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Letter The

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That's Mr. Hammond.
Come inside.
Do you know where the new district officer lives?
Yes, missy.
Send someone for him.
Tell him there's been an accident and Mr. Hammond's dead.
Yes, missy.
And get word to Mr. Crosbie.
He's out somewhere on the number four plantation.
No can telephone tonight. Offices are all closed.
Well, send a boy for him. Tell him to come at once.
Yes, missy.
What are you doing here, all of you?
Go away. Go away, I tell you.
Mr. Withers! Mr. Withers!
Please stop at Lower Crossway. I take shortcut.
Fred, can we get this whole shipment on these cars?
-Sure we will, sir. -If not, we can use the two big lorries.
What's the matter?
Mr. Crosbie, Mr. Hammond has been shot.
What? What's that you said?
Mr. Hammond is dead. Missy say hurry.
Fred, get to the village as fast as you can. Telephone Joyce in Singapore.
-Mr. Howard Joyce? -Yes, the lawyer.
Tell him to meet me at Lower Crossway immediately.
-Right. -And hurry with the shipment to Singapore.
She's got to be on board by 6.
-Where's my wife? -She locked herself in.
She wouldn't see me until you came.
Mr. Withers, I'm Howard Joyce.
-How do you do? -Let me in.
Leslie, darling, it's Robert.
What's happened?
Leslie, what's happened?
Didn't they tell you?
They said Hammond was killed.
Is he still there?
I had your head boy remove the body to a shed.
He tried to make love to me, and I shot him.
Oh, Robert, I'm so glad you've come.
There, darling.
Hold me tight. I'm so frightened.
There's nothing to be frightened about. It'll be all right.
Leslie, darling, it'll be all right.
Mr. Withers, I hope you understand that I couldn't see anyone...
-...until my husband came. -I understand, Mrs. Crosbie.
Howard, how nice of you to come.
Naturally, I'd want to be here if I can help.
-Then you will help us? -Of course I will. In every way I can.
-You're a dear. -Darling.
How's Dorothy?
She's very well and anxious to see you.
-Has her niece arrived from England? -Adele. Charming girl. She came last week.
Here, you better be resting.
I do feel dreadfully faint.
Come and lie down, darling. I'll get you something to drink.
I'm sorry to be so tiresome.
-You're being very brave. -How long have you been here?
About an hour. One of the Crosbie houseboys came to fetch me.
-Was Hammond dead? -Oh, yes. He was just riddled with bullets.
-What? -Here's the revolver.
All six chambers are empty.
Here, you two. Better have a drink yourselves.
Thanks, but I'm afraid I shouldn't.
I'll have one, Bob.
I'm on duty of a sort, you know.
Feeling any better?
Much better, thank you.
Mrs. Crosbie, I know it sounds brutal, but I'm afraid it's my duty... ask you some questions.
I think that can wait until my wife--
It's all right, really. I feel perfectly well now.
Then suppose you tell us exactly what happened, Leslie.
-I'll try. -Take your time, Mrs. Crosbie.
Remember, we're all friends here.
You've been so patient.
Well, as you know, Robert was spending the night in Singapore.
I never mind being alone.
-Planter's wife gets used to that. -My dear.
I had dinner rather late and started working on my lace.
I don't know how long I'd been working when suddenly I heard a footstep outside.
Someone came up on the veranda and said, "Good evening. Can I come in?"
I was startled because I hadn't heard a car drive up.
Hammond left his car a quarter-mile down the road.
Your houseboy noticed it as we were driving here.
Probably didn't want anyone to hear him.
At first I couldn't tell who it was. "Who is it?" I asked.
"Geoff Hammond."
"Of course," I said. "Come in and have a drink."
-Were you surprised to see him? -Well, I was, rather.
-We hadn't seen him for ages, had we? -Three months at least.
I told him Robert was at the number four plantation...
-...getting out a shipment. Was that it? -Yes, darling.
-What happened? -He said, "I'm so sorry...
...I was feeling lonely, so I came over to see how you were getting on."
I asked him how he'd come as I hadn't heard a car.
He said he'd left it on the road. We might be in bed, and he didn't want to wake us.
I put on my spectacles again and went on with my work.
Well, we went on chatting...
...and then suddenly he said something rather silly.
-What? -It's hardly worth repeating.
He paid me a little compliment.
Perhaps you'd better tell us exactly what he said.
He said, "You have very pretty eyes.
It's a shame to hide them under those ugly spectacles."
Had he ever said anything of the sort before?
-Never, and I thought it impertinent. -I don't wonder.
-Did you answer him? -I said:
"I don't care twopence what you think about me."
He only laughed and said, "I'm going to tell you, all the same.
I think you're the prettiest thing I've ever seen."
-I don't understand-- -Let her finish.
"In that case," I said, "I can only think you half-witted."
But he laughed again and moved his chair up closer.
"You can't deny you have the prettiest hands in the world."
Well, that rather put my back up.
My hands are not very good, and no woman wants to be flattered...
-...on her worst points. -Oh, darling.
Robert, you silly thing.
Well, when Hammond was talking that way, did he just sit in his chair?
Oh, no. He tried to take one of my hands.
"Don't be an idiot," I said.
"Sit back where you were and talk sensibly, or I shall have to send you home."
But I wonder you didn't throw him out there and then.
I didn't want to make a fuss.
Some men think it's their duty to flirt with women...
