DID YOU KISS JUDY GOODBYE?

PART TWO

 

 

 

The Walkers have returned from Gran’s funeral. Chris picks up her photograph from the mantlepiece and looks at it. 


                              CHRIS 

It was a lovely send-off. Gran deserved nothing less. 

                              JUDY 

You were very fond of her. 

                              CHRIS 

It was my grand-parents who really brought me up. Mum was often ill, and Dad was away on business.  The old couple were wonderful. They had nothing and yet they had everything. 

                              JUDY 

Look at them there smiling in their wedding photograph. With over half-a-century together ahead of them. 

                              CHRIS 

They were inseparable. Just after Grandad died I had this recurring dream. I saw him coming into the house across the front lawn where they used to live. He would take Gran in his arms and say … You didn’t think I would leave you? You didn’t think I wouldn’t come back for you? Did you? 

                              JUDY 

They are together again now. Wherever that may be? 

                              CHRIS 

Do you think we shall be like that we’ve chalked up our fifty years? 

                              JUDY 

Now you’re getting maudlin.  I shall leave you with Gran while I put on the kettle. 

 

(Sequence 2) 

Chris answers the telephone 

                              THEODORE 

Crispin, sorry to call you so early. 

                              CHRIS 

It must be bad news. 

                              THEODORE 

It is rather. There’s been a sudden and rather nasty take-over here. I’m on my way out …..

                               CHRIS 

Theodore, I’m very ….. 

                              THEODORE 

No. Please save that for when you see me. I’m having a drink for the staff tomorrow morning. About 10 a.m.  At the office- but very unofficial. I’ll you it all then. See you.

                               CHRIS         

O.K. Theodore, see you there. 

Chris pauses in silence

  

(Sequence 3) 

Theodore is speaking to some of the staff who have gathered to bid him farewell.  

                              THEODORE 

Well, that’s how it is. For years I’ve been cursing the powers that be for not getting off their backsides and doing something. Now that they have done something. They have gone and sold the company. Be careful what you wish for.  I shall be coming round for a private word with each of you, thanking you for your service, and letting you know what to expect. 

He takes Crispin aside 

Crispin, I have good news and bad news for you. Your contract is safe but you will be working to Sylvia Carmichael from now on. 

                              CHRIS 

Bloody hell! 

                              THEODORE 

Bloody hell, indeed. She’s probably the best operative in the business, but has a reputation for being – what we used to say – a bit of a dragon. 

                              CHRIS 

As far as, Sylvia Carmichael is concerned, we still say it that.  It was old George Hollister who first warned me against her. By the way, I haven’t seen George and his various lady-friends for a while. 

                              THEODORE 

And you won’t. He was safe enough when he stuck to married women and their compliant husbands. But the old fool got frisky and fancied a young girl for a change. And to compound the error he went back with her to her place. The boyfriend was waiting for them when they arrived and gave George a real pasting. It was a set up job. They must have studied his methods and hacked into him. George stays in by the fireside with his own wife now. 

Theodore pats Chris on the shoulder and moves on 

Let’s hope this is au revoir and not adieu. I hope to be seeing you some time. 

 

(Sequence 4) 

Judy meets Patricia and Colin while shopping. 

                              JUDY

Patricia, Colin. It’s been ages since I’ve run into you. Somebody told me you had moved away. 

                              COLIN 

It’s my fault I’m afraid. Losing my job was the best thing that could have happened to us. Once we got over that little hiccough, it has all been …. 

                              PATRICIA 

Not exactly plain sailing. But Colin has done rather well. He has a flair for the rental business. 

                              COLIN 

Four vans now, and buying a fifth next week. And the drivers to go with them. More work than I can handle. Patricia’s a gem with the secretarial side. She knows instinctively how to put people at ease and their signature on the contract.  You must come to dinner. Please, make it soon before you forget. 

                              JUDY 

We don’t get over your way too often. 

                              PATRICIA 

Oh, not there. Not the semi-detached. We have moved. That was right. We moved into Chestnut Avenue a few months back. 

                              COLIN 

Chestnut Avenue. You have gone up in the world. 

                              PATRICIA 

You could say that. For the first time in our married life we are able to afford overseas holidays. It was Greece this summer, but we are looking to go to Jamaica in the winter. Sorry we can’t stay to chat but the children are waiting for us. 

They move off to the car-park and Judy carries on shopping 

 

(Sequence 5) 

Chris answers the knock at the door and admits the visitor. 

                    CHRIS 

He calls to Judy 

Councillor Sidney Beaton for you. He’s come for the sewing circle. He wants to know if any of you can shorten his trousers and darn his socks. 

                    JUDY 

O.K.  Show him in. 

Welcome, Councillor …… Conker. 

                    CONKER 

Conker no more. I’m Councillor Sid Beaton now. I can thank the Labour Party for that. They wanted an ordinary, unprepossessing man to take on the Tories. Nobody is more ordinary than me. Of course, it was a gimmick. I was expected to lose. Otherwise one of the boys from regional office would have been chosen. But the Tory candidate got caught with his hand in the company till. There was a big scandal. Now here I am. 

