An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving (2008) Movie Script

Dear Mrs. Caldwell, my friend
and neighbor, Mr. Gideon Hopkins,
had the pleasure to make
your acquaintance this summer
on a ferry trip from Cyprus to Crete.
If you are reading this, it means that
his first suspicions have been confirmed.
You, Mrs. Caldwell, are my mother.
I trust I will be forgiven for not remembering
when or why we parted.
My beloved husband
was recently kidnapped by Gypsies
and I must admit the experience
has left me somewhat undone.
Deprived of his protection,
my children and I live like wild animals,
demented by hunger
and at risk of losing shelter as well.
We are kept afloat by one hope,
that, having been alerted to our plight,
you will joyfully embrace
your maternal responsibility
and restore us to our former lives.
Anxiously awaiting your reply.
Yours sincerely, Mary.
Chapter One. The Letter.
By which our story begins.
Good morning, Tilly.
-Thank you.
-Have a good day.
What could be keeping Mother?
She`s delivering a baby.
How much time could it take?
She`s been gone all night and half the day.
Don`t worry, she`s well.
-I found it. The serving platter.
At this rate, l`ll miss the post.
The post office can do without
your hovering for one day.
I`m not hovering.
I shall die of shock
if this mysterious letter ever arrives.
Here`s flour. It`s all we have.
We better put it away
so it doesn`t get wasted.
-What are you doing?
-Planning Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is two weeks away.
I`ve been over the pantry.
It seems we need pudding, cranberries,
mashed potatoes, turkey and pies.
Basically everything.
It`s not like other years.
We may not have a Thanksgiving, Solomon.
This way, we won`t be tempted.
Watch yourself, Solomon. Solomon!
It was an accident, Mother.
Well, at least you kept busy.
There won`t be pudding and there won`t
be pies, but we`ll have each other,
and that`s what Thanksgiving is all about.
But we have each other all the time.
Pudding is what you look forward to.
We can look forward
to a very special Thanksgiving.
-With no pudding?
-No pudding.
-No turkey? No cranberries?
-And no stuffing and no gravy.
-lf we can`t put dinner on the table,
then at least we can put it on the tablecloth.
Is this another stitching project?
We have much leftover cloth
that can be cut into turkeys and pilgrims.
We`ll make it together
over the next couple of weeks.
-Can I cut the cloth?
-Everyone can cut the cloth.
How`s Mrs. Yule?
She`s very well, all things considered.
Not well enough to pay.
Tilly`s cross about missing the post.
I went by the post office on my way home.
Gideon`s back from college.
Gad`s back!
That`s what they told me.
Came home on the morning coach.
You`re an angel. You`re a saint.
-What about the letter?
-lt doesn`t matter! Gad`s back!
You`re not going!
-Why shouldn`t l?
-Mrs. Hopkins hates us.
She doesn`t hate us.
She won`t even know l`m there.
-What are you doing?
-Coming with you.
Listen, you can`t.
Prudence, this is terribly important.
Everything`s important to you.
If I used that as my guide,
I should never do anything.
I think Gad found our grandmother.
The one Mother won`t talk about.
And she`s rich.
-I wrote her a letter asking for help,
which Gad was going to deliver
were she our grandmother.
If mother found out, she would die.
Which is why I need
to speak with him privately.
Pamela, what is this?
I`ll tell you. That is a fingerprint.
And a fingerprint
does not belong on a door,
and nothing belongs on this door because...
I`d like you to start with the bedroom,
and this time
I`d like you to lift up
my perfume bottles, please.
When you do the dusting, dust.
Perhaps you require more privacy.
He`s meant for you.
Why didn`t you write you were coming?
It was meant to be a surprise.
Well, that was a nasty trick.
-Yes. You`ve completely changed.
I can see you haven`t.
I`ve matured more than it might first appear.
So I see.
You`ve been away for decades.
How many languages do you speak now?
How are you, Tilly?
There must be a more compelling topic.
Whenever I wrote to you about your father
you never answered.
No one knows more
about losing a loved one than I do.
Don`t let`s talk about this, Gideon. Please.
Mother says that you`re behind on the rent.
There must be something I can do
to help you.
Give me your news.
I see, I shall have to torture you,
Lord Stickywicket,
if I mean to get at the truth.
Never, Madam Busybody!
I will die before giving up my secrets.
Mrs. Caldwell?
Were my suspicions confirmed?
-ls she my grandmother?
-She is.
What is she like?
In body, well-favored. In speech, eloquent.
In manner, refined.
Go on.
