The Scarlet Claw (1944) Script

Who could be ringing the church bell at this time?

Maybe it ain't a who father maybe it's an it.

And maybe it's tolling the bell.

Awe there's no such things as ghosts and monsters.

Haven't I made that clear to you?

Something tore the throats out of Charlie Roches sheep and that something didn't leave any tracks.

Andy Trent here saw a weird glow moving across the marshes last night and this morning he found two of his sheep dead.

There throats torn open.

Maybe the same thing that killed Andy's sheep is tolling the bell.

I was on my way just now to deliver a special letter at Penrose Manor when a strange light appeared on the road before me then moved quickly across the marshes and faded into the mist.

I turned the car around and hurried back here.

It's not real.

First the light and now the bell.

There's a very sound and logical reason for the bell tolling at this time and I'm going to find out what it is.

You can drive me to the church Potts.

The letter can wait.

No hurry.

Nothing will harm you if you're with the priest.

Is that true Father?

Awe what you need is more faith and less imagination.

Come along.

I'd better deliver that letter to the manor.

I'm sure it's important.

Thank goodness that bell has stopped.

Odd it's tolling at this time of night.

I don't like it.

What with this phantom around in the marshes.

I saw it again tonight.

Who would that be?

Where's Lord Penrose?

He's gone to Quebec.

Get him on the phone immediately.

What's happened Father?

Lady Penrose dead clutching the bell rope, tolling for help.

It was dreadful.

Her ladyship.

Call Sergeant Thompson at the police station.

Ask him to come to the church immediately.

Come with me Potts I may need you.

Yes Father.

Operator put me through to Quebec.

Lord William Penrose.


He's addressing a meeting of the Royal Canadian Occult Society at a Quebec hotel.

It's urgent sir.


Yes sir.

Lord Penrose.

La Morte Rouge is on the telephone.

It's urgent, he's in the Gold Room.

Yes sir.

Gentlemen, as you know the greatest obstacle in proving the authenticity of the occult lies in finding facts.

However, if the facts are there even the most harden skeptic, provided he has an open mind, must finally acknowledge the actual existence of the supernatural.

Do you admit that Mr. Holmes?

Facts are always convincing Lord Penrose.

It's the conclusions drawn from facts that are frequently in error.

Yes in the case of the Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as the Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, we found that...

Watson please.

Oh sorry.

Well gentlemen this time I have facts.

Cold facts.

Many years ago, one hundred to be exact, an apparition appeared at night in the village now called La Morte Rouge.

The following morning three people were found dead, their throats torn out.

Hence the town's rather a grime name.

Interesting yes.

But facts, no.

I hardly think the tales of superstitious pheasants can be considered...

I haven't finished Mr. Holmes.

The La Morte Rouge has again been the scene of these strange and unexplainable occurrences.

Unexplainable that is from your point-of-view.

Several of our most responsible citizens have actually seen the strange apparition on the marshes at night and next morning sheep were discovered...

With there throats torn out and no traces of the killer anywhere to be found.

Oh you've read about it in the papers?

As a matter of fact I haven't.

It was a merely a deduction.

A rather obvious one I'm afraid.

Deductions are a weakness of mine as Doctor Watson can tell you.

Would you believe it, Holmes can...

Well those are facts Mr. Holmes.

Ignore them if you can.

But it's very urgent sir.

Very well, go ahead.

Thank you.

I never ignore facts Lord Penrose and I have no doubt that the incident of the sheep with their throats torn out is unquestionably a fact.

However, the interpretation of this fact as being final proof of the existence of the supernatural is merely supposition and therefore cannot be accepted without further data.

Your opinions Mr. Holmes are undoubtedly the result of your inability to cope with something beyond the realm of your comprehension.

I say old man.

I'm sorry John but this ridiculous skepticism... yes what it is my boy?

La Morte Rouge on the telephone sir.

Very urgent my Lord.

Excuse me gentlemen.

I'm afraid Lord...

It's quite understandable Sir John.

Lord Penrose is deeply entrenched in his beliefs.

That's his privilege.

Oh hang it all Holmes, the fellow was positively rude.

Well shall we see a little overwrought Watson?

I'm leaving immediately.

Order my car at once and hurry.

Yes sir.

Gentlemen, my wife has just been found dead.

Her throat torn out in exactly the same manner as the sheep.

This is terrible!

I say you don't think that it's...

Undoubtedly Mr. Holmes you would call it murder by person or persons unknown.

I'm sorry, If I can be of any assistance...

Thank you, no.

I'm afraid the happenings in La Morte Rouge wouldn't interest you Mr. Holmes.

Under the circumstances I think we should adjourn.

Yes indeed Sir John.

Holmes what a terrible thing.

Uh Sir John would you be good enough to convey our condolences to Lord Penrose.

Yes I'd be glad to.

Say uh, can't we get something to eat before we leave?

We don't often get food like you do here.

Don't you think of anything else besides your stomach?

No not often.

I think I'll get a paper.

Good morning.

Good morning sir.

I imagine you'll be glad to get back to London Mr. Holmes?

Yes indeed.

Oh by the way, there's a letter for you sir.

Thank you.

Here's something about Lady Penrose.

She was found in the church with her throat horribly cut and then she dragged herself from the marshes nearby and tried to summon help with a bell rope.

