Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Miscellaneous Single Episodes
Show: NBC Short Story: Beautiful Summer in Newport
Date: Apr 18 1951

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
NARRATOR (1 line)
RUE, age ten; idealistic, naive and honest
NANNY, warm and kind
AUDREY, Rue's older sister; a cynical, smug suck-up, wise to adult ways
POPPY, affable, rough-hewn Chicagoan
AUNT AGNES, shrewd and determined young widow
FRÄULEIN LINA, German governess, a smiling totalitarian
1ST OPERATOR (2 lines)
2ND OPERATOR (4 lines)
NONA VAN DUESEN, mean spoiled rich girl with affected British accent
MRS. VAN DUESEN, crusty, elderly seen-it-all society dame, but with a heart
MISS MIFFIN (3 lines)

ANNOUNCER:

NBC PRESENTS SHORT STORY. Tonight, Felicia Gizycka. [PRONOUNCED giz-EESH-kuh]

MUSIC:

FANFARE

ANNOUNCER:

Felicia Gizycka is a short story writer with printers' ink in her bloodstream. Her grandfather was Joseph Medill, great editor of the Chicago Tribune whose support meant so much to Abraham Lincoln in the most critical days of the Civil War. Her mother was Elinor Medill Patterson, distinguished owner of the Washington Times-Herald.

Tonight's story concerns the exploiters and the exploited in the jungle land of high society. It appeared first in Story Magazine under the ironic title "Beautiful Summer in Newport." You'll hear it tonight in a first radio dramatization, immediately following this message from the United States Marine Corps.

Of the many uniforms worn by members of our armed services, one of the most famous and colorful is the "Dress Blues" uniform of the United States Marines. Although the uniform has changed a good deal since 1798, many of its distinguishing characteristics are most interesting.

For example, there's the red piping on the coat and trousers. Early in the Revolutionary War, a battalion of Marines from Philadelphia was dispatched to report to General Washington during the latter part of December 1776. Due to their familiarity with the guns on Naval vessels, these Marines served as artillerymen at the Battle of Princeton, January third, 1777. To commemorate their services as artillerymen on that occasion, the Marines adopted the traditional red of the artillerymen, which has been a part of the Marine uniform since 1798.

Today, the Marine Blues are perhaps the most distinctive American uniform, proudly worn by members of that proudest of American fighting organizations, the United States Marines.

Here now, "Beautiful Summer in Newport" by Felicia Gizycka.

MUSIC:

BRIEF INTRODUCTION ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

NARRATOR:

Summer, 1915. The crowd at the railroad station is starched, corseted, laced up to the chin and damp with sweat. Two little girls with stiff tiered dresses stand holding hands with a small, kindly woman.

SOUND:

RAILROAD STATION BACKGROUND

RUE:

(ANXIOUS) Where's Poppy? Nanny, I don't see Poppy anywhere!

NANNY:

For goodness sakes, Rue, your father's just gone to get the tickets.

AUDREY:

Aunt Agnes says smart people reserve in advance.

RUE:

(PROTESTS) Poppy's the smartest man in Chicago!

AUDREY:

(DISMISSIVE) Ohhh, not that kind of smart, stupid. Fashionable.

RUE:

(EAGER) What'll it be like in Newport, Nanny? Can we go to the beach?

NANNY:

Certainly. That's the whole idea of going to Newport -- to have fun at the beach.

AUDREY:

Aunt Agnes says it's to get away from people in trade.

RUE:

What's "in trade"?

AUDREY:

Oh, you know -- grocers and butchers and awful people like that.

RUE:

(EXCITED) There's Aunt Agnes and Poppy! (YELLS) Poppy?! Poppy?!

NANNY:

For goodness sakes, Rue, stop that shouting.

RUE:

Have you got the tickets, Poppy? Have you? Have you?

POPPY:

Of course I have -- the best tickets money can buy.

AGNES:

(CHIDES) Anthony--

POPPY:

(TO AUDREY AND RUE) Now, be good, both of you. Write to me.

RUE:

Oh, we will, Poppy. I wish you could come.

POPPY:

Oh, so do I. Now, take care of 'em for me, Nanny.

NANNY:

Oh, I will, Mr. Peterson.

AGNES:

Goodbye, Anthony.

POPPY:

Bye, Agnes. See that the youngsters have a good time.

AGNES:

You don't go to Newport for just a good time, Anthony. I've explained to you that--

POPPY:

I know, Aggie, but summers are for good times. Isn't that right, Rue? Now, hurry up, you'll miss the train.

MUSIC:

FOR A TRAIN DEPARTING ... BRIDGE

AGNES:

Nanny -- none of the other governesses allow their children to run barefoot on the beach.

NANNY:

Have you seen those other children, ma'am? Starched dresses and high white stockings and sashes and hats and-- Oh, looking so hot and stiff.

AGNES:

I want Rue and Audrey dressed the way the other children are. In fact, Nanny, I'm not altogether satisfied that you can take proper care of the children. So I've made certain arrangements.

