Sequel Script: Part 5
ANNE: [as various girls walk in] Good morning. Good morning, class. [girls giggle; Anne sees drawing on board] Really, girls. If you can't come up with a better likeness than that, I suggest you give up all together. Open your Oxford Book of Verse. Page 276. Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott." Emmeline, would you please read the first four verses for us. Then we'll discuss them.
EMMELINE: [reciting lines 10-12, 14 from Lord Alfred Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott]
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Thro' the wave that runs forever
[Jen Pringle walks in]
ANNE: Why are you late?
JEN PRINGLE: My mother insisted on keeping my maid this morning. I had no one to darn my stockings.
ANNE: Kingsport Ladies' College does not tolerate tardiness, nor do I. Take out your dictionary and copy out the entire "A" section. You'll have to catch up on this class later.
EMMELINE: [continuing to recite lines that are, incidentally, not in the poem]
Waiting in her chamber lonely
And looked down to Camelot.
Reapers reaping fields of barley.
MORGAN HARRIS: Are you trying to tell me that Emmeline is soley responsible for this misconduct?
BROOKE: I'm not trying to tell you anything other than that your daughter has an overt disregard for regulations. Stealing is stealing. I don't see how you can pretend it to be otherwise. This incident is the tip of the iceberg. I believe she requires remedial discipline.
MORGAN HARRIS: And I want that teacher raked over the coals, as well, then.
BROOKE: I'd like nothing better, Capt. Harris, but that will be for the board to decide.
MORGAN HARRIS: Let me be perfectly clear, Miss Brooke. I will not allow Emmeline to be expelled from any school. I'm withdrawing both my daughter and my financial support from this second-rate institution immediately. You can reckon with the board of governors.
EMMELINE: [reciting lines 37-41 from Lord Alfred Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott]
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say
A curse is on her if she stay
[Myra and Jen laugh over a box of fireworks]
ANNE: I have warned you two about food in class. Bring that parcel here, Myra. Bring that parcel here. Throw it in the stove.
MYRA PRINGLE: Are you sure you really want me to do this?
ANNE: Myra, obey me at once. [Myra puts it in the stove and runs]
GIRLS: Why is she running?
[fireworks start exploding and girls scream]
ANNE: Run, girls. Girls, run. Run, girls.
ESSIE: Help! My skirt is caught. My skirt is caught! [she faints; Anne helps her]
[girls running, screaming; alarm bell goes off]
MORGAN HARRIS: Emmeline!
EMMELINE: Papa? Papa! Papa, you came!
MORGAN HARRIS: March straight out to the car, young lady. And take off those ridiculous looking-spectacles. You shouldn't be wearing them other than for reading.
BROOKE: Shut that blasted alarm bell off!
EMMELINE: This is my teacher, Miss Shirley.
MORGAN HARRIS: Miss Shirley, is it? We've met before, if I'm not mistaken.
ANNE: Yes, sir. I remember. [trying to revive Essie] Come on, Essie.
BROOKE: What in the devil have you done, now?
MORGAN HARRIS: Miss Shirley's got the entire academy awaiting your remedial discipline, Miss Brooke. I'm quite positive you'll enjoy the challenge. Emmeline, come on. You're leaving this forth-rate institution, once and for all.
MISS KERR: Girls! Girls! Get away from that autocar!
ANNE: What sorts of things are being said?
MISS STACEY: Well, Hattie Pringle: you are accused of marking down her papers just because she is a Pringle. Here you are said to laugh at the students when they make mistakes.
ANNE: What?! Well, alright, I did laugh when Myra Pringle defined an alligator as a large kind of insect. I couldn't help myself.
MISS STACEY: [chuckles] Oh, dear. Mr. James Pringle, the father of Jen Pringle, claims that there is no discipline whatsoever at the school since your arrival and he is circulating the report that you are a, quote, um, a foundling, unquote. Well, it goes on and on. Almost every Pringle parent has written the board demanding--not requesting--demanding your resignation.
ANNE: Cantankerous, prejudiced old creatures! How can anyone possibly succeed against such tactics?
MISS STACEY: I'm so sorry, Anne. I do feel responsible.
ANNE: Well, on behalf of the fifteen students who aren't Pringles, I'm determined to persevere.
