Reel-4

FADE IN

MUSIC-CD GARDEN SCENE (ISABEL AND EUGENE)

With the Amberson Mansion in the background Eugene and Isabel are sitting on a bench beside a tree. Some time has passed and Isabel.

DISSOLVE TO

Eugene gently takes hold of Isabel’s hand. His voice is gentle and loving.

EUGENE

Isabel, dear.

ISABEL

Yes, Eugene?

EUGENE

Don’t you think you should tell George?

ISABEL

About us?

EUGENE

 

Yes.

 

Worried, Isabel is hesitant.

ISABEL

There’s still time.

EUGENE

I think he should hear it from you.

 

Isabel leans against the tree talking to Eugene.

ISABEL

He will, dearest—soon–soon—

 

DISSOLVE TO

The Amberson mansion in the background as an automobile drives up

DISSOLVE TO

MUSIC-CD-GARDEN SCENE

The whole family—Ambersons and Minafers—is present in the dining room and Eugene is a guest. A servant carrying a tray walks to a door. They are just finishing their dessert. The music from the garden carries over here for a bit.  

MAJOR AMBERSON

I miss my best girl.

 

At the end of the table Isabel is facing the Major. Fanny and George are on the left.

ISABEL

We all do. Lucy’s on a visit, Father. She’s spending a week with a school friend.

 

Eugene speaks up.

EUGENE

She’ll  be back Monday.

Fanny leans forward and as a snide dig at her nephew.

FANNY

George, how does it happen you didn’t tell us before? He never said a word to us about Lucy’s going away.

 MAJOR AMBERSON

Probably afraid to.

 

MAJOR AMBERSON

Didn’t know but he might break down and cry if he tried to speak of it!

 

 MAJOR AMBERSON

Isn’t that it, Georgie?

The Major’s chuckle develops into laughter at George’s silence and George feels embarrassed in front of the whole family. Taking advantage, Fanny puts in another dig.

FANNY

Or didn’t Lucy tell you she was going?

George looks around sullenly

GEORGE

She told me.

MAJOR AMBERSON

At any rate, Georgie didn’t approve. I suppose you two aren’t speaking again?

The Major laughs  

Jack is nice enough to change the subject.

JACK

Gene I hear somebody’s opened up another horseless carriage shop somewhere out in the suburbs.

MAJOR AMBERSON

Ah, I suppose they’ll either drive you out of the business, or else the two of you’ll drive all the rest of us off the streets.

EUGENE

Well, we’ll even things up by making the streets bigger. Automobiles will carry out streets clear out to the county line.

MAJOR AMBERSON

How do you propose to do that?

JACK

Well, I hope you’re wrong, because if people go to moving that far, real estate values here in the old residence part of town are going to be stretched pretty thin.

 

George looks up with a stern look as the Major says with dismay.

MAJOR‘s VOICE

So your devilish machines are going to ruin all your old friends, Eugene.

   MAJOR AMBERSON

Do you really think they’re to change the face of the land?

EUGENE

They’re already doing it, Major; and it can’t be stopped. Automobiles –

It is obvious to everyone at the table that George had been sitting there stewing about Lucy. It soon becomes obvious that George blames her father for Lucy’s refusal of an engagement. So, his repressed anger finally exhibiting itself, George abruptly interrupts in a loud and peremptory voice

GEORGE’S VOICE

Automobiles are a useless nuisance.

There is a sudden silence at the table as everyone is startled.

 

Jack frowns

Isabel is embarrassed and glances down.

The major is seriously disturbed by what he heard.

MAJOR AMBERSON

What did you say, George?

He repeated not only the words but the tone.

GEORGE

I said automobiles were a nuisance.

   GEORGE

They’ll never amount to anything but a nuisance. They had no business to be invented.

 

Hurt, Eugene fingers a spoon.

JACK’s VOICE

Of course, you forget that Mr. Morgan makes them—also did his share in inventing them.

 

Jack frowns.

