Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Studio One
Show: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Date: Oct 07 1947

CAST:

ANNOUNCER
HOST, Fletcher Markle
FRANCIE, thoughtful young girl, coming of age
KATIE, Francie's mother, strong-willed but loving
JOHNNY, Francie's father, the good-natured alcoholic
MISS TYNMORE, the piano teacher
NEELEY, Francie's little brother
McGARRITY, the understanding saloon keeper
MISS GARDNER, the snooty teacher
AUNT SISSY, the aging good-time gal
UNION MAN
HAUSER, the creepy grocer
WOMAN, at the factory
1ST GIRL
2ND GIRL
BEN BLAKE, ambitious
HARDWIG, at the clipping bureau
ANITA, Francie's co-worker
LEE RHYNOR, the small town boy
LIBRARIAN (1 line)
SHOPGIRL (1 line)
MRS. FOOTMAN (1 line)
FOOTMAN, deli owner (2 lines)
and various CROWD VOICES

ANNOUNCER:

This is STUDIO ONE at CBS.

MUSIC:

FANFARE ... THEN UNDER--

LEE:

Gosh. All my life I've dreamed of seeing the Brooklyn Bridge.

FRANCIE:

I'm glad we came.

LEE:

What's it like in Brooklyn, Francie?

FRANCIE:

Oh, that's hard to say. All kinds of people live there. We live over a store. But there's a tree in the backyard. Or there was. I liked that tree. I don't know whether it grows any place but Brooklyn. But it's a tree that likes poor people, mama always said.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

With a moment from Betty Smith's "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," CBS invites you to STUDIO ONE, a full-hour Columbia feature from the pages of the world's great storytellers, stories known and loved by millions. And now, to introduce tonight's great story, here is the director of STUDIO ONE, Fletcher Markle.

HOST:

Yes, there's a tree that grows in Brooklyn and Miss Betty Smith wrote a great novel about the people and times of the town where that tree survives, a novel of childhood about a girl named Francie Nolan and her family, which has become one of the best-known and best-loved books of recent years.

MUSIC:

BEHIND HOST--

HOST:

Tonight, for Margaret Lewerth's version for listening of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," we're fortunate in having a very wonderful cast. You'll be hearing Rosemary Rice as Francie, Edwin Bruce as Neeley, with Charlotte Holland and Frank Readick as Katie and Johnny, and Betty Garde as Aunt Sissy.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND--

HOST:

Brooklyn -- across the river from Manhattan, Nineteen Thirteen. Grant Street in the Williamsburg section, where on winter nights, the river dampness coats the brownstone walls; the tired houses lean together; the stoops broken; railings gone. The street is littered with trash and shrill with a dozen different angry dialects. These are the Brooklyn slums.

At the rear of one old building, among a tangle of wash and lines, a tree grows -- a curious, sturdy little tree with pointed leaves that somehow managed to push its way through cement and rubbish to grow in the crowded tenement section. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. It is a tree that likes poor people. High above it, on the top fire escape landing, sits a girl, a stubby pencil and a paper notebook in her hands.

MUSIC:

UP, WISTFUL, TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN BEHIND--

FRANCIE:

Dear diary. Today I am fourteen. So many things are happening. Papa's hands were shaking this morning again, but mama didn't notice. Neeley has a new paper route. Mr. Carney, the junkman, pinched me. I'll take the junk to Mr. Isaacs tomorrow. Though he doesn't pay as much. Miss Gardner didn't like my composition. But, diary, I'll tell you a secret.

MUSIC:

OUT

SOUND:

STREET NOISES, FAR BELOW

KATIE:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Francie!

FRANCIE:

Yes, mama?

KATIE:

(APPROACHES) Francie, are you out here again?

FRANCIE:

Yes, mama.

KATIE:

It's getting damp, dear.

FRANCIE:

I don't mind. I was out here with my tree.

KATIE:

(AMUSED) Your tree. A hundred families live on this block and it's your tree.

FRANCIE:

What makes it live here?

KATIE:

Well-- It's like us, Francie. It has to.

FRANCIE:

But it could grow on Bushwick Avenue, too.

KATIE:

No. It couldn't grow on Bushwick Avenue unless Bushwick Avenue started to run down. The section can be as fine as you please, but if you see a tree like that starting to grow, you know it's gonna be a tenement section soon. That tree knows.

FRANCIE:

(CHUCKLES) Oh, mama!

KATIE:

Now, come! I want you to go to Mr. Sauerwein.

FRANCIE:

(EXCITED) Me? Tonight?

KATIE:

Ten cents for meat, Francie, and you can take this penny for a pickle.

FRANCIE:

Oh, mama, thanks!

KATIE:

And take Neeley with you.

FRANCIE:

Yes, mama.

KATIE:

And, Francie?

FRANCIE:

Yes, mama?

KATIE:

(BEAT) Were you writing in your diary just now?

FRANCIE:

(SOBERLY) Yes.

KATIE:

(BEAT, VERY SERIOUS) Francie, whatever you write, I don't want you to write in it anything about your father.

FRANCIE:

(BEAT) No, mama.

KATIE:

Nothing but what a good man he is. And how much he loves us. Do you understand?

FRANCIE:

(BEAT) Yes. Yes, I understand, mama.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SFX:

DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS; JOHNNY'S FOOTSTEPS IN BEHIND--

JOHNNY:

Katie darling? Where are the kids?

KATIE:

I sent them to the store, Johnny.

JOHNNY:

You knew I was coming home.

KATIE:

I thought you'd be.

JOHNNY:

Well, I haven't been drinking, Katie, so you needn't have been afraid. I come home 'cause there's no place else to go. I didn't get a job tonight.

KATIE:

This is the third week, Johnny. Don't they like you at the Union any more?

JOHNNY:

I'm the best waiter that registers down there and I can sing better than any of them.

KATIE:

Johnny, when the children come in, don't say anything. It's Francie's birthday and we're having meat and a pickle and - and--

JOHNNY:

You're ashamed of me, Katie.

KATIE:

No, Johnny.

JOHNNY:

Well, you ought to be. And the kids, too.

KATIE:

No. It isn't that. (BEAT) But Francie's getting older now. She notices things.

JOHNNY:

(BEAT) I won't say anything, Katie.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

BIZ:

JOHNNY AND FRANCIE LAUGH LOUDLY AND WARMLY

FRANCIE:

Tell me some more, papa, about the fairy palace.

JOHNNY:

Ah, not another word, Prima Donna, till you finish pressing that vest. I can't be late.

FRANCIE:

Where are you working tonight?

JOHNNY:

(AN UNTRUTH) Eh-- Big wedding on Bushwick Avenue.

FRANCIE:

(ENCHANTED) Will the bride wear white and look like a princess?

JOHNNY:

Yeah.

FRANCIE:

And - and there'll be candles and music and a big wedding cake?

JOHNNY:

Uh huh.

FRANCIE:

And you'll bring us home a little box of leftover lobster?

JOHNNY:

Well, uh-- Not tonight, Prima Donna. You see, there are so many people, I don't think there'll be any leftovers.

FRANCIE:

(DISAPPOINTED) Ohhh.

JOHNNY:

But I'll tell ya, tomorrow we'll take a walk over to Shane's Theater. There's a picture of Chauncey Olcott outside we'll look at.

FRANCIE:

Who's he?

JOHNNY:

The greatest singer in the world.

FRANCIE:

Oh, no, he isn't. You are.

JOHNNY:

Oh, Prima Donna, you have the tongue of honey. Where's me vest?

FRANCIE:

Here.

JOHNNY:

Why, it looks like new! Now me derby. (SFX: HAT ON HEAD) My Union button. (SFX: PATS HIS LAPEL) Better than a rose in the lapel! Now, Prima Donna, a goodnight kiss.

FRANCIE:

(LOVINGLY) Oh, yes, papa.

