The Chalk Garden (1964) Movie Script

Excuse me.
Would Mrs. St. Maugham live here?
She would.
I'm sorry.
I came in answer to the advertisement.
There's no need to be sorry.
At least not yet.
Come in, please.
Oh, goodness me.
It's very grand, isn't it?
Built like a fort.
It has to be.
Pardon me, but are there
many others?
You're number six.
So many?
Numbers one to five have already left,
or rather fled.
Oh, dear. The mistress
must be very hard to please.
True. But in fairness, the other ladies
didn't really want the job.
Why not?
Because, uh, let us say,
this is a nervous age.
Sit down, please.
Excuse me.
Good morning.
I should like to see Mrs. St. Maugham.
Do I have the wrong house?
I'm sorry, madam.
Mrs. St. Maugham is interviewing
applicants for a position here.
For a moment I thought...
That's why I've come.
For the job as governess?
Is there some objection?
Uh, f-forgive me.
Your name?
The name is Madrigal.
And yours?
Uh, Maitland.
You've done such work before?
Do you usually interview applicants
in the doorway?
Uh, I-I'm sorry.
Please come in.
This way, please.
Forgive me for staring at you.
Why did you?
Well, uh,
you're not the usual thing
in governesses, are you?
Are you the usual thing
in servants?
I'll tell Mrs. St. Maugham
you're here.
Please sit... down.
They say five have left already.
There must be something
terribly frightening in this house.
That sounds like
a perfect description of me.
Good morning, ladies.
I presume you're both here
for the interview?
Good morning.
Are you the young lady
who requires a companion?
I never shake hands.
It's so animal.
Please be seated.
Now, what are your
Twenty years' experience.
What kind of whiskey
do you like?
Oh! Well,
if I had my choice, I'd...
I'd take nothing.
Nothing less than a double, eh?
But I suppose you'd have
endless patience with me.
I'm so fond of young people.
I set fire to things.
I intend to burn the house down one day.
Perhaps today.
Could you prevent me?
Well, I...
Maitland could, but he won't.
He's a pyromaniac himself.
Did seven years for barratry.
Arson at sea.
Oh, dear.
I'm not permitted alone,
except in the garden or on the beach.
Grandmother's rules.
Such lovely weather for the beach.
If you don't mind sharks.
I told a former governess
of mine there were sharks.
She said I made them up.
One day she was eaten by one.
Poor shark.
I see.
You live with your grandmother.
She must love you.
She calls me
her little immortality.
She expects me to tell the world
about her when she's gone.
I just might do it.
Have you no mother of your own?
Only legally.
She married again for love.
It's given me an adolescent
repugnance to her.
My case is Freudian.
What are your qualifications?
I prefer to wait
for Mrs. St. Maugham.
Where do you live?
In my room.
How do you take to me?
You're not what I'm used to.
I'm fond of painting.
Can you paint?
What I can't do
is wait much longer.
Oh, she'll come.
Grandmother will come.
She's in the garden.
She's a great gardener,
but nothing grows for her.
Mrs. St. Maugham will ring when
she's ready for the interviews.
I've laid the fire, Miss Laurel.
Do you wish to light it?
Did you use plenty of paraffin?
Half a gallon.
'Tisn't enough.
It's all that's left.
Oh, well.
It'll have to do for a start.
But later, Maitland.
I'm busy now.
Your grandmother would prefer you
to be busy elsewhere.
She's probably right.
No point in terrifying
the applicants.
But don't be discouraged,
You'll find things can warm up
here quite suddenly.
Uh, during the interview,
ought we to be together?
One of you ladies may wait
in the living room if you prefer.
Oh, let it be me.
I have nothing to do
but wait. Really.
I'll gladly wait in here.
When you're ready, just call.
She's a little light-fingered.
What, that one?
No more than a box
of matches or a magazine.
Do you know her?
But I've met those hands
before many times.
She won't be back.
What are you doing?
Locking the door.
You're not going to
escape so easily.
If you get away, I shall end up by being
governess as well as everything else.
With no time for barratry?
Oh, that's my recreation.
We prefer these not to light.
The child uses them
too frequently.
The child's outlandish.
This is an outlandish household.
You may just find it
to your liking.
Because I'm outlandish?
Emphasize it.
Mrs. St. Maugham
cherishes the unusual.
After all, I'm here.
The lions are calling
for a Christian.
Oh. So this is
our first applicant?
The seventh, actually,
madam, and the last.
The others have
taken to the hills.
Oh. Doesn't leave us
much choice, does it?
Now if you'll excuse me,
I'll have to hurry to have lunch ready.
Hurry, Maitland, is
the curse of civilization.
The fact that I hurry, madam,
gives certain people the leisure time
to make such observations.
Insolent man.
I suppose you're wondering
why I tolerate him.
Because he amuses you?
Fortunately, he hasn't much time for that.
He has too many other duties.
He does them insufferably,
but he does them.
Will you please sit down?
what questions do two total
strangers put to one another?
The name is Madrigal.
And what experience have you?
I have never applied
for such a position before.
And why did you apply to me?
Your advertisement tempted me.
I have been somewhat alone.
You will be able, I suppose,
to give me references.
References would be difficult.
In fact, impossible.
Then perhaps you would like to
ask me questions, Miss Madrigal.
Does one have a room to oneself?
Life without a room to
oneself is a barbarity.
Is this a quiet house?
That's my daughter's child, Laurel.
She's so fond of screaming.
We met earlier.
Did she say anything?
Nothing of consequence.
Something about a governess
being eaten by a shark.
That's only what she would like
to see happen to a governess.
Anything to make a drama.
When she wants the center of the stage,
you cannot take it from her.
It's rather early for her
to be lighting it.
You encourage this?
It would be far worse
to discourage it.
She is plagued with a compulsion
to burn down the house.
However, we're curing that...
with a sly psychological trick.
What is that?
Every day we're making
the fire smaller and smaller.
She hasn't noticed.
One day it won't be there.
Do you see?
I see.
You study her as if you're seeing
something I don't.
I am.
I see myself at that age,
as if I were looking
at an old photograph.
I suppose that's your way of saying
you're qualified to care for her.
Well, perhaps you are,
but her mother wasn't.
Where is her mother?
Unfortunately, she'll be here
in a few days to try to take her.
And shouldn't she?
That should be the worst
possible fate for the child.
Her mother married
a second time.
And the child is alienated...
because a love life has broken
out again in her mother.
You put it well.
The child was frenzied.
When nothing
would stop the wedding,
she ran from the hotel
into the dark...
and by some extraordinary carelessness
was attacked in Hyde Park...
at the age of 12.
It's upset her nerves.
Now, we spoke of references.
