A One Act Play
By G. L. Horton
copyright © 1981, 1999
from Gettysburg College independent play festival
ED MURRAY: late 20's, a carpenter
SANDY PERRINI 28, works as an assembler in an electronics
MARY SULLIVAN 29, part-time waitress at Riley's Pub
Chuckie Sullivan 4, Mary's son. Chuckie has no lines,
and is asleep most of the time. If no tractable, adorable kid
is available, use a big doll.
Time/Place/Scene:In the fantasy within the play, Ed becomes
Edward, Marquis of Inglewood, and Sandy is the heroine, Miss Cassandra
Shipping. Mary plays, in succession: Sebastian Shipping, 22, Cassandra's
brother; Hollow-Leg Peg, 40, a brothel-keeper; Lady Killburn,
60, a Grande Dame; a supercillious French Maid; Kitty Needles,
18, a wide-eyed maid from Shropshire; and Lady Vanessa Rivvage,
35, a sophisticated wanton. The Marquis, being wholly imaginary,
wears full Regency rig, but the women transform themselves by
turning ordinary household objects (an umbrella, a showercap,
a lampshade) into the props and costumes for their fantasy.
The play is set in Sandy's apartment in Charlestown, a working-class
section of Boston. Its furnishings are basic Salvation Army, but
Sandy's obsession with the Romantic has influenced the lines of
the furniture, and the fabric and bric a brac she's chosen.
(SANDY and ED enter from the hall.)
You want another beer or anything? Pizza always makes me thirsty.
Naw, not right now. Pizza makes me -- uh -- hot. You know: romantic.
Yeah. Hot stuff. I think it's the pepperoni.
So why don't we just... ? (starts to unbutton his shirt and
head for bedroom)
I thought maybe we could...you know... talk first.
Talk? Aw, come on. (embraces her)
MARY (enters from bedroom, carrying the paperback Romance she's
Sandy? I hope you don't mind, I used the key under the mat.
Oh, hi, Mary. No, you know I'm always glad to have you.
Chuckie's asleep in your bed.
There's nothing wrong, is there?
Not with Chuckie.
He's asleep too. I wonder how long it'll take him to notice I've
ED (left out and annoyed)
Hey, uh.... aren't you going to get us some beer?
Oh, yeah, sure. You want a beer, Mary? Or a glass of wine?
Wine'll be fine. I made myself a sandwich. (plate)
(SANDY goes to get drinks)
So, uh... how's it going, Mary?
Still like working down to Riley's?
I keep telling Sandy she should try to get them to take her on
down there. She's always bitching about how boring it is to see
nothing but circuits..
I don't think she'd like it.
Like what? (hands ED a bottle)
Handing out beers for a living.
What's wrong with that?
Nothing, 15 hours a week, to get out of the house. Full time...
(pouring wine for herself and Mary)
Is burgundy all right?
Vintage '95. (they toast, elaborately) To us!
ED (shakes his head, left out again)
You can stay as long as you need to, Mary.
You wanta move in?!?
Do I have to get your permission?
Congratulations! Since when?
Ed, Mary's got some kind of problem, and we're going to need to
talk about it.
SANDY AND MARY
OK, OK! (prowling) Where's your T.V.?
Broken?! But I was planning to watch the fight at nine!
SANDY (outraged at the sexual slight)
I thought you were planning to....?
Afterwards, watch it afterwards.
SANDY (looks at her watch, angry)
Twenty minutes from now! That's how long were you going to allow?
Don't start on me. (pause)
I don't see how you can get along without a TV. No news..
I read a lot.
Yeah. All that romance junk. My Mom sucks up that crap, too.Candlelight
of the month club. Jesus, it's kinda spooky to think your own
Mom's into pornography! "Bodice Rippers"! I mean I can
see it with some poor slob in a raincoat, but when you and Mary
got a chance for the real thing!
My books aren't like that!
