Harlots (2017) Episode Scripts

Episode 8

1 Charlotte Wells has been arrested.
I did not kill Sir George and nor did Daniel Marney.
Where is Mr.
North? I don't know where he is.
If he's left you then good on him! I will scream what I know from the rooftops if you force me.
It's all I have, take it.
The house and the girl are compromised.
I will need to replace both.
I want a seat at the table, as you promised me.
Tread carefully, John.
He was already dead as flint when he left the Wells' brothel last night.
I won't see Charlotte put to death for something I did.
Get out! She's a beauty.
Just like her ma.
She has a big smell.
Like the sea.
I never want to let her go.
You know how it has to be.
We're not a nursery.
I felt since I was a boy there was a noose waiting somewhere with my name on it.
I've avoided it so far.
And then I met you Do you doubt me? Only one of us need kiss the rope and you know it.
You could condemn my mother and my sister with a word.
Why don't you? Because you'd despise me.
You could free yourself.
And who'd believe me? I'm a desperate man.
(crowd chatter) The Wells' house, Greek Street.
Lord Fallon.
The Spartans will receive you.
I am most gratified.
You'll bring a handmaiden to demonstrate your fealty.
In quality, exceptional.
Intact.
My lord, I need time.
Such maidens are not easily found.
The procuress I formerly used has proven inadequate.
I trust there is no danger.
Let me assure you of her silence.
We meet tonight.
A-hunting you must go.
I must go to the courthouse, the trial is tomorrow.
I want you to go to Nancy's until this trouble's passed.
Nancy's turned against you.
But never you.
This come.
I take one cull and if another wants his prick sucked, see to him yourself.
It's from Lord Fallon.
His contract.
Oh, I forgot.
He offers 400 guineas on my head.
I'll go with him like I should have done.
- No.
- If I'd done what you asked, we wouldn't be in this calamity.
You will not go with him.
He offers so much money.
Well, I'd rather be dead than take it.
No.
I will never force a man on you again.
Burn it.
I gave him very pressing evidence about the kidnap of a young and helpless girl.
I told him who the culprit was, the bawd, Mrs.
Quigley.
Yet, Justice Cunliffe has done nothing.
I've known him for 25 years, he's meticulous.
Perhaps your evidence is faulty.
No, sir, I was there.
That room stank of fear and murder.
I was going to die there, I know it.
Did you shit yourself? No.
Quigley should be butchered in her bed.
Her exit must be public.
I want to see her legs cavort when she hangs.
That means going to the justice.
Quigley's got his pintle in her fist.
Well, you're a little powderkeg, Emily.
You can bring them both to their knees.
Stab the bitch through the eyeballs.
(snorts) There is more than one way to bleed a sow.
You saw Sir George Howard carried out of the Wells' house dead.
I saw no such thing.
Don't deny it.
My molly boy saw it, too, and were he a credible witness I'd have him at the courthouse now.
Amelia would never tell a lie.
I thought Sir George drunk.
Men leave the Wells' house in all manner of inebriated states.
He was dead! And your word will carry a jury.
That's a dreadful accusation.
It could cost Mrs.
Wells her life.
My girl won't speak against her conscience.
She is not capable.
She is capable and culpable of the most grotesque deceit.
She is virtue itself.
Indeed.
She is a paragon.
Beloved by women everywhere.
I saw Sir George Howard carried out of the Wells' house.
I thought him drunk and insensible.
But then I heard his body had been found and Are you telling me that he was already dead? Is that what you are saying? Yes.
Thank you for bringing this to me.
Your virtue shines through.
(crowd chatter) It's Harriet.
Wait, Jacob! Harriet! (Harriet chuckles) Why are you here? Well, I had the same question for you.
I've come to see if I can rescue my children.
Lennox has taken a room here.
They sail on this evening's tide.
- You came.
- Gave my word.
- Thank you.
- Come on.
Are you not delighted with your witness? (Quigley chuckles) I sent her to you.
I have found your murderer.
Now you have no excuse.
Release Charlotte Wells.
I'm already signing her papers.
(Quigley laughs) How is your son? Fit and well.
Emily Lacey will not trouble him again.
Were the Spartans not satisfied? Satisfied and sated.
The venture's at an end.
Your services are required no more.
Now leave this court or you'll find my justice ruthless.
Take Jacob upstairs.
I'll distract him.
Mr.
Lennox.
I've come to ask you one last time.
Give Harriet's children up.
They're mine to sell or keep as I please.
