Where the Lilies Bloom (1974) Movie Script

I long to be
where peace fills the air
the wind sings
softly in my ear
I can hear the song
that calls me there
where the lilies bloom
I'll close my eyes
and I can see
a vision fair
ls leading me
to run through the green
where I can be
where the lilies bloom
where the lilies bloom
There is a wonder known to few people,
and that's the coming of spring to
the mountains we call old Joshua.
I asked my teacher once
how old these mountains are,
and she reckoned them to be two
billion, five hundred million years.
I cannot comprehend this figure.
I only know that when spring comes,
we use any excuse to go to welcome
her on old Joshua's ridges.
Our family name is Luther.
We are proud of the name
for our family has lived here in a remote
valley of the great smoky mountains
for over 200 years.
Fourteen years ago, I was born
in the shadow of this mountain,
and given the name Mary Call.
If I could wish anybody
a fine thing in this world,
I'd wish them a father like Roy Luther
for there has never been
a more loving man.
But since the death of our mother,
Cosby Luther, four years ago,
he has been coughing his life away.
And more and more, I've had to take
over the management of this family.
By all rights, this responsibility
should have fallen to my sister,
Devola, who is older.
But she's never had a head
for practical matters.
We are mountain people
and so we eat mountain food.
Today, we will harvest iamb's quarters,
which is a potherb
that tastes like spinach.
Wild marjoram.
When it blooms,
it smells sweet as honey.
Marjoram. It's got
a pretty name.
Means joy of the mountain.
If you were an herb, you'd be marjoram.
Am I one?
No, you'd be meadowsweet.
Looks like a Rose but got no thorns.
Pa, bet you can't name me.
You'd be a sassafras sapling.
Mary Call? She'd be yarrow.
Yarrow's weak and ferny.
A strong wind could blow it away!
It's stronger than it looks.
It's a spunky plant.
Well-nigh indestructible.
Hey, looks like there's
some iamb's quarters over here.
Get the brake, Mary Call.
Yeah, Mary Call, get the brake.
What's wrong with the
iamb's quarters along here?
Well, it's better on up yonder.
Let's catch one!
Hey, you stupid Turkey!
Get him! Hurry up!
Get him, Romey. Get him!
Looks like iamb's quarters for supper.
Do you think I should
stay with him, Mary Call?
No, just get back to work, Romey.
He just asked a question, Mary Call.
Air's thin up here.
I want to get Roy Luther off this mountain
before he has another one of his spells.
Hit the brake, Devola.
Yeah, Devola, hit the brake.
Hold it, Devola.
Darn old rocks.
Easy now.
If there's anyone in this world
for whom we Luthers
have an unholy hatred,
it's Kiser Pease
and his sister, Goldie.
Four years ago they stole our land
by paying some taxes my father
had allowed to fall behind.
Since then we've worked as share croppers
on the same land we once owned.
Goldie Pease has gone
to live in Asheville.
And we would have rejoiced
if Kiser had gone with her,
or even further.
You want to rest now, Roy Luther?
Not in front of Kiser Pease' house.
Well, they'd give us a drink of water
and we could see his yellow kitchen.
You heard what Roy Luther said.
I'd die of thirst before I'd take
water from that greasy outlaw.
Kiser's not a greasy outlaw.
Get the brake, Mary Call.
Yeah, get the brake, Mary Call.
Hang on, Ima Dean.
- I am holding on!
- Devola, get the gate!
- Easy now, papa.
- Yeah.
Ima Dean, get that mangy
crow out of my snap beans!
He's not a mangy crow.
He's my friend.
Come on, rigs. Come on, boy.
Ima Dean!
We're gonna have that mangy crow
for supper one of these nights.
Oh, boy, good boy.
What a cruel thing to say.
Devola, come help me some.
Come on over here in mama's old rocker.
Warm weather's just gonna do
wonders for you, Roy Luther.
Romey, your turn to ask the blessing.
Look out, lord, we're gonna eat.
How do you expect to go to heaven
when you die, talking like that?
Roy Luther says it.
Well, I wish he wouldn't.
Well, I figure the lord likes
a joke as much as anybody else.
It's just that you ought to
be making your peace with...
I've made that peace, devola.
Ima Dean, when's the
last time you had a bath?
I don't know.
Well, I know when you're gonna get one.
I love my love
and well he knows
I love the ground
whereon he goes
if you on earth
no more I see
I won't serve you
as you have me
you're getting soap
in my eyes, Mary Call.
Okay, that's enough.
Come on, ima Dean.
Everybody, look away now.
Nobody's gonna look at you.
There is a part of me
known only to miss Fleetie Breathet,
the principal of our school.
It was she who first suggested
that I should record my thoughts,
and all the events of
my life in a journal.
Those moments of writing
at the end of a day
have become a secret joy.
But lately I've begun
to feel a bottomless fright,
for Roy Luther's health
is getting not better,
but worse.
He seems weaker.
And I... [don't know what to do.
Mary Call?
Made of Chestnut.
I always took pleasure
in Chestnut trees.
Yes, papa.
I want you to promise me
some things, Mary Call.
You're the strongest and
I'm depending on you.
Yes, papa.
Devola took your mother's place.
And you're gonna have to take mine.
Yes, sir.
When it comes my time to die,
let me go real quiet.
No doctor, no undertaker, no preacher.
They just take money.
Kiser Pease
has got his eye on devola.
And devola is interested.
Don't let him have her.
I'll never let kiser Pease marry her.
Anyway, you're gonna
get better, Roy Luther.
Up on old Joshua, I've
made a place to rest.
I want you to promise me that
you'll keep the family together.
That you'll take pride
in the Luther name
and not ever take charity.
I promise.
I got to warn you, Mary Call.
Roy Luther?
He's had a right bad spell.
We're gonna get you well, Roy Luther.
Romey, wait up.
Come on, romey, wait a minute.
Where do you think you're going?
We've got to get him
a doctor, Mary Call.
