A Woman's Vengeance (1948) Script

Oh. You are here, are you?

Emily, you promised ..

Now clear out. Don't be hard on him, Henry.

You're the one who is hard on him.

You treat your brother like an irresponsible halfwit.

And then you are surprised when he behaves like one.

Goodbye, Henry.

I shan't forget what you've done for me.

You've been so unkind to him and the poor boy is in such difficulty.

Entirely through his own fault.

I sometimes think he's the only person in the world who still cares for me.

He was saying such sweet things to me before you came in.

As the cheque.

Henry!

Oh how can you? I'm sorry, my dear.

Now .. is this for the chemist?

You never say anything nice to me. Because you don't feel it.

You hate me, really. Now Emily, please.

No, you don't even hate me. That would be too much trouble.

You are just bored. Bored and disgusted because I'm ill.

Because of this. Must we go through this again?

You can't bear to be near me. It's why you won't come out with me.

My dear, I told you. I am too busy.

Too busy. You're never busier than Robert is.

Robert has offered to take me in his car.

But you can't go by car. It's much too tiring.

It isn't a question of being tired.

It's a question of being with someone who cares for you.

You mean, who cares for your money. Well, I don't care if he does!

At least he doesn't wish me dead which is what you do.

Emily!

Henry, surely you can't deny it. You do wish I were dead.

Oh, I certainly shall if you go on much longer like this.

Oh, I'm sorry. No, no. Come in and listen.

He's just said it in so many words. He wishes I were dead.

Where are you going?

He's forgotten Janet's birthday presents. Go after him will you.

Proust!

The complete set. And so beautifully bound.

Hello, General.

Look, father.

Oh thank you, Henry. I'm so happy you like it.

I can't make head or tail of it. Show me the thing Emily gave you.

Isn't it lovely?

They spoil me. I don't deserve it.

You deserve everything you get. That's a fact, Maurier.

Spending your life looking after a wretched old crock like me.

Father, please.

Sacrificing herself, when she ought to get married.

I'm not worth it.

I ought to be dead.

Making everybody's life a burden.

Now this girl of ours is going to leave us.

Don't worry about it, father. It will be alright.

Very pretty.

What news of Emily?

That's what I came to talk to you about.

Will you do us both a charity?

And come to lunch with us tomorrow?

I'd love to.

But why is it a charity? Blessed are the peacemakers, and ..

We are in need of a peacemaker.

What's it all about? The usual thing.

What, women? Father, please.

In this case it happens to have been something else.

Alright, take me out, nurse. Time to go and feed the dogs.

I began it I'm afraid by objecting to her brother.

That made Emily object to me. Violently.

After which we both lost our tempers.

Utterly senseless of course, but then such is life unfortunately.

It needn't be. No, I suppose not.

If I were a little less impatient.

And Emily could be more understanding.

Then each of us would be somebody else and we'd live happily ever after.

Meanwhile.

Do you think that a woman who has been married for the best part of 20 years ..

Would come to share her husband's tastes, wouldn't you?

Why yes, of course. Well.

The first time I showed Emily a modern painting she said it make her feel sick.

That was when we were engaged.

Now, the last time I showed her one, which was about three days ago.

It still made her feel sick.

That's what you call 'intellectual companionship'.

Luckily there is somebody who understands what I'm talking about.

I'm thinking of the first time I saw a modern painting.

When was that?

When was that?

Do you happen to remember a young woman who came back from India before the war?

Oh yes.

A very charming and beautiful young woman.

That's neither here nor there.

The point is that she was an ignorant little fool.

And you were very kind to her.

You opened a door and there were all the things she'd only heard about.

Painting, poetry, music.

It was like a revelation.

Like a conversion.

Dear Janet.

And.

I wish Emily could have a conversion.

But I'm afraid it is not very likely.

Well, I'll expect you tomorrow.

You are not going already? Ah, duty.

Duty. Stern daughter of the voice of God.

I have to drive to Windsor.

And get Emily's latest prescription made up.

That's typical of you, Henry.

You always joke about duty, but you go on doing it.

Do I? Well ..

I must confess, I hadn't noticed it.

I must say goodbye.

Where is your car? At the gate.

I'll come with you. You'll do no such thing.

I will dream of it.

Et demain.

Cadeau mystérieux. What's that for?

For your thoughts.

They're worth more than that.

Alright. I will give you sixpence when you come for lunch tomorrow.

That's a bargain.

Goodbye.

We go to the chemists first. Yes, sir.

Why have you been so long?

I couldn't help it, darling.

I had to give Janet her presents. It's her birthday.

She must be awfully old, isn't she?

From your point of view she practically has one foot in the grave.

And from my point of view, she is a handsome young woman of thirty-five.

As a matter of fact, she used to be really beautiful ten years ago.

I suppose you flirted with her. Of course I did.

Do you still flirt with her?

Only in the most spiritual way.

Henry, I sometimes hate you.

Luckily, you have your own inimitable way of showing it.

I know you don't really love me, but I don't care.

I can love you enough for two.

If I didn't love you, I'd think you were horrible.

The same to you, my sweet. Many of them.

Couldn't we have dinner together? I can't. I'm dining at home tonight.

At home?

But that doesn't count.

Oh I see. My wife is to be abolished so I can take you to dinner, darling child.

I think you're hard.

Good. Then .. I shan't have to ask you tomorrow night.

Henry, do you mean it?

He's got no right to treat Robert like that. No right at all.

But my dear, you must admit that Robert's a bit .. well, irresponsible.

At least Robert has got a good heart. Henry thinks of no-one but himself.

You're being unjust to him, Emily.

You haven't been married to him for eighteen years.

If that's how you feel, I'm surprised you haven't left him.

And see him trotting off with another woman?

No thank you. But if it would make him happy?

That's the best possible reason for not doing it.

Emily.

I don't know how you can be so unforgiving.

Why don't you let him go?

Do it for your own sake.

For my sake?

It isn't good for you to feel so bitter and revengeful.

No wonder you're ill. Rubbish.

But it's true. People die of those feelings.

Or else they live on them.

Shall I tell you the only reason I'm still alive?

Because Henry would be so happy if I died.

Do you really mean that, Emily?

Of course I do.

You're early, aren't you?

It's my afternoon out.

And by the way.

You don't mind if I'm a little bit late getting back this evening, do you?

My sister is giving a party.

Peas. I'm so bored with peas.

Well, I'll see if cook has something else instead.

Wait, nurse.

Emily, you are having lunch with us.

No, no. I won't see him. Nonsense.

He'll say he's sorry and you'll forgive and forget.

And then we have a nice little party to celebrate.

Oh, alright. Alright.

Send Maisey in to help me to dress.

And I'll go and tell Henry.

Thank you.

Oh that poor Mrs Maurier.

She's terribly ill isn't she.

Oh it isn't her health I'm thinking about. It's .. well, you know.

Miss Spence, I could tell you things that would make your hair stand on end.

Sex. That's all they think about. What do you mean?

Men. I wouldn't trust any of them.

And a Frenchman into the bargain.

Does Mrs Maurier suspect?

I mean, does she think there's another woman?

Oh, he's clever enough to keep things dark.

But I tell you, we wouldn't be surprised at anything.

Mrs Maurier and you seemed to have to have talked things over a great deal.

She knows I'm a friend.

Shall I tell you something, Miss Spence.