Who will speak for you?
No one will speak for me.
Well, in that case,
the, uh, interview is over.
I would not wish
to waste your time.
Come. I'll walk with you
to the gate.
Do you know anything
about gardens? I do.
But this year
it's been going badly.
Nothing I do for it
does any good.
Just look.
Nothing but grass and trees.
The flowers won't grow for me.
I tell you, when a flower dies in my garden
it hurts me as if a dear friend had died.
I should think,
as one grows older,
death would seem more natural.
Natural? The closer one gets,
the more unnatural it seems.
In that case,
a garden should be a good lesson.
So much dies in it,
and so often, yet it goes on.
Well, it's not a lesson I look for,
but a garden.
I've tried everything...
Extract of humus on the seedlings.
Extract of humus
is too rich for seedlings.
It leads them on to expect
what life won't give them.
The soil needs
the early actinic rays.
Exclude the sun again at midday.
Counteract the high lime content
in your soil with potash.
Where did you learn
about such things?
I was put in charge
of a garden once.
I will accept that as
reference enough, Miss Madrigal.
You shall have the position
of governess to Laurel.
Thank you.
But I warn you.
Laurel is mine.
If she goes back to her mother,
you are dismissed immediately.
Well, I suppose you
know all about me.
Not yet.
Shall I get the book
that explains me?
Some rainy day.
What else are you interested in?
I mean, apart from yourself
and my belongings.
What I don't like
is to be questioned.
I agree with you there.
And I don't like to be agreed with.
I prefer a good argument.
More stimulating.
And I don't like to be read to
unless I suggest it.
And every morning I don't like,
"Good morning!"
What is a good morning to someone else
is rarely a good morning to me.
You must have had
a good many lady companions.
Legions of them.
And I presume you got rid
of them whenever you felt like it.
My record is three in one week.
How did you manage that?
I exposed them.
Oh? In what way?
Everyone has something
in their past.
Some... dark
and terrible secret.
I find it out and tell it
to my grandmother,
who has a positive horror
of scandal,
and you start packing again.
What if I were to
expose you first?
Try it.
You'll find I have no secrets.
I'm the only perfectly frank
person I've ever known.
Very well.
Be frank about yourself.
Not on your first day.
By tomorrow someone else
will have told me.
All right.
I'm not to be trusted.
I steal things.
I cheat at cards.
I make up dreadful lies about people,
and then I blackmail them.
Is that all?
That's not much.
Here's the perfect place for your family
portraits or pictures of your loved ones,
if you have any.
What else do you occupy
yourself with?
Maitland and I
share that interest.
You see, he killed
his wife and child.
So bit by bit he and I are collecting
the Great True British Crime series.
You're not interested
in fiction?
No. Real murder.
I know all there is to know
about the criminal mind.
Why do you come here?
I have to do something
with my life.
Well, I give you fair warning,
Miss Madrigal.
Exposing you will be
the most fun of all.
You're wonderfully odd.
May I see?
It isn't finished yet.
Do you mind if I talk
while you draw?
Not if you talk about
what I want to hear.
What would that be?
Where you were before
you came here.
What you did for a living.
I had private means.
But I'd much rather
talk about you.
Do you like living
with your grandmother?
Do you love her?
Love her?
I never really thought about it.
You should.
Love is the most important word
in any language.
From love comes happiness.
You talk easily about love
and happiness, but you never smile.
You're right.
You're absolutely right.
You're beautiful when you smile.
You should smile more often.
Is it finished?
But it isn't my best work.
I'll show you mine.
You're quite accomplished.
Now yours.
I don't think
you'd like my drawing.
Oh, come on, Laurel. I want to
see how much instruction you need.
It's wonderful.
Do you really think so?
Far more imaginative than mine.
Thanks for the compliment,
but don't expect anything
in return for it.
Laurel darling.
Did you think Mother
had forgotten you?
You know better than that,
don't you?
It's just that Mother's
been so busy...
trying to keep the house
pretty and happy for you.
You know how Mother loves you.
Of course you do.
She loves you more than any little girl
in the whole wide world,
more than
any other person alive.
If anything ever goes wrong,
or if you just feel like crying
for no reason at all,
you know I'll always be here...
to put my arms around you,
hold you, protect you.
You know all that
without being told.
So now Mother's going to
read you to sleep...
with a beautiful,
beautiful story.
It's all about a good little girl
who thought nobody loved her.
Can you imagine
anything so silly?
"Once upon a time,
hundreds of years ago,
when people lived
in great stone castles...
and dragons roamed the earth... "
How dare you open my door
without knocking!
I did knock, Laurel.
You forgot your milk.
And how did this thing
get in here?
I told you to get rid of
all my old dolls!
Apparently I forgot this one.
It's that new governess.
That Miss Madrigal. She's the one.
She slipped it in here.
Trying to soften me.
Trying to break me down.
But I don't break.
I don't crack.
I'm hard.
Harder than the doll, I'm afraid.
Well, perhaps I can mend it.
Who cares?
Get it out of here.
I never want to see it again.
You think about it.
Perhaps you'll think of some child
who really needs it.
Good night, Laurel.
Is there anything I should do?
No, she'll be all right.
Good night.
Good night.
You are aware, Miss Madrigal,
that according to
Miss Laurel's timetable...
the moment has come
when I should discharge you.
Shall I start packing?
Well, I must say,
she's given me a
very sinister portrait of you.
She says you pace
your room at night.
In her words,
like a caged animal.
Anything else?
Let me think.
Oh, yes.
Yes, she says all your things
are brand-new...
Clothes, shoes,
many of them still bearing
the original tags.
She says you keep
your door open at all times...
and you haven't a single picture
of a loved one...
on your dressing table.
I have no loved one.
Well, according to Laurel...
it all adds up.
To what?
That you're running away
from something.
That you've just escaped
from a lunatic asylum.
That could explain
my being here.
How do you explain it?
The new clothes?
Pacing my room?
I don't.
Everything she's told you
is the truth.
The truth?
We're making progress.
I congratulate you.
I'm not discharged?
Certainly not.
I don't take instructions
from the child.
That seems to work both ways.
Oh, don't be deceived,
Miss Madrigal.
I shall make something out of her yet,
in spite of her mother.
And what did you make
of her mother?
Do you try to provoke me?
Not at all.
But it would help me to know the child
if I understood the mother.
Well, I can be of no assistance
to you there.
I don't understand her myself.
I gave Olivia every advantage...
Background and breeding...
And she threw it away
for a passing infatuation.
You mean the man
she's married to?
Don't speak to me of him.
Confine your attentions
here to Laurel.
And the garden.
It's shriveling up before my very eyes.
This is a chalk garden,
Mrs. St. Maugham.
