A Canterbury Tale (1944) Script

When that April with his showers sweet the drought of March hath pierced to the root, and bathed every vein in such licour from which virtue engendered is the flower.

When Zephirus eke with his sweet breath inspired hath in every holt and heeth the tender crops and the young son hath in the Ram his half course run.

And small the flowers make a melody that sleep in all the night with open eye.

So pricketh them nature, in their courage, then long on folk to go on pilgrimages and the palmers, for to seek and stranger strands to distant shrines known in sundry lands.

And especially from every shire's end of England to Canterbury they went, the holy blissful martyr for to seek, that them had helped when they were weak.

600 years have passed.

What would they see, then, Chaucer and his goodly company, today?

The hills and valleys are the same.

Gone are the forests since the enclosures came.

Hedge rows have sprung, the land is under plow, and orchards bloom with blossoms on the bough.

Sussex and Kent are like a garden fair, but sheep still graze upon the ridges there.

The pilgrims' way still winds above the wheel, through wood and break and many a fertile field.

But though so little has changed since Chaucer's day, another kind of pilgrim walks the way.

Alas, when on our pilgrimage we wend, we modern pilgrims see no journey's end.

Gone are the ring of hooves, the creak of wheel.

Down in the valley runs our road of steel.

No genial host that sinking of the sun welcomes us in.

Our journey's just begun.

Getting on!

Canterbury, next stop.

Getting on, getting on!

Canterbury, next stop.

Next stop, Canterbury.

Canterbury, hey, that's my station!

Sorry, folks.

Thanks, Pop, I'll sit the next dance out.

Oh, you'll break someone's neck one of these days.

Yours too, I shouldn't wonder.

Don't you know there's a bylaw against getting out of a moving train, penalty 40 shilling?

Why don't you light up the names of your stations?

How do you expect folks to read the signs?

I don't, nor don't the company.

I'm here to call out the name of the station.

Why wait till the train gets going?

Now, look here, in the first place, I called out the name of the station, loud, precise, and clear while the train was stationary.

You had ample time to alight, ample.

I heard you with my own ears calling out Canterbury after the train started to move.

He called out, Canterbury next stop.


But I'm going to Canterbury, darn it!

The train's going to Canterbury.

And you're stopping here at Chillingbourne.

Well, son of a gun.

What time is the next-- 8:57.

8:57? AM.

Here, what do those stripes mean?


Well, they're the wrong way up.

He's a sergeant, see?

Cut the quiz questions, Pop.

What kind of a place is this with no train all night?

This is the kind of place where people sleep at night.

Are you all right, Sergeant?

Yeah, I have a Chillingbourne cap.

Okay, ticket please.

Give me a moment.

You can keep yon.



These two gentlemen will accompany you to town hall.

Why do you think I need an escort?

No young lady must go alone at night, Mr. Colpeper's orders.

This way, please.

Who is Mr. Colpeper?

Local magistrate, justice of the peace.

Say Pop, is there a hotel in this place?

They'll tell you down at town hall.

Town hall?


I said, don't tell me this whistle stop is a town.

Chillingbourne was constituted a municipal banner in the year 1085, 407 years before Columbus discovered America.

I didn't mean to hurt your civic pride, Pop.

Granted, sonny boy, and my name's Thomas Duckett, station master, acting.

Mine's Bob Johnson, sergeant, also acting.

Peter Gibbs, sergeant, underpaid.

Nice to know you both.

Now, where's this hotel?

I'll give your town hall a miss.

Oh, you can't do that, all visitors arriving must report to town hall, Mr. Culpeper's orders.

That guy again?

How do I get to the camp?

Last bus, you'll just catch it if you hurry.


Marketplace, by town hall.

How do we get there?

Chadding Street, and follow your nose.

Where's Chadding Street?

Through that gate. Right, let's go.

Here, wait a minute, have you all got torches?

Not me. I have.

I'll show you a real flashlight.

Put that light out!

What's wrong with it?


Does the job, doesn't it?

But it'll do your job if the police catch you flashing it on.

You won't catch no 8:57.

AM. Okay, okay.

Shall we go, if you're going to catch your bus?

Yes, that's right.

See you in the morning, Pop.

Oh, you'll be clever if you do.

I don't come on till 12.


And keep an eye on the young lady, check?

Why do railroad companies always have gates like this?

I'll go ahead and shine my torch for you two.

Don't blind us.

What are you doing?

Hey, what's going on?

What's that? What's what?

Oh, my goodness, it's my hair!


Something came out of nowhere and poured something on it.

Hi, where are you?

What's wrong with your hair?

It's some sticky stuff.

Sticky stuff?

Why, her hair's full of it.

So this is England, never a dull moment.


Somebody up the street.

Quick, Bob, search light!

There he goes!

Hey, soldier!

Can you run, miss? Watch me!

Hey, Bob!

There he goes, around that building.

Come on!

This way, we'll head him off.

Come on, Bob, you take the river.


What's that?

Oh, it's me, darn it.

Any luck?

Not a sausage, now you wait here.

What, alone, no fear.

Think we missed him?

Well, we couldn't have.

It's a cinch he didn't double back.

He's inside, nowhere else he could be.

Let's find the door.

Here it is.

Is that a bus?

Sounds like it.

What's going on out here?

Is this the town hall?

It is.

Then that's my bus, you can handle this, Bob?


Good hunting, let me know what happens, good evening.

Where's my bag?

In the road, there.

Peter Gibbs is my name--

A man is in this building, a soldier.

He must have gone into one of the windows.

Just a minute, miss.

And who might you be?

My name's Alison Smith.

She's going to work here.

Yes, I'm going to work on Mr. Culpeper's--

May I see your identity card please?

Identity card nothing, what kind of a cop are you?


Somebody's poured some sticky stuff on my hair!

Sergeant, the Glue Man's out again.

While you're looking us up in the Domesday Book, he's making a getaway.

And what about my hair?

Just a minute if you please, one thing at a time.

Are you the incident, miss?

Yes, look, my hair's full of it.

Oh, it's the Glue Man, all right.

Glue Man?

Have a look, dearie.

Oh, we'll soon see to that all right.

What is this, an old Chillingbourne custom?

He's in the town hall, Sergeant.

Who is?

Your Glue Man, we chased him down the street and he's in this building.

Hold, there!

What's up, Ernie?

Oh, it's him, the Glue Man!


I heard the whistle.

Up on the church tower.

I ran all the way.

On route, I dropped, bumped into a soldier running across the square.

He caught the charter bus.

Nuts, that was Peter Gibbs.

And who may he be?

The soldier who was with us when it happened.

Why don't you search the building?

You leave that to us, miss.

We may be slow in Chillingbourne, compared with London ways, and we ain't no G-men either, but we know our duty and we have our methods.

Ernie Brooks, you get back to your fire watching.

If you hear anything, blow your whistle, as a raze.

All right, Bertie.

Sergeant Bassett when on duty, if you please.

Constable Ovenden, you will accompany me on a tour of the building.

You will kindly stay here with the young lady, uh, sergeant is it?

Yeah, Sergeant Johnson.

Say, can't I come too?

This guy may be dangerous.

Have you got a gun?

This is Chillingbourne, Sergeant Johnson, not Chicago.

See, what kind of a crack is that?

I come from Oregon.

I'm getting tired of this old Glue Man spoiling our games.

You shouldn't beat him, saves you money, the way you play.

There's a light in the courtroom.

There's someone in there?


Yes, come on.

Let's take him by surprise.

Anything wrong, Bassett?

Sorry, Mr. Colpeper, we didn't know you was still up here.

I see, all right.

Can you make me a cup of tea?

I'm sure you've got a kettle on downstairs.

Here's my cup.

Yes, sir.

Sir, the Glue Man is out again.

How do you know?

An American soldier and a girl chased him here, sir.

What girl, what American?

Well, the girl who was the incident, sir.

Isn't that right?

Yes, Sergeant.

She's come to work for you, sir, on your farm.

She's a land girl.

There must be some mistake.

You say they chased the Glue Man here?

Yes, sir, they insist he's somewhere inside this building.

What are you standing talking for, Bassett?

Get on and search it.

