Separate Tables (1958) Script

Major Pollock.

Well, hello.

What's this?

I was rather worried about you.

Worried? Why?

Has anybody been talking about me? No, Major.

It's just that, when you were away for these last two days, I...

I see. Yes, I telephoned the hotel.

I talked to Miss Cooper. I told her I was visiting a friend.

A company commander who served under me in the desert campaigns ran into a bit of bad luck, I thought I'd give him a hand.

You're always trying to help people, aren't you, Major?

Well, yes, but the fellow saved my life once, just outside of El Alamein.

Pinned down. Short of petrol. He was a good man.

Yes.

Mark you, Jerry in the desert was a different cup of tea from Jerry on the Western Front.

Were you in Normandy, too, Major?

No, Desert Rats, you know.

Still, we got to Berlin, eventually.

Berlin must have been depressing.

Berlin depressing?

What with all those Fräuleins and Mädchens?

I should say not.

By Jove, I could tell you a thing or two. Good life, yes, indeed.

Let's go and get brushed up for dinner.

There you are, dear. Having a stroll with the Major?

Yes, Mummy. Evening, Mrs. Railton-Bell.

Good evening, Major. Had your watch stopped, darling?

No, Mummy, it's going.

Well, the Major was telling me all about the desert campaign.

Sorry to have kept your pride and joy out in the cold, Mrs. R-B.

The fact is, I got on to the old days.

That's the trouble with us old retired warhorses, what?

We all talk too much.

Yes. Well, if you'll excuse me.

Sibyl, my dearest.

Do you mind if your tactless old mother whispers something in your ear?

No, Mummy.

Such a wonderful concert this afternoon. Yes. I'll join you in the game room.

All right.

It's just that, do you think it wise, to make your feelings for the Major quite so public?

My feelings for the Major? Yes, staring at him all the time.

Talking to him for hours on end. Those meetings down on the front.

Quite a lot of people are beginning to notice.

You don't mean... You can't mean...

No. How can people be so awful?

Control yourself. Don't get into one of your states now.

It's all right, Mummy. I'm not in a state.

Good evening, Mrs. Railton-Bell. Good evening, Miss Cooper.

Good evening, Sibyl. Evening, Miss Cooper.

Dear, I think you better run upstairs and change for dinner.

You know Miss Cooper likes us to be punctual.

Stratton, still at it, I see. I don't know how you do it.

Most praiseworthy effort.

Thank you, Major.

When I was at Sandhurst... I'm sorry, I mustn't interrupt you.

That's all right. When you were at Sandhurst?

Yes, I was just going to say, when I was at Sandhurst and when I was at Wellington, too, I was a bit like you, you know.

Sweating away at the books all the time.

Cramming away like mad, I was.

Military history, great battles of the past, Clausewitz and all that sort of stuff.

I could have told you a lot about Clausewitz.

Really, sir? And you can't now? Not anymore, I'm afraid.

Everything goes, you know.

Still, I don't regret it.

I did jolly well at Sandhurst.

Did you get the Sword of Honor, sir?

Get the what?

The Sword of Honor. The Sword of Honor?

No, I came close to it, though. Passed out pretty high.

You're quite right, sir.

I'm sorry, my boy. Go on. I talk too much.

No, but Miss Cooper walked by and you were looking for her.

Did she? Yes, I want to have a little chat with her. Thank you.

Keep up the good work.

I'll try, sir. Good man.

There we are, Miss Cooper.

What can I do for you, Major? Nothing important.

They're sending me a copy of the West Hampshire Weekly News.

I wondered if it had arrived. The West Hampshire News?

Yes. I'm told they have a good page of small ads.

I might pick up a portable typewriter. I'm taking a stab at the old war memoirs.

If there are bargains, one must be quick off the mark.

Yes. There are some things in my office.

I haven't been through them yet. I'll have a look.

That's very good of you. Thank you, Miss Cooper.

I can't understand it. There's still no answer.

I'm so sorry, Mr. Fowler. Will you excuse me?

One of your old flames, Mr. Fowler?

Old flames?

No, it's an old pupil coming down for a few days.

I used to teach him Classics at school.

Rather backward I thought him in those days.

As far as old flames are concerned, I leave all that to you galloping majors.

Those days are all past and gone now, I'm afraid.

Weren't they teaching the new pronunciation in your time at Wellington?

Yes, of course. I forget now. I never was much of a hand at Greek.

Latin. Horace.

Latin. Yes, of course. Stupid of me.

Here we are, Major.

Good show. Thank you, Miss Cooper.

I think, if you don't mind, I'd like you to still keep the room.

After all, he may be on the later train. Yes, of course.

And if anything has gone wrong, which I don't believe, I shall, of course, expect to pay for it.

Will you let me know when you can?

By the by, Major, you were in the Highland Division at Alamein, weren't you?

Not in the Highland Division, no.

I thought you were. I never said so.

I was just wondering...

Mr. Fowler, aren't we going to finish this game?

We have a shilling on it, if you'll remember.

Yes, of course. Will you excuse me?

Good evening, Major Pollock. Good evening.

So this is where you've been hiding.

I was not hiding. Now just shush.

Forget your work for once and let's go play billiards.

But, darling, the anatomy exams come up next month. Remember?

Jean, really.

Have you told your father about us? What did you tell him?

Charles, what did you tell him?

For heaven's sake, that we were in love with each other.

And that we're going to be married.

Well, you told him a dirty lie. Why? I do want to marry you.

I can never understand why...

You know my views on marriage very well.

I intend to produce paintings, not children.

And be kept in luxury by London's most celebrated surgeon.

Who has failed to pass his anatomy.

Charles? Let's go for a walk in the garden.

What? Darling, first it's billiards, now it's a walk.

But it looks so romantic.

How can I possibly mix anatomy with romance?

That shouldn't be too difficult.

Well, I'm obviously not going to get any work done.

Come on. The dinner gong will go in 15 minutes.

Where on earth are we going to walk in 15 minutes?

Charles, how dim can you be?

I rather think we'd better play billiards.

Go in, you blighter.

Bad luck, Mr. Fowler.

I only play for exercise.

That'll be a shilling, please, Mr. Fowler.

You'll ruin me, Miss Meacham.

Come on, Charles. They've finished. I'll take all your money.

Poor Mr. Fowler, has he ever won?

Once in 1948. It was her Christmas present to him.

There's stuffed pork tonight. We ought to be ready for the gong.

That, I expect, is young Ridgewell at last.

What is it?

New arrival, apparently. Great Scott.

What is it, Miss Meacham?

You should see for yourself.

Slim as a willow, dressed like a Parisian model and not a day over 30.

This place is turning into a regular nursery.

Six suitcases. And all matching.

