Amy Marshall -\(17\) years old.
Betty Marshall - Amy's younger sister.
Rose Field - \(16\) years old, the Marshall’s neighbour.
Sara Field - \(9\) years old, Rose’s sister.
Jim Hall - \(17\) years old, another neighbour.
Mr. Peters - Member of the Red Cross Disaster Committee.
Penny Marsh - Red Cross nurse.
Time: Late afternoon in March
Setting: Living room of the Marshall home.
Scene - 1
At Rise: Amy Betty and Rose are sitting around the living room table. Amy and Rose are knitting. Betty is looking at pictures in a magazine. The stage is not very bright.

Rose: Goodness, it gets dark early on these rainy days. Mind if I raise the shade a bit, Amy?

Amy: No, do, but I guess we need the light on, too. (She goes over and puts on the electric light.)
Rose: (going to the window): How it rains! In sheets, and look! Your backyard is a small lake.

Amy: (joining Rose at the window): Gracious! I’ve never seen it rain so hard and this is the third day of it.

Betty: (puts down magazine and runs to the window):! It’s more than a lake, it’s a sea! The radio said the river was above flood stage this morning– whatever that means.

Amy: It means that the water is above that white line on the bank at Thompson Bridge. It must have covered the south meadows and the highway there.

Rose: It isn’t only the rain. It’s the snow melting in the hills in the northern part of the state. (The girls return to the table.) Oh, I hope we don’t have a flood here! (There is a noise of stamping feet and someone breathing hard. The girls all look to the right, the direction of the sounds.)

Jim Hall: (entering from right in shining wet rain coat and rain helmet, which he drags off as he enters. He is panting.) Gosh, girls, it’s a cloudburst! (He kicks off his rubbers.) I’ve run every step of the way from school to get here. The river is rising fast. The Burnett Dam gave way an hour ago they say and it looks bad! Where is your mother, Amy?
Amy: She took Dick to the dentist and was going to stop at Mrs. Brant’s for a recipe on her way home. She ought to be here soon.

Jim: And your father?

Amy: In Chicago on business, but why all the questions, Jim?

Jim: Well, er--- you see ---- (He is interrupted by the ring of the telephone. Amy exits left to answer it. Her voice can be heard clearly.)

Amy: Hello. Yes, Mother – I know. Isn’t it awful? How will you get home? Yes, mother, I’m listening carefully. (Amy’s voice grows very serious) Yes – yes – yes, I will. No, mother, no, I won’t. Jim Hall is here and Rose Field too. Yes, all right, I’ll tell them. Goodbye. (Amy returns to the room. She
is looking very scared.) Mother can’t get home from Mrs. Brant’s. The bridges between here and town are under water. Rose, mother says you are to telephone your mother right away and tell her you will spend the night here.

Rose: I will. That will be fun! (hurries from the room)

Amy: Betty, you and I are to fill all the bowls, tubs, pails and pitchers with fresh water in case the town supply is cut off or made unsafe to drink. Mother says she hopes you will stay and help us, Jim.

Amy Marshall and Jim Hall are the main characters of the story. Amy Marshall is a \(17\)-year-old girl, and Betty Marshall is her younger sister. So, the Marshall family consists of mother, father, their daughters Amy and Betty. Rose Field is a \(16\)-year-old girl who stays in Amy's neighbourhood. Sara Field is a \(9\)-year-old girl and Rose's sister. Jim Hall is also a neighbour of the Marshall's. Mr. Peter is a member of the Red Cross Disaster Committee, and Penny Marsh is the Red Cross nurse. Mr. Peter and Miss Marsh help all of them to rescue.
Time: Late afternoon in March
Setting: Living room of the Marshall home.
The stage is very dim. Amy, Betty, and Rose are sitting around a table. While Amy and Rose are knitting, Betty is looking at pictures in the magazine.
Rose wanted some light, as it was getting dark on the rainy days early. She asked Amy if she can raise the curtain a bit. Amy agreed and said that maybe they need to switch on the light as well. Rose went near the window and saw outside. She could see the rains were heavy, and that the backyard has become a small lake. Amy also went near Rose and was astonished at the view. She said that it was the third day since it started raining and did not stop at all. When Betty heard Rose and Amy, she joined them and went near the window, keeping her magazine aside. Betty was happy to see so much water she said its more than a lake. It was looking like a sea. Betty heard the radio that morning, and it was announced that the river is overflowing, and it is a flood situation. But Betty could not understand much. Amy could understand that and said the river is above the white line, which means the danger zone on the bank of the Thomson Bridge. She said that it might have covered the fields on the south and the highway. Rose added her theory, saying that the snow is melting in the northern part of the state. Amy, Rose, and Betty go back to the table and talk to each other. Rose was a bit tensed and was hoping that there should not be a flood there. Suddenly they hear someone coming and trying to breathe slowly. They all look in that direction, who that was?
Jim Hall entered the room, and he was wearing a shining wet coat and a rain helmet. He dragged the helmet as he was breathing heavily. He saw the girls and said that it was a cloudburst out there. He removed his rubber boots and said that he had run every step to get to this place from the school. He declared that the river was rising fast and the Brunett Dam had broken an hour ago. He said that others say the situation is bad. Jim asks Amy where her mother was?
Amy said that her mother had taken Dick to the dentist and that she was going to stop at Mrs. Brant's place for a recipe before coming back. She said that her mother would be home soon. Next, Jim asked about Amy's father. Amy said that he had gone to Chicago for some business. Amy was amazed at why Jim was asking so many questions. Jim was about to say something, and the phone rang. Amy answered the phone. Everyone could hear her voice to whomsoever she was talking. Amy was talking to her mother. Her tone was serious. She said that Jim Hall and Rose were there at the house. She will tell something to someone and kept the phone. Amy said that her mother could not come home as the bridge between here and the town was full of water. Amy instructed Rose, saying her mother wanted Rose to call her mother and tell that she will spend the night at Amy's place.
Rose was more than eager to tell her mother that she will stay at Amy's place and goes to the room, which has the phone. Amy said to Betty that together they could fill all the tubs, bowls, buckets. So, that they would not run out of fresh water. It is even possible that the freshwater supply might get cut off from the town, or it might become unsafe to drink. Amy told Jim that her mother expects him to stay and help them.
Meaning of difficult words:
KnittingMake some garment by interlocking loops of wool or other yarn with knitting needles.
Stamping Bring down (one's foot) heavily on the ground.
PantingOut of breath.
Recipe A set of instructions for preparing a particular dish.
Pitchers Jug.
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2018). Term-1 English Standard-9. Old Man River By Dorothy Deming (Slightly adapted) (pp. 193-201). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.