A Trial of Love
A Trial of Love

Written by: Dorsey Clark
Music by: Deborah Capece

Copyright: 10/02/1998

Copyrighted material: Permission to copy the script may be obtained via this website
For music and scores, contact Deb Capece at www.debcapece.com


Homeless Group                                                                              Society Group
Michael Brainard - husband                                                         Jeffrey Duncan III - husband
MaryBeth Brainard - wife                                                             Jennifer Duncan - wife
Cayce - Homeless woman                                                            Priscilla Duncan - daughter,
Butch - woman’s friend                                                               Jeffrey Thomas IV (J.T) -son 1st
Mickey Jr. - lost Son                                                                    Colin Joseph Duncan -son 2nd
Agnes - Housekeeper
Mrs. Nelson - Social Worker

Scene 1

Michael and MaryBeth, in shabby clothing are walking along, trying to find shelter. MaryBeth is near the time for delivering her child.

Michael: (holding onto his wife) “Be careful now. This is a nasty piece of ice. I don’t want you or our baby hurt.

MaryBeth: (listlessly) “No, I don’t want to hurt THE baby. I wish you’d stop saying ‘our baby’. You know as well as I that we are going to lose this one the same as we lost Mickey Jr.

Michael: (firmly) “MaryBeth, we don’t know for sure that will happen, but if it does---- well, God gave us our baby to love for nine months and that is better than nothing. The one thing we have been able to count on since we came to know Jesus in a personal way, is that whatever He chooses for us WILL be what is best. He certainly has been meeting our needs so far, hasn’t he?”

MaryBeth: “I know, I know. I just want so badly for this baby to know its real Mommy and Daddy, but you’re right, I know God sees the big picture for our lives. We only see the present. It’s a good thing our Heavenly Father is so patient. (sighs) I sure do have a problem getting the hang of that ‘P’ word.”

Michael: (smiling) “Yes, patience is a tough one all right. We just have to keep asking Him for His help and His strength. He won’t say no to that request.” (MB nods her agreement)
(Mich. notices another homeless woman standing by a fire in a barrel. Behind her stands two large boxes. One appears to be unoccupied. Excitedly, he draws her attention to the spot)
“Look MaryBeth, I think we’ve just found a place to stay.” (Pulling at her arm) “Come on, let’s go talk to her.”

MaryBeth: (holding back) “I don’t know Michael. She looks kind of rough. Maybe we should just go on a bit further.”

Michael: (sadly) “I know it’s not much Hon, but I think it’s the best offer we’ll be getting for a while.”

MaryBeth: (contrite) “I’m sorry.” (determined)” You’re absolutely right. Let’s go to talk to her. At least we can warm up at her fire for a bit.”

Michael leads MaryBeth toward the woman by the fire. She in turn is eyeing them very suspiciously and warily.

Cayce: (cantankerously) “What do you want?”

Michael: (pleasantly) “I noticed there was an empty box next to yours. I was wondering if it belongs to anyone?”

Cayce: (curtly) “That was Charley’s. They just took him away this morning. Why are you so interested in it?”

Michael: (coaxingly) “My wife and I need a place to stay. She’s really tired,(putting an arm around he and drawing her closer) an--an--(blurts out) and you take very good care of your property so I knew you would make a good neighbor.

Cayce: (preens a little bit and then looks hard at Michael to see if he was really serious. After satisfying herself that he seemed to be, she began studying the wife. {still suspicious} “Who are you? How’d you end up here?”

Michael: My name is Michael Brainard and this is my wife, MaryBeth. And you are?”

Cayce: “I’m Cayce. What’s it to you.”

Michael: Well Cayce, we hit on hard times a while back and have been at several different places. We stay until the cops catch on and ask us to leave.”

Cayce: (chuckling) “That’s a polite way of putting it. Those buggers can be a royal pain sometimes, but they have saved my hide once or twice too.”

Michael: (quietly) They have their jobs to do and orders to follow. I can’t argue with that.”

MaryBeth: (swaying slightly) “Michael, I really need to sit down. I just can’t stand a minute more.”

Michael: (grabbing MB and looking imploringly at Cayce) “Please, can we use the extra box? My wife is due to have our baby soon and she really needs to rest.”

Cayce: (grudgingly) “1 suppose you want to share the fire too? You’re going to have to help find the paper & wood you know!”

Michael: (excited & exuberant) “You mean it’s all right for us to stay?” (looking at MB)
“See Hon, I knew God would supply. He is faithful. Look, you sit on this rock while I
set things up.” (looking at Cayce) “Thanks Cayce. I really mean that.”

Michael starts to pick up their meager belongings when Cayce speaks again.

Cayce: (trying to look stern to cover a small smile) “Just you remember, there’s to be no loud radio or blaring T.V. After all, this is a quiet neighborhood, you know.” (M & MB stare with open mouths as Cayce cackles at her own joke)
“What’s the matter, can’t you two take a joke?”

M & MB give a small laugh. Cayce seems to have dismissed them as she stares into the fire. Michael picks up the belongings and heads to the box. After he leaves, Cayce slyly studies MB. MB catches her look and sends a small smile.

Cayce: (annoyed at being caught once again hides behind her dour mood. “So you’re having a kid.”

MaryBeth: “Yes, very soon now. Maybe even by Christmas.”

Cayce: “Great!  There goes my peace and quiet. A squalling kid on its way. This is just great!”

Cayce abruptly turns and heads toward her box, muttering all the way.

MaryBeth arises from her seat and goes closer to the fire. While warming her hands, she looks up to the heavens, deep in thought.

SONG: “Not My Will”

Michael: (walking over to MB. Putting his arm around her waist and taking her hand) ”Come on, MaryBeth, I have everything ready. Let’s go in and rest for awhile.”
They go and sit on the blanket. Michael wraps the other one around her shoulders. After she is settled he reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a small Bible.
Michael: (opening the book) “Let’s see what God wants to tell us tonight.” (He begins reading -II Samuel 7: 8-bA)

As Michael reads, Cayce shows she is eavesdropping. During the reading she
shows different expressions - confused, mocking, troubled etc.

MaryBeth: “It always amazes me how the Lord knows which readings I so desperately need each day. Well, not the fact that He knows what I need but the fact that I’m so important to Him.” (laughingly) Well, I’m not saying this very good, but you know what I mean.”

Michael: “Yes, I do know what you mean. Even after what I did, I’m still important to
Him and to you. I’m just so thankful. I can’t imagine dealing with all this without
Him. Well, the fact is, I couldn’t have.”

MaryBeth: “Me either. We really are blessed!” (Cayce chokes and shows a really shocked face) (MB becomes more serious) “None of this would be so bad if we only still had Mickey.” (Cayce looks confused by that statement)

Michael: (miserably) “I know, and I’m the one to blame.”