Oh yeah? (takes one out) Look at the pictures! I mean,
it really makes the place look sleazy, this trash piled all around
with the covers showing. Tits out to here! Pages to describe the
fancy clothes, and then the guy rips em off..(playfully whips
up Sandy's blouse.)
SANDY (slaps his hand)
Ed Murray, you are just too gross!
Hey, uh....I can take Chuckie and go over to my mother's...
ED (drains beer)
Naw, I'll watch the fight down to the bar. You girls won't miss
me. (heads for door)
SANDY (crosses towards him)
I'll see you for the movie on Friday.
Friday? Naw, Friday's off. I got a ticket to the Bruins.
Can't figure you girls out. You were pissed when I dragged you
along, now you're pissed I'm going by myself.
Don't tax your brain about it. I'll see you around.
Dear God in heaven, give me strength!
I'm sorry if I messed up your love life.
Love! If this is love, I'd rather have a salami sandwich!
MARY (offering hers)
Want half of mine?
I want champagne, caviar, lobster patties, syllabub...
What IS syllabub?
I forget. I looked it up, but I forget. Whatever, it's something
I never get around here!
Well, we all try to put up with what we can get, don't we?
SANDY (begins undressing. Over the next few minutes she gets
into her white empire nightgown)
I'm forgetting all about you! Did you have a bad fight?
No fight at all, really. I just took a look at Red, asleep in
his chair, and I got the urge to find out what'd happen if when
he woke up I was gone.
You've left him?
I don't think I'm serious. Probably nothing that can't be cured
by a good --- trash fix! (holds up paperback)
Right! Did Ellen bring hers over?
In the bag.
SANDY (dumping the books out)
Saved! Rescue is at hand.
I gave Ellen three Zebras and a Signet --- including the Desparate
Domino, which I haven't even read yet.
That's a good one. (looking through paperbacks) Damn! I've
read all of these!
Are you sure?
Of course I'm sure! I'm not a sieve-brain like you are. What've
MARY (shows her the book)
A new Andrea Davenaunt. The Vicious Vicount.
Really!! (holds out her hand for it)
But I'm on chapter three!
I'm in awful shape, Mary. That jock strap who just walked out
of here is the leading contender for the title of husband.
MARY (gives SANDY the book)
All right, all right, take it. I'll start one of the others.
You've saved my life.
Did Ed really pop the question?
Of course not.The only way he'll marry me is if I beg him to.
Giving him the upper hand to make conditions.
Like in a duel: one challenges, the other gets to choose the weapons.
MARY (selectng a paperback)
So how can you tell he's thinking about marriage ?
Talking about his Mother. Little services she does for him, annoying
traits she has: it's a kind of job description.
Never mind. After all, I introduced him to you.
SANDY (paging through book)
This sounds familiar.
That's one of the comforts. God, imagine if you had to worry about
the ending, like if the heroine had a retarded kid, or got the
pox....if it doen't sound familiar, I won't even start reading
No, I mean really familiar! This Clarissa: her uncle wants her
to marry this arrogant rake, but she dreams about this Percy something,
who looks like Lord Bryron..
It's a lot like The Obstinate Orphan...
Does she run away and become a governess?
That's Chapter Two.
We've read it.
We can't have! Dalton's just put it on the shelf, it's brand new!
We read it. Clarissa befriends a dirty urchin in the neighborhood,
who turns out to be the rake's bastard.
That was the Repentant Rake, by Abigail Vivian.
The boy's late mother, whose love letters to Viscount Whosis were
intercepted, had hid away to die with her guilty burden, while
her family gave it out that she was married and in Scotland, giving
Whosis a disgust of woman and her fickle ways.
Clarissa teaches the child to read...
He reads his mother's deathbed confession...
Clarissa restores him to the Viscount, who regains his faith in
He offers to renounce his claim on Clarissa, so that she can follow
But by now she's in love with him...
SANDY (tosses MARY the book)
We've read it.
I just paid $4.75!
