The Beguiled (1971) Script

Take warning by me Don't go for a soldier Don't join no army For the dove she will leave you The raven will come And death will come marching At the beat of the drum Come all you pretty fair maids Come walk in the sun And don't let your young man Ever carry a gun

Oh, my God!

My daddy died that way.

Crawled off in the bushes and bled to death.

Maybe you were the cause.

Are you dying, Mr. Yank?

Help me.

What's your name, girl?


But everybody calls me Amy.

And I'm Corporal John McBurney.

But everybody calls me McB.

How old are you, Amy?


Thirteen in September. Shh.

Old enough for kisses.

Don't give up now, Mr. Yank.

I mean, Mr. McB.

Just over there.

Miss Martha, that smoke's sure getting awful close.

You figure them Yanks is gonna burn this place down?

Hallie, don't talk that way. It's hard enough to get the girls to study as it is.

I can't emphasize enough that French is a smiley language.


You're not paying attention.

I'm sorry, Miss Edwina, but the war is sounding so close.

Doris says if the Yankees win, they'll rape every one of us.

Miss Martha!

Miss Martha!


Miss Martha! Miss Martha!

Help! He's dying.

How did he get here?

By the grace of God, ma'am.

The grace of God in the form of this here child.

What were you doing off the school grounds?

Just picking some mushrooms. And I didn't notice how far I was...

You know the punishment for leaving the grounds.

Get him into the house. Come and help me.


Miss Martha, I couldn't leave him there to die.

Well, you wouldn't have had to worry about it.

It would just have been one less enemy soldier.

Corporal John McBurney, 66th New York.

I surrender to the prettiest Confederates...

A real bluebelly.

There's only one way to tell if he's a Yank.

How's that?

Take off his pants.

Yanks have tails.

Doris, stop that nonsense.

Amy, run on ahead and open up the door.

And then come back and tie the blue rag on the gate.

Go on!

You hear that?

The blue rag's a signal for our local patrollers.

We're gonna feel awfully proud turning one over to them.

Is he dead? Lizzie, why didn't you sound the alarm?

I'm sorry, Miss Martha. You must have seen him crossing the fields.

I was reading and I didn't see...

The lookout is not a reading room.

You get back up on that widow's walk and if you see any of our soldiers coming, you let me know at once.

Yes, ma'am. Let's put him down on the steps.

Careful. There.

Doris, Abigail, go get some sheets and make up the divan in the music room.

I'll go put the water on to boil.

Amy, will you put the blue rag on the gate as you were told?

Couldn't we wait a bit for that?

His pulse is weak and he's lost a lot of blood.

Gallons and gallons, Miss Martha.

They'd take him away, even though he's half dead.

They're not likely to be by again today and in any case they'd wait until we dressed his wounds.

Will you do as I asked?

If this war goes on much longer, I'll forget I ever was a woman.

Water's on the boil. Y'all wasting your time.

I say we fix his leg, turn him over to the patrol.

He'll die in prison just the same.

Mr. Yankee, there was enough iron in your leg to shoe a horse.

I'm afraid it's some time since the corporal had a bath.

I noticed. You ladies leave.

I'll get some clean water and wash him down.

I'll fetch one of my brother's nightshirts. Come, Edwina.

I thought so.

Is he going to die?

Someday. But for now he is quite all right.

I don't want anyone poking in here or lurking about in the halls.

There is lots of mending to be done.

Into the parlor, all of you.

Pay no attention to them, Amy.

Did the ant kill the caterpillar?

No, they joined together and dragged him underground.

Probably to eat him.

I don't see what this has to do with that Yank you brought here.

I do.

The Yank's an intruder, just like the caterpillar.

And you should never have brought him here.

I agree. He's probably a spy.

I doubt that, Janie.

Miss Edwina, aren't you afraid of that bluebelly?


It's bad manners to call him a bluebelly.

He has a name.

Corporal John McBurney.

Call him by it.

I call him Mr. McB.

And I think he's ever so handsome.

I got him cleaned good to the waist.

I'll lift him and you put the nightshirt on him.

Come on, give me the other arm.

Yes, Miss Martha. Well, help me.

Hold the sleeve and hold it up.

Yes, Miss Martha.

Now, pull off his pants.

Go ahead, Miss Martha. He's not made no different than your brother.

I have asked you never to speak of my brother.

Sorry, Miss Martha, I didn't mean nothing.

The nightshirt recalled Master Miles to me.

Surprising it didn't you, too.

Surprising you brought this Yank into your house, too.

Him being a man and all.

I didn't want to.

Miss Martha, soldiers on the road! They're on their way.

All right, Lizzie. Should I go back up?

No, I should have had you relieved before.

Janie, I believe it's your watch.

May we go greet them?

No, you may not. I don't want them to see you, girl.

Come along.

Captain. Ma'am.

What's the news?

We won. Grant's retreating.

Oh, thank God. Go, get him! That way!