JACK

If you weren’t so thoughtless he might think you rather offensive.

 

George becomes coolly sarcastic.

GEORGE

I don’t think I could survive it.

 

Eugene looks to his right and begins speaking. He fingers the spoon occasionally glancing down.

EUGENE

I’m not sure George is wrong about automobiles…With all their speed forward they may be a step backward in civilization—It may be that they won’t add to the beauty of the world, or to the life of men’s souls—I’m not sure…But automobiles have come…and almost all outward things are going to be different because of what they bring…They’re going to alter war, and they’re going to alter peace…And I think men’s minds are going to be changed in subtle ways because of automobiles…And it may be that George is right.

 

George glances down embarrassed.

Eugene looking down.

EUGENE

It may be that ten or twenty years from now, if we can see…

He looks to his right

EUGENE

…the inward change in men by that time..

 

Eugene look forward

EUGENE

..I shouldn’t be able to defend the gasoline engine, but would have to agree with him that automobiles “had no business to be invented”

 

George is frowning; obviously wishing that he hadn’t opened his mouth.

Eugene looks to his right then glances down and firmly places his spoon on the table. He looks at the Major.

EUGENE

Well, Major…

He starts to Rise. 

As good manners dictate, George rises as well

EUGENE’s VOICE

…if you’ll excuse me.

 

George glances to left as he hears

EUGENE’s VOICE

Fanny?

FANNY’S VOICE

Oh, Eugene.

EUGENE’S VOICE

Isabel.

 

Eugene and George are standing facing each other. Fanny and Isabel are seated

while Jack is going out the door. Major moves to escort Eugene out.

EUGENE

I’ve got to get down to the shop and talk to the foreman.

MAJOR AMBERSON

I’ll see you to the door.

EUGENE

Don’t bother…sir. I know the way.

 

Fanny rises.  Eugene stops, looks back at George and Isabel and then walks out

FANNY

I’ll come, too.

She walks past the men through door and the Major follows.  

Jack starts out and also looks back before leaving the room and closing the door behind him.

George sits back down.

Both seated at the other end of the table, Isabel appears pained.

ISABEL

Georgie, dear, what did you mean?

Unperturbed, George becomes the definition of stubborn, refusing to admit his error.

GEORGE

Just what I said.

ISABEL

He was hurt!

GEORGE

Don’t see why he should be. Didn’t say anything about him. Didn’t seem to me to be hurt, he seemed perfectly cheerful. What made you think he was hurt?

ISABEL

I know him!

 

Jack opens the door and walks into the room.

After closing the door Jack crosses to the fireplace as camera pans to follow. Jack takes a cigar from his inner pocket and stops before the mantel, He turns and stares hard at George as he speaks to him.  

JACK

By Jove, Georgie, you’re a puzzle!

GEORGE

In what way, may I ask?

JACK

Well, it’s a new style of courting a pretty girl, I must say, for a young fellow to go deliberately out of his way to try and make an enemy of her father by attacking his business! By Jove! That’s a new way of winning a woman.

 

Jack turns and lights his cigar.

Disgusted, George angrily throws his napkin down.

He stands and camera pans watching George hurrying to the door. Isabel rises as George opens the door.

(SINGLE TAKE  SCENE)

George is rushing out the doorway and crosses the hall.

Camera pans to follow as Fanny approaches him and whispers

FANNY

George, you struck just the right treatment to adopt.

 

George turns to go to the steps, camera moves to follow.

FANNY

You’re doing just the right thing!

GEORGE

Oh, what do you want?

 

Fanny follows him whispering with a vehemence

FANNY

Your father would thank you if he could see what you’re doing.

GEORGE

Quit the mysterious detective business!

 

Fanny fixes her gaze on George. Her bile and feelings of rejection finally reveal themselves as she unloads those feelings by revving up George so—in Fanny’s spite—George might interfere in Isabel’s and Eugene’s relationship.  

FANNY

You don’t care to hear that I approve of what you’re doing?

George moans.

