Love Takes Wing (2009) Movie Script

##[Woman Vocalizing]
[ Horse Whinnies ]
- Hyah! Hyah!
- ##[ Vocalizing Continues ]
[ Horse Whinnying ]
[ Woman's Voice ]
Dearest Belinda...
Your father and I were glad to hear
you're off on your journey west...
though I must confess we can't help
but worry about you.
I know how difficult your life has been
since Drew's death last year...
and I wish there was more
we could do to help.
I hope the new start in Missouri
will be just the change you're looking for.
just remember that no matter
how far away you go...
you will always be welcome
back in Anderson Corner.
Your journeys can always
bring you back home.
And know that you are always
in our thoughts and prayers.
Please write to let us know
when you have safely arrived...
and give our regards to Annie.
Thank her for being able
to stay with you for a few weeks...
before she goes
to her own practice.
Love, Mama.
Can't sleep again?
Thinking about Drew?
I 'm worried about
the children in Sikeston.
You're an amazing doctor.
And you can take care of anyone.
You and I both know that's not true.
I couldn't save Drew.
##[ Vocalizing Continues ]
[ Horse Whinnies ]
[ Horse Whinnies ]
- [ Bell Tolling]
- [ Chattering ]
##[ Continues ]
[ Horse Whinnies ]
[ Horse Whinnies ]
- [ Horse Whinnies ]
- [ Chattering ]
- Ho! Ho!
- [ Horse Whinnies ]
Morning, folks.
- Welcome to Sikeston. Ma'am.
- [Rooster Crows ]
- Here.
- Thank you.
- [Man ] I'm gonna talk to her
about it, see what she says.
- [ Woman ] That's a good idea.
Why, it's lovely.
- What is?
- Sikeston.
There's nothing here.
Annie, what were you expecting,
an opera house?
I don't know what I pictured exactly.
I certainly didn't think
it would be this...
[ Chuckles ]
[Footsteps Approaching]
[ Chattering]
Thank you, ma'am.
Thank you.
I don't know who
we're supposed to speak to, but-
Mayor Evans,
I can't believe you'd put the interests...
of those no-account orphans
over the good of this town.
I am doing no such thing, Ray.
Thank you, Cyrus.
I am trying to be fair to everyone.
There's no reason to believe those
children are a danger to anybody.
You tell that to my brother.
The entire town is sorry
about what happened to Carl...
but you can't blame his death
on the orphans.
I- It could all be some
terrible coincidence.
Ah, you might be, uh, looking for me.
Please, come on in.
I am Maxwell Evans, town mayor.
- Belinda Simpson, the new doctor.
- Welcome.
Well, thank you, Cyrus.
Uh, you can go, please. Thank you.
I trust you were told I was a woman.
Oh, absolutely. Yes. Uh, but I was
expecting one woman and not two.
Oh. This is my friend, Dr. Annie Nelson.
She'll be taking over as the circuit doctor
for the Kansas Territory...
but the position
doesn't open until next month.
- She'll be staying with me until then.
- Oh.
It's a pleasure meeting you, Mayor.
It's a beautiful hotel.
Thank you very much.
Welcome to Sikeston.
If youll permit me,
I'll escort you over to the clinic...
and we can, uh, get you
all settled in to your new home.
Thank you. And then I'd like to see
the sick children as soon as possible.
Uh, yes. Of course.
Right up here.
Well, here we are.
- This is my clinic?
- Uh, yes.
We have made plans to expand it...
but something always seems to come up
that needs tending to.
You understand. Uh, you're gonna
want to take those inside.
The living quarters are through
the clinic and up the stairs.
Come right over here.
[ Door Hinges Creak]
When was the last time
you had a full-time doctor here?
Well, Doc Ross died six months ago.
We've been pretty much
on our own since then.
Under these conditions?
Yes. For 30 years.
And I don't ever recall him complaining,
as a matter off act.
We'll fix this place up in no time.
Well, given the nature of the illness
at the orphanage...
I would guess that house calls
might be a necessity.
The children- the sick ones-
have all taken to their bed.
But it's not just the orphans anymore.
In town, Carl Russell died two days ago.
And john and Meredith Pine
have come down with it as well.
The sickness is spreading, Doctor,
and the town is getting a little edgy.
And quite frankly, so am I.
Y- Your quarters
are at the top of the stairs.
[ Horse Whinnies ]
[Annie ]
Well, it isn't that bad.
At least there's a balcony.
- ##[ Woman Vocalizing]
- [ Chattering]
[ Exhales Deeply ]
Do you think all frontier towns are like this?
A lot of them, yes.
I knew it would be a change
leaving Boston.
The two of us went through three years
of medical training...
at Boston University without so much
as a lick of help from the men.
And without a woman in sight.
You're gonna be fine.
And so am I.
[ Exhales ]
##[ Continues ]
- Hello, Lee.
- Mayor.
That's, uh, Lee Owens. He's been the smithy
here for years. Here. Step over here.
[ Birds Chirping]
Well, here we are.
[ Scoffs ]
You aren't coming inside?
No. I, uh- I have some appointments
this afternoon.
Um, but I'm sure we'll be
seeing each other soon.
So if theres anything that I could do
to make your stay here...
in Sikeston more comfortable, you, uh-
you just let me know, all right?
Until then, good day.
[ Groans ]
I'm sorry. We're not accepting
any visitors at this time.
I'm not here to visit, Miss Clarence.
My name is Belinda Simpson.
I was sent here to tend to the children.
I was told we'd have a doctor...
but-but I'll take a nurse.
- I am a doctor.
- Sorry?
I'm not a nurse.
I'm the new doctor in Sikeston.
Please come in.
Follow me.
[ Sighs ]
Pardon me.
Where are the children?
Oh. I try to keep
the healthy children outside in-
in the- the fresh air as much as possible.
All I'm saying
is something's gotta be done.
Evans thinks we're just gonna stand by...
and let our families suffer for the deeds
of these orphans. Well, we need to show him.
- We need to show him who's really in charge here.
- Ray.
You're driving away all my customers.
Not my fault if these people
don't want to listen to reason.
Apologies, ma'am.
[Birds Chirping]
We lost one just this week.
I'm not sure what this
illness is called...
Dr. Simpson...
but, uh...
it's unlike any kind of
influenza I've ever seen.