What would my value be? I'm numerate, reliable, good in a fight.
What would you pay? Fifteen pounds for an uppity old fool.
In the same marketplace, what would I pay for you? Because as far as I can see, you've not one quality of strength or character that makes you worth tuppence.
What trouble that whore has put you up to for two tiresome brats.
Now step aside.
My boat sails and I want a drink.
I've spent my whole life lowering my eyes to men like you, turning my back, saving my skin.
This time, I'll not turn away nor step aside.
You can go to hell.
See you there.
Thief! Call the watch.
Bring the constable.
This man is a thief.
This villain would steal these children from their mother.
They're my property! I say we take the matter before a judge and let the law decide.
I have all the documents to prove those brats are mine.
They are mine by the laws of God.
Take us to the magistrate.
- We let the law decide.
- We will settle this now.
Will it be murder then, Mr.
Lennox? Because you will have to kill us both! You can keep the half-breeds and God damn you.
- He's the criminal! - Disgusting! Miss Wells, you are free to go.
I knew the lies would not stand up.
Not you.
You stay.
He's innocent.
If I'm free then so is he.
Charlotte, go.
Take your freedom.
I'll get you out before the day is done.
Trust me.
(tapping on glass) Miss Wells.
Miss Wells, a word! Leave me alone.
No, I've been contriving your release ever since I heard of your arrest.
- Nonsense.
- I've been petitioning for you.
To hang? You'd enjoy anything that gave my mother pain.
No, please, please! Believe me, I am your friend.
No one else is here to help you.
Please let me offer you at least, at the very least, a meal and a resting place.
There's an innocent man in there.
I don't need a rest.
I need to get him out.
Oh, my dear.
Justice Cunliffe is an intimate of mine.
I have his ear, as you can see.
Come with me.
And we will very soon devise your friend's release.
Ah, yes.
Charlotte! Charlotte! Charlotte! Charlotte! Charlotte! Welcome, my dear.
(Quigley clears her throat) May I introduce Miss Charlotte Wells.
She walked free from the courthouse this morning, victim of a false accusation.
Prepare a room and a choice of gowns.
Why have you brought her here? I'm offering her charity.
(chatter) Justice.
The bawd, Lydia Quigley.
Why have you not acted when you've heard a charge of kidnapping against her? Has the unfortunate Mr.
Oswald been speaking to you? Yes.
That young man is such a disappointment.
He constantly debauches himself with harlots.
I've warned him several times and he knows his position is in the balance.
I suspect he seeks to save himself by sullying my name.
I see.
I looked into this kidnap; a tawdry dispute between whores.
Corruption is a cancer.
And to see it take root in a man like that.
We must be vigilant against it, John.
Justice is a wellspring.
The whole city suffers when it's poisoned near the head.
You fool.
You have besmirched yourself.
How can I act upon the word of a degenerate? Sir, I'm telling the truth.
When I return, you will be gone for good.
At liberty to fuck yourself into an early grave.
I'm here because you said you'd speak for Mr.
Marney.
There's a spark in you.
You were born under my roof and I saw it from the start.
I tried to draw it out.
Something quite exceptional.
My mother told me you were clever with your praise.
I want you in my house.
- When will you see the justice? - Directly.
Stay.
Lick your wounds, be the phoenix, rise.
So you may lock me in like the pallid China dolls out there? You need another keeper and you'll find one here.
You will have every freedom and you'll keep all you earn, and believe me, I have never offered terms like that.
Why do it now? What do you gain? You saw their faces when I brought you here.
I gain you.
Your notoriety.
Your company.
Charlotte Wells! Charlotte Wells! Charlotte! What possesses you to come here with this witch? She'll lock the doors and keep you here by force! Let her in.
Gentlemen, let's take our pleasure upstairs.
What are you doing here? I had nowhere else to go.
Come home.
Where's that? With me.
I asked you twice to take me in and you refused.
Come now.
How can you let her dupe and beguile you? Mrs.
Quigley got me out of jail.
You let them arrest me, Ma.
And Daniel Marney too.
I did not.
You sent the constables to take him.
That's a lie.
I did everything I could to get you out! Such as? Tell me where is Emily Lacey? - I have no idea.
- Did you kill her yet? Or is she still locked and beaten in your crypt? If you thought Miss Lacey was in danger why did you tell me where to find her? (knocking at door) Ah, hello, grunt.
Where's the she-wolf? I'm going to get the law on you for kidnapping Emily Lacey.