What is it Holmes?

Listen to this Watson.


My dearest of Holmes.

I've every reason to believe my life is in danger.

Yet if you were to ask me how I know I couldn't give you a logical answer.

There is nothing tangible, yet like a terrible premonition it is also frightfully real.

I've heard of you being in Quebec and I'm turning to you, a stranger, and asking your help in the frantic hope that you'll not fail me.

Well whose it from?

Signed Lillian Penrose.

Lillian Pen... Lady Penrose?

A letter from the dead woman.

What's it mean Holmes?

I should say that Lady Penrose lived in fear of her life.

Some secret hidden in her past in probability.

Perhaps it isn't as simple as that.

What if Penrose is right?

I'm glad we're going back to London.

Things like that can't happen on Baker Street.

Oh it's a pity Watson.


Do you know a village by the name of La Morte Rouge?

Yes sir, it's about twelve miles from here up towards the falls.

Great Scott Holmes you mean you're going to take on the case.


Telephone the airport and cancel our reservations will you?

Certainly sir.

Consider Watson the irony, the tragic irony, that we accepted the commission from the victim to find her murderer.

For the first time we've been retained by a corpse.

Doesn't seem to be a bell.

Never mind come along.

Do you think we should?

What a cold, cheerless looking room.


What do you want?

Who are you?

Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

I apologize for this intrusion.

Would you mind gentlemen?

Mr. Holmes is it your custom to burst into people's houses without ringing the bell?

We couldn't find the bell sir.

If you've come here to use the death of my wife to prove your theories I must ask you to leave.

Penrose, I received this letter from Lady Penrose this morning.

I say that was devilish awkward.

I'm afraid you're a little late Mr. Holmes, my wife's dead.

And I've come here to find her murderer.

You might have saved yourself the trouble.

I'm convinced that the solution to this horrible deed lies in an understanding of psychic phenomenon.

Although I don't expect you to admit that Mr. Holmes.

I assure you Penrose I neither believe nor disbelieve in anything including psychic phenomena.

If I could just see Lady Penrose it might help dispel much of the mystery that surrounds these happenings in La Morte Rouge.


Why don't you answer the blasted thing?

Sergeant Thompson has charge of the case.

You'll find him at the police station and now I must ask you to go and take your assistant with you.

You'll excuse me if I don't show you out.



Drake where are you?


Holmes I've seen her before.

Right Watson you have.

Yes but where?

Never mind that now we must examine the wound before Penrose returns and has us thrown out of the house.

Clumsy job.

Just missed her jugular vein.

She must have bled to death.

Must have bled for several hours hey?

Possibly more.

Long enough for Penrose to leave La Morte Rouge and reach Quebec in time for the meeting?

Holmes you don't suspect Penrose?

I suspect nobody Watson I was just asking a question.

I beg your pardon gentlemen.

There is another who desired the death of her ladyship.

I saw it last night in the fields moving in and out of the shadows.

You're the butler aren't you?

I was the butler.

I've given notice.


Get out.

Get out of this.

I trust you found what you're looking for?

Two things have been made clear to me Penrose.

That you're wife was murdered and that she's Lillian Gentry.

Lillian Gentry?

Will you leave or must I call the police?

That will not be necessary.

We're on our way to the police station now.

The wounds found on Lady Penrose's throat are identical with those found on the throats of the dead sheep.

Now I'm not a superstitious man Mr. Holmes but I don't know of any weapon capable of inflicting such wounds except an animal's claw.

Of course it could be done by a five prong garden weeder.

Not that garden weeder Mr. Holmes, that's mine.

I use it to weed the garden at the back of the jail.

I'm inclined to agree with the Sergeant, Holmes.

A weapon such as that would of severed the jugular vein.

Death would have followed immediately.

Lady Penrose lived long enough to drag herself to the church and toll the bell in a frantic effort to call for help.

Yes, yes I know all about that but there must be some logical motive instead of all these goblins and monsters.

Sergeant have you ever heard of a Lillian Gentry?


No can't say that I have Mr. Holmes.

She was a famous actress who came to America some time ago.

She appeared for many years in the United States and Canada and then suddenly she disappeared.

Her disappearance was never explained and she was soon forgotten.

But what's the connection between Lillian Gentry's disappearance and the death of Lady Penrose?

Lillian Gentry and Lady Penrose are one in the same person.

The same person?


One more question Sergeant.

Do your files show anyone with a prison record living in La Morte Rouge?

No Mr. Holmes.

The only person having any connection with the prison is Emile Journet.

He came here two years ago with his daughter and bought the hotel.

He was a guard at Talon Prison.

Thank you Sergeant.

I hear there are a lot of prairie chicken in these parts.

I'd like to have a bang at them some day.

I think that can be arranged Doc.

Yes we can stop over at a farmyard and you can shoot all the chickens you want.

That's all very funny Holmes.

Here you are old fellow.

We're going to engage rooms of Monsieur Journet's hotel.


I say landlord!

Place seems deserted.

Won't be for long if you bellow like that.

Land... oh sorry Holmes.

Got to try and make some...

Yes monsieur?

My dear will you rent a room for us?

Yes monsieur.


Sign here please.

