The List of Adrian Messenger (1963) Script

Get along, Miss Sixpence.


Damn good hunt.

By the way, congratulations, sir, getting the brush.

First brush Grandfather's given away all season.

Envy you, quite green.

I like to see a thruster in the field. Gingers up the whole hunt.

You earned it. Thank you, sir.

As I recall, you were in at the kill when I rode up.

Master's job to stay with hounds.

Day I can't, I'll let him there takeover.

Can't, Grandfather, before my voice changes.

Hounds won't obey.

You really off next week, Adrian? I'm afraid so.

Saw that in theTimes this morning.

Didn't know you were a bloomin' celebrity, sir.

Adrian doesn't write his books for you and you only, Derek.

Sorry, Mother.

A damned silly time to be going away.

Three good months of hunting left.

I've yet to find what father considers a good time to go away.

Everything one wants, right here.

Where are you off to, Adrian? America, sir.

What on earth for?

Do you know what they do out there?

Follow a drag.

Actually. What's a drag?

An abomination. What's an abomination?

Oh, something damnable like a... Like a drag.

Blighters douse a bundle of rags with some stink or other, drag it over the ground, poor damned hounds follow it.

Ruins their noses.

Call that hunting.

But, what's the object? A sham.

'Bomination.

I had a brother who went to America once. Canada, actually.

That was before the first German war.

I'm sure he's dead by now.

Almost everyone is.

Dinner at 8:00, sir.

Sherry at half-past 7:00.

Extraordinary how alike they are.

Hmm...

And like Ian.

To me, he's always standing between them.

Oh, my, I am stiff.

My first hunt of the season, I can do with a hot tub.

Oh, Anthony. Hmm?

Give me five minutes, will you?

Of course, old boy.

If you don't mind my asking, you're not still MI5, are you?

No. Thoroughly retired. Pension and all that.

The Minister may ask me to come in every so often for some trivial assignment.

Oh, well, that won't interfere with this.

Well, what is "this"?

Well, it's just the most tremendous favor you could do me, if you would.

Oh, so that's why I was invited down here for the weekend.

Oh, my dear fellow, you know how devoted the family is to you.

Go on, old man.

Well, it's... It's rather difficult, really. You see, it, um...

It involves your doing something without knowing why.

So, don't hesitate to say "No."

Ten names, ten probable occupations, ten addresses.

Scattered all over the Kingdom.

So? What do I do?

Ask about them.

What do you mean, "Ask about them?"

Well, just that.

I mean, I don't want their families bothered by policemen.

I'll... I'll put it this way.

Are those ten men still living at those addresses?

I... I think that should do it.

Suppose they've moved. Do... Do you want to know where?

If you like.

Well, I'll do this for you, of course. You knew that in advance.

And I also flatter myself I know you well enough to be sure there's a good reason behind it. Am I right?

Completely.

Let me give you a suggestion.

I've been watching you lately, and underneath that admirably calm exterior of yours, you're all wound up.

Why don't you tell me about it?

No.

No, it's...

It's so preposterous that I can't believe that my suspicions make any sense.

I'm rather counting on you to prove that they don't.

Mmm.

When do you need this information?

Be rather difficult to collect, you know.

Especially, the way you want it.

Well, I...

I should be back in England in about a fortnight. Is that too soon?

Should be about right.

It's no good theorizing, Anthony.

You'll only come to some wildly improbable conclusion.

Like what you're thinking now.

That I've uncovered some communist or fascist or anarchist conspiracy.

Believe me, there's nary a conspiracy.

And, anyway, if I'm right about this, it's a far older sin than politics.

Good evening, sir. Good evening.

Just one bag, Mr. Messenger? That's all.

All right. If you'll follow the staircase up to Passport Control...

Have a pleasant journey. Thank you very much.

Your ticket, please.

And your passport.

I do hope I'm not overweight.

I'm afraid you are. Six pounds.

Oh, dear, I was afraid of that.

Wasn't I underweight? Yes, you were.

Average it out. We're traveling together.

Awhite lie. How uncommonly polite.

Haven't we met?

I don't think so.

My name's Atlee, the Vicarage, Plumpton-on-Coot, Herts.

I'm sorry. My imagination.

Your ticket and your baggage check.

Mr. Atlee, thank you.

Thank you. Good night.

Good evening, Mr. Le Borg.

Attention, please.

Anglo-Canadian Airlines Flight 21 for Montreal is now boarding.

ACA Flight 21 for Montreal is now loading.


Attention please. Will the Reverend Mr. Atlee please report to Immigration?

Reverend Mr. Atlee please.

Reverend Mr. Atlee, please report to Passport Control.

ACA Flight 21 for Montreal is now leaving.


Messenger. Messenger. Messenger.

Jocelyn got me to tell...

Jocelyn got me to tell...

Jocelyn...

Photograph... Photograph... George, Emma's...

George, Emma's...

All the brooms...

Clean sweep...

Only one broom left.

Clean sweep... Clean sweep...

Clean... Clean...

It was sabotage, pure and simple.

Communication with Shannon was cut off in mid-sentence.

There was a hell of an explosion.

You can hear it for yourself, if you care to listen to the recording from Shannon.

I shall with the greatest interest.

Oh, yes, by all means.

Come in, my dear fellow, come in.

You forgive me.

You know Sir Robert Carstairs, don't you, Anthony Gethryn?

How do you do, sir?

These two chaps I know you know.

Ah, good morning, Pike. Good morning, Flood.

Just digging into this ghastly aircraft business.

Sir Robert's convinced of sabotage.

Actually, we've got corroborative evidence of a sort.

This chap who was fished out of the water swears he smelled cordite.

Of course, that could be imagination on the part of this fellow.

Le Borg. A Frenchman, by the way. Raoul Le Borg.

Well, I don't know any man better qualified to identify the smell of cordite.