The law will get you first for the murder of George Howard.
Oh, this is wonderful.
My two favorite ladies.
What's the matter, Mrs.
Q? Is it the powder or have you seen a ghost? What crime were you planning to accuse me of? Miss Lacey, perhaps you'd care to take some tea I've come to take a lot more than that.
You threw me to her like a piece of scrag and you will answer for it.
She knows.
What did you tell her? Nothing.
She knows.
Straightaway you conclude that I betrayed you? You're betraying me by being here.
She offered me her help.
If you believe that, you're an idiot.
I'm an idiot no longer.
I've heeded the lesson that you taught me.
The only safety is in money.
Money is a woman's only power in this world.
I'll earn mine here.
She's using you, my love.
As did you.
Charlotte, come home.
You save Lucy and abandon me to hang? I want you to go.
Oh.
Nancy Birch wants me to squeak.
She says my evidence would hang you.
I'm willing to stay silent.
I think your death would upset Charles.
Your story will be pitched into a midden and you along with it like the dung worm that you are.
Don't speak to her like that.
You take her side? When she threatens me with hanging? I followed you to that infernal house.
I met Justice Cunliffe and I fobbed him off.
I know what you intended and it was worse than hanging.
I want recompense.
You shall have it.
Let's start with the deeds to one of your houses.
I'd like my dresses too.
And a hundred pounds, just to help me settle in.
Have you forgotten that she nearly caused your death? I have forgiven her.
But not you.
I'm your mother! You're a monster.
Whatever you're involved in, I want no part of it.
I'm leaving you.
As of this moment, you're alone.
You've endangered everything.
Miss Lacey will have all she wants.
Are you going to help Mr.
Marney? Mr.
Abbadon, my coach! Yes, my lady! (door slams shut) Why didn't you tell me what had happened? For God's sake, the girl is still alive and there is a noose 'round both our necks! Let me eat in peace or I will have you removed as a parasite.
Some parasites bring ruin on their hosts.
(crowd chatter) Ma told me to burn it.
Why haven't you? What if Pa and Jacob don't come back? She'll need me to look after her.
Well, lick my split, it's Lucy Wells.
- Lay off her.
- Why don't you slink back home to your slippery ma? You do something useful.
Take her for a drink.
Lucy.
The sky will not fall down.
(children yelling, giggling) Mrs.
Wells and I parted in discord.
I took her money.
I don't think she'll want me back.
Leave it to me.
My path was one of anguish.
Now the clouds have cleared.
I don't know how to thank you.
Ma! (footsteps approaching) From Harriet.
With her apology.
She should stay.
You took my son.
I'm back.
You left me when I most needed you.
Cast your mind back to what I did for you.
When a man has dumped a corpse he must expiate his sins.
I'd given her my word and it was right.
Pious cant.
It's clear why you did it.
Go claim your reward.
Is that really what you think of me? (knocking at door) (knocking continues) Mr.
Armitage.
Come for Mrs.
Wells, I must take her to the court.
Why? The Justice wants to quiz you, that is all I know.
Whatever for? That's for him to say.
Amelia Scanwell, a girl of faultless virtue, told me she saw Sir George Howard carried lifeless from your house.
The Scanwell girl is lying, and I'll tell her so in court.
You put his carcass into a coach and dumped it into St.
James's Pond.
How did he die? Did you do it yourself, or are you protecting someone? No, sir.
Your blackamoor? He's a good man.
One of your whores? My girls have done nothing wrong.
And neither have I.
Perhaps your daughter objected to her older sister's castoff.
She was happy for such a keeper.
She was glad.
I'd like to hear her tell me so herself.
No.
She's just a child.
A child with such a mother.
And what will become of her when you burn? You did it, or your daughter did.
And you'll take the noose to protect her I admire that, I admire your fortitude, Margaret Wells.
- I'll bring her before me.
- Please.
I beg you; not Lucy.
Get what you want from me.
What if you could walk away, go back home and carry on your trade? No one knows the virgin's accusation but myself.
What I want is a maiden, chaste and pure.
Bring me the Scanwell girl and this charge will be snuffed out.
I'm not that kind of bawd.
You will be, or your scruples can console you when you're twitching in the noose.
I have a house in Denmark Street.
- Well done, sir.
- Thank you, gentlemen.
- Thank you very much.
- He won nearly every hand.
Lord Fallon.
Go away, bawd, I don't want you.
I have come to give warning.
Justice Cunliffe is planning to betray you.
And the next time he says he has a girl, it is a snare.
