The Stranglers of Bombay (1959) Movie Script

When the green of the jungle
was young,
when our fathers and their fathers,
and their fathers before them,
were yet unborn,
a monster walked this land.
He ate the young,
the strong, the old.
The blood of our ancestors
poured from the monster's mouth.
It poured like the water
in the great river.
No-one dared battle with him.
No-one but Kali.
Kali! Kali!
Without fear,
as her children are without fear,
she fought the monster
upon this earth and cut him down.
But from each drop of his blood,
a new monster spawned.
And Kali did battle
with each new monster,
and cut them down.
But from their blood,
new monsters arose.
To destroy them,
Kali knew she must kill
without spilling any blood.
So she gave our ancestors
this sacred cloth, and said, "Kill!"
Kill! Kill! Kill!
They strangled the monsters.
There was no blood.
And when the last one
was strangled,
Kali left these for her children.
Through the centuries,
your children have done your work.
And tonight, we bring you
more of your sons to do your bidding.
Tonight, they join us.
Welcome your sons, great Kali,
whom I have raised for you
since their boyhood.
Look upon them with favour
as you have looked upon us.
They seek only to serve you,
but if they displease you,
send us an omen that we may know
of your displeasure.
Kali embraces her sons!
Kali! Kali! Kali!
When the harvest is gathered,
your sons will be ready, great Kali.
Your sons will be ready!
Kali! Kali! Kali!
Come on, wake up, then!
- Are we all here?
- All except Captain Lewis, sir.
We'll all suffocate
before Lewis turns up.
I invited him to dinner once.
He turned up the following day.
Let's get on with it, Colonel.
Very well. Now, gentlemen?
We've asked Patel Shari
to speak for us.
I am most flattered
that my friends should have seen fit
to call upon me
as their spokesman.
After all, since the honourable
East India Company
extended its control over this territory,
I am the patel,
the headman in name only.
However, the situation is so grave
that I feel obliged to speak
as if I were the patel I was,
instead of the patel I have become.
- Yes, yes, Shari, get on with it.
- You are most impatient, Colonel.
I'm only anxious to get it over,
so that we can all get away
to somewhere a bit cooler.
Cool, you want, is it?
We're losing hundreds of pounds...
All right, Burns. You've agreed
to let Patel Shari speak for you.
- I know, but I just wanted you to...
- Then please let him speak.
Thank you, Colonel.
It will not take long.
- Any sign of Lewis?
- No, sir.
- Please, monsieur...
- Not now, Dashi, I'm late for a meeting.
- But is there any word?
- No word.
- The boy is the only son of my sister.
- We're doing all we can.
- You must find him.
- We'll try.
Burns sahib says the company
can find nothing. Burns sahib...
Mr Burns is in the meeting now.
If you let me go, Dashi,
I can find out everything he says.
An only son of an only sister.
I know.
My friends are not reluctant
to pay for order and stability.
Order and stability facilitate
commerce. They increase commerce.
And this, in turn, increases the taxes
and revenues of your company.
All this being the case,
my friends are most surprised
and disappointed
with the order and stability
of our territory.
Shari's being far too kind, Colonel.
Surprised and disappointed?
We're shocked, absolutely shocked.
- One of my shipments to...
- Sorry, sir.
One of my shipments to Bhadora
has completely disappeared.
Now, I've travelled pretty extensively
in India, Colonel Henderson,
and I've never seen a hole
large enough to swallow up horses,
carts of cotton, and people.
It's impossible for us to police the entire
area between here and Bhadora.
What does that mean?
Am I supposed to forget about my losses?
This is nothing new, is it?
You've had these disappearances before.
And that makes it all right, does it?
Come to India and disappear.
- Now, look here, Burns...
- No, you look here.
We're sick of all the talk
there's been on this subject.
We don't care
what the problems are,
the extent of the area to be policed,
the number of soldiers you have.
Those are entirely the problems
of your company.
I don't ask your company
to help me grow my crops.
All we know is the situation
is becoming intolerable.
And I won't tolerate it.
If something isn't done soon,
I shall put through a report
to your headquarters in Bombay.
I think Mr Burns
to be absolutely right, sir.
- There you are.
- I believe that the only possible...
- I think we'd better let Mr Burns finish.
- Finish I will.
Finish paying
my taxes and revenues,
unless something's done
about the situation immediately.
The harvest will be in soon.
Our caravans must be able to proceed
without undue molestation.
What do you mean,
undue molestation?
