Strange Paradise: Episode 143
*Episode 143a: Slideshow: http://tinyurl.com/38k5e6*
*Episode 143b: Slideshow: http://tinyurl.com/3e4he4*
Raxl: �Night at Desmond Hall a dark and stormy night. But the violent skies
above the house are just a pale reflection of the storm that rages within
its walls. For Jean Paul Desmond Master of Desmond Hall is a victim of a
curse. There are those that try to help him and in doing so new mysteries
will be revealed on this night. And it will place one man in a danger he has
Emily looks at the tombstone. �That mark?� She backs away towards Cort. �It�s
the same mark Susan saw on my face.� Cort says to her. �What is it? What
does it mean?� �I don�t know. Strange isn�t it?� �Yes very strange.� Emily
says as she nods her head. Cort glances up at the sky and pulls his coat
closer around himself. �It�s beginning to pour rain.� He says as thunders
crashes and lightening flashes. �We better get back to the house.� They turn
and walk away. A shadow falls over the grave. Raxl stands and watches as
they leave the woods.
Jean Paul sits on his bed looking at a book. There is a knock on his door.
He sets the book down and answers the door. Ada stands outside his door.
�Ada what is it?� �May I come in for a while?� She asks as she steps into
�Yes of course.� Jean Paul closes the door behind her. �I know it may sound
foolish but I don�t like being alone during a storm. I couldn�t find Cort
and Laslo was out.� She says as she holds the knob of the bedpost. �Are you
all right?� Jean Paul asks as he walks up to her. Ada sits on the edge of
the bed. �No I�m not all right. I had some brandy after dinner. I�m not used
to it but I needed it tonight, my nerves.� Jean Paul walks around the bed
and sits next to Ada. �Ada what happened tonight?� �The storm that�s all,
the storm.� She says with a smile with her back towards him. �You think I�m
very foolish.� �No.� �Jean Paul how long are you planning on staying at
Desmond Hall?� �Well I don�t know, why?�
�I hope it�s for a long time.� �Oh why?� �Well there may be trouble.� �What
kind of trouble?� Jean Paul asks. �I can�t say but it would comfort me to
know that you were here. Just in case there was some.� Jean Paul stands.
�Ada let�s be frank with one another.� �Yes?� �You spoke of some trouble?
Is it you and Laslo?�
�Oh we�ve had certain difficulties.� She smiles. �But most married people
do. Isn�t that true?� �Yes I suppose so.� Jean Paul says to her. �If a man
and woman love each other a marriage can survive almost anything.� Ada says
her words drawn out. �I believe that don�t you?� �Yes.� Thunder crashes
and Ada jumps nervously. �What is it?� Jean Paul asks. �The thunder that�s
all. I know I�m behaving foolishly.� She says as she lowers her head.
Glancing up she stands. �I thought I heard the front door. It must be Laslo,
please excuse me.� Ada rushes from the room.
Cort and Emily stand in the foyer taking off their wet coats; they hang them
up and walk through the foyer. �I�m going to find Susan and see if she can
describe that mark again.� Cort tells Emily as he walks to the
Ada calls from the staircase. Emily glances up the stairs. �No Mother it
isn�t Laslo.� Cort says as Ada rushes down the staircase. �It�s much too
early for your wandering husband to return. He�s still probably playing
games in town.� Cort turns away and rushes up the staircase. Ada walks up
to Emily. �Don�t pay any attention to Cort. Just ignore things that he may
say.� �I do Mrs. Thaxton. I know it is none of my business.� Thunder
crashes. �I do wish it would stop storming!� Ada cries out as she walks into
the Drawing Room. Emily follows her in. �Mrs. Thaxton is there anything
more that you could tell me of your Uncle Benjamin?� Ada faces the
fireplace holding onto the mantel. �I told you all I know.� �You told me he
killed the woman who loved him.� Ada looks at Emily. �Our family believed
that but the authorities were never able to prove it.� �Well who was she?�
�She was a young governess named Catherine. �I don�t remember her last
name.� Ada turns away.
�How did it happen?� �She and Benjamin had a violent quarrel, she left the
house and Benjamin followed her. Later that night her body had been found in
the woods. She had been strangled.� Ada says as she turns towards Emily.
Emily closes her eyes. �How awful.� �After that Benjamin Desmond was
declared mad.� Ada says as she walks away from Emily. She looks back at
Emily. �He was locked in this house away from the world and no one but
members of the family ever saw him. From the time of Catherine's death until
the time he died.� �But you said you saw him once.� �Yes, yes just that
once. I was a very little girl and I was taken to the house for a visit. I
saw him by accident.� �Tell me about it.�
�Well I was playing in one of the corridors in the stairway. Suddenly he
appeared, he didn�t say a word he just looked at me and then he turned and
walked away. I still remember his eyes, they were wild and terrifying. Like
an animal in pain. I wish I could forget them but I can�t.� Ada says looking
away from Emily. �And that�s all I know about Benjamin Desmond.� �Is there
anyone who might know more?� �No I doubt it, his brothers and sisters are
all dead now. Well besides no Desmond is....Perhaps I do know someone.�
�Who?� �It just occurred to me, Raxl.� �Raxl?� �Yes I think she could
give you some more information.� Ada says with a smile. �Well thank you.
