I Walked With a Zombie


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I Walked With a Zombie

A nurse tending a paralysed woman on a Caribbean island discovers that her charge hides a terrifying secret. Starring Frances Dee and Tom Conway.


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I walked with a zombie. SHE LAUGHS

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Does seem an odd thing to say.

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Had anyone said that to me a year ago,

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I'm not at all sure I would have known what a zombie was.

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I might have had some notion that they were strange and frightening,

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even a little funny.

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-It all began in such an ordinary way...

-You're single?

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Yes.

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Where were you trained?

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Memorial Hospital, here in Ottawa.

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Now, this last question's a little irregular, Miss Connell.

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I don't know quite how to begin. Do you believe in witchcraft?

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Well...! They didn't teach it at Memorial Hospital,

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-but I had my suspicions about the Directress of Training.

-Now, as to salary. It's quite good.

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-200 a month.

-That is good. I'd like to know a little bit more about the case.

-I can't tell you much.

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-The patient is the wife of Mr Paul Holland, with whom we do much business.

-Another interview...?

-No.

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This is quite final. You see, Mr Holland is a sugar planter. He lives on St Sebastian in the West Indies.

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-The West Indies?

-That's not so bad. Sit under a palm tree,

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go swimming, take sun baths.

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Palm trees...

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CREW CHANTS "O Marie Congo"

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'It seemed only a few days before I met Mr Holland in Antigua.

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'We boarded the boat for St Sebastian. It was all just as I'd imagined it.

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'I looked at those great, glowing stars. I felt the warm wind on my cheek.

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'I breathed deep, and every bit of me inside myself said, "How beautiful!" '

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It's not beautiful...

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You read my thoughts, Mr Holland.

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It's easy to read the thoughts of a newcomer. Everything seems beautiful because you don't understand.

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Those flying fish - they're not leaping for joy. They're jumping in terror.

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Bigger fish want to eat them. That luminous water - it takes its gleam

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from millions of tiny dead bodies. The glitter of putrescence.

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There's no beauty here. Only death and decay.

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You can't really believe that.

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Everything good dies here...

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even the stars...

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'It was strange to have him break in on my thoughts. There was cruelty and hardness in his voice.

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'And yet something about him I liked.

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'Something clean and honest.

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'But hurt. Badly hurt.'

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Times gone, Fort Holland was a fort, and now, no longer.

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Holland's a most old family, miss.

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They brought the coloured folks to the island.

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-The coloured folks and Ti-Misery.

-Ti-Misery? What's that?

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A man, miss. An old man who lives in the garden at Fort Holland,

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-with arrows stuck in him and a sorrowful, weeping look on his black face.

-Alive?

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No, miss. He's just the same as he was in the beginning. On the front side of an enormous boat.

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-You mean a figurehead.

-If you say, miss. And the enormous boat brought the Long Ago Fathers

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and the Long Ago Mothers of us all, chained to the bottom of the boat.

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They brought to you to a beautiful place, didn't they?

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If you say, miss. If you say.

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Fort Holland. From the gate, it seemed strangely dream-like.

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The garden had life of its own. I was to know all the nooks and crannies of that great house.

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To love them or hate them according to what happened there...

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In that house, I was to hear a strange confession.

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A confession only madness could have wrung from the lips of a sane person.

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And yet it was in the same room with the candles lit that I made the discovery of my own love.

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Knew happiness, deep through the heart.

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My room. I can still remember my delight.

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Unpacking, getting ready for dinner.

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And yet all the while, I wondered at the stillness of Fort Holland.

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The fact that I saw no-one on the garden paths or in the rooms.

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KNOCK

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-Yes?

-Miss Connell? It's dinner.

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Oh, thank you.

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-Miss Connell?

-Yes?

-I'm Wesley Rand.

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Paul wanted me to introduce myself.

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Seems we're dining by ourselves, Miss Connell. But I'll introduce you to everyone anyway.

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Here in the master's chair sits the master, my half-brother Paul Holland.

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-Oh, but you've met him already?

-Yes. On the boat.

-That chair in the corner is the particular property

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of Mrs Rand, mother to both of us, and much too good for either of us.

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-Too wise, in fact, to live under the same roof. She prefers the village dispensary.

-Oh, she's a doctor?

-No.

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-She just runs the place. She does everything else though. An amazing woman. You'd like her.

-I do already!

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-That's my chair. And this is Miss Connell, who is beautiful.

-Thank you. Who sits there?

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My brother's wife.

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Here, here, this isn't cosy at all.

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Makes me seem aloof, and I'm anything but that.

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-But you're an American.

-I went to school in Buffalo. Paul went to school in England.

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Well, I wondered about your different accents. I'm still wondering about your names - Rand and Holland.

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We're half-brothers. Paul is mother's first child.

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When his father died, she married my father. Doctor Rand, the missionary.

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DISTANT DRUMMING

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The jungle drums.

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Mysterious. Eerie.

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That's the work drum over at the sugar mill. St Sebastian's version of the factory whistle.

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It means that the sugar syrup is about ready to be poured. I'm afraid you'll have to excuse me.

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-Nice of you to spend this time with me.

-I wasn't missed. The only important man here's the owner.

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-Mr Holland?

-Yes, the redoubtable Paul.

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-He has the plantation and I, as you must have noticed, have all the charm.

-Oh, I don't know.

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-He spoke to me on the boat last night and I liked him very much.

-Ah, yes. Our Paul.

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Strong and silent and very sad.