                              JUDY 

I haven’t seen you since the days at the Black Swan. How are the boys? 

                              CONKER 

I never go there now. Archie got bitten by a dog and retired to somewhere on the South Coast. Pitchfork’s wife went down with dementia. He spends all his time with her. John the Judge is still driving round as if he owns the place. I see him from time to time. Only Poker remains. He’s still in his same place. Still poker-faced. That’s all I know, and all I want to know. Now about my trousers if you don’t mind. 

Conker hands her his trousers in a carrier-bag  

 

(Sequence 6) 

Judy and neighbour Ken Kenworthy are talking over the hedge, admiring each other’s garden 

                              KEN

 

Ah, well. I must leave you. Lunch beckons. Val’s very deaf these days. That’s why you don’t see her so often in the garden. I don’t know what I’d do without my little patch. My father had it before him, and his father before that. Not the exact patch, of course. We brought it here when we moved. But the plants and the flowers are off-shoots of the same. They have seen my father out, my grandfather out, and I dare say they will see me out. 

He hears Val calling him 

Yes, dear, I’m coming. 

Judy, too, goes into her house. Shortly afterwards she answers a knock on the door. Two men in dark attire are standing there. 

                              UNDERTAKER 

It’s about Mr Kenworthy. 

                              JUDY 

If you knock loud enough he will answer. He is at home. I’ve just been speaking with him in the garden. Maybe …. 

                              UNDERTAKER 

He won’t answer. It’s not for Mr Kenworthy. It’s about him. 

                              JUDY 

Yes? 

                              UNDERTAKER 

He has died. 

                              JUDY 

He can’t have done. It’s only a few minutes since I spoke to him. He was well enough then. 

                              UNDERTAKER 

We are from the funeral directors. We came as quickly as we could. He’s wife said he fell dead across the dining-table.  Do you think we could come in and round the back to get in? Nobody seems to be answering the front door. 

Judy lets them enter the house and they pass through into the garden 

 

(Sequence 7) 

The Walkers are attending a wedding reception in the garden of a large country house. Judy points towards somebody she recognises.

                    JUDY 

Who’s that? What’s he doing here? 

                    CHRIS 

That’s the best man. Rodney Fryer. Very important person. Very important, indeed. He’s manager of a West End hotel. 

                    JUDY 

Confidentially 

It’s embarrassing. He visits me. 

                    CHRIS 

How do you get to know some-one like Rodney Fryer? 

                    JUDY 

The cabbie brought him to me. 

Rodney Fryer, who is pouring champagne for some guests, sees Judy and beckons to her with his eyes. When she approaches he breaks off pouring the champagne. 

                    RODNEY 

Well, hello, Cleopatra. What brings you here?

                     JUDY 

I could say the same to you. 

                    RODNEY 

Oh, didn’t any-one tell you? I’m the cousin of the groom and I am also the best man. As the most successful member of the family I get to do all these formal jobs.  Don’t worry about seeing me here. I won’t say anything. After all, I’ve got more to lose than you. 

He taps the side of his nose for confidentiality and moves on  

 

(Sequence 8) 

Sylvia Carmichael welcomes Chris to her office. She is in late middle-age, tall, thin, cold and purposeful by nature, and neatly dressed with blonde hair turning to grey. 

                              SYLVIA 

Mr Walker. You have probably heard about me. 

                              CHRIS 

By reputation. Eh, Sylvia? 

                              SYLVIA 

Sylvia corrects him

Mrs Carmichael. The reputation? Good, I hope? 

                              CHRIS 

Yes. As very professional. 

                              SYLVIA

 I’ve heard the same said about you. We should get on.  I expect my staff to observe certain standards of good conduct while they are in my presence.  No smoking. No beer.  I rather approve of spirits, however. No weaklings. No vegetarianism or anything like that. You’re not vegetarian are you? 

                              CHRIS 

Certainly not. 

                              SYLVIA 

It’s not good for the character. And it looks bad if you go out to lunch representing the company and won’t eat what’s offered to you. Don’t bring any left-wing papers into the office. That might offend important visitors. 

                              CHRIS 

Does that include The Guardian? 

                              SYLVIA 

Especially The Guardian. Understood? 

                              CHRIS 

Understood. 

                              SYLVIA 

Good. I know that we will get on. I take it your revised script will be ready on schedule? 

                              CHRIS 

On the dot.

Sylvia looks down at the work in front of her and Chris leaves without further ado

 

(Sequence 9) 

Judy is relaxing with Alec at the opera, holding hands, smiling and waiting for the performance to start 

                              JUDY 

These evenings make me feel more guilty than anything I do for sex. 

