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´╗┐Title: Class of '29
Author: Hastings, Milo M. (Milo Milton), 1884-1957, Lashin, Orrie
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Class of '29" ***

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of Milo Hastings, and Jim Tinsley.



CLASS OF '29

A PLAY IN THREE ACTS

BY ORRIE LASHIN and MILO HASTINGS

PRICE 75 CENTS

DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE



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_WINTERSET_, by Maxwell Anderson.
_YELLOW JACK_, by Sidney Howard and Paul de Kruif.
_THREE MEN ON A HORSE_, by John Cecil Holm and George Abbott.
_CLASS OF '29,_ by Orrie Lashin and Milo Hastings.
_ETHAN FROME_, by Owen and Donald Davis.
_THE PETRIFIED FOREST_, by Robert E. Sherwood.
_AROUND THE CORNER_, by Martin Flavin.
_BOY MEETS GIRL_, by Bella and Samuel Spewack.
_AGED 26_, by Anne Crawford Flexner.
_A HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY_, by Melvin Levy.
_SEEN BUT NOT HEARD_, by Marie Baumer and Martin Berkeley.
_SPRING SONG_, by Bella and Samuel Spewack.
_DAUGHTERS OF ATREUS_, by Robert Turney.
_WE THE PEOPLE_, by Elmer Rice.
_SO PROUDLY WE HAIL_, by Joseph M. Viertel.
_CAPONSACCHI_, by Arthur Goodrich and Rose A. Palmer.
_MASSES AND MAN_, by Ernst Toller.


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AROUND THE CORNER, comedy In 3 acts, by Martin Flavin. This timely
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SEEN BUT NOT HEARD, melodrama in 2 acts, by Marie Baumer and Martin
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brought to bear on an adult problem. A most ingenious mystery play
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[Illustration: A Stage scene: Photograph by Lucas Pritchard Studio]



CLASS OF '29

A PLAY IN THREE ACTS

BY ORRIE LASHIN AND MILO HASTINGS

DRAMATISTS
PLAY SERVICE
1937 INC.

COPYRIGHT, 1936, 1937, BY
ORRIE LASHIN AND MILO HASTINGS

THE AMATEUR ACTING RIGHTS OF THIS PLAY ARE CONTROLLED EXCLUSIVELY
BY THE DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE, INC., 9 EAST 38TH STREET, NEW YORK
CITY, WITHOUT WHOSE PERMISSION IN WRITING NO PERFORMANCE OF IT MAY
BE MADE.

ALL OTHER RIGHTS IN THIS PLAY, INCLUDING THOSE OF PROFESSIONAL
PRODUCTION, RADIO BROADCASTING AND MOTION PICTURE RIGHTS, ARE
CONTROLLED BY MAXIM LIEBER AT 545 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK, N. Y., TO
WHOM ALL INQUIRIES SHOULD BE ADDRESSED.



_Following is a copy of the program of the original production, in
New York City, May 15, 1936_:

The Popular Price Theatre

FEDERAL THEATRE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION

PRESENTS

CLASS OF '29

A new play by

ORRIE LASHIN and MILO HASTINGS

staged by

LUCIUS MOORE COOK

Settings designed under the supervision of

TOM ADRIAN CRACRAFT

Entire production under the personal supervision of

EDWARD GOODMAN

CAST OF CHARACTERS

(in the order in which they speak)

KEN HOLDEN          ......................      Jan Ullrich

TIPPY SAYRE         ......................      Allen Nourse

TED BROOKS          ......................      Ben Starkie

MARTIN PETERSON     ......................      Robert Bruce

KATE ALLEN          ......................      Helen Morrow

LAURA STEVENS       ......................      Marjorie Brown

BISHOP HOLDEN       ......................      Harry Irvine

LUCILLE BROWN       ......................      Olive Stanton

STANLEY PRESCOTT    ......................      Edward Forbes

A CASE WORKER       ......................      Marjorie Dalton

MISS DONOVAN        ......................      Edna Archer Crawford

POLICEMAN           ......................      Jon Lormer



ACT I

SCENE 1. A basement apartment on a Saturday afternoon about
one o'clock, Fall, 1935.

SCENE 2. Stanley Prescott's office, later the same day.


ACT II

The same as ACT I, SCENE 1.
About 6 P. M., Spring, 1936.


ACT III

The same. About 10 P. M.

This play can be produced without using Scene 2, Act I at all, and
has been so produced by both Federal Theatres and nonprofessionals.
This reduces the settings required to one. In case this scene is
not played, then of course the characters Lucille Brown and Stanley
Prescott are also omitted. The omission of this scene requires no
alteration of the lines or action of any other part of the play.



DESCRIPTION OF CHARACTERS

KEN HOLDEN. _A young man about 28 or 29, a graduate of Harvard.
Trained as an architect. But unemployed since his graduation. He is
in love with "Laura." But is very dispirited at his inability to
obtain employment_.

TIPPY SAYRE. _About the same age as Ted. Also a graduate of
Harvard. He also has been unable to find employment. But is a man
of very happy-go-lucky type whom it is hard to dishearten. He is
making a living by washing dogs_.

TED BROOKS. _Age 28. Also a Harvard graduate of the same class as
the others and also unemployed since graduation. He comes of
wealthy parents who lost their money in the market crash. And seems
quite unable to find any work for which he is suited. And has no
special training. He is being partly supported by Kate Allen who is
in love with him_.

MARTIN PETERSON. _About the same age as the others, also a graduate
of Harvard. He is an artist and is making a little money. He is
also a very enthusiastic Communist._

KATE ALLEN. _About the same age as the men. She is a graduate of
Vassar, but although she is working she only earns a small salary,
half of which she gives to Ted, with whom she is in love_.

LAURA STEVENS. _A pretty girl of about the same age as the others.
A graduate of Vassar. She is in love with Ken Holden and is working
at a salary of about $25 a week_.

BISHOP HOLDEN. _A bishop and typical gentleman of his calling. Ken
Holden is his son_.

LUCILLE BROWN.* _A young girl. She is secretary to Stanley
Prescott_.

STANLEY PRESCOTT.* _A successful American business
man. Hard, conservative_.

CASE WORKER. _A middle-aged woman, working as a
home relief investigator_.

MRS. DONOVAN. _A very flamboyant woman of middle
age, fussy and silly type_.

POLICEMAN. _A typical New York policeman_.

* NOTE: These characters are not in the play in case Scene 2,
        Act I, is omitted.



CLASS OF '29

ACT I

SCENE I: _It is Saturday afternoon, about one o'clock._

_The room is a large one in an old brown-stone house. The ceiling
is high, the floor ancient. It serves for a sleeping as well as a
living room. Off it at one end is a kitchen, at the other a small
bedroom._

_There is no woman's touch in the place, but in spite of its
dilapidation there is a mellow and intellectual air--lent, perhaps,
by the books and magazines that lie scattered about; some old
college pennants on the wall; also both architectural drawings and
original cartoons. There is a good architect's drawing board in
use by a window and a rack containing many rolls of drawings and
prints_.

TED _is sitting on the couch, reading an old book. He wears a once
excellent but now threadbare suit_.

TIPPY _wears shabby old dressing gown, short. He has no trousers
on. He is pressing his pants on an ironing board._

_Each is silent and preoccupied_, KEN _makes a finishing touch with
color brush, then turns his board down to a more vertical position
and backs off, surveying his work_.

KEN. Take a squint at that, Tippy.

[TIPPY _carefully turns iron on end and steps over to look at
drawing._]

TIPPY. H'm. Very charming. Very charming. If Comrade Stalin could
see that he would order one for each member of his harem.

KEN. That's a bum joke. Not even Hearst has accused Stalin of
irregularity in his private life.

TIPPY. Sorry. That comes of my not reading Hearst.

KEN. What's more, this drawing's not intended for the Soviets. It's
distinctly American.

TIPPY. But Ken, they like it Americanskee. They approve of the way
we _do_ our living, if not of the way we _get_ it.

KEN. They like our gadgets. The plans I sent to Moscow were all
American inside. But the exteriors were different.

TIPPY. [_Slaps him on shoulder and returns to pants pressing._]
Well, keep at it, old man. All things come to those who work while
they wait.

KEN. Work. I just do this to keep from going nuts.

TIPPY. O. K. Keep occupied. American recovery may yet prove
speedier than Soviet red tape.

KEN. I've given up hope of hearing from Moscow. It's been five
months ...

TIPPY. Make allowances for bureaucracy, Ken.
They're in such a hurry over there they haven't time to do
anything.

KEN. [_Starts to remove drawing._] I don't want Martin to see this.
He'd never forgive me if he knew I'd quit working on stuff for
Russia.

TIPPY. Hi, Ted! Give a look on your fellow artist's work.

[KEN _stands aside_, TED _rises politely, keeping finger in place
in book and looking at drawing briefly._]

TED. [_Indifferently._] It's very nice.

[_He goes back to couch and his book_, KEN _removes drawing and
rolls it up_. TIPPY _finishes pants and cuts off iron_, MARTIN'S
_voice heard in hall, singing._]

MARTIN.     Belaya armeya chornee barone
            Snova gotovyat nam tsarskee trone
            [MARTIN _enters, marching and singing._]
            No ot tigee doe bretanskeye Morye
            [_Stamps and accents each syllable._]
            Anneya krasnaya vsekh seelnaye.

TIPPY. Jesus, Martin, why don't you get Billy Rose to write a new
song for the Red Army?

MARTIN. As soon as Ken learns Krasnaya Armeya I'll teach him the
International.

TIPPY. I can bellyache the Armeya better now than he can.

MARTIN. Damned pity you won't study Russian with us. You have a
natural gift for languages.

TIPPY. The reason Russian is easy for me is because I never learned
the alphabet.

KEN. Boy, what an alphabet!

MARTIN. [_Snapping his fingers._] Da, da, da--ah, be, ve, ge.

TIPPY. [_Picking up book._] Ya, ya, ya,--vas ist das? Das ist ein
buch.

KEN. Da, da, da,--chto etto takoye? Etto kneega.

MARTIN. Fine. Let's go. [_Holds up pencil._] Chto etto takoe?

KEN. Etta karandash.

MARTIN. [_Stands book on table._] Chto?

KEN. Kneega stoeet na stolom.

MARTIN. [_Throws book under table._] Gdye kneega?

KEN. Kneega pod stalom.

MARTIN. Great! Now make a sentence of your own.

KEN. [_Lamely._] Tovarisch Stalin ... [_Stalls._]

TIPPY. [_Cutting in smartly._] Krasnaya armeya pod stalom. [TIPPY
_hangs pants on chair back, and puts away ironing paraphernalia._]

[MARTIN _goes to book shelf and gets Russian reader and
dictionary._]

MARTIN. I've only a few minutes. But we can do half a page. We'll
never get it unless we keep at it eternally.

KEN. For eternity you mean.

MARTIN. You're doing fine with the reading. It'll help you no end
when you get to Russia.

KEN. God, what faith you have!

MARTIN. Sure you're going to Russia. They have millions of
buildings to build, and they can't train architects fast enough.
[_Finds place in book._]

[KEN _hesitates._]

KEN. I'm not kidding myself.--I've been doing this more to help
you.

MARTIN. Listen, Ken. Even if you don't go, you should know Russian
so you can read Soviet architectural journals. The years we wasted
on dead languages!--Russia's alive. They're doing things, new
things, big things! Russian is the language of the next great sweep
in world progress.

TIPPY. Sez you.

MARTIN. You read the New York Times. Where does the real news come
from?

TIPPY. That depends on who is shooting which.

MARTIN. Shooting isn't news. War isn't news. War is old--atavistic,
a confession of failure, evidence of retrogression. News deals with
new things: progress, science, art, invention, the conquest of
nature. That's real news. And where is it coming from today?

TIPPY. All right, all right. When you have learned six thousand
more verbs, each with a hundred irregular forms, then you can read
it in Pravda.

[TIPPY _carries board out to kitchen_, MARTIN _sits at table,_ KEN
_with him_. MARTIN _finds place in book and points to a word._]

KEN. [_Slowly, pronouncing all syllables in monotone, as_ TIPPY
_enters._] Al-yek-tree-feet-see-row-von-nuim ...

MARTIN. [_In disgust._] Stuck on the first word. [_Starts thumbing
dictionary._]

TIPPY. Word? It sounded to me like a derogatory sentence.

[_Knock on the door_, TIPPY _sees envelope that was stuck under it
and picks it up. He is opening envelope when knock is repeated. He
opens door and_ KATE _enters._]

KATE. Hello, Tippy.

TIPPY. Hello, Kate.

KATE. Hi, Ted.

TED. [_Closing book._] Hello, Kate.

KATE. [_Starts toward him but stops at table._] Hello, you bums.
How's the Red Army?

KEN. [_Rising, glad of chance to get away from book._] Tippy just
put it under the table.

KATE. Good for Tippy! He's the only real American among you.

TIPPY. The only real American by conviction. Ted's American by
innocence. He won't know there was a Russian revolution until it
becomes a classic.

KATE. [_Fondly_] That makes him very English. [_Takes_ TED'S
_book._] Is it Chaucer? Or just dear old Ben Jonson?

TED. No such luck. It's a first edition of Hemingway's "The Sun
Also Rises." For a man who wanted it, it's worth ten dollars.

KATE. How much did you pay for it?

TED. Fifty cents.

KATE. _Swell_!

TED. As long as ignorant people go into the secondhand book
business ... It's a tedious business, but if you look over enough
stalls, you're bound to pick up something.

TIPPY. I'm sorry to be sordid in this literary atmosphere, but if
you really have a book worth ten bucks, you'd better sell it.

TED. I will if I can find the right man.

TIPPY. Well--the landlord informs us that he has a more desirable
tenant who wants these quarters. He gives us till tomorrow morning
to raise the rent or he will out us kick.

[KEN _turns away and putters with his drawing instruments_, TED
_goes into bedroom._]

MARTIN. [_Who has been absorbed in dictionary._] Hell, it means
electrification!

TIPPY. Then would I shock you by telling you that the landlord
means business?

MARTIN. Huh? Oh rent! All right, I have my share. Here, take it
now.

[_Hands_ TIPPY _eight dollars_, KATE _takes money out of her
purse_, TIPPY _takes it quietly, nodding understanding._]

KATE. [_With gesture toward bedroom_.] If he does sell his book,
take his eight dollars and hold it. He may not find a ten-dollar
book next month.

[TIPPY _goes to put money in pocket and discovers he has no pants
on._]

TIPPY. Hell. I have no pants.... Sorry, Kate. [_He grabs pants off
chair and goes into bedroom._]

MARTIN. Why don't you quit it, Kate? You aren't helping Ted. You're
ruining him.

KATE. I'm only lending him the money. He'll pay it back.

MARTIN. Like hell he will! The man's been a deadbeat for years.

KATE. [_Desperately._] Martin!

MARTIN. He borrowed off his prosperous friends till he exhausted
that source.

KATE. He sold them books.

MARTIN. Sold nothing!--Disguised gifts. He made the mistake of
naming prices. Fooled me for a while. Then I happened to meet a
real second-hand books man.

KATE. [_Angrily._] What business was it of yours, checking up on
him?

MARTIN. None whatever, so long as it hurt only him and you.

KATE. You boys need his rent. As long as you get it, why can't you
treat him like a gentleman? His pride is all he's got left.

[TED _re-enters. Wears different tie, good fall topcoat, not new.
His hat and book in his hand._]

TED. The man I think should have this book happens to be out of
town. But I know someone else who might take it. I'll go and see
him.

[TIPPY _enters, bathrobe gone, pants on._]

MARTIN. Just a minute, Ted. I've just been told I'm butting in on
something that's none of my business. So, having been accused, I'm
going to justify it.

[TIPPY _tries to gesture him to shut up._]

TED. Yes?

MARTIN. You've been imposing on Tippy here, who is too damned
charitable to speak in his own behalf.

TIPPY. You're not speaking for me, Martin.

MARTIN. All right, then, I'm speaking for myself. Here is Tippy, a
sanitary engineer, cashing in on his education by washing dogs.
He's making a little money. But he could make a lot more if he had
a place of his own.

TIPPY. I'll have it. I'll have it. Give me time.

MARTIN. You'll not have it so long as you let people sponge on you.

TIPPY. That's my business.

MARTIN. You paid Ted's share of the rent last month, [KATE _looks
surprised._] So this month, if Ted stays here he pays not eight but
sixteen dollars. And you stick eight in the savings bank for that
dog laundry.

TIPPY. Now just wait a minute. I can explain last month's ...