I don't want Roy Luther to die.
I made some promises
to Roy Luther, romey.
One of them was no doctors.
No doctor had ever
been in Roy Luther's house
and none ever would.
I set devola to making poultices
of gum camphor and turpentine,
and they seemed to ease his breathing.
In the nights and days that followed,
we took turns keeping watch over papa.
At first he couldn't take nourishment.
But when I made him some tamarack tea,
he seemed to take
a turn for the better.
Uh-oh. Kiser Pease.
Mary Call?
Will you ask your daddy
to step out here?
I can't. He's sick in bed.
Well, I'll just talk
to him in there then.
Wait a minute.
Hey there, kiser.
Watch out, romey.
I'm right glad you're around again.
Uh, how you been keeping?
She's been keeping just fine,
so we don't have to stand
around yammering about it.
Mary Call, I sure do
pity the man you marry.
I feel the same for whoever
you hook up with, kiser.
Mary Call, I had in mind talking
to Roy Luther man to man.
Well, only a little while.
He's been mighty sick.
How you doing, Roy Luther?
Well, I'd have been by to
see you before now, but I...
I've been laid up myself.
I'm gonna own right
up to it, Roy Luther.
There's been hard feelings
between you and me.
But to my way of seeing
it now, I've done you a favour.
Now, somebody else could have
come along and paid them taxes off
and kicked you off
this place the same day.
What's your point, kiser?
What I come here to say,
Roy Luther, is that...
Well, I'd make devola a good husband.
I'd make you Luthers a good in-law.
What Roy Luther wants to say
is you can't marry devola.
He's against it, and I've
promised never to let it happen.
I'd be good to that
little girl, Roy Luther.
Now, if anything
ever happened to you...
You're getting him too excited!
You better go!
That's a mighty sick man in there.
I've seen sicker get better.
I don't reckon he's got
any money laid aside, has he?
Well, the only thing I can
think of is the county welfare.
That's charity.
Luthers don't take charity.
Well, of course, Roy Luther could
have done a lot better with this place
than he done, too, you know.
You telling me he could
have worked harder?
No, just better.
You shut up, kiser. Stop running
him down and get off our land.
Whose land did you say it was?
Well, I wish you luck.
He ain't gonna run us off, is he?
No, romey.
Kiser isn't gonna run us anywhere.
We ought to be planting potatoes
instead of digging them.
Some got left in
the ground after harvest.
Can't let them go to waste.
Mary Call?
What, romey?
Have you ever seen a dead person?
What'd she look like?
Kind of pale and
shrunk up.
Just wondering.
Roy Luther's gonna leave us, isn't he?
He might.
If he does, what'll we do?
Well, I don't know yet.
Where're we gonna go?
Romey, we're gonna live.
Don't worry about things.
Guess we'll just have to go find him.
I don't want to go in there.
You want him to say we didn't bring
him his share of the potatoes?
Old skinflint.
Hello. Who is it?
What do you reckon he's got?
I know what he's got.
- He's got pneumonia.
- Oh!
Are we gonna do anything for him?
We're gonna keep him alive.
Wouldn't be any good to us dead.
He's no good to us now.
Yeah, but he's gonna be.
Listen, we need onions.
Lots of onions.
Oh, no, not that cure.
Now, when we get done with this,
I want you to run home
and bring devola back here.
We're gonna need all
the help we can get.
Poor kiser.
Save your pity for
somebody that deserves it.
Oh, romey, please.
Where are you taking me?
He smells.
What are you doing?
We ought to give him a bath.
Well, he's gonna need a
bath is after we're through with him.
Now, let him down easy.
Why should we?
Oh, the devil's got me!
The devil's gonna get
you soon enough, kiser.
You be still.
Hold him, romey. Hold him.
Romey, you come sit on him.
Be careful.
Ow, that's hot.
Not hot enough for kiser.
Mary Call, this stink is terrible.
You stay right there, romey.
Oh, god.
What are you doing?
I thought I told you to stay home.
I wanted to see.
Ima Dean!
Oh, god!
Mary Call?
Is that you?
Yeah, kiser.
You came close to dying, kiser!
You're still real sick.
You know, if I went away
and left you now, you'd die.
Don't leave me.
Can't think of any reason for staying.
I'd pay you.
Uh, $5? Maybe...
I don't want your money.
It's Roy Luther's land.
I want it back!
In our name, free and clear.
And I want you to sign
a paper that says so.
Here, let me read it to you.
"To who it may concern."
I, kiser Pease,
who's in my rightful mind
do tell the world
that the land I took
from Roy Luther is rightfully his again
"and belongs to the Luther family
forever, so help me god. Amen."
If I sign, you won't let me die?
I promise.
Well, I... I trust you,
Mary Call.
- Morning, Mr. Nelson.
- Morning, Mr. Nelson.
Morning, how are you?
- Hello, Mr. Knight.
- Hello, Mr. Knight.
Mary Call. Romey.
That you, Mary Call Luther?
What brings you all in from the sticks?
I needed some supplies,
Mrs. Connell.
Where's Mr. Connell?
He'll be out in a jiffy.
Hear your daddy is on the go-down.
Yes, he took a little spill.
Well, Howdy, Mary Call.
Hey, romey.
What can we do for you this fine day?
I have a list, Mr. Connell.
All right.
Both of my parents
passed on when I was a little girl.
Had to go live with a cranky old aunt.
We don't have anything
to worry about like that.
Nothing bad is gonna
happen to Roy Luther.
Now, that's for god,
and god alone to decide.
And if he decides to take Roy Luther,
you all Luthers gonna
have to look for help.
Don't you worry.
There's institutions
for folks like you.
Old bat.
Here you are, Mary Call.
I got to run on over to banner elk.
You all want a ride to the turn-off?
Yes, sir!
Show this to your daddy, Mary Call.
Hi, romey.
"Balm of Gilead."
Boneset herbs.
"Witch Hazel." What's this for?
