Sleuth (1972) Movie Script

Dr. Grayson was never in london
at the time of the murder.
In fact, the good doctor stayed in a small
hotel in Melksham on the night in question.
He then returned to Broughton Gifford
on the 2:40 train...
disguised as Sir Mortimer
turret's Valet, Burton,
making sure his arrival was
noted by the ticket inspector.
From then on, his plan was
simplicity itself.
Knowing it was Burton's day off,
he had no difficulty in entering
Hellrake Hall unobserved...
And murdering Sir Mortimer with the
arrow from the astrolabe...
which he had sharpened
on the stone knife grinder
by the scullery window.
"Remember my query about
brass knives at the time ?
I was worried about
those metal shavings."
"By jove, Lord Merridew, sir,
"You don't miss a trick.
But since you appear
to know so much, sir,"
continued the inspector humbly,
"I wonder if you would explain
how the murderer managed to
leave the body of his victim...
"in the middle of the tennis
court and effect his escape...
"without leaving any tracks
behind him in the red dust.
Frankly, sir, we in the Police
Force are just plain baffled."
St. John Lord Merridew,
the great detective,
rose majestically,
his huge Father Christmas face
glowing with mischievous delight.
Slowly, he brushed the
crumbs of seedy cake...
from the folds of his
pendulous waistcoat.
"The Police may be baffled,
Inspector," he boomed,
"But Merridew is not.
"Thirty years ago, the
murderer, Dr. Grayson,
was a prominent member
of the Ballets Russes,
dancing under the name
of Oleg Graysinski.
And though the years had
altered his appearance somewhat,
yet his old skill
had not deserted him.
He carried the body to
the center of the court,
walking on his points...
along the white tape which separated
the service boxes, and from there...
he threw it seven feet into the court,
close to the baseline where it was found.
And then, with a neatly executed fouett,
he faced about and went
back the way he had come,
thus leaving no traces.
And that, Inspector, is
Merridew's solution."
Hello !
Are you there ?
Mr. Wyke ?
- Mr. Wyke ?
- Who's there ?
It's me, Milo Tindle.
I think you're expecting me.
Yes, indeed. So good of you to come.
Won't you join me ?
Well, I have been trying to do
exactly that for quite some time.
Here we are.
Yes, my outdoor inner sanctum.
I designed it myself.
Provides for me just that extra bit
of privacy that an author requires.
I must say, you're not an
easy man to drop in on.
Just so. So, you're Milo Tindle.
- I'm Andrew Wyke. Welcome to Cloak Manor.
- Thank you.
I found your note when I came down
from London this afternoon.
Oh, good. Yes.
I hoped you'd be here this weekend,
so I pushed it through your letter
box a little earlier today.
Well, now, what will
you have to drink ?
- Uh, vodka and tonic, please.
- Ah. Of course.
- How are you settling in here
at laundry cottage ?
- Very well, thank you.
Using it for weekends,
that sort of thing ?
Yes, that sort of thing.
Vodka-- I don't seem to
have any out here. Is--
- Gin will do.
- Good.
Charming little place,
Laundry cottage--
Ideal for relaxations of all kinds.
Unfortunately, I don't
have time for them myself.
As a matter of fact, I've just
dictated the denouement...
of my new book,
Death by double fault.
I must say, it's gone extremely well.
Ah, then.
Soda, soda, soda, soda--
Oh, dear. Doesn't seem to be
any tonic here either.
It's awful.
Here, shall we go indoors ?
- Whatever you like.
- Good.
Tell me, do you agree that
the detective story is...
the normal recreation of noble minds ?
I'm afraid I don't know
very much about noble minds.
- Is it supposed to be ?
- I'm quoting from Philip Guedalla,
a biographer of the '30s,
the golden age when every Cabinet Minister
had a thriller by his bedside,
and all detectives were titled.
- Before your time, I expect.
- Somewhat. Let me carry that.
Oh, thank you so much. Very good of you.
Yet, you know, even today, I still
set my works among the gentry,
and a great many ordinary people
seem to enjoy them in spite of
our classless society.
I imagine they do a great deal
of your stuff on television.
Oh, God forbid. I'd never permit it.
And, uh, incidentally,
it's not "stuff." No.
Television's not my line
of country at all.
That's detective fact,
not detective fiction.
And, therefore,
no recreation for noble minds ?
You have it in a nutshell, my dear Milo,
if I may so address you.
Oh, you might as well. We're all on
first-name terms these days, Andrew.
Of course we are. And you and I do
need to be friendly, do we not ?
How do you like your drink-- with ice ?
With ice ?
Uh, yes, please.
What does he do ?
Oh, that's Jolly Jack Tar,
the jovial sailor.
He and I have a really
splendid relationship.
I make the jokes,
and he laughs at them.
Here, mein Freund. Put
that behind your necktie.
- He didn't laugh.
- No, he wasn't meant to.
- I thought you were trying to be funny.
- You'll know it when I am.
- I see. Cheers.
- Prost.
- What's this ?
- That is an intensely complicated...
fourth dynasty blocking game called Senat.
I've been studying the thing for months,
but I'm still only a beginner.
I wonder if you'd mind putting
that back. It's taken me rather
a long time to get it there.
The center column,
fourth from your right.
Well, now,
I understand you want to marry my wife.
Forgive me raising the matter,
but as Marguerite is away for
a few days in the north...
visiting relatives, I thought this
might be an appropriate moment...
for you and me to have a little chat.
- I see.
- Well, uh, is it true ?
Yes. With your permission, of course.
Why not ? You seem to be a personable
enough young man-- nicely spoken,
neatly dressed in brand-new
country gentleman's clothing.
I'm sure you won't mind me asking you
a few questions about your background--
parents and so forth.
My mother was born in Hereford,
a farmer's daughter,
And my father is an Italian who came
to this country in the '30s from Genoa.
- In the '30s. Jewish ?
- No, catholic-- very devout.
Of course, I'm not
religious at all myself.
My dear boy, you don't have to excuse
yourself to me. We're all liberals here.
I have no prejudice against catholics,
Not even lapsed catholics.
In fact, some of my best friends
are lapsed catholics.
But tell me about your father.
Was his name Tindle too ?
No, his name was Tindolini.
But if you had a name
like that in those days,
you had to make-a de ice cream-a.
He was a watchmaker,
and he wanted us to become
English, so he changed it.
"Become" English.
Was he a successful man ?
No. As a matter of fact, he wasn't.
You can't expect to make a living
these days just repairing watches.
He went broke in the end.
I always told him he would.
Hmm. Well, it must make him
something of a burden to you.
Yeah, it-it does a bit.
He never went back, you see.
He's still in Soho, still thinks
he had it good all those years.
And you-- what do you do ?
Don't you know ?
I have a hairdressing salon in South
Kensington-- Casa tindolini.
Oh, you can use that word
these days, can you ?
People don't take it for an ice-cream salon ?
- No, the birds--
the ladies seem to like
the continental touch.
English too wholesome for them, eh ?
Yeah, well, it's-- it's not chic, you see.
We found that it pays to provide
the latin lover atmosphere.
Of course, we lay it on a bit thicker in the
Brighton shop. They're less sophisticated.
I mean to say, in London half of them
have actually got-- latin lovers ?
And where do you live-- above,
behind or below your shop ?
I lease a mews house nearby.
It's convenient and attractive.
It's Georgian, actually.
From Genoa to Georgian in a single
generation, eh ? Not bad.
But I doubt whether an 18th century
architectural gem in South Kensington...
whispers quite the same magic
to Marguerite as it does to you.
She adores old houses.
She can't wait to live in it.
I understood she already was living
in it, once or twice a week at least.
I'm not mistaken, am I ?
And that your motive in renting the cottage
down here was to increase the incidence...
of this biweekly coupling.
- Is that what you asked me
over here to chat about ?
Never speak ill of the deadly.
If I choose to say that my wife
converses like a child of six...
and makes love like an extinct
shellfish, I shall,
and I don't need to ask her lover's
permission to do so either.
- Thank you for the drink.
- Oh, my. Now, now, I thought
you were brought up in England.
Surely you know it's not done to be rude.
You were being rude about
a woman I'm in love with.
- On the contrary. I was
reminiscing about my wife.
- It comes to the same thing.
Things mostly do, you know. I'll
wager that in a year's time...
it'll be you who'll be being rude about
Marguerite and I who'll be being rhapsodic,
having quite forgotten how
intolerably tiresome, vain,
spendthrift, self-indulgent...
and generally bloody crafty she really is !
Can you afford to take her off my hands ?
- "Afford to" ?
- Support her in the style to
which she was not accustomed...
before she met me, but now is.
Well, I'm not a millionaire,
but I'm not starving either.
The shop in London's doing all right. The
one in Brighton is almost breaking even.
- By this time next year--
- This year, next year, sometime, never.
What you're really saying is
that at present, you're skint.
- We'll survive.
- Survival is scarcely the point.
Presumably, when you're married
to Marguerite, you'll want
a place on the Riviera,
fast car, couple of mistresses.
- "Presumably" ?
- Just because you need those things ?
- No, just this fading mansion,
the slowest Bentley in Wiltshire,
and only one mistress, I'm afraid.
Tea, the Finnish bird who runs
the sauna in Salisbury.
Oh, you know about Tea, do you ?
Marguerite and I have no
secrets from each other.
Not even mine, it seems.
Tea is a Karelian Goddess.
Her golden hair smells of pine,
and her cobalt eyes are the secret
forest pools of Finlandia.
