MUSED
BellaOnline Literary Review
Little Hoot by Christine Catalano

Table of Contents

Plays


The Lawn Auction

Katherine L. Holmes

Cast

Becca: New clerk at an antiques cooperative. She collects metronomes.

Troy: A dealer at the cooperative, he is on the look-out for clocks and furniture.

Otto Amundson: Owner of the cooperative shop and a pottery collector.

Brianna: In her mid-forties and recently divorced, she rents at Out of the Attic.

Sharon: Counter clerk, a dealer in art and jewelry.

Pearl Baederley: Wife of a retired doctor and collector of china.

Dr. Baederley: Accompanies Pearl in her antiques avocation, also collects books.

Ted: Owned the oldest antiques store with Brianna, now divorced from her.

Trader Tracey Adler: auctioneer.

Rachel: Daughter of Brianna and Ted, home from college.

Male customer: Man who collects shaving mugs and mustache cups.

Woman in Hat: Married to the male customer, sheís after majolica.

Auction assistants and optional walk-ons


Scene 1

Out of the Attic, a cooperative antiques store. A counter with pigeonholes behind it. On one side is a door and a window display where a china washbasin is seen. At the other side, a buffet with china stacked on it. Boxes and crates are on the floor. A customer in a summer hat looks at a flyer near the counter. The phone rings. Becca answers it.

Becca: Out of the Attic! Ö Brianna is probably bringing another load in soon. ÖWould you like to leave a message?

China is heard clinking. Something breaks.

Pearl: (Her voice coming from off-stage.) Thatís par for the day!

Becca: OK, Rachel. (She leaves the counter as Pearl appears.) Did something break?

The Woman in the Hat passes Pearl, going to the back.

Pearl: (In a low voice) A customer startled me. He was playing with the riding whip in Troyís booth. Lucky thing, it was only Lefton. He wants to see a shaving mug in a case. With that new tattoo business down the street, you should be watching customers all the time, Becca.

Becca: He came in with a woman. Sheís been browsing in the front.

Pearl: Thatís how some thefts happen, Becca. They split up when they come in.

Becca walks to the back of the stage as Dr. Baederley enters from the door.

Pearl: Look dear, hereís the flyer for the lawn auction. Thereís an antique leather set of Flaubert. Art nouveau illustration.

Dr. Baederley: Are you ready for an auction? You regret too much.

Pearl: This one sounds like such fun! And thereís Floe Blue.

Dr. Baederley: If youíd take a tranquillizer before the auction instead of afterwards.

The bell rings above the door. Brianna enters with Otto, pushing a dolly that supports a large antique such as a floor radio. Becca returns with the customer couple.

Otto: Brianna almost sold this thing on the sidewalk.

Male Customer: (to Brianna) Hi! What happened to your store? I heard it was moving somewhere. Have you gotten any shaving mugs or moustache cups in?

Woman in Hat: (showing him the auction flyer) Look, antique porcelain.

Brianna: (flatly) Tedís taking things out of storage. Heís opening a new store up on Third Street and Hemlock. (She and Otto move the heavy antique to the messy booth.)

Male Customer: Wasnít that in your store?

Otto: Itís in our store now.

Male Customer: Too bad the mug didnít have a brush with it.

Woman in Hat: Maybe thereís one at the auction. Do you have any majolica in?

Pearl: Is there any majolica, Becca?

Becca: (surveying Briannaís boxes) I would have to look.

Pearl: Iím sure I have some majolica at home. Iíll bring it in next week.

Woman in Hat: Thanks. (She and the Male Customer go out.)

Becca: A message from Rachel, Brianna. She called a few minutes ago.

Brianna finds her cell phone and sits on a living room stool near the buffet. Becca busies herself at the counter. Otto looks over the flyer with the Baederleys.

Brianna (on the phone): Rachel? I wonít come home for supper then. Whose party is it? Are you going to work tomorrow? OKÖRachel? Have a good time.

Pearl: How can you sell this Utruria Wedgwood piece by piece, Brianna?

