GEORGE

ALL MY SONS

ACT ONE

GEORGE: Your father's ... he asked me to wear it.

ANN: ... How is he?

GEORGE: He got smaller.

ANN: Smaller?

GEORGE: Yeah, little. (Holds out his hand to measure] He's a little man. That's what happens to suckers, you know. It's good I went to him in time--another year there'd be nothing left but his smell.

CHRIS: What's the matter, George, what's the trouble?

GEORGE: The trouble? The trouble is when you make suckers out of people once, you shouldn't try to do it twice.

CHRIS: What does that mean?

GEORGE (to ANN]: You're not married yet, are you?

ANN: George, will you sit down and stop—?

GEORGE: Are you married yet?

ANN: No, I'm not married yet.

GEORGE: You're not going to marry him.

ANN: Why am I not going to marry him?

GEORGE: Because his father destroyed your family.

CHRIS: Now look, George ....

GEORGE: Cut it short, Chris. Tell her to come home with me. Let's not argue, you know what I've got to say.

CHRIS: George, you don't want to be the voice of God, do you?

GEORGE: I'm ...

CHRIS: That's been your trouble all your life, George, you dive into things. What kind of a statement is that to make? You're a big boy now.

GEORGE: I'm a big boy now.

CHRIS: Don't come bulling in here. If you've got something to say, be civilized about it.

GEORGE: Don't civilize me!

ANN: Shhh!

CHRIS (ready to hit him]: Are you going to talk like a grown man or aren't you?

ANN (quickly, to forestall an outburst]: Sit down, dear. Don't be angry, what's the matter? [He allows her to seat him, looking at her.] Now what happened? You kissed me when I left, now you ....

GEORGE (breathlessly]: My life turned upside down since then. I couldn't go back to work when you left. I wanted to go to Dad and tell him you were going to be married. It seemed impossible not to tell him. He loved you so much ... [He pauses.] Annie ... we did a terrible thing. We can never be forgiven. Not even to send him a card at Christmas. I didn't see him once since I got home from the war! Annie, you don't know what was done to that man. You don't know what happened.

ANN [afraid]: Of course I know.

GEORGE: You can't know, you wouldn't be here. Dad came to work that day. The night foreman came to him and showed him the cylinder heads ... they were coming out of the process with defects. There was something wrong with the process. So Dad went directly to the phone and called here and told Joe to come down right away. But the morning passed. No sign of Joe. So Dad called again. By this time he had over a hundred defectives. The Army was screaming for stuff and Dad didn't have anything to ship. So Joe told him ... on the phone he told him to weld, cover up the cracks in any way he could, and ship them out.

CHRIS: Are you through now?

GEORGE (surging up at him]: I'm not through now! [Back to ANN] Dad was afraid. He wanted Joe there if he was going to do it. But Joe can't come down ... he's sick. Sick! He suddenly gets the Au! Suddenly! But he promised to take responsibility. Do you understand what I'm saying? On the telephone you can't have responsibility. In a court you can always deny a phone call and that's and your father is the patsy. [He gets up.] Now what’re you going to do? Eat his food, sleep in his bed? Answer me; what’re you going to do?

CHRIS: What're you going to do, George?

GEORGE: He's too smart for me, I can't prove a phone call.

CHRIS: Then how dare you come in here with that rot?

ANN: George, the court ...

GEORGE: The court didn't know your father! But you know him. You know in your heart Joe did it.