The Letter

The Letter quotes

28 total quotes (ID: 1074)

Howard Joyce
Leslie Crosbie
Robert Crosbie


Howard: When I was looking at Hammond's body...[Leslie freezes] Oh, I'm sorry, my dear, but this is a question that's bound to come up.
Leslie: Yes, Howard, what is it?
Howard: It seems to me that some of the shots must have been fired after he was lying on the ground.
Leslie: Oh, I know it was so terribly cold-blooded, but I was so terrified. Everything was confused and blurred. I didn't know what I was doing.


Howard: It's 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 completely against him.
Robert: Will she be one of the witnesses?
Howard: I shan't call her. I'll just produce evidence that Hammond was married to her.

Ong: A circumstance has come to my attention, sir, which seems to me to put a different complexion on the case...A friend has brought me information, sir, that there is in existence a letter from the defendant to the unfortunate victim of the tragedy.
Howard: That's not surprising. During the course of seven years, I've no doubt Mrs. Crosbie often had occasion to write Mr. Hammond.
Ong: But the letter, sir, was written on the day of the late Mr. Hammond's death.
Howard: Well?
Ong: As you will no doubt recall, sir, that Mrs. Crosbie has stated, that until the fatal night, she had had no communication with the deceased for several weeks.
Howard: Yes?
Ong: In my opinion, this letter indicates that her statement perhaps was not in every respect accurate.
Howard: Have you seen the letter?
Ong: 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.
[Howard reads the letter]
Howard: It's inconceivable that Mrs. Crosbie should have written such a letter.

Leslie: Well, I may as well tell you. We heard about his wife. And once, quite by chance, I actually saw her.
Howard: Oh? You never mentioned that. What was she like?
Leslie: Horrible. She was all covered with gold chains and bracelets and spangles, her face like a mask.
Howard: And it was after you knew about her that you stopped having anything to do with Hammond?
Leslie: Yes.

Howard: I think I should tell you that there is in existence a letter in your handwriting from you to Geoff Hammond.
Leslie: 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.
Howard: This letter asks him to come and see you because Robert was going to be away.
Leslie: Oh, but that's impossible. You see, I never did anything of the kind.
[Howard pulls out the letter]
Leslie: But that's not my handwriting!
Howard: It's an exact copy of one written on the day of Hammond's death.
Leslie: What's it mean?
Howard: That's for you to say, Leslie.
Leslie: I didn't write it. I swear I didn't write it.
Howard: If the original is in your handwriting, it would be useless to deny it.
Leslie: Then it will be a forgery.
Howard: It would be difficult to prove that. It would be easier to prove it was genuine.
Leslie: It's not dated. It might have been written years ago. Oh, if you'll just give me a little time, I'll try to remember.
Howard: Leslie, the prosecution could cross-examine your houseboys. They would soon find out whether someone took a letter to Hammond on the day of his death.
Leslie: Howard, I swear to you. I did not write this letter.
Howard: Well, if you have nothing more to say to me, I'll get back to the office.

Leslie: You see, I thought none of you would believe me if I admitted that he'd come there at my invitation. You see, I was planning a surprise for Robert's birthday and I'd heard he wanted a new gun, and oh, well I'm so dreadfully stupid about sporty things and, well I thought I'd talk to Geoff about it and ask him to order one for me.
Howard: Perhaps you've forgotten what's in the letter. [reading] Robert will be away for the night. I absolutely must see you. I am desperate, and, if you don't come, I won't answer for the consequences. Don't drive up. Leslie. 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 they can prove, but if the jury comes to the conclusion that you didn't kill Hammond in self-defense...
[Leslie faints]

Leslie: I'm afraid I've made rather a mess of things...You distrusted me from the beginning. Are you going to let them hang me?
Howard: What do you mean by that, Leslie?
Leslie: You could get the letter.
Howard: Do you think it's so easy to do away with unwelcome evidence?
Leslie: Surely, nothing would have been said to us - if the owner weren't quite prepared to sell it.
Howard: That's true. But I'm not prepared to buy it.

Leslie: You won't have to show Bob the letter, will you?
Howard: I'll do everything possible to prevent him from seeing it. He'll be an important witness and he should be as firmly convinced of your innocence as he is now.
Leslie: And after the trial?
Howard: I'm going to try and save your life.
Leslie: But if he loses his trust in me, he loses everything.
Howard: Strange that a man can live with a woman for ten years and not know the first thing about her.

Howard: Ong Chi Seng...what are you getting out of this?
Ong: Two thousand dollars, and the great satisfaction of being of service to you and our client.

Howard: [about her lacing] It must take enormous concentration and patience.
Leslie: I find it soothing.
Howard: You mean it takes your mind off other things?
Leslie: Is that a legal question?
Howard: You're not an ordinary client, Leslie.
Leslie: You've been watching me all evening.
Howard: I'm responsible for you to the court.
Leslie: No, that isn't it. You've been, what, trying to read my thoughts.
Howard: I'm trying to understand you.
Leslie: Why? Because I'm so - so evil. That's it, isn't it?

Robert: We'd start a new life....this is a chance in a thousand.
Leslie: I think the thing to do is to stick it out here.
Howard: Anyhow, it's not a thing you want to rush into. There are certain out-of-pocket expenses...the principal item is that letter of Leslie's I mentioned to you...I had to pay a great deal of money for it.
Robert: But what was there in the letter? Buying it was a criminal offense, wasn't it?
Howard: Yes, it was. I might be dis-barred for it.
Robert: I've got to pay ten thousand dollars for that letter, and by heaven, I'm gonna see it.

Robert: [after reading the letter] What does it mean?...What does it mean?
Leslie: It means that I was in love with Geoff Hammond.
Robert: No!
Leslie: Been in love for years.
Robert: I don't believe it.
Leslie: We used to meet each other constantly once or twice a week. Not a soul had the smallest suspicion. Every time I met him, I hated myself. Yet I'd live for the moment that I'd see him again. It was horrible. There was never an hour when I was at peace and I wasn't reproaching myself. I was like a person who was sick with some loathsome 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. 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...Then I heard about that - that native woman. Oh, I couldn't believe it, I wouldn't believe it. The last I saw her, I saw her walking in the village with those hideous bangles, that chalky painted face, those eyes like a cobra's eyes. But I couldn't give him up. I sent for him. You read the letter. Oh, we'd always been so careful about writing before. This time, I didn't care. I hadn't seen him for ten days. He came to see me. I told him I'd heard about his marriage. At first he denied it. Oh, I was so frantic. I don't know it, 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 had ever meant anything to him. And that he was glad that I knew, because now I'd leave him alone. When he got up to go, I knew if he left I'd never see him again, so I seized the revolver and fired. I heard a cry...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.
[Robert rushes out]
Howard: He's going to forgive you.
Leslie: Yes. He's going to forgive me.

Leslie: It's no use. We can't go on, can we?...You are so kind and generous. You should have the sort of wife you really deserve. Through no fault of yours, I failed you. I wrecked your life. I can't ask you to forgive me.
Robert: If you love a person, you can forgive anything. So, what about you? Can you go on?
Leslie: I'll try. I'll really try.
Robert: That isn't what I was asking.
Leslie: I'll do everything in my power to make you happy.
Robert: That's not enough, unless - Leslie, tell me now, this minute, do you love me?
Leslie: Yes, I do.
[They kiss, but then Leslie pulls away]
Leslie: No, I can't, I can't, I can't!!
Robert: Leslie, what is it? Leslie, what is it?
Leslie: With all my heart, I still love the man I killed!