Excerpts from ''A Christmas Carol'' theater script by Charles Dickens
''So you sing for Scrooge! I dare you!'' -- Urchin Leader

adapted for stage by Jeannette Jaquish, with new scenes and lines for supporting characters

*

Back to List of Christmas Scripts
Order a Script
Contact Jeannette Jaquish, playwright
Back to www.TheaterFunScripts.com

Please SHARE this page with your theater friends and teachers!

SCENE 1: BEGINNING THE STORY
--Bookcase on one side.
(OLIVER & BIG SISTER go to bookshelf.)

OLIVER: (sounding out words) Greet..

BIG SISTER: Great.

OLIVER: Great Explosions.

BIG SISTER: Great Expectations. Let me get it.

OLIVER: No! I want to do it myself! I can read.

BIG SISTER (sarcastic): Oh.

OLIVER: Great Expectations. Oliver Twist. See!!

BIG SISTER: Just because your name is Oliver.

OLIVER: David Copperfield.. A Christmas Carol! See!
(Grabs book and runs to Narrator.)
(LIGHTS UP OR OPEN CURTAIN)
I found it, Uncle! A Christmas Carol! By Charles Dickens! I read the title myself!

(INT. THE SITTING-ROOM A cheerily-lit sitting-room in London, England, one Christmas Eve in the 1860s. Oliver carries the book to a corner of the room where a man sits, obviously a favorite uncle -- he is surrounded by a noisy circle of children and young adults. He is to be the NARRATOR of the story. They are pestering him for something and he is waving them off.)

NARRATOR Good for you, Oliver! Oh, do all of you really want to hear this story again? You must have heard it a dozen times by now.

SKEPTICAL ADOLESCENT A hundred.
But it's good for a laugh.

POLITE CHILD: But we love it! Tell it again!
Please!

BIG SISTER And it's your story as much as it is anyone's. Isn't it, Uncle?

NARRATOR (genuine modesty) Maybe it is. But I'm not sure I'm the right one to tell it.

SKEPTICAL ADOLESCENT Aw, that's not true. Grandmother says you're the only one who knows how to tell it right.

POLITE CHILD Thatís true. No one does the voices and sound effects like you.

BIG SISTER: We want to hear it from you.

OLIVER Please? Iíve only heard it this many times because Iím only this many years old. (holds up 5 fingers, then 6)

NARRATOR (not opening the book) Oh, now, you know, I don't really need this. I've been telling this story every Christmas now for oh, I don't know how many years. Since I was a boy. And I know it by heart. It always begins the same way. Pause.

BIG SISTER: (very quietly) How does it begin?

(The Narrator abruptly looks up. Everyone is now seated. They stare at him expectantly. And without any warning, he begins.)

NARRATOR Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. This must be distinctly understood or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. So, remember, Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. The registrar of his burial was signed by Ebenezer Scrooge. And Scrooge's name was good on the London Exchange for anything he chose to put his hand to.

(ENTER SCROOGE who stands right in front of the Narrator and his group, who turn to look at him, then moves on.)

NARRATOR Now Scrooge was a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, solitary old oyster.
The cold within him froze his features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wirey chin.
------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


SCROOGE I am not in the habit of keeping Christmas, sir.

LAWYER Then why are you leaving so early?

SCROOGE Christmas has a habit of keeping men from doing business.

LAWYER Come, it's in the nature of things that ants toil and grasshoppers sing and play, Mister Scrooge.

SCROOGE An ant is what it is and a grasshopper is what it is and Christmas, sir, is a humbug. Good day.

The two men laugh at Scrooge as he exits the Exchange.

NARRATOR: No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was oíclock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge... who didnít have to.

(On the massive stone steps just outside the Exchange, a shivering poorly dressed man, SAM WILSON, with his SON & DAUGHTER, sees Scrooge walking toward him.)
WILSON Now, Anna, Paul, stand up straight, eyes up, here he comes. Mr. Scrooge, sir? (Scrooge pays him no heed and walks past.)

SCROOGE Who are you?

SAM WILSON Samuel Wilson, sir.

SCROOGE Oh, yes. Your two mortgage payments totaling 20 pounds are overdue by 59 days, now, I believe. Well, if you want to pay it, come to my place of business. I don't conduct my affairs in the teeth of inclement weather.

SAM WILSON I-I can't pay you, sir. Not by tomorrow.

SCROOGE I'm not surprised.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


WILSONíS DAUGHTER But, Mister Scrooge. It's Christmas!

SCROOGE (pleasantly challenged) Christmas! Christmas has nothing to do with it, young lady! Your father would still be in no position to repay me if it was the middle of a heat wave on August Bank holiday.
Christmas is humbug. And youíll do well to recognize that now. With a father like yours youíll do well to learn to take care of yourself.

WILSONíS SON No! Iíll take care of her if you send my Father to prison!

SCROOGE Excellent! Thatís settled! Good day!

(Scrooge EXITS stalking away as the stunned family stares at him, then also EXITS.)
------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


FRED Christmas a humbug, Uncle? You don't mean that, I am sure.

SCROOGE I do. Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough.

FRED Come, then. What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You're rich enough.

Scrooge has no better answer ready. SCROOGE Bah! Humbug.

FRED Don't be cross, Uncle.

SCROOGE What else can I be when I live in such a world of fools as this Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What's Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? (beat) If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!

FRED Uncle!

SCROOGE Nephew! (beat) Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


FRED And a Happy New Year!

SCROOGE Good afternoon.

(Fred leaves the room with a wry grin. On his way out the front door and buttoning his coat, he exchanges greetings with Bob Cratchit. )

FRED How is Mrs Cratchit and all the small, assorted Cratchits?

BOB CRATCHIT Very good, sir.

FRED All champing at the bit waiting for Christmas to begin, eh?

BOB CRATCHIT Oh, yes, sir. All very eager.

FRED And the little lame boy. Which one is he? Tim?

BOB CRATCHIT Tim, sir.

FRED That's right. How is he?

BOB CRATCHIT We're in high hopes he's getting better, sir.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------

.

SCROOGE Are there no prisons?
(The gentleman lays down his pen.)

2ND GENTLEMAN Plenty of prisons.

SCROOGE And the Union workhouses? Are they still in operation?

1ST GENTLEMAN They are. Still. I wish I could say they were not.

SCROOGE The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?

1ST GENTLEMAN Both very busy, sir.

SCROOGE Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.

