He is singing "Call Me Up Some Rainy Afternoon" 
	to himself. Thereupon the scene cuts to the NOLAN PARLOR 
	where Francie is on her couch under the window. The faint 
	sound of Johnny's singing awakens her. Her face lights up. 
	She looks out the window. Then, in her nightgown, she 
	scurries for the kitchen.
	In the KITCHEN Katie is asleep with her head on her sewing 
	on the table as Francie enters. Francie is startled at 
	seeing her mother there. As she hesitates, Katie stirs and 
	lifts her head. The sound of the singing is closer as Johnny 
	comes up the stairs. -- Katie's and Francie's eyes meet and 
	there is a sense of understanding between these two who 
	wait. Instinctively Katie's hands start to fix her hair.

		He's all right, mama. I don't think 
		he's sick.
	The singing approaches the door. True to their game, Francie 
	goes to open it before the song finishes. The open door 
	reveals Johnny and his paper bags. There is a second of 
	relief for both women when they're sure he is sober.

		Well, what do you know, if it isn't 
		my beauty.  
			(he is a little 
			surprised at seeing 
			Katie still up) 
		Hey! What're you doing up this time 
		of night?

			(a little awkwardly)
		Oh, I made up my mind to sit up for 
		you. But I guess I ain't used to the 
		hours, any more.

	Johnny sets his bags on the table. Katie resumes adjusting 
	her hair.
		Leave it, it's nice.

		Go on. What you got in them bags? 
		Francie, the coffee.
			(going to light 
			the stove)
		Is it something to eat, papa?
		And what else, with me comin' from a 
		grand banquet? 
			(and he empties 
			the bags) 
		French rolls, a whole half of 
		lobster from the shores of Maryland, 
		caviar all the way from sunny far 
		off Russia, fried oysters, cheese--
		from -- from the mountain fastnesses 
		of la belle France.
		What do you know about the mountain 
		fastnesses of France?
		Is it better comin' from there, papa?
		Supposed to be mighty good. 
			(looking at Katie) 
		But comin' home like this -- I know 
		that's good.
			(a little awkwardly)
		Well, let's eat it, no reason we 
		shouldn't have a party of our own.
	Abruptly Katie turns from setting the table and, without 
	explanation, disappears into the bedroom. At the same time a 
	very sleepy Neeley appears from the other bedroom.
		I'm hungry.
			(from the bedroom)
		Is that all you got to say to your 

		Hello, papa. 

	He starts immediately pulling a chair up to the table.

		His stomach's like the Irish sea, no 
		bottom to it.
	Katie reappears, shy and pretty, her hair arranged and held 
	in place by a tortoise shell comb. Johnny looks at her, 

		Mama, your wedding comb!
			(a little shy at 
			her own sentiment)
		Well, ain't this a kind of wedding 
			(pulling out a 
			chair, playing
			up to the mood)
		You bet it is. I wish I could've 
		swiped some champagne. 
			(then, as he 
			meets her eyes) 
		No, I don't, coffee's better.
	Francie brings the coffee to the table and sits down next to 
	her father. Neeley is already eating.

			(looking at Katie; 
		Only will you look at who's tellin' 
		me I don't know about the mountain 
		fastnesses of France.

			(looking down, fussed)
		Oh, that.
		Yeah, that -- imagine you forgettin'.
		Well, I didn't, not exactly, only 
		that was a while back and--
			(to the children)
		What do you think of havin' a mama 
		that'd forget where we went on our 

		Did you really go there, mama?

		Of course not, papa's joking.
		Sure we did -- or just the same as. 
		We spent our honeymoon in a school,
		was as big as a palace, and--
		We just worked there nights, 
		cleanin', the both of us. It was 
		right here in Brooklyn, before you 
		was born.
		Well, that wasn't what you said then. 
		You mean to tell me, when we was 
		havin' our supper all alone there, 
		and I used to pull down them maps and 
		take the teacher's pointer and pick 
		out the places we'd pretend we was 
		that night -- you mean to tell me we 
		really wasn't there? You mean you 
		forgot that sunny France was where we 
		liked the best, and all the laughin' 
		we done there, and you goin' to sit 
		right there and tell me we wasn't 
		even there?
	He is making arrant love to her with this. Katie is stirred.                               

			(finding this 
			rather trying)
		Yeah. I guess we kind of was, at 

		And you're askin' how I know about 
		the mountain fastnesses of France. 
		I'm ashamed of you, Katie Nolan.
	Francie has been watching this between her father and mother; 
	she doesn't quite understand the mood between them, but she 
	is fascinated.
		Wasn't there anybody in the school 
		but you, papa?
		No sir, we--

		Your papa better quit talkin', he'll  
		have you believin' you was in France 

		No, talk some more, papa--
		What's this here stuff?

		Caviar, that's fish eggs come all 
		the way from Russia.
		Fish eggs!
			(as he and Katie laugh)
		Tell the truth, I never could get 
		the idea myself why they like it, 
		except it's hard to get and costs a 
		And that makes it good, papa?

		What about the Russians -- it ain't 
		hard for them to get -- do they like 

			(to Katie)
		Can you tie that, ain't we got the 
		smartest kids?
		Papa, talk some more, tell us about 
		the party tonight, don't leave out 

		Oh, that can wait. 
			(he lays three 
			dollars before Katie) 
		How's that?
		Three dollars! That's good wages.
			(jingling his pocket)
		Good tips, too.

		Papa, start. Was there music? Did 
		they dance?
		Aw, your mama's got no time for all 
			(softly, not 
			looking at him)
		You -- you could tell me. You used 
	Johnny starts uncertainly at first, watching Katie. Neeley 
	continues to eat. Francie listens to her father with her 
	elbows on the table.

		Well, it was pretty swell. Klommer's 
		best room, all fixed with white 
		flowers -- flowers on the table, on 
		the chandeliers, even on the floor. 
		There was a big horseshoe table, and 
		lots of people, and right in front 
		was a big tall wedding cake, must 
		have been two feet high.
		Why didn't you bring home some of 
		Was the bride pretty?
		Well, she was maybe not so young,
	Johnny cannot spoil a moment like this with the truth. 
	Everything must be perfect, so he improves on the bride a 
		Sure, she was awfully pretty, in 
		that blue dress and all. She had 
		diamonds on her hands and even in 
		her ears so she kind of glittered, 
		and when she walked her clothes 
		swished, kind of. Well, sir, the 
		champagne flowed like water, and 
		the smell of it got all mixed with 
		the flowers and the powder the 
		ladies wore and it was like a 
		wonderful new kind of perfume,
 		made you feel good just to smell it.
			(with a little 
			shiver of delight)
		And did you sing for them, papa?
		Sure thing, I was comin' to that. I 
		got three encores for "My Wild 
		Irish Rose," and -- everybody 
		clapped and clapped so I did "Irish 
		Eyes Are Smiling" four times.
		It must have been awful nice.
		It was all right. And when it was 
		time to cut the wedding cake the 
		band played "Kiss Me Again" and she 
		put her arms around him and boy, did 
		he look scared!
		What was he scared of papa?


		You kids ask too many questions. Go 
		on, you heard the story, go back to 
		bed now, it must be three o'clock.

		I got a bellyache.
		Lay on your right side. 

			(kissing her)
		Goodnight, mom.
		Goodnight, Neeley.
			(a little stiff -- 
			not kissing Katie)
		Goodnight, mama.
		Goodnight, Francie. 
			(laughing awkwardly) 
		Francie's kind of mad at me because 
		Sissy made a scene of herself out on 
		the street and I -- I told her to 
		stay away.
		Run along now, both of you.
	Both of the kids start to obey. The small incident has 
	broken the perfection of the evening, and this disturbs 

		Goodnight, papa. 
			(kissing him, 
			then whispering)  
		Was -- was there an impresario 

		Not tonight there wasn't, Prima 
		Donna. Come here. 
		You got no call to be mad at your 
		mama, Francie, she -- she always got 
		a reason for what she does.
	Johnny means this. Unaccustomed to reproof from Johnny, even 
	as gentle as this is, has its effect on Francie. She 
	hesitates, then goes over and kisses her mother with some 
	restraint. Katie, who is feeling more deeply than she has 
	felt in a long time, holds her close for a moment. Suddenly 
	Francie flings her arms around her mother, and they are very 
	close for a moment.
			(in a completely 
			different tone)
		Goodnight, mama.
 	Francie hurries into her room and shuts the door. Her going 
	makes a little awkward moment between Johnny and Katie, who 
	are left alone, each lost in his own thoughts.
			(after another 
			little pause)
		Johnny. What else happened at the 
		party -- tell me.
		Well, it was nice like I said it 
		was, awful nice -- the bride all 
		dressed up and all, and--

	But he cannot get going again. And Katie hasn't really heard. 



		Do you think-- I mean, have I-- well, 
		changed a lot-- you know. 

			-- quickly)
		Changed, why, she couldn't hold a 
		candle to you. She wasn't so hot, I 
		just said that, for the kids. No 
		sir, you're--

		No, I mean -- am I gettin', you know, 
	She is troubled, inarticulate. Johnny is bewildered.

		Why, where'd you get hold of an idea 
		like that, hard?

		I don't know, I don't want to be, 
		but-- well, there's the kids and all, 
		I want to do what's good for them--
		and maybe sometimes--
		Aw, baby, don't talk like that. Why,  
		you know something, you're prettier 
		than you ever was. I could near 
		tellin' it to the whole party 
		tonight-- hey, you ought to see my 
		bride that's waitin' home for me. 
			(softly, looking 
			straight at her) 
		And you was waitin'. That was -- 
		nice, Katie, it was -- like it used 
		to be.
		You -- you told about the party nice, 
		Johnny. I -- I should've waited up 
		more, I guess.
		Aw, it ain't your fault, baby, you 
		workin' like you do. 
			(he touches the comb) 
		I -- I wish I'd bought you the rest 
		of that set when we was married, the 
		man said it came all the way from 
		What else was there to it? You ain't 
		told me for a long time.
		There was two little side combs and 
		a locket on a chain.
		And a bracelet, you said.
		You know what, I'm gonna look up 
		that man some day and get you the 
		rest of that set.
	Johnny is deeply moved. This is the closest that he and 
	Katie have been in a long time. If things were entirely 
	right between them, most of all if they were entirely right 
	between Johnny and himself, this is the moment in which he 
	would take her in his arms. Subconsciously, both of them 
	know it. They enjoyed perfection, when they were young 
	together, as closely perhaps as people come to it. Life 
	together, when they were young, was very right between them. 
	This day has moved Katie to an instinctive reach back toward 
	that old perfection, which they have not felt in a long time. 
	This is what she is subconsciously asking from Johnny. And 
	subconsciously he realizes this. And because of his 
	failures, he has not quite the feeling of this perfection, 
	this completeness, to give her. This feeling is taut between 
	them for a moment. And then Johnny feels instinctively the 
	necessity of talking a little more, to try to reassure 
	himself, to try to build with his words something more of 
	reassurance that everything is all right within him. This 
	very feeling is an acknowledgment that he no longer has that 
	perfection to offer her. So, with his words, they go past 
	the perfect moment. Katie senses this. There is a desperate 
	need in her for Johnny to take her in his arms, without any 
	more words, as he would do if their world were right. She is 
	trying to hold on to this moment, not to let it get by, when 
	after a moment she speaks.
		That's nice, Johnny, but--
			(eagerly, working 
			himself into believing)
		Ain't no buts about it, I mean it. 
		Things are goin' to be different 
		around here, you -- you got no 
		business workin' like you do.
		I don't mind the work, I--
		No sir, I ain't goin' to have it.  
		Look at them pretty hands, they got 
		no business bein' in water all the 
		time. I'm goin' to change a lot of 
		things. I'm goin' to quit the 
		drinkin' too. And just to show you, 
		here's my tip money, you can--
		No, Johnny, the tips are yours --
		you take all a man's money, it ain't
			(accepting this a 
			shade too easily)
		Well, there's a dime anyway. I -- I 
		had to take a nickel out of the bank 
		for carfare, you can put a dime back. 
		But I'm goin' to keep at 'em down at 
		union headquarters and make 'em get 
		me jobs. Tonight's the beginning of 
		somethin' new, Katie -- you believe 
		me, don't you, Katie? 

			(wanting to)
		Sure, Johnny, sure I do.
		I'll be singin' all over Brooklyn 
		and maybe Manhattan too. Have you 
		heard Johnny Nolan sing, they'll say. 
		Yes sir, our luck's turned, and some 
			(from her heart)
		Ah, stop it, Johnny, stop it, stop 
	He looks at her, hurt, amazed. Katie has had all she can 
	stand. It isn't any good, it's phony.
		Talkin' like that only makes it 
		worse! We ain't got a chance, who 
		are we tryin' to kid! 

	There is a long pause. The truth that has been torn from 
	Katie is the last thing either of them wanted to face -- it 
	is the sort of thing people try the hardest to keep from 
	facing. But it is here. All Johnny's desperate effort to kid 
	himself dies within him. He stares out the window. He could 
	not possibly look at Katie in this moment.
			(very quietly)
		Yeah. That's right, sure, who am I 
		tryin' to kid.
	Katie feels sorry for him, for them both, but there is no 
	use in weakening -- you can no longer evade the hard truth.
		I didn't go to hurt you, but it's 
		the truth, I can't change it, 
		Yeah, and I can tell you somethin' 
		else, too. All that baloney about 
		the encores tonight -- that was just 
		because they was a little drunk and 
		feelin' good. I wasn't so hot.
			(dry and hard)
		No use talkin' like that, it won't 
		help any.
		I don't know, as long as we're on 
		the truth, let's keep lookin' at it. 
		I'm the one ought to be kicked out, 
		not Sissy. I got a wife and kids and 
		I don't take care of 'em, I don't 
		know why. I didn't want the kids 
		when they come, but I love 'em -- 
		how could you help it -- sure, I 
		love 'em a lot, but I just can't 
		seem to turn into a hard-workin' 
		man to take care of 'em. What sense 
		does that make, all I want to do is 
		sing, I don't know why. And I guess 
		that's right, I ain't ever goin' to 
		be able to change it. Sure, you're 
		right, who am I tryin' to kid.
	This comes so quietly from Johnny that it is frightening. 
	For the first time in his life he has faced himself. Katie 
	made him do it, even if she did not intend to. They have 
	both faced him. So these two will never again feel quite the 
	same about one another. What he has said is bitterly true, 
	there is no answer to it. -- Katie slowly picks up some of 
	the dishes from the table, as though she would take them to 
	the sink. But even lifelong habit is no good, and she sets 
	them back on the table.
		We better get some sleep.
			(without turning)
	Katie stands helplessly a moment, and then starts toward the 
	bedroom. Johnny doesn't move.
	In the PARLOR Francie is lying on her bed beside the window, 
	illumined by the faint moonlight. She is awake, staring at 
	the ceiling, as if feeling a presentiment about the next 
	room. Outside the window stands the Tree in the backyard, 
	bereft of most of its branches, but stark and strong in the 
	moonlight. The scene fades out.

 	MCGARRITY'S SALOON fades in, in the early morning. It is a 
	small corner saloon. Next to a big free lunch sign is a 
	cigar store with a wooden cigar store Indian. -- McGarrity, 
	the proprietor, is just finishing sweeping the sidewalk.
		Morning, Mac.
	McGarrity waves in answer and goes inside. -- The place is 
	deserted except for Johnny, who is sitting at a table, head 
	down on his arms at a table. Before him is a whiskey glass 
	and a litter of cigarettes. McGarrity studies him 
	compassionately, then goes over and shakes him gently by the 
		Seven o'clock, Johnny, better be 
		goin' home.
	Johnny raises his head wearily. He has not been asleep. And 
	he is not as drunk as he would like to be, although he has 
	tried hard to drink enough so that he would stop thinking.
		Sure, sure, home.
		"Home is where the heart is--"
	He pulls himself to his feet and moves somewhat uncertainly 
	to the bar. Automatically, McGarrity goes behind the bar, 
	and just as automatically wipes the polished surface.
		Write nice songs about it, don't 
		they, Mac?
		Sure, Johnny.

		I sing 'em good, too, don't I, Mac?
		Sure, Johnny, sure.
		Don't just sure me like that, Mac. 
		You're wrong about somethin', you 
		don't know it, but you're wrong. I'm 
		not ever goin' home any more.
		Sure you are, Johnny, you got a 
		mighty nice family to go home to.

		You don't get it. I'm goin' there, 
		I'm gonna walk down the same street, 
		I'm gonna turn in the same door, and 
		there'll be my nice family, but I 
		won't ever be goin' home again. Give 
		me a drink, Mac.
		I don't get you, boy.
		Sure you don't, I don't get it 
		either. I pretty near did, sittin' 
		there thinkin' about it. Listen, Mac, 
		listen good now. 
		"Maxwellton's braes are bonnie, 
		where early fa's the dew--" 
		What did you hear, Mac?

		You always sing good, if that's what
 		you mean.

		If that's what I mean I don't know 
		what I mean. What good is singing -- 
		you feel somethin', but there ain't 
		nobody hears what you feel. It's no 
		good -- she used to hear, but not 
		any more. So I won't ever be goin' 
		home again. I hate singin'. I 
		should've been tendin' bar like you. 
		Don't ever sing, Mac.
	McGarrity studies Johnny closely. He knows Johnny is in pain 
	about something, but he isn't quite sure what.
			(polishing the bar)
		Lots of angles to it, boy. You 
		wouldn't be any good tendin' bar. 
		You're a funny fellow, Johnny.
		Sure, sure, I'm funny. I want a 
		drink, Mac.
		I don't know if I'd trade with you 
		-- a poet that can't write, that's 
		bad. But it takes all kinds of 
		people, maybe some of 'em just 
		wasn't meant to make a livin'. And 
		maybe I would trade, at that. And 
		now you better get home to that nice 
		family, your missus will be worryin'.
			(flaring up)
		All right, it's the nicest family in 
		the world, you think I don't know 
		that. Give me a drink, I said.
		Easy, Johnny, easy. 
			(he sets out a drink) 
		Have one on the house.
		Sure, that's better, and I'll sing 
		for it, that's what I'll do, I'll 
		sing for it.
	McGarrity studies Johnny compassionately as Johnny pours the 
	drink. Johnny's bitterness toward life, and most of all his 
	hatred for himself and what he is, is at its peak.
	The scene dissolves to the NOLAN TENEMENT as Francie emerges 
	with pencil box and books, starting out for school. In a 
	moment the door bursts open and Neeley emerges, always a 
	little late. He has his books in a strap. As he joins her, 
	Neeley starts to rip off the tie he is supposed to wear to 
		Neeley Nolan, you stop that.
		Aw, I don't want to wear no old tie, 

		Mama said.
		Aw, go chase yourself.
	But he submits to her mothering as she starts to pull the 
	tie back into place. Suddenly they hear a clamor off scene 
	-- and we then see what they see: Johnny, drunk and unsteady, 
	is just coming around the corner surrounded by a swarm of 
	derisive kids. Johnny pays no attention to them.

