Footsteps in the Fog (1955) Script

Unto almighty God we commend the soul of our sister departed and commit her body to the ground, in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection unto eternal life.

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Let us pray.

Our Father, which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done In earth, as it is in Heaven Give us this day our daily bread...

Well... Stephen.

Why not come and stay a few days with us?

That's very good of you, sir, but...

I must face that empty house sooner or later.

But Father... Don't, Elizabeth.

The longer one puts off an ordeal, the worse it becomes.

He's quite right. I must learn to be alone.

You've all of you been kind beyond words. Bless you.

He looks so lost.

Ooh! I do like to see a widower grieving proper.

It lends tone to a funeral.

I thought he was going to fall in a dead faint. That would have been lovely!

But he was as white as a corpse, himself.

Huh! Look at Her Ladyship!

Quick as greased lightning, if it's for the Master.

Mooning around the kitchen till he wants something, and then she hops like a blooming kangaroo!

Look what you've done now, you clumsy...

And the best china, too! I'll see it's taken out of your wages.

You get another cup, and be quick about it!

And you'd best be changing your ways, you little guttersnipe, if you want to keep your place here.

Get along with that tray and hurry back, if you know what's good for you.

That is, if you can tear yourself away from the Master.

Huh! What I have to put up with, with trash like her in my kitchen.

- Oh, it's you, Lily. Yes, sir.

I thought you'd like your tea by the fire, sir. That's very thoughtful of you. Thank you.

Is there anything else I can do for you, sir? Yes.

You could take the cat away. Missy?

There you are.

Poor little thing. Wandering around like a lost soul, she is.

Lonesome for your mistress, aren't you?

It's been a very difficult time for all the household.

I'm very grateful for everyone's help, especially for your devotion to Mrs Lowry.

Oh, sir, you were the devoted one, waiting on her hand and foot, like you did, never letting anyone else near her!

I... did all I could.

You... You know, it's strange, sir, but... whenever I look at her picture, I get such a... queer feeling.

It's almost as if she's trying to tell me something.

A shiftless, good-for-nothing hussy, and getting worse every day!

I thought I told you not to call me names any more.

I'll call you names so long as you're in my kitchen.

The fire's getting low. Pop down and fetch up some coal.

Get it yourself. I'm not dirtying my hands.

Well! Hark at the duchess!

Why, you haven't had a clean pair of hands since you can remember.

You was born dirty. Get that coal and step lively.

Keep wagging your tongue. The more words you say, the more you'll have to eat.

Me, eat my words? Why, you mangy little alley cat!

Stop it! Do you hear? Don't ever call me names like that again not ever. Or you'll be sorry!

We'll soon see who's the sorry one, when I'm put in charge here as housekeeper.

And when I am, it'll be back to the gutter for you, my girl, where you belong!

Oh! Oh! Oh! Here! Here! What's all this?

Have you no decency about you?

No respect for your grieving master, or the poor lady not yet cold in her grave?

It's from her room!

Supposing it's the poor lady herself come back to haunt you?

If you weren't so stupid, you'd know it was Mr Lowry up there!

Some day, I'm going to forget I'm a lady and wipe up the floor with that nasty little...

Come in.

Yes, sir? Oh, Lily...

Your mistress usually kept her jewels in this box. Do you know what's happened to them?

Nothing, sir. She gave them to me.

- Gave them to you? Yes, sir, just before she died.

You're lying! Do you think for a moment anyone would believe that?

They all believe she died of gastroenteritis, don't they, sir? One's as true as the other.

I haven't a clue what you're talking about. Oh, you will, sir, when I've explained it to you.

You see, you may not have known it the other night, but...

I brought some fresh coal in for the fire, just as your poor wife was dying.

And while the doctor was pulling the sheet over her face, I saw you quickly take the bottle of medicine and put it behind your back.

And then you hid it in a place where you thought it might be safe.

What have you done with it? I did some experiments with it.

On the rats in the cellar, sir.

And I don't think the police would believe they died of gastroenteritis, do you, sir?

They might dig them up to see if there was some kind of poison in them,

and if they did that with the rats, sir, they might start wondering about Mrs Lowry, and do the same with her.

Wouldn't they?

All right. You can keep the jewels.

Thank you, sir.

Oh, one other thing, sir. I'd like to be housekeeper here.

You? Housekeeper?

Yes, sir, I'd set my heart on it.

Very well.

I think it's your place to tell Mrs Parks and Grimes that they are to take their orders from me from now on.

They're downstairs in the kitchen now.

You realise, of course, that with the death of Mrs Lowry, I need to make new domestic arrangements.

The same thought had occurred to me, sir. And me, sir.

This house needs someone to take it over properly.

My very words, sir.

So I've decided to give the post of housekeeper to Lily.

Me? Take orders from that... that...

"Guttersnipe" is what you usually call me, Mrs Parks.

And guttersnipe is what you are! I'll not take orders from you, or the likes of you!

Same here. Now, you listen to me, both of you.

You'll do exactly as I say, or you'll get out!

Yes, sir. As you say, sir.

