Imitation of Life (1934) Script

♪ Nobody knows ♪

♪ The trouble I've seen ♪

Want my quack-quack. No, darling, not now.

Wait till Mother finishes your bath. Won't be but just a minute now.

Want my quack-quack.

There. Upsy-daisy. There.

Want my quack-quack.

No, darling, not now. Later. Please be good.

Mommy's so late and she's got so much to do.

What's Mommy got to do?

Well, she has to get you dressed, get you breakfast, take you down to the day nursery.

Don't wanna go to the day nursery.

Want to stay home with Mommy.

Ah, darling, I wish you could, but you can't.


Because Mother has to go out and sell lots of cans of maple syrup... so she can buy nice things for her baby.

Don't want to go to the day nursery.

Marjorie pulled my hair.

She did? Well, she was a very bad girl to do that.

I pulled her back harder.

Well, I suppose if she pulled you first, it was all right.

I pulled her first.

You did? Then you're a naughty girl.

And you won't go to heaven. Don't want to go to heaven. Want my quack-quack.

♪ I love you and you love me ♪

♪ And I don't wanna go to the day nursery ♪

Oh, I think we're gonna have an opera singer in the family. Don't you?

♪ I love you and you love me ♪

♪ And I don't wanna go to the day nursery ♪

Mommy, telephone! I hear it, darling.

Now you sit here and be good for just a minute.

Hello. Good morning, Mr. Auburn. Yes.


Yes. Excuse me just a minute, please, will you?

Hello? Yes, Mr. Auburn.

I was terribly sorry not to find you in.

Since my husband's death, I've been carrying on his business.

Mommy! Yes, dear, yes.

What, Mr. Auburn? Mommy, can I come down?

Yes. No, no, dear. Wait till I finish dressing you.

That was just the baby.

Yes, I have a little girl.

Thank you. I'll have the syrup delivered to you within an hour.

Thank you so much. Good-bye.


Good morning.

I come in answer to your advertisement for a girl.


The advertisement what say, "Wanted: Cook, laundress, housemaid, colored, not afraid of hard work, moderate wages."

There must be some mistake. I haven't advertised for any girl.

Ain't this Astor Avenue?

No, this is Astor Street. Astor Avenue is way the other side of town.


Funny I didn't notice that little "avenue" word.

That's just my luck.

What they got two streets alike for, anyhow? I don't know.

I don't know what I better do. There's a streetcar at the corner.

Take that, and you'll be there in about 10 minutes.

We has to walk. Oh.

No, you wait here. I'll get you carfare. Thank you.

Something's burnin'. Wha... Oh, dear.

Nice quack-quack.


Jessie! Oh, darling. Are you hurt?

I fell down. Oh, darling.

Oh. Oh.

Oh, darling, look at you.

I's all wet. Oh.

I'll say you're all wet.

We're gonna eat such a big breakfast, aren't we?

Oh, how nice of you!

I see'd you was in a "fummix," so I thought I'd lend a hand.


Why, darling, what do you mean by saying such a thing?

Horsie. Nice horsie.

I've been took for many things, but I ain't never been took for that before.

Thank you for all you've done. Here's your carfare.

I wish you good luck. Thank you kindly.

Come on, darling.

Come on. Run along.

You sure you wouldn't need somebody for your own self?

I'm handy with housework.

And taking care of children that just comes natural to me.

I'm afraid I couldn't afford it. I wish I could.

Don't worry about wages, if that's what's on your mind.

If I could get a home for my little girl, I'd be glad to work for just room and board.

You've got a child? Yes'm.

That's the drawback about a job. Folks just don't want Peola.


You sweet little child.

Come here, Peola.

Come on. Say good mornin' to the lady, Peola.

Good morning. Good morning, dear.

Why, she's a lovely little girl. Yes'm. She's very light.

Her pappy was a very light colored man.

Peola's a nice brung up child. She ain't been dragged up like most of'em is.

Oh, your sweet child. What might her name be? It's Jessie.

As I was saying, ma'am, if you could put up with my little girl... and give her and me a roof over our heads, I'd be willing to work for almost nothin'.

Well, I have got a room you could use, but...

Don't worry about food.

Peola, she don't eat nothin'. She's so little.

And I's deceivin' as to proportion.

I don't eat like I look. It's the truth.

I's very light at the table. Honest.

Just 200 pounds of mother fighting to keep her baby.

Two hundred and forty, yes'm.

I could get jobs all right, 'ceptin' for Peola.

But I can't be separated from Peola, no matter what happens.

You know how it is, ma'am. Indeed I do know.

Does we get to stay, ma'am? Please.

All right, we'll try it.

All right. Sit down and I'll have your breakfast ready in a jiffy.

Good evenin', Miss Bea. You're pretty late tonight.

Yes, I know.

Where's my baby? She's gone to bed.

Oh, I thought I'd get home in time to see her before she went to sleep.

She played so hard all day, she almost went to sleep while eating supper.

I'll run up anyway. Maybe she's still awake.

Seems like I never get to see her at all anymore. Yes'm.

Your supper's ready, Miss Bea.

Oh, my feet hurt.

Come and sit down and let me rub your feet.

Come on. All right.


That rests me all over.

It don't seem right for you to be carrying around them heavy cans of syrup, peddlin'.

I've gotta make a living. With your pretty face and them pretty foots.

You oughta have a man takin' care of you, honey. Oh, Delilah.


I had a man once, but he up and died on me.

Is that gentleman in the picture your late husband, ma'am?

Mm-hmm, that was he.

Was you very much in love with your late husband, might I inquire?

Well, I married him.

Hmph. But did you love him? That's what I asked, honey.

Oh, Delilah, I think I was too young to know very much about love.

Mother was dead. He was my father's choice.

Father wanted somebody to take care of me, so I married him.

Mmm, that's a pity.

It's too bad when you get started off on the wrong foot first.

Oh, but you'll get over it.

Youse got a big surprise comin' to you, Miss Bea.

You need some lovin', honey child.

What I need is a little supper.

Yes'm. I got some nice food ready for you tonight.

That's fine.

Thank you.

I've got Jessie.

That's enough.

Delilah, honestly now, doesn't she look like an angel?

Why she am an angel, Miss Bea.

Can we have some pancakes too?

Please, Mammy. They look awful tasty.

Go on out of here. You two have had your breakfast.

Go play, and take that fleabag with you. Okay, Aunt Delilah.

You'll be the death of me with these pancakes.

I'm glad you finds 'em to your taste, ma'am.

I've never tasted anything so good in my life. How do you make them?

It's a secret.

Them pancakes is my grannie's secret.

She passed it down to my mammy, and my mammy told me.

But I ain't tellin' nobody. No, sir.

I don't blame you. I wouldn't either.

Down South, my mammy was famous for her pancakes.

White folks come from miles around just to taste 'em. Yes'm.

It's a secret, and it's gonna die with Delilah.

All you do is just take a little...

That's all? That's all. There's your secret.

Course you've got to be light with the flap.

Mmm, look at the time. You've made me late with your pancakes.


Good-bye, honey. And good luck for the day.

Thank you, Delilah. Miss Bea? Wait a minute.

What is it? What's the matter?

