The Strap

~School Gym~
Fat: "The official Tom Mix Whistling Sheriff's badge. It cost my five boxtops!" Maisey: "So! I got a Tom Mix decoder ring. It picks up things. This lame badge just... whistles." Fat: "And, I've got a Decoder Ring... plus a Tom Mix Pen Knife." Teacher: "Fat! The gym is no place for a pen knife! Maisey, I've told you before, Mrs. ?? bad-mitten is on the other side of the gym! The girls side- now!" ~the boys start pushing each other~
Teacher: "Boys! I've told you no physical contact!" ~the boys rush to the other side of the room and begin shoving the boy with the boy, the ball then gets tossed to the teacher~
Teacher: "It's all your faults! Now get it over-"

~Max's Room~
Ruby: "Besides the Quints the Dion's have five other children, two boys and three girls." Max: "Thank you, Ruby, for your current events report on the Dion Quintuplets. Our third today! Now, does anyone have a report on anyone besides those five baby girls?" ~Maisey raises her hand~
Max: "Maisey, what are you reporting on?" Maisey: "Dr. Dafoe! Sir, you did say besides the Quints. Sir, he's not a Quint, he's their doctor." Max: "Yes, Maisey. Anybody else?" ~Fat raises his hand~
Fat: "Adolf Hitler!" Ruby: "He's not even Canadian, is he?" ~Mrs. Whitney enters~
Mrs. Whitney: "Mr. Sutton?" Max: "I'll be right back!" ~cut to hall~
Max: "Yes, Mrs. Whitney, is there a problem? Mrs. Whitney: "Yes, several. The most immediate is that Mr. Bedows has taken a permanent leave of absence due to nerve problems." Max: "No one meant to hurt Mr. Bedows." Mrs. Whitney: "Accidents happen because children run wild with no discipline. And since as vice principal discipline is supposedly your responsibility. ~we hear children's voices~ I expect the culprits to be strapped." Max: "Mrs. Whitney, strappings are for serious matters. This was just mischief." Mrs. Whitney: "How many times this year have you had cause to use the strap?" Max: "This year?" Mrs. Whitney: "The correct answer is none. Now, I'm supposed to take over Mr. Bedows class until a replacement arrives. Fortunately there's no shortage of available teachers and a supply teacher from North Bridge will arrive tonight. I have you to thank for this chaos." ~they walk to the room where we hear the kids acting up~
Mrs. Whitney: "Quiet! Everyone in their seats!" ~the kids sit and Mrs. Whitney pounds her ink container on her desk~

~May's Kitchen~
Grace: "It's only a three hour drive to Callander, we could be back by nightfall!" May: "Grace, you could drive to Timbucktoo and back if you had to! But to see a gaggle of babies!" Grace: "Mother, they're a miracle!" Toppy: "Quintuplets and they all survived by keeping them warm on a wood stove door. It's incredible!" May: "It's shameless! The family already had five and now they're raising ten in a log cabin." Grace: "Mother, I don't think the Dions had five all at once on purpose and besides, the province is give the Quints a new home!" May: "At tax payer expense!" Toppy: "You ever wonder how poor Mrs. Dion feels separated from her babies?" May: "Five at once! A blessed relief, I should think! Well, at least now they're in the care of a sober-mind doctor." Grace: "Mother, it's just a hobby!" May: "Oh, Grace, you're a grown woman! Pasting your pictures into a scrapbook is waste of paper and glue!" Grace: "Well, I happen to think the Quints are living, breathing dolls and if I want to keep a scrapbook on the Quints... well, I guess I can."

~Train Station~
Jim: "Son, I thought that train was going to leave with you half on." Pritchard: "Dad, the trains don't depart unless the brakeman's certain that the passengers are standing clear. Then the conductor calls 'All Aboard' and then the engineer signals." Jim: "True enough." Max: "Excuse me. Mr. Flett?" Jim: "Yes." Max: "I'm Max Sutton. I'm the vice principal that the New Bedford school." Jim: "How do you do?" Max: "Mrs. Whitney asked me to come to make sure you got settled in okay. Uh, this is my step-son, Fat." Jim: "Fat, huh?" Fat: "Hello, sir." Jim: "This is very kid of you, Mr. Sutton." Max: "Max, please." Jim: "Jim." Max: "All right!" Jim: "And this is my son, Pritchard." Max: "How are you doing, young man?" Pritchard: "Hello." Fat: "Hi." Max: "Well, here, I'll uh, help you with your bags over to the hotel." Jim: "Oh, ah, uh, yes, thanks." Pritchard: "You don't look fat to me." Fat: "Well you don't look pritchard... well, maybe you do!"