You know that brooch of hers? That diamond dragonfly?

Yes, I know the one you mean.

She's going to leave that to me in her will.

Not that I'm expecting her to die.

Though of course it might easily happen. With her heart in that condition.

Hello, Henry.

Well, what news?

Peace or war? Peace.

Oh thank goodness. Even if it is only an armistice.

Come with me. I want to show you something.

Oh.

A Modigliani.

You haven't bought it, have you?

Couldn't afford it but couldn't resist it.

What an astonishing piece of work.

Yes and to think this idiot went and died at 37.

When he might have gone on painting this sort of thing.

I've no patience with people who die young.

Make a note of it, Janet.

You are invited to lunch on my 80th birthday.

Are you sure you won't be bored with me by then?

No.

I will still be wondering what goes on behind that mysterious smile of yours.

What is going on, by the way?

You won't answer.

Where is that .. sixpence?

Now you have to tell.

My dear, I wouldn't eat those redcurrants if I were you.

Why shouldn't I? Remember what Libbard said.

Nothing with skins and pips.

But I'm so fond of currants.

That is no reason for making yourself ill.

Don't be a tyrant.

Of course I believe in letting her have what she fancies.

It does her more good than fussing about with diets and things.

That is what I always tell Dr Libbard.

Alright. Have it your own way.

Shouldn't you be going, nurse? You will miss your bus.

I just want to give Mrs Maurier her medicine.

No, don't bother. I will deal with the medicine. You run along.

That's very kind of you I'm sure.

I probably shan't see you until morning, Mrs Maurier.

I hope you have a nice party. Thank you.

Goodbye, Miss Spence. Goodbye.

Thank goodness.

Now don't blame me if those things upset you.

Do I ever blame you?

You never have anything to blame me for.

I am the idea husband.

That isn't even funny.

It is nice to feel the sun on one's skin.

Clara, my medicine. Run and fetch it for me, will you.

The bottle on the sideboard. Don't bother, Clara.

I've got to go and get my cigars. Thank you, sir.

Shall I pour the coffee for you? Please dear.

You take sugar don't you? Rather a lot, please.

Libbard always gives me the most evil tasting concoctions.

Three lumps. That ought to take the taste away.

And get one in the saucer.

Coffee for you, Henry? And no sugar. Thanks.

Here you are my dear. Thank you.

Oh, too revolting. Quick, my coffee.

Thank you, Janet.

You know. I used to get punished for this when I was a child.

Nothing to what I used to get for doing this.

But now happily, one can commit all the misdemeanours with perfect impunity.

Goodness, it's hot.

Would you like me to move your chair into the shade, dear?

No thank you.

I think I'll go indoors and have a little nap.

These first warm days are very trying.

Sleep well, my dear.

Oh by the way, I shan't be in for dinner tonight.

Where are you going?

Old Mr Johnson wants to discuss the new aviation company he's interested in.

You know how I hate to be alone in the house.

My last evening at home, what's more. Oh, I'm sorry my dear.

I didn't think you would feel sentimental about it.

Will you be very late? No, no. Of course not.

Not later than half-past ten. On the dot.

Well, good evening, Mr Lester. Good evening.

Has .. has anybody been asking for me?

I'll ask at the desk, sir.

Good. Get me a Martini while you're about it.

Very good, sir.

[ Loud music ]

Horrible, isn't it?

There ought to be a law against those things.

Don't you think so? I don't know.

Do you like music?

Not much. You don't?

That's bad.

Nothing for you at the desk, sir.

He brought only one.

He can easily fetch a second. No thank you.

Thank you.

A teetotaller as well as a music hater?

Added to all this, you appear to be practically dumb.

Now, there's a deal to be said for dumb women.

In every sense of that ambiguous word.

In the first place.

Hello. Sorry I'm late.

I'm glad you came. There's a man here who's been bothering me.

What?

No, Henry.

Your eyes do not deceive you.

It is indeed your irresponsible and half-witted brother-in-law.

Won't you introduce me to this charming young person?

Doris, this is Mr Robert Lester.

Miss Mead.

How strange life is, Miss Mead.

To think that you're practically a member of the family.

I must tell Amy about this new addition to the domestic circle.

She'll be delighted.

Excuse me, Doris.

Alright.

How much do you want?

Well, Emily was about to give me four hundred.

When you in your wisdom thought fit to intervene.

Alright, I'll give you four hundred.

Emily was giving .. you're buying.

Not a penny less than five hundred.

Robert, you are a .. Henry.

You know how I hate bad language.

Alright.

Come round tomorrow. I'll give you a cheque.

I'll come early.

Before Emily gets up.

Come whenever you like. You'll always be equally unwelcome.

This has been a very memorable occasion, Miss Mead.

I intend to celebrate our meeting with some champagne.

You will feel better if you ordered a bottle yourself, Henry.

Is he really your brother-in-law, Henry?

Yes.

I don't want to do a thing that's wrong. It will be alright.

I'd rather give you up altogether. Just because I love you so much.

Oh, darling.

Thank you, Doris.

You make me feel almost ashamed.

Albert was right about one thing, though.

We need some champagne with our dinner.

After all, who tells you the world is not coming to an end this evening?

Let us assume we have only six hours before the last trump.

Six hours to make the best of it.

Goodnight, McNabb.

Libbard.

Is my wife ill?

They tried to reach you at Mr Johnson's but there was no news of you there.

Oh no .. I was detained.

I had a breakdown.

Your wife kept asking for you.

I will go up to her at once. I'm afraid it is too late.

Too late?

Yes, I suppose she is asleep.

Mrs Maurier passed away about four hours ago.

You .. you mean she ..?

She's dead?

Unfortunately I was not there when they called me.

I arrived when it was all over. The only pone with her was Janet Spence.

Janet?

Yes, the servants sent for her.

There was a violent attack of nausea in the late afternoon.

And that is what knocked out the heart.

She must have eaten something that disagreed with her.

At lunch?

I suppose so.

Oh excuse me. I ..

I saw the lights and I wondered if ..

Is anything wrong?

Nothing except that Mrs Maurier is dead.

What do you mean?

She died of heart failure while you were out.

It was because you let her have those currants.

You remember? I warned you at the time.

You wanted your own way, didn't you.

Is this true, nurse?

Well she liked them, sir.

But you know how strongly I've always insisted on a bland diet.

Why yes, doctor. I can't ..

You didn't think they'd kill her, but they did.

Please, this is a professional matter. We don't need rhetoric injected into it.

You had better go up to your room now, nurse.

I will talk to you tomorrow.

Let us stick to facts, Maurier.

It may be the currants or maybe not. All we know is that something upset her.

She had a heart attack.

Can I .. can I go up to her room?

I'll wait for you here.


I've been nursing for twenty years.

And this is the first time anyone has had anything against me.

You mustn't take it so hard.

He's trying to ruin me, Miss Janet.

I'll never get another job. Nonsense.

I couldn't wish for a better nurse for my father.

That's very kind of you, Miss.

Did you know our nurse is leaving?

Yes, I had heard.

I admit she's a good nurse. I am the first to admit it.

Nurse Braddock had no business to go against my instructions.

I think I can tell you the reason.

She wanted to spite Henry. To spite him?

What for? She didn't like him. That's all.

Just because he belongs to the male sex, I suppose.

Some of them get like that.

Janet.