Now there you are. Exactly.

You know him? The name struck a chord.

I looked up some old files.

During the war, your friend blew up 31 bridges, 11 power stations, two marshaling yards and...

Oh, yes, five ammo dumps.

A thorn, it would seem, in the side of the German Occupation.

Yes, Seymour, what is it?

We searched the Clerical Lists, sir.

Not an Atlee on any of them.

Mmm, we didn't think there would be.

But a Reverend Mr. Atlee was prepared to invest

173 pounds, 12 shillings just to place a bag onboard that plane.

Any word of unusual amounts of insurance on any of the passengers?

Uh, not so far, sir.

It wasn't done for insurance.

There had to be a motive.

Yes, definitely. Uh... Take a look at this list, will you?

What's it supposed to be?

A cross-section of Homus Britannicus?

Where did it come from?

Adrian Messenger gave it to me.

Messenger?

There was a Messenger on that passenger list.

Same chap.

I was to find out if those names were still living at those addresses.

That was the way he phrased it.

So far, I've learned that six of the ten aren't.

The reason being, they aren't living at all.

You'll find the dates of death in this column.

The causes of death in that one.

All accidental and covering a period of roughly five years.

The last one, Dr. Devitt, killed in a lift accident, four months ago.

I think not.

I think the last one was 12 hours ago.

It's my feeling that Adrian Messenger's name belongs on that list too.

Check those other names, will you?

Why? What connection do you think Messenger would have with a farm laborer, a veterinarian, a draper's assistant, a car salesman?

I haven't the foggiest.

But the fact remains that six deaths by accident out of any ten names is too high a proportion for chance.

But those six deaths cover a period of five years, and an area which includes most of the United Kingdom.

If you really think that all these deaths were tied together...

It would involve a mass murder plot so preposterous as to defy belief.

Adrian's own word, "preposterous."

It was my impression he thought no one would believe his theory until he had more...

What shall I say? Data.

Messenger was a writer, wasn't he?

Isn't it possible he was letting his imagination run riot?

He wasn't that kind of writer.

Let me go a step further.

Messenger's own death, most certainly, could be listed in the accidental column.

That would be death rate of seven out of eleven, that's a little more than 63%.

I could bear to know how much more you'd want before you took this seriously.

Yes, Pike, what is it? One quick result, sir.

Ian James Dalkeith, 27 Bolthwell Square, Edinburgh.

You may remember reading about a railway accident in the West Highlands about two years ago.

One of those little Scottish Branchland trains ran off the rails, 15 were killed.

Dalkeith was one of them.

72%.

All right, Pike.

All information available about these deaths.

Who are the three not heard from yet?

Um, Quincy, Rouse and Slattery.

"Q," "R," and "S," eh?

Run them down, Pike. Run them down.

And find out what the devil links these men together.

There must be some common denominator.

Very good, sir. Shall I report to General Gethryn?

Oh, yes. You would anyway.

Oh, and...

Pike, I suppose it's occurred to you that if any of the three remaining men is still living, we can't be sure that he isn't responsible for the removal of the others. Quite.

Therefore, the one thing we don't want to do at this time is show them even the shadow of a policeman.

We can't have our fox going to ground, you know.

Don't worry, sir. We won't show them any shadows.

Any other notions, Gethryn?

Yes. If you have no objection, I'd like a word with Le Borg.

According to the newspapers, he was the last person to see Adrian alive.

He tried to save his life.

London Clinic, room 327.

No more visitors, please. I am a weak man now.

I have a headache.

Just take this, please.

There's a lady for the gentleman.

No visitors.

She says she's a relative of Mr. Messenger's.

Let her come in, but let her stay but a moment.

I'll see to that.

You may come in, milady.

Madame, you will forgive me if I do not rise.

I'm very sorry about your...

My cousin. He was very dear to me.

He had no family of his own.

I see.

I do want you to know how very grateful I am for your efforts to save Adrian.

That was only in your newspapers, Madame.

Mr. Messenger was in the water, he reached for the raft, I only helped him aboard.

And alas, he died.

It was just bad fortune that we were not found in time.

I'm very sorry, milady, but...

I'll push the button when I wish anything. But you said...

It's all right, Sister. I'm just leaving.

Lady Bruttenholm, please.

For the first time, my headache does not ache.

There is a gentleman to see you and I told him he couldn't.

He asked me to give you this.

The eyes, they do not focus, if you will not mind?

"Will Ajax see Polidor?"

Polidor? It is a name from antiquity.

Open the door. Open the door. It is my old comrade in arms.

Mr. Gethryn, you can come in.

Thank you.

Well, Jocelyn, I'm delighted to see you.

Wretched business, this one. Hello, Anthony.

Oh, this is Ajax, eh? I must say you look as though you've been through a war.

There is no man I would rather meet.

You mean you don't know each other?

Only on the shortwave.

It occurred to me that you might've had a belly full of questions already about Messenger.

He bien, what is it you wish to know?

What I want to know is everything Messenger said, in the order he said it, and whether or not it seemed to make any sense.

This is important, huh?

Very. So, okay.

There is a way with my mind that I can sometimes use about remembering.

You wish me to have a shot?

Please.

He begins to speak.

His words, they are just words. No sentences.

First he says his name, many times.

Then he says, "Jocelyn got me to tell."

Two times he says it, maybe three.

"Jocelyn got me to tell. Jocelyn."

Then he says, "Photograph."

Then there are two names, "George, Emma's."

Then they run together.

"George, Emma's photograph. George, Emma's photograph."

Then there was a silence.

Then he shouts something about brushes, yes.

"Sweep clean, sweep clean."

"Only one brush left. Clean, sweep clean."

Then it is as if he had coughed.

But it was not a cough.

It was the end. He was dead.

So, you have written all this.

As best I could, yes.

Does it help you?

I don't know yet.

Anthony, why are you asking these questions?

