81 terms

The Curious Savage- Miss Willie

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FAIRY: You step on leave, Jeff-- Hannibal can take buds-- Mrs. Savage can have roses-- and the rest of us will walk on thorns. Do you know what we're doing, Miss Willie?
Wearing out the carpet evenly.
FAIRY: Oh, someone told you.
Didn't I hear the buzzer ring garden hour?
FAIRY: I didn't hear it. I think it's broken.
Fairy-- aren't you ashamed?
FLORENCE: I didn't feel like gardening anyhow.
Buy you've worked so hard with your flowers. Do you want them to die, Florence?
FAIRY: Oh, that's so true. Florence wouldn't hurt a fly. She catches them and puts them or the window. Flies adore her.
I think we'd all better go out and work in the garden. Fairy-- share your seeds with Mrs. Savage. Run along, now. Aren't you going with them, Mrs. Savage?
FLORENCE: Please, Mrs. Paddy, let us keep the lights on.
Some night you're going to turn out the lights at the wrong time and hurt somebody. Then you'll be sorry. I do wish you'd chosen something else to give up for lent.
FAIRY: Other people like electricity.
Now you sit at your easel like a good girl. And leave the lights alone.
FAIRY: I must say you startled us, Miss Willie. We thought you were in the front office.
For the love of Pete, Fairy, what are you up to?
FAIRY: I was just trying to get a book for Jeffrey.
With a violin bow?
FAIRY: No--no--no. I'll get it for you. Everyone watch his own head. Timber! There you are, Jeffrey. You make take the bow, Miss Willie. You may take my hand, Hannibal.
The next time anyone wants a book from the top, Fairy, call me. Why, the whole shelf might have fallen on you.
FAIRY: Oh, who ever heard of anyone being hurt by good books?
Enough of them might, darling. And I'd hate that to happen.
FLORENCE: What is she like, Miss Willie?
I haven't seen her. Let's tidy the room a bit. Fairy, will you put the parchesi board away, please?
FAIRY: Is she young or old, Miss Willie?
All I know is that her name is Savage- and she gets the Blue Room.
FAIRY: I hope she isn't beautiful. Competition exhausts me.
Well, Bingo, you tied that one in a hurry.
JEFF: Miss Willie, don't call me that--please. It's a pet name my wife uses.
I forgot.
JEFF: And I wish you wouldn't single me out to kiss.
You're the handsomest.
JEFF: What would my wife think if she came to call and saw a strange woman kissing me? She'd explode.
She would if I know her.
JEFF: Will you please try to remember?
I'll try. Forgive me.
FAIRY: Ting-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling.
Hello. Yes, Dr. Emmett. Right away. Put the dart board up, Hannibal. Please don't clutter the place, darlings. Let's make a good first impression.
FAIRY: Will we meet her now?
I don't know.
FAIRY: I mustn't get excited or I'll get the hiccups and betray us.
Doctor Emmett will join you in a moment.
TITUS: Please tell her that if there is nothing more-- we'd like to get started back.
Yes, Senator Savage. There are cigarettes and magazines on the table. Please make yourselves at home.
DR. EMMETT: Yes, Miss Willie?
I beg your pardon, Dr. Emmett, but Dr. Johnson won't be able to complete Mrs. Savage's file for the moment.
DR. EMMETT: Why not?
He finds her a little-- uncooperative.
DR. EMMETT: Then bring her in here, please.
Yes, Doctor.
TITUS: We'll have to give her a little more time to get over her resentment.
Will you come in here, Mrs. Savage?
DR. EMMETT: If there's anything you need, Mrs. Savage-- Miss Wilhelmina will take care of you.
We've a lovely garden out there-- you'll be able to see it in the morning. When I was a child-- we always said-- thirty needles and thirty pins. You've added twenty more dirty Republi-kins.
MRS. SAVAGE: It's a fault of mine-- exaggeration. It's stupid of me to try to irritate them like this-- I just irritate myself. Well, I suppose it has to be exasperating now to be funny later.
I notice one of it's eyes is gone. It must have dropped out in the office. I'll look as soon as they go.
MRS. SAVAGE: Don't bother. It fell out last fall at the opera. I'd have found it but the usher was so nasty about my lighting matches during the Magic Fire music. You know what this is, don't you?
Suppose you tell me.
MRS. SAVAGE: It's a teddy bear. Surely you've seen one before.
Not that big.
MRS. SAVAGE: Do you know what I do with it?
I couldn't possibly guess.
MRS. SAVAGE: I sleep with it.
Do you?
MRS. SAVAGE: Yes, I do. Are you going to talk to me as if I were an imbecile too?
Here--here--we mustn't be hostile.
MRS. SAVAGE: Of course not-- you haven't harmed me. Would you care to know why I sleep with it?
If you'd care to tell me.
MRS. SAVAGE: I don't care. And I'll tell you. I get lonely. I'm too old to have a lover and too fastidious to sleep with a cat.
Then, by all means, you must take it to bed with you here. Would you care to take off your hat?
MRS. SAVAGE: If I'm going to spend the rest of my life here-- I might as well.
It's a mighty saucy hat.
MRS. SAVAGE: A ten-cent piece of felt and three chicken feathers. Eighty-five dollars. Why economy should be expensive-- I don't know.
It takes imagination.
MRS. SAVAGE: And the blood of pirates. But I wanted it. I wanted a hat like this since I was sixteen. For all the good it does me now. Well-- I won't need a hat here. Maybe you can use it for something-- I'm not at all sure what.
Oh, you'd better keep it. You might need it.
MRS. SAVAGE: Dear, dear! My hair looks like the matted end of a cocoanut.
Oh, I don't think so. It's a heavenly color.