Yes, sir.

Gee, what a job.

Is it coming out?

Beg pardon, ma'am?

Any better?

Well, I've got considerable on me, so there must be less on you, but there's still plenty on you.

Here you are, miss.

What on earth am I to do?

Soap's no good, hot water's the only thing.

Miss Grainger's just boiling a kettle.

You seem to be an expert.

She's the eleventh incident.

What about this glue-throwing character?

Captain, you don't mean to say you let him get away from you?

He got away, if ever he were inside.

Now we shan't be long, dearie.

Nice work.

Put another kettle on, Miss Grainger, and make some tea.

Mr. Colpeper's fire-watching.

Oy, here's his cup.

Who's Mr. Colpeper?

Magistrate, wants to see you.

Oh, he does?

Okay, ma'am, let's give it another whirl with the hot water.

I guess Mr. Colpeper can wait a while.

Here, we know how to handle this.

Still a bit sticky, sir, glad to meet you.

Welcome to Chillingbourne, you're the first American soldier we've seen.

Bad luck missing your train, Sergeant, uh--

Johnson, sir. Johnson.

Say, what's that?

That's the old ducking stool, very sensibly used for silencing talkative women.

Are you there, Mr. Colpeper?

Excuse me.

That you, Brooks?

You're showing your light, sir.

Sorry, Brooks.

Very careless of me.

We take our blackout seriously in east Kent.

It's your first time in England?

Yes, sir.

Do you like it?

Sure, but I haven't seen much else but Salisbury.

You've seen something if you've seen Salisbury.

It's a fine town.

Yeah, it's got some swell movies.


You're a great movie goer, Sergeant Johnson.

You bet.

It's a great thing to sit back in an armchair and watch the world go by in front of you.

With your bad case, Sergeant Johnson, the people may get used to looking at the world from a sitting position.

I don't quite get you.

Then when they really do pass through it, they don't see anything.

Will you be going to a movie in Canterbury?

Is there anything good on?

This voucher will get you a room in the Hand of Glory, that's the inn.

One of the men will take you over, there's nothing to pay.

Thanks, that's swell of you, but I can pay.

No, no, you're our guest tonight.

Okay, thanks a lot.

That's all right.



Pity when you get home and people ask you what you've seen in England, you'll say, I saw a movie in Salisbury and I made a pilgrimage to Canterbury and saw another one.

You've got me all wrong.

I know that in Canterbury, I have to look out for a cathedral.

Do look out for it, just behind the movie theater, you can't miss it.

Take the sergeant down to Mrs. Foster.

Yes, Mr. Colpeper.

And ask the young lady to come in.

Good luck, Sergeant.

Goodnight, sir.



Up here, miss. Thank you.

I'm sorry about the incident, Miss, uh?

Alison Smith.

Miss Smith.

I've been by the war agricultural committee.

Don't they telephone before they send people?

You wrote, they sent me.

I want a farm laborer.

You'll have to take what you can get, these days.

You've got me.

I can do the work.

I'm sorry, Miss Smith.

You refuse to employ me because I'm a girl?

Miss Smith, there's a camp near this village full of soldiers.

I know!

Oh, you know?

I'm not interested in soldiers.

Perhaps they're interested in you.

Let them, they mean nothing to me.

Aren't you afraid to stay here?

Why should I be afraid?

After what's happened here.

Did you hear it?


Somebody moved, there.


It isn't nonsense.

Somebody's there.

How could there be, I've been here the whole time.

Why don't you want to open it, then?

Here's some more.

Uh, Mrs. Foster won't be long now, miss.

Can I help you?

Well, I've seen some topsy-turvy things in this war, and the last.

Good to see guests doing real work for me.

No, miss.

Do you know Mr. Thomas Colpeper?

Do I know Mr. Colpeper?

You a Londoner, miss?

Well, what you say if I was to ask you, do you know who's the lord mayor of London?

But I don't.

You don't?


Well, aren't you ashamed?

Not a bit.

I see.

That stone interest you, miss?

It comes from the old road, what some folks call the Pilgrims Road.

Yes, from the bend, up there on the hill.

What do you know about our bend?

I've seen it.


Three years ago.

Oh, then it wasn't our bend you saw.

It weren't uncovered then.

No, but the bend was there all the same.

Is it excavated now?

Yes, the whole bend.

Who gave the money?


I'm glad they changed their minds.

They didn't, we changed our magistrate.

For Mr. Colpeper?

For Mr. Colpeper.

How do you know about our bend?

I spent the whole of my holiday here, once.

I don't call you to mind.

We camped outside the village, in a caravan.

There ain't been no caravaneers by our bend for the past eight years.

That's all you know.

Ah, except...

You ain't a gee, uh, geologist?


He was my fiancé.

Girl, you can come up now, your room's ready.




Starting tomorrow, I shall have the Elizabeth room free.

She slept there.

Who? Queen Elizabeth.

There's an American in it now but he's going in the morning.

Is his name Johnson?

You're the girl?

Yes, we washed it but it's still full of glue.


Extraordinary thing to do, isn't it?

Silly, I call it.

You'll have to wash your hair again, several times.

I'll send you up a kettle. Thank you.

This is your room.

Who is it?

It's me, Alison.

Is that you, Bob?

Gee, ma'am, I didn't know you were stopping here too.

Why didn't you tell me last night?

Well, I didn't know myself.

I didn't get that job.

Sorry about the job.

Never mind about that, what--

Let's see, now, since you didn't get the job, that means you're going in with me on the 8:57?

That's just what I wanted to talk to you about.

Bob, would you mind very much not catching the 8:57?

Would I mind?

I've got to meet a buddy in London and I want to get the Canterbury first, I promised Ma.

Well, we can go in on the evening train together, and I've written to Peter Gibbs.

Well, what's he got to do with it?

Dear Sergeant Gibbs, you will have heard by now that the Glue Man got away, but he didn't get far.

You mean they've got him?


What kind of a quiz is this?

You met Mr. Colpeper, didn't you?

Yes, he got me this room, and a swell room it is.

What about it?

There's something about him I don't like.

And he's got a Home Guard's uniform.

Don't laugh, Bob.

What I want to do is to snoop around in the village.

Peter can do that at the camp.

And I want you to help me, Bob.

You need about as much help as a flying fortress.

8:00, Bob.

AM or PM?


Tea, sir.

I take coffee for breakfast.

You can have coffee for breakfast, sir.

It's an early morning tea.

Can't I have early morning coffee?

Oh, no, sir.


What's that?

What, sir?

That window, there.

That's the other side of the street.

That street seems kind of narrow.

They have a story, overhangs.

They do say two six-foot men could shake hands across the street, sir.

Why would they want to do that?

That is what they say, sir.

♫ Oh, come, come, come

♫ To the church in the wild wood

♫ Come, come, come

♫ To the church in the vale ♫


Blimey mirror.


Hello, there.


What are you doing?


What's your name?

Leslie, what's yours?


Are you a soldier?

Sure, can't you see my uniform?

I've never seen a uniform like that.

What do those stripes mean?

I seem to have heard this one.

I tell you they mean sergeant, and you tell me what?

They're the wrong way up.


Could you use a quarter?

A quarter what?

A quarter of a dollar.

That's a shilling.


Thank you very much.

You're welcome.

Are you an American soldier?

I have that honor.


Yes, what?

This is an American soldier.

Don't point, dear, it's rude.

Up, then, come on.

See ya later.


Good morning.

Good morning, ma'am.

Sleep well?

Yes, thanks.

Sure is mighty lonesome, lying in the middle of that bed.

One of the three largest in all England.

They say that two six-foot men couldn't shake hands across that bed.

Why would they want to do that, ma'am?

Depends on who's in it, young man.

You missed the Canterbury train.

Thought I might take a ride in with Miss Alison this evening.

You'd better think again because she's stopping.

I woke up this morning, saying to Miss Susanna Foster, you're mad to let a great strong girl like that go when you need someone yourself on the farm.

Was I right?

I guess you ain't often wrong, ma'am.

She's a nice girl.

She having breakfast?

No, she's at a wheelwrights.

Up north, was you?


North Umberland?


Cheap farming, mostly.


