The Gilded Age (2022) s01e01 Episode Script

Never The New

1 Hyah, hyah! Hup, hup! Hup, hup.
Come on.
Come on, come on.
- Take those packages to - Whoa.
Careful with those.
They're fragile.
Go slow! - Give that to Mr.
- This way, this way.
- Hoisting it up! - Careful, careful! - Okay! - Let's go! Let's go! We're gonna go back for another load! Morning, Mr.
They're moving in at last, then.
- Looks like it.
- Ah, bad news, I'm afraid.
They're old.
They get bad news every week.
- You're all heart.
- I got it! I got it! - Looks like another one.
- Oh, dear.
I wonder who that is now.
I'll take those.
Thank you, John.
Why not let Miss Armstrong carry them up? Or that one at least.
Thank you, Mrs.
Bauer, but I think I know what I'm doing.
I'm afraid none of them are worth the paper they're printed on.
But surely with the railroad spreading all over the country.
Every day, the papers talk of some new millionaire who's made his fortune out of railways.
And every day, the bankruptcy courts see rail companies go under, taking their owners and investors down with them.
Miss Brook, the plain fact is, I've looked into the estate of the late Mr.
The late General Brook.
The late General Brook, and I cannot find any assets beyond the contents of his bank account.
And the house.
The house is rented, Miss Brook.
I'm sure that's wrong.
No, I'm afraid not.
But my father always said I see.
So how much is left? I've paid the funeral charges and other outstanding accounts, and I will waive my own fee.
- There's no need.
- There is every need.
You will have in your possession somewhere in the region of $30.
You see, Mr.
Raikes, none of this is what my father told me.
So I gathered.
- What are you going to do? - I'm not sure.
You mentioned your father's sisters in New York.
My aunts were not on good terms with my father, Mr.
They disliked him, and he disliked them, so they have played no part in my life.
I would only ask you to consider your options, realistically.
You mean beggars can't be choosers? Well, the rent is paid to the end of the month.
Perhaps you will signal your intentions before that point is reached? Perhaps I will.
Thank you.
I'm sorry I couldn't be more help.
Don't worry, Mr.
Raikes, I'm not beaten yet.
At the risk of impertinence, I would say you're a long way from being beaten, Miss Brook.
What does she say? She thanks you for the letter that you did not show me and for the tickets that you purchased without my knowledge.
She means to join us here just as soon as she has closed the house and sold her furniture.
- Oh, what a relief.
- A relief? And who is to support her? Exactly.
With the Van Rhijn money, which was not achieved at no cost to myself.
You were allowed the pure and tranquil life of a spinster.
I was not.
- I'm very grateful.
- So you should be.
Well, I'm glad she's coming.
And if my letter played a part in her decision, then I'm glad I sent it.
I doubt it was your letter.
More likely, she has discovered her father left her without a penny to her name.
Henry couldn't provide for a dog in a ditch.
He never kept a dollar in his pocket if there were women or drink within 500 miles.
Agnes, our brother has died.
Our brother with whom we have had no connection these many years.
We should have gone for the funeral anyway.
It wasn't worth an uncomfortable day of travel to make sure Henry was dead.
At least there's a railway station in Doylestown now, unlike in our day, but she'll need to get up early to catch the first train to Lansdale, and then she'll have to change at Bethlehem and take the Lehigh Valley Railroad to Exchange Place in Jersey City, and then catch the ferry across the Hudson to Desbrosses Street.
From there, she could take an elevated train Are you planning to open a travel business? No.
Then what on Earth makes you think I would be interested? I only meant it's a long journey, Agnes.
12 hours or more.
And what are we to do with her now that she's on her way to disturb our peace? Perhaps she'd like to work.
If her father has left her penniless, maybe she could be a governess.
- A niece of mine a governess? - She's my niece too.
I've not noticed you volunteering to make a contribution to the household as a governess.
We are her only living relatives.
We owe her the duty of care.
We do not owe her anything.
Her father robbed us of all that we possessed.
Look at this.
Invitations, charity appeals, questions from bankers and brokers.
When am I expected to answer them all? It's not fair.
Is it that woman again? You must be pleased they're moving in and we have peace at last.
I don't know which is worse, the noise of the builders, or the chance of running into her in the street.
- Good afternoon, Mrs.
- Mr.
You've never seen it without scaffolding.
It's everything you promised.
Steady on! Mrs.
Russell, Mr.
I'm pleased with the size.
Big enough to be splendid without being oppressively so.
I agree.
One needs to be able to breathe.
Why is he bringing that downstairs? I want to try and put the other Boucher in the drawing room.
Is that from the gallery? Is that from the Palazzo Borghese? No, the Hôtel de Soubise in the Marais.
You're thinking of the clock in the library.
- Another inch.
- As you wish, Mrs.
The carpets work well in here, I think.
I wasn't convinced they'd go together, but they do.
I wish you wouldn't do that in here.
- What is the smoking room for? - To entertain my friends.
And I will not be told what I can and can't do in my own library.
The windows can be opened when you go to change.
- I'll ask Mrs.
- Hm? The new housekeeper.
Why did you get rid of Mrs.
Findley? She wasn't up to it, not for what I have in mind.
Did you know they shot Jesse James? He had his troubles.
I have mine.
What Mm.
So how was your afternoon? I've left cards with Mrs.
Stevens, Mrs.
Rutherfurd, Mrs.
Jones, Mrs.
Vanderbilt, Mrs.
Schermerhorn, and Mrs.
Astor, of course.
- Of course.
- So now they know we're here.
We have been in New York City for three years, Bertha, watching this house rise from the sidewalk.
But we've been stuck down on 30th Street with yesterday's men.
You chose the house.
I didn't know how things worked then.
Now I do.
The point is, we're settled where we should be, and that's what I wanted to show them.
They don't care.
They don't know we exist.
Well, they will now, and there's no need to sound superior.
We cannot succeed in this town without Mrs.
Astor's approval.
I know that much.
So we are to bow down before a woman who has less money than me, and less of absolutely everything than you.
I'm only doing it for you, and Larry and Gladys, of course.
Of course.
I want people to see they come from a good background.
They'd be lucky to welcome them into their homes.