~Hotel Lobby~
Max: "Hi, you guys!" Grace: "Hi!" Toppy: "Hello, Max! Henry!" Max: "I was just coming in to collect these two!" Grace: "Well, we thought we would save you the trouble." Max: "You been in to see Honey?" Grace: "No, actually I was just in to get a magazine that I'd left in the shop." Max: "The Dion Quins..." Toppy: "Max, you and Mother Bailey are the only two people who don't simply adore them." Max: "I would simply adore them if I could get my class to speak about anything but." Pritchard: "We actually visited them in Callander in the fall." Grace: "Did you really? Oh that must have been something to see!" Pritchard: "Thousands pass through Quint-land a day to visit Annette, Cecile, Emily, Marie, and Evonne! Each Quint weighed less than two pounds at birth." Grace: "Yes, I'd read that." Pritchard: "Did you know that they're displayed behind a one-way screen which protects them from air-born illnesses under the kind supervision of Dr. Allen Rou Dafoe." Toppy: "Well, you certainly are a well-informed young man!" Pritchard: "I take a healthy interest in all aspects of life." Max: "Excuse me, Jim. I'd like to introduce you to more of the family. This is Violet and this is Zack. And the boys aunts, Miss Grace Bailey, Mrs. Toppy Bailey. Ladies, this is Mr. Jim Flett. He'll be taking over the eighth grade class for Mr. Bedows." Grace: "Oh, poor Mr. Bedows." Max: "And this is Mr. Flett's son." Pritchard: "Pritchard!" Grace: "Hello, Pritchard!" Toppy: "Pritchard, you and your father will have to call by when we host the Woman's Institute later tihs week." Grace: "That's a good idea! You two would be swell speakers! You could tell us all about Quint land!" Jim: "Well... uh... yes, yes, certainly. We'd be glad to." Toppy: "Once you're settled we'll give you a call." Grace: "Welcome to New Bedford." Max: "Bye! Come on up. I'll show you your rooms." Fat: "Come on, Violet."

~Sutton Apartment~
Jim: "Well, I can't tell you how nice it will be to have a home cooked meal again." Max: "Ah, it's just bangers and beans, nothing special." Pritchard: "But extremely nutritious." Max: "Honey's the real cook, but Thursday night is her late night at the hair dressers." Jim: "Well, Pritchard and I manage okay, don't we, son. We've had to move around a fair bit while I looked for a steady position. Oh, does anyone mind?" ~holds up a pipe~
Max: "No. Uh, Fat, dinner will be ready in about ten minutes. Why don't you show Pritchard your room?" Fat: "Sure! Come on, Pritchard, I'll show you my Tom Mix stuff." Pritchard: "Tom Mix? I'm a Dick Tracey man myself." Max: "I guess moving around can't be easy on you or your boy. If you don't mind my asking, how long ago did you lose your wife?" Jim: "A little over a year ago... it's a been a tough road, but I hope things will ease up once we settle in." Max: "Hopefully! Hey, Hub." Hub: "Sorry, I went to the mine after school. There's been some flooding in the new pit. Hi, are you Mr. Bedow's replacement?" Jim: "Jim Flett." Hub: "Hub Bailey." Max: "Hub's in your eighth grade class, Mr. Flett." Jim: "Oh, bigger than most eighth graders than I've met. Working at the mine must agree with you." Hub: "Yeah, more than school does." Max: "Hub was put back a year." Jim: "Well, I'm sure all that physical activity pays off during hockey season." Max: "Well, Hub's gonna have to take a few ?? on his grades before he can qualify for hockey." Jim: "well, I'm sure we can turn that around." ~cut to Fat's room~
Pritchard: "Tom Mix, eh?" Fat: "Yeah. This is the whistling badge and this is the official pen knife." Pritchard: "You promise to eat three bowls of their cereal a week and you get what out of it?" Fat: "I'm strong and healthy." Pritchard: "It's not legally binding unless Tom Mix signs it." Fat: "I suppose you like Shirley Temple and drink Ovaltine." Pritchard: "At least Ovaltine is full of vitamins and nutrients." Fat: "Doesn't look like its done you much good." Pritchard: "I have a Dick Tracey Captain's badge in pugilistic." Fat: "You couldn't fight your way out of a wet paper bag." Pritchard: "You think not?" ~Pritchard begins to wail on a pillow~
Fat: "Hey! Stop it! ~holds up badge~ You broke it! Look at it!" Pritchard: "It's not my fault Tom Mix can't make a decent badge!" Fat: "Decent! You brat!" ~Fat attacks Pritchard and Pritchard screams~
Max: "Fat! Here Fat! What's the matter with you?" Fat: "He broke my whistling badge!" Pritchard: "I didn't mean to!" Max: "Fat, you can send away for another badge!" Fat: "It was five box tops!" Jim: "Pritchard, apologize." Pritchard: "Okay, I'm sorry. Sometimes I don't know my own strength. Maybe you should try Ovaltine!" ~Fat lunges~
Max: "Come here! Fat! Stop it!"

