Crow Hollow (1952) - full transcript

A story of a newly-wed wife of a young doctor who goes to live with him in an oppressive old house where various mysterious attempts are made on her life.

music playing

Kass! Kass!...Kass!

Ummm...what is it?

Anne, what on earth's the matter?

He has Kass, he has

Has he indeed, why it's no more than you deserve going out with strange men.

Don't be so low. He's asked me to marry him.

Marry him? You don't know a thing about him.

You've only met him for five minutes.

I know all about him.

He's a doctor and he comes from a place called Finchen

and he's got three aunts and..


And I know he's the only man in the world for me.

When's the wedding?


Are you mad!


We couldn't make it wednesday because

they have to have twenty four hours notice.

Well, thank goodness for that!

How many aunts did you say?

Three. They never come up to London

so I wondered if we could have the reception here

No one I'd want except you and alec.

I'd feel happier here.

There it is then.

Bless you darling.

Be happy.

And congratulations.


Speech! Come on..


Well, uh...

Thank you

Thank you very much.

Having only known Anne for a week

I really haven't had time to

prepare a speech

but uh..

Well thank you very much.

Well now. Very good.

Are you going to find a house, or are you moving in on the family mansion?

No, we're going to live at Crow Hollow

there's plenty of room and the aunts would never forgive us if we didn't

Crow Hollow, sounds like a quotation

'crow hollow and unleash the dogs of war'

Ha ha, no it's not so queer.

It's built in a hollow and

there used to be hundreds of crows

Not any more?

No, they suddenly disappeared about

fifty years ago.

Everybody was very pleased.

They were supposed to bring ill luck to the house.

You country doctors certainly move fast

I suppose you're emulating Solomon Grundy

born on Monday. Christened on Tuesday. Met on Wednesday.

Married on Thursday.

Honeymoon on Friday.

Busmans honeymoon at that, he's got to go

have a look at a patient.

She's a very old friend of the family.

She insists on meeting the new bride.

Couldn't you wait?

Well, she may not have another opportunity.

Only a ten percent chance.

There is a pronounced aortic murmur

and the surgical shock is bound to be considerable.

Blood count?


Would it be alright if my wife were to see her?

Don't let her talk too much.

How do you do, My dear?

I'm sorry to disturb you.

I asked Robert to tell you to come alone

so that I could talk to you.

I wanted to see what sort of girl he suddenly decided to marry.

You think I'll do?

I think you should be just what he needs.

Poor Robert...

I love him a great deal, my dear.

Why do you say 'poor Robert'?

Did I say that?

He's been very much alone.

He's an orphan you know.

So am I.

Are you, my dear?

It hasn't hurt you. I can see that.

You've had someone to love you and take care of you.

That's true. Daddy only died two years ago.

Poor Robert...

He's been alone ever since he was a child.

There was his grandfather and his three aunts to look after him.

Yes! Yes!

Three of them in that old house.

Don't let him take you to Crow Hollow.

It's no good to either of you.

You must go now.

There's something important she has to tell me.

Please go.


Will you come please?

I'm sorry darling.

I shouldn't have brought you.

Bob, she said....



Welcome home, darling.

Oh, Bob, it's lovely!

Hi, Aunt Judith!

She's a bit short sighted.

Back again Robert?

Hello, Aunt Judith.

What a surprise you gave us all.

How do you do Aunt Judith?

How do you do, my dear?

I hope you'll be very happy at Crow Hollow.

Now, you must excuse me for I'm very excited.

You see, I'm a naturalist.

I've just received a rare specimen from Australia.

A spider.

Such a beautiful creature.

A body like bronze velvet and fully three inches long.

How very interesting.

You must see my laboratory.

Come anytime. I'll show you my specimen.

You made a good impression.

What nonsense. She was much more interested in her spiders.

Ha ha..


Aunt Esther!

Aunt Opal!



You're here and I never heard you.

There was no one to welcome you.

Aunt Opal, this is Anne.

Robert, she's lovely!

Of course, we expected Robert to have good taste, but he's shown such little interest in women we weren't quite

sure what his taste would be.

Must have been quite a shock for you to hear he was married.

Not a shock dear, just a rather large surprise.

Knowing Robert.

Well, now you'd like to see your room.

Come this way.

Esther's gone visiting with some of her soup. She should be back

at any time.

She's quite famous for her soup, Anne. She works out all the ingredients herself

It's quite wonderful, really.

But you'll be sampling it yourself.

But Anne isn't going to be ill Aunt Opal.

No dear, of course not.

He means that Esther only makes her soup for sick people.

But I'm sure she'd be delighted to make some for you.

Aunt Judith seems to be taken up with her new spider.

Oh, those horrid spiders. How I hate them, and now

poisonous ones.

They'll bite us all in our beds.

That's what I told Judith.

But I believe she'd like us to be bitten.

Honestly, Robert she's my own sister

but I don't understand her

Sometimes I think she must be a changeling.

Do you like spiders?

Well, they're not my favorite insects.