Would they be lucky to welcome me into their homes, or you? You can laugh, but we'll get there.
I just have to manage it carefully.
The Russell family has managed pretty well so far, if you ask me.
Because they didn't know any better.
Van Rhijn and her sad sister were spying on me when I came back.
I don't know why you bother with them.
I don't bother with them.
Careful, that table belonged to King Ludwig of Bavaria.
He had it once.
I've got it now.
I'm going up to change.
I want to get out of this corset.
Church, could you tell Turner I've gone to my room? She is already upstairs, madam.
Is Miss Gladys back from her walk? She's with Miss Grant in the school room.
And is everything ready for Mr.
Larry's return? I believe so, madam, but I will check with Mrs.
Thank you, Church.
Yes, once more She's gone up to change.
And he won't be long.
I should go.
Tell him I'm making a list of what is not right about this kitchen.
The master won't bother with that.
I'll tell the mistress what you want, if you mean it.
I think it's going to work well.
It's far bigger than the last place.
- You didn't mind that.
- It was only rented.
Abandoned by its owner because 30th Street is out of fashion.
Why complain about a house when it's rented? I'd say this is three times the size.
If you ask me, we're well-off.
Shouldn't you be on your way upstairs, Mr.
Watson? Oh, Mrs.
Bauer, I hope she won't make extra work for you.
Miss Marian, I mean.
You must say if it's too much.
Oh, I don't mind.
I think she may brighten the place up a bit.
Yes, that's rather what Mrs.
Van Rhijn is afraid of.
Morning, sir.
That'll be all.
Thank you, Miss Ainsley.
I'd say we're all set for a clear run from New York to Chicago.
Thorburn is still making trouble on his stretch.
- Mm, from Cleveland to Toledo? - Mm.
I don't care much.
What will you do if he won't play ball? Build another line, right alongside his.
It'll show the world we mean business.
And ruin Thorburn in the process.
You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs.
Then the next step is for the city aldermen to grant permission for the new station.
Grant permission? You make them sound very important.
Not half as important as they think they are, but the fact remains, we need them to pass the law.
Have we got a list of their names? Right here.
Shall I round up our detectives, see if they can dig up anything useful? Not yet.
We'll start by appealing to their greed.
But do nothing now.
I'll tell you when to begin.
You're kind to take me at such an early hour.
Not at all.
There is only a bed and a chair left, so perhaps you could give those to a charity.
Have you slept at all? You look worn out.
Just what every woman wants to hear.
This is the receipt for your trunk.
It should be delivered this evening.
- Can you manage until then? - I can.
- You're not to wait.
- Oh, I don't mind.
No, I insist.
You have to get on, and the train won't be long.
Well, I guess this is it.
I'm sorry you're going, Miss Brook.
May I say that without offense? But you're glad I will be taken care of.
I understand.
You have my address in New York.
I do.
May I write to you? I don't think so, Mr.
I only meant if there was any further business, - business to be dealt with.
- Oh, I'm I see.
Well, in that case, I suppose you'll need to.
I'll say goodbye, Miss Brook, and good luck on your travels.
And good luck to you.
What do you mean, you don't know where it is? I don't know.
How is that hard? - You're a damn liar.
- What'd you call me? Break it up! - Ah! - Oh! Get back here, you bastard! Oh.
I'm so sorry about that.
Oh, it's all right.
I can fix it.
They've gone.
That was the most frightful thing.
Train for Lansdale.
My purse.
- Have your tickets ready.
- Here you are, sir.
Excuse me, sir, my ticket was in my purse.
There were two men fighting, and somehow, it must have been taken during the commotion.
Sorry, miss.
No, please, sir, I have to get to New York.
Not without a ticket.
You haven't seen a purse, by any chance? I'm afraid not.
It had my train and ferry tickets and my money, and I don't know what I'm going to do.
- Are you from around here? - Yes.
Can't you go home to get money for the next train? There is no home to go back to.
And anyway, my trunk's on this one.
I'm so sorry.
This isn't your concern.
Please, don't let me hold you up.
We have to board last.
Oh, I see.
I'm sorry it's not first class.
You've been very kind, especially when I tore your skirt.
I promise, my aunts are good for the money.
I imagine they are if they live on East 61st Street.
So you know New York? - My parents live in Brooklyn.
- Oh.
I grew up there.
This is my first trip.
You must give me your parents' address to send the money.
I don't know if I'll be staying with them.
I have some business that needs looking into, but I'm not sure where I'll be based.
Then how shall I repay you? I'll come to your aunts' house in a day or two, if you could leave an envelope to be collected.
Of course.
Well? I guess it's big enough.
If you're going to do a thing, you might as well do it properly.
What do you think of the paneling in your room? Why? Mr.
White found it in the Château de Chavaniac, the home of Lafayette.
It's very fine, but I should get going.
I'm catching the 11:00 train to Rhode Island.
But you've only just got home.
Is that what this is? Well, take a later train at least.
We haven't seen you all semester.
But it'll be fun.
It's the one Mrs.
Fish told us to catch, and most of the party are traveling on it.
Who is in the party? Do you know? The usual crowd.
Ogden Goelet and his wife, the Joneses, the Wilsons, Carrie Astor Carrie Astor? - I think so.
- Do you know her? - You never said.
- I don't, not really.
- Not much.
- Then get to know her.
- And catch that train.
- Mother.
I know what I'm doing.
We've finished the gilding in the ballroom, Mrs.
No, you think you have finished the gilding, Mr.
Kowalski, but nothing is finished till I decide.
I'm going, Mother.
Where is Gladys? - Why? - I want to say goodbye to her.
I'll say it for you.
She's gone to the park with Miss Grant.
She's not a child anymore, and you shouldn't treat her as one.
She's a child until I say.
Where are your bags? My trunk will be delivered tomorrow, and what I need for Newport's in the carriage.
Then hurry, and give my regards to Mrs.
Don't be silly.
You don't know her.
Not yet, but I will.
Now, come along, Mr.
Kowalski, show me what you think you've done.
Here it comes now.
I don't like the look of that sky.
So this is to be my home.
Funny, I never imagined I'd be wistful for Pennsylvania.
Then why did you leave? There is nothing there for me anymore, not since my father died.
Oh, I'm so sorry.