And a hatbox.

Mayfair from head to foot.

Can't think what she's doing in a place like this.

Good evening. Mrs. Shankland?

Yes, that's right.

Good evening. I have your reservation. Will you sign there, please?

My American address or my English? English, please.

Can you tell me if Mr. Malcolm is in? Mr. John Malcolm?

He's out at present. He'll be in for dinner. Was he expecting you?

No, I'd like to surprise him.

Well, I won't say a word. Edgar?

How long will you be staying?

I'm not quite certain as yet.

Could I let you know later on? Yes, of course. Number 12.

I'll book you in just for tonight.

Dinner is at 7:00. You'll hear the gong.

Edgar will show you to your room. Thank you.


You're the new one, aren't you? Yes.

You're over there. Thank you.


Hello, Miss Cooper.

Major, dinner's nearly over. Aren't you going in?

No.

I'm so late, I think I'll give it a miss.

Everything all right? Fine, everything's on the top line.

I got to thinking about those memoirs. Time rather ran away, I'm afraid.

I found one or two portable typewriters.

Good.

I don't suppose the West Hampshire Weekly News is much read, is it?

What? Mrs. Railton-Bell takes it every week.

Does she? Whatever for?

There's not a lot goes on in the world, even in West Hampshire, that she cares to miss.

And she can afford fourpence for the information.

I suppose so.

Funny, I've never seen her reading it. Have you?

There's a lot of stuff she has sent in she doesn't read.

Most of it she leaves on this table.

You mean, her copy's been here all the time?

No, Major, that'll be sent up with the evening papers.

Well, dash it all.

I've wasted fourpence for nothing.

I mean, I could have borrowed hers.

Sorry, mustn't keep you gossiping.

Well, thanks again. Cheery-bye.

Major.

I thought we were going upstairs. We've just finished dinner.

I don't see what that has to do with it.

This is more important, dear.

That's a terrible thing to say.

There, now.

Wipe the lipstick off. The old girls might notice.

Even the old girls know the facts of life.

They may know them, but they don't like them.

If you would only marry me, we wouldn't have to worry about the old girls.

We wouldn't have to worry about anything.

We could lead a nice, normal, peaceful existence.

Damn, here they come.

Not so much the pork as the stuffing.

Excuse me.

Good evening.

Look at them. There's your normal, peaceful existence.

Darling.

Conventions and marriage. I don't want to end up like them.

Will you shut up? They'll hear you.

I've figured it all out.

Life isn't meant to be dreary, but exciting...

Will you shut up?

Bed.

I'm on the trickiest duct in the whole human body.

Now, please.

Bed.

Come on.

Good night, ladies.

Good night. Sleep tight.

Surely, a somewhat unnecessary remark, Gladys dear.

They're old friends. They're just here to study.

That's what they told Miss Cooper.

I think it most unwise of her to have them here.

Even at opposite ends of the corridor.

Quite obvious they were making love. How do you know?

He was putting a handkerchief away with lipstick on it.

Well, perhaps they are in love.

Why don't they say so? I hate anything furtive.

Now, what were we talking about?

Good gracious.

Please shut that door, there's a most terrible draft.

A draft? Bless my soul, so there jolly well is.

He's so amusing. He's drunk.

A brilliant observation, Mrs. Railton-Bell.

I'm sure she didn't mean...

Lady Matheson. It's nice to have a champion, thank you.

But she's right. Irish Whiskey.

Hello, Sibyl, how are you this evening?

Without the Irish Whiskey, I'd not have broken my record.

I made it back here from the Feathers bar in six minutes flat instead of ten.

I had the wind at my back.

But as you and I know, Mrs. Railton-Bell, we cannot deny the propulsive powers of Irish Whiskey.

Scotch, on the other hand...

Mr. Malcolm, did you come in through the French windows?

Miss Cooper, I cannot tell a lie.

You know that is strictly forbidden after 7:00.

I'm sorry, I'd forgotten.

There's mud all over the floor.

Please hang this in the proper place.

Yes, ma'am.

Also, wipe your feet on the mat provided for that purpose.

Yes, ma'am.

I'm so sorry. I shall see this doesn't happen again.

I must say, quite frankly, Miss Cooper, I've never understood how you could tolerate such boorishness, and have done all this time.

In a hotel, one must tolerate all sorts of things.

I suppose so.

But one hardly expects to find that kind of person in this kind of hotel.

Why he should have selected the Beauregard as a permanent residence is quite beyond me.

He was stationed near here during the war, I believe.

He used to stay here then.

He writes very nicely.

I read an article of his once. Just out of curiosity. It was about labor.

Have you ever read...

I have no curiosity about the working classes.

How many have you had?

Two. Well, three.

Definitely not more than four.

I'm sorry, Pat. I know I shouldn't.

You know that I love you, don't you? Very sincerely.

That sounds like what a brother says to a sister.

Sister? You know my feelings for you go beyond that.

Just how far beyond, John?

Well, I had a dim recollection we were engaged, or hadn't I?

I rather wondered if you had.

What's the matter? I don't know what you mean.

Come on, now, something's the matter.

After all, most women feel rather odd about a proposal of marriage, especially if they hear it once rather late at night and the man has had a few drinks.

We'll announce it publicly, right now. No, John.

What? There's someone...

Yes?

Despite the hour and the drink, you did mean it?

Have dinner. I told cook to keep you something hot.

Let's walk to the beach.

Darling, I can't. I've got to close up... Let's walk down to the beach tonight.

Ask me again when you've had your coffee.

Miss Meacham.

You in, at last? Thank heavens.

The park's off, and the goulash is drying out, but we kept you some soup.

What a pity young Ridgewell wasn't here. He'd have enjoyed the turnover.

The cook's acquiring a lighter touch with her pastry, don't you think?

Not judging by the tarts we had at tea yesterday.

Cannon balls. Simply cannon balls.

Here we are, tuck into that while I get the goulash.

Not for what I wouldn't think you'd had your liquid already.

What are you doing here?

Surprised?

I gave up being surprised by you five years ago.

You gave up a lot of things five years ago.

Is this your year for looking up old husbands?

Only the special ones.

I ran into some friends of ours at a party in London.

Friends of ours?

All right, mine.

They said you were having a rough time getting along these days.

That's why I'm here. I wanted to help you.

Well, that's really touching. I'm overwhelmed.

Goulash. Aren't you going to eat your soup?

I'll have two bowls tomorrow.

Tomato aspic tomorrow.

Don't take long, will you? My friend's waiting.

Now, is there anything else?

You find it impossible to believe I care about you.

Not impossible, Ann, just incredible.

Call it selfish if you want.

But I'd feel better if I could make up in some way for the past.

