The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933) Movie Script

Well, if it isn't Amelia, our little
tower of strength from Tientsin.
And Dr. Hansen. Shades
of Canton and Pearl River.
Rain and refugees and shooting
all the way. My, what a country.
Hello, Mrs. Blake.
Hello, Mrs. Jackson.
Come in, Mr. Pettis.
Haven't seen you since the gunboats
rescued us from General Yen.
By the skin of our teeth, wasn't it?
Close one, that, close one, that.
Step into the living room.
Everybody in China is here.
Literally everybody.
And no wonder. No missionary in
China would miss Dr. Strike's wedding.
No, indeed. Step right in.
Where is the bride
and groom?
They're not here yet.
Oh, she's on her way
from the ship
with my husband.
Oh. And Bob?
Oh, Dr. Strike telephoned.
He'll be busy working among the
refugees until the very last moment.
He didn't even have time to
meet the boat. Imagine that.
That's Robert Strike all over.
And you say he hasn't
seen her in three years?
No. They're supposed to be
childhood sweethearts.
I can hardly wait
till I see them kiss.
Who is the bride, Mrs. Jackson?
Megan Davis.
Finest old Puritan family
in New England, my dear.
Her father's a big publisher.
Very old family.
I hope Dr. Strike
isn't making a mistake.
No. I hear she is young,
attractive, full of energy.
She'll need it.
Dedicating her life to the
service of mankind in China.
Just what I did 50 years ago
with my own bride, Mary.
Yes, it's glorious.
And yet, I pity her.
Pity her?
I've spent 50 years
in China,
and there are times when I think
we're just a lot of persistent ants
trying to move
a great mountain.
Bishop, how can you say that?
After all that you've done?
Yes, I do pity her.
When I think of what
she has to face, I...
Only last month I learned
a terrible lesson.
I was telling the story
of the Crucifixion
to some Mongolian tribesmen.
Finally, l... I thought
I had touched their hearts.
They crept closer
to my little platform,
their eyes burning with the
wonder of their attention.
Mongolian bandits, mind you,
listening spellbound.
But, alas, I had misinterpreted
their interest in the story.
The next caravan of merchants
that crossed the Gobi Desert
was captured by them
and crucified.
That, my friends, is China.
Miss Davis, please.
Come on. Miss Davis!
You've run down
my rickshaw boy.
That Chinaman in the car doesn't
seem to care much. It was his fault.
Aren't you going to send
for an ambulance?
Is he badly hurt?
Aren't you going to do anything
for that boy? He may be dying.
If so, he is very fortunate.
Life, even at its best,
is hardly endurable.
How can you be so unfeeling?
What kind of a man are you anyway?
Oh, I'm so sorry.
Do you want a handkerchief?
Madam, it's raining, and I'm
afraid you are getting wet.
Miss Davis, I've gotten
another rickshaw boy.
Come on, come on!
You shouldn't have
done that, Miss Davis.
Oh, I couldn't help it.
Everybody was so callous.
I know, but human life
is the cheapest thing in China.
Oh, I do hope the bishop's
going to like them.
It is a wonderful event... Yes?
Oh, here comes the bride.
The bride.
Play "Here Comes the Bride."
Here comes the bride.
Megan Davis!
My land, child.
It's been 11 years since I saw
you last. Let me look at you.
Folks, this is
Miss Megan Davis.
Take a good look at her,
because in half an hour,
the poor thing will be
Mrs. Robert Strike.
No, no, no, no, you can't
get acquainted with her now.
She's gotta get ready for the
slaughter. Come on, Megan.
But I can't understand it.
The owner of the car
looked so civilised.
I wonder who he was.
Some rich merchant
taking refuge in a settlement.
But don't be fooled
about his looking civilised.
They're all tricky,
treacherous, and immoral.
I can't tell one from the other.
They're all Chinamen to me.
Who is it?
He's here.
Who's here?
The groom.
Here, wait a minute, wait a minute.
Here's your hat.
Oh, yes.
Let me look at you, Bob.
Will you forgive me? I simply
couldn't meet you at the boat.
Oh, I'd forgive you anything.
Well, that's good, because...
Listen, Megan.
What's the matter, Bob?