Well there it is, we all have our own peculiarities.

But I can understand Esther's soup better than Judith's horrible specimens.

I've shifted you into the chinese room, Robert.

There is more space than in your old room.

Anyway, the chinese room is the best bedroom.

It's where our dear mother died.

Quite forty years ago.

Do you like it darling?

The room? Yes, of course.

Well I'm so glad.

We were up to all hours getting it ready for you.

Well, now I'll leave you to freshen up.

Tea will be ready in a few minutes.

Oh yes, a message from Doctor Herbert.

Something about Able Jackson's peculiar symptoms.

Well, I'd better go down.

Well, if you must be so conscientious.

Well, we'll look after Anne, and I'll show her the house.

There's so much to tell her. Such an old place.

Such a lot of things happening under it's roof.

Must you go?

Well, I ought to.

Why are you very conscientious, doctor?

Well, I try to be.

More than you're a conscientious husband?

Saved by the bell. (Bell Ringing)

I believe the crows are coming back.

I saw a few of them there yesterday and there is another there now.

Nonsense, Esther. Crows haven't nested there for twenty years.

That's still no reason why they shouldn't come back.

We could catch one of them.

They'd be too quick for you.

Why do you always have to kill everything Judith?

I don't have to kill anything. It's just that it makes it easier to study.

Ah, the new bride.

I'm Esther, as I expect you guessed.

How do you do Aunt Esther?

My word, you don't carry much flesh on your bones.

We'll feed you up here. Now, how do you like your tea?

Milk, no sugar please.

How shall I find my patients Aunt Esther?

How many have you killed off by persuading them to go off their diets?

Instead of diets you should give them a course of good meals

and you'd have no patients left. They'd all be cured.

I don't hold with diets. Starvation.

Nonsense. Free them I'd say. Don't you agree with me, Anne?

Well, it would depend on the illness.

Exactly, that's what I'd say.

You can do some parish work with me.

Room for two.

Does more good than fussing over dirty minded insects or

the house.

Insects aren't dirty minded. That's the last thing one could say of them.

What about the female spider that consumes her husband if it gets half a chance?

Enough spiders please. We've had quite enough of them today with Judith

and her new specimen.

Dear, your tea.

Esther talks so much about the benefit of food but she doesn't give Anne a chance to eat any of it.

It doesn't matter, I'm really not hungry.

Robert, pass Anne the tomato sandwiches.

I hope you'll like it here Anne.

Oh, I'm sure I shall.

I hope you remembered to bring Willow a present.


Ah, of course.

Where is she, by the way?

She's gone to the cinema.

You spoil that child disgracefully.

We all do I'd say.

Who's this Willow?

She's the Aunts little ray of sunshine.

Now Robert drink your tea and get on your call.

In a moment, I'm going to show Anne the house.

This was Robert's room ever since he was quite tiny.

Couldn't we be in here. I'd love it.

Oh no, dear, you and Robert must have the best bedroom.

Now... Who is that?

It's Margarite.


Robert's Mother.

Oh, yes. I can see now.

She was lovely.

I think if I may, I'll hang it in our room.

But it wouldn't look anything against the chinese wallpaper.

No, I suppose not.

We thought of keeping this room just as it is for Robert's child.

When he has one.

Now, come with me dear. There's something else I want to show you.

This room is different.

I wonder if you will like it?

Oh, It's lovely.

Who's is it?



But who is Willow?

Willow is our sort of companion.

But, we always treat her more like one of the family.

Was an awfully short honeymoon

Wasn't it?

Solomon Grundy...

Try to be happy.

I'll always be happy where you are, Bob.

I know that.

What's the matter darling?

You seem almost as if you were afraid of happiness.

I just can't believe it.

You know the story of the children who found the gold

and it all turned to leaves

But I won't Bob.

I hope I won't

-Knocking at the door-

-more light knocking at the door-

Come in!

Good morning.

You must be Willow.


Do you take sugar in your coffee?

No, thank you.

I'm so glad to meet you, Willow.

Robert told me all about you.

I do believe he's brought you a present.

I wonder where he put it?

He's already given it to me.

Pretty isn't it?

Yes, that looks very nice on you.

Thank you, miss.

Did you enjoy the picture you saw last night?

Yes, miss.

What is it? You like my night dress?

It's beautiful.

You like clothes, do you?

I love them.

Then you can have a look in my wardrobe if you like.

I didn't have time to buy much. But the suit I got married in is there

and one or two other things.

Is that considered smart in London, miss?

It was made by a very good dressmaker.

It was expensive.

Oh, I see.

Next time I go shopping, I'll buy something you'll really approve of.

Yes, miss.

Will that be all, miss?

Yes, thank you, Willow.

-Crow sounds-

Good morning!

You've come to see my specimens?

Just take a look 'round.

Esther and Opal think they should be destroyed.

But, I find them full of interest.

This one is an elephant hawk moth. Dexter caught it for me.

He catches a great many of my specimens.

I give him a penny, a tuppence, or thruppece, if the specimen is good enough.