What is this, a bribe to ease your conscience?

Now look, John, I...

I'm not saying who was right or wrong over what happened.

I'm only concerned seeing you like this.

You'll forget all about it by the time you reach London tomorrow.

Tomorrow? You are leaving in the morning?

Why yes, of course, if you like.

Fine. That's settled then.

What do you possibly do here?

I enjoy one great luxury, being left alone.

Well, it's a quaint spot you've picked out for yourself.

Your last husband would have done wonders with this place.

Interior decorator, wasn't he?

When he worked.

How long were you married to him?

Two years and six months.

Beats us by three months. Cruelty again, wasn't it?

A legal device.

You mean he didn't break down the bedroom door to get at you?

No. He didn't try to kill me, either.

I saw the headlines of the divorce.

Educating, but not nearly so sensational as ours, you'll admit.

You were interested enough to read about it?

Reading worthless items is a bad habit I picked up in prison.

You see, there was nothing else to do. My wife never came to see me.

I only did what I thought was best for you.

You know something, Ann? No one I know of lies with such sincerity.

Now, if you'll excuse me.

Do you know what I think? I think you've found a new girl.

The morning train leaves at 10:45.

You must like her a lot.

I do. I'm going to marry her.

John, don't misunderstand.

I think it's really wonderful you've found someone else.

I didn't mean any harm.

That's when you do the most damage.

We all make mistakes. You specialize in them.

Only little ones, though.

I still have a scar on the side of my head to remind me of one of yours.

Five years should cure most scars.

Most, I suppose. Not all, though.

Well, I may not see you in the morning.

Shall we say goodbye now? I think we've said it.

I'm awfully glad to see you again, John.

What are you laughing at?

That was an innocent kiss. You have nothing I want.

I'm happily engaged to be married, and came to England to meet his family.

He's everything I want in a man.

He doesn't have to turn a wild beast to prove it.

Now you must feel as foolish as you look.

John.


If you didn't want to see the program, dear, you should have said so.

Caught in the act, what?

I'm terribly sorry, Mrs. R-B.

There was something in the Evening Standard I wanted to look at.

I'm afraid I appropriated your copy.

Would you mind if I borrowed it for a minute?

That isn't the Evening Standard, Major.

It's what?

No. It's the West Hampshire Weekly News.

I'm absolutely blithered. What an astonishing thing.

I must have pulled out the wrong paper.

Mea culpa. My fault. I can't understand how I did that.

Neither do I. There's quite a difference.

Yes. Indeed. The West Hampshire News is hardly my cup of tea. What?

Well, is it all right then, if I borrow your Standard for a little while?

If you return it.

Jolly decent of you, Mrs. R-B. Thank you so much.

After that, I think I'll go take a look at some telly.

I understand there's a new quiz program on.

A small boy of nine just won over £40.

Yes, I hear he's very clever.

Shall I be seeing you in there? Yes.

No, I'd forgotten. I have to write a letter.

I see. Well, cheery-bye, both.

I wish he wouldn't use that revolting expression. It's so common.

Of course, he's such an awfully common little man.

No, Mummy. Do you think so?

He was in a very good regiment.

You can be in the Horse Guards, dear, and still be common.

I don't know what you see in him.

It's just that I like all his stories about the war and the desert and the regiment.

He's seen so much of life, and I haven't.

I don't know what you mean by that, dear, I'm sure.

I only meant...

I'm sorry, Mummy.

I realize that you must occasionally miss some of the little gaieties of life.

Balls and cocktail parties and things that a few other lucky young people can enjoy.

I do my best, you know.

I know you do, Mummy.

There was Scotland last year, and our Scandinavian cruise the year before.

I know, Mummy. Please, don't think that I'm not grateful.

It's only... Only what, dear?

If only I could do something.

Mummy, there's an advertisement in the newspaper for a telephone operator.

My dear, we've been over this so often.

You'd never stand it, even for a few days.

You remember Jones and Jones?

Yes. But it was so stifling hot there in the basement of Jones and Jones.

This job in the newspaper is different.

Now, you're not a very strong child. You must try and get that into your head.

Your nervous system isn't nearly as sound as it should be.

You, mean my "states."

But I haven't had one of those for a long time.

I know, dear. You've been very good, indeed.

But there's quite a difference in not having an hysterical fit and being able to keep a job.

Now, fetch me that newspaper, will you, dear?

Yes, Mummy.

Which one do you want? The West Hampshire Weekly News.

I want to see what the Major was so interested in.

Dear, what a silly-billy.

I've gone and left my glasses upstairs.

Shall I go and get them for you?

Will you, dear? That would be so kind of you.

I hate you fetching and carrying for me.

But you know, my poor old legs are a bit tired.

I think you'll find them on the table by my bed.

Yes, Mummy.


My dear, there's the most wonderful quiz program on television.

There's a little boy... Gladys, have you got your glasses?

Yes, dear. Good. I idiotically left mine upstairs.

Here, read this out to me.

"Cab driver loses license." No. "Ex-officer pleads guilty."

"Ex-officer pleads guilty. Offense in theater."

My dear, do we really want to read this? Yes, we do. Go on.

But what about the television? This is infinitely more important.

"On Thursday last, before the Bournemouth magistrate, "David Angus Pollock, 55, giving his address as the Beauregard Hotel...

"Morgan." Pollock?

Major Pollock?

Go on.

"Morgan Crescent, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to a charge

"of insulting behavior in a Bournemouth cinema."

He must've been drinking.

No. He only drinks one glass of port a day.

Go on.

"A Mrs. Osborne, 43, of 4 Standard Road, giving evidence, "stated that Pollock, sitting next to her, persistently nudged her in the arm...

"And later attempted to take other liberties.

"She subsequently vacated her seat and complained to an usherette.

"Inspector Brown said that in response to a telephone call from the theater manager, "Pollock had been kept under observation by police officers

"from 3:50 p.m. until 7:10 p.m., "by which time he had been observed

"to change his seat no less than five times...

"Always choosing a seat next to a female person.

"There were no further complaints, though not unusual in cases of this kind.

"On leaving the theater, Pollock was arrested."

Is that all?

Yes. "Mr. William Crowther, appearing on behalf of the defendant, "Stated that his client had a momentary aberration.

"He was extremely sorry and ashamed of himself.

"And would undertake never to behave in so stupid and improper a manner in future.

"He asked that his client's war record should be taken into account.

"He had enlisted as a private in the army in 1925.

"And after the outbreak of war in 1939, was granted a commission

"as Second Lieutenant in the Army Supply Corps.

"During the whole of the war, he had held a responsible position

"in an army supply depot in the West indies."

The whole of the war?

Yes, dear. I heard you. Go on.

