The Beguiled (1971) Movie Script

Take warning by me
Don't go for a soldier
Don't join no army
For the dove she will leave you
The raven will come
And death will come marching
At the beat of the drum
Come all you pretty fair maids
Come walk in the sun
And don't let your young man
Ever carry a gun
Oh, my God!
My daddy died that way.
Crawled off in the bushes
and bled to death.
Maybe you were the cause.
Are you dying, Mr. Yank?
Help me.
What's your name, girl?
But everybody calls me Amy.
And I'm Corporal John McBurney.
But everybody calls me McB.
How old are you, Amy?
- Thirteen in September.
- Shh.
Old enough for kisses.
Don't give up now, Mr. Yank.
I mean, Mr. McB.
Just over there.
Miss Martha, that smoke's
sure getting awful close.
You figure them Yanks is
gonna burn this place down?
Hallie, don't talk that way. It's hard
enough to get the girls to study as it is.
I can't emphasize enough
that French is a smiley language.
You're not paying attention.
I'm sorry, Miss Edwina,
but the war is sounding so close.
Doris says if the Yankees win,
they'll rape every one of us.
Miss Martha!
Miss Martha!
Miss Martha! Miss Martha!
Help! He's dying.
How did he get here?
By the grace of God, ma'am.
The grace of God in the
form of this here child.
What were you doing off
the school grounds?
Just picking some mushrooms. And
I didn't notice how far I was...
You know the punishment
for leaving the grounds.
Get him into the house.
Come and help me.
Miss Martha, I couldn't
leave him there to die.
Well, you wouldn't have
had to worry about it.
It would just have been
one less enemy soldier.
Corporal John McBurney,
66th New York.
I surrender to the
prettiest Confederates...
A real bluebelly.
There's only one way to
tell if he's a Yank.
How's that?
Take off his pants.
Yanks have tails.
Doris, stop that nonsense.
Amy, run on ahead and
open up the door.
And then come back and tie
the blue rag on the gate.
Go on!
You hear that?
The blue rag's a signal
for our local patrollers.
We're gonna feel awfully proud
turning one over to them.
- Is he dead?
- Lizzie, why didn't you sound the alarm?
- I'm sorry, Miss Martha.
- You must have seen him crossing the fields.
I was reading and I didn't see...
The lookout is not a reading room.
You get back up on
that widow's walk
and if you see any of our soldiers
coming, you let me know at once.
- Yes, ma'am.
- Let's put him down on the steps.
Careful. There.
Doris, Abigail, go get some sheets and
make up the divan in the music room.
I'll go put the water on to boil.
Amy, will you put the blue rag
on the gate as you were told?
Couldn't we wait a bit for that?
His pulse is weak and
he's lost a lot of blood.
Gallons and gallons, Miss Martha.
They'd take him away, even
though he's half dead.
They're not likely
to be by again today
and in any case they'd wait
until we dressed his wounds.
Will you do as I asked?
If this war goes on much longer,
I'll forget I ever was a woman.
Water's on the boil.
Y'all wasting your time.
I say we fix his leg, turn
him over to the patrol.
He'll die in prison just the same.
Mr. Yankee, there was enough iron
in your leg to shoe a horse.
I'm afraid it's some time since
the corporal had a bath.
I noticed. You ladies leave.
I'll get some clean water
and wash him down.
I'll fetch one of my brother's
nightshirts. Come, Edwina.
I thought so.
Is he going to die?
Someday. But for now
he is quite all right.
I don't want anyone poking in here
or lurking about in the halls.
There is lots of
mending to be done.
Into the parlor, all of you.
Pay no attention to them, Amy.
Did the ant kill the caterpillar?
No, they joined together and
dragged him underground.
Probably to eat him.
I don't see what this has to do
with that Yank you brought here.
I do.
The Yank's an intruder,
just like the caterpillar.
And you should never
have brought him here.
I agree. He's probably a spy.
I doubt that, Janie.
Miss Edwina, aren't you
afraid of that bluebelly?
It's bad manners to
call him a bluebelly.
He has a name.
Corporal John McBurney.
Call him by it.
I call him Mr. McB.
And I think he's ever so handsome.
I got him cleaned
good to the waist.
I'll lift him
and you put the nightshirt on him.
Come on, give me the other arm.
- Yes, Miss Martha.
- Well, help me.
Hold the sleeve and hold it up.
Yes, Miss Martha.
Now, pull off his pants.
Go ahead, Miss Martha. He's not made
no different than your brother.
I have asked you never
to speak of my brother.
Sorry, Miss Martha,
I didn't mean nothing.
The nightshirt recalled
Master Miles to me.
Surprising it didn't you, too.
Surprising you brought this
Yank into your house, too.
Him being a man and all.
I didn't want to.
Miss Martha, soldiers on the
road! They're on their way.
- All right, Lizzie.
- Should I go back up?
No, I should have had
you relieved before.
Janie, I believe it's your watch.
May we go greet them?
No, you may not. I don't
want them to see you, girl.
Come along.
- Captain.
- Ma'am.
What's the news?
We won. Grant's retreating.
- Oh, thank God.
- Go, get him! That way!
