Mr. Read is working in his professional kitchen.
Mr. Read: Oh, hello. Are you looking for Arthur? Arthur! He must be doing his homework. Arthur is in the family kitchen eating cookies. I'm working on my latest creation. It's bold, risky! No other chef has dared to combine what I have combined. Something popped out of the toaster. Cinnamon toast soufflé! The only problem is getting them out of the toaster. He tries to take out the soufflé with pasta tongs. The souffle deflates immediately. Hmm... Like all great inventors - Galileo, the Wright Brothers – I’m used to setbacks. I’m also used to my experiments being misunderstood.
Flashback: Mr. Read serves the family something brown on a plate.
Mr. Read: For dessert, chunky pudding balls!
Flashback: Arthur, D.W. and Mrs. Read watch TV.
Mr. Read: Anyone for cranberry prune crumble?
Arthur: Er, I don't like broken food.
D.W.: Shouldn't you be encouraging us to snack on vegetables? Mrs. Read tries some.
Mrs. Read: Oh! It's delicious!
The flashbacks end.
Arthur: Oh, well. If Da Vinci could deal with it, so can I. Arthur walks into the kitchen. Oh, Arthur, just in time. I need someone to taste this. Arthur quickly closes the door. Arthur?
Arthur comes home just as Mrs. Read is about to enter the house.
Arthur: Is Dad in the house?
Mrs. Read: Why? What's wrong?
Arthur: I need desserts - fast! Brain’s moving in on my dessert turf.
Mrs. Read: Arthur! You can't keep asking your father to make desserts for you.
Arthur: Why? Dad loves it. He said so.
Mrs. Read: He's been working really hard. He wants to do all these things for you, but do you think it's fair to ask him to do so much extra work?
Arthur: No. I'll wait a while before I ask him to make any more desserts. Mrs. Read kisses him.
Arthur is doing his homework in the kitchen. He looks at the clock.
Arthur: I’ve waited an hour and a half. That should be long enough! He takes his order list and gets up. Four cakes, six pies and a sachertorte. That'll stop old Brain’s ice-cream dead in its tracks!
He approaches the garage where Mr. Read is talking to Mr. Crosswire
Mr. Crosswire: You said the food for our party would be ready at four o’clock! It's four! I don't see any food!
Mr. Read: I'm running a little behind schedule, Ed. I had a special cake order to do last night. I'll have everything done in two hours. I promise.
Mr. Crosswire: I hope so! Otherwise, I'll have to take my business elsewhere. He walks out past Arthur who is looking guilty. D.W. comes.
D.W.: What's wrong?
Arthur: Dad got behind in his work doing my cakes. And now Mr. Crosswire's mad. Dad might lose his business.
D.W.: Lose his business?! We’ll have no money! We’ll lose our house and end up on the street!
Arthur: Mr. Crosswire's business, not Dad's catering business!
D.W.: We’ll have almost no money! Our furniture will end up on the street!
Arthur: What will I do? I need these deserts!
D.W.: Throw it away! Your crazy demands will destroy us! She grabs Arthur’s list and they struggle.
Arthur: Give it back!
Mr. Read: What's going on? Mr. Read stands in the door. D.W. hugs his legs.
D.W.: Arthur ruined your business! Put him on the street first!
Arthur: I was just using your desserts to make everyone like me. He rips up the list and hugs his dad. I'm sorry I made you get behind in your work.
Mr. Read: You know I'll do anything to help you if I can, but I'd prefer if you ask me, not tell me. That's how a family works. We cooperate with each other, right?
Arthur: You’re right, Dad. I wish there was a way I could make it up to you.
Mr. Read: Well, actually, I could use a hand right now. Do you have time to help me?
D.W.: Me, too! Even though this is all Arthur's fault!
Mr. Read cuts a cucumber while Arthur grates cheese and D.W. puts potato chips on a tray. / Arthur fills apple juice in a measuring cup held by his dad and D.W. / Arthur puts a bowl of candy on a small cart pulled by Pal. / Arthur and D.W. clean pans. / D.W. sifts flour and envelops herself and Kate in a white cloud.
Mr. Read takes a cake out of the oven while Arthur and D.W. wash dishes.
The food stands ready on the table.
Mr. Read: All done! Arthur and D.W. lie on the floor exhausted.
Arthur: Phew! I never knew cooking was such hard work! Mr. Read holds up a cake.
Mr. Read: Thanks to you I could make a second cake for us. Mr. Ratburn comes in.
Mr. Ratburn: Arthur, I thought I’d better bring you the spring reading… Oh, are you having cake?
Arthur: Oh, brother!
Mr. Crosswire finishes loading the food into his car and drives off. A smell of cooking follows him. Mr. Ratburn follows in his convertible.
Mr. Ratburn: (sniffs) Brownie cake!