The Winslow Boy (1999) Script

How do you do, sir? Good morning, sir.

Lovely sermon this morning. Good morning.

How are you today?

Come on, Father. Yes. Yes.

He's a good man. Sorry, Arthur?

Good man, good sermon.

Pharaoh's dream, dream of the King of Egypt.

Seven fat years, seven lean years.

Good sermon.

Exceptional sermon. I couldn't hear him.

Can one be good if one's inaudible?

A problem in ethics for you, Father.

Not everything is a problem in ethics.

And the seven fat cows were devoured by the seven lean and hungry cows.

Yes, and don't I feel like those lean and hungry cows.

My point, precisely.

Lunch in about an hour, sir.

Thank you. Yes, sir.

My, it's going to rain.

I could've told you that. I feel it in my leg.

Would you please mind the gramophone?

The center of a well-regulated home.

Mother, I'll be right down.

It helps me concentrate. Dearest.

Concentrate on what, pray?

Oh, Catherine. It's all right, Father, I just...

I just wanted to see about the...

To study, Father. To study.

What'd you say?

I said the gramophone, the music of the gramophone helps me to study, Father.

Study is not what you appeared to be involved in when I came downstairs last night.

Your friend and you...

Edwina, Father. Edwina had just stopped by to...

She just stopped by on the way from Graham's dance to fetch a book and...

And you are involved with her in what, a sort of what?

Reading club? Um...

No, no, Father, I must say that I believe I have a right to a certain measure of autonomy.

I'm sorry, what were we discussing?

Edwina. Ah, Edwina.

What a fast and flighty little...

I'm sorry, Dickie. You're rather keen on her, aren't you?

Well, you would have had ample proof of that fact, Grace, if you'd seen them in the attitude I caught them in last night.

We were practicing the Bunny Hug.

The what, dear? The Bunny Hug.

Oh, is that what you're calling it these days?

It's the new dance.

It's like the Turkey Trot, only more dignified.

Good sermon, miss? Mmm-hmm.

Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dreams.

No more like the Fox Trot, really.

Fox Trot or the Kangaroo Glide.

Well, whichever animal is responsible for the posture that I found you and your friend in last night.

Yes. Yes, yes.

Or to make an end, I doubt...

I doubt the gramophone aids you in what you call your studies.

Ah-ha. Ah-ha.

I see. It all comes clear to me now.

Yes, it's raining. May I see it?

We're talking about a different subject, aren't we, sir?

It's not about the gramophone.

It's about Ronnie.

You know, sir, I wouldn't have thought it of you.

I certainly would not. And at this festive season...

At this festive season, Father, to throw it up to me, to bring that up again...

Nobody's bringing that up. Yes, they are.

Ronnie, Ronnie...

Ronnie got into Osbourne, as I did not. Why?

As he applies himself.

And Ronnie... Ah, Dickie.

Do you have a coin to give the fellow?

No, sir, I have not.

And if I may, I'm going to my room.

Perhaps I might suggest you take that gramophone with you.

May I ask why?

Because it's out of place in a civilized home.

I'll take up the other matter after lunch.

Oh, yes. I know.

Well, I don't think I've ever seen a nicer setting.

Is it his mother's? Yes, it was.

Isn't it lovely?

Pelting down out there.

What, dear?

I said it's raining. What are you reading?

Len Rogers' memoirs.

Who was Len Rogers?

He was a trades union leader.

Was he a radical?

Oh, yes, I'd say so.

Does John know of your political beliefs? Oh, yes.

And he still wants to marry you?

Seems to.

Oh, I've asked John to come early for lunch.

Hmm. What?

He's coming early for lunch.

Oh, good.

You won't let me down and forbid the match or anything, will you?

Because I warn you, if you do, I shall elope.

Never fear, my dear, I'm far too delighted at the prospect of getting you off our hands at last.

Does Desmond know, by the way?

I'm not sure I like that "at last."

Have you told Desmond yet?

Kate, do you love him?

John? Yes, I do.

Do you? You don't behave as if you're in love.

How does one behave as if one is in love?

One doesn't read The Social Evil and the Social Good.

One reads Lord Byron.

Ah, is that so? I see.

You know, I don't think you modern girls have the feelings our generation did.

Very well, Mother. I love John in every way that a woman can love a man.

Does that satisfy you?

My, look at the rain.

Hello. I thought I saw someone in the garden.

Where?

Over there. Do you see?

Well, whoever it is, is getting terribly wet.

Good morning, Violet. Good afternoon, sir.

Was that John? Sounded like it.

Yes, it's John. Quick, into the drawing room.

All right. Good. Here we go.

You've forgotten your bag.

What on earth is going on?

We're leaving you alone with John.

When you finish, cough or something.

What do you mean, "Or something"? Oh, I know.

Knock on the floor three times with your stick and then we'll come in.

You don't think that might look a trifle coincidental?

Mr. Watherstone.

John. How are you?

Hello, sir.

Have you got a coin?

Here.

Thank Mr. Simms for delivering on a Sunday, will you?

Thank you much, sir. Yes.

Glad to see you. Glad you could come.

I see you have your tree. Yes, yes.

Fellow just put it up for us.

How are you, sir? Oh, fine.

This arthritis is troubling me a bit, but...

I'm sorry to hear that, sir. Catherine told me it was better.

Yes. It was better.

Now it's worse.

Well, now, I understand you wish to marry my daughter.

Yes, sir.

That is to say, I proposed to her and she's done me the honor of accepting me.

I see. I trust when you corrected yourself that your second statement wasn't a denial of your first.

I mean, you do really wish to marry her?

Yes, of course, sir.

Why, "Of course"?

There are plenty of people about who don't wish to marry her.

I mean, of course because I proposed to her.

Well, that too doesn't necessarily follow.

However, we don't need to quibble.

We'll take the sentimental side of the project for granted.


As regard to the more practical side, I hope you won't mind if I ask you one or two rather personal questions.

Naturally not, sir. It's your duty.

Quite so.

Now, your income. Are you able to live on it?

No, sir. I'm in the regular army.

Yes, of course.

But my army pay is supplemented by an allowance from my father.

Yes, so I understand.

Now your pay will be, I take it, about £24 a month?

Yes, sir, that's exactly right.

So that your total income with your subaltern's pay and allowances, plus the allowance from your father would be, I take it, about £420 a year.

Again, exactly the figure.

Well, that all seems perfectly satisfactory.

I don't think I need delay my congratulations any longer.

Thank you, sir.

Do you smoke? I do.

Now, I propose to settle on my daughter one-sixth of my total capital.

Which worked out to the final fraction, is exactly £833, six shillings and eight pence.

But let's deal in round figures, shall we, and call it £850.

Well, I call that very generous, sir.

Well, it's not as generous as I would have liked, but if that arrangement seems agreeable, I don't think that we have anything more that we need to discuss.

No, sir. Splendid.

Pretty rotten weather, isn't it, sir?

Yes, vile.

Would you like a cigarette?

Ah, no, thank you, sir. I'm still smoking.

Well? Well, what?

How did your little chat go?

I understood you weren't supposed to know we were having a little chat.

Oh.

You are infuriating. Is everything all right, John?

Oh, I'm so glad. I really am.

Thank you, Mrs. Winslow.

Can I kiss you? Of course.

Well, I'm practically your mother now.

Well, I, by the same token, am practically your father, but if you'll forgive me.

Oh, he's gone and left the garden gate open.

Could someone come and close the garden gate for us?

I don't suppose you two would mind if we left you alone for a few minutes, would you?

Grace, I think we might allow ourselves a little modest celebration at lunch, hmm?

Would you go and get me the key of the cellar? Indeed I will.

Violet, would you have someone see to the gate, please?

Yes, sir.


Was it an ordeal?

Scared to death. My poor darling.

The annoying thing was that I had a whole lot of neatly turned phrases ready for him, but he wouldn't let me use them.

I'm sure they were rather good.

I thought they were.

You want to do your speech for me?

Love to.

What is it?

Ronnie, what is it?

Where did Father go? Is he gone?

I'll go and get him.

Father.

No, don't go and get him. No! Kate, please don't.

No, don't. Please, Kate, don't.

What's the trouble, Ronnie?

You'd better go and change, hadn't you?

No. What's the trouble, darling?

You can tell me.

You know John Watherstone, darling. You met him last holidays.

Don't you remember? I'll disappear.

Now, darling, what is it?

You can tell me. Have you run away?

What is it then?

Oh, God.

I didn't do it. Kate, really, I didn't.

No, darling. This letter is addressed to Father. Did you open it?

Yes. You shouldn't have done that.

I was going to tear it up.

But we could tell Father term had ended two days sooner.

No. I'm back for the Christmas holidays.

No, darling. Kate, I didn't do it.

Really, I didn't.

Ah, Ronnie, old lad, how's everything? Back early, eh?

You take him upstairs. I'll get Mother.