You are trying to
grow flowers in chalk.
It's not the soil.
Its the wind from the sea,
the salt.
They have been in pure lime.
Not so much as
a little leaf mold.
They could have compost
or peat moss or soil food,
but nothing in the world
has been done for them.
Have you time, Mrs. St. Maugham,
before death...
to throw away
season after season?
Of course, of course.
I know time is important, but...
Your flowers need nourishment,
something to grow on.
Your soil can't give them
what it doesn't have.
Then you give them
what they need.
You're in charge of my garden.
Am I?
I wasn't sure.
I'll do my best, Mrs. St. Maugham,
to help you with your garden.
And the child.
Their problems are similar.
Good morning, Laurel.
I told you I could tell...
whether a morning
was good or not for myself.
I wanted you to know how
I felt about the morning.
Won't win any prizes.
I thought you'd
be packing by now.
The charges against me have been
dropped for the moment.
Insufficient evidence.
Well, I'll have to
manufacture some then.
I'm quite capable of that,
you know.
I'm sure you are.
Oh, what a lovely spot.
Is this where the shark
ate the governess?
Somewhere along here.
What date was that?
I'm not a walking almanac.
You have no date because
it's pure fiction.
Laurel, people
who live on fantasy...
usually do so because
they're afraid no one cares for them.
Now then, today
I'm going to read.
Can't you remember anything?
I don't like to be read to.
Then you read to me.
Stuffy. I can tell by the cover.
What's it about?
It's about a little girl
very much like I was,
a girl who has everything...
except the one thing she wants.
And what's that?
A friend.
Well, I must go
and tell Maitland...
he's forgotten
to lay the bonfire.
He didn't forget.
I told him not to.
Never again.
You don't know
what I'm liable to do.
I know.
You're liable to
set fire to the house.
Go ahead.
Well, this is hardly the moment.
You've been telling everyone
you're going to burn it down.
Do it!
I don't just do these things
to order, you know.
That's another thing.
I never take orders.
And you never burn down houses.
And let me tell you
something more about yourself.
You li being told
how terrible you are.
You'd like to shock
the whole world...
for just one reason...
So that someone in it
would know you existed...
and make you do
what you should do.
And what's that?
Stop hating people?
Who do you hate, Laurel,
besides yourself?
My mother, most of all.
I too hated my mother.
I should say
it was my stepmother.
Oh, that's just an
ordinary sort of hatred.
Mine's more special.
Because my mother's a Jezebel.
She's so overloaded
with sex that it sparkles.
She's golden and striped,
like something in the jungle.
You sound proud of her.
Oh! How could you be
expected to understand?
Here. I'll read
your silly old book.
Anything's better
than talking to you.
Page one, chapter one.
"Dainty little Daphne,
only four years old,
smiled with childish glee...
as she picked up her hatchet...
and nimbly chopped her governess
into many small pieces.
Then, bounding up the stairs
to her mother's room... "
She'll be here tomorrow,
you know.
Who will?
Your mother.
I wasn't informed.
Well, I'm not interested.
What she does has nothing
to do with me.
I see.
Now suppose you begin again.
The original version this time.
I suppose I'll have to.
You're the boss, aren't you?
"It was a lovely
summer's morning.
The cathedral bells
tolled harmoniously...
over the great
and fruitful valley.
Ding-dong, ding-dong."
Oh, Maitland, one thing more.
Don't greet Miss Olivia
too effusively.
I want her to understand
that her comings and goings...
do not disturb us
in the very least.
Not too effusively.
Welcome home, Miss Olivia.
Maitland, how good to see you.
Now tell me. Where's Laurel?
I think she's up in her room.
And your mother
is in the drawing room.
Olivia, my girl.
Let me look at you.
Yes, I'm pregnant.
I'd no idea.
A little surprise.
You're so healthy and tanned,
in spite of it.
Mother, how's Laurel?
Where is she? Has she changed?
Ask about me, Olivia.
Ask about me.
I do. I would.
All I can seem to say
is Laurel, Laurel, Laurel.
Where is she?
Tell me about her.
Does she ask about me?
What does she feel
about my coming to see her?
At my age I've earned a drink
in the afternoon.
That's not what I meant.
You haven't answered me.
Where's Laurel?
You know, you shouldn't wear beige
with your skin that color.
So, we take up
where we left off.
Laurel is happy here.
Why don't you leave her alone?
Because she's my daughter,
not yours.
Did you wear the scarf
on purpose to annoy me?
What you wear
is a language to me.
Does it never become possible to talk
as one grown woman to another?
Not so long as
you refuse to grow up.
Please. I don't want to
fight old battles.
I just want to see my daughter.
Yes, madam?
Tell Miss Laurel
her mother is here.
Very good, madam.
Why do you come here now?
Why try to see her now?
Now? But I always wanted...
But you're going to
have another child.
This child's the unknown.
Laurel's my daughter.
That's why I want her now,
before I begin to love the baby too much.
So, when it suits your convenience
you want her.
You want to take her,
who came to me, who ran to me...
as an asylum
from your indifference.
It was not indifference.
It was a difficult
and painful thing to do.
I tried to explain,
but you wouldn't let her read my letters.
You never even let her meet the
man I love... the man I married.
You deserted her.
You left her in the ruins of a marriage,
a marriage I made.
For you, not me.
You left her.
You left your husband.
You drove him to his death.
You lie!
I had nothing to do with it.
Oh, Mother,
of a thousand thousand rows
between you and me...
And this not,
I know, the last one...
Be on my side.
Oh, for once be on my side.
Help me.
How dare you ask that.
You who've hated and fought me
every day of your life,
scorned my principles,
scoffed at my ideals,
ripped decency to shreds.
How dare you even
set foot in this house,
let alone try
to take Laurel back.
I'm sorry.
I've looked for Miss Laurel.
She's not in her room or...
Then get Miss Madrigal
to help you!
Find Laurel and bring her here.
Yes, madam.
Well, that's the last
of her usual hiding places.
Isn't there anywhere else?
You know as well as I do she won't be found
before she wants to be found.
Then she'll be quite impossible
to avoid.
You give up easily.
You wouldn't conspire to keep Laurel
from her mother, would you?
Miss Madrigal, you and I
want the same thing for Laurel.
Her happiness,
wherever it takes her.
Yes, of course.
I'm sorry.
Is she coming?
We can't find her anywhere,
Mrs. St. Maugham.
I see.
Do you think...
This is Laurel's mother.
This is Miss Madrigal,
Laurel's governess.
How do you do?
Do you think something's happened to her?
It's not likely.
She's a resourceful girl.
She'll probably pick her own time
to present herself.
She likes to make
a good entrance.
