The Draughtsman's Contract (1982) Movie Script

Mr. Chandos was a man
who spent more time...
...with his gardener
than with his wife.
They discussed plum trees... nauseam.
He gave his family and his
tenants cause to dread September...
...for they were regaled with
plums until their guts rumbled like...
...thunder and their backsides
ached from over-use.
He built the chapel at Fovant...
...where the pew
seats were of plumwood... the tenants still have cause
to remember Chandos...
...through their backsides...
...on account of the splinters.
At last the glittering...
... Queen of Night...
... with black caress...
... kills off...
... kills off the day.
Some years ago two gentlemen
went back to Amsterdam...
...saying that Allhevinghay
was just like home.
There was so much water... many ornamental ponds,
so many canals... many sinks and basins.
There was even a wind pump.
What they had not realised was... father had made
his land into a pattern...
...of reservoirs...
...because he was terrified of fire.
There was even a room
under the front stairs...
...that housed two hundred buckets...
...all of them filled with water.
I know because
whenever I was taken short... brothers and I used
to rush in there and use them.
Those buckets were
filled before my mother died.
I expect them to be still there...
...with the same water of thirty years
ago I shouldn't wonder...
...mixed with a
little of myself, of course.
I used to pee like a horse.
I still do.
For those that walk...
... that walk...
... with hopeful step...
... in garden...
... in garden...
... in garden...
... love to find.
At Southampton there's
a house I've admired...
...because from the
side it looks so flat.
It is of white Portland stone...
...and on a cloudy
day it looks as though... might be attached to the sky.
Especially in the evening.
Its owner is a Miss Anterim.
She is a lady without a husband.
From the side Miss Anterim is also...
...a lady without significance.
Maybe that is why unlike her house...
...the lady is unattached.
What with one flatness
and another, Mr. Neville... a painter
and as a draughtsman... could be entertained.
Especially in the evening...
...from the side.
For those that walk...
... that walk.
It is said that the Duc de
Courey invited his water mechanic... the top of an elaborate
cascade he had built...
...and asked him if he could
build such a marvel for anyone else.
The man, after offering
various thanks and pleasantries...
...admitted that with sufficient
patronage he probably could.
The Duc de Courey pushed him
gently in the small of the back...
...and the wretched man
plummeted to a watery death.
Their hope to find success.
They're sure to make.
Mr. Noyes... you have a
ribald piece of gossip for me?
I am here to fulfill a role
as entertainer, so I am sure...
...that I could find
something for you.
Then you are here on merit.
A characteristic that the
company does not share...
...being here merely to express
confidence in one another's money.
You are one of the company.
My merititious conduct in
the company of Mr. Seymour...
...has been my invitation.
I am strictly not of the company...
...but a part of its property.
Since that's what the company is
here to discuss and to revel in... should be well favoured.
I would well favour you myself
above two parterres and... of orange trees.
You are not extravagant in
your compliments, Mr. Noyes.
I'm not wealthy enough
to offer you more...
...but I intend to be so soon.
In the present company of 13...
...that owns a fair slice of England.
Two parterres and a drive of
orange trees is a beginning...
...and being a lady
of the Italian fashion.
You will appreciate
the value of oranges.
They smell so sweet.
They are so invigorating.
The very statues...
... breathe.
Do you think your father will ask Mr.
Neville to draw the house?
Why not improve Mr. Neville's chances,
and yours, by inviting him yourself?
That is a too imaginative
stratagem for me.
Your father would find it
uncharacteristically bold.
Then you could surprise him...
...and perhaps surprise
Mr. Neville, as well.
And if that frightens you, mother...
...we could lay the
blame on Mr. Neville.
I hold the delight or despondency
of a man of property... putting his house
in shadow or in sunlight.
Even possibly...
...I have some
control over the jealousy...
...or satisfaction of a husband... depicting his wife...
...dressed or undressed.
Mrs. Clement asked
me if I had a wife...
...which has a ring of impertinence.
She knows I have a garden, how
doesn't she know I have a wife?
Perhaps because you
boast of one and not the other.
But I suspect a sense of
modesty is an impertinence... such a lady as Mrs. Clement.
Your mother takes a sense of
modesty an unprecedented distance.
Why doesn't she come out more?
She frets in the shadows.
She does not fret, father...
...or if she does you well
know the cause is your indifference.
A house, a garden, a horse, a wife,
the preferential order.
I am anxious, Mr. Neville...
...that you should
draw my husband's estate.
Why is that Madam?
My husband is a proud man delighted
to be associated with every brick...
...and every tree of his property at
every moment of his waking life.
No doubt in his dreams as well...
...though I've not been
well acquainted with his dreams.
With such an excellent
relationship as...
...your husband has
with his property...
...he surely, having the
real thing, does not need a copy.
I do not take well
to young men who preen.
Their vanity outweighs their prowess.
Mr. Neville has prowess enough.
Enough to charm
where he cannot impress.
He can charm and
impress the wives of rich men.
That's not so uncommon, Mr. Seymour.
You come with me to
Southampton tomorrow.
I'll show you how to impress
a lady with a good drawing on.
My father's property, Mr. Neville... a little more
forward than humble.
Since humility in a building
is not antithetical to you...
...perhaps I can prevail on
you to draw my father's house?
The same proposition
from a different quarter.
A concerted effort
naturally intrigues me...
...but I feel things being
as they are.
May I be bold.
I do not think that
you or your mother...
...could afford my services.
Why not enjoy our patronage?
Come and walk in Mr.
Herbert's garden tomorrow.
...I cannot say that I
wouldn't be delighted...
...but I fear,
despite your persistence...
...that I have work
to do up and beyond...
...this apple season
and will be in the service...
...of Lord Charborough
until next year's apples...
...have all been drunk as cider.
Your mother is excessively keen... have this house down on paper.
Or perhaps it is you that is keen...
...and your mother is
merely your surrogate?
I admit, Mr. Neville, to being a
supplicant on my mother's behalf...
...but she does not want it
for herself but for her husband.
The supplication then
has a long and diverse path.
I am flattered.
May not Mr. Herbert
himself do his own commissioning?
The point of the exercise... to avoid that one thing.
You, Mr. Neville, are to be...
...the instrument of a
hopeful reconciliation.
Mr. Neville... can I persuade you to stay
with us at Compton Anstey?
You cannot.
But you can be bought, Mr. Neville.
How much will it cost?
More than you can afford.
But I must confess my
prime reason is indolence.
I increase my price... proportion to my
expectation of pleasure.
I do not expect great pleasure here.
...I'm to leave in the morning
for Southampton.
I've come to take my leave of you now.
Do not order the hay to be cut.
Do not leave the estate
and do not drink my claret.
Don't expect me back until I'm ready,
which at the least will be 14 days.
Good night, Madam.
She laughs...
I have decided...
...that it is most important
that you stay here... make for me twelve
drawings of my husband's estate.
My husband is to
go to Southampton...
...for at least twelve days.
Will that be enough time for you?
First you make a
demand that suggests...
...we haven't discussed the
proposition this evening.
Second, you increase your
demand by at least 12.
Third, you add to the
proposition a time limit.
And fourth, you expect me
to start at once.
Four factors, you have convinced us...
...are well within your
talents and capabilities.
Your terms are exorbitant... must mine be.
She loves...
... and she confesses to.
There is then at last...