Well, that's a price list I got
from a botanist down in Asheville.
Your daddy'll know what it is.
You mean people pay for things
you can just pick up in the woods?
What'll they do with them?
Same things your mama did.
Make medicine.
You know, half the people
old doc Jenkens cured,
he did with the help of the
herbs he got from your mama.
Cosby Luther was the best wild-crafter
and herb doctor we had
in these mountains.
We got a book at
home mama gave Roy Luther called,
a guide to wild-crafting.
Look at this. Twenty-five
cents a pound for witch Hazel.
If people are
paying prices for these things,
how come we didn't
know about this before?
Well, botanists say
that the doctors have found out
that there's a lot more worth
in these old-timey remedies.
If Roy Luther don't feel up to it,
you children might go wild-crafting.
Make yourself a lot of money.
Old Joshua's just
covered with this stuff.
Mary Call, we could get rich.
Well, you keep
your eyes peeled up there,
and don't go sucking on any roots,
for some of them is deadly poison.
Oh, Roy Luther, what a day it's been.
Romey called Mrs. Connell
a bat and I can't blame him.
And Mr. Connell gave us a price
list of wild-crafting things.
Just wait till I tell you...
Tell you...
been a long time
here below
been a long
time travelling
away from my home
been a long time
here below
to lay
I this '
body down
Before we go,
I want each of us
to say some good things.
The good things in our heart
we remember about our father.
Well, he was good.
And he loved us all, fair and square.
I was proud to have him for my daddy.
And I hope he'll stay peaceful in here.
The lord is your Shepherd now,
Roy Luther.
Be happy with him.
And don't worry about us.
Goodbye, papa.
Been a long time
here below
been a long
away from my home
been a long time
here below
been a long
time travelling
away from my home
to lay
body down
I have kept two
of my promises to Roy Luther.
There has been no doctor
and no undertaker.
But other promises were made.
To take pride in our name.
To keep our family together.
And to never let
kiser Pease marry devola.
But what worries me most,
is keeping Roy Luther's death a secret.
If anybody ever finds
out he's passed away,
they'll take us to the
county home for sure.
I don't know if I'll be able
to do all Roy Luther asked me.
Since I've nothing to
depend on but my wits
and wild-crafting.
Here's yarrow.
What Roy Luther said I was.
"Among superstitious people",
yarrow is thought to have the
properties of a love potion."
Hear that, devola?
Wouldn't do me any good,
the way everybody around
here hates kiser so.
Well, pick it anyway.
"The lady's slipper
is a noble plant."
An infusion of the roots
"is a sure remedy
for sleeplessness."
What are you gonna buy
with your money, romey?
I'm gonna buy me a book that tells me
how old the great smoky mountains are.
I'm gonna buy me a radio.
How about you, devola?
Well, I'll put my money with yours,
sugar, to help buy the radio.
Mary Call'll put hers
in an old sock and save it.
I don't know where you got
the idea I was a tight-wad.
- Uh-oh.
- Uh-oh.
Not the kind we want.
Y'all come on!
Get all this wild-crafting
stuff out of sight.
Because Kiser'll
probably want a share of it.
I know that.
Get moving.
Stop bossing me around.
Devola, grab this one. Here!
Hurry, y'all!
Hurry up. Come on.
Hurry, ima Dean.
I am hurrying. I'm hungry.
Go make your bed.
Yeah, romey, make up the bed.
- I am, ima Dean.
- Look out, sugar.
I'll help you, romey.
Romey, where'd you put my doll?
Everybody ready?
Where's my doll?
Did you get all the roots?
- Pick this up.
- Where's my doll?
Come on, ima Dean, hurry up.
Take the broom, ima Dean.
Hurry, ima Dean. Get this one.
Which one?
Everybody ready?
Hi, kiser.
Hi, Mary Call, how you doing?
Just fine, kiser.
Your daddy around?
What do you want with him?
Well, now, Mary Call, I think
that's between Roy Luther and I.
He's real sick, kiser.
I'm Roy Luther's spokesman now.
Head of the family, doing all
planning, and making all decisions.
You know, you're enough to scare a man.
Why can't you be sweet
and nice like your sister?
Because sweet and nice girls get
themselves run over by people like you.
Mary Call, I aim to marry devola.
What you got in those gunny sacks?
I brought devola a couple of hams.
Listen, Mary Call,
why don't you help me?
Why don't you talk
to Roy Luther for me.
You know how to talk to him.
Remind him how I already
gave him his land back.
Tell him I'd take him
for rides in my car.
Car rides might scare Roy Luther.
He's not used to cars.
Well, I'd bring it over here and let
him sit in it every day for a spell.
You know, get him used to it.
Then, after devola and me married,
why, we'd take him for rides
and he wouldn't get scared.
I can't let you marry devola,
and you know that.
But as long as you're here,
you might as well come on in.
And don't forget the hams.
Well, how you been keeping, devola?
All right, kiser.
You always been partial
to yellow. I got this shirt.
That's real pretty.
Uh, listen, devola, I thought you
might be hungry for some ham meat.
Oh, that was real nice of you, kiser.
Wasn't it, though?
I'll just put them some place cool before
this hot weather makes them go rank.
You know, them hams
come off of old bugle.
That big old white pig?
Every time she'd see me coming,
she'd just squeal her head off.
Must have liked you.
She always acted like she did.
Look what I got.
Well, that's...
Real nice, sis.
I bought this old razorback hog one
time, that he went wild or something.
You know...
Howdy, romey.
Anyway, uh, this old razorback,
all one night he tried
to break his pen down,
and, uh...
Did he huff and puff
and blow his house in?
Sis, it'd be worth a dime of my money
if you'll take them play
pretties some place else.
But Mary Call told me to stay here.
Ima Dean? Just let kiser
finish telling his story.
I forgot where I was now.
He was huffing and puffing.
Oh. Oh, yeah.
Well, all that night...