...whenever they have the chance. They think women expect it.
When did you first suspect that Hammond was serious?
The next thing he said to me.
He looked at me straight in the face and said:
"Don't you know I'm awfully in love with you?"
-Were you surprised? -But of course I was surprised.
We've known him seven years, Robert. He's never paid me the smallest attention.
Didn't suppose he even knew what color my eyes were.
We haven't seen very much of him for the last few years.
Go on, Leslie.
Well, he helped himself to another whisky and soda.
I began to wonder if he'd been drinking before.
"I wouldn't have another one if I were you," I said.
I was quite friendly, not the least bit frightened.
Never occurred to me I couldn't manage him.
But he emptied his glass and said to me in a funny, abrupt way:
"Do you think I'm saying this because I'm drunk?"
I said, "That's the most obvious explanation, isn't it?"
Oh, it's too awful having to tell you all this. I'm so ashamed.
I wish there were some way we could spare you.
Leslie, it's for your own good that we know the facts.
All you can remember of them.
Very well, I'll tell you the rest.
I got up from that chair there.
And I stood in front of the table here.
He rose and came around the table and stood in front of me.
I held out my hand.
"Good night," I said.
But he didn't move.
He just stood there looking at me, and his eyes were all funny.
"I'm not going," he said.
Then I began to lose my temper.
"Poor fool, don't you know I've never loved anyone but Robert?
And even if I didn't love him, you'd be the last man I should care for."
"Robert's away," he said.
Well, that was the last straw.
I wasn't in the least bit frightened, just angry.
"If you don't leave immediately," I said...
" ...I shall call the boys and have you thrown out."
I walked past him toward the veranda to call the boys.
He took hold of my arm and swung me back.
I tried to scream, but he flung his arms about me and kissed me.
I struggled to tear myself away from him.
He seemed like a madman. He kept talking and talking and saying he loved me and--
It's horrible. Can't go on.
I'm sorry, Leslie, but we'll have to know the rest.
He lifted me in his arms and started carrying me.
Somehow he stumbled on those steps.
We fell, and I got away from him.
Suddenly I remembered Robert's revolver in the drawer of that chest.
He got up and ran after me, but I reached it before he could catch me.
I seized the gun as he came toward me.
I heard a report and saw him lurch toward the door.
It was all instinctive. I didn't even know I'd fired.
Then I followed him out to the veranda.
He staggered across the porch, grabbed the railing...
...but it slipped through his hand, and he fell down.
Don't remember anything more, just the reports, one after another...
...till there was a funny little click, and the revolver was empty.
It was only then I knew what I'd done.
My poor darling.
-Mrs. Crosbie-- -How did the revolver happen to be there?
When I leave Leslie alone...
...I always feel safer if she has a weapon handy.
I saw that it was loaded before I left, and thank heaven I did.
Mrs. Crosbie, may I say that I think you behaved magnificently?
I'm terribly sorry that we had to put you through the ordeal of telling us all this.
You're all very kind.
It's quite obvious the man only got what he deserved.
If you'll come with me, I'd like to look around.
Yes, of course.
Be back in a few minutes.
My poor child.
Robert, what have I done?
You did what every woman would have done in your place.
Only nine-tenths of them wouldn't have had the courage.
And yet I'd give almost anything in the world to bring him back to life.
It's so horrible to think that I killed him.
What shall we call this? Late supper or early breakfast?
I don't care what we call it. I'm famished.
You'll have to be very indulgent towards my cooking.
-Thank you. -I can't vouch for it.
I can and will.
As a matter of fact, in England I tried my hand more often.
But out here, one gets so lazy.
The boys take such good care of us.
Funny, the head boy running off tonight.
Yes, it is odd.
He couldn't have done better than this. Delicious.
-Excellent, Leslie. -Thank you, gentlemen.
I think we should start for Singapore when we're finished.
Right away?
-It's still dark. -It'll be 8:00 by the time we get there.
We'll ring the attorney general and find out when we can see him.
I think that's the first thing to do, don't you?
Yes, I think that's the best thing to do.
Would I have to be arrested?
You see, as a matter of fact--
You're by way of being under arrest now.
It's purely a matter of form.
Mr. Joyce's idea is you should go to the attorney general and give yourself up.
Shall I be imprisoned?
Well, that depends on the attorney general.
It's possible that after you've told him your story, he'll be able to accept bail.
He's a decent fellow. I'm sure he'll do everything he can.
What do you mean, "be able to accept bail"?
Well, my dear, it depends on what the charge is.
What do you mean by that?
I think it not unlikely that he could say that only one charge is possible.
And in that case, I'm afraid an application for bail would be useless.
What charge?
Oh, Robert, Robert.
It's all right. Nobody's going to do anything to you.
Nothing's going to happen.
We have been happy, haven't we?
You've been the best wife a man could have.
If only there was something I could do.
You can love me. That's all I need.
I've always loved you.
Yes, but now.
Leslie, darling, if I could love you any more, I would now.
All right, darling, I'll get ready.
I don't know when anything's impressed me so much... the way she told that terrible story.
You could see that she was just holding onto herself like grim death.
I say, what a swine that man was.
Did you know Hammond?
-I knew him a little. -Was he a heavy drinker?
I don't know that he was.
He could take his whack, but I never saw him actually drunk.
I've heard of him, but I never happened to meet him.
He was quite a favorite with the ladies, wasn't he?