Get back here, Yank! No!

Shoot him! Hold your fire!

Get him and throw him in the wagon.

He just wanted to be shot.

Prefers a quick death to a slow death in Fayette Prison.

That's where the poor devils are headed.

How many young ladies are here?

We have six students and a teacher.

I sure wouldn't advertise it if I were you.

Oh, you mean on the sign?

A lot of Yanks are separated from their units.

They're roaming the woods and they're desperate.

You think Miss Martha is gonna tell them about Mr. McB?

Course she'll tell them. That's why she went out there.

So, take care, ma'am.

Captain! Captain... Yes, ma'am?

Our prayers go with you.

Thank you, ma'am. Forward!

They're going on.

What name do you go by?


Well, you can call me McB.

Yank'll do fine.

You and I ought to be friends, Hallie.

How do you figure that?

Well, we're both kind of prisoners here, aren't we?

We're different, Mr. Yank.

I can run.

I love you, Mr. Crow... but until your wing's mended, it's for your own good.

You can lower it now.

I couldn't have operated the school without you.

I'm very grateful to you.

I'm the one to be grateful.

You've given me the only home I have, Miss Martha.

Even after the war is over, it'll still be difficult for years to come.

I'll have to devote myself to running the farm.

I'd like you to concentrate on building the school up again.

You've become very dear to me, Edwina.

And I'm prepared to make you a partner.

And provide in my will that you'll inherit full ownership.

Miss Martha.

That's unbelievably generous. I don't know what to say.

Well, there's not an ounce of generosity in it.

I need somebody capable and responsible.

You're my guarantee that the school will continue to bear my name and maintain my standards.

I don't know what to...

That's wonderful.

You know, you should pray for the North to win.


Well, you don't like being a slave do you?

No. Do you?


I'm nobody's slave.

You mean you just went out and got yourself shot up because you like being shot up?

Sometimes a man's got to do things he doesn't particularly like.

Not if you're free you don't.

And you white folks ain't killing each other because you care about us niggers.

White man's the same everywhere in this world.

You should say that men are the same everywhere, no matter what color.

Same as a beautiful...

What's going on?

Sound like maybe they're making you a coffin.

How come you're not turning our Yankee in?

In his condition he'd die in that Fayette Prison.

This'll hold him till he's better.

I could probably kick those shutters open even with my bad leg.

Perhaps, Corporal, but not without being heard.


Good night. Back to your beds, instantly.

At least it gives her an opportunity to learn what a man's body feels like.

Go back to your room.

How is he?

He has a fever.

You must be tired, wouldn't you like a chance to go to your closet?

I might sponge parts of him you wouldn't.

I knew what you were the minute you came to this school.

A hussy is a hussy.

You come in here again and you'll find your face in a bucket of water.

Do I smell eggs for breakfast?

Yes, Miss Edwina.

Hallie says Mr. McB brought us luck.

Those hens finally laid some eggs.

Very pretty, Edwina.

The corporal seems to be having an effect on all of us.

How is the corporal this morning?


How long is he gonna stay in the music room, Miss Martha?

Till he is well enough to turn over to the patrollers.

I wanna practice my harp.

But I can't with a dangerous enemy in the same room.

So, that's the answer!

I always wondered what it would take to make you want to practice.


What's your name?


Mine is...

Corporal John McBurney.

Now, how'd you know that?

You said so when you came here.

I must've forgotten all about that.

You know, Edwina, I... get the strangest feeling that I'm a prisoner in some sort of girls' school.

It is a girls' school.

Well, you are an enemy soldier.

Are you the head of the school?

The lady in the portrait there.

Miss Martha Farnsworth.

Who's the man with her?

Her brother, Miles.

Where's he?

He disappeared.

He's presumed dead.

There's no man around here at all?

Well, I sure thank providence for sending me here.

Rather than to one of your prisons.

I wish it were up to me what happens to you, but it isn't.

Miss Martha will decide.


Well, there's the little darling that saved my life.

Come on in. Sit down.

I can't.

Your room is out of bounds.

Oh. I told Randolph all about you.

The patrol.

But even if I sounded the alarm, Miss Martha wouldn't stop them.

It's treason.

Not tying on the blue rag to signal the patrol is out and out treason.


Damn! Damn!

That was very nice.

You said there were no men around here. Who's Randolph?

I forgot about Randolph. I'm sure you'll meet him.

Who is he?

Randolph is a turtle.

He's a pet of Amy's.


Don't go. You may leave now and... your soldiers might come or something. I may never see you again.

I don't even know your last name.


Why are you afraid of me, Edwina? I'm not.

Not really.

I mean, it has nothing to do with you.

It's just that I'm a Yankee, though.

I don't suppose Yankees are any different than other men.

I see. So, you're just afraid of men in general.

Not afraid. I just don't trust them.

Any of them.

It sounds like some man didn't treat you too kindly.

Only I would've bet that you'd never been in love.

Too bad you couldn't have bet.