MARTIN. I'll not wait for you to think up another kind lie. God
knows I don't enjoy hurting Ted. He was born and raised a
capitalist and an aristocrat. Now he is a cast-off wreck of the
system that made him. I hate the system, not the men it makes--and
least of all the weak ones it throws into the scrap heap. [_Sees
that all are hurt and offended._] Damn it, I'm sorry. My infernal
sense of justice got the better of me. [_He goes out._]

TED. [_With stolid anguish. To_ KATE.] I'm guilty. I took my rent
money and bought this topcoat at a second-hand store.

KATE. You said a friend gave it to you.

TED. I haven't a friend left who'll even give me cast-off clothing.

KATE. But why did you have to lie about it?

TIPPY. That coat's an investment. You can't peddle books on Park
Avenue without a topcoat.--Go along and cash in on your investment.
Sell that book.

KATE. I hope you can.

TED. I probably can--by going through another half hour as pleasant
as this one. [_He goes, shutting door sharply. There is a brief
silence._]

KEN. Well, I might as well tell you I haven't got my share of the
rent, either.

TIPPY. What's the matter? Check late?

KEN. No.--I sent it back.

TIPPY. You what?

KEN. I sent it back.

KATE. Did your father lose his job?

KEN. Bishops don't lose their jobs.

TIPPY. So what are you talking about?

KEN. I've been living off dad for five years.

TIPPY. Starving off him.

KEN. Don't blame dad. I set the amount under Hoover. Bishops aren't
economists.

TIPPY. You sent the check back and asked for a new deal?

KEN. No.

TIPPY. [_Patiently._] Why _did_ you send the check back?

KEN. I'm through letting dad pay me for piddling around here.

TIPPY. But Ken, be reasonable. The landlord must eat.

KEN. Then give him back this place. He can eat the cockroaches.

TIPPY. No tickee, no shirtee; no money, no housee. [_Pause._] And
there's the little matter of our own nutrition.

KEN. I don't expect you and Martin to feed me.

TIPPY. I doubt if we could.

KEN. Martin's right, Tippy. You ought to clear out of here and take
that place you wanted.

TIPPY. Hell, that place has been taken. Bargains like that don't
wait.

KEN. There are other places. But you won't get one as long as you
stay here and we graft off of you. You've been buying half the grub
for the four of us. You fudge the bills against yourself. You're a
goddam fool.

TIPPY. Must you bring that up?

KEN. Listen, Tippy. Martin can take care of himself, anywhere. He
loves flop houses and flop people.

TIPPY. And what about Ted?

KEN. Ted is Kate's problem.

KATE. Why do you feel so bitter toward him?

KEN. [_Savagely._] If you'll recall, we only took him in
temporarily because your mother was coming.

[_Angrily, to_ TIPPY.] Why the hell do you have to plan for Ted? Or
Martin? Or me? I'm not planning for anyone.--I'm clearing out.

TIPPY. Where are you going?

KEN. That's my affair. I'm packing tonight and leaving tomorrow.
[_He goes into bedroom._]

KATE. Lord, what a mess!

TIPPY. Katie, I'm afraid our children are showing too much spirit.

KATE. What's Ken planning? Going on Laura?

TIPPY. Lord, no.

KATE. I'd hardly think so with all that bluff at independence!
[_Pause._]

TIPPY. How much did you girls, as seniors, put down as your
expectation of earning power in five years?

KATE. We didn't do such sordid things at Vassar. And besides, it's
been six years, not five.

TIPPY. Class of '29. Six years, and six of us. Well, we've stuck
together. In solidarity there is strength.

KATE. This looks like a bust up.

TIPPY. Look here, Kate, you'll take care of Ted, won't you?

KATE. Why should I?

TIPPY. [_Snappily._] As an investment. Business is picking up.
Stocks are going up. Culture is coming back. More dogs are being
washed. Rare books will come next.

KATE. So what?

TIPPY. Ted was born a gentleman. The rest of us merely went to
Harvard.

KATE. Believe it or not.

TIPPY. Katie, the coming revolution is poppycock. What's coming is
the same damn thing we used to have. And when it gets back it'll
take its old darlings back into its lap. Ted is one of them. So
hold his hand a little longer.

[_There is a hanging against the door with a foot._ TIPPY _opens
door, and_ LAURA _enters with a tall sack of groceries, which she
shoves into_ TIPPY'S _arms._]

LAURA. Hello. Where's the gang?

TIPPY. Some are in and some are out.

KATE. We speak of Fortune and Dame Fortune walks in.

LAURA. Bringing her own tea.

TIPPY. Fortune. Tea. Ceres. Cornucopia. [_Drops bag on arm, posing
as Goddess with the horn of plenty, and spewing groceries over the
table, fruit rolling to floor._]

KEN. [_Entering from bedroom._] What in ...?

TIPPY. Tea.

KATE. Thank God it wasn't eggs.

LAURA. [_To_ KEN.] Hello, darling.

[TIPPY _retrieves groceries._]

KEN. [_Severely._] What's the idea, Laura?

LAURA. What idea, honey?

KEN. You promised to quit it. There's plenty of grub here.

LAURA. But darling, I can't eat canned baked beans. My ulcer, you
know.

KEN. You haven't any ulcer.

LAURA. Nor any baby. But doctors say nervous girls must be careful,
or they'll have both.

KEN. Don't be a fool.

[TIPPY _starts with bag to kitchen_, KATE _following. At door he
warns her back._]

TIPPY. The preparing of this tea must be a strictly masculine
affair, [KATE _gestures toward_ KEN _and_ LAURA.] I'm sorry, but I
want tea. If a woman enters that kitchen, there won't be tea.
There'll be house-cleaning. [_He goes in and bolts door behind him.
She tries it and finds it locked. She pretends to be interested in
drawings_, KEN _has turned away from_ LAURA _and there is a
pause._]

LAURA. [_Casually._] Anything new, dear?

KEN. [_Savagely._] No. You always ask me that.

LAURA. It doesn't mean anything. Just a little light conversation
to kill that first awkward moment.

KEN. It means, have I got a job.

LAURA. Have you?

KEN. No.

LAURA. Well, you will have one. And more than a job. Some day
somebody will accept your plans for fabricated houses. And you'll
be rich and famous.

KEN. If I kid myself, you needn't.

LAURA. But all this work, Ken ...

KEN. Won't come to anything. I do it from habit. I do it to keep
from going crazy.

LAURA. You do it because you know that fabricated houses are the
coming thing.

KEN. Hell of a chance I'll get at them.

LAURA. There are going to be dozens of firms in the field, and
they'll all want yearly models.

TIPPY. [_Sticking his head in door._] Attention! Sergeant Holden,
go at once to the nearest Commissary and requisition 454 grams of
sucrose.

[KEN _salutes and goes. The girls stare after him._]

KATE. Now what in the _world!_

TIPPY. Sugar, Katie. Sugar.

KATE. But how much?

TIPPY. One pound. He understood. A year in Paris, you know.

LAURA. Oh, I'm so sorry! I forgot sugar.

TIPPY. Sorry? It gives him a chance to buy something.--Your failure
to understand the masculine nature is appalling.

KATE. I'll bet you had sugar.

TIPPY. Yes, we had no sugar.--Forget it. [_Exits._]

LAURA. Oh these men!

KATE. You said it!

LAURA. [_Turns on her suddenly._] Kate, what's the matter?

KATE. Matter? Why?

LAURA. You are grouched. Ken is touchy, he wants to quarrel. Tippy
is too nonsensical, even for Tippy. Is something wrong?

KATE. Everything's wrong.

LAURA. Tell me.

KATE. Martin started it. He bawled Ted out for living off me.

LAURA. Oh, well--Martin!

KATE. It seems I gave Ted money for his share of the rent last
month, and he bought a coat with it instead.

LAURA. Oh.

KATE. So Tippy had to pay again.

LAURA, Tippy didn't tell on him?

KATE. You know he wouldn't. Martin found out some way and told for
him.

LAURA. Martin's a beast.

KATE. Maybe he was right. They all but told me to take Ted back and
keep him with me.

LAURA. And you will, I suppose? [KATE _is silent._] I'm sorry.

KATE. I don't mind your question.

LAURA. There's nothing else you can do, really.

KATE. Yes. There's one thing. There's another man.

LAURA. Are you serious?

KATE. _He_ is. Serious, and rich, and--sixty.

LAURA. That beastly old man!

KATE. Every time he said "I'm an old man" I'd say, "Oh, no, Mr.
Selden" till I convinced him.

LAURA. So what, Kate?

KATE. So he thinks he wants me for myself alone. He isn't the least
bit vicarious.

LAURA. Kate, do be serious.

KATE. He wants to reduce his income tax by gifts to eleemosynary
institutions. Don't I look eleemosynary?

LAURA. No. Nor mercenary, either.

KATE. Ah, but I am. And I've been buying love long enough to have
learned the trade. So now I'm going to sell some.

LAURA. And Ted?

KATE. [_Bitterly._] What about him?

LAURA. You love him.

KATE. No, I don't, I used to love him.... But I don't any more. You
can't stay crazy about a man when you give him half your salary
every week. You get to hate him.... Oh, it's worse than hate. It's
contempt.

LAURA. You've stuck it out so long.

KATE. Too long.

LAURA. It'll be different as soon as he strikes something.

KATE. Strikes what? Gold or oil?

LAURA. He'll find something. It takes time.

KATE. Time is the only thing I haven't got to spare. Look, I'm
twenty-seven.

LAURA. But you don't look it.

KATE. I do--I have wrinkles.

LAURA. Don't be silly.

KATE. Around the eyes.

LAURA. You're imagining.

KATE. And yesterday I found a gray hair.

LAURA. Girls of eighteen sometimes have gray hairs.

KATE. But I feel old! And if I don't look it now, I will soon.
[_Pause._] What am I to do, Laura? Keep on working at eighteen
dollars a week till I'm forty?--I haven't a decent thing to wear.
I haven't had a new coat in three years. [_Feverishly._] And I'm
frightened. Calendars frighten me.--I want to have some fun. I want
a man to take me to the Ritz and--pay the check.

LAURA. I know how you feel. Don't you think that I ... What do you
want me to say, Kate?

KATE. There is nothing to say.

LAURA. Look, dear. I don't say you should keep Ted. Drop him and go
it alone a while. If you've been living on nine dollars a week,
eighteen will seem a fortune.

KATE. And what will become of him?

LAURA. If you _are_ leaving him you can't worry about that.

KATE. I do worry about it. That's one of the reasons I'll take the
old man and his money.

LAURA. You're crazy!

KATE. Am I?

LAURA. That's something that--that just isn't done!

KATE. A lot you know.

LAURA. Kate ...

KATE. Oh, stop it! That just isn't done! You don't know anything.
You don't even know how I feel ... week after week giving Ted
money. You've been in love with a man whose fond papa's supported
him so you haven't had to soil your lovely ethics with dirty money.

LAURA. Darling ...

KATE. Don't darling me. And don't tell me what's decent and
proper--and what isn't done!

LAURA. I didn't mean ...

KATE. You didn't mean anything because you don't know anything. But
maybe you're going to learn.--Maybe now you're going to learn
because this gang is breaking up. Not only because my man is a
dead-bent, but because yours is broke.--So now maybe you'll try
keeping a man and see how it feels!

LAURA. Kate!

[KATE _slams out, brushing_ KEN, _who enters, violently aside._]

KEN. What's the matter with her?

LAURA. Nothing.

[KEN _hands sugar to_ TIPPY _and returns._]

KEN. She didn't act like it was nothing.

LAURA. She's going to leave Ted.

KEN. Good! The man's a leech.

LAURA. But he is so helpless.

KEN. He won't starve. We have no jobs in America, but we don't
starve.

LAURA. Ken, are you in trouble?

KEN. In trouble?

LAURA. With your father?

KEN. No. No, indeed--I merely sent dad's check back. It's time,
don't you think? [_With elaborate unconcern._] And as for this
arrangement here ... we're getting on each other's nerves. And
Tippy ought to get out on his own.

LAURA. And you?

KEN. I, too. On my own.

LAURA. But how?

KEN. I don't know. But I'll manage somehow.

LAURA. Oh, Ken ...

KEN. Why don't you clear out like Kate? Forget me. I'm no good to
you. I never will be.

LAURA. Don't talk like that.

KEN. It's true, Laura. Face it. [_She puts her arms around him._]

LAURA. Ken, let's get married.--We've put it off too long.

KEN. Married!

LAURA. Not married then. But let's be together. Let's ...

KEN. It's too late for that. If that was what we'd wanted it would
have happened three years ago.

LAURA. I love you more now than I did then.

KEN. And I'm not saying I love you less.

LAURA. Then?

KEN. In the last three years I've seen a man I used to love and
respect degenerate under my eyes, become a lousy parasite, living
off a woman whose whole income isn't enough for her to live on
decently.

LAURA. How can you compare yourself to Ted?

KEN. Good God, I don't! Yet Ted was once all right.

LAURA. Ted expected the world to support him. He had nothing to
give it. You have ability and ambition. You want to give things to
the world.

KEN. [_Flatly._] I want a job.

LAURA. Of course you do, darling!

KEN. [_Fiercely._] That's all I want. A job. I lay awake nights,
saying over and over, "I want a job, a job, a job ..."

LAURA. Oh, I know!

KEN. I don't think about you when I lie awake at night. I don't
think how nice it would be to have you there in my arms. All I
think about is a job. If it were a choice between you and a job I'd
take the job.--What's the use of kidding ourselves any longer?
[_She is silent. He goes on desperately._] I'm not the same fellow
I was three years ago. People slam doors in my face. Do you
understand? They look at me. They see my clothes, my eyes....
They're antagonized before they speak to me,--just as people are to
a beggar. They say "no" before I ask for anything. No, no, no. They
say it as if I were asking for charity instead of a job. "Nothing
for you." "Sorry." "Nothing today."--It makes a beggar out of you!

[TIPPY _enters, carrying tea tray_.]

TIPPY. Hello! Where's the rest of the tea party? [_Neither
answers._] Well, we'll have double portions, that's nice.

LAURA. Tippy, doesn't your world ever fall out from under you?

TIPPY. Certainly not! [_Pause._]

LAURA. [_With forced gayety._] I say, where's Martin?

TIPPY. Can it be that _you_ are asking for Martin!

LAURA. Uh-huh. I'm ready for him to turn me into a Communist.

TIPPY. That _is_ news!--Where did Kate go?

LAURA. To make a date with her boss. He's sixty and rich--and
serious.

TIPPY. No kidding?--No, my world doesn't drop out from under me. It
merely turns wrong side out in my hand.--Your tea, Ken. It contains
teaffein, which stimulates the heart but quiets the nerves.
Teaffein in tea is the same as caffein in coffee. But under the
profit system we don't know that yet--because no one has invented a
teaffeinless tea.

[KEN _accepts sandwich and tea and tries to be a sport and make the
party._]

KEN. I wouldn't need Martin to turn me into a Communist. All I'd
have to do would be to knock out the partition in the middle of my
brains and let the left side mingle with the right.

TIPPY. As if your brains weren't muddled enough already!

[MARTIN _bursts in, carrying two Soviet posters. Leaves door
ajar._]

MARTIN. Hey, fellows, see what I've got! [_He hangs one up while
the others are inspecting the first._]

LAURA. It's ugly.

KEN. I like them. Why can't Americans make ugly things look
beautiful?

TIPPY. [_To_ MARTIN.] Sow your seed now, Soviet sower. The powers
of darkness have been fertilizing the ground.

[TIPPY _takes thumb tacks and bottle of red ink and goes to
kitchen._]

KEN. A Soviet poster compared to an American lithograph is like a
Soviet film compared with the stuff they grind out in Hollywood.

MARTIN. By God, you're right.--It's the same in all the arts.

LAURA. [_Hysterically jovial._] 'Fess up, Ken. Who's been taking
you to American movies?

KEN. I still remember some I saw during Hoover's administration.
You don't mean they've changed them?

MARTIN. Only the revolution will change that tripe.

LAURA. Gently, Martin. I just told Tippy I was all ripe to turn
Communist. But let's enter by the Socialist door. I don't like
revolutzia. It's bloody.

[MARTIN _pours himself tea_. KEN _squints at posters,_ LAURA
_munches sandwich and giggles_.] Comrade Martin--bring on your
material dialectics.

[_Before_ MARTIN _has chance to answer_, TIPPY'S _voice sings
stridently, as he comes marching in._]

TIPPY.      Belaya armeya chornee barone
            Snova gotovyat nam tsarskee trone

[_He is now in. A towel is tied about his head with a
big blotch of red ink over his temple. He carries a
broom as a flagstaff to which a red bandanna handkerchief
is attached as a red flag._]

            No ot tigee do bretanskeye morye
            Armeya krasnaya vsekh seelnaye.