... no more to do.
The conditions of the
agreement are:
...My services as
draughtsman for twelve days...
...for the manufacture
of 12 drawings...
...of the estate and gardens...
...parks and outlying
buildings of Mr. Herbert's Property.
The sites for the twelve drawings
to be chosen at my discretion...
...though advised by Mrs. Herbert.
For which, Thomas, I am willing
to pay eight pounds a drawing... provide full board for
Mr. Neville and his servant...
And, Madam?
And to meet Mr. Neville in private...
...and to comply with his requests
concerning his pleasure with me.
Curriculum for the Execution...
... of the Drawings at
Compton Anstey.
For Drawing Number 1.
From 7 in the morning...
... until 9 in the morning...
... the whole of the
back of the house...
... from the stable
block to the laundry garden...
... will be kept clear.
No person shall use the main
stable yard gates whatsoever...
... and no person
shall use the back door...
... or interfere with
the windows or furniture...
... of the back part of the house.
'A'is for Apricot.
'M'is for Marilla.
'C'is for Citrona.
'A'is for Ananas.
'P'is for Pineapple.
For Drawing Number 2.
From 9 o'clock in the
morning until 11 o'clock...
... the lower lawns of the house...
... including the formal
garden will be kept clear.
No window in the upper part
of the house will be opened...
... closed or otherwise disturbed.
Your Mr. Neville, Sarah...
...has the God-like power
of emptying the landscape.
It is a wonder the birds still sing.
If they stopped...
...I doubt whether Mr. Neville
would appreciate the difference.
His attitude to
nature is strictly material.
...why is Mr. Neville
interested in my sheets?
He is to draw them
wet outside the laundry.
Why does he want them wet?
I cannot answer you that.
Perhaps he has fond
memories of being a baby.
For Drawing Number 3.
From 11 o'clock in the
morning until 1 o'clock...
... the back and
north side of the house...
... will be kept clear.
This area...
... used as a place
for drying linen...
... will be left as asked
for, on an arrangement...
... made between the
draughtsman and the laundress...
... who will take
full responsibility...
... for the disposition of the linen.
I am delighted to see that...'ve loosened your
clothing as I requested.
When your husband had
the pear trees grafted... you know if he
asked for the advice...
...of Mr. Seymour's gardener?
You do not speak very loud.
We do not know
Mr. Seymour's gardener.
I see.
Mr. Neville.
The trees have been poorly cared for.
The angle between the branches...
...and the main trunk is too steep.
But the original work is good.
And what of the pears themselves... season.
Are they presentable?
For Drawing Number 4.
From 2 o'clock until 4
o'clock in the afternoon...
... the front of the house that faces
west will be kept clear.
No horses,
carriages or other vehicles...
... will be allowed
to be placed there...
... and the gravel on the
drive will be left undisturbed.
No coals are to be
burned that will issue smoke...
... from the front of the house.
And Hurry up!
For Drawing Number 5.
From 4 o'clock in the afternoon
until 6 o'clock in the afternoon...
... the hilltop prospect of the
estate to the north of the house...
... will be kept
clear of all members...
... of the household
staff and farm servants.
Such animals as are presently
grazing in the fields...
... will be permitted
to continue to do so.
Good day, Mr. Neville.
Mr. Talmann.
I see you have selected a fine view...
...for my son to inherit.
I prefer, for the moment... regard the view as
the property of Mr. Herbert.
...see that Clarissa doesn't go
to the laundry around noon.
And, come to my withdrawing room...
... this afternoon with some ink.
I want to send to
Mr. Herbert to know...
... by which road
he intends to return.
Is it your intention to continue
to stand there Mr. Talmann?
I can see the view
very adequately from here.
Thank you.
Will you be wearing
the same clothes tomorrow?
I have not decided.
It depends on my servants.
Is it important?
Maybe I will.
For Drawing Number 6.
From 6 o'clock in the
evening until 8 o'clock...
... the lower lawn of the
garden by the statue of Hermes...
... will be kept clear of all
members of the house hold...
... staff, horses and other animals.
Philip, go and ask
those people to move.
Ask them nicely, smile.
Don't trot.
Go away.
Not that I know.
Mr. Lucas...
...was a man whose enthusiasms
were divided equally...
...between his
garden and his children.
Whenever his wife conceived...
...Mr. Lucas planted fruit-trees.
His wife seldom came to
a successful labour...
...and those children she was
blessed with died before weaning.
Mr. Lucas threatened to cut his trees
down, but he never did.
To date there are 11 trees
in his fruit-garden...
...and he knows them all
by their Christian names.
The English are not blessed with
the most appropriate fecundity.
They can raise colonies
but not heirs to the throne.
It depends which
colonies you are speaking of.
Some of England's oldest
colonies have heirs in plenty.
Mr. Neville... we have an indication
of Scottish sympathies?
You would be reading far too much...
...into what is simply a
statement of fact.
If the best Englishmen
are foreigners...
...and that seems to be a
simple statement of fact...
...then the best English
painters are foreigners too.
There's no English
painter worthy of the name.
Would you agree Mr. Neville?
To be an English painter... a contradictory term.
Then Mr. Herbert shows some sense
in encouraging Mr. Neville.
Mr. Herbert, as we all know... full of contradictions.
Contradictory enough to have
invited you into this house.
Despite his being a man without
airs and graces.
But not privy to whom his wife...
...welcomes into his house.
When my father is away, Louis... mother is at liberty to
run his house as she feels fit.
And she has seen fit
to invite Mr. Neville.
A gracious speech, Mrs. Talmann.
To hide all manner of inconveniences.
How is that?
It is apparent.
It isn't from our meeting that
your presumptory regime...
...not only extends to
confining the household... animals in reservations...
...but directing us as to whether
or not we should wear a coat...
...carry a walking-stick or whistle.
When I met you in the garden... were doing all those things.
If you intend being there tomorrow...
...I would wish you to dress and
to behave in the same way.
However, it's beyond my power... describe a whistle
pictorially, whether it comes...
...from an Englishman or from a German
dressed as an Englishman.
And what do you do
about the birds, Mr. Neville?
If you ignore their song, you can't
prevent them from flying across...
...the field of your vision.
The prospect of twelve
fine-weather days...
...with clear skies...
...and sharp shadows
is an excellent proposition...
...but not to be guaranteed.
So I am naturally anxious...
...that time should not be wasted.
It would assist me
greatly therefore...
...if my instructions, which have
been given great consideration...
...should be observed.
I'm painstaking enough... notice quite small
changes in the landscape.
Once started,
I make that a committal...
...whatsoever ensues.
And I think you can surmise...
...that it's an attitude from which
I obtain great satisfaction...
...and some entertainment.
...can you remember, when
Mr. Herbert had his clothes packed...
...whether he took his French boots?
How is it that you've contrived... make the garden
so empty of people?
The authority for these drawings
comes from Mrs. Herbert.
Do you think that she
is a woman who enjoys...
...having a crowd of people
kick her gravel around...
...or move her earth like a
pack of dogs in a herb garden?
I would seek peace
and quiet in a garden...
...and noise and
excitement at a carnival.
Carnem levare.
So Mr. Neville, you
would reserve your revelries...
...for a religious occasion.
And what of Gethsemane?
A wild sort of
garden I shouldn't wonder.
There would be no geometric paths...
...and no Dutch bulbs.