It was $2.95 when it first came out.
MARY (looks at front page)
Copyright 1983 by Judy Finkelstein. Original title: the Repentant
SANDY (takes book, leafs through)
I think I've read it twice.
I could've too, if you hadn't spoiled it! Don't remember what
happens to Percy, though....
Sieve-brain! Take it! (throws book)
But what'll you do?
Oh, throw things...cry.
That's good. Let it all out!
I don't want to ventilate. I want to escape!
(paces around, takes up a straw sunhat and puts it on, an umbrella
becomes her riding crop. Perched sidesaddle on the arm of the
chair, she makes little clicks with her tongue, the sound of horse's
hooves... Mary appreciates what she's imagining, and joining in
on the sound effect, "rides" beside her)
SANDY (cultured voice)
A sedate canter through Regent's park....
I wish I could write you one on the spot..
Make one up?
All the best parts...
With the right sort of heroine.... Sandra?
SANDY (shakes head)
Not romantic... (acknowledges bow) Cassandra!
MARY (waves to a friend)
SANDY (greeting, cultured voice)
Miss. Miss Cassandra Shipping.
MARY (very British)
SANDY ("normal" voice)
Sounds English, doesn't it?
Smells of trade, my dear.
It's my Romance!
MARY (agrees, going on)
Miss Cassandra Shipping, who lives sequestered on her familiy's
country estate, because...
Her selfish brother, Sebastian, has left the management to her
while he gambles away their fortune in town. She's never had her
proper come-out, and is considered to be on the shelf at ..
That's awfully old.
That's younger than we are!
Suddenly her brother sends for her to London , because he's
Lost the estate! But he has one last desparate plan to get it
back. He believes he's found a foolproof way to cheat at--
It's got to be two-handed. Pique?
(puts on the jacket Ed's left behind, while SANDY wraps a scarf
around Mary's neck, achieveing a reasonable representation of
a young buck in a dressing gown. MARY cuts and shuffles an imaginary
pack of cards)
I think so. Dashed tricky game, pique. But once a chap can shorten
up the odds...
He prepares a marked deck, and waits in his rooms for the Corinthian
he's invited to try his notorious skill, ...
You're sure you want a Corinthian? They're the sportsmen, go in
for boxing, and cockfighting, and..
God, no! I'm sick of men with their sports! They're just an excuse
to keep their women at a distance. We'll make him the dissolute
gamester Duke of..
Can't he be a marquess?
I'm not sure what a marquess is.
Me either, but I love the sound of it.
It doesn't go as well with "dissolute" as "duke"
Wicked? Or Malevolent? How about the Malevolent Marquess of ..Inglewood..?
I don't want him malevolent, exactly.
Disillusioned, maybe. And devastatingly handsome..
(ED, faultlessly attired as the Hero, appears)
A cynical amusement plays across his hawklike visage as the night's
play grows deeper...
(EDWARD and SEBASTIAN play out a hand. SEBASTIAN
rakes in the winnings)
Mine again, what? I say, Inglewood: told you my luck would turn
To your extraordinary luck! (spills wine) How careless
of me! We'll need a fresh pack. You've no objection to this of
mine? (gets out a real pack, deals. They play)
Your hand, Inglewood.
(lays down a hand, rakes in notes)
Nothing left to stake -- except: (an idea) I say, Inglewood!
You're a sporting chap, man of the world....(calls) Sandy!
Cassandra! Come in here at once!
(SANDY has put on a period penoire and carries a candle)
These are the stakes. My sister against those notes of mine you
hold. (arm on ED's shoulder)
A novel proposition! (removes Sebastian's arm) But I cannot
imagine that any member of your family would be of the slightest
interest to me.
You may be the judge of that. Cassandra. (gestures)
(struck by her beauty, he leers through a quizzing glass)
Are you game?
A single turn of the cards?
Ace of diamonds! Appears your luck is out.
Ace of hearts. Appropriate, non? Come here, child: I've a mind
to collect my winnings.
