write any conversation between joe keller and chris keller
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In Act I, Chris Keller enters the scene. He is an affectionate young man of 32, who clearly adores his father. They wonder what Mother will say about the broken tree. A little boy named Bert runs in. He and Keller have an extended make-believe game in which Keller is the police inspector and Bert has been deputized to arrest other children in the town. After being told that there is a jail in the basement of the house, Bert leaves to continue his patrol.
Chris and Keller resume conversation about the tree. Early that morning, during the storm, Chris saw his mother standing outside beside the tree when it cracked. She had been crying very hard and wandering around at night, like she did shortly after Larry died. Although Larry has been missing for several years, Mother still thinks that he is alive somewhere. Chris thinks it is dishonest that he and Keller allow her to hold onto this dream, while they themselves are rather certain that Larry is long dead. Keller is resistant to making this fact final, however, because they cannot prove that their son is dead, at least not to his wife, without a body or a grave.
Chris sits him down and says that he asked Annie to visit because he is going to propose to her. Keller is lukewarm about the idea, because Annie was Larry's girl. From Mother's perspective, Larry is not dead, so Annie is not available to Chris. But Chris insists that there is no other girl for him, even though they have not seen each other since the war. He declares an ultimatum: if his parents will not accept his marriage to Annie, then he and Annie will just get married and move elsewhere. Keller is shocked that Chris would leave behind the family business.