1ST GENTLEMAN Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude, a few of us are attempting to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. What shall I put you down for?

SCROOGE Nothing!

1ST GENTLEMAN You wish to be anonymous?

SCROOGE I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry.
I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------

LEADER 2 shillings!
SMALLEST And two biscuits each!
BANDAGE The baker lady is a jolly good woman!
ORPHAN (wistfully) I wish she was my mother.
ALL Your mother! Ha-ha. (pause) (wistfully) Me too.
SNIFFLY (pocketing half-eaten cookie and wiping nose) Where should we sing next?

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------

BANDAGE The butcher?
LEADER He spends afternoons cuttiní carcasses, and his clerk up front wonít tip.
SMALLEST Once he gave us each a knuckle bone.
ALL (dreamy) A knuckle bone.....
LEADER OK, the butcher if we get desperate.
SNIFFLY The undertaker?
(All shiver.)
ORPHAN I donít like singing for him. He just stands there. Staring.
LITTLEST And rubbiní his hands.
BANDAGE Thatís because the city pays him 2 quid for each pauper he buries.
LEADER Yeah, weís just a pot oí gold heís waiting to lay hands on.
SNIFFLY How about Mr. Scrooge? Heís got plenty of money.
(they all turn to look at Scrooge.)
LEADER Scrooge? Heís a skinflint, never gave a pence and never will.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------

(SCROOGE works for a moment, looks up, slyly takes the fireplace poker or a ruler, walks to Ďwindowí or Ďdoorí and gazes pleasantly at the singer.
As he reaches toward his side pocket, Snifflyís friends give happy hopeful gasps. )

SMALLEST Scrooge is gonner pay!
SCROOGE Roarrrr!
(Waving the weapon threateningly a few steps.)
(SNIFFLY screams and
ALL CAROLERS EXIT terrified, SMALLEST dropping his cookie as he runs.)
SMALLEST (crying) I dropped my biscuit!
(Scrooge grins, rather pleased with himself, sees cookie and walks toward it. SMALLEST returns sneaking back for the cookie, sees Scrooge and dares a mad dash for it but SCROOGE roars and SMALLEST screams and EXITS for good. SCROOGE picks up the cookie (with one bite out of it) and carries it back onstage and drops it onto CRATCHITís desk, and swaggers back to his chair.)
SCROOGE Your Christmas bonus, Cratchit.
CRATCHIT Thank you sir.
(He sniffs it with pleasure and pockets it.)

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


NARRATOR Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it. But still, he walked through his rooms to see that all was right. He had just enough recollection of Marleyís face to desire to do that.

SCROOGE Itís this cold in my head. Twisting my vision.
(He checks: Nobody under the table, nobody under the sofa, the bed or closet.)
Everything fine. A good nightís sleep, thatís what I need.
(Locks his door, twice. Removes clothes down to his nightshirt, puts on his nightcap and slippers.)
Itís winter and I have a cold. Iíll take better care of myself and I wonít be plagued by these girlish doubts.
A double dose of tonic Ď that will knock it out. Iíll certainly be cured before the prescription is empty. And if Iím still sniffly when it does, Iíll accuse the chemist of watering it down and heíll refill it for free. Hehíheh.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


(he rises and turns.
The chair immediately begins to rock vigorously.)

ROCKING CHAIR: Eben-ezer! Eben-ezer!....

SCROOGE Aaaah! (grabs chair to stop it.)
(Instantly the hanging bell begins to swing, faster and faster. Other bells and objects begin to move. SCROOGE turns about in terror.
Now, a dragging is heard from the ceiling, SCROOGEíS eyes follow the sound as it curves and approaches, then travels down the wall to the fireplace.)

SCROOGE (yelling) Itís humbug! I wonít believe it!

( MARLEY crawls or slides out of the fireplace or walks in. SCROOGE screams and turns to run, tripping over his chair, sprawling to the ground, rolls face up and freezes in horror as MARLEY rises.)

JACOB MARLEY'S GHOST is in his pigtail, usual waistcoat, tights, and boots; the tassels on the latter bristling, like his pigtail, and his coat-skirts, and the hair upon his head. A wrapper, a folded kerchief is bound about Marley's head and chin. A long chain is clasped about his middle, wound about him like a tail; he turns back to painfully pull the chain loaded with cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, deeds, and heavy purses wrought in steel, through the fireplace. Finishing he turns to Scrooge.)

MARLEY Ebenezer.

SCROOGE (making a joke to soothe his terror) Well now, thatís quite an entrance.
------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



MARLEY Why do you doubt your senses?

SCROOGE Because a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheat. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!
(SCROOGE does not like the ghost staring at him. He picks up a toothpick.)
You see this toothpick?
(The ghost's eyes do not move. )

MARLEY I do.

SCROOGE You are not looking at it.

MARLEY But I see it, notwithstanding.

SCROOGE Well! I have but to swallow this, and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of goblins, all of my own creation. Humbug, I tell you! Humbug!

MARLEY (A frightful cry -
shaking his chain with such a wretched and appalling noise, that Scrooge holds on tight to his chair, to save himself from falling in a swoon. Marley starts taking off the bandage round its head, as if it were too warm to wear in-doors. Marley's lower jaw drops open.)

SCROOGE (dropping to his knees, clasping his hands) Mercy! Dreadful apparition, why do you trouble me?

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


MARLEY You will be haunted by Three Spirits.

SCROOGE Is that the chance and hope you mentioned, Jacob?

MARLEY It is.

SCROOGE I -- I think I'd rather not.

MARLEY Without their visits, you cannot hope to shun the path I tread. Expect the first to-morrow, when the bell tolls One.

SCROOGE Couldn't I take 'em all at once, and have it over, Jacob?

MARLEY Expect the second when the bell tolls two. And the third when the bell tolls three.

LAMENTING VOICES (offstage soft to loud)

MARLEY Look to see me no more; and look that, for your own sake, you remember what has passed between us.

(MARLEY winds on his head wrap; his teeth click when he tightens the wrap, and SCROOGE winces. MARLEY begins to reel in his chain and its attachments in readiness to leave.)

SCROOGE Jacob... it was good of you to take the time to visit me.

MARLEY I have nothing but time. (EXITS)

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


SCROOGE So many years I lived at this school. It has a rather charming architecture, the little weathercock on the cupola, the bell tower. A bit rundown, that peeling paint and bare wood exposed to the weather. It will be crumbling in no time. Those chickens let to flap in and out the windows. The dangling gutters. Grass sprouting through the foundation. I guess children donít notice such things.

