Cast of Characters Principal Characters Hildy Johnson A firecracker of a woman in her mid 20s-early 30s. Walter Burns A true force to be reckoned with man in his 30s. Bruce Baldwin A sweet old fashioned fella in his 30s. Sheriff Hartwell The bumbling crooked sheriff in his 40s or 50s. Murphy, Bensinger, Endicott, McCue, Wilson and Sanders 6 fast-talking, poker-playing, reporters who argue, swipe headlines from each other and are always one story away from going broke or getting arrested. Ages ranging mid20s to late 50s. Mayor The crooked partner to Sheriff Hartwell who's always at odds with the governor, the law, and the journalists- 50s-70s. Louie Palooso The Slot-Machine king, gangster of New York and best friend/henchman to Walter Burns- in his 20s-30s. Duffy The long-suffering diabetic editor under Walter Burns-in his 50s-70s. Earl Williams A quiet bookkeeper turned criminal escapee- in his 30s-40s. Mollie Malloy A sweet gal, known to the reporters because she performs and bartends at one of the dives down on Center Street. In her 20s-30s.
The Morning Post reporters, copy boys, switchboard gals, secretaries, legal, lay-out, etc. These ladies and gentlemen are something akin to a pirate crew, bending ethics to get the next story, trying to keep from strangling Burns when he comes up with one of his plans that puts The Post within a split-hair distance of the band saw and they generally cope with violent outbursts, liquor in the bottom desk drawer and poker after hours. Wilcox Layout editor and purveyor or bottom drawer libations when the deadline is met- In his 20s-40s. Mildred Walter Burns’ secretary and voted most likely to set him on fire after what she has to put up with-20s-50s.
Slick Has a tendency to stick his nose into bee hives all over town. Makes him a good journalist and a liability-30s. Ruth Maisie’s roommate, likes the bustle of the office but hopes she can get Jim to put a ring on it- 20s-early 30s. Maisie Ruth’s roommate and best friend, loves the absurdities and scandals of the officewants to see Ruth happy but Maisie isn’t ready to settle down- 20s-early 30s. Clyde Fatherly figure and copy editor to the young copy boys, office gals and the only woman he’s ever loved is the paper-50-s 70s. Jim Used to be a lawyer but lost his license when the firm he was working for left him holding the bag. Burns scooped him up to follow the legal beat. He’s quiet and sweet and head over heels for Ruth but very shy- 30s. Skinny Dodges bullets and trains as the only fact-checker for The Post. They call him Skinny because he never has time to eat.- 20s-30s. Beatrice Been in this business a long time and takes no lip from anyone. Has a nice cynical twist on the love advice column- 40s-80s.
Steal-the-Show Cameo Characters Mr. Pete Davis Gentleman who is mistaken by Burns for Bruce in the first act. An older gentleman who thought today was his lucky day, getting to talk to the editor himself, only to become part of a slapstick routine.-60s-80s. Mr. Joe Pettibone The absent-minded, bumbling process server, who brings the reprieve to the Sheriff and Mayor- 40s-50s. Mrs. Baldwin The hoity-toity mother of Bruce and soon to be (maybe) mother-in-law to Hildy. – 50s70s Warden Cooley The city official who is paid peanuts to watch the jail, sees everything but won't open his trap without some green tickling his palm- 20s-40s. Dr. Egelhoffer The profound thinker from Washington that is brought in to give a sanity test to Earl Williams the night before his hanging. -30s-50s. Gus, the waiter Gus never made it to the silverscreen like he'd planned. Instead, he ended up as the head waiter in the pub all the reporters come to for chow when they have the dough to pay. -20s-30s.
Insurance Doctor A small cameo part as the poor unfortunate doctor who has to examine Mr. Burns for the insurance policy he's pledged to buy with Bruce's company. -20s-60s. Frank, Carl and Joe The police officers who try to do their jobs despite the crooked Sheriff Hartwell they report to. Some fun bits with these parts, a few speaking lines and a lot of conflict between their sense of duty to the Sheriff and the desire to arrest him because they have an idea that he's crooked.- 20s-50s.
Evangeline Gorgeous gal and one of Louie's girls used to entrap Bruce and get him arrested for 'mashing'. -20s-early 30s. Mrs. Twickett The Twickett twins’ mother, small part but fun!- 20s-30s. Gladys and Deidre Small part, well-to-do victims of Petey the Pincher-Any age.
The Little Rascals Gang Five street urchins who are alternately being paid a couple of pennies to sell and deliver newspapers and getting into trouble playing street games and trying to pick pockets of passersby. Shorty The ring leader of the little gang, usually the one distracting someone while the others pick their pockets- 9-15 years old. Petey the Pincher Called “The Pincher” because of his quick fingers in going through purses, pockets and also for picking on the girls- 9-14 years old. Sweet Maggie Jane Anything but Sweet, this gal is tougher than all the boys put together but secretly wants to be like the Twickett twins. – 9-15 years old. Weasel The schemer of the group and Shorty’s right right hand. Can be a girl or a boy- 9-15 years old. Hopper The good kid who’s fallen in with this crowd of miscreants. Wants to prove themselves but is also constantly worried about getting caught. He’s also a Copy Boy at the Morning Post- 9-15 years old.
Lila and Penny Twickett Two sisters who think Shorty is the cat’s pajamas. Very pretty proper girls who end up taking Sweet Maggie under their wing by the end of the show- 9-14 years old.
Scenes ACT I Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene
1A- Morning Post Pressroom/Walter Burns’ Office- Page 6 1B- Morning Post Pressroom/Walter Burns’ Office- Page 10 1C- Morning Post Pressroom- Page 22 2- Street Corner- Page 26 3- Small Pub- Page 28 4- Street Corner- Page 40 5- Criminal Courts Building- Press Room- Page 42 6A- Walter Burns’ Office- Page 47 6B- Criminal Courts Building- Press Room- Page 50 6C- Outside Jail- Page 53 7A- Jail- Page 55 7B- Street Corner- Page 56 7C- Jail- Page 57 8- Criminal Courts Building- Press Room- Page 60 9A- Jail- Page 67 9B- Street in front of Jail- Page 68 10- Criminal Courts Building- Press Room- Page 69 11- Sheriff’s Office- Page 71 12A- Criminal Courts Building- Press Room- Page 73 12B-In the Street during the Jailbreak- Page 75
Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene Scene
ACT I: SCENE 1A- Morning Post Newsroom/Walter Burns’ Office (Bustling Newspaper room with tables, copy boys, reporters, layout designers, etc. hurrying from one side to the other talking over each other. RUTH and MAISIE sit at a switch board downstage right next to the ‘waiting area’) WILCOX Bring it in here. Right. MILDRED What about this deadline? RUTH Morning Post. MAISIE Morning Post. RUTH City Desk? Just one moment and I’ll connect you. (JIM approaches RUTH wearing a rumpled shirt and an undone tie) JIM (Motioning to his tie and clearly embarrassed) Gee, Ruth, you think you could help me with this? RUTH (delighted) Sure thing, Jim. MAISIE Classified advertising? One moment please.
CLYDE (Calling to HOPPER) Copy boy! (HOPPER approaches CLYDE and the two hold up photos and fragments of a story.) CLYDE See? Now make it snappy and hurry back. (Sends COPY BOY off with article. CLYDE Turns to SLICK and starts talking about another story.) CLYDE You see that headline, Slick? SLICK The Mayor’s sure opening a can of worms with that one. CLYDE Can of worms? He ought to open a whole bait shop! SLICK Well what if I go over and shake that tree to see what falls out? BEATRICE Just so long as it’s not you, falling out of another married woman’s window, Slick.
SLICK One time that happened! JIM That we know of. Hey, Beatrice, where's the rest of this story? BEATRICE Is that the piece about minimum wage? Or the feature about Mary Pickford’s facelift? JIM (searching a nearby desk) The one about the Nazis moving on Austria. I know I saw it here somewhere.
MILDRED (digging around in the papers on her desk) Here it is Jim, Wilcox put his pastrami down on it. (JIM crosses to take the paper. WILCOX collects his sandwich) WILCOX There it is! Thought I left it in Paste Up again. SKINNY Yeah, let’s not do that again, Wilcox. The last time, the front page had mustard on it for the first 200 copies. WILCOX And I’ll bet you scraped it off every one of those copies and onto your sandwich, Skinny. SKINNY Well, actually it was your sandwich. Good bread by the way, the Missus make it? (SKINNY ducks when WILCOX throws a book at him) SKINNY I need to be running along anyhow.
(While this action is taking place, HILDY and BRUCE enter. She leaves him in the waiting area sitting next to Mr. Pete Davis and approaches Ruth and Maisie at switchboard.)
RUTH Morning Post.
MAISIE Morning Post.
RUTH Parks department? Just a moment please.
SKINNY (Passing by Ruth and Maisie) If anybody asks, I'm at the courthouse. MAISIE Ok, Skinny. (Returning to caller) Crime beat? One moment and I’ll connect you.
SKINNY (Goes through waiting area, calls for elevator) Elevator! Going down. (Spots HILDY) Hello, Hildy. HILDY Hiya, Skinny. (SKINNY Exits. Hildy crosses to RUTH and MAISIE) Hello, Ruth, Maisie. MAISIE Well Hello Hildy! HILDY Tell me, is the lord of the universe in? RUTH Yes, in a bad humor. MAISIE Somebody must have stolen the crown jewels. RUTH Shall we announce you? HILDY Oh no, no, I'll blow my own horn. (Turns back to look at Bruce) He’s in. Bruce, you better wait here. I'll be back in ten minutes.
BRUCE Even ten minutes is a long time to be away from you.
HILDY What did you say? BRUCE Huh? Well, I… HILDY Go on. BRUCE Uhh, I… HILDY Well, go ahead. BRUCE Oh, I just said, even ten minutes is a long time to be away from you.
HILDY I heard you the first time. I like it. That's why I asked you to say it again. I can stand being spoiled a little. The gentleman I'm going in to see did very little spoiling.
BRUCE I'd like to spoil him, just once. Sure you don’t want me to go in with you? HILDY Oh no, I can handle it. BRUCE Well if things get rough, remember I'm here. HILDY (Turns and heads through the newsroom) I'll come running, partner. (As HILDY crosses room, newspaper men and women look up and greet her) HILDY Hello, Jim. JIM Hello, Hildy! SLICK How are you? WILCOX Welcome back. BEATRICE Hello, Hildy, how have you been? HILDY Hi Beatrice, how's "Advice to the Lovelorn"? BEATRICE Fine. My cat just had kittens again. HILDY (Peeling away from BEATRICE and heading towards BURNS’ office) It’s your own fault. Wilcox! Glad to see you. Hi, Slick. Mildred, you still around? MILDRED Hiya Hildy!
(As HILDY enters the doorway for BURNS’ office, the newspaper staff all share a look and then move to listen to the exchange between HILDY and BURNS, lights dim on newsroom)
ACT I: SCENE 1B- The Morning Post Press Room/Walter Burns’ Office (HILDY pauses in the doorway to BURNS’ office. BURNS and LOUIE are inside, BURNS is shaving and LOUIE is holding the mirror)
LOUIE A little more around the chin, boss. (HILDY knocks on the door frame) BURNS What do you want? HILDY Your ex-wife is here. Do you want to see her? BURNS (Looking around and putting down razor) Well hello, Hildy. HILDY Hello, Walter. (HILDY enters office) LOUIE Hi Hildy. HILDY Oh hello, Louie. How's the big slot-machine king? LOUIE I ain't doing that no more. I'm retired. You know what I mean? (DUFFY enters.) DUFFY Say Walter. BURNS I'm busy Duffy! DUFFY Hello Hildy. HILDY Hello Duffy. DUFFY Listen Walter… BURNS Get going, I’m busy. DUFFY I thought you ought to know that the governor didn't sign that reprieve.
DUFFY And tomorrow, Earl Williams dies and makes a sucker out of us. (Pause while BURNS turns and starts pacing) Well, what are you gonna do? BURNS Get the governor on the phone. DUFFY I can't. BURNS Why not? DUFFY Can’t locate him. He’s out fishing. BURNS How many places to fish are there? DUFFY Well at least two, the Atlantic and the Pacific. BURNS Alright that simplifies it, doesn’t it? DUFFY Oh yea... BURNS Get him on the phone. DUFFY And tell him what? HILDY Quiet, Duffy. He's thinking. BURNS Tell him that if he’ll reprieve Williams, we'll support him for senator. DUFFY What?! BURNS Tell him the Morning Post will be behind him hook, line and sinker.
DUFFY But you can’t do that! BURNS Why not? DUFFY Because we’ve been a democratic paper for over twenty years.
BURNS Alright, after we get the reprieve, we'll be democratic again.
DUFFY (Beside himself) Oh Walter… BURNS (Speaking over DUFFY) Now go on Duffy, get going! Remember The Morning Post expects every city editor to do his duty. DUFFY Alright, alright, alright. BURNS You too, Louie. Get out of here. (DUFFY and LOUIE exit) HILDY Well Walter, I see you're still at it. BURNS First time I ever double-crossed a governor. What can I do for you? HILDY Well would you mind if I sat down? BURNS There's been a lamp burning in the window for you, honey. (Motions her to his lap) Here. HILDY Oh, I jumped out of that window a long time ago, Walter. (BURNS pulls out a cigarette case and opens it) Oh may I have one of those? (He throws a cigarette to her) Thank you. And the match. (He passes her the box) Thank you. BURNS Well, well, how long is it? HILDY How long is what?
BURNS You know what. How long is it since we've seen each other? HILDY Well, let's see. I spent six weeks in Reno, then Bermuda. About four months, I guess. Seems like yesterday to me. BURNS Maybe it was yesterday, Hildy. Been seeing me in your dreams? HILDY Oh no, Mama doesn't dream about you anymore, Walter. You wouldn't know the ole girl now. BURNS Ah yes, I would. I'd know you anytime… BURNS AND HILDY "Anyplace, anywhere."
HILDY You're repeating yourself, Walter. That’s the speech you made the night you proposed. BURNS I noticed you still remembered it. HILDY Of course I remember it. If I didn't remember it, I wouldn't have divorced you. BURNS Yeah, I wish you hadn’t done that, Hildy. HILDY Done what? BURNS Divorced me. It makes a fellow lose all faith in himself. It gives him a… well it almost gives him a feeling he wasn't wanted. HILDY Now look Junior, that's what divorces are for. BURNS Nonsense, you've got an old-fashioned idea that divorce is something that lasts forever. "Till death do us part." Why divorce doesn't mean anything nowadays, Hildy. Just a few words mumbled over you by a judge. We've got something between us nothing can change. HILDY Oh well, I suppose you're right in a way, Walter. BURNS Sure I’m right. HILDY I am fond of you, you know. BURNS That a girl! HILDY I often wish you weren't such a stinker. BURNS Latin I suppose, ‘You must come up and meet my mother. She'd like that’. HILDY And why on earth did you promise not to fight the divorce and then do everything you possibly could to gum up the whole works? BURNS Well, I meant to let you go, Hildy, but you know how it is; ‘you never miss the Walter till the well runs dry’.
HILDY A big fat lummox like you, hiring an airplane to write, "Hildy, don't be hasty. Remember my dimple. - Walter." It delayed our divorce 20 minutes while the judge went out to watch it.
BURNS Well I don’t mean to brag, but I've still got the dimple, and in the same place. Look Hildy, I only acted like any husband who didn't want to see his home broken up. HILDY What home? BURNS What home! Don’t you remember the home I promised you? HILDY Sure I do. That was the one we were going to have right after the honeymoon. Ah, honeymoon. BURNS Was it my fault? Did I know that coal mine was gonna have another cave-in? I intended to be with you on our honeymoon, Hildy. Honest I did. HILDY All I know is that instead of two weeks in Atlantic City with my bridegroom, I spent two weeks in a coal mine with John Kruptzky. You don’t deny that, do you Walter? BURNS Deny it? I’m proud of it! We beat the whole country on that story!
HILDY Suppose we did! That isn't what I got married for! Oh, what is the good? Look, now Walter. What I came up here to tell you is that you must stop phoning me a dozen times a day, sending me twenty telegrams… BURNS I write a beautiful telegram, don’t I? Everybody says so. HILDY Are you gonna listen to what I came up here to say? BURNS Look, look, what's the use of fighting, Hildy? I'll tell you what you do. You come back to work on the paper, if we find we can't get along in a friendly fashion, we'll get married again. HILDY What? BURNS Certainly, I haven't any hard feelings. HILDY Walter, you're wonderful, in a loathsome sort of way. Now will you please be quiet just long enough for me to tell you what I came up here to say? BURNS (Putting a hand on her arm and trying to move her towards the door) Well let’s have some lunch and you can tell me everything.
HILDY I have a lunch date.
BURNS Break it. HILDY I cannot break it. Get your hands off me. What are you playing? Osteopath? BURNS Temper, temper. HILDY Now listen Walter, you are no longer my husband and no longer my boss. And you’re not going to be my boss. BURNS What’s that supposed to mean? HILDY Just what I say. BURNS You mean you're not coming back to work on the paper?
HILDY You're right, Mr. Burns, for the first time today. BURNS Got a better offer, huh? HILDY You bet I’ve got a better offer. BURNS Alright, go on, take it, work for somebody else! That's the gratitude I get. HILDY Oh I wish you’d stop hamming. BURNS What were you when you came here five years ago? A little college girl from a school of journalism. I took a doll-faced hick... HILDY Well you wouldn't have taken me if I hadn’t been doll-faced. BURNS Well why should I? I thought it would be a novelty to have a face around here a man could look at without shuddering. HILDY (Getting angrier) Listen Walter! BURNS Listen I made a great reporter, out of you, Hildy. But you won't be half as good on any other paper and you know it! We're a team. (HILDY starts impersonating an auctioneer) BURNS You need me and I need you and the paper needs both of us!
HILDY (HILDY slaps the desk) Sold the American! BURNS Oh alright, go ahead. HILDY Listen, Walter, please. BURNS Mmmhmm. HILDY The paper's gonna have to get along without me. So will you. It just didn't work out, Walter. BURNS Yeah, well it would have worked out if you'd been satisfied just being editor and reporter. But not you, you had to marry me. Spoil everything. HILDY I wasn't satisfied? I suppose I proposed to you! BURNS Well you practically did! Making goo goo eyes at me for two years until I broke down. (Imitating a doe-eyed HILDY) "Oh, Walter!" And I still claim I was tight the night I proposed to you. If you'd been a gentleman, you'd have forgotten it. But not you. (HILDY throws her purse at him) BURNS (BURNS ducks and it misses him) You’re losing your arm. You used to be able to pitch better than that. (Answering telephone) Hello. What? Sweeney? What can I do for you? (Lights up on DUFFY outside of BURNS’ Office on the phone) DUFFY What? Wait a minute, I'm not Sweeney. I'm Duffy. BURNS Listen Sweeny, you can't do that to me! Not today, of all days! DUFFY What's the matter with you? Are you loony? BURNS Jumping Jehosophat! Now, listen, Sweeney. This is no time... Oh alright, I suppose so. Yes, if you have to, you have to. (Hangs up. DUFFY looks dumbstruck, hangs up and shakes his head) HILDY He had to. BURNS How do you like that. Everything happens to me. 365 days in a year, and this has to be the day.
HILDY What's the matter Walter? BURNS Sweeney. HILDY Dead? BURNS He might just as well be. The only man on the paper that can write and he picks today to have a baby. HILDY Well he didn’t do it on purpose, did he? BURNS I don’t care whether he did or not. He's supposed to be covering the Earl Williams case, and where is he? Walking up and down in a hospital. Is there no sense of honor in this country? HILDY Oh well haven't you got anybody else?
BURNS No, there’s nobody else on the paper that can write. This'll break me. Unless...Hildy! HILDY NO. (Next lines of BURNS and HILDY simultaneously) BURNS Hildy, you gotta help me out. HILDY Not a chance, Walter. Don’t bother me. (DUFFY enters and BURNS turns DUFFY around and pushes him back out the door) BURNS Get out of here, Duffy, I’m busy! HILDY No look, Walter please. Save your breath. BURNS Now look darling. This'll bring us together again. Just the way we used to be. HILDY That's just what I'm afraid of. “Anytime, anyplace, anywhere.” BURNS Now don’t mock me. This is bigger than anything that ever happened to us. If you won’t do it for me, do it for the paper.
HILDY Scram, Svengali.
BURNS Now look, if you won’t do it for love, how about money? Forget the other offer. I'll raise you $25 bucks a week. HILDY Listen to me, you great big bumble-headed baboon... BURNS I'll make it $35 bucks and not a cent more.
HILDY Well are you gonna listen!? BURNS Well good grief! How much is that other paper gonna pay you? HILDY There isn’t any other paper. BURNS Oh well then, in that case the raise is off. You go back to your old salary. How do you like that, trying to blank check me in my hour of need. (Phone rings, BURNS crosses and picks it up) HILDY Walter, I want to show you something. BURNS (Into Phone) I'm busy. HILDY It’s here, it’s a ring. Take a good look at it. Do you know what it is? It's an engagement ring. BURNS Engagement ring? (hangs up phone) HILDY I tried to tell you right away, but you would start reminiscing. I'm getting married, Walter and I’m also getting as far away from the newspaper business as I can get. BURNS What? HILDY I'm through. BURNS You can get married all you want to, Hildy, but you can't quit the newspaper business. HILDY No? Why not?
BURNS I know you Hildy. I know what quitting would mean to you.
