‘Fences’ (Troy): “I went down to see Hertzberger about some furniture”

FENCES by August Wilson

From: Play

Type: Dramatic

Character: Troy Maxson was a former baseball player in the Negro Leagues who now works for the sanitation department.

Gender: Male

Age Range: 40's | 50's

Summary: Troy tells Bono about the time he bought furniture wtih no credit.

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TROY: Look here, Bono… I went down to see Hertzberger about some furniture. Got three rooms for two-ninety-eight. That what it say on the radio. “Three rooms… two-ninety-eight.” Even made up a little song about it. Go down there… man tell me I can’t get no credit. I’m working every day and can’t get no credit. What to do? I got an empty house with some raggedy furniture in it. Cory ain’t got no bed. He’s sleeping on a pile of rags on the floor. Working every day and can’t get no credit. Come back here — Rose’ll tell you — madder than hell. Sit down… try to figure what I’m gonna do. Come a knock on the door. Ain’t been living here but three days. Who know I’m here? Open the door… devil standing there bigger than life. White fellow… got on good clothes and everything. Standing there with a clipboard in his hand. I ain’t had to say nothing. First words come out of his mouth was… “I understand you need some furniture and can’t get no credit.” I liked to fell over. He say “I’ll give you all the credit you want, but you got to pay the interest on it.” I told him, “Give me three rooms worth and charge whatever you want.”

Next day a truck pulled up here and two men unloaded them three rooms. Man what drove the truck give me a book. Say send ten dollars, first of every month to the address in the book and everything will be alright. Say if I miss a payment the devil was coming back and it’ll be hell to pay. That was fifteen years ago. To this day… the first of the month I send my ten dollars, Rose’ll tell you. I ain’t never seen that man since. Now you tell me who else that could have been but the devil? I ain’t sold my soul or nothing like that, you understand. Naw, I wouldn’t have truck with the devil about nothing like that. I got my furniture and pays my ten dollars the first of the month just like clockwork.

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