Shadowlands (1993) Script



How'd it go, Tom?

Thrashed them. Led all the way.

Thank you, Perkins.

The new ones are trouble this evening, Christopher.

Any news of Julian? I suppose he's all right, is he?

Julian, yes, he's fine.

I think he went down to London.

I ordered the '45.

Jack. Jack, I don't seem to...

Jack, what a surprise.

What do you mean surprise?

Not out plying your trade?

Doesn't suit you, Desmond.

What trade is that, Christopher?

I see you as a species of medieval peddler selling relics of the saints of dubious authenticity.

Fair play, Christopher. Jack's no Roman. I can vouch for that.

I speak metaphorically, Harry. Jack's trade is the manufacture and supply of easy answers to difficult questions.

What's he say?

He says Jack has...

-Rupert, I wonder if I could... -Warnie...

I've been meaning to ask you about your brother's books.

Does he actually know any children?

Children? Jack? I don't think so.

How on earth does he pull it off?

Barker, this isn't the Chambertin '45.

To the best of my belief, it is, sir.

-Just one moment, sir. -No, Nick.

No, you do not agree with Marcus. You disagree with Marcus.

But Marcus says he agrees with me...

Marcus has no real grasp of his own thought processes.

Also, he tells the most terrible lies.

I'm intrigued, Jack. Apparently, you don't know any actual children.

That's balderdash.

I'm sure Rupert can spare one or two of his brood.

Jack, you forgot my wine.

It's there.

Thank you, barker.

I don't see why...

Who says I don't know any children?

-Who? -Warnie.

My brother was a child once, Rupert.

And, as unlikely as it may seem, so was I.

It's Thursday tomorrow, Jack.

The week's almost gone and I haven't done half my letters.

You don't have to write back...

Don't have to write back, I know.

It only encourages them.

Yes, yes, yes.

"Mr. C.S. Lewis thanks you for your letter, "but has nothing whatsoever to say in reply."

It's going to be quite a frost tonight, Warnie.

Too many stars. Confuses me.


I don't think so.

Now, now...

London tomorrow.

Who are you lecturing, disabled veterans?

Church widows?

Association of Christian teachers.

'Night, Jack.

'Night, Warnie.

A garden, enclosed by a high wall. Inside the garden, a fountain.

In the fountain, two crystal stones.

In the crystals, in reflection, a rose garden.

In the midst of the roses, one perfect rosebud.

Guillaume de lorris is using the rosebud, of course, as an image.

But an image of what?


What kind of love?

Untouched? Unopened like a bud?

Yes, more.

Perfect love?

What makes it perfect? Come on. Wake up.

Is it the courtly ideal of love?

What is that? What is its one essential quality?


The most intense joy lies not in the having but in the desiring.

The delight that never fades...

The bliss that is eternal is only yours when what you most desire is just out of reach.

What was that, Mr. Whistler?

Nothing, Mr. Lewis.

If you disagree with me, say so.

Fight me. I can take it.

Even I can't fight on both sides at once, you know.

At least I can, but I'm liable to win.

Why is the beer in this pub always cold?

Now, Mr. Egan.

Cold beer.

Chills the stomach. Has no taste.

I have a complaint about the wardrobe.

Complaint? Our children love it.

I will not have another blasted conversation about Jack's blasted nursery.

No. No, listen, listen.

In the book, you describe the house as belonging to an old professor who has no wife, and yet...

You say that when the little girl enters the magic wardrobe she finds it full of fur coats.

Very good, Eddie.

Not bad.

It's simple. They belong to the professor's old mother.


So to reach the magic world the child must push through the "mother's fur"?

No. I won't have that, John. That's none of your hand-me-down freudianism...

But the imagery is Christian, surely?

No, Harry, it's what it is. It's just itself.

It's... it's just magic.

Magic. Look.

Let me show you. The child steps into the wardrobe.

The coats are thick and heavy.

What about the fur?

Fur's not important, John.

The child must push through.

They're pressing close, almost suffocating and suddenly, there's white light. Crisp, cold air.

Trees. Snow.

Total contrast, you see.

It's the gateway to a magical world.

What time is it?

Good Lord, my train.

Anyway. Well...

See you all tomorrow. Bye.


Cheerio, Jack. See you then.

Goodbye, Mr. Lewis.

Yesterday, I received a letter that referred to an event that took place almost a year ago now. December 4, 1951.

My correspondent hadn't forgotten. I doubt if any of us have.

That was the night a number one bus drove into a column of young royal marine cadets in Chatham and killed 24 of them.

You remember?

And the letter asks some simple but fundamental questions.

Where was God on that December night?

Why didn't he stop it?

Isn't God supposed to be good?

Isn't he supposed to love us?

And does God want us to suffer?

What if the answer to that question is yes?

'Cause I'm not sure that God particularly wants us to be happy.

I think he wants us to be able to love and be loved.

He wants us to grow up.

I suggest to you that it is because God loves us that he makes us the gift of suffering.

To put it another way, pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

You see, we are like blocks of stone out of which the sculptor carves the forms of men.

The blows of his chisel, which hurt us so much are what make us perfect.

Thank you very much.

A woman has had a dream about me.

She writes to ask if I've had a dream about her.

I had a strange dream last night.

Another letter from Mrs. Gresham?

I can't remember any of it.

The Jewish, communist, Christian American?

You may ask me how I know it was strange if I've forgotten it.

Can't answer that one.

I like her letters. She can be quite sharp sometimes.

Listen to this, Warnie.

She says, "I can't decide whether you'd rather be the child

"caught in the spell or the magician casting it."

Her letters are rather unusual.

She writes as if she knows me somehow.

Still, I suppose there is something of me in my books, isn't there?

I expect it's just the American style.

Americans don't understand about inhibitions.

She's coming to England.

No, she's coming to Oxford. She wants to meet us.

Well, she can't come here.

No, of course not, but she does suggest tea in a hotel.

Tea is safe. A hotel is safe.

Though she might be mad.

No, I don't think so. She does write poems.


She'll be barking.

You won't be too agreeable, will you, Jack?

Don't worry, Warnie. I won't.

She'll turn out to be writing a dissertation on wardrobes.

She'll ask whether she can come and watch you while you create.

She'll say, "I'll sit in a corner. You'll never know I'm there."

It's only tea, Warnie.

An hour or so of polite conversation, then we go home, and everything goes on just the way it always has.

Shall we have some sandwiches?

I wonder if they do toasted teacakes?

Excuse me, I'm here to meet Mr. C.S. Lewis, the writer.

Yes, madam.

Well, do you know what he looks like?

No, madam.

Well, he doesn't know what I look like, either.

Yes, madam.

Any ideas?

No, madam.

Anybody here called Lewis?