HILDY Oh and what would it mean? BURNS It would kill you. HILDY You can't sell me that, Walter Burns. BURNS Who says I can’t? You're a newspaperman. HILDY That’s why I’m quitting. I wanna go someplace where I can be a woman. BURNS You mean be a traitor. HILDY A Traitor? A traitor to what? BURNS A traitor to journalism. You're a journalist, Hildy! HILDY A journalist? Now what does that mean? Peeking through keyholes? Chasing after fire engines? Waking people up in the middle of the night to ask them if Hitler’s gonna start another war? Stealing pictures off old ladies? I know all about reporters, Walter. A lot of daffy butt-in-skies running around without a nickel in their pockets. And for what? So a million hired girls and motormen’s wives will know what’s going on? Why I… What's the use? Walter, you wouldn't know what it means to want to be respectable and live a halfway normal life. The point is, I'm through. BURNS Where did you meet this man? HILDY Bermuda. BURNS Rich, huh? HILDY He's not what you'd call rich. He makes about five thousand a year. BURNS What's his line? HILDY He's in the insurance business. BURNS Insurance business? HILDY Well that's a good, honest business, isn’t it?
BURNS Oh certainly, it's honest. It's also adventurous it’s romantic... Listen Hildy, I can't picture you being surrounded by policies and policies- it doesn’t make sense.
HILDY I can, I can and I like it, what's more. Besides he forgets the office when he's with me. He doesn't treat me like an errand boy either, Walter. He treats me like a woman. BURNS He does, does he? How did I treat you? Like a water buffalo? HILDY I don't know from water buffaloes. But I do know about him. He's kind, and he’s sweet and he’s considerate. He wants a home and children. BURNS Sounds more like a guy I ought to marry. What’s his name? HILDY Uh, Baldwin. Bruce Baldwin. BURNS Baldwin…Baldwin? I knew a Baldwin once, a horse thief from Mississippi. Couldn't be the same fella, could it? HILDY You're not talking about the man I'm marrying tomorrow. BURNS Tomorrow? As soon as that? HILDY Mmm-hmmm. Well, at last, I got out what I came up here to tell you. Guess there isn't any more to the story. So long, Walter. BURNS So long, Hildy. HILDY Better luck to you next time. BURNS Thanks. (HILDY starts to leave.) Oh Hildy… Well, you kind of took the wind out of my sail. Look honey, I just want to wish you everything I couldn't give you. HILDY Thank you, Walter. BURNS This other fellow. Well, I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to see him. I'm more or less particular about whom my wife marries. Where is he? HILDY Oh, he's right on the job, waiting for me out there. BURNS Oh. Do you mind if I meet him? HILDY Oh no Walter, it wouldn't do any good, really.
BURNS Oh now, you're not afraid, are you? HILDY Afraid? Of course not. BURNS Well then come on, let's see this paragon. Is he as good as you say? HILDY Oh he's better. BURNS Oh well then what does he want with you? HILDY There you’ve got me.
ACT I: SCENE 1C- The Morning Post Pressroom (Lights back up on Pressroom as BURNS and HILDY exit office, everyone pretends to go back to work) MILDRED (Meeting them at the office door) Walter…(her hands are full of messages she waves at him) BURNS (Ignoring her waving the messages) Back in an hour, Mildred. Oh, I am sorry, Hildy. I suppose Bruce... What's his name? HILDY Baldwin. BURNS Baldwin. I suppose he opens doors for you? HILDY He does. And when he’s with a lady, he takes his hat off. BURNS Oh I am sorry. HILDY And when he walks with a lady, he waits for her. BURNS Oh well in that case... HILDY (HILDY opens gate into waiting area) Allow me. (BURNS strides past her and approaches MR. PETE DAVIS and starts shaking his hand)
BURNS Well, I can see right away my wife picked out the right husband for herself. How do you do sir? PETE DAVIS Must be some mistake. I'm already married. BURNS Already married? Oh Hildy, you should have told me. BRUCE Mr. Burns... BURNS Well Congratulations again, Mr. Baldwin. PETE DAVIS No, my name... BRUCE Mr. Burns...
BURNS (To PETE DAVIS) Oh excuse me will you. (To BRUCE) I’m terribly busy, just leave your card with the boy. (To PETE DAVIS) What did you say Mr. Baldwin? BRUCE Mr. Burns.
PETE DAVIS My name is... BRUCE Mr. Burns... BURNS (To BRUCE) Some other time, I’m busy with Mr. Bruce Baldwin here. (To PETE DAVIS) I didn’t hear what you said. BRUCE Mr. Burns. PETE DAVIS My name is... BURNS (turning to BRUCE) Now look. What is it with you? BRUCE I'm Bruce Baldwin. BURNS Can't you see I'm...? Oh! You're Bruce Baldwin! BRUCE Yes. BURNS So who is he? (To PETE DAVIS) Who are you? PETE DAVIS My name's Pete Davis. BURNS Well Mr. Davis, is this any concern of yours? DAVIS No. BURNS Well from now on, I’d thank you to keep your nose out of my affairs. And don't let it happen again, that’s all. PETE DAVIS I just wanted to tell you that… BURNS (now ignoring MR. PETE DAVIS) Mr. Baldwin, I'm terribly sorry about this mistake. This is indeed a pleasure. (Shakes the handle of his umbrella instead of his hand). Oh that's wrong, isn't it? Well Bruce you see, I thought-you don’t mind me calling you Bruce do you? After all, we’re practically related.
BRUCE Oh no, not at all. BURNS You see, my wife... that is, your wife. I mean Hildy. Oh Hildy, you know, you led me to expect you were marrying a much older man. HILDY Oh really? And what did I say that led you to expect that? BURNS Oh, don't worry about it. I realize you didn’t mean old in years. You always carry an umbrella, Bruce? BRUCE Well, it looked a little cloudy this morning. BURNS That's right. Rubbers too, I hope. (BRUCE shows BURNS his rain boots) Thattaboy! A man ought to be prepared for any emergency. HILDY Well Walter, I think we better be running along. BURNS Yes, we’d better be going. BRUCE Where are we going? BURNS Well, I’m taking you two to lunch, didn’t you tell him Hildy? BRUCE No, she didn't. BURNS Well I guess she just wanted to surprise you, Bruce. After you. After you, Hildy. (BRUCE exits first, HILDY pauses for next line before following) HILDY You're wasting your time, Walter. It won’t do you a bit of good. BURNS No, no I'm glad to do it. Glad to do it. (After they exit, MAISIE motions MR. PETE DAVIS over to help him) MAISIE Mr. Davis, can I help you? MR. PETE DAVIS I’m... I’m not sure. Is…Is Mr. Burns always like that? CLYDE (handing a stack of papers to HOPPER) Yep, it’s the days he ain’t acting loony that we worry. Get these late editions down to the street corner, Hopper.
HOPPER Yessir! (HOPPER exits followed by Mr. Pete Davis) MILDRED I can’t believe Hildy’s getting out! JIM I can’t believe Hildy’s getting married! Again! BEATRICE Yeah, and to a regular schmo in the insurance business! RUTH Why not? Is it so crazy for a gal to want to get hitched and settle down? JIM (looking panicky) N-No, I didn’t mean anything like that. I mean, it’s Hildy. WILCOX I can’t see her leaving all this, (motioning around newsroom) in all its glory, for that milquetoast. SLICK Yeah, I’m laying odds of 2 to 1 that Burns does something to stop it. Any takers?
BEATRICE, MILDRED, JIM, CLYDE, WILCOX, RUTH, and MAISIE No bet!!!
ACT I: SCENE 2: Street Corner (SHORTY, SWEET MAGGIE JANE, WEASEL and PETEY THE PINCHER are standing in a gang as reporters and street walkers pass by. Two women are talking and Petey walks behind them. They pause to look around, annoyed.)
DEIDRE I told you Gladys, Radio City Music Hall is this way. GLADYS (playing with the pearls at her neck) I don’t care which way it is Deidre, so long as we can get inside somewhere before this downpour hits. I just had my hair set. (The two women hurry off and PETEY holds up a gold make-up case he took from one of the women’s purses. He hurries back to his friends and they crowd around) SHORTY Nice pull, Petey! WEASEL They don’t call him The Pincher for nothing. Let’s see what’s inside. (They open the box. Inside is a powder puff and powder) SWEET MAGGIE JANE What is it? It stinks! (She sneezes and blows powder into WEASEL and PETEY’s faces) (PETEY and WEASEL stand still in shock as HOPPER enters with papers) (HOPPER pauses to look at PETEY and WEASEL) HOPPER What did I miss?
SHORTY Sweet Maggie Jane here was trying out her new make up on Weasel and Petey.
(SWEET MAGGIE JANE puts SHORTY in a head lock) SWEET MAGGIE JANE That junk ain’t mine. Say it. SHORTY (in pain) It ain’t yours! (SWEET MAGGIE JANE releases him) WEASEL (to HOPPER) Those the late editions? HOPPER Yeah, we get a nickel each for selling the whole stack. (HOPPER hands some to each of them and the gang splits up, approaching different people passing. LILA and PENNY TWICKETT enter and spot SHORTY)
LILA and PENNY TWICKETT Hiya Shorty! (SHORTY turns to look at the two girls, embarrassed) SHORTY Hiya Lila, hi Penny. (SWEET MAGGIE JANE is distracted watching the girls with SHORTY) LILA TWICKETT (trying to sound grown up) What’s the news today? SHORTY Oh, not much that would interest a couple of swell gals like you. PENNY TWICKETT Oh Shorty, you’re such a charmer. (MRS. TWICKETT who has been standing behind them not paying attention to them looks down at them) MRS. TWICKETT Lila, Penny, time to go. We’ll be late to meet your father. LILA and PENNY TWICKETT Au Revoir, Shorty! (Both girls curtsy and exit with mother. SWEET MAGGIE JANE watches them and looks around to make sure none of the guys are watching before she tries to curtsy. SHORTY turns to look at her and she glares at him.) SWEET MAGGIE JANE What are you looking at? (the crew goes back to hustling people to buy papers. HILDY, BRUCE and BURNS cross the stage after the TWICKETTs exit and the gang and street walkers exit different directions as the lights come up on the next scene.)
ACT I: SCENE 3: A Small Pub (Gus is cleaning tables) GUS (monologuing to himself and pretending he’s Carl Denham in King Kong) We'll give him more than chains. He's always been king of his world, but we'll teach him fear. We're millionaires, boys. I'll share it with all of you. Why, in a few months, it'll be up in lights on Broadway: Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World. (BRUCE, HILDY and BURNS walk in) HILDY Well hello, Gus. GUS Well don’t tell me it’s you Hildy! HILDY It’s none other. How have things been? GUS Well I can't complain. BURNS I can. I'm hungry, Gus. Get me a roast beef sandwich. BRUCE (Tries to sit next to HILDY but BURNS is already in the chair and BRUCE sits down on his lap) Oh, I’m sorry. BURNS On white bread, Gus. Over there, Bruce. Right here. GUS And you, Hildy?
HILDY Oh well, I'll have the same I guess. GUS You, sir?
BRUCE Yes, that's all right for me.
BURNS Bring some mustard too, Gus. GUS Yes sir. (GUS exits.) BURNS Ah, well, well, well. So you two are gonna get married, huh? How does it feel, Bruce?
BRUCE Feels awful good. Yes sir. BURNS Well you’re getting a great little girl for yourself. BRUCE I realize that. Things have been different for me ever since I met Hildy. I’ve never met anyone quite like her before. Everybody else I've known… Well you could always tell ahead of time what they were going to say or do. But Hildy's not like that. You can't tell that about her. That's nice.
BURNS You’re getting something else too, Bruce, you’re getting a great newspaper man.
HILDY No orchids, Walter. BURNS One of the best I ever knew. Sorry to see her go. Darn sorry, Hildy. HILDY I'd like to believe you meant that. BURNS I do mean it. Listen if you ever want to come back to the newspaper business… HILDY Which I won't. Oh well, in spite of everything, If I ever do there's only one man I'd work for. BURNS Bet your life, I'd kill you if you ever worked for anyone else. HILDY Now you hear that, Bruce? That's my diploma. BRUCE It must be quite a business if it’s… Hildy, are you sure you want to quit? HILDY Now Bruce, what do you mean? BRUCE Well I mean that if there’s any doubt about it or if there’s anything that… No, this is your chance to have a home and to be, like you said, a human being and I want to make you take that chance. BURNS Certainly. Why, I wouldn't let her stay. No, she deserves all this happiness, Bruce, all the things I couldn't give her. Yeah, all she ever wanted was a home. BRUCE Well, I'll certainly try to give her one. BURNS I know you will, Bruce. Where are you gonna live? BRUCE Albany.
BURNS Albany, huh? You got a family up there then? BRUCE Just my mother. BURNS Just your mother…Oh, you’re gonna live with your mother? BRUCE Well, just for the first year. BURNS Ah well that will be nice, yes, yes….a home with Mother. In Albany too. BRUCE Mighty nice little town, Albany. They’ve got the state capitol there, you know. BURNS Yeah I know yeah. We were there once. (Laughs at an inside joke with HILDY) Listen will you ever forget the night you brought the governor back to the hotel? You see, I was in taking a bath when I came waling out without… (HILDY kicks him under the table) She didn't know I was in town. Well, uh, Bruce, how is business up there? Any better? BRUCE Well, Albany's a mighty good insurance town, most people there take it out pretty early in life. BURNS Yeah, well, I could see why they would. (HILDY kicks him under the table again) BRUCE Statistics show that most of our policies… BURNS (Interrupting) You know Bruce, I’ve got a feeling that I ought to have taken out a little insurance. ‘Course that doesn’t really matter now that Hildy and I have, uh, you know- we’ve *pfft*, does it? Or does it, what do you think? Still, it might have been a good idea if we…if I had taken out a little insurance. BRUCE Well I honestly feel that way. I figure I’m in one business that really helps people. Of course, we don't help you much while you're alive, but afterward. That's what counts. (GUS comes over with their meals) BURNS Sure. I don't get it. (HILDY accidentally kicks GUS under the table) GUS Ouch!
BURNS (To HILDY) Nice going. HILDY I…uh, I’m so sorry, Gus. My foot must have slipped.
GUS Oh that’s all right. What would you like to drink? BURNS Coffee, Gus. GUS Shall I put some rum in the coffee? It’s a nasty day. BURNS Sure. HILDY Oh me too, Gus, please. GUS (To BRUCE) And you sir? BRUCE Not for me, thanks. BURNS Come on, Bruce, have a little. BRUCE No, I have a lot to do this afternoon. I have to buy the tickets, and check the baggage... BURNS Oh do it tomorrow, there’s plenty of time. HILDY We're leaving today at 4’o’clock, taking the sleeper for Albany. BURNS Oooh, you're leaving today at 4’o’clock, huh? (Nods and affirmative noises from BRUCE and HILDY)
BURNS Say, that's only two hours. HILDY That doesn’t give us much time at that.
BRUCE No, and I've got a lot to do. I want to get to the office and… (During BRUCE’s line, BURNS dumps some of his water into his own lap) (BRUCE and HILDY stop talking as BURNS stands)
BURNS Oh! Would you look at that. Isn't that silly? All down over my front. HILDY Well that's nothing new. (Tries to give BURNS her napkin from her lap) Here. BURNS No, never mind, I'll get Gus. Hey, Gus! (GUS moves to meet BURNS USL forming a sub-scene) (Loudly) Do something about this, will you? (In a stage whisper to GUS) Call me to the telephone as soon as I get back to the table. GUS Sure. BURNS Thanks, Gus, that's fine. (Crosses back to BRUCE AND HILDY) I'm terribly sorry about that. That was silly, wasn’t it. Listen Bruce, let me get that straight. I must have misunderstood you again. You're taking the sleeper today, then getting married tomorrow? BRUCE Oh, well, it's not like that. BURNS Oh what is it like? HILDY Poor Walter. He'll toss and turn all night. Perhaps we better tell him Mother is coming along too. BURNS (To HILDY) Mother? Your mother kicked the bucket... BRUCE No, my mother. My mother. BURNS Oh your mother? Oh well that relieves my mind. HILDY It was cruel of us to let you suffer that way. Isn't Walter sweet? Always wanting to protect me. BURNS Well I admit I wasn't much of a husband, but you can always count on me, Hildy. BRUCE I don't think she'll need you very much, Mr. Burns. I aim to do most of the protecting myself. (GUS approaches) GUS Mr. Burns, telephone.
BURNS For me? GUS Yes sir. BURNS That's strange. Pardon me. (BURNS crosses to telephone to form a subscene) BRUCE You know Hildy, he's not such a bad fellow. HILDY No, he should make some girl real happy. Slaphappy. BRUCE He's not the man for you, I can see that. But I sort of like him. He's got a lot of charm. HILDY He comes by it naturally. His grandfather was a snake.
SUBSCENE (Lights dim on HILDY and BRUCE and up on BURNS at phone and DUFFY at phone opposite side of the stage) BURNS (Into the phone) Hello? Duffy, listen. Any way we can stop the 4’o’clock train to Albany from leaving town? DUFFY (On the Phone) We might dynamite it. BURNS Could we? Maybe we couldn't. All right, get this. Get ahold of Sweeney and send him out of town on a two weeks' vacation right away. DUFFY Two weeks!? Are you trying to give me a heart attack, Walter?! BURNS Alright keep your shirt on. Hildy's coming back. DUFFY What?! Did she… BURNS No, she doesn't know it yet, but I promise you, she's staying here. Listen, tell Louie to stick around the office, I may need him. Goodbye. (BURNS hangs up. DUFFY shakes his head, pops some pills and massages his temple after hanging up then lights down on DUFFY. BURNS crosses back to the table.)
BURNS (As he passes GUS.) Thanks, Gus. (to HILDY and BRUCE back at the table and regaining his seat.) This is a bad business. HILDY What is it? BURNS Oh the Earl Williams case. BRUCE Oh yes, I’ve been reading about that.
BURNS It's pretty bad. HILDY What is the lowdown on it? BURNS Oh simple, honey. Poor little dope lost his job, went berserk and shot a cop that was coming after him to quiet him down. Now they’re going to hang him tomorrow. HILDY What a shame. BRUCE Your paper… you’ve been taking his side, haven’t you? BURNS Mmmhmmm. BRUCE Well, if he was out of his mind when he did it, why doesn’t the state just put him away? BURNS Because it happened to be a black policeman, and you know what that means, Hildy. HILDY The black vote's very important in this town. BURNS Yeah, especially with an election coming up in three or four days. HILDY That mayor. He’d hang his own grandmother to be reelected. BRUCE I should think you can just show that the man wasn't responsible. BURNS That's not so easy. HILDY Maybe it isn't so hard either. BURNS Why, what do you mean, Hildy?
HILDY Don’t they have to have another expert examine him before they hang him? BURNS Sure. A bird named Egelhoffer's doing it. Well, he’ll say the same as all the rest. HILDY Suppose he does. BURNS What’s your scheme, Hildy? HILDY Look, Walter, you get the interview with Earl Williams.
BURNS Uh-huh… HILDY Print Egelhoffer's statement and right along beside it, you know, double column, run your interview. Alienist says he's sane. Interview shows he's goofy. BURNS Oh Hildy, you could do it. You could save that poor devil's life. You could... HILDY Uh-uh-uh. BURNS Ah, you're going away. I forgot. HILDY That’s right. BRUCE How long would the interview take? BURNS Oh about an hour for the interview and another hour to write it. That’s about all. BRUCE Hildy, we could take the 6’o’clock train if it'd save a man’s life. HILDY No Bruce. (To BURNS) If you want to save Earl Williams' life, you write the interview yourself. You’re still a good reporter. BURNS Oh Hildy, you know I can't write that kind of thing. It takes a woman's touch. It needs that heart, that… HILDY Now don't get poetic, Walter. Get Sweeney. He's the best man you’ve got on the paper for that sob-sister stuff. BURNS Poor Sweeney. Duffy just told me his wife finally had twins. Isn't that terrible? Sweeney went out, and now we can't find him anymore. So, Sweeney has twins and Earl Williams gets hanged tomorrow.
HILDY Now, Walter, look.
BURNS (To BRUCE) You argue with her, you argue with her. Otherwise, you’re going on a honeymoon with blood on your hands. How can you have any happiness after that? All through the years, you'll remember that a man went to the gallows because she was too selfish to wait two hours. I tell you Bruce, Earl Williams' face will come between you on the train tonight and at the preacher’s tomorrow and all the rest of your lives. HILDY Oh stop it, stop… BRUCE HILDY! HILDY Shhh The whole place will hear you. What an act. I just remembered Sweeney was only married four months ago. (BURNS and HILDY laugh) BURNS Alright Hildy, you win. I'm licked. BRUCE (Bewildered) Then Mrs. Sweeney didn't have twins? HILDY No, indeed. The twins were Walter's, all his.
BURNS Ah, it was nothing. Well, come on, let's forget it. Here, we'll start all over again. Now I'll offer you two a business proposition. HILDY We’re not interested. BURNS (To BRUCE) Now you'll be interested. You’re a smart young man. HILDY Don't listen to him, Bruce. I know him of old, from way back and he never means... BURNS (To HILDY) Excuse me, will you? I'm talking to him. (Back to BRUCE) Now, look, Bruce you persuade Hildy to do the story and you can write out a nice fat insurance policy for me. What do you say? BRUCE Oh no, no, no, Mr. Burns… BURNS Come on, Bruce. BRUCE I wouldn't use my wife for business purposes.
Hildy Wait a minute, Bruce. Walter, how big a policy? BURNS Oh twenty-five thousand, fifty thousand… HILDY Bruce, what's the commission on a hundred thousand dollar policy? BRUCE Around a thousand dollars but Hildy… HILDY What's wrong with a thousand dollars? BRUCE Well I couldn’t… HILDY We could use that money, Bruce. How long would it take to get him examined? BURNS Yeah… BRUCE Well, I could get a company doctor here in twenty minutes. BURNS But I don’t like the idea of… HILDY You keep out of this. Alright Bruce, suppose you have Mr. Burns examined in his office and see what they'll allow on that old carcass of his. If his… BURNS Say! I'm better than I ever was. HILDY Which was never anything to brag about. Now look Bruce, I'll go back and change and dress and after you get the check, you phone me. I'll be in the press room at the criminal courts building. (They all stand from the table) Oh Walter. BURNS What? HILDY By the way, I think you better make that a certified check. BURNS What do you think I am, a crook? HILDY Yes. No certified check, no story. Get me? BURNS It'll be certified. Want my fingerprints too? (Starts to help her on with her coat) HILDY No thanks, I've still got those.