[ Exhales ]
On any day, this orphanage...
is home to about 30 kids.
When the sickness started...
it hit five of my charges
in the first week.
- [ Child Groaning]
- And at the end of the month-
Three died.
I've got 10 sick.
Hello, sweetie.
Dropped your doll. Here you go.
- Huh?
- [ Girl ] Thank you, Miss Clarence.
I've enlisted the healthy children
to run the place...
[ Sighs ]
I'm worried that I-
I'm endangering them too.
[ Exhales ] Lillian's the only one
who will work in the ward.
May I?
Oh, please.
It's very nice of you
to help the other children.
I don't need help.
It's an important job.
And nobody does it as good as me.
I had no intention of taking your job
away from you, Lillian.
Good, 'cause we don't
trust strangers around here.
Kids need someone they know
looking after them.
[ Child Groans ]
- Quite the handful.
- [ Chuckles ]
Ah, she's something.
She's tenacious...
but an immense help to me.
Stick your tongue out for me.
And what did you say
the average recovery time was?
Well, there isn't one.
Nobody's gotten any better.
[Horse Whinnies ]
- You shouldn't be helping them orphans.
- Sorry?
I know who you are.
You're here to help us, not those no-accounts
spreading plague to half this town.
I take it youre Ray Russell.
Miss Clarence warned me about you.
It's me who should be
warning you, Miss Simpson.
- You have no idea what youre getting involved in.
- It's Dr. Simpson.
Thank you for your concern, but I can
take care of myself. And just so you know...
I'm here to take care of
everyone in this town.
We're the ones pay your salary,
the good God-fearing folks...
who don't deserve
this plight visited upon us.
No one deserves to suffer, Mr. Russell.
Not you, and certainly not
a bunch of innocent children.
Those children ain't innocents.
They come from beggars, liars and thieves.
You cannot blame children for the misdeeds
of their parents or your own.
What are you talking about?
I ain't done nothing wrong.
You want to send children
out on the prairie to die.
- If you don't think that's wrong-
- He causing you a problem, ma'am?
I'll ask you to stay out of this matter, Lee.
This ain't none of your concern.
Ray, you got no business
bothering the doctor.
Shes just trying to do her job,
just like other folks.
Let God help the unfortunates.
You're here to help us.
- [ Man ] Howdy, jasper.
- Hey. How are you?
That's not very Christian
of you, is it, Ray?
You have quite the welcoming
committee in Sikeston.
Please, don't judge
the rest of us on Ray Russell.
Oh. Where's my manners?
Lee Owens. Blacksmith.
Belinda Simpson.
But I have a feeling you already know that.
Well, it's a small town.
News travels fast-
especially when the mayor
hires a woman doctor.
- You got quite the temper, ma'am.
- I think it's unfair to attack children.
You don't need to convince me.
I don't hold much with the witch hunt myself.
Do you think you could point me in the right
direction to the Pines' residence, please?
Well, it's a little late in the day...
and I get the feeling you haven't
had a chance to settle in yet.
Why don't you turn in?
I'll take you there first thing in the mornin'.
Very well then. First thing tomorrow.
I'll be over at the clinic.
I know the way.
- Evenin', Doc.
- Thank you, Mr. Owens. You as well.
Hard first day?
I'm sorry. I hope you haven't been
waiting for me this whole time.
I went down to the general store
to get supplies.
From what I heard people saying,
I figured it'd be a while.
And I thought you might be hungry,
so I saved you a plate from supper.
Thank you.
So, what'd you hear?
Plague of God.
Some sort of influenza.
Annie, I think I know what it is.
When I was little
in the tenements of New York...
it would burn through
the houses every summer...
and by July,
someone in each family was sick.
More died than survived.
I think it might be cholera.
We'll get through this together.
You know...
the old Belinda would have said...
that it was divine providence
that I was here to help her.
That was before I knew the truth.
We can pray all we want,
but no one's listening.
No God saved Drew as he lay dying in bed.
All we have in this world are ourselves.
[ Chattering]
Start talking to the townspeople.
We need to figure out where this thing
started and how it got spread.
Where are you headed?
I'm gonna go and give
the mayor my diagnosis...
and then I've gotta go see
John and Meredith Pine.
[ No Audible Dialogue]
- Good luck.
- You too. We'll both need it.
I'm sorry to interrupt, Mayor,
but I was told I could find you here.
Well, I'm in the middle of my breakfast.
If youd like to meet me in my office
in a while, we can have a chat.
I have a very busy day ahead of me, sir...
and I was hoping I could speak to you now.
All right, Doctor.
What's on your mind?
It's about the sickness at the orphanage.
I don't believe it's influenza, sir.
I think it's cholera.
[ Whispers ] Keep your voice down.
Besides, that's not possible.
I have read about this...
and this disease is a disease
of poverty and the unclean.
And here in town we are very proud
of our civic improvements.
No one is exactly sure
how the disease is spread.
That's one of the difficulties
in fighting it.
Well, what about a vaccine?
I've also read that they're making strides
against smallpox using vaccines.
Unless we know what causes the disease,
we can't invent a vaccine.
- Then how do you cure it?
- There isn't a cure.
Then I suggest you find one, Doctor.
"Cholera is a disease of the unclean."
I wasn't aware you attended
medical school, Mayor Evans.
Seems like I was right
about your temper, Doc.
I'm just so frustrated, and these people-
Watch yourself now.
These people are also my people.
Except you don't support making poor,
defenseless orphans homeless as well.
True. But it wouldn't hurt to understand why
they might want to do something like that.
I don't care how frightened I was.
I would never endanger the lives of children.
Maybe so. But if you understand
why they're afraid...
well, that might help you
get your point across.
You're probably right.
- Are you here to take me
to see the Pines, Mr. Owens?
- Yes, ma'am.
Well, thank you for your kindness, Mr. Owens.
I'm finding it's a rarity in this town.
Aw, give us a chance, Doc.
You might find that Sikeston
can be a very welcoming town.
Mrs. Pine. This is Dr. Belinda Simpson.
She's here to help.
Thank you for coming.
- Give my best to john, will ya?
- Will do. Thank you, Mr. Owens.
Have a good day, ladies.
- Are you feeling better?
- I'm sorry?
I was told that you and your husband came down
with the same sickness as the children.