                              ALEC 

I don’t see why that should be. I don’t pay you for your time with me, but I add to your grocery things you can’t really afford. Isn’t that the purpose of why you are doing wat you do? You aren’t sexually unfaithful with me. We haven’t copulated, and I don’t think we ever will. So where’s the harm in that? 

                              JUDY 

It’s in the very normality of it. I do enjoy these occasions. Very much. Where else would I see such wonderful opera and plays than those you take me to?  And with such pleasant company. Some of my bookings can be quite awful. Some men are downright painful or embarrassing. Yet it doesn’t seem so bad if it hurts or is inconvenient. It would be excusable to accept money if I were suffering for it. But not if I’m enjoying myself. It’s more like adultery without the sex. It’s me being unfaithful for my own pleasure.  There’s no way this can be excused as work. 

Chris doesn’t get the chance to see shows of this quality or visit the hotels and restaurants I visit. He doesn’t even know I go to such places. He is such a kind man. He truly cares for me and is so loyal. I wouldn’t want to be married to anybody else. But a girl needs excitement sometime. Something out of the ordinary. 

The curtain rises 

                              ALEC 

Shsh. The performance is about to start. 

 

 

(Sequence 10) 

As they leave the theatre Judy and Alec are seen in the foyer by Patricia and Colin Myers

                              PATRICIA 

Hi Judy. Judy. We’re over here.  I didn’t know you liked opera. 

                              JUDY 

It’s a one-off treat. 

                              PATRICIA 

We’re going for a Chinese meal. You must join us.  Sorry, I didn’t see you had company.

                               JUDY 

She introduces her companion 

Alec is a neighbour. We found ourselves sitting near each other in the stalls.

                              COLIN 

Would you like to come along as well? 

                              ALEC 

Alas, I have to get home. The dog frets if I’m away too long. 

                              JUDY 

Just to Alec 

Sorry, darling. I have to go with them. They wouldn’t understand if I didn’t. 

                              ALEC 

I quite understand. 

                              JUDY 

I can’t kiss you good-bye here. It wouldn’t go down well. 

                              ALEC 

There’ll be plenty of time for that another time. 

Alec takes his departure and leaves 

                              PATRICIA 

Where is Chris?  Doesn’t he like opera? Or is he off on one his trips? We keep up-to date with him through the odd pieces in the Gazette. 

                              COLIN 

Now that Sophie and Megan are growing up the need to find a baby-sitter is not so pressing. Do you remember when we used to fret about the cost? 

                              PATRICIA 

Well, no baby-sitter as such but a good friend locally keeps an eye on them. And we do have a housekeeper who comes in from time to time. 

                              COLIN 

A Thai lady. She’s very pretty. 

                              PATRICIA 

You keep your eyes to yourself. What would you do with him Judy? 

They all go off to the restaurant 

 

(Sequence 11) 

Chris answers a knock on the door. The visitor, a man, seems to be embarrassed. 

                              CHRIS 

Can I help you? 

                              MAN 

Mr Brown?  Are you Mr Brown? 

                              CHRIS 

No. My name’s not Brown. And it never has been. 

                              MAN 

Did you call for a cab? 

                              CHRIS 

No. I didn’t. 

                              MAN 

Then it cannot be you. Sorry for the inconvenience. 

                              CHRIS 

You’re the third bogus cab-caller we’ve had this month. Why can’t you say why you really knocked? That you expected to meet a woman. 

The man has left already, scurrying down the pathway 

 

(Sequence 12) 

Judy is crossing the road. A “flash” two-seater sports car pulls up. The driver is Rupert.

                               RUPERT 

Hello, there, darling, fancy coming across you again? 

                              JUDY 

Why not?  I live nearby. 

                              RUPERT 

Of course you do. I had quite forgotten. 

                              JUDY 

I thought you had forgotten me. 

                              RUPERT 

How could any-one forget you? 

                              JUDY 

You haven’t visited me since that first time. 

                              RUPERT 

I haven’t been around here since that first time. I’m living in Rome now. Back here only three or four times a year. That reminds me of a nice little proposition I want to put to you. Get in and we’ll talk about it over lunch. 

                              JUDY 

She protests but not too much 

But …. 

                              RUPERT 

He opens the car door

Get in – lunchies. 

Judy gets into the car and they drive off

 

(Sequence 13) 

Judy’s parents are welcomed into the living-room. Her father has an erect bearing, as befits a former army officer, and is a little older than would be expected. Her mother obviously feels uncomfortable 

                              JULIUS 

Greetings. Greetings. I can’t pretend I’m pleased to be here. But if I didn’t come to you I wouldn’t get to see my grand-children. 

                              CHRIS 

I’m sure they will be very pleased to see you, Mr Holder. You’re always welcome. The children are at school at the moment, but they should be home soon. 

                              JULIUS 

Thoughtfully 

Julius. You can call me Julius. Not Daddy or anything like that. I wouldn’t allow that. Your wife’s mother is still Mrs Holder to you – never Ariadne. 