(Hands coat to BRUCE) BURNS Gus, how much do I owe you? (BRUCE helps HILDY on with coat) HILDY Thank you, dear. Oh Bruce.. (Knocks HILDY’s hat over her eyes)
BRUCE Sorry. HILDY It’s alright. (Fixes hat) (In a stage whisper) How much money have you got with you?
BRUCE (Mimicking her stage whisper) You know, everything we have, five hundred dollars.
HILDY Give me the five hundred.
BRUCE But I have to buy the tickets...
HILDY I'll buy the tickets. BRUCE But I should be… HILDY Believe me, dear, I know what I’m doing. He could get you in a craps game or something.
BRUCE Hildy, I don't gamble. HILDY I know a lot of people that never did anything until they met Walter Burns. Please, dear.
BRUCE Alright, but remember, it's everything we have in the world. HILDY I know. I know. BURNS Bruce, You got change and ten?
BRUCE I just… HILDY See what I mean, don’t you Bruce? BRUCE I just gave everything I had to Hildy. (Pulls out a handful of change) All I’ve got left is… BURNS (To HILDY) Oh come on, Hildy.
HILDY Not me. Sign it. BURNS Alright. (Takes change out of BRUCE’s palm) For the waiter.
HILDY Come on, Bruce. Really.
ACT I: Scene 4- Street Corner (SWEET MAGGIE JANE and PETEY THE PINCHER are standing together to one side of the stage. SHORTY and WEASEL are kneeling center stage with a handful of bottle caps and WEASEL is explaining a game to him) WEASEL So you have to flip the bottle cap into the first box without it touching any of the lines or it’s my turn. (SHORTY tries and misses) SHORTY Ah man! (looks at SWEET MAGGIE JANE and PETEY) Hey! You two wanna come play some Skully? PETEY THE PINCHER Nah, Sweet Maggie Jane and I are about to go fishing. WEASEL I’ve told you, the sewer gators don’t like Amos’n’Andys. PETEY THE PINCHER Not that kind of fishing, pin head. (a church bell starts chiming 5pm, traffic whistles and the sounds of street traffic. People begin crossing the stage heading both directions. Amongst them are SANDERS, WILSON, BENSINGER, McCUE, ENDICOTT, MURPHY and some of the people from The Morning Post. PETEY and SWEET MAGGIE JANE disappear upstage behind them and WEASEL and SHORTY quickly pick up their bottle caps to get out of the way. Amongst the crowd are LILA and PENNY TWICKETT who pause to wave to SHORTY and WEASEL. A bow falls out of PENNY’s hair but before she can reach it, MRS. TWICKETT is pulling them away. SWEET MAGGIE JANE sees them and sees the bow fall.) (RUTH AND MAISIE enter, heading back to the office after lunch) RUTH Does it mean something when a man asks you to help him with his tie? MAISIE Yeah, it means he’s a slob. RUTH Maisie, I’m trying to read the code Jim is sending me, but it might as well be in Braille. MAISIE He’ll come around. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Come on. I need to stop by the post office before we go back to work. (The passersbys exit and SWEET MAGGIE JANE and PETEY THE PINCHER join WEASEL and SHORTY at the front of the stage) PETEY THE PINCHER (to SWEET MAGGIE JANE) Did you find anything good? SWEET MAGGIE JANE (holding items up) A broken comb and some dental floss. PETEY THE PINCHER I got a button and half a peppermint stick.
SWEET MAGGIE JANE I told you the reporters never have anything on them. They’re poorer than we are. PETEY THE PINCHER When’s Hopper coming back with our money? SHORTY He said he’d have it this afternoon. He’s only been gone an hour.
(HOPPER enters looking worried)
WEASEL What’s up Hopper? You look like you saw a ghost.
HOPPER I just went by the school, there was smoke everywhere. SWEET MAGGIE JANE You think it’s on fire? HOPPER Yeah, and there’s a bunch of coppers heading this way. SHORTY Well, I don’t want to be snatched. They’ll probably think it was us. nickels, Hopper?
You got our
HOPPER Yeah, here they are. (He hands them each one.) SHORTY Let’s go down to Center and Third. I heard there’s a stickball game today. PETEY THE PINCHER Yeah and ice cream for the winners.
WEASEL I’m not very good. HOPPER Don’t worry about it Weasel, when you see Sweet Maggie Jane hit, you’ll know why the rest of us could play like Fred Merkle and we’d still win. SHORTY Yeah, she’s the Queen of Crash on Center Street.
(SHORTY, WEASEL, HOPPER and PETEY exit. SWEET MAGGIE JANE pauses to pick up the bow and lifts her cap to put it in her hair, touching it uncertainly before pulling the cap back down to hide it. SWEET MAGGIE JANE exits.)
ACT I: Scene 5- Criminal Courts Building- Press Room (ENDICOTT, WILSON, SANDERS, and WILSON are playing poker at the table, McCUE is on the phone and BENSINGER is at his desk) WILSON I'll open for a dime. SANDERS I'm in. ENDICOTT I'll stay. MCCUE (On phone) Wilcox- Three four hundred. ENDICOTT How many? WILSON Two. (One of the many phones start ringing.) MCCUE Take that, one of you birds. You ain't doing anything, Ernie.
MURPHY I’ll take two. ENDICOTT And one for the dealer. MCCUE What's the matter with you guys? Crippled or something? (MCCUE stretches to answer other phone while still on the first) Press room. Huh? SANDERS I’ll see you. MCCUE (Talking into the first phone) Hello, Sarge, McCue talking. Hold the line, will you? (Back to the second phone) What? Hello? No, I told you. This is the press room in the criminal courts building. MURPHY I’ll Stay. ENDICOTT I'll bet 14 cents. BENSINGER (On the phone at his desk) Well Jake, new lead on the hanging. This alienist from New York, Dr. Max J. Egelhoffer…Egelhoffer…yeah, he's going to interview Earl Williams in about half an hour in the sheriff's office.
MURPHY (Overhearing BENSINGER than picks up the phone closest to him. To the other poker players while waiting for a connection) That must be about the 10th alienist they put on Williams. If he wasn't crazy before, he would be by the time ten of those babies got through psychoanalyzing him. (To the phone) Get me the desk. SANDERS Is this guy Egelhoffer any good? ENDICOTT Figure it out for yourself. He’s the guy they sent to Washington to interview the Brain Trust. WILSON Up a dime. ENDICOTT He said they were sane. BENSINGER (Still on the phone) Here's the situation on the eve of the hanging. MURPHY (To the poker players but jerking his head at BENSINGER) I'll pick up a little fudge. This is Murphy. More slop on the hanging. BENSINGER A double guard is being thrown around the jail municipal buildings, railroad terminals and elevator stations to prepare for the expected general uprising of radicals at the hour of execution. MURPHY (Into the phone) Ready? The sheriff's just put two hundred more relatives on the payroll to protect the city from the Red Army which is leaving Moscow in a couple of minutes. WILSON Trouble is, when the real Red Menace shows up the sheriff will still be crying wolf. ENDICOTT (To MURPHY) What do you got? MURPHY Is that good? (HILDY enters and stands in the door way) HILDY Looks good from here. (WILSON, SANDERS, BENSINGER, MCCUE, and ENDICOTT all greet Hildy with “Hello Hildy!” “Why Hildy!” “How are you Hildy?” “What are you doing here?”) MURPHY Hildy, when did you get back?
HILDY How are you, Eddie? MCCUE Hiya Hildy! Glad to see you. HILDY Glad to see you. ENDICOTT Where'd you get the hat? HILDY Listen, I paid twelve bucks for it. WILSON Coming back to work? HILDY It's just a farewell appearance. I'm going into business for myself. MCCUE Hey what doing? HILDY I'm getting married tomorrow. (All are astonished. “What?” “To who?” “No kidding!”) BENSINGER Again? Are we invited to the wedding? HILDY Well I might use you for a bridesmaid, Roy. How are you, Murphy? ENDICOTT What are you getting married for, Hildy? HILDY None of your business. WILSON You ain't fooling us are you Hildy? HILDY Fooling? Look what I've got in here. Three tickets to Albany on the 6’o’clock train tonight. MCCUE What do you mean three?
HILDY For me and my beau and, hands off, boys, his sweet darling mom. (All say something smart, whistle or say “oh”) WILSON That's nice.
SANDERS What kind of marriage is that? HILDY It’s going to be alright. I'm settling down. I'm through with the newspaper business. ENDICOTT Can you picture Hildy singing lullabies and hanging out dydies? SANDERS Swapping lies over the fence? HILDY Sour grapes. MURPHY She’ll be back as soon as she gets tired of beating rugs. HILDY I'm not going to beat any rugs. I don’… (Alarm Bells Ring followed by Fire Engine Sounds) That's Third and Jefferson, isn’t it? Where that Central School is? SANDERS No school at this time of day. MCCUE Why do you care? You quit. ENDICOTT Yeah, you said you were through. HILDY I just thought it might be a good fire, that’s all. (Sound of something wooden dropping from out the window) Hey, what's that? MCCUE Just practicing for the Williams party in the morning. MURPHY Going to miss a nice hanging, Hildy. HILDY Not interested. WILSON Tell them to pipe down. MCCUE (Yelling out the window) Hey! Keep quiet down there! How do you expect us to get any work done? POLICEMAN (Call from down on the pavement) Ah, shut up! HILDY Very little respect for the press around here. Say, did anybody phone me? BENSINGER Not that I know of.
(All the others, “No” “Not that I know of” “Nope”) ENDICOTT Say, does Walter know you're getting married? HILDY Just had lunch with him. SANDERS Does he know you're quitting? HILDY Yes, I told him. Any more questions? MURPHY Can I deal you in, Hildy? HILDY I haven't got time. I have to do a yarn on Williams. Did he know what he was doing when he fired that gun? MURPHY If you ask us, no. If you ask the state alienist, the answer's yes. HILDY Who is he? What's he do? MCCUE (Chewing gum while talking) He was a bookkeeper. He starts at $20 a week and after fourteen years he gradually works himself up to $17.50. HILDY Got more gum? MCCUE No. McClosky Company goes out of business. Williams loses his job. WILSON Dime open. HILDY Can't get another. MCCUE No. WILSON I'm in. So he hangs around the park listening to a bunch of soapbox spellbinders making phony speeches and he begins to believe them. ENDICOTT And makes some of his own. SANDERS Up a dime. WILSON I'm in. (Lights down on Criminal Courts Building-Press Room)
Act I: Scene 6A- Walter Burns’ Office (Lights up on Walter Burns’ Office) (BURNS’ Office with Bruce and Company Doctor) BURNS Anything else, doc? DOCTOR No, that'll be about all, Mr. Burns. BURNS Everything okay? DOCTOR You have nothing to worry about. BURNS Good, good. How are you doing, Bruce? BRUCE Just one more thing, Mr. Burns.
DOCTOR Good day, Mr. Burns, Mr. Baldwin. BRUCE Goodbye, doc. Thanks very much. BURNS Goodbye Doc. (DOCTOR exits) BRUCE Who's the beneficiary? BURNS Excuse me? BRUCE That is, in case of your death. Who do we pay the money to?
BURNS Why, Hildy, of course.
BRUCE I don't know. That'd make me feel pretty funny.
BURNS Now, why shouldn't I make Hildy my whatever-it-was?
BRUCE Well I feel I should take care of her.
BURNS But you will take care of her, Bruce. Say, if that doctor's right, I'm good for a long time yet. Look, Bruce, this is a debt of honor with me. I was a bad husband to Hildy. She could have claimed a lot of alimony if she’d wanted to. But she wouldn't take any. She had it coming to her but she was too independent. BRUCE Well I'm independent too, you know! BURNS I know you are, Bruce, I know you are! But look, you just figure it this way. I'm good for, well we'll say, at least twenty-five years yet. Well by that time, you'll probably have made enough so that the money won't mean anything to you. But suppose you haven't made good, Bruce. What about Hildy's old age? Think of Hildy. I can see her now. Whitehaired, lavender and old lace. Can't you see her, Bruce?
BRUCE Yes, yes, I can. BURNS She's old, isn't she? Now Bruce, don't you think that Hildy's entitled to spend her remaining years without worries of money? Of course you do, Bruce. BRUCE Of course, if you put it that way. (DUFFY enters the office) BURNS And remember, I love her too. BRUCE Yes, I'm beginning to realize that. BURNS And the beauty of it is...she'll never have to know until I've passed on. Maybe she'll think kindly of me...after I'm gone. BRUCE Gee, you make me feel like a heel, coming between you. BURNS No, no, Bruce. You didn't come between us. It was all over for her before you came on the scene. For me... DUFFY (Unable to stand BURNS’ hamming any longer) Hey Walter. BURNS …it'll never be. (To DUFFY) What do you want? DUFFY Can I see you a minute, please? BURNS Excuse me, Bruce. (Exits the office, subscene with DUFFY) Did you get it, you get it? Where is it? Come on. (DUFFY hands BURNS check) Certified?
DUFFY Sure. But, Walter, that's for $2500. We don’t have… (BURNS re-enters office with check in hand and gives it to BRUCE)
BURNS Here we are, Bruce, certified and everything. BRUCE Certified. Gosh, I'm afraid Hildy'll feel ashamed to think she hasn't trusted you. But she'll know some day. BURNS Oh yes. Oh, Bruce, you promised to phone her as soon as you got the check. BRUCE Oh, yes, yes, of course. (BURNS picks up phone) BURNS Get me Hildy Johnson, press room, criminal courts building. Sit down, Bruce. The operator will get her for you. Excuse me, will you?
BRUCE Yes. (BURNS exits) BRUCE (Speaking into phone) Hello? Yes, I'll wait, thank you.
Act I: Scene 6B- Criminal Courts Building-Press Room/Walter Burns’ Office (Lights stay up on Walter Burns’ Office. Lights up on Criminal Courts Building Press Room where Poker game is still going. Phone rings.)
ENDICOTT (Picks up phone) Start hollering… Hildegarde. (ENDICOTT holds phone receiver out to HILDY) HILDY Thank you. (into phone) Hildy Johnson speaking. Oh hello Bruce. (While she’s speaking) ENDICOTT (To poker players) What do you got? SANDERS All blue. (Poker players are becoming more agitated. MURPHY throws his cards down) ENDICOTT I got a dime left. MURPHY Well what about me? We’ve been playing for over an hour. And I haven’t won a… HILDY (Interrupting them) Take it easy, will you? (Moves away from them as far as the cord will allow) Hello Bruce. Did you get the check? Is it certified?
BRUCE Certified and everything. I have it right in my pocket.
HILDY In your pocket. That's fine. Wait a minute. Maybe it isn't so fine. Bruce, where are you? BRUCE I’m in Mr. Burns' office. HILDY Is he there? Look, Bruce. I don't want you to carry that check in your pocket. Well, because...Yes, yes, I know all that. But...uh, Bruce, there's an old newspaper superstition that the first big check you get you put in the lining of your hat… (Louder) In your hat. It brings good luck. MURPHY I’ve been a reporter for twenty years and I’ve never heard that before.
HILDY (To MURPHY) Neither did I. (Into the phone) I know it sounds silly, dear, but do it for me, please. BRUCE (laughing) Now? HILDY Yes, right now.
BRUCE All right. Just a minute. (BRUCE takes the check from his pocket and puts it in the lining of his hat) (During the next few lines we see BURNS and LOUIE outside the office door. BURNS is pointing at BRUCE and whispering to LOUIE but LOUIE shakes his head because he can’t see over the privacy fog on the glass. BURNS picks up LOUIE so he can see BRUCE and LOUIE nods. BURNS puts him back down and lights down outside of office. Lights down on Criminal Courts building.) BRUCE There, I've done it. Anything else? Oh, yes. Alright. Uh-huh. Yes. Yes, I'll tell him. Goodbye.
BURNS (re-entering office) Well everything alright, Bruce?
BRUCE Oh yes, Hildy said to tell you she'll get right to work. BURNS Fine. BRUCE Well, I must be going now. BURNS (handing him umbrella) Oh Bruce, you don't want to forget this. It might rain, you know. BRUCE Oh thanks. (BURNS is backing BRUCE out of his office and BRUCE doesn’t see LOUIE behind him as LOUIE snags the wallet out of BRUCE’s pocket.) BURNS You mind if I don't show you out? BRUCE Oh no, I don’t mind. BURNS I'm so busy in here.
BRUCE No, no, thanks for everything. BURNS Excuse me what did you say? BRUCE I said ‘Thanks for everything’. BURNS Nonsense. Don't thank me. I should thank you. So long. BRUCE So long. (BRUCE exits with LOUIE behind him, heading off stage)
Act I: Scene 6C-Outside the Jail (FRANK, CARL and JOE are standing around outside the jail with cups of coffee and newspapers talking) FRANK Can you believe Hartwell? JOE A double guard to keep an eye on a little wet rag like Williams?
CARL Yeah, from the way he looks he’d probably hang himself at this point. FRANK What is it now? Ten specialists they’ve had interview him? JOE I’d be wacky too after all that. CARL And did you notice how every one of them left here with a little green note of thanks from Hartwell? FRANK And don’t forget his ole pal the Mayor. JOE What’s this town comin’ to? The uniform used to mean something. CARL Yeah, now it just means we’re stooges. Might as well get Hartwell’s Wet Nurses printed on our badges. (HILDY enters) FRANK, JOE and CARL Hiya Hildy! Hi Hildy! Long time no see, Hildegard! HILDY Hiya gents. What’s new to the boys in blue? FRANK Just keeping an eye out for the Red Army. JOE And an imminent invasion. CARL Stalin himself is coming, I’m told. HILDY Well, keep fighting the good fight. (HILDY exits.) FRANK You know I heard Wilcox from The Post saying something about Hildy getting married. JOE What? Again? No way.
CARL Not after all that Burns put her through. I heard he didn’t even make it to their honeymoon. FRANK Surprised Hildy left him alive after that. JOE Yeah, when they got hitched I started a countdown to when I’d be putting the cuffs on one or both of them.
CARL (scoffingly) Journalists.
Act I: Scene 7A- Jail (HILDY enters. COOLEY is sitting next to a cell reading a LOOK Magazine. JOE is standing behind him, handing a cup of water through the bars to EARL Williams) HILDY Hello, Cooley. COOLEY Hello Hildy, what are you doing here? HILDY I want an interview with Earl Williams. How about a little service? COOLEY No more interviews. HILDY Why not? COOLEY Sheriff's orders. Besides, a doctor's coming over. Can't do it. HILDY (HILDY drops a bill on the ground and pretends she found it laying there) Say, is this your money? COOLEY No. HILDY (Hands it to him) Twenty bucks? COOLEY Yeah. I guess it might be… HILDY That's what I thought. Come on, I'm in a hurry. COOLEY Hey Joe, open up here. Now, Hildy, don't be... HILDY I won't be long. (She follows JOE over to the cell and JOE lets her in and she sits down, across from EARL) Hello, Earl. EARL Hello. HILDY My name’s Johnson. Mind if I talk to you for a few minutes? EARL No, I haven't anything else to do. HILDY I guess that's right. (The two settle in to talk, lights down on them, lights up stage left)
ACT I: SCENE 7B- STREET CORNER (SHORTY, PETEY, SWEET MAGGIE JANE, WEASEL and HOPPER are all sitting on the stairs like a stoop. SHORTY has a scraped knee he’s investigating, WEASEL is passing around a bottle of soda, SWEET MAGGIE JANE is tossing a baseball around and furtively touching her hat where the bow lies underneath and PETEY and HOPPER seem to be having a chewing gum bubble blowing contest) (JIM, SLICK and WILCOX go by one way talking) WILCOX What’s eating you, Jim? SLICK Yeah, while you were off in la la land at the pub, Skinny ate half your sandwich. WILCOX That was you, Slick. JIM I dunno, fellas. This business. Bad food, bad pay, bad hours. No gal in her right mind would ever want to tie herself to m…someone like us, huh? SLICK Well I guess that only matters if you care if the gal is in her right mind. WILCOX (shooting SLICK a look, the two know about JIM and RUTH’s attraction) Dames are smart, Jim. Especially the ones that have seen the business. They don’t have rose glasses about what we do. If she’s worth this much thought, she’s worth asking…whatever you’re thinking of asking her. JIM But what if she says no? SLICK A couple weeks, months, ok maybe years of awkward “How do you do’s” and “Good mornings”…and excuses to miss her wedding when she marries some other straight lace guy. WILCOX (Glaring at SLICK) Or she might say ‘yes’. You’ll never know unless you ask. JIM You’re right. (WILCOX and SLICK each put a hand on JIM’s shoulder and pass BRUCE coming the other way. WILCOX, SLICK and JIM exit as LOUIE enters a ways behind BRUCE. He leans on the wall watching BRUCE looking around looking like he’s lost. LOUIE motions PETEY over to him and whispers something to him, and hands him a gold watch and then nods to BRUCE. PETEY grins and follows BRUCE and when BRUCE isn’t looking, he slips the gold watch into BRUCE’s pocket. BRUCE exits, LOUIE musses PETEY’s hair and hands him a dollar bill and then exits after BRUCE whistling.) (SHORTY, PETEY, SWEET MAGGIE JANE, WEASEL and HOPPER all look at the dollar exited and exit the other way.)
(Lights down Stage Left and up Stage Right back on the jail.)
ACT I: SCENE 7C- JAIL EARL So you see, I couldn't plead insanity because I'm just as sane as anybody else. HILDY You didn't mean to kill that policeman. EARL Why of course not, it's against everything I’ve ever stood for. They know it was an accident. I'm not guilty. It's…It’s just the world.