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Quite the Byronic character. Maybe I should cultivate it.

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-Maybe you ought to go to the mill.

-It'll wait.

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I was just going to the mill.

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-Good night, Miss Connell.

-Good night.

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-Have the servants made you comfortable?

-Yes, thank you.

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-Looks very nice, Clement. I'll take it to Mrs Holland.

-Can't I take it for you?

-No, thank you.

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Tomorrow's soon enough for you to start work.

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LOUD SOBBING

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SOBBING CONTINUES

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SOBBING STOPS

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BETSY: Mrs Holland?

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Mrs Holland?

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Mrs Holland?

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I didn't mean to get you up, Mrs Holland.

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Mrs Holland...!

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BETSY SCREAMS

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Jessica!

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-Take Mrs Holland to her room, Alma.

-Come, Miss Jessica. Come with Alma.

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I heard someone crying. A woman.

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-A woman crying? There's been no crying here.

-Mr Paul?

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Yes, there was crying tonight. It was Alma.

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-Her sister was brought a-birthing.

-Thank you, Clement.

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(Clement? I'm gonna stay with Miss Jessica in case the nurse-lady takes to roamin' again.)

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-(Don't cry no more. It frightened Miss Betsy.)

-She didn't sooth me, hollering around in the tower!

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Sssshhhhh!

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-Why was the maid crying?

-I'm not sure I can make you understand.

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Do you know what this is?

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-The figure of St Sebastian.

-Yes.

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But it was once the figurehead of a slave ship.

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That's where our people came from. From the misery and pain of slavery.

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For generations, they found life a burden.

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That's why they still weep when a child is born, and make merry at a burial.

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I've told you, Miss Connell, this is a sad place.

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Good morning, miss.

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Thank you for waking me.

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I didn't want to frighten you out of your sleep. That's why I touched you farthest from your heart.

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Oh, don't get up, miss.

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I brought your breakfast. Just like I do for Miss Jessica.

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-But I'm Miss Jessica's nurse, Alma. You don't have to do that for me.

-I know, miss. But I like to do it.

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I like to tend for Miss Jessica and I want to tend for you. Settle back, and I'll make sure you're comfy.

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-Thank you.

-Miss Jessica used to say this is the only way for a lady to break her fast -

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in bed, with a lacy cushion to bank her head up. If you'd only seen her, Miss Connell. She looked so pretty.

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She must have been beautiful. What happened to her, Alma?

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She was very sick and then she went mindless, miss.

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Well, we'll see if we can't make her well, Alma. You and I.

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I do my best - every day I dress her just as beautifully as if she was well.

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It's just like dressing a great big doll.

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-What's this?

-A puff-up, I call it.

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But Miss Jessica always says "brioche".

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Looks like a lot of breakfast. I don't know if I'll get away with it!

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-I made it clear in my letter. This is not for a frightened girl.

-I'm not a frightened girl.

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-That's hard to believe after what happened last night.

-If I were as timid as you think, Mr Holland,

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-I wouldn't have gone to the tower in the first place.

-And what's so alarming about the tower?

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Nothing really, but... You must admit, it's an eerie sort of place.

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-So dark.

-Surely nurses aren't afraid of the dark?

-Of course not.

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Well, I used to be afraid of the dark when I was a child, but I'm not afraid any more.

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Frankly, it was something of a shock to see my patient that way for the first time.

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Nobody had told me Mrs Holland was... a mental case.

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-A mental case?

-I'm sorry.

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Why should you be? My wife is a mental case.

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Please remember that, Miss Connell.

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Particularly when some of the foolish people on the island start regaling you with local legends.

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You'll find superstition a contagious thing.

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Some people let it get the better of them.

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I don't think you will.

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No.

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Come along. I'll introduce you to Dr Maxwell and your patient.

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-I can't tell you how glad I am to have you here, Miss Connell.

-I'll enjoy working with you, Doctor.

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I have an enormous respect for nurses, but most of them scare me.

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-I feel them behind my back, looking at their training manuals, noting my mistakes.

-I'll keep tabs on you.

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She makes a beautiful zombie, doesn't she?

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I knew Jessica. We were friends.

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-Sometimes it's better for a doctor to laugh than pull a long face when things are hopeless.

-Yes, I know.

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But I don't know about zombies, Doctor. Just what is a zombie?

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A ghost, the living dead.

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It's also a drink.

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-I tried one once. But there wasn't anything dead about it.

-We've a more serious problem, Miss Connell.

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-You want to know about your patient, don't you?

-Please.

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I'll try to put it simply.

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Mrs Holland had a tropical fever.

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Very severe.

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We might say that portions of the spinal cord were burned out by this fever.

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The result is what you see. A woman without any willpower.

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-Unable to speak or even act by herself, though she will obey simple commands.

-Does she suffer?

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I don't know. I'd rather think of her as a sleepwalker who can never be awakened.

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Feeling nothing, knowing nothing.

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There's very little we can do except keep her physically comfortable,

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-light diet, some exercise.

-She can never be cured?

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I've never heard of a cure.

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Could you give me some details of treatment and diet?

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I prepared these for you last night.

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I'll drop by in a day or so to see how you're getting on.

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You didn't find your patient so frightening in the daylight, did you?

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Mrs Holland must have been very beautiful.

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Many people thought her beautiful.

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Tell me, Miss Connell. Do you consider yourself pretty?

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-I don't know. I suppose so.

-And charming?

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-I've never given it much thought.

-Don't.