- Get back here, Yank!
- No!
- Shoot him!
- Hold your fire!
Get him and throw him in the wagon.
He just wanted to be shot.
Prefers a quick death to a
slow death in Fayette Prison.
That's where the poor
devils are headed.
How many young ladies are here?
We have six students and a teacher.
I sure wouldn't advertise
it if I were you.
Oh, you mean on the sign?
A lot of Yanks are separated
from their units.
They're roaming the woods
and they're desperate.
You think Miss Martha is gonna
tell them about Mr. McB?
Course she'll tell them.
That's why she went out there.
So, take care, ma'am.
- Captain! Captain...
- Yes, ma'am?
Our prayers go with you.
Thank you, ma'am. Forward!
They're going on.
What name do you go by?
Well, you can call me McB.
Yank'll do fine.
You and I ought to
be friends, Hallie.
How do you figure that?
Well, we're both kind of
prisoners here, aren't we?
We're different, Mr. Yank.
I can run.
I love you, Mr. Crow...
but until your wing's mended,
it's for your own good.
You can lower it now.
I couldn't have operated
the school without you.
I'm very grateful to you.
I'm the one to be grateful.
You've given me the only
home I have, Miss Martha.
Even after the war is over, it'll
still be difficult for years to come.
I'll have to devote myself
to running the farm.
I'd like you to concentrate on
building the school up again.
You've become very
dear to me, Edwina.
And I'm prepared to
make you a partner.
And provide in my will that
you'll inherit full ownership.
Miss Martha.
That's unbelievably generous.
I don't know what to say.
Well, there's not an ounce
of generosity in it.
I need somebody capable
and responsible.
You're my guarantee that the school
will continue to bear my name
and maintain my standards.
I don't know what to...
That's wonderful.
You know, you should pray
for the North to win.
Well, you don't like
being a slave do you?
No. Do you?
I'm nobody's slave.
You mean you just went out
and got yourself shot up
because you like being shot up?
Sometimes a man's got to do things
he doesn't particularly like.
Not if you're free you don't.
And you white folks ain't killing each
other because you care about us niggers.
White man's the same
everywhere in this world.
You should say that men are the same
everywhere, no matter what color.
Same as a beautiful...
What's going on?
Sound like maybe they're
making you a coffin.
How come you're not
turning our Yankee in?
In his condition he'd die
in that Fayette Prison.
This'll hold him till he's better.
I could probably kick those
shutters open even with my bad leg.
Perhaps, Corporal, but
not without being heard.
- Good night.
- Back to your beds, instantly.
At least it gives
her an opportunity
to learn what a man's
body feels like.
Go back to your room.
How is he?
He has a fever.
You must be tired, wouldn't you
like a chance to go to your closet?
I might sponge parts
of him you wouldn't.
I knew what you were the minute
you came to this school.
A hussy is a hussy.
You come in here again and you'll
find your face in a bucket of water.
Do I smell eggs for breakfast?
Yes, Miss Edwina.
Hallie says Mr. McB
brought us luck.
Those hens finally laid some eggs.
Very pretty, Edwina.
The corporal seems to be
having an effect on all of us.
How is the corporal this morning?
How long is he gonna stay in
the music room, Miss Martha?
Till he is well enough to
turn over to the patrollers.
I wanna practice my harp.
But I can't with a dangerous
enemy in the same room.
So, that's the answer!
I always wondered what it would
take to make you want to practice.
What's your name?
Mine is...
Corporal John McBurney.
Now, how'd you know that?
You said so when you came here.
I must've forgotten all about that.
You know, Edwina, I...
get the strangest feeling that I'm a
prisoner in some sort of girls' school.
It is a girls' school.
Well, you are an enemy soldier.
Are you the head of the school?
The lady in the portrait there.
Miss Martha Farnsworth.
Who's the man with her?
Her brother, Miles.
Where's he?
He disappeared.
He's presumed dead.
There's no man around here at all?
Well, I sure thank providence
for sending me here.
Rather than to one of your prisons.
I wish it were up to me what
happens to you, but it isn't.
Miss Martha will decide.
Well, there's the little
darling that saved my life.
Come on in. Sit down.
I can't.
Your room is out of bounds.
Oh. I told Randolph all about you.
The patrol.
But even if I sounded the alarm,
Miss Martha wouldn't stop them.
It's treason.
Not tying on the blue rag to signal
the patrol is out and out treason.
Damn! Damn!
That was very nice.
You said there were no men
around here. Who's Randolph?
I forgot about Randolph.
I'm sure you'll meet him.
Who is he?
Randolph is a turtle.
He's a pet of Amy's.
Don't go. You may leave now and...
your soldiers might come or something.
I may never see you again.
I don't even know your last name.
- Why are you afraid of me, Edwina?
- I'm not.
Not really.
I mean, it has nothing
to do with you.
It's just that I'm
a Yankee, though.
I don't suppose Yankees are
any different than other men.
I see. So, you're just
afraid of men in general.
Not afraid. I just
don't trust them.
Any of them.
It sounds like some man
didn't treat you too kindly.
Only I would've bet that
you'd never been in love.
Too bad you couldn't have bet.
You'd have won.
