The Rockford Files (1974) s02e14 Episode Script

The Hammer of C Block

Now, you find out who killed Lilah McGee and you and me are square.
He killed her.
There's no question about that.
Why are you working for him, anyway? Oh, I lost $1500 to him in a crap game.
That means there's a killer walking around.
He can see us coming, but we can't see him.
I'm a PI, Gandy.
I'm not an artillery spotter.
I'm getting strong in my old age.
They just nailed Fitch for loitering and attempted assault of an officer.
I never did like you, Rockfish.
And get off that Rockfish thing! The name is Rockford.
This is Jim Rockford.
At the tone, leave your name and message.
I'll get back to you.
It's Jack.
The check is in the mail.
Sorry it's two years late.
Sorry I misfigured my checking account and I'm overdrawn.
Sorry I stopped payment on it.
So when it comes, tear it up.
Sorry.
Remember me, Rockfish? Yeah, yeah, the nightmares are getting down to only one or two a month.
And the name is not "Rockfish.
" I came to collect.
Well, I figured that.
It happens to be a bona fide debt, and you're five years past due.
Now what happened to that bread you were supposed to deposit in my account at Inmate's Trust Fund? Well, I kept meaning to send it.
$1500 is what you owe, and $1500 I'm gonna collect.
Come on, Gandy, do I look like I got $1500, huh? I just lost a finder's fee up in Lone Pine, and I drove 900 miles in 12 hours, so I'm a little tired.
All right, Gandy.
All right, pal.
Look, will you give me till noon? Maybe I can I can turn $250 on my TV set.
I might get $300 out of the stereo.
I've got some equity in my car.
Forget the bread.
I'm gonna take it out in hide and services.
Now, you call it.
Services? Look, Rockfish.
I just did 20 years for a murder that I didn't do.
Now, you find out who killed Lilah McGee, and you and me are square.
Deal? Hey, when are you getting started? I've been trying to explain, Gandy.
A 20-year-old trail is just a little cold.
Man, I could work on this thing for months.
Chances are I'd still come up with nothing.
That wouldn't be too smart of you.
You know, $1500 doesn't go too far.
I mean, my fee is $200 a day, plus expenses.
What are you talking about? Nobody costs $200 a day.
I do.
It's not 1955 anymore, Gandy.
Thing's are just a little different now.
Oh, yeah? Then how's pain feel these days? Same as always, Gandy.
It still hurts.
But even fists won't buy you as much as they used to.
And I'll tell you something else.
They're not gonna buy anything with me, either.
So don't go Neanderthal.
You want to bust me up, or you want my help? Okay.
Okay.
I'll buy you for seven and a half days.
$200 a day.
Plus expenses.
I'll forget the interest, you forget the expenses.
How's that? It stinks.
Good.
Now, you find Lilah's killer and I'll take it from there.
Well, what if I can't? Then you ain't paying what you owe.
Now, I know the real killer's out there, 'cause I know I didn't do it.
Yeah, sure.
Nobody believed me then.
Nobody believe me now.
But it don't matter.
I know.
Lilah was my lady, and I loved her.
I've loved her all these 20 years.
Yeah, well, I'll make a few phone calls, I'll ask a few questions, and I'll see if I can't put it together.
Where you staying? Here.
Here? You can't stay here.
You got a couch.
Well, it's not for rent.
All right, you stick me with the expenses.
I can handle that.
But not room and board.
It took me a year to pay Rocky back for what I ate my first month out of the slammer.
He still says I haven't paid him.
I can't afford you, Gandy.
I'm getting strong in my old age.
Oh, yeah? Well, they went to aluminum cans back in 1962.
Now everybody can be a hero.
I never did like you, Rockfish.
Well, you were never too high on my list, either.
When did you get out? Yesterday.
And I already wasted 17 and a half hours here waiting for you.
So punch in and do your job.
You were gonna make some phone calls.
He says he didn't do it.
What's the official version? Case was out of my jurisdiction.
Happened in Pasadena.
But I got a buddy in Detectives out there.
He checked it out for me.
And I'll tell you something, Jimbo.