                              CHRIS 

How long are you in England for? We were surprised when we heard from Judy’s auntie that you were here. 

                              JULIUS 

Just as long as it takes to see that my brother has been properly buried, and to look after the estate. 

                              ARIADNE 

Not that we went to the church. We would never do that. But, well, ……. 

                              JULIUS 

Things in our family have always been done properly. 

                              ARIADNE 

Your father is very particular on that. 

                              JULIUS 

Tonight we travel down to Wolverhampton, and should be back in Trinidad by the weekend. 

                              JUDY 

Looking out of the window 

That’s the school bus. The children are here. How would you like them to address you? 

                              JULIUS 

Grandpa – that would be right. I have no quarrel with them. 

The children arrive and are greeted fondly but formally, by their grandparents

  

(Sequence 14) 

Elspeth Cummings is leaving the area and has come to say good-bye 

                              ELSPETH 

Good-bye, Judy. Good-bye to you both. You’ve made such a difference to our lives. We didn’t have many real friends until you came here. The other neighbours were friendly enough but it felt as if something was missing. Probably nothing really – just me. Now Brian’s work has called us to more distant parts. I wish you and your children all the best in all that you undertake. 

                              JUDY 

We shall still send you a Christmas card. Sewing afternoons won’t be the same without you. 

 

(Sequence 15)  

It’s the last day of term assembly at the primary school 

                              MRS WATERSON 

This year we have a clear winner across all disciplines. Classwork, art and sports. That is Lisa Walker. Congratulations Lisa on your achievement. The school is very proud of you and I have no doubt that you will go on to similar success at your new school. 

Applause 

If there was a family award it would go to the Walkers. Lisa’s younger brother Daniel is the junior scholar of the year. Well done, Daniel. Although you have excelled in class-work, I believe you will be more pleased in being voted the school’s outstanding footballer. How many goals was it you scored? I haven’t got the number with me at the moment, but I know that it was a lot. 

Applause 

What makes this performance particularly commendable is that the Walker family are still comparatively new to our area. And there they have their names – both of them – on the achievement board. Congratulations to you again. 

(Sequence 16) 

Rupert is entertaining Judy to dinner in the restaurant of a Park Lane hotel 

                              JUDY 

Admiringly 

I’m impressed. 

                              RUPERT 

Your beauty sets off the décor. 

                              JUDY 

I’ve never been in a place like this before. Never. 

                              RUPERT 

And you will be enjoying it again several more times this year.  I can assure you. 

                              JUDY 

You can leave the romance. This is strictly business. 

                              RUPERT 

He grasps her hands across the table 

Quite. What a lovely business this is! 

                              JUDY 

Tell me straight - why have you invited me here? There must be many other willing young ladies. For the fee you are offering. 

                              RUPERT 

But they are not you. It’s lonely being alone in London. You are right. Until we met up again I used to book my female company through an escort agency. They were over-priced - all of them. 

                              JUDY 

So you are getting me on the cheap? 

                              RUPERT 

Far from it. I agree I’m paying you a little less than I would for one of but I don’t regard you any the worse for it. Most of the escort’s fee is a fat wad that goes to the agency or the pimp, whate’er it’s called. Besides, the professional girls are too mechanical. It’s just sex with them, not love. They don’t give me the personal touch. You’re human. I can love you, darling. 

He looks at her intently 

You’re a gem. If you come back to Rome with me and work there I assure you that you would earn a fortune. 

                              JUDY 

Aren’t you forgetting that I have a husband and children here to look after. 

                              RUPERT 

What you could earn in Rome where they appreciate a beautiful woman would set them up for the rest of their lives.  

                              JUDY 

She lets go of his hands 

Flattery, as they say ….. 

                              RUPERT 

Let us toast ….. first course, second course, third course and now intercourse. 

They clink glasses 

 

(Sequence 17) 

Judy and Rupert have reached his bedroom. He hands her an envelope stuffed with cash. She queries the amount 

                              JUDY 

This is not quite right. 

                              RUPERT 

There’s a little extra for you. To make your first night here memorable. Have you done this before? 

                              JUDY 

What we discussed?  No. Never. I can’t believe I’m going to do it. 

                              RUPERT 

You can’t really back out now. 

                              JUDY 

Not after what you have spent on me. The food, the wine, and the ….. tip. 

                              RUPERT 

I meant the excitement. Not knowing what to expect. It’s the adrenalin. It can’t be turned off once it has been aroused. 

                              JUDY 

You can blame the white wine for giving me the courage. 

She giggles, a little tipsy 

                              RUPERT 

He rubs his hands over her backside as they undress 

It’s more likely to be the curiosity.  You have such a perfect posterior for it. 

                              JUDY 

So everybody keeps telling me. 

                              RUPERT 

Just think of all the things you can get for the children from that little tip I’ve given you. Plus something for the husband to keep him sweet. We don’t want him to miss out, do we? 

                              JUDY 

Do I take everything thing off? 

