The 400 Blows (1959) Script



Doinel, bring me that.

Nice. Go stand in the corner.

You've got one minute left.


Papers will be collected in 30 seconds.


Row leaders, get ready.

I'll count to three.



Three. Collect the papers.

Get the others first.

Give it to me. -Just a second.

What's going on? He won't turn it in.

No special treatment!


Do I have everyone's paper?

You may go.

Not you, my friend!

Recess is a reward, not a right.

Here poor Antoine Doinel was unfairly punished by Sourpuss for a pinup that fell from the sky.

It will be an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Hey, champs, maybe you need a referee over here.

No recess for three days. That'll teach you.

Look at this!

What's so interesting there?

Take your seats!

We have a young Juvenal in our class, though he doesn't know an Alexandrine from blank verse.

Doinel, for tomorrow you will conjugate -

Take your seat and write this down.

In all tenses of the indicative, conditional and subjunctive -

The rest of you, get out your notebooks.

''I deface the classroom walls...

and abuse French verse.''

''The Hare''!

Doinel, go get something to wipe that rubbish off the wall, or I'll make you lick it off!.

Richer, who said you could change seats?

''In the season when the thickets

Glow with crimson flowers

When the black tip

Of my long ears Could already be seen


The still-green rye

From which I nibbled

The tender stems

As I frolicked about

One day


I was fast asleep

In my hutch When little Margot surprised me there''

I saw you, Simonot! I didn't do anything, sir.

It's always someone else.

''She loved me so My beautiful little mistress

What kindness she showed me How caring and tender How she hugged me on her little lap And kissed me''

Who's the idiot who whistled?

I warn you, speak up or your neighbor will get it.

You hear me, Simonot? It wasn't me, sir.

And cowards to boot!

What a class this year!

I've known idiots before, but at least they were polite!

They kept their heads down and didn't get caught.

And you -you call that clean? You made it filthier!

Go to your seat and copy this down. Your parents will pay the price.

Poor France will be in sorry shape in ten years!

Everyone swipes money from their parents. Maybe, but it isn't easy.

I bet even Mauricet does it.

Hey, Mauricet, we want to ask you something.

Where'd you get those fancy glasses? I bought them.

Did you pinch the money from your mom or your dad?

Don't pretend you don't go through their pockets.

You're the louse who squealed on me today!

You're a louse, Mauricet!

Your days are numbered.

You'll get yours!

I'll never finish my homework tonight.

Sourpuss is a real asshole. That's his job.

Still, I'm gonna smash his face in before I go to the army!

See you.

''I deface the classroom walls. ''

Evening, Mother. Evening.

Where's the flour? What flour?

Didn't you buy what I told you to?

Where's the list I left you? I lost it.

No wonder you get such bad grades.

Go get my slippers.

In the bedroom, under the bed.

I need that flour. Go get it right away.

They had to use forceps.

Seems it runs in the family. Same thing happened to her mother.

That means nothing. With Fanny it was over in ten minutes.

But if they hadn't done a caesarian for the last one, I wouldn't be talking to you now.

And my sister, with one every year. Can you imagine?

The doctor warned her.

She had to have surgery. There was blood everywhere.

Always running, eh, son? I got bawled out 'cause of this flour.

You mustn't make your mother mad. You have to handle her gently.

What's that? A fog light.

I'm gonna try it out at the race on Sunday.

Look at your little flour boy here. That's not funny!

I thought it was.

Where's my change? I need it for lunch at school.

Ask your father.

Let's have it!

I sense a storm coming.

Dad, I need some money- What?

I just need 1 ,000 francs.

Which means you're hoping for 500, meaning you really need 300, so here's a hundred.

All right, 500. But your mother should pay for that.

Where are the scissors?

Where are the scissors Stop playing the clown. And what are you laughing about?

This is no time for homework. We're about to eat.

She's right. There's a time and a place for everything.

Where'd you get this pen?

I traded for it.

You've been doing a lot of trading lately.

What's that? Do you smell it?

It's fish. Smells promising.

Ask your mother if the dishtowel's on fire.


For a laugh.

You can clear the table, son.

Your cousin called.

His wife's expecting again. Four kids in three years?

Like rabbits. It's disgusting.

Speaking of kids, what'll we do with this one for the summer?

Summer camp ain't for poodles. And he'd be with others his age.

We don't have to decide yet. The sooner, the better.

Don't pull too hard.

Nice, huh? ''Lions Club.''