How much is that one worth? Thruppence.

It's not seen much in these parts.

Are you going to like Crow Hollow?

I'm sure I shall.

I think the house is charming.

And the inhabitants?

I could ask you if you like me?

Before you came we had a discussion as to whether you would be better looking than Willow.

Tell, me why does she call me miss and wear a cap and apron if she is a companion?

Companion? Fiddlesticks. It's Opal. She's positively silly about the girl.

Oh, and what about the famous spider?

Aren't I going to be allowed to look at it?

Of course, I didn't know you'd be interested.

A naturalist correspondent of mine in Australia sent her to me.

He didn't know whether she would survive the trip.

It's virtually indestructible.

You don't like her.

I'm afraid I don't like any spiders.

Thank you for showing me.

Come back if you want to.

-Crows are at it again-

Oh, good morning, Mister Dexter.

Good morning, Ma'am. It's good to see you here.

Thank you, it's good to be here.

I always said the young master would pick a good'un.

And pick for himself, too.

And there we are. Rare pleased.

That's really nice of you.

Don't you let tho' three bully you.


They will if they can. Why should they?

That's a maybe. But you stand up to them dearie.

There's nothing like stricknine.

I've just been baiting the garden.

Carrots. They can't resist them.

Rabbits. Terrible plague they are.

You ought to be careful with that stuff, Miss Esther.

It's the rabbits that ought to be careful.

I always mark my carrots with white tape.

I suppose it ought to be black.

It doesn't do to interfere with nature.

Well, what are you doing with yourself this morning my dear.

Oh, I don't know. I suppose, I'm waiting for Robert to come home.

Don't do that. He might not be back until evening.

It's a day and night job and you'll have to get used to it.

You'd better come with me. I'm going down to the village to deliver some soup.

Run up and get you a coat. It will be chilly in the trap.

Thank you, I will.

Take it off!

Aren't you going to apologize?

I'm sorry, but you said I could look at your things.

I didn't say you could try them on and you know that perfectly well.

Are you telling me the truth miss when you say that thing is considered smart?

Seems kind of plain to me.

I shall have to tell miss Opal about this. Do you understand?

Anne, are you ready?

Oh, do go away.

Yes, miss.

You shouldn't come straight in here.

I'm Mrs. Arnold. I'm so sorry....

Oh, hello darling.

Why didn't you let me know you were coming?

Because, I didn't know. Aunt Esther never gives one more than half a minute.

How long is she staying? Oh, I don't know.

I've come to have lunch with you.

You'll have to let me finish examining my patient first.

Oh, nurse Baxter, this is my wife.

Anne, Nurse Baxter.

I'll be with you in a minute.

You don't eat like that at home.

There are too many people watching.

How many people? Well, there's Opal

wondering if I'm despising her good food.

Then there is Esther, thinking I ought to be fattened up on her soup.

Then there is Judith, examining me from time to time as if I was one of her specimens.

Not a particularly valuable one at that.

What nonsense. It isn't nonsense, Bob

It's absolutely true.

Just as it's true that I've hardly seen you since we've came here.

Do you mean, you are not happy at Crow Hollow?

Sorry, but it is such a useless existence there for me.

I'm not allowed to do anything.

I'm still being treated as a guest

As if they didn't expect me to stay there very long.

As if they wanted to show me that I didn't belong there.

But darling it's just your imagination.

I don't care if it is.

After all I am your wife.

I want to make a home for you.

I want to get you your meals and wait for you at nights.

Bob, couldn't we get a house in the village?

Couldn't we leave Crow Hollow?

I've been neglecting you.

I'll introduce you to people. Diana Wilson, you ought to meet her.

And then perhaps you can do some horse riding together.

You mean we're not going to leave Crow Hollow?

But, you're not really unhappy there.

I tell you what. Next week is the golf club dance.

You'll meet everybody.

And we'll buy you a new dress.

I don't want a new dress.

oh, darling...

I'm sorry. But I mean if we are going to our first dance together

I'd rather go in the one I wore the night we got engaged.


I hope you don't catch cold with that bare top.

-knock at the door-

Just like butterfly wings.

And a new butterfly was caught for me. A yellow and black swallow tail.

I think you'd like it Anne.

Gardinias. Isn't that romantic?

Dear Robert. So thoughtful of him.

We have plenty of flowers. Robert could have saved his money.

Shall I put them in water?

No thank you. I'll leave them in the box.

Very well then. We'll take them up to your room.

Oh yes, Willow wanted to ask whether she might arrange your hair.

She's too shy to ask you herself

Silly child, but she's very clever at hair dressing.

Why of course she can do my hair.

That's splendid then.

Well, now you must go and rest.

It'll never do for you to be tired tonight. Would it?

You might try the gardinias in your hair.

Yes, perhaps I will as long as I don't look too spanish.

Oh no, I don't think so miss.

Do you go to dances Willow?

Sometimes, miss/

Where, in the village?


But you'd like to go to London.

Maybe I would.

Why don;t you then?