- I'm actually quite relieved someone's recovering.
- I'm not sick at all, ma'am.
It's my husband and daughter.
They fell ill almost a week ago.
Ella, you said the doctor was coming.
Who's this?
I am the doctor, Mr. Pine.
I'm here to take care of you.
I already got a woman to take care of me.
I need- I need a real doctor.
Please, john. just let Dr. Simpson
take a look at you.
He's been like this for days.
He can't even stand
for a few minutes at a time.
Neither one of them
can keep anything down.
Is it the same sickness as those orphans?
I think so.
I believe it's cholera.
- Cholera?
- Please. Keep it down.
- I don't want to upset your husband or Meredith.
- Oh, my Lord.
John and Meredith
are all I have in this world.
Are they gonna die?
I'm gonna do everything I can.
I need you to keep cold compresses
on their foreheads...
to get the fever down,
and keep them resting.
And give them as much water as you can.
I'll be back to check on them tomorrow.
Thank you, Doctor.
[ Sighs ]
[ Chattering]
I don't understand.
Are you the doctor, or aren't ya?
I'm a doctor,
but I'm here to help Dr. Simpson.
You and your friend need to
stop asking so many questions-
especially around the hotel.
Sikeston's a town on the grow.
We can't afford talk like this.
No. What you can't afford
is to ignore the problem.
Things like this orphan sickness-
I've seen them turn boomtowns
into ghost towns in a matter of months.
We know what the problems is.
Now, if youll excuse me, miss.
[ Exhales Sharply]
[ Children Laughing
In Distance ]
- [ Girl ] Stop it. We're gonna get caught.
- Okay.
[ Knife Thuds ]
Looks like you could use some more help.
Seems like you've got
a big enough job on your own.
Don't be needing to take on other chores.
Besides, making a stew for 30 kids...
is a lot harder than
baking a cake for a husband.
I've done my fair share of kitchen duty.
Watching your servants do the work
ain't the same thing as doing it yourself.
I can tell rich folks when I see 'em.
Educated doesn't necessarily mean rich.
Actually, you and I have a lot in common.
- I grew up in an orphanage too.
- Right.
It's true.
Too many kids, not nearly enough food.
They pay for your fancy schoolin'?
I never heard of an orphan
becoming a doctor before.
That's because I was lucky enough...
to be adopted by a wonderful family
when I was 14.
But I wouldn't be who I was today
If I hadn't grown up the way I did.
We all have our sorrows.
[ Sighs ]
If you want to make yourself useful,
I could use some more water for the pot.
The pump's in the yard.
Lillian's got me doing manual labor.
[ Laughs ]
- Spirited girl.
- [ Chuckles ]
What made her so wounded?
Her father was killed on the railroad.
Lillian was five years old...
when her mother couldn't
take care of her anymore.
She told Lillian that her father
had gotten the job just to support her-
that she was the reason
for the misery in the family.
Just what a child needs to hear.
She doesn't
talk much about it.
If you press hard, she lashes back.
She's been known to have-
[ Chuckles ]
a couple of pretty good
tantrums now and then.
- And you condone that behavior?
- No. Certainly not.
But try as you might to cage the lioness,
she will find a way to roar.
[ Chuckles ]
And, uh, speaking of which...
I heard about your little
run-in with Ray Russell.
It was out of line.
I had no right to speak to him that way.
And I'd do it again.
I know the town is afraid.
I'm just as scared as anybody else.
But I- I don't understand how they can...
- use God to justify what they want to do.
- I do.
When science can't explain something,
people turn to superstition...
to- to comfort them,
give order to their lives.
Surely you don't believe...
God is a superstition.
- I believe what I can see.
- But you're in the field of medicine.
They've just now discovered germs.
We know the children are sick.
We know a germ caused it...
but we all agree that we can't see it...
but we know it's there.
Just as we-we...
can't see God, but we can see
the effect of him in the world.
It's hardly the same thing.
And with microscopes,
you can see bacteria.
Perhaps you haven't had
the opportunity to know God.
If you read the Bible-
I've read the Bible, Miss Clarence...
and my family was very religious.
My views were formed by my own experiences,
and they are not up for discussion.
You're entitled to your beliefs, Doctor...
as are the rest of us.
[ Belinda's Voice ] Dear Mama, I've been
in Sikeston for a little more than a day...
and I already wonder if I've done
the right thing in coming here.
I knew the town needed me,
but things are much worse than I feared.
I think the disease they believed
to be influenza is actually cholera.
It's a terrible situation for everyone.
The disease seems to be coming
from the local orphanage...
and all the townspeople want to do
is send these poor children out on the street.
They're selfish. They don't care
about what happens to the kids.
And everyone looks to me
as if I'm supposed to make it all better.
The illness is bigger than me, and I'm afraid
they've put too much faith in me.
I'm afraid I'll let them down.
Especially this one little girl Lillian...
who reminds me so much of me at that age-
the person I was before you took me in.
I want to help Lillian find her own way,
but I can't even find my own path.
I wish I could talk to you and Grandma.
I wish I had your strength.
Miss Clarence, this is my good friend Annie.
She's a doctor as well.
Good. Come on, come on, come on.
- That's a good trick, Lillian. Where'd you learn it?
- I don't know.
People get sick around here a lot,
and nobody wants to help Miss Clarence.
just makes sense.
You need to get their heads up,
else the water just runs right back out.
Or they choke.
There you go, Katie.
Very brave, helping the sick.
Weren't brave, miss.
I just like helping people.
Well, see? We have a lot in common.
That's why I became a doctor- to help people.
- Lillian, wait.
- What?
You're not using the same cup
with all the children, are you?
There's just me and Miss Clarence
in the infirmary rooms...
and the rest of the kids
is busy cooking and cleaning.
- You can't do that, Lillian.
- We ain't got time to wash dishes.
- Do you know what a germ is?
- No.
It's what makes people sick.
And if you let everyone drink out of
the same cup, it spreads it around.
Give me that.
I've gotta find Miss Clarence.
You and Belinda seem very close.
Well, we've been best friends
since the first day of medical school.
- Oh.
- We kind of had to be.
It was two more years
before we saw another woman.
- [ Footsteps Approaching]
- Hi.
[ Miss Clarence ]
Oh. Hello.