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You'll save yourself a great deal of trouble and other people a great deal of unhappiness.

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Betsy! Where are you going?

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-It's my day off.

-What can you do with a day off in St Sebastian?

-I was just beginning to wonder.

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-Aren't there shops, restaurants and things here?

-"And things" is a better description. I'll show you the town.

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-Don't you have to work?

-By a curious coincidence, it's my day off, too.

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# Some talk of Alexander

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# And some of Hercules

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# Of Hector and Lysander And such as these

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# But of all the world's great heroes

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-# There's none that can compare... #

-Say, Joseph. Bring me another. I have to keep the lady entertained.

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-Must be hard work entertaining me if it requires six ounces of rum.

-Six ounces?

-Higher mathematics.

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-Two ounces to a drink, three drinks, six ounces.

-Well, how did you know there were two ounces in a drink?

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I'm a nurse. I always watch people when they pour something.

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I watched Ti-Joseph and it was exactly two ounces.

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# There was a family that lived on the isle Of St Sebastian a long, long while

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# The head of the fam'ly was a Holland man

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# And the younger brother, his name was Rand

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# Ah, woe! Ah, me... Shame and sorrow for the family... #

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-Did I tell you the story about the little mule on the plantation?

-Wait a minute, I want to hear this.

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# The Holland man, he kept in a tower A wife as pretty as a white flower

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# She saw the brother and she stole his heart...

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# And that's how the badness and the trouble start... #

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Ti-Malice, why do you wish trouble on me? You saw Mr Rand go in there. Why don't you tell me?

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Apologize...that's what I'll do. Creep in just like a little fox and warm myself in his heart.

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I wouldn't have listened, Wesley, if I'd realized. I...

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-Mr Rand? I've come to apologize.

-All right.

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Just an old song I picked up somewhere.

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-Don't know who did make it up.

-All right. All right.

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Some of these singers on this island, they tattle-tale on anybody. Believe me, Mr Rand,

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-I never would sing that song if I'd known you were with a lady.

-Get out of here!

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Don't let it bother you so, Wesley.

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You heard what he sang.

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-Shocked?

-I just wish I hadn't heard.

-Why? Everybody else knows it.

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Paul saw to that. Sometimes I think he planned the whole thing from the beginning just to watch me squirm.

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-That doesn't sound like him.

-That's right. He's playing the noble husband for you, isn't he?

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Well, that won't last long.

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I think we'd better go now. Will you take me home?

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One of these days he'll start on you, just like he did on her.

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"You think life's beautiful, don't you, Jessica?

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"You think you're beautiful, don't you, Jessica?"

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What he could do to that word "beautiful"...

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That's Paul's great weapon, words.

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He uses them like other men use their fists.

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Wes?

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Wes, it's time we started home.

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# The wife and the brother They want to go

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# But the Holland man, he tell them no

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# The wife fall down and the evil came

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-# And it burned her mind in the fever flame. Ah, woe! Ah, me... #

-We must get back to Fort Holland.

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# Shame and sorrow for the family

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# Her eyes are empty and she cannot talk

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# And a nurse has come to make her walk

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# The brothers are lonely and the nurse is young

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# And now you must see that my song is sung

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# Ah, woe! Ah, me!

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# Shame and sorrow for the family!

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# Ah, woe! Ah, me! Shame and sorrow for the family! #

0:22:310:22:38

-I think you need some help.

-I'm afraid so.

-Ti-Joseph?

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Get Mr Rand on to his horse and start him toward the fort.

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-Oh, but he's in no condition to ride. He couldn't even sit in the saddle.

-Don't worry about a sugar planter.

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Give him a horse and he'll ride to his own funeral.

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I really intended going out to the fort and meeting you long before this, Miss Connell.

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I am Mrs Rand, Wesley's mother.

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-Oh, Mrs Rand...

-Now, don't tell me you're sorry that I should meet you this way.

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I'm even a little glad that Wesley's difficulties brought us together.

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-Believe me, he doesn't do this often. It's...

-Nonsense. I know Wesley's been drinking too much lately.

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I know a great deal more about what goes on at the fort than you'd think.

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And I know all about you.

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That you're a nice girl. Competent.

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And kind to Jessica.

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The fort needs a girl like you.

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Come, I must get you back there.

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I'll walk back with you and stay the night.

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The change will do me good.

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Thank you, Mrs Rand.

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I think you're every bit as nice as Wesley says you are.

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So, he says I'm nice?

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He's a nice boy, too, Miss Connell.

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A very nice boy. I'm worried about his drinking though.

0:23:480:23:52

-You could do me a great favour.

-I'd love to.

0:23:520:23:56

Use your influence with Paul.

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Ask him to take the whisky decanter off the dinner table.

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-I have no influence with Mr Holland.

-Try it. You may have more than you think.

0:24:020:24:07

No, it's not a drought, Bayard.

0:24:110:24:13

-Rain's just a little late, that's all.

-I've seen the drought before, Mr Holland.

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Cane's too dry. It's dangerous that way.

0:24:170:24:20

-Good morning.

-Good morning.

0:24:200:24:22

I heard about your little misadventure yesterday. On your first day off, too.

0:24:220:24:26

Oh, I had a good time, up to a point.

0:24:260:24:28

-Wesley can be very entertaining.

-Yes, he can. But I was wondering.

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-If you could leave the whisky decanter off the table...

-It's always stood there, Miss Connell.

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I can remember it in my grandfather's time. And my father's.

