A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) Script

VENDOR: Blackberries! I got blackberries!

(MAN HAWKING)

This'll be the last of them now, Francie.

Is that all, Mom? Can we go now?

Not so loud, Neeley. Do you wanna wake your papa up?

Gosh, Francie, ain't you through with them dishes yet?

She'll only be a minute. My, I wish you was as anxious to get going on school mornings as you is on Saturday.

Papa was late last night.

Yeah, I was dead asleep when he come in, I guess.

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

It wasn't much of a job, I guess.

Them club dinners don't tip much.

Is that all, Mama?

Yes, yes. Go on. I'll dry 'em.

You don't look like you got much there this week.

One of these days, Mrs. Gaddis is gonna throw away that old wash boiler of hers.

Carney will pay us plenty for the copper bottom off of that.

He won't pay you any more than he has to.

You watch him on that weighing, now. Yes'm.

Parents ought to have a day that's like Saturday is for kids. Go on.

Maybe if I start the lower hall and scrub my way up today, it'll make something special out of it for me.

Keep an eye on him, Francie. NEELEY: Come on!

Yes, Mama!

Rags! Old iron! Rags! Old iron!

Rags! Old iron!

(MAN YELLING)

(CHILDREN JEERING)

They done good today. Come on.

(GIRLS SINGING)

MAN: Boarding! 89th Street!

Neeley!

Boarding! 89th Street!

Ragpickers!

Come on.

Now, look. Stand on the same side as him when he weighs it so as he can reach it.

And don't forget to stand there after he pays you.

You forgot that last time, and a penny's a penny, ain't it?

Well, I guess I know it is.

Well, all right, then.

Three cents. That stuff's worth more than that.

Shut up! I say what things are worth around here.

Who's next?

Hello, little girl. Come on.

Shut up! Shut up!

You done fine. Nine cents.

Three, five, nine.

There you are, an extra penny because you're a nice, little girl.

That's better. I sure wish Carney liked to pinch boys.

Nine and my pinching penny.

Thirty -nine! It's a pencil!

Give me one.

Twenty -six. A pen wiper.

(UPBEAT PIANO MUSIC PLAYING)


Something you want, little girl?

I'm merely looking, thank you. I have a right.

I have money.

Step on a crack, break your mother's back.

(STREETCAR BELL RINGING)

Here she comes! Cheese it!

Neeley. Neeley, we gotta go home!

Beat it!

Mama said.

Mama said! Mama said!

I'll beat you!

No, you won't!

For heaven's sake. Is it that late already?

Well, I guess I'll just let these stairs go till later.

Four cents, Mom. That's pretty good.

Dump the bucket, Neeley.

Mama, can I...

No. Dump the bucket and bring it.

Today's the day for the insurance collector and I certainly don't want him to catch me looking like this.

Hot, ain't it?

Yeah, but Christmas will be here before you know it.

I got enough troubles without worrying about that.

How's your sister today, Henny?

Poorly, thank you.

Well, hello, Flossie, dear.

Hello, Mrs. Nolan. Don't you notice something?

You look like you was feeling better, much better. Don't you, Francie?

No, I don't! I don't!

(FLOSSIE CRYING)

Heat up the coffee while I fix up.

Right there. That's better.

Mom? Yes, Neeley?

Mom, if there was a rule about something, that doesn't mean you couldn't do something else once in a while.

Neeley, you cannot have any of those pennies to buy an ice cream cone.

They go in the bank, the same as usual. Bring them in here, Neeley.

Half of everything we get goes into that bank.

That's the way it is and that's the way it's gotta be, now.

Put 'em in there.

Gosh, I bet we got about $100 in that old bank by now.

Nine's more like it.

Mama! Mama, they're cutting the tree!

Oh, that's too bad.

It was kind of pretty there with birds sitting in it sometimes.

Papa loved that tree.

Quit mooning over it. It got in the way of the washing.

A tree ain't gonna put no pennies in the bank.

(KNOCK AT DOOR)

It's Mr. Barker.

Get out the good cup and saucer and give it a wipe.

And, Francie, you can stay in the room, if you want, while Mr. Barker's here.

How do you do, Mr. Barker?

How do you do, Francie?

Mama is temporarily detained, but will join you directly.

Hello, Neeley. Hello.

Why, Francie, you got manners right out of a book.

And company or no company, Mrs. Nolan always looks the lady.

You should see some of my people, even ladies with husbands that work steady.

Won't you go into the parlor and have a cup of coffee?

That, I will. And your hospitality is very kind, Mrs. Nolan.

Well, old man Gentry's off to jail again.

KATIE: That's too bad.

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

And here's ours. Ten cents for me, 10 cents for Mr. Nolan, a nickel for each of the children.

And you'll never regret it, Mrs. Nolan.

A fine funeral for every member of the family, heaven forbid.

And now your weekly receipts, Mrs. Nolan.

Now there's one party not far from here, I wouldn't like to say who, that didn't get no receipts this week.

And naming no names, I will say that it's a family that the angel of death has marked on his invitation list. Heaven forbid.

Henny says his sister's got one foot in the grave.

Neeley!

It'll mean Potter's Field, most likely.

Thank you, Francie.

Well, that's what people get.

Wasting good money to give her dresses instead of insurance.

Dresses that'll last longer than she will.

All depends on what folks thinks is important.

Papa says dresses...

That's right, Mr. Barker.

It all depends on what folks thinks is important.

And how is Mr. Nolan? Is he working or not working?

Some tell me one thing, some another. Of course, I don't listen.

Mr. Nolan, being a singing waiter, Mr. Barker, and what you might call an artist, his work don't come steady like other people's.

But I'm sure you'll remember when you talk to folks that the Nolans have always paid their insurance on the dot.

You surely don't think I go around spreading gossip about my clients, Mrs. Nolan.

Sure not. And how's my mother, Mr. Barker?

In the prime, Mrs. Nolan. Fine as can be.

And she says to tell you she'll be over...

Over tonight, same as usual.

And I trust you're pleased with the news about your sister.

Just which news do you mean, Mr. Barker?

Well, now, she must be saving it to surprise you with tonight when the family's all here together.

I'd take it kindly if you told me what you mean.

Well, I trot around, same as usual, to collect her weekly dime and what do you think happens?

Well, sir, she gives me two dimes.

Yes, sir, she's done it again.

She's got herself a brand -new husband.

Oh, no!

Well, now, I suppose you mean about her still being married.

I don't mind saying I had the same thought myself.

But I'm sure it must be all right.

She must have made some arrangement.

I'm quite sure she did, Mr. Barker.

Does she call this one Bill, too?

You children run along now and do the marketing.

Go on. Take some money from the cup and get a five -cent soup bone off of Hassler's.

Don't get the chopped meat from him, though.

He grinds it behind closed doors and heaven only knows.

Go to Werner's for the meat.

Ask for round steak, chopped, 10 cents' worth.

And don't let him give it to you off the plate.

Take an onion, Neeley! And ask him to chop it in.

And then just at the last, ask for a piece of suet to fry it with.

But he won't always do that, Mama.

Tell him your mama said.

And then go for the bread.

It's Saturday, Mom.

All right. Ask for a nice pie, not too crushed.

Now, go on. But, Mama, we know Aunt Sissy's been married before.

Sure. I can remember two Uncle Bills.

That's nothing for you to talk about.

Now run along now and get things done.

You got no right, Mr. Barker, to be carrying tales about my sister as though there were something wrong.

She may be funny some ways, but she wouldn't do nothing wrong, so I'd like it if you didn't talk to people like it was.

Strike me dead if I'd ever think of mentioning it to anyone but you, Mrs. Nolan.

Yeah, sure. I know.

Well, you might as well go on now and tell me what you do know.

No point in my being the only one who don't hear it.

Well...

Ten cents' worth of round steak? You want it ground?

No, thank you. You're sure now?

It wasn't 20 minutes ago I ground that whole plateful fresh.

No, thank you.

Oh, I forgot. My mama wants it ground.

You don't tell me.

And she said to chop that in with it.

She did?

And a piece of suet to fry it with, Mama said.

Sweet jumping Christopher!

VENDOR: Olives! Sweet potatoes!

You know, Mama thinks we don't know anything.

Yeah. She acts like we were kids or something.

I bet she has a fight with Aunt Sissy tonight.

It's got something to do with men like Aunt Sissy too much.

But Papa says we ought to make everybody like us.

I guess maybe ladies shouldn't.

Maybe Aunt Sissy wouldn't have changed husbands so much if any of her babies would've lived.

She's crazy about babies.

Look who's talking about babies. A lot you know.

I know as much as you do.

You don't know nothing.

You think you're so smart. Boys make me sick!

What do you think girls make people?

MAN: Here she comes!

Come on!

WOMAN: Mister, give us a white bread.

Six loaves!

And a pie, not too crushed!

This bread's fine. I wouldn't be surprised if wasn't more than three days old.

Is that all, Mom? Can we go now?

Yes, you're free.

(NEELEY WHISTLING)

Where's the fire?

There's a scout for the Brooklyns around.

They're looking for a catcher.

Where are you going? No place much.

Well, don't go dream walking crossing the street.

"Browning."

"B -U... Burton."

Anatomy of Melancholy.

Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.

Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy?

Are you sure you want this?

Yes, ma'am.

Don't you think it's a trifle over your head?

Yes, ma'am.

Well, then, why did you select it?

Well, I've read all the authors beginning with "A" and all the "B's" down to Burton. It's next.

You mean you're trying to read your way straight through the library?

Yes, ma'am.

But a book like this, you'll only be confused.

Please. I wanna read clear through the alphabet.

I want to know everything in the world.

Well...

All right. Only do something for me, will you?

Take another book, too. Here.

When Knighthood Was in Flower, just for fun.

It's Saturday. I'll have a headache thinking about you wrestling with The Anatomy of Melancholy all weekend.

Will you?

Yes, ma'am.

WOMAN: A little more to the left, Mr. Crackenbox!

You think I want Mrs. Whittely's baby clothes?

It's your wash, your baby.

Don't forget to fix mine, Mr. Crackenbox!

(WOMEN CLAMORING)

Maybe you'd like to come up here and fix it yourselves and that's just what you'll be doing if you don't shut up!

WOMAN: Mr. Crackenbox, it still sags!

Now, Mr. Crackenbox, get it just a little bit higher, if you don't mind.