I want you to take this rabbit's foot and put it in your money purse.

Now, Delilah! Yes'm, you must take it.

Are you the owner? Yes'm.

I'm Mrs. Pullman. Mrs. B. Pullman. You know.

Sorry, but I don't.

My husband was B. Pullman, the man who was killed in the wreck.

The train wreck at Camden. I remember the wreck, but there were so many killed.

He used to sell waffle syrup to the hotels and places.

It's wonderful syrup. A hundred percent pure maple.

I don't eat it. Bad stomach. Gas.

No, I don't mean... I'm keeping up the B. Pullman business.

I was wondering. Could I make a deal with you to rent this store?

I have a marvelous formula for making pancakes, and it's my intention... to rent a store, have a pancake place and sell syrup on the side.

This morning I was going to decide on several sites. This is one of them.

It's a good concession. One of the best on the boardwalk.

How much are you asking for rent? Two hundred and fifty.

That's very high.

That's terribly high.

You've got to pay for a good location.

This store has nice living quarters in the back. Mm-hmm.


What will you do in the way of decorating? A lot will have to be done.

It's going to rent as is.

You don't think I'd take it in this condition?

Look at it. It's filthy!

It needs new paint, new paper.

And the floor. That'll have to be fixed.

If it needs it, you'll have to do it.

Will you give me three months free? What?

Give me three months free, and I'll do all the decorating and alterations.

What do you think I am?

I might consider one month.

Make it two, and I'll take a year's lease. It's a deal.

I'll have to have the first and last month in advance.

I can't do that.

I can't give you anything in advance.

When do you expect to pay?

Well, you said you'd give me two months.

So I'll start paying the third month.

Nothing doing.

But I'll need every dollar I have for alterations and fixtures.

Delilah. Delilah!

We're going into business. We're which?

You're going to make your pancakes, and I'm going to sell them on the boardwalk.

I've rented a concession. We're gonna live in rooms in the back. The store's at the front.

Get buckets, rags and soap. We've got to start cleaning up.

Gather the children. They'll have to go with us.

I talked to a painter and a man about the fixtures.

They'll be there, so hurry up.

There. This is it, Delilah. My, it's a very nice store.

You and Peola go outside and play. There's a lovely place for you in the back.

Go look at the nice yard you've got to play in.

Won't that be pretty when there's flowers in there?

Be careful. Don't sit on the floor, 'cause it's all dirty yet.

These will be the living quarters. The most important thing now is the store.

Take that sign down and cover the front window with Bon Ami.

Miss Bea? Yes.

Is somebody died? What?

Is you been left money? Mercy, no!

Well you only had $19 and some change this morning.

Yes, I know. Shh. Here's the painter.

How do you do?

Hello. You certainly did come over right away. Yes, ma'am.

This is it. All this has to be painted, the ceiling calcimined, and that back room papered in the paper I selected.

I want you to give me an estimate, and please make it low.

But I must-a see it first. Oh, sure. Go right ahead.

Do you paint signs?

No, but I can have one made for you.

I'll tell you what I want. I want a great big sign with lots...

Delilah? Ma'am?

Smile. Huh?

You know, smile.

No, no. A great big one.

Oh, yes'm.

That's it!

Now turn to the right. Hold it.

That's what I want.

A big picture of Delilah looking like that.

And underneath, "Aunt Delilah's Homemade Pancakes."

You see what I mean? Yes, ma'am.

But I must send someone to make that up for you. All right. Thanks.

That's all right.

Delilah! All right. All right.

It's all over. It's all over.

I'm gonna make you famous yet.

[Muttering In Italian]

My Lordy, who's that?

The furniture man about the fixtures.

How do you do? Did you bring the estimate on the things I selected?

Yes, Mrs. Pullman. Good.

This is where the grill should be, I think.

And all across here I'd like to have shelves.

The counter will be there. If the shelves start there and go straight up the top, it should be nice, don't you th...

Will you excuse me? Surely. I'll look around.

Yes. Thank you.

Did you get it all figured out? I tell you.

For a first-a class-a job, there is lots of work here.

For a first-a class-a A-one job, because I don't work cheap, Yes.

The best-a figure I can give you is $193.

A hundred and ninety-three dollars?

That should be a good job. Sure!

Five percent off for 30 days? Huh?

No, no, no. If I give you 30 days to pay, I can't take-a nothing off.

All right, $193 in 30 days. Uh-huh.

That's fine. And you'll do a good job? Sure.

And start right away. Sure. I take another man off another job.

And we start-a right away. Thank you.

Good-bye. Good-bye.

You're gonna have a nice place here. I hope so.

You'd better make it eight tables instead of six. Yes, ma'am.

That'll mean 32 chairs. Mm-hmm. Yes.

The coffee urn, the grill, the counter stools and the dishes.

Here's the list.

Installed, that will cost you $1,560.

How much for cash? That is cash.

Oh, that...

And the terms for monthly payments?

Ten percent down on delivery and $50 a month.

You're asking $156 down?

I might as well pay cash!

Make it $50 straight monthly payments.

Only $50 down? Why, that'll hardly pay the cost of my trucking.

That's the best I can do. I'm opening a chain of these shops along the boardwalk.

I already have a large wholesale distribution of maple syrup.

That takes up a great deal of my ready cash.

Make it $50 straight monthly payments, and it's a deal.

I don't know now. You see... How soon could you have the fixtures installed?

With the exception of the grill, right away. Of course, that will take time. But...

I can't do much without the grill, so you will hurry it up, won't you?

I'll do the best I can, but...

I'll be down later this afternoon and sign the order.

But you see... What a lovely scarf pin.

Yes, it is.

I wish you could make it a little more down.

Don't be so greedy.

Just look what a big order I've given you. Yes, I am.

Be sure and come in for some pancakes sometime.

Pancakes? Oh, pancakes. Yes.

Yes, pancakes. Good-bye.

Thank you. Come again.

There you are, Mrs. Pullman. Paid in full.

Think of that. I've really paid my last debt.

It's more than a great many can say. Yes, ma'am.

You've built up a mighty pretty business here, Mrs. Pullman.

Mighty pretty.

It does you good to see someone go ahead and make a success.

It hasn't been so easy as all that.

You'll never know how near you've come to getting your fixtures back on your hands.

But all in all, I've got by and I've nothing to complain of.

You've no idea how often I've told the story, the way you opened up here.

You paid nothing down on the store because you agreed to put the improvements in.

And you got the improvements because you had the store.

About the only cash you put out was on my fixtures. And when I came to collect, you talked me out of that.

All I had was talk.

And yet, a pretty woman like you...

Ah, we won't go into that.

Come on, children. Time for school. In a minute, Mommy.

Good day, Mrs. Pullman. Let's go.

Let's do it over again. All right.

England? France? London. Paris.

Italy? Don't tell me now. Rome.

Now you ask me. Germany?


Denmark? Don't tell me, now. Copenhagen.

Belgium? Sprouts?

You mean Brussels! Yeah.

First thing you know, you're gonna get a "D"again.

Good-bye, Mommy. Good-bye, honey.

They sure likes each other, them two.

Peola's smarter than Jessie.