MISS STACEY: Capt. Harris has withdrawn his rather substantial financial support toward the college mortgage and several of the other Pringle families are threatening to do the same.
ANNE: I see. So, you want me to resign, as well?
MISS STACEY: Never! The board wants you to resign. I want you to stay here and make these Pringles eat their words. If money's deemed to be the power behind this institution, well then you, my dear Anne, are going to compensate for every single penny that's been lost.
ANNE: But how? Shall I give up my salary?
MISS STACEY: Oh, no, my dear. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm going to insist that the board give you a probationary term, at least until Christmas. In the meantime, might you consider mounting a lavish benefit concert, highlighting a play, perhaps, directed by a Miss Anne Shirley?
ANNE: It'd have to be something with a number of superb roles in it, though.
MISS STACEY: And strong dramatic content. The audience will have to be completely overwhelmed. I think every Pringle parent would gladly pay to see their daughters' names in the program, don't you think? Let's see. 100 tickets at $25 a ticket. Why, that makes exactly $2500.
ANNE: Well, that's an outrageous price! Do you honestly think anyone would pay for that?
MISS STACEY: Yes. And all the money will go directly to the school.
ANNE: You are perfectly ingenious, Miss Stacey.
MISS STACEY: We'll show the Pringles the meaning of the word capitalism. Just a moment, Anne. I think that you should have a look at these old diaries. Mrs. Stanton, our librarian, and I are preparing a history of Kingsport and we literally stumbled accross those in the archives. They were written by Capt. Abraham Pringle, the founder of Kingsport. My dear Anne, if you want to win the game, you have to understand the players.
ANNE: I see.
ANNE: [reading from book] "And so, for the last time, the old teacher passed the cruel portrait of herself etched in the wall by her former students. Gertrude glimpsed the old woman's haughty loneliness as she retreated silently into the garden. Shortly thereafter, they learned that the hand of death had touched her, and Gertrude was haunted by the realization that she could never thank the woman who had silently given her so much. It was more than she could bear." [bell rings] At this point in the term, I should like to dedicate this short story to each of you young ladies who have made the first few weeks here for me so meaningful. Class dismissed. [Miss Brooke and Miss Stacey enter]
BROOKE: What are these girls crying for?
ANNE: I've been reading them a short story, Miss Brooke.
BROOKE: Good grief, crying over an English lesson.
MISS STACEY: Miss Brooke is here to discuss my suggestion of a play and benefit concert, Anne.
BROOKE: I think it's scandalous, but my opinion matters little since the school needs the funds.
ANNE: Exactly. And I was hoping you would assist me in the coaching, Miss Brooke.
BROOKE: I don't know why you would, since I had nothing to do with drawing up this ridiculous scheme.
ANNE: The most important question is, then, who shall play the leading role of Mary Queen of Scots? I--
BROOKE: We don't want any greenhorn in the role. I'm not going to be associated with anything that isn't successful. Jen Pringle is the only one I can think of who could play the part. No one else has the necessary personality.
ANNE: I can't deny that Jen has a natural flair for acting.
MISS STACEY: Then it's all settled. Why, I think that Miss Brooke will make an excellent coach. And Miss McKay and Miss Kerr can do the decorations, and I'll see to the hiring of the band. Perhaps I can even entice a famous soprano from Fredericton to sing between acts at no charge.
BROOKE: I trust she'll sing for the creditors if the whole thing flops. But don't say I didn't warn you.
BROOKE: ...Don't just stand there like limp rags. Now, this is life or death.
HATTIE PRINGLE: "Help me! Help me!"
BROOKE: Feel it!
MYRA PRINGLE: "Let go of the queen!"
BROOKE: Myra, since you're upstage, don't hide your face.
HATTIE PRINGLE: "Help me, my mistress. Have mercy. Mercy, nay. I am innocent. Save me, sweet lady. Will ye, slave, save me, too?"
MYRA PRINGLE: "Drag him away. Pluck his hands off her!"
JEN PRINGLE: This scene looks ridiculous! I'm not going to lower myself any further!
BROOKE: Hattie, you're as stiff as a poker.
HATTIE PRINGLE: I can't help it. I don't want to bruise myself. If I can go down easily, I will.