What's going on here? Hey, careful.

Where would you like to drive this Sunday?

The club asked me to plan the route.

I want to rest on Sunday. Where?

At my girlfriend's. What'll the guys think?

Listen, I've had enough.

Housework all morning and - And the ''touch'' system all afternoon.

What? Your typewriter or someone else's.

Antoine, time for bed now.

'Night, Dad. 'Night, Mother.

You're such an idiot sometimes.

You've got no sense ofhumor.

You're wasting your time on that crap.

Don't forget the garbage, and turn your light out.

I make contacts at the races. You'll see. I'll be VPone day.

You'll never be VP. They like you puttering along where you are.

Our evening programming has ended. Good night, ladies and gentlemen.

Get up, quick. We didn't hear the alarm.

''I deface the classroom walls. ''

There's no sock left around all these holes.

Those have had it. Buy some new ones.

All your others are dirty.

I gave you money to buy sheets for the boy's bed, remember?

He prefers his sleeping bag. Right, son?

Sure, it keeps me warm.

You're still here?

See you.

No need to run. We're gonna be late.

We'll have to sneak in and we'll get in trouble.

Take it easy. Why?

Sourpuss said he wouldn't let you back in.

You think he'll do it? Yeah. He can't stand you.

Got any money? Lunch money.

Then just follow me.

What are you up to?

Follow me.

Put your bag behind the door. Will they be safe there?

I leave mine here all the time.

My God, it's Antoine! I'm sure he saw me.

Which one is yours?

The dark-haired one. What's he doing out of school?

You're really gonna get it tonight! She wouldn't dare tell my father.

Wasn't that him? Never saw the guy before.

Then you're safe.

I'm going back to school tomorrow, but I'll need a note.

What are you gonna do? I have an old one I never used.

I'll cut off the date. Here, you can copy it tonight.

What about the handwriting? Copy your mother's.

That'll be hard. She writes really funny.

Don't worry. It'll be all right.

I hope so. See you.

''Dear Sir,

Please excuse

my son Rene

who was sick-''

My son Rene!

Hi, Dad.

Something burning in here again? It's from downstairs.

Set the table for two tonight. Has Mother left?

No, she called to say she'd be home late.

Her boss needs her for year-end inventory.

You and I will have ourselves a real bachelors' dinner.

She said there are eggs around. I know where.

Did you work hard today? Yes.

What did you study? ''The Hare.''

Ah, ''The Tortoise and the Hare.''

No,just ''The Hare.''

Did you do well? I wasn't called on.

You have to raise your hand and get noticed, or you'll never get in the race.

You have to take initiative in life.

By the way, have you thought about your mother's birthday?

It's the 1 7 th. I trust you'll get her something.

Are you listening?

I know what you're thinking:

She's been hard on you lately.

But she's under a lot of pressure.

Put yourself in her place.

Keeping house and working part-time, and this place as cramped as it is.

I'm working on finding us a different place.

Women are always taken advantage of at the office, and they don't know what to do about it.

But she really loves you, you know. Shit!

Where's my Michelin guide? I didn't touch it.

You know I won't tolerate lying!

It's the truth.

I know I put it away yesterday.

It wasn't me.

Things vanish into thin air around here!

It wasn't me.

All right. I'll ask your mother.

Time for bed now.

Don't forget the garbage.

My boss drove me home. Your boss.!

I couldn't very well refuse, could I? I hope you get overtime for that!

I will, at the end of the month.

Those services are usually paid in cash!

Oh, knock it off!

No wonder madame needs to rest on Sunday.

By the way, where's my Michelin guide? How should I know? Ask the boy.

He said he didn't touch it. He lies through his teeth.

Like someone else I know. If you raised him better-

I gave him my name, damn it.! I put food on the table.!

I've had enough of your criticism.!

Fine.! We'll send him to theJesuits or the army orphans.

At least I'd have some peace and quiet.!

You two better eat out till the end of the month.

For that I need a clean shirt!

If you can't wash the shirt, at least wash the collar!

You shouldn't have bought that fog light.

I bought it second-hand.

Go ahead. Open it.

What if it's the gas man?

They give you advance notice.

Morning, sir. I came to see if Antoine's better today.

Better? Why? He missed school yesterday.

You hear that?

Thanks, kid. Good-bye, sir.

You don't seem surprised.

Should I be?

Nothing that boy does surprises me.

I've gotta come up with an excuse. The bigger, the better.