Mrs. Gresham? How do you do?

A pleasure.

This is my brother, Warnie.

Major Lewis.

Now, please, sit down.

So you managed to find us.

Yes, I used the guide, and so, you see... It's just that you don't look at all like C.S.Lewis.

Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, not to mention the rest of Oxford.

Well, so you don't like that?

Well, I'm not what you might call a public figure, Mrs. Gresham.

Oh, you're not?

I mean, you write all these books, and you give all those talks, and everything just so everybody will leave you alone?

Oh, dear.

We've only just met, and already you see right through me.

Tell me, do you drink tea?

Tea, sure.

It's England, right?

So it is.


Actually, look, I'm a little in awe of you, and so I'm a little tense.

And when I get like that, I get kind of... I don't know.

It's very childish. I'm sure I'll get over it soon.

Not too soon, I hope, please, 'cause I like a good fight myself.

You do?


You sound surprised.

No. No, that's great. You like a good fight. Great.


When's the last time you lost?

Well, I've been at Magdalen since 1925.

It's just beautiful here. How old is it?

The college was founded very nearly 500 years ago.

Not all the buildings are that old, of course.

My room is there. That's the new building.

New, huh?


What does your husband do, Mrs. Gresham?

Oh, Bill? Bill's a writer.

And you, too, Jack tells me.

You call him Jack?

I never liked the name Clive.

Well, if you're a Jack...


No, you look fine for a Jack.

Thank you.

Well, Jewish, but not Jewish-Jewish, if you can follow that.

I mean, I'm a Christian, but I was brought up to be a good atheist.

An atheist?

Don't sound so shocked.

I'm not. I was an atheist once.

You? So we're both lapsed atheists?

Yes, but I was never a communist.

Why not?

What do you mean, "why not," Mrs. Gresham?

Well, I mean, back in '38, it seemed to me there was only two choices. Either you were a fascist and you conquered the world, or you were a communist and you saved it.

Is that so?

I must have been otherwise engaged at the time.

There's a world worth saving.

At dawn, on the first of may every year, the choristers from the choir school stand up here and sing to the rising sun.

They say they draw quite a crowd.

What do they sing?

I can't say I've ever risen early enough to hear them.

Oh, why not? I mean, it sounds wonderful.

Well, I don't really go in for seeing the sights.


So what do you do? Just walk around with your eyes shut?

You know, Mrs. Gresham, I almost don't know what to say to you.

Good Lord!

How long do you plan to stay in England, Mrs. Gresham?

Till the end of December.

Are you expecting to be in Oxford again?

Well, I hadn't planned on it.

What do you say, Warnie?

Do you think we could rise to a pot of home-brewed tea?

Yes, I think we can manage that.

Given adequate warning, of course.

Do you think I could bring my son?

Douglas is such a big fan of your Narnia books.

He'd love to meet you.

Yes, of course.

I'll give you plenty of warning.

It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Lewis. Thanks for everything.

Well, see you soon.

Yes. Major Lewis.

Mrs. Gresham. Safe journey.

Thank you. Goodbye.

Does one wait for the train to leave?

Character and plot.

Chicken and egg.

Which comes first?

Aristotle's solution was simple and radical.

He said, "plot is character."

Forget psychology. Forget the inside of men's heads.

Judge them by their actions.

For example, Mr. Whistler's asleep.

Now, from that action I take it that he has no interest in what I have to say.

The puzzle is, that being the case, why is he here at all?

So we construct a plot from Mr. Whistler's actions.

He comes. He sleeps.

Now, Aristotle would say that the next question is not "why?"

But, "what is Mr. Whistler going to do next?"

Good morning, Mr. Whistler.

You know, my class is not compulsory, neither are my chairs very comfortable. I suggest that...

All right, I'm going.

Thank you.

He comes. He sleeps. He goes. So the plot thickens.

It's all right, Warnie. She sails back to New York after Christmas.

One can always be so much more friendly to people who can't stay long.

I wonder what her husband thinks of her gallivanting around England like this.

It's not the Middle Ages, Warnie.

She'll make you listen to one of her poems. I'll bet you 10 bob.

Then she'll say to you, "how do you like it, Mr. Lewis?"

And you'll be stumped.

Then I shall say, "Mrs. Gresham, "only you could have written that."


That'll be 1.09, madam.

Keep the change.

Hello, you must be Douglas.

Are you him?

No, I'm his brother.

So you found us, Mrs. Gresham?

Well, the driver did.

Come in.

There we go.

There we are.

That's him.

Do go in.

Here you are then.

Hello. All right. Good.

Hello, sorry, my hands are...

We really appreciate this, Mr. Lewis.

You've no idea how Douglas was looking forward to today.

So you're Douglas.

Will he write in my book?

Ask him.

I told him you would write in his Narnia book. Do you mind?

No, of course not.


"To Douglas," yes?

Douglas, yes.

Ask him about the attic.

Oh! He wants to know if you have an attic. You can ask him these things.

We do.

Here you are.

What does it say, honey?

"The magic never ends."

Well, if it does, sue him.

Thank you, Mrs. Young. Thank you.

I'd sure like to see the attic.

Then you shall.

Come along, young man. Let's go find it.

Thank you, Major Lewis.

Oh! Jack was particularly hoping that you'd introduce him to your poetry.

Now, we've got to find the key. Mrs. Young...

Don't worry, I don't inflict my poems on innocent strangers.

Not strangers, I hope.

What about some of that long promised tea?

Yes, please.

You take milk, don't you?


No, I'd be interested to know about your poems.

What do you want to know about them?

How long they are?

Their rhyme schemes? Their major influences?

Quite right, of course. You take sugar?


No, you're quite right.

Well, would you be so kind as to introduce me to the poems themselves?

Well, I'm not sure.

I won't be rude about them.

What will you do? Stay silent or tell lies?

No, I shall choose when I've heard one.

All right.

You know, I have won a national poetry award shared with Robert Frost.

I'm impressed.

Well, let's hope you stay that way.

Uh... let's get this out of the way.

I'll give you an early one. That way I'm covered.

I wrote this when I was 22, Spanish civil war.

It's called Snow in Madrid.

"Softly, so casual

"lovely, so light, so light

"the cruel sky lets fall something one does not fight

"men while perishing..."


"Men before perishing see with unwounded eye, for once

"a gentle thing fall from the sky."

Embarrassed, huh?

No, I'm touched.

Touched? Yes.

Touched? That's good. That's about its level.

So you may ask, when was I ever in Madrid? The answer is, never.

Well, personal experience isn't everything.

I disagree. I think personal experience is everything.

So reading is a waste of time?

No, it's not a waste of time, but reading is safe, isn't it?

Books aren't about to hurt you.

Why should one want to be hurt?

That's when we learn.