MaryBeth: (contritely) “Oh Michael, I ‘m sorry. I didn’t mean to lay that guilt on you again. You made a mistake, but you paid your price. God’s forgiven you and so have I. I know God’s going to work it out. I just know it” (smiles) “It’s that “P” word again.

Michael: “I didn’t know it at the time, but God was watching out for me when He brought you into my life. Not many men have had such a forgiving and loving mate.” (hugs her close) “You’re so precious to me. Now, you must lie down. We did a great deal of walking today and you’re exhausted.”

MaryBeth: “Yes, I am.” (looking earnestly at husband) “But I want you to know that you’re the light of my life here on earth. I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my husband.” (her eyes droop and close as they cuddle together under the blanket, sharing their warmth.

Cayce: (looking confused and shaking her head, mutters) “Those two are a real piece of work! Their cold and hungry, about to have a kid anytime, live in a box and they say they are blessed. Must be the cold messing with their brains. They’re something again.”

SONG: “Living In A Box”

Lights fade

Scene 2

Lights come up off to the side where Jeffrey & Jennifer are walking. They are very close, arm in arm because of their nervousness and unease they feel being in a rough looking neighborhood. There are groups of homeless standing around fires, some looking their way. (This can be done with pictures on backdrop)

Jeffrey: (nervously) “I wonder how much further before we are out of this area? I really don’t like exposing you to such squalor.

Jennifer: (glancing around) “It does make me nervous.” (looking accusingly at husband) “If you hadn’t taken that wrong turn, we probably would be safely in our car, this very minute.”

Jeffrey: (accusingly) “Well, its your fault, after all.”

Jennifer: (indignant) “Excuse me? Did I or did I not, tell you to turn LEFT?

Jeffrey: (pompously) “Yes, you did, BUT, in the past, you have been wrong EVERY SINGLE TIME!. Well, I figured, let’s save time this once. Ill go the opposite direction right off. Wouldn’t you know, you pick THIS time to develop your sense of direction!”

Jennifer: (chuckling) “Women really know how to keep men on their toes, don’t they?”

Jeffrey: (also chuckling) “Well, it is truly a learning experience, that’s for sure.”

They are nearing the area where Cayce and the others are.

Jennifer: (looking in Cayce’s direction and becoming very serious) “Yes, it surely is”

Cayce: “What ya lookin at lady? Haven’t ya seen bums before?”

Michael: (shocked & reproving) “Cayce, we’re not bums! We are just on hard times right now.

MaryBeth: (smiling) “Don’t mind her. She just thrives on being cantankerous.” (she notices Jennifer shivering) “You’re cold. Come, stand by the fire a bit so you can warm up.”

Jeffrey: (guides Jennifer over) “Thank you. it is rather chilly today. I’m afraid we took a wrong turn and have gotten a bit lost.”

Cayce:(nastily) “What would you know about chilly--what with your fancy coats and gloves and all?” (pointing to her box) “Try calling that your home then maybe you would earn the right to complain.”

MaryBeth: “Cayce, stop being rude! They’re exactly where God wants them to be---- just like we are.”
Cayce: (mumbling) “Uumph, some God!”

Michael: (looking sternly at Cayce) “Yes, He is! He knows what we need and when we need it and then He provides.”

Cayce: (stubbornly) “So, you need a house, so where is it?”

Michael: (pointing to the box) “Why right there. A few days ago we had nothing at all and God led us here, where we found shelter.”

Cayce: (rolling her eyes) “Get real! He sure can’t be accused of being a big spender, that’s for sure.”

MaryBeth: (soothingly) “Come on Cayce. He provides, that’s all that matters. How much is totally up to Him. He see’s the big picture in our lives, so He knows what to give, when to give and how much to give so that we can grow stronger and take another step to becoming more like Jesus.”

(Cayce turns away disgustedly.)

Jeffrey: (looking at them) “You sound like you really believe that.”

Michael: (putting an arm around MaryBeth) ”Oh, indeed we do.”

Jeffrey shakes his head.

Jennifer: (looking at MaryBeth) “You look like you will be delivering soon. How will you get to the hospital?

MaryBeth:(smiling sadly) “If there’s no money for a hospital, there’s no need to worry about how to get there.”

Jennifer: (aghast as she looks around) “But, you can’t have a baby HERE, it’s not sterile!”

Cayce: (guffaws) “Oh, PLEASE!

MaryBeth:(giving Cayce the “eye”) God knows what my baby and I need. I’ll just have to trust Him.”

Jennifer: “But,  Excuse me, but I don’t know your name.”

MaryBeth: “I’m sorry. I’m MaryBeth Brainard and this is my husband, Michael.”
(gesturing to Cayce) “And this is our FRIEND, Cayce.”

(shaking hands accompanies the introductions)

Jeffrey: “Well, I am Jeffrey and this is my wife, Jennifer.” (shows his discomfort)  “If you wouldn’t mind giving us some directions, we will be on our way. We still have much to do.”

Michael: “Where did you want to go?”

Jeffrey: “Thirteenth and Market.”

Michael: (pointing) “Just go back up this street for one block. Take a left on Elm. Turn right on Thirteenth and two blocks down is Market.”

Jeffrey: (anxious to leave) “Thank you. Come along Jennifer, we really must hurry along.” (takes her arm and tries to lead her off)

Jennifer: (holding back & looks imploringly at husband) “But Jeffrey, we can’t leave these people like this.”

Jeffrey: (frustrated and embarrassed as he pulls out wallet, pulls off 3 bills and hands to Michael) “Here is $50. At least you can get some warm food. (Replaces wallet & takes wife’s arm) “Now, do let’s go.”

(They walk on --Jennifer glances sadly over her shoulder)

Michael: (calling after them) “Thank you so very much. The Lord bless you.”(looks at wife and Cayce) “Now Cayce, would you keep an eye on MaryBeth while I go get us some food and hot drink?”

Cayce: (scornfully) “Me babysit, while you go get you and your wife food?

Michael: “Cayce, we’re here together. You share your fire with us and let us use the box. Why wouldn’t we share what we have with you?”

Cayce: “(sullenly) “Well nobody ever did before so why should I think you all would be different?”

MaryBeth: “We’re different Cayce. God loves us and we love Him. He put us here with you, so when He gives us something, He expects us to share it. “(Cayce looks suspicious) “Don’t give me that look Cayce. Michael and I care, whether you believe it or not. What ever we have --- you’ll always share it with us.”
Lights go down as Michael goes off.

Scene 3

Home of the Duncan’s.

Jennifer enters living room. She walks around, touching things, warming herself by fire.

SONG: “Silent Night” {mpe}atrialoflovesilentnight{/mp3}

She sits down in chair and looks off into space, thinking.