Will you go to Brooklyn now? I suppose so.
It's too late for me to make another plan, and I can catch the last ferry, even if I don't much want to.
Well, I hope it all works out for you, and once again, thank you for what you did.
Please ask for me when you come for the money.
Of course, and good luck with your aunts.
Desbrosses Street ferry coming in.
That's us.
Desbrosses Street ferry coming in.
Tickets please! Desbrosses Street ferry coming in! How are things at the office? Don't start him on that, I beg you.
I suppose father's business is what we all depend on.
I hope the weather is better in Newport.
When does Larry come back? Not before the day after tomorrow.
I suppose he has some oats to sow now that college is over.
- When will he start with you? - Straight away, I imagine.
Nothing to be gained from delay.
Why not invite your sister to stay for a while? I don't think so.
What about your old friends? You never see them now.
I don't want my old friends.
I want new friends.
- Whoa, hey! - That's enough of that.
Give me a moment.
Come with me.
Let us at least give you a ride.
Thank you.
Can we take her to the Brooklyn ferry? No ferrys are running, not in this weather.
I'll be fine.
I'm not leaving without you.
Very well.
- Oh, that's her now.
- It is.
Come on, John.
Look lively.
I wonder what she'll be like.
Well, we'll know soon enough.
Welcome to East 61st Street, Miss Marian.
My name is Bannister, Mrs.
Van Rhijn's butler.
And this is? Miss Scott.
Miss Peggy Scott.
Miss Scott traveled with me, but they've canceled the ferries to Brooklyn.
I'm rather hoping Mrs.
Van Rhijn will allow her to rest here until the storm has passed.
I see.
van Rhijn's in the drawing room with Miss Ada.
Then I'll ask them.
If Miss Scott could wait downstairs? Of course.
An unknown colored woman lent you money to travel to New York? That seems very unlikely.
Unlikely or not, it's true.
And she's here, now? Well, her parents live in Brooklyn, but the cab driver said the ferries aren't running.
Well, then of course she must stay.
Mustn't she, Agnes? Bring her in first.
I have to meet anyone who's going to be in my house.
Of course, ma'am.
- Marian, you must be hungry.
- Not really.
We'll have Mrs.
Bauer send something up to her room.
It seems we owe you a considerable debt, Miss Scott.
I gather you would like to stay here? I don't want to be a nuisance.
I forced Miss Scott into the cab to get her out of the storm.
The wind gusts alone could blow you all the way to Fifth Avenue.
So she can stay, Aunt Agnes? We can't have Miss Scott blown into oblivion.
Yes, you may stay, and in the morning, Bannister can fetch the money from the bank to repay you.
Thank you.
I have never found myself in such an odd predicament.
I appreciate your kindness.
You may stay on one condition: that you give me your parents' address in case anything happens.
Nothing will happen to me.
I won't be in a position of having no one to contact if it does.
Very well.
I hope the ferry crossing wasn't too rough, dear.
No, not at all.
Who taught you to write like this? The Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia.
But I know it well.
My father was a patron when it first opened in the '30s.
I grew up in Pennsylvania, outside Doylestown.
We used to attend the wonderful Christmas pageants at the school.
- Were you a part of that? - Every year.
Oh! Let's get you settled, Miss Scott, before my sister begs you to sing a carol.
Go down to the kitchens and ask Mrs.
Bauer to find you a room.
Thank you.
Now, Marian, have you made any plans yet? She's only just arrived, Agnes.
I haven't made any plans, no.
I suppose you only recently learned that your father had let you down.
Please don't speak ill of Daddy.
I will say what I like in my own house.
Not to me.
I thought I might find a job.
Would that be out of the question? Only if you wish to live with me.
Well, I don't want to be idle.
Perhaps there's a charity that could use my services.
How generous, and how suitable.
That depends on the charity she chooses, but first we must attend to your clothes, my dear.
You will go tomorrow with Ada to my dressmaker, and no black.
But I'm in mourning.
People here won't know when Henry died.
You're making your debut in society.
You are young and pretty and need to be shown to advantage.
I don't want you hanging about on the edge of things like a lonely crow.
Ada, remember, I want cheerful colors, whatever she says.
But We must look out for some people with sons and daughters your age.
That's true.
I don't know anyone.
Now, you need to know we only receive the old people in this house, not the new.
- Never the new.
- What's the difference? The old have been in charge since before the revolution.
They ruled justly until the new people invaded.
It's not quite as simple as that.
- Yes, it is.
- Well, I'm new.
I've only just arrived.
Marian, never mind that the Brooks have been in Pennsylvania for a century and a half.
My mother, your grandmother, was a Livingston of Livingston Manor, and they came to this city in 1674.
You belong to old New York, my dear, and don't let anyone tell you different.
You are my niece, and you belong to old New York.
Wil you fetch Miss Scott some supper, Bridget? I don't want to be any trouble.
No, no, please, sit down.
I hope they've made a room ready for you.
Oh, we had one prepared in case Miss Marian brought a maid.
Bauer is on the top floor with you and Miss Armstrong and Bridget.
John and I sleep down here.
She's on the same floor as us? Is there some difficulty? Ah, there you are, then.
Do you drink coffee? Yes, I drink coffee.
Thank you.
I just wanted to be sure.
But are we to share the same bathroom, the same water closet? She can hardly use a bucket under the stairs.
Is that right, Mr.
Bannister? It's not for us to have an opinion.
I don't want trouble in the house, and while she may not want to cause it, she may be the cause of it.
I repeat, it is not for us to have an opinion, certainly not that one.
But how long is she here for, and why is she here at all? Because she performed a great service for Miss Marian.
- I'm going to bed.
- Good night.
I think that Miss Scott seems nice.
- Which is all you know.
- Yes, it is.
And I'm sticking to it until she proves me wrong.
That's all very well for you to say, but they're coming up here now to take our jobs.
She's not taking anyone's job.
See? She'll disrupt things.
I told Mrs.
Bauer, but she wouldn't listen.
Maybe we need a bit of disruption.
Excuse me.
Miss Scott, I think this is what we owe you.
Thank you.
While he was out, Bannister checked, and the Brooklyn ferry is still not running.
The docks were damaged in the storm.