0:24:360:24:40

But it must be an added temptation to Wesley. And... though your brother's not an alcoholic yet, Mr Holland,

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-I can tell you as a nurse that it won't be long.

-I engaged you to take care of my wife, not my brother.

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I'm afraid the decanter will have to stay where it is.

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DISTANT HORNS AND DRUMS

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There they go.

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Bayard told me they were going to ask Damballa for rain.

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Fields are dry as dust.

0:25:130:25:15

But what is it, Mr Holland?

0:25:150:25:17

It's a big seashell. A conch.

0:25:170:25:19

They make a sort of bugle out of it to call the faithful to the Houmfort.

0:25:190:25:23

-But I don't know what a Houmfort is. Or a Damballa.

-It's voodoo. The Houmfort is the temple.

0:25:230:25:28

-And Damballa is one of the gods. The big Papa God.

-You don't seem very disturbed by it.

0:25:280:25:32

-I thought voodoo was something everyone was frightened of.

-I'm afraid it's not very frightening.

0:25:320:25:36

They sing and dance and carry on.

0:25:360:25:39

And then, as I understand it, one of the gods comes down and speaks through one of the people.

0:25:390:25:43

For some reason, they always pick a night like this.

0:25:430:25:46

This hot wind even sets me on edge.

0:25:460:25:49

Clement. You've forgotten the decanter.

0:25:490:25:52

-I think from now on, Wes, we'll try serving dinner without it.

-That's odd. What are you trying to do?

0:25:520:26:00

-Impress Miss Connell?

-You'd make a better impression without whisky.

0:26:000:26:04

-Thank you. You've always had such tender concern for me. And for Jessica.

-Let's drop it, Wes.

0:26:040:26:10

-Why?

-It isn't considered polite to quarrel before ladies.

-Oh, I see.

0:26:100:26:16

Reserved and gentlemanly. You were so reserved and gentlemanly, so polite that night with Jessica.

0:26:160:26:22

-I remember...

-Wes!

0:26:220:26:25

Miss Connell, I think it would be better if I had Clement bring the rest of your dinner to your room.

0:26:250:26:32

PIANO PLAYS Chopin's E Minor Etude

0:26:400:26:44

-I heard you playing. I...

-I often do.

0:27:150:27:18

I know what you went through tonight.

0:27:180:27:21

I kept thinking of what you said.

0:27:210:27:24

That all good things died here, violently.

0:27:240:27:27

Why did you come in here?

0:27:290:27:31

I don't know.

0:27:310:27:33

I wanted to help you and now that I'm here, I don't know how.

0:27:330:27:39

You have helped me.

0:27:390:27:41

I want you to know that I'm sorry I ever brought you here.

0:27:410:27:45

When I thought of a nurse, I thought of someone hard and impersonal.

0:27:450:27:48

I love Fort Holland.

0:27:480:27:51

And what you saw tonight...

0:27:510:27:54

Two brothers set against each other and a woman driven mad by her own husband... Do you love that?

0:27:540:28:00

You didn't drive her mad.

0:28:000:28:02

Before Jessica was taken ill,

0:28:050:28:07

there was a scene.

0:28:070:28:10

An ugly scene.

0:28:100:28:12

I told her she couldn't go. That I'd keep her here by force if necessary.

0:28:120:28:17

You never knew Jessica as she was.

0:28:190:28:22

I think it will be best for all of us not to discuss this again.

0:28:250:28:29

Thank you. I know you meant to be kind.

0:28:290:28:32

I don't know how their own love is revealed to other women.

0:28:420:28:46

Maybe in their sweethearts' arms, I don't know.

0:28:460:28:49

To me, it came that night after Paul Holland had almost thrust me from the room.

0:28:490:28:53

Certainly from his life.

0:28:530:28:56

I said, I love him.

0:28:560:28:58

Even as I said it, I knew he still loved his wife.

0:28:580:29:01

And then because I loved him, I felt I had to restore her to him.

0:29:010:29:06

To make her what she'd been before.

0:29:060:29:09

To make him happy.

0:29:090:29:11

All that you say comes to the same thing.

0:29:140:29:18

You're asking me to pass a sentence of life or death on my wife.

0:29:180:29:22

Insulin shock treatment is an extreme measure, as Miss Connell pointed out when she suggested it...

0:29:220:29:28

-You admit that this is terribly dangerous. Why do you advise it?

-I worked with it. I've seen cures.

0:29:280:29:33

-It's at least a hope.

-It's the very danger itself, Paul, that makes the cure possible.

0:29:330:29:38

Insulin produces a state of coma.

0:29:380:29:41

Then the patient is revived by a violent shock to the nerves.

0:29:410:29:44

That shock can kill, but it can also cure.

0:29:440:29:47

-I don't know.

-It's a hard decision to make.

0:29:490:29:54

-But yours is only a technical responsibility.

-Technical responsibility, real responsibility.

0:29:540:29:59

Question is, will she live or die?

0:29:590:30:01

You're wrong, Mr Holland. It isn't a question of life or death.

0:30:010:30:04

Your wife isn't living. She's...

0:30:040:30:06

She's in a world that's empty of joy and meaning.

0:30:060:30:08

We have a chance to give her life back to her.

0:30:080:30:11

-Well?

-She's alive. That's all.

0:30:260:30:30

-Don't take it so much to heart, Betsy.

-I imagined it so differently.

0:30:320:30:37

I've been waiting for hours, trying to imagine Jessica well again.

0:30:370:30:42

And I come bringing you nothing.

