79d: Buck Henry / Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
The Mystery Of Toad Island
Tom Brundidge.....Buck Henry
Carl Bailey.....Tom Davis
Brundidge Bailey.....Jim Downey
Bailey Brundidge.....Anne Beatts
[ open on interior, ferry drifting through a storm, as Tom Brundidge gazes out the darkened window ]
Tom Brundidge V/O: As I gaze on Toad Island for the last time, its darkened contours gradually receding into the thick New England mist, I shudder with the realization that I'm finally escaping its clammy hold on my soul. My mind races back to the day of my arrival, the day I first confronted... [ reveal title card ] The Mystery of Toad Island.
[ dissolve to interior, New England inn ]
Tom Brundidge V/O: Choosing a place to stay didn't take long. There was only one inn on Toad Island: The Toad Island Inn.
[ the clock chimes, as Tom Brundidge enters with his bags ]
Tom Brundidge: Anybody here?
[ silence, except for crickets chirping in the background ]
Tom Brundidge: Hello? [ he rings the bell at the front desk ] Anybody here?
[ the Innkeeper enters slowly and quietly ]
Tom Brundidge: Hello! Uh -- I just got off the ferry, I was wondering if you had a room?
[ the Innkeeper leans back to think it over, as her throat inflates just like a toad's ]
Innkeeper: Could be.
Tom Brundidge: Uh-huh. Well, it's, uh -- [ her throat continues to inflate ] just for... just for ONE night!
Innkeeper: Well... we may not have a room ready. Don't get many strangers here on Toad Island.
Tom Brundidge: [ he chuckles ] It's no wonder. It's a long ferry ride. I was the only passenger after Piquancine Island.
Tom Brundidge: Perhaps, uh, you know the woman I've come to see: Hannah Brundidge?
Innkeeper: Ah! We have the two. Only two families on this island: The Baileys and the Brundidges. I'm a Bailey. My mother was a Brundidge, and her mother before her was a Bailey. Goes back like that, ohhhh... gosh... oh, about 1674, when Captain James Brundidge ran his ship aground on Toad Island.
Tom Brundidge: Ah. Well... do you know where I can find her?
Tom Brundidge: Hannah Brundidge.
Innkeeper: What about her?
Tom Brundidge: I'm here to see her. She's my great-aunt.
[ a buzzing sounds in the air, so the Innkeeper arches her neck and catches the fly in her mouth ]
Innkeeper: You're Tom Brundidge!
[ dramatic music sting ]
Tom Brundidge: Look -- does my great-aunt live nearby, and can anybody take me there?
Innkeeper: Oh, not tonight. You'd best turn in. Carl will see you to your room. [ she rings the bell ] Oh, Carl!
[ Carl hops to his feet ]
Innkeeper: Carl, this is your cousin, Tom Brundidge.
Carl Bailey: Pleased to meet ya'!
Tom Brundidge: Oh! Are you a Brundidge?
Carl Bailey: Nooo, a Bailey. My mother was a Brundidge.
Tom Brundidge: Ah! Say, Carl... could you, uh, drive me to Hannah Brundidge's tomorrow?
Carl Bailey: [ as his throat inflates and deflates ] Maybe yes, and maybe no.
Tom Brundidge: What do you mean?
Carl Bailey: I might, and then again... I might not.
Tom Brundidge: What kind of an answer is that?
Carl Bailey: That's for me to know, and you to find out.
[ Brundidge Bailey chimes in from the couch ]
Brundidge Bailey: I think you're wasting your time talking to Carl. He's pleasant enough, but you won't learn very much.
Innkeeper: Carl, take Mr. Brundidge's bags to his room!
Carl Bailey: Alright. Pepperidge Farm!
[ Carl grabs Tom Brundidge's bags and hops up the stairs to his room ]
Brundidge Bailey: So you're Tom Brundidge?
Tom Brundidge: Yes.
Brundidge Bailey: Ed Brundidge's boy?
Tom Brundidge: That's right.
[ Tom sits next to Brundidge Bailey on the couch ]
Brundidge Bailey: Well, perhaps I should introduce myself. I'm Brundidge Bailey. [ acknowledging other people in the parlor ] This here's my cousin -- Bailey Brundidge.
Bailey Brundidge: Howdy.
Brundidge Bailey: And her brother -- Brundidge Brundidge.
Brundidge Brundidge: Howdy.
Tom Brundidge: Nice to meet you. So... it's really true there are only two families on Toad Island? Now, no offense, but, uh, isn't it dangerous for two families to intermarry for all these years?
Brundidge Bailey: If the Good Lord had meant for us to marry women from the mainland, he'd have given us wings to fly over there to meet them.
Tom Brundidge: Ah, I see. Well, maybe you can help me. You see, my father died when I was very young, and my mother NEVER talked about it. And, well, she just passed away. While going through her effects, I found some letters to a Hannah Brundidge of Toad Island. [ he removes the letters from his jacket ] And from these letters, it was apparent that her nephew -- uh, my, uh -- Ned Brundidge... was my father.
[ another buzzing sound in the air, so Brundidge lurches forward to catch the fly in his mouth ]
Tom Brundidge: Now, I -- I wrote Aunt Hannah, and she warned me NOT to come to Toad Island. Do you have any idea why she would say that?
Brundidge Bailey: Pepperidge Farm!
Tom Brundidge: What? Pepperidge Farm? Are you tellinf me I can find my aunt at this farm?
[ Carl hops back down the stairs to join the men at the couch ]
Brundidge Bailey: No use. Not in the end. You won't learn much to a Bailey. As we say around here: "No use shaking the tree if the fruit ain't right."
Tom Brundidge: Really? [ he chuckles ] How did he get that way?
Carl Bailey: Well, that's for me to know, and you to find out.
Tom Brundidge: Look! Can someone tell me something about my father?!
Innkeeper: Folks don't much like talking about Ned Brundidge. He was the first islander to marry a girl fom the mainland. Yeah, when they, uh, fell in love, we warned them against it, but their marriage didn't last, either. A year later, he came back to the island a deflated man. He proceeded to drink himself to an early grave.
Tom Brundidge: I -- I don't understand. Why didn't my aunt tell me any of this?
Innkeeper: Well... that's for your aunt to know, and you to find out. I suggest you go up to bed now.
Tom Brundidge: Oh, that's a good idea. Now, which room is mine?
Innkeeper: Maybe it's Room 11, maybe it's not!
Tom Brundidge: Well... I'll just go up to Room 11 and see if my luggage is there. Good night!
[ everyone bids Tom good night as he heads upstairs ]
Carl Bailey: Nice fella.
Brundidge Bailey: I don't know. Didn't he strike you as a bit of an odd bird?
Carl Bailey: Maybe he did. But then again, maybe he didn't.
Innkeeper: Well... that's for you to know, and you to find out. [ holding up a plate of cookies ] Surprise, everybody! Pepperidge Farm!
[ she distributes the cookies, as everyone hops closer to the plate ]
[ dissolve back to Tom on the ferry ]
Tom Brundidge V/O: As my ferry steams toward the craggy main coast, I ask myself: "Has it really been three years?" Of my conversations with Aunt Hannah, more in Chapter Two. But I can only say she was the most difficult person to talk to on the island. And I realize that the only mystery is how I could have spent three years on... Toad Island.
[ dissolve back to title card ]
[ fade ]