Yes. Now you're both dismissed.
No, wait.
I'd like to hear more about Laurel.
Some other time.
They have other duties.
Please, please.
Get on with them.
Laurel has good instincts.
I think in the end
they will serve her well.
Miss Madrigal, I did not engage you
as a fortune-teller.
She was only being kind.
Yes. She pities you.
Because it's quite obvious
to everyone else...
that Laurel can't stand
the sight of you.
I don't believe that.
I won't.
I don't even believe
she knows I'm here.
I think you've hidden her
miles away.
No, she's running from you,
as you ran from me.
A family trait.
Very well.
I'll go.
But I'll be back.
What for?
To take Laurel out of here
and with me.
You can't!
I can and will.
I'll have the necessary
legal papers then.
If Laurel's not here
when I return,
I'll use the full weight
of the law against you.
I'm still her mother.
An unfit mother,
and I can prove it.
I give you warning.
Don't fail to have her here when I return.
Hello? Hello? Yes?
This is Litlington 3-9.
Yes, this is Mrs. Drexel
St. Maugham speaking.
Yes, well, I want to speak
to Judge McWhirrey.
Oh, he's there?
Oh, all right.
I'll hold on.
Is that you?
Yes, I've been trying
to get you for ages.
Oh, fine, fine.
Yes, I'm quite indestructible.
Yes, but the truth is,
I'm in the most desperate need of you.
In a legal sense.
No, no.
No, not over the telephone.
Can't you come here?
Spend a day or so with us
at Bellfontaine?
Yes, yes, it is
quite that important.
Laurel's whole life
may depend on it.
Don't be frightened, Laurel.
I've been looking for you.
What for?
I've been worried about you.
Then I saw your fire.
I told you I'd light one
whenever I felt like it.
Yes, and Maitland told me
you'd be found whenever you felt like it.
I'm hungry.
Has she gone?
Why didn't you have the courtesy
to speak to her?
Miss Madrigal, you are
a 12-pound-a-week governess,
which means
you are a failure in life.
So please don't try to run mine.
Now look here!
I can be 10 times
as hard as you,
with words or anything else.
You will no longer speak to me
or any other adult as if we were cattle.
You will recognize that we have had
experiences in life beyond yours...
and that your mother loves you,
or is trying to love you,
with all her heart.
My mother never loved anybody
in the world but herself.
You don't believe that.
My mother was married to a very
important man... my father.
One night she didn't come
and kiss me good night.
She didn't have time.
Oh, it's a little thing.
It grows big in your mind.
I sat up in my room and I cried
because she did have time.
But not for me or my father,
but for somebody she stood with in
the shadows of the doorway downstairs,
somebody she stood there kissing
and hugging and making love to,
somebody she got
into the car with...
and drove off with
and lived with...
and never came back
to see me or my father again.
Come, Laurel.
Tell me how much she loves me,
Miss Madrigal.
Quote me
something philosophical.
Do you know what my father did when
he realized what she'd done to him?
He put a gun to his head...
and killed himself.
I was in the room.
Now, Miss Madrigal,
you clever, ingenious,
experienced woman,
tell me how to love
everybody in the world.
Quote me a proverb, a motto.
Give me a piece of sugar...
that will make life taste
like one big lollipop.
Oh, go ahead and cry, Laurel.
Cry as long and as hard as you want.
Cry until you can't cry anymore.
No, no, no.
I hate to cry.
I hate it.
God made tears to be cried.
Oh, why must everywhere else
in the world...
be so beautiful...
and this place be so ugly?
Oh, if only I could be
anywhere but where I am,
anybody but who I am.
Oh, come on.
Now then, where and what
do you want to be?
and in hell.
Let me go.
Laurel, you don't mean that.
I meant every word of it!
You do not!
Oh, no.
I don't mean it.
I don't mean it at all!
Don't you come near me.
And don't you get the wrong impression
about what I just did.
I'd have put my arms around
a post or a rock just then.
I don't trust you any more
than I trust my own mother!
Miss Madrigal.
Won't you come in?
I'm sorry. I didn't know you were here.
I came down for a book.
Oh, that's quite all right.
Come sit down.
It doesn't matter.
Don't let me disturb you.
You're not disturbing me.
On the contrary, I have far too much
of my own company these days.
Laurel is not at her best
through mahogany.
Is she... Yes.
Oh... Now, may I help?
Something to, uh,
keep you awake...
or put you to sleep?
Will you tell me something?
About what?
Laurel's father.
Did he really shoot himself
in front of her?
He died of a liver ailment,
the result of too much liquor.
How to tell the truths
from the lies?
Much of what Laurel says
is dramatized truth.
The lies are very carefully salted in.
She told me you killed
your wife and child.
A motorcar accident.
I was driving.
I'm sorry.
And the Hyde Park incident?
Well, the truth of that could be no more
than a smile or a wink by some passing man.
You don't believe
she was attacked?
Mrs. St. Maugham would never
allow a doctor to examine her...
or the police to question her.
I know it sounds incredible,
a 12-year-old child to make up
this fantastic...
An only child is never 12.
You'll like this.
It's a good year.
I usually keep it for myself.
No, I...
I think you need it.
Odd. I feel as if you've taken me
into your own house.
When it's quiet like this
I think of it that way...
My house.
A fine library,
great wine cellar,
warm, comfortable rooms.
An estate, Miss Madrigal.
What more could any man want?
And how else
can I acquire so much?
I have it all to myself
eight months out of the year.
It's only in the summer
that I open my house to others.
Are your guests
always so active?
Well, that depends
on the climate.
But now you're here,
even that's improving.
Now, don't misunderstand me.
This is my family,
whatever their faults.
But you mustn't take on
their emotional burdens.
You're not paid enough for that.
I might say the same of you.
No, it's...
It's different with me.
Mrs. St. Maugham needed you.
She took me in
because I needed her.
When the war finished,
my wife and I bought
a small hotel near Brighton.
Mrs. St. Maugham used to come
and stay with us.
After the accident, I, uh...
I went to pieces.
She was very kind.
She made a place for me here.
And you've stayed ever since.
I've made a new life for myself.
I've been able to continue
my interrupted education.
By reading the Great True
British Crime series?
Well, this is an education...
An education on
the reason for killing.
It's fascinating.
I'm sure.
When a man kills, it's the one act
he does totally alone.
The world isn't with him.
Therefore, his convictions
must be tremendous.
I admire people
with convictions.
People don't kill reasonably.
They kill unreasonably,
Thank you for the wine.
Before you go,
let me give you a book.
Any book.
For Laurel's benefit...
If she's still about.
Now, what do you fancy?
Arnold Bennett.
Conan Doyle.
Uh, H.G. Wells.