If you give satisfaction, there's no reason why you shouldn't stay.

Your stick, sir?

This is the one for the evening.

I'll remember.

I never forget anything, sir.

I'm sure you don't.

I may be late. No-one need wait up for me.

Thank you, sir.

- Oh, Father and Stephen are still talking. Yes, they are.

Oh, I do hope they come to some sort of an arrangement soon.

Poor Stephen! He looks like a lost soul these days.

See here, young lady! Bachelors can be lost souls, as well as widowers.

Why not worry about poor David? You?

Yes, me. Such an idea would never occur to me.

Besides, you've been very naughty.

I can't think what I did. That's just it. You didn't do anything.

You just sat like a lump all the way through dinner without saying a word.

You know, I don't think I should have ever invited you to dinner with Stephen.

After all, it was his first evening to anyone's house and I wanted it to be pleasant.

You were pleasant enough for both of us.

Come on, Beth. We don't want to miss the overture.

I would like to wait a moment. Do you mind?

Thank you, sir.

Oh, Andrews, we'll have brandy in here.

Very good, sir. Well, my dear, it's all settled.

Really, Father? Oh, how wonderful!

Aren't you going to congratulate Stephen?

On what? On the new partnership.

From now on, it's to be Travers & Lowry.

Congratulations. Thank you.

It really has been a blessing. I've been so at loose ends, not quite knowing how to pick up the pattern again.

Don't try. It's better to make a new one.

Beth, er... We'll be late.

I'm taking Elizabeth to the theatre. Gilbert and Sullivan.

- Good night, sir. Good night, my boy.

Oh, I'm so pleased, Stephen! Are you?

Shall we go?

You know, there's another reason why I'm glad you've decided to go in with me.

I'm not as young as I was, and I want someone to have a firm rein on the business for Elizabeth's sake. She's all I have. What about young Macdonald?

My dear boy, he's a barrister, not a businessman.

Besides, nothing is settled between them yet. Oh, I thought it was.

I thought he was becoming quite serious. Well, of course.

They've grown up together. He's a fine lad. Oh, he's a splendid fellow.

Now, I think the first thing for you to do is to make a good survey of the warehouse.

Tomorrow, if it suits you. Just as you please. The sooner, the better.

Ah, Burke!

Back on night duty again?

Yes, sir, and very glad I am, too. Doesn't the wife mind?

No, it gives me some time at home and a chance to see something of the nippers.

Oh, it sounds like a happy family. I must confess I'm a bit envious.

I er... beg your pardon, sir, but... I'd like to take the liberty of extending my condolences.

It was very sad indeed, sir. Thank you, Burke.

You know, I don't know what it would be like to come home and not find the missus there.

I can tell you.

It's like always being in the dark.

Good night, Burke. Good night, sir.

Don't ever use her perfume.

Morning, Wells. Why, Mr Macdonald, I didn't recognise you!

Miss Elizabeth at home? I'm waiting for her.

Pardon me, sir. Aren't you afraid of... this thing?

Ah! Here she is.

David, what are you doing here? Competing with Wells.

He's offering ancient transport. I'm offering modern. You choose.

David! Oh, David, how lovely! Is it yours?

Yes. It's not exactly new, but it goes jolly fast. 12 miles an hour!

Oh, how wonderful!

Where are you off to?

Well, I was going shopping and then to pick up Father at the warehouse.

I have a better idea. Let's go for a spin in the country.

I should love to!

Wells, you'd better call for Father. All right, miss.

You'll need this for travelling at high speed. Thank you.

How long have you been driving this thing? All of half an hour.

Oh, David, this is great fun!

Have you noticed how I've steered away from all the ruts?

I couldn't do a better job myself. Certainly couldn't look so beautiful doing it.

Oh, David, look, look! There's the road ahead!

Brake like this.

Before you do any more driving, I suggest you pay me a retainer.

From what I've just seen, you're likely to need the services of a promising young barrister.

Consider yourself retained. May I present you with a receipt?

That wasn't very fair. Why not?

Because... you're in love with Stephen Lowry.

How did you know?

I've seen you both together.

Beth, don't you realise? Only a few weeks ago, you saw him standing in front of his wife's grave.

You stood there yourself! Oh, I know. I know it's wrong.

It's not only wrong, it's... But I've said nothing. Nor has he.

Does one have to say?

David, you are right and...

...I'm very ashamed of myself.

I've told myself all these things over and over again.

Whenever I look at him, I make myself look at that mourning band on his arm, hoping it'll create a barrier between us.

But it's no use. Nothing is any use.

I find myself so deeply attracted to him.

I'm sorry.

Beth, believe me when I tell you he's not the man for you.

Why? Why do you say that?

There's something I can't quite put my finger on. I don't know what.

Perhaps I'm being unfair. I hope not.

Of course, you realise I'm in love with you myself?

I've never handled a case quite like this before, so some expert advice might be helpful.

Of course. Anything I can do.

The claim is that a shipment of parrots from Madagascar was a total loss, because the ship put into an unscheduled port where the weather was bitterly cold and er... all the birds perished. Oh, dear. Poor little chaps!

