Strange Paradise: Episode 103
- *Strange Paradise: Episode 103*
*Episode 103: Slideshow: http://tinyurl.com/y6935s*
Ada: "Desmond Hall a mansion of stone and mortar looming high on the cliffs
above the village of Desmondton. Home to a family once thought of as
charitable and honorable. But now it represents a threat to the people
below. For the Master of Desmond Hall has brought murder to the sleepy
village. And in the town the people say that who ever visits the house
enters a dark pit. The only exit being blood, torture and death."
In the Drawing Room Helena arranges flowers in a vase. "White flowers a
perfect gift from someone who respects a lady's purity." Laslo enters the
room. "Miss Raleigh." He greets her. Helena turns. "Oh good afternoon." Laslo
walks around the room. "All these flowers. You've transformed the room." "I
hope you don't mind." "Not at all. I'm just as romantic as the next man.
Perhaps even more so." "Are you really? That must be so reassuring for your
wife Mr. Thaxton. You impress me as being a man who has romantic
inclinations with marital fidelity." Helena says as she walks to the
fireplace and turns to face Laslo. "You have read my character perfectly."
Helena walks to Laslo carrying a white flower. "For you." "Thank you."
Laslo says taking the flower from her. Helena smiles at him and steps away.
"Think nothing of it. They arrived as a gift from an admirer, a secret one.
I can't imagine who it could be." Helena says standing next to the vase of
flowers. "Can't you?" "Though secret admirers are stimulating and
mysterious, and I do enjoy a mystery." Laslo walks up to Helena. "It's not
all that mysterious. There's an envelope and a card. You must have dropped
them." Laslo says as he picks it up and opens it. "The card is signed Erica.
Erica Desmond." Helena looks at him with a smile. "Would you like to have
it?" Laslo asks holding it out to her. "No thank you. But it would make a
remarkable keepsake since Erica Desmond is dead." says Helena. "The mystery
should also please you." Laslo says to her. "It doesn't. You sent them to
me Mr. Thaxton and signed Erica Desmond's name." "Now why should I do
that?" Laslo asks. "To frighten me." "Oh perish the thought. However it is
Mrs. Desmond's signature. I have some correspondence on record." "And you
found an old card she had signed and included it with the flowers." Helena
says. "How little faith, how little faith you have in me Miss Raleigh. Did
you know that Agatha Pruett is dead?" Laslo asks as he attaches the flower
to his lapel. "Yes." "Poor girl, suicide. Saying the most outlandish
things. Did she ever speak to you about me?" "No. Why should she Mr.
Thaxton?" "Oh no reason. No reason at all. But since she called Jean Paul a
murderer I thought no reputation was safe." "She did not speak to me of
you." Helena says with a smile. "Yes well." He walks to the door. "I only
brought up her death because it doesn't speak well for Desmond Hall. I
should hate for anyone to conclude death is the fate of our houseguests, you
understand." "Of course I do. I understand a threat when I hear one." Laslo
laughs. "Ah little faith again you see." Laslo walks out closing the door
behind him. Helena turns and sits at the table. She picks up a pen and
paper and putting the card signed by Erica sets it in front of her. She
copies Erica Desmond's signature. With a laugh she tears both up and walks
to the fireplace placing them in the fire.
Laslo walks into the foyer and puts his coat on. "My dear Ada you are
delaying me with your questions. I have business in the village." "I want
to know how she died." Ada says. "Suicide. The girl was unbalanced." Laslo
says as he turns to the door. Ada grabs his arm. "Laslo?" He turns towards
her. "Last night you told me that Agatha Pruett would have to die." "Did I
say that?" "You said she would have to be removed for your protection and
mine. Now what did you mean?" Ada asks. "I do get dramatic at times. Now
excuse me Ada." "Laslo did you harm that girl?" Laslo turns back to Ada.
"You mean did I murder her. Push her into the river? What a question for a
devoted wife like you to ask. You have no idea Ada how you break my heart."
