Sequel Script: Part 4
MISS STACEY: Anne? Anne Shirley! Oh, there you are!
ANNE: Oh, Miss Stacey! It feels like decades!
MISS STACEY: Oh, up all night in that dreadful train, you must be exhausted.
ANNE: I feel broken down and green and provincial and only ten years old. For pity's sake, please take me someplace where I can hear myself think.
MISS STACEY: I've got a cab waiting just outside. Where are your luggage tags? The driver can take care of your trunk.
ANNE: If you weren't here, Miss Stacey, I think I should just sit down and burst into tears.
MISS STACEY: Well, I can't tell you just how happy I am to have you here, Anne. After all, why be a member of the board of governors in an institution if you can't pull a few strings?
ANNE: Miss Stacey, you didn't.
MISS STACEY: Yes, I did.
ANNE: I intend to keep up with my writing. This quaint, old town will be a wonderful inspiration.
MISS STACEY: Well, I think your youth and vitality will make an enormous contribution to our ladies' college. After all, you were my prize pupil in Avonlea.
ANNE: Oh, I'm so nervous I won't meet with their expectations.
MISS STACEY: Oh, nonsense. They may be privileged young ladies from wealthy families, but they're spoiled and pampered.
ANNE: Great Jehoshephat! What richness! This is far more gracious than I ever dreamed could exist. [Miss Stacey knocks on the door and a maid answers]
MAID: Good morning, Ma'am.
MISS STACEY: Good morning. Could you please tell Mrs. Pringle that Miss Stacey and Miss Anne Shirley are here to see her? [to Anne] I think you'll be quite comfortable here. Mrs. Tom Pringle is on the alumni, she's been boarding teachers from Kingsport Ladies' College for thirty years now.
MRS. TOM PRINGLE: Miss Stacey, how delightful to see you.
MISS STACEY: And you, Mrs. Pringle. May I introduce you to Miss Anne Shirley of Avonlea, Prince Edward's Island.
ANNE: How do you do? [Mrs. Pringle nods]
MISS STACEY: She is our new English teacher at Kingsport Ladies' College whom you will be boarding this year. Should I have the cabbie bring her trunk?
MRS. TOM PRINGLE: Obviously, you did not receive my letter. I'm afraid I've decided not to take her, Miss Stacey. I'm really rather tired of being bothered boarding staff. My girls are finished, as you know, and I really spend so little time with the alumni.
MISS STACEY: But, Mrs. Pringle--
MRS. TOM PRINGLE: I do apologize for the inconvenience. Good day, Miss Stacey.
MISS STACEY: Not at all. Good day. [to Anne] Typically Pringle, smooth as cream, even when they're working against you. Well, we shall see about that.
ANNE: What is it, Miss Stacey?
MISS STACEY: Kingsport is full of Pringles and half-Pringles. They're the old money that rules the town. And Mrs. Tom Pringle bosses the whole tribe. I was afraid they'd be down on you.
ANNE: Why should they be? I'm a total stranger.
MISS STACEY: One of their cousins, Miss Amy Pringle applied for your position and was dismally less qualified, I might add. However, when the board announced they had accepted your application, well, the whole kit and caboodle of them just threw back their heads and howled. [to cabbie] Kingsport Ladies' College, please, driver. [to Anne] Well, they're not going to get away with it. They can't boycott the board's decision. It's undemocratic.
ANNE: I'm not sure I quite always trust democracy.
MISS STACEY: They've always ruled the roost here, the whole clan of them--politically and socially. Well, they may own the lumber mill, the railway, the gasworks and the woolen mill, but I will not allow the Pringles to dictate our system of our education.
ANNE: You can't imagine how nervous I am now.
MISS STACEY: Miss Katherine Brooke is the principal here. She's a bit of a martinet in matters of discipline from time to time. But I'm sure we can resolve whatever little differences in opinion that might arise. [they go inside and knock]
BROOKE: Come in.
MISS STACEY: Good morning, Miss Brooke.
BROOKE: Miss Stacey.
MISS STACEY: Please forgive the intrusion, but I was just so eager to introduce you to our new English professor, Miss Anne Shirley, one of the brightest stars in my entire teaching career. She has recently published a short work of fiction, as well.
BROOKE: Welcome to Kingsport, Miss Shirley. Please, sit down.