"In 1946, he had been demobilized with the rank of full lieutenant.

"The defendant was not called.

"The Chairman of the Bench, giving judgment, said, "'You've behaved disgustingly, but as this seems to be your first offense, "'we propose to deal leniently with you.'

"The defendant was put on probation for 12 months."

Dear.

He must have thought he'd gotten away with it.

What a stroke of luck I take this paper.

Luck? Was it luck?

I almost...

Dear, poor Sibyl.

Maud, you must not tell her. Not tell her?

Not the details. Not about the theater.

I don't know how I shall ever look him in the face again.

You won't have to, dear.

I'll insist to Miss Cooper that he leave the hotel before luncheon time tomorrow.

Maud, do you think you ought to?

What's come over you this evening? Of course I ought to.

You know what Miss Cooper is. She's so independent and stubborn.

Perhaps she won't agree.

She'll have to if we all insist. We don't all insist.

Well, I mean, there's only the two of us.

Should we consult the others?

That means we shall have to tell them.

An excellent idea. Let's go and get them all together.

Sorry it took so long. Here are your glasses.

You found them, clever girl. I don't need them now.

Gladys, go and see who's in the game room.

Mrs. Shankland. We'd like you to come to a meeting in the lounge.

But I... I'll tell you all about it in a moment.

Good evening. Good evening.

Am I reading your magazine?

No. You go right ahead, Mrs. Shankland.

I didn't expect to find a fashion magazine here.

Does Miss Cooper take it? No. It's...

It's yours, isn't it?

Yes.

You must forgive me for staring at you, but you look so beautiful, I really couldn't help it.

Thank you very much.

You look just like the pictures in the magazine.

But my picture hasn't been in a magazine, not for years.

But I remember them.

And I've always wondered who you were, and the exciting kind of life you led.

You look just the same. Just as lovely.

Well, thank you. That's very sweet of you.

I recognized you the moment that you came...

Sibyl?

Yes, Mummy. I'm here.

Forgive me for staring at you. It was very rude.

Sibyl, dear. I think you had better go to your room, if you don't mind.

But why, Mummy?

Because we're having a meeting in here with some of the regular residents, to discuss a matter of grave urgency which has just cropped up.

How exciting. Can't I stay? After all, I'm a regular, too.

Yes, I know, dear.

But I don't think the subject is at all suitable for you.

If this is to be a meeting of the residents... No, please, Mrs. Shankland.

Although you're temporary, we'd like you to feel that you're one of us.

And as a woman of the world, we would value your advice.

But what is it, Mummy?

What an inquisitive child it is.

Well, I'll tell you this much. But only this much.

It concerns your friend, the Major, and it's extremely grave.

But I don't understand. What is it, Mummy?

I'm not going to tell you more. It might upset you too much.

I must know, Mummy. I must...

Please, don't raise your voice so, dear. You really insist I should tell you?

Yes, Mummy. I do.

Even after my strong warning? Yes, Mummy.

Very well then, I've no option.

Read that, middle column, top of the page.

I couldn't find...

Maud, you haven't told her.

I did my best, but she absolutely insisted.

My dear, I'm so sorry. Must be a dreadful shock for you.

It was for us, too. Are you all right?

Sibyl, are you all right?

Yes, Mummy.

Sibyl, you've broken my glasses.

And you've cut your hand.

Here, let me see it.

I think you'd better wrap this around it.

It's only a scratch, that's much too fine a handkerchief.

That's all right. I have another in my bag.

Well now, shall we all sit down?

Mr. Fowler, would you draw up that chair, please?

Where are the others?

I couldn't find anyone else. Edgar's gone to look for Mr. Malcolm.

I shouldn't have bothered. He always has so much to say.

Now, let us all be seated.

Who, it turns out, was only a lieutenant in the Service Supply Depot and was arrested in the cinema.

I can't believe it. Incredible.

The question now becomes, "What are we going to do about it?"

The Major will be watching TV for a while, and we don't want to be interrupted.

I feel we should act firmly and quickly to rid ourselves of this dangerous person in our midst.

I must admit, I always suspected the public school education.

Only this evening, he made a most shocking mistake in quoting Horace.

Please. Quite appalling.

Please, Mr. Fowler, we're getting away from the subject.

The ugly fact remains that this fellow resident of ours was arrested and found guilty.

Pleaded guilty.

Please, Gladys.

Found or pleaded guilty to a disgusting offense.

Which fellow resident? What disgusting offense?

I don't think this is a matter that would interest you, Mr. Malcolm.

It seems to interest our newest resident.

I don't see why it shouldn't interest one of our oldest.

Very well. If you must know, Major Pollock has behaved immorally to no less than six respectable women in a local cinema.

Six? Well, that's quite a performance.

Really, Maud, on behalf of the Major, I must remind you we only know that one was respectable, the one who made the complaint.

And even she behaved very oddly. Why didn't she say right out to the Major, "Will you please stop doing whatever it is you are doing?"

That's what I would have done.

And we don't know anything about the others.

We don't even know that he nudged them or anything.

Of course he nudged them.

He was in that cinema for an immoral purpose.

He admitted it.

And he was seen to change his seat no less than five times always choosing one next to a female person.

Let's see. That would make 10 nudges, wouldn't it?

If he used both elbows. No, 11 with the original one. Or 12 supposing...

I consider this flippancy, on a matter so serious, as utterly monstrous.

You're right, it is serious for the poor Major.

What are you proposing? Have him thrown out of the hotel?

I'm proposing to ask the opinion of the other residents.

I plainly have no need to ask yours.

I don't know why you say that.

I feel repelled by what the Major's done.

I've always had an intense dislike for, shall we say, the more furtive forms of sexual expression.

I think it's only fair to ask ourselves this question, what harm has the man done?

Apart from bruising the elbow of a certain lady whose motives in complaining, I agree with Lady Matheson, are extremely questionable.

Apart from that and telling us a few rather pathetic lies about his past life, which most of us do from time to time anyway, I can't see what he's done to justify being thrown into the street.

Then it's obvious you're against any action at all.

Well, I might give him a cool glance at dinner.

I think your attitude is shocking.

Do you? Why?

What's he done that's worse than people who cheapen lovemaking, who use it as a weapon to get what they want?

No, Mrs. Railton-Bell, I'm sure there are people in this very room, who have done their fellow man more harm than the Major.

I don't agree.

I'm sorry. Just forget I said anything.

That's quite all right, Mrs. Shankland.

I'm sure that anything that you have to say will be right to the point.

It wouldn't be fair.

I don't even know the Major. We are talking about the Major?

We are indeed.

Now that we've heard your views on the subject, Mr. Malcolm, odd, distasteful and dangerous though they may be, it's time we heard from the others. Mr. Fowler?