My buddy wasrt too happy to hear that Fitch is back out on the street again.
I know how he feels.
Gandolph Fitch put eight cops in the hospital when he was arrested.
Three of them after he was cuffed.
You know, I used to pray every week for him to make parole? Most killers are back on the street in seven years.
But not Fitch.
No, no.
He was too valuable to let out.
He held the joint together for them.
Every new con that came in that place had to spend his first week in C block, Gandolph Fitch's cell.
It was called "indoctrination.
" It worked, too, huh? Well, nobody ever wanted to be his cellmate twice.
Okay, official version.
Fitch knifed his old lady and left her to bleed to death.
The coroner said it took a while, too.
Fitch was the last person to see her alive.
The blade was identified as his, and his prints were all over it.
Why are you working for him, anyway? Oh, I lost $1500 to him in a crap game.
The mars a maniac with a pair of dice.
He's also guilty, so why hire you? Well, maybe he's looking for someone else.
It wouldn't be the first time I've been used as a bird dog.
Yeah, like someone who fingered him.
Or he could hold someone else responsible, even if he did do it.
You know where that puts you if you finger someone and he snuffs them? Right back in C block.
What are you gonna do? I don't know.
I can either hang tough and be out from under in a week, or I can run out the back door and spend the winter with my Aunt Nancy in Minnesota.
Well, just keep him out of my district.
How? I can't even keep him out of my refrigerator.
The smog's worse than I remember.
You say your attorney's name is Oliver Prey? Yeah.
His office is right around here.
I still think we should've looked in the phone book.
Hi.
Say, I'm looking for a guy who used to rent this place.
His name is Oliver Prey.
Never heard of him.
Before me, this was a massage parlor.
Before that, it was a Republican headquarters.
Before that, it was a stationery store.
Gandy! That you? Sure if it ain't.
I heard you was getting out.
It's me, Gandy, me.
Yeah.
Doran Hotel.
Rosie? Who else? Hey, man, you got old.
So did you.
Hey, what you got on your mind to be doing now? I'm looking for Lilah's killer.
And I want you to put it in the streets for me.
Sure.
Thank you.
Thank you very much, sir.
Yes, sir.
Well, that's great, Gandy.
That's just great.
What's your problem? You say you didn't kill Lilah.
I didn't.
Okay, let's say you're telling me the truth.
That means there's a killer walking around.
He can see us coming, but we can't see him.
I'm a PI, Gandy.
I'm not an artillery spotter.
And you're a slow pay, too.
You ain't worked off one dime.
Now, I wanna find that shyster.
I told you all we had to do was look in the phone book.
But no, no.
You knew right where it was.
Just shut up and find him.
I'll tell you what you do.
You go find him yourself.
I quit! Oh, no, you don't.
Let's find an alley.
I think I'd rather spend a month in the hospital, than take another minute of you and your mouth.
I don't need no alley.
Come on, pal.
Come on.
Hey, you know, you're right.
We should've looked in the phone book.
Okay, Rockfish? No, it's not okay, Gandy.
I've just about had it with you.
You want me to help you? Okay, then get out of my way and let me do my job.
That's all I want anyway.
Okay, Rockfish? And get off that Rockfish thing! The name is Rockford.
Okay, Rockfish.
I don't know.
There's been so many.
Fitch? Who can remember a face from 20 years ago? He remembers you.
Maybe a quick check of the files? I don't do anything for free, Mr.
Rockford.
In fact, I don't do anything for under $100.
He used to work as a collector for the local rackets.
He's a big man, hard to forget.
He said that, uh, he once tried to strangle you in the visiting room.
Oh! Gandolph Fitch! Sure.
Right through the wire mesh, too.
The cops were glad to get him off the street, and I can't say that I blame them.
Glad enough to frame him? No, he killed her.
There's no question about that.
The jury recommended the death penalty.
I started an appeal, but business is business.
The appeal died when he ran out of money and he went into the B-and-B file.
What? Black and broke.
You're a real crusader, aren't you? No.
There's no money in it.
Speaking of which, you're starting to get into my pocket.
Well, I'm gonna need a transcript of the trial.