I mean that we accept and expect
the occasional robbery,
but these wholesale disappearances
must cease.
- I agree.
- We all agree with Mr Burns.
Then there's nothing further to discuss
as far as I'm concerned.
Except perhaps we'd all be better off
if Patel Shari were headman again.
Mr Burns, you flatter me too much.
Maybe you'd get something done.
- Good day.
- Good day.
- Good day, Colonel.
- Good day.
Good day.
Thank you, gentlemen.
It's very easy for Mr Burns to say
he's not interested in our problems.
But there it is.
An almost impossible situation.
I'm afraid the company will find no revenue
an even more impossible situation.
Where can a caravan disappear to?
I mean, totally disappear.
- And people.
- What was that, Lewis?
And people, sir.
- And people what?
- Disappear.
During my time out here, I don't know
how many people have been reported missing.
And it's the same
in every territory, sir.
- People disappear in England.
- Thousands a year, every year?
- How many?
- Reported missing persons
in our territory alone last year
totalled 1,119.
I sent you a report on it, sir.
- You did?
- I sent it to London, sir.
- At your request.
- And what did London reply?
They said they'd be
delighted to tell us,
should anyone on the list
appeared in St James's Street.
Well, Lewis, you seem to be the expert
in missing persons.
What do you make of it?
Have they deserted their families?
Indians never desert their families, sir,
under any circumstances.
Well, where have they gone to?
And the cotton and silver,
horses and camels
and carts and everything else.
- What's happened to them?
- Sir?
- Speak up, Lewis.
- Might I make a suggestion, sir?
Providing I can hear it.
Then I suggest that you appoint
an officer with a small staff
to devote his entire time
to finding what does happen.
And that he be relieved of all duties
except finding out.
Well, that seems to be
the most logical thing to do.
Good idea, Lewis.
Is there anything else?
It's too hot to go on
with this today, eh?
Catch the big cobra.
He's gone. Catch him.
Come on, catch him.
There, he's gone.
Oh, memsahib.
Come along, girl.
Did you deliver the letter
for the master?
Of course, memsahib.
Safely to the boat itself.
May I be excused to leave now,
- It is time for Toki's supper.
- Certainly, Ram Das.
Come on, Toki, come.
- Hello, Harry.
- Mary.
What is it, Harry?
Is anything wrong?
Things were never more right.
They had a meeting today,
and they put their foot down.
- Who?
- Mr Burns and the rest of the planters.
They said these wholesale
disappearances must cease.
You used to chide me
for collecting the statistics on the number
of persons missing, remember?
- Of course I remember.
- Well, today, I was called
the expert on missing persons.
That's what Colonel Henderson
called me, "the expert."
I suggested to him that he appoints
an officer to devote his whole time
to investigating
these disappearances, and he agreed.
And, darling, who's the obvious
person to employ if not the expert?
This is going to be absolutely wonderful.
Do you know what it means?
It means I can devote
my whole time to this,
instead of just a few hours stolen
after my regular work.
And I will. There's nothing haphazard
about this, Mary, you know.
This is some kind
of organised conspiracy.
I know it, and I'll find it out.
May I interrupt you for a moment
to remind you of something?
Why, yes, of course. What is it?
That you had contemplated
resigning from the company.
Oh, yes.
And you sent a letter to London
applying for a position with
the Lloyd Shipping Company.
You want me to refuse this chance?
Look, I realise our financial position
isn't as good as it might be
if I were engaged
in private commerce.
And I know I'm not
getting any younger.
I know if ever I'm going to make a move,
now is the time to make it.
But Mary, this is something
I've been working on for years.
- It's terribly important to me.
- Yes, I know.
Today, Dashi stopped me in the street.
He asked me for news of his nephew.
You remember, the boy who disappeared
with Burns' caravan to Bhadora?
How many sad-eyed relatives in the
last few years have come up to me?
You think I could take another job
just for the additional money
and have these people's faces
haunt me all my life? Do you?
Oh, Harry, I know...
You're being unreasonable and selfish
in a way I cannot understand.
Somebody's got to get
to the bottom of this.
Thousands and thousands of people
are disappearing all over India.
And I am better equipped than anyone
for this task.
Do you want me to evade
my responsibility?
Darling, all I am trying to say
is to send the boy to Darudih
to intercept the letter
before it leaves for London tomorrow.
Ram Das!
Ram Das.
Bless you.
Ram Das.
Good evening, Flood.
- Ram Das.
- Evening.
He's in here, Harry.