Well, it's very difficult.

I don't see what's difficult about it.

But it is, you know. I can't say that I see it like Malcolm.

Certain acts are wrong because they are, in themselves and by themselves, impure and immoral.

It seems to me that this terrible wave of vice and sexual excess which has been flooding the world since the war might in part be due to the decline of the old standards.

Tolerance is not necessarily a good. Tolerance of evil can itself be an evil.

After all, wasn't it Aristotle who said...

Really, you've all gone on far too long about it.

And when you start quoting Aristotle, personally, I'm going to me room.

You heard, Miss Meacham?

I couldn't help hearing. I didn't want to.

I was doing me betting system.

You need to concentrate like billyo on that.

I had my chair against the wall to catch the light.

I certainly wasn't going to get eyestrain just for you people.

As you know the facts, perhaps we'd better canvass your opinion.

I haven't any. Why should I?

I've been out of the world far longer than any of you...

And what do I know of morals and ethics?

Only what I read in novels, and as I only read thrillers, that doesn't amount to much.

In Mickey Spillane, the hero does far worse things to his girls than the Major's done and no one seems to mind.

It's hardly to the point what Mr. Spillane's heroes do to his girls, Miss Meacham.

We want your views on Major Pollock.

Do you?

My views on Major Pollock have always been that he's a crashing old bore and a wicked old fraud.

Now I hear he's a dirty old man, too, I'm not at all surprised.

And quite between these four walls, I don't give a damn.

Sad. Very sad.

Well, Mr. Fowler, I take it you are on the side of action?

I once had to recommend a boy for expulsion.

Only once, in all the 15 years I was a housemaster.

Are you in favor of action, Mr. Fowler?

Yes, I suppose so.

Yes, I am.

Gladys?

Oh, dear.

There you go, shilly-shallying again, Gladys.

Make up your mind.

Are you with Mr. Malcolm and his defense of vice, or on the side of the Christian virtues, like Mr. Fowler and myself?

Never in my life have I heard a question so disgracefully begged.

You should be in politics, Mrs. Railton-Bell.

Gladys?

Of course I am on your side, dear. It's only that...

Mr. Malcolm, apart from Miss Meacham and Mrs. Shankland, who may be counted as neutral, the count is four-to-one against you.

Shall we all go and see Miss Cooper in a body or would you rather that I acted as your spokesman?

I think perhaps, dear, if you went...

Yes. Perhaps that would be best.

Well, it's a duty I hardly relish.

Just a moment, Mrs. Railton-Bell. We haven't heard from your daughter.

My daughter agrees with me. I know her feelings on the subject.

I think she should be permitted to speak for herself.

Sibyl, can we have your views?

Mr. Malcolm is speaking to you, dear. Yes, Mummy.

Can we have your views?

MY views?

On Major Pollock, dear.

What action should we take about him?

It's the shock.

You know what you've just read in the paper, dear.

What do you feel about it?

It made me sick.

Of course it did. That's how we all feel.

It made me sick.

It made me sick!

Stop that, Sibyl. Now, darling... it made me sick. I don't feel well. Of course you don't, dear.

It made me sick.

Come, we'll go up to our room and lie down.

Is she often like that?

No, not often. But sometimes, I'm afraid.

Her mother ought to never have told her.

I'm surprised at you, Mr. Malcolm.

You ought not to have brought her into it.

I suppose not.

I thought I might get her, once in the whole of her life to publicly disagree with her mother.

It could save her soul if she ever did.

Poor child. The whole affair is too dreadful.

It's made me quite miserable.

Yes. The trouble about being on the side of right as one sees it, is that one often finds oneself in the company of such very questionable allies.

There's nothing to be done about it now.

Your young friend Mr. Ridgewell, he never telephoned?

He could still turn up.

I can hear the front doorbell, you know.

And, of course, with all this, I won't get a wink of sleep.

I wish he'd taken the trouble to call.


You're making it a bit too obvious, you know, that you hate the very sight of me.

The very sight of you, Ann, is perhaps the one thing about you I don't hate.

Please, John, don't be so ill-mannered.

All this fencing is a bit idiotic, isn't it?

I am leaving in the morning.

And I wouldn't be here if I'd known you were going to be married.

Credit me with some degree of tact.

I do. You were always very tactful, especially about my bad manners.

I never mentioned your manners.

Incidentally, if you disliked me so intensely, why did you ever marry me in the first place?

Do you want it reaffirmed after all these years?

Does your vanity need it that much?

I wanted you desperately.

I craved you so violently that I could deny you nothing.

Not even a marriage that was bound to end in disaster.

Why disaster?

Ann, it's a long way from a Pennsylvania steel town to Upper Park Avenue.

Class distinction? You always claimed it never existed.

Until I married you.

Then I really found out how wrong I was.

My ideas of a wife were influenced by watching my mother ruin her health, to bring up eight kids.

My demands on you wouldn't have been that high but would've included properly running a home and bearing children.

About children, I did make it perfectly clear...

I know. The beautiful fashion model. That little hobby of yours.

Your figure was too important to risk for posterity.

I accepted the deal. I've no complaints.

But you know you have, John.

The same complaint as always, that I didn't love you when we married.

Please. Let's not go into that.

Why would I have married you, if I didn't love you?

After all, there were others. More important men.

They couldn't pay you the full price.

What price?

Enslavement.

John, really. How ridiculous you are.

If all I wanted to do was to make my husband a slave, why would I have chosen you and not the others?

Because where would the fun have been, enslaving men like that?

A tame millionaire. A mincing baronet.

Too polite to say anything when denied their conjugal rights.

Too polite not to take your headaches at bedtime as just headaches at bedtime.

Where would the fun have been, turning your weapons on men like that?

No, Ann, you were reaching into another class.

You were looking for wilder game.

Remember how you introduced me to your friends?

"My wild roaring savage"?

That was always good for a laugh.

To turn your weapons on him, to make him sit up and beg at the whispered promise of what was his by right.

To goad him to such a rage that he'd kick open your bedroom door and nearly kill you.

That really must have been fun.

Forgive me, Ann.

I don't get many chances at speechmaking these days.

Besides, I'm a little drunker than usual tonight.

Because of seeing me?

Yes.

I'm sorry.

No, you're not.

You haven't changed much.

Haven't I?

The same old John, pouring out the same old cascade of truths, half-truths and distortions.

Human nature isn't as simple as you make it, John.

You left out the most important fact of all.

You see, you're the only person in the world I've ever really been fond of.

Notice how tactfully I leave out the word "love."

Give me a cigarette.

No, not those awful cheap things.

Hand me my bag.

Do you dispute that?

Your fondness for me was sometimes shown in surprising ways.