I told Roy Luther you'd
be bringing your car by.
And he said he'd be glad
to sit in it for you.
Mary Call, if Roy Luther's awake,
I'd appreciate a word with him.
Well, he fell right off back to sleep
after I finished talking with him.
I reckon I'll just mosey along.
You want to walk to the
gate with me, devola?
Devola's got stuff to do in the house,
but I'll be glad
to walk you there, kiser.
Never mind, Mary Call.
I know the way.
You think he believed
you about Roy Luther?
Yeah. I think he did.
"An infusion of Iobelia is
said to bring relief
from asthma and influenza."
I'm gonna get you, ima Dean.
Romey! Back to work.
You, too, ima Dean.
Mary Call, I'm tired.
And don't give me any excuses.
Who put you in charge?
- Yeah, Mary Call.
- I did.
Okay for you, Mary Call.
Leave him be, Mary Call.
Have you got a better idea?
You could be a little patient.
I promised Roy Luther
I'd keep this family together.
Mary Call, we can't keep it hidden
forever that Roy Luther's gone.
We have reached
a milestone in our lives.
We have kept the death
of Roy Luther a secret,
and the family is still together.
With the money we earned wild-crafting,
we have survived a dangerous summer.
I know devola thinks
I'm cruel and heartless,
but we have no other choice if we
are to stay out of an institution.
Through it all, I've led a double life.
Wild-crafting by day,
writing in my journal at night.
I don't know what I would
do without my journal,
for there's no one else to whom I
can pour out what is in my heart.
There are so many things I long for,
soap that smells of flowers,
a dress that's not a hand-me-down.
I know these are not important things,
but I long for them.
School begins tomorrow.
I've looked forward to this day,
yet I'm uneasy.
For no one must know
Roy Luther is gone.
Can I take my rooster, Mary Call?
To school?
I should say not.
Romey takes things.
Show and tell.
You don't show and tell the first day.
Besides, we've got more
important things to think about.
We'd better practice
all the things I told you.
Remember your answers?
Ima Dean, how's Roy Luther?
He's just fine.
Uh, romey can I see you a minute?
This doesn't look like Roy Luther's
signature on your report card.
He's been sick, miss Fleetie.
His handwriting's kind of shaky.
Devola, this is kiser.
Is your daddy in?
You can't see him, kiser.
He's asleep.
What's he got?
Sleeping sickness?
He's on the mend, kiser. Just
go away before you wake him up.
Ima Dean, how's Roy Luther?
He's got sleeping sickness.
No. No.
He's just fine.
You remember that now.
Don't be scared, honey.
Come on, it's all right.
He's scared.
But you're not.
Anyway, Luthers don't cry.
Hey, romey, you going
out for basketball?
- Yeah. Sure.
- Watch it.
Watch it.
Not right now, anyway.
No time to practice.
Where you Luthers been all summer?
Came by your place
one day. Nobody home.
Well, we've been busy, Gaither.
We're in the wild-crafting business.
Connells say your dad's
been right bad off.
Well, he was.
But he's all better now.
Why don't you all come
by the mill after school?
Afraid we'll have to get on home.
Maybe some other time.
Phew, that was close.
Mary Call Luther, I'm mad at you.
What'd I do?
Didn't come and see me
the whole summer.
Hi, romey. Ima Dean.
Where were you?
We were busy.
We did some wild-crafting.
You gonna run for class president
again this year, Mary Call?
I don't know. Maybe.
Did you hear about Joyce-Lynn Taylor?
What's she done now?
Going steady with Luke Fitzgerald.
Oh, you're kidding. See y'all.
Hello, Luthers.
Hello, miss Fleetie.
Oh, all three of you this year.
Oh, how wonderful!
- We're in the wild-crafting business.
- This is ima Dean.
Welcome, ima Dean.
How's Roy Luther?
He's just fine.
"Most exciting thing all summer
was when my uncle came to see us."
He came on his motorcycle.
He took me for a ride on it.
He showed me how to work it.
I would like to have a
motorcycle and one day when...
"When I get the money,
I will get myself one."
That's very interesting, Bob.
You know, I've always had a secret yen
to ride one of those things myself.
Uh, who else has a composition?
It's not what I did
on my summer vacation.
Oh, well, it needn't be.
"Last night I stood alone on a hill"
and watched the distant stars.
The wind swept down from
the sky like a dark river
and in its flow and whisper
I heard the music of the planets.
Suddenly, a great star burst
and fell to earth in
a shower of star fire.
Where the star fell is a fair land.
You can find it if you
follow the arbutus trail
"to where the lilies bloom."
Uh, class dismissed.
Miss Fleetie, may I see you?
You certainly may.
Do you think you can fix it up for me and
romey to work in the cafeteria this year?
You know, so we get
the free hot lunches.
I'll take care of it.
I've got another problem,
too, miss Fleetie.
My schedule's been switched around.
I signed up for one class,
and somebody changed me to typing.
I'm that somebody.
I'd love to take typing
but I'd planned to take
home ec in that period.
Do you remember last spring, Mary Call,
when I told you that you have
an unusual ability with words?
Yes, ma'am.
I've been keeping my journal.
Like you said.
I've had my heart broken, Mary Call, in
this room more times than I care to say.
I've seen young men and women with
the makings to be doctors or lawyers,
musicians or artists.
I've seen them graduate and leave me,
not to go on into the world,
but to go back into
the hills and hollows.
I'm not gonna let that
happen to you, Mary Call.
Your life should count for something.
I'm sorry, miss Fleetie.
I've got to go find romey and ima Dean.
Carry your books, Mary Call?
They're not heavy, Gaither.
Have you seen anything
of romey and ima Dean?
They walked home with my sister.
It's really going neat. I'm
gonna check on the corn.
Real good.
The meal's coming out fine.
It sure is.
You want another slice of cake, sugar?
I vow, doesn't Roy Luther give
you enough hugging ima Dean?
He's just fine.
