What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? (1969) - full transcript

As Aunt Alice, Ruth Gordon applies for the job of housekeeper in the Tucson, Arizona home of widow Claire Marrable in order to find out what happened to a missing widowed friend, Edna Tinsley. The crazed Page, left only a stamp album by her husband, takes money from her housekeepers, kills them, and buries the bodies in her garden. Alice is a widow too. So is neighbor Harriet Vaughn. Lots of widows here.

Your husband
was a wonderful man.

Death is very sad.


Mr. Bentley,
I'm very pleased to see you.

Thank you very much.

Will you have tea,
or would you prefer a drink?

I really haven't time.

It won't take
any time at all

if you have your refreshments
while we conduct our business.

Tea will be fine.

- I'll pour. Albert.
- Yes. Miss Marrable.

I ordered tea brewed because
I was expecting Mr. Honigger.

Avid tea drinker.

But I suppose
the reading of the will

is usually left
to the junior partner.

Will you have cream,
Mr. Bentley, or brandy?

Brandy lends
an elegance to tea.

Neither, thank you,
and no sugar.

The actual reading is
a formality we can dispense with,

and I can give you
the salient points.

After all, you're the only person
mentioned in the will.

Well, I shouldn't be surprised to find
that Joseph had left me everything.

After all, there's no one else
he could've possibly included.

Will you have
a piece of hazelnut cake?

No, no, thank you.

Of course. I'll depend on you
to fill me in

on the details
of Joseph's enterprises.

I suppose they're terribly involved.

Actually not that much.

To sum up, Mrs. Marrable,
your husband

was not as solvent
as you probably assume.

You must be referring to

that dilapidated
apartment house he bought.

Joseph mentioned that that
turned out to be an unprofitable venture.

Yes, he disposed of that
some time ago.

Oh, did he?

Well, he wasn't always able
to keep me up on all his ventures.

His oil holdings, though,
must be doing very well.

His oil holdings
are unexercised options.

They must have some value.

Well, Joseph invested
in so many companies.

They're so numerous. I can't even
remember all the names!

Mrs. Marrable,
there are no assets,

only liabilities.

Surely you know your husband
borrowed the money

to pay the surgeon
for the last two operations,

and the hospital bill
has yet to be settled.

You are overlooking
the insurance,

which amounted to 200,000
before he increased it!

He cashed out all his policies.

Well, certainly there's the house...

with the furniture
and the rugs.

How many of these pieces

have been in Joseph's family
for generations?

They don't belong to me either.

I'm afraid not.
I have the documents here.

Of course, Mr. Marrable bequeathed
his personal possessions to you,

including his watch,
his gold cufflinks,

his briefcase
with all its contents.

He lost his cufflinks!

The watch disappeared
between trips to the hospital!

But I have his rusty dagger...

his stamp album that he
hasn't looked at in years...

and his boyhood
butterfly collection.

All this is mine, is it, to keep?

Plus the shirt on my back.
I suppose!

What am I going to do?

You must have relatives.

No. I have a nephew in Arizona...
or is it New Mexico?...

but I haven't laid eyes on him
since he was a child.

I have no one.

I'm sorry, but I'll
need your signature on these...

Nothing, nothing...

Mr. Bentley, all I have left
is my personal savings account.

That ought to help.

To live on for the rest of my life?

It's something to keep you
going for a while.

It won't last any time at all,

and you know that,
and Joseph Marrable knew that.

How am I to live?

I'll need your signature.

What am I going to live on?

What shall I do?
What shall I do?

Your signature, Mrs. Marrable.

I'll take the flashlight.

Do we have to do it now?

Oh, yes. The soil's
too dry in the daytime.

and the hot sun
can burn the roots.

Pick that up, will you?

Miss Tinsley.

Miss Tinsley,
will you fetch the mail?

Here's that sample of tea
you sent for.

Want it for your lunch?

There'll be
plenty of time to taste it.

Just store it for the present,

without opening the lid.

Hindus have taken
great pains to teach us

that tea loses its aroma
unless properly sealed.

Oh, well.
That's flattering.

I have been invited to join
the museum building committee.

Lunch is almost ready.

I have to talk to Juan first.

Has he made
one of his usual blunders?

I'll never know
why you put up with him.

Miss Tinsley.

Oh, do remember to leave
ample room for the roots.

My gardening magazine says

it never hurts
to make the hole too deep.

I make it good.

But when they bring the tree?

Well, the nursery delivers
in the late afternoon,

but as you know,
I like to attend to it myself.

You have a very green thumb.


Your pine trees grow good.

Very good.

Don't spill it.

Obviously you haven't
the remotest idea

how much a bottle
of Grand Marnier is worth,

or you'd be more watchful
of every drop.

You've never tasted it,
have you?


I'm afraid
I don't care for liquor.

When referring to a cordial,
we use the French pronunciation...

liqueur, Miss Tinsley.

I shouldn't try to
teach you any more,

considering how little you've
absorbed under my tutelage.

Will you turn that off, please?