We have a Cedar of Lebanon...
...and a Judas tree.
Perhaps we could
cultivate a Tree of Heaven?
The gardens of England
are becoming jungles.
Such exotics are grossly unsuitable.
If the Garden of Eden was planned for
England, God would have seen to it.
The Garden of Eden...
...was originally
intended for Ireland.
For it was there that St.
Patrick eradicated the snake.
The only useful eradication
in Ireland...
...was performed by
William of Orange...
...four years ago on my birthday.
And happy birthday to you Mr. Talmann.
If you are not too old
to receive presents...
...perhaps the gardener and I can
find a snake for your Orangerie.
Good day to you, Mr. Neville.
Good day, Madam.
I see the company is assembled.
And what are we to be spectators of?
You must not be surprised.
We are here at your request.
I did not request an audience...
...nor a dinner on the grass.
Perhaps we are to applaud...
...the view.
The scribbler is never satisfied.
He is as insatiable as a...
You've said that Mr.
Talmann should be here...
...dressed as you asked and
carrying a gold-topped cane.
We have taken you at your word.
There was another instruction, but
conveniently I have forgotten it.
Whistling, Sarah.
So much for convenience.
You do not catch me
in the best of tempers...
...wearing yesterday's clothes.
I give you 20 minutes only.
I have a horse to exercise.
Then, Sir, please take your place.
I will take a walk.
Come with me, Maria.
We have a dog to exercise.
A little to the left, if you please.
And puff out your cheeks.
Why should I do that?
Because last time you were whistling.
A tune perhaps not
readily recognisable...
...even by its own composer.
Look, Madam...
...this man has no head.
A typical German characteristic.
Mr. Neville...'re talking about my son-in-law.
By the grace of God... are to have
a grandson by him...
...some day.
Is that not a better thing to talk of?
And you mock my money
and my person... draw caricatures.
With my memory, 3
pictures in the house...
...and your knowledge
of the subject...
...I intend to place
the head of Mr. Herbert...
...on these shoulders... an appropriate
...of your husband and his property.
If he should return?
Why, Madam, what a
strange thing to say?
If he should return home to me.
...I am grieving...
...because Mr. Herbert... away.
Yes, Mother.
The Contract is void, Mr. Neville.
I cannot meet you again.
Mrs. Herbert, sit here.
Move your head into the shade.
Don't you think the gardeners
have excelled themselves?
You should not continue to draw.
I'm not able to continue
the terms of our contract.
The fee is yours,
as is the hospitality.
I was about to say...
...that in spite of my
satisfaction at continuing...
...the prospect in such
delightful circumstances...
...the peak of my delight is
obtained in those short minutes...
...when we are together.
I would regret losing them.
Besides, I do not
need to remind you...
...that the contract was made
between two people.
It will take the consent of
both signatories to make it void.
I feel that from this
position I cannot adequately see...
...what I'm supposed
to be seeing and...
...I must therefore ask you to find
some other resting-place.
At least until 4 o'clock...
...when our next meeting is to be
consummated as arranged.
Who is this child
who walks the garden...
...with such a
solemn look on his face?
That is my husband's nephew.
He attracts servants
like a little midget King.
What is his patrimony?
His father was
killed at Ausbergenfeld.
His mother became a Catholic.
So my husband brought
him to England.
To be reared as a little Protestant.
He was an orphan and
needed to be looked after.
An orphan...
...because his mother
became a Catholic?
Philip, find out what's happening.
Mr. Neville, Sir...
...I'm sorry about the coat.
It was not I that put it there.
Is that so, Madam...
...then who did?
I'll ask.
No, don't ask. Leave it there.
Someone is getting careless.
The garden is becoming a robe-room.
I wonder what they
keep in their clothespress.
Plants perhaps.
Who will be your
husband's direct heir after you?
A future grandson...
...though not after me.
Mr. Herbert does not believe... a woman owning property.
And what about your
daughter and her husband?
They would be
guardians on a grandson's behalf.
Do you intend to study legal matters?
You must forgive my curiosity.
Open your knees.
To have possession of my person... not an excuse to be
privy to my husband's Will.
Your loyalty is exemplary.
But what will happen to the estate
if your daughter has no heirs?
I don't like to think about it.
The estate was my father's.
Mr. Herbert obtained
it through marriage to me.
It is imperative,
Augustus, that in representing me... ask of yourself the very best.
And you do not fraternise
with whomsoever you choose.
And chasing sheep is a
tiresome habit best left to shepherds.
If Mr. Neville chases
sheep he is not to be emulated.
Drawing is an attribution
worth very little...
...and in England
worth nothing at all.
If you must scribble...
...I suggest that your time would be
better spent in studying mathematics.
I will engage a tutor...
...and, who knows,
one day you, Augustus...
...may add the Talmann
name to the Royal Society.
...your tutor of course
must be German.
There are already far too many English
influences on your life as it is.
Mr. Neville is our
resident draughtsman.
He is making one or two drawings
of Mr. Herbert's house and estate.
I've heard of your
prowess, Mr. Neville.
Indeed I've heard more than that.
I've heard you're
not a conventional man.
Mr. Neville has planned
his stay here... an officer
in a hostile billet.
We've orders to
appear and disappear... wear cocked hats, to
eat meals in the open air...
...and to prepare
furniture for inspection.
And yet, Louis...
...I hear that you're not
averse to exchanging exercise...
...on a new horse for standing
to attention in the hot sun... a halberdier.
What control you
must exercise Mr. Neville.
You might be better
employed as a military man...
...than as someone who
merely draws a landscape.
Mrs. Herbert...
...whatever is the
price you must pay... capture this general
who leads the wheat by the ear.
Mrs. Herbert pays no
price she cannot afford.
Thanks to her generosity, I am
permitted to take my pleasure...
...without hindrance
on her property...
...and to enjoy the maturing
delights of her country garden.
And, gentlemen...
...there is much
there to be surprised at...
...and applauded.
Good Afternoon, Mr. Talmann.
Good afternoon, Mr. Neville.
You are late.
I heard the clock strike four
some minutes ago.
That is indeed true.
I met Mr. Porringer.
I'm becoming Mr. Porringer's
taster of victuals.
Does the same thing happen to you?
Today, it was raspberries.
I congratulate you on
today's raspberries...
...but not on yesterday's damsons.
They were tasteless, "geschmacklos".
Like your coat Mr. Talmann.
There is no way...
...that I was going to
wear that coat a third day.
We are indeed...
...losing the novelty
of this situation.
First I was graced with the
presence of Mrs. Talmann...
...two servants, a maid and a meal
served on silver-plate.
Now what have we?
Yourself dressed in the wrong clothes.
Mr. Neville, enough.
Your enthusiasm for
complaint knows no limit.
For a fee of 8 pounds your
impertinence is too expensive.
Would you have me be
impertinent for nothing?
For nothing...
...I would have you
run off my property.
Good day.
Your property, Mr. Talmann?
Mr. Talmann, you've forgotten
your riding-boots.
They are not mine, Mr. Neville.
I felt sure that they were yours.
Why doesn't your husband
have the moat cleaned out?
He doesn't like to see the fish.
Carp live too long.
They remind him of Catholics.
Besides from his window...
...the duckweed could
be mistaken for lawn.
Can he swim?
I've never seen him swim.
Good morning, Mrs. Herbert.
