I Walked with a Zombie (1943) Movie Script

I walked with a zombie.
It does seem an odd thing to say.
Had anyone said that to me a year ago...
I'm not at all sure
I would have known what a zombie was.
I might have had some notion...
that they were strange and frightening...
even a little funny.
It all began in such an ordinary way.
- You're single?
- Yes.
- Where were you trained?
- Memorial Hospital here in Ottawa.
Now this last question is a little irregular,
Miss Connell.
I really don't know quite how to begin.
Do you believe in witchcraft?
They didn't teach it at Memorial Hospital...
but I had my suspicions
about the Directress of Training.
Now, as to salary, it's quite good.
- $200 a month.
- That is good.
But I'd like to know a little bit more
about the case.
I'm afraid I can't tell you much...
only that the patient is the wife
of Mr. Paul Holland...
with whom we do considerable business.
- That will mean another interview?
- No, this is quite final.
You see, Mr. Holland is a sugar planter.
He lives on Saint Sebastian
in the West Indies.
The West Indies?
That's not so bad, sit under a palm tree...
go swimming, take sunbaths.
Palm trees.
It seemed only a few days
before I met Mr. Holland in Antigua.
We boarded the boat for Saint Sebastian.
It was all just as I had imagined it.
I looked at those great glowing stars.
I felt the warm wind on my cheek.
I breathed deep
and every bit of me inside myself said:
"How beautiful."
It's not beautiful!
You read my thoughts, Mr. Holland.
It's easy enough to read the thoughts
of a newcomer.
Everything seems beautiful
because you don't understand.
Those flying fish...
they are not leaping for joy.
They're jumping in terror.
Bigger fish want to eat them.
That luminous water...
it takes its gleam
from millions of tiny dead bodies.
The glitter of putrescence.
There's no beauty here,
only death and decay.
You can't really believe that.
Everything good dies here, even the stars.
It was strange to have him break in
on my thoughts that way.
There was cruelty and hardness
in his voice.
And yet something about him I liked.
Something clean and honest...
but hurt, badly hurt.
Times gone, Fort Holland was a fort.
And now, no longer.
The Hollands
was the most old family, miss.
They brought the colored folks
to the island...
the colored folks and Ti-Misery.
Ti-Misery? What's that?
A man, miss. An old man who lives
in the garden at Fort Holland.
With arrows stuck in him and a sorrowful,
weeping look on his black face.
No, miss, he's just the same as he was
in the beginning...
on the front side of an enormous boat.
- You mean a figurehead.
- If you say, miss.
And the enormous boat
brought the long-ago fathers...
and the long-ago mothers of us all,
chained to the bottom of the boat.
They brought you to a beautiful place,
didn't they?
If you say, miss. If you say.
Fort Holland.
From the gate,
it seemed strangely dreamlike.
The garden had life of its own.
I was to know all the nooks and crannies
of that great house...
to love them or hate them,
according to what happened there.
In that house,
I was to hear a strange confession...
a confession only madness could have
wrung from the lips of a sane person.
And yet it was in the same room...
with the candles lit, that I made
the discovery of my own love...
knew happiness, deep through the heart.
My room...
I still can remember my delight,
unpacking, getting ready for dinner.
Yet, all the while,
I wondered at the stillness of Fort Holland.
The fact that I saw no one
on the garden paths or in the rooms.
- Miss Connell, it's dinner.
- Thank you.
- Miss Connell?
- Yes.
I'm Wesley Rand.
Paul wanted me to introduce myself.
It seems we're dining by ourselves,
Miss Connell.
But I think I'll introduce you
to everyone anyway.
Here in the master's chair, sits the master,
my half-brother, Paul Holland.
But you've met him already.
Yes, on the boat.
That chair in the corner
is the particular property of Mrs. Rand...
mother to both of us
and much too good for either of us...
too wise, in fact,
to live under the same roof.
- She prefers the village dispensary.
- She's a doctor?
No, she just runs the place.
She does everything else, though.
An amazing woman. You'd like her.
I like her already.
That's my chair,
and this is Miss Connell, who is beautiful.
Thank you.
Who sits there?