You could get a job there.

I don't really want you to go, but you have to think of your future.

I do think of it, miss.

And yet you're content to stay at Crow Hollow?

All I can think is you must have an interest here.

Someone in the village.

That's wonderful, Willow. Now, I'll try the Gardinias.


Get this off me! Get Robert!

Miss Opal! Mister Robert!

Mrs. Anne. Quickly!

Get it off quickly before it bites me.

Darling, what's wrong.

The poisonous spider.

It came out of the box and ran down her back.

She thinks it is still on her.

Stand still.

Don't move.

Look out!

My spider. It can't be.

It's safely in its box

Poor Anne, she's had such a fright.

Aunt Judith, come here.

How can it be?

That's what I'd like to know.

Where was it?

In the flowers?

The box had a lid.

Yes, the box had a lid.

Judith, stop fussing over the horrid thing.

Thank heavens it's dead.

It was my most valuable specimen.

How could it have got here?

Obviously the brute escaped and found it's way up here.

Mercifully, no one has been bitten.

Anne might have been bitten.

She's had a terrible fright.

But how did the spider get out?

That box can't open by itself.

Someone must have let it out.

Now, who would let it out?

Who'd go near it except you?

I didn't let it out.

I didn't plan to kill anybody.

Kill anybody. Oh, Judith what a shocking thing to suggest.

That's what could've happened.

Anne needs a good brandy

Go down and get a bottle from the sideboard Willow.

Willow needs some too. She looks quite white.

I think we could all do with a nip.

Lets go downstairs

Anne, get on your dress and come down.

Don't touch me!

Willow isn't going to hurt you. Pull yourself together.

It wasn't an accident. It couldn't have been.

She might have pinned the flowers on me and I might have been bitten.

Would you all go, please.

We'll be down presently.

Anne will be alright in a moment.

It wasn't an accident.

Darling, what else could it have been?

Someone put the spider there.

It may have been meant just to frighten me.

What possible reason do you have for thinking that?

No reason. Just intuition.

They don't want me here.

Always known.

Your hysterical now. You don't know what your saying.

You think it was an accident too, don't you?

Because it couldn't have been conceivably any thing else.

You must believe that.

Who would be fooling around with a deadly poisonous spider for a joke?

Alright, Bob.

The jokes on the spider.

Now put your dress on now.

Do we have to go to the dance?

After you've had some dinner you'll be alright.

But not that dress, Bob. I couldn't wear it now.

Give me the black one out of the wardrobe.

I don't feel like dancing.

You'll be alright in a couple of hours.

-music playing-

Robert. Hello, Diana.

Anne, this is Diana.

You've met her mother before.

At the hospital.

How do you do?

You stay here, Robert, I want to have a private chat with your wife.

Come on.

You women... Alright, but ten minutes.

No more.

Well, it was pretty sudden for both of us.

We just knew.

How lucky you are.

Mrs. Wilson?

Please, call me Diana.

Thank you.

Can you tell me why your mother warned me not to come to Crow Hollow?

Did she?

My mother loved to be melodramatic. Poor darling.

I can't think why she should say that.

Did she scare you?

Well, I was pretty nervous anyway.

Robert has so many aunts.

There is only one reason I can think of.

That's a pretty feeble one for someone with my mother's intellect.

Robert says she was wandering at night.

That might explain it.

You see she wasn't too pleased with Robert's aunts who had more or less stolen her maid.

Not Willow?


The beautiful Willow.

Not that I had much affection for her myself.

But mother had trained her from a little scrap of a thing.

She wasn't a bit pleased when the aunts bribed her to come to Crow Hollow.

Bribed her?

Mother said that they did.

That Willow was also to get all sorts of wonderful things.

Tell me, did she?

She certainly isn't treated like any ordinary maid.

She's more like the daughter of the house.

Incidentally, who are her parents?

Is she a local?

Well, she's got a family over in Dorchester.

It's a bit of a mystery about her.

I believe she was adopted.

Her mother came from a good family and managed to conceal her arrival.

Do you like her?

I really can't tell whether she's very simple or very deep.

Either way it's too much.

That's exactly how I feel about her.

Even though she's decorative alright.

Mother used to say the aunts had better watch out

or the next thing Robert would....

But he wasn't that sort.

Let's go back.

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your evening.

Well, I'm sorry I'm such a bore.

Darling, you couldn't be a bore if you tried.

I seemed to have bored someone enough at Crow Hollow to want them to kill me.

Darling, it was an accident.

You mustn't let your imagination run away with you.

Why won't you understand?

I do understand.

You've had a dreadful experience

I know that.

No, not about the spider.

Alright, It was an accident if you like and no one is trying to get rid of me.

But I still don't want to go on living at Crow Hollow.

Darling, we've done all this before.

I don't want to be unreasonable.

I'm not asking you to send your aunts away. Although as you wife, I think that I should have the right to.

All I'm asking for is a home of my own.

But Crow Hollow is my home.

It's right that I should bring you here as mistress of it.