This morning I'm progressing well.
I am beginning to enjoy myself.
Would you be so good as to sit?
It's a little chilly perhaps, but I
think you tremble too much.
It is not easy for me
this way to use your person... I would like to.
Would you stand?
The ladder, as you
can see, has now become...
...a meretricious vertical.
But I forgive you
for standing it there.
What use have I for the ladder.
It does not go anywhere.
Would you be so good as to kneel?
Kneel, Madam.
If you have any influence
over your son-in-law...
...I suggest that he travel over
to Mr. Seymour's to see...
...what can be done with limes... doing as little as possible.
Limes, Madam...
...can smell so sweet.
Especially when they are
allowed to bloom without hindrance.
And it will shortly be time to bloom.
Is it true...
...that you would wish
to see Mr. Herbert dead?
I've no great love for Mr. Herbert.
Goodness, a provocative question.
Then why stay?
Mr. Noyes has a great
attachment to my mother, Mr. Neville.
I'm employed by Mr.
Herbert as Estate Manager.
Mr. Herbert is often away...
...and I can make myself
useful to Mrs. Herbert.
In more ways than one I presume.
But is it not that way
which is most important?
Your questions...
...are far too imprudent
and provocative in this company.
Then you'd rather I asked
them behind your back?
Mr. Noyes' position in this house
is well known to us all.
It is a...
...a difficult position.
I'm surprised that
you all concur in it.
The organisation of this
house is Mr. Herbert's affair.
My father and Mr. Noyes
were once great friends.
And then?
My mother was at one
time promised to Mr. Noyes.
Your position Mr. Noyes
is then a consolation.
You overstep your privileges in being
a guest in Mrs. Herbert's house.
Sit down, Mr. Noyes.
I merely pursue an enquiry.
It may help me to understand
what is happening in the garden.
That shirt, Mr. Neville, is
prominent enough in your drawing.
Would it be possible
to disguise its presence?
I try very hard...
... never to distort or to dissemble.
Would that always be you
method of working?
It would.
...let me make a little speech.
In your drawing of the
north side of the house... father's cloak lies wrapped
around a figure of Bacchus.
In the drawing of the
prospect over which... husband turns an
appreciative gaze... will have noticed that there
is unclaimed a pair of riding boots.
In the drawing of the
park from the east side... is possible to see leaning
against my father's wardroom...
...a ladder usually put to
use for the collecting of apples.
And in the drawing of the laundry...
...there is a jacket of my
father's slit across the chest.
Do you not think that before
long you might find the body...
...that inhabited all those clothes?
I am thinking very hard
about the drawing you've left out.
And you, Madam,
were in that drawing.
Are you sure?
The sound of you was in the drawing.
You were playing the spinet.
I thought that we had discussed...
...the pictorial equivalents of
noise without conclusion.
Perhaps it was not
me playing the spinet.
Have you thought of that?
Then who was it?
You see, Mr. Neville,
you are already beginning... play the game rather skilfully.
Four garments and a ladder... not lead us to a corpse.
I said nothing about a corpse.
You are ingenious.
It is as if you'd planned it.
Your father is in Southampton.
He would not miss his
clothes or notice the ladder.
Is my father in Southampton,
Mr. Neville?
My mother told you that.
And you must realise that
she is a lady of few words...
...and not incapable of
a few stratagems.
Haven't you thought how hard...
...she persuaded you to be
her draughtsman... draw her husband's
house while her husband was away?
Her explanation for
that can be supported.
Perhaps you have
taken a great deal on trust.
I look forward to the
eventual purpose and...
...outcome of this ingenuity.
My last six drawings will
be redolent of the mystery.
I will proceed step by
step to the heart of the matter.
Perhaps to the heart of my father?
Lying crimson on a
piece of green grass?
What a pity that your
drawings are in black and white.
You rush ahead.
The items are innocent.
Taken one by one,
they could so be construed.
Taken together you could be
regarded as a witness to misadventure.
What misadventure?
There is no misadventure.
And more than a witness.
An accessory to misadventure.
You are fanciful.
Mr. Neville...
...I have grown to
believe that a really...
...intelligent man
makes an indifferent painter.
For painting requires
a certain blindness.
A partial refusal to be
aware of all the options.
An intelligent man
will know more about...
...what he is drawing
than he will see.
And in the space between
knowing and seeing, he will become...
...unable to pursue an idea strongly.
Fearing that the discerning,
those who he is eager to please...
...will find him wanting
if he does not put in...
...not only what he knows,
but what they know as well.
You, Mr. Neville...
...if you are an intelligent man
and thus an indifferent painter...
...will perceive that a construction
such as I have suggested...
...could well be placed on the
evidence contained in you drawing.
If you, are as I have heard tell...
...a talented draughtsman...
...then I imagine that you
could suppose that the objects...
...I have drawn you attention to,
form no plan...
...stratagem or indictment.
Indictment, Madam?
You are ingenious.
I am allowed to be
neither of the two things...
...that I wish to be at the same time.
I propose...
...since I am in a position to
throw a connecting plot over...
...the inconsequential
items in your drawing... interpretative plot
that I could explain to others... account for my
father's disappearance.
And there's no word now of my
father having arrived in Southampton.
I propose that we could come to...
...some arrangement...
...that might protect you...
...and humour me.
I suggest that we come
to a similar arrangement... you have struck with my mother.
I would like you now to
accompany me to the library...
...where I know that
Mr. Noyes is waiting for us.
And for each
remaining drawing to agree.
And for each
remaining drawing to agree.
To meet Mrs Talmann, in private.
And to agree to meet
Mrs. Talmann in private.
And to comply with her requests...
...concerning her pleasure with me.
And to comply with her requests...
...concerning her pleasure with me.
Drawing Number 7.
From 7 o'clock in
the morning until 9...
... the front prospect
of the house will be kept clear...
... of members of the household,
household servants...
... horses and carriages.
Drawing Number 8.
From 9 o'clock in
the morning until 11...
... the gardens in front
of the bath house building...
... will be kept clear.
No coals will be
burnt to cause smoke...
... to issue from
the bath house chimney.
From 11 o'clock in
the morning until 1...
... the yew tree walk in the
centre of the lower garden...
... will be kept completely clear...
... and all members of
Mr. Herbert's family...
... members of his
household staff and animals.
It is time, Mr. Neville.
From 2 o'clock in
the afternoon until 4...
... the back of the house
and the sheep pasture...
... on the eastern side, will
be kept free of all members...
... of the household
and farm servants.
The reason I've suggested
you come here is...
...because I've borrowed
this painting from the house.
Would you stand?
Are you not intrigued by it?
I confess I have
paid it little attention.
Your husband surprises me...
...with his eccentric
and eclectic taste.
Whilst most of his peers are
content to collect portraits...
...mostly of an
edifying family connection...
...Mr. Herbert seems
to collect anything.
Perhaps he has eye for optical theory.
Or the plight of lovers.
Or the passing of time.
What do you think?
Perhaps, Madam, he has...
...and I would stand
by him in this... interest in
the pictorial conceit.
Can you see why your
husband had reason to buy it?
It's of a garden.
That's reason enough.
True, but what of the events
that are happening within it?
Shall we peruse it together?
Do you see...
...a narrative in these
apparently unrelated episodes?
Theirs drama is there not
in this overpopulated garden.
What intrigue is here?