You'd have won.

How'd you get your unfair opinion of men?

I'd rather not talk about it.

We won't, then. How long have you been at this school?

Since I was 15.

Seven years.

Except for Sunday church, I've rarely been away from the school grounds for all those years.

I wonder if sometimes you don't think of yourself as a sleeping beauty in the castle waiting for a prince to free you... with a kiss.

I wish we didn't have to send him to prison.

We've no choice.

Harboring the enemy is a crime. A very serious crime.

You must be Miss Farnsworth.

I am.

I was beginning to think you were avoiding me.

I want to thank you for all you've done, ma'am.

I don't want your thanks. I just want you well enough to turn over to the authorities.

You certainly don't mince words. I like that.

Do you indeed?

You think it makes any difference to me whether you like it or not?

No, I guess it doesn't. But I still can't help being grateful.

Well, don't be. It's simply a matter of ethics.

Something you probably wouldn't understand.

Well, you might be surprised, ma'am.

It was ethics that got me wounded in the first place.

How so?

Well, you see, ma'am, I'm a Quaker and I don't... carry weapons into battle, I carry bandages.

My company, we were fighting in this thicket, there was this wounded rebel officer, who was trying to crawl away from the fire which was gaining on him.

My duty was to stay with my men but my ethics wouldn't let me.

I carried that Reb to safety. That's why I got shot.

Now, of course, my conscience does bother me because I should've stayed with my own troops.

I feel like I deserted them, you might say.

Do your hands hurt you terribly?

Well, there's nothing more painful than burns, ma'am.

A few bottles left in my father's wine cellar.

If the pain gets too great, I'll ask Hallie to bring you some.

Does seem like a good occasion and I would love some wine.

It was offered for your pain, not for your pleasure!

To be sure, ma'am, it's just that sometimes the two do go together.

Corporal McBurney, you are not our guest, but a somewhat unwelcome visitor.

I don't propose to entertain you here.

I don't expect it, ma'am.

It's just that I've been at war a long time.

It's been months since I've seen a woman's face.

You'll find I'm easily amused.

Get any ideas of trying to amuse yourself with any of the ladies in this house...

Wait a minute... you'll be out on that road so fast you won't know what happened to you.

I'm not that kind of man, you know that.

I know nothing of the kind.

How long does it take you to get to know someone?

To get to know me?

You'll never find out. You won't be here that long.

continue our study of the gospel according to St. Luke.

Chapter 11. "And it..."

Can't you wait until after Bible reading?

I really can't, Miss Martha.

All right, hurry back.

Chapter 11.

"And it came to pass, that, as he was praying..."

Well, well.

I just thought I'd introduce myself proper.

I'm Carol.

Well, Carol, that's about the nicest introduction I've ever had.

And to the prettiest girl.

How old are you?

Seventeen, but I know a lot more than girls my age.

I'll bet you do.

Got to get back to...

Bible reading.

Say a prayer for me, will you?

I would, but I have no idea what you want.

The butter churned out to a good five pounds.

That ought to trade for a sack of flour. And we need flour bad.

Sweetener, too, Miss Martha. Any kind.

If he doesn't have sugar, take molasses or honey.

You talk as though I didn't know how to barter with Phil MacPherson.

If he has them, I'll get them.

And, Hallie, you might shave Corporal McBurney this morning.

I'm tired of looking at that stubble.

Bye, Miss Martha. Bye, Miss Martha.

Goodbye, Miss Martha.

Mr. McB?

Mr. McB?

Good morning.

Good morning, little friend.

Feeling better, Mr. McB?

Well, I'm a little bit bed-weary, that's all.

There's a pair of crutches in the barn.

Been there a long time. Should I get them for you?

Again, I'd be indebted to you, Amy.

Can you see him?

So, that's Randolph, huh?

Yes. And I love him very much.

Not as much as you do me, I hope.

As much, but different.

Try and catch some flies for him to eat while I'm gone. Bye.


If living was a thing that money could buy Don't you know the rich would live, Lord, the poor would die All my trouble...

Is that all you're gonna give?

Guess you're drying up like the rest of us women around here.

What you after in this barn, Miss Amy?

Those crutches.

For Mr. McB.

You get permission from Miss Martha?

Well, I think we should refuse to work the garden till Miss Martha stops giving food to the enemy of the Confederacy.

The Bible says "Love thy enemy."

Can't let a man like that starve to death.

Ain't enough for him now.

Miss Doris, that thing in your hand is for hoeing, not leaning.

It's nigger work! And it's ruining my hands.

Why, I'll never be able to play the harp again.

That nigger work is what feed us and if we don't get enough of it, you'll go where you can play your harp your whole livelong day.

Like to suck a raw egg while I shave you? It'll give you energy.

Sure. Thanks.

You get the thanks.

Those hens hadn't laid for months before you came.

You must got rooster blood in you.

Judging by my boots and uniform, I don't have any kind of blood in me.