You may have to stay here another night.
Will your family be concerned? They weren't expecting me, so no.
Really? Oh, thank you.
I'm overwhelmed with papers.
I've never been this behind on my correspondence.
Van Rhijn, please tell me if there's anything I can do to help.
Well, you do have the penmanship for it.
I can take dictation.
I know Pitman shorthand.
It's the least I can do to repay you.
I will dictate some letters, if you insist, but they will only be very dull ones, I'm afraid.
Gladys, that's bad for your eyes.
Sit nearer the window.
Just delivered by hand, ma'am.
Thank you, Church.
A Mrs.
Morris and a Mrs.
Fane want me to support a charity in aid of orphaned girls.
Is that Mrs.
Patrick Morris and Mrs.
Charles Fane? Uh, yes it is.
Why? Their husbands are city aldermen.
I may have some business with them.
What do the wives want of you? Well, to start with, there's a meeting for friends of the cause to be held at the Fifth Avenue Hotel.
Really? Not in one of their own houses? I dare say a hotel was more convenient.
I hear the Fifth Avenue's slipping.
No one wants to be down on 23rd Street anymore.
I won't let you spoil it for me.
I don't want to spoil it.
It's beginning.
I knew it would.
Persistence is the key to everything.
Patience and persistence.
Useful qualities, I agree.
Could I come, Mother, please? Take her.
Why not? - I'll think about it.
- When is it? On the 1st.
I'm seeing John Thorburn that day.
Who's he? A man who owns a railroad and thinks he can get the better of me.
He'll find out.
Nicely done, Miss Scott.
Thank you.
Not at all.
Look who I found in my room.
Must we have that horrid thing in here? I think we must.
Don't you, Aunt Ada? Absolutely.
- Have you had a nice walk, dear? - I have.
Your suitcase is mended.
I brought it back myself.
- Oh.
- I've put it in your room.
You carried a suitcase through the streets? Oh, have I broken another rule? You were to check it was ready and then send the footman to collect it.
And never go out unaccompanied.
Please don't do such a thing again.
I should leave you.
Miss Scott, I've just had another thought.
Clearly, I'm in need of help with my correspondence.
I don't know what your plans are, but if you're interested, I would like to hire you as my secretary.
That does interest me.
I would need a reference, of course.
I can get you one from the principal at the institute.
But working on 61st and staying in Brooklyn presents a challenge, even once the ferries are running.
It seems to me, Miss Scott, that you are not eager to return home.
Very well.
You may stay here for the time being, but you must arrange to see your parents and tell them where you are.
You've got their address.
I will not have a fugitive in my house hiding from her family.
All right.
You will make a plan to see them? I'll arrange to meet my mother.
I thought you wanted to avoid them.
I want to avoid him.
Thank you, Mrs.
Van Rhijn.
Ah, we have a surprise for you.
It came by hand.
Fane is a niece of my husband, and Mrs.
Morris was born a Stuyvesant, so we thought it suitable for you to begin your charitable career.
Training orphans to be servants? To save them from something worse.
There's no need to go into that.
But it's addressed to you, not me.
They want a donation from us, but they'll be delighted when we offer them a pair of willing hands.
There'll be other young women there your own age.
And background.
Very well.
Are you looking for your mistress? No, no, not especially, sir.
I'm just on my way upstairs.
Tread carefully, Miss Turner.
I speak as a friend.
You can tread too carefully.
Russell, have you met Miss Caroline Astor? We've met a few times, but we don't really know each other.
- We do now.
- Come on.
You must play something.
But we're having such a nice time where we are.
What makes you think I brought you here to have a nice time? Carrie, make Mr.
Russell play croquet.
- Any fool can play croquet.
- But they've started the game.
Well, barge in and make them start over.
Fish is unusual, isn't she? To say the least.
Let's just find some mallets, and then we can stand at the edge of the lawn without attracting attention.
How do you know her? Her nephew was at Harvard with me, but as to why she took me up, it's anyone's guess.
Handsome young men who talk are always useful.
That's what my mother says.
And a girl should always listen to her mother.
Van Rhijn, I thought you weren't coming.
- I heard you were in Europe.
- I was.
I've only just got home.
I haven't told anyone I'm back yet, but then I thought, why the devil not? - May I present Mr.
- I know how you feel.
I came down from college, and I left minutes later, my mother practically calling down East 61st Street as I went.
Where are you on East 61st? My parents have built a house on the corner of Fifth Avenue.
- They just moved in.
- But I know it well.
- My mother lives almost opposite.
- Huh.
Why did they choose to live so far uptown? It's not as far up as it used to be, and they wanted a building plot on the Avenue.
My parents are Mr.
and Mrs.
George Russell.
Has your mother spoken of them? Yes, but not as acquaintances.
- You've moved in, then.
- I suppose we have.
We? My father, my mother, and my sister.
How cozy that sounds.
I don't understand why they have taken you in.
I did Miss Brook a good turn.
- What sort of good turn? - It doesn't matter.
I brought the clothes as you asked.
Thank you.
So what's next? I sell an article or a story.
You know, your father thinks that will never happen.
Which is just one of the many reasons why I can't come home.
Eventually, you have to forgive him.
- He was just protecting you.
- From what? From a poor choice that could have ruined your life.
Well, I'm back in New York anyway.
Why did you choose this place? I like it.
When will you come home? I've told you, I have a job and the fresh start that I need.
You know you get your stubbornness from your father? I don't want to talk about him.
He loves you, and he only wants the best for you.
I know he feels what he thinks is love, but I disagree with his definition.
Maybe he can be hard and demanding, but he was only thinking of your welfare.
I swear.
But you can't swear because you weren't there.
Don't force me to take sides.
What are you using for money? I don't need money.
I'm fed, I'm paid, and I have a place to stay.
Well, I brought you some.
You take it.
I've told you I don't need it.
Don't be silly.
I'm your mother.
I'm allowed to give you money.
Thank you.
I'm going now.
You just remember, we are all held fast, frozen in time until you finally allow us to move forward.
Will there be anything else, ma'am? You tell me.
Will there? It might be better without the broach.
It's too much? Yes, it's too much.
Right, that's it.
Thank you.
Excuse us.
- Mrs.