She lives in a house as big as a palace,
paintings by all the great masters.
Name them.
-You lie.
She`s well-read.
Keeping up with her in conversation
is like dancing on coals.
My letter. Was it delivered?
-Did she read it?
-What did she say?
-She threw it away.
I`m so sorry.
Don`t be silly.
It`s not right.
After all, what did I expect?
She doesn`t know what she`s missing.
There must be some reason
they haven`t spoken in all this time.
Don`t forget.
I was just saying to myself, ``l wonder
how those poor children are doing?``
And here you are, right before my eyes.
How is your mother?
-Very well.
-She must be dreadful.
Such a... A robust husband stolen from her
in the prime of life.
It`s late.
Do give her my best.
What a pity they live
in such wretched circumstances.
They would otherwise be good company.
Now I am so often alone.
Good sir, hello. It is l, Mathilda Bassett.
Inspired by your great words
and noble countenance to ask for help.
I have done all that is in my power
to save my family.
Without some intervention
we are sure to lose what little we have left.
I make no frivolous petition.
In return for your aid I am prepared
to become your postulant,
sacrificing my creature comforts entirely
and devoting my life and writing to
the pursuit of nothing but beauty and truth.
Tilly! What are you doing? Come inside!
Whatever possessed you?
Papa put in potatoes last year.
Tilly, we won`t starve.
Our storage bins are empty.
I`m working and so are you.
There must be more than just us,
some relatives we could ask for assistance?
Your father`s family is in lreland.
What about yours?
They`re still alive, aren`t they?
Some bargains are too costly to make.
I`ve spent many hours trying
to unravel the mystery of my mother.
One thing I know about her past was
that she at one time owned a skittish horse.
That is how she met my father, Ellis Bassett.
She was trapped under a bridge
in Central Park,
unable to get the terrified beast to move
until, happening upon them,
my father began singing to it in Gaelic.
According to him,
by the time they got home he had proposed.
Years later, my father revealed
that his songs were actually off-color jokes,
the horse, like my mother,
being badly in need of a good laugh.
Wake up.
Wake up, Tilly! There`s been an accident.
They sent for Mother.
Dr. Boland`s away on holiday.
Perhaps if you kept more reasonable hours
you wouldn`t find it so difficult
to rouse yourself.
I`m awake most mornings
before Prudence or Solomon.
Mathilda Bassett.
Look! Look at all the dresses.
Mary Bassett. Thank goodness,
someone who knows what to do.
-ls anyone hurt?
-The coachman.
Where are you hurt? Your wrist?
Stand back now! Clear the way. Stay back.
She`s like a queen.
-How is it?
-l`m worried about that axle.
It could take a few days.
Oh, well, that`s all right.
I`m here to visit my daughter.
Your daughter? Well, who would that be?
That would be me.
Chapter Two. Pandora`s Box.
Containing, among other things
a great many dresses,
a strained reunion and a fox.
You know what they say?
After a society lady wears a dress once,
she throws it away.
Don`t be silly.
If she`s so well off,
I don`t see why she can`t find a place to stay.
Why do we have to sleep up here?
It`s always so cold.
Do you want a Thanksgiving turkey?
Then you`d best behave. Okay?
How can all of you fit in such a small space?
We consider ourselves fortunate.
Present circumstances notwithstanding.
You seem well.
Well enough.
You have your health.
How long can we expect to indulge
in these pleasantries?
If you prefer, we can dispense
with them immediately.
What is it you require?
-I require nothing.
Your husband is kidnapped
and you without the means to pay the rent.
My husband is dead.
Well, I hope you didn`t bring me here
to make me a fool.
Well, I didn`t bring you here at all.
Well, you must have known
I couldn`t read such a letter and put it aside.
-All that talk of wild animals and Gypsies.
It seemed you had become unhinged.
I could not very well have that
on my conscience, could l?
This letter, may I see it?
These are difficult times.
I`m not always in my right mind.
``Kidnapped by Gypsies.``
``Live like wild animals.``
-lt seems I have overstated my case.
-I see.
My children and I have no need of your help.
Well, I shall remove myself to a hotel.
You`re welcome to stay
until your carriage is repaired.
I don`t wish to inconvenience you.
As the cause of this misunderstanding
it`s the least that I can do.
Solomon Bassett!
Give that to me this instant!
Where did you get this?
I... I think I shall lie down.
Why did you ask about my family
when you had already taken matters
into your own hands?
My words must mean nothing to you.
I didn`t know what else to do.