It's one of your favourites.

Is it indeed?

I believe we can
do without music this evening.

May I see
the financial page?

You may.

What do you expect
to find there?

Your stocks are unlisted, as they
were the day you placed your order.

But how are they doing?

Are they going up,
or are they going down?

How would I know?

Well, I thought your broker
would keep you advised.

He has more pressing business

than to render daily quotations
of your gigantic investment.

I know it doesn't
seem much to you,

but it represents my savings,
practically all of it.

It was at your request,
my dear Miss Tinsley,

that I handed your massive capital
over to my broker.

Well, yes. When you told me
your stock had doubled

and was still going up. I...

You wanted to hitch onto a star
without any awareness

of how treacherously
it can become a falling comet.


no more of this.

I'll call my broker in the morning

and instruct him to sell your
securities, at a loss if need be.

Oh, no.
I can't afford that.

No, I don't want to sell now.

Don't call him, Mrs. Marrable,
not on my account. Please.

I won't, if you'll kindly stop wringing
your hands over your money.

I think I'll go to my room.

Good night.

You promised to help me
plant my pine tree.

You want to do it now?

Go on. I'll join you
in the garden in a moment.

This would be much easier
in the light of day.

Well, the soil's too dry
in the daytime.

Besides, hot sun
can burn the roots.

I think this hole's too big
for that little tree.

Oh, I don't think so.

Oh, what a nuisance.

My watch dropped off.

- I don't see it.
- It's over there.

Down there.

Look at Aunt Claire
charming the men.

Who wouldn't, with that fabulous
necklace you and George gave her?

I wouldn't have my own mother
to a cocktail party.

Elva, George and I are
very fond of Aunt Claire.

We know dear, That's why you
asked her to come live in Arizona.

She's got so much money that somebody
has to keep a watchful eye over her.

You aid and abet them.

Well, Aunt Claire believes
in the underdog, don't you?

Wait till the underdog starts
building across the road from you.

If the Indians are rich enough
to build there,

George won't mind a bit.

That's the measure of aristocracy
nowadays, isn't it George?

It isn't every day I can get away
from my dull husband for a matinee.

I went there, my darling.

I waited over half an hour for you.

You should never miss an
appointment with me,

because you see, I give
no second chances.

Pity, too.

You've escaped.

What's wrong with our party?

Nothing. It's lovely.

Maybe I've been
to too many in the East.

And this is
the reason I came to Arizona.

The rocks or the snakes?

The open spaces.

No kidding.

Well, there's
a lot more desert out there.

I could take you for a drive.
They won't miss us.

Least of all my wife.

No, thank you. I'd like to take
my time discovering the desert.

I confess that's
what I had in mind.

On my own.

Your brother-in-law
asked us to look out for you.

He went too far.
The whole family did.

They wanted
to be nice to the widow.

And so do you?

Harriet, I'm sorry
your husband was killed.


Let's go, huh?

Well, well, well.

Mrs. Vaughn, I don't believe you've
met George's aunt, Mrs. Marrable.

Mrs. Vaughn's brother-in-law
is a stockbroker, too, in the East.

I hope he gives
better advice than George.

Those stocks I bought for you
went up. Aunt Claire.

Up and down, up and down.
Never enough to matter.

I should be going.

It's nice to meet you.
Mrs. Marrable.

I'd completely forgotten
you had a child to take care of.

I'm so glad you had time
for a breather.


Can I get you
another drink, Aunt Claire?

No, I have to steer
this vehicle of mine.

I hope you find
a new housekeeper soon.

It's a pity you had to
fire Miss Tinsley.

She was the nicest one
you ever had.

You know, I still can't
picture her drunk.

Oh, she was though, horribly.

Otherwise I wouldn't have
discharged her.

The help problem is getting
absolutely impossible.

I hope you didn't give
Miss Tinsley any references.

She knew better
than to ask for them.

You've had such rotten luck
with your housekeepers, Aunt Claire.

Have I?

Actually, I think
I've done rather well.

What makes this valley
so rip-humming popular?

Prettiest part of the county,
but it is kinda remote.

Well, there's one neighbor.

No one's lived there
for some time now.

I gave up nursing
on marrying a doctor,

but when he left me...

by dying...

a few years ago,
I took it up again.

Of course, my knowledge
was pretty dated

to return to full-fledged nursing,

so I became a sort of combination

Have you any references?

Three. I-I had four positions,

but one of my people died...

quiet, natural death
at age 95,

and I haven't been able
to reach her son.

You mustn't be misled
by my confinement to this chair.

It's purely temporary,
and I shan't require any nursing,

however adept you may be
in that field.

Well, you don't object to it
as a bonus, I hope.

I can cook a grand meal...

everything from buttermilk pancakes
to a very good beef bourguignon.

I've always kept a neat house.

I assume
there's an underlying reason

for your desire
to offer your services.

What is it?

In other words,
why do I want to work?

Well, I applied for the job,
so I guess I want it.

Do you require
better reasons than that?