When I can't plan a menu, change a picture, or even don one of your socks?

I think they might let you don a sock occasionally.

It's not a joke!

I know it's not.

But you see, I can't leave Crow Hollow.

Grandfather left it to me on condition that I should provide a home for his three daughters.

He was devote to them and very worried about their futures.

Before he died, I promised that as long as they lived I would provide a home for them here.

I must do as he wanted.

Can't you see that?

Anne, won't you help me?

If it means so much to you. Of course, my darling.

I'll try to be happy here.

I'll really try.

-crows cawing-


Tea's ready, miss.

What about margarite?

Threw away the soup that I made for her father when he was too weak to stop her.

Do you know them? I didn't think you'd met them.

I don't think I had. I thought....

I shouldn't go out of my way to meet them if I were you.

What did you think? I thought you were talking about Margarite. We were.

Robert's mother?

What ever made you think of her?

We don't talk about Margaritte anymore.

No, of course not.

It was silly of me but I've been thinking of her lately.

How do you think about someone you've never known?

It's a kind of fellow feeling.

She was a stranger here too.

You mustn't think of yourself as a stranger here, Anne.

Did she like Crow Hollow?

No she didn't. She wasn't one of us, you see.

But Aunt Opal, I'm not one of you either.

My dear, you're Robert's wife.

But she was your brother's wife.

Half brother, Anne. A very different thing.

We had nothing in common at all.

I'm sorry to say that Robert's father was not entirely a satisfactory character.

So of course, we didn't feel bound to take to his wife.

Poor Margaritte...

Tomorrows my night to go to Dorchester. Is that alright? Yes.

You know Anne, once a month Willow goes to spend the night at her parents.

She returns the following night. Robert always has driven her to the station.

and met her again. Do you think he'll be able to tomorrow?

Of course, unless someones having a baby or something like that.

Well, then that's alright then Willow. Thank you, ma'am.

Robert has always been so good to Willow. He looks upon her as a friend.

He's so sensitive. Robert never was a snob.

Then Willow is no ordinary servant. She walks like a cat.

Did you ever notice that rhythmic grace? She's such a sensuous creature.

Don't use those queer adjectives, Judith.

She's a very good looking girl. I'm sure I wouldn't know what we would do without her.

Is miss Judith in there?

Oh, it's you Dexter.

She has just finished tea.

It's a beauty isn't it?

Yes, it's very good.

For miss Judith is it?

Deadly poisonous.

Animals won't go near it.

Nor insects.

Only one thing will.


Earwigs, miss.

They don't mind.

Oh, I see.

Have they been at it? I told you, you've got to stand up to them.

But so far they've been very nice to me.

I don't see why they should want to bother me.

Excuse me, miss.

Come in to the kitchen.

Well, they weren't none too pleased him going and marrying a stranger.

Who would they have liked him to marry?

Someone from these parts, I reckon.

But you don't want to take no notice of them.

They weren't none too pleased when his father married, neither.

And she was as pretty a young maid as you could wish.

Did you know her?

'course, I did.

I lived here, man and boy, fifty seven years.

Did she live here in this same house with all three of them just like me?

Ah, she lived here.

And she died here.

Her grave is just yonder in the old graveyard.

That used to be part of the farm but they sold it.

1840 I believe it were.

Surely, you don't remember that?

Huh, my father told me.

What did she die of, Dexter?

Ah, that's a mystery, miss.

Nobody seemed to know.

They said it was some kind of fever that she picked up in foreign parts.

-Sounds of thunder-

Margaritte. Widow of Douglas Arnold.

Departed this life June 23, 1925.

In the 26th year of her life.

To her rightful home.

Hello, darling.

What happened to you?

I got wet.

Were you out in all that rain?

Should have taken shelter.

I can't have you laid up.


What did your mother die of?

Darling, that was 25 years ago. Why do you ask?

I want to know.

Well, it was a fever of some kind.

I think it was hereditary if that's what you are worried about.

Was she very unhappy?

But, darling, I don't know.

Why this sudden interest? Are you going to write a story about it?

Wait, just a minute, let me look at you.

You're shivering.

Oh, it's nothing.

A headache?

Not badly.

You sit down for a minute.

I'm perfectly alright.

I just got wet.

Open your mouth.

I'll tell you in half a second whether you are alright or not.

By the look of you, I'd say you've had a chill.

You been out walking?

Umm.. No, don't speak.

Just nod your head.

Where did you go?

The river?

Friars woods?


What do you want, Willow?

Miss Opal asked me to see if Mister Robert has come home.

Well, you can see that he has can't you?

Just a minute, Willow. Get me a bottle of hot water and light a fire in our bedroom.

Are you ill?... Quickly!..

Off you go.

Of course I'm not ill. I just got wet.

You have a temperature so you're off to bed.

I don't want to. Doctors orders.

But I.... If you resist, I'll carry you.

I'm not so sure I shouldn't carry you anyway.

-tense music-

What is it, dear? Do you want something?

Nothing, Aunt Opal.

