Taboo (2017) s01e03 Episode Script

Episode 3

1 He bought some land and he bought a wife.
Nootka was my mother's tribe.
This small piece of land will be incredibly valuable to the Americans.
Sell this land for a reasonable price.
Nootka Sound is not for sale.
I have something of great value to your nation, something the British are trying to kill me for.
Someone has been brought to London to try and kill me, and I will need your eyes and ears from now on.
You used to straighten your skirts and march away like nothing had ever happened.
And what exactly is it that my father owed you? All that is due from a husband to a wife.
This widow will have sole claim on Nootka in the event of Delaney's death an event which may be imminent.
[thrust of a blade.]
Over there, a body.
Try her pockets.
It's a man.
The fishes ate his heart out.
Maybe the fishes, maybe not.
The silver tooth is mine.
Who has a blade for the dentistry? [thrust of a blade.]
Relax, Mr.
You're in safe hands.
Your devil saved you.
I had you followed.
My agent said that he saw some unspeakable acts.
[thrust of a blade.]
I had to give him the day off.
Your man's in the river.
The British want you dead.
We want you alive though.
That's something, huh? You take pain like a stone.
Is that something you picked up in Africa, maybe? How many more are left? I gave your name to our friend.
He said something about a piece of land up there in the Pacific.
He said that you've been swaggering all around town with it in your hat like a peacock feather.
Well, you don't appear to be swaggering now.
I need to speak to Carlsbad himself.
I need him to take a message to Thomas Jefferson and the President of the United States.
In Ponta Delgada, Colonnade told me that he would find me an emissary to Thomas Jefferson.
So just tell me what you want to say to Carlsbad, and I'll stitch you up and set you loose.
No? Interesting knife they used to carve you up.
Is that Chinese, you think? Or Malay? When you came in here with bits of a man's flesh between your teeth we kind of had a silent deal.
I stitch you up and you give me information.
Tell me what you want in return for Nootka.
What's your price? I don't have a price.
So what do you want? Tea.
- Tea? - You tell Carlsbad that I want tea.
Carlsbad said, "You know, Delaney might just be crazy enough to take us all on the King, the Company and the free fifteen.
" Huh? Maybe she was right.
Well, you tell Carlsbad from me that I will cede sovereignty of Nootka Sound to whichever nation offers me their monopoly on the trade of furs for tea from Fort George to Canton.
A monopoly.
That's what I want.
All the tea in China.
You should have said that from the start.
Could have saved yourself a lot of pain.
And you just said "she" didn't you, when you said Carlsbad? So now I know I'm looking for a lady.
Big berry, popping balls.
[mimics gunfire.]
And spitting fire, what, and she will glide over Lake Ontario and blow kisses across the temporary border until they learn to toast the King once more.
- Your highness.
- Ah, Coop.
Your highness, I have people within the East India Company.
Oh, no, no, no.
I'm in too fine a mood to discuss the East India.
James Delaney, a private individual, has recently inherited a piece of land Nootka Sound.
Now, this piece of land naturally affords the possibility of a direct trade route with China.
If you care to look more closely, you will see that the piece of land in question lies along the line of our disputed border with the Americans.
- Oh - No, no, no, God's work.
Good fortune.
If the land lies on the border, it is an issue for the Crown.
An issue of war.
- And who is this man? Is he loyal? - Erm, well, we think not.
A republican? An adventurer of very poor repute.
Stories of madness, savagery, theft and worse.
Then, Mr.
Coop he is a man that you will be able to do business with.
You slept in a bird's nest.
We need a carpenter.
Yeah, the door gets stiff in winter.
Shave it and it'll be loose in the summer.
- Oh - Dear God.
We have business at the river, you and I, but first I need to put a fresh dressing on this.
- Give me brandy and bandages.
- Who did this? A Malay with a knife and then an American with his needles.
Brandy and bandages, man.
[he groans.]
- They'll try again.
- Who, for God's sake? So, when the carpenter comes, tell him I want all the windows boarded up and that river hatch, I want that closed too.
So we are besieged.
I suppose I can use the same carpenter to board up the windows that your father used when he was under siege and he can put the same old nails in the same old holes.
You can sit there with the same old gun cocked on your lap.
And when you sit there with that same look of defiance on your face, I will ask you the same old question for what do you risk your life? Can you loosen up these bindings so that I may move? Get up.
Come on.
