Thursday, July 7, 2016

Episode 9: The Price of Sardines

Thursday, July 7, 1966

My name is Victoria Winters. In the short time I’ve been here, Collinwood has made me a part of its strangeness, a strangeness that seems to reach out and touch everyone—and everything—that lives within its walls. For the past can be a prison, not only for me, but for other, for all those driven by fears of the future.

Bill Malloy comes into the hotel lobby and calls Burke on the house phone, saying he wants to come up and talk with him. Burke hangs up on him.

Bill goes to see Liz, who is about to put the tea things away. He has some papers for her to look over, and he calls his secretary to let her know where he is. Bill tells Liz “they raised the price five cents/a hundred cans of sardines in Nantucket.”

“Is that why you came to see me? To talk about the price of sardines?”

He has to keep her informed.

“It’s about Burke Devlin?” she asks.

It is. Burke refused to see him when he went to the hotel.

Carolyn comes in and asks how things are at the fish factory. (“Swimmin’ along, princess, just swimmin’s along.”) Then she wants to know what their enemy is like. Upon discovering that she has met Burke, she notes that he’s a very attractive man.

When Bill and Liz are alone again, Bill wonders when Carolyn and Joe will get married. As soon as possible is his hope. He’s worried about what Burke might do.

Burke went of prison because he committed a crime, Liz says. She is not afraid of him. Bill thinks Liz is the “greatest woman on the face of the earth.”

“Why? Because I’m not afraid of Burke Devlin?”

“Because you plant your feet firm on the deck when the gale blows. Because you hold your head up high and damn the devil. Because you don’t know how to run scared.” The two of them will stop Burke, no matter what he’s trying to do.

Carolyn visits Vicki in her room. She tells her about the three people who threw themselves off the cliff: “Josette, the wife of the madman who built this place,” and, oh, two governesses.

Despite her scare tactics, Carolyn is glad Vicki is staying. She wishes she were as brave as Vicki. She hates this place, but when she has the chance to leave, she gets scared. She loves Joe, but when he proposes, she panics. Switching gears, she wants to know about Burke.

Bill thinks Burke isn’t vicious, but he’s a hungry man. “It’s in your head, Liz, whether you’re wealthy or not.” Burke will consider himself poor until he owns all the Collins holdings.

Someone knocks, but no one is at the door when Liz goes to answer. She finds a broken teacup. She tells Bill it was a poltergeist. A nine-year-old poltergeist named David. One of her favorite teacups is broken, and she’s delighted—because it wasn’t Burke at the door. She thought it was, and she was frightened. And she isn’t going to live that way.

“I’m going to be Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, and I’m not going to jump at every sound and tremble at every whisper.”

Bill accuses her of planning to do nothing as she’s done for eighteen years. (Where did all that admiration go, Bill?) He’s been worrying about her for so long it’s like a habit. He doesn’t want her to ignore Burke, who is a dangerous man.

Carolyn thinks Burke sounds marvelous from Vicki’s description of their coffee meeting. “I wouldn’t say marvelous. He’s charming, and very direct, and a little frightening.”

“In what way?”

“Well, he’d be telling me stories about when he used to live in Collinsport, but all the time, underneath, he’d be asking me questions.” About Carolyn’s mother and uncle, especially her uncle. Why the sudden interest in Burke?

According to Carolyn, from the moment his name was mentioned, it was as if someone had thrown a bomb into the place. Maybe a good bomb is what they all need.

Carolyn’s mother calls her downstairs. Before going, she tells Vicki that Burke threatened to paddle her last night. She didn’t know who he was at the time. “I bet he would have done it too.” Vicki notes that’s not much of a recommendation. Carolyn says maybe not, but a man like that is worth a second look. She offers to take Vicki’s letter to town to post when she’s finished it. Vicki puts a stamp on it so Carolyn won’t have to go to the hotel to get one.


Bill’s niece is going on a trip, and he would like Carolyn to go with her. Carolyn wants to stay and help with the troubles. “You’re stubborn, princess, just like your mother.”

Carolyn tells Bill he can give her a ride into town and assures her mother, “I was brought up in this house, and that makes me an expert in fighting goblins.”

Carolyn calls Burke on the hotel house phone and asks if she can come up to see him. She gets a friendlier answer than Bill Malloy.

Cast, In Order of Appearance

Victoria Winters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alexandra Moltke

Bill Malloy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frank Schofield

Elizabeth Collins Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Joan Bennett

Carolyn Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nancy Barrett

Mrs. Hopewell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elizabeth Wilson

Fashion by Ohrbach’s

Directed by Lela Swift

Story created and written by Art Wallace

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