Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Fleischmann's Yeast Hour
Show: Peg O' My Heart
Date: Aug 01 1935

CAST:
HOST, Rudy Vallee
PEG, heavy Irish accent (LAURETTE TAYLOR)
JERRY, heavy British accent

HOST:

... We are honored to introduce now one of America's finest and best-loved actresses, Miss Laurette Taylor. In retirement for several years because of a long illness, Miss Taylor returns to Broadway next season as the author and star of her own play, "At Marion's," opening in Newport next Tuesday. Tonight, for her first network appearance, she has chosen a scene from her greatest stage success "Peg O' My Heart." Miss Taylor herself will tell you about it. Miss Laurette Taylor, with Charles Romano, in "Peg O' My Heart."

SFX:

APPLAUSE

MFX:

INTRODUCTION ... THE POPULAR 1913 SONG "PEG O' MY HEART," OF COURSE ... OUT BEHIND--

TAYLOR:

Thank you, Rudy. Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. The episode we chose is Peg's first meeting with her sweetheart-to-be, the beginning of her romance. Peg is a pretty Irish girl suddenly transplanted from a gay but poverty-stricken existence with her father to the formal atmosphere of a wealthy home in England. The chilly discipline of her English relatives finds a rebellious subject in Peg. As the curtain rises, a summer thunderstorm is crashing to a close. Shivering with fear, Peg is alone in the spacious drawing-room. A handsome young man enters, sees Peg in a flash of lightning--

SFX:

CRASH! OF THUNDER ... WIND AND RAIN CONTINUES IN BG ... SLOWLY SUBSIDES UNTIL IT FADES OUT BY [X]

PEG:

(GRIM) Oh, Holy Mother of God and all the Saints preserve us!

JERRY:

(WARM, REASSURING) Don't be frightened. It's only a summer storm.

PEG:

Well, summer or winter, sure they shrivel me up.

JERRY:

Come and look at it. They're beautiful in this part of the country. Come and watch it.

SFX:

CRASH! OF THUNDER

PEG:

(EXCLAIMS) Ah! Close the curtains! Shut it out! Shut it out! Sure I'll not look at it at all. They say if you look at the sky when the lightnin' comes, ye can see right through it into the Kingdom of Heaven. And the sight of it blinds some and kills others, accordin' to the state of grace ye're in.

JERRY:

You're a Catholic?

PEG:

Of course I'm a Catholic. What else is anybody else in the world? When it thunders like that, you know, it does seem to me that He's very angry with us for our sins.

JERRY:

With me, perhaps, not with you.

PEG:

And what do you mean by that now?

JERRY:

You don't know what sin is.

PEG:

And who may you be, to talk to me like that?

JERRY:

My name is Jerry. What's yours?

PEG:

Peg. Yours is Jerry, did ye say?

JERRY:

Just plain Jerry. And you're Peg?

PEG:

(WRY) Sure I'm just plain Peg, I am. (CHUCKLES)

JERRY:

I don't agree with you. I think you're very charming.

PEG:

(WARNING) Oh, you mustn't say things like that now with the storm outside.

JERRY:

I mean it.

PEG:

Ye don't. The man that thinks them things never says them to your face. Me father always said to me, "Now, Peg, there's one sort of fellow you've got to be very careful of, and that's the one that says flatterin' things right in your face. "He's no good," he says, "Peg, he's no good; sure he isn't."

JERRY:

Who are you?

PEG:

Oh, I'm me aunt's niece, I am.

JERRY:

And who is your aunt?

PEG:

Oh, me aunt is Mrs. Chi-ch-es-es-- (STRUGGLES TO PRONOUNCE NAME)

JERRY:

Who?

PEG:

Uh, me aunt is Mrs. Chi-ch-es-es-cher.

JERRY:

Oh! Mrs. Chichester.

PEG:

Chi-ches--? Yeah, that's it. Sure you have to jump it in the middle. (GIGGLES)

JERRY:

Really? How extraordinary!

PEG:

Isn't it? You wouldn't expect a fine lady like her to have a niece like me, would ye?

JERRY:

Well, that isn't what I meant.

PEG:

Ah, sure, it is. And you mustn't tell untruths with the storm outside.

JERRY:

I was thinking that I don't remember Alaric ever telling me he had such a charming cousin.

PEG:

(CHUCKLES) Sure Alaric didn't know I was alive till I dropped down from the clouds this mornin'. [X]

JERRY:

Where did you drop from?

PEG:

New York.

JERRY:

Really? How odd!

PEG:

Not at all. It's just the same as any other big city. There's nothin' odd about New York. It's just a big place, that's all it is, New York is.

JERRY:

(VEDDY BRITISH) Were you born there?

PEG:

(CAN'T UNDERSTAND HIM) What?

JERRY:

Were you born there?

PEG:

What was that you said now?