Do you think the characters
have something to tell us?
Would you know if your daughter...
...had any particular
interest in this painting?
Could you put a season to it?
Do you have an opinion?
What infidelities
are portrayed here?
Do you think...
... that murder is being prepared?
Did you hear that a horse
had been found at Strides...
...which is about three
miles from here on the road...
...if followed long enough
could lead you to Southampton.
I will stay dressed,
Mr. Neville, you will not.
Mr. Clarke says the
horse has been badly treated.
All roads can lead to
...if the traveller on
horse is ingenious enough.
I've heard of a horse
that found its way to Dover...
...and boarded a
ship taking hay to Calais.
The French do not treat horses kindly.
They eat them.
Was your horse partly eaten?
May I leave my hat on?
Your chair looks insignificant
out there, Mr. Neville.
What significant
assumption are we to make...
...of a wounded horse
belonging to your father...
...found on the road to Southampton?
The first assumption is...
...that the horse has no business
being there without my father...
...and why is it wounded...
...and what does
that imply for my father?
And the second assumption
will no doubt implicate me...
...since a saddle-less
horse has found...
...its way into
this morning's drawing.
Mrs. Talmann...
...why don't you
now leave the window...
...and come to the basin.
Don't worry...
...your position of superiority
won't be diminished.
I will still have to look up to you.
Since I have taken valuable time... fill this basin
with a little water...
...why not share it with me?
You have a curious
mole, Mrs. Herbert...
...and it is ideally placed.
Does your gardener
catch moles, Mrs. Herbert?
No, he says they
are to be encouraged...
...for good luck and the
destruction of one's enemies.
They trip up horses, Mrs. Herbert.
You will not persuade Mr.
Porringer to persecute them.
A curious man...
...and ideally placed.
Ideally placed for what?
Why for persuading
a fine white horse...
...from Southampton
to go lame in the leg.
You have nothing to fear
from Mr. Porringer, Mr. Neville.
He watches you for his own amusement.
As I do you, Madam.
You seem nonetheless to be curiously
keen to protect your gardener.
It is not you...
...but his breeches
that are his best defence.
A man in red breeches
could scarcely be considered... inconspicuous conspirator.
Unlike that other fool who behaves
like a statue when you least expect.
Away from the house, Mr. Neville...
...I feel I grow
smaller in significance.
Madam, what signifies,
does not grow smaller for me.
Your significance Mr. Neville
is attributable to both...
...innocence and
arrogance in equal parts.
You can handle both
with impunity, Mrs. Talman.
But you will find that
they are not symmetrical.
You will find that one
weighs heavier than the other.
Which do you think is the heavier?
Your innocence, Mr. Neville... always sinister.
So I will say that the
right one is the heaviest.
Your dexterity is admirable.
You spend too much
time with Mr. Neville.
How is that?
The man is a pariah.
He eats like a vagrant
and dresses like a barber.
What compliments.
I think he would be amused.
As for his servant...
...he looks like a
fleece with a foot disease.
Don't you think
Mr. Neville is knowledgeable?
About what?
About what, Madam?
I could take your
silence as provocation.
And why should I wish to provoke you?
To excite me to think
that you might wish... compliment Mr.
Neville with more than praise...
...for his knowledgability.
The complexity of your
speech does you credit...
...but it far exceeds the
complexity of any relationship...
...I might have with Mr. Neville...
...which is indeed very simple.
He's a paid servant of my mother's...
...bound by a contract.
That is all.
I'm encouraged by my
mother to see him honour it.
Is his pleasure in your
encouragement so necessary?
Although Mr. Neville has qualities...
...he is neither as intelligent nor... talented as he thinks.
Both characteristics you have
observed from the start, Louis.
Though I admit more by
prejudice than by observation.
I understand that you will be
leaving us tonight, Mr. Neville.
With Mrs. Herbert's permission...
...I will be leaving after
the arrival of Mr. Herbert...
...and after he has passed an
opinion on the drawings of his house.
If my servant has
obtained a vehicle...
...I will be leaving in the morning.
And, of course, Mr.
Neville, the sooner the better... you expected me to say.
You Sir, have acquainted me
with your opinion on drawing...
...on horticulture, the
Roman church, childbearing...
...the place of women in
English life, the history...
...and politics of
Lubeck, and the training of dogs.
So I am in a fair position... anticipate your
opinions to my departure.
Is Radstock to greet you
with such devoted hospitality?
Mr. Talmann...
...I have been treated
with as great hospitality... I could wish for
in Mrs. Herbert's house.
Your drawings are full of the most
unexpected observation, Mr. Neville.
Looking at them is a kin to
pursuing a complicated allegory.
Are you sure this ladder was there?
- Indisputably.
And what's this? It looks like...
- Whatever it is, it was there.
Mrs. Talisman will confirm it.
How is that?
How will my wife confirm it?
Mr. Neville is probably too
encompassing in his statement.
I can, however, confirm
the sighting of a ladder.
It is propped against my father's
with drawing-room.
It is indeed Madam.
You have an exact knowledge.
As exact a knowledge as though... had placed it
there yourself, would you say?
Mr. Neville, if ever I had
such a mind to...
...I would have found it
impossible to have lifted it.
It would have taken...
...two men.
What do you want, Mr. Clarke?
Can you come with me, Sir.
It's important.
It is most important that
I speak with you.
I cannot now, Thomas.
I am in a position to insist.
After what has happened,
I refuse to speak to you now.
Take care of affairs yourself...
...or in the last resort,
ask Mr. Talmann.
Telling Mr. Talman what is on my
mind will not help you.
What do you mean?
I am sure I'm shortly to be accused
of the murder of your husband.
I'm determined to confront that
eventuality well protected.
Who will accuse you?
Firstly, I think will be
your son-in-law...
...abetted and witnessed
probably by his servants.
How can that be?
- I need your assistance.
To what end?
If my son-in-law believes that you're
guilty of the murder of Mr. Herbert.
Leave me.
Calling your servants
is not going to help.
What do you mean?
I mean the draughtsman's contract.
What of it?
Maria, call Mr. Talmann.
I mean your contractual
obligations to Mr. Neville.
What of them?
You are disingenuous beyond words.
Don't bother to call Mr. Talmann.
Fetch me instead a...
Fetch me nothing.
I'm not thirsty just at present.
...Mr. Noyes,
what are you inferring?
I am to be unjustly and
unscrupulously accused...
...of the murder of your husband.
On what grounds?
That I was the most
likely person to have done it.
I was the only person,
except your servants... know of Mr.
Herbert's return on Friday.
I am culpable because of my known
feelings towards your husband.
That is ridiculous, there was...
I am the only person in the group of
people you are about to mention...
...who was not at home
awaiting the arrival of Mr. Herbert.
And, further, because of my known
feelings towards you.
Is all that sufficient reason?
There is more.
Mr. Herbert's study is
mysteriously littered...
...with papers and
my gloves are there.
Now against this conspiracy...
...I need your protection...
...and more.
If you're guilty,
Thomas, you shall have neither.
With Mr. Neville's contract...
...I shall have them both.
For your protection and
for seven hundred guineas...
...I will trade you the
contract of your infidelities.
I have no money.
Seven hundred is a calculated sum.
I will trade you the
contract for the drawings.
You have 12 drawings...
...and Mr. Neville has a reputation.
What for 12 drawings
executed privately?