0:30:420:30:44

Instead, you come bringing me sympathy, Betsy. And a generous heart.

0:30:440:30:49

Don't forget that. Don't call that nothing.

0:30:490:30:52

Very sad.

0:30:550:30:57

Very sweet.

0:30:570:30:58

The noble husband and the noble nurse comforting each other cos the patient still lives.

0:30:580:31:04

I've been imagining, too, Paul.

0:31:040:31:07

Only I didn't have to wonder how I'd feel.

0:31:070:31:11

I knew.

0:31:110:31:13

I'm not in love with another woman.

0:31:140:31:17

THEY GIGGLE Look at his little face!

0:31:220:31:26

Oh, I'm sorry, Miss Betsy.

0:31:350:31:37

I'll take it right away.

0:31:370:31:38

Oh, that's all right, Alma. Oh, is this your sister's baby?

0:31:380:31:40

Yes, Miss Betsy. This is little Ti-Victor and my sister Melisse.

0:31:400:31:43

Oh, I'm so glad I came out. I've been wanting to meet you, Melisse.

0:31:430:31:46

-More so, miss.

-Oh, he's a wonderful baby. Beautiful.

0:31:460:31:50

-He's chosen you, miss.

-That's what we say, Miss Betsy, when a baby first goes visiting.

0:31:500:31:55

-Those he smiles at will be his friends.

-That makes me very proud.

0:31:550:31:59

Here, Ti-Victor.

0:31:590:32:01

That's so you won't forget I'm your friend.

0:32:010:32:05

Thanks, Miss Betsy!

0:32:050:32:07

It's nice to see people so happy.

0:32:110:32:13

-They're not always happy, Miss Betsy.

-I suppose not.

0:32:130:32:17

Things so bad, nobody can help.

0:32:170:32:19

-Not even Dr Maxwell.

-Doctors and nurses can only do so much, Alma. They can't cure everything.

0:32:190:32:25

-Doctors that are people can't cure everything.

-"Doctors that are people"?

0:32:250:32:30

There are other doctors. Yes?

0:32:300:32:32

Other doctors. Better doctors.

0:32:320:32:34

-Where?

-At the Houmfort.

0:32:340:32:36

That's nonsense, Alma.

0:32:360:32:38

They even cure nonsense, Miss Betsy.

0:32:380:32:40

Mama Rose was mindless.

0:32:400:32:42

I was at the Houmfort when the Houngan brought her mind back.

0:32:420:32:45

Was Mama Rose like Mrs Holland?

0:32:450:32:48

No. She was mindless, but not like Miss Jessica.

0:32:480:32:51

But the Houngan cured her.

0:32:510:32:53

Are you trying to tell me the voodoo priest could cure Mrs Holland?

0:32:530:32:57

Yes, Miss Betsy. I mean that. The Houngan will speak to the rada drums

0:32:570:33:02

and the drums will speak to Legba and Damballa. Better doctors.

0:33:020:33:07

Ti-Peter, how do you ever expect to get to Heaven

0:33:150:33:18

with one foot in the voodoo Houmfort and the other in the church?

0:33:180:33:21

Ah, get along with ya.

0:33:210:33:24

Some of this native nonsense. The Houngan has his prescription and Dr Maxwell and I have ours.

0:33:240:33:30

-You never talked about voodoo before, Mrs Rand.

-Haven't I?

0:33:300:33:34

I suppose I take it for granted.

0:33:340:33:36

Just part of everyday life here.

0:33:360:33:38

-You don't believe in it?

-A missionary's widow? Isn't very likely, is it?

0:33:380:33:42

Well, I don't mean "believe in it" like believing in a religion.

0:33:420:33:45

I mean, do you believe it has power?

0:33:450:33:47

Do you think it could cure a sick person?

0:33:470:33:50

Frankly, my dear, I didn't expect anything like that from a nice level-headed girl like you.

0:33:500:33:55

-What are you driving at?

-I heard the servants talking about Mama Rose.

0:33:550:34:00

She said she'd been "mindless".

0:34:000:34:02

Her son drowned.

0:34:020:34:04

It affected her mind.

0:34:040:34:06

The Houngan cured her by giving her a little practical psychology.

0:34:060:34:11

What if I took Jessica to see him?

0:34:160:34:18

You don't know what goes on at the Houmfort. It might be very dangerous to take her there.

0:34:180:34:22

Dangerous for both of you. These people are primitive.

0:34:220:34:25

Things that are natural to them might shock and horrify you.

0:34:250:34:29

I'm not easily frightened.

0:34:290:34:32

That may be the pity of it.

0:34:320:34:34

I'm going to the Houmfort, Alma.

0:35:080:35:11

You go right from the mill to a sign in the cane.

0:35:180:35:22

Here, you turn and face a tree on the hill.

0:35:220:35:27

Walk toward it and keep walking.

0:35:270:35:30

Keep walking, Miss Betsy and you come to the crossroads.

0:35:300:35:33

There's a guard there, Carre-Four.

0:35:330:35:36

He keeps the crossroads.

0:35:360:35:37

But he won't do you no harm when he sees the voodoo patches.

0:35:370:35:41

He'll let you pass.

0:35:410:35:43

MOANING

0:36:080:36:10

DISTANT DRUMS AND HORNS

0:37:450:37:48

CHANTING, DRUMS GET LOUDER

0:38:300:38:33

CHANTING GETS LOUDER

0:38:460:38:48

-MUFFLED VOICE:

-Where are my people? Let them bring the rice cakes. Dance and be happy.