All right.

What's up then, old chap?

Nothing.

Have you been sacked?

Bad luck. What for?

I didn't do it.

Of course you didn't. I know that.

Honestly, I didn't. That's all right, old chap.

I believe you. No need to go on about it.

I say, you're a bit damp, aren't you?

I've been out in the rain.

You're shivering a bit, too.

Oughtn't you to change?

I mean, we don't want you catching pneumonia, do we?

I'm all right.

Mother. There, darling.

There.

All right, now.

I didn't do it, Mother.

No, darling, of course you didn't.

I know you didn't.

Let's get out of these nasty wet things.

Don't tell Father.

No, darling. Not yet. I promise.

A new uniform, too. What a shame.

All right, Ronnie. It's all right.

Bad news?

Expelled?

That's right.

What's he supposed to have done?

He's supposed to have...

Just think what that little creature has been going through these last 10 days.

It does seem pretty heartless, I admit.

You must remember, darling...

You must remember, he's not really at school.

He is in the services.

What difference can that make?

Their ways of doing things may seem to an outsider brutal, but at least they are always fair.

Must have been a full inquiry before they take a step of this sort.

What's more, if there's been a delay of 10 days, it would only have been in order to give the boy a better chance to clear himself.

I'm awfully sorry.

How will your father take it?

Ah, Violet. It might kill him.

Oh, heavens, we've got Desmond to lunch. I'd forgotten.

Desmond?

Desmond Curry, our family solicitor.

Oh, Lord. Darling, be polite to him, won't you?

Am I usually rude to your guests?

No, but he doesn't know about us yet.

Who does?

Yes, but he's been in love with me for years.

It's a family joke.

Mr. Curry.

Hello, Desmond. I don't think you know John Watherstone.

No! But of course I've heard a lot about him.

How do you do? Well, well, well.

I trust I'm not early.

No, no. Punctual, as always.

Capital. Good.

How is your shoulder? I'm so sorry.

No, I'm sorry. Catherine. Please.

No, no. I was only going to ask how your shoulder was.

Ah, not very well, I'm afraid. The damp, you know.

I'm sorry to hear that. Old cricket injury.

Well, it seems I'm to congratulate you both.

Violet told me just now at the door.

Yes, I must congratulate you both.

Thank you. Thank you so much, Desmond.

Of course, it's quite expected, I know. Quite expected.

Still, it was rather a surprise hearing it from Violet that way.

We were going to tell you, Desmond, dear.

It was only official this morning, you know.

In fact, you're the first person to hear it.

Am I? Am I indeed?

Ah, I see you've got your tree.

Hello, Mrs. Winslow.

Hello, Desmond, dear.

I've got him to bed.

Grace, when did we last have the cellars seen to?

Nobody ill, I hope?

They're in shocking condition. Oh, hello, Desmond.

How are you? You're not looking well.

The old cricket thing. Violet.

Is anybody ill? Any relation of D.W.H. Curry?

He used to play for Middlesex.

I am D.W.H. Curry.

Curry of Curry's Match? That's right.

Hat-trick against the Players in, what year was it now?

1895 at Lord's.

You were a hero of mine.

Was I? Was I indeed?

I used to have a signed photograph of you.

Yes, I used to sign a lot once for schoolboys.

Well, I think we might try a little of the Madeira before luncheon.

Ah. We're celebrating...

It's all right, Father. Desmond knows.

Yes, indeed, it's wonderful news, isn't it?

I'll most gladly drink a toast to the...

"Happy pair," I think is the phrase that's eluding you.

As a matter of fact, I was looking for something new to say.

Oh, a forlorn quest, my dear Desmond.

A forlorn quest.

Arthur, really, you mustn't be so rude.

No, no, no, no. I meant, naturally, that nobody, with the possible exception of Voltaire could find anything new to say about an engaged couple.

Hello. Ah, Dickie.

A toast to the happy pair.

Oh, is that all finally spliced up now?

Kate definitely being entered for the marriage stakes.

Good egg.

Quite so. I should have added, "With the possible exception of Voltaire and Dickie Winslow."

Are we allowed to drink to our own healths?

Oh, I think it's permissible. No, it's bad luck.

We defy augury, don't we, Kate?

You mustn't say that, John, dear.

I know. You can drink each other's healths.

That's all right.

So our superstitious terrors are allayed, are they?

Good.

To Catherine and John.

Oh, Violet. We mustn't leave you out.

You must join us in this toast.

Nothing for me, sir.

Your reluctance would be more convincing if I hadn't noticed you brought an extra glass.

Oh, I didn't bring it for myself, sir.

I brought it for Master Ronnie.

You brought another glass for Master Ronnie?

Well, I thought you might allow him just a taste, sir.

Just to drink the toast. He's that grown-up these days.

But Master Ronnie doesn't get back from Osbourne until Tuesday, Violet.

No, sir. He's back already. The girl said.

No, but the Christmas holidays don't start until Tuesday, Violet.

Well, the girl saw him with her own two eyes. Isn't that right, ma'am?

Grace, what does this mean?

All right, Violet, you can go.

Yes, miss.

Catherine, did you know Ronnie was back?

Yes.

Dickie? Yes, Father.

Grace?

We thought you shouldn't know for the time being, Arthur.

Just for the time being.

Is the boy very ill?

Answer me, someone.

Is the boy very ill?

No, Father, he's not ill.

Will someone tell me what has happened, please?

He, um...

He brought this letter for you, Arthur.

Will you read it to me, please?

Arthur, not in front of the...

Will you read it to me, please?

"Sir, I am commanded by my Lords' Commissioners of the Admiralty

"to inform you that they have received a communication

"from the Commanding Officer of the Royal Naval College at Osbourne, "reporting the theft of a five-shilling postal order

"at the college on the seventh instant, "which was afterwards cashed at the Post Office.

"Investigation of the circumstances of the case

"leaves no other conclusion possible

"than that the postal order was cashed by your son, "Cadet Ronald Arthur Winslow.

"My Lords deeply regret that they must therefore request you

"to withdraw your son from the college.

"I am, sir, your obedient servant..."

It's signed by...

I can't read his name.

Desmond, would you be kind enough to have Ronnie come down and see me, please?

Arthur, he's in bed. You told me he wasn't ill.

He's not at all well. Thank you, Desmond.

Of course.

Perhaps the rest of you would go into luncheon.

Grace, would you take them in, please?

Arthur, don't you think...

Dickie, would you decant the claret I brought up from the cellar?

You will find it on the sideboard in the dining room.

Yes, Father. Thank you.

Arthur. Yes, Grace.

Please don't...

Please don't...

What mustn't I do?

Please don't forget he's only a child.

Come on, Mother.

Come on, darling. It's all right.

Come in.

Come in and close the door.

Come over here.

Why aren't you in uniform?

It got wet.

How did it get wet?

I was out in the garden, in the rain.

Why?

I was hiding.

From me?

Do you remember once you promised me that if you got into trouble of any sort, you'd come to me first?

Yes, Father.

Why didn't you come to me now?

Why did you have to go and hide in the garden?

I don't know, Father.

Are you so frightened of me?

It says in this letter that you stole a postal order.

But I...

No.

I don't want you to say a word until you've heard what I have to say first.

If you did it, you must tell me.

I shan't be angry with you, Ronnie, provided you tell me the truth.

But if you tell me a lie, I shall know it.

Because a lie between you and me cannot be hidden.

I shall know it, Ronnie.

So remember that before you speak.

Hmm?

Did you steal this postal order?

No, Father, I didn't.

Did you steal this postal order?

No, Father, I didn't.

Go on back to bed.


"The efforts of Mr. Arthur Winslow

"to secure a fair trial for his son, "having been thwarted at every turn by a soulless oligarchy..."

Soulless oligarchy, that's rather good.

"It is high time private and peaceful citizens of this country

"woke to the increasing encroachment of their ancient freedoms."

Tell me a piece of news.

I'll tell you a piece of news.

Saw a chap on the train today, had on brown boots.

Brown boots, I ask you.

Did he have on a brown suit? That doesn't excuse it.

Oh, can you get this out this afternoon?

I have to go to the law library.

Polly, do you think you can get this out this afternoon?

Fighting on many fronts, is that it, Cath?

Yes, that's right, darling.

Cannon to the right of you, and so on? Mmm.

They paying you here yet?

No, I just do it for the sport of the thing.

The other's from Perplexed.

"What with the present troubles in the Balkans and the further inquiry

"at which the Judge Advocate of the Fleet confirmed the findings

"that the boy was guilty, da, da, da, "this correspondence now must cease."

Well, in any case, it'll blow over before the wedding.

Postponed again?

His father's out of the country.

Nothing wrong? I mean, I'm not gonna have to quirt him with my riding crop, am I?

This correspondence now must cease.

Well, I'm late for a meeting with the guv.