How'd you get your
unfair opinion of men?
I'd rather not talk about it.
We won't, then. How long have
you been at this school?
Since I was 15.
Seven years.
Except for Sunday church,
I've rarely been away
from the school grounds
for all those years.
I wonder if sometimes you
don't think of yourself
as a sleeping beauty in the castle
waiting for a prince to free you...
with a kiss.
I wish we didn't have
to send him to prison.
We've no choice.
Harboring the enemy is a crime.
A very serious crime.
You must be Miss Farnsworth.
I am.
I was beginning to think
you were avoiding me.
I want to thank you for
all you've done, ma'am.
I don't want your thanks. I just want you
well enough to turn over to the authorities.
You certainly don't
mince words. I like that.
Do you indeed?
You think it makes any difference
to me whether you like it or not?
No, I guess it doesn't. But I
still can't help being grateful.
Well, don't be. It's
simply a matter of ethics.
Something you probably
wouldn't understand.
Well, you might be
surprised, ma'am.
It was ethics that got me
wounded in the first place.
How so?
Well, you see, ma'am,
I'm a Quaker and I don't...
carry weapons into battle,
I carry bandages.
My company, we were
fighting in this thicket,
there was this wounded
rebel officer,
who was trying to crawl
away from the fire
which was gaining on him.
My duty was to stay with my men
but my ethics wouldn't let me.
I carried that Reb to safety.
That's why I got shot.
Now, of course, my
conscience does bother me
because I should've stayed
with my own troops.
I feel like I deserted
them, you might say.
Do your hands hurt you terribly?
Well, there's nothing more
painful than burns, ma'am.
A few bottles left in my
father's wine cellar.
If the pain gets too great, I'll
ask Hallie to bring you some.
Does seem like a good occasion
and I would love some wine.
It was offered for your pain,
not for your pleasure!
To be sure, ma'am, it's just that
sometimes the two do go together.
Corporal McBurney,
you are not our guest,
but a somewhat
unwelcome visitor.
I don't propose to
entertain you here.
I don't expect it, ma'am.
It's just that I've been
at war a long time.
It's been months since
I've seen a woman's face.
You'll find I'm easily amused.
Get any ideas of trying to amuse yourself
with any of the ladies in this house...
Wait a minute...
you'll be out on that road so fast
you won't know what happened to you.
I'm not that kind of
man, you know that.
I know nothing of the kind.
How long does it take you
to get to know someone?
To get to know me?
You'll never find out. You
won't be here that long.
continue our study of the
gospel according to St. Luke.
Chapter 11. "And it..."
Can't you wait until
after Bible reading?
I really can't, Miss Martha.
All right, hurry back.
Chapter 11.
"And it came to pass, that,
as he was praying..."
Well, well.
I just thought I'd
introduce myself proper.
I'm Carol.
Well, Carol, that's about the
nicest introduction I've ever had.
And to the prettiest girl.
How old are you?
but I know a lot more
than girls my age.
I'll bet you do.
Got to get back to...
Bible reading.
Say a prayer for me, will you?
I would, but I have no
idea what you want.
The butter churned out
to a good five pounds.
That ought to trade for a sack
of flour. And we need flour bad.
Sweetener, too, Miss
Martha. Any kind.
If he doesn't have sugar,
take molasses or honey.
You talk as though I didn't know how
to barter with Phil MacPherson.
If he has them, I'll get them.
And, Hallie,
you might shave Corporal
McBurney this morning.
I'm tired of looking
at that stubble.
- Bye, Miss Martha.
- Bye, Miss Martha.
Goodbye, Miss Martha.
Mr. McB?
Mr. McB?
Good morning.
Good morning, little friend.
Feeling better, Mr. McB?
Well, I'm a little bit
bed-weary, that's all.
There's a pair of
crutches in the barn.
Been there a long time.
Should I get them for you?
Again, I'd be indebted to you, Amy.
Can you see him?
So, that's Randolph, huh?
Yes. And I love him very much.
Not as much as you do me, I hope.
As much, but different.
Try and catch some flies
for him to eat while I'm gone. Bye.
If living was a thing
that money could buy
Don't you know the rich would
live, Lord, the poor would die
All my trouble...
Is that all you're gonna give?
Guess you're drying up like the
rest of us women around here.
What you after in
this barn, Miss Amy?
Those crutches.
For Mr. McB.
You get permission
from Miss Martha?
Well, I think we should
refuse to work the garden
till Miss Martha stops giving food
to the enemy of the Confederacy.
The Bible says "Love thy enemy."
Can't let a man like
that starve to death.
Ain't enough for him now.
Miss Doris, that thing in your
hand is for hoeing, not leaning.
It's nigger work! And
it's ruining my hands.
Why, I'll never be able
to play the harp again.
That nigger work is what feed us
and if we don't get enough of it,
you'll go where you can play your
harp your whole livelong day.
Like to suck a raw egg while I
shave you? It'll give you energy.
Sure. Thanks.
You get the thanks.
Those hens hadn't laid for
months before you came.
You must got rooster blood in you.
Judging by my boots and uniform,
I don't have any kind of blood in me.
Miss Martha said I
was to shave you.