[_On chorus_, MARTIN'S _better voice cuts in strong. He seizes_
LAURA _by the arm, forcing her to march with_ TIPPY. _And_ KEN,
_beating time with goose step, also sings._]

ALL.        Tak poost Zheh krasnaya
            Shumayet vlasno
            Svoe shtik mozoleestoy rookoy
            Es vse dolshnee mwee
            Neudersheemo
            Ette v poslednee sharkee boy.
            [_This chorus repeats._]

[_The_ BISHOP _has appeared in the open doorway; they do not see
him and march and sing lustily_, BISHOP HOLDEN _stands and watches
them in growing consternation. They see him and stop suddenly. Only_
MARTIN'S _voice finishes the last line._]

LAURA. Bishop Holden!

BISHOP. What is this?

KEN. Hello, Dad.

TIPPY. Just a bit of fun. [_He tosses the broom with its flag into
a corner, but has forgotten to take off bandage. He steps up and
offers his hand to the Bishop._] How are you, sir?

BISHOP. [_Shaking hands._] What is the matter with your head?

TIPPY. Oh Jesus! [_Yanks off towel._]

BISHOP. Were you rehearsing for a theatrical?

TIPPY. Full dress. My wound was dressed with red ink.

BISHOP. And that song you were singing? I couldn't quite place it.

MARTIN. That's a Red Army song.

BISHOP. Red Army?

MARTIN. Soviet--Russian.

BISHOP. So you were all engaged in a little burlesque? Sorry to
have disturbed you.

MARTIN. Tippy was making it burlesque. He refuses to take anything
seriously.

BISHOP. And the--uh--occasion?

MARTIN. The occasion was that I had just brought home those
posters.

BISHOP. [_Looking at the posters._] Ah, I see.

MARTIN. How do you like them?

BISHOP. The lettering has some Greek characters. I take it that is
Russian?

KEN. Of course, dad. They're Soviet posters.--A rather distinctive
form of art.

BISHOP. Ah, it is the unique art and the martial music you find
entertaining--or were you burlesquing a Communist meeting?

KEN. It was just Tippy's idea of fun.

BISHOP. [_Not quite satisfied._] But you were all singing that song
as if you know it well.

LAURA. Martin's always singing it--till we've memorized it without
the least idea what it means.

BISHOP. [_Satisfied._] Ah yes, of course. I once learned a Japanese
song.

MARTIN. I'm studying Russian.

KEN. It's quite a language, dad. It would be easy for you with your
knowledge of Greek.

BISHOP. Are you studying Russian, too?

KEN. Martin's been teaching me a little. I wish I had your
linguistic preparation for it.

BISHOP. I learned Greek so I could read the Gospels in the original
tongue.

TIPPY. That's why they're learning Russian.

BISHOP. The Gospels in Russian?

TIPPY. Saint Marx, Saint Engels, Saint Lenin and Saint Stalin.

BISHOP. But--if you mean Karl Marx, he wrote in German.

TIPPY. Hitler had him translated into Russian so the Germans
couldn't read him.

BISHOP. You're a very witty young man. Your sense of humor will
save you from any dangerous doctrine.

MARTIN. His sense of humor saves him from anything serious.

BISHOP. While I don't approve of a flippant attitude toward life,
it is far better than accepting dangerous and destructive
doctrines--such as Russian Communism.

MARTIN. Dangerous to world capitalism--but constructive of a new
civilization.

BISHOP. Young man, may I ask if you are American born?

MARTIN. I was born on a Dakota farm. My father was an American
kulak. An insurance company expropriated him.

LAURA. Bishop Holden didn't come to get into arguments with you
boys.

BISHOP. Another time, perhaps. I think I could convince you that
you're following a dangerous delusion.

MARTIN. Thanks, Laura. You're right. I'll run along.

TIPPY. I'll go with you. I've a bit of shopping I ought to do.

MARTIN. I'll get your hat. [_Goes to bedroom._]

BISHOP. And how is your business progressing, Timothy? Kenneth
wrote me about it. Don't be ashamed of it. Don't be ashamed of
honest labor, young man.--You are boarding dogs, I believe.

TIPPY. No. I have no place for that. I only wash them.

BISHOP. You wash them and they pay you?

TIPPY. Yes sir. That is, I wash the dogs, and the people pay me.

BISHOP. Ah yes. I understand.

[MARTIN _comes out with_ TIPPY'S _hat. Picks up his own._]

TIPPY. Clean dogs for clean people.

MARTIN. Lap dogs for kept women.--People are desperate and
destitute.--And Tippy washes dogs for a living!

BISHOP. It's a sad world. It's true that some have too much, and
many have too little....

MARTIN. But we mustn't protest. The meek shall inherit the earth!

BISHOP. And the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.

MARTIN. I respect any man for his convictions. But it seems to me,
sir, if you want to save the church when the revolution comes to
America, you had better see to it that the class sympathy of the
church agrees with the class sympathy of the man who founded it.

TIPPY. [_Hurriedly._] Good-bye, sir. [TIPPY _and_ MARTIN _go._]

[LAURA _quickly gathers up the tea things and puts them on a tray
and goes to kitchen. In the following scene she is on and off. The_
BISHOP _walks about, troubled and silent. He looks at posters,
picks up the Russian books and looks at them._]

BISHOP. Russian. Why are you studying Russian?

KEN. I find it interesting.

BISHOP. Chinese would be interesting. Why Russian?

KEN. I am interested in their architectural developments.

BISHOP. My boy, you haven't it in mind to go to Russia?

KEN. [_Evasive._] Wanting doesn't get you there.

BISHOP. Why, of all places in the world, should you want to go to
Russia?

KEN. There is no unemployment there. They need men.

BISHOP. [_Impatiently._] Oof! Russia ...

[TED _enters. He still has the book._]

TED. [_Greeting_ BISHOP _with aloof diffidence._] How do you do,
sir?

BISHOP. [_Very cordial._] How are you? How are you?

TED. [_Sees_ KEN _looking at his book._] My man wasn't in. I'll go
back and try again later. Is Kate here?

KEN. No. She stepped out.

TED. Then, if you'll excuse me I'll go into the other room and lie
down. I've developed a frightful headache.

BISHOP. That is unfortunate. Have you aspirin?

TED. Yes, thank you. [_He goes into bedroom, closing door._]

BISHOP. Now there is a fine young man who's facing a real problem.
He certainly wasn't trained for commercial pursuits. Yet there he
is--selling. Uh, what is he selling, Kenneth?

KENNETH. [_Sarcastically._] Books.

BISHOP. I knew his father well. A gentleman and a scholar.
Unfortunately, he was a gambler. The depression finished him.

KEN. It's finishing a lot of us.

BISHOP. My boy, I would not have you be extravagant, but I still
have enough. I can still support you.

KEN. I'm sick of living on charity.

BISHOP. Charity?

KEN. On your charity.

BISHOP. You are my son. What little I give you is yours by right.

KEN. What right? I'm not a child, nor a cripple. I'm nearly thirty
years old.

BISHOP. These are not normal times.

KEN. They are normal for me.

BISHOP. Be patient a little longer. Our system is not perfect, but
it's the best the world has known. It has been responsible for all
our progress.

KEN. We're not even aiming at progress, only at recovery; only
trying to gain back something we had in the past.

BISHOP. But how can you think there is progress in Russia? It's a
slave state; a tyranny. Freedom is essential to progress.

KEN. I don't want freedom. I want a chance to work. I want my
share.... Other people have their share, and they have dogs. I
don't want dogs, but I want a right to have them.

BISHOP. Your soul is poisoned with envy.

KEN. It's a short life, dad, and mine is half gone already. There
is beauty; I want to enjoy it. There are good things; I want some
of them. Disease and death we can't help, but poverty we _can_
help.

BISHOP. This is Martin's influence. [_Excited._] Ken, you must not
turn Communist. Do you hear? I forbid it.

KEN. The Inquisition tried forbidding convictions.

BISHOP. [_Frightened._] Convictions?

KEN. I'm fed up. [_More savage and bitter as he goes on._] One can
go on so long. Things look hopeless but you still hope. Important
people make cheerful speeches. You believe them. You _want_ to
believe them. You think tomorrow something's going to happen.
Something's got to happen! Tomorrow comes and goes--a lot of
tomorrows. Nothing happens, nothing. And nothing's going to happen.

BISHOP. My son, you are wrong. The situation is improving. Business
conditions are already vastly better. It takes time. You'll get a
job, very soon.

KEN. I've heard that for six years.

[_Pause._]

BISHOP. [_Clearing his throat; takes check from pocket._] Now this
check you returned ...

KEN. [_Shortly._] I don't want it.

BISHOP. But how can you get along without it?

KEN. I'll get along.

BISHOP. How do you propose to live?

KEN. By sleeping on park benches, eating in our bread lines.--Or
I'll tell the government I'm destitute--or get a relief job.--I
won't go on the way I've been doing.--Laura comes and brings food;
Tippy leaves cigarettes around; you send me checks. I'm sick of
having to take from you all!--If I've got to live by charity, I
want to be free to hate charity. That's a beggar's right.

BISHOP. It gives us pleasure to help you.

KEN. But can't you see what you're doing to my self-respect?

BISHOP. I don't want to hurt your self-respect.

KEN. Then leave me alone.

[_Pause._]

BISHOP. [_Clearing his throat._] Have you been to see Stanley
Prescott?

KEN. Yes.

BISHOP. Why hasn't he done something for you?

KEN. I suppose he can't.

BISHOP. Prescott's my friend. He ought to do something for you.

KEN. Oh, the hell with Prescott! [_Contrite._] Don't misunderstand
me. I wouldn't refuse any job he had to offer me. I'd black his
boots if that was the job. But I've been to see him as much as I
can. I can't sit on his doorstep and whine.

BISHOP. Certainly not. You must not do anything that would hurt
your self-respect. [_He has been holding the check, which he now
lays down on the table._]

KEN. Don't leave that check, dad.

BISHOP. But son--

KEN. If you do, I'll tear it up.

[BISHOP _picks up check, talks to_ LAURA.]

BISHOP. I'll leave this check with you, Laura. Give it to him when
he--when he is himself again. [_At this_ KEN _picks up his hat and
walks out without a word. The two look unhappily after him_.
BISHOP, _shaken._] That boy--that sane youth ... What's happened
to him?

LAURA. [_With difficulty._] He wants to break our engagement.

BISHOP. Ah! That's the trouble then. You two have quarrelled.

LAURA. He doesn't need me. I don't mean anything to him....

BISHOP. But of course you do.--There, Laura, there!

LAURA. No. He doesn't. I feel it.

BISHOP. Why, for years you've meant everything to him. He planned
to marry you as soon as he graduated. ...

LAURA. Oh, he's so muddled--he's so muddled!

BISHOP. I know how you feel, my dear, but lovers' quarrels ...

LAURA. It's not a lovers' quarrel. Oh, don't you understand? His
morale's all shot.

BISHOP. Kenneth is essentially sound. Now don't worry, my dear.
[_Indulgently._] I'll wait and have another talk with him, eh?
Perhaps that's what he needs; a good, sound, heart-to-heart talk
with his father.

LAURA. He needs a job! He needs a job! It's more important than I
am--more important than you--more important than anything in the
world.

[TED _opens the door; starts to come out; hears the tense
conversation and stands, hesitant._]

BISHOP. You are right. Work is essential,--more essential than
love. That's what all these young people need. Something to do with
their hands, with their heads. To feel that the world needs
them--that they have a right to live.

LAURA. That they belong!

BISHOP. Yes, yes ...

LAURA. You've got to find him a job. You've got to!

BISHOP. Dear child--if only I could!

LAURA. You've got to!--even if you have to buy one.

BISHOP. Buy one?

LAURA. [_Moving closer to him._] He need never know....

[TED _draws back and softly closes the door._]

SLOW CURTAIN



ACT I

SCENE 2*: PRESCOTT'S _office has an air of magnificence. Seems high
above the street. In an anteroom can be seen the_ BISHOP,
_waiting_, LUCILLE, PRESCOTT'S _secretary, a smartly-dressed young
woman, is in the office, reading a newspaper. After a moment_,
BISHOP HOLDEN _comes to the door_.]

* This scene can be omitted.

BISHOP. I beg your pardon, [LUCILLE _looks up._] Are you sure Mr.
Prescott will be back?

LUCILLE. Yes sir.

BISHOP. You think I ought to wait?

LUCILLE. Saturday's a bad day. Why don't you come back on Monday?

BISHOP. I must see him today. If I can't see him here I shall try
to see him at his home.

LUCILLE. [_Quickly._] Then you had better wait.

BISHOP. Very well. [_He goes out, sits down_, LUCILLE _begins to
type; the telephone rings. Before answering, she closes door,
shutting out the_ BISHOP.]

LUCILLE. Hello? Yes, Mrs. Prescott. Not yet, but he took the
eleven-thirty train out of Washington and should be here any
moment. [_Listens._] At the Colony? I'll tell him the minute he
comes in. [_Hangs up._]

[_In a moment the door opens_, PRESCOTT _stands in the doorway,
with his back turned, speaking to the_ BISHOP.]

PRESCOTT. I'll be with you in a minute, James. [_Enters and shuts
the door._]

LUCILLE. Oh, Mr. Prescott! You had a good trip, I hope?

PRESCOTT. No. It wasn't very good.

LUCILLE. Oh, I'm sorry! And it spoiled your weekend, too.

PRESCOTT. Spoiled everything. Well, it can't be helped. Anything
need my attention here?

LUCILLE. It's been very quiet. Your wife telephoned. She said she'd
be at the Colony Club, and would you 'phone her there.

PRESCOTT. All right. Is that all?

LUCILLE. That's about all.

PRESCOTT. How long has Bishop Holden been waiting?

LUCILLE. About an hour.

PRESCOTT. What does he want?

LUCILLE. He didn't say.

PRESCOTT. Why didn't you tell him I couldn't see him today?

LUCILLE. He said he'd go to your house if he couldn't see you here,
so I ...

PRESCOTT. Can't I get any protection around here? You could have
said I was out of town for the weekend.

LUCILLE. I didn't think of that.

PRESCOTT. You never think of anything.--Send him in.

[LUCILLE _goes out_; BISHOP _enters._]

BISHOP. Seeing you brings back old times.

PRESCOTT. I'm glad to see you, James. Although [_Looks at watch._]
If you'd let me know I might have kept myself free....

BISHOP. I won't keep you long.

PRESCOTT. Sit down.

BISHOP. Stanley, I'm in trouble. I've come to you for help.

PRESCOTT. [_Wary._] I needn't tell you that anything in my power ...

BISHOP. You're a business man.

PRESCOTT. When there is business.

BISHOP. You believe in our American system of government.

PRESCOTT. Certainly, certainly. The system we did have.

BISHOP. So do I. Sincerely. I have the deepest, profoundest faith
in our democracy.

PRESCOTT. [_Impatient with the other's irrelevancy._] The world
has not yet found anything better.

BISHOP. But unless we do something it won't last beyond our
generation.

PRESCOTT. Nonsense.

BISHOP. Social unrest is growing. Young people, in their enforced
idleness, are turning away from all that we have taught them.

PRESCOTT. [_Annoyed._] Come, James. That isn't what you came to see
me about.

BISHOP. It is.

PRESCOTT. You have been reading sensational papers. Of course a
depression gives the radicals a chance to spread their doctrines.
But there isn't any cause for worry. Prosperity is always a sure
cure for radicalism. And things are picking up.

BISHOP. You are probably under the common delusion that all
radicals are wild-eyed foreigners.

PRESCOTT. [_Bitter in his thoughts_.] If it wasn't for this foolery
at Washington ...

BISHOP. So was I. But I find they are not.

PRESCOTT. We should all have been out of the slump long ago.

BISHOP. Many of them--the young ones--are good American stock.

PRESCOTT. The Administration proclaims its adherence to the profit
system....

BISHOP. They have education, in some cases, background, but
unfortunately no experience.

PRESCOTT.... and at the same time it insists on unfair competition
with private enterprise.

BISHOP. As long as such men remain idle ...

PRESCOTT. So how can private capital be expected to make
commitments?

BISHOP. I don't know.

PRESCOTT. But don't you agree?

BISHOP. Perfectly.

PRESCOTT. Surely, James, the depression did not hit you personally?

BISHOP. In unexpected ways, Stanley--in most unexpected ways.

PRESCOTT. On the contrary, the Church should have benefited. People
in misfortune turn to religion.

BISHOP. But with empty pockets. However, I am not complaining for
the Church. It is my son I am worried about.

PRESCOTT. Ah, yes. Kenneth. An agreeable fellow, Kenneth.

BISHOP. Of the six years he's been out of college he has worked
only four months. Think of it.