Miss Martha said I was to shave you.

But I ain't so sure.

I don't think the Lord want a man's face all smooth like a baby's bottom.

That's why he gave him whiskers.

Might be a sin to shave that growth off.

Then, don't do it.

Sinning ought to be saved for much more important things.

I better shave you. Miss Martha give me my orders.

Not the Lord.

And even without whiskers... you wouldn't look half bad.

For a white man.

I like hearing you laugh, Hallie.

My Ben used to say that.

Who's Ben? Your husband?

No, we weren't rightly married, but we sure loved each other.

Did he die?

Don't know. He run off a long time back.

Miss Martha's brother, he decided to sell Ben off.

So, Ben run away.

So, he finally got us separated all the same.

Listen, Hallie, you help me get away from here, and I'll try to find out what happened to your Ben, even if I have to go to General Grant personally.

You trust me now, Hal?

I'll think on it, Mr. Yank.

Oh, let me help you. You all right?

Yeah. I just overdid it a little, that's all.

Well, sit down.

There. Thank you.

All right?

Won't you sit down for a minute?

No, I can't. I have a class in a minute.

Just for that minute, then, please. Come on.


I woke up this morning wondering if you could possibly be as lovely and as sweet as you were last night.

Now, I see you're even prettier than I remembered.

You know, Edwina, one way or the other I'm gonna have to leave here pretty soon.

There isn't time enough to get to know each other in the normal way.

So, I'm gonna ask you... something I wouldn't ordinarily ask you.

See, I've never felt this way about anybody before.

I mean, you're somebody I've always wanted to meet.

And if I'm gonna be in, er, prison or somewhere else...

I don't want to just keep thinking or hoping... if nothing's gonna happen.

I mean, if I'm just another Billy Yank enemy...

You're not. I like you very much.

Miss Martha's back!

How did you get those crutches, Corporal?

I brung them to him.

You had no business doing it without being told.

And who let him out of the music room?

I was told to shave him and it was too dark in that boarded-up room.

Well, at least it's some improvement.

I'm sorry I let her shave me, ma'am.

I always felt the Lord didn't intend for a man's face to be smooth as a baby's bottom.

Go unload the buggy.

Yes, ma'am.

And thanks to you, ma'am, I've got most of my strength back.

What do you think of that?

That it's a foolish waste of energy.

Come help me bring in the supplies.

I'd be glad to, ma'am.

There's a lot of things I could do to repay you for saving my life.

There's just about nothing I don't like about farming.

And I have a great respect for land.

It really used to grieve me when our outfit was moving this way and I could see what this war was doing to this fine land.

It grieves me, too.

I used to enjoy riding through our fields seeing them rich with crops.

There are things, certainly, that could use a man's help.

Thank you, ma'am. You won't regret it, I guarantee you.

There are enough of us to keep an eye on you during the day but at night, we'll lock you up again.

Well, of course. I'd expect that.

You can take the buggy now, Hallie.

You'll need some clothes. Come on.

Can't have you hobbling around the girls in that.

Come on, Mae.

I'll get you some things that belonged to my brother.

You're an angel, ma'am.

An absolute angel.

Thank you. You've been a great help.

"The napkin should not be fastened at the neck.

"It should be laid conveniently across the lap.

"And one corner should be lifted to wipe the mouth.

"Men who wear a moustache

"are obliged to manipulate a napkin in a vigorous manner...

Miss Edwina. "which would be unpardonable in a lady."

Yes? Permission to go to my closet.

But nowhere else. Of course not.

Now, we will all demonstrate the proper use of a napkin.

Very nice.


Well, good morning to you.

Games for two are more fun.

Oh, now you surprise me.

Never thought you'd be afraid to kiss a girl.

Well, my mother told me it might just stunt my growth.

Maybe your mama was right.

You certainly are well developed.

I'd have to say the same about you.

Well, it's not the same.

I mean, your shoulders and arms seem to be all muscular.

I bet there's not a soft spot on you.

She's not in her room.

Not even in the music room, as I expected.

And neither is the bluebelly.

Doris will take charge.

You're obviously very hard to resist, Carol, but I'm not anxious to have my head on the chopping block.

Well, then, what about later on tonight when everybody's asleep?

What about it?

Mmm. I just happen to have a room to myself.

In the attic. Can you walk up stairs?

I suppose I could but I couldn't walk through a locked door.

Oh, I forgot about that.

I just thought I would pay our guest a little visit.

He wanted to know what class you were teaching.

And I told him etiquette.

And how to behave like a lady under all circumstances.

All that anger in those pretty green eyes.

I told you before, I don't trust any man.

Did you ask her if she looks upon you as a Billy Yank enemy?

Or if she's waiting for a prince to awaken her with a kiss?

Now, come on, that's nonsense. She doesn't mean a thing to me.

Just passing time, talking with her, that's all.

Same as my father said to my mother.

"They mean nothing to me."

"I was only amusing myself."