Lillian said you're using the same
few dishes with all the sick children.
Yes. Well, there are
so few healthy children...
they- they can barely handle
the dishes we do use.
That isn't acceptable, Miss Clarence.
Every child must be fed
with their own dish...
and those dishes need to be
cleaned every single night.
And certainly not handled by
the healthy children, if you can help it.
The children in the infirmary
are already sick.
I didn't think it would
make any difference.
By Lillian using the same cup, she's spreading
the same germs to all those children.
They can't be expected to get better
when you continuously feed them the disease.
I- I- I'm doing the best I can, Belinda.
I 'm not a doctor, so...
tell me what you want me to do, and I-
I'm happy to do it.
We need to rewash
every dish we can find...
in the hottest water we can stand.
I'll boil some water.
You needn't yell at her, Belinda.
And Mrs. Clarence didn't go to medical school.
She doesn't know these things.
- That's why we're here.
- I'll apologize to her later.
Well, we have a restaurant's
worth of dishes to do.
[ Carriage Approaching]
Need some help with that pail?
I've done my fair share of chores.
I think I can manage on my own.
I'm sure you can.
But just because you can manage
doesn't mean you ought to.
You only have yourself to rely on, Mr. Owens.
Best not to forget that.
I thought I was the only one
who made house calls.
Miss Clarence is having some
trouble with her gutters.
Thought I'd stop by and take a look.
You know, I'll just be up there
for another half hour.
After that, I'd love your company
for lunch, if you're free.
[ Chuckles ]
Uh, I don't even know you.
Well, lunch could go
a long way to remedy that.
Mr. Owens...
I thank you for your invitation...
but I'm afraid I'm much too busy.
I'll be using my lunch break
to do research at the clinic.
Well, seems like the children
are in good hands.
Another time then?
[ Groans ]
[ Lillian Sighs ]
Sorry I made you sick, Katie.
I swear I didn't mean it.
I promise Doc Belinda's doing everything
she can to make you better.
I'll be right here to help her.
I'll be okay, Lillian.
- He's gettin' worse, isn't he?
- He's fighting, Mrs. Pine.
[ Exhales ]
- [Horse Whinnies ]
- [ Exhales Deeply]
[ Chattering]
Even the busy need to eat.
You are a very persistent man, Mr. Owens.
Uh, I thought I'd...
help you with your research.
Oh, I can read. So-
As you wish.
Just, uh, tell me what youre looking for.
Thank you.
Why can't it be the food?
Because it doesn't make sense.
The orphanage doesn't grow their own food.
It comes from the farmers.
The farmers sell it to the general store.
The whole town buys from Gus.
And they don't have a garden?
Well, you've seen what Miss Clarence
has to contend with.
She doesn't have time for a garden.
[ Lee Clears Throat ]
I should get back to the shop.
Oh. Thank you for your help-
and lunch.
Oh, you're welcome.
You know, those children are lucky to have you.
They could use a few more defenders.
Well, I grew up in an orphanage,
just like them.
I know what it's like to feel like
you're nobody's child.
I'm sorry.
N- Nobody deserves that.
No one does.
[Door Opens, Closes ]
[ Chattering ]
[ Man ]
What's Hattie Clarence doing in town?
- [ Man #2 ] Make her tell us the truth, Mayor.
- Hattie Clarence...
has the same rights
as anyone else in this town.
- [ Woman Shouts ]
- [ Evans ] She came to me
like a responsible citizen.
[ Man ]
You're supposed to be protecting this town!
- [ Miss Clarence ] Please try to
understand. We need your help.
- What do you think is going on?
- [All Shouting ]
- [ Man ] We gotta get some answers!
[ Man #2 ] Take Florence Nightingale
and her children back where they came from!
People, quiet down.
Yelling doesn't solve anything.
I will address your concerns
one at a time.
The Malloys caught
the sickness last night.
The Malloys and now Betsy Donovan.
And this plague is spreading, folks.
Please! My children can't be responsible.
I haven't let them come near town
since this thing started.
They havent been
anywhere near you people!
"You people"? Our taxes pay for
that place, Hattie. Don't you forget it.
This town hasn't put
10 cents into that orphanage!
You people built it
with the best of intentions...
and then just left it there to rot!
All right. Now don't make it
personal, Hattie.
This is as personal as it gets, Mayor.
That woman is playing with our lives.
Ray, you can't blame Miss Clarence
or those children for whats happening here.
We don't even know
what this disease is yet.
We do know.
Doc Simpson says it's cholera.
[All Gasping]
[ Chattering]
- You knew about this, and you didn't warn us?
- She's doing the best she can.
Well, her best doesn't seem
very good, now, does it?
We need a real doctor, not some uppity
spinster who wants to play pretend.
Everyone, calm down.
We need to give Dr. Simpson enough time
to do her job. She needs a chance.
Our families are sick, Mayor.
How long are we supposed to wait?
Those orphans need to be run out of town.
All right. Now that's it.
That is enough.
We will have a town meeting,
tomorrow night, right here, 5:00.
And we will decide the fate
and future of the orphanage.
You heard it. The mayor said it.
On your way then.
[ Crowd Chattering]
Oh, Belinda.
I know how much you miss Drew.
- [ Rooster Crows ]
- [ Clanging]
- [ Dog Barking]
- [ Chattering]
What is it?
What is it?
I know why the sick
aren't getting any better.
Cholera doesn't directly kill the body.
It drains it of all its fluid...
and so the patient dies
from dehydration, right?
[Annie ] Well, that's why youve been
giving them so much water.
- Except for the fact that most
of it keeps coming back up.
- Exactly. So...
we need to find a way to give the children so
much water that their bodies retain some of it.
I don't understand.
The hospital at johns Hopkins
is doing an experiment-
a method called intravenous therapy.
Works just like taking blood,
only in reverse.
You drip a fluid- usually a medication-
into the body through the veins.
So by injecting it directly into the bloodstream
it's harder for the body to reject.
We have no idea how to
build something like this.
I'll go to the post office
and telegraph johns Hopkins.
Wait. Belinda, where are you going?
The post office doesn't open for two hours.
[ Chattering ]
- [ Girl] You got the hang of it.
- [ Girl #2 ] Yeah, I did.
- Oh, do you want to learn ones that I know?
- Okay.