		Just pickle my bones in alcohol. 
		He's stiffer than a goat, look how he 
	Francie and Neeley run to their father. Francie pushes her 
	way to him and tries to take his arm.
		You leave him alone! Papa -- come 
		on, let's go home, let's hurry, papa.
	Johnny tries uncertainly to smile, but he is pretty far gone.
			(to the kids)
		You leave him alone or I'll bust you 
	The kids pay no attention. Neeley socks one of them and a 
	fight is on. Francie tries desperately to help Johnny toward 
	their door.
	McShane enters from across the street, and breaks up the 
			(to the kids)
		Come on now, quit it -- quit it or 
		I'll run you in. Beat it now.
	The kids break and beat it, still yelling derisively. 
	Francie and Neeley remain and McShane turns back to them.
		Now, my lad, where do you live?
		I'll take him home, he's my father.
		I expect you'd best be gettin' on to 
		school, hadn't you? I'll look after 
		him for you. 
			(Francie hesitates) 
		Don't you worry, he ain't in any 
		trouble, I'll take good care of him. 
		This the building?
		Second floor back. If -- if you talk 
		to him, he -- he's always all right 
		and you'll--
		Don't you fret a minute. 
			(he takes Johnny's arm) 
		Come on now -- we'll make it, lad.
 	Johnny gives him a blurred look but submits to being led up 
	the steps, and as Francie stands looking after them, 
	miserable, the scene dissolves to the TENEMENT HALL where 
	McShane helps Johnny toward the Nolan door. Johnny only 
	half-coherently tries to sing.
		"When Irish eyes are smiling--"
		Quiet, now, quiet does it.
		Got to sing, don't you, very 
		important, and she'll hear you, but 
		you got to sing ju-u-st right, so 
		she can get the door open first, 
		very important.
		All right, sing then, if it eases 
		what's hurtin' you.
		"When Irish eyes are smiling--"
 	The noise causes a couple of neighbors, who open their doors, 
	to look out. McShane knocks at the Nolan door, and Katie 
	appears, just ready to start her morning's janitor work. 
	McShane is surprised to see her.
	Scarcely noticing McShane, she starts to help Johnny into 
	the kitchen. McShane helps. -- The scene cuts to the KITCHEN 
	as they get Johnny into a chair at the table. McShane 
	studies Katie, who is busy with Johnny.
		I -- I didn't -- I didn't expect to 
		see you, ma'am. Is there anything I 
		can do?
		He's my husband, I can take care of 
			(to Johnny)  
		It's all right now, Johnny, I'll get 
		you a nice cup of coffee.
		Nice cup of coffee, nice cup of 
 	Katie goes to the stove. McShane stands awkwardly for a 
		I just wanted to tell you, the 
		gentleman wasn't makin' no trouble, 
		just -- needed a little help. 
 	Katie stops pouring the coffee to look at him. She is 
	instinctively defensive about Johnny, so her look is 
	antagonistic at any intrusion into their family troubles.

		If -- if there's anything I can do, 
 	Katie comes over and puts the coffee down in front of Johnny.
		There, Johnny, drink it. 
			(then, turning to McShane) 
		If you wasn't new on the beat, Mr. 
		McShane, you'd know Johnny never 
		makes trouble -- and you'd know the 
		whole Nolan family don't need 
		anybody's help, and -- and I'd thank 
		you very much, Mr. McShane, to mind 
		your own business. 

	Her eyes meet his squarely.
			(after a moment) 
		Sure -- Mrs. Nolan.
 	He turns and goes, closing the door behind him. Katie turns 
	to Johnny.
	Out in the HALL, McShane pauses a moment beside the door and
 	looks back toward the room a little ruefully. He sure caught 
	hell. He grins in admiration, then starts down the stairs.
	The scene dissolves to the PUBLIC SCHOOL. The school yard is 
	swarming with children. The bell is ringing, and the 
	youngsters start to form lines to march in. This dissolves 
	to the EIGHTH GRADE CLASSROOM. The view is focused on one 
	group and then moves past the intent, struggling faces of 
	other children as they recite in unison, with a curious 
	cadence with which poetry is scanned.
		"Beau-ty is truth truth beau-ty that 
		is all Ye know on earth and all ye 
		need to know."
	The camera comes to Neeley, and then Francie; then pulls 
	back to reveal a classroom so crowded that some of the 
	children have to sit in the aisles in chairs without desks. 
	The teacher, MISS TILFORD, middle-aged, and tired, is at the 
	blackboard, marking off with chalk the metric divisions of 
	the lines which are written on the board. Miss Tilford is 
	repeating it with them.
			(as they finish) 
		Now, who knows the name of the meter? 
			(looking at the class; 
			Francie's hand is up) 
		Frances Nolan?
			(standing up)
		Yes, but--
		You can't "know but." You either 
		know or you don't know.
		I know it's iambic pentameter, five 
		metric feet, with a long syllable  
		coming after a short one, but-- I 
		only meant to say-- I was thinking 
		about the words, what they mean, 
		and I wondered--
		You don't have to know the words, 
		Frances, only the meter. And we're 
		late now for our arithmetic. The 
		class will get their arithmetic 
 	She moves to the desk. There is a general rustle in the 
	class as the exchange of books is made. Francie sits down 
			(opening her book)
		Now then! The farmer has a hundred 
		and sixty-nine apples in a barrel. 
		He wants to divide them into equal 
		piles, with as many apples in each 
		pile as there are piles of apples. 
		How would he go about it? 
			(as there is no 
			answer, she goes on) 
		What method would he use -- What is 
		the latest process we've been 
			(with hand raised)
		Miss Tilford--
		Yes, Frances.
		If beauty is truth and that's all ye 
		need -- I mean all you need to know 
		-- Then that means it's the most 
		important thing, and if a man -- I 
		mean somebody -- spent all their 
		time just trying to live like that 
		-- Well it's hard to put, but no 
		matter what else he did, then -- 
		then --
	She falters, feeling strongly what she wants to say, but 
	unable to say it. Neeley knows what she is getting at.
		Then what, Frances?
		Then -- it would be all right, 
		wouldn't it -- I guess.
		I'm afraid I haven't the slightest  
		idea what you're talking about, 
		Frances, but I do know we're 
		disrupting the arithmetic! Now, 
		class! Square root! Does no one 
		remember square root!?
	As Francie sits down, deeply humiliated, the scene dissolves 
	to the CLASSROOM while the children are filing past a doctor 
	and a nurse, who examine briefly the head of each child, 
	looking for lice. As they finish, the children are free to 
	leave. Francie and Neeley are in line. The doctor is 
	examining a boy, and indicates for the nurse to look.
		Report to your principal and give 
		him this card.

	The boy goes on with the card nonchalantly, but as he leaves 
	some kids who successfully passed the examination, jeer:
		Mickey's lousy, Mickey's lousy!
	Neeley, next in line, submits indifferently, and dashes to 
	his cronies as soon as the doctor murmurs  "All right." 
	Francie steps up. She offers her head, enduring the 
	examination as a necessary evil, but clearly knowing it 
	is not necessary in her case. Miss Tilford, checking the 
	line, observes her.
		All right.
	He has turned to the next child and misses  Francie's 
	scornful glance -- as much as to say "I know that" -- but
	Miss Tilford sees it, and suddenly feels a compunction.
			(as Francie passes her)
		Yes, Miss Tilford? 

		Er -- maybe I was a little too 
		abrupt with you this morning -- I 
		mean, you are a smart girl and -- 
		it's just that you must learn to 
		stick to the point and not go 
		wandering off the subject.

		Yes, Miss Tilford.

		If you'll do that, you needn't worry 
		about passing. 

		I wasn't worrying about--
			(giving up; meekly) 
		Yes, Miss Tilford, thank you, Miss 

	As she wanders out, completely lost, the scene dissolves to 
	the SCHOOLYARD. Neeley has waited for Francie and they are 
	now walking across the yard toward the gate. Francie is 
	vaguely troubled.
		How should I know if they knew you 
		was talkin' about him. I don't see 
		what for you want to talk so much 
		anyway. Pop was just a little drunk, 
		that don't hurt nobody. 
			(he breaks off as 
			he sees something 
		Hey, look!
	We then see SISSY, from their angle, waiting at the corner 
	for them. She waves. -- The children stop short in a 
		What'll we do? We ain't supposed to 
		talk to her.
		I don't know--
			(she has an idea) 
		Neeley, that's all they said, we 
		was only supposed not to talk to 
	Neeley's face brightens. Francie hurries toward Sissy and 
	Neeley follows.
	Sissy embraces them both, and doesn't notice their silence.

		Chickabiddies! I couldn't stand it 
		no longer! I just had to get a peek. 
		Man alive, you both look good enough 
		to eat!
		Gee, it's--
	Francie shakes her head warningly. Sissy doesn't notice.
		Well, how are you anyway? 
			(no answer -- 
			Francie stares at 
			her miserably)  
		Tell me all about it, how's things 
		at home? 
			(there's a 
		Well, you're not lettin' me get a 
		word in edgewise. Oh -- I catch! 
		You ain't allowed to talk to me, 
			(they nod -- she 
			laughs and hugs 
		Well, you do just like your mama 
		said. But there ain't nobody said 
		anything about me talkin' to you, 
		is that it? 
			(they nod and 
			shake their 
			heads in happy 
		Smart enough for lawyers, the both 
		of you! Well, let's see, you can nod 
		and shake and make faces, can't you 
		... How's Katie? 
			(they nod) 
		And your papa? 
			(they hesitate, then 
			nod uncertainly) 
		Not workin' much?
 			(they shake their
 			heads sadly) 
		Well, don't you worry, he will. 
			(they nod; then 
		Any sign of the ice meltin' in my 
		direction yet?   
			(they shrug and Sissy 
			sighs humorously) 
		Guess I'll have to tell Bill you 
		still got scarlet fever, he's kinda 
		wonderin'... Oh, well. And how's 
	There is a divided opinion on this. Neeley's shrug implies 
	that it's okay enough, but to hell with it. But the question 
	has revived Francie's problem, and her shake of the head is 
	troubled. Sissy's interest centers on her.
		What's wrong, ain't you doin' good?  
			(Francie shakes 
			her head) 
		Well ... got in any trouble? 
			(there is a 
			confused shrug) 
		Teacher mean to you? 
			(there's a division 
			of opinion -- a half-
			hearted negative from 
			Francie, a nod from 
			Neeley. Sissy is 
		I don't get it, lamb, somethin's 
		troubling you, maybe I ain't askin' 
		the right questions.
	Francie looks at her miserably, wanting terribly to talk to 
	Sissy, to someone, about it. For a moment the scene is at an 
	impasse. Then Francie has an idea.
			(he looks at her) 
		Neeley, Aunt Sissy wants to know if 
		it's because the teacher's mean to 
		Sure she is, she--
 	Francie touches his arm, shakes her head, indicates that he 
	is to talk to her, not Sissy. The great light dawns on 
		Oh -- was you speakin' to me, 
		Francie? Why yes, Francie. I'd say 
		that teacher was pretty mean, 
		wouldn't you, Francie? I'd say all 
		teachers was pretty mean, Francie.
			(as Sissy grins at 
			this subterfuge)
		Well, Neeley, I wouldn't say that 
		she was mean, exactly. That isn't 
		what we mean, Neeley, is it?
		Ain't it, Francie?
		No, what we mean is, Neeley, 
		school's to learn things in, that's 
		what it's for, isn't it, and if you 
		got questions--
		Well now, look, Francie -- if you 
		mean all that talkin you did about 
		pop, then I don't know--
		Neeley Nolan, you don't understand  
		anything. You got to know things, if 
		they're important, that's what 
		school's for, isn't it? It's just if 
		she'd tell you things, not just the 
		meter but what they mean, that's what 
		teachers ought to do -- Isn't it, 
			(giving up)
		Well, Francie, maybe you know what 
		you're talkin' about, but if you ask 
		me, you just talk but don't say 
		But, Neeley--
		It's all right, lamb. I can't say I 
		could draw a map of it, but I get 
		some of it. 
			(she draws 
			Francie to her) 
		You quit worryin' about it, hon, and 
		run along home. Maybe your old Aunt 
		Sissy can do somethin' about it. 
			(she hugs them 
			both tightly) 
		Look, maybe it's just as well if you 
		don't say nothin' at home about 
		seein' me -- you know, it ain't lyin' 
		as long as nobody asks you.
		I guess we can't help it, Francie, 
		if people listen to us in the street.
	He is off like a shot, calling to a group of boys. Francie 
	smiles gratefully into Sissy's eyes. Sissy watches after her 
	a moment, and then her face hardens. Nobody is going to make 
	Francie suffer because of her father's weakness, or for any 
	other reason, whatever it may be. She starts toward the 
	The scene dissolves to a CLASSROOM. Sissy is standing 
	belligerently in front of a bewildered Miss Tilford's desk.
 		What I'm sayin' is, whatever it is  
		you're teachin' the other kids that
		Francie ain't gettin' -- I ain't 
		gonna have it!
		But I assure you that your daughter 
		is being taught exactly the same as 
		the other children. If you could 
		just tell me what it is that you 

			(interrupting; humbly)
		Look, lady. I don't know myself what 
		we're talkin' about. I ain't very 
		smart, I guess you seen that. But 
		somethin's eatin' that kid, and 
		she's a good kid and don't you hold 
		out nothin' on her, don't you teach 
		the other kids nothin' she ain't 
		gettin', or--
		Well, you see that you do like I  
			(she attempts  
			belligerence again) 
		Or I'll call a cop, and that ain't 
		kiddin' either. I used to be married 
		to one!
	With this last lame threat she stalks out, leaving Miss 
	Tilford shaking her head in relief as though at a lunatic 
	who hasn't affected her at all.
	The scene dissolves to the NOLAN KITCHEN where we get a 
	close view of the Sunday funny paper spread on the floor. 
	The text is the Katzenjammer Kids. This dissolves to a full 
	view of the kitchen to show Neeley sprawled on the floor 
	with the funny paper. Francie is quietly staring out the 
	window, preoccupied, drumming on it idly. Katie enters from 
	the hall, with a few clothes over her arm that she has just 
	brought in from the line to be ironed. She stops abruptly 
	when she doesn't see Johnny in the room. Her question 
	carries quick, instinctive apprehension that Johnny may have 
	gone out to get drunk again.
		Where's your papa, did he go out?
		No'm, he--
	Johnny appears from the bedroom. He has heard.
			(with quiet bitterness) 
		No, he didn't go out.
		Oh. I thought--
		I ain't goin' to McGarrity's, if 
		that's what you mean. 
			(to Francie)
 		Them's fine compositions -- they 
		read nice, Prima Donna.
		Thank you, papa.
 	Johnny has the compositions in his hand. He goes over to the 
	table and puts them down. He isn't looking at Katie. This 
	Sunday is a hard day for Johnny. With what has happened 
	between him and Katie, it is very difficult to be shut in 
	these small quarters with his family, with something dead 
	between them. Life is at low ebb for Johnny. He picks up a 
	piece of the newspaper and studies it absently, to avoid 
	looking at Katie. Katie studies him for a second. She, too, 
	is aware of the tension, but life has to go on. She puts the 
	clothes into her work basket and starts to mend some of them. 
	There is a little silence.
			(quite unaware 
			of all this) 
		Pop, why don't the Katzenjammer Kids 
		talk plain English?
		Supposed to make it funny, I guess.
		Francie, you been staring out that 
		window for half an hour. Can't you 
		make up your mind to do something?
		What shall I do?

		You used to like to do your homework 
		I -- I don't know, I don't like 
		school as much as I used to.
		Now you're gettin' some sense!
		School's just the same this year as 
		it was last.

		You know that big market on Clancy 
		Street, down the hill?
		We can't deal there, if that's what 
		you mean. That neighborhood's 
		Well, I wasn't talking about the 
		You said did I know that market. 
		Neeley, don't just lie there and 
		scuff your shoes out.
		Well, I meant, the other day I 
		walked home that way, and -- and do 
		you know what's just a couple of 
		blocks away from that market?
		Another market, I guess, and am I 
		supposed to guess what's two blocks 
		away from that. Why don't you say 
		what you mean, Francie?
		I didn't mean anything, I guess.

	From behind his paper, Johnny gives her a quick look. He 
	knows Francie has something on her mind, and is getting no 
	place with it. He is very much aware of the unconscious duel 
	between the two.

		Sometimes it looks like you make 
		these holes on purpose, Neeley.
		Aw, can I help it if things just 

		Yes, baby.
		You know what I read in a magazine 
			(getting a look 
			from Katie)
		What was it, Francie?

		Well, it said walking is a good 
		thing, it said people would look and 
		feel better if they walked a lot. 
		"Walk and put rose petals in your 
		cheeks," it said.
		Then I ought to be a ravin' beauty 
		with all those stairs.
	Francie wanders over to her father's chair, and stands in 
	back of it. As she talks it is clear it is for his benefit.
		It didn't mean that. It meant -- 
		Well, like on a Sunday, people would 
		feel lots better if they took a long 
		walk or something, instead of just 
		sitting around and--
		Francie, I want you to stop talkin'  
		around things like that. It ain't 
		right. If you got somethin' to say, 
		I want you to say it right out, 
			(defeated, starting 
			back to the window)
		I wasn't going to say anything. I 
		was just talking about walking.
	Johnny, from behind his paper, shoots a quick look at Katie 
	and then at Francie. He lays down his paper, gets to his 
	feet and stretches himself. When he speaks, it is indirectly 
	a reproof to Katie.
		Been so much talk about walkin', I 
		think I'll take one. Come along, 
		Prima Donna.
	Francie's face lights up, but she restrains herself quickly.

