Episode 2: Memento Mori
Original air date : August 22, 2021
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[screaming in pain]
You’re doing very well. You’re doing very well.
Get it out!
Your baby’s breached, Faith. We don’t have much time. You need to push now!
[crying and grunting]
Come on. That’s it. That’s it. Breathe! Well done, one more. The baby’s coming! Gentle pushes now. Gentle. Little pushes.
[crying, moaning in pain]
[baby crying at odd pitch]
[odd crying continues]
God help us.
I want to see my baby. Please. Let me see her.
Him. It’s a boy.
[birds and insects chirping]
Good morning, Miss Morgan.
Mr. Boone. You were out early.
I was. I’m taking Loa to town. We’ll meet you and the other two at school. What have you found?
I was admiring your books and I… I came across these old letters between my father and the Boones. He was their attorney. Some bear my father’s signature.
You knew he worked for my uncle and cousin?
I did. I’m sorry. I should’ve mentioned that.
And what was his opinion of them?
My father was intimidated by Phillip.
Hmm. I see.
Well, if the letters have any meaning to you, keep them.
They don’t. My father left for New York when I was 15 to grow his law practice. We haven’t heard from him since. Apparently, he started a second family and abandoned them as well.
They’re yours if you want them.
Mornin’. Have you seen Edward?
Not since yesterday at the tavern.
Susan saw him leave last night with the wagon. Did he say where he was going?
He didn’t say, Rose.
He never came home.
Well, we’re on our way to the mill. If he’s there, I’ll send him home.
Thank you, Daniel.
What’d that damn fool get himself into, huh?
It’s okay. You can trust me.
How old was your daughter when she contracted the disease?
She was three. Our ship’s purser took a bribe, sent us off with casks of spoiled beef. The food wasn’t fit for hogs.
No one knows the exact cause of rickets, Mr. Boone. Her leg is stronger than it looks. I’m going to prescribe a vitamin rub and elixir.
We’ve seen doctors in every port from here to the Crozets. They all prescribe some variation of the same thing. I was hoping… We’re open to anything new.
I’m afraid I don’t have anything like that.
[boy] You don’t belong here.
Good luck today.
I want to go home.
We are home. Go on.
There you go. Okay?
Good morning, Headmaster Fish.
Are you sure about this, Miss Morgan?
It is a public school.
No birth certificates, I presume?
Any particular nation or tribe?
We were born on ship.
Have you been vaccinated for smallpox?
Proof of residency?
Children, heed your teachers and monitors.
Look after each other. The first day is always the worst.
We lost the twins two years ago in July.
To the illness?
Thank you. The photo was my wife’s idea.
A grim reminder.
As if one could ever forget.
The little girl behind them is that Marcella Boone?
They were playmates.
Well, Minister, I have a favor to ask. I’d like to address your congregation.
This will be a… A business proposal for myself and the town. Uh, I need 10 minutes of their time.
Well, I can’t just hand you the pulpit. I know my flock; They’ll crucify us both. But if you were to come by an informal event, like today’s social, I could give you the floor.
Four o’clock. Would you be ready?
I will be. Thank you. Thank you, sir.
Minister, your twins. Do you believe my family was responsible in any way for the illness that befell yours?
I do not.
[horse snorts and neighs nervously]
What is it? Hey, boy, what is it?
May I help you?
[horse whinnies loudly]
The worm is calling.
Unorganized territory, Minnesota territory, California, Mexican Cession, Oregon territory.
Very good, Emory.
Now… Loa Boone. Will you please show us where the Kingdom of Hawaii is?
[foot makes contact]
You tripped her!
Tane! Tane! Tane! Marcus! That is enough! Enough.
Emory! You sit down!
Back to your seat! Tane! To your seat!
I hate it here.
I won’t stay.
You can’t leave.
Where would you go?
Sorry about what happened at school.
Are you all right?
I’ll speak to your teacher tomorrow. Was there any good part of your day? Either of you? All right, we’ll go over your homework after supper.
They say the baby is grotesque. It has no eyes. Be better it had been stillborn.
A woman who had buried two of her own might have more sympathy.
I have sympathy for the child, not the mother. Lord only knows what she’s done to deserve such a burden. People think it’s an omen.
Where did she come from? Why won’t she say? Her constant distress is an act. Clearly she’s not so timid in the sheets.
You sound just like your father, Alice.
Faith Pringle is a whore. And whoever [lowers her voice] whoever the father is of that bastard child is a coward.
Everybody. Your attention, please. Thank you for all this delicious food and for sharing. It’s such a wonderful way to remind us how blessed we all are. I have a few announcements to make, but first, we have a guest who would like to say a few words. Mr. Boone? Please.
Don’t let him.
Is he mad?
Please! Please. Please give our guest the respect of your attention.