NANNY:

(SHOCKED) Ma'am--? You don't mean that - that you're letting me go?

AGNES:

I'm afraid I do.

NANNY:

(WOUNDED) Oh, but I've taken care of Rue and Audrey since the missus died.

AGNES:

I'm very sorry, Nanny, but we have [a] certain social position. The children must be taught proper behavior. I won't let anything keep me from-- (CATCHES HERSELF) Well, from doing my duty.

NANNY:

(GENTLY WEEPS) Oh, but-- But I've always been good to them. I know they love me.

AGNES:

Perhaps. But they're old enough now for a proper governess and that's just what they shall have.

NANNY:

Yes, ma'am. (SOBS HARD, THEN IN BG)

AGNES:

I think you'd better not say goodbye to them. Might upset them. I'll call the fly to take you to the station. (WITH RELISH) The new governess will arrive on the afternoon train.

MUSIC:

FOR A TRAIN ARRIVING ... BRIDGE

FRÄULEIN:

Good afternoon, children. I am your new governess.

RUE:

(CONCERNED) Where's Nanny?

FRÄULEIN:

Oh, she went away. I am Fräulein Lina. Say, "Good afternoon," now, like little ladies.

AUDREY:

(OBSEQUIOUS) Good afternoon, Fräulein.

RUE:

(TO FRÄULEIN) What happened to Nanny? Why did she go away?

FRÄULEIN:

That is not for little girls to ask. Now, say, "Good afternoon."

RUE:

But you haven't told me.

FRÄULEIN:

Listen to me now, sweetheart. You will forget Nanny. You have your Fräulein now. You understand?

RUE:

But--

FRÄULEIN:

I'm going to teach you to behave like little ladies in society. And you will do what I tell you -- or you will be very sorry. Now, have we that all clear?

AUDREY:

Yes, Fräulein.

RUE:

(UNCERTAIN) Yes, Fräulein. But--

FRÄULEIN:

Now, my little Miss Rue, you have not said to me, "Good afternoon, Fräulein." Say it now.

RUE:

(POUTS) I don't want to.

FRÄULEIN:

Mmmm? Say it now. "Good afternoon, Fräulein."

RUE:

I-- (GIVES UP, SIGHS, UNFRIENDLY) Good afternoon, Fräulein.

FRÄULEIN:

That's better, sweetheart. That's much better. Now we shall go down to the beach.

MUSIC:

FOR A TRIP TO THE BEACH ... BRIDGE

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS ... FRÄULEIN'S FOOTSTEPS IN

FRÄULEIN:

So, are the letters finished to your father?

AUDREY:

Mine is. I wrote Poppy a long letter just like you said, Fräulein. It's all finished.

FRÄULEIN:

And you, sweetheart?

RUE:

(DEFIANT) I didn't write mine.

FRÄULEIN:

No? Then now you will write your father. Now.

RUE:

I don't want to.

FRÄULEIN:

Do you want I should give you castor oil?

RUE:

(INHALES SHARPLY)

FRÄULEIN:

Well, so better you write.

SOUND:

RUSTLE OF PAPER IN AGREEMENT WITH--

FRÄULEIN:

(READS, TO HERSELF) "Dear Father, I am having a lovely time." (TO RUE) Now write, "The beach is beautiful. The children are very nice. Newport is a very nice place."

RUE:

(PROTESTS) I can't write so fast.

FRÄULEIN:

So? Is that all you're going to say?

SOUND:

SHUFFLE, AS FRÄULEIN GRABS RUE'S CHIN

RUE:

Let go of me!

FRÄULEIN:

Look at me, darling. Aren't you going to say something nice about your Lina?

RUE:

(GASPS) My neck hurts! Let me go!

FRÄULEIN:

My little Liebchen, I know two little girls who're going to get ice cream tonight if they're good. Now you write, "Poppy, I have a very nice Fräulein. I like her better than Nanny."

RUE:

I don't like you better than Nanny!

AUDREY:

You'd better say so. I did.

FRÄULEIN:

(TO RUE) Do you want ice cream or castor oil?

RUE:

(BEAT, READS SLOWLY, RELUCTANT, UNCONVINCING) "We have a very nice governess. I like her very much."

FRÄULEIN:

Good. Now, go on. "I like her better than Nanny. And hope she comes back to Chicago with us."

RUE:

I won't! I won't!

SOUND:

SHUFFLE, AS FRÄULEIN GRABS RUE'S CHIN AGAIN ... RUE SQUIRMS DURING FOLLOWING--

RUE:

(IN PAIN) Ow--!

FRÄULEIN:

Listen, darling. I have been with you now a week.

RUE:

(EXHALES IN PAIN)

FRÄULEIN:

You know your Lina means what she says.

RUE:

Oh--

FRÄULEIN:

You want castor oil?

RUE:

No-- You're hurting my neck!

FRÄULEIN:

So write! (FRÄULEIN LETS GO OF RUE'S CHIN; BEAT) Mm, that's better.

