Death and Nightingales (2018) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

Belladonna, a preservative against scarlatina.
Aconite Arsenic Ergot Oil of bitter almonds.
Beth, please I, I promise I'll conduct myself as honourably as any man in Ulster from now on - Drink.
- I'll make amends.
It's too late.
I'll never lay a hand on you again, Beth, I swear.
Jesus, mercy forgive, forgive a wretched sinner (CATTLE BELLOW) (DOOR CREAKS OPEN) Sir? (CATTLE BELLOW) Sir? (CATTLE BELLOW) Oh, you poor beast, poor beast You'll be all right.
(THUD) (AIR ESCAPES) A dowry, love.
Yes, a dowry.
What's a dowry? It's what a girl gets when she marries.
I got a longhorn bull calf and Corvey Island.
Salmon swim up past there, up from the sea, and there's wild goats and a herd's bothy and a hidden garden, and when the sun is shining on the lough, it's like gold or silver or diamonds, or velvet at night.
Someday it'll all be yours.
The heartbreak of this place.
Love it and hate it like no place else on earth.
Tomorrow, I leave it for ever.
When there were no fields here, before the Greenes and the Brownes, and the Winters and the Somers, the rat-poor robbers with nothing names came here to rob us of what was ours.
Maguire was a proud name.
And it still is.
Oh, there's pride there, to be sure, and sweet bugger-all to prop it up.
Why must you go on and on at me like a bloody fish woman? Who are you to look down on a fish woman? I look down on no-one.
Oh, no, but some spunky boyo looked down on you once, that's for sure.
- Or did he come from behind? - Stop! Stop! For God's sake! I I have begged your forgiveness over and over again for that one mistake.
"Mistake"! "Mistake"! That's a nice word for it! To walk up the aisle with me to wed, knowing you carried another man's child! When you knew the love I had for you I should have listened to my father.
"Marry one of your own faith.
"Not some treacherous slut of Rome!" Have mercy on me, Billy, for the sake of the child if nothing else.
That child is not my daughter! She's not kin to me and she will not inherit, do you hear me? She will not inherit.
I'll disinherit her.
Do you hear? I'll disinherit her.
Neither she nor her kind will ever cut my trees, milk my cows, pluck my apples, quarry my stone, or plough my acres ever! "My, my, my, my, my"! You stole it from us and you know you stole it.
I'm not stopping you! On you go, woman, back to Tirkennedy, back to your own people! A midnight scholar.
What were you hunting for in the Queen's English? Disinter What does it say? Read it out.
"To dig up things, especially from a grave.
"To unearth.
" To unearth things that are best left buried.
It's a good word.
What word were you really looking for? And don't lie to me.
I hate lies.
Sweetheart Yes, sir? Did you find it? Yes, sir.
And you believe I'd disinherit you? I don't know.
Bring the lamp.
(KEYS RATTLE) And that is what put the shine on this place 100 years ago.
French gold.
Phoo! 15,000 beaver pelts stolen by my father's grandaddy from the French who stole it from the poor oul' Cree Indians.
15,000 pelts sold for five boxes of gold one for each of the crew, but two for Captain Winters.
Now, you mind your step you bide your time and you play your part this could all be yours.
This and what I've added.
(COINS JINGLE) (DOOR KNOCKS) Miss Beth? - Miss Beth? - Coming.
Did you sleep all night in your clothes, miss? Oh, no, no, I'll explain when I come down.
Today's the day, miss.
What? Oh, Mercy, you shouldn't have.
Mercy, it's too much.
Many happy returns of the day, miss.
(DOOR KNOCKS) Yeah? Yes? I've your hot water, sir.
Hold on, Mercy.
Hold on.
- Is Miss Beth up? - She's in her room, sir.
You know what day it is? I've give her something already.
You're a good girl, Mercy.
I'll be down directly.
(DOOR CLOSES) Holy Jesus, it's wee Jimmy.
Well, this is an honour.
Your Catholic Bishop of Clogher is here.
Beth! Bishop Donnelly's here.
Welcome back to Clonoula, my lord.
When I was curate here, you called me Seamus, or Jimmy.
- I'd prefer that.
- What brings you here, Jimmy? Elizabeth.
You remembered? 'Course.
You'll stay for a bite of breakfast? If it's not too much trouble.
Mercy? Lay another place.
- The best ware.
- Yes, sir.
It's Mercy Boyle, isn't it? Yes, my lord.
You have a lovely name.
- Will you bless my brother, my lord? - Of course.
- Where is he? - He's in the kitchen.
