ANN

ALL MY SONS

ACT ONE

KELLER [desperately, lost]: For you, Kate, for both of you, that's all I ever lived for ...

MOTHER: I know, darling, I know ... (ANN enters from house. They say nothing, waiting for her to speak.]

ANN: Why do you stay up? I'll tell you when he comes.

KELLER [rises, goes to her]: You didn't eat supper, did you? [To MOTHER] Why don't you make her something?

MOTHER: Sure, I'll ....

ANN: Never mind, Kate, I'm all right. [They are unable to speak to each other.] There's something I want to tell you. (She starts, then halts.] I'm not going to do anything about it. ...

MOTHER: She's a good girl! [TO KELLER] You see? She's a ...

ANN: I'll do nothing about Joe, but you're going to do something for me. [Directly to MOTHER] You made Chris feel guilty with me. Whether you wanted to or not, you've crippled him in front of me. I'd like you to tell him that Larry is dead and that you know it. You understand me? I'm not going out of here alone. There's no life for me that way. I want you to set him free. And then I promise you, everything will end, and we'll go away, and that's all.

KELLER: You'll do that. You'll tell him.

ANN: I know what I'm asking, Kate. You had two sons. But you've only got one now.

KELLER: You'll tell him ...

ANN: And you've got to say it to him so he knows you mean it.

MOTHER: My dear, if the boy was dead, it wouldn't depend on my words to make Chris know it. ... The night he gets into your bed, his heart will dry up. Because he knows and you know. To his dying day he'll wait for his brother! No, my dear, no such thing. You're going in the morning, and you're going alone. That's your life, that's your lonely life. [She goes to porch, and starts in.]

ANN: Larry is dead, Kate.

MOTHER {she stops]: Don't speak to me.

ANN: I said he's dead. I know! He crashed off the coast of China November twenty-fifth! His engine didn't fail him. But he died. I know ...

MOTHER: How did he die? You're lying to me. If you know, how did he die?

ANN: I loved him. You know I loved him. Would I have looked at anyone else if I wasn't sure? That's enough for you.

MOTHER [moving on her]: What's enough for me? What're you talking about? [She grasps ANN's wrists.]

ANN: You're hurting my wrists.

MOTHER: What are you talking about! (Pause. She stares at ANN a moment, then turns and goes to KELLER.]

ANN: Joe, go in the house ...

KELLER: Why should I...

ANN: Please go.

KELLER: Lemme know when he comes. (KELLER goes into house.]

MOTHER (she sees Ann take a letter from her pocket]: What's that?

ANN: Sit down ... [MOTHER moves L. to chair, but does not sit.] First you've got to understand. When I came, I didn't have any idea that Joe ... I had nothing against him or you. I came to get married. I hoped ... So I didn't bring this to hurt you. I thought I'd show it to you only if there was no other way to settle Larry in your mind.

MOTHER: Larry? (Snatches letter from ANN's hand.]

ANN: He wrote it to me just before he [MOTHER opens and begins to read letter.] I'm not trying to hurt you, Kate. You're making me do this, now remember you're Remember. I've been so lonely, Kate ... I can't leave here alone again. (A long, low moan comes from MOTHER'S throat as she reads.] You made me show it to you. You wouldn't believe me. I told you a hundred times, why wouldn't you believe me!

MOTHER: Oh, my God ...

ANN (with pity and fear]: Kate, please, please ...

MOTHER: My God, my God...