Jeffrey: (entering, rubbing hands together) “I sure am glad we are safely back in our lovely home, aren’t you, my Dear?” (Jennifer doesn’t answer) “Darling, I am talking to you. Aren’t you glad to be home?”

Jennifer: “Oh,” (coming out of her thoughts) “I’m sorry, Dear. I just can’t get those poor people out of my mind. I actually feel guilty sitting here, in such comfort, when they are cold and hungry.”

Jeffrey: (defensively) “Look, we did our part. They are not hungry! I just gave them

Jennifer: “And that was wonderful ---but how long will that last? What then?”

Jeffrey: (stammering) “Well, ah “(defensively)” Look, we don’t even know if they will buy food with that money. How do you know they didn’t just head to the nearest liquor store?”

Jennifer: (emphatically) “I know they didn’t do that! No, there is something about them you could see it in there eyes you could feel it.

Jeffrey: “All I could feel was glad to get out of there.” (changing the subject) “I wonder where the children are?”

Housekeeper entering as he is speaking, responds)

Agnes: (looking at Jeffrey) “Good evening, Mr. Duncan,” (looks at Jennifer) “Mrs.
Duncan. Priscilla left for the Lancasters. She asked me to tell you, she would be back at
10. Jeffrey and Colin were doing laps in the pool but have retired to their room to dress
for dinner.”

Jeffrey: “Very good, Agnes. Thank you.” (Maid leaves) (turns to Jennifer) “Our daughter has been spending a great deal of time at the Lancaster’s recently.

Jennifer:(smiling) “I think she has a crush on her friends older brother.”

Jeffrey: (aghast) “She’s far too young to be talking or thinking of boys.”

Jennifer: “Darling, she is 15 and on the threshold of dating.”

Jeffrey: (belligerently) “What do you mean, threshold? She’s not allowed to date until she is 21.”

Jennifer: (laughing out right & putting arms around him) “You have a very short memory. You married me when I was 20 and you think you are going to keep her from dating until she is 21? I doubt it!”

Jeffrey: “Well, we were very different. We were responsible and mature for our ages.”

Jennifer: (more seriously) “Yes, we were. Our parents trained us well. But, don’t you agree, we have followed in their footsteps. Priscilla is also very responsible and mature for her age.”

Jeffrey: (grudgingly) “Yes, I suppose she is. BUT (petulantly), she’s my little girl. I don’t want just anyone to have her and when the right one does come along, which won’t be for some time, I will INSIST on a long engagement.

Jennifer: (laughing & joking) “Oooh, Daddy’s having a real problem letting go. Don’t you fret my Love, your other little girl isn’t going anywhere.” (hugs and kisses exchanged)

Boys enter.

J.T.: “Who is going here”, he questions?

Colin: “Are we going some place?”

Mother: (smiling)”No one is going anywhere -- except in for dinner shortly.”

J.T.: ‘What made you so late tonight? I thought you were to be back by four.”

Father: (evasively) “We ran into a bit of trouble and were detained.”

Colin: “Did you have car trouble, Father?”

Father: “Well, in a manner of speaking, you could say that.”

Mother: (laughing) “Yes Dear, we lost it.”

J./t: (puzzled) ”How can you lose a car?”

Mother: (innocently) “I suggested we take a right on Elm but your Father took a left.”

Father: “Yes, but your Mother has….. Forget it, I’ve been up this lane once before.”

Boys (looking very confused) “So, what happened?”

Father: “We ended up in a less than desirable neighborhood but we were able to obtain
proper directions.”

Mother: (more seriously) “We ended up in a homeless section. We met the nicest couple and an eccentric old woman. The couple gave us the directions. It was a sad situation but they were most helpful.’

Cohn: “Homeless section? You mean you were with bums?

Mother: (shocked) “Cohn Joseph Duncan! They are NOT bums. Just because people fall on bad times does not make them bums. Why the….”

J.T.: (butting in) “Father said that people like that just don’t want to work and they expect people to just give them money when ever they ask.

Mother looks shocked at Father

Father: (embarrassed)” J.T., you are only telling part of what I said. I suppose I did say that but those people are in the minority. There are many people who lose jobs through no fault of their own and have no savings to hold them over until they get other work. Without money for mortgage or rent payments, so they end up with no homes.

Colin: “NO HOMES! Where do they sleep? How do they eat?

Mother: Well son, they have ways of surviving but they need help. Hopefully, those of us who have more will help until they can find work again.”

Father: (proudly)” Yes, like your Mother and I did. We gave them $50.

J.T.: “That was very good of you, Father. I’m sure they were very grateful for your doing your part.”

Mother: “Listen boys, $50 will not last very long. This couple will be having a baby coming to them any day now---They live in a box and never know from day to day if they will HAVE food to eat. I’m sure Mr. Brainard is trying to find work but for some reason has not been successful and it’s not very likely he will find anything over the Christmas season.

Father: (glancing at watch and rising) “We best go into dinner now. You know Agnes doesn’t like her cooking to get cold.”

J.T.: (getting up)”Will you be keeping in touch with Mr. Brainard, Father? I mean, to see if he needs more help?”

Father: (evasively)”We’ll see.

Mother: (also rising) ”Why don’t we discuss this over dinner. Maybe we can come up with some kind of a plan to help them.”

Cohn: (rising)” If Agnes made the peas and mushrooms again tonight, I’d be glad to let them have mine.”

Father rumples his hair as they exit.

Scene 4

Cayce & Brainards are sitting drinking coffee and eating fruit.
Cayce is looking off scowling. The Brainards are talking together. Butch comes from the other side.

Butch: “Hey -- Cayce--- What cha dreamin of-- me?” (he laughs)

Cayce: (contemptuously) “Yeah --- about as much as I’m dreaming of Ed McMahon showing up on my doorstep and ringing my flap.”

Butch: “aaah, had a good night’s sleep, I see. Yur all frisky and tart tongued. Oooh, it’s music to me ears.”

Cayce: (saccharin sweet) “ Oooh, you sweet tongued devil, you. I’m sure my day’s going to be just great now.”

Butch: “and sure it will be.” (looking toward Brainards) “and who do we have here?”

Cayce: “New tenants.”

Michael gets up and holds out his hand. “Hi This is my wife, MaryBeth and I am Michael, Michael Brainard.

Butch:(jovially) “Well, well. It’s mighty fine meeting you Mr. Brainard.” (looks at MaryBeth) “Mrs. Brainard. My name is Butch.”

Michael: “Please, call me Michael.”

MaryBeth: “And please call me MaryBeth. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Butch.”
Butch: (takes her hand and kisses it) “Well, a lovely name for a lovely lady.”

Cayce: (swatting him) “Knock it off, Butch. The cops are going to commit you one of these days.”

Butch: (looking into her eyes) “Ah, me darlin--- do I see a green eyed monster lurking in there?”