Dickie, what do you suppose one of your bookmaker friends would lay in the way of odds against your getting a degree?

Oh, well, let's think. Say about evens?

Hmm.

I doubt whether at that price your friend would find many takers.

Well, perhaps seven-to-four against.

I see. And the odds against you eventually becoming a civil servant?

Well, a bit steeper, I suppose.

Exactly. Quite a bit steeper.

You don't want to have a bet, do you?

No, Dickie, I'm not a gambler.

And that is exactly the trouble.

Unhappily, I'm no longer in a position to gamble £200 a year on what you yourself admit is an outside chance.

It's the case, I suppose. Mmm-hmm.

You want me to leave Oxford, is that it?

I'm afraid so.

Oh, straightaway?

No, no. You can finish your year. And then what?

I could get you a job here at the bank.

Oh, Lord.

Oh, it'd be quite a good job.

Happily, my influence here still counts for something.

Father, if I promised you, I mean, really promised you.

I'm afraid my mind is finally made up.

Oh, Lord.

This is rather a shock for you, isn't it?

What? No, no. It isn't, really.

I've been rather expecting it, as a matter of fact.

Things... Things are tight.

Yes, things are tight.

And you're still hoping... Still hoping to brief Sir Robert Morton?

Yes, we're hoping.

That'd take a bit of tin.

Yes, it will. Uh-huh.

Still, I can't say but that it isn't a bit of a slap in the face.

Well, I must thank you, Dickie, for bearing what must have been a very unpleasant blow with some fortitude.

Oh, nonsense, Father.


Miss Barnes from The Beacon to see Mr. Arthur Winslow. I have an appointment.

What a lovely home you have.

Yes, yes, it's showing its age a bit, but...

Mmm-hmm.

My paper usually sends me out on stories which have a special interest to women.

Stories with a little heart, you know, like this one.

A father's fight for his little boy's honor.

Well, I venture to think the case has rather wider implications than that.

Oh, yes, of course.

Now what I'd really like to do is to get a nice picture of you and your little boy together.

Oh, well, my son is arriving from school in a few minutes.

His mother's gone down to the station to meet him.

From school? How interesting.

So you got a school to take him then?

I mean, they didn't mind the unpleasantness?

No. Not at all, not at all.

No question of that. Mmm-hmm.

I find it's extraordinary how fair-minded people are.

Yes, indeed.

And why is he coming back this time?

Well, he's not being expelled again, if that was your implication.

No.

Well, he is, in fact doing quite well at school.

Oh, good.

Extraordinarily well, when you consider the circumstances.

And why is he coming back to London?

He's coming to London to be examined by Sir Robert Morton, whom we're hoping to brief.

Oh, Sir Robert Morton?

Do you really think he'll take a little case like this?

Oh, this is not a little case, madam.

Oh, of course not.

Of course not.

Of course it's not a little case. Nothing of the sort.

Well, now, perhaps you wouldn't mind giving me a few details.

When did it all start?

Four months ago.

Mmm-hmm.

The first I knew of the charge was when my son arrived home with a letter from the Admiralty informing me of his expulsion.

I telephoned Osbourne to protest and I was referred by them to the Lords of the Admiralty.

My solicitors then took the matter up.

We applied to the Admiralty for a court-martial.

They ignored us.

We applied for a civil trial. They ignored us again.

And after tremendous pressure had been brought to bear, letters to the papers, questions in the House and other means available to private citizens of this country, the Admiralty eventually agreed to what they called an independent inquiry.

Oh, good. It was not good, madam.

At that independent inquiry conducted by the Judge Advocate of the Fleet, against whom I'm saying nothing, mind you, my son, a child of 14, was not represented by counsel, solicitors or friends.

And what happened at that inquiry?

What do you think happened?

Inevitably, he was found guilty again and branded for the second time before the world as a thief and a forger.

What a shame.

I need hardly tell you, madam, I am not prepared to let the matter rest there.

I intend to fight this monstrous injustice with every weapon and every power at my disposal.

Mmm. And I have a plan.

I've approached Sir Robert...

Well, I might say I have petitioned Sir Robert Morton...

Oh, what charming curtains. What are they made of?

Madam, I fear I have no idea.

Ah.

Hello. Is Violet back?

Is that the poor little chap himself?

Hello, Ronnie. Hello, Father.

I say, Mr. Moore says I needn't come back until Monday, if you like.

So that gives me three whole days.

How are you, my boy?

Oh, I'm absolutely tophole, Father.

Mother says I've grown an inch.

That's the lad. That's the lad.

That's the lad we need to get a picture of.

You said you wanted to take it outside.

Yes, take it outside.

Yeah, I only mention it as the light's going.

Yes. Might we go to the park?

Do you know, I was thinking, might we go to the park, do you think?

You could wear your uniform.

Well, I don't think that would be a good idea.

Well, something to stress his youth and his...

Do you have any cricket clothes?

Grace, this lady's from The Beacon.

She's extremely interested in your curtains.

Oh, really? How nice.

Yes, indeed. I was wondering what they were made of.

Eh, which? In the drawing room.

Well, they're an entirely new material, you know.

I'm afraid I don't know what it's called.

I got it in Barkers last year.

Apparently it's a mixture of silk and velvet.

We're losing the light, miss.

Mr. Winslow, if we could, do you see, put him in cricket costume?

Do you see?

Something which would say both youth and England.

Oh, very well. I'm gonna set up.

Yes, you set up. Goodbye, Mr. Winslow.

Very best of good fortune in your inspiring fight.

It's very good of you to talk to me.

I'm sure our readers would be most interested.

I've found the name of the material.

Excellent. Excellent. Marvelous.

That's very kind of you. Not at all.

Ronnie, we'll meet you in the park.

What's she talking about?

The case, I imagine.

Oh, the case.

Father, did you know the train had 14 coaches?

Had it really?

Yes. All corridor. Remarkable.

I've had your half-term report, Ronnie.

Oh, yes?

On the whole, it was pretty fair.

Oh, good.

I'm glad you seem to be settling down so well.

Yes, thank you, Father.

Father, do you know how long the train took? No.

A hundred and twenty-three miles in two hours and fifty-two minutes.

That's an average of 46.73 miles an hour.

I worked it out. Well, you worked it out well.

Now, hadn't you better go and change for the photographer?

Oh, yes. Violet! Violet's out.

Oh, will you tell her I'm back?

Yes, I will. Now you need to go and change.

I found a new citation in the law library.

Ronnie's back. What?

I said, Ronnie's back.

Mmm.

New frock?

Bless you, I've turned the cuffs.

Turned the cuffs. What?

No, I said... I said I like the frock.

Like it, eh? Yes, I do.

I hope John likes it.

What are you reading?

Admiralty law.

New citation, "Cadet's right to a first hearing."

Did John telephone?

Things are all right between you two, aren't they?

Oh, yes, Father, of course. Everything's perfect.

Good, good.

Couldn't be better.

Good.

Kate, are we both mad, you and I?

Tell me.

Should we drop the whole thing?

I don't consider that a serious question.

You realize your marriage settlement will have to go, don't you?

Oh, yes. Of course, Father. I gave that up for lost weeks ago.

It won't make any difference, will it? To you and John?

Good heavens, no.

All right.

Let us pin our faith on the appearance of a champion.

You know what I think of Sir Robert Morton, Father.

Don't let's go into that again now.

I want the best.

The best in this case is not Morton.

Then why does everyone say he is?

Why does everyone vote for slavery?

He's the best if one happens to be a large monopoly attacking a trade union.

Then he is your lad.

Yes, indeed he is.

Did Mr. Watherstone telephone, Violet?

I'm sorry, miss. I just stepped out.

To the best of my knowledge, no one's telephoned.

Thank you.

Hello, Violet. Good afternoon, sir.

Well, I imagine if his heart isn't in it, he won't accept the brief.

He might still. It depends what there is in it for him.

Luckily, there isn't much.

Well, there's a fairly substantial check.

He doesn't want money. He must be a very rich man.

What does he want then?

That which advances his interests.

Well, I believe you're prejudiced because he spoke against women's suffrage.

Is that a prejudice or a position?

Winslow residence.

You tell me.

It's a position. Yes, sir.

He's always speaking against what is right.

Mr. Curry, miss.

Mr. Curry.

Hello. Hello, Desmond.

Yes.

What? We... What?

Violet, did we receive a letter from Mr. Curry?

Yes, I just... Now? Yes, right. Thank you. Yes.

What is it, my dear?

Violet, hail us a cab.

Where's Ronnie?

He's in the park.

We'll have to go without him.

Desmond got us an appointment with Sir Robert.

When?

Half an hour ago.


Ah.

We only have just a very few moments.

I'm so sorry. We didn't get your note.

He has an important...

A most important dinner engagement, sir.

Where is the boy?

He'll be along with my wife in a few moments.

I'm afraid he can only spare us a very few moments of his time.

