“If you scream, they will come! They will know how you haunt me!”
Daniel Collins coughs, one of those worrisome false coughs that indicates an unspecified theatrical natural-causes type condition. He’s dying of being old, apparently, at the precipitate age of 54, and he’s being tended to by Ben Stokes, an 84-year-old family retainer who’s known Daniel since he was twelve. It’s hard to say how this kind of malady works; it’s mostly metaphorical.
“Ohh, the pain! It’s coming!” Daniel cries, as Ben propels him bedward. Struggling for breath, he vows, “I must kill that woman, before I die!”
“Now, Mr. Daniel,” Ben chides, but Daniel interrupts.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t see her in that room. You did! That woman will ruin our world!”
Ben shakes his head. “Mr. Daniel, our world was ruined a long time ago.”
That’s a great line, so Stokes puts a point on the board, but Daniel is right. “That woman” is Dr. Julia Hoffman, and her appearance in the year 1840 is ushering in the ruin of this family, this story and soon enough, the whole television show.