I hear she's a well-scrubbed blonde with
all the sex appeal of a secondhand jeep.
Not so, dear boy. You can take it from me.
Tea is an engaging little trollop
and suits me mightily.
Mind you, she takes a
bit of keeping up with.
It's a good thing I am pretty much
of an olympic sexual athlete.
Yes, I suppose these days you are
concentrating more on the sprints...
than on the long-distance stuff.
Not so, dear boy.
I'm in the pink of condition.
I could copulate for England
at any distance.
Well, as they say in the Olympics,
it's not the winning, it's
the taking part that counts.
- Are you going to marry her ?
- Oh, no, no, no. I just
want to live with her.
- So what's stopping you ?
- Basically the firm of
Prurien and Pry, ltd.,
Whom you and Marguerite
have seen fit to employ.
Don't be so innocent.
Those nicotine-stained private
detectives have been camping
outside Tea's for the last week.
It was an insurance policy
to keep you from changing
your mind about the divorce.
- How do you know I wasn't
having you watched, hmm ?
- Why not ?
Afraid of what you might find out ?
Or didn't you think that was possible ?
Now, don't start doing a fertility dance.
Of course I knew they'd find you and
Marguerite rutting away like crazed weasels.
But why should I pay good money
to have something confirmed
which I'd known for months ?
- Black.
- Then if you knew, why didn't
you do something about it ?
I had to assure myself that you and
Marguerite were going to be a fixture.
You see, I want to lose the
dear girl for life, not just...
a two-week Tindolini perm, set and touch-up.
- Good shot.
- Yes, it was. Yellow.
You see, you don't know her as well as
I do. You think you do, but you don't.
If you fail her, by which I mean
cancelling the account at Harrod's...
or shortchanging her on winters in Jamaica,
She'll be back to me in a
jiffy, mewing for support.
And, guilty wife or no, she
may be entitled to get it.
- Green.
- Money isn't everything.
And what if she is used to
luxury ? Whose fault is that ?
It's not a fault if you can afford it.
But can you ?
Knowing you to be hard up-- brown--
has she shown any signs
of mending her ways...
in these last, idyllic three months ?
Blue. When, for instance,
did she last turn down
Dom Perignon in favor of--
no offense, mind you-- the
persuasive charms of Dago Red ?
No, I'm not joking. How much has
this brief liaison cost you so far ?
And that old Dad of yours in Soho--
when did you last send him any money ?
We have talked about money.
Often I've told her we spend too much.
- She takes no notice ?
- No.
Silvery laugh.
Coquettish turn of the head.
Something like that.
Well, it's to solve this little problem
that I've invited you here tonight.
And this, as they say, is
where the plot thickens.
What plot ?
Whatever are you doing with
that cue in your hand ?
I was waiting for you to miss.
Foolish boy.
Once upon a time, my dear Milo,
there was an Englishman called Andrew Wyke,
who, in common with most of his countrymen,
was virtually castrated by taxation.
To avoid total emasculation,
his accountants advised him...
To put a considerable part of
his money, some 250,000 pounds,
into jewelry.
His wife, of course, was delighted.
- Marguerite never told me you'd
given her any jewelry.
- Oh, nor did I, of course.
It's still mine, as well she knows.
We just thought it would be more amusing
for her to wear it than for me to bank it.
After all, it's fully insured.
I see what you mean by the plot thickening.
I'm glad you follow me so readily. You
see, I want you to steal that jewelry.
Tonight, for choice. With Marguerite
away, it's an admirable opportunity.
- What about the servants ?
- I've sent Mr. And Mrs. Hawkins
away to the seaside...
for a 48-hour paddle-- they won't
be back till Sunday night.
So, you see, the house is empty.
- Well, what do you say ?
- It sounds distinctly criminal.
Well, of course it's criminal !
All good moneymaking schemes in
England have to be these days.
Now, the jewelry, when it's not in the bank,
lives in an ingeniously hidden safe
somewhere here in the study.
Where, for instance, would you look for it ?
Good likeness, would you say ?
Of course, it's 17--
no, 18 years ago.
I don't think you'd hide your safe behind
it. I've seen that in too many movies.
Good thinking ! All right then, where ?
Are you up to finding it ?
There are certain skills best acquired
in public bars, I suppose,
but whatever made you think, hmm ?
- You and your games.
That is the only game in this room.
Hmm. Very clever.
Anyway, the jewels are in there.
All you have to do is steal them,
Sell them abroad and live happily
ever after with Marguerite.
All I have to do is claim the insurance
and live happily ever after with Tea.
Is that what you asked me over to hear--
A grotty little plot to defraud
the insurance company ?
I'm sorry you find the plot grotty.
Personally, I thought it was all
rather nicely clear and simple.
Look, supposing I do as you say
and nick-- uh, steal the jewels.
If I sell them under my own name, I'll get
picked up the moment you report the loss.
If I sell them to a fence, always
presuming I could find one,
He'd carve me up, I'd get a
fraction of their value.
- Not with the fences I know.
- What fences would you know ?
The finest in Europe--
Prudent, yet prodigal.
I first met them while I was researching for
the deadly affair of the Druce Diamond.
Surely you've read it.
Pity. An absolute corker.
In any case, on your behalf,
I have already contacted a certain
gentleman in Amsterdam.
He'll treat you very well. You won't get
the full amount for the jewels, of course,
but you'll get about two thirds, say,
170,000 pounds.
- You'll get it in cash.
- 170,000 quid ?
Why should this fellow pay so much ?
Because he will get what no fence
ever gets-- the title to the jewels.
You see, in addition to stealing the jewels,
you have also to take the
receipts I got for them.
Now, what does my insurance
company discover as it swings
ponderously into action,
antennae pulsing with suspicion ?
It discovers that someone
impersonating Andrew Wyke...
sold the jewels for 170,000 pounds cash,
but they still have to pay me.
Hard cheese.
Think it over. Take your time.
Look, I know this sounds stupid, but,
have you had any experience--
I mean, have you ever, actually,
committed a crime before ?
St. John Lord Merridew would
have a pretty lean time of it...
if I didn't think up any
crimes for him to solve.
St. John Lord who ?
- You're joking.
- What about ?
Who is St. John Lord Merridew ?
Why, even Marguerite when I first
met her knew and adored him.
He's my detective, known to millions
throughout the civilized world...
with a nose for smelling out evil
superior to anything in the Force.
Oh, yes. The Police are always stupid in
the kind of books you write, aren't they ?
They never solve anything. It's always the
amateur sleuth who knows what's going on.
But that's detective fiction.
This is fact. This is real.
I'm well aware of the
difference, my dear Milo,
but I'm also aware of my own
not inconsiderable capabilities.
Of course, if you doubt them
or don't trust me--
I'm not sure that I do.
That's why it's a very
difficult decision to make.
Not at all difficult, perfectly simple.
You have an expensive woman and no money.
Yeah, but why don't you steal the bloody
jewels and simply hand them over to me ?
I should have thought that was obvious.
The burglary has to look real.
This house has actually to be broken into.
Then why don't you break into it ?
It's a question of agility
for one thing, dear boy.
Milo, baby, hey, do me a favor.
Let me handle this. Know what I mean ?
Crime is my bag. I got this caper
all worked out to the last detail.
170,000 pounds.
Cash, tax-free.
It would take an awful lot of
Tindolini's tonsorial teasing
to raise that kind of money.
All right. I'll do it.
- Where do you want me to break in ?
- No, no, no, no. Not so fast.
You've got to get disguised first.
- What for ?
- What if somebody saw you climbing in ?
Here ? In the middle of nowhere ?
I could hardly find this
place with a bloody map !
You never know !
A dallying couple, a passing sheep rapist.
Besides, don't forget the clues
we've got to leave for the Police
and insurance company.
We don't want your footsteps
in the flower beds...
Or your coat button snagged
on the window sill.
No, no, no ! You must be disguised !
All right. How ?
Please to follow me, number one son.
You know, my dear Milo, in the good
old days, before television, that is,
People constructed the pleasures
of life for themselves.
They amused each other
and were in turn amused.
They didn't just sit, stare.
Why, in this house there
was scarcely a weekend...
without its treasure hunts, charades,
games of infinite variety.
Makeup and dress up--
there was virtually no end to
the concealment of identity.
- But surely Marguerite has told you.
- Actually she never mentioned it.
Well, it was all some time ago.
Aha ! A few scenes from some of my books,
lovingly recreated by an artist friend.
The necrophilic barber of Tunbridge Wells,
and the doltish pie poisoner
from the Simple Simon murders.
Oh ! And here's my favorite.
- Now, this really is ingenious. Do look--
- Andrew,
we were looking for a disguise.
Ah, quite so, dear boy. So we were.
Ah, here we are.
The old dressing-up basket, our old
treasure chest of make-believe.
Let's see what we've got.
Ah, this should suit.
Item-- one black face mask,
one black flat cap,
a striped jersey and a bag marked "swag."
Why not a neon sign with "burglar" on it ?
You may have a point. One of my favorites !
The ecclesiastical housebreaker,
Brother Lightfingers.
Perhaps we shall never know the
identity of the cowled figure...
seen haunting the grounds of the old manor
house on the night of the terrible murder,
if living identity it had.
And there are those to this day who
claim to hear the agonized screams...
of the victim echoing through
the chimney ports !
For Christ's sake, Andrew,
stop mucking about !
Haven't you just got an
old pair of sneakers,
a raincoat and a sock I
can put over my head ?