Well, listen, dear.
St. Andrews Orphanage
is in terrible danger.
I've got to get a safe-conduct pass to get
into the war zone and bring out the children.
What? Is there going to be a wedding?
I'm sorry, Mrs. Jackson.
The wedding will have to be
delayed. But don't worry...
Is the pass from the
American consulate?
No. None of the foreign authorities
can do anything.
I've got to get a pass
from a Chinese general.
That's what we call
our gangsters here: Generals.
Which one, Bob?
General Yen.
General Yen.
You don't mean the man that expelled
missionaries from his province?
Yes. He's in Shanghai now
under an assumed name.
I think I know where to find him.
I don't see how you can possibly
ask that bandit for any favours
after the way he treated you.
Well, I hate to, but he's the only man who
can get me through the Nationalist lands.
I've got to go now before I lose
track of him. Where's Megan?
I'm ready, Bob.
Megan, you can't go with me.
Of course I can.
Not now. I'm not going
to allow you to risk your life...
If there are bandit generals to be tamed
or children to be rescued, I'm in on it.
Why do you think I came to China?
I wouldn't let her go, Bob.
If you ask me, I'm proud of her.
Come on, Megan.
God willing, we'll be back in two hours.
With a carload
of orphans.
Oh, it's great to be young.
Oh, dear, my wedding is all spoiled.
If it isn't the war, it's the orphans.
The food's spoiled, and the
flowers will be all spoiled.
Well, it's not your wedding.
Oh, you keep still.
Did you take your magnesia?
Is this the bandit's cave?
Now, you sit right
here in the car.
If anyone speaks to you,
just glare at them.
Bring the general with you.
Maybe he'd like to go with us.
Never mind that. With your provinces
in the deal and you commanding,
they'll get what they lack now.
What is it?
Money, money, money.
Keep your shirt on.
Keep your shirt on.
He handles the army
in the provinces,
but when it comes to money,
he listens to me.
Dr. Strike. I wonder
what that bird wants.
Whoa, wait a minute.
You better see him.
He knows you're in Shanghai
and he may make it hot for you.
Stall him off.
Get rid of him.
You're right.
Hello, Dr. Strike,
my old friend.
I'm sorry to intrude like this, general,
but it's a matter of the utmost importance.
Naturally, everything
you do is important.
I want a safe-conduct
pass to Chapei.
What on earth do you want to
go there for? That's an inferno.
That's why I must go. Our
orphanage is between the lines.
The children are in
danger. We've got...
Oh, orphans.
What are they anyway? People
without ancestors. Nobody.
Please sit down, doctor.
I will get you a glass of wine.
General, you don't understand...
Later on, we'll be entertained by
some singsong girls. Say, doctor?
Have you never been
curious about singsong girls?
General, will you please
give me that pass?
Look here, doctor.
I'm not supposed
to be in Shanghai.
If my name is seen on a pass,
it will do me great harm
with the foreign authorities.
If you don't give me that pass, general,
I'll tell the foreign authorities you're here.
Here's to your
very good health, doctor.
General, I think the boys
are about ready
to talk turkey
on those provinces now.
Why bother me with affairs of state
when I have orphans to consider?
Oh, hello, doc. How's
the missionary racket?
Say, I heard you were thinking
of getting married tonight.
Yes. I postponed it
to come here.
You mean to say that you left the
prospect of a beautiful woman's loving arms
for some nameless brats?
I certainly hope she never
finds that out.
Please, please,
write that pass, general.
Able to read Chinese yet, doctor?
Not yet, general.
They escaped the fire anyway.
But the place looks deserted.
Maybe they've gone.
Miss Reed wouldn't go.
What do they want?
Well, they're laughing,
so it must be all right.
Stand back from the door, dear.
They're liable to shoot.
Where are the children?
In the next room.
There are only six left. The
rest were taken away by friends.
Good. We can take
them all in one trip.
All right, Dr. Strike.
Bob, I don't trust that pass.
Do you think we ought to risk
taking the children out now?
They've taken our car.
Well, never mind. We'll have
to take a chance on foot.
No, doctor. I'm responsible
for these children.
They were placed in my care.
I can't risk their lives on foot.