I want you to leave for Darudih
immediately, and bring back that letter.
- Bring it back?
- Yes, get ready now.
- I'll give you a note to take with you.
- Yes, Captain sahib.
- It's all right, leave him. You get ready.
- Yes, Captain sahib.
Sir, I have a message for you
from Colonel Henderson.
From Henderson.
Wish me luck.
- Sir.
- Yes?
The message.
Well, the Colonel wants to see me,
doesn't he?
- Is that all?
- Yes, sir.
- Very well, thank you.
- Sir.
What is it, Harry?
At dawn tomorrow,
the Colonel wants me to proceed
with a detail of men to Feetul
to escort a Captain Connaught-Smith
to the barracks.
Get them.
Search them.
Tie them up.
You stay here with them.
We'll go on and pick up the Captain
and join you on the way back.
I believe Colonel Henderson mentioned
in his notes something about dawn.
I'm sorry, Captain Smith, but we...
Captain Connaught-Smith,
if you please, Captain.
When you're quite cool enough,
Captain, I'm ready.
Captain sahib!
Good to see you, Christopher.
How's your father?
Extremely well, sir. He sends you
his most affectionate regards.
Good, good. I see you've come
prepared for everything.
The finest London has to offer.
- I may ask to borrow some of this, Christopher.
- Be my pleasure, sir, if you do.
- Did you have a good journey?
- Somewhat delayed.
We were engaged in a skirmish
with some goats.
- What?
- I had two prisoners, Colonel.
They escaped, I'm afraid,
in the market.
I see. Let me have a full report.
Well, Christopher,
you'll have your first assignment.
When I heard you were coming,
I knew you'd be the perfect man
to investigate our disappearances.
And no sooner do you come
than we have two of them.
Nothing very mysterious there, sir.
They were two bandits,
and they were allowed to escape.
Of course.
Now, let's get you settled.
There's so much to talk to you about.
- You're dining with me tonight.
- Oh, thank you, sir.
His father and I were at
school together, you know, Lewis.
And Christopher has followed
in our footsteps.
- Yes, sir.
- Tell me all about London.
- Yes?
- About the two men who disappeared.
Make a report and submit it
to Captain Connaught-Smith.
It is good to have you with us.
Come, I'll take you to your quarters.
If they decide to rob on their own
for themselves,
it will be dangerous for us.
There will always be the few
who act on their own.
Yes, and those few
must be punished.
And their punishment displayed
before all the others.
That is the only way
that the few shall remain a few.
You have sinned
against the goddess Kali.
You set out to steal,
not for sacrifice to our Great Mother,
but to fill your own filthy stomachs.
You have allowed the sacred silk
to fall into the hands of an unbeliever.
Those that sin against Kali
must suffer the pain
of never looking
upon her face again,
nor ever speaking her name.
Kali shows mercy
only to her loved children.
Kali shows no mercy to the jackals
that sin against her.
That was the first I knew about it.
It isn't fair, Harry. You've been here
in service for so many years.
They went to the same school.
Isn't there any way of having
Henderson's order overruled?
Well, I suppose I could start
by learning to play polo.
- Seriously, Harry...
- I'm being perfectly serious.
There is absolutely nothing I can do.
- Captain sahib, I've...
- Yes, I see you have, thank you.
- Captain sahib...
- Good job.
You got the letter back in time.
Well done.
- Captain sahib...
- I said well done. What more do you want?
- Harry.
- Now, be off.
Harry, he's trying
to tell you something.
- What is it?
- I passed a caravan.
A small group of seeming traders
travelling from Darudih to Bhadora.
- One of them looked like my brother.
- Your brother?
Yes, Captain sahib,
my brother who disappeared
with my beloved mother and father
ten years ago.
I rode back and asked for the boy.
The leader of the caravan
said there was no boy in the caravan.
I saw him.
Did you tell them
you had seen a boy?
They denied it, Captain sahib.
They had pitched camp.
I could not search their tents.
What makes you so sure
it was your brother?
He was but a child
when you saw him last.
The impression of one's own flesh
is eternal, Captain sahib.
I would like permission to seek
the caravan and find my brother.
Why did you not follow them?
Why did you come back?
I thought the letter was important,
and the Captain sahib
must have it at once.
Thank you.
- You're quite sure of this, Ram Das?
- I swear.
How will you find him?
I shall find him.
- You have my permission.
- Thank you, Captain sahib.
Wait, there are things you must do.
You'll need food and money.
I can only think of my brother.
I pray it is your brother,
but don't build your hopes too high.