Well, just because something hurts, it doesn't make it more true or more significant.

No, I guess not.

I'm not saying that pain is purposeless or even neutral, but to find meaning in pain, there has to be something else.

Pain is a tool.

If you like, pain is God's megaphone...

Megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

How embarrassing.

You know my writing too well, don't you?

I have read most of it.

I guess I knew you pretty well before we met.

But you'd not had the personal experience.

Mr. Lewis, I...

I have to stop calling you Mr. Lewis. It makes me feel like a kid.

Can I call you Jack?

Yes, of course.

Jack, I'm Joy.

Well, hello, Joy.

So, Jack...

Have you ever been really hurt?

You don't give up, do you?

Here we are. Mind how you go. Let's turn a light on.

Does anybody ever come up here?

Not anymore.

Yes, of course, come in.

Right, here we are. That's Warnie's desk. This is mine.

It's not very orderly in here, I'm afraid.

Well, you keep order in your mind, right?


Oh, that's nice.

Is it someplace real?

I think so.

It's called the Golden Valley, I believe.

Somewhere in Herefordshire.

Somewhere special?

In a way.

It was on our nursery wall when I was a child.

I didn't know it was a real place then.

I thought it was a view of heaven.

The promised land.

Yes, I used to think that one day I'd come round a bend in the road or over the brow of a hill, and there it would be.

I have been really hurt, you know?

First time is always the worst.

That was when my mother died.

How old were you?


That's old enough to hurt.

Oh, yes.

It was the end of my world.

I remember my father in tears.

Voices all over the house.

Doors shutting and opening.

It was a big house, all long empty corridors.

I remember I had a toothache, and I wanted my mother to come to me.

I cried for her to come, but she didn't come.

And after death...

Did you believe you'd meet her again?


I don't think I had any faith in anything when I was a child.

She was gone. That was all.

And still you listen for the footsteps coming down the corridors, but they don't come.


You should see the garden before it gets dark.

Yes, I'd like that.

You'll need a coat.

I have one right here.

There's a lake, mum, a wood with a lake.

Oh, good.

It's really a flooded Clay-pit...

Come and see, mum.

...for the old brick works. He's all yours now.

Be careful, Douglas. Douglas.

Sun's well over the yardarm.

Does he miss home? Oh, sure.

I mean, he'd like to be home for Christmas, but, well, it just hasn't worked out that way.

What are you doing for Christmas?

Some lucky English hotel, I expect.

So your husband will have to look after himself. Is that it?

Yes, he's pretty good at that.

The lake is much older than the house, of course.

They say Shelley used to sail paper boats here.

All made out of early drafts of his poems, no doubt.

I don't like to think of you Christmassing in a hotel.

Why don't you come here? You're very welcome.

Oh, no.

You don't want a couple of Yankees rampaging all over your house.

Well, I'd speak to Warnie, of course, but...

Why don't we go inside?

Speaking for myself, I'd welcome the company.

Somehow, Christmas makes more sense when there are children around.

I suppose we ought to get a tree.

What I really resent is the presumption of good will.

I feel no good will towards my fellow man, whatever. I feel ill will.

It'll be different this year, of course. More cheerful, I've no doubt.

What's that, Warnie?

A festive season.

I'm afraid Christmas, as I remember it, is rather a lost cause.

Exactly, it's because we've lost the magic.

No more blasted magic.

Well, you tell people it's about taking care of the poor and needy, and naturally, they don't even listen, do they?

The poor and needy do come into it, you know.

No room at the inn, remember? For mother and child?

Jack's invited them to stay with us.


Mother and child.

Mrs. Gresham and her son. They're spending Christmas with us.

Well, Jack, you have succeeded in surprising me.

Who is Mrs. Gresham?

Well, she's just a friend. An American.

A writer.

People do have guests for Christmas, don't they?

Next train arriving at platform two.

Hello, Jack. Happy Christmas.


Mind your bags please. Thank you.

Oxford. Oxford Station.

Mind your bags, please. Thank you.


This is Oxford Station.

The train now standing at platform three is the 357.

Platform three.

Nice talking to you. Have a good trip and a merry Christmas.

And the same to you, too.


Here, mum. I can do it.

Are you sure it's not too heavy?

Mum, why did those people sing so loud in the train?

Because it was Christmas cheer, get it?


I didn't know you were...

Look who's here, Douglas.

Did you have a good journey, Douglas?


Welcome back to Oxford.


We're glad you could come.


It's up this way.

Douglas, here.

And Joy...

You are here.

And bathroom here.

Well, that's that, then.

It's good.


Good. We'll leave you to settle in.


Won't you come with me, Douglas?

What do you think next, Warnie? A nice cup of tea?

You can't go too far wrong with a cup of tea.


Thank you.

By the way, the college president is hosting his annual Christmas party this evening.

And I'm afraid I'm more or less obliged to put in an appearance.

I don't suppose you'd wish to come with me, would you?

With Douglas?

Douglas, would you...


You know, Jack, that's all right.

I could use an early night. You go on without us.

Well, that's a pity. I thought you'd rather enjoy it.

We could always ask Mrs. Young. We won't be so very late.

I'll be okay.

No, I'm being thoughtless. You've only just arrived.


Thank you, Jack.

Do you have your hot-water bottle?

Here it is with its very dainty cover.

All right, keep it close to you.

Why do you think they don't heat the house?

I don't know.

It's such a strange country.

But I think the natives are friendly.

All right.

So you'll finish your chapter and say your prayers? Okay.

Oh! You have a big, big kiss on your cheek. Good night.

Good night.

Good evening, Major Lewis.

Good evening, Robert.

Mr. Lewis.

'Evening, Robert.


Good evening.

Come and meet the college president.

This is the college president.

Where on Earth did he find her?

She wrote to him.

A pen-pal?

Is this your first trip to England, Mrs. Gresham?

Yeah, it's my first.

But I was wanting to come for a long time.

What brings you to England, Mrs. Gresham?

I'm working on a book, so I was hoping to find a publisher over here.

Christopher, there you are.

Yes, Jack, here I am.

Please, let me introduce you to Mrs. Joy Gresham.

Professor Christopher Riley.

Professor Riley.

How do you do?


What success have you had with your book?

Well, to be honest, it's not ready to be seen yet.

You mustn't let that stop you, Mrs. Gresham.

It doesn't stop, Jack.

I'm sorry?

I am right in assuming you are from the United States of America?

Yes, I am.

Then perhaps you can satisfy my curiosity on a related matter.

I had always understood Americans to be hard-riding, tough-talking, no-nonsense sort of people.

Yet, Jack tells me his children's stories sell very well there.

Who can be buying them?

Well, professor Riley, we're not all cowboys, you know?

Have you read any of Jack's children's books?