But the fire's only a block away. We
can get rickshaws at the North Station.
Oh, please. We ought
to do what Bob says.
Megan. Megan.
Megan, I think you better take
this pass in case we get separated.
Come on, now.
Keep close together.
Straight ahead, Megan.
Megan, get back here.
Get back here.
Come on,
let's get out of here.
Come on, baby.
Go straight ahead.
Megan, there's the
North Station over there.
I cannot give you help, doctor.
Feeling better now?
Do you feel better?
I believe I do.
Then drink some tea.
I don't think I can.
Please try.
You mustn't be frightened.
No one will hurt you here.
Please. Try drink some tea.
The general thinks
it will do you good.
The general?
I'm terribly sorry for you.
But you are all right now. I'm charging
myself personally to take care of you.
Haven't I seen you
someplace before?
You were kind enough
to offer me a handkerchief.
Oh, yes.
How did I get here?
My car arrived just as you were
being roughly handled by the crowd.
And you rescued me?
If you wish to put it that way.
Are we on a train?
My troop train.
I believe I'm well enough
to get off at the next station.
I'm sorry. Only military
trains are running.
There is a civil war,
you know.
Will I be able to let
my friends know I'm safe?
Everything will be arranged.
Please try to sleep now.
I will have you called
when we arrive.
Thank you.
You're welcome.
Yeah, uniforms, I know.
All you guys think of is uniforms.
Hello, Jones.
Hi, Yen.
You raise that money?
Did I raise that money?
See, I got a whole boxcar full of it.
I had to hock half your province
to get it, but I got it.
Have you heard from General Feng?
Not yet.
He's still got another day
to make up his mind.
You may have to convince him
with lead instead of silver.
Oh, keep your shirt on. I had to sell
half your ammunition to get that dough.
I'll tell you when to go. I haven't
steered you wrong yet, have I?
How long will it take me
to put my boat in commission?
Boat? You ain't going anywhere
until you get rid of this Feng deal.
What's the matter? Aren't you
interested in this war anymore?
Say, where are those invoices? Say,
snap out of it, some of you guys.
Haven't got something new
on the string, have you?
I want to send a missionary
back to Shanghai.
Well, send him
back in a freight car.
My propaganda budget's
about exhausted.
I'm going to send this
lady back in my yacht.
Aha. I had a hunch
it was a female.
Who is she?
Bride of a lamb.
"Bride of a lamb"?
Young lady who was
going to marry Dr. Strike.
I found our famous
safe-conduct pass in her pocket.
Say, this isn't anything to laugh at.
We gotta get rid of her pretty quick.
We've had enough trouble
with that guy Strike.
I think you have
underestimated the good doctor.
He seems to have excellent
taste in some things.
Yeah, never mind that. I'm not gonna
wait to put any boat in commission.
She goes back to Shanghai tonight if I
have to send her back in a freight car!
Jones, Jones, Jones. I'm afraid
gallantry is not one of your vices.
Open the door.
Open the door.
MAH-LI Good morning. Are you better?
Where are we?
What is this terrible place?
This is General Yen's
summer palace.
General Yen? The bandit?
Good morning.
I hope you slept well.
Oh, I'm sorry.
It was terribly stupid of me
to disturb your morning like this.
But there is a famine
in my province,
and I have no rice
to feed my prisoners.
I assure you it won't
happen in the future.
They are taking the rest of them
down the road, out of earshot.
A cigarette? I have both
Turkish and Virginia tobacco.
I've never heard anything
so cold-blooded in all my life.
But isn't it better
to shoot them quickly
than let them starve
to death slowly?
Don't go, please.
Please sit down
and have your breakfast.
Why did you drug me on the
train? I don't remember a thing.
You were in great pain,
and sleep makes
a long journey very short.
You didn't have to bring me here.
Why don't you send me
back to Shanghai?
I intend to, but it isn't safe
to send you back by rail.
Please sit down.
I don't believe you.
You're lying.
I'm sorry, but you are
making a mistake.
Dr. Strike told me all about you.
You yellow swine,
if you think that...
I advise you to send me back to
Shanghai just as soon as you can.
You will always find me
your most humble servant.
Did you see this?
What are you laughing at?