My dear woman,
you don't expect me

to buy a pig in a poke,
do you?

Well, uh...

I want to work because...

I don't think anyone should be idle.
It's bad for your morale.

Besides, I don't like
to live by myself.

I can't come up with more reasons,
but I'll keep trying.

I know it isn't easy to pick one

out of all the people
who answer your ad.

I assure you not every applicant
who contacts me by phone

is invited to appear in person.

Should I, however, decide on you,
the terms must be quite clear.

I provide room and board

and the stipend
indicated in my advertisement.

There are to be no increases.

Well, the salary's very satisfactory,
or I wouldn't have come out here.

Well, it wouldn't
allow you to save much,

and I would like to know that
you're covered in case of illness.

Oh, I do have
savings of my own.

You don't drink, do you?

Why are you hesitating?

Well, I'd hate to
miss out on the job

because I enjoy
an occasional glass of sherry.


one more thing.

I've had abominable luck
with housekeepers

who went dashing off
to family weddings

and to nurse ailing grandchildren.

But who would I dash off to?

I have nobody...
nobody in the entire world.

Mrs. Dimmock...

I hope you will be
very happy here.


Before you leave, would you
transplant the geranium?

Mrs. Dimmock.


Bring me that new pamphlet
on deep rooting, will you?

In a minute.

It's in the library
with the government publications.

It came yesterday.

Can't you find it?

I have it.

I don't consider that

Well, I think you're a saint.

Stuck with that brat for months.
How can you stand it?

Don't you think your husband's
family took advantage of you?

Nope, I volunteered.

Gave me a chance
to get away from the relatives,

both Ken's and mine...

and from the small talk,
gossip, pressures.

To become one with nature.


Does, um...

Does that apply to men, too?

I'm sorry,
I suppose it's too soon.

Don't be sorry.
It's a good question.

I just don't have the answer.

Well, you couldn't have come
to a better place

if you want a good
roll in the hay.

Help yourself.

- Even with George.
- No, thank you.

I think you're the kind
that plays for keeps.

- If that's your...
- Excuse me.

Mrs Lawson?


I knew I couldn't be wrong,
but I can't pinpoint where we met.

Maybe we haven't.

We must've.
I knew your name.

Mine's Mike Darrah.
Mind if I sit down?

Please. You don't mind?


Have you also met
Mrs. Vaughn somewhere?

No, I haven't.

You don't live in Tucson.

No, I'm from Phoenix.

I'm only here for the day
to see a customer.

Let's see who can tell
what Mr. Darrah sells.

I say... real estate.

Your guess?

Mrs. Vaughn
doesn't play games.

So says my husband.

Some games I do.

I don't know what you sell,

but some of your work
is done with your hands.

Hey, you're warm.

I take your ordinary automobile
and I turn it into a snappy racing car.

- You go to the racetrack?
- Yes.

She's here taking care
of a sick nephew.

The poor little thing has asthma
and takes up all of her time.

He is improving.

But you told me he was...

Well no boy of ten years old likes
to be cooped up in a hotel,

especially when he's been promised
a great adventure in the West.

Look, I know this isn't exactly
typical of the West,

but I bet he likes fast cars.

He wouldn't be the only one.

I'd love to see what a souped-up
motor would do for my car.

I'll be glad to demonstrate.

Well, it's been very nice
seeing you again.

- Please call us.
- I will.

Let me take care of the check.

Well, thank you.

I'll call you the next time
I'm in the village.

To demonstrate my engine.

Well, bye, you two.

What's the matter?

I was ready to laugh.

Why don't you
pour yourself one, too?

May I?

Please do.


Take a look at my calendar.
What do I have to do this afternoon?

Well, you have a note here
I can't make out.

Oh, I have to write
to my broker in Chicago.

He's a marvellous man
of the old school.

He's not much given
to correspondence,

but he has yet
to be wrong about a stock.

But your nephew
is a stockbroker?

Oh, nothing like
my man in Chicago.

He's a delight.
He's made a fortune for me.


You wouldn't know the word
for parrot fever, would you?


How marvellous to have
an encyclopaedic knowledge.

You wouldn't know
how to spell it, would you?


Whose dog is that?


Get away from there!

Don't you hurt that dog!

Who are you?

James Vaughn,
and where's your property line?


Oh, I'm awfully sorry.

Jim's been reading about
all the lands the Indians had,

and he...

We moved into the cottage
for three months.

I don't think you remember me.
We met at the Lawsons'.

My name is Harriet Vaughn.

I was not informed that the cottage
was available for renting.

Ask her if Chloe
belongs to her.


Well, that's what
she called the dog.

Chloe is a tramp.

Then we can keep her, Harriet.

You will do nothing
of the kind,

and if the dog is so misfortunate
as to appear again,

you will not
encourage her to stay.

I hope that wasn't
an order, Mrs. Marrable.

If you don't want the dog around,
we'll work it out, but...

I have not taken loving
and diligent care of my garden

to have it wrecked
by this vagrant bitch.