I'll sign for us both.

Oh thank you.

You seem very young to be in charge here.

Yes monsieur.

You a Mademoiselle Journet?

Marie Journet monsieur.

My dear you've been crying.


Papa's going away.

Oh come now.

That's the tragedy?

Wouldn't you cry if you're papaw were going away Watson?

I don't believe I so.

This way monsieur.

Bring your bags.

Yes of course.

Wouldn't I be unhappy if my father went away?

Haven't seen my father for years.

Only died about two years ago...

Bills, bills, bills.

That's the way it goes Emile.

It costs money to be born and it costs money to die.

Do you know who that was in the car?

It was Sherlock Holmes.

He's here now.

What do you think he'll find?

Ghosts and monsters.

What else is there for him to find?

I don't know.

You're afraid Emile.

Of course I am and so are you.

Who isn't?

Why should Sherlock Holmes come here?

To investigate the death of Lady Penrose what else?

I'm afraid Mr. Holmes will return to London a sadder but a wiser man.

Why do you say that?

Well you can't arrest ghosts and monsters can you now?

Well I'm on my way the mail must be delivered.

Much better.

This room gives me the creeps.

It's very seldom used, monsieur.

It isn't often that strangers come to La Morte Rouge and when they do they never stay.

I can't say that I blame them.

Will your father be away for long?

I don't know monsieur.

When is he leaving?

I don't know.


If you need anything just ring monsieur.

That girl's frightened Holmes.


She made the mistake of telling us that her father was leaving.

You don't think that Journet...

Suppose we have a little talk to Monsieur Journet, might prove illuminating.

Didn't I tell you not to answer any questions?


Didn't I tell you to keep a silent tongue in your mouth?

Yes papaw.

So you told them I was going away?

Yes papaw.

That'll teach you to keep your mouth shut.

Uh Monsieur Journet, just why are you leaving La Morte Rouge at this particular time?

I'm not leaving.

What gave you the idea that I was?

Your daughter.

My daughter's mistaken.

I merely said that I would like to go away.

I've just been teaching her the difference.

Yes so I observed.

I can't say that I approve of your method sir.

I'll ask you to mind your own business.

Run along dear.

There there my dear.

Disgraceful hitting a child!

Monsieur Journet's quite right.

It's none of our business.

Monsieur Journet what do you know of the death of Lady Penrose?

Only what everyone in the village knows that she was killed by the monster.

Have you seen this monster?

No but who else could have done this terrible thing?

Sheep have been killed, their throats torn out.

You were a jailer at Talon Prison weren't you?

Well yes monsieur.

Why did you decide to come to La Morte Rouge?

Well I always wanted to own a hotel and I heard this one was for sale so I bought it.

That was two years ago.


I believe it was about the time the monster made his reappearance wasn't it?

Do you suspect me of being the monster Mr. Holmes?

Oh no, no, no.

I was just remarking a coincidence.

I thought you didn't believe in those things Holmes.

Quite right Watson I don't.

At least not in the supernatural variety.

Not the werewolf who bites into his victim's throat with his teeth but a monster who uses for his weapon of death a five-prong garden weeder, yes that's a little more my line.

I don't know what you mean.

I mean that this monster's been recreated and used as a screen behind, which to commit a horrible crime.

Whoever did it felt certain that no suspicion could possibly fall on him?

But my unexpected arrival upset his plans.

Very possibly he became frightened, decided to run away.

You're right masseur.

I was running away but not for the reason you think but in fear of my life.

And who would want to kill you?

I don't know.

It's like some terrible premonition but it's so real.

The very word that's in Lady Penrose's letter.


That still doesn't explain this garden weeder.

I swear to you I know nothing about it's being here.

Hadn't we better send for that fellow Sergeant Thompson?

No Watson that won't be necessary.

Monsieur Journet knows as well as we do that you can't run away from yourself.

Oh would you be so good as to return this to Sergeant Thompson monsieur?

I took it away quite by accident.

Monsieur Journet knows as well as we do you can't run away from yourself.

This fellow Journet seems a very frightened chap.

Do you think he has any connection with Lady Penrose's murder?

Time will tell us many things Watson.

And now my dear fellow there's something you can do for me if you will.

Anything Holmes.

I knew I could rely on you.

I want you to mingle with the people in the café tonight.

Find out all you can and keep a particularly sharp eye on Journet.

Sort of take over the case.

That's right oh boy.

I want to get a good night's rest before starting out again in the morning.

Oh and incidentally make yourself as inconspicuous as possible will you?


You can depend on me.

Oh thank you my dear.

I'm glad to see that the tears are all gone.

Are you feeling better?

Thanks to you and Mr. Holmes, Papaw is not going away.

Not going away?

That's good.

Journet not going away.

There are many phases of the supernatural Mr. Drake.

Witchcraft, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, monsters, you'll find them all in the history of crime.

So I say to myself Potts this is the handy work of the supernatural.

I gather that your name is Potts and that you're interested in the detection of crime.

Allow me to introduce myself.

My name's Watson, Doctor Watson of 221-B Baker Street, London, England.

How do you do sir?

Here's to crime, bigger and better crime.

I deduce my good man that you are somewhat drunk.

Well sharp he is, sharp as a tack and just as flat headed.