~Jim's Classroom~
Buck: "Okay, here she comes." ~Alice takes the lid off the ink bottle and sets it back on the desk~
Alice: "Okay. Sit down. Sit down." Mrs. Whitney: "What's all this dawdling? In your seats! Everyone!" Max: "Excuse me, Mrs. Whitney!" ~they enter the hall~
Max: "Mrs. Whitney, this is Mr. Flett." Mrs. Whitney: "Oh, how do you do, Mr. Flett?" Jim: "Pleasure, Mrs. Whitney." Mrs. Whitney: "I believe you start tomorrow." Jim: "I hope you don't mind. I had to enroll my son Pritchard." Mrs. Whitney: "Oh, not at all! I hope that imparting discipline is a strong element in your teaching skills." Jim: "I do the best I can." Mrs. Whitney: "Oh, excuse me, gentlemen. ~enters room~ Silence! Everyone in your seats! I said silence!" ~she bangs her bottle of ink which splatters her shirt~
~cut to Max's room~
Fat: "The burning of the German Reichstag last year was blamed on the communists, but the British Foreign Office now accuses the Nazis of using the fire as an excuse to suspend liberty and suppress re-elections." Max: "Thank you, Fat. I know it's difficult for us to understand why these things are happening, but it is just as important for us to pay attention to what is going on in Europe as it is paying attention to the Quints in Callander. Now, any questions for Fat? Yes, Pritchard." Pritchard: "Do you think Schnickelgruber was responsible for the Reichstag fire?" Fat: "Who is Schnickelgoober?" Pritchard: "It's Schnitckelgruber, not goober! He's not a peanut! It's Adolf Hitler's real name and I assume if Fat were doing a report on the chancellor he'd certainly know his name."

~Gymn~
Maisey: "What kind of a name is Pritchard?" Pritchard: "It was my mother's maiden name." Maisey: "What's the matter, can't your family afford a first name." Pritchard: "Interesting your parents named you Maisey. You know what it means, don't you?" Maisey: "What." Pritchard: "She of the corn feels." Maisey: "At least I have a name. Hey Fat, look what my Pop got at the shop the other day. It's a Buck Rogers pocket watch!" Fat: "Neat!" Pritchard: "Where's your Tom Mix pocket watch?" Fat: "You're so thick! Tom Mix doesn't have a pocket watch." Pritchard: "Oh, I forgot! He can't tell time!" Fat: "And he likes Shirley Temple." Prichard: "Fat, remember what happened to your whistling bag? The same thing could happen to your nose." Fat: "Oh. Sure." ~Fat turns away and Prtichard pushes him, Fat then attacks him~
~cut to hall~
Max: "Mrs. Whitney, I have a house filled with four children. I understand the need for discipline, but sometimes positive reinforcement can be just as effective as-"
~the kids begin making a lot of noise~
~enter gym, we see Pritchard and Fat fighting~
Max: "Now stop it! Come here! Fat, what is the matter with you?" Fat: "He bugs me!" Max: "So beating him up is going to help? All right, everybody, the show's over." Mrs. Whitney: "What's going on here? Henry Bailey! You? Is this the effect of positive reinforcement? I think you'd better try negative reinforcement for better results." Max: "Mrs. Whitney, please let me handle this." Mrs. Whitney: "I suppose that means no strapping." Max: "I think a more suitable punishment would be to have Fat and Pritchard spend more time together." Fat: "What!?" Max: "Get to know each bother better. Learn to resolve your differences without resorting to violence." Pritchard: "I'm willing to forgive." ~extends hand and Fat shakes it~
Pritchard: "Mrs. Whitney, Mr. Sutton, I'm sure we'll be friends in no time." Mrs. Whitney: "We'll continue this conversation in my office tomorrow morning." Max: "Of course."