Yes'm. We all starts out that way.

We don't get dumb till later on. Oh, Delilah.

It's been nice for them to have each other all these years when we've been so busy.

You think we all gonna make money, Miss Bea?

I hope so, Delilah. It's hard to start out.

But we've paid our debts, we've got money in the bank.

We're certainly better off than we were five years ago.

We sure is, honey. It certainly would be nice if we got rich.

It certainly would.

I could send Jessie away to college.

And Peola, she wouldn't have to do housework for nobody.

Once in a while, we could take a vacation.

All the vacation I need is to get off of my feet.

Maybe have a little place in the country.

There's plenty gentlemen on the boardwalk would be glad to give you that and more... if you weren't so set in your ways.

I sees them smilin' at you.

There's Peola. I wonder what's the matter.



What's the matter, honey? What's happened?

Peola. What's happened to my baby?

I'm not black! I'm not black! I won't be black!

Peola! She called me black. Jessie called me that.

Now, now. Jessie.

Jessie Pullman, for shame on you.

Come and sit on Mammy's lap. That's a girl.


Now, now, now, Peola.

Calm yourself, baby.

You gotta learn to take it. You might just as well begin now.

You apologize to Peola this minute.

No, no, Miss Bea.

Don't make her apologize. Ain't no good in that.

You! It's 'cause you're black.

You make me black.

I won't! I won't! I won't be black.

Jessie, how could you say such a mean, cruel thing to Peola?

I didn't mean anything.

It 'tain't her fault, Miss Bea.

It ain't yours and it ain't mine.

I don't know rightly where the blame lies.

It can't be our Lord's. It's got me puzzled.

Oh, dear! I don't want to get the Old Maid again.

Your turn now.

Let's see. Watch me pick a real good one.

Ah, shucks! That was a good one.

Now, be careful. How you feeling, darling?

My headache's much better. Is it?

Uh-huh. School's nearly out. It's time to be better.

I really have got a cold.

I know you have, darling. I was only fooling.

Anyway, I'm glad to have an excuse to keep you home with me.

My, ain't that rain rainin' terrible?

Surely is.

Seem like the ocean's turned bottom side upwards.

How you feel, honey?

Better, thank you. Oh, that's good.

My Peola forgot her rubbers and umbrella.

I guess I better meet her with 'em else we'll have two of'em down instead of one.

We'll read a chapter until the rain lets up.

Then I think you'll be able to get home. Shall it be Little Men or Little Women?

Little Women!

All right. Little Women.

"Jo was very busy in the garret, "for the October days began to grow chilly and the afternoons were short.

For two or three hours, the sun lay warmly in the high window."

Good afternoon, ma'am. It's rainin' so hard, I brought rubbers and coat to fetch my little girl home.

You've made some mistake.

Ain't this the 3-B? Yes.

Well, this is it. It can't be it.

I have no colored children in my class.

Oh, thank you.

There's my little girl.


Oh. My poor baby.

Teacher, has she been passin'? Passin'?

Why, yes. Peola.

You may go home.

Gee, I didn't know she was colored.

Neither did I.

I hate you. I hate you! I hate you!

Peola! Peola, honey!

Peola. Peola!

Peola, honey!

Some rain!


Hello. Swell weather for ducks.

Not for business. No. Hotcakes and coffee.

I see you have a window-shopper, Mrs. Pullman.


Some aroma. Why don't you come in and have some?

If I had the price, I'd been outside of six stacks Of 'em already.

Oh. Yes, ma'am.

I'm practically the greatest living pancake surrounder... in the Western Hemisphere.

I took it up as a child. Took years to perfect myself.

But I'm not having any today. I'm sorry.

Not half as sorry as I am.

Come and have some anyway, on the house.

You mean it? Sure, I do.

I'm practically in.

Why, Peola, didn't you see your mother? Yes, I saw her.

She had your raincoat and rubbers.

What happened? Nothing.

Come, Peola. Let me take those wet clothes off of ya. Go away. Leave me alone.

Now, baby, there ain't no need of being thataway.

Go away and leave me alone! What's the matter?

Don't tell her. Don't tell me what?

She was passin', Miss Bea, and I give her away.

She know I wouldn't have done it on purpose.

Now, Peola, you mustn't feel that way.

Oh, she can't help herself just now, Miss Bea.

She's like her pappy was.

He beat his fists against life all his days.

It eat him through and through.

Go on, darling. Take your wet clothes off.

Perhaps you'd better send her to a different school.

I can't keep sending her to different schools all her life, Miss Bea.

Well, were they good? Good?

Listen, man and boy, I've been eating griddle cakes for 35 years, but I never tasted any as good as these.

What do you put in 'em? That's the secret.

That's what I was afraid of. Too bad too. Why?

To keep anything as wonderful as this away from the world.

How'd you like to trade in another stack of wheat cakes... for a hundred-thousand dollar idea?

Honest. I mean it. Mean what?

I can tell you in two words how to make a million dollars.

Just two? Just two.

Did you ever hear the story of Coca-Cola? No.

When they first put it on the market, they used to peddle it over soda fountains for five cents a copy.

But it didn't make any money.

One day a smart fella nudged the president and said, "For $100,000, I'll tell you in two words how to make millions."

You know what those two words were? Uh-uh.

"Bottle it."

"Bottle it"? Mm-hmm.

Now, the pancakes... the flour, I mean, box it.

Box it?

Sure, box it.

Do I get that stack of wheat? The other fella got a hundred thousand smackers.


Yeah, you get all the pancakes you can eat, and a job besides.

Well, I don't know about that.

I ain't gonna do it, Miss Bea. No, ma'am, I ain't gonna do it.

I don't know why I bother about all this.

I've gone without my dinner. I barnstormed over here in the snow... to tell her she's on Easy Street.

And I get just as far as a stranded dogfish on the Barnegat Shoals.

Now you tell her.

Now, look, Delilah.

We've made $15,000 in the last six months.

We'll double that byJuly, and make $100,000 next year.

So now we want to incorporate. Yes'm.

That's the best way to run a business. Yes'm.

Now, here are the papers for you to sign.

But if I sign them, then what?

Then you'll have a 20% interest in the Aunt Delilah Corporation.

You'll be rich.

You'll have your own car, your own house.

My own house?

You gonna send me away, Miss Bea?

I can't live with ya?

Honey child, please don't send me away.

Don't do that to me. Why, don't you want your own house?

No. How am I gonna take care of you and Miss Jessie if I ain't here?

Oh, Delilah.

You'll have me in tears in a minute.

Let me and Peola stay the same as we been doin'.

I's your cook, and I wanna stay your cook.

Of course you can stay, Delilah.

I only thought now that the money's coming in... and after all, it's all from your pancake flour.

I gives it to ya, honey. I makes you a present of it.

Youse welcome.

Oh, Delilah, you're hopeless.

I could've told you that.

Well, I'll simply have to put the money in the bank for you.

That's all right, if you want to, against my funeral.

I does hanker for a good funeral.

Once a pancake, always a pancake.

What are you doing behind the bar?

I'm hiding. Hiding? What do you mean?

It's all your fault. Look at me.

What's the matter? You look grand.