		Oh, yes, sure, papa. 

	Johnny grins at her and starts to pick up his coat. As Katie 
	looks sharply at him the scene dissolves to a STREET in a 
	BETTER NEIGHBORHOOD: Francie and Johnny are walking together. 
	She has hold of his arm proudly.
		Must be pretty special, this place
		you walk to that's two blocks from a 
		This way, papa.
	They come to a corner and Francie stops. Johnny looks around,
 	but can't make out just what it is.
		Is this it, Prima Donna?
		Yes, papa.
	Johnny looks where she points, and we next see the new 
	school from their angle. It is a long way from being the 
	best school you ever saw, but it is different from the old 
	one -- a bigger yard, a few trees, less dingy. Johnny looks 
	from the school back to Francie. It doesn't make sense, 
		The school? 
			(Francie can only nod) 
		I don't get it, baby.
		It must be just as nice inside, 
		don't you think? The teachers and 
		all, and--

	She falters to a stop.

		What are you gettin' at, Prima 
	Francie can't look at him. It is such a hard thing to 
	explain, even to papa. Her reply is almost a whisper.
		Bend down, papa. 
			(he does)
		I wish I could go to that school, 
	The strange intensity of her feelings touches Johnny. He 
	doesn't want to let her down, but he doesn't know quite what 
	to do about it. He puts his arm around her.
		I don't know. It would be awful nice 
		but they got rules, honey, you got 
		to go to the school where you live.
	Francie's face falls. She knew that this was the answer.
		I know. I didn't really--
	She can't go on.
			(he can't stand it)
		Wait a minute, maybe there's a way, 
		it's a free country, ain't it?
			(as he sings) 
		"School days, school days--" Maybe 
		we could move near to here.
			(like a shot)
			(taken aback)
		Well, not just yet, Prima Donna, not 
		for a while. But just as soon as our 
		ship comes in, you'll see.
			(let down)
		Oh, only by that time I'll--
		You want to go there awful bad, 
		don't you, baby? 
			(Francie nods) 
		Then, look, we're goin' to find a 
		Well now, I've got to turn this 
		thing over some. Let's us do a 
		little more walkin', it's -- maybe 
		it's good for thinkin' too.
	With complete faith in this, Francie takes his arm again and 
	as they start to walk the scene dissolves to a RESIDENCE 
	STREET composed of small houses, fairly attractive. Johnny 
	and Francie come down the sidewalk. They are walking slowly.
			(making conversation)
		That's not a bad house, how'd you 
		like to live there? Nice little 
			(shaking her head)
		I don't like brown houses.
		Well, maybe a coat of paint.
			(seeing the next house)
		Oh, papa! 
			(Johnny looks, Francie 
			goes on:) 
		That's it.
 	Johnny looks and we get a view of the next house -- small, 
	white, a neat white fence, and flowers.
		Yes sir, that's it.
		If we only could!
		Well, why can't we. Our luck's bound 
		to turn, and the first thing we'll 
		do is buy that little house when--
		some day.
	The fairy tale is back, and Francie's elation is gone. 
	Johnny looks at her, cornered.
			(in desperation)
		Look, as long as we're goin' to buy 
		that house some day, why can't we 
		maybe borrow it for now? Like -- say 
		we make out it's ours, then your 
		address is--
		98 Hibbard Avenue -- startin' right 
		now! Then, you see, you got to 
		transfer from your old school.
			(it is too much to 
			understand all at once)
		How do you mean, papa?
		That's it ... We could say you come 
		here to live with your aunt, your 
		rich old aunt. She's lonely and 
		she's goin' to leave you all her 
		Oh papa, could we really!
		Sure we could, it's nobody's 
		business. And every day you eat off 
		real china dishes with little 
		cherries painted onto 'em, and when 
		you drink coffee, you have a cup and 
		saucer to match, and a plate too, 
		like they come from a restaurant.
		Sometimes I forget to water the 
		geraniums and you ought to hear 
		Auntie scold me!
		You got to put up with her crotchets 
		-- after all, you're her heir.
		That -- that could be my room up 
		there where the little window is.
	Johnny, watching her, suddenly becomes troubled by the 
	enormity of what he is doing.
		Now look, Prima Donna, you know what 
		we're doin' ain't exactly accordin' 
		to the rules.
		You mean it's wrong?
		Not by a jugful it ain't wrong. See, 
		the house is here, and we're here, 
		and the school -- we wasn't all 
		brought together like this just for 
		no reason. But ... we'll have to 
		keep it a kind of secret, you won't 
		be able to tell anybody, and you'll 
		have to be extra good to make up for 
		Oh, I will! 
			(she looks around) 
		I think here comes auntie now.
	An elderly man and woman, coming down the street, turn in at 
	the gate. They are very nice looking.
		I see you got an uncle too. 
			(they both laugh; 
			everything is settled)  
		Now, I'm goin' to show you a way to 
		your new school through a little 
		park. I know right where it is, and 
		you can see the seasons change on 
		your way.
	He has taken her by the arm and they are moving again down 
	the street.
			(trying to speak)
		Papa -- bend down. 
			(but she is too 
			moved for mortal 
		My cup runneth over. 

	Her eyes glisten softly.
	The scene dissolves to the NOLAN KITCHEN at night. Francie 
	is helping Katie with the dishes, but hovering over Johnny 
	who is laboriously writing a letter on the kitchen table. 
	Across from him Neeley scowls over his homework.
		It's dishonest, that's what it is. 
		You're settin' the child an awful 
		bad example.
		Papa says if it doesn't hurt anybody, 
		and you're not dishonest in your 

		You two with your fancy words --
			(paying no attention)
		How you spell "transfer," Prima 
		I'd ruther be shot than do this 
		It'll come to you, sonny ... And 
		another thing. We kept Francie out a 
		year so's she and Neeley could be in 
		the same class, so's she could look 
		after him, and here just the year 
		they're gettin' ready to graduate, 
		you go and--
			(she breaks off, 
		It's against the law and it's makin' 
		her live a lie and -- I won't have 
		you doin' it.
	Johnny stops writing. For the first time he turns and looks 
	squarely at her, speaking very quietly.
		I'm goin' to do this for her, Katie. 
		Maybe it's my fault or not there 
		ain't much I can give her -- but 
		this is one thing she's goin' to 
	There is a pause. Katie is surprised by his firmness. She is 
	the first to falter.
		It'll make an awful long walk for 
		you, mornings.
			(with a gleam of hope)
		I don't mind gettin' up early.
		It'll be lots harder on your shoes, 
		and you won't have dresses like the 
		other children.
		I'll wash and iron my dress every 
		single night.
			(writing again, with 
			a funny little smile) 
		How do you spell appreciate, 

		If the principal of the school 
		swallows that story -- which I don't 
		think he will -- I'll see what I can 
		do about makin' over that checked 
		dress of mine.
	Katie goes on washing the dishes to cover her surrender. 
	Francie's face is radiant. Johnny smiles a little to himself 
	as he writes.
	The scene dissolves to the PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE where Francie 
	is standing anxiously before the principal as he reads 
	Johnny's note. At length he looks up from the note.
		Why not?  My school's overcrowded as 
		it is.
	Francie smiles tremulously. It is almost too good to be true.
 	-- This dissolves to "FRANCIE'S LITTLE HOUSE." Francie, her 
	coat over the new plaid dress, approaches the little house. 
	She pauses near the gate, looks in. It is a miracle, this 
	little house of hers. She sees a scrap of paper, and a 
	broken dead flower stem inside the fence. Making sure no one 
	is looking, she slips through and picks these up. It is her 
	gesture of serving the little house. As she starts out the 
	gate again, her manner changes and for a fleeting moment she 
	has the job of pretense that it is really hers, and she is 
	emerging to start to school. She walks through the gate with 
	something of the manner of a princess. The gate squeaks a 
	little. She tries it again.
		Dear me, I must remember to oil that 
	As she goes on down the street, completely happy, the scene 
	dissolves to a CLASSROOM in the NEW SCHOOL. The room is 
	different, less crowded, cleaner. Class has just taken up. 
	Miss McDonough, the teacher, is standing beside her desk, 
	her arm around Francie's shoulder.
		This is Frances Nolan, class. I'm 
		sure you'll all make her welcome to 
		our school. Now this will be your 
		desk, Frances. 
			(she takes Francie 
			to the desk) 
		And one more thing, Frances. Don't 
		worry about marks at first. I've 
		told the class, often, it isn't the 
		marks that count, it's the knowledge 
		that you make your own, that you 
		make forever and forever a part of 
		you. Now you may go to your desk.
	Miss McDonough turns to her desk. Francie stands a second. 
	For a moment it is too good to be true. Then she slips down 
	into the desk. It is hers. She begins to smile.
	The scene dissolves to the NOLAN KITCHEN where we first see 
	Francie ironing her school dress as she talks. She is 
	thrilled over her first day at the new school. Then the 
	scene pulls back to reveal Johnny and Katie also in the 
	kitchen. Katie is laying the table for supper. Johnny is 
	finishing getting dressed to go out on another job.
		And oh, Miss McDonough is just 
		wonderful. She said we could choose 
		anything in the world to write this 
		composition about, just anything. 
		She said it was good for us to 
		choose our own subject.
		Well, that's mighty fine, Prima 
		Donna. What did you decide on?
		She said it'd be nice if we wrote 
		about something in nature. But we 
		don't know much about nature, do we, 

		Well, your tree's nature.
		But just one tree for a composition, 
		it'd be awful short. What else is 
		Grass, wind, dogs -- why don't you 
		write about a dog?
		Are dogs nature?


		But I'd like this to be kind of a -- 
		special composition. She was so 
		I'll tell you what then -- what am I 
		doin' tonight but goin' to sea on 
		the good ship Governor Clinton, and 
		the ocean's nature, ain't it? I'll  
		keep an eye on the sea tonight, and 
		tell you all about that.
	Through this, Katie busies herself with the scanty 
	preparations for the meal. Johnny is getting a warm glow out 
	of Francie's happiness over the new school that he has given
 	her. Katie knows deep inside herself that she never would 
	have given Francie this odd gift, so there is an instinctive 
	little resentment of the closeness between father and 
	daughter. None of it is lost on her.
		Bein' a waiter on a little excursion 
		boat goin' up the Hudson River ain't 
		exactly goin' to sea.
		Sure it is, it's a kind of a sea, 
		it's water. I'll remember everything 
		about it, so you can write about the 
		bright blue sea, Prima Donna. How's 
		I think that would be kind of 
		Your Miss McDonough bein' so 
		wonderful, she didn't happen to 
		mention where our supper was comin' 
		from tonight, did she?
			(appearing suddenly from 
			his bedroom, on cue)
		Did you say supper, mom, I'm hungry.
		There ain't much, sonny. But maybe 
		we can fill out with one o' them 
		compositions about the bright blue 
		Prima Donna, you know what -- this 
		ought to be extra special for your 
		new school. You know what we're goin' 
		to do?
		What, papa?
		If there's tips enough on this job 
		tonight, come Sunday, I'm goin' to 
		take you to see the ocean for 
		The really ocean?
		Me, too, pop?
		You bet. It ain't right livin' this 
		close and you never even seen it. 
		People ought--
			(changing her mind)
		Nothing. Maybe at that it's better 
		than that McGarrity gettin' your tip 

		Yeah. I get it -- I -- I wasn't 
			(to the children)  
		Sure, your mama's right, we better 
		get a little bread and bacon in that 
		old cupboard before we go to takin' 
		fishin' trips. But we'll go one of 
		these days, when-- well, you wait 
		and see. 
			(he takes his hat) 
		Well, this ain't earnin' the family 
			(ready to go, grateful 
			to escape this) 
		Needn't wait up. If I know the 
		Governor Clinton, I won't be bringin' 
		home no caviar. Goodnight, my 

		Goodnight, papa.

		Goodnight, pop.

		I'll keep an eye out good, Prima 
		Donna, and tell you all about it.
	He is gone. There is an odd little tension in the room for 
	a moment. Katie sets the last things on the table.
		All right, men, step right up and 
		get your rations.
		Oh, golly, mom, you mean we got to 
		play North Pole again?
		I couldn't help it, son, there wasn't 
		a penny in the pitcher.
		Look, you can be captain, Neeley, 
		and when we find the Pole you can 
		drive in the stake with your name on 
	The children sit down and Katie pours the coffee. What food 
	there is, is on the table -- a heel of bread, a bit of cold 
	potato, cracker crumbs.

		Gosh, even caviar would look good, 
		lookin' at that stuff.
		My, fish from Alaskan waters and 
		chopped Eskimo whale.
		That's right, knowin' about all them 
		ocean things sure helps to keep you  
		from feelin' hungry, don't it?
		I'd rather think about all that free  
		lunch down at McGarrity's. Mom, how 
		much longer do I got to be a minor?
		You ain't ever goin' to start takin' 
		anything from that place.
		I bet papa'll bring home some swell 
		food, nice rolls and--
		Aw, quit it. Mom -- I'm hungry.

		Steady, captain.

	Neeley's eyes meet hers, and he gets hold of himself, and 
	gulps some coffee.
			(watching this)
		Mama, you'd rather do anything than 
		break into the star bank, wouldn't 
		Just about. Bein' a little hungry 
		ain't never as bad if you know you 
		got a little somethin' in the bank.

			(Katie looks at her) 
		When explorers get hungry, there's 
		a reason, something big comes out of 
		it, like they discover the North 
		Pole. But what's the big thing comes 
		out of us bein' hungry.
		You found the catch in it, Francie. 
			(then, ashamed of 
			admitting it) 
		Aw, that's no way to talk. Sure, 
		somethin' comes out of it. Courage, 
		my men, the Spring thaws will be 
		here before you know it. 

	She roughs Neeley's hair affectionately as she goes to get 
	some more coffee. The scene fades out.

 	The BEDROOM CLOSET fades in. Katie is prying the star bank 
	loose. Neeley, loaded down with blankets and frying pans, 
	watches avidly.
		Run along, sonny -- I ain't goin' 
		to spill a penny!

	She slides a paper under the bank, lifts it, and wraps it 
	quickly in a dish towel, keeping her word. They go out 
	through the now bare bedroom.
	The scene cuts to the KITCHEN, which is empty of everything 
	but the stove. The Nolan bedstead is just going through the 
	door, borne out by Charlie, whose cap bears the simple 
	legend "Ice."
			(taking a last 
			look around)
		I guess we got everything.
 	Out in the HALL, Charlie, carrying the bed up, and Mr. 
	Crackenbox, carrying a trunk down, have difficulty passing 
	each other on the stairs, and Katie and Neeley have to wait. 
	A humble bit of crepe hangs on the Gaddis door; Katie 
	straightens it.
		Poor Flossie.
 	A couple of women tenants peer out their doors at the moving.
		Johnny ain't doin' too well, eh, 
		Mrs. Nolan?
			(starting up 
			the stairs)
		Just movin' nearer to the sun. 
		Soon's we heard Mrs. Waters was 
		vacatin', we made up our minds. 

	She goes on up determinedly with Neeley.
 	Next, on the FOURTH FLOOR, Francie is seen leaning excitedly 
	over the banister, as Charlie struggles up the last of the 
	stairs and through the door of a rear flat, just over the 
	Nolans' old one.
		Neeley, our new fire escape leads 
		right up onto the roof.
			(coming up) 
		Whoever lives on the top floor gets 
		dibs on the roof!
 	As Katie follows him up, Mrs. Waters, the vacating tenant, 
	comes out of the flat, and addresses her anxiously. The 
	children fly into the flat.
		I been waitin' for' you, Mrs. Nolan. 
		There's somethin' I got to ask you 
		-- a favor. I -- I better show you.

	She leads the way into the KITCHEN of the NEW FLAT. This is 
	a little smaller, darker, meaner. Some of the Nolan 
	belongings are in place, some in a tangle. Mrs. Waters leads 
	Katie to the parlor. Francie and Neeley climb in the window 
	from the fire escape and follow. The scene cuts to the 
	PARLOR, which is empty of furniture except for a small, 
	old-fashioned upright piano. Mrs. Waters touches it 
		The late Mr. Waters gave it to me 
		for a wedding present. It won't go 
		down the stairs, and they want 
		fifteen dollars to move it lowerin' 
		it out the window. Do you mind my 
		leavin' it, Mrs. Nolan? It don't 
		take much room, and some day, when 
		I get the fifteen dollars, I'll send 
		back for it.
		Why, sure I don't mind, Mrs. Waters.
			(to Mrs. Waters) 
		Can you play it?
		No, neither one of us could. 
			(to Katie) 
		And if it ain't too much trouble, 
		you could dust it off once in a 
		while and leave the kitchen door 
		open a little so it won't get cold 
		or damp.
		Sure I will. And I hope it won't be 
		long until you can send back for it.
	She follows Mrs. Waters out and both children cross their 
	fingers instantly, showing they don't share their mother's 
	"hope." Then, reverently, each strikes a note.
	The scene cuts to the KITCHEN as Mr. Crackenbox comes out of 
	the smaller bedroom carrying the last of Mrs. Waters' 
	possessions, topped by a small, cheap, old bassinet. Mrs. 
	Waters is about to follow him out, when Katie sees the 
	bassinet. (Charlie is heard putting up the bedstead in the 
		Mrs. Waters. That -- that -- is it 
		a ...

		Yeah, we kept the baby in it -- 
		about thirty years ago.

			(with difficulty)
		I was just thinkin'... if you don't 
		need it. ... Make a nice handy 
		little washbasket. I'd be glad to 
		give you a quarter for it.
			(looking at 
			her curiously)
		Why sure. My Edgar's kids is even 
		too old.
	Tenderly the two lift the thing down, and Mr. Crackenbox 
	goes out with the rest of the load. Katie gets a quarter out 
	of the bank, then quickly wraps it up again.
			(touching her; softly)
		Excuse me for askin', Mrs. Nolan, 
		but-- it won't really make a very 
		handy washbasket?  

	Their eyes meet.
			(nodding; quietly)
		Please don't say nothin'. I -- I 
		ain't told nobody yet.
			(with deep feeling)
		I know it ain't always easy, when 
		you're poor, but-- it'll be a 
		blessin' to you.

			(very low)
		Yes, sure -- sure it will--
 	The children, starting to run in, rouse her, and she nods a 
	hasty farewell to Mrs. Waters as she hurries with the 
	bassinet into the bedroom. Mrs. Waters understands and goes.

