The Old Settler
Adaptation of John Henry Redwood's play, set in Harlem in the 1940s, about two sisters whose lives are altered when a young Southern man takes temporary lodging in their apartment. Quilly, newly separated from her husband, has come to live with her never-married sister Elizabeth. She is dismayed to learn that her cash-strapped sibling has rented a room in their modest Harlem apartment to a handsome young boarder, Husband Witherspoon. Husband has traveled from rural South Carolina to search for his hometown sweetheart, Lou Bessie. Husband soon learns that Lou Bessie has become a fast-living party girl known as Charmaine. Though he tries, Husband is unable to fit into her world. Desperate for real companionship, Husband reaches out to the much-older Elizabeth and convinces her that their romance can work. The two begin a love affair over the objections of Quilly and Lou Bessie, who dismisses Elizabeth as "an old settler" -- a woman who has reached middle age with no prospect of marriage.