[THREE weeks later. A corner of Fifth Avenue in the Fifties on a fine Sunday morning. A general atmosphere of clean, well-tidied, wide street; a flood of mellow, tempered sunshine; gentle, genteel breezes. In the rear, the show windows of two shops, a jewelry establishment on the corner, a furrier's next to it. Here the adornments of extreme wealth are tantalizingly displayed. The jeweler's window is gaudy with glittering diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls, etc., fashioned in ornate tiaras, crowns, necklaces, collars, etc. From each piece hangs en enormous tag from which a dollar sign and numerals in intermittent electric lights wink out the incredible prices. The same in the furrier's. Rich furs of all varieties hang there bathed in a downpour of artificial light. The general effect is of a background of munificence cheapened and mate grotesque by commercialism, a background in tawdry disharmony with the clear light and sunshine of the street itself.
Up the side street YANK and LONG come swaggering. LONG is dressed in shore clothes, wears a black Windsor tie, cloth cap. YANK is in his dirty dungarees. A fireman's cap with black peak is cocked defiantly on the side of his head. He has not shaved for days and around his fierce, resentful eyes--as around those of LONG to a lesser degree--the black smudge of coal dust still sticks like make-up. They hesitate and stand together at the corner, swaggering, looking about them with a forced, defiant contempt.]
LONG: (indicating it all with an oratorical gesture) Well, 'ere we are. Fif' Avenoo. This 'ere's their bleedin' private lane, as yer might say. (Bitterly) We're trespassers 'ere. Proletarians keep orf the grass!
YANK: (dully) I don't see no grass, yuh boob. (Staring at the side-walk) Clean, ain't it? Yuh could eat a fried egg offen it. The white wings got some job sweepin' dis up. (Looking up and down the avenue--surlily) Where's all de white-collar stiffs yuh said was here--and de skoits--her kind?
LONG: In church, blarst 'em! Arskin' Jesus to give 'em more money.
YANK: Choich, huh? I useter go to choich onct--sure--when I was a kid. Me old man and woman, dey made me. Dey never went demselves, dough. Always got too big a head on Sunday mornin', dat was dem. (With a grin) Dey was scrappers for fair, bot' of dem. On Satiday nights when dey bot' got a skinful dey could put up a bout oughter been staged at de Garden. When dey got trough dere wasn't a chair or table wit a leg under it. Or else dey bot' jumped on me for somep'n. Dat was where I loined to take punishment. (With a grin and a swagger) I'm a chip offen de old block, get me?
LONG: Did yer old man follow the sea?
YANK: Naw. Worked along shore. I runned away when me old lady croaked wit de tremens. I helped at truckin' and in de market. Den I shipped in de stokehole. Sure. Dat belongs. De rest was nothin'. (Looking around him) I ain't never seen dis before. De Brooklyn waterfront, dat was where I was dragged up. (Taking a deep breath) Dis ain't so bad at dat, huh?
LONG: Not bad? Well, we pays for it wiv our bloody sweat, if yer wants to know!
YANK: (with sudden angry disgust) Aw, hell! I don't see no one, see--like her. All dis gives me a pain. It don't belong. Say, ain't dere a back room around dis dump? Let's go shoot a ball. All dis is too clean and quiet and dolled-up, get me! It gives me a pain.
LONG: Wait and yer'll bloody well see--
YANK: I don't wait for no one. I keep on de move. Say, what yuh drag me up here for, anyway? Tryin' to kid me, yuh simp, yuh?
LONG: Yer wants to get back at 'er, don't yer? That's what yer been sayin' every bloomin' hour since she hinsulted yer.
YANK: (vehemently) Sure ting I do! Didn't I try to get even wit her in Southampton? Didn't I sneak on de dock and wait for her by de gangplank? I was goin' to spit in her pale mug, see? But no chanct. Dere was a whole army of plainclothes bulls around. Dey spotted me and gimme de bum's rush. I never seen her. But I'll git square wit her, you watch! (Furiously) De lousy tart! She tinks she kin get away wit moider--but not wit me! I'll fix her! I'll tink of a way!