My brother's wife.
Here, this isn't cozy at all.
Makes me seem aloof,
and I'm anything but that.
But you are an American.
I went to school in Buffalo.
Paul went to school in England.
I wondered about your different accents.
I'm still wondering about your names,
Rand and Holland.
We're half-brothers.
Paul is Mother's first child.
When his father died, she married
my father, Dr. Rand, the missionary.
The jungle drums, mysterious, eerie.
That's the work drum
over at the sugar mill.
Saint Sebastian's version
of the factory whistle.
It means that the sugar syrup
is about ready to be poured.
I'm afraid you'll have to excuse me.
Of course.
It was nice of you
to spend this much time with me.
Don't worry, I wasn't missed. The only
important man around here is the owner.
- Mr. Holland?
- Yes, the redoubtable Paul.
He has the plantation, and I, as you
must have noticed, have the charm.
I don't know. He spoke to me on the boat
last night, and I liked him very much.
Yes, our Paul...
strong and silent and very sad...
quite the Byronic character.
Maybe I should cultivate it.
- Maybe you ought to go to the mill.
- It'll wait.
I was just going to the mill.
- Good night, Miss Connell.
- Good night.
- Have the servants made you comfortable?
- Yes, thank you.
Looks very nice, Clement.
I'll take it to Mrs. Holland.
- Can't I take it for you?
- No, thank you.
Tomorrow's soon enough
for you to start work.
Mrs. Holland.
Mrs. Holland?
Mrs. Holland.
Mrs. Holland?
I didn't mean to get you up, Mrs. Holland.
Mrs. Holland.
Take Mrs. Holland to her room, Alma.
Come, Miss Jessica. Come with Alma.
I heard someone crying, a woman.
A woman crying?
There's been no crying here.
Mr. Paul, yes, there was crying tonight.
It was Alma,
her sister was brought a-birthing.
Thank you, Clement.
Clement, I'm going to stay
with Miss Jessica...
in case the nurse lady
takes to roaming again.
Don't you go crying anymore.
That's what frightened Miss Betsy.
She didn't soothe me any,
hollering around in the tower.
Why was the maid crying?
I'm not sure I can make you understand.
Do you know what this is?
- A figure of Saint Sebastian.
- Yes.
But it was once the figurehead
of a slave ship.
That's where our people came from...
from the misery and pain of slavery.
For generations, they found life a burden.
That's why they still weep when a child
is born and make merry at a burial.
I've told you, Miss Connell,
this is a sad place.
Good morning, miss.
Thank you for waking me.
I didn't want to frighten you
out of your sleep, miss.
That's why I touched you
farthest from your heart.
Don't get up, miss.
I brought your breakfast...
just like I do for Miss Jessica.
But I'm Miss Jessica's nurse, Alma.
You don't have to do that for me.
I know it, miss, but I like to do it.
I like to tend for Miss Jessica,
and I want to tend for you.
You settle right back now,
and I'll mix you your coffee.
Thank you.
Miss Jessica used to say
this is the only way...
for a lady to break her fast...
in bed, with a lacy cushion
to bank her head on.
If you'd only seen her, Miss Connell.
She looked so pretty.
She must have been beautiful.
What happened to her, Alma?
She was very sick,
and then she went mindless, miss.
We'll see if we can't make her well, Alma,
you and I.
I do my best.
Every day I dress her just as beautifully
as if she was well.
It's just like dressing a great big doll.
What's this?
A puffup, I call it.
But Miss Jessica always says brioche.
Looks like an awful lot of breakfast.
I don't know
whether I'll be able to get away with it.
I made it clear
in my letter to the company...
this is not a position for a frightened girl.
I am not a frightened girl.
That's hard to believe
after what happened last night.
If I were as timid as you seem to think,
Mr. Holland...
I wouldn't have gone to the tower
in the first place.
And what's so alarming about the tower,
Miss Connell?
Nothing really.
But you must admit
it's an eerie sort of place, so dark.
Surely, nurses aren't afraid of the dark?
Of course not.
I used to be afraid of the dark
when I was a child.
But I'm not afraid anymore.