I assure you we're conscious of it.

Catherine, you'd better go on ahead.

Explain why we're late. Make our apologies. Go now.

Catherine!

It's straight on through that doorway, up the stairs and to your left.

Thank you.

Excuse me, please.

Miss Catherine Winslow. The Winslow case.

We understood that...

They're coming.

"They're coming"?

We didn't hear of the appointment until...

Miss Catherine Winslow.

I beg your pardon.

I suppose you know the history of this case, do you, Sir Robert?

I believe I've seen most of the relevant documents.

Yes. Yes, excellent.

Do you think we can bring the case into court by a collusive action?

I really have no idea.

Curry and Curry seem to think that might hold.

Do they? They are a very reliable firm.

Robert Morton.

Catherine Winslow.

Mr. Michaels, if I could have your attention on that other matter.

Yes, sir.

There...

I hope you don't mind if I...

What could be more absurd than your asking me permission to smoke in your establishment?

Well, it is the custom. I indulge, myself.

Yes, sir. Indeed?

Some people find that shocking.

Amazing how little it takes to offend the world's sensibilities.

No, thank you.

My father and brother will be here in a moment.

What time are you dining?

8:00.

Far from here?

Devonshire House.

Oh. Well, then, of course, you mustn't on any account be late.

No.

I'm rather surprised that a case of this sort should interest you, Sir Robert.

Are you?

It seems such a very trivial affair compared to most of your great forensic triumphs.

I was in court during your prosecution of Len Rogers in the Trades Union Embezzlement case.

Really?

Magnificently done.

Thank you.

I suppose you heard that he committed suicide a few months ago?

Yes, I had heard.

Many people believed him innocent, you know.

So I understand.

As it happens, however, he was guilty.

Ah, Sir Robert.

Sir Robert, Sir Robert. Sir Robert, I'm sorry.

I am so sorry to keep you waiting.

Arthur Winslow.

I'm so sorry. We didn't get your note.

That's perfectly all right.

Sir Robert is dining at Devonshire House.

Yes, yes, yes, I see. I know that you're pressed for time, sir.

My son will be along at any moment.

I assume that you want to examine him.

Just a few questions.

I fear that is all I will have time for this evening.

I'm sorry to hear it.

My son has made the journey from school especially in the hope of being interviewed.

And I had hoped that, by the end of it, I should know definitely yes or no whether you would accept the brief.

You, of course, understand my anxiety.

Well, perhaps Sir Robert would consent to finish his examination some other time.

It might be arranged.

Tomorrow?

Tomorrow is impossible. I'm in court all the morning and in the House of Commons for the rest of the day.

I see.

Curry tells me you think it might be possible to proceed by Petition of Right.

Would you mind if I sat down, sir?

Please, just...

What is a Petition of Right?

Well, granting the assumption that the Admiralty, as the Crown, can do no wrong...

I thought that was exactly the assumption we refused to grant.

In law, I mean. Now, a subject can sue the Crown nevertheless, by Petition of Right.

Petition of Right, yes?

Redress being granted as a matter of grace.

And the custom is for the Attorney General, on behalf of the Crown, to endorse the petition and allow the case to come to court.

It is interesting to note that the exact words he uses on such occasions are, "Let right be done."

"Let right be done." I like that phrase, sir.

It has a certain ring about it, has it not?

"Let right be done."

This way, please.

Oh, Grace. This is Sir Robert.

That's my wife. And this is Ronnie.

Ronnie, Sir Robert is going to ask you a few questions, which you must answer truthfully, as you always have done.

I expect you'd like us to leave.

No, no. Provided, of course, you don't interrupt.

Would you sit down, please?

Hello, Mother.

Hello.

Sorry we're so late.

That's all right. Nothing's happened at all.

Will you stand here facing me?

That's right.

Now, Ronald, how old are you?

Fourteen and two months.

You were then, 13 and 10 months old when you left Osbourne, is that right?

Yes, sir.

Now, I would like to cast your mind back to December the seventh, of last year.

Would you tell me, in your own words, exactly what happened to you on that day.

It was half-holiday, so we didn't have any work after dinner.

Dinner at 1:00?

Yes, at least until prep at 7:00.

Prep at 7:00, mmm-hmm.

Well, then, just before dinner I went along to the Chief Petty Officer and asked him to let me have fifteen and six out of what I had in the school bank.

Why did you do that?

I wanted to buy an air pistol.

Which cost fifteen and six?

Yes, sir.

And how much money did you have in the school bank at the time?

Two pounds, three shillings.

So you see, what incentive could he possibly have...

I must ask you to be good enough not to interrupt me, sir.

After you had withdrawn the fifteen and six, what did you do?

I had dinner.

Then what?

Then I went to the locker room and put my fifteen and six away in my locker.

Then I went to go and get permission to go to the post office.

Yes?

Then I went back to the locker room, again got out my money and went down to the post office.

Yes, go on.

Then I bought my postal order.

For fifteen and six?

Yes, sir.

Then I went back to college.

Then I met Elliot minor.

And he said, "I say, isn't it rot?

"Someone's broken into my locker and pinched a postal order.

"I've reported it to the PO."

And those were Elliot minor's exact words?

He might have used another word for rot.

I see. Continue.

Well, then, just before prep, I was told to go along and see Commander Flower.

The woman from the post office was there.

And the Commander said, "Is this the boy?"

And she said, "It might be. I can't be sure.

"They all look so much alike."

You see, she couldn't identify him.

Go on.

Then she said, "I only know that the boy who bought a postal order

"for fifteen and six

"was the same boy who cashed one for five shillings."

So the Commander said, "Did you buy a postal order for fifteen and six?"

And I said, "Yes."

And then he made me write Elliot's name on an envelope and compared it to the signature on the postal order.

Then they sent me to the sanatorium and 10 days later I was sacked.

I mean, expelled.

I see.

Did you cash a postal order belonging Elliot minor for five shillings?

No, sir.

Did you break into his locker and steal it?

No, sir.

And that is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Yes, sir.

Right.

The files, please.

This has just come down from Ridgeley-Pearce.

Thank you.

When the Commander asked you to write Elliot's name on an envelope, how did you write it? With Christian name or initials?

I wrote, "Charles K. Elliot."

Charles K. Elliot.

And did you by any chance happen to see the forged postal order in the Commander's office?

Yes, sir. The Commander showed it to me.

Before or after you had written Elliot's name on the envelope?

After. After.

And did you happen to see how Elliot's name was written on the postal order?

Yes, sir, the same.

The same.

"Charles K. Elliot."

Yes.

When you wrote on the envelope, what made you choose that particular form?

Well, that was the way he usually signed his name.

How did you know?

Well, he was a great friend of mine.

That is no answer. How did you know?

I'd seen him sign things. What things?

Oh, ordinary things.

I repeat. What things?

Bits of paper.

Bits of paper. Why did he sign his name on bits of paper?

He was practicing his signature.

And you saw him? Yes.

Did he know you saw him?

Well, yes.

In other words, he showed you exactly how he wrote his signature?

Yes, I suppose he did.

Did you practice writing it yourself?

I might have done.

What do you mean, you might have done? Did you or did you not?

Yes.

Ronnie. You never told me that.

It was only for a joke.

Never mind if it was for a joke or not.

The fact is, you practiced forging Elliot's signature.

It wasn't forging.

What do you call it then? Writing.

Whoever stole the postal order and cashed it also wrote Elliot's signature, didn't he?

Yes.

And oddly enough, in the exact form in which you had earlier been practicing writing his signature.

I say, which side are you on?

Yes. All right.

Are you aware...

Are you aware that the Admiralty sent up the forged postal order to Mr. Ridgeley-Pearce, the greatest handwriting expert in England?

Yes.

You are aware of that?

And you know that Mr. Ridgeley-Pearce affirmed that there was no doubt that the signature on the postal order and the signature which you wrote on the envelope were by one and the same hand?

Yes.

And you still say you didn't forge that signature?

Yes, I do.

In other words, Mr. Ridgeley-Pearce doesn't know his job?

Well, he's wrong, anyway.

Is he indeed?

Are you aware that the government is in possession of 17 separate examples of your handwriting and that a board of government experts has identified them as identical with the signature of Charles K. Elliot?

When you went into the locker room after dinner, were you alone?

I don't remember.

I think you do. Were you alone in the locker room?

Yes.

And you knew which was Elliot's locker?

Yes, of course.

Why did you go in there at all?

I've told you. To put my fifteen and six away.

Why? I thought it would be safer.

Why safer than your pocket?

I don't know.

What time did Elliot put his postal order in his locker?

I don't know. I didn't even know he had a postal order at all.

What time did you go to the locker room?

I don't remember. Was it directly after dinner?

Yes, I think so.

What did you do after leaving the locker room?

I've told you. I went to get permission to go down to the post office.

What time was that?

About a quarter past two.