I'll pay for the copying charges.
Sorry.
I don't even know if I kept it.
Well, I'll help you look.
Or don't you think you owe the man that much? I don't owe anybody anything.
Besides, the B-and-B files are in cardboard boxes in the basement.
It would take days to sort through them.
Now, the time is running, and I'm a very busy man.
Yeah, of course, of course.
Well, I don't know how to thank you.
But I'm sure my client will.
What do you mean? Say, when is he getting out? Yesterday, Mr.
Prey.
Yesterday.
No, no, no! It's 1955 we're looking for, not '45.
You're not helping me, Betty.
Mr.
Fitch is waiting.
Here it is, Mr.
Prey.
Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Thank you.
That's very good, Betty.
Here we are.
Let's see.
Hill, King, Revere, Sanchez.
Gandolph Fitch.
It was misfiled.
There now, see? No trouble at all.
This is it? What do you expect? It was all over by noon.
I know.
It was a crime the way they pushed it through.
I did all I could, but You did nothing, shyster.
Hey, come on, Gandy.
I did all I could.
Gandy, you're just buying yourself a trip back to the slammer.
What did you want me to do? He took my money and kissed me off.
If you didn't kill Lilah, you're not gonna find out who did back in C block.
I thought we settled that.
I didn't kill her! Well, neither did he! I didn't even know her! Now, come on, Gandy.
Stop acting like a killer, and then maybe I'll believe you.
Just maybe.
Hey he isn't won'th it, Gandy.
That's him.
exactly like the picture.
No, you don't have to follow them.
I got the license number.
I wanna see who he's with.
I'll find that out.
Arthur, I am tired of waiting.
Yeah.
You're not sure, are you? Are you? Yes.
I've never been so sure about anything in all my life.
All right.
You back out of it if you want to.
I'll take care of him myself.
No, no, no.
You don't do anything by yourself.
I just I just wanna do it right.
Did we ever plan to do it wrong? No.
No.
All right.
His time is up.
His time is up.
You had lousy representation, I'll give you that.
Gandy, did you ever beat Lilah? Nobody's playing music anymore? Where is Huggy Boy or Hunter Hancock? You used to beat her all the time.
At least, that was the testimony of one Eunice Charles.
Eunice is a lying hooker, and that's all she ever was.
It says here that she was Lilah's best friend.
And it says there I killed Lilah, too.
Yeah, well, whoever did beat her first.
It says that Eunice found the body the next day, called the police It doesn't say how she got in, though.
Lilah gave her a key.
Oh, did Lilah give anyone else a key? No! Nobody! She was dead all night, Gandy.
Where were you? Nowhere I can prove.
Where were you? Back room of George's Liquor up on Lincoln trying to sleep one off.
If I'd have been home Did you used to beat her, Gandy? I told you the first time.
Now, don't start with me again, Gandy.
I'm just about that far from waffling on you.
It used to be that far.
Things are looking up, huh, Rockfish? I love Lilah.
I never meant to hurt her.
Okay, Gandy.
I'll go for that.
Maybe things are looking up.
You know, I'd like to talk to this Eunice Charles.
Do you got any idea where we'd get a line on her? Now you're cooking.
I been wanting to talk to her myself.
She used to hook for my old boss, Pebbles Runkin.
Pebbles Runkin? Yeah.
Numbers, loans, bookmaking, and broads.
From the Arroyo Seco to Rosemead Boulevard, and from California Street to the Altadena line.
Mr.
Runkirs all right.
And he was the only man I was ever afraid of.
Great.
Great.
I'm looking forward to meeting him.
I'm not sure.
Everyone called him Pebbles? Yeah, except the people who worked for him.
They called him Mr.
Runkin.
He ran his whole operation from an office over a dime store.
Well, he's the only Charles Runkin in the Pasadena phone book.
Must be the same guy.
Yeah.
Looks like he done pretty good for himself, too.
What a collector this kid was.
I found him wasting his time in a motorcycle gang.
The biggest thing this kid could ever dream about was getting his head chromed someday.
You know how old he was when I turned him out? You know what his collection rate was? Oh, about a 105%.