When my mom broke her leg, I told them the whole story, except that she was drunk. I didn't need a note.

Well, I can't use the same story.

And we can't show up together.

Right. You go first.

There you are.

A little extra homework and you get sick, eh?

And your parents fall for it.

Can't wait to see what excuse you wrangled out of them this time.

Let me see your note.

I don't have one. Don't have one?

You think that's how it works? It's not that easy, my friend!

It was... my mother... What about her?

She's dead!

Oh, my gosh.

Sorry, son. I didn't know.

Was she ill? Yes, sir.

You should've told me. You should always confide in your teachers.

Go on now. Get in line.

What excuse did you give him? Leave me alone!

''Better thorns in the woods than...'' Than up your-

If you'd wash your ears out, you'd hear what your classmate is whispering.

Than up your ass.

He's just trying to confuse me. All right, go on.

Now I've lost my place.

''Than flowers in the manger.''

''Than flowers in the manger. Better to have freedom...''

''And constant threat...''

''Than slavery...''

''In eternal April.'' And you're an eternal loafer! You get an F.

I knew it at home.


Never mind, son.


''The Hare,''

byJean Richepin.

Sit down, boys.

I suggest the punishment should be in proportion-

He's exceeded all proportion this time.

Only his parents can be severe enough now.

We'll discuss this tonight.!

What are you gonna do?

I can't live with my parents now after what's happened.

I have to disappear.

Oh, I've done worse than this.

But I'm fed up. I have to get out on my own.

I'll write them a letter.

-Just like that? Yes, it's for the best.

Where will you sleep tonight? I don't know. I don't really care.

I've got an idea.

Meet me in an hour at Place Pigalle. Okay.

It's my uncle's old printing plant.

The machines were so heavy, the floor caved in.

Think it might cave in some more?

No, it already hit bottom. You'll be warm here.

Here's your mattress, and this'll be your pillow.

Damn, it's heavy!

You can just walk around until midnight.

Keep my briefcase for me. Give it back to me tomorrow.


''Dear Mother and Dad, I understand -'' Misspelled, of course.

''how wrong it was to lie - ''

I'll bet he does. And why kill me off instead of you?

Personal preference, obviously.

''We can't go on living together.

Therefore I'll try my luck alone in Paris or elsewhere.

I'll prove I can become a man.

One day I'll come back and we'll discuss all that's happened.

Love, Antoine.''

So you think it's normal for him to hate me?

You've been so hard on him. He gets on my nerves.

Can you help me catch him? Of course, ma'am.

Is that your sister? Never seen her before.

Is the dog hers? I don't know.

May I help? Certainly. The more, the better.

What's his name? I have no idea.

Beat it, kid. She asked me first!

You heard me!


Doinel, I bet you got it last night.

Not at all. Everything was fine.

Go on now.

Parents spoil these kids rotten.

Need some help over there?

The last question, even easier this time.

Tip of the tongue between your teeth, as if you had a lisp.

I can't do it, sir. Not everyone can make their tongue do that.


Go sit down.



Answer this question.

Be seated.

Frochot, you're in charge till I return.

We don't know what to do with him anymore.

My dear lady, you deserve better.

My poor darling! Are you all right?

Where did you spend the night? In a printing plant.

I don't care if he's last in his class. I just want him to behave.

Then we're agreed.

Maybe it's something in his glands.

You mustn't catch cold.

There! Now off to bed.

I'm not tired, Mother.

You'll be more comfortable in our bed.

I was your age once too, you know. You kids always forget that.

I was stubborn too and didn't want to confide in my parents.

I preferred writing in my diary.

No one's ever read it. I'll show it to you one day.

Once when I was your age, we were on vacation, and I ran away with a young farm boy.

Puppy love. They caught us right away.

Mother made me promise never to see him again.

She never told my father.

I cried and cried, but I obeyed her, because you should always obey your mother.

You and I can share some little secrets.

Tell me, what did you mean in your letter when you said:

''We'll discuss all that's happened''?

My misbehaving, and my bad grades.

So talk to me now.

I just can't concentrate.

I want to quit school and earn a living.

That's nonsense! Don't you understand?

If you knew how sorry I am I stopped after high school!

And your father never even finished!

It's hurting his career now.

I know they teach you a lot of useless stuff in school.

Algebra... science.

Nobody uses that stuff in real life.

But what about French?

One always has letters to write.

Here's another secret you and I can share.

