Haunted by Emily…a play

Scene 8

(A path in town a few weeks later. On the stage apron, before the closed curtain- VINNIE, rushing past with a basket, is stopped by a heavily veiled SUE. EMILY chases ineffectually after.)

(Shakes a newspaper at her)

What is this about giving Mrs. Todd our property? The patrimony of the children’s generation?

Sue, Sue, if we met with our deserts we would receive nothing. It’s avarice to hoard. You are past correction, Vinnie.

(Desperate, guilty, looks around for help – there’s none)

I’m sure that’s impossible!

(SUE puts the paper in front of her nose)

It says so right here under “Property Transfers”. Property transfers have to be publicized, Vinnie.


But it can’t be. Mrs. Todd said – she lied to me.

She dropped so low in my regard I heard her hit the ground. Accused thou wert! Partake the infamy!

She lied to you? Well of course she lied to you, Vinnie! That woman’s black with sin! She’s brought a sword into this family!

Poverty be justifying for so foul a thing. I can defeat the rest but you defeat me, Susan.

I thought – not a transfer exactly – just we can’t have any building.

(More firmly, knowing she’ll be agreed with)

No building on the meadow.

(Very satisfied)

I thought Mr. Hills was handling your business, Vinnie. I thought you agreed you needed Mr. Hills.

Oh, Susie, this is dangerous! Think flowers cry for dew? No, they cry for sunlight, though it scorches them, scathes them! They are through with peace!

(Very meek)

None of us want building. I thought we were all agreed.

And of course you can’t read documents without your glasses. A clever hussy could get you to sign anything.

Oh, Sue, Sue! For a beam from your brown eyes I would give a pearl. We’re of injury too innocent to know when it is passed.


I don’t have glasses. My health has always been perfect.

Why then it’s a case of fraud. It’s a case for the police. We’re going straight to Mr. Hills!

(Commandeers VINNIE)

I’m nothing but a hard heart of stone, Susie, and if mine is stony, yours is stone upon stone for you never yield. Are we going to ossify, Susie? Then how will it be? A lie is vocal when we die.

(SUE sweeps unseeing past her, puts her arm through VINNIE’ s and bears her away.)

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