ANNE: You've all seen Essie carrying on. Now. do it this way. [dramatically] "I am innocent! Save me, sweet lady!" Now the queen, she orders the guards to halt, but the guards haul Rizzio away. Now, Hattie, you try it.
HATTIE PRINGLE: [forced] "I am innocent! Save me, sweet lady."
JEN PRINGLE: I refuse to play opposite her!
ANNE: She is the only one who can be remotely convincing as an Italian musician. Do what you can, Miss Brooke.
BROOKE: Well, don't blame me if the audience leaves. Once more, Hattie. And please, relax.
[Anne sees Emmeline watching and goes after her; Emmeline is crying]
ANNE: Emmeline! Emmeline! What is it? What is it? We missed having you in our play. And I am so sorry about what happened with your father. When everything calms down, I'm hoping I can get a chance to speak with him and try to explain.
EMMELINE: He isn't here. He's gone back to Boston. Oh, Miss Shirley, I've always wanted to do a play. I haven't had much of a chance to do anything. Papa will never let me come back to the school. I'm to spend the rest of the year with grandmama . . . alone.
ANNE: Oh, Emmeline. Perhaps I can get another copy of the play. And I'll coach you at home, if you like. I'm sure your father, he'll let you come back to the college next term.
EMMELINE: I don't think so. And I don't think my grandmama will either. I had to sneak out while she and Aunt Pauline were napping.
ANNE: Is someone helping you along with your studies? You don't want to fall behind. [Emmeline shakes her head no] Well, then I shall have to have a chat with your grandmama.
EMMELINE: Will you?
ANNE: You should hurry along home. You don't want to get her cross. And I promise, I will come by tomorrow and I will speak with her.
EMMELINE: Oh, it's number 10 Maple Terrace. You won't forget.
ANNE: Of course not. Off you go.
[Anne rings doorbell]
ANNE: I should like to speak with Mrs. Harris. My name is A--
MAID: You can't. She's ill and won't be disturbed. Good day.
ANNE: May I speak with Emmeline Harris, then?
MAID: She isn't allowed to have visitors.
ANNE: Is Capt. Harris coming back to--?
MAID: He lives in Boston, Miss. Seldom visits here.
ANNE: Could you tell Emmeline that Anne Shirley came to see her? Thank you.
ANNE: [writing letter] "My dear Mrs. Harris, I thought you might be interested in these diaries belonging to Capt. Abraham Pringle which I found in the city archives. There are some wonderful tributes in here by Capt. Pringle to your late husband, Capt. Harris. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did. Sincerely, Anne Shirley, Kingsport Ladies' College."
POSTMAN: I have a delivery here for a Miss Shirley.
ANNE: Well, you're in luck. I am Miss Shirley. Thank you. [reads letter] So, then, it's tomorrow at noon, is it, Mrs. Harris?
MAID: Miss Shirley, Madam.
PAULINE HARRIS: [whispering] Mama. Mama.
MRS. HARRIS: Good grief, girl, you're aggravating.
PAULINE HARRIS: Miss Shirley.
MRS. HARRIS: What?
PAULINE HARRIS: Miss Shirley.
MRS. HARRIS: Satan's life, why didn't you say so in the first place? So this is the infamous Miss Shirley? Come to take her pound of flesh, I see.
ANNE: How do you do, Mrs. Harris?
MRS. HARRIS: Far from well. How much do you want for these diaries?
ANNE: I hadn't any intention of selling them.
MRS. HARRIS: Is there any use in asking you to sit down?
ANNE: Yes, thank you.
MRS. HARRIS: Who else has seen these?
ANNE: No one, as far as I know.
MRS. HARRIS: Then I am ready to negotiate. I will give you what you want if you'll give me your word not to reveal this monstrosity to the rest of the Pringles.
ANNE: I was only hoping I might convince you to let me to tutor your granddaughter, Emmeline, as I understand she will not be returning to school.
MRS. HARRIS: Oh, clever, aren't we? Sugar-coated blackmail. You want a regular salary to keep you quiet, is that it?
ANNE: I beg your pardon?