                              RUPERT 

As he undresses he takes off his trouser-belt ready to use on her  

Everything off. 

                              JUDY 

Where do you want me? 

                              RUPERT 

He points to the bed 

Across there will do. 

Judy bends over across the bed 

Ready now? 

                              JUDY 

As I shall ever be. 

                              RUPERT 

Now …… 

Swish 

Ouch! 

 

(Sequence 18) 

Chris has returned home after travelling all day. Judy has her arms full of clothes to put in the washing-machine.  

                              JUDY 

You look a mess. 

                              CHRIS 

I should think so, too. I’ve been travelling all night and day to get home. 

                              JUDY 

I thought you would be staying at the conference overnight. 

                              CHRIS 

Why should I do that when I can get back to you?  Drop what you’re doing and come to bed with me. Please. 

                              JUDY 

She pushes past him 

Don’t be silly. I’ve got the washing to do. Besides, I’ve had two callers already today. I’m sore and all you can think of is your own gratification. They say marriage is give and take, but why do I have to do all the giving and you all the taking. 

                              CHRIS 

When is the last time we had sex?  When? And you have it every day. 

                              JUDY 

You don’t think it’s easy for me, do you?  Some of my callers can be very demanding and unpleasant. It’s not all roses. 

                              CHRIS 

Then why do you do it?  You don’t have to. 

                              JUDY 

Not that again.  I’ve got the washing to do and prepare the children’s tea. Think of them for a change – and not just yourself. Don’t I do my marital duty by you. 

                              CHRIS 

If you call it that. A couple of minutes at night before you fall asleep. That’s all. And I don’t see you. You never let me see your body. That’s reserved for strangers. 

                              JUDY 

Don’t keep going on about. 

Chris slumps off upstairs – Judy puts the laundry in the washing-machine

 

 

(Sequence 19) 

Chris is at the sexually transmitted infections of the hospital and the news is not good. 

                    Dr CORNELIUS 

There’s no doubt about it. You’ve got an infection. 

                    CHRIS 

But I can’t have. I haven’t been with anyone. 

                    Dr CORNELIUS 

It didn’t get there by itself. If it wasn’t somebody else, you seem to be saying that your wife passed it on. 

                    CHRIS 

There’s no other way it could have happened. 

                    DOCTOR 

I know it’s embarrassing for you, but really?  I’m your near-neighbour as well as your doctor. Judy’s loyalty is a by-word. It’s impossible. As the great detective said when you have ruled out the impossible whatever is left however unlikely must be the answer. 

Chris resigns himself to the diagnosis 

 

(Sequence 20) 

Judy and Chris are visiting Bernard and Daisy. The men are talking while their wives are preparing the table 

                              BERNARD 

You’ve become quite a man of the world, now.  I saw your picture in the local newspaper. You were with that actress. She was quite glamorous. 

                              CHRIS

It’s not really the same as it looks. I was only there to check out the script. I doubt if I saw her for more than a few minutes on the entire trip. 

                              BERNARD 

It was the Fortescue Contracts, I suppose. That’s why things have improved for you. 

                              CHRIS 

Yes. That was the watershed. It’s put me in a higher league with the attention that goes with it 

                              BERNARD 

When I get promotion at the ministry there’s not even a glass of sherry – or a cup of coffee – to celebrate. 

Daisy joins them 

                              DAISY 

Talking of sherry, are you two coming over here to the table? The dinner’s getting cold. I’ve cooked the asparagus two different ways today to see which you prefer. 

They sit down at the table 

                              BERNARD 

Help yourself to the vegetables. 

                              DAISY 

Judy was telling me how well the children were doing at school. 

                              BERNARD 

It’s a pity they couldn’t come today. I was looking forward to seeing them again. 

                              JUDY 

Since Lisa’s gone to big-school her time is hardly her own any more. The headmaster is a stickler for putting school activities first. Lisa is already in the netball team, and Daniel is still on the induction course. That’s why they can’t be here today. 

                              DAISY 

How do you feel about your husband’s photograph being in the newspaper with these glamorous women? 

                              BERNARD 

It is all highly entertaining, but I’m not sure it will do you good in the long run. Too flippant. Quite a contrast to the happy domesticity of Judy here. Not that I’m one to give unwanted advice. However, if I may say so, I do think you ought to ease off on what you are doing there, and Judy you keep doing exactly what you are doing.

That is a lovely necklace you’re wearing. Where did you get? 

                              CHRIS 

Sotto voce

A memento for sexual services rendered.

 

(Sequence 21) 

Early Christmas morning. The children are still upstairs playing with their presents. 

                              JUDY 

She hands her husband a card 

Happy Christmas, darling. 

                              CHRIS 

It would be. Presents. Christmas tree. Lights. And the dinner. We should be very happy.  If only it wasn’t for that heavy Inland Revenue demand I have to pay as soon as the New Year is here. 