You might also deduce that I'm leaving this place.

Getting up and soon as the bus I'm waiting for hoots it's hooter.

I believe they say honks its hooter in these parts.

Hoots to me, honks to you.

Hoot hoot.

My dear fellow I don't care two hoots whether it's hoot or honk.

Oh that's my bus gentlemen.

I just heard it hoot its hooter, distinctly.

If you solve this case let me know but personally I'm betting on the monster.

You take my advice Pottsy.

Get out of this place before they find you with your throat cut.

Hoots, it's hooter.


Well the thought of having your throat torn out by some monster isn't likely to make you very gay Doctor Watson.

No indeed.

Some of Monsieur Journet's excellent wine will soon remedy that.

Marie would you bring a bottle of this excellent wine for my friend here?

Yes monsieur.

Mr. Potts as a student of the occult supposing you give me your theory of this murder.

Oh you'll like this wine.

Oh but Doctor Watson I never drink anything stronger than milk.

Tea toddler?

No hiccups.

Every time I drink alcohol I have hiccups.

Oh sorry.

Mr. Holmes.

Mr. Holmes?

This circle is where the murder actually occurred.

Yes Mr. Holmes.

There's a footpath just beyond the church, which leads across the marshes follow it for half a mile and you'll be there.

Thank you Sergeant, I'm sure I'll find it.

Mr. Holmes I wish you'd let me go with you.

It's dangerous in the marshes at night.

These swamps, the one false step...

I'm sorry Sergeant but it's important I go alone.

I'll keep close to the path.

Well will Doctor Watson be going with you?

No Sergeant.

I asked him to do some research work of his own and by now he's probably magnificently involved.

Good night.

Good night Mr. Holmes.

But according to your theory Doctor Watson, everyone in the village is under suspicion.

Pardon me.

It's quite all right.

Oh thank you.

Murder is a very interesting story gentlemen.

I will recall a short story by that brilliant author G. K. Cheston in which the murder is committed by a postman I refer of course to the invisible man.

A brilliant bit of deduction on the part of Father Brown.

I'm a postman.

This is precisely why I mentioned it to understate the absurdity of assuming cause one man in the postman's uniform is a murderer any other man in the same uniform should be suspected.


Had me worried for a minute.

Well fiddle sticks.

A child can see that this ridiculous monster has... has got you all afraid of your own shadow.

I saw Lady Penrose.

I wouldn't like it to happen to me.

I'll be getting on.

I'm going with you.

Good night Doctor.

Good night.

It's quite all right.

Well what's so strange about a church bell ring?

It rang the same time last night.

Excuse me Doctor Watson, can you tell me if Mr. Holmes is armed.

Armed my dear fellow, why should he be?

He's gone to bed.

Your wrong Doctor.

He went out in the marshes alone.

I tried to go with him but he refused.

But Great Scott if he runs into this monster and he's by himself he'll get killed!



Are you all right?

Where are you Watson?

Here I am over here Holmes.

Watson where are you?

I'm in the bog.

Oh good gracious.

Come here.

You're instructions were to mingle with the people and stay in the café.

Sergeant Thompson said you were out here alone so I thought you might need help.

Yes so you proceeded to fall in the bog?


I was pushed into the blasted thing.

Pushed by the most ghastly apparition.

Came at me like a roaring furnace with spitting fire in all directions.

Before I could get my revolver the thing was upon me.

Well the next thing I knew I was...

I was in the bog.

Are you all right Mr. Holmes, I heard shots.

Yes I'm all right but Doctor Watson here seems to have encountered the monster.

He has?

Come on old fellow we'd better get you out of these wet clothes and into a hot tub before he takes a death of cold.

Now you've had enough of that.

Drink this.

You'll be as fit as a fiddle in the morning.

Sorry you had such a bad time.

I've got a right to share your dangers.

Thanks old fellow.

You know I wasn't sure that the villagers weren't right and if it did turn out to be some sort of supernatural monster, well why should I involve you?


However, I did learn something.

I can now state positively that our antagonist is not a phantom.

But the thing actually spat flames at me.

Oh just a figment of your imagination.

The murderer knew I was out on the marshes and obviously wanted to frighten me.

He frightened me all right.

How did he manage the flames?

Merely clothing treated with phosphorus.

When the murderer fled his shirt caught on a tree and this piece of cloth was torn off.

Come in.

I'd like a few words with you Mr. Holmes.

I'll come directly to the point.


What happened to your assistant?

I'm not his assistant.

If you must know I was pushed into a boggy hole on the marsh.


By whom?

I don't know.

Spat fire at me.

My good sir, in spite of Mr. Holmes' theories to the contrary things have been seen and heard on those marshes that cannot be explained away by the use of logic.

If I were you I'd keep away from them.

I'm not so sure.

Holmes found...

Penrose, for the first time in my long pursuit of crime, I confess that I find myself baffled.

I'm a detective I need tangible clues and up to now I admit I found none.

And you won't.

I advise you to leave La Morte Rouge.

Tonight you escaped with your life.

Next time you may not be so fortunate.

Thank you for your considerate advice Lord Penrose.

Good night sir.

Excuse me.

Oh good night.

I don't like that fellow Holmes.

Why do you think he came here?