You heard him!
I don't understand...
It's quite simple, my dear. Like your family seat at Maplewood,
you are now my property.
(He kisses her. In standard romance fashion, she resists, pulls
away and slaps him.)
So! You've no more notion of fair play than your brother. (smiles)
But it may be amusing to school you ....
(Another embrace. Sandy, mesmerized, begins to respond)
I say, can't you save that till after you're wed?
ED (tossing Sandy aside)
Wed! (laughs) You impudent puppy! Do you delude yourself
that I would ally my ancient house with the sister of an inept
card sharp?! You're fortunate that I'll condesend to take her
under my protection!
MARY-S (trying to look threatening)
Can't insult my sister...!
ED (grabs him by his scarf)
True, after you've made clear what she is! We merely haggle over
the price. (pushes him away)
(rushes at ED, who knocks her/him down into the chair)
Damn you! I demand...
ED (shaking him by the scarf like a rag doll)
Satisfaction? All you deserve is a horsewhip, but I'll fight you.
Without seconds, or a doctor, or---
That's for gentlemen! Fetch the pistols!
Be grateful, child! His only course now is to blow out his brains,
and I'm willing to do it for him.
Not pistols, swords!
MARY (crossing to her, in a normal Mary Sullivan voice)
But swords are Georgian. After Beau Brummel, men stopped wearing
(they look at ED. He opens his coat to show he has no sword)
But swords are so much more romantic!
If they don't have them...
Look, he was going someplace with a man he doesn't trust. Wouldn't
it make sense that he'd be armed? (they look at ED)
I am. (reaches into inner coat pocket) I've got this little
pistol... (shows it)
SANDY (rushes at him)
Put that away! I want a swordfight!
(she gets out a sword, crosses to Mary with a salacious smile)
Remember Albert Finney in Tom Jones?
(Mary smiles, ahrugs, sits on the couch right)
(Sandy takes off ED's coat)
(ED preens during her rhapsody)
They're so beautiful with swords!
(she takes off his cravat)
(opens his shirt, hands him a sword)
The pure linen shirt, open at the neck. Curly hair, muscles....
(caresses him, traces his arm down)
Lace that falls gracefully from his supple wrist, across his strong
(embarrassed, she backs off)
A flourish! A salute!
(Ed illustrates. Mary, is caught up in it. She picks up the
umbrella, and using it as a foil, practices fencing moves from
her sitting position on the sofa)
First position! Beautiful!
I thought you hate sports?!
Fencing's not vulgar! Ballet's descended from it: did you know
that? The deadly dance.
(ED fences with air)
Parry, thrust, parry, thrust! Parry! Ha! A close one. How quick
and clever of you, to be alive! Now thrust, probe the enemy's
weakness, lunge! Ha! What joy! So intense, his flashing blade
an extension of his will, his manly arm, his....
(looks at his crotch, blushes)
(ED and SANDY look at MARY. She glances down at her own crotch,
Look, I hate to disappoint you, but.--
(tries to give SANDY her "sword")
--why don't you fight him?
ED (forces up the umbrella)
En garde, coward!
MARY (flailing back)
This is ...irregular ... I don't think my honor ...
Honor? Ha! Of a card cheat, a pimp!!
(ED attacks MARY, who fends him off as best she can)
Oh, no! Stop! How can you fight one who's no match for you, who's
scarcely a man...
(she throws herself between them. MARY is run through)
ED (drags body behind screen)
Why'd you get in my way? I only meant to pink him.
SANDY (puts on cloak)
I've got to get away!
ED (wiping with kerchief)
You're coming with me.
Where else? An unprotected girl...?
I don't want your "protection"! I'd rather go to.. to
To a nunnery!
To a nunnery! Run!
(Laughing, ED chases SANDY around the room, catching up with
her near a table that has on it a handy weapon. While he is embracing
her, she picks up a heavy piece of bric-a-brac and clobbers him.