PRESCOTT. Is he married?

BISHOP. No.

PRESCOTT. That's fortunate.

BISHOP. Perhaps. If he were married and had a dependent wife and
children he might get architectural work in a government slum
clearance project.

PRESCOTT. Exactly what I was talking about. The sooner the
government turns the building industry back to private enterprise
the better.

BISHOP. Kenneth's situation is tragic. He is a mature man, long
overdue to take a man's full place in the world.

PRESCOTT. [_Impatient._] Yes, I know--I know.

BISHOP. Yet he is classed as a dependent child.

PRESCOTT. Well, aren't you able to take care of him?

BISHOP. I have kept him from starving.

PRESCOTT. You realize, of course, that he is better off than many.

BISHOP. Keeping him alive is not the point. It is not enough. His
spirit is crushed, his education unused, his manhood wasted. He is
ambitious, wants to work, to establish a home of his own. He is
strong, and he is capable.

PRESCOTT. Yes, yes, I understand. I deplore the waste. It is
shameful. But in any event, these conditions won't last much
longer.

BISHOP. They have lasted a long time.

PRESCOTT. Yes, longer than they should.--I wish I could help you,
James, but I cannot.

BISHOP. I want you to give Kenneth a job, Stanley.

PRESCOTT. If I could, I assure you.

BISHOP. Any job. Anything that will make him feel useful and keep
him occupied.--Surely in an organization like yours ...

PRESCOTT. At the moment we are doing no building whatever. One or
two small projects; and a mere skeleton staff to keep my
organization.

BISHOP. I saw in the papers ...

PRESCOTT. That I am interested in the mass production of fabricated
houses. Yes!--And men associated with me are ready to launch
large-scale production as soon as we are assured of freedom from
competition with cheap government money and cheap government labor.

BISHOP. Then, surely ...

PRESCOTT. I have just returned empty-handed from a bunch of
half-baked theorists who are heading us into socialism and calling
it democracy!

BISHOP. With a view to your project going through, could you not
take Kenneth on?

PRESCOTT. Impossible. My small staff has already done all the
preparation that needs to be done. My hands are tied till these
socialists in Washington are out.

BISHOP. But has not business been given a breathing spell?

PRESCOTT. I don't sell hot dogs. I build houses. People don't
consume houses during a breathing spell.--I tell you I could put a
capital of twenty millions at work tomorrow if we were guaranteed
that in ten years, or even twenty years, we could get our money
back.

BISHOP. But what do you fear? You just said you did not fear a
revolution.

PRESCOTT. I don't. I fear the continuance of what we already have.
Stagnation and semi-socialism.

BISHOP. When could you give my boy a job?

PRESCOTT. When a sound administration goes into power at
Washington.

BISHOP. I don't dare to make him wait.

PRESCOTT. Then you must continue to take care of him.

BISHOP. It is not the cost of his living. He needs work. I can't
provide that. You could, if you would.

PRESCOTT. Believe me, I would if I could.

BISHOP. You understand that the salary ...

PRESCOTT. James, I know that your son is a capable young man and I
would like to have him here with me. But I can't make a job for a
man when I have nothing for him to do.

BISHOP. You, must, Stanley. I can afford to support him, but he
refuses to accept support from me any longer.

PRESCOTT. Well?

BISHOP. If you will give him a job, I will recompense you for his
salary.

PRESCOTT. [_Shocked._] You can't mean that.

BISHOP. I do mean it.

PRESCOTT. I am surprised, James--that a man of your principles and
profession ...

BISHOP. I am in a very grievous dilemma.

PRESCOTT. I am sorry, but I can't do it. It is neither ethical nor
wise.

BISHOP. I don't know whether it is wise or not. But I know my son
is desperate. I know I have got to do something. I can't see that
fine boy going about lost and unwanted, with no place in the world.
I can't see my son turning to Communism--and helping to pull down
not only your temples of money, but my House of God.

PRESCOTT. I am very sorry. I can't do what you ask.

BISHOP. If your plans go through, you would have a place for him?

PRESCOTT. [_Impatiently._] Yes, yes.

BISHOP. Then until they do--for my sake, Stanley. For old times'
sake. Because we were classmates.

PRESCOTT. But it's damned unethical! Do you realize  ...
[_Telephone rings._] Hello!--Oh, hello, dear ... Yes, I am just
leaving. I'll be there in a few minutes. [BISHOP _takes out
checkbook and writes._] I don't like this.

BISHOP. The ethical sin will be wholly mine. You don't know what
it'll mean to my boy to be associated with your firm; you don't
know what it'll mean to the girl. He's been engaged to her for
three years.

PRESCOTT. I don't like it.

BISHOP. It means new life for two young people, life for them in
our way of life. This check, Stanley, is for twelve hundred
dollars. Pay Kenneth twenty-five dollars a week. When your plans go
through, pay him whatever he's worth to you.

PRESCOTT. It's damned unethical.

BISHOP. There is a greater righteousness than business ethics.
[_Protesting still_, PRESCOTT _takes the check._] Good-bye,
Stanley--God bless you. [BISHOP _goes._]

[PRESCOTT _stands regarding check a moment, then rings,_ LUCILLE
_enters_.]

PRESCOTT. Take a letter. Mr. Kenneth Holden. You have his address
on file. Dear Kenneth: Sometime ago you came in to inquire if I
could find a place for you. I am glad to tell you that there is a
vacancy here now, and if you are still looking for something the
place is yours. The work will be ... [_Pause._] to develop the
interesting plans you spoke to me about, pending possible use of
them in the future.... [_Pause._] The salary will be small to start
with, twenty-five dollars a week. Paragraph. You can begin work at
any time....

CURTAIN



ACT II

_A few months later. The hour is dusk. A basement apartment lower
than street level. There are four doors, one leading in from the
street, one leading to a back yard, one to a kitchen, another to a
bedroom. The room is large and serves as a combined living room and
place of business for a dog specialist. Some of the furniture of
the old place is here. There is a shelf displaying packages of dog
biscuit, muzzles, etc. The walls are decorated with pictures of
dogs and glaring advertisements of dog goods, especially
insecticides. There is a large homemade sign_:

_I CLIP, TRIM, PLUCK, WASH AND EXTERMINATE._

_At one side is Martin's sketching table, and on wall near it some
of his drawings._

TIPPY _is kneeling on the floor beside a wash-tub, bathing a
terrier. He talks to it gently, soothingly, all through following
scene._

MARTIN, _with a green eyeshade, is working on a sketch under a
table lamp._

_During scene_ TIPPY _takes dog out of tub and begins drying him
with a Turkish towel. Has large stack of clean folded towels
and uses one after the other_.

MARTIN. [_As he sketches._] Your persistent love of Class of '29
reunions seems to me more admirable than politic.

TIPPY. It will go off all right if you refrain from talking
politics.

MARTIN. As if I were the only member of the Unholy Six with a
capacity to make faux pas!

TIPPY. You have tact and tolerance--when you choose to use them.

MARTIN. Thanks.

TIPPY. The fact that you and Ted still manage to live under the
same roof proves that.

MARTIN. That poor devil would win the compassion of Hitler
himself--with three Jewish grandmothers!

TIPPY. Well? If you can put up with Ted, who never did a lick of
work in his life, why quarrel with Ken who is now a true worker,
being duly exploited by a wicked capitalist?

MARTIN. Who said I'd quarrel with him?

TIPPY. You will.

MARTIN. All right. You referee.

TIPPY. If he high-hats you with his success I'll tell him that
you've sold a drawing to the _New Yorker_ and you can high-hat him
back.

MARTIN. Lay off that _New Yorker_ stuff.

TIPPY. Sensitive?

MARTIN. Don't be an ass. It's unimportant, that's all.

TIPPY. Eighty dollars--unimportant?

MARTIN. [_Lays aside drawing, removes eyeshade and rises._] You've
got me wrong if you think I've any qualms about a reunion with our
blissfully-wed bourgeois comrades. Where I doubt your horse sense
is in inviting Kate.

TIPPY. You can't ask a bride to attend a stag party with four men!

MARTIN. I could have dug up some other female as a shock-absorber.

TIPPY. Listen, son: a man can be a revolutionist and still mix
socially with the White Guard. But a female revolutionist must
either assassinate them or seduce them.

MARTIN. [_Good-naturedly._] Go to hell.

TIPPY. I invited Kate because she is Laura's friend.

MARTIN. She was Laura's friend.

TIPPY. Rats!

MARTIN. In view of recent changes in social status, are you sure
that Kate is still on the calling list of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth
Holden?

TIPPY. You're talking awful rot.

MARTIN. Maybe you know Ken better than I do.

TIPPY. Hell, he isn't a prig.

MARTIN. Another thing: What makes you so sure Ted will enjoy being
put on social display in his frayed clothes alongside a lady
gorgeously arrayed in the price of her shame?

TIPPY. The very fact that Ted is so shabby will make it less
obvious that Kate is still--[_Pause._]--helping him.

MARTIN. Kate is really showing remarkable restraint. I'd have
expected her to squeeze enough out of a mink coat to dress Ted up a
bit.

[_All this time_ TIPPY _has been wiping dog with one towel after
another. He now gets up and leads dog to yard._]

TIPPY. Now I must hang Itzy out to dry.

MARTIN. God, haven't you dried that cur enough?

TIPPY. Him must be ventilated so him will smell sweet. Him's mama
rubs her nose in him and her is very particular. [_He goes out with
dog_. MARTIN _begins picking up the strewn array of used towels_,
TIPPY _comes back._] Thanks, old man. [_Takes the towels._] Want to
dump the tub for me? [MARTIN _carries tub into kitchen,_ TIPPY
_continues cleaning up_. TED _enters with_ KATE. _She is richly
dressed and has the mink coat_, TED _has on a complete new outfit:
suit, hat shoes, topcoat. Everything. The coat is gray; suit
brown; hat gray. And there is a price tag on tail of overcoat._
TIPPY _stares in astonishment._] Do my eyes deceive me?

KATE. Hello, flea-killer.--How do you like it?

TIPPY. I must have slept a few years.

[TED _removes coat and lays it on table with hat._]

KATE. Slept?

TIPPY. It looks to me like the Republican Party is back in power.

[MARTIN _re-enters. He stops in astonishment._]

MARTIN. Hello.

KATE. Hello, Communist. [_Indicates_ TED.] Does seeing Ted decently
dressed make you see red?

MARTIN. [_Surveying_ TED'S _clothes._] No, indeed. The true
_Communist_ loves beauty and prosperity. His distinction is that he
insists on both for everybody.

KATE. Well, I know you are prospering. I saw your drawing in the
_New Yorker_.

MARTIN. I let them have it at half price just to get it where you
would see it.

TIPPY. [_Confidentially to_ KATE.] Half price in the _New Yorker_
would be triple price in the _New Masses._ But selling to the _New
Yorker_ is the latest orders from the Comintern. It's the new plan
for boring from within.

KATE. [_Impressed._] Oh! Is it?

TED. [_To_ MARTIN, _who is still surveying him._] Does it fit all
right?

MARTIN. Perfectly.

KATE. [_Indicating_ TED.] Honest, Tippy, what do you think of it?

TIPPY. What should I think? What would anybody think?

KATE. He looks nice, doesn't he?

TED. [_Trying to seem nonchalant, although he is obviously trying
to justify himself._] I dropped by to remind Kate about the party.

KATE. And I inveigled him into a shop. Isn't it worth it?
Transforms him. Ted wears clothes so well.

TIPPY. Agreed. The man makes the clothes. Martin in that outfit
would look like an Oklahoma Indian who'd just struck oil.

KATE. Ted hasn't any business to look shabby. It's all right for
Martin, but Ted just looks pathetic.

MARTIN. The only reason I don't wear good clothes is because I
spill soup on them.

KATE. [_Puts hat on_ TED'S _head._] Now, tell me, do you really
like the hat?

TIPPY. It's O.K.--Is he to wear it in the house?

TED. [_Removes hat_.] I feel the hat is not quite right.

KATE. He wanted a brown hat. But _I_ thought gray was smarter.

TED. Brown would have suited me better.

MARTIN. I'm not up much on sartorial etiquette. Is the hat supposed
to match the coat or the suit?

TED. There is no arbitrary rule about it. Brown is a better color
for me.

TIPPY. [_Looks at watch._] If we're going to have any party, I'd
better clear up my work. I have a delivery to make now. [_Goes to
yard._]

KATE. If you want to change the hat, darling, go ahead. The store's
open until seven.

TED. Are you sure you wouldn't mind?

TIPPY. [_Re-enters from yard, carrying small dog in his arms._]
Didn't realize it was getting so late. I'll be back as soon as I
can. [_He goes._]

KATE. I think, Ted, that gray gives your face more life, [TED _puts
hat on again, and surveys himself before the mirror_, KATE _views
him in critical admiration, readjusts his hat several times, and
stands off to contemplate her man_. MARTIN _watches them both, then
inspired, takes pencil and cardboard and begins to sketch._] Brown
is unutterably drab. It does the most terrible things to me. Put it
a little more forward. There--_I_ think that's stunning, Ted.

TED. This time of year the hat and coat would be seen together more
than the hat and suit.

KATE. That's right.--Put the coat on again, [TED _puts coat on
again, and poses with both hat and coat before the mirror._] I
don't know. Perhaps you're right.--If you really want to change the
hat, go ahead.

[_They continue posing_, KATE _angling the hat, etc., till_ MARTIN
_calls_ TED. _There has been a low knock._ MARTIN _turns his
sketch face down and opens the door. A middle-aged woman enters._]

CASE WORKER. Does Theodore Brooks live here?

MARTIN. Yes.

[_She walks in._]

CASE WORKER. Are you Mr. Brooks?

MARTIN. No.

CASE WORKER. Well, is he in?

MARTIN. Yes.

CASE WORKER. Please call him.

MARTIN. Hi, Ted! [TED _turns and_ CASE WORKER _looks at him. He
shows no recognition and does not start over._] This lady is
calling on you.

[TED _comes slowly, taking off his hat; he is still wearing the
coat._]

CASE WORKER. [_Impatiently._] I asked to see Theodore Brooks.

TED. Yes?

CASE WORKER. You are not Brooks.

TED. Yes. That's my name.

CASE WORKER. Theodore Brooks?--You!

TED. [_Uncomfortably._] What do you want, madam?

CASE WORKER. I am a case worker on relief applications.

TED. Oh!

CASE WORKER. Someone giving the name of Theodore Brooks and this
address applied for relief.

TED. Yes.

CASE WORKER. Did _you_ make that application?

TED. Yes.

CASE WORKER. Why?

TED. [_Squirming._] The usual reason--I suppose.

[_There is a pause in which one expects almost anything to
happen._]

CASE WORKER. [_With restraint._] Very well. I must ask you a few
questions. [_Her antagonism is felt all through._]

TED. I'll try to answer them. [_Desperately._] I needed relief or I
wouldn't have applied for it.

CASE WORKER. You feel you still need relief?

TED. I do.

CASE WORKER. Well ... Well, we'll go ahead. I have to fill my
records. Your name is Theodore Brooks.

[_She sits at table to fill out blanks_, TED _stands._]

TED. That's right.

CASE WORKER. Age?

TED. Twenty-eight.

CASE WORKER. Where born?

TED. New York City.

CASE WORKER. When?

TED. Twenty-eight years ago.

CASE WORKER. No, no, the date!

TED. March 20, 1907.

CASE WORKER. Father's name?

TED. Nathaniel Brooks.

CASE WORKER. His birthplace?

TED. New York City.

CASE WORKER. His ancestry?

TED. The Pilgrim fathers.

CASE WORKER. Your mother's name?

TED. Susan Cartwright, born in Philadelphia. Her ancestors,
American Quakers.

CASE WORKER. [_Writing fast._] Wait a minute.--Both parents living?

TED. Both dead.

CASE WORKER. Brothers and sisters?

TED. None.

CASE WORKER. What other close kin?

TED. I have one uncle and two aunts.

CASE WORKER. Do they live in New York City?

TED. It happens that none of them does.

CASE WORKER. Then we don't need them.

MARTIN. Pardon me, but how far in kinship does the responsibility
go?

CASE WORKER. It depends. We can't force uncles and aunts to
contribute, but we sometimes give them the opportunity to do so.
However, this doesn't look like a kin folks case. And now, young
man, just what is your occupation?

TED. I haven't any. That's my trouble.

CASE WORKER. No occupation? You're not a minor. For adults
occupation must be stated.

TED. Very well, I am a collector.

CASE WORKER. By what firms have you been employed?

TED. None.

CASE WORKER. Then how can you be a collector?

TED. You said I must have an occupation.

CASE WORKER. You are not helping me by lying and you may get
yourself into trouble.

