Lost Hearts (1973) Movie Script

Is it much further?
Only a step.
Don't lose heart.
I wasn't...
Whoa, steady, mare, steady.
- It's enormous!
- It's a draughty old place.
- Master Stephen?
- Yes.
He has come.
- Is that the boy, Parkes?
- Yes, sir.
Come in, approach.
Help with the bags,
help with the bags.
Well, Stephen, well.
- Here at last, eh?
- Yes, sir.
You don't remember me?
Your cousin, twice removed.
Peregrine Abney is my name.
How do you do?
Very well, thank you, sir.
A fine, firm hand.
Warm-blooded, strong-pulsed,
How old are you, boy?
- I'm...
- Twelve next birthday?
Yes, sir,
the 31st of this month, sir.
Hallowe'en, excellent,
couldn't be better.
- We shall celebrate, eh?
- Thank you, sir.
It will be my pleasure, Stephen.
- Not too tired after your journey?
- No, sir.
Good lad,
you must eat a hearty meal.
You're certain
you are twelve next birthday?
- Yes, sir.
- And the 31st, better than better.
Forgive me, I like to note these little
things in my commonplace book.
Parkes, take this excellent boy
down to Mrs Bunch,
tell her to feed him well,
plenty of butter, beef tea,
nourish him, nourish him!
You mustn't mind him, lad,
he has his ways.
But why does he want
to write my age down?
He's a scholar, is Mr Abney,
he writes everything down.
This way, Master Stephen.
My sakes,
what a lad you are for questions.
Aye, Mr Abney's your cousin,
that's certain. On your mother's side.
But he's so old!
Cousins come in all shapes and sizes.
And he's kindness itself.
He maybe an old bachelor,
but he's very partial to children.
You're not the first little orphan
he's given an hearth
and food and shelter, oh no!
My gracious goodness, no.
- There are other children here?
- But they're gone now.
- Gone?
- Over the hills and far away.
You eat your scone, Stephen.
You can ask Mr Abney
about them yourself tomorrow.
Come in.
Come in, Stephen, good morning.
- Sleep well?
- Yes, thank you, sir.
Good, that's the idea,
plenty of sleep.
Mrs Bunch tells me you're a good lad,
she's taken you to heart.
Indeed her words were,
"a kind lad with an enquiring frame
of mind". That so?
She did say there had been
other children in the house, sir.
Did she, quite so,
but they've gone. Gone.
I like enquiring minds,
have one myself.
There's so much to know, so much
to learn in this old world, eh?
Yes, sir.
None of us given much time,
life span, mere flicker, no time at all.
- Have you read Censorinus?
- No, sir.
Excellent fellow.
He searched... Dead now.
But his work lives on, immortal.
To some, to the chosen,
immortality is given, Stephen.
May I explore the grounds, sir?
Course, no need to ask, lad.
Fresh air, plenty of exercise,
roses in the cheeks.
Good, excellent.
Out to grass.
Quite the thing.
"And it is recorded by Simon Magus,
"that he was enabled
to fly through the air."
Not yet.
Oh! Aargh!
The explorer returns
with wonders to retell, hmm?
Of antlers vast and deserts idle?
Of the cannibals
that each other eat?
And men whose heads do grow
beneath their shoulders? Hmm? Hmm?
No, sir, I just thought I saw a...
Nothing, I saw nothing.
I only walked
and climbed an old tree.
Good for the circulation.
That's a nice plant,
at least the flower is.
Starflower, bee bread.
A leaf or two of this in a cup of claret,
accelerates the heart, Stephen.
- What shall I do next?
- Whatever you like, lad.
Mrs B, Mrs B, that little devil.
Ah, there you are.
Mrs B, you bring him with you
this instant.
I never did.
- Well?
- I didn't do it.
Who did, then?
I haven't even got a pen knife.
Mr Abney will have a word to say
about this.
If I were him,
I'd send you packing, boy.
Deeply incised?
Right into the grain, sir.
He deserves a good leathering.
- You may go, Parkes.
- Won't you even view the damage, sir?
And take Mrs Bunch with you.
But I didn't do it, sir.
I believe you, dear boy.
- Then who did?
- Who knows? Hermes Trismegistus?
"There are more things
in heaven and earth..."
Don't concern yourself with it,
dear boy.
Eat well, sleep well. We want you
full of bounce for your birthday.
Crudely scored
under great pressure.
Wood being too old and hard
to have been so incised
by the hand of a living child.
Is Mr Abney a good man
and will he go to heaven?
Good? Bless the child.
Did you never ask him about the little
boy he took in, seven years back?
I tried to.
Was he called Censorinus?
No, Giovanni was his name.
And the little girl,
did he not tell you about her?
Did she like climbing trees?
No, she was quite the little lady.
We called her Phoebe.
Was Mr Abney her cousin?
No, master brought her back
from his walk one day.
And here she lived with us
for three weeks, it might be.
And then, there was a trace of gypsy
in her blood, I've always thought.
And then,
one morning she was gone.
That's what Mr Abney said. Gone.
Out of her bed before
one of us had opened an eye.
And neither track nor trace of her
have we set eyes on since.
Master was a wonderful put-about,
he had the dykes dragged.
Any there? Try it again!
It's my belief
she was had away by the gypsies.
For there was singing
round the house
for as much as an hour
the night after she'd gone.
And lights in the woods
like will-o'-the-wisps.
And the little boy... Giovanni?
That poor boy.
He were a foreigner.
Master found him
a-playing his hurdy-gurdy.
He had him in that very minute.
Mrs Bunch! Mrs Bunch!
Mrs Bunch?
Good, good.
Mrs B, the boy is staying.
His name is Giovanni.
I want you to look after him, feed him.
He's an orphan, poor lad,
both parents dead and only 12.