I truly think this could work.
Dr. William Halsted
of johns Hopkins agrees...
it could be the most effective
way to treat the sick.
We don't have anything
like this in our infirmary.
Well, no one does.
Not yet at least.
Um, it's still fairly experimental.
We'd have to build
each one of them on our own.
Sounds expensive.
Belinda, I-
We hardly make ends meet here.
You're right.
I'll pay for it.
What? I can't ask you to do that.
You're not asking me.
And my father loves his causes.
Hed be more than happy to give us
anything that we needed.
So let's make the list,
and let me worry about paying for it.
Well, the most important element
is the rubber tubing. We can start there.
[ Exhales ] If you want more tubing,
I'll have to order it from St. Louis.
Would you? Oh, and I need as many bottles
as I can find. Soda bottles would be best.
[ Exhales ]
"Sody" bottles.
- Is this all right?
- Perfect.
Hey, Doc. I'd offer to help,
but I think I know what you're gonna say.
You're a fast learner, Mr. Owens.
[ Whispers ]
She's spending too much time here.
[ Whispers ] Would you mind
ifl took her to the clinic with me?
But if the disease
is passing person to person...
should she really be out there
with the townspeople?
She's not sick, and neither are we.
[ Chattering]
[ Lillian Sighs ]
You sure do have a lot of books.
Books are very important to me.
- There's nothing useful in books.
- That's not true at all.
I found the idea for the intravenous therapy
in this very book.
Besides, my mama taught me
that the really good ones...
can take you places
you might never see otherwise.
Like China or Africa or France.
I thought you said
you were an orphan like me.
And I told you that I was very lucky
to be adopted by my mama.
- So she's not really your mother.
- Yes, she is.
Family's just what you make of it.
Miss Clarence is a part of your family,
just like Annie is a part of mine.
C- Can I be a part of your family?
- [Door Closes ]
- Do you ladies have the supplies ready?
We should start working
on the intravenous devices.
Yes, we should.
[ Clears Throat ]
[ Crowd Chattering]
Oh. Thank you, Cyrus.
Thank you very much.
All right, everybody.
Now, I want you to all understand
that I hear your concerns.
I don't think you do, Mayor.
We're talking about our lives here.
What if sending the children away
doesn't stop the disease?
It can very well spread
even after the kids are gone.
And then the death of innocent children
will be on your hands.
All right.
The bottom line is this.
Dr. Simpson is working on a new treatment.
She just needs a little time
to put it into place.
There's plenty here who believe the time
to put 'em out is long overdue.
[ Murmuring Assent ]
All right, then.
We'll put it to a vote.
All those in favor of giving
Doc Simpson one week...
to implement her new plan, say aye.
And those who want to shut down
the orphanage permanently...
will say nay.
- All those in favor?
- Aye!
- Aye!
- All those opposed?
- Nay!
- All right. The ayes have it. Dr. Simpson...
you have one week to show
some improvement in those children.
And we will reconvene then
and take another vote.
Until then, this meeting is dismissed.
Go on. Thank you.
No loitering here. Move along now.
[ Chattering ]
[ Crow Cawing]
- How's it comin'?
- Turns out I'm not much of an inventor.
Let me see what you got there.
I need to fill the bottle
with liquid and then...
have it drip slowly through the tube.
But I can't figure out how to get
the opening narrow enough.
Well, even if you manage
to get the tube attached...
how are you gonna get the liquid
in once it's sealed?
I hadn't even thought of that.
I may have an idea.
That'll do it.
It's still a little hot.
Take a minute to cool down.
- [ Sizzles ]
- How did you do that?
Well, it's more involved than I'm used to-
I'll give you that- but not that hard.
See, now you can just...
pop the cap on the bottle like this...
and then refill it as you need to.
And I thought I was so clever.
I never would have gotten that to work.
I think youre also gonna need a stand
to hold the bottle up like this.
I'll see if I can work
something out this afternoon.
That is so kind of you.
You know, you're the only one that
calls them "children" instead of orphans."
I think youre the only one in this town
that's on their side.
No, that's not true.
They've got you, don't they?
Besides, everyone needs
someone to fight for them.
No child should have to
manage on their own.
I don't think this town realized that
until you got here.
I'm sorry.
I need to go.
Um, just bring the rest
of your supplies down...
and, uh, I'll have these
finished up by tomorrow.
If you ever need some...
help, I- I know of someone.
- You?
- Lillian.
I think she could use the company
just as much as you could use the help.
Sure. I'll, uh, drop by the orphanage
and pick her up this afternoon.
Oh, she'll like that.
[Lillian ]
Belinda's pretty smart, isn't she?
She sure is. I couldn't have come up
with something like this.
I would have-
you know, if I had
her kind of book smarts.
[ Chuckles ]
Doc Belinda says I'm clever.
Well, I think she's right.
[ Inhales Deeply]
All right. [ Exhales ]
Let's get started on the next set of tops.
- I'll just go get some water.
- I'm a good worker.
Doc Belinda says
I'm the only one she trusts.
So, just point me in the direction of
your bucket, and I'll take it from there.
You'll take it from there?
Are you sure you can handle that?
Of course I'm sure.
All right.
The bucket's right there.
[Horse Whinnies ]
People are silly.
This bucket is so small.
It'll take three trips
to get enough water.
[ Water Pouring]
I don't need any help.
I'm just fine on my own, thank you.
- Ain't you from the orphanage?
- Yes. My name's Lillian.
Yeah? What are you doing outside, child?
I'm getting water for Mr. Owens.
We've got lots of work to do
for Doc Belinda.
Is that right?
- Dr. Simpson let you come out here?
- Yes. It was her idea. Why?
Howdy, Ray.
- You all right, Lill?
- Yes, Mr. Owens.
I didn't touch a hair
on that child's head, Lee.
She shouldn't be out here,
and you know that.
You aren't gonna go near
any of these children...
or Dr. Simpson ever again.
Come on, Lill.
Let's get back to work.
You sure you want to be touching that
vermin, Lee? She might infect you too.
For God's sake...
Ray, they're children.
[ Exhales Sharply]
Come on.
- Let's get back to work.
- [ Horses Whinnying]
You know, I just remembered
we're out of eggs.
And we certainly can't make
breakfast tomorrow without them.