In the hopes of finding Adrian's murderer.

Murderer?

It was because of Adrian that the aircraft was blown out of the sky.

But that's impossible. Adrian didn't have an enemy in the world.

Are you sure of that?

Is there anything you can tell me about him?

What could there be? He was one of those rare creatures with no shadowy corners in their lives.

He had two passions. Fox hunting and writing.

One other, his cat.

Clean.

One brush.

George.

Emma.

Hmm...

Brush...

My dear fellow, come in, come in.

I do not disturb?

Most certainly not.

What the devil are you doing out of your hospital bed?

I have been thinking.

Splendid, come up and tell me about it, if you're up to it.

Oh, I do not walk on my arms, or my ribs.

I have been thinking that I, too, was blown out of the sky.

And this offends me.

So, I am declaring myself in on your hunt.

Welcome aboard.

Ah, this is a big improvement on the room 327.

Whiskey? By all means.

It begins to make sense?

Well, perhaps.

Thank you.

All one has to do is to put the words in the proper order.

It's a wheel job, actually. You could begin anywhere.

It could be, uh, "Jocelyn got me to tell something."

Or it could be, "Someone got me to tell something."

Or it could be, "Someone got me to do something." "Tell Jocelyn."

Or, "Jocelyn got me to somethings."

Well, we both saw the same trap.

Trap? Where is this trap? Phonetics.

You caught on that the "to" could be T-W-O.

Yeah...

But it could also be T-O-O. Hmm.

That...

That would give us...

"Got me

"too...

"Tell Jocelyn."

It is a sentence. It makes sense.

Yes, it does make sense.

You mind if I pick your brains again? Rather, that trick memory of yours?

I am to go back into the cruel sea.

Okay, shoot ahead.

No, not quite yet.

Um, what kind of voice came out ofAdrian Messenger?

What was its pitch? Its timbre?

Was he gasping?

Did he stammer? In short, what did he sound like?

It was not deep. It was perhaps like this.

Messenger.

Messenger.

Messenger.

Good. Now, you listen to me.

Uh...

Messenger. Messenger.

Too deep. A little too precise in pronunciation.

Ah. Uh...

Messenger. Messenger.

Excellent. Completely A1.

Fine. Now, back you go, into the drink.

And stop me if you hear me say anything wrong. Aword, anything, hmm?

Messenger. Messenger.

Messenger.

Got me too.

Tell Jocelyn.

Got me too.

Tell Jocelyn.

Photograph.

George.

MS.

Photograph George.

MS.

George.

MS.

Well?

It is just as I have told you. Exactement.

Not quite.

Phonetics again.

What I said was, "Photograph George."

"MS."

What is this "MS"?

It's an abbreviation for manuscript.

What he was really trying to say was that there's a photograph of George, whoever George is, in his manuscript.

He bien, let's go. We will visit the residence of Mr. Messenger.

When you count yourself in, you really mean in, don't you?

Come on.


Oh, you startled me. Oh, I'm sorry.

Who are you? I'm Mr. Pythian. I live in the flat below.

Poor Mr. Messenger's cat was meowing ever so pitifully.

I thought perhaps she might be hungry.

I stopped in to feed her. I promised Mr. Messenger I would.

Oh, she's already had three big saucers full of warm milk.

Hmm, haven't you, puss?

You're very kind.

Oh, not in the least. Uh, poor Mr. Messenger.

What a tragic loss.

He was such a polite man.

You know, we only had a passing acquaintance, on the stairs, you know.

I'm Mr. Messenger's cousin.

My deepest sympathy.

Tell me now. What's to become of little puss now?

I'll take her.

Oh. You are a cat lover, of course.

One knows instantly there's an immediate affinity.

Two things that are equal to the third are equal to each other.

Whoever loves cats, etcetera, etcetera, you get my point.

Quite.

Uh, well, I guess I'd better be going.

Well, goodnight, Mr. Pythian.

Ah, goodnight to you. And goodnight, puss. Hmm?

Thanks again.

Not at all.

Taxi.

Fulham Road.

Why, Jocelyn, what brings you here?

I promised Adrian to look after Omar while he was away.

It isMonsieur Le Borg, isn't it?

The wine speeded my recovery, Madame.

And the oysters.

More brawn than brains, if he'll forgive me saying it.

We thought we'd have a look at that unfinished book ofAdrian's.

In his desk, center drawer.

Why?

Well, I'm hoping Adrian can tell us.


Any Georges?

I'm afraid this is going to take most of the night.

I'll make some coffee.


Come in.

Thank you.

Your husband will not be alarmed that you are not at home?

My husband's dead.

He was killed in Korea with the Gloucesters.

And you are a widow all this time?

Yes.

Appalling.

I beg your pardon.

I am a Frenchman, Madame.

I abhor waste.

I don't understand.

You are a woman of great beauty.

You should be making happy some man.

And yourself, too.

Living alone is for the very young and the very old.

I'm quite happy. No, Madame, you are not.

You cannot be.

You should be making fine children.

Well, I have a son.

No protests, Madame.

I speak only for your own welfare.

Well, thanks very much.

Le Borg? Jocelyn?

Have you found something?

Come and have a look.

This is Page 101.

Page 135, picked at random.

This is Page 174.

Notice anything different about them?

Well, 174 seems a line or so shorter than the other two.

Look at the capital letters on this page.

They're set higher than the capitals on these other pages.

The typeface is the same, so it was obviously done on this typewriter.

But, not by the same typist.

Just because the caps are raised slightly.

That's not all.

On every other page, the semi-colon is followed professionally by one space.

But on this page, all three semi-colons have no spaces after them.

Why, you mean that someone broke in here, calmly removed a page from the manuscript and retyped it?

With alteration? Exactly.

Now, Adrian had reached the point of his arrival in Burma.

Now, this page contains names that were obviously important to him.