~Fat's Room~
Max: "Fat, I'm trying to help you! You could have gotten the strap!" Fat: "I hate that kid!" Max: "And is hitting him going to make you hate him any less? Fat, what is going to happen when you grow up? There's going to be a lot of people you don't care for. You going to beat them up?" Fat: "Didn't you get into fights when you were a kid?" Max: "Sure! But I learned the hard way!" Fat: "How was that?" Max: "I got strapped."

~Grace's Bedroom~
Grace: "Come in!" May: "Grace, I thought you might like some hot cocoa." Grace: "Oh, Mother! Thank you! That was very thoughtful of you!" May: "Are you working on your scrapbook?" Grace: "Yes, Mother." May: "You've got it almost finished?" Grace: "Almost." May: "Then what do you do with it, Grace?" Grace: "I look at it. And then I start another one." May: "Oh Grace, you worry me so. So much time spent on a scrapbook about strangers! Behavior that can occur in unmarried woman of a certain age." Grace: "Filling scrapbooks?" May: "Collecting odd things. Hankies... salt and pepper shakers... cats." Grace: "Really, Mother, because you know I have had an irresistible urge for a tabby lately." May: "Oh Grace, don't joke. I know you've had hopes and you've had a setback with Del." Grace: "Del leaving town was a little more than a setback, Mother. It's called end of story." May: "It takes time for the heart to heal." Grace: "Thank you." May: "But it heals faster if you're happily occupied." Grace: "It's not as if I'm not trying to find a job. I wish there was a foreign legion for women!" May: "Grace, I want to help you." Grace: "I know you do, Mother, I know. And I appreciate your concern, but please don't worry about me because I am on the mend, I promise. Honestly, I am! Honest." May: "Good night, Grace." Grace: "Good night."

~Main Street~
Jim: "You know, I wouldn't be so quick to blame Fat. Sometimes I think Pritchard tries a little too hard." Max: "I wish I had that problem with Hub." Jim: "Hard to motivate?" Max: "You'll see. It seems that the only thing he cares about these days are the mine." Jim: "At least that's something." Max: "So, it's your first day. You ready?" Jim: "Never."

~Jim's Class~
Jim: "Excuse me, this is the eighth grade class, isn't it?" Hub: "Yeah." ~Jim walks to his desk and screws the lid on to the ink bottle~
Jim: "The pen may not always be mightier than the sword, but it can be messier. My name is Mr. Flett. F-L-E-T-T First Learn Everything, Then Think. My name and my credo. Now whatever we study, I want you to gather all the information you can. But then I want you to think. I want you to use that knowledge to form an opinion, and not my opinion. Your opinion. Now Hub here, he works at his family's mine. It's not going to do him one bit of good to have all the data in the world about mining if he can't use it to think about how to solve a particular problem. Isn't that right, Hub?" Hub: "Yeah, I guess." Jim: "What would you think if I told you I could make studying school just as interesting as working out at the mine." Hub: "I'd say that you haven't got very good data."

~Mrs. Whitney's Office~
Mrs. Whitney: "I won't have it, Mr. Sutton. New Bedford won't have it. The parents want discipline enforced. Now, just what in your mind defines a serious matter." Max: "Oh, I think you have to handle it in a by situation basis." Mrs. Whitney: "Uh huh." Max: "I suppose intentionally endangering someone... uh, willful destruction of property." Mrs. Whitney: "Oh, you're far too lenient." Max: "Oh, I wouldn't say that." Mrs. Whitney: "I expect you to respect the wishes of the people who pay your wages and apply discipline where it's warranted." Max: "Well, with all due respect honest people can disagree." Mrs. Whitney: "Not and remain vice principal at New Bedford School. Do your job as it's prescribed by the board or turn in your resignation. The choice is yours."