GEORGE

For Gosh sakes, what in the world’s wrong with you?

 

Fanny starts up the steps talking bitterly and sounding wretched.

FANNY

You’re always picking on me, always…

 

He follows her up the steps and as they argue the camera follows them.

FANNY

…ever since you were a little boy!

GEORGE

Oh, my Gosh!

FANNY

You wouldn’t treat anybody in the world like this except old Fanny! “Old Fanny” you say. “It’s nobody but old Fanny, so I’ll kick her. Nobody’ll resent it. I’ll kick her all I want to!” And you’re right; I haven’t got anything in the world, since my brother died—nobody—nothing!

 

George groans again.

GEORGE

Oh, my Gosh!

FANNY

I never, never in the world would have told you about it, or even made the faintest reference to it…

 

He stops on the steps and the camera pauses. Fanny moves off screen.

FANNY’S VOICE

…if I hadn’t seen that somebody else had told you, or you’d found out for yourself some way.

 

George is suddenly interested in what Fanny is saying.

GEORGE

Somebody else told me what?

FANNY

How people are talking about your mother.

Dumbfounded, George pauses and walks up the steps slowly. The camera follows him up onto the balcony where he stops and faces Fanny. He is incredulous.  

 

CLICK PLAY TO HEAR MUSIC (CD-FANTASIA)

 

GEORGE

What did you say?

FANNY

Of course I understood what you were doing. It puzzled other people when you began to be rude to Eugene.

They start up another flight of steps. The camera follows

FANNY

I knew you’d give Lucy up in a minute, if it came to a question of your mother’s reputation.

GEORGE

Look here.

She stops, turns and looks down at him. Fanny knows George and knows how this will affect him. Settling in what Fanny is saying George becomes suddenly agitated.

FANNY

…because you said that…

GEORGE

Look here! Just what do you mean?

FANNY

I only wanted to say that I’m sorry for you, George. That’s all. George, that’s all. But it’s only old Fanny…

She turns and goes up stairs George follows and the camera resumes moving George’s temper is beginning to rise.

FANNY

…so whatever she says pick on her for it! Hammer her!

GEORGE

Uncle Jack said…

They confront each other on the landing

FANNY

It’s only poor old lonely Fanny!

GEORGE

…if there was any gossip it was about you! He said people might be laughing about the way you ran after Morgan, but that was all.

FANNY

Oh Yes, it’s always Fanny! Ridiculous old Fanny-–always—always!

GEORGE

You listen! You said Mother let him come just on your account, and now you say…

FANNY

I think he did. Anyhow, he liked to dance with me. He danced with me as much as he danced with her.

George turns fierce

GEORGE

You told me Mother never saw him except when she was chaperoning you.

FANNY

Well, you don’t suppose that stops people from talking, do you?…They just thought I didn’t count! “Only old Fanny Minafer” I suppose they’d say! Besides, everybody knew that he’d been engaged to her.

This definitely catches George’s attention

GEORGE

What’s that?

FANNY

Everybody knows it. Everybody in this town knows that Isabel never really cared for any other man in her life.

 

Fanny has gotten George exactly where she wants as George gazes wildly at her..

GEORGE

I believe I’m going crazy. You mean you lied when you told me there wasn’t any talk?

FANNY

It never would have amounted to anything if Wilbur had lived.

GEORGE

You mean Morgan might have married you?

Her vanity in play Fanny, more trying to convince herself than her nephew, replies.

FANNY

No. Because I don’t know that I’d have accepted him.

GEORGE

Are you trying to tell me—because he comes here and they see her with him—driving and all that—they think they were right saying that she was—she was in love with him before—before my father died?

She speaks gravely.

FANNY

Why, George, don’t you know that’s what they say? You must know that everybody in town…

 

George is on the verge of nausea from shock.

GEORGE

Who told you?

FANNY

What?

GEORGE

Who told you there was talk? Where is this talk? Where does it come from? Who does it?

FANNY

Why, I suppose pretty much everybody. I know it’s pretty general.

