ACTOR 2: (Reads.)
"Saturday morning was come, and all the summer world was bright
and fresh, and brimming with life." (Moves around STAGE and
gestures as the action she describes takes place. To AUDIENCE.)
Tom Sawyer appeared on the sidewalk... (ACTOR 3 appears as TOM.)
...with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. (ACTOR 1
hands him these things, then EXITS.) He surveyed the fence, and
all gladness left him.
ACTOR 3/TOM: Thirty
yards of fence! Betcha its nine feet high. (Does the
following as ACTOR 2 speaks following lines.)
ACTOR 2: (To AUDIENCE.)
Sighing, he dipped his brush and passed it along the topmost plank,
repeated the operation, then sat down on a tree-box, discouraged.
(ACTOR 2 EXITS to become JESSICA.)
TOM: (Groans and
drops his brush in the bucket, then sits with his head in his hands.)
ACTOR 2/JESS: (ACTOR
2 has become JESS by putting on a cap. She too has a bucket. ENTERS singing.)
Buffalo Gals, woncha come out tonight? Come out tonight!
Come out tonight! Oh, Buffalo Gals, woncha come out tonight and
dance by the light of the moooon?
TOM: Say, uh, Jess...
JESS: (Smiles, coquettish.)
TOM: Ill fetch
the water for ya if youll whitewash some.
JESS: (Shakes her head.)
Cant, Tom. Aunt Polly, she told me to go and get this water and
not to stop to fool around with anybody. She says she expected Tom
was going to ask me to whitewash some, and so she told me to go along
and tend to my own business.
TOM: Oh, never mind
what she said. Thats the way she always talks. Gimme the
bucket. I wont be gone only a minute. She wont ever know.
JESS: Oh, I better not,
Tom. Aunt Polly, shed tear my head off a me. Indeed she would!
TOM: Aw! She never
licks anybody. Whacks em over the head with her thimbleand
who cares for that, Id like to know. She talks awful, but her
talk dont hurt.
JESS: But, Tom, Im
powerful afraid of Aunt Polly. (They have a tug of war over the bucket.)
TOM: (Gives up. Thinks.)
If you let me fetch the water, Ill show you my sore toe.
ACTOR 1: (ENTERS. To AUDIENCE.)
Well, Jess was only human, and this attraction was too much for her. (TOM
starts to take off his shoe. Both huddle over the toe. JESS is very
interested. Still huddled over, speaks as Aunt Polly, in falsetto.)
Tom! Thomas! (EXITS to become BEN.)
TOM: (Looks up,
startled. Looks off as if he "sees" Aunt Polly in the distance.) Oh!
JESS: (As if to the
unseen Aunt Polly.) Oh, how dee do, Miss Polly. I was just&ldots; just...
(JESS Runs OFF in fear. TOM
smiles falsely and waves to the unseen Aunt Polly, following her as
she "passes by," pretending to be working very hard. When
she has gone, he sits on the cube and throws his brush in the bucket
again and groans.)
ACTOR 2/NARRATOR: (ENTERS
as NARRATOR again, carrying a triangle or a small bell. To AUDIENCE.)
Tom tried again, but his energy did not last. He began to think of
the fun he had planned for this day, and his sorrows multiplied. At
this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him... (Hits
a triangle "ding" as TOMS face suddenly brightens
with an idea.) Nothing less than a great, magnificent
inspiration! (TOMS energy is renewed as he paints again. Now
he works happily. Soon ACTOR 1 ENTERS up the aisle from the AUDIENCE,
carrying an apple.) Presently, Ben Rogers hove into sight. The
very boy of all boys, whose ridicule Tom had been dreading.
(ACTOR 1/BEN enters, chomping on an apple.)
Hi-ya! Youre up a stump, aint you! (TOM continues to
act as if he is enjoying himself, humming happily. Sees BENS
juicy apple but doesnt let BEN notice.) Hello, old chap,
you got to work, hey?
TOM: (Pretends not
to have noticed BEN until now.) Why, its you, Ben! I
BEN: (Shows off.)
Say, Im going in a-swimming, I am. Dont you wish you
could? But of course youd druther workwouldnt you?
Course you would!
TOM: What do you call work?
Why, aint that work?
TOM: Well, maybe it is,
and maybe it aint. All I know is, it suits Tom Sawyer.
BEN: Oh, come now, you
dont mean to let on that you like it?
TOM: (Continues to
brush enthusiastically.) Like it? Well, I dont see why I
oughtnt to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a
fence every day?
BEN: (Watches TOM
earnestly, nibbling his apple and trying to get this straight. He
considers, then speaks.) Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.
TOM: (Considers but
shakes his head.) No. No, I reckon it wouldnt do, Ben. You
see, Aunt Pollys awful particular about this fence. Its
got to be done very careful. I reckon there aint one boy in a
thousand, maybe two thousand, that can do it the way its got to
BEN: Is that so? Oh,
come on now, lemme just try. Only just a little. Id let you, if
you was me, Tom.
TOM: Ben, Id like
to, honest. But, Aunt Pollywell, Jess wanted to do it, and she
wouldnt let her. Now, dont you see how Im fixed? If
you was to tackle this fence, and if anything was to happen to it
BEN: Oh, shucks,
Ill be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say, Ill give you
the core of my apple.
TOM: (Acts reluctant.)
Well... here... (Starts to hand brush but pulls it back.) No,
Ben, now dont. Im afeard...
BEN: Ill give you
all my apple!
TOM: (Hides his smile.)
(MUSIC that introduced the
scene is heard as ACTOR 2 narrates. TOM has lovely time munching away
as BEN works.)
Note: This is a
sample from the actual script. To review the entire play, order
the PERUSAL SCRIPT (online instant download).