Morris? - I'm Mrs.
Morris is over there.
Russell, Mrs.
George Russell, and this is my daughter Gladys.
From further up Fifth Avenue, on the corner of 61st Street? But of course.
That great that new house we've all been talking about.
How good of you to come.
Let me introduce you to Mrs.
Russell, Mrs.
How do you do? Mrs.
Russell has come here today with her daughter from their new house on the corner of 61st and Fifth.
It's just been finished.
You must know the one I mean.
- How thrilling.
- Who built it for you? Our architect trained in Europe.
Stanford White.
You must pay us a visit.
How brave not to go with the same old builders everyone else uses.
I don't think we should be afraid of new things or new people.
How often we have said to each other, "We must know the family who live in that marvelous house".
Every time we drive past, and here you are.
I hope we can persuade you to an interest in our cause.
As you say, I'm here.
And you, of course, Miss Russell.
I trust you'll take our part.
- I certainly intend to.
- My daughter isn't out yet.
She's only here to accompany me.
Surely charitable work is good for the spirit at any age.
It depends.
Who's that? Oh, Mrs.
Chamberlain, Mrs.
Augustus Chamberlain.
She seems to know as few people as I do.
Oh, I think she knows a good many of the women here.
They just don't want to know her.
Aunt Ada.
You are good.
- Nonsense.
- How is Aunt Agnes? - Is she coming? - I am her ambassadress.
And this is Miss Marian Brook, our late brother's daughter.
How do you do, Miss Brook? You know, my uncle was married to your aunt, and I think we're cousins anyway through the Livingstons.
Are you in New York for long? Marian has come to live with us, and she wants to help out with the charity, if she can be useful.
Why, this is manna from heaven.
I'll send a note this very afternoon.
I'm so sorry.
Uh, this is Miss Brook, Miss Marian Brook.
Russell and Miss Russell.
We are neighbors, I think.
Of course we are.
Not that splendid new palace right on the Avenue.
The very one.
I was looking up at those rows of windows only this morning wondering what lies behind them.
Then you must cross the road and see.
Isn't that so, Gladys? If Miss Brook could spare the time.
Of course.
I think we should go in.
Don't tell Aunt Agnes they were here.
She'd be livid with me.
She'll find out.
I feel rather sorry for the girl.
- I liked them.
- That's not the point.
- What is the point? - Let's face it, Aunt Ada.
We need money, and you know how much those women give when they want to get in.
There's a price for that, Aurora, and it's no good thinking you won't have to pay it.
Who is that? That's Mrs.
I don't understand you, sir.
You want to throw money away just so you can ruin me? That's not how I would put it.
You intend to build a new line right alongside my own all the way from Cleveland to Toledo just to put me out of business.
I need that stretch, and I want to control Sandusky.
Sandusky? What the hell's Sandusky beyond a bunch of tents and shanties? Sandusky can be an important city now the railroad passes through, and I want it to be my city.
Then buy the track that already exists and save yourself thousands.
But you turned me down, twice.
I turned down your offer because I thought you'd come back with more.
It's called negotiation.
Not in my book, Mr.
You refused my bid, and now I will build a new line alongside yours.
Which would wipe me out.
I'm afraid that'll be a consequence, yes, but it is not my principal intention.
Oh, isn't it? Well, thank the Lord.
Is there anything else? Because I have another appointment.
So what you are saying is, you would rather waste a fortune than pay an honest price for a line already operating? But I do not see it as a waste.
Once people learn that my second offer is invariably my last, they won't, as a rule, refuse me.
Over the years, I expect to save a lot more money than I am spending now.
You bastard.
I may be a bastard, Mr.
Thorburn, but you are a fool, and of the two, I think I know which I prefer.
Now, good day to you, sir.
Do you often come to Newport, Miss Astor? I will.
My parents bought a house here last year, Beechwood.
They've nearly finished the renovations, so I suppose I'll be here a lot.
Oh, was there much to do to the place? Well, obviously, my mother couldn't live in a house without a ballroom.
You may laugh, but as my mother never tires of pointing out, our future success in New York depends entirely on the support and approval of Mrs.
- Mm.
- I'm afraid it's true.
- She is quite a force.
- A force for good, I hope.
Well, a force to be reckoned with.
The butler was looking for you.
Ah, he found me.
He had a letter from my mother.
She wrote that a cousin has come to live with them while I've been away, Miss Marian Brook.
- Mm.
- So that is something to look forward to.
A dumpy spinster with a face like a cabbage and a figure to match.
We're going into dinner, but before we do, I want to warn you that when you return, you will find tables have been set up for the game of Cinch, and you are all playing.
But suppose we don't know how.
Then you will learn during dinner.
Cinch? Do we really have to? I'd say there's no escape.
- I'm so sorry that got torn.
- It wasn't your fault.
- How was your excursion? - So-so.
At least she brought me some of my clothes.
What are the staff here like? Nice on the whole, with one or two exceptions.
I ought to go down and say hello.
Marian? Ah.
I've decided to give an at home.
- And what does that mean? - You know perfectly well.
I'll send cards saying we'll receive after dinner on such and such an evening, and they're welcome to look in.
Who are they? Mrs.
Fane was telling me how curious people are about the house.
They want our money, Bertha.
- It's a good cause.
- I'm sure.
And I'm glad if you'd like to donate, but please don't deceive yourself that their interest in us is something more.
George, we have to start somewhere.
Everyone calls on Mrs.
Vanderbilt now.
They're seen everywhere.
What's that got to do with it? When his grandfather arrived in New York, no one would go near him.
That was half a century ago.
What are you saying? We have to keep this up for 50 years, and then someone may drop by? - Things move faster nowadays.
- That's a relief.
I think what father means is that we They want to see this house.
They've watched it going up, and now they'd like to see inside.
It doesn't make them your friends.
I'm not asking them to dine or dance.
I won't use the ballroom.
I'll save that for another time.
I just want them to look in, and I don't think they'll be able to resist.
Church, please tell Mrs.
Yes, ma'am.
Is it true Miss Ada and Miss Marian met Mrs.
Russell from across the road at that charity event? How do you know that? I saw one of their footmen in the street, and he was talking about it.
Miss Armstrong? I don't think I should say.