Ah, they don't know nothing about farming up there.

You're finding society down here.


Do you know how to cut the tire off?

Know what the tire is?


Then you have to sole it down.

Know what soling down means?


Ah, well, soling down means, uh, soling down, see?

You goes up the end of the spokes.

Then you have a look at them felly joints.

You know what felly joints is?


Ah, you want to know that.

You have to open them felly joints three-eighths of an inch.

You'd better remember that just in case Susanna Foster asks you what was wrong with the wheel.

Thank you.

Mr. Horton, what was your job before the war?


I've been a blacksmith for 37 years.

My father was a blacksmith, and his before him.

I was selling things in a department store before the war.

I wonder how you would look behind a counter, Mr. Horton.

Horton behind a counter?

American at that, Bob Johnson's the name.

Sergeant, ain't you?

This is Sergeant Bob Johnson of the American Army.

Morning, folks.



Nice place you've got here.

So you didn't catch the 8:57.

No, ma'am.

You look as though you belong around here already.

Do I?

Sure do.

I thought I'd stick around today myself.

Thought I might have a chat with Mr. Colpeper.

I hear he knows a lot about the Old Pilgrims Road.

Ah, so you're interested in that old road, are you?

Well, the wheel's finished, what are you standing around for?

Put her on the cart.

Yes, sir, I'm crazy about that old road and those old Canterbury pilgrims.

AH, them was the days for a wheelwright.

Mind that strap, boy.

You got a linchpin, Ned? Yeah.

Did you hear the news last night, Mr. Horton?

Weren't nothing on the wire, miss.

No, I didn't mean that sort of news.

I mean, what happened here last night.

We get all our local news at six o'clock, miss.

You've got a local newspaper?

No, that's when the pub opens.

What happened?

Your Glue Man was on the warpath last night.

Who was he after this time?


Oh, you.

I suppose that'll learn you not to run around at night.

On the contrary, I shall go out every night until I catch him.

Aren't likely.

Come on, then, get it down.

Can I give you a hand there, ma'am?

Thanks, Bob, I'd rather do it alone.



Yeah, and chestnut.

Do you get much sweating in your own planks?

Oh, average.

At home, we build two at a time, for steadiness, side-by-side.

Well, so do us, to tie them longer strips together.

Saw them last winter.

Is that how you do it in America?

It's how we do it in my part of America.

But we take off the strips when we put the planks away in stock.

Well, so do us!

How long do you allow for seasoning timber?

A year for every inch of thickness.

Same here.

You can't hurry an elm.

No, but some folks try to, all the same.

Yeah, can't do it.

Can't stand to see their money lie idle a piece.

And the war.

Why the war?

Folks gone mad.

They cut oak at midsummer.


I'm telling you, yes.

Oak should be cut in winter.

Of course! Or the spring.

That's right. And beech in the fall.

And plank it out-- At Christmas.

That's how my dad taught me.

Ah, you was well brought up.

In the timber business, was you?


My grandad had the first mill in our parts.

Dad, he was a cabinet maker.

I cut my teeth on wood shavings.

Cut his teeth on, ha!

Dad, he made my cradle out of cedar of Lebanon.

He said what was good enough for Solomon was good enough for a Johnson of Johnson County.

Gee, I can smell that cedar now.

Can I bum a ride off you, ma'am?

Jump in.

Looks like a good way to see the sights.

Just a minute, missy, we have our dinner at midday.

I'd like to have you join us, Sergeant, that is, if you ain't got nothing better to do.

Thanks a lot, I'd be glad to.

Ah, that'll be fine.


Hey, mother!

Yes, Jim?

One extra for dinner.

I was thinking of Cornish barn hen.

Ah, well, think of a big chicken.

Nice piece of weather boarding, that water mill.

I must ask the old gentleman who built it.

I'll bet it was a Horton.

How did you manage to get around Mr. Horton in that way?

I believe you are a detective.

We speak the same language.

I'm English and I don't speak their language.

He knows about wood, see, and so do I.

That's it. That is it.

Oh, look at that house.

What a perfect place.

I wonder whose it is, and what it's like at the back.


What wouldn't I give to grow old in a place like that?

Tom, breakfast!

Beats me.

Last night, I could have believed anything.

But this morning, if ever a man looked, looked right, he--

Yeah, it don't add up.


But, you know, Alison, things don't add up in life.

Look, Bob, are you positively off tonight?

Positively, but I'll see you before I go and tell you what I find out from old Jim Horton.

What I plan to do the rest of the afternoon, I don't know.

It's a movie.

It's Saturday, they have a matinée.

What, go to a single feature, not me.

Write some post cards.

I'll have to do that to the folks from Canterbury.

Write to your girl.

I don't write my girl anymore.

How do you expect her to write to you if you don't write to her?

You've got that in reverse English.

She doesn't write to me anymore, so I don't write to her.

That's the way it is?

That's the way it is.

Perhaps she has written.

I haven't had a letter in seven weeks.

Sometimes the mail's lost by enemy action.

A ship might have gone down.

Yes, a ship might have gone down, the address might have been wrong, there are a hell of a lot of Johnsons in the Army, maybe she was ill, maybe her mother was ill, I've had all the maybes.

I cabled her, I haven't heard a thing.

She was a swell girl, Alison.

We used to talk.

She liked the woods.

She learned some of the bird calls I taught her real well for a girl.

She caught her first rainbow with my rifle, two-and-a-half pounds.

She broiled it herself.

We'd been walking in the woods often, following the trail, and haven't said a word for two hours.

And then both said the same thing together.

What do you figure it means when that happens?

It means love.

It means no letter in seven weeks.

I don't believe this enemy action stuff.

All the other fellows get letters from their girls.

If a ship goes down, it can't just be that particular part of the ship where my letters are dumped that goes down, can it?

Well, so long, Alison.

I hope you don't mind my calling you by your first name.

I shall miss being called ma'am.

Time marches on.

Which way does your road go, ma'am?

He knows.

I hope up that hill.

Why that hill?

That's where the Pilgrims Road runs.

Along that hill?


From the bend, at the eastern edge of the hill, pilgrims saw Canterbury for the first time.

You've seen it?


With a friend of mine.

Boy or girl?


I hope he writes to you.

No, he doesn't.

Mable the mail was lost by enemy action.

No, Bob.

As it happens, he was lost by enemy action.

He was a pilot.

Shot down?



I hope you'll have better luck!


I'm Prudence Honeywood.

My sister telephoned you were coming.

Glad to see you, we're shorthanded here.

Smiler brought you along all right, I hope.

Yes, Miss Honeywood.

Not afraid of work, are you?


Tie sheaves? Yes.

Cart muck? Yes.

Peel potatoes? Yes.

Knit a harrow? Not very straight.

Neither can I.

Can you spot wheat?


Spread lyme? If I have to.

You'll have to.

Know anything about hops?

Not a thing.

Most of the hands are down in the fields today.

You'd better stay here this morning.

We can put you back in that shed.

I'll see you a little later.

Someone told me you had a frightening experience last night.

Wasn't frightening, just unpleasant, and annoying.

I thought so.

It's happened to other girls, none of them died.

My sister likes to dramatize things.

You know the type.

Do I know them?

Well, do you or don't you?

I worked in a London store before the war.

Selling things?

Yes, garden furniture, picnic baskets, all that sort of thing.

Did you like the job?

Not much.

It was better than selling ordinary furniture.

I used to imagine my deck chairs in beautiful gardens, and my picnic baskets opened in the woods and fields.

So you like gardens and the country?

Hope you won't miss your London store here.

I shan't.

We get up at sunrise.

But you don't have to queue for the bus.

It's hot and sweaty this time of the year.

You should see the stores in August.

The flies are the very devil.

So were the customers.

That's your room over there, the open one.

You won't get much of a view, I'm afraid.

You should have seen the view from my room in London.

Was it a long street with every house a different sort of sadness in it?

It was a long row of back gardens, where the tall, sad houses were all the same.

Ghastly in winter.

Airless in summer.

You seem to know them.

The only man who ever asked me to marry him wanted me to live in a house like that.

I'm still a maid.

Miss Honeywood--

Call me Pru, you might as well.