Yeah, I look like a crow calling to its firstborn.

Did you hear what I was saying? No.

I've been trying to say that you're one of the grandest party givers in New York.

Have another cocktail. Good. I will. I want to drink a toast.

Gentlemen, I give you the fifth anniversary... No, no, the 10th.

The 10th anniversary of Aunt Delilah's Pancake Flour.

Thank you. You're kind.

Them boys sure play good for white boys.

They oughta play well. They get paid enough for it.

What's that got to do with it, Peola?

Oh, nothing.

A charming party, Bea. Thank you, darling.

Hello, Hugo. Hello, my dear.

Sorry I'm late. It's nice to see you anytime.

You're beautiful tonight, and so young. Thank you. Bless you for that.

Is Jessie still at school? I suppose she'll come home a young lady.

I'm afraid so.

Come on, honey, I'll dance with ya.

Can't you leave me alone?

I don't want to dance. I want to read.

How long is this party gonna keep up anyway?

What's the matter with my baby? I'm sick and tired of it.

What, the party?

No... not the party.

What is it, baby?

What's my baby want?

I wanna be white like I look.


Look at me. Am I not white?

Isn't that a white girl?

Honey, we's had this out so many times.

Can't you get it out of your head? No, I can't.

You wouldn't understand that, would you?

Oh, what is there for me anyway?


Are you looking for something?

Yes. The doorbell.

The doorbell? Yes, isn't it silly?

I can't find the doorbell.

I've heard of people lighting matches to find house numbers, but never a doorbell.

Do you know, by any chance, where it's hidden?

Why, yes.

It's over there. It's all right, thanks. I can get in now.

Jarvis? Yes, madam.

Who's the gentleman who just came in? I don't know, madam.

I thought perhaps... The light isn't working. Will you have it fixed?

Very good, madam.

Oh! Hello. Hello!

Well, I finally got in. Yes, so I see.

By the way, have you ever seen that doorbell? Why, yes...

I supposed it's studded with diamonds, and they put it in the safe after dark.

I'm coming up here by daylight and take a good look at it.

Yes, do.

Shall we dance? Mm-hmm. I'd love to.

Excuse me.

I was late getting here.

The party's nearly over. Not for me.

And to think I had this forced on me.

You didn't want to come? No.

A friend asked me. Elmer Smith.

Oh, Elmer asked you! Yes. Do you know him?


He's been trying to drag me up to see her ever since I got in town.

See whom? Mrs. Pullman, the pancake queen.


I put it off as long as I could. Mm-hmm.

You know, these big businesswomen frighten me to death.

Why? They're so efficient and competent, and...

Tell me, what's she really like?

Oh, she's, um... Let's see. Why don't you ask your friend Elmer?

No, he says she's beautiful. Wonderful. A noble character.

But what else could he say?

You don't think he'd jeopardize a $50,000 a year job.

Not Elmer.

May I get you something? An ice or some "flannel" cakes?

Flannel cakes? Yes, or whatever she calls them.

You don't think a pancake queen is going to pass an opportunity to advertise her product?

I'd like some champagne.

May I have two...

Just one moment, sir. Please.

There must be more than this!

But there are still six cases left, sir.

It's going awfully fast.

Here, keep these two for me. I may need them later. Yes, sir.

So that's where you are!

You're late. You're drunk.

You're a liar. May I have two?

At once, sir. Nice time to be showing up.

I've been here for hours. No wonder I couldn't find you hiding behind this bar.

Nice way to treat a guest. A stranger too.

I've been watching for you all night.

Didn't think you'd wait till the party was over.

Why do they build dog kennels in bars?

Come on. I want you to meet Mrs. Pullman. Can't now. Some other time.

What do you mean, "some other time"?

I've something more important to do right now. For instance?

I'm taking a drink to a very charming lady.

You haven't lost any time, have you? I tried not to.

Don't you think it's time you paid your respects to your hostess?


Here she is, and you're going to meet her, whether you want to or not.

Bea, this is an old friend of mine, Stephen Archer.

Steve, this is Mrs. Pullman.

The pancake queen.


I don't know what to say. How to...

I've been so rude. I'm so sorry.

Sorry! What are you sorry about now?

I hope you'll never know.

Say, what's the matter with him anyway?

Don't feel too badly. I led you on to your downfall.

I feel all kinds of a fool.

You see, I was to have met Elmer here.

And then I... I met you instead.

It's all right now, isn't it? If you say so, yes.

You know, I'm not really civilized.

For the past eight months I've been walking on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean... with jellyfish and whales. What are you talking about?

Let me introduce myself again. My name is Stephen Archer, and I am an ichthyologist.

A what? Ichthyologist. Fishes.

I study fishes for those who are interested in the life of the fish.

So you can better understand why a man who spends all of his time with fish... should behave like one.

Good night.

Good night. Good night.

Have one? No, thanks.

Good night.

Good night.

Well, it's getting late. The guests are going home.

I said the guests were going home.

Yes, I know. It's after 2:00.

Way after.

I'm aware of the time. Also other things.

It's no use you hanging around here.

Tomorrow you'll just be the forgotten man, that's all.

Then I'd better make the most of tonight.

She's got no time for silly romance.

She's such a charming woman. Uh-huh.

And you're such a fortunate man. Why?

To be her general manager.

You don't, by any chance, need an office boy down there, do you?

Yes. We've got one. I'm it.

Good night. Good night, dear.

I'll see you Thursday. I'll be there.

Good night.

Leaving, Elmer?

Or can I get you something?

You can get my hat and coat. I'm going home.

Jarvis, Mr. Smith's hat and coat.

Where did you meet that nice friend of yours? I don't remember.

I think it was in a speakeasy. He's a fugitive from justice.

I don't know how such people get into your house.

Put the piano in the safe.

But he's a friend of yours, isn't he?

That's my story, and I'm going to stick to it.

That's all, Jarvis.

The old bear loves you, doesn't he?

He's been such a faithful watchdog to Jessie and me.

Jessie? My daughter.

Here she is. Oh.

She's older than that now. She's away at school.

She's charming.

Like you.

She doesn't seem so wonderful to others, but to me, she's the beginning and the end of everything.

I don't wonder.

Not finished? Are you throwing me out?

I'm a working woman. There's tomorrow morning, you know.

This must be yours. It's the only one left.

This is brutal.

I'll go on two conditions. What?

That you lunch with me tomorrow. I mean today at...

I never go out for lunch.

At Pierre's at 1:15.

All right.

But I said two conditions. What's the other?

Will you kiss me? What?

So I'll know I'm forgiven. You did lead me on, you know. It was fun.

Just a little bit cruel, aren't you? I'm a woman.

You're Juliet and Beatrice and Diana of the Crossways.

All the women I've loved.

Have you only loved characters in books? Mostly.

Waiting for one to come alive.

And now one has.

Thank you.

Pierre's at 1:15.

Good night. Good night.

By the way, next time... the bell is here.

I'll remember next time.

Hello, Delilah. Come on up.

Let's talk the party over. It's the best part of it anyway.

Everybody gone? Mm-hmm.

I'm not a bit sleepy.

Don't bother about that now. Let it go till morning.

Miss Bea, you sure had a good party. I think so.

