SCENE ONE: JACK RETURNS SOME TIME LATER TO FIND JENNIFER TRYING TO MOVE THE LARGER BOXES OUT OF THE WAY.
JACK: Ah look you don't have do that. Don't do that by yourself. You'll throw out your back out, believe me.
JENNIFER: You know they say a house reflects its owners. I guess this mess we have here reflects what we're going through, don't you think?
JACK: I'm just going to go upstairs and change. I'll.... I'll take care of this.
JENNIFER: You know you got a phone call while you were out from a Monroe Farnsworth. He said that he was an old friend of yours. He acted like he was.
JACK: Well I guess he is in so far that we went to prep school together. He's old Boston money. Of course he made a hell of a lot more of it when he went overseas and got into the oil business. I had a momentary lapse of sanity last week. I tried to interest him in supporting my bid for The Spectator. (Beat) He wasn't interested.
JENNIFER: Well I don't know. Maybe he changed his mind. He sounded very interested to talk to you. Why don't you call him?
JACK: No.... I....
JENNIFER: Jack this could be the most important call you make in your life. Just call him.
HE LOOKS AT THE NOTE BUT DOES NOT MOVE SO SHE PICKS UP THE PHONE AND HANDS IT TO HIM AND THEN DIAL THE NUMBER HERSELF.
JENNIFER GOES UPSTAIRS WHILE JACK MAKES THE CALL.
SCENE TWO: JENNIFER COMES DOWN THE STAIRS JUST AS HE HANGS UP/
JACK: No, it makes perfect economic sense. Well yes there's nothing like a fresh start to get the old adrenaline flowing. (Beat) Right.... right. Monroe, I'll.... yes I'll see you very soon.
JENNIFER: Oh Jack this is wonderful. I knew that he was going to back you. Now you can buy back The Spectator and....
JACK: No, no, no, he's not making any speculative investments today.
JENNIFER: What do you mean? You were just talking about the adrenaline flowing and a fresh start.
JACK: It was Monroe's adrenaline that was flowing. He just bought another oil company.... in Saudi Arabia.
JACK: He offered me a job.... in Saudi Arabia.
JENNIFER: Well that was very nice of him. I hope he wasn't insulted when you turned him down?
JACK: Actually, I didn't turn him down. Actually I'm considering.... taking the offer.
JENNIFER: What? In the Middle East. Are you crazy?
JACK: I'm considering taking the offer. Consider this. I can make a great deal of money in a very short amount of time and only be taxed on 50% of it. That means with the expenses being paid I can send 85-90% of my income back to you every month. It will take me less than a month to pay off all this furniture. It will take me less than a year to pay your father back and buy this house....JENNIFER: Wait a minute, wait a minute. You said send it back to me and Abby. So you're going to Saudi Arabia alone?
JACK: Look they don't.... it's not written or carved in stone yet but they're not.... they're not paying all the expenses you see and.... he's.... he wants to meet with me right away. He's sending the ticket over by messenger and he wants to meet me in Saudi Arabia.... tomorrow.
JENNIFER: Really! You're going to call Monroe and you're going to tell him you're not meeting him in Saudi Arabia tomorrow Jack. This is a decision that you can't make in an hour or two. You call him and you tell him you have to think it through. You're not thinking clearly.
JACK: I'm thinking it through. I'm thinking it through right now.
JENNIFER: You're not thinking at all Jack.
JACK: I have to think it through right now.
AS JACK TRIES TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, HE BANGS HIS LEG ON SOME OF THE NEW FURNITURE.
JACK: OUCH! Damn! I hate this. I hate it! I need some air.
JENNIFER: You just got back from needing some air.
JACK: Well I need some more.
HE WALKS OUT AND SLAMS THE DOOR.
SCENE THREE: JACK ARRIVES AT WINGS AND SEATS HIMSELF AT THE BAR WHERE HE STARTS ON MARTINIS AGAIN AND SPENDS HIS TIME TALKING TO DAVE.
JACK: You see historically it's the man's role. I mean it.... it has nothing to do with equal rights. I mean every husband, every father has the same drive to take care of his family. It's.... it's intuitive.
WHILE JACK IS SITTING THERE HE OVERHEARS JULIE AND VICTORDISCUSSING THE SPECTATOR.
JULIE: What is so amusing Victor?
VICTOR: Julie, you are management. Management and labor are natural adversaries.
JULIE: Why should they be? They both want the same thing, a successful business.
VICTOR: Just look at these net profit increases if you'd just cut out the double out the double times, the paid holidays and lowered the insurance coverage.
JULIE: The union won those benefits, Victor.