Old pair of sneakers and a sock ?
Milo, where's your sense of style ?
We must give our crime the
true sparkle of the '30s,
a little amateur aristocratic quirkiness.
Don't you feel the need to give your old
archenemy, Inspector Plodder of the Yard,
a run for his money ?
Monsieur Beaucaire !
Milo, this is you !
A full-bottomed wig, lots of beauty spots,
and all the snuff you could want.
Oh, groovy !
Look. I might even do
the whole thing in drag.
Kiss me, you fool.
I can fight it no longer, Darling.
If you must go, don't look back.
Jesus Christ ! Who's that ?
So that's where you've been,
auntie Maude. Naughty girl.
Shall we decide on the dress then ?
- No, I don't like it.
- Oh, well, you are a
choosy one, aren't you ?
There doesn't seem to be
a very great deal left.
We'll just have to settle for Joey.
Joey !
Now you're talking. A clown !
Can't you see it all-- the sawdust ring,
the tinsel, the glitter, the lights ?
The elephants, the high wire,
the roar of the crowd.
Merry Milo Tindle, the kiddies' delight !
- This is all right.
- Off with your jacket !
- That's right. Your shirt
and your trousers.
- What for ?
Oh, we don't want the Police to find
any fibers from this beautiful cloth.
You've no idea how clever they are
in those laboratories of theirs.
- We won't take any risks, you and I.
- That's right.
Down to your smalls. Don't be shy.
I know a well brought-up boy
when I see one !
Folds his trousers at night !
170,000 pounds
tax-a-free cash
Hey ! Slap shoes !
Do you know, I've always
wanted a pair of these,
ever since my father took me to
the Palladium when I was a kid.
I might have got on in show business,
you know. You never know.
A lot of my friends did. They
got to the top. You know how ?
They danced their way in.
Danced their way in.
You know, I guess that vaudeville's
loss was hairdressing's gain.
- Talking of gain, are we ready ?
- Yes !
Ladies and gentlemen,
your attention, please !
The Grand Parade !
Make way for Tindolini,
The kiddies' favorite !
Crazier than Kelly !
Greater than Grock !
And now, ladies and gentlemen,
in the center ring,
The king of the clowns,
Milo, the merry madcap !
- He thinks I'm funny !
- Oh, you are funny.
Turn it off !
Now, then. One glass cutter
for breaking in with.
One piece of putty for holding on
to the piece of glass so it doesn't
clatter to the ground...
and awake the ravenous Doberman Pinscher
you suspect lurks inside.
- And one stethoscope.
- Stethoscope ?
Safebreakers, for the use of.
The theory is, you tried to
pick the lock of the safe...
By listening to the tumblers-- you failed
and had to resort to dynamite.
- Dynamite ? What for ?
- Safes, for the blowing open of.
But leave that to me.
Now, how about a bizarre touch ?
A tear-drenched pom-pom impaled
upon a splinter of glass ?
Why not take a full-page ad in the Times...
And sell tickets for the cops
to come and watch ?
Pom-poms. I was only trying to lighten
Inspector Plodder's day for him,
but if you don't like--
- There is no such animal as
Inspector Plodder...
outside your detective stories !
It'll probably be some sharp-eyed bloke
who knows his job down to the last detail !
You can bet your bottom dollar on that !
And I can't move in this outfit !
These bloody boots are ridiculous !
But you loved them so ! Do keep them on !
Can't you see the headlines ?
"Wiltshire paralyzed, Police baffled.
Where will Big Boot strike next ?"
Right in the ass, that's where-- mine.
All those boots will tell the police
is that a true professional,
realizing that the flower beds
would carry footprints,
decided to disguise his own.
Now, do come along.
Now, have you got everything ?
- Glass cutter, putty...
- Yes, yes, yes.
- And the stethoscope ?
- I've got everything.
Oh, Milo, you are marvelous.
- You are the complete clown.
- Thank you.
Very clever !
Now, come along with me
and listen carefully.
Go around the house to your left,
and cross the lawn diagonally.
In the far corner you'll find a shed.
In the shed you'll find a ladder.
Bring it back here and lean it up against
the great window in the main room...
so that you can break in on the upper
landing-- understanding ?
- Upperlanding ?
- Yes.
I suppose you couldn't come and hold
the ladder steady for me, could you ?
Certainly not. I don't want my
footprints in the flower beds.
- I'm not very good at heights.
- Well, don't look down.
Concentrate instead on thick
bundles of crisp pound notes,
170,000 of them, in cash, tax-free.
Good luck, partner.
- Don't forget your gloves.
- What a way to make a living.
Puss, Puss, Puss.
Did you hear a noise, Puss, hmm ?
Was that a footstep in the garden ?
No, no. I must be mistaken.
There it is again.
What's that ?
Somebody outside, prowling around
the grounds, I'm certain of it.
Now, now, now. We mustn't imagine things.
Who would harm a kindly
old spinster like me ?
The front door's locked
and the windows too.
Aye, no one could possibly
break into our snug little home.
For Christ's sake, Milo !
They couldn't have made
more noise on D-Day !
The bloody glass came out, me
bloody boot got stuck, and I
fell down the bloody ladder !
Well, the bloody Police must have heard
it all the way to bloody Salisbury !
I'm sorry !
Somehow I thought you'd be better
than that at climbing ladders.
- Now for the jewels.
- Oh, not straightaway.
You're not supposed to know where they are.
You have to hunt about a bit first.
Disturb a few things. If you'd be good
enough to follow me, Miss Rebecca.
A turnstile into the bedrooms ?
One way or another,
one always pays to get in.
The Mistress's bedroom--
or would you know your way about ?
- The Mistress or her bedroom ?
- It's irrelevant.
Now, Milo, where to begin, hmm ?
The bottom drawer, the trousseau drawer ?
Ah, the frillies !
Take 'em out ! Vandalize them !
Come on, Milo. You're a burglar,
not a Lady's maid.
Don't pack them. Ravage them !
Come on, Milo !
Oh, excellent. Now tear that.
That's better !
Now, where would Milady hide the trophies
of her skilled accomplishments, hmm ?
Her rubies, emeralds, diamonds, sapphires...
Interleaved among her
lace-edged underclothes,
Stuffed into the false bottoms of hat boxes,
Sewn into the hems of always
the latest, had-to-have,
at-once-discarded Parisian dresses.
Or perhaps secretly...
concealed in the back of this.
What better safe deposit for deceit, hmm ?
How often has it reflected
the bright eyes that betray ?
The mouth that lied
and kissed and lied again !
I thought it was me who was supposed
to be doing the ravaging.
So it was, so it was.
Merely demonstrating, I was.
- Be a good fellow. Stamp on that, will you ?
- Why me ?
I'm afraid if I broke it, I'd get
seven more years of Marguerite.
Thank you.
- Now where's your bedroom ?
- M-mine ?
- It's my turn to demonstrate.
- Oh, my dear Milo.
Having failed to find the jewels among
the Lady's personal possessions--
Be a bit suspicious-- a professional
burglar playing favorites.
On the contrary. An intelligent
burglar would immediately look...
for the next-most-likely hiding place.
- Which is where ?
The inevitable safe. Just blow it
open and steal what's in it.
Come on, Milo.
- What kind of charge you got here ?
- Oh, enough for the job.
I learned about explosives for the
Diary of the Dynamited Duchess.
Ready ? Stand by for the countdown.
Five, a-four,
a-three, a-two, a-one,
I've got it. I've got it !
What are you shaking it for ?
It's a jewel box, not a maraca.
I thought it might have a secret
catch. It's locked, you see.
Well, smash it open ! Jesus, you
have all the killer instinct...
of a 20-year old seal'yham.
- It's a very pretty box.
It seems such a waste.
Dear God.
Moses looks upon the promised land.
They're fantastic.
- Look at this ruby necklace.
- Never much cared for it myself.
Always thought it made Marguerite
look like a blood sacrifice.
I wish my old man could see these.
He never knew what it was all about,
sitting there every night,
hunched over those watches of his,
squinting his eyesight away, and for what ?
To give me an education at
a second-rate public school.
I suppose he thought he had to,
that he owed it to me...
And the brand-new anglo-saxon
world he'd adopted.
Silly old bugger.
Never thought his son...
would be tucking a fortune
away into his pocket then.
Family reminiscence,
no matter how touching,
is something we just haven't got time
for at the moment, do you mind ?
Now, this is the fun bit,
where the householder,
wrenched from his dreams
by the sound of the explosion,
surprises the burglar, and,
in the ensuing fight,
the house is sacked.
Why is it necessary for you
to surprise me at all ?
Because, if I've seen you at close quarters,
I can always describe you to the Police.
"Did you get a good look at
the intruder's face, sir ?"
"Yes, Inspector, I did.
I don't know if it was a trick of the
light, but somehow his face seemed...
not wholly human--"
- How much sacking do you want done ?
Oh, a decent bit, I think--
a few chairs upturned,
ornaments put to the sword,
that sort of thing, you know.
Convincing but not carthaginian.
Surely you don't call that convincing.
Let literature fly to the four winds !
Let the contents of drawers
be strewn like autumn leaves !
Hey, that's my new manuscript !
Let my secretary sort it out.
- Enough ?
- For a starter.
Now let's see what accident does to
artifice seconds out of the ring.
- What seconds ? What for ?
- The ensuing fight, remember ?
- Hey !
- Well, you're the underdog, aren't you ?
Got the support of the crowd, haven't you ?
