Magpie Murders (2022) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

'Chapter one. Sorrow.
'There were many who
considered Atticus Pünd
'to be the world's greatest detective,
'but as he walked down
Harley street on that awful
'No, fateful yes
'Day in the summer of 1955
'Chapter one. Sorrow.
'There were many who
considered Atticus Pünd
'to be the world's greatest
'A single magpie watched
him from a tree as he returned.
'What was it telling him?
'He was about to find out.
'The church of St. Bartles
had a long and varied history.
'As Pünd walked home,
'he was already
putting it all into context.
'Brent, the gardener at Pye Hall
'Chapter five. Silver.
'Come on, come on,
come on, come on.'
'Clarissa Pye was
'Robert Blakiston had never
'Detective inspector chubb
'very much liked grabbing
a suspect by the throat.
'That was his method, and
it might've worked for him,
'but Pünd wasn't so sure.
'Chapter seven.
'A secret never to be told.
'What else can I tell
you about Atticus Pünd?
'He had solved his last case,
'the death of Mary Blakiston,
'soon followed by
another death at Pye Hall.
'And of course the tragedy
'that had taken place
twelve years before.
'Three deaths that seemed
to have no connection
'until Atticus Pünd brought them
together and made sense of them.
'He was more than a friend.
'He was the kindest and
wisest man I ever knew.
'The end.'
- Halt, halt, halt. Stop, stop.
- What?
- Your phone.
- Oh.
Uh Charles. No. I'm
I'm at the book fair.
- Yesterday was
- Please!
Wall-to-wall, so,
and I've got Klaus at nine,
so can I call you back later?
Yeah. OK, bye.
Bye. Bye.
ich Ich habe vergessen,
dass es in der tasche war.
Oh, hi, Susan!
Oh, hi!
- Morning, Klaus!
- Atticus Pünd.
- You have considered my offer?
- Yes.
- And?
- It's not enough.
I don't agree.
- Well, you wouldn't, would you?
- Come on, Susan.
We're old friends.
We don't need to haggle.
Oh, I thought that was
what I was here for.
Eighteen million
copies sold worldwide,
two and a half
million in this territory,
thirty-five languages, and
a TV series on the way.
Worterhaus are no
longer interested.
Oh, we left worterhaus.
- Alan Conway didn't like them.
- He reads his translations?
He reads his royalty statements.
They were getting lazy.
- Vielen dank, Theo.
- Bitte.
We can go to 75,000 Euros.
- No, we won't go below 100.
- That's too high.
Well, he has a new book.
"Magpie murders"
- have you read it?
He hasn't delivered it
yet, but it'll be number one
like the last one,
and the one before.
I can give you an
answer this evening.
Not here.
How about a drink at your hotel?
You're not the only interested party, Klaus.
Nice doing business.
- Miss Ryeland.
- Yes?
Your champagne.
I didn't order any champagne.
Are you sure?
Then I must have the wrong room.
No, um
I think you should leave it.
Why don't you share it with me?
I'm sorry, madam.
Hotel policy
I was told it was
a full-service hotel.
It can be.
How did you know
where to find me?
I rang your office.
Alice told me.
Remind me to talk to her.
You don't know who you
might have found me with.
- Klaus eckerman?
- Oh, pft!
God, no.
Credit me with some taste.
Aren't you supposed
to be teaching?
I took the day off.
- You came all this way.
- Mm.
God, you're lovely.
Where did you get the waistcoat?
I bribed a waiter.
Glad to see you. I've
had a horrible time here.
We can go home together.
- Same flight?
- 17f.
Alice is promoted.
We have the weekend.
- Great.
- Mm.
Can't wait.
'The train now arriving
on platform four
'Stansted airport,
'calling at stansted
airport only.'
I'm going to take a taxi.
Do you want to share?
No. I'll take the tube.
What time am I gonna
see you tomorrow?
I'll come at lunchtime,
but I'm out in the evening.
Oh! Where?
We're rehearsing
the school play.
OK. Well, see you
when I see you.
And thanks for surprising me.
Thank you.
So, how was Frankfurt?
Oh, the usual madness.
This is for you.
- You shouldn't have.
- I didn't. It's from Andreas.
- And no smutty jokes.
- Oh. He found you, then?
Yes, I'll talk to you
about that another time.