Jack has read extracts aloud to me.

It is one of his tests of friendship.

Well, I think they're rather magical.

Congratulations, Jack. You seem to have found a soul mate.

I thought you believed that we didn't have souls, Christopher.

Well, yes, now, I regard the soul as an essentially feminine accessory.

Anima, quite different from animus, the male variant.

This is how I explain the otherwise puzzling difference between the sexes.

Where men have intellect, women have soul.

As you say, Professor Riley, I'm from the United States, and different cultures have different modes of discourse.

I need a little guidance here.

Are you trying to be offensive or just merely stupid?

Let me introduce you to some friends of mine.

Excuse me. I'm sorry.


It stood in our nursery when we were children.

If you don't need it anymore, you should throw it away.

Well, I'm not very good at throwing things away, as you can see.

We don't have an attic at home.


You wish you were at home, don't you?

We always have a turkey for Christmas at home.

Well, we'll have Turkey here, too.

With cranberry sauce?


My dad loves cranberry sauce.

Does he?

And snow.

Who do you look like most, Douglas, your mother or your father?

This is my mum, and this is my dad.

But my dad's kind of noisy, and I'm not.

Noisy, in which way?

Like shouting.

I hate shouting.

And me, too.

I knew it was just an old wardrobe.

Mrs. Young, we wouldn't happen to have any cranberry sauce, would we?

Cranberry sauce? Yes.

What's that?

Well, my guess is, it's a sauce made from Cranberries.

Well, Mr. Lewis, if you can find me some Cranberries, I'll sauce them.

Well, I think Mrs. Young has done us proud, Warnie.

It's all right, darling. It's all right.

Happy Christmas.

Happy Christmas.

We ought to raise a glass to your husband, Joy.

Sure, here's to bill.

To bill.


Can we telephone to America?

Yes, I believe so. Do you want to?

That's all right. We'll be home before long.

You're very welcome if you want.

I do want.

It's very expensive, Douglas.

Oh, come on. I don't mind.

He's just excited by the novelty of it.

I am not. I want to talk to dad.

Well, you can't, and that's that.

Beastly things, telephones.

Ring, ring, ring. Stop what you're doing.

Get up. Hurry, hurry. Ring, ring, ring.

No manners at all, huh?

All well? All well.

Douglas never makes a fuss about going to bed.

It appears he never makes a fuss about anything, except telephones, perhaps.

Right. May I?

Yes, of course.

Warnie's taken himself off to bed, too.

Sometimes he overdoes it a little. I expect you noticed.


I know the signs.

There are signs, are there?

Poor old Warnie.

You know, don't you?

Know what?

Well, you must not think I'm much of a mother, not letting her son call his father on Christmas day.

Oh, that. That's none of my...

It just doesn't... It's not...

It isn't what it looks like. That's all.

I see.

And thank you for not asking.

Not asking what?

"What's this woman doing chasing

"all over England without her husband?"

Oh, that.

I ran away.

It's always a mistake, isn't it?

I mean, you have to face things in the end.

I left home because Bill fell in love with another woman.

He takes the romantic view.

If you love someone, you marry them. I'm number two.

He wants me to give him a divorce so he can marry number three.

I see.

Bill's an alcoholic.

He's compulsively unfaithful.

And he's sometimes violent, and I guess I haven't loved him for years.

He's violent?

Only when he's drunk and he doesn't really know what he's doing.

It's just that he's worn me out. It's the truth of it.

Joy, look, if there's anything I can do...

There is.

You'll be my friend.

I hope I'm that already.

In you get, young man.

I'll take that for you, sir.

Well, goodbye, Warnie. Thanks for putting up with us.

Not at all. We shall miss you.

Goodbye, Joy. Jack.

So, they sail back tomorrow.


I'm not sure that God particularly wants us to be happy.

I think he wants us to be able to love and be loved.

He wants us to grow up.

We think our childish toys bring us all the happiness there is and our nursery is the whole wide world.

But something...

Something must drive us out of the nursery to the world of others, and that something is suffering.

You miss her, don't you?

Well, things are quieter now, aren't they?


I'm not much of a talker.

One of your many virtues, Warnie.

Is she coming back?

No, no.

Thank you.

Thank you so much, Mr. Lewis.

What's your name?

James, sir.


Would you sign my book for me, please?


Thank you.

Lovely. Thanks so much.

Thank you.

I've always found this a trying time of the year.

Trying? To do what, Jack?

The leaves not yet out. Mud everywhere you go.

Frosty mornings gone.

Sunny mornings not yet come.

Give me blizzards and frozen pipes, but not this, nothing time.

Not this, waiting room of the world.

Tell me something, Christopher. How shall I put this?

Would you say you were content?

I am as I am. The world is as it is.

My contentment or otherwise has very little to do with it.

Don't you ever feel a sense of waste?

Of course.

Good evening.

I hope you don't mind. May I come in?


I happened to be in Blackwell's the other day, and I saw you borrow a book.

Steal. I stole it.

Most of these books are stolen.

Why not? They're written to be read. At least I read them, which is more than most people do.

So you read differently to the rest of us, do you?

Yes, I do.

I read at night so nothing breaks my concentration. All night, sometimes.

When I start a new book, my hands are shaking.

Me eyes are jumping ahead.

Does he feel the way I felt? Does he see what I've seen?

You know, me father used to say... He's a teacher like you.

Well, not like you. He's only a village schoolmaster.

What was it your father used to say?

"We read to know we're not alone."

Would it help if I made you a small loan?

Yes, I expect it would if I wanted to be helped.

I see. Goodbye.

You see, we are like blocks of stone, out of which the sculptor carves the forms of men.

The blows of his chisel, which hurt us so much, are what make us perfect.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Mr. Lewis, what can I say?

Mr. Lewis, I don't want to bother you.



Mr. Lewis, I'm from Ohio.

Ohio? Oh, yes. How nice.

Mr. Lewis, you will join us, won't you?


Do. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Mr. Lewis, you were marvelous.

Thank you.

Hello, Jack.

What are you doing here?

Well, I came to hear your talk.

Oh, yes, but...

What am I doing in London?

Well, Douglas and I live here now.


What did I do with Bill? We're divorced.

But it's going to work out better for all of us.

Yes. Why didn't you write?

What for? To ask permission?

No, no.

Do you mind?

Me? No, why should I mind?

So it's all all right, then?

Yes, yes.

But, really, I'm very...

Very surprised to see you, you know?

Well, I wasn't dead. I was just in America.

Well, of course. Yes.

Yes, but you see, I...

I've been thinking about you.

Yes, I've been thinking about you.

Can I be of any assistance?

No, it's all right. I'm just talking to my friend.

Yes, I was thinking about you and, suddenly, there you were.

