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.
Thirty yards of fence! Betcha its nine feet high. (Does
the following as ACTOR 2 speaks following lines.)
ACTOR 2: (To
Sighing, he dipped his brush and passed it along the topmost plank,
repeated the operation, then sat down on a tree-box, discouraged.
EXITS to become JESSICA.)
and drops his brush in the bucket, then sits with his head in his hands.)
(ACTOR 2 has become JESS by putting on a cap. She too has a bucket. ENTERS singing.)
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?
Say, uh, Jess...
Ill fetch the water for ya if youll whitewash some.
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.
Oh, never mind what she said. Thats the way she always talks.
Gimme the bucket. I wont be gone only a minute. She wont
Oh, I better not, Tom. Aunt Polly, shed tear my head off a me.
Indeed she would!
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.
But, Tom, Im powerful afraid of Aunt Polly. (They
have a tug of war over the bucket.)
up. Thinks.) If
you let me fetch the water, Ill show you my sore toe.
ACTOR 1: (ENTERS.
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.)
up, startled. Looks off as if he "sees" Aunt Polly in the distance.) Oh!
if to the unseen Aunt Polly.)
Oh, how dee do, Miss Polly. I was just&ldots; just...
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?
not to have noticed BEN until now.)
Why, its you, Ben! I warnt noticing.
Im going in a-swimming, I am. Dont you wish you could?
But of course youd druther workwouldnt you?
Course you would!
What do you call work?
Why, aint that work?
Well, maybe it is, and maybe it aint. All I know is, it suits
Oh, come now, you dont mean to let on that you like it?
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?
TOM earnestly, nibbling his apple and trying to get this straight.
He considers, then speaks.)
Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.
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 be done.
Is that so? Oh, come on now, lemme just try. Only just a little.
Id let you, if you was me, 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
Oh, shucks, Ill be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say,
Ill give you the core of my apple.
Well... here... (Starts
to hand brush but pulls it back.)
No, Ben, now dont. Im afeard...
Ill give you all my apple!
introduced the scene is heard as ACTOR 2 narrates. TOM has lovely
time munching away as BEN works.)
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