Brianna: Itís not a full set. Most people arenít looking for a large set these days.

Pearl: If you separated the chipped pieces, youíll probably have a set of four.

Brianna takes tags from a buffet drawer and begins writing on them.

Pearl: I hope you wonít be disappointed here, Brianna.

Brianna: Iím not disappointed, Pearl.

Pearl: I mean, Brianna, my sales are not what Iíd hoped these last months.

Otto: Brianna will bring people in, Pearl. Sheís always had a strong business.

Pearl: No one is in the store, Otto!

Otto: The weather is perfect. People are outside today.

Dr. Baederley: Well, weíre off for a bite to eat. Brixtonís or The Catch, Pearl?

Pearl: When itís this quiet, Becca, you could straighten up my booth. And then youíll know my pieces if anyone is looking for Doulton.

Becca: Someone called today about a Doulton. They were looking for a shepherdess.

Pearl: The shepherdess is on the top shelf of my cupboard.

Dr. Baederley: Weíd better get going before the dinner crowd. (He raises his hand as he and Pearl leave the shop.)

Becca: Briannaís velvet photo album sold from the box. They didnít buy Pearlís.

Otto: Briannaís prices are reasonable. Pearl wants book price. Oh, I said I would move Troyís wooden skis. Pearlís afraid they might fall on her cupboard. (He goes off stage as the phone rings.)

Becca: Out of the Attic! Hi Sharon. Yes, Briannaís here. Sharon? This morning, a woman called and asked for a certain Doulton. Do you think Pearl was checking on me? She would? (Calling to Brianna) Itís Sharon.

Brianna: (taking the mobile phone) Hi Sharon. No, that was the very last of it. No more courtroom. I should. It is time to celebrate. Yes, worse than awful. He lied about my parents making the down payment for the shop. (Her voice catches. She wipes her eyes.) The stuff I bought when we went to the antique shows out-of-town Ö thatís his. I couldnít believe how he lied. Getting things organized. If you could bid for me. Iíd go $40 each for the Gutmann prints except the girl with the dolls. $75. Love is Blind. Steinbach musical birdcage, $75. I might feel better. Rachel is eating with a friend.

The shop bell rings. Troy enters. Otto returns and hands an auction flyer to Troy.

Troy: Came to pay rent. So whatís sold for me lately, Becca? (He takes sales slips from a pigeonhole.) Deco clock. Drawer pulls. The Ouija board. No living room should be without one. Music cabinet! Didnít you want it?

Becca: Iím going to look for one.

Troy: Much cheaper that way. Especially if you canít find one. Sell any metronomes?

Becca: Not this week.

Troy: (looking at the auction flyer) Going to the auction? She collected music boxes.

Becca: I loved them when I was a kid.

Troy: You want to get there before it starts, to look at the items. He wonít play the music boxes unless theyíre upscale.

Otto: If you want to, Becca, you can take off early today. I need to show Brianna the security system.

Troy: We might as well go over there together, Becca. Iíll show you the ropes


Scene 2

Late afternoon on the lawn of an estate. Tables are set up with an assortment of collectible items. Troy and Becca are browsing. An extra actor or more, part of the auction later, might also be at the tables.

Becca: Look, Charlie McCarthy in a tin car. Itís really old, isnít it? I want to bid on it.

Troy: I wonít fight you. Unless you want help bidding, Iíll be your dummy. Iím staying around for the banjo clock. (He tries the wind-up key.) Doesnít work. Tracey wouldnít have put an old Marx piece on the table if it did. Try the music boxes.

Becca: (winding a powder music box). This looks as if itís the oldest.

Troy: Sure does. They made those for dime stores. Does it have a powder puff? I wouldnít pay more than five for it. Theyíre everywhere.

Becca: Hey, this teapot has a wind-up underneath. (It plays ďTea for TwoĒ).

Troy: Speaking of china. I donít think Iíve ever seen the Baederleys at an auction.

Becca: Pearl was in the shop today. She broke her own china bell.

Troy: Pearl did? This sailboat is well-carved. Wind-up. The masts move.