MRS. HARRIS: [to Pauline] Innocent as doves; cunning as serpents. [to Anne] You knew when you found that scandalous entry about my husband, it wasn't true. It couldn't be true. The rest of the Pringles will be delighted to believe it, won't they, and make us the laughing stock of Kingsport.
ANNE: Which scandalous entry?
MRS. HARRIS: Oh, so there's more than one, is there? Pauline [gives her the book].
PAULINE HARRIS: [reading from diary] "Josiah Harris' ship was burned and the boats taken. Harris and the crew nearly starved. In the end, they-- they ate Jonas Selkirk who had shot himself. They lived on him until rescued. Harris told me himself. Seemed to think it was a good joke." [nervous laugh] On occasion, papa would get so angry--
MRS. HARRIS: Pauline! Be quiet! [to Anne] That is a lie. My husband never ate anyone, dead or alive. Let alone, Jonas Selkirk. Abraham Pringle wrote that nonsense to get a rise out of his silly wife. Amy Pringle was notoriously gullible.
PAULINE HARRIS: Oh, please, Miss Shirley. Don't show these to anyone. Our Pringle relations might publicize it. We'll do anything. [Mrs. Harris hits her] Ow.
MRS. HARRIS: Now, Miss Shirley. How much do you want to tutor my granddaughter?
ANNE: Why, you've misunderstood me completely. I'm not threatening you. I just thought you'd enjoy all the other splendid things said about your husband. I never dreamed of telling anyone he was a cannibal.
MRS. HARRIS: Well, naturally, we tend to be a little suspicious of strangers in Kingsport. Perhaps we have misjudged you. I suppose the child should continue with her studies. Pauline has no time; she's busy looking after me. You won't mention this misunderstanding to anyone, will you?
ANNE: I'll try to remember not to.
MRS. HARRIS: And when do you want to start?
MRS. HARRIS: Hmm.
ANNE: ...These two angles of the triangle are equal to each other. The two sides opposite these angles are equal to each other. Emmeline, why hasn't anyone replaced your spectacles?
EMMELINE: Well, papa says I don't really need to wear them as much as I do. And grandmama won't because she's an old skinflint.
ANNE: Who gave you those, then?
EMMELINE: Mother Superior at the convent in Boston two years ago. Anyway, I'm only supposed to use them for reading.
ANNE: You simply cannot use them anymore. You must have another pair. I found another copy of Mary--
EMMELINE: Mary, Queen of Scots! Oh, her very name just thrills me to my fingertips. I don't believe she really murdered Darnley, do you?
PAULINE HARRIS: Shh! Heaven help you two if you wake her up.
EMMELINE: I think it's ever so dramatic, don't you?
ANNE: It's a very challenging role.
EMMELINE: We used to have dramatics and music at the convent. Mother Superior said I was quite good at both. She taught me to play the piano, too, you know. Unfortunately, grandmama won't let me touch it. Could we read it together?
ANNE: I think so. I'll play all of the other parts, and you read Mary. Let's start here.
EMMELINE: "Forgive all evil toward me of all men, deed or device to hurt me....
EMMELINE: ...Yea, I would not bear one heart unreconciled with mine when mine is cold. I will not take Death's hand with any soil of hate or wrath or wrong about me. But being friends with this past world, pass it in the general peace of love."
ANNE: That was wonderful!
EMMELINE: Thank you for bringing me, Miss Shirley.
ANNE: This will be our secret place which you cannot reveal to anyone.
EMMELINE: Grandmama never lets me out alone. She thinks I'm liable to be kidnapped by gypsies. I don't know why she'd care if I was kidnapped by gypsies; all she cares about is her aching back and sore feet.
ANNE: Now, now. Old people cling to the way they were brought up themselves.
EMMELINE: Secretly she hates me. She always calls me "the child" as though I may be "the dog" or "the cat." If I make a spark of noise, she nearly passes out. She's and old tyrant and someday, I'm going to run away forever and become a real actress.
ANNE: Why have you never lived with your father?
EMMELINE: He's very occupied with his business affairs. I was at two other boarding schools before I came to this one. But he brought me here so I would be close to grandmama and so he wouldn't worry about me.
ANNE: I'm sure he means to do what's best.
EMMELINE: What Jen Pringle said about my papa hurt, you know . . . because it's true.