But would they be so sensitive to a change in climate?

Of course! You've no idea what care I take of my little beauties.

But there is one thing... You don't mind my asking questions?

Certainly not. I'm most grateful for your interest.

Well, perhaps my geography is getting a little rusty, but I can't understand what port they could have touched on the way to Madagascar.

One with such a violent change in climate. Do you happen to know what port it was?

Well... I'm afraid I didn't enquire, but the ship may have been driven off her course.

It would depend on the time of year. May I suggest something?

Oh, please do. I suggest that there was no ship, that there is no case and that there were no parrots.

Now, don't you think it'd be a good idea to tell me what you really came to see me about?

I suppose I've made a fool of myself. Well, we all do, from time to time.

Well... You see...

Hang it all, I may as well tell you outright.

Elizabeth thinks she's in love with you. I know her so well.

All I want is her happiness. If I thought she could find it with you, I'd...

You come to my house and speak to me about another woman, knowing that my wife has been dead only a few weeks?

I am still in mourning and you accuse me of having made advances?

No, you don't understand... How else am I to interpret what you're saying?

Or are you trying to imply Elizabeth has committed this breach of taste?

Of course I don't mean that! Elizabeth's the most wonderful girl in the world.

I couldn't bear anyone to think ill.

I should have kept this to myself.

I'm sorry.

Well, we can all make mistakes when one's young and in love.

Let's forget about the whole thing. How about a whisky to fortify yourself against the fog?

Thank you, sir.

You can't go in. He's got a visitor. I don't care if he is busy! I'm seeing him.

Is this the thanks I get, sir, after all the years of loyal service I've given to you and Mrs Lowry?

That I may be sacked by that snake you've made housekeeper?

Lily, can't you settle these affairs?

She insisted on seeing you, sir. I couldn't stop her.

Not the likes of her will stop me, nor tell me my business!

She refused to take orders, Mr Lowry. That's a lie!

She don't want me to stay here to see what new tricks she's up to. She knows I'm onto her.

Her and her scheming to be housekeeper before the poor Mistress was cold in her grave!

She never ought to have been hired in the first place.

There's no making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

That'll be all, Mrs Parks. Please go. Go? Huh!

I'll go, all right! I wouldn't stay under the same roof with her, if you was to pay me double!

Nor me!

But I'm warning you, sir. Look out for this one.

She's got something up her sleeve besides her arm.

Come on, Grimes!

These domestic problems... Please don't apologise.

I won't stay for that drink, if you don't mind. Won't you?

I can see my own way out, thank you.

You little fool!

Don't you ever let me catch you wearing this or any other of her jewellery while someone's in this house.

What do you suppose he thought seeing it on you and on my wife?

And don't let me be humiliated by servants dragging their brawls into my drawing room!

Oh, that won't happen again, sir. There won't be any servants.

What do you mean?

Well, I'll be doing the cooking from now on.

You don't need another woman in the house. Not while I'm here, sir.

Not even Miss Elizabeth Travers.

Another woman once thought she owned me.

Don't drive me too far.

Where are you going? I'm going to the pillar box to post a letter, sir.

Just a minute, Lily!

I've been thinking.

You know, you're a very attractive young woman.

With the right opportunity and the right environment, you might improve your situation considerably.

How do you mean, sir?

Say, in a country like Canada or America.

In America, for instance, there's no barrier of class distinction.

With money, a girl like you could be a lady.

What's the use of being a lady in a place where it makes no difference, sir?

Besides, why do you want to send me so far away?

Oh, it's only for your own good. Besides, here in England, what chance do you get, with everybody telling you to keep your place and know your place?

But I do know my place, sir. It's with you.

A place I'm never going to give up.

Shan't be long, sir.

How do you like that?

I'm not going to stand for that!

Murder! Murder! It's a murder! Police!

It's a murder. I saw him. He went down here.

He went that way! Go on! Down there!

Can't you look where you're going? Get away from me!

Help! Here he is! Police! Police!

There he is!

Ah! Lord, the excitement that's going on outside!

If I hadn't gone out to post a letter, I'd have missed it all!

Some poor woman got her head bashed in.

I never saw such a sight. Fancy, in a neighbourhood like this, too!


Policemen all over the place, looking for the murderer.

I nearly got trampled down, with all the fog and running about.

It's good to be safe back inside again!

So you killed the wrong girl.

Constable Farrow, miss. I'm sorry to disturb you.

Good evening, Mr Lowry. Good evening.

I'm warning everybody in the neighbourhood to keep their windows and doors bolted.

There's been a murder done. Near here?

Right outside the Blue Anchor.

And the worst of it is, sir, the man got clean away.

Do you know who it was that got murdered?

Katy Burke. You must know her husband, miss. He's been on this beat quite a while now.

Constable Burke's wife!

- It's horrible! It is that, sir.

As nice a young woman as you'd ever find, and with two little boys.

Well, if you hear anything suspicious, call the police right off.

Good night, sir.

That should be me, in... in that ambulance.