I�ll ask her.� Emily says as she walks away from Ada then glances back at
her. �Do you know if Jean Paul is in his room?�
�He�s always up there.� She says as she looks at Emily. �He has a great
deal on his mind right now.� Ada looks away. �We all have.� �Excuse me.�
Emily says then walks out of the room. Ada walks to the table with the
brandy decanter and pours herself another drink.
Jean Paul has been looking at the picture of the four women on the gallows.
He closes the book when there is a knock at the door. �Who is it?� �Emily I
must talk to you.� He opens the door. �I was going to ask for you to see
me.� �Oh why?� Emily asks as she walks into the room. Jean Paul closes the
door. �It�s imperative that you leave Desmond Hall.� �No!� �You must
before it�s too late.� Jean Paul says as he walks up to her. �I refuse to
get into that argument again. Besides there is something I want to know.
What is the Mark of Death?� �What?� Jean Paul whispers. �The Mark of Death
do you know what it is? Cort mentioned it this evening. What is it?� Jean
Paul glances away from her. �It appears on my hand when the star appears."
He walks past Emily then looks at her. �It compels me to kill.� �I didn�t
know.� �Then why are you asking me about it?� �I saw it tonight.� Jean
Paul stares at her then away. �The mark was on a tombstone. I didn�t
understand why you didn�t know more about Benjamin Desmond.� Jean Paul
walks to the door and opens it. �Raxl, Raxl!� When she doesn�t appear he
closes the door and looks at Emily. �All I was told was that my Uncle died
in the prime of his life. That was all I was told.� �But if Raxl�s mother
worked for him then wouldn�t she know more?� �She should.� �Then why
didn�t she tell you?�
�I don�t know.� Jean Paul says to her. There is a knock at the door.
Jean Paul walks past Emily. �Come in.� Raxl enters and closes the door
behind her. �What is it?� Raxl asks, then she sees Emily in the room. �Can
you tell us what you know about Benjamin Desmond?� �Benjamin?� �My Uncle.
What do you know about him?� �I do not discuss the Desmonds with
outsiders.� �I already know a great deal. Mrs. Thaxton told me.� �She
probably told you all you need to know.� Jean Paul walks to the door and
opens it. �Emily may I speak to Raxl alone please.� �All right.� Emily says
as she walks out of the room. Jean Paul closes the door and walking across
the room he stands behind Raxl. �Now the truth.� �What did she tell
knew my Uncle didn�t you?� Jean Paul asks. �Yes I knew him.� �And you
worked in his house? You worked there before you came to Maljardin?� �Yes I
have served many Desmonds. Benjamin Desmond was one of them.� �Why is the
Mark of Death on his tombstone?� �He wanted it. The family carried out his
wishes.� �Why did he want it?� �To warn others. Others who would
understand what it meant.� �Then he was cursed.� Jean Paul says to her.
�Yes.� Jean Paul grabs her arm and turns Raxl towards him. �He carried the
Mark of Death?� �Yes, yes.� Raxl says as she looks away.
�And I thought I was the first member of the family to be cursed. You made
me believe that!� �I did not want you to know about your Uncle.� �Why
not?� �Because of the way he died.� �How did he die? Tell me!� Raxl
shakes her head. �Master I beg you.� �You tell me!� Jean Paul demands. �He
set fire to himself. He burned alive.� �What?� �It was late one night when
I heard screams coming from his room. When I got there it was too late. He
was on the floor; his body was blackened and charred. But he was still
breathing. He suffered great pain before he died.� �Did he die because of
the curse?� �The curse drove him mad. He escaped the only way he knew.� Jean
Paul walks away from her. �You have accused me of keeping secrets from you
but you have been keeping secrets from me Raxl.� �I tried to protect you
from knowledge that would only cause you despair. I did not want you to give
up hope. Surely you can understand that.� Raxl says with tears in her eyes.
�Yes I suppose I do.� he says with his back towards her. �Master do not
turn away from me. I only want to help you.� Jean Paul glances back at her.
�Yes I know that.� �Do not brood over this. I will stay with you.� �No go.
We will talk later.� Raxl bows her head. �As you wish.�
Jean Paul stares straight ahead.
Cort is in the Drawing Room with his mother. �Tell me about that Uncle
Benjamin.� �Why bother to discuss it? Why dwell on the family tragedy?� �We
all have our tragedies don�t we? Your's is being married to a man who
doesn�t love you.� �Stop it! Stop it!� Ada says as she looks away. Cort
stands and walks across the room. �Divorce him Mother it�s the only answer.�
�Why are you saying these things? To torture me?� �You think I want to hurt
you? �You seem to.� Cort walks back to his mother and sits next to her. �I
want you to be happy. As happy as you were before you met Laslo.� �I�m
perfectly happy.� She says as she turns away to take a drink. �Is that why
you can�t stay more than a few feet away from a brandy bottle?� �My
problems are no concern of yours. I wish you would leave me alone. I�ll work
them out by myself.� �Go ahead work them out! Drink yourself to death while
you�re at it!� Cort says angrily as he turns away.