SFX:

THEY KISS

JOHNNY:

(EXHALES) Let's see you smile. There. Why, your eyes are as bright as the stars and as warm as the gaslight. The world's a fine place, Prima Donna, if ya keep that light in 'em. And sing. Remember, sing! (SINGS) H-A-double-R-I-

BOTH:

(SING, HAPPY) G-A-N spells Harrigan!
Proud of all the Irish blood that's in me!
Divil a man can say a word agin' me!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER--

FRANCIE:

(VERY SAD) Diary. Papa didn't have a job tonight again. He pretended it was a wedding on Bushwick Avenue. Why does he pretend? But why do I love him so -- more than any other person in the whole world?

MUSIC:

UP, FOR BRIDGE

KATIE:

Francie, are your hands clean?

FRANCIE:

Yes, mama.

KATIE:

And Neeley's?

FRANCIE:

Uh, he - he's in the parlor waiting.

KATIE:

Now, remember, you and Neeley are just to sit still and listen. You mustn't speak or move while Miss Tynmore gives me the piano lesson. You get what you can and I'll teach you both afterwards.

FRANCIE:

Neeley's awful hungry, mama.

KATIE:

Well, don't you suppose I know that? But when we get a piano because somebody can't afford to move it, I know what to do with it. Even if we haven't any food.

FRANCIE:

Will we have any by tonight?

KATIE:

I don't know, Francie. But I'll tell you a secret. I have about a spoonful of coffee grounds left and the outside of a loaf of bread.

FRANCIE:

(PLEASED) Oh! (EAGER) Could we have it now?

KATIE:

Then what would we have to look forward to? (BEAT, WITH DIGNITY) No. We'll have our music lesson. And then we'll have our supper.

FRANCIE:

(IMPRESSED) It sounds so elegant, mama.

KATIE:

(LIGHTLY) Well, it is elegant. If you use your imagination.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN PIANO SCALES UP AND DOWN KEYBOARD ... THEN OUT

TYNMORE:

And that will be all.

KATIE:

Thank you, Miss Tynmore. It was really interesting the way you taught me.

TYNMORE:

I usually charge twenty-five cents a lesson, Mrs. Nolan, but we agreed you'd do the washing as well as cleaning in my flat for this lesson.

KATIE:

Yes'm.

TYNMORE:

(LOW) And I won't charge extra for the children.

KATIE:

Children?

TYNMORE:

I just want you to know you're not fooling me a bit -- gettin' three lessons for one.

KATIE:

Now, Miss Tynmore--

TYNMORE:

I'm glad to help you out, but times are hard for me, too. Uh, by the way, Mrs. Nolan, where I teach it's customary for the ladies to give me a little coffee afterwards.

FRANCIE:

But, mama--!

KATIE:

Hush, Francie. (TO MISS TYNMORE, QUIETLY) As it happens, we have coffee today. It would be a pleasure.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

FRANCIE:

Neeley's asleep, mama.

KATIE:

That's good. Then he'll forget he missed his supper.

FRANCIE:

Mama, maybe people like us aren't supposed to have things like music lessons.

KATIE:

(FIRMLY) Don't ever let me hear you say that again, Francie. We're supposed to have everything we can. And you're going to, do you hear me? I missed my chance, but you two children are going to do better, and you know why.

FRANCIE:

Why, mama?

KATIE:

Because you're gonna know things. You are going to be educated.

FRANCIE:

(PLEASED) Ohhh. (BEAT) Mama?

KATIE:

Yes?

FRANCIE:

Know something?

KATIE:

What?

FRANCIE:

I think Miss Tynmore was as hungry for that coffee as we were.

KATIE:

(BEAT) I know she was.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SFX:

BUSTLING CITY STREET BACKGROUND

FRANCIE:

Come on, Neeley, we can't stand on the street looking at this window all night.

NEELEY:

I want to look at the fire engine.

FRANCIE:

We'll come back and look at it tomorrow, but we won't get a tree tonight if we don't hurry.

NEELEY:

Are we really gonna get a tree?

FRANCIE:

If other kids can, we can. Besides, we want to surprise papa.

NEELEY:

Why is papa sick, Francie?

FRANCIE:

(DEFENSIVE) He's not sick, do ya hear? He's - he's-- Well, sometimes he's tired and comes home to rest.

NEELEY:

That's not what the kids say.

FRANCIE:

(UPSET) Neeley, don't you ever listen to what kids say. What do they know? We've got the best mother and father in the whole world and nobody can say anything against them. Now, you come on.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

JOHNNY:

Give me another one, McGarrity.

MCGARRITY:

(RELUCTANT) Oh, I don't know, Johnny.

JOHNNY:

You mean me credit's no good?

MCGARRITY:

Your credit's all right -- as far as it goes.

JOHNNY:

Okay. Forget it.

MCGARRITY:

Why aren't ya at work tonight?

JOHNNY:

That's my business.

MCGARRITY:

Aw, come on, Johnny. We been friends a long time. Ya better not take that tone, owin' me money like you do.

JOHNNY:

(SIMPLY) I'm not at work because I haven't a job.

MCGARRITY:

There are plenty of waiters needed Christmas Eve.

JOHNNY:

Yeah. Maybe there are. I'm not one of them. You asked me, I'll tell you. I lost me Union button today.

MCGARRITY:

Lost it?

JOHNNY:

Oh, McGarrity, do I have to spell it? They threw me out.

MCGARRITY:

They did, did they?

JOHNNY:

Yeah. First time in six years a man's been thrown out. I'm unreliable, see?

MCGARRITY:

Ohhh.

JOHNNY:

Me -- best singing waiter they ever had. I'd take any job that came along, but that wasn't good enough. I'm unreliable. Give me another drink, Mac.

MCGARRITY:

Johnny, I run a saloon. A man wants a drink and pays me for it, he can have it, and it ain't my business what he does after that. But you're different, Johnny. You're too good-lookin', in the first place, and singin' comes too easy for ya. Now, if I were you tonight, I'd put down that bottle and get home to my wife and kids.

JOHNNY:

Think I want to tell 'em this, McGarrity?

MCGARRITY:

Well, tell 'em anything. Just -- go home, Johnny. Go on home.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

FRANCIE:

(ENTHUSIASTIC) Merry Christmas, papa!

NEELEY:

Merry Christmas, papa!

FRANCIE:

We've been waiting for you to come home. We have a surprise for you.

NEELEY:

It's a tree! We found it!

FRANCIE:

Never mind that, Neeley. We brought it home and stood it there in the bucket.

NEELEY:

(BEAT) You see? (NO ANSWER)

FRANCIE:

Papa?

JOHNNY:

(DISTRACTED) Er, it's a fine tree, kids.

FRANCIE:

And I like it better like this, without trimmings; don't you, papa? Like it was growing in the woods.

JOHNNY:

Yeah. That's fine. Where's your mother?

FRANCIE:

Oh, she's in the bedroom. Lying down.

JOHNNY:

(CONCERNED) Lying down? What's the matter with her?

FRANCIE:

I don't know, papa. She's just lying down.

JOHNNY:

You kids stay here. I'm going inside.

SFX:

JOHNNY'S FOOTSTEPS TO BEDROOM DOOR WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS ... JOHNNY WALKS SLOWLY INTO BEDROOM

KATIE:

Johnny? I'm glad you're home.

JOHNNY:

Why wouldn't I be? It's Christmas Eve.

KATIE:

I was afraid you'd have to work tonight.

JOHNNY:

Me?

KATIE:

Mm.

JOHNNY:

No. No, no. I got off.

KATIE:

That's good.

SFX:

JOHNNY SITS ON CREAKY MATTRESS

JOHNNY:

What's the matter, Katie?

KATIE:

(UNCONVINCING) Nothing, Johnny. That is, nothing unusual. I - I just got kinda tired today. (HONESTLY) Johnny, I - I didn't tell you before.

JOHNNY:

(REALIZES, WORRIED) Katie!

KATIE:

Johnny, you're here. That's all that matters. Just seeing you makes it right. We'll manage. Hold me tight, Johnny.

