Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Episode 29: The Disappearing David Collins

Thursday, August 4, 1966

My name is Victoria Winters. The hours tick by in the great house on Widow’s Hill, and there’s still no word. They boy I had been brought here to tutor has not yet been found, and the faint whisper of fear is slowly becoming louder. Fear that grips the heart of a woman who suspects a truth she cannot bear to face.

Carolyn returns home from looking for David. She and Liz argue about David and Vicki. Liz says she’ll never forgive Miss Winters if anything happens to him. (It doesn’t seem from this that Liz cares all that deeply about Vicki, considering the lengths she went to in order to bring her to Collinwood.)

David shows up at Burke’s hotel room, as wayward Collinses are wont to do. Burke lets him in and tells him how famous he is. “The Disappearing David Collins, the boy who vanished in the restaurant while his father was looking for him. Tell me something, David, where were you hiding?”
“The phone booth.”
“A born spy. Hey, tell me something else. Why did you try to sneak into my room?”
“I didn’t.” David says he just noticed the door was open when the chambermaid was inside. Burke says he’ll make David a “Burke Devlin special.” David thinks he’s going to call someone, but Burke reassures him. He’s broken a lot of promises in his life—to doctors, lawyers, even an Indian chief—but never to a nine-year-old boy.
David hides the bleeder valve under Burke’s sofa cushion while Burke is in the other room fixing him the special.

Vicki suggests that Liz call the police. Liz wants to know what she would tell them and also says that it’s because of Vicki’s actions that David is not there. She asks Vicki to leave her alone.

Carolyn visits Vicki in her room and tries to cheer her up. Vicki wishes she’d never found the valve.
“We haven’t had a real storm since you’ve been here, have we? . . . You think this place is spooky now,” Carolyn tells her. “Wait till the power fails. Collinwood by candlelight—with all the ghosts ready to pounce.”
Vicki says she’s tired. Carolyn tells her not to blame herself. If she hadn’t found the bleeder valve, Burke Devlin would still be on the hook. Vicki tells Carolyn what’s bothering her: “Your mother.”

Burke brings David’s drink out, a mix of two different fruit juices that meets with David’s approval. David hitchhiked to town. He expected Burke to be different.
“You mean with horns and a tail and fire coming out of my mouth? . . . I used to have ’em. . . The horns kept pokin’ holes in my hat, and with the tail, I could never sit down.”
Burke and David continue in this vein for a little bit. “Burke Devlin, the human devil,” David says. (Well, Burke certainly has the right name for it.) Burke asks if David is going to be his friend. David feels guilty for trying to frame him for attempted murder.

Carolyn takes Liz to task for her treatment of Vicki.
Liz says children don’t do things like this—deliberately try to hurt or kill someone. Carolyn says if she’d met her father when she was David’s age, she might have been tempted to hit him with the nearest rock.
The magazine was in Vicki’s room, Liz points out, and she only has Vicki’s word she found the valve or that David gave her the magazine. Vicki could have removed the valve.
“Do you really believe that?”
“No,” Liz admits.
Carolyn answers the phone. It’s Maggie calling to see if David’s made it home yet. She gives the phone to Liz.
Liz asks Carolyn to drive into town and look for David, since that’s where he was last seen.
“Please God,” she prays, “let him be all right. Just let him be all right.”

Liz goes to Vicki’s room with an excuse about checking that the windows are shut tight. She apologizes. Vicki says she’s sure David will be all right.
Liz says David belongs to Collinwood, and there’s no peace in it. Not for her or Carolyn or David. “I’m not sure there ever can be.”

Burke tells David how he put soap bubbles in his dad’s pipe as a kid.
David wishes his father were like Burke.
Burke wants to know why David came to visit him.
To see what Burke looked like. David’s father and mother used to fight about Burke all the time.
Burke says he and David all a lot alike. They go after what they want and don’t let anybody stand in their way. David claims he doesn’t know what Burke is talking about. Burke says he thinks David does.
He says he should get David home before the storm and sends him to wash up. Then Burke checks under the sofa cushion and finds the bleeder valve.

        Cast, In Order of Appearance

Victoria Winters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Alexandra Moltke
Elizabeth Collins Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joan Bennett
Carolyn Stoddard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nancy Barrett
Burke Devlin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mitchell Ryan
David Collins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .David Henesy

Fashion by Ohrbach’s
Directed by Lela Swift
Story created and written by Art Wallace

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