The Baederleys approach the tables now.

Troy: Have you ever been married, Becca?

Becca: I lived with a musician. He was in Seattle last I heard. How about you?

Troy: I only just bought a house. No. Not yet.

Sharon joins them at the table.

Troy: Sharon! Have you ever been to an auction with Pearl?

Sharon: I donít think so. I would probably remember.

Troy (to Becca): We usually drop out if we know someone really wants something. Among us at the shop.

Sharon: Did Pearl say anything about the window display?

Becca: She looked at the china bowl and pitcher. Then she said that the washstand was shabby chic but the shop wasnít.

Sharon: Was Brianna there when she said that? She was feeling better.

Troy: Sheís feeling better?

Sharon: Sheís been happier in the last months than Iíve seen her for two years.

Troy: Are you interested in kitchen stuff, Becca? Whatís this?

Sharon: Itís a string holder, Becca. Hereís a little chip. The apple isnít very desirable. Look at this millefiori paperweight.

Troy: Most chalkware is chipped. The string holders sell.

Sharon: Troy sells five things he doesnít care about for every item he collects. Iíve seen him sell the bell on the shop counter.

Troy: I brought it in when the shop opened. Speaking of storage. Isnít Brianna bringing in her basement storage? From their store?

Sharon: Stuff I havenít seen. Most of it wasnít displayed when I was helping out.

Troy: Didnít Brianna and Ted buy everything as a couple?

Sharon: Splitting up that stuff was like a custody battle over an orphanage of children found out to be in a millionaireís will.

Becca: It looks as if Brianna likes to find broken things.

Sharon: She often buys by the box. People want her to pay for all they have. The good with the chipped.

Troy: Donít forget to look under tables, Becca. Sometimes the boxes go for five dollars.

Becca: I donít want a box of Christmas ornaments. This one has cans of food in it!

Troy: Thereís canned crab and some plastic wine glasses. Whereís the wine?

Sharon: I could use a swig now. Tedís here.

Troy: Gourmet cat food. Do you have a cat, Becca?

Becca: My cat has never had gourmet cat food.

Troy: My cat eats on Nippon china.

Pearl and Dr. Baederley are now standing near.

Pearl: I see a piece of Nippon here. Which one is it, Becca?

Troy: I donít think Iíve ever seen you at an auction, Pearl.

Pearl: I donít like that Trader man. But a lawn auction! And itís such a nice evening.

Dr. Baederley: Pearl doesnít like bidding. She gets too excited.

Pearl: Itís the doctor who doesnít like bidding. That Trader looks at him if I bid.

Dr. Baederley: Pearl can get over-excited. Estate sales are getting to be too much.

Pearl: Too much crowding. The shame is, this Staffordshire Toby has a crack. Sharon, do you think that Brianna can make it alone in this business?

Sharon: Sheís been in this business for twenty years! What else would she do?

Pearl: That stuff sheís bringing in looks as if it were in a traffic accident. We drove past Tedís new shop on the way here. I hear that heíll be renting out space. Itís going to be more upscale than their old store.

Sharon: Tedís daughter is going to work there this summer.

Pearl: Why, sheís still in college! I thought she was living at Briannaís.

Sharon: And work at the shop. Thatís part of the arrangement.

Dr. Baederley: Pearl, hereís the Flaubert set. Itís a rare Mazarine edition. See this, the guard transparencies have illustration too. The leather isnít too shabby.

Pearl: Itís a limited edition! Youíve got to stay for that, dear.

The Baederleys walk away from the tables. Trader enters the stage with Ted.

Sharon: Thereís Ted. I donít touch him for the damage.

Troy: You worked with him for a long time, Sharon.

Sharon: Iím not welcome in his shop. Did you know? He told me so when I went over there to pick up Briannaís Shawnee cookie jars. He made me wait on the sidewalk.

Troy: He carried them out to you? Look at the way heís walking. Heís aged.

Sharon: Ted is another Ted away from Brianna. Heís acting as if he was defeated.

Troy: He seemed the more laidback of the two.