And equally, obviously, one of those names has been deleted.

Now, the question is, who did Adrian's typing?

Might just remember.

Well, I can tell you that. It's a name one doesn't forget.

Gwendolynne La Doll.

With a Y, double-N, E.

Mr. Pythian.

The man you're looking for, I've seen him.

He was in Adrian's flat when I arrived.

You were alone with this... This murderer?

It couldn't be. He was such a mousy-little man.

He said his name was Pythian.

And it would be. He said he lived in the flat below.

And he came to feed Adrian's cat.

Where are you going?

To find your Mr. Pythian.

You won't find him in this building.

I think he got what he came for.

Then where are we going?

Miss La Doll lives in the Fulham Road.

Jocelyn, suppose you describe your Mr. Pythian.

If I can.

Below medium height. I seemed to tower over him.

Narrow little shoulders, narrow little head.

Sharp, pointed chin.

Why, that's the man who took our taxi.

He was not the murderer.

You seem very positive.

I have seen the murderer.

The clergyman who did not take the plane.

He was taller than madame.

With a square jaw, a broad face.

Well, there's more than one person involved. It's a conspiracy.

No, not that.

Adrian was a writer and he chose his words very carefully.

When he said, "Nary a conspiracy," he meant just that.

There's only one man involved.

One man, who becomes many men.


Miss La Doll?

Gas.


She's gone.

Poor thing.

One hour lost.

And a woman, whose only offense was that she made her living with a typewriter.

I've pressed the French gentleman's clothes, sir.

Shall I awaken him?

Mmm, no, let him sleep.

More than I've done.

That sofa has a wild spring, White. I wish you'd see it's attended to.

Yes, sir.

Come in, Pike. Come in.

Any luck? Yes, sir.

As you suggested, I ran down the military records of the names on Mr. Messenger's list.

It gave us our common denominator.

Yes, I know, Burma.

Now, how the devil did you know that, sir?

Get on with it, man.

Well, doesn't do us much good, sir.

No two of 'em were even in the same regiment.

They just happened to be in the same theater of war.

Hmm.

A hospital, or a brothel. Something tied 'em together.

Not a hospital, sir.

Major Messenger, for instance, was never wounded.

I don't quite see him in a brothel, either.

What about Q, R, and S?

Coming to them, sir.

Quincy took vows, became Brother Quintus, Order of Saint Botolph.

Crushed under the wheels of a hay lorry, which, for no apparent reason, rolled down a steep hill.

Rouse?

Disappeared about two years ago, sir. Presumed to be dead.

Mmm-hmm. Slattery?

Well, he's removed from Twickenham, sir. No forwarding address.

But we found him.

He's set up shop in Greenwich,

Good man.

One out of eleven.

The sole survivor.

And then there were none.

Unless he himself is the murderer.


Hey, you.

Off it.

You no like-a da music?

No, I no like-a da music, and I no like-a your ugly face, neither.

Now off it before I change it for you.

The police say I can make-a music in the street.

I said off it.


Yes, mister?

Mr. Slattery about?

Not in.

Where do I find him? It's important.

What's it about?

Break that guinea's neck, I will.

I didn't know you was home, son.

Well, maybe I ain't.

What's this in aid of?

I want to ask you some questions, about your war service.

Proud to answer, sir.

Did me bit for King and country.

Lost me barrel and keg to prove it.

And where was that?

When last seen, it was floatin' down the Rhine River.

No, I want to know about when you were in Burma.

Who says I was?

Aren't you James Slattery?

No, I'm his brother Joe.

Oh, well, it's James I want to see.

Well, that'll take a bit of doing, that will.

Six foot under, he is. Ain't he, Ma?

How did he die? Heart attack.

Keeled over like a canary.

But he did see service in Burma?

Oh, he had the soft end of it, Jim did.

Balmy, tropic breezes.

While I'm freezin' me tail off in la belle France.

He came back unscarred, and look at me.

Oh, not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Duty calls and Joe Slattery's the first to answer.

What was your regiment?

Fifth Wessex, third Battalion, B Company, Number One platoon.

Lieutenant Petrie commanding till he caught a packet outside ofAntwerp.

Then Lieutenant Scott took over.

Did your brother ever talk about his experiences in Burma?

Jim? Never talked about nothing.

He spent all his time workin' the football pools.

Did you ever hear him mention any of these names?

Braddock? I knew a Braddock once.

First name Eric.

Come to think of it, it wasn't Braddock at all, it was Craddock.

Anything else you'd like to know?

Nothing. Thank you.

Uh, what's this all about, anyway?

We're forming a society, Veterans of the Burma Campaign.

Good day, madam.


As I so aptly said, 11 names, and then there were none.

That makes it 100%.

They're on to you, that's what they are.

Oh, stop your natterin', won't you?

Call it natterin' if you like, but I say you've had it.

You tried the impossible and you got away with it. But not no more.

Now I say run. Run fast and far.

Ah.

How do you feel? Ashamed.

That I should oversleep.

I am not the man I used to be.

The years have taken their toll.

Eight broken ribs and 11 hours in salt water may've had something to do with it.

In any case, you were spared a wild goose chase.

No progress?

All present on Messenger's list have been accounted for.

There are no survivors.

Now we're left with an undecipherable phrase, "Only one brush left."

What the devil did he mean?

Madame Jocelyn has returned to the country.

Oh, she was here? She stopped by.

Oh, I took it upon myself to suggest she say nothing about yesterday. You approve?

I do indeed. "One brush left."

You have known her long?

Yes, since she was a child.

Her husband was a good man?

Very good man.

A son survives him?

Yes, young Derek.

Perhaps I shall buy him a bicycle.

I see. Ajax is a bachelor.

Like Polidor.

Avery good reason why I'm not married.

She preferred someone else. Derek's father.

He must have been a very good man.

