Scene: The Homestead Place after dinner. Some early Christmas music fills the house with fun and cheer. Claire is cleaning up the post-dinner mess. Peter has gone upstairs. Inge and Lewis are entertaining themselves in some mysterious fashion in the family room. 

Claire walks around the corner, to see Lewis, to the strains of Frosty the Snowman, vigorously emptying the pepper shaker as he walks about the room. The scene is oddly festive: Buddy reminds one of those Salvation Army ringers, or Santa, or an old-time town crier at Christmas. Pepper drifts down like snow. 

“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” just came on. There is a strange thumping noise coming around the corner, the sort of noise a hammer would make if it were pounding on the closed piano.