Oh, it was good of you to come, busy as you are.
Never too busy for an interesting case... especially one of yours.
Thanks. Appreciate your interest.
On the phone you said you were having a serious problem with a young girl.
Yeah. Nurse here, as a matter of fact.
Pretty? -Here's her case history.
Jane Marvin. -Yeah, that's the name she's using.
Very competent girl. -And pretty.
It happened when she volunteered to help me in my research in narco-hypnosis techniques.
When do I get to see her? -Right now if you want.
Fine. -Jane, would you come in, please?
She always appeared perfectly normal.
Pure accident that I discovered this strange thing about her.
Jane, I'd like you to meet Dr. Lorimer.
He and I were half the football backfield at med school. I did the blocking.
How do you do, sir? -Very happy to know you, Jane.
I wanted Dr. Lorimer to be present at our research experiment today.
That is, if you have no objection. -No. Why should I?
Well, Jane, here we go again.
Got a nice sharp one for you this time.
Now, Jane, start counting backwards...
From 20. I know.
I've never known a subject under Pentothol to lie.
Nor have I. -Why the lie detector?
You'll see later.
What is your name?
Joyce Hatten Webster.
Then you are married?
I was Mrs. Paul Webster.
That is... -Yes?
I'm not sure... whether I am married... or ever really... was married.
I'm not sure. I'm just not sure.
Would you tell us about it, Joyce?
Everything about it.
That's right, Joyce. From the beginning.
I met Paul overseas.
He was a lieutenant.
I was nursing in a hospital.
We made plans to be married... after we were both discharged.
Very well done, steward.
Isn't he an expert, Paul? -Well, he gets lots of practice.
After all, we aren't the first newlyweds... on this train, Mrs. Webster.
Call me that again.
Mrs. Webster. -Mmm, that sounds so wonderful.
You know, I was beginning to doubt... whether I was ever going to get to hear that.
You just try and get away now.
Will there be anything else, sir?
Oh, no. No, thanks. Thank you very much.
Thank you, sir. Thank you.
Good night, sir. -Good night.
I love you so much.
Why did we have to wait so long?
Well, I, uh...
I wrote you after I cracked up my plane.
And scared me half out of my wits.
You wouldn't believe what that hospital doctor told me when I called.
Well, what do you mean?
Well, according to him, you were more dead than alive.
Almost every bone broken.
Completely torn, mangled, smashed.
And you don't think it was true?
Well, now, how could I? Look at you.
You haven't got a mark. You haven't got a scar.
You're much more handsome than ever.
Do you know that nobody would believe... you were even in a plane crash?
But it was true, though, Joyce.
By all rights, I should be dead.
You don't mean that.
Look, Joyce, you have a right to know. I...
I should have told you before we were married.
Told me what? -How it was really.
Why I made us wait so long.
You see, honey...
Who is it? -It's me again.
I have some more wires. -And nobody was supposed to know... we were even on this train.
Here you are, miss.
Thank you. Here, you open these. -All righty.
You folks certainly must be popular.
Especially with the telegraph company.
Oh. -Is something wrong?
Well, it's from the girls... at the hospital where I worked.
You know, there's such a thing as being too well-informed.
May? -You may not.
Oh, very nice. An old buddy of mine.
I didn't know we had so many friends.
Yeah, me, either.
Oh, that's nice.
When's the next stop?
Well, let's see. Yeah, 33 minutes.
No, it's 35 minutes.
We're two minutes behind time. -Not until then?
Actually, there's a mail pickup stop just up ahead. That's why we're slowing down.
But is there a phone? -Yes. We only stop for a half a minute.
No time for anyone to leave the train.
Just so there's a phone.
Paul, what's wrong?
Please, honey, tell me what's so important.
Paul, I don't understand.
Paul. Paul, hurry!
Paul! Paul, hurry!
We're moving. What?
Conductor, you've got to stop the train.
It was supposed to be... the happiest moment of my life... my wedding.
And I'd just seen my husband's face for the last time.
What did you do then, Joyce?
I was frantic.
I got off at the next stop.
I went back to that platform... but there was no sign of Paul.
No one had placed a call.
No one had seen him. He'd just vanished.
And then what happened?
You wouldn't believe it was possible... would you?
A man you thought you knew so well... had married, even..
