For reference, see character thumbnails.
[lawyer’s office; NELL, REESE, and CYNTHIA are all seated before the lawyer’s desk]
LAWYER: As I was saying, aside from the age stipulation, Mr. George Abbott’s will is rather straightforward. Now that Miss Nell has reached 35, I am able to reveal the amount that each of you will receive and release the funds to your respective accounts.
CYNTHIA: Mr. Milton, I still don’t understand why my husband didn’t just transfer everything into my name. It would have been so much simpler. After all, I’m sure he knew I would outlive him by at least two decades. He was fifteen years my senior after all. And women do tend to live longer.
LAWYER: I can’t say, Mrs. Abbott. Perhaps he wanted to insure your daughter’s affairs in the event that you remarried and preceeded your new husband…?
CYNTHIA: [slightly leering] Well, it is quite likely. I am not the lonesome type. And I think I might set my sights a little younger this time. Ha! He knew me well, my George, god bless him.
REESE: [shaking her head] Mother, please. [to the lawyer] But why didn’t he make me the executor? I went to Yale. And it would have made things much more expedient.
LAWYER: Again, I am not at liberty to say.
NELL: “Liberty,” or “the power or scope to act as one pleases,” which does not quite have the same connotation as—
REESE: Nell, not now, okay?
CYNTHIA: And there she goes again. Your father always did encourage your bad habits.
NELL: A habit cannot be inherently bad, as the morality is arbitrarily assigned by society and therefore is philosophically nullified when considered out of context.
REESE: The defense rests.
CYNTHIA: You know I hate it when the two of you team up on me! I can’t understand how—
REESE: Give it a rest, mom.
LAWYER: In any case, if you would both please provide your IDs for my records, we can begin the disbursement process.
REESE: Yes, of course.
[REESE and NELL both rummage in their purses for their wallets]
CYNTHIA: [petulantly] You know, I hope Rodger doesn’t mind your ex-boyfriend lurking around the house this weekend.
[NELL, stunned, stops midway between handing her ID to the lawyer and draws her hand back slowly]
REESE: What? Who do you mean?
NELL: Will? Will Farris?
CYNTHIA: Yes, that’s right. The one who went to Princeton, I believe. One of your precious Ivy League schools, right?
NELL: He went to Harvard.
CYNTHIA: Oh. Yes. Well, they’re all the same to us regular folk.
REESE: What’s he doing here though?
CYNTHIA: He keeps me company sometimes. And does a little gardening on the side, sweetheart that he is.
REESE: Why on earth would he do that? Last I heard, he was working in D.C.
CYNTHIA: Well, I thought it rude to ask. And I certainly didn’t want to spoil a good thing.
NELL: [indignant, but quiet] I went to Princeton.
CYNTHIA: Oh, do speak up Nell!
NELL: [more forcefully] I was the one who went to Princeton University. I graduated summa cum laude, by the way. And I don’t remember you being there. You know who was? Dad.
CYNTHIA: You know very well that I couldn’t fly after my surgery—
CYNTHIA: I was in a delicate state then. I—
NELL: Then I went on to Georgetown and got a doctorate in applied sociolinguistics, for your information. So I believe you should call me Doctor Abbott.
[gets up to leave]
REESE: Nell, don’t!
[NELL exits, slamming the door; lights go down]