You're close.
Well, I've had personal experience.
I've been trying to get a line on another former employee of yours.
Eunice Charles.
Sure, you remember her, Mr.
Runkin.
Mouthy broad, thought she was always better than everybody else.
Worked the Doran Hotel for you.
I'm trying to remember.
Of course.
Lilah's friend, right? Eunice was always riding Gandy.
Thought he was a bad influence, even though he made Lilah stop working.
I'm surprised you let that happen.
Most men in your line of work like to nip that kind of thing in the bud, so it doesn't set a trend.
The next clown that tried it had every other tooth ripped out of his head with a pair of rusty pliers.
Of course, I'm not in that line of work anymore.
I don't suppose Eunice is, either.
No, Eunice quit me.
I heard she died in an automobile accident somewhere in the Midwest.
Kansas? I don't remember.
What? No.
No! I been waiting 20 years to settle up with her.
She can't be dead! We can all be dead, Gandy.
She bought it about a year after you killed Lilah.
I didn't kill Lilah, Mr.
Runkin.
I did 20 years for nothing.
It's all academic at this point.
I said I didn't kill her.
But you're the man, so I guess you can call them anyway you like.
I need a couple of days to think then I'd like to come back to work, if it's okay with you.
I don't keep muscle on salary anymore.
I'm into lawyers these days.
I wish I could help you, Gandy, but I grew old in the joint, not softer.
Ask Rockfish.
Tell him.
He kept in shape.
Gandy, let me explain.
Every now and then, three, four times a year, I have occasion to use muscle.
Then I'm your man.
I bring it in from out of town.
They're here two, three hours at a time.
Then, poof, back on the jet.
And they all look just like my lawyers.
I'm sorry, Gandy.
Your kind of muscle is just obsolete.
It was good seeing you again, Gandy.
Yeah.
If that's the way it is.
Thanks anyway.
Any time, Gandy.
Can I see you for a minute, Mr.
Rockford? Yeah.
Gandy, I'll see you at the car? Yeah.
He looks bad.
I feel awful, but what can I do? Here.
Get him into some new threads.
That ought to pick him up.
What's this? Conscience money? Why did you let that shyster send Gandy up the river to be barbecued? Hey, I don't even owe you a goodbye.
Look I believe he killed Lilah.
Well, I don't buy it, Mr.
Runkin.
No? All right.
They wanted him off the streets so bad, they began to chip away at my operation just to get at him.
I had it handled until he went ape and killed the girl.
So you agreed to stay out of his defense, and they agreed to stop chipping.
Come on.
They had him dead-bang on a murder one, and that's it.
Let me ask you, Mr.
Runkin.
Is it possible that Eunice killed Lilah? I'm gonna call Omaha.
See what the special is.
I think it's kneecaps this month.
Oh, well, since you put it that way.
I'll just have to tell Gandy how you framed him, dealt him, fed him to the jury, and walked away.
Wait a minute.
I didn't frame him.
You explain that to him, huh? I think I got a pair of rusty pliers in the back of my car.
Wait a minute.
Hey, Mr.
Rockford.
Come on.
Sit down.
Go ahead.
Sit down.
Hey, I've been looking all over for you.
You were supposed to meet me at the car.
What for? Eunice is dead.
She's the one who killed Lilah.
So we got nothing else to talk about.
Well, I guess that lets you off the hook, Rockfish.
Well, why didn't you just go after her? Why did you bother with me? I never killed anyone in my life, so I had one coming, and I planned to collect it, too.
I know I wanted it to be Eunice, but I had to be sure.
That's why I didn't tell you nothing about her.
But you pointed right at her anyway.
Now I'm sure, and so what? It's too late.
Hey, Gandy, Mr.
Runkin wasrt too taken with your wardrobe.
He thought maybe you'd like to buy some new clothes.
There's a $1000 here.
$1000.
I could buy out a whole department store with $1000.
Oh, yeah? When was the last time you went shopping? Take it, Gandy.
There's no more where that came from, and it's not gonna last too long.
Hey, can I give you a lift anywhere? I'm already here.
This is my town.
Get your icebox back in shape.