 

George grabs her shoulders shaking them and shouts angrily.

GEORGE

Who said so?

Fanny was suddenly hesitant.

FANNY

Why?

GEORGE

How did you get hold of it?

 

Fanny hesitates realizing she may lose control of the situation.

FANNY

Why!

GEORGE

You answer me!

FANNY

Why I hardly think it would be fair to give names.

GEORGE

Look here. One of your best friends is that mother of Charlie Johnson’s across the street. Has she ever mentioned this to you?

FANNY

She may have intimated…

GEORGE

You and she have been talking about it! Do you deny it?

FANNY

Why, George!

GEORGE

Do you deny it!

FANNY

She’s a very kind, discreet woman, George…

 

George turns and rushes down the stairs walking out of frame.

FANNY

…but she may have intimated…

Fanny having seen the passion on his face suddenly becomes alarmed. Leaning over the railing she calls after him realizing what her jealously has started and what she has no control over. Fanny is frightened.  

FANNY

George! What are you going to’ do, George?

 

Leaning over Fanny stares after him, terrified at what she has done, calling out.

FANNY

GEORGE!

 

(SINGLE TAKE SCENE)

Mrs. Johnsons door open from the inside. She looks out to the camera—George’s POV—surprised but hospitable.

MRS. JOHNSON

Mr. Amberson—heh, heh I mean Mr. Minafer.

 

She opens the door wider and the camera pans to follow George into Mrs. Johnson’s living room and for a bit the camera is his POV.

MRS. JOHNSON’S VOICE

Eh, won’t you come in please?

GEORGE’S VOICE

Thank you.

Going into the room George comes into view as the camera follows.

MRS JOHNSON

Well, How nice to see you Mr. Minafer.

He stops, his back to the camera and his voice demanding.

GEORGE

Mrs. Johnson

 

He turns to face her.

GEORGE

Mrs. Johnson, I’ve come to ask you a few questions.

Mrs. Johnson becomes grave.

MRS. JOHNSON

Certainly, Mr. Minafer. Anything I can do for you.

He turns away.  The camera follows as they walk. He speaks sternly.

GEORGE

I don’t mean to waste any time, Mrs. Johnson.

 

He turns to confront her.

GEORGE

You—you were talking about a—scandal that involved my mother’s name.

 MRS. JOHNSON

Mr. Minafer!

 

Mrs. Johnson walks past him.

GEORGE

My aunt told me you repeated this scandal to her.

She turns to face him and speaks sharply.

MRS. JOHNSON

I don’t think your aunt can have said that. We may have discussed some few matters that’ve been a topic of comment about town

George walks in front of her.

GEORGE

Yes! I think you may have!

 

Irritated, she becomes crisp with him

MRS. JOHNSON

Other people are less considerate.

GEORGE

Other people! That’s what I want to know about—these other people! How many?

MRS. JOHNSON

What?

GEORGE

How many other people talk about it!?

Heating up even more, George crosses in front of the room. Camera pans to follow. Mrs. Johnson is becoming extremely annoyed.

MRS. JOHNSON

Heh, really, this isn’t a courtroom and I’m not a defendant in a libel suit.

GEORGE

You may be!

 

Losing control George approaches her talking angrily.

GEORGE

I want to know just who’s dared to say these things, if I have to force my way into every house in town.

 

She whirls to him.

GEORGE

I mean to know just who…

Now Mrs. Johnson’s temper is the one that rises

MRS. JOHNSON

You mean to know! Well you’ll know that you’re out in the street.  Please to leave my house!

 

George stiffens turns and exists leaving her glaring at him.

In Jack’s bedroom water pours out of a bathtub spigot in. The pipes groan.

Bathing, Jack is disgusted.

JACK

Ohhhhh, now you have done it!

 

In the tub bathing Jack is dismayed. Water is heard. Sounding outraged George is still hot.

GEORGE

What have I done that wasn’t honorable and right?

JACK

Awww.