What more do you want ?
My wife's gonna have a baby.
Now, listen, don't get het up.
This fight is fixed, remember ?
This is where I take a dive,
and you knock me out cold !
- For real ?
- Naturally.
When the Police come, I have
to show them a real lump.
Yes, I thought you'd like this bit.
You're dead right.
Now, what shall I use ?
Not my opaline, if you don't mind.
There it is !
The original blunt instrument.
- The poker. Right. Now,
where do you want it ?
- Now, steady.
Don't get carried away. It's not a murder
weapon we're talking about, you know.
- No ?
- No ! We're discussing an object...
from which I receive in the classic
formula a glancing blow...
which will raise a lump without
actually cracking the cranium !
Why don't I just keep tapping
you lightly on the head with the
poker until the lump comes up.
Quite frankly, I've rather gone off
the whole thing now. I know !
You can always tie me up and gag me and
leave me to be found by the cleaning woman.
"Lords a' mercy, Mr. Wyke !
Whatever do we be doin' there ?
All trussed up like a turkey !
"Oh, God bless ya, sir. You're
tryin' out somethin' for one
of them creepy books of yours."
"I know ! Don't you mind me.
I won't disturb ye.
I'll just be gettin' on with me dustin'."
- Andrew,
If I don't knock you out,
- How have I tied you up ?
- That's a very good question.
Come to think of it, you could
always hold a gun on me.
But we professional burglars don't fancy
firearms much. We are English, after all.
You could always conquer
your anglo-saxon scruples.
Besides, it would be my own revolver that
you'd taken from me during the struggle.
- Is that loaded ?
- Well, of course. What'd be
the use of it otherwise ?
And I think it ought to go off
once or twice as we tussle,
blowing to smithereens the usual
priceless heirlooms, hmm ?
- Why ?
- To lend credence to my story
of your holding it on me...
While you gagged me and
tied me up, all right ?
Yeah. Yeah, I suppose so.
There. Right.
Now, what to sacrifice ?
What about this old codger up here ?
Put that down at once !
That's my Edgar Allan Poe award,
given to me by the Mystery
Writers of America...
for one of Merridew's greatest triumphs,
the Slaying of Jack Spratt.
Ironically enough, for
one who could eat no fat,
he was murdered by an injection
of concentrated cholesterol.
what do you say to the demolition of
that gaudy old swansea puzzle jug ?
- Puzzle jug ?
- To solve the puzzle,
pour some water out of it.
Very funny.
Marguerite thought it clever, which ought
to tell you something about Marguerite.
Let us expose its shortcoming.
Well, you might have said
"good shot."
You bloody maniac !
You could have killed me !
Tosh ! Not dead-eye Wyke,
The demon gunman of Cloak Manor.
Now, what next ?
Ah ! The last tender memento
of our venetian honeymoon.
I will not resist the temptation.
Shucks, gosh-darn it if I ain't
missed the doggone critter.
- You hit what you were
aiming for, all right.
- Don't be peevish, Milo.
There's nothing like a little
bit of mayhem to cheer one up.
- Did you ever know Charlie Begby ?
- You know damn well I didn't.
He was the very finest
shot I ever did see.
I once saw him bag six ducks with
one shot when he was blind drunk.
Only thing was, they were china ducks
in his Auntie's drawing room.
And I said,
"Charlie, you can't do that.
It's the closed season."
Told you, he always laughs at my jokes.
Even the bad ones.
True. It's not as funny as all that.
There's an open season all year
round for some creatures,
seducers and wife stealers, for example.
Now, that's a bad italian joke.
You should know. It's your
country of origin, is it not ?
No, actually, I'm English.
I was born here, in England.
Were you now, actually ?
Where ? In dear old cradle-
a-large-pink-gin England ?
England, I mean.
Oh, don't you believe it.
That's the way a foreigner talks.
What he really thinks in private is,
"Filthy, wet country.
Ugly, red, cold men...
who don't know how to treat
their pale, pink, cool women."
What brought all this on then ?
- What are you doing with that gun ?
- Obviously pointing it at you.
I can see that, but why ?
Because I'm a-gonna kill-a you.
You're a-gonna kill-a me ?
Jesus ! Here we go again with
another one of your games.
Another one ? No, it's the same one.
We've been playing it all evening.
It's called
"you're going to die, and
no one will suspect murder."
You mean all that steal-the-jewels
stuff was just--
I invited you round here to set up
the circumstances of your own death:
the break-in, the disguise,
jewels in your pocket,
the householder aroused,
grappling with the thief...
and gun going off during the struggle,
and then,
the final, fatal shot.
Knock it off, Andrew, for God's sake.
- It ain't funny no more.
- It ain't, ain't it ?
- Can you find a flaw in it ?
- Marguerite.
- The cops'll trace the connection
between Marguerite and me.
- What nonsense.
They'll know that's why you did it.
How was I expected to know who you were ?
The law will have every sympathy for me.
Property's always been more highly
regarded in England than people.
Even Marguerite will assume that
you were, after all, just an
adventurer after her jewels,
a petty sneak thief who, in the end, found
larceny less burdensome than matrimony.
The way you're finding murder
less burdensome than alimony ?
Ha ! Wit in the face of adversity !
Good !
You've learned something from the English.
Oh, and here's something else--
a sporting chance. Why don't
you make a run for it ?
And give you the chance to
shoot me down in cold blood ?
Hotblood, you mean.
But I'll tell you what I'll do.
I'll close my eyes and
count up to 20 slowly.
That should give you a reasonable
chance. Come on, Milo. Off you go.
One, two,
three, four,
five, six,
seven, eight,
nine, ten,
eleven, twelve,
thirteen, fourteen, fifteen,
sixteen, seventeen, eighteen,
nineteen and twenty.
You left them in that beautiful coat.
- Oh, my God.
- Let's have you out of that car,
shall we ?
Those lovely boots back on again, please.
Now, of course, the only question
left to be decided is where
the Police shall find you.
Of course, you could be lying sprawled
over the desk in the study,
like countless colonels
in countless studies,
or propped up in the log
basket like a rag doll.
Which do you fancy--
early Agatha Christie or
vintage S.S. Van Dine ?
You're talking of a murder, of killing
a real man ! Don't you understand ?
Perhaps I shouldn't use a gun at all.
Perhaps, best of all,
A real 1930s murder weapon,
the Mashie Niblick.
I've got one in my golf bag.
Dear old Mashie Niblick.
I think you'd be found in the
fireplace in a fair old mess.
The body lay on its back, its limbs
grotesquely splayed like a broken puppet.
The whole head had been pulped
as if by some supernatural force.
"My God," breathed the Inspector, blanching.
"Thompson, you'd better get a top yourself."
"Excuse me, sir, but was all this
violence strictly necessary ?"
"I'm sorry, Inspector.
I'm afraid I lost control of
myself when I saw him handling
my wife's intimate garments."
Oh, it's too bloody elaborate.
I tell you what.
I think the scene the Police
find is simply this:
after the fight, you flee up the
stairs back to your ladder again.
Go on, Milo, flee.
Up you go.
Up you go.
I catch you on the landing, and in
the renewed struggle I shoot you.
Nothing succeeds like simplicity,
don't you agree, Milo ?
On the morning of his execution,
King Charles I put on two shirts.
"If I tremble with the cold," he said,
"my enemies will say it was from fear."
I will not expose myself to such reproaches.
You must also attempt
this anglo-saxon dignity...
as you mount the steps to the scaffold.
I can't give anything back, can I ?
I mean, if it hadn't been me,
it would've been somebody else.
I'll go away.
You won't never hear of me no more.
Why, Andrew ? Why me ?
Don't snivel.
I wanna know why !
I'm amazed you have to ask.
I hate you.
I hate your smarmy good looks
and your easy manner.
I'll bet you're easy in a ski lodge,
easy on a yacht, easy on a beach.
I knew you'd wear a gold
charm round your neck,
And I'll bet your chest is hairy
and in summer matted with sun oil.
Above all, I hate you...
because you're a culling blue-eyed wop,
and not one of me !
A creeping, hairdressing
seducer of silly women.
A jumped-up pantry boy
who doesn't know his place !
Did you really believe...
I'd give up my wife and jewelry to you ?
That I'd make myself that ridiculous ?
Why not ?
You're not in love with her.
Whether I love her or not,
I found her. I've kept her.
She represents me.
Once... she was in love with me.
And now, she's in love with me.
And that's what you can't forgive, isn't it ?
And after me, there'll be others.
You gonna kill them too ?
You're mad ! You're a bloody madman !
And you are a young man...
dressed as a clown about to be murdered.
Put the mask on, Milo.
- No.
- Put it on.
No, please. Please.
Put it on.
Finally, at your moment of dying,
you are yourself--
a sniveling, dago clown.
Farewell, Punchinello !
Please !
Good-bye now and amen
Here's hoping we meet now and then
It was great fun but it was just
one of those things
You do
something to me
something that simply mystifies me
Tell me
why should it be
you have the power
to hypnotize me
Let me
live 'neath your spell
Do do that voodoo
that you do so well
For you do
something to me
that nobody else
could do
Let me
live 'neath your spell
Do do that voodoo
that you do so well
For you do
something to me
that nobody else
could do
You do
something to me
that nobody else could do
In olden days a glimpse of stocking
was looked on as something shocking
now heaven knows
anything goes
Good authors too who once knew better words
now only use four-letter words
writing prose
anything goes
The world has gone mad today
and good's bad today
and black's white today
and day's night today
when most guys today
that women prize today
are just silly gigolos
So though I'm not
a great romancer
I know that you're bound
to answer when I propose
anything goes
The world has gone mad today
and good's bad today
and black's white today
and day's night today
when most guys today
that women prize today
are just silly gigolos
So though I'm not
a great romancer
I know that you're
bound to answer
when I propose
anything goes
Ah. Good evening, sir.