"Laslo answer me." "If you're looking for a murderer dear Ada I suggest
you look elsewhere." Laslo walks to the door and opens it. He looks back at
Ada. "And to start with if I were you I should look to the head of this
family." Laslo walks out closing the door behind him. "Mother." Cort calls
from the staircase. "Where have you been?" Ada asks turning around to face
Cort. "Sleeping, Mother." "Until late afternoon." "Well I spent a very
exhausting night searching for some young lady who seemed intent on killing
herself." Cort says walking down the staircase. "I know all about the young
lady. And I regret the day that Agatha Pruett came into this house. She's
dead." "I know that." Cort walks up to his mother. "Mother help me." Ada
looks at him. "Help you?" "They've all turned against me. Jean Paul, Raxl
the whole merry group." Ada touches Cort's shoulder. "Jean Paul couldn't
have turned against you Cort." "Oh no, well by his command Quito trapped me
and by his command he threatened to feed me to a serpent." "Oh Cort what
are you saying?" Ada touches his face. "You love me don't you Mother"
"Oh yes. I do I do." "Then help me. Trust me because you're the only one I
can depend on." Ada hugs him. "Oh Cort that's what I wanted to hear. That's
what I ever wanted, your respect and your loyalty as a son." "You have it,
I promise you. If you'll trust me I'll be able to bring about all the things
you want. No more unpleasantness. No more hatred at Desmond Hall. It will be
the way it was Mother. Long summer days, picnics down by the river." He
pulls back from Ada. "Sunshine and peace. For you, Mother. You and me." He
holds his mother as she closes her eyes in happiness.
It is evening as Helena sits in the Drawing Room at a table writing a
letter. "Dear Mr. Shimpkin. I have decided I must cancel the rest of the
tour. I'm too exhausted mentally and physically to go on. I know you have
plans for me to act in the Norah Cara play. 'Oh really darling. I could play
that." she says looking up from the letter. "But for now only rest and
refueling. Love Erica. 'Oh no of course not' Helena." She is folding the
letter when Emily walks in. "I hope I'm not disturbing you." Emily says. "Oh
no not at all. Do sit down." Helena stands. "We'll ring for champagne shall
we?" "Oh no thank you. I really don't think I should drink." Emily says as
she sits on the couch. "But you look so pale Emily. No wonder, moping
around in that room." Helena says as she walks to the fireplace and stands
in front of it. "Helena?" "Yes Emily?" Helena turns to face Emily. "I've
been doing a great deal of thinking lately." "Have you darling." Helena
says with a smile as she drags out her words. "Yes and I'm not going to do
what you want me to. I'm not leaving Desmond Hall." "Strange misguided
girl. What ever made you think?" Helena says walking towards Emily. "I know
what you want, Jean Paul Desmond." "Oh really, darling." "Helena you don't
have to perform for me. This isn't a stage. I'm sincere not play
well then I shall be sincere and sympathetic like something out of Little
Women." Helena says as she tosses a pillow to the floor and sits on it.
"Well?" "Jean Paul loves me." Emily says.
"I'm delighted." Helena says smiling. "I mean it. He loves me and I have
friends now. Powerful friends who will crush anyone who will get into my
way." Helena stares at her. "The word crush is a little one. It means
crush." She raises her hand and closes it into a fist squeezing it tightly
then lowers it. Helena watches her. "Can this be, can this be sweet little
Emily? The little librarian, the quiet researcher who has won the heart of
the Master of Desmond Hall? Crush me is that what you'd do?" Emily lowers
her head and shakes it no. "But that's what you said sweet Emily." "I
don't know. I didn't mean." Emily says as she becomes upset. "Emily what is
it? One moment repentant, shy and timid as a fawn and the next full of
strength and threats. Threats of murder." Emily shakes her head looking at
Helena. "I didn't say that." "Emily what is it? Tell me." "I don't know.
Something comes over me like poison running through my blood. And then I
don't hear what I said. I don't know what I'm saying. Helena what can I do?"
"Do? But you are under the protection of Jean Paul Desmond who loves you.