I have no idea what your prattle means.
Some men are not fit to serve the Spartans.
He seeks to bring you down.
Will you play, Madam Quigley? The game you are engaged in has great risk.
I am the finest player in the field.
I find a girl and I leave no trace.
For the Spartans to endure their pursuits, they would do well to come to me.
You don't need a spineless go-between whose master is the law.
You need a high priestess.
(knocking) I implore you, go to the courthouse and take back your lies.
Have you come to his funeral supper? How dare you set foot in my house? I have no right to ask anything from you, but an innocent man is going to die.
Another of your lovers.
His trial is tomorrow.
Mr.
Haxby's lies condemn him.
On the night your husband died, he declared that we were bruised and bloody from a fight not true.
You were drunk on violence and murder.
Mr.
Haxby is an upright man.
Why would he tell such vicious lies? Because some men feel their lust as hate.
Tell me.
Did you pin it to the harlot? You wanted her brought low.
You practically bid it.
I embellished the facts not to fabricate her guilt but to enhance it.
- I dismiss you from my service.
- My lady Your judgment is marred with grief.
- Accept my guidance - I am a widow, and I suffer no man's guidance now.
In full command of my wits, I say take your things and go.
This harlot caused my master's death.
That is the abiding truth.
(guests murmuring) Who killed my husband? Villains, perhaps? Like they say.
Whoever they are, I am free.
I'll speak for your friend.
Christ forgave Mary Magdalene for her sins.
That's a new tune, Mrs.
Scanwell.
Mrs.
Wells.
How do you fare? Very well.
My Charlotte's been released.
The matter's at an end.
I am profoundly glad to hear it.
Do you still wish to leave Mrs.
Quigley's pay? It is a blight on both our lives.
I know of a house that you could take for a while.
I offer it as charity, of course.
Perhaps your daughter would like to see the place to see if it is convenient.
Mrs.
Wells, you are too good.
Mrs.
Quigley drained my mother of her strength and health.
But she's recovering.
Here.
We want to start a house of penitence, a place where fallen girls may come to find God's love.
This house would mark a new beginning.
I did you wrong, Mrs.
Wells.
I went to the courthouse this morning.
I meant you no ill will.
I was forced.
Don't drink it.
In return for my life, Justice Cunliffe told me to bring you here.
What does he intend? A coach will come for you.
You will not return.
Come here.
Who you spying for? I'm watching over my friend, Miss Scanwell.
She's in grave danger.
I need you to fetch Nancy Birch and Mr.
North.
Help us.
You need to go home.
To catch a beast, you must have bait.
(noisy kissing) Does she like him? Or will she charge him for that? Yes and yes.
I hate culls.
I need you.
Master yourself! (knocking at door) Nancy's going for the law.
(carriage trundling) (door slams shut) You've done well.
It was easier than I thought.
Once your conscience peels away, you'll find you can do anything.
You'd like to rise, wouldn't you? Like Lydia Quigley.
She's had my protection this last 20 years, but her day is done.
Her fall marks your ascent.
No doubt you'll thrive as well as she.
Come on.
Suffering purifies the soul.
It will bring you closer to God.
- Cunliffe, Justice Cunliffe! - This is kidnap! (shouting, clamor) Just go! (stabbing) He's injured.
There's blood.
He's he's hit.
He's been stabbed! (labored groan) (clattering clank) A thousand thanks, Lady Caroline, for the service you've done me.
A small service.
No one has ever done more.
On you go.
What ails you? An old friend has died.
Sad news.
My condolences.
What would you say to them all? The ones who hurt you, cared nothing for your pain? (Lucy exclaims) Show them your strength.
I'll pound you to tripe, you worthless grunt! (whipping, exclaiming) Charlotte, what are you doing here? I will join you directly.
You loved me for a night and it almost cost your life.
That's not because of how I felt.
Let's go, come on, come away with me.
I am not to love or be loved.
What kind of demented thinking is that? We could have our freedom.
Be who we please.
I know you feel as steadfastly as me.
I cannot be with you.
Will I carry you out of this cage on my back? Everything I am, everything my sister is, comes down to this.
My mother was sold, age 10, to a bawd who put her to work as a whore, Lydia Quigley.
That woman has grown rich on countless ruined lives.
Fate has put me in her house, and I will bring her down.
That is my purpose now.
(panting, groaning) (laughter) (coins clinking) (woman sings lullaby in French) Shh.
(baby fusses) I'm ready, Ma.