Could just disappear... completely.
Even after talking to all the people who knew him.
Finding nothing at his last address.
I told the police... hired private detectives... checked with the army.
The only address they had was an apartment hotel.
What about where he was born? His family?
The army records said Georgia.
Paul had never mentioned his family.
I never thought to ask him.
I loved him.
That's all that seemed to matter.
Still, you did find something.
Going through Paul's things... as I had a hundred times.
His fraternity pin. -And how did that help?
I checked with the headquarters.
They told me that Paul had belonged to their chapter... at Louisiana State University.
So... I went there.
They let me look at the records.
I found an address Paul had given them... when he enrolled in college.
And where was that?
Bayou Landing... a whistle-stop in the middle... of the Louisiana Swamp country.
I was the only passenger to get off.
Strangely, there wasn't another soul to be seen.
The only evidence of life was a deserted day coach on the siding... looking as alone and out of place as felt.
Well, I'll be.
Somebody meeting you here, sweetheart?
No. I thought... that is, I hoped somebody would come to pick up this.
Well, that's me. You just didn't get off.
You must have had some good reason.
Do you know a place... I think it's a plantation...
Called The Cypresses?
Would it be too much trouble to take me there?
I'll gladly pay you.
They don't never have no visitors.
Was they expecting you? -No, not exactly... but they will know who I am.
Well, for you, sweetheart, I'll take a chance.
Go ahead. Just climb in.
Go on. Climb in.
Bet you never seen nothing like that before.
You ever been in the bayou country before?
It's so wild, so primitive.
Yeah, and deadly.
You know how long you'd last... if you got 100 yards off of this road?
Maybe 10 minutes... If the quicksand didn't get you... the moccasins would.
And then... then there's always the gators.
Dirty, nasty, slimy gators!
Why did you have to do that?
It wasn't doing you any harm.
No? Well, how do you suppose I got this?
Anyway, baby, we didn't do him no harm.
Yes, miss? -I beg your pardon.
I just arrived on the train.
The train was hours ago. -I know.
Were you expected? -I did write, but my letter came back unopened.
So I decided... -What is it, Toby?
This young person, she just arrived...
Have her come in.
Yes, what is it?
This is your place?
Well, maybe you can help me.
You see, for along time...
I've been looking for my husband.
He disappeared the night we were married.
I've searched everywhere.
I've tried everything... and this is my last hope.
But why should you come here?
At the university I checked the records.
And at one time, he gave this as his address.
The Cypresses. -What is your name, my dear?
Mrs. Paul Webster.
And you say that your husband... this Paul Webster, gave this as his address?
According to the records.
Whoever you are, I don't know what your game is... coming here, making up fantastic stories.
It's the truth. I can prove it. You can ask anyone...
Why should I ask anyone or care one way or the other?
Of what possible interest... could your sordid little lie be to me?
I was hoping your name was Webster.
I am Mrs. Henry Hawthorne.
And your husband? -I'm a widow.
I'm sorry to bother you, Mrs. Hawthorne... but I had to know.
Perhaps you are telling the truth.
It really doesn't matter.
However, I must ask you to leave at once.
Toby, get a hold of Manon.
Have him drive her back to the station.
But, ma'am... What is it, Toby?
There won't be a train till tomorrow.
Oh, you're right, of course.
May we offer you the hospitality... of The Cypresses for the night?
I don't seem to have any choice, do I?
What was your name again?
Mrs. Paul Webster.
Show Mrs. Webster to the guest room.
Anything you need to be comfortable... just ask Luann.
One minute, Mrs. Webster.
While you're our guest for the night only...
I must insist on one thing.
Yes? -Under no circumstances... will you leave your room.
As I said before...
I don't seem to have any choice, do I?
There was something sinister about The Cypresses.
As night darkened the house, all the doubts and fears... which had haunted the long, lonely miles... of my search returned, What secret was Mrs. Hawthorne hiding... in this strange, unfriendly house?
Why had she told me not to leave my room?
Find the drunken fool. Tell him to stop that shooting.
Doesn't he realize the girl's still here?
I'll try, ma'am.
Dirty, stinking, slimy gators!
You bit my hand off, didn't you?
I'm gonna spend the rest of my life killing gators.
The rest of my life killing 'em.
Mr. Manon, you better stop it.