Well, let's go to the general store
before it closes.
I can take care of that.
Why dont you go check on Lee's progress
with the intravenous devices?
I'll meet you back here in a few minutes.
[Horses Whinnying]
Howdy, Doc.
Lillian had a lot of fun
with you this afternoon.
- Well, I enjoyed her company too.
- She couldn't stop talking about it.
She speaks very highly of you too.
I'm sorry I left so abruptly.
Well, I know you were married,
if thats what you want to tell me.
I'm sorry about your husband.
I'm beginning to think Annie should have
just taken out an ad in the newspaper.
It would have been faster
than telling everyone.
Well, she only told me
because she knew you wouldn't.
I like you a lot, Lee.
I just...
don't know if Im ready.
That's all right.
I'm a very patient man.
And you're well worth waiting for.
But, uh...
I don't want you to walk away from this
just 'cause youre scared.
I can't lose anyone.
- I'm not goin' anywhere.
- You don't know that.
Look whats going on in this town.
You think Carl Russell
ever even thought about cholera?
You can't go through life worried about
what's around every corner.
You have to let yourself have some joy.
Otherwise, what's the point?
[Sighs ]
[ Exhales Deeply]
whenever youre ready...
you know where to find me.
Good day, Mr. Owens.
Have a good day, Doc.
A letter came for you.
You ready to walk home?
[ Belinda ]
I really am gonna miss you.
[ Mother's Voice ]
My dearest Belinda...
I am so sorry to hear
Of your struggles in Missouri.
I try not to, but I can't help
but worry for your safety.
But I trust in God and truly believe that you
have been sent to help the people of Sikeston.
We all have times of fear and doubt.
We all wonder why we were given
such a heavy burden to carry.
But know in your heart that God never
gives us more than we can handle...
even when it might
seem that way.
When I am afraid, it is prayer
that carries me through to happier times...
and reassures me that
everything happens for a reason.
You're always in our thoughts, Belinda.
Stay safe, and I look forward
to hearing from you soon.
Love, Mama.
- Will that hurt?
- Not much at al l.
[ Breathing Erratically ]
Will this make them better?
I think so.
[ Lillian ] You should have seen it, Katie.
Bill Dobbs got chewing gum stuck in his hair.
And he tried everything to get it out.
Miss Clarence put so much mayonnaise
on his head, he smelled like a rotten salad.
Katie, can you hear me?
[ Lillian Exhales ]
Katie seems worse today.
[ Whispering ]
Oh. She was never a healthy child to begin with.
I think that's why she and Lillian
get along so well.
They're my two little outcasts.
I know what that feels like.
I can tell.
I think that's why youre such a-
a strong, fine example for her.
No. Not a wonderful example,
least of all to a 10-year-old.
You're a strong woman doctor...
with a good heart.
The very definition of a- a fine example.
Going through a tough time
doesn't make you a bad person.
Those things define who we become.
In the best of times,
everyone grows and prospers...
when times...
are at their worst...
we find out what we have in us.
- You're only saying that
because of what Annie told you.
- Belinda, no.
I see the loss...
and the grief in everything
you do and say.
I've worked here in the orphanage
for the last 20 years.
I know the signs.
[ Exhales Sharply]
Oh, God.
[ Birds Twittering]
I know Annie told you about my husband.
Drew had tuberculosis.
It was long and painful...
and I couldn't help him.
And when he died...
the head nurse of the sanatorium
took me to see his body...
and told me that it was God's will.
[Weeping ]
And I thought...
how could any God make me a doctor...
if, with all my medical training-
[ Sniffling ]
I still couldn't save my husband...
my own husband?
I gave up trying
to understand God's will...
oh, long, long ago.
Maybe we're just not meant to.
So I'm just supposed to believe that
everything will work out like it should.
I think maybe that's right.
Otherwise, you spend
so much time worrying...
that you miss all the happy times...
and the people...
who might have been important to you.
[ Horses Nickering]
- Thank you.
- Thank you, ma'am.
[ Sighs ]
You sure you're gonna be okay without me?
I'll have to be, won't I?
Thank you for everything, Annie.
I couldn't have done this without you.
I feel the same way.
I wish I wasn't saying good-bye to you.
This isn't good-bye.
I'll be in Kansas before you can even miss me.
- I'm gonna hold you to that.
- You'd better.
[ Chuckling ]
[Man ]
Ready, ma'am?
- Bye.
- Bye.
- [ Horse Neighing ]
- [ Man ] Giddap.
- Sorry to see Annie leave.
- Me too.
- But it was time for her to move on.
- Yeah.
Would it be all right if I accompany you
to the town meeting tonight?
Have I ever told you
you're a very persistent man?
Many times, ma'am.
Then I suppose your persistence
has paid off. I'd be honored.
[ Chuckles ]
[Belinda's Voice ]
I'll miss Annie now that she's gone...
but I knew she couldn't stay forever.
Life changes when it wants to,
and often in the most unexpected ways.
I've met a wonderful man named Lee.
I just don't know yet
If I can let go of Drew...
or how I'm even supposed to.
But my heart is light in ways
it hasn't been for a long while.
Thank you so much
for your love and support...
and know that I miss you,
Pa, Maddie and Jacob each day.
Love, Belinda.
[ Bell Tolling ]
Doc Simpson!
Please! You have to come quick.
It's john.
He wouldn't wake up when I came
to check on him this morning.
[ Crying ]
[ Sniffles ]
Oh, God.
[Lillian ]
No! No, please! Please!
- Lillian, it's all right. Here.
- Katie can't be dead!
I took care of her myself!.
- Please! Please!
- Look, Lillian, dear, it'll be all right.
- You took care of her.
- Please, Miss Clarence. Please, make her better.
- You'll be all right, sweetheart.
- When did this happen?
- Sometime during the night.
- It's not true!
- Lillian-
- It's not true!
You'll be all right. Okay?
Lillian, I am so sorry.
Sorry doesn't make it better!
[Footsteps Departing]
- [ Sighs ]
- Miss Clarence-
- Are you okay? Okay.
- [ Groans ]
All right. All right.
All right.
Come here.
It's okay.
I came as soon as I heard.
I'm failing, Lee. These people are dying,
and I can't figure it out...
and I don't understand why.
You're not failing.
You're doing everything you can.