It feels good to get those off. I'll bet it does.

Come here. Let me take 'em.

Put 'em up here. That's it.

That's what you used to do in the old boardwalk days.

When my feet ached from peddling maple syrup. Remember?

I remembers.

We's gone a long ways from there, ain't we, though?

We certainly have.

Miss Bea, there was a very handsome gentleman up here tonight.

I got a peek at him. Who might he be? I wonder which one.

Don't you know a handsome gentleman when you sees one, honey?

There was a handsome gentleman. I wonder if I mean the same one you mean.

You does, honey. What's the gentleman's name?

Stephen Archer. Hmm.

That's a good name for a good man.

Funny thing, Miss Bea. I got a great sense about a man.

You ain't takin' no chance there. Mercy, Delilah!

Of course I'm not taking a chance!

To hear you talk, you'd think he'd proposed and been accepted.

That's all right. Leave him be. Things is workin'.

Leave him be. I'll leave him be.

You gotta do your part, honey.

What on earth do you mean?

If he makes a move in the right direction, you don't have to slap his hand, in a manner of speakin'.

There's nothing farther from my mind than a husband.

What he do, Miss Bea?

He's an ichthyologist.


I always say, there ain't a better business for a man to be in.

He make pretty good money at it, I guess.

At what, Delilah?

At that "ichylologist" business.

Yes, I think he does very well at it. Well, I declare.

Keep him indoors, I suppose. No, outdoors most of the time.

A travelin' man, I reckon. All over the world.

All over the world.

Say, honey, what is this business of his?

It's fishing, Delilah.

Just fishin'? Uh-huh.

With a hook?

No. The study of fishes.


But I wouldn't let that stand in my way.

Let him go fishin'. There's worse things.

Funny, though. He don't look to be a lazy man.

Oh, Delilah.

You're incurably romantic.

It 'tain't romantic to want a man. Just natural.

I've gotJessie.

And you've got Peola.

Yes'm. I got Peola, Miss Bea.

What am I gonna do about that poor child? She's so unhappy.

Delilah, I've been wondering if it might not be better if you could send Peola... to one of those good colleges in the South for colored people, where she could finish her education and she wouldn't be faced... with the problem of white all the time.

You know what a disaster her schooling has been here. Yes'm.

If she'd only go.

Ask her anyway.

We've worked so long and so hard for our two girls.

And for Jessie, it's been well worthwhile.

I want you to have the same satisfaction with Peola.

You deserve it, Delilah.

I'll do everything in my power to help you.

Maybe down there in some other school...

Why don't you talk to her? Yes'm.

I'll go right down, and if she ain't asleep, I'll try and reason with her. Yes, try, Delilah.

Yes'm. Good night, Miss Bea. Good night, dear.

Asleep yet, honey?


Peola, won't you be a good child like you can be, darling, and do something for your mammy?

Don't say "mammy"!

Look here, baby, you go down South... to one of them high-toned colleges where only the high-toned goes.

Wouldn't you do that for me, honey?

A Negro school?

Ain't nothing to be ashamed of, daughter dear.

Meet your cross halfway.

It won't be near so heavy.

Go amongst your own.

Quit battlin'!

Your little head's sore now from buttin' against stone walls.

Open up and say, "Lord, I bows my head."

He made you black, honey.

Don't be tellin' him his business.

Accept it, honey.

Do that for your mammy, your mother, dear.

Oh, my baby.

You back again?

Hello, Elmer. Not staying for dinner?

No. Do you realize what you're doing?

Don't you know you're spoiling one of the best businesswomen in New York?

Me? And ruining a great business?

Oh, Elmer, you overrate my powers.

Ever since the night I introduced you here, what's it been?

Paradise. Yeah. Not for the stockholders.

You're overly sensitive about them.

Stockholders don't expect anything anymore. They've been trained not to.

In the name of the National Recovery Act, will you let her have a day free... so we can get some office work done at the office?

Is that the only reason you want me to leave her alone?

You'd make a great undertaker.

My, Miss Bea, you sure do look beautiful!

Thank you, Delilah. Do you like my dress?

Mmm! It ain't your dress. It's more than that.

It's in your eyes and your cheeks. It's come to you, Miss Bea.

What's come? Has he gotten very far yet?

Delilah, you're a matchmaker at heart.

There's Mr. Archer now.

Miss Bea, when you sits on the sofa, sit to this end, thisaway, not to that end, thataway.

What are you talking about?

I's done put my bestest rabbit foot underneath the pillow.

Hello, Stephen. What are you laughing at? Tell me so I can laugh too.

I wouldn't dare now. Perhaps later.

It's a century since I saw you last. Four hours.

Look at your lovely flowers. It's so nice of you to send them to me every day.

Bea, down the river there, you can't see it because it's beyond the bend, my boat is waiting.

In 10 days, you can be drifting in a tropic sea... under a night sky of the most unbelievable blue.

All full of stars that burn warmly.

And so close, you can almost take them in your hands.

I know it sounds too poetic, but so help me it's true!

You'd glide past mysterious little islands, black and silent.

And in the water under your feet, you'd see sudden shining streaks of phosphorescence like shooting stars.

Flying fish.

And on the shore breeze, there'd come to you... the perfume of warm lands: Hyacinth, jasmine.

And there isn't a sound. It's all silent.

All my life, I've never known silence.

There are seven telephones on my desk.

I hear them ringing even in my sleep.

Down there we don't have telephones... or conferences or stockholders' meetings.

The only businessmen are the sharks.

They're the collectors. Only they don't collect, they just glide by.

It sounds like paradise. It is paradise.

It could be if...

Bea, I haven't made a mistake about you, have I?

You do like me?

Like you? Uh-uh.

I love you, Stephen. Oh, Bea!

I've loved you from the first minute when I looked out the window... and you were having such an awful time with the doorbell.


Let's not wait very long. Let's be married soon. Whenever you like.

Oh, my dear!

Before you know it, we'll be on the bridge of my boat sailing down the bay.

Destination? Wherever we feel like going.

With you, anywhere!

Um. Oh, I forgot.

What? There's Jessie.

What about Jessie? She'll be home in a few days for her vacation.


Stephen, will you do something for me? Of course! Anything.

Let's keep it a secret for a while.

Let's not tell Jessie anything about you and me, not at first.

Whatever you say.

I want her to know you and like you before she finds out about us.

You see, Jessie and I, we've always been together, just the two of us.

Don't you worry. Just leave Jessie to me.

I'll be so nice to her that by the time we're ready to break the news, she'll be begging you to marry me.

I'm sure she will.

Hello, Jarvis. How do you do, sir?

Miss Pullman is in the drawing room. Yeah?



Oh, I beg your pardon. I thought Mrs. Pullman was here.

I'm Jessie Pullman. Won't you come in?

But... But it... What?

But you're supposed to be just a little girl. But I'm not! I'm grown up.


Oh, that's an old picture. Mother will keep it out.

I'm going to have some new ones made.

I am Stephen Archer. I'm a friend of your mother's.

Do sit down. Mother should be here any minute.

She wasn't expecting me until tomorrow. So I understood.

How long's your vacation to be? Oh, you know it's a vacation?

