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"Warbride's Screwball Comedy"
Chapters 13 thru 15

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13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Chapter Thirteen
-- by Georgia Williams --

We see Brooksie in her bedroom tossing clothes furiously into a suitcase . She is seething, not even bothering to change out of her evening gown.

"Damn that Cary Grant, I had it made!" she screams, hurling a shoe at a photo frame sitting on her dressing table.

"Brooke Darling, are you alright," she spins around to see Mrs. Parker standing in the doorway.

"I'm leaving. There's no way I can stay. All of Hollywood society was at that party tonight and he humiliated me, purposely, in front of all of them." The suitcase is violently snapped shut. "I'll never amount to anything as long as I remain here."

She storms past Mrs. Parker, suitcase in hand, striding down the hall, momentarily pausing at the hallstand to adjust her hair in the mirror perched there.

"I really wish you wouldn't be so drastic Brooke, I'm sure this matter is easily sorted out, just wait a little while longer I'm sure Mr. Grant will ring!"

"Goodbye Mother," she pecks Mrs. Parker on the cheek, a slight smile spreads across her face, "Actually, I'm sure he will!"


In the next scene, Cary and Randy are cleaning up after the party, distracted, fighting each other with the brooms.

"Maggie. Isn't she wonderful, so perfect. I could be happy with her for the rest of my life!"

The broomsticks smack together and Cary moves in for the kill but Randy fights him off.

"That's all well and good but Brooksie, well she's going to find out eventually that you haven't adopted a child and since she confides regularly in that revolting creature Hedda Hopper, your name will be mud!"

An incredibly worried look appears on Cary's love struck face, and he turns and glances down at the floor where a broken champagne flute is lying. Brooksie's, smashed when she fell.

He feels a prod in his side and looks up," Touché ol'boy!"

Chapter Fourteen
-- by Helen Fredericks --

Hedda Hopper's column

Announcements, Surprises and Tantrums….Hollywood Style!

Last night Cary Grant threw a party for all of Tinseltown’s elite! Anyone and everyone on Hollywood’s A list was in attendance. Not only was the food and drink exquisite, but the entertainment was priceless.

Cary introduced the A-list to his newly orphaned niece, Mary Margaret, whom he is planning to adopt. A shy girl who needs someone to bring out her beauty and style, as well as someone who could be her mentor.

Unfortunately, Cary had chosen Brooke Parker to be not only this poor child’s mentor but also his wife and her mother.

Alas, Miss. Parker had her own ideas on this proposal and let Cary and everyone within a 10-mile radius know just how insulted she was! Miss Parker, showing her true colors, behaved like a selfish, spoiled brat! Screaming that she would never marry Cary and NEVER be this child’s Mother! She then stormed out of the party like a child who wasn’t getting her way.

This of course was the highlight of the evening and what everyone is talking about this morning! Evidently, Miss. Parker has not heard of compassion, charity or boarding schools.

This columnist is hoping that this morning Miss Parker is having second thoughts about her actions last night and suggest that she crawl back to Cary begging his forgiveness and that of Mary Margaret’s.

Mrs. Parker is reading Hedda’s column as the phone rings.

“Hello.” She answers.

“Mother, It’s Brooke. Have you seen Hedda’s column today!” she asks.

“Yes dear, I was …” she is cut off by Brooksie.

“How dare she turn on me like that! That gossiping little witch!, “ Brooksie continues, “ I have given her more exclusives than anyone in this town! See how easily everyone turns on you in this business! A spoiled child my a--!”

“Brooksie, calm down.” Mrs. Parker finally says. “First where are you?”

“I’m at the Bel Air Hotel.”

“Good I’ll be right over!” Mrs. Parker starts to hang up and then says.. “And don’t call or speak to anyone ... not even room service. We have to do some damage control”

Meanwhile back at Cary’s.

He is sitting at the breakfast table drinking coffee when Randy comes in and tosses the paper down in front of him.

“Read Hedda’s column.” He says, “You’ll love it!”

Cary picks up the paper and begins reading. By the end of the column he is laughing. “My she doesn’t pull any punches, does she?”