No, here I am. It's present tense.

Present and tense.

I'm very sorry, but the committee is waiting to entertain Mr. Lewis.

It's all right. I'll be with you in a moment. Thank you.

So, do let me know where you are, Joy.


Good. Bye.

I do hope I did the right thing. We're just through here.

So, she's settled here for good, has she?

For the foreseeable future.

With the boy?


Will you be seeing much of her?

Not much, I shouldn't think.

I may look in again when I'm next in London.

It's very sweet of you to come and see me again, Jack.

I know how busy you are.

No, not at all.

I look forward to my outings to London.


You must come and visit us in Oxford.

Would you like some Sherry?

Oh, yes. I'm having some.

Yes, maybe as soon as Douglas' school term ends.

There you go. Thank you.


I would like to see Warnie again.

You can just move Douglas' puzzle out of the way.

All right.

Do remember me to Warnie.


Tell him I promise I won't turn into a nuisance.

Why should you turn into a nuisance?

Well, Jack, I don't have to explain.

Explain what?

Now, why did you look at me like that?

Like what?

As if I'm lying to you.

Why should I lie to you? I mean what I say.

No, I know. It's just that you don't say it all, do you?

Well, one can't say it all. It would take too long.

Did you finish your chapter?


Not yet.

All right, just a little bit longer.

Just till your hair dries.

Okay. 'Night, Jack.

Good night, Douglas.

Wait, I want a kiss.


Good night, mum. Sweet dreams.

I'm going to check the supper.

What sort of things do you want me to say?

Well, Jack, I want to remain friends with you, so I need to know if there's anything that makes that hard for you.

I see.

We might as well know where we are.

You never can really tell what's going on between people, can you?

People jump to conclusions.

Sometimes it makes me quite angry the way people aren't allowed to be...

What? You know, just friends.

What, like us, you mean.

Like us.

I don't mean to say that friendship is a small thing.

As a matter of fact, I rate it as one of this life's most precious gifts.


But it shouldn't be turned into a watered-down version of something that it's not.

Such as? Such as...

Well, to give you an example, romantic love.

That's not to say that friendship isn't, in its way...

A kind of love.

A kind of love. See? I knew you'd understand.

I understand more than that, Jack.

Could you open this? Yeah.

You're a bachelor, and I'm a divorced woman.

Now, some people would imagine that you have romantic intentions towards me.

You have no such intentions. You want that out in the open because you care about me, and you don't want me to be hurt.

Have I understood you correctly?

I don't know what to say.

You don't have to say anything.

I just said it. Wasn't so hard, was it?

Well, I'm just not used to this... Whatever it is.

Naming names, that's all.


Now you don't have to be afraid of me anymore, do you?

Good Lord, I was never afraid of you. You...

Why are you looking... I was never afraid of you. Why look?

Jack, I really am very thankful for everything you've done for me.

I'm sure there are far more ways I...

Substantial ways I can be of help that you're not telling me about.

I don't want to exhaust your good will.

Well, there's no fear of that.

Well, there is something, which would help me enormously.

I find it... oh, Jack. This is very hard for me.

If it's too much for you, you would just say no, wouldn't you? Just no.

I mean, no guilt, no evasion, no running away?

Yes, I think I can just about manage that.

Something I ought to tell you, Warnie.




I've agreed to marry Joy.

You have?

Mmm-hmm. Seemed the right thing to do.

It did?

Yes, there's nothing to worry about.

See, what I've agreed to do is extend my British citizenship to her, so that she can go on living in England.

By marrying her?

Yeah, only technically.

You're marrying Joy technically?

A true marriage is a declaration before God, not before some government official.

And Joy will keep her own name and we'll all go on living exactly as before.

Before you are joined in matrimony, I have to remind you of the solemn and binding character of the vows you are about to make.

Now, Mr. Lewis, if you'll repeat after me.

"I call upon these persons here present..."

I call upon these persons here present...

" witness that I, Clive Staples Lewis..." witness that I, Clive Staples Lewis...

" take thee, Helen Joy Gresham..." take thee, Helen Joy Gresham...

" be my lawful, wedded wife." be my lawful, wedded wife.

Joy Gresham, if you'll repeat after me.

"I call upon these persons here present..."

I call upon these persons here present...

" witness that I, Helen Joy Gresham..." witness that I, Helen Joy Gresham...

" take thee, Clive Staples Lewis..." take thee, Clive Staples Lewis...

" be my lawful, wedded husband." be my lawful, wedded husband.

Do we have a ring?

No. No.


Well, that's that. All right, well.

Good luck. Can I buy you both a drink?

Sorry, Joy, I simply have to catch the 12:22.

Well then, off you go, Jack.

Bye, Warnie.

Bye, Jack. Bye, Joy.

I would be most grateful for that drink, Joy.

That's awfully kind of you, Warnie.

I think I saw a pub just down the road.

Shall we risk it?

All right.

All right? Yeah.


Here we go. Yeah, that's it.

Well, that was quite an unusual experience.

Yes, you must forgive Jack.

Well, I'm getting to know him a little by now.

I think I understand him better.

Anyway, I'm very grateful to him.

Nobody is to know, he tells me.

Well, actually what he said was, "it will be as if it never happened."

A great mistake, Jack. You'll live to regret it.

Regret what, Chris?

Staying in this godforsaken place all summer.

The day after encaenia, I'm off.

Where, Chris?

Tuscany, where else?

Where else, indeed. Could I have some cheese, Jeremy?

We're going to the Loire, camping.


I think I'll bring a guest this year.

Do, by all means.

When Laura was alive, we once took the grandchildren camping.

Bring a guest, Jack?

Yes, encaenia.

Take my tip, Rupert. Sleep outside the tent, and smoke a cigar.

Whatever for? Mosquitoes.

You've met her, Joy Gresham.

Yes. Yes, quite.

Not the American?

Yes, the American.

Is she back in Oxford?

Thank you.

No, no. No, she's in London.

She wants to see the pageant of learning.

I feel distinctly underdressed.

This is just a sort of uniform really.

This is Jack's party frock.

Jack, come here. Come here.


Just a little something...

What is that? What is it?

Yeah, I got it. It's fine.

If you feel like a stroll...

Are these two places free?

Yes, please do.

Claude, let me give you a hand.

Here we go.

She's living in London now?


With her husband?

No, they're divorced.

Why did I have a feeling you were going to say that?

Hello, Warnie. Hello.

Are you all right?

I'm just a little exhausted. Would it be all right if we sat down?

Yes. You haven't seen my rooms yet. Let me show you.

You tired?

Would you like coffee?

Yes. Nescafe?


There, that's better. Much better.

You should change those shoes.

I don't want to talk about that.

I'm not going to stay long, either.

