(We open with Slip, Sach, and Bobby coming off-stage. Whitey meets them as the leave.)

Sach: Hey, Whitey. Have you and Butch found Sally or the money yet?

Whitey: *Shakes his head* Not yet.

Slip: I knew I shouldn'ta left her.

Bobby: Slip, don't go there, ok? This wasn't your fault.

(Chuck comes off-stage with Rachel next.)

Rachel: I'm glad Marsha, Jane, Zelda, Buddy, and Junior have this next scene. We can all help you look for Sally.

Bobby: Rachel could check the women's dressing room, and we could do the men's.

Rachel: I'm on it. (She gives Chuck a kiss) I'll see you in a few minutes.

Chuck: *Smiles* See you shortly.

Sach: (Pats Chuck on the back) How do you feel now?

Chuck: *Shrugs* I'm all right. *gives Slip a look*

Bobby: What happened? You two have been giving each other weird looks for the last two scenes.

Sach: That nasty old Zelda got them fighting.

Bobby: About what this time?

Chuck: I'm just trying to get Slip to not be so controlling of all of us.

*Slip just gives him a look.*

Sach: I don't think Slip is that controlling! He's just trying to make sure everyone does what they're supposed to!

Chuck: What ARE we supposed to do, Sach? Follow his every beck and call?

*Slip's eyes narrow.*

Bobby: Slip... (sighs) ...you know my feelings here.

Sach: Chuck, he's only trying to help! He's my best friend! I know he wouldn't hurt us or steer us wrong.

Chuck: Then I should already be a full fledged reporter, Butch should be playing his music, and you, Whitey, should be making money working on your radios.

Whitey: *Shrugs* It's just a hobby.

Bobby: I don't know, Whitey. I seem to remember that some of your designs were pretty brilliant.

Whitey: Thanks, Bobby, but it's really just a hobby.

Sach: And what about me, huh? No one believes in me, 'cept the Chief!

Slip: I believe in all of ya, when some of ya aren't against me.

Sach: We all got hobbies. Mine is chemistry. Do I think I could ever really work in a chemistry lab? (Thinks) Well...maybe. Someday. For now, I'm happy jus' bein' with you guys.

Bobby: Slip, I don't hate you. I just had to do things on my own. You didn't need me anymore.

Slip: I never said I didn't need ya.

Bobby: I wasn't doing anything anymore. We used to be real close, Slip.

Slip: Yeah, we were.

Bobby: You were spending all your time with Sach and Whitey, and I felt...well, like I wasn't wanted.

Slip: You never said nutin'.

Bobby: I tried. I couldn't get through to you.

Slip: Ya didn't try hard enough!

Bobby: Maybe if you'd do something besides open your big trap every now and then, you would have heard!

Slip: Big trap, huh?

Whitey: Guys...

Sach: Oh, come on. (He gets between Bobby and Slip) We're all friends here. What about Sally?

Slip: I'm gonna find her whether I get any help or not.

Sach: I'll help you, Chief! I'm not about to abandon you or Sally. You're two of my favorite people!

Whitey; I'm goin', too.

Bobby: I'll go. I'll bet they have her in the dressing rooms. They've checked everywhere else.

Chuck: I'm helping, too.

Sach: Maybe we oughta split up again.

Whitey: I'll go with ya, Chief.

Sach: So will I!

Bobby: Chuck and I will go to the prop room. Slip, why don't you and the other two take the men's dressing room?

Sach: Yeah! Come on, Chief. I think I have a box of jujubes in there.

Slip: *Shakes his head* Sach...

Chuck: Come on, Bob.

Bobby: (Nods) Yeah.

(Slip, Sach, and Whitey head in one direction. Bobby and Chuck go in the other.)

Bobby: I hope those bitches didn't hurt Sally. Slip really loves her.

Chuck: *Nods* Yeah, he does.

Bobby: I wonder if they're ever gonna get married? I know the Chief was never crazy about the idea of marriage, but they really are nuts about each other.

Chuck: I just don't know if he can.