He was a good-looking chap. You know the sort, very breezy, devil-may-care.
Generous with his money.
Did you like him?
He was the sort of chap you couldn't help liking.
Could you have imagined him doing a thing like this?
Well, how can you tell what a man will do when he's drunk?
That's true. Well, they ought to be ready pretty soon.
By George, that's beautiful.
You know, that's just the sort of thing you'd expect her to do.
That was a quick change, Leslie. I wish you'd teach Dorothy how to do it.
I wager she's faster than you, at that.
Is there room for me or shall I follow?
Come with us. There's plenty of room.
-Oh, Leslie? -Yes?
-There's one question I'd like to ask. -Yes, what is it?
When I was looking at Hammond's body....
I'm sorry, my dear, but this is a question that's bound to come up.
Yes, Howard, what is it?
It seemed that some of the shots must have been fired...
...after he was lying on the ground.
I know it must sound terribly cold-blooded...
...but I was so terrified.
Everything was confused and blurred. I didn't know what I was doing.
Of course. I shouldn't have brought it up tonight.
Put it out of your mind.
Will you please come in?
Thank you.
-Hello, Bob. -Howard.
Have a chair, old man.
If I can be of any assistance, I shall remain within call.
Not at the moment, Ong. Thanks.
Ong's been of great help on the case.
Finds out everything.
Perfect confidential clerk.
Trouble is, after he's left my business...
...he'll set up his own office in opposition.
-How is everything? -Everything's fine.
Now, sit down, Bob. In fact, she's much better than you.
It's funny that you've taken it so much harder.
Leslie hasn't turned a hair.
She's worth ten of me. I don't mind confessing, I'm all in.
It's our first separation for more than a day or two since we were married.
But your plantation. What about that?
I've tried to work. The plantation can go to blazes for all I care.
I hate the house and every tree on the place.
Why don't you come and stay in town with us?
Dorothy's for it, and so am I.
Thanks, I think I will.
I won't be so lonely.
It'll make me feel better just to be that near.
I know you think I must be mad, Howard. Maybe I am.
I haven't closed my eyes the last three nights.
Get some sleep and out of those clothes before you see Leslie.
You don't want her to have to cheer you up.
She's a plucky girl.
It's monstrous to have kept her in that filthy prison all this time.
They had no choice. Anyhow, it's less than a week now and she'll be free.
It's a farce. Why make her go through the ordeal of a trial?
Because she admitted killing, and in a civilized community, a trial's inevitable.
She shot him as she would have shot a mad dog.
You don't have to convince me, Bob.
I know. I'm sorry.
Strange that Hammond was able to keep his life so hidden.
That gambling house he owned, and especially the Eurasian woman.
I think it was finding out about her that turned opinion so against him.
-Will she be one of the witnesses? -I shan't call her.
I'll just produce evidence that Hammond was married to her.
Well, I know you're busy, Howard.
-I can't tell you how grateful I am. -Nonsense, Bob.
Now, stop worrying about the trial. That's your lawyer's job.
So long, Bob.
-Bring your things across soon as you can. -Right.
Come in.
-Yes? -If you are not too busy, sir...
...might I trouble you for a few words in private conversation?
No trouble at all, Ong.
The matter upon which I desire to speak to you... very delicate and confidential.
Well, what matter is it?
It has to do with the case of The Crown v. Crosbie.
A circumstance has come to my attention, sir...
...which seems to put a different complexion on the case.
Please come to the point, Ong. What circumstance do you refer to?
A friend has brought me information, sir, that there is in existence a letter...
...from the defendant to the unfortunate victim of the tragedy.
That's not surprising.
During the course of seven years...
...I've no doubt Mrs. Crosbie often had occasion to write to him.
But the letter, sir, was written on the day of the late Mr. Hammond's death.
You will, no doubt, recall, sir, that Mrs. Crosbie has stated...
...that until the fatal night, she'd had no communication with the deceased...
...for several weeks.
In my opinion, this letter indicates that her statement, perhaps...
...was not in every respect accurate.
Have you seen the letter?
I have with me a copy, sir.
The original is in possession of a woman.
She happens to be the widow of Mr. Hammond, deceased.
What makes you think this letter was written by Mrs. Crosbie?
I have every confidence in the veracity of my informant, sir.
That's more than I have. It's inconceivable...
...that Mrs. Crosbie should have written such a letter.
Might I suggest, sir, that it would be well to make sure?
Since my friend is of the opinion that the letter might be of some interest... the prosecutor.
I'm obliged to you, Ong. I'll give the matter my consideration.
Very well, sir. Do you wish me to communicate that to my friend?
-It might be well to keep in touch with him. -Thank you, sir.
Yes, sir.
Thank you, sir. Mr. Joyce?
Mr. Reed was coming to see you in half an hour. I've canceled the appointment.
Yes, that's right.
Stay in the visiting room as long as you want.
-The warden's orders. -That's very nice of him. Thank you.
Howard, how good of you to come.
-Morning, Leslie. -I wasn't expecting you.
-How are you today, Mrs. Cooper? -Fine. It's a different place...
-...since Mrs. Crosbie's been here. -She's been so kind. Everyone has.
It's a shame she has to stay here at all.
Well, I'll just wait outside. You can call me when you're finished, Mrs. Crosbie.
Thank you.
Oh, how lovely. I do miss my garden.
You're looking very well, Leslie.
Well, this is a wonderful place to rest.