Ten to one she goes back
to Shanghai in a freight car.
You lose.
She's not going back at all.
Are you nuts?
Do you want that guy Strike
to turn your province upside down?
Haven't you seen
the Shanghai newspapers?
They think she's dead.
I think I'll shave.
Say, wait a minute, wait a minute.
Wait a minute. Listen.
I've never interfered
in your private affairs before.
But don't forget,
this is a white woman.
That's all right. I have no
prejudice against her colour.
Well, it's no skin off my nose.
Come in.
Good evening, Miss Davis.
General Yen...
Sends his compliments and humbly
requests the honourable presence
of Miss Megan Davis
for dinner for the third time.
And for the third and last time,
Miss Megan Davis says no.
Were you able to send
that note to Dr. Strike?
Do you think you could send another?
I want to make sure he gets it.
This is all I have left.
Can you do it with that?
Mah-Li, I'll never forget this.
Speak English.
What did she say?
She said, " No, for
the third and last time."
I often envy the common soldier.
His wants are so few.
Even a common soldier
would've knocked.
I did.
I almost broke the door down,
but you didn't hear me.
You were evidently absorbed in the
sublime effects of the spring moon
upon my people.
What do you want?
In my province, this is
called a cherry-blossom moon.
It's a time when young and old,
rich and poor, sick and sound
pay their homage
to the god of love.
You think you can wear
me down, don't you?
But you can't. Do you
hear me? You can't.
Oh, please let me go.
I can't stand this any longer.
Please send me
back to my friends.
But I have told you:
The country's in state of war.
If anything should
happen to you,
I have to answer to Dr. Strike.
How long will it be?
I don't know.
Maybe a week,
maybe a month.
Maybe even longer.
But I will do everything I can
to make your visit pleasant.
If you would only relax and
let me improve our acquaintance.
It's pretty hard to become
acquainted with a man
who ruthlessly slaughters
helpless prisoners in one move,
and in the next shows such a tender
reverence for the beauty of the moon.
You have the true
missionary spirit.
Really, Miss Davis,
there are times when
I would like to laugh at you.
But there are also times
when I find you admirable.
There are also
moments when I...
Perhaps I shouldn't
speak of them.
I might astound you.
Perhaps you believe us
incapable of such moments.
Yes, I'm sure you do.
Have you ever read
our poetry, Miss Davis?
Do you understand
our music?
Have you ever seen our paintings
of women walking among fruit trees?
Where the fruit trees
look like women,
and the women
look like fruit trees.
There has never been
a people more purely artist,
and therefore,
more purely lover,
than the Chinese.
I think we ought to end
this discussion.
Certainly, if you
find it objectionable.
But I wish you didn't.
If you should
change your mind,
if you would follow our custom
of accepting third invitations,
we are having dinner at 8.
I will give you
more suitable gifts later.
That was Captain Li.
Oh, that's all right, Mah-Li.
You don't have to bribe me.
Then you won't tell the general?
It's nothing to me.
If you want to do something for me,
help me get out of here.
Isn't there some way
you could persuade him
to send me back to my friends?
He would only think
I was jealous.
But it would be easy for you
to do it yourself after dinner.
Please come. You could help me
so much with Mr. Jones.
An American?
Yes. The general's
financial advisor.
What kind of a man is he?
Oh, he's very smart.
I'm afraid of him.
Could I meet him?
Yes, if you come
down to dinner.
This dress of mine
looks terrible.
Oh, I can arrange that.
Do you like this one?
I like that one.
I have noticed you were
in need of powder and paint.
Yes, perhaps I am.
I will see you at dinner.
Thank you.
Oh, Miss Davis, I'm so glad
you changed your mind.
This is Mr. Jones,
my financial advisor.
Hello. How's the
missionary racket?
And this is Captain Li, my aide.
You're a newcomer
in China, I take it?
Yes, I landed
four days ago.
You're learning an awful lot
about China in four days.
I certainly have.
No champagne?
That's Pol Roger, 1906.
I wonder if I could
have a glass of water.
Water? You'll catch
your death of typhoid.
Your health, Miss Davis.
And the same to you, Mrs. Yen.
Oh, that chair is for my wife...
who does not exist.
As yet.
