Eddie talks with his lawyer. He tries to find out a way in which he can get rid of Rodolpho and also how he can get Catherine back. Eddie tries to make every excuse on why Rodolpho should not be with Catherine; unfortunately everything is in line with the law. Eddie accuses Rodolpho of being gay. Eddie is trying to use every excuse that he can find to give him a reason to split Catherine and Rodolpho up. The conversation is ready to close until Alfieri says this, ‘You know sometimes, God mixes up the people. We all love somebody, the wife, the kids – every man’s got somebody that he loves, heh? But sometimes there is too much love. You know?
There’s too much, and it goes where is mustn’t. A man works hard, he brings up a child, sometimes it’s a niece, sometimes even a daughter, and he never realises it, but through the years – there is too much love for the daughter, there is too much love for the niece. Do you understand what I am saying to you? ‘ This is the speech in the play that makes Eddie realise what he is doing. He is clinging on to his niece and his love is too great for her. This infuriates Eddie and he loses his temper. He is very angry at this point and he tells Alfieri what he thinks. However it begins to break through to him what point Alfieri is trying to make.
Alfieri says ‘She wants to get married, Eddie. She can’t marry you, can she? ‘ Eddie knows that everyone can see his true feelings towards Catherine. Eddie returns to the house in a fragile state. He is angry and upset. He starts to act in a sarcastic manor. He says ‘I heard that they paint the oranges to make them look orange. ‘ Marco does not understand him but Rodolpho replies with ‘Lemons are green’. Eddie resents this comment because he believes that Rodolpho is insulting his intelligence. He gives a sharp answer to Rodolpho and this weakens the happy mood of the others in the house.
It is Beatrice once again that tries to break the uncomfortable silence. Everyone in the house sees how Eddies mood has changed. Eddies starts to say things that indicate he is insulting Marco and Rodolpho. He says ‘ I mean you know, they count the kids and there’s a couple extra than when they left? ‘ Marco becomes more cautious and Eddie seems to make more subtle insults. Whenever Eddie is unhappy about something with Rodolpho he always tells Marco as he knows that Marco will sort it out. An example of this is: ‘ But in your town you wouldn’t just drag some girl without permission, I mean. You know what I mean Marco?
It ain’t much different here’. Eddie is trying to say that he thinks that it is wrong for Rodolpho to go out with Catherine without his permission. Marco thinks that Eddie is right with what he says but Beatrice is the only one that really knows what Eddie means. Things settle down again and then Marco goes on about eating in the ships. He tells them all of how good of a cook Rodolpho is. This starts Eddie off again and he yet again begins to insult and mock Rodolpho in a subtle way. But Eddie begins to realise that he is exposing the issue. He does not want this to happen because it might cause trouble with them all.
This is not what Eddie wants! Once Eddie thinks that he has taken the conversation too far he changes the subject. He invites the cousins too see a fight. They accept his offer. But things become a little uneasy when Eddie says that he will teach Rodolpho how to fight. At first it is like a lesson, like what a farther would teach his young son. They start to spar and Eddie gets a little too carried away. Eddie slips out of his frame of mind and for a second he thinks he is in a real fight. When he lands a right hander and Rodolpho staggers it all stops. Marco stands up. Marco can sense that something is not right.
Marco stood up to show that he was ready to jump in and protect Rodolpho. It becomes an uneasy atmosphere. Rodolpho and Catherine dance and Eddie sits. Marco feels that now it is his turn to show Eddie what he can do. Marco shows his strength by picking up a chair with one hand from the bottom. Eddie fails to do this and Marco picks up the chair with ease. Eddie is uncomfortable with this and Marco does this so that Eddie can experience what Marco was feeling when Eddie and Rodolpho were sparing. The expression on Eddies face changes. Marco is showing off his strength and superiority that makes Eddie feel uncomfortable.