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August Wilson

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Act 2, Scene 3

Act Two Scene Three

The lights come up on the porch. It is late evening three days later. ROSE sits listening to the ball game waiting for TROY. The final out of the game
is made and ROSE switches off the radio. TROY enters the yard carrying an infant wrapped in blankets. He stands back from the house and calls.

(ROSE enters and stands on the porch. There is a long, awkward silence, the weight of which grows heavier with each passing second.)

TROY Rose ... I'm standing here with my daughter in my arms. She ain't but a wee bittie little old thing. She don't know nothing about grownups'
business. She innocent . . . and she ain't got no mama.

ROSE What you telling me for, Troy?
(She turns and exits into the house.)

TROY Well ... I guess we'll just sit out here on the porch.

{He sits down on the porch. There is an awkward indelicateness about the way he handles the baby. His largeness

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engulfs and seems to swallow It. He speaks loud enough for ROSE to hear.) A man's got to do what's right for him. I ain't sorry for nothing I done. It
felt right in my heart.

{To the baby.) What you smiling at? Your daddy's a big man. Got these great big old hands. But sometimes he's scared. And right now your daddy's
scared cause we sitting out here and ain't got no home. Oh, I been homeless before. I ain't had no little baby with me. But I been homeless. You just
be out on the road by your lonesome and you see one of them trains coming and you just kinda go like this . . .

{He sings as a lullaby.) Please, Mr. Engineer let a man ride the line Please, Mr. Engineer let a man ride the line I ain't got no ticket please let me ride
the blinds

{ROSE enters from the house. TROY hearing her steps behind him, stands and faces her.) She's my daughter, Rose. My own flesh and blood. I can't
deny her no more than I can deny them boys.

(Pause.) You and them boys is my family. You and them and this child is all I got in the world. So I guess what I'm saying is . . . I'd appreciate it if
you'd help me take care of her.

ROSE Okay, Troy . . . you're right. I'll take care of your baby for you . . . cause . . . like you say . . . she's innocent . . . and you can't visit the sins of
the father upon the child. A motherless child has got a hard time.

(She takes the baby from him.) From right now . . . this child got a mother. But you a womanless man.

(ROSE turns and exits into the house with the baby. Lights go down to black.)

Act 2, Scene 4

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Act Two Scene Four

It is two months later. LYONS enters from the street. He knocks on the door and calls

LYONS Hey, Rose!

(Pause.) Rose!


(From inside the house.) Stop that yelling. You gonna wake up Raynell. I just got her to sleep.

LYONS I just stopped by to pay Papa this twenty dollars I owe him. Where's Papa at?

ROSE He should be here in a minute. I'm getting ready to go down to the church. Sit down and wait on him.
LYONS I got to go pick up Bonnie over her mother's house.

ROSE Well, sit it down there on the table. He'll get it.


(Enters the house and sets the money on the table.) Tell Papa I said thanks. I'll see you again.

ROSE Alright, Lyons. We'll see you.

(LYONS starts to exit as CORY enters)

CORY Hey, Lyons.

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LYONS What's happening, Cory. Say man, I'm sorry I missed your graduation. You know I had a gig and couldn't get away. Otherwise, I would
have been there, man. So what you doing?

CORY I'm trying to find a job.

LYONS Yeah I know how that go, man. It's rough out here. Jobs are scarce.

CORY Yeah, I know.

LYONS Look here, I got to run. Talk to Papa ... he know some people. He’ll be able to help get you a job. Talk to him . . . see what he say.

CORY Yeah . . . alright, Lyons.

LYONS You take care. I'll talk to you soon. We'll find some time to talk.

( LYONS exits the yard. CORY wanders over to the tree , picks up the bat and assumes a batting stance. He studies an imaginary pitcher and swings.
Dissatisfied with the result , he tries again. TROY enters. They eye each other for a beat. CORY puts the bat down and exits the yard. TROY starts
into the house as ROSE exits with RAYNELL. She is carrying a cake.)

TROY I'm coming in and everybody's going out.

ROSE I'm taking this cake down to the church for the bakesale. Lyons was by to see you. He stopped by to pay you your twenty dollars. It's laying in
there on the table.


(Going into his pocket.) Well . . . here go this money.

ROSE Put it in there on the table, Troy. I'll get it.

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TROY What time you coming back?

ROSE Ain't no use in you studying me. It don't matter what time I come back.

TROY I just asked you a question, woman. What’s the matter . . . can’t I ask you a question?

ROSE Troy, I don't want to go into it. Your dinner's in there on the stove. All you got to do is heat it up. And don't you be eating the rest of them
cakes in there. I'm coming back for them. We having a bakesale at the church tomorrow.

(ROSE exits the yard. TROY sits down on the steps, take sa pint bottle from his pocket, opens it and drinks. He begins to sing.)

TROY Hear it ring! Hear it ring! Had an old dog his name was Blue You know Blue was mighty true You know Blue as a good old dog Blue trees a
possum in a hollow log You know from that he was a good old dog

(BONO enters the yard.)

BONO Hey, Troy.