I've done that a few times
and it isn't too pleasant.
- Yes, Captain sahib.
- You can take one of my horses.
- I cannot.
- You'll never catch them on foot.
When I come back,
you will return this to me.
Now, don't be foolish, I trust you.
Please, Captain sahib.
All right.
Now, get your food and money.
I have my own food.
If you are not
out of my sight in one more moment,
my sword point
shall test the hardness of your skin.
It will not prove as hard
as your heart, traveller sahib.
- HIGH PRIEST Start again.
- Good day, chosen of the road.
More of a smile, Gopali.
Good day, chosen of the road.
Better. Good day.
I travel, too,
but not so fortunately as you.
I travel alone.
One admires and rejoices
in the sky and land,
but people
are more pleasant company.
Go away.
I have heard there is great danger
along these paths.
Would you not think that the more
that travel together, the less danger?
Your mouth is agile,
but let your manner
become more pathetic
when the refusal continues.
At the last moment,
you should be close to tears.
You see, we cannot do the work
of the Great Mother
unless you can enter the caravan.
Now, watch me.
I am Gopali. You are the traveller.
Oh, traveller.
Oh, I'm fearful.
Look at me.
Do not send me off to tread alone.
Let me cradle in the bosom of safety,
which your number ensures.
In return, I shall water your horses.
I shall prepare your tents.
I will not rise
until you have blessed me
with your approval.
If you behave like this, Gopali,
none will deny you.
Now, try again.
Again and again.
Let the sun shine
favourably on you, travellers.
It will shine favourably on me
if you allow my poor humble person,
alone and fearful,
to find safety in your midst.
I will move no further.
I will remain here and die,
food for the vultures,
if you deny me the hospitality
of your company.
My life rests on your words.
Move on, pig.
I will trouble you not, travellers.
I will stay here and die.
They will not deny you, Gopali.
And Kali will not be denied.
Master, master.
What is this disturbance?
Do they not know
that I'm instructing initiates?
A traveller is approaching.
He is Ram Das from my city.
A servant of the Lewis sahib.
- Captain Lewis.
- Who is this Captain Lewis?
He is the Englishman who has been
asking so many questions of late.
The one who has the sacred cloth.
An unbeliever has the sacred cloth?
One of these pigs allowed it
to fall into the hands of the white man.
Bring this servant to me.
This Captain Lewis
must be punished.
Come in.
Oh, it's you.
I suppose
Colonel Henderson has told you
that I've spent a lot of time working on
these disappearances that you've
been appointed to investigate.
- He mentioned it.
- I confess I was disappointed
not being offered the assignment
myself, as I'm sure you'll appreciate.
However, the important thing
is the job should be done,
and I'd like you to have the benefit
of what I've been doing.
You can leave them here.
These represent
two years of hard work.
I'd like to wish you
the very best of luck.
Thank you.
Come in.
- Oh, sorry, sahib.
- No, come in, come in.
- Anything else, Lewis?
- No, there's nothing else.
He says he has lived in the city
for forty years,
but he has never seen anything.
Tell him to stand up.
Now tell him to close his eyes
and walk about the room.
Go on, tell him.
Tell him to keep his eyes closed
and continue walking.
Now tell him that no-one
can live anywhere for forty years
without seeing a great deal.
What has he seen?
He says he has seen forty harvests
and hundred and sixty changes of season.
There's something I must tell you,
it's important.
- Evidently, since you omitted to knock.
- Something I must tell you in private.
- Very well. Take him out.
- Yes, sahib.
Now, what is it?
I was attacked on the street by two men
who stole a piece of silk
that I picked up from one of
the thieves the day I came to meet you.
- Just the piece of silk, nothing more.
- What of it?
It doesn't seem peculiar to you
that I was attacked
just to recover a piece of silk?
My dear fellow,
what does seem peculiar to me
is that you see fit to burst into my
office, looking like a scarecrow,
while I'm conducting
an important investigation,
just to tell me you've lost
a piece of silk.
My experience tells me
this piece of silk to be important.
And my intelligence
tells me otherwise.
May I remind you that for many years,
I've worked in India...
Then I suggest
it's time you went home.
The sun has obviously
affected your mind.
- Gentlemen.
- I'm sorry, sir. It was entirely my fault.
I came in to report something
I consider to be important.
- You had an accident, Lewis?
- Yes.
Well, in a way, sir.
Captain Lewis was robbed, Colonel.
- Robbed?
- Yes, sir.