You came up with that contraption
to help people get back the fluid they lost.
Given them all the water they can take.
- [ Sighs ]
- They haven't eaten in days...
so it's not just water they're lacking.
That's it. I've been replacing
the water but not the nutrients.
You know, they used to give puppies
cow's milk if the mother died.
- It's not the same, right?
- No, because cow's milk
doesn't have the same nutrients.
So they came up with a solution
of water, sugar and salt.
- And it worked?
- Mortality rate dropped by more than half.
That's what I should've
been doing all along.
I'm gonna go to the general store
and pick up some salt and sugar...
and then I'll make it at the orphanage
right at the kitchen.
All right.
I think that about does it.
- Doctor?
- Mayor.
I need you to postpone the town meeting.
Just one or two days.
I think I can help these people.
I just need some more time.
- There isn't going to be a meeting, Dr. Simpson.
- What?
Four more townspeople have fallen ill.
John Pine and the orphan.
The town council felt
it was too dangerous...
to try and bring people together
under close quarters.
That's a very good idea, Mayor.
Just give me the names of the new patients...
and I should be able
to get to everybody tonight.
- I just need to start with the orphanage.
- You will do no such thing.
As of tomorrow morning,
Sikeston will no longer have an orphanage.
A- Are you serious?
I most certainly am.
I came here to post an eviction notice.
You're gonna put those sick children
out on the street.
Dont you understand, nobody's gonna
take them in. They're gonna die.
Lee, I did my best!
I can't protect them anymore.
just give me two more days, Mayor.
Please. Two more days.
No one but Lee or myself will be able
to go in or out of the orphanage.
- It's practically quarantined anyway.
- I'll try.
I'll try again.
I'm afraid this situation
might already be out of my control.
[ Sighs ]
- You sure about the ratios?
- I think so.
Just remember to put more sugar
than salt into the mixture.
And make sure it boils completely...
so the crystals don't clog up
the intravenous contraptions.
- All right.
- All right. I'm gonna go talk to Lillian.
I hate to involve such
a little girl in all of this...
but I don't think we can do without her.
You feeling okay, Lillian?
Do you feel sick?
Ain't been sick a day in my life.
Katie was my only friend.
Now I got nobody.
I didn't know, Doc Belinda.
I swear.
I didn't mean to hurt them.
What are you talking about?
You said it was making them sick-
feeding everybody with the same cup.
It's my fault.
I didn't know!
- You didn't hurt anyone.
- I did!
You said so.
I shouldn't have said that.
I was upset, and I wasn't thinking.
I didn't mean that you made anyone sick.
That's just not true.
[ Sniffles, Sighs ]
If its anyone's fault, it's mine.
[ Sighs ]
But you work so hard, miss.
Before you got here,
Nobody came to help us.
You tried.
Miss Clarence says
sometimes that's all we can do.
She's right.
And Miss Clarence needs us right now.
She needs us to be strong...
even if we don't feel so tough.
- Can you do that?
- I can if you can.
It's a deal.
Come on.
[ Woman ]
#And know #
# That hope can heal#
# And life #
# Must carry on #
# In your face #
# Is my return to grace #
# And your smile #
# Is the light#
# That makes me strong#
# Like a child#
# If I touch #
# Then can I feel again #
# This hurt will find relief#
# If I love #
# Then can I heal again #
# And restore
an innocent belief#
# Like a child##
## [ Vocalizing ]
## [ Ends ]
- [ Fire Crackling ]
- [ Horse Whinnying ]
- Fire!
- [ Ringing ]
Oh, God. Oh, God!
[ Grunting ]
Get some water!
[ Grunts ]
[ Grunting ]
I'm gonna go get another bucket.
- [ Woman Gasping ] What's going on?
- We need some help!
[ Woman ]
Come on! Get down there!
[ Woman Speaking, Indistinct ]
Ya ought not let them orphans play with fire,
Miss Simpson. Somebody might get hurt.
Stop, Lee.
I'll handle this.
All right!
What in the hell were you thinking, Ray?
People could've died.
Yeah, a few may have died,
but it's for the good of many.
Does anyone hold
with what this man did tonight?
- We can't abide by this, Ray!
- [ Townspeople Murmuring]
Well, that's just fine.
You go ahead and let those no-accounts
be the undoing of this town.
- I'm proud of what I done.
- You have nothing to be proud of!.
Ustes, lock this piece of trash up.
Get him out of here.
You come along now.
Don't test me, Ray.
just you wait. You reap what you sow, people.
You hear me?
You reap what you sow.
[ Labored Breathing]
How could anyone believe that that's what
God wanted them to do?
If you want to believe something enough...
I suppose you...
search for... justification.
What Ray Russell did...
has nothing to do with God.
I know.
Or at least I used to know.
I worked for this woman once
whose two children died...
and she turned away from God.
And I remember wondering...
how could you not know...
that your faith would carry you
through your hardships?
And then when Drew died,
I waited to be carried.
For weeks, all night and day...
I waited for a sign that God was there...
and I heard nothing.
And then one day,
I just stopped listening.
Just because we don't hear
what we want to...
doesn't mean God isn't speaking.
- [ Exhales ]
- I'm trying to listen.
I just don't understand
what I'm supposed to listen for.
Talk to God.
And then, be silent.
He will answer you.
Sleep well, Miss Clarence.
[ Exhales ]
[ Coughs ]
[ Sniffs ]
God, I know it's... been a long time
since weve spoken.
And Ive tried to do right by this town.
By these children.
And I don't know
if theres any more I can do.
These children deserve to be happy...
healthy and loved.
[ Voice Breaking ]
Please, let this be enough...
to save them.
Please, I need you.
Thank you.
Her fever broke just after dawn.
I'm glad, Mrs. Pine.
She's not out of the woods yet.
She'll need to continue treatment
for at least two weeks.
Anything you say.
And I want you eating solid food
as soon as you feel up to it.
Thank you so much, Dr. Simpson.
[Belinda ]
I've gotten to all the townspeople.
Not everyone has responded, but the worst off
will probably come around in a few days.
Good. I'll take that batch up to the kids
and bottle the rest for the town.
[ Chuckles ]
[ Snaps Fingers ]
[ Clucking ]
Looks like he got away from you.
Uh, I know.
I should be helping inside.