I don't like Prudence, name or quality.

Prudence soon, what has been, and she liked Susanna.

You spoke of other girls who had the same experience as I did last night.

Do you know any of them?

Yes, I have one working in the hop yards, Fee Baker.

I'd like to talk to her.

Well, you'll see her when you take their dinner down.

Don't worry.

What's for dinner?

Got you each an apple dumpling.


You're Fee Baker, aren't you?

And you're Alison Smith.


You're working for Pru?


Where are you from?


Oh, I've got an uncle in London.

He's a policeman, his father was a policeman, too.

Very good dancer, the uncle, not the father.

Are you fond of dancing?

Am I?

There aren't many boys around here who can tell their own feet from their partner's, Lots of soldiers, no good dancers among them?

I wouldn't go out with a soldier for 100 pounds.


The Glue Man's a soldier, everybody knows that.

He wears a soldier's uniform.

And what makes a civilian a soldier, a uniform.

Besides, there weren't any old Glue Man here before the soldiers came.

Suppose he isn't a soldier.

What are you driving at?

Suppose he's a civilian, someone in the village.

In uniform?

Suppose he wore a uniform to make the girls afraid to go out with soldiers.

Huh, that might be any one of a dozen.

Might be a Glue Woman.


Don't be soft.

Take Ernie's family.

Who's Ernie, another uncle?

No, my Ernie is with the Eighth Army.

You think his family likes me going out with strange soldiers?

But a girl must live.

I'm sure I'm right.

Well, suppose you are, where does it get you?

Why worry, you weren't the first.

Do you know the other girls?

Of course, there's Dorothy Bird, she's the post girl, Susan Cummings, Polly Finn-- Hold on a tick.

If nobody else cares, I'm going to find out what can be done about this Glue Man business.

I can tell you that.

Hot water, plenty of hot water.

What's the idea of frightening my horse?

I suppose you weren't scared?

Why don't you keep your beastly carriers off the Pilgrims Road?

I know that voice.

Hey Alison, this is Peter Gibbs.

I thought you didn't get that job.

Who'd you steal this cart from?

I'm working for Mrs. Foster.

And if you don't take your carriers out of the road at once, I'll tell her what happened and she'll report you to your CO.

CO's idea.

We didn't know who was in the cart and didn't even know it was a girl.

You're just an objective.

I don't believe a word, and I'm in a hurry.

And we're not.

You're our prisoner, but we'll exchange you for some information.

What have you been up to, have you got a plan?

What's Bob doing to earn his keep?

Archie, this is Miss Alison Smith, I told you about.

Archie here had an Angus.

A Gwladys.

Come on, now, do tell the tale.

Well, that's all there was to it, love's young dream.


What next?

Well, there wasn't any next, she went home like a scolded cat.

And that was after dark?

Conditions were perfect, until the Glue Man came.

What was the girl's name?

Gwladys, she spelled it with a W.

Gwladys what?

How should I know, it wasn't a lasting friendship.

Anyway, it's happened to her.

When, what date?

Oh, no, Archie's my witness, I'll get all the dope.

Okay, Archie.

And talking of dope...

What's that?

Colpeper Institute, Chillingbourne, admission free, each Saturday at 7:30 PM, a lecture illustrated by lecture slides will be given by Thomas Colpeper, JP.

The members of H.M. forces only.

After the lecture, an open discussion will be held, smoking permitted, attend the whole series and bring your friends.

Admission free, it's tacked up all over the camp, that's the fourth in the series.


Well, how about it, useful?

It says members of H.M. forces only.

Well, aren't you in the Army, women's land army?

Isn't that H.M. forces too?

Yes, it is, but the lecture's tonight.

Well, what's wrong with tonight?

I've got a job, I'm working here.

You are, good. It's my first day.

Well, what's wrong with it?

We'll go together.

Yes, I suppose I can, if I finish in time.

Can you finish in time?

Yes, if it's important.

Important, in detective work, every clue's important.

What clue?

Did I say clue? You did.

I meant view, don't be late.

Not heaven itself upon the past has power, but what has been has been and I have had my hour.

Are you from the States?


I've got a brother there.

That so?

Butt City.

Butt City?

Butt City, Montana.

Oh, yes, of course.

Name of Isaac Wells, maybe you know him.

Tall fellow?

Short and fat.

Can't place him.


Good evening, good evening.

Coming to the lecture?

Yes, in a minute, sir.

I come Three Sisters Falls, Oregon.

I come from the Seven Sister's Road London, put it there.

Pleased to meet you.

You sure a whole mess of sisters ahead of me.

Good evening, good evening.

I'm glad to see such a big house.

The last time I was to speak, July 11, I think, to an audience of one, he was reading his evening paper.

I waited for a bit then I asked him, shall I start?

He said, start what?

I said, didn't you come to hear the lecture?

He said, no, the pub's closed.

Well, we'll waited till 5:30 then we adjourned the lecture and both went to the pub.

Would some of you mind the blackout, please?

And I hope there are going to be plenty of questions.

Will somebody start the ball rolling now?

Yes, sir.

May I ask why you want to lecture us at all, sir?

Well, you see, it's a form of human weakness.

It's only human nature when you hear something interesting, you want to pass it on to somebody else.

Well, I know a lot of interesting things about this part of the country, and I feel the urge to pass some of them on to you.

Good evening, you can find a place at the back, I think.

Oh, good evening, Sergeant Johnson, would you like to join your two friends?

Yes, sir.

Good evening, Miss Smith.

Good evening, Mr. Colpeper.

Say, won't you come back and join us?

Well, I wouldn't like to presume.

Sure, come on, we'd like it.



Friend of mine.

Greeting, all.

Good evening.

Big nose. What?

Tell you later.

What about your train?

Brother, you can take my--

I was born here, my father was born here.

You're here because there's a war on.

You'd rather be in your own part of the country.

You're telling us.

That's why none of you like being here very much.

But suppose there was peace again.

And holidays again.

Well, you'd like to spend your holidays in a beautiful and interesting part of the country.

And if you ask any man who knew England well, where shall I go to, 10-to-one he'd say, go to Kent, but you're in Kent.

Don't rub it in, sir.

Yes, where's the wife and kids?

Only passing through, I know.

I don't know what you are in civil life.

You might be cook, clerk, doctor, lawyer, merchant.

Let me remind you that as much as 600 years ago, doctors and lawyers and clerks and merchants were passing through here on the old road with we call the Pilgrims Way.

And cooks.

Yes, and cooks, too.

Blimey, cooks tour.

These ancient pilgrims came to Canterbury to ask for a blessing or to do penance.

You, I hope, are on your way to secure blessings for the future.

Any questions?

I was thinking, sir.


What have we got to do with this old road, and the people who traveled on it 600 years ago?

Hear, hear.

Isn't the house you were born in the most interesting house in the world to you?

Don't you want to know how your father lived and his father?

That's all right, but how do we know it really happened?

There are more ways than one of getting close to your ancestors.

Follow the old road, and as you walk, think of them and of the old England.

They climbed Canterbury Hill, just as you.

They sweated and paused for breath, just as you did today.

And when you see the bluebells in the spring and the wild time, the broom in the header, you're only seeing what their eyes saw.

You follow the same rivers, same birds are singing.

When you lie flat on your back and rest and watch the clouds sailing, as I often do, you're so close to those other people that you can hear the thrumming of the hooves and their horses, and the sound of their wheels on the road, and their laughter and talk, and the music of the instruments they carried.

And when I turn the bend of the road, where they, too, saw the towers of Canterbury, I feel I've only to turn my head to see them on the road behind me.


How about you?

Makes a nice change.

Now I'd like to show you some drawings and photographs of things we've found in recent excavations.

Hey, Bob, movies.

I don't like free shows.

Something always goes wrong.

First I'll show you the bend on the Pilgrims Road.


Sorry, I always do that.

Somebody mind undoing the blackout?

Oh, thanks.

Perhaps our friend will be able to fix it.

He only looks after the carriers.

Pity, I shall only be able to show half of the slides.

By the way, if any of you are really interested, drop in at my house at any time and have a chat.

Thank you.

Are you interested, Miss Smith?