			(gleefully, to Francie)
		I tell you, there ain't--
	He runs into the smaller bedroom, as Katie comes back 
	carrying only the bank. Charlie emerges sweating.
			(in a low tone)
		Don't forget we're supposed to give 
		him a beer -- or the price of one.
	Charlie wipes his sweating brow significantly, hopefully. 

		I'm done.
		I can't thank you  enough, Charlie.
		Always glad to do my customers a 
		favor, of course. 

	He doesn't move. 
		We're real grateful, Charlie.
		It ain't as though I was in the 
		regular movin' business. 

		We'll be takin' ice, once a week, 
		same as usual.

			(after a pause; grimly) 
		Well, goodbye.

		Goodbye, Charlie.
 	He goes out, slamming the door. Francie looks reproachfully.
		He worked awful hard, Mama!

		We moved to this flat to save money. 
		We're not goin' to make a start by 
		throwin' away dimes.

			(entering joyfully)
		No-sir, there ain't a bathtub 
		anywhere, I looked all over.
	Katie grins, leads him to the kitchen sink and lifts out a 
	partition by which a tub can be improvised.

		That's the tub, young man -- every 
		Saturday and Wednesday, same as 
	A knock causes Katie to breathe "Mr. Barker!" She sets the 
	bank down and quickly puts her hand to her hair as Francie 
	opens the door. Mr. Barker enters, looking around for 
				MR. BARKER. 
		Well, seems like the Nolans have 
		come up in the world. 

	He means "down."
			(glibly, like Katie)
		Yes, we're so very very fond of the 
			(polite but hasty)
		Sorry I can't ask you to sit, Mr. 
		Barker. I ain't even got the coffee 
		on yet. But I got the insurance 
		money handy. 

	She reaches in her pocket.
			(taking out his pen)
		Smaller'n your old flat, ain't it?
	Suddenly Johnny's voice singing "Molly Malone" is heard.
			(quickly, to Neeley)
		Run down and catch him before he 
		goes in the old place. 
			(to Mr. Barker, defensively) 
		Mr. Nolan happened to be -- working 
		when we found we could make the move. 

	Neeley goes out. 
		I suppose you're too busy to listen 
		to a bit of news -- about your sister. 
			(he pauses for effect) 
		She's goin' to have a baby.
	Katie stares. After a moment, she speaks.
		Tell her -- please tell my sister 
		she shouldn't make herself such a 
			(in his best manner)
		I shall be very happy to render your 
		message. Your receipts, Mrs. Nolan.
		Be sure to now, Mr. Barker.
	Johnny appears in the doorway with Neeley. He is a little 
	bewildered by the move, can't say anything to Mr. Barker. 

		Good day to you, Mr. Nolan. Well, 
		I'm not one to spoil a family party.
 		I'll be on my way. 

	He scurries out. Johnny looks around the cheap little flat.
		Surprise, Papa! Welcome to your new 

		Yeah, it's kind of a surprise, all 
			(after a moment, 
			to Katie) 
		Did you move up here because it was 
		cheaper -- I mean, because --

			(not looking at him)
		We got to save where we can, 
		somebody's got to. I don't mind the 
		extra stairs. 

			(very quietly)

	He goes dejectedly to the window, accepting the full measure 
	of his defeat. The children, lost in this adult mystery only 
	know that Papa needs cheering. 

		We can still see the tree.

		Pop, the top floor tenants, the 
		roof is theirs, and I ain't goin' to 
		let anybody up there except Henny
		Gaddis because-- Hey, does Pop know? 

		Flossie Gaddis died last night. 

		Ah, the poor baby.

		Everybody says it's a mercy, but I 
		think it must be awful sad to die.

			(touching her hand)
		Well, I don't know, baby. Maybe not, 
		if you get to a place where things 
		are goin' to keep gettin' worse for 
		you instead of better. Nice her mama 
		got her all them pretty dresses.
		Only now it'll mean the poor 
		thing'll have to lay in Potter's 
		Yeah, but she had the dresses.
	Katie doesn't like this kind of talk, that makes her kids 
	brood over things "way over their heads."
		You better show your papa the piano.
		Yeah, we better look at the piano, 
		Prima Donna.
			(going into the parlor)
		The lady that was here left it--
	Alone, Katie picks up the bank, and the scene cuts to the 
	PARLOR. Johnny, under the fascinated gaze of his children, 
	strikes a chord.
		Good tone. It's nice. 
			(he sits down, his 
			spirits rising) 
		It'd be nice if you kids had some 
		lessons, now we got it. Maybe--
	It isn't any good. His fingers move over the piano and 
	strike a note or two which suggest a song to him. He starts 
	to sing "Annie Laurie," simply, beautifully. The children 
	are spellbound. Katie appears in the doorway and listens a 
	moment. She is moved, not only by the singing, but by an 
	obscure sense of guilt. She speaks softly.
		I never heard you sing that before. 
		It's -- pretty.
	He doesn't look at her but goes on singing. As though it 
	were a reproof, Katie shrugs, and leaves the doorway. 
	Johnny's song goes on, all his longing and defeat pouring 
	out. Francie watches and listens with all her heart. After 
	a moment, a faint sound of hammering comes from the bedroom 
	and we next see the BEDROOM CLOSET and Katie kneeling, 
	hammering down the bank with an old shoe, fastening it to 
	the floor exactly as it was in their old closet. In a dark 
	corner the little bassinet stands hidden, waiting. The song 
	drifts in. Katie pauses almost imperceptibly, listening. Her 
	eyes rise to the bassinet. She goes back determinedly to 
	nailing down the star bank as the scene fades out.

	FRANCIE'S CLASSROOM fades in, and we first get a close view 
	of a well-filled Christmas basket on Miss McDonough's desk 
	and "A Merry Christmas" card from the Eighth Grade. Then the 
	camera pulls back to reveal Miss McDonough finishing tying a 
	bow on the basket, and the class in their seats. The room 
	has some decoration for the Christmas season.
		Well. This winds up a very pleasant 
		term. And I'm sure we'll all enjoy 
		our holidays more, knowing we've 
		helped some unfortunate family who'd 
		have had no Christmas dinner without 
		this basket. 
			(she turns to the 
			class to dismiss them) 
		And so a very Merry-- Oh, one last 
		thing. This little pie Miss Shilling 
		brought up was left over. It's a bit 
		crushed, but-- anybody want it?
	There is no answer from the class. They are all anxious to 
	get going. Francie has the impulse to speak, but is afraid 
	to. Her mouth waters for the pie.
		My, what well-fed boys and girls ... 
		All right, class--
			(unable to stand it)
		Miss McDonough.
		Yes, Frances.
		I -- I just remembered -- I know a 
		very unfortunate family -- They live 
		in a -- a hovel, and there are two 
		children, little golden-haired twins, 
		and they're all starving! The pie 
		will -- will probably save their 
 	Miss McDonough knows the story is phony. She eyes Francie 
	with a barely perceptible compassion.
		Then you shall take the pie, by all 
		means. You can come and get it after 
		class is dismissed--
		--which is now. Merry Christmas to 
		you all.
 		Merry Christmas, Miss McDonough.
	The class breaks up and stampedes for the door, some of the 
	youngsters coming past Miss McDonough's desk, wishing her an 
	added Merry Christmas. -- This dissolves to FRANCIE standing 
			(very kindly)
		That was a very fine Christmas 
		spirit, Frances, but -- it seems 
		such a tiny pie to save so many 
		It won't seem small to them, Miss 
		McDonough; even a little pie can 
		look awful big if you haven't had 
		very much to eat for days and days. 
		I'll have to tell them to eat it 
		slowly because if they eat it too 
		fast on an empty stomach -- they'll 
		-- they'll --
	Miss McDonough doesn't say a word through this, but her 
	level gaze is too much for Francie.
		It isn't true, it's all a lie. I 
		wanted it for myself.
		I'll stay after school, I'll do 
		anything, but don't send a note 
	Francie is near tears. Miss McDonough takes her hand 
		I'm not going to punish you, child, 
		for being hungry -- or for having an 
	At these magic words, Francie looks at the teacher 
	incredulously. There is a little pause.
			(with a little twinkle)
		You know, that's something very few
		people have. It's very precious.  
			(a trifle more seriously) 
		But it can also be dangerous, unless 
		we learn how to use it. Our everyday 
		lives are real and true, aren't they? 
		But all the stories in the world, 
		all the music, came out of someone's 
		imagination. So if we read the truth 
		and write the lies, then they aren't 
		lies anymore, they become stories. 
		Like some of the very nice 
		compositions you've written, 
			(carried away)
		Like the one about my father taking 
		me to see the cotton fields down 
		South? We didn't really go.
		Well -- I rather guessed you hadn't. 
		But don't you think it would be 
		still better if you'd write about 
		the things you really know about, 
		and then add to them with your 
		imagination? Even stories shouldn't 
		be just-- well, pipe dreams. Pipe 
		dreamers can be very lovable people 
		but -- they don't help anybody, not 
		even themselves. 
			(patting the 
			wondering Francie) 
		Think about it a little. And now 
		enjoy your pie and have a Merry 
			(in a daze)
		Yes, Miss McDonough. Thank you, Miss 
	She goes, so entranced that she is quite unaware of the pie 
	she is carrying. Miss McDonough looks after her 
	The scene dissolves to a STREET with Francie walking home so 
	beautifully deep in thought that she is still completely 
	unaware of the pie. As she comes to a corner she is met by 
	an impatient Neeley, who has been waiting for her.
		For gosh sakes, where you been? You 
		was supposed to meet me at--
			(seeing the pie) 
		Where'd you swipe that?
		Neeley, I'm-I'm going to be a writer!
		All right, but let's eat the pie.

	Francie looks at the pie, surprised that she has it. Neeley 
	promptly takes it and breaks it in two -- gives her half and 
	starts on the other half himself.
			(his mouth full of pie)
		Come on, we got to get there about 
		our Christmas tree!
			(coming back to earth) 
		Oh, golly, it isn't gone, is it?
 	Neeley shakes his head, already moving on. Francie starts to 
	eat her part of the pie as she follows, and the scene 
	dissolves to a CHRISTMAS TREE STAND in the afternoon. 
	There's a rather small selection of Christmas trees near the 
	sidewalk. The Christmas tree vendor, a big man, is trying to 
	keep warm by flapping his arms as he waits for customers. He 
	has a head cold. A few other kids are hanging around. -- 
	Francie and Neeley appear and go straight to the biggest 
		Yeah, it's still here. He ain't got 
		much time left to sell it.
	The vendor comes up, a woman customer with him.
			(to all the kids)
		Go on, beat it, you know I ain't 
		goin' to throw 'em till midnight. 
		You tryin' to block the sidewalk -- 
		keep customers out?
		Aw, you don't own the sidewalk. It's 
		a free country, ain't it?
			(indicating "their" tree)
		No, that one's too big. I want a 
		small one.
	As the woman leaves their tree, Francie and Neeley breathe 
			(looking at the tree)
		It's awful big, to get throwed at 
		you. Why does he have to throw 'em 
		at us anyway? Why can't he just give 
		'em to us if he don't sell 'em?
		If he just gave them away everybody'd 
		wait and he'd never sell any of 'em. 
			(she touches the 
			tree gently) 
		Gee, it smells good.
	As they settle down to wait the scene dissolves to the 
	CHRISTMAS TREE STAND at NIGHT. A number of excited kids are 
	standing in two lines, forming a sort of lane, at one end of 
	which stands the Christmas tree vendor, ready to throw the 
	trees. At the other end of the lane stands a ten-year-old 
	boy. -- The vendor lets go with the tree, hits the boy with 
	it and he goes down. There is laughter and jeers. -- The kid 
	gets up, scratched and almost crying with disappointment.
			(almost crying) 
		I -- I stumbled, I could've--
		Gimme a try, I'm next. 

	The boy who failed is shoved aside; the new boy takes his 
	place. The tree is passed back. The vendor heaves it, and 
	the boy holds his feet. There are cries of triumph.
		All right, take it and get out. 
			(he picks up 
			the big tree) 
		Now, who's man enough to take a 
		chance with this here one?
	Francie pushes forward eagerly, but a bigger boy shoves her 
	out of the way and gets there first.
		I can take anything you got, mister, 
		let her fly.
		I'm next, that's my tree!
		Aw, go on, you're too little.
		Me and my brother -- we're not too 
		little together.
		Spunky, huh?
			(he picks up 
			the tree) 
		All right, but if one of you goes 
		down, you lose the tree.
		That ain't fair, the two of 'em.
		Shut your trap! Who's throwin' these 
	Neeley and Francie take their places, holding hands to brace 
	themselves. The vendor raises the tree and lets it fly. 
	Neeley would have gone down but Francie catches him. 
	Together they manage to stay on their feet. There is an 
	approving yell from the crowd.
			(in gruff admiration) 
		All right, take it and get out. You 
		got it comin'!

	The two come to, a little dazed. Then they grin proudly and 
	start to drag the tree away.
	The scene dissolves to the KITCHEN at NIGHT, with Katie, 
	Johnny, Sissy, Steve (her husband, to whom she refers as 
	Bill) and Grandma Rommely in the room. They are drinking 
	coffee, waiting for the children to come home. There is an 
	awkwardness and constraint over the whole scene. It is 
	Christmas Eve, which should be a very happy time, but 
	conversation has been lagging. -- Johnny is playing 
	solitaire, and not looking at anyone. Sissy is watching 
	first one and then the other, as she tries to carry the 
	burden of the conversation.
		Bill thinks the same as me, we're 
		goin' to keep ours believin' in 
		Santa Claus as long as we can.
		Is good, yes.
	Katie has gotten up restlessly, and gone to the window to 
	look out. She has scarcely heard what Sissy has been saying. 
	Sissy watches her narrowly.
		Quit worryin' about 'em, Katie, 
		they'll be here pretty quick.
			(from the window)
		They ain't old enough to be out this 
		late. Johnny should've made 'em tell 
		what they was up to. No tellin' what 
		kind of notion Francie's likely to 
		get in her head.
		They'll be all right.

	There is no answer from Katie. There is silence for a while. 
	Then Steve yawns.

			(a little uncomfortable)
		Maybe we better be gettin' on home 
		and see 'em tomorrow.

		Don't go. 

	Sissy gives him a quick look. There is another little 
	silence. Then it is broken by cries from outside.
		Pop, hey, mom! Papa!
	Katie turns back to the window. Johnny hurries across to 
	join her, and the others follow. They look down, and from 
	their angle we see, at the street entrance, Francie and 
	Neeley, dragging the Christmas tree. They have stopped to 
	call up to their parents. They wave and start on.
	The scene cuts back to the PARLOR. Johnny's spirits lift.
		Holy smokes, will you look what they 
		went and done!
	He dashes out to help them bring the tree up the stairs. 
	Katie is relieved that the youngsters are all right. 
	Johnny's exit gives Sissy a little moment alone with Katie.
		They're tryin' to make a Christmas. 
		Help 'em, kid.
	Her eyes meet Katie's levelly. Katie smiles in answer -- a 
	reassurance that she will try to make Christmas what it 
	should be for them in spite of the constraint within their 
	In the NOLAN TENEMENT VESTIBULE Francie and Neeley are now 
	seen dragging the tree through the door. Officer McShane 
	comes in and starts to help.
		It's ours, we won it.
		Looka my face, we got it throwed at 
		I was only wonderin' if you couldn't 
		use a little help.
	He picks up the other end of the tree and helps them along 
	with it. Francie accepts his geniality with just a trace of 
	surprise. Next we see the HALL as Johnny comes running down 
	the stairs. He opens the door and the children come in. All 
	speak at once.
		How in Jerusalem--?
		We won! We stood up to 'em!
		Looka my face, Pop, looka my face!

	McShane, helping with the tree, comes through the door.

		Nobody around here ever saw a tree 
		like that! 

		We won it fair.
		Looka my face if you don't believe me.
		I see you got the law on your side, 
		Merry Christmas to you, Mr. Nolan, 
		and it looks like you're going to 
		have one.
		Same to you, Mr. McShane, and 
			(having opened their door)
		Merry Christmas, Mr. Nolan. Merry 
		Christmas, children.
		Merry Christmas, Miss Maggie. Merry 
		Christmas, Miss Lizzie.
		Isn't it a wonderful Christmas, 
		Well, it is now, Prima Donna. 
		Imagine us having a tree like that
 		-- and the nicest kids in the world, 
		I guess.
	Johnny and the youngsters have started up the stairs, 
	dragging the tree. The racket brings the neighbors to their 
			(out of pure exuberance 
			he starts singing)
		"Silent night, holy night--"
	As they mount the stairs, another door or two open. Some of 
	the neighbors have been in bed, some are still dressed -- 
	Mrs. Gaddis, at her door, joins in the singing. -- A man 
	starts to sing. McShane opens the door from the street and 
	stands looking up after them, listening. -- A little girl 
	claps her hands delightedly. -- More singers join in.
			(to Katie)
		He ain't any older than they are.
	Katie is at the head of the stairs. With her is Sissy, 
	Sissy's husband Steve, and Grandma Rommely. A man from the 
	fourth floor joins them. He sings. -- Katie is moved, and 
	starts to sing. As she does, tears glisten in her eyes. -- 
	Sissy is also moved. Her tears are more uninhibited than 
	Katie's. Grandma Rommely joins in, in German. -- Johnny and 
	his children struggle their way up the stairs. Several 
	people are singing now. -- Neeley's excitement somehow 
	subdues. He finds himself singing with the others. -- But 
	Francie is too thrilled and awed to sing. Her eyes are wide 
	with the wonder of her father -- of what he has done to 
	these people.
	This dissolves to the NOLAN PARLOR somewhat later. The tree, 
	braced in Katie's scrub bucket, stands in the middle of the 
	room, pretty well filling it. The family is gathered round 
	the tree, and have been opening various small presents. 
	Grandma Rommely sits in her chair near the window. Sissy is 
	on the floor with the children. Neeley has several strips of 
	court plaster on his face. The tree is sparsely decorated, 
	principally with strips of colored paper the children have 
	torn. Uncle Steve is standing on a chair, hanging a few 
	candy canes. The usual evidences of coffee and cups are 
		Can you put it higher, Bill?
			(mildly; obeying)
		Steve's the name.
		That's better, Bill.
			(with a deliberate 
			effort for Johnny)
		It was real nice of your friend -- 
		of Mr. McGarrity, sendin' the kids 
		them canes.
	But Neeley, opening a package, breaks across.
		Aw -- old itchy underwear!