Cayce:(shoving him) “In your dreams. Get yourself some coffee and be quiet.”

Butch: (begins to pour some coffee into a can. His eyes widen in surprise s he smells the brew) “Hey, this is the real McCoy. Where did you get real coffee?”

Cayce: “We had us a couple of”hoity toities” drop in yesterday. I guess they didn’t like the smell of our brew so they gave Michael here, some money to upgrade.”

Butch: “Well, well, wasn’t that nice of um” (looking at Michael and raising cup to him) “and mighty nice of you to share.”

Cayce: (looking sourly out at the street) “My, my, my speak of the devil .“

Jennifer and the children coming down the street with arms laden.

Jennifer: (approaching) “Hello again. I hope you don’t mind our just dropping in?”

Cayce pantomimes high falutin mannerisms. Butch nudges her to behave and she sourly complies.

Marybeth: “How nice to see you.” (jokingly) “I hope you’re not lost again?”

Jennifer: (chuckling) “No, not this time.” (more seriously) “You’ve been on my mind all night. I just had to come. I hope you don’t mind.”

The boys and Priscilla have been standing quietly but Colin has been playing an eye game with Butch.

Butch: “Gotcha!! !“ (looks at children) “and who do we have here?”

Jennifer: “Oh, I’m sorry. Let me introduce you to my children. This is my daughter, Priscilla and my son J.T. and this is Colin. My name is Jennifer, Jennifer Duncan”
Butch: (bows to Priscilla) “Good mornin lovely lady, and” (turns to boys) “good mornin to you fine gents.”

Cayce: (knees him in butt) “Will you knock it off. You’re no Don Juan you know!”

Michael: (to kids) “It’s nice to meet you all.”

J.T.: (handing a bag to Michael) “These are for you, Sir. They were my Dads but he doesn’t need them.”

Michael: (puffing out a sweater) “Are you sure your Dad won’t be needing these? They look almost new.”

JT.: “Oh no. He has plenty.”

Michael: “Well, thank you very much. Butch and I can sure use them.”

Butch: (looking at Michael, surprised at his generosity, stammers) “Me?” (Michael nods yes) (takes sweater from Michael)” Thank you and,” (turns toward J.T.) please thank your Dad too."

Colin: (setting a bag down near Marybeth) “These are some of my Mom’s things,” (looking at her carefully) “but I don’t think they will fit you.”

Jennifer: (shocked) “Colin!”

Marybeth: (laughing) “No, I think you’re quite right, but my friend Cayce will certainly enjoy them and I will save some of them for after the baby comes.”

Colin: “You’re going to get a baby?”

JT.: (superior) “Colin, Mother told you that before we left. Don’t be such a stooge.”

Cohn: (emphatically) “I’m not a stooge. I just forgot.”

Butch:(putting an arm around Cohn’s shoulder) “Why don’t we go over nearer the fire and warm up.” (looks at J.T.) “ You can come too, if you would like.”

Jennifer: (to Cayce) “Here is a chicken casserole. It’s still warm. Perhaps you would like to set it near the fire.”

Butch: “Umrnmm, that sure smells like a slice of heaven.”

Cayce: “What would you know about heaven?”

The four head over to the fire.

Marybeth: (to Jennifer) “This is most kind of you, and of your children. We can’t thank you enough.”

Michael: “You’ve gone to a great deal of trouble for us. Thank you.”

Jennifer: “I am so glad that we took the wrong turn yesterday. I just had no idea

Marybeth: “God does work in mysterious ways.” (looks at Priscilla) “I’m glad you came too. Thank you.”

Priscilla: (embarrassed) “You’re welcome. Oh,” (handing another bag to Marybeth) “Here are some things for your baby.”

Michael: “If you ladies will excuse me, I think I’ll go over and visit with the boys for a bit.” (he leaves to join the others at the fire)

Marybeth: (stroking a baby garment and subdued) “How beautiful. Thank you.” (she looks up with tears in her eyes) “They are so soft so little.”

Priscilla: “It is surprising, isn’t it? I remember when Colin came home from the hospital. He was the size of one of my dolls that I used to play with.  Now look at him.  Mother says we grow up too fast.”

(Jennifer notes her daughter is shivering slightly.)

Jennifer: “You are shivering. Why don’t you join the others near the fire.”

Priscilla: “I think I will.” (she walks over with the others)

Jennifer: (sitting next to MaryBeth) “First babies are a bit frightening but you need not worry. Knowing most of what you should do seems to come naturally.”

Marybeth: (sadly) “This isn’t my first child. I had a son.

Jennifer: I’m so sorry. What happened to him or is the subject to painful?”

Marybeth: “Michael was fired from his job. You see, he had not told his boss that he had been in prison.” (Jennifer looks startled) “I can see that has shocked you. Before we had Jesus heading up our lives, Michael made some wrong choices. He was sent to prison for two years. Those years were a real struggle for me. My son, Mickey Jr. was three. I didn’t have any special training so it was impossible to find a job that paid enough to cover Day Care as well. Fortunately, we had some savings, but even with being very careful, it was used up. While Michael was in prison, we both found Jesus and when Michael’s sentence was up, he eagerly set out job hunting. He wanted to prove to one and all how he had changed. Unfortunately, it is not easy for an ex-con to get a job, so in desperation, Michael with held that information .“

Jennifer: “How awful. But I still don’t see where losing your son comes in.”

Marybeth: “Well, no job means no money. We didn’t have the rent so we lost our home. The landlord had a list of people who could afford the property so he wasn’t going to let us stay there. We tried to get help, but apparently, there is more than one Michael Brainard. Well, let’s just say, we got lost in the shuffle. When Social Services learned that we were out on the street with no money to our name, they took Mickey Jr. They said it was just till we had an income again but until that time they won’t even tell us where he is, or let us visit him. They said that is too upsetting for a child.” (crying) They took my son, and they will take this baby too, unless Michael can find work, but with his past....
Jennifer: (crying too) “Oh, you poor dear. There must be something we can do. There has to be a way.” (determined)   I am going to talk to Jeffrey. You know the old saying, two heads are better than one."

Marybeth: (smiling through her tears) “Thank you for your kindness. Maybe your husband will think of something -- who knows? Of one thing I am sure. My God is in control. It’s hard to trust when you don’t know the “whys” but I’m getting better at it. If I didn’t have Jesus, I don’t think I would have made it this far --- but, we do have Him and He has been helping us along the way. Why, His latest gift has been your family.”

Jennifer: “I am so ashamed. I’ve known Jesus for several years but I have allowed the abundance in my life to build scales on my eyes. I have not been serving my Lord as I should but” (determinedly) “that has all changed, as of now! Privilege also has its positive side. I know some very important people who will do a great deal for me. I will begin making contacts immediately. I WILL find some answers, Marybeth. You can count on it!”

