Ruth Wood: How can there be a God when things like this happen, people getting killed?
Narrator: Champion of all the cities of the earth is the towering golden city of New York. It looms higher than any town of man before. Within its giant walls and steel sinews are more enterprises, more people, more mystery, and more music than were ever known before. Its windows are like the leaves of a mighty forest, and its streets are filled with wonder. Our story begins on a spring morning in May 1942 as the people of this remarkable city start to live and work another day.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: [trying to make public chitchat and particularly strike up conversation with Ruth as they await an opportune time to trek out into the rain while huddled together in a group of pedestrians] Wow, look at her go; like a pack-a horses comin' down the home stretch. Ya know, that sorta thing makes the town look almost human. Ah, there's nothin' so good as a real rain, except maybe a blizzard. *Listen* to her. I'd be out walkin' in it right now if I had any place to go. Maybe that's the best time to walk in the rain, when you got nowheres to go. If you want, you can figure you're cast away in a jungle island with nothin' and nobody around you but rain.
[the crowd slowly disperses, leaving just Art and Ruth]
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Think how surprised you'd be if you were cast away in a jungle island for ten weeks, and suddently saw a girl standing beside you. You know, this isn't gonna let up for hours. Whad'ya say we just walk out and let it soak, I-I can put your bundles under my coat and they won't get wet.
[friendly grabs Ruth's groceries]
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Here, gimme. Ok? Come on. A l'up!
[they jog out into the rain]
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: I bet there's an uptown bus coming, do you wanna catch it?
Ruth Wood: Yes!
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Haha.
[they run for the bus and their acquaintance has been made]
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: You know, I never knew that people in New York had homes - I always thought they lived in elevators.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: [sitting at the piano in Ruth's apartment] Come on, we'll sing together. What songs do you know?
Ruth Wood: Oh, I don't know any songs.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Do you know what? You remind me of a poem: 'ARETHUSA arose from her couch of snows in the Acroceraunian Mountains.'
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: [Ruth daydreaming of a lovely and romantic conversation with Art while lying awake in bed at 3:00 in the morning] I always liked rain, but I'm gonna like it even more for introducing us.
Ruth Wood: I'm terribly fond of rain myself Mr. Hugenon.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Are you really?
Ruth Wood: Oh yes, it's utterly enchanting. I'm very partial to snow too. Isn't it wonderful how beautiful nature can be?
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: That's because you have a poetical soul Miss Wood.
Ruth Wood: I suppose I have, because I'm terribly fond of sunsets and things like that; sunrises, you know, and moonlights, and of course I - I adore the stars... the stars and, mhmmm...
[she happily falls asleep and the scene fades out]
Grace Ullman: [looking at the Roman coin that Ruth just purchased at the auction they were attending] It looks quite antique, and it really does say Titus Flavius Vespatian - he was a Roman Emperor alright. I wonder if it's real? You never can tell about Roman coins. What ever made you buy it?
Ruth Wood: Well I really don't know. All of the sudden I got the strangest impulse and I just had to have it.
[Art chuckles and Ruth hands it to him]
Ruth Wood: It's for you.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Oh no.
Ruth Wood: Well that's what the impulse was, to get it for you. Please take it.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: My first gift from a lady, not counting Aunt Sarah
[Ruth and Grace chuckle]
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Thanks Ruthie. I'm gonna punch a hole in it and wear it around my neck as a lucky piece.
Marcel - Waiter: I got a son in the army hehe, your age.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Well, it's a big army.
Marcel - Waiter: I haven't heard from him for a month, they're pretty slow delivering those letters from over there now. He volunteered the first week for the paratroopers. I said to him 'what do you want to be a jumper for?' So he tells me, pop, you might as well know my secret: I never liked walking.
[he, Art, Ruth, and Grace all chuckle merrily]
Marcel - Waiter: Three steaks medium; I'll bring-a the best-a we got.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: [raises his glass for a friendly toast] Here's to your son - may he always land in clover.
Marcel - Waiter: His name is Freddy. Thanks!
Ruth Wood: [Ruth telling Art the story of how her father left her and her mother as Art walks her home] I don't remember my father being unhappy. Sometimes he objected to the way she dressed or kidded her about her funny old hats. There was nothing really wrong as far as I knew. It all happened in a minute. One night we were waiting for him to come home for dinner and the phone rang, and I answered it and he said 'Ruth, let me speak to your mother', and his voice sounded sort of sad and/or sick. So, I gave her the phone and then he said - I heard this part - he said 'Hello Agnes.' He said 'I'm, I'm calling to tell you that I'm not coming home anymore. You'll never see me again. It has to be this way.' And, he hung up.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: That's a pretty awful thing to hear.
Ruth Wood: Yes, she, she couldn't take it; it was... well I don't know if I should tell you this - nobody knows except Mrs. Hamer and the doctor - but, she tried to kill herself.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: And you've had to stand guard ever since.
Ruth Wood: Well it comes back every once in awhile, if she gets too lonely.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Poor lady.
Ruth Wood: I'm glad I told you though, because if she says anything wrong about men, you'll know it's nothing personal. Sometimes she stays up all night talking about how horrible men are.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Well she doesn't want you to get hurt as she did.