Up! Bill, what are you doing? - Here, take this.
- Yes, boss.
No reason we can't laugh at each other just cos we're now partners.
I didn't say that you were my partner.
The word along the Wapping Wall is you cut up an assassin and ate his giblets.
Did you bring me my guns? Don't trust the snake.
10-bore Richardson Man Stoppers.
Same power as a musket but you can hold one in each hand.
Better, better.
- All right.
- So if we ain't partners, what are we? Well, I'm a merchant, you're my victualler.
You can also be my ferryman.
I can't use the roads not for now at least.
You see the heathen? He's my brother-in-law.
He says the best bit of a man to eat is this.
It's tender.
Did you bring me salt beef? - Pork.
- No.
- Fresh from a sloop from somewhere cold.
- No pork.
- Short notice.
- We don't eat pig! All right, all right.
The stuff he's brought has been on the dock for ages.
Yes, probably, but I trust him, so please pay him.
Thank you.
Who are you? French Bill.
Argh! - You all right? - No.
Look, may I suggest Tilbury while you heal? No, I'm not leaving London.
- Atticus, talk sense to him.
- No, I'm not leaving London.
- Go home.
What's that? - A boat.
- I know it's a boat.
Does it float? - Yeah, yeah, of course.
- How many will it take? - Us.
Where are we going? Lincoln's Inn.
- Lincoln's Inn.
- What the hell for? There is a hand-written note on my desk in the attic.
I need you to deliver it to the secretary of His Majesty the King.
Hand deliver it.
Today, Brace! - There's a Mr.
James Delaney, Sir.
- Oh, God.
He's with some men with guns and apparently a cannibal, Sir.
Tell him I'm dead.
He says he wants to make a will.
[knock on door.]
Fuck off.
Sir, I have news.
I said, "Fuck off!" News of James Delaney, Sir.
Oh, my God! The whipped hounds with their apologies.
The assassin we sent to kill Delaney is dead.
Delaney lives, Sir.
That's not news, Mr.
I was aware of that by first light.
This, however, is news.
Delivered by hand from Thoyt an hour ago.
Read it.
"This is the last will and testament of me, James "In the event of my death, all of my possessions and landholdings will be bequeathed" In severalty and in perpetuity to the sovereign nation of the United States of America.
So, now we know, the savage boy is cunning too.
And when peace comes and this border is drawn, it will not be by soldiers but by more fucking lawyers hundreds of them, from both sides.
And every scratch and claim staked will be cited as legal precedent.
And not only can we not resolve this disaster by killing Delaney, it is now in our urgent interest to keep the bastard alive.
Get four nails and a wooden board and a man called Solomon Coop into this room by tomorrow at noon.
Can you manage that? By midday, Mr.
[loud banging.]
I do what I can with the rotten dock trash Atticus brings, so the least you can do is sit before you refuse it.
And if that sickly youth on the doorstep is there to protect you from East India assassins, know that by 2:00 AM he's easily distracted by whores.
Well, you needn't worry about the East India Company.
No need to worry about the Crown any longer.
For now I'm only in danger from the Americans but I reasoned that they are the lesser of the three adversaries, wouldn't you agree? I've been searching every fucking room in this house but not the cellar, so I must beat the tide.
I must beat the tide.
Hello? Winter, what are you doing here? This is where I come to sleep sometimes.
You sleep here? I saw you.
I saw you do for the Malay.
And like a wolf you tore out his heart, and then threw him into the river.
And down he floats directly into Winter's arms.
So I cut out your spoils.
Take it.
It's for you.
Teach me about magic.
I want to be a wolf, too, or a bird so I can fly.
The bird on your neck I know what it is the Sankofa.
Now, you go home to Helga because you are not safe here.
[bird squawks.]
Your eggs and coffee are getting cold, Sir.
When was my mother last in this room? When she was sick.
Sick? For the purpose of restraint? No.
For her own protection.
What's that? That mark.
Did she make it? What mark? In the later days she did things no-one understood.
In the later days, when she wasn't allowed to walk the streets, nor show her face in public, nor speak in English, nor her savage tongue because she was a mad woman.
- James.
- No.
Explain this.
I have the very same mark on me from when I was taken prisoner in Africa.
What is it? You tell me.
You don't speak but you do have answers.
You do.
And you will give me answers.
It's unconsecrated ground.
It's for heathens, pagans and those damned by suicide.