(CLAMORING CONTINUES)

MAN: (SINGING) ...her wheelbarrow Through streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussels, alive, alive -O I won, I won!

Well, now, I wouldn't be too sure about that if I was you.

But I did! I got it open before you finished and that's the rules.

But I came up one flight two steps at a time before I remembered.

Don't that make a difference?

No, sir. The rules...

And in a manner of speaking, you never did stop me at all because my heart kept right on singing.

Papa, you're joking.

Well, I guess I'll let you get away with winning this time, prima donna.

And where's your beautiful mama? Finishing the hall.

She must be on the top floor or she'd have heard you.

Well, in that case, why ain't you getting busy?

Why ain't you laying out my clothes?

Papa, you always make fun.

You know you haven't any more clothes.

Haven't any more clothes?

What's this? A tie.

And this? And this? A dickey. An apron.

Them's clothes, ain't they? And you'd better be getting that apron ironed, too.

Papa, you got a job for tonight?

You see the palm of that hand?

That's right where I got the world tonight.

Where's the job, Papa?

Klommer's. A big wedding party.

And you know something, prima donna? There'll be plenty of tips.

Singing or waiting? Both.

Maybe tonight will be it.

Maybe tonight he'll be there, the impresario.

And he'll hear you sing, and he'll put you on the stage.

And why not? Ain't I the Brooklyn Thrush?

Papa!

And now you'd better be getting my apron ironed.

Have it in a jiffy, Papa. The coffee's on.

That's my prima donna.

(SINGING) Early one morning I heard a maiden singing

(CALLING)

Oh, Papa, I can't sing.

Come on, now. You're holding up the singing.

(SINGING) Oh, don't deceive me Oh, never leave me And better singing I never did hear.

I love to iron for you, Papa.

You know something, a day like this is just like somebody gave you a present.

Everything just right.

I wonder what people did before they invented coffee.

This sure could be a fine world if...

Hey, you know something, prima donna?

You're going to make somebody a mighty fine wife someday.

Papa!

And very pretty, too. That is, if your nose doesn't grow crooked.

Could it really? Honest?

No. It's the prettiest nose in all Brooklyn.

Papa, it isn't.

Who says it isn't?

You just tell me who said it and I'll take care of him.

Papa, you're crazy. And you know something else?

You're not gonna be ironing like this when that impresario comes along.

Things are gonna be different around here. You wait and see.

Yes, Papa. Hey.

What's the wish you wish the most when our ship comes sailing in?

Well, it already came true.

What is it? Come on and tell me.

Well, I wished that when you came home today you wouldn't be sick.

Who told you to call it "sick," baby?

You shouldn't waste your wishes on things like that.

You should be saving them for a silk dress or something.

Haven't you got a better wish than that?

Well... Come on.

Well, I hope Mama won't be too mad with Aunt Sissy.

What about Aunt Sissy?

She's gone and got herself another husband again.

No! (LAUGHS)

No! Gee, if there isn't a woman for you.

Hey. What did your mama say?

Well, she didn't like it.

Yeah. I can imagine that.

Couldn't you sort of say something to her, not to be too mad to Aunt Sissy?

That I could, prima donna, and that I will.

Thank you, Papa.

Now, haven't you got just one little wish for yourself?

Just one wish just for you?

Well, did you see it, Papa? What?

Out the window, our tree, they've killed it!

Well, will you look at that, now?

They didn't have any right to kill it, did they, Papa?

Now, wait a minute. They didn't kill it.

Why, they couldn't kill that tree. Honest?

Why, sure, baby.

Don't tell me that tree's gonna lay down and die that easy.

Look at that tree. See where it's coming from?

Right up out of the cement.

Didn't nobody plant it. It didn't ask the cement could it grow.

It just couldn't help growing so much, it pushed that old cement right out of the way.

But when you're busting with something like that, can't anybody help it.

(BIRDS TWITTERING)

Like, like that little old bird up there. Listen to him.

(WHISTLES)

He didn't ask anybody could he sing.

And he certainly didn't take any lessons.

He's so full of singing it's just got to bust out someplace.

Why, they could cut that old tree right down to the ground and a root would push up someplace else in the cement.

You wait till spring, prima donna, and you'll see.

Well, this ain't winning the family bread, huh?

Come on. Ain't you got one nice, little wish just for yourself?

No, Papa. I just...

Just what?

I just love you so much, Papa!

Well, what do you know?

Listen.

If I make a lot of tips tonight, you know what I'm gonna do?

What, Papa?

I'm gonna put two bucks on the nose of a horse I know is running Monday.

And I'll win 10. Then I'll put it on another horse.

If I use my head and I'm lucky, I'll run it up to 500 bucks.

Then you know what I'm gonna do? What, Papa?

I'm gonna take you on a trip, just you and me on a regular train.

Maybe we'll go down south and see the cotton.

You know, down where them cotton blossoms blow.

(SINGING) Way down upon the Swanee River Far, far away

You're a nice girl, baby.

Come on! We'll go up and tell your mama the news about my job!

(PIANO MUSIC PLAYING)

Anybody seen Johnny Nolan's wife?

Johnny, you all right? And why not?

Ain't I married to the most beautiful lady in all Williamsburg, Brooklyn?

Well, you're shouting it so loud they'll hear you over to Manhattan.

Don't you get fresh with me tonight, Mrs. Nolan.

Happens I'm working Klommer's big wedding party.

I thought you looked kinda extra dressy.

I guess you won't get home until the sun comes up.

The later, the better. The more tips, the more fine silk stockings for my wife's pretty legs.

Silk stockings is just what I need!

Now, just a minute, Mrs. Nolan.

Ain't you gonna give me a kiss for luck?

The whole house is looking.

Sure. I know they're looking, but who cares?

This is the finest job I had in months.

Maybe I'll get more from tonight.

You better get on with it. Good jobs don't wait.

But the job's no good without you. Kiss me.

Well, you still got a way with you, Johnny Nolan.

Now, go on! Get out of here!

Before you know it, the folks at that wedding will be an old, married couple.

Before you know it, I won't go at all.

Theirs ain't the only marriage that counts.

Take your hat and get out of here before someone else cops that job!

Our Francie was telling me that Sissy's gone and done it again.

Well, maybe he's a nice fella.

Don't be too hard on her, huh?

They was all nice fellas. Beat it, now, Johnny.

That's just a sample, madam.

If you like my stock, drop me a card and I'll be back again. Good evening.

Well, will you look at our beautiful princess tonight in a brand -new gown.

It's made out of silk.

Silk?

Don't you tell me that.

This dress is made out of flower petals and birds' wings and a little old piece of cloud.

Anybody can tell that.

Good evening, Mr. Spencer.

MR. SPENCER: Working tonight, Johnny?

Yeah. Big wedding party.

Good evening, Miss Lizzie, Miss Maggie.

You're looking fine today, Mr. Nolan. Indeed, you are.

Thank you, ladies.

JOHNNY: (SINGING) Here comes the bride Here...

JOHNNY: Good evening, young ladies. WOMEN: Good evening.

Allow me, princess.

VENDOR: Blackberries!

I got blackberries!

Hi, Mr. Ching. Hello.

What did Mama say about Aunt Sissy? Now don't worry about it.

Everything's gonna be all right.

Your Aunt Sissy's a fine woman, Francie.

Look at them things!

There's no use talking. Someday I'm gonna buy you them skates.

Mama says not to be too late, Papa.

Look. God invented time.

And when he invents something, there's always plenty of it.

There's your car, Papa.

Boy! Look at them knives!

Mama says time is money.

I guess he wasn't worrying much about money right then.

There's your car, Papa.

Well, I might as well catch it.

VENDOR: Ice! Any ice today?

Supper's ready.

Hey. Am I hungry!

And when weren't you hungry? Mama?

Yes, Francie?

What does white mean?

Just white, I guess. What do you mean what does it mean?

Neeley, sit down at your place.

Why do girls always wear it when they're married and when they're confirmed and when they graduate?

Why does it always have to be white?

Just one of those things somebody started. Lots of things like that.

Will I have a white dress when I graduate?

We'll see. Neeley will probably have to have shoes by that time.

But, Mama. Well, talk to him about it.

If you can get him to quit coming through the soles of his shoes.

It's just because he's a boy. All right, Mama.

I will gladly do without so my little brother can be happy with new shoes.

Little brother, my eye!

That'll do! Francie, you read too much.

Well, hey, everybody.

Hi, Aunt Sissy! What did you bring us?

I brung myself, chickabiddies. Ain't that enough?

And a couple of magazines from the dentist's.

What does he need 'em for or me, either.

I can't read like my educated little niece here.

Hello, Katie, my darling.

Good evening, Sissy.

Well, you look fine, Katie.

Yeah, I look fine.

Who spilled the beans?

I forgot. It was old Barker's day here.

Where's Johnny? I was kinda counting on him to be in my corner.

Sure. You and Johnny.

Look, Katie, I didn't tell you because I wanted to bring Bill around.

But I couldn't. He's home sleeping. He's a milkman, see?

Listen. You're gonna wish me happiness, ain't you?

Naturally, I'm going to wish you happiness this time, too.

Golly, why can't you skip to the part where you forgive me?

You're going to before you're through.

You know I'll get around to you in the end.

Why can't you just be human now and get it over with?

There ain't no one like you to get around a person in the whole world, unless it's Johnny.

You're in time for pie. Go on now and sit down!

That's more like it. That's my kid sister talking.

Just coffee for me. I gotta get home soon and fix breakfast for Bill.

Breakfast? At night? Yeah. Ain't it a riot?

We sleep all day long with the shades pulled down to keep out the sun and the windows shut to keep out the noise.

It's fun. You don't live like nobody else.

No, you sure don't.

Easy on the whip, kid. Wait till you meet my Bill. You and him will...

Wouldn't you marry nobody if they wasn't named Bill, Aunt Sis?

She might not remember them if they wasn't.

Bill's got some other name. Steve, I think it is.

But I always liked Bill.

A good man's name with no stuck -up about it.

You'll be crazy about him, Katie. Yeah?

But the question is how will him and you get along?

It's wrong, Sissy. I mean, the others...

The others was wrong.

What's right about keeping on with a guy when you don't love each other anymore?

KATIE: But it ain't as easy as that.