I am so thankful you were with Emily at the end.

Yes, I think .. I think it helped her.

Henry, try not to feel too bitterly about that poor nurse.

She didn't mean any harm. I know.

Hell is paved with good intentions. She'll be out of the house tomorrow.

I'm going to get her to look after my father.

Well, I don't envy you.

It's a good idea. I can keep in touch with her and drop in a lesson sometimes.

Tell me about poor Emily.

Did she suffer much?

Too much for you.

It was terrible.

It was so terrible.

I've never seen anyone die before.

I didn't realize.

I'm sorry, David.

I oughtn't to let myself go like this.

I can't keep the memory away.

I suddenly see her struggling for breath.

With that awful look of fear and pain on her face.

Shall I take you home? No.

No thanks, Henry. I've got my car.

You stay here with Dr Libbard.

Goodnight.

Goodnight, Janet.

There is nothing to say of course.

Just platitudes that don't mean anything.

One talks in one universe. One dies and suffers in another.

I found that out when Margaret died.

You two were very close, weren't you.

We were married nearly thirty years.

Thirty years.

And yet.

It isn't the time that counts.

It's what you feel.

What you are.

Remember Emily as she was then?

Margaret used to say that she looked like a princess in a fairy tale.

Shall I tell you where I was this evening?

It seems sufficiently obvious.

I suppose you think I'm pretty contemptible, don't you.

I never thought of that.

But I feel extremely sorry for you sometimes.

Being born with a lot of money.

It's no joke.

Heaven knows. It's dreary work having to earn a living, but ..

At least it gives a certain purpose.

A direction to one's life.

Whereas a rich man ..

A man without a job or a family to support.

He can afford to live.

Discontinuously, if you see what I mean.

Without any purpose but his own tastes and appetites.

In other words, he can afford not to be a real human being.

Do you think I am capable of changing?

At this moment, yes.

But it easy to be heroic in times of crisis.

What's difficult is to behave even moderately well at ordinary times.

The question is, how much will you want to change a month from now?

Am I as weak as all that?

I simply don't know.

It wouldn't surprise me if you were.

Wouldn't surprise me if you weren't.

At fifty-six I've stopped being surprised at anything.

Well, I must go to bed.

I've got a heavy day tomorrow.

Be careful!

I am being careful.

Oh.

It's a speaking likeness.

I'd recognise it a mile off.

I'd give you such a smack in the face for that.

Good afternoon, Miss.

What is going on?

Where is Mr Maurier? Didn't you know, Miss?

He's gone. He's gone to Cornwall.

How very odd. He didn't say anything to me about it.

He only made up his mind yesterday.

All of a sudden.

'Clara', he says to me.

'I need a change'.

So I says to him .. Did he say when he'd be back?

No .. but we're having the whole house repainted.

You know how long that takes.

Nelly, cook and Maisey and me have got three weeks off from tomorrow.

Lucky beggars. I wish I could have three weeks off.

Come on, let's go.

What a sky! Isn't it wonderful?

But you're not looking at it.

[ French language ]

Stop it. I hate it when you talk French.

A friend will have to learn to put up with it.

For better, for worse.

In English and in French.

Till death do us part.

Darling, how much do you love me?

How much? Let's see.

I would say about seventeen times as much as I love English cooking.

No, this isn't a joke. You are perfectly right.

English cooking is a tragedy.

That is why we are starting for Paris tomorrow.

Paris? Do you mean it?

Unfortunately, I have got to pick up some papers on the way up to London.

You mean at your house?

Good. Then I have a chance to see what it looks like.

No, you won't. You are going to wait for me until aunt Nelly's.

But.

I don't want anybody I know to see us together.

Not until we are back from abroad.

You know as well as I do, how they talk.

The servants are away. You told me so yourself.

I know, I know. But the house is full of painters.

Not on a Saturday afternoon.

Tomorrow is Saturday.

Please let me come and have a peep at it. Please.

Alright .. alright.

Thank you, darling. Don't thank me.

Thank yourself.

[ French language ]

If a woman is well, Heaven is well.

You know I can't help feeling rather nervous.

What about?

About meeting your friends. About being Mrs Harry Maurier.

Sometimes I wish we could keep it a secret forever.

That would be romantic, wouldn't it.

You see, I left school when I was 16, so I don't really know anything.

Look at the sort of people you go out to dinner with.

Judges and Admirals, authors. And then me in the middle of them.

What do you expect me to do?

Don't do anything.

Just be.

That's good enough.

But after all, I'll have to say something.

What on earth shall I say? Well ..

Ask them what they think about the Einstein theory.

Henry, you're a beast.

You might at least pretend to talk to me seriously.

After all, you talk seriously to other women.

Which other women?

Miss Spence for example.

You are serious with her, aren't you? Oh, am I not?

That's precisely why I married you .. and not her.

Which showed there may be something more ..

In marriage than the ability to make polite conversation.

Oh, Janet.

Curse these painters.

Janet .. what a pleasant surprise.

I thought you were in Cornwall.

I had to go to town unexpectedly.

So I took the opportunity to do a little burglary on the way.

Without letting us know you'd be here. I'm just riding through.

How did you know I was here? I saw the lights on.

Oh .. and here you are.

Well .. I am delighted.

Now, let's see.

This seems to be ..

Comparatively free of paint. Sit down, will you.

May I? I won't stay long.

I am glad you came, Janet.

As a matter of fact.

It will save me writing a letter. What's this?

Open it and see.

But Henry .. it's Emily's bracelet.

And Emily would want you to wear it. Me?

I don't know anyone who has as much right to it as you do.

No, Henry. I don't deserve it.

Here, take it. But Janet, she loved you.

She would want you to have something that would always remind you of her.

No, I can't. Now, Janet.

I shall be offended if you don't take it.

Henry .. do you want me to have it?

Of course I want you to have it.

I just felt it was too much. It's not nearly enough.

It's really very beautiful.

Do you mind if I finish up this little job while we talk?

Of course not.

How did you like Cornwall?

Oh, beautiful.

I love thunderstorms, don't you?

Frankly, I don't.

I once saw a man killed by lightning, just a few feet away from me.

Goodness! This is like the overture from William Tell.

I knew this would happen.

Heaven knows where they keep the candles.

No, don't. You're spoiling it.

Look at the trees. Writhing, struggling as if they were trying to get free.

But they can't, they can't. They're tied down.

One, two, three four. Less than a mile away.

Listen. What a relief.

What a liberation.

Like someone who kept everything locked inside herself, and now she can let go.

You must have known what that's like, Henry.

Know what what's like?

Poor Henry, you haven't had much happiness in your life, have you.

Oh .. I've done pretty well, things considered.

Health, money .. books.

Golly, how I hate this.

You are quite right, Janet. I am far from being happy at this moment.

You can make a joke of it, but I know what you've been through.

The isolation. The spiritual loneliness.

Right overhead.

It's wonderful.

Like passion. Now, now Janet.

You've been reading too many novels.

Passion, passion.

You know what I mean.

Loving so much or hating so much that in time it breaks out in spite of yourself.

Like lightning. Like a thunderbolt, like the wind and the rain.

And woe to the man who comes out without his umbrella.

You know, that always makes me think of Benjamin Franklin.

Sending his ridiculous little kite into the middle of an electrical convulsion.

Heaven knows why he wasn't killed.

He certainly asked for it.