It sure is nice to have
a baby around to hug again.
Alma and Gaither push me
away and say, oh, mama"
every time I get close to them.
Where's Gaither? I could
sure use that boy to help me.
He waited to walk home with Mary Call.
Well, if that boy going
to start to courting,
he can do it on his own time.
Because he knows I've got
work waiting for him.
Love bug bites a boy,
he loses all sense.
Don't you remember, old man?
I didn't marry you for love, old woman.
I married you for your chocolate cake,
and I'm ready for some now.
Devola got a sweetheart yet?
No, ma'am.
Has too. Kiser Pease.
Well, I do vow.
What does Roy Luther say about that?
Roy Luther is...
Roy Luther has no use for kiser.
Says she can't marry him.
Well, devola could do
worse than kiser...
Romey? Ima Dean.
Hi, Mary Call.
Y'all come on.
Come on by, Mary Call.
I've got a chocolate cake
warm from the oven.
Thanks all the same,
Mrs. Graybeal.
But we got a lot of work
to do before dark.
Y'all come on.
Bye, bye, sugar.
Want to do homework
together, Mary Call?
I can come over right after supper.
- I did mine in study period.
- Bye.
See y'all.
- Bye.
- Well, I could come over anyway.
Well, better not, Gaither.
I'll see you tomorrow in school.
Don't you want some cake, Mary Call?
Gosh sakes, what's the big hurry?
You almost blew it.
And besides, we got work to do.
Rabbit in a log
and I ain't got no dog
how will I get him?
I know
I'll get me a briar
and twist it in his hair
that's the way
I'd get him, I know
Do little ones count?
At $3 a pound, they all count.
I can't see why anybody would
pay that just for an old root.
Maybe that's why
they call them goldenseal.
Very funny, romey. Very funny.
"The roots must
be dried evenly, by artificial heat
of not more than 100 degrees."
How you supposed to know that?
"After several hours of this, they
should be moved to a warm, dry place,
and turned at least four times a week to
prevent rot or dampness from setting in."
Ain't it awful we didn't know about
making money wild-crafting sooner?
You're never gonna learn anything
that way. Do it in your head.
Darn homework. Whoever thought
it up in the first place?
Smart people.
Stop fussing and do it.
Want to hear how high I can count?
One two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight...
Why don't you
write your numbers, honey?
I can't write them.
I can only say them.
Well, a little later.
Romey's having a hard time.
Want me to help you, romey?
Sure, ima Dean.
Figure this out for me.
Mr. Brown's living room is
10 feet, seven inches long
by 12 feet, two inches wide.
His kitchen is eight feet
by 11 feet, ten inches.
His bedroom is 10 feet
by 13 feet, four inches.
How many square feet are
in Mr. Brown's house?
Tell it to me again.
It's your homework.
You figure it out.
Yeah, romey.
Surprised I got enough energy to
stay awake, much less do homework.
The way you wake me up
at the crack of dawn
and order me around all day.
We all have our burdens to bear, romey.
I guess I'm yours.
Well, you're one heavy
burden, let me tell you.
It's the connells.
Keep them outside. Don't
let them in till I'm ready.
I'll get the bread out.
Hi, y'all.
Evening, romey.
Howdy, Mr. Connell.
How are you, Mrs. Connell?
Well, I just wheeze for days if I
breathe too much of this mountain air.
Well, here, let me
get the gate for you.
You got to open it a special
way or the hinges will fall off.
Roy Luther ought to fix that gate.
It could fall and mash somebody's toe.
He'll get around to doing
it one of these days.
Well, I vow, this place has
gone to rack and ruin
since Cosby Luther's not around.
This whole yard was
a flower garden in her day.
Uh, we've planted vegetables.
You want to see the tomatoes?
Can't say as I do. You see one
tomato plant, you've seen them all.
You want to see ima Dean's rooster?
I do not.
I was pecked by a rooster
once when I was a little girl
and I can't abide 'em since.
It sounds like an interesting
story, Mrs. Connell.
Tell me about that time you
got pecked by that rooster.
Well, it was down yonder.
I was about seven,
eight years old and...
Romey, will you kindly step
aside and let me pass, please?
Oh. Well, I didn't
know we had company.
Y'all come on in.
Romey, what kind of host are
you keeping company in the yard?
Not company, Mary Call.
Just us connells.
Oatmeal bread.
It's a present for Roy Luther.
Still warm from the oven.
Oh, well, he'll appreciate that.
Are you all in a hurry?
Or can you come in and sit awhile?
No hurry whatsoever,
and while I'm here I intend
to take a look at Roy Luther,
and see for myself
how he's coming along.
Oh, well, he's asleep right now,
but y'all have a seat on the porch.
Well, I'd rather sit inside
if it's all the same to you.
Well, come on in.
Hi, Mrs. Connell.
Oh, romey, move Roy Luther's
sweater and slippers.
Ima Dean, will you
stop biting your nails?
And ima Dean, you
let company have mama's rocker.
All right.
Well, why didn't
somebody tell me we had company?
We're not company, devola.
Mrs. Connell's been baking
and we just thought we'd bring
your daddy some fresh bread.
I told them Roy Luther was asleep.
He is still sleeping, isn't he?
Oh. Yeah, I just checked
in on him a minute ago.
Certainly goes to bed
with the chickens.
Roy Luther must still be poorly.
'Course, he never was what
I'd call a tower of strength.
Not a practical man
in any way, shape or form.
Mrs. Connell?
Just because a body's got faults,
it's no excuse not to love him.
Don't you reckon?
I vow, devola.
I used to worry about you.
Dreamy and impractical like your daddy,
but you're developing
into a regular person.
Well, I certainly would like
to have a word with Roy Luther.
Maybe he's awake, what with
all the talking out here.
You want me to peek in and see?
Why don't I just peek in myself?
Now, olive I don't want you going
into any strange man's bedroom.
Son, you take a look. If he's
asleep, you leave him be.