Ever since your father died
you behave as if there`s no one left.
Have you once gone to bed hungry
in my care?
-Have you been cold?
I may not be as spirited as your father was,
but I deserve your trust.
I`m sorry.
I just thought, with the holidays upon us,
we`ve had so little.
She`s come all this way.
Why don`t you let her help us?
The only person
that my mother helps is herself.
What`s she doing?
As a rule, it is advisable not to spy.
In some countries,
they gouge out your eyes.
Solomon did not return the fox.
He understood it was important to return it,
if not to secure his Thanksgiving turkey,
then for his mother`s sake,
but it had a certain hold over him,
like a four-leaf clover or a rabbit`s foot.
In its company he felt braver
and more certain than he had
since his father passed away.
He became convinced
that as long as he kept it,
they would all be protected
from further harm.
What? No, thank you, no! What?
Mr. Yule!
Mother. My mother.
He helps with the farm.
What kind of help can such a man be?
His name is Abel Yule and
he was injured in the war. He can`t speak.
We invited him to work
so that his family would be taken care of.
Is it possible for us all to survive?
Your love of virtue renders you somewhat
insensible to the realities of your situation.
You should consider keeping him
at a greater distance,
if not for yourself,
then for the safety of your children.
You have nothing to say
about how I raise my children.
You could have had anything you wanted.
The best education.
Tours of Europe. Personal acquaintance
with well-bred men and women.
Money is the only thing
you can imagine wanting, isn`t it?
I feared it would come to this.
You have no idea what it has come to!
Ellis Bassett was a vagrant! A vagrant!
He was the finest man I ever met in my life.
I pity you and all your well-bred friends.
Chapter Three. Fox in a Henhouse.
Mary Bassett, you do keep
the most extraordinary secrets.
To think your father was Harold Caldwell,
the greatest importer of silk and tea
this country has ever seen.
You are well informed.
Oh, dear, and you, Mrs. Caldwell,
are most fortunate
to have had such a husband.
I find liberty to be a better husband
than he was.
It... It does seem frightfully early, I know.
But as I said to Mr. Hopkins, I didn`t want
to miss the opportunity to meet.
Wouldn`t that have been a pity?
Speaking of silk, Mrs. Hopkins.
What exactly is the substance of your attire?
It`s so original.
This? It`s flax.
Well, isn`t that what the poor eat
for breakfast?
Isn`t it?
Mrs. Hopkins is in mourning.
The Hopkins lost three sons to scarlet fever
nearly five years ago.
I am so sorry.
Since then I can`t bear
to wear anything too fancy.
If I may, Mrs. Hopkins,
can I suggest that you let
a little joy back into your life?
Your fine son here
has just returned from abroad.
Why not celebrate?
Try a party
with flowers and music.
Thank you, dear.
-Thank you for coming.
-Thank you.
-Mr. Hopkins.
-Thank you so much for having us.
I saw the Collins family earlier.
I think Mr. Collins died.
I didn`t want to say anything
in front of Mrs. Hopkins.
Knocking is always good.
I know why my mother
doesn`t want you here.
-ls that right?
-You`re not nice.
You made fun of Mrs. Hopkins
and you insulted my family.
My father was not a vagrant.
Is there some reason you feel compelled
to discuss this with me?
Because I brought you here.
I wrote that letter.
-You did?
Well, that explains it.
Gypsies. How marvelous.
I suppose you`ll want to go.
No. I have just found a reason to stay.
The visit began to take on
a different character,
Iess guarded and more like a game,
although who would enjoy it
remained uncertain.
Never mind, girl.
It wasn`t like this before my father died.
Women are too quick
to give men credit they`re not truly owed.
You didn`t know him.
Well, perhaps I could be educated.
Why did you call him a vagrant?
Before he became a paragon,
he was my stable boy.
I suppose Tilly`s still sleeping.
You`d best wake her.
She`ll be late for Mr. Carterud.
This entire field was stones.
People said nothing would grow here.
That`s why Mr. Hopkins rented it so cheaply.
My father planted beans and beets, potatoes.
He could tell the precise day of the year
just by looking at the plants.
Most people were improved by my father.
Gad says he could reform
the worst cynic in the world.
-Shall I add cynic to my list of virtues?
-That`s up to you.
My father built this.
I suppose he`s the one
who taught you how to write.
No. He didn`t know how to write.
My mother taught us.
-How did he die?
-Working the fields.
Mr. Yule found him crushed by a tree.
You must miss him.
My father said everything is a lesson
from which we ultimately profit.