Staying at Desmond Hall with the man you love." Emily lowers her head and
shakes it no. "Helena." "I think that's an amiable position. What woman
wouldn't envy you? And Emily if such ecstatic love has moments of
forgetfulness, moments when the tiger shows her claws and the snake exudes
venom my dear remember it's been that way since Eve." Emily looks at
Helena. "Why did you say snake?" "Oh a classic symbol." "You frighten me."
"I shouldn't frighten you Emily. There's no need of you to be frightened of
me. I love a good love story with a happy ending. But from now on I shall
devote myself to you and Jean Paul. And make sure your love comes to a
proper ending." Emily stares at Helena.
Laslo enters the foyer from the outdoors. "Cort?" Laslo walks towards him.
Cort turns, "Yes." He holds a plate. "What are you doing?" "I'm feeding my
pets. An errand of mercy. I find the people here at Desmond hall distasteful
and hardly worth the preservation." Cort turns away from Laslo. "But we are
surrounded by little friends." "Do you usually feed them in the foyer?" "I
came from outside."
"Most peculiar. I came from up the drive just now and I saw nothing." "It's
dark." Cort says as he turns and walks away from Laslo. "Cort?" Cort turns
and looks at him. "Does your mother know about your feeding plans? Does she
know what you take from the pantry?" "What do you want me to do, count
every scrap? That's all they are, table scraps." Laslo takes the plate and
looks at it. "You're ridiculous do you know that? Here you accounting for
every penny at Desmond Hall and every crumb as if anything here belongs to
you!" "I'm looking after your inheritance, your future." "I thin I'm quite
capable of doing that." "No you're young. You're careless." "What I am is
none of your business!" Cort says to Laslo. "And also dear stepfather when I
come into my inheritance it will have nothing to do with you because you'll
get nothing! Absolutely nothing!" Cort walks away and passes his
she calls to him. Ada walks up to Laslo. In her hands is a tray. "What
happened?" "Oh nothing. We just had a little talk that's all. Well, well,
well what's all this?" Laslo asks looking at the tray.
"Hors d' oeuvres for the guest." She says with a smile. "You work too hard
Ada for our guests. I think it's time to trim the number of guests." "The
way you decided to do away with Agatha Pruett?" "Ada, Ada when will you
understand me correctly." "I don't know. But perhaps when I do we will both
regret it." Ada walks around Laslo. She stops and looks back at him. "Oh one
thing more Laslo."
Laslo turns and looks at her. "Cort is my son and I love him and if there
ever should be a choice. If my devotion as a wife and a mother should ever
Laslo steps towards her. "Yes Ada?" "I'm not afraid of you anymore." Ada
tells him as he stands next to her. "Aren't you my dear?" he says crowding
her. Ada backs away. "No I'm not." Laslo puts his hand on the side of
Ada's neck. "I never expected you to be frightened of me. I only want
devotion." He slides his hand until it is gripping Ada's neck.
and obedience like any husband wants." "Laslo you're hurting me!" Ada says
as he tightens his hand.
"Oh you mustn't be afraid. You must be careful Ada or you'll drop your
tray." Laslo releases Ada's neck and hits the tray sending the food and tray
to the floor. "Oh Ada how clumsy. A waste, all that good food gone to
waste." Ada kneels on the floor. "Waste not want not I always say. But
then you've forgotten a great many of the lessons that I've taught you." Ada
glances up at him. "We must have a talk tonight you and I. A very serious
Emily hands her empty glass to Helena. "Better now? Helena asks. Emily
nods. "You see I do know what's right. You do trust me don't you?" "I want
to see Jean Paul." Emily says looking away from Helena. "He's resting."
Helena tells her. "Tired and heart broken." She hands Emily another glass of
wine. "Did you know that dear Agatha Pruett is dead?" Emily accepts the
glass. "No I didn't know." "She was a rival of your's, wasn't she?" "A
rival?" "For the affection of Jean Paul Desmond." Helena says as she walks
across the room. "Jean Paul pitied her."
"I know he wanted to protect her. Poor lonely girl and yet she died. She
drowned I understand in the river." "Drowned?" Emily asks. "Last
was wicked." Helena walks towards Emily. "What did you say?" "She would
not serve." Emily says as she stares straight ahead. Helena squats next to
Emily. "Serve? What is it Emily?" Emily glances at her. "Oh I don't know
why I said that." She says with a laugh. "Who do you serve?" Helena asks.