You see, Mah-Li
isn't his wife.
She isn't even allowed to
sit on the same level with us.
She may seem
kind of lonely tonight,
but I've seen her
with plenty of company.
Excuse me.
I was greatly relieved tonight
when I heard there was another
American in this strange place.
Well, thank you
for the compliment.
But I guess I'm what's known in
the dime novels as a renegade,
and a darn good one at that.
I don't think I'd be
much of a relief to anybody.
What's that?
Oh, I was just trying to find out
the duties of a financial advisor.
He's the secretary
of my treasury.
Yeah, I'm the big squeeze.
And if I do say it myself, I can
milk more money out of this province
than any man alive.
Do you advise the general
on other matters too?
Sure I do. But he never takes it,
except when it comes to money.
Then he's all ears.
Aren't you, general?
Well, as they say in your
country, "Money talks."
Money talks in any country.
Wait till you hear how that boxcar full
of money I've got out there is gonna talk.
Six million dollars Mex can make
a lot of noise in any language.
I thought you asked me
not to mention that, Jones.
We're all friends here.
Besides, Mah-Li knows anyway.
I didn't tell her.
You're not the only man around
this ranch who tells her things.
We play dealer's
choice, Miss Davis.
Stud, jackpot, spit-in-the-ocean,
roodles. Anything you like.
I'm sorry,
I haven't any money.
I'll be glad to carry you.
It's only a friendly little game.
No, thanks.
I think I'll watch.
How about you, general?
Two bucks.
And $10 more.
Not me. I thought you said you passed.
I'll raise you $10.
And $10 more.
He loves to steal a pot.
Don't pay any attention
to Jones. He has a bad liver.
Oh, don't try to kid me, general.
Don't I know you
better than you do yourself?
Him and me,
thick as thieves.
Don't you tell me
everything you know?
Do I?
And if you don't,
don't I know how
to find it out anyway?
I don't know. Do you?
Sure I do. All I have to do is give
$50 to the general's bodyguard.
You give too much.
Sometimes I give
more than that.
Yes, sir. Five hundred
dollars Mex to Captain Li
and you can get the low-down
on whatever happens around here.
How many cards, please?
And how does Captain Li know?
You better ask
Captain Li about that.
How pretty.
Do you know good jade
when you see it?
Valuable as diamonds,
jade like that.
You like them?
Look at them closely.
Yes, they're lovely.
I want you to keep them.
They're yours.
They're yours. Put
them on and wear them.
Oh, I couldn't think of it,
really. I don't want them.
But you must take them.
I assure you,
they are mine to give.
Please take them.
It was cruel of you both to humiliate
her that way. It was disgusting.
Nice girl, Mah-Li.
Raised in a mission school,
she tells me.
She's charming, and I'm
quite sure she's good.
Hah! That's an idea.
Now you're talking.
What about this one?
Come on, gigolo.
Don't forget your
rings, Miss Davis.
How could you employ
a man like that?
Jones has everything
I want of the Western mind.
I don't follow you.
It's very simple.
As long as I can make
my interests his interests,
he is not going to betray me.
But your Dr. Strike,
he is unreliable as a friend.
And also as a lover.
He will betray you
every time for his god.
The subtlety of you Orientals
is very much overestimated.
I can't get the connection.
East or West, men seldom deviate very
far from their main passion in life.
You might as well know once and for all
that Bob Strike has everything I want,
or ever will want, in a man.
Put it on the table.
Come in.
Here are your
rings, Mah-Li.
But the general
gave them to you.
Well, I'm giving them back
to you, general or no general.
Miss Davis?
Will you send them to my parents
when you get back to Shanghai?
They live in Xuzhou,
and they're very poor.
I will write the address.
Why don't you
take them yourself?
That's impossible.
Impossible? What's the
general going to do with you?
You've got a chill, Mah-Li.
You go right straight to bed.
I'll order some hot tea.
No. Don't bother.
See? I have my hot-water bottle.
That'll keep me
warm long enough.
They aren't going
to take me far.
Goodbye, Miss Davis.
Look here, Mah-Li.
I've wanted to tell
you from the first
that if I could ever help
you in any way, I would.
That's what I came to China for,
to help people.