But he's dead now, and you are alive.

My dear fellow, don't give it another thought.

If we were to meet now, for the first time, it might've been a very different matter.

But there's too much past for both of us.

I have met her now for the first time.

My point exactly.

He bien, let us return to the murder.


Double gay and frisky for jolly Joe Slattery.

Cheers.

Let's have another, Guv.

Uh...

Forget about that.


Well, Jim? Are you satisfied now?

Jim?

"Don't you worry, Ma," you said.

"Jim Slattery knows what's what."

What do you know now, Jim?

Why did he take his brother's place?

To draw Joe's pension, of course. The disability.

Him that was well and strong.

"What use is it to Joe?" you said.

What use is it to you now, Jim?

He lied to me. It cost him his life.

It was the drink.

I always knew there'd be an accident.

It was no accident.

Your son was murdered.

Maybe.

He made enemies with his bragging and his bullying.

It was because of something that happened a long time ago in Burma.

If he'd been honest with me, he'd be alive now and I'd know the murderer.

He can't answer me now, Mrs. Slattery, but you can.

He was in Burma, wasn't he? Yes. He was in Burma.

To hear him talk you'd think no one suffered in the war but him.

Him and his prison camp. So that was it.

Oh, he suffered horrible. Had the scars to prove it.

Did he ever talk about his experiences?

Did he ever mention any names?

No. He never talked about anyone but himself.

Not Jim.

Thank you, Mrs. Slattery.

I should have never taken the guard off him.

The old fool. He only had himself to blame.

But we should be grateful to him.

He's given us the one real common denominator.

Now we need the names of next of kin of every person on Messenger's list.

You can tackle the first half.

Le Borg and I will start with General Pomfret's widow.

It's Mr. Gethryn, madam.

Ah...

Oh.

How do you do?

You, um, telephoned, didn't you?

I'm Anton Karoudjian. How do you do?

Um, very good of you to have us, Mrs. Karoudjian.

This isMonsieur Le Borg. He was on the plane with Adrian Messenger.

Oh, yes, poor fellow. What a fearful way to die.

I've read Mr. Messenger's books.

One can only be enriched by exposure to the crystal clarity of his prose.

Oh, Tony, please be quiet.

There's no need for you to impress Mr. Gethryn.

Uh, my husband served with Mr. Messenger.

My wife refers to her previous husband, Sir Francis Pomfret, OBE, DSM, KB.

He was twice mentioned in dispatches.

A brilliant officer. I didn't have the privilege of bearing arms.

During the war years, Mr. Karoudjian was Swiss.

Oh, Tony, don't be such a coward.

What was it you wanted to know?

Sir Francis and Adrian were in Burma together, weren't they?

Well, it was a special force that was trained in India.

Later they went into Burma in '42.

It was a sort of junior edition of the Wingate later and more important operation.

A very bad show.

Oh, why was that?

Oh, well, most of them were killed and the rest were captured.

Including Adrian and your husband?

Mmm. Oh, yes. They had a ghastly time.

They were starved and tortured, and finally betrayed.

Betrayed? How?

Well, the escape was planned.

Francis said it would have gone through if it wasn't for a Canadian. A sergeant.

He sold them out for perks and tobacco and, you know, things like that.

I wonder if you'd happen to remember his name?

I'm most frightfully sorry, I'm afraid I don't.

As a matter of fact, I don't think Francis ever mentioned it.

He always called him "that bloody Canadian."

Except "bloody" wasn't exactly the word he used, if you know what I mean.

Quite. Do you happen to know what happened to this nameless betrayer?

Oh, yes. Francis checked that, all right.

"Missing, believed dead," was the report.

Francis was awfully upset. He so wanted to kill the chap himself.

Well, thank you so much, Mrs. Karoudjian.

You have no idea how helpful you've been.

A little more champagne?

I think not, thank you. We must get back to London.

Good day. Good-bye.

Good-bye.

Ah, Mr. Messenger was very well-connected.

A great friend of the Bruttenholms.

The who? The Bruttenholms.

It is the family name of the Marquis of Gleneyre.

I have read it in the Tatler.

"Broome." What?

If you must bandy names, I do wish you'd learn to pronounce them properly.

"Bruttenholm." Broome.

But it is spelled B-R-U-T... I don't care how it is spelled.

Oh, I do wish you'd learn to speak English.

You mean you've selected him as the villain of the piece?

It is inescapable.

Some unknown Canadian, guilty of some vague act of treason, in some vague and long-forgotten operation in Burma.

And you elect him as a mass murderer, when, so far as you know, he didn't even get out of the war alive.

Balderdash. Quite, but still inescapable.

But hang it, man. Don't you see?

You've inverted the only possible murder motive in that set of circumstances.

Certainly men can nurse a loathing of a traitor, conspire to murder him.

But it's ridiculous to suppose that he would endanger his own neck by setting out to murder the very men he betrayed.

No use, Gethryn.

Your theory just won't wash.

Is it my turn now?

Well, fire away.

Well...

You went off the scent with your assumption that the only motive for the betrayer killing the betrayed is fear of his own life.

If it isn't the only one, name a few more.

I can't. No more than one, I mean.

Therefore, it must be the right one.

The motive is fear, of course, and self-preservation.

But it isn't fear of death.

And what this swine wants to preserve isn't merely the continued capacity to breathe.

So what is it, hmm?

Can't be anything in the past, because that's over.

Nor in the present, or he couldn't have afforded all the time he's taken.

Ergo, it must be something in the future.

You do follow me, I hope?

I'd be obliged if you'd tell me where.

Into the veiled land of things to come.

Now...

What is it the Canadian wants to protect so desperately?

Since he is guilty of treason, obviously his neck.

But only in the future, or he wouldn't have taken all this time to still the only voices that could've identified him.

Therefore, he must be sure he's going to come into some position that will thrust him into the public eye.