RUE:

(RUE BREATHES HARD AS SHE WRITES)

FRÄULEIN:

(BEAT, SATISFIED) Yes. Yes. Now, that is a nice letter. Address it.

RUE:

(SIGHS, BEAT) There. I have to go pick some flowers for Aunt Agnes, Fräulein.

FRÄULEIN:

Hold still while I put on your hat. Still!

RUE:

(PROTESTS) The ribbon's too tight; it hurts!

FRÄULEIN:

You want your lovely white hat to blow off and get dirty? You want all the other governesses to say your Fräulein is not good? Now -- get one spot on that dress and you'll see, darling. Now, go.

SOUND:

RUE'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS ... DOOR SHUTS ... RUE'S FOOTSTEPS DOWN THE HALL BEHIND--

RUE:

(TO HERSELF) Snake! Snake! Snake! That's what! Fat red old snake!

SOUND:

RUE'S FOOTSTEPS OUT AS PHONE RECEIVER IS PICKED UP

1ST OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Number, please.

RUE:

(HESITANT, INTO PHONE) I - I want to send a telegram.

1ST OPERATOR:

(FILTER) One moment, please.

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS, LINE CONNECTS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)

2ND OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Yes, please?

RUE:

(SURE OF HERSELF NOW, INTO PHONE) I want to send a telegram to Mr. Anthony Peterson, Hayfarms, Lake Forest, Illinois.

2ND OPERATOR:

(FILTER) What message, please?

RUE:

(INTO PHONE) "Poppy -- come and get me. Please. Please. Please." Sign it, "Rue."

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS OFF ... FRÄULEIN'S FOOTSTEPS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

FRÄULEIN:

(CALLS, OFF) Come along, Audrey! Time for the beach!

RUE:

(LOW, INTO PHONE) Hurry! Hurry, please!

2ND OPERATOR:

(FILTER) What is your number?

FRÄULEIN:

(CALLS, OFF) Rue?! Where are you, darling?!

RUE:

(LOW, INTO PHONE) Newport two-seven-one.

2ND OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Shall I charge it to that number?

RUE:

(LOW, INTO PHONE) Yes!

FRÄULEIN:

(COMES CLOSER) Rue? What are you doing there?

SOUND:

RUE HURRIEDLY HANGS UP THE PHONE

FRÄULEIN:

Give me that!

SOUND:

FRÄULEIN PICKS UP PHONE

FRÄULEIN:

(INTO PHONE) Hello? (NO ANSWER) Hello?

SOUND:

FRÄULEIN RATTLES THE CRADLE

FRÄULEIN:

(INTO PHONE) Hello?

SOUND:

FRÄULEIN HANGS UP PHONE

FRÄULEIN:

(TO RUE) Who was that?

RUE:

Er, some people called up. They wanted to speak to somebody.

FRÄULEIN:

Was it the wrong number?

RUE:

Yes. The wrong number.

FRÄULEIN:

Well, here's your coat. Hmmm. Everything you do looks sneaking. You're nothing but a sneak. (CALLS) Audrey?

AUDREY:

I'm right here, Fräulein.

FRÄULEIN:

Come along.

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR OPENS ... AGNES' FOOTSTEPS IN

FRÄULEIN:

Oh, good morning, madam.

AGNES:

Why aren't the children at the beach? The other children are.

FRÄULEIN:

They are writing to their father. I have here the letters. They write slowly. They need more discipline. (TO RUE AND AUDREY) Curtsy to your aunt.

AGNES:

(IMPRESSED) Isn't that sweet?! They can come in and curtsy tonight at the party.

AUDREY:

Is Mrs. van Duesen coming to the party, Aunt Agnes?

AGNES:

Of course!

AUDREY:

(WISELY) She didn't come to the other parties you gave.

RUE:

(IMPATIENT) Come on, Audrey.

SOUND:

RUE AND AUDREY'S FOOTSTEPS START OFF ... THEN STOP WITH--

FRÄULEIN:

Stop! Curtsy again to your aunt.

AGNES:

Isn't that darling? Don't let them stay in the sun too long, Fräulein.

FRÄULEIN:

Ja, madam.

AGNES:

And don't let them go into the water; it's too cold. (TO RUE AND AUDREY) Er, go on now, dears. (TO FRÄULEIN) I'm going up for my parasol.

SOUND:

AGNES' FOOTSTEPS AWAY AS FRONT DOOR SHUTS ... RUE AND AUDREY'S FOOTSTEPS TRUDGE OFF WOODEN PORCH ONTO DIRT PATH, IN BG

FRÄULEIN:

(TO RUE AND AUDREY) Walk ahead of me now! March! I'll follow in a minute.

SOUND:

RUE AND AUDREY'S FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE IN BG

AUDREY:

Come on, Rue!

RUE:

I wish we didn't have to wear all these clothes. I'm uncomfortable.

AUDREY:

(UNCARING) Oh, ladies are always uncomfortable.