ANNE: Thank you. I'm very pleased to be here.
MISS STACEY: Miss Brooke, there seems to be some sort of mix-up regarding Miss Shirley's accommodations. But I was sure you wouldn't object to having her to stay here at the school with your out-of-town boarding students. I'm sure you'll find her to be the perfect den mother for them.
BROOKE: We have no need of maternal affectations in this institution, Miss Stacey. We govern by rules and regulations--
MISS STACEY: Which do require a leaven in the lump from time to time, Miss Brooke. Shall we have the groundsmen bring in Miss Shirley's things?
BROOKE: I'll have the maid prepare her room.
MISS STACEY: Thank you so much.
ANNE: She is an absolute sergeant major, Miss Stacey. How shall I ever tolerate her sarcasm?
MISS STACEY: Nonetheless, she is a dedicated teacher, if somewhat of an excessive disciplinarian. Look, you just keep your chin up and you give it your very best. If only to spite them all. You know how highly I regard your abilities, Anne.
ANNE: I shall do my very best to rise to the occasion.
MISS STACEY: Good girl. Now you'll want to get yourself organized before the start of classes tomorrow.
ANNE: Thank you for everything, Miss Stacey.
MISS STACEY: We can do the rest of our catching up later.
BROOKE: In future, Miss Shirley, you will kindly remember that you are not at liberty to make any changes, no matter how minor, to the conventions of this institution.
ANNE: I'm sorry. I was just so moved by your inspiring quotation, I wanted to embellish it.
ANNE: Why, nothing. I just thought it was a tremendously uplifting idea, that's all. I'm glad you spell your name with a "K." Katherine with a "K" is so much more alluring than Catherine with a "C." A "C" always looks so smug. [Brooke erases the "K" and replaces it with a "C"]
BROOKE: We have fifty young ladies in our charge from the most privileged families in the maritimes. My methods admonish anything beyond the standards of the utmost decorum. This is not a public school of the kind that you are used to, Miss Shirley; our students do not require embellishment. Simple, straightforward adherence to rules and regulations which I have clearly delineated for you, Miss Shirley. Our students are drilled in their studies at the beginning of each class. Bedtime and mealtime will be strictly observed by our fifteen boarders. You, Miss Shirley, will see to it that the boarders especially adhere to the utmost orderliness. I'm placing them under your continual direction. I am referred to by the entire faculty as Brooke. You may do the same.
ANNE: Yes, Miss Brooke.
BROOKE: I understand you have extraordinary talents. I look forward to observing them.
ANNE: Glad I meet with your approval on some approximation?
BROOKE: We shall see. You are here as a result of the board's decision, not mine. For a country schoolmarm, you will find that we are equipped with the most modern efficiencies, due to the tremendous financial support of certain prominent families. In fact, we are the first school in the Provence to have a telephone.
STUDENTS: [singing the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful] "All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small. / All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all. / The Lord God made them all."
BROOKE: Welcome to a new year. I trust you girls are ready to drive into the first session with determination. You all know Miss McKay, mathematics and science; Miss Kerr, history and geography; and Miss Shirley will be your new teacher responsible for English and literature as well as all student boarders. Miss Shirley will be living in the school with us and will have direct supervisory authority. Let us get to work, then, with no nonsense. Please organize yourselves into forms. Form one, do you call that a straight line? Emmeline Harris, step forward. If intend to make a habit of this, I will have no choice but to detain you after class. Step back. [giving Anne a whistle] Learn to respond to signals on the electric bell, as well.
ANNE: I'd much prefer to invent titles for each group, like a sorority. What about Tutor, Kent, and Windsor?
BROOKE: I am not interested in fairytales. You must learn to use the modern conveniences of our system. At recess, I will employ the electric bell. [Miss McKay and Miss Kerr blow their whistles and leave following their forms] Your room is down the hall, first door. [Anne weakly blows her whistle] Perhaps you think you are above rules, Miss Shirley?
[Brooke leaves; girls laugh]
ANNE: A-hem. Off you go, girls.