                              JUDY 

Are you going to open the card I’ve given you? 

                              CHRIS 

It feels very weighty.  

He opens the card, and several monetary notes of high denomination fall out. 

What is this? 

                              JUDY 

The amount you told me you needed to pay off the tax. 

                              CHRIS 

Where did get so much ….. Oh no, not from your sex work. I can’t accept it. 

He makes as to hand it back to her 

                              JUDY 

Not work, Chris. Not work. My pastime. My very profitable pastime. And I’m giving it to you as our Christmas present to ourselves. 

 

(Sequence 22) 

The Walkers are hosting his parents, Tom and Stella, to Christmas dinner 

                              TOM 

Another excellent meal, Judy. Congratulations. Well up to your usual standard. 

                              STELLA

 Your Dad is always happy to be here.  Aren’t you, Tom?  And so I am – though I would be happier if you had joined us at church beforehand. 

                              TOM 

Don’t get on to him, Stella. You know it only makes him more stubborn. 

                              JUDY 

Mrs Walker senior, can I get you some more of the Christmas pudding? 

                              STELLA 

Thank you, Mrs Walker junior. Just a small piece, please. 

                              JUDY 

More cream or perhaps some custard? 

                              CHRIS 

Dad’s the custard-eater. I remember him eating spoonfulls of cold custard when I was young. 

                              STELLA 

Yes, you two did take the mickey out of him. And Alan told his schoolteacher that his father’s distinguishing feature was that he loved eating cold custard. 

                              JUDY 

How is Alan by the way? 

                              TOM 

Still on his travels. He is preaching in Lima this Christmas. 

                              STELLA 

I’m so proud of Alan. But being a priest means he cannot give us any grandchildren. That’s very hard to bear. 

                              TOM 

When you were growing up you seemed to be the more unworldly one. Alan was always hard-headed and practical. Who would have thought how things would turn out the way they have?

 

(Sequence 23) 

Charlie, Maurice and Arthur welcome Judy to the first-named’s council flat. The men are well dressed-up for the party. They are drinking beer and offer Judy a glass of wine. 

                              CHARLIE 

It’s like old times when we were working on the street outside your house. 

                              ARTHUR 

It’s a good job you kept in touch with Cleopatra. 

                              CHARLIE 

We have always exchanged birthday cards.  Haven’t we darling? Even after I moved away. 

                              ARTHUR                 

 The three of us together again. Not quite a gang-bang. How do we go about it? 

                              MAURICE 

I can’t wait. It’s been months since I’ve had a shag. 

                              CHARLIE 

You’ll have to wait your turn. I’m in the chair for this one. 

                              JUDY 

It’s the first time I’ve done anything quite like this.  I’m here, and you’ve booked me for the evening. We’ll take it from there. 

                              CHARLIE 

He hands her an envelope with money 

Oh yes, before I forget. Do you want to count it? 

                              JUDY 

I’ll trust you – this once! 

I suppose I go into the bedroom, undress, lay on the bed, and leave the rest to you. Provided you stay by the rules we’ve agreed. Only one at time. Not all together. Right. You know which areas are out of bounds. And if you don’t, you must be gentle. Any funny business and I’ll leave. 

                              ARTHUR 

And we won’t be able to do this again. 

                              JUDY 

I’ll call out when I’m ready. You can toss a coin for who goes in first.

She goes into the bedroom, leaving the door ajar for the first to enter 

 

(Sequence 24) 

Chris comes into the sitting-room. Judy is there all dressed-up to go out. 

                              CHRIS 

Didn’t Wendy call for you? Has she stood you up on your birthday. That’s a shame. 

                              JUDY 

She will come. She’s just a bit late. Wendy likes to go shopping as much as I do. She will be here. 

                              CHRIS 

Well, good luck.  I’m going to the bank. If you’re still here when I get back, maybe we could go out to lunch or something. 

Chris walks out of the back door, down the path towards the garden gate                       

 Walker, you’re a right idiot. There’s your wife alone on her birthday and you’re going out on an errand that can be left to another day. What sort of husband are you? 

Chris returns to the sitting-room – but Judy is not there 

Judy, I’m back. Where are you?  

He goes upstairs to the bedroom and hears the front door being closed 

Is that you Wendy? 

Chris looks out of the window. He sees Judy embrace a man – it is Broderick – get into his car, and they drive off 

Well, bloody hell! That’s the limit! This whole business has gone too far. Far too far. Judy has not been that deceitful before. But I must be sure of my facts. I mustn’t let my jealousy get the better of me if there’s nothing for me to get jealous about. It could be innocent, I suppose. Surely this is one occasion I can look into her correspondence. After all, if there is an incriminating letter that would prove the case. 