I think Aunt Sissy's right about when love is dead.

Now, look what you started.

It ain't nothing to talk about in front of them.

Every time you come here, you fill their heads with...

Go on downstairs for a while, kids.

Your mama's got a spanking up her sleeve and she ain't gonna feel right until somebody gets it.

Might as well get it over with.

You don't wanna frown like that, snuggle pup.

The fellas don't go for that at all.

All right, kid. Let's have it, the works.

I'm a disgrace. You don't know what you're gonna do with me.

You can hardly face the neighbors with what they must be saying.

I'm old enough to know better.

Go on. Get it all off your chest, then we can make up and forget about it.

That's right. Talk your way out of it. You probably will, too.

What'd Mama have to say?

You know Mama. She don't say much.

Sure. I know Mama.

"Sissy is bad only where the men are concerned, "but she's good in her heart."

But that ain't it, Sissy. People got a right to talk.

And the kids are bound to hear, and it ain't right for them.

And you can get in trouble. You ain't real sure what happened, and there's laws about...

Katie, so help me, this time it's for keeps.

I ain't even gonna look at another guy.

And as for the last one, he can't be alive or I would have heard from him.

I've been pretty good.

Seven years is a long time to wait around not being married.

They said all you had to wait was seven years and I waited.

For the life of me, I don't know what you're trying to talk yourself into, but I got a feeling it ain't right.

All I know is it can't be wrong, or I wouldn't feel like I do about it.

I'm dumb, sure, but I know this much, if I feel bad about something, it's wrong.

If I feel good, it's right.

You wouldn't get it, Katie. You got all the breaks I never had.

You got the kids and you got a guy you're clear overboard about. You're lucky.

Yeah, and where does crazy over somebody get you?

It don't put no pennies in the bank.

It don't buy no clothes for the kids to go to school in.

Maybe you got it better not sticking to one guy.

I wish, sometimes, I wasn't so crazy over him.

Hey, Katie.

I won't have the kids taking after him, either.

Him and those dreamy ways of his I used to think were so fine.

Not if I gotta cut it right out of their hearts!

Katie, what are you saying?

I don't know.

Yes, you do. You're saying plenty.

What's happened between you and Johnny?

I don't know what I'm saying.

I don't know what's come over me.

Look, hon, it's time we found out.

Sure we got something to talk about now. I don't wanna.

Uh -uh. You're the kid sister. You listen now.

You was awful crazy about Johnny.

Don't tell me. I seen you.

It was like every woman wants to be with a guy.

Yeah. All right, maybe Johnny didn't turn out just like you figured.

Sure, he drinks and all, and you're the one who's had to make most of the living, but everybody's got something.

And you wasn't crazy about Johnny because he was gonna be a banker.

It was on account of...

Well, on account of how he laughed and how you felt walking down the street holding on to him and having other women look at you.

And the way he could talk about things and the way he had of saying hello to everybody like he was giving away something.

That's what you was crazy about, and that ain't changed.

I don't know. Them things couldn't change in Johnny, not even if he tried.

He's just different, kinda. He always was.

But he ain't changed.

If there's been any changing, hon, maybe it's you.

You still got all you was crazy over, ain't you?

Yeah.

Then thank your lucky stars for what you got, Katie Nolan, and take the rest along with it!

And you got a lot, you can take it from me. Don't think you haven't.

I might have known, starting out to take you apart, I'd wind up with you making me over.

Nice going.

Don't stir yourself, pal. Thank you.

Better go inside, Alfred.

How'd you come out, Aunt Sis?

No decision. It was a draw. Your mom's bark is worse than her bite.

Look, tell me something. When Papa's home, I bet...

I bet him and Mama laugh aplenty, don't they?

You know, like they always did?

Sure. Pop can make anybody laugh when he wants to, except when he's drunk.

"Sick," Neeley, Mama said to call it!

Okay. "Sick," then.

Look, hon. Tell you what you can do for me.

Do all the laughing you can.

You know, keeps everybody healthy.

Okay.

Laughter is the singing of the angels.

You're a funny kid, head full of all them things, kinda like your pop.

She tells lies like Pop, too.

He does not tell lies!

Well, I don't know what you call 'em.

Time out!

I've had enough battling to last me for today. Where did you get the skates?

They aren't ours. Papa said he'd get us some, though.

He didn't mean it. He just said that.

He did, too, mean it, Neeley Nolan, and...

Easy now!

Kinda like your pop, don't you, hon?

He does mean it, doesn't he, Aunt Sissy?

Sure, he means it. He means it, every word.

But, well, you know, sometimes things happen.

But it kinda ain't his fault. He...

I tell you what.

Let's make out like Johnny gave you them skates like he said and they're yours.

Ain't gonna hurt nobody. Aunt Sissy!

No sense in them things standin' around and nobody usin' them.

Come on.

Here we go. Easy now.

Isn't that fun? Huh?

Can I put them on next, Aunt Sissy?

Sure, you can. Mama! Mama! Mama!

Hey! You come back here with my skates!

She's not gonna hurt 'em.

Bring back my daughter's skates!

You was the one that put them kids up to it!

Easy now! Nobody's hurt. We only borrowed them.

She's not going off with them, Effie!

Don't you dare take up with that woman like that!

You poor little guy. Do you put up with that all the time?

(WOMEN CLAMORING)

Hey, Officer! Come on over here!

Now this woman here, she tried to...

Break it up. Take it easy.

I'm sure glad you come along, handsome.

You look like you could whip a bunch of women into line.

Well, that's fine, but now I suppose somebody tells me what all the excitement's about.

She tried to steal my little girl's skates!

She tried to nab her.

We only borrowed them for just a minute. Honest.

That's right. There wasn't nobody using them.

And a little fun and frolic on a Saturday never hurt nobody.

Bet you know all about that, don't ya?

WOMAN: If you think you're gonna get out of it making eyes at the law...

(CLAMORING)

I don't know what the world's coming to!

Get back a little bit, buddy, huh?

This lady is my sister.

She didn't mean any harm, I'm quite sure she didn't.

Well, as far as I can see, there's been no harm done.

Now, just break it up. Run along. Go to your homes.

Go on. You, too. Go on, buddy. Run along.

Now, suppose I see you women to your home?

Thanks, handsome.

My sister's always trying to be funny, Officer.

She don't mean nothin' by it.

I'd like you to know this is the first time that any of my family ever got into any trouble on the street.

And I'll see to it that it don't happen again.

I guess I know a lady when I see one, ma'am.

I'm glad I've been of service to you, ma'am.

He sure took a shine to you, Katie.

Go on. Who'd look at me?

He would.

Funny. Sometimes you kinda forget you are a woman.

He wasn't gonna arrest us, Mama.

Aunt Sissy talked him out of it.

And we got to skate on them anyway, didn't we, Aunt Sissy?

You go inside and tell Sheila and her mama you're sorry.

Do I have to, Mama?

I don't like to say to you what I'm going to, Sissy.

Golly, are we gonna start that again?

You're the only sister I got.

I don't care what people say about you for myself, but I got the kids to worry about, and if I don't worry about them, nobody else will.

Well, you're bad for them, Sissy.

What are you trying to say, kid?

I don't want you to come around here no more.

My mind's made up, so don't try to change it with any of that soft talk of yours.

Why, I won't, Katie, not if you mean it.

But let's keep on talking about you.

Soft's one thing, but hard's another.

All right, it ain't nice to be hard.

But my kids is gonna be somebody if I gotta turn into granite rock to make 'em!

I wish you hadn't said that, kid.

Bye, Katie.

"And Nahor lived nine and 20 years and begat Terah.

"And Nahor lived after he begat Terah 119 years."

Boy. That's older than Grandma, ain't it?

"And begat sons and daughters."

Okay. That's the end of the page. "Troilus.

"'And dreaming night will hide our joys no longer, "'I would not from thee.'

"Cressida. 'Night hath been too brief.'

"Troilus. 'Beshrew the witch! With venomous..."'

That ain't even English! It is, too!

Shakespeare wrote the best English of anybody!

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

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

That'll do.

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

Maybe not, but I do know it's good for you.

"Beshrew the witch! With venomous..."

She don't know what it means.

Mom don't know what it means. Grandma can't even read.

And gosh knows I don't know what it...

Mama, I can't read if he...

Just wasting time every night reading stuff nobody knows what it's all about.

Now, listen. Your Aunt Sissy brought that Bible all the way from Sheepshead Bay, and your papa blew in all his tips one time on that Shakespeare

'cause Grandma said they was the greatest book and you should read from 'em every night, so ya ain't gonna waste them.

I don't know. Sometimes it does seem kind of foolish, but it might get you somewhere.

Might even get you a job someday, who can tell?

This reading will not stop. I say this thing.

To this new land, your grandfather and I came very long ago now because we heard that here is something very good.

Hard we worked, very hard, but we could not find this thing.

For a long time, I do not understand, and then I know.

When I am old, I know.

In that old country, a child can rise no higher than his father's state.

But here, in this place, each one is free to go as far as he's good to make of himself.

This way, the child can be better than the parent and this is the true way things grow better.

And this has to do something with the learning, which is here free to all people.

I, who am old, miss this thing.

My children miss this thing.

But my children's children shall not miss it.

This reading will not stop.

And, you, Katie.

It is not only for the job that this is good, but for the true things inside of us.

You don't think well about this, nor about what you do with your sister.

You have forgotten to think with your heart.

There is a coldness growing in you, Katie.

"Beshrew the witch! With venomous wights she stays

"As tediously as hell, but flies the grasps of love"

(SINGING) In Dublin's fair city Where the girls are so pretty I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone As she wheeled her wheelbarrow Through streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussels, alive, alive -O Alive, alive -O Alive, alive -O Crying cockles and mussels, alive, alive -O It's all right, Mama. I don't think he's sick.

Alive, alive -O Alive, alive -O Papa!

Well, what do you know? If it ain't my beauty.

Hey. What are you doing up this time of night?

I just made up my mind to wait up for you.

I guess I ain't used to the hours anymore.

No. Leave it. It's nice.

Go on.

Francie, coffee.

Is it something to eat, Papa?

And what else, with me coming from a grand banquet?

I got some French rolls, a whole half a broiled lobster from the shores of Maryland, fried oysters, caviar from far -off, sunny Russia, and cheese from the mountain fastnesses of la belle France.