And don't ever say I tried to stiff you out of a finder's fee, either.
So long, Rockfish.
So long, Gandy.
Mrs.
Bingham? Yes? I'm James Rockford.
You're Eunice Charles? I don't really think you wanna have this conversation out here, do you? Why, no.
No, come inside.
Mr.
Runkin couldn't have told you how to find me.
He has no idea who I am or where I am.
I haven't talked to him in 19 years.
No, but a year after you quit, you called him and asked him for one last favor.
You said you'd found your doctor, you wanted to get married, and you asked him to put it out on the street that Eunice Charles was dead.
He did.
What do you want from me? Money? I pay you off and you don't tell my husband.
Isn't that how it goes? Well, Mr.
Rockford, I'm afraid you went to a great deal of trouble for nothing.
My husband knows all about my past.
I don't want your money, Mrs.
Bingham.
I want to know if you killed Lilah McGee.
Who are you? I'm a private investigator.
My client seems to think that you killed Lilah.
And your client? Is it Gandolph Fitch? That's right.
He's out of prison.
He, uh, thinks you're dead, for now.
Thank God.
You can't tell him about me.
Promise you won't tell him.
If you convince me you didn't kill Lilah, maybe I will.
Otherwise, I'm gonna plant him on your doorstep at dinnertime.
When you're born in the sewer, you either drown or you spend your life trying to get out of it.
I got out the only way I could.
It was a way out for Lilah, too.
And along came Gandy.
Oh, he begged her to marry him.
As though that would make everything all right.
Every time he asked, she said no.
And every time she said no he beat her.
It got so I hated to go over there.
I got her hooked on crossword puzzles.
She got to be pretty good at them, too.
I was her only friend, Mr.
Rockford.
How could I kill her? I don't know, Mrs.
Bingham.
I guess you couldn't.
Then Then you won't tell him I'm alive? No.
Thank you.
Could he find me? You did.
Well, it'd be a long shot.
But if he does, nothing will stop him from killing you.
How did you find me? I wired vital statistics to the 1956 white pages.
Out of 315 marriage licenses issued between the months of September and October, So I started ringing doorbells and Eunice opened the eighth door.
Why did you even bother? Well, it bugged me, not knowing.
It wasrt Pebbles Runkin.
It wasrt the cops.
It could've been.
Now I know it wasrt Eunice.
Which only leaves Gandy, which is what I told you in the first place.
Lovers are very big on homicide.
Happens all the time.
Yeah, well, they're usually more humane about it.
Since when? Look, he's gotta think Eunice did it to get himself off the hook.
So let him.
Well, that's fine as long as he thinks she's dead.
But long shots do come in.
Are you willing to bet her life that this one won't? Uh-uh.
Don't pin that on me.
It's your bet.
Thanks a lot.
What are you worried about? Skate it.
You're out from under.
Yeah, maybe you're right.
You want more chili? No, I've had enough, thanks.
You know, if he does start looking for her, he'll never look in that neighborhood.
Sergeant Becker.
No kidding? They just got your boy, Jimbo.
Yeah.
That much? I don't blame you.
I would've done the same thing myself.
Okay, thank you.
Well, your troubles are over.
They just nailed Fitch for loitering and attempted assault of an officer.
Attempted assault? The mace got him before he got them.
And they're so happy to get him off the street, that they set bail for $10,000 to make sure he stays put.
Well, he's gonna be about a $100 shy of the $1000 he'll need for the bond.
You're not gonna give it to him? It's his $100.
You're not gonna have one friend in Pasadena.
Oh, yeah? What about the one I got there now? You didn't tell me they carry mace.
What am I? Your mother? Thanks for getting me out, Rockfish.
Well, you're gonna be right back in there unless you get out of this town.
Come on, Gandy.
Keep walking.
Just keep walking.
Yeah, walk away.
I just got to learn to do that.
Where am I gonna go? Pasadena and the joint's the only two places I know about.
And, besides, Mr.
Runkin could've been wrong about Eunice being dead.
There's something I want to check out.
Yeah? What? Remember Rosie? Yeah.
He told me Eunice changed her name and moved to New York.