ED gives her an astonished look and staggers back towards the
wings where he collapses. SANDY gasps, looks around wildly, runs...
right into MARY, who has costumed herself as PEG, a drunken bawd
in a red mop wig with bottle of gin - "blue ruin" -
That's me pretty, run right to ol Peg, that's the dandy! I got
a place fer ye, a snug little nunnery, where Hollow-Leg Peg's
the Abbess, and Blue Ruin's the speci-al-i-ty of the house!
Get away from me, you!
Snabble 't gaff! Yer comin wi' yer ol Mither Peg, and after we've
brightened yer up all righty-tighty, no telling what some flash
cove'll empty his pockets right into yer sweet lil' lap!
(ED appears in cape and top hat, facing upstage)
Not that kind of nunnery! I meant to take shelter in a convent
(PEG cackles) A religious house...(Peg cackles)
This be'int Frog-aland, y'know. No Latin mummery-nummery here
-- not since Henry the Eighth!
(pushes SANDY towards ED, who grabs one hand)
SANDY ("normal" voice)
Wait a minute! What's he doing here?
MARY (as Mary Sullivan)
He's not the Marquess now, he's just - you know, men in general,
out for what they can get.
(gives her hand to THE MAN, struggles between them) (CASSANDRA
I'll be a governess...
a paid companion...
I'll go to my Aristocratic Godmother!
MARY (much struck, drops Sandy's hand)
ED (pushes her downstage)
(During this speech MARY, with SANDY's help, transforms into
LADY KILBURN, putting on a lampshade, a Chinese dressing gown,
a fan, stuffing her front with a pillow)
Yes, my Godmother, the dowager Lady Killburn. The eccentric Lady
Killburn, fabulously wealthy! Her first husband was an Indian
Nabob. She'd never do anything for me while my ramshackle brother
was alive, but....
So - you're all alone in the world now, are you, gel?
I may decide to sponsor you, yet. I vow, I've been perishing of
boredom. It might amuse me, bringing a Miss Nobody into fashion,
setting the town by its ears....but only if I can be certain none
of your dreadful family is going to show up on my doorstep! Except
for your poor mother, they're all impossible, all of them! Such
prosey abberations. Such fatiguing vices!
They're all dead. I'm quite the -- orphan. (sniffs)
No tears, gel! I can't abide a watering - pot! And by no mean,
no mourning! The world's well rid of your brother, and I won't
have you hanging about in black like some ill-omened crow.
MARY (sissors as quizzing-glass)
What colors, then? Must turn you out to be a credit to me....
(gestures for Sandy to turn round)
I've always been partial to apricot....
No opinions, Miss! They don't become you!
Are you defying me?
SANDY (deep ironic curtsey)
You'd better not! When Lady Killburn frowns the Upper Ten Thousand
trembles! The Prince Regent himself would not dare to take up
a person I'd declared de trop, and my slightest demur is enough
to blight the hopes of any female on the marriage mart, no matter
how great her birth or fortune! I've offered to try to make something
of you, gel, but you must put yourself completely in my hands.
You're to do, say, and think exactly as I tell you!
What did you say to me, Miss?!!!
Poppy cock, Lady Killburn! If you insist on turning people ino
puppets, how can they help but bore you? If you drain the life
out of a girl, how can she ever display the sparkle that would
do you credit? Or possess that assurance which you so admirably
Bravo! I hate insipidity! Face 'em down, gel, and someday you'll
be a great lady, just as I am! We'll take the town by storm, you
wait and see, you'll dazzle 'em all at the Chadwyck's masked ball...
A great lady! Living in a place like Killburn House, with scores
of servants who duck and scrape, and Yes'm and make it clear in
a thousand ways I'm a superior being. A lady.
Who embroiders, and arranges flowers, and plays the pianoforte,
and visits the shops and her dressmaker....
The clothes! Was there ever an era with such elegant clothes!