- I'll get him.
- No, no, I'll go to him.
Rule Romania, Romania rules the Taigs Poor Rosie's childer Ever, ever shall be slaves.
From this window, 12 months ago, I first saw him.
Who could he be? What is he doing here? A merchant from Dublin or Belfast? A new French or Italian mason at the quarry? - Yes? - Is the boss about? He's away till Thursday.
I'm Liam Ward of Brackagh.
Tom Ward's nephew? That's me.
You have a problem, Liam? Aye, an old fool of a cow in a bog hole and no man body for miles about to help pull her out.
They're all at hay.
- Do you not have a horse? - I do, but I've I've loaned her to a neighbour.
We've a big pony here, you're welcome to him.
Do you have someone to lead him? I'm free.
I can lead him for you.
(COW GRUNTS) I'll do what I can to get her back feet up.
Don't give him his head he could break her neck.
I know what to do.
Come on.
(HE STRAINS) She's very chilled.
I think she's dead, Liam.
Liam, she's dead.
When did you see her last? Yesterday.
She could have been in there all night.
Likely she was.
- She was agey.
- It's a loss, nonetheless.
I'm beholden to you, miss.
I answered to Liz at school, to Beth or Betty hereabouts.
Would it be forward to ask you back to the house, Beth, or backward not to? A cup of tea would be welcome.
Would a mug do? Just as welcome.
Silk? (WATER POURS) This was your uncle's house? Yes.
Where are your parents? My mother's in Monaghan asylum.
I'm sorry.
She doesn't know anyone this brave while.
And your father? When I was 12, he walked out one night for good or bad.
He never came back.
Growing up, I used to think that this townland, Brackagh, this cottage by the shore, were a kind of faery land I still do.
Try living here.
You know I'm Catholic too? Yes, I do.
The long-tailed lads look to be more fun than the boy with the showy heart.
Do I understand what I'm risking tonight? Am I in my right mind or just foolish? Do I love Liam Ward? I'm besotted, a moth to the candle, a rabbit in a hawk-shadow.
But do I love? Do I hate Billy Winters enough to take such a risk? Do I hate him at all? - You're halfway to heaven.
- The dog days of summer.
Dear God in heaven.
It's uncanny.
You're the living replica of your poor mother.
What are you now, Elizabeth? 22? - 23.
- Of course.
And how do you propose to celebrate the day? Making butter, bringing food to the men in the bog.
- And there's a pig to be killed.
- Who does that for you? - Blinky Blessing.
- Ah It'll not all be workaday.
I have a surprise or two up my sleeve.
What's this? It's a gift from Mercy.
May I? It's empty.
- Don't you have a young man? - No, Father.
Oh, I've tried brought them here by the cartload.
Overbred, underbred, young bucks, not so young.
She'll have nothing to do with them.
She'll find the right man in her own good time.
I'm not looking.
Tell me, Billy Do you know a not-so-young man called Maurice Fairbrother? He called on me yesterday.
Said he was from the Revenue Department, Dublin Castle.
He had authority to look into our accounts.
We gave him a trunk full of papers, all to do with the new cathedral.
He scarcely looked at them.
But he did ask about you in a way I thought curious.
Me? I don't know what he is, Billy, but he's no taxman and he intends to call on you.
Well, what could he want with me? Information.
That's their job.
He'll be in the wrong shop, so.
He also asked about two of your tenants.
Liam Ward and Frank Blessing.
You employ them, Billy.
They buy filler and stone from the quarry.
It's the council that pays them, and then, of course, they pay me.
- It's your quarry.
- True.
- You could refuse them.
- I could - yes.
- And you should.
Blessing is a wretched creature.
And Ward is worse.
He's evil, or near it.
Wha He's full of himself, sure, but evil that's a big word.
You'll have to tell me why.
I'm not at liberty to disclose.
Well, then, I don't see I can do as you ask.
You do a lot of work for us here in Fermanagh, Billy.
And all that marble work up in Monaghan Cathedral.
Is this a class of blackmail, Jimmy? I married you and Catherine.
I christened Elizabeth.
We've been friends down the years.
It's a request.
I have to say why.
At my request.
He'll understand.
How beautiful.
Thank you, Winnie.
I have something for you, Elizabeth.
Thank you, Father.
This is for you.
Tonight? I don't care much for Percy French, sir.
You don't like Percy French? No, sir.
What don't you like about him? The silliness, I think.
- Silliness? - Yes, sir.
The whole world is singing his songs.
Is the whole world silly? I don't care about what he does.
What do you care about? John Keats.