What do you know about the mountain fastnesses of France?

Is it better coming from there, Papa?

Well, it's supposed to be mighty good, but coming home like this, I know that's good.

Well, let's eat it. No reason we shouldn't have a party of our own.

I'm hungry.

KATIE: Is that all you got to say to your papa?

Hello, Pop.

His stomach's like the Irish Sea, no bottom to it.

Mama, your wedding comb!

Well, ain't this a kind of weddin' party?

(JOHNNY EXCLAIMS)

You bet it is.

I wish I could have swiped some champagne.

Oh, no, I don't. Coffee's better.

But, look who's telling me I don't know about them mountain fastnesses of France.

That. Yeah, that. Imagine you forgetting.

Well, I didn't forget, not exactly. It was a long time ago.

What do you think of a mama that forgets where she went on her honeymoon?

Did you really go there, Mama?

Of course not. Your papa's joking.

Sure we did, or just the same as.

We spent our honeymoon in a school. It was as big as a palace.

We just worked there nights, the two of us, cleaning.

It was right here in Brooklyn, before you was born.

That ain't what you told me then.

You mean to say when we was having our supper there alone and I used to pull down them maps and take the teacher's pointer and pick out the places we'd pretend we was that night, you mean to say we really wasn't there?

You mean you forgot that sunny France was where we liked the best?

And all the laughing we used to do there?

You're gonna sit right down and tell me we really wasn't there?

Well, I guess we was kind of at that. And you're gonna tell me I don't know about them mountain fastnesses of France.

Katie Nolan, I'm ashamed of you!

Wasn't there nobody in school but you, Papa?

No, sir. We had the whole place to ourselves. Your papa better quit talking, or he'll have you believing you was in France, too.

No, Papa. Talk some more!

What's this here stuff?

Caviar. That comes all the way from Russia.

Them's fish eggs. Fish eggs!

Yeah. I never could get it why they like it, myself, except that it's hard to get and costs a lot.

And that makes it good, Papa?

What about the Russians?

It ain't hard for them to get. Do they like it?

Well, can you tie that? Now, ain't we got the smartest kids?

Papa, talk some more. Tell us all about the party and don't leave out anything!

That can wait.

Here. How's that?

$3. Them's good wages.

And good tips, too.

Papa, start! Was there music and did they dance?

Your mother's got no time for all that.

You could tell me. You used to.

Well, it was kind of nice.

Klommer's, their best room, and all fixed up with white flowers.

There was flowers on the table, flowers on the chandelier and even on the floor.

Here was a great big horseshoe table with lots of people all around.

And right in front, a great big wedding cake!

It must've been three feet tall.

Why didn't you bring home some of that?

Was the bride pretty?

Well, she was maybe not so young, but...

Sure! She was beautiful in a blue dress and all.

And she had diamonds on her fingers and in her ears!

And she glittered sort of.

And when she walked, her dress swished kinda.

And the champagne just flowed like water.

The smell of it got all mixed up with the flowers and the powder the ladies wore, and it made a wonderful, new perfume that made you feel good just to smell it.

Did you sing for them, Papa?

I was coming to that.

I got three encores for My Wild Irish Rose, and everybody clapped and clapped.

Then I sang Irish Eyes are Smiling four times!

It must have been awful nice!

It was all right.

And when it come time for them to cut the cake, the band played Kiss Me Again, she put her arms around him, and, boy, did he look scared!

What was he scared of, Papa?

Huh?

You kids ask too many questions. You heard the story.

Now go on and go to bed. It must be 3:00.

I got a bellyache.

Well, lay on your right side.

Good night, Mom. Good night, Neeley.

Good night, Francie.

Francie's kinda mad at me because...

Well, Sissy made a scene on the street today and I asked her to stay away.

Papa, was there an impresario there?

No, not tonight, prima donna.

But you got no call to be mad at your mama.

She's always got a good reason for what she does.

Good night, Mama.

Good night, Francie.

Johnny, tell me what else happened at the party.

Well, it was nice, just like I told you.

Awful nice.

Johnny, do you think...

I mean, have I changed a lot?

Changed?

Why, she couldn't hold a candle to you. She ain't so hot.

I just said that for the kids. No, sir.

No. That's not what I mean.

What I mean is am I getting hard, you know?

Now, where did you grab onto an idea like that? Hard?

I don't know. I don't want to be, but, well, there's the kids and all, and I wanna do what's right for them, and maybe sometimes I...

Will you stop talking like that?

Why, you're prettier than you ever was!

I almost told that to the whole bunch down at the party tonight.

I almost said, "You oughta see my bride

"that's waiting home for me tonight."

And you was waiting, Katie. That was nice, awful nice.

It was just like it used to be.

You told about the party awful nice tonight, Johnny.

I should have waited up more often, I guess.

It ain't your fault, working hard like you do.

You know something?

I wish I could have got you the rest of that set when we was married.

The guy said it came all the way from Spain.

What else was in that set, Johnny?

You ain't told me for a long time.

Two little side combs and a locket on a chain.

And a bracelet, you said?

There's no use talking.

Someday I'm gonna look that guy up and get you the rest of that set.

That's nice, Johnny, but I...

There's no "buts" about it. I mean it.

Things are gonna be different around here.

You ain't gonna be workin' hard like you are now.

I don't mind the work, Johnny.

No, sir. I ain't gonna stand for it!

Look at them pretty hands.

They ain't got no business being in the water all the time.

I'm gonna change a lot of things around here.

I'm gonna cut out the drinking, too.

And just to prove it to ya, here's my tip money.

No, keep your tips, Johnny. Take all a man's money, it ain't right!

And I'm gonna keep at 'em down at the union headquarters to make 'em get me some jobs.

Yes, sir. Tonight's the beginning of something new!

You believe me, don't you, Katie?

Yeah, Johnny. Yeah, sure, I do!

I'll be singing all over Brooklyn and maybe Manhattan, too!

"Have you heard Johnny Nolan sing?" They'll say.

And then maybe someday...

Johnny, stop it!

Stop it! Stop talking!

We ain't got a chance.

Who are we trying to kid?

Yeah.

Sure, you're right. Who am I trying to kid?

I didn't go to hurt you, Johnny, but it's the truth, and I can't change it.

Yeah.

And I can tell you something else.

All that baloney about them encores tonight, that was just because they was a little drunk and feeling good.

I wasn't so much.

That's right. I'll never be able to change it.

Sure, you're right.

Who am I trying to kid?


Neeley Nolan, you stop that!

I don't wanna wear no old tie. It's...

Mama said!

BOY: Hey, fellas, look at me! I'm Johnny Nolan!

Hey! Look at me!

(BOYS SHOUTING)

All right! Now break it up! Break it up!

Run along! Run along! All of you! Go on.

He's my pop.

All right now, lad. Where do you live, huh?

I'll take him home! He's my father!

Wait a minute, honey.

I expect you'd better be running along to school, hadn't you?

I'll look after him for you.

Now, don't you worry. He ain't in any trouble.

I'll take good care of him. Here, is this the house?

No, the next one, second floor, back.

And if you talk to him, he's always all right.

Sure, sure. I know. Now, don't you fret. You just run along, huh?

All right, lad. Come on. We'll make it.

JOHNNY: (SINGING) Alive, alive -O Alive, alive -O

(KNOCK AT DOOR)

Johnny.

I didn't expect to find you here, ma'am. Is there anything I can do?

He's my husband. I can take care of him.

It's all right, Johnny. I'll get you a nice cup of coffee.

A nice cup of coffee.

Well, I just wanted to say, ma'am, that the gentleman wasn't making no trouble.

He just needed a little help.

Here. Drink it, Johnny.

Isn't there anything that I can do?

If you wasn't new on the beat, Mr. McShane, you'd know that Johnny never makes any trouble and you'd know that the whole Nolan family don't need anybody's help.

I'd thank you, Mr. McShane, if you'd mind your own business.

Sure, Mrs. Nolan.

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all

"Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know"

Now, class.

ALL: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all

"Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know"

TEACHER: Now who knows the name of the meter?

Frances Nolan?

Yes, but...

You can't know "but."

I only meant to say, I was thinking about the words, what they mean, and I wondered...

You don't have to know the words, Frances, just the meter.

But if beauty is truth and that's all ye need... I mean, all you need to know, then that means it's the most important thing.

And if a man, I mean, if somebody spent all his time trying to be like that, well, it's hard to put, but no matter what else he did, then...

Then what, Frances?

Then it would be all right, wouldn't it?

I'm afraid I don't understand a thing you're saying, Frances, and we're late now with our arithmetic.

Class will get their arithmetic books.

Pop, why don't the Katzenjammer Kids talk plain English?

Supposed to make it funny, I guess.

Francie, you been staring out that window over a half an hour.

Can't you make up your mind to do something?

What shall I do?

You used to like to do your homework Sundays.

I don't know. I don't like school as much as I used to.

Now you're getting some sense.

School's the same this year as it was last.

Mama.

Do you know that big market on Clancy Street down the hill?

We can't trade there, if that's what you mean.

That neighborhood's expensive.

Well, I meant... I mean, well, the other day, I passed that way on my way home and, well, Mom, you know what's just a couple of blocks away from that market?

Another market, I guess.

And am I supposed to guess what's two blocks away from there?

Francie, why don't you say what you mean?

I didn't mean anything, I guess.

(NEELEY SNICKERING)

Neeley, sometimes I think you make these holes on purpose.

Papa.

Yes, baby?

You know what I read in a magazine once?

What was it, Francie?

Well, it said that walking was a good thing.

It said people would look and feel a lot better if they did more of it.

Walking puts rose petals in your cheeks, it said.

Then I oughta be a raving beauty with all them stairs.

That isn't what it meant. It meant, well, like on a Sunday, people would feel a lot better if they got out and took a walk or something, instead of just sitting around.

Francie, I want you to stop talking around about things like that.

It ain't right. If you got something to say, just say it right out, plain.

I wasn't going to say anything.

I was just talking about walking.

Well, there's been so much talking about walking, I think I'll take one.

You wanna go along, prima donna?

Yes, Papa. Sure, Papa.

Must be pretty special, this place you walk to that's two blocks away from the market.

This way, Papa.

Is this it?

Yes, Papa.

The school?

I don't understand.

It must be just as nice inside, don't you think?

The teachers and all and...