Group comes back from the fire.

Butch: “Well me ladies, isn’t about time to break out the fine china? That heavenly aroma has all but driven me crazy.”

Cayce: “You can’t be driven to place you’re already at.”

Butch: (grabbing Cayce)”Come on ole girl, why don’t you just fess up. You love me and you know it, so stop fighting it.”

Cayce: (freeing herself as she gruffly speaks) “Let go of me you old fool!”

Butch: (sings) “Cayce, Cayce, give me your answer true.” (speaking) “You just say the word and I’ll be your old fool.”

CAYCE & BUTCH DUET: “You’re Driving Me Mad”

Michael: (Laughing at the two) “I think sampling that casserole sounds like an excellent idea. Jennifer, would you and the children care to join us?”

Cayce: (sarcastically) “Yeah right!”

Priscilla: “May we Mother? Butch has been telling us some of the best stories.”

J.T.: “Yes Mother, and would you believe it? Cayce used to be in the army.”

Butch: (grabbing Cayce’s arm) “Yeah, show them your tattoo.”

Marybeth: “Really? You were in the Army, Cayce?”

Cayce: (shrugging Butch oil) “It’s no big deal. Anyway, that was a long time ago.”

Colin: “We have been having the best time, Mother. May we stay longer, please?”

Jennifer: (laughing and looking pointedly at Cayce) “We would love to. Thank you very much.”

Cayce:(grudgingly) “Fine. I suppose I can scrounge up a couple extra plates.”(looking at Jennifer) “Just watch out for the chips.”

Scene 5

The Duncan Home. All are sitting around in the living room.

Colin: “We had the best time, Dad. Butch is so funny and he tells the best stories.”
Jeffrey: “Is that so, Son. Just who is this Butch?”

J.T.: “He’s a friend of Cayce’s. He used to work at a factory making machine parts but he injured himself. He could never get his speed back so he was laid off. He said he can fix just about anything but it seems that no one is interested in hiring his smart hands.”

Colin: “I think he likes Cayce, don’t you Priscilla?”

Priscilla: “You could be right. He teases her all the time but he really watches out for her. She tries to hide it but I think she kind of likes him too.” (looking at her Father) “Father, what are we going to do? Christmas is just a few days away. I just can’t bear to leave them alone like that.”

Jeffrey: “Well, I’m not pleased that your Mother took you to that area in the first place and secondly, I’m not so sure we should do anything more.”

All three children start to argue.

Jeffrey: “Enough! Your Mother and I will discuss this in private. You will just have to trust us. Now why don’t you go on up to your rooms. It is getting late.”
All three children get up, kiss their parents, say their good nights and exit.

Jeffrey: “Jennifer, I can’t believe you took the children down to that place. It is an unsavory section and you should not have exposed the children to that.”

Jennifer: “It’s called life, Jeffrey. I was oblivious to it myself before yesterday. It is important that the children learn there are people far less privileged than they, and they should be using what they have to help others.”

Jeffrey: (defensively) “But you don’t know these people. Why, anything could have happened to you and the children in that area.”

Jennifer: (soothingly) “Dear, you have always complemented me on being such a good judge of character. Can’t you trust me on that this time? I just couldn’t get them out of my mind. I had to go back. The children saw me gathering things together, to take with me and they asked to come as well. I thought it would be good for them.”

Jeffrey: ‘Tm just afraid you are letting your soft heart rule the situation.”

Jennifer: “Maybe at first, you were right, but while I was there, I got a good look at something in myself that I was not very proud of. You and I claim a personal relationship with Jesus. Speaking for myself I have to confess that I have been remiss in remembering that. I have been so complacent in my comforts that I forgot there was a whole other world out there. I am ashamed of myself for that and I mean to change it.”

Jeffrey: “But what makes you think that this is the situation you should be involved in? Have you asked yourself why the man isn’t working? Surely there is some kind of job he could be doing?”

Jennifer: “People won’t hire him because he has been in prison.”

Jeffrey: “WHAT!!! He is an ex-con?”

Jennifer: “Jeffrey, don’t be a snob. People make mistakes. He made poor choices. That doesn’t mean that he can’t change. He has come to know the Lord. He has repented of those sins and God has forgiven him.   It is not for us to judge. Jeffrey, dearest, I know you and you are a fair and generous person. Please, just go down there yourself. Talk to Michael. I know you will think differently after you have. Please, go talk to him?”

Jeffrey: (grudgingly) “All right, I’ll go talk to him. You do what you feel you must, but
I’m making no promises, understood?”

Jennifer: “Yes dear, I understand, but while you talk to him, see what kind of work he can do. With all your contacts, surely you can help him find work.”
Jeffrey: (warningly) “Jennifer, I said, NO PROMISES.”

Jennifer:” Okay, okay.” (looking at her watch) “I wish it wasn’t so late. I really want to start making some calls about their son. Oh well, I guess it will have to wait till morning. Are you ready to retire now?”

Jeffrey: “Yes, I believe I am. It has been a rather exhausting day.”

Jennifer: “You go ahead. I have to write down a couple of reminders for myself and then I’ll be right along.”

Jeffrey exits. Jennifer goes to her desk and writes. She gazes of thinking.

SONG: “Here I Am”

Scene 6

Jeffrey is seated, reading the paper and drinking coffee.

Jennifer: (entering) “Good morning.” (continues to walk over to Jeffrey and kisses the top of his head) “Did you sleep well?” (sits and pours herself a cup of coffee)

Jeffrey: (looking up) “Yes, indeed. I feel quite rested this morning.”

Jennifer: “I’m glad.” (matter of factly) “You will be seeing the Brainards today, right?”

Jeffrey: (sighs) “Yes, I will see the Brainards.  Just remember what I said -- I’m making no promises.”

Jennifer: “Oh, I remember. What you need to remember is that I know you very well and I am positive that you are going to want to help.”

Jeffrey: (warningly) “Jennifer, don’t push me!”

Jennifer: (sweetly) “I wouldn’t think of it, Darling.”

Jeffrey: (putting down cup and rising) “Ummpf. Well, I must be off. (picking up & putting on coat) What do you have planned for your day?”

Jennifer: I have several calls to make this morning, then it’s lunch with Michelle. After that it’s off to the hospital to read to the ladies.” (rises)

Jeffrey: “That should keep you out of trouble.”

Jennifer: “Cute dear, really cute.”

Jeffrey: (picking up briefcase and coat) “Do be careful.” (kisses her goodby) “I’ll see you at dinner.”

Jennifer: (smiles & waves) “Have a good day.”

Lights fade out and come up on Jeffrey walking to homeless area.

Michael: (spotting Jeffrey) “Good morning, Mr. Duncan. You don’t appear to be lost today.”

Jeffrey: “No, I came to see you, Michael.”