Neighbors don't always
warm up to each other right away.

Mrs. Marrable hasn't had
any for years.

Can we keep the dog?

Keep the dog out of this garden
or we'll have the sheriff after us.

She doesn't even know
what kind of dog it is...

you know, male or female.

Rose Hull was forever
petting and feeding Chloe.


Hull. She used to live in that cottage
before she became my housekeeper.

It's a wonder she didn't
take her dog with her.

It wasn't her dog!
I have told you, Chloe is a tramp.

At least she was clever enough not
to come around after Rose Hull left.

Well, did Rose Hull...

George, someone
has moved into the cottage.

You had a chance
to buy that cottage

when Rose Hull
stopped making payments.

The bank owns it now.

Well, I had no idea
anyone would want to live there.

I must have
my privacy, George.

Use your friends
at the bank, can't you?

Didn't you tell me
you're one big club...

one for all
and all for nobody?

Come here. Let's go.
Come on.



...explain myself.

I'm entering the same contest
as Mrs. Marrable.

I can't let her know...
she wouldn't like that at all...

so I was mailing my card
from your box.

A blank card
is all that they ask for.

The first hundred entries

get a portable makeup mirror
that lights up all over.

How will they know
where to send it?

There's no return address.

Am I getting absent-minded!

Oh, dear.

May I have
my mail, please?

That is, unless our captivating
neighbor requires you further.

I'm sorry, I didn't realize
you were up and about.

She seems to be
a pleasant young lady.

Would you prefer to be
in her employ?

I was just being friendly,
that's all.

Oh, I'm convinced of it.

Soap manufacturers
put more scent in their samples

than they do
in the product they sell.

Put that in the closet, will you?

We have so much stored up
in there, we could open up shop.

Are you suggesting
that I give it away

to your newly acquired friend
across the way?

I won! I won!

I am the winner of the...

it's only the third prize.

feast your eyes on that.

$25! What was the contest?

In 50 words or less,

I gave an inspired account

of how I allured
my most recent boyfriend!

I am going to proceed to enter every
teenage contest in the country.

I didn't expect...

I should have told the mailman
there's no one here by that name.

Post offices have been known
to make mistakes before.

It's not a serious one.
This was her address at one time.

Your breakfast is ready.

Thank you.

How long
are you gonna stay?

Certainly another
couple of months.

We took a lease
on the cottage.

But you know that.

Are you happy
with the place?

Great for Jim. Me too.

I'm so glad
you told me about it.

I'm sure the lease
can be extended.

Oh, I might stay longer.

I just might.

Look what I have for you.

Come on.

Come on, Chloe.

Come on.
Come on, Chloe.

Come, come.

Come and get it.

Come on.

Chloe, are you coming?

Come on, Chloe.

Come and get it.

Come on, come on.

Are you coming?

That's a good dog.

Are you aware that the cocktail hour
has come and gone?

Has it? I have
your margarita right here.

I'm a bit slow today. Haven't had
much experience with pheasant.

When I engaged you,
you led me to assume

that you were
a highly proficient cook

who wouldn't be thrown off
schedule by a new variety of fowl.

I'm only running
a few minutes late.

Punctuality is essential
to a gracious way of life,

which I do not intend
to give up on account of you.

Well, I've been trying
to prepare a lovely meal,

and that cannot be done with all
the complaints and interruptions...

I've warned you not to
raise your voice!

I would like
to be heard for once.

If you want to live like
some duchess or maharani,

you better learn
to behave like one!

I must have known
this would be my reward

for being far more considerate
and patient and generous to you

than I have been
to any of my former housekeepers.

And how long
did they stay with you?

Not one of them
walked out on me.

Are you threatening to?


Are you?


No. I wasn't threatening
to walk out, no.

I wouldn't blame you
if you fired me on the spot.

Oh, well...

I must admit
that I was tempted to.

but I soon realized

that what at first seemed
disrespect, if not mutiny,

was simply an uncontrollable
outburst of temper.

My temper will do me in.

Oh! I've been told and told.

If I keep on
flying off the handle.

I'll have no friends left.

Well, I've been so disgusted
with the procession

of humdrum,
mealy-mouthed yes ladies

who have paraded
through this house

that a touch of fire
is a welcome change.

I've been wondering
about those others.

We nurses tend to do that.

If you learn where
your predecessor fell short,

you're less likely
to make the same mistakes.

There's no danger.

Miss Tinsley
was a tedious woman,

endowed with
an astonishing lack of taste.

Is that
why you got rid of her?

No. No, it was...

it was her devotion to alcohol

which brought about
the parting of our ways.

You mean she drank
a whole lot?

Well, I wouldn't have made
an issue of an occasional highball.

What I had to go through
to cleanse her room

of that pervasive odour of gin.

And once she stumbled
into this table,

knocking off all the china,

and the glassware,

and then proceeded to put
her fist through the windowpane.

At times like that, the filth
that came out of her mouth!

Why, it was worthy of a man
who'd spent his entire life at sea.