JOHNNY:

Darling. (THEY EMBRACE) Then it's pretty rough on ya, huh?

KATIE:

It's the way things go.

JOHNNY:

But your chest is pretty; your hair is dark as the day I met you.

KATIE:

(CHUCKLES)

JOHNNY:

Why did you ever marry me, Katie?

KATIE:

And if I hadn't, that Flanagan girl would have gotten you with her stuck-up ways.

JOHNNY:

You're jealous of her.

KATIE:

Maybe.

JOHNNY:

Aw, Katie darling. There's nobody but you.

KATIE:

(LIKES THE SOUND OF IT) "Nobody but you." (OPTIMISTIC) Things are going to be better for the new baby. Aren't they, Johnny?

JOHNNY:

(SMOOTH) Sure, Katie. They'll be better.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER

FRANCIE:

Diary. Papa's sick again. Next month, graduation. And then -- high school. Now I'll tell you a secret. After high school, I'm going to be a writer. I'm going to write stories and make lots of money so mama won't have to work any more.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

GARDNER:

Frances?

FRANCIE:

Yes, ma'am?

GARDNER:

I've asked you to stay after school because I want to talk to you.

FRANCIE:

Yes, ma'am.

GARDNER:

Where do you live, Frances?

FRANCIE:

Um, Grant Street. Over Footman's delicatessen.

GARDNER:

Mm, I see. You're a very ambitious little girl, aren't you?

FRANCIE:

I - I don't know.

GARDNER:

How old are you?

FRANCIE:

Fourteen.

GARDNER:

Mmmm, that's quite old for a girl to be still in grade school.

FRANCIE:

Mama made me wait to go to school until Neeley was old enough.

GARDNER:

Why did she do that?

FRANCIE:

So we could go together. And other kids wouldn't lick us.

GARDNER:

I see. Frances, I want to talk to you about the compositions you write.

FRANCIE:

Yes, Miss Gardner.

GARDNER:

You write quite nicely. Your papers are neat and your margins are straight.

FRANCIE:

(PLEASED) Yes, Miss Gardner?

GARDNER:

But your subjects! That story about those poor people having no food in the house and taking in music lessons. And the one about having only a penny and buying a dirty pickle. Where in the world would you get sordid ideas like that?

FRANCIE:

Oh, but they're true--! (CATCHES HERSELF) I mean-- (BEAT, QUIETLY) I don't know, Miss Gardner.

GARDNER:

Well, neither do I. And they certainly aren't subjects for literature. Little girls like you should write about the lovely things in life -- the flowers and the sunshine and the grass.

FRANCIE:

I suppose so.

GARDNER:

You should imagine lovely things.

FRANCIE:

Oh, yes. I could imagine lots nicer things.

GARDNER:

Then you try. Certainly can't pass you on these horrid little compositions.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER, TENSE--

NEELEY:

(URGENT) Francie? Francie, I been looking for ya.

FRANCIE:

Miss Gardner wanted to talk about my--

NEELEY:

Francie, come on!

FRANCIE:

Neeley, what's the matter?

NEELEY:

Ya gotta come right away. Papa didn't come home last night or this afternoon and mama's awful worried. She asked me to get ya.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR BRIDGE

FRANCIE:

(WORRIED) It's getting dark, Aunt Sissy.

SISSY:

(CHUCKLES, LIGHTLY) So it is. Well, we'll light the gas.

FRANCIE:

If mama had found him, she'd be home now.

SISSY:

If he's in Williamsburg, your mother'll find him.

NEELEY:

Where could he have gone?

SISSY:

I don't know, but when he comes, he's gonna get a few words from me. Just because he's the handsomest fellow on the block and can sing a song, don't mean he can treat your mother like this. And her feeling the way she does now.

FRANCIE:

(VEHEMENT) Don't you dare anything about papa, Aunt Sissy, or I'll--!

SISSY:

(SURPRISED, BUT IMPRESSED) Why, Francie.

FRANCIE:

(QUIETLY) I'm sorry.

SISSY:

You're right. He is your father. Look, um, doesn't your mother read to you two about this time?

NEELEY:

That's after supper.

SISSY:

Well, I brought some bologna and bread, but, uh, I thought we ought to wait in case they came.

FRANCIE:

I - I couldn't eat now anyhow.

SISSY:

Then let's read! (DISMAYED) Oh, no, not Shakespeare. I don't understand that. We'll read, um-- Well, I got the Police Gazette. That'll be something. (CHUCKLES) Come on, Neeley.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

KATIE:

And he hasn't been in the saloon today, Mr. McGarrity?

MCGARRITY:

No, not for two nights now, Mrs. Nolan.

KATIE:

You'd be telling me the truth?

MCGARRITY:

I'm not saying he doesn't come here, Mrs. Nolan. I'm just saying that I haven't seen him in two days.

KATIE:

Mr. McGarrity, do you believe in God?

MCGARRITY:

I'm a church-going man.

KATIE:

Well, if you really believed in Him, you wouldn't be running a place like this. And if there weren't places like this, my Johnny would be home with me now.

MCGARRITY:

I'm minding your troubles, Mrs. Nolan, or I'd answer you. Your Johnny ain't here. And please to be using the ladies' entrance next time you come.

KATIE:

(GRIM) There'll be no next time, Mr. McGarrity -- for me or mine.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

UNION:

Now, I'm sorry to hear this, Mrs. Nolan, but Johnny hasn't been here at the Union headquarters for a couple of months.

KATIE:

Months? But of course he's come in here. It - it's where he gets his work.

UNION:

Is that what he's been telling ya?

KATIE:

Why, he's never had to tell me any different.

UNION:

Well, he wasn't telling you truth. John Nolan was put out of the Waiters' Union last winter.

KATIE:

Put out?

UNION:

Yeah, around Christmas. Everybody liked Johnny, but--

KATIE:

(QUIETLY) I see. Thank you. You don't have to tell me any more.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SISSY:

Why don't you try to get some sleep, Katie?

KATIE:

How can I?

SISSY:

Well, walking the floor won't do you much good.

KATIE:

Oh, you don't understand, Sissy.

SISSY:

Huh! Don't I?

KATIE:

No, you don't! You've been married three times and there were plenty of others you liked well enough. (BEAT) But Johnny's the only man I've ever wanted.

SISSY:

Yeah. But when I see how he's done by ya--

KATIE:

He - he's done the best he could. That's all any of us can ever do. Johnny isn't made for work.

SISSY:

All right, Katie, if it makes ya feel any better-- But when he walks in this time, I hope you won't be so generous with him.

KATIE:

If he walks in this time, I won't care what he's done or where he's been.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER--

FRANCIE:

Diary. Papa - isn't home yet. It isn't right without him. I want to tell him about my writing. He's the only one who understands.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR AN ACCENT

HAUSER:

(IMPATIENT) Well, what is it? Can't stand here all day.

FRANCIE:

I'm sorry, Mr. Hauser. I want two loaves of leftover bread -- nickel loaves -- and a pound of coffee beans--

HAUSER:

(HEARD IT BEFORE) Yeah, yeah, yeah.

SFX:

HAUSER'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... ASSEMBLES HER ORDER IN BACKGROUND

HAUSER:

(OFF) Er, Francie? Your father come home yet?

FRANCIE:

(UNCONVINCING) My father's on a, uh-- A trip to Canarsie.

HAUSER:

(OFF, SKEPTICAL) Oh, is he now? (CHUCKLES) Oh, I didn't know. (CHUCKLES)

FRANCIE:

(SULLEN) Give me my loaf.

HAUSER:

(OFF) I will, I will. Takes time to measure coffee. Hey, your mother's a pretty woman, Francie.

FRANCIE:

I know that, Mr. Hauser.

SFX:

HAUSER'S FOOTSTEPS RETURN BEHIND--

HAUSER:

(COMING CLOSER) She'd be lonely now if this, er, this "trip to Canarsie" lasted very long.