What did they take?
A piece of silk, Colonel.
With your permission, Colonel,
I will return to my quarters to change.
Of course.
- I hope he's all right.
- A touch of fever perhaps, sir.
He's a good man, Christopher.
A little eccentric, but don't
dismiss his opinions too lightly.
Didn't see that, did you, Harry?
I say, I haven't done so well in years.
My holiday's a success already.
You know,
I may not go tiger hunting at all.
I may just stay here
and keep on beating you, Harry.
Another game?
- Another game?
- Yes, yes, of course.
Well, Dorothy, what do you think
of your old husband now, eh?
Are you sure
you want to continue, Harry?
Of course he's sure, I just asked him.
Pay attention, Dorothy.
Would you like another drink,
Yes, please.
Excellent whisky.
None for him, though.
I don't want any excuses tomorrow
for my success.
Well, I feel like a boy again.
Ram Das?
Are you all right in there, Mary?
That's what Connaught-Smith's
here for, Lewis.
You obviously don't understand
what I'm saying, sir.
I'm not senile. I understand.
Someone has cut off
the hand of your boy.
Any investigation of the matter will be
conducted by Connaught-Smith.
Yes, and judging by his present progress,
he'll find out absolutely nothing.
- You're going too far, Lewis.
- Look, sir, this is India.
There are cults and religions that stretch
back to the beginning of recorded time.
Ram Das was a Hindu.
Had it been his whole body
thrown into my house tonight,
his people would've buried him
after their own fashion,
burning his body on a funeral pyre,
then carrying his ashes
hundreds of miles
to scatter them across the waters
of the sacred Ganges.
Does Connaught-Smith know this?
No, of course he doesn't.
You can't solve anything,
probe into anything seated behind a desk
and bringing people in
for questioning. You can't!
I don't need to be reminded
that this is India, Lewis.
But I have spent more years of my life
in this country than you have.
And how have you spent them?
Looking after the business interests
of the company, nothing more.
What real effort has the company
made to stabilise India,
beyond what was just necessary
to conduct its business?
Would there even be an inquiry
into these disappearances
if they didn't finally threaten
the company's business? Would there?
- If you're dissatisfied with this...
- My dissatisfaction isn't important, sir.
The Indians are dissatisfied.
And mark my words,
before many years have gone by,
they'll express that dissatisfaction
in a way that won't be pretty.
If you want to discuss
the company policy, Lewis,
we can continue in the morning.
Good night.
I am not interested in
discussing company policy, sir.
But I am interested in investigating the
disappearance of my boy, Ram Das.
And I prefer settling the matter
right now.
I am being pushed very hard.
I'm trying to keep telling myself you've
been with the company for 20 years.
It's getting harder for me
to keep telling myself that.
- Now, good night.
- I don't consider that an answer, sir.
Lewis, I must tell you that I consider
your entire behaviour tonight
both insolent and disrespectful.
I urge you to take hold of yourself.
I urge you and I warn you.
Then you leave me no alternative
but to offer my resignation.
- Don't be a fool, Lewis.
- This is no sudden decision, sir.
What has happened tonight
has brought matters to a head.
Sleep on it. See me in the morning.
My request will be the same
in the morning, sir.
I shall have to submit
your resignation to Bombay.
- Of course.
- You're making a terrible mistake, Lewis.
With respect, sir, it is you
who are making the terrible mistake.
Hello, darling.
He wouldn't let me look for Ram Das.
Are you feeling better?
- Yes. What did he say?
- Connaught-Smith.
- Well, maybe he's right.
- He's not right.
- He's not right, Mary, and you know it.
- Darling, what would you do?
- What are you going to do?
- I've done it.
I've resigned.
- Resigned?
- Effective immediately.
And what are you going to use
for money, darling?
Money? Well, we've got a bit.
- A very small bit.
- Well, something will turn up.
- What a time to act on impulse.
- The right time and the only time.
When someone you care for
has been hurt.
You have such a gift
for saying the right thing.
Do I?
I'm sorry about the money problem,
Mary, but we'll manage.
I'll cut down on...
I'm going to find
those butchers, Mary.
You will.
Go away.
Sahib, sahib. Trinkets, sahib,
for the sahib's lovely lady wife.
A brooch, a necklace, a ring,
souvenir of happy days in India.
Ten rupees, sahib,
reduced from twenty.
My boy has a ring like this.
Oh, he has, sahib?
Purchased at this very place.
Did he tell you how much he paid?
Did he tell you he paid only one rupee?