Consider, Madam.
The drawings could be construed
as an embarrassment to you.
And the original purpose
and significance...
...of the drawings as a
gift to your husband is absolved.
Those drawings, Mr. Noyes...
...have cost me too much already.
They may cost you a great deal more.
They may cost you possibly everything.
An adulteress with a dead husband
is no reputation to relish.
And Mr. Neville?
What of Mr. Neville?
He's gone to Radcote.
What part is he in this stratagem?
He is not part of my stratagem.
He could be party to a future
arrangement with the same intent.
You paid him a fee, Madam...
...and you offered him full board on
your property during the commission.
To the prying eye that is
as much as he is usually worth.
With the contract in your
hand and then destroyed...
...why should the world
think you have offered him more?
Where is that contract now?
I have it here.
Where are the drawings?
What would be said if I no
longer had the drawings?
That you destroyed them.
For without your husband
they were valueless to you.
What would happen
if it were known...
...that they were for sale?
Your stratagem is weak.
That you sold them... order to afford a
memorial to your husband...
...or alternatively...
...that you sold them in
order to rid the house...
...of something which pains
you each time you look at them.
You once asked me if I could... you with a
ribald piece of gossip.
I remember your
friendly gesture at the time.
Madam, you Romans
know how to be charitable.
I can supply you with a
little more than gossip.
I invite you to help me...
...elaborate and
decorate such an item.
An entertaining item.
We need not work
too hard for the rump...
...of the matter has been well laid.
What real benefit do
you think I might gain...
...from this exercise?
...and a certain delight
in a symmetrical stratagem.
And the satisfaction
that our betters...
...might be discomforted.
And who knows, perhaps...
...two parterres and a
grove of orange trees.
If Mrs. Herbert is generous.
And why Mrs. Herbert?
Because I think you will
find she is mistress of strategy.
If you don't benefit
from her directly...
...I think that, if you
wait a few years...
...then you will
achieve them from me... a token of my esteem.
From the same source?
I think you have understood me.
A monument would need a designer.
Would a certain pecuniary
draughtsman... eager to sign another contract?
As far as I am aware,
the idea is Mrs. Herbert's.
Though the expenses might
be laid at Mr. Neville's door.
An about face.
It is his drawings
that are to be sold.
Not more of his talent.
By Mr. Neville's growing
...12 drawings could be
profitably sold... furnish a more
solid and enduring monument.
It is said that Mr. Neville
is to be invited to The Hague.
If I had the wherewithal...
...I would advance Mrs.
Herbert one hundred guineas...
...straight away
for capital audacity...
...for bravura in the face of grief.
Mr. Herbert is no especial
excuse for such generosity.
But how publicly
directed is the gesture?
How could posterity
doubt her affection?
Just so.
I shall offer 300 guineas, not my
own money, you understand.
My father-in-law's can afford it...
...he collects, has no
perspicacity, no knowledge.
I shall tell him...
...that they are Italian...
...Guido Reni...
He shall hang them
in the darkroom...
...and they shall never be seen again.
That is a pity...
...for they are full
of illuminating details.
Mr. Neville moves forward in
Mrs. Herbert's susceptibilities... a man pressing a
life-work by slow stages.
Would there perhaps be an idea
in Mr. Neville's imagination...
...for a certain
contract to cap them all?
On horseback, a dashing St. George...
...looking like a Jacobite with...
With a palette for a shield
and quiver full of brushes...
...and a pen held
crosswise in his teeth.
With ink stained fingers.
What is in his fingers?
Another pen?
It's like a pen.
Is it a pen?
A little pen.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
We will forward 400 guineas... this scabrous monument to a pen.
And our receipt will be Mr. Neville's
drawing in the bath-house.
The one with the little dog.
Wagging its tail.
Mrs. Herbert does well to sell them.
How much will they bring?
They are worth what
those who buy them wish to pay.
Mr. Seymour has tentatively
offered four hundred guineas.
I am inclined to think that
he makes his offer generous... Mrs. Herbert in order to
interest her in a larger and...
...a grander sale.
What other sale?
Why, of course, of the house.
That was very forward to him.
I tested his ambition by suggesting...
...that he might buy a set
of distinguished drawings of it.
Either way is a useful way
to help Mrs. Herbert to a...
...more profitable bargain...
...and thereby to help
her demonstrate her loss... the knowledge that
a larger sum would make...
...for a larger
monument for her husband.
Mr. Herbert, one way or another...
...stands to benefit
by Mr. Neville's industry.
As do we all.
I fail to see, for a start, my
benefit, or for that matter, yours.
Mr. Talmann, you are disingenuous.
You as by your leave...
...your future son's
future guardian...
...stand in an enviable position.
Consider the neatness of it.
The estate would have
an endurable memorial...
...which is part of the landscape,
instead of 12 perishable items...
...which are mere
representations of it.
I fail to see why Mr.
Seymour's presumption...
...should gain him a
part of my son's inheritance.
Maybe there again...
...Mr. Seymour will
be doing you a favour.
What do you mean?
By taking away the possibility
of your son ever seeing them...
...when you have
one, as I'm sure you will.
Why should he not see them?
Because he might perceive
the allegorical evidence... them which you might
be stubborn enough to deny.
Mr. Neville had no use for allegory...
...and I am unlikely to miss
what my son would appreciate.
An allegorical meaning
that might involve his mother.
What? My Wife? How is that?
It is fancifully imputed...
...that Mr. Neville saw
you as a deceived husband.
How was I deceived?
I've been convinced, Sarah...
...that you have been deceiving me.
What is the matter with your voice?
Damn my voice.
If you did, it would scare me less.
What's the matter with your face?
Your face, Louis, is very red.
No redder than your backside...
...when Mr. Neville
had finished with it.
When your speech is as
coarse as your face, Louis... sound as impotent by
day as you perform by night.
Night and Day your
behaviour has been coarse...
...and is no down in
corresponding black and white...
...for all the world to peer
at, whether the sun shines...
...or the wind blows, hot or cold.
Your speech, Louis, is
becoming meteorological.
Explain your conceit.
It is no conceit but
Mr. Neville's drawings.
I was sure you believed Mr. Neville
incapable of complicated meaning.
What has he done now?
It is mostly what he has undone.
It seems to be your person.
I have no control over
Mr. Neville's drawings.
He draws what he pleases.
He is not paid to draw for his own
pleasure, nor for yours.
What makes you think he has done that?
The way it looks.
- How does it look?
The way the world sees it.
- The world!
There cannot be that many
people who have seen these drawings.
Who are these people
that represent the world?
Seymour, Noyes, the Poulencs.
What do they see?
Enough to delight them... exercise their
tongues, to discuss patrimony.
Or the lack of it.
They see then what they
have long been searching for.
Do you think?
And that means?
An opportunity to braid
you for not producing an heir.
Woman, it takes two.
It does indeed, Sir.
You amaze me.
What has that to do with Mr. Neville?
I could ask you that.
- You did not. You asked Mr. Noyes.
It was he who pointed it out to me.
With his long nose he could point
you in any way he wishes.
Madam...'ll look at those drawings...
...and you'll explain to me...
...why a ladder is
placed under your window...
...and why your revolting little dog
is outside the bath-house...
...and why your walking-clothes
casually decorate...
...the bushes of the yew-walk.