Don't tell me you're having a fit of discretion, Miss Armstrong.
I don't understand.
Why does it matter? It'll matter when Mrs.
Van Rhijn hears about it.
Oh, she'll have to give in one day.
Why? Well, because they own the future, men like Mr.
Russell, and Mrs.
Van Rhijn will have to come to terms with it sooner or later, stands to reason.
What will you do if she doesn't? Me? Nothing, I guess.
Oh, I see.
You spoke so definitely, I thought you had some course of action planned in protest.
- No, Mr.
- No, and don't you forget it.
But what is the scale of this at home to be? You can talk it through with the mistress tomorrow.
If they come, it will only be out of curiosity to see the house.
What makes you say that? The master is successful, isn't he? People want to know you when you're a success.
It's when you fail they turn their backs.
You sound rather bitter, Mr.
Oh, just stating the fact.
Are you keeping something from us? - No.
- Come, Miss Turner.
There is no need to put him on the spot.
I don't need protection, Mrs.
Bruce, thank you.
I've nothing to hide.
Well, if that is true, you must be a very unusual person.
Welcome home, Mr.
I hope you had a pleasant journey.
Yes, thank you.
It was very nice.
Pumpkin! Come back here! Pumpkin! Whoa! Get out of the way! Good heavens, that was brave.
Anyone would have done the same.
I doubt it, or there'd be bodies up and down Fifth Avenue.
- Are you a Van Rhijn? - Almost.
Van Rhijn is my aunt.
I'm Marian Brook.
- Oscar van Rhijn's cousin? - Yes.
Oh, you're not as he described you.
Uh, I'm Larry Russell.
Well, you'd better tell them to keep him under control in future.
Nobody can keep Pumpkin under control, not for very long anyway.
- Miss Brook.
- Mr.
Thank you, Church.
There's a good man.
Has my trunk arrived from college? It has, and it's been unpacked, Mr.
Hello, there.
How is everything? Much as usual, except that Mother has decided to give her first soirée.
There you are, dear.
- Have you had a lovely time? - Lovely enough.
You should have your own valet now you're down from Harvard.
It's not fair to burden Church.
I gather we are going to christen the new house.
Just a few people calling in, but I think it's time.
How many are coming? It's hard to say if they don't accept in a formal way, but I think if we cater for 200, it's probably safe.
I thought you'd like to ask some friends of yours.
Such as? Such as Mrs.
Fish or the Goelets or that nice Miss Astor.
I hardly know them.
I was only there to make up numbers.
Are you inviting Mrs.
Van Rhijn? Maybe.
Now go and wash.
We'll have luncheon in a minute.
Why do you bring that beastly dog? Dogs are supposed to run alongside carriages, not travel in them.
Oh, I think we must make an exception for Pumpkin.
I've asked Oscar for tea.
It's time he met you.
He'll have a friend with him, John Adams.
That's nice.
This John is Quincy Adams' great-grandson.
You will call him Mr.
Adams, and wear one of your new dresses.
I almost forgot.
Bannister gave me this as I was leaving.
A footman left it just before we came down.
It's from Mrs.
It's addressed to you, as well, Marian.
Van Rhijn, Miss Brook, Miss Marian Brook.
She's clearly had lessons in etiquette.
She's trying to be neighborly.
- It's an invitation.
- Addressed to us? They were bound to entertain soon.
They can't have built that great house to sit by the fire and read.
Well, let them entertain their own sort.
Heaven knows there are plenty to choose from.
Aunt Agnes, I have a question.
Who is Mrs.
Augustus Chamberlain? Where have you heard that name? Mrs.
Chamberlain was at Mrs.
Fane's charity gathering.
Was she, by heavens? Ada, who else was there? Pickpockets? Newly released criminals? What was Aurora thinking? One must remember that the point of the exercise is to raise money.
That is no excuse for risking the reputation of every lady in the room.
Marian, when and if you see Mrs.
Chamberlain again, you are to turn your face away.
- Is that clear? - Very.
So what about Mrs.
Russell's party? - I presume we're not going.
- Are you mad? Would you please see that Mrs.
Morris That Mrs.
Fane That Mrs.
Astor gets this? I'm afraid Mrs.
Fish is not at home, madam.
Really? Only she knows my son, Larry Russell.
He was just staying with her in Newport.
She's not at home, madam.
But you'll give her my card and this envelope? - You'll say I called? - Of course, madam.
Thank you, gentlemen.
That's all.
Tell Atkins no.
Warn Schultz I'm interested, but not yet convinced.
Give Brennan till 10:00 tomorrow morning, - or the deal's off.
- Very good.
Stanford White is outside.
Oh, bring him in.
Bring him in.
Thank you, Clay.
White, sorry to drag you here when no doubt you've had a busy day.
I hope nothing's wrong with the house.
Oh, quite the contrary.
It's working splendidly.
So splendidly, in fact, that Mrs.
Russell has decided it is time we began to entertain.
That's what it was built for.
You will receive a card from her.
She feels our guests will be interested in the place.
She'd like you there to answer questions.
I should be honored, of course.
I hope it's a success.
Well, people are curious about the house, they want your money for pet causes, and your children are both good-looking.
I'd say it will be.
Can you help her, Mr.
White? How? I'm not fashionable.
But I'm glad to be able to thank you properly for taking a chance on me.
You have Mrs.
Russell to thank, not me.
Whatever her faults, she has imagination and taste - Oh.
- And nerve.
She will need all three in New York.
I've left them for you to sign.
- Thank you, Miss Scott.
- Hello, Mother.
The wanderer has returned.
You took your time coming to tell me.
This is Miss Scott who is helping with my post.
- My son, Mr.
Van Rhijn.
- Hello.
I'll leave you.
Look at her work.
- Where's Mr.
Adams? - I'm meeting him here.
Why did you want me to bring him? You should have come earlier.
You've been home for ages, and you've never even met your cousin.
Well, I'm here now.
- How long will she be staying? - Why? Well, I'll already have Aunt Ada around my neck, that's if anything should happen to you.
Why must you always sound so sharp? I presume I'm expected to keep the house running indefinitely.
I shouldn't worry about Marian.
She'll be gone long before I am.
- What makes you so sure? - Marian, my dear.