You didn't have to do anything to me.

I'd never harm you.

That's the most recent picture of the murdered girl.

Are you sure you've never seen her, Mr Lowry?

Quite sure, Inspector. I wish I could be of some help.

Constable Burke is a fine chap.

He has my deepest sympathy.

What about this, Mr Lowry? Ever seen it before?

Well, I've certainly got a stick very like...

By George, this is mine! How did you come by it?

You admit it's yours? Of course. It has my initials on it.

That's the weapon that bludgeoned Katy Burke to death.


Good heavens!

Well I... I don't know how long it's been missing.

One... doesn't often use a stick like that in town.

I see.

Where were you last evening, Mr Lowry? At home.

At ten minutes past nine o'clock? Certainly.

Now... just one moment, Inspector.

If I'm supposed to be under suspicion, I'm afraid I must refuse to answer any more questions until my solicitor is present.

Very well. Perhaps you would like to get in touch with him.

Yes, I shall do so immediately.

That's him! He bashed the poor girl to death. That's him, all right. I'd know him anywhere.

Well, Mr Lowry? Well, it's utterly ridiculous!

I've never seen these men before in my life. If you'll excuse me.

Just a moment.

Stephen Lowry, I arrest you for the murder of Katherine Burke.

You're not obliged to say anything in answer to this charge, but whatever you say will be taken down and may be given in evidence.

Do you wish to say anything?

I'm sorry, I can't do it.

Surely you don't believe he's guilty? That's beside the point.

What other reason can you have for refusing? An all-important one.

I happen to love you, Beth, and he happens to be the man who's come between us.

Suppose I defend him and fail to prove him innocent. It has happened, you know.

Could you be sure I'd done my best? Could I be sure I had?

Don't you understand? No, David, I don't.

I could never have such doubts where you're concerned.

Don't you see? You're the only person that can set my mind at rest over this.

Please, David, do it for my sake.

Police Constable 313, Matthew Burke.

Constable Burke, you are the husband of the late Katherine Henderson Burke, who met her death on the evening of November the third?

That is correct, sir. Do you have children, Constable?

Yes, sir. Two little boys.

When and where did you last see your wife alive?

About seven that evening at home, sir. I'd been to see how Timmy, the youngest, was feeling.

He'd had a bad cough and a fever with it.

He seemed much better and Katy - that's my wife - came to the door with me, like she always does, and...

I mean, did.

And you left home to fulfil your duties of protecting life and property, never dreaming that, when you returned, that home would be without its wife and mother?

Constable, what was the reason for your wife venturing out in that dreadful fog on the evening in question? Timmy took a bad turn later, sir.

A neighbour went round for the doctor, who told Katy the little chap mightn't last the night.

She was on her way to find me when it happened.

And when did you learn of the tragedy? About ten o'clock, I think, sir.

I was ordered to report to the police station. I believe that was rightly the last time I saw her.

But not alive, Constable.

Constable Burke, will you please look at the prisoner in the dock?

- Do you recognise him? Yes, sir. Mr Lowry, sir.

Was your wife acquainted with Mr Lowry? Oh, no, sir. No.

Can you suggest any possible reason for the prisoner wishing to harm your wife?

No, sir.

I don't know why anyone would have wanted to harm her.

Thank you, Constable Burke. That is all.

Now, Mr Jones, when you and Mr Corcoran saw Mrs Burke's assailant, why did you not apprehend him? Beg your pardon, sir?

Why did you not appre... Why did you not stop him?

Oh! Apprehend. Yes.

We couldn't. He disappeared into the fog before we could say "Jack Robinson".

It was a real peasouper, that night. Consider carefully and remember you're under oath, before answering my next question.

Are you quite certain, when you emerged from the lighted pub into the foggy night, you saw the assailant's face clearly enough to identify him beyond a shadow of a doubt?

I am. It was Mr Lowry, all right.

So the fog was too thick for you to apprehend the murderer, but clear enough for you to see his face! Yes.

That's all. Oh, one more question, Mr Jones.

How many drinks had you with Mr Corcoran?

Two, maybe three gins. No more than three.

Large gins or small gins? Small ones.

Thank you.

Call Michael Corcoran.

Mr Corcoran, I wish you to tell us how you came to see the assailant of Katherine Burke.

Oh, that's easy, sir. In the light from the pub.

He was only a yard or two away. Thank you, Mr Corcoran.

First of all, Mr Corcoran, do you remember how many drinks you had with Mr Jones?

Uh... six gins, sir.

It should've been seven, but Jones hadn't any money left for his last round.

Large gins or small gins? Well, it was a bitter, foggy night, sir, so they was large gins.

Six large gins seems rather a lot.

The average man would be a bit tipsy on all that.

Not me! After six gins, I'm as sober as a beak.

What does the witness mean, "Sober as a beak"?

As I understand it, Your Worship, he means after six large gins, he's as sober as a... judge.

Silence in court! That's all, Mr Corcoran.

Call Lily Watkins.

Lily Watkins!

Remove you right-hand glove...

...and now take the testament in your right hand. Now read the oath.