Just tell me it's arrived.
- Charles wants to see you.
- Meaning?
He looked happy when he came in.
- Ah!
- So?
I had dinner with him last night.
He was his usual charming self.
But he's finished it.
- "Magpie murders".
- One for sorrow, two for joy,
three for a girl,
and four for a boy.
Five for silver, six for gold,
seven for a secret
never to be told.
It's very Agatha christie.
Have you read it yet?
- I've started it.
- And?
Number one in time for Christmas.
That's my weekend taken care of.
Oh, one moment, Susan.
We have the meeting next week.
- Oh, cityworld media.
- Oh, don't say it like that.
You make them
sound like the enemy.
They don't understand publishing.
Which is why they want you
in charge after the buyout,
but they are gonna
need an answer.
I don't know, Charles.
It's all right for you.
Grandchildren. Retirement. Cruises.
I will still be here for you.
I've told you.
I'm just not sure that I'm
cut out to run a company.
Finances. Targets.
It's not what I'm
used to. I'm an editor.
And you're the
best in the business,
but, look, this is a
huge opportunity for you.
A proper salary more than
I could ever afford to pay.
Plus a five per cent share.
- After five years.
- You'll be rich.
Not as rich as you.
Think of the company!
Think of what you could make it.
Let's talk on Monday.
- Enjoy the read.
- Yes.
Thank you, Aziz.
Thank you. Sit down.
Omirou odysseia.
Homer's odyssey.
One of the greatest
epic poems ever written.
Who can tell me what any
of those words meant? Aziz?
Six of them. Just six.
Last year it was eight.
Do you know why they
even have it as an option?
Well, you got to have
somewhere to put the nerds.
Because it's tradition. It
makes the school look good.
I've been watching you walk by ♪
and I haven't said a word ♪
but now I'm ready to get you ♪
baby, I want to be your girl ♪
I take what I want ♪
baby, I want you ♪
Come and pick me up ♪
carry me away ♪
pack it up now, baby ♪
pack it up today ♪
cos I take what I want ♪
don't you know I want you? ♪
Yes, I do ♪
I'm gonna get you, baby ♪
I've got a claim on you ♪
'Chapter one. Sorrow.
'There were many who
considered Atticus Pünd
'to be the world's greatest detective,
'but, as he walked down Harley street
'on that fateful day in
the summer of 1955,
'he knew that he was facing
the greatest mystery of all -
'his own mortality.'
You can get dressed now, Mr. Pünd.
So, Dr. Benson, tell me the worst.
Well, there's no sign of
any further deterioration,
but I'm afraid it's
still not good news.
- Oh. How much time do I have?
- It's not easy to be precise.
I'm afraid the tumour
is very advanced.
Had we been able
to spot it earlier,
there's a small chance we
might have been able to operate.
I'm sorry.
There's no need to be.
I've had a long life.
And I will say in many
respects it's been a good one.
I've expected to die on
many occasions before now.
You might even say that death
has been a companion of mine,
always two steps behind.
Now he's caught up.
Even so, it would help
me to know, for example,
if I were considering a skiing
holiday in the bavarian alps?
It wouldn't be a good idea.
Do you ski?
And now I never will.
- Why didn't you tell me?
- 'Tell you what, Susan?'
I've just finished
the first chapter,
- 'Atticus at the doctor's.'
- Ah, yes.
Did he tell you he
was gonna kill him off?
Well, I haven't
got to the end yet.
It might not be terminal.
Well, it bloody
well better not be.
Ah. Sorry, can't talk.
My car is here.
Where's Alan?
'In London. Heading
back home tomorrow.'
well, maybe you should call him.
'Finish the book.
We'll talk Monday.'
thank you.
Excuse me. Eh, are
you Alan Conway?
- Yes.
- I just want to say,
I love your books. When's
the next one coming out?
- Soon.
- Oh. I know it's a bit cheeky,
but I don't suppose I could
get a quick selfie with you?
- No!
- My husband won't believe I
No. I'm sorry. I'm
late for my train.
'Passengers are reminded
that smoking is not permitted
'anywhere on the
station concourse.'
'The end.'
not necessarily.
The cancer's at stage 4.
That gives you a
ten per cent chance.
Ten per cent is my royalty.
Never enough.
'Dear Charles, I'm very sorry
that I wasn't on my best form
'at dinner last night.'