If your next French essay is in the top five, I'll give you 1 ,000 francs!

But you mustn't tell your father.

''The dying man pulled himself up and gave his children a piercing look.

The hair bristled on the nape ofhis neck.

His eyes lit up.

A breath caressed his face and made it sublime.

He raised his hand in anger and shouted Archimedes' famous last words:

Eureka.! I have found it. ''

Describe a serious event you witnessed that involved you personally.

Eureka.! I have found it.

''My Grandfather's Death. ''

The boss is sleeping with the new secretary.

She's well-armed, that girl, and she used it to get promoted to executive secretary.

She has all the necessary talents for the position.

Now I'll have to watch out for her. Pillow talk and all that.

I showed her how to fudge a bit on travel expense reports.

She'd only stay in three-star hotels.

By the way, I still haven't found my Michelin guide.

One of you must have it.

Don't start with your Michelin guide! I don't like mysteries!

You left something on the stove again. No, I didn't.

What's got into him?

This is the last straw!

Stop shouting and get some water!

I've had it, you little idiot!

What got into you, lighting a candle in there?

It was for Balzac.

What do you take me for? It was for my French essay.

Leave him alone. He promised me something.

What? To collect on our fire insurance?

One candle won't do the job. Here, try this!

As long as you're living under this roof, you'll do as you're told.

Otherwise we've no other choice but the military academy.

Know what that is? They'll keep you in line, all right.

Know what we'll do to lighten things up?

We'll all go to the movies.

Terrific. Great way to teach him a lesson.

Did you write a good essay? Not bad.


You have to trust us. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

No more surprises! So are you taking us to the movies?

What's showing? Paris Belongs to Us.

If this is a plot... Unless you'd rather stay home.

Me? I've worked hard. I deserve to go out.

But they're not fond of arsonists at the theater.

I never had strawberry ice cream before!

Must have been out of season.

She sure had... you know... she had quite a...

That's all you noticed, eh?

A lot of class!

Having a good time back there?

I really liked the movie.

It wasn't funny.

But it had depth.

What? It had depth.

The movie.

Here we are.

General Daredevil and his army!

You're gonna wake the whole building.

Look what pretty legs your mother has.

Home sweet home. A bit smoky, eh?

Sweetie, get the garbage. Be a good boy.

See? I've won him over. I hope I won't regret it.

Doinel, your paper is first today only because I decided to return them in order beginning with the worst.

Your search for perfection led you straight to an F, my friend.

To those less familiar with Balzac, what we have here is A Sinister Affair.

That Doinel chose to write about his grandfather's death was his right.

We know he doesn't hesitate to sacrifice his relatives, if necessary.

It's not true, sir. I didn't cheat.

Judge for yourselves.

''The dying man pulled himself up and gave his children a piercing look.

The hair bristled on the nape of his neck.

His eyes lit up. A breath caressed his face and made it sublime.

He raised his hand in anger and shouted Archimedes' famous last words:

Eureka! I have found it!''

Well, I've found it, too, Doinel.

You're a miserable plagiarist! It's not true, sir.

Go to the principal's office this instant.

Take this and go with him.

I don't want to see you back here this term!

What are you doing?

I sit next to him. I would have seen it if he had copied.

You want to be suspended as well? I wouldn't mind.

More insolence!

Get out! I don't want to. It's cold outside.

Get out of here! This is illegal.

I'll show you who makes the law here!

Illegal, huh?

Did you take him to the principal? No, he ran away.

I socked him in the jaw and took off.

What about you?

Sourpuss was furious. I'm suspended till after Christmas.

Poor guy. I'm sorry.

I can't go home now. That's for sure.

My father said he'd send me to the academy.

What academy? Something to do with the military.

You'll have a uniform. Besides, there's a future in the army.

Maybe, but not for me. If only it were the navy!

I've never seen the ocean.

I've seen the English Channel, the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean, but not the North Sea.

Come on, stay at my place. We'll manage.

Holy cow, a horse!

One of my father's souvenirs.

This place is huge.

You can sleep here. No one will know.

What about your parents?

They never come in here.

My mother drinks, and my father spends all day at the races.

First off, we've got to think of a way to make some money.

Right, that's the first thing to do.

Right. Meanwhile, I'll take an advance on my inheritance.

Don't make any noise. My mother's out there somewhere.

Anyone there?

Good day, ma'am!

Little wretch!

Have you seen your mother lately? Yes, when I came home from school.

She makes sure she's never home when I am.