0:40:580:41:04

CHANTING RESUMES

0:41:080:41:11

Damballa, this woman is ill.

0:41:470:41:51

-Mrs Rand?!

-I knew you'd come.

0:42:010:42:06

I couldn't let you go back without something. I came here to tell you again... Jessica cannot be cured.

0:42:060:42:12

What are you doing here?

0:42:120:42:14

And when my husband died, I was helpless. They disobeyed me.

0:42:330:42:37

And, accidentally, I discovered the secret of how to deal with them.

0:42:370:42:41

There was a woman with a baby.

0:42:410:42:43

Again and again I begged her to boil the drinking water.

0:42:430:42:47

She wouldn't. Then I told her the god Shango'd kill the evil spirits in the water if she boiled it.

0:42:470:42:54

From then on, she boiled the water.

0:42:540:42:57

But that still doesn't explain why you're here.

0:42:570:42:59

Perhaps not. But I am here.

0:42:590:43:02

It seemed so simple to let the gods speak through me.

0:43:020:43:06

I should have known there's no easy way to do good, Betsy.

0:43:060:43:10

CROWD MURMURS

0:43:420:43:45

-She doesn't bleed!

-Zombie!

-She doesn't bleed.

0:43:450:43:49

Get her back to the fort, Betsy.

0:43:510:43:54

Do as I say. They won't hurt you.

0:43:540:43:56

Leave them alone. Let them go.

0:44:010:44:05

Where have you been, Miss Connell?

0:44:240:44:27

I wanted to help you.

0:44:290:44:32

Help me? How?

0:44:320:44:35

I took Mrs Holland to the Houmfort. I thought they might cure her.

0:44:370:44:42

There's no telling what you may have started with this insanity.

0:44:420:44:46

-Because you wanted to give my wife back to me? Why should that mean so much to you?

-You know why.

0:44:460:44:53

You saw it the other night, at the piano.

0:44:530:44:57

What I saw the other night, I could hardly believe, Betsy.

0:44:570:45:02

I thought I was looking at a woman who had compassion for me.

0:45:020:45:07

Who loved me. And yet you made that trip to the Houmfort to bring Jessica back to me.

0:45:070:45:13

You, the nurse who's afraid of the dark.

0:45:130:45:18

Yes.

0:45:210:45:23

You think I love Jessica. Want her back.

0:45:230:45:27

It's like you to think that.

0:45:270:45:29

Clean, decent thinking.

0:45:290:45:31

I wish it were true.

0:45:340:45:36

Perhaps for your sake.

0:45:360:45:39

DISTANT DRUMS POUND

0:45:390:45:41

Mind me now, horse.

0:45:450:45:47

Come away from there.

0:45:470:45:49

Are you ever stubborn, just like that old stableman at the Houmfort.

0:45:510:45:56

Sticking your nose in places where it isn't wanted! Making trouble for everybody.

0:45:560:46:01

Alma?

0:46:020:46:03

Try it this way.

0:46:030:46:05

Turn your back on him.

0:46:050:46:08

See, that's the way it is with a horse. You can't look at him and lead him at the same time.

0:46:080:46:14

Sounds sort of man-like, doesn't it?

0:46:140:46:16

-Whose horse?

-The police horse.

-Police? I didn't know there was a policeman on the island.

0:46:160:46:22

Oh, just this horse, Miss Betsy. When they asked the Commissioner if any policemen were wanted, he said,

0:46:220:46:27

-"My horse is all the police we need on St Sebastian."

-Commissioner?

0:46:270:46:30

Yes, Miss Betsy.

0:46:300:46:32

I expect there's some trouble. Not just little trouble like Mr Rand gets into when he's been drinking,

0:46:320:46:38

but real, big trouble.

0:46:380:46:40

You don't suppose it's because I took Mrs Holland to the Houmfort, do you?

0:46:400:46:43

They haven't been talking loud enough for me to hear, but I've held this horse for coming on to an hour.

0:46:430:46:49

And they been just talkin' and talkin'. I feel it's something very bad.

0:46:490:46:55

Well, you have a horse to hold, Alma, and Mrs Rand has asked me to have a cup of tea with her.

0:46:550:46:59

Horse, you stand still.

0:46:590:47:02

DRUMS POUND

0:47:030:47:06

You're staying here with Jessica tonight, Betsy?

0:47:340:47:37

Mrs Rand thought it might be best.

0:47:370:47:39

She's right.

0:47:390:47:40

I've caused you so much trouble, Paul.

0:47:410:47:44

Oh, no. It was bound to come.

0:47:440:47:46

As a matter of fact, that's why I'm here. I want to talk to you.

0:47:460:47:49

Perhaps when you're finished in here you'll come into the garden?

0:47:490:47:52

-Is it about this afternoon? I saw the Commissioner here.

-Jeffries? Yes, he was here.

0:47:520:47:56

He and Maxwell. They're in a great stew about it.

0:47:560:47:59

The Houmfort won't stop drumming and dancing until they've finished their ritual tests on Jessica.

0:47:590:48:05

Something of that sort. For their own safety, Jeffries and Maxwell want Jessica sent away to St Thomas.

0:48:050:48:11

To the asylum.

0:48:110:48:13

-Might be best.

-Maybe.

0:48:130:48:16

But Wesley insists she stay here.

0:48:160:48:18

-But he hasn't the right.

-Oh, he hasn't any legal right, if that's what you mean.