FRANCIE:

(DEFIANT) My mother's never lonely. Never.

HAUSER:

Maybe she'd - like a little company? I'll bring some cheese and liverwurst. You tell her I say she is pretty.

FRANCIE:

(CURT) Here's your money, Mr. Hauser.

SFX:

MONEY ON COUNTER

FRANCIE:

My mother doesn't want help from you. Nor do any of us. Good day.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SFX:

MUTTERING CROWD BACKGROUND

1ST VOICE:

Who was it? Nolan?

2ND VOICE:

Yeah. Johnny Nolan.

FRANCIE:

(APPROACHES, EXCITED) What is it? What's happened?

3RD VOICE:

Yeah, unconscious.

1ST VOICE:

Drunk?

4TH VOICE:

Exposure, they say.

FRANCIE:

What is it? What are you all doing here?

SISSY:

(OFF, CALLS) Francie!

FRANCIE:

Let me through! Let me through! Aunt Sissy, what is it? Aunt Sissy--?!

SISSY:

Come in here, child. I've been waiting for ya.

SFX:

APARTMENT DOOR SHUTS ... CROWD BACKGROUND OUT

FRANCIE:

They - found papa?

SISSY:

(BEAT) Yes.

FRANCIE:

Is he--? I mean-- Where--? Tell me, Aunt Sissy.

SISSY:

Sergeant McShane came for your mother about twenty minutes ago. They found Johnny this morning, unconscious and suffering from exposure. He's in the hospital. Your mother's with him now.

FRANCIE:

Oh-- Oh, thank goodness. Can we go to him?

SISSY:

(QUICKLY) No, Francie. You and I and Neeley are to stay home.

FRANCIE:

(LOW) Aunt Sissy -- why don't you tell me the truth?

SISSY:

I don't have to, Francie. I never prayed much; I-- I guess the Lord wouldn't listen if I did. But maybe you and Neeley ought to do it now.

MUSIC:

MOURNFUL BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER--

FRANCIE:

(TEARFUL) Diary. I won't have time to tell you things maybe now for a long time, but I'm gonna make you a promise. When I go to high school next year, I'm gonna write just like Miss Gardner said. I'm gonna write just as sure as my tree is down below there. (SOBS) I can't say any more now. The house is full of people and flowers. So many things are happening. But I've made you a promise, diary, and I'm going to keep it.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR BRIEF TRANSITION

KATIE:

(COUNTS) Twenty-seven, twenty-eight, twenty-nine. Eight dollars and twenty-nine cents left.

SISSY:

Is that all?

KATIE:

Mm.

SISSY:

Even with the insurance money?

KATIE:

I had to give Johnny a good funeral, Sissy. I knew the man was robbing me all the time, but it was still the cheapest I could get.

SISSY:

That's water over the dam, Katie. The point is, what now?

KATIE:

We could make out -- if I could work. But with the baby coming--

SISSY:

You can't work, and that's that. There's only one thing to do, Katie, and you might as well face it. Take Francie out of school and let her get her working papers.

KATIE:

No, Sissy! Francie's gonna graduate from grammar school this year. My children are gonna be the first in the Nolan family to get diplomas.

SISSY:

Can ya eat a diploma?! I know this much, Katie. Somebody's got to work or you'll be on the charities' list.

KATIE:

I'll never be there. Never.

SISSY:

Oh, don't be a fool, Katie.

KATIE:

We'll make out somehow. Francie's going to school.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

MCGARRITY:

Good afternoon, Francie. Uh, you are Francie, aren't you?

FRANCIE:

(UNFRIENDLY) Yes.

MCGARRITY:

You know me, don't you?

FRANCIE:

You're Mr. McGarrity who runs the saloon down the block.

MCGARRITY:

That's right. Your father was a good friend of mine.

FRANCIE:

(COOL) I know, Mr. McGarrity.

MCGARRITY:

Now-now-now, come. I've come over here to see you folks this afternoon on a friendly visit, and that's no way to be.

FRANCIE:

What do you want?

MCGARRITY:

I just want to see your mother.

FRANCIE:

She's not home.

MCGARRITY:

Well, she usually gets home about this time, doesn't she?

FRANCIE:

Maybe.

MCGARRITY:

Well, then I'll wait.

SFX:

MCGARRITY SITS DOWN

MCGARRITY:

Hey, you know you're getting real pretty, Francie. Always thought it'd be nice to have a little girl like--

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

KATIE:

(OFF) Francie? Will you come and help me?

FRANCIE:

(URGENT, TO MCGARRITY) Oh, there's mama now. Please, Mr. McGarrity, she doesn't want to see you.

KATIE:

(CLOSER) Francie, will--? (SEES MCGARRITY) Oh, Mr. McGarrity.

MCGARRITY:

(NERVOUS CHUCKLE) At your service, ma'am.

KATIE:

I didn't know you'd be calling on us today. Francie, pull up the shades and light the stove.

MCGARRITY:

Oh, now, I don't want to be putting you to a lot of trouble, ma'am. Just let me take your bundle.

KATIE:

It's what we'd do for anyone. Francie, set my bundle in the kitchen.

FRANCIE:

Yes, mama.

SFX:

KATIE HANDS PAPER-WRAPPED BUNDLE TO FRANCIE WHO WALKS TO KITCHEN

KATIE:

It was nice of you to send a wreath, Mr. McGarrity.

MCGARRITY:

The least I could do. Johnny Nolan was my friend.

KATIE:

There's no doubt about that. And the business he brought you. But he was a good man, Mr. McGarrity. Never forget that -- a good man and a good father.

MCGARRITY:

Mrs. Nolan, I came here-- Well, I came here because I--

KATIE:

Yes, Mr. McGarrity?

MCGARRITY:

Well, Mrs. Nolan, I know how things are with you. All these years, I've been admiring the way you held your head up; smiled; never afraid. I've been admiring that for a long time.

KATIE:

You needn't say more. (BEAT, BITTER) I'm surprised you'd come to John Nolan's house after seeing what your drink did to him.

MCGARRITY:

Well, Mrs. Nolan, I'm just a businessman. I-- Well, I just have one more thing to tell ya and then I'll be leaving. I need some help, back kitchen -- cuttin' up cheese, spreadin' the bread. I thought maybe your boy and girl, after school-- I'd pay 'em four dollars each a week.

KATIE:

(STUNNED) Four dollars?

MCGARRITY:

Eight for the two.

KATIE:

(BEAT, FIRMLY) No, thank you, Mr. McGarrity. No child of mine will be working in a saloon. Even in the back kitchen. Good day, Mr. McGarrity.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

KATIE:

And you were listening, Francie?

FRANCIE:

How could I help it? Mama, he doesn't seem such a bad man.

KATIE:

He sells hard drink, Francie.

FRANCIE:

But in the back kitchen-- Eight dollars a week-- He's trying to be kind.

KATIE:

When I have to accept advances from the saloonkeeper, then I'll know Katie Nolan is through. (BEAT) That settles it, Francie. You'll get your working papers.

FRANCIE:

(SADLY) Oh.

SFX:

FRANCIE STARTS TO WALK OFF

KATIE:

Where are you going?

FRANCIE:

I'm going to get my diary, mama.

KATIE:

What for?

FRANCIE:

I made a promise in it I've got to tear out.

KATIE:

Was it about school, Francie?

FRANCIE:

It doesn't matter now. (BEAT, HORRIFIED) Why, mama--

KATIE:

What's the matter?

FRANCIE:

Look out the air shaft!

KATIE:

What?

FRANCIE:

By the fire escape.

KATIE:

What's ailing you, Francie?

FRANCIE:

The tree! They're taking down the tree!

MUSIC:

SOMBER, IN BG--

FRANCIE:

My tree--

KATIE:

(CHUCKLES) Francie-- It isn't your tree. And of course they're taking it down. And high time, too. Taking space that could go for something useful.

