'Exactly as at the end of Act Two. Eric is standing just inside the room and the others are staring at him.'
'Yes, we know.'
'(distressed) Eric, I can't believe it. There must be some mistake. You don't know what we've been saying.'
'You know, don't you?'
'(bitterly) You haven't made it any easier for me have you, mother?'
'But I didn't know it was you – I never dreamt.'
'(turning to Eric.) Now then.'
'(firmly) Yes. (As Birling looks like interrupting explosively.) I know – he's your son and this is your house – but look at him. He needs a drink now just to see him through.'
'(miserably) could I have a drink first?'
'One night last November.'
'In the palace bar. I'd been there an hour or so with two or three chaps. I was a bit squiffy.''I began talking to her, and stood her a few drinks. I was rather far gone by the time we had to go.''I was in that state when a chap easily turns nasty – and I threatened to make a row.'
'Yes. And that's when it happened. And I didn't even remember – that's the hellish thing. Oh – my God! - how stupid it all is!'