Your inventory,
Louis, is unlimited... you long,
clean, white breeches.
But there is nothing of
substance in either of them.
Let me ask you.
Perhaps you can explain what your
boots were doing in the sheep-field.
They were not my boots.
- Why was your undershirt idling...
...on a hedge near
the statue of Hermes?
It was not my shirt.
Can you not see...
...the drift of this
domestic inquisition?
You are answering me
as I could answer you.
You cannot deny it is your dog.
And whereas, with
your final accusation.
You pursue the ambiguity
of an abandoned sunshade.
You are complete on paper... a borrowed hat
and a borrowed coat...
...and a borrowed
shadow I shouldn't wonder.
Posing with your knees tucked in...
...and arse tucked out...
...and a face like a Dutch fig...
...and a supercilious Protestant
whistle, I shouldn't wonder...
...on your supercilious smug lips.
And Louis... have always said that
Mr. Neville has no imagination.
He draws what he sees.
Whose patrimony were
you apeing then?
My father's?
The world knows that he is dead...
...and is not certain who killed him.
The world might peer
at those drawings...
...and ask what conspiracy
of inheritance...
...did Mr. Neville have for you.
You are disreputable.
You side with a tenant-farmer's son
against your husband.
You have married the grand-daughter
of an army victualler.
There is nothing that I have said
that suggests I side with Mr. Neville.
I hope you will agree that
he has been useful to us all.
What have you done with his drawings?
I've bought them for 600 guineas
and plan to destroy them.
It would be a pity to destroy them.
You are concerned that posterity...
...will know of your duplicity.
...they contain
evidence of another kind.
A kind more valuable than that
seized upon by those titillated... a scandal
that smears your honour.
Evidence that Mr.
Neville may be cogniscent... the death of my father.
Good morning, Madam.
Mr. Neville.
Good morning, Sir.
Good morning.
Though the summer suddenly seems
past and the weather less than good.
What has brought you back
to Anstey so soon?
I thought our humble
estate had seen the last of you.
I am staying at Radstock with
the Duke of Lauderdale...
...and have come at the
invitation of Mr. Seymour... find that curiously he is
out and most of his house is shut up.
Mr. Seymour is in
Southampton with my husband.
The funeral was three days ago
and they are discussing property.
It would seem then that
my visit is poorly timed.
May I ask after the
health of your mother?
Although my mother was
understandably disturbed... my father's
death, she is now...
...from the knowledge that
her affection for my father...
...can never be reciprocated... ease.
And what of yourself?
I am very well, Mr. Neville.
And we are thriving.
Mr. Van Hoyten is to
consider for us a new management...
...of the grounds in an
entirely fresh approach.
He has come at our
request to soften the geometry...
...that my father
found to his taste, and to...
...introduce a new ease
and complexion to the garden.
Mr. Van Hoyten has
worked in The Hague...
...and he has presented
Mr. Talmann with some novel...
...introductions which we
will commence next spring.
He is a draughtsman too.
Mr. Neville has come, Mother... we both believed he might.
He has brought with him
a rare gift from Radstock.
Three pomegranates from
Lauderdale's gardener...
...reared in English
soil under an English sun.
But with the help of one
hundred panes of glass...
...and half a year's
supply of artificial heat.
Thank you Mr. Neville.
We must see what we
can do for you in return.
I was about to take Mr.
Van Hoyten to the river.
He has plans to make a dam...
...and flood the lower field.
I will no doubt see
you later, Mr. Neville.
Flooded fields, Madam?
Do you plan to join Anstey to the sea?
We are to have an ornamental lake.
My son-in-law has ambitions
for his countrymen.
It is probably you
that has opened his eyes... the possibilities
of our landscape.
Why is this Dutchman
waving his arms about?
Is he homesick for windmills?
Who knows?
He's a man with new ideas.
New ideas demand
new methods, perhaps.
How was Radstock?
Fine enough, Madam...
...but dull after the
excitements of Anstey.
Have you now come here
to renew those excitements?
That would be presumptuous.
It would indeed.
All contracts have been honoured...
...and the body has been buried.
That was blunt.
I remember that you were blunt... your dealings with me.
I was glad to see Mrs. Talmann...
...and in all truth, put as
much a possibility as I could... see that a meeting
with yourself might occur.
I was curious to see
the house and gardens again.
To see what appearance they'd put on
after this week of changing weather.
But I admit that it was
out of curiosity to see you...
...was behind the
reason for my wishing... be invited to
Mr. Seymour's house.
...dies bit sound a very
respectful reason to visit a lady.
Even one you've had the pleasure of.
Is it really myself that is the centre
of your interest and not my daughter?
Yes, Madam.
How's that?
My former contractual obligations...
...tied us together to my advantage,
and at your husband's death... was again I who
gained and you who lost.
Very confident of that, Mr. Neville.
I must confess that in losing... have excited
my curiosity further.
How do you imagine my losses...
...Mr. Neville?
Humiliations, Madam.
Each one exceeding the other.
Is losing a husband a humiliation...
...Mr. Neville?
In making my arrangements here...
...I concluded with the
possibility of 13 sites... of which had to be
rejected to comply...
...with the 12 drawings
as commissioned.
The site that was rejected was... you will recall,
to the south of the house...
...and included the
monument to the horse.
It is the site where
your husband's body was found.
It was that irony that was
uppermost in enquiring minds... the discovery
of Mr. Herbert's body.
The thirteenth site was rejected...
...for no clear reason.
It contained no view of the house...
...then that was true of
several other of the drawings.
It was the least characteristic of
the garden's viewpoints...
...and was most powerful at the
least advantageous times of day.
And that is why,
with your permission...
...I would like, if I may... attempt to accomplish
that drawing this afternoon.
That is, if you have no objection.
Mr. Neville...
...your approach is full
of hesitant pleasantries.
That is because I am
still unable to fully judge...
...your present
feelings as to past events.
Mr. Neville, suffice it to say that
the object of my life has changed.
I am a widow whereas I was a wife.
It could be construed that I
was a widow whilst being a wife.
I've only exchanged a false
position that made me unhappy for...
...a true position...
...that has left me
without any emotion.
Mr. Neville, I propose to eat...
...and I propose that
you should eat with me.
When we are ready...
...I will show, along with
my gardener, Mr. Porringer...
...what we at Anstey
are capable of cultivating.
It will be by way of
returning your gift in kind.
And, who knows? It may
be that we could revive... more time...
...a liaison,
outside of a contract... our mutual satisfaction.
Then you must accomplish
your thirteenth drawing.
Is all that acceptable to you?
It is as if you'd planed it.
I'm surprised...
I am overwhelmed.
Mr. Neville, I will take
all three states...
...of your satisfaction
into consideration.
I have...
...quite legitimately,
a freedom to exploit...
...and I might as well
exploit it with you...
...considering our past experience.
A pomegranate, Mr. Neville.
Gift of Hades to Persephone.
My scholarship is not profound.
Unusual of you, Mr. Neville... profess to an ignorance of
a subject which before... would be anxious to
have us believe was an essential...
...prerequisite to
an artist's vocabulary.
Maybe I am hesitating to
acknowledge an unintended allusion.
By eating the fruit
of the pomegranate...
...Pluto kept Persephone
in the Underworld.
A symbolic fruit, Mrs. Herbert.
And you've brought me three.
That was all that Mr.
Clancy would spare me.