ANNE: Please, girls. Quiet, please. Good morning. I would like to begin by sharing with you what a great privilege it would be for me to share with-- [she trips; girls laugh] --to share with you my great love of English literature during the forthcoming year. Let's hope I'm a little lighter on Shakespeare than I am on my feet. [no one laughs; Anne clears her throat] Never mind. I had a speech prepared, but it doesn't seem very important right now. My name is Anne Shirley, and I know we shall all become good friends in no time. I come from a little town called Avonlea, on Prince Edward's Island, where I have been teaching for the past two years. So this is my first time in a private school position, and I hope you will all be able to give me lots of assistance. Now, when I call out your name, answer "here." Pringle, Myra C. [no response] Pringle, Rebecca A. [no response] Aren't these your names?
JEN PRINGLE: No Miss. Perhaps the class lists have been mixed up. [girls giggle]
ANNE: Oh. Alright. Give me your names, then, one at a time, starting here with the young lady in the front row. Last name first, and age.
HATTIE PRINGLE: Oppener, Fanny I. Oppener. There are two "P"s in Oppener. 14.
JIMSIE PRINGLE: Girdle. Myrtle N. Girdle. 14.
MYRA PRINGLE: Heind. That's H-E-I-N-D. Alice B. Heind. 14.
JEN PRINGLE: Ball. Wilma I. Ball. 33. Actually, I'm from the Rollings Reliable Baking Company and we were wondering when you'd be available to rewrite our labels. [girls giggle]
ANNE: That's enough. I hadn't anticipated a class whose the parents were such nitwits at naming their children.
EMMELINE: Harris, Emmeline Harris. 13. And don't believe any of them, Miss Shirley.
ANNE: What do you mean?
EMMELINE: They're just pulling your leg because they're Pringles and they think they can get away with it.
ANNE: Since Misses Fanny I. Oppener, Myrtle N. Girdle, Alice B. Heind, and Wilma I. Ball find themselves so terribly witty, they will write out an accurate class list 100 times today after classes, for my benefit. Now, open your readers, please.
[Anne sits at desk, opens draw and a snake comes out; girls scream]
ESSIE: Miss. Miss Shirley. [she faints]
EMMELINE: Essie! Oh, Miss Shirley, help her.
VARIOUS GIRLS: Is she alright? Is she okay? What happened? Did she fall?
ANNE: Emmeline Harris, take this girl to the ladies' room. Soak the handkerchief in some cold water and see if you can stop the bleeding.
ANNE: [blows whistle] Alright! All of you sit down, now! And remain seated. Who put the snake in my desk? [no answer] What is your real name?
JEN PRINGLE: Jen Pringle, Miss Shirley.
ANNE: Was it you, Jen Pringle?
JEN PRINGLE: Yes, it was.
ANNE: You will be detained after classes today. [girls whisper]... And every day for the entire week.
ANNE: Now, please, open your third form readers, class.
JEN PRINGLE: I can't, Miss Shirley. My mother expects me for the next three days at the Ladies' Aid Society Rummage Sale.
ANNE: Well, I'm sorry, but your mother will have to make other arrangements.
JEN PRINGLE: But she's promised my help on the organization committee.
ANNE: I don't care. You'll stay if I say so.
ANNE: Well, then, it's up to you, isn't it, Jen Pringle? Either you stay after school for the week, or I'll have to administer the strap.
GIRL: You just can't do that, Miss Shirley.
JEN PRINGLE: I'll take the strap.
ANNE: Really? Come here, then, Miss Pringle. Put out your hand. [Anne hits her three times with ruler; Jen returns to her seat, unaffected, with a grin] Open your readers, class, and please look at the first chapter for the rest of the period.
[time passes, bell rings and girls begin leaving; Emmeline and Essie walk in]
ANNE: Are you alright, Essie?
ESSIE: I'm afraid I'm not very good around reptiles.
ANNE: Neither am I. [Essie leaves]
EMMELINE: You'll get used to Essie, Miss Shirley. She faints at least once a week. The doctors say her blood is weak.
ANNE: Thank you, Emmeline.
EMMELINE: And don't concern yourself about the Pringle girls either. The only people they like are themselves. I can say that without malice because my mother was a Pringle. Besides, I like you, and I think you handled the class very intelligently.
JEN PRINGLE: You traitor, Harris. I guess there are only two kinds of people in Kingsport: those who are Pringles and those who aren't.
EMMELINE: Shut up, Jen. I don't care a snit what you say. I'm half Pringle.