(BOY SCROOGE sits reading. )

SCROOGE I read a lot then.

(Two CHILDREN separately approach.)

MEAN GIRL Hey, Ebenezer! Iím going home for Christmas. My father is sending a coach and weíre going ice skating and weíll have a Christmas tree 8 feet tall! Weíll have roast turkey and roast goose and three flavors of pie. What are you having for Christmas dinner?

(BOY SCROOGE takes a deep breath and continues reading. The MEAN GIRL EXITS.)

MEAN GIRL Merry Christmas, Ebenezer!

(The KIND BOY steps to the Ďwindowí)

KIND BOY Hey, Eben? Staying at school for holiday again? Thatís too bad. I really feel sorry for you. Your family must be really poor. I could ask my father if you can come for a visit with me? Would you like that?

BOY SCROOGE (trying not to cry) Leave me alone. Beat it.

KIND BOY No mystery why your family doesnít want you. (EXITS)

BOY SCROOGE (looking up in regret) Wait!
(The Kind Boy is gone. Boy Scrooge sighs and sits and tries to read again.)

(Scrooge stands behind the Boy, and weeps to see his poor forgotten self as he used to be. )

SCROOGE Poor boy! My only friends were the characters in the books. But I never realized why until now..... (looks away remembering) I wish ... but it's too late now.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST Know it?

SCROOGE Know it! I apprenticed here! (They ENTER.)

SCROOGE Why, it's old Fezziwig! Bless his heart; it's Fezziwig alive again!

(Old Fezziwig at a high desk lays down his pen, and looks up at the clock, which points to the hour of seven. He rubs his hands; adjusts his capacious waistcoat; laughs, and calls out in a comfortable, oily, rich, fat, jovial voice. )

FEZZIWIG Yo ho, there! Ebenezer! Jacob! Immediately, EBENEZER Ď Scrooge as a young man-- comes briskly in, accompanied by his fellow-apprentice, YOUNG JACOB MARLEY

SCROOGE (to the Ghost) Jacob Marley as a young man, to be sure! Bless me, yes. There he is. We were such good friends, Jacob and me!

FEZZIWIG Yo ho, my boys! No more work to-night. Christmas Eve, Jacob. Christmas, Ebenezer! Clear away, my lads, and let's have lots of room here! Hilli-ho, Jacob! Chirrup, Ebenezer! (He pushes chairs to the sides)

TEENAGE SCROOGE (pushing crates to make tables) Yes, sir, Mr. Fezziwig! Weíll have this floor cleared before you can say-

JACOB (helping him) Jack Robinson!

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



FEZZIWIG (to offstage) Get in here you scalliwags Ď Itís Christmas Eve!

(Other employees MABEL & GRETCHEN ENTER with brooms and sweep up a storm. Office boy TREVOR ENTERS and dances impishly in front of their brooms . They whack his behind when they get a chance.)
MABEL Calling us scalliwags! Do you believe it Gretchen?

GRETCHEN Itís a scandal, Mabel! My ears are burning up!

MABEL Donít get in our way Mr. Fezziwig!

GRETCHEN Or weíll sweep you right out the door!

TREVOR (after tripping over a broom and getting whacked) They mean it Mr. Fezziwig!

FEZZIWIG Mrs. Fezziwig! Bring out the table dressings!

MRS FEZZIWIG In a jiffy Mr. Fezziwig!
(She ENTERS carrying tablecloths and puts them on crates.)

FEZZIWIG Leave one clear for the fiddler, my darling!
------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


TEENAGE SCROOGE What do you think, Jacob, will Francie dance with me?

JACOB Francie? Oh, I think so, Eben. They all like you well enough. Say, when you go to ask her, Iíll go along and ask Flossie.

TEENAGE SCROOGE Itís a deal. But what about Fancy?

JACOB I like Flossy better?

TEENAGE SCROOGE I think her sisters might not dance with us if it means leaving her alone.

JACOB Letís get little Trevor to take her.

TEENAGE SCROOGE Oops. Looks like he got all three. ------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


SCROOGE Itís Jacob Marley again! But a little older, 5 maybe 10 years? Look at him! See how quick his stride is, and I know that gleam in his eye! Heís just made a profit!

(CURTAIN OPENS)
Counting House Ď partition set)

SCROOGE Itís my counting house, in its better days. And me, Iím definitely older than I was at Fezziwigís... (loses his excitement) but Iím more than older... when did my jaw begin to clench like that?

(JACOB ENTERS and goes to his window.)
JACOB Ho there! Ebenezer. You were right! The counter-offer fell through and they had to take ours. Weíll make back our investment in 6 months. How did you know?

EBENEZER I arranged the proposal that distracted the counter-offerer. -- Customers!
(1ST Borrower, followed by the Fezziwigs Enter.)

1ST BORROWER Here is most of my payment, a week early, Mr. Marley.

JACOB Weíll need the rest by Friday, Mrs. Truitt.

1ST BORROWER But Mr. Marley, I donít see how I can come up with it. I did pay this much early by a week -- couldnít you give me another week to pay the rest?

JACOB Mrs. Truitt, that would give you just 3 weeks to muster the next payment. Our policy is promptness and no deviation from the written agreement. Iím sorry, Mrs. Truitt. (She Exits)

MR FEZZIWIG Good afternoon, Ebenezer. Business been good?

EBENEZER Good afternoon, Mr Fezziwig, Mrs Fezziwig, what can I do for you? (pantomime conversation)

(BELLE ENTERS the Ďstreetí, sadly.)

SCROOGE Belle!!!? My fiance! Sheís come to visit me at work. She used to bring me lunch! She is so beautiful. I donít remember her being so beautiful. But she is sad... what is wrong?
(walks downstage to apron to listen to her.)
This walking through walls is very handy.

BELLE (practicing what she will say): Ebenezer, I have something I must say to you. Um.... Ebenezer, long have I held something in my heart that must be spoken and now is the....
Ebenezer, this is hard to say but there is no good in waiting to say it. Oh..!

SCROOGE Oh, no! I know this day! Oh, Spirit, donít let her go in.


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



MR FEZZIWIG Didnít I teach you well, Ebenezer?

EBENEZER You did sir, and I am exercising that lesson now. Perhaps, you have something for collateral. The building? Or your home?

SCROOGE No no! Donít ask for their home!