Mrs. Hawthorne says stop.
She says she don't want you shooting at gators around here... with that girl here. The one you brought.
I ain't never gonna stop shootin' gators.
They bit my hand off, didn't they?
I ain't never gonna stop shootin' gators!
No, not never!
Sure, sure. I know just how you feel.
I don't like 'em, either, but not tonight. Come on.
Do all the guests get room service?
I only do... what Mrs. Hawthorne tell me, ma'am.
Now, will there be anything else?
Luann, those gunshots.
What were they all about?
I don't know, ma'am. I must go now.
Luann, wait, wait, please. Somebody has to help me.
How, ma'am? -Is it true, everything she told me?
Have I come to the wrong place?
I can't... I wouldn't like to say anything.
Well, can't you tell me anything?
I can tell you this.
This is a trouble house.
Real deep, big trouble.
Like the old country woman in Big Bayou say...
Mrs. Hawthorne, she deal with the evil one.
She got big sorrow.
Just like you'll get if you stay here.
Go, child. Please go. This is a trouble house.
Real deep, big trouble.
Oh, thank goodness you're back, Mark.
Anything wrong, Vinnie?
She's here, Mark. Paul's wife.
How did she find us? -School records.
It was like being struck by lightning.
We've got to decide what we're going to do about her.
You wait there for me. I'll be right over.
You ready, Doctor? -Yes.
You didn't have to hit him.
Quickest, simplest way, Doctor.
But these are people.
You don't handle them like animals.
How did it happen?
Only thing I can figure is someone forgot to wet him down on time.
When he comes to... give him additional hydro-spray therapy.
Oh, hello, Vinnie.
We've just had an emergency with number six.
Is he all right now? -He's quiet, yes.
But the girl... what are we going to do about her?
So she found his school records.
The one thing we hadn't thought of.
Such bad luck. -Not entirely.
I think we both knew... she was bound to find out eventually.
It's just unfortunate it happened to be so soon... when we need time. So much time.
If she should tell anyone, the police, it would spoil our last chance.
Do we have a chance?
I don't really know.
I feel so helpless, Vinnie.
We know so little. So little.
What about the cobalt treatment?
I said reaction to X-ray was encouraging.
Massive radiation from cobalt 60 might be even more effective.
Well, you have the cobalt bomb. It arrived today.
But don't you see, Vinnie?
Before I can take the chance with a human being... there must be months of tests.
Hundreds of animal experiments.
We took a chance once before, Vinnie.
No one knows better than you the tragic result.
I have confidence in you, Mark. Every confidence.
You'll have time. All the time you need.
The girl will leave on the morning train.
I'll be over before that to talk to her.
I'm as anxious as you are to have her go... but we must make absolutely sure... that she doesn't know anything.
♪ [ Classical Piano ]
♪ [ Continues ]
Somehow I seemed drawn to the music.
A theme that I had heard before... somewhere.
Who else lived in this strange household?
Who could be playing in the dead of night?
I couldn't rid myself of the premonition... that each step was taking me closer... to the secret contained in this shadowy house.
I had to know.
I had to find out.
Who was he, this man who had been playing?
And why would he run away into the swamp... when he saw me?
Muddy footprints... yet there had been no rain.
And the piano keys...
From his fingers.
What's she doing here?
I don't know. She came on the train today...
No notice, no warning. -And you let her stay?
What could I do? I couldn't turn her out in the swamp.
Do you think I wanted her here?
There's no train until tomorrow.
How'd you find out? -She was in the hall.
Downstairs? I locked her in her room.
She's got to leave... on that morning train tomorrow.
I'm Dr. Sinclair.
Uh, Mark Sinclair.
I'm sort of the swamp doctor.
That's my swamp buggy.
I need to get around.
I see. You must keep busy, Doctor.
Well, why do you say that?
I mean, in an unhealthy environment like this.
Oh, you mean the swamp.
Well, actually, if it were as you say... unhealthy...
None of us would be here.
Why? -Well, a few million years ago... most of the land of the earth... must've looked just about like this...
One great, vast swamp.
It was the cradle of life... where we all started... in the slime and ooze... at the bottom of a swamp.
You're completely cynical, aren't you, Doctor?
I imagine that did sound a bit depressing.
I didn't mean it to. I'm sorry.