Hey, New York.
That's a good place to start looking, pal.
Yeah, and that ain't all.
Another dude I know heard she got into a crash and got herself crippled somewhere in Alabama.
Of course, that was a long time ago, and they don't know just like Mr.
Runkin don't know.
Dig? No.
Eunice is sharp enough to split and cover her tracks.
Now, she killed Lilah.
And she figured I'd get out someday and come looking for her.
Gandy, you were sentenced to the electric chair.
Yeah, but it was commuted to life a year after I was in the joint.
And that's just when Clarence said she split on Mr.
Runkin.
Clarence? He used to be real tight with Eunice.
Said she changed her name and started hustling on the other side of the hill.
He figures she suckered some rich dude into marrying her.
That's what she always wanted.
You're barking at the moon.
Maybe.
But if she's still alive, I'm gonna find her.
You want in? In what? Accessory to murder? No way, pal.
Okay.
Oh, thanks for the bail money.
I'll see you gets it back.
Hey, hey, Gandy.
Gandy, why don't we go and play some pool? I got business, Rockfish.
Yeah, well, that's what I wanna talk to you about.
I wanna talk to you about who killed Lilah.
Come on.
Get in.
That's $300, Gandy.
Double or nothing again? I thought you said we were gonna talk.
I also said we were gonna shoot a little pool.
Double or nothing.
Hey, Gandy.
Why wouldn't Lilah marry you? What? I don't know.
I asked her a million times.
Did you try not beating her every time she said no? Maybe that's why she ran away.
How long was she gone? Around six months the first time, seven months the last.
Hey, how'd you know about that? Oh, Mr.
Runkin said that was when you were at your lip-splitting best.
When she left, where'd she go? She wouldn't tell me.
So I hurt a lot of people back then, but I never hurt her like she hurt me.
Well, of course she hurt you by begging you to let her go.
She could be bought, but you couldn't own her.
I don't think Mr.
Runkin told you that.
Oh, no, he didn't.
I stopped by and talked to Rosie on my way over to bail you out.
Uh-huh.
Rosie couldn't have known it, either.
Sure he did.
Sure.
He worked over at the Doran Hotel and so did Eunice.
He said Eunice was always sending him out to buy those crossword puzzle books.
You know, the ones that Eunice was always bringing to Lilah.
Remember? Yeah.
She got good at it.
Knew all kinds of words.
Let me tell you something, Gandy.
I'm a pretty fair amateur psychiatrist.
I'll tell you what I think.
I think Lilah was someone you couldn't bend by slapping her around.
You know? She wouldn't marry you, she wouldn't tell you where she went.
She just wanted out.
And that was more than the little boy in the big body could handle.
I slapped her around, I walked out the door and got drunk.
Just like I did every time it came out "no.
" And I'd have kept on doing it until it came out "yes.
" I loved Lilah.
And I could've made her happy if it wasrt for Eunice messing with her mind.
Don't you see? If I was gonna waste somebody, it would have been Eunice! Well, I didn't say I was a great amateur psychiatrist.
You mean, you believe me now? Yeah, Gandy.
Yeah, I think I do.
Hey.
Hey.
Rockfish.
You're the first one, man.
The first one.
Yeah, well, even if we subtract the $300, I still owe you for a couple of days.
So we'll keep working on it.
We can do it.
Oh, thanks, Fish.
Man, you're all right.
Hey, Fish, don't take this personal if I happen to ask about Eunice along the way, huh? But if she's still alive I'm gonna waste her.
Sure, I remember her, boys.
I heard she croaked.
Gandy, that just about makes it unanimous.
Perhaps your friend could use a little drink.
Buddy, I sure could use a little knock, buddy.
You boys looking for a Eunice Charles? Yeah.
Well, someone's looking for you.
Yeah? Who is this? Are you the man who's been looking for Eunice Charles? Yeah.
Who is it? Lose your friend and be standing on the corner by the gas station in 10 minutes and I'll take you to her.
Nothing's wrong with my friend.
Who is this? Look, just get rid of him.
Now, I'm the only way you're gonna ever find her.
It's a setup.