For all I know, I'm not even allowed to be here.

Female guests are permitted between 10:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M.

We're legal.

Jack, don't you sometimes just bust to share the joke?

What joke?

Here's your friends, thinking we're unmarried and up to all sorts of wickedness.

When all along we're married and up to nothing at all.

Which friends?

God, you really can be hard work sometimes.

So, what do you do here? Think great thoughts?

Teach, mainly.

What do they do?

Sit at your feet and gaze up at you in awe?

No, not at all.

I bet they do.

We have some fine old battles in here, I can tell you that.

Which you win.

It must be quite a boost for you, being older and wiser than all of them.

Not to mention your readers.


Your readers and that gang of friends of yours.

All very well-trained not to play out of bounds.

What are you talking about?

Of course, there's Warnie.

Not much competition there.

That's nonsense.

And what about Christopher Riley?

He never lets me get away with anything, you know that.

Except doubt and fear and pain and terror.

Where does all that come from?

I don't know, I've only now just seen it, how you've arranged a life for yourself where no one can touch you.

Everyone that's close to you is either younger than you, or weaker than you or under your control.


Why are you getting at me? I thought... I thought we were friends.

I don't know that we are friends...

Not the way you have friends, anyway.

Sorry, Jack.

I don't understand.

No, I think you do.

You just don't like it, nor do I.


Three? Yeah.

Bye. Bye.

Go? Go where?


But, why? Is it money?

Not really.

One more year, and you'd have your degree.

Yeah, then what? Teach like you?

I wonder what it is everyone wants from me.

You know, that's the first question I've ever heard you ask that sounds like you don't know the answer.

Is that good? Is that what you want?

Ignorance? Confusion?

Look, I just don't think I see my way ahead quite as clearly as you do.



It's one of my stories.

"We live in the Shadowlands.

"The sun is always shining somewhere else.

"Round a bend in the road. Over the brow of a hill."

Hello, a London number, please.

Yesterday, a friend of mine, a very brave, good woman, collapsed in terrible pain. One minute, she was fit and well, the next minute, she was in agony.

She is now in hospital, and this morning I was told she's suffering from cancer.


See, if you love someone, you don't want them to suffer.

You can't bear it.

You want to take their suffering onto yourself.

Even I feel like that.

Why doesn't God?

How is she?

Not good.

I'm so sorry, Jack.

I just want her to be well again, you see.

Of course you do. We all do.

What a dangerous world we live in, Warnie.

You've been up all night. Why don't you get some sleep?

No, I can't sleep.

It's all too soon, you see. I just haven't had time, that's all.

Time for what?

I don't know.

To talk, say things.

It doesn't take long.

No, I suppose not.

Whatever it is, I should just say it.

Yes, you must be right, Warnie, but it is difficult, you see.

Yes, I do see that.

Mr. Lewis.

Dr. Craig, this is my brother, Warnie.

How do you do? Your wife.

How is she? Any change?

We've made her as comfortable as we can, otherwise, there's nothing further to report.

How much has she been told?

She's been told that the cancer has eaten away her left femur.

Oh, no.

She knows it's serious.

The thigh bone snapped like a frozen twig.

I see.

Can anything be done?

She's dying, Warnie.

That's putting it more starkly than I would choose, Mr. Lewis.

No, but it's true, isn't it?

The cancer is very advanced.



Don't talk if it hurts.

Where's Douglas?

He's staying with us for the moment.

I'll bring him over to see you when...

When you're up to it.

Thank you.

Do you have any water?


Were you here to visit me before?

A couple of times, yes.

I thought so.

Sorry, Jack. I didn't mean to cause you all this bother.

Don't talk nonsense. You're the one that's having the bother.

What I mean is, you don't have to take care of me.


Who do you expect to take care of you?

You know what I'm trying to say.

But who else should take care of you, but me?

You're my wife.


Then I shall look after you technically.

Jack, I have to know how bad it is. They won't tell me.

Well, that's because they're not sure themselves.

Please, Jack.

I don't know any more than they do.

Before Douglas gets here, I need to know.

They say you're going to die.

Yes. Thank you.

What do you say, Jack? I'm a Jew.

I'm divorced. I'm broke.

And I'm dying of cancer. Do you think I get a discount?

Oh, Joy.

Do you know something, Jack?


You seem different.

You look at me properly now.

Didn't I before?

Not properly.

I don't want to lose you, Joy.

I don't want to be lost.

Nurse. Nurse!


Is this pain really necessary?

I'll fetch the doctor.


There we are. We'll... we'll make another one tomorrow.

Now it's lights out?

No, I read in bed.

Got your book?


How long are you allowed to read?

One chapter.

One chapter then, huh?

I want to be awake when Jack gets back.

Well, that shouldn't be long now.

He will say good night, won't he?

Of course.

Night-night. 'Night.

No change.

I promised Douglas you'd say good night.

She's in hospital in London.

Apparently, he goes up there every day.

It must have hit him very hard.

It's thrown him completely off balance.

A sad business.

Has he said anything to you?

About her? Yeah.

No, nothing.


Jack, I'm so sorry about all this.

Yes. Yes, Christopher. Thank you.

It's all come too soon, you see.

Her affairs aren't in order, and...

What's going to happen to Douglas, for example?

I suppose, his father?


No, she wouldn't want that.

Because he drinks, you know, and he's an alcoholic.

There must be other relatives.

I mean, it's not as if...

It's not as if what, Harry?

Well, she's your friend, of course.

But, well...

She's not family.

She's not my wife?

No, of course not.

No, of course not. It's impossible.

It's unthinkable.

How could Joy be my wife?

I'd have to love her, wouldn't I?

I'd have to care more for her than for anyone else in this world.

I'd have to be suffering the torments of the damned at the prospect of losing her.

I'm sorry, Jack. I didn't know.

Nor did I, Harry.

It's growing in right here.

See? I got a new tooth.

That's great. How 'bout that one on the bottom?


Oh, yes.

Better take him home. I'll stay a little longer. I'll catch the 8:40.


May we come in?

Ever had toasted teacakes, Douglas?


The secret's in the butter. You've got to have so much that it runs down your finger.

Shall we go and find some?

Put that tooth under your pillow.

Okay. Okay.

See you soon. Bye.

Come on. The secret's in the butter.

You've got to have lots of butter.

See you later. Yes.

Are you staying?

Yes, for a while.

I want to marry you, Joy.

I want to marry you before God and the world.

Make an honest woman out of me?

No, not you.

It's me who hasn't been honest.

Look what it takes to make me see sense.

You think I've overdone it?

Please don't leave me, Joy.

You know, Jack, back where I come from, they have this quaint old custom.

Well, when a guy makes up his mind to marry a girl, he asks her.

It's called proposing.

It's the same here.