“I’ll bet Brooksie is hopping mad at Hedda!” Randy says.

“Hedda and me.” Cary gets a frown on his face and then says, “ I didn’t want to ruin her, Randy, just get her hooks out of me.”

“I know Cary, but she does deserve this! What if Mary Margaret was real. This is how this women treats orphans?”

“What do I do now Randy?” Cary asks. “soon everyone will know that Mary Margaret was a scam.”

“Ok, let’s think about this.” Randy pours himself a cup of coffee and sits down.

Suddenly, a smile sneaks onto to Cary’s face. “I’ve got it! Mary Margaret and I will take a cruise! I have three weeks before I start shooting my next movie and last night was so traumatic for Mary Margaret, I want to take her away for a short trip.”

But how are you going to get “Mary Margaret” on the ship? Susan is in school, so …” Randy is cut off by Cary.

“Maggie, my dear boy! She is about the same height and is a whiz at make-up! And once we are on board, Maggie and I can have some time together to really get to know each other!’

“You know, Old boy, it might just work!”

“YOU bet it will work! Call Patty in Travel and get me adjoining staterooms on the Queen Elizabeth out of New York. I believe it sails tomorrow.” Cary rushes out of the room and then sticks his head back into the kitchen.

“And Randy, get me two seats on the red eye to New York tonight! This is going to be Great!” Cary rushes off to call Maggie with his plan.

Randy watches him rush off. Shakes his head and thinks, ‘I don’t know about this, Cary. It sounds too easy!” He walks over to the phone and dials. “Hi Patty, it’s Randy, here’s what I need,” he begins.


Patty, a tall girl in her mid-twenties, with long blonde hair has just ended her call from Randy when Hedda calls.

“Hedda!” Patty says, “I was just going to call you. Wait till you hear this.” Patty proceeds to tell Hedda all about Cary’s travel plans.


Cary walks into the kitchen and says to Randy, “ I just talked to Maggie and I talked her into the cruise!” Cary is all smiles. “And I will tell you one thing my dear friend, Maggie will be Mrs. Cary Grant by the time we reach England!”

Randy looks at his Love smitten friend and says, “ I hope you are right my friend, but I have a funny feeling about all this.”

“Stop,” Cary says. “ I’ll have no bad thoughts entering my head! I am too happy!”


There is a knock at the door. Brooksie opens the door expecting to see Mrs. Parker. Instead, there is a bellboy. “Miss Parker?” he asks


“I have a message for you.” He hands her the envelope, keeping his hand out for the tip.

Brooksie takes the envelope. Upon seeing his outstretched hand, she walks over to her purse and hands him a tip.

“Thank-you, that will be all.” She slams the door in his face.

Brooksie walks over to the couch and looks at the note. There is the familiar initials "HH" on the envelope and notepaper inside. She opens the note and reads:

Brooke Darling,

Hope you’ll forgive me my column this morning, but you know I couldn’t let Winchel get the upper hand on me!

In fairness and in hopes of making up for it, thought you’d be interested in this bit of news. Seems Cary is sailing on the QE tomorrow with his new charge Mary Margaret!

The funny thing is, I did a little research and it seems that his cousin Archie never had a daughter named Mary Margaret.

So darling, who IS Mary Margaret?



Brooke crumples the note in her hand.

“Truce, Hedda?” And evil smile crosses Brooksie’s face. “Truce? Well, maybe for a little while. Just long enough for me to get Cary to the alter. Then we’ll see who is on top!”

Brooksie is on the phone when Mrs. Parker gets there.

“Mother, sit down.” Brooksie says. “I’ll be with you in a moment.”

Then she says into the phone, “Yes dear, I’m here. Yes, that’s right, book me on the Queen Elizabeth sailing for Europe tomorrow.”

Chapter Fifteen
-- by Donna Moore --

Brooksie replaces the receiver and taps the table thoughtfully with a long red finger nail.

"Mother, all I've ever wanted is fame and fortune and I'm going to get them. Cary has promised to marry me and marry me he will" (Mrs. Parker raises here eyebrows as her daughter conveniently glosses over the trick they played on Cary) "besides, you can't tell me he would prefer an ugly little nobody like that Mary Margaret or whoever she is when he can have me". She smoothes her expensive, close-fitting dress as she gazes at herself lovingly in the full length mirror. Irresistible.