Well, it's only five days more.
I know. Every morning when I wake up, I say, "One less."
Just like I used to when I was in school with the holidays coming.
Don't feel sorry for me. The time has passed very quickly.
Done a good deal of reading, and I've worked on my lace.
It's Robert I'm worried about.
He's taking it terribly hard.
Poor darling.
He's much more anxious about you than you seem to be about yourself.
Well, Howard, I must confess to you...
...I'm not looking forward to testifying in court.
One thing that's impressed me is that every time you've told your story...'ve told it in exactly the same words. You've never varied a hairsbreadth.
And what does that suggest to your legal mind?
Well, it suggests either that you have an extraordinary memory....
Or that you're telling the plain, unvarnished truth.
I'm afraid I have a very poor memory.
I suppose I'm right in thinking that you had no communication with Hammond...
-...for several weeks before the catastrophe. -I'm positive of that.
The last time I saw him was at a tennis party at the McFarrens' .
Don't suppose I said more than two words to him.
They have two courts, you know, and we played different sets.
-And you hadn't written to him? -Oh, no.
Well, at one time you were on fairly intimate terms with him.
How did it happen that you stopped asking him to anything?
Well, we didn't have much in common, and he's very popular, you know.
A lot of calls upon his time, and...
...well, I didn't see the necessity of showering him with invitations.
You're quite certain that was all?
Well, I may as well tell you....
We heard about his wife.
And once, quite by chance, I actually saw her.
Oh? You never mentioned that.
-What was she like? -Horrible.
She was all covered with gold chains and bracelets and spangles...
...her face like a mask.
And it was after you knew about her that you stopped...
-...having anything to do with Hammond? -Yes.
I think I should tell you that there is in existence a letter in your handwriting...
...from you to Geoff Hammond.
Well, I often wrote him a little note about something or other...
...or to get me something if I heard he was going into Singapore.
This letter asks him to come and see you because Robert was going to be away.
But that's impossible. You see, I never did anything of the kind.
Better read it for yourself.
-But that's not my handwriting. -I know.
It's said to be an exact copy of one written on the day of Hammond's death.
What does it mean?
-That's for you to say, Leslie. -I didn't write it. I swear I didn't.
If the original is in your writing, it'd be useless to deny it.
-Then it'll be a forgery. -Be difficult to prove that.
-Be easy to prove it was genuine. -It's not dated.
It might've been written years ago. If you'll just give me time, I'll try to remember.
Leslie, the prosecution could cross-examine your houseboys.
They'd find out whether someone took a letter to Hammond the day of his death.
Howard, I swear to you, I did not write this letter.
...if you've nothing more to say to me...
...I'll get back to the office.
Howard, wait.
Wait a minute.
I did write that letter, but I was afraid to mention it.
I thought none of you would believe me...
...if I admitted that he'd come at my invitation.
I daresay it was terribly silly of me...
...but once I'd said I had no communication with Hammond, I was forced to stick to it.
Then you'll have to explain why you asked him to come see you...
...when Robert was away.
Well, I'll tell you why, Howard.
I was planning a surprise for Robert's birthday.
I'd heard he wanted a new gun, and--
Well, I'm so dreadfully stupid about sporting things.
I thought I'd talk to Geoff and ask him to order one.
Perhaps you've forgotten what's in the letter.
Will you read it again?
No, I don't want to.
"Robert will be away for the night.
I absolutely must see you.
I'm desperate, and if you don't come, I won't answer for the consequences.
Don't drive up. Leslie."
Leslie, I shall have to talk very plainly to you.
I told Robert just now that I was certain of your acquittal.
I didn't say that just to cheer him up.
I don't believe the jury would have left the box.
This letter places an entirely different complexion on the whole case.
It'll put the prosecution on the track of...
...suspicions which have entered nobody's mind.
I won't tell you what I personally thought when I read the letter.
It's the duty of counsel to defend his client...
...not to convict her, even in his own mind.
I don't want you to tell me anything but what is needed to save your neck.
They can prove that Hammond came to your house at your urgent invitation.
I don't know what else, but if the jury comes to the conclusion...
...that you didn't kill Hammond in self-defense....
Mrs. Cooper!
Good heavens! What's happened?
I'm quite all right. Really, I am.
Just lie quiet and rest, Mrs. Crosbie.
She's just been too brave, poor little thing, and not eating enough.
I feel fine now, Mrs. Cooper. You go on about your duties.
As Mr. Joyce is here, I will. I'll come back and see how you are.
Thank you.
Make her lie quiet, Mr. Joyce.
I'm afraid I've made rather a mess of things.
I'm sorry.
For Robert, not for me.
You've distrusted me from the beginning.
That's neither here nor there, Leslie.
Who's got the letter?
Hammond's wife.
Are you going to let them hang me?
What do you mean by that, Leslie?
You could get the letter.
Do you think it's so easy to do away with unwelcome evidence?
Surely nothing would have been said to you...
...if the owner weren't quite prepared to sell it.
That's true.
-But I'm not prepared to buy it. -It wouIdn't be your money.
-Robert has saved-- -I wasn't thinking of the money.
I don't know if you'll understand this, but I look on myself as an honest man.
You're asking me to do something no better than suborning a witness.
You mean you could save me and won't? What harm have I done you?
-How could you be so cruel? -Cruel? You must be insane, Leslie.
A lawyer has a duty to his profession... himself.
I can't do what you ask.