Perhaps you feel like something
a bit more contemporary.
How about this one?
That's Mrs. Maugham's
collection of old admirers.
Three members of Parliament.
The usual percentage
of undiscovered artists.
A Lord Mayor.
Do you know one of them?
Thank you.
I have a feeling you want to finish
this conversation. Good night.
Good morning!
Good morning!
Good morning, Grandloo.
Oh, what a glorious morning.
What a marvelous morning
for intrigue and for secrets.
Ah, here comes
dear, dear Maitland.
I was just saying,
Maitland dear,
that some mornings are better
for secrets than others.
This one, for instance,
has that...
Special feeling.
For making secrets
or breaking them?
I haven't decided that yet.
More coffee, Miss Madrigal?
No, thank you.
Oh, Maitland.
You'll make some woman
a marvelous husband.
None for me, thank you.
I'll just have brandy.
Straight or with soda,
Miss Laurel?
Laurel, when you take your first drink...
If ever...
It will not be brandy
at breakfast.
Oh, Grandloo, I've been
drinking heavily for years,
ever since that terrible night.
Ask Maitland.
I've drunk all the burgundy...
from 1917 to 1941.
Quite impossible, madam.
How do you know?
I drank it myself.
And what else is on the menu
this morning, boss?
Personality development?
Sex education?
Well, I've got to learn sometime
or I'll never get the hang of it.
You may get the sketching
materials from your room.
After you finish breakfast.
To hear is to obey.
Why should I be the only one
to resist your persuasive charm?
"More coffee, Miss Madrigal?"
"Oh, certainly, Miss Madrigal."
"Oh, whatever you say,
Miss Madrigal."
Oh, Maitland, is love blossoming
in the servants' quarters?
Simple kindness
is so rare in this house...
that it's instantly
mistaken for passion.
Oh, Mrs. Williams, I didn't see you.
How well you look.
And how's dear Mr. Williams?
Oh, much better, thank you, Miss Laurel.
Much better.
And what sort of kindnesses were you
and Miss Madrigal exchanging...
in the library last night?
We met quite by accident.
Gentlemen of the jury,
I ask you.
And do you deny that you
like her a little, Maitland?
Perhaps even love her a little?
The very fact that you can't
answer proves that you do.
In what court of law?
In the court of the human heart.
Oh, and what a shame.
The great 20th-century tragedy.
She's not in your class, Maitland.
Now, that's enough.
But consider the evidence.
That's enough.
How she came to us with nothing.
She writes no letters.
She receives none.
She's never even had
a phone call.
Maybe she's out of something...
Something like
an alcoholic sanatorium...
or a madhouse.
Do you think Grandloo would want
a madwoman watching over me?
It would only be simple justice,
considering all the governesses
you've driven mad.
But we have to know,
don't we, you and I?
I hope you're not asking me
to spy for you.
To observe.
All right then.
I'll have to do my own spying.
Well, isn't that rather
beneath your talents?
After all, she doesn't
even lock her door.
It wouldn't matter.
A locked door never kept me
out of your room, did it?
There we are, sir.
Safety, security and privacy...
All in one neat package.
Ah, the price, sir,
will be nine shillings and 11 pence.
Is there anything else, sir?
No, thank you.
This ought to do the trick.
Right, sir.
And, uh, one penny change, sir.
Good-bye. Good-bye, sir.
Good day, madam.
Good day.
You must have something quite valuable
in the house to take such precautions.
Well, that's one way of putting it.
For you.
For me? What for?
Your door.
I'm not in the habit
of locking my door.
Even if you were,
a skeleton key could still open it.
Laurel has the idea
of searching your room.
I advise a good padlock.
I don't care much for locks.
they're the principal reason...
for whatever honesty
still exists in our society today.
Well, that completes
my purchases.
Now, what about yours?
There's nothing I need.
Oh, there must be something...
Hairpins, nylons, cologne.
Just the fresh air.
That's what I really came along for,
not this, certainly.
I'm afraid that's a must.
Laurel's in
for a disappointment.
I've nothing hidden in my room.
Or anywhere?
My life has been quite dull.
I don't believe that's possible.
In fact, in your own quiet way,
you're the most exciting thing that's
happened to the St. Maugham household...
since I've been there.
I know what you're thinking.
"Here comes another problem
for me to handle."
Well, don't worry.
My admiration knows its place.
It wasn't that.
Why exciting?
Have I done anything
or said anything?
It's what you haven't done
and haven't said.
Now you sound like Laurel.
Well, we're both amateur detectives.
With one difference.
To me the unsolved mysteries
are far the most exciting.
None for me, thank you.
But it's sherry trifle,
your favorite.
I have a new favorite.
You've scarcely touched your food.
Is anything wrong?
Not really.
I'm in the middle
of a mystery story.
The suspense is killing me.
May I be excused?
Well, certainly, but I think you should...
I should have it finished
in less than an hour.
Then we'll have
a smashing game of backgammon.
She's been so nervous
and upset all evening.
Do you suppose
she's been meeting a boy?
If so, it's more likely
he'd be nervous and upset.
I think it's something
quite different.
Help me!
Heavens, child.
Well, what are you
both staring at?
- I happen to like climbing trees.
- Come down at once.
Well, don't just stand there
like a fool, Maitland.
Come up and do something.
She's getting out of hand.
Without even a word, she starts hacking
off the branch of a 200-year-old tree.
But the branch is dead.
Even dead things
have their uses.
That was a very
deep thought, dear.
Why don't you get rid of her?
Throw her out. I don't need her.
Well, for some extraordinary reason,
I can't.
You're not afraid of her,
are you, Grandloo?
Of course not.
Don't be ridiculous.
Your lady friend has the oddest way
of doing things.
I thought that was
your stock in trade.
She's driving
my madness underground.
In her warped imagination
that limb probably represents me...
Just because I happened
to be out on it last night.
Sawdust to sawdust.
So, you think
she suspects you, eh?
She knows.
Then I'd be careful.
At the moment she has a better case
against you than you've got against her.
Oh, I wouldn't be too sure,
old ex-partner in crime.
I can pretty well guarantee she's very
unlikely to want the law called in.
Oh? Well, it's been called in.
What, the police?
Worse. The judge.
Oh, what's he coming for?
Maitland, that's marvelous.
Here's our chance to talk
criminology and murder.
The judge.
What judge?
An old friend
of Mrs. St. Maugham.
What's his name?
Well, Mrs. St. Maugham
refers to him as "Puppy."
She was once his mistress.
Do you know that?
Then why do you say it?
Why do I say anything?
For effect.
But if it's not true and you're
believed, where are you?
Where am I?
Floating away.
The only hold we have
on this world is the truth.