Bobby: (Sighs) I can sorta understand his feelings there. I'm married to the sky. I love flying. I loved the idea, even before I got drafted. After I got my pilot's license, I never looked back. (Makes a face) Slip never understood that. Just looking at a plane makes him sick. I'm surprised he went on that plane the time all of us but him were working at that factory. If it had been anyone but you up there, he might not have, but you're his brother.

Chuck: *Sighs* He told me that he was sick to his stomach on that plane, but he was so worried about me, he'd forgotten all about being sick.

Bobby: We were still really close in those days. Wish he'd joined us at the factory, but you know Slip. He'll never take a job he can't be in charge of.

Chuck: No, he won't.

Bobby: Sometimes, I wish he'd share a bit more. None of us are as stupid as a lot of people say we are, including Sach and Whitey. Whitey's older than Slip, for crying out loud!

Chuck: Not to mention, letting go a little and being more flexible.

Bobby: I think he thinks we can all stay like we are forever - a bunch of 20-somethings living in a tiny apartment in a boarding house. We all have lives. I have a life, and so do you.

Chuck: I hadn't really thought about it too much until I started working for the newspaper. I'd give Slip my work schedule, and he'd turn around expecting me to join them when I was gonna be at work! I'd go to work and join them after, and he'd yell at me for not being there.

Bobby: Yeah, well, I thought about it a lot. I was trying to save for my own plane...and working odd jobs and for Slip's half-assed companies wasn't earning me nearly enough dough.

Chuck: I know now how you felt, because that's what I'm feeling now.

Bobby: It's a crying shame Slip can't make one of his businesses work. He's a smart guy. You might even say he's almost brilliant. He just can't get along with the rest of the world.

Chuck: Or the rest of the world won't give him his way.

Bobby: He has it in his head that it's his way or the highway...and it baffles him when no one else agrees with him. (Sighs) My only beef with Sach or Whitey is that they both give him his way too much.

Chuck: And it's pissing him off that I'm questioning him now.

Bobby: And Butch. I think I feel the worst for him. He's a lot younger than the rest of us...and he has real musical talent. It ain't even dabblin', like Sach's chemistry or Whitey's radios. He's good. You know they called him a protege when we were kids.

Chuck: I feel bad for Butch, too. He could really go places. I don't see him telling Slip that under his own volition any time soon.

Bobby: Yeah. He's always looked up to Slip. (Makes a face) Slip scared Buddy and Junior off, too. Buddy told me he likes you guys but just can't handle being in the group. Junior won't even go that far.

Chuck: They're good guys. I try to hang out with them, but I don't exactly have a lot of free time.

Bobby: Yeah, me too. I've been friendly with Buddy in particular for a while now. He's a nice guy. (Frowns) Speaking of nice guys, what about poor ol' Louie? Nicest old man in the Bowery, practically the closest thing we've ever had to a mentor, and what's Slip always doing? Using him.

Chuck: *Sighs, nodding* Louie's too nice for his own good. Always trying to get us to pay up and throw us out, yet he goes along with practically every plan Slip devises.

Bobby: I think he just wants kids, and this is the closest he's gonna get. We're all like sons to him...no matter how much we don't pay him.

Chuck: Can't blame him for that. And despite using him, those two have really gotten close.

Bobby: Yeah. I'm wondering about that. Slip almost seems to have adopted Louie as a father.

Chuck: Pretty much. I don't know much beyond that, though.

Bobby: (Turns to Chuck) How about Gabe? Do you think he'll actually keep this job? He certainly goes through enough of them. (Sighs) I sorta miss when we were really little and he was part of the gang, but he kinda grew up before the rest of us.

Chuck: I think he'll be sticking with this job. He really seems to enjoy it and is doing well in it.

Bobby: You know, I wonder if Whitey and Sach almost enjoy the bossin' around? They probably wouldn't know what to do if they weren't bossed around by somebody. Slip's been bossing Sach around since we were runniní around on Canal Street in short pants.

Chuck: Sach would miss it. He definitely wouldn't know what to do without it. I think Whitey's too scared of change.