But I ain't so sure.
I don't think the Lord want a man's
face all smooth like a baby's bottom.
That's why he gave him whiskers.
Might be a sin to shave
that growth off.
Then, don't do it.
Sinning ought to be saved for
much more important things.
I better shave you. Miss
Martha give me my orders.
Not the Lord.
And even without whiskers...
you wouldn't look half bad.
For a white man.
I like hearing you laugh, Hallie.
My Ben used to say that.
Who's Ben? Your husband?
No, we weren't rightly married,
but we sure loved each other.
Did he die?
Don't know. He run off
a long time back.
Miss Martha's brother,
he decided to sell Ben off.
So, Ben run away.
So, he finally got us
separated all the same.
Listen, Hallie, you help
me get away from here,
and I'll try to find out
what happened to your Ben,
even if I have to go to
General Grant personally.
You trust me now, Hal?
I'll think on it, Mr. Yank.
Oh, let me help you. You all right?
Yeah. I just overdid
it a little, that's all.
Well, sit down.
- There.
- Thank you.
All right?
Won't you sit down for a minute?
No, I can't. I have a
class in a minute.
Just for that minute,
then, please. Come on.
I woke up this morning wondering
if you could possibly be
as lovely and as sweet
as you were last night.
Now, I see you're even
prettier than I remembered.
You know, Edwina, one way or the other I'm
gonna have to leave here pretty soon.
There isn't time enough to get to
know each other in the normal way.
So, I'm gonna ask you...
something I wouldn't
ordinarily ask you.
See, I've never felt this
way about anybody before.
I mean, you're somebody
I've always wanted to meet.
And if I'm gonna be in, er,
prison or somewhere else...
I don't want to just keep
thinking or hoping...
if nothing's gonna happen.
I mean, if I'm just another
Billy Yank enemy...
You're not. I like you very much.
Miss Martha's back!
How did you get those
crutches, Corporal?
I brung them to him.
You had no business doing
it without being told.
And who let him out
of the music room?
I was told to shave him and it was
too dark in that boarded-up room.
Well, at least it's
some improvement.
I'm sorry I let her
shave me, ma'am.
I always felt the Lord didn't
intend for a man's face
to be smooth as a baby's bottom.
Go unload the buggy.
Yes, ma'am.
And thanks to you, ma'am, I've
got most of my strength back.
What do you think of that?
That it's a foolish
waste of energy.
Come help me bring in the supplies.
I'd be glad to, ma'am.
There's a lot of things I could do
to repay you for saving my life.
There's just about nothing
I don't like about farming.
And I have a great
respect for land.
It really used to grieve me when
our outfit was moving this way
and I could see what this war
was doing to this fine land.
It grieves me, too.
I used to enjoy riding through our
fields seeing them rich with crops.
There are things, certainly,
that could use a man's help.
Thank you, ma'am. You won't
regret it, I guarantee you.
There are enough of us to keep
an eye on you during the day
but at night, we'll
lock you up again.
Well, of course. I'd expect that.
You can take the buggy now, Hallie.
- You'll need some clothes.
- Come on.
Can't have you hobbling
around the girls in that.
Come on, Mae.
I'll get you some things
that belonged to my brother.
You're an angel, ma'am.
An absolute angel.
Thank you. You've
been a great help.
"The napkin should not
be fastened at the neck.
"It should be laid
conveniently across the lap.
"And one corner should be
lifted to wipe the mouth.
"Men who wear a moustache
"are obliged to manipulate a
napkin in a vigorous manner...
- Miss Edwina.
- "which would be unpardonable in a lady."
- Yes?
- Permission to go to my closet.
- But nowhere else.
- Of course not.
Now, we will all demonstrate
the proper use of a napkin.
Very nice.
Well, good morning to you.
Games for two are more fun.
Oh, now you surprise me.
Never thought you'd be
afraid to kiss a girl.
Well, my mother told me it
might just stunt my growth.
Maybe your mama was right.
You certainly are well developed.
I'd have to say the same about you.
Well, it's not the same.
I mean, your shoulders and arms
seem to be all muscular.
I bet there's not a
soft spot on you.
She's not in her room.
Not even in the music
room, as I expected.
And neither is the bluebelly.
Doris will take charge.
You're obviously very
hard to resist, Carol,
but I'm not anxious to have my
head on the chopping block.
Well, then, what about later on
tonight when everybody's asleep?
What about it?
Mmm. I just happen to
have a room to myself.
In the attic. Can
you walk up stairs?
I suppose I could but I couldn't
walk through a locked door.
Oh, I forgot about that.
I just thought I would pay
our guest a little visit.
He wanted to know what
class you were teaching.
And I told him etiquette.
And how to behave like a lady
under all circumstances.
All that anger in those
pretty green eyes.
I told you before,
I don't trust any man.
Did you ask her if she looks
upon you as a Billy Yank enemy?
Or if she's waiting for a prince
to awaken her with a kiss?
Now, come on, that's nonsense.
She doesn't mean a thing to me.
Just passing time, talking
with her, that's all.
Same as my father
said to my mother.
"They mean nothing to me."
"I was only amusing myself."
So, your father was the man?