(spreads the skirt of her nightie, whirls)
The Empire style is so graceful, so flattering... I know I'll
(adds a silk shawl)
Sprig muslin from India, sarcenet, satin and silk from distant
Cathay! Tribute to the lady from all the corners of the earth!
Bought with the rents from a dozen tenant farms.
How could I fail to please?
My Godmother, her dresser,
(MARY enters, wearing apron and a showercap, arranges SANDY's
My abigail, the modiste, the French milliner - all have done their
utmost to turn me out impeccably.
MARY (French accent, supercilious)
Madame she tells me I am to dress zee hair for mademoiselle c'est
impossible! Unless -- a la Meduse?!
Not like that! Supercilious. We've done that.
MARY (as Mary Sullivan)
I'm the very superior ladies maid you win over.
That's the same scene as Lady Killburn. I need a bumpkin who's
in awe of me, to give me confidence.
MARY (adjusts showercap: Kitty Needles)
Oh. Awwoh! Awwoh Miss! Put flowers here, and here..
(tucks flowers into Sandy's hair)
Awwoh, it's ever so fetching, Miss!
(hands Sandy a mirror, gets huge necklace)
And this here necklace for wot they call the final touch.
But I have no jewels!
These be the Killburn diamonds! Your Lady Godmother says as how
yer to wear them.
(puts necklace round Sandy's neck)
They bring luck in love, or so they say.
I'll need luck. There's nothing extraordinary about me.
(looks in hand mirror)
My hair, my figure, my profile.... Why should I be singled out?
MARY (puts mask on SANDY, exits)
Don't you look a picture now! Behind this mask your eyes're as
bright as one o' them diamonds!
My eyes! Yes, my eyes could draw him! Not their color: (use color
of actress's eyes) ______ is so common! They ought to be huge,
dew-drenched violets in a heart-shaped frame. But mine are what
are called "speaking eyes". There is a radiant message
in them from deep wthin my soul, and if he is the one who can
understand it, his soul will answer.
(waltz music begins, Chopin, and the light becomes magical.
Humming and moving gracefully to the music, Sandy is isolated
in her romantic dream: perhaps a single Japanese lantern descends
from the flies)
(Edward enters, masked)
Aha! You have fled to the garden! Don't you realize you've left
your court desolate? "Where has she gone?"- they all
ask. "We must find the Incomparable Incognita!"
I needed a breath of air.
(holds out his hand)
You can't escape so easily. This is my dance.
You must be mistaken, sir. I don't know you.
That's the beauty of a masked ball. You need only consider the
person who stands before you.
(he bows over her hand, kisses it)
Look in his eyes, and if perchance you find they attract you,
waltz with him.
(she goes into his arms, and they dance)
You waltz as lightly as a rose petal, bourne on a spring breeze.
You flatter me, sir. I am not used to waltzing. Convention decrees...
For once we're not tied by petty conventions! Our relatives, our
titles, our past... Don't you feel free?
It's as if I'm floating, high above the earth... though conventions
restrict, sir, they also protect..
Like a corset? Which women seem to think makes them more desirable...
(draws her into an embrace)
You ought not to say such things!
Against the rules of the game? Between men of honor there must
be fair play: but in our game, my dear, the only suit is hearts,
and the king takes a queen.
Please, sir, I am not feeling well. I'm dizzy, I..take me back
to my chaperone.
I have a better idea. (sweeps her up into his arms)
Put me down! (removes his mask) You!
Did you think you could hide from me? Your eyes gave you away.
I claim my own now, you are mine!
(he carries her, struggling, to the sofa)
Stop it, just stop it! (calls out) Mary! (slaps at him)
Cut it out! This is my fantasy, dammit, and I don't want to be
MARY (from behind screen)
Go on, This is my favorite part!
I don't like bodice-rippers!
When your beauty inflames a man of passion...
That's what it's all about, isn't it?
Not for me! Will you please get off me? (he does)
Perhaps I've misunderstood...