She must be up to something.

Where's the fruit?

Take this.

Heavens, 9:30! I'll be late to the club.

Hurry up, or we'll miss the newsreel.

Boy, I'm thirsty!

Damn! It's empty.

Your turn. Hurry up.

What did you get? Twelve?

My old man!

Help me shake the blankets to get rid of the smoke.

That's enough.

What's this? It's a smokehouse in here!

It's like a gambling joint!

I'm taking the cost of three cigars out of your allowance.

What's this? Bucephalus is not a coatrack.

He's worth a million at least. A real work of art.

I'll only get rid of him if I'm forced to.

Now put the lights out and go to sleep.

Good night, Dad.

Not bad.

Oh, my gosh!

Let me see your Michelin guide. A million would really do it.

It's my dad's horse. He'd kill me for sure.

Don't be a wimp. We could head for the beach, set up a boat business, and get everyone off our backs.

We've got to decide. There's one in my dad's office.

Then let's get it.

We can't sell it. They're all numbered.

But we can hock it. My mom has hocked everything we own.

How much? Ten percent.

Okay. A thousand in advance.

No, when you've got the money. Trusting guys, aren't you?

Give us back our machine! Where do you think you're going?

I thought you were down there. Sure you did.

Anyway, it's no go. They want to see a receipt.

Then give it back.

Fine, but I want 500 for my trouble. We don't have it.

You must have something. Three hundred and we're even.

We're broke. I don't work for nothing.

I'll keep it as a deposit. The hell you will! It's ours!

Give it back or I'll slug you. Hands off!.

It's no more yours than mine.

There's a cop. Let's ask him.

Fine, keep the damned thing, you little shits.

I'm tired of carrying this! I had my turn.

My dad's gonna know it was me. It was your idea.

It was yours, asshole! Come on!

I don't care. I'm leaving it here. Are you nuts?

I've got to take it back to the office at least.

But I'm gonna wear a hat in case the night watchman sees me.

Come on, take it back for me.

No, it wasn't my idea.

You're a real asshole. At least hold it while I put on my hat.

And wait for me outside.

Well, if it isn't Doinel's son. I must be seeing things!

Put that down. Boy, is your daddy gonna love this!

I'll show them I know my job.

I'm warning you, don't try anything.

I don't like little punks like you.

Mr. Doinel, forgive me for bothering you.

You better come here, sir.

Let's say it's a surprise... but not a pleasant one.

Don't touch that hat!

It's no party I'm taking you to this time.

The games are over. Your mother and I will finally have some peace.

Take a good look at your pal, 'cause you won't be seeing him again for a while.

Maybe this'll straighten you out. This had to end sooner or later.

If I had done this at your age, my father would have killed me!

May we see the chief?

We've tried everything: kindness, persuasion, punishment.

But we never beat him, mind you.

Sometimes the good old ways - Of course.

But his mother and I aren't like that.

We gave him a lot of freedom. Too much, perhaps.

And with both of us working - You know how it is.

Yes, I'm a father too.

I must admit it's not always easy.

If only he'd talk to us.

But when we talk to him, he's a thousand miles away.

You think he's listening now?

Here's how I found him with the typewriter.

Who knows what goes on in that head of his!

Take this boy's statement.

Vagrancy and theft.

Come with me.

What have you decided?

We can't take him back home now. He'll just run away again.

Perhaps you could place him somewhere, like a camp in the country?

And put him to work, 'cause he won't study anymore.

We can try the Observation Center.

It's well organized, and he'll learn a skill.

It'll do him good. Assuming there's room, of course.

And you'd have to transfer your parental rights.

Yes, to the juvenile justice system.

He'll appear in juvenile court tomorrow.

You or your wife must be present.

Did anyone see you enter the building?

''I hereby declare that, having entered the premises...''

''...a typewriter.''

Sign here.

Charles, he's all yours.

This way.

You take him from here. I'm going home.

What did you do?

I ran away from home.

What about you?

Oh, you know...

Here come the girls.

I saw a police station in a movie once. It was a lot cleaner.

I saw one that was a lot dirtier. I've seen more cheerful ones.

The coach is here.

Put on your jacket.

Tie, belt and shoelaces. Empty your pockets.

Sign here.

Sign here.

We could try taking him back if we had to, but he'd have to change his ways entirely.

If only you could scare some sense into him, Your Honor.

That's not my role. We can't control him.

Perhaps you exercise control too inconsistently.