What are you driving at, baby?

Bend down, Papa.

I wish I could go to that school, Papa.

(EXCLAIMS)

(STUTTERING) Well, I don't know, baby.

It would be awful nice, but they got rules.

You gotta go to the school where you live.

I know. I didn't really...

Well, now. Now, wait a minute.

Maybe there's a way. It's a free country, ain't it?

(SINGING) School days, school days Hey! Maybe we could move near here. When?

Well, now, whoa, whoa. Sometime soon.

As soon as our ship comes in, prima donna. You'll see.

Only by that time, I'll...

You wanna go there awful bad, don't you, baby?

Then we're gonna find a way.

Honest?

Well, now, I gotta turn this over a little.

Let's do some more walking. Maybe it's good for thinking, too.

(SINGING) School days, school days Hey, that ain't a bad little house.

How'd you like to live there?

It's got a nice little porch.

I don't like yellow houses.

With another coat of paint?

Papa. That's it.

Yes, sir. That's it.

If we only could.

Well, why can't we?

Our luck's bound to change, and the first thing we'll do is buy this little house when...

Someday.

Look. Come here.

As long as we're gonna buy that house someday, why don't we maybe borrow it for now, like we'll make out it's ours.

Then your address would be 98 Hibbard Avenue, starting right now.

Then you see, they gotta transfer you from your old school.

How do you mean, Papa?

Yes, sir, that's it.

We could say you come here to live with your aunt, your rich, old aunt.

She's lonesome and she's gonna leave you all her money.

Papa, could we really?

Sure, we could. It's nobody's business.

And sometimes I forget to water the geraniums, and you oughta hear Auntie scold me.

But you gotta put up with her crotchets. After all, you're her heir.

That little room up there. That could be mine, couldn't it?

Uh...

Look, prima donna.

After all, you know, this ain't exactly according to the rules.

You mean it's wrong?

No, sir. Not by a jugful it ain't wrong.

Look, the house is here, we're here and the school's here.

Now, we wasn't all thrown together for no reason.

(BELLS TOLLING)

But we gotta keep it kind of a secret.

You know, you can't tell nobody and you gotta be extra good to make up for it.

I will.

Look. There goes Auntie now, I think.

It looks like you got an uncle, too.

Now, I'm gonna show you a way to your new school through a beautiful, little park and I know right where it is.

And you can see the seasons change when you go.

Bend down, Papa.

"My cup runneth over."

It's dishonest, that's what it is.

You're setting the child an awful bad example.

Papa says if it doesn't hurt anybody, it's not dishonest in your heart.

You two and your fancy words.

How do you spell "transfer," Francie?

T -R -A -N -S -F -E -R.

I'd rather be shot than do this arithmetic.

It'll come to you, Sonny. And another thing, we kept Francie out a year so she and Neeley could be in the same class, and she could look after him.

And here, just the year when they're getting ready to graduate, you go and...

I tell you, it's against the law, and you're making her live a lie and I won't have you doin' it!

I'm gonna do this for her, Katie.

Maybe it's my fault or not that there ain't much I can give her.

But this is one thing she's gonna have.

It'll make an awful long walk for your mornings.

I don't mind getting up early.

And it'll be much harder on your shoes and you won't have dresses like the other children.

I promise to wash down my dress every single night.

How do you spell "appreciate," Francie?

A -P -P... Wait a minute.

R -E -C -I -A -T -E.

If the principal swallows that story, and I don't think he will, I'll see what I can do about making over that checked dress of mine for you.

Why not? My school's overcrowded as it is.

This is Frances Nolan, class.

I'm sure you'll all make her welcome to our school.

Now, that will be your desk, Frances.


Run along, Sonny. I ain't gonna spill a penny.

Well, I guess you got everything.

Neeley, our new fire escape leads clear up onto the roof!

Whoever lives on the top floor has got dibs on the roof!

Johnny ain't doing so well, eh, Mrs. Nolan?

Just moving near the sun.

Soon as we heard Mrs. Waters was vacating, we made up our minds.

I've been waiting to see you, Mrs. Nolan.

There's something I got to ask you, a favor.

I better show you.

NEELEY: Hey. Look at this thing!

Oh, boy! Just think, we can have a lot of fun running up and down that!

We ain't gonna let anybody but us up there.

It's in here.

FRANCIE: Look how high it is!

The late Mr. Waters gave it to me for a wedding present.

It won't go down the stairs and they want $15 to move it, lowering it out the window.

Do you mind my leaving it, Mrs. Nolan?

It don't take up much room, and someday when I get the $15, I'll send back for it.

Why, sure, I don't mind, Mrs. Waters.

Can you play it?

No.

The neither one of us could.

If it ain't too much trouble, you could dust it off once in a while, and keep the kitchen door open a little so it won't get cold or damp.

I sure will. Thank you.

I hope it won't be long before you can send back for it.

Have you got the curtains?

Yes. They're coming.

Is it...

Is that...

Yeah, we kept a baby in it about 40 years ago.

(STUTTERING) Well, I was just wondering, if you don't need it, it would make a nice handy little wash basket and I'd be glad to give you a quarter for it.

Why, sure. My Edgar's kids is even too old.

Excuse me for asking, Mrs. Nolan, but it won't really make a very handy wash basket.

Please don't say nothing. I ain't told nobody yet.

It ain't always easy when you're poor, but it'll be a blessing to you.

Yeah, sure. Sure, it will.

FRANCIE: But there must be!

I tell you, there ain't!

Well, goodbye, Mrs. Nolan. Goodbye.

Goodbye, and thank you very much.

Don't forget we're supposed to give him a beer, or the price of one.

Well, I'm done.

I can't thank you enough, Charlie.

Always glad to do my customers a favor, of course.

Well, we are real grateful.

It ain't as though I was in the regular moving business.

We'll be taking ice from you, same as usual, once a week.

Well, goodbye.

Goodbye, Charlie, and thanks.

He worked awful hard, Mama.

We moved up to this flat to save money, and we're not gonna start by throwing dimes away.

No, sir, there ain't a bathtub anywhere. I looked all over.

There's the tub, young man.

Every Wednesday and Saturday, same as always.

(KNOCK AT DOOR)

It's Mr. Barker.

Well, it seems like the Nolans have come up in the world.

Yes, we're so very, very fond of the sunshine.

JOHNNY: (SINGING) In Dublin's fair city Where the girls are so pretty...

Run and catch him before he goes to the old place.

Mr. Nolan happened to be working when we found we could make the move.

Smaller than your old flat, ain't it?

I'm sorry I can't ask you to sit, Mr. Barker.

I ain't even got the coffee on yet.

But I got my insurance money handy.

I suppose you're too busy to listen to a bit of news about your sister.

She...

She's gonna have a baby.

Please tell my sister she shouldn't make herself such a stranger here.

I shall be very happy to render your message.

Your receipts, Mrs. Nolan.

Be sure to, now, Mr. Barker.

Good day to you, Mr. Nolan.

Well, I'm not one to spoil a family party. I'll be on my way.

Surprise, Papa. Welcome to your new home.

Yeah. It is kind of a surprise, all right.

Did you move up here because it was cheaper or because I...

We have to save where we can. Somebody's got to.

I don't mind the extra stairs.

We can still see the tree.

Pop, the top -floor tenants, the roof is theirs, and I ain't gonna let anybody up there except Henny Gaddis, because...

Hey. Does Pop know?

Flossie Gaddis died last night.

The poor baby.

It was nice that her mama got her all them pretty dresses.

Only now the poor thing will have to lie in Potter's Field.

But she did have the dresses.

You better show your papa the piano.

Yeah, you better show me the piano, prima donna.

FRANCIE: The lady that was here left it.

It's got a nice tone.

It's all right.

Hey! Now that we got it, maybe you can take some lessons!

Nah.

(HUMMING)

(SINGING) Maxwellton braes are bonnie Where early fa's the dew And 'twas there that Annie Laurie Gave me her promise true Which ne'er forgot will be

And for Bonnie Annie Laurie

I would lay me doon

and dee I ain't never heard you sing that before. It's pretty. It's...

Maxwellton braes are bonnie Where early fa's the dew And 'twas there that Annie Laurie Gave me her promise true Which ne'er forgot will be And for Bonnie Annie Laurie

I would lay me doon

and dee

Well, this is the beginning of a vacation we've all looked forward to, and I'm sure we'll all enjoy our holidays more knowing we've helped some unfortunate family who'd have had no Christmas dinner without this basket.

And so a merry... Oh, one last thing.

This extra pie Miss Shilling brought in, it's little and a bit crushed, but anybody want it?

My! What well -fed boys and girls.

All right, class.

Miss McDonough!

Yes, Frances?

I just remembered. I know a very unfortunate family.

They live in a hovel. They have two children, little golden -haired twins, and they're all starving.

The pie will probably save their lives.

Then you should take the pie, by all means.

You can come and get it when class is dismissed, which is now. A merry Christmas to you all!

(ALL CHATTERING EXCITEDLY)

Here. Merry Christmas!

That was a very fine Christmas spirit, Frances, but it seems such a tiny pie to save so many lives.

It won't seem small to them, Miss McDonough.

Even a little pie can look awful big if you hadn't had very much to eat for days and days. I'll have to tell them to eat it slowly because if they eat it too fast on an empty stomach, they'll...

They'll...

It isn't true. It's all a lie! I wanted it for myself!

I'll stay after school. I'll do anything, but don't send a note home!

I'm not going to punish you, child, for being hungry, or having an imagination.

You know, that's something very few people have.

It's very precious.

But it can also be dangerous unless we learn how to use it.

Our everyday lives are real and true, aren't they?

But all the stories in the world, all the music came out of someone's imagination.

So, if we tell the truth and write the lies, then they aren't lies anymore.

They become stories, like some of the very nice compositions you've written, Frances.

Like the one about my father taking me to see the cotton fields down south.

We didn't really go.

I rather imagined you didn't.

But don't you think it would be still better if you'd write about the things you really know about and then add to them with your imagination?

Even stories shouldn't be just, well, pipe dreams.

Pipe -dreamers can be very lovable people but they don't help anybody, not even themselves.

Now, think about it a little, and have a merry Christmas.

And enjoy your pie.

Yes, Miss McDonough. Thank you, Miss McDonough.

For God's sakes! Where you been?