What does he sing about? Death, mostly and nightingales.
Well, maybe he'll come and warble for us sometime in the Town Hall? You know he's dead and gone, sir.
Where no birds sing.
If you can quote him, why pretend? (HE SLAMS THE TABLE) Because I know and I like Percy French.
And it's your birthday.
It's an outing.
No matter.
I'll find someone for your ticket.
Well, Miss Beth is a wonder, and sure the cow is alive and well.
Well, I wouldn't tangle with Miss Beth if she had that yoke in her pocket.
She could do you harm, or could puncture a body badly.
What about Mercy here? Could you be punctured, Mercy? Ach.
Like a pack of silly wee boys, the whole lot of ye.
Thank you, Mercy.
You're missing a rare chance.
Are you sure you won't change your mind? I'd rather not go, sir.
It seems a poor way to spend your birthday.
I'm content, sir, truly.
With this house and these fields, maybe, but not with me.
So Say what it is that has you moody.
Now? Yes, let's hear it and be done with it.
I think you know, sir.
I've never harmed you, Beth.
I would rather die than harm you.
You know that.
Do you really want to hear? Yes.
The last time you came in and sat on my bed, kissed me, not fatherly, said then something I'd rather not repeat.
That's when I got angry and went and slept in Mercy's bed Oh, God.
What stuff What stuff to launch a sunny day.
You wanted to hear, sir.
I remember nothing of that.
Who was Bishop Donnelly talking about? - When? - To you, earlier.
He called someone evil.
You heard? It was our tenant, Liam Ward.
In what way evil? He refused to say.
Confessional stuff, I suppose.
I doubt if Ward confesses.
I've never seen him at Mass.
Well, maybe his ladies confess, if you could call his consorts ladies.
Would that make him evil, sir? His exact words were "near evil".
I suppose most humans are, more or less this way or that.
There's foolishness and then there's evil.
We'll talk again.
I'll make amends, Beth.
Really, I will.
(FOOTSTEPS OUTSIDE ROOM) MERCY: Are you there, Miss? I am, Mercy.
Would you like me to scrub out the kitchen or start straight in to churn? The churning, Mercy.
I'll be down in five minutes.
(FOOTSTEPS RECEDE) What are you doing lurking? What do you want? You're hungry? Well, then, go down to the house, so, and they'll give you food.
And then move on.
No malingering in the yard.
Money for lodgings? Dumb you might be, McGonnell, but you're an artful class of a beggar.
Come butter, come butter, butter come, every lump as big as my bum.
(PANTING): Come.
Oh, God.
Thanks, Miss.
He is the most breathtaking creature I've ever laid eyes on.
Still, they're a bad lot, mostly.
Who are? Men.
In what sense, Mercy? Well, the ones you'd meet at a crossroads dance or a ceilidh, they've no notion how to talk to a girl, less manners nor a dog.
They've no No gentleness? It's up agin a wall they want you, or down in a ditch and no talk.
And your friend, Constable Shanley, is he like that? Ach! He's afeared of his shadow, that fella.
Gossipy oul' woman.
"Information" is all he's after, and I've told him things I shouldn't have.
You did? Like what? Like what, Mercy? Hey, Mercy.
Don't go.
Don't go.
Stay, stay a few minutes.
(PIANO PLAYS) (PIANO STOPS) What did you tell Shanley? I don't know.
Stupid things.
Like telling him about Biddy O'Gorman, how she was big like a haystack one day and thin as a rake the next and nothing to show for it.
And some say that it was born dead and others that it was made to die.
And, then, the day after I told Seamus Shanley, the constabulary came and searched O'Gorman's.
They found nothing but he must have told.
God help her.
Oh, divil mend the men.
Willie Dawson, Liam Ward and God knows who else.
She was a giddy thing, Biddy.
Man giddy.
Ward and Blessing.
An unholy brace of hoeboys.
The dynamite.
How many men have you watching? The three lads you can see.
Three more you can't.
Waste of time.
You think? You can watch and watch and still be codded.
Ward! The law's up high today.
What are you doing here, Inspector Quinn? Cadging a cheap tombstone from Mr Winters? I, er I had a visit this morning, Liam, from your bishop.
Your friend, Jimmy Donnelly? Client, Liam, client.
I have no friends, no enemies, just clients.
What's he saying? He's saying he'll cancel all orders from this quarry if I hire you to deliver for the church avenue.
That's what he's saying.
What have you done, Liam, to make him say that? I haven't a notion.
Well, then, that's it.
You can't supply for the avenue at Tully.