HILDY I see what you mean. (passes him a cigarette she was smoking) Sorry about the lipstick, Earl. Now, look, after you lost your job...what did you do? EARL I tried to find another job. HILDY I mean, how did you spend your time? EARL (holding cigarette) I used to sit around in the park, anyplace. Oh, I don't smoke. (passes it back to her) HILDY When you were in the park, did you hear any of those speeches? EARL You mean those fellows that talk too much? HILDY Yeah. EARL Well, I didn't pay any attention. You see I was thinking… HILDY Did you hear anything they said? EARL Yes. HILDY Well, is there anything you remember? Anything in particular?
EARL Well there was one fella, he uh… HILDY What did he talk about? EARL He talked about production for use. HILDY Production for use?
EARL Yes, he said everything should be made use of. HILDY Makes quite a bit of sense, doesn't it? EARL Yes, I liked him. He was a good speaker. HILDY (Interrupting) Now look Earl, when you found yourself with that gun...and that policeman coming at you, what did you think about? EARL I don't know exactly. HILDY You must have thought of something? EARL Well… HILDY Could it have been "production for use"? EARL I don't know. L...
HILDY What's a gun for, Earl? EARL A gun? Why, to shoot, of course. HILDY Oh, maybe that's why you used it. EARL Maybe. HILDY It seems reasonable. EARL Yes, yes, it is. You see I've never had a gun in my hand before. And that's what a gun's for, isn't it? Maybe that's why... HILDY Sure, it is. EARL Yes, that's what I thought of. "Production for use." It's simple, isn't it? HILDY Very simple. EARL There's nothing crazy about that, is there?
HILDY Nope, nothing at all. EARL You’ll write about that in your paper, won’t you? HILDY You bet I will. Who sent you the roses? EARL Miss Mollie Malloy. She's a wonderful person... HILDY Is that her picture? EARL Yes. She's beautiful, isn't she? COOLEY Time's up, Hildy. HILDY Alright. Guess that's all. EARL I liked talking to you. Goodbye, Miss Johnson. HILDY Goodbye, Earl. Good luck.
Act I: Scene 8- Criminal Courts Building-Press Room (Back at the Criminal Courts Building. ENDICOTT, WILSON, SANDERS and MURPHY are still playing poker. MCCUE is watching girls walk up the stairs past the window, trying to look up their skirts)
ENDICOTT Three land ladies, boys. WILSON Did well, didn't you? ENDICOTT You bet. SANDERS I wonder what the Post is going to do without Hildy. WILSON Do you suppose Walter Burns will ever let her go? MURPHY I don’t know. ENDICOTT Remember what he did to Bill Fenton when he wanted to go to Hollywood. Had him thrown in jail for arson. MURPHY Forgery. ENDICOTT Was that it? MURPHY Yeah, give me some change. WILSON (To MCCUE) Hey, Mac. Hey, Stairway Sam. MCCUE Huh? WILSON Would you mind turning on some lights? MCCUE Sure. WILSON So dark, you can’t see anything in this place. MCCUE (Crossing to turn on lights) Who's this guy Hildy's marrying? WILSON I don't know. Bruce something.
SANDERS I give the marriage six months. ENDICOTT Why? SANDERS Because she won’t be able to stay away from the paper any longer than that. Did you see her when that bell went off? MURPHY It must be pretty nice to be able to walk out of a place and quit. SANDERS Not bad. WILSON Yeah, I had a publicity job offered to me last year. I should have taken it. ENDICOTT That’s what I’d like- a job on the side. MURPHY A desk and a stenographer. I wouldn't mind a nice, big blond. WILSON With big brown eyes. SANDERS I'll bet you ten to one it don't last six months. She's like us, or she wouldn't be sticking around waiting for that guy to hang.
(MOLLIE Enters.) MCCUE Well, well, Miss Mollie Malloy. MURPHY Hello Mollie. WILSON Hello, Mollie. How's tricks? MOLLIE I've been looking for you tramps. MURPHY Come to pay a call on Williams? SANDERS He’s right across the courtyard. WILSON You’d better hurry up. ENDICOTT Nice bunch of roses you sent to Earl. What do you want done with them tomorrow morning? MOLLIE A lot of wise guys, ain’t you.
SANDERS You’re breaking up the game, Mollie, what do you want?
MOLLIE I came to... (HILDY enters and crosses to her typewriter and sits down, watching the scene and quietly typing) MOLLIE I came to tell you what I think of you. MURPHY Keep your shirt on.
MOLLIE If you was worth breaking my nails on, I'd tear your face wide open. MURPHY What are you sore about, sweetheart? Wasn’t that a swell story we gave ya? ENDICOTT Yeah, what do you want? MOLLIE You crumbs have been making a fool out of me long enough. I never said that I loved Earl Williams and was willing to marry him on the gallows. You made that up. And about my being his soul mate and having a love nest with him. WILSON Well you did didn’t you? ENDICOTT Yeah, you've been sticking around that cuckoo ever since they threw him in the death house. MOLLIE That's a lie. SANDERS Everybody knows you're his girlfriend. MOLLIE I met Mr. Williams just once in my life. SANDERS (To poker players) How many? MURPHY Two. MOLLIE When he was out in the rain without his coat on...like a sick dog, the day before the shooting. ENDICOTT Give me one.
MOLLIE I went up like any human being would... SANDERS (to WILSON) Two for you? MOLLIE And I asked him what was the matter. And he told me about being fired after being on the same job for fourteen years. SANDERS Who bets? WILSON I bet twenty cents. MOLLIE And I brought him up to my room because it was warm there. MURPHY Oh put on a phonograph. MOLLIE Oh listen to me, please. I tell you he just sat there talking to me all night. He never once laid a hand on me. And in the morning he went away and I never saw him again till that day at the trial. Sure, I was his witness. SANDERS And what a witness.
MOLLIE That's why you persecute me. Because Earl Williams treated me decent, and not like an animal.
MURPHY Go on outside. This is the Press Room. We're busy.
SANDERS Why don’t you go see your boyfriend?
WILSON Yeah, he's got a nice room. ENDICOTT Only he won’t have it long. He’ll have to call for 7am.
MOLLIE (Horrified) It's a wonder a bolt of lightning don't come down and strike you all dead. (Bang outside the window) What's that? SANDERS They're fixing up a pain in the neck for your boyfriend.
MOLLIE Shame on you. Shame on you! A poor little fellow that never meant nobody no harm. Sitting there this minute with the Angel of Death beside him, and you cracking jokes!
MURPHY Alright sis, now you're gonna get out of here. MOLLIE You take your hands off me!
HILDY Come on, Mollie, let's get out of here.
MOLLIE Aren’t they inhuman? HILDY I know, they're newspapermen.
MOLLIE All they’ve been doing is lying. All they been doing is writing lies. HILDY I know Mollie. MOLLIE Why won't they listen to me? Why won't they listen to me?
(HILDY and MOLLIE leave)
(An uncomfortable and ashamed silence fills the rooms as the reporters shuffle around and look anywhere but at each other. Phone rings) ENDICOTT (Answering phone) Hello. Who? Hildy Johnson? Hang on. She'll be back in a minute. MURPHY You guys want to play any more cards? WILSON I got nothing. ENDICOTT No. SANDERS What's the use? I can't win anyway.
(HILDY re-enters) HILDY Gentlemen of the press.
ENDICOTT Hildy. Phone for you.
HILDY Hello? Oh hello Bruce. What? Where are you? You're where? Well, how did that happen? Never mind, never mind. I'll be right down.
(HILDY runs out and runs into SHERIFF HARTWELL, stepping on his foot) HILDY I'm sorry, Pete. Sorry. SHERIFF HARTWELL Owwwww. WILSON Hiya, sheriff. How you doing? SHERIFF HARTWELL Owww! My shin! My back! What's going on around here? WILSON Bruce was in trouble. ENDICOTT Lioness rushes to defend cub. MURPHY Man forgets hankie. Mama goes to wipe nose. SANDERS I still give the marriage six months.
SHERIFF HARTWELL I don't know what you're talking about.
WILSON What do you want, Pete?
SHERIFF HARTWELL Oh, I got the tickets for the hanging here, boys. MURPHY Pete? SHERIFF HARTWELL What? MURPHY Why can’t you hang this guy at 5:00 instead of 7:00? BENSINGER Sure, it won’t hurt you, and we can make the city edition. SHERIFF HARTWELL That's kind of raw, Roy. After all, I can’t hang a man in his sleep just to please a newspaper.
SANDERS No but you can reprieve him twice so the hanging is three days before election, can’t you. ENDICOTT If you can run on a law-and-order ticket, you can do that alright. SHERIFF HARTWELL Honest boys, I had absolutely nothing to do with those reprieves. MCCUE Yeah, how do we know there won't be another reprieve tonight? MURPHY What if this Egelhoffer finds Williams insane?
SHERIFF HARTWELL He won't find him insane, because he isn't. He's just as sane as I am.
ENDICOTT, BENSINGER, MURPHY, WILSON and SANDERS Saner! SHERIFF HARTWELL Oh now be serious, boys. After all, this is a hanging and it's going to go according to schedule. Seven o'clock in the morning and not a minute earlier. After all, there's such a thing as being humane, you know.
BENSINGER Okay, Pinky. Wait till you want a favor.
SHERIFF HARTWELL And please don't call me Pinky. BENSINGER Why not?
SHERIFF HARTWELL Because I got a name, see, and it's Peter B. Hartwell. MCCUE What's the B for? SANDERS Bull.
(Lights down on Criminal Courts Building-Press Room)
Act I: Scene 9A- Jail (Different part of the Jail, a little brighter, holding cell rather than EARL’s deathrow cell. BRUCE is in the holding cell, HILDY is outside of it with FRANK.) BRUCE But I'm innocent. I didn't do anything. I never stole a watch in my life!
HILDY I know you didn't, Bruce. I know you didn’t. Alright Frank, come on, let him out.
FRANK I can't, Hildy. He's accused of stealing a watch and they found the watch on him. BRUCE But I never stole... HILDY (to BRUCE) Please Bruce... (to FRANK) And who accused him? Diamond Louie, the biggest crook in town.
FRANK I know. It's no good, Hildy. HILDY Now don’t ‘Hildy’ me. Are you going to let him out or aren’t you? FRANK No. BRUCE I never stole... HILDY Oh Bruce, Please. Alright, you're not. Well, perhaps you better read the Post in the morning.
(Lights down on scene. Quick clearing of cell. Lights up on HILDY and BRUCE walking along street in front of stage.)
Act I: Scene 9B- In the Street
BRUCE I can't imagine who'd do a thing like that to me. I can't think of any enemies I have. HILDY I'm sure you haven't any... Have you got the check? BRUCE Oh yes, I have it right here. (takes off his hat) That's a funny superstition you newspaper people have. HILDY Yes, isn't it? (Takes check from him) BRUCE About being arrested, at first I thought Walter Burns might have something to do with it. But then of course I realized he couldn't have.
HILDY Why? BRUCE (Starts searching his pockets) Well he's a very nice fellow, Hildy. HILDY Oh. BRUCE (More frantically searching his pockets) Oh, yes, I found that out. HILDY What's the matter? BRUCE (Now panicked searching) I've lost my wallet. HILDY Yes. Well, Bruce, nevermind. I have the money, you better give me the check too. BRUCE And that picture of us in Bermuda. HILDY Don’t bother, Bruce. You’ll find lots of things missing. (They stop walking and she leaves him under a street lamp by the Criminal Courts Building) No Bruce dear, you wait here. I'm not taking any more chances. I'll be down in three minutes. We’re taking the next train.
(Lights down on BRUCE on the street as HILDY exits.)
Act I: Scene 10-Criminal Courts Building- Press Room (Lights up on SANDERS standing at HILDY’s typewriter, McCUE, BENSINGER, MURPHY, WILSON and ENDICOTT sitting in the same spots as before, listening) SANDERS (Reading the page on HILDY’s typewriter) "And so into this little tortured mind came the idea that that gun had been produced for use. And use it he did. But the state has a production-for-use plan too. It has a gallows. And at 7am, unless a miracle occurs, that gallows will be used to separate the soul of Earl Williams from his body. And out of Mollie Malloy's life will go the one kindly soul she ever knew." That's as far as she got. MCCUE (whistles) SANDERS But I ask you guys, can that girl write an interview? MCCUE She'll do till somebody else comes along. BENSINGER I don’t think it’s very ethical, reading other people's stuff. ENDICOTT Where do you get that ethics stuff? You're the only one who'll swipe any of it. SANDERS Well, I still say that anybody that can write like that ain’t gonna give it up permanent to sew socks for a guy in the insurance business. Now I give that marriage three months, and I'm laying 3 to 1. Any takers? (HILDY enters) HILDY I'll take that bet. It’s getting so a girl can't leave the room without being discussed by a bunch of old ladies. (Picks up phone) Hello, Post? Get me Walter Burns, will you, please? SANDERS Ah, don't get sore, Hildy. We were only saying a swell reporter like you wouldn't quit easy. HILDY (into the phone) This is Hildy Johnson. (to SANDERS) Oh I can quit alright, without a single quiver. I’m gonna live like a human being, not like you chumps. (Into phone) Is that you, Walter? I've got some news for you. Yes, yes, I got the interview alright, but I've got some more important news. Perhaps you’d better get a pencil and take it down. All ready? Now get this, you double-crossing chimpanzee. There ain’t gonna be any interview and there ain’t gonna be any story. And that certified check of yours is leaving with me in twenty minutes. I wouldn't cover the burning of Rome for you if they were just lighting it up. If I ever lay my two eyes on you again, I’m going to walk right up to you and hammer on that monkey skull of yours until it rings like a Chinese gong! Oh, so you don't know why I'm angry with you? Well, perhaps you’d better get Louie to tell you the story of his watch. And there's just one other little thing I want you to listen to.
(Rips story off type writer and rips it up in front of receiver of phone) Hear that? That's the story I just wrote. Yes, yes, I know we had a bargain. I just said I'd write it. I didn't say I wouldn't tear it up. It's all in little pieces now, Walter and I hope to do the same for you someday. (Hangs up) And that my friends is my farewell to the newspaper game. I'm gonna be a woman, not a news getting machine. I'm gonna have babies and take care of them and give them cod-liver oil and watch their teeth grow. And, and, If I ever see one of them look at a newspaper again, I'm going to brain them. Where's my hat? (Phone rings. WILSON answers) WILSON Hello? Hello? Mr. Burns? Yes, she's still here. HILDY Give me that. (HILDY rips phone out of WILSON’s hands) And another thing I want... (Rips phone out of wall and throws it down on table) Where is my...? (Feels hat on her head) Oh, there it is.
(Lights down on Criminal Courts Building-Press Room.)
Act I: Scene 11- Sheriff Hartwell’s Office. (EARL is in a chair, EGELHOFFER is standing near him cleaning his glasses as SHERIFF HARTWELL enters.)
SHERIFF HARTWELL Hello Doctor. Sorry to be late.
EGELHOFER That’s quite alright.
SHERIFF HARTWELL These boys from the papers take up so much of my time. You know, they wanted me to hang Williams at their convenience. (Noticing EARL sitting in a chair) Oh, hello, Earl. EARL Hello. EGELHOFER These newspapers. What they did to me in Chicago! SHERIFF HARTWELL I can quite believe it. EGELHOFFER Always after me for interviews. SHERIFF HARTWELL Yes, me too. EGELHOFER Of course, I did rather promise to make them some sort of statement when I finished here. You don't mind, do you?
SHERIFF HARTWELL Well, it's hardly ethical, Doctor. You see, all statements are supposed to come from me.
EGELHOFER I see. Well, what do you say to giving them some sort of joint interview? I can discuss some of the psychological aspects of the case and you...
SHERIFF HARTWELL You mean we'd have our pictures taken together? EGELHOFER Yes, yes, shaking hands. SHERIFF HARTWELL Oh splendid idea! EGELHOFER Of course, I don't take a very good picture. SHERIFF HARTWELL Oh that doesn't matter, doctor. The publicity’s the main thing.
EARL Doctor, I'm getting awful tired. Can't I go back to jail again?
EGELHOFER Oh I’m awfully sorry. I forgot you were there. No, Mr. Williams, We've some further questions for you. Sheriff, do you mind extinguishing the lights? SHERIFF HARTWELL Of course Doctor. EGELHOFER That will help with what we have to do over here. (Turns on spotlight on EARL) Now, let me see. Mr. Williams, you know of course, that you're going to be executed. Now who do you feel is responsible for that?
EARL I am innocent. It wasn't my fault.
(Scene freezes and lights go out on Jail, Lights up on Criminal Courts Building-Press Room)
Act I: Scene 12A-Criminal Courts Building-Press Room (Everyone is exactly where they were at close of Scene 11. HILDY has her coat and hat on and is on her way out the door.) HILDY Well, Murph. MURPHY Send us a post card. HILDY That I’ll do. BENSINGER Goodbye Hildy. HILDY Roy. ENDICOTT Bye Hildy. SANDERS So long Johnson. HILDY Bye. MCCUE Hope to see you again Johnson. WILSON Au rev oir, Hildegarde.
HILDY Next time you see me I shall be riding in a Rolls-Royce, giving interviews on success. So long, you wage slaves. BENSINGER, ENDICOTT, MURPHY, WILSON, SANDERS, MCCUE Bye. HILDY Oh and when you're crawling up fire escapes and getting kicked out of front doors and eating Christmas dinners in one-armed joints, don't forget your old pal, Hildy Johnson. And when the road beyond unfolds and the... (Gunshots and alarm bells. BENSINGER, ENDICOTT, MURPHY, WILSON, SANDERS and MCCUE run to the window. HILDY is frozen on the spot.) ENDICOTT Look out! It's a jailbreak! MURPHY (Calling down to the street) What’s the matter? What happened? (Gunshots spray the window) MURPHY Hey watch where you're aiming, will ya?
JOE Lock the gate! He'll try the gates! ENDICOTT Who got away? Who was it? CARL Earl Williams! WILSON Who did he say? SANDERS Earl Williams! (All 5 sprint back and grab their phones. HILDY is standing there watching them looking torn) WILSON Hello! Hello! Hurry up, this is important. ENDICOTT Give me the desk! SANDERS Earl Williams just escaped… MURPHY Jailbreak! BENSINGER I don’t know anything yet! MCCUE Call you back! (SANDERS, WILSON, MCCUE and BENSINGER rush past HILDY out of the room)
ENDICOTT Williams just broke out! MURPHY He went over the wall! ENDICOTT I don't know anything yet. MURPHY Call you back! (MURPHY and ENDICOTT rush out of the room. HILDY stands for a half second more than throws her things on the table and grabs a phone) HILDY Hello, Post? Give me Walter Burns, quick. Hildy Johnson. Walter? Walter? Hildy. Earl Williams just escaped from the county jail. Yeah…yeah…yeah…Don't worry, I'm on the job. (Drops bags and runs out. Lights down on Criminal Courts Building-Press Room, lights up as street scene unfolds. BRUCE has exited and this street scene is in front of the Jail.)
ACT I SCENE 12B- Street in front of Jail (The aisles and in front of the stage and across the apron are full of cops and reporters and street folk running around trying to get out of the way, the police are forming groups and pantomiming sending units to search different locations. JIM rushes through the crowd to find RUTH who is also looking for him. They find each other and JIM pulls her out of the chaos and the two get out of the way. SLICK is running around with a camera and SKINNY is trying to get answers out of passing cops. MRS. TWICKETT and LILA and PENNY TWICKETT are being jostled in the crowd and SWEET MAGGIE JANE looks like she’s about to cry as she’s separated from the rest of the gang and can’t seem to get out of the way. LILA and PENNY see her and LILA grabs her hand, pulling SWEET MAGGIE JANE offstage with them, led by MRS. TWICKETT. The spot lights are dipping and searching through the audience and across the stage and the sirens are still going. One of the lights find HILDY come on stage as she’s looking around, she has to side step a group of police and then she spots COOLEY at the same time he spots her. He fights his way through a group of police as she gets down off the stage and hurries across the front of the stage towards him. He turns and heads up the aisle.) HILDY Hey, Cooley! Wait! Hey, wait a minute! (HILDY chases COOLEY up the aisle, catches up to him and tackles him to the ground.) HILDY Cooley, I want to talk to you! (Lights out.) INTERMISSION
Act II: Scene 1A-Criminal Courts Building-Press Room
(Lights up. All the phones are ringing at different intervals, but no one is there) (ENDICOTT rushes back in) ENDICOTT (Picks up phone) This is Endicott. Give me Rewrite. (Picks up another ringing phone) He ain't here. (hangs it back up) Hello, Gil? Here's the situation now. Ready? Williams was taken over to the sheriff's private office to be examined by this Professor Egelhoffer. And in a few minutes, he shot his way out. No, nobody knows where he got the gun. He went upstairs through the infirmary and got out through the skylight. He must have slid down the rainpipe to the street. (MURPHY rushes in) No, nobody knows where he got it. Or if they do, they won’t talk. MURPHY Hello sweetheart, give me the desk. ENDICOTT The crime commission is offering a ten thousand dollar reward for William’s capture. MURPHY Murphy talking, no clue yet as to Williams' whereabouts. ENDICOTT Yeah…yeah…ok. (ENDICOTT hangs up and runs back out) MURPHY Here's a little feature though. There’s been an accident about a tear bomb. Yeah, tear bomb, tear bomb. (SHERIFF HARTWELL comes in with WILSON who is harassing him for answers) MURPHY Criminals cry for it. SHERIFF HARTWELL I don't know. (Tries to show MURPHY a statement he has on a paper while MURPHY is talking into the phone) Look, I want to make a statement… MURPHY (Ignoring SHERIFF HARTWELL and still talking into phone) The tear bomb went off unexpectedly in the hands of Sheriff Hartwell’s bombing squad. SHERIFF HARTWELL What went off?! WILSON (on his phone) Give me the desk. MURPHY …and the following deputies were rushed off to the hospital…
SHERIFF HARTWELL (To MURPHY) A fine friend you are. MURPHY …their names are: Mervin D. Wilkerson, the mayor's brother-in-law…
SHERIFF HARTWELL After all I've done for you. MURPHY Howard Schuster, the sheriff's uncle (looks up sweetly at SHERIFF HARTWELL), on his mother’s side. WILSON Hello Oscar. Highlights on Sheriff Hartwell’s manhunt. MURPHY William Mansfield, the Sheriff’s landlord, and Lester Winthrop who married the sheriff's niece. You remember, the very homely dame. Call you back! WILSON Mrs. William Rice, age fifty-five, scrub lady, was scrubbing the 8th floor of the Commerce Building when she was shot in the right leg by one of Sheriff Hartwell’s deputies. SHERIFF HARTWELL Look, I'm not… (More gunshots as MCCUE enters) MURPHY There goes another scrub lady! (MURPHY rushes out) WILSON Ah, it was just a flesh wound. They took her to the hospital. Call you back!