No. No, Johnny.
I know how I feel.
If you don't feel the
same way, just tell me.
You know how I feel.
When the war's over,
I'll come back and get you.
Please, Johnny, don't say
that unless you mean it.
You know I mean it.
Johnny, no.
When the war's over, I'll
come back and get you.
If you'll let me.
Please, Johnny, don't say
that unless you mean it.
You know I mean it.
I can't.
Not like this.
Not without being sure.
Maybe when the war's over.
It's just that I never have before.
Don't be angry.
If you still feel the same way...
There's riders out in front.
Maybe three or four of them.
It's probably just the patrollers.
Or the girl on lookout, she
would've sounded the alarm.
- They've stopped.
- They often do.
They water their horses
and then they ride on.
I better get back
before I'm missed.
Miss Martha! Miss Martha!
Hold it, Yank!
Hell, I ain't no Yank.
Who are you? What
are you doing here?
Hurry, Miss Martha! Hurry!
I was wounded.
I'm on leave from Gregg's,
Texas, Longstreet's Corps.
- Who is it?
- How come you're not in uniform?
How come you're not?
What's going on there?
We caught him, Miss Farnsworth.
Why, Sam Jackson.
This is my cousin you've
heard me talk about.
It's my cousin.
Why, Cousin Martha, I always
figured you looked down
on the Texas side of the family.
It pleases me that
you talk about us.
Of course, I didn't say
what I said about you.
Can you explain this,
Miss Farnsworth?
No, I can't explain it.
It was tied on the gates.
I've no idea how it got there.
Unless it was one of
the girls as a joke.
These aren't times for joking.
One of my men could've been
killed. Or your cousin there.
I know that, Sam.
The girl who's responsible will
be very severely punished.
Take my word for it.
Well, I do, ma'am.
Thank you, Sam.
I'm sorry this happened.
You were splendid, ma'am,
absolutely splendid.
Why, it's splendid
yourself, Corporal.
Your accent was pure Texas.
I wonder who put this
rag on the gate.
I don't know, but you
can bet I didn't.
Now that you've got
your strength back
there's no reason why we should
continue to serve your meals in bed.
You'll have supper with us tonight.
Whatever you say, ma'am.
You know, I can't remember when I've
ever been in such delightful company.
You young ladies are
certainly a fine tribute
to the excellence of
your headmistress
to whom I will always be indebted.
- You needn't be.
- But I will, ma'am.
You don't understand that I used to make
much more use of my legs than most men.
Take dancing for instance.
I always could wear out the arm
of any fiddler in the world.
If we had dancing
here in the school,
I could teach the girls
waltzes, reels, polkas.
Almost anything you could mention.
Miss Martha, could we
have a dance class?
Yes, please.
Can we?
I'll take it under consideration.
We haven't had as lively a
meal as this in a long time.
I think it's been disgraceful.
Eating with the enemy.
So do I, Miss Martha.
You girls might have said something before
supper. Could've eaten in the kitchen.
You may both be excused
to go to your room.
Please ma'am, let them stay. They're
just voicing their patriotism.
Doris and Janie, I admire your father for
fighting for the cause that he thinks is right.
If nobody's gonna finish those mushrooms,
I think I could manage a little.
Please do, Corporal.
Amy picked them for you.
Thank you, Amy. I'm particularly
partial to mushrooms.
Now, I'm sorry but I must
turn to something unpleasant.
Today, somebody tied
the blue rag...
Girls, into the kitchen.
Edwina, fetch the pistol.
It's up in my room.
Hallie, you go with them.
Hide yourself upstairs.
If it's Union troops, you just holler.
I'll make sure nothing happens to anyone.
They're our soldiers, Miss Martha.
Thank God.
- Can you make it up the stairs all right?
- Yeah.
- I'll help him.
- No, you won't. Get in the kitchen.
Let me have that pistol.
No, I have to take
it to Miss Martha.
You care about what
happens to me, don't you?
Yes, that's why I don't
wanna see you shot.
Come in, Captain. Sorry
to keep you waiting.
That's all right, ma'am.
Been a long time since I've had
to wait for such a pretty lady.
This vicinity is gonna
be left unprotected.
Our boys got to pull off
for Champion's Hill
before them damn Yankees...
Beg your pardon, ma'am.
Them Yankees.
Secure the road to Vicksburg.
Why have you come here?
We heard about your school here
and since we were
scouting out in this area
we just decided to stop by and
see if we could be of any...
Thank you.
Captain, but everything
is fine here.
It seems to me as how you might be afraid
of being molested by them Yankees.
I could leave a couple of my boys here to
sleep in your barn for a night or two.
That's very generous of you,
Captain, but it won't be necessary.
I don't mind staying with
the ladies, Captain.
You all want to go on ahead, I'll
catch up with you in a few days.
You're very kind but we cannot take
you from your duties in the field.
It just seems to me as how it
might serve some military purpose
for someone to stay behind,
kind of out of sight.
That's right.
Matter of fact, I might
just stay myself.
Scoggins, suppose you ride
back and tell the Colonel...
No. No, I cannot permit it.
One or two of you would
be no protection.