Why shouldn't she be?

I'm interested, too.

Otherwise, we wouldn't be here, right?


What interests you especially?

Well, what you were saying.

Of course, we know we don't know anything about that sort of thing.

Oh, yes we do. Do we?

We know all about the old road.

We know that the pilgrims weren't the first to use it.

Quite right.

I'm sorry it was used by the Romans.

Here in Kent, it certainly goes back to the Iron Age.

I thought this was the Iron Age.

Pipe down, it's very interesting.

A geologist found some Belgian coins not far from here some time ago.

Last time I was in London, I inquired at the British Museum about them but I'm afraid they have no record.

I have them.

You have them?

Yes, they were left to me by the man who found them.

I'd be very grateful if one day you'd let me see the coins.

Anytime, after my luggage gets here.

I wouldn't keep them very long.

I'm going to give them to this museum.

Not to you.

Thank you.

Very much obliged.

May I ask for the blackout again, please?

Here we go, the bend on the Pilgrims Road.

Put that light out!

Okay, okay, why pick on me?

Gee, I forgot!

What? The proof.

I've got it! Tell us about it.

Not here.

Topography plays an important part in my expose.

Hi, buddy.

Have a cigar?


Is this Cherring Street?

That's right.

Leading into Market Place?

That's right.

That building there is the town hall?

That's right.

Now, Mr. Colpeper's office is the second story window?

That's right.


Are you, by any chance, the village idiot?


Why, that's right.

Anyway, he is right.

I checked it this afternoon.

So where does he get it?

You'll see.

Now, we came down this street.

That's right.

We didn't see a light in the town hall.

That's right.

You're killing me.

When we were in the town hall, the police found Mr. Colpeper in his office.

Later, I saw him there, and so did you.

That's right.

When I was with him in his office, the janitor, or somebody, tapped on the window and said we were showing a light outside.

I saw him pull the curtain myself.

That's very interesting.

We hadn't seen a light, so it follows--

That he wasn't in his office.

He was in such a hurry to draw the curtain when he got back that he never noticed that--

That's right.

Oh, it's the first real clue we've had, Alison.


I still can't believe that he's the Glue Man.

What motive could he possibly--

Is there a bus?

Sounds like it.

Well, come on, we must run.

See you tomorrow after church, Alison.

Peter is like the camel is in reverse, always going and never coming.

Cigarette? Thank you.

That was clever of you, to work that out.

Yes, wasn't it?

Make a swell letter home.

Bob Johnson solves village mystery.

I forgot, I don't write to home anymore.

We shall need the watchman's evidence.


You didn't even hear what I said.

I'm sorry, Alison, but I just can't forget that girl.

A fellow goes to war and into all kinds of dangers and...

What do you find so dangerous just now?

I don't mean just now.

But I mean, you go and fight in a foreign country and...

I bought her some writing paper.

I write her every time we stop.

And not one line from that blonde.

I guess Ma was right.

She says blondes are no good.

What color is your hair, Alison?

Blonde. No kidding!

Come on, I'll take you home.

And tomorrow, I'm going to organize the local guerrillas.

Hello, there.

Can I speak to you for a minute?

You speak, you'd better not shout it.

You bet, what's cooking?

A battle, a blind operation, back paddle.

I get it.

Say, Colonel--

General, General Halls.

This is Commander Tom, in charge of our landing crew.

Mind if I come aboard?

Not at all, at your own risk, of course.


Bring it aside.

Here I come.

Can we have a talk now?

I've put my scout ashore.

Okay, onto the bank.

Would you mind taking a paddle?


Fire at will, fire!

Surprise attack, take cover, get down!


Face it, General, you are outnumbered.

All right.

Hello, General, nice work.

Good forewarning us.

Sure, why didn't you pick sides?

Because my men must have berries, and I've only got six handkerchiefs.

Well, that's different.

Now the battle's over, would your two armies lease lend you two generals for a while?

What's lease lend?

Never ask that question again, son.

If the isolationists were to hear you back home, they'd be mighty sore.

Who are the isolationists?

Shortsighted folks.

Why don't they buy spectacles?

From what I hear, that's just what they are doing.

Now here's two quarters.

He means two shillings.

One for each army.

The smaller army will get a bigger share, but that's right too.


Thank you very much.

Thank you.

Is there some place around here we can have a pow-wow?

On the hill.

Looks like this isn't the first time this place has seen a battle.


Now see here.

You've heard about the Glue Man, haven't you?

Don't be scared.

I'm not scared.

Nor am I.

Good, because I'm on his trail.

The Glue Man?


You want to catch him?

That's the idea.

Now, if this was the States, every kid in the village would lend a hand to get him.


I'll tell you.

I want you to help me check some things, are you game?


First, I want to know how many drug stores there are in Chillingbourne.

What stores?

Drug stores, where you buy soap and razor blades and ice cream.

You mean the grocers.

Call it what you like.

Now, if you wanted to stick something together and needed the stuff to stick it with, where would you buy it?

At the grocers.

Is there only one?

Only one.

Next, I want to find out who's been buying sticky stuff at grocers.

Is he a friendly sort of guy?

Mr. Holmes.

If that's his name, is he human?

He's his father!

Holy smoke, is it that time already?

I've got a date for church.

Show me the shortest way from here and on the way, we'll map out a plan of campaign.

Excuse me, can you tell me anything--

At the office, they'll tell you.

Oh, no, it isn't bus information I want.

It's about, about the Glue Man.

What about him?

Who are you?

You are Polly Finn, aren't you?

Yes, what if I am?

Miss Winter?

Clarice Winter?


Have you got a minute?

Five, if you want them.

Can I come up?

No, stay where you are, I'll come down.

You can't come in the box, you know, it's against regulations.

Well, what is it?

I only want to ask you one or two questions.

Oh, well, fire away.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Are you Dorothy Bird?

That's me.

I got your name from Fee Baker.

I'm the new land girl working at Fosters.

Go on.

August 27th.


Fee Baker, Susan Cummings, Dorothy Bird, Polly Finn, Gwladys Swinton, and me.

Each time the thing happened after half past 11, but never later than midnight.

Did it ever happen after midnight to anybody?

As far as I can check, no.

I've checked that, they all say it never happened after midnight.

That's important.


Facts are always important.

What about dates?

Fee Baker, June the 8th, Susan Cummings, June the 24th, Gwladys Swinton, oh, not sure, and me, August the 27th.

Of course, Bertha Rogers on the 11th of August.

Well, wait a minute.

No, false alarm.

Well, I can fill in some dates.

Gwladys Swinton was July 10th.

Two other girls, anonymous, July 2nd and August 3rd.

Well, let's see.

That gives us two on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, one on Thursday, two on Friday, one on Saturday, blank on Sunday and Monday.

Well, what do you make of that?

I don't know.

Well, anyway, our dates are still incomplete.

There were 11 cases in all.

So what?

You know, I'm beginning to think the whole village is cracked.

Just look at that boy.

90 degrees in the shade and he's wearing a winter overcoat.

Hello, Leslie, Terry, come on up.

That's for me.

They'll never get past old Elba.

I'll fix that.

Kids and almanacs, this won't get us anywhere.

You got a better idea?


I'm going to call on Mr. Colpeper this afternoon, and I want you to come with me.

You can't crash in without being asked.

He has asked me, last night.

Anyone really interested, he said.

Well, I'm interested.

Yes, that's clever.

Well, will you come?

I'm not very keen, take Bob.

No, he's got a date.

Meet General Terry, General Leslie, also Commander Todd.

He's the delicate one.

You all like lemonade?


You too, Commander?


You can take this coat off now, Commander.

You're through the enemy's lines.

Meet the account book of Mr. Holmes, the general's father and Chillingbourne drug store keeper.

You mean the grocer.

Beg pardon.

A, B, C, oh.

Colpeper, Thomas.

Flour, soap, sugar, bacon--

A week's rations.

Here, you look at it, you know the names.

Any sticky stuff?

Do some of the richer people here, like the rector, Mr. Colpeper, buy everything in Chillingbourne?

No, we get lots of things from outside.

How do you know?

We collect salvage from the houses.