Henry, we're free now.

We needn't pretend any longer.

I don't quite understand.

I tried to hide it.

But you must always have known, just as I've always known about you.

About me? Of course.

I knew what you felt.

And I knew you would never admit out of a sense of honour and duty.

I respected you for that, even though I suffered from it.

We don't have to think of anyone but ourselves now.

Janet, really.

You don't understand.

We can't. We mustn't.

Forgive me, Henry.

Please forgive me. My dear.

Don't let us say anything more about it.

Your nerves are on edge. It's ..

It's the thunder.

I ought to have known how you feel about it.

It's all too recent, too painful.

Poor Emily. Emily?

Her face.

I thought I'd put it out of my mind.

So frightened.

So horribly frightened.

And I talked about ..

About us .. no wonder it upset you.

Can you forgive me?

Listen, Janet. I think I ought to tell you.

While I was away in Cornwall.

What happened while you were in Cornwall?

Well.

To cut a long story short.

I got married.

You go married? Yes.

Someone you don't know, as a matter of fact.

I've only known her for a few months.

But I'm sure you'll like her when you meet her.

Of course, she is rather young.

Only about ..

Eighteen, as a matter of fact.

Quite a baby. Eighteen?

Yes. It's absurd.

So you see, she has plenty of time to learn.

What are you laughing at? Oh, nothing in particular.

Janet.

We're still friends, aren't we? Of course we are.

Better than ever.

Nothing like a good joke to bring people together.

A joke?

You didn't think I was serious, did you?

No. No, of course not.

Well.

I must be getting home. I will take you in the car.

You should see the roads. I almost had to swim back from aunt Nelly's.

Oh.

Ah .. Doris.

This is Miss Spence.

You have often heard me talk about her.

How do you do. How do you do, Mrs Maurier.

Even though it sounds ridiculous for an old woman like me to call you that.

Do you mind if I call you Doris?

I'd love it. And you must call me Janet.

Yes, Miss Spence .. I mean Janet.

Isn't she adorable.

Well, I'll get my coat.

Tell me, Doris. Are you very, very happy?

Yes .. I think so.

You only think so?

No. No I don't mean that.

I'm sorry.

Let's talk about something else if it upsets you.

But I am happy. Really and truly. It's just that ..

Well, I'm not very clever.

Henry seems to know everything. You know. About art and things.

Art and things. Oh, you sweet child.

Well.

Here we are. I shan't be long, dear. Henry, please let me go with you.

No. No you stay here and change your shoes.

I don't want to.

What's the matter? Afraid of the dark?

No .. afraid of something else.

Can't you feel it, Henry? You must be very insensitive.

Feel what?

She's still here isn't she, Doris?

Alright. Come on. Let's go to the car.

Well, well, well. Married, eh? Sensible fellow.

And high time this girl got married too. Give her a talking to, Maurier.

I'll do my best. Well, where is she?

Take off that ridiculous hat.

That's better.

It's your mother when we were first engaged. The living image of her.

Turn around.

Yes. Definitely so.

Do you remember the picture of her in the riding habit?

That's the thing she was wearing when I saw her first.

Don't you ever ride in anything but a habit, my lady.

Women aren't the right shape for breeches.

Whereas the riding habit .. well ..

A man could still have illusions.

What is life without illusions?

Nasty, solitary, brutish and short.

And women's legs are shorter even than life.

Let's see you without that hideous mackintosh.

What a charming brooch.

Henry gave it to me.

Well, we really have to run.

We've to be in London tonight. A then we take the boat train in the morning.

Goodbye, General. Goodbye, my dear fellow.

Goodnight. Goodnight, Mr Maurier.


I'm glad poor Mrs Maurier wasn't here to see what has happened to her brooch.

Your brooch, really.

I was a fool to think I'd ever get it.

You don't get diamonds from a friendship.

He told me he'd known the girl for several months.

That means, that even while poor Emily was alive ..

Pigs. That's what they are. Every one of them.

I tell you they've got no shame. No decent feeling.

And now, when she's scarcely cold in her grave.

It must have been a great relief to him.

You mean when she died?

Being that he wanted to marry the girl.

Who tells you he didn't have to marry her?

I'd be ready to bet on it.

Then it was lucky for him when poor Emily died when she did.

Just at the right time.

Just at the right time.

Miss Spence, you don't suppose ..?

Suppose what?

Why wouldn't he let me give her medicine?

Why, you're not suggesting ..?

That's ridiculous.

That stuff he brought back from the chemists.

Stuff for killing weeds. I happened to look at the label.

I know what was in it.

So .. that's why he made all that fuss about those redcurrants.

Just to give himself an alibi. You're not serious, are you?

I certainly am! You're mad. It's unthinkable.

After all, I've known him for years. You've known a Mr Maurier.

The one who talks so nicely about pictures and all that sort of thing.

But you've never known the one who can't keep his hands off girls.

He'll do anything, I tell you. Anything.

So why did it happen on the day I was out?

What difference does that make? What difference?

I've seen these cases. I recognise the symptoms immediately.

So what does he do?

He chooses a day when he knows I won't be back until late.

Until it's all over in fact. And then he goes out himself.

On the tiles most likely, with that girl of his.

No. He wouldn't do that. Oh, yes he would.

And when he comes home he turns on me and says I killed her with redcurrants.

Currants, indeed.

After all, Dr Libbard thought it might have been the currants.

Yes, and why? Because the other one keeps harping on it.

And so I have to take the blame. I'm the scapegoat. I'm the one to be crucified.

Well. I tell you I'm not going to put up with it any longer.

And I'm not thinking only of myself.

It's a matter of principle.

I want to see justice done. I want the whole world to know the truth.

You talk as though you knew it yourself.

I do.

I'm as certain of it now as I shall be after they've had the post-mortem.

The post-mortem? Yes. You know what that is, don't you?

Do you mean to speak to Dr Libbard about it?

Dr Libbard? No, of course not.

He wouldn't want to admit he'd made a mistake. No.

I know who to go to. I know what I have to do.

It's horrible.

Digging up somebody after they're dead.

Just because there is some spiteful gossip.

That beastly nurse of yours. I can't understand why you keep her.

My dear, don't be unreasonable.

You know quite well I wanted to send her away but Henry wouldn't hear of it.

Nor would Dr Libbard.

Sending her away would mean we took it seriously.

The last impression we want to give.

We were having such a wonderful time in Paris.

Then to be called back for this nonsense.

And the painters still in the house.

That horrible smell everywhere.

Darling, how dreadfully unkind of me. I'd forgot to ask you how you've been.

Is everything going as it should?

Well, I still feel sick in the morning, if that's what you mean.

And Libbard is pleased with you, is he?

He seems to be.

It must be a strange ..

Wonderful feeling.

You mean, to be going to have baby?

If you ask my opinion, I think it's awful.

It will be alright when the baby is actually there, but ..

Right now, I tell you I'd rather have the measles again.

At least it doesn't last so long.

Will you nurse the baby yourself?

I don't know. I hadn't thought about it.

I would, if I had one. I wouldn't feel it were really mine if I didn't.

When do you expect Henry?

He ought to be back pretty soon.

How was he when he went off this morning?

Rather worried, I suppose?

No. He was too angry to be worried.

It makes him furious the way they're treating him.

Then you do not agree with Dr Libbard's diagnosis as to the cause of death?