I know a lot about you, except how big you are. There you fooled me.

I love vacations. This one's only two weeks.

But I expect to squeeze every minute out of it.

I couldn't get home fast enough to be with Mother. There's your mother now.

Mother! Darling!

Darling! Mother!

Mmm! When did you get here?

About 3:00. Why didn't you let me know?

I wanted to surprise you. I had a chance to motor down with Janie Prentice.

I thought you wouldn't be through with your exams until today.

I was supposed to take one in algebra this morning, but I would have flunked anyway, so I didn't see any reason for staying.

If it's algebra, I don't care. But don't tell me you failed in anything else?

Oh, no, I was a very bright child. Passed in everything else.

Mother, could I change from English composition to dramatics next term?

Yes, darling. Let me look at you!

Good heavens! How you've grown!

I'll say. None of my clothes fit me anymore.

Going to have to have some new ones. Oh, I can't bear it.

My little girl's grown up. It's too dreadful.

Mother, may I go to your dressmaker this time?

I feel so silly in these simple things. We'll see.

And I need a new riding habit for the horse show. You're coming up for it, aren't you?

I don't know. I'll try. You...

Oh, Stephen, I'm so sorry. This is my daughter.

We're old friends. Mr. Archer and I have been talking.

Oh! He's an ichthyologist.

Do you know what that is?

Why, Mother, what do you think I go to school for?

Oh, I beg your pardon!

I'm dying for my tea. Will you tell Jarvis? Of course.

Did you see Delilah? Yes, I've seen everyone.

Isn't she sweet? Her mother all over again.


It seems I can't do without you even for a little while.

Even for the few minutes I do go to the office. Mmm, sweet.

Oh, Stephen, isn't she big?

She's tall, but she's just a baby.

I'm going to forget about the office while Jessie's in town.

We'll give her one round of gaiety: Dinners, theaters, restaurants.

You'll help me, won't you? Of course I will.

Ichthyologist. Ichthyologist.

Ichthyologist. L-C-H...


Ichthyologist. "One who makes a study of... fish."


Here's your tea, darling. No, thanks. I really don't care for any.

No? Well, I'm gonna swallow mine and go freshen up a bit.

Not even one of these?

No, thank you.

Mr. Archer and I are going to give you a whirl to take the taste of school out of your mouth.

I'm going to play hooky from the office too. That'll be grand!

Mr. Archer's idea.

He says he'll be proud to take us about. I will, indeed.

We're going to have a marvelous time.

You and Stephen can plan what plays you'd like to see while I'm dressing.

Well, have you any suggestions about plays? Do you know what's on?

I'm afraid I don't. I'll have to look over the list.

But I'm very much interested in ichthyology.

Are you? That's very flattering.

Take, for instance, the habits of the sea mew.

Is the sea mew the same family... I'm afraid you have me stumped there.

You see, my subject is fish. The sea mew is a bird. Oh.

But that's a perfectly natural mistake. The sea mew ought to be a fish.

I'm caught, aren't I? The very first crack.

It takes a bit of doing to tell the birds from the fish.

I suppose I'd better confess. Oh, do.

I was bluffing. I didn't know what ichthyology meant until I looked it up.

But I read so fast, I couldn't remember.

A better way for you to learn about ichthyology would be to see my private aquarium.

Could I? I'd love to. When may I come?

Would tomorrow be too soon? Tomorrow would be perfect.

Come in.

Hello, Delilah.

Excuse me, Miss Bea. I hope I ain't bothering ya.

What is it?

I'm in trouble again. Peola. She's left the school.

Oh, Delilah!

I'm sure it's not as bad as you think.

But it's four days now since she left the school, and she ain't come home.

We'll go down there. We won't leave a stone unturned until we find her.


Darling, I'm so sorry. I've got to go away for a few days.

Delilah has had some bad news.

Peola's disappeared from the school, so I've got to go down there with her.

What do you suppose... We don't know anything more, darling.

I'm sorry. Anything I can do? Yes. Will you take care of Jessie?

I'll do my best.

There's Delilah now. Poor Delilah.

I'll go speak to her. Yes, do.

I'm awfully sorry, Delilah. I know everything's going to be all right.

If anything happens to that child, I just get sick all over.

I hate to run away, but if you could have seen Delilah's face...

I understand.

I'll say good-bye here. Good-bye, darling.

Telegraph me often.

Yes, I will, darling.

I wish I could go with you. I wish you could too, but there's Jessie.

I know. By the time you get back, Jessie and I will be great friends.

I'm sure you will.

Good evening, madam. Good evening, sir.

Two, please. Certainly.

This way, please.

This must be the place.

There she is, Miss Bea! Yes.

How do you like your new job? Very much, thank you.

Thank you. Give me one of those.


What can I do for you?


We've been looking everywhere for you.

Are you talking to me?

There must be some mistake. My name isn't Peola.

There ain't no mistake. Why have you got this job?

You don't have to work. I'll give you everything you want.

What are you talking about? I'm sure you've got me confused with someone else.

Why, Peola child! I'm your mammy!

Why, that's ridiculous! I never saw you before in my life!

What's the meaning of this?

Do I look like her daughter?

Do I look like I could be her daughter?

Why, she must be crazy! Peola!

How can you talk to your mother that way?

Come on, Delilah. Come on.

Brace up, Delilah. Everything will turn out all right.

We'll find her again. Yes'm.

Miss Bea, there she is! She's back.

Peola's come home. She's back home. My baby!


My little lamb. Oh.

Peola, you're back!

Yes, Mother.

And I want to tell you how sorry I am for what I did to you.

Oh, that's all right.

Come, come, baby, and sit down.

It don't feel like you're really here standin' so far off.

Mother, I've done everything you wanted me to.

I went to that school and tried to be happy there to please you.

But I couldn't bear it. I couldn't! I had to get away!

I understand, baby.

We're gonna forget all about it now. It's all right.

But it isn't all right.

I want to talk to you. I'll go upstairs, Delilah.

No, Miss Bea. You stay, please. I want you to hear too.

What's my little baby got on her mind?

I want to go away.

Go away? Go where, Peola?

I mean... by that I mean I want to go away.

And you mustn't see me or own me... or claim me or anything.

I mean, even if you passed me on the street, you'll have to pass me by.

No, Peola!

I know it's terrible of me, Miss Bea.

But you don't know what it is to look white and be black.

You don't know.

I can't go on this way any longer.

I can't give up my baby.

I bore ya. I nursed ya.

I love ya. I love ya more than you can guess.

You can't ask your mammy to do this!

You've got to promise me, Mother.

I'm your mammy, child! I ain't no white mother!

It's too much to ask of me. I ain't got the spiritual strength to meet it.

I can't hang on no cross! I ain't got the strength.

You can't ask me to unborn my own child.

I'm sorry, Mother.

I know it's asking a lot, but I've got to live my own life.


Peola, how can you hurt your mother so?

How can you make her suffer this way?

I'm sorry, Miss Bea, but I can't help it!

Don't cry, Delilah.

Don't cry. She'll come back to you.

Give her a little time.

A few hard knocks, and she'll come running back to her mother.

That's what mothers are for!