Frankly, it was something of a shock to
see my patient that way for the first time.
Nobody had told me
Mrs. Holland was a mental case.
A mental case?
- I'm sorry.
- Why should you be?
My wife is a mental case.
Please remember that, Miss Connell...
particularly when some
of the foolish people on the island...
start regaling you with local legends.
You'll find superstition a contagious thing.
Some people let it get the better of them.
- I don't think you will.
- No.
Come along. I'll introduce you
to Dr. Maxwell and your patient.
I can't tell you how glad I am
to have you here, Miss Connell.
I know I'll enjoy working with you, Doctor.
I have an enormous respect for nurses,
but most of them scare me.
I always feel them behind my back,
looking at their training manuals...
counting my mistakes.
I'll keep tabs on you.
She makes a beautiful zombie,
doesn't she?
- It's pitiful.
- I knew Jessica. We were friends.
Sometimes it's better for a doctor
to laugh...
than pull a long face
when things are hopeless.
Yes, I know.
But I don't know about zombies, Doctor.
Just what is a zombie?
A ghost, a living dead. It's also a drink.
Yes, I tried one once,
but there wasn't anything dead about it.
But we have a more serious problem
to deal with, Miss Connell.
You want to know about your patient,
don't you?
I'll try to put it simply.
Mrs. Holland had a tropical fever...
very severe.
We might say that portions of the
spinal cord were burned out by this fever.
The result is what you see...
a woman without any willpower...
unable to speak or even act by herself.
Though she will obey simple commands.
- Does she suffer?
- I don't know.
I'd rather think of her as a sleepwalker
who can never be awakened...
feeling nothing, knowing nothing.
There's very little we can do
except keep her physically comfortable...
light diet, some exercise.
She can never be cured?
I've never heard of a cure.
Could you give me some details
of treatment and diet?
- I prepared these for you last night.
- Thank you.
I'll drop by in a day or so
to see how you are getting on.
You didn't find your patient so frightening
in the daylight, did you?
Mrs. Holland must have been
very beautiful.
Many people thought her beautiful.
Tell me, Miss Connell,
do you consider yourself pretty?
I don't know. I suppose so.
And charming?
- I've never given it much thought.
- Don't.
You'll save yourself
a great deal of trouble...
and other people
a great deal of unhappiness.
- Betsy, where are you going?
- It's my day off.
What in the world can you do
with a day off in St. Sebastian?
I was just beginning to wonder.
Aren't there shops and restaurants
and things here?
"And things" is a better description
of what you'll find.
I'd better come along
and show you the town.
Don't you have to work?
By a curious coincidence,
it's my day off, too.
Some talk of Alexander
And some of Hercules
Of Hector and Lysander
And such great names as these
But of all the world's great heroes
There's none that
Ti-Joseph, better bring me another.
I have to keep the lady entertained.
Must be hard work entertaining me
if it requires six ounces of rum.
- Six ounces?
- Higher mathematics.
Two ounces to a drink.
Three drinks, six ounces.
How did you know there were two ounces
in a drink?
I'm a nurse. I always watch people
when they pour something.
I watched Ti-Joseph,
and it was exactly two ounces.
There was a family
That lived on the isle of Saint Sebastian
A long, long while
The head of the family was a Holland man
And the younger brother
his name was Rand
Ah, woe
Listen, did I ever tell you the story
about the little mule on the plantation?
Wait a minute, I want to listen.
The Holland man, he kept in a tower
A wife as pretty as a big, white flower
She saw the brother
and she stole his heart
And that's how the badness
and the trouble start.
Ti-Malice, you tripped up my tongue.
Why do you wish trouble me for?
You saw Mr. Rand go in there.
Why don't you tell me?
Apologize, that's what I'll do.
Creep in just like a little fox,
and warm myself in his heart.
I wouldn't have listened, Wesley,
if I'd realized I...
- Mr. Rand, I've come to apologize.
- All right.
It's just an old song
I picked up somewhere.
- Don't know who did make it up.
- All right, all right.
Some of these singers on this island,
they'd tattletale on anybody.
Believe me, I never would sing that song
if I'd known you were with a lady.