Sharon: The word is deadbeat. What I saw when he and Brianna werenít on speaking terms. He brought some high-end stuff in from storage. The next time I came in, he said it sold.

Troy: He was sort of hippie when they married. What kind of stuff?

Sharon: Briannaís Dick Whittington poster. She bought it at an antiques show. Things she paid a price for and stored for later. Things that might do better on eBay.

Troy: I thought Ted was doing more eBay. Do you think he sold it on eBay?

Sharon: I donít want to think about it anymore. Brianna was watching his eBay sales when I was minding the store for her. But thereís an account she wasnít watching.

Troy: You mean Sallyís? You can check her sales.

Sharon: Everyone will know soon. Sallyís going to work at his shop, Troy. And heís saying his store will be more upscale. I suppose you havenít talked to her lately.

Troy: One guyís display is another manís treasure. Maybe you should call Brianna and tell her Ted is here.

Becca (listening to this): What does Ted look like?

Sharon: (picking up a pair of opera glasses from the table with the music boxes) Look over there. Vest. Hair parted in the middle and slicked back old-fashioned style. He always wears the same get-up.

Becca: (looking through the opera glasses) Him! He was in the shop the other morning.

Sharon: Otto wouldnít think of kicking him out. Did he ask for help?

Becca: No, he didnít need any. He stood near Briannaís booth for awhile.

Troy: Whatís that material, encasing the opera glasses, Becca?

Becca: It looks like ivory but itís too shiny.

Troy: Itís celluloid. I wouldnít bid more that fifteen dollars for those opera glasses.

Ted walks towards the tables.

Sharon: I guess Iíll look at the Gutmannís and find out where Trader is displaying the jewelry.

Troy: Donít forget the boxes, Becca. They usually do them at the end.

Becca: This one has music in it. You saw that, I guess. Hey, thereís an old Gilbert and Sullivan. From the 1800s. Look at the cover!

Troy: Howís eBay going for you, Ted?

Ted: Pretty well, now that Iíve got a packer. The new store is keeping me busy.

Troy: Becca, do you want to learn eBay?

Becca: I teach piano lessons, you know. (She keeps looking through the music.)

Troy: Your new shop is looking good. Are you going to rent any space there? Pearl was wondering.

Ted: Thanks for warning me. I wonít know until Iíve moved in myself.

Troy: And Sallyís working there? Sheíll want space too.

Ted: Yeah, I donít know how much sheíll be bringing in.

Troy: Her house is too small for living and storage, she says. If you have any old clocks that havenít see the light of a shop, Iím always looking for them.

Ted: There are things that I donít like to ship.

Troy: Like the Shawnee cookie jars.

Ted: Sharon came for them. The spy who came in for her advance paycheck.

Troy: Sheís good for racking up store hours. At least she wonít be reminding you of the days she covered when you were out-of-town.

Ted: Everything goes back years for her. She loves to be right, doesnít she?

Troy: Sheís not always right.

Ted: Then her husband is. In court, she said her husband remembered a 1982 estate sale. Itís a modern miracle, Sharonís marriage.

Troy: I guess it is. Advance paychecks and all. So youíre out buying tonight?

Ted: Iím after that fireside set. I lost mine. The tinder chest is nice.

The Male Store Customer and the Woman in Hat have arrived. They recognize Ted.

Woman in Hat: Are you closing your antiques store? I was looking for majolica.

Ted: The storeís going through some changes. Iím moving up to Hemlock and Third.

Woman in Hat: Your wife said she was taking some things out of storage.

Ted: (looking at Troy.) Any majolica at Out of the Attic? I should have a better look at that fireside set.

Woman in Hat: We were there this afternoon.

Male Store Customer: Have you gotten any good shaving mugs in?

Ted: Iíll keep an eye out. Drop into my new store in a few weeks. (He walks away.)

Woman in Hat: Well, I guess her majolica is at one store now and his shaving mugs are at a new one.

Troy: Thatís right. Brianna is renting at Out of the Attic. (to Becca) Thereís a metronome at the next table.