McCUE McCue speaking. Get me the desk. WILSON (to MCCUE) Hey Mac. Any dope on how he escaped? MCCUE Maybe the sheriff let him out so Williams could vote for him. SHERIFF HARTWELL Ohhh! (SHERIFF HARTWELL exits) MCCUE A man answering the description of Earl Williams was seen boarding a south-bound… (More gun shots)
MCCUE Call you back! (WILSON and MCCUE rush out and pass HILDY on her way in) MCCUE I thought you'd gone. HILDY I thought so too. (Picks up phone) Get me Walter Burns, quick! (HILDY closes the door. Lights up downstage on subscene BURNS in his office on the phone) Walter, Walter, listen. I've got the whole story on how Williams’ got that gun and escaped, and I got it exclusive. Yeah…yeah that's right, and it's a pip. It cost me four hundred and fifty bucks to tear it out of Cooley. BURNS Nevermind that, what’s the story? HILDY Well just a minute now and I'll give you the story. But I’m telling you first I had to give him all the money I had on me and it wasn't exactly mine. Well, it's Bruce's money, and I want it back.
BURNS Bruce's money? (barely contains a laugh) Sure, sure, sure you'll get it. Now, what's the story? I'll send the money right down to you. I swear it on my mother's grave.
HILDY Alright, here's the... Wait a minute, your mother's alive!
BURNS My grandmother's grave. Don’t be technical, Hildy. What's the story? HILDY Well you get that money down here. Alright, alright here's your story. The jailbreak of your dreams. It seems this expert Dr. Egelhoffer, the profound thinker from New York was giving Williams a final sanity test in the sheriff's office. You know, sticking a lot of pins in him so he could get his reflexes? Well he decided to reenact the crime exactly as it had taken place in order to study Williams' powers of coordination… BURNS And? And? HILDY Well I'm coming to it. Of course he had to have a gun to reenact the crime with and who do you suppose supplied it? Peter B. Hartwell. B for brains. BURNS No kidding! HILDY I tell you, I’m not kidding. I'm not good enough to make this one up. Well the sheriff gave his gun to the professor and the professor gave it to Earl, and Earl shot the professor right in the classified ads. BURNS Head?
HILDY No, ads. Ain't it perfect? If the sheriff had unrolled a red carpet and loaned Williams an umbrella it couldn't have been more ideal. BURNS Was the genius hurt? HILDY Who? Oh, no. Egelhoffer wasn't badly hurt. They took him to the county hospital, where they're awfully afraid he'll recover.
BURNS Oh that's great work, Hildy. HILDY Walter, the money? BURNS Huh? Oh stop worrying about the money. I’ll see you get it in 15 minutes.
HILDY Well I’d better get it in fifteen minutes. Bruce is downstairs waiting for me, and we're in a hurry. (Back in BURNS office, LOUIE and EVANGELINE enter) BURNS Hold on a minute. (Covers phone with his hand) Hey Vangie, come here. There's a guy in front of the Criminal Courts building. His name is Bruce Baldwin.
EVANGELINE What’s he look like? BURNS He looks like, umm, that fella in the movies..you know… Ralph Bellamy.
EVANGELINE Oh, him? BURNS Can you handle him? EVANGELINE I've never flopped on you yet, have I?
BURNS Come on, get going. You only got about two minutes. Hurry. (EVANGELINE exits. Uncovers phone and speaks into it. Lights back up on HILDY in the Criminal Courts Press Room) Yes, dear, well, I’m sorry to keep you waiting. How much was it again? Four hundred and fifty dollars? Well, just a second. (Covers phone again) Louie, come here. I need four hundred and fifty dollars’ worth of counterfeit money.
LOUIE You can't carry that much, boss. BURNS No, just the four hundred and fifty counterfeit. Where can I get it? LOUIE Oh I got that on me. BURNS Oh quite a coincidence. Take it over to Hildy. (Uncovering phone) Hello, it's coming right over. Yeah, I'm sending it over with Louie. Well thanks for your story, dear and good luck on your honeymoon. HILDY No, no, nevermind the thanks. Just see that that money gets here. (Lights down on BURNS office and Criminal Courts-Press Room.)
Act II: Scene 1B- Street Corner (Lights up on street corner where Bruce is waiting. SHORTY, WEASEL, PETEY and HOPPER are sitting on the stairs stoop again. They straighten up when EVANGELINE enters, sizing BRUCE up. SHORTY, WEASEL, HOPPER and PETEY smooth their hair, tuck their shirts in, check their breath and as she passes, HOPPER whistles and the other three hit him with their hats. EVANGELINE pauses to wink at them before sauntering over to BRUCE.)
SHORTY What are you thinkin’ Hopper!
WEASEL Yeah! You can’t whistle at a lady like that like she was some stray dog. HOPPER But I see the journalists at the paper do that stuff all the time. PETEY THE PINCHER They’re reporters. They ain’t got class like an uptown dame like that. (The boys are quiet for a minute as they watch EVANGELINE try to seduce BRUCE. She smiles and he tips his hat. She does some flirtatious gestures and BRUCE doesn’t seem to get what’s going on.) SHORTY (disgusted) What a wet rag. Look at him just standing there. PETEY THE PINCHER Yeah, even I know what she’s trying to do. WEASEL Man, if Sweet Maggie Jane were here, she’d march over and kick him in the shins. That would wake him up.
HOPPER Say, where is Sweet Maggie Jane? (The boys look around and then get up and exit as RUTH and JIM enter, her hand tucked into his arm. EVANGELINE moves slightly beyond BRUCE and pulls out a compact to touch up her make-up and regroup after BRUCE’s obvious innocence to her meaning.) RUTH That was so nice of you to… I mean there were so many people…
JIM You could have been trampled! RUTH I suppose… I was looking for Maisie. She just found out she’s been accepted to be a war correspondent with the State Department. We were out celebrating when… JIM (Turning to her and with the air of ripping off a band-aid) Marry me Ruthie. RUTH What?!
(JIM drops down to one knee and pulls out a small box.) JIM I never want to tie my own ties again. I’m all thumbs and… (RUTH pulls him to his feet and crushes him in a hug.) RUTH You dope! I thought you’d never ask! The nights I’ve wasted torn between wanting to kiss you and kick you in the fanny, I can’t even count. (JIM picks up RUTH and swings her around in his arms as FRANK enters from the right on patrol. BRUCE backs up and turns with his arms up to get out of JIM and RUTH’s way and his hands catch EVANGELINE in the chest. He realizes what he’s done and backs away, red faced. EVANGELINE doesn’t think anything of it but then sees FRANK, stage screams and falls into BRUCE’s arms.) (FRANK hurries up to BRUCE and EVANGELINE as RUTH and JIM exit the other way. Lights out on Street Scene).
Act II: Scene 1C- Criminal Courts Building-Press Room (Lights up on Criminal Courts Building-Press Room. HILDY is standing alone by the window. MCCUE enters.) McCUE Oh Hildy, you still here? HILDY No, I'm in Niagara Falls. MCCUE (MCCUE picks up telephone) McCue speaking. Nemo, I got a good feature for you on the manhunt. Ready? Mrs. Phoebe DeWolfe, address sixty-one and a half, south State Street gave birth in a patrol wagon, with Sheriff Hartwell's special rifle squad acting as nurses. Phoebe was walking along the street when... That's right…yeah…so they coaxed her into the patrol wagon and stared a race with the stork. When the baby was born, the rifle squad examined him carefully to see if he was Earl Williams. Well they knew he was hiding somewhere. Here's the payoff. They named the kid Peter Hartwell DeWolfe to honor the sheriff. (Phone rings and HILDY picks it up) MCCUE Yeah they all chipped in on...(keeps talking under HILDY’s lines)Because he was born on a manhunt. Here’s another feature for ya… (turns back to audience, still talking) HILDY (answers phone) Press room. Bruce? I thought you were downstairs... What? Arrested again? What for this time? (Lights up on Bruce back in police station with FRANK and EVANGELINE) BRUCE Well, they called it "mashing." No, I didn't, Hildy! I was standing right where you left me and the young lady seemed to have a dizzy spell and I just... She's kind of... Yes, she's a blond. Yes, very blond.
HILDY Nevermind, I know how it happened. Just a minute. (picks up second phone) Get me Walter Burns. Hildy Johnson. (Back to 1st phone) Bruce, where are you? 27th Precinct? Hold on a minute, will ya? (runs back to second phone) Walter, you... well he was there a minute ago…(hangs up, moving back to first phone) "I'm sorry Miss Johnson, I can't locate him." Why, that double-crossing... Hello, not you. Bruce, I can't get there right away. How about 20 minutes? I have to wait here for the... I'll tell you when I see you. (hangs up) If I ever get my hands again on that Walter Burns...I’ll tear him… (ENDICOTT enters. HILDY approaches MCCUE) MCCUE Anything I can do to help Hildy? HILDY How much money you got on you? MCCUE A dollar eighty.
ENDICOTT Sixty-four cents. MCCUE Welcome to it. HILDY Thanks, you better buy an annuity. MCCUE What's that, Nemo? No, I can't give you an official statement. (MAYOR enters) Wait a minute. Here's the mayor. Maybe he’ll give us one. How about a statement, mayor?
MAYOR Don't pester me now, please. I’ve got a lot on my mind.
MCCUE His Honor won't say anything. MAYOR Have you seen Sheriff Hartwell? ENDICOTT It’s hard to tell, your honor, you see, there's so many cockroaches around here... (MURPHY enters during ENDICOTT’s line. MAYOR is turning to leave and MURPHY catches him by the arm) MURPHY Whoa, wait a minute. How about a statement? MCCUE Sure. We go to press in twenty minutes. MAYOR I can’t help that. I've nothing to say. Not at this time. ENDICOTT Just a moment please. What do you know about the escape? MCCUE How’d he get out? MURPHY Where'd he get the gun? MAYOR Wait a minute boys, not so fast. MCCUE Well give us a statement on the election then. MURPHY What effect will all this have on the voters? MAYOR None whatsoever. How can an unavoidable misfortune like this have any influence on the upright citizens of our fair city?
MURPHY Well I’ll be… ENDICOTT Mr. Mayor, please, is there a Red Menace or ain't there? MCCUE How did Williams get out of that rubber jail of yours?
MURPHY Are you going to stand in the gap, or have you picked out somebody to be responsible? ENDICOTT Is there any truth to the report that you're on Stalin's payroll? MCCUE Yeah, the senator claims you sleep in red underwear. MAYOR Nevermind the jokes. Don't forget I'm the mayor of this town. (SHERIFF HARTWELL, CARL and JOE enter) SHERIFF HARTWELL (talking to CARL and JOE as they enter) Tell them they better come around the back and... MAYOR Hartwell, I want to see you! (ENDICOTT, MURPHY and MCCUE swarm SHERIFF HARTWELL) MURPHY How'd he get away? MCCUE Where'd he get the gun? ENDICOTT How’d he bust out? (SANDERS enters and crosses to a phone) SANDERS Hiya, your honor. Any statement on the Red Uprising tomorrow? MAYOR What Red Uprising? SHERIFF HARTWELL There will be no Red Uprising. SANDERS The governor says the situation calls for the militia. (Into his phone) Give me rewrite.
MAYOR You can quote me as saying anything the governor says is a tissue of lies. SHERIFF HARTWELL Yes! SANDERS (Into phone) Well Jake, here's a red-hot statement from the governor. He claims the mayor and the sheriff have shown themselves to be a couple of 8-year-olds playing with fire. You can quote him as follows: "It is a lucky thing for the city that next Tuesday is Election Day as the citizens will thus be saved the expense of impeaching the mayor and the sheriff." Call you back. (hangs up) Nice to have seen you, mayor. (SANDERS exits) SHERIFF HARTWELL Excuse me boys, I've got so much to do. MCCUE Quit stalling Pinky. MURPHY Who engineered this whole thing? ENDICOTT Was it the Reds? MCCUE Who was it? You?
SHERIFF HARTWELL Me? No. Just a minute and I’ll tell you. I've got him located. MURPHY Who Williams? MCCUE & ENDICOTT Where? Where? SHERIFF HARTWELL Out on Center Street where he used to live. I just got a tip. MURPHY Why didn't you say so? SHERIFF HARTWELL The rifle squad's just going out. You'll catch him if you hurry. (MCCUE, ENDICOTT and SANDERS rush out) SHERIFF HARTWELL (to the MAYOR who has him by the arm) Please... MAYOR Pete, I wanna talk to you. (MAYOR and SHERIFF HARTWELL exit. Lights out on Press Room.)
Act II: Scene 2- Street Corner (LILA and PENNY TWICKETT and SWEET MAGGIE JANE cross the stage. LILA and PENNY have SWEET MAGGIE JANE between them, each looping an arm through hers. SWEET MAGGIE JANE is in a dress but her rolled jeans are visible under it as are her clunky shoes. She’s still wearing the bow in her hair though and has lost her dirty cap. She looks quite pleased to be with the two girls.) LILA TWICKETT I can’t believe you’ve never been to the picture show before, Maggie Jane! PENNY TWICKETT You are going to love it. And Little Miss Broadway is my absolute favorite. LILA TWICKETT It’s the best! After we saw it, Penny and I tap danced for hours with pieces of wood tied to our mary janes trying to be just like Shirley. SWEET MAGGIE JANE Wow. I’ll bet it was fun with the two of you doing it together. It must be nice to have a sister. PENNY TWICKETT Friends can be just as much fun as sisters. LILA and PENNY TWICKETT (singing from Little Miss Broadway and dancing with SWEET MAGGIE JANE) We should be together! You and I! (Looking supremely happy, SWEET MAGGIE JANE giggles with LILA and PENNY as the three of them hurry off stage. After a beat, SHORTY, WEASEL, HOPPER and PETEY THE PINCHER enter from the other direction.) SHORTY Well, she’s not at the vacant lot on third. HOPPER Or over on center where we play stickball. WEASEL She wasn’t hanging out on the bench outside the drugstore. PETEY THE PINCHER And we just passed Old Lady Milford’s front stoop. SHORTY Where else could she be?
(SHERIFF HARTWELL and the MAYOR enter. The MAYOR is reaming SHERIFF HARTWELL out.) MAYOR Sometimes I don’t know what goes through that thick skull of yours. SHERIFF HARTWELL Be fair, Fred. I was doing everything just as we discussed. It just…my men. MAYOR Your men, what? They’re all smarter than you? And what’s this rumor about where Williams got the gun for his escape? SHERIFF HARTWELL
(going red in the face and making faces like a fish out of water) I..uh…well…rumors... (SHERIFF HARTWELL and MAYOR exit) WEASEL You think the Mayor will take the Sheriff over his knee?
PETEY THE PINCHER What?! WEASEL Well when ever my dad makes the face the Mayor was just making, I know that’s what’s about to happen to me. SHORTY Grown-ups don’t take other grown-ups over their knees. HOPPER Sometimes they do. I saw it on a movie poster once. A man had a lady over his knee. It was weird though, she was laughing. WEASEL Well I never find anything to laugh about when it’s happening to me. HOPPER Yeah me either. Though it’s usually a wooden spoon on the ear with me. SHORTY Ouch! And your mama hits hard, Hopper. Remember that time she was trying to get you, and got me instead? HOPPER Shorty, she wasn’t trying to get me. She caught you putting shoe polish on our front door knob. WEASEL I remember that. Shorty was sore because Sally Francis sat next to you at lunch, Hopper. PETEY THE PINCHER ‘spose he doesn’t care about that anymore, Hopper, now that he has the Twickett twins taking an interest in him. SHORTY What can I say? They are…interesting. PETEY THE PINCHER Man, where is Sweet Maggie Jane? She’s got all kinds of stories on Shorty. WEASEL And Hopper. HOPPER And you, Weasel. SHORTY Sweet Maggie Jane has dirt on all of us. (They all pause, horrified for a moment.)
PETEY THE PINCHER We gotta find her. Fast. (HOPPER, WEASEL, PETEY THE PINCHER and SHORTY rush off)
Act II: Scene 3- Sheriff Hartwell’s Office (Lights up downstage apron where the two are walking, crossing to DSL where SHERIFF HARTWELL’s office is)
SHERIFF HARTWELL Please, I've got a lot to do. See here, Fred... MAYOR Pete, you're through.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Through? You mean I'm through? MAYOR I mean I'm scratching your name off of the ticket next Tuesday and I’m running Sherman in your place. "Reform the Red with a Rope"!
MAYOR Yeah, but Fred… MAYOR Williams isn't a Red and you know it!
SHERIFF HARTWELL But there are a lot of communistic sympathizers around, and I thought if I got a slogan like that I could... MAYOR I know it, but that's got nothing to do with this case. Do you realize that there are two hundred thousand votes at stake and if Earl Williams don't hang, we're going to lose them? (Knocking on the door) SHERIFF HARTWELL We're going to hang him. Come in! (Door opens while MAYOR and SHERIFF HARTWELL are still arguing) SHERIFF HARTWELL He can't get away. MAYOR What do you mean he can’t get away? He did get away, didn't he? (PETTIBONE Enters getting his open umbrella stuck in the door) MAYOR What do you want?
PETTIBONE I…uh… MAYOR What do you want?
PETTIBONE (Approaching the MAYOR) Are you Sheriff Hartwell? SHERIFF HARTWELL I'm him. What is it? PETTIBONE You're a hard man to find, Sheriff. (He’s holding an envelope but starts to search his pockets, meanwhile SHERIFF HARTWELL has taken the envelope out of his hands) I have a message here from the governor. (Continues searching his pockets) He said…
SHERIFF HARTWELL What’s from the governor? PETTIBONE It was a reprieve for Earl Williams.
MAYOR For who? PETTIBONE Earl Williams’ reprieve.
MAYOR (to SHERIFF HARTWELL) You said there wasn't gonna be a reprieve. PETTIBONE (Noticing SHERIFF HARTWELL has the envelope) There it is. How’d you get it?
MAYOR (to SHERIFF HARTWELL) It frightens me to think of what I'd like to do to you. (to PETTIBONE) Who else was there when he gave you this?
PETTIBONE Nobody. He was fishing. MAYOR (to SHERIFF HARTWELL) Get the governor on the phone. PETTIBONE No, he's not there. He's out duck shooting. With a red hat.
MAYOR (talking over PETTIBONE’s last line) Blasted nimrod! Fishing, duck shooting... A guy who's done nothing for the last forty years but play pinochle gets elected governor, and right away he thinks he's a Tarzan.
SHERIFF HARTWELL (to PETTIBONE and the MAYOR) Read that. "Insane," he says. Why he knows very well Williams isn't insane. PETTIBONE Well, I never met the man. MAYOR Ah, pure politics. SHERIFF HARTWELL It's an attempt to ruin us. (MAYOR takes reprieve and reads it) SHERIFF HARTWELL Fred, we’ve gotta think fast. What’re we gonna tell the reporters? MAYOR Tell them our party's through in this state on account of you.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Aww Fred. (Phone rings) MAYOR And as an afterthought, tell them I want your resignation now.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Awww. (Answers phone) Hello. Yes, yes, this is Hartwell. What? Where? Where!? Holy Moses! Hold the wire! MAYOR What is it? (SHERIFF HARTWELL covers receiver)
SHERIFF HARTWELL They’ve got him. They've got Williams! They’ve got him surrounded. The rifle squad have out at his house.
MAYOR Tell them to hold the phone. SHERIFF HARTWELL (into phone) I di..Hold the ph…Hold the wire.
MAYOR Cover up that transmission.
SHERIFF HARTWELL (Into the receiver accidentally) Cover up that…
MAYOR (annoyed) No. (To PETTIBONE, handing him back the reprieve) Now, listen. You never arrived with this. PETTIBONE Yes, I did. Don’t you remember? I came through that door and I thought (motioning to SHERIFF HARTWELL) he was Sheriff Hartwell… MAYOR (on top of PETTIBONE’s last line) How much money do you make? PETTIBONE Huh? MAYOR What's your salary? PETTIBONE Forty dollars a week. SHERIFF HARTWELL (into the phone) Now don’t cut me off, Joe. MAYOR How'd you like to make three hundred and fifty dollars a month? That’s almost a hundred dollars a week. PETTIBONE No I couldn't afford that. (sinking in) Who? Me?
MAYOR Well who do you think? Now they need a fella like you in the City Sealers’ office.
PETTIBONE In the wha? MAYOR City Sealers.
PETTIBONE You mean I should work in the city... MAYOR Yeah! SHERIFF HARTWELL (into phone) Now wait a minute, I’m in conference. PETTIBONE No, my wife wouldn't want me to do that.
MAYOR Why not? PETTIBONE Well you see my wife lives in the country with my family.
MAYOR That's alright. You can bring her in here. We'll pay all the expenses.