Poor Robert. He doesn't deserve it.
He's never hurt anyone in his life.
He's so good and simple and kind, and he trusts me so.
I mean everything...
...everything in the world to him.
This will ruin his life.
I know what you're thinking.
You despise me. You think Bob well rid of me if they do hang me.
I don't despise you.
It isn't important what I feel about you, do you understand?
I'm going to do what I can.
Bob will want to know what the money's for.
Will it be a very large sum?
I imagine the woman has a shrewd idea of the letter's value.
You won't have to show Bob the letter, will you?
I'll do everything possible to prevent him from seeing it.
He'll be an important witness.
He should be as firmly convinced of your innocence as he is now.
And after the trial?
I'm going to try and save your life.
But if he loses his trust in me, he loses everything.
It's strange that a man can live with a woman for 1 0 years...
...and not know the first thing about her.
What are you doing here, Ong?
I thought perhaps there was something further you wished me to do.
What about?
The letter, sir.
Oh, yes.
Mrs. Crosbie denies having written anything of the sort.
It's obviously a forgery.
In that case, there would be no objection...
...if my friend delivered the letter to the public prosecutor?
No, none at all.
But, Mr. Joyce...
...from my study of the case, I believe that if my friend could be induced... deliver the letter into our hands, it would save--
It would save a great deal of trouble.
Under what circumstance would your friend be "induced" to part with the letter?
But my friend does not have the letter. The woman has it.
She did not know its value until my friend told her.
What value did he put on it?
Ten thousand dollars.
Only 10,000? Why not 50, or 1 00?
For the reason, sir...
...that Mr. Crosbie has in the bank of the British Malaya Company in Singapore...
...a savings account in the amount of $ 1 0,452.
Tell your friend to go to the devil.
But, Mr. Joyce....
The woman does not want to sell the letter.
My friend took a long time to persuade her.
Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money, Ong...
...just to save some trouble.
Yes, sir.
It is a great deal of money.
I'll speak to Mr. Crosbie.
-He's waiting for you at the club, sir. -What?
We have not much time, and the matter, in my opinion, permits no delay.
Therefore, I took the liberty of asking Mr. Crosbie to have lunch with you.
All right. Have the woman come to my office.
I was about to mention, sir...
...she made two conditions.
She insists that the money shall be brought to her.
I can take you to the house whenever you are ready, sir.
And the other condition?
That Mrs. Crosbie bring it to her, personally.
You must be mad.
You suppose Mrs. Crosbie can just walk out whenever she feels like it?
My friend thinks that you could arrange for her to stay at your house until the trial.
I'm sure the judge will permit it if you are responsible for her, sir.
Ong Chi Seng.
Yes, sir?
What are you getting out of this?
Two thousand dollars...
...and the great satisfaction of being of service to you and our client.
You're looking more cheerful, Bob.
Better since this morning. You've convinced me there's nothing to worry about.
-Gentlemen. -Two gin slings, Jerry.
Yes, sir.
Well, as a matter of fact, something's come up, Bob.
Nothing important...
...but I thought I'd better have a talk with you about it.
Well, what is it?
It seems that Leslie wrote a letter to Hammond...
...asking him to come to the bungalow on the night he was killed.
Impossible. You heard her say she'd had no communication...
-...with him for weeks before it happened. -Nevertheless, she did write it.
She wanted his advice on something she was buying for your birthday.
Your birthday was about then, wasn't it?
Yes, that's right. End of April.
In the excitement, she forgot about the letter...
...and then later on was afraid to say she'd made a mistake.
That isn't like Leslie. She's not afraid of anything.
This was a pretty serious mistake...
...and she realized it.
Who has the letter?
Hammond's widow.
And she threatens to turn it over to the prosecution.
Well, what if she does?
Leslie can explain it in court just as she explained it to you.
Well, yes...
...but don't you see, Bob, it might alter things a good deal in the minds of the jury...
...if Hammond came to your house by invitation.
What's to be done about it?
...I think we must get hold of that letter.
I want you to authorize me to buy it.
Well, I'll do whatever you think is right.
I don't think it's right...
...but I think it's expedient.
Juries can sometimes be very stupid. It's just as well not to worry them...
...with more evidence than they can conveniently deal with.
Howard, I don't pretend to understand. Do as you think best.
-I'll pay back whatever it costs. -Good.
Now put the matter out of your mind.
Too bad rubber won't grow in a civilized climate, sir.
Mix me another one, Jerry.
Another, sir?
Yes, another.
Yes, sir.
"Mr. and Mrs. Howard Joyce request the pleasure of your company... a party to be given at their home--" -"Residence." It sounds more impressive.
"On Friday, May 1 6th, in honor of their guests Mr. and Mrs. Robert Crosbie."
Dorothy, don't you think it might be more appropriate...
-...if you wrote invitations after the trial? -Oh, do stop fussing.
I won't send them out until tomorrow evening, of course.
Let's decide about the party after the trial, shall we?
Nonsense. We're having the party, and you're going to stay.
Leslie, don't tell me that's the same tiny piece of work... were doing at the Fergusons' . How do you go so fast?
Well, I haven't had anything else much to do this past month.
What's it going to be?
-It's too fine for a tablecloth, surely. -It's a coverlet for our bed.
It's lovely.
Does anyone feel like bridge? Or what would be nice?
Leslie, what would you like to do?
You mustn't go on doing that out here. You'll ruin your eyes.