LONG: (as disgusted as he dares to be) Ain't that why I brought yer up 'ere--to show yer? Yer been lookin' at this 'ere 'ole affair wrong. Yer been actin' an' talkin' 's if it was all a bleedin' personal matter between yer and that bloody cow. I wants to convince yer she was on'y a representative of 'er clarss. I wants to awaken yer bloody clarss consciousness. Then yer'll see it's 'er clarss yer've got to fight, not 'er alone. There's a 'ole mob of 'em like 'er, Gawd blind 'em!
YANK: (spitting on his hands--belligerently) De more de merrier when I gits started. Bring on de gang!
LONG: Yer'll see 'em in arf a mo', when that church lets out. (He turns and sees the window display in the two stores for the first time) Blimey! Look at all that, will yer? (They both walk back and stand looking in the jeweler's. LONG flies into a fury) Just look at this 'ere bloomin' mess! Just look at it! Look at the bleedin' prices on 'em--more'n our 'ole bloody stokehole makes in ten voyages sweatin' in 'ell! And they--'er and 'er bloody clarss--buys 'em for toys to dangle on 'em! One of these 'ere would buy scoff for a starvin' family for a year!
YANK: Aw, cut de sob stuff! T' hell wit de starvin' family! Yuh'll be passin' de hat to me next. (With naïve admiration) Say, dem tings is pretty, huh? Bet yuh dey'd hock for a piece of change aw right. (Then turning away, bored) But, aw hell, what good are dey? Let her have 'em. Dey don't belong no more'n she does. (With a gesture of sweeping the jewelers into oblivion) All dat don't count, get me!
LONG: (who has moved to the furrier's--indignantly) And I s'pose this 'ere don't count neither--skins of poor, 'armless animals slaughtered so as 'er and 'ers can keep their bleedin' noses warm!
YANK: (who has been staring at something inside--with queer excitement) Take a slant at dat! Give it de once-over! Monkey fur--two t'ousand bucks! (Bewildered) Is dat straight goods--monkey fur? What de hell--?
LONG: (bitterly) It's straight enuf. (With grim humor) They wouldn't bloody well pay that for a 'airy ape's skin--no, nor for the 'ole livin' ape with all 'is 'ead, and body, and soul thrown in!
YANK: (clenching his fists, his face growing pale with rage as if the skin in the window were a personal insult) Trowin' it up in my face! Christ! I'll fix her!
LONG: (excitedly) Church is out. 'Ere they come, the bleedin' swine. (After a glance at YANK's lowering face--uneasily) Easy goes, Comrade. Keep yer bloomin' temper. Remember force defeats itself. It ain't our weapon. We must impress our demands through peaceful means--the votes of the on-marching proletarians of the bloody world!
YANK: (with abysmal contempt) Votes, hell! Votes is a joke, see. Votes for women! Let dem do it!
LONG: (still more uneasily) Calm, now. Treat 'em wiv the proper contempt. Observe the bleedin' parasites but 'old yer 'orses.
YANK: (angrily) Git away from me! Yuh're yellow, dat's what. Force, dat's me! De punch, dat's me every time, see! (The crowd from church enter from the right, sauntering slowly and affectedly, their heads held stiffly up, looking neither right nor left, talking in toneless, simpering voices. The women are rouged, calcimined, dyed, overdressed to the nth degree. The men are in Prince Alberts, high hats, spats, canes, etc. A procession of gaudy marionettes, yet with something of the relentless horror of Frankenstein in their detached, mechanical unawareness).
GENTLEMAN: I beg your pardon. (Then irritably) You have made me lose my bus. (He claps his hands and begins to scream) Officer! Officer! (Many police whistles shrill out on the instant and a whole platoon of policemen rush in on YANK from all sides. He tries to fight but is clubbed to the pavement and fallen upon. The crowd at the window have not moved or noticed this disturbance. The clanging gong of the patrol wagon approaches with a clamoring din).