I was beginning to think
there was no one at home.
Indeed ? And who might you be ?
Detective Inspector Doppler, sir,
of the Wiltshire County Constabulary.
I'm sorry to be calling so late,
but I need to have a few words with you...
on a very important matter.
- Well, you better come in.
Wiltshire County Constabulary, you say ?
That's right, sir.
I'm normally based at Salisbury,
but, uh, your local man here asked me
to pop over and give him a hand.
Those were the days, sir.
Tunes you could hum.
It was a time for humming, Inspector.
Would you care for an aquavit ?
- No, thank you, sir. I've had my supper.
- Oh.
Perhaps you'd prefer a brandy ? Or are you
gonna tell me you never drink on duty ?
Oh, no, sir. I always drink on duty.
I can't afford to in my own time.
- Caviar. So that's what that looks like.
- Yeah.
I've often wondered.
I can't say I care for it all that much, sir.
Tastes like fish eggs.
Fancy. Now, let me take that nasty
taste away with a splendid brandy.
Do follow me, won't you, Inspector ?
These old antiques, sir--
very interesting, sir.
You have, uh, quite a collection of toys.
Automata, Inspector, and they all work.
I wouldn't have thought there's much
point in having 'em if they didn't, sir.
And now, as the cliche has it,
what can I do for you, Inspector ?
I am investigating the disappearance...
of a Mr. Milo Tindle.
Do you know him, sir ?
He walked out of his cottage
late last friday afternoon,
and hasn't been seen since.
Really, I'm afraid I'm
not very much interested...
in the migratory habits of hairdressers.
So you do know the gentleman then, sir ?
Well, I know his profession.
I think my wife has mentioned
he had a shop in london.
When did you last see Mr. Tindle, sir ?
Oh, some months ago.
I wouldn't remember exactly.
- I'd have no reason to, really.
- That doesn't quite accord
with our information.
I wonder if you could put some water
in this brandy for me, please, sir.
In fact, two nights ago,
he told Jack Benn,
the licensee at the white lion,
he was on his way up to see you.
Barmen are notorious opponents
of exactitude, Inspector.
Vinous gossip is their stock and trade.
"Vinous" as pertaining to wine, I assume, sir.
Very good.
Then I was wondering if there was something
else you could correct for me, sir.
What is that ?
The impression, gained by a man...
who happened to be passing
your house on friday night,
that shots were fired in here.
- Shots ?
- Three, our man thinks.
- Car backfire.
- Oh, no, sir.
I'm afraid that only comes in--
saving your presence, sir--
detective stories.
No, these were shots from a gun.
Our man is positive.
I see. May I ask...
why you've taken two days to come
round and ask me about all this ?
Well, sir, uh, these things...
always take a little longer...
to check out than you think.
Your local man wanted to
be sure of his facts...
before calling me in and before
troubling a gentleman like yourself.
Facts ? What facts ?
Well, after, uh, our informant...
had reported the incident,
we thought we'd, uh, better
have a word with Mr. Tindle,
see if he could throw
any light on the subject.
And could he ? The way to turn that off
is to press that stop in, Inspector.
Oh. I'm sorry.
Thank you.
He wasn't at his cottage all day saturday,
nor all day today.
We must have called there
at least half a dozen times.
By Jove, sir, Merridew would
have been proud of you.
Ahh. Your detective, sir.
Oh, that's praise indeed, sir.
I'm a great fan of his Lordship.
Are you really ? Well, you must
tell me which is your favorite.
I myself have always had
a special affection for...
the Case of the Crucified Communist.
When we stepped inside Mr. Tindle's cottage...
to make sure that no harm had come to him,
we found this, sir.
"Urgent we talk.
Come on friday evening, about 6:30. Wyke."
May I ask, is this your handwriting, sir ?
- Yes, it's mine, all right.
- So Mr. Tindle was here then, sir.
- He was.
- And was there an incident two nights ago...
as a result of which shots were fired ?
Uh, in a manner of speaking.
It was a game we were playing.
Game, sir ? What kind of game ?
It's called "burglary."
Burglary is not a game, sir.
Isn't it about time you told me...
I don't know the seriousness of my position ?
A man comes here. Shots are heard.
He has disappeared.
Now, what would you make out
of that if you were me, sir ?
An open-and-shut case. But things aren't
always what they seem, Inspector.
Why, in the 'Mystery of the Drowned Dummy',
your favorite, Lord Merridew--
I am waiting for an explanation, sir.
Oh. Well,
Tindle arrived about 6:30 and left
about an hour and a half later.
- I have not seen him since.
- And nor has anyone else, sir.
Oh, but this is absurd ! You're
not suggesting I killed Tindle ?
"Killed" Tindle, sir ?
I never mentioned the word "kill."
Oh, come now, Inspector.
You can't pull that old one on me.
"Garroted, sir. May I ask how you knew...
her ladyship had been garroted ?"
"You told me so, Inspector."
"No, sir.
I never mentioned the word 'garroted.'"
I'm sorry you find us so comic, sir.
On the whole, what we do is necessary.
"You're just doing your job"
is the overworked phrase, isn't it ?
Possibly, sir. Very possibly.
"The overworked phrase." I like that.
Your wife and Mr. Tindle have been
associating closely for some time, sir.
Yes, I thought you'd know about that.
- You can't keep anything
quiet in a small village.
- Perfectly true, sir.
You're not suggesting a crime passionnel,
I do hope.
Not with Marguerite. Oh, God !
That would be like knifing somebody...
for the sake of a tablespoon
full of cold rice pudding.
I'm very partial to rice pudding, sir.
I find it a great standby.
That's perfect.
"'All of you had either the means,
motive or opportunity,'
"said Inspector Doppler,
as he thoughtfully digested...
"another spoonful of his favorite pud.
'But only one of you had all three !'"
Exactly so, sir, and that person is you.
That is divine.
Well, I suppose I'd better
tell you what happened.
- That would be helpful, sir.
- Perhaps another drink would be helpful too.
I'd love another drink, sir, but I think
you'll find that the bottle is empty.
Quite right, Inspector.
That too can be corrected.
Do come with me, won't you ?
Now, as you seem to know,
Tindle was having an affair with my wife.
Now, I belong to that rare breed of men...
who genuinely don't mind losing gracefully...
to a gentleman who plays
the game by the same rules.
But to be worsted by a flash,
crypto-italian lover boy...
who mistakes my indifference for inadequacy...
is altogether too much !
You mean, you couldn't bring yourself
to accept the situation, sir ?
Is that what you're saying ?
- I mean,
it was the situation I refused
to accept, Inspector.
Playing the game is very important to you,
is it, sir ?
Playing the game and games-playing.
Yes, Inspector.
- I'm not quite sure I see the difference, sir.
Oh, it's perfectly simple, Inspector.
Playing the game is what
every gentleman does,
but playing of particular games
is my special passion.
In a way, my whole life.
That sounds a bit sad to me, sir.
Like a child not growing up.
What's so sad about a child
playing, Inspector ?
Oh, nothing, sir, if you're a child.
Let me tell you, Inspector,
I have played games of such complexity...
that Jung and Einstein would have been proud
to have been asked to participate in them.
I have achieved flights of the mind
and flights of the psyche...
unknown in ordinary human relationships,
and I've had a very great deal...
of not-altogether-innocent fun.
Is there nothing you would
not consider a game, sir ?
Duty ? Work ? Even marriage ?
Oh, please, Inspector !
Don't include marriage.
Sex-- sex is the game, marriage the penalty.
Round and round we jog towards
each futile anniversary,
pass "go,"
collect 200 rows, 200 silences,
200 scars in the deep places.
Are you saying, sir, that because
of your indifference to your wife,
you had no motive for murdering Mr. Tindle ?
I'm simply saying, Inspector,
that in common with most men,
I want to have my cookie and ignore it.
It was rather witty, I thought.
And what have we here, sir ?
That's just an old dressing-up basket,
that's all.
A traditional place...
of concealment, I'm sure you'll agree.
Only of the identity, Inspector.
The game.
Shall we go ?
- Shall we go ?
- Oh, yes, sir.
Anyway, I thought I'd teach
young master Tindle...
a lesson for his presumption,
test his mettle, as it were.
You may not agree with this,
Inspector, but take it from me:
the shortest way to a man's heart
is through humiliation.
You'll soon find out what he's made of.
Oh. And, uh, how did you plan to
go about this humiliation, sir ?
To begin with, by convincing him...
that as my wife had expensive tastes,
and he was virtually a pauper,
and he could solve that problem by
stealing some valuable jewelry,
which I had in my safe.
I further persuaded him to take off
his clothes and wear a disguise.
Appropriately enough, he chose, out of that
basket you examined, the costume of a clown.
In that ludicrous outfit, he broke
into the house and blew open my safe.
The jewels were in this box.
Good thinking, Inspector.
- And where are they now, sir ?
- I put them in the bank yesterday.
- On a saturday ?
- Yes, Inspector, on a saturday.
I drove over to Salisbury and
put them in the night safe.
How very provident, sir.
May I ask what you did after
he blew the safe open, sir ?