TROY Hey, what's happening, Bono?

BONO I just thought I'd stop by to see you.

TROY What you stop by and see me for? You ain't stopped by in a month of Sundays. Hell, I must owe you money or something.

BONO Since you got your promotion I can't keep up with you. Used to see you everyday. Now I don't even know what route you working.

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TROY They keep switching me around. Got me out in Greentree now . . . hauling white folks' garbage.

BONO Greentree, huh? You lucky, at least you ain't got to be lifting them barrels. Damn if they ain't getting heavier. I'm gonna put in my two years
and call it quits.

TROY I'm thinking about retiring myself.

BONO You got it easy. You can drive for another five years.

TROY It ain't the same, Bono. It ain't like working the back of the truck. Ain’t got nobody to talk to . . . feel like you working by yourself. Naw, I'm

thinking about retiring. How's Lucille?

BONO She alright. Her arthritis get to acting up on her sometime. Saw Rose on my way in. She going down to the church, huh?

TROY Yeah, she took up going down there. All them preachers looking for somebody to fatten their pockets.

(Pause.) Got some gin here.

BONO Naw, thanks. I just stopped by to say hello.

TROY Hell, nigger . . . you can take a drink. I ain't never known you to say no to a drink. You ain't got to work tomorrow.

BONO I just stopped by. I'm fixing to go over to Skinner's. We got us a domino game going over his house every Friday.

TROY Nigger, you can’t play no dominoes. I used to whup you four games out of five.

BONO Well, that learned me. I'm getting better.

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TROY Yeah? Well, that's alright.

BONO Look here ... I got to be getting on. Stop by sometime, huh?

TROY Yeah, I'll do that, Bono. Lucille told Rose you bought her a new refrigerator.

BONO Yeah, Rose told Lucille you had finally built your fence ... so I figured we'd call it even.

TROY I knew you would.

BONO Yeah . . . okay. I'll be talking to you.

TROY Yeah, take care, Bono. Good to see you. I'm gonna stop over.

BONO Yeah. Okay, Troy.

(BONO exits. TROY drinks from the bottle.)

TROY Old Blue died and I dig his grave Let him down with a golden chain Every night when I hear old Blue bark I know Blue treed a possum in
Noah's Ark. Hear it ring! Hear it ring!

( CORY enters the yard. They eye each other for a beat. TROY is sitting in the middle of the steps. CORY walks over.)

CORY I got to get by.

TROY Say what? What's you say?

CORY You in my way. I got to get by.

TROY You got to get by where? This is my house. Bought and paid for. In full. Took me fifteen years. And if you wanna go in my house and I'm
sitting on the steps . . . you say excuse me. Like your mama taught you.

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CORY Come on, Pop ... I got to get by.

( CORY starts to maneuver his way past TROY. TROY grabs his leg and shoves him back.)

TROY You just gonna walk over top of me?

CORY I live here too!


(Advancing toward him.) You just gonna walk over top of me in my own house?

CORY I ain't scared of you.

TROY I ain’t asked if you was scared of me. I asked you if you was fixing to walk over top of me in my own house? That’s the question. You ain't
gonna say excuse me? You just gonna walk over top of me?

CORY If you wanna put it like that.

TROY How else am I gonna put it?

CORY I was walking by you to go into the house cause you sitting on the steps drunk, singing to yourself. You can put it like that.

TROY Without saying excuse me???

( CORY doesn't respond.) I asked you a question. Without saying excuse me???

CORY I ain't got to say excuse me to you. You don't count around here no more.

TROY Oh, I see ... I don't count around here no more. You ain't got to say excuse me to your daddy. All of a sudden you done got so grown that
your daddy don't count around here no more . . . Around here in his own house and yard that he done paid for with the sweat of his brow. You done
got so grown to where you gonna take over. You gonna take over my house. Is that right?

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You gonna wear my pants. You gonna go in there and stretch out on my bed. You ain't got to say excuse me cause I don't count around here no
more. Is that right?

CORY That's right. You always talking this dumb stuff. Now, why don't you just get out my way.

TROY I guess you got someplace to sleep and something to put in your belly. You got that, huh? You got that? That’s what you need. You got that,

CORY You don't know what I got. You ain’t got to worry about what I got.

TROY You right! You one hundred percent right! I done spent the last seventeen years worrying about what you got. Now it’s your turn, see? I'll tell
you what to do. You grown ... we done established that. You a man. Now, let's see you act like one. Turn your behind around and walk out this yard.
And when you get out there in the alley . . . you can forget about this house. See? Cause this is my house. You go on and be a man and get your
own house. You can forget about this. 'Cause this is mine. You go on and get yours cause I'm through with doing for you.

CORY You talking about what you did for me . . . what'd you ever give me?

TROY Them feet and bones! That pumping heart, nigger! I give you more than anybody else is ever gonna give you.

CORY You ain't never gave me nothing! You ain't never done nothing but hold me back. Afraid I was gonna be better than you. All you ever did was
try and make me scared of you. I used to tremble every time you called my name. Every time I heard your footsteps in the
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