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Viewing Single Post From: ATWT: 1/30/70 Script Transcription
Matt
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ACT IV

BOOKSHOP LIVING ROOM. MORNING, SHORTLY AFTER BREAKFAST. LIZ IS READING A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ABOUT THE MURDER. BRING IN PAUL FROM TEH BEDROOM AREA. HE IS PUTTING ON HIS COAT AND TIE.

LIZ
-- I must have read this article about Tom and Michael Shea a dozen times -- the words are all running together -- and I still can't believe it. (READS) "Grandson of Prominent Attorney Held for Stepfather's Murder." Oh, no, Paul -- it just couldn't happen. (BEAT) But it did.

PAUL
I feel the same way about it. Working in a hospital, you keep seeing strange behavior by people you'd never expect it from -- but after a while you learn to accept it -- to believe that almost anybody is capable of doing almost anything. It's a terrying thought, but -- (POINTS TO NEWSPAPER) -- well, you're right -- it did happen. (KISSES HER CHEEK) 'Bye, dear. Unless one of my patients decides to germinate a new and previously undiscovered disease, I should be home by five o'clock.

LIZ
Oh, wonderful. I'll pick up some steaks and fix us a lovely --

PAUL
You will do nothing of the kind. When a young lady achieves your condition, she is required only to eat dinners -- not to fix them. Tonight I will prepare the gourmet delights.

LIZ
We'll starve.

PAUL
Now just a minute. My reputation as a chef --

(THERE IS AN ANXIOUS KNOCKING ON THE DOOR, PAUL OPENS IT. BRING IN AMANDA. SHE HOLDS AN OPENED NEWSPAPER)

AMANDA
Liz -- Paul -- did you see this? About --

LIZ
Yes, we saw it. How tragic.

AMANDA
The Hughes family -- they -- they've become my family. They've been so good to me. How -- how could this happen to them? (LOOKS AT THE PAPER) -- "Held for Stepfather's Murder." (TO PAUL) Can they print that? They don't know he did it, do they?

PAUL
They can print the news. If Tom has been arrested on suspicion of murder, they can print that.

LIZ
How is Nancy? The Hughes? When did you hear about this?

AMANDA
Last night. Don brought me home from dinner. We were all alone in the kitchen -- the family -- having such a nice time when Bob called.

LIZ
Grandpa Hughes? How is he taking it?

AMANDA
I don't know. He's gone to bed when Bob called. They decided not to tell him last night. I guess he must know by now.

PAUL
You didn't see the family this morning?

AMANDA
No. I left the house early, and had breakfast at the coffee shop. I -- didn't want to be in the way there.

LIZ
I know how you felt. When you're a guest -- no matter how close you are to the family -- there are times when you just don't want to intrude on their private grief.

PAUL
(LOOKS AT HIS WATCH. PATS AMANDA SYMPATHETICALLY) I'm terribly sorry, Amanda. If there's anything I can do -- I'll be at the hospital. (TO LIZ, KISSING HER AGAIN TENDERLY) Have a good day, Liz.

LIZ
You, too, dear. (PAUL EXITS) Sit down, Amanda. You don't have to open the bookshop for a few minutes. Could I fix you a cup of tea? (AMANDA SHAKES HER HEAD AS SHE SITS DOWN) In England, we believe a cup of tea solves everything. (A BEAT) Do you think I should call Nancy? Or do you think every time the telephone rings in the Hughes house they feel a stab of fear?

AMANDA
They might.

LIZ
A note would be better. You could take it when you go home tonight, couldn't you?

AMANDA
Yes. (A BEAT) Imagine -- arresting Tom Hughes. He's the least violent person I've ever met.

LIZ
Well, they say that under certain conditions anyone is capable of violence. How do we know what pressures Tom may have been under?

AMANDA
Liz, are you implying he really did this? (INDICATES THE PAPER)

LIZ
No, of course, not, I'm just saying that you can't rule it out. (BEAT) I've known for some time now that all wasn't well with Tom -- and so has his family.

AMANDA
Well -- yes. I knew that, too.

LIZ
Ever since I first came to America and stayed at the Hughes' home there have been problems with him. When I moved in, he moved out, you know. He refused to share a room with his father.

AMANDA
But that doesn't mean --

LIZ
It means that he could be a very disturbed young man. And he was in Vietnam and he was wounded. Who knows what the war may have done to him?

AMANDA
In many ways, he and Donald are so much alike. Nancy calls them the "different" ones in the Hughes family.

LIZ
Yes, they're "different" all right. Don is the only one of Nancy's children who really broke away.

AMANDA
I don't think any of them ever felt it necessary to "break away". They're adults. They can accept their parents as friends -- and love them as equals. You only run away from a family when you've never learned to accept them as people -- not just authority. I think Chris and Nancy have been strong, wise parents.

LIZ
Their strength didn't work with Tom.

AMANDA
Well, in Tom's case they're only his grandparents. I guess Tom is the product of a broken home, wouldn't you say?

LIZ
And a broken home has produced -- this -- ? (INDICATES NEWSPAPER. AMANDA FROWNS, SAYS NOTHING). My goodness, look at the time.

AMANDA
Didn't you say you have an appointment?

LIZ
I do indeed -- for two-thirty. I don't think I can make it.

AMANDA
Certainly you can, if you hurry. I'll get your coat. (AS AMANDA GOES FOR LIZ'S COAT, LIZ LOOKS UNEASY AND CONCERNED. AMANDA BRINGS BACK THE COAT, HOLDS IT FOR HER) Here, now take a cab and you'll be fine.

LIZ
Frankly, Mandy, I'm not sure I want to keep this appointment.

AMANDA
Why? Isn't it important to you?

LIZ
(BEAT) I really don't know whether it has any value for me or not. (BEAT) I really don't know. (MAKES HER DECISION) Well, at least it's a nice day to get out in the fresh air -- so sure, I'll go.

TAKE HER. TAKE AMANDA, PUZZLED. AND TAKE IT OUT.
MUSIC: BRIDGE




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