Pike, what's been done about identifying this Canadian?

It's all in hand, sir. Seymour is at the War Office.

He's searching the records for every Canadian that was in the operation.

Blessed if I can see what kind of a future position he could be concerned about.

It's got to be something he's sure he's going to get.

Which brings us to the question of inheritance.

Well, I'll be damned. Millions or a Dukedom?

Or both, Sir Wilfrid. Or both.

Pike, get on to the War Office and see what progress Seymour's making.

Le Borg? Hmm?

What do you call this? Un balai.

Not in French. In English.

A brush. A brush for the floor.

Back we go into the cruel sea, copain.

What the devil is all this about?

The final pieces begin to fall into shape. Sir Wilfrid, you'll bear with me, I hope.

You ready? Now, is okay.

Fine.

Now, you've been in the sea a long time. Mmm-hmm.

Most of Messenger's talk is finished, suddenly he says something else, something like this, "Only one broom. Only one broom."

No, no. This is not precise. But now I remember.

He was saying, "All the brooms. Clean sweep.

"Only one broom left."

Congratulations. And heartfelt thanks.

This is better? This broom means more than brush?

My dear fellow, it means everything.

"Broome" is the family name of the Marquis of Gleneyre.

Gleneyre? But that is Jocelyn's family.

Quite. Seymour, sir. He's back.

There's information, sir.

The only Canadian sergeant in the operation.

"Sergeant George Brougham, B-R-O-U-G-H-A-M.

"Duke ofAthlone's Light Infantry.

"Missing, believed dead."

"Had a brother went to America once. Canada, actually.

"Suppose he's dead by now. Almost everyone is."

I beg your pardon.

Just remembering something the Marquis said once.

Gleneyre. That's motive enough for a dozen murders.

Hundred and seven, to be exact, if you include the victims of the airplane crash and the train wreck.

Now the old Marquis has his neck...

I shouldn't think that he was in any danger.

But this chap, whoever he is, he can't inherit until...

No, but he can afford to wait for an 80-year-old man to die in a natural course of events.

No, it's the real heir who's in danger.

The boy, of course.

Come on. Come on. There you go.

Come on. Come on.

Come on. Come on.

There you go. Come on. Come on.

I say, you startled me.

I want to see the young Lord.

I'm Derek Bruttenholm.

Then she's for you.

For me? Aye.

A present from Adrian Messenger.

Adrian? He's dead.

It's from him all the same.

Come on, lad. Get up on her.

Just grab a handful of mane.

You don't need reins with Avatar.

She's gypsy-trained.

Come on. Get up on her.

Now, your knees will turn her.

And your voice will send her on or make her stop.

Now, remember this, lad.

"Jatogree" means go. And to hold hard, say,"Til droven."

Jatogree.

Master Derek! Master Derek!

Well, thank heaven you've arrived. We were beginning to despair of you.

Father, this is Monsieur Le Borg. My father-in-law.

I want to thank you for that business with Adrian.

Ah, it was dreadful, really.

Who's that hallooing, huh?

Milord! Milord!

Milord. Milord. Well, Lynch, what is it?

It's Master Derek, sir. A gypsy man just put him up on a mare.

Gypsy? Where is he? Well, he's in the stable yard, sir.

But Master Derek's gone off in the fog.

Why the devil didn't you stop him? Derek! Derek!

Where are you?

Hold, Avatar. Til droven!

Derek? Derek? Are you all right?

Look, Mother, whatAdrian gave me.

Isn't she a beauty? Her name's Avatar and she moves or stops on command.

Derek, what are you talking about? You know thatAdrian's gone.

If you don't want the mare, I'll take her away.

I've done my part. Oh, we want her all right.

She took the stable fence with two feet of daylight beneath her, Grandfather.

Derek, you didn't jump her in this fog? No, Mother, she jumped me.

I've never ridden such an animal.

And damned odd, this whole business.

Adrian just buried. And this gypsy fellow appearing with a...

When did Mr. Messenger buy the animal? A year and a day past.

I was to deliver her as soon as she was gentle and trained.

It's all right, Father.

Adrian and the gypsies were friends. Remember, he wrote Romany Ways.

You can believe what this man says.

Four-year-old. Good bone.

Damned fine animal.

Hard to fault. Well, here's a fiver for your...

You, uh, hunt, Le Borg?

Alas, the horse and I are not compatible.

Ah.

Shoot, huh?

The birds don't attack me. I don't attack them.

Hmm.

Fish? Pourquoi?

All the fish one wants are available at the market.

What do you do? He swims.

Not by choice, madame.

The rest are mine, I think.

By George. You're right. That makes you down three.

I am also a superb tennis player and I have a two handicap at golf.

Uh, good game, I hear. Never played it myself.

I have an apartment in Paris, Avenue Foch.

And a small chateau in the Auvergne.

My dear fellow, you don't have to give me an accounting.

You are the head of the family, no?

Well, yes. I suppose I am.

He bien. To continue, my business is in textiles.

Factories in France and Switzerland.

My income is not large, but adequate.

About half a million new francs.

That is 35,000 of your pounds.

For the rest, I am 43. In sound health, except for some painful ribs.

And I have been in jail only once.

That was by the Germans.

Your bid, Madame.

I pass.

These are all members of the hunt?

Oh, no. There are always visitors. Anyone can ride, you know, if they pay the fee.

Good morning. Good morning.

If you don't mind, please. Certainly.

Thank you. Good hunting. Thank you very much, sir.

Morning, Mother. Morning, sir. Sorry you're not riding with us.

I myself am delighted.

I have had all the broken ribs I care for.

That's it, Little Gal. Find them. Go on then, Little Gal.

That's it, Little Gal. Go on. Go on. That's it.


Come on.


Come on.

Come on. Come on, boy.


Come on.


Where the devil did you come from?

I just followed the hounds, Master. Eh.