I want a gentleman, a man of honor, I want someone who respects
(MARYmerges as the sophisticated wanton, rival of the heroine.
In the original production she wore red lace panties as a cap,
black net tights on her arms for gloves, etc: use imagination!)
Then you won't be wanting the Malevolent Marquess, will she, Inglewood?
Darling Edward, do come away from that simpering chit. There's
an intimate matter upon which I wish to converse with you. Hurry
back to the ball, child! I think your godmother's missed you.
An unmarried woman can't afford to be indiscreet. Inglewood?
Your servant, madam. (they embrace, collapse onto the sofa)
Wait! What're you doing? You're supposed to be MY servant!
ED (looks up)
There's no pleasing you!
While I am very easily pleased. (caresses him) A married
woman has the advantage of knowing exactly what it is she wants,
and the security of her position gives her the confidence to go
Is this fair!? This ball was for me..
But if you're too nice in your notions to enjoy it, why let this
deliciously naughty setting go to waste?
(ED lifts the laughing MARY into his arms)
Put her down, you--you figment! Mary Sullivan, you get out of
my Romance, you greedy slut!
(she beats at them until ED, in disgust, drops MARY)
(ED goes to lean against the mantle and watch the scene, his
Oh Mary, I'm sorry! Are you all right?
I'm so desperate for a little romance.
What about me? You're single, you can still hope, but I've had
it! Wedlocked! Red Sullivan is it: my hero, best I'm ever going
At least he's made a commitment to you. He's crazy about little
Chuckie, he's working for a future for both of you. You know he's
going to show up every night after work and...
And grunt and eat what's put in front of him and then drink a
six-pack and fall asleep in front of the T.V. I go to bed with
Geeze.He doesn't ever...?
Oh, yeah, sometimes when he wakes up and comes to bed around 3
am he's raring to go! By the time I'm conscious enough to get
interested, it's all over. Talk about frustrated!
Weekends? Weekends he won't shave or shower, he says why should
he when he doesn't have to? Nobody sees him.And nobody sees me.
The last time I had a compliment was in 1979.
No shit. April 16th, 1979. I put it on the calendar.
Oh God. Is there nowhere in the world a man who can be loving
Strong and protective and generous..
Who understands what a woman needs...
(they both turn to look at ED. He smirks.)
SANDY (indicates Ed)
You go ahead.
No, it's OK. I've cooled down.
(she retreats and gestures SANDY and ED to come together. MARY
takes off costume, puts on ordinary clothes, sharing the focus.)
Oh, Sandy, Sandy, my little love.... From the first moment I saw
you, I knew I had to make you mine. I lost you, I know, frightened
you with my ardor...
(SANDY turns away)
If you could know how I've suffered! How I've searched for you
through a thousand tedious social rounds, my heart leaping when
I caught a glimpse of a familiar dark head, and then plummeting
in dispair when the face that turned towards me was not
(in the classic Romance gesture, he turns her face towards
him and forces her to look into his eyes)
this one dear face...(kisses her gently)
My precious love, dare I hope that you will do me the inestimable
honor of conferring upon me your hand in marriage? That you will
be my dutchess..?
Dutchess? I thought you were... (looks at MARY)
I think it's marchioness.
How can I be something I can't even pronounce?
Maybe it's countess. Countess should be OK...
Will you make up my mind, please?
(the phone rings)
Oh, shit. Wait right here.
(puts hand over mouthpiece)
Mary, are you here?
Yeah, OK. (comes)
Yes, she's here. I'll let you talk to her.
MARY (on phone)
Hello, Charley. You noticed I was missing, huh?
SANDY (to ED)
You were saying?
MARY (speeches overlap from here)
I don't know, it depends...
I want you to share my life. Can you say yes?
MARY (on phone)
That bad, huh?
Oh, yes, Edward, yes, yes, yes! (passionate kiss. On the loveseat?)