He is lying.
- He's telling damn lies, sahib.
- He did not tell me.
Nine rupees, my last and final offer.
Have you seen anything of Ram Das
during these last few days?
- No, sahib.
- He's missing, I wondered if you...
Very sad. Eight rupees?
I wondered if you had any idea
what might have happened to him.
None. Seven?
And I'm robbing myself.
Are you not interested
in what happens to your own kind?
I am a merchant, sahib.
He is a servant.
But you just can't say
you don't care what has happened to him.
He comes here nearly every day.
He's your friend.
He is not our kind.
I am Muslim, he is Hindu.
I am only a beggar, master.
- I know nothing, nothing at all.
- But you're here all day, every day.
You must see
what's going on around you.
I know nothing, master.
Nothing, nothing, nothing.
Thank you.
Thank you, master, thank you.
Do you remember Toki,
the little mongoose?
And do you remember Ram Das,
my Indian servant?
Do you remember him?
Now, have you seen Ram Das
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar!
Allahu akbar.
Did you say something, darling?
Allahu akbar.
"Allah is great, and I am but human."
"Allah is with us,
there is peace in the land."
I suppose you get to believing it
if you keep on repeating it.
Don't be discouraged, darling.
This was only your first day.
Yes, but I see the pattern emerging.
Either they genuinely know nothing
or they're just not talking.
Probably they've heard
about Ram Das.
Why should they take any chances?
What are you going to do?
I've decided to join Sidney
on his tiger hunt.
- Maybe I can find something out in the jungle.
- Oh, darling...
- I take care of myself.
- Well, I wish...
There's nothing to be frightened of.
But I don't want you to be alone.
Stay with Dorothy, all right?
All right.
Here he comes.
Getting pretty close now.
Oh, you fool, you unspeakable idiot.
What the devil do you think
you're playing at?
Mongoose, sahib, mongoose.
Good mind to reload
and come down there and...
It wasn't his fault, Sidney.
You're as bad.
Fancy bringing a damn mongoose
on a tiger hunt.
- Now, don't worry.
- It was a damn silly idea.
- Plenty more tigers left.
- I don't get all that amount of leave.
Toki, Toki, come on.
Your rifle, sahib.
- Sidney.
- What?
Come over here a minute.
Good heavens.
Boy, get the spades.
Look. There are more bones
under it.
Sidney, take a boy.
Go back to Henderson,
tell him what we've found
and ask him to send out some troops.
- Will you be all right?
- Yes, you hurry up.
There's thirty bodies there
and we haven't got them all out yet.
- It's evidently a native cemetery.
- In the middle of nowhere?
Nowhere to us,
somewhere to the natives.
- What natives? There are no villages here.
- Then what do you think it is?
A place where they bury
the murdered.
- What?
- Those necks.
- What about them?
- Well, they're broken, all of them.
Those bones are so old they're disintegrating.
How can you tell they're broken?
There was one that wasn't so old.
It still had some flesh on it.
Well, it's probably how he died.
He stumbled or something right here,
and they buried him.
Those necks are broken.
Isn't it obvious?
I haven't the time to play
in cemeteries, Lewis.
I still work for the company.
We're closing this up so nobody else
stumbles and really breaks his neck.
Fill it in.
Look, you fool, this is the first chance
you've had to do anything.
- You coming, Lewis?
- Yes, I'm coming.
- It does seem strange.
- Strange? Is that all you can say?
Your people don't bury their dead
in the middle of the jungle.
Not ordinarily.
There were thirty bodies that we counted,
all of them with their necks broken.
- You assume that.
- They were broken, all right.
You are certain that
I may not offer you a drink?
- Have you ever heard of a cult of stranglers?
- No.
- In myth, perhaps?
- Never.
There are so many cults.
Why not a cult of stranglers?
Everything is possible.
Look, patel, you might take
more interest. These are your people.
Their bones buried out there
in the jungle.
Do not raise your voice to me.
When I was patel,
those bones were my responsibility.
Now they're your bones
or the bones of your company.
Either of you is welcome to them.
I didn't mean to shout.
The company maintains
it's a cemetery.
Then it is a cemetery.
Whoever rules decides the truth.
Why trouble yourself about it?
Why should I? You're right.
Why should I trouble myself about it?
No-one else does.
I think I will have a drink, patel.
It's been a wearing day.
Certainly, Captain.
Nobody cares.
Just another example
of what's going on.
This pig trying to rob my house.
Thieves are coming
into our homes now, Colonel.