~May's Parlor~
Toppy: "I can't believe all five survived. Can you imagine the odds?" Pritchard: "Fifty-seven million to one." Rene: "I heard their lungs were so tiny they could scarcely breathe. They gave them rum! That fixed them up." May: "Really, Miss Bigelow." Myrt: "Do you think the rum will turn them into drunkards, Mr. Flett?" Rene: "A touch of rum never hurt anybody, did it, Mr. Flett." Pritchard: "Dr. Dafoe would do nothing to hurt the Quintups. After all, they are a national treasure." Myrt: "Grace, we've got to see them!" Rene: "It's practically unpatriotic not to." Grace: "I'd like that." Jim: "Excuse me." Rene: "Which one did you think was the cutest?" Grace: "Rene, they're identical." ~cut to conservatory~
Jim: "Mrs. Bailey." May: "Oh, Mr. Flett." Jim: "I hope I'm not disturbing you." May: "No, no. Oh, I am sorry, but with so many pressing issues of the day... when it comes to the Dion Quintuplets I have a short attention span." Jim: "Yeah, it does seem over articulated." May: "Well said." Jim: "Is that a Martha Washington." May: "Excellent eye, Mr. Flett! You must read American seed catalogs. Up her we call it the regal." Jim: "Oh, a geranium by another name, I suppose. You've managed quite a spectacular growth." May: "Have you an interest in horticulture?" Jim: "Oh now, horticulture is a subject that one can never over articulate."

~May's Kitchen~
Toppy: "I can't believe how much Pritchard knows about so many things!" Grace: "It's a bit unnerving!" Toppy: "What were you and Mr. Flett talking about in the conservatory, Mother Bailey?" May: "Oh, horticulture, astronomy, the situation in Europe- he's a man of many interest. Did you have the opportunity to talk to him, Grace?" Grace: "Me? Not really." May: "Oh, what a shame. He really is most interesting. Most interesting!" Toppy: "Mother Bailey, do I hear matchmaking?" May: "Toppy, I would never be so vulgar, but a man with Mr. Flett's education... certainly is a step above- well... some." Grace: "Mother!" May: "It's rare enough to meet a man who's level headed... has a sense of himself..." Grace: "Excuse me." May: "Where are you off to, Grace?" Grace: "I'm off to put more clippings in my scrapbook and adopt a cat."

~Main Street~
~we see Pritchard peak around the corner, duck back, then Fat peaks around the corner and walks out~
Pritchard: "Hey Fat, I was watching you sneak out of the pawnshop?" Fat: "I was not sneaking!" Pritchard: "Then why were you looking both ways before you stepped outside? You don't want anyone to know you're sweet on Maisey, right?" Fat: "I am not! What are you doing following me?" Pritchard: "I'm practicing my surveillance techniques! It's all in this new book I just got. The Dick Tracey Secret Service Patrol. Want to join up?" Fat: "Spy on people? No thanks." Pritchard: "You learn things about people, like how you're sweet on Maisey." Fat: "Listen you! Get lost if you know what's good for you." Pritchard: "This hardly sounds like someone who has been given specific instructions to befriend me." Fat: "Max can make me talk to you, but he can't make me like you." Pritchard: "You don't like me? Why?" Fat: "Because... you're unlikeable!" Pritchard: "I wasn't going to tell anyone about you and Maisey, you know."

~Jim's Classrom~
Jim: "We talk of great explores of yesterday- Magellen, Columbus, Marco Polo. But there are people that say that everything worth discovering has already been found. The thing is, those are the people who have stopped looking. What else is there for explorers to discover? Buck!" Buck: "There's the planets!" Jim: "Of course! Our solar system and beyond. All of space. What else? Alice." Alice: "Under the sea?" Jim: "Absolutely. Lets not forget that two-thirds of the earths surface is covered by water. Anything else? What about the earth beneath our feet? The scientists and engineers only drilled a few holes into the earths crust, but it's nearly four thousand miles to the core. Who knows what's there! So you see, there are vast areas in our planet and beyond that we don't know anything about. And that is going to be our next project. We're going to break into three groups and each group is going to write a report. First group will explore the oceans. The second group will explore space. And the third group will examine the earth beneath us. Hub, would you like to lead that last one? Hub?"

~Max's Room~
Hub: "Hey, Max!" Max: "Hey guys, are you heading home?" Fat: "Can you learn so much that your brain hurts?" Max: "It sounds like a muscle that hasn't been getting enough exercise." Buck: "Uh, Mr. Sutton, there's smoke down the hall." ~Cut to Mrs. Whitney's office - there's a fire in her wastebasket - Max dumps a pitcher of water over the fire~
Max: "I'll get a window open." Mrs. Whitney: "Someone was in this office! The whole school had gone into flames! Dees this bring you to your senses?" Max: "Mrs. Whitney, we don't know how this fire started!" Mrs. Whitney: "In your world no one is ever guilty. I always keep this door locked! Ah, someone must have jimmied it." ~Fat looks down the hall and sees Pritchard watching~

~Jim's Apartment~
~he pulls a milk bottle out of the window sill~
Jim: "There you are. I was just about to send out the Saint Bernard." Pritchard: "We don't have a Saint Bernard." Jim: "It's a figure a speech, son. So, how did you get on in school today? Make any new friends?"