"the magpie murders".
Not "the magpie murders"!
"Magpie murders"!
That's the bloody title!
Excuse me?
Are you Alan Conway?
I love your books.
- Come here.
- Oh, stop.
Get a room.
Who was that?
My dad.
You don't like him much.
I wish he'd drop dead.
Arsehole! Not again.
Suck it.
I hoped you'd already gone.
Just thought I'd say goodbye.
Well, goodbye, then.
Did you deliver the manuscript?
- Am I still in it?
- Do you care?
I think we've said everything
we need to say, don't you?
No. I don't.
Well, I do.
I'm sorry.
Sorry about what exactly?
Humiliating me? Disappearing
whenever you fancied it?
Partying with your friends
and presumably having a good
laugh about me at the same time?
I've had enough.
Just get out. Go on.
You can leave the car.
My car, you mean?
I think you'll find it's my
name on the registration.
Just out of interest, how am
I meant to get to the station?
Call a taxi.
You can't do this to me,
Alan. I have rights, you know.
You have nothing.
Goodbye, James.
You never did
like Alan, did you?
He's an unpleasant man.
You knew him before I did.
I knew him when he
was just a teacher,
before he married Melissa.
He was unpleasant then.
Tzatziki. Keftedes. Aubergine.
Greek halloumi and hummus.
- What would I do without you?
- You wouldn't eat.
- Retsina?
- Why not?
Charles wants me
to give him an answer.
- Mm, the job.
- Yeah.
And? Are you going to do it?
I don't know.
I'm an editor. It's
all I've ever done.
- Running a company
- Don't undersell yourself.
You're brilliant.
You could do that.
It's not that.
It's just once we're owned
by an investment company,
all they're interested
in is their figures,
- and if things go wrong
- But they won't go wrong
because you have Atticus Pünd.
Thank god. Yeah.
The new manuscript arrived.
"Magpie murders".
It's 1955, and we're in the
village of saxby-on-avon.
Where's that?
Oh, that doesn't exist.
They never do.
Mary Blakiston is
found dead at Pye Hall.
It's the ancestral home of sir Magnus.
She was his housekeeper.
- What happened to her?
- She fell down the stairs.
Or was she pushed?
Another two-hundred pages,
and I'll find out.
So, I'm gonna have to
abandon you this afternoon.
No! No, no, no.
I don't know what I'll do.
Who are you playing?
Man U.
Kicks off at three.
And then I've got
the school play at six.
'As Pünd walked home,
'he was already
putting it all into context.
'It was just another throw of the dice,
'and in a way his
entire life had been lived
'against the odds.'
- There you are!
- Hello, James.
I was getting quite worried about you.
- Why?
- You're late for elevenses.
- Where have you been?
- To see Dr. Benson.
Oh. Is he a client of ours?
No, she's a doctor.
- Anything I need to know?
- I don't think so.
Well, you have a client
arriving in ten minutes.
- I put an extra cup out.
- What client?
Joy sanderling.
Don't you remember?
You may have forgotten to tell me.
she rang the day before yesterday,
and you don't have anything
on your desk at the moment,
so I said it would be all right.
Forgive me, James.
I'm not in the mind
to take on a new client
just at the moment.
She's come a long way.
She sounded very distressed.
I'm very much in love
with Robert Blakiston.
We were childhood sweethearts.
And I'm going to marry him,
no matter what anyone says.
And what do they say, miss Sanderling?
About me?
About your fiancé.
They think he killed his mother.
That would be enough,
I think, to make anyone think twice.
But I know they're wrong.
It's just village gossip.
It's a lot of nonsense.
So, what is it that occurred
to give them this foolish idea?
Robert works in the local garage,
and his mother, Mary Blakiston,
lived in the village.
The two of them didn't get on.
She was always nagging him,
and going on at him.
It was almost like she didn't
want him to leave home.
Sounds like my mother.
This whole thing began
because of a silly argument.
Robert's got a temper to him,
I'll admit that.
But she'd been going on at
him to mend a light in her cottage,
and she just picked on
him at the wrong time.
- The bathroom light.
- I know.
- You said you'd mend it.
- I will.
It's been a week now!
I'm on my own.
You should be ashamed of yourself.
I'm having a drink, mum.
All right?