They're clearing Bedlam out now.
Won't be anyone left here before long.
Solomon Coop, Sir, private secretary to His Majesty King George.
Thank you, Godfrey.
Unless we find common cause.
Well, none of the King's causes are "common" and at the moment one only has to say "the Company" with a certain degree of disgust to get his undivided attention.
Forget India.
Tell him to put India to one side.
The King will not move on India.
The Regent does what you and your coven say.
You seriously underestimate him.
I underestimated Delaney.
Look at this.
He's written a will.
- You knew? - You have 104 spies in London and we have 202.
So who the hell do you have in Thoyt's chambers? They're all mine.
Don't spoil the bloody game, Stuart.
I just know everything.
Always assume I just know.
Then you know we have a problem that cannot be solved with a musket or a knife.
You have a problem, the King really does not.
I received a letter from Delaney this morning.
I suppose you would call it a pincer movement.
He says he's happy for the Nootka trading post, the smoke house and the tanning factory to be incorporated into the territory of the British Crown, but only if we give him a monopoly on the trade in smoked sea otter pelts from Vancouver coast to Canton.
Canton? Curiously, the word "tea" does not appear in the letter.
So you'll write back to him and tell him to go to hell.
Well, perhaps, before I write to Delaney, we should speak about India.
You'll allow this savage to determine our American policy? Our American policy is simple restitution of all lands taken by force.
West of Michigan, the line of the border will be determined by lawyers, which means almost certainly that Delaney can give us Vancouver.
And, in return, you would sell out the East India? Settle your dispute with the King regarding Bombay and we can talk.
It all seems rather neat and terribly simple to me.
You do realise this whole business is about revenge.
And why would James Delaney hate the India so? What the hell did you do to him, Stuart? Always assume I just know.
Then know this.
Delaney will as easily sell Nootka to the Americans if they offer him the same monopoly.
Now, there, the King and the Company may be able to find our common cause.
My spies tell me there is a widow.
My Lady, I am so sore to have to bring you this news.
The death of my father was not the work of fate but of one man! The cursed dwarf Frenchman with a bullet head! Napoleon! [crowd boo.]
that shames the hearts of a weary nation.
- Their heads cut away - Fuck the French! Fuck Napoleon! The natural rulers thrown like carcasses into the Seine.
And out in the streets there are still those that say that only a beast can tame a beast.
And that to avenge the death of the good people, like my dear father, we must find our own monster and call him Napoleon! God save the King! God save our gracious King Long live our noble Begging pardon, Sir, the show is almost done.
Should any girl in the chorus have taken your eye, Sir, they're sixpence each for one hour.
Any girls who spoke are a half crown.
There are boys in the chorus too, Sir, if you prefer.
The unfortunate lady whose father was somehow killed by Napoleon.
- What of her? - Her name is Lorna Bow.
Yes, well, I'm afraid Miss Bow is unavailable.
Always or tonight? Always, Sir, on account of her being a fussy, stuck up bitch, Sir.
I am here on behalf of His Majesty the King.
Give it to Miss Bow and only Miss Bow on pain of execution.
You bad, bad man.
- Keep doing that.
- Tickle, tickle! I gave it to a bonnie lad A bonnie lad, a bonnie lad I gave it to a bonnie lad For just as good again How can I keep my maidenhead? Spoken for, Sir.
How can I keep my maidenhead Among so many men? Dear, God.
The boring out, the riving out But, oh, the double driving out Oh, for the Lord again [howls of pain and pleasure.]
Spoken for, Sir.
You haven't changed a bit, Godders.
Ah, I need to speak to you.
Your secret won't remain a secret for very long in the East India Company.
- Blackmail? - Yes.
But between friends, so where's the harm? Now, you take the minutes, don't you, of every meeting and you also hear everything they say when they raise their hand? I want that information.
I will pay you for it.
I'll pay you a pound every month.
How did you know about me? Because I have eyes and ears everywhere throughout the city in many places, much like the Company itself.
I honestly mean you no harm, Godders.
- If I were caught - What? If I were caught passing company secrets to a Delaney You're not going to get caught because I will protect you.
You know, at the seminary, I was in love with you.
Of course you do.
Of course.
And there was I thinking that we were just brothers in arms.
Didn't we share a bed sometimes in the great hall? It was torture.
So you can trust me and I will protect you.
Your work starts now.