VICTOR: The union blackmailed the companies into paying them. I won't. And with the new technology I can cut out 25% of the workforce.
JULIE: You're going to cut out 25% of The Spectator's workforce?
VICTOR: I want a lean streamlined company. I don't want some old fashioned relic that's going to eat up profits faster than I can make them. If that means firing people, so be it.
JACK HAS HAD ENOUGH.
JACK: NO! No Victor, you listen to me. If you do this, if you follow through with this plan you will kill The Spectator inside of a year. Mark my words.
SCENE FOUR: MEANWHILE, PHILIP COMES OVER TO SEE JENNIFER, HE NOTICES ALL THE FURNITURE. SHE TELLS HIM THAT JACK ORDERED IT AND THEN WAS HUMILIATED BECAUSE HE COULD NOT PAY FOR IT. SHE SAYS THAT SHE THOUGHT SHE WANTED IT BUT NOW IT ONLY REMINDS JACK OF HIS FAILURE. SHE THEN THINKS OF A PLAN TO GET RID OF IT ALL.
SCENE FIVE: BACK AT WINGS, JACK IS TRYING TO REASON WITH VICTOR.
JACK: Ten per cent of these people are going to be retiring in the next year or two anyway so if you can't hold onto this wonderful experience at least offer the people from 55 and 65 years of age an early retirement plan. And then.... then Victor, retrain the people who your are going to replace with all that wonderful new technology.
VICTOR: Look if you find another newspaper to run you can run it the way you'd like. In the meantime I'm going to run The Spectator my way.
JACK: Victor if you do it your way, you won't have a Spectator to run in one year.
VICTOR: I'll put my successes up against yours anytime Jack.
JACK SLAMS DOWN THE PAPERS AND WALKS AWAY.
JULIE: What an ambassador of good will you are.
VICTOR: Is it my fault the man has failed at everything he has tried? Now can we finish with these charts?
JULIE WALKS AWAY TO TALK TO JACK.
JULIE: Jack listen to me. Your ideas for The Spectator are very very impressive. If I didn't have to sell the thing I'd make you publisher today.
JACK: That's a little late and long time coming Julie but thank you for the vote of confidence.
JULIE: You can still have the paper Jack and you can make a success of it. Just accept the loan from Bill. JACK: No.... I.... I've already accepted one sweetheart deal from him just to get my house. If I accept anything else from the Horton.... I can't look myself in the mirror as it is.
JULIE: I have never in my life beheld such stubborn selfish pride, my god.
JACK: If you'll excuse me. Victor has won and I have lost. End of discussion.
HE WALKS OUT OF WINGS AND HEADS FOR HIS CAR.
JACK: Victor won and you lost. End of story. That's it. End of discussion. It's all over now, all over now.
SCENE SIX: OUTSIDE WINGS JACK GETS IN AND STARTS THE CAR.
JACK: Yes, yes, yes.
HE PUTS THE CAR INTO REVERSE TO GET OUT OF THE CAR SPACE AND HITS THE CAR BEHIND WHICH IS PULLING FORWARD TO GET OUT AT THE SAME TIME.
JACK: DAMMIT! DAMMIT, DAMMIT, DAMMIT! You leave enough space between you and the next car and some bozo still has to run into you.
HE GETS OUT OF THE CAR TO LOOK AT THE DAMAGE.
JACK: Great, what a hell of a night.
HE LOOKS AT THE BACK OF HIS CAR.
JACK: I.... oh great, great! Okay buddie, is that a learner's permit you're working on or was the DMV fool hardy enough to give you the real thing?
BILLIE REED GETS OUT OF THE OTHER CAR.
BILLIE: Listen buddy, you're the one who needs to learn how to drive.THEY BOTH BEGIN TO WRITE DOWN THEIR INSURANCE DETAILS.
BILLIE: You know you should have checked before you backed up.
JACK: I did not back up. I just started the engine.
BILLIE: You're wasted. You have no business drivin' mister.
JACK: I am not wasted. You on the other hand were looking in the rear view mirror checking your makeup.
BILLIE: Listen you Pig....
BILLIE: This car has to make a long trip. It better not be out of commission.
JACK: I don't care what you do in or out of your car as long as you stay out of my way and stay away from Saudi Arabia.
JACK GRABS THE DETAILS FROM BILLIE AND SHOVES HIS AT HER.
BILLIE: Is that supposed to be a joke?
JACK: NO, IT'S NOT A JOKE. NOW MOVE THIS JUNKER. I got to get out of here.