		Think of all the fun you can have, 

			(taking out an 
			identical pair)
		Thank you, mama. They -- they're 
		just fine.

		You know you hate 'em.
			(a little shyly)
		I got something for you too.
 	She goes to her couch and starts pulling out the large box 
	from under it in which she keeps her treasures. During this, 
	Steve has dismounted, and Grandma now takes out of her bag a 
	thick, home-made candle.
		I have made this candle for today. 
		It is time now to light it.
	Steve and Johnny take and light it. Francie has pulled out 
	two small packages from her box, and gives one to Katie.
		Merry Christmas, mama -- from Neeley 
		and me.
			(opening it)
		Rose water and glycerine. It's 
		pretty -- what is it?
		You rub it on your hands.
		I think it's silly. But Francie 
		said papa was always talkin' about 
		what nice hands you got. It cost a
 		dime, but we had a seltzer bottle 
		top in the junk.
			(rubbing some 
			on awkwardly) 
		My, I'll be quite the thing, won't I?
			(giving the other 
			package to Johnny)
		This is for you, papa, from me and 
	Johnny opens it and holds up a rather odd-looking affair -- 
	a watch fob made out of braided shoelaces.
		It's a watch fob. It's made out of 
		shoelaces. I wove it on a spool with 
		Well now, if that ain't about the 
		nicest thing I ever saw.
	He takes his union button from his lapel and pins the fob on 
	his trousers as if he had a watch. He makes a little show of 
	parading up and down with it, then tosses a handkerchief 
	over his arm like a waiter's napkin.
			(bending over Francie)
		We're all out of mushrooms under 
		glass, madam, but I can tell you the 
		Maybe it's kind of silly, with you 
		not having a watch.
			(holding her to him)
		Prima Donna, it's the nicest present 
		I ever got. And thank you, son.
		You're welcome. I guess the 
		shoelaces was mine. 

	Everybody laughs.
		It was silly ...

		Ain't nothing silly on Christmas.
	Steve clears his throat, and reaches into his inside pocket, 
	half pulling out a parcel.
		I -- I got a little present here-- 

	He is interrupted by a knock on the door. Everyone is a 
	little startled. Francie goes out to the kitchen to open the 
			(trying again)
		Like I was sayin', I got--
	But he is interrupted by Francie, returning with McShane, 
	who is carrying a bag of candy canes. He makes no attempt to 
	come in, but takes in the scene appreciatively.
		Merry Christmas, folks.
		Merry Christmas.

		Hello, handsome!
		I was passin' and saw your light was 
		still on and -- I got to thinkin' 
		I'd like a hand in fixin' that fine 
		tree -- but I see somebody's already 
		provided you.
			(charming and shy)
		We can always use more of 'em, Mr. 
		McShane, and we thank you kindly. 

	She takes the candy canes.
		Would you come in and have a cup of 
		coffee with us? 

		Thank you, but this evenin' is for 
		families. I got to be gettin' home 
		myself, so I'll be sayin' goodnight, 
		and Merry Christmas to all. 

				AD LIB
		Merry Christmas. Good night.
	Johnny follows him out to see him to the kitchen door. 
	Everyone is silent for a moment, touched by the little visit.
		That was mighty nice of him.

		He's cute.
		Mr. McShane is a fine man. 

		He is, I think, sometimes a lonely 

		Like I was sayin', I -- I got 
		somethin' here -- I mean I gotta 
		present for -- for somebody that 
		ain't exactly here. 
			(he extracts a tiny baby 
			sweater from his parcel) 
		Grandma helped me pick it out. It's 
		for -- you know who.
			(deeply touched)
		Aw Bill, it's beautiful. Look, 
		everybody, look at the size of them 
		little sleeves! Aw gee, I ain't 
		never been so happy, Bill, honey--
	Katie turns from the tree and looks at the sweater with a 
	strange expression.
		I'm goin' to get some coffee. 

	She turns abruptly and goes into the kitchen, closing the 
 			(on whom the 
			impression is 
			not lost)
		I better see if I can help. 

	She follows Katie.
 	This cuts to the KITCHEN. Katie is not bothering with the 
	coffee. She is staring out the window as Sissy enters. When 
	she hears Sissy, she turns quickly to the stove and pretends 
	to be busy.
		I just wanted a breath of air for a 
		minute, I--
			(after a pause)
			(coming closer to help)  
		I'm glad for you.
 	Katie meets her eyes for a moment in acknowledgment of the 
		I don't know. I -- I'm scared, I 
		You got no call to be. Look at how
		swell them two are. 

		Yeah, I know.
		Have you told Johnny? 
			(Katie shakes her head) 
		You'd ought to, maybe it'd help him.

			(she gives Sissy an 
			affectionate smile) 
		We better take the coffee in.
		You're a fine girl, Katie. I never 
		said any different.
	Their eyes hold for a minute with a feeling of understanding 
	between them. Then Sissy picks up some cups and takes them 
	into the other room. Katie prepares to follow.
	This cuts to the PARLOR as SISSY comes in with the cups. 
	Johnny is picking out a tune on the piano; the children are 
	beside him. -- Sissy pauses for a moment and looks at 
	Johnny, with Francie leaning close against him. To Sissy, it 
	looks like a portrait of a good enough parent. -- She sets 
	the cups down on the piano. Then she bends over suddenly and 
	kisses Johnny on the top of his head.
		That's for nothin', Johnny -- except 
		maybe bein' a nice guy. 

	Johnny looks up and smiles at her. Then Sissy breaks the 
	little moment of feeling between them.
		Coffee, everybody!
	As she starts to set out the cups and Katie comes in with 
	the coffee, the scene dissolves to the KITCHEN where the 
	cups are being put into the sink. It is late, and the family 
	is alone, carrying things into the kitchen, straightening up 
	after the party. Katie is getting ready to wash the dishes.
		Don't do 'em tonight, it's Christmas. 
		I'll give you a hand tomorrow.
			(with a little smile)
		You better give me a hand right now, 
		before it slips your mind.
		Yeah, I guess you're right.
		And you better get to bed, son, 
		before you go to sleep standin' up.
		Okay. Goodnight.

	He goes to his bedroom, practically asleep. They smile. 
	Katie starts to wash the dishes, and Johnny and Francie pick 
	up cloths to wipe them.

		Bill was funny, wasn't he -- nice, I 

		Yeah, Sissy's awful happy.
		There's somethin' good about 
		Christmas, everybody was swell.
		Papa, why did Grandma say Mr. 
		McShane was lonely?

		I don't know, maybe he is at that.
		How do you mean, Johnny? What do you 
		know about him?
		Oh, some. He's a fine man. Come to 
		this country with nothin', worked 
		hard, studied to get on the force. 
		Some folks was kind to him when he 
		first come, he lived with 'em, and 
		then their daughter was in trouble, 
		her husband ran off and left her 
		when she was goin' to have a kid. So 
		McShane married her to take care of 

		Have they got -- children?
			(shaking his head)
		There was a couple, but they died 
		when they was young with lung 
		trouble they took from their mother.  
		He don't ever talk about it, but I 
		guess he is kind of lonely.
		It ain't right.
		No, I guess it ain't.
		It ain't right. Why did she have to 
		put her troubles off on him? A fine 
		man like him, steady and all, he 
		ought to have a fine home, and 
		children, that's every good man's 
	Katie had no intention of saying this. It comes from her a 
	little too violently, born of her feeling of desperation. 
	But once said, it hangs between them like a shadow. There is 
	a little pause. Johnny grows very quiet and the gaiety of 
	the Christmas is gone.
	Francie, wide-eyed, looks from one to the other. She senses 
	that Johnny has been hurt. Instinctively, she slips her hand 
	into his.
	Johnny, suddenly aware of the touch, looks down at her and 
	smiles thinly, his hand tightening on hers.

		That's about all the dishes, baby, 
		you better get to bed.
		Yes, papa.

		And go to sleep -- don't just lie 
		there lookin' at the tree all night. 

		I won't, mama. Goodnight, papa 

		Goodnight, baby.

	Francie goes into the parlor and closes the door. Left alone, 
	there is an awkward little pause between Johnny and Katie.
		They're fine kids. 

		Yes, they are.

			(hanging up 
			the dish cloth)
		That's about all, I guess.
	There is a moment's pause, but Katie makes no move to go. 
	Johnny stands uncertainly. Then abruptly Katie turns to him.
		Johnny, I got to tell you somethin', 
		maybe it ain't the best time, maybe 
		it is. The reason I moved us up here
		-- we're goin' to have a baby. 
		Johnny, that's why I been scrimpin' 
		so much and tryin' to save.
	Johnny feels that he ought to take her in his arms -- he 
	would have if everything were really all right between them. 
	But instead, there is a little pause.
		That's-- I mean, I'm awful glad, 
		Katie, if -- if you are.
		There's a lot we got to think about, 
		I know, but -- we'll manage. Maybe 
		things'll be -- better havin' one to 
		kind of grow up with again.
		I got things all figured out. I 
		oughta be able to keep on workin' 
		till anyway April. Then Francie'll 
		have to leave school and get her 
		workin' papers. She's young, but 
		with what she can make, we can make 
		out, and--
		Aw, no, Katie, we can't--
		I don't like it any better than you 
		do, but I thought and thought, and 
		there ain't any other way. And you 
		got to help with somethin', Johnny. 
		She listens to you, you got to quit
 		keepin' her all so excited about her 
		school, and--
		But Katie, why does it have to be 
		Francie? Neeley's the boy, and he 
		don't care like she does.
		Maybe that's why, maybe it'll do her 
		good to get out in the world and 
		learn how to take care of herself, 
		learn somethin' practical while she's 
		young. She's got to learn some day.
		There -- there must be somethin' 
		else, Katie -- Don't tell her yet, 
		Katie, there's time till April. 
		Maybe I -- I'm goin' to try to swing 
		We can't count on that, Johnny. 
			(then, defensively) 
		School ain't everything, maybe 
		sometime she can go back. 
			(she can't stand 
			his look) 
		Don't look at me like that! It ain't
		my fault! 
			(she manages to get 
			hold of herself a 
		It ain't yours either, I guess, I 
		don't know. 
			(turning away) 
		Anyway, one member of the Nolan 
		family will get to graduate, and she 
		come close, that's somethin'.
	This small effort at optimism gets no response from Johnny. 
	Katie hardens.
		You better put out the light, and 
		let's try and get some rest.
	She goes into the bedroom without looking at him again. 
	Johnny stands alone -- looks after her a moment, brooding. 
	His hand plays with the watch fob, and he looks toward 
	Francie's door. After a moment he crosses the room and very 
	gently opens the door to the parlor.
	Johnny closes the door and moves softly to Francie's couch. 
	The light from the window shows her wide awake, looking up 
	at him.
		I thought you'd be asleep, Prima 
	Francie is in a new mood, a little girl just stepping over 
	the line into wondering adolescence. They both talk softly, 
	secretly, alone in the world. He sits on the edge of the 
		Uh-uh. I been -- thinking.
		Well now you ought to be careful 
		about that, so many things in this 
		world to think about you might never 
		get to sleep.
		Papa. I might be going to be a 
		writer. I -- I've just about decided.
		I knew you when you was goin' to be 
		a lady fireman.
		Don't joke, papa, I'm serious.

		All right, baby. All I meant, maybe 
		it's better sometimes not to get 
		your heart set on -- on just the one 
		thing, oh, in case somethin' happens, 
			(scarcely hearing him)
		She said, Miss McDonough, I mean, 
		she said maybe I could be. She says 
		I have imagination. Do you think I 
		have, papa?
		Sure I do, baby. Those compositions 
		of yours, they been fine. But--

		She said I'd have to work hard; she 
		said imagination wasn't any good if 
		you were just a pipe-dreamer about 
		it, you didn't help anybody that way, 
		not even yourself.
		I see, yeah, a pipe-dreamer.
		I'm not putting it good like she did 
		-- Oh, I just understood everything 
		she said, and now I don't, but-- I 
		kind of still do. I wish you 
		could've heard her, she was 
		wonderful. Forever and ever I'll be 
		glad you helped me go to that school.
			(finding it 
			pretty tough)
		You kind of like that school, don't 
		you, baby?

		Yes, oh yes. And she said lots more. 
		I've been trying to remember -- she 
		said even if you have imagination 
		it's better to write about things 
		you know about, so it will be true, 
		and -- and the way things are. I've 
		been looking at things all day, to 
		see them that way, only--
		Only what, baby?

		Papa, the people in the hall when we 
		brought up the tree, the look on 
		their faces, all friendly and nice 
		-- why aren't people like that all 
		the time, not just Christmas?
		Well, I'd say it was -- I don't 
		know. Maybe it's just they take time 
		at Christmas, or -- or maybe you 
		oughtn't to think like that, baby. 
		Maybe Christmas is like people 
		really are, and the other part ain't 
		true, and with all that imagination 
		you got, maybe if you just think 
		about it hard enough that way, you 
		know, like it ought to be-- 

	He flounders to a stop.
		But when you get to thinking -- papa, 
		the people in Aunt Sissy's magazines, 
		they don't just live happily ever 
		after, do they?
		No, baby.
		Well, the trouble is -- it doesn't 
		feel good when you think about 
		things like that -- I mean, the way 
		they really are.
	She is really troubled. Johnny's smile as he looks down at 
	her is curious, gentle, and somehow infinitely sad.
		You better stick out your tongue, 
			(as she obeys him) 
		Just what I was afraid of. You got a 
		bad case, a very bad case.
		Case of what, papa?
		You got a very bad case of growing 
		up, Prima Donna.
	She realizes he is joking, and smiles shyly.
		That's all it is. It ain't fun 
		sometimes, but don't you be afraid, 
		I don't want you should ever be 
	Francie smiles, then settles back, relaxed. Almost as if in 
	confirmation of his words, she makes a small, almost 
	unconscious movement of pulling the covers up higher -- the 
	first subconscious awareness of herself as something more 
	than a child. It is not lost on Johnny.
			(sighing deeply)
		You're so nice, papa. I was feeling 
		kind of funny before you came in. 
		Now I feel good. 
			(she yawns 
		I guess it's better if you don't 
		just stay young all your life; it 
		will be nicer growing up.
	Johnny looks at her for a long moment, then gets to his feet. 
	He has had about all he can take, and there is a weariness 
	about him. His eyes are shadowed by the vision of that not 
	far distant day when Francie will no longer look at him with 
	the eyes of a child, but will see him as Katie sees him, and 
	as he sees himself.
			(very quietly)
		Yeah. When you begin to see things 
		like they really are.

	The bitterness of his meaning is lost on Francie. He bends 
	down and kisses her gently.
		Goodnight, baby.
		Goodnight, papa. I'm sleepy now.
		That's fine, baby, that's fine. 

	He goes out and closes the door quietly. Francie is 
	Back in the KITCHEN, Johnny stands a moment near the door. 
	Then mechanically he turns off the gas. There is a light 
	from Katie's bedroom. He crosses to the door and stops at 
	the bedroom. Katie is in bed in the background, an arm over 
	her eyes to shield them from the light. A feeling of 
	revulsion comes over Johnny. How can she lie there so 
	peacefully, so soon after making her decision about Francie? 
	At that moment it would be inconceivable for Johnny to go 
	into that room and lie down beside her. He turns abruptly 
	and starts to go. Katie stirs.
		Ain't you comin' to bed, Johnny?
		I'm goin' out for a little walk.
	He moves out into the kitchen. Katie sits up.
		Don't start drinkin', not tonight, 
	JOHNNY, near the door leading to the hall, is taking down 
	his hat.
			(quiet, strained)
		I won't. Katie -- I won't.
			(from the bedroom) 
		Well --- take your muffler, it's 
	He goes out. Katie is troubled for a moment, then gives it 
	up and lies down wearily.
	The HALL is dark and deserted. Johnny starts down the stairs 
	mechanically, slowly putting the muffler around his neck. His 
	eyes are desperate as the scene fades out.

	The SIGN of the WAITERS' UNION HEADQUARTERS fades in. Above 
	it is a banner with the legend "Happy New Year." This 
	dissolves to the UNION HEADQUARTERS in the late afternoon. 
	Katie is at the desk talking to the man in charge.
		No, ma'am, Mr. Nolan hasn't been 
		around for several days.
		Is he out on a job, do you know?
		If he is, he didn't get it through 

		Thank you.
	As she starts out, the scene dissolves to MCGARRITY'S 
	SALOON. Katie enters, hesitates, decides to go on, passes 
	the sign at the side that says "family entrance," hesitates 
	again and goes in.
	This in turn dissolves to MCGARRITY'S SALOON  disclosing 
	several customers, and quite a bit of noise. McGarrity is 
	behind the bar. A boy comes in from the back room, speaks to
	him, but we cannot distinguish what he says. McGarrity looks 
	surprised, and starts for the back room.
	We see the BACK ROOM as McGarrity enters from the saloon. 
	There are a few people in this room. Katie is standing just 
	inside the street door, a little uncomfortable. McGarrity 
	goes to her.
		How are you, Mrs. Nolan, and Happy 
		New Year.
		The same to you, Mr. McGarrity. I 
		-- I just came to--
			(she can't make it -- 
			to ask about Johnny) 
		I just happened to be passin' and I 
		thought I'd run in and thank you for 
		the candy canes. It was nice of you.
		That's all right. It wasn't much.
		Well, it was nice of you anyway. 
			(then, after an 
			awkward pause, 
			she turns to go) 
		Well, goodnight, Mr. McGarrity.
		Goodnight, Mrs. Nolan.
	She gets the door open, and then McGarrity stops her.
		Mrs. Nolan.  
			(Katie turns) 
		Johnny ain't here -- he hasn't been 
		in since before Christmas.
	Katie stands for a moment, caught between gratitude for his 
	understanding and the stubbornness of her pride. The latter
	wins. She hurries out, and the scene dissolves to the NOLAN 
	TENEMENT at night. Most of the lights are out, but the light 
	is still on in the Nolan kitchen. This dissolves to the 
	NOLAN HALL as McShane's feet are seen mounting the stairs, 
	and then to the NOLAN DOOR as McShane comes into view. He 
	stands for a moment before he knocks. Almost immediately the 
	door opens to reveal Katie, still dressed and anxious eyed. 
	-- Behind her Francie appears, in her nightgown, from the 
	parlor, and stands wide-eyed and apprehensive.
		I'm afraid it's bad news I'm bringin' 
		you, Mrs. Nolan. Our station got a 
		report that Mr. Nolan was found over 
		in Manhattan very sick. He's been 
		taken to the hospital.
	Francie's eyes are tragic but she makes no sound. -- Katie 
	turns without a word and picks up her coat. Then she sees 
		See that Neeley gets to school in 
		time in the morning. There's an 
		apple for your lunches.
	Francie stares at her as Katie struggles into the coat.
		The report was that he just 
		collapsed right in the doorway of an 
		employment agency. He was just goin' 
		out on a job, sand hog in a tunnel, 
		they said. He hadn't been drinkin', 
		ma'am, he'd been waitin' there a 
		long time for the job -- he was just 
	Katie is going out past him as he finishes. McShane follows 
	and closes the door, shutting out the tragic little figure 
	of Francie.
	This scene dissolves to a HOSPITAL CORRIDOR as Katie comes 
	out of a ward accompanied by a nurse. The nurse closes the 
		We did everything we could. 

