Shows N

Act II The dance is still in progress and Anna is being complimented by everyone for being so light on her feet. At this point, Marthy is completely drunk and fighting with Chris, who is reprimanding her for her behaviour. The two fight, and Alderman steps between them encouraging Marthy to set a good example. He tries to get Marthy and Chris to lead off a dance, but Marthy suggests that Anna lead it off with Chris. Soon everyone is waltzing along with Anna and Chris. The waltz ends and Marthy staggers towards Anna. Matt intercedes before Marthy finds her and attempts to calm Marthy down. In the course of her conversation with Matt, she implies that Anna is not what she appears to be. Marthy can tell a nurse from a sportin' lady. She implies that Anna is anything but virginal and before she can say anything else, she faints and is taken outside. Seeing this, Anna runs to Matt, who pulls from her reach. Outside the Brewery, Matt is questioning Anna, wanting to know if she has been going around with a lot of guys or not? At first she denies it, but then admits that indeed she has had a complicated past. She tells Matt that he is the only man she has ever loved. Anna admits that she has not been working as a nurse, but as a prostitute in order to keep herself alive. Matt is so enraged by this that he throws her on the floor and rushes away, saying he'll never believe in anybody as long as he lives. Approaching laughter is heard, and Anna gets up and hides. Alderman and a politician enter praising the party they have just thrown that evening. Chris comes on looking for Anna and speaks with the men, apologizing for Marthy's drunken behaviour. The politicians and Chris find Anna and tell her that Senator Malone wants to dance with her. Instead of going back in with her father, Anna goes out for a walk by herself. Later that night, out at the warehouse gate, a dishevelled Matt has just gotten himself employed on a ship sailing for China the next day. Marthy comes along and sees what is happening and realizes that it is all her fault. She admits to everyone around her that she did it because she was jealous of Anna and her relationship with Chris. Anna enters and sees Marthy. Marthy admits everything to Anna and tells her to simply deny her past to Matt and all will be forgiven. Hearing that he is heading for China, Anna goes into the ship's office to see if she can find him before it is too late. Meanwhile, a group from the ball has now moved out into the streets. Matt enters and Anna tries to talk with him. He calls her a slut and she admits that her past was very jaded, but that she has changed her ways for good. She never loved any man before Matt. Matt doesn't listen to hear her. Instead, he rudely shouts at Anna, and she leaves him alone. Marthy and her girlfriends enter and approach Matt. Marthy tries to apologize for the "little joke" she played on Matt, but it is too late. He wants nothing to do with Anna or anyone else for that matter. He exits. Marthy finally realizes just how serious the situation is and that she is to blame. In Chris' room, Anna lies on her father's bed crying as he tries to console her. Chris is preparing to go out on a barge and wants Anna to come with him, but she tells him that she needs to be by herself for some time. Chris still believes his daughter is a virgin princess even though she tries to make him see the truth. Chris leaves for the barge, and Anna is left alone to ponder her situation. She moves outside to an unpleasant area and is approached by a man, Henry, who wants to escort her back to the main street. He tells her that he runs a little produce business and sells things around the neighbourhood. Anna follows him. One year later on the waterfront, Chris comes running in looking for Anna. Anna is now living on Staten Island with Henry. Matt is back in town from China, and Chris is panicked at the thought that Anna might see him again. Before Chris can arrange that the two don't meet, Matt enters and asks Chris how Anna is doing. Chris quickly reports that she doesn't want to see him anymore, and that she is married. Matt assures Chris that he just wants to find out how she is. No sooner has he said this than Henry enters, carrying a bushel basket full of potatoes. He is followed by Anna who is now wearing coarse old farm clothes and is also carrying a bushel of potatoes. Henry appears to know nothing of Anna and Matt's past, and, in fact, tells her to visit with her old friend while Chris helps him take the potatoes where they are being delivered. Left alone, the two talk a bit awkwardly at first, but their attraction to one another comes through. Henry