He wanted to find out if we discovered anything.

He seemed very pleased when I told him we hadn't.

Now Watson there are one or two questions I want to ask Sergeant Thompson.

You stay here.

I have a very important job for you.

Anything Holmes, what do you want me to do?

Go to bed.

Yes it's cotton fabric.

Here take a look.

That discoloration, the purple ink must have been spilt on it.


I should say this cloth was red with blue lines.

Probably large checks and it seems to have been laundered a good many times.

The blues lines are almost completely erased.

Yes you can scarcely see them.

It's good fabric, well woven, with a solid base.

Hello Bill.

Hello Sergeant, Your phone call must be important to bring me over this time of the night.

It was, this is Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

He wants to ask you a few questions.

This is Mr. Taylor, the storekeeper Mr. Holmes.


Good evening Monsieur Taylor.

Good evening monsieur.

Have you any shirts of this design?

Squares are red and the lines blue.

Yes I have.

Can you remember to whom you sold them?

I can.

I keep them in stock especially for Judge Brisson.

He won't have anything else.

Judge Brisson who's he?

A retired magistrate.

He's a cripple.

Lives alone with his housekeeper.

Have you sold any of these shirts to anyone else?

No sir.

They're too expensive for the village and the boatmen.

This is the finest material imported.

You say Judge Brisson's a cripple?


He was a magistrate in Quebec.

Had a stroke about two years ago, that's why he retired and came here to live in La Morte Rouge.

Just about the time that Monsieur Journet arrived here.

Now that you mention it, it was just about then.

Hello operator?

Give me Judge Brisson's home will you?

Thank you.


Let it ring.

Haven't I told you not to answer the phone at night?

Yes sir.

Well then obey my orders.

Yes sir.

No answer.

Where's he live?

On the marsh road but I don't advise you to go there after dark Mr. Holmes.

The place is a fortress and guarded by a savage dog.

I think Doctor Watson and I will have to pay Judge Brisson a visit in the morning.

Good night gentlemen.

Good night Mr. Holmes.

Two locks on the door, one of them new.

Yes I should say that Lady Penrose death has increased Judge Brisson's terror.

Don't like the sound of that dog.

Sounds hungry.

Possibly ravenous.

Could we come back after he's had his breakfast?

I'm sorry Watson our business won't wait.

Oh he's stop now.

Yes Watson.


Good Fido.


Good Fido!

Who is it?

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

I telephoned Judge Brisson we were coming.

You can't come in.

He's given orders no one is to be admitted.

You wouldn't want Judge Brisson's death on your hands would you?

No sir.

Then you'd better let us in.

I'll probably lose my job for this.

Not after we've talked to Judge Brisson.

My good woman you, you keep an eye on that dog.

Oh don't worry Watson you know as well as I do the dog won't touch you if you're with its master or mistress.

Well you know it and I know it but are you quite sure the dog knows it?

Good dog, happy dog, good boy.

Let me warn you I'm armed and I'm an expert shot.

We didn't come here to harm you Judge Brisson but to protect your life.

I told you over the phone this morning Mr. Sherlock Holmes that I did not want to see you.

I don't want to see anyone.

But I want to see you.

Stay where you are!

Nora show these men out.

Judge Brisson if you'll answer a few questions I maybe to save your life.

I have the fullest confidence in my own defenses and I will not trade them for any theories of Mr. Sherlock Holmes however plausible you make them sound.

Now get out will you?

I'm sorry.

Under the circumstances I'm helpless to prevent your death, almost certainly by violence.

Come on Watson.

Oh pardon me, may I trouble you for that envelope?

I must have dropped it.

Thank you.

You're a very clever man Mr. Holmes.

A crude device Judge Brisson but it's confirmed my suspicions that you're not the cripple you pretend to be.

I'm sorry but I'm frightened of everything and everybody.

Won't you sit down?

You want to get shot Holmes?

Come in Watson and close the door.

Sit down old fellow, Judge Brisson has decided not to shoot us.

Oh that's very kind of him.

Gentlemen this fear is driving me mad.

It's quite understandable.

The whole village seems to be consumed with fear but in your case, judging from your vicious dog, those bared windows and that hunting rifle, it's not fear of the supernatural.

Just what are you afraid of?

Well truth is Mr. Holmes I don't know and yet I feel its very presence.

At times I feel I can almost reach out and touch it.

When I first came to La Morte Rouge I had a slight attack.

It affected my legs but well I've recovered.

And you've continued the deception using the wheelchair as an excuse for not going about the village?

Oh you see people would be more inclined to accept my hermit like existence.

Yes naturally.

Tell me Judge Brisson had you ever heard of Monsieur Journet before you arrived at La Morte Rouge?


No I hadn't.

How many of these shirts has your housekeeper purchased for you?

Oh four or five I'm not positive.

You still have them?

Oh one or two became badly worn and I told me housekeeper to give them to a man who was doing some work for me at that time.

Can you describe him?

No I'm afraid I can't.

That was about a year ago you see and well I didn't pay much attention to him.

He worked in the garden.

Could your housekeeper remember him?

No that was a different housekeeper then.

She went to the United States.

Try to remember Judge Brisson.

Your life may depend on it.

I do remember one thing, he had a very slight limp.