( The Fezziwigs look terrified, whisper.)

JACOB Iíll give you 8 pounds, at 15 percent interest.

2ND BORROWER I need 12 pounds.

JACOB Hmmm, 10 pounds at 18 percent interest.

2ND BORROWER Oh, all right.
(Jacob writes, has him sign, hands him $)

MR FEZZIWIG Weíll need to think on this, Ebenezer.

MRS FEZZIWIG Good afternoon, Ebenezer.
(They Exit. Belle comes forward.)

JACOB Hello Belle! Look at this brooch, Ebenezer. Worth 20 pounds and we got it for 10. At 18 percent interest heíll never pay it off.

EBENEZER Hello, Belle. Youíre a bit early for lunch.

JACOB This was an even better deal, percentage-wise, than that shipment of silver table settings we foreclosed on last week.

BELLE (she does not approach) I, I must talk with you.

EBENEZER (coming to her) What is it? Is something wrong?

BELLE The Fezziwigs, Ebenezer. You asked for their home as collateral.

EBENEZER Itís all they have, Belle. Their office building is probably mortgaged.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------

?

(EBENEZER pulls BELLE downstage for a private discussion)

EBENEZER What is it Belle?

BELLE Ebenezer. .. Ebenezer, I can read your heart. Another idol has displaced me.

EBENEZER What Idol has displaced you?

BELLE A golden one.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


BELLEíS DAUGHTER Here is a good place to hang it, Mother!

SCROOGE (looking first at daughter, then mother) Belle? Belle?

BELLE Itís perfect! Your father will never notice mistletoe hanging here. Be careful, darling, donít fall.
(BELLE steadies her daughter as she ties the mistletoe to a string already hanging from the ceiling.)

SCROOGE This must be Belle grown up, and this her daughter.

NARRATOR (voice over) I suspect it must have staggered Mr Scrooge to see these women, especially the younger one, because had he played his cards differently, a woman such as she might well have called him father, and been like a spring-time for him in the haggard winter of his life. Of course, he might well have had more than one child ...

(A large group of children explode into the room, streaming past SCROOGE and making a tumultuous noise, but no one seems to care; on the contrary, the mother and daughter laugh heartily, and enjoy it very much; though the mother has to rescue her eldest from being knocked off the chair as she is pilfered by the younger ones.)

A Mother! We made the greatest snowman!


B Itís 6 feet tall.

C No! 10 feet tall!

D I made a baby snowman!

A I helped! I rolled the head!

B But we need buttons for his eyes.

C And a ribbon to make her a snow woman!

D And shoes! For her feet!

NARRATOR (voice over) ... Oh, what would I not have given to be one of those children! Though I never could have been so rude, no, no! I wouldn't for the wealth of all the world have behaved so wildly, God bless my soul!
I could never have pulled the ribbon and spoiled that beautiful braid, and as for that precious shoe, I would never have plucked it off, God bless my soul, to save my life.
In short, I should have liked, I do confess, to have had the lightest license of a child, and yet to have been man enough to know its value.

BELLEíS HUSBAND (ENTERING) Whoís been a good little boy or girl?

CHILDREN Daddy brought presents!
(The mob races down to plunder Daddyís arms and pockets for paper wrapped gifts, then EXIT with them. Husband strides past SCROOGE to hug his wife and eldest daughter, gets caught by the mistletoe and kisses each on the cheek. Then in a swoon sits on the chair, then gives Daughter her present and she EXITS.)

HUSBAND Ah, it is strangely quiet.

BELLE The eye of the hurricane I am sure. Best not let your guard down.

SCROOGE Such wit and humor! I never heard such from her.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


(Instantly, as SCROOGE tosses open his blankets, the lights under them quits and the LIGHTS UP
in the room reveal a trio of impish CHRISTMAS PRESENT SPIRITS amid representations of plenty and festivity in the room.)

CHRISTMAS PRESENT
1 Get up, Scrooge!
2 Get out of bed
3 You old layabout!
(Scrooge shields his eyes.)

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT
1 I am the
123 Ghost of Christmas Present! Look upon me!

(Scrooge does so. The ghost is three imps: an elf, an angel and a forest sprite, blending and separating in their movements. Often it is hard to tell whose arms go with whose body.)

SCROOGE (pulling blanket over his face)
I have not recovered from the last Spirit. A moment to reconstitute myself, I beg of you!

CHRISTMAS PRESENT (leaping onto the bed and jumping until Scrooge tumbles out, then standing fists on hips like Peter Pan)

SCROOGE (from the floor) ĎPresentí as in...?

CHRISTMAS PRESENT Now.

SCROOGE Of course.

CHRISTMAS PRESENT
1 No presents for you, Scrooge
2 Ď you old grouch!
3 But you get points for trying!
(jumps a few more times in warm-up to leap over Scrooge to the floor.)
1 So, Eb
2 -en
3 -eeeeezer,
1 You have never seen the like of me before?
123 Have you?

SCROOGE Never.

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT
1 Have never walked forth with my elder siblings born in these later years?

SCROOGE
I don't think I have. I am afraid I have not. Have you had many siblings, Spirit?

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT
2 Approximately
3 eighteen hundred and forty-two.

SCROOGE A tremendous family to provide for!


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


BOY 1 Mr. Shopkeeper?
BOY 2 Spare a few grapes, sir?
SHOPKEEPER Grapes! Do you think Iím made of grapes!! Well Iím not! Iím made of raisins!
(He pulls a box from his pocket and drops them into the boys mouths, like feeding a puppy.)

SCROOGE People seem in good spirits, though the weather is severe, the slush is dirty and soaks their shoes, and the chimneys have made the sky a dreary and ominous gray.

BOY 1 Look, that theyíre shoveling snow off their roof!
BOY 2 Letís go play in it! (running off) Thank you Mr. Shopkeeper!

SCROOGE Well, theyíll have wet heads when they get home.

MAN SHOVELING And a Merry Christmas morning to you, ladies.

LADIES Merry Christmas, sir!

TAD Oh, look at the shiny locomotive. I do so hope I get that!

THOMASINA The wagon is better. You could ride in it.
TILLY I want that precious doll. Her hair is golden and her eyes open and close.

OLDER GIRL Oh, look at the size of the turkeys. This one is as big as Tad!

TAD Bigger! My shirt would be too small for him.

SHOPKEEPER Ha ha ha! Now who will buy a turkey wearing your clothes.