RUE:

I don't want to curtsy at Aunt Agnes' party.

AUDREY:

Mrs. van Duesen won't come. She'll call up again and say she's sick. That'll be twice.

RUE:

Is she sick?

AUDREY:

No, stupid. She doesn't wanna come. I heard the Phellps' governess tell somebody that Aunt Agnes was here to crash society.

RUE:

But she told Poppy she wanted to bring us here. For our own good.

AUDREY:

Oh, you don't believe that? Well, you're only ten years old. You don't know what a widow is.

RUE:

Aunt Agnes is a widow.

AUDREY:

No, I mean what a widow is. A widow is a woman trying to get married again. Aunt Agnes is here to get into society and marry a rich man.

RUE:

But Poppy's rich.

AUDREY:

Oh, he's only a meat packer and he's only her brother-in-law.

RUE:

I don't care what he is. I want to go home. I want to go home to Poppy.

AUDREY:

You can't go home.

RUE:

Nanny used to let us have fun. I bet Poppy wants us back.

AUDREY:

You aren't a baby any more. You need a governess. That's what Aunt Agnes said.

RUE:

But if Fräulein is going to--

FRÄULEIN:

(APPROACHES) What's that? Did you say something? (NO ANSWER, SIGHS) Well, come on now; through the gates.

SOUND:

WHACK! OF PARASOL ON RUE'S LEG

RUE:

Ow! Fräulein!

FRÄULEIN:

You were walking crooked.

RUE:

But you hit me with your parasol!

SOUND:

SHARP TAPS OF PARASOL DURING NEXT LINE--

FRÄULEIN:

Nice young ladies walk straight. So! Straight! March!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... FOR A MARCH TO THE BEACH

SOUND:

BEACH BACKGROUND ... SURF, ET CETERA

FRÄULEIN:

Now listen, both of you. You're on the beach, so play nicely and don't get those shoes wet, you hear?

AUDREY:

Oh, come on, Rue; there's Nona van Duesen. Maybe she'll play with us today. Come on.

RUE:

I don't want to. She hates us.

AUDREY:

But you don't understand. You're too little. Look, if Nona van Duesen plays with us, well, then maybe we'll be in society. I don't care if she hates me. I know what I want.

RUE:

Well, you go ahead, then. I don't want to.

AUDREY:

(MOVING OFF, NEEDLING) Fräulein'll be awful mad.

RUE:

I don't care! (INTENSE, TO HERSELF) If I shut my eyes real tight, I won't see Audrey. I won't see any of them. Maybe Poppy'll be here tomorrow. I hate this place. All this sand. Can't go in the water. And that Nona, and the Phellps girls -- they're all mean. Just plain mean. And Fräulein-- Suppose Poppy doesn't take me home. Suppose I just have to stay here forever with Fräulein. Oh, no! No. Please, Poppy, please, come--

FRÄULEIN:

So!

RUE:

(STARTLED GASP) Fräulein!

FRÄULEIN:

You think I don't watch you, huh?

RUE:

You're pinching me!

FRÄULEIN:

You get up. You get up from that sand! Go and play with the children! What do you think you're here for?! Go on!

AUDREY:

Come on, Rue. Nona van Duesen is playing with us.

NONA:

(DOMINANT) We need somebody to dig this canal. Come along, do.

AUDREY:

(UNUSUALLY SUBMISSIVE) Where do you want me to start, Nona?

NONA:

You go over there.

AUDREY:

(PUZZLED) Over there?

NONA:

Yes. You're a slave, digging the canal. I'm the architect.

AUDREY:

(UNDERSTANDS) Oh.

NONA:

You! Little girl!

RUE:

(STAMMERS) Me?

NONA:

You're a slave, too. Go and dig.

RUE:

I don't want to.

NONA:

Do as you're told! If you don't dig, you get your eye poked out with a hot stick.

AUDREY:

Rue, you've got to dig if Nona says so.

NONA:

If you ever want to come to my house to play, you've got to do what I say.

AUDREY:

(SLIGHTLY AWED) Can we come to your house, really, Nona?

NONA:

Well, we don't ask everybody to our house. We don't want hoi polloi in our house.

RUE:

You shut up or I'll kill you!

NONA:

Is that so? If you don't dig, you'll get sand thrown in your eyes. Like this!

SOUND:

SAND THROWN IN RUE'S FACE

RUE:

(SHRIEKS) Oh! (STARTS TO CRY)

NONA:

Cry baby! You little cry baby!

RUE:

I'll kill you!

SOUND:

SCUFFLE ... AS CRYING RUE ATTACKS SCREECHING NONA

NONA:

Oh! Oh, let go of my hair, you!

RUE:

I'll kill you! I'll kill you!

FRÄULEIN:

(ARRIVES TO BREAK UP THE FIGHT, TO RUE) Let go, do you hear?! You nasty little girl! Let go!

NONA:

(RUNNING OFF, CALLS) Miss Miffin! Miss Miffin!