Get out of here!
Don't let it bother you so, Wesley.
You heard what he sang.
- I just wish I hadn't heard.
- Why?
Everybody else knows it, Paul saw to that.
Sometimes I think he planned
the whole thing from the beginning...
just to watch me squirm.
That doesn't sound like him.
That's right, he's playing
the noble husband for you, isn't he?
That won't last long.
I think we'd better go now.
Will you take me home?
One of these days he will start on you
just like he did on her.
"You think life's beautiful,
don't you, Jessica?"
"You think you're beautiful,
don't you, Jessica?"
What he could do to that word "beautiful."
That's Paul's great weapon, words.
He uses them like other men use their fist.
Wes, it's time we started home.
The wife and the brother, they want to go
But the Holland man, he tell them no
The wife fall down and the evil came
And it burned her mind in the fever flame
Wes, we must get back to Fort Holland.
Shame and sorrow for the family
Her eyes are empty and she cannot talk
And a nurse has come to make her walk
The brothers are Ionely
and the nurse is young
And now you must see
that my song is sung
Ah, woe, ah, me
Shame and sorrow for the family
Ah, woe, ah, me
Shame and sorrow for the family
- I think you need some help.
- I'm afraid so.
get Mr. Rand onto his horse
and start him toward the Fort.
But he's in no condition to ride.
I don't think he could even sit
in the saddle.
Don't worry about a sugar planter.
Give him a horse,
and he'll ride to his own funeral.
I really intended going out to the Fort
and meeting you long before this.
I'm Mrs. Rand, Wesley's mother.
Mrs. Rand...
Now don't tell me you're sorry
that I should meet you this way.
I'm even a little glad that
Wesley's difficulties brought us together.
Believe me, he doesn't do this often. It's...
Nonsense. I know Wesley's been drinking
too much lately.
I know a great deal more about
what goes on at the Fort than you'd think.
I know all about you...
that you're a nice girl, competent...
and kind to Jessica.
The Fort needs a girl like you.
Come, I must get you back there.
I'll walk back with you and stay the night.
- The change will do me good.
- Thanks, Mrs. Rand.
I think you're every bit as nice
as Wesley says you are.
So, he says I'm nice.
He's a nice boy, too, Miss Connell...
a very nice boy.
I'm worried about his drinking, though.
You could do me a great favor.
I'd love to.
Use your influence with Paul.
Ask him to take the whiskey decanter
off the dinner table.
- I have no influence with Mr. Holland.
- Try it.
You may have more than you think.
No, it's not a drought, Bayard.
Rain's just a little late, that's all.
I've seen the drought before, Mr. Holland.
The cane is too dry,
and it's dangerous that way.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
I heard about your little misadventure
yesterday. On your first day off, too.
- I had a good time up to a point.
- Wes can be very entertaining.
Yes, he can. But I was wondering...
you know, if you could leave
the whiskey decanter off the table...
It's always stood there, Miss Connell.
I can remember it
in my grandfather's time and my father's.
But it must be an added temptation
to Wesley and...
though your brother is not
an alcoholic yet, Mr. Holland...
I can tell you, as a nurse,
that it won't be long.
Miss Connell, I engaged you to take care
of my wife, not my brother.
I'm afraid the decanter will have to stay
where it is.
There they go.
Bayard told me they were going
to ask Damballah for rain.
The fields are as dry as dust.
But what is it, Mr. Holland?
It's a big seashell, a conch.
They make a sort of bugle out of it
to call the faithful to the houmfort.
But I don't know what a houmfort is
or a Damballah.
It's voodoo. The houmfort is the temple...
and Damballah is one of the gods,
the big papa god.
You don't seem very disturbed by it.
I thought voodoo was something
everyone was frightened of.
I am afraid it's not very frightening.
They sing and dance and carry on.
And then, as I understand it,
one of the gods comes down...
and speaks through one of the people.
For some reason,
they always pick a night like this.
This hot wind even sets me on edge.
Clement, you've forgotten the decanter.
I think from now on, Wes,
we'll try serving dinner without it.
That's odd.
What are you trying to do,
impress Miss Connell?
