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The Piano Lesson
by August Wilson
Boy Willie Timeline and Summary
Boy Willie arrives from Mississippi with a truck full of watermelons. He tells everybody that the Ghosts of the Yellow Dog pushed Sutter down his well. He declares that he plans to sell the piano so that he can buy Sutter's land; Doaker tells him that Berniece will never agree. Boy Willie says that Berniece is crazy when she says she sees Sutter's ghost. He denies killing Sutter when Berniece accuses him of it. He teaches Maretha to play a boogie-woogie. He tries to get the number of the white guy who wants to buy the piano from Berniece, but she refuses, saying she'll never sell it. Boy Willie talks about how he and Lymon ended up on Parchman Farm. He tries to move the piano and ends up getting in a big fight with Berniece about whether it should be sold. He tells Berniece that it wasn't his fault that her husband, Crawley, died but doesn't defend himself as she hits him. Boy Willie sells lots of watermelons, then heads out for a night on the town with Lymon. He makes out with a lady named Grace. He finds the guy who wants to buy the piano and makes a deal. He tries to move the piano with Lymon, but it is too heavy. Despite Doaker's protests, he declares that once he gets some wheels and rope, he's going to take the piano and sell it. Boy Willie argues with Berniece as he screws wheels on a board and waits for Lymon to show up so they can finally move the piano. He starts hauling the piano out of the house, when Lymon returns. Boy Willie is unafraid when Berniece threatens him with a gun. He mocks Avery's prayers as the preaches tries to bless the house and piano. Boy Willie wrestles Sutter's ghost. He lets Berniece have the piano, but tells her to keep playing on it, he and the ghost might both come back.