Give him a chit for that new stretch out at Dernagola.
Country roads go on forever.
You'll not be stuck for work.
If it was my quarry, I'd race him.
(INTERNALLY): "Dearest Beth, I am missing you dearly.
"Your Great Aunt Maggie is being laid to rest tomorrow.
"You ask me what it's like to die.
"It can't be all that bad.
"No worse, say, than being born.
"Living your life - that's hard.
"All I ask of you, my love, "is that, when I go, you make sure my own name is on the stone.
"Catherine Winters, nee Maguire.
" Do you have family buried here? No.
But I know you come here every week and that Billy's away.
And where were you all this while? It's a long story.
Maybe we could meet later? How? Where? Brackagh.
My cottage.
I couldn't travel that lane in the dark.
you've seldom been far from my mind and heart.
There must be somewhere - I thought you weren't coming.
- I said I would.
Am I in your way? Keep still.
I'm sorry, Liam, did I frighten you? These things cowp easily.
That'd be a silly start to the day.
Or a bad end.
I don't swim.
I do.
I'd save you.
Dear God, it's quiet.
I'll fetch water.
You make a fire.
To think this is all Billy Winters'.
It's not.
My mother left Corvey Island to me.
Paradise must have been something like this.
Well, Billy Winters could double as a god of sorts.
Why don't you like him? Why don't you? You're kin.
You must know I'm not.
That's talk, surely? You're certain sure? Since I was 12.
You're better off without his blood.
He's a breed of landlord.
They're all one, that class - criminal.
Tell me Billy's crimes, the ones I don't know about.
They say he works for the Castle.
A spy? An informer? I've never heard such silliness.
Why is that? Spying on neighbours for money? He might do it for nothing.
For Ulster, for the Crown, for the Union, to keep the grip on us.
All gentry are ready-made spies.
Everyone knows that.
You're not joking, are you? He's been seen twice up at the Castle this past while, Billy Winters, his twin or his double.
Billy goes to Dublin Castle for import licences.
It's quarry business.
Informing's not one of his crimes.
He has others? I think sometimes he hates me.
Oftentimes, I hate him so much, I wish him dead.
Black thoughts.
Don't you have them about some things? Anyway, when I'm not hating him, I sometimes think I maybe love him, in a way.
"Oftentimes", you said.
When I heard him hit my mother.
Then I feared and loathed him and wished him dead.
For hitting her? And for what I didn't understand at first.
When he'd kiss me not fatherly.
He made my mother suffer.
He should answer for that.
I don't like settle beds.
Like being in a coffin.
You've done this before, Liam.
Question? A statement.
It doesn't matter.
Am I hurting you? Yes.
Go on.
Do you ever wonder about your true father? My untrue father.
Every other day and often in dreams.
In one dream, he was a young boy washed out to sea and drowned and, oh, the grief of it And, yet, I feel he must have been heartless, a betrayer or a liar, or already married, perhaps.
Weak, unkind.
But my mother was very foolish and dishonest to marry carrying another's child.
Blame on both sides.
And has he quit? What? Billy? Interfering? It's only when he has drink taken.
One night, when I was 12, he got very drunk, opened the big safe in the gun room and showed me his gold.
He told me, "Mind your step, bide your time, "play your part and all this could be yours.
" What part, I wonder.
Dairymaid? Housekeeper? Wife? Gold? Yes.
How much gold? A steel drawer full.
The bottom of the safe.
How long has it been there? Before Napoleon's time.
100 years.
What kind is he to hoard like that? Humankind.
Killing's a small thing.
Getting away with it that's not easy.
What are you saying, Liam? Why not take what we need what he doesn't need? The ill-gotten gold.
I couldn't kill anyone.
Nor would I want you to.
There are bromides.
Opiates that will pacify a nervous horse.
Put a man to sleep for two days.
A share in his nightcap and we'd be across the sea before he'd waken.
And I'd just walk out of the house where I was born, where my mother died, away from Billy Winters forever? You said you'd be glad to.
In one way.
Another way, it'd be kind of a death.
Well, if what the clergy say is true, that can be a beginning of sorts.
You've an answer for everything, Liam.
LIAM: How often does he go to the safe? Not often.
All we need is two days and we're away with it.
All we have to do is fix the day.
You're serious.
Are you not? He's no-one's fool.
He's foolish enough, it seems, when he's drunk.
When will he next have drink taken? After my mother died, he drank night and day.
Now it's just when there's an outing, a fair day, any celebration.
When's the next? July 10th, my birthday.
Then it's decided.
July 10th.
One thing is certain sure