Michael: “Oh, is something wrong? We didn’t ask your family for anything. They just showed up with the clothes and food.”

Jeffrey: “I know, I know.” (acknowledges others) “Good morning, MaryBeth, Cayce.”

Marybeth: “Good morning, Mr. Duncan.”

Butch: (walking up) “Did I hear the name, Mr. Duncan?”

MaryBeth: “Yes, that’s right.”

Butch: (To Jeffrey) “You sure do have a mighty fine family. You must be right proud of those kids?”

Jeffrey: “Yes, I am Mr. ah…”

Butch: “I’m Butch. I like to stick close here and help out.”

Cayce: “You just like to drink the coffee --- That’s what you like.”

Jeffrey: (shaking hands) “Well Butch, I’ve heard a great deal about you from the boys.”

Butch: (laughing) “Don’t believe all that you hear.”

Jeffrey: (also laughing) “Oh, they were good reports.” (turns to Michael) “Michael, I was wondering if I could have a word with you”----(looks around) ---“in private.”

Michael: “Sure, we can go over there.” (points to side. They go over to two boxes and sit down) “So, what’s this all about?”

Jeffrey: (slightly embarrassed) “It seems my wife has become a champion of your cause and she wants me to help. I ah, I need to….”

Michael: “Check me out, right?”

Jeffrey: “I do need to know more about you. I only know a few facts, like you have no work, you have had a child taken away, and you were in prison.”

Michael: “Not much to inspire confidence, is it?”

Jeffrey: “No, it’s not, but I want to be fair. Would you be willing to go into more detail about your past?”

Michael: (looks hard at Jeffrey) “Sure. You look like a fair man so I’ll tell you everything. You see, I was a very foolish man “

Sound fades out and lights dim, but don’t go out entirely. Men pantomime talking. Lights come up on Jennifer, talking on the phone.

Jennifer: “I would like to speak with Senator Martin, please.” (pause) “This is Jennifer Duncan.” (pause) “Look, I know he is a busy man. Just give him my name. I’m sure he will speak with me.” (pause) “Anthony, how good of you to take my call.” (pause) “He’s fine. Yes, the children are indeed growing much too quickly.” (pause) “Anthony, I have a problem. I know you will help, if you can. The other day, Jeffrey and I were...”

Sound fades out and lights dim. Lights brighten on men.

Michael: “So, here I am, waiting for God to show me what to do next. I keep applying for jobs, but so far, my applications seem to end up in trash cans.”

Jeffrey: “I need some time to think about all you have told me. I’m not certain as to what to do, but I WILL think about it.”

Michael: “I can’t ask for anything more. Thanks for at least coming and asking. I really do appreciate that.”

Jeffrey: (shaking his hand) “You’re welcome. Now, I think I’ll go over to the fire and warm up a bit before I leave.”

Michael: “You go ahead. I think I’ll sit here a little longer.”

MaryBeth wanders over to Michael.

DUET: “In You”

Lights dim on Michael and brighten on Jennifer.

Jennifer: “Listen Miss, this is Mrs. Jeffrey Duncan the Third. I demand to speak to your superior.” (pause) “Thank you, I’ll wait.” (pause while she drums fingers impatiently) “Yes, this is Mrs. Duncan. To whom am I speaking?” (pause) “And what position do you hold?” (pause) “Fine. I wish to speak to you concerning a serious error your department has made.” (pause) “It involves the withholding of information on a child’s whereabouts.” (pause) “Not in this case, you don’t.” (pause) “Well, let me tell you what I know. I think at that point, you will clearly see that the boundaries were seriously overstepped.”

Fade out of sound. Lights go totally out. Lights come back up on the homeless group.

Butch: Yes, and I must say, your wife is one special lady.”

Jeffrey: “Thank you, I quite agree. I understand from the boys that you worked for a machine factory.”

Butch: “Yeah, until I couldn’t make the quota any more.” (chuckles) “Well, they ended up in a real mess when they got rid of me. You see, I kept the machines all running smoothly. It wasn’t part of my job, but I’ve always liked tinkering with things, and so I just did it. After I was canned, they realized how much I‘d done for them. They thought they would save money by getting rid of me, but instead, they’ve had to pay out far more in repair bills.”

Jeffrey: “So, you like working with your hands. Why haven’t you tried getting a job in that line of work?”

Cayce: “Listen Buster, Butch was a hard working man. If you think he’s been sitting around on his hands, doing nothing, you can think again!”

Butch: “It’s okay, Cayce. Don’t get all bent out of shape.” (turning to Jeffrey) “Look, I have tried and I will keep on trying, but there are not a lot of jobs out there for a man my age, not that I’m that old, mind ya, but I guess they figure they’d do best with younger guys.”

Jeffrey: “What about you, Cayce? What kind of work did you do?”

Cayce: “You ask a lot of questions, you know? Are you writing a book on slumming or something?”

Butch: “Cayce, don’t be so defensive. Maybe he can help.”

Cayce: (looking at Jeffrey) “Why would you want to help us? What’s in it for you?”

Jeffrey: “There is nothing in it for me, Cayce. I’m not even sure if I will be able to help. I’m just interested in you. The boys were quite taken with you.”

Cayce: (surprised) “Taken with me? Why ever for?”

Jeffrey: “They said you had been in the army.”

Butch: “Sure enough! She was near combat too.”

Jeffrey: (quite surprised) “Really?”

Butch: “Yes indeedy. Why she once….”

Cayce: (sharply) “That’s enough, Butch. Those days are gone and I don’t care to relive them.”

Butch: “Okay, okay! Don’t get your dander up. I can’t help it if I’m proud of you.”

Cayce: (embarrassed, but still sharply) “Look, I’m nothing special, so just forget it.”

Jeffrey: (preparing to leave) “Well, I best be going.” (turns to Michael) “Thank you for talking with me.”

Jeffrey shakes hands with Butch, waves to the ladies and is gone. Lights fade out.

Scene 7
Lights up on the Duncan home. Agnes is in the living room. She replaces phone as she completes a note regarding message. As she finishes, Jeffrey enters.

Jeffrey: (entering the room, Agnes takes his coat) “Has Mrs. Duncan arrived home yet. Agnes?”

Agnes: “Not yet, sir. She called and said to tell you she is on her way. That was about ten minutes ago.”

Jeffrey: “Thank you.”

As Agnes is leaving the phone rings. She turns back to answer it.

Jeffrey: “That’s all right, Agnes, I’ll get it."

She leaves and Jeffrey picks up the phone.