GEORGE

Do you think these riffraff can go around bandying my mother’s good name?

JACK

They can now…gossip’s never fatal till it’s denied.

GEORGE

If you think I’m going to let my mother’s good name be…

JACK

Good name. Look, nobody has a good name in a bad mouth! Nobody has a good name in a… silly mouth, either.

 

George takes a deep breath.

George’s reflection seen in mirror, walks away from the camera towards Jack in the tub.

GOERGE

Didn’t you understand me when I told you people are saying my mother means to marry this man?

JACK

Yes, I understood you.

 

George is disgusted.

GEORGE

If such a—such an unspeakable marriage did…

 

Jack talks impatiently.

JACK

Unspeakable marriage!

 GEORGE

…did take place do you think that would make people believe-they’d been wrong in saying…

Washing himself Jack shouts

JACK

No. I don’t believe it would. There’d be more badness in the bad mouths and more silliness in the silly mouths. But it wouldn’t hurt Isabel and Eugene. Why If they decided to marry…

 

George is incredulous. In fact, he is staggered. The pipes are heard are groaning.

GEORGE

Great gosh! You speak of it so calmly!

JACK

Well, why shouldn’t they marry if they want to?

GEORGE

Why Shouldn’t they?

JACK

It’s their own affair!

GEORGE

Why shouldn’t they!

 

Looking up Jack is shouting.

JACK

Yes, why shouldn’t they!

 

It is a grim George looking down at his uncle.

JACK

I don’t see anything…

 

Jack shouts impatiently.

JACK

… precisely monstrous about two people getting married when they’re both free and care about each other. What’s the matter with their marrying?

 

George shouts angrily.

GEORGE

It would be monstrous—monstrous even if this horrible thing hadn’t happened. Now in the face of this—oh, you can sit there and even speak of it! Your own sister!

 

Jack talks impatiently.

JACK

Ohhh, for Heaven’s sake, don’t be so theatrical!

 

George turns to leave.

Jack calls to George Sharply.

JACK

Come back here!

 

George walks back to his uncle.

Jack looks at George.

JACK

You mustn’t speak to your mother about this. Georgie. I don’t think she’s very well.

 

George speaks impatiently.

GEORGE

Mother? I never saw a healthier person in my life.

 

Jack talks sharply.

JACK

She doesn’t let anybody know but she goes to the doctor regularly.

 

George is dismissive.

GEORGE

Women are always going to doctors regularly.

 

Jack talks warmly.

JACK

I’d leave her alone, George.

 

George turns quickly. He goes to the door.

Opening the door he slams it behind him.

FADEOUT/FADE IN

MISIC-CD-SCENE PATHETIQUE (GEORGE AND EUGENE)

 

In the Mansions drawing room, George’s reflection is in the mirror as in the background he unwraps a box. We walks to the mental and puts a silver framed photograph of his father on it. His hands appear placing the picture on the mantel. His hands exit and he looks around. Then his hands pick up the photograph and in reflection he turns.

  Holding the photo, the camera follows. George stops, looks at photograph and puts it on table in front of the camera. He turns and the camera pans. He walks to leave and stops. He hears the sound of an automobile and George turns the window.

The camera is shooting across the street to Mrs. Johnson’s home. An automobile stops. The car is of a new design, low and long. Eugene jumps lightly down from it. Richly dressed and looking a like a millionaire he walks confidently towards the house.

The Curtains part in the drawing room window. George peers through the window curtains toward the street.

George looks out window. Eugene is coming up walk toward house.

At the window George closes the curtains.

The vestibule doors are closed.

The doorbell rings, and the maid walks towards glass doors.

She starts to open the door but George is seen on the other side of the glass.

GEORGE

You needn’t mind, Mary. I’ll see who it is and what they want. Probably it’s only a peddler.

MARY

Thank you, sir, Mister George.

 

The maid disappears. The bell is heard again. George abruptly throws open the door

He steps squarely into the middle of the vestibule.