Every minute of every bloody day,
you never leave me alone.
Don't use that language with me.
- I'm not a child any more.
- No?
I'll tell you what you are.
You're the biggest
disappointment of my life.
Well, then get
someone else to do it!
All right?
And if you can't find anyone,
then just drop dead and
give me a bit of peace.
'She was found
dead the very next day.
'At Pye Hall.
'It's the ancestral
home of sir Magnus Pye.
'She was his housekeeper.'
Mary Blakiston made Saxby-on-Avon
a better place for everyone.
'And of course
everyone's saying that he did it.
'That he pushed her down the stairs.
'How can they be so unkind?'
so, although we are here
today to mourn her departure,
we must also remember
what she left behind.
'And what do the
local police make of this?'
'They're still investigating.'
but they talked to
Robert several times.
They clearly have their suspicions.
Miss Sanderling,
you say you're engaged to be married
to Robert Blakiston,
what did his mother think of this?
She was against it, of course.
For what reason?
I don't want to talk about it.
Forgive me, but some might say
this gave him exactly the motive
to wish to do away with her.
People are saying all sorts
of horrible things, Mr. Pünd.
But none of it's true.
I was with him the morning she died.
He has his own flat,
and I stayed over that night.
So, it couldn't have been him.
Then what exactly is it
that you want me to do?
I want you to come to Saxby-on-Avon.
Just for one day.
If you look into it and tell
people it was an accident,
I'm sure they'll believe you.
You're famous.
Everyone knows who you are.
That's all I'm asking, Mr. Pünd.
Come to Saxby.
Tell them the truth.
- Yes! That's it!
- Oh!
It's all right.
I take it that was Arsenal?
Xhaka off a free kick.
What a player, eh?
- What did he say?
- He won't do it.
He says there's nothing he
can do about village gossip
and that if we just ignore it,
it'll go away.
No, I liked him.
I think he would have
helped if he thought he could.
What are we gonna do?
I don't know.
Well, there are other detectives.
No. I don't think so, Robert.
I'm not gonna let them
take you away from me.
I love you, Joy,
and I'm not gonna be driven away
by people who don't know anything.
It's not going to happen.
We'll get through this.
We don't need to get the train yet.
- Let's have lunch.
- Lyon's corner house?
My treat.
Oh, for god's
- I just
- Claire. It's not a good time.
- You're watching the football.
- Trying to, yes.
Five minutes. You can talk to
me and watch it at the same time.
I want my old job back.
I thought we both
agreed it wasn't working.
I need the money, Alan.
I might as well be honest with you.
You know there's not
much work in the country,
and, well, you wouldn't
want to see your own sister
- stuck working behind the bar.
- Oh!
I enjoyed being part of your world.
- That's not what you said.
- I was wrong.
I'm sorry,
but I was under a lot of stress,
and frankly you weren't
exactly paying me a fortune.
Even so, I spoke out of turn,
and, well, I was just wondering
if you might think again.
I don't know.
Oh, you're still coughing.
I thought you were
getting that looked at.
I've seen a doctor.
It's just a chest infection.
- Nothing to worry about.
- Mm.
I see you've finished the new book.
Who typed it for you?
I did, Claire.
I can type, you know?
Oh, for god's sake!
Sorry, I've got to take this.
Excuse me.
'Hi, Alan,
I was just talking about you.'
yes, stop talking.
I want you to get the papers
over to me as soon as possible.
I'd like to sign them this weekend.
'The sister.
'Unmarried, unloved,
'and always desperate for cash.
'Clarissa Pye looked ridiculous,
'and she was the only one in
the village who didn't know it.
'She had grown up in Pye Hall,
'but her brother had cast her out.
'And now she was alone.'
I don't suppose there's any chance
you could drop them in tomorrow,
is there?
- 'On a Sunday? Well'
- That's great!
Thank you. See you then.
The bloody manuscript!
- I can't believe it.
- It was that bad?
I haven't finished it.
There's no last chapter.
Alice or jemima must have
buggered up the photocopying.
It's missing the last chapter.
So you don't know who did it.
It's not funny, Andreas.
It's bloody annoying.
I'm sorry.
Can't you work it out for yourself?
No! These things are always
way too complicated for me.
Oh, is there anything more useless
than a whodunit without the ending?
- Maybe I should call Charles.