Tindle pocketed the jewels, we
struggled convincingly around
the house as part of the game.
He was about to make off when I turned nasty
and revealed the true purpose of the evening.
This was, of course, that I had
maneuvered him into a position...
where, by pretending to mistake him for a
burglar, I could legitimately shoot him.
When you, uh, revealed your intentions, sir,
what was Mr. Tindle's reaction ?
Electrifying ! He swallowed my
story hook, line and sinker.
He fell to his knees, pleaded for his life.
but I was implacable. I put the gun
against his head and shot him...
with a blank cartridge.
You shot Mr. Tindle...
with a blank cartridge, sir ?
Fainted dead away.
My game was over.
It was the most gratifying win.
You actually... put a gun to his head...
and pulled the trigger... as a game ?
Call it his initiation test, if you like.
He came here aping the gentry,
hoping for acceptance.
But he had to be taught.
You don't join just like that.
There's such a thing as breeding !
The quality that breeding brings...
cannot be acquired.
Of course, he failed his test abysmally.
He may well have done, sir,
but he also must have been
put in fear of his life.
Such irresponsible action...
warrants a serious charge of assault.
I suppose that's marginally better
than the charge of murder...
you were contemplating a few minutes ago.
- I still am contemplating it.
- oh, come on, Inspector.
I told you what happened. After a
few minutes he came to his senses,
realized shrewdly that
he wasn't dead after all,
and after only a few too many
brandies lurched off home.
I'm sorry you appear to find this
all quite so funny, Mr. Wyke.
We may not take quite the same attitude.
Now, look here !
Why can't you see this
from my point of view ?
In a sense, Tindle was a burglar.
He was stealing my wife, wasn't he ?
Which justified your torturing
and then murdering him, sir ?
Of course not. Don't you see ?
It was a game.
Just a bloody game !
- Bloody indeed, sir.
I achieved what I set out to do,
and that was all.
- You may well have achieved murder, sir.
- No !
- I believe so, sir.
- No ! I've told you everything that happened.
Would you mind if I had a look around, sir ?
Crawl about on all fours, if you like.
Get out your envelope and imprison hairs.
Gather ye blunt instruments while ye may.
Now, I ask myself,
if I wanted to conceal Tindle's body,
where would I put it ?
In my good friend Jolly Jack Tar, the sailor.
Very amusing, sir.
May I ask how you did that ?
No. Jolly Jack and I have our little secret.
Then may I ask how you made
those holes in the wall ?
That one over there,
and this one over here.
- They look like bullet holes to me, sir.
- Quite right, Inspector.
So they are.
Oh, I understood you, sir,
say that you used a blank.
Two live bullets to set up the trick,
and one blank to complete it.
I had to persuade Tindle I was in earnest.
Oh, I see, sir. One blank.
Then would you just show me please, sir,
where Mr. Tindle was when you killed him ?
Pretended to kill him, you mean.
Quite so. Then would you show me...
exactly where he was when the bullet hit him.
I keep telling you, it was not a real bullet !
So you do, sir. So you do.
Very well then. Where was he...
when the blank cartridge was fired ?
He was standing, or I should say kneeling,
or more accurately cowering, here.
- About here, you say, sir ?
- Two steps down.
- That's it.
- Were you close to Mr. Tindle
when you fired the gun ?
Oh, very. I was standing over him, in
fact, with the gun against his head.
You see, it was the actual feel of the gun,
coupled with the noise of the explosion,
that did the trick.
The traditional tool of your trade, Inspector ?
Joke blood, sir ?
I don't think I quite follow, Inspector.
Here, on the bannisters,
and underneath the carpet.
- It's dried blood, sir.
- Blood ?
Where ?
Don't touch it.
That's dried blood, all right.
There's some more over here.
Someone's been rubbing the carpet. See that ?
Deep in the pile. That's blood, sir.
It's still damp.
Will you explain to me how that got there ?
I have no idea.
Tindle wasn't wounded or hurt in any way.
Well, you must believe me !
With real bullets... and real blood,
Isn't it about time we stopped
talking about games, sir ?
Look ! Look at the window !
There you can see the pane of glass
he cut out in order to break in.
And down there, the imprint of
the ladder in the flower bed...
and the size 28 boots, or whatever
the hell it was he was wearing.
Look, I can show you !
- Over the years,
my eyes have been adequately trained
to see things for themselves, sir.
I'm sure they have, Inspector.
I'm just trying to point out a few facts...
to substantiate my story,
like the blown safe I've
shown you in the study...
and like the dressing-up basket
you found in the cellar.
You say that Mr. Tindle
disguised himself as a clown.
I saw no such costume in that basket !
Nor have you pointed out...
that mound of earth in the garden,
have you, sir ?
Mound of earth ?
What mound of earth ?
That one over by the far wall...
in the shade of that cedar tree.
- I can't see anything.
- Well, it's there, all right.
I saw it before I rang your bell.
I think we'd better go and have a look at it.
Together, sir.
Here we are, sir. Now,
would you say that had
been freshly dug, sir ?
How do I know ?
Probably something that the
gardener's been doing. Ask him.
You'll find him somewhere, maundering about,
aching for an opportunity to slander
his employer-- they all do.
All for my part, I've always found...
that gardeners make excellent witnesses.
They're slow, they're methodical,
and they're positive.
Inspector, I've had just about
enough of this farce.
Do you really think I'd be fool enough
to bury Tindle out here in the garden...
leaving all that newly-turned
earth for everyone to find ?
If you weren't expecting us, sir, yes.
In a couple of weeks, with a little
grass seed or a few bulbs,
it'd be very difficult to tell
it had ever been disturbed.
We in the Police force know just how fond...
murderers are of their backyards, sir.
One's as near a murderer's heart in
a garden as anywhere else on earth,
eh, Inspector ?
- Excepting the bedroom, sir.
I think you'll find that's still the favorite.
There's no mistaking whose
room this is, eh, sir ?
My wife showers. I bathe.
Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk.
Clothing all screwed up...
on the floor of the wardrobe.
That's not like you, sir.
Oh ! Here's an interesting monogram--
Or have I-- Oh, I've got this the wrong way up.
Aha. "M-T."
Let me see that.
"Made by owen and tan credy of Percy Street...
for Mr. Milo Tindle, November 12."
Tell me, sir, when Mr. Tindle
"lurched off," as you put it,
did he lurch naked ?
And did he subsequently lurch naked
through the streets of the village ?
He changed back before he
left into these clothes.
Do you still maintain, sir,
that Mr. Tindle changed into the
clown's costume in the cellar ?
- Yes !
- Another part...
of the humiliation process, I suppose.
Then someone must have carried his clothing...
up from the cellar and
placed them in this wardrobe.
- I did.
- Why ?
Because I felt they'd be better off in
a wardrobe than in a dusty old cellar.
More convenient.
All screwed up on the floor
of a wardrobe ? Why ?
I didn't think it'd be long before he'd
be changing back-- it's all so baffling.
Not at all, sir.
You threw those clothes on
the floor of the wardrobe...
because you knew that Mr. Tindle would
not be needing them again... Ever !
That's right, sir, isn't it ?
- He changed back before he left...
and wore them when he went away !
I think you started this...
exactly as you say you did--
as a game in order to play a
diabolical trick on Mr. Tindle--
but that it went wrong.
Your third shot was not a blank,
as you had supposed,
but a live bullet that killed
Mr. Tindle stone dead,
spattering blood on the bannisters
in the process !
Then, when you realized what you'd done,
you simply panicked, like a
thousand murderers before you,
and buried the corpse in the garden.
It was very silly of you...
not to clean the blood properly off
the bannisters and burn his clothes.
I swear, Tindle left here alive !
At the risk of appearing facetious, sir,
you had better tell that to the judge.
Look, there's only one way
of dealing with this.
If you think Tindle's out in
the garden, for Christ's sake,
why don't you go and dig him up !
- We don't need to find him, sir.
If Mr. Tindle is not beneath
that newly-turned earth,
it will merely go to indicate
that in your panic,
you first thought of putting him
there, changed your mind, and
buried him somewhere else.
- Where ?
- Oh, that's not important, sir.
He'll turn up sooner or later.
And if he doesn't, it scarcely matters.
We have your note summoning Mr. Tindle here,
shots were heard, bullet holes made,
blood is on the bannisters and the carpet,
his clothes were hidden in your wardrobe,
and he had disappeared.
Who needs a body ?
Sir, come along, then.
It's time to go.
- No ! I can't believe--
I'm afraid-- I'm afraid, sir,
that I must insist.
There is a Police car at
the end of the driveway.
I don't care if you've got a fleet of
Police cars ! I'm not bloody well going !
Now, let's have no problems, sir.
Please don't make it difficult.
- Christ ! You're hurting my arm !
You give me no alternative.
If you'll just come quiet.
Can't I get my lawyer ? It's my right !
We can make a call from the Police station.
We wouldn't wanna do anything unconstitutional.
Come now, sir. Don't despair.
You may get off with as
little as seven years.
Seven years ?
Seven years to regret the playing
of silly games that go wrong.
Spare me the sentiment ! It didn't go wrong !
It all went bloody well right !
You think so, do you, sir ?
We real-life policemen...
are not as stupid as we
are sometimes portrayed...
by writers like yourself.
We may not have our monocles...
or our orchid houses or our deerstalkers...
or our shovel hats,
but we are reasonably effective
for all that, sir.
You seem to know a hell of a lot about
detective stories, Inspector !