He opens the front door where Eugene is waiting. Eugene’s happy anticipation gives way to something formal and polite.

EUGENE

Good afternoon George… Your mother expects to go driving with me, I believe.

 

George, stock still, is facing him.

EUGENE

If you’ll be so kind as to send her word that I’m here.

George talks sharply without making the slightest movement.

GEORGE

No.

 

Eugene is incredulous. He smiles slightly.

EUGENE

I beg your pardon. I said…

George Interrupts.

GEORGE

I heard you. You said you had an engagement with my   mother, and I told you, No!

Eugene gives him a steady look and speaks quietly.

EUGENE

What’s the matter?

 

Hot eyes flaring, George keeps his own voice quiet; this does not mitigate the vibrant fury of it

GEORGE

My mother will have no interest in knowing that you came here today…Or any other day!

 

Eugene looks at him with a scrutiny. He is angered.

EUGENE

I’m afraid I don’t understand you.

George voice rises slightly.  

 

GEORGE

I doubt if I could make it much plainer, but I’ll try. You’re not wanted in this house Mr. Morgan.

 

Eugene looks grim

GEORGE’S VOICE

Now or at any other time. Perhaps…

 

George looks ahead.

GEORGE

…you’ll understand- this!

CLICK TO HEAR MUSIC (CD-WAITING-1)

George slams the door in Eugene’s face.

Then, he stands just inside the door and notes that the misty silhouette remains upon the frosted glass for several moments as if Eugene is debating what to do.

The silhouette disappears

George walks toward the drawing room slamming the door behind him.

Coming from the hall George, moving towards the camera, walks into room and the camera follows him to the window. He looks out through the curtains watching Eugene slowly get into his car and not looking back at the house.

George turns and walking sits down in chair—his back to the camera—beside the table where on he had placed the photograph of his father

(SINGLE TAKE SCENE)

George is sitting when Isabel appears at doorway, a fur coat over her arm, and looks around. As the large room contains too many pieces of heavy furniture and the inside shutters exclude most of the light, at first she does not at notice George. When she does.  

ISABEL

Why, Georgie! Dear, I waited lunch almost an hour for you, but you didn’t come!

The bell is heard ringing.

ISABEL

Did you lunch out somewhere?

GEORGE

Yes.

 

The maid appears in the background, passes Isabel and walks to the front door.

ISABEL

I think it’s Mr. Morgan. Mary tell him I’ll be there at once.

 

Talking to George, Isabel comes towards the table.

ISABEL

Wouldn’t you like to have Aggie fix you something now for you in the dining room? Or they could bring it to you here, if you think it would be cozier.

GEORGE

No.

George stands as she talks and walks towards the table.

ISABEL

I’m going out driving, dear.

 

Mary appears in the doorway.

MARY

‘Twas a peddler, ma’am.

Isabel is surprised.

ISABEL

Another one? I thought you said it was a peddler when the bell rang a little while ago.

MARY

Mister George said so, ma’am; he went to the door.

Isabel musses.

ISABEL

There seem to be a great many of them.

The maid leaves and Isabel turns to George.

ISABEL

What did yours want to sell, George?

GEORGE

He didn’t say.

ISABEL

You must have cut him off short.

Isabel notices the picture of Wilber on the table and picks it up while speaking.

ISABEL

Gracious, Georgie! You have been investing! Is it—is it Lucy?

The next instant Isabel sees whose likeness it is and she is silent for a moment. As she speaks George turns to her.

ISABEL

Oh! That was nice of you, Georgie. I should have had it framed myself, when I gave it to you.

She puts the picture back on the table and George walks to her, disappointed that the photo has had no effect on his mother with regards to Eugene.  

His scheme having failed, he looks at his mother and defeated walks warily into the hallway.

  Isabel sits and waits.

DISSOLVE TO

In the vestibule George looks down a little troubled and then slowly walks off. He realizes that what he has done will hurt his mother and for a moment questions his actions. But, just for a moment.