Nevertheless, you have the right
to complain.
You`re a strong young woman
like your mother.
``Once I beheld a splendid dream,
a visionary scene of bliss.``
``Truth! Wherefore did thy hated beam
awake me to a world like this?``
I forgot about Mr. Carterud!
Most people will have their
Thanksgiving dinner, and then it`ll be gone.
We`ll have ours the whole year round.
I`d like it better
if there was pudding involved.
Well, I think if your father were here,
he`d find lots to love about this tablecloth.
Can we put him on it?
He`d like that.
It`s best not to distract Tilly.
She`s quite at sea when it comes
to practical matters.
She`s up half the night writing stories,
then she arrives late for work.
Mr. Carterud has already complained.
I must go to the Yules`.
The children aren`t well.
You can run, too, if you like.
What sort of stories does Tilly write?
She`s burning up, isn`t she?
All three of them, burning up.
I`ve seen this before.
I`ve seen people die from it.
You must put cold wet cloths
on their foreheads.
It will draw the fever out.
And change them often.
Thank you.
Welcome home.
You look dreadful.
Carterud was wretched.
Poor Tilly.
He lectured me on my lateness,
refused his soup and held back half my pay.
On the bright side, Grandma seems happy.
We might just get that turkey. And pudding.
One minute and l`ll have the tea.
You`ve done something.
You have no right.
Thank you.
You hated it.
-I didn`t say that.
-You didn`t say anything.
It is quite lively.
-You did hate it.
-I like your people.
You don`t find them dull and ordinary?
There is nothing ordinary about you
or your people.
I hate putting my characters
in a place like this.
Do you? What`s wrong with a place like this?
There`s nothing but cows and fir trees.
Well, if you don`t like cows,
maybe you should get out.
You mean leave?
You could travel, as l`ve done.
Explore the world.
Take note of what it`s like.
Chapter Four. Possible Allies.
How long will it take?
Well, if it were up to me,
she`d have it already.
Caused quite a stir, your mother.
All the women coming in
trying to match her outfits.
A couple more days. Could be a week.
A week?
European parts.
Good luck, isn`t it?
She`ll make the Hopkins` party.
-Why tie her up?
-To keep her parts in.
Old people have trouble otherwise.
May I cut this up
for the Thanksgiving project?
-I can make a bed of leaves out of it.
Isabella says I should have a proper gown.
-Does she?
She says the first impression
is what one always remembers.
I trust it does not owe solely
to one`s costume.
The outward appearance
affects the estimation of the rest.
Do you hope to affect a particular person,
or just cause a general stir?
We do not have lsabella`s wardrobe
at our disposal.
I know.
I thought you might wear it.
It`s not the dress that matters, Tilly.
It`s how you feel inside.
What is that? Where did you get a corset?
Special delivery for Mathilda Bassett.
She said I could have it.
-I see.
-Just for tonight.
Just put those things in your room
for now, children.
My mother took few things
when she and Ellis Bassett left her home
when she was 17.
The plainest dress she owned.
A pair of sturdy shoes,
for my father had warned her
they would do a great deal of walking.
The embroidered shawl he gave her
when they became engaged.
And a porcelain cup.
The cup was part of a tea service,
originally presented to Louis XIV in 1683,
which Isabella had painstakingly
reassembled on her many trips abroad.
It was the only complete set of its kind.
For most of my mother`s childhood,
Isabella had the service
on proud display in the hallway.
My father heard rumor that she kept it out
after my mother left,
the empty saucer a daily reminder
of what had been taken from her.
-We`re so glad you could make it.
-Good to see you, old man.
-Good to see you.
My dear, you look lovely.
At last, our guest of honor.
Looking lovely as always.
-Good evening.
-Good evening.
-How wonderful. Good evening.
-Good evening.
Mrs. Bassett.
Hello, Mary.
You must forgive us for staring.
We are struck dumb.
Praise more eloquent than any flattery.
Easy, girl.
You`re talking to me like l`m your horse.
-A thoroughbred, no doubt.
Just follow me. You`ll be fine.
Your mother seemed unhappy
when I walked in.
That`s because she`s feeling guilty.
-For what?
-Not accepting you sooner.
It seems we both were rather late
to come to our senses.
You have always had my friendship.
Your friendship is not what I crave.
You never did like parties.
They`d always find you hiding somewhere.
Under the piano, in the coat closet.
Tilly`s doing beautifully. You should see her.
You shouldn`t have given her the dress.
Poverty was your choice, not hers.
I don`t want her regretting
what isn`t within her means.