JERRY:

(ENUNCIATES) I said, "Were you born there?"

PEG:

Sure I was.

JERRY:

By way of Old Ireland?

PEG:

How did you guess that now?

JERRY:

Your slight, but delightful, accent.

PEG:

I've got an accent?

JERRY:

Yes.

PEG:

(LAUGHS) Well, I was much too polite to say anything, but I was thinkin' you had an awful accent.

JERRY:

(LAUGHS)

PEG:

Well, what are you laughin' at? Haven't you ever listened to yourself?

JERRY:

No. I can't say that I have.

PEG:

Well, you said just now to me, uh-- (MIMICS HIS ACCENT) "Were you born there?" "Were you born there?"

JERRY:

(CHUCKLES) Well, how would you say it?

PEG:

Well, I'd say it naturally. I'd say, "Were you born there?"; sure. I'd say, "Now tell me, were you born there?" I wouldn't fall over me words; I'd say it straight out of me face. You see, I wouldn't make a song-and-dance about it.

JERRY:

(LAUGHS) I see. (SUDDENLY) Hello! The storm's over.

PEG:

Praise be to God for that!

JERRY:

Are you going to stay here?

PEG:

I don't know. Mebbe I will; mebbe I won't.

JERRY:

Did your aunt send for you?

PEG:

No, me uncle Nat.

JERRY:

Your uncle--?

PEG:

Just before he died, he did. And I wish he'd sent for me sooner. He with all his money and my father with none.

JERRY:

What does your father do?

PEG:

Oh, my father does anything. He does anything at all. Except make money. (SHORT LAUGH) And when he does make it he can't keep it. He doesn't like money, I think. Neither do I. Course, we never had much to like. (CHUCKLE) But I've seen others around us with plenty, and we've been the happiest -- that we have. And when times were the hardest, I never heard a word of complaint from me father or saw a frown on his face. (STARTS TO CRY, VERY QUIETLY, DURING FOLLOWING) We were more like boy and girl than father and daughter. And I'm sick for the sight of him. And I'm sure he is for me -- for his "Peg-o'-me-heart," as he always called me. Sure I wish I was back home.

JERRY:

(GENTLY) Oh, please, don't do that.

PEG:

(SNIFFLES) Y'know, I don't cry very often. Me father never made me. And I never saw him cry but twice in me life. Once when he made a little money and we had a Mass said for me mother's soul and we had the most beautiful candles lit on Our Lady's altar. And when I left him to come here. Sure he laughed and he joked with me up to the last minute, and when the ship swung away from the dock he just broke down and sobbed like a little child. "My Peg," he kept sayin', "Oh, my little Peg." Sure I wanted to get off the ship and go back to him. But we'd started, and I don't know how to swim. Hm! Well, I cried meself to sleep that night. (DEFIANT) I'm not goin' to be happy here. I only came here because me father thought it'd be for my good. And they won't make a lady out of me if I can help it. Ye can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. That's what me father said; and that's what I am. I'm just a sow's ear.

JERRY:

Oh, I don't agree with you.

PEG:

Well, I don't care whether ye agree with me or not. I'm a sow's ear, I am. And I'm all alone.

JERRY:

You're among friends.

PEG:

(DISAGREES) They're ashamed of me.

JERRY:

Oh, no.

PEG:

They are. They sent me to the kitchen when I first came here; and they put my dog Michael to sleep in the stable. And I want to tell you, Michael's not used to sleepin' in any stable. Of course, we never had a stable. (CHUCKLES)

JERRY:

(CHUCKLES)

PEG:

That was a quick joke, wasn't it? Michael has always slept with me father ever since he was a little bit of a puppy. Since Michael was a puppy, I mean; I thought you might think I meant me father. (CHUCKLES)

JERRY:

(CHUCKLES) When they really get to know you, they'll be as proud of you as your father is -- as I'd be.

PEG:

You'd be? Why should you be proud of me?

JERRY:

I'd be more than proud if you'd look upon me as a friend.

PEG:

But I don't know who you are even, do I now?

JERRY:

Oh, I can give you some very excellent references. For instance, I was up at the same college as your cousin Alaric.

PEG:

Were ye? (SHORT LAUGH) Well, I'd mention that to very few people.

JERRY:

Why, don't you want me to be your friend?

PEG:

I don't know. (QUICKLY) I'm like the widder's pig that was put into a real bed to sleep in. Sure the pig neither wanted it nor didn't want it; it had done without a bed all its life, and it wasn't cryin' its heart out for the loss of somethin' it'd never had and couldn't miss.

JERRY:

(LAUGHS HEARTILY)

PEG:

(BEAT, JOINS IN LAUGHING, THEN) Well, I want to tell you that's one thing that's in your favor.

JERRY:

What is?

