Seneca Shows Up Unexpectedly at Jillian's Beach House
(September 1976)

(Jillian is alone at the beach house playing solitaire and listening to music when she hears a noise. She anxiously, but collectedly, turns the radio off and picks up a fireplace poker.)

JILLIAN: Who is it? (frazzled) Who's there?

SENECA: (from the deck) You're not supposed to know I'm here yet!

JILLIAN: Seneca?

SENECA: (as if annoyed) Yes.

JILLIAN: (running out) Oh, God, you scared me half to death!

SENECA: I wanted to surprise you.

JILLIAN: (furious) Surprise me? What are you doing here?

SENECA: I brought you supper. A picnic basket.

JILLIAN: Oh, I don't believe this! I mean, I really don't believe this!

SENECA: Well, you'd better believe it. You'd better be hungry, too. There's a tortiere(?) in there.

JILLIAN: A what?

SENECA: A tortiere.

JILLIAN: Uh-huh, and just what is that?

SENECA: I thought you'd never ask. (He takes the top off.) Voila! A tortiere is a pie. You like pies?

JILLIAN: (on her last nerve) Yes, I do.

SENECA: Ah, that's good. That's good. But, you see, it's more than a pie. It is a pate. Do you like pate?

JILLIAN: (sarcastically) Adore it!

SENECA: (grins) That is marvelous! I knew I made the right decision. Tortiere, to me, means celebration. It's a standard New Year's Eve celebration thing in French Canada. And you have it with champagne all the time - or, if you happen to be poor, you have it with hard cider - however, I happen to be rich, and so - voila! - the champagne! Hah?

JILLIAN: I don't know if I'm supposed to be amused or annoyed.

SENECA: Well, I can certainly answer that: amused! But you see, the thing is, I really should have prepared the...

(He pops the cork on the champagne bottle and Jillian laughs in spite of herself.)

SENECA: and the bucket back in the car. That way, I could have come down here very, very silently and surprised you. Ah, well, you live and you learn, and I'll do it right next time. (hands her a champagne glass) Here you go. Cheers.

JILLIAN: (not drinking) You knew that I came out here to be alone, right?

SENECA: Mmm-hmm.

JILLIAN: But you came anyway?

SENECA: (pouring himself a glass) Mmm-hmm. (drinks) Mmm! That's perfect!

JILLIAN: Seneca?


JILLIAN: I am trying to make a point with you.

SENECA: Well, Jill, you have to eat.

JILLIAN: Well, I had a steak in the freezer.

SENECA: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Eating alone is very bad for you. It leads to ulcers.

JILLIAN: (doubtful) Mmm.

SENECA: No, it's true. Conversation is the thing that makes the gastric juices flow. I mean...

JILLIAN: Is that a medical opinion?

SENECA: Yes, absolutely! My only concern is for your health and welfare.

JILLIAN: Well, I guess I can't kick you off the deck. (grins) Or can I?

SENECA: When I've gone to all this trouble? Absolutely not. And, anyway, there's more than tortiere in there. (He takes out another wrapped package.) Le bean salad, (she laughs and he takes out another wrapped package) a runny cheese from which my car may never recover...

JILLIAN: Brie, I presume?

SENECA: Brie. (She laughs.) Smell that. (He takes out a loaf of bread.) Bread, (he takes out a bag of grapes) and hothouse grapes, which I will peel for you individually after I have drunk enough champagne.

JILLIAN: Alright, okay, you win! We will have your picnic supper, and after we're finished, you will leave.

SENECA: Oh, well, I mean, we're both going to leave. Can't stay out here forever, can we?

JILLIAN: Seneca, don't act dumb. You know exactly what I mean! I'm not going to bed with you.

SENECA: (as if completely innocent) Bed? Who said anything about bed? It never entered my mind!

JILLIAN: Not much.

SENECA: But since you mentioned it, I'd like to talk about something with you, Jill. See, the point is, celibacy is even worse for you than eating alone!

JILLIAN: (sarcastically) Really?

SENECA: Oh, yeah, catastrophic! I mean, you can die from it. People do, every day.

JILLIAN: Seneca? (shakes her head) The answer is no.

SENECA: (calmly) Well, maybe you'll change your mind.

(They clink their champagne glasses together, both rather frustrated.)

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