She can have whatever she wants.
-Not from you.
-So you continue to punish me
for wanting you a better husband.
Oh, tell the truth.
When I left with Ellis you were relieved.
Don`t be ridiculous.
Why didn`t you stop me, then?
-You made your choice.
-There was no choice.
You never wanted me.
My whole childhood
I saw you fewer times
-than some people see distant friends.
-You embellish.
When you did come
I was kept out of sight by my governess
who was quick to remind me
I must keep my distance
or run the risk of shortening your stay.
You had everything as a child.
-Complete freedom.
-Freedom is not what a child needs.
You were no comfort.
From the moment you were born
I felt your judgment.
Judgment? I was a baby.
How could I judge you?
Was I to grovel for your approval?
So, deprived of approval from me,
you will take it from Tilly?
I have lost much this past year.
I do not wish to lose my daughter as well.
It`s Tilly. Come quickly. Come.
Help me.
Some air, please.
-Gad, get some water.
I`m fine.
She just fainted dead away. I...
Corsets generally produce such outcomes.
I`ll take her home.
But the party has just started.
She`s right. I want to stay.
Chapter Five. A New Life.
A changed world in one night.
Every door once closed swinging open.
What on earth are you doing?
-I had a grand time last night.
-So did l.
-Come to tea?
-Have you gone insane?
I hope you don`t treat
all your suitors this way.
Don`t blame the poor boy.
The idea was completely mine.
-I can`t. I must work at Mr. Carterud`s.
-lt`s been taken care of.
They put the pig`s head on the table,
and the King, considering it a great honor,
plucked out the eye and gave it to me.
Did you eat it?
You`ve gone your whole life
without fine food.
One day will not ruin you.
Nor one shopping expedition.
That`s a good one.
Ladies. An unforgettable day.
-lt was.
-Wow, look!
-ls this for us?
-Thank you.
And this one`s for you.
-Thank you.
Land ho! I see land.
Pilgrims. They`re having a feast.
Sweet potatoes. Cranberries. Turkey!
Not like that.
-Not like how?
-Like how you`re doing it.
Patience, child. You must allow
an old woman to find her way.
Perhaps patience is overrated
as a virtue after all.
Look what we`ve done.
Go on. Go on.
She bought us everything.
We shall have our Thanksgiving.
It`s lovely.
Please, Mother. You`ve worked so hard.
Just enjoy it.
It`s wonderful. Now if you`ll excuse me.
-Where were you?
-With the Yules.
How are the children?
I can`t tell
whether they`re getting better or not.
Well, you mustn`t keep going there, Mother,
putting yourself at risk.
Mr. Yule risked his life
and saved your father`s in the war.
-We owe them our best efforts, at least.
-Please, Mother. Don`t go back again.
-You look tired.
-lt`s been a long day.
It`s not wrong, what you did today.
Your mother is a person of unflagging piety.
It might not be possible to equal her.
Maybe we should try.
Father once said Isabella`s mistake was
assuming he wanted money.
What he really wanted
was my mother`s heart.
A treasure far too fine
to be traded for gold.
``My Dear Mary,
``No doubt you will be surprised
to receive this,
``knowing me to be
a man who does not write.``
But I have been lucky enough
to make the acquaintance of a Mr. Abel Yule,
who has agreed to take on the task
of our correspondence.
Our paths crossed on a march
through Charleston, South Carolina,
where I found Mr. Yule
endeavoring to free a small child
from his hiding place in a drainpipe.
Mr. Yule would not escort the boy
to the Union camp as ordered.
He took him instead to the Confederates,
hoping the child would find his family.
The soldiers were so astonished
they let us all pass without harm.
-His act of kindness saved us all.
-``His act of kindness saved us all.
``Until we`re together again. Love, Ellis.``
Mrs. Bassett. What a happy surprise. Please.
-You`ve just missed your lovely mother.
-I see.
Yes, she`s taken Mrs. Hopkins
on a shopping spree.
We hope to free her
from these tiresome frocks.
Mrs. Caldwell has brought a great deal of life
to this house
at a time when I had resigned myself
to seeing my wife mourn for all eternity.
-I have come about the rent.
-My dear lady, do not trouble yourself.
Since Mr. Bassett`s death
you`ve been most generous.
As you have been with my son.
My mother appears anxious
to interfere in my affairs.
I`m afraid she might approach you
about settling my account.
I`d prefer not to be indebted to her.
The rent, Mrs. Bassett,
is no longer my concern.
I met with your mother this morning.
She purchased the farm outright.