You would make a better impression
without whiskey.
Thank you.
You've always had such tender concern
for me and for Jessica.
- Let's drop it, Wes.
- Why?
It isn't considered polite
to quarrel before ladies.
I see, let's be reserved and gentlemanly.
You were so reserved and gentlemanly,
so polite, that night with Jessica.
- I remember...
- Wes!
Miss Connell...
I think it will be better if I had Clement
bring the rest of your dinner to your room.
I heard you playing.
I often do.
I know what you went through tonight.
I kept thinking of what you said...
that all good things died here violently.
Why did you come in here?
I don't know.
I wanted to help you.
And now that I'm here, I don't know how.
You have helped me.
I want you to know
that I'm sorry I ever brought you here.
When I thought of a nurse, I thought
of someone hard and impersonal.
I love Fort Holland.
And what you saw tonight...
two brothers set against each other...
and a woman driven mad
by her own husband...
do you love that?
You didn't drive her mad.
Before Jessica was taken ill,
there was a scene...
an ugly scene.
I told her she couldn't go...
that I'd keep her here by force,
if necessary.
You never knew Jessica as she was.
I think it would be best for all of us
not to discuss this again.
Thank you. I know you meant to be kind.
I don't know how their own love
is revealed to other women.
Maybe in their sweetheart's arms,
I don't know.
To me it came that night...
after Paul Holland had almost thrust me
from the room...
certainly from his life.
I said I love him.
Even as I said it,
I knew he still loved his wife.
And then, because I loved him,
I felt I had to restore her to him...
to make her what she'd been before...
to make him happy.
All that you say comes to the same thing.
You are asking me to pass a sentence
of life or death on my wife.
Insulin shock treatment
is an extreme measure, Paul...
as Miss Connell pointed out
when she suggested it to me, but...
You admit that this is terribly dangerous.
So why do you advise it?
I've worked with it. I've seen cures.
It's at least a hope.
It's the very danger itself, Paul,
that makes the cure possible.
Insulin produces a state of coma.
Then the patient is revived
by a violent shock to the nerves.
That shock can kill, but it can also cure.
I don't know.
It's a hard decision to make,
but yours is only a technical responsibility.
Technical responsibility.
Real responsibility.
The question is, will she live or die?
You're wrong, Mr. Holland.
It isn't a question of life or death.
Your wife isn't living.
She's in a world
that's empty of joy or meaning.
We have a chance
to give her life back to her.
- Well?
- She's alive, that's all.
Don't take it so much to heart, Betsy.
I imagined it so differently.
I've been waiting for hours,
trying to imagine Jessica well again.
And I come bringing you nothing.
Instead, you come bringing me sympathy,
and a generous heart. Don't forget that.
Don't call that nothing.
Very sad. Very sweet.
The noble husband and the noble nurse
comforting each other...
because the patient still lives.
I've been imagining, too, Paul...
only I didn't have to wonder how I'd feel.
I knew.
I'm not in love with another woman.
I'm sorry, Miss Betsy.
I'll take it right away.
That's all right, Alma.
Is this your sister's baby?
Yes, Miss Betsy. This is little Ti-Victor
and my sister, Melisse.
I'm so glad I came out.
I've been wanting to meet you, Melisse.
More so, miss.
He's a wonderful baby. He's beautiful, yes.
He's chosen you, miss.
That's what we say, Miss Betsy,
when a baby first goes visiting.
Those he smiles at will be his friends.
That makes me very proud.
Here, Ti-Victor.
That's so you won't forget I'm your friend.
Thanks, Miss Betsy.
It's nice to see people so happy.
They're not always happy, Miss Betsy.
I suppose not.
Things so bad nobody can help,
not even Dr. Maxwell.
Doctors and nurses
can do only so much, Alma.
They can't cure everything.
Doctors that are people
can't cure everything.
What do you mean
"doctors that are people"?
There are other doctors.
Yes, other doctors.
Better doctors.
- Where?
- At the houmfort.
That's nonsense, Alma.
They even cure nonsense, Miss Betsy.
Mama Rose was mindless.
I was at the houmfort when the houngan
brought her mind back.