FRANCIE:

(LOW, MISERABLE) Useful. Something useful. I guess that's right, mama. Things have always gotta be useful. Or there's no place for them.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A SOMBER CURTAIN

ANNOUNCER:

"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," by Betty Smith, is tonight's presentation from STUDIO ONE at CBS. We pause now for station identification. This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.

SFX:

PAUSE FOR STATION IDENTIFICATION

MUSIC:

A BRIEF FANFARE ... THEN UNDER--

ANNOUNCER:

Continuing from STUDIO ONE at CBS, Part Two of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" as adapted by Margaret Lewerth from the novel by Betty Smith. Featured tonight -- Rosemary Rice as Francie and Charlotte Holland as Kate.

MUSIC:

FILLS A PAUSE ... THEN UNDER--

FRANCIE:

Diary. Things are different now after papa's death -- even though it's only a few months. I - feel different. As if I were a woman like mama and Aunt Sissy. The street is changing, too. You hear bad words and there're lots of fights. Mama says the neighborhood is getting run-down. Tomorrow, I start to work. Maybe it'll be all right. I try to walk the long way so I won't see the school. I feel grown-up. But mama won't let me cut my hair. She says it's a woman's crowning glory and I have to wear it in braids around my head.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A BRIEF BRIDGE

SFX:

SWEATSHOP BACKGROUND ... WOMEN MURMUR, ET CETERA

WOMAN:

You've got the idea now, little girl.

FRANCIE:

I can do it.

WOMAN:

Wrapping stems and artificial flowers ain't much of a job and it won't last long, so don't knock yourself out.

FRANCIE:

I'll do what I can.

WOMAN:

Hey, let me give you a tip. I wouldn't talk like that. The girls don't like a goody-good.

1ST GIRL:

(PAUSE, TO OTHER GIRLS, CATTY) Hah, she has no tongue, new girl.

2ND GIRL:

She's too busy watchin' the clock.

1ST GIRL:

No, she ain't. She's tryin' to make a hit with the boss.

2ND GIRL:

Maybe she's already made a hit with him.

GIRLS:

(LAUGH)

1ST GIRL:

Hey, new girl! Ya like it here?

FRANCIE:

Yes. I like it very much, thank you.

1ST GIRL:

(TO GIRLS) New girl likes it here!

2ND GIRL:

Yeah? What do ya know?

1ST GIRL:

(TO FRANCIE) Ah, who ya kiddin'?

FRANCIE:

I do like it here. If I'm going to work, I might as well work here.

1ST GIRL:

If you're gonna work? What else do ya think you'd be doin'?

FRANCIE:

(BEAT) Well, I only meant--

1ST GIRL:

New girl don't know her mind. (TAUNTING) New girl don't know her mind!

GIRLS:

(LAUGH, THEN FALL SILENT BEHIND--)

FRANCIE:

(UPSET) Now, you listen to me! Why does it have to be like this? Just because all of us are poor? Just like the street I live on; everybody quarreling and nagging and hating everybody else. Why? It's not gonna get ya any more that way.

1ST GIRL:

(TAKEN ABACK) New girl likes big words.

FRANCIE:

Yes. I like words. All kinds of words that mean kindness and gentleness and friendship. I like those words -- and you're not gonna change me, any of ya, see?

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SFX:

A BOAT'S FOGHORN BLEATS A FEW TIMES

BEN:

What's the matter, kid?

FRANCIE:

(STARTLED) What? Oh--

BEN:

I said, what's the matter?

FRANCIE:

(SULLEN) Nothing.

BEN:

Oh, I don't mean nothin' by it. I just saw you standin' on the bridge here and I--

FRANCIE:

Oh. I'm not going to jump in.

BEN:

Oh, I didn't think you were. Only, you're a girl and it's foggy and this is no place for ya. Besides, you're pretty.

FRANCIE:

What did you say?

BEN:

I said you were pretty. And pretty girls shouldn't cry.

FRANCIE:

Who are you?

BEN:

The name is Ben Blake.

FRANCIE:

Ben Blake?

BEN:

Yeah.

FRANCIE:

You surprised me.

BEN:

Why?

FRANCIE:

Nobody ever said I - I was pretty before.

BEN:

(CHUCKLES) Nobody's very smart.

FRANCIE:

(NERVOUS) Well -- thanks. Thanks for talking to me. I have to go along now.

BEN:

Why?

FRANCIE:

Because I have to be home; I have to get supper.

BEN:

Now, wait a minute. Take it easy. We're not even acquainted.

FRANCIE:

(WARY) I - I don't think we have to be.

BEN:

What's your name?

FRANCIE:

Frances Nolan. Mary Frances Nolan.

BEN:

Frances, huh? Where do you live?

FRANCIE:

Grant Street.

BEN:

You work around here?

FRANCIE:

Over at the factory. I make artificial flowers.

BEN:

Heh. That's a funny job. You look like just a kid, too. I work in a book store.

FRANCIE:

A book store?

BEN:

Sure. In my spare time. Other times, I go to college.

FRANCIE:

You mean you can work and go to school, too?

BEN:

Why not?

FRANCIE:

Oh, I don't know; I guess-- (ENTHUSIASTIC) Say! Could I talk to you? Just a little while?

MUSIC:

HOPEFUL BRIDGE

NEELEY:

(LESS INNOCENT NOW, MORE HARDENED) Late again, Francie.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--

FRANCIE:

No, I'm not. It's only quarter to eight.

NEELEY:

Gee, you certainly work long hours in that factory.

FRANCIE:

I can't help it, can I?!

KATIE:

Now, don't you quarrel, you two, do you hear me? Francie, you are late these nights.

NEELEY:

Maybe ya got a boyfriend. (SINGSONG) Francie's got a boyfriend! Francie's got a--!

FRANCIE:

You shut up, Neeley. Do you want the neighbors to hear you?

NEELEY:

Well, why shouldn't they?

KATIE:

Francie? You're not doing anything wrong, are you?

FRANCIE:

What do you think I'd be doing wrong?

KATIE:

I don't know, dear. But you're growing up. You're nearly sixteen now and you've got your fath-- (CATCHES HERSELF, LOW) You've got strong blood in you, Francie.

FRANCIE:

Don't worry, mama. (SURPRISED) Where did we get the eggs?

KATIE:

(EMBARRASSED) Well, you know Mr. McGarrity sends us eggs once in a while.

FRANCIE:

McGarrity?!

KATIE:

(AWKWARD) Now, Francie, maybe I was wrong about Mr. McGarrity. He's been a good friend and--

FRANCIE:

(ACCEPTING) All right, mama. It's up to you, anyhow.

KATIE:

Francie, don't let's talk about that now. I have other things to talk to you about.

FRANCIE:

Yes, mama?

KATIE:

(EXHALES) I went by your factory this afternoon.

FRANCIE:

What were you doing over there?

KATIE:

Worrying about my little girl.

FRANCIE:

Now, mama--

KATIE:

Francie, your factory lets out at four-thirty. To save gaslight.

FRANCIE:

(BEAT) All right, mama. I guess you'll have to know. I haven't been coming straight home.

NEELEY:

I knew it!

FRANCIE:

You don't know anything! I'm not coming straight home -- because I'm going to classes.

KATIE:

Hm?

FRANCIE:

High school classes, mama, that I can take after work.

KATIE:

(AMAZED) Francie--?

FRANCIE:

I wanted to surprise you some day. It's no use stopping me, mama, because I'm going to do it. I've got to do it.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

BEN:

So they didn't mind, huh?

FRANCIE:

No, they didn't mind at all, Ben. I should have known mama would feel like that.

BEN:

Then we're on our way, kid. And there's no telling where we can go. Me, I'm gonna be a lawyer. Then run for the assembly. Then maybe become mayor. Even governor.

FRANCIE:

(ADMIRING) Are you, Ben?

BEN:

Why not? I've had enough of the dirt and the slums and scrapin' for every penny. I'm goin' places, Francie.

FRANCIE:

Oh, it's wonderful to have plans like that.