But dinner is over at a quarter to two which means you were in the locker room for half an hour.

I wasn't in there all that time.

How long were you there?

About five minutes.

What were you doing for the other 25?

I don't remember. Perhaps I waited outside the CO's office.

And no one saw you there either?

I remember. I remember someone did see me outside the CO's office.

A chap called Casey. I spoke to him.

What did you say?

I said, "Come down to the post office with me.

"I'm going to cash a postal order."

Cash a postal order?

I mean, get.

You said cash. Why did you say cash if you meant get?

I don't know.

I suggest cash was the truth.

No, no, it wasn't really. You're muddling me.

You seem easily muddled. How many other lies have you told?

None. Really, I haven't.

I suggest your whole testimony is a lie.

No, it's the truth!

I suggest there is barely one single word of truth in anything you said either to me or to the Judge Advocate or to the Commander.

I suggest that you broke into Elliot's locker.

That you stole the postal order for five shillings belonging to Elliot.

That you cashed it by means of forging his name.

I didn't. I didn't.

I suggest that you did it for a joke, meaning to give Elliot the five shillings back but then when you met him and he said he'd reported the matter, you got frightened and decided to keep quiet.

No! No! It isn't true! It isn't true!

None of it's true!

I suggest that by continuing to deny your guilt you are causing great hardship to your family and considerable annoyance to high and important persons in this country.

That's a disgraceful thing to say.

I suggest that the time has at last come for you to undo some of the misery you have caused by confessing to us all now that you're a forger, a liar and a thief!

How dare you!

I'm not. I'm not. I didn't do it!

This is outrageous, sir.

I didn't do any of it.

It's all right, love.

It's all right. It's all right.

Curry, can I drop you anywhere?

No, I...

Send all of his files here by tomorrow morning.

But will you need them now?

Oh, yes. The boy is plainly innocent.

I accept the brief.


If we may...

Get this to the First Lord, will you?

Yes, sir.

The chief point of criticism against the Admiralty appears to center in the purely legal question of the Petition of Right brought by a member.

Hear, hear.

A citizen seeking redress of the Petition of Right and the demurrer thereto.

Nonsense!

This member has made great play of this boy with his eloquence and address.

Yes.

Quite right.

And I was moved as any honorable member opposite by his resonant use of the words, "Let right be done," the time-honored phrase with which, in his opinion, the Attorney General should, without question, have supported Mr. Winslow's Petition of Right.

Now, it is not unpleasant to beguile...

All right, all right. Let's break it down into its essentials.

Do we have enough votes to put the question?

How important is it to you, Bobby?

How important is it?

Ah, well, it's only important to win.

Shouldn't you be in that House?

It's like he's repeating himself forever.

Give me a piece of paper.

Am I missing something here?

The thing is the votes.

Well, yes, well.

What do you say to that, Tony? Do we have the votes?

Say? Do we have the votes?

Well, I'd say, do we have the money?

The answer's perhaps.

The point is, do you really want to spend it on this?

Pardon me. Let me just have a quick look, miss.

Can you bring it to a vote?

Can you bring it to a vote, Tony?

Perhaps I can. End of the day, it's a 12-year-old boy.


Excuse me, sir.

You're sure you want to fight it, Bob?

I wouldn't ask you if I weren't.

I'm saying, before we start calling in markers.

All Dick's saying is, choose your ground, Bob.

I hear you. Because there's no honorable retreat.

If you pick this up, you're gonna have to carry it.

Because it's your best interest, Bobby. That's the thing.

I understand.

The battles have raged since the days of Greece and our poor efforts here today will not arrest it.

What can we profit for this age-old and, if I may, ceremonial contest?

Not so, not so.

Yes, that I made clear. And I find, looking around, that in this chamber, our friends... Utter nonsense.

...in the loyal opposition...

Excuse me. Excuse me.

...for make no mistake.

But though the loser in this...

What did I miss?

You didn't miss anything.

The winner can never, never...

What's going on?

He was just saying how all the great crimes are committed in the name of public tranquility.

And we respond, yes, when the State gains, when the State gains and only then.


Close the book now.

Is everything all right?

Everything's fine.

Go to sleep now.

Good night, Mother.

Good night.

Good night, Ronnie. Sleep well.

Good night.

I fancy this might be a good opportunity of talking to Violet.

I'll do it one day, Arthur. Tomorrow, perhaps. Not now.

I think you'd do better to grasp the nettle.

Delay only adds to your worries.

My worries? What do you know about my worries?

A good deal, Grace.

But I think they would be a lot lessened if you faced the situation squarely.

It won't be easy for her to find another place.

The facts at this moment are that we have half of the income we had a year ago and we're living at nearly the same rate.

Whichever way you look at it, it's bad economics.

I'm not talking about economics, Arthur. I'm talking about our life.

Things we took for granted a year ago now, which don't seem to matter anymore.

Such as?

Such as a happy home and anonymity and an ordinary, respectable life.

There's your return for it, I suppose.

I only pray to God you know what you're doing.

I know exactly what I am doing, Grace.

Do you, Arthur?

He's perfectly happy.

He's at a good school. He's doing very well.

No one need ever have known about Osbourne if you hadn't shouted it out to the whole world.

As it is, whatever happens now, he'll be known as the boy who stole that postal order.

He didn't steal it, Grace.

You talk about sacrificing everything for him.

When he's grown up, he won't thank you for it, Arthur.

Even though you've given your life to publish his innocence, as you call it.

Yes, Arthur. Your life.

You talk gaily about arthritis and a touch of gout.

You know better than any of the doctors what's the matter with you.

You're destroying yourself, Arthur, and me, and your family besides.

For what, I'd like to know? For what?

For justice, Grace.

Are you sure that's true?

Are you sure it isn't pride and self-importance?

No, I don't think so. I really don't think so.

No, I'm not going to cry and say I'm sorry and make things up again.

I can stand anything if there is a reason for it.

But for no reason at all, it's unfair to ask so much of me.

It's unfair!

What's the matter, Father?

Your mother's a little upset, that's all.

Why? Aren't things going very well?

Yes. Everything's going very well.

You go on back to bed. Go to sleep. Good night.

Thank you very much. Here you are.

Off you go.


Thank you, Violet.

How long have you been with us, Violet?

Twenty-four years come April, sir.

Is it as long as that? Yes, sir.

Miss Kate was that high when I first come in.

Mr. Dickie hadn't even been thought of.

What do you think of this case, Violet?

Fine old rumpus that is, sir, and no mistake.

Yes, it is indeed a fine old rumpus.

There was a bit in the Evening News. Did you read it, sir?

No, I didn't. What did it say?

Oh, how it was a fuss about nothing, shocking waste of the government's time.

But how it was a good thing all the same, because it could only happen in England.

There seems a strange lack of logic in that argument.

Well, perhaps they put it a bit different, sir.

Still, that's what it said, all right.

When you think it's all because of our Master Ronnie, I have to laugh about it sometimes.

Really, I do.

Wasting the government's time at his age. I never did.

Wonders will never cease.

No, wonders will never cease.

Well, will that be all, sir?

Yes, Violet, that'll be all.

Good evening, Violet. Good evening, miss.

Catherine. Hello, Father.

Hello.

How are you?

Slinking down alleyways.

Are they still camping out in the street, then?

Oh, yes.

So how'd you get on this evening?

Are those for me? Yes.

Thank you.

Well, what happened? Is the debate over?

As good as.

The First Lord gave an assurance that in the future there would be no inquiry at Osbourne or Dartmouth without informing the parents first.

That seemed to satisfy most members.

Well, what about our case? Is he going to allow us a fair trial?

Apparently not.

But that's iniquitous. I thought he'd be forced to.

I thought so too. The House, evidently, thought otherwise.

So we're back to where we started.

I'm sorry, Father?

I said, so we're back where we started, then?

Is that it, you mean?

Yes, it looks like it.

But didn't Sir Robert protest when the First Lord refused a trial?

Oh, something far more spectacular.

He'd had his feet on the Treasury table and his hat over his eyes during most of the First Lord's speech.

And he suddenly got up, glared at the First Lord, threw a bundle of notes on the floor and stalked out of the House.

Magnificent effect.

Or perhaps a display of feeling?

Sir Robert, Father dear, is not a man of feeling.

I doubt any emotion at all can stir in that dead heart.

Well, he took the brief.

And what have we done for him? First-rate publicity.

The staunch defender of the little man.

Lucky for him.

Mmm, and lucky for us, too.

No, don't fool yourself.

He's an avaricious, a conniving and unfeeling man.

We've bought his services, for the moment.

We've bought him like a cheap thrupenny whore.

Sir Robert Morton.

Good evening.

Sir Robert! Good evening.

Something gone down the wrong way?

Yes.

May I assist?

Most kind.

Good evening, sir. Sir Robert.