PETTIBONE (considering but deciding against it) No, I don't think so. MAYOR (getting agitated) For heaven’s sake, why not?! PETTIBONE Well I got two kids going to school and if they change towns, they'll lose a grade.
MAYOR No they won’t, they'll skip a grade. And I’ll guarantee you they'll graduate with highest honors. PETTIBONE Yeah?!
SHERIFF HARTWELL (Into phone) Hold your horses, Joe! (to the MAYOR) Hurry up, Fred.
MAYOR (to PETTIBONE) Now, what do you say?
PETTIBONE (reconsidering again) Nah, it puts me in a peculiar hole.
MAYOR Nah, it doesn't. (handing him the reprieve again) Now remember, you never delivered this.
PETTIBONE Yes I did.
MAYOR No you didn’t. You got caught in traffic or something.
PETTIBONE No I came around the back…
Well pretend you did.
MAYOR Now get outta here and don't let anybody see you. SHERIFF HARTWELL (into phone) Wait a minute!
(MAYOR is in the process of pushing PETTIBONE out the door) PETTIBONE Yes but how do I know that...? MAYOR Come down and see me in my office tomorrow. What's your name?
PETTIBONE Pettibone. What’s yours?
PETTIBONE (offering his hand in greeting) Not really.
MAYOR Now all you’ve got to do is lay low and keep your mouth shut. PETTIBONE Well I'm tired anyhow. MAYOR (reaching into jacket pocket and taking out a card and some money) Here, go to this address. Nice homey place. They'll take care of you. Just tell them Fred sent you. Here's fifty dollars on account. SHERIFF HARTWELL (into phone) Will you wait Joe, I'll tell you in one minute. PETTIBONE (About to leave than remembers something) Oh, you forgot to tell me what a City Sealer does. MAYOR I’ll explain it all tomorrow. PETTIBONE Is it hard? MAYOR No, no. Easy. Very easy. PETTIBONE Well that’s good, my health isn't...what my wife...
MAYOR Well We'll fix that too. PETTIBONE My wife? MAYOR Yeah, fix anything. Go ahead. (finally gets PETTIBONE out the door) SHERIFF HARTWELL Fred, Fred, they're still on the phone. MAYOR Alright, tell them to shoot to kill. SHERIFF HARTWELL What?! MAYOR You heard what I said. SHERIFF HARTWELL But the reprieve, Fred, if they…! MAYOR Go ahead and do as I tell you.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Hello, Joe. Shoot to kill. That's the order. Pass the word along.
MAYOR Five hundred dollar reward.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Five hundred dollars to the man who does it. Alright, I'll be right over.
(Lights out on Sheriff Hartwell’s Office.)
Act II: Scene 4A- Criminal Courts Building-Press Room (Lights up.) (HILDY is still pacing and waiting for LOUIE to bring her money. LOUIE enters) LOUIE Hi, Hildy.
HILDY You double-crossing hyena. I’d like to take you… LOUIE What’s the matter, Hildy? HILDY Don’t give me that innocent stuff. What'd you pull on Mr. Baldwin this time?
LOUIE Who, me? HILDY Yes, you and that albino of yours. LOUIE You talkin’ about Evangeline? HILDY None other. LOUIE She ain’t no albino. HILDY She'll do til one comes along.
LOUIE She was born right here in this country.
HILDY If she tries anything else, she'll have to stay right here in this country.
LOUIE I don’t know what you’re… HILDY And you too. And it won’t be on a phony charge, either. Did you bring that money? LOUIE Oh, yeah, four hundred bucks. HILDY Four hundred and fifty. LOUIE Alright, you can't blame a guy for trying. You better give me a receipt.
HILDY I'll give you a scar.
LOUIE I got plenty of them.
HILDY Oh and I'll take Mr. Baldwin's wallet too.
LOUIE Mr. Baldwin's what? HILDY His purse. Come on, come on, Louie.
LOUIE (pulls out BRUCE’s wallet from his jacket pocket) Alright, Hildy. I'll do it for you because I like you. But you better tell that financier of yours to be more careful in these hard times. You know what I mean?
HILDY (picks up her coat, hat and bag) Sure. Sure. I'll loan him a pair of your brass knuckles too? LOUIE Now don't talk that way, Hildy. (takes her bag from her) Here, I'll take that. I'll take it to the station.
HILDY Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You’ll take it over to the station alright. You’ll take it to the 27th Precinct and tell the cops how this all happened.
LOUIE I couldn't do that, Hildy. Boss would have me at Alcatraz in an hour. HILDY That’s not a bad idea. LOUIE (throws bag back at her) Here, catch! (LOUIE runs out) HILDY (calling after him) Louie! HILDY (Crosses back into room and sets things down and picks up phone) Hello, operator. Hildy Johnson. Will you get me... (EARL Comes in through the window holding a gun trained on HILDY)
EARL Drop that phone! HILDY (into phone) Nevermind. EARL You're not gonna tell anybody where I am.
HILDY Put that gun down, Earl. You don't wanna shoot me. I'm your friend, remember? I'm gonna write the story on you of ‘production for use’.
EARL Oh yes, that's right. Production for use.
HILDY You don't want to hurt your friend... EARL Don't move! Maybe you're my friend and maybe you’re not. But don't come any nearer. You can't trust anybody in this crazy world. (Phone rings) HILDY (while talking surreptitiously lifts bell of phone off receiver) I don't blame you. If I were you, I wouldn't trust anybody either.
EARL (spotting what she’s doing) Don't do that. Put it back. Put it back.
(HILDY hangs bell back up) EARL You know, if you try any tricks, I'll shoot you. I can do it right from here.
HILDY Sure you could, Earl. But you don't want to do that. You don't want to kill anybody.
EARL No, you're right. I don't want to kill anybody. HILDY That's what I thought. (HILDY starts to move toward the door)
EARL Wait a minute. Where are you going?
HILDY I was just going to close the door so nobody'd see you.
EARL No, you were going to get somebody. But I don't want that. All I want is to be left alone.
HILDY I won't get anybody Earl…
EARL Yes you will! You'll get them after me again. I won't let you do that. I won't...
(Window shade rolls up, EARL fires the gun at it) (EARL is momentarily stunned by the gunshot he fired and HILDY lunges for the gun) HILDY Give me that. EARL I guess I fired all the shells. I'm awful tired. (she gets the gun away from him) HILDY Earl! Earl, that shot. They'll know you're here.
EARL I don't care. I'm not afraid to die. HILDY (runs to door and shuts and locks it) Stop it! EARL I told the guy that when he handed me the gun. HILDY (pulling shade down over window by the stairs) Be quiet, will ya? EARL Waking me up in the middle of the night. Talking to me about things they don't understand.
HILDY (running past EARL to pull down the shades over the large window) Shut up. EARL I wish they'd take me back just to hang me.
HILDY They will if you don't keep quiet.
EARL I don’t care. I couldn’t go through another day like this. HILDY And you think I could? (HILDY pushes EARL down behind a desk and crosses and picks up phone) HILDY Get me Walter Burns, quick. Tell him I need him. (Second phone rings and she answers it) Hello, Hello. Oh but Bruce, please, I know I said I'd be down, but something terrific has happened. (while talking she picks up the bell of the other phone and holds it to her free ear. Talks into first phone) Walter, Hildy, come over here right away. (Second Phone) Wait just a second Bruce and I’ll explain everything. (First Phone) Walter get this! I've got Earl Williams here, yeah, right in the press room. Honest on the level. Hurry, I need you! (Hangs up first phone and turns back to Second Phone) Bruce! Biggest thing in the world has happened. I've captured Earl Williams. You know, the murderer. (Banging on door)
HILDY (covers phone) Stay down there, Earl. (Calling to the person at the door) Wait a minute! (Second Phone) Listen Bruce, I'll be down. Just as soon as I hand him over to the paper, I’ll be right down. But Bruce, I can't. Don't you realize...? (More banging on the door)
Act II: Scene 4B- Criminal Courts Building- Press Room
MOLLIE Come on! Let me in! (HILDY hangs up phone and crosses to the door) HILDY Who is it? MOLLIE It’s me, Mollie Malloy. Open the door! (HILDY hits the light so the light from the hallway beyond the door and only a dim light on the room is visible) HILDY What do you want, Mollie? MOLLIE I got to find... Where is everybody?
HILDY They’re not here, Mollie. They've all gone.
MOLLIE Oh please tell me where they’ve gone. Please tell me.
HILDY Mollie, I don't know and I'm awfully busy. Do you mind running along?
MOLLIE Oh look! They got him surrounded. They'll shoot him down like a dog.
HILDY They’ve been looking for you too. If you’re smart you’ll get out of here. (HILDY tries to nudge MOLLIE back out the door) MOLLIE (holding on to HILDY) I don't care! You gotta tell me. You gotta. I ain't afraid of them.
HILDY Alright, Mollie, I’ll tell you where they are. They're down at Center Street. Center and Fourth.
MOLLIE Oh, that's where he used to...
EARL Mollie…Mollie, don't go.
(HILDY pulls MOLLIE inside) HILDY Oh come in, Mollie. Draw up a chair. (MOLLIE runs across the room to EARL and HILDY recloses and relocks the door) EARL Hello, Mollie. MOLLIE How did you get in here? EARL Down the drain pipe. I didn't mean to shoot him. Really, I didn't.
MOLLIE Shhh. Be quiet. EARL You believe me, don't you? MOLLIE Sure I believe you. EARL Thanks for the roses. They were beautiful.
MOLLIE That's alright, Mr. Williams. EARL Don't cry. (HILDY grabs the crying MOLLIE’s arm) HILDY Don't you get hysterical. You’ve got to keep quiet.
MOLLIE I gotta get him out of here.
HILDY Sit down! Are you crazy? You wouldn't get halfway down that hall without being seen.
MOLLIE Yes, but they'll find him. HILDY I know it. I know it. I'm trying to think before those reporters come back.
EARL Let them take me. What difference does it make?
MOLLIE No! I'll never let ‘em. (Banging on the door) ENDICOTT (from outside the door) Hey! Who locked the door? (More banging) MOLLIE It's too late! HILDY No it isn’t, no it isn’t. (HILDY looks around and spots BENSINGER’s roll top desk and pushes the lid up) Earl, get in this desk. EARL Oh, what's the use? HILDY Come on, get in. (MOLLIE and HILDY maneuver EARL into the desk with little help from him) We'll get you out in ten minutes. (HILDY and MOLLIE roll the top down) MOLLIE (half-hysterically grabs HILDY) What are we going to do? They’re going to find him! HILDY Pull yourself together. (HILDY drags rolling chair over in front of the roll-top desk, facing out towards audience but forming a barrier between the desk and the rest of the room) Alright, here. Sit down. (The banging on the door has gotten louder and men’s angry voices can be heard) HILDY (To the people behind the door) All right, all right, I'm coming! (Turns on the light before unlocking and opening the door) What are you trying to do? Kick the building down. (ENDICOTT and WILSON enter) ENDICOTT You getting’ kind of exclusive, ain’t ya? After all we got phone calls to make. (ENDICOTT and WILSON spot MOLLIE) WILSON Hey, what's she doing up here? HILDY Run down and get some smelling salts will you? ENDICOTT Hey, what's the matter?
WILSON What happened? (WILSON and ENDICOTT push past HILDY) HILDY Poor thing. Came up here and had hysterics. Got pretty sick. ENDICOTT How do you feel, kid? MOLLIE I don’t feel so good. WILSON Get you some water? HILDY (HILDY noticing the pitcher is next to BENSINGER’s desk) I’ll get it. ENDICOTT Do anything for you?
MOLLIE No. WILSON Nah, you don't look so sick to me. ENDICOTT You didn’t bump into Williams did you? MOLLIE Ain’t you funny! WILSON Yeah, where is he? MOLLIE Let me alone, will ya? WILSON (Picking up phone) Okay. (into phone) Give me the desk. ENDICOTT (crossing to pick up his own phone) No harm in asking. WILSON Hello, Dan. Yes, false alarm. ENDICOTT (into his phone) Give me the desk. WILSON They surrounded the house, alright but they forgot to tell Williams and he wasn't there. (MURPHY rushes in)
MURPHY That’s some Halloween going on out there. It has the whole police force standing on its ear. Oh hello, Hildy. I thought you were gone. HILDY (handing water to MOLLIE) I've been waiting for some money from Walter. (MURPHY picks up phone and MCCUE rushes in) MCCUE What a chase! (picks up phone) Give me Nemo. MURPHY Give me the desk. ENDICOTT Nothing on Williams yet. MURPHY Murphy talking… (SANDERS enters) HILDY Any news, boys? SANDERS Yeah, I never been so tired in my life. MCCUE What? Where? Melrose Station? Alright, connect me. (noticing MOLLIE) Hello, Mollie. How are you? (into phone) Hold it a minute. (to the other reporters) Hey, fellas, this looks good. MURPHY Yeah, call you back. (hangs up his phone) MCCUE An old lady just called Detective Yuben and claims Williams is hiding under her piazza. MURPHY Tell her to stand up. ENDICOTT Well we looked every other place. MCCUE You wanna go out on it? HILDY I have to stick around. I'll cover this end for you. MURPHY I spent a dollar forty on taxicabs already. ENDICOTT Let’s not do anymore going out.
MCCUE Nevermind, Sarge. Tear it up. (hangs up phone) MURPHY Say, who pulled the shades down? HILDY I did. They were throwing those lights around.
(MURPHY raises shades and opens window to look out) MURPHY You know, I've got a hunch Williams ain't anywhere they've been looking for him. He might be right here in this building somewhere. HILDY Sure, sure, hanging around like a duck in a shooting gallery.
WILSON There’s that skylight he got out of but how did he reach the ground? ENDICOTT I'm pretending there ain't any Earl Williams. MURPHY He could have jumped over to this roof. It’s only about four feet. WILSON Yeah, once he got to the roof, he could slide down a drain pipe. MCCUE And come in any of these windows on this side. (MOLLIE looks up wide-eyed at HILDY who has a hand on MOLLIE’s shoulder trying to keep her calm) ENDICOTT Oh sure, the story’s gonna walk right in the window...
HILDY Masterminds at work. Why don't you boys go home? Maybe Williams will come and call on you. MURPHY Wouldn’t it be funny if he was in the building somewhere? HILDY Why not search the building? Everybody take a floor. ENDICOTT (sitting in chair with feet on the table) I’ll take this one. MURPHY Oh no, I'm not gonna wander all over this place.
HILDY Great bunch of reporters you are. The biggest story in two years and you’re all too lazy to go after it. MURPHY Say, Hildy, if I know you, you seem pretty anxious to get rid of us. Are you trying to scoop us or something? MCCUE Yeah, what is this? HILDY What are you crazy? On my own time? ENDICOTT Maybe Mollie's been giving her the story on how Williams got the gun. WILSON Yeah, did you smuggle that gun into Williams, Mollie? MOLLIE I didn't do nothing. MCCUE Come clean, Mollie. HILDY Let the girl alone. She's...
Act II: Scene 4C- Criminal Courts Building-Press Room (MRS. BALDWIN enters) MRS. BALDWIN Well? HILDY Mrs. Baldwin. Mother. MRS. BALDWIN Don't "Mother" me. Playing cat and mouse with my poor boy. Keeping him locked up. HILDY I can explain that… MRS. BALDWIN …making us miss two trains, and you supposed to be married tomorrow.
HILDY I'll be with you in five minutes...
MRS. BALDWIN You don’t have to go with me at all, just give me Bruce's money. You can stay here forever as far as I’m concerned. HILDY Mother, please. MRS. BALDWIN You and that murderer you caught. MURPHY What’s that? SANDERS Murderer? MCCUE Hildy, what’s she talking about? WILSON Murderer you caught? (While talking, all five reporters swarm HILDY) MRS. BALDWIN Which one of these men is it? They all look like murderers. ENDICOTT Wait a minute, Hildy. What murderer did you catch? HILDY I don’t know what she’s talking about. I never said any such thing.
MRS. BALDWIN I'm quoting my son and he has never lied to me. WILSON Somebody's lying.
HILDY This is ridiculous. I never said anything like that. MRS. BALDWIN Yes, you did. HILDY No I didn’t, I said I was trying to find the murderer. SANDERS Come on Hildy. MCCUE Quit stalling. HILDY She’s got it all balled up. Can’t you see that? ENDICOTT (not believing a word) Yeah, yeah. WILSON Come clean now Hildy. SANDERS Yeah, stop holding out on us. MCCUE Yeah, Hildy, spill. MURPHY (grabbing HILDY by the lapels of her jacket) Who are you holding out on? HILDY Nobody. Now let me go, will you? I don’t know where he is. (MOLLIE having listened to enough of this and getting hysterical stands up and shouts at group surrounding HILDY like hyenas around a wounded gazelle) MOLLIE Stop it, stop it! What are you asking her for? She don't know where he is. I'm the only one that knows. (Group shifts to surround MOLLIE backing her up towards the riser leading to the window) MURPHY Where is Williams? MOLLIE Try and find out. WILSON Come on Mollie, talk. MOLLIE Talk? Talk? Now you want me to talk? MURPHY Sure.
MOLLIE Oh ain’t that funny? You wouldn't listen to me before, not even for a minute, and now you want me to talk. HILDY Don't tell them anything, Mollie.
MOLLIE Let me alone, I know what I’m doing. WILSON Stay out of this Hildy.
MOLLIE Why didn't you listen to me? MURPHY (grabs Mollie by the arm) Come on, cut that out. MOLLIE You keep your hands offa me! SANDERS Where is he? MOLLIE What do you wanna know for? So you can write some more lies so you can sell some more papers? WILSON Never mind that. MOLLIE Alright. I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I'll give you a story. I’ll give you a wonderful story! Only this time it'll be true. (starts running for window) You'll never find him now! (MOLLIE jumps out the window) (Everybody cries out in shock)
Act II: Scene 4D- Criminal Courts Building-Press Room (BURNS and LOUIE enter just as she jumps) MCCUE Get the ambulance, somebody! Get an ambulance, somebody! (MURPHY, WILSON, MCCUE, SANDERS, HILDY and ENDICOTT run to the window) WILSON She's dead. MURPHY No, she isn't! She's moving! (MURPHY, MCCUE, ENDICOTT, WILSON, and SANDERS rush out the door. HILDY is still frozen at window, BURNS crosses to her) BURNS Where is he? HILDY Darling, did you see that? She jumped out the window. BURNS I know that. Where is he I said!? HILDY It’s a wonder she isn’t dead… BURNS (pulling her back into the room and away from the window) Come to Hildy! Where have you got Williams? HILDY He's in the desk. (turning back to the window) Thank heavens she didn't kill herself.
BURNS (Crosses over to desk, squats down and raises cover a couple of inches to talk to EARL) How're you doing? EARL Let me out. I can’t stand it. BURNS Keep quiet. You're sitting pretty. (Closes lid. MRS. BALDWIN crosses with an air of self-righteousness to BURNS) MRS. BALDWIN What's in there? BURNS Who are you? MRS. BALDWIN What are you doing?
BURNS (to HILDY) Who is she? HILDY This is Mrs. Baldwin. Bruce’s mother. MRS. BALDWIN What are you doing? BURNS Shut up! MRS. BALDWIN I won’t shut up! You're doing something wrong.
HILDY Mother, please. BURNS (To HILDY) Take her out of here. HILDY Now wait a minute Walter! BURNS Quiet! (to LOUIE) Louie! LOUIE Yes boss. BURNS Take the lady over to Bulldog Mike's. LOUIE (to MRS. BALDWIN) My name's Louie Peluso. (MRS. BALDWIN screams as LOUIE picks her up and fireman carries her out of the room. HILDY is trying to fight to get to MRS. BALDWIN but BURNS is holding her back with one hand) BURNS (calling after LOUIE) Lock her up and see that she doesn't talk to anyone on the way.
HILDY Walter! You can’t do this. LOUIE What do I tell him? BURNS Tell them it's a case of D.T.
HILDY Don't worry, Mother! This is only temporary.
(BURNS shuts the door, still blocking out HILDY from being able to chase LOUIE and MRS. BALDWIN) HILDY Walter! Let go of me.
Act II: Scene 5A- Criminal Courts Building-Press Room
BURNS Where do you think you’re going?
HILDY I’m going after mother and I’m going to get Bruce out of jail. Walter, why did you do this to me?
BURNS Get Bruce out of jail? How can you worry about a man who’s resting in a nice, quiet police station while this is going on? Hildy, this is war! You can't desert me now.
HILDY Walter, get off that trapeze! You've got your story right over there in the desk. Go on, smear it all over the front page: "Earl Williams captured by the Morning Post." I covered your story for you, and I got in a fine mess doing it. Now I’m getting out.
BURNS You drooling idiot, what do you mean ‘you’re getting out’? HILDY I meant just what I said. BURNS There are three hundred and sixty five days in a year one can get married. How many times you got a murderer locked up in a desk? Once in a lifetime. Hildy, you got the whole city by the seat of the pants. HILDY Sure, I know, I know. BURNS ‘You know, you know’. You've got the brain of a pancake. This isn't just a story you’re covering, it's a revolution. This is the greatest yarn in journalism since Livingston discovered Stanley. HILDY It was the other way around. BURNS Oh well don't get technical at a time like this. You realize what you’ve done honey? You've taken a city that's been graft-ridden for forty years under the same old gang and with this yarn you’re kicking them out. You’re giving us a chance to have the kind of government Chicago has under Horner. Listen honey, if I didn't have your best interest at heart, you think I’d waste my time arguing with you? You've done something big, Hildy. You've stepped up into a new class. HILDY Huh? BURNS We'll make such monkeys out of those ward heelers next Tuesday, nobody'll vote for them. Not even their wives. HILDY Expose them eh?
BURNS Certainly! We'll crucify that mob. We'll keep Williams undercover ‘til morning, so the Post can break the story exclusive. Then we let the governor in on the capture. Share the glory with him.
HILDY I get it, I get it.