BEN:

Well, you've got 'em, haven't ya? You wanna be a famous writer.

FRANCIE:

Sure.

BEN:

Well, isn't that "plans"?

FRANCIE:

Yes. But-- Well, sometimes I get mixed up. I want to be a writer, but-- I don't know. Girls maybe don't plan things so well. They don't think about doing things alone.

BEN:

Ya gotta do 'em alone, baby. It's the only way you get any place.

FRANCIE:

Do you like being alone?

BEN:

(LAUGHS) Not all the time. 'Member the first night I saw ya? On the bridge?

FRANCIE:

Yes.

BEN:

I thought you were pretty.

FRANCIE:

(SHYLY) I know.

BEN:

(MOVING IN ON HER) I think you're prettier now.

FRANCIE:

Oh. No, Ben, you can't kiss me.

BEN:

(SIGHS) All right, Francie. But maybe we ought to be better friends, Francie -- at least until I go away.

FRANCIE:

(UNHAPPILY SURPRISED) Are you - going away, Ben?

BEN:

You don't think I'm gonna stay around here? I got a chance to go to Washington.

FRANCIE:

Oh. For good?

BEN:

Until I find a better place. (BEAT) What's the matter?

FRANCIE:

(UNCONVINCING) Nothing. I just have to get home, that's all. Um, I get supper tonight.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER--

KATIE:

(LOW, URGENT, IN PAIN) Francie? Francie?

FRANCIE:

(WAKES) Yes, mama? What is it?

KATIE:

Francie, you'll have to get up and get dressed.

FRANCIE:

(WORRIED) Mama!

KATIE:

Go and get your Aunt Sissy -- right away.

FRANCIE:

Yes, mama.

KATIE:

And - and take Neeley with you. It isn't safe for a girl on the streets alone.

FRANCIE:

Will you be all right for a little while?

KATIE:

Yes, yes, yes, but hurry, dear, hurry. And, Francie. You'd better not plan to go to the factory tomorrow. I'm gonna need you.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR BRIDGE

SFX:

LONE HORSE WALKS DOWN STREET

NEELEY:

Look. Sun's almost up.

FRANCIE:

Yes. (SHIVERS) Ooh. Brooklyn looks spooky now, doesn't it? All gray.

NEELEY:

I could stand some sleep.

FRANCIE:

Well, you're not going back there till Aunt Sissy tells us to.

NEELEY:

All right. (BEAT) Gee, it's funny to have a new baby in the house.

FRANCIE:

Why is it? Mama wanted it.

NEELEY:

But papa's not here now.

FRANCIE:

That just means we've gotta help her more.

NEELEY:

I'm sick of school, Francie. I wanna work.

FRANCIE:

You can work, Neeley. But you're going to school, the way mama wants.

NEELEY:

That fella still hangin' around who got you goin' to school?

FRANCIE:

(UNCONVINCING) I - don't know who you mean.

NEELEY:

Yes, you do. I saw you with him.

FRANCIE:

(SAD) Ben? He's gone away.

NEELEY:

You ought to quit readin' books and get yourself married, Francie.

FRANCIE:

(PASSIONATE) I never want to be married. Never. And you're not to talk like that. We're going to work and we're going to school, and that's the way it's gonna be, do you understand? (ABRUPT, QUICKLY) Oh, Neeley, there's Aunt Sissy at the window. Come on.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER--

FRANCIE:

(UPBEAT) Diary. Baby Laurie is four months old today. Mr. McGarrity is taking her and mama for a walk. (AMUSED) Mama looked like a girl. (MORE SERIOUS) Sometimes, I feel older than mama. I can't study much today. I lost my job at the factory.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A BRIEF TURBULENT BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER--

NEELEY:

Francie? Francie?!

FRANCIE:

What is it, Neeley?

NEELEY:

Come out in the street! Come on out in the street!

FRANCIE:

What's happened?

NEELEY:

Look at the crowd!

FRANCIE:

An accident?!

NEELEY:

No, it isn't. It's something else.

FRANCIE:

Oh, Neeley, I hope it isn't trouble.

NEELEY:

Well, what difference does it make? Come on!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A BRIEF SHRILL BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER--

SFX:

CROWD BACKGROUND

1ST VOICE:

We'll lick them!

2ND VOICE:

Sure we will!

3RD VOICE:

I'll give 'em three months!

4TH VOICE:

I don't want my boy to go! Not my Joe!

FRANCIE:

Neeley!

NEELEY:

What?

FRANCIE:

It's war!

NEELEY:

(FRUSTRATED) That's right. And I'm too little.

FRANCIE:

It's war! And war's a pretty big thing. Bigger than being poor. Bigger than Brooklyn. Neeley, what's going to happen to us now?

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A BRIDGE

HARDWIG:

You're a very ambitious young woman.

FRANCIE:

(PASSIONATE) I know I could do the job, Mr. Hardwig.

HARDWIG:

It's hard work and late hours.

FRANCIE:

I don't mind.

HARDWIG:

And you have to read fast.

FRANCIE:

I can read fast.

HARDWIG:

You're not to talk about what the clippings are or where you send 'em.

FRANCIE:

I don't talk, Mr. Hardwig.

HARDWIG:

Mm, you look seventeen, but I know you're younger. Well, you don't talk, I don't talk. Pay you ten dollars a week to start.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER--

FRANCIE:

(UPBEAT) Diary. I'm a reader for a clipping bureau now. I read newspapers all day. I can't study much, but it's a good job -- and we need the money. I know Mr. Hardwig pays his other readers twenty dollars, but, being under age, I don't dare complain. Diary, I haven't forgotten our secret. But why do I feel alone nowadays? Am I growing up?

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A SOLEMN BRIDGE

SFX:

BACKGROUND OF BUSTLING WORKERS IN HALLWAY OF BIG OFFICE BUILDING

ANITA:

Wait up a minute, Francie! Where you going?

FRANCIE:

Oh. Hello, Anita. I'm going to the library.

ANITA:

Gee, you've been with the clipping bureau six months now and I've never seen you without a book. Don't you have any fun?

FRANCIE:

Why, yes. I like books.

ANITA:

So do I. Once in a while. But, gee, you're young, kid.

FRANCIE:

(NERVOUS) I'm old enough.

ANITA:

Sure. But you're young enough to be enjoying yourself. Plenty of time to read the rest of your life. You got a boyfriend?

FRANCIE:

Boyfriend? No.

ANITA:

Well, look, Francie, I like you. I been watching you and I think you're okay. I think, maybe if you like me--

FRANCIE:

Sure, Anita, I like you.

ANITA:

Well, I got something to ask ya. A sort of favor.

FRANCIE:

Go ahead.

ANITA:

I'm engaged, you know, and--

FRANCIE:

You are?

ANITA:

Well, sort of. Of course we haven't set any definite time or anything and I haven't got a ring, but we've been going steady--

FRANCIE:

Oh, that's wonderful.

ANITA:

Sure. Joe's wonderful. Only he's in the army and-- Well, that's what I want the favor about.

FRANCIE:

I don't understand.

ANITA:

He's here in the city right now on leave before he goes to France, only he's got a buddy with him. If I can't get a girl for his buddy, I'll never get to see Joey.

FRANCIE:

Oh. And that's what you want me to do?

ANITA:

Oh, Francie, ya gotta. I don't trust most of these girls around here, but I know you'd be all right 'cause -- you're not interested in fellas.

FRANCIE:

Oh, I see.

ANITA:

They'll be here right away at the entrance of the building.

FRANCIE:

Well, I'll have to phone mama.

ANITA:

Here. Here's a nickel, Francie. Oh, hey, look! There they are now. The tall one's for you. Okay?

FRANCIE:

(IMPRESSED) Why-- Oh, yes. He looks nice. I'll be right back!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

LEE:

That was a mighty long phone call.

FRANCIE:

I guess so. I - I couldn't reach the store that takes the message for mama. You're, uh--?