And your presence here might
just draw attention to us
and provoke the Yankees
into burning us down.
Good night, gentlemen. Thank
you so much for your concern.
Ma'am, I'd be right proud to pay my
compliments to them young ladies.
That's very gentlemanly
of you, Captain.
I'll tell them.
Good night.
Come on, boys.
God bless you, gentlemen.
Good night.
It's all right. They left.
I love you so much.
Were you scared, Miss Martha?
- I almost died, I was so scared.
- So was I.
Go up to your rooms.
I think it's treason to talk
that way about our own boys.
Oh, Doris, you think
everything is treason.
Don't argue, girls. Hallie.
Bring a bottle of
wine to the parlor.
Today's been quite a strain.
Oh! Give me the pistol.
- Good night, young ladies.
- Good night, Mr. McB.
Good night, Mr. McB.
Good night.
Will you come hear our prayers?
I'm too excited to sleep.
Me too, Miss Edwina.
Go on to your rooms.
I'll be there presently.
I see you can manage stairs.
You know, they leave
the key in your door.
I could slip down and unlock it.
You'd find me much more
interesting than Miss Edwina.
You little devil, you're the one
who tried to get me caught today.
you shouldn't do things
that make me jealous.
Would you care for
some wine, Corporal?
I'd be honored, ma'am.
Do help yourself.
It's on the table.
I must say, you showed great
courage tonight, ma'am.
They were our soldiers,
there was no danger.
I think I know a little bit more
about that than you do, ma'am.
And believe me, there was danger.
If you'd shown any
sign of weakness,
the episode could have had a
totally different ending.
I toast you. You're a
remarkable and beautiful woman.
Amy, you should've finished
your prayers long ago.
I was praying for Mr. McB, too.
It's wrong to pray for the enemy.
My father says that
God's on our side.
So he is.
He's on the side of
people everywhere.
Please, no more talking.
Put out your candle, Amy.
- Good night, Miss Edwina.
- Good night.
I've been thinking, Corporal.
This place needs a man.
Someone who knows farming.
How to handle farmhands.
Thinking about giving
up the school, ma'am?
But there won't be money for
tuition not for a long time.
There will be money for
anything we can grow.
It'd be Northern money.
When my brother and
I ran this place,
there were good Northern markets
for anything we could raise.
But, he isn't here now.
Never will be.
And I am.
Yes, you are.
Would you be interested in
staying on here, Corporal?
Yes, I would.
Why were we all scared
of our own soldiers?
All armies have some
men who aren't nice.
Now, get to sleep.
Good night, Lizzie.
Good night.
I want to take your brother's
place, but I must warn you...
it won't always be easy
to act like a brother.
I'll try not to dictate your
personal behavior, Corporal.
And the joys we share
As we tarry there
None other has ever...
Edwina, listen to me.
No! No!
You lying son of a bitch!
You bastard!
You're a filthy lecher!
I hope you're dead!
I hope you're dead!
I want all discussion of what
happened tonight to end now.
There are more urgent matters.
Do you think he's in
much pain, Miss Martha?
No, not after all the wine and
laudanum we've given him.
He can't feel anything.
Why do you want him in the
dining room, Miss Martha?
I need him there to
work on his leg.
His leg's not only fractured in three
places, the bone is splintered.
The best doctors couldn't set it
so it healed, I certainly can't.
Stop your drunken chatter.
Lift the harness.
Let's slide him up.
Don't be jealous about it.
You're well-bosomed, too.
Sweet and ladylike.
So round and perky.
I hate you, Miss Martha.
A teaspoon of laudanum
should put him to sleep.
Give it to him.
Now, Amy...
you will go to your room and you will
not come out until you are told.
And if I ever want your
opinion, I'll ask for it.
I didn't say nothing.
Oh, I think you did.
I think you spoke very loudly.
Girls, go directly to your rooms.
Edwina. Hallie. Carol.
Stay here and don't
take your eyes off him.
Shouldn't be hard for you to do.
I've reached a very
difficult decision.
I hope it's the right one.
By this time tomorrow, his leg
will be starting to mortify.
There's no death worse
than one from gangrene
and I cannot let him die, inch
by inch, and screaming in agony.
The only way to prevent
that is to amputate.
- That mean you gonna cut off his leg?
- Yes.
But you ain't a doctor.
If he lives and he blame you for making
him a cripple, what you gonna say?
Obviously, he would rather
lose a leg than his life.
Can you be sure he'd
die if you don't?
I'm sure.
What if he dies as a
result of the operation?
My conscience would be clear.
It wouldn't be if I let him die and
did nothing to try and save him.
I suppose if we made the cut
above the popliteal division
instead of below...
we'd have fewer arteries
to contend with.
There's going to be enough
bleeding no matter where you cut.
I say forget about that book.
We see a vessel bleeding,
we just tie it with thread.
For God's sake. If you're gonna do
it, then do it and be done with it.
Turn his face away from me.
There is some frailty in you.
Dear Lord, we ask that
you bless our efforts.
Mr. McB, are you coming around?
I can tell it's night
when the stars come out.
And I can tell it's morning...
when your freckles
come in the room.
I must tell Miss Martha.
Miss Martha! Miss Martha!