Becca: People have been asking about Brianna at the shop.

Troy: Sheís getting new cards made. You donít have to tell the history of the dealers.


Scene 3

An auction table is central. Becca, Troy, and Sharon stand together. The Baederleys, Otto, and Ted stand apart. Others might be on stage or a representation of the people who attend. An assistant brings a piece of majolica to the table.

Trader: Folks! Welcome to our lawn auction! The items for sale are as quality as tonightís weather. A collector lived at this estate, also for sale, for forty years. Here we have a stunning piece of majolica. Who will start the bidding at five dollars?

Pearl raises her hand. The Woman in the Hat raises her tag.

Trader: (looking at the Woman in the Hat): $10? Do I hear $20? (He surveys the circle around him although Pearl is waving her hand.) We have $25? $25, $25, $30?

Traderís voice fades. An auction assistant takes Pearlís lot away.

Woman in Hat: (to the Male Customer) Thatís too much to pay for that piece. I donít think I want to see her other majolica pieces.

Trader: Next for the popular demand is a brass fireside set from the 50s. Who will start at $10? The tooled brass tinder chest goes well with it but theyíre separate.

Sharon: I didnít think Ted had a fireplace anymore. Itís not really upscale.

Troy: I think heís wants it for himself. Heís just won it.

Sharon: It looks like heís leaving!

Troy: Heís not done tonight. Heís leaving the set and the tinder box.

Sharon: I can guess where heís going
.
An auction assistant is setting music boxes and figurines on a table.

Troy: Becca, the music boxes are coming up.

Becca moves closer to the table. Sharon and Troy stand behind her.

Trader: We have more than ten music boxes here. Antiques, novelty pieces, Thorens, Rouge, Swiss movement. First up is a musical china teapot. Do I hear $5?

Sharon: Pearlís bidding against Becca. She probably knows that itís her first auction.

Traderís voice has faded out. Pearl wins the teapot. Becca continues to bid.

Sharon: Iím glad Becca understands what customers will pay for that teapot.

Troy: Pearlís like a boxer here. Look, the doctor has her sitting and sheís got a handkerchief out for her sweat.

Sharon: Sheís a compulsive buyer. She couldnít come here on her own. I think Ted was trying to keep me from knowing about Sally. Heís the one who couldnít set up shop alone. Trying to hide that until the court case was over.

Troy: Sally can be a good partner. I thought her ex was the problem. Until the breakage. You didnít think I had her in mind when I bought a house, did you?

Sharon: We knew you wanted to buy a house before she got divorced. Wasnít it rebound? It took her awhile to recover from her exís tattoo. And learning that the secretary he fell for had a hidden tattoo.

Troy: (laughing) More like revenge on him. Ted will be needing her.

Brianna appears. She walks to a display table, looks at things, and then pulls out a box underneath the table. She examines Christmas ornaments and lights.

Sharon: Do you think Ted saw her coming?

Troy: I used to have bumper parties with him. He went for a beer when she went to bid. Ted might have worse problems before him than behind him.

Becca turns towards them.

Sharon: You won a few items, Becca! Do you feel good about it?

Becca: I spent $35. On the inlaid box, the Thorens, and a musical sailboat.

Sharon: You got the sailboat! Iíd say you did well.

Becca: Pearl was really anxious to get the teapot.

Sharon: Weíll hear ďTea for TwoĒ for months. At her prices.

Troy moves to a table where Trader is auctioning a pocket watch. Brianna joins Sharon and Becca stands near Troy, watching.

Sharon: You made it, Brianna! Are you going to stay for the boxes?

Brianna: There are some Sputnik ornaments.

Sharon: There were some chipped ornaments. Troyís back in orbit.

Brianna: I thought heíd been for months, after Sally broke things off. Literally.

Sharon: Some say her son thought Troy was using her. Troy likes older women. Heís showing the new clerk the ropes tonight.

Brianna: As long as she winds his chimes. He doesnít dislike women his own age.

Sharon: Tedís around somewhere.