You were supposed to meet me...

Where'd you swipe that?

Neeley, I'm going to be a writer.

All right, but let's eat the pie.

Come on, we gotta see about our Christmas tree!

Golly! It's still there, isn't it?

NEELEY: Yeah, it's still here.

He ain't got much time left to sell it.

Go on. Beat it! You know I ain't gonna throw them till midnight.

What are you trying to do, block the sidewalk, keep customers out?

Hey! You don't own the sidewalk! Free country, ain't it?

How about this one, madam?

No, that one's too big. I want a small one.

I got just what you want. Come over here, lady.

WOMAN: Well, now, that's more like it! That's the size.

It's awful big to get throwed at you.

Why does he have to throw them at us, anyway?

Why can't he just give them to us if he don't sell them?

If he just gave them away, everybody would wait.

He'd never sell any of 'em.

Smells good.

There she goes!

Hey, I stumbled!

Go on! Beat it! Who's next?

Come on, give me a chance. I'm next.

All right, here she goes.

Got it, didn't I?

All right, take it! Go home!

Now, who wants to try this one?

Who's man enough for this big one right here?

I can take anything you got, mister. Let her...

I'm next! That's my tree!

You're too small. Go home.

Me and my brother, we ain't too small together.

Spunky, huh?

All right, but if one of you drop, you're not gonna get the tree.

There she goes!

MAN: That a girl! You got it!

Okay, you got it coming. Go ahead! Who's next?

Quit worrying about them, Katie. They'll be home pretty quick.

They ain't old enough to be out this late.

Johnny should have made them tell what they was up to.

No telling what's likely to happen if Francie gets a notion...

They'll be all right.

Well, I guess we better get on home.

I'll see them tomorrow.

No, don't go!

FRANCIE: Hey, Pa! Hey, Ma!

NEELEY: Hey, Ma!

Look!

Holy smoke! Will you look what they've went and done?

They're trying to make a Christmas. Help 'em, kid.

We got it throwed at us! Well, sure, I was only wondering if you couldn't use a little help.

Come on, come on, come on.

How in Jerusalem did you...

Look, Papa! Look at my face, Pop! Look at my face!

Nobody around here ever saw a tree like that!

Look at my face if you don't believe it.

And I see you got the law on your side, too.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Nolan! And it looks like you're gonna have one.

Same to you, Mr. McShane, and thanks.

Merry Christmas, Mr. Nolan.

Merry Christmas, Miss Maggie.

Isn't this a wonderful Christmas, Papa?

It is now, prima donna.

Imagine us having a tree like that, and the nicest kids in the world, I guess.

Merry Christmas, everybody! Merry Christmas!

MAGGIE: God bless you, Mr. Nolan.

Merry Christmas, Neeley!

Merry Christmas!

(JOHNNY SINGING SILENT NIGHT)

He ain't any older than they are.

(SINGING) Round yon virgin mother and child Holy infant so tender and mild Merry Christmas.

Sleep in heavenly peace Silent night, holy...

(ALL LAUGHING)

Here!

Put it up higher, Bill!

Steve's the name.

That's better, Bill.

NEELEY: Old itchy underwear!

But look at all the fun you can have scratching! (LAUGHING)

Thank you, Mama.

You know you hate them.

They're fine, Mama.

(ALL LAUGHING)

I got something for you, too, Mama.

Johnny. It was real nice of your friend Mr. McGarrity to send over those candy canes to the kids.

Yeah.

Here. I made this candle for today.

You better light it now. It's time.

Merry Christmas, Mama, from me and Neeley.

(EXCLAIMING)

Oh, it's pretty.

What is it?

Rose water and glycerin.

You rub it on your hands.

This is for you, Papa, from me and Neeley.

KATIE: My!

I'll be quite the thing, won't I?

NEELEY: I think it's silly, but Francie said Papa was always talking about what nice hands you got.

It cost a dime, but we had a seltzer bottle top in the junk.

It's a watch fob. It's made out of shoelaces.

I wove it on a spool with nails.

Well, if that ain't about the nicest thing I ever did see.

Maybe it's kinda silly, you not having a watch.

Well, now, madam, we're all out of mushrooms under glass, but I can tell you the time.

That's the nicest present I ever did get, prima donna.

And thank you, too, Son.

You're welcome. I guess the shoelaces was mine.

It was silly.

There ain't nothing silly on Christmas.

I got a little present here.

(KNOCK AT DOOR)

Like I was saying, I got...

McSHANE: Merry Christmas, Miss Francie.

Come on. They're in here. It's Mr. McShane.

I hope I'm not intruding.

Merry Christmas, Mr. McShane.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas. I was just...

Hello, handsome.

Mrs. Edwards.

I was just passing, and I happened to see the light still burning and I got to thinking that I'd like to have a hand in decorating that fine Christmas tree.

I see somebody's already provided.

We can always use more of them, Mr. McShane.

Thank you kindly.

Won't you come in and have a cup of coffee with us?

Thanks, no. This evening's for families.

And I got to be getting home now, so I'll say goodbye and merry Christmas to everybody.

Thank you, Mr. McShane. Merry Christmas!

That was mighty nice of him.

Mr. McShane's a fine man.

He's, I think, sometimes a lonely man.

Like I was saying, I got something here.

I mean, I got a present for somebody that ain't exactly here.

Grandma helped me pick it out. It's for you know who.

Bill, it's beautiful. Look, everybody!

Bill, darling, I've never been so happy!

I'm gonna get some coffee.

Katie?

(JOHNNY PLAYING O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL ON PIANO)

Yeah.

I'm glad for ya.

I don't know. I'm scared, I guess.

You got no call to be. Look how swell them two are.

Yeah, they are.

You told Johnny yet?

Well, maybe you ought to. It might help him.

Yeah.

We better take the coffee in.

You're a fine girl, Katie. I never said any different.


That's for nothing, Johnny, except maybe being a nice guy.

Coffee, everybody!

Well, I guess that's about all.

Johnny, I got to tell ya something.

Maybe it ain't the right time, and maybe it is.

The reason I moved us up here...

We're gonna have a baby, Johnny.

That's why I've been scrimpin' so much and tryin' so hard to save.

That's...

Well, I'm awful glad, Katie, if you are.

There's a lot we got to think about, Johnny.

I know! But we'll make out.

Maybe things will be different.

And we'll have one to grow up with all over again.

I got things all figured out.

I ought to be able to work until, well, anyway, April, and then Francie will have to leave school and take out a working paper.

She's young, but with what she can make, we ought to be able to make out.

But we can't do that, Katie!

I don't like it any better than you do, Johnny.

But I thought and I thought, and there ain't no other way.

And, Johnny, you got to help with something. She listens to you.

You got to quit gettin' her so all excited about her schoolin'.

But why can't it be Neeley?

He's the boy, and he don't care like she does!

Well, maybe that's why.

Maybe it'll do her good to get out in the world, and learn how to take care of herself, learn somethin' practical while she's young.

She's got to learn someday.

Well, there must be another way!

I don't know. I'll try and swing anything. I'll do anything.

We can't count on that, Johnny.

Don't look at me like that, Johnny. It ain't my fault.

It ain't your fault either, I guess. I don't know.

Anyway, one member of the Nolan family'll get to graduate, and she come close.

That's somethin'.

You better put out the light, and let's get some rest.


Oh!

I thought you'd be asleep, prima donna.

Uh -uh. I've been thinking.

I might be going to be a writer. I've just about decided.

I knew you when you was gonna be a lady fireman.

Don't joke, Papa. I'm serious.

All right, baby.

All I meant was maybe it's better not to get your heart set on just one thing, in case something happens.

She said, Miss McDonough, I mean, she said maybe I could be. She said I have imagination.

Do you think I have, Papa?

Sure you have, baby.

Them compositions of yours are sure fine, but...

She said I'd have to work hard.

She said imagination wasn't any good if you were just a pipe -dreamer about it.

You didn't help anybody that way, not even yourself, she said.

Yeah, I see. A pipe -dreamer.

I'm not putting it good like she did.

I wish you could've heard her. She was wonderful.

Forever and ever, I'll be glad you helped me go to that school, Papa.

You kind of like that school, don't you, baby?

Yes. Oh, yes.

And she said lots more. I've been trying to remember.

She said even if you have imagination, it's better to write about the things you know about so they'll be true.

And the way things are.

Only...

Only what, baby?

Papa, the people in the hall when we brought up the tree, the look on their faces, all friendly and nice.

Why can't people be like that all the time, not just on Christmas?

(STUTTERING) Well, I guess it's because...

Well, I don't know.

Maybe it's because Christmas is like people really are and the other part ain't true.

And with that imagination of yours, if you think about it hard enough, you know, like it ought to be...

But when you get to thinking, Papa, the people in the stories, they don't just live happily ever after, do they?

No, baby, but...

But the trouble is, it doesn't feel good when you think about things like that, I mean, like they really are.

You better stick out your tongue, prima donna.

It's just like I thought.

You got a bad case, a very bad case.

Case of what, Papa?

A very bad case of growing up.

That's all it is.

It ain't fun sometimes, but don't you be afraid.

I don't want you should ever be afraid.

You're so nice, Papa.

I guess it's better if you don't just stay young all your life.

(YAWNING) It'll be much nicer growing up.

Yeah.

Then you get to see things like they really are.


Good night, baby.

Good night, Papa.

I'm sleepy now.

That's fine, baby, just fine.


Ain't ya comin' to bed, Johnny?

No. I'm gonna take a little walk.

Don't start drinking, not tonight, Johnny.

I won't, Katie. I won't.


Well, did he go out on a job, do you know?

If he did, he didn't get it through us.

Thank you.

How are you, Mrs. Nolan? And happy new year to you.

Same to you, Mr. McGarrity.

I just came to...

Well, I happened to be passing by, and I thought I'd run in and thank you for the candy canes you sent us.

It was nice of ya.

That's all right. It wasn't much.

Well, it was nice of you.

Good night, Mr. McGarrity. Good night, Mrs. Nolan.

Mrs. Nolan.

Johnny ain't here. He ain't been here since before Christmas.


I'm afraid it's bad news I'm bringing you, Mrs. Nolan.

Our station just got a report that Mr. Nolan was found over in Manhattan very sick.

He's been taken to a hospital.

See that Neeley gets to school on time in the morning.