We'll take care of him, Burns.
A man's not safe in his home and
his goods are not safe on the roads.
A fine state, Colonel.
I'll question him, sir.
If I may, sir,
allow me to question him.
What makes you think
you'll be better at it than I?
For a very good reason
that the Colonel knows.
My parentage.
Lieutenant Silver is part Indian.
Make him talk, Silver.
Yes, yes, tremble.
Tremble and pray for mercy.
Kali has sent me to you.
You have sinned.
You've set out alone.
Your own greed driving you
before the wishes of Kali.
You must be punished.
You must be punished, you dog.
Kali will not rest
until you're punished.
You will say
that you have killed by yourself,
that you have robbed by yourself.
And when the rope of the English
tightens about your neck,
and sends you to the world to come,
sweet Kali will forgive.
If you say anything else,
there will be such horrors
as only Kali can give
to those who sin against her.
I will do as you say.
- This is a hanging, Roberts, isn't it?
- I beg your pardon, sir?
Did you ever see
such happy people as that one?
And those two?
I'm afraid we all enjoy it a bit, sir.
That's why we're here.
What about the prisoner?
Does he usually enjoy it a bit too?
Look at him.
Well, that is a bit rum, sir.
The crime is murder.
The sentence, death by hanging.
I come to you,
Great Mother.
All right, Toki,
let's see where they go.
Kali's omens are all-powerful.
The howl of a jackal bodes evil.
The howl of a jackal bodes evil.
The call of a crow bodes evil.
The call of a crow bodes evil.
The touch of a lizard bodes evil.
The touch of a lizard bodes evil.
The squeal of a hare bodes evil.
The squeal of a hare bodes evil.
The death of a snake bodes evil.
The death of a snake bodes evil.
Now we have eaten,
we prepare your feast, Great Mother.
Mongoose. Mongoose.
Cut him loose.
You cannot let him go free.
The death of a snake bodes evil.
Kali is displeased.
Cut him loose.
Great Mother, how have I failed you?
It's a vast religious organisation
and their goddess is Kali.
- Hold on...
- There's no time, sir.
This must sound incredible to you,
but I've seen it.
Look, there is a way of
corroborating what I told you.
The potter in the market place.
He's one of them.
I saw him as clearly as I see you.
We can go out into
the market place now.
When you find he's missing,
perhaps you'll start to believe me.
Well, at least this is simpler
than digging up the jungle.
- We've only to go to the market place.
- Really, the potter.
Not just the potter,
there must be thousands of them,
living quietly in the city,
working most of the time.
And the rest of the time
they steal and kill?
The way you talk, Captain Lewis,
the potter must be very rich.
Somebody is very rich if he isn't.
There's something in what you say,
It's possible, sir, that he's gone
away on a pilgrimage or...
To a meeting of stranglers?
You're right, Lewis.
Let's have a look.
There you are, sir. Look.
What did I tell you, sir?
- There he is.
- Where?
They've sent him back.
They sent you back.
This is their mark.
- I burn myself, Captain sahib.
- Burned yourself?
Have I done something wrong, sir?
If it's scars
you're interested in now, Lewis,
this is a more interesting specimen,
don't you think?
Look, sir, I...
I'm sorry to have wasted
your time, sir.
Children of Kali,
the final moment has come.
You have learnt all of our ways,
save one.
Only the most sacred remains.
Release the prisoners.
Prepare the sacred cloth.
Now kill.
Kill, Gopali.
My brother.
Kill, kill.
Slit their stomachs,
so their bodies do not swell
and disclose their secret graves.
Your sons are prepared, great Kali.
Your sons have learnt all.
The harvest has been reaped,
and your sons are ready.
I am most pleased that all of you
have accepted my plan
to ship all your produce
in one caravan.
The size of the caravan
will keep its journey safe.
No-one will attack a caravan
of this dimension.
- I hope you're right.
- Is all prepared?
- It'll move out at midnight.
- Good.
The cloak of night will cover the
caravan's movement out of the city.
Are you sure we shouldn't wait
until the company find out
who or what
is destroying the caravans?
How long will you wait? The company
has made no progress on this matter.
Patel Shari's right. We've no idea
how long this condition will exist.
But I can tell you how long we'll all
exist if we can't continue trading.
I pray to God they get there.
I am confident the caravan
will reach its appointed destiny.
When this caravan
is reported missing,
the company will send
many, many soldiers here.
After this caravan
has been disposed of,
the children of Kali will be silent
for many, many months.