I don't believe you have ever met my son, Oscar.
Van Rhijn, I was beginning to think you were only a dream.
Should we kiss? We are cousins.
Let's shake hands for now.
But I hope you'll call me Oscar.
He's been in Europe.
I know.
How I envy you.
It was mostly dull meetings and dusty boardrooms.
- Oh, I can't believe that.
- Mr.
Adams, how good of you to drop by.
- What can we give you? - Nothing.
Thank you, Mrs.
Van Rhijn.
May I present Mr.
Adams, my dear.
Miss Marian Brook is my niece.
She has just arrived in the city.
Is it your first visit to New York? It's my first visit to almost anywhere.
Can you help me with what I should see? I'm sure Mrs.
Van Rhijn will have a comprehensive list of museums.
So the Russells have moved into their house in my absence.
Don't remind me.
I ran into the son in Newport.
He's nice enough, and I gather there's a daughter.
- I believe so.
- I should like to meet her.
- Are you going to their soirée? - Of course not.
- Don't say such things.
- Mama, you are incorrigible.
I take that as the highest praise.
I need four more pallets.
Rice stacked.
I'll be right back.
This way.
She said 200, but I must be ready with more at a moment's notice if we go over that figure.
So what's wrong? I'm not making ham sandwiches.
I'm not making toast.
I sympathize, monsieur, but we have our orders.
Madam does not understand how these things should be managed.
- Ooh.
- I beg your pardon? You know as well as I do she isn't one of them.
I used to work for Mrs.
Griswold on 50th.
That's why Madam hired me, to teach her the ways of the old people, but Mrs.
Griswold wouldn't have come near this house.
Then she was a very stupid woman.
The mistress is not a player in the great game, whatever she says.
Well, Miss Turner, I hope you can overcome your distaste and give the mistress a helping hand with her clothes for the evening.
Surely things are changing.
Not fast enough for Mrs.
You always act as if you liked her.
When I have to.
She does not have the manner of the real people, and she cannot learn it.
Griswold would see through her in a moment, in just a moment.
If she was so wonderful, why did you leave? Or were you fired? She died, Mr.
Watson, of a heart attack just as she was changing for Mrs.
Astor's ball.
It was very hard on Mr.
Because he was left all alone.
Because he wanted to go to the ball.
Oh, you're almost ready.
I should get changed.
There's no hurry.
I just want to be downstairs to supervise all the final details.
Oh, it feels as if it's held on with nails.
You look superb.
So are you ready for your trial by hospitality? Well, if I'm not ready now, I never will be.
What was it your mother used to say? "You are the only one of my children who is worthy of my dreams"? Much good did those dreams do her.
She had nothing while she lived and nothing when she died.
You loved her.
- That wasn't nothing.
- Thank you.
Don't you think she'd be proud of you this evening? I wonder.
Ask me again at midnight.
I wish you'd invited some of the old crowd.
The house will be full of strangers.
We're headed in a different direction now, George.
- We're joining a different club.
- Mm.
Even if they don't want us to be members? Why shouldn't we be members? I'm tired of letting all those dull and stupid women dictate the way we live our lives.
Why, you've done more for this city in ten years than their families have achieved in centuries.
Things are changing, Bertha.
They can't change fast enough for me.
And you've come a long way.
Even I can see that.
I don't want to come a long way.
I want to go all the way.
I'd just like you to be happy.
And I know my loving you is not enough.
It's almost enough.
- I should go.
- Mm.
Watson will be wondering where I am.
Quite a spectacle, isn't it? Well, they sure are taking a lot of trouble.
It must seem hard to miss the party, but Agnes feels so very strongly.
She can't make me dislike them.
- Nor would she want to.
- Yes, she would.
Well, perhaps she would, but I would not.
I'll see you downstairs.
You mustn't think harshly of Agnes.
Her life has not always been easy.
Why did she hate my father so? He sold our family farms.
He sold the house where we were born and where we had lived for a century and a half.
And then he just spent the money.
He bought nothing.
He saved nothing.
He gave us, his sisters, nothing.
So she felt he'd betrayed you both.
That's how it was for her.
You see, our father had died quite young, and we depended on Henry entirely.
So she wasn't already married? No, but he'd proposed, and so she felt she had no choice.
Henry had let us down, and there was nothing for it but to marry Mr.
Van Rhijn.
And he was not an easy man.
He was not a man you would like to be alone with.
All I ask is that you give us a chance.
We are not as Henry described us to you.
Please just give us a chance.
Is everything ready downstairs? They're all rather excited, sir.
Been waiting to entertain on a grand scale since we got here.
As long as we are entertaining on a grand scale.
Take out the chrysanthemums.
I said specifically, "No chrysanthemums".
Yes, ma'am.
When are they laying the carpet across the sidewalk? They're doing it now, madam.
And Monsieur Baudin isn't too hysterical? - Well - We should start dinner.
Why don't you look in? You needn't stay for long.
Aunt Agnes would have a fit.
Does she have to know? I could wait downstairs to make sure you can get back in.
My fellow conspirator.
We must let them get in here.
They need to clear away and start laying the supper.
No cigars and brandy for you, Father.
We could go to the smoking room.
Is there anything I can do, Mother? - Go to bed.
- She's not a child.
So you keep telling me.
Well, no one will mind that she isn't officially out, not in her own mother's house.
Why isn't she out, anyway? She ought to be.
She should have made her debut this year.
I wish to present her at a ball in this house, and I'm not giving one until I know we can fill the rooms.
Let he stay, my dear.
If you're all going to bully me I can help.
Oh, very well.
Go and get changed.
- Church, tell them to come in.
- Very good, ma'am.
I think I may go up and lie down.
I've got rather a headache.
What about an early night? I'll see.
You wouldn't mind? Not at all.
Where's Marian? She's gone upstairs.
She has a headache.
She was asking earlier why you disliked Henry so.
Did you tell her? I did, but I tried not to make it too vivid.
She can be so like him at times.
She speaks and I hear Henry's voice, challenging everything just as he did.
And look how that turned out.
Well, I like her strong views.
I like her energy.
Don't worry, Agnes, she's clever.
- She'll learn the rules.
- Will she? Revolutions are launched by clever people with strong views and excess energy.