		Yeah, I know.
	As she starts walking down the hall, the scene dissolves to 
	the HOSPITAL DOCTOR'S OFFICE, where Katie is standing in 
	front of the doctor at his desk.
		Just a few questions, Mrs. Nolan --
		date of birth and so on.
		What are you writin' down that he 
		died from?
		Acute alcoholism and pneumonia. One 
		led to the other.
		I don't want you to write down that 
		he died like that. Put just the 
		pneumonia, doctor.
		I can't do that. Pneumonia was the
		direct cause of death, but the 
			(breaking through) 
		Look, he's dead. I got two nice kids. 
		They're goin' to grow up to amount 
		to something. Why do you have to 
		make it harder, sayin' their father 
		died because of the drink, when that 
		-- that's only a little piece of the 
		truth. He wasn't drinkin', they said 
		so, he was out looking for work, why 
		don't you put that down?
			(after a moment)
		Cause of death, pneumonia. Date of 
	There are tears in Katie's eyes, but something fierce, too, 
	shines through them, as the scene dissolves to the KITCHEN. 
	We get a close view of Francie, dry-eyed, staring out of the 
	window. She is looking down at the tree, hardly aware of the 
	sordid conference with the undertaker that is going on in 
	the room. Then the camera pulls back over the dialogue to 
	reveal Katie, Sissy, Grandma Rommely, Neeley and the 
	undertaker. Neeley is crying. He stands next to his mother's 
	chair. Her arm is around him, and from time to time she 
	gives him, half automatically, a comforting pat.
		It's a first-class funeral with 
		nickel handles on the coffin, and 
		for two hundred dollars it includes--
		Ain't it odd that the best you can 
		do comes to just what his insurance 
		amounted to.
		I'll make it one eighty five, and I 
		won't be makin' hardly a cent.

		All right.
			(producing pen and 
			printed form quickly)
		Sign here, please. That gives me the 
		right to collect the insurance, and 
		I'll give you the fifteen dollars in 
		cash now.
			(as Katie takes the pen) 
		Read it before you sign.

	Katie pauses, and stares at it for a moment. She looks at 
	Neeley, who is sniffing. Then she looks around for Francie 
	and sees her at the window.
			(Francie turns slowly) 
		You're the best reader.
 	Francie comes down slowly, not looking at them. She takes 
	the paper and studies it, dry-eyed. -- Sissy studies this 
	strange shut-in quality in Francie with compassion.

		It says what he says.
	She hands it back, and goes back to the window. -- Katie 
	signs the paper. The undertaker takes it from her.
		And now, Mrs. Nolan, if you have the 
		deed to the funeral plot.

		Plot? We don't own no plot. I 

		You was awful careful not to mention 
		it till she signed. 

		But, Mrs. Nolan--
		Never mind. How much is a plot?

		All prices. Twenty, thirty -- the 
		least would be twenty.
	There is a silence. Then Katie gets wearily to her feet, 
	and crosses to the bedroom. As she passes Francie, Francie 
	does not turn, but continues to stare at nothing out the 
	Once in the BEDROOM, Katie picks up a shoe-horn from the 
	dresser, goes to the closet, and as she starts to pry up 
	the star bank the scene dissolves to a CEMETERY where 
	Johnny's coffin is in place over the grave. There are quite 
	a number of people, and quite a number of floral offerings, 
	some large and some very small. The priest is reading the 
	service for the dead as the view moves down the line of the 
	Nolan family, successively disclosing: Grandma Rommely, eyes 
	closed, lips moving in silent prayer; Uncle Steve, his 
	honest face full of emotion; Sissy, crying openly, the tears
	welling straight from her warm heart; Neeley, awed, sniffing 
	a little, standing close to his mother and holding on to a 
	fold of her coat; Katie, moved, feeling strange things at 
	the sight of all the flowers, and all the people who have 
	turned out to offer their affection to Johnny's memory.
	We get a view of the people, and the flowers, as she sees 
	them -- McGarrity, the man from the union headquarters, 
	several recognized neighbors from the tenement, and quite a 
	number of people we have never seen before. The feeling of 
	all of them is so apparently genuine. Johnny's coffin is 
	covered with their flowers.
	Katie, seen close, is a little bewildered. So many people 
	loved Johnny, he must not have been just a failure to them. 
	She looks down at Neeley, and then on the other side, at 
	Francie stands, unlike Neeley, quite apart from Katie. She 
	is still dry-eyed, lost. If Neeley has lost a father and 
	Katie a husband, Francie has lost her whole world. And in 
	her loss, she has no inclination, as has Neeley, to reach 
	toward Katie.
	Katie's eyes are troubled, a little puzzled, as she watches 
	her daughter -- and the scene dissolves to the FUNERAL 
	carriage is coming down the street toward the tenement. 
	Francie sits dry-eyed and aloof. Katie, still in the 
	bewildered mood of the funeral, is trying to puzzle things 
		All them people, and the flowers -- 
		some of 'em from people I never heard 
		of even. Who'd've thought that many 
		folks -- I mean, they was carryin' 
		on like -- like they was his family, 
		or -- I don't know.
 	Katie is so intent on her own troubled problem that she is 
	quite unaware of Francie. But Sissy is aware of what both of 
	them are feeling. She sees that Francie's eyes hold 
	something like the beginning of hatred for Katie.
		Yeah, he took the time to make a lot 
		o' people love him, all right.
		It's hard to figure, so many of 'em 
		showin' up, and they was feelin' 
		somethin', there wasn't no reason 
		for 'em to put on. I mean, he wasn't 
		nobody big, he was just--
			(putting her hand 
			quickly on Katie's 
		I wouldn't talk about it no more 
		now, kid.

	She has seen Francie turn bitterly away from her mother. 
	Quite unintentionally Katie's words have been a violation of 
	Francie's feeling about her father.
	This dissolves to the NOLAN TENEMENT, the carriage just 
	stopping. Francie, still bitterly tense, gets out first and 
	starts swiftly down the street. Katie, climbing out with 
	Neeley, sees this.
		Best leave her go, Katie. She maybe 
		wants to be by herself.
			(watching Francie 
			go, troubled)
		She's takin' on kind of funny. She 
		ain't even cried.
		Best leave her come out of it her 
		own way.
			(not even hearing)
		They was always funny together -- 
		nice, I mean. They was like kids, 
		they never ran out of talk. 
			(after a little pause)
		Well, one thing -- he never lived to 
		see that change; he beat that one.
		You want for me to come up with you?
			(as Sissy watches her 
			trying to puzzle it out)
		And there's somethin' else, maybe 
		that was it -- he wasn't drinkin', 
		they told me, there was somethin' 
		drivin' him -- maybe that was it, 
		maybe he was tryin' to be different 
		like -- like --
			(she turns this over for 
			a moment, then gives up) 
		I don't know.
	She turns abruptly, without even saying goodbye, and starts 
	into the house. Neeley follows. Sissy watches after her with 
	deep compassion as the scene dissolves to a STREET and we 
	see Francie, all alone, coming down the street. She pauses 
	in front of a little barber shop, and then goes in.
	In the BARBER SHOP: The head barber, a little Italian, is 
	half-asleep  in the first barber chair. The other barber is 
	working on a customer. Francie enters, and goes to the head 
		I'd like my father's shaving cup, 
			(pointing to it) 
		It's that one.
			(looking up)
			(he takes down the 
			cup with Johnny's name) 
		You're the little girl. Yes, I'll 
		clean it up for you. 
			(he starts to clean it) 
		He was a fine man. Tell the mama 
		that I, his barber, said this.
	Francie watches as he finishes cleaning the cup and hands it 
	to her. She starts to turn away, and then asks--
		Is -- there isn't anything else of 
		my father's here, is there?
		No, that's all he had. 

	As Francie turns and goes, the scene dissolves to the NOLAN 
	KITCHEN. Katie is alone in the kitchen. The door opens and 
	Francie comes in carrying the mug. Without looking at her 
	mother she goes straight into the parlor.  Katie looks after 
	her, forcing herself not to stop her.
	In the PARLOR, Francie pulls out her box from under the 
	couch, adds the shaving mug to a carefully put away 
	collection of memories of Johnny: his tuxedo shirt, his 
	waiter's apron, his union button, the whisk broom with which 
	he always brushed himself before going out. Her face never 
	changes as she slides the box back under the couch, rises 
	and goes into the kitchen.
	The KITCHEN: Again not meeting Katie's anxious eyes, she 
	crosses the kitchen toward the door into the hall. Katie can 
	contain herself no longer.
			(stopping, but 
			without turning)
		Francie dear ... Where you going?
		No place. 

	She gets as far as the door.
			(still not turning)
		Yes, mama.

		The neighbors were awful nice, 
		leavin' all this food. Don't you 
		want a little somethin'?
		No, mama.
		Well, I -- I wanted to talk to you. 
		I want things to go on, the reading 
		and all, just like-- I want to do--
		I got to be mama and papa both to 
		you now--
	She has said the impossible. Almost imperceptibly Francie 
		Yes, mama. Is that all, mama?
			(Francie starts 
			to go out) 
		You got to go right now, Francie, 
		I'll be back, honest I will.
	She goes out. Katie sighs, defeated, and sinks into a chair 
	by the table. After a moment Neeley's door opens. He wants 
	to comfort her, and boyishly says the only thing he can 
	think of.
		Mom, I -- I guess I'm a little 
	Katie manages a smile, and reaches out a hand to pull him to 
	her. -- Next the ROOF of the NOLAN TENEMENT comes into view. 
	At the edge of the parapet overlooking the city and the 
	harbor Francie stands, living out her own private ceremony 
	for her father. She is unaware of the street noises which 
	float up, unaware even of a woman hanging out wash to dry on 
	the roof behind her. She doesn't even know that tears are in 
	her eyes, because they are not the burning tears that give 
	relief. She might be a very young and bitterly passionate 
	priestess, dedicating herself. After a long moment of 
	silence she lifts her head and looks up.
			(very low, half 
			in a whisper)
		Look -- he can't be gone, he can't. 
		They don't understand. Maybe -- 
		maybe you could let me have a baby 
		some day, and it could be a boy, so 
		-- so it could be just like him. It 
		would have to be me, nobody else 
		loved him like -- like I do. Maybe 
		you could do that for me, and if 
		you could -- he wouldn't even -- 
	She can't go on, as the scene fades out.

	The KITCHEN fades in. Francie is ironing her school dress. 
	Katie is just admitting McGarrity. He is constrained, has 
	something to say and doesn't know quite how to go about it. 
	He is in his best suit.
			(as he enters)
		I hope you don't think I'm forward 
		just comin' in like this. Oh, how 
		are you, Francie?
		I'm well, thank you.
		Have a chair. Francie, see if Mr. 
		McGarrity won't have some coffee.
		Not for me, thank you.
	He does not sit down, but stands turning his hat. There is 
	an awkward little silence. Francie keeps on with her 
			(ill at ease)
		I -- I figgered I'd ought to come. 
		You might say I knowed Johnny pretty 
		well, in a manner of speakin'.
			(with a flicker of humor)
		Yes, I guess that's right.
		Well, the first thing is, I guess 
		you know how Johnny and I done 
		business. He used to give me money 
		sometimes to keep and then draw 
		against it, and when he -- I mean, 
		I got to lookin' around, and what do 
		you think, I had pretty near five 
		bucks in his box. I -- I figgered it 
		belongs to you.
	He ends very lamely. McGarrity is not a facile liar. It 
	doesn't fool Katie, but she is touched by his intent. -- 
	Francie, unnoticed, stops ironing at the mention of her 
	father's name.
			(with little smile)
		If you told the truth, it'd more 
		likely be that he owed you. But I 
		thank you very much.
	McGarrity shifts uneasily. He does not like being caught at 
	being a good man.
		Well, I -- I just thought--

		We'll make out.
	McGarrity uncomfortably returns the bill to his pocket.
			(examining his 
			hat intently)
		Well, there was somethin' else. I 
		was thinkin' -- you know, I try to 
		run a nice place, clean, so nice 
		folks can-- Well, who I hire is 
		important, they got to be nice too, 
		and I was thinkin' that -- that 
		maybe you wouldn't mind if the kids 
		come to work for me, afternoons 
		like. I mean after school, and 
		Saturdays. Maybe it ain't just the 
		kind of place you'd favor 'em 
		workin', but I'd keep an eye on 'em. 
		I could pay 'em two dollars a week a 
		piece and-- I'd take it as a real 
		favor, ma'am.
	McGarrity runs down lamely. Katie is really touched.
			(after a moment)
		You're an awful bad liar, Mr. 
		McGarrity. But you're a very good 
		man. I'm ashamed I didn't know it 
		No ma'am, it ain't that. Johnny 
		was-- I don't know, Johnny was 
		always talkin' about his family 
		like -- like folks ought to, only 
		they don't; funny, the things he 
		talked about pretty near always 
		made you feel better, or laugh, 
		like a sea shell I had down there he 
		was always listenin' to and tellin' 
		you what it was singin'. He was 
		always givin' things like that to 
		people. He -- he was a fine man, 
		Mrs. Nolan.
	McGarrity's tribute to Johnny is somewhat confused, but the 
	feeling behind it is so earnest that it cannot be mistaken. 
	-- Francie listens intently. McGarrity's whole wish to do 
	something for them is because of his feeling for her father. 
	-- Katie too is moved. Enough that she forgets momentarily 
	that Francie is in the room.
		I'd be glad for the children to work 
		for you, Mr. McGarrity. Four dollars 
		a week will keep us until the baby 
		comes, and Francie won't have to 
		quit school; she can keep on and 
		they can both--
	She stops. She had not intended to say this. She looks 
	quickly at Francie. Francie's eyes refuse to meet her 
	mother's. She turns back and starts ironing again.
			(sensing tension he 
			does not understand) 
		It's a deal. Tell 'em to come to the 
		family entrance tomorrow right after 
		school. Is that all right with you, 

			(not looking up)

		It's all settled then. Well -- 
		goodbye, Mrs. Nolan.
		And thank you again, Mr. McGarrity.
	McGarrity goes a little awkwardly. Francie and Katie are 
	left alone, and there is a sharp constraint between them. 
	Francie does not look at her mother. Katie studies her, 
		Yes, mama.
		I -- I'm glad you can keep on with 
		your school. I didn't tell you 
		because I was hopin' somethin' would 
		happen. I didn't want to say 
		anything until the time came. But 
		there were reasons, your papa and I 
		talked it over, there wasn't any 
		other way--
	Francie still avoids looking at Katie.
		It doesn't matter. Papa saved me 
		from it.
	She turns and goes into the parlor, closing the door on 
	Katie as the scene dissolves to MCGARRITY'S SALOON. Sissy 
	enters down the street. She doesn't bother going around to 
	the family entrance, but barges nonchalantly through the 
	swinging doors.
	Two or three customers are visible. McGarrity is behind the 
	bar. Neeley is putting a ham and some other things from a 
	tray onto the free lunch end of the bar. The men look up, 
	surprised at seeing a woman enter the bar.
			(to Neeley)
		Hi, kid. They're takin' chances I 
		wouldn't, leavin' you handle the 
		eats. Where's Francie?
			(with a full mouth)

		Thanks. Hi, Mac.
	She waves nonchalantly to McGarrity, and disappears through 
	the family entrance toward the kitchen. The men look after 
	her approvingly.
	In the KITCHEN, Francie is dispiritedly cutting some dill 
	pickles into long lengths as Sissy enters.
		Hello, lamb.
	Francie looks around, but does not light up as she generally 
	does when she sees Sissy.

		Hello, Aunt Sissy.
			(taking a paper 
			from the top of 
			her stocking) 
		How are you, kid? Look, you got to 
		help me with somethin'. This was in 
		the paper and I cut it out. You got 
		to read it to me and--
			(she is suddenly aware 
			of Francie's mood) 
		What's the matter, hon?
		Nothing. I'm all right, Aunt Sissy.
		No you ain't, kid, you ain't been 
		since -- look, hadn't you better 
		spill it to your Aunt Sissy.
			(on the defensive)
		What is it you want me to read to 
		you? Let me read that, Aunt Sissy.
		Well, we'll get that out of the way 
		first. Look, here it is, likely you 
		don't remember him, but it's my last 
		husband, Bill -- the one I thought 
		was dead. But he ain't, he's got his 
		picture in here, and I got to know 
		what it says. 
			(Francie takes the 
			clipping and studies it) 
		Maybe it'll tell where he is, so I 
		can write to him about gettin' a 
		divorce or -- or somethin'. I don't 
		want this here one bobbin' up and 
		makin' no trouble. He's a fireman 
		somewhere, I can tell that by the 
		clothes. He was just startin' out in 
		the fireman business when--
		It says here he's a hero, Aunt Sissy. 
		He saved some people in a fire.
		Does it say where?
		The Ninth Precinct, Manhattan.
		Manhattan, huh -- couldn't make the 
		grade in Brooklyn, I guess. Now 
		listen, Francie, I want you to write 
		him for me. Write this, "Dear Bill--"

		This says his name is Roland Pulaski.
		That's right, I remember. Make it 
		"Dear Mr. Pulaski: Being I'm now 
		married to somebody else, I want you 
		to see about gettin' a real legal 
		divorce because I thought you was 
		dead, and because you got the money 
		now on account of the reward. Yours 
		very truly, Sissy."  Something like 
		But Aunt Sissy, he must have already 
		done that, because it says here he's 
		married again.
		It does!
		"On the human interest side of the 
		story, Mrs. Pulaski had returned 
		home only the day before from the 
		hospital, after presenting Mr. 
		Pulaski with a brand-new son, the 
		fourth child of the marriage. 
		Perhaps it was his pride that--" 
			(looking up) 
		So if he got a divorce that long 
		ago, you don't have to.
		Then my bein' married to Bill -- 
		this one, I mean -- is all legal. 