Did I miss it?

Will you marry this foolish, frightened old man, who needs you more than he can bear to say...

Who loves you even though he hardly knows how?

Just this once.

We don't seem to have had much time to talk.

I'm okay.


Your mother and I...

Why did we ever have to come to this stupid country?

We were all right where we were.

I told mum, but she wouldn't listen.

Does my dad know she's sick? Did anybody tell him?

Yes, he's been told.

It's sinking now. I don't care.

I know your mother's talked to you about...


Would that be all right with you?


It would make me happy, and I think it would make her happy, too.


I, Joy, take thee, Jack...

" have and to hold from this day forward..." have and to hold from this day forward...

"...for better, for worse..."

...for better, for worse...

"...for richer, for poorer..."

...for richer, for poorer...

" sickness and in health..." sickness and in health...

" love, cherish, and obey..." love, cherish, and obey...

"...till death us do part."

...till death us do part.

The ring?

"With this ring, I thee wed."

With this ring, I thee wed.

"With my body, I thee worship."

With my body, I thee worship.

"And all my worldly goods, I thee endow."

And all my worldly goods, I thee endow.

Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

Mr. Lewis?


Peter Whistler.

Of course, yes. How are you?


Thank you. Thanks.

Funny the way things work out, isn't it?

I've not noticed that they do.

You're probably right. Well.

"Fight me, I can take it."


"Fight me, I can take it," you've...

Did I say that?



So what are you doing these days?

Teaching. Feel free to give a hollow laugh.

No, I suspect you're a born teacher.

I do turn out to be quite good at it.


Your father's a teacher, isn't he?

Yes. Oh, yeah.

He died a few months ago.

I'm sorry.

I loved him very much.

Did he know that?

I think so.

I think he knew.


One has to say things.

The moment passes, and then you're alone again.


"We read to know we're not alone."

That's what he said, wasn't it, your father? I haven't forgotten.


Jack, what news?

Good news, I think, Harry.

Yes, good news.

I'm very glad, Jack.

Thank you, Christopher. Thank you.

Christopher can scoff, but I know how hard you've been praying.

And now, God is answering your prayer.

That's not why I pray, Harry. I pray because I can't help myself.

I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping.

It doesn't change God. It changes me.

He's got very little on his plate.

Doctor, how is she?

Well, I think you'd better see for yourself.

I'll catch you up, sister.

Right, sir.



Can you do more?

All right, come closer.

That's it.

Oh, dear!

How did I do?

It's not bad. That's wonderful.

Wonderful. Come sit down.


So, does she have to stay here?

I see no reason why.

So long as the remission continues.

How long is that?

Come on, you can speak openly.

Could be months, could be weeks.

Why not years?

In such an advanced case that would be unusual.

Well, we take what we can get.


How would you like to come home?

Jack, where's home?

What do you mean, "where's home?" Oxford. My house. Our house.

We're married. Don't you remember? Let's go and take her home.


Now, there's no need to worry about me, Jack. I'll sort myself out.

Sort yourself out? What do you mean?

New digs. No problem.

Do you want to?

It's as you wish, Jack.

I don't.

Right you are.

It's settled.


There. There.

Thanks, sweetheart. Give me a kiss.

Okay. Good night.

Good night, mum.

Ready, Jack.

Here we are. Take it slowly. That's it.

All right? That's it, not far.

Can we just sit down? I need a lot of pauses.

All right. All right.

Good. Up we go.

It's good. Right.


Thank you, my love.

What for?

For all of it.

I think it's better if I lie down.

Wait. Move slowly. Hold it.

Here you are, it's more comfortable.

There. Good.

All right. Good.

Yes, as I look at this room...

It strikes me, it is a bit on the spartan side.

How long has it been your room?

Twenty-five years.

More, I suppose.

Have you ever shared it with anyone?


Feel strange?

Well, I'm not entirely sure of the procedure.

Well, what do you usually do when you go to bed, Jack?

Very much what you'd expect.

No, tell me. See, you come in the door...

Then I draw the curtains.

Then I get out my pajamas.

From where?

Under the pillow.

And then what?

Then I hang my clothes over the chair.

I clean my teeth, wash...

Kneel by the bed.

No, first I, turn back the bedclothes, then I kneel by the bed, pray, then I get into bed.

Like a little boy.

Is it?

What next?

Then I go to sleep.

On your back or on your side?

On my side.

Show me.


You do everything just the way you always do it, Jack.

When you get to the last bit, I'll be here, too.

That's the procedure.

What is the time? Let's see.

6:00 any minute now.

Well, is somebody going to ring a bell or something?

Yes, I believe a lot of people ring a lot of bells.

First, they sing.

All right?

Jump! Jump!

Mad. They're raving mad, all of them.

It's known as high spirits.

Jump! Jump! Jump!

Admit you're glad I brought you.

It's pagan. It's vulgar. It's all faintly silly, but it works.

Sunrise always works.

You have to hold it down.

So how do you want it to look? Like that, right?

Yeah. So describe that.

Well,it's got lots of sunlight. Hello.

Then type it. Hi.

Hello, Douglas.

Jack, where did you say the Golden Valley was?

Somewhere in Herefordshire, I believe.

Douglas, your tea's ready.

All right, all right. Okay, so remember what we talked about, 'cause it's important. We'll finish this thing.

Okay. All right.

Hello. Hello.

Where did you say it was?

Herefordshire, I believe.

And do you think it still looks the same?

Oh, I very much doubt it.

You thought it was heaven, didn't you?

I was only a child.

Let's go and look for it, Jack.


We never had a honeymoon.

Are you up to traveling?

It's not so far, is it?

I don't really know. Where would we stay?

I don't know. A small country hotel.

You happy?


What kind of happy?

Just happy.

You know my kind of happy?

How stupid.

I always forget. When you ask a question, it means you have the answer waiting. So go ahead, tell me.


Come on.

No, I'm not telling you now.

What do I have to do? I have to go to the lecture?

Yes, buy the book.

Well, it's a hotel, and it's in the country.

Thank you.

Thank you.


Oh, I'm sorry.


Well, will it do?

It's beautiful, Jack.

You seem to have survived the journey.

Yes, but I could use a drink.

Yeah, do they have room service?

Room service?

I used to think that room service was saying your prayers in bed.

Well, you can order some prayers if you want.

I will take a gin and tonic.

What, now?

Sure, why not?

All right.


You can use a telephone.

Where is it? Oh, yes, phone.

Room service.


Yes, this is Mr. Lewis in room number...

I'm sorry. I've forgotten the number of the room...

I'm already in the room, you see.

Oh, you do. Good.

Yes, a gin and tonic.

Gin and tonic.

Two gin and tonics. Two gins and tonic, I should say.