I wondered if Robert were hear.

He had to go out. He got word that that pneumonia case has gotten worse.

He said that he might be some time but you were not to worry.

Are you feeling a little better, dear? I thought I was.

Oh, I know what the trouble is exactly.

You need something to eat.

You must be quite starved.

Esther was just making some soup.

I'll just pop down and see if it's ready.

I was just on my way up. It must have been telepathy.

Invalid feeling a little better, eh?

Now, just sit up a little.

There, that's better.

Now, I shall put this here.

And mind you eat up the soup.

Every drop.

Thank you, Aunt Esther.

Looks delicious. It is delicious.

There are eight different vegetables in it.

I've experimented a great deal with different blends to get just the right flavor.

Isn't it a little bitter?


Nonsense. It's a very bland soup.

I expect your pallet is a bit off.

I expect so.

Well, I'll leave it to you at your leisure.

I'll come back later.



Bob..(in a breathless whisper)

The toadstool.


The soup.

They poisoned it.

They want to kill me.

Don't let them, Bob.

-tense music-

We can live at Crow Hollow. There used to be hundreds of crows there.

They were supposed to bring ill luck to the house.

Don't let him take you to Crow Hollow.

It's no good for either of you.

Why do you always have to kill things, Judith?

It's Margaritte. Robert's mother.


Get it off me! Get Robert!

Her rightful home.

Her rightful home.

Mind you eat that soup up. Every drop.

Bitter? Nonsense.

It's a very bland soup.


Am I better?

Much better.

Do you feel any pain?

Not exactly.

I don't feel so good.

You will for a few days.

A few days?

And it's my fault.

I should have realized that chill was just the start.

You couldn't know, Bob.

Why not?

You couldn't know I was going to be poisoned.

oh, darling.

It was the soup...

Down. You mustn't talk anymore.

I'm going to warm you something up and after that you can have some sleep.

It was the soup.

Ok, darling, It was the soup.

But you mustn't worry about it now.

We'll talk about that when you're stronger.

Who it it? Willow?

Yes, miss.

You're like a snake. A very pretty snake.

Have you lost something, miss?

No, not lost, mislaid.

My toadstool. I know I had it in the drawing room and then I came in here and I can't remember

if I brought it with me.

Was it a spotted one?

Yes, have you seen it?

I thought I noticed it on the dresser yesterday.

But it's not there now.

Perhaps it's fallen down.

No, it's not here.

This is one of Esther's isn't it?

That's right, miss.

Dangerous thing to be lying about isn't it?

You never know what it might get into.

-Crows cawing-

Feeling better I see. You seem to be coming on nicely now.

Did my husband find out about the soup, miss?

Well, you see the trouble was that it was made in a little dish

and it had been washed when the doctor came home.

Then there's no proof? I should think not.

Your aunt is pretty indignant too that suspicion is laid on her soup.

Do you think I was poisoned, miss?

Well, now, if you were.

Being sick like that so quickly would save you from any serious consequenses.

No, the doctor said it was most likely the result of your chill.

I keep hearing a noise outside. A harsh sort of noise.

Oh, that's those crows.

Had a lot of them about today since the rain.

This place used to be infested with crows.

It was before my time, though.

It almost looks as if they were coming back.

Good evening. Good evening, miss.

And how's our patient doing?

Coming along splendidly.

I expect you would like a rest?

Thank you doctor, I'll be in the kitchen.

Had a busy day, darling?

Pretty busy.

How's the pneumonia case?

Oh, he'll pull through.

I'm glad.

Thank you for sending nurse Baxter.

I thought you needed a nurse. I thought it would be better to have someone you knew.

You feeling more comfortable now?

I'm feeling fine.

How long can nurse Baxter stay?

A few days. You'll be up and about by then.

Bob, that soup...

Darling, there is absolutely no proof of that soup.

I know there's no proof

that's all part of the cleverness, only you refuse to see it.

Someday you'll know I was right.

If it's not too late.

Stop worrying.

It's bad for you.

As long as nurse Baxter cooks my meals.

Well, it's alright then.

How many crows are there in the elms now?

Oh, I don't know. Quite a lot.

It's extraordinary the way they've come back.

Lying here listening to them, I think I'll go mad.

Darling, It's not as bad as that.

It's not the noise they make.

It's what they mean.

Now you're just being plain superstitious.

I keep thinking about your mother.

What made her die?

Nothing remotely connected with whats wrong with you.

Bob, I promise not to worry you anymore.

Couldn't we go away from here?

There is something about this house. And now, the crows have come back.

You concentrate on getting well.

We'll talk about it then.

But we won't.

We'll always evade it.

You'll never leave Crow Hollow will you?

Come in!

I'm going away, Willow.

For long, miss?

Quite a time, I think.

I've decided to tell you because I want you to do one small favor for me.

Yes, miss?

When no one is about, telephone Jerry Higgins to wait at the gate at half past five.

A train goes at six so that should be plenty of time.

So you're not telling them you're going?

Not at the moment.