~Alley~
~Pritchard watches some kids playing together - he sighs~
~cut to main street~
Fat: "It was you. You started that fire, didn't you?" ~Pritchard shoves Fat away and walks off~

~Mrs. Whitney's Office~
~she's cleaning up and finds a Tom Mix pen knife~
~cut to Max's room~
Max: "Henry." Fat: "Yeah?" Max: "Come with me, please." ~Fat frowns~
~cut to Mrs. Whitney's office~
Max: "Mrs. Whitney found this near the wastepaper basket. It matches the blade marks where the door was jimmied." Mrs. Whitney: "This pen knife should have been confiscated as soon as it was found on school grounds." Max: "Fat, can you explain this?" Mrs. Whitney: "You may not be disciplined at home, but this school will not tolerate such behavior. Mr. Sutton, you said yourself willful destruction of property was sufficient cause." Max: "I said situation by situation." Mrs. Whitney: "I hope you don't think the situation is effected because the situation is your step-son. That certainly wouldn't be the view of the board." Max: "Fat, have you anything to say?" Fat: "No, sir." Mrs. Whitney: "Come along." ~Max closes the blinds to the office, we see children in the hallway~
~we hear the strap hit Fat and hear Fat cry out~
Mrs. Whitney: "The next time you engage in behavior like this, Henry, you won't get off this easy. Now, you go back to your classroom. Oh, you're excused too. I'm only doing my job, Mr. Sutton, and apparently yours as well." Max: "Beating children is not my job. Don't ever ask me to do this again."

~Main Street~
~Fat walks down the street, rubbing his hand~
Pritchard: "Hey, Fat!" Fat: "Stay away from me!" Pritchard: "You knew, didn't you?" Fat: "Yes." Pritchard: "Then why didn't you say something?" Fat: "Why do you think?" Pritchard: "Because we're friends?" Fat: "Friends. You're the last person on earth I want to be friends." Pritchard: "Oh. Then why?" Fat: "Because I'm not a squealer."

~May's Home~
May: "Oh, Grace, I want you to be sure to keep this Saturday free." Grace: "Oh Mother, I just made plans for this Saturday." May: "Plans? What plans?" Grace: "Mother, I'm taking a day trip. Rene, Myrt, and I are taking the train down to see the Quints on Saturday." May: "You'll do no such thing!" Grace: "I'm sorry, but I don't think I need your permission for a day trip." May: "You'll be back after dark!" Grace: "I'll be traveling with two other woman and I'll be traveling on a public train!" May: "You have a previous commitment, Grace. Saturday is the String Recital. Had you forgotten?" Grace: "Forgotten? I didn't plan to go." May: "I've already purchased the tickets." Grace: "Mother, you didn't ask me! I'm sure of it!" May: "And I've invited Mr. Flett." Grace: "And I'm sure the two of you will have a lovely time together." May: "Unfortunately, I can't go. I have a business meeting with George Murphy at the mine." Grace: "On Saturday." May: "So, I'm counting on you to be Mr. Flett's concert companion." Grace: "Mother, what could make you- this is so humiliating!" May: "What can be so humiliating about concert music?" Grace: "Why don't you just auction me off at the town square and be done with it?" May: "A recital at the Presbyterian Hall is hardly white slavery, Grace." Grace: "Mother! You of all people! I can't believe that you would do such a thing!" May: "I am sorry, but Mr. Flett has the tickets and it is done! So you'll have go gauk at some stranger's babies another day!"

~Silver Dome~
Hub: "The silver in this area was found in the highest concentration near the surface. Further extractions would require extensive drilling which is time consuming, not to mention expensive. All right, first group ready to go below. Stay clear of the door."

~Jim's Classroom~
Jim: "And I think we should all be grateful that Hub sharing with us his knowledge mining." Buck: "Yes, since it's the only knowledge he's got." Jim: "Buck, come on." Alice: "Sir, he did get put back a year, didn't he?" Jim: "Albert Einstein had trouble in school. Fact is, he failed an exam to become an engineer. Who here thinks that Dr. Einstein isn't bright? Life has an incredible way of giving us all second chances so long as we keep trying. First out of the gate doesn't always mean first across the finish line."