FRÄULEIN:

(ADMONISHES RUE) So! How sweet, how dainty you play! Hit the little van Duesen, will you? Oh, you're wicked! Wicked!

RUE:

(SOBBING, WEAKLY) My eyes hurt. She threw sand at me.

FRÄULEIN:

Wicked, wicked!

VAN DUESEN:

(CALLS, IMPERIOUS, FROM OFF) You, there! Send that girl to me!

AUDREY:

Uh oh. Fräulein, that's Mrs. van Duesen.

VAN DUESEN:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Send her over here at once!

FRÄULEIN:

(LOW, TO RUE) There! Ha! Now you'll catch it! Mrs. van Duesen saw you. Come along now. March! March!

VAN DUESEN:

(BEAT, SLIGHTLY OFF) You may leave us, nurse.

FRÄULEIN:

(APOLOGETIC) Madam, I assure you--

VAN DUESEN:

Go on. I'll see the little girl alone.

FRÄULEIN:

Yes, madam. (WHISPERS, TO RUE) Go on; that's what you're here for -- to meet her. Go on!

RUE:

(WHIMPERS, SCARED)

VAN DUESEN:

Come here, little girl.

RUE:

(WHIMPERS, SNIFFS)

VAN DUESEN:

Come here, dear. Take a big swallow of this. It's very dry. And a good year.

RUE:

Thank you. (DRINKS, CHOKES, GASPS, COUGHS, THEN RECOVERS, NO LONGER SOBBING)

VAN DUESEN:

(LAUGHS MERRILY) See? You're better. It's the shock. I wish I could get a shock. Any shock. (WITH KEEN INTEREST) What's your name?

RUE:

Rue Peterson.

VAN DUESEN:

Ohhh, a Peterson child, eh? Why did you pull Nona's hair?

RUE:

She threw sand in my eyes.

VAN DUESEN:

Yes, I saw that. Why don't you come to my house and play tomorrow?

RUE:

(BEAT, UNCERTAIN) I'll have to ask my aunt.

VAN DUESEN:

Do, by all means.

RUE:

(DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY) Well, goodbye.

VAN DUESEN:

Goodbye, Rue Peterson. You ask your aunt. (LAUGHS) I wouldn't be a bit surprised if she said -- yes. (LAUGHS)

RUE:

(CONFUSED) Goodbye.

VAN DUESEN:

(LAUGHTER FADES AS RUE MOVES AWAY)

FRÄULEIN:

Come here, Rue!

RUE:

(DEFENSIVE) I didn't do anything.

FRÄULEIN:

(PLEASED) So! Now you're in society! You're in society, Mrs. Astor!

RUE:

You're not going to pinch me, Fräulein?

FRÄULEIN:

Me? Of course not. Who ever heard of your Lina doing anything like that? A little society girl, like you are now, needs a good friend like Lina. Come along, sweetheart. We'll go and play. (LAUGHS MERRILY) Come along, Mrs. Astor! (LAUGHS)

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... FOR A SURPRISING TURN OF EVENTS

RUE:

(BREATHES IRREGULARLY, PRETENDING TO TAKE A NAP)

FRÄULEIN:

(NOT FOOLED, SLIGHTLY OFF) You are not sleeping, Rue sweetheart.

RUE:

(EXHALES UNHAPPILY)

SOUND:

FRÄULEIN APPROACHES AND SITS ON EDGE OF RUE'S BED BEHIND--

FRÄULEIN:

My little Liebchen is not sleeping at all. (CHUCKLES) Now -- tell me what she said. Tell me what that old hag said to you.

RUE:

(SULLEN) She didn't say anything.

FRÄULEIN:

Oh, but yes! We all watched you. Mrs. Astor talking to Mrs. van Duesen. Two great ladies! (CHUCKLES)

RUE:

Go away. I want to sleep.

FRÄULEIN:

(TURNS UGLY) You tell me to go away? You tell me?

SOUND:

FRÄULEIN SLAPS RUE

FRÄULEIN:

(DISMISSIVE) Spiteful child, that's all.

RUE:

Go away. I don't want you here.

FRÄULEIN:

(SAVAGE) Now you're going to catch it! Now!

SOUND:

FRÄULEIN GRABS RUE AND DRAGS HER OUT OF BED

RUE:

My arm! Ow! My arm! (WHIMPERS IN PAIN AND TERROR BEHIND--)

SOUND:

RUE FALLS TO THE FLOOR

FRÄULEIN:

Now I'll show you! Now--!

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS, OFF

AGNES:

(SHOCKED, OFF) Rue? Fräulein! (CLOSER) Rue, what are you doing on the floor?

RUE:

(WEEPS QUIETLY, THEN IN BG)

AGNES:

Get back on your bed this minute. You'll soil your dress.

FRÄULEIN:

(FEIGNS FRUSTRATION) Mrs. Peterson, she is such a naughty girl. I can do nothing sometimes. This morning she had champagne!

AGNES:

(GASPS, DISBELIEF) What?