Maybe Mr. Clancy is a
contriver of allusions.
How is that Mrs. Herbert?
Are you acquainted with the man?
Having been tricked into
eating the fruit of the pomegranate...
...Persephone was forced to spend
a period of each year underground.
During which time, as even
Mr. Porringer will tell you...
...Persephone's mother,
the goddess of fields...
...of gardens and of orchards...
...was distraught, heart-broken.
She sulks...
...and she refuses,
adamantly refuses... bless the
world with fruitfulness.
Mr. Porringer and...
...your Mr. Clancy try hard... defeat the influence
of the pomegranate... building places like these.
Don't you think?
And having built them and stocked
them and patiently tended them.
What do they grow?
Why, the pomegranate?
And we are turned full circle again.
Certainly a cautionary
tale for gardeners.
And for mothers with
daughters, Mr. Neville.
Who knows?
Pomegranates grown in England...
...might not have such
unhappy allegorical significance.
Plants from the hot-house, according
to Mr. Porringer, are seldom fertile.
Fertile enough, Mrs. Talmann... engender felicitous allusions
if not their own offspring.
And, of course, there are more.
More of what?
We well know your
delight in the visual conceit.
The juice of the pomegranate...
...may be taken for...
...and in particular
the blood of the new born...
...and of murder.
Then thanks to your
botanical scholarship... must find it cruelly apt that I
was persuaded to bring such fruit.
Mr. Neville...
...I suspected you were
innocent in the insight... you have been
innocent of much else.
Innocent, Madam?
By impute I was convinced
you thought me guilty...
...certainly of opportunism.
Probably of murder.
What I do think you guilty of...
...I do not at all reproach you for.
In our need of an heir... may very
likely have served us well.
We had a contract, did we not?
You do not think I
would have signed so much...
...for pleasures alone?
...that was ingenious.
Since when has
adultery been ingenious?
Mr. Neville you are ridiculous.
And why should you
have murdered Mr. Herbert?
For what reason?
Mr. Talmann believes
I had reason enough.
Yes, Mr. Talmann is in Southampton...
...still trying to find or invent...
...some responsibility for
you in the matter.
He will not forgive
your indiscretion with Sarah.
But he won't disown
his wife, for then...
...he would lose Anstey.
I am sure that Mr. Talmann
is not in Southampton...
...for did I not see him on the
carriage drive here this afternoon.
I think not.
He is in Southampton,
with Mr. Seymour.
I do not think that Mr. Seymour
can be in Southampton.
For he stopped my servant this
morning at Radstock to ask after me.
And on the understanding that
I had some hope of seeing you...
...was according to my
servant, more than pleased.
I am convinced that we
will see him this afternoon.
I confess I am surprised
if that is the case.
I will enquire.
...ask Mr. Porringer to
get Mr. Neville a chair.
He intends to make a
drawing for me in the garden... that horse.
And, Sarah...
...ask Mr. Porringer to
bring Mr. Neville a pineapple.
A small one, they're sweeter.
You would care to try a
pineapple would you not?
I would be delighted.
Good evening, Mr. Neville.
Good evening, Sir.
And why, Mr. Neville, do
we find you here so late?
Surely the light is now
too poor to see adequately.
That is true. I am finished.
Perhaps I could see it?
If we had light,
that might be possible.
I'm sure we can find some light.
But it is not finished, Mr. Neville.
No, Mr. Talmann, it is not.
You may successfully
hide your face in the dark...
...but in England it is not
easy for you to hide your accent.
I did not think to hide
my identity for long...
...which even in the eyes of
the English is no especial crime...
...compared with the identity
you care to assume with such ease.
And what identity might that be?
The identity of a man
of some little talent...
...some dubious honour, a
proper dealer in contracts.
The identity of a man with an
eye to the improper pursuit...
...of dishonour to others.
You talk, Mr. Talmann, like
one who has learnt abroad... archaic way of speaking
that became unfashionable... England when my
grandfather was a young man.
My speech is in no way dependable...
...on your view of fashion.
We all know that in the
field of deeds and of talent... in your field are an innovator.
That must be some sort
of flattery, Mr. Talmann.
Have your companions
also come to flatter?
We have come merely as
curious observers, Mr. Neville.
To wonder why after
so much has happened... return to continue to fix
Mr. Herbert's property on paper...
...and chose to draw
this particular site?
I might be inclined to answer
those questions...
...if I didn't feel that the
truthful answers I would give...
...would in no way
be of interest to you.
It is our belief, Mr. Neville,
that in returning here... are seeking a
codicil to your original contract.
A codicil of a more permanent
nature than the last one.
A lasting contract with a widow.
You speak, of course, Mr. Talmann,
like a disinherited man.
Uninterested in painting
or draughtsmanship.
Uninterested even in the
prospect of the estate... covet from this position.
An ideal site for a memorial, perhaps.
Do you think Mr. Herbert
would have appreciated...
...the prospect of his estate?
As a landowner
yourself, Mr. Seymour...
...I leave you to judge.
For a man of property it is
a view that might be enviable.
Though I think you are
wrong to ascribe those...
...enviable thoughts to me.
Perhaps they should be ascribed... my friend Mr. Noyes who
is I think standing beside me.
A custodian of contracts.
A man who was given
custody of private agreements... black and white.
And how do you feel
that Mr. Herbert...
...felt about these
black and white contracts?
As his agent, his
bailiff, his notary...
...his one-time friend, the close...
...though not close
enough confidant of his wife.
I would have thought you would be
the best person to answer that.
It is curious that you
persist in asking me questions...
...which you are the most
suitably situated to answer.
It has occurred to me that you
might have advanced...
...Mr. Herbert the information
that was so discretionally...
...set down in black and white.
If he could have appreciated
what it stood for is another matter.
He was blind to so much.
Certainly blind to
considerable unhappiness.
Your understanding of
Mrs. Herbert's unhappiness...
...could in no way be
considered profound or relevant.
I had access to some considerable...
...observation of her state of mind.
You won't forget that I
was helped in that respect by...
...her daughter, your wife.
And was persistently
persuaded by both ladies... undertake the
commission in the first place.
And they persuaded you with a view...
...that you might reconcile
differences and not plunder them.
I am in no way responsible...
...for Mr. Herbert's death.
The affair is a mystery to me...
...though I have suspicions
Mr. Talmann...
...Mr. Seymour, Mr. Noyes.
And if they were here, indeed of
Mrs. Herbert herself and Mrs. Talmann.
Ladies who both after all entered
willingly into their contracts.
Is that why, Mr. Neville, you
have just abused Mrs. Herbert further?
What a pity.
That was clever.
We now have a contract
with you, Mr. Neville...
...and under conditions
of our choosing.
The contract concerning
our present pleasure...
...has three conditions.
It would be best served when
you have removed your finery.
Take off you hat.
My hat has no contractual
obligations with anyone.
The contract's first condition...
...and there's no need
to write it down for you...
...will never see it,
is to cancel your eyes.
Since we have now deprived
you of your access to a living...
...this shirt on your back
will be of no value to you.
It may well dress a scarecrow
to frighten the crows.
Or be scattered about an estate... ambiguous evidence...
...of an obscure allegory.
And the third condition
of your contract...
...concomitant to the other two...
...and legally binding...
...and efficiently undertaken...
...and for what is a
man without property...
...and foresight... your death.