MARTIN. Is it the first time you ever ran into a man, who needed
relief, not because he had worked, but because he hadn't?

CASE WORKER. [_Snappily._] I didn't prepare those blanks, but I
have to fill them out. One can have an occupation, like
stenography, when trained for it, even though they have never been
employed.

TED. All right, put that down and go ahead.

CASE WORKER. Stenography?

TED. No, collecting.

CASE WORKER. But collectors aren't trained. One has to have worked
at that.

TED. Then say I worked as a collector for my father.

CASE WORKER. What business was he in?

TED. He was retired.

CASE WORKER. Then what did you collect for him?

TED. First editions.

CASE WORKER. Please talk sense.

MARTIN. Books. A book collector.

CASE WORKER. You mean, a bookkeeper?

TED. [_Bitterly._] We kept them as long as we could. My father died
during the Wall Street panic. He'd gone bankrupt. Since you want to
know how I lived, I lived for some time by selling my father's
books.

CASE WORKER. [_Writing._] Then you lived without working, on
property that you inherited?

TED. Yes, till that source was exhausted.

CASE WORKER. When was that?

TED. Some time ago.

CASE WORKER. You must be definite.

TED. Then say two years ago.

CASE WORKER. You sold _all_ your father's books?

TED. I still have the family Bible, a set of Shakespeare with the
marginal notations made by father while he was at Oxford, and a few
others.

CASE WORKER. How much do you consider those books worth?

TED. I consider them invaluable.

CASE WORKER. But you must set a value upon them.

TED. Why?

CASE WORKER. Because if you own anything worth two hundred dollars
you are not eligible for relief.

TED. I have nothing worth that to anybody but me.

CASE WORKER. You say you quit selling these books about two years
ago.

TED. Yes.

CASE WORKER. How have you lived since then?

TED. Chiefly on borrowed money.

CASE WORKER. From whom did you borrow the money?

TED. From friends.

CASE WORKER. You have very prosperous friends?

TED. I had some prosperous friends.

CASE WORKER. You are extremely well-dressed for an applicant for
relief.

MARTIN. Let me explain that. We were to have a little dinner party
tonight ...

CASE WORKER. And he bought a new outfit for this dinner.--Hasn't
even had time to remove the price tags.--Do you mind removing your
coat?

TED. [_Takes it off_.] I was about to take it off. I'd just come
in.

CASE WORKER. [_She rises and looks at maker's label in coat._] H'm.
Madison Avenue. [_Noses his suit at close range._] And the suit is
better than the coat.--This is the best I've run into yet.
Expensive suit and coat; new shoes; matched accessories. Not much
left of a hundred dollar bill, was there?--But I suppose your rich
uncle died _since_ you applied for relief?

MARTIN. Look here, couldn't a man ...

CASE WORKER. Certainly he could, and many do, apply for relief just
to get a little side graft from the government.

TED. [_Desperately, humiliated._] I applied for relief because I
wanted a job; because the only way to get a job is to go on relief
first. I haven't anything. I have no source of income.

CASE WORKER. [_Sarcastic._] No income, but plenty of money? I
understand!

MARTIN. I was about to explain ...

CASE WORKER. [_Shortly._] You needn't. You can't bamboozle me. It's
most unfortunate, isn't it, that I caught him unawares? Had he
known I was coming he'd undoubtedly have dressed more correctly for
the role of a relief applicant.

KATE. Oh, how dare you?

CASE WORKER. Our instructions are to report in detail on every
application, and particularly on those that appear fraudulent.
[_Fully formidable._] Now, Mr. Brooks. Will you answer truthfully?
Have you any means of support that you have not acknowledged?

TED. No. I have not.

CASE WORKER. [_Rising, leaves report lying on table._] Then perhaps
you will explain how you got those clothes?

KATE. [_Who has had great difficulty keeping still._] I bought
those clothes for him. Now are you satisfied?

CASE WORKER. And who are you?

KATE. A friend.

CASE WORKER. So--it's _that_ kind of a deal. I wondered who you
were.

MARTIN. [_Angry._] Does that go in your report?

CASE WORKER. Yes, that will go in my report.

MARTIN. The lady's name and address, I suppose--and whether she is
married or single?

CASE WORKER. You needn't be sarcastic.

MARTIN. And if she is married, do you notify the husband?

CASE WORKER. I don't think there is any ruling on that.

[KATE, _unseen, gets hold of report and holds it behind her._]

KATE. Well, what will happen in this case?

CASE WORKER. I don't know. I shall turn in my report.

KATE. Oh no you won't. Not _this_ report! [_She tears and crumples
it._].

CASE WORKER. How dare you?

KATE. Get out!

CASE WORKER. I'll report you.

KATE. You haven't got my name and address yet.

CASE WORKER. I'll send the chief investigator here.

MARTIN. Madam, you will do nothing of the sort. Or I'll report you.

CASE WORKER. You will? To whom?

MARTIN. To a New York newspaper which would just love the story of
a noble case worker and how well she works her cases.

CASE WORKER. The impudence!

MARTIN. And your picture. I always illustrate my own stories, and I
can draw your face from memory.

CASE WORKER. [_Whining._] But I must turn in some kind of a report.

MARTIN. You lost it! And Uncle Sam forgot it. It's only one of ten
million. [_He escorts her to door._]

CASE WORKER. [_As she storms out._] I ought to report the whole lot
of you to the police.

KATE. [_As she further reduces the crumpled report to fragments and
tosses them into wastebasket._]. I don't know how I managed to keep
still as long as I did. I wanted to choke her.

TED. I'm sorry I ever made the application.

KATE. Why did you do it?

TED. It was so long ago, I thought they'd forgotten it.

MARTIN. Hang it, I shouldn't have lost my temper. I approve of
relief. You should be on relief, Ted--of course you should.

TED. It was these clothes.

MARTIN. That's tough luck. That angel of mercy should have seen you
yesterday. She would have adored that hole in your elbow.

KATE. Did you really want to be on relief?

TED. I need a job. The government will give one a job, but only if
he goes on relief first.

MARTIN. That's it. First you go broke, then you go hungry. Then you
beg, then you take charity. Then you rake leaves--then the
taxpayers raise hell, and throw the rascals out to save the
Constitution.

KATE. [_To_ MARTIN.] Does a man get work as soon as he gets on
relief?

MARTIN. If he's a skilled worker, perhaps. But they can't invent
work fast enough. Many are still on straight relief.

KATE. That woman was vile. How do people stand it?

MARTIN. They stand it because an empty stomach growls louder than
insulted pride.

KATE. We could report her. We could go over her head to some
responsible official.

MARTIN. They have a rigid system to prevent that.

KATE. No harm in trying.

TED. No! I won't go near that place again.

MARTIN. You're entitled to relief as much as anyone is.

KATE. Yes, Ted. If you really want it....

TED. I don't want it. I don't even want to think about it.

MARTIN. There are plenty of fine people on relief. After all, what
is relief? Relief is ...

TED. Relief! Relief! Relief!--I don't want to hear that word again!
[_He starts to door._]

KATE. Ted! Where are you going?

TED. I am going to change my hat. [_He goes out._]

KATE. I wish I knew what Ted really wants.

MARTIN. Money.

KATE. I've given him money. He hates me and he hates himself
because of it.

MARTIN. Naturally. The transaction hasn't been according to Hoyle.
Now if Ted were a Georgian Prince, and your grandpa had started the
ten-cent stores, it would be a different matter. There'd be
grandeur in it; intrigue, romance, finance--something to write up
for the Sunday papers. But room rent and a suit of clothes ...
that's shoddy. It's got to be Rolls Royces and polo ponies or
nothing.

KATE. Oh shut up. Do you think I like the situation? But I can't
see him starve.

MARTIN. Damn that woman! If he could have got a job ...

KATE. [_With sudden determination._] All right. If he wants a job,
I'll get him a job.

MARTIN. How?

KATE. By asking for it. How do you suppose? I'll go right now,
before I lose my nerve. [_She powders nose before pocket mirror_.']

MARTIN. You were smart to dress him up first. Those clothes should
spell the diff between wages and a salary.

KATE. I'll take anything I can get for him.

TIPPY. [_Enters._] Well, I'm back.... Where's our Beau Brummel?

KATE. He went to change his hat.

TIPPY. That's good. [_Crosses to yard._] Bet you never looked at
Itzy. [_Goes out to yard._]

MARTIN. [_As_ KATE _puts on fur coat._] Funny time of day, Kate, to
start out to get a man a job.

KATE. That depends on whom you have to see to get it.

MARTIN. What's it to be? Bouncer at the Union League Club?

TIPPY. [_Re-enters from yard._] 'Im still smells a eetle bit
soapy.--Kate! Where are you going? Ken and Laura will be here any
minute.

KATE. Sorry, Tippy. I got my dates mixed. But I'll be back. Only
don't wait dinner for me. [_She goes._]

TIPPY. Now what the hell? Where's she going?

MARTIN. You can't tell. She works irregular hours.

TIPPY. But she promised to be here for dinner. Isn't her soul her
own?

MARTIN. Hadn't you heard she'd sold it?

TIPPY. [_Glumly._] That's a hell of a note.--I hope Ted gets back
in time. I don't want my dinner party spoiled.

MARTIN. He'll be back.

TIPPY. He looked nifty in the new clothes, didn't he? Laura will
like them.

MARTIN. Let's hope she doesn't say too much about them.

TIPPY. She'll be too busy telling you what a fine husband she has.

MARTIN. And her husband will tell me what a fine job he has, and
all about the sweet spirit of loyalty that exists in that wonderful
corporation. [_Stops to light cigarette._] Jesus, Tippy, if
prosperity really does come back, life is going to be an awful bore
for us revolutionists.

[_There is a knock_, TIPPY _goes and lets_ KEN _and_ LAURA _in.
They are happy and gay and terribly in love. She can hardly keep
her hands from caressing him. She finds threads to flick off his
sleeve and must straighten his tie._]

LAURA. [_Embracing_ TIPPY.] YOU dear!

KEN. Hello--hello.

LAURA. Hello, Martin,--you still a Communist?

MARTIN. And how!

LAURA. [_To_ TIPPY.] Are Kate and Ted going to be here too?

TIPPY. You bet!

LAURA. Oh, how grand! It's going to be like old times.

KEN. [_Tolerantly._] For anyone who so hated those times, Laura, I
must say ...

LAURA. [_Positively._] They were good times.--Except that you
wouldn't have me.

KEN. I was an idiot.

LAURA. Such a charming idiot.

MARTIN. Looks as if you maybe like that fellow.

LAURA. Mm. A little bit.

KEN. She won't admit it, but she likes me a lot.

MARTIN. I'll be hanged if I see why.

LAURA. It's a mystery to me, too.

TIPPY. And after all this time!

LAURA. It's queer, isn't it? Often I look at him and I say why, out
of all the millions of men--handsome men, brilliant men, wealthy
men--did I fall in love with him?

MARTIN. And when you might have had me!

TIPPY. [_With a terrible yowl._] Oh, sweet mystery of life ...

KEN. My God!

TIPPY. I won't even ask how things are! You look so damned all
right.

LAURA. On two salaries and no babies, who wouldn't? May I lend you
the price of a rented Tuxedo so you can come to dinner without
embarrassing our butler?

KEN. Yeah--when we get the bedroom set paid for we're going to
exchange the radio for a Cadillac.

LAURA. Oh, Martin! If you have any original drawings unsold, just
name your price. All we have on the walls now is the Horse Fair and
the Last Supper. But mind you--art only, no propaganda.

MARTIN. I'll do a charcoal of the Palisades for you.

LAURA. I forbid it. They're an invitation to suicide.

TIPPY. He'll draw the Palisades from the bottom looking up. That's
an invitation to climb.

KEN. There's a lot in the point of view!

LAURA. Good! Climbing is much more fun than jumping off!

KEN. All one needs is a toehold to get started.

TIPPY. I say, Ken, so you feel really started now?

KEN. I sure do.

TIPPY. That's great!

MARTIN. When you get to the top, don't push anyone off.

TIPPY. There is plenty of room on top of the Palisades.

MARTIN. You've stacked the analogy on me. Most mountains don't have
flat tops.

KEN. Ah, hell, Martin, you're just being stubborn. Kate showed us
your drawing in the _New Yorker_.

LAURA. We liked it a lot.

KEN. That's your toehold. When you've sold them six you'll be back
to pink socialism. And soon you'll be mailing things to the
_Saturday Evening Post_--and signing them!

LAURA. Don't rub it in, dear.

KEN. I'm not rubbing it in. I was once as radical as Martin.

TIPPY. Ken, Ken--don't exaggerate. As an architect, you must keep
your perspective.

KEN. I was ready to go to Russia, wasn't I?

MARTIN. Oh yeah!

KEN. I used to get sore as a pup when people said a man was radical
only because he was unemployed. But it's true. I know because I've
lived through it. A man's political views are colored by his
situation.

MARTIN. [_Shouting with laughter._] Hey! Don't plagiarize Marx.

KEN, Marx?

MARTIN. Karl Marx; you're stealing his thunder. That's what the man
wrote his big book about. Only--you see it for one man and a few
months. Marx saw it for all humanity for all time.

LAURA. They're at it again. The dear little schoolboys.--Tippy, how
does one make them grow up?

TIPPY. Opinions differ. Bobby Benson says Mother's Oats and Buck
Rogers says Cocomalt. What do you give Ken for breakfast?

KEN. I say, what's Ted doing?

TIPPY. About the same.

KEN. Still looking for book bargains?

TIPPY. They get harder and harder to sell.

KEN. The trouble with you fellows is you encourage Ted in his
weakness. Someone ought to put it to him straight. The man doesn't
realize where he's drifting.

MARTIN. Yes--well--that's his business.

KEN. You fellows are afraid to talk to him.

LAURA. What is there to say to him?

KEN. Say to him? Say to him that the least he could do is to apply
for relief work.

MARTIN. [_Pointedly._] Ken, you're welcome to your opinion. But I'd
advise you not to say anything to Ted about relief.

KEN. Why not? There's no disgrace in relief work. You'd be
surprised how many ...

MARTIN. [_Shortly._] We know as many nice people on relief as you
do.

KEN. I said relief work, not relief.

MARTIN. What's the difference?

LAURA. Why, Martin, there's a big difference!

MARTIN. Sure there is. Plain reliefers can sit on the benches.
Relief workers have shovels to lean on. It's a true class
distinction.

KEN. There are lots of loafers and piddling projects,--but the
government's also doing some big jobs, some real construction work.

TIPPY. Martin wrote a song about that.

LAURA. Really? Have you turned composer, Martin?

MARTIN. Just some new words on an old tune.

LAURA. Oh, let's hear it.

MARTIN. After dinner.

LAURA. No, I can't wait. You sing it for us now, then after dinner
we can all sing it. [_She picks up guitar and thrusts it at him_.]
Come on, Lyric Writer, tune up.

KEN. [_Tolerantly._] Sure let's hear it.

MARTIN. [_Singing._]
        Then little Andy Lang of the Lake Shore gang
        Said, "Boys, you know I'm countin'
        Each day and week until I see

ALL.    The Big Rock Candy Mountain."

MARTIN. Oh the Big Rock Candy Mountain
        Stands on a plain of bread.
        Our Uncle's got to feed us
        Or soon we'll all be dead.
        The more and more he feeds us
        The sooner we'll be red
        So serve the soup
        With a great big whoop
        And promise pie
        Up in the sky
        On the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

ALL.    Oh the Big Rock Candy Mountain

MARTIN. Belongs to Uncle Sam.
        To move the great big mountain
        Will take a million men.
        So come on with your tooth picks
        And bring your fountain pen.
        Go easy, don't jerk;
        We gotta make work.
        It'll take more moons
        If we use small spoons
        To move that great big mountain.

[_On the last verse_ TIPPY _has gone to yard and he is
now back with Itzy on a leash._]

TIPPY. On with the concert while I take Itzy home. I won't be long.
Itzy lives near.

MARTIN. Say, let me take Itzy home while you start dinner.

TIPPY. Right you are. I forgot a dinner has to be cooked before it
can be eaten.

MARTIN. Any shopping to do?

TIPPY. Oh, that's right. I'll have to go myself.

KEN. He also forgot a dinner has to be bought before it can be
cooked.

LAURA. Something tells me I'd better look into this menu.

TIPPY. I'm having tomato soup, and I'm going to make bran muffins.
And there are pork chops.

LAURA. Pork chops in 1935! That's extravagant.

MARTIN. He buys them to get the bones for his doggies. The meat we
get is a by-product.

LAURA. O. K. Ken adores shoulder chops.--But what's the salad?

TIPPY. That's just where I stalled. I haven't even bought the
makings.