I used to watch him from that window as he walked across the lawn.


Continue your vigilance Judge and under no circumstances allow anyone to enter the house even someone you may know well.

Well what's that mean Holmes?

It may mean nothing and it may mean everything.

I'm quite sure that Sergeant Thompson will have observed a man with a limp in the village the size of La Morte Rouge.

Good day Judge and thank you.

Good day sir.

I'm sure Sergeant Thompson will have observed a man with a limp in a village the size of La Morte Rouge.

This is what's left of the De Port Hotel Mr. Holmes.

Tanner sleeps here when he's in La Morte Rouge.

Spooky old place.

Villagers call it the Wolf House.

It's been deserted for years.

He walks with a limp, the left foot I think.

To the trained ear Sergeant footsteps of catlaectic rhythm are as identifiable as fingerprints.

What do you want?

We've come to have a talk with you Tanner.

I've done nothing.

Then you won't mind answering a few questions.

What do you want to know?

Tell me Tanner, where were you two nights ago?

Down the river.

And last night.

I just got back tonight.

You're lying.

You don't frighten me.

And now I've got a job to do.

It's quite evident that you haven't been on the river within the last forty-eight hours.

Are you trying to make me out the murderer of Lady Penrose?

How'd do you know she was murdered?

I'll tell you how you know she was murdered because you murdered her.

Holmes look in there the monster!

That's right Watson.

One of Brisson's shirts, which Tanner here treated with phosphorus.

Take him Sergeant.

I'll give you all the evidence later.

You got him Sergeant.

I'm sure of it.

Come on.

I see no reason why we shouldn't leave for home tomorrow.

So much for tomorrow but for tonight what do you make of this Watson?

I found it in Tanner's room.

It's a photograph.

That's right oh boy just a photograph.

You know something else about it?

Part of it's missing.

Bravo Watson!

Now if we can find the missing half... notice the discoloration of the torn edge, faded signature, the upper half was torn off some time within the last year I should say.

Why all this fuss about an old photograph?

Watson have you ever stopped to think that the science of detection is very much like stringing a hand full of beads?

I can't say that I have.

Well it is.

And in this particular case you might say that I have five beads.

Journet, Brisson, Tanner, Lord and Lady Penrose.

So far I haven't any thread to string them together.

This gentleman is our thread and I think I shall start with Lady Penrose.

But Lady Penrose is dead.

The dead can tell us many things Sergeant.

You and Doctor Watson remain here at the hotel.

I'll meet you later.

I'm sure you got Tanner, Sergeant but Mr. Holmes is never satisfied with a dead criminal.

He has to sit in on the post-mortem.

Come along, let's go downstairs and celebrate the death of the monster.

That's a good idea Doctor.

So the great Sherlock Holmes becomes a common thief.

You realize of course that I might have shot you.

I'd knew that you'd refuse to see me so naturally I had to take that chance.

Tell me who is Alistair Ramson?

What does he to do with your being here?

Perhaps this will explain.

Found the lower half in a room occupied by a boatman named Tanner.

The upper half was in Lady Penrose's safety box.

Alistair Ramson murdered a fellow actor in my wife's company.

He was sentenced to life in imprisonment.

The whole thing was a great shock to her.

So she retired from the stage and you married her shortly after?


Where and when was this murder committed?

In Quebec five years ago.

Ramson was shot three years later trying to escape from Talon Prison.

His body disappeared in the Saint Lawrence.

Was it ever recovered?

I don't believe so.

Penrose, Alistair Ramson and Tanner are one in the same person.


It was he who sent the upper half of that photograph to your wife as a warning.

What could my wife have in common with a murderer?

Yet he killed her.

He killed her?


The monster was none other than Tanner himself.

We found a shirt impregnated with phosphorus in his room.

Tonight when we faced him with the evidence of his crime he bolted and jumped out of the window into the river.

Sergeant Thompson fired a couple of shots at him.

He's dead?

In a way, yes.

I don't understand.

Tanner is dead only because he was discovered and therefore have outlived his usefulness to his creator.

But I'm afraid that Alistair Ramson, the actor, who created and played the part of Tanner, is very much alive.

But surely now that you know who the murderer is the police...

It's not quite as simple as that.

During the time he's lived here Ramson has undoubtedly established another character for himself.

Perhaps several others.

For by now familiar to the people of the town La Morte Rouge and quite above suspicion.

He could be almost anyone in the village.

He may even have been your butler, Drake.

This is fantastic.


If Lady Penrose's death is only the beginning there's no saying where this madman will strike next.

Tell me is there anyone else in La Morte Rouge who may have been connected in anyway with the case of Alistair Ramson?

Judge Brisson was the magistrate who tried and sentenced him.

Operator, operator, give me Judge Brisson's home.

It's urgent.

Judge Brisson this is Sherlock Holmes.

Oh yes Mr. Holmes.

Oh I'm quite all right, thank you.

I've chained up the dog as you asked.

As I asked?

I haven't telephoned you before.

Somebody's obviously imitated my voice in order to gain access to the house.

Oh certainly Mr. Holmes.

I'll lock all the doors and await your arrival.




If I can be of any assistance Mr. Holmes.

Thank you but I'm afraid.

You think Judge Brissons life's in danger?