THOMASINA He looks cold. He needs clothes!

TILLY Itís not cold where heís going!


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



SHOPKEEPER Why thank ye sir, that was right generous of you to shovel my walk for me. Let me give you a shilling.

MAN SHOVELING It were no trouble sir. The blood warms up and its a real invigoration. Think of it as a Christmas present, sir.

SHOPKEEPER But I must repay you in some way. Howís about some candied fruit for the little ones at home? (hands him a box)

MAN SHOVELING Well, I canít very well turn down sweets for the children can I? Thank you, sir, and Merry Christmas!

SHOPKEEPER Merry Christmas!
(ALL in scene EXIT.)

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


BOB CRATCHIT Why, where's our Martha?
MRS. CRATCHIT Not coming.
BOB CRATCHIT (heartbroken) Not coming! Not coming upon Christmas Day!

(Martha doesn't like to see him disappointed, even if it were only in joke; so she comes out prematurely from behind the closet door, and runs into his arms, while the two young Cratchits bring Tiny Tim his crutch, then bring him a selection of utensils, plates and mugs to choose from. Bob hugs Martha until she breaks away to tend to the supper.)

MRS. CRATCHIT And how did little Tim behave in church?

BOB CRATCHIT As good as gold, and better. Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people in church saw him, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see. (a long pause) He's growing stronger and heartier every day, isn't he?
(The look that crosses Mrs Cratchit's face is not encouraging.)


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



THE TWO SMALL CRATCHITS Mother, can we go get the goose from the bakers?

PETER Iíll go with them, mother.

MRS CRATCHIT Thank you dear. I already paid for the use of his oven. Just tell him our name.

BELINDA What can I do, Mother?

MRS CRATCHIT Sweeten the applesauce, please, Belinda.

MARTHA Iíll mash the potatoes.

MRS CRATCHIT Good Martha. And Iíll ready everything to make up the gravy when the goose gets here!

TINY TIM May I stir the gravy, Mother?

MRS CRATCHIT Yes Tim, you may.

TINY TIM I like to help, Mother.
(She kisses him, and brings him the hanging pot and spoon.)

BOB CRATCHIT Tim, tell me if this cider is spicy enough. (Gives Tim a spoonful)

TINY TIM Needs more allspice! But it is quite sweet enough!


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


BOB CRATCHIT I don't believe there ever was such a goose cooked. So tender.

MARTHA And delicious.
BILLY And big.

MRS CRATCHIT (wryly) And cheap.

TINY TIM It's lovely, Mother. This a goose we shall remember for as long as we live.

MRS. CRATCHIT Thank you, Tim.
(THEY eat.)

SCROOGE She said goose was cheap with a wry twist of the eyebrow. Does that mean it did not come from the poulterer?

CHRISTMAS PAST
1 That dear goose
2 led a full
3 and NATURALl life.

SCROOGE Aaah. Peter, I reckon?

CHRISTMAS PAST
1 With some crust waving from Belinda.
2 Here goosey, goosey...
3 Snatch!

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


NOT TOO BRIGHT GIRL - No Fred! Surely he was in jest!

FRED ĎIf I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.í

THOUGHTFUL FELLOW - So angry!
SHOW OFF FELLOW - At least he is colorful about it!
TOPPER - Yes, Iíll not soon clear that image from my mind.

FRED - So of course I defended Christmas, incompetently Iím sure, but when his poor employee cheered my little soliloquy, my Uncle Scrooge threatened to fire him!


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



THOUGHTFUL - I donít see how you can keep your good nature through a conversation with him, Fred!

TOPPER - I wouldnít hold my tongue, you can believe me!

SHOW OFF - I wonder if he doesnít suffer from some physical ailment to make him so unhappy.

FRED No he is healthy enough, though I am sorry for him anyway; and I couldn't be angry with him if I tried. Who suffers by his ill whims? Himself, always. Here, he takes it into his head to dislike us, and he won't come and dine with us. What's the consequence? He loses a free dinner.

EASILY IMPRESSED - A delicious and delightful dinner, at that!

EAGER - With excellent entertainment.

NOT TOO BRIGHT -But he is the entertainment!

FRED - Well, shame on me for putting him up for ridicule. Thatís hardly in the Christmas spirit.


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


SCROOGE (to the Spirit) I think we should at least stay until the guests have departed.

CHRISTMAS PRESENT I'm afraid that cannot be done.

SCROOGE Here is a new game. One half hour, Spirit, only one!


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


TOPPER No, no, no. It has to be a question he can answer 'yes' or 'no'. (to Fred) Are you thinking of an animal?

FRED (grins) Yes.

NOT TOO BRIGHT GUEST Living or dead?

EVERYONE Giggles at Not too Bright Guest. (Topper sits down. )

SHOW OFF - Is it living?

FRED Yes.
THOUGHTFUL - A wild animal?

FRED (laughs) Well, some might say ... So, yes.

EASILY IMPRESS - Can it be found in London?

FRED Yes. I'm afraid so.

TOPPER Does it live in a menagerie?

FRED No! Wouldn't go near it.

EAGER GUEST Is it a horse?

FRED No!

NIECE Is it a jackass?
(At this, Fred roars with laughter; and is so inexpressibly tickled, that he doubles over and stamps his foot. )

FRED No!
SCROOGE Is it a cow?
(The Spirit gives Scrooge a look as if to say: "They can't hear you..." and Scrooge scowls as if to say: "Shut up. I'm having fun." )

SHOW-OFF Does it walk the streets?

FRED Yes!

THOUGHTFUL - Is it kept on a leash!

FRED No! No one would dare try!

NIECE Is it some kind of rat?

FRED (laughs, clutches his sides) No! Maybe a pack-rat.

EASILY IMPRESSED Wait! Is it a man? (Fred bites his lip to keep from laughing and nods, Yes. )

TOPPER I have found it out! I know what it is, Fred! I know what it is!

SEVERAL GUESTS (ad-lib) What is it? What?

TOPPER It's your Uncle Scro-o-o-o-oge!

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



( ENTER THE TWO CHARITABLE GENTLEMEN observing. This is the charity ward they fund. Destitute people wrapped in blankets are there. A DOCTOR is checking them for illness.)

1st GENTLEMAN Do you know the temperature?
1st GENTLEMAN Thermometer is broken. Below freezing certainly.