BURNS You've kicked over the whole City Hall like an apricot. backed up against the wall. Put one administration out just a newspaper story, Hildy. It's a career! And you whether you catch an eight ’o’clock nine ‘o’clock train.
You got the mayor and Hartwell and another one in. This isn't stand there bellyaching about train or a
HILDY But Walter, I never figured it that way. BURNS You’re still a doll-faced hick, that’s why. HILDY Gee, we’d be the white-haired boys wouldn’t we? BURNS Sure, they'll be naming streets after you: Hildy Johnson Street! There'll be statues of you in the park. The movies will be after you. The radio. By tomorrow morning, I’ll bet you there’ll be a Hildy Johnson cigar. I can see the billboards now. It says: "Light up with Hildy Johnson, Light up with Hildy"...
HILDY Oh Walter will you stop that acting! We’ve got a lot to do.
BURNS Now you're talking.
HILDY We can't leave Williams in here.
BURNS We'll take him over to my private office. Which is our phone?
HILDY (Pointing to phone she uses) That one on the end. How are you gonna take him? They’ll see him.
BURNS Not if he’s inside the desk. We'll carry the desk over.
HILDY You can’t move that desk. It's crawling with cops outside.
BURNS Alright, we'll lower it out the window with pulleys. Now quit stalling and get the type writer. Come on, start pounding out a lead! (HILDY crosses and grabs the typewriter and sets it on the table) HILDY How much of this stuff do you want? BURNS All the words you got. (into phone) Hello! Give me Duffy!
HILDY Walter! BURNS What? HILDY Can I call the mayor a bird of prey? BURNS Call him anything you like.
HILDY How about the time he had his house painted by the fire department? BURNS Give ‘em the word.
HILDY Uh huh! BURNS (into phone) Hello, Duffy? Get set! We got the biggest story in years. "Earl Williams captured by the Morning Post. Exclusive!" Yeah! And I want you to tear out the whole front page. That’s what I said the whole front page out! Well nevermind the European war. We got something a whole lot bigger than that. Hildy Johnson's writing the lead, I’ll give it to you as soon as she’s finished. And listen Duffy, get hold of Butch O'Connor. (BRUCE pushes open the Press Room door) BURNS Tell him to come up here right away with half a dozen of his wrestlers. Yeah, Butch O'Connor. What? Well I've got a desk I want moved...nevermind why…
Act II: Scene 5B-Criminal Courts Building-Press Room BRUCE Hildy! BURNS What the deuce do you want? HILDY Hello, Bruce. BRUCE Hildy. BURNS (into phone) No, no, never mind the Chinese earthquake. For heaven’s sake.
BRUCE Hildy, I just want to ask you one question…
HILDY (just realizing) Bruce! How did you get out of jail?
BRUCE Well not through any help of yours.
BURNS Now listen buddy, you can’t just come in here we’re busy… BRUCE (to BURNS) I'm not talking to you. (to HILDY) I had to wire Albany for a hundred dollars so I could get out on bail. HILDY No! (But she’s in the story’s grip and while caring about BRUCE’s troubles, can’t give it her full attention) BURNS (still into phone) I don’t care if there’s a million dead! BRUCE I don’t know what they’re going to think up there in Albany. They had to send the money to the police station. BURNS Oh for Pete’s sake, Hildy. Come on. We're waiting for that story. HILDY We'll explain everything to them, Bruce.
BRUCE Where's Mother? She said she was coming up here.
HILDY She left.
BURNS No, I can't hear you, Duffy.
BRUCE Where'd she go? HILDY Out someplace.
BURNS No! Junk the Polish Corridor!
BRUCE Hildy! Tell me where my mother was going!
HILDY She couldn't say. BURNS Oh never mind that. This is more important.
BRUCE Did she get the money from you? HILDY Oh no, no, she left in a hurry.
BRUCE I'll take that money, Hildy.
HILDY Alright Bruce. Right there in my purse.
BRUCE I decided I can handle things around here and I'll take that certified check too.
HILDY I'll give it to you Bruce. Here. Here are the tickets and you’ll find the money in your wallet.
BRUCE My wallet?! This is my wallet. Say, there's something funny going on.
(BURNS sets down the telephone bell to pick up the stack of counterfeit money to look at it) BRUCE Hey! What are you doing?
BURNS Just wanted to look at it.
BRUCE Hildy, I'm taking…
(HILDY is mumbling to herself, reading what she’s typing and BRUCE tries again to get her attention)
BRUCE I'm taking the nine ‘o’clock train.
HILDY Sure, sure. BRUCE Did you hear what I said? I'm taking...
BRUCE & HILDY The nine ‘o’clock Train…
HILDY Oh, Bruce, I put it in here! (Changes out paper, BURNS takes first draft, while continuing to discuss under dialogue what to cut from the paper to make room for the Earl Williams’ story) BURNS (to BRUCE) Let her alone, will you, buddy?
HILDY Do me a favor Bruce, please... BRUCE I just want you to answer one question. You don't want to come with me, do you? Answer me. HILDY (to BURNS who took her first draft) I need that! BURNS Come on! BRUCE Answer me Hildy! You don't, do you?
BURNS No! (now it’s clear he’s talking to the phone) Take all those Miss America pictures off page six.
BRUCE Hildy, tell me. Please, tell me the truth.
BURNS Now wait a minute, Duffy. (sets down bell) BRUCE (to HILDY) Did you ever love me, Hildy? BURNS (to BRUCE) Now look here, my good man...
BRUCE You shut up, Burns! HILDY Now how can I do anything with all this racket going on? BRUCE You're doing all this to her. BURNS Yeah, yeah (goes back to phone) BRUCE She wanted to get away from you and everything you stand for but you were too smart! You caught her and changed her mind!
BURNS Take Hitler and stick him on the Funny Page! (sets down phone bell) Now let me ask you…Mr…Mr. Whateveryournameis! BRUCE Hildy, let me ask you, are you willing to give everything up for a man like him?
HILDY No I am not but Bruce can’t you see something's happened? Wait, I’ll tell you everything…
BURNS Tell him! You’ll tell him nothing. He's a spy, you fool. HILDY Don’t be ridiculous.
BRUCE I am not a spy. Come on Hildy. You're coming with me right now.
HILDY Bruce, give me just a second, can’t you?! (motions to type writer) Can’t you see this is the biggest thing to happen in my life?
BRUCE I see. I'll keep. I'm like something in the icebox, aren’t I. BURNS (looking over at BRUCE) Yea… BRUCE You just don't love me.
HILDY Oh now, that isn't true. Just because you won't listen, you say I don't love you. Now you know that isn’t the point at all.
BRUCE The point is that you never intended to be decent and live like a human being. BURNS (into the phone) What’s that? HILDY Alright! Alright! BURNS Alright! St. Sebastian jumping! I’m trying to concentrate! HILDY (to BRUCE) If that's what you want to think.
BRUCE You're just like him and all the rest.
HILDY Sure, sure. That's what I am.
BURNS (into phone) What?! What!? No, no, leave the rooster story alone. That's human interest. Did you get a hold of Butch O’Conner yet?
HILDY (to BRUCE) If you had any sympathy or understanding at all...
BRUCE I understand, all right...I understand!
HILDY Wait! Wait! There's only one question I want to know. BRUCE What!? HILDY Walter! BURNS What? HILDY The mayor's first wife. What was her name?
BURNS You mean the one with the wart on her? HILDY Right. BURNS Fanny. (back to the phone) What did you say, Duffy?
BRUCE Ah Hildy, I don’t think you ever loved me at all.
BURNS Ah, nevermind that, you’re not working for advertising.
BRUCE (as he turns to leave, to HILDY) Remember, if you change your mind, I'm leaving on the nine ‘o’clock train. (BRUCE leaves)
Act II: Scene 5C- Criminal Courts Building-Press Room BURNS Hold on Duffy. Hold on. (BURNS gets up and closes and relocks the door) HILDY If you want me, take me as I am. Instead of trying to change me into something else. I'm no suburban bridge player. I'm a newspaperman.
BURNS That’s the stuff Hildy. Keep it coming as fast as you can. (EARL sticks his head out of the desk) Get back in there, you mock turtle. (EARL closes the desk top on himself) (back on phone) Hello, Duffy. Did you tell Butch’s gang to take a taxi? It's a matter of life and death? Good. Stay on this wire. (to HILDY) Butch's on his way over. All we gotta do is hold out for fifteen minutes. HILDY The boys will be back. They’ll be coming in here to phone.
BURNS I'll handle them. (goes to the window and looks out) Oh, now the moon's out. (Taps on the desk 3 times, EARL taps back from inside 3 times) BURNS Fine. Three taps is me. Don't forget. How are you doing? Got enough air? (slides the lid up an inch or two) EARL Not very much. (waves some air into the desk) BURNS That better? (closes lid) You're sitting pretty. (to HILDY) How's it coming, honey? HILDY Oh alright, I guess. Where's Bruce? BURNS Bruce? Oh he went out. HILDY Is he coming back here?
BURNS Certainly, he’s coming back. Didn't you hear him? What have you got so far? Let me hear it.
HILDY (Reading) "While hundreds of Sheriff Hartwell's paid gunmen stalked through the city, shooting innocent bystanders, spreading their reign of terror, Earl Williams was lurking less than twenty yards…" BURNS Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Aren't you going to mention The Post? Doesn’t the paper get any credit? HILDY I… I did that, right there, in the second paragraph.
BURNS Who’s gonna read the second paragraph? Listen honey, for ten years I’ve been telling you how to write a newspaper story and that’s what I get?
HILDY Well it’s not like you’re writing anything to compare it to.
Act II: Scene 5D- Criminal Courts Building-Press Room (Knocking on the door) BENSINGER (Calling) What's the idea of locking this door?
BURNS (stage whispered to HILDY) Who's that?
HILDY (stage whispered, indicating desk with EARL in it) Bensinger. That's his desk.
BENSINGER (Calling louder) Open the door, will you?
BURNS Listen, what did you say his name was?
HILDY Bensinger, from The Tribune.
BURNS The Tribune, huh?
BENSINGER Who's in there? (BURNS opens door to reveal BENSINGER on other side) Haven't you any better sense than to..(surprised to see BURNS)...? Uh. Hello. Hello, Mr. Burns. Wow. Quite an honor having you come over here.
BURNS Hello, Bensinger.
BENSINGER Oh! You know my...(edging around him) I just want to get my...
BURNS (intercepting him to keep him away from his desk) You know, you know, it's quite a coincidence seeing you tonight, isn't it?
BENSINGER How do you mean?
BURNS As a matter of fact, I was just talking to our Mr. Duffy about you this afternoon.
BENSINGER Really? Well, nothing detrimental, I hope.
BURNS On the contrary. On the contrary. That was one swell story you had in the paper this morning.
BENSINGER Did you uh…did you care for the poem, Mr. Burns?
BURNS The poem? The poem was great.
BENSINGER I liked the ending especially: And all is well outside his cell But in his heart He hears the hangman calling And the gallows falling And his white-haired mother's tears… Heartbreaking? HILDY Uh-huh. BURNS That’s fine. How would you like to come work for me? We can use a man like you. All we got now are a lot of lowbrows like Johnson here.
BENSINGER Are you serious, Mr. Burns?
BURNS Serious? Wait a minute. (Picks up phone) Duffy, I'm sending Mr. Bunsinger over to see you.
BURNS Mervyn, isn't it?
BENSINGER Yeah... No. Roy. Roy V. BURNS Certainly. Roy V. Bensinger, the poet. Well of course you wouldn't know. You probably never heard of Shakespeare either. (They all laugh. BENSINGER slaps BURNS on the back and suddenly all the laughing stops and BENSINGER regrets his action)
BURNS Now look, I want you to put Mr. Bensinger on staff right away. How much you getting on The Tribune, Roy? BENSINGER (disgusted) Ah! Seventy-five.
BURNS I'll give you a hundred and a byline. (back into phone) Now you give him everything he wants, you understand? Ok. (Hangs up, intercepts BENSINGER before he can get to his desk again) Now look Roy, I want you to hustle and write me a story from the point of view of the escaped man. He hides, cowering, afraid of every sound, of every light. He hears footsteps, they're closing in. (Pretends to pump his heart on his chest) All the time his heart is going like that. Now get the sense of the animal at bay.
BENSINGER Sort of Jack London style? BURNS Exactly. BENSINGER I'll just get my rhyming dictionary. (moving towards desk again)
BURNS It doesn't have to rhyme. Doesn’t have to rhyme.
BENSINGER Oh. Well I'm deeply grateful, Mr. Burns.
BURNS Good. BENSINGER It’s very… Oh! Oh! If you should have an opening for a war correspondent, I parle a little French, you know.
BURNS I'll keep you in mind.
BENSINGER Au rev oir, mon capitaine.
(BENSINGER salutes and exits. BURNS closes door)
BURNS "His white-haired mother's tears." That's the tops, isn’t it? (Picks up phone) Now listen, that fellow Bensinger is on his way right now. Handle him with kid gloves. Put him to work writing poetry. No, we don't want him, just stall him along till the extra's out. Then tell him his poetry smells and kick him downstairs. HILDY Double-crossing swine. BURNS You said it. That’ll teach him a lesson. He won't quit his paper without giving notice after this.
HILDY I mean you.
HILDY You'd double-cross anybody... Wait a minute. I just remembered. Bruce isn't coming back here. He said he was taking the nine ‘o’clock train.
BURNS (checking watch) Oh well, in that case, he's gone by now.
HILDY (upset) Ohhhhh!
BURNS Come on honey, don't sit there like a frozen robin. Get on with the story. We have to have our plans all finished by the time Butch gets here. (crosses window to measure it) HILDY Oh, you have messed up my life. What am I going to do?
BURNS Aw, the window's too small. We'll have to carry the desk out of the building. HILDY I should be on that train now. BURNS Come on, come on. HILDY I'm a sap, falling for your line. ‘They’re gonna name streets after me...’ Johnson Street.
BURNS Yes, well, you’ve had a nice rest now, get back to work.
HILDY I'm not going back to work.
Act II: Scene 5E- Criminal Courts Building-Press Room (Someone trying the handle loudly) HILDY Walter, what...?
BURNS Who is it?
LOUIE It's me, boss. It's Louie.
BURNS Louie. (BURNS opens door. LOUIE is standing on the other side, looking much worse for the wear) Holy smokes! What's the matter with you?
HILDY Where's Mrs. Baldwin? BURNS What did you do with her? HILDY What happened? BURNS Been in a fight? LOUIE Down Western Avenue, we were in this taxi going sixty miles an hour, you know what I mean?
BURNS Take that mush out of your mouth.
HILDY Where's the old lady?
LOUIE I’m tellin’ ya. We run smack into a police patrol, you know what I mean? We busted it in half.
HILDY Was she hurt? BURNS Now where is she, tell me?
LOUIE Can you imagine bumping into a load of cops? They come rolling out like oranges.
BURNS What did you do with her?
LOUIE Search me, when I come to, I was running down 34th street...
HILDY You were with her, weren’t you? LOUIE Was I? HILDY You were in the taxi cab.
LOUIE The driver got knocked cold.
BURNS Butterfingers! I give you an old dame to take somewhere and you hand her over to the cops.
LOUIE What do you mean ‘I handed her’? The cops was on the wrong side of the street.
BURNS Now everything’s fine. She's probably squawking her head off in the police station.
LOUIE I don’t think she's squawking much, if you know what I mean.
HILDY Don't tell me... Was she killed?
BURNS Hey, was she? Did you notice? Hmmm?
LOUIE Say listen, me with a gun on the hip and a kidnapped old lady on my hands. I'm gonna stick around asking questions from a lot of cops? You know what I mean?
HILDY Dead, dead! Oh this is the end! Oh!
BURNS Well, it's fate, Hildy. What will be, will be.
HILDY What am I going to say to Bruce? What can I tell him?
BURNS Look honey, if he really loves you, you won't have to tell him anything. Snap out of it! Would you rather have had the old dame dragging the whole police force in here?
HILDY I killed her. I'm responsible. What am I gonna do? How can I ever face Bruce again?
BURNS Look at me, Hildy.
HILDY I am looking at you, you murderer.
BURNS Aw, now, if it was my own grandmother, I'd carry on. You know I would, for the paper.
HILDY Louie, where'd it happen? LOUIE Western and 34th.
HILDY I got to get out of here... (BURNS hold her back) BURNS We can do more here. Now be calm. (Picks up phone) Listen... (Another phone rings and BURNS picks it up as HILDY gets up and grabs another phone) BURNS Hello? Hello? HILDY (into phone) Hello, hello. Main 4557.
BURNS Who? Well, Butch, where are you?
HILDY Hello? Mission Hospital? Receiving room.
BURNS Well, what are you doing there? Haven’t you even started?
HILDY Hello Eddie. Hildy Johnson. Was there an old lady brought in from an auto smashup?
BURNS For H. Sebastian, Butch! Listen, it's a matter of life and death.
HILDY Nobody? (Clicks receiver hook to try another call) Ohhhh. Morningside 2649.
BURNS You got who? Speak up. A what?
HILDY Community Hospital. Receiving Room Please. BURNS You can't stop for a dame now! I don't care if you've been after her for six years, Butch, our whole lives are at stake! You're gonna let a woman come between us after all we’ve been through? HILDY Hello, Max. Hildy Johnson. Was there an old lady brought in from an auto smashup?
BURNS Butch, I put my arm in fire for you up to here, now you can't double-cross me.
HILDY Well look around, please!
BURNS Yes she does? Alright, put her on. I'll talk to her. Oh, good evening, madam. Now, listen, you ten-cent glamour girl you can't keep Butch away from his duty. What’s that? You say that again, I'll come over there and kick you in the teeth! Say, what kind of language is that? Now, look here, you...(frustrated noise and hangs up phone) She hung up. What did I say? (picks up Post phone) Duffy! How do you like that? Mousing around with some big...Duffy!
HILDY Hello? What did you say? (to BURNS) Will you shut up? I'm trying to hear!
BURNS Duffy! (to HILDY) Let’s cooperate then. HILDY (into phone) Nobody? BURNS Duffy! Well, where is Duffy? (hangs up) Diabetes. I ought to know better than to hire anyone with a disease.
HILDY (still on phone) Give me Olympia 219 will you?
BURNS Louie! LOUIE (who’s been in the corner trying to clean himself up) Yes, boss. BURNS Louie, it's up to you.
LOUIE Anything you say, boss.
BURNS Well, beat it out. Get a hold of some guys. LOUIE Who do you want? BURNS Anybody with hair on his chest, get them off the street. Get them anywhere. Offer them anything, only get ‘em. We gotta get that desk out of here.
LOUIE Is it important? BURNS Is it important? Listen Louie, You're the best friend I got. LOUIE I like you too, Boss. BURNS Alright then, don't fail me. Get enough people to move that desk. Now come on, I’m relying on you. (takes him to the door) LOUIE You know me, boss. The shirt off my back.
BURNS Okay, don't bump into anything. (nudges him out. LOUIE leaves) That dumb gangster will flop on me as sure as you’re born.
HILDY (still into the phone) Try again at the hospital, it’s bound to happen.
BURNS If he's not back in five minutes, we'll carry it out alone.
HILDY (to BURNS) Do anything you want.
BURNS There's a million ways... we could start a fire, have the firemen take it out in the confusion. HILDY (Gathering her belongings, still waiting on the phone) I don't give a damn what you do.
ACT II: SCENE 5F- Criminal Courts Building- Press Room BURNS Don't open that door! HILDY I'll gonna go down to the morgue...
(HILDY opens door to MURPHY and MCCUE who each grab one of HILDY’s arms and hold her. Followed by WILSON, SANDERS, ENDICOTT, SHERIFF HARTWELL, JOE and FRANK) MURPHY Ah Hildy! MCCUE We wanna talk to you a minute! HILDY Hey, hey, what is this? Hey! Let go! What’s the idea? MURPHY What’s your hurry? HILDY Get your hands off me!
SHERIFF HARTWELL Now, look here, Johnson...
BURNS Hey, you!
SHERIFF HARTWELL You mean me?
BURNS Yes, you. What do you mean by breaking in here like this?
SHERIFF HARTWELL You can’t bluff me Burns. I don't care who you are or what paper you're editor of.
HILDY Look! Let go of me, will you? SHERIFF HARTWELL Hang on to her boys! HILDY Oh please. Look fellas, something's happened to my mother-in-law.
MCCUE We know what you are up to, Hildy.
ENDICOTT Maybe going out to get Williams. WILSON She had the door locked. SANDERS She and Mollie were in here talking.
MURPHY They know where he is.
HILDY Oh look fellas, I don’t know anything, really. And there's been an accident.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Johnson, there's something very, very peculiar going on here. Now see here...
BURNS Just a moment, Hartwell. If you have any accusations to make, make them in the proper manner. Otherwise I'll have to ask you to get out.
SHERIFF HARTWELL You’ll ask me to what?
BURNS Get out.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Oh you will, eh? (to JOE and FRANK) You keep that door closed and don't let anybody in or out. We'll see about this. MURPHY C’mon Pinkie, give him the third degree. MCCUE Make them talk. ENDICOTT Where you got Williams? SHERIFF HARTWELL I'm going to get to the bottom of this. Are you going to talk or aren’t you?
HILDY Well what do you want me to say?
SHERIFF HARTWELL What do you know about Williams?
HILDY What do you know about Williams.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Now we're getting some... Alright boys, take her out of her. I got ways to make her talk. (JOE and FRANK try to drag HILDY) HILDY Oh no you don’t! Don't you dare touch me or...
(Gun fall from her purse)
ENDICOTT Stop! She's got a gun! WILSON Grab it!
HILDY No, you don't. (HILDY grabs gun) Walter!
(HILDY throws gun to BURNS)
SHERIFF HARTWELL Alright, Burns. I'll take that gun. (BURNS hands it over. SHERIFF HARTWELL examines it) Where did you get this gun?