JACK JUMPS BACK IN HIS CAR AND STARTS THE ENGINE. WHEN HE PUTS THE CAR IN GEAR IT WILL NOT MOVE. HE REVS IT HARD BUT IT STILL WILL NOT MOVE. HE TURNS OFF THE ENGINE IN FRUSTRATION.
JACK: DAMMIT! Dammit. God! Oh god, please no.
HE GETS OUT OF THE CAR, SLAMS THE DOOR AND WALKS BACK TOWARDS BILLIE.
JACK: I've only got one thing to say. You better have insurance cause if you don't, I'm going to see you in court.
BILLIE: No, I'm going to see you in court cause I'm going to sue your pants off mister.
JACK: Oh you wish! I know what this is. This is one of those scams where people come along and try to rip of innocent people's money. Well you're in for a big surprise because I don't have one red cent for you. Not one red cent.
AS HE WALKS OFF SHE SHOUTS AT HIM.
BILLIE: Hey do you think just because you drive a fancy car you're better than everybody? What, are you like the king of Salem?
SHE TURNS BACK AND KICKS HER CAR.
BILLIE: Oh, there are so many psychos in this town and they all find me.
SCENE SEVEN: MEANWHILE AT HOME, JULIE DROPS BY TO SEE JENNIFER.
JULIE: Hello darling.
JENNIFER: You must have ESP. I was just about to call you. I.... I need your help.
JULIE: Ah yes, I see that you do.
JENNIFER: Ah, you know a friend of Jack's that he went to prep school with called him and he wants to give Jack a job in Saudi Arabia and I'm going with him.
JULIE: Excuse me, you're going to Saudi?
JENNIFER: Yes and I'm sure that Jack is going to accept the job and I'm going to take Abby and we're going to go there and we're going to be with him.
JULIE: Honey.... honey. This is the sort of thing that Jack does, not you. Are you sure you want to do that? Give up on your television show that you've worked so hard for?
JENNIFER: My marriage is more important than my career. I just have one problem. I need to buy a ticket to get to Saudi Arabia and I don't have the money.
JULIE: Oh I can lend you the money.
JENNIFER: Ah actually I was wondering maybe if you could just sell all of this for me.
JULIE: Ah, huh, oh yeah, well sure we'll have a garage sale.
JULIE MOUTH FALLS OPEN.
JENNIFER: Jack is flying out tomorrow. He has to be there tomorrow so I need to go too. I need to get everything settled tonight.
JULIE: Well darling, I'll do the best I can.
JENNIFER: Oh gosh I wish Jack would get home. I really want to tell him.
JULIE: Oh I just saw him and he was over at Wings, very upset. That's the reason I came to see you.
JENNIFER: You know what, I'll go to Wings. I'll cheer him up. I'll get him while he's there.JULIE: No darling he's not there. He left. I have no idea where he is.
SCENE EIGHT: MEANWHILE JACK IS WANDERING AROUND TRYING TO DECIDE WHAT TO DO. HE DOESN'T WANT TO LEAVE JENNIFER BUT HE THINKS HE HAS NO CHOICE. HE STAGGERS INTO A BARN CARRYING A BOTTLE OF WINE IN A PAPER BAG.
JACK: Oh, oh, OOOOH!
HE WIPES HIS BROW.
JACK: Well here you are Jack at the cross roads of your life. Possibly your last night in Salem. And how are you going to spend it? Wining and dining your wife in some glamorous restaurant? No. (Beat) How about at home in front of the fire surrounded by family? (Beat) No. (Beat) No, you're spending it in some broken down barn in the middle of nowhere swigging cheap wine out of a bottle that doesn't even have a proper cork.
HE TAKES A SWIG OF WINE AND IT TAKES HIS BREATH AWAY.
JACK: Where did you go wrong? Ah, that's easy. That's easy. Ask a hard one Deveraux. Where, where did you go right? That's.... that's the question.
HE STARTS TO TEAR UP.
JACK: You married a beautiful young girl and she had a beautiful baby girl. And that was a miracle. That was two miracles and I'll be damned, I don't know how you ever deserved that. (Beat) You promised to protect Jennifer. That.... dammit I could have done it, I could have done it.
I had the power. I had the.... paper. I had everything. I could have kept my promises. I could have done it but I didn't do it. No, instead Jennifer, all you got is a broken down poverty stricken poor excuse of a.... failure of a husband. (Beat) GOD, GOD, IS THIS A MISTAKE? IS THIS A JOKE? If this is a joke I'm not laughing. (Beat) Why did you send her to me? (Beat) Why did you send Jennifer to me? (Beat) I don't know.
HE SOBS A LITTLE AND LIES BACK ON A HAY BALE.