Oh, God.
How fair is the split between the East India and the King? I'm a little drunk for business.
Have they found common cause or are they still divided? Talk to me, for fuck sake.
Dear, Sister I am restoring our father's offices, I have registered the Delaney Trading Company with Lloyds of London and I will ready my ship so that when the time is right and the Company has fallen, we can leave.
I am accruing a band of loyal servants, none of whom have any value to me beyond the facilitation of this greater good.
When I left England, I was just a boy.
Now I am back, much has changed.
Your leaving England was the click of the hypnotist's fingers.
I woke from a trance and realised the depth of our sin.
I have found forgiveness in God and in my husband, and I want no part in your plans or your future.
But we are the future.
Your husband is already passed and you can see that by the way that he follows you.
You should let him go, poor soul.
You torture him.
There is enough treachery already surrounding us that there is no need for us to add to it.
The arrival of letters at this address does not go unnoticed.
My husband is harsh and is a Christian.
I welcome it.
I deserve it.
Your husband is also a fool.
He cannot see all that you are.
I have sailed to places where there is no damnation.
We used to talk to each other without words in dark corners.
Your curiosity and hunger for all that is possible out there could never be tethered by base religious morality, ship insurance and new china.
Please understand that from this moment I will burn your letters without opening them.
Then I will visit you in your dreams, my love.
I'm your sister.
Let all else lie.
There is a woman here to see you and I swear the only way I could have stopped her would have been to use the pistol you gave me and don't think I would be loathe to use it because she's mad - and she claims she is my mistress.
- Your mistress? She says she owns this house.
I have engaged the services of the best lawyer in London.
Is that your lawyer? My lawyer assures me that, as Horace Delaney's widow, by natural law of the land, this house is therefore half mine.
- It's a copy.
- It's now kindling.
My servant wants to shoot you in the face.
Your servant is also now half mine.
So did I just burn advice or did I burn speculation? You actually burnt a letter of intent.
Oh! And what do you intend to do with my house? Firstly to change those awful boards.
- Miss Bow - Mrs.
Delaney! Miss Bow, do you know why there are boards on the windows of this house? So the fortunate people outside can't see inside of the state of this place, I imagine.
No, because there are wicked men out there who would wish me dead.
However, neither the East India or the King will kill you because of your will.
The only people who would benefit from your death are the Americans, but you're already in negotiations with the Americans, so surely once the boards have gone we could put curtains up.
You seem to know such a lot for somebody who knows so very little.
You should know that I am a very dangerous man.
I was told that, too.
And who keeps telling you all this shit? I was told the details of your situation by a representative of his Majesty The King, George.
And indirectly it was the King who financed the drawing up of that very expensive piece of paper, which you just burnt.
As a rule, the King's council very rarely makes business with an actress unless it's up the back alley of Maiden Lane.
The piece of paper you just burnt also states that, as Horace Delaney's widow, I also own half the trading post at Nootka Sound and I believe Nootka is of value to you and to the King.
So, as you can see, it's a very simple swap, Mr.
Your half of the house for my half of a piece of land that I have no interest in or use for.
I also have a trunk full of your father's belongings, letters to you, to your father from your mother.
Paintings of Nootka, drawings No! No! Brace! Brace! Do I fetch the pistol? No.
Make this woman a room up right now.
- I'd like a river view.
- Granted.
Go on now.
Make her a fire in my mother's old room immediately.
I hate to see these things caged up.
If you are in contact with the King then you are already in grave danger.
You may stay here whilst we work out our business.
Good evening, Miss Bow.
I was passing, from Greenwich.
I have business.
I see in the Gazette you now have a ship.
At 7:00 AM every day I read the Gazette.
My wife eats toast.
I look for newly purchased ships.
- I underwrite for Lloyds.
- Coffee? No.
I'm willing to take care of the insurance of your ship.
I can make sure the hull is tarred properly they don't miss a layer and pocket the change.
The salt and worms will get through and you'll sink off Africa.
Ah, but my business is not in Africa, it's out west.
That letter there is from my carpenter.
In my profession, we believe in luck.
In the business of ship insurance, luck is the Goddess of Profit.
Your luck, Mr.
Delaney, is poor.
Your record is poor.
You sink ships.
You're as good as a hole in the hull.
I did check the records.
You were aboard a ship that sank off Africa.
A slave ship? I believe that a man is capable of change and I also believe that that is of no consequence to you.