KEN. [_Taking Itzy's leash._] If you people are going to talk
salad, tell me where this dog lives.

LAURA. No. I see I'll have to go. No salad has been provided and I
don't trust men on salad. Martin, you know where Itzy lives, so
come along and carry the packages. And Tippy, you go light your
oven and mix your muffins.

[LAURA _and_ MARTIN _go with the dog._]

TIPPY. Laura's a peach.

KEN. You don't know how much of a peach.

TIPPY. I'm glad you two've got settled so well.

KEN. I was a fool not to do it before.

TIPPY. Sure you were.

KEN. The trouble was, I'd lost my bearings. Thought I'd never get
out of the woods.

TIPPY. The job look pretty good?

KEN. I guess so.

TIPPY. You don't sound so sure.

KEN. Oh sure, the job's all right.

TIPPY. Prescott a tough customer?

KEN. No. That's just the trouble. He's a queer duck. Half the time
I feel he doesn't know I'm there.

TIPPY. He hired you, didn't he? He pays you, doesn't he? He knows
you're there!

KEN. Of course he isn't ready to use my stuff yet. Just wants me to
work it up.

TIPPY. Sure. That's what he hired you for.

KEN. But, damn it, I've been there several months and ...
[_Laughs._] Maybe the trouble is that I don't have to take orders
from anybody; maybe it's that I don't have to fuss and sweat over
details the way the others do. Maybe that's the trouble. I can work
on my plans in my own sweet way. Maybe that's it. Maybe I'm unhappy
because Prescott doesn't bawl hell out of me the way he does the
others.

TIPPY. That's it. The trouble is you've got it too good!

KEN. That's right. Maybe I've got it too good, [TED _enters. Now
has new hat, brown; better taste, better fit, and more becoming. He
and_ KEN _greet each other with a little restraint._] Hello, Ted.

TED. Hello. You look fine. Married life must agree with you.

KEN. Nothing like it. Married life, _and work_.

TED. Oh yes, work. You do have a job, haven't you?

KEN. Yes, you bet I have.

TED. And a job's a job, even if it falls from the moon.

TIPPY. The moon? Are there capitalists on the moon?

TED. Do all jobs come from capitalists?

TIPPY. Don't they?

TED. Ask Martin. He says there are no capitalists in Russia but
lots of jobs.

KEN. God, are you going Red, Ted?

TIPPY. Ted's not going anywhere, but I'm going to the kitchen to
start the muffins. The rest of the dinner is on the way, Ted. So
lick your chops for a feast.

[_He goes. There is an awkward pause, during which_ TED
_self-consciously removes his coat under_ KEN'S _curious eyes._]

KEN. Nice outfit.

TED. Glad you like it.--Going to be like old times. Regular reunion
of the Class of '29.

KEN. Yes.

[_Pause._]

TED. Where's Laura?

KEN. She's gone out to do some shopping.

TED. Oh. With Kate?

KEN. No. Kate wasn't here.

TED. She was here before.

KEN. She wasn't when we came.

TED. Oh!

KEN. Laura went with Martin.

TED. Shopping?

KEN. That's right.

[_Pause._]

TED. Great to have the whole bunch together again, huh?

KEN. Yes, great.

[_Pause._]

TED. You seem satisfied with your job.

KEN. Hell yes. It's a great job. The salary isn't anything to boast
of--yet. But the future looks like a million. You see, Prescott
didn't hire me for any routine detail. He has men for that. His
object in taking me on was to develop for him my plans for
fabricated housing.

TED. Sounds fine.

KEN. Christ, Ted, do you realize what it means, after you've wasted
years, to get back and do _real_ work?

TED. Must feel _great_.

KEN. Ted, why don't you get a job?

TED. I haven't turned down any.

KEN. But have you been going about it in the right way? Of course I
realize you haven't any real professional training. But you know
the rare books racket. There must be a lot of money in publishing
limited editions. What's wrong with that business?

TED. Unfortunately, the people I know don't consider me a business
man.

KEN. What you are and how you're considered isn't important. It's
the way you go after things.--The trouble with you is you got
started down and just kept on going down.--Oh, I know how that is.
It looked that way for me once. Things were awful.

TED. They've changed for you, haven't they?

KEN. Sure. They've changed for everybody. The whole spirit of the
country has changed. Man, don't you feel it?

TED. I can't say that I do.

KEN. We've turned that famous corner, and it's time for you to wake
up and get out of your rut.

TED. All right. You know how. Suppose you tell me.

KEN. You still think there's something wrong with the world when
your troubles are purely personal.

TED. My troubles are ... All right. What about the other millions
of unemployed?

KEN. They're incompetents. Common laborers and workmen in
industries that died--like soft coal mining. And maybe some
technological unemployment. But you're not in any narrow technical
field. As a matter of fact in not being specialized you actually
have an advantage. All you've got to do is go after things.

TED. Easy to say.

KEN. Easy to do. Part of your trouble is your environment.

TED. My environment?

KEN. Sure. Tippy here is make-shifting--but that's all right. It's
something. Martin's radical, living off his wits. That's not your
style. Neither of them can help you.

TED. They have helped me.

KEN. They've weakened you. For Christ's sake, Ted, snap out of it.
Get away from here. Get away from it all. Make a break. You won't
starve. If you can't get a real job, go on relief.

TED. Relief!

KEN. I know relief isn't pleasant for a man like you. But hell,
it's better than ...

TED. Let's not discuss it.

KEN. It's high time you did discuss it. You can't go on the way
you're doing.

TED. Did I ask for your advice?

KEN. Now don't get sore. I'm trying to help you.

TED. The hell with your help!

KEN. All right. You don't want advice and you won't take it. What
are you going to do? Go on living off Kate forever?

TED. That's my affair.

KEN. It's your affair, but everybody knows it. And everybody knows
what it is. It's the second oldest profession in the world--and the
lousiest one.

TED. [_Wildly._] Drop it, I say!

KEN. You know where Kate gets her money and how she earns it.--And
you know what that makes you.

[_With an inarticulate cry_, TED _tries to stop him, but_ KEN
_goes on almost in spite of himself_'.] A pimp! That's what it
makes you. A pimp.

TED. Damn you! Damn you!

KEN. It doesn't sound pretty, does it?

TED. Not from you.

KEN. It will sound the same no matter where it comes from.

TED. Not from you.--Because we're in the same boat. We're in the
same boat, do you hear? We're in the same boat!

KEN. [_Contemptuously._] The hell you say!

TED. You'd rather die than accept favors from a woman, wouldn't
you?

KEN. You bet you ...

TED. You'd rather eat Salvation Army bean soup than go on living
off your father, too.

KEN. Sure. So I got out and got a job.

TED. A job. What kind of a job? [_Hysterically._] Who got that job
for you? Who is paying your salary?

KEN. Ah, you're crazy!

TED. I'll tell you who got you that job and I'll tell you who's
paying your salary. Your father.

KEN, You're a god-damned liar.

[MARTIN _and_ LAURA _enter, their arms laden with bundles._]

TED. Prescott is just a go-between. It's your father who's paying
your salary!

LAURA. [_In horror._] Ted!

TED. Ask her. She knows. It was her idea.--If I'm a pimp, what does
that make you? [_Takes his hat and coat, brushes by her and streaks
out._]

KEN. [_Unconvincingly._] He's crazy. He's--crazy.

[_Silence,_ LAURA _leans against the table, as though she had
difficulty in breathing_, TIPPY _enters, apron on, egg beater in
hand._]

TIPPY. Hello. You back? [_Takes groceries._] What's up? [_No
answer._] Where's Ted? [_No answer._]

KEN. [_To_ LAURA.] What are you whimpering about? [_Seizes her by
the arms._] It's true. What he said was true, wasn't it? [_She
tries to speak, but cannot._] Who got my job for me? Who is paying
my salary? Answer me!

LAURA. Your father.

KEN. My father! How could he do such a thing?

LAURA. It was my idea. I--I told him to do it.

KEN. You. You did that to me.

LAURA. I wanted to help you.

KEN. It takes a woman to do a thing like that.

LAURA. I loved you.

KEN. It takes love.--That's what love is. [_He goes to door._]
That's what it does to a man. [_Pause. The room is deathly quiet._]
And when I was a boy I used to wonder why some of the world's
wisest men hung out with whores.

CURTAIN



ACT III


_Same. Several hours later, about 10 P. M._ TED _is sitting in a
corner with a book, but unable to concentrate. He is wretchedly
unhappy and jumpy._

LAURA _paces back and forth._

MARTIN _sits at a table with a pencil, sketching, evidently
using_ TED, _whose face is exposed to him in profile, as a model._

_There is an air of tense, long waiting. Little is said, and then
spoken in quick and jerky tempo, with long pauses_.

LAURA. If I only knew where he was.

MARTIN. He's best alone, wherever he is--until he gets ready to
come home.

[_Silence._]

LAURA. If I knew he was all right!

MARTIN. He's all right.

[_Silence,_ LAURA _sits down apart from the others_, TED _rises and
crosses to her. She does not look at him. He speaks haltingly._]

TED. Laura. Is there anything I can do? I am very sorry, very sorry
it happened.

LAURA. [_Without looking up._] What good does that do now? You did
it.

TED. Yes, I did it. To say that he provoked me till I was crazed
with shame and anger does not undo it. That is true.

LAURA. All right, it's true. What he told you about yourself you
already knew. Everybody knew it. It was nothing but words and made
no real difference in your life. But you told him something about
himself that makes all the difference in the world--and has ruined
his life and mine. [_She rises._]

TED. I admit all that.

LAURA. [_Near hysteria._] Well, then, shut up! [_To escape from him
she goes into kitchen._]

MARTIN. [_Dryly, as he shades drawing._] The lady, it seems, would
have been quite satisfied if you had merely called her husband a
traitor to his country, a robber of blind widows, a bombastic
egotist, a thieving son-of-a-'bitch and a cock-eyed liar.

TED. [_Humorlessly._] It wasn't what I called him. It was what I
told him.

MARTIN. Precisely. The greater the truth the greater the libel. Ken
Holden, you see, wanted to be an adult lion among the little
monkeys, and you informed him that he was still an infant drawing
sustenance from parental sources.

TED. [_Sensing_ MARTIN'S _friendliness approaches him like a
friendless dog._] You understand, don't you, how he provoked me?

MARTIN. Perfectly.

TED. [_Sees sketch._] Why, that's me you're drawing!

MARTIN. Glad you recognized it. Some people don't recognize
themselves in profile.

TED. It's a good profile. The face is good.--But why the uniform?

MARTIN. Clothes make the man. I wanted to see if a uniform would
make a soldier.

TED. I never wore a uniform. I detest them. I'd rather be shot than
wear one.

MARTIN. That's an old Spanish custom.

TED. Spanish?

MARTIN. Custom. To shoot men who do not like to wear uniforms.

TED. But why do you draw me as a soldier? What did I do to suggest
that? What made you do it?

MARTIN. Something in Kate's eyes, while you were posing for her,
suggested it. She seemed to think your outfit lacked something.
Well, what it lacked I have seen on parade grounds at West Point.
There it is. [_Holds up drawing._]

TED. [_Backs away._] Why do you torment me?

MARTIN. I'm sorry. [_He rips cardboard across and throws the halves
into wastebasket._] It had no significance to you personally,
Ted.--It's all of us. All of us who are in the army.

TED. In the army? What are you talking about? We aren't in any
army. We wouldn't go in. Why, half the men you meet say that in a
war they'd be conscientious objectors. The jails wouldn't hold
them.

MARTIN. But the ditches will.

TED. But I tell you ...

MARTIN. They jailed conscientious objectors in the last war. This
time they will shoot them.

TED. Why are you Communists so afraid of war?

MARTIN. We know what starts it.--It's the army, Ted, that makes
war.

TED. But this country hasn't a big standing army.

MARTIN. There are ten millions in it.

TED. You mean the unemployed?

MARTIN. That's the army that makes war these days.

TED. You radicals always say that. I don't agree with you--except
about war. I think you are right about that.

MARTIN. Which is why the American Legion wants to exterminate us.

TED. They want war. But you want revolution. You are against war
and for revolution. That's silly. Just a different kind of war.
You're both wrong. There's no sense in any of you.

MARTIN. That's right. The business men have all the sense. They
know that an army in rags is more dangerous to them than an army in
uniform. So we will wear uniforms. I just tried yours on to see how
it would fit you.

TED. [_Picks up the two halves out of basket and puts them together
and stares at it._] No.--No. I'll never wear one. Never! [_He
crumples drawing and throws it back into basket_, LAURA _comes in
from the kitchen._ TED, _looking for escape, goes into bedroom._]

LAURA. Tippy hasn't telephoned. That means he hasn't found Ken.

MARTIN. Maybe he wants to march the grand monarch in on us.

LAURA. Oh, I hope so.--He ought to be back.... Martin, do you think
Ken will ever forgive me?

MARTIN. Well, you know what Solomon said about the way of a man
with a maid.

LAURA. Don't wise-crack.

MARTIN. I'm only hiding my ignorance behind Solomon's.

LAURA. Do you think Ken _should_ forgive me?

MARTIN. I think he ought to spank you till you'd have to eat off
the mantel for a week, and then take you back to his bed and board
and forget it.

LAURA. If he only would.

TIPPY. [_Enters, looking gloomy._] He hasn't been at the apartment,
Laura.--He hasn't been there and he hasn't 'phoned there.

MARTIN. So that's that.

TIPPY. There were some messages for him. The girl at the
switchboard said a man's voice asked for Ken and then asked for
you. Called a couple of times. Left no name.

LAURA. Maybe I ought to go home?

TIPPY. Would you be any more miserable alone?

LAURA. I couldn't be.

TIPPY. You stay here a while. I gave the girl this address and
number and told her to give it to anyone who called. I also made
her promise that if Ken came in she'd call you here at once.

LAURA. She'll die of curiosity.

TIPPY. Telephone operators develop immunity.

LAURA. You're a dear. Thanks.--But--what shall we do?

TIPPY. There is nothing more we can do until you're ready to notify
the Missing Persons Bureau.

LAURA. Do you think we ought to?

TIPPY. No.--I hate to seem callous to your distress, dear, but
involving the police department at this moment would be a little
premature.

LAURA. But I'm so worried. He might do anything, Tippy.

TIPPY. The chances are he'll do nothing but take a walk.

LAURA. If I only knew ...

TIPPY. And what could you tell the police? Man quarrelled with
wife, left house, has been gone four hours....

LAURA. It seems dreadful, dreadful--just to sit here and not know
anything.

MARTIN. I think I have a hunch.

LAURA. Oh, Martin! Why didn't you say so before?

MARTIN. I only just got the hunch.

LAURA. What? Where?

MARTIN. Now wait a minute. It's only a hunch, and my hunches aren't
so hot. I don't believe in them, you see.

LAURA. But you'll go, won't you? You'll go?

MARTIN. Oh, sure. [_Gets hat._] You stay here with Tippy.

LAURA. [_Grabbing her things._] No. I want to go with you.

MARTIN. Please don't, Laura. I don't know where Ken is. It's just a
mere possibility; an old dump I used to take him to. You stay here.
[_He goes. Just as he closes door_ TED _walks into room._]

TED. Hello, Tippy. You back? [LAURA _gives one look at_ TED,
_grasps wrap and runs out._] She hates me.

TIPPY. Well, there's nothing to do about it, except keep out of her
way.

TED. I shouldn't have come back.

TIPPY. Why not? You live here.

TED. Then why does she stay?

TIPPY. Because she doesn't want to be alone with her thoughts.

TED. You think she feels guilty, too?

TIPPY. Well, what do you think? She tricked Ken into continuing the
thing he'd come to hate most in the world; financial dependence on
his father. She took a big chance, and lost.

TED. It was my fault. I told. I never would have told if he hadn't ...

TIPPY. Never mind. We know what Ken did to you. It was in his
nature to do just that.--His nature was part of the thing Laura
took a chance on too,--and lost.

TED. [_After slight pause._] I suppose it's always hard to
understand the other fellow's troubles. They seem so small compared
with your own.

TIPPY. Circumstances do not excuse crimes, but they do explain
them. [_Pause._] We've all taken plenty. But I'll say this, old
man. If I'm the first member of the Class of '29 to check in at
the big Court House I'll look up the judge and I'll say to him,
"See here, God, when Ted Brooks arrives, don't judge him till you've
looked up his full record. The cards were stacked against that guy
from the start! The rest of us merely needed jobs, but he needed ..."
[_Pauses, not knowing how to finish._]

TED. Thanks, Tippy.

TIPPY. I'll be damned if I know what you do need!

TED. Guts. Guts is what I need.--My health's good enough for
physical labor, but nobody wants me to dig ditches.