You certainly deserve this.

First time I've been beaten to the kill in forty years as master.

Thank you.

What the devil did you say your name was?

I didn't. But it's Brougham.

We spell it differently than you do.

It's B-R-O-U-G-H-A-M, but it's still "Broome," Uncle.

Bless my soul. Are you my brother's whelp?

George is my name.

Well, why the devil didn't you introduce yourself?

Well, I thought I'd size you up first.

That settles it. You are a Brougham.

No matter how you misspell it.

Derek. Derek. Come over here. Here's a new cousin for you.

I suppose that's what you'd be.

Canadian branch of the family.

How do you do, sir? Hello, Derek.

Come over here and meet his mother.

Jocelyn, my dear.

This is my brother Louis' son.

How do you do, Lady Bruttenholm?

Didn't know he existed till five minutes ago.

Extraordinary, eh?

Welcome to Gleneyre. Thank you.

This isMonsieur Le Borg. Enchante.

Where are you staying?

At The Lion. Very comfortable. Poppycock.

Derek, send one of the grooms down to the village to pack up your cousin's things.

He'll stay at Gleneyre. Uh, no, no. Thanks very much, Uncle, but you really don't have to bother. Rubbish, my boy. Rubbish.

It's your home, isn't it? Hi, Gethryn. Come over here.

George Brougham. Anthony Gethryn.

How do you do, sir? How do you do?

You chaps should like each other. Both thrusters.

Ah...

Got left standing still today.

High Flyer gave me quite a ride.

Fine animal. Where'd you get him? Uh, Ireland.

About three weeks ago. A birthday present from me to me.

Plenty of foot. Big jumper. Mmm-hmm.

Well, sun's still high. Time to draw another cover.

Come in. Come in.

I don't intrude? No, no, not in the slightest. Do come in.

So, the masquerade is over.

And no need for disguises now.

All that ended when the last name was struck off the list.

All he's got to do now is to be his own charming self.

What arrogance.

Making himself welcome at Gleneyre.

Well, it makes it easier for him to get at the boy from the inside.

You know, I hate to admit it, but I must confess to a sneaking admiration for him.

My admiration I can restrain. Huh.

What is the next move?

That is up to him.

Unfortunately.

I leave you gentlemen to your port.

What do you do for a living out there, George?

I ranch, sir. Are there cowboys?

Wouldn't be a ranch without them.

How much, uh... How much land do you have?

Just under 20,000 acres, sir.

But I'm hoping to get another 8,000 before next year.

Twenty thousand?

Well, that's not so much if you figure 10 acres to a steer.

What kind of cattle do you raise?

Uh, White face, sir. Beef cattle. But I'm starting a BlackAngus herd. I hope to pick up a bull while I'm out here.

Do you now? Well, we'll, uh, ride over to the bull pens in the morning.

You can take your pick. Oh, thank you very much.

But your breeding might be too rich for my blood.

What do you mean by that? Well, it... No, thank you.

It might be more than I can afford to pay.

My cattle, ain't they? I can sell them for whatever I please.

Damned government still can't do anything about that.

By the way, is my brother still alive?

Oh, no, sir. My father died a long time ago.

Was that back in '37? February?

Yes, that's right. The 16th.

How did you know that? The foxes barked.

I beg your pardon?

Didn't your father ever tell you about the Bruttenholm foxes, boy?

The what? Any member of the family dies, they foregather on the lawn out there and bark.

Been doing it for two hundred years.

Damned eerie, hmm?

Mmm.

I'm sorry about your father.

I liked Louis.

Well, if you want me to fill you in on him, he nearly lost the 50,000 you gave him in a three-day poker session on the train between Halifax and Moose Jaw. Moose Jaw?

Yes. That's where he became a cowboy and married the boss's daughter.

That was my mother. That's where I got the ranch.

How did your father die?

On his way home from Saskatoon, he fell out of the wagon.

Wolves got at him. Bless my soul.

Yes. I spent the rest of that winter trailing the pack.

One by one, I shot them and skinned them out.

Traded their pelts to the Indians for enough food to go on until the last wolf was accounted for.

Indians? Red Indians?

Yes. They adopted me later into the tribe.

So you can say, Derek, that you're a blood cousin to an Ojibway.

Were you in the service?

Well, nothing so exalted as your father. Sergeant was my top rank.

Did you see action? Did I see action? I was killed.

You can't be serious? That sounds an interesting story.

Well, not very. I got separated from my outfit in the western desert.

It was three years before I got back to Canada.

And when I went for my discharge, I found they had me listed as "Believed dead."

They hated having to correct their records.

Red tape. Same all over the world.

By the way, sir...

Out with it, my boy. What is it?

About that bull.

Now, thanks for your kind offer, but if I can't afford it, that ends it.

I didn't arrive here with my hand out.

I know you didn't, my boy. I know you didn't.

Monsieur Le Borg? Please.

Oh, now I've got it.

I thought your name was familiar.

Aren't you the man that survived that airplane crash?

I had great good fortune.

One chance in a million.

Another cousin of mine, Adrian Messenger, wasn't so lucky.

Yes, the writer.

I've read everything he wrote.

In a sense, he's responsible for my being here.

It was his Memoirs of a Fox Hunter.

Have you read it? Yes, sir.

Ah, it opened up a whole new world for me.

According to the newspapers, there's a strong possibility that the crash was no accident.

If there was a bomb, it would have to have been put there by a madman.

That's the excuse they usually give for evil.

Hitler was mad, they said.

So he may have been.

But not necessarily.

Evil does exist. Evil is.

Wait, Derek. You shoot first.


One diamond.

Heart.

Pass. Four spades.

I pass. Pass.

Pass. Spades.


Uh, Brougham? Hmm?

Are you busy? No, no. Nothing important.

Just going for a walk.

Come in for a moment, will you? Sure. Sure.