Thank you. Thank you, Minister Burroughs. [clears throat] And thank you all for giving me a moment of your time. My name is Charles Boone. I came to Maine with a vision. I intend to expand production at the Boone sawmill and to use its lumber to build ships along the Androscoggin. Within two years, this yard will produce cargo ships with a steel hull, powered by both sail and steam, faster than any clipper at sea. Now, what this means for Preacher’s Corners, and for all of you is prosperity.
He’ll transport our wealth to his.
That is not true, sir.
[man] Let him speak, Samuel.
I understand there is a lingering animosity towards my family. I can’t take responsibility for their misdeeds, but I… I can give you my word that no further wrongs will come from me or my children.
[man] What about the illness?
What new diseases do these Boones carry?
But we need work!
And I need men. Please, don’t let old prejudice impede our shared progress. I mean to build ships. I’ll pay 50 men top wage to start this venture with me. I’ll be taking names, tomorrow noon, outside the tavern.
[crowd whispering indistinctly]
Good day. Thank you. Thank you.
Minister Burroughs. What brings you out so late?
Oh, I was told that Faith Pringle had her child.
Is it true?
[baby rasps softly]
Faith. It’s Mr. Burroughs.
Hey, hey, hey.
I want to see our child.
It’s because of me. God punished me for the things I did before we met.
Not my God.
Easy, child. Easy, easy.
There are other gods, Martin. It scares me that something so wicked could grow inside me.
Oh, never say that. I know he’s not the child that we envisioned, but he’s ours. It’s God’s will that we be strong. We have to be. For him. We have enough love between us for this child, don’t we?
So do I.
Then let’s leave this place. I’ve given birth, we can go now, far away where they won’t find me.
You’re safe here.
You’re wrong, Martin. You don’t know what they’re capable of. Nothing good will come from staying in Preacher’s Corners.
We’ll leave. I’ll take you and our child; We’ll go to California. Now, what shall we name him? [chuckles]
[whispers] Mr. Boone.
Did everything go well?
I mean, uh, I made my case.
I feel hopeful.
Oh, that’s good.
I was just going to pour myself a drink.
Much of my life I spent building fortunes for others.
Whaling is lucrative for those on top;
It exploits those below.
Especially the whale.
Him most of all.
Yes. Well, hopefully with this new venture,
there’s enough profit for everyone.
I admire your ideals, Mr. Boone.
It takes purpose to break the paradigms
that others set for us.
As a woman, I know this well.
And what is yours, Miss Morgan?
I hope to support myself through writing.
I find power and freedom in words
that I don’t always find in life.
I haven’t traveled the way you and your children have,
but in my mind, through invention, I do travel.
I suspected a scribe in our midst.
And a taste for whiskey.
We’re fortunate to have you, Miss Morgan.
Blood calls… blood calls…
Blood calls blood.
The worm is calling.
[whip poor wills chant]
It’s a child.
Is my papa here?
Is that the girl from town?
It’s Susan Mallory.
She must be freezing.
Children, back away! Back away!
Tane, get a blanket.
Where did she come from?
She must’ve walked from town.
Susan, wake up.
Can you help me find Papa?
Where am I?
I’ll take her home. I know where she lives.
It’s best if I go alone.
Rebecca, she has the illness.
I know. I have to get the girl home.
I’ll be careful. Okay.
You are no better than them!
Stay away from my family!
I’m sorry. I hope Susan feels better.
What have they done with my husband?!
[Honor] What happens to people with the illness?
They typically grow confused, like the girl last night.
And then they tire, and become bedridden.
And in some cases…
[Honor] It sounds like consumption.
That’s how our mother died.
[moans in pain]
Where, w-where are my shells?
I don’t know.
Where did you hide them?
I don’t have ’em.
I don’t believe you.
Tane, those were Mom’s shells.
If you’re playing a game on Loa, it’s not… I didn’t take ’em!
He doesn’t have them, Loa.
Sit down and eat.
I can help you look for them after school.
I’m sure they’re around.
[knocking on door]
Faith, it’s Alice Burroughs.
Good afternoon, Faith.
May I come in?
Oh, this poor thing.
What kind of a man abandons a woman
and leaves her with such a burden?
He’s not a burden.
I’m… I’m not here to judge you, Faith.
I want to help.
I appreciate that.
I’m doing fine.
My husband has taken an interest in your plight.
He’s been kind.
As have others.
You shouldn’t have to raise your child alone.
Whoever the father is
must be held responsible for his part in this.
Women in town talk.
Many are concerned that it might have been
one of their husbands who was tempted by your youth.
But it was someone.
I can approach him for you.
Why would you protect someone who’s done this to you?
He doesn’t love you, Faith.
[baby’s raspy breathing]
My son needs only me.
But thank you for stopping by.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
“but the one who confesses and renounces them
What is this?
It’s a project of my own design.
You have leather and steel.
Can you make it?