It belongs to her now.
We do not choose our fate, Mrs. Bassett.
This much I have learned.
One day a man has a family
and the next his house is a tomb.
Therefore, when a bit of good fortune lands
on your doorstep, don`t turn it away.
Chapter Six. Devil`s Bargain.
At what price do we secure our dreams?
Mrs. Caldwell told him
ostentation is our only goal.
-You have succeeded admirably.
-Mrs. Bassett.
We were trying the effect
of Mrs. Hopkins` dress.
-I have been entirely carried away.
-I think it`s lovely.
I`m told you purchased the farm.
Perhaps this can wait?
-This farm?
-With what in mind?
In my opinion, it is too far gone
to be properly repaired.
-I plan to remove it.
-Good heavens.
And where shall we live?
-New York City. With me.
-Look at the time. Gideon, we should go.
-We`ll find other lodgings.
Don`t let your resentments
make you insensible.
-Your children will be fed and clothed.
Educated. Exposed to culture and art.
Do you want all of them, or just Tilly?
Because if you only want one
there`s no point in buying three!
Your mother does have
an impeccable pedigree.
-Does she?
My mother was born
in a hovel, Mrs. Hopkins.
The sort of place you`re afraid to set foot in.
Later in life
she became my father`s nursemaid.
They married when he became
too senile to object,
after which she persuaded him
to leave his fortune to her.
His children spent years
trying to contest the will.
But as luck would have it
she bore him a child.
This made it difficult
to have the will thrown out,
as I was living proof
of a legitimate marriage.
My mother`s pedigree has been collected
by using her considerable charm
to acquire associations
like others collect works of art!
Stop it!
Whatever you say, she has made us happy.
Anyone who is unhappy is free to leave!
Did you really dislike it that much?
Everyone`s looking for you.
I knew where to find you.
-What possessed me?
-You were angry.
I shouldn`t have taken Grandmother`s part.
It wasn`t right.
Your mother was humiliating her.
This isn`t why. I want to go.
-Go where?
I`ve been wanting to go
ever since my father died.
The world is not quite so grand a place
as your grandmother claims.
My father used to say
I was born for adventure.
Do you remember how the three of us
would go to the woods?
And he`d get us to imagine
what it would be like
to be a mackerel in the lake
or a bee in a hive?
-Don`t go.
-Gad, I do love you.
Marry me.
I`m not ready.
I`m only at the beginning.
I couldn`t find her.
I don`t know why I thought I would.
The other two I can reach,
but Tilly, she has her father`s spirit.
Ever since he died she`s been pulling away.
Maybe it`s time
you stopped holding on so tightly.
You`re not like me, Mary.
You won`t fail her if you let go.
I`m more like you than I thought.
The way I went after you today.
It`s nice to know you have some fight.
We should get the constable.
This isn`t drink.
Let the driver take him.
Stop putting yourself in harm`s way.
So you have decided to return.
Your mother was worried. As was l.
You shouldn`t have done it.
My mother and father made this farm.
It wasn`t yours to take.
-How long will she be gone?
-She didn`t say.
It`s not that many days till Thanksgiving.
We won`t be ready.
Why does Thanksgiving
matter so much to you?
Because it`s how we`ll know we`re all right.
Sweetheart, we are more than all right.
-How pretty.
You see?
You`ve something to be thankful for already.
-I don`t see why.
People get trapped in it.
One winter, an entire family froze.
-You hang the turkey over the fire.
-You do not.
-Do, too! In a hanging oven.
-We already have an oven.
It`s what you use if you do it the proper way.
I think it`s time for a story.
-What story?
-There`s one about a camel who bit me.
I don`t like camels.
What about pyramids?
Do you like pyramids?
You`ve seen pyramids?
I want a story about family. Something real.
-What about a castle?
-That`s not real.
It most certainly is. Your
great-great-great grandmother lived in one.
Why? Was she a queen?
-She was a Lady. Her name was Mathilda.
-Like Tilly.
She lived a long, long time ago.
When there were knights and sword fights.
-And dragons?
-No dragons,
but they had plenty of danger
to keep them busy.
Lady Mathilda`s father
was in trouble with the King.
-Why was he in trouble with the King?
-Because he couldn`t keep quiet, like you.
Most people felt he should go into hiding,
but Lady Mathilda`s mother was dead
and he refused to leave Lady Mathilda alone.
In the end, 20 soldiers stormed the castle.
They brought a battering ram
to break down the gate
and they took him away to prison.
Lady Mathilda wasn`t much older than you.