You are very kind, but I'm waiting
for the guards to take me away.
What guards?
Where are they taking you?
Not far.
Oh, no, they won't.
You stay right here, Mah-Li.
I'll go and see the general.
What's the idea, Miss Davis?
Isn't it long past your bedtime?
Is that any of your business,
Mr. Jones?
Now, you don't fool me
even a little bit, young lady.
Mah-Li's been spilling grief, and you're
all steamed up with Christian charity.
Then it's true?
Sure it's true, but you keep out of it.
Besides, the general's
gone to bed.
If you think I'm going
to let that child be...
Now, Miss Davis,
maybe you think I acted pretty rotten
tonight, but I know what I'm talking about.
Mah-Li's not your kind.
She's just a conniving, little dame who
deserves every bit that's coming to her.
Including murder, I suppose.
Now, you let the general
be the judge of that.
He runs his own show out here,
with about 50 centuries
of authority back of him.
You missionaries come out here and expect
to convert 500 million people overnight.
Why, changing a leopard's
spots is duck soup
compared to changing China.
You know, you're lucky
to be alive out here yourself.
Now, you go back to your
room, go to bed and behave.
Not until I've seen the general.
I'd like to see the general.
Please, Miss Davis.
Have a little common sense.
You have no right to go
to his room in that getup.
Besides, I know
the general is a nice fellow.
He's well-educated,
has lovely manners.
But don't forget
he's a Chinaman.
If you're through, Mr. Jones,
I'll do as I please.
All right, young lady.
It's no skin off my nose.
Well, Miss Davis.
What have I done to deserve the
honour of your visit at this hour?
You've ordered
the murder of Mah-Li.
Well, couldn't we speak
of something more pleasant?
Here I have some
excellent brandy.
It's supposed to be
over 1,000 years old.
Would you like to try it?
You're murdering her just to
satisfy a cruel, jealous revenge.
May I?
Mah-Li has been betraying
military secrets to my enemies.
Can't you silence her
in some other way?
In the old days,
in the days of the Manchus...
I could have had
her tongue cut out.
But now, since you missionaries
have taught her to read and write,
she's a constant menace
as long as she's alive.
I feel sorry for you, General Yen.
A powerful man like you
afraid of a poor little slave.
The only way to get
loyalty is to compel it.
Take Captain Li,
for example.
He's the only son of a very powerful
family which claims to support my rule.
All right, I believe them.
But as evidence
of their good faith,
I made them place him
in my hands as a hostage.
Now, if they would betray me,
the life of Captain Li enables
me to save my own face.
That's the way
we get loyalty in China.
That's why China is 2,000 years
behind the times. Don't you see...?
Why are you so
interested in Mah-Li?
I'm just as much
interested in you.
Oh. I am deeply flattered.
But not deeply moved.
Can't you forgive her?
She's only a child.
You can always do so much more
with mercy than you can with murder.
Why don't you give her
another chance?
Oh, I know you feel that she has deceived
you and sold information to your enemies,
perhaps even been unfaithful
to you. All that's dreadful.
And if it's true, you have a certain
justification in wanting to crush her.
But I want you to think of all
those things and then forgive her.
I don't know how you feel
about Mah-Li.
I mean, whether you love
her as... Well, as a lover.
But that's of no importance.
I want you to see the beauty
of giving love where it isn't merited.
Any man can give love where he's sure
it's returned. That isn't love at all.
But to give love
with no thought of merit,
no thought of return,
no thought of gratitude even.
That's ordinarily
the privilege of God.
And now it's your privilege.
Oh, general, with all you have within
you, your superior brain, your culture,
how can you be so blind
to spiritual greatness?
Do this thing I ask you.
Do it for me.
Do it even blindly if you must,
and I promise you, I'm so sure of it,
I promise you that for
the first time in your life
you'll know what
real happiness is.
You'll know that I...
I have one of my own.
That's what you said
to me that day.
You must be sincere,
Miss Davis.
I don't believe a word you say.
But when you ask me like that,
I forget I am General Yen.
Then you won't have her killed?
But I ask myself,
what do you get out of it?
You've hardly known her
more than a few days,
and still you act as if she were
of your own flesh and blood.