Brianna: No, he couldnít stay away. I want to attend this auction.

Sharon: Good! It was going to happen sooner or later.

Brianna: The Steinbach musical birdcage is coming up.

They move towards the auction table, near Becca and Troy.

Sharon: Heís going to demonstrate this one, Becca. It probably wonít go for under $50.

Becca: Thatís beyond my budget.

Sharon: Brianna wants it. But if you have to have itÖ

Trader: Here is the rare Steinbach musical piece. Listen, the mechanism works and the bird moves. (Birdsong is heard.) Who will start the bidding at $15? (His voice fades while Brianna bids.)

Sharon: I hope Ted doesnít return too soon. Briannaís happy again. Troy is too. Plenty of tickers at this estate.

Becca: He told me his bedroom is decorated in deco and Dali. With pocket watches hanging on the wall.

Sharon: Heís got a gorgeous grandmother clock at his house. Bought at a wolf of a price. You know that the handwriting on some of his tags isnít his, donít you?

Becca: I wondered. It looks like a womanís handwriting.

Sharon: The tags older than six months are Sallyís handwriting.

Becca: Who is Sally?

Sharon: She used to work at our shop. Sheís going to work at Tedís new store now. Brianna doesnít know yet. Sallyís probably nearer Tedís age than Troyís.

Becca: She and Troy were together?

Sharon: Well. She thought she might move into his new house. But a stained glass window ended their partnership. She made the mistake of breaking it.

Becca: It wasnít an accident?

Otto approaches.

Sharon: While he was moving, he left some things in her garage. Well, somehow a leaded stained glass window was smashed or run into. But Sally has a grown son, Pete.

Otto: No oneís blaming him, Sharon. Peteís been painting the walls at Tedís shop.

Becca: So far, so good. Pearl broke her own bell today. The clocks are still chiming.

Sharon: I think it was an excuse for Troy. Things break, especially if they arenít properly displayed. You know what he thought of Sally, leaving something in her garage that you canít find a second time.

Otto: I just won the North Dakota Pottery vase. Not many of those around. No, I couldnít see Troy stepping into family life.

Sharon: Troy a step-father of two teenagers. Poor grandmother clock.

Otto: Troy is already talking about Sally as if sheís a treasure clock that he gave up because he couldnít fix it. I saw Ted coming up the walk.

Sharon looks around. Brianna joins them.

Brianna: Look whoís here. Floe Blue is up. I think Iíll stay out of that.

Sharon: Pearl was wondering if Ted will rent space at his new shop. Imagine that.

Otto: The Baederleys have been very good for our shop.

Sharon: They always pay rent on time.

Otto: Work on selling for Pearl. Customers can see how she values her merchandise.

Becca: She writes how a good a book is on those big tags of hers!

Brianna: (laughing) I wouldnít want Rachel to take the complaints I heard today.

Sharon: Look! Ted came into the bidding. Dr. Baederley just nullified Pearlís bid. Heís standing in front of her and his head is saying no to Trader!

Otto: Is it the woman who was in the shop today? No, Tedís won the Floe Blue plates.

Sharon: Maybe Pearl wonít rent at Tedís. She had all the Floe Blue in the county.

Brianna: She will again if she doesnít change her price tags. Lucite jewelry next.

Scene 4

Becca and Troy stand at the outskirts of the auction. Itís dusk and lanterns are glowing. The rest of the cast is gathered around Trader.

Trader: We have on the easels four Bessie Gutmann prints. They are exquisite portraits of children. Prints from the 1930s, Folks, and in their original carved frames. The owner has requested that these scarce prints be auctioned as a set.

There is a hush and some flurried talk.

Trader: Girl with Bird, Girl with Dolls, Boy with Dog, Boy with Horn. Do I hear $25?
Brianna and Ted both raise their auction numbers.

Trader: Thank you, Brianna. $35? These are Gutmann & Gutmann prints, Folks!.

Ted raises his hand. He leans on the fireplace shovel with his other hand.