I’ll pay double to have it done
by day’s end, Mister, uh…
that pitch of yours yesterday at the meeting?
It’s what the town needs. We all know it,
but we lived with Phillip and Stephen Boone
and we lived with your grandmother’s silence.
You’ll find it difficult to change most minds.
I hope you’re wrong, Mr. Palmer.
How much for the whale iron?
How dare you show your face in this town!
My daughter is sick with your illness!
My husband is missing!
What have you done with him?
I assure you, ma’am,
I don’t know who or where your husband is.
He lured my Susan to Chapelwaite!
She’s under his spell!
I did no such thing.
This! This is the devil’s book!
Don’t put your names in it! [gasps]
I am sorry for your troubles,
but I’m conducting business here.
Don’t touch me! Leave us alone!
Leave us all alone!
Give up, Boone.
You’ll get no men from here.
No thanks to you.
We don’t want your blood money.
The future of this town…
The future of this town has nothing to do with you.
You’re a fool!
The only harm you’ll do
is to the people of Preacher’s Corners!
Come on, come on!
For All Hallows’ Eve. I have one also.
We made them with Rebecca.
We’re sorry you had a tough day.
We know you probably don’t want to go back to town tonight,
but maybe we can have our own celebration here?
We could stage a play. I’ll write a script.
Mm. What do you want to do?
You want to go to town?
Honor, go put your costume on.
[ Giggles] Come on.
Hope we get lots of treats!
The others are dressing for Hallow’s Eve.
I was thinking of you today.
I have something here
that I hope will brighten your spirits.
I designed this for you.
It’s lighter with leather at the knee.
I think you’ll find it easier to maneuver.
Well, what do you think?
I hear there’s a bit of walking involved tonight.
It would be a fine chance to try it.
They’re crawling out of the woodwork, Mary.
Streets are filled with all kinds of monsters.
I’m a little tired.
I think I’ll stay home.
Mm, why are you tired?
[laughs] I’ve been working all day.
Hmm. Are you running a fever?
It’s not the illness.
Now go protect the town from all those ghosts and goblins.
[children laughing, chattering]
[Honor] Why do they give out treats and money?
[Rebecca] It’s payment. We’re supposed to pray
for their departed loved ones in exchange.
No one does. It’s all about the treats.
Can we try?
Yeah. Well, Honor, take your sister and brother.
Don’t forget my mother’s boarding house.
She gives out chocolates.
She’s moving much better.
I wish I was able to mend her feelings
as well as her leg.
Her heart is broken.
I was about her age when my father left us.
Loa just needs to know that her feelings are normal,
and that you love her,
and that she’s safe.
May we have a treat?
I’m sorry. You’ll have to move along.
Go on now.
We’ll try next door.
[Tane] Did we do something wrong?
I didn’t know these people were capable of fun.
Well, don’t let them beat you.
You have good ideas for this town,
even if they think you might be crazy.
Why do they think that?
Well, anyone who spends time in Chapelwaite
is either a lunatic or runs the risk of becoming one.
It’s just a rumor, Mr. Boone.
I mean, isn’t that what ambitions are:
A form of madness?
Isn’t a sliver of lunacy what it takes
to dream beyond the realm of the ordinary?
I suppose you’re right.
There you are. Thank you.
That’ll lighten you up!
Let go of me!
You want to apologize to these people?
I ain’t apologizin’ for shite, darkie.
My pa says…
I’m gonna get my pa.
He’s gonna fix you filthy Boones!
Do all you sailors punch that hard?
Do all you farm boys fall that easy?
I work for your father.
Is Papa here?
He’ll be here soon.
Stephen will bring him.
I’m sure he will.
We have to wait.
Here they come.
That’s him at the window.
Let him in, Mama.
Papa’s here with my friend Stephen.
My girl is dead!
My baby is gone! God have mercy.
Where’s my husband?
Find the children. Get them somewhere safe.
What happened here?
Susan Mallory passed.
It was a Boone! Stephen Boone killed my baby!
Rose, please. Stephen Boone’s been dead over a year.
He’s back! It was Stephen Boone!
She said so herself.
She never said that.
The child was delirious.
She saw him! Stephen Boone!
Clearly this woman needs help.
Dig him up!
Enough now! This is insanity.
I see you, sir.
I see what you’re doing here.
Stephen Boone lives!
We all know what they did!
The Boones made an unholy pact for that house and land.
They’re all cursed! And we are too!
If you all believe this is true,
then there really is no hope for this town.
On my life, you will never know peace!
Hallows’ Eve is over.
Everyone in the house. Are you all right, Mr. Boone?
Rebecca, put the children to bed straight away.
Do as you’re told.
[Rebecca] Come on.
Everyone to their rooms. You heard your father.
You want peace?
You want to see if he lies where he should?
On your life,
I swear I’ll drag the son of a bitch
down Main Street and plant him on the church steps.