Oh, is Mrs. Hawthorne inside?
Well, she hasn't come down yet.
Has she been ill, Doctor?
Well, not exactly.
Vinnie... Mrs. Hawthorne... has a few emotional problems.
I like to look in from time to time.
Well, maybe that explains it.
Explains what? -Why she locked me in my room last night.
I don't understand.
I took you for a guest of Vinnie's.
I suppose I am, in a way. I'm Mrs. Webster.
Mrs. Paul Webster.
That name doesn't mean anything to you?
No. Should it?
I don't know.
Let me explain, Doctor.
Since my husband disappeared, I've done nothing but search for him... and I'm going to keep on asking questions.
What brings you here? -An old address...
The Cypresses... that I found in Paul's college records.
You came way down here, traveled hundreds of miles... on nothing more tangible than that?
I'd travel much farther on even less.
I find that difficult to believe.
You must've found other evidence.
Why? Unless there ls other evidence.
Is that what you mean?
Of course not. I was only trying to say...
You did know Paul, didn't you, Doctor? I can tell.
What is it, Doctor?
Why won't any of you tell me about him?
What are you all trying to hide?
My dear young lady, you're obviously overwrought.
That's understandable in the circumstances.
I wish I could help.
Will you tell Mrs. Hawthorne I couldn't wait... but I will drop back later?
Be extremely careful.
It generates 3,000 curie units... of gamma ray energy.
This is the equivalent of six million electron volts of X-ray.
A few seconds of direct exposure... would be fatal.
Stand by for lowering position.
Luann, come here! -Yes, ma'am.
Her things are still in her room. -Yes, ma'am.
You mean she didn't leave?
Well, Toby, he brought the car at train time... but Mrs. Webster, she wouldn't go.
Well, where is she? -Well, I believe she in there.
What are you doing?
Looking for answers.
Answers? You abuse my hospitality.
You were to stay in your room. You left it.
You promised to leave on the train.
I made no promise. I was told.
I'm not leaving here, Mrs. Hawthorne... until I get the answers to the questions that brought me here.
I told you yesterday you were mistaken.
I think you're lying. -You can't talk to me like that.
I can say a lot worse.
You had Dr. Sinclair come and talk to me today, didn't you?
Why? To find out how much I knew?
I know nothing about that.
And another thing...
Who was playing the piano in here last night... in the dark?
Someone who left wet footprints in the carpet?
Oh, you're imagining things. -No, I'm not...
Any more than I'm imagining you want to get rid of me... that you've got something to hide.
Hide? Oh, what could I possibly have to hide?
What have you done with my husband?
I don't know what you're talking about.
You did a good job, Mrs. Hawthorne... wiping out every trace of Paul in his own home.
You almost got away with it.
Got away with it? Got away with what?
Whatever terrible thing you've done with Paul.
Done to him? Me?
Oh, my God, that's funny.
That really is funny.
I'd be the last one ever to hurt Paul,
I'm his mother.
Mother? Has she gone?
No, Paul, she hasn't. Paul, what is it? What happened?
Paul, come back!
You ought to have better sense, sweetheart.
Nobody goes out in a swamp on a night like this...
Especially a night like this.
Come on. I'll take you back to the house.
There, now. Now you sit down.
You sit down. That's it.
What you need's a drink.
I don't understand why you brought me here.
I just naturally figured you'd appreciate me saving you from that snake.
Here. Have a drink. -I don't think I want it.
Go on, baby. It'll do you good.
Made it myself.
Hey... you're cold.
You ought to get them wet things off.
Well, come on. Get 'em off.
I'll be all right. Thanks.
All right, baby. Here.
You get up. We'll wrap this around you... so you won't catch cold. Now, come on. Get up.
Stop! Let go of me.
What's the matter, baby? Huh? Didn't I save your life?
Don't you feel like you owe me something?
Why, sure, you do. You be nice to me.
Maybe I'll tell you some things about this place.
Don't do that. Don't ever do that!
I'll kill you, alligator man!
Just like I'd kill any four-legged gator!
You hear me?
I'I kill you!
Oh! Paul, what happened?
She's not dead? -Manon. He was drunk.
We should've fired him before.
Toby, carry her upstairs.
Luann, try and take care of her.
We can't keep her in the dark any longer, Paul.
