Helen Steves: [the morning after Robert orders Clare to drop out of the school play; he is now going back to Seattle] I wish you didn't have to leave so soon.

[She kisses him]

Helen Steves: Have a safe trip.

Robert Steves: All right. I'll call you later.

[Clare emerges from the house and runs after him]

Clare Steves: Dad!... I'm sorry about last night.

Robert Steves: Well, just make sure it never happens again, okay?

Helen Steves: Bob, you *could* be more gracious.

Robert Steves: That's what she could've been, too.

Clare Steves: You're right, as always - I quit the play, told the director exactly what you told me. I lost some face in the process, but... well, that's one lucky understudy.

[Her father nods approvingly]

Clare Steves: So when are you coming back?

Robert Steves: Late tonight - Well, more likely tomorrow... or maybe the next day, if not the day after that.

Clare Steves: [smiles] In other words, you have no idea. That's okay, Dad; I'm used to it.

[They hug]

Clare Steves: Well, see you whenever I see you.

Robert Steves: Maybe we can go to a movie this Sunday, or something.

Clare Steves: [half-joking] Gosh, I don't know; is that gonna cut into my SAT-prepping time?

Robert Steves: [smiles] That's my girl.

Helen Steves: [in the kitchen, shortly after Robert has left for Seattle; Helen is working on her laptop computer] ... So did you two patch things up?

Clare Steves: I gave in and did as he said, if that's what you mean.

Helen Steves: ...Clare, how do I reset the paragraphs on this thing?

Clare Steves: You have to click "format."

Helen Steves: I knew that.

Clare Steves: Mom, my friends are throwing me a belated birthday party tonight...

Helen Steves: Clare!

Clare Steves: Laura promised, behind my back, that I would come. I can't just not show up, or none of them will ever speak to me again.

Helen Steves: No, no - you know how I feel about *deceiving* your father like this.

Clare Steves: It's better than all-out defiance, isn't it? I tried passive resistance and that didn't work, so... Can't you talk to him?

Helen Steves: Honey, I don't believe that would do any good. You know how he is. I mean, once he makes up his mind about something...


Helen Steves: ... Look, I know you think he's too strict, but...

Clare Steves: You're calling him *strict?* That's like calling the K2 a molehill! All the other kids in my class are being what, and who, they really are... you know, normal teenagers. He makes me feel as if I froze in time at age 10, without even telling me when or where I've gone wrong.

Helen Steves: And sometimes you *behave* like you're 10 years old.

Clare Steves: Well, I picked the wrong shoulder to cry on, didn't I?


Clare Steves: He let me have more fun when I *was* 10 than he lets me have now. I'm the only girl at my school who doesn't go to dances or have dates - the Odd Lady Out, as it were.

Helen Steves: There are more important things than dates and dances. It means a lot to your father that you get into a good college.

Clare Steves: Other girls my age get into fine colleges. They aren't nearly as wealthy, and they don't live like nuns in the meantime.

Helen Steves: [laughs] Oh, Clare! It's not that bad!

Clare Steves: How would you know? Did your parents raise you the same way?

Helen Steves: [grins and shakes her head] ... Touché, Clare. Go on, have fun at the party.

Clare Steves: Seriously? Thanks a lot, Mom!

Helen Steves: Just see to it that you're home by 11 sharp. And pray to High Heaven your father doesn't get back before you do!

Robert Steves: [on the phone, at dinner] ... I really can't believe this, Al. When I left, the Canadians said all outstanding issues had been resolved. All of a sudden, they get cold feet?

[He scoffs; Clare comes in]

Robert Steves: I know it's a lot of money...

[Clare greets him with a kiss]

Robert Steves: ... but it's a good deal for everyone! Yeah - you tell McKenzie to call me at home tonight. Right - any time up till midnight. If I can't do this by phone, I'll have to come back tomorrow.

[He rings off and turns to his wife]

Robert Steves: ... I don't know what happened. When I left, everything was done. Now the whole deal's falling apart. I may have to go back to Seattle in the morning.

[He turns to their daughter]

Robert Steves: ... Hi, honey. How are you? Anything exciting happen while I was gone?

Helen Steves: Clare got an "A" in math - and in the rest of her major subjects.

Robert Steves: That's fantastic! See, didn't I say you could do it?

Clare Steves: I always get an "A" in everything, don't I? That was your rule - anything below 90% might as well be an "F"... I also got offered the role of "Emily" in OUR TOWN. I didn't even audition; the director just came up to me during lunch and...

Robert Steves: [sighs, cutting her off] I thought we talked about this.

Helen Steves: [half-joking] Or at least *you* did.

Robert Steves: [nods, serious] Bingo.

Clare Steves: I just felt so lucky to receive this role. It'd be awkward if I had to...

Robert Steves: [cutting her off again] I thought we all agreed - no extracurricular activities this semester. S.A.T.s are coming up. *That* should be your focus.

Clare Steves: Did all of us really agree on that? Or did *you* agree on it for all of us?

[He looks at her dangerously]

Clare Steves: ... Same difference, huh? Well, YOU haven't needed to explain that *repeatedly* for everyone at school. Heck, most of THEM find time for extracurricular stuff - and even jobs. If they can juggle that kind of load...

Helen Steves: [to her husband] Honey, the play only lasts a couple of weeks.

Robert Steves: I'm sure there'll be rehearsals every night - no. Next semester, we'll see; but right now, your top priority should be making a good college.

Clare Steves: [deflated] Meaning you think I don't care about that at all, just because it isn't all I *do* care about!

[She excuses herself from the table and storms out of the dining room]

Robert Steves: [his voice dripping sarcasm] Well... I'm glad I rushed home to be with my family.

[He excuses himself from the table as well. Helen sighs]

John Loomis: [in court, as Eddie testifies] So, tell me, Mr. Spencer, was this also part of the game?

[Loomis plays the recorder]

Eddie Spencer: [on tape] Let's hope your daddy listens to you, or you're gonna lose this pretty little finger of yours. You wouldn't want that to happen now, would you?

Clare Steves: [on tape, crying] No, please!

Eddie Spencer: [shouts] Would you?

Clare Steves: NO!

Eddie Spencer: You better do what I say, or else!

Clare Steves: NO, PLEASE!

[Loomis stops the recorder as the court goes stunned]

John Loomis: Is this still a game, Mr. Spencer?

[Eddie does not answer]

John Loomis: Would you like to hear it again, Eddie?

Eddie Spencer: [furiously] Why don't you go to hell!

[the court murmurs until the judge bangs his gavel]

John Loomis: No further questions, You Honor.