Good afternoon, you want my son?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I was at his lecture last night.

And you want to talk to him about it, of course.

Come in. Thanks.

He'll be here in a moment.


Good afternoon, Sergeant.

Oh, how do you do, sir?

Sorry to bother you on a Sunday.

Oh, don't mention it.

I expect your weekdays are fully occupied.

Yes, they are.

Do sit down, what do you drink?

Do you have whiskey on Sunday?

Nothing for me.

Won't you have something?

A cider, please.

Hey, mom, cider!

Well, how's the Army going?

You seem to be busy from morning till night.

It's a bit like your job.


You put a great deal in to get very little out.

Are you a farmer in civil life?

Me? No.

May I ask what part of the country you come from?


Not much material there for your lectures.

More there than anywhere.

What about the British Museum?

Yeah, I suppose it is pretty good.

Yes, pretty good.

It's only a day's walk from Chillingbourne.

What, 50 miles, some walk.

Not if you like walking, do you like walking?

Not if I can help it, why walk if there's a train?

Oh, mother.

Go on with your talking, I can manage.

I see, sir, you're interested in mountaineering.

Yes, I do a bit of it.

I suppose you'd recommend we wait at the bottom until somebody builds a nuclear railway.

I say why climb to the top at all?

What's wrong with the valley?

The answer's in yourself.

You're dead right.

And the trouble with this country is that every second man thinks he's born to be a missionary, and every third man has a bee in his bonnet.

Thank you.

Look at you.

You don't mind?

No, of course not.

You're a gentleman farmer with a fine house.

I'm sure you've got a first-class farm and run it well.

Yet the first chance you get, you're off climbing mountains, or digging up stuff which 600 years ago was thrown out as junk.

No bee in your bonnet?

No. I've got my job, 30 pounds a week.

I've got my flat.

I meet my friends when I want to meet them.

That's good enough for me.

Don't you want a bigger flat, better job, 40 pounds a week?

I've got the best job a man in my business can have.

May I ask, what is your job?

I'm an organist.

In Saint Paul's Cathedral?

No, in a cinema, West End.

I'm a cinema organist, a good one.

I'm sure you are.

Have you always wanted to be a cinema organist?

Not when I was a kid.

I wanted to be a church organist.

I studied for nine years, then luckily for me, I met a chap who told me about a job.

A new theater, brand new organ.

You see, I never really had the chance to play on any big organ, except the one at the academy.

You never played a church organ?

Not a big one.

Seems to me, Sergeant, there are two kinds of men: one learns to play Bach and Handel only to play I Kiss Your Little Hand Madame, and the man who learns to walk step by step so that one day he might climb Mount Everest.

Perhaps another convert in the study of ancient Kent.

I feel I have gone rather off the rails.

Never mind, there's plenty of time.

Not much to do in Chillingbourne, how do you find it?

I haven't seen much of it.

Oh, how's that?

I only arrived on Friday night.

Yes, I remember seeing you at my lecture with Miss Smith and our American ally, Sergeant Johnson.

Did you walk in together from the station?


I was with them when the attack took place.

This fellow must be a tough sort of customer, about your height.

As a matter of fact, I had some excitement myself that night, and we searched the town hall, I was on fire guard.

Do you have to do fire watching?

Oh, yes.

As well as home guard?

Twice a week home guard and fire watching every eighth day.

Tom? Yes, mother?

The salvage boys are here again.

They were here last week.

Well, they say it's a paper drive.

Maybe it's my homemade toffee.

There are six boys and Ovenden's donkey.

I'll go and talk to them, excuse me.

Hello, salvage again?

Yes, sir, waste paper.

We've got a lot of sacks left.

Did you go around the vale last time?

No, sir.

You'd better go around by the back way.

Emma will show you.

Round the back way.

How's your father's bag, Telly?

Awful, sir.

Ah, too bad.

I ought to be going now, sir.

Nonsense, I'm enjoying our talk, let's have another mug.

Hello, coming, ma'am.

Four and five and six and seven,

two shillings and seven pence.

That okay, ma'am?

Now what, press button A, okay.

Looks like I hit the jackpot.

What's that, ma'am?

Press button B?


Reinsert coins and press button A.

Check again.

A buttons, B buttons, mirrors, tea drinker, left-hand driving, stripes upside down.

Yes, ma'am, it sure is difficult, and hot.

Here I come, button A.

Made it.


Sergeant Michael Roczinski, please.

R-O-C-Z-I, yeah, that's correct, US Army.

He said what?

Now see here, ma'am, I don't care what Mickey Roczinski told you.

He's a buddy of mine.

We come from the same company.

Wake him up, it's four o'clock.

He can't sleep out his whole leave in London.

You can't.

You won't?

Say, you give good service in your hotel.

Well, tell him Bob Johnson rang.

Bob, B-O-B, Bob.

Call it what you like.

Tell him I can't get to London.

He's to meet me in Canterbury.

I'm not in Canterbury now, but I'll be in Canterbury tomorrow.

Where will he meet me?

Holy cats, I don't know where, I've never even seen the place.

Where can he meet me in Canterbury?


That's right, tell him to meet me in Canterbury cathedral at 11 o'clock.



These London dames have plenty on the ball.

Now look, forget sex for a little while, will you?

I've either solved the whole thing or wasted a perfectly good Sunday.

What about me and my whole furlough?

See that? Without difficulty.

Now where's that list you made today of the dates of the crimes?

Right here, but--

And now I'll tell you when the crimes were committed.

Why tell me, I have them here.

Yes, but I have them.

Now, check.

The last one was Friday, August the 27th.

Considering we were both there--

Before that, Thursday the 19th.


Oh, take it from me, it's right.

Shandy? No thanks.

Before that, Wednesday the 11th.

Tuesday, 3rd of August.

Hey, that's right.

July the 26th, a Monday.

July the 18th, a Sunday.

10th of July, a Saturday.

2nd of July, a Friday.

All correct.

24th of June, a Thursday.

Then one on Wednesday, the 16th of June, and Tuesday, the 8th of June, altogether, 11.

Say, what have you got there?

This, my fine feathered friend, is the fire guard roto from Mr. Colpeper's house, and the dates that I've quoted to you are the nights that he was on duty.

Every eighth day.


Then Ernie Brooks clenches it.

What has he said?

Same as me.

He saw the light in Mr. Colpeper's office around midnight, but not before.

Ho, who goes there?

Sentry, make him come up.



How you doing, General?

Okay, full up to now.

Here is something.

Name of a firm, Reimends Limited.

Who are they?

A London firm, lot of branches.

They sell office accessories, paper, ink, and gum.

Well, that's that.

The rest is just routine.

Yes, we've got him cold.

Let's see now, it was a new football we agreed on, wasn't it?

You sure that's enough?

You've earned it.

Thank you very much.

The pleasure, General, is entirely mine.

Hey, catch!

Glorious, isn't it?

Is anybody there?

It's a real voice you heard, you're not dreaming.


Just now, I, I heard sounds.

What sounds did you hear?

Horses' hooves, voices,

and a lute, or an instrument like a lute.

Did you hear anything?

Those sounds come from inside, not outside, and only when you're concentrating and you believe strongly in something.

Just now, I was concentrating on who was coming up the hill to disturb me.

Disturb you, at what?

Being there, smelling the earth, and watching the clouds.

Why don't you sit down?

You know, I was very mistaken about you.

I'm sorry.

I was mistaken about you, too.

You have to dig to find out about people as well as roads.

Do you know why I wanted to stay so much?

I wanted to be here again.

You've been here before?

Do you see that clump of trees?

I spent 13 perfect days there in a caravan.

Your caravan?

It belongs to me now.

You're the owner?

Is there such a thing as a soul?

He must be here somewhere.

He loved this hill so much.

I love it, too.

May I ask, were you engaged?

Three years. Long time.

His father was the trouble.

Did you ever meet each other?

Well, yes, we didn't dislike each other.

They were a very good family.

He thought his son should marry someone better than a shop girl.

Good family.

Shop girl.

Rather dilapidated phrases for war time.

Not for Geoffrey's father.

It would have taken an earthquake.

We're having one.

Too late for me.

There are a lot of funny things in the world.