	Francie nods, and turns back to slicing the pickles.
		Well now, if that ain't a load off 
		my mind. You know, I think I'll send 
		Bill Pulaski a weddin' present.
		But you can't, Aunt Sissy, he's been 
		married for years. 

			(this news bothers her)
		Four kids, huh?  
			(then, trying to 
			comfort herself) 
		Must be a pretty sickly woman, this 
		Mrs. Pulaski, goin' to a hospital 
		just to have a baby.
		No. Lots of people go there now to 
		have babies. It's better.
		Sure enough?
			(Francie nods)
		You know somethin', I'm going to 
		cash in my funeral policy and have 
		my baby in the hospital. And when my 
		baby is born and lives, I want you 
		to write to that R. Pulaski and -- 
		and announce it! 
			(she takes a deep breath) 
		Hey, do I feel better!
	Francie turns back to her work. Sissy has been so concerned 
	with her own problem, that she has hardly been aware of the 
	apathy with which Francie has shared it. But now, her own 
	problem settled, she looks down at Francie's miserable 
	little figure, her back turned as she works away at the 
	pickles. Sissy suddenly pulls up a chair beside Francie and 
	sits where she can see Francie's face.
		And now, chickabiddy, we're goin' to 
		talk about you. Can't your Aunt Sissy 
		help any? 

	Francie shakes her head miserably.
		I'm all right.
		But you ain't, honey, not all shut 
		up like that. 
			(Francie doesn't answer) 
		I know how you feel, but you can't 
		just keep hangin' on to it.
		I'm all right, I don't want to talk 
		about it.

		All right, baby, sure. But I tell 
		you what, you can do somethin' for 
		me. Look -- your mama feels awful 
		bad too. She needs you. Why don't 
		you talk to her about it--
			(with sudden bitterness)
		She doesn't need me.

		Why, yes she does, hon, she--
		No, she doesn't. She's got Neeley. 
		Why wasn't it Neeley she was goin' 
		to make quit school, he never cared 
		about it. She doesn't love me like 
		papa did. And she didn't love him, 
		either, not really. She hurt him.
		I saw her. And he never hurt anybody. 
		I'm going to finish this grade 
		because he gave it to me, and then   
		I'll work for her, but she can't be 
		papa to me, she can't ever!
	This pent-up feeling blazes out of Francie with so much 
	passion that it frightens Sissy. When it is over, Francie 
	turns blindly back to her work, shutting out even Sissy. 
	Moved, Sissy puts an arm around her and tries to draw 
	Francie to her.
		Aw, baby, don't feel like that, 
			(twisting away 
			from her) 
		Leave me alone, I'm all right. 
		Please go away and leave me alone.
	Rebuffed, Sissy is at a loss as to what she can do. The 
	feeling is so fierce that it frightens Sissy. Francie is 
	crying, but it is hard and dry, not like a child ought to 
	cry. She is fighting it terribly, instead of giving way to 
		All right, chickabiddy, all right.
	Sissy turns helplessly and goes out. Shaken with her 
	feeling, Francie tries to go on with her work as the scene 
	dissolves to a SCHOOL ROOM where Francie, standing by her 
	desk, is reading a composition in the English class.
		"But when he died, although many of 
		the older people said he drank too 
		much and was a failure, the little 
		children took their pennies and 
		built this monument to him, because 
		he was so good in his heart and they 
		loved him best of all. And after a 

	Francie is very earnest as she reads this, carried away with 
	this attempt at justification of Johnny. To the children, it 
	is pretty dull. But Miss McDonough watches her curiously, 
	unable to understand quite what this is all about, as the 
	scene dissolves and the CLASSROOM is seen after the others 
	have gone and Francie is standing again in front of Miss 
	McDonough's desk. She is troubled. Miss McDonough holds the 
		--And the sentence structure is 
		excellent, Francie, but there's 
		something else that worries me. If 
		we are going to write, the choice of 
		subject -- what we write about is 
		just as important as the writing 
		itself. We ought to write about the 
		best of things, we shouldn't choose 
		a subject that is ugly and sordid, 
	Francie has been listening miserably, and not looking at 
	Miss McDonough. But with this her head comes up.
		It isn't sordid, it isn't.
		But, Francie, I only meant--

		Maybe I didn't say it right but it 
		isn't sordid. I won't write about it 
		any more if you don't want me to. I 
		don't care if I don't write anything 
		any more.
	She turns quickly to go. Miss McDonough is bewildered by 
	this outburst and would like to get to the bottom of it.

	But Francie hurries on out, and Miss McDonough knows there 
	is no use in trying to stop her.
	The scene dissolves to the PARLOR. Francie has the box of 
	her treasures pulled out from under the couch. She puts 
	alongside the apron and the shaving mug and the other 
	treasures, the composition about Johnny. Her face is hard 
	and set. She shoves the box back under the couch. Then she 
	pulls out another smaller box which she has kept here for 
	English compositions. She picks this up and marches toward 
	the kitchen.
	Francie enters from the parlor and carries the box of papers 
	to the garbage can in the KITCHEN. Fiercely she starts to 
	tear them up and stuff them into the garbage can ... She is 
	never going to write anything again. -- The scene fades out.

 	A HOSPITAL room fades in, and we get a close view of a 
	white-robed doctor bending over a table out of scene. The 
	sound of his slapping a baby to try to start it breathing 
	can be heard. We get a closeup of SISSY in bed, 
	half-conscious, as she turns her head to look in the 
	direction of the sound. A nurse comes into the scene and 
	stands near the doctor.

	The nurse goes out quickly.
 	We again get a closeup of SISSY, and over it the baby 
	beginning to cry as the scene dissolves to a HOSPITAL 
	WAITING ROOM where Steve, Katie, Neeley, Francie and Grandma 
	Rommely are waiting, ill at ease. There are a couple of 
	other expectant fathers in the room. Steve gets up and paces 
	a little and then sits down again, but nobody pays any 
	attention to him. -- Neeley is sitting next to Katie, and 
	Katie is watching Francie, who is quite apart from the rest 
	of them, staring at nothing out of the window. The hospital 
	and the coming of Sissy's baby have made Katie very much 
	aware of the imminence of her own motherhood. -- In a moment 
	Katie gets up and moves over near Francie.
		Yes, mama.

		I -- I wanted to talk to you, 
		Yes, mama.

		It isn't going to be long now -- for 
		me. I mean, my baby. We can't come 
		to the hospital -- there isn't goin' 
		to be money enough even for the 
		woman to help.

	For the first time, Francie looks at her. 

		I'm goin' to need you, Francie, don't 
		ever be far away. Neeley, he's -- a 
		boy ain't no good at a time like 
		this, I'm countin' on you. You -- you 
		won't forget that, will you, Francie?
	It is hard going for Katie to put this much into words. For 
	this very reason, it is so real that for the first time 
	Katie's need of her stirs something in Francie. She looks at 
	Katie a little wonderingly. In the background Grandma Rommely 
	watches, missing nothing.
		All right, mama. I -- I'll remember.
	In that moment they are closer than they have been in a long 
	time. But the mood of it is broken by the entrance of the 
	doctor. Through the open door a baby's crying can be heard.
		Which one of you is Mr. Stephen 
			(rising weakly)  
		That's -- that's me.

			(to Sissy's husband)
		Well, there are three in your family
 		now. You're the father of a pretty 
		fine boy. 


		Very much so. He was a little 
		reluctant about it at first, so I 
		had to rouse him with a little 
		oxygen. Now he's mad at me -- hear 

			(hardly able to talk) 
		I got to see him.

		Well, neither of them are quite up 
		to a visit just now. In a little 

	He goes out.

		The learning. It is the learning 
		that has saved this baby.

		That's fine, Bill.
	Steve is so excited that he doesn't know what to do. 
	Suddenly he grabs up his hat and starts out. 

		Where you goin', Uncle Bill?
		I'm goin' out and get some strawberry 
		ice-cream and a rattle for my son. 
		And what's more my name ain't Bill, 
		it's Steve. Do you hear that -- I'm a 
		papa, and my name is Steve. And it's 
		Uncle Steve too -- Steve, Steve!

	He goes out and slams the door. The little family look at 
	him in surprise.
		So! We have a man in the family.
 	She nods, well content, as the scene fades out.

	The NOLAN TENEMENT fades in, in the afternoon, as Francie 
	and Neeley, with their school books, come down the street. 
	Francie stops on the steps of the tenement. She takes 
	Neeley's books.
		As quick as we see if she's all 
		right, you go on down to McGarrity's
		and see if you can do my work too. 
		I'm going to stay here.
		You're just gettin' out of work, 
		that's what you're doin'.
		No, I'm going to finish the 
		scrubbing for her. She oughtn't do 
		anymore, she wasn't feeling good 
		this morning.
	There is a new little note of authority in Francie's manner. 
	She leads the way into the tenement and Neeley follows as 
	the scene dissolves to the UPPER HALL and we see Francie and 
	Neeley come up the stairs.
	We get a view of the KITCHEN as Francie and Neeley come in. 
	Katie is nowhere in sight.
			(from the bedroom)
		In here, Francie.
			(quickly, to Neeley)
		You wait.

	She goes into the bedroom. -- In the BEDROOM, Katie is lying 
	down on the bed. She is ill, and knows that the time for the 
	coming of the child is near. Francie enters, and stops, 
	worried, as she sees her mother.
		You -- you all right, mama? 

		Give Neeley a nickel to go after 
		Grandma and Sissy. He can walk home 
		after. Tell him to stop at 
		McGarrity's on the way back and 

		Yes, mama. 

	She starts out, but Katie stops her. 

		Get me a nightgown -- the bottom 
	Francie obeys, and puts it on the bed. Katie gets up. 
	Francie stands staring at her, worried.
		Hurry, don't stand there staring.
 	Francie turns quickly and goes out. -- Katie laboriously
 	starts to stir herself to get into the nightgown.
	Francie enters the KITCHEN. Neeley is very frightened by 
	what he has heard.
		Is she goin' to die?
			(in a tone of assurance 
			she does not feel)
		Of course not. It's the baby.  
			(she gets the nickel)  
		You heard what mama said. And hurry. 
		And don't forget stopping at 
		McGarrity's on the way back. We 
		can't lose the work. 
			(with a strange 
			little pride) 
		She -- she just wants me now.
	Awed, Neeley starts out. When he is gone, Francie is lost. 
	She doesn't quite know what to do next. She starts to light 
	the fire under the coffee, then listens for any sound from 
	the other room. There is none.
			(from the bedroom)
		What is it?

		Oh. I'll be there in -- in a minute.
	She gets the coffee started, and then goes into the bedroom. 
	-- The BEDROOM: Katie is in bed as Francie comes in. Francie 
	is helpless now, doesn't know what to do next.
		Yes, mama.

		Don't go away, stay close by me.
		Yes, mama.
		I don't want to be alone. What time 
		is it?
		Five to four. I'm -- I'm fixing you 
		some coffee, mama.
		That's nice.
	Francie stands helplessly for a moment, then goes again to 
	the kitchen. -- Francie feels the coffee pot to see if it's 
	hot enough, then gets a can of milk and a cup. She picks up 
	the coffee pot and starts in with it, then decides to put it 
	on a kitchen chair for a tray, and starts with the whole 
	thing into the bedroom. -- Back in the BEDROOM, Francie puts 
	the improvised tray beside the bed, and then waits.
		You pour it. 
			(Francie obeys) 
		Is it dark out?
		No, mama. 

		It's dark in here. 

		I'll light the gas.
		No, it'll hurt my eyes.
	Francie puts the cup of coffee on the side of Katie's bed 
	and puts milk in it. Then she goes to Katie's dresser and 
	gets what is left of the Christmas candle and starts to 
	light that. -- Katie takes a deep sip of the coffee.

		Tastes good. 
			(she sees what 
			Francie is doing) 
		You're takin' real good care of me.

		Am I, mama?
	She puts the candle near the bed. She wants so desperately 
	to do something more, but doesn't know what. 

		Can I -- can I get you a glass of 
		water, mama?

			(with sudden irritation)
		When I want something, I'll ask for it.

		Yes, mama.
		Don't just throw questions at me, 
		I'm too tired. You better have some 
		coffee too.

	Francie obeys mechanically. She is hurt.
			(after a moment)
		Mama, -- even if Neeley is a boy, 
		wouldn't you rather have him here, 
		he's always such a comfort to you.
		No, it's you that's the comfort now.
		What time is it?
		I don't know, mama. 

		Get the clock.
	Francie obeys and goes to the kitchen. -- Katie turns 
	restlessly as there is a spasm of pain. -- In a moment 
	Francie returns with the clock and puts it down beside the 
		One minute to four, mama. 

		Are you sure it isn't slow?

		No, mama.
		Maybe it's fast then. 

		I'll look at the jeweler's clock out 
		the parlor window.
	She starts to go, but Katie hasn't even heard her.
		The candle is pretty. Like Christmas. 
		That was the night I told him. 
			(after a little pause) 
		It's -- nice, havin' a visit with my 
		daughter. Hey, that's funny, you're 
		drinking your coffee.
			(who hadn't 
			known she was)
		Yes, mama.
		I didn't want for you to have to 
		grow up so soon. I didn't want for 
		you to quit school, I tried to tell 
		him that. He didn't mind about the 
		baby, but he never forgive me for 
		wantin' you to quit school. I told 
		him and he just went out. You never 
		forgive me either.
		Please don't, mama.

		He woulda bought you dolls insteada 
		milk, and I don't know, maybe you 
		woulda been happier, I don't know. I 
		never woulda thought of givin' you 
		that school like he did. And all 
		them fine compositions of yours, I 
		never read any of 'em. I should've 
		had time, Johnny did. 
			(she stirs restlessly) 
		But I couldn't do any different, I 
		don't know how I could do any 
		different. What time is it?
		Five after four.

		Wring a cloth out of cold water and 
		wipe my face.
 	She turns restlessly. Francie, awed and frightened, gets up 
	and goes to the kitchen again. -- She gets a cloth and 
	starts to wet it and wring it out in the sink. She is 
	frightened and terribly moved.   

			(half under her breath)
		Don't let her die, please don't let 
		her die. I'll give you anything, 
		I'll - I'll give you my writing, 
		I'll never write anything again, if 
		you just let her live.
	This is only half-articulate. She hurries back to the bedroom.
	In the BEDROOM, Katie is quieter again; Francie wipes her 
	face with the cloth, and it soothes Katie so that she smiles 
	a little.

		Mama, suppose the baby comes before 
		Grandma and Aunt Sissy get here-- 
		What -- What --
		I wouldn't be that lucky.
	Her eyes close for a minute. Francie watches her helplessly. 
	In a moment Katie's eyes open again and she looks at Francie.
		You can see I couldn't do any 
		different. Neeley -- he doesn't like 
		school, if he stopped he'd never go 
		back again. But you-- No matter how 
		hard it was you'd find a way to go 
		back, you'd fight to go back. You 
		can see that, can't you?
		I -- Yes, mama.
		Read me something, Francie.
		Yes, mama.
		Read me one of your compositions. I 
		never read any of your compositions, 
		it's on my conscience.
		I tore all those up. 

		No you didn't, not all of 'em.

		Can't I read you the Shakespeare, it 
		-- it's better.

		Read about "'Twas on a night like 
		this." I'd like to have something 
		pretty on my mind. 
			(Francie gets the book 
			from the dresser and 
			opens it) 
		Sit by the candle.

		"The moon shines bright!--
			In such a night as this 
		When the sweet wind did gently kiss 
			the trees--"
		Did you ever find out who Troilus 
		was, and Cressida?
		Yes, mama. Troilus was--
		Some other day, when I got time. 
		Read me one of your compositions now.

		You won't like them, mama.
		You thought about them, and wrote 
		them, and got good marks on them, 
		and I never read one of them. 
			(a little petulantly) 
		Get them, I said.
	Reluctantly Francie goes to get them. Katie stirs restlessly. 
	The pain is getting worse.
	We see the PARLOR as Francie comes in, pulls out the box 
	from under the couch and reluctantly takes out one of the 
	compositions. She starts, back to the bedroom with it.
	In the BEDROOM, Katie's eyes are closed as Francie comes in. 
	Seeing this, Francie moves very quietly, a little relieved 
	that she may not have to read the composition. But Katie's 
	eyes open.
		Sit here. 
			(Francie obeys, but does 
			not start immediately) 
		Go on.
			(not looking at her)
		It's called "The Man People Loved."
			(breaking off) 
		Please don't make me read it, mama.

