This is just a guess, but I think this part shows Lucy when she’s truly alone. When she was child, and into her twenties she had her parents. After that she became a married woman and a mother with a husband to talk with. When she was widowed she had that ditzy mother-in-law, and Eva, the sister-in-law from hell to lean on. When she moved to Gull Cottage she relied heavily on Daniel. Now that he’s gone she has no one, and she’s free to make all the mistakes most of us made when we were younger. As painful as some of those lessons may be, she learns from them, and soldiers on for the remainder of her life.
One day she prepares to go into the city to meet with her publishers. On a whim, she asks Mr Sproules clerk for the address of Miles Fairley. She goes there in a cab, and is let in by the maid. As she waits in the living room, which has a distinctly feminine touch, she inspects some of the artwork adorning the wall. There is one painting, of a woman, by Miles . Then there is another painting of the same woman flanked by two children, again done by Miles. Her attention is diverted from the painting to the sound of footsteps coming towards the living room. The woman in the first painting stands in front of Lucy, and announces she is the wife of Miles Fairley. Miles is apparently out with the children as he not seen them for some months. It is then Lucy realizes her mistake. While Mrs. Fairley and the children had been out of the country Lucy had been nothing but a plaything for the heartless and cruel Miles Fairley. Like a cat plays with a ball, Miles had been the cat and Lucy had been the willing plaything. To make matters even worse, to deepen her humiliation, Mrs Fairley informs Lucy that this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened.
I’m Mrs Fairley. I’m Miles’ wife
Lucy realizes the mistake she has made
After being told that Miles is married, and that he has done this before Lucy makes a very quick retreat from the Fairley household feeling terrible . On the front stairs she is shaking, most probably from a combination of anger, sadness, and humiliation. Her eyes relay that something is the matter as a man on the street stops in his tracks to look at her, making her feel much, much worse.
Back at the cottage she doesn't tell Martha what has transpired (but she figures it out), and heads up to her bedroom. After a while she goes to the balcony and paces. At dinner time wise Martha enters only to find Lucy still pacing on the balcony. Lucy tries to present a brave front, but her emotions come crashing through the front, and she cries on Marthas shoulder. Martha has a few choice words for the heartbreaker (when I was preparing this particular blog I referred to Mr & Mrs Fairley as Mr & Mrs Pest), and more than a few pats on the back for the sobbing Lucy.
Lucy takes solace in her friendship with Martha, and learns they are more like sisters than employer and employee. She goes for solitary walks all over the countryside, and along the beach. The family dog sometimes accompanied her (he probably thinks he’s guarding her). As she walks along the beach she passes the wooden pylon with her daughters name carved into it. It too has seen better days – it looks a bit tired.
About ten or twelve years later a very grown up Anna returns from university with a fiancée in tow. Bill, the fiancée, is in the Royal Navy. Bill is a bit bewildered by the ferocity of the Muir women. While Bill sits in living room awaiting tea mother and daughter are catching up on things. Anna says that when she and Bill marry she wants her mom and Martha to live with them. Lucy has discovered she can be alone in a crowd, and prefers to live out the remainder of her life at Gull Cottage. Anna understands what her mother is saying.
Lucy and Anna catch up on life
I used to pray you wouldn’t marry him
Anna discloses that she knew about Uncle Neddy, and what had transpired. This surprises Lucy as she recalls that when she last saw Miles he was a far cry from his former self. He was balding, fat, and cried to himself. Lucy comes to the conclusion he tried to play the lothario one too many times. His wife must have kicked him out. Anna asks about the captain, and that he came to her in her dreams. Lucy can’t quite remember the captain, but the look on her face seems to indicate she has a fragment of a memory.
Years pass as she becomes a grandmother. One day a letter arrives saying her granddaughter, little Lucy, wants to marry an airplane Captain. Lucy Muir is now a senior citizen who spends too much time in the moist damp cold. Martha “bosses” her, and Lucy complains of a pain in her left arm. As she sits in her chair, drinking the warm milk Martha has brought her, she passes away. No longer infirm, and beautiful again, the captain returns.
No longer hindered by life Lucy rises from the chair she died in. She takes the hands of a man that loved her so long ago, and together they walk into the mists of eternity.
I’m going to show you a poster for this fantastic film, and if you’ll allow me I’m going to speculate a bit. I could not find any information with regard to the casting of this film. But looking at the poster makes me think that the role of Lucy Muir was the last part cast. There is no way this film would have been as successful with the bombshell that adorns the posters.