N1: It’s Christmas Eve in London, 1843.
N2: Ebenezer Scrooge sits at his desk counting money.
N1: He is an old man with red eyes and a cold heart.
Scrooge: Forty, forty-one . . .
N2: A freezing wind sweeps through the office.
N1: Scrooge’s clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers in a thin coat.
Bob Cratchit: Mr. Scrooge, sir, may I add coal to the fire?
Ebenezer Scrooge: No! Coal costs money.
N2: Scrooge’s nephew Fred arrives full of Christmas cheer.
Fred: Merry Christmas, Uncle!
Scrooge: Bah! Humbug! What good has Christmas ever done for you?
Fred: Many things do us good without making us rich. It is a time for kindness and charity.
Fred: Merry Christmas, Uncle. Merry Christmas, Mr. Cratchit!
Cratchit: Merry Christmas!
Scrooge (to himself): What does Cratchit have to be merry about? He can barely feed his family, and his child is sick.
N1: Scrooge and Cratchit prepare to leave for the night.
Scrooge: I suppose you’ll want Christmas Day off.
Cratchit: Please, sir.
Scrooge: It’s not fair I have to pay you for not working.
Cratchit: It’s Christmas, sir.
Scrooge: Fine. But be here early the next morning.