(A wretched woman with an infant -- the one Scrooge saw from his window during the visit of Marley's Ghost -- ENTERS led by the HELPFUL BOY carrying a bowl of stew and a blanket. He hands her the bowl and lays down the blanket. She sits on front of it and he lifts the back over her shoulders.)

WRETCHED WOMAN Thank you. Thank you, so much.

BOY That hot food should warm you. Let me help you wrap the blanket. Do you feel better?

WRETCHED WOMAN I do. Bless your dear gentle heart. It is wonderful to have a warm bowl of stew and a little spot out of the weather. I do believe youíve saved my life and certainly that of my baby.

(DESTITUTE SISTERS ENTER, one sick. )
OLDER SISTER Please help my sister, she is burning up with fever!

DOCTOR Bring her into the sick room over here. (calling offstage) Nurse! We need a place for this woman to lie down.

NURSE (entering) Doctor, there is no room left, even the floor is full.

SICK SISTER I can sit up.

OLDER SISTER Oh, no, I donít think she can. Sheís all wobbly in the legs. Canít she lie out here?

DOCTOR No these people are not sick. We canít risk infecting them.
------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT Oh, Man! Look here. Look, look, down here! A boy and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, has pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds.


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



SCROOGE Have they no refuge or resource?
WANT Are there no prisons?
IGNORANCE Are there no workhouses?
WANT Let them die.
IGNORANCE And decrease the surplus population!
(The children advance as Scrooge backs up.)
SCROOGE (backing up) My own words again!
( GHOST OF CHRISTMAS YET TO COME ENTERS behind Scrooge.)
(Bell Tolls 3am)

(The children look at YET TO COME in terror. SCROOGE whirls around. The children run to the refuge of CHRISTMAS PRESENT who also seems frightened, enfolds them and EXITS.)

SCROOGE 3am!
(The PHANTOM points at SCROOGE and advances. SCROOGE screams!.)
The last of the Spirits!
And worthy of the finale.
------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


BANKER No, I don't know much about it, either way. I only know he's dead.

3rd MAN When did he die?

BANKER Last night, I believe.

3rd MAN Why, what was the matter with him? I thought he'd never die.

MR BANKER (yawns) God knows.

LAWYER What has he done with his money?

MR BANKER I haven't heard. Left it to his Company, perhaps. He hasn't left it to me. That's all I know. Everyone laughs.
------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


COOK (sweeping) Would ya pull that chair out for me? (sweeps) Thanks. Hey, didja hear? Old Scratch finally got his.

WENCH (wiping table) Well, its no loss to me. Never tipped a hat much less a pence my direction.

COOK Hey, I just swept that floor. Donít brush them scraps onto it, if you please.

WENCH (snaps him with her towel) And you donít be telliní me what to do. This floorís near made of dirt. A few crumbs give it character.

COOK Aw, yer right. Iím just stirriní it up. Think we can close early?

WENCH (swings chair upside down onto table) I say, thatís the best idea Iíve heard all day.

COOK Now, that was just an idea, donít be blaminí it on me...
(Both EXIT)

SCROOGE I canít help but find that conversation rather trivial. I am surprised that you should attach any importance to it.
(No response from the Phantom. ) ------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


CHARWOMAN Very well, then! That's enough. Who's the worse for the loss of a few things like these? Not a dead man, I suppose.

LAUNDRESS No, indeed! Not a dead man, certainly!

CHARWOMAN If he wanted to keep 'em after he was dead, the wicked old screw, why wasn't he natural in his lifetime? If he had been, he'd have had somebody to look after him, at least hold his hand, when he was struck with Death, instead of lying, gasping out his last there, alone by himself. (she acts out the gasping out business a bit)

LAUNDRESS (smothering a laugh) It's the truest word that ever was spoke. It's a judgment on him.

CHARWOMAN I wish it was a little heavier judgment, and it should have been, you may depend upon it, if I could have laid my hands on anything else.


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



UNDERTAKER I beg your pardon, ladies, but I have but a few things.

CHARWOMAN Be my guest.

UNDERTAKER You are most generous. Another client awaits me back at my own parlor.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


CHARWOMAN And now undo my bundle, Joe.
(Joe goes down on his knees for the greater convenience of opening her bundle, and having unfastened a great many knots, drags out a large and heavy roll of some dark stuff. It's Scrooge's bed-curtains.)

OLD JOE What do you call this? Bed-curtains?
(The charwoman laughs and leans forward on her crossed arms. )

CHARWOMAN Ah! Bed-curtains!

OLD JOE You don't mean to say you took them down, rings and all, with him lying there?

CHARWOMAN Yes I do. Why not?
(Scrooge, still with his back to the scene, listens to this dialogue in horror. )

SCROOGE Huh! Rings and all!

OLD JOE You were born to make your fortune, and you'll certainly do it.

CHARWOMAN (coolly) I certainly shan't hold my hand, when I can get anything in it by reaching it out, for the sake of such a man as he was, I promise you.
------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


DAUGHTER When will Papa be home, Mother?

SON Shhh, she doesnít know. We have to wait.

DAUGHTER Mother, may I take my dolly out of the packing sack to play with her.

SON No! We might have to leave right away!

WIFE Yes, sweetheart, you may take out your doll.

SON Iím leaving my soldiers in the packing sack. I donít need to play with them for now.

(DAUGHTER RETURNS with doll.)

SON (sternly) Did you leave the clothes and blankets in the sack? Folded up?

DAUGHTER Yes, I did. Go look if you donít believe me. (She sits to play)

SON Iím not getting out my soldiers. Iím saving them in case we need to sell them.

(DAUGHTER clutches her doll protectively.)


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



WIFE (despairing) We are quite ruined?

DEBTOR No. There is hope yet, Caroline.

WIFE If he relents, there is. Nothing is past hope, if such a miracle has happened.

DEBTOR He is past relenting. He is dead.
(After a long moment, the news sinks in.)

WIFE (genuinely) I am thankful in my soul to hear that. (a little less convincingly) May God forgive me for having said such a thing.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


BOB CRATCHIT (pleasantly) I ran into Mr. Scrooge's nephew in the street today. He thought I looked a little -- just a little down, you know -- and he inquired as to what had happened to distress me. On which, for he is the pleasantest-spoken gentleman you ever heard, I told him. "I am heartily sorry for it, Mr Cratchit," he said, "and heartily sorry for your good wife."
(pause)
By the bye, how he ever knew that, I don't know.

MRS. CRATCHIT Knew what?