I swear by almighty God that the evidence I give to this court shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

Now, Lily, do you remember the evening of November the third?

I do, sir.

Can you tell us where Mr Lowry was between 8.30 and 9.30 that night?

Yes, sir.

- He didn't leave the house all evening. How do you know?

Well, I was with Mr Lowry every minute of the time.

And were you in the room with him every minute of the time?

Oh, no, sir. I had my duties to attend to.

But you know exactly where Mr Lowry was every minute, is that it?

Yes, sir. He didn't leave the drawing room until he went upstairs to his room.

Well, I suggest that Mr Lowry did leave the drawing room, Miss Watkins, and that he left the house. He couldn't have.

Not without me knowing it. And I suggest that if you didn't know it, it's because between nine o'clock and a quarter past you were in another part of the house intent on your duties.

No, sir. At nine, according to the town hall clock, I was in the dining room polishing the silver before putting it away.

Well, the drawing room being just across the hall, Mr Lowry was in plain sight the whole time.

And what was the duration of this "whole time", during which you watched from the dining room while he stayed in the drawing room?

About half an hour, sir. Then I went up to do the fire in his room.

I was on my way to the servants' quarters and I heard Mr Lowry come up the stairs and go into his room.

Someone, I presume, can corroborate your testimony?

- Oh, Mr Lowry can. I don't mean the prisoner.

One of the other servants, perhaps?

Well, I'm the only servant in the house, sir.

If witnesses swear they saw Mr Lowry near the Anchor pub about 9.15, do you say they're lying?

Either that, sir, or drunk.

I want you to take a good look at the article that will be shown you.

Please show Exhibit A to the witness.

- Do recognise that walking stick? Yes, sir.

It belongs to Mr Lowry.

Now, Miss Watkins, perhaps you can tell us when exactly you last saw the stick.

Well... it must have been about two months ago that I lost it.

Silence in court!

Would you care to tell us how, exactly, you came to lose the walking stick?

Well, I'd sprained my ankle on the cellar steps and it was paining me a lot when I had to go and do the marketing, so I borrowed one of Mr Lowry's sticks from the hall rack.

I took that one because he didn't use it often.

And you lost it - this stick that your painful injury had made so necessary?

How did this misfortune occur?

It was in the greengrocer's. I leaned the stick up against a bin while I did the shopping and when I looked for it, it was gone. Some boy must have pinched it to play with.

I... Well, I didn't tell Mr Lowry, hoping he wouldn't miss it.

And I suggest it never happened - any of it!

That you made up this story because Mr Lowry is your employer and pays you a good wage.

It would take a lot more than wages to make me lie for Mr Lowry, or any other employer.

An attitude that does you proud. But it would take a lot more than attitudes to make me change my belief that it was Stephen Lowry, not you, who lost the stick.

That it was lost on the night of the murder, not "pinched" two months ago by any playful boy.

And you can't prove I'm wrong. Can you, Lily Watkins?

No, sir. But when you find the boy that pinched it, he'll be able to tell you!

The burden consequently rests upon the prosecution to show a prima facie case on which the prisoner can be committed for trial on an indictment for murder before a High Courtjudge and a jury.

Counsel for the prisoner has submitted that the evidence does not show such a prima facie case.

I accept that submission...

...and the prisoner, Stephen Lowry, is discharged.

This way, sir.

Oh, Stephen, I'm so glad!

There must be something wrong with the law when a man like Stephen Lowry can be humiliated like this while the man who murdered Burke's wife is free to run at large.

Lowry might well have been subjected for trial, had it not had been for Lily's testimony.

Surprisingly excellent testimony.

The Crown now has a murder on its hands and no suspect.

And Constable Burke and his two sons... no wife and no mother.

Thank you. Good night. Good night, sir.

Welcome home, Mr Lowry.

Yesterday, I was standing trial for murder... and for the first time, I knew what a murderer felt like.

It may seem incredible to you, but I didn't feel like that at all, when I killed my wife.

I just felt a great release.

I suppose you've wondered why I ever married her.

You don't have to tell me.

That must have been pretty obvious. Yes, I married her for her money.

How long have you worked here, Lily? Just over a year.

I remember you smiled at me the first day I came.

Did I? Well, you were here long enough to know what went on.

Always having to be at her beck and call.

The scenes, if I tried to slip away for an hour or two.

And then, when she started to try and make herself look young, I realised for the first time how really old she was.

Yes, I know. I used to help dress her.

Well, I stuck it for ten years.

Ten years! Because I wanted all the things that went with it.

And I've still got them.

I know what it is to want things, wanting to be noticed, to have people look at you with respect in their eyes, not like you were a piece of dirt.

Wanting to be somebody...

...not just a skivvy with her hands always smelling of onions.

They're different now.

I was just something in a uniform to be shouted at and called names.

No feelings. Just nobody. Nothing.

A nothing, eh?

You know, I can't understand you. How can you stay here?

Aren't you frightened to be in a house with a man who has already tried to kill you?

Aren't you afraid?

Yes, I am.