Well, undoubtedly she learned it
from just such men.


Oh, at her age,

she was carrying on
with strangers

who would call
in the middle of the night,

write letters to her.

Yes, I'd prefer to forget
that she was ever here, my dear.

Well, you've certainly had your share
of strange experiences.

Of course...

hiring women from an ad
could be a risky business.

How do you make your choices?

Well, I take into account
their experience, their references.

Could be dangerous, though,
living way out here in the desert,

no protection to speak of.

Oh, I've never been afraid.
Not of people.

My, isn't that nice.

You don't think it has
a bitter taste?

Does it?

Well, I'm afraid so.

Distinctly bitter flavor.

Did you get this
at the market?

Pheasant is hardly an item

you'd expect to find
on supermarket shelves.

These birds were
brought to me by George.

What's the matter?

Aren't you going to
eat it at all?

Why not play it safe,
Mrs. Marrable?

I've seen enough in my years
as a nurse to scare me,

especially where there's money...

You didn't finish your sentence.

I've been taken off a case

when the patient showed
the first signs of improvement.

Doctor wanted me to stay on
for a while, but not the family.

When the patient died...

You blame me for wondering
if it wasn't a bit...


George and Julia.

What an absurd notion!

You are far too permissive
with your fantasies.

People don't go around
murdering each other.

May not be as difficult
as you think.

It's not very perceptive of you

to minimize the courage
that it takes to kill.


Why, it's just nerve
with a dash of cruelty.

You're mistaken.

It takes extraordinary courage
born of inner fortitude.

My father told me that,
and he was an authority,

having spent his life
in the military establishment.

It takes
extraordinary courage.

Well, if you're not afraid,
why don't you eat your pheasant?

I've lost my appetite,
Mrs. Dimmock.

Sabre Industries.

This is Mrs. Claire Marrable
calling from Tucson.

I believe you wrote a letter
of reference for Mrs. Dimmock,

who is now in my employ.

I would like to verify
that she worked for you

and that you found her

Sure. She worked for my mother
for over two years.

A wonderful woman.

I'll tell you this, though...
she's got an Irish temper.

and if it shows up,
you'd better watch out.

Thank you.

Sure. Any time, Mrs. Marrable.
You're lucky to have her.


You're shaking like a leaf.
Take it easy, will you?

The Queen of Spades
won't be back for a while.

I don't like to take
unnecessary chances.

You said they went
out to dinner.

I didn't want you here today.
I told you I'd stay in touch with you.

I've had it with the blank postcards
and this whole damn mystery bit!

You're getting out of here
and going home with me right now.

You can't go on
playing this part.

I haven't been found out yet,
and I won't, if you don't give me away.

You don't have the strength...

- Never felt stronger in my life.
- ...or the training.

You don't appreciate my talent.

I have to stay here.

Now, you're entitled to think that
I'm playing with the squirrels,

but don't ask me to leave.
Just don't!

Those blank postcards
were your idea.

I had to know
you were all right.

If they're piling up too high for you,
I'll stop sending them.

Let me take the statue,
Aunt Claire.

You've got to stop
blaming yourself for Miss Tinsley.

How can I?
It was my fault.

Of course I didn't mean
the things I said,

but say them I did.

I'm not going to give up
until I find out where she is.

My instincts tell me
something happened to her, here.

You just can't
jump to conclusions.

Not just the Bible.

Mrs. Marrable's housekeepers
seem to vanish.

And you haven't heard her talk
about the courage to kill!

Let's get out of here.

There's one thing
that I want you to do for me.

Help you pack.

Go to the First National Bank
in Phoenix,

and find out if Edna still has money
in her savings account.

You just can't
walk into a bank...

You'll find a way.

Oh, please.

After that,
I'll do whatever you say.

I'll leave this house.
Is that good enough?

And I also want...

her forwarding address!

Go. Go!

- Where's your shoes?
- Wait a minute! My shoes!

Won't you come in
for a drink?

Well, thank you, Aunt Claire,
but we should be going.

Very well.

And thank you
for entertaining me so regally.

Will you call me before long?

We will.


Forgot to say good-bye.

You're sure you wouldn't be
interested in the polo match

at the Bennetts' on Saturday?

Aunt Claire doesn't like polo.
You know that, George.

Well, thank you anyway,
George. Good-bye.


Oh, my!
I must have dozed off.

Did you have
a pleasant time at the fair?

Why did you let her pick
the most expensive statue they had?

It's a good
long-term investment, Julia.

Yes, George, but are we so sure
that Aunt Claire is a sound stock?

You mean because she never pays
for anything when she's with us?

She thinks we're loaded.

Well, we're so smart,
we've fooled her, haven't we?

But she might be
playing the same game.

We can give you
the information, Mr. Darrah.

Miss Edna Tinsley's
current balance is $32.83.

She withdrew $9,000
on March 5th?

Yes. She took out
the entire amount in cash.

You have her latest
forwarding address?

Yeah, it's right here
on the card.

"Care of Marrable,
Route 3, Tucson."