Out like alight.
Well, Mary Call,
you tell Roy Luther next time
we'll drop by earlier in the day.
Yes, I will do that.
Old bat.
Mrs. Connell had no
right to say what she did to devola.
It's simply that devola's head
is sometimes in the clouds,
and she has to be brought back to earth
even as our mother had
to do with Roy Luther.
Mrs. Connell.
Mrs. Connell what?
Tried to catch me.
Honey, you've had a bad dream.
Now, you know I wouldn't
let anybody hurt you.
Why don't you crawl into bed with me
and just forget about that old bat?
There you go.
Who the devil is that?
It's kiser Pease.
I wasn't expecting you.
Yeah, well, I'm on my way over
to Wilkes county to buy hogs.
Uh, you want me to tow Roy Luther out
here so he can sit in it for a while?
Roy Luther's still asleep.
Well, I'll just leave her here then.
But she'll stay locked till me and
Roy Luther can sit together in it.
Devola will be powerful put out.
She planned on sitting in it
and listening to the radio.
Oh. Oh, where is devola?
She's in the bathroom.
Want me to go get her?
No. No, no,
don't get her if she's...
Oh, well, here...
Tell her I don't want nobody sitting
in that car but her and Roy Luther.
And then tell her to turn the radio off
when she gets through listening to it.
I don't want to run that battery down.
If kiser Pease had the smidgen
of an idea Roy Luther was dead,
he'd have all of us but devola put
in the county home, just like that.
- Kiser?
- I could take Roy Luther's shotgun
and blow kiser's head off.
Now, romey, don't go
talking like a happy pappy.
Where's kiser?
He lit out for Wilkes county,
but he said you could
listen to the radio.
I want to hear the radio.
Just for a minute. We're
getting a late start as it is.
Everybody get in. Get in.
Where we going?
- Come on.
- I don't know.
Oh, look how pretty
the car is, ima Dean.
- Man, this is nice.
- Come on.
I want to listen to the radio.
Yeah, let's go. Come on.
Hey, look.
Nothing's happening.
Turn the key.
Oh, yeah. That's right.
Now, I think you pull this thing down.
I've got to go to the bathroom.
Look out!
Devola, stop this thing!
Damned hippies.
I'm gonna throw up.
You're not gonna cross
that bridge are you?
Look out for the cows.
I've got to go.
Bumpy ride.
How we gonna get out of here?
I don't know.
I'm not very good at going backwards.
You're no master hand
at going forward, neither.
Do you want me to drive, Mary Call?
Why didn't you tell me you could drive?
Devola, did kiser
Pease show you how to drive?
That's right.
Ima Dean. Stop that racket.
Romey, go down there and tell
her to stop horsing around
and get back to work.
Can I take a break, too?
A quick one.
Knock it off, ima Dean.
You're not the boss, romey.
Cut it out.
There is a limit to human endurance.
Maybe it's time we all
stop for a bite to eat.
Romey! Turn off that radio!
One more honk out of you and I'm
gonna lay my hand on your bottom.
Now back to work, romey.
I didn't get my nap.
No time for naps.
Half a Saturday gone on account
of ima Dean and this car.
She's only five, Mary Call.
And I'm only fourteen.
Now go get me a fresh gunny sack.
Go get it yourself.
I'm not your slave.
You're the hatefullest
person alive, Mary Call,
and I'm hungry, and we
came off without any lunch.
Good. We can all
starve to death!
Mary Call?
I'm gonna take everybody
for a little ride.
Get them calmed down.
You do that, devola. I don't
care if you never come back.
You wouldn't say that if Roy Luther
was here and I sure wish he was.
80 do I.
You think I asked to be put out
here on this blasted mountain
working myself to a frazzle?
Nobody but some old crazy
would do what I'm doing.
Taking me on three
snot-nosed kids to raise.
If I had the sense of a rabbit,
I'd take off across that mountain
and never even look back.
Hey. Oh, lord 'a' mercy,
Mary Call,
what did you gone
and got yourself into now?
Ha, ha, ha.
Very funny.
While I was waiting, I took the
freedom of speaking to Roy Luther,
but the door was locked.
So I went around
and looked in his window.
He ain't in there, Mary Call.
Well, he must be off
on one of his joy rides.
Why don't you come back
another time, kiser?
No. No hurry.
I got all the time in the world.
Boy, you look like you been shot through
the apple orchard and hit every tree.
Very funny.
Oh, that must be Roy Luther now.
Come on, sugar. Here we go.
Kiser Pease.
Now, Mary Call, what happened to you?
I got too
friendly with a bunch of bees.
Where is Roy Luther?
You know where he is Mary Call.
Up on old Joshua.
Hush. Why didn't he
come home with you?
We couldn't get him to come with us.
He got disgusted at ima Dean.
All she ever does is whine.
Well, uh, hey, devola, look here.
I brought you something.
- Pick of the litter. Arkansas razorback.
- Oh, thank you, kiser.
Let me have him.
Let me have him, devola.
- Be gentle, sugar.
- Hold on to him now, honey.
- I can't hold him. He wants down.
- Go get him.
- Don't let him get away.
- Get him, devola.
Hang on to him, honey.
- Ima Dean, get him now.
- Kiser?
I think you can take your car home now.
Roy Luther's had
his share of sitting in it.
No. No, no, devola can keep on
driving that car if she's a mind to.
But she ought to have
a license, though.
He's going around in back of the house.
Okay. You can take
us to school one day,
and then you and devola
can go on to burn and get one.
Well, well, if she
wants to go, we'll go.
Devola likes that pig, don't she?
Yeah. She likes most any animal.
She likes cows, too.
- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.
Hey, devola, Iookie here.
A cow. A cow.
She's for you.
- Oh, kiser.
- Is she for us?
- She's so sweet and pretty.
- Can I pet him?
I'm much obliged to you, kiser.
Yeah, well, I think you'll like her.
She's real gentle and she
just come fresh two weeks ago.