She is. We're all of
one flesh and blood.
Do you mean that?
Of course I do.
Nothing but words.
You came in here to preach.
Not my words. The one who first
spoke them gave up his life for them.
What are you willing
to give up for them?
What do you mean?
Surely your pleasure
wouldn't be complete
without some
sacrifice on your part.
You are so interested
to save the life of Mah-Li.
Are you willing to be a hostage
for her future loyalty?
Like Captain Li?
I expect nothing from you.
Nothing but words and phrases
you learned in Sunday school.
You don't believe in them
any more than I do.
You were wrong when you said
I resent missionaries.
I despise them.
There should be another
Great Wall to keep your kind out.
You've already got
a Great Wall around you.
And it isn't built
of mud and stones.
It's made of ridiculous pride
and inhuman cruelty.
You won't allow one single
human feeling to reach you.
You want me to be
hostage for Mah-Li?
All right. I'm not afraid of you.
I'll answer for her loyalty.
Say, what the sam hill
is going on here?
Come here, Mah-Li.
I'm going to spare your life.
Are you off your nut?
Get up.
Thank her. I'm going to
place you in her hands.
She agrees to answer
for your future loyalty.
But you know and I know,
the moment my back is turned,
you're going to throw
a knife into it.
Miss Davis, I swear
I'll never betray your trust.
I swear by my father's head
and by the bones of my ancestors.
And by the holy book
in the mission school.
I believe you, Mah-Li.
What are you up to now?
I am going to convert a missionary.
Here's your slipper, Mah-Li.
You're so kind.
Now, I want you to promise
not to see Captain Li again
as long as we remain here.
Anything you say, Miss Davis.
Will you take me
to the temple today?
What, again?
I want to have prayer
of forgiveness read.
See? I've written it
while waiting for you.
I'm so proud of you, Mah-Li.
I knew you were a good girl.
Certainly I'll take you
to the temple. Come on.
I couldn't sleep.
I had to get up.
We gotta get this
money train out of here.
I got a hunch, and I always
follow my hunches.
Between war and women, the
general's got me about nuts.
Come on, open up there.
Hello, Mr. Jones.
I want you to take train away from here.
Bayside Station. Money no safe here.
Money no safe here, now.
Yes, sir.
Hide train, other place.
What's that?
No train due here now.
I say, ever since this American girl
came here, you've been off your nut.
You wouldn't get rid of Mah-Li when I
told you to. Well, now try and find her.
Here, take a look at this
if you want to see something.
There it is, the whole works.
Position of the money car, right
down to what you had for breakfast.
Where did you get this?
Where do I get everything
else around this dump?
I paid a lot of money for it.
You wanted to see me, general?
Yes. Come in, please.
Must've been important to
have me dragged down like this.
I'll say it's important.
Where's Mah-Li?
Isn't she in her room?
No, she isn't in her room
and she isn't anywhere else.
You'll never see her again
around this ranch. Thanks
to you, she skipped out.
I don't believe it.
You'll believe it
when we all pay
for it with our necks.
Did you ever see
this before, Miss Davis?
Why, yes. That looks like the
prayer Mah-Li had read at the temple.
Prayer? Prayer, my eye.
That thing read in the temple?
Why, there's enough dynamite in that to
blow Yen's province into the Yellow Sea.
There you are.
Tie that.
I told you, you were crazy to listen
to these screwy missionaries.
That will be enough.
Everything is going to be all right.
All right? Do you realise
that your money's all gone?
Money that I ground out of this
province by the sweat of my brow?
Now, the general and I and Captain Li
were the only ones with that information.
Now, how did Mah-Li get it?
I'm to blame, general.
That paper must've been in the shoe
that I carried from Captain Li to Mah-Li.
Oh, perfect.
There you are.
How long do you suppose your
troops will remain loyal now?
With all that dough, Feng will buy
them out right under your very nose.
You can say goodbye to
this little empire of yours
in about two days' time.
That will be all, Miss Davis.
You will remain in your room
until you hear from me.
That's a pretty fancy price to
pay for what you're counting on.
Oh, calm yourself.
Conquest of a province
or the conquest of a woman.
What's the difference?
Oh, yeah?