She'll remember that you're here to turn to.

No, Miss Bea.

I've lost my baby.

She won't ever come back.

Of course she will!

I'm going to get Julie to fix you a cup of tea.

And I'll be down again in a few minutes.

Thank you, Miss Bea. I'll be all right.

Mother! Hello.

Darling, you're back!

Yes, darling. We came in downstairs.

Peola's here, you know. Yes, I saw her.

I've missed you so. You've been gone such a long time.

Mmm. Five days.

It was only supposed to be two.

What's the matter? You look troubled. I am troubled.

I've just seen such a tragedy.

Poor Delilah!

What did Peola do? She's gone.

She's gone away. Disowned her mother. Oh, how dreadful!

Darling, if ever anything should ever come between us, it would kill me.

Nothing can, Mother. We must see that it doesn't.

Don't be silly. There's no reason.

Come sit down a minute.

How much have you missed me? Lots, of course.

But not as much as I might have if Stephen hadn't taken your place.

Oh, so I've been supplanted, have I? But you have got on well?

Oh, have we! We've dined out every night and danced, seen three plays and two picture galleries and the Bronx Park Zoo.


Your ichthyologist is grand. I think we ought to keep him in the family.

He thinks you're beautiful. He said so.

Did he? Mm-hmm. He thinks I'm nice too.

Mother, why do I have to go back to school? What's this?

Well, after all... Too much vacation.

You don't want me to turn out to be a stuffy intellectual, do you?

I have no very serious fears about that, my sweet. No.

After all, what's the good of algebra and all that stuff to a girl?

This sounds very suspicious to me.

You sure you haven't some handsome football captain in hiding?

No, he isn't a football captain.

But there is someone!

I'll have to look into that.

Right now I want a tub. I'm so sticky after my night on the train.

Right, darling. And I'm going out.

Where? Just out.

Oh, out! I see. Out's a big place.

Be back in an hour or two.

See that you are. I've just begun to talk to you.


Hello, Stephen. This is Bea.

Oh, hello, Bea! I'm so glad you're back. When can I come over?

I'm just getting into the tub. Give me half an hour.

Jessie tells me you've played the beau in grand style.

She's a most appealing little person, half child and half woman.

I've had a delightful time.

Hurry with that bath, will you? I'll be waiting for you.

Good-bye, dear.

Hello. Well, if it isn't the night prowler herself.

I didn't think you'd get up at all today.

Wasn't it too dreadful, getting home in broad daylight like that?

I never enjoyed anything so much in my life.

No repentance? Not now.

I'll probably have plenty of repenting to do when Mother finds out.

She got home an hour ago. Yes, I know. I've just been talking to her on the phone.

I'm going over there as soon as I get through fixing Horace.


Want to come along and have a look at Horace?

I thought Horace was a new species, but he's turned out to be just an ordinary crab.

Stephen, I've just told Mother I don't want to go back to school.

No? Why not? I want to stay here.

Stephen, what do you think of me?

I think you're just about the nicest child I've ever known.

Now, don't you begin that child stuff!

At 37, anything under 20 seems a babe in arms.

I think 37 is the ideal age. Don't you believe it. It's a dreadful age.

Well, I like it.

You know, I think I like the ones with the big claw best.

Mmm, the bachelors.

Poor lonely hearts. Why don't you put a lady crab in with them?

They'd tear each other to pieces over her. How romantic!

For the winner. He becomes a married crab?

For the time being at least. Divorce is common?

Statistics show about the same percentage as in the United States.

You're a nut. Excuse me.

When I marry, I'm never going to be divorced. How do you know?

Just that... when a girl like me falls in love, it's forever, forever and ever.

What makes you so sure?

Because I am in love.

You are? Well, don't you think you might've told me?

Is he handsome?

Stephen, it's you. I love you.

Jessie, my dear...

It's true! I do love you!

Do you think it's fair to make sport of your elders?

I'm not! I'm serious, Stephen, terribly serious.

Oh, no, you're not. You're just a baby.


Stephen, we did have fun together, didn't we?

I thought so. Grand fun.

That night we rode on the ferry to Staten Island, on the top deck under the stars.

And last night, in the open barouche, driving up Fifth Avenue.

That was fun, wasn't it? For you, I mean.

You bet it was. No, it wasn't!

You were just putting yourself out to be nice to a child!

A perfectly silly child!


Hello, dear. You didn't stay long, did you?

No, l... I'm just going down to see Delilah.

Jarvis. How do you do, sir?

Oh, Stephen! I'm so glad to see you!

It's great to have you back again.

Jessie just came in ahead of you, or have you two come in together?

I stopped in at Stephen's apartment. I wanted to see how Eph and Maggie were.

Eph and Maggie? Who in the world are they?

They're two of the crabs. Oh, now, don't tell me you've named them!

Oh, yes, they all have names. One's Elmer.

And one's named Fanny.

You didn't know I was getting to be quite an ichthyologist myself.

That's splendid.

Mrs. Pullman, can you come right away? It's Delilah.

Oh, yes. Excuse me.

Better now?

Yes'm, Miss Bea.

I just somehow... give out all of a sudden.

'Tain't nothin'.

You go upstairs.

Mary here, she'll do for me fine.

I'm going to stay right here until you're feeling better.

Delilah, if there's anything you want...

Thank you, Miss Bea.

There is somethin'.

I want me a good funeral.


Delilah, what are you talking about?

You're going to be all right.

No, Miss Bea. I'm all through now.

But that's all right. I ain't a-worryin' much.

If the Lord is ready, 'tain't for me to hesitate.

Oh, no. Delilah, I just couldn't do without you.

None of us could.

That's awful sweet of you to say, Miss Bea.

I appreciate it. But about my funeral.

All right, what about it?

I'll promise you the finest funeral in the world, only you must get well first.


I paid my dues regular in all my lodges.

And I'm a church member in good standin'.

And I do want a long procession.

I hope all the lodges turn out in full.

And I hope it don't rain.

I want to go meet my maker with plenty of bands playin'.

I want to ride up to heaven... in a white velvet hearse.

Silk velvet.

Purple satin inside the casket.

I wants them colored folks' eyes to bulge out.

And another thing.

I want horses to the hearse.

I don't like the smell of gasoline.

Delilah, you'll have everything you want, but not for years and years to come.

Oh, you.

You and your processions.

Let me tell you some good news.

What, Miss Bea?

I'm going to be married. Why, Miss Bea!

You see why you've got to get well just as quickly as you can?


The rabbit's foot did do some good after all, didn't it?

This way, Doctor, please.

Here's the doctor to see you.

Good evening, Mrs. Pullman. Good evening, Doctor.

Well, how's the famous Aunt Delilah?

Doctor, this big mountain lying here thinks she isn't going to get well.

We'll have to get her out of that notion.

Better get her undressed. I'll see you before you leave.

Very good.

Why didn't you tell me?

Because your mother asked me not to until...

Until I knew you better, and learned to like you.

Well, I did, didn't I?

I think I'll go and come back later. Will you tell your mother?


Good-bye, Jessie. Good-bye.


How's Delilah?

I don't know. The doctor's still with her.

Are you going? Yes.