There's nothing in this world
I care about holding on to.
Tell us more
about the judge, Maitland.
He's hearing that murder case
in London on Monday. He's going...
Oh, no. That's too good to be true.
I've read about it.
The man who killed
his wife in a fit of...
Cover your ears, Miss Madrigal...
Uncontrollable passion.
Think of him now,
lying in his cell or pacing it.
Yes. Pacing it like a caged animal,
back and forth.
His hot blood turned cold.
His murderer's blood frozen...
No man is a murderer
until he's convicted.
But when he first looks the judge
in the eye, he must know.
The judge never looks up.
He seems to sleep.
But it's the sleep of cruelty.
Why do you think
only of the judge?
It's the jury they work on.
But when you read
about such trials,
it seems it must be the judge.
Read more and you'll see
that it's neither, but fate.
But they work to get
at the truth.
The truth doesn't always ring true
in a court of law.
- What does ring true?
- The likelihood.
The probability.
They work to make things
hang together.
What the prisoner listens
to there is not his life.
It's the shape
and shadow of his life...
with the accidents
of truth taken out of it.
How did you get
into a courtroom?
It's surprisingly easy.
Now, go and put on
some rubber-soled shoes.
For what?
To sneak into a court?
A tennis court.
Oh, aren't you the clever one.
You play tennis too.
About as well
as you play detective.
Point. Game and set.
Change ends.
Tell me something.
If I can.
That trial you attended...
Was it a trial for murder?
It would have to be
to satisfy you.
Who is C.D.W.?
My married sister.
I thought you'd
been born unrelated.
And now you have a sister.
Most people have someone.
Suppose you were to drop down dead?
To whom shall we write?
I shall not drop down dead.
Do you have to do that?
Oh, I hate just walking.
Let's play a game.
What kind of a game?
A guessing game.
Do you know one?
Maitland and I play one
called The Sky's the Limit.
We ask three questions each.
But for each one you don't answer,
I get an extra one.
And what do we guess about?
Each other.
You know, boss,
we're both rather mysterious.
Does it have to be the truth?
Oh, you can lie.
But I get better and better
at spotting the lies.
Now, give me a moment to think.
Right. I'm ready.
First question:
Are you a maiden lady?
I can't answer that one.
Because you throw
the emphasis so oddly.
Right. You don't answer,
so I get an extra question.
Are you living
under an assumed name?
Careful, boss.
I've got
my lie detector working.
Do you take things at
my grandmother's house at face value?
You're getting the idea.
There's our bus.
Tell me the full name
of your married sister, quickly.
Clarissa Dalrymple Westerham.
Is Dalrymple Westerham
a double name?
You've had your questions.
Hurry up.
We'll miss it.
Now your questions.
What? The game.
Your questions.
Oh, yes.
Were there any witnesses to your famous
Hyde Park affair?
What was the charge
by the police?
The police didn't come into it.
Did someone follow you
and try to kiss you?
Kiss me?
He tried to...
It was an open-and-shut case
of criminal assault.
How do you know that if there
wasn't a charge by the police?
Now you've had
too many questions.
Fares, please.
Two. One and threepence, please.
Two to Litlington.
Thank you.
Thank you, madam.
Now for the deductions. Oh,
you didn't tell me there was a deduction.
Oh, I forgot.
It's the whole point.
Mine's ready.
What do you deduce?
That you've changed so much.
You must have been
something quite different.
When you first
came to Grandloo's,
you were like a rusty hinge
that wanted oiling.
You'd been alone.
You may have been a missionary
in darkest Africa.
You could have been almost
anything except a maiden lady.
You've had a sex life
of fire and brimstone.
Now, about your assumed name,
I'm not so sure.
But you have no married sister.
You take my breath away.
Good at it, aren't I?
Yes, for a mind under a cloud.
Now your deductions.
Well, give me time.
I'm new at this game.
And you've had
an unfair advantage.
What's that mean?
It means that I should first
have the privilege...
of searching your room too.
And that, Puppy, is my problem.
Can Olivia take back
the child she deserted...
This pitiful, helpless child...
And make her play daughter
to the very man who broke up their home?
This little, frightened, insecure girl,
to whom I've given
my full devotion and attention,
spared no expense,
and for whom I've hired
the finest governess that money can buy.
In these cases, it...
Can she be actually torn...
from an atmosphere
of love and understanding...
and made to fulfill
a cold, legal obligation...
to a mother who considered her
an afterthought...
and a father
who is no father at all?
The general legal view,
I would say, takes into account...
Now, don't make
any snap courtroom decisions.
After all, we're dealing
with real people here.
To make a snap judgment,
I should have to speak
somewhat faster than I do.
Dear Puppy.
I feel better already.
Your views
are always so helpful.
Hello, Puppy.
Good heavens. Laurel.
That's right.
Somehow I was still
expecting a little girl.
I'm 16 now, but backward.
Olivia's daughter.
Shy Olivia.
How is your mother?
Hush. We don't speak
of her here.
My dear girl,
she's still living?
In sin, Judge.
In sin.
Ah, so she's found you, Puppy.
The little girl
of my little girl.
Now, what do you think of her now?
Or perhaps I shouldn't ask the judge to
compliment you in your presence, dear.
But come along, both of you.
Luncheon's ready.
It's not very grand, I'm afraid.
I don't entertain anymore.
The battle's over.
You see,
even the table is laid...
with fragments
of forgotten ritual.
Faith is handed down that way.
When our era is dead,
we shan't know why we have
two glasses for one wine.
Ah, Miss Madrigal.
Puppy, I want you
to meet my right hand,
my green thumb,
the mistress of my garden.
Miss Madrigal, this is an old,
old friend of mine... Judge McWhirrey.
One "old" would have been enough.
Would you have your youth back?
I'd have it back if I could.
Even life's reverses.
Wouldn't you, Miss Madrigal?
Miss Madrigal,
why don't you sit down?
I was saying,
do you think grief tastes more sharply
than pleasure on the palate?
Miss Madrigal.
I'm sorry.
I don't seem to have the give-and-take
of clever conversation.
Well, at least age does give
tone to certain things...
Violins, old wine,
old friends to drink it with.
Yes, Maitland,
we'll have the wine.
None for me, thank you.
Alcohol in the middle of the day
is exciting when you're 30,
but disastrous at 70.
But it can make you feel 30 again.
What? Oh.
Turn back the clock, Maitland.
The judge will have some.
You're trying a murder case on Monday,
aren't you?
I am.
Well, what...
I'd love to see you on the bench
again after all these years.
You should. You should.
Time decorates a judge.
But what Maitland and I want to know...
And Miss Madrigal.
should include everybody.
But it's Maitland and I who collect
the Great Cri series.