Miss Edwina!
Amy, come and watch.
Hallie's going to bury it.
Bury what?
What do you think? The leg.
He's awake, Miss Martha.
I know you're expecting
an apology...
and you certainly
deserve it after...
the way I abused your hospitality.
But first could you
fix the splints...
on my leg?
It hurts so much.
There are no splints.
How do you fix a broken
leg without splints?
The pain is...
We saved your life and
you complain of pain.
Nobody dies of a broken leg.
If gangrenous, they do.
We had a choice.
Either let you die in
agony or remove the leg.
So you punish me.
Lord knows I deserve it, but...
I know my legs are all right.
I can feel them all the
way down to my toes.
It's a shock, yes, it has to be.
But you're too intelligent
not to understand...
You dirty bitch. Just because
I didn't go to your bed.
Just because I went to
someone else's bed.
I should have let
you die screaming.
Why should I have denied myself
after all I'd been through?
You wanted to be so
much the goddamn lady.
The virgin bitch. Get out of here.
Get out of here.
What do you think
it is, Miss Martha?
It's a Union soldier camp.
Don't tell the other girls. No need to
frighten them, there's nothing we can do.
A cypress root is hard to
cut but it'll last forever.
That's why I picked it.
I found the tree not far from
where your soldiers are camped.
Union troops? Where?
About three miles north.
I haven't heard any
sounds of any battle.
Must mean the rebels
have retreated.
That's what Miss Martha said.
- Mr. McB?
- Hmm?
About Carol.
Yeah, what about her?
She said you forced your
way into her room and...
And that you...
- Do you believe her?
- No.
But you were in her room.
And she was all naked.
And I...
And I thought you loved me.
And I do, Amy.
Amy, go to your room.
Removing the ligatures will be painful.
Do you want some laudanum?
No thanks, kind lady.
I'll fall asleep and then just by
chance you might cut off my...
other leg.
I'd welcome some wine.
You might welcome it,
but you won't get it.
Undo your trouser leg.
Where's your virgin assistant?
Doesn't she wanna stay
around and finish the job?
Miss Edwina has no interest
in what happens to you.
Young ladies, come
get ready to eat.
Who is it?
Carol. I'm sorry
about what happened.
I want you to know that.
Think nothing of it.
I've just been thinking
about all the advantages...
a one-legged man has.
He saves on socks.
He doesn't have to worry about
trimming as many toenails.
Fewer corns and bunions.
I've even been contemplating asking
her to cut off the other leg.
What happened makes
no difference to me.
I know it won't hinder
you romantically.
I'm sure a one-legged man,
or even a no-legged man,
can enjoy himself that
way, same as any man.
I'll do anything for you.
Unlock this door.
I got some things I
want to do around here.
But somebody might see me.
Do it while everyone
else is eating.
- But they'd know it was me.
- No, they won't.
They'll just think somebody
forgot to lock it. That's all.
All right, I'll try.
How long are you
gonna keep him here?
As long as Union troops
are in the area.
If he's here, he can't
give information about us.
But sooner or later they'll find out
about the school anyway, won't they?
Not if our troops drive them back.
I'm praying for that, and I assure you,
when it happens the Corporal will...
Sit right where
you are. All of you.
Well, hello, Miss Farnsworth.
I seem to have gotten
most of my strength back.
I think with a little wine from
your cellar, I'll get the rest.
According to the new
rules around here
I'm gonna have the
run of this place.
One is that I'm gonna be with any
young lady that desires my company.
If you have any objections then I'm
gonna locate the nearest Union cavalry
and tell them about
some of the goodies,
especially the bedding
down variety.
Now, don't get any ideas about
closing the door on me.
I'll just blow one
of your ears off.
Unless I miss and hit one
of your pretty eyes.
You're wrong to blame her, Mr. Johnny.
Your leg was busted bad.
You don't have to be afraid
of being sent to prison now.
Why don't you just
leave this place?
Not till I've had my fill.
You're a damn handsome woman, Hallie.
Maybe I'll just start with you.
Go on down the cellar. I've been
having a run of bad luck lately.
I understand the way to fix
this is to have a black woman.
Then, white boy,
you better like it with
a dead black woman.
Because that's the only way
you'll get it from this one.
Almighty God...
I ask that this school and its
occupants escape thy total wrath.
Be quiet and sit down.
Hallie, Janie's still on watch.
I want her here.
And close the door behind you.
What can we do, Miss Martha?
Miss Martha, I'm so scared.
I know, dear.
He told me he was gonna kill
me if I made any noise.
And he forced me to
do what he wanted.
We understand.
He made me do the
most terrible things.
Where the hell is everybody?
Go sit in my chair. Quickly.
Hallie, stay by me.
You must give him no provocation.
Well, well, well.
All the little seminar darlings.
What is the good lady
seminaring you in now?
Mr. Johnny, please. Why
don't you just leave?
Yes, leave. You can take
your possessions with you.
And my leg. Can I
take that with me?
You girls know why Miss Dabney
there knocked me down the stairs?
That's because I went to
Carol's room instead of hers.
And do you know how I got out
of my room in the first place?