So, your father was the man?

No. No, Johnny.

I know how I feel.

If you don't feel the same way, just tell me.

You know how I feel.

When the war's over, I'll come back and get you.

Please, Johnny, don't say that unless you mean it.

You know I mean it.


Johnny, no.

When the war's over, I'll come back and get you.

If you'll let me.

Please, Johnny, don't say that unless you mean it.

You know I mean it.



I can't.

Not like this.

Not without being sure.

Maybe when the war's over.

It's just that I never have before.

Don't be angry.

If you still feel the same way...

There's riders out in front. Maybe three or four of them.

It's probably just the patrollers.

Or the girl on lookout, she would've sounded the alarm.

They've stopped. They often do.

They water their horses and then they ride on.

I better get back before I'm missed.

Miss Martha! Miss Martha!

Hold it, Yank!

Hell, I ain't no Yank.

Who are you? What are you doing here?

Hurry, Miss Martha! Hurry!

I was wounded.

I'm on leave from Gregg's, Texas, Longstreet's Corps.

Who is it? How come you're not in uniform?

How come you're not?

What's going on there?

We caught him, Miss Farnsworth.

Why, Sam Jackson.

This is my cousin you've heard me talk about.

It's my cousin.

Why, Cousin Martha, I always figured you looked down on the Texas side of the family.

It pleases me that you talk about us.

Of course, I didn't say what I said about you.

Can you explain this, Miss Farnsworth?

No, I can't explain it.

It was tied on the gates.

I've no idea how it got there.

Unless it was one of the girls as a joke.

These aren't times for joking.

One of my men could've been killed. Or your cousin there.

I know that, Sam.

The girl who's responsible will be very severely punished.

Take my word for it.

Well, I do, ma'am.

Thank you, Sam.

I'm sorry this happened.

You were splendid, ma'am, absolutely splendid.

Why, it's splendid yourself, Corporal.

Your accent was pure Texas.

I wonder who put this rag on the gate.

I don't know, but you can bet I didn't.

Now that you've got your strength back there's no reason why we should continue to serve your meals in bed.

You'll have supper with us tonight.

Whatever you say, ma'am.

You know, I can't remember when I've ever been in such delightful company.

You young ladies are certainly a fine tribute to the excellence of your headmistress to whom I will always be indebted.

You needn't be. But I will, ma'am.

You don't understand that I used to make much more use of my legs than most men.

Take dancing for instance.

I always could wear out the arm of any fiddler in the world.

If we had dancing here in the school, I could teach the girls waltzes, reels, polkas.

Almost anything you could mention.

Miss Martha, could we have a dance class?

Yes, please.

Can we?

I'll take it under consideration.

We haven't had as lively a meal as this in a long time.

I think it's been disgraceful. Eating with the enemy.

So do I, Miss Martha.

You girls might have said something before supper. Could've eaten in the kitchen.

You may both be excused to go to your room.

Please ma'am, let them stay. They're just voicing their patriotism.

Doris and Janie, I admire your father for fighting for the cause that he thinks is right.

If nobody's gonna finish those mushrooms, I think I could manage a little.

Please do, Corporal.

Amy picked them for you.

Thank you, Amy. I'm particularly partial to mushrooms.

Now, I'm sorry but I must turn to something unpleasant.

Today, somebody tied the blue rag...

Girls, into the kitchen.

Edwina, fetch the pistol. It's up in my room.

Hallie, you go with them. Hide yourself upstairs.

If it's Union troops, you just holler. I'll make sure nothing happens to anyone.

They're our soldiers, Miss Martha.

Thank God.

Can you make it up the stairs all right? Yeah.

I'll help him. No, you won't. Get in the kitchen.

Let me have that pistol.

No, I have to take it to Miss Martha.

You care about what happens to me, don't you?

Yes, that's why I don't wanna see you shot.

Come in, Captain. Sorry to keep you waiting.

That's all right, ma'am.

Been a long time since I've had to wait for such a pretty lady.

This vicinity is gonna be left unprotected.

Our boys got to pull off for Champion's Hill before them damn Yankees...

Beg your pardon, ma'am. Them Yankees.

Secure the road to Vicksburg.

Why have you come here?

We heard about your school here and since we were scouting out in this area we just decided to stop by and see if we could be of any... assistance.

Thank you.

Captain, but everything is fine here.

It seems to me as how you might be afraid of being molested by them Yankees.

I could leave a couple of my boys here to sleep in your barn for a night or two.

That's very generous of you, Captain, but it won't be necessary.

I don't mind staying with the ladies, Captain.

You all want to go on ahead, I'll catch up with you in a few days.

You're very kind but we cannot take you from your duties in the field.

It just seems to me as how it might serve some military purpose for someone to stay behind, kind of out of sight.

That's right.

Matter of fact, I might just stay myself.

Scoggins, suppose you ride back and tell the Colonel...

No. No, I cannot permit it.

One or two of you would be no protection.