Really? Sure, I remember. But it's been a long time since you've
felt like that, hasn't it, Charley?
You're sure it's really love...?
Forever. I must have you at my side, and our children--as many
as you want to have.
All right, all right, I believe you! Keep it hot for me, I'll
be right home! But Charley: ... do me a favor, will you? While
I'm on my way, will you shave and take a shower?
I'll be so proud, riding in our carriage, showing you off to the
neighbors, the Inglewood ring on your finger..
(gives her ring. They kiss)
Yeah. I know. I love you, too. (hangs up)
SANDY (pulls away, the fantasy's over. ED exits)
Thanks for the hospitality. I'm going to bundle up Chuckie and
head home, now.
(her "ballgown" has reverted to an Empire nightgown.
she takes off the necklace, shakes the flowers out of her hair)
Are you sure? I mean just now you were so down on him...
I'm down on him when he ignores me! Right now he's wide awake
and horny as hell!
(starts off to get Chuckie)
I guess I shouldn't blame him. It's us he's working so hard for.
Up at a quarter to six...
(carries Chuckie in, puts his slippers on)
Come, on sweetheart, put your piggytoes in your slippies. Mommy's
taking you home to your Starbed.
(makes a little whimpering sound)
Right here, darling. Sandy, do you see his baseball mit?
SANDY (looks around)
Here it is.
(takes glove to MARY)
MARY (stroking Chuckie)
Actually, males're kind of adorable sleeping. Chuckie has this
rosy flush, right along here, like his father gets. I just love
to touch it, where it's so soft.....Besides, Charley paid me three
compliments! Three! That should hold me for the next decade!
What'd he say?
(she puts away the pile of books)
Oh, just that while he's asleep in that chair, he dreams about
me, about my...
(Sandy looks skeptical)
Oh, come off it, Sandy! So he doesn't have great dialog: at
least it's real! Face it, we aren't all Incomparable. What would
I have been back then? A chambermaid? A farmer's wife, with six
of these to feed...
(indicates the Chuckie-bundle in her arms.)
SANDY (hugs her)
You'd've been an Incomparable Friend! Just like you ARE! Oh I
don't know: I don't suppose we should expect a man to understand
the way a woman does, but...
(knock on door)
The mailman? Delivery boy? Goodnight, sweets. (door) Well,
I'll be! Look who's here....
Hi, Mary. Sandy still up?
Sure. Go on in. I'm just leaving.
MARY (cuts him off)
Ed! Some advice: don't say something smart. Say something sweet.
(exit. Sandy and Ed look at each other)
ED (carries a T.V.)
That Chuckie's sure getting big, isn't he? Seems like it was just
a while back they got married...
Yeah. The fight's over, T.K.O. in the forth, so I thought maybe
we could.... I brought you my portable. Till yours gets fixed?
I thought you might wanta watch the game on it Friday.
Watch the game?
Yeah, it'd be almost like we're together, see? Then afterwards
maybe I could come over and we could... you know... talk about
it? I mean if you're interested.
Why should I be?
Cause I am!
SANDY (offers him a paperback)
I watch your game, and you read one of my books?
ED (laughs, horrified)
Me?! (Sandy turns away, he thinks it over)
Well, uh .. yeah, I guess maybe I could try one... some time.
I was thinking, though: these bookshelves? I could build you some
with class. Do a real custom job, like I did for Silverlake Homes:
walnut maybe, with sliding doors, the kind that latch... I mean
we won't want the kids getting into them and spreading those covers
around so the place looks like a drugstore.
Our kids. You do want to have kids, don't you?
Is that a proposal?
I gotta get on my knees? (gets down, painfully) Sandy Perrini,
will you do me the .. the..
Inestimable .. ah, gimme a break. (gets up) Let me off
the hook on the knees part, and I'll carry you across the threshold.
Whattaya say? (offers to pick her up)
SANDY (laughs, and throws her arms around him)
Yes, Edward! Yes, yes, yes!