TIPPY. Did you ever see a steam shovel at work? I don't say you're
any use to the world or have any right to live in it. But making a
hundred men like you substitute for a steam shovel is plain damn
silly. It's an insult to the steam shovel.

TED. [_With deep, quiet desperation which grows more and more
intense through the following scenes._] What should I do? What was
it intended for me to do?

TIPPY. Live like an aristocrat.

TED. As Martin would say--on the backs of the workers.

TIPPY. The workers don't seem to mind. They didn't throw you off.

TED. No, but who did?

TIPPY. The other guys on the backs of the workers.

TED. No one in particular threw me off.

TIPPY. Then maybe you just fell off. The worker's back is broad,
but it's not broad enough to accommodate all of us.

TED. But you're not a revolutionist?

TIPPY. Hell, no. I'm a dog washer.

[KATE _enters_, _excited, out of breath._]

KATE. Ted--guess what! I've got a job for you!

TED. [_Not believing._] A job? For me?

TIPPY. You mean that?

KATE. I do. It's nothing to brag about, but it's a job.

TIPPY. Private industry or relief?

KATE. [_Indignantly._] Relief? Certainly not. It's real work.

TIPPY. With real money--that's great.

KATE. Oh, it's nothing fancy; but it'll pay enough for Ted to live
better than he has been living.

[TED _doesn't grow enthusiastic, and_ KATE _becomes resentful.
Sensing this_, TIPPY _keeps up the badinage._]

TIPPY. How many questions will you give me to name the job?

KATE. Oh, you'd never guess it.

TIPPY. Come on, Ted, we'll alternate and spot it in ten questions.
I'm first. Is it indoors or out?

KATE. In.

[_They wait for TED's question._]

TED. [_Dully._] Is it working on commission?

KATE. [_Triumphantly._] No. Regular wages.

TIPPY. Is the wage above or below $25.00 a week?

KATE. It's a little below.

TED. Is it in an office?

KATE. No.

TIPPY. Would he wear a white collar at work?

KATE. Yes.

TIPPY. Hey, Ted, use your head. That's five questions gone.

TED. Do I have to sell anything?

KATE. No.

TIPPY. Indoors. No office. Low wages. White collar. No selling.
[_Thinking._] Does he work with his hands or his head--or his
mouth?

KATE. His hands and his mouth.

TIPPY. But not his head. That's illuminating.

TED. How did you get this job?

KATE. I got it the only way you can get jobs for anybody these
days--by asking it as a favor from someone who had it to give.

TED. I see.

KATE. [_Resentful._] You don't seem very appreciative.

TIPPY. Wait a minute, Kate. He doesn't know yet what the job is.

KATE. He doesn't act as if he wanted to know.

TIPPY. Don't get sensitive.--And I haven't played my game out.

KATE. All right. Go on.

TIPPY. [_Thinks a moment, then brilliantly._] Will he wear a
uniform?

KATE. Yes.--You guessed it. [TED _grows dismayed._] The job is
elevator operator in the Graybar Building. It's a cinch. You don't
even have to stop the car. You just push buttons.

TIPPY. Automatic. All but the phonograph. And you're it.

TED. In uniform!

KATE. [_Impatiently._] Well, what of it?

TED. And push buttons.... Floor, please. Two please. Five please.
Right please. [_Laughs harshly._]

KATE. Oh, so it isn't good enough for you!

TED. Fifteen please. Twenty-six please.

KATE. Well, what do you want? Vice-president in a bank? Wake up!
This isn't 1929. This is 1935. You take what you get and are
grateful.

TED. Like a bellboy!--

KATE. It's a job. You said you wanted a job.

TED. Oh God, Kate ...

KATE. It pays more than I got for years. And I supported myself on
it and you, too.

TED. Listen, Kate ... [_Has some difficulty going on._] If it were
an old freight elevator in a warehouse, and I could wear overalls,
and pull on a rope that blistered my hands ...

KATE. It's the uniform that stalls you, is it?--Now I see why they
make soldiers wear them.

TIPPY. [_Wishing to save the situation._] The British started that
with their Red Coats, to make them better targets so we could win
the Revolutionary War.--I learned that in school.

KATE. [_Bitter._] You got it wrong, brother. It's to take the
conceit out of a coward by making him realize he's no better than
anybody else. That's what it's for!

TED. Kate ...

KATE. You said you wanted a job. I believed you. I asked for a job;
any kind of a job that a man who had never worked could do. And I
got one. [_To_ TIPPY.] But he doesn't want it. It's not because of
the uniform. It's because it's _a job!_ [_She has turned her back
on_ TED. _He quietly takes his new hat and coat and sneaks out. She
turns as she hears the door._] He's gone. [_Pause._] I never talked
like that to him before. [_With sudden fright._] Where's he
going?--Ted! Ted! [_She runs out after him._]

[TIPPY _follows to the door which she leaves open. An elderly,
richly-dressed spinster, whom_ KATE _has nearly knocked down as she
fled, stalks into the room. She glowers at_ TIPPY.]

MISS DONOVAN. So that's the kind of a place this is! [_She stalks
about and glares at everything._]

TIPPY. [_Closing door._] Good evening, Miss Donovan.

MISS DONOVAN. Irresponsible people! Wild and irresponsible people!
To think that I trusted Itzy to wild, irresponsible people.

TIPPY. My dear Miss Donovan, the distresses of my personal guests
have nothing to do with my professional work.

MISS DONOVAN. Guests! Was it your guests who brought Itzy home?

TIPPY. Surely there is nothing wrong with Itzy?

MISS DONOVAN. Nothing wrong! [_Portentously._] Itzy is sneezing! He
has a cold!

TIPPY. He was all right when he left here.

MISS DONOVAN. Dr. Sayre, I told you never to let any person but
yourself touch that dog when he was out of my apartment.

TIPPY. But it's a very short distance and the man who took him home ...

MISS DONOVAN. The man you say! My maid said it was a silly boy and
a giggling, irresponsible girl. How do I know what they did to
Itzy? How do I know where they took him? Or in what company they
had him? They might have let him get into a fight and get killed.

TIPPY. But they didn't.

MISS DONOVAN. They, or you, exposed Itzy to a chill. Itzy is
sneezing. Itzy has a cold. Itzy may develop pneumonia and die.
[_During this speech there is a knock and_ TIPPY _goes to door and
lets in the_ BISHOP _while_ MISS DONOVAN _continues._] I shall hold
you responsible. If anything happens to Itzy, you alone are to
blame. I shall hold you responsible for Itzy's death. [_She
addresses the_ BISHOP.] If you are a customer of this man, let me
warn you. He is not to be trusted. He is not responsible.

BISHOP. There must be some misunderstanding.

MISS DONOVAN. There is no misunderstanding. I brought Itzy here on
a friend's recommendation. She said it was a responsible place. It
is not. It is full of wild, irresponsible people.

BISHOP. Madam, I am sure ...

MISS DONOVAN. You look like a man who loves animals. If you do, do
not bring them here. This man deliberately exposed my poor Itzy to
a cold. He may die.

BISHOP. Itzy is your dog, I presume?

MISS DONOVAN. And such a darling. Everybody loves him. I shall tell
everyone--all my friends. He suffers so--I shall warn them. His
nose is running.... I shall destroy this irresponsible man's
business!--If you could look into his eyes you'd understand! ... If
you love dogs, never trust them to irresponsible people. [_She goes
to the door and out._]

BISHOP. That woman is a fool.

TIPPY. Some of my best customers are, Bishop.

MISS DONOVAN. [_Opens door and sticks her head in._] I shall ruin
your business! [_Closes door with a slam._]

TIPPY. Jesus! [_Takes the_ BISHOP'S _hat and coat._] Won't you be
seated, sir?

BISHOP. I trust that lady is not as influential as she feels.

TIPPY. Dog lovers are gossips. But I get business by gossip as well
as lose it. By gossip, sir, and perfumed soap. The art of perfuming
dogs has a great future. It's an undeveloped field. I'm just
beginning to explore it.

BISHOP. You are a marvelous young man, Timothy.

TIPPY. It's the Irish in me--also the Scotch.

BISHOP. I wish--I wish my son were more like you.--Have you seen
him, Timothy?

TIPPY. [_Evasively._] Why, yes sir--earlier this evening.

BISHOP. I called at his apartment and was told to come here.

TIPPY. Well, yes--he was here. So was Laura. [BISHOP _sighs
heavily._]

BISHOP. You have a nice place here.--And your business?

TIPPY. I don't complain. Only the customers do, as you heard, sir.

BISHOP. I could see that woman was a fool.

TIPPY. I would not dispute you.

BISHOP. But surely not all people who own dogs are fools.

TIPPY. There are exceptions.

BISHOP. At least you are busy. You are occupied and happy. You have
found congenial work. Why cannot all young men do as you have done?

TIPPY. Not enough dogs, sir.

BISHOP. It need not have been dogs. It might have been--other
things.

TIPPY. True, sir. I considered the hanging of clothes lines for
women whose husbands are mechanical morons.

BISHOP. That's an ingenious idea.

TIPPY. But I found there weren't enough morons. Automobiles, sir,
have taught even the gentry to use screw drivers.

BISHOP. I like your humor. You have enterprise and perspective. You
renew my faith in youth. I wish my son had such morale. I wish ...
Where is he, Timothy? Where is Kenneth? And Laura? Do you know
where they went?

TIPPY. I'm afraid not.

BISHOP. I must find them. [_Rises to go._]

TIPPY. The best chance is they'll be back here.

BISHOP. [_Sitting again, speaks slowly._] I am guilty of a great
wrong against my son.

TIPPY. I'm sure it wasn't a wilful wrong.

BISHOP. No. I love my son. I meant to help him. Sometimes it is
hard to know what is right and what is wrong. Timothy, I arranged
for my son to have a job. [_Pause._] I conspired to let him think
he had secured the job in the usual manner. I fear I made a great
mistake.

TIPPY. I understand the spirit that prompted you.

BISHOP. Thank you. [_Pause._] He called me up on the telephone and
said I had ruined his life with my meddling. He said I was an
unworthy example of a man of God. He said I had betrayed him ...
[_He is too moved to go on_,] He said harsh things--very harsh
things.

TIPPY. I am very sorry, sir. [_He feels helpless to comfort the old
man. In the ensuing, uncomfortable silence,_ KEN, MARTIN _and_
LAURA _come in_. KEN _is drunk and boisterous_, MARTIN _is trying
to hold him back,_ KEN _backs into the room, dragging_ MARTIN _with
him_. LAURA _follows._]

KEN. I got to go in. Got to find Ted. I got to 'pologize to Ted.
[MARTIN, _seeing_ BISHOP, _lets go of_ KEN _who nearly falls_, KEN
_does not see his father._] I got to shake hands with him and say,
Ted, ol' boy, you're right. We're in the same boat. We're brothers
under the skin. We are both kept men.

BISHOP. My son!

KEN. [_Turns slowly and sees his father._] Hi, dad!  [_Gestures to_
LAURA.] Meet the wife. She got the job. You paid for it. [_Silence.
Gestures to_ MARTIN.] Meet Martin. He's a god-damned Communist. But
I like him.

BISHOP. My son, you have been drinking.

KEN. Drinking? [_Laughs--to_ MARTIN.] He thinks I have been
drinking. [_To_ TIPPY.] Hi! Good old Tippy. Washes dogs.--Kept
dogs. Kept women. Kept men.

TIPPY. [_Taking him by the arm._] Come on, Ken. Come out in the
kitchen and have some coffee.

KEN. I don't want coffee. Makes you 'member what you got drunk to
forget.

TIPPY. All right, then. I'll give you some more whiskey.

BISHOP. [_In horror._] I forbid. Please, no more liquor.

KEN. That's right. No more liquor. Might forget too much.

TIPPY. Then come in and go to sleep and forget everything.

KEN. [_Shaking him off._] I don't want to forget. I want to
explain. [_Looking around at each._] Dad--Laura---Tippy--Martin.
Whole god-damn Class of '29. Class of '29.... Six years. Hi,
Martin, member the speeches? 'Member the Bac-ca-laurit address?
[_Struts and gestures._] Young men of the Class of '29. [_Gestures
left._] This is your god-damn old alma mater. [_Gestures right._]
And out there's the goddamn old world. [_Gestures left._] In there
you studied four years like sons-o'-guns, stuffing your empty heads
full of useless knowledge. [_Gestures right._] So you could go out
there and get a job. And make money. And get a house. And a car.
And a woman to sleep with. And have a baby, and vote the Republican
ticket.... And so what happens? Depressions and Democrats. And
Hoover--'member Hoover?--Hoover had to go back to Leland Stanford
libr'y to read a book to tell him why there's jobs for everybody in
Russia. [_He stops, looks at his father_.'] 'Scuse me. Hoover's all
wet. [To MARTIN, _belligerently_.'] My father's a bishop, see?
Russia's hell on bishops. This is the country for bishops. You are
out of luck, Martin. Your father made a mistake being a farmer. He
should have been a bishop. Nice jobs, lots of money. Buys a job for
his son so he can get married and have a wife and a home and a baby
and not be a Red. You think I'm a Red? Hell, no. I'm a hundred per
cent American. I'm an individualist. Americans are individualists.
Each man got his own wife 'n' his own bed. A Russian's a
collectivist. Got everybody's wife in bed.

BISHOP. Kenneth, my son!

KEN. See? My dad doesn't like Russians. Russians shot all the
churches and made the priests go to work. He doesn't like you.--You
read the wrong books. My dad reads Mark and Luke and John--makes
him a Christian. You read Marx and Lenin and Stalin--makes you a
revolutionist. Why don't you read Hearst and Hoover and make
yourself an American?

TIPPY. Never mind, Ken. The revolution's all over.

KEN. That was no revolution. That was only a depression. But it's
all over now. My father bought me a job because my wife told him
to. I've got a smart wife. She understands business methods. We are
individualists, and must have initiative. So my wife, she has
initiative. She says--Ken's got to have a job so we can get
married. So she explains to my father how capitalism works. Lots of
competition; too many lousy architects. So got to fabricate houses
and put 'em all out of a job.

MARTIN. You talk more sense drunk than sober.

KEN. Too many architects--so what? Give 'em relief work, that's
what. Make lots of little houses, with lots of little yards, with
lots of little trees, so there'll be lots of little leaves to rake.
[_Faces_ LAURA.] That's why a man needs a smart wife with lots of
initiative--to get him a job.

TIPPY. O. K., Ken.

LAURA. [_Fiercely._] Do something with him, Martin.

MARTIN. [_Going to_ KEN.] All right, old man. Let's go in there and
see whether we can figure this thing out.

KEN. I got it all figured out. Lots of little houses, 'n' lots of ...

TIPPY. But we've got to figure out what to do about Ted.

KEN. Ted. That's right ... Ted. [_The three go out to kitchen._]

BISHOP. [_Wringing his hands._] Radicalism and liquor. Liquor and
radicalism, [LAURA _is unresponsive; sits stony-eyed and
heart-sick._] My poor child. My poor child.

LAURA. Poor Ken!

BISHOP. We must be strong. And patient. [_Silence._] How did he
learn of this?

LAURA. He quarrelled with Ted and Ted lost his temper and told.

BISHOP. Ted? But how came he to know of it?

LAURA. Oh, I don't know.

BISHOP. Such a nice young man, I always thought. He seemed so ...

LAURA. [_In despair._] What are we to do about Ken?

BISHOP. He blamed me. He said I had betrayed him.

LAURA. [_Impatiently._] How are we to give him back his
self-confidence?

BISHOP. He said I was dishonest.

LAURA. If in some way I could return to him his lovely vanity. When
he had no job, he had no thought of me--none--none....

BISHOP. What is there left for him to believe in, when even I, his
father ...

LAURA. Oh don't! It was my fault. Don't blame yourself. And anyway,
the only thing that matters is Ken. Don't you see?

BISHOP. You're right, my child.

LAURA. He's so crushed! And that despair that shuts me out! Why is
it? Why is it that a woman loves a man most when he has
nothing--and he wants her only when he has everything else? What's
going to happen to us?

BISHOP. Everything will be all right, my child. Kenneth has
suffered a bitter blow to his pride. But he'll sober up and resign
himself to the situation.

LAURA. Resign himself?

BISHOP. We must make him see that that is the only thing to do.

LAURA. But is it? Is there no hope of a real position?

BISHOP. Prescott gave me his word when I--when we made the
arrangement--that he would make a real place for Kenneth as soon as
he could.

LAURA. So far he hasn't.

BISHOP. It's a matter of time. Business is greatly improved.
Building must revive by the spring. Therefore, don't you see, if
our boy is patient until then ... [LAURA _shakes her head._] We
must make him go on. If he gives it up now he may lose a real
opportunity. That is what you and I must make him see! The
opportunity ahead.