Tie her in the back yard, devola.
Yeah, we can tie her by the pig.
They'll be company for each other.
Yeah, they'll be company.
Come on.
Come on, cow,
come on, boy. Come on.
Mary Call, I want to
talk to Roy Luther now.
Kiser, I'd let you but Roy
Luther's not here this morning.
He's root-digging up on old Joshua.
- Root-digging, huh?
- Yep.
At the crack of dawn?
Mary Call, there's deception of
the rankest kind going on here.
Get in the truck.
Why can't we take the car?
Well, I learned you
on the truck, honey.
It'll make the test easier for you.
Home before dark, kiser.
Roy Luther may be queer in the head,
but he still knows
how to use a shotgun.
My country, 'tis of thee
sweet land of Liberty
of thee I sing
land where my fathers died
land of the pilgrims' pride
from every mountainside
let freedom ring
May I speak to you a minute, Mary Call?
Yes, miss Fleetie.
It's about your brother.
I don't know what's come over him.
He used to be one of my best students.
But this year his mind wanders
and his grades are slipping,
and then this morning in
American history, he fell asleep.
I'm mentioning it to you first,
because I know you're close to romey.
What did I do?
Falling asleep in history.
So, miss Fleetie told you, huh?
Thank your lucky stars she came to me
instead of trying to go
speak to Roy Luther.
You want us all to end up
in the county home?
No boss there could be
any worse than you are.
You stay awake from now on.
What do you think I am? Some kind
of machine that doesn't need sleep?
"Wake up, romey. Turn the roots, romey.
Build a fire, romey."
Bring in the firewood, romey.
"Do your homework, romey." Huh?
And you're gonna have
to bring up your grades.
When am I gonna do that?
Spare time.
You make me laugh, Mary Call.
You're real funny. Ha, ha.
I'm not joking with you, romey.
I feel like shaking you.
Better not try.
Romey, grow up.
What are you worried about?
I'm keeping promises, romey,
and I need you to help me.
Here they come.
Now, let me handle it.
All right for you, devola.
Where in the blazes have you been?
Staying away this late
and worrying me to death.
Something awful's happened, Mary Call.
Where's kiser?
A truck ran over him.
He was crossing the street
and it hit him.
They said it broke both
his legs and maybe his jaw.
I've wished kiser some bad things,
but not that bad.
I just didn't know what to do
so I got in kiser's truck
and I came on home.
Well, at least kiser Pease won't
be bothering us for a while.
Kiser's not as bad as people make out.
I've heard all I want
to about kiser Pease.
I love him, Mary Call.
Well, I'm glad papa's not
here to hear you say that.
Maybe papa was wrong about kiser.
Weather had been kind to us that year,
but suddenly it turned
on us with a vengeance.
There is a storm
building up inside me too.
And I know that when if bursts,
it'll be a terrible thing.
And I'm trying with all my
strength to keep it from happening.
Hold still, Ernie.
I will not live in the
same house with a pig.
Aw, Mary Call, he's just a baby.
Romey, if what I think is on
the other end of that rope,
the answer is no.
Mary Call, she won't take up much room.
Romey, cows thrive on water.
They love it. It runs off
their sides like a duck's back.
What if this cow
got struck by lightning?
Oh, romey.
"Oh, romey" what?
Nothing. Lord help us.
Romey? Where is she gonna poop?
If she looks like she's got to go,
I'll take her for a little walk.
You could build her a little
potty like the one I used to have.
How you gonna make
a cow sit on a potty?
You're the one that brought her in here.
You figure it out.
What happened? Ima Dean?
Are you all right?
What the heck is going on? Huh?
Mary Call.
What happened?
I'm sleepy.
Be careful, honey.
Lord, what next?
Must have blown off the old tree.
Close the door.
Look at the big old tree.
We're gonna get all wet.
Close the... well, it doesn't
make any difference anyway.
Maybe we can fix it.
There's nothing we can do about it now.
Let's get in out of the rain.
Come on, honey, let's get inside.
If you'd have fixed that roof,
nothing like that would have happened.
That was Roy Luther's job.
Roy Luther never fixed anything.
It just wasn't in his nature.
He had a lot of other
things to think about.
Well, what are we gonna do now?
We're gonna get ready for school.
School today?
School every day.
You want somebody to come snooping
around and see why we're not there?
From now on, we're gonna
have to keep everybody out.
! Routed my
family and stood over them,
prodding them to open
their eyes, to dress, to wash,
to eat and get ready for school.
At that hour they hated me.
And I hated myself knowing
howl appeared,
a pinch-faced crone,
straggle-haired, bony,
too desperate for anyone
with only 14 years on them.
Something had flown out
of my brother and sisters.
I would try to get them
to sing or talk,
do anything to raise their spirits,
but they remained sombre and silent.
I'd give anything for
a Thanksgiving Turkey.
Here, take this squash.
We'll have it boiled up with some
Pinto beans, and turnips, and potatoes.
It'll be just great.
When Roy Luther was alive,
we always had more.
Well, can't argue with you about that.
We glutted ourselves on Thanksgiving,
and then went back
to starving the day after.
I'm glad Roy Luther
can't hear you say that.
I wish he could.
I wish he could see the
fix he's left me in.
See who it is, romey.
Holy smoke.
It's kiser's sister.
Goldie Pease.
I'll deal with her.
Get down.
You leave old red alone.
Tell her to stop, devola.
Hush, ima Dean.
Tell her to stop.
Where's Roy Luther?
He's sick. I think
it's something catching.
You tell him to come talk
to me through the door.
He's asleep right now.
Name of god.
What have you Luthers
done to kiser's roof?
We didn't do it,
and it's not kiser's roof.
He signed it back over to Roy Luther.
Roy Luther paid him?
Not exactly.
Kiser signed a paper.
I'd like to see that paper.
Here, Ernie.
Pigs. In kiser's house.
Just one pig.
And it's not kiser's house.