The trial... how will it begin?
When I enter court.
How will you enter?
with deliberate gravity,
robed in scarlet... terrifying.
She broke the glass.
I'm sorry.
My hand knocked it.
Well, never mind.
Now we know why we have
two glasses for one wine.
Maitland, pour some more
wine for Miss Madrigal.
I'm not used to wine.
But it helps one to keep up
one's end at table.
Go on, Judge.
With what?
The trial.
Heavens, Laurel.
Talk is a thoroughbred.
One doesn't say "go on"
as if it were a donkey.
No, no, let her be.
Well, first I'm driven
to church to pray.
To pray?
Against my faults.
I pray against bias
and against vanity.
And for charity?
No, that's outside my job,
Miss, uh...
I'm so sorry.
I've forgotten how they call you.
The name is Madrigal.
I ignore the heart,
Miss Madrigal,
and satisfy justice.
Every line on this face
is written by law, not life.
The trial, Judge.
The trial.
Stop badgering him, Laurel.
No, no, let the trial begin.
At the gate my trumpeters
knock three times,
then blow for my admittance.
garbed and toffed
with medieval meanings,
obscured by ritual,
the gloves of justice...
and the cap of death,
on a hollow knock...
I go in.
And the prisoner...
What about him?
He killed his wife, didn't he?
Oh, please, Judge.
We're mad on murder.
That's not a subject
for discussion.
But murder cracks open the lives
of people you don't know.
And as a judge,
you hear everything.
In principle.
Miss Madrigal says the judge doesn't
even listen. She says he sleeps.
I said he seemed to sleep.
With one eye open, like a tiger.
Have you been to a trial then?
Yes, she has.
She told me.
You defeat my purpose.
Let her answer.
Have you heard me on the bench,
Miss Madrigal?
When I spoke to Laurel of judges,
it was in a general sense.
But I heard you give a judgment.
I hope it was a good one.
I think, if I remember,
I would not have come
to your conclusion.
Miss Madrigal has
such answers to life.
But that was a strange one.
Well, a judge doesn't always get
to the bottom of things.
No. It would take the pity of God
to get to the bottom of things.
Now, that is enough.
Forgive me, but you insisted.
It has removed my inhibitions.
When it's a murderer...
and when you have to say whether
he'll live or die, how do you feel?
- Do you suffer?
- Nobody suffers.
They all go
into a dream together.
- Even the prisoner?
- The prisoner thinks...
he is at the judgment
seat of justice,
the place where all the motives
are taken into account.
- And aren't they?
- Absolutely not.
- Now, that will be all.
- Miss Madrigal says...
that when everything has gone
against the prisoner...
I'm quoted enough.
That after the verdict, when he's asked,
"Have you anything to say before... "
The prisoner is mercifully in a state
of shock and says nothing.
Not always.
Some have said remarkable things.
I remember a woman...
Maitland, have you the case
of Constance Doris Wakeland?
No, I don't think I've got that one.
Do sit down, Laurel.
We haven't finished
our soup yet.
You should read it for what she said...
when she stood before me.
Hardly more
than a child she was,
but old beyond her years.
"What I have been listening to in court,"
she said,
"is not my life.
It is the shape and shadow
of my life...
with the accidents of truth
taken out of it."
What was she tried for, Judge?
She killed
her stepsister, brutally,
from unreasonable jealousy.
I remember the case.
A pathological imaginer.
A liar.
A girl who lied...
and lied and lied.
And when she told the truth,
it didn't save her.
Excuse me.
Miss Madrigal. Miss Madrigal!
Where are you going?
Now, really, this is too much.
They didn't hang her, Judge.
That's quite enough, Laurel.
You've gone too far.
I didn't mean to.
I really didn't mean to.
Oh! Let me go.
Let me go.
What are you up to?
Maitland, let me go.
I have to see her.
Oh, of course.
This is your moment, isn't it?
You've caught her, trapped her,
run her to the ground.
You can't let her escape now.
Oh, Maitland, please.
She's wounded, dangerous.
Go on.
Finish her off.
But I didn't mean it.
I never meant it to go so far.
We were playing a game... a game.
Then all at once
it wasn't a game.
Don't you see?
I have to explain.
I have to make her believe that.
How? How can anyone
believe a word you say?
When you believe
in no one, in nothing.
You're right.
I can't.
I don't know how.
And she'd never listen
to me, not now.
But somehow I have to put it right.
I have to.
Help me, Maitland.
Make me a promise.
That we'll never talk about
what happened down there...
Not to each other, not to anyone
who wasn't there, ever.
All right.
That's a promise.
Leave it to me.
Your door was... open.
You see, I was right.
It's no good locking doors.
There's no place...
No safe or private place...
Not for people like me.
There are no people
like you, Madrigal.
You're yourself,
something quite original.
Even the name is a lie.
Nothing about you is a lie.
Well, you know
the truth about me now.
At least the way
it's written down.
Constance Doris Wakeland
still stands condemned of murder.
That happened
before you were born.
This is where
Madrigal came into being.
You're kind and... and generous.
I'm selfish.
I want you to stay here.
Well, I can't.
Don't you see?
There's nothing for me here.
Nothing more I can do.
Any influence I might have had
with Laurel, that's finished.
She finished it.
She made good her promise.
She exposed me.
Or set you free...
Free of the fear
of being exposed.
Now I'll always
be afraid of that.
Now I know there'll
be another Laurel,
another Judge McWhirrey
wherever I go.
But not if you stay here.
Even if I wanted to,
do you believe Mrs. St. Maugham
would allow it?
A convicted murderess
under her roof?
All she's sure of is you
behaved strangely at lunch.
Perhaps because of the wine.
She doesn't know.
By now she's been told.
No, she hasn't.
Laurel has just begged me
to keep the secret.
But why?
She hates me.
At the table downstairs, she finally
lit a fire she couldn't put out.
She got caught up in it.
But now she...
Now it's too late.
You can't put things back
as they were out of ashes.
If you spoke to the judge.
I did that once.
It didn't help.
And by now,
even if Laurel hasn't,
he will have handed down his judgment
to Mrs. St. Maugham.
He's a judge.
He knows better than anyone...
you can't be tried twice
for the same crime.
Talk to him.
Oh, what good will it do?
For Laurel... all the good.
Unless, of course,
it's you who hate her now.
Hate her?
I'm afraid for her.
More and more
she's the child I was.
And shouldn't
the judge know that?
He's come down here
to help decide her future.
Your influence now could be
stronger than ever.
Do you really believe that?
Yes. I really believe it.
Thank you, Maitland.
No. As I said,
I'm a selfish man.
I'm sorry to disturb you.