0:48:180:48:23

But he says that I'm responsible for Jessica's illness.

0:48:230:48:26

That I deliberately drove her insane.

0:48:260:48:28

-You couldn't have done that, Paul.

-I don't know.

0:48:280:48:33

I've gone over it and over it, and...I don't know.

0:48:330:48:36

I want you out of it. I want you to go back to Canada, Betsy.

0:49:230:49:26

-Why?

-Because of Jessica.

0:49:260:49:28

Because of myself.

0:49:280:49:29

Because I don't want you to be made miserable and unhappy.

0:49:290:49:32

-But I want to stay.

-I'm afraid it's not what you want.

0:49:320:49:35

I want you back in Canada.

0:49:350:49:38

-As my employer, you have the right to dismiss me...

-Don't, Betsy. You know that isn't what I mean.

0:49:380:49:43

You remember the first night I saw you? You were looking at the sea.

0:49:430:49:48

You were enchanted. And I felt I had to destroy that enchantment, make you see ugliness and cruelty.

0:49:480:49:54

-You were trying to warn me.

-No. I was trying to hurt you.

0:49:540:49:58

It was the same way with Jessica.

0:49:580:50:00

I had to hurt her. Everything she did or said made me lash out at her.

0:50:000:50:04

That's why I want you to go. You see, Betsy...

0:50:040:50:08

Since you've been here, I've seen how fine and sweet things can be

0:50:100:50:15

between a man and a woman. How love can be calm and good.

0:50:150:50:18

I'd rather not have that sort of love than have it and destroy it.

0:50:180:50:23

You want me to leave?

0:50:230:50:25

That's why I want you to go.

0:50:250:50:27

It's no good for you to stay so long as I have this fear of myself.

0:50:270:50:31

CROAKING

0:52:200:52:22

SCREECHING

0:52:240:52:27

Paul! Paul!

0:52:530:52:55

What are you doing here?

0:53:010:53:04

Get out of here.

0:53:070:53:09

Carre-Four!

0:53:140:53:17

Carre-Four, go back.

0:53:190:53:21

Paul...

0:53:270:53:29

Let him go. Don't touch him. Don't try to stop him.

0:53:290:53:32

I can send this off by the next boat.

0:53:510:53:53

If you have any letters, you'd better get them ready, Betsy, to go with this parcel.

0:53:530:53:57

-Any news I have can wait till I get home.

-Be pretty stale by that time.

0:53:570:54:01

Perhaps not, Mother. Betsy is leaving us.

0:54:010:54:05

Why, Betsy,

0:54:050:54:07

we can't lose you!

0:54:070:54:08

We've grown to depend on you. I have, and I know Paul has.

0:54:080:54:12

Mother, Betsy has her reasons.

0:54:120:54:15

I hope you won't feel I'm deserting you or think badly of me.

0:54:150:54:19

Think badly of you, Betsy?!

0:54:190:54:21

-Dr Maxwell has some unpleasant news for us.

-An accident at the mill?

0:54:230:54:28

No, it's about Jessica. A result of our discussion the other day, I'm afraid.

0:54:280:54:33

-What about her?

-Well, in view of all the circumstances, some of the things Wesley's been saying,

0:54:330:54:37

and the fact that one of the voodoo people got into your house last night,

0:54:370:54:42

-the Commissioner's decided on a legal investigation.

-So I'm on trial.

-I wouldn't put it that way, but...

0:54:420:54:47

-there's been a lot of talk. The whole thing's getting out of hand.

-A pretty scene.

0:54:470:54:52

-Half the island crowding into the courtroom to watch your dirty linen get scrubbed.

-Let's talk this over.

0:54:520:54:57

Talk it over?! Tell them that you're not responsible. That this doesn't rest squarely on your shoulders.

0:54:570:55:03

If you'll be good enough to take me to the Commissioner, Doctor,

0:55:030:55:07

I think there'll be no need of an investigation.

0:55:070:55:09

But why, Mrs Rand?

0:55:090:55:12

-What could you have to tell him?

-Jessica is not insane.

0:55:120:55:15

-Please, take me to the Commissioner. I can explain the whole thing to him.

-Mother, what are you saying?

0:55:150:55:20

She is dead.

0:55:200:55:23

Now, Mrs Rand...

0:55:230:55:25

She IS dead.

0:55:250:55:27

-Living and dead.

-Mrs Rand, you're not seriously trying to tell me that my patient is a zombie?

0:55:270:55:33

I'm not mad.

0:55:330:55:34

It's true.

0:55:340:55:36

-I

-did it.

-Mother...

0:55:360:55:39

Wesley, let me explain. I wanted to so often.

0:55:390:55:43

Now, I have to. Betsy, tell them about the Houmfort.

0:55:430:55:48

Tell them what you saw there.

0:55:480:55:51

You must, Betsy. They'll have to believe you.

0:55:510:55:55

Well, Mrs Rand was at the Houmfort. But there's nothing wrong with that.

0:55:550:55:58

-She's gone there for years, trying to take care of those people. To help them.

-I think I understand.

0:55:580:56:03

-I've talked a little voodoo to get medicine down a patient's throat.

-But it was more than that, Doctor.

0:56:030:56:09

I entered into their ceremonies.

0:56:090:56:12

I pretended I was possessed by their gods.

0:56:120:56:14

But what I did to Jessica...

0:56:140:56:17

was when she wanted to go away with Wesley.

0:56:170:56:21

That night, I went to the Houmfort.