HILDY I’ve got a right to carry a gun if I want to.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Not this gun.
BURNS I can explain that, Hartwell. When Hildy told me she was going to interview Earl Williams, I thought it would be dangerous, so I gave her a gun to defend herself.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Oh you did, well that’s very interesting. But this happens to be the gun that Williams used to shoot his way out with.
ENDICOTT, WILSON, MURPHY, SANDERS and MCCUE WHAT?! BURNS My good man, are you trying to make me out a liar?
SHERIFF HARTWELL I ought to know my own gun, oughtn't l...?
ENDICOTT, WILSON, MURPHY, SANDERS and MCCUE Ohhhh! MURPHY That's where Williams got it. MCCUE Hildy got it from Williams!
SHERIFF HARTWELL Where is Earl Williams? Where have you got him?
BURNS You're barking up the wrong tree, Hartwell.
SHERIFF HARTWELL I’ll give you three minutes to tell me where he is.
HILDY He went over to the hospital to call on Professor Egelhofer…
SHERIFF HARTWELL What? HILDY …with a bag of marshmallows.
ENDICOTT Where is he?
SANDERS Ask the mastermind why he's here.
SHERIFF HARTWELL (to BURNS) Speak up! Speak up! What do you know about this?
BURNS My dear fellow The Morning Post does not obstruct justice or hide criminals. HILDY You ought to know that.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Johnson, you're under arrest. HILDY What? SHERIFF HARTWELL (to BURNS) And you too, Burns.
BURNS Who's under arrest? Listen, you square-toed, pimple-headed spy, do you realize what you're doing?
SHERIFF HARTWELL I'll show you what I’m doing. Burns, you’re obstructing justice and so is The Morning Post. I'll see that you're fined ten thousand dollars!
BURNS You'll see nothing of the kind.
SHERIFF HARTWELL And I’m going to begin by impounding the Post's property. Is this your desk? (motioning to BENSINGER’s desk with Williams in it) HILDY No! BURNS Yes! What are you afraid of, Hildy? I dare you to move this desk out of here.
HILDY (cottoning on) Yes, go ahead and try it.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Alright, I will.
BURNS I warn you, you move this desk out of this building and I'll put you behind bars. HILDY He can do it, too. SHERIFF HARTWELL Is that so.
BURNS I'll see that Roosevelt hears about it.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Tell him. Come on, boys! Confiscate this desk. (police move towards desk) BURNS Alright, this is your last chance. This is a federal offence and you fellas will be accessories.
SHERIFF HARTWELL We'll take a chance on that. Go ahead boys.
BURNS Alright. (more knocking CARL the policeman is heard on the other side of the door) CARL Open up this door!
(CARL enters with MRS. BALDWIN)
HILDY Mother! I'm glad to see you...Are you alright? I’ve been so worried…
MRS. BALDWIN (looking worse for the wear, ignoring HILDY and pointing at BURNS) That's the man that did it. Right there.
SHERIFF HARTWELL What's the idea here? CARL This lady claims she’s been kidnapped. SHERIFF HARTWELL What? MRS. BALDWIN They dragged me all the way down the stairs and put their... SHERIFF HARTWELL Just a minute! (motioning to BURNS) Did this man have anything to do with it?
MRS. BALDWIN Why, he was in charge of the whole thing! He told them to kidnap me.
BURNS Excuse me, madam. Are you referring to me?
MRS. BALDWIN Well, you know you did.
SHERIFF HARTWELL What about this, Burns? Kidnapping, huh?
BURNS (to MRS. BALDWIN) Ah, trying to frame me, huh? I never saw this woman before in my life.
MRS. BALDWIN Why, what a thing to say! I was standing right here when that girl jumped out the window.
SHERIFF HARTWELL (to FRANK and JOE) Call the mayor! Get him down here right away.
BURNS Now look here, madam, be honest. If you were out joyriding, plastered, and got into some scrape, why don’t you admit it instead of accusing innocent people?
MRS. BALDWIN You ruffian! How dare you talk like that to me!
HILDY (trying to corral her mother-in-law to be) He's, uh, just a little crazy, Mother.
MRS. BALDWIN And I can tell you something more. I could tell you why they did it. They had some kind of a murderer in here and they were hiding him.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Hiding him? ENDICOTT, SANDERS, MURPHY, MCCUE, and WILSON Hiding him? In here? Hiding him?
BURNS (Pounds desk on each syllable of ‘cock’ ‘eyed’ ‘liar’) Madam, you're a cock-eyed liar and you know it! (MRS. BALDWIN gasps) (EARL pounds back three times) SHERIFF HARTWELL What was that? MURPHY He's in there! (ENDICOTT, WILSON, SANDERS, MURPHY and MCCUE go for the phones) ENDICOTT (on phone) Give me the desk. MCCUE Give me that phone! MURPHY What a break! SHERIFF HARTWELL Stand back everybody. Stand back! He might shoot.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Get your guns out. (CARL, FRANK, JOE and SHERIFF HARTWELL surround the desk with guns out) HILDY He's harmless.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Don't take any chances, shoot right through the desk.
HILDY He can’t hurt anybody, you’ve got his gun.
(MRS. BALDWIN flailing around, suddenly wanting out) MRS. BALDWIN Oh dear! Oh dear! BURNS Go on, you grey-haired old weasel.
MRS. BALDWIN Let me out! Let me out of here!
WILSON (into his phone) Give me the desk! (She exits and bumps into BRUCE in the doorway) SANDERS Give me Jake! BRUCE Mother! I was looking all over for you. What happened?
(SANDERS kicks door closed on BRUCE and MRS. BALDWIN)
SANDERS Hello Jake? Hang on. BURNS Hildy, call Duffy. (HILDY moves for phone) SHERIFF HARTWELL No you don’t! (SHERIFF HARTWELL stops her) BURNS You want to see a scoop?
WILSON (into phone) In a minute! SHERIFF HARTWELL Now everybody… MURPHY (into phone) Hold the wire… SHERIFF HARTWELL Aim right for the center. HILDY That's murder. SHERIFF HARTWELL Alright, Frank, Joe, one of you get on each end of the desk. ENDICOTT Something’s coming up. SHERIFF HARTWELL We got you covered, Williams. MCCUE Happening in a minute. SHERIFF HARTWELL Don’t try to move! WILSON Any time now. SHERIFF HARTWELL On three. ENDICOTT It's hot. SHERIFF HARTWELL One… MURPHY Ready for an emergency. SHERIFF HARTWELL Two… MCCUE Any second now… SHERIFF HARTWELL Three. Up with it! (Rolls up desk top) I got you, Williams! EARL Go ahead, shoot me. FRANK Come out of there.
MURPHY Earl Williams just captured in the press room of the criminal courts building hiding in a desk. CARL Come on there. On your feet. SHERIFF HARTWELL Come on boys. Don't try any funny stuff. (JOE and FRANK each take EARL by an arm and start leading him out) WILSON Williams was unconscious when they opened the desk. MURPHY Williams put up a desperate struggle, but the police overpowered him. ENDICOTT …he offered no resistance. MCCUE He tried to shoot it out with the cops but his gun wouldn't work. SANDERS He broke through a whole cordon of police. BURNS (picks up Post phone) Duffy! The Morning Post just turned Williams over to the sheriff.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Give me that! (takes phone) Put the cuffs on them! (CARL moves to do it) More later. MURPHY An anonymous note received by the sheriff led to Williams' capture. Hold on. (CARL puts a pair of handcuffs on one of BURNS’ wrists and one of HILDY’s with a sad little grin.) SANDERS The sheriff was chasing down a mysterious telephone call which gave away Williams’ hiding place. MURPHY (to room in general) Where's the old lady? MCCUE Where’d she go? SANDERS She went out. ENDICOTT Call you back. (SANDERS, WILSON, MCCUE, ENDICOTT and MURPHY rush out)
ACT II: SCENE 4G- Criminal Courts Building- Press Room SHERIFF HARTWELL (closes door and picks up phone) Hello, give me the warden's office. BURNS Hartwell, you’re gonna wish you had never been born. SHERIFF HARTWELL Oh, am I?
(MAYOR enters) SHERIFF HARTWELL Hello, Fred. MAYOR Well, fine work, Pete. You certainly delivered the goods. I’m proud of you.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Aiding an escaped criminal. And a little charge of kidnapping...(into phone) What's that? It’s the jail, there must be someone there.
MAYOR Well it looks like about ten years of peace for you two birds.
BURNS Does it? HILDY Whenever you think you've got The Morning Post licked, it’s time for you to get out of town.
MAYOR Whistling in the dark. Well, that isn’t going to help you this time. You're through. BURNS Listen, the last man who said that to me was Archie Leach, just a week before he cut his throat.
SHERIFF HARTWELL (to BURNS, while he’s still waiting on the phone) Is that so? BURNS We've been in worse jams than this, haven't we, Hildy?
HILDY Nope. BURNS You forget the power that always watches over The Morning Post.
MAYOR Your luck’s not with you now.
BURNS Says you.
SHERIFF HARTWELL (Into the Phone) Hello this is Hartwell. I've caught him. Yes, Williams. Yes. Single-handed. We’ll proceed with the hanging, per schedule.
BURNS You're gonna be in office exactly two days more. HILDY And we’re gonna start pulling your nose out of that feedbag.
SHERIFF HARTWELL (to HILDY) I tell you what you'll be doing.
HILDY What? SHERIFF HARTWELL (obviously searching for a good come back) You’ll be…uh… BURNS What? Oh come on, make up your mind. SHERIFF HARTWELL Making brooms in the penitentiary. (into phone) Hello Joel? This is Hartwell. I want you to come over to my office right away. I’ve captured a couple of important birds and I want you to take their confessions. BURNS (Into phone off the hook) Duffy, get Liebowitz.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Hiring all the lawyers in the world isn’t going to help you now. BURNS Listen, you're talking to The Morning Post.
MAYOR Oh, power of the press. Ha ha ha.
(while MAYOR is talking, PETTIBONE comes through the open door, once again getting his umbrella stuck in the doorway) BURNS Listen bigger men than you have found out what the power of the press is. Presidents, kings...
(PETTIBONE drops his umbrella and enters)
PETTIBONE Here's the reprieve.
MAYOR (to PETTIBONE) Say, you get out of here!
PETTIBONE Oh you can't bribe me! My wife...
SHERIFF HARTWELL Get out of here you!
PETTIBONE Oh no, I won't! Here's the reprieve.
PETTIBONE I don't want to be a city sealer. My wife…
MAYOR Who is this?
SHERIFF HARTWELL (to policeman) Throw him out, Carl!
CARL Alright, out you go!
HILDY Wait, just a minute, who's trying to bribe you?
PETTIBONE (indicating reprieve which BURNS has somehow gotten into his hand) They wouldn't take this.
MAYOR He’s insane!
BURNS What did I say? An unseen power.
MAYOR What do you mean by coming in here with a cock-and-bull story like that? He's an impostor. (BURNS and HILDY read through reprieve) BURNS Look at that. SHERIFF HARTWELL It’s a frame up, he’s an imposter! MAYOR Arrest him!
HILDY Just a minute! Trying to hang an innocent man to win an election, ey?
BURNS That's murder. SHERIFF HARTWELL That’s a lie! MAYOR I never saw him before.
PETTIBONE If I was to tell my wife...
BURNS What's your name?
PETTIBONE Pettibone, Joe Pettibone.
BURNS When did you deliver this, first, Mr. Pettibone? HILDY Who'd you talk to?
PETTIBONE They started right in bribing me.
HILDY Who’s ‘they’?
PETTIBONE (Pointing at HARTWELL and MAYOR) Those. Them.
MAYOR That’s absurd on the face of it. Walter, he’s talking like a child.
BURNS Out of the mouths of babes.
PETTIBONE (To HILDY) Hi, babe.
MAYOR He's insane or drunk or something. Why, if this unfortunate man, Williams, has really been reprieved, I'm personally tickled to death. Aren't you, Pete?
HILDY Oh go on. You'd hang your own mother to be reelected and you know…
MAYOR That's a horrible thing to say about anybody, Miss Johnson.
BURNS Oh you're marvelous. Take a look at that.
MAYOR Now Walter, you're an intelligent man.
BURNS Nevermind that. (turning to Mr. Pettibone) Now let’s have your story, Mr. Pettibone.
PETTIBONE Well, nineteen years ago, I married Mrs. Pettibone...
BURNS Skip all that.
PETTIBONE Oh she wasn't Mrs. Pettibone then. She was one of the Jones...
BURNS No, no, I mean…
MAYOR (pretending to study reprieve) Sheriff, this document is authentic and Earl Williams has been reprieved and our commonwealth has been saved the painful necessity of shedding blood.
BURNS You said it, now get off the soapbox. Save that for The Tribune. HILDY That’s awful. MAYOR Pete, take those handcuffs off my friends. SHERIFF HARTWELL I was just going to. MAYOR I'm amazed at you doing a thing like that. BURNS Isn't he awful? MAYOR Walter, you don't know how badly I feel.
BURNS No.. MAYOR No excuse at all for Pete to fly off the handle.
PETE I was only doing my duty, nothing personal.
HILDY That's alright, Pinkie. MAYOR (To PETTIBONE) What'd you say your name was?
PETTIBONE Pettibone. (looking at BURNS) Wasn’t it? Yes. (opens wallet to pull out picture) Here's a picture of my wife.
MAYOR A fine looking woman.
PETTIBONE (still struggling to get photo out) You haven't seen her yet.
MAYOR Well, she's alright.
PETTIBONE Oh well! She's good enough for me! If I was to tell my...
MAYOR I understand perfectly, Mr. Pettibone, and as long as I'm mayor...
BURNS Which ought to be about three more hours, I’d say.
HILDY Just long enough for us to get out a special edition asking for your recall.
BURNS And your arrest. You know you little boys ought to get about ten years apiece, I think.
HILDY Yep. MAYOR Don't make any hasty decisions, Mr. Burns. You might run into a thumping big libel suit.
HILDY You’re going to run into the governor.
MAYOR Why, my old friend the governor? We understand each other perfectly.
SHERIFF HARTWELL Yes, and so do I.
MAYOR So do you what, you hoodou? And now, Mr. Pettibone, if you’ll come along with us, we'll take you over to the warden’s office and deliver this reprieve. (to SHERIFF HARTWELL) Come along, Pete.
PETTIBONE If I was to tell my wife...
MAYOR You won't have to.
(HARTWELL, MAYOR, POLICE and PETTIBONE exit)
BURNS Wait till those two future jailbirds read the Morning Post tomorrow.
HILDY Tight squeeze though.
BURNS (Into Phone) Give me Duffy. HILDY That's our worst jam we’ve been in, in a long time.
BURNS (into phone) What? Well where is he? Get him.
HILDY Remember the time we stole old lady Haggerty's stomach from the coroner’s physician?
BURNS Any time you need this guy he's never there. HILDY We proved she'd been poisoned though, didn't we, Walter? BURNS Yeah. HILDY We had to hide out for a week. Do you remember that? The Shoreland Hotel. That's where…I mean, how we happened to... BURNS We could have gone to jail for that too. You know that. HILDY I guess so. BURNS Ah, yes, maybe you're right, Hildy. It's a bad business. Well, you’re gonna be better off. Say you better get going.
HILDY Where would I go? BURNS Why to Bruce, of course. HILDY But, you know he's gone. He took the nine ‘o’clock train.
BURNS Oh just send him a wire. He'll be waiting at the station when you get into Albany. Now go on. (into phone) What? Why doesn't that guy have a phone put in over there? HILDY I don't know. I got us so messed up maybe he... BURNS Get going, Hildy. HILDY Get going? What is that with you?
BURNS (into phone) Wait a minute. (sets down phone. To HILDY) Now look, honey, can't you understand? I'm trying to do something noble for once in my life. Now get out of here before I change my mind. It's tough enough now.
HILDY Now, just a minute. BURNS (holding her coat out to her) Send the fellow a wire. He'll be waiting when you get in. HILDY Who'll write the story? BURNS I’ll do it myself. It won’t be half as good as you can do it, but what’s the difference. (picks phone back up)
HILDY It's my story. I’d kinda like to think that it...
BURNS (into phone) Hello? Oh, at last, Duffy. HILDY Oh, I get it, Walter. The same old act, isn't it? Try to push me out of here, thinking I'll be stupid enough to want to stay.
BURNS Now I know I deserve that. (into phone) Wait a minute, Duffy. (sets down phone) But this is one time you're wrong. Look honey, when you walk out that door, part of me will go right with you. But a whole new world is gonna open up for you. I made fun of Bruce and Albany and all that kind of thing. You know why? HILDY Why?
BURNS I was jealous. I was sore because he could offer you the kind of life I can't give you. That's what you want, honey.
HILDY I…I could stay and do the story and take the train in the morning..
BURNS Forget it. Come on. Come on. Goodbye, dear, and good luck. (He kisses her. Then turns and picks up the phone. HILDY turns and gathers her things and starts to leave) Duffy, now this is how it goes so far... (phone rings as HILDY heads for the door) BURNS Just a minute. (answers ringing phone) Hello. Who? Hildy Johnson? No, she just left.
HILDY I'm still here. I can take it.
BURNS Hang on a minute.
HILDY Hildy Johnson speaking. The 4th Precinct police station? Well, put him on. Bruce! I thought you were on your way to Albany... What for?
(Lights up on prison, BRUCE is on the other line) BRUCE For having counterfeit money.
HILDY Counterfeit money? BURNS Hold on a minute, Duffy. (Lights dim back down on Jail. BURNS sets down phone and starts edging to the door) HILDY Where did you get it? I gave it to you? Alright. I'll try and do something about it. (she hangs up and starts crying softly) BURNS Oh Honey. Honey, don't cry, please. Oh come on, I didn't mean to make you cry. What’s the matter with you? You never cried before. Hildy?
HILDY I thought you were really sending me away with Bruce. I didn't know you had him locked up. I thought you were on the level, for once. That you were just standing by and letting me go off with him and not doing a thing about it.
BURNS Come on, honey. What did you think I was, a chump?
HILDY I thought you didn't love me.
BURNS What were you thinking with?
HILDY I don't know. What are you standing there gawking for? We have to get him out of jail. Send Louie down with some honest money and send him back to Albany where he belongs. BURNS Sure. (picks up phone again) Oh Duffy, everything's changed. Tell Louie to stand by. We're coming over to the office. Nah, don't worry about the story. Hildy’s gonna write it. (HILDY stands and nods as she gathers her belongings) BURNS Of course she’s not quitting. She never intended to. We're gonna get married!
HILDY Oh! Can we go on a honeymoon this time, Walter?
BURNS Sure. Hey Duffy, you can be managing editor. No, not permanently. Just for the two weeks we're away on the honeymoon. I don't know where. (To Hildy) Where are we going?
HILDY Niagara Falls. BURNS Niagara Falls, Duffy. HILDY Two whole weeks, Walter?
BURNS Sure, you've earned it. (into phone) What? What? A strike? What strike? Where? Albany? I know it's on the way, but I can’t ask Hildy to… (BURNS looks at HILDY. HILDY nods)
HILDY Alright, we’ll honeymoon…in Albany. BURNS (To Duffy) Okay, Duffy. (hangs up) Well, isn't that a coincidence! We’re going to Albany. I wonder if Bruce can put us up. (starts to exit, motions to suitcase in HILDY’s arms) Say, why don't you carry that in your hand?
Act II: Scene 6- Street in front of the Train Station
(SHORTY, WEASEL, HOPPER, PETEY THE PINCHER, All of The Morning Post crew, FRANK, JOE, and CARL, all the reports, EVANGELINE and LOUIE are there)
SHORTY Anybody seen Sweet Maggie Jane? WEASEL No, and we’re gonna get creamed in the game today if she doesn’t show. (LILA and PENNY TWICKETT enter with MRS. TWICKETT and SWEET MAGGIE JANE who is all dressed up) HOPPER Who’s that girl with Lila and Penny? PETEY THE PINCHER I dunno! She must not be from around here or I would have remembered her! (LILA, PENNY and SWEET MAGGIE JANE approach WEASEL, HOPPER, PETEY and SHORTY) LILA Hello gentlemen. PENNY Such a lovely day for a walk, isn’t it? SWEET MAGGIE JANE Care to join us? WEASEL Sure.
SHORTY (looking closer) Leapin’ lizards! It’s not a girl! It’s Sweet Maggie Jane! PETEY THE PINCHER What happened to you?!
HOPPER (with a groan) You picked a fine time to be a girl. Now we’re gonna lose!
PETEY THE PINCHER Our Babe Ruthe has turned into Bette Davis. SHORTY 159
I’ll bet you even hit like a girl now. (SWEET MAGGIE JANE has been quickly losing her temper at their reactions.) (HILDY and BURNS have walked in and HILDY is watching exchange while BURNS talks to DUFFY.)
SWEET MAGGIE JANE Oh yeah!? You wanna see how hard girls can hit? (SWEET MAGGIE JANE looks over at HILDY who grins and winks at her before SWEET MAGGIE JANE looks back over her shoulder at LILA and PENNY) SWEET MAGGIE JANE Let’s get ‘em! (Like Amazonian warriors, the girls chase the boys off the stage.) (MAISIE is hugging RUTH dressed in female military dress while JIM stands next to RUTH and puts his arm around her. MAISIE takes a turn hugging all the members of the crew. The women are blowing into handkerchiefs and BEATRICE and MILDRED pull out flasks from their purse and take a pull on them before passing them to the other newspaper folks around them. The reporters all hug HILDY and shake BURNS hands as they head off and HILDY hugs MAISIE. The HIS GIRL FRIDAY music plays and MAISIE waves and exits, followed by BURNS and HILDY.) THE END
Download the Script Here!
Cast of Characters Principal Characters Hildy Johnson A firecracker of a woman in her mid 20s-early 30s. Walter Burns A true force to be reckoned wit...