I could hardly be more disturbed
than I have been already.
What do you want?
I know what you must think.
I don't belong here.
I shouldn't be here.
But it is a kind of work
so fitted to me.
Do you believe in God?
At times I've thought
it was he who sent me here.
Don't look at me as if I were
a sad piece of news, a curiosity.
Why don't you answer?
Answers to questions
involving God...
must be carefully phrased.
One thing I must know.
When did you recognize me?
The moment you saw me or later?
So that's it.
It finally comes to me
who you are.
Constance Doris Wakeland.
But surely you...
I thought you knew.
Not until this moment.
Then if I hadn't come in...
I'd never have remembered.
Oh, no.
Fifteen years,
and you've greatly changed.
At our last meeting, I died.
It alters the appearance.
So, what will you do now?
I'm an old man, Miss Madrigal,
and very learned.
I don't know.
What in heaven's name...
made you choose this occupation,
with your history?
And in this family?
This family?
With any family.
I remember the girl
and the lies she told.
Yes, and you've seen her again today
in Laurel, haven't you?
Hardly more than a child.
Yet one day she may
be facing you in court.
Why are you telling me this?
In answer to your question,
"Why this family?"
Why stay on?
Because when I came here,
I felt I had met myself again.
The cobwebs and the fantasies.
The same evasions.
I could have left at the first sign
of trouble had I wanted to.
That might have been
your best solution.
But not hers.
She needed me. Needs me now.
And I won't leave before I finish
the job I was sent here to do.
Finish it? How?
By giving it up to you.
You have the influence and the power
to return her to her mother.
Please believe me now,
if you never did before.
It's where she belongs,
what she needs,
what I needed and never had.
And if she goes,
what becomes of you?
I shall be leaving in any case.
Constance Doris Wakeland,
be assured of one thing.
I'll not pass sentence
on you a second time.
Thank you for that,
but Laurel is the...
Laurel's case
must be decided by Laurel.
She can't decide.
She hates her mother.
Unreasonably, but...
You're not the judge here.
Nor do I choose to be.
Whether or not you go,
whether or not she stays...
must rest with you and Laurel.
So you see, Miss Madrigal,
you can't finish your job here
by giving it up to me.
Shall you come again, Puppy?
When your trial is over
and you can rest?
I shall rest before I come
next time, my dear.
Too much happens in this house
for an old man.
Good-bye, Puppy.
Look after yourself.
No, there's no answer.
You sent for me, Mrs. St. Maugham?
I did.
I've just received word from Miss Olivia
that she's on her way here now.
She expects us to have Laurel ready
and her things packed.
I can do that in five minutes.
Please, don't anticipate me.
Her things will not be packed,
and she will not be taken.
You will kindly listen to what I say
and carry out my instructions.
Mrs. St. Maugham,
she needs to be taken.
She must go.
Laurel must go back with her mother.
You astonish me
with the liberties you take.
I made allowance
at luncheon yesterday...
The wine.
But this...
I'm quite clearheaded now.
To take this child of special soil,
transplant her...
Mrs. St. Maugham,
you have not a green thumb,
either with a garden or a child.
This is a house where nothing
good can be made of her.
My house?
Your house.
Why, even your garden
is demented.
But her mother... you know what she is.
Even Laurel has told you.
She has told me what has been
made of her mother,
what you have helped her
to make in her mind.
Not what she is,
not even what you believe.
You couldn't.
Her mother is still your child.
But she's going
to have another child.
There won't be room for Laurel.
The heart is a house with a room
for every person it loves.
Neither you nor Olivia
can understand Laurel as I do.
I have a special
knowledge of her.
To me she's like
a porcelain on a shelf,
marred in some marvelous way
for the better.
My knowledge of her...
We'll not compare ourselves.
I called you in here,
Miss Madrigal,
because on Miss Olivia's last visit
you attempted to interfere.
Now, I will not
tolerate that today.
I advise you to remain quietly
in the background. Your advice is foreseen.
But before I go,
Laurel must leave.
The flaming impudence.
- You must be mad.
- That has been said of me.
What collusion has been
worked behind my back?
To take my money
and then turn against me.
And I... lavish,
trusting, leaning.
How could you do this to me?
What exactly are you,
Miss Madrigal?
A woman who has lost touch
with unessential things,
with confusion over two glasses
for one wine.
No, by heaven,
this time I want the truth.
Who are you?
Where do you come from?
Out of what dark past?
The past is an ugly wound
not yet healed.
But if it must be opened up
for Laurel's sake, I'll do that.
Don't go too far for me, boss.
The words that passed between
you and Judge McWhirrey...
Now, I demand to know.
Have you two met before?
Judge McWhirrey once
sentenced me to death.
To death?
But there you are.
Those who go on living
must be somewhere.
It was a commuted sentence
because of my youth.
It was many years ago.
And where have you been since?
I came to you
directly out of prison.
Oh, my God.
My God.
My Laurel entrusted
to a criminal...
A felon, a monster.
It's frightening.
You should be frightened.
You see before you the woman Laurel
may yet become.
The child who lied
and cheated and hated...
because she could not believe
one simple fact... that she was loved.
I have loved her,
thought only of her.
You've thought only of yourself.
You've used Laurel
to hurt her mother.
You wanted the truth,
and the truth may
still save Laurel.
Leave me alone.
Go away.
Leave me alone.
So that you can cry?
I am far from tears.
If I were you, I'd cry.
Cry with relief that her mother
still wants her,
is still prepared to take her.
But have a care.
Even a mother can't wait forever.
Not in the summer house.
Not in the toolshed or the greenhouses.
I'll try the attics.
I'll go to the beach.
What are you doing here?
I'm waiting for my mother.
You see, boss,
you finally convinced me.
And what I want
is to be with my mother.
You made me want to.
You taught me
what love is, boss.
You've grown up, Laurel,
and you seem smaller.
No. We'll never say good-bye.
Never, never, never.
Let's go home, Mother.
Oh, Laurel.
Thank you.
What will you do now?
Continue to explore
the astonishment of living.
Is it a crime
to want to be remembered?
The pharaohs built
the pyramids for that reason.
What do women do...
in my case?
It wouldn't hurt
to go on gardening.
I've made a muddle
of my garden...
and my heart.
Will Olivia forgive me?
In time, perhaps.
Would you stay with me?
Would you?
I'll stay as long as I'm wanted.
You know, we could make
this place so full of life...
A good life...
That people would come
from everywhere to see us.
What do you think?
I must know one thing.
What's that?
Did you do it?
What many learned men at the top
of their profession...
couldn't find out
after a long, long trial,
why should you know?
Forty years ago,
I should have said the same thing.
But I warn you,
before I die,
I'll find out.