"Now what I want you to do mother is to make sure the press are there to see me off. I want then to know that by the end of the cruise I will be Mrs. Cary Grant.


From a gramophone in the corner comes the gentle strains of Vic Damone singing "An Affair to Remember". Beautiful, brightly coloured flowers cover every available surface, a bottle of pink champagne is gently fizzing in an ice bucket. The screen fills with two raised champagne cocktails and gradually widens out to show Cary and Maggie sitting with the glasses in between them.

"To us darling" Cary smiles lovingly at his angel, his eyes twinkling as they caress her sweet, happy face.

"I just can't believe this is happening to me" giggles Maggie "I'm so excited! How did you talk me into this. It's...it's... madness"

"Maggie darling, just sit back and enjoy the trip. I promise you a big surprise very soon. Now, I'd better get back to my own stateroom before the gossiping starts".

"Oh yes, Mr. Grant" Maggie flutters her eyelashes fetchingly, "please remember my reputation".

"Maggie, my sweet, I'd much rather remember your lovely eyes". He takes her chin in his hand and plants a kiss on the end of her nose before leaving the room.

Maggie hugs herself in delight and spins round and round with sheer joy.


A long white limousine draws up. Flashbulbs pop and reporters surge towards the car as the door opens. A long, slim, silk clad leg appears, closely followed by a second. Brooksie has certainly practiced the art of stepping out of a car gracefully.

"Miss Parker!" shouts a reporter, "is it true that you and Cary Grant have come on this cruise to be married?"

"Oh, you terrible, terrible man" simpers Brooksie "now where on earth did you get that idea?" Mother has obviously done a grand job.

"All I can say right now is that Mr. Grant and I are very, very happy and that little episode the other night was just.....well, let's just say that this is an exciting time for me and who can blame a girl for getting a little overwrought?" She smiles coyly and walks elegantly up the gangplank, accompanied by several harassed porters reeling under the weight of 36 pieces of matching luggage.

"Boy, that dame can certainly pack" mutters a reporter as he hurries off to phone his editor with the certain news of the impending wedding.


A besotted captain is sitting at his desk smiling with fatherly pride on Brooksie, who is at her most charming.

"Now as I've said, it's a surprise for Mr. Grant so I don't want you to tell him anything. He's so coy bless him, but just DYING for us to be married at last. All you have to do my dear, dear man is get him here on some excuse tomorrow afternoon at 4pm and perform our wedding. Got it? Good. Now remember, it's our little secret. Tata."

Brooksie blows him a kiss as she walks out of the room. As she stands outside with her back to the door, she stops and her fake smile disappears and her face hardens. This is the real Brooksie, the one only her mother sees. She nods, satisfied that everything is going according to plan and walks off. Faced with a fait accompli, she knows Cary is far too honourable and good hearted to back out. As she disappears round the corner, we hear a cheery whistling from the other direction.

Cary appears round the corner, sees an empty passageway and cannot resist. A mischievous glint in his eye, he somersaults down the passage and lands with a bounce outside the door of the captain's cabin. He knocks and enters at the captain's request.

"You perform marriages on this ship my good man don't you?"

"Well, yes....I"

"Good. Captain, you see before you a very happy man, the happiest man you've EVER seen before you I'll guess. Can you do one of those weddings for me? Please say you can."

"Well, yes.....I"

"Marvelous, I knew you'd be a sport as soon as I saw you. When can you do it?

"Ummm....well....how about tomorrow afternoon at 4pm?" This is far easier than the captain was expecting.

"Excellent, you lovely old captain you. Now, all you have to do is think of some excuse to get the lady here tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm. I don't know how, tell her you want to show her the bilge or the poopdeck or something like that. Can you do that for me?"

"Oh yes, I most certainly can. In fact, consider it done" the captain laughs uproariously and Cary looks at him slightly puzzled for a moment.

"Good, it's a date then, ahoy for now" Cary salutes smartly and leaves the captain rolling with laughter and wiping tears from his eyes.

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