The Diary of Anne Frank, Act Two
Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
In the darkness we hear ANNEís voice, again reading from the diary.
Anneís Voice. Saturday, the first of January, nineteen forty-four. Another new year has begun and we find ourselves still in our hiding place. We have been here now for one year, five months, and twenty-five days. It seems that our life is at a standstill.
[The curtain rises on the scene. It is late afternoon. Everyone is bundled up against the cold. In the main room MRS. FRANK is taking down the laundry, which is hung across the back. MR. FRANK sits in the chair down left, reading. MARGOT is lying on the couch with a blanket over her and the many-colored knitted scarf around her throat. ANNE is seated at the center table, writing in her diary. PETER, MR. and MRS. VAN DAAN, and DUSSEL are all in their own rooms, reading or lying down.
As the lights dim on, ANNEís voice continues, without a break.]
Anneís Voice. We are all a little thinner. The Van Daansí ďdiscussionsĒ are as violent as ever. Mother still does not understand me. But then I donít understand her either. There is one great change, however. A change in myself. I read somewhere that girls of my age donít feel quite certain of themselves. That they become quiet within and begin to think of the miracle that is taking place in their bodies. I think that what is happening to me is so wonderful . . . not only what can be seen, but what is taking place inside. Each time it has happened, I have a feeling that I have a sweet secret. (We hear the chimes and then a hymn being played on the carillon outside.) And in spite of any pain, I long for the time when I shall feel that secret within me again.
[The buzzer of the door below suddenly sounds. Everyone is startled. MR. FRANK tiptoes cautiously to the top of the steps and listens. Again the buzzer sounds, in
MIEPís V-for-victory signal.]
Mr. Frank. Itís Miep!
[He goes quickly down the steps to unbolt the door. MRS. FRANK calls upstairs to the VAN DAANS and then to PETER.]
Mrs. Frank. Wake up, everyone! Miep is here! (ANNE quickly puts her diary away. MARGOT sits up, pulling the blanket around her shoulders. DUSSEL sits on the edge of his bed, listening, disgruntled. MIEP comes up the steps, followed by MR. KRALER. They bring flowers, books, newspapers, etc. ANNE rushes to MIEP, throwing her arms affectionately around her.) Miep . . . and Mr. Kraler . . . What a delightful surprise!
Mr. Kraler. We came to bring you New Yearís greetings.
Mrs. Frank. You shouldnít . . . you should have at least one day to yourselves. (She goes quickly to the stove and brings down teacups and tea for all of them.)
Anne. Donít say that, itís so wonderful to see them! (Sniffing at MIEPís coat) I can smell the wind and the cold on your clothes.
Miep (giving her the flowers). There you are. (Then, to MARGOT, feeling her forehead) How are you, Margot? . . . Feeling any better?
Margot. Iím all right.
Anne. We filled her full of every kind of pill so she wonít cough and make a noise.
[She runs into her room to put the flowers in water. MR. and MRS. VAN DAAN come from upstairs. Outside there is the sound of a band playing.]
Mrs. Van Daan. Well, hello, Miep. Mr. Kraler.
Mr. Kraler (giving a bouquet of flowers to MRS. VAN DAAN). With my hope for peace in the New Year.
Peter (anxiously). Miep, have you seen Mouschi? Have you seen him anywhere around?
Miep. Iím sorry, Peter. I asked everyone in the neighborhood had they seen a gray cat. But they said no.
[MRS. FRANK gives MIEP a cup of tea. MR. FRANK comes up the steps, carrying a small cake on a plate.]
Mr. Frank. Look what Miepís brought for us!
Mrs. Frank (taking it). A cake!
Mr. Van Daan. A cake! (He pinches MIEPís cheeks gaily and hurries up to the cupboard.) Iíll get some plates.
[DUSSEL, in his room, hastily puts a coat on and starts out to join the others.]
Mrs. Frank. Thank you, Miepia. You shouldnít have done it. You must have used all of your sugar ration for weeks. (Giving it to MRS. VAN DAAN) Itís beautiful, isnít it?
Mrs. Van Daan. Itís been ages since I even saw a cake. Not since you brought us one last year.