I was so afraid that I wrote my sister a letter.

Letter? What about?

I told her all about you... and what you'd done.

I said she should open it in case anything happened to me suddenly.

I congratulate you. You thought of everything.

Well, I only did it because I was afraid.

I only took the jewellery so as you'd notice me.

I only told you about the bottle of poison so that you wouldn't be able to send me away from you.

I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have you to look after.

Oh! It's you, Burke? Oh! Oh, good evening, Mr Lowry.

I didn't expect to see you back on this beat. I requested it, sir.

I don't think I would have had the courage. You would, sir, if your wife had been murdered.

Yes. Good night, Burke.

Good night, sir.

Oh, good evening, Mr Lowry. Oh, good evening.

Thank you.

You'll find Miss Elizabeth in the drawing room, sir.


I was afraid that the fog might hold you up. Good evening, Elizabeth.

Stephen, what is it? What's the matter?

I saw Burke tonight. Burke?

Constable Burke. Just outside my house.

He was standing in the fog like a ghost and we looked at each other.

Two men who had just lost their wives, but with a horrible difference.

His had been brutally murdered, for no apparent reason.

And I was suspected of that murder, arrested and put on trial.

And acquitted. It was an absurd charge! But, Elizabeth, what must he think?

You didn't see his face, hear his voice. I... I can't get him out of my mind.

Stephen, I'm going to be really cross with you.

I've watched you all these months letting yourself get more and more moody and bitter.

It's time you stopped tormenting yourself. You have everything ahead of you.

Everything to live for!

Have I, Elizabeth? Have I everything to live for?

Why did you persuade David to defend me?

Did you think I would need a good lawyer?

Of course not! I... I went to him because he was a friend.

And I wish you hadn't - anybody but him.

Don't you realise it's put me under a lasting obligation to him?

But... I don't understand. Why?

How would like to be indebted to someone of whom you're insanely jealous?

You're jealous of David? Oh, but you needn't be!

Don't you know, Stephen? You needn't be jealous of any man.

Oh, I was so frightened of losing you!

If you'll excuse me, my dear, I have something to say to your father.

Something I think I'm already aware of.

I know I should have spoken to you first, sir, but all this happened without us thinking.

Not an unheard-of occurrence. She's all I've got, Stephen.

I hope you're not taking her away too soon.

Then I take it you don't object, sir? My dear boy, I'm delighted!

Well, you're very kind, sir.

Sit down.

Erm... there is just one little matter I'd like to mention.

After all, a prospective father-in-law has some privileges, eh?

Well, of course, sir. Anything at all. Yes, sir?

Andrews, bring two glasses of the '87. Very good, sir.

This business of that girl, Lily, running your house, being there alone with you.

Better put an end to it, my boy.

I only kept Lily on all this time because my wife made her promise to look after me.

And, by George, she has! Hardly ever lets me out of her sight.

Hm. Well, give her a little present. Loyalty should always be rewarded.

See that she gets another place. You're quite right, sir.

As a matter of fact, I have a plan in mind that will take care of Lily very nicely.

Splendid, splendid. Ah, here's the port!

Nothing like laying down a good port, eh?

Well, here's to the future!

God bless us all.

Oh, Missy!

Lily! Delighted to see that you're still up.

Come in here.

I want to speak to you.

This is for you. We have something very special to celebrate.

I want you to congratulate me. I'm engaged to be married to Miss Elizabeth Travers.

I told you, no other woman in the house while I'm here.

And I mean to be here. Even though you tried to kill me once, I mean to be here.

I've lied for you, protected you and I'm not going to give you up - ever!

Don't be an idiot! You know I can't marry her.

Well, then, I don't understand. Listen and I'll tell you.

You know that I'm Travers's partner, don't you?

Think how much stronger my position will be if I'm his prospective son-in-law, too.

He'll turn over more and more authority to me and I can lay my hands on a great deal of money.

And we'll need all the money we can get if we're going to America.

We? Of course. You want to come, don't you?

We're two of a kind, Lily.

I find it rather comforting to be with someone who knows all about me.

Knows the best and the worst.

Anyway, I'm fed up with it here. America is the country for us.

Shall we drink to it?

To the future, and God bless us all.

That's better.

You know, you'll have to start preparing for this. I can't have my wife behaving like a servant.


Do you mean you'd... you'd marry me? Why are you so surprised?

Don't make a fool of me, sir.

I'm not! I can't imagine why it never occurred to you before.

You seem to have thought of everything else. You could have made me do it at any time.

I haven't forgotten about that letter.

Oh, the letter?

Yes. We can't very well go to America and leave that lying about, can we?

I'd forgotten all about that!

Well, I'll write to my sister and tell her to send it back.

That won't do. Something might happen to it in the post.

I'd tell her to burn it. She'd never open it. I'll write to her before I go to bed, sir.

Not that I'll expect I'll get any sleep with all of this to think about.

Mrs Stephen Lowry!

I'll try, sir. I'll learn. I promise I won't disgrace you.

I'll do anything in the world for you. Only don't send me away.

You're the only good thing that ever happened to me.

