A Christmas Carol1984

Young Scrooge:
[Fan enters the boarding school where young Ebenezer sleeps on a desk] Fan?

[they hug]

Fan:
Dear, dear brother! I've come to bring you home, brother. Home for good and all! Father is so much kinder now than he used to be. One night, he spoke with me so gently that I worked up the courage to ask him if you might come home! And he said yes, you should. We came in a coach to pick you up; it's right outside!

Young Scrooge:
You've grown into quite a young woman, Fan.

Fan:
And you've grown into quite a young man, never to need see this lonely place again. Come on, let's not keep Father waiting.

[they dash outside to meet their father. Young Ebenezer starts to hug Silas, but the elder man holds out his walking-stick, preventing the boy from doing so]

Silas Scrooge:
There, there, boy. Let's have a look at you. Well, they haven't been overfeeding you. That's certain.

Young Scrooge:
I've grown, Fan tells me.

Silas Scrooge:
Yes, most boys do. I imagine she's also told you that you're not moving back here. So it's time you made your way in the world. I've arrange an apprenticeship for you. You'll move into Mr. Fezziwig's establishment in three days' time.

Fan:
Three days, Father? It's been YEARS since we've had my brother at home! I was hoping we'd have him for longer.

Silas Scrooge:
LONGER? Three days is QUITE long enough for BOTH of us. You DO agree, Ebenezer, DON'T you?

Young Scrooge:
Indeed, Sir. Quite long enough.

Silas Scrooge:
That's better. Come along, Fan.

[They ride off for home]

Ebenezer Scrooge:
...Where are we now?

Ghost of Christmas Present:
The name would mean nothing to you. It's a place, like too many in this world.

Meg:
...Mary, Peter, they're cooked. [to Ben] Do we have enough wood for the night?

Peter (their son):
They're too hot to eat yet, mother.

Meg:
They'll be cooler soon enough.

Mary (their daughter):
How did you get these, father?

Ben:
[defensive] I didn't steal them, if that's what you're saying!

Meg:
She never SAID you stole them, Ben! Don't berate the girl.

Ben:
She should have some respect!

Meg:
They fell from a cart into the road, Mary.

Ben:
Your father's not a thief, Mary... Not yet.

Meg:
...Ben, come back and eat with us, won't you?

Ben:
Look at these hands, Meg. They're hard hands; they've done hard work. I want to work, to have bread for my children... It's not right that there's no work.

Meg:
We four still have each other, Ben. That's the most important thing.

Ben:
I love you, Meg, all of you. Tomorrow, I want you to take the children and go to the Parish Poorhouse.

Meg:
No! Better we all drown in the river, than go to one of THOSE places and be separated forever!

Ben:
Only until I can find work.

Meg:
We wouldn't LAST that long...! Come on, Ben, let's have some dinner.

Ebenezer Scrooge:
Why are these people out here? Wearing rags, eating scraps! Why aren't they in poorhouses, or...?

Ghost of Christmas Present:
Have you VISITED any of these poorhouses you speak of?

Ebenezer Scrooge:
No, but I'm taxed for them; isn't that enough?

Ghost of Christmas Present:
YOU tell ME.

Fred Holywell:
Uncle Ebenezer, this is my wife Janet. Janet this is Uncle Ebenezer.

Janet Holywell:
It's a pleasure.

Ebenezer Scrooge:
More like a surprise, wouldn't you say?

Janet Holywell:
Well, that too.

Fred Holywell:
That's quite true. Quite honestly, it is a surprise. At least yesterday, you made it quite clear, it seemed to me at least, that you had no intention of accepting my annual invitation.

Ebenezer Scrooge:
I made other things clear too, didn't I, Fred? That Christmas was a humbug - a waste of time and money. A false and commercial festival, devoutly to be ignored.

Fred Holywell:
Yes, basically, that was it.

Ebenezer Scrooge:
Well, I've come for three reasons. First, to beg your pardon for the things I said about Christmas. That was a humbug, Fred.

Fred Holywell:
Was it?

Ebenezer Scrooge:
I didn't know it then, but I know it now. Secondly, I've come to meet your wife.

Fred Holywell:
Well, here she is.

Ebenezer Scrooge:
Yes, and a very beautiful woman she is too.

Janet Holywell:
Thank you.

Ebenezer Scrooge:
I uh... I was in love once. Would you believe that?

Janet Holywell:
Yes.

Ebenezer Scrooge:
But I possessed neither the courage nor the optimism nor perhaps the depth of feeling that you two have. Thirdly, if the invitation to dine with you today is still in force, I accept.

Fred Holywell:
Of course, it's still in force! Hurrah! I was sure that one day...

Ebenezer Scrooge:
You were sure? Well, apparently you were right. Yes, I should like to dine with you and your friends.

Janet Holywell:
You'll be more than welcome!

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