JACK: God, you know she would have been better off without me. You know.
SCENE NINE: BACK AT THE HOUSE, JULIE IS TELLING JENNIFER HOW WONDERFUL JACK'S IDEAS ARE FOR THE PAPER.
JULIE: His ideas for The Spectator, they were absolutely wonderful Jennifer. And Victor's in comparison were positively Scrooge like.
JENNIFER: You told Jack how much you liked his ideas?
JULIE: Of course. And.... and I tried to encourage him again to accept Bill's loan.
JENNIFER: I know. He refused. It's like talking to a brick wall Julie.
JULIE: I'm afraid so.
JENNIFER: He never mentioned the Saudi job to you?
JULIE: No. No he didn't but I certainly got the idea that buying the newspaper was not in his plans.
JENNIFER: No, not now. I'm afraid not.
JULIE: Jennifer I don't want to sell The Spectator to Victor but his is the only offer that's on the table right now. Well I promised Jack that I would not give Victor an answer until the fifteenth but.... there's hardly any point in waiting anymore.
JENNIFER GETS UPSET.
JULIE: Yes there is. I can wait. I've seen enough of Victor for one night.
JENNIFER: Julie, I'm so sorry for you.
JULIE: Really? I'm sorry for Jack.JENNIFER: Yeah. His dreams are slipping away.
SCENE TEN: BACK IN THE BARN, JACK IS DRINKING MORE CHEAP WINE AND TALKING MORE TO THE GODS THAT SEEM TO CONTROL HIS LIFE.
JACK: Alright, one! Why did you make me a politician only to turn me into a public pariah, huh? Why did you make me a newsman only to jerk my newspaper away from me? Why did you have me find that journal up in the attic, have me write a novel with it and then just pull the whole thing out from under me. ALL THESE DREAMS. ALL THESE HOPES. ALL THESE DESIRES. And nothing's ever going to come out of them. Nothing.
JACK: Why did you.... why did you let Jennifer fall in love with me when you knew that I was going to let her down. You knew that. I wanted to protect her. I wanted to protect my family. And I still do . I still do.
HE STARTS TO CRY.
(Beat) But Saudi Arabia! That's hard. SAUDI ARABIA. I HATE THE HEAT. I HATE THE SAND. I HATE ALL OF IT. But I'll do it. I'll do it. God, I'll do it. For one year, two years. (Beat) Two years without my babies. That's hard. (Beat) Look we got to get together on this. We got to get together on this. There's got to be some way that.... we've got to think of some way that I can stay here. God! I can stay here and I can provide for.... let's get together now.
HE TAKES ANOTHER SWIG FROM THE BOTTLE AND ALMOST MAKES HIMSELF SICK.
JACK: I need a miracle. It's not much. I just want a miracle. You can do that. (Beat) I used to believe in miracles. Oh God!
HE TOSSES THE BOTTLE AWAY.
JACK: I used to believe in a lot of things.
HE PUTS HIS FACE IN HIS HANDS.
JACK: I want to believe. I want to believe in a lot of things. I still do. Just give me a sign.... please.
HE LOOKS UP.
JACK: Give me a sign.GIVE ME A SIGN THAT I CAN PULL MYSELF BACK FROM THE ABYSS. GIVE ME A SIGN THAT I CAN.... THAT I CAN PUT SOME FOOD ON THE TABLE AND I CAN PUT A ROOF OVER OUR HEADS. That's all I ask. Just give me a sign. Give me a s.... give me a sign, give me a sign, give me a sign. Just.... give me.... OOOOOH.
HE LOOKS DOWN AND HE HAS STEPPED IN MANURE.
JACK: God.... thanks. Thanks a lot. Thanks for your sign. Thanks for your sign all right.
HE WALKS OVER AND PICKS UP A PITCH FORK AND BEGINS TO WIELD IT AROUND IN THE AIR.
JACK: THANKS FOR NOTHING. THANKS FOR NOTHING.
HE STARTS TO HIT THE BEAMS HOLDING UP THE ROOF.
JACK: THANKS FOR NOTHING. THANKS FOR NOTHING. THANKS FOR.... NOTHING!
PIECES OF TIMBER START TO FALL AROUND HIM.
JACK: NOTHING.... NOTHING.
SLOWLY IN AMONGST THE FALLING TIMBER, HE SEES MONEY FALLING AS WELL. IT BEGINS SLOWLY AND HE STOPS TO WATCH IT FALL.
JACK: .... nothing.
HE STANDS THERE AS NOTES FLOAT TO THE FLOOR AROUND HIM.