It's not a house at all.
It's a barn.
Well, whatever it is, it's ours.
See for yourself.
Where do you think you're going?
Roy Luther, you ain't got sense
to pound sand down a rat hole
if you think this thing
kiser's signed is any good.
You hear me?
Sometimes he doesn't answer.
He's always been queer in the head.
Shiftless to boot.
Don't you talk about my papa like that.
If he had any spunk, you all
wouldn't be living the way you do.
Roy Luther, I know you're in there!
And I know you can hear me.
I want you Luthers out
of this house in 48 hours.
But the paper's legal.
Kiser signed it.
Worthless. Just like kiser.
Him and his Hoojer deals.
Ima Dean.
Mary Call? Mary Call.
Good morning. I've been
dying to see somebody.
How you been keeping, huh?
Fine, kiser. Just fine.
My goodness, you've turned thin.
Yeah. Uh, here.
Have one of these doodads.
I can't stand these
damn kind of cookies.
No, thanks.
Uh, uh... sit down. Sit down.
Shouldn't you be lying down?
No, I been lying down.
I'm sick and nobody cares.
Nobody. This place
is killing my nerves,
and I ain't got nobody to watch out
for me till I get well again. Nobody.
Kiser, how would you
like to get married?
Well, uh, what'd you just...
What'd you just say?
I said, "kiser, how would
you like to get married?"
Uh, I'd like it.
I'd like it. I would.
I'll be good to her.
I'll be good to you all.
How soon can it be, Mary Call?
Listen, I'll get you all
another pig. Maybe two.
And I'll get Roy Luther a little
car, maybe a pickup truck.
He always told me
he wanted a pickup truck.
- Kiser.
- What?
Kiser, I'm not talking
about you marrying devola.
I thought you might like to marry me.
I don't care how old you are.
I love you.
And I want to marry you.
Oh, Mary Call, you don't love me.
You know you don't.
How do you know I don't?
Listen, kiser, when somebody
tells you they love you,
you're not supposed to act like that.
Now, Mary Call, you've
got no more use for me
than you've got for a clod of dirt.
I have so got use for you.
Listen, kiser, you're
making me mad now.
I didn't come all this way
just to be insulted.
I ain't insulted you.
You have so.
You as much as called me a liar.
Listen, kiser, do you want
to marry me or don't you?
No. No, I don't.
Damn you. You treasoner, you.
- You sent Goldie there to tell us to vacate.
- Huh?
You knew she'd given us
48 hours to get off the place.
Well, Mary Call, I never even...
You treasoned me the same
way you did Roy Luther.
Now, wait a minute.
And you treasoned him
right into his grave.
Uh, Mary Call,
there ain't no use to bawl.
Who's bawling?
Now, listen, honey, if I'd
known Roy Luther was dead...
You tell anybody,
and I'll blow your head off.
Oh, damn.
Now, you wait a minute.
Mary Call!
Mary Call, come back here now, honey!
Please, Mary Call, come on back!
Mary Call!
Can I help in here?
What's going on here?
Wish there was a place
that I could go
where I could do as I please
there I could be all
the things inside of me
no one else can see at all
sometimes when
I am all alone
I imagine myself as a bird
flying free
no one to talk to
no words I can say
I can't give away
what I feel
someday I'll take the time
to do what's on my mind
and I'll learn
who I really am
but for now the night time
is all I have
when I'm alone
I'll close my eyes
and dream
Mary Call!
Hey, Mary Call!
Mary Call!
Mary Call, we've been looking
high and low for you.
Leave me alone, kiser.
Now, you've got to listen to me.
I don't have to listen
to anybody. Especially you.
Listen. Your brother and sisters
are worried to death about you.
Oh, really?
Well, it's time they did some
worrying, let me tell you.
I'm not gonna do it for them any more.
Mary Call, now, come on now.
I'm taking you home.
I'm not going back there.
Mary Call, now Iookie here now.
I'm going as far from
this place as I can get.
- Mary Call, listen to me, now.
- Richmond, Virginia.
Washington, DC. New York City.
Let somebody else worry.
You try hustling up enough to
eat for three snivelling kids.
Try wild-crafting right up till
dark to keep clothes on their backs.
Try keeping it a secret you've buried
your papa without a doctor or a preacher.
- Will you listen to me?
- Or even an undertaker.
Try keeping a house going where nothing's
been fixed in the last hundred years.
Try fighting off every busybody in
the county who's snooping around.
Will you just shut up
for a minute, please?
Try to do homework while every minute
- you're afraid there'll come a knock on the door.
- Mary Call, shut up!
Mary Call, Roy Luther put a lot
off on you that didn't belong.
I let him down.
No, no, you didn't let him down.
Now, you ain't got
nothing to be ashamed of.
You done all them things,
and you done them better than a lot
of grown people could have done them.
You know something?
You ain't nothing but a
little old shirt-tailed girl.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered
together here, in the sight of god"
and in the face of this company to
join together this man and this woman
in holy matrimony,
which is an honourable
estate instituted of god,
signifying unto us the mystical union
that is betwixt Christ and his church,
which holy estate Christ adorned and
beautified with his presence and first miracle
that he wrought in Cana of galilee,
and is commended of St. Paul
to be honourable among all men,
"and therefore is not by
any to be entered into...
It's not an easy thing to say,
but Roy Luther was wrong about kiser.
He's a good man and will
be gentle with devola.
I know now that it is
possible to love someone
even though they fail you.
I still love Roy Luther
and I always will.
Perhaps that is the true test of love.
Kiser's not as bad
as we thought he was.
I'll keep an eye on him and devola.
Oh, this is a fair place
to spend eternity.
The air smells like honeysuckle.
And the wind in the pine trees
makes a joy-some sound.
Sometimes on the wind,
I feel something say my name,
telling me to come
to some far-off place.
Mary Call.
Mary Call.
Once I'm through raising
romey and ima Dean,
I think I'll go.