And your presence here might just draw attention to us and provoke the Yankees into burning us down.

Good night, gentlemen. Thank you so much for your concern.

Ma'am, I'd be right proud to pay my compliments to them young ladies.

That's very gentlemanly of you, Captain.

I'll tell them.

Good night.

Come on, boys.

God bless you, gentlemen.

Good night.

It's all right. They left.

I love you so much.

Were you scared, Miss Martha?

I almost died, I was so scared. So was I.

Go up to your rooms.

I think it's treason to talk that way about our own boys.

Oh, Doris, you think everything is treason.

Don't argue, girls. Hallie.

Bring a bottle of wine to the parlor.

Today's been quite a strain.

Oh! Give me the pistol.

Good night, young ladies. Good night, Mr. McB.

Good night, Mr. McB.

Good night.

Will you come hear our prayers?

I'm too excited to sleep.

Me too, Miss Edwina.

Go on to your rooms. I'll be there presently.

I see you can manage stairs.

You know, they leave the key in your door.

I could slip down and unlock it.

You'd find me much more interesting than Miss Edwina.

You little devil, you're the one who tried to get me caught today.

Well... you shouldn't do things that make me jealous.

Would you care for some wine, Corporal?

I'd be honored, ma'am.

Do help yourself. It's on the table.

I must say, you showed great courage tonight, ma'am.

They were our soldiers, there was no danger.

I think I know a little bit more about that than you do, ma'am.

And believe me, there was danger.

If you'd shown any sign of weakness, the episode could have had a totally different ending.

I toast you. You're a remarkable and beautiful woman.

Amy, you should've finished your prayers long ago.

I was praying for Mr. McB, too.


It's wrong to pray for the enemy.

My father says that God's on our side.

So he is.

He's on the side of people everywhere.

Please, no more talking. Put out your candle, Amy.

Good night, Miss Edwina. Good night.

I've been thinking, Corporal.

This place needs a man.

Someone who knows farming.

How to handle farmhands.

Thinking about giving up the school, ma'am?


But there won't be money for tuition not for a long time.

There will be money for anything we can grow.

It'd be Northern money.

When my brother and I ran this place, there were good Northern markets for anything we could raise.

But, he isn't here now.

Never will be.

And I am.

Yes, you are.

Would you be interested in staying on here, Corporal?

Yes, I would.

Why were we all scared of our own soldiers?

All armies have some men who aren't nice.

Now, get to sleep.

Good night, Lizzie.

Good night.

I want to take your brother's place, but I must warn you... it won't always be easy to act like a brother.

I'll try not to dictate your personal behavior, Corporal.

And the joys we share As we tarry there None other has ever...


Edwina, listen to me.

No! No!

You lying son of a bitch!

You bastard!

You're a filthy lecher!

I hope you're dead!


I hope you're dead!


I want all discussion of what happened tonight to end now.

There are more urgent matters.

Do you think he's in much pain, Miss Martha?

No, not after all the wine and laudanum we've given him.

He can't feel anything.

Why do you want him in the dining room, Miss Martha?

I need him there to work on his leg.

His leg's not only fractured in three places, the bone is splintered.

The best doctors couldn't set it so it healed, I certainly can't.

Stop your drunken chatter.

Lift the harness. Let's slide him up.

Don't be jealous about it. You're well-bosomed, too.

Sweet and ladylike. So round and perky.

I hate you, Miss Martha.

A teaspoon of laudanum should put him to sleep.

Give it to him.

Now, Amy... you will go to your room and you will not come out until you are told.

And if I ever want your opinion, I'll ask for it.

I didn't say nothing.

Oh, I think you did.

I think you spoke very loudly.

Girls, go directly to your rooms.

Edwina. Hallie. Carol.

Stay here and don't take your eyes off him.

Shouldn't be hard for you to do.

I've reached a very difficult decision.

I hope it's the right one.

By this time tomorrow, his leg will be starting to mortify.

There's no death worse than one from gangrene and I cannot let him die, inch by inch, and screaming in agony.

The only way to prevent that is to amputate.

That mean you gonna cut off his leg? Yes.

But you ain't a doctor.

If he lives and he blame you for making him a cripple, what you gonna say?

Obviously, he would rather lose a leg than his life.

Can you be sure he'd die if you don't?

I'm sure.

What if he dies as a result of the operation?

My conscience would be clear.

It wouldn't be if I let him die and did nothing to try and save him.

I suppose if we made the cut above the popliteal division instead of below... we'd have fewer arteries to contend with.

There's going to be enough bleeding no matter where you cut.

I say forget about that book.

We see a vessel bleeding, we just tie it with thread.

For God's sake. If you're gonna do it, then do it and be done with it.

Turn his face away from me.

There is some frailty in you.

Dear Lord, we ask that you bless our efforts.

Mr. McB, are you coming around?


I can tell it's night when the stars come out.

And I can tell it's morning... when your freckles come in the room.