I thought I would call and give you an account of the day's proceedings, but perhaps your daughter has forestalled me.

Sir Robert, would you forgive me for a moment?

Catherine, I wonder if you would be kind enough to entertain Sir Robert in my absence.

Did you know I was in the gallery?

How could I have missed you with such a charming brown hat?

Oh, thank you.

Will you betray a technical secret, Sir Robert?

What happened during the first examination to make you so sure of his innocence?

Three things.

First of all, he made far too many damaging admissions.

A guilty person would have been much more careful and on his guard.

Secondly I laid him a trap, and thirdly, left him a loophole.

Anyone who was guilty would have fallen into the one and darted through the other.

He did neither.

The trap was to ask him suddenly what time Elliot put the postal order in his locker, wasn't it?

Yes.

And the loophole?

I then suggested to him that he'd stolen the postal order for a joke, which had he been guilty, I'm quite sure he would have admitted to as being the lesser of two evils.

I see. It was very cleverly thought out.

Thank you.

And what of the 25 minutes?

Twenty-five minutes?

Ronnie went back to the locker room and there were 25 minutes there, which he could not account for.

What was he doing?

Hmm.

But I thought you should know.

Why on earth, me?

It is a crime you indulge in.

What can you mean?

He was smoking a cigarette.

Sir Robert! May we offer you some refreshment?

Whiskey and soda, perhaps?

A whiskey, thank you.

My daughter told me of your demonstration during the First Lord's speech.

She described it as magnificent.

Did she? That was good of her.

It's a very old trick, you know.

I've done it many times in the courts. It's nearly always surprisingly effective.

Was the First Lord at all put out by it? Did you notice?

How could he have failed to be?

I wish you could have seen it, Father. It was...

I beg your pardon, sir, I clean forgot to give you this letter.

Thank you, Violet.

When did this come?

A few minutes ago, miss.

Thank you.

You know the writing?

I shouldn't bother to read it if I were you.

Would you forgive me, Sir Robert?

Of course.

Well, and what do you think the next step should be?

In the abstract or the particular?

The particular, please.

I believe that perhaps the best plan would be to renew our efforts to force the Director of Public Prosecutions to act.

Don't you think that would be rather unorthodox?

Well, I certainly hope so.

Do you think we have a chance of success?

Of course, or I would not suggest it.

Father, Sir Robert thinks we might get the Director of Public Prosecutions to act.

What?

What did you say?

We were discussing how to proceed with the case.

I'm afraid I don't think, all things considered, that much purpose would be served by going on.

No, I don't think any purpose would be served by going on.

That's absurd.

Of course we must go on. How could you say otherwise?

I've made sacrifices for this case.

Some of them I had no right to make, but I made them nonetheless.

But there is a limit.

And I've reached it.

I'm sorry, Sir Robert.

The Winslow case is now closed.

Perhaps I should explain this letter.

There is no need.

This letter is from a certain Colonel Watherstone, who is the father of the man I'm engaged to.

He writes that our efforts to discredit the Admiralty in the House of Commons today have resulted merely in our making the name of Winslow a nationwide laughingstock.

I don't care for his English.

It's not very good, is it?

He goes on to say that unless my father will give him a firm undertaking to drop this whining and reckless agitation, I suppose he means the case, he will exert every bit of influence he has over his son to prevent him marrying me.

I see.

May I take a cigarette?

Yes, of course.

It's a vile habit, isn't it?

Which of us is perfect?

That really was a most charming hat, Miss Winslow.

I'm glad you liked it.

It seems decidedly wrong to me that a lady of your political persuasion should be allowed to adorn herself with such a very feminine allurement.

It really looks so awfully like trying to have the best of both worlds.

Does it indeed?

It does.

And is that a particularly female trait?

I'm not a militant, you know, Sir Robert.

I don't go about shattering glass or pouring acid down pillar-boxes.

I'm very glad to hear it.

Both those activities would be highly unsuitable in that hat.

I have never yet fully grasped what active steps you take to propagate your cause, Miss Winslow.

I'm an organizing secretary at the West London branch of the Women's Suffrage Association.

Indeed?

Is the work hard?

Very.

But not, I should imagine, particularly lucrative.

The work is voluntary and unpaid.

Dear me.

What sacrifices you young ladies seem prepared to make for your convictions.

Forgive me, sir, if I spoke out of turn just now.

Oh, that's quite all right.

Of course, you must act as you think fit.

But might I suggest that you delay your decision until you've thought a little while.

I'll give you my answer presently.


Well, my father wrote your father a letter.

Yes. You read it?

Yes, did you?

He showed it to me. Yes. What's his answer?

My father? Yes.

I don't suppose he'll send one.

He'll ignore it?

Isn't that the best response to blackmail?

Yes.

It was rather highhanded of the old man.

Highhanded?

The trouble is, he's serious.

I never thought he wasn't.

He's as serious as can be.

If your father carries on with the case, he'll do everything he threatened.

Your father will forbid the match?

That's right.

An empty threat then, isn't it?

Well, there's always the allowance.

Yes, I see. There's always the allowance.

And without the settlement, you know I can't live on my pay. And with two of us...

I've heard it said that two can live as cheaply as one.

Don't you believe it.

Yes, I see.

You're off to the House of Commons again?

Oh, yes, it's hard on you, John, isn't it?

A fellow thought I'd like to see this.

He cut it out to show me.

Here's poor old John Bull and he can't get his work done because of the Winslow situation.

What do you think about that?

Do you want to marry me, John?

Yes. Yes, I do.

But isn't it already too late?

Even if we throw out the case, would you still want to marry the Winslow girl?

All that will blow over in time.

And we'd still have the allowance.

It is important, darling. You can't shame me into saying that it isn't.

I didn't mean to shame you.

Oh, but you did.

I'm sorry.

The case is lost, Catherine.

The case is lost. Give it up.

What's your answer?

I love you, John. The answer is I want to be your wife.

Well, then, you'll drop the case?

Yes, I will.

I must tell Sir Robert.

...histrionic hyperbole. Hear, hear.

It was the Right Honorable and learned gentleman opposite to calumny the Admiralty, for a child, gentlemen. For a child.

A guilty child.

Or can we not, I do beseech you, make an end?

One cannot sue the Crown!

Justice has been done to the tenth decimal point.

And it is time to lay aside nursery gossip and to proceed with the business of government. The business of government...

You're all in, Bobby.

Hmm?

I say, you're all in. Go home.

We're finished, Bob.

You've fought the good fight.

You've fought the good fight, but we ain't got the votes. It's over.

Well, we did what we could.

Thanks for your support.

Don't break your heart over it.

Everybody loses one. There's no shame in it. Sorry, Bobby.

Listen to Tony, Bob.

You can't hold back the tide.

You couldn't have fought harder.

The House is against you. Let's let it go.

And I believe I can state with certainty that the mood of this House is sure, correct and supportive of the Admiralty on behalf of which, and on behalf of those it is sworn to guard.

I thank you for your patience.

And I thank you for your time.

What's this?

Mr. Speaker. Put the question.

Hear, hear. Put the question. They're calling the question.

Let them call the question. We're done.

There's no shame in it, Bob.

The motion is... Here you are.

Point of order, Mr. Speaker. Point of order.

I am on my feet. Does this escape you?

Point of order, I say.

I am on my feet. The man's on his feet.

Gentlemen! There is a motion on the floor.

Point of order. I must insist! What?

Upon what grounds?

Well, sit down and I'll tell you.

That's right, sit down!

Very well, make your old speech.

Thank you.

I have a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

I should like to read into the record two items. Two items.

First item, popular song of the day.

How Still We See Thee Lie or The Naughty Cadet.

"How dare you sully Nelson's name who for this land did die?

"Oh, naughty cadet, for shame, for shame.

"How still we see thee lie."

They suggest, they suggest our concern for the boy might perhaps tarnish the reputation of Lord Nelson.

No, I don't think so.

You said two items.

The other one is this. It's from a slightly older source.

It is this, "You shall not side with the great against the powerless."

Mr. Speaker, point of order.

I'm on my feet! Withdraw.

Will you yield? I will not yield, Mr. Speaker.

"You shall not side with the great against the powerless."

Hear, hear.

Have you heard those words, gentlemen?

Do you recognize their source?

From that same source I add this injunction.

It is this, "What you do to the least of them, you do to me."

Now...

Now, gentlemen...

Good afternoon, miss.

Hello.

I'll be damned if that's not the most...

Get on the camera! Will you get on the camera!

The most astounding thing.

What happened? Let me through, please.

What happened? What happened?

First Lord thought he was safe. Thought he was home free.

Sir Robert spoke and now he's under attack.

From whom? From whom? From everybody.

When he comes out, here's what I want.

But for God's sake, wait for the crowd to thin.

Excuse me. Excuse me, sir.

Mr. Michaels.

Let them out, let them out.

What happened?