~School Hall~
Maisey: "Grade Eights got rid of Bedows." Fat: "Yeah, but Whitney's a whole lot tougher." Maisey: "Yes, she's really tough with all that ink all over her, didn't she?" Pritchard: "I know just what to do. We need a horse, pig, and some chickens. We go to house and stick the chickens on the roof, the pig in her parlor, and the horse in her bath." Maisey: "Where did you get such a stupid idea?" Prithard: "I saw it in a movie." Maisey: "Yeah, well, I saw them part the Red Sea in a movie and we ain't doing that either." Fat: "All we need is a potato." Maisey: "What would we do with one potato?" Fat: "You shove the potato on her tail pipe and her car won't start and she'll go crazy trying to figure out what happened?" Maisey: "Are you going to do it?" Fat: "well, it wouldn't be hard if you wanted to." Maisey: "Come on, Fat."

~Main Street~
~Fat is walking along hte street, and hears a car not starting - he crouches behind another car and watches as Mrs. Whitney tries to start her car~
Jim: "Mrs. Whitney, is there a problem?" Mrs. Whitney: "It won't start and of all days! I have a meeting in Pinebury." Jim: "Would you like me to give it a try?" Mrs. Whitney: "No thank you. I'm perfectly capable." ~Jim begins to walk away then sees a potato in the pipe~
Jim: "Mrs. Whitney, did you know there is a potato growing out of your tail pipe?" Mrs. Whitney: "Who would ever do such a thing?" ~she looks and sees Fat - Jim looks and sees Pritchard~

~Mrs. Whitney's Office~
Mrs. Whitney: "The boy was overheard suggesting the prank!" Max: "Fat, this is not the time to protect a friend." Mrs. Whitney: "Henry, who was it?" Fat: "I can't say." Mrs. Whitney: "Mr. Sutton, you are right. Apparently strapping doesn't work for Henry. Perhaps expelling would." Max: "Mrs. Whitney-"
~someone knocks on the door~
Mrs. Whitney: "Come in. What is it, Mr. Flett?" Pritchard: "Mrs. Whitney, it was me. I was the one who put the potato on the exhaust pipe." Mrs. Whitney: "You, Pritchard! Why? Well, Mr. Sutton, what are we going to do now?" Max: "First, I think you should apologize to Fat for wrongly accusing him." Mrs. Whitney: "Yes, uh... Well, uh... Henry, uh... let this be a lesson to you about making careless suggestions. You may go now." ~Fat looks at Max and Max nods, Fat leaves~
Mrs. Whitney: "Now you. Sit down. This was your plan all along. To perpetrate an act of vandalism designed to shift the blame. I know that you will agree with me that this is very serious, Mr. Flett." Jim: "Well, yes." Max: "But you won't be strapped. Go back to class. I will devise a suitable punishment there." Mrs. Whitney: "Mr. Sutton. There is a meeting of the school board Saturday afternoon. Be there."

~Max's Classroom~
Max: "I hope you realize the seriousness of your prank, young man." Pritchard: "I attempted to curtail Mrs. Whitney's freedom of movement." Max: "Yes." Pritchard: "Which is a right that all free citizens of the democracy enjoy." Max: "True enough." Pritchard: "And in so doing I exhibited the thuggish impulses that we all abhor in Europe." Max: "All right, Pritchard, button it. You've been given the gift of gab, my friend. And you tried to take away one of Mrs. Whitney's freedom so I'm suspending one of yours. For the rest of the day you will not speak unless spoken to." Pritchard: "But-"
Max: "Uh! And if I feel you violated this rule the punishment will be extended. Is that clear?" Pritchard: "Yeah, but-"
Max: "Uh!" ~Pritchard sighs and Max makes a zip-it motion~

~Fat's Room~
Fat: "Come in." Max: "Fat. Look, Fat." Fat: "I'm using my Tom Mix decoder ring." Max: "You knew it was Pritchard, didn't you." Fat: "Kind of." Max: "And I suspect he was responsible for the fire? Right." Fat: "I'm not a squealer." Max: "But how far does it go? What happens if the school burns down or someone gets badly hurt?" Fat: "I don't think it was Pritchard's fault." Max: "You don't?" Fat: "Pritchard's mom died. I know what it was like for us when Dad died and now Pritchard and his dad all alone. I guess we're lucky Mom found you." Max: "We're all lucky, Fat. I just want you to understand that there are times we need to speak up in order to protect innocent people- including yourself! That's the problem with life, Fat. There are no pat answers to every situation. What's right one day may be wrong the next." Fat: "So how do you know which is which?" Max: "Well, you run it by your mom and I. If we've done a good job bringing you up and when you get older you can make those decisions for yourself." Fat: "How do you know you're always making the right decision?" Max: "You don't. You just... do the best you can and try to live by it. That's all any conscientious person can do." ~Max pats Fat's knee~