Yes, I'm sorry. Good. Thank you. Bye.

You don't like gin.

I'm afraid I panicked.

Come here.

The Golden Valley runs along the river Dore.

Here, let me show you on the map.

It runs from here to here.

Why "golden"?

It's a mistake, really.

The Welsh for "water" is "dwr" which sounds like "d'or," the French for "golden." It isn't golden at all. It's wet.

Where can one get a view of the valley?

I should go along here, down to the junction here, and turn left up this little road.

That'll take you up into the hills.

You know, I don't know why we're doing this.

Yes, you do.

It probably won't be the same.

It'll all be changed or spoiled.

Thank you.

Thank you.

I think that was it. Oh, no, I'm wrong.

The valley runs East-West, doesn't it?

No idea.

You know we're there already, of course?



Oh, there, yes.

Well, that's it.

Well, we almost made it.

No, I don't want to be somewhere else anymore.

Not waiting for anything new to happen.

Not looking around the next corner, nor the next hill.

Here now. That's enough.

That's your kind of happy, isn't it?

Yes. Yes, it is.

It's not going to last, Jack.

We shouldn't think about that now.

Let's not spoil the time we have together.

It doesn't spoil it.

It makes it real.

Let me just say it before this rain stops, and we go back.

What is there to say?

That I'm going to die and I want to be with you then, too.

The only way I can do that is if I'm able to talk to you about it now.

I'll manage somehow. Don't worry about me.

No, I think it can be better than that.

I think it can be better than just managing.

What I'm... What I'm trying to say is that...

The pain then is part of the happiness now.

That's the deal.

Yeah, that's good.

Don't go in the river. Yeah.

You've got it. That's good.

That's it.

Douglas, come in, and get warm for a while.

I'm sorry, Jack.

She'll be better here. No stairs to climb.

Can't you do something?

I'm afraid not.

Douglas, you couldn't go and fetch the other pillow, could you?

Thank you, doctor.

See you tomorrow. Night-night.

Good night, young man.

Thanks for coming, Eddie.

A lot of silly fuss, huh?

Good night.

Get over here.

Good night, Jack. Be in tomorrow.

Come on. Give me a hug.

You will remember it, I know you will. It'll be hard.


Remember what we talked about because it's important, okay?


Good night.

Good night, mummy.

Go straight to sleep.


Here, it's all right. There.

God, I can't bear to see you in pain like this.

It's all right, Jack. It keeps me quiet.

When it gets close, you find out whether you believe it or not, yes?

Don't you always say, "real life hasn't begun yet"?

Jack, you better be right.

Still here?

Still here.

Go to bed. Get some sleep.


I'm tired, Jack.

I want to rest.

I just don't want to leave you.

I don't want you to go.

Too much pain.

I know.

I don't know what to do, Joy. You'll have to tell me what to do.

You have to let me go.

I'm not sure that I can.

Can't hear you.

You will take care of Douglas?

Of course.

He pretends not to mind.

I know. Like you.

No more pretending, not anymore.

I've loved you so, Jack.

Don't talk, my love. Just rest.

My love, just rest.

Just rest.

I love you, Joy. I love you so much.

You've made me so happy.

I didn't know I could be so happy.

You're the truest person I've ever known.

Sweet Jesus, be with my beloved wife, Joy.

Forgive me if I love her too much.

Have mercy on us both.

"We, therefore, commit the body

"of thy servant, Joy, to the elements, "earth to earth, "ashes to ashes, "dust to dust."

This way, Douglas.

Thank God for your faith, Jack.

Because only faith makes any sense of times like this. I know.

What's happening to me, Warnie?

I can't see her anymore.

Can't remember her face.

I expect it's shock.

I'm so afraid of never seeing her again...

Of thinking that suffering is just suffering, after all.

No cause, no purpose, no pattern.


I don't know what to tell you, Jack.

Nothing, there's nothing to say.

I know that now.

I've just come up against a bit of experience, Warnie.

Experience is a brutal teacher,

but you learn. My God, you learn.

Sir, I really do think one or two of us should have gone.

Certainly not, we hardly knew the woman.

I haven't even seen him for a couple of weeks.

I wouldn't say this to Jack, but in the circumstances, better sooner than later.

Is he taking it very hard?

Yes, I'm afraid so.

Rupert, could we have a word together out in the hall?

Yes, sir. Evening, Jack.

Nice to see you, Jack.


I wasn't going to come, but then I thought I would.

Life must go on.

I don't know that it must, Harry, but it certainly does.

I'm sorry, Jack.

Thank you, Christopher.

We're all deeply sorry, Jack.

Thank you, president.

Anything I can do?

Yes, just don't tell me it's all for the best. That's all.

Only God knows why these things have to happen, Jack.

God knows, but does God care?

Of course.

We see so little here. We're not the creator.

No, we're the creatures, aren't we?

We're the... We're the rats in the cosmic laboratory.

I've no doubt that the experiment is for our own good, but that still makes God the vivisectionist, doesn't it?

Jack... No!

It won't do.

This is a bloody awful mess, and that's all there is to it.

I'm sorry, Harry. I am sorry, Christopher.

I'm just not fit company tonight. That's all.

Jack. Yes?

Your grief is your own business. Maybe you feel life is a mess.

Maybe it is. But there's Douglas.

What about Douglas? Talk to him.

I don't know what to say to him.

Just talk to him!



When my mother died, I was your age.

I thought that if I prayed for her to get better and if I really believed, she'd get better. Then, she wouldn't die.

But she did.

It doesn't work.

No, it doesn't work.

I don't care.

I loved your mother very much.

Perhaps I loved her too much. She knew that.

She said to me, "is it worth it?"

Because she knew what it would be like later.

It doesn't seem fair, does it?

I don't see why she had to get sick.

No, nor me.

But you can't hold on to things, Douglas.

You have to let them go.



Do you believe in heaven?

Yes, I do.

I don't believe in heaven.

That's okay.

I sure would like to see her again.

Me, too.

Hello, who are you?

Chadwick, sir.

You're my tutor this term.

Am I?

Chadwick. Right. Come up.

Chadwick, you say?

Yes, sir.

Sit down.

"We read to know we're not alone."

Do you think that is so?

Well, I hadn't thought of it before like that, sir.

No, nor had I.

I suppose some people would say, "we love to know we're not alone."

Would you?

Well, if you mean "falling in love," well, I haven't really.

I mean, I probably know more about love from books than from personal experience.

Go on. I'm listening.

Well, I don't think any of us want to be alone.

Why love if losing hurts so much?

I have no answers anymore, only the life I've lived.

Twice in that life, I've been given the choice.

As a boy,

and as a man.

The boy chose safety.

The man chooses suffering.

The pain now is part of the happiness then.

That's the deal.