FRÄULEIN:

Mrs. van Duesen gave her some, and she drank almost a whole glass.

AGNES:

Mrs. van Duesen?

AUDREY:

(SMUG) I'll bet she doesn't come to your party tonight anyway. She invited us, though.

AGNES:

She invited you? To what?

AUDREY:

To her house. We're on the first rung of the ladder.

AGNES:

Audrey, don't talk like that. What do you mean?

AUDREY:

Mmm, Rue amuses her. So she asked us to her house.

FRÄULEIN:

(EXPLAINS, TO AGNES) She is a very old lady and she does drink that champagne in the hot sun.

RUE:

That's because she's bored.

AUDREY:

I bet she doesn't come tonight.

AGNES:

Will you and Fräulein please leave the room? I want to talk to Rue.

FRÄULEIN:

But, madam, she told--

AGNES:

Later, Fräulein.

SOUND:

FRÄULEIN AND AUDREY'S FOOTSTEPS WALK OFF, DURING FOLLOWING--

AUDREY:

(MOVING OFF) I'll bet she doesn't come to your party.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES, OFF

AGNES:

(AFTER A PAUSE, WARMLY) Rue? Let's be friends. Shall we?

RUE:

(CONFUSED) Huh?

AGNES:

Rue dear, you don't want to leave Newport, do you? You and Audrey want to make something of yourselves, don't you? You have no mother. It's up to me to see that you occupy your rightful position in society.

RUE:

I don't want to be in society.

AGNES:

Now, don't you think you're a rather ungrateful little girl? I have this large expensive house and your father has to foot the bills and--

RUE:

(EXCITED) Poppy! Did you speak to Poppy? What did he say? Is he coming? Oh, I knew he would when he got my-- (INHALES, CATCHING HERSELF, THEN QUIETLY GROANS)

AGNES:

Well, dear! I'm glad you admit it. Of course I know you sent a wire. No matter how bad a thing is, it's better to be truthful, isn't it?

RUE:

(HOPEFUL) Am I going home?

AGNES:

My dear child. My dear child! He telephoned me at great expense. He thought you were sick. He was worried.

RUE:

(REALIZES, SLOWLY) He - isn't coming?

AGNES:

Now, what would people say if your father appeared suddenly and whisked you off, as though I starved you or beat you?

RUE:

Fräulein beats me.

AGNES:

(GASPS, THEN STERN) Look at me and say that again, dear.

RUE:

(BEAT) Please, Aunt Agnes--

AGNES:

Look at me.

RUE:

(BEAT, STARTS TO CRY)

AGNES:

Hmph! I thought so! Say, "Aunt Agnes, I'm a little liar."

RUE:

(SOBBING) Aunt Agnes, I'm a little liar. (SOBS BEHIND--)

AGNES:

(SENSIBLY) Fräulein was with Lord and Lady Borstal's children when they were here last year. Do you think that Lord and Lady Borstal would hire a bad governess? Oh, I realize you don't like Fräulein. I know you don't want her to go back to Chicago with you. (AN IDEA) Rue? Rue dear? I'll make a bargain with you.

RUE:

(HAS STOPPED SOBBING) A - a bargain?

AGNES:

Would you do something for me if I promise to send Fräulein away? (CONFIDENTIAL) This is a secret. A big secret between you and me.

RUE:

What is it?

AGNES:

Why don't you say you're giving a party and ask her to come? As though it were your idea?

RUE:

Ask who to come?

AGNES:

Now dear, don't be stupid. Mrs. van Duesen.

RUE:

But I'm not giving a party.

AGNES:

That's just it, dear. It's time you had a nice party, you and Audrey. And if you could just get Mrs. van Duesen to-- Well, drop in. She likes you, don't you see?

RUE:

You mean if I get Mrs. van Duesen to come here, you'd send Fräulein away?

AGNES:

Yes, dear, I do.

RUE:

Could I go home?

AGNES:

(SWEETLY) No, but I'd send Fräulein away.

RUE:

Now?

AGNES:

(LAUGHS) Now, dear, be practical. I'll send her away if you get Mrs. van Duesen.

RUE:

What shall I say to her?

AGNES:

Oh, just be natural, dear. Now, is it a bargain, dear?

RUE:

All right, Aunt Agnes. It's a bargain.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

FRÄULEIN:

Now listen, sweethearts. That old hag van Duesen wants no governess in her house. I come back for you at six sharp. And if I see so much as one little spot on either dress--

AUDREY:

Yes, Lina darling.

FRÄULEIN:

If you are good girls today, I'll take you next week to Newport News, to the interned submarine Prince Wilhelm. Your Lina knows a lovely officer on board. He has a decoration from the Kaiser himself.

AUDREY:

England's going to win the war.

FRÄULEIN:

Do you want I should slap you for a change?

AUDREY:

No, Lina dear. Slap Rue. She's sulking.

FRÄULEIN:

(WITH GOOD HUMOR) Mm, she's snooty. She's Mrs. Astor. (CHUCKLES, THEN MORE SERIOUS) Come on now, Mrs. van Duesen will be waiting.