~Main Street~
Jim: "It was nice of your mother to arrange for us to go together, but wouldn't you prefer to take a friend?" Grace: "Oh dear, I'm sorry if I feel like such bad company. This is so embarrassing." Jim: "Oh, don't be embarrassed." Grace: "Mother doesn't usually do things like this." Jim: "Interfere?" Grace: "No, she does that. I know her hearts in the right place, but sometimes she's not too subtle." Jim: "You know, no one thought I was such a prize as a single man, but somehow since I've become a widower my stock seems strangely improved. It really is still too soon for me." Grace: "OH good heavens! You don't have to explain! Please! It's fine! Honestly! I'm sorry if you're feeling awkward." Jim: "Miss Bailey, if the truth be known I don't much care for string quartets." Grace: "I'm not much looking forward to this one either." Jim: "Well, I guess the tickets are already payed for so the church won't lose any money if we don't go." Grace: "Mr. Flett, there's a Buck Jones picture playing at the Regent." Jim: "Sundown Rider. We could catch a matinee!"

~Theatre~
Newsreel: "It seems as though all of North America is flocking to little Callander in remote northern Ontario where as many as six thousand curious onlookers a day watch Canada's darlings as they play behind the one-way screen." Grace: "Aren't they adorable?" Jim: "Yes, they are. I guess they help people forget their troubles. But they don't make their troubles go away. Mint, Miss Bailey?" Grace: "No. No thank you." Newsreel: "Yes, a welcome tonic to the daily hardships that surround us."

~Schoolboard Meeting~
Max: "Corporal punishment has been a disciplinary staple in our schools and in our homes for generations. Where has it gotten us? If we strap first graders and it works we should not have to strap second graders. But the fact is, we continue to strap our children until they are adults." Mrs. Whitney: "Thank you, Mr. Sutton. I think you've made your views clear to the board, now if you wouldn't mind waiting outside while they consider their business."

~Grace's Room~
May: "Grace! I thought I heard you come in. Are you all right?" Grace: "I was wrong, Mother." May: "About what?" Grace: "Five little babies who all stayed alive, I thought it was a miracle. A sign of hope." May: "Well, maybe they are." Grace: "All those people lined up as if it were a circus. Desperate to find some good. Something worth holding onto." May: "Grace, you will find something to hold onto, but it won't be in magazines or picture shows. You'll have to find that yourself." Grace: "I suppose." May: "Oh, Grace! When things seem so unbearable they get less over the next days. And the next day less again. Good things will happen, Grace. But we need hope to keep to keep us strong." Grace: "Do you think good things are coming?" May: "Oh, I'm sure of it. You'll be ready."

~Back Steps~
Man: "Hi, Max." Max: "Well hey, guys." Hub: "Wow!" Fat: "Hey, Max, we're looking at the moon." Max: "What do you see, Swiss cheese?" Pritchard: "Mr. Sutton, the moon isn't made of cheese however, there are several theories on its composition." Jim: "Son, Mr. Sutton knows." Pritchard: "Ah, you were speaking ironically." Jim: "Lets just- lets just look at them for now, huh?" Hub: "You want to take a look, Pritchard?" Jim: "By your face I guess the school board meeting didn't go as hoped." Max: "Yeah, the board feels they speak on the behalf of New Bedford when they say the children be strapped and that I comply or quit. Jim, I have a family of four kids!" Jim: "Max, I understand." Max: "You try to teach your kids some standards of principals to stand by them, but when I'm put the test I crumble like ?? cake." Jim: "Well, I want to thank you personally. Pritchard has had a hard time of it. You've been a big help." Max: "Oh, I think children should be given a chance- or two or three and nobody is going to change my opinion on that." Jim: "I couldn't agree more. That's why I'm going to be recommending that Hub be allowed on the hockey team. He's earned it. He's turning himself around." Max: "If we could only turn Mrs. Whitney around." Jim: "And New Bedford? We'll have to keep chipping away." Max: "One Mrs. Whitney at a time. Whatcha lookin' at, boys?" Fat: "The moon." Max: "You're a romantic, aren't you, Fat."



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9.18.12