Yes, and no.

I am of the opinion that Dr Libbard ..

Was perfectly correct in stating that death was due to heart failure.

Where I differ from him is in regard to the cause.

And what was the cause, in your opinion, Dr Dawson?

Arsenic, sir.

But that is impossible. No interruptions, please.

You'll be given an opportunity of speaking later on, Mr Maurier.

Please go on, Dr Dawson.

The organs were removed and examined.

Both Richard's and Marsh's tests were used.

The presence of poison in considerable quantities was clearly established.

Were the quantities sufficient to ..

Constitute a fatal dose?

Unquestionably.

Do you know Mr Maurier by sight? Yes, sir.

Do you think you could give him this note?

It is rather important.

Alright, sir. I'll manage somehow. Thank you.

Much obliged, sir.

It was one of your duties, was it not ..

To bring Mrs Maurier's medicine to her after meals?

It was.

Did you bring it to her .. after lunch?

On the day that she died?

No. I did not.

I'll wait until she finishes.

As the next one is called, I'll slip in and give him it.

Take the Testament in your right hand.

Will you repeat the oath.

I swear by almighty God that the evidence I shall give the court ..

Shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

So help me, God.

So I took the coffee things out into the garden and put them down on the table.

And what then?

Mrs Maurier says to me:

'My medicine, Clara. Run and fetch it'.

And did you go?

No, sir. Why not?

Because Mr Maurier says:

'Don't bother, Clara. I've got to go in and get a cigar anyway'.

Thank you. You may step down.

Adjournment.

The court will adjourn until 2:30 tomorrow afternoon.

It's too terrible.

Yes, it's terrible because it's impossible.

And yet it's happened.

It's all my fault.

I oughtn't to have let you love me.

I knew we shouldn't have done it.

But I cared for you so much.

Darling, if they do anything to you, I shall kill myself.

Don't talk nonsense.

Why did you do it, Henry?

Why did you do it?

You all seem to take it for granted that I murdered my wife.

Do I look like the sort of man who goes about .. slaughtering people?

To ring her neck and let the devil take her?

I suppose they imagine I'm so insanely in love with you, I would do anything.

Anything!

When will you women understand that all one asks for, is a little amusement.

And a quiet life!

Instead of which.

Well .. I don't know why the devil I ever married you.

Why did any man in his right mind ever marry any woman for that matter?

Henry!

Maurier.

Libbard.

I've just been sent for, to your house. What for?

Your maid told me over the phone that your wife had taken poison.

Taken poison?

Fortunately, it was only an overdose of sleeping tablets.

I've told them the emergency measures to take, so I hope it won't be too serious.

Get in.

Is it the result of what happened at the inquest?

Yes .. yes, that and other things.

I got angry because she took it for granted that I ..

Well that .. I was responsible for what happened to Emily.

I said a lot of things I should not have said.

I see.

Libbard .. do you think I did it?

No, I don't.

Then how did it happen?

One of them tries to kill herself. Perhaps the other succeeded?

But why? Why?

Ask yourself, Maurier.

If you were a woman, would you have been very happy as Mrs Henry Maurier?

I would rather you didn't come up.

Very well.

Well.

That's that, young woman.

Two days in bed and you can do what you want.

No more of this sort of thing, remember.

What's to prevent me?

Nothing except your own common sense and common decency.

If he doesn't love me I don't want to go on living.

Who cares what you want? Who cares about your beastly little emotions?

Why not think of somebody else for a change?

I think of Henry all the time.

You don't. You think of yourself in relation to Henry.

Which is a very different proposition.

Thank you, Maisey. You may go.

Remember, if you wake up in the night with cramps in your intestines.

Don't blame Henry.

It's your own fault entirely.

There.

You are quite right, Dr Libbard.

It was wrong.

I promise I won't do it again.

Good girl. No. No, I'm not good.

That's why all this is happening.

Tell me, how can I help him?

Well.

In the first place, you must believe in him.

Through thick and thin in spite of everything. That's the first thing.

Then whatever happens.

You must be strong.

Be calm. No tears, no harrowing scenes. They are just an indulgence. That's all.

Some women cry as easily as a big grunt.

And they enjoy it very nearly as much.

So don't do it.

Don't do it.

And finally, remember you are going to have baby.

That's probably the best thing that's ever happened to Henry.

So for goodness sake don't let's make a mess of it.

You see who is here?

Is she alright? Flourishing.

And there isn't going to be more of this sort of nonsense, is there Doris.

I'm so thankful you got here in time.

Yes. But it would have been better if there hadn't been a need for me to come.

Goodbye, Doris.

Goodbye, Henry. Thank you.

Will you forgive me, Doris?

Darling, I'm the one who needs to be forgiven.

It was all selfishness, really.

I can see it now.

I was trying to spite you. Trying to get my own back.

I began it I'm afraid.

I ought to have known better.

At eighteen?

To think I tried to kill myself.

And everything so beautiful ..

So mysterious.

Even that fly on the ceiling.

Even that silly old doll you tore to bits.

And this.

How wonderful it is simply being able to move from one place to another.

It's empty here.

It's empty there.

Just think of you in your own emptiness.

If everything was so jammed full you couldn't move.

Like .. like in a coffin.

That's death.

That's hell.

But darling, I was forgetting.

Before you came back I rang Imperial Airways.

A plane leaves Croydon in the morning.

This is Friday. There's a whole weekend in front of us.

We could be in Africa before they found out, or in Turkey or ..

Henry.

You still believe I did it?

But I don't. I don't.

Then why did you suggest that I should run away?

Oh, I've been a fool again.

I made you angry.

It's only because I love you so much.

It was because I was so very anxious in case you couldn't make them understand.

Shall I tell you something?

I said a very stupid thing this afternoon.

I said I didn't know why I ever married you.

Well, perhaps I didn't know it then.

But now I do know.

I know very well.

What?

Because I love you.

Oh, my darling.

When the medicine was brought from the house.

Who poured it out?

Nobody did.

It was brought out in a wine glass. In a what?

In a wine glass. Oh, I see.

Mr Maurier poured it out in the house? Yes.

Could you see him pour it out?

Not from where I was sitting.

But knowing Mr Maurier as I do, I feel certain ..

That's sufficient. Thank you. It's utterly unthinkable.

I'm here to determine facts, Miss Spence.

Not to speculate about what is or is not thinkable.

Thank you. You may go now.

I propose to recall Mr Maurier.

Henry Maurier.

We now come to.

A rather painful subject.

Tell me.

Were you acquainted with the present Mrs Maurier ..

Before the death of your first wife?

With respect, sir.

I fail to see what bearing this question can have on the present enquiry.

You will please allow me to conduct the proceedings in my court in my own way.

Will you please answer the question, Mr Maurier?

I had been acquainted with her for about .. four months or so.

Mrs Maurier's maid has testified.

That after lunch you offered to go and fetch your wife's medicine.

Is that the case? Yes.

Did you bring it back, the medicine?

In the bottle?

No. I poured out two tablespoonfuls into a wine glass.

And I swear to God I added nothing!

Please, please. I'm sorry.

I must protest.

You will kindly confine yourself to answering my questions, Mr Maurier.

Was anyone with you in the room ..

When you poured out the medicine? No.

Clerk, do you have the ledger there. Will you please show it to this witness.

On the .. fourth line from the top.

Do you recognise your signature? I do.