BOB CRATCHIT Why, that you were a good wife.
(Mrs. Cratchit smiles. )

PETER Everybody knows that.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



BOB CRATCHIT And I know... I know that when we recollect how patient and how mild he was; although he was a little, little child; we shall not quarrel easily among ourselves, and forget poor Tiny Tim in doing it.

THE CHILDREN (ad-lib) No, never, father! That's right.

BOB CRATCHIT (at the point of tears) I am very happy. I am very happy.

(Mrs Cratchit kisses him, his daughters kiss him, the two young Cratchits kiss him, and Peter shakes his hand. He composes himself. )

BOB CRATCHIT It will be Sunday.

MRS CRATCHIT (pause) Oh, then you went today?

BOB CRATCHIT Yes, my dear. I wish you could have seen it. It would have done you good to see how green a place it is. But youíll see it often. I promised him that we would walk there on a Sunday.

(Bob abruptly leaves the room, and goes upstairs. The family members look at one another with concern.)


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



(He reaches up to separate the curtains and hook them on the sides of the partition set revealing Tiny Tim dead in the bed.
Bob stands, composes himself with an unspoken prayer, then gazes at the boy, then leans over and kisses the face of Tiny Tim. Bob breaks down all at once.)

BOB CRATCHIT (nearly inaudible) My little child. My little, little child.

(Scrooge is overcome and vigorously unhooks the curtain concealing the scene. When he recovers he speaks)

SCROOGE Spirit of Tiny Tim. Thy essence was from God.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


(Scrooge lovingly wraps a bed curtain around him.)

SCROOGE They are not torn down. They are not torn down, rings and all. They are here: I am here: the shadows of the things that would have been, may be dispelled. They will be. I know they will!
Scrooge's hands are busy with his garments all this time: turning them inside out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, mislaying them, etc. , managing to put on a vest over his nightshirt and one shoe and sock .
He laughs and cries in the same breath, stumbling out of the bed-room.

INT. SCROOGE'S SITTING-ROOM Scrooge stands there: perfectly winded.

SCROOGE I don't know what to do! I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!
Scrooge starts off again, going round the fire-place.

SCROOGE There's the mug that the tonic was in! There's the door, by which the Ghost of Jacob Marley entered! There's the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present, sprang from! There's the window where I saw the wandering Spirits! It's all right, it's all true, it all happened.


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


SCROOGE What's to-day, my fine fellow?

CHRISTMAS BOY To-day? Why, Christmas Day.

SCROOGE (to himself) It's Christmas Day! I haven't missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night. They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can. (to the boy) Hallo, my fine fellow!

CHRISTMAS BOY Hallo!

SCROOGE Do you know the Poulterer's, in the next street but one, at the corner?

CHRISTMAS BOY I should hope I did.


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


POULTERER Good morniní Mr. Scrooge. This young lad tells me that you....

SCROOGE Want to buy the biggest turkey in town! Isnít he an excellent boy? And quick!
(SCROOGE tosses the coin up and the Boy catches it laughing! SCROOGE inspects the turkey.)

BOY Thank you Mr. Scrooge

(TWO WOMEN do a double take.)

1ST WOMAN Was that Ebenezer Scrooge...
2nd WOMAN Giving away money?
1st WOMAN (makes a drinking motion)
(EXIT)

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



POULTERER I do solemnly swear not to reveal the identity of the sender of this turkey, upon my motherís grave, so help me God.

SCROOGE Please! No talk of graves!

BOY I have to swear too! I solemnly swear not to reveal the bloke who bought the bird, even if they torture me by pulling out my fingernails or twist my ears or pour boiling oil ...

SCROOGE (slapping his back) Excellent! A most virtuous and brave boy! Heíll be a national hero one day!


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


And here is money for the cab and a little extra for the driverís Christmas tip!
(more $ to Poulterer)
Now go! Go! Ha ha ha!

Great Caesarís Ghost! Iím in my nightshirt standing in the street!
On Christmas morning!!

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


-STREET PEOPLE GOSSIP-
(Lower Class People A&B ENTER )

A Hallo! Benchley! Did you hear?

B Ebenezer Scrooge?

A Yes! Giving coins all over town!

B I did! He give a quid to the blind beggar.

A Gimpy leg blind beggar with one tooth?

B No with the spotted dog and no left ear.

A The beggar with the drippy-eyed spotted terrier, hangs around the alehouse, making bad rhymes?

B No! That beggarís got both ears.

A But his dog donít. Ohhhh! Anyways, I heard it was the gimpy leg blind beggar, both ears, one tooth, no dog.

B And I heard it was the 1 eared blind beggar with the two eared spotted dog.

BOTH exhale Whew!

(C ENTERS)
C What are you talking about?

B Ebenezer Scrooge! Heís gone daft and giving his money away! To everyone and blind beggars with and without ears.

C Ebenezer Scrooge giving his money away? (Ha Ha! EXITS) Thatíll happen when-you -where freezes over!

B (hollering) Well, mebbe it has!


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


SCROOGE (sternly) Young lady. How many years have you worked at this establishment?

SERVING WENCH (instantly terrified) I donít know sir, about 7, since I were 12.

SCROOGE And how many days a week have I come in for dinner.

WENCH Five, sir, Monday through Friday.

SCROOGE And what do I usually spend?

WENCH About 2 shillings, sir.

SCROOGE And what do I usually tip?

WENCH (long pause) You don't tip.

SCROOGE Exactly! Letís see, 7 years, times 52 weeks per year, times 5 days, times 2 shillings, times 15 percent... (writing)

WENCH 546 shillings, sir, or 27 pounds 6 shillings. Are you, are you.... wantiní a refund?

SCROOGE How did you do that?

WENCH Do what? What did I do?? Iím sorry sir, whatever it was.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


WENCH Mr Scrooge to give your father a message.
COOK Yessir?

SCROOGE Here is a check to reimburse your father for having to hire another serving maid.
I want this young lady to enroll immediately at the Academy for Girls.

COOK and WENCH What?

SCROOGE I calculate, or rather you calculated for me, much faster than I ever could, that I owe you 27 pounds and 6 shillings in back tips. That should be enough for your first semesterís tuition, room and board, and if your grades are top notch, Iíll pay for next semester, as well.
I am writing you a certified check for that amount made out to the school and yourself.
Now what is your name? I apologize. Iíve never asked before.
(She just stares.)
Your name, young lady.

COOK Her nameís Catherine Worley.