- Thank you.
- Right.

Oh, yes. Mrs. Marrable
is terribly rich.

However, I doubt that auto races
will appeal to Aunt Claire,

but she'll take to you.

Well, if all the proceeds
are going to her Indian charity,

she ought to go for it.

Even if she doesn't,
I'm enchanted that you called me.

Hey, Harriet! Come here!

Come here!

Look over there.

If I could use your phone,
Mrs. Marrable.

I could call the manager
of the racetrack

and check
on available dates right now.

Oh, please do.


Thank you.

My housekeeper
will show you the phone.

Mrs. Dimmock,
this is Mr. Darrah.

He would like
to make a phone call.

Certainly. This way, please.
Mister... I didn't catch the name.


How is that you've never introduced
me to Mr. Darrah before?

Well, we've only met recently.

Actually, George
hasn't even met him yet.

Would you tell dear George
to call me this evening, Julia?


I must talk to him
about those stocks,

which do nothing but go down.

Mr. Johnson, please.

They've both been
dropping points every day,

causing me great concern.

- Well, that's just...
- Pack up, Aunt Alice!

I mean it! You're going
back to Phoenix with me now!

...stocks sometimes dip...

You promised if you...

You promised if you
got this information...

Stop whispering.

What are you going
to do exactly?

I want to know!

...tip on those stocks.
I'm sure.

Stocks do go up and down
so rapidly sometimes.

Well, that's the market
for you, Aunt Claire.

I told George to sell
before I took a loss.

He procrastinated
until it was too late.

You're leaving with me!

I'll meet you at the market
on Route 4.

9:00 tomorrow morning.

You'd better not let me down,
Aunt Alice, I mean it.

Yeah, I see. No, that's all right.
I'll call back.

Yeah, thank you.

I mean it!

- Would you pour?
- Love to.

It's better to perish than
fail to maintain appearances.

That's a trait George inherited
from his grandfather, my father.

Very few of us
understood Papa.

He was a gentleman of style,
of true style.

That's the word that I've
been trying to think of, "style."

That's what you have,
Mrs. Marrable, style.

I thank you.
I should hope so.

And a flair for things.

I wish I had...

I wish I had
your flair for money.

I don't believe I ever heard
you mention money before.

But it's hardly a flair,
dear Mrs. Dimmock.

I'm not a greedy woman,

but it irks me to see how little
my money earns in the bank.

When you talk
about your stocks,

they sound fabulous.

Yes. All except
those George recommends.

Don't you have a stockbroker
in Chicago, too?


Would you be willing
to speak to him about me?

I'd like to invest my money,

and I need good advice.

And you shall have it.

The stock market is one thing

if you can stand the loss
without being hurt,

but if it's your life savings
you're speculating with,

don't dream of doing
anything so foolish.

I wouldn't have
the nerve to bother you

if I wanted to invest
a mere dribble.

Now, this won't sound like
much to you,

but I've amassed
a goodly sum.

Have you?
How much, Mrs. Dimmock?



I must admit.
in my wildest dreams...

I never thought such an amount

could be accumulated
by serving as a housekeeper,

even companion.

My husband left
a generous insurance policy.

Even so, 46,000 could provide
a handsome livelihood

for a woman
for quite a few years.

You're extremely fortunate.

Now will you
speak to your broker?

We'll see.

We'll see.

You have to let me sleep
and think on it.

May I have another cup?

Get out of my garden!

Get out of my garden, you...


You get that dog
out of my garden at once!

What happened?

I'm awfully sorry!

You deliberately enticed that dog
here to destroy my grounds.

It's impossible
to keep him out of your garden.

Maybe if we put up
a small fence.

Are you taking it upon yourself

to tell me what to do
with my property?

I was suggesting a way
to protect your garden.

You've had no compunction about
taking the time of my companion,

poking into my affairs,

and overtly displaying
your hatred of me.

What do you want
from me, Mrs. Vaughn?

I don't want
anything from you.

You really expect me
to believe that?

Please go back to the cottage.

Seems I'm powerless.

I wouldn't
let her upset me.

She's like crabgrass...
never really quelled,

only cropping up secretly
and victoriously in another spot.

Well, I do not intend
to sit here and wait

while she thinks up
a new way to harass me.

I won't have to.

We will go to the Indian
Music Festival in Tortugas.

It's only a day's drive,
and I've been wanting to

hear their chants
and see their dancing.

We'll leave first thing
in the morning, Mrs. Dimmock.

You don't dislike
travelling, I trust?


If I'd known, I'd have bought
stockings in town this morning.

These are gone...
they're my last pair...

and I'm out of toothpaste.

I know you don't like
to lend yours.

I want to leave first thing
in the morning, Mrs. Dimmock,

without delay.

Do you mind if I
drive into town now?

The new market has
both nylons and toothpaste.

Very well.
You may take the car.

And get a roadmap
at the service station, will you?

Don't be too long.

I'll get it.


We saw you
with that other broad.

Harriet, you've got
the wrong idea.