MRS. SAVAGE: You should have seen it last year. It was bright red. Then just to be different, I dyed it black with a white streak in the middle. I looked like nothing so much as a skunk. Finally, I just gave up and tinted it blue. It goes with everything.
It'll certainly go with your room. Wouldn't you like to go up and get settled?
MRS. SAVAGE: Is it time to lock me up?
I wouldn't dream of locking you up. Did you bring a suitcase?
MRS. SAVAGE: My daughter did. I wasn't consulted.
I'll get it and take you up. There'll be time to explore your surroundings tomorrow. You can wait here.
MRS. SAVAGE: Alone?
Of course.
MRS. SAVAGE: No handcuffs?
We have the honor system.
HANNIBAL: Today's the only certainty.
Hannibal-- you heard the buzzer-- why aren't you om your room?
HANNIBAL: I am in spirit. And everyone says it's the spirit that counts. Remember-- fight the night.
Did they all come in to meet you?
MRS. SAVAGE: Well-- there was a Mrs. Paddy and four others that have no business being here at there age.
I quite agree.
MRS. SAVAGE: Do you think I belong here?
We're understaffed, Mrs. Savage. I'm kept too busy to have any opinions.
MRS. SAVAGE: I'd like to know what they told you about me.
Was there anything to tell?
MRS. SAVAGE: Did they mention my memorial fund?
Not to me.
MRS. SAVAGE: Then they probably told you that my husband's death affected-- my reason.
That would be understandable.
MRS. SAVAGE: But untrue.
Why-- weren't you happy with your husband?
MRS. SAVAGE: I married Jonathan when I was sixteen. I loved him from the moment I met him until the moment he died. Do you know what that meant?
I think so.
MRS. SAVAGE: Well, you don't, my dear. It meant that my only aim in life was to make him happy-- to want what he wanted-- to anticipate what would please him. And that meant that all the other things I ever wanted had to be forgotten.
But surely you had no regrets.
MRS. SAVAGE: None. While he lived. But after he was gone-- I remembered all the foolish things I'd always wanted to do.
What had you always wanted to do?
MRS. SAVAGE: Things that would've shocked poor Jonathan.
Such as dying your hair blue?
MRS. SAVAGE: That. And studying French. And ballet dancing-- and people. As a girl, I was sure I could have been a great actress. So, with no responsibilities and time running out-- I decided to be one.
But don't you think you waited too long, Mrs. Savage?
MRS. SAVAGE: I certainly do. Had I been a fool in my youth-- no one would've noticed the difference in my old age.
Oh-- I'd never think of you as old, Mrs. Savage.
MRS. SAVAGE: Well, having kicked over the traces myself--and learned once again the importance of unimportant things-- I decided I'd help others have the foolish things they'd always wanted.
How were you going to do that?
MRS. SAVAGE: By establishing the Jonathan Savage Memorial Fund--a foundation for giving money away in memory of my husband. And that insane idea has brought me here.
Well, you won't find it too unpleasant here. Shall we go up to your room now?
MRS. SAVAGE: Well, at least I learned one thing from my French lessons.
What's that?
MRS. SAVAGE: What I am. I'm a "Mort canard." That's a "dead duck"-- I think.
Now it's not as bad as that.
MRS. SAVAGE: I wanted to speak to you-- alone.
All right. What can I do for you?
MRS. SAVAGE: A great deal. And it might be I can do a great deal for you.
Are you about to offer me a bribe, Mrs. Savage?
MRS. SAVAGE: How did you guess?
Everyone does-- at first.
MRS. SAVAGE: Still, my offer is a little different. I have the money. I'll give you forty thousand to leave that door open tonight. Sixty thousand.
Don't you like us Mrs. Savage?
MRS. SAVAGE: That's a most irritating answer to a sound business offer, my dear. Eighty thousand. You could be free of this place, too.
But I don't want to be free of it.
MRS. SAVAGE: One hundred thousand. You could go around the world-- see Cairo-- Paris-- the Mediterranean.
But I've seen Cairo-- I've been to Paris and the Mediterranean.
MRS. SAVAGE: You have?
I had four years as an army nurse.
MRS. SAVAGE: Still-- you should be able to use one hundred thousand dollars.
Now where would you get one hundred thousand dollars, Mrs. Savage? That's a fortune.
MRS. SAVAGE: Never mind-- I can get it. And in the current idiom-- one hundred thousand is peanuts.
Oh, I believe you-- but I'm afraid I have to refuse.
MRS. SAVAGE: Then you leave me no choice but to burn the place down.
Oh, you wouldn't do that.
MRS. SAVAGE: Oh, yes I would.
Too many people here wouldn't know how to save themselves. You'd think of them first.
MRS. SAVAGE: If you believe I behind here-- why are you appealing to my reason?
I wasn't. I was appealing to your emotions.
MRS. SAVAGE: Well, I'm going to get out quickly enough. It's just that bribing you would have been cheaper. Now it'll cost me a couple of million at least.
Good morning, Doctor.
DR. EMMETT: Good morning. Is Mrs. Savage downstairs?
She just this minute went out to the garden.
DR. EMMETT: What is her state of mind this morning?
The usual pattern. She's already offered me a bribe.
DR. EMMETT: What did she offer you?
The highest yet. One hundred thousand-- the poor dear!
DR. EMMETT: Did she sound confident?
Definitely manic. She talked as is she still controlled her own affairs.
DR. EMMETT: Apparently she does. Read this. I've just been talking to her children-- they're practically out of their minds themselves. The Senator is leaving Washington at once-- he'll pick up his sister in New York and the Judge in Boston and be here by tonight.
This is the most amazing story I've ever read. When did they discover it?
I gather this morning. They asked me to confine her to her room.
I don't understand it-- how could she get away with so much money?