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RALPH in his dory surveys his position with landmarks, RALPH (mumbling to himself) The moon is six days new, the time is 16:32, tide is running almost full strength, sou' sou' west to nor, nor east... RALPH (glancing at the compass, still mumbling) ...bearing 280 degrees, should be there at 1115. He starts rowing and begins to move away, closes his eyes and continues to count... time lapses and his count reaches 1115. He opens his eyes and a buoy is next to the boat. He pulls the buoy in and at the end of the rope is a lobster trap. He pulls out a couple of lobsters. And dumps back the trap. EXTERIOR. FIELD IN FOREFRONT, OCEAN IN BACKGROUND. SUN IN THE WEST. NELLIE (21 years old) Walking toward the wharf via a field of long grass, as she looks out toward the sun, she whistles a hymn. Nearing the end of the field, she sees RALPH rowing his dory around the point. She runs in that direction, and once she reaches the ocean, follows him along the shoreline. NELLIE (Shouting) So, did you catch anything?! RALPH I caught myself thinking about you! that count? Does
NELLIE (blushing and stops walking for a second) Of course it counts, and as long as I’m all you think about, you’ll be okay RALPH JEFFERY!
© Gifford Watkins
RALPH I did catch a few lobsters, and without opening my eyes, what do you make of that? He continues to row along in his little boat, as she walks with some difficulty at times, negotiating the rugged coastline. NELLIE I’ll tell you what I told you the first time you said you were doing that, ‘You’re going to crash into someone and swim home without a paycheck.’ RALPH It won’t happen, all the rest of them know that I do it! RALPH is nearing the wharf, as the last of the sun can be seen on the horizon. NELLIE is watching as he winces while lifting the heavy crate with lobsters to the top of the wharf. Her look is one of discontent and inner struggle. NELLIE (recovering) I have two more pupils! Really? RALPH You’ll make more than me soon. NELLIE
I already do RALPH.
RALPH (smiling) Well, you’re smarter than me, and have more education, it’s only right that I put you to work. NELLIE: I would hardly call grade 12 an education RALPH, and as far as work goes, teaching piano at home isn’t exactly a job. (Ralph rests the crates on wharf, and secures his boats with a short line. He then climbs up a short ladder and begins securing ropes to the bow and stern of his boat. He neglects to remove the small rope he tied to hold the boat in position. He picks up one end of his crate, NELLIE picks up the other side, and they begin to walk.) RALPH: You don’t have to do it, Nell. NELLIE: RALPH, we already decided. And you’re not backing out now, not ever.
© Gifford Watkins
They reach a small building. RALPH takes both ends of the crate and carries it inside. There is a scale in one corner and several holding tanks where more lobster crates are floating. RALPH: 68 pounds, Nell? 65 pounds, RALPH. NELLIE:
RALPH sets the crate down on a scale, he taps the weights at the top, the weight shows 168 pounds. NELLIE is standing in the doorway watching intently. RALPH (triumphantly turns to his wife and smiles) Aha! You’re not always right are you, Nellie? NELLIE (ignores the comment, and asks inquisitively) That depends on your definition. selling your lunchpail?
RALPH: Well, I would if I thought you wouldn’t scold me. RALPH opens the crate and retrieves his steel lunchbox. He retaps the scale and finds the weight to be 165 lbs. exactly. He smiles at NELLIE as he lifts the crate over to where a small holding tank is waiting with more lobster crates floating just at the surface. He pushes his crate in with the others. Then writes down the weight on a ledger stapled to a supporting beam. There are other numbers in a long list, indicating RALPH has been doing this a lot. The date is May 22, 1921 This scene ends with a shot of RALPH’s dory suspended above the water, held there by the short line he used to secure his boat until he could get his bow and stern lines tied.
© Gifford Watkins