RUE:

(HELPLESS, TO HERSELF) I can't do it.

FRÄULEIN:

Do what? Come on. That Miss Miffin is watching from the window.

RUE:

I don't know how to say it.

FRÄULEIN:

To say what? Come on. (NO RESPONSE) No? All right. So!

RUE:

(IN PAIN) Ooh! You pinched me!

FRÄULEIN:

So come!

SOUND:

THEY WALK TO THE DOOR ... DOOR BELL RINGS ... BEAT ... DOOR OPENS

MIFFIN:

Come in.

VAN DUESEN:

(OFF) Who is it, Miffin?

MIFFIN:

The Peterson children.

VAN DUESEN:

(CLOSER) Ohhh. All right. The governess may wait outside on the porch.

FRÄULEIN:

But, madam--

VAN DUESEN:

Outside. The children may take off their shoes and run in the grass.

FRÄULEIN:

Ohhh. But, madam, they are not allowed to go barefoot. They catch cold.

VAN DUESEN:

Let them. That's what you're for -- to take care of them. You may go.

FRÄULEIN:

Yes, madam.

SOUND:

FRÄULEIN'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... DOOR SHUTS

VAN DUESEN:

Miffin, go get Nona.

MIFFIN:

(MOVING OFF) Yes, madam.

VAN DUESEN:

Now--

RUE:

(STAMMERS) Mrs. van Duesen? I have to ask you--

VAN DUESEN:

What do you have to ask me? (THINKS SHE KNOWS) Oh, there's a bathroom in there.

RUE:

No! No. (BLURTS IT OUT) If you don't come Wednesday, Aunt Agnes will keep Fräulein forever! If I can make you come to tea, she'll send her away.

VAN DUESEN:

What? (LAUGHS MERRILY)

RUE:

Please. I didn't mean anything wrong.

VAN DUESEN:

Come here. You want me to come to your house on Wednesday? Is that it?

RUE:

I'm afraid--

VAN DUESEN:

(CALLS) Miffin? Get Mrs. Peterson's telephone number! (MOVING OFF, TO RUE) Wait here.

AUDREY:

(LOW, TO RUE) You fool. You chump. You didn't believe Aunt Agnes, did you? You don't believe she'll send Fräulein away, do you?

RUE:

But she promised. She promised!

AUDREY:

Oh, stupid. Now you've just made Mrs. van Duesen mad.

VAN DUESEN:

(APPROACHES) I've got the number. Get out children. Outside and close the door.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

VAN DUESEN:

(INTO PHONE) Hello? Give me Newport two-seven-one. (STARTS TO FADE AS--)

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS, CUTTING OFF MRS. VAN DUESEN

AUDREY:

Oh, you chump!

RUE:

Let go of me, Audrey! Audrey!

FRÄULEIN:

(APPROACHES) So here you are! What have you been doing, huh?!

AUDREY:

Oh, she's a little chump. She thought Aunt Agnes would send you away if she could get Mrs. van Duesen to come to tea. Aunt Agnes told her that.

FRÄULEIN:

What do you mean? Explain this.

RUE:

No! No, I can't!

FRÄULEIN:

You tell me, sweetheart. You tell your Lina -- now.

RUE:

No! No! Go away from me!

SOUND:

RUE'S RUNNING FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... THEN IN BG

FRÄULEIN:

(CALLS) Come back here! Don't try to run away! I'll catch you!

RUE:

(IN PANIC, BREATHLESS, TO HERSELF) Got to hide. I've got to hide. I can't let her find me. (AN IDEA) In the bushes.

SOUND:

RUE PLUNGES INTO BUSHES AND SCRUNCHES DOWN

RUE:

(TO HERSELF) Please don't let her find me. Please. Please.

FRÄULEIN:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Rue?! Rue darling?! Where are you, sweetheart?!

RUE:

(TO HERSELF) Please. Please, don't let her find me. (BREATHES HARD, WHIMPERS)

FRÄULEIN:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) You wouldn't hide from your Lina! Where are you, sweetheart?! (CLOSER) Oh, I see you! I see you!

RUE:

(TERRIFIED) Oh!

SOUND:

RUE'S RUNNING FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... THEN IN BG

FRÄULEIN:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Run for the house?! You fool! I'm going to catch you!

SOUND:

THEIR RUNNING FOOTSTEPS ... THEN OUT AS RUE TRIES TO CLIMB IN A WINDOW

FRÄULEIN:

(CLOSER) No, you don't! I got you! I got you!

RUE:

(CRYING) My leg! You're hurting me!

FRÄULEIN:

Come down from the window. I'm going to beat you to death.

RUE:

(HYSTERICAL) You're hurting me!

FRÄULEIN:

(SAVAGE) I'm going to beat you to death! I'm going to beat you to death!

RUE:

Please, you're--! Mama! No! No! (HYSTERICAL, INCOMPREHENSIBLE RAVING)

FRÄULEIN:

(LOW, HARSH) Sh! Somebody's coming. Keep quiet! Quiet, do you hear?