Why are you staring at me?

You know perfectly well why.

Well, don't. It makes me embarrassed.

You really think I haven't changed much?

To look at, I mean?

Not at all.

Just the clever makeup, I expect.

I don't think so.

I still think you're the most beautiful, most desirable woman I've ever known.

John, I really think you mean that.

You know, some of the things you said might happen to me are happening.

Such as?

Loneliness, for one.

No friends? Not many. I haven't the gift.

What about your fiancé?

You really think I'm in love with him?

It's always been you, John.

All these years.

It's so wonderful seeing you again like this.

I'm only sorry it's too late.

If only I could just stay on a little while.

I won't be a nuisance.

Really I won't, John.

Darling, please.

This is a public place.

Anyone might come out at any moment.

There's no one here for it to make any difference to me.

I was just thinking of you.

Miss Cooper has given me what appears to be a very isolated room, the number of which is 12.

Shall we go?

How do I look? All right?

All right.

Mrs. Shankland, you're wanted on the telephone.

It's a call from London.

Thank you.

You know where the telephone is? Yes, I do. Thank you very much.


You knew who she was, didn't you?

Yes.

I must say, she's exactly as you described her to me.

"Carved in ice," you once said.

Did I?

So that's the woman who smashed up your life.

She didn't, Pat. I smashed up my own life.

If I hadn't been the sort of man I am... I know the sort of man you are.

And the sort of woman she is.

In all the years I've known you... You don't know me at all.

I'm sorry, Pat,

but blaming her isn't going to help.

I see.

I always knew in my heart you were still in love with her.

Pat... Don't say anything.

I've known it all along.

Will you be going away with her?

I don't know. I don't know anything about the future.

Yes, I expect you will.

She looks as if she's got some willpower, that girl.

If she's taken the trouble to run you to earth down here, she won't let go easily.

She didn't run me to earth, Pat. She came down here to help me.

You really believe that?

She was going to be married. Her fiance is in London.

And she came here to help you? Yes.

It doesn't strike you as strange?

All right, let's leave it at that.

What do you mean? Nothing.

Tell me. No.

What is it? Tell me. Don't knock me about. I'm not her.

Now I'll ask you a question.

Does she know about us? No.

You're sure of that?

I told her I was engaged, but I didn't say to whom.

The only one who'd know about us is your publisher, David Wilder.

That's right.

She's talking to Mr. Wilder on the telephone now.

John, listen. It's all right. I want to talk to her.

Please. I've got to talk to her.

Miss Cooper, I've been waiting for you.

It's a matter of vital importance. I can't go into it here.

I ask you to read this. Very well.

I may add that I've taken a consensus of the residents.

We are virtually unanimous that the gentleman in question be asked to leave before lunchtime tomorrow.

Come in.

I'll just be a minute, darling.

Goodness, you didn't give me much time.

I can wait.

There's some brandy on the bureau, if you'd like.

But I really don't think you should, do you?

No.

That's a good boy.

Darling John.

Listen. You can hear the waves rolling in.

Just like that hotel in East Hampton.

Like that first summer we met.

A little big perhaps, a little grand.

But we could make believe, couldn't we?

We could wipe out everything that's happened to us since.

The waves rolling in all night long.

Remember?

That completes it, doesn't it?

What?

The stage is all set, just like it was that night.

But I don't understand.

Are you afraid of the light? Why should I be afraid of the light?

People who hate the light usually hate the truth.

The truth? John, forgive me, but I don't know what you're talking about.

I'm talking about liars, Ann.

Liars and expensive tramps! What are you trying...

What did you say to Wilder?

That you saved dear old John from a grubby little hotelkeeper?

Ten minutes flat and he was at your feet.

His hands were too shaky to light your cigarette.

Please don't be angry with me. I had to see you.

I was desperate to see you. What for?

To help me? You wouldn't think of telling me the truth.

No. You had to have your conquest, your unconditional surrender.

If you could do it by lying...

All right. I knew you were going to get married.

And I should have said so from the beginning, but.

I still have some pride left. Pride.

Yes.

I can see the makeup now, all right. Little lines that weren't there before.

The beginning.

There'll be more, and one day this face will begin to decay, and there'll be nothing left to make a man grovel, to make him want to...

Why don't you?

Don't leave me, John.

John, come back. Come back to my room. John, don't go!

I can make you forget all those silly lies.

John, come back!

What's happened? I thought I heard...

Miss Cooper, Mrs. Shankland has had a fall. I'm afraid she's hurt.

I'll come at once. What is the matter? What's going on?

Mrs. Shankland has had a fall.

I'd like my newspaper back. Yes. It's on my desk.

You've read it? Yes, I've read it, Mrs. Railton-Bell.

Poor dear. It's so dark on these stairs.

Thank you. Think nothing of it.

Careful, now. Come along, Mrs. Shankland. You're all right.

That's all right, now.


How's the weather, Miss Meacham? Dry as a bone outside.

I should have a winner, if it stays dry at Newbury.

Did me handicap book arrive?

I think, that looks like it.

Miss Cooper, Mr. Malcolm wasn't in his room when I took his tea up and his bed hadn't been slept in.

Yes, I know, Doreen.

You know? I should have told you. I forgot.

Mr. Malcolm had to go to London unexpectedly last night.

He won't be in to breakfast? No, I don't suppose he will.

What about the new lady? She's not down yet.

She's down, Doreen. I think she'll be in for breakfast.

Okay.

She's leaving, isn't she? The new one?

How did you know?

I heard her ask for her bags to be brought down.

I knew she'd never stick it.

"Stick it," Miss Meacham? I don't mean the hotel.

Best for the price in Bournemouth. I've always said so.

I meant the life. She's not an "alone" type.

Is anyone an "alone" type, really?

Yes. They're rare, of course.

But you are, for one, I'd say. You're self-sufficient.

I've very glad you think so, Miss Meacham, perhaps even gladder than you realize.

What do you mean by that?

I haven't the faintest idea. I'm a bit tired this morning.

I had very little sleep last night.

Well, I don't suppose you are glad, really.

Probably you haven't had to face up to it yet.

I faced up to it very early on. Long before I was an old wreck.

People have always scared me a bit, you see.

They're so complicated.

I suppose that's why I prefer horses.


Feeling better?

A bit.

Any word?

No. But I shouldn't worry. He's been out like this before.

I'd feel much better if he'd come back.

I must catch that train.

Thank you for everything.


Hello, Miss R-B. Enjoying the sunshine, what?

By Jove, what a morning.

I've been walking on the chines.

I must say, looking across that sea, that sky, it could have been Tunis.

It really could.

I remember, in the spring of '43...

Please, don't pretend anymore.