Bravo, bravo!
It went the same way with him.
He was off one morning,
same as the girl.
They're an unruly lot,
these foreign nations.
Was that his hurdy-gurdy?
He played a lovely tune on that,
never without it.
Then why did he leave it behind?
Ah, another day is announced.
Another step towards
victorious everlasting life
in this world.
Master Stephen?
Master Stephen?
Has the boy been dreaming?
Master Stephen?
My six, well froze me blood...
Oh, Mrs B!
Walked in his sleep.
In there, in the bath.
A hurdy-gurdy!
Nothing there at all.
- You were dreaming, Stephen.
- I wasn't!
The little boy, he led me,
and the girl, she was in the bath.
- Oh, a silly old dream.
- Exactly.
Take him down to your room,
Mrs Bunch, give him a posset.
No hearts, they had no hearts.
- And the hurdy-gurdy was still playing!
- Hush now, you're a big boy.
Nearly 12.
Off you go with Mrs Bunch,
a nice warm posset.
Come along, Master Stephen.
"Some annoyance may be experienced
from the psychic portion of the subjects.
"Especially in those cases where
they can command the allegiance
"of what we are pleased to call
material objects."
- Parkes?
- Yes, sir?
I thank you to bring up
a bottle of the tawny, Parkes.
So it may rest a little
after its journey upwards.
- The '33, sir?
- Is that our best and oldest?
- Yes, sir.
- Then bring it.
- You not too grown for candles?
- No.
Then blow.
Who is it?
- It's me, sir.
- Come in, come in.
I've brought you a piece
of my birthday cake, sir.
How very kind.
Thank you, Stephen.
Looks delicious.
Mmm, very good.
- What's that, sir?
- Ah, very old, Stephen.
A sacred thing.
Made before the mechanical sciences
cast their rude shadow over the world.
- Had any more dreams?
- No, sir.
Sleep well last night?
No more sleepwalking?
Yes, sir.
I mean no, sir.
Good, excellent.
Stephen, my boy...
Do you like secrets?
- Can you keep secrets?
- I think so, sir.
Would you like your secret fortune
told as a birthday gift from me?
Your real fortune, as it is,
as it resides in the turning stars?
- Hmm? Hmm?
- Now, sir?
No, no, no, at the proper time.
Tonight, midnight. All Hallow's Eve.
Could you... come down to me?
- Hmm? Hmm?
- I might be too tired, sir.
A great boy like you?
Or don't you dare, eh?
- It's not that...
- Your future laid out before you!
The gift of foresight
from the gods of old.
The finest birthday gift
you may ever receive. Ever.
- Yes, please, sir.
- Good lad.
But this is our secret, mind,
a man's secret between men.
Don't tell Mrs Bunch,
she's a good heart, but earthbound.
Earthbound, Stephen.
Master may get his own port
in the future.
I tell you, there's something
down there in the cellars.
Rats, more than like.
A talking, a talking, Mrs B.
What nonsense, my six...
I tell you, I heard voices
in the farther bin.
And what I say is,
if you choose to go down there...
I've no patience with your fancies,
Mr Parkes.
Why, you'll be frightening
Master Stephen here out of his wits.
Master Stephen, well, he knows well
enough, I was only joking, Mrs B.
I heard voices too, Mr Parkes,
when I was flying my kite,
in the wind.
- They down in the cellar now?
- No, no, rats scrabbling about.
Nowt else. No more than that.
Did Master like the cake?
Yes, it was very nice.
Didn't you hear the voices, Mrs Bunch?
The night the little girl ran away.
I daresay I imagined them,
it was over 18 years ago.
But you said that...
I say lots of things,
Master Stephen,
but not on All Soul's Night,
oh dear me, no.
This night, I'll say my prayers heartily
and lock my door.
"'The heart must be removed
from the living subject.
"'Reduced to ashes
over the sacred fire,
"'and then mixed with a generous
measure of fortified wine,
"'preferably port."'
Yes, yes,
Simon Magus,
think on me.
Quick, or we'll be late!
Quick, dear boy, dear boy,
we have so little time.
The potent hour has come!
You're hurting my wrist, sir.
And your heart, beats wildly,
does it not? I can hear it.
It yearns to be free and it shall be,
Stephen, it shall be.
But first...
- You must drink.
- But I thought that...
No time for thinking,
this is the time for doing!
- Drink!
- Is it port?
The sun in quintessence,
the blood of Mithras.
I don't like it, must I?
Absurd boy! Ridiculous child!
Of course you must!
- Before you can tell any fortune?
- Your fortune is my fortune, Stephen.
As was the girl's,
as was the little Italian boy's.
You complete the work
of 20 years, Stephen...
- No!
- Drink!
- No, No. No!
- You must, you shall.
Drink, drink.
"Not poppy, nor mandragora.
"Nor all the drowsy syrups
of the world..."
Sleep, dear boy, dear boy, sleep.
Breathe deep.
Munificent engine,
soul bread,
strong rhythm of eternity,
my eternity.
Generous boy...
...here lies your fortune.
Ordained by the heavens,
sanctioned by the ancients,
your innocent heart must be
the beating cornerstone to the gate,
that unspeakable gateway
by which I will enter into...
You've come too late.
No, you cannot command me!
I... I am...
I am imm...
I am imm...
Hearts... hearts...
That Peregrine Abney
was a recluse and a scholar
is well known in this locality.
What precisely was
the nature of his research,
I think it's better for God-fearing
mortals not to inquire.
Suffice to say, that though
the manner of his death is doubtful,
whether he was struck down
by his own hand,
or by forces which in another age
might well be attributed to the devil,
to Satan himself.
Suffice that we should pray
that his soul may rest eternally
within the sight and love of God.
His will be done.