- Was Mama Rose like Mrs. Holland?
- No.
She was mindless
but not like Miss Jessica.
But the houngan cured her.
Are you trying to tell me that
the voodoo priest could cure Mrs. Holland?
Yes, Miss Betsy, I mean that.
The houngan will speak
to the rada drums...
and the drums will speak
to Legba and Damballah.
Better doctors.
Ti-Peter, how do you ever expect
to get to heaven with one foot...
in the voodoo houmfort
and the other in the church?
Get along with you.
Some of this native nonsense.
The houngan has his prescription,
and Dr. Maxwell and I have ours.
You never talked
about voodoo before, Mrs. Rand.
Haven't I? I suppose I take it for granted.
- It's just part of everyday life here.
- You don't believe in it?
A missionary's widow?
Isn't very likely, is it?
I don't mean believe in it
like believing in a religion.
I mean, do you believe it has power?
Do you think it could cure a sick person?
Frankly, my dear,
I didn't expect anything like that...
from a nice levelheaded girl like you.
What are you driving at?
I heard the servants talking
about Mama Rose.
They said she'd been mindless.
Her son drowned. It affected her mind.
The houngan cured her
by giving her a little practical psychology.
What if I took Jessica to see him?
You don't know what goes on
at the houmfort.
It might be very dangerous
to take her there...
dangerous for both of you.
These people are primitive.
Things that are natural to them
might shock and horrify you.
- I'm not easily frightened.
- That may be the pity of it.
I'm going to the houmfort, Alma.
You go right from the mill
to an obeah sign in the cane.
Here you turn
and face a banyan tree on the hill.
Walk toward it and keep walking.
Keep walking, Miss Betsy...
and you'll come to the crossroads.
There's a guard there, Carrefour.
He keeps the crossroads.
But he won't do you no harm
when he sees the voodoo patches.
He'll let you pass.
Where are my people?
Let them bring me the rice cakes.
Let them dance and be happy.
Damballah, this woman is ill.
Mrs. Rand.
I knew you'd come.
I couldn't let you go back
without some word.
I came here to tell you again
Jessica cannot be cured.
But what are you doing here?
...and when my husband died,
I was helpless.
They disobeyed me.
And, accidentally, I discovered the secret
of how to deal with them.
There was a woman with a baby.
Again and again, I begged her
to boil the drinking water. She wouldn't.
Then I told her the god Shango...
would kill the evil spirits in the water
if she boiled it.
From then on, she boiled the water.
But that still doesn't explain
why you're here.
Perhaps not, but I am here.
It seems so simple
to let the gods speak through me.
I should have known
there's no easy way to do good, Betsy.
- She doesn't bleed.
- Zombie.
She doesn't bleed.
Get her back to the Fort, Betsy.
Do as I say. They won't hurt you.
Leave them alone. Let them go.
Where have you been, Miss Connell?
- I wanted to help you.
- Help me? How?
I took Mrs. Holland to the houmfort.
I thought they might cure her.
There's no telling what
you may have started with this insanity.
Because you wanted to give my wife
back to me?
Why should that mean so much to you?
You know why.
You saw it the other night at the piano.
What I saw the other night
I could hardly believe, Betsy.
I thought I was looking at a woman
who had compassion for me...
who loved me.
And yet you made that trip
to the houmfort...
to bring Jessica back to me.
You, the nurse who's afraid of the dark.
You think I love Jessica
and want her back.
It's like you to think that,
clean, decent thinking.
I wish it were true...
perhaps for your sake.
Mind me now, horse.
Come away from there.
Are you ever stubborn.
Just like that old Sabreur man
at the houmfort...
sticking your nose in places
where it isn't wanted...
making trouble for everybody.
You try it this way.
Turn your back on him.
You see, that's the way it is with a horse.
You can't look at him
and lead him at the same time.
Sounds sort of manlike, doesn't it?
- Whose horse?
- The police horse.
Police? I didn't know
there was a policeman on the island.
Just this horse, Miss Betsy.
When they asked the Commissioner
if any policemen were wanted...
he said my horse is all the police
we need on Saint Sebastian.