There's an apple for your lunches.

The report said that he just collapsed right in the doorway of an employment agency.

And he'd just been going out on a job.

A sandhog in a tunnel, they said.

And he hadn't been drinking, ma'am.

He'd been waiting there a long time for the job.

He was just sick.

We did everything we could.

Yeah, sure. I know.

What are you writing down that he died from, Doctor?

Acute alcoholism and pneumonia. One led to the other.

I don't want you to write down that he died like that.

Put just the pneumonia. I can't do that.

Pneumonia was the direct cause of death, but the alcoholism was...

Look, he's dead.

I got two nice kids that are gonna grow up to amount to somethin'.

Why do you have to make it hard by sayin' their father died from the drink when that's only a little piece of the truth?

He wasn't drinkin'. They said so. He was out lookin' for work.

Why don't you put that down?

Cause of death, pneumonia.

PRIEST: "Everlasting rest and happiness

"through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ.

"Oh, God, great and omnipotent judge of the living and the dead, "before whom we are all to appear after this short life

"to render an account of our work.

"Let our hearts, we pray Thee, "be deeply moved at the sight of this death.

"And while we consign the body of the deceased to the earth, "let us be mindful of our own frailties and mortality, "that walking always in Thy fear

"and in the ways of Thy Commandments

"we may, after our departure from this world, "experience a merciful judgment

"and rejoice in everlasting happiness

"through Christ, our Lord."

All them people and the flowers, some of them from people I never heard of even.

Who would've thought that many folks...

I mean, they was carrying on like they was his family or, or...

I don't know.

Yeah. He took the time to make a lot of people love him, all right.

It's hard to figure out so many of them showing up.

And they was feeling something.

I mean, there was no reason for 'em to put on.

He was nobody big. He was just a...

Katie.

Don't talk about it no more, kid.

KATIE: Francie. Just leave her be, Katie.

She maybe wants to be by herself.

She's taking on kind of funny.

She ain't even cried.

Goodbye.

I'd like my father's shaving cup.

That one. "Nolan."

Oh, you're the little girl.

Yes. I'll clean it up for you.

He was a fine man.

Tell your mama that I, his barber, said this.


Francie.

What?

Francie, dear, where are you going?

No place.

Francie.

Yes, Mama?

It was nice of the neighbors to send over all that food.

Don't you want something?

No, Mama.

I wanted to talk to you, Francie.

I want things to go on, the reading and all.

I want to do...

Well, I got to be mama and papa both to you now, Francie.

Yes, Mama. Is that all, Mama?

Well...

You gotta go right now, Francie, I...

I'll be back. Honest, I will.

Mom.

I guess I'm a little hungry.

Look. He can't be dead. Can't!

They don't understand.

Maybe you could let me have a baby someday, and it could be a boy.

So it could be just like him.

It would have to be me.

Nobody else loved him like I do.

Maybe you could do that for me.

And if you could,

he wouldn't even die.

I hope you don't think I'm forward coming in like this, Mrs. Nolan.

How are you, Francie?

I'm well, thank you.

Have a chair. Francie, see if Mr. McGarrity won't have some coffee.

Not for me, thank you.

I figured I ought to come.

I suppose you know how Johnny and me done business.

He'd give me some money to keep sometimes and draw against it.

And when he...

Well, I got to looking around and what do you think?

I had, I had nearly five bucks in his box.

And so I, I figured it belonged to you.

If you told the truth, it would be more than likely that he owed you.

But thanks very much.

Well, I just thought...

We'll make out.

Well, there's something else then.

I thought maybe you wouldn't mind if maybe Francie and Neeley came down to work for me afternoons, like, after school and Saturdays.

And, of course, maybe it ain't the kind of a place you'd favor them working in, but I'd keep an eye on them.

And I'd pay them $2 a week apiece.

And I'd take it as a great favor, ma'am.

You're a very bad liar, Mr. McGarrity, but you're a good man, and I'm ashamed I didn't know it before.

No, it ain't like that, ma'am.

Johnny was... Well, I don't know.

Johnny... Johnny always talked about his family like, well, like folks ought to and don't.

And, whenever he talked about anything, he always made you...

You felt better or you wanted to laugh.

Like that seashell I had there.

He was always, he was always listening to it and telling you what it was singing.

He was always giving things like that to people.

He...

He was a fine man, Mrs. Nolan.

I'd be glad to let the children work for you, Mr. McGarrity.

And the $4 a week will keep us until the baby comes, and Francie won't have to quit school and she can keep on, and they can both...

Well, it's a deal then. And you tell 'em to come through the family entrance tomorrow after school.

Is that all right with you, Francie?

Yes.

Well, well, it's settled then and, good day to you, Mrs. Nolan.

And thank you again, Mr. McGarrity.

Francie. Yes, Mama.

I'm glad you can keep on with your school.

I was hoping something like this would happen, but I didn't want to say anything until the time come.

But your papa and I talked it all over and there were reasons.

And there just wasn't any other way.

It doesn't matter. Papa saved me from it.

Hiya, kid.

Well, they're sure taking chances.

I wouldn't, leaving you handle them eats.

Where's Francie? (MUFFLED) Kitchen.

Thanks. Hiya, Mac.

Hello, kid. How are you, lamb? Hello, Aunt Sissy.

Look. You got to do something for me.

This was in the paper, and I cut it out.

You got to read it to me, and... What's the matter, hon?

Nothing. I'm all right, Aunt Sissy. No, you ain't.

You ain't been since...

Look. Don't you think you better spill it to your Aunt Sissy?

What is it you want me to read to you, Aunt Sissy?

Well, we'll get that out of the way first.

Look. Here it is. Likely you don't remember him.

But it's my last husband, Bill.

The one I thought was dead, but he ain't.

He's got his picture in there, and I wanna know what it says.

Maybe it says where he lives so as I can write to him about getting a divorce or something.

I got the best husband in all the world now and I don't want this here one bobbing up and making no trouble.

He's a fireman someplace. I can tell that from his clothes.

He was just starting out in the fireman business...

This says he's a hero. He saved some people in a fire.

Does it say where?

The 9th Precinct, Manhattan.

Manhattan, huh?

Couldn't make the grade in Brooklyn, I guess.

I want you to write to him, Francie. Write this, "Dear Bill..."

This says his name is Roland Polaski.

That's right, I remember.

Make it "Dear Mr. Polaski.

"Being's as now I'm married to somebody else

"I want you to see about getting a real legal divorce

"because I thought you was dead, but you ain't.

"And because you got the money now on account of the reward.

"Yours very truly, Sissy." Something like that.

But, Aunt Sissy, he must have already done that.

Because it says here he's married again.

It does?

"On the human interest side of the story, "Mrs. Polaski had returned home only the day before from the hospital

"after presenting Mr. Polaski with a brand -new son, "the fourth child of the marriage."

So, if he got a divorce that long ago, you don't have to.

Then my being married to Bill, this one, I mean, is all legal?

Well, now, if that ain't a load off my chest.

You know something? I think I'll give Bill Polaski a wedding present.

But Aunt Sissy, you can't. He's been married for years.

Four kids, huh? Must be a pretty sickly woman, this Mrs. Polaski, going to the hospital just to have a baby.

No. Lots of people go there now to have babies.

It's better.

Sure enough? You know something?

I'm gonna cash in my funeral policy and have my baby at a hospital.

And when my baby is born and lives, I want you to write that R. Polaski and announce it.

Boy, do I feel better!

And, now, chickabiddy, we'll talk about you.

Can't your Aunt Sissy help you any? I'm all right.

No, you aren't, honey, not all shut up like that.

I know how you feel, but you can't keep hanging on to it.

I'm all right. I don't want to talk about it.

All right, baby. All right.

But I'll tell you what. You can do something for me.

Look. Your mama feels awful bad, too.

She needs you. Why don't you talk to her about it?

She doesn't need me. Yes, she does.

No, she doesn't! She's got Neeley!

Why wasn't it Neeley she was going to make quit school?

He never cared about it.

She doesn't love me like Papa did, and she didn't love him, either. Not really.

She hurt him. I saw her. And he never hurt anybody.

I'm gonna finish this grade because he gave it to me.

And then I'll work for her, but she can't be Papa to me.

She can't ever!

Don't be like that, baby. Don't.

Leave me alone. I'm all right.

Please go away and leave me alone.

All right, chickabiddy. All right.

Mr. Stern. Yes, sir.

Francie. Yes, Mama?

I want to talk to you, Francie.

Yes, Mama.

It isn't gonna be long now, for me, I mean, my baby.

We can't come to a hospital.

There isn't even gonna be enough money for a woman to come and help.

I'm gonna need you, Francie.

Don't ever be far away. Neeley's...

Well, a boy ain't much good at a time like this.

I'm counting on you, Francie.

You won't forget that, will you?

All right, Mama. I'll remember.

Which one of you is Mr. Stephen Edwards?

That's me.

Well, there are three in your family now.

You're the father of a pretty fine boy.

Alive? Very much so.

He was a little reluctant about it at first.

I had to rouse him with a little oxygen. Now, he's mad at me.

You ought to hear him. I've got to see him.

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

In a little while.

The learning...

The learning that saved that baby.

That's fine, Bill.

Where are you going, Uncle Bill?

I'm going out and get some strawberry ice cream and a rattle for my son.

And what's more, my name ain't Bill. It's Steve.

Do you hear that? I'm a papa, and my name's Steve.

And it's Uncle Steve, too.

Steve. Steve. Steve.

So, we have a man in the family.

As quick as we see if she's all right, you go on up to McGarrity's and see if you can do my work, too.

I'm gonna finish her scrubbing for her. She ought not to do any more.

She wasn't feeling good this morning.

Mama!

(GASPS)

Mama?

In here, Francie.

You wait here.

You all right, Mama?

Give Neeley a nickel to go after Grandma and Sissy.

He can walk home after.

Get me a nightgown in that bottom drawer.

Hurry! Don't stand there staring.

Is she going to die?

Of course not. It's the baby.

You heard what Mama said, and hurry.

And don't forget stopping at McGarrity's on the way back.

We can't lose the work. She only wants me now.

Mama!

What is it?

I'll be there in a minute.


You're taking real good care of me, Francie.

Am I, Mama?

Mmm.

Tastes good.

Can I get you a glass of water, Mama?

When I want something, I'll ask for it.