I must tell Miss Martha.

Miss Martha! Miss Martha!

Miss Edwina!

Amy, come and watch. Hallie's going to bury it.

Bury what?

What do you think? The leg.

He's awake, Miss Martha.


I know you're expecting an apology... and you certainly deserve it after... the way I abused your hospitality.

But first could you fix the splints... on my leg?

It hurts so much.

There are no splints.

How do you fix a broken leg without splints?

The pain is...

We saved your life and you complain of pain.

Nobody dies of a broken leg.

If gangrenous, they do.

We had a choice.

Either let you die in agony or remove the leg.

So you punish me.

Lord knows I deserve it, but...

I know my legs are all right.

I can feel them all the way down to my toes.

It's a shock, yes, it has to be.

But you're too intelligent not to understand...

You dirty bitch. Just because I didn't go to your bed.

Just because I went to someone else's bed.

I should have let you die screaming.

Why should I have denied myself after all I'd been through?

You wanted to be so much the goddamn lady.

The virgin bitch. Get out of here.

Get out of here.

What do you think it is, Miss Martha?

It's a Union soldier camp.

Don't tell the other girls. No need to frighten them, there's nothing we can do.

A cypress root is hard to cut but it'll last forever.

That's why I picked it.

I found the tree not far from where your soldiers are camped.

Union troops? Where?

About three miles north.

I haven't heard any sounds of any battle.

Must mean the rebels have retreated.

That's what Miss Martha said.

Mr. McB? Hmm?

About Carol.

Yeah, what about her?

She said you forced your way into her room and...

And that you...

Do you believe her? No.

But you were in her room.


And she was all naked.

And I...

And I thought you loved me.

And I do, Amy.

Amy, go to your room.

Removing the ligatures will be painful. Do you want some laudanum?

No thanks, kind lady.

I'll fall asleep and then just by chance you might cut off my... other leg.

I'd welcome some wine.

You might welcome it, but you won't get it.

Undo your trouser leg.

Where's your virgin assistant?

Doesn't she wanna stay around and finish the job?

Miss Edwina has no interest in what happens to you.

Young ladies, come get ready to eat.



Who is it?

Carol. I'm sorry about what happened.

I want you to know that.

Think nothing of it.

I've just been thinking about all the advantages...

a one-legged man has.

He saves on socks.

He doesn't have to worry about trimming as many toenails.

Fewer corns and bunions.

I've even been contemplating asking her to cut off the other leg.

What happened makes no difference to me.

I know it won't hinder you romantically.

I'm sure a one-legged man, or even a no-legged man, can enjoy himself that way, same as any man.

I'll do anything for you.

Unlock this door.

I got some things I want to do around here.

But somebody might see me.

Do it while everyone else is eating.

But they'd know it was me. No, they won't.

They'll just think somebody forgot to lock it. That's all.

All right, I'll try.

How long are you gonna keep him here?

As long as Union troops are in the area.

If he's here, he can't give information about us.

But sooner or later they'll find out about the school anyway, won't they?

Not if our troops drive them back.

I'm praying for that, and I assure you, when it happens the Corporal will...

Sit right where you are. All of you.

Well, hello, Miss Farnsworth.

I seem to have gotten most of my strength back.

I think with a little wine from your cellar, I'll get the rest.

According to the new rules around here I'm gonna have the run of this place.

One is that I'm gonna be with any young lady that desires my company.

If you have any objections then I'm gonna locate the nearest Union cavalry and tell them about some of the goodies, especially the bedding down variety.

Now, don't get any ideas about closing the door on me.

I'll just blow one of your ears off.

Unless I miss and hit one of your pretty eyes.

You're wrong to blame her, Mr. Johnny. Your leg was busted bad.

You don't have to be afraid of being sent to prison now.

Why don't you just leave this place?

Not till I've had my fill.

You're a damn handsome woman, Hallie. Maybe I'll just start with you.

Go on down the cellar. I've been having a run of bad luck lately.

I understand the way to fix this is to have a black woman.

Then, white boy, you better like it with a dead black woman.

Because that's the only way you'll get it from this one.

Almighty God...

I ask that this school and its occupants escape thy total wrath.

Be quiet and sit down.

Hallie, Janie's still on watch. I want her here.

And close the door behind you.

What can we do, Miss Martha?

Miss Martha, I'm so scared.

I know, dear.

He told me he was gonna kill me if I made any noise.

And he forced me to do what he wanted.

We understand.

He made me do the most terrible things.

Where the hell is everybody?

Go sit in my chair. Quickly.

Hallie, stay by me.

You must give him no provocation.

Well, well, well.

All the little seminar darlings.

What is the good lady seminaring you in now?

Mr. Johnny, please. Why don't you just leave?

Yes, leave. You can take your possessions with you.

And my leg. Can I take that with me?

You girls know why Miss Dabney there knocked me down the stairs?

That's because I went to Carol's room instead of hers.

And do you know how I got out of my room in the first place?