PEG:

The laughter is not dead in you as it is everybody else in this house. (CURIOUS) Say, who are ye at all now?

JERRY:

Oh, no one in particular.

PEG:

Oh, I can see that. I mean, what do ye do?

JERRY:

Why, I can do a whole lot of things fairly well, and none of them well enough to brag about.

PEG:

Oh, like me father, that is.

JERRY:

Oh, you flatter me.

PEG:

(DEADLY SERIOUS) I know I flatter you. There's not a man in the whole world like my father.

JERRY:

No. Of course not.

PEG:

(EMOTIONAL) No. There's not one man in the whole world, there isn't. Sure he says he's a rollin' stone, and they don't amount to much in a hard-hearted world that's all for makin' dollars.

JERRY:

Your father's right. But money is important.

PEG:

Yes. And he's got none. But he's got me. (BEAT, DETERMINED) And I'm goin' right back to him now.

JERRY:

Oh, no, no, no.

PEG:

Sure it's easier to suffer the want of food than the want of love. (ABRUPTLY LOUD, IMITATING HER FATHER GIVING A ROUSING SPEECH) "And that's what the Irish are doin' all over the world! They're driven from their own country! They're made wanderers on the face of the earth by the English! And nothin' they'll ever earn will make up to them for the separation from their homes and from their loved ones!"

JERRY:

(LAUGHS)

PEG:

Sure do you know what that is now?

JERRY:

I haven't the slightest idea.

PEG:

Well, it's one of me father's speeches.

JERRY:

One of his speeches?

PEG:

Oh, me father makes grand speeches.

JERRY:

Does he?

PEG:

He makes them, you know, in the cause of Ireland.

JERRY:

Oh, in the cause of Ireland.

PEG:

What else would he be doin'? So I went all through Ireland with me father on his lecture tours. We had a cart and we traveled from place to place in the cart. He made his speeches from the tail of it, and we lived in the middle of it. Me father practised all of his speeches on me first.

JERRY:

Oh, did he?

PEG:

Yes, I know fifty of 'em by heart.

JERRY:

Fifty?

PEG:

Yes. I'm goin' to recite them all to Mrs. Chichester. (LAUGHS, IRONIC) She'll be very pleased.

JERRY:

(MATCHES HER IRONY) Oh, quite.

PEG:

Yes, a nice old lady, she is.

JERRY:

Oh, very nice.

PEG:

The thing I like about her is she's so full of fun. (LAUGHS)

JERRY:

(LAUGHS)

PEG:

(MORE SERIOUS) I tell ye, I'm not used to sour faces. Me father's full of jokes. And I must go back to him.

JERRY:

Oh, just give us a month's trial. Just one month.

PEG:

(BEAT) Why do you want me to stay here?

JERRY:

Because - because your uncle was a friend of mine. And it was his last wish to do something for you. Will you? Just a month?

PEG:

(BEAT) Well, I don't suppose a month'd kill me. (CHUCKLES) But it's goin' to seem like a lifetime in this place.

JERRY:

I'm glad.

PEG:

Glad it's goin' to seem like a lifetime?

JERRY:

Oh, no, no, no, no. That you're going to stay.

PEG:

Well, that's a comfort -- someone in the house'll be pleased at me stayin'.

JERRY:

I am -- immensely. And you will look upon me as a friend?

PEG:

Well, I don't yet know who you are, do I?

JERRY:

Is it so difficult?

PEG:

Well, I don't know at all. I don't know whether it's difficult or not until I try it.

JERRY:

Try.

PEG:

(BEAT) I don't understand you.

JERRY:

Yet I'm very simple.

PEG:

Oh, devil doubt that. But what are ye stickin' your hand out for now?

JERRY:

To our friendship.

PEG:

Oh. Well, I never met anybody like you in all me life before.

JERRY:

Shake hands on it.

PEG:

I don't think that's necessary.

JERRY:

Oh, do.

PEG:

Well, I don't shake hands with every Tom, Dick and Harry I meet.

JERRY:

Come.

PEG:

Well, there's me hand then.

JERRY:

Friends?

PEG:

Well, not yet. Not so fast.

JERRY:

I'll wager we will be.

PEG:

Don't put too much on it. Ye might lose.

JERRY:

I'll stake my life on it.

PEG:

Ye don't value it much, then.

JERRY:

(DEEPLY) More than I did. May you be very happy here, Peg.

PEG:

(BEAT, THOUGHTFUL) You know, I think maybe I will be after all. Sure lookin' at you, it seems possible.

JERRY:

Good. But why did you change your mind?

PEG:

On account of something me father once said.

JERRY:

What was that?

PEG:

He said, "Peg, remember this. Of all the things in life, there's nothing half so sweet in life as love's young dream."

MFX:

"PEG O' MY HEART" ... TO A FINISH

SFX:

APPLAUSE

MFX:

NBC CHIMES