Mrs Filmore's records show.

That on the day before Mrs Maurier died.

You purchased a tin of weed-killer.

Is that the case?

Yes.

Are you aware that the weed-killer in question is a .. powerful poison?

Yes.

Shortly before purchasing the weed-killer ..

Did you have a quarrel with the late Mrs Maurier?

Yes .. I suppose you could call it that.

Thank you. That is all.

Well, here we are. Sure you won't change your mind and come with us?

No.

We start by feeding the dogs.

It's good to be with dogs for a change. Takes your mind off your troubles.

Wouldn't have minded being a dog myself.

A comfortable kennel, free meals.

Unlimited access to the females of the species. When you're old they shoot you.

No wheelchairs, no torture, no blasted nurses.

One bang and it's over. Ha-ha!

Put on your things and come with us. Do.

No, father. I'd rather not.

It would help you to sleep if you took some exercise.

Please.

A good brisk walk. That's what you need, dear.

And then five minutes of deep breathing.

I'm a great believer in deep breathing.

That and abdominal massage.

Up the ascending colon, across and down and across and then down 40 or 50 times.

I used to do it for poor Mrs Maurier every single day.

Poor thing. Poor thing.

Well, she'll sleep easier in her grave after this.

Hurry up .. quick.

Alright, alright.

Have you got your bag of dog biscuits?

We'll be back in time for tea.

Don't let it get you down.


Doctor Libbard, Miss.

Show him in.

I just dropped in to see how things were going along.

Father seems very well.

He's just gone out for his walk. And you?

Ah.

Not much of a credit to your physician, I'm afraid.

If I don't sleep tonight I shall go mad.

You've still got some of that stuff I gave you, haven't you?

It doesn't seem to work anymore.

Dr Libbard, you don't know what it's like.

Night after night.

I can't stand it any longer.

This wretched business with poor Maurier.

You mustn't let it prey on your mind too much, you know.

I know, naturally. But ..

Well I ..

Anyone can't help feeling dreadfully sorry for him.

Sorry if the light bothers you.

Hold sill just one moment.

Hmm.

Do you wear these things all the time now?

I find the light very trying.

It's been like that ever since I started sleeping badly.

Then of course, poor Emily.

You were very fond of her weren't you.

Oh yes.

Yes. I loved her.

Well, wouldn't that account or all your troubles?

Grieving over the death of a friend?

And what a death.

What a death.

Suicide at the best. Murder at the worst.

And remember.

'Macbeth hath murdered sleep'.

He murdered it for a lot of other people as well as himself.

Look what I found in the garden this morning.

Give that here.

Can't I give it to him?

It's just a 4-leafed clover. That's all.

Well, it's against the regulations.

But I don't see any harm in it.

You think it's awfully silly, don't you.

It's not silly to love someone.

It's the only thing that makes any sense.

How does Libbard think you're getting on?

Alright.

Darling, let's calls him Patrick.

Call whom? Libbard?

No, I mean if it's a boy. Oh. I see.

And if it's a girl? Well.

What about Belinda? Ah no. There I draw the line.

But it's such a pretty name.

Do you see me running after the child in Kensington Gardens ..

And yelling 'Belinda, Belinda'.

There are limits, my dear.

We are taking certain things for granted, aren't we.

Darling, you mustn't say such things.

After all, you haven't done anything wrong, so what can they do to you?

Besides.

You've got your 4-leafed clover now, and we won't call her Belinda, I promise.

I don't imagine that will prevent you from making an ass of yourself.

Any man looks an idiot when he's trying to keep a tiny child in order.

I shall roar with laughter and you'll be furious.

And then a moment later, you'll be laughing too.

It will be so wonderful, Henry.

Will it?

Of course it will.

Sorry ma'am. Time is up.

Come on.

When driving the car.

Did you notice signs of intimacy between the accused and the present Mrs Maurier?

Yes, sir.

There was considerable .. embracing.

[ Laughter ]

Silence .. silence!

On more than one occasion? Yes. Very frequently, sir.

I have no questions to ask this witness, Milord.

Caroline Braddock. Caroline Braddock.

Janet.

Sorry if I've frightened you.

Have they called you again?

No. I've been sitting in court with Doris.

Do you think ..?

I mean, how is everything going?

Not too well, I'm afraid.

You mean, for Henry? Yes.

They're all coming home to roost, every one of the follies he ever committed.

Goodness knows, there were enough of them.

Do you remember in the Gospel, men and women who were possessed by devils?

I sometimes wonder if that's the only plausible explanation of things we do.

Things that we know are against our own interests. Things that are ..

Obviously wrong and idiotic and suicidal.

And yet we do them.

Or is it somebody else inside us that makes us do them?

If it's somebody else, then ..

Then we wouldn't be responsible would we?

I think I'd better get back.

Did the accused and the late Mrs Maurier ever quarrel?

All the time. When did they have their last quarrel?

On the day before Mrs Maurier's death.

Was it violent?

To judge from what I heard of it, it must have been.

What did you hear?

I heard Mr Maurier say he wished she was dead.

The day before she died.

Of poisoning, remember.

The deceased wrote as follows:

"Robert, darling."

"Herewith the cheque that Henry tried to prevent you from having."

"He was horrible to me after you were gone."

"He said he wished I was dead."

"I can't see you tomorrow."

"But come the day after and we'll decide definitely about the journey."

"Ever, your affectionate Emily."

Now.

Did you see your sister again ..

After you received this letter?

No I didn't.

She wrote it on Tuesday afternoon.

I got it on Wednesday morning.

And on Wednesday evening, she died.

When she was taken ill that night.

The servants sent for you. Is that correct?

Yes.

Did you see Mrs Maurier alive that night?

Yes. I was with her until the end.

Was she unconscious at the time you came?

No, she was fully conscious.

Then she was able to speak?

Yes, she was able to speak.

Did she say anything about poison?

No.

No, she didn't seem to realize she'd been poisoned.

Nothing to indicate that the poison was self-administered?

No.

Nothing.

Now .. what are the motives for the crime?

There were two of them.

Among the lowest and most contemptible of all human passions.

Lust .. and avarice.

His wife is rich.

She has made a will in his favour.

Her life is heavily insured.

And now to the lure of money.

Is added the compulsion of another even stronger passion.

When his wife falls sick.

What does this man do?

Does he sit beside her bed to comfort her?

Does he devote himself to alleviating her sufferings? No.

He wanders abroad in search of low and criminal distractions.

He finds a young and innocent girl.

He flatters and cajoles her.

He dazzles her with a display of his wealth.

And fascinates her by his knowledge of the world.

True, he denies the fact of his adultery, but ..

Nevertheless, he cannot deny the fact of his infatuation.

The unhappy invalid at home.

Is unaware of what has happened. And yet.

And yet how terrible for her, are the consequences of that infatuation.

Her presence becomes increasingly irksome to him.

Her very existence is a threat to his pleasures.

More and more, he wishes her out of the way.

And at last that wish is translated into action.

The poison, is bought.

Here .. you've been transferred to Wandsworth.

Wandsworth?

But that is where ..?

But you can't .. there is the appeal.

You'll hear about that in plenty of time.

Hold out your hands.

Poor devil.

Vengeance is mine, said the Lord.

I never was so glad of anything in my life.

But I have some wonderful news for you, Miss Janet.