"You do serve don't you?" "I don't know what you're talking about." Emily
says then takes a sip from her glass. Helena sits next to her. "Emily, tell
me. You can tell me I'm your friend. Unless you talk unless you talk to
someone well there's no telling what might happen to you. They may send you
away." "No." Emily says.
"Jean Paul won't be any help to you. Not any more help then he was for poor
Agatha." Emily shakes her head. "Emily, look at me." Emily turns her head
towards Helena. "You must confide in someone. You must confide in me. I know
this is a dreadful thing to say but if you don't I'm afraid in your
desperation you could land up in the river below the cliffs." Helena tells
her. Emily turns away upset. "Well ladies sharing a before dinner drink?"
Laslo asks as he walks into the Drawing Room. "How pleasant, do you mind if
I join." Laslo walks to the wine decanters. Emily stands. "I'm afraid I
have to go. I don't feel very well." Laslo walks around the couch to Emily.
"You don't look well Emily. We can't have that can we?" He reaches for her
glass. "I want to go to my room." "I'm afraid solitude is not the
solution. Do stay." Laslo says. Emily walks around him. "Miss Raleigh, use
your influence." Laslo says to Helena. "I'm afraid I already have." "Emily
you might consider Ada." He says walking towards Emily. "My wife has been
very overworked. You'll find her quite worried tonight. She'll still have to
take a tray to your room." "I don't want a tray. I just want to be left
alone." Emily says then rushes from the room. Laslo turns to Helena. "I
can't imagine can you?" "A complete mystery Mr. Thaxton." Laslo walks to
the table and pours two glasses of wine. "Mysteries please you so and that
being the case I'm sure you'll enjoy your stay at Desmond Hall." He passes a
glass of wine to Helena. "To you Miss Raleigh and to the mysteries that lie
ahead." "To me." Helena says. "And if I may a more solemn toast. To the
dear departed. To Agatha." "Poor Agatha." Helena adds. "And to Erica
Desmond." says Laslo. "Wherever she may be." Helena says. They touch
glasses then drink.
Cort stands next to the staircase; he turns and starts pacing in the foyer.
He stops and leans on a table with his hands on the top of it. "I'll kill
him! If he touches her again I'll kill him!" He says angrily. Ada walks in
carrying a fresh tray. "Shhh someone will hear you." She sits the tray next
to Cort. "I don't care. It's about time they knew that Laslo was a
monster." "I married him Cort." "Are you afraid of him?" Cort asks. Ada
shakes her head. "No because he was kind."
"Pretense." "No he was. I remember." "My memories are more recent. I
remember you down on the floor cleaning it. And the marks from his fingers
were on your neck! When are you going to tell him to leave!�? "Leave?" "You
better do it before I do something worse." Cort turns away. "I hate him!
I've hated him from the first day you introduced me to him!" Cort looks back
at his mother. "This is your new papa Cort!" Cort shouts. "Cort stop it!"
Ada says. "He's going to look after us from now on! Because he loves your
mother and he's going to love you like a son! How could you! How!" Cort asks
as he walks towards Ada. "When I still remembered my real father and how
much he loved me!" Ada puts her hand on Cort's shoulder. "Cort." Cort
pulls away. "Don't you touch me! You bring him delicacies and you bow when
he tells you to bow! But I've got other plans!" Cort turns and rushes off.
Emily enters Philip's secret room carrying a candle. Walking to the table
she sets it down... "I'm here and I'm ready to serve. But you will protect
me won't you? You won't let me come to harm? And you will save Jean Paul for
me? For me. The others will be provided for. I will sacrifice them to you.
I'm ready to serve and I'm not afraid." Emily raises her arms. "I'm here and
you will protect me won't you." The Serpent's hissing surrounds Emily.
Summary by Debby Graham & Slideshow by Ron Janick
Ron and The Boston Babes:
Bella & Daisy
"God is great, beer is good,
and people are crazy."
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