Did she cry?
No. She wanted to save her father.
She had to be very brave.
I would have taken my father`s sword
and ran those soldiers through.
-Father had no sword.
-Neither did Lady Mathilda.
But she had great spirit.
She put all the gold
and all the family jewels in a basket
with bread and fruit.
And in the middle of the night
she stole one of the soldier`s horses.
She rode to London.
She went straight to the King
and offered the treasures
in exchange for her father`s life.
Now, the King was so moved at her courage
that he agreed
and Lady Mathilda`s father
was released from prison.
Poor in property,
but richer than a king in family.
How is he?
I`ll pay for the doctor
and any other expenses he requires.
-He requires nothing.
-Well, what is his condition?
Chapter Seven. Scarlet Fever.
He must be a stranger indeed
who has not heard of that terrible disease
that is usually known as scarlet fever.
It begins with a slight indisposition,
much resembling an ordinary cold
until the fever suddenly increases.
Then the rash comes,
from which the disease gets its name.
Then the patient is afflicted with a cough,
quickly succeeded by
the most distressing asthmatic symptoms,
under which the poor creature struggles
until released by perfect suffocation
or stoppage of breath.
The lucky ones survive.
Why did it bite you?
It appears not to have liked
the feathers in my hat.
Camels are notoriously fussy.
How is she?
She`s past the contagious stage,
so all we can do is wait.
You`re a good girl, Tilly.
You`re a great mother.
-Where are you taking it?
-To the Yules.
But why should they have it and not us?
That means we`re not going to have
any cranberries, any stuffing...
Hush. She`s doing it for Mother.
We`ll take the carriage.
There`s too much snow.
You`ll never make it on your own.
-Prudence can`t stay here by herself.
-We`ll be fine.
-Are you going to be all right?
-Never you mind about me.
It`s a relief. Really. He was lost already.
You take good care of your mother.
She`s done so much for us.
She used to laugh more, you know,
when your pa was alive.
Thank you.
They are lucky to have her, your mother.
The other day she implied
that she was conceived
in order to guarantee my financial security.
-She was angry.
-No, she was right.
I used her. Which made it difficult
to be in her company.
I traveled often. Coming home
for meetings with the estate lawyer.
He was a good-hearted family man,
so I put your mother in pretty dresses
and took her to the meetings with me.
Over time, he became sympathetic to us,
pressed the other beneficiaries
to settle their case.
Until I received your letter
I considered myself lucky
to have acquitted myself so admirably.
Why are you telling me this?
So you won`t make the mistake
of excusing me.
Telling yourself, as I did,
that it could not have been helped.
Tilly! She won`t wake.
Fetch Dr. Boland! Go!
Get a basin of cold water.
Please don`t take her away.
Please don`t take her away. Please.
She`s everything to us.
I have not been grateful.
Please don`t take her.
-She`s cold.
-Get some more blankets.
Hold that.
-l`m sorry to trouble you.
-No, no trouble at all. What is it?
-lt`s Mother.
We`ve sent for the doctor,
but he hasn`t come.
-The coach must have gotten stuck.
-Well, come in, my dear. Come in.
Scarlet fever, that`s what the boys had.
The carriage won`t go.
I`m going to have them try the sleigh.
Good heavens. Sit for a minute
and warm up. I`ll get you a cover.
-I must go back.
Are you all right?
-Don`t. Don`t talk about it.
I must talk about it.
Everything`s all upside down.
I was wrong to think of leaving.
I see that now.
I love you. And I love my family.
I was too forward.
-Do you love me?
-What do you think?
-lf we were married, how would we be?
Could we live near my family,
see them as often as we like?
They`re family to me.
My answer is yes.
-Put that back!
-lt`s Thanksgiving tomorrow.
-We can`t make a turkey.
-She won`t get better if we don`t.
-lt smells burnt.
-lt`s only been 10 minutes.
-We could check.
-No, that dries it out.
Who`s lived longer, you or l?
What`s happened?
-Where`s Mother?
-She`s in her room.
-ls she better?
-No, she`s not better.
-Where were you?
-The Hopkins`.
-The Hopkins`?
-That`s right.
Well, this is hardly the time.
It`s hardly the time
to roast a turkey, Prudence.
Don`t say a word about that turkey.
It`s the only good thing that`s happened
in months, and I won`t have you ruin it.
I forbid it! At least l`m doing something.
I suppose this means
I wasn`t doing anything...
Ever since I can remember
I`ve had to be sensible, reliable,
organized while you sleep late,
forget your chores, write sonnets.