Chris opens Judy’s “private drawer” and reads through the correspondence 

One letter! There’s half a dozen. And more. All in a different hand. This is terrible. Worse than I thought. Pledges of their undying love from college-boys. Old men. Kisses here. Kisses there. References to lollipops on almost every page “Darling, my passion is kept alive by the memory of your cute black bum wriggling towards me across the clean white sheets”. Cute black bum wriggling across the sheets. When have I been allowed to see that? Never. And I’m her husband. For me everything that happens has to happen under the covers. Because she’s shy – she says. Cute black bum on clean white sheets. How shy is that? 

I must tackle it now, or not at all. But what can I do? Beat up the man? I’m younger than him. Throw them naked into the street. Then the whole pretence will be blown. The neighbours will know what she is. The neighbours and the parents of our children’s friends. They would be a laughing-stock. We would have to leave the area. Ruin our lives. Ruin my job.  Both families have wanted to get their hands on their children. God-fearing people each in their different ways. With this example of immorality what court would believe us.  If I didn’t turn a blind eye to it going on here where I do have some sort of surveillance however minimal it may be, Judy wouldn’t stop. She is too besotted by the praise of her lovers. She would do it outside. In their homes.  In the lanes. In their cars. That would be downright dangerous. I love her. I do. I love no other. She’s a good mother, a very good mother, and wife. 

Chris sits down in despair 

One day this madness will stop and she will return to me as she used to be. I shall have to be patient and wait.  Wait …. If only if it wasn’t for that damned cute black bum. 

 

 (Sequence 25) 

Chris is signing copies of his book

 

                              CHRIS 

Thank you all for coming to my book-signing.  I didn’t expect so many to be here. My first book.  As this is all about the written word, I shall cut down on the spoken word. We can have the speech after the signing so that those of you who want to leave early can do so without feeling embarrassed. Now shall we take it from the right.  Thank you.  I shall use this pen. A very good friend and former boss gave it to me. 

A young man hands his book to sign 

Thank you. I shall sign it here. To whom should I address it?  Ben? Thank you, Ben. I hope you enjoy reading it. 

Now a young lady 

Thank you. What name shall I write here?  Georgina. Or Georgie?  Georgina. Thank you, Georgina. I hope you can stay for the speech. 

And an older man – it is Theodore 

Now sir. How shall I sign for you? 

                              THEODORE 

I believe I am the former boss and very good friend. 

                              CHRIS         

Theodore. How marvellous to see you!  This has made my day. What are you doing with yourself now? 

                              THEODORE 

Everything an elderly bachelor does. Some gardening. A little painting. Old Conservatives reunion. Very Old Conservatives as far as I’m concerned. Occasional church. And a lot of reading. 

                              CHRIS 

Theodore, please phone Judy, now, before you go. Arrange to come over and see us. Soon. Very soon. Please.

 

(Sequence 26) 

Chris and Judy are arguing over a financial matter 

                              CHRIS

When we got married we agreed that you should have control of the house and I should handle the finances. Now, I’ve kept my side of the bargain. Why do you now always try to over-rule my decisions on the money? 

                              JUDY 

That was when you were my only source of information about how the world worked. I was entirely dependent on you. These days I have access to three or four people with greater knowledge and experience than yourself. They all tell me you are wrong. And they know about these things. 

                              CHRIS 

They may have had endless years of being Tom, Dick or Harry but not a single minute of being Crispin Walker. And they haven’t been in our situation here. 

                              JUDY 

They tell me I have greater business acumen than you give me credit for. 

                              CHRIS 

They’re not only inserting sperm in you.  They are inserting you with their ideas. They’ll tell you anything to get your knickers off, and keep them off. 

                              JUDY 

That’s unfair. You should be ashamed of yourself. 

                              CHRIS 

Me ashamed of myself!  The contract needs your signature. Are you going to sign or not?

                               JUDY 

Not tonight. Not until I have discussed it further with somebody that knows properly about it. 

 

(Sequence 27) 

Chris is trying to explain the situation to Bernard. He is astounded and unhappy with what has been said. 

                              BERNARD 

I can’t believe what I’m hearing. You’re trying to tell me that Judy has gone on the game. And she’s done it because she thinks you are not earning enough to keep you. You seem to be well enough off to me. 

                              CHRIS 

No. No. No. How many times do I have to tell you No?  It’s not lust.  She had a crush once on my work-colleague Edwin but wouldn’t have thought of doing anything disloyal. Either with him or any of the neighbours. It isn’t the money either.  Boy, we were really hard up when we started out in married life. We could have done with a hand-out then. The thought of selling sex didn’t cross her mind. It isn’t financial.  Judy has never considered herself to be sexy ….. until we came to live here.  The attention and the compliments have gone to her head. It’s all one big adventure to her.  She seems to believe that by being intimate with so many white men she will win a higher acceptance in white society. To her that’s important. They’re false friends. They don’t respect her. They despise her.

 

                              BERNARD

 

I’m sorry Chris. I’ve heard what you say. That isn’t the Judy we know and love. The Judy everybody knows. The real Judy. I’m sorry to have to say this but it is your head that has been turned. The pressure of work and suspicion.  You are jealous of having a pretty wife. Please, Chris, seek medical advice before you say or do something you will regret. Please. 