I only hope I'm in time to prevent a second murder.

That's Mr. Holmes.

Show him in.

Hurry up.

Judge Brisson!

Judge Brisson!





Do you know who it was?

I don't know.

I don't know!


Operator, Monsieur Journet's café.

I want to speak to Sergeant Thompson.

It's urgent.

Sergeant Thompson this is Sherlock Holmes.

I'm at Judge Brisson's.

He's been murdered.

Judge Brisson's been murdered.

Judge Brisson?

The murderer gained access to the house, gagged and bound the housekeeper, then disguised as Nora, murdered Judge Brisson.

I'm returning to the Old Della Port Hotel on the chance that he'll go there to change his clothes and assume another disguise.

Ask Doctor Watson to meet me there as quickly as you can will you?

You'd better come here and once and take charge.


Throw your revolver on the floor in front of you and raise your hands Sherlock Holmes.

I should have thought you would have felt more at home in the spotlight.

I see you've finally identified me.

Your Jack Tanner and Nora the housekeeper were brilliant.

You should really take a bow.

It's too bad you appeared on the scene when you did and I had to bring down the curtain on the monster.

Your recreation of the monster of La Morte Rouge as a means of murder.

Must have given you great satisfaction.

Why did you kill Lady Penrose?

I see know reason why I shouldn't tell you.

I couldn't bear the thought of another man possessing her.

And Judge Brisson?

During the trial I grew to hate him and when he sentenced me to prison I vowed that someday I would escape and kill him.

I see.

Obviously you planned still another murder, otherwise you would have returned to the safety of your first disguise and defied me to find you.

You're right, I am.

There was three people in my life who had no right to live.

Two have already died.

The third remains.

Tonight I shall kill him.

Mr. Holmes I've always had the greatest admiration for your talents.

Thank you.

Your performance in this case has also been brilliant.

So brilliant that I'm afraid I'm going to have to bring down the curtain on it a bit prematurely.

Uh Mr. Ramson?

We are artists in our fashion, not creatures skulking in allies.

If our positions were reversed I shouldn't think of you sending to your death.

Lacking a few stray pieces of the puzzle.

What do you want to know?

The name of the third person.

I have no objection.

If there is a hereafter, which I doubt, you and he will meet very soon Mr. Holmes.

The name of the third person is...

Coming Holmes.

Look out Watson!

All right Watson.

Where is he Holmes?

He's gone.

Thank heavens your safe.

Thank heaven you came when you did.

Here it is Watson.

Look out.

He got away again.

Yes Watson.

Over that warehouse roof most probably.

What a room.


This is obviously the secret room where his disguises were created.

Looks like an actor's dressing room.

He is an actor Watson.

One of the finest acting talents of our time.

Look at this.

Nora the housekeeper.

His name's Alistair Ramson.

Alistair Ramson?

Never heard of him.

Well it's not important.

The important thing is that he murdered Lady Penrose and Judge Brisson.

Great Scott he did!

Yes Watson.

This Ramson is a paranoiac.

His orgy of crime is not complete.

There's still another.

I was just about to learn his name when you so conveniently fell down the stairs.

So sorry oh chap.

Easy you old boy.

You saved my life.

Look at this Watson.



Where do you think he'll strike next?

Obviously Journet is to be his third victim.


Yes Watson.

As in the cases of Lady Penrose and Judge Brisson, Journet also holds his presence but in each case it was vague and unexplainable.

Oh what connection can he have with Judge Brisson and Lady Penrose?

Journet was a guard at Talon Prison where Alistair Ramson was confined.

He's the third person against whom the murderer holds a grievance.

Now he's disappeared.

Journet disappeared?

Oh so Marie told us in the café.

Watson, Journet's disappearance could mean only one thing.

He's in hiding.

Our job is to find him before Ramson does.

Journet's the only man who can lead us to the murderer.

We better have a talk with Marie.

Hello Potts have you seen Marie?


Have you seen her?

Can't say I have.



What is it Holmes?

I'm afraid we're to late.


Don't touch anything Watson.

Murdered in exactly the same way as Judge Brisson and Lady Penrose.

Poor innocent little child.

I should have prevented this.

Nonsense my dear chap.

You did everything possible.

How on Earth could you have prevented it?

The child's death is a tragedy of course.

I see exactly what happened.

She was standing here by the desk and the... the murderer came in by that door.

He came in through that door but Marie was not in the room.

She alone of all people in the café saw Ramson into this office.

He was someone she knew well.

Someone who might have a message from her father so she followed him here.

And when she refused to tell him where her father had gone he killed her.

Ramson already knew that Journet disappeared but did he know where?

When he questioned her she became suspicious and it was then that he killed her.

Telephone Sergeant Thompson will you?

He's at Judge Brisson's, ask him to come here at once and see that no one leaves the café until he gets here.

The murderer may be among them.

What could have happened to Holmes?

He's been away all day.

It's very unfair of him keeping me in suspense like this.

He knows how worried I become.

He continues to do it and do you know why?

He actually enjoys making me miserable.

Half a mo!

No good Watson it won't work.

What won't work?

I've been to every place where Journet could possibly be in hiding.

Oh so that's where you've been all day.

Yes Watson and I must admit that I'm completely baffled.

