The elderly Matilda Hanks owns a clock and picture shop. One day a black-suited man and his assistants arrive at her door and come in, bearing a wicker basket. They ignore her and proceed inward. Their leader opens the basket, smiles, and continues into her parlor. The man says nothing and Matilda pours herself a glass of tea. The man removes his hat and sits down, and Matilda asks about the wicker basket and why four men are needed to carry it. She remembers seeing similar men when her next-door neighbor passed away, and tells him that when her niece Emily comes home, she'll shoo the Listener out. Matilda describes Emily and how she came into her home when her mother died of food poisoning...Read the full recap
Matilda Hanks: I am Matilda Hanks, and this is my castle. I've awaited amongst my clocks and pictures for many years. I'll not give in. Oh, no. One day He'll come, but this is my castle. My awl, my ammunition here. He'll come, but he's no chance. But I'll not give in. Oh, no.
Matilda Hanks: Young man, you are refused. Because I am all of a piece. I add up. I've been fighting you all my life. I won't give in now. This is my castle, my fortress. All my ammunition is here. I've been getting ready for you for years, you haven't a chance.
Funeral Director: What will you do, madam?
Matilda Hanks: I will loiter about your premises. I will howl and scream. I will tell the world you are bodysnatchers, gravestone robbers, death stealers. Your establishment will no longer comfort, but will set people ill at ease. Too much wind here at midnight. Too many strange sounds. Terrible sights of walking mists, movable feasts of fog and rain. Moans and sighs. Bedsheets walking on the air.