What, for instance?

For instance, why should people who love the country have to live in big cities?

Something's wrong.

Miracles still happen, you know?

Do you believe in miracles?

When I was your age, I didn't believe in anything.

Now I believe in miracles.

For shop girls? For everybody.

You know, I think a shop girl has a bigger chance of a miracle than a millionaire.

I can see you've never been a shop girl.

Nor a millionaire.

See those clouds forming?

They'll one day tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I've got to go into Canterbury, to the agricultural committee.

I shall visit my property.

You have property in Canterbury?

My caravan.

It's jacked up there in a garage.

I pay half a crown a week for it.

Quite a lot for a jacked up caravan.

Not for my caravan.

Can you bring it here?

I hope so.

Pilgrims to Canterbury often receive blessings.

Do you think even a visit to the agricultural committee could be the instrument of a blessing?

Who knows?

If not, I might have a word with you.

Yes, sir, I was born with an open mind.

And mouth.

And mouth, as you remark.

But it sure is a surprise to me to find how much I like everything over here.

Must they see us?

I may ask but one thing.

Not if you keep low.

What's that? Why do you, from sunrise to sunset, and at odd hours throughout the night, have to drink tea?

I shouldn't be too noisy about it if I were you.

But I hate the stuff.

Well, after Pearl Harbor, you Americans joined the honorable company of tea drinkers.

Don't forget that the Nazis and Japs have knocked down every country they tried to except the tea drinkers:

China, Russia, and England.

So long live drinking tea.

Drinking tea doesn't appear to be much good for the wind.

If anybody had made me walk three miles before the war, and then climb a hill, I'd say he could bury me at the top.

I thought organists as a race were climbers.

Of what? Church towers.

I use a lift.

Boy, cast your eye around that noble prospect.

Wasn't it worth the climb?


Of course, I freely admit it's nothing to compare with the view from Three Sisters Mountain.

Now don't start to tell me that you've got higher hills and broader rivers.

I don't see any river.

There, that's the river Star.


It goes to Canterbury.

Going to Canterbury is no proof it's a river.

I'm going to Canterbury and I ain't no river.

Well, I'll bet it's no Mississippi.

And I'll admit I've never seen the Mississippi.

You'll be happy to tell your folks you've seen the river Star.

And English blackberries.

I am happy.

Ours are bigger than these.

I feel fine.

The whole time, ever since we sailed, something's been wrong with me.

Maybe it was my girl.

Maybe I was homesick.

And now, for the first time, I feel swell.

Maybe it was because my mind was preoccupied.

In the Army, they think mostly about keeping your body occupied.

They've not much time to worry about your mind.


The air here is as good as Hyde Park.

Hyde Park, that's in London?

Very much in London.

What would you be doing this afternoon in London, if there wasn't any war?

Sunday afternoon?

Reading, playing cards with the boys, waiting for the pubs to open.

Occupying the mind, letting the body take care of itself.

You don't fancy the countryside much, do you?

If it's truth, I hardly realized there was a countryside before the war.

Funny, that, how the war can open your eyes to a lot of things.

That sounds like the Glue Man's lecture.

Take me, for instance, I was no G-man before the war.

Imagine me, Bob Johnson of Johnson County, Oregon, coming over here and solving the Glue Man mystery.

While you're throwing bookcases at yourself, don't forget me and Alison.

The nutty thing about it is, I like him.

Who? Old Colpeper.

He's a bit cracked, but I like him too.

Come on, Pete, I'll race you down.

You're on!

Getting on!

Getting on!

Canterbury stop!

Next stop, Canterbury!

Yes, well, he knows.

He didn't deny it, did he?

He didn't say a word.

No, he wouldn't, are you going to tell the police?

Certainly, he's called the tune, now he's got to pay the piper.

Hey, what's the holdup, George?

Mr. Colpeper's a bit late.

Did you get that?

Well, how do you know he's going to Canterbury?

It's Monday, his day on the bench.

On the bench?

Hello, pop.

Hello, sonny boy.

Bench of magistrate.

The district law court.

Good morning, Mr. Duckett.

Morning, miss.

I warned you to keep an eye on her Friday night.

Well, here he comes.

Get on, Mr. Colpeper.


Thank goodness he didn't come in here.

Good morning.

You don't mind my sitting with you, it's only 10 minutes to Canterbury.

There's plenty of room.

You bet.

I'm glad to meet you all together.

Well, I suppose you're on your way to rejoin your unit, Sergeant Johnson.

Yes, sir.

And you're off to the agricultural committee.

And you're going to sit on the bench.

And you, Sergeant Gibbs?

I'm going to the police station.

I see.

An excellent police force, the Kent constabulary.

They solve every crime, sooner or later.

Do you think the Glue Man knew that?

He knew it, all right.

But he didn't think that what he did was a crime.

What else can you call it?

Upsetting the whole village, giving the soldiers a bad name with everyone.

Some children hate going to school.

Their parents have to force them to go.

Is that a crime?

Pouring glue on girls' hair is.

It's awful to get out.

You're not going to defend pouring glue on people?

Certainly not.

I'm going to defend pouring knowledge into people's heads, by force, if necessary.

What knowledge?

Knowledge of our country, the love of its beauty.

Beauty of the countryside, who cares about these things in war time?

Who cares about them in peace time?

I tried it before this war.

Why should it be any better after it?

I've written articles that didn't get further than the county papers.

I rented a hall in London to speak from but nobody came to listen.

I even held a meeting in Hyde Park.

That's no subject for Hyde Park.

I found that out.

Then the war came, and just as I was thinking, like you, that all the things that I'd been preaching about would have to wait until peace time, a miracle happened.

That's the trouble, you believe in miracles.

Yes, I do.

The miracle was the Army decided to build a camp just outside our village.

Young men flowed in from every part of the country.

I felt as a missionary must feel, one day he finds there's no need to travel into the jungle to find converts, because the savages are coming to him.

Thanks for the compliment.

There's no sin in being a savage.

But a missionary who doesn't try to do his duty is a bad missionary.


Well, here was a chance to learn from me.

I planned a series of lectures, no one came.

I tried again and again, nobody turned up.

I went to see their CO, he sympathized.

He said when the men had finished their work, they had dates with the girls in the village, or they went to the movies to see glamour girls on the screen, or they go to dances.

They were always with girls or after girls.

Well, what's wrong with that?

Yeah, it's natural to feel lonesome in a strange place.

You have a girl at home, haven't you?

Yes, I have.

Would you like her to go out with strangers when you're 3,000 miles away?

5,000 miles.

Most of our girls have their men in the services.

The older people didn't like the idea of them going out with every soldier that came along.

I suppose they couldn't do anything about it.

It was difficult.

Nobody wanted to stop the soldiers having a good time.

So you stopped the girls from having one?


Did I ever tell you about old Dad Butler who killed the fly on his baby's head with a sledgehammer?

Mr. Colpeper, didn't it ever occur to you to ask the girls to your lectures?



Well, the fly is dead, the baby is alive and kicking, no harm's been done.

Oh, hasn't it?

What beats me is that a man in your position, a magistrate, somebody whose job it is to judge other people, I wonder what sort of sentence you would pass if the Glue Man was brought before you and your friends on the bench?

It would depend upon the findings of the court.

I would try to find the truth.

I never pass sentence without doing that.

I should try to discover the motives of the accused.

I should question every witness.

But you know that every witness would be against him.

Are you against him?

Fee Baker said that a lot of people in the village were not against him.

Are you against him?

He meant well.

Would you believe a burglar who said he meant well?

If it was his first offense.

He could prove that he broke into the house in order to save the baby from burning to death.

What baby?

Old Dad Butler's baby.

In any case, Sergeant Gibbs, if harm has been done, I shall have to pay for it.

And in order to make you pay, somebody must denounce you.

I want to make that quite clear.

There are higher courts than the local bench of magistrates.

Pilgrims for Canterbury, all out and get your blessings.

Rough sort of pilgrimage for you.

Pilgrimage can be either to receive a blessing or to do penance.

I don't need either.

Perhaps you are an instrument.

Do I get a flaming sword?

Nothing would surprise me.