Yes. I have read quite a few in my time, sir.
And in recent years,
I have come to believe
that the detective story...
is the normal recreation of noble minds, sir.
Who or what the hell are you ?
Detective Inspector Doppler, sir.
It is spelled like "Dopple,"
which, as I'm sure you know,
means "double"...
in German.
And for those whose minds...
run to these things,
it is virtually...
an anagram...
of the word "plodder."
Inspector Plodder...
becomes Inspector Doppler,
if you see what I mean...
- Milo.
- The same !
You shit !
Grazie mille.
You all-time, knockdown,
champion bastard, Milo !
You're too kind.
I'm not saying it wasn't well done.
It was extremely beautiful.
It was very-- it was brilliant.
Incidentally, you forgot
to take out your left eye.
Now he knows I'm funny.
"Do have a drink, Milo." Mmm.
I'm sorry. Do help yourself.
I'll have a wash first. I'm
covered in makeup and spirit gum.
- Use the kitchen.
- No, I prefer the master bathroom.
Your very good health, sir.
I must say,
I must congratulate you, Milo.
It was first class.
You sure had me going there for a while.
For a while ?
Well, it was quite a while, I concede.
But I got a bit suspicious
towards the end, you know ?
You did go on a bit, I thought.
What did you think of my performance ?
The anguish of the innocent man,
trapped by circumstantial evidence.
- It wasn't a performance.
- Of course it was. It had to be convincing.
Apparently, I succeeded.
You just don't know how to lose
at all, do you, Andrew ?
All that crap you gave old Doppler...
about the gentry losing gracefully.
Why, I told you, you-you did well.
It was really good.
I loved your Inspector Doppler.
I'm glad you view...
the trifling masquerade in that light, sir.
Your makeup was damn good-- first-class.
You didn't do that yourself, did you ?
I am a hairdresser, don't forget.
I do have friends in the, uh, arts.
I suppose you, uh, sneaked--
slipped in here yesterday
while I was in Salisbury.
- Yes.
- Dumped your clothes into my wardrobe...
and sprinkled a little sacrificial
blood onto the bannisters, hmm ?
It wasn't my blood, I know
you'll be relieved to hear.
I got it from a pig's liver.
I suppose you could've used
almost any dago wine.
- Oh, I'll have that drink now.
- Of course.
- Gin and tonic, I think.
- You richly deserve it, my dear fellow.
Come along.
You know, I haven't congratulated you yet...
on your, uh, game.
- Oh ?
- It was jolly good.
You really think so ? Good.
I must say, I was rather
delighted with it myself.
I say, did you really think...
your last moment on earth had come ?
You're not cross, are you ?
Cross ? I don't understand.
That's one of your words.
Look, as I explained to you,
when you were playing Doppler,
I had to test your mettle
to see if, as I suspected,
you really were my sort of person.
A games-playing sort of person ?
- Exactly !
- And am I ?
There's no question about it.
Compare your experience this weekend,
my dear Milo, with any
other moments in your life.
Now, if you're honest with yourself,
you'll have to admit...
that you lived more intensely in
my company than in anybody else's.
Now, even with Marguerite.
Now, we know what it is
to play a game, you and I.
That's so rare.
Two people brought together,
equally matched, having the courage...
and the talents...
to make of life a continuing
charade of bright fancies,
happy invention;
to face out its emptiness...
and its terrors by playing.
By just playing.
Haven't you forgotten
the jumped-up pantry boy...
who doesn't know his place ?
We are from different worlds,
you and me, Andrew.
In mine, there was no time...
for bright fancies and happy inventions.
No stopping for tea.
The only game we played was to survive...
or go to the wall.
If you didn't win, you just didn't finish.
Loser lose all.
You probably don't understand that.
Understand or not, nothing
you've said disproves my point.
Look at the way you chose to get back at me--
by playing Inspector Doppler.
Simple revenge.
Paying back in kind.
Every wop knows about that.
- Well, is honor satisfied ?
Score even ? One set all ?
"Honor" ?
That's another one of your words.
I know...
that you've stripped me...
more than naked.
I know... that you actually...
terrified me to death.
I stood on those stairs looking down...
and realizing that my-my coat sleeve button,
the bannister,
the nail on my fourth finger...
were absolutely the last things
I was gonna see...
Then, I heard...
the sound... of my own death.
Now, that changes you, Andrew,
believe me, and I still owe you for that.
It'll pass. It's shock, my dear fellow.
Here, let me give you--
I don't want an even score !
And don't you give me any of that
one-set-all, it's-enough-to-take-part crap.
My father just took part,
and his father,
and his father.
Losers, as far back as you can go !
Well, it stops with me !
With me, the Tindles start winning !
And others start losing.
You, for example.
Me ? Lose what ?
A new game--
My kind, my rules, played my way.
And to start it, I have killed someone.
- You've killed someone ?
- Murdered someone.
Committed murder.
- You're not serious.
It's a real game and a real murder.
There's absolutely no point in playing
another pretend game. Isn't that right ?
- Absolutely.
- We're past pretending now.
We'll leave that to the amateurs--
the gentleman players like you.
Uh, look, Milo, I think perhaps another time--
- It can't wait !
- All right. All right.
We'll play your game.
Now, whom did you kill ?
"Whom" ? "Whom" ?
Who, besides yourself,
is the closest to being
someone you care about ?
Would it be your girlfriend, Tea ?
Why ?
- She's the one.
You killed Tea ?
She, whose cobalt eyes...
were the secret forest pools of Finlandia.
I closed them.
- You--
- Yes, I strangled her,
right over there on that rug.
I strangled her.
And-- oh, yes,
I screwed her first.
You raped and strangled--
No, not rape.
She wanted it.
- You're lying !
You can't take me with
a crude game like this.
Honestly, Milo, I gave you
credit for better sport.
When I was here yesterday...
planting the blood and
clothes for old Doppler,
Tea showed up looking for you.
So I "pitched her a little woo,"
as you would've said in your day,
and we danced cheek to cheek to those
cornball, big-band oldies of yours.
I mean, who but you would have them ?
Anyway, it worked.
She got itchy, and I had to scratch,
didn't I ?
And afterwards she got sleepy,
and that's when I did it, old boy.
I wrung her neck.
She was under that freshly-dug mound of earth...
that old Doppler took such a fancy to.
- "Was" ? She's not now ?
- No, I moved her.
- Where to ?
The flooded gravel pit ?
Fu Manchu's abandoned glue factory ?
It doesn't matter where to.
The Police will find her in due course
if they haven't found her already.
- The Police ?
- Yes.
I phoned them about an hour ago...
and asked them to meet me here at 10:00.
They should arrive in about 15 minutes.
I'm sure they will too.
Led, no doubt, by intrepid,
downy Inspector Doppler.
- Nope.
It'll be a real cop, all right.
Detective Sergeant Tarrant
Is his name.
Check it, if you like.
I told him a lot about you, Andrew.
I said I knew you to be a man
obsessed with games-playing...
and murder considered as a fine art.
Your life's great ambition, I said,
of which you'd often spoken...
was to commit an actual, real life murder,
hide the body,
then leave clues linking you with
the crime scattered about the house,
convinced that the poor,
simple minded Police...
would never recognize 'em for what they were.
"Please, sir, Andrew wyke can't rest
until he's committed a real murder,
but he's gonna make fools
out of all you coppers."
Honestly ! Tell that to
the average desk Sergeant,
and you'll find yourself strapped
right into the giggle jacket.
Not so, in fact.
I told them that if they didn't believe me,
one look at your books and the
furnishings of your house...
would confirm what I said
about your obsessions.
Go on.
I also told them that two days ago,
your girlfriend came to my house in great
distress, saying that you suspected her...
of having affairs with other men
and threatened to kill her.
I bet they believed every word of that !
In the end, yes, they did.
My dear boy.
I do appreciate that
in spite of your denials,
you've been captivated by
the spirit of games-playing...
and the need, as you see it,
to win at any cost.
But frankly, you are trying too hard...
to be a big boy too soon.
Hello-- hello, Joyce ?
It's Andrew.
Can I speak to Tea ?
She-- what ?
Been strangled--
Well, where was this ?
When-when was it ?
Where was she found ?
What ?
Uh, Joyce, uh,
I can't understand what you--
Do try to control your--
What ?
The Police...
Oh, my... God.
You should've believed me.
Now, we're gonna play the game.
In a little over 30 minutes,
the law will arrive.
It's going to be your giant brain...
against their plodding ones.
Concealed about this room...
are four clues incriminating you...
as Tea's murderer,
including, as a final expression of
your contempt for the Police,
the murder weapon itself.
Now, are you ready ?
You can't make a game out of real murder.
We'll see.
Now, remember: four objects.
Those that you don't find,
be sure the Police will.
And they are all in plain view.
And the first object is...
a crystal bracelet.
- Not the one--
- Yes.
I tore it off her wrist.
It's, uh, it's inscribed--
All right, all right !
I know how it's inscribed.
- Would you like some help ?
- Yes, damn you !
Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk. So soon.
Now, where's my list ?
- Oh, God.
- Here it is.
"For any man with half an eye,
what stands before him he may spy.
"But optics sharp it needs, and clean,
to see what is not to be seen."
You said everything was in plain view !
Well, aren't I the shifty old sly boots then ?
You're not giving me anything for a chance,
you bastard !
Now, think, think, think.
It's in plain view yet not to be seen,
and optical tricks involved.
To see what is not to be
seen by the naked eye.
It's-it's microscopic !