SCROOGE (writing) How is Worley spelled?

WENCH I donít know. I canít read nor write.

SCROOGE You calculate like a thing of nature but you canít read???

WENCH Donít need to. Thereís no menu written down. I just remember the orders.

------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



SCROOGE (peeking) Why they are still playing that mischievous game. I believe I see an opportunity. (very sternly) Fred!

FRED What???? Is that Ď

SCROOGE (leaping in flinging his greatcoat accidentally onto the Niece, and flawlessly imitating Topper) Itís your Uncle Scrooooge!

(You could hear a pin drop. Even the Niece just peeks over the coat.)

SCROOGE (turning to remove coat.) Oh, I'm so sorry. I forgot you were there.

(She doesn't know quite what to make of that. Scrooge's back is momentarily turned toward his nephew who gazes on him in disbelief.)

FRED (not smiling) Why bless my soul!
(Scrooge turns around to face his astonished nephew, suddenly unsure.)
SCROOGE Yes, it is I. Your uncle Scrooge.
I have come as you asked.
Will you let me stay, Fred?

FRED Let you stay! I --
(Fred bursts out laughing again and shakes Scrooge's hand so hard, it's a mercy he doesn't take his arm off. Other guests crowd around Scrooge, greeting him, patting him on the back, The EASILY IMPRESSED GIRL brings him a drink, takes his arm. Two move off to whisper:)

NOT TOO BRIGHT Surely this isn't the Uncle Scrooge!
THOUGHTFUL FELLOW He seems to have plenty of Christmas spirit!

NOT TOO Still he does seem a little new at it; as if heís recently undergone a change.
THOUGHTFUL Do you think Fredís visit had an effect on him?

NOT TOO If anything can change a heart of stone it would be Fredís unflagging optimism.

THOUGHTFUL Well, letís go meet him before Felicity asks his hand in marriage. She hasnít let go of his arm since he got there.

EASILY IMPRESSED GIRL You know, I have always wanted to meet you, Mr. Scrooge. The droll way in which your nephew portrays you has made me curious.
------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



SCROOGE Cratchit! You're late! What do you mean by coming here at this time of day?

BOB CRATCHIT I am very sorry, sir. I am behind my time.


------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------



SCROOGE Now, I'll tell you what, my friend. Coming in late after I pay you for a day off!
Always shivering and coughing and carrying on! I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore ...

(Scrooge leaps from his chair, and with a flourish that causes CRATCHIT to flinch:)

SCROOGE ... and therefore, I am about to raise your salary!

(SCROOGE assumes a magnificent pose!
Bob gasps, trembles, and backs away from Scrooge, picking up the fireplace poker to use in self-defense. )

NARRATOR Bob Cratchit had the momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with the fireplace poker, sitting on him and calling to the people in the street for help and a strait-jacket.
------------
-----LINES SKIPPED. NEXT EXCERPT:
-----------


SKEPTICAL ADOLESCENT (laughs) Oh, come on. People just don't change like that overnight. Especially old people.

NARRATOR (laughs) Well, some people did laugh to see the change in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them. Scrooge was wise enough to know that nothing ever happens on this globe, for good, at which some people do not have their fill of laughter at first. His own heart laughed: and I think that was quite enough for him.

(BOB CRATCHIT ENTERS carrying TINY TIM wrapped in a sheet and gazing at him gently Ď at first we do not see Timís face so we do not know if he is alive or dead. ISABELLE follows.)

BIG SISTER (concerned) And what happened to Tiny Tim? Did Scroogeís help come in time? Did Tim --? Did he --? Did he die?

(BOB CRATCHIT sets TIM down (opposite side from NARRATOR) and removes the sheet. TIM was merely sleeping, and he rubs his eyes and yawns as his father messes his hair to wake him. ISABELLE fetches his stool so Tim can sit.
BILLY runs in with Timís braces and hands them to BOB who starts to put them on TIM.)

NARRATOR (reassuring) And to Tiny Tim, who did not die, Scrooge became a second father...
(SCROOGE bounds into the room. Flings ISABELLE and BILLY up and catches them, then playfully shoves BOB aside to buckle up TIMíS braces.
The rest of the CRATCHITS ENTER happily. SCROOGE greets them with a smile or touch before kissing TIM and hoisting him to his shoulders. ---All this silently--)

NARRATOR (during the scene onstage)
He became as good a friend, as good a teacher, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.

OLIVER Did the Spirits visit him again?

NARRATOR Ah, well... (mischievous grin) After that, he adopted the Total Abstinence Principle and no Spirits ever visited him again, as far as he knew.

The Narrator glances around at his audience but there are no more questions. He decides to add a final word.

NARRATOR And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed,
TINY TIM God bless Us, Every One!

(CAROLERS ENTER from stage floor singing.
Only the NARRATOR group sees them at first.
The SCROOGE GROUP retreat a little giving the floor to the other group.)

OLIVER Carolers! Come on!

(The NARRATORíS GROUP rushes to the carolers -- except for the BIG SISTER who helps the Narrator to his feet. He thanks her and, hand in hand, they follow the others. For the first time, we see he carries a cane. And limps, favoring his right leg. Is this Tiny Tim all grown up?
The Narrator excuses himself to go to Tiny Tim.
His group joins the carolers.)

NARRATOR (looking up at Tiny Tim) -- I was so small and helpless then.
(to Scrooge) Thank you. You saved me.
SCROOGE Oh, no, Tim. It was you who saved me.
(He shakes hands with Narrator, slightly tilting TINY TIM who squeals in delight and wraps his arms around SCROOGEís head. SCROOGE laughs and sets TINY TIM down next to NARRATOR -- both center stage. NARRATOR and TINY TIM look at each other, TIM curiously and then with understanding. SCROOGE watches. ALL EXIT still singing, except SCROOGE, NARRATOR and TINY TIM.)
TIM -- Am I going to get old?
NARRATOR -- Yes! You are!
(TIM and NARRATOR EXIT holding hands smiling at each other. SCROOGE watches smiling.)
(There is a terrible racket of chains.

MARLEY ENTERS and lifts his hands. His chains fall. )


SCROOGE Marley! You are unfettered!
MARLEY Your good deeds have pushed my account out of the red!
SCROOGE Well, you give good advice!
(Laughing they clap arms over shoulder and EXIT.)

BOWS

TINY TIM God bless us, every one.
ALL God bless us, every one!

Email: funantics.scripts@yahoo.com