I'll believe that when I see a halo around my head.

Taking a pilgrim's view, Sergeant Johnson?

Yes, sir.

Well, if you ever have a son who comes to England--

Here's hoping he comes in peacetime, not like his father.

And his grandfather.

And his grandfather?

Make him promise he'll come a pilgrim, too.

At the moment, sir, I'm having a little trouble with my future son's mother, but your advice is sound.

I overheard you say last night that you like me in spite of yourself.

That's true enough.

Well, I like you too.

And up here it's tough, but you'll try to make out.

Do you know the way?

Yes, thanks.

I'm taking Bob to the cathedral.

He's got a date there with his buddy.

Then it's goodbye.

Good luck.

Thank you.

Why good luck to you especially?

Yes, why you?

Military secret. What's cooking?

Tell a fellow.

We're off today.

No, where to?

Don't worry, I'll be seeing you.

It's a date.

And the more of us, the merrier.

I'm looking for the police station.

Thank you.


Yes, sir?

Watch out for convoys.

Very good, sir.

Christ's Church in 10 minutes, carry on.

Very good, sir.

Inspector. Yes?

Superintendent Hall wants to see me.

He's not in.

When will he be?

Well, it's hard to say.

He's got a job on, special service in the cathedral, and they're marching through the city.

I think I'm one of them.

Well, you ought to know, suit yourself, but he won't be back until the soldiers are gone.

Trouble is, when the soldiers are gone, I'll be gone too.

Well, you might find him around the cathedral.

Come on, Sergeant.

Good morning, Doctor Colte.

Early as usual.

Excuse me, sir.

Have you seen Superintendent Hall anywhere?

This is Canterbury Cathedral, not the police station.

I'm sorry, sir, I was told he might be here.

He wants to see me urgently.


Excuse me, sir.

I think you dropped this.

Hm, too much urgency.

Do you mind my looking at the organ for a moment, sir?

Go ahead.

Are you the organist, sir?

Do I look like the chapel-man?

This is some organ.

What do you know about it?

I'm an organist, or at least I was before the war.

Oh, well, once an organist, always an organist.

Unless, of course, you only play the mouth organ.

Where did you study?

Royal Academy of Music.

Under who?


Did you know him, sir?

Oh, cut each other for 27 years, but he's a fine teacher, none better.

Yes, we thought so.

Are you playing this morning, sir?

Later, there's a special service for a battalion of soldiers.

That's my battalion.

You going, too?

Yes, sir.

When did you play last?

Are you deaf?

I played in the cinema.

Cinema, oh.

When I was a young man your age, after I got my degree, I played in a circus.

The harmonium.

Piano wasn't loud enough, especially with the elephants.

How much do they pay you in the cinema?

30 a week.

Oh, they only paid me 22.

Ah, but 22 shillings then was more than 30 today.

Perhaps 22 shillings then could buy as much as 30 pounds today.

Well, oh, no, no, no, I don't think so.

Well, do you want to play?

I'd like to.

Not afraid of it?

No, I don't think I'm afraid.

You can have a go, then.

If you're one of them, it's only right that you should play for them.

Now, show what you can do.

Play something, anything.

Only don't swing it.

And my dad's pa built the first Baptist church in Johnson County.

Oregon red cedar,

cedar shingles.


Well, that was a good job, too.

Excuse me, would you mind telling me, is this Old Canterbury Lane?

No, this is Rose Lane.

Canterbury Lane is further up.

I haven't been here since 1940.

The Rose Hotel used to be here.

Just where we're standing.

This is the parade, and that is Saint George's Street.

Oh, yes, I see, thank you.

It is an awful mess, I don't blame you for not knowing where you are.

You get a very good view of the cathedral, now.

Excuse me.

Is this Rose Lane Garage?


You don't want to take her out, miss, do you?

No, I, I just want a look at her.

She's a good friend of mine.




We ain't touched this since the blitz.

What happened to the tires?


You know the regulations.

Mr. Portal couldn't let you know because he had no address for you.

He's got the receipt, he'll be glad you're here, I'll go and tell him.

What a shame.

I knew I should find you here.

I know how you're feeling.

You don't!

Everybody has disappointments in life.

Life is full of disappointments.

The moths are eating everything!

I don't doubt your feelings, but there's something impermanent about a caravan.

Everything on wheels must be on the move sooner or later.

Oh, hello, Mr. Portal, how are you?

How do you do, Miss Alison, how do you do?

Do you know Mr. Colpeper?

Yes, I know Mr. Colpeper, I knew his father.

How do you do, Mr. Tom?

How are you, Mr. Portal?

Miss Alison, why didn't you leave us your address?

Two weeks ago, Mr. Geoffrey's father came here.

He came here all the way from Artford.

He didn't want the caravan?

He can't have it!

It was Mr. Geoffrey's wish that I should have it.

Well, you were a witness, you were there when he said it.

No, no, it's quite all right, Miss Alison.

He doesn't want the caravan, he wants to get in touch with you.

I told him that we'd received a letter from you and that you were coming here.

He's waited for you.

He's staying at the Falstaff.

For over two weeks, now, he's waited for you, here in Canterbury.


Because he has news, Miss Alison, official news, about Mr. Geoffrey.

He's in Gibraltar.

Miss Alison?

I must open the windows!

The caravan's full of moths!

They're ruining everything.

I haven't seen so many moths in all my life.

Mr. Colpeper?

Where's Mr. Colpeper?

He's gone, Miss Alison.


Why, you homesick, sad sack GI.

Hey, what in Canterbury have you been doing with your three days' leave?

Learning, Sergeant, learning.

Since when did you ever learn anything except from the Indians?

Hey, can I shoot inside?

We'll ask the verger.

The what?

The verger, he's the number one man around here.


Hey, you know what you missed in London?

Night clubs like New York--

You've never been in New York.

Oh, and girls, and telephone numbers, well, I got a million of them.

You know about the old road?

That's a new one on me.

Where is it, Piccadilly?


It's a road, a real one.

Okay, what about it?

It's the Pilgrims Road.

Gee, even you know about the Canterbury pilgrims.

Yeah, now I seem to remember flunking that.

Where does it go to, this old road?

You're standing on it.

It goes right here to Canterbury Cathedral.

Come on in, you're a pilgrim yourself but you don't know it.

Hey, let's have some tea first, huh?

That stuff?

Sure, it's a habit, like marijuana.

I'll take marijuana.

You'll drink tea and like it.

I'll drink it but I won't like it.

There, you Canterbury pilgrim, you can sit right there and watch the world go by, like in the movies.

Hey, Betty.

What's cooking?

I beg your pardon?

You know, what do you got to eat in the kitchen?

Scones and rock buns.

All right, bring us an order of each and some tea.

And look, when you're spooning out the tea, don't forget, one for him, one for me--

And one for the pot.

One for the pot.

Looks like she made the original pilgrimage.

Now, look, let me get this straight.

You came here by road, not by train?

I came by train but the pilgrims used the old road.

Uh huh, why?

For blessings, you character, for blessings.

Okay, where's yours?

Uh uh, it don't work nowadays.

That was 600 years ago.

You see, it's just like I've been saying.

Here you are, 600 years too late.

You passed up 72 sleepless hours in London, and you ain't even got a blessing.

Yes sir, you're completely and positively...

It don't work nowadays, huh?

Hey, do I look like a heavenly messenger to you?

You look like Mickey Roczinski to me.

Oh, yeah?

Well, I, Mickey Roczinski, have a blessing for you.

Oh, no, I've been carrying these around for two days.

Give me those letters.

The whole lot came in the mail the afternoon you left, from your girl.

Hey, what stamps are these?

Australia. Australia?

Yeah, she certainly gets around.

These were mailed in Sydney, Australia.

She's joined the WACs.

It's your Superintendent Hall, want him?

In 293, 293.

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war.

♫ Onward Christian soldiers

♫ Marching as to war

♫ With the cross of Jesus

♫ Going on before

♫ Christ the royal master

♫ Leads against the foe

♫ Forward into battle

♫ See His banners go

♫ Onward Christian soldiers

♫ Marching as to war

♫ With the cross of Jesus

♫ Going on before ♫