Friday the 24th. But aren't you pleased?

You had better go now, Miss Braddock.

Oh very well, but I thought she would be pleased.

After all, when a criminal gets his deserts ..

That's enough.

When a criminal gets his deserts.

But is he a criminal?

I still don't believe it.

I didn't believe it, either.

Now, after everything they brought out at the trial .. one must believe it.

Must one?

I've just been reading a very interesting book.

An analysis of cases of people who are condemned for crimes they didn't commit.

But they proved it.

They proved it in these other cases, too.

Sometimes it was a matter of deliberate false witness.

Sometimes it was nothing more than circumstantial evidence.

Piled up.

It all pointed in one direction.

The conclusion was obvious.

And inevitable.

And yet that conclusion was wrong.

After all the case is closed now. It can never be reopened, never.

So what is the good of talking about it? It's just silly.

I don't want to discuss it any more. They proved it at the trial. That's it.

Not to my satisfaction, I just can't believe that Maurier is responsible.

Then who was?

What about Emily herself?

Suicide? No, Emily would never have committed suicide.

Yet she often complained that she was tired of life.

I never heard her say that. Never.

Neither did nurse Braddock if I remember correctly.

I must say I was very surprised when she said that at the trial.

I don't know what she said. I don't care.

Maurier cared. It carried a great deal of weight with the jury.

Somebody who'd been with Emily day and night for the best part of two years.

Never heard a whisper of suicide.

Yet suicide was the main line of defence.

I'm not interested in lines of defence. I'm interested in the truth.

I'm interested in justice.

And if you are trying to insinuate things.

If you are accusing me of telling lies, just because ..

Why do you let me go on?

Why don't you stop me?

People don't like being stopped as a rule.

You ..

You were very fond of poor old Henry, weren't you?

Yes, I liked him. I liked him very much.

Emily used to say that if she died, you and Henry ought to get married.

Married?

Him .. and me?

Why that's monstrous! How dare you.

I'm only repeating what Emily said.

You talk about me as if I were one of those women of his.

One of those .. those ..

It's as disgusting as it's contemptible.

I'm sorry, doctor Libbard.

Don't apologise to me. I'm not the one who's got insomnia.

What do you mean?

You're getting all worked up about Henry's tastes in women.

It doesn't help you to sleep, you know.

You don't imagine I spend my time thinking about that, do you?

Well, you were thinking about it just now. Quite loudly.

Do you ever think about poor Emily?

Of course I do.

After all, she was my best friend.

And when you do sleep.

Do you ever dream about her?

Those are the dreams that make me wake up.

I suppose you dream of her as she was when she was dying?

Yes.

And sometimes I see her sitting out there in the garden.

Just as she was drinking that coffee.

I thought it was the medicine he was supposed to have put the medicine into.

Yes, of course. The medicine.

I mean the medicine. I don't know why I said coffee.

Henry didn't give her the coffee, did he?

I really don't know.

Somebody must have.

Anyhow, it's of no importance is it, seeing that everything has been proved.

Quite.

Quite.

Oh, I wish it were all over.

All over?

You seem to think this business is like something in the movies.

Or in a novel.

You seem to think it has an ending. At 8 o'clock on Friday week, to be precise.

I don't know what you're driving at.

I'm driving.

At some way to make you sleep.

Well, this has been a very interesting talk, Dr Libbard.

But whether it's going to cure my insomnia, that's another question.

Personally, I put more faith in sleeping tablets.

Janet.

Do you remember meeting a young Doctor Carter at my house this spring?

Yes.

I've known him since he was a boy. He's a very nice fellow.

Kind, sensible, conscientious.

And he's turned out to be a first-class psychiatrist.

No thanks. I don't want to see a psychiatrist.

But you want to get well, don't you? I'm not ill!

Not that way.

I know you. You're going to tell them I'm mad.

And then they'll lock me up and torture me until I say things.

It's a plot. Everyone is plotting against me.

Nobody is plotting anything.

That's a lie. You said it yourself.

You want me to go to a doctor for mad people.

It won't do any harm. He will ask a few questions and find what's on your mind.

I've told you again and again.

I haven't anything on my mind!

It's just that I can't sleep.

But he'll help you with that.

He'll put you to sleep if you let him.

You mean he'll hypnotize me?

Well, what's so alarming about that?

Send me to sleep and then make me say a lot of things I don't want to say?

When I shan't even know I've said them.

No .. no, I won't.

I won't. Janet.

Don't touch me.

I'll kill you. Do you understand?

A Miss Spence to see you, Maurier.

Don't mind us.

Carry on as if we weren't here.

It is difficult to believe that you are quite real.

Nothing is quite real anymore.

[ Clock chimes ]

That clock.

When one thinks about time.

Draining away like blood from a wound.

And you can't stop it.

It just goes on. Quietly flowing until there isn't any more.

Then you're dead.

Was that half past three?

Yes, that was half past three.

Four and twelve makes sixteen.

Twenty-four.

Forty hours.

A little more than forty hours.

It's like being.

At the edge of a huge black pit and something is pushing you from behind.

Perhaps it would be more bearable if it made some kind of sense.

If at least, one could believe that there is such a thing as justice.

There is.

Janet.

I didn't do it.

I swear by all that is sacred.

Sacred?

What is 'sacred'?

Do you remember that night?

That night when there was a thunderstorm?

You talked of Benjamin Franklin sending up his kite to attract the lightning.

A sort-of scientific practical joke.

Well, sometimes the joke comes off.

Sometimes the lightning comes down the string and then ..

Well, people get killed.

Get killed?

And whose fault is it they get killed? The fault of the lightning?

Or the fault of the man who thought it would be fun to play tricks with it?

I don't understand what you mean.

Well, don't try.

Just imagine a little group of boys at school:

'What does your father do'?

'Oh, he's a Barrister'.

'What is yours'?

'He's an engineer'.

'And yours'?

'My father is dead'.

'He died before I was born'.

'He died in a place called Wandsworth prison'.

Janet, don't ..

Did I ever ask for mercy?

Did you ever think of showing it?

Never.

I never said anything when you amused yourself at my expense.

Janet, I didn't do that.

What else were you doing all those years?

Beckoning me on. Calling me to you.

And then at last, when I came to you ..

You hit me across the face and then ran off to have a good laugh with that ..

Filthy little beast.

How dare you say that! Yes. How dare I.

Do what you like but never said.

That's shocking. That's disgusting.

How old was she Henry, when she first started doing these things?

Eighteen?

Seventeen?

Slut riding and pawing.

And you call it love .. love!

Filth! That's what it was.

And you threw the filth in my face and then roared with laughter.

Why don't you go on laughing, Henry?

Laugh.

Laugh. This is all part of the same joke.

Don't you understand?

Janet.

You don't mean it?

Forty hours more.

That's all.

And you asked me to lunch on your 80th birthday.

Why don't you laugh?

Goodbye, Henry.

Janet, Janet .. Janet!

Janet! Janet!

She was the one. She did it.

Keep quiet. But she told me.

She confessed. Janet!

Janet .. Janet!

But she is the murderer. She told me.

But it is true, I swear. Just let me go.

There, that's better. Now sit down. Tell her to come back.

Make her say it again to witnesses. Keep quiet.

Let me go, let me go, let me go!

Time passes slowly.

Not for him.

Eight o'clock at Wandsworth.