-l`ve never written a sonnet in my life!
-lt doesn`t make a bit of difference, does it?
-You still end up with everything.
-That`s not true.
Father took you to the woods.
You and Gad. Where was l?
-You hate the woods.
-How would I know? I never got to go.
What if she dies, too?
Chapter Eight. Thanksgiving.
Mother, such a tender soul.
Too soon to return to the earth.
I hate snow.
I left home in a blizzard. Remember?
Ever since l`ve been convinced
it would happen in winter.
Something I love would be taken from me.
You know when he died?
The first warm day in March.
The man who brought him home
said the thaw caused that old tree to fall.
Ellis always said
Iife`s purpose is greater
than our imagination.
I was wrong about him.
About everything.
Please forgive me.
The fever has broken.
It seems your mother will be fine.
Is it true? Are you well?
-We`ve made the turkey.
Tilly gave the rest to the Yules.
Grandmother`s carriage got stuck
at the end of the road.
The coachman and the footman
were digging it out all night.
And what else happened
while I was occupied?
Gad proposed.
-And l`ve accepted.
-ls that so?
-But you wanted to be a writer.
-That was ages ago.
Let`s eat!
Mother is well.
We cured her by fixing a turkey,
which you are all invited to eat.
I hope you won`t leave right away.
I have a proposal for you.
Hello. Just a few things.
Some puddings and cheese.
-How is your mother?
-She`s much better. Thank you.
-Why don`t you take that from Mrs. Hopkins?
It`s lovely.
Perhaps Mr. Hopkins should carve?
We can`t start. Not till Mother comes.
-The poor woman has just recovered.
-lt`s not Thanksgiving if she`s not with us.
-Solomon, mother needs rest.
-Don`t be silly.
-Mrs. Bassett.
-This is what I need.
I heard a voice say something about
Thanksgiving. Was that you, Solomon?
There`s lots of food!
Please, allow me.
I have so much to be thankful for.
May l?
Thanks for the roses by the wayside.
Thanks for thorns their stems contain.
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside.
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain. Amen.
-lt looks good!
-I must commend you on this.
It is the most magnificent bird
l`ve ever had the honor to carve.
-I think it`s the big...
-I just got the big part.
-Yes, please.
-l`m eating my vegetables, Mother, yes.
-How is it?
-lt`s delicious!
-Perfectly cooked.
-lt`s nice to see you with your appetite back.
She`s eaten so little these last days.
Thank you.
-Care for a drumstick?
-What do you like?
Tilly, do tell us,
have you ever had wine before?
No, I haven`t. Not yet.
-To the turkey!
-To the turkey!
Thank you.
I cannot give my blessing.
You have the benefit of four years of college
and a year abroad.
Tilly has no such experience to prepare her.
I was not aware it is required.
Her grandmother has invited her
to undertake some travels
and studies of her own.
If after that she is of the same mind,
she is free to wed.
-Thank you again.
-Lovely evening.
-Thank you for coming.
-Careful on the steps there, now.
Thank you, dear.
Don`t be sad.
You were gone five years.
I won`t be that long.
A minute is too long.
It`s much too full.
You must have them press everything
whenever you get to a hotel.
It wouldn`t do for a famous writer
to travel the world
Iooking as wrinkled as a prune.
-Don`t make me cry.
-Don`t forget me.
That`s impossible.
For luck.
We`ll need the small bags tonight, and
the big bags we can leave on the carriage.
I can`t go.
Your father didn`t permit the word ``can`t.``
I left my home in anger.
You`re leaving with all my love and support.
-I was happy.
-You`ll find more happiness.
I`ll miss you.
-You come back for dinner anytime.
-For you.
-Goodbye, little poppet.
-Will you send macaroons?
-And marzipan.
-And chocolate?
-Goodbye, you big strong girl.
Thank you so much for everything.
-Take care of her.
-You and Ellis raised her well, Mary.
She can take care of herself.
A long time ago
up among the New Hampshire hills
Iived a man, his wife
and a pile of sturdy children.
We were poor in money,
but rich in land and love.
The wide acres of wood, corn and pasture
fed and clothed the flock,
while mutual patience,
affection and courage
made our old farmhouse
a very happy home.
For those who dream of adventure it may
seem too simple a place to start our story,
until we remember that the best adventures
begin with simple things.
Not Gypsies or sword fights or dragons,
but hope, and family, and love.
Hey! Hey!
-I will, every day.
-l`ll wait.
-You`d better.
I love you.
Me, too.