Yes, Miss Betsy.
I expect there's some trouble...
not just little trouble,
like Mr. Rand gets into...
when he's been drinking more than a little,
but real big trouble.
You don't suppose it's because I took
Mrs. Holland to the houmfort, do you?
They haven't been talking loud enough
for me to hear, Miss Betsy.
But I've been holding this horse
for coming on close to an hour.
And they've been just talking and talking.
I feel it's something very bad.
You do have a horse to hold, Alma...
and Mrs. Rand has asked me
to have a cup of tea with her.
Horse, you stand still.
You're staying here with Jessica tonight,
- Mrs. Rand thought it might be best.
- She's right.
I've caused you so much trouble, Paul.
No, it was bound to come.
As a matter of fact, that's why I'm here.
I want to talk to you.
Perhaps when you're finished in here,
you'd come into the garden.
Is it about this afternoon?
I saw the Commissioner here.
Jeffries? Yes, he was here.
He and Maxwell.
They're in a great stew about it.
Seems those people up at the houmfort...
won't stop drumming and dancing
till they've gotten Jessica back...
and finished their ritual tests,
something of that sort.
For her own safety, Jeffries and Maxwell
want Jessica sent away to Saint Thomas...
to the asylum.
- It might be best.
- Maybe.
But Wesley insists she stay here.
But he hasn't the right.
He hasn't any legal right,
if that's what you mean.
But he says that I am responsible
for Jessica's illness...
that I deliberately drove her insane.
You couldn't have done that, Paul.
I don't know.
I've gone over it and over it,
and I don't know.
I want you out of it.
I want you to go back to Canada, Betsy.
Because of Jessica. Because of myself.
Because I don't want you
to be made miserable and unhappy.
But I want to stay.
I'm afraid it's not what you want.
I want you back in Canada.
Naturally, as my employer,
you have the right to dismiss me.
Don't, Betsy.
You know that isn't what I mean.
You remember the first night I saw you?
You were looking at the sea.
You were enchanted.
But I felt I had to destroy
that enchantment...
make you see ugliness and cruelty.
- You were trying to warn me.
- No.
I was trying to hurt you.
It was the same way with Jessica.
I had to hurt her.
Everything she did or said
made me lash out at her.
That's why I want you to go.
You see, Betsy...
since you've been here...
I've seen how fine and sweet things
can be between a man and a woman...
how love can be calm and good.
I'd rather not have that sort of love,
than have it and destroy it.
You want me to leave you?
That's why I want you to go.
It's no good for you to stay
so long as I have this fear of myself.
What are you doing here?
Get out of here.
Carrefour, go back.
Paul, let him go.
Don't touch him. Don't try to stop him.
I can send this off by the next boat.
If you have any letters,
you'd better get them ready...
to go with this parcel.
Any news I have can wait till I get home.
It will be pretty stale by that time.
Perhaps not, Mother.
Betsy is leaving us.
Why, Betsy, we can't lose you.
We've grown to depend on you.
I have and I know Paul has.
Mother, Betsy has her reasons.
I hope you won't feel I'm deserting you
or think badly of me.
Think badly of you, Betsy?
Dr. Maxwell has
some unpleasant news for us.
- An accident at the mill?
- No, it's about Jessica.
A result of our discussion
the other day, I'm afraid.
What about her?
In view of all the circumstances,
some of the things Wesley's been saying...
and the fact that one of the voodoo people
got into your house last night...
the Commissioner has decided
on a legal investigation.
In other words, I'm on trial.
I wouldn't put it that way, Paul...
but there's been a lot of talk.
The whole thing's getting out of hand.
A pretty scene, half the island
crowding into the courtroom...
to watch our dirty linen
get a public scrubbing.
Wait a bit, Wes.
Let's talk this over with the...
Talk it over! Talk now, Paul,
and tell them that you're not responsible...
that every bit of this doesn't rest squarely
on your shoulders.
If you'll be good enough
to take me to the Commissioner, Doctor.
I think there'll be no need
of an investigation.
But why, Mrs. Rand?
What could you have to tell him?
Jessica is not insane.
