The Source Material

I could not help seeing that Lilian was not nearly so much impressed by my elaborate concern as her relatives; and sometimes I detected an incredulous look in her frank brown eyes that made me very uneasy. Little by little, a rift widened between us, until at last in despair I determined to know the worst before the time came when it would be hopeless to speak at all. I chose a Sunday evening as we were walking across the green from church in the golden dusk, and then I ventured to speak to her of my love. She heard me to the end, and was evidently very much agitated. At last she murmured that it could not be, unless—no, it never could be now.

'Unless what?' I asked. 'Lilian—Miss Roseblade, something has come between us lately: you will tell me what that something is, won't you?'

'Do you want to know really?' she said, looking up at me through her tears. 'Then I'll tell you: it—it's Bingo!'

I started back overwhelmed. Did she know all? If not, how much did she suspect? I must find out that at once! 'What about Bingo?' I managed to pronounce, with a dry tongue.

'You never l-loved him when he was here,' she sobbed; 'you know you didn't!'

I was relieved to find it was no worse than this.

'No,' I said candidly; 'I did not love Bingo. Bingo didn't love me, Lilian; he was always looking out for a chance of nipping me somewhere. Surely you won't quarrel with me for that!'

'Not for that,' she said; 'only, why do you pretend to be so fond of him now, and so anxious to get him back again? Uncle John believes you, but I don't. I can see quite well that you wouldn't be glad to find him. You could find him easily if you wanted to!'

'What do you mean, Lilian?' I said hoarsely. 'How could I find him?' Again I feared the worst.

The Adaptation

ALGERNON

Have I done something to offend you?

 

LILLIAN

 

ALGERNON

Before this whole Bingo debauchery, you seemed quite fond of me.

 

LILLIAN

That was before.

 

ALGERNON

But-

 

LILLIAN

This is now!

 

ALGERNON

What changed?

 

LILLIAN

What do you think?

 

ALGERNON

Nothing…. Between us, nothing -

LILLIAN

Between us everything!

 

ALGERNON

Darling -

 

LILLIAN

Don’t call me that.

 

ALGERNON

Illuminate me.

 

LILLIAN

No.

 

ALGERNON

Please.

(BEAT)

 

ALGERNON

Alright then… I suppose I’ll take my leave.

 

(ALGERNON turns to go. He’s almost out the door when -)

 

LILLIAN

Do you want to know?

 

ALGERNON

Yes!

 

LILLIAN

Do you really want to know?

 

ALGERNON

Yes!

 

LILLIAN

Fine. Then I’ll tell you - It’s Bingo!

 

ALGERNON

Bingo?

 

LILIAN

Yes! B-I-N-G-O!

 

ALGERNON

But Bingo has nothing to do with us!

 

LILIAN

You’ve been acting odd ever since he went missing.

 

ALGERNON

Odd? I’m not acting odd. Are you kidding me? Odd? What reason do I have to act odd about Bingo?

 

LILIAN

If you don’t know then I’m not going to be the one to tell you….

 

(BEAT. ALGERNON takes a DEEP BREATH and prepares for the confession of his life -)

 

 

ALGERNON

Okay…. Alright… I didn’t know how to tell you this before but –

 

LILIAN

You never loved him!

 

ALGERNON

What?

 

LILIAN

I know what you’re going to say. You never loved him.

 

ALGERNON

I -

 

LILIAN

And now all of a sudden you do!

 

ALGERNON

Oh…. is that all it is?

 

LILIAN

IT.       IS.     The paramount divide!  - Just admit it!

 

ALGERNON

I-

LILIAN

You never loved Bingo.

ALGERNON

I-

LILIAN

Be honest for once Mr. Weatherhead! Because I could never be with someone who isn’t honest!

LILIAN

Say it. “I never loved Bingo.” Go on.

ALGERNON

I-

LILIAN

Go on – “I” -

 

 

LILIAN                                                             ALGERNON

"I never love Bingo.”                                     I never loved Bingo.

LILIAN

Ah ha! There! Now we have it.

ALGERNON

What does that prove?

LILIAN

That you’ve been acting phony when in sooth you’re all too overjoyed about his disappearance.

ALGERNON

It’s not that I didn’t love Bingo. It’s he that didn’t love me.

LILIAN

He could feel your distain!

ALGERNON

He was always trying to get at me, stalk, and nip at-

 

LILIAN

He was being friendly!

 

ALGERNON

That’s not friendly!

 

LILIAN

It is!

 

ALGERNON

If biting my bum bum is friendly - I’ve got an entire dictionary to recalibrate.

 

LILIAN

It’s clear you don’t want him back – and knowing that – beneath all your false pretense – well, it’s been more than enough to turn the sweet milk of my affection for you sour.