Is it true he was left home alone for an entire weekend?

My husband belongs to a racing club.

We might have left him home alone.

Besides, he hates sports.

He prefers to hole up in a theater for hours, ruining his eyes.

What does your husband think? It's his son, after all.

Well, no, he isn't.

He married me when the boy was small.

He deserves credit for that.

I shouldn't have told you that. On the contrary.

I think we'd best put the boy in an observation center.

Could it be near the seashore, Your Honor?

It's not a vacation resort, ma'am.

I'll do my best, depending on what's available.

He'll stay there a few months while I study his case.

Then we'll make a decision.

Believe me, this change can only do him good.

Good-bye, Your Honor.


Why are you in here? Oh, you know. What about you?

I messed up. I stole a typewriter.

A typewriter? That wasn't too smart.

No wonder you got caught. They all have serial numbers.

See that big guy over there? He stole tires off cars.

Whenever I'd cry, my father would imitate me on his violin,just to bug me.

But one day I snapped and just knocked him out cold.

Good for you. If my old man did that to me, I'd kill him.

Look.! Who's that guy?

He escaped a week ago, but they got him.

Around here, to escape is bad enough, but to get caught is worse.

What are you doing there? Two lines, on the double!

What are you up to there? Now march!

Show me your bread.


I see you started already.

Bring your bread and plate over here.

Put them down.

Right hand or left?

Left, sir.

No talking.!

This is for you.

I bet they'd catch you, and I won.

So what? I lived it up for five days, and I'm ready to try it again first chance I get.

What are you doing there?

Kanayan, your turn to see the psychologist.

If she drops her pen, pick it up, but don't look at her legs, or else it goes in your file.

What file?

You know, what everyone thinks of you: the judge, the doctor, even your neighbors back home.

I know mine by heart.

It says I'm unstable, with perverted tendencies.

What if I talk nonsense just to confuse them?

Then it's the funny farm or boot camp.

Why did you return the typewriter?

Well, since I couldn't sell it or anything, I got scared.

I don't know why I returned it. Just 'cause.

It seems you stole 1 0, 000 francs from your grandmother.

She had invited me for her birthday.

I thought since she's old and doesn't eat much, she doesn't need the money.

She was going to die soon.

So, since I knew where she kept her dough, I swiped some.

I knew she wouldn't notice, and she didn't.

She gave me a nice book that day.

But my mother, she used to go through my pockets.

I left my pants on the bed that night, and she must have found the money in my pocket, 'cause next day it was gone.

Later, she mentioned it and I had to confess where I got it.

And then she took the nice book away my grandmother gave me.

One day I asked for it back, and I found out she'd sold it.

Your parents say you're always lying.

Oh, I lie now and then, I suppose.

Sometimes I'd tell them the truth and they still wouldn't believe me, so I prefer to lie.

Why don't you like your mother?

Well, first she sent me to live with a wet nurse.

Then, when they had no more money, they sent me to my grandmother.

But she got old and couldn't take care of me anymore, so, when I was eight, I went back to live with my parents.

I could tell Mother didn't like me.

She was always yelling at me for no reason.

There were fights at home, and I overheard that my mother had me before she was married.

And she had a fight with my grandmother once.

That's when I found out that she had wanted to have an abortion.

It's thanks to my grandmother that I was born.

Have you ever slept with a girl?

No, but some friends of mine have.

They told me where the hookers hang out.

So I went and tried to pick up some girls, but they all yelled at me so I got scared and I left.

I went back a couple times.

Once a man saw me and asked me what I was doing there.

He was North African. So I told him.

I guess he knew a lot of women, and he said he knew one who liked guys my age.

So he took me to her hotel, only she wasn't there that day.

We waited an hour or two, but she didn't show up, so I left.


Don't look for your father. I came alone.

Is it that way?

Your letter to your father hurt him very much.

You were naive to think he wouldn't show it to me.

In spite of appearances, we're a devoted couple, and it wasn't smart to remind him of some unhappy days I went through.

Thanks to him, you have a name.

We were ready to take you back, but the neighbors' gossip put an end to that.

You must have told everyone in the neighborhood!

I never said a word, Mother.

But I'm used to it. I've been criticized by imbeciles all my life.

Anyway, that's all I had to tell you.

And don't go crying to your father.

He said to let you know he's washed his hands of you completely.

All you're good for now is reform school or a labor center.

You wanted to earn your living?

Now we'll see how you like it.