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happy: What’d you do?biff[with great tension and wonder]: Well, he left, see. Andthe secretary went out. I was all alone in the waiting-room.I don’t know what came over me, Hap. The next thing Iknow I’m in his office—paneled walls, everything. I can’texplain it. I—Hap, I took his fountain pen.happy: Geez, did he catch you?biff: I ran out. I ran down all eleven ﬂights. I ran andran and ran.happy: That was an awful dumb—what’d you do thatfor?biff[agonized]: I don’t know, I just—wanted to takesomething, I don’t know. You gotta help me, Hap, I’mgonna tell Pop.happy: You crazy? What for?biff: Hap, he’s got to understand that I’m not the mansomebody lends that kind of money to. He thinks I’ve beenspiting him all these years and it’s eating him up.
D E A T H O F A S A L E S M A N82happy: That’s just it. You tell him something nice.biff: I can’t.happy: Say you got a lunch date with Oliver tomorrow.biff: So what do I do tomorrow?happy: You leave the house tomorrow and come back atnight and say Oliver is thinking it over. And he thinks itover for a couple of weeks, and gradually it fades away andnobody’s the worse.biff: But it’ll go on for ever!happy: Dad is never so happy as when he’s looking for-ward to something![willyenters.]happy: Hello, scout!willy: Gee, I haven’t been here in years![stanleyhas followedwillyin and sets a chair for him.stanleystarts off buthappystops him.]happy: Stanley![stanleystands by, waiting for an order.]biff[going towillywith guilt, as to an invalid]: Sit down,Pop. You want a drink?willy: Sure, I don’t mind.biff: Let’s get a load on.willy: You look worried.biff: N-no. [Tostanley] Scotch all around. Make itdoubles.stanley: Doubles, right. [He goes.]willy: You had a couple already, didn’t you?biff: Just a couple, yeah.willy: Well, what happened, boy? [Nodding affirmatively,with a smile] Everything go all right?biff[takes a breath, then reaches out and graspswilly’shand]: Pal . . . [He is smiling bravely, andwillyis smiling too.]I had an experience today.happy: Terrific, Pop.
A C T T W O83willy: That so? What happened?biff[high, slightly alcoholic, above the earth]: I’m going totell you everything from first to last. It’s been a strange day.[Silence. He looks around, composes himself as best he can, but hisbreath keeps breaking the rhythm of his voice.] I had to wait quitea while for him, and—willy: Oliver?biff: Yeah, Oliver. All day, as a matter of cold fact. Anda lot of—instances—facts, Pop, facts about my life cameback to me. Who was it, Pop? Who ever said I was a sales-man with Oliver?willy: Well, you were.biff: No, Dad, I was a shipping clerk.willy: But you were practically—biff[with determination]: Dad, I don’t know who said itfirst, but I was never a salesman for Bill Oliver.willy: What’re you talking about?biff: Let’s hold on to the facts tonight, Pop. We’re notgoing to get anywhere bullin’ around. I was a shipping clerk.willy[angrily]: All right, now listen to me—biff: Why don’t you let me finish?willy: I’m not interested in stories about the past or anycrap of that kind because the woods are burning, boys, youunderstand? There’s a big blaze going on all around. I was