Chris leaves in despair

 

(Sequence 28) 

Judy is dressed up to go out 

                              CHRIS 

What’s on tonight?  I didn’t know you had an appointment. 

                              JUDY 

It’s the local voluntary group. I must have told you several times I raised most money for the hospital from the sponsored cross-country race. 

                              CHRIS 

On your feet, or on your back. 

                              JUDY 

There’s certainly no need to be like that. Tonight’s the award-giving. I’m going to collect my trophy. 

                              CHRIS 

If you hang on a minute I can come with you. 

                              JUDY 

Sorry. As I also told you before non- members are not allowed. The small hall has no space for guests. 

Judy kisses him swiftly and leaves 

 (Sequence 29)

 

The president of the local voluntary association, approaches Judy (who is accompanied by Broderick) 

                              Mrs PRESIDENT 

Congratulations, Mrs Walker, Judy, it was a tremendous achievement. I don’t think anybody has raised that amount for us before. I’m so disappointed your husband couldn’t be here. He would have been very proud of you. I was looking forward to meeting him.

                               JUDY 

It’s his work, I’m afraid. A very busy time of year. 

                              Mrs PRESIDENT 

It must be a comfort his uncle has been able to come with you. You don’t have to celebrate alone. 

                              BRODERICK 

It’s the least that I can do for my niece. 

                              JUDY 

In-law. 

                              BRODERICK 

Quite. 

                              Mrs PRESIDENT 

I must leave you for a moment to commiserate with the runners-up. Those who don’t have your athletic ability and charm in raising money. I’ll be back before you go. 

                              BRODERICK 

What will you say to your husband if he smells my cigarette-smoke on your clothes? 

                              JUDY 

He’s likely to be asleep when I get back home. If he’s not I shall tell him one of my friends’ husband gave us a lift and that his car was steeped in smoke. 

                              BRODERICK 

Doesn’t he believe husbands aren’t allowed to be here? 

                              JUDY 

This husband will have picked us up from outside – after the main event was over.

 

(Sequence 30) 

Chris is sitting at his desk. Judy comes to him: she is pensive 

                              JUDY 

Chris, there is something I have been keeping from you. 

                              CHRIS 

Just one thing? 

                              Judy

 Please. This is difficult for me to say. Don’t make it any harder. I have to have an operation. It’s quite serious. You can read all the details in the letter from the hospital. When it’s over I have to go away for convalescence. I’m going to Mummy and Daddy in Trinidad. 

                              CHRIS 

You know what you promised. 

                              JUDY 

Yes, that I would never see them without you. This is something exceptional. I need to get away for a few weeks, and Trinidad is the only place that is far enough away.  They won’t turn me against you. I promise you that. They’ve tried before and have always failed. I’ve warned them not to try this time either, or I shall return immediately and they will not see Lisa and Daniel again - ever. 

                              CHRIS 

And the children? What will happen to them while you are away? 

                              JUDY 

Chris, darling, don’t put yourself down. You are more than capable of looking after them. They’re not infants now. Any way Bernard and Daisy would be only too pleased to give you any help you need. 

                              CHRIS 

When is all this?

                              JUDY 

Any time. I’m waiting for the call from the hospital.  Darling, I haven’t been fair to you lately.  There’s been a lot on my mind.  When I get back it will better. I’m sure it will. 

 

(Sequence 31) 

Judy is waiting to be taken into theatre at the hospital for her operation. Chris is with her.

                               JUDY 

Just us alone together. As it was when we started out. 

                              CHRIS 

Us against the world. I often think back of those days in the two-room flat in Clapham. We were truly happy then. 

                              JUDY 

Maybe I haven’t always made myself clear. But you have always been the only man for me.  The only man I have really cared for.  You will come and see me tomorrow after the operation? 

                              CHRIS 

I shall be here. 

                              JUDY 

Even if I haven’t come round yet from the anaesthetic. 

                              CHRIS 

I shall be here 

A nurse appears. Chris kisses Judy, squeezes her hand, and leaves

 

(Sequence 32) 

Chris is saying good-bye to Judy at the airport departure-lounge 

                              CHRIS 

I wish I could bid you bon voyage and take good wishes to your parents. But I can never forget what they have done to you – to us. 

                              JUDY 

They’re old now. They’ve mellowed. 

Don’t forget the instructions for just about everything which I have left in the kitchen.  It’s time for me to go to the departure gate. 

She kisses him 

                              CHRIS 

Thank you. You don’t know how much that meant to me. 

                              JUDY 

And to me. 

                              CHRIS 

Give my love to …. to ….everyone you think would appreciate it. 

                              JUDY 

Good-bye. 

                              CHRIS 

I can’t wait for you to get back. 

                              BOTH 

Ciao.

 

Judy passes through the departure-gate, and Chris walks away to return home alone


   
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