Trader: $35, $35, do I hear $50? $50. (He points to the shop customer) $50? Who will bid $60 for the four? Thank you! $75? (Pearl raises her tag.)

Sharon walks towards Troy and Becca as the auction continues silently.

Sharon: (to Troy) Pearlís been bidding for everything since the Floe Blue fiasco.

Troy: Sheís making everyone pay like her. She just wants what other people want.

Sharon: Bessie Gutmann was the illustrator of Rachelís favorite childrenís book. Oh God, I canít look. Ted and Brianna are bidding against each other.

Becca: That Trader is like a human metronome. I love the Boy with the Horn.

Trader: $100! $125, $125, $125! (He gestures at Ted) $150 for the four Gutmann prints? (He nods at Brianna) $175? (Pearl raises her tag.) $200 for these four scarce and limited prints! Iíve got $200. $250?

Brianna bids again. Then Ted raises his auction card.

Sharon: Brianna wasnít going to go beyond this, total. This is as bad as court.

Sharon goes to the auction ring. Brianna and Ted stand opposite each other, raising their cards. Pearl is talking heatedly with the Doctor. The others watch, fascinated, their heads turning like the beat of a metronome.

Troy: (looking towards back stage) Oh no. Look whoís coming.

Becca: Who is it?

Troy: Itís Rachel with a friend.

Trader: I have $400! $400 going onceÖ$425! (He nods at Ted)

In the dimness, Rachel and her friend obtain number cards from an auction assistant.

Trader: We have $450 for these four limited Gutmann prints. 1930s! Do I hear $500?

Brianna raises her number.

Trader: $500Ö$500Ö

Ted: (beginning to gesture with the shovel) $550!

Trader: Ted, I canít continue until you put that fireside piece down. (Ted hands the shovel to Otto.) Iíve got $550 going once? $575Ö $575 to the young woman in the back. $575 going onceÖ$575 going twiceÖ

Brianna: She canít pay for it! Her money is for college.

Ted: She works for me!

Trader: I must ask for quiet. Are you of age to bid?

Rachel: Yes!

Pearl (obscured by Dr. Baederley): Iíll bid $600!

Ted and Brianna stare fixedly at each other.

Trader: $600 once, $600 twiceÖ..Sold for $600! Next up is a rare Van Briggle vase. Itís a beauty from the 1920s. Do I hear $10 to start off?

Otto hurriedly hands the long shovel back to Ted and raises his tag. Pearl pushes forward from around Dr. Baederley. Ted leans on the shovel, jamming it towards the ground.

Pearl: My toe! Heís hit my foot! Oh, get away! Heís been drinking!

Doctor Baederley helps the limping Pearl to a chair beyond the crowd. Rachel is nearby. Brianna goes towards them. Sharon and Becca drift towards Pearl.

Pearl: Iíll never set foot in his shop again! If I can set this foot anywhere!

Brianna: Are you alright, Pearl?

Pearl: I donít know. Oh! If he were behind the wheel of a car, heíd pay for this!

Doctor Baederley: (kneeling in front of the seated Pearl and examining her foot) Some people were crowding, Pearl.

Pearl: But he smelled of alcohol! He was angry. Iíd gotten something he wanted!

Dr. Baederley: (Still manipulating her foot) I donít think thereís anything broken.

Pearl: (sighing) Brianna, Iím willing to break up that set. Itís not really a set. If thereís a print you want, Iíll sell it to you. But not to him or to you, Rachel dear.

Brianna: We wanted the print of the girl with the dolls. Or what do you want, Rachel?

Dr. Baederley: (looking past Pearl) We could use the poker to get you down to the car.

Pearl: No! Donít! Of course, Brianna, you have a store discount with me.

Dr. Baederley: Iím too old to carry you.

Brianna: Is there a cane somewhere? There often is. (She turns to Rachel) Do you want to drive home with me?

Rachel: Weíre waiting for Pete to finish painting. Heís going to the party with us.

Brianna: Pete?

Trader: Coming up are furnishings, an antique piano stool and a banjo clock. Do I hear $10 for the piano stool?

END




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