I can't do anything. -She could've been killed tonight.
Is that what you want?
I love her, Mother. -Well, that's why she has to know.
Are you going to tell her? -I couldn't.
I'll phone Dr. Sinclair. He'll know what to say.
Oh, why didn't he just let me die?
It'll work out somehow, Paul.
There has to be an answer.
There just has to be.
I understand it came.
The cobalt 60? Arrived yesterday.
When do we try it?
Not for months.
I explained to your mother.
Combined with the X-ray generator... the bomb will approach the power of a betatron...
A billion electron volts.
So without extensive experimentation...
But there's no time for that. I want it now.
You don't think I'd take the risk... after the tragedy I've caused already?
But you're causing a worse one to my wife.
You said yourself the X-ray was definitely helping.
Light positive indications, yes.
Then combining X-ray with gamma radiation... from the cobalt might cure me completely.
And it might kill you!
Paul... who knows?
I just can't do it, Paul.
It's too great a risk.
We wouldn't be alive at all, any of us, except for you.
We'd probably be better off dead, but... you can't turn me down.
You owe me this chance... whatever chance there is.
For my wife's sake, I want it now!
I'll need at least a day to test it on live alligators... to establish some sort of control standards.
You've just got to understand, Paul.
I haven't the slightest idea what will happen.
Paul... your mother phoned about your wife.
You should've told her, Paul.
The thought of Joyce ever seeing me like this...
I just couldn't.
I've agreed to talk to Joyce in the morning.
But... She's going to know everything.
Yeah, get the big one.
You're Mrs. Webster?
Yes. Dr. Sinclair is expecting me.
The doctor said for you to wait in his office.
Take him out. Put him in a cage alone.
We'll run the test series on him in an hour.
And bring in another specimen.
I hope you'll excuse me, Mrs. Webster... keeping you waiting.
This experiment was urgent...
The most urgent of my life.
So, you're a trained nurse, Mrs. Webster?
Yes. Yes, that's right. -Good.
Then you know something of the life processes... of the higher and lower orders.
In species like ourselves... with a highly developed nervous system... bodily functions are controlled principally... by the brain and the nerves.
But in creatures with a less complex nervous development... life processes are governed by chemical substances secreted by ductless glands..
And carried in their bloodstream.
Being a doctor, I was tremendously impressed... by the healing power of just one hormone...
And it occurred to me how much more potent this hormone would be... in a creature with a simpler nervous system...
One that depended on that hormone to live.
For example... there are some small lizards that when attacked... detach their tails completely.
Yet, in a very short time... well, this little fella was well on his way to growing a new one.
There are even one or two species... that can replace an entire limb if they've lost one.
Here's something intriguing...
Two similar muscular charts.
You might think they were the same animal... but as you know, this is a man...
This is an alligator.
This is all very interesting, Doctor... but you were going to tell me about Paul.
Everything I've said concerns Paul.
I knew I'd found my life's work.
I wanted to extract this wonderful reptilian substance... and use it to cure human injuries.
She was still Mrs. Webster then...
She remarried after Paul's father died...
Mrs. Hawthorne financed my researches... and set up this clinic.
Well, did you succeed?
I isolated a protein chemical... from the anterior pituitary glands... of crocodilians.
Our common variety is the alligator. -Alligator?
I injected this substance into the veins of volunteers...
Horribly injured, hopelessly mangled accident victims... on the point of death.
It was miraculous, Mrs. Webster.
Not only did those dying men and women live... but in an incredibly short time, they were completely whole...
Mangled limbs as good as new... as if they'd never been injured.
And Paul was one of these?
The worst of the lot.
There was scarcely a bone in his body that wasn't broken... face completely gone... horribly burned,
"Nobody would even know you were in a plane crash."
That's what I said to Paul the night we were married.
Can you imagine my feelings?
I thought I'd stumbled on the medical miracle of the ages.
It certainly seems so. -Then, over a year later...
Doctor, can you come right away? It's number six again.
Excuse me. I'll be back soon.
Maybe you'd better come along, too.
Another sedative, Doctor?
I'm afraid the brain tissues have been affected.
Try a sun ray.
Who are these?
My prize patients.
My medical miracles.
Well, then, these symptoms are... The aftereffects.
They began to appear in varying degrees... about a year after the treatment.