It's because this fine lady, Miss
Farnsworth, unlocked my door
so I could go to her room.
And do you know why Miss Farnsworth
chopped off my leg and left me a cripple?
So I could stay on here and
be at her beck and call.
The picture in this locket...
is that your sweetheart?
It's my brother.
That wasn't the question.
You stole that from my room.
Give it back to me, please.
I stole it. Why would
I wanna give it back?
It's of no value to you. And
it belonged to my mother.
I just found it in a drawer
along with a stack of letters with a
nice, blue ribbon tied around it.
You read his letters?
You beast!
That's right! But I don't run
a school for young girls.
And I just thought these girls might like
to know what kind of woman runs this place.
- Look, Mr. McB!
- One whose own brother ran off...
Randolph hasn't eaten in days.
I bet you could get him to...
- Have you tried to...
- Randolph!
God in heaven, child,
I didn't mean to do that.
Stay away from me! I hate you!
Condemned me, that's
what you've done.
To bitterness and drink
and doing mean things.
Why the hell didn't
you just castrate me?
- Where are you going? No.
- To him. He needs help.
Not from you! I will not let
you make a fool of yourself.
What do you want?
I love you.
I love you.
Perhaps when he's sober again,
he'll be more reasonable.
And perhaps together we can
persuade him to leave.
Miss Martha, you said that he
might send Yankee soldiers here.
Yes, you're quite right, Janie.
Yes, we can't take that risk.
No one in this house is safe
as long as he remains here.
The only question now is how
to rid ourselves of him.
Enemy soldiers are always shot.
With what? He's got the only gun.
We can tie him up when he's asleep
and take him into the woods.
You mean just leave him there?
Die of thirst and hunger.
I think that would be
too cruel, Miss Martha.
If he were tied up, why
couldn't we just hang him?
Any such action would
be too drastic.
I'm sure none of us would want
to be responsible for his death.
Or even be capable of it.
if we were to prepare him
an excellent supper...
and said that we wanted
to make it up to him.
Hallie, you could prepare
your savory chicken.
And Amy...
could pick some mushrooms.
They're his favorite dish
and we could prepare them
especially for him.
Do you think you
could do that, Amy?
I know just where to find them.
I was surprised at your supper
invitation, Miss Farnsworth.
To be honest, I didn't know
whether to accept or not.
I said and did some
ugly things today.
I'm sober now and...
I've told Edwina and I want to
tell you and rest of the girls
how much I apologize.
We accept your apology, Corporal,
but I think now that it's best
if we don't speak about it.
Now, would you care to
say grace, Corporal?
Good bread, good meat,
good God, let's eat.
God, we thank you for what
we're about to receive
and we hope that the drums that
divide us will soon be silent.
Now, everybody eat before
Hallie's chicken gets cold.
Doris, pass the biscuits to Corporal
McBurney and pass the mushrooms.
Amy picked them especially for you.
Thank you, Amy.
You know, Amy, I feel miserable
about what happened.
Anything I can do to bring back
your turtle, I sure would.
But you must understand, it was the wine
that turned loose the devils in me.
I do understand.
That's why I picked the mushrooms.
And are they good, Amy.
They taste of the
woods and clean air
and mysterious shadows
where pretty little
elves dance together.
A romantic way to
speak of mushrooms.
Miss Farnsworth, the first Union
troops that I meet up with,
I'm gonna ask them if they'll
post a guard around the school.
They do that sometimes for
friendly Southerners.
I don't understand what do
you mean, meet up with?
I mean that tomorrow morning
at dawn I'll be leaving.
I'll see that he doesn't
forget to do that good turn.
I'm leaving with him.
We're going to be married.
That's right.
- She asked me and I said yes.
- No, I didn't.
Congratulations to you both.
But have you forgotten
you're a partner here?
And I'll be grateful
to you all my life.
But I love him.
I have to go with him.
It's only natural, but supposing
you do meet the soldiers.
Whether they are Confederate or Union,
he won't be able to protect you.
What will happen to you?
I've lived with the
war for a long time.
It doesn't frighten me.
I'm afraid we're spoiling
everybody's supper.
And Amy picked these
mushrooms especially for me.
Edwina, will you have some? And
pass it on to the other girls.
No, Edwina! Don't...
Oh, my God!
Girls, finish your meals.
Lizzie, that is not the
stitch I showed you.
Watch how Doris does it.
See, Lizzie.
You run the needle
through both sides...
then lock the stitch underneath.
Like this.
That's the way I did it.
No, it's not. Try it again.
Doesn't look as if
he suffered much.
I'm sure he didn't, Carol.
I think probably his
heart just gave out.
He was in a very
weakened condition.
I love you.
- But I thought the mushrooms killed him.
- Oh, Lizzie.
You think I can't tell bad
mushrooms from good ones?
And Mr. McB said himself
how delicious they were.
Lizzie, Amy, open the gates.
Come all you pretty fair maids
Come walk in the sun
Do we have classes
today, Miss Martha?
I don't see why not.
ever carry a gun
Come all you young fellows
Take warning by me
Don't go for a soldier
Don't join no army
For the dove she will leave you
The raven will come
And death will come marching
At the beat of the drum