RUE:

(HYSTERIA SUBSIDES TO SOBS AND WHIMPERS, THEN IN BG)

SOUND:

AUDREY'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH BEHIND--

AUDREY:

Oh, you're fighting again. You've spoiled everything anyway.

FRÄULEIN:

(RELIEVED SIGH) It's only you, huh?

AUDREY:

Mrs. van Duesen called Aunt Agnes about Fräulein. They had an awful fight and now she's calling Poppy.

FRÄULEIN:

Who? Who's calling Mr. Peterson?

AUDREY:

Mrs. van Duesen. She sent me to get Rue to speak to him.

RUE:

(IN SHOCK, TO HERSELF) I'm - bleeding.

AUDREY:

(POINTEDLY, TO FRÄULEIN) Rue has to come in now.

FRÄULEIN:

(COMPLETE CHANGE OF TONE, SOFTLY) Darling -- you're teasing your Lina.

RUE:

(STUNNED) She's really calling Poppy?

FRÄULEIN:

(TO AUDREY) My little Liebchen is joking. Aren't you, sweetheart?

AUDREY:

She wants Rue to talk to him and tell him everything. Rue's spoiled everything! Rue, you're a selfish pig! I hate you! You spoiled our whole beautiful summer in Newport. (STARTS TO WEEP)

FRÄULEIN:

(PLEADS TO RUE, SWEETLY) Liebchen-- Rue sweetheart-- You will not say naughty things about your Lina, will you? You'll tell your Poppy how nice your Lina has been? Darling? Liebchen?

RUE:

(TO AUDREY) She's really calling Poppy?

AUDREY:

Yes! And now he'll come and take us away and I won't get into society at all. You selfish pig!

RUE:

I'm going to speak to Poppy?

FRÄULEIN:

(DESPERATE) Listen to me, Liebchen. Your Lina loves you! You won't make your Lina go away? You won't tell your Poppy naughty things. Fräulein is going to be so good to you! You'll see, little sweetheart.

RUE:

(LOW, MEASURED) If you don't let go of me, Fräulein -- I'll kick you.

FRÄULEIN:

But, sweetheart -- Fräulein loves you. Your Lina loves you!

RUE:

I don't have to be afraid of you any more. (BEAT) So there.

FRÄULEIN:

Darling, your Lina loves you, sweetheart; your Lina loves you.

VAN DUESEN:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Rue? Come and speak to your father.

RUE:

Let go, Fräulein, or I'll kick you.

FRÄULEIN:

(HELPLESS) Liebchen--

RUE:

(WITH FINALITY) Goodbye, Fräulein. I'm going to speak to Poppy now.

VAN DUESEN:

(CLOSER) Come along, child. Your father wants you.

SOUND:

RUE'S FOOTSTEPS, INCREASING IN TEMPO, BEHIND--

RUE:

I'm coming. I'm coming! (RELIEVED, JOYOUS) Poppy-- Poppy! Poppy! I'm coming!

MUSIC:

FINALE

ANNOUNCER:

You have heard "Beautiful Summer in Newport" by Felicia Gizycka. The adaptation was by Ernest Kinoy of NBC. In tonight's cast, Rue was Anne Whitfield, Nanny was Isabel Jewell, Audrey was Dawn Bender, Aunt Agnes was Hope Sansbury, Poppy was Charles Seel, Fräulein was Naomi Stevens, 1st Telephone Operator was Martha Shaw, Nona was Marlene Ames, Mrs. van Duesen was Noreen Gammill, Miss Miffin was Norma Varden. Your announcer, Don Stanley. The director of NBC PRESENTS SHORT STORY is Andrew C. Love.

MUSIC:

CLOSING THEME

ANNOUNCER:

Be with us again next week at this same time as NBC PRESENTS SHORT STORY. At that time, we will present two of the most delightful short stories of Sherwood Anderson, "I'm a Fool" and "I Want to Know Why." That's a week from tonight. And, in the meantime, bear in mind this message from the United States Marine Corps--

"Dress Blues" is the uniform most frequently associated with the United States Marines. Actually, however, Marines wear other uniforms, some of which are not quite so well known. For warm-weather assignments, Marines wear khaki. During the wintertime, the Marine usually wears his greens -- a smart and handsome uniform with a particularly distinctive color, often referred to as "Marine Green." And, of course, for more formal occasions, the Marine wears his Dress Blues.

The Marines are famous as a smart-looking military outfit. Certainly this reputation is based in some part on the careful fitting of uniforms. Another explanation is the respect each Marine has for his uniforms and his regard for the traditions with which they are associated. Proud of his uniform, proud of his outfit -- that's a United States Marine.

MUSIC:

ANOTHER, BRIEFER CLOSING THEME

ANNOUNCER:

This program came to you from Hollywood. This is NBC, the National Broadcasting Company.

MUSIC:

NBC CHIMES