There's one thing
we should be grateful for.
What's that?
We finally got
some skin off your nose.
Come in.
Well, Miss Davis.
You certainly gummed up
the prettiest setup I ever saw.
I had visions of making General
Yen the biggest thing in China.
But you sure queered that beautifully.
I hate your insides,
Miss Davis.
But you're an American. We
got to stick together now.
Where's the general?
The general's all washed up.
His army's deserting him
as if he had the leprosy.
Darned if I'm not even
out of cigars too.
Yes, sir. He could've been
the biggest thing in China.
One thing you've got to say for him.
He sure can take it on the chin.
Darned if I don't believe he isn't
glad this thing happened to him.
Oh, come on, now.
Don't you get to worrying.
I'll get you out
of this somehow.
I've been in tougher spots
than this before now.
You go on,
get your things together.
Wait here till I come back for you.
Here, here, what's this?
You tell the general she's
busy now and can't see him.
Here, wait a minute. You don't have
to see him. Here, wait a minute.
Now, I'm warning you.
Your sportsmanship
is magnificent.
Won't you sit down. Please.
You're just in time to help me
select my portrait.
Did you ever see a book like this?
It's a painter's catalogue.
The idea is to select the features
that most resembles one.
For example, ear number three...
and nose number six...
and the chin number 27
equal General Yen.
How do you like this nose?
Do you think it
resembles mine?
Perhaps you wonder why
I don't sit for the picture myself.
You see, a Chinese
is never painted...
until he has joined his ancestors.
May I offer you
some champagne?
May I?
In the days of our greatest
civilisation, we drank to excess.
In fact, one of my ancestors,
a very famous poet,
was drowned in an attempt to
catch the moon in the Yellow River.
This portrait is of his wife, who was
made very unhappy by his death.
She left a very famous
collection of swords.
I have them in my bedroom.
May I show them to you?
Oh, please.
Why do you torture me?
I am afraid you misunderstood
my purpose in sending for you.
I'm not altogether a fool.
You didn't think I meant
the conventional thing, did you?
Didn't you?
Do you think General Yen could accept
anything that the heart did not freely give?
Oh, no.
That opportunity has been open
to me ever since you came here.
It was your life you put up
as a forfeit for Mah-Li's loyalty.
My life?
What else did
you think it meant?
Oh, I see.
You are afraid of death
as you are afraid of life.
You want me to send you back
to your Dr. Strike?
He speaks the same
meaningless words as you do.
He has everything you want.
You would like to be able
to boast to him
that the great General Yen,
whom everybody feared,
was destroyed because
he was fool enough to hope.
Well, why don't you go?
Go on to him.
You've taught me a terrible lesson.
But to be able to do good works,
one has to have wisdom.
You depended too much
on your beauty.
And also on the fact
that you are so young.
Young and pale as a lotus blossom
which blooms at night.
Oh, torture.
Real torture is to be despised
by someone you love.
Bargain or no bargain.
Province or no province.
Do you know what
I expected to do tonight?
I was coming to your room
to kill you.
And then follow you
to some celestial garden,
where there is no General Yen
or no Megan Davis, just you and I.
I... I had to come back.
I couldn't leave.
I'll never leave you.
China gave the world silk.
We ought to be
in Shanghai in an hour.
I'll bet your week in China
seemed like a lifetime.
Maybe it is, at that.
You know, Yen once told me...
Yen's dead, ain't he?
Great guy.
I don't think
you'll marry Strike.
I got a hunch you're
going back to America.
Yen once told me you could
crowd a lifetime into an hour.
Yeah, into a drink.
Great guy. Great gambler.
Told me he couldn't lose.
The joke was certainly on him.
He lost his province,
his army, his life.
Maybe not.
Maybe the joke's on us.
Maybe you will marry
Strike, at that.
Yen was crazy.
He said we never really die.
We only change.
He was nuts
about cherry trees.
Well, maybe he's
a cherry tree now.
Maybe he's the wind
that's pushing that sail.
Maybe he's the wind that's
playing around in your hair.
It's all a lot of hooey.
I'm drunk.
Just the same,
I hope when I cool off,
the guy that changes me
sends me where Yen is.
And I'll bet I'll find
you there too.