Thursday, August 11, 2016

slowly and systematically


INT.  Upstairs hallway in Anton house - night

MED. TWO SHOT:  Brian Cameron and Paula Anton

"Do you know where he keeps it?"

PAULA:  I think he has it in his desk in there.

Cameron walks swiftly back down the hall, and into Gregory Anton's study, straight to a roll-top desk.  Paula, whose thoughts and impressions are leading her in conflicting directions, hurries after him, her long dress swaying grandly.

PAULA:  You can't open his desk!  No!  You have no right to.  Whoever you are, you have no right to!  (her voice becomes nearly tearful) -- He'll know.  He'll think that I -- Oh, what should I say to him?

CAMERON:  You won't have to say anything.

He gets the desk open, and looks for the gun, shuffling rapidly, urgently through desk-stuff.  Paula watches him -- gratitude and relief battle anxiety and uncertainty in her facial expression.  Then, as she's leaning over the side of the desk, she notices something else -- her glance falls on some papers.

Cameron opens a wooden revolver box:  the shape of a gun is depressed into the felt interior -- it is a resting place for a gun, but the gun's gone.

BRIAN CAMERON:  Perhaps it's a good thing I came tonight.

Paula, meanwhile, has had her attention captured by the paper she has noticed.

PAULA (in wonderment) -- I was right.  (She picks up the paper and looks at it.)  There was a letter.  And it was from Sergis Bauer.

CAMERON:  What was that?  What was that name you just said?

PAULA:  Sergis Bauer.  I found this, but my husband said I dreamed, and now it's here.

(I can see you still, standing there and saying:  "Look, look at this letter" -- and staring at nothing.
~~ What?
~~ You had nothing in your hand!)

CAMERON:  Bauer.

PAULA:  It's been here the whole time.

CAMERON:  There was a Sergis Bauer connected with Alice Alquist.  He was a young pianist who played for her in Prague!  Let me see that.  (He stands up quickly, and reads aloud from the letter she hands him) -- "Dear Miss Alquist, I beg of you to see me just once.  I followed you to London. ..."

He breaks off from reading and, reaching into his jacket pocket, he takes out another letter.

He looks at the letter from his pocket, and then at the "Dear Miss Alquist" letter, and back again, & then hands Paula the pocket-letter, saying, "Look."

Paula looks, and reads aloud:  "Dear Lady Dalroy..."

PAULA:  This is my husband's writing.

CAMERON:  So is this.  Mrs. Anton, your husband and Sergis Bauer are one and the same person.  This letter from Sergis Bauer to Alice Alquist was written two days before her murder.

Paula (her voice rising desperately almost to a scream) -- "But he said there wasn't any letter, he said I was going out of my mind!"

CAMERON:  (firmly)  No.  You're slowly and systematically being driven out of your mind.

PAULA:  But why, why?

CAMERON:  Perhaps because you found this letter and know too much.
(Then he looks up at the ceiling.)
...Or because then he would have control of your property -- of this house -- and could search in the open instead of the dark like this.

PAULA:  Search?  What is there to search for?

CAMERON:  For the things for which Alice Alquist was murdered:  her jewels.


{Gaslight, MGM}


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