Jeffrey: “The Duncan residence. Jeffrey Duncan speaking.” (pause) “Anthony, this is a pleasant surprise. What can I do for you?” (pause) “She did? What was that all about?” (pause) “Really.” (pause) “Yes, she can be a bit tenacious when she feels she has a worthy cause.” (pause) “I quite agree, she is a special lady.” (pause) “Really.” (pause) “Yes.” (pause) “Yes.” (pause) “ Yes, she is” (pause) “1 am proud of her too.” (pause) “Well, thank you for taking the time to share that with me.” (pause) “I will tell her.” (pause) “Thanks again, Anthony. Good night.”

He hangs up the phone, deep in thought.

Jennifer enters.

Jennifer: “Hello darling. I’m sorry I’m late.

Jeffrey: (taking her coat) “I have not been home that long myself.  Oh, Anthony just called.”

Jennifer: (excitedly) “He did? What did he say? Has he found anything out yet?”

Jeffrey: “He called to sing your praises to me”

Jennifer: (waving hand dismissing praise) “I’m just doing what I should be.” (anxiously) “And how was your day?”

Jeffrey: (purposely evasive) “Oh, the office was the same as usual.”

Jennifer: (a little sharply) “Is the office the only place you went?”

Jeffrey: (teasingly) “Was there something else I was supposed to do?”

Jennifer: (annoyed) “Jeffrey Duncan! Did you or did you not go to see the Brainards?”

Jeffrey: (laughing) “Yes, I went to see them. I also met Butch.”

Jennifer: (smiling) “He is one of a kind, isn’t he?”

Jeffrey: “That he is. He’s done well in keeping his sense of humor despite the difficulties he has had.”

Jennifer: “He sure has. Now Cayce is a whole other story. I think she is hiding behind her cantankerous persona. I think she is afraid of opening herself up to more hurt.”

Jeffrey: “You are probably right. After all, you are a good judge of character.”

Jennifer: (excitedly) “Does that mean you are going to help?”

Jeffrey: I guess I can look into some possibilities.”

Jennifer: (shouts) “I knew it! I knew you would feel the same as I do after you talked to them.”

Kids enter.

J.T. “Feel what? After you talked to who?”

Colin: “What’s going on, anyway?”

Jennifer: “Your Father went to see the Brainards today. He’s going to help them.”

J.T.: “What about Butch?”

Colin: “What about Cayce?”

Jeffrey: “I think we can work something out for all of them.”

Priscilla: “That’s wonderful, Father. How long do you think it will take?”

Jeffrey: “It shouldn’t take too long. Being the President of a company does have some advantages.”

Priscilla: “Can we go to see them tomorrow, Mother? I can’t wait to let them know.”

Jeffrey: “I have a better idea. Why don’t you go and invite them all for Christmas. Perhaps by then. I will have everything worked out. Don’t say anything. though. This would make an excellent Christmas surprise.”

Colin: (bouncing with excitement) “Yes indeed, Father. This is going to be the best Christmas!”

J.T.: (exuberantly) “This is really cool!” (catching himself) “I mean, this is most exciting, Father.”

Priscilla: (to Mother) “I would really like to get something special for the baby. May we do that, Mother?”

Jennifer: “We surely can, my dear.”

Lights fade out.

Scene 8

Dinner is over and the group enters the living room displaying an overly full condition.

Butch: (holding stomach) “I don’t think my stomach knows what hit it. I haven’t had that much food in a very long time.”

Cayce: “A little self control might be in order.”

Butch: “Look who’s talking. You sure were putting it away, yourself.”

Cayce: “If that’s the case, how come I don’t feel as bad as you?”

Butch: “I guess your stomach must be bigger than mine.”

Cayce: (patting his stomach) “I don’t think so.”

Michael: “It was a marvelous meal. Thank you all, very, very much.”

MaryBeth: “Yes, thank you. Your kindness changed what would have been, just another day into something very special.”

Butch: “You are absolutely right, MaryBeth. I thank you all too. This has been great.”

Cayce: (grudgingly kind) “It was very nice. Thank you. I still don’t know why you did this.”

Jeffrey: (looking up contemplating) “Why am I doing this? To be perfectly honest, Jennifer got me going. I must confess, I have taken my abundance very much for granted. I no longer remembered that all that I have is God’s. He gave it to me, but I have not been using it for Him.” (smiles at wife) “Jennifer re-awakened the deeply buried memory and now, I want to be my Lord’s servant.”

Cayce: (looking thoughtful and still confused) “God’s money? His servant?”

Jennifer: “The credit really should go to Michael and MaryBeth.”

Michael: (surprised) “To us? Whatever for?”

Jennifer: “You have been through extremely hard circumstances and have known real heartbreak, yet you continue to trust Jesus with your very lives. You have a deep, inner peace that shines through, brightly. This is Christmas, the time for remembering God’s gift to all who will receive it. Your example of faith and trust spoke far louder than any words ever could.”

Jeffrey: Jennifer and I are deeply grateful for your living testimony.”

Michael: “That’s truly humbling, but also very exciting. Just think, if God hadn’t put us on the street, we might never have met you.”

Jeffrey: “That is quite true and a very frightening thought.”

Butch: “You know, I once heard at a mission that “all things work together to those who love the Lord”. I think I am beginning to understand just what that means.” (turning to Cayce) “Cayce, you and me are going to start going to the mission regularly. I want us to learn more about this Jesus.”

Cayce: (questioningly) “You and me?”

Butch: “Sure enough! We’re a team aren’t we?”

Cayce: (smiling shyly) “Yeah, I guess you could say that.”

Jeffrey: (standing) “Well, I think it’s time for some gifts.”

All the homeless look shocked and declare in unison: “Gifts!”

MaryBeth: “But you have given us so much, already.”

Butch: “Yeah, this is a day I will never forget.”

Priscilla: “Well, there is still more to come.”

J.T.(sounding grown up) “Yes indeed. I think we are all learning what Jesus meant when He said, “It is more blessed to give, than receive.”

Colin: (bouncing) “I’m so excited I just want to laugh till I split a gut.”

Jennifer: (mortified) “COLIN DUNCAN!

Butch: (chagrined) “Whoops! I think he heard me say that the other day. Sorry.” (adopts a very high falutin air) “Colin, I was being very crude when I made that appalling statement. I should have remarked that I was so excited I could dance for joy and laugh till my sides ached.”

Everyone bursts out laughing at Butch’s airs.

Jeffrey:(takes out 2 envelopes and walks over to Michael & MaryBeth) “These envelopes are for the two of you.” (hands one to each) “Michael, why don’t you open yours first, and then MaryBeth you can open yours.”
Michael: (looks puzzled as he opens the envelope and pulls out a piece of paper. He quickly scans it and in total shock, looks at MaryBeth) “This is a job! I have a job beginning January 2nd.”

MaryBeth: (hugs Michael) “Oh Michael!” (looks at Michael and MaryBeth with tears of joy) “How can we ever thank you?”

Jeffrey:( grinning big) “It’s our pleasure. How about opening your envelope, MaryBeth.”