It seems, miss, it seems that rather than risk a division, the First Lord has given an undertaking to endorse the Petition of Right.

It means that the case of Winslow v. Rex can therefore come to court.

Let the man out. Ah, Sir Robert.

Bobby.

Well, Miss Winslow, what are my instructions?

Do you need my instructions, Sir Robert?

Aren't they already on the petition?

Doesn't it say, "Let right be done"?

Then we must endeavor to see that it is.


The Winslow case. I've got The Beacon.

I've got the news.

Read the latest about the Winslow boy in these pages.

Right here in these pages.

Read it here. Yes, please.

Here it is. Thank you very much, sir. Here.

Thank you. Latest on the Winslow boy.

I've got the news.

You're thinner.

I like your new suit.

Off the peg at three and a half guineas.

I say, does that stuff go on all the time outside?

We're waiting for the verdict.

Where's Kate?

Kate takes the morning session. I go in the afternoon.

How's it all going?

I don't know.

I've been there all four days now and hardly understood a word.

Will there be room for me?

Oh, yes.

They reserve places for the family.

How'd Ronnie get on in the witness box?

Two days he was cross-examined. Two whole days.

You imagine? Poor little pet.

I must say he didn't seem to mind much.

He said two days with the Attorney General wasn't nearly as bad as two minutes with Sir Robert.

Kate said he made a very good impression on the jury.

How is Kate, Mother?

All right.

You heard about John, I suppose.

Yes. That's what I meant. How has she taken it?

You can never tell with Kate.

She never lets you know what she's feeling.

We all think he behaved very badly.

Your father's on the terrace.

How are you, Dickie?

Very well, thank you, Father.

Mr. Lamb tells me you've joined the Territorials.

I'm sorry, Father, what?

Mr. Lamb tells me that you've enlisted in the Territorials.

Yes, Father.

Why have you done that?

Well, from all accounts there's a fair chance of a scrap soon.

If there is, I want to get in on it.

If there is a scrap, as you call it, you'll do far better to stay at the bank.

No, no. Too much conflict at the bank.

Is that how it seems to you?

Oh, yes. Makes the blood run cold.

How's Catherine?

She's late. She was in half-past yesterday.

Well, perhaps they're taking the lunch interval later today.

Lunch interval?

This isn't a cricket match, Grace.

Nor, may I say is it a matinee at the Gaiety.

Why are you wearing that highly unsuitable getup?

Don't you like it, dear? It's Madame DuPont's best.

Grace, your son is facing a charge of theft and forgery.

Oh, dear, it's so difficult.

I can't wear the same old dress day after day.

It's repetitious and depressing.

I'll tell you what, Arthur.

I'll wear my black coat and skirt tomorrow for the verdict.

Yes, that's what I'll do. I'll wear it for the verdict.

Did you say my lunch was ready?

Yes, dear. It's only cold.

I made the salad myself. Violet is at the trial.

Is Violet with you? She was under sentence the last time I saw you.

Neither your father nor I had the courage to tell her.

I have the courage to tell her.

Funny that you don't then, dear.

See, Dickie, how these taunts of cowardice are daily flung at my head?

But should I take them up, I'm forbidden to move in the matter.

Such is the logic of women.

Will you take him away after the verdict?

He's promised to go into a nursing home.

Will he? How should I know?

Surely if he loses this time, he's lost for good?

I can only hope that it's true.

Lord, the heat.

Mother, can't you get rid of those reporters?

Hello, Dickie.

Hello, Kate.

Come to be in at the death?

Is that what it's going to be?

Looks like it.

You're late, Catherine.

I know. I'm sorry, Father.

There was such a huge crowd.

I have to go and change.

Was it a bigger crowd than yesterday?

Oh, yes, Mother, far bigger.

So how did it go this morning?

Sir Robert finished his cross-examination of the postmistress.

I thought he'd demolished her completely.

She admitted she couldn't identify Ronnie in the Commander's office.

She admitted she couldn't be sure of the time he came in.

She admitted she was called away to the telephone while he was buying his fifteen and six postal order, and that all Osbourne cadets looked alike to her in their uniforms, so that it might quite easily have been another cadet who cashed the five shillings.

It was a brilliant cross-examination.

He didn't frighten her or bully her.

He simply coaxed her into tying herself into knots.

Then, when he'd finished, the Attorney General asked her again whether she was absolutely positive that the same boy that bought the fifteen and six postal order also cashed the five-shilling one.

She said, yes, she was quite, quite sure because Ronnie was such a good-looking little boy that she'd specially noticed him.

She hadn't said that in her examination-in-chief.

Ronnie, good looking? What utter rot.

Well, if she thought he was so especially good-looking, why couldn't she identify him the same evening?

Don't ask me. Ask the Attorney General.

I'm sure he has a beautifully reasonable answer.

Who else gave evidence for the other side?

The Commander, the Chief Petty Officer and one of the boys at the college.

Anything very damaging?

Nothing that we didn't expect.

Did you see anyone interesting in court, dear?

Yes, Mother. John Watherstone.

John? You didn't speak to him, I hope.

Yes, of course, I did. Kate, you didn't.

What did he say?

He wished us luck.

What impertinence.

Is that what it is?

I wonder if Violet remembered to get those onions.

I better get them myself on the way back from court.

Yes, get them on the way back.

I'm so sorry, dear.

What for, Mother?

John, being such a bad hat.

I never did like him very much, you know.

No. I know.

You're looking well, Dickie.

A trifle thinner, perhaps.

Hard work, Father.

Or late hours?

You can't keep late hours in Reading.

Oh! You could keep late hours anywhere.

I had quite a good report about you from Mr. Lamb at the bank.

Good old Mr. Lamb.

I took him racing last Saturday.

Had the time of his life and lost his shirt.

Did he? Did he indeed?

Now, Dickie, when we get to the front door, put your head down, like me and charge through them all.

Why don't you just go through the garden?

I can't risk this hat going through the roses.

I always say, "I'm the maid and I don't know nothing."

So don't be surprised.

Right-o, Mother.


Are we going to lose this case, Kate?

How's Sir Robert?

The papers said that he began today by telling the judge he felt ill and might have to ask for an adjournment. I trust he won't collapse.

He won't.

It was just another of those brilliant tricks of his he's always boasting about.

It got him the sympathy of the court and possibly...

No, I won't say that.

Say it.

Possibly provided him with an excuse if he's beaten.

I see.

Desmond.

Come in, Desmond.

I trust you do not object to me employing this rather furtive entry, but the crowds at the front door are most alarming.

Most alarming.

Why have you left the court?

My partner will be holding the fort.

He is perfectly competent. I promise you.

I'm glad to hear it.

I wondered if I might see Catherine alone.

I have a matter of some urgency to communicate to her.

Ah. Do you wish to hear this urgent matter, Kate?

Yes, Father.

Well.

Forgive me.

I have to be back in court. I...

Perhaps you would give me a moment of your time.

Yes, of course, Desmond.

It occurred to me during the lunch recess that I had far better see you today.

Yes.

I have a question to put to you, Kate, which if I had postponed putting until after the verdict, you might, who knows, have thought had been prompted by pity if we'd lost or, or if we'd won, your reply might, again who knows, have been influenced by gratitude.

And that, of course, wouldn't do.

Do you follow me, Kate?

Yes, Desmond. I think I do.

Ah. Then perhaps you have some inkling of what the question is I have to put to you?

Yes, I think I have.

Oh.

I'm sorry, Desmond. I ought, I know, to have followed the usual practice in such cases, and told you I had no inkling whatever.

No, no. Your directness and honesty are two of the qualities I so much admire in you.

I'm glad that you have guessed.

It makes my task the easier.

The facts are these that you don't love me and never can, and that I love you, always have and always will.

It is a situation which, after most careful consideration, I am fully prepared to accept.

I reached this decision some months ago, but I thought at first it might be better to wait until this case which is so much on all our minds, should be over.

Then at lunch today, I determined to anticipate the verdict tomorrow.

I see. Thank you so much, Desmond.

That makes everything much clearer.

There is much more that I meant to say, but I shall put it in a letter.

Yes, Desmond. Do.

Will you give me a few days to think it over?

Of course. Of course.

I need hardly tell you how grateful I am.

There is no need, Kate. No need at all.

You mustn't keep your taxi waiting.

Yes.

Well.

Then I may expect your answer in a few days.

Yes, Desmond.

I must get back to court.

Hmm. Well,

how do you think it went this morning?

I thought the postmistress restored the Admiralty's case with that point about Ronnie's looks.

Oh, no. No, no. Not at all.

There is still the overwhelming fact that she couldn't identify him.

What a brilliant cross-examination, was it not?

Brilliant.

Strange man, Sir Robert.

At times so cold and distant and...

Passionless.

And yet, he has a real passion about this case.

Does he? Yes, I happen to know, and of course this must on no account go any further, but I happen to know that he has made a very, very great personal sacrifice in order to bring it to court.