This caravan contains all.
After this caravan disappears,
they may listen to Captain Lewis.
We cannot run the risk
of Lewis remaining alive.
It is settled. Lewis dies.
His death may arouse
enormous suspicion and investigation.
He has spoken of stranglers.
He will die by the sword.
His house will be looted.
Captain Connaught-Smith
will pronounce it a robbery.
is pleased by the obvious.
It does not tax his dull mind.
To be safe, patel, let us rob and kill
Lewis' neighbour as well.
It will then appear
that a band of thieves
ransacked the area.
Silver speaks sensibly, patel.
So be it.
- How is she?
- She's asleep now.
- Sidney's dead because of me.
- Oh, Harry.
It's true, Mary. It's me they wanted.
Sidney was just thrown in as a sacrifice,
to make it look as though
they're robbing everybody.
I'm going to get them.
Tomorrow morning,
I'll go down to the market place,
and I'll beat the truth
out of that potter.
I'll kill him if he doesn't talk.
- Colonel.
- Yes?
They've gone.
Look, the place is deserted.
Of course it's deserted.
They're all in the temple.
- Today is the Holy Day.
- Holy Day?
Don't I know it.
Trouble we had to get the sepoys
to move out to the caravan last night.
- Caravan? What caravan?
- The caravan.
All the planters have formed
themselves into one group.
Connaught-Smith is leading them.
The death of Mr Flood
has finally unnerved him.
After all, even though he's resigned,
he's still an officer in the company
as far as the people in the city
are concerned.
You're right, Silver. Go on.
Captain Lewis,
what are you going to do?
Go after them, Silver.
There must be something I can do.
Even if you're right, what can you do in
addition to what Connaught-Smith is doing?
I don't know. All I know is that
that caravan's going to be attacked.
And I want to be there
when it is.
- I'm coming with you.
- Why should you?
Another soldier
won't do any harm, will he?
Captain, sir,
these men ask permission
to travel with the caravan too.
More of them? We'll soon have
every beggar in India with us.
Oh, great leader of the many,
the road is perilous.
These tiny sacks
are filled with our year's labours.
If we are robbed, great leader,
my brother and I, we will have nothing.
And our poor and crippled mother...
Oh, very well.
Fall into line somewhere.
But mind you keep up.
We're not waiting for anyone.
We will keep up, great leader.
I promise we will.
Camp them over there.
Before we journey
to do your bidding, Great Mother,
we sweeten our mouths
so you may sweeten our way.
The sacred sugar shall be the sign.
Wake up.
Captain sahib, what is it?
Wake up.
Wake up!
Get up. Get up!
Great heaven.
- Captain sahib.
- Anyone else alive? Anyone alive? Anyone?
Hold your fire.
Kali. Kali. Kali.
- Keep a good lookout, Silver.
- Yes, sir.
This is where they camped
for the night.
- They must have moved on.
- They haven't moved on.
- What do you mean?
- There's no track leading that way.
- The tracks lead up here.
- Into the jungle?
I don't understand.
- They're dead.
- Dead?
They've all been murdered.
- Where are the bodies?
- Buried.
We can soon find out.
Not here, in the jungle.
I said, not here, in the jungle.
Come on, come on.
Come on, hurry.
Give me that spade.
Kali has provided in the past.
Kali has provided in the past.
Kali provides now.
Kali provides now.
Kali will provide in the time to come.
Kali will provide in the time to come.
Now we offer Kali our gift.
The greatest gift of all.
Human flesh.
Ram Das.
Great goddess,
you have given a sign.
I understand.
Prepare the funeral pyre.
Kali has told us her wish.
The death of this unbeliever
shall be her final reward.
First, the dead. Then, the living.
Kali demands vengeance
for her sons.
Is it too hot for you, Colonel?
Your cook makes an excellent curry.
Lewis sahib is here, patel.
Tell him I'm engaged with...
- Speak, Gopali. Tell them.
- What's this all about?
- Lewis, how dare you...
- Let him speak, sir.
What Captain Lewis has told you
is really true. He is one of them.
He is one of them.
One of what, patel?
One of what
that you had to kill him?
One of what?
I want you to know
I've sent a full report to Bombay.
I'm recommending you
for immediate promotion.
Promotion, sir?
But, my resignation?
I didn't send it.
Thank you, sir.
- Aren't you proud, darling?
- Yes.
What is it?
- She's out there.
- Who?
Kali, the murderess,
with her murdering sons.
This is only the beginning, Mary.