If you'd just let me
tell you something.

Are you gonna let him,
after what he did to you?

Shut up, Jim!

Look, we can't talk here.

Come with me.

All you have to do is listen.

All right.

But I hope you have
something to say.

I'm back.

I'm back.

I must've dozed off.

I found everything I needed.

Would you like
to study the roadmap?

Thank you.

I think I ought to start dinner.

Let's have a very light supper
this evening,

since we want to retire
at an early hour.

Would you write a letter to Juan

reminding him to cover
the roses with burlap?

I certainly will.

Will you do it now, please?

It's the kind of last-minute detail
we might overlook.

I forgot.

Juan's taking a week's vacation.

It'll be his helper
who attends my garden.

What is his name?

Alfredo? Alberto?

You'd better just put "Al," and then
we'll be correct in any case.

I'll take care of it.
Just leave it on the table.

Turn that off, will you?

I think we can do
without music tonight.

Will you have your liqueur?

Is there any particular reason
why I shouldn't?

Did I tell you
to help yourself?

Well, I'm very sorry.

I hate a sticky bottle.

I told you.
I made a promise.

I'll tell you
the whole story tomorrow,

and you'll see it's got nothing
to do with you and me.

Vow of silence again?

Suppose I have nothing to say.

Well, I said something.

Did you hear me?

I said I love you.

I didn't ask for that.

I know you didn't.

But I know if I lie,
I'll lose you.

I don't want to lose you,

Do you still want to go home?


Do you believe me now?

I'm not sure,
but I don't want to go home.

I'm going to leave
the note for the gardener.

Please forgive me
for not knocking.

I forgot my manners
in my anxiety

to see that every window
in the house is tightly closed.

If it should rain, my floors
would turn into soaking sponges.


The weather report
is ghastly...

high winds,
terrible drop in temperature.

We may have to
postpone our trip.

The sun will be shining for us
when we get to New Mexico.

I promise you.

Have a good sleep,
Mrs. Dimmock.

It's a coincidence, isn't it?

I couldn't sleep either.


I never can sleep
through the night before a trip.

I guess it's because
I haven't travelled much.

Sleeplessness can be brought on
by any number of apprehensions.

In your case, I daresay
even I can diagnose the cause.

You've been too preoccupied
about your money.

Oh, no.
It's the last thing on my mind.

I think I'll have
some hot milk.

Perhaps it will
help me sleep.

When I turned on the light,

you were on the verge
of making a phone call.


I was checking
with the weather bureau.

I thought you might be
calling the market

to order new toothpaste
and stockings.

What a fraud you are!

You come into my house
in the guise of a faithful companion.

You want to utterly destroy me.

- I didn't come here to destroy.
- You did, however, lie.

So did you.

Edna never left this house,
did she?

What was Edna Tinsley to you?

For many, many years
she lived in my house.

We ate together,
and shopped and travelled.

She was my companion.

Do you expect me
to believe that...

I don't care
what you believe!

I shared bread
with my companion, not crumbs.

- I never humiliated her.
- She left your service?

Yes, she did,
and that was my doing.

But she was ready to come back to me.
She told me so over the phone,

her voice shaking, she
was so frightened of you!

Where is she?!

When you left the house
this afternoon.

you went to meet someone,
didn't you?

That girl across the way.

How many women have you killed?

You could have lasted
quite a few years.

You expect me to be flattered?

I expected a little loyalty.

It isn't often
that I find someone

whose company I enjoy,
truly enjoy.

I saw many happy years
ahead for both of us.

You are the only mistake I made.

Didn't you ever think
you'd be found out?

No! And I won't be!

You've given yourself away.

To you?

You are a dead woman.

Oh, no.
I'm alive, see?

I'm very much alive,

and I'm not going to be
your next victim!


It was dead all the time!

Good morning. Your nephew
called a few minutes ago.

Your phone hasn't been answering,
and he's concerned.

Won't you please come in?

I'm so sorry to have kept you
waiting in that awful wind.

Would you call George and assure him
we have survived the storm?

Of course, poor Mrs. Dimmock

went out early this morning
in spite of all my warnings

and received a terrible blow
from a tree branch.

Oh, will you
excuse me a moment?

- You go ahead. Help yourself.
- No, thank you. I...

I wish you wouldn't
try to get up.

At least not yet.

I do insist
that you continue resting.

She wants to drive into town
to get my sinus prescription filled.

It's a touching gesture, I must say,
but I shan't allow her to do it.

Well, maybe I could.

I wouldn't think of it, Mrs. Vaughn.
My sinus isn't that serious.

Well, maybe I can
get Mrs. Dimmock a doctor.

She's recovering very nicely.

However, if you could
report my phone,

we'd be able to communicate
with the outside world again.

I'd be glad to.

Thank you so very much,
Mrs. Vaughn.

We will pretend that you are
loyal to the bitter end,

running off to fill my prescription
no matter what the weather,

or your own health.

How is Mrs. Marrable?

Fine, except for
a sinus headache.