- Why?
Well, he might have the missing pages.
Don't. It's Sunday morning.
Talk to him tomorrow.
Come on. Get in.
- Come here. Come here.
- Ugh!
I forgot to ask, how was the school play?
Well, they knew their lines at least.
You got home very late.
Must have been midnight.
Well, I stayed on for a drink.
- With the kids?
- With the teachers.
- I tried not to wake you.
- You didn't.
there's something I haven't told you.
Oh, god.
You're going back to your wife.
- No. She wouldn't have me
- She adores you.
- Only because we're divorced.
- Oh.
Well, go on.
I'm thinking of leaving the
school at the end of the term.
- Why?
- Because I am wasting my time.
Half the kids there don't want to learn,
and the other three are going
to turn into bankers or lawyers.
You should move into the state sector.
- Ancient Greek?
- Oh, yeah.
What else can you do?
Well, the thing is that my cousin, Yannis,
has been offered a hotel in Crete,
near Agios Nikolaos, huh.
And he wants me to go in
with him to buy it and run it.
In Crete?
We're just talking, but it's an opportunity.
For me and for you.
You want me to go with you?
I wouldn't go without you.
You haven't talked to
me about this before.
I was going to mention it earlier,
but I couldn't.
Why not?
Well, obviously with this buyout,
you becoming CEO and everything
No, but I haven't even made
my mind up about that yet!
I'm waiting for you to say no.
No, Andreas!
Even if I don't take this promotion,
I'm still going to stay in publishing.
It's all I've ever known.
I mean what the
What am I gonna do in Greece?
I'm not Shirley Valentine.
I just thought we
could talk about it.
We are talking about it.
'And the latest
traffic news for London
'on this sunny Monday morning.
'Slow-going on the A501'
When's your first lesson?
Not until ten,
but I need to be there for assembly.
We'll make it.
- I'm sorry
- I'm sorry
No, I I shouldn't have
just sprang it on you.
Not when you've got
so much on your mind.
I'm just a bit surprised, that's all.
If you're not happy, Andreas
I am happy with you.
Yes, but I'm here.
In London.
You know, it's my work, it's my home
God! This traffic!
Look, I'm not making
any decisions, I promise.
I just want to talk.
You should've mentioned it earlier.
- You free tonight?
- Yes.
Let's go and have dinner.
Somewhere, you know, quiet.
Not Greek food.
I'd like that.
- I'll get out here.
- Oh.
I'll get there faster by tube.
I hope you find your chapter.
- See you tonight.
- Yeah.
- Hey, Susan.
- Hi, Alice.
- Good weekend?
- Yes, thanks.
Uh, this manuscript that Charles
gave me, "Magpie Murders",
- did you do the photocopying?
- No, it was Jemima.
Where is she?
I haven't seen her.
I think she might have
left out the last chapter.
Do you want me to chase it?
Yes. Could you, please?
Is Charles in?
- Uh, he's in his office.
- Great.
I can't believe you did this to me.
You gave me a book
without the last chapter.
I know. Uh, uh
- Sit down, please.
- Do you have it?
Please, Susan, sit down. I've
Something terrible to tell you.
Alan's dead.
I read the book at the weekend.
Like you, I got to the last chapter.
It wasn't there, so I tried to ring Alan
to see what had happened.
I must've rung him
half a dozen times on the
Saturday and the Sunday.
And then, last night,
I got a call at home.
Who called you?
His solicitor, a man called Sajid Khan.
He found him.
God, that's awful.
Charles, I'm so sorry.
What happened?
Well, it looks as if Alan fell
off that bloody tower of his.
He fell?
That's what he said on the phone.
Look, I'm afraid it's
rather worse than that.
I was going through my mail
this morning and I I got this.
It's from Alan.
It's a suicide note.
Why would Alan want
to commit suicide?
He was successful.
He had a partner.
Well, maybe I had a part in it.
I had dinner with
him on Thursday night
while you were in Frankfurt.
Well, I I told you.
It wasn't exactly the
cheeriest evening, but
Maybe I should've reached out.
If he had this on his mind
"I'm very sorry,
"but I wasn't on my best
form at dinner last night."
He's apologising to you.
That makes me feel worse.
"By the time you read this,
it will all be finished.
"I have achieved great success
"in a life that has
gone on long enough."