I'm sorry, but Leslie and I have some work to do tonight.
I'm putting her in the witness box tomorrow...
...and I want to prepare her for cross-examination.
Bob, why don't you take the girls to a picture?
-We don't need to be entertained. -We can find something to do.
-Will it take all evening? -There's a lot to go over.
There's no point in you hanging around. You'd much better see a good film.
Yes, darling, why don't you.
Take your mind off tomorrow. I want you to.
All right, then.
Well, I guess we'd better be off.
-Shall we want wraps? -You're likely to, coming home.
-Sorry you can't come. -I'm not allowed off the premises.
-See you later, darling. -Goodbye, darling.
Goodbye. Have a good time.
Where do we have to go?
Chinese Quarter.
Ong Chi Seng will take us.
He'll be along soon.
I've always wanted to visit the Chinese Quarter. I hear it's a bit creepy.
Of course, I'd have chosen other circumstances.
Be flippant about your own crimes if you want to, but don't be flippant about mine.
Oh, I'm sorry, Howard.
I didn't mean to be flippant.
Really, I didn't.
Maybe it's my own sense of guilt, but I have an unpleasant feeling...
...I'm going to be made to pay the piper for what I'm doing tonight.
I'm jeopardizing my whole career, and I have to rely on your discretion.
Well, whatever else I am...
...I'm not ungrateful.
Forget what I said.
When did you first start doing lace work, Leslie?
A few years ago.
How did you happen to take it up?
I had nothing else to do.
It appealed to me.
It must take enormous concentration...
...and patience.
I find it soothing.
You mean it takes your mind off other things?
Is that a legal question?
You're not an ordinary client, Leslie.
-You've been watching me all evening. -I'm responsible for you to the court.
No, that isn't it.
You've been....
Trying to read my thoughts?
I'm trying to understand you.
Because I'm so... evil.
That's it, isn't it?
Time we were starting.
I think we had better not drive up, sir.
All right, Ong.
Will you follow me, please?
Please wait here. I shall return in just a moment.
Please wait here for a minute...
Mr. Chung Hi seems to have a little of everything to sell.
Very good.
Is very good work.
Very good.
Pardon me, please.
My friend is ready.
Will you follow me, please?
This is my friend Chung Hi.
Does he speak English?
Me speak very good English.
How do you do?
-Please have a chair. -No, thanks.
We'll only stay a few minutes.
Chung Hi, I suppose you know what we've come for.
Have you got this letter?
-Woman have got. -Where is she?
She come, she come.
Why isn't she here?
She here all right. She wait till you come.
...please have chair.
Thank you.
The air's very bad in here. Would you mind opening a window?
She speaks only Malay and Chinese.
Ask her if she has the letter.
Well, where is it? What's she waiting for?
I regret, Mrs. Crosbie...
...but Mrs. Hammond requests that you remove the shawl from your head.
Mrs. Crosbie...
...Mrs. Hammond has a further request.
She wishes you to walk over to her.
-Now, look here, Ong Chi Seng-- -No, Howard. Please.
Thank you.
No complicating motives. No possible premeditation.
The jury is aware of the facts.
And I'm convinced there's no need for eloquence.
If ever there was a simple, uncomplicated case, it's this one.
Mrs. Crosbie killed a man, yes...
...but under circumstances where no courageous...
...self-respecting woman would hesitate for one instant to do the same thing.
Nor is there need for me to extol Mrs. Crosbie's character.
Her own testimony in the witness box...
...her bearing throughout this ordeal...
...stamp the character of this remarkable woman...
...more than any words of mine could possibly do.
As for the prosecution's case...
...not one whit of evidence has been produced... refute the defendant's testimony.
Because such evidence couldn't exist... the light of truth.
Gentlemen... full faith and confidence, I place Leslie Crosbie's fate in your hands... the sure knowledge that...
...justice will be done.
Silence! Silence!
Is there any reply from the prosecution?
-The prosecution waives the right of reply. -Nice work, Howard.
Gentlemen of the jury... heard the evidence of the prosecution and the defense.
It is not necessary to give you any further charge in this case.
You may retire to the jury room to consider your verdict.
-Recess, my lord? -Yes, recess.
The court is adjourned, pending the return of the jury.
Will you tell me what they could be doing in that jury room for over an hour?
Jury's been out for exactly 25 minutes.
You said they'd come straight back. What is there to talk about or deliberate?
Maybe the races at Aintree or the price of rubber.
-They've no right to do anything but-- -Darling, you're not making things easier.
Oh, Leslie, I'm sorry.
The court is reassembling, sir.
Bring in the jury.
Prisoner of the bar, rise and face the jury.
Gentlemen, have you reached your verdict?
We have.
Do you find the prisoner at the bar, Leslie Crosbie, guilty or not guilty?
Not guilty.
-Leslie. Leslie, darling. -Robert, darling.
Howard, splendid case.
Permit me to congratulate you, sir.
Just one moment, please.
Hold it just a second, please. Again.
-Thank you. -Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Come, darling.
From that day on, I made a vow not to mix another cocktail until Leslie was acquitted.
If these aren't up to my usual standards, you must remember I'm slightly out of practice.
-They're wonderful. Never been better. -You wouldn't know what you were drinking.
I guess that's right. I can't taste or think or feel.
All I can do is keep saying to myself, over and over:
"Leslie's safe."
What's the matter, darling? Feeling neglected? Here's a cocktail.