I don't want a fuss.

They do fuss don't they?

They've all been very kind to me.

I feel I want to get away for a bit.

I like the other dress best.

The one you wore the night you got the spider on you.

Do you, Willow?

If it's any use to you, you can have it.

Can I really?

Oh, thank you.

What's that?

It's a cocktail hat.

Quite useless, really.

It's pretty.

I think you're very wise, miss.


To go away.

Funny things happen in this house don't they?

What kind of things do you mean?

You ought to know, miss.

Do you know anything about them, Willow?


But I think you're very wise.

Well, I'll telephone now.

Wouldn't do to miss your train would it?

....Two Three, please.

Yes, that's right.

It's alright, miss. The coast is clear now if you want to step out.

Miss Opal's lying down, Miss Esther's in the greenhouse, and

Miss Judith's in the laboratory.

Thank you, Willow.

You've done very well.

-Crows cawing-

Anne, are you alright?

Here, come and sit down for a while.

You're in no fit state to travel.

I think you'd better come back with me.

No, I must go. I must catch the train.

Nonsense. You can get the next one if it's so important.

Come on back to my place for a rest.

Look, I'll tell you all I know which isn't very much.

Which I think is fantastic.

You see, mother had this idea that since Roberts aunts were so insistent on getting Willow

that they hoped Robert would marry her.

I wonder why?

She's very lovely but hardly a good match for him.

Or even a particularly suitable wife for that matter.

Maybe, they weren't thinking so much of Robert.

Perhaps it had something to do with Willow's parentage.

Her mother might have been a great friend of theirs.

Or one of them.

One of the aunts as Willow's mother? Surely, not.

I'm only supposing.

But surely, her mother couldn't live with her in the same house and not treat her as a daughter?

But, you once said they did.

But, I mean openly.

I'm sure I couldn't.

This isn't London. You don't know how strong prejudices are in the country

against affairs of that kind.

Well, anyway, whether they had any matrimonial plans or not,

the important thing is that Robert obviously wasn't having any.

I suppose not.

You're the only woman he's ever really cared for.

You can take that from me.

Yes, I think that's true.

I'll just slip in quietly if I can and thank you for everything.

Take care of yourself.

Don't let these crows give you the willies.

They did at first but I'm getting used to them now.

Good luck.

-More Crow noises-

-tense music-


It was meant to be me.

When did you find her?

Just now when I came in.

I would say that death took place within the last half hour.

She had face cream on her hands as though she were making up.

Do the aunts know? One of the aunts must know.

I thought I would be late for dinner. I was so anxious to pick flowers.

I got a fine one this evening. A great big buck. There he was laid stretched out stiff with his nose still on the carrot...

Aunt Esther!

Willow! Willow! Willow!

Hello, Robert. Have you seen Willow?

Well, what's the matter?

I've got something to tell you.

Willow is in our bedroom.


With a knife in her back.

And had you perceived anything unusual between your husband and the deceased?

But I tell you it wasn't Willow that was meant to be killed. It was me.

Whoever did it mistook her for me. She was at my dresser, putting on my makeup, and wearing my dress.

With fair hair?

And as yours is dark.

They'd have to be extremely short sighted to mistake her hair for yours, I dare say.

Why should anyone want to kill Willow?

She was valued a great deal here and I wasn't.

That could be a reason too.

I don't understand what you mean.

Do you recognize this?

The deceased was wearing it.

Do you know where she got it?

Yes, my husband gave it to her.

Was your husband in the habit of giving her presents?

From time to time.

They all were.

She was always treated as a member of the family.

Do you know why?

It's hardly usual is it?

She wasn't a usual kind of maid.

I believe it was something to do with her parentage.

She was adopted wasn't she?

By a couple in Dorchester.

Do you know anything about them, sergeant?

There was a rumor that the father used to be a gardener up here.

In the old doctor's time.

Jed Dawson. I don't suppose you remember him, sir.


And mother?

I don't know, sir. That was kept very dark.

Mrs. Wilson said that the mother came from a good family.

But she might have been a friend of the aunts.

Well, we'll go into that.

Mrs. Wilson might know more about it, sir.

Dawson went to Mrs. Wilson's after he left Crow Hollow.

That will be all for now, Mrs. Arnold.

Anne, what a terrible thing. I heard from Jenkins.

I've come over to see if there is anything I can do to help.

That's very nice of you.

They wouldn't believe that Willow was killed and mistaken for me.

Is that what you think? She was in our room.

Wearing Anne's dress.

With her back to the door.

They said no one could mistake Willow's hair for mine.

How about bad light? No.

The sun was shining.

There must be an explanation. I know I'm right.

Darling, perhaps you could spend a few days with her...

Yes, won't you?

You look so terribly tired and you might sleep better away from here.

That's very kind of you but they said no one was to leave the house.

But, that doesn't apply to you darling.

Of course, it does.

I'm their principal suspect.

Nonsense, Darling.

They know who Willow's father is.

Who is it?

Jed Dawson I think they said.

I've never heard of him.