Sinus headache.
I'll tell him.

I imagine we'll be
out to see her after a while.

All right, then.

Yeah, Bye-bye.

Hey, Harriet, I thought you said
Mrs. Dimmock was sick.

Come here, Look at her.

I'm surprised
she got her way.

What are you
trying to tell me?

I told...

Who did you tell?


Was it the girl across the road,
your friend?


Tell me this instant!

Tell me who!

If they were up early this morning,
how come nobody's answering?

I don't know, Mike.
Mrs. Dimmock went off in the car.

- How long ago?
- About a couple of hours.

- You live here?
- No, my aunt does.

I hope you've got a key.
No one's opening the door.

Aunt Claire,
are you all right?


What's going on?

Ma'am, your phone's
out of order. I have to check it.

Yes, of course.
Please come in.

- Where's Mrs. Dimm...
- Isn't she here?

Oh. She must have gone
to the drugstore after all.

Nothing would
satisfy Mrs. Dimmock,

but she had to
fetch my medicine,

and I took two pills,
and she...

Must've been quite potent!
I still feel rather groggy.

Mr. Darrah, how nice
to see you again.

And won't you
come in, too, Mrs. Vaughn?

You haven't seen
Mrs. Dimmock, have you?

I saw her drive away a while ago.
Isn't she back yet?

Well, it seems she's not.

Phone's working fine.

By the way, there's
a call for you, Mrs. Marrable.

Would you get it, George?

What drugstore
did she usually go to?

I don't know. Why?

I thought we might call
and find out

if she'd been there
or when she left.

Aunt Claire?

I'm afraid this is going to come
as quite a shock to you...

Mrs. Dimmock
was found in your car.

It went off the dirt road
into the lake.


And Mrs. Dimmock?

Well, I'm afraid she's dead.

Mike, who was she?

I trust you.
Why can't you trust me?

You said she was hurt.

Yes, by a branch.

- Mrs. Marrable said she was...
- Are you quoting me, Mrs. Vaughn?

I'm sorry.

She shouldn't have been driving
if she felt sick.

Is the car wrecked?

Oh, Julia!

It's not unfeeling
to be practical.

Why was she so eager
to drive off this morning?

If I were you, Aunt Claire, I'd check
and see if everything's all right.

I don't understand you people!

You blame her,
you suspect her?

And no one has
a kind word to say.

Fate has dealt me
a cruel enough blow

without your compounding it.

I don't understand you either,
Mrs. Marrable.

- Nobody seems to care.
- Well, I care.

Mike, who was she?

I've got to go to town.
I'll be back.

Mrs. Vaughn?


This is your very
distressed neighbor.

I'm dreadfully lonely.

Will you and James
join me for cocktails?

I'll have something different
for him, of course.

I'm afraid
I have some errands.

I would be ever so grateful

if you would come
to see me this afternoon.

Won't you please?

Well, well I don't...


All right, I'll come.

Wonderful. Wonderful.

Will 5:30 suit you?


When are you gonna talk
to Mrs. Marrable?

Why are you
picking on her?

You're not from around here;
you don't know her like we do.

Is she above suspicion, Sheriff?

You're crazy.

You're sure that eggnog
is all right?

Oh yes, it's fine.

You know, Mrs. Dimmock and I
used to sit here

every evening before dinner.

I'm sure we shall both miss her.
Isn't that true, Mrs. Vaughn?

Yes, I'll miss her.
I didn't know her that well.

You didn't?


she told me
that she was so pleased

to have found a neighbor
she could confide in.


I'm afraid that
we have to go now.


I haven't had a good look
at these stamps yet.

You may take them with you.

Yeah? The sword, too?

Of course. You may have
the whole briefcase.

For good?

I really don't think you should.

Oh, I insist.

James, you haven't
finished your eggnog.

We really should be going.

I'll help you carry
your briefcase home.

You'll never have a case
against Mrs. Marrable,

so why am I wasting my time
with witnesses?

This is the first and the last.

Juan, come in.

Juan, this gentleman
wants to talk to you...

about Mrs. Marrable.

Ah, Mrs. Marrable.

But why didn't you tell me?

I thought it was something bad.

Come in here!

They've torn you out
by your roots.

This is my garden.

This is my house.

This is my land.

And you trespassed!

You trampled my flower bed,

and you killed my pine trees!

You had no right!

You had no right!

Who gave you the right
to do this, to deprive me?


I'm still alive, Mrs. Marrable,

in spite of your eggnog
and your fire.

I've got to be grateful
to Mike for that.

Harriet says
I've gotta return this

even though you
gave it to me to keep.

These stamps
are worth a whole lot.

Mr. Darrah says
they're worth over $100.000.



He must've hated me
more than I hated him.

Would you kindly
drive me into town?

Since I'm all alone,

it seems fitting that
I should apply for a position.

I think I would make
a most acceptable companion,

don't you agree?

I have savings of my own...

and I have
no one left in the world.

After all...

I'd make
a very handsome pine tree!

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