Pretend? My dear Miss R-B...

The West Hampshire Weekly News.

Mummy's read it, you see.

Did she show it to you?

Yes.

And to all the others.

Miss Cooper, as well?

Yes.

She's asked Miss Cooper to tell you to go.

I see.

That's it then, isn't it?

Yes.

God.

Why did you do it?

I don't know. I wish I could answer that.

Why does anybody do anything that they shouldn't?

Why do some people drink too much, and other people smoke 50 cigarettes a day?

Because they can't stop it, I suppose.

Then this wasn't the first time?

No.

It's horrible.

Yes, it is, of course. I'm not trying to defend it.

You've never guessed this, I know, but ever since school, I've always been scared to death of women.

Of everyone, in a way, I suppose, but mostly of women.

I had a bad time at school, which wasn't Wellington, of course.

It was just a council school.

Boys hate other boys to be timid and shy, and they gave it to me good and proper.

My father despised me, too.

He was a sergeant major in the Scots Guards.

He made me join the army, but I was always a bitter disappointment to him.

He died before I got my commission.

I got that by a wangle, too. It wasn't very difficult at the beginning of the war.

But it meant everything to me just the same.

Being saluted, being called "sir."

I thought, "I'm someone now, a real person."

Perhaps some woman might even...

But it didn't work. It never has worked.

I'm made in a certain way, and I can't change it.

It has to be in the dark, you see, and strangers, because...

Stop it. Stop!

I don't want to hear any more.

You asked me why I did such things and I wanted to talk to somebody about it.

I never have, you see, not in my whole life.

I'm sorry if I upset you, of all people.

Why me, especially? Why not the others?

I don't give a hang about the others.

They'll all take it in their various ways but to them it'll be just another bit of gossip to snort and snigger over.

But it'll be different for you, Sibyl, and that makes me very unhappy.

That's the first time you've called me Sibyl.

Is it really?

Well, there's not much point in all that "Miss R-B" stuff now, is there?

What makes me so different from the others?

I suppose it's because you're so scared of... Well, shall we call it "life"?

That sounds more respectable than that word I know you hate.

We're awfully alike, you know, you and I, in many ways.

That's why we've drifted so much together in this place.

How can you say that we're alike?

It's just that we're both so frightened of other people and we somehow managed to forget our fright in each other's company.

Speaking for myself, I'm grateful. I always will be.

I can't expect you to feel the same way now, of course.

Well, I'd better start packing, I suppose.

I should be able to catch the 10:45.

The old Wellingtonian colors.

Why have you told so many awful lies?

Because I don't like myself the way I am, so I've had to invent somebody else.

It's not too harmful, really.

We all have our daydreams.

Mine have just gone a step further than most people's.

Sometimes, I've even managed to believe in "the Major" myself.

Well, I'd better get cracking, I suppose.

Packing up after four years is hellish business, really.

Has to be done, though.

If I don't see you again before I go, I'll write and say goodbye.


But where will you go?

I don't really know.

A chap in London might put me up a couple of days.

Only, I don't really want to go there.

But why not?

Well, it's really rather a case of birds of a feather.

Don't go to him. You mustn't go to him.

I don't really know where else. Another hotel.

It can't be Bournemouth, or anywhere near here.

It'll have be London, and I don't know anywhere there I can afford.

I'll lend you some money.

No, you certainly won't. Yes, I have some savings certificates.

You can have those, and I can get some more...

No, Sibyl. Thank you, but no. I'll think of somewhere.

I've just remembered a place now.

Cheltenham. It's a very pleasant spot. I'll go and telephone them right away.

I hate to do this, but could you possibly lend me a sixpence?

Yes, of course. Here.

Here you are.

Thank you so much.

But...

Don't bother about me. Don't worry. I'll be perfectly all right. Please.


Are you all right?

Yes, thank you, I'm quite all right.

Is there anything I can do to help?

No, thank you. I'm perfectly all right, thank you.

You're fond of him, aren't you?

No, I hate him, I despise him. He's a vile, wicked man, and he's done a horrible, beastly thing, and it's not the first time, either.

He admitted that.

God, it's so horrible!

He says we're alike, he and I.

Did he?

He says we're both afraid of life and people and sex.

There, I've said it. I've said the word.

He says I hate saying it, even.

He's right, I do.

Please, try and control yourself.

Someone may come in.

Will he be all right, do you think?

Because, in spite of what he's done, I don't want anything bad to happen to him.

I just want him to be happy.

I want him to find another friend in his other hotel, help him to forget his fright.

Do you think that he will?

I hope so.

So do I.

Oh, God.

So do I.

Here's your sixpence.

I'm afraid that place was full up, but I'll find something else.

Well, goodbye, Sibyl.

God bless you.

I know perfectly well what you must think of me.

Thank you for being so kind to her.

I had a couple of pipes here somewhere. I'd better take them with me, I suppose.

That's everything, I think.


Are you all right?

Yes, I'm all right, Pat.

That was a fine way to behave, dashing out into the night.

Where have you been? I don't know. I walked a long way.

How is she? Is she all right? Your hands are like ice.

What about her? Is she all right?

She's all right, John. I'll get you some tea.

Did I hurt her?

No. She was pretty hysterical last night, but that was hardly surprising.

She fell, though, didn't she?

I seem to remember pushing her.

Her falling, hitting her head... She's all right, John.

Whatever you did, there's been no damage at all.

She's leaving this morning.

Did you ring, Miss?

Some tea for Mr. Malcolm, please.

Tea? Just before breakfast?

That will be all, Doreen.

Okay.

We talked most of the night. I didn't want to get a doctor.

John, did you know that she took drugs?

Drugs? It's only the kind to make you sleep but she takes three times the proper dose.

The little fool. She takes them in the daytime, too.

Why does she do it?

Why do you go to the Feathers?

She was going to be married.

That's not true.

But she told me. I'm simply telling you, that's not true.

There's not much to choose between you two, is there?

Together, you slash each other to pieces, apart, you slash yourselves to pieces.

All told, it's quite a problem.

I'm going to tell her that you're here. No, Pat, don't do that.

I'll just stay out of her way till she's gone.

She's only waiting to hear how you are.

You can tell her I'm all right.

You don't think you might tell her that yourself?

No, Pat.

It's your own business. I think if I was in your place, I'd want to.

You don't know what it's like to be in my place. You can't even guess.

Yes, I think I can, John.

I said there was a refuge for you here. I was wrong.

There is no refuge.

There's no refuge from yourself. Stop it, Pat, please.

Listen, why won't you face facts?

Do you think I enjoy seeing your refuge blown down over your head?

After all, I've shared it with you for a good many years.

I'm under the debris, too, you know...

Pat, please! I'm asking you to stop it!