What if it isn't? It's gotta be.
She's dead.
What if she isn't? Well, everybody says she is.
And everybody says I killed Lilah.
I gotta take this ride alone, Rockfish.
Nobody ever said you didn't, Gandy.
Let me get my change.
Unless draft's gone up to $2.
50 a pop, huh? Well, somebody's gotta watch your back.
Trust me.
Why are you taking me to her? She wants to talk to you, too.
She told your friend that yesterday, but he wouldn't set it up for her, so she asked me to do it.
You mean, Rockfish talked to Eunice? Yeah.
Yesterday.
He spent a couple of hours at her house.
Get ready, Debbie.
I heard her screams, investigated, I found you trying to rape her and had to kill you.
Why? I don't even know you.
But we know you.
And we've been waiting for this for a long, long time.
Drop it or he's dead! Now! Who the hell are they? I don't know, but she said you talked to Eunice yesterday.
I wouldn't know Eunice Charles if I met her in my soup.
She wouldn't either.
I ought to know her.
She's my mother.
All right, now.
Don't do anything dumb.
But why kill Gandy? 'Cause he killed our real mother.
Then that's your father.
All right.
Break it up, you two.
Break it up! Gandy! Back off! Gandy! Gandy! Break it up! What are you gonna do? Shoot me, too? No, no.
I'm gonna introduce you to your kids.
What are you talking about? I ain't got no kids.
Yes, you have.
You're looking at them.
He's not our father.
Lilah left us with her folks when Dad died and then she came to California looking for work.
And she was gonna send for us, too.
But Granddaddy said you made her into a prostitute.
And when she tried to quit, you killed her! I never killed Lilah! I never made her no prostitute! I took her out of that! She's got Lilah's eyes.
Well, now I guess we know where Lilah went when she ran away.
We don't know for sure.
Well, we will be when we ask Eunice.
I did what I thought was right.
I wanted the children to be safe.
I wanted them to have a good life.
And I wanted them to hate Gandolph Fitch as much as I did.
Why didn't Lilah tell me? Why do you think, Gandy? She was afraid you'd force her to marry you if you knew she was pregnant.
So she ran for home.
Her family let her stay until Arthur was born.
Then they kicked her out.
She had no place else to go but back to you.
And the same thing happened when Debbie was born? Only that time, they told her never to come back.
When she died, I just sent them the article from the Star News.
The one with my picture? Is that the one you had on the wall of your cell? Yeah.
Yeah.
I remember.
You You had a cop under one arm and one in each hand by the hair.
They showed you that picture? We used to look at it all the time.
Mrs.
Bingham? I guess I knew it would come down to this someday or else I never would have kept the letter.
Lilah mailed this the day she died.
I stopped reading it a long time ago but it's something you all should hear.
Mr.
Rockford? I'll read it.
"Dear Eunie, "I can't take it with Gandy anymore.
"I begged him, but he won't let me go.
"He's so crazy with jealousy.
"I never know what's going to set him off "and start him beating on me again.
"I open my eyes in the morning "and look over and see that ugly, mean face, "and I want to kill him or kill myself.
"And that's what I'm going to do.
"And I'm going to try and make it look like Gandy done it.
"Please don't tell nobody else, ever, "especially not the cops.
"He didn't know how to love me, "and I hope he fries for it.
"But if he don't, "don't ever let him find out about Debbie and Arthur.
"He'd destroy them, too.
"You're the only friend I ever had, Eunie.
"I never could've made it this long "without your shoulder for crying on.
"Gandy caused every tear.
"He never kissed one away.
"I'm all cried out now.
"Love, Lilah.
" I killed her.
She killed herself, Gandy.
Because I didn't give her no way out.
Falling on a knife was her choice, Gandy, not yours.
Sure, you were mean, but she kept coming back for more.
She was gone six months one time, seven months another, but she kept coming back.
That's the truth, Gandy, and you know it.
I always said the only thing I learned in this rotten life is how to collect what's due.
So you went out and collected a rotten life.
You just ate the balloon payments.
Walk away, Gandy.
You're free and clear.
If you wanna be.
If I wanna be.