Sit down, please. Sit down. Thank you.

No, no. Over here. Something I want you to look at.

Hmm. What are these?

Pages that Adrian Messenger was working on from his manuscript at the time of his death. Oh.

Yes. Wonderful stuff. Just finished reading it.

Memoirs of an Infantry Officer.

I'd love to read it.

Do you notice anything different about any of them?

Well, this one's shorter than the others.

I mean, a line or two less typing.

There is no reason for it.

As it isn't the end of a paragraph. That's what struck me, too.

Well, the typist probably just made a mistake.

That isn't all. Look here. Look there. There.

Huh?

On every other page, a semi-colon is followed, as it should be, by one space. On this page, there are none.

What difference can that possibly make? Perhaps none.

Perhaps a great deal.

The typeface is the same, so it was done on the same typewriter.

But these variations mean that it was typed by a different hand.

Well, Messenger himself probably wanted to change something so he...

Adrian didn't know how to type.

Oh.

Well, I don't mean to be dense, but what does it matter if a page in a manuscript gets changed?

Wouldn't mean anything to me.

If it weren't for Le Borg's insistence that he smelled cordite before that plane conked out.

Cordite? That would mean a bomb.

Mmm... And a bomb would mean a target.

I'm wondering if it could have been Messenger.

What the devil are you talking about?

Now who'd want to kill a writer?

And such a good writer. I don't know.

But the page with the variations had to do with his experiences in Burma.

Had a very rough go out there. Prison camp. All that sort of thing.

I'm going to turn this over to the Yard. See what they can make of it.

Shouldn't be too difficult for them to get a list together of the chaps who were with him in the prison camp.

One of them might shed some light.

What's the matter?

Well, you've got more nerve than I'd have. How do you mean?

Well, I can't see myself going to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with anything like that. Boy, they'd laugh in my face.

Yes, a possibility.

I'll have a shot at it anyway.

I think when I go down town on Wednesday.

I can't thank you enough for your help. I haven't done anything.

But you have. You've given me a chance to put my ideas into words.

Sort of a dress rehearsal.

Well, if you want a listener, I'm your man.

For once, he spoke the truth.

Evil does exist.

And he is evil.

As Holy Word says, "Born of evil."

And now, you have made yourself the target.

He can't afford to have me go back to London and launch a lot of questions about Burma.

Have you learned any more about him?

Yes. Pike phoned through.

His dossier came from Canada.

After the war, he became an actor.

Touring companies in the western provinces.

About five years ago, his mother died and he inherited a ranch.

A few hundred acres.

Which he promptly sold for $40,000, which has carried him up to this very moment.

He will move swiftly now.

Mr. George Brougham, please.

Sorry, sir, he's gone for a walk. Any message?

Yes. This is Arthur Henderson calling. His attorney.

Mr. Arthur Henderson calling.

I'm in London just for the night at the Ritz.

Tell him it's very important I see him.

Ranch business.

At the Ritz.

I'll leave a message, sir. Thank you.

No, no. That won't do any good.

I have to see him personally. Get some papers signed.

He'll just have to come into town.

I'm leaving for home in the morning. Thanks a lot.

You'll hurry back, of course?

You'll miss tomorrow's hunt, but there'll be another on Saturday.

I'll be here. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Oh, Gethryn, how do you like High Flyer?

Well enough to let you name his price.

He's not for sale. But if you want a good ride, you use him tomorrow.

That's very good of you.

See that he stays out in front. I'll keep my eye on him.

I promise to be on top of the hunt.

Goodbye. Goodbye to you.


Look to your hearts. What has the fox ever done to you?

I protest this cruel and inhumane activity.

Search your souls. Don't you know the animals are your friends?

Are you the Master? I am, madam.

Then call off this wretched business. What harm has the fox ever done to you?

Why do you persecute him?

Madam, the fox and I know more of life than you do.

It is man's nature to hunt. It is the fox's to be hunted. Good morning, madam.

Propaganda. Vicious propaganda.

Read what Oscar Wilde says.

"The unspeakable after the uneatable."

That's what these so-called gentry are.

The unspeakable. Can she be the murderer?

And you so-called ladies of the hunt... Any one of them can be.

Which? Where are your fine, high instincts?

The fox you kill may be a vixen.

Any vixen can be a mother. Think of those motherless vermin, not knowing what foxhole to call home.

Which?


I did not see the fox.

One usually doesn't. The hounds follow the fox's scent.

Avatar's going well, Derek, huh?


Damn it, Gethryn. Keep your distance.


Where the devil do you think you're going?

I'm going ahead, Master.

You stay behind or I'll bloody well send you home.

Sorry, Master.


Come on!

What happened? What's wrong with the hounds?

Jim.

They seem to have lost the scent.

Jim.

I've never seen this happen before.

Good man.

Queer. The scent was so good.

Fox gone to ground? No fox.

We've been following a drag.

A drag? At Gleneyre?

Unheard of. Ruin the hunt's reputation.

What the devil do you mean, Master?

Homicide, Lord Ashton. And well-conceived, too.

There is the murder weapon.

I was supposed to be impaled upon it.

Would've been too, but for this old fellow.

Jim and I took him out this morning before dawn, on a leash.

He picked up the scent, pulled Jim over the very ground we've covered.

Come on. Bellman here.

The oldest detective of them all. He'll pick up the scent of whoever laid the drag.

All right, George. Come forward.


Get that ferocious beast away from me.


Stop that damn fellow.

Hold, Avatar. Til droven.


Derek. Tim. Let's get the hounds back to kennels.

Jim, see to Mr. Brougham.

Listen, Grandfather.

The Bruttenholm foxes.

Extraordinary.

Thought the next time they barked, it'd be for me.

Hold it. Stop.

That's the end of the picture.

But it's not the end of the mystery.


Ladies and gentlemen, the end.