Yeah, so this is a romance story. Most of my stuff is. I'm so gooey, it's disgusting.


Setting: early 1930's, a country inn in rural Massachusetts

Characters:
Mrs. (Mary) Randolph- a widowed mother of two daughters who runs a country inn
Molly (Margarite) Randolph- the younger (about 19) daughter of Mrs. Randolph; rebellious, clever, and independent
Annalisa Randolph- the older (about 21) daughter of Mrs. Randolph; docile and beautiful, favored by her mother over her younger sister
William Malone-a young aristocratic bachelor; has an interest in Molly
Mrs. Malone- elderly mother of William; has Alzheimer's disease
Thomas Wilkins- childhood friend, and now secret lover, of Annalisa
Mrs. (Gale) Wilkins- mother of Thomas and friend of Mrs. Randolph

Act I
(Inn lobby, basically a living room with a front desk. Mrs. Randolph is behind the front desk, flipping through the guest book.)

Randolph: (to offstage) Margarite!

(Molly enters, holding a duster.)

Molly: Yes, Mother?

Randolph: Have you finished dusting room 34?

Molly: Yes, Mother.

Randolph: Very good, Margarite.

Molly: (sighs in disgust) Mother, I don't understand why you refuse to call me Molly. Everyone else does.

Randolph: I shall call you Margarite because it is your proper name. It was the name you were christened under and it is the name I myself signed on your birth certificate. And why are you wearing that raggedy dress?

Molly: (studies her dress) What's wrong with it?

Randolph: It's at least four years old, and just look at that stain on the skirt! The way you dress, you'd think you were raised in a barn.

Molly: Times are hard, Mother.

Randolph: That's no excuse not to wear nice clothing.

Molly: Why do I have to wear nice clothing just to dust? That's ridiculous!

Randolph: Don't get flippant with me! Now, I want you to- (stops short, appearing to listen). Do you hear that?

Molly: I haven't heard anything.

Randolph: (hurries to window and looks out) Oh, Margarite! It's a cab! There's a woman getting out! And she draped in furs and jewels! She must be extremely rich!

Molly: Sounds like our kind of people. (sits down in armchair; picks up book and begins to read)

Randolph: (gasps) Someone else is getting out too...it's a young man! I must call Annalisa!

Molly: Good grief!

Randolph: (hurries to base of staircase and calls up) Annalisa! Come down quickly! (gets back behind counter)

(Mrs. Malone enters, followed by William, carrying a pair of suitcase.)

Randolph: Hello, and welcome to our humble hotel! I assume the two of you wish the night.

Malone: Actually, my son and I shall be staying for awhile. The doctor has recommended the country's fresh air for my health.

Randolph: Splendid! May I have your names, please?

Malone: Mrs. Alfred Malone III, and this is my son William.

Randolph: (gasps) Not the Alfred Malone III? Of the Boston Malones?

Malone: (nods) The same.

(Annalisa enters, descending the stairs.)

Annalisa: Did you call me, Mother?

Randolph: Yes, dear. I want to introduce you to our new guests, Mrs. Malone and her son William. (turns to Malone and William) This is my daughter, Annalisa.

Molly: Ahem!

Randolph: Oh, yes, and that's Margarite, my other daughter.

Molly: That's me. The other daughter.

Annalisa: It's nice to meet you.

Malone: The pleasure is mine, dear.

William: Hello. (nods to Annalisa, studies Molly)

Annalisa: Well, I must return to my needlepoint. Good night. (exits back up the stairs)

Malone: What a beautiful daughter you have, Mrs. Randolph.

Randolph: Why, thank you, Mrs. Malone! I hope you and your son get to know us better. I'll take you to your rooms now.

Malone: Thank you.

William: I'll be up in a moment, Mother.

Malone: Alright.

(Randolph takes suitcases from William and leads Mrs. Malone upstairs. William wanders about the room, slowly making his way toward Molly. She ignores him.)

William: What are you reading?

Molly: Melville.

William: Ah, yes. One of the favorites.

Molly: (sneers) Read much of him in finishing school?

William: Never went. I just enjoy books.

Molly: Well, that's a surprise. I figured all you socialites learn charm.