Sacrifice? What, of another brief?

No, no, no. That is no sacrifice to him. No.

He was offered... You really promise to keep this to yourself?

My dear Desmond, whatever the government offered him can't be as startling as all that.

He's in the opposition.

Indeed. Therefore, a most, a most gracious compliment.

And what position was he offered?

Yes, that's right.

That's right.

And he turned it down, simply in order to carry on with the case of Winslow v. Rex.

Strange are the ways of men, are they not?

Goodbye, my dear.

Father, I've been a fool.

Have you, my dear?

An utter fool.

In default of further information, I can only repeat, "Have you, my dear?"

There can be no further information. I'm under a pledge of secrecy.

What did Desmond want?

To marry me.

Well, I trust that the folly you were referring to wasn't your acceptance of him.

Would it be such folly, though?

Lunacy.

I'm nearly 30, you know.

Thirty isn't the end of life.

Is that so?

Better far to live and die an old maid than to be married to Desmond.

Even an old maid must eat.

Did you take my suggestion with regard to your Suffrage Association?

Yes, Father. You demanded a salary?

I asked for one.

And they're going to give it to you, I trust?

£2 a week.

No, Father, the choice is quite simple.

Either I marry Desmond and settle down into quite a comfortable and not really useless existence, or I go on for the rest of my life in the service of a hopeless cause.

A hopeless cause.

I've never heard you say that before.

I've never felt it before.

John's getting married next month.

Ah, yes. I see, I see.

Did he tell you?

Yes. He was very apologetic.

Apologetic?

It's a girl I know slightly.

She'll make him a good wife.

Is he in love with her?

Mmm-mmm.

No more than he was with me.

Perhaps even a little less.

Why is he marrying her so soon...

After jilting me?

Because he thinks there's going to be a war soon and if there is, his regiment will be among the first to go overseas.

She's a general's daughter. Very, very suitable.

Oh, Kate, I'm so sorry.

If you could go back, Father, and choose again, would your choice be different?

Perhaps.

I don't think so.

I don't think so, either.

I still say we both knew what we were doing and we were right to do it.

You're not gonna marry Desmond, are you?

In the words of the prime minister, Father, "Wait and see."

Winslow case result!

Find out about the Winslow case!

What's that boy shouting?

Only, "Winslow case latest."

Winslow case result!

It doesn't sound to me like latest.

Did they win or did they lose?

I've got the Winslow case result!

Result?

In these pages! Winslow case result!

No. There must be some mistake.

Oh, sir.

Oh, sir.

Yes, Violet, what is it?

Miss Kate.

Miss Kate.

I don't know how to tell you.

Just after they come back from lunch, Mrs. Winslow, she weren't there neither nor Master Ronnie.

The shouting, the carrying on, you never heard anything like it in all your life and Sir Robert standing there at the table with his wig on crooked, tears running down his face.

Running down his face, they were!

Cook and me, we did a bit of crying, too.

Everyone was cheering. Judge kept shouting. It wasn't any good.

Even the jury joined in.

Some of them climbed out of the box to shake hands with Sir Robert.

Outside in the street, it was just the same.

Couldn't move for the crowd.

Think they'd all gone mad the way they was carryin' on.

Some shouting, "Good old Winslow," some singing, "For he's a jolly good fellow."

Cook had her hat knocked off again. She did.

Sure as I'm standin' here to tell you.

Well, sir, you must be feeling nice and pleased, now it's all over.

Yes, Violet. I am.

Always said it would come out all right in the end, didn't I?

Yes.

Yes, you did.

Yes, I did.

Well, I don't mind telling you, sir.

I wondered sometimes if you and Miss Kate weren't just wasting your time carrying on the way you have been.

Still, couldn't have felt that if you'd been in court today.

Oh, sir, Mrs. Winslow asked me to remember most particular to pick up some onions from the greengrocer, but...

Oh, that's all right, Violet.

I believe Mrs. Winslow's picking them up herself.

Oh, jolly good, miss. Oh, poor madam.

What a sell for her when she gets to court and finds it's all over.

Well, congratulations, I'm sure, sir.

Thank you, Violet.

It would appear then that we've won.

Yes, Father, it would appear that we've won.

I would have liked to have been there.

Sir Robert Morton.

Good afternoon.

I thought you might like to hear the actual terms of the Attorney General's statement, so I jotted them down for you.

"On behalf of the Admiralty," etcetera, etcetera, "the cadet Ronald Arthur Winslow

"did not write the name on the postal order.

"He did not take it. He did not cash it.

"That he is consequently innocent of the charge.

"That this is a full, unreserved

"and a complete acceptance of his statements."

Thank you, Sir Robert.

It's hard for me to find the words with which to thank you.

Pray do not trouble yourself to search for them, sir, and let us take these rather conventional expressions of gratitude for granted, shall we?

Pity you were not in court, Miss Winslow.

The verdict appeared to cause quite a stir.

So I heard.

Why did the Admiralty resign the case?

Oh, it was a foregone conclusion.

Oh?

Once the handwriting expert had been discredited, not for the first time in legal history, I knew we had a sporting chance.

But this morning, you seemed so depressed.

Did I?

Perhaps the heat in the courtroom.

Oh, sir.

The gentlemen at the front door say, please, will you make a statement.

They say they won't go away unless you do.

Oh, very well, Violet. Thank you.

Sir.

Hmm.

What shall I say to them?

I hardly think it matters, sir.

Whatever you say will have little bearing on what they write.

I could say, "This victory isn't mine, it belongs to the people."

How does that strike you, sir? A trifle pretentious, perhaps?

Perhaps, sir. Hmm.

I should say it nonetheless. It will be very popular.

Perhaps I should just say, "Thank God we beat 'em."

Miss Winslow, might I be rude enough to ask you for a glass of your excellent whiskey?

Yes, of course.

Very kind.

I beg your pardon.

How remiss of me not to offer you any hospitality.

I'll correct that straightaway.

What must you think of me?

Perhaps you would forgive me in not getting up?

The heat in that courtroom was really so infernal.

Are you all right, Sir Robert?

Oh, it's just a slight nervous reaction, that's all.

Besides, I've not been feeling myself all day.

I told the judge so this morning, if you remember.

But I doubt if he believed me. He thought it was a trick.

What suspicious minds people have, have they not?

Yes.

Thank you.

I'm afraid I have a confession and an apology to make to you, Sir Robert.

Dear lady, I'm sure the one is rash and the other is superfluous.

I far rather hear neither.

I'm afraid you must.

This is probably the last time I shall see you, and it is a better penance for me to say this than to write it.

I have entirely misjudged your attitude to this case, and if in doing so I have ever seemed to you either rude or ungrateful, I am sincerely and humbly sorry.

My dear Miss Winslow, you have never seemed to me either rude or ungrateful.

And my attitude to this case has been the same as yours, a determination to win, at all costs.

Only, when you talk of gratitude, you must remember that those costs were not mine, but yours.

Weren't they also yours, Sir Robert?

I beg your pardon?

Haven't you too made a certain sacrifice for the case?

The robes of that office would not have suited me.

Wouldn't they?

And what is more, I fully intend to have Curry censured for revealing a confidence.

I must ask you never to divulge it to another living soul.

And I'd like you to forget it yourself.

I shall never divulge it.

I'm afraid I can't promise to forget it myself.

Very well, if you choose to endow an unimportant incident with a romantic significance, you are perfectly at liberty to do so.

Would you show me out another way, please?

Thank you.

There you are.

I say, Sir Robert, I'm most awfully sorry. I didn't know anything was going to happen.

Where were you?

At the pictures.

Pictures? Mmm. Cinematograph.

Ah.

I say, we won, didn't we?

Yes, we won.

How about that?

We won.

One thing puzzles me.

Why are you always at such pains to prevent people knowing the truth about you, Sir Robert?

Am I, indeed? You know that you are. Why?

Which of us knows the truth about himself?

That is no answer.

My dear Miss Winslow, are you cross-examining me?

On this point.

Why are you ashamed of your emotions?

To fight a case on emotional grounds is the surest way to lose it.

Is it?

Emotions cloud the issue.

Cold, clear logic wins the day.

Was it cold, clear logic that made you weep today at the verdict?

I wept today because right had been done.

Not justice?

No, not justice.

Right.

Easy to do justice. Very hard to do right.

Well, now, I must leave the witness box.

Miss Winslow, I hope I shall see you again.

One day perhaps in the House of Commons, up in the gallery.

Yes, Sir Robert. In the House of Commons one day, but not up in the gallery.

Across the floor, one day.

You still pursue your feminist activities.

Oh, yes.

Pity.

It's a lost cause.

Oh, do you really think so, Sir Robert?

How little you know about women.

Goodbye. I doubt that we shall meet again.

Oh, do you really think so, Miss Winslow?

How little you know about men.