(Without looking at the cake, to MIEP) Remember? Donít you remember, you gave us one on New Yearís Day? Just this time last year? Iíll never forget it because you had ďPeace in nineteen forty-threeĒ on it.
(She looks at the cake and reads) ďPeace in nineteen forty-four!Ē
Miep. Well, it has to come sometime, you know. (As DUSSEL comes from his room) Hello, Mr. Dussel.
Mr. Kraler. How are you?
Mr. Van Daan (bringing plates and a knife). Hereís the knife, liefje. Now, how many of us are there?
Miep. None for me, thank you.
Mr. Frank. Oh, please. You must.
Miep. I couldnít.
Mr. Van Daan. Good! That leaves one . . . two . . . three . . . seven of us.
Dussel. Eight! Eight! Itís the same number as it always is!
Mr. Van Daan. I left Margot out. I take it for granted Margot wonít eat any.
Anne. Why wouldnít she!
Mrs. Frank. I think it wonít harm her.
Mr. Van Daan. All right! All right! I just didnít want her to start coughing again, thatís all.
Dussel. And please, Mrs. Frank should cut the cake.
Mr. Van Daan (speaking at the same time as MRS. VAN DAAN). Whatís the difference?
Mrs. Van Daan. Itís not Mrs. Frankís cake, is it, Miep? Itís for all of us.
Dussel. Mrs. Frank divides things better.
Mrs. Van Daan (going to DUSSEL and speaking at the same time as MR. VAN DAAN).What are you trying to say?
Mr. Van Daan. Oh, come on! Stop wasting time!
Mrs. Van Daan (to DUSSEL). Donít I always give everybody exactly the same? Donít I?
Mr. Van Daan. Forget it, Kerli.
Mrs. Van Daan. No. I want an answer! Donít I?
Dussel. Yes. Yes. Everybody gets exactly the same . . . except Mr. Van Daan always gets a little bit more.
[MR. VAN DAAN advances on DUSSEL, the knife still in his hand.]
Mr. Van Daan. Thatís a lie!
[DUSSEL retreats before the onslaught of the VAN DAANS.]
Mr. Frank. Please, please! (Then, to MIEP) You see what a little sugar cake does to us? It goes right to our heads!
Mr. Van Daan (handing MRS. FRANK the knife). Here you are, Mrs. Frank.
Mrs. Frank. Thank you. (Then, to MIEP, as she goes to the table to cut the cake) Are you sure you wonít have some?
Miep (drinking her tea). No, really, I have to go in a minute.
[The sound of the band fades out in the distance.]
Peter (to MIEP). Maybe Mouschi went back to our house . . . they say that cats . . . Do you ever get over there . . . ? I mean . . . do you suppose you could . . . ?
Miep. Iíll try, Peter. The first minute I get, Iíll try. But Iím afraid, with him gone a week . . .
Dussel. Make up your mind, already someone has had a nice big dinner from that cat!
[PETER is furious, inarticulate. He starts toward DUSSEL as if to hit him. MR. FRANK stops him. MRS. FRANK speaks quickly to ease the situation.]
Mrs. Frank (to MIEP). This is delicious, Miep!
Mrs. Van Daan (eating hers). Delicious!
Mr. Van Daan (finishing it in one gulp). Dirkís in luck to get a girl who can bake like this!
Miep (putting down her empty teacup). I have to run. Dirkís taking me to a party tonight.
Anne. How heavenly! Remember now what everyone is wearing and what you have to eat and everything, so you can tell us tomorrow.
Miep. Iíll give you a full report! Goodbye, everyone!
Mr. Van Daan (to MIEP). Just a minute. Thereís something Iíd like you to do for me. (He hurries off up the stairs to his room.)
Mrs. Van Daan (sharply). Putti, where are you going? (She rushes up the stairs after him, calling hysterically.) What do you want? Putti, what are you going to do?
Miep (to PETER). Whatís wrong?
Peter (his sympathy is with his mother). Father says heís going to sell her fur coat. Sheís crazy about that old fur coat.
Dussel. Is it possible? Is it possible that anyone is so silly as to worry about a fur coat in times like this?
Peter. Itís none of your darn business . . . and if you say one more thing . . . Iíll, Iíll take you and Iíll . . . I mean it . . . Iíll . . .