But it gets so stuffy in there.
Well, no girl should be
cooped up inside all day.
Miss Clarence says that thing
ain't run well since Buchanan was in office.
And if its rusted through again...
might need Mr. Owens to fix it.
Lillian, a woman is just as capable
at fixing a water pump as a man.
Sure, if you had a wrench.
- Do you got a wrench?
- No.
I better go in and tell
Mr. Owens about the pump.
But if you need water now,
the well is right through those trees.
Come on.
I'll show you.
It's just right back there.
Thank you.
Lillian told me about the water pump.
I'll get it fixed right away. You wanna
stay away from the water in this well.
- You knew it looked like this.
- The town hasn't used it in a few years.
Ever since we got
the water pumps up and running.
How long have people
been dumping into the well?
I'm not sure.
Mayor tried to board it up a few years ago...
but people would just rip the planks off
and use it anyway.
I've known about it for a while,
but I'm not sure when it started.
- Thank you.
- Where you headed?
I need to tell the mayor to stop
the town from using the water pumps.
- Why?
- You want me to tell the people in town...
to stop using water.
Yes. Or at least
boil the water for two minutes.
Because the well is just not safe.
I know the well isn't safe.
That's why we use the pumps.
Except all of the water
comes from the same place.
People have been dumping rotted wood
and rusted metal in it for months now...
both of which are a breeding ground
for bacteria.
The germs spread through the water, and
you accidentally contaminated the entire system.
Which is why none of the farmers
got sick.
See, they're too far away
from the well to be affected.
It started at the orphanage
and moved toward the town.
But the well is separate from the pumps.
Not really.
All of the town's water runs together
underground. It's just like a pond.
You only have
three pumps in town, Mayor...
all of which are only
a quarter of a mile away.
Once the well was contaminated,
it was just a matter of time...
before it spread to the groundwater.
Mayor, if people continue
to drink this water...
people will continue to get sick.
- But the sickness came from the orphans.
- No.
It came from the water
under the orphanage.
It's just like Miss Clarence said-
We left that place to rot,
and now we're paying for it.
I had no idea this was going on.
Y- You have to understand that.
There's no need to place blame.
Doesn't matter how it happened, just as long
as we fix it and it never happens again.
[ Sighs ]
I will be here
for as long as you need me...
so there are no excuses
getting out of bed.
I'm not sure- Lillian-
what she'll do with herself...
when you're not around here so much.
She's become so attached to you.
Oh, we'll see each other.
It's an orphanage.
The splinters and hay fever alone
will keep me busy for years.
You get some rest.
Ah- Ow.
Oh, thank you, dear. Oh.
- I'm gonna catch you!
- You can't catch me! Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah.
You know, I was never very good at those.
- They always fell apart.
- I can teach you.
I'd like that.
[ Chuckles ]
I guess you gotta get back to...
helping the rest of the town.
You make it sound
like I'm going somewhere.
My office is right down the street.
I know.
But we're only allowed out of the yard...
when Miss Clarence takes us
to the general store...
to get a penny candy
for somebody's birthday.
- Then I'll just have to come visit you.
- Yeah.
And I'll get permission for you
to come work with me at the clinic.
I need my best assistant after all.
You don't need to do that to make me
feel better, Doc Belinda.
I know you don't need
a kid getting in your way.
Lillian, you're never in my way.
That's what everybody says...
but they don't mean it.
You don't have to feel bad about it.
Really. I'm just fine here
on my own.
Well, there's another option.
What's that?
You could come live with me.
- You mean it?
- I don't say things I don't mean.
But you would have to
focus on your schoolwork.
Education is very important to me.
I could do it if you help me.
And this wouldn't be
a temporary arrangement.
I want you to be a part of my family
if you want me to be a part of yours.
I love you, Doc Belinda.
I'll be the best daughter
you could ever hope for.
I love you too, Lillian.
[ Sighs ]
It's so funny.
When I was adopted by my mama...
she had my room set up
almost the exact same way.
Yeah. It's nice of you
to give Lillian her privacy.
Every girl needs privacy.
Especially when she's
never had any before.
Besides, this is only temporary
until I can afford a larger home.
About that-
I love you, Belinda Simpson.
- It's not going away. I don't
care how long I have to wait.
- Lee-
I know all the reasons
you have for saying no...
but I want to marry you.
- I would-
- Now, this is all new to me...
but I swear I'm gonna be
a good father to Lillian...
and husband to you.
[ Sniffles ]
I would love to marry you.
- [ Chuckles ]
- And I love you too.
[ Woman ]
#And like a child#
- Oh.
- # Who now has learned to breathe #
Do you, Lee Owens...
take Belinda Simpson
to be your lawfully wedded wife...
to love, honor and obey
all the days of your life?
I do.
And do you, Belinda Simpson...
take Lee Owens to be
your lawfully wedded husband...
to love, honor and obey
all the days of your life?
I do.
Then by the powers vested in me
by the great state of Missouri...
I pronounce you husband and wife.
[ Laughing ]
- # This is my return to grace #
- You may kiss her now.
- [ Townspeople Chuckling]
- Oh.
- [Applause ]
- [ Child] Yeah, you're married.
[ Cheering, Applause ]
- [ Man ] What a beautiful bride!
- [ Laughing ]
- # Can I feel again #
- [ Chattering ]
- [ Chuckling ]
- # This hurt#
# Will find relief#
# If I love #
# Then can I heal again #
# And restore
an innocent belief#
# Like a child##
We got a letter today.
- Who's it from?
- My mama, your grandma.
I really have grandmas now?
You sure do.
You got a bargain in the family department.
You got uncles and cousins...
and two grandmas,
and two grandmas who are crazy about you.
- How can Grandma Tyler be crazy about me?
- 'Cause I'm crazy about you.
- [ Chuckles ]
- What's it say?
"Dearest Belinda...
"I wish we could've been there
For your wedding to Lee.
"And the family cant wait
for your next visit...
so that we can welcome
our new son and granddaughter."
- ##[ Woman Vocalizing]
- [ Clicks Tongue ]
[ Belinda's Voice ] I know there will be
many more struggles ahead-
many more wonderful adventures as well.
As the Bible says,
"To everything there is a season...
and a time to every purpose under heaven. "
## [ Vocalizing Continues ]
## [ Ends ]