- Thank you.
- Miss Brook, welcome.
If you'll come this way.
- Miss Brook.
- Ah.
Miss Brook, what a nice surprise.
Are your aunts with you? I'm afraid they couldn't get away.
But you are made of sterner stuff.
Ah, Larry.
May I present my son, Larry Russell.
Miss Marian Brook.
You're neighbors.
You should know each other.
- Mrs.
- Oh, yes, thank you.
Excuse me.
I hope the little dog recovered from its shock.
His near demise, you mean.
Don't worry.
He's very resilient.
- I guess I'm a bit early.
- I don't think so.
You see, Miss Brook, my father's dollars do not always have the desired effect.
Usually, but not always.
- You don't seem to mind much.
- I don't.
These things should happen naturally.
Unlike my dear mother, I'm not a big believer in forcing change.
Then I suspect she and I have more in common than we do.
How are you enjoying living with your aunts? They've taken me in, so I should be grateful, but we seem to disagree on so many topics that I'm sure we'll come to blows in the end.
Perhaps they'll educate you, you'll educate them, and you'll meet somewhere in the middle.
- Hello, Miss Brook.
- Hello, Miss Russell.
Have you met? Yes, but you mustn't tell my aunt.
Is Mr.
Fane not with you? He wanted to be very much, but business has tied him to his desk.
And Mrs.
Morris, she was so curious about the house.
How she longed to come.
But she couldn't get away either? Isn't it a shame? A real shame when you think of the check you both want from me.
I know, but I thought if I came alone and just stayed a few minutes, then that might I mean I know what you mean, Mrs.
And please don't feel you have to linger.
It's really not necessary.
Just go, Mrs.
Please go.
I wonder if I might ask you for a carriage across town.
Yes, of course, madam.
Right away.
She wasn't here long.
I suppose Mother's made another quarrel.
I'm afraid I can't stay either.
I just wanted to look in to pay my respects to your parents.
- I hope we can meet again.
- I'm sure we will.
Let the three of us be friends in spite of everything.
Contra mundum.
Leaving already, Miss Brook? I'm afraid I must get back, but thank you for including me.
For including you in what? Thank you for coming, Miss Brook.
Who was that? Our neighbor, Miss Marian Brook.
And there's no need to be angry with her, my dear.
The aunts will have forbidden her to come, and she has chosen to defy them.
- But why must I be the enemy? - Well, that's easy.
They have been in charge since the "Mayflower" landed, and now it's your turn, because you are the future, and if you are the future, then they must be the past.
That's what frightens them.
Miss Brook? What are you doing here? - Does Aunt Agnes know? - No.
- And please don't give me away.
- I won't tell if you don't.
Good night.
I hope we meet again soon in less foreign climes.
I was just going up to check on you.
- How is the headache? - Much better.
- Quite gone, in fact.
- I'm glad.
We should go up.
Come along, Ada.
It's long past your bedtime.
By the way, we have decided to make you a modest allowance.
It won't be much, but you'll have a little independence.
But you've already given me so many clothes.
No nonsense, please.
I don't deserve it, truly, as I cannot promise to live within Aunt Agnes's confines.
I understand.
I only ask that you never break your own moral code, for that is the soundest guide any of us can have.
How wise, Aunt Ada.
Please don't sound quite so surprised.
What will you do with it all? Church, get the kitchen staff to box it up and send a message in the morning to the Charity Organization Society.
Ask them to collect it.
I don't know what the poor of New York will make of lobster salad.
Thank you, Church.
Well, then, take it away.
Cooking for paupers, that's not what I'm used to.
I dare say you're not used to making supper for guests who never turn up.
The evening was a folly.
This house is a folly.
She's built a palace to entertain the sort of people who will never come here.
Don't count her out so quickly.
I agree.
She knows what she wants.
Why shouldn't she try to get it? It's nothing to me if she fails or succeeds.
Isn't it, Miss Turner? You seem to take it personally.
Failure's catchable, Mr.
It rubs off if you're not careful.
And what about Mr.
Russell? Is he a failure too? I'll accept her payment, and I'll stay for as long as she wants me to.
I need the work, and besides, it will leave me time to write.
Write what? Short stories, articles, and I hope one day to write a novel.
How ambitious.
Some may think it far-fetched.
My father does.
But women have been successful writers for years.
White women, but I have a few precedents.
Then why shouldn't you? I envy you.
I'd like to work too, properly.
What at? I'm not like you.
I don't have any burning talent yearning to be free.
I just want to be busy, to be needed, to be in a hurry.
You know they'd never allow it, except for charity.
Then I'll work at my charities and wait to see what comes.
After all, we've made it to this city.
That's right.
You're a New Yorker now.
We both are, and for a New Yorker, anything is possible.
So good luck to both of us, and good night.
Good night, Peggy.
How was your evening? Wasted.
I wanted to go to a party.
- Any party? - No, the Russells' party.
- I wasn't invited.
- You will be next time.
What was the attraction? Never mind about that now.
Good evening, Mr.
and Mrs.
Good evening, Hefty.
- Good evening, Miss Caroline.
- Good evening, Hefty.
Is Mrs.
Astor still awake, Hefty? She's in the drawing room.
Say good night to Mama for me.
I'm nearly dead, and Rosy has to be up at dawn.
I will.
- Good night.
- Good night, Carrie.
- Hello, Mother.
- Carrie, dear.
- How was it? - All right.
Dvorák played until I thought his fingers would fall off, and then he spoke about composing, and we couldn't understand a word.
- Where's Helen? - She's gone to bed.
Rosy has to get up early for some diplomatic thing.
I wish you wouldn't call him that.
I can't call him Mr.
- Call him James.
- Nobody calls him James.
- What are these? - Old invitations.
I was looking through them to see if I needed to keep any of the addresses.
This one was for tonight.
George Russell at 1801 Fifth Avenue.
Are you awake? Would you like me to come in with you? This is harder than you thought it would be.
I know that.
But I hope you won't give up.
Good night.
I met their son in Newport with Mamie Fish.
- Did you go? - Don't be ridiculous.
I'll never give up! And I promise you this.
I'll make them sorry one day.
I'm glad to hear it, my dear.
Defeat is not your color.

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