[There is a piercing scream from MRS. VAN DAAN, above. She grabs at the fur coat as MR. VAN DAAN is starting downstairs with it.]
Mrs. Van Daan. No! No! No! Donít you dare take that! You hear? Itís mine! (Downstairs PETER turns away, embarrassed, miserable.) My father gave me that! You didnít give it to me. You have no right. Let go of it . . . you hear?
[MR. VAN DAAN pulls the coat from her hands and hurries downstairs. MRS. VAN DAAN sinks to the floor, sobbing. As MR. VAN DAAN comes into the main room, the others look away, embarrassed for him.]
Mr. Van Daan (to MR. KRALER). Just a littleódiscussion over the advisability of selling this coat. As I have often reminded Mrs. Van Daan, itís very selfish of her to keep it when people outside are in such desperate need of clothing. . . .
(He gives the coat to MIEP.) So if you will please to sell it for us? It should fetch a good price. And by the way, will you get me cigarettes. I donít care what kind they are . . . get all you can.
Miep. Itís terribly difficult to get them, Mr. Van Daan. But Iíll try. Goodbye.
[She goes. MR. FRANK follows her down the steps to bolt the door after her. MRS. FRANK gives MR. KRALER a cup of tea.]
Mrs. Frank. Are you sure you wonít have some cake, Mr. Kraler?
Mr. Kraler. Iíd better not.
Mr. Van Daan. Youíre still feeling badly? What does your doctor say?
Mr. Kraler. I havenít been to him.
Mrs. Frank. Now, Mr. Kraler! . . .
Mr. Kraler (sitting at the table). Oh, I tried. But you canít get near a doctor these days . . . theyíre so busy. After weeks I finally managed to get one on the telephone. I told him Iíd like an appointment . . . I wasnít feeling very well. You know what he answers . . . over the telephone . . . ďStick out your tongue!Ē (They laugh. He turns to MR. FRANK as MR. FRANK comes back.) I have some contracts here . . . I wonder if youíd look over them with me . . .
Mr. Frank (putting out his hand). Of course.
Mr. Kraler (he rises). If we could go downstairs . . . (MR. FRANK starts ahead; MR. KRALER speaks to the others.) Will you forgive us? I wonít keep him but a minute. (He starts to follow MR. FRANK down the steps.)
Margot (with sudden foreboding). Whatís happened? Somethingís happened! Hasnít it, Mr. Kraler?
[MR. KRALER stops and comes back, trying to reassure MARGOT with a pretense of casualness.]
Mr. Kraler. No, really. I want your fatherís advice . . .
Margot. Somethingís gone wrong! I know it!
Mr. Frank (coming back, to MR. KRALER). If itís something that concerns us here, itís better that we all hear it.
Mr. Kraler (turning to him, quietly). But . . . the children . . . ?
Mr. Frank. What theyíd imagine would be worse than any reality.
[As MR. KRALER speaks, they all listen with intense apprehension. MRS. VAN DAAN comes down the stairs and sits on the bottom step.]
Mr. Kraler. Itís a man in the storeroom . . . I donít know whether or not you remember him . . . Carl, about fifty, heavyset, nearsighted . . . He came with us just before you left.
Mr. Frank. He was from Utrecht?
Mr. Kraler. Thatís the man. A couple of weeks ago, when I was in the storeroom, he closed the door and asked me . . . ďHowís Mr. Frank? What do you hear from Mr. Frank?Ē I told him I only knew there was a rumor that you were in Switzerland. He said heíd heard that rumor too, but he thought I might know something more. I didnít pay any attention to it . . . but then a thing happened yesterday . . . Heíd brought some invoices to the office for me to sign. As I was going through them, I looked up. He was standing staring at the bookcase . . . your bookcase. He said he thought he remembered a door there . . . Wasnít there a door there that used to go up to the loft? Then he told me he wanted more money. Twenty
guilders more a week.
Mr. Van Daan. Blackmail!
Mr. Frank. Twenty guilders? Very modest blackmail.
Mr. Van Daan. Thatís just the beginning.
Dussel (coming to MR. FRANK). You know what I think? He was the thief who was down there that night. Thatís how he knows weíre here.
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