Bobby: Whitey's a lot older than the rest of us. I'm wondering if he's not sure how well he'd do on his own. And Sach...Sach is just devoted to Slip. Always has been. Someone touches Slip, and Sach will hurt them. It's the only way you can get him to hurt anyone.

Chuck: Very protective. I wouldn't want to get between them.

Bobby: I seem to remember that Sach used to stick up for Slip a lot when we were really little. Both you and Slip used to get teased for bein' small...and then Sach would stick up for all of us 'cause he was the only tall one among us. And Slip and you n' Billy Hallop n' I would stick up for him when kids made fun of him bein' the class dunce.

Chuck: Because we knew he wasn't a dunce. And he proved it selflessly.

Bobby: Nahh. Sach ain't no dunce. He's just not great with book learnin'. He's good at other things.

Chuck: Agreed. *nods* It's just that everyone and everything is changing, and Slip doesn't like it, whether he's gonna admit it or not.

Bobby: (Nods) We ainít juvenile delinquents anymore. We ain't even juveniles. We're in our 30s. Some of us are pushing 40. I think Whitey might be older than that.

Chuck: *Grins* He never has admitted his true age.

Bobby: Most guys our age are either married with kids or working for a decent job or both, like Scruno. (Grins) And if Whitey's ever said just how old he is, I've never heard it.

Chuck: At least most all of us have girlfriends.

Bobby: Has Sach gotten himself a girl yet?

Chuck: He's still going after Cynthia.

Bobby: Has his department store model said "yes," "no," or "maybe" yet?

Chuck: She went out with him after the laundromat fiasco.

Bobby: Took him long enough. She finally decided she liked his Ronald Coleman impression?

Chuck: *Shrugs* All I know is Slip came back with a fat lip and Sach was out with her.

Bobby: Maybe Sach really IS smarter than he looks.

Chuck: All I know is what I saw.

Bobby: (Pushes a box aside) Ehh, we ain't gonna find Sally in here. Come on. We have to get back onstage.

(Cut from Chuck and Bobby going onstage to the men's dressing room. Sach peers in first.)

Sach: Nope! No stagehands or ladies who wanna make us go nuts. (He opens the door for Slip and Whitey) Here ya go.

Slip: Sal's gotta be here somewhere.

Sach: Oh Salllyyyyy! (He starts throwing things off the vanity tables) You in here, Sally?

*Whitey ducks a flying hair brush.*

Slip: SAAACH! I don't think she's ON the vanity!

Sach: Well, where else could she be?

Whitey: *Looks under a table* She's not under here!

Slip: *Leans again the wall* Never shoulda left her.

Sach: Chief, don't start in on yourself. We have enough problems.

Slip: It's true, Sach.

*Whitey is feeling around on the wall across the room when he suddenly falls through!*

Whitey: *Groans* I don't remember a door bein' there...

Sach: (Runs to Whitey) Whitey! My old pal! Speak to me! Are you hurt? People shouldn't leave doors where they can trip over them!

Slip: *Comes up behind Sach* That ain't a normal door.

Whitey: I'm okay, Sach. The floor broke my fall.

Sach: (Helps Whitey to his feet and dusts him off) They should make softer floors. You might have gotten hurt!

(That's when we hear garbled screams and growls in the passageway beyond the door.)

Slip: *Eyes widen* Sally! *Pushes past Sach and Whitey into the passageway.*

Whitey: *Makes a curious face* Sounded like generic screams and growls to me.

Sach: (Shrugs) He's a man in love. Love does funny things to 'ya. (That's when he turns around and sees a record player just inside the passageway. He takes the record off.) I told the prop guys at Monogram not to be so obvious! (Shows Whitey the record. It says "Generic Screams and Growls.") They really need to start hidin' this stuff better.

Whitey: I knew it!

Sach: (Calls into the passage) Chief? Chiefy! Sally!

Slip: GET IN HERE!

Sach: Oop! Come on, Whitey! The Chief bellowed!

*Sach and Whitey join Slip to find him looking up where Sally is tied up, a single line of rope dangling her from the ceiling.*

Slip: Hang on, Sal, we'll getcha down!