0:56:210:56:24

I kept seeing her face, smiling because she was beautiful enough to take my family and tear it apart.

0:56:240:56:30

Drums, the chanting,

0:56:300:56:33

the lights. I heard a voice speaking in the sudden silence.

0:56:330:56:38

My voice.

0:56:380:56:41

I was speaking to the Houngan.

0:56:410:56:44

I was possessed. I told him the woman at Fort Holland was evil and asked him to make her a zombie.

0:56:440:56:51

Then what happened?

0:56:510:56:53

I hated myself. On the way home, I said over and over again,

0:56:530:56:58

there are no such people,

0:56:580:57:00

no strange drugs,

0:57:000:57:02

there's no such thing as a zombie.

0:57:020:57:06

-You were right.

-I said it, and I made myself believe it.

0:57:060:57:09

But when I got here, Jessica was raging with fever.

0:57:090:57:13

She was raging with fever. A fever with a long Latin name.

0:57:130:57:17

And a bad reputation for its after-effects.

0:57:170:57:20

-Usually some form of insanity.

-Dr Maxwell is right, mother.

0:57:200:57:24

-You were tricked by your own imagination, Mrs Rand.

-But I am not an imaginative or fanciful woman.

0:57:240:57:29

As I understand it, in order to turn a person into a zombie, whether by poison or...

0:57:290:57:34

hocus-pocus, you must first kill that person.

0:57:340:57:38

-Is that right?

-Yes.

-She was feverish. She was delirious.

0:57:380:57:43

But I don't remember her dying.

0:57:430:57:46

Or even being in a state resembling death. No coma. Nothing.

0:57:460:57:52

I'm afraid you are an imaginative woman, Mrs Rand.

0:57:540:57:57

Of course.

0:57:590:58:01

Of course.

0:58:030:58:05

DRUMS POUND

0:58:170:58:20

Jessica?

0:58:320:58:34

Jessica?

0:58:360:58:38

Jessica? She won't obey me.

0:58:400:58:42

Jessica!

0:58:420:58:44

It's the Houmfort. They're trying to get her back.

0:58:550:58:59

But how can they? How could they make her understand? How would she know?

0:58:590:59:03

They know how. They have charms that can draw a man halfway around the world. Opiate tricks, magic.

0:59:030:59:10

-Everybody knows that.

-We may have believed all that when we were boys, Wes, but we're grown men now.

0:59:100:59:16

-We know it's all nonsense.

-Do we?

-Yes.

-You've forgotten...

-I've not forgotten.

0:59:160:59:21

I could see what was in your mind when Maxwell was talking.

0:59:210:59:24

Just because he didn't know about Jessica's coma, you thought everything he said was wrong.

0:59:240:59:28

-And that mother's story was right. But that's ridiculous.

-It is true.

0:59:280:59:32

Why did she come out here?

0:59:320:59:34

How can they make her move, do anything they want?

0:59:340:59:37

-They can make anybody do what they want.

-You're thinking as they want you to think. That's what it's for.

0:59:370:59:43

-Conches, their cheap mummery.

-Let me in.

0:59:430:59:46

Come with me, Jessica.

0:59:460:59:48

You saw that.

0:59:480:59:51

I saw nothing that would convince a sober man.

0:59:510:59:54

You better get some sleep, Wes.

0:59:540:59:57

Why don't you go to bed, Wes? It's been a hard day for all of us.

1:00:141:00:18

I'm sorry, Wes.

1:00:231:00:25

I think I know how you must feel.

1:00:251:00:27

And I am sorry. I only wish there was something I could do.

1:00:271:00:32

She ought to be free.

1:00:321:00:35

You could free her, Betsy.

1:00:381:00:40

You could do it. You're a nurse. You have the drugs.

1:00:401:00:43

It'd be so quick.

1:00:431:00:44

Her heart beats.

1:00:441:00:47

She breathes. That's life, Wes.

1:00:471:00:49

I once took an oath to guard life.

1:00:491:00:53

I shouldn't have asked it of you. But it was only because I can't make you believe that she's already dead.

1:00:541:00:59

Wait a minute.

1:00:591:01:01

There's one other thing.

1:01:011:01:03

You love Paul.

1:01:031:01:05

Then, what good will it ever do you if Jessica's still a...

1:01:051:01:10

Wesley.

1:01:101:01:11

I'm afraid I love him too much for that.

1:01:111:01:15

I'm sorry.

1:01:151:01:17

DRUMS POUND

1:01:271:01:31

DRUMS STOP

1:02:461:02:48

MEN CHANT "Walee Nan Guinan"

1:04:231:04:26

O Lord God most holy,

1:04:381:04:42

deliver them from the bitter pains of eternal death.

1:04:421:04:45

The woman was a wicked woman, and she was dead in her own life.

1:04:451:04:50

Yea Lord, dead in the selfishness of her spirit,

1:04:501:04:54

and the man followed her.

1:04:541:04:57

Her steps led him down to evil, her feet took hold on death.

1:04:571:05:02

Forgive him, O Lord, who knowest the secrets of all hearts.

1:05:021:05:07

Yea Lord, pity them who are dead...

1:05:071:05:11

And give peace and happiness to the living.

1:05:111:05:14

E-mail subtitling@bbc.co.uk

1:05:241:05:27

A Canadian nurse, Betsy, arrives on a Caribbean island to tend an invalid woman who appears to suffer from an unexplained paralysis. The horrific truth soon emerges, however, amid the haunting rhythms of the voodoo drums.