If there's one way to lose a thing, it's to put it away safe!

Now, here's another winner, or my name's not Moresby.

That wouldn't surprise me, neither.

Golden Lassie. That appeals to me.

Oh, you can count on a lassie to do that and no mistake.

Oh, there's that child again.


What about this Jersey Lily?

Same name as your sister.

Might bring you luck, looking for that letter you're trying to find.

What do you say, ducks? One and sixpence?

Come on. Be a sport. One sport in the family's enough.

A shilling.

In a minute, love. In a minute.

All right, then. I give in. Sixpence.

Oh, all right, then. Sixpence.

Anything to get you out from under my feet.

Sixpence. Jersey... Lily.

Now, what about the last?

Here's your sixpence. Thanks, ducks.

Huh. Well, if it wasn't here all the time!

See? I told you a bet on that Jersey Lily might bring you luck.

Here, what's Lily want you to burn that for?

I don't know. Says it's all a pack of lies.

Seems a lot of trouble to go to, writing a pack of lies and asking someone to burn it up.

"Put it on the fire and forget all about it.

When I wrote it, I was feeling mean and spiteful and took pleasure in making something up that might cause trouble to someone. "

Meaning who? I wonder.

"But everything is changed now and I'm not afraid of nothing. "


And another thing.

Why should she have thought that something might happen to her sudden?

Well, it... So it might to anyone.

Yes, but you don't go writing letters about it.

You may laugh at me, old girl, but I've got a sort of queer hunch about this billet-doux of Lily's.

You know, that we might sort of learn something about her, if er... we took a look.

But that's not honest!

And since when's being honest paid you anything?

All I had in mind was that you'd feel happier knowing something about your only little sister.

Which uh... maybe you ought to know.

Well, I... I would, that.

No! It's against my principles.

All right, love. I'm coming.

Come in.

The doctor to see you, sir. Oh, thank you, Lily.

And how's my patient this morning? Better?

I'm afraid not. Oh, we can't have that, you know.

My dear chap, I'm afraid we are having it. We've been having it for two weeks.

Sure you've been taking your medicines regularly?

Yes, that delightful crimson mixture I take before meals and those strange little powders after meals and that chalky-looking substance before I go to bed - a nightcap I can hardly wait for.

Yes, yes, very tedious for you. But I can only go on the symptoms you've given me.

Now, Doctor... seriously.

I know you're going to say that I'm imagining it, but... don't you think that my symptoms are rather like those of my poor wife?

Oh-ho. Well, uh... yes and no.

Many quite different maladies produce the same symptoms at the outset.

And nerves can play a very tricky part, too.

And you've been under a great strain. Still, we'll soon get to the bottom of it, given time.

Oh, no, not again, Doctor! Oh, it's pure routine.


Now just take a deep breath, will you?

And another.

Yes, that seems to be pumping away.

Yes, quite in good order.

You know, I never worry very much about a man who has a good heart.


If I had facts, sir, I wouldn't be here.

But I have reasons - sound ones - for feeling as I do.

Well, as you feel so strongly about it, let's have your reasons.

I can't give them without violating the ethics of my profession.

I've been very patient with you, David, but now I've had quite enough.

You've come here to deliberately besmirch a man's reputation.

A man too ill to defend himself... I do not.

No, hear me out. I have the greatest sympathy for your disappointment about Elizabeth.

- I object to that. Why?

You're disappointed she's marrying another man.

It's not disappointment, sir, but quite frankly I'm... alarmed.

Alarmed? Because...

Because the man happens to be Stephen Lowry.

Sir, I ask you to at least postpone this marriage until...

Until when? Until I have something more concrete.

I'm afraid you're a very bad loser, David. I'm sorry you take that view, sir.

Mr Lowry had better see me, if he knows what's good for him.

Sir, I told you, he hasn't been to the office for some days.

You're a liar! You're an 'umbug!

Oh, there you are, Mr Lowry.

I knew you'd come out of hiding when you heard that I wouldn't be put off.

Sir, you're making a mistake. Herbert Moresby's the name.

I'm married to Lily Watkins' sister.

I'll take care of this, Hedges.

May I suggest this is not the proper place to create a disturbance?

I know a very nice little pub just round the corner.

We can have a chat and a drink there. Now you're talking like a sensible chap.

It's the most charming little house, and I do think it would be fun to live in the country for a time.

I've always wanted to. What do you think, Stephen?

Oh, I'm tiring you.

The doctor said I was only to stay 20 minutes and I must have been here for more than an hour.

It's only this medicine I have to take. Don't take any notice of him.

Excuse me, sir. Your broth. Oh, is it time for that again? Do I have to?

I'm sorry, sir. Dr Simpson said you were to have it.

I see you're in good hands.

Thank you, Miss Travers. I really must go.

Must you? I'll see you tomorrow.

Lily? Would you be so good as to see Miss Travers out?

Please get well, quickly, darling. I want you to see the new house. I know you'll love it.

I love you.

I'll see you tomorrow.


Give us a pint, Allie.