Not that you deserve to be told, but you made a good speech to the jury.
-It was an excellent speech. -Thank you.
Though you might have been more impassioned without hurting yourself.
I don't agree. What made it especially effective was his being simple and honest.
-Good thing Dorothy isn't a lawyer. -Nor me. I'd probably yell at the jury:
"You half-wits, I know she's innocent. I tell you, I know."
Anyone feeling like a bath or a shower before dinner better be getting at it.
-Personally, I feel a bit sticky. -A shower for me.
-I'm going to tidy myself up a bit, darling. -No, don't go.
I shan't be a minute.
No. There's something I want to talk to you about.
-Don't go, old man. -I think I'd better clean up, Bob.
No, I want your legal opinion.
-Darling. -Oh?
What's up?
I want to get Leslie away from here as soon as possible.
-A holiday would do you both good. -What's the use?
-We've got to get away for good. -How could we?
Can't very well throw up your job.
But I have something in view that's much better. Come on. Sit down.
We can neither of us live at that place now. I'm convinced.
-We've gone through too much. -Well, what is it, Bob?
Something has just come up. In Sumatra.
We'd be away. The only people around us would be Dutch. We'd start a new life.
The only thing is, you'll be awfully lonely, darling, at the start.
I wouldn't mind that. I'm used to being alone.
-I'd like to go. I don't want to stay here. -That settles it, then.
I'll go ahead and we can fix things up at once.
-Is the money as good as here? -I hope it'll be better.
I'll be working for myself and not for a company in Liverpool.
-What do you mean? -Why sweat out my life for others?
This is a chance in a thousand. It belongs to a planter who's in financial difficulties.
He's willing to let the whole thing go for $30,000...
...if he can get the money the day after tomorrow.
How on earth are you going to raise $30,000?
Well, I've saved about ten...
...and Charlie Meadows promises to let me have the balance on mortgage.
It seems rather rash to put all your eggs in one basket, old boy.
I wouldn't like you to take a risk on my account.
I'll be perfectly all right here. Really.
Nonsense. Just now you said you wanted to go.
But we're making a mistake in running away.
Everyone's been so kind, and they'll all make it so easy for us.
The thing to do is to stick it out here.
These Chinese estates are never any good. You know how careless they are.
This belongs to a very progressive fellow. He's had a European manager.
I tell you, it's a thoroughly sound proposition.
And in 1 0 years, I can make enough to retire.
But I really want to stay here.
Don't want to leave Howard and Dorothy and our friends.
Anyhow, it's not a thing to rush into.
-Let's wait and see what happens-- -It's a good thing. I don't want to lose it.
I've got the papers in my briefcase. See for yourself.
-Robert, please. -I have photos of the bungalow.
-I don't want to see them! -Come now.
That's just nerves.
Shows how necessary it is for you to get away.
Leslie, darling, this time you must let me have my own way.
I won't be a minute.
What are you going to do?
-What can I do? -Don't tell him. I can't bear any more.
You heard him. He wants the money to buy the estate.
-He can't. He hasn't got it. -Give me time.
Where's the letter?
I have it in my pocket.
It would break his heart.
What shall I do?
I wish to heaven I knew.
If only there were some other way.
Tell him and have done with it.
Now, this is really a handsome estate.
We'll be practically stealing it for 30,000.
You'll be keen on the house. Shade trees. No comparison with our old bungalow.
I don't want to throw cold water on your plans...
...but aren't you forgetting certain financial obligations?
I mean, hasn't it struck you that the costs...
...of what we've just been through will be pretty heavy?
Oh, you mean the legal expenses, yes.
I'm not charging you for my services. Those will be charged off to friendship.
But there are other expenses--
That's very decent of you. I'm not sure I can accept that.
What do these other expenses amount to?
Well, the principal item is that letter of Leslie's I mentioned to you.
Yes. I'd almost forgotten about that.
-You were going to...? -I had to pay a great deal of money for it.
Well, if you thought it necessary, I'm not going to grouse.
How much was it?
Ten thousand dollars.
Ten thousand dollars? You must have been mad.
You may be sure I wouldn't have given that if I could have got it for less.
But that's every cent I have in the world.
Why didn't you let them bring the letter in and explain it to the jury?
I didn't dare.
Do you mean it was absolutely necessary to suppress it?
If you wanted Leslie acquitted.
But what was there in the letter?
-I told you at the time. -It was very stupid of me, I--
I remember. You asked him to come to the bungalow--
-Yes. -You wanted to get me something.
I wanted to get you a new gun. He knew all about them.
You know how ignorant I am.
Buying that letter was a criminal offense, wasn't it?
It's not the sort of thing a respectable lawyer does... ordinary business. -It was a criminal offense.
Yes, it was.
I might be disbarred for it.
Then why did you do it? You, of all people?
What were you trying to save me from?
Leslie, you knew I was buying a gun from Cameron.
-Why make me a present of another? -How should I know you were buying a gun?
-I told you. -I'd forgotten.
-I can't remember everything. -You hadn't forgotten.
What do you mean, Robert? Why are you talking to me like this?
Who has the letter now? Have you got it?
-Yes. -Where is it?
It's not your letter or mine, Bob.
I've got to pay $ 10,000 for that letter, and by heaven, I'm going to see it.
Let him see it.
What does it mean?
No, no. Wait.
What does it mean?
It means that I was in love with Geoff Hammond.