All right. I'll stop it.

Here we are, all cozy now.

Put it there, Doreen. Righty-o.

She'll have to go, that girl.

Pat, I'm sorry, but, give me one good reason why I should ever see her again?

All right. Just one then, and God knows it's not for me to say it.

Because you love her and she needs you.

What went on between you last night? How did she win you over?

She didn't win me over, for heaven's sake.

Feeling the way I do, do you think she could?

Anyway, to do her justice, she didn't even try.

I could see her as she is, all right.

All you've told me about her is probably true.

She is vain and spoiled and selfish and deceitful.

Of course, with you being in love with her, you see all those things as sort of monstrous sins.

I see them as ordinary faults. I don't like them but that doesn't stop me being sorry for a woman who's ill and lonely and desperately in need of help.

Well, shall I tell her that you're here?

No, Pat, just let her go back to her own life and leave me here to live mine in peace.

Well, that would be fine, John, if you'll tell me just one thing.

What sort of peace are you living in down here?

Is it even living?

Is it, John?

It'll do.

Thank you. At this moment, I don't think I could have borne tact.

If you won't face her, there's the door.

Outside's the street. Down the street is the Feathers.

It's a bit early, but I'm sure they'll open up for you.

Come in.

I'm so sorry, you're busy. No, Major, come in. It's all right.

I can come back. It's all right, Major, I was just leaving.

I've already taken up more of Miss Cooper's time than I deserve.

I shouldn't have barged in. I've upset him.

You didn't upset him.

What can I do for you, Major?

Just, if you don't mind, to get my bill ready.

I want to make it perfectly plain, Major, that there's no question of my asking you to leave this hotel.

If you wish to stay, you're at perfect liberty to do so.

Well, that's very good of you, but of course, I have to go.

Very well.

I'll send you a forwarding address when I get something fixed.

I hate to ask, but could I hide here in your office when I bring my bags down?

I don't want to... Of course.

And thank you for being so kind.

I don't deserve it, but I'm very grateful.

I do wish you'd change your mind.

Miss Cooper, the plain fact is that I'm far too much of a coward to stay on here now.

At least you wouldn't be forced into any more of that "Major" stuff, would you?

I might be forced into something a good deal more conclusive.

Cleaning the old service revolver, perhaps.

Make a nasty mess on one of your carpets and bring an ugly scandal to your hotel.

I'd take the risk, if you would.

You're thinking of Sibyl, of course?

Sibyl, too, yes.

Not a hope in the whole blinking wide world.

I know my form, you see.

Still, that is the part about it that I hate the most.

She's distinctly an odd one, almost a case.

Mind of a child and all that. And yet, she means quite a lot to me.

I rather think you mean a lot to her, too.

I would like to think so.

You know, one's awfully apt to try and excuse oneself sometimes by saying, "What I do doesn't do anybody else much harm."

But one does, you see, and that's not a thought that I like very much.

Well, I mustn't miss the old train, what?

I must stop saying "what." cheery-bye.

I must stop doing that, too, I suppose.

Charles.

Charles, you were asleep.

Darling, I just can't go on like this. I just simply can't.

Like what?

Well, you've just got to marry me, so I can get some sleep.

I'm never going to pass these exams.

All right.

What?

All right, we'll be married.

Jean.

After all, it really isn't going to make the slightest bit of difference.

We'd better call my mother, so she can get started on the arrangements.

And you'd better call your father in Liverpool.

Charles, how many children do you think we should have?

I think maybe three to start, don't you?

Yes, dear.

Good morning, Mr. Malcolm.

Good morning, Miss Meacham.

Are you all right, Ann?

Yes, thank you. I was worried about you.

You shouldn't have been.

Toast, Mrs. Shankland?

No, thank you.

Haddock or boiled egg?

Just coffee, please.

I'm glad you came in.

It gives me a chance to say how sorry I am I had to lie to you.

Tell me something, Ann. When you say you need me, is it me that you need or just my love?

Because if it's my love, you must know that you have that.

It's you, John. Why?

I suppose because you're all the things I'm not.

You're honest and true and dependable and sincere and...

Virtues that I don't have anymore.

So you see, Ann, I could never satisfy your need.

I know that you could never satisfy mine.

I would never try to again.

I won't bother you anymore.

Going back to New York?

I suppose so.

You must have friends there, hundreds of acquaintances...

You know better than that, John.

It's hard to believe, but you can be more alone in New York than in this hotel.

Even with their separate tables, they can talk back and forth.

Being alone in a crowd is worse.

It's more painful, more frightening.

So frightening.

I'm an awful coward, you see.

I've never been able to face anything alone.

Being ill, having operations and all that.

Now I can't even face just getting old.

That damn waitress will come back and catch me crying.

How did you sleep, dear?

Not at all well. That dreadful business about the Major.

I know. Nerve-wracking, isn't it? I'm utterly shattered, myself.

Poached eggs for you, isn't it?

You should know by now, that Miss Railton-Bell never has anything but a poached egg for breakfast.

I forget things, dear. That's my trouble.

There we are.

Eat your egg, dear.

You don't want people to think you're still upset over that horrible man, do you?

No, Mummy.

Sorry, Major, there's been a muddle. I'll lay your table right away.

Mabel, No. 7's in. You said he was out.

That's what Edgar said. Edgar said he was leaving.

Haddock? It's nice this morning.

Very well, thank you.

There we are.

All cozy now.


Good morning.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Lovely day, isn't it?

Yes, it is.

It should be fine for the course.

If the weather holds up, I could give you a winner tomorrow.

Thank you very much.

I may not be here tomorrow.

I see.

It's suddenly turned very cold in here, dear, don't you think?

I think I shall move my chair around out of the draft.

Good morning. Have you seen the latest cricket score?

No, I haven't.

We're doing rather well. Australia all out 246.

I am glad to hear that. Yes, it is encouraging, isn't it?

Well, really.

Good morning.

Gladys.

I hope you're having the haddock. It's delicious.

Yes, I am. Good.

Come, Sibyl.

I haven't finished yet.

It doesn't matter, dear. Come with me into the lounge.

No, Mummy.

Sibyl, come with me at once.

No, Mummy. I'm going to stay here in the dining room and finish my breakfast.

I saw the new moon through glass last night.

Did you, indeed?

Some people think that's unlucky, don't they?

Yes, they do.

But then, I don't believe in superstitions. Do you?

No, as a matter of fact, I don't.

You know, Ann, that we don't have very much hope together.

Have we all that much apart?

Good morning, Lady Matheson.

Good morning. Good morning.

Edgar says your taxi has arrived, Mr. Pollock.

Ask him to send it away again, would you, please?

Very well. Lunch at the usual time then?