I was going to run along and dress and come back for you in about an hour.

Is that all right? Stephen...

Do you mind if I don't go to dinner? Of course not.

I'm dreadfully tired, more than I realized.

After the trip and all that's happened today.

I understand. You go to bed early and get a good night's rest.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Yes. Tomorrow night for dinner.


Good night, dear. Good night.

Oh, there you are, Mother. Hello, dear.

I like your dress. It's one I got while you were away.

It's very nice.

Stephen not here yet?

No. Come sit down.

Mother, would you mind terribly if I went back to school the end of the week?

Darling, what's the matter?

Aren't you enjoying your vacation? Yes, it's been nice, but...

Then what is it? You still have another week.

And only yesterday you were asking me why you ever had to go back to school at all.

I was just talking then. I really do like school.

And I've been thinking, if I do a lot of cramming, I could...

Mother, may I go to Switzerland to finish my last two years?

Switzerland? Yes. A lot of the girls go.

Even Janie Prentice is talking about it. There really are a lot of advantages in going.

Switzerland... Mr. Smith.

Show him in.

Hello, Jessie. Hello, Elmer.

Hello, Elmer.

Well, there you are. You dodging me?

What have I done? What are you talking about?

I've been trying to get in touch with you for the last 24 hours.

You won't come near the office, and you won't answer the telephone.

All I can get is the butler, and I can't penetrate past him.

You're too busy! You're tired! You can't be disturbed!

I'd never known about Delilah except through the butler.

Why have you gone into the silence? What's it all about?

Elmer, what is it you want?

I dropped in to tell you that unless we move in the matter of national brands, the deal is going to be called off.

Well, let it! But they're willing to meet our demands.

You turn the management over to them and keep 50% of the stock.

That relieves you of all responsibility.

And there's more money in it than you can possibly think of.

In fact, there's more money than I can pronounce without stuttering.

Would you like to hear me try?

I don't want to sell. What?

I don't want to give up active management.

What's the matter? Before you went south, you couldn't sell quick enough.

I've changed my mind! You wanted to get from behind that desk, be a human being!

I'm not going to sell! Isn't that sufficient? But, Bea...

Must I always give you an account of everything I do or don't do?


Oh, I'm sorry.

Forgive me, Elmer. I really don't know what I'm saying.

I'm so worried and unhappy.

Is it Delilah?

Yes. Yes, of course it's Delilah.

Elmer, did you see much of Jessie while I was away?

She came to the office a couple of times. Needed money.

Alone? Steve was with her. Why?


I just wondered. That's all.


May I come in? Hello, Stephen!

Is he boarding here?

Hello, Steve. Are you following me?

Every time I come here I find you.

You might do worse. Might.

Well, so long. Good night, Bea.

I hope in the morning you'll have better news of Delilah.

Thank you, Elmer.


You look so worried, dear. Isn't Delilah feeling any better?

No, she's much worse. If we could only find Peola.

She keeps calling for her over and over.

♪ Lord, have mercy ♪

♪ Lord, have mercy ♪

♪ Lord, have mercy ♪

♪ On my soul ♪ Do you realize I haven't had a moment alone with you since you came back?

Yes, I know. You were gone five whole days.

I've got a great many things to talk over with you.

So have I. I want to talk to you about Jessie.

Mother. Mother, the doctor wants you to come quickly.

Excuse me, Stephen. Hello, Jessie.

Hello, Stephen. Anything serious?

Yes, I'm afraid so.

♪ Lord, have mercy ♪

♪ Lord, have mercy ♪

♪ Lord, have mercy ♪ Peola.

♪ On my soul ♪ Peola!

Where's my baby?

I's your mammy.

Delilah, darling.

I'm all right, Miss Bea.

I'm resting better now. That's good.

But... But I'm going... across Jordan... pretty soon now.



Doctor, leave me have her picture, please?

It never done her justice.

Miss Bea?

Yes, darling, what is it?

Miss Bea, try and find my baby.

Yes, darling.

If she gets in any troubles, you'll see her through 'em.

Of course I will.

Ain't nothin' bad about Peola.

She didn't mean to harm me when she turned away. No, of course she didn't.

Just tell her a right sweet good-bye.

Tell her to be a good girl.

Why, Peola ain't... little more than a baby now.


♪ Lord, have mercy ♪

♪ Lord, have mercy ♪

♪ On my soul ♪ Oh, Stephen!

♪ There is rest ♪

♪ For the weary ♪

♪ There is rest ♪

♪ For the weary ♪

♪ There is rest ♪

♪ For the weary ♪

♪ There is rest ♪

♪ For you ♪

♪ On the other ♪

♪ Side of Jordan ♪

♪ In the sweet ♪

♪ Fields of Eden ♪

Did you know her?

♪ There is rest ♪

♪ For you ♪



Please forgive me.

I didn't mean it.

Mother, it's Peola.


I didn't mean it, Mother.

Can't you forgive me?

Peola. Peola. I killed you.

Peola, come on.

Miss Bea, I killed my own mother.

Don't talk like that. Come with us.

Step back. All right, folks. Step back, please.

She worked for me, slaved for me.

Always thought of me first, never of herself.


You're so lovely.


Darling, let's not wait any longer.

Let's be married right away, tomorrow, and go away on my boat as we planned to do.

Away from business and worry.

What's the matter?

Jessie's in love with you, isn't she?

Oh. She's told you? No, she didn't have to. I knew.

I think I knew right away when I came back from Virginia.

I hope you don't think that I...

Oh, no, no. I don't, not now. It just happened.

It isn't serious. Just a childish infatuation. She'll get over it.

No, not if I marry you, darling.

What are you saying?

I'm trying to say that we can't go on as we planned.

Bea, you can't mean that.

She'll forget all about me the first attractive boy that comes along.

Don't you see, darling, right now you're the man she loves.

If I were to marry you, she'd always feel I'd come between her and her happiness.

But she's going back to school next week.

She'll find new interests. Soon she'll laugh at this as a schoolgirl crush.

Oh, no, darling. Don't you see?

If you're here with me, she'll keep on thinking about you.

She won't even want to come home, where the three of us would have to be together.

And the thought of her unhappiness would come between you and me.

I won't give you up like this.

I love you.

Stephen, I love you more than I ever thought it possible to love anyone.

Then, Bea... Don't, darling.

Please don't make it any harder for me.

You must see how impossible it is.

Stephen, go back to your islands.

And when she forgets you, I'll come to you no matter where you are if you still want me.

I shall always want you.

Then I'll come.

Let's say good-bye.


Yes, dear?

Where's Stephen? Isn't he staying for dinner?

No, darling.

Look what I found in the library, tucked away in the corner of the couch.

Delilah's rabbit's foot.

She must've put it there for good luck.

Dear Delilah.

Peola's decided to go back to school.

That's good. That's what Delilah would've wanted for her.

When did you first meet Delilah?

Oh, a long time ago.

You were just about two.

I'll never forget that morning.

I was giving you a bath, getting you ready for the day nursery.

Why are you laughing?

You kept yelling, "I want my quack-quack!"

Mother, I didn't. Yes, you did.

I can hear you now.

"I want my quack-quack!

I want my quack-quack!"