Please take me to the Commissioner.
I can explain the whole thing to him.
Mother, what are you trying to say?
She is dead.
Now, Mrs. Rand.
She is dead...
living and dead.
Mrs. Rand, you're not seriously trying
to tell me that my patient is a zombie?
I'm not mad.
It's true.
- I did it.
- Mother.
Wesley, let me explain.
I wanted to so often. Now I have to.
Betsy, tell them about the houmfort,
tell them what you saw there.
You must, Betsy,
they'll have to believe you.
Mrs. Rand was at the houmfort...
but there's nothing wrong with that.
She's gone there for years...
trying to take care of those people,
to help them.
I think I understand.
I've often talked a little voodoo
to get medicine down a patient's throat.
But it was more than that, Doctor.
I entered into their ceremonies.
I pretended I was possessed by their gods.
But what I did to Jessica...
It was when she wanted to go away
with Wesley.
That night, I went to the houmfort.
I kept seeing her face smiling
because she was beautiful enough...
to take my family in her hands
and tear it apart.
The drums, the chanting, the lights.
I heard a voice speaking
in the sudden silence...
my voice.
I was speaking to the houngan.
I was possessed.
I told him the woman
at Fort Holland was evil...
and asked him to make her a zombie.
Then what happened?
I hated myself.
On the way home,
I said over and over again...
there were no such people...
no strange drugs...
- there was no such thing as a zombie.
- You were right.
I said it, and I made myself believe it.
But when I got here,
Jessica was raging with fever.
She was raging with fever.
A fever with a long Latin name
and a bad reputation for its aftereffects...
usually some form of insanity.
Dr. Maxwell is right, Mother.
You were tricked
by your own imagination, Mrs. Rand.
But I am not an imaginative
or fanciful woman, Doctor.
As I understand it...
in order to turn a person into a zombie...
whether by poison or hocus-pocus...
you must first kill that person.
Is that right?
She was feverish. She was delirious.
But I don't remember her dying...
or even being in a state resembling death.
No coma, nothing.
I'm afraid you are an imaginative woman,
Mrs. Rand.
Of course.
Of course.
She won't obey me.
It's the houmfort...
they're trying to get her back.
But how can they?
How could they make her understand?
How would she know?
They know how.
They have charms that can draw a man
halfway around the world.
Obeah tricks, magic...
everybody knows that.
We may have believed all that
when we were boys, Wes.
But we're grown men now.
We know it's all nonsense.
- Do we?
- Yes.
- You've forgotten...
- I have not forgotten.
I could see what was in your mind
when Maxwell was talking.
Just because he didn't know
about Jessica's coma...
you thought everything
he said was wrong...
and that mother's story was right.
- That's ridiculous.
- It is true.
Why did she come out here?
How can they make her move,
do anything they want?
They can make anybody
do what they want.
You're thinking
just as they want you to think.
That's what it's for...
the conches, their cheap mummery.
Let me in.
Come with me, Jessica.
You saw that.
I saw nothing
that would convince a sober man.
You better get some sleep, Wes.
Why don't you go to bed, Wes?
It's been a hard day for all of us.
I'm sorry, Wes.
I think I know how you must feel...
and I am sorry.
I only wish
there was something I could do.
She ought to be free.
You could free her, Betsy.
You could do it.
You're a nurse. You have the drugs.
It would be so quick.
Her heart beats. She breathes.
That's life, Wes.
I once took an oath to guard life.
I shouldn't have asked it of you.
But it was only because
I can't make you believe...
that she's already dead.
Wait a minute.
There's one other thing.
You love Paul.
Then what good will it ever do you
if Jessica is still...
I'm afraid I love him too much for that.
I'm sorry.
Oh, Lord God, most holy...
deliver them
from the bitter pains of eternal death.
The woman was a wicked woman...
and she was dead in her own life.
Yea, Lord...
dead in the selfishness of her spirit...
and the man followed her.
Her steps led him down to evil.
Her feet took hold on death.
Forgive him, oh, Lord...
who knowest the secret of all hearts.
Yea, Lord...
pity them who are dead...
and give peace and happiness
to the living.