Do they think he did it?

I told you. They think I did it.

Of course, they don't.

Who is he? Dawson?

He was a gardener who worked here and left to go to your mother.

My mother?

I don't know anyone by that name.

That might have given them an entirely different reason for wanting Willow to come to Crow Hollow.

Oh Anne, that's not possible.

Would you come in a moment please, doctor?

Yes, of course.

By the way, sergeant, would it be alright if my wife went and stayed with Mrs. Wilson

she can come over again whenever you wanted.

Not yet, sir.

Sorry, but no one is leaving until we get this matter cleared up.

Unless of course, your profession calls for it.

Look here...

I'm sorry sir.

You can ask the inspector, but I know what he will say.

Did you say Jed Dawson was Willow's father.

That's what sergeant Jenkins says.

You remember that gardener father sacked?

He was a bad lot right enough.

I suppose father found out and trumped up that excuse of the plants

being stolen.

So that's where Willow got her looks.

He was a handsome thing.

Ah, he was a fine looking chap.

mashes of fair twirly hair.

He was proud of it. Wouldn't wear a cap rain or shine.

For fear of hiding his pretty hair.

A cap. So that's how Willow was mistaken for me.

I left a hat on my bed today. A silly extravagant thing.

Just the sort of thing that Willow would want to try on.

With her hair up it would have been completely hidden by the hat.

Don't you see?

Now are you convinced, inspector?

It's a possibility, certainly.

It's obvious can't you see?

Do you ever make a diagnosis without considering all the symptoms?


Neither do I without considering all the facts.

But you've got all the facts.

Some of them. The rest is supposition.

Meanwhile, my wife's life is in danger.

You think they will try again?

How on earth should I know?

The danger is there.

This is the third attempt.

We'll leave a man here. There's a spare room. I suggest Mrs. Wilson stay here.

She can keep an eye on Mrs. Arnold if he's called out on a case.

There's only Willow's room.

Would you mind, Diana?

No, of course not.

Thank you, I'd feel a lot happier.


-Crows cawing-


Who is it?

It's for Robert, dear. The telephone. Robert's wanted.

Who is it?

Mrs. Mathews dear. The baby you delivered yesterday.

Well, what's wrong with it?

Not the baby. The mother. She's running a high temperature.

Come in to the kitchen before you go and have a cup of coffee.

It's already made.

I'm just going down and I'll have it ready for you.

Bob, must you go?

I'll be as quick as I can.

You go into Diana's room and wait. Stay with her while I'm away.


I promise, but...

But what?

I don't know but I can't explain it.

Nothing to explain. You've had a disturbed night.

Yes. I suppose that's it.

I'll take you to Diana's room.

I'll be back as soon as I possibly can.

Go on into Diana's room and don't worry.

Sorry, Bob. I've got the jitters.

I guess it's the early morning.

What is it?

I've had a call out on a case. Can I leave Anne with you?

Yes, of course. Come on in, won't you.

I was awake anyway. The crows are enough to wake the dead.

I shan't be long.

So long, darling and don't worry.

Did you sleep?

On and off.

I was off until those birds started caterwalling.

The telephone!

What's the matter?

Did you hear it?


Now that you mention it. I didn't.

Who brought in the message?




It's a trick. The telephone didn't ring. You mustn't go.

A trick?

They want to get you out of here so that they can kill me.

What an extraordinary thing to say.

Is it true?

I'll find out, Robert. It was Judith who answered the telephone.

She called out to me that you were wanted urgently.

Perhaps I misunderstood. I'll go and ask her.

Let's pour Anne a cup of coffee. She looks frozen.

Drink yours Robert before it gets cold.

Bob, don't believe it. They want to kill me.

Sit down Anne and have some coffee.

We'll get to the bottom of this in a moment.

Silly child, who wants to kill you now?

Don't drink it!

Are you going to listen to a hysterical girl?

Certainly, I am.

Anne's intuitions are pretty sound.

I should have listened to her a long time ago.

Don't be such a fool Robert.

What do you think is in the coffee?

Toadstool poisoning? Judith....

You can't put this on Judith, Aunt Opal.

It was Judith's spider, and Esther's soup, but

it's your coffee.

Entirely yours.

Except that it has some of Esther's stricknine in it.

Why should you want to kill me?

Why shouldn't I?

Why should I let you live now that Willow's dead?

I always intended that it was you she should marry so that she could be mistress of Crow Hollow.

Not her.

Yes, I tried to kill her too so that you could be free again. Free to marry Willow.

Instead I killed my own daughter.

My daughter, Willow.

I think I shall have to call the police, Aunt Opal.

It's better like this.

Don't go back, darling.

What are you writing, darling?

Diana's coming for dinner tomorrow. I'm planning a menu.

What are you writing?

It's an application for a post to Middlesex.

Junior house surgeon.

You'd be glad to go wouldn't you?

Let me see.


I don't think grandfather would have approved do you?

Are you sure?

Quite sure?

Quite sure, darling.

-Dramatic music-