Monday, August 1, 2016

if it isn't possible, then it can't be

As the servant Elizabeth comes up the stairs, Paula takes a breath, to calm and steady herself after nearly becoming hysterical.

Elizabeth is carrying a tray with a glass of milk on it.  She asks, "What is it, ma'am?"

PAULA:  I want you to help me.  I'm so tired.

ELIZABETH:  Yes, ma'am.

They go into Paula's bedroom.

PAULA:  Elizabeth, did you turn on the gas?  Did you turn on the gas anywhere downstairs just now?

ELIZABETH:  Why no, ma'am.  I've had it on in the kitchen all evening, that's all.

PAULA:  I thought it went down in there (nods toward her dressing room) -- as if someone had turned it on in some other part of the house.

ELIZABETH:  There's no one in the house but me, ma'am.  Nancy's not back yet. 

Paula turns away and walks.  Elizabeth perceives the need for comfort.

ELIZABETH:  But the gas comes in pipes, ma'am.  And I expect they get more gas in the pipes at some times than they does at others.

PAULA:  Yes, I suppose that could explain it.

[Noises - unintelligible.  Scrape, vibrate, ba-dadada, very muffled.]

PAULA:  Do you hear anything?

ELIZABETH:  Hear anything, ma'am?

PAULA:  Yes.  Up there.  Listen.

ELIZABETH:  Listen to what, ma'am?

PAULA:  Those sounds.  Those noises up there.

ELIZABETH:  No, ma'am.

PAULA:  But there are sounds.  Sounds -- like someone moving about.  Elizabeth, listen, please.

ELIZABETH:  There are no noises up there, ma'am.  How could there be?  The whole floor is boarded up.  You know that as well as I do.  No one can't get in up there.  You know, ma'am, you just imagine things.


{Gaslight, MGM - 1944}


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