It's because this fine lady, Miss Farnsworth, unlocked my door so I could go to her room.

And do you know why Miss Farnsworth chopped off my leg and left me a cripple?

So I could stay on here and be at her beck and call.

The picture in this locket... is that your sweetheart?

It's my brother.

That wasn't the question.

You stole that from my room.

Give it back to me, please.

I stole it. Why would I wanna give it back?

It's of no value to you. And it belonged to my mother.

I just found it in a drawer along with a stack of letters with a nice, blue ribbon tied around it.

You read his letters?


You beast!

That's right! But I don't run a school for young girls.

And I just thought these girls might like to know what kind of woman runs this place.

Look, Mr. McB! One whose own brother ran off...

Randolph hasn't eaten in days. I bet you could get him to...

Have you tried to... Randolph!


God in heaven, child, I didn't mean to do that.

Stay away from me! I hate you!

Condemned me, that's what you've done.

To bitterness and drink and doing mean things.

Why the hell didn't you just castrate me?

Where are you going? No. To him. He needs help.

Not from you! I will not let you make a fool of yourself.

What do you want?

I love you.

I love you.

Perhaps when he's sober again, he'll be more reasonable.

And perhaps together we can persuade him to leave.

Miss Martha, you said that he might send Yankee soldiers here.

Yes, you're quite right, Janie.

Yes, we can't take that risk.

No one in this house is safe as long as he remains here.

The only question now is how to rid ourselves of him.

Enemy soldiers are always shot.

With what? He's got the only gun.

We can tie him up when he's asleep and take him into the woods.

You mean just leave him there? Die of thirst and hunger.

I think that would be too cruel, Miss Martha.

If he were tied up, why couldn't we just hang him?

Any such action would be too drastic.

I'm sure none of us would want to be responsible for his death.

Or even be capable of it.

Maybe... if we were to prepare him an excellent supper... and said that we wanted to make it up to him.

Hallie, you could prepare your savory chicken.

And Amy... could pick some mushrooms.

They're his favorite dish and we could prepare them especially for him.

Do you think you could do that, Amy?

I know just where to find them.

I was surprised at your supper invitation, Miss Farnsworth.

To be honest, I didn't know whether to accept or not.

I said and did some ugly things today.

I'm sober now and...

I've told Edwina and I want to tell you and rest of the girls how much I apologize.

We accept your apology, Corporal, but I think now that it's best if we don't speak about it.

Now, would you care to say grace, Corporal?

Good bread, good meat, good God, let's eat.

God, we thank you for what we're about to receive and we hope that the drums that divide us will soon be silent.

Now, everybody eat before Hallie's chicken gets cold.

Doris, pass the biscuits to Corporal McBurney and pass the mushrooms.

Amy picked them especially for you.

Thank you, Amy.

You know, Amy, I feel miserable about what happened.

Anything I can do to bring back your turtle, I sure would.

But you must understand, it was the wine that turned loose the devils in me.

I do understand.

That's why I picked the mushrooms.

And are they good, Amy.

They taste of the woods and clean air and mysterious shadows where pretty little elves dance together.

A romantic way to speak of mushrooms.

Miss Farnsworth, the first Union troops that I meet up with, I'm gonna ask them if they'll post a guard around the school.

They do that sometimes for friendly Southerners.

I don't understand what do you mean, meet up with?

I mean that tomorrow morning at dawn I'll be leaving.

I'll see that he doesn't forget to do that good turn.

I'm leaving with him.

We're going to be married.

That's right.

She asked me and I said yes. No, I didn't.

Congratulations to you both.

But have you forgotten you're a partner here?


And I'll be grateful to you all my life.

But I love him.

I have to go with him.

It's only natural, but supposing you do meet the soldiers.

Whether they are Confederate or Union, he won't be able to protect you.

What will happen to you?

I've lived with the war for a long time.

It doesn't frighten me.

I'm afraid we're spoiling everybody's supper.

And Amy picked these mushrooms especially for me.

Edwina, will you have some? And pass it on to the other girls.


No, Edwina! Don't...

Oh, my God!

Girls, finish your meals.

Lizzie, that is not the stitch I showed you.

Watch how Doris does it.

See, Lizzie.

You run the needle through both sides... then lock the stitch underneath.

Like this.

That's the way I did it.

No, it's not. Try it again.

Doesn't look as if he suffered much.

I'm sure he didn't, Carol.

I think probably his heart just gave out.

He was in a very weakened condition.

I love you.

But I thought the mushrooms killed him. Oh, Lizzie.

You think I can't tell bad mushrooms from good ones?

And Mr. McB said himself how delicious they were.

Lizzie, Amy, open the gates.

Come all you pretty fair maids Come walk in the sun Do we have classes today, Miss Martha?

I don't see why not. ever carry a gun Come all you young fellows Take warning by me Don't go for a soldier Don't join no army For the dove she will leave you The raven will come And death will come marching