�Oh don�t be foolish.� �Mrs. Thaxton?� Raxl calls to her from the doorway.
�What is it?� Ada asks. Raxl steps into the room. �If Miss Blair asks
anymore questions about Benjamin Desmond do not answer them. She is an
outsider. The family history must remain within the family.� Ada nods. Cort
looks at Raxl. �Do servants give orders from where you come from?� �It was
not an order, it was only a suggestion.� �Tell her to keep her suggestions
to herself!� Cort says to his mother angrily as he points at Raxl. �Oh
please Cort.� Ada stands. �I�m going to my room.� She walks away. Raxl
looks at Cort. �You love your mother and yet you upset her. You upset her,
you should not do that.� Cort looks at Raxl. �Are you telling me what to
do?�� �No I am only one who lives to serve you.� Raxl says as she walks
closer to Cort... �And to protect you.� She touches his shoulder.
Cort pulls away. �Protect me from what?� �From forces that can destroy you.
I will be your guardian. I�ll watch over you.� �You said that before. I
still don�t know what you are talking about.� �I cannot explain. One day
you will understand.� She looks at Jacques portrait. Cort looks at her then
follows her gaze to the portrait.
Jean Paul stands at the window looking at the skies when Cort walks in.
�Jean Paul I want to talk to you.� �What is it?� Cort walks around the
room. �Well one day I�ll inherit all that you own, the estates everything.
One day I�ll be as rich as you are right?� �That�s true, what about it?� Cort
turns towards him. �Do I have to wait until you die? Could you sign some of
the money over to me now? I want to get out of here.� �Where do you want to
go?� �Anywhere, I just want to get out of this house!� Cort says to
what�s wrong?� �I hate this house. I hate my ancestors and the
superstitions. And I hate being under the same roof as Laslo.� �Listen what
has Laslo done?� �He�s destroying my mother. She�s falling to
Cort this is no time to leave your mother. She may need you.�
�I can�t help her I�ve tried.� �Well try some more! She�s going through a
very difficult time right now.� �It�s not my fault! She married Laslo I
didn�t!� �Cort that�s a very selfish attitude and a cowardly one! Now this
is the time you should not leave. She needs you!� Cort looks away from
Laslo enters the mansion and hangs up his coat. He walks through the foyer.
�Laslo?� Ada calls out to him. �Are you still up my dear, I thought you
would be asleep by now.� �Where have you been?� Ada asks. �I stopped by
the Inn for a drink. I was delayed by the storm.� �Why didn�t you phone?� �I
thought you would be in bed. I didn�t wish to disturb you.� �Are you
telling me the truth?�
�You�ve been drinking haven�t you?� �I had a brandy after dinner. You
haven�t answered my question. Where were you tonight? Were you with Irene?
Tell me if you were because not knowing is worse than knowing.� �I told you
where I was.�
�But is it the truth?� She looks away. �Ada look at me. Look at me straight
in the eyes.� He grabs her chin and turns her head so she has to look at
him. �What do you think of our marriage?� He releases her. �That�s a
strange question.� �Don�t you think marriage should be based on trust?� �I
do.� �Then you must trust me or our marriage means nothing. Don�t you
believe that I love you?� �I want to believe that more than anything in the
world.� �Come here.� He touches her face and kisses her, then they hug. Cort
walks through the foyer and Ada looks up and sees him. �Cort?� Cort stands
and stares at his mother.
In his room Jean Paul and Emily are sitting next to each other. �And that�s
Raxl's story?� �Yes that was it.� Emily stands. �Do you believe her?� �Well
why shouldn�t I?� �I don�t know. She seemed rather strange when you started
asking her questions about the Desmond history.� Jean Paul stands. �Now
Emily that�s because you were here. She doesn�t like to discuss the affairs
of the Desmond family with people who are not members of the family. Really
that�s all it is. I�ve known Raxl since I was a boy, she�s always been like
that.� �Well it�s getting late I suppose I better...� Emily turns and
starts to walk away. �Emily?� Emily stops and looks back at him. �I want
you to leave Desmond Hall in the morning.� �I�m not leaving!� She says as
she walks back to him. �Now listen to me. Tomorrow night the star will
appear again and you will be in great danger if you stay.� �You won�t harm
me, you won�t harm anyone again. Philip plans will work you�ll see.�
�Well tomorrow night we shall know.� �That�s right tomorrow night we will
all know the truth. You�ll be safe.�
Raxl stands in front of Jacques portrait. �They will fail. You will never
let him go, never.� Raxl turns away.
Summary by Debby Graham and Slideshow by Ron Janick
Ron and The Boston Babes:
Bella & Daisy
"God is great, beer is good,
and people are crazy."
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]