Only a fragment of it is showing !
That's it !
The traditional tool of your trade, Inspector.
Why don't you ask yourself...
how your man "Merridick"
would go about the search.
Merridew ! St. John Lord Merridew !
Calm. Keep calm.
Now, think. What are the problems of crystal ?
Hard, brilliant, transparent.
Look through it, but you don't see it.
That's the trick !
Now, the only place to conceal
transparent things...
so as to make it invisible and yet
leave it in plain view...
is on or in another transparent thing
like-- like--
Clear as crystal.
But I-- I don't need to destroy this, do I ?
She could've left it here any time.
- True.
- Go on. What next ?
- Ah.
The next object is much more incriminating.
Here's a little riddle which I'm sure...
one of your nannies must have taught you.
Two brothers we are
great burdens we bear
on which we are bitterly pressed.
The truth is to say
we are full all the day
and empty when
we go to rest.
I know that !
I know that.
Uh, just a minute.
"Full all the day, empty when we go to--"
I know ! It's a pair of shoes !
In this case, one lady's left black shoe,
size six.
The other, I need hardly add,
is on Tea's foot.
God ! Poor Tea.
Poor Tea, eh ? That's better.
Do you know that's the first sign
of sorrow you've shown...
since you heard of her death ?
You wouldn't put it here anyway, or even
upstairs among Marguerite's shoes.
It's too obvious.
- Such grief is touching.
You really are the salt of the
earth, you know that, Andrew ?
By the way, that's a clue,
if you're interested.
"Salt of the earth" ?
Earth ? It's buried !
No, better the other.
Salt. Salt.
Salt and pepper.
saltpeter. Salt water.
Salt cellar. It's in the cellar !
You're really turned on, aren't you, Andrew ?
Even though the game you're playing...
is for your own life,
you're practically having it off.
Shoe ! Shoe. I ask myself,
"if I was a black shoe, where would I hide ?
If I was as black as your hat--
If I was as black as the ace of spades--
If I was as black as--"
- Coal !
That's it !
Bastard !
Dirty son of a bitch !
You're getting warmer... and blacker.
Must be quite a new experience for you.
I don't suppose "blacks" play much of
a part in the books you write, do they ?
Except for the odd, eyeball-rolling darkie...
to take his place alongside the
swarthy yid, the oily lebantine,
and others.
Oh, I'm sorry it's so messy.
It's only earth...
from Tea's first grave in your garden.
Not so bad. We're up on the clock, I think.
- Barely.
Well, what's next ?
What do you find so damned amusing ?
What the hell are you laughing at ?
- You sure you're all right ?
- Yes, I'm all right, Jack.
Jack ?
You simple minded twit !
You've been handing me the clue all along !
It's Jolly Jack Tar !
It's on the sailor !
True !
That's where it is.
But this time,
I am not going to tell you...
what it is.
All right !
He looks disappointed in you.
But then, it's no laughing matter.
Or is it ?
Do that again.
My God, he's never winked at me before !
I suppose the other lash is
on one of poor Tea's eyes.
She won't miss it. They're both closed.
How much more time ?
You've got about five minutes.
Hardly enough, I'd say.
There's one more thing left,
I think-- the murder weapon.
You strangled her over there with what ?
Rope ? A belt ?
A scarf ?
- It bit into her neck very deeply, Andrew.
I had to pry it loose.
You'll pay for that, I promise,
you sadistic, bloody wop !
I hope I didn't hear that correctly.
You're certain to need more help.
I'd hate to have to start giving
you difficult italian clues...
full of treachery and double meaning.
All right.
All right !
As several wops have remarked
from time to time,
non e oro tutto che scintilla.
Is that a clue ?
Say the damn thing again, then.
Non e oro tutto che scintilla.
No. Once more, please.
Non e oro tutto che scintilla.
Que hora ?
What's the time ?
No, uh--
Oro. Oro.
Gold ! Gold !
Oro tutto.
All gold.
Uh, scintilla. Scintilla.
Uh, gold scintillates--
All that glisters is not gold !
There will always be an England.
You strangled her with something
golden and scintillating.
What-- what's that ?
A musical clue. Right.
Now, um, golden, uh--
Golden notes.
Golden scale.
Golden-- golden chord.
It's a chord ! You strangled
her with a golden cord !
And like everybody does, you
hid it behind the bell pull !
No, damn it, you didn't.
"Anything goes !"
In olden days--
In olden days
a glimpse of stocking
was looked on
as something shocking--
Stocking !
Where would you put stockings ?
Up the-- on legs.
Legs-- the golden legs !
There's not a golden leg in the blasted house.
It-- is it in this room ?
Non capisco.
Oh !
Bastard !
In olden days
a glimpse of stocking
was looked on
as something shocking
Now, heaven knows
anything goes
The world has gone mad today
and good's--
I-I think I can hear something.
Andrew ? Andrew !
- What ?
- They're here. The Police are here.
It looks like you've had it.
They're coming up the drive.
- Keep them out !
- Keep the Police out ?
It's just not done, old boy.
But still, I'll try.
Just one more minute !
Stall them somehow ! Please ?
"In olden days,
a glimpse of stocking."
Mr. Tindle.
- Olden days.
- I wasn't expecting to find you here, sir.
- Good evening, Sergeant Tarrant.
- A glimpse--
In olden days.
Before tights, what ? Nylon.
Before nylon, what ?
Then what else ?
What... else ?
Stockings had clocks.
In olden days.
A glimpse.
Now you see it, now you don't.
Why don't I have a go at it ?
Just let me tell him you're here.
- Andrew.
- Hmm ?
Is it all right if I introduce Detective
Sergeant Tarrant and Constable Higgs ?
Oh, yes, of course !
Come in, gentlemen.
come in. Do.
Or should I say,
Inspector Plodder and Constable Freshface.
Thank you, Sergeant.
We won't be needing you after all.
That's all right, sir.
Better to be safe than sorry.
That's what I always say, sir.
Good night, Sergeant.
Good night, sir.
Good night, Constable.
Good night, sir.
First, I suppose you'll
want to know about Tea.
She did call yesterday while I was
setting up the Doppler scene,
and I told her about the trick
that you played on me with the gun.
She wasn't a bit surprised.
She knows only too well the kind
of games you like to play--
the kind of humiliation you enjoy
inflicting on other people.
I explained to her that...
I wanted to play a game and get even with you,
and I asked her to lend me a stocking, a shoe,
a false eyelash, and that bracelet...
that you bought her.
And she was happy to help,
and so was her flatmate, Joyce.
Would you like to phone Tea ?
She'll talk to you now.
But then, you wouldn't have very
much to say to her, would you ?
She's not really your mistress, is she ?
She told me...
that you and her haven't made it together...
for over a year.
She also told me...
that you are practically impotent.
Not at all, in fact,
the selector's choice for the next Olympics.
I warned you, Andrew.
I don't play games for the sport !
Particularly not...
games of humiliation.
I know too much about that.
Where are you going ?
I'm going to get Marguerite's fur coat.
She's not coming back ?
I live...
as I want to live.
You know, I've been thinking of
that writer you told me about,
and it is my opinion...
that your detective stories
are the normal recreation...
of snobbish, outdated,
life-hating, ignoble minds.
I'll get that fur coat now.
You'll see.
You'll see.
I was working in my study...
when I heard a noise in here.
So I took my revolver...
and I came in here...
to investigate.
Here was this young man...
running down the stairs...
with my wife's fur coat over his arm.
I shouted for him to stop,
but he wouldn't pay any attention,
but ran on towards the door,
hoping to make his escape.
Naturally, I fired.
I aimed low.
Believe me, Inspector, I did.
The most appalling thing happened.
I shot him dead.
That's all right, sir.
Don't distress yourself unduly.
A thing like that could happen to anyone.
I can't let you go now.
What do you mean ?
Going about... Telling everyone,
it's just not possible.
Who--whom would I tell ?
Who'd be interested ?
One person would be too many, even Marguerite.
Especially Marguerite.
What are you gonna do then, Andrew ?
Shoot me down ?
Play that old burglar game again ?
- That's right.
- It wouldn't work now.
No. Why not, I wonder ?
Because of what really happened
after I left here last friday night.
Oh. What really happened ?
I did lurch home...
dazed, dirty and humiliated.
And I sat up all night.
And in the morning, I went
to the Police station...
and I told them what you'd done to me.
And one of them, Detective Sergeant Tarrant--
Oh, yes, he's real--
he took me into a little room
and we had a long chat,
but I don't think he paid very much attention...
to anything I said.
So I thought to myself,
"he's not gonna do anything
about this."
No. Why not ?
You know the answer to that
just as well as I do.
In his eyes, I'm just some common little git...
who's been screwing the wife of a
local nob and got what he deserved.
So perhaps the Police won't
come by as I said they would.
But even if they don't, they'd never
believe that burglar story of yours.
Not now.
So, you see, you've lost.
You can't fool me anymore, Milo.
I haven't believed a single word
you've been saying.
It's the truth.
- Liar.
- Phone Sergeant Tarrant
if you don't believe me.
You come here and announce your intention...
to steal away my wife,
you pry into my manhood,
you lecture me on ignoble minds,
and you mock the creation of my life,
St. John Lord Merridew.
They're all real bullets this time.
The game's over, Andrew.
I'm going home now.
Milo, you do see...
I'm not really a very good games player.
I mean to say,
never play the same game three times running.
Don't forget:
be sure and tell them...
it was just...
a bloody game.