MaryBeth: (with trembling hands opens the envelope and removes the paper. She scans it and promptly bursts into tears.) “Oh Michael. The Duncans have leased an apartment for us until we get on our feet.”

Priscilla: I helped fix it up. It has everything you need. In fact you will be staying in it tonight.”

Colin: “J.T. and I helped too. Why, we…”   (J.T. elbows him in the ribs and gives him a stern look) “Oh! Aaaah, I’ll tell you what we did a little later.”

Jeffrey: (carrying an envelope over to Butch) “Here is something for you, Butch.”

Butch: “For me?”

Cayce: “Probably a bill for all the food you ate.”

Butch: (opens envelope and scans the contents. Jumping up, he grabs Jeffrey and dances him around)”Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

J.T.: “Aren’t you going to tell the others, Butch?”

Butch: (grinning from ear to ear) “Oh, you aren’t going to believe this. I gotta a job, working on machines AND a place to stay. WOW!

Jennifer: (walking over to Cayce and handing her an envelope) “This can be temporary, but we have no idea what you used to do...”

Cayce: (opens the envelope and reads the contents. Her eyes fill with tears) “Oh my.”

Butch: What is it, Cayce?”

Cayce: (awed) “The Duncans have hired me to help out here, for as long as I want, and I am to live here. I will have my very own room.   Oh My!”

Butch: (looking at Duncans) “That is really kind of you, but Cayce can’t stay here very long.”

Cayce: (shocked) “What dumb thing are you talking about now, Butch?”

Butch: (embarrassed) “Ah, well, ah, well, I do have a job now, but, ah” (then blurts out) “I just can’t live without your coffee, Cayce. So I thought maybe we could get hitched and then you could make all my coffee.”

Cayce: (indignant) “You want to marry me for my coffee?”

Butch: (looking chagrined )“ Well, I kind of like you, too.”

Cayce: (still indignant) “Like Me?”

Butch: (defiantly) “Okay, so I love you and you love me, too. Oh, you do your durndest to hide the fact, but I can tell. Oh yes, I’ve seen it in your eyes. So, are you going to marry me or not?”

Cayce: (softening and smiling) “Yeah, I’ll marry you, you old coot. Nobody else could put up with you.”

They both laugh and hug while the others cheer and applaud.

Jennifer glances at the door and then back at the group.

Jennifer: (raising her voice over the din) “Okay everyone. Everyone, can I have your attention?”

Everyone quiets down.

Jennifer: “I have one more surprise. Why don’t you all sit down and I’ll go get it.”

Michael: “You’ve given so much, already.”

Jennifer: “Oh, this is just a little thing, but I knew you would like it.”

They sit, talking to one another as Jennifer leaves. A moment later, a little boy steps into the door way.

MaryBeth: (seeing him first shrieks) “MICKEY! Oh, thank you, Dear Sweet Jesus, it’s my baby.”

Mickey: runs over to MaryBeth and Michael squealing) “Mommy! Daddy! “(Michael scoops him up and sits close to MaryBeth)

MaryBeth: (caressing Mickey) “You’ve grown up so much!”

Mickey Jr.: (patting MaryBeth’s tummy) “So have you, Mommy.”
(everyone laughs) (he crawls over on MaryBeth’s lap and hugs her) “I missed you so much Mommy.”

MaryBeth: (hugging him) “We missed you too, Munchkins.”

Mickey Jr.: (smiling) “I missed being Munchkins. I missed you singing to me too,

Mommy. Will you sing me my special song? You know, the one you used to sing to me every night?” (she nods) “Will you sing it to me now? Please Mommy?”

SONG: “Lullaby”

During the reunion, Jennifer, openly crying and Mrs. Nelson, the social worker, wiping at a stray tear, enter. Finally the noise subsides.

MaryBeth:” If we spend our whole lives trying, we can never repay you for this. I still can’t believe it.”

Michael: “Nor can I. I don’t know if I can contain this much joy.”

Jennifer: “You are more than welcome. You just have to promise to visit often.”

Michael: “That will be a pleasure.”

Jennifer: (turning to the lady next to her) “This is Mrs. Nelson, from Social Services.”

Mrs. Nelson:(looking at Michael and MaryBeth & sounding very business like)” You have a persuasive friend, here. In fact, very persuasive, since I am here on Christmas Day. I have some papers for the two of you to sign, and than Mickey is legally yours.” (comes over with papers) “I’d like to do this quickly as the snow is quite bad. In fact, my husband runs one of the counties snowplows and he brought us over, in it” (Papers are signed and handed back) “That does it. You’ve got your Mickey back” (turning to leave) “Well, Merry Christmas to you all.” (she exits)

J.T. , having looked interested in the snow, also exits.

Butch: “Wow, what a Christmas. No one would ever believe it!”

Cayce:(good naturedly) “For once, you said something smart..”

Colin: (jumping up) “Now, I can tell! Now, I can tell. J.T. and I fixed up Mickey’s room and there are tons of toys.

Michael: “Do you hear that Mickey? When we get to our new home, you will have all kinds of surprises.”

Jeffrey: “Oh, yes, speaking of surprises. Jennifer and I have made arrangements for you at Community General Hospital. This baby will have all the best medical staff to take care of it.”

MaryBeth: (clutching herself and groaning): “I DON’T THINK SO! ! ! ! !”

Everyone: “WHAT!!!”

MaryBeth: (gritting her teeth) “This baby’s been trying to come for sometime but I just ignored it. Ooooh, I can’t ignore it anymore.”

J.T. re-enters.

Jennifer: “Jeffrey, order the car. I’ll call the hospital.”

J.T.: “I just heard on the radio that all roads have been declared impassable. No one is allowed on them. If there is an emergency, we are to call 911 and they will come as soon as possible.”

Jeffrey: “Oh, no! What are we going to do?”

Cayce: (sounding like a drill sergeant) “Jeffrey, go get the staff to boil water. LOTS of water. You boys take Mickey upstairs and find something for him to play with. Jennifer, you and Priscilla find a bunch of clean sheets and lots of clean towels. Michael, you and Butch help MaryBeth upstairs.”

Jennifer: (tentatively) “I know you want to help, Cayce, but what do you know about delivering babies?”

Butch: “Like I said before, Cayce was in the Army. She was a triage nurse. You know, like the ones on that program, “Mash”. Yep, Cayce has pretty much seen it all and done it all.”

Jennifer: (looking at Cayce, confused) “I don’t understand, Cayce. If you are a nurse, why….”

Cayce: “It’s a long story. For now, let’s just say that patients are not always the number one priority of many hospitals.”

MaryBeth groans.

Cayce: “We’ll talk about this another time.” (looking around at the group) “Okay, let’s snap to it. We got us another Christmas present to deliver.”

Everyone jumps to their assignments.

The End.