DISSOLVE TO

Through the curtains we see Isabel is sitting at the table with Wilber’s photograph prominent on the table.

(CD-WAITING 2)

Isabel is still sitting.

 The bell rings. She rises and moves to the door as the camera pans to follow.

(SINGLE TAKE SCENE)

The camera is shooting down from the balcony to the hall below. Jack appears removing his hat.

Isabel walks from the library they talk but are barely heard. His voice is very serious.

JACK

I want to talk to you, Isabel.

ISABEL

Yes?

JACK

I’ve just come from Eugene’s

 

Jack walks into the library and Isabel follows. He stops. Turns to her and taking her arm leads her silently into the library.

 

CLICK PLAY TO HEAR MUSIC (CD-OSTINATO)

 

JACK

I want to talk to you.

 

There is something about her attitude and the pose of her slightly bent head that is both startled and meek. They disappear into the library and Jack closes the massive double doors.

 

The Camera tilts upward to George looking down over the balcony.

He looks up as hears Fanny speak in husky whisper.

FANNY ‘S VOICE

Well!

 

Camera continues to tilt revealing Fanny above him leaning over the bannisters of the second balcony. She whispers

FANNY

I can guess what that was about!

 

George gives her a dark look and Fanny hurries down the stairs as Camera tilts down to George. He walks down steps and camera pans to follow as he nearly stops on lower landing.

The camera pans up at balcony where Fanny is speaking in a loud whisper.

FANNY

He’s just told her what you did to Eugene.

GEORGE

You go back to your room!

 

George ignores her and begins to descend the stairs. Fanny objects.

FANNY

You’re not going in there?

GEORGE

You go back to your room.

FANNY

George!

 

CUT TO

Fanny rushes down the steps to George. The Camera pans across stair railing to follow her

FANNY

George.

 

Funny rushes down to George.

FANNY

No, you don’t, Georgie Minafer! You keep away from there!

 

She catches George and she clutches him savagely and tugs at him to restrain with determination. George tries to wrench away.

GEORGE

You let go of me

FANNY

I won’t! You come back here! And let them alone!

GEORGE

Of all the ridiculous…

Still whispering Fanny takes one hand from its grasp of his sleeve and claps it over his mouth.

FANNY

Hush up! Hush up! Go on to the top of the stairs—go on.

 

George unwillingly obeys and Fanny plants herself in his way on the top step.

FANNY

It’s indecent…like squabbling outside the door of an operating room…The idea of you going in there! Jack’s telling Isabel the whole thing—and you stay here and let him tell her. He’s got some consideration for her.

 

They stop. He challenges her.

GEORGE

I suppose you think I haven’t!

She answers writhingly.

FANNY.

You! Considerate of anybody!

George Is Hot.

GEORGE

I’m considerate of her good name!

FANNY

Oh!

GEORGE

Look here! It strikes me you’re taking a pretty different tack.

 

Fanny laments. She is finally aware of what her jealously has wrought and painfully regrets it to the point of near agony.

FANNY

I thought you already knew everything I did! I was just suffering so I wanted to let out a little…Oh, I was a fool! Eugene never would have looked at me even if he’d never seen Isabel…and they haven’t done any arm. She made Wilbur—happy, and she was a true wife to him—as long as he lived…And here I go, not doing myself a bit of good by it, and just—just ruining them.

 

She wrings her hands.

GEORGE

You told me how all the riff-raff in town were busy with her name, and then the minute I lift my hand to protect her, you begin to attack me and…

FANNY

Shh!

 

She checks him, laying her hand on his arm and looks over the railing.

GEORGE

Your uncle’s leaving.

JACK’S VOICE

I’ll be back, Isabel.

George looks over the railing and steps down the steps. He is stopped by Franny whispering.

FANNY

Let her alone. She’s down there by herself. Don’t go down.

George starts back up the stairs and the sound of a front door closing is heard. George heads up passes Fanny. He glances back down at her.

FANNY

Let her alone.

 

George looks at her bleakly and then turns away.

FADE OUT