LAURA. He couldn't go on.

BISHOP. He must.

LAURA. No. Why must he?

BISHOP. [_Tenderly._] A family, my dear, is a very conclusive
argument.

LAURA. Family? What do you mean?

BISHOP. [_Still with his tender sentimentality._] I take it, since
Kenneth spoke of a wife and baby ...

LAURA. [_Half-laughing._] Oh!--Thank God, no!

BISHOP. But he said ...

LAURA. That was just rhetoric.--I am not having any babies until I
see some security for them.

BISHOP. Many of the unemployed do have children.

LAURA. I'll have them only when I can see safety for them.

BISHOP. Yes, yes. Well, I only thought that ...

LAURA. That if a child were coming, Ken would have to knuckle
under.

BISHOP. Such responsibility has always been the most powerful force
to make man go along the path of duty, even though the way seemed
hard.

LAURA. At least I have spared Ken that! He _can_ do as he pleases.
I am still working, and can take care of myself.

BISHOP. Yes, quite right. That is the way we must present it to
him. That he need consider only himself.

LAURA. Poor Ken. What can he ...

BISHOP. Sh!

[KEN _enters, followed by_ MARTIN _and_ TIPPY.]

KEN. Who said I had no manners! [_To_ BISHOP _and_ LAURA, _with
absurd, ironic dignity._] The boys say I wasn't a gentleman. I
apologize.

LAURA. Never mind, Ken.

KEN. A man ought to be a gentleman, even to his wife. [_She turns
away. To his father._] A man ought to respect his father. I
apologize.

BISHOP. I accept your apology, son.

KEN. [_To boys._] There you are! I apologized to my father. He
accepted my apology. [_To_ LAURA.] I apologize.

LAURA. All right, Ken. I accept your apology. [_At the end of her
self-control._] And now that's enough.

KEN. No. I got one more apology to make.

TIPPY. All right, Ken. I'll take the next one.

KEN. I didn't insult you.

TIPPY. No. Well, whom did you insult?

KEN. I insulted Mr. Prescott.

BISHOP. Prescott?

LAURA. You haven't anything to apologize to him for, Ken!

KEN. I called him a lousy heel. If that's all right with you, I
won't apologize.

TIPPY. You did what?

KEN. I called up Mr. Prescott on the telephone and told him ...

LAURA. When did you call him on the telephone?

KEN. Before.

BISHOP. You were drunk!

KEN. I wasn't drunk then.

LAURA. What did you tell him?

KEN. Specifically?--Specifically I told him--Martin'll like
this.... [_Looks about blankly, doesn't see_ MARTIN.] I told him
that as a multimillionaire, as a captain of industry, as a pillar
of capitalistic society, he ought to be ashamed of himself for
robbing the widows and the orphans and taking the money out of the
collection baskets of the House of God to pay an architect to draw
plans for a wastebasket.

TIPPY. Good Lord!

KEN. [_To_ LAURA.] You think I ought to apologize to him for that?

BISHOP. If you really did say anything like that to Prescott, of
course you will have to apologize.

KEN. [_To_ LAURA.] Dad is a gentleman. And he thinks I ought to
apologize. Well, what do you think?

LAURA. Oh, leave me alone, leave me alone!

BISHOP. But surely that is all a figment of your imagination.--When
a man has been under the influence of liquor and then--then
recovers from its influence, how much does he remember?

TIPPY. That depends.

KEN. Let me explain. I know all about it. A man gets drunk in order
to forget what he had on his mind when he was sober. And then he
gets sober in order to forget what he said when he was drunk.

BISHOP. [_Almost pathetically._] Then surely you are mistaken, son.
You did not say these things to Mr. Prescott. You do not remember
what you did say--or even if you spoke to him at all.

KEN. Oh, yes, I do remember. Because I was not drunk when I spoke
to Prescott. And I am not drunk now.

BISHOP. My boy ...

KEN. I was drunk. That's how come I was disrespectful. A quart of
whiskey makes any man disrespectful; but a cup of coffee makes a
man respect his father, and two cups of coffee makes a man respect
his wife.

MARTIN. Give him another cup and he'll respect Prescott.

KEN. Hello. Where'd you come from?

MARTIN. I've been here all the time.

KEN. That's fine. That's fine. Having a good time?

MARTIN. Punk!

KEN. That's too bad. All right. Tell us what you think.

MARTIN. I think you ought to go home and sleep it off and then go
back on the job.

KEN. Ain't got no job.

MARTIN. Well, I mean go back to Prescott.

KEN. Didn't you hear? There is no Prescott. There is no job.

MARTIN. Yes, but there's work. And work is more important than the
matter of who pays for it.

KEN. Work for the wastebasket?

MARTIN. No. Not for the wastebasket. For whatever use it may be to
the world. Your work is important because you are creating
something. The pay system has stalled on you, so what? If your
father is able to help to keep you at work, the best you can do is
to accept it.

KEN. Have you gone screwy? [To TIPPY.] IS that Communism?

MARTIN. I believe in revolutions, not in futile personal
rebellions.

KEN. [_To_ TIPPY.] Do you get him?

TIPPY. I think so.

KEN. For God's sake, do you agree with him?

TIPPY. Listen, old man, you believe in those plans of yours ...

KEN. No. I don't believe in anything, in anything, do you hear? Not
in the love of a father for his son, or in the love of a wife for
her husband, or in the loyalty of friends--or in the integrity of
one's purposes, or in the sincerity of one's hopes, or in the
greatness of one's ambitions.

TIPPY. That's how you feel _now_, Ken

MARTIN. You know doggone well you believe in your work. You love
it. You live it.

KEN. [_Quietly._] So you think I ought to call up Prescott and
apologize. Is that it?

MARTIN. Why not? A son of a bitch like Prescott? [_A moment's
silence._]

KEN. [_To_ TIPPY.] And you! [_To his father._] And you, of course ...
[_To_ LAURA.] And you ...

LAURA. [_Breathlessly._] You must do whatever you like.

KEN. All right, I won't hold you responsible.

LAURA. I only meant ... I can take care of myself and ...

KEN. And of me, too.

LAURA. No, Ken ... I ... [_The_ BISHOP _stops her._]

KEN. So you all think I ought to apologize to Mr. Prescott. That's
great. [_Into telephone._] Circle 7-6799 ... That's great ...
[_Into telephone._] Mr. Kenneth Holden would like to speak with
his employer, Mr. Stanley Prescott. [_Plainly._] The name is
Holden. That's right.--What do I want? I want to apologize. Tell
him I want to apologize. [_Pause._] Hello, Mr. Prescott? This is
Kenneth Holden. I called up to apologize. [_His voice is still
high._] I called you up earlier in the evening, Mr. Prescott, and
criticized our working arrangement. Well, sir, I have become
convinced that the work is more important than the arrangement, so
with your kind permission ... [_Listens, as to an interruption. His
confident manner slowly disappears. He listens with growing
humiliation._] I'm sorry, sir. I didn't mean to use that tone.
Yes--I mean it.--Yes, sir.... [_Almost in a whisper._] Thank you.
[_Slowly, with an air of absolute defeat, he hangs up the
receiver._]

BISHOP. My son, that was a brave thing. It's wisest for you to keep
the arrangement for the present, until ... it won't be long ...
[_Clears his throat; looks at his watch._] My train. I've just time
to catch it. [_To_ KEN.] You'll feel better about it in the
morning, son.

TIPPY. I'll call you a cab, sir.

KEN. Good-bye, dad.

[BISHOP _and_ TIPPY _go._]

MARTIN. [_To no one at all._] Damn it all!

LAURA. If you'd kept still he wouldn't have done it.

KEN. [_Roughly._] Are you ashamed? Trying to apologize for my
apologizing?

LAURA. No, Ken, no.

KEN. You're right to be ashamed of me....

MARTIN. Damn if anybody makes sense around here!

KEN. Didn't you hear my father? He said I'd feel better about it in
the morning. [_Sinks into apathy._] In the morning!

TIPPY. [_Returning._] Well ...

MARTIN. It's been a fine day!

TIPPY. Yes--great!

MARTIN. That was a good idea you had, reunion of the Class of '29.

TIPPY. I meant well.

LAURA. Of course you did!

TIPPY. We'll have one yet, I tell you.

LAURA. And soon.

TIPPY. And we'll all have jobs.

LAURA. Real jobs--important jobs!

[_They try to make_ KEN _pay attention, but he doesn't._]

TIPPY. Mr. Prescott will discover that Ken is really a genius and...

MARTIN. And he'll fabricate the houses; millions of houses, all
according to Ken's plans--millions and millions and millions of
'em--and all for individualists.

TIPPY. Hi, Laura, you'll have advance models!

LAURA. Like a Paris frock.

TIPPY. You'll be the envy of all women.

LAURA. I know it--because Ken will be so famous; and I'll be proud.
[_There is a rapping at the door_, TIPPY _opens and_ POLICEMAN
_enters, bringing_ KATE, _who is in state of collapse_, KEN
_continues to sit staring bitterly into space. Repeats out loud:
Feel better about it in the morning_, LAURA _rushes to_ KATE.]
Kate! What happened?

POLICEMAN. Friend of yours?

TIPPY. Yes, that's right.

[KATE _stares wildly, shivers_, LAURA _attends her_. POLICEMAN
_draws_ TIPPY _and_ MARTIN _aside._]

POLICEMAN. Theodore Brooks--you knew him?

TIPPY. Yes. What happened?

POLICEMAN. Now take it calm.

MARTIN. All right. Go on.

POLICEMAN. Train. Subway train.

TIPPY. Good God!

MARTIN. Is he dead?

POLICEMAN. Killed outright. It was suicide. Plenty of witnesses. He
was standing with her, waiting for the train. He jerked away and
jumped just as the train came in. She'd have gone over with him if
somebody hadn't grabbed her.

TIPPY. God, how awful!

POLICEMAN. It was pretty messy.

LAURA. She needs a doctor.

POLICEMAN. Tried to get her to go to Bellevue ...

MARTIN. There's a doctor three doors down. I'll get him.

POLICEMAN. I guess there's nothing more I can do. I'll wait outside
and see if the doc's coming. [To TIPPY.] Your man's at the morgue
if you want him.

TIPPY. Yes--yes--thanks ... [POLICEMAN _goes._]

KEN. [_Who has become aware, looks bewilderedly from one to the
other._] What's up, Tippy? What's the matter?

TIPPY. [_Quietly._] Ted's dead, Ken.

KEN. Dead?--Dead?

TIPPY. He killed himself. He ... [_His voice breaks._]

KEN. Dead! [_Pause._] The lucky bastard!

CURTAIN



CLASS of '29


PROPERTY PLOT--ACT I, SCENE I


OFF STAGE U. R.

ENVELOPE with note
GROCERY BAG with oranges and cans
BOX OF TEA
SMALL BAG OF SUGAR
2 SOVIET POSTERS
SEVERAL DIFFERENT RELIEF BLANKS
2 SHOPPING BAGS


OFF STAGE U. L.

TRAY with teapot, cups, saucers, spoons,
sandwiches, sugar
EMPTY WASHTUB
TIN CANS
LARGE TOWEL
KITCHEN TABLE, against backing off U. L.,
dressed with plates, eggbeater, cups
and saucers, etc.


ON STAGE

GROUND CLOTH
OBLONG TABLE c. dressed with:
 1. Ironing board
 2. Pencil
 3. Iron
 4. Piece of Muslin for pressing
 5. One newspaper
 6. Cigarettes and matches
 7. Ash trays
 8. Russian dictionary
 9. Russian book
10. Table throw
EASEL AND STOOL (at window, L.) dressed with:
 1. Drawing board
 2. 2 plans of houses
 3. T square
 4. Drawing paper
WINDOW SEAT L. dressed with:
 1. Glass of brushes and drawing pencils
 2. Brass pitcher with drawing pencils
 3. Water colors
 4. Magazines
 5. Blue prints
BOOKCASE (U. C.) dressed with:
 1. Book
 2. Large rolls of blueprints
 3. Magazines (on top)
 4. Bottles of red ink
 5. Box of thumb tacks
 6. Russian Primer (special book)
STUDIO COUCH R.(head down stage) dressed with:
 1. Sofa cushions
 2. Brush
 3. Newspaper (on foot)
 4. Ties
EASY CHAIR (D. L.)
4 STRAIGHT BACK CHAIRS (1 D. R.;
1 U. L. C.; 1 L. and 1 R. of table C.)
DRAWING PORTFOLIO (at jog U. L.)
WASTEBASKET (behind easel)
PLANS AND PICTURES OF HOUSES (on walls)
OLD GREEN WINDOW SHADES
OLD LACE CURTAINS (on window, doors
U. B,. and D. L.)
BROOM at bureau (U. L.)
TRIANGLE AND ODD SKETCHES
(on jog at window L.)
GREEN EYESHADE (on bridge lamp L.)


OFF STAGE D. R.

CHEST OF SHELVES, covered with cretonne
(against backing)


PERSONAL PROPS

TIPPY: Hat off D. R., cigarettes, stained handkerchief,
pants (on ironing board)
BISHOP: Fountain pen, watch, check, checkbook
TED: Coat and hat (off D. R.), book "Sun Also Rises" (on couch R.)
KEN: Hat (on bookcase U. C.)
KATE: One five dollar bill; three one dollar bills
MARTIN: Eight one dollar bills



PROPERTY PLOT--ACT 1 SCENE 2

RUG (on floor)
BROWN REP DRAPES (on window)
OFFICE DESK


ON THIS DESK

DESK SET--Consisting of: blotter, pen holder, fountain pens
2 FRENCH PHONES
DESK LAMP
WOODEN PAPER TRAY with documents
DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS (C. of desk)
PUSH BUTTON (on desk)
GOOD ASH TRAY
SWIVEL CHAIR (behind desk)
VISITOR'S ARMCHAIR (L. of desk)


OFF D. L.

LEATHER OFFICE CHAIR
SHORTHAND PAD
PENCIL


PERSONAL PROPS

BRIEF CASE (Prescott)


PROPERTY PLOT--ACT II

OFF STAGE U. R.

RELIEF BLANKS with rubber band
2 SHOPPING BAGS


OFF STAGE U. L.

KITCHEN TABLE from Act I against backing redressed
TIN CANS added
EMPTY WASHTUB


ON STAGE

GREEN TABLE C. dressed with:
    Stack of towels, 1 towel spread C. of table
    Cup of water and absorbent cotton
SHOWCASE against wall U. C. filled with dog supplies:
    Harness, collars, testimonials, dog basket
    Ash tray (on showcase)

CHEST OF SHELVES against R. wall dressed with:
    Dog brushes, dog collars, sponges, harness, dog blankets
    Telephone and ash tray (on top of shelves)
SMALL SHELF TABLE against jog U. L. dressed with:
    Loose books from bookcase in Act I
    4 Books stacked (on top)
    1  Newspaper (on top)
    Book ends
    2  Newspapers (on shelf)
    2 Magazines (on shelf)
    Ash tray (on top)
DRAWING TABLE (at window E.) dressed with:
    Drawing paper, drawings of Ted (in profile)
WINDOW SEAT L. with dressing rearranged and blueprints struck
MAPLE CHAIR (behind drawing table)
WASTEBASKET R. of drawing table
CONSOLE TABLE up R. dressed with:
    Newspapers, magazines, ash trays
PADDED EASY CHAIR from Act I with slip cover (at console table)
WINDSOR CHAIR L. of table C.
3 GREEN CHAIRS, 1 D. R., 1 behind table, 1 R. of table
1 MAPLE CHAIR D. L.
CARTOONS (on walls)
PICTURES of dogs, and supply signs (on walls)
SIGN--"I CLIP, PLUCK AND TRIM" on wall over door U. R.
SIGN--"DOG LAUNDRY" outside door U. R.
NEW CREAM WINDOW SHADES (at window and door L.)
LACE CURTAINS (on transom)
WALL MIRROR over console table R.
WASHTUB with water D. R.
2 WET TOWELS, 1 on floor below table c, 1 U. L. of table C.
GREEN EYESHADE (on hook on jog U. L.)
DOG LEASHES (on jamb of door U. L.)


OFF STAGE D. R.

BUREAU from Act I against backing dressed


PERSONAL PROPS

TIPPY: Suit coat, rubber apron off D. R.
MARTIN: Hat on showcase U. C.
KEN: Cigarettes
CASE WORKER: Fountain pen and pencil


PROPERTY PLOT--ACT III

(Same as Act II)
NOTE: Strike package on showcase U. C.


PERSONAL PROPS

LAURA: Fur (on chair above table C.)
MARTIN: Hat (on case U. C.)





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