William: Oh, Mother enrolled me in an academy. But I didn't necessarily go.

Molly: (mocking) Didn't Mummy threaten to cut off your inheritance?

William: She never knew. I've got her convinced I'm a perfect angel.

Molly: (snorts) I'm sure that didn't take much acting.

William: And what was that supposed to mean?

Molly: Never you mind, just stay on your toes. Mother's got her sights set on you to be Mr. Annalisa Randolph.

William: Oh, she does, does she?

Molly: Indeed. You and every other rich bachelor within a ten mile radius. Only the best for precious Annalisa.

William: I see. And what about you?

Molly: What about me?

William: Aren't you in the market for a man?

Molly: About as much as Daniel for meat-flavored cologne.

William: But if such a man came to court, what qualities would he possess?

(Randolph enters.)

Randolph: Oh, Mr. Malone. Your mother is asking for you- and Margarite, what are you doing down here? You should be dusting!

William: Blame me, Mrs. Randolph. I was keeping Margarite here from her chores. I apologize.

Randolph: (taken aback) Oh, I- I hope she wasn't bothering you.

William: Not in the slightest. It was I who was the bother. I think I'll retire now. (turns to Molly) Good evening, Ms. Randolph.

Molly: (smiles a little) Please, call me Molly.

William: Molly. I like that. Well, good evening, Molly. (exits up the stairs)

Randolph: He's such a gentleman. He'll make a perfect husband for someone.

Molly: The perfect husband for perfect Annalisa.

Randolph: And what did you mean by that?

Molly: You're going to marry off your favorite daughter while I'm stuck here dusting until I'm old and grey like you!

Randolph: (gasps) Don't you speak to me-

Molly: Trust me, Mother. I avoid that at all costs. (stomps out)

Randolph: (to herself) How could I have raised such a disrespectful child? (Doorbell rings.) And who could that be?

(Randolph marches over to the front door to reveal Thomas, holding a book.)

Randolph: Oh, hello Thomas. I take it you're here to see Annalisa?

Thomas: Yes, just came to return her book.

Randolph: Alright. (calls upstairs) Annalisa!

Thomas: Nice evening, isn't it?

Randolph: I suppose. Your father find a job yet?

Thomas" Not yet, ma'am. But we're praying.

(Annalisa enters.)

Annalisa: Yes, mother? Oh. Hello, Thomas.

Thomas: (nods) Annalisa.

Randolph: Well, I suppose I must get to my laundry. Thomas, you tell your mother I said hello.

Thomas: Yes ma'am.

(Randolph exits.)

Thomas: Is she gone?

Annalisa: (pauses, listening) Yes, she should be out of earshot by now.

Thomas: (smiles) Good. (rushes over to Annalisa and embraces her) Oh, Annie, I missed you!

Annalisa: Silly boy. We saw each other only yesterday!

Thomas: (nods) It was too long for me.

Annalisa: Me too. (kisses him) Oh, Tom, I love you.

Thomas: And I love you. If only we could get married.

Annalisa: Mother doesn't understand anything! I don't care if you're not rich! I love you! Isn't that all that matters?

Thomas: She's right, in a way, You deserve only the best, Annie.

Annalisa: You're the best for me. You've been my best friend since I was twelve. You understand me better than my own sister.

Thomas: I know exactly how you feel.

(Annalisa wanders over to the couch, does not look Thomas in the eye.)

Annalisa: A woman and her son came here today.

Thomas: Oh. I'm guessing they were rich, huh?

Annalisa: They were dressed that way, Oh, Tom, it was so embarrassing! She showed me off to them, like I was some lifeless ornament without a mind of my own.

Thomas: (hugs her comfortingly) There, there. It's okay.

Annalisa: (distressed) Why do things have to be this way? I hate the way I look. Molly's lucky she doesn't look like me...Thomas? Would you still love if I wasn't pretty?

Thomas: Of course I would. I love you for you, Annie.

(Randolph enters.)

Randolph: Annalisa, I can't find my lye soap... oh, Thomas. You're still here?

Thomas: Just leaving, Mrs. Randolph. Goodbye, Annalisa.

Annalisa: Goodnight, Thomas.

(Thomas exits. End of Act I.)