Yes, Mama.

Don't just stand there and throw questions at me. I'm too tired.

You'd better have some coffee, too.

Mama, even if Neeley is a boy, wouldn't you rather have him here?

He's always such a comfort to you.

No, it's you that's a comfort. Now, what time is it?

I don't know, Mama. Get the clock.

One minute to 4:00, Mama.

Are you sure it isn't slow?

No, Mama.

Maybe it's fast then.

I'll look at the jeweler's clock out the parlor window!

(KATIE BREATHING HEAVILY)

The candle's pretty like Christmas.

That was the night I told him.

It's nice having a visit from my daughter.

I didn't want for you to have to grow up so soon.

I didn't want for you to have to quit school.

I tried to tell him that. He didn't mind about the baby but he never forgive me for wanting you to quit school.

I told him, and he just went out.

You never forgive me, either.

Please don't, Mama.

He would've bought you dolls instead of milk, and...

I don't know. Maybe you would've been happier.

I don't know.

I never would've thought of giving you that school like he did.

And all them fine compositions of yours, I never read one of 'em.

I should've had time. Johnny did.

But I couldn't do no different.

I don't know how I could do any different.

What time is it?

One minute after 4:00, Mama.

Wring a cloth out of cold water and wipe my face.

Don't let her die. Please!

Mama, suppose the baby comes before Grandma and Aunt Sissy get here?

You can see I couldn't do no different, can't you?

Neeley, he don't like school. If he'd quit, he'd never go back again.

But you, no matter what happens, you'd find a way to go back.

You'd fight to go back. You can see that, can't you?

I...

Yes, Mama.

Read me something, Francie.

Yes, Mama.

Read me one of your compositions.

I ain't never read any of your compositions.

It's on my conscience.

I tore all those up.

No, you didn't.

Not all of them.

Can't I read you Shakespeare? It's much better.

Read "'Twas on a Night Like This."

I'd like to have something pretty on my mind.

Sit by the candle.

"The moon shines bright in such a night as this

"when the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees."

Say, did you ever find out who Troilus was and Cressida?

Yes, Mama. Troilus was...

Some other day when I've got time.

Read me one of your compositions now.

You won't like them, Mama.

You thought about 'em, and you worked on 'em and you got good marks on 'em.

Get 'em, I said.


Sit here.

Go on.

It's called "The Man People Loved."

Please don't make me read it, Mama.

Read it.

"Perhaps many people might have said of him that he was a failure.

"It is true that he had no gift for making money, "but he had a gift for laughter

"and for making people love him.

"He had the gift of making you feel proud

"to walk down the street with him.

"He had nothing to give but himself, "but of this he gave generously, like a king."

"Like a king." That's like it was.

Walking down the street with him, you always felt like that.

Did you, Mama?

You're real smart to write it down like that, Francie.

That's like it was.

Francie.

I miss him so much.

If the baby's a boy, we'll call him Johnny.

Where's Sissy? Neeley's been gone a long time.

Wipe my face.

No, don't let go of my hand.

If it's a girl, we'll call her Annie Laurie.

Remember that tune he played?

You ought to have piano lessons. I'll see if I can manage.

You won't forget to dust the piano, will you, Francie?

Who'd cry for me like that if I died?

I never did a wrong thing in my life, but it ain't enough!

Sissy, I didn't mean to be hard like you said.

If Johnny was here, he could go to your graduation, and I'd go to Neeley's.

But I can't tear myself into two pieces.

How am I gonna do both?

(GROANS)

Where are you, Francie?

I'm here, Mama!

(SIGHING)

You're such a comfort to me.

I'm so tired.

Leave me sleep now.

(DOOR SLAMMING)

You better start some water boiling.

We'll call you if there's anything we need.

KATIE: I thought you was never coming, Sissy.

Come on. You quit worrying now.


The baby is here and the mama is doing good.

She's asleep.

A small baby sister, it is.

Annie Laurie.

Papa would've liked that.

Look, Francie. Aren't the flowers pretty?

Where's Grandma?

I got her in a front seat, so she won't miss a thing.

Isn't your classroom around here somewheres?

Yes, but I...

How about giving me a peek?

Wouldn't hurt me none, seeing a little more places like that.

Hey, Francie, you forgot your flowers. They aren't mine.

I'm not carrying flowers today.

Some of the girls, their family sends them flowers.

They're on your desk, lamb. Better go see.

Well, I have to get my things anyway.


He gave me the money to buy 'em way before Christmas to make sure he had it, he said.

Then he wrote out the card.

(CRYING)

Come on, kid.

Let it go, baby. There ain't a soul gonna hear. Let it go.

Frances Nolan.

(CROWD APPLAUDING)

Well, sir, I don't think Grandma said one word the whole time.

And from the looks of her when I put her on the streetcar, she'll probably ride clear out to Coney Island and never know the difference.

Heaven knows what she'd have been like if she'd got to both graduations.

Looks to me like it was a pretty fine day. How's your soda, Francie?

Pineapple's not as good as chocolate.

Then why did you order it for?

Because I'm up to the "P's." I'll try raspberry next.

There's something to that idea.

Try everything once.

Sissy!

And a dime for you, my boy. This is a special occasion.

Thank you.

He don't know how special it is.

Two diplomas in the Nolan family all in one day?

Mama, I've got a nickel if you want to leave it.

People do.

It's going to be all right, Francie.

And you know somethin'? These ain't gonna be the last diplomas, either.

I don't know how we're gonna work it, but we're gonna find some way for you and...

Hi, Neeley. How are you doing?

Okay. I got out of jail.

Say, wasn't it you I saw working behind that bat the other day?

Why, yeah, but...

Hey, you were pretty good.

You know what? I'm coming out and give you some pointers sometime.

Honest? Sure, I will.

That is, if your ma don't mind.

Nah, she don't mind.

Ya mean it? Sure.

Well, I'll see you on the lot.

Maybe you better ask your ma, you know.

I don't want to do anything she wouldn't want me to.

Nah, she won't care.

Maybe you'd better ask her yourself just to make sure.

I'm Neeley's aunt. This is his ma.

But that's his sister. What's your name, big boy?

Herschel Knutsen.

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

Pleased to meet you.

Hello.

Nice night if it don't rain. Sit down, Herschel.

Doing anything tomorrow afternoon, Miss Nolan?

It's Saturday.

I don't know. Why?

Well, there's a swell picture, Bill Hart. Maybe you'd like to go.

Who with?

Me.

Oh.

Well, I might be busy. I'll let you know.

Well, I'll come around and see.

Hey! I thought we was gonna play ball tomorrow.

Yeah. Well, we can do that any time.

Sure. There's lots of time.

Come on, Hersch.

Well, I'll be seeing you, Miss Nolan.

Him, mushy!

I'm proud of you, chickabiddy. You handled him fine.

It was the hair that done it.

Well, I hate to bust this party up, but then babies got to be fed.

Steve will be needin' a little something, too.

Three hours with the both of them.

Thirty out of 50. Keep the change.

Well, thank you. Why, Katie Nolan!

I don't care.

There's times when feelin' good and things like that is important.

I don't care.

You wanna carry my flowers, Mama?

He called ya "Miss Nolan."

You missed it, Steve!

Well, hello, handsome.

I'm beggin' your pardon, Mrs. Nolan.

I just happened to drop in, and your brother -in -law here seemed to be needing a little help.

And the baby didn't seem to mind, so... I hope I'm not intrudin'.

Well, not at all, Mr. McShane.

You sit right down. We're going home. Come along, Steve.

I'll take her, Mr. McShane.

I'd like it if you'd leave her.

Her and me has got to be good friends.

Well, I wish you didn't have to hurry.

Got to get this family of mine home.

Steve's got to deliver milk to a lot of those babies that like that bottled kind.

You don't want to frown like that, Katie.

The fellas don't go for that at all.

Goodbye, kids. So long, Mac.

So long, Mrs. Edwards.

Thank you, Aunt Sissy.

Goodbye, Mac.

Mr. Edwards, goodbye.

Well...

Well, I will take the baby from you, Mr. McShane.

Mrs. Nolan.

Likely you've been wonderin' why I came here tonight.

Let your wonderin' be over, because I came here on a personal matter.

Mama, shall I go and...

No, no, don't be leaving, children.

My conversation will be concernin' you as well as your mother.

Mrs. Nolan, I feel that there's no disrespect in my speaking my mind at this time.

And I feel a decent time has elapsed since the passin' of Mrs. McShane, God rest her soul.

I didn't know, Mr. McShane.

I'm sorry.

Well, I said nothin', Mrs. Nolan, because it was near the time of your own bereavement.

And I didn't wish to...

Well, I know that it's barely six months now since your own husband, too, left this world. Rest his soul.

But when you feel a decent interval has elapsed, I'm askin' to keep company with you, Katherine Nolan, with the object of a weddin' when a decent time has elapsed.

And for my part, I'll be glad to keep company with you, Mr. McShane, not for the help you can give us, because we know we can manage some way.

But because you're a good man, Mr. McShane.

And there's one more thing.

Their father was a fine man, and I'd have no wish to be tryin' to take his place.

It would be more my intention to be like a real good friend.

Now, as the eldest, would you be approvin'?

Yes, Mr. McShane.

I was thinkin' it wouldn't be right for me to ask the two eldest to take my name.

But the little one, the one who has never looked on her father, could you be thinkin' of lettin' me legally adopt her?

If that time comes, the child shall have your name.

And now I'm wonderin' if I could smoke my pipe.

You could have smoked anytime, Mr. McShane.

Well, I didn't want to take any privileges before I was entitled to 'em.

Help me put her to bed, Neeley.

Why?

To fix the blankets.

I'll be heatin' up the coffee now.

Will ya join me in a cup, Mr. McShane?

Thank you, Katherine. I will.

Annie Laurie McShane.

Yeah.

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

She'll never have the fun, either.

We did have fun when we were young, didn't we?

Yeah.

Remember the olden days when we collected junk?

Poor Laurie.

Neeley, look at the tree.

It's growing again, just like Papa said.

I feel kind of sad, like we're saying goodbye to something.

Yeah.

Neeley? Mmm -hmm?

Am I good -looking?

What's eatin' ya?

No, honest, Neeley. I wanna know.

You'll pass.

You're sweet, Neeley.

Oh, cut the mush.