- He had cancer.
- If I'd known that,
perhaps I might have been a little more
I don't know
Is that why Alan decided
to kill off Atticus Pünd?
He had cancer,
so he wanted to take his
beloved detective with him.
I have no idea.
He didn't say anything.
He seemed absolutely
fine when I saw him.
- I'm gonna talk to Jemima.
- Why?
She photocopied the manuscript.
Well, I checked the page
count on the photocopier.
Three hundred and thirty two pages.
It matches what we were given.
So, then Alan didn't
give us the whole novel.
I don't believe this.
I don't believe any of it.
First of all, I'm sorry.
I never got on with him,
I admit that,
but you've lost a friend.
It's more than that.
I know.
Our number-one bestselling author.
What are cityworld
media going to say?
Well, they won't be very happy.
But the valuation was
based on the backlist.
Eight books plus one new one.
Yes, but the new one is
missing the last chapter.
A whodunit without the solution.
It's not even worth the
paper it won't be printed on.
So, what happens now?
The Suffolk police are on their way.
It's just so weird.
"I have left you some notes
with regard to my condition
"and the decision I have made."
- Does that even sound like him?
- Alan clearly wasn't himself.
Yes, but suicidal?
You know how he was.
Always good at hiding his emotions.
Doesn't say the cancer was terminal.
He could have got treatment.
Perhaps he didn't want to
go through with any of that.
But he had dinner with you.
Why not just tell you
to your face?
Detective superintendent Locke is here.
I've put him in the conference room.
Thank you, Alice.
When did you receive this?
It came in the post this morning.
And you last saw
Mr. Conway on Thursday night.
Yes, he stayed over in London.
He had a flat.
Thank you for bringing this
to my attention, Mr. Clover.
Of course,
it puts a different complexion on things.
You assumed it was an accident?
That's right.
Dark night. Low parapet.
I'm surprised he hadn't
had a handrail installed.
Was his death instantaneous?
I'm afraid not.
according to the police doctor,
he may have lain
there for some time.
Had he been drinking?
Then he knew exactly
what he was doing,
and I have to wonder
why he would do it like that.
I mean, is that how you'd do it?
Jump off a tower on a Saturday night
and lie there on the grass
with half your bones broken?
Why not take sleeping
pills or hang yourself?
Have you had
experience of suicides?
And perhaps you can tell me,
is this his handwriting?
Suppose somebody made him write it?
And why would they do that?
- It doesn't sound like him.
- Susan.
- Oh, miss Ryeland.
- I prefer Susan.
When people become suicidal,
they don't always
think things through.
They're not themselves.
At a basic level,
their state of mind is not normal.
There's no mystery here.
Mr. Conway had terminal cancer.
How well did you know him?
- We didn't get on.
- Why doesn't that surprise me?
Thank you for contacting me.
You've been, uh very helpful.
The letter's handwritten,
but the envelope is typed.
Thanking you.
I don't know why you
had to get at him like that.
- I didn't get at him.
- You weren't very polite.
Listen, Charles.
I don't really care how
Alan died. I'm sorry.
Right now,
I think we should be concentrating
on what happened
to the missing chapter.
How do we even know he wrote it?
Well, we we don't.
But we need to find out.
You want me to take
over after the buyout,
but you know as well as I do
that if we don't have this book,
the investors could pull out and
the whole company could just
- fold.
- Exactly the right word
for publishers going out of business.
So, what are you gonna do?
I'm gonna go to Suffolk
And look for the missing pages.
Alan gave you the
manuscript on Thursday night.
But he always used
a pen for the first draft.
So, there'll be a handwritten draft,
first draft, second draft,
notes, other copies.
- There's got to be something.
- Where will you stay?
Uh, I've got my sister in Woodbridge.
- She can put me up.
- All right, take care.
- Let me know how you get on.
- Yeah.
I can't believe I finally
get to see his house.
Just had to wait until he was dead.
Hi, Andreas, it's me.
Um, listen, I'm really sorry.
Something terrible
has happened at work.
Don't worry.
I'm I'm OK.
I I just haven't got
time to explain now.
I've got to go to Suffolk
to find this missing chapter.
'Look, you're not really
going to crete, are you?
'At least give me a
day or two till I get back
'and we can talk about it then.
'Missing you already. Love you.'
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