Isn't it obvious?
There was an additional secretion... in the pituitary injection besides the healing hormone...
Something I didn't know about... but, in its way, even more powerful.
And the sun ray?
The sun ray has a strong depressant effect... on reptiles.
Makes them lethargic, dormant.
But these aren't...
They are, aren't they?
Your patients are turning into...
In effect, you can say that.
Alligator people. -And Paul?
His symptoms were the last to appear.
When his final test proved positive...
I had to wire him on the train.
He's quiet now.
We can go.
Is there any hope for... for the people?
There may be a possible chance... but a slight one...
A shot in the dark and very dangerous.
Your husband insists upon taking that chance tonight.
What is it?
Gamma rays from a cobalt bomb... combined with high intensity X-rays.
We've already noted in Paul... definite positive reactions to X-ray treatment... but what will happen with this...
I don't know. -I want to be here.
I don't think that's wise... I want to be here.
I want to see Paul. I want to talk to him before...
You can't keep me away, Doctor.
No, I guess I can't.
Maybe I haven't even got the right.
Don't run away again.
Dr. Sinclair explained you were coming tonight and why.
I wanted to be here.
Paul, it doesn't make any difference.
I'm your wife, and I love you.
Oh, Paul, darling.
You know all about tonight?
Dr. Sinclair explained. He told me about the X-ray treatments... and how much better you are.
I know this'll do it, Paul.
Why, radiation therapy works wonders.
It'll have to.
You'll come out of that laboratory... as handsome as ever.
I love you. You know that.
I wouldn't have done this to you... let you see me.
I'd rather have died!
Oh, Paul, please.
Don't say that.
We're... ready, Paul.
If you still want to.
I still want to.
Stand by for lowering position.
Ready, Paul? -Ready.
Oh, Paul, do you have to do this... take this chance, knowing the danger?
Whatever happens, either way...
I'm better off than the way I am now.
I'm sorry for the way I treated you.
Paul was so desperate to keep you from knowing.
We did everything we could.
Now that I know you, I'm sure we were wrong.
Where is he?
He's not here. You get out of here.
Mrs. Hawthorne ordered you off this place for good.
I know where he is, where he's got to be!
With the others!
Now you go on! Get out!
Controls and timing must be precise.
When you're dealing with radioactivity... and billions of volts of energy... the slightest deviational standard... even a few seconds of excess time... and anything might happen.
What's the exposure interval, Doctor?
No more than 30 seconds.
I determined that on my test alligators.
30 seconds. No more.
I'll never be able to tell you... how sorry I am.
Don't blame yourself. I certainly don't.
Who can know everything?
You're not God, Mark.
I feel as if I've been playing at it... and been punished.
You all right?
Keep your eyes closed.
Where is he?
Who do you want?
That two-legged gator... Paul.
You better get out of here.
Wait! You can't go in there!
Manon! You were ordered to leave.
You have no right here.
Now get out.
Where is he?
I know you got him here some place.
I forbid you to go in there.
So he is here, huh?
Get him out of here!
Get out of here!
So that's where you are.
You can't! You can't go in there!
No, you ain't him.
You can't be him.
You stay away from me!
Don't! Don't! No!
Well, now that you've heard the tape again, what do you think?
This indicates that everything she said is true.
She was married to a Paul Webster who did crash in a plane... and there was a Dr. Mark Sinclair who since disappeared.
Do you believe her story?
That's not important.
Eric... we were both taught that a psychiatrist's function... is to find mental illness and to cure it.
As simple as that. -Obviously.
Now, Jane's case...
This girl has lived through a horrible experience... true or not, but she has made... a satisfactory adjustment.
She lives a normal, happy life by completely suppressing it.
An obvious anxiety neurosis... and amnesia suppression.
You didn't need me to tell you that.
No, of course not.
But what am I gonna do, Eric?
Shall I let her go on as she is now or attempt a cure?
Now, all I've got to do is bring her back in here... and play back that tape.
Yes, and perhaps shock her into a complete withdrawal.
I don't know, Wayne. I honestly don't know.
Excuse me, Doctor.
I'm going off duty unless there's something else.
Oh, Jane. One moment.
That's all, Jane. Good night.
Good night, Doctor.
Good night, Dr. Lorimer. -Good night, Jane.