JEN PRINGLE: Hah! You're mother didn't live long enough to make you anything, and my papa says your papa is the greatest philanderer in this country, so that practically makes you an orphan. [Jen puts her crochet mallet in the wheel of the bike, throwing Emmeline and Essie to the ground; Emmeline gets up and runs after Jen; girls follow after]
EMMELINE: Don't you dare ever say another word about my father again! You stupid, good for nothing goose-egg! [Jen falls to the ground and Emmeline sits on her; all girls are screaming/cheering]
JEN PRINGLE: Stop that! He's a brute and my papa says so!
EMMELINE: My glasses! [they fight, tumbling on the ground]
ANNE: [trying to pull them apart] Stop it now!
JEN PRINGLE: They tried to run me down on that bicycle.
EMMELINE: You little liar! She threw her crochet mallet in the wheel and tripped us, didn't she Essie? [Essie nods]
JEN PRINGLE: Did not, you beast. She attacked me.
BROOKE: Stop it. I have a good mind to expel you both for such hooliganism. Bicycles are forbidden on school property. This contraption is confiscated as of this moment.
ESSIE: But, Miss Brooke, the bicycle isn't mine. It's my brother's.
BROOKE: He ought not to have been so foolish as to have entrusted it to you.
ANNE: Hardly seems fair to be punishing her brother.
EMMELINE: Yes, Miss Brooke, I think--
BROOKE: Do you not understand English? Now, I want you two girls to apologize to each other and behave like proper young ladies.
JEN PRINGLE: [extending hand] I am quite prepared to forgive you lack of manners.
EMMELINE: [shaking her hand] And I your rude comments.
BROOKE: That's enough. Well, don't stand there like pigeons, girls. Go along. [to Anne] If you allow an outburst like that to occur again, Miss Shirley, you shall have the board to reckon with. [to groundsman] Lock this in the shed, McTavish. [to girls] Go along, girls. Don't stop.
[Anne, Emmeline, and Essie search for Emmeline's glasses; Jen sees them and crushes the lens with her heal]
JEN PRINGLE: Looking for these?
ANNE: [incredulously] Jen! [to Emmeline] I'm sorry about you're spectacles. We'll get them replaced.
EMMELINE: It's not that. It's what she said about my papa.
ANNE: Just you forget about whatever they said. There's not an ounce of truth in it. We won't let it spoil the afternoon.
ESSIE: We didn't get you into trouble, did we, Miss Shirley?
ANNE: Don't worry about me. Brooke's just an old battle-ax, anyway. Don't tell anybody I said that.
ESSIE: I almost fainted when I saw her come across the lawn.
ANNE: She'll cool off in a few days, and then I'll get your bother's bicycle back. Come along, and don't you give it another word.
ESSIE: You should have seen her with her mouth full of mud, Miss Shirley. That's the best Jen Pringle's looked in a long time.
[knocking on door]
ANNE: Alright, I'm turning my light out now, Miss Brooke.
EMMELINE: [whispering] Miss Shirley!
EMMELINE: Oh, Miss Shirley, you've got to help us. Essie's brother needs the bicycle in the morning for his delivery job or he'll be fired, and he's ready to murder Essie. We can't get the shed doors open. She's awful scared, and I'm afraid she'll faint.
ANNE: Heaven preserve us from Miss Brooke if she does.
EMMELINE: Mr. McTavish, the groundsman, keeps his tools in here. Maybe if we saw the chain or pick the lock...
ANNE: Stop whimpering, Essie. Emmeline, do you think you could squeeze through that skylight up above?
EMMELINE: Uh-huh, if I had a ladder.
ANNE: Come along. I've got a better idea.
ANNE: [tying sheet to bedpost] Alright. You go down first, and I'll shimmy down you.
ESSIE: I'm frightened. I'm going to faint.
ANNE: Hang on another moment, Essie, and you can.
ESSIE: If anyone catches us, you don't suppose they'll think we're trying to steal anything, do you, Miss Shirley?
ANNE: Our motives are hardly idle curiosity.
ANNE: [Anne goes down] Untie the end, Essie, and throw it down.
ESSIE: I don't think you should do this.
EMMELINE: Oh, I hope the skylight's not locked, Miss Shirley. We're in luck, Mr. McTavish has an army of tools down here.
ANNE: Good. Now, if we can just-- [she falls through the roof]
EMMELINE: Oh, Miss Shirley! [she falls through the roof; Brooke opens the shed door]