Ruth Wood: Well, she keeps waiting for my father to call - every time the phone rings...
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: He'll call, you'll see.
Ruth Wood: After all these years? No.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: After a hundred years, but it'll ring again.
Ruth Wood: Why do you say that?
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Oh I don't know, it's just the way I feel.
Ruth Wood: You know I, I really don't understand you... except that you're very kind.
[he escorts her upstairs before departing]
Mrs. Hamer: [alerting Ruth of the late time as she waits for Art to show up for their Sunday date] It's 11:30! Them lousy fellows, they're all alike. I wouldn't give a nickel for them! You go ahead, go. Go by yourself - he ain't coming! You heard about Mrs. Fizzley of the 4th floor, she got a telegram from the war: her husband's missing. Haha! I cheered her up; I told her I know them husbands - he ain't missing, he just don't want to come home. Now go on, go to da picture show and have some fun!
[looks at Agnes]
Mrs. Hamer: What's the matter with you all of da sudden? Why are you looking at her so funny for?
Agnes Wood: [as she nervously gets up and addresses Ruth] I've told you and told you, they're all the same - all they want is to hurt you. But you wouldn't listen to me, so now it's happened again - to you this time to you Ruth!
[right then there's a knock at the door]
Mrs. Hamer: Eh, don't get excited; it's a milkman.
[instead it's Art - friendly as ever, extremely apoligetic, and with a completely understandable explanation/excuse - making incorrect fools out of both Agnes and Mrs. Hamer]
Ruth Wood: [referring to Art's ability to get leave time on a Sunday for the date they had planned] It was nice of them to give you the pass.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Oh I had to lie like a doorman thief. Luckily the colonel turned out the be from Alabama. 'My old pappy' I said to him 'has come up to see me sir. He's on his last legs lyin' bed-ridden in a lonely Yankee hotel.' I run a tear from the colonel and ten hour pass.
Ruth Wood: [smiling and chuckling] I'm glad.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: [sitting down at the piano in the Wood's apartment] Well here we go - music by Harry Wood, words by Art Hugenon; a little number entitled 'I'll always believe in you.'
[begins to play and sing]
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Come joy or sorrow, I'll always believe in you. / For, you taught my heart to smile. / You are my inspiration; my love, my life to be. / Your arms - my destination - the only place for me. /
[says to Ruth]
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Come on and sing...
[then singing again]
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Come llight or darkness, I'll always believe in you. / For, you made my life worthwhile. /
Mrs. Hamer: [to Art] You're a nice looking young fellow. What do you want to go get killed in ze war for? Oh, zat's no good. Stay home; I'm telling you.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: [smilingly] I'll think it over Mrs. Hamer.
Ruth Wood: Mrs. Hamer, you mustn't talk like that.
Mrs. Hamer: Oh, I'm an old lady, I can talk how I like.
[Ruth and Art smile and chuckle]
Ruth Wood: [on a Sunday date in Central Park with Art] Isn't it wonderful the way the grass smells?
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: The music of the spheres.
Ruth Wood: Oh, I thought that was up there.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: [chuckling happily] No-hohoho. It's a traveling orchestra; it plays everywhere.
Ruth Wood: Art, look from here... the people moving 'round and 'round as if they heard the music too. I've never known it like this before - the park and everything - it seems like some strange place I've never been before.
[looks around briefly]
Ruth Wood: I was worried this morning you wouldn't come. It was very upsetting.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: No faith in a fella, huh?
Ruth Wood: Well I, hardly know you really.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: That's when you gotta have faith, when you hardly know something. Take those people: they're all full of faith. You can tell by the mere fact that they're walking in the park, smiling. They have faith that the forces of gravity won't change and send the world tumbling on its ear, and that the sun won't stop warming them.
[Ruth smiles at him endearingly]
Sgt. Gilbert 'Gil' Parker: Arlene and I are on our honeymoon. We just had our wedding breakfast.
Arlene Parker nee Witchy: Gilbert, please.
Sgt. Gilbert 'Gil' Parker: What's wrong with being married? It's the one thing which has the full approval of society. Am I right buddy?
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Yes, you're absolutely right.
[looks over at Ruth with a subtly intriguing and endearing expression]
Sgt. Gilbert 'Gil' Parker: [pulling Art aside to friendly alert him of something important] Make out like we're discussin' the camera here.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Well what's up colonel?
Sgt. Gilbert 'Gil' Parker: You with the 153rd?
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: That's right.
Sgt. Gilbert 'Gil' Parker: I'm Signal Corps - Astoria, Long Island. We get the latest dope there; advance information on all military maneuvers. A spy can make a fortune just sittin' around. But fortunately we ain't got no spies, so don't worry. Here's the latest, came through Friday: your outfit's pulling out in a matter of days for overseas.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: We've been hearing that hot rumor for a month.
Sgt. Gilbert 'Gil' Parker: No kiddin', this is it, right from the big brass feed bag. I'm tippin' ya off; in case ya wanna get married ya won't postpone it too long.
Pvt. Arthur 'Art' Hugenon: Thanks.
Sgt. Gilbert 'Gil' Parker: Don't mention it.