There but for the grace of God goes James Libbard.

And there but for the grace of God, goes Janet Spence.

Happily, there was the grace of God.

It is still possible to do it. To do what?

To have the execution postponed. Why should it be postponed?

If an entirely new fact were to turn up. They've proved it.

The jury thought they proved it.

But do you?

Of course you know the basic reason ..

Why poor Emily was so dreadfully unhappy?

What was that?

Because she wouldn't accept the facts as she found them.

She was an invalid. She'd lost her looks.

She wanted to be treated as though she were young .. and pretty.

What has that got to do with me?

That is for you to answer.

I only point out it's possible to adjust to even the most terrible facts.

Old age.

Sickness.

Death.

Yes, even with one's own wickedness and folly.

Those are just words. That's all.

Just words.

But they can always be translated into actions.

Listen, Janet.

I understand your not wanting to go to sleep until you feel that you're safe.

But did you ever stop to analyse the word?

Safe from what? Safe in which respect?

One can shut the door against one danger and be wide open to another.

Look at yourself.

You want to be safe from death.

But at what price?

At the price of feeling guilty.

At the price of being driven mad by the sense of guilt.

And what then?

In your madness .. won't you try to do away with yourself?

Then again, that's death.

You run away from death.

And what do you run into?

Death.

Madness.

And death.

But if you don't run away.

If you face the facts. If you accept your destiny.

There is something like a certainty that you will escape madness.

And a very good chance of escaping death.

Well.

I'll think about it.

I'm terribly thirsty.

Would you like a drink?

Yes.

That's a good idea. I'll get one for you.


Kali, isn't it?

The great mother.

And precisely because she is a mother, she's also the Goddess of destruction.

If you give life, you also give death.

Inevitably.

I must say they had a pretty realistic view of the world, these old Hindus.

Oh, I beg your pardon.

I am really most awfully sorry.

I don't think it will harm the carpet. Do you?

Just a little fizzy water and a spot of alcohol.

Do I get another? Let me do it for you.

No, let me.

That's Emily's bracelet, isn't it?

Yes.

I thought I recognized it.

It's really rather grotesque when one comes to think of it.

Executing a man for murdering a dead woman.

Murdering a dead woman?

What do you mean?

Well, that's what she was.

Two months, three months, four months at the outside.

That's all she had in front of her.

You mean ..

If she hadn't been poisoned.

She would have been dead in two three months?

That's it.

What are you laughing at?

I don't know.

Nothing.


I'm sorry.

Your poor hand.

Did you do that yesterday?

I did it yesterday.

Darling.

I want to tell you something.

It happened to me last night, quite suddenly.

In the middle of a paroxysm of rage and despair.

It was like.

Actually hearing your voice.

Only there weren't any words.

There was just a kind of ..

Absolute certainty.

A certainty?

I knew that everything was finally alright. I knew it.

It's true.

Of course.

One has got to face things as they really are.

One has got to forget what one would like them to be.

Tell me, my darling.

Have the leaves started to turn?

They are all golden now.

Even the beech trees? Yes.

I remember when I was a little boy.

Walking in the beech woods.

I used to pretend that the dry leaves were heaps of money.

Knee-deep in gold.

Like the Count of Monte Cristo.

Then.

Death.

You know, if you accept it.

It's alright.

But if you refuse to accept it, then ..

You go mad.

But I can't accept it. I can't.

Shall I tell you what was hardest?

Accepting the fact that I shouldn't ever see you again.

I wish I were dead.

I wish I had never been born.

This is nothing to do with one's wishes.

After all, we did not ask to be born.

We've got to put up with life.

Even if we don't like it. Even if we can't understand it.

Mind you ..

We can never understand it while we are actually living it.

Life has to be lived forward.

But it can only be understood backwards.

So .. there it is.

That's what I suddenly understood.

Meanwhile, what was I doing?

The exact opposite of what had to be done.

Knocking my hands to pieces, driving myself mad.

Raving against the injustice of the thing.

But it is unjust.

From the outside, yes. From other people's point of view. But you know.

If you accept injustice has been done to you.

If you say to yourself, well ..

This is what has happened. And I put up with it.

I actually will it.

Well .. if you can do this.

Then in some strange mysterious way ..

The nightmare makes a kind of sense. I know it's difficult to explain but ..

It's true.

Oh, before I forget.

I want you to promise me something.

Don't see too much of Janet.

Don't let her have anything to do with the baby.

Darling, she's always been so sweet to me.

I know she has.

But all the same, will you promise?

I promise.

I could tell you all the reasons, but .. it would take too long.

Besides.

What is the point?

Let the dead bury their dead.

Why bother about the past.

I am glad you didn't come to see me yesterday.

Why?

Yesterday, I should almost have hated you.

Hated me?

Yes, hated you for being free.

For having all your life in front of you.

Whereas I was here.

In a few hours ..?

You love me, don't you?

And I love you, Doris.

And love casts out fear.

Of course, it also works the other way round.

Fear casts out love.

Yesterday there was nothing but fear.

Today ..

Today it is different.

Two, three.

Can I do a fourth?

Another Queen. Let's see what I can do.

Jack of clubs. Oh my goodness.

Well, here goes.

Mine! All mine.

You are no good at all.

Well, I'm not clever enough. This is a game for a quiet intellect.

Are you ready? Uhuh.

At last, a King!

One .. two .. I'm finished.

I'm done for.

I owe you ten million pounds.

Eleven million. Eleven, is it?

Ah well.

Well anyway, here is sixpence on account.

I'll pay off the rest by instalments.

Tuppence a week until the last judgement.

Agreeable?

It's raining.

I like rain.

I like it when it rains really hard.

When there is thunder.

Lightning.

Oh, that girl.

It's too horrible.

I hate him.

I hate him!

Do you know what the time is?

Only two minutes.

Two minutes.

That's all.

Then you will be safe.

Safe.

I'll be safe.

They must have got everything ready on the scaffold.

The rope.

The straps.

And now they are going down the stairs.

There is the Governor of the prison, the Chaplain.

They are walking along the corridor.

It isn't far. Just a few steps.

They are at the door.

Someone puts a key in the lock. And turns it.

The door opens .. there he is.

There .. he .. is.

Just because she was eighteen.

Because of her mouth, because of her skin.

Oh God! God! God! God!

God ..

It's alright. No need to worry about it.

Sleep now.

Hold still.

This won't hurt.

Quite still.

Let yourself go.

Feeling comfortable?

Yes.

You feel quite safe now, don't you.

Yes.

Yes. Absolutely safe.

Tell me, Janet.

How did you get her to take the poison?

I put it in the coffee.

You thought he would ask you to marry him? Huh?

No. No, I don't want to talk about it.

But it's true, isn't it? I can't tell you.

You thought that he loved you as much as you loved him.

It's too awful. It's too humiliating.

Alright.

I won't torment you anymore.

Go to sleep now.

Deep sleep.

Warm .. soft .. dark.

Like black velvet.

Think of black velvet and black fur.

No light coming in.

No dreams to interrupt you.

Just sleep.

Hello.

Give me toll calls, please.

Battersea 6160.

Hello?

Is that Wandsworth prison?

This is doctor James Libbard speaking. l want to speak to the Governor, please.

At once.

Yes, it is official business connected with the Maurier case.

Yes, it is extremely urgent.

Alright, I'll hold on.


(.r0s.)