-No! -We'd been in love for years.
-I don't believe it. -We used to meet constantly.
Once or twice a week. Not a soul had the smallest suspicion.
Every time I met him, I hated myself.
And yet I lived for the moment when I'd see him again.
It was horrible.
There was never an hour when I was at peace, when I wasn't reproaching myself.
I was like a person who is sick with some disease and doesn't want to get well.
Even my agony was a kind of joy.
Then there came a time about a year ago when he began to change toward me.
I didn't know what was the matter. I was frantic.
-I made scenes. I threw myself at his feet. -Leslie.
Then I heard about that....
That native woman.
I couldn't believe it. I wouldn't believe it!
At last I saw her.
Saw her walking in the village with those hideous spangles...
...that chalky painted face...
...and those eyes like a cobra's eyes.
But I couldn't give him up.
I sent for him. You read the letter.
We'd always been so careful about writing before...
...but this time, I didn't care.
I hadn't seen him for 1 0 days.
He came to see me. I told him I'd heard about his marriage.
He denied it. I was frantic. I don't know what I said to him.
I hated him because he made me despise myself.
I insulted him. I cursed him. I was beside myself.
At last, he turned on me.
He told me he was sick and tired of me, that it was true about that other woman...
...that she was the only one that meant anything.
He was glad I knew because now I'd leave him alone.
He got up, and I knew if he left, I'd never see him again... I seized the revolver and fired.
Heard a cry, and I knew I'd hit him.
He staggered toward the veranda...
...and I ran after him and fired and fired and fired.
There's no excuse for me.
I don't deserve to live.
I'm sorry.
He's going to forgive you.
He's going to forgive me.
Yes. Come in.
-They're waiting. -I'm sorry, Dorothy.
It took me rather a long time to dress.
It's a lovely dress.
My dear, you look like a young girl.
-Just out of.... -Prison?
Leslie, darling, I never saw anyone like you, ever.
-You remember the Camerons, don't you? -Of course. Glad to see you.
Thank you very much.
Leslie, this is Lt. Greene. He's been very impatient to meet you.
There's Janie, darling.
-Crosbie, old man, congratulations. -Thanks.
Give me a whiskey and soda.
Leslie looks wonderful. I never saw her looking better.
You must be relieved that this awful business is over.
I don't know if you remember me.
Of course I do. How are you?
-I'm fine, thanks. -How do you do, captain?
-I say, would you care to dance? -I'd love to. Thank you.
I won't mention it again. You must want to forget the whole subject.
But I can't get over the way you gave your evidence.
Everything so exact, down to the smallest detail, you know?
I'll never forget the night it happened. I don't mind telling you I was upset.
My first case, you know. Quite a beginning one.
Do you mind if we sit down?
No. No, of course not.
The most beautiful plantation in Sumatra.
Three thousand acres, young trees. Belongs to a Malacca Chinese. He's forced to sell.
-Sounds good. -Always wanted a fine plantation... that I could work for myself and for my family.
-This is the one. -Where do you ship from?
It's near a good harbor, five, six miles only.
I could ship my rubber for less money. Ought to get ahead fast.
In five, ten years, I can travel, do anything I please.
I'll visit you boys in Singapore.
Bob, how about a little fresh air?
Not now, Howard. Maybe later. I'm telling these boys about my new plantation.
I didn't tell you about the bungalow. Beautiful!
Large veranda, shade trees all around. There are three bungalows.
Two smaller ones. The Chinese planter had a funny idea. He had three wives...
...nice Malay girls, and he kept a house for each wife, but none for himself.
-That is a plantation. -I wouldn't mind a place like that.
For me, the one house will do.
We shall miss Singapore.
Our friends are here, and we've had some fine times.
No English in that part of Sumatra, only Dutch and natives.
It's going to be lonely, but we'll get used to it.
There'll be the two of us.
But my wife's a good sport. Always can count on her.
She's not afraid of anything.
We'll have each other. That's the important thing, isn't it?
Would you excuse me, please?
--to Leslie when she first came out. Remember?
Stop fussing. That's my system, but it works.
Because there's always a little group that insists on staying.
You look dead tired. Need a good night's rest.
-Good night. Say good night to Leslie. -Good night. Thanks.
-Sorry if I-- -It's all right. Good night.
-Good night, Bob. -Good night, Howard.
We should make a fairly early start in the morning, don't you think?
I sent for my large bag.
We can put some of your things in it in case your bag is crowded.
In fact, I'll pack for you, if you want. I know how you hate it.
Darling, you've done something to this sleeve.
A cigarette burn. That's what it is. And your new coat too. Never mind.
Your tailor can fix it, have it rewoven.
I won't pack it now.
We'll stop at the tailor's tomorrow on our way home.
It's no use, is it?
We can't go on, can we?
I don't know. I can't say.
You're so kind and generous.
You should have the sort of wife you really deserve.
Through no fault of yours, I've failed you...
...wrecked your life.
I can't ask you to forgive me.
If you love a person... can forgive anything.
So, what about you?
-Can you go on? -I'll try. I'll really try.
-That isn't what I was asking. -I'll do everything to make you happy.
That's not enough, unless....
Leslie, tell me.
Now. This minute.
Do you love me?
Yes, I do.
-No! I can't, I can't, I can't! -Leslie, what is it?
Leslie, what is it?
With all my heart, I still love the man I killed!
Oh, no!
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