LEE:

That's all right. I'm Corporal Lee Rhynor. And you're Francie Nolan.

FRANCIE:

Well, yes, but, uh-- Where's Anita and her fiancÚ? (SOUNDS OUT THIS LAST WORD CAREFULLY, AWKWARDLY -- "fee-fee-YAN-say")

LEE:

Oh, they went along. Can't expect an engaged pair to want other people along. They wanted to be alone.

FRANCIE:

(UNCOMFORTABLE) Oh. I see.

LEE:

You expected a double date, but-- Gee, I know how they feel. I'm engaged myself.

FRANCIE:

(REASSURED) You're engaged?

LEE:

Sure, a girl back home.

FRANCIE:

Oh.

LEE:

It's probably a disappointment. No reason you should be stuck with me. If you show me the way to the subway, I'll go back to my hotel.

FRANCIE:

Well, it's just down the-- I-- (ABRUPT, DECISIVE) What if we are strangers? I've already phoned my mother. So if you'd like--

LEE:

Would I like?! A lone guy in a lonely city? Let's eat!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES

KATIE:

(OFF) That you, Francie?

FRANCIE:

Yes, mama.

SFX:

FRANCIE'S FOOTSTEPS TO KATIE

KATIE:

Well. Did you have a nice time, dear?

FRANCIE:

(GENUINE) Yes, mama. I had a nice time.

KATIE:

(AWKWARD) Um-- Well-- Where did you go? Did - did you have--? Was he nice?

FRANCIE:

Now, mama, it was just an evening with a friend of Anita's. Don't make something of it.

KATIE:

Oh, Francie, I married very young. Too young, I guess, though I wouldn't have changed it. One of the pleasures left to me is to see my daughter growing into a pretty girl and enjoying herself.

FRANCIE:

Now, mama, I'm not half as pretty as you are.

KATIE:

Oh, now. Nonsense.

FRANCIE:

That's what Mr. McGarrity said.

KATIE:

(GOOD-NATURED) Bother Mr. McGarrity!

FRANCIE:

(SLY) You don't really think that, mama.

KATIE:

Well, he-- He's not a bad man away from the saloon business-- (CATCHES HERSELF) Now, you're twisting the subject on me, Francie! (BEAT, SIMPLY) What did you do this evening?

FRANCIE:

We had chop suey. And danced. (BEAT, WARM) Good night, mama.

KATIE:

(EQUALLY WARM) Good night, Francie.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN LIGHTLY UNDER--

LIBRARIAN:

Miss Nolan, the book you wanted is in now.

FRANCIE:

Oh, thank you, but could you save it for next week? I won't be able to read it now.

MUSIC:

LIGHT ACCENT ... THEN UNDER--

SHOPGIRL:

This blouse costs a dollar ninety-four and it's Georgette.

FRANCIE:

I'll pay you a dollar down and the ninety-four cents tomorrow.

MUSIC:

LIGHT ACCENT ... THEN OUT

ANITA:

Gee, Francie, where you been all week?

FRANCIE:

Oh, I've just had things to do.

ANITA:

Even the boss noticed ya lookin' at the clock yesterday.

FRANCIE:

(DEFENSIVE) I put in more hours than anybody else here!

ANITA:

All right, all right. Don't get touchy. (WARMLY) I want to thank you for helping me out with Lee the other night. Gee, Joey and I had a swell time.

FRANCIE:

Oh, that was all right. I'm glad you did.

ANITA:

How'd you like Lee?

FRANCIE:

(UNCONVINCING) Ohhh-- I, uh, I guess he isn't much different from anybody else.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN RESTAURANT ORCHESTRA PLAYS 1918 SONG "TILL WE MEET AGAIN" UNDER--

LEE:

(JOVIAL) Hello, best girl! Where you been?

FRANCIE:

(HAPPY) Boss kept me after tonight and then I missed the subway.

LEE:

Well, you're here and that's all that matters. I got a table reserved. Well, come on, let's sit down.

FRANCIE:

Oh, yes, Lee.

MUSIC:

RESTAURANT ORCHESTRA FILLS PAUSE ... THEN CONTINUES UNDER--

LEE:

Gee, it's been a wonderful week. I couldn't have believed it. You know, I never met anybody like you before, Francie.

FRANCIE:

Lee -- we agreed not to talk like this. Just have fun.

LEE:

We agreed, but that was a week ago. I have only three days left.

MUSIC:

ORCHESTRA FINISHES NUMBER, IN BG

SFX:

DINERS APPLAUD ... THEN MURMUR IN BG

FRANCIE:

I know.

LEE:

Then over the pond and the Fritzies.

FRANCIE:

I know that, too.

LEE:

Francie, I've gotta talk to you. Just got to. I never did know anybody like you.

FRANCIE:

Lee--

LEE:

I grew up in a small town, like - like a lot of other guys. Went to school and parties, played on the teams, but-- All my life I've been lonely. I didn't know why. Just lonely -- at parties, with people. Even in the middle of kissing a girl I've been lonely.

FRANCIE:

(SADLY) I know what you mean. I've been lonely, too.

LEE:

(LIGHTLY) Even in the middle of kissing a boy?

FRANCIE:

I never kissed any boys.

LEE:

You - you didn't? Never?

FRANCIE:

No.

LEE:

Well, tonight, let's dance for a while and-- Then you know what I'd like to do?

FRANCIE:

What?

LEE:

Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. With you.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

FRANCIE:

Do you like it?

LEE:

Sure. All my life I dreamed of seeing the Brooklyn Bridge.

FRANCIE:

(EXHALES HAPPILY) I'm glad we came. But we can't stay long. They watch the bridge for German spies. There's a cop there now.

LEE:

He's not gonna bother us for a few minutes. What's it like in Brooklyn, Francie?

FRANCIE:

Oh. Oh, that's hard to say. All kinds of people live there. We - we live over a store. But there's a tree in the backyard. Or there was. I liked that tree. I don't know whether it grows any place but Brooklyn. But it's a tree that likes poor people, mama always said.

LEE:

What's your mother like?

FRANCIE:

She's pretty and - and she works hard. She's always worked hard.

LEE:

Francie? Look at me.

FRANCIE:

What is it?

LEE:

(ENTREATING) Francie--

FRANCIE:

(MILD PROTEST) Lee -- you're engaged.

LEE:

Francie, you've never been kissed. I'm gonna change that -- now.

FRANCIE:

(BEAT, FOR THE KISS) You - you shouldn't have done that.

LEE:

I'm engaged, sure. But I got engaged the way a million other fellas do. Girl they'd grown up with lives down the block; they - they start taking her to dances. Pretty soon they go steady and then, before they know it, the town just sort of thinks they're engaged. So they marry. There isn't any great feeling, but they're content. Then the kids come and - then the kids get the real love.

FRANCIE:

But you're going to marry her.

LEE:

No, Francie, I'm not.

FRANCIE:

You're not?

LEE:

No, I've known that all this week. I can't marry her, Francie, when - it's you I love.

FRANCIE:

Lee--

LEE:

I love you Francie, with all my heart. I want to hear you say it, too.

FRANCIE:

(DEEPLY) I love you, Lee.

LEE:

My darling girl. My sweetheart. Look, Francie. I'm going over, but I'm coming back. And when I do -- will you marry me?

FRANCIE:

Marry you? Oh, yes, Lee.

LEE:

We'll live in Brooklyn--

FRANCIE:

We'll live anywhere you want.

LEE:

We'll live in Brooklyn and we'll be the two happiest people on this earth. Francie, listen, I have three days left of my leave. I'm supposed to go back and see my mother, but - but we could--

FRANCIE:

We could, Lee. But we could also wait. You go back and see your mother like you ought. And I'll be here when you come back.

MUSIC:

ROMANTIC BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER--

FRANCIE:

Diary. I know now! I know why I was lonely and why I'm not now. Oh, I'm happy, diary. So happy. And Brooklyn -- is the most beautiful place in the whole world!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A SWEET BRIDGE

FRANCIE:

(HUMS "TILL WE MEET AGAIN" HAPPILY, THEN CALLS) Supper, Neeley!