(Sally screams through her gag as angrily as she can.)

Sach: Oh! Poor Sal! What did they do to ya?

Slip: Wanna ask her AFTER we get 'er down?

(He and Whitey quickly go to either side. Sach gives Slip a boost in order to untie the rope holding Sally to the wall. Whitey removes Sally's gag.)

Sally: Ooh, hurry, honey! They're going to trap the others!

Slip: *Grunts* It's a little difficult doin' this wit' only one hand!

Sach: Well, I can't do it, either. I'm holdin' you! (He tries to reach up and until Sally, but he almost loses his grip on Slip.)

Slip: *Yelps* What're ya doin' down there, ya crazy moron!? I don't need another busted arm!

Sach: I was tryin' to help ya!

Slip: Don't help like that!

Sally: Could you guys do this and not argue?

Whitey: I'm not sayin' a word.

Slip: Wouldn't hafta argue if this lunatic wouldn't rock the boat!

Sach: Well, you're the one with the busted wing!

Slip: Want me ta give ya one to match mine?

Sally: Enough! Guys, could you get me out of the rest of the rope before you kill each other?

Sach: Don't worry, Sally. I'd never hurt you. (He starts untying her ankles.)

Slip: *Grunts* Almost got it...

(They finally manage to get her down to the floor. Whitey gets her arms, and Slip does the remaining rope around her torso.)

Sally: Thanks, boys. Ooh, the nerve of those goons! They trussed me up like a turkey and left me hanging in here! I think some of them may have looked up my skirt!

Slip: *Shakes his good fist* I'll pound 'em into the ground.

Sally: Slip, you and I have to get back onstage. They've probably already noticed I'm gone. (Nods at Whitey) Whitey, you have to warn everyone else. Sheila's boys are setting a trap for them. She knows everyone's after the money.

Sach: I'll go with him. They don't need me for a couple of scenes.

Slip: Be careful. I dunno how many more rescues I got left in me today.

Whitey: *Nods* We will, Chief. Letís go, Sach.

Sally: (Sighs as the other two leave) Slip, this is kind of a trap, too. Sheila wants to keep you and Chuck distracted, so you don't think too much about her and the money.

Slip: *Nods, frowning* It's workin'. Got my shoulder throbbin' and Chuck and the other younger fellas sayin' I'm too controllin'.

Sally: You can be bossy, but you mean well. You love those guys. (Sighs) Too much, sometimes. (But she smiles and takes his hand) But that's one of the things I love about you. When you do give love, you do it with your whole heart.

Slip: An' what's it get me in return? Sach and Whitey are the only ones that ain't mad at me. I can't change, Sal. I dunno what those guys want from me or don't want.

Sally: They want more say, Slip. They want to be a part of the group, too. (Smiles) As do I. I love you. I wish you'd give everyone a chance to love like you do.

Slip: I just...I've screwed things up. I pushed Bobby away once already and am prob'ly on my way to doin' it again. Butch still feels guilty, and Chuck...

Sally: (She gets to her feet) Honey, you're doing it again. Chuck will be fine. He's your brother, and he loves you. Bobby has his own problems. I told you when he moved out to let him sort things out in his head. And Butch is like another younger brother to you.

Slip: I'm the leader, the Chief. Some Chief I am, though. *shakes his head* Can't even keep my friends happy. *frowns, wincing* I try ta fix it, and just screw things up even worse.

Sally: Slip, stop it. You're letting Sheila win.

Slip: I ain't lettin' her win! I can't even let myself win! How could I...

Sally: (Slaps him) Slip, stop it this instant!

Slip: *His eyes widen as he slowly brings his good hand to his cheek* Good shot...ow...

Sally: I had to do it. You would have gone on all night. You're doing what you can for the time being, so let's just leave it at that and get back onstage, before anyone realizes something fishy is going on, ok?

Slip: *Nods* Okay, Sal. Lead the way.

Sally: Sure! (She opens the door this time as both of them head out. We fade out on the light shining into the dark passageway.)