And whilst you're here, this document will show you that my ship is already insured by an insurance broker by the name of Cope.
And, if you look very closely, you will probably recognise my handwriting.
I wonder, does the offer of coffee still stand? Mm.
You know it excites me, the thought of it when I realise the woman beneath me is capable of what she did.
She can seem so cold, at least, she used to.
Now I know the secret in her head.
And it makes me so hard and so angry.
And she likes it.
Since you came back, our fucking has become almost murderous.
It exhausts us.
To think I have this wicked wicked thing beneath me and it's my lifelong duty to punish her.
It exhausts us both.
A beautiful exhaustion.
And in the morning I read the Gazette and she eats her toast like a sweet little bird.
I didn't come to sell you insurance, Mr.
I came to thank you.
You summoned me.
I am here now.
What do you want? Shall we pray? I used to think we were the same person.
We are.
We're not.
Now I never want to see you again.
We will speak again.
No, we won't.
Oh, but we will.
- Madam.
- Mrs.
Do you drink wine? - Not before a performance.
- There'll be no performance tonight.
There will be a performance or there will be a riot in Covent Garden.
Until the necessary arrangements have been made, I advise that you go absolutely nowhere.
As of now, you are a weakness.
These fantasies elude me If you go outside, they will find you and they will find a use for you.
I am seldom used.
There is no "they" and there will be a performance.
Are you armed? Get me a carriage to Drury Lane, would you? You have to get that woman out of this house or I swear I will kill her and her bloody canary.
Brace get two carriages.
I see that you're bleeding again.
I saw blood.
How? Where? You searching the laundry? It is equally my business.
It seems that jointly we are unable to stop the moon from rising.
Could you fetch some oranges? I would like some oranges.
Is it the goose or the gander who has bad sauce? Do you know we can't even afford new china? So that's your reason for not taking.
The dock boys I pay in pennies have litters of children.
I just get blood.
My dearest Zilpha I apologise that I am not related to you.
But you could allow your cunt to swallow the work of an honest man, who will promise to buy you the finest china if you just agree to stop fucking bleeding.
- Oranges, madam.
- She doesn't want fucking oranges! We all know what she wants.
How like you the young German, the Duke of Saxony's nephew? Very vilely in the morning when he's sober and most vilely in the afternoon when he's drunk.
When he's best he's little worse than a man, and when he's worst he's little better than a beast.
- Hurry up! - Vestris! Vestris! Hey! Hey! If you're here just for a wank, pull your pudding and get it over with and let the rest of us enjoy Shakespeare! You can't fetch up until you bring Vestris! Vestris! CROWD: Vestris! Vestris! Vestris! Vestris! Vestris! Hey! Hey! [cheering.]
Lorna Bow? I am an admirer of your work.
Please, share my carriage.
Come, come.
If you could take me to Old Street, I'll find a cab.
You looked to be fleeing from someone.
You were following me? You have many suitors among the rabble, I imagine, and I, for the longest time, have been one of them.
I am a lady of particular tastes.
An admirer from the darkness and from on high.
Oh I'm sorry but you'll have to remain in the darkness.
Why have we turned? We were given your name.
The price was two sovereigns.
I'm not a courtesan.
But we are here and there is a room with a bed and fire.
Now this gentleman is a Duke.
He asked for you particularly and he was told by your theatre manager you would comply.
He will pay to be in the room with us while we play.
- Then you were given the wrong name.
- There she is.
Give her to me.
Very well.
Your manager sold me the costume you wore when you played The Little Princess.
You will wear it for me tonight.
There appears to have been a misunderstanding.
Somebody has given you the wrong name.
I'm the fucking Duke of Richmond.
That bitch is dead.
That bitch is on the gallows before Mass! Down there.
Perhaps now you will listen to me.
This diamond this is yours.
I have a man that will take you to Paris and you will stay there until this business is done.
You are a weakness.
She's just come back.
She went straight up to bed.
I didn't light the fire in her room, so she can dry in the draught.
How many people know that she's here? Apart from me and the canary, no-one.
What's wrong? Delivery boys, hmm? Only Atticus delivers.
She's only ever taken one coach.
Why? Because tonight she stabbed the Duke of Richmond.
For what reason? Because that was their plan.
They knew that she was not a whore and that she would fight back, and now they have a good reason to come for her.
And they will come.

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