You got to find Journet before it's too late.

But how?

I've been everywhere within a radius of five miles of this village.

I've even been to the church in the hope that he'd disguise himself and attend mass.

He may have gone to Quebec.

Every road's covered.

He hasn't left this vicinity, of that I'm certain.

All right I'll answer it.



Who was it Holmes?

Watson, get your hat and coat.

Your very rude Holmes.

You leave me all day long with that very dull inspector.

I ask you a perfectly fine question and all you say is "Watson, get your hat and coat."

Were going to find Journet.

Sergeant you wait here till I call.

Watson do this, Watson do that.

Watson get your hat and coat.

Brissons house.

It's my opinion that Judge Brisson's house is the last place that you'll find Journet.

Put yourself in Journet's position Watson.

Where's the most likely place that Ramson would look for you?

Certainly not in the very house in which he's just killed one of his victims.



It's Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson we are here to help you.

I don't like the look of it Holmes.


Holmes, where are you?

Here I am Watson.


What do you want?

We've come to help you.

How did you know I was here?

When you called your hotel just now I answered the telephone.

The chimes of Brisson's clock here merely confirmed what I already knew.

You must return with me to the café at once.

I'm not leaving this house.

The murderer is waiting out there in the marshes to kill me the moment I leave here.

Naturally but first he must have the opportunity.

If you return to the café he'll have that opportunity.

It's the only way we have to apprehend the murderer.

What if I refuse?

Journet what I have to say to you is not going to be easy.




Now you know why you must return.

This fiend must be brought to justice.


This monster kills my poor innocent child and you talk of bringing him to justice?

Will that compensate me for the death of Marie?

If it's the last thing I do I'll kill him with my own hands.

You can't take the law into your own hands.

Once you've returned to the hotel he'll make an attempt on your life and we'll get him.

How will we know who he is?

We already know it's his disguise that we haven't penetrated.

Who is he?

Alistair Ramson.

Recognize the name?

He attempted to escape from Talon Prison when I was a guard there.

Journet, if you don't want to remain in hiding for the rest of your life you must return to the hotel and help me to put an end to this monster for all time.

Come let's go.


Put an end to him, how you going to do that Holmes?

I'll tell you both about it on the way to the hotel.

So you're really leaving Doctor?

Yes Sergeant.

Gentlemen Mr. Sherlock Holmes and I are leaving immediately for London.

It's extremely regrettable the murderer has escaped us.

All our cases cannot be crowned with success.

I'm extremely sorry gentlemen.

Have you no idea where this fiend has gone?

Mr. Holmes is of the opinion that he's escaped across the border to the United States.

It may be years before we can trace him if ever.

Oh Journet, just a minute.

Our bill please.


Yes Mr. Sherlock Holmes and I are leaving immediately.

Oh I'm sorry Doctor Watson I'm just on my way to the church to offer a prayer for Marie.

I'll forward your bill to you.

Yes of course, my dear fellow I understand.

We'll leave our address at the desk.

Goodbye Mr. Potts, it's been a great pleasure knowing a man of your intelligence.

Thank you Doctor Watson.

It has been most stimulating talking to one of your vast experience.

Oh well thank you.

Let's hope that we shall meet again some day and continue our little chats on crime.

It would be most exciting.

Oh by the way, Mr. Holmes would like to see for a minute in his room.

I'll show you where it is.

It's the second room on the right up there.


Emile it's me.


Do you mind if I walk part of the way with you?

It's a bit frightening out here.

It's these marshes.

This is almost the very spot where Lady Penrose was attacked, three deaths in three days.

It's a pity Marie had to be killed.

She was such a sweet child.

Three deaths in three days and still one more to be accounted for.

You are frightened Emile.

It's strange to see you showing fear.

The man I hated at Talon Prison.


Sherlock Holmes!

Yes Mr. Ramson.

So you see the final curtain has not fallen after all.

I thought you were on your way to London.

Naturally that's what I wanted you to think.

That's why Doctor Watson announced our departure in the café.

Journet's leaving was purely bait to bring you into the open.

I merely replaced Journet once he was outside on the street.

May I say monsieur Ramson that your disguise as a postman was a masterpiece of ingenuity?

Your very choice of the role put you above suspicion.

It was quite easy.

I simply disposed of the real Mr. Potts after he had past his civil service examination and had been assigned to La Morte Rouge.

You realize of course that you'll never hand me over to the police alive?

It's not my function to be your executioner.

My duty is to hand you over to the authorities, which I fully intend to do.

You're an optimist Mr. Holmes.

Oh not necessarily.

We're surrounded by police awaiting my signal.

I killed him with this.

Ramson's instrument of death has been his own executioner.

Well gentlemen our search for the monster has ended where it began, on the marshes.

Hey Watson?

Watson where are you?

Why isn't here, he was with us a minute ago.


Here, here I am Holmes.

Where are you?

I've fallen in another hole.

I shall like to see a bit more of Canada before we sail Holmes.

So should I Watson.

Canada, the linchpin of the English speaking world whose relations of friendly intimacy with the United States on the one hand and unswerving fidelity to the British Commonwealth and the Motherland on the other.

Canada, the link that joins together these great branches of the human family.

Churchill say that?

Yes Watson Churchill.