SFX:

UTENSILS, DISHES, ET CETERA

NEELEY:

What are you so darn cheerful about?

FRANCIE:

I guess I can sing if I want to.

KATIE:

Are you two still arguing?

NEELEY:

I think Francie's in love.

FRANCIE:

You shut up.

KATIE:

Well, if she is, it would be a good thing -- if he's a good man. I was in love at your age, Francie, and never regretted it; never.

NEELEY:

(DERISIVE) Slush talk. (CHANGES SUBJECT) Did you see what was in the paper tonight, Francie?

FRANCIE:

Nope.

NEELEY:

Your boss in that fancy clipping bureau has been arrested as a spy.

FRANCIE:

What?

KATIE:

Neeley!

NEELEY:

Sure. It's right here. Hardwig -- the Hardwig Clipping Bureau.

FRANCIE:

So that's why all those men were hanging around.

KATIE:

Francie, will you lose your job?

FRANCIE:

Oh, I don't care if I do. I'll find another. Mama? I want to talk to you.

KATIE:

What, dear?

FRANCIE:

About my job. I've been saving money and-- Well, just now, for a year or so, until the war is over, I'd like to study a little bit. Go back to school, learn things -- be somebody.

NEELEY:

Well, what for?

KATIE:

Now, never mind, Neeley. Francie has her own reasons.

FRANCIE:

I found out where I can take regular college courses without a high school diploma. And I'd work part-time.

KATIE:

Well, you go right to it, dear. (BEAT, HESITANT) And-- (SIGHS) Maybe this is as good a time as any-- You see, Mr. McGarrity and I--

FRANCIE:

(PLEASED) Mama!

KATIE:

Now, wait. I haven't made up my mind yet. He - he's coming tonight. He wants to give up the saloon business and move.

FRANCIE:

Not from Brooklyn?!

KATIE:

No, darling, no. Just out Flatbush way.

FRANCIE:

(ENCOURAGING) Oh, mama, it would be fine for you.

KATIE:

Well, I don't know what to do, Francie. I - I swear I don't.

FRANCIE:

You've never done wrong yet, mama. You won't do wrong this time.

NEELEY:

What's happening to this family? (BEAT) Well, I got a surprise, too.

FRANCIE:

What?

NEELEY:

This.

FRANCIE:

A letter? Who's it for?

NEELEY:

You. I thought you'd ask pretty soon if you got one and I've been keeping it.

FRANCIE:

Keeping it?! Give it to me, Neeley! Give it to me this minute!

NEELEY:

(SINGSONG) Francie has a fella! Francie has a--!

KATIE:

(STERN) Give her the letter, Neeley.

NEELEY:

(CHASTENED) Okay, okay. What's the matter? You all losing your sense of humor? But, if you ask me, I don't think much of a fella who writes on blue stationery with violet ink.

FRANCIE:

(DEVASTATED) Mama?

KATIE:

What is it, Francie?

FRANCIE:

(SLOWLY) Nothing. If you don't mind, I'll read this in my room. Alone.

MUSIC:

UNHAPPY BRIDGE ... THEN UNDER--

FRANCIE:

(TEARFUL) Diary. I've read it three times now -- and I don't believe it. Maybe if I tell you, diary, it'll make it seem true. The letter was from her. She said, (READS) "Lee told me to thank you for being so nice to him in Brooklyn. We had a very quiet wedding; just the family. I read the letter you sent Lee. It was mean of him to pretend he loved you. He said he was sorry. I think he is. We both wish you luck. Elizabeth. Mrs. Lee Rhynor." (WEEPS) Oh, mama, mama, mama! (WEEPS)

MUSIC:

UP, FOR BRIDGE

MRS. FOOTMAN:

Well, we'll sure be sorry to see you go, Mrs. Nolan.

FOOTMAN:

Yeah.

KATIE:

Thank you.

FOOTMAN:

(LIGHTLY) Maybe I'll send you a pickle once in a while from the bottom of the vat. Only today, they're two cents.

KATIE:

Well, you're all so kind. Neeley, just help me with this box, will you? It's the last one. The movers will be here.

NEELEY:

Where's Francie?

KATIE:

Out on the fire escape, I think.

NEELEY:

Moonin' over that guy?

KATIE:

Now, Neeley, I don't want you to say anything to her.

NEELEY:

He was no good.

KATIE:

How do you know? Everybody's got weaknesses.

NEELEY:

I got good news for her.

KATIE:

What?

NEELEY:

I met that fella this morning she used to study with. He asked me if I knew her. Anyhow, he's coming out here this afternoon.

KATIE:

Who is he?

NEELEY:

Name of Ben Blake.

KATIE:

I think I'll tell her that, Neeley. It might help.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

KATIE:

Francie?

FRANCIE:

Yes, mama? I'm all packed. I was just having a last look.

KATIE:

Yes, I know, dear. Francie, Neeley saw Ben Blake today. He's coming out to see you.

FRANCIE:

(LOW, UNCONVINCING) That would be nice.

KATIE:

Dear, I know how you feel.

FRANCIE:

(TEARFUL) Say it, mama -- I'm young, I'll get over it!

KATIE:

Francie--

FRANCIE:

Well, I will get over it!

KATIE:

No. No, you won't, dear. Not if it was real. But you'll find somebody else someday. And you'll love him because he has some of the qualities the others had.

FRANCIE:

Is that the way it is with you, mama?

KATIE:

The way it is with every woman, dear. (BEAT) Well, it's nice out.

FRANCIE:

Mama?

KATIE:

Hm?

FRANCIE:

Look. Over there, on the fire escape. A little girl with pigtails.

KATIE:

Yes, I was looking at her. You were ten, just like she is, when you first started to sit out here.

FRANCIE:

With my tree.

KATIE:

Mm hm. She has her tree.

FRANCIE:

(ASTONISHED) Why, she has! Look! I didn't notice. They chopped it down and burned it. But it's growing again. My tree is growing.

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN

KATIE:

I always said that tree knows.

FRANCIE:

(INSPIRED) My tree -- growing. Seeing that is like - is like starting again. I'm glad you're here, little tree. I'm glad you'll grow again. I'll come back someday and talk to you. But, in the meantime, take care of that new little Francie sitting on the fire escape. She'll need you -- as much as I did. (BEAT) Come on, mama. We have a lot to do.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A STIRRING FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

From STUDIO ONE at CBS, you have just heard Fletcher Markle's production of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith, another full-hour Columbia feature from the pages of the world's great storytellers. Tonight's script was especially prepared for this series by Margaret Lewerth and the original musical score was composed by Alan Shulman and conducted by Alexander Semmler. Now again, Mr. Markle.

HOST:

May a producer introduce the principal members of our cast tonight? In the Nolan family--

FRANCIE:

--Francie--

HOST:

--was played, and pretty wonderfully played, by Rosemary Rice.

KATIE:

Katie--

HOST:

--was Charlotte Holland.

JOHNNY:

Johnny--

HOST:

--was Frank Readick.

NEELEY:

Neeley--

HOST:

--was Edwin Bruce.

SISSY:

Aunt Sissy--

HOST:

--was played by Betty Garde. And as for Francie's young men--

BEN:

Ben Blake--

HOST:

--was played by Leon Janney.

LEE:

Lee Rhynor--

HOST:

--was Cliff Carpenter. Next week from STUDIO ONE at CBS, one of the great adventure stories from the literature of our times, "Anthony Adverse" by Hervey Allen. We hope you'll be with us. Now, until next week, this is Fletcher Markle with a "good night" and "thank you" from all of us in STUDIO ONE.

ANNOUNCER:

Here's a special word for Sweeney and March fans. Starting tomorrow night, you'll hear Sweeney and March every Wednesday night from nine-thirty to ten p. m., Eastern Standard Time, over most of these stations. This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.