Well, Mr Lowry, if that letter ain't worth L500, my name ain't Herbert Moresby.

I thought that'd give you a bit of a turn. Yes, it has.

I never expected anything like this. Look pretty on a banner headline, wouldn't it?

"Stephen Lowry murders his wife... " Not so loud.

No more of that. If I'm to settle with you, I want you sober.

Oh. So you're going to settle, are you? I thought you would.

You know, the first time I laid eyes on you, I said to myself, "Now, there's a sensible man. "

But you don't look a bit like a bloke what done in his...

Well, you'd be the last man I'd pick. Give me an address where I can reach you.

What for?

Well... it may take some days to raise such a large amount of money.

Oh, I can stay with a pal of mine. He's potman at the King's Head.

Alf Peters is his name.

Well, here's the very best of health.

Do you feel better? I'll only be a few minutes. I don't want a doctor. I'm fine.

Don't be silly. You're getting worse every day. You know what he'll do.

He'll just give me another bottle of this. He's only around the corner.

Come back as quick as you can. Don't leave me alone too long.

I'll be five minutes.

Five minutes...

How could you bring Father and myself to this place?

Surely it must be obvious to everyone what kind of a man this is.

Here, you be careful what you say. Be quiet.

And what about him, pretending to be someone that he ain't?

Getting me to take him into my confidence. I didn't say I was Stephen Lowry.

That was your mistake. You let him go on believing it.

For your sake, Beth, so this letter might come to light.

Why didn't you confront Stephen with it? It was not my place to do so, because it was a question of either blackmail...

...or murder. Quite right, Mr Macdonald.

Whether this letter is a forgery or not, I must charge him with attempted extortion. Take him.

You can't do that! It's his word against mine! And charge him.

Favouritism, that's what it is. Favouritism!

Beth, I know this has been a terrible ordeal for you, but I had no alternative.

Really, David, you're asking us to accept too much.

A short while ago you were defending Stephen.

But not for the murder of his wife. I don't wish to discuss it any further.

Really, David, I think you must be insane to have brought us here.

Please, Father, will you take me home?

Come. Miss Lily Watkins, sir.

I picked her up coming out of the Lowry house.

Sorry to have brought you here like this, Miss Watkins, but we want to discuss this letter with you.


Lily... Lily!





Mr Lowry, what happened? Go get the doctor.

Dr Simpson? I know where he lives. Go inside. I won't be a moment.

He's only around the corner. Hurry, Burke.

I'm afraid we owe you an apology, Miss Watkins.

There's not the slightest resemblance between your writing and the writing in this letter.

There's no doubt that it's a forgery. I can go for the doctor now, sir?

I'll get you a cab. He's awful sick, Miss Travers.

I'm so sorry, Lily. Really, David, I hope you're satisfied with yourself.

You've not only humiliated me, but also this poor girl.

Please, sir, is it all right for me to go now? Certainly. I'm sorry you had to stay so long.

I'll go directly to him, Lily. Are you coming, Father?

Just one moment, Miss Travers. Oh, Miss Watkins.

I hope you won't sue us for false arrest. Of course not.

Could you sign this? Don't want to get us into trouble.

Of course not. Your cab's ready.

Sign here, please, miss.


Miss Travers, I'm sorry, but... it's very obvious now that this is not a forged letter.

It's not a forgery? This is Lily Watkins' true handwriting.

But... if it's not a forgery...

Well, then, it must be...

Oh, David.

I'm sorry.

Thank you, Inspector. I'm sure you will excuse us.

I'm afraid it had to be done this way. Beth, let me take you home.

Good night, Inspector. Good night, sir.

Make out a warrant for the arrest of Stephen Lowry.

Have you ever seen this bottle before?

What are they doing with that bottle?

Don't touch me. Get away from me!

You murderess!

Oh... Oh, what's he talking about?

Mr Lowry claims that you've been poisoning him and that you poisoned his wife.

Poisoned his wife?

But... But he...

I've been poisoning him?

Oh, he must be delirious.

I... Where did you find that?

I found this bottle in your room along with all this other stuff here.

But you couldn't have done. How could you have found it in my room?

Well, somebody must've put it there.


It was you who put it there.

You planned this whole thing.

You've been giving that poison to yourself.

That's why you weren't getting any better.

All the time I was nursing you, nearly going out of my mind with worry, you've been planning to get me arrested for trying to kill you. It won't work, you murderer!

Now, now, now. He's a very sick man.

I've done everything I can, but as you planned, I was called in too late.

Too late?

Too late?

Oh... why did you take so long?

You said you'd only be five minutes.

Only... five minutes.

I... I timed it.

I thought it would be safe.

You mean he's?

There's nothing more I can do.

I've already sent for the ambulance.

I'm sorry, miss, but I must take you down to the station for questioning.

There's just one thing I've got to know.

Did you plan this right from the start?

Did you always hate me this much?

You couldn't have said all those things without meaning some of them, could you?

Wasn't anything true, ever? Not ever?

He's dead.

Come on now, miss.

Do you remember the other ambulance?

And I said it should have been me.

I wish it had been.