		Read it.
		"Perhaps many people might have said 
		of him that he was a failure. It is 
		true that he had no gift for making 
		money, but he had a gift for laughter, 
		and for making people love him. He 
		had the gift of making you feel proud  
		to walk down the street with him. He 
		had nothing to give but himself, but 
		of this he gave generously, like a 
		king. And--"
		Like a king, that's right, walkin' 
		down the street with him you always 
		felt like that.
		Did you, mama?
		You were real smart to write it down 
		like that, that's like it was. Oh, 
		Francie, I miss him so much.
	There is a new light in Francie's eyes as she looks at her 
	mother. Katie stirs restlessly. Hardly knowing she is doing 
	it, she reaches out a hand to Francie, and hangs on to her 
	hard. She is more than half delirious now, so that her 
	speech is disjointed. But at last Johnny, and their feeling 
	for him, is in the open between these two.
		If the baby's a boy, we'll call him 
		Johnny. Where's Sissy -- Neeley's 
		been gone a long time. Wipe my face, 
		Francie -- No don't let go my hand. 
		Everybody loved him, you could tell 
		that at the funeral. Maybe if it's a 
		girl we'll call her Annie Laurie -- 
		remember that tune he played? You 
		oughta have music lessons, maybe we 
		can manage it. You won't forget to 
		dust the piano, will you, Francie? 
		Who'd cry about me like that if I 
		died? I never done a wrong thing in 
		my life, but that ain't enough. I
		didn't mean to be hard, Sissy, like 
		you said. If Johnny was here, he 
		could go to your graduation and I'd 
		go to Neeley's. I can't tear myself 
		into two pieces, how am I goin' to 
		go to both? Where are you, Francie?
		I'm here, mama. 
		You're such a comfort. I'm so tired, 
		leave me sleep now.
	Her eyes are closed in half-sleep, half-unconsciousness.  
	Francie, awed, sits holding on to her hand and staring her 
	as the scene dissolves to the KITCHEN, which Aunt Sissy and 
	Grandma Rommely have just entered from the hall. They cross 
	immediately to the bedroom. -- Here, Francie is still 
	holding on to the restless, fretful hand. She stands up as 
	Sissy and Grandma come in. She is frightened. Sissy and 
	Grandma take off their coats and get ready to go to work 
			(noticing Francie's fear)
		You better go out and start some 
		water boilin', chickabiddy. We'll 
		call you if there is anything we 
			(eyes opening)
		I thought you was never comin'.

		You quit worryin' now. 

	She motions to Francie with her head to go on into the 
	kitchen, and the bewildered Francie obeys. Sissy starts 
	looking in the dresser drawers for cloths and the baby's 
	The scene dissolves to the KITCHEN, where Francie is 
	mechanically tending the water on the stove. The door from 
	the bedroom opens and Sissy hurries out. She tests the water 
	with her hand.
		It isn't boiling yet. 

		You let me know when it is, I'll 
		take it in. You're to stay out here.
			(wanting to help)
		She -- She doesn't want any light, 
		just the candle.
		She's goin' to be all right, baby. 

	Sissy starts back to the bedroom.
		Aunt Sissy? 
			(Sissy stops) 
		I just wanted to know -- Did she 
		want me to stay out -- or --

	The question means so much to her, in her uncertainty, that 
	she can't go on. Sissy understands, and comes back to her.
		She said you was to stay out, kid. 
		People always want to spare the ones 
		they love.
	She looks at Francie for a long moment, and then turns and 
	goes on into the bedroom closing the door behind her. 
	Francie stares at it, then turns to the window and stares 
	out. Next, from Francie's point of view we get a view of the 
	tree, struggling into life again. -- As Francie stands 
	looking out at it the scene dissolves to the KITCHEN, and we 
	get a close view of the bedroom door as it opens and Grandma 
	appears. Francie turns quickly.
		The baby is here. And the mama does 
		good, she sleeps. A very small baby 
		sister it is. 

	Francie is infinitely relieved.
		Annie Laurie. Papa would have liked 
	As Grandma smiles at her gently, the scene fades out.
	The exterior of FRANCIE'S SCHOOL fades in as children, 
	dressed for their graduation, are going inside with their 
	parents, and this scene dissolves into the SCHOOL CORRIDOR, 
	where Sissy is waiting for Francie, who comes out of the 
	girls' washroom and joins her. Francie has on a very simple 
	white graduation dress. Excited girls are milling back and 
	forth in the corridor.
		Where's Grandma?
		I got her into a front seat so she 
		won't miss a thing.
	As they talk they go on into the classroom. The exercises 
	have not yet begun. There are flowers on a number of the 
	girls' desks. As Sissy and Francie enter, one girl calls to 
		Hey, Francie, you better come get 
		your flowers.
	She indicates some roses on Francie's desk. Francie knows 
	they can't be for her.

			(calling back)
		They aren't mine, I'm not wearing 
		flowers tonight. 
			(then, to Sissy) 
		Some of the girls, their families 
		send them flowers.

			(with a little smile)
		They're on your desk, lamb, I'd go 

	Francie hesitates. She would rather not. 

		Well, I've got to get my things 
	She goes toward her desk. Sissy watches her. Francie comes 
	up to her desk. She makes a show of starting to get her 
	things together from the desk. As she does this, she looks 
	down at the flowers. -- We then see a card on the flowers. 
	It reads: Miss FRANCES NOLAN. -- Francie can't believe it. 
	Then she opens the little envelope and we see that the card, 
	which is in it, reads: "To Francie on graduation day. Love 
	from Papa." -- Francie stares, awed and frightened. She does 
	not know what to believe, and a wave of emotion catches her. 
	Anticipating this, Sissy steps in beside her quickly.
		He gave me the money to buy 'em, way 
		before Christmas. To make sure of 
		havin' it, he said. And he wrote out 
		the card.
	Francie stands unbelievingly for a moment. Then it is too 
	much for her. A wave of feeling catches her, and her face 
	goes down into the flowers. Sissy knows that in a moment 
	there will be a flood of tears.
		Come on, kid. 

	An arm around Francie's shoulders, she hurries her up the 
	aisle as the scene dissolves to the GIRLS' WASHROOM. A girl 
	is just leaving as Sissy leads Francie in. Sissy closes the 
	door, and they are alone.
		Now, let it go, baby.
	Francie looks at her and the emotion is too much. A sob 
	catches in Francie's throat.
		There, nobody won't hear you and I 
		won't let nobody in. You just have 
		it out.
	Francie stands clutching the flowers to her, and then the 
	flood of tears breaks.
		Papa, oh papa--
	She starts to cry as she should have long ago, and as Sissy 
	comforts her, the scene dissolves to the SCHOOL AUDITORIUM 
	where we see a line of children filing by to get the 
	diplomas which are being given out by the principal. There 
	is applause at each name.
		Eugene Bricker! 
			(holding out the 
			next diploma) 
		Frances Nolan!
 	Francie, eyes shining, receives her diploma. -- Sissy 
	applauds vociferously. -- Miss McDonough applauds too, and 
	her eyes are a little misty. -- Grandma Rommely is too moved 
	to applaud. She has lived for this moment. This is 
	This dissolves to an ICE CREAM PARLOR with several marble-
	topped tables. The Nolans are occupying one -- Francie, 
	Neeley, Katie and Sissy. They are having ice cream. Francie 
	still has her flowers. Sissy is talking but Katie is 
	watching Francie and the flowers.
		Well sir, I don't think Grandma spoke 
		one word the whole time, and from the 
		looks of her when I put her on the 
		streetcar, she'll probably ride clear 
		out to Coney Island and never know 
		the difference. Heaven only knows 
		what she'd have been like if she 
		could've got to both graduations.
			(looking at Francie)
		Looks to me like it was a pretty 
		good day. Your soda all right, 
			(looking at her shyly)
		Pineapple's not as good as chocolate.
		Then what did you order it for?
		Because I'm up to the P's. I'll try 
		raspberry next.
		There's somethin' to that idea --
		Try everything once.
	At this, Katie giver her a significant look.
 	At the table behind them a man pays his check and gets up.
			(to the waiter)
		And a dime for you, my boy. This is
 		a special night. 

	His party goes out. Their boy too has a diploma.
		He don't know how special -- Two 
		diplomas in the Nolan family all in 
		one day.
			(leaning close to 
			her mother; whispering)
			(Katie leans closer) 
		I got a nickel if you want to leave 
		it. People do.
		It'll be all right, Francie. 
			(she leans back) 
		You know somethin'? They ain't goin' 
		to be the last diplomas, either. I 
		don't know how we're goin' to work 
		it, but--

	Her speech is interrupted by the arrival at the table of two 
	boys, one Auggie, whom we have seen before, about Neeley's 
	age. The other, a little older.
		Hi, Neeley, how you doin?
			(indicating his diploma)
		Okay, I got out o' jail.
			(Auggie's older brother)
		Nice goin'. Say, wasn't it you I saw 
		workin' behind the bat the other day?
		Yeah, but--
			(with phony enthusiasm) 
		Say, you were pretty good. You know 
		what, I'm comin' out and give you 
		some pointers some day.
		Sure I will. 
			(looking at 
			the others) 
		That is, if your ma don't mind.

		Naw, she won't mind.
	The obviousness of his attempt to get introduced is apparent 
	to both Katie and Sissy. It amuses them.

		Well, I'll see you on the lot. 
		Maybe you better ask your ma. I 
		don't want to do nothin' she wouldn't
		want me to.				

		Aw, she wouldn't care.
			(grinning and coming  
			to Herschel's rescue)
		Maybe you better ask her yourself, 
		just to make sure. I'm Neeley's 
		aunt, and this is his ma, but this 
		is his sister. What's your name, 
		big boy? 

		Herschel Knutsen. 

		Mr. Knutsen, I'd like for you to 
		meet my niece, Miss Francie Nolan.

		Pleased to meet you. 


			(to break the silence 
			that has ensued)
		Nice night if it don't rain. Why 
		don't you sit down, Herschel? 

	Herschel does so promptly, next to Francie. 

		Doin' anything tomorrow afternoon, 
		Miss Nolan? It's Saturday.
		I don't know. Why? 

		There's a swell picture, Bill Hart. 
		Maybe you'd like to go.
		Who with?


	It is Francie's first date. Sissy and Katie are amused and 
	interested. Francie hesitates and then passes the feminine 
	crisis beautifully.

		Well, I -- I might be busy. I'll let 
		you know.
		Well, I'll come around and see.
		I thought we was goin' to play ball 
		We can do that any time, sure. 
		There's lots o' time.
	Both Neeley and Auggie are overwhelmingly disgusted with the 
	feet of clay that Herschel has shown. 

		Aw, come on, Hersch.

			(getting up)
		Well, I'll be seein' you, Miss Nolan.

	Francie smiles, but doesn't answer and Herschel and Auggie 
	leave. Francie has made her first conquest. 

			(in pain)
		Him, mushy!
		I'm proud of you, chickabiddy. You 
		handled him fine.

	Francie is flustered, but it is very pleasant.

		It's the hair that done it. 
			(then, reluctantly) 
		I hate to bust up the party, but -- 
		them babies got to be fed.

		Steve will need a little somethin', 
		too -- Three hours with the both of

	They make preparations to leave. The waiter enters with the 
	check. Katie puts a half dollar on the table. 

		Thirty out of fifty. 

	He starts to take out some change. Katie hesitates, looks at 
	Francie, and then at Johnny's roses. Then she gets to her 

		Keep the change.
	It is a decision monumental in its importance. Francie's 
	eyes shine as she looks at her mother.
		Thank you, ma'am.
		Why, Katie Nolan!
		I don't care! There's times when 
		feelin' good and -- and things like 
		that is important. I don't care.
	They gather their things and start out. Neeley takes a last 
	noisy pull at the straw in his drink. As they start out, 
	Francie walks next to Katie.
	As they get to the door, and the others pass through, 
	Francie hesitates a moment.
			(shyly, to Katie)
		You -- you want to carry my flowers, 
	Katie looks down at her, a little tremulously. Their eyes 
	meet, and things are fine. Katie takes the flowers a little 
	awkwardly. It is the measure of their sharing of Johnny. 
	They start out together. Francie is close beside her as the 
	scene dissolves out.
	The NOLAN KITCHEN dissolves in as Katie, Sissy, Francie and 
	Neeley are just entering. Their spirits are high.
				AD LIBS 
		You missed it, Steve. How are the 
	They stop short as they see McShane sitting at the table 
	with Uncle Steve. Each holds a sleeping baby. McShane gets 
	to his feet, embarrassed.

		I'm beggin' your pardon, ma'am, but 
		I just dropped in, and your brother-
		in-law seemed to be needin' a little 
		help, and the baby didn't seem to 
		mind. I hope I'm not intruding.
		Not at all, Mr. McShane.
		Sit right down, we're just goin'. 
			(she takes her baby) 
		Come along, Steve.
			(to McShane)
		I'll take her, Mr. McShane.
		I'd like it if you'd leave her. Her 
		and me has got to be good friends.
	Katie hesitates and then complies. Francie moves about 
	putting her flowers in water. Sissy and Steve are getting 
	ready to go.
			(to Sissy)
		I wish you wouldn't hurry.
		Got to get this family of mine home. 
		Steve's got his milk to deliver to a 
		lot more babies that like that 
		bottled kind.
	They move toward the door. Katie goes with them.
			(grinning, and 
			whispering to Katie)
		Quit frownin', Katie. The fellers 
		don't go for that at all.
	Katie flushes but has no answer. Sissy is enjoying the 
	situation thoroughly.
			(to the others) 
		Goodbye, kids. So long, Mac.
			(grinning a little)
		Goodbye, Mrs. Edwards.
			(coming closer)
		Thank you, Aunt Sissy.
	Sissy ruffles her hair a little, then suddenly bends and 
	kisses her. Sissy and Steve go. Suddenly there is a little 
	constraint in the room.
		Well, I -- I'll take the baby off 
		you now, Mr. McShane.
	She does, and sits down across the kitchen table from him. 
	McShane doesn't know quite what to do with the blanket that 
	has been across his lap. Conversation lags for a moment.
		You -- you got a nice family, Mrs. 
		Thank you, Mr. McShane.
	There is another silence, and then McShane gets to his feet. 
	He has something to say, but doesn't know how to go about 
	it. Then he takes a long breath.
		Mrs. Nolan, likely you're wonderin' 
		why I came here tonight. Let your 
		wonderin' be over. I came on a 
		personal matter.
	He pauses and clears his throat. Francie looks at her 
	mother uncertainly.
		Mama, shall I go and--
		No. Don't be leavin', children. My 
		conversation would be concernin' you 
		as well as your mother. 
			(he clears his 
			throat again) 
		Mrs. Nolan, I feel it is no 
		disrespect to speak my mind at this 
		time. The last thing I'd intend 
		would be any disrespect. But -- I 
		mean, I'm in line for a sergeancy 
		now, and I feel that it has been a 
		decent interval since the passin' of 
		Mrs. McShane, God rest her soul--
		I didn't know, Mr. McShane, I'm 
		I said nothing, Mrs. Nolan, because 
		it was near the time of your own 
		bereavement, and I didn't wish -- 
		that is, I know it is barely six 
		months now since your husband too, 
		left this world, rest his soul -- 
		But intendin' no disrespect -- and 
		even without the sergeancy, I feel 
		I'm in a position to speak my mind 
		now. So that when you feel a decent 
		interval has elapsed, I'm -- I'm 
		askin' to start keepin' company with 
		you, Katharine Nolan, with the object 
		of a weddin' when -- when a decent 
		time has elapsed.
	There is a silence. Katie looks first at Francie. Francie 
	smiles a little. Then Katie looks up at McShane.
			(very simply)
		For my part, I will be glad to keep 
		company with you, Mr. McShane. Not 
		for the help you offer, because I 
		know we'd manage some way. But 
		because you are a good man, Mr. 
		There's one more thing. There's 
		little enough I can be offerin' to 
		such a fine family, but it's little  
		enough I'd be askin' of the children.  
		Their father was a fine man, and I'd 
		have no wish to be tryin' to take 
		his place. It would be my intention 
		to be more like -- like a real good 
			(directly to Francie) 
		As the eldest, could you be 
 	His understanding about her father has been the winning 
	stroke with Francie. She looks at him squarely.
		Yes, Mr. McShane.
		I was thinkin' it wouldn't be right 
		that I should ever ask the two 
		oldest to take my name. But the 
		little one -- the one that never 
		looked on her father -- Would you 
		think of letting me legally adopt 
			(smiling ever 
			so little)
		If that time comes, the child shall 
		have your name.

			(drawing a deep 
			breath of relief)
		Now I'm wonderin' if I could smoke 
		my pipe?
		You could have smoked any time, Mr. 
		I didn't want to be takin' privileges 
		before I was entitled to 'em.
	He fishes for his pipe with enormous relief. -- Francie 
	comes to her mother and starts to take the baby from her.
		Help me put her to bed, Neeley.

		To fix the blankets.
 	She starts for the bedroom, giving Neeley a gesture with 
	her head for him to follow. Left alone with McShane, Katie 
	goes to the stove.
		I'll just heat up the coffee. Will 
		you join me in a cup, Mr. McShane?
		Thank you, Katharine, I will.

	In the BEDROOM, Francie and Neeley are putting the baby in 
	the basket.
			(with a superior air) 
		They want to be alone. They've got 
		things to talk over.

	They finish tucking in the sleeping baby. Francie goes to 
	the window and looks out. She is in a strange mood.
		Neeley -- let's go up on the roof?

	He laughs.

		What's the matter?
		He called her Katharine.
	Francie smiles too, and as they start out, the scene 
	dissolves to the ROOF, where Francie and Neeley are leaning 
	against the parapet, looking out at the world.
		Annie Laurie McShane.

		She'll never have the hard times we 
		did, will she?

		She'll never have the fun, either.
		We did have fun, didn't we, when we 
		were young?

		Remember those olden days when we 
		collected junk?
		Poor Laurie.

		Neeley, look at the tree, it's 
		growing again just like papa said. 
			(after a little pause) 
		I -- I feel kind of sad, like -- 
		like we're saying goodbye to 

	Again there's a little pause.

		Am I good looking?

		Aw, what's eatin' you? 

		No, honest, Neeley, I want to know.

		You'll pass. 

	This is high tribute from Neeley. Francie smiles happily.

		You're sweet, Neeley.

		Aw, cut the mush. 

	Content, they gaze out over the world which their diplomas 
	have made theirs as the scene fades out.

Screenplay by Tess Slesinger and Frank Davis
Additional dialogue by an uncredited Anita Loos
Adapted from the novel by Betty Smith (Elizabeth Lillian Wehner)

The author's original ending

... In the manuscript of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in the archives of the Southern Historical Collection in Chapel Hill, the novel ends after the death of the father. The two children, Francie and Neeley, are sitting miserably at the kitchen table looking forward to a life of increased poverty and hunger. [Author Betty] Smith writes with her characteristic mixture of sentimentality and despair. Francie says: "I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and His mother, Holy Mary. Jesus was a baby like we were once. And he went barefoot in the summer like we do. I saw a picture. And he had no shoes on. He lived like other people lived and He went fishing like papa did once. He was always where there were poor people ...." She made the sign of the cross as every Catholic does when speaking of Jesus. Then she put her hand on Neeley's knee. "But I will say now and I will always say - To hell with God!" Neeley put his hand on Francie's hand and echoed fearfully, "To hell with God!" In the manuscript version, the novel ended there. --from a dissertation by Carol Siri Johnson