Taboo (2017) s01e05 Episode Script

Episode 5

- What is it you're looking for? - The Nootka Sound treaty.
I may need to prove to a tribunal that the land was acquired by treaty and not by conquest.
Pettifer said if Delaney wanted to trade with the Indians at Nootka, the only merchandise you could possibly use would be gunpowder.
- Where the fuck are we? - My new factory.
I have a theory that the introduction of several barrels of saltpetre can cut the leaching stage down to four weeks.
There is only one place where one can find refined saltpetre.
The warehouse of the East India Company at Wapping Wall.
And I'm planning a robbery.
- You tell Carlsbad my name.
- And who's Carlsbad? Carlsbad is the head of the American Society of Secret Correspondence in London.
At all times your life is in our hands.
As is your name in mine.
If they invited us both, then they probably know.
Who knows? I challenge James Delaney to a duel, to the death.
: Do you accept?! Good morning.
The Gypsy woman owns this island between two parishes.
It is tradition she offers duellists a little token of good luck.
Three shillings each for heather and goose feathers.
This is not a fairground.
Gentlemen, a slight has been perceived and one of you seeks satisfaction.
Which? Here is my pistol for inspection.
This is my second, Mr.
Hope of Trinity Lane.
May I see your pistol? Can we please get on with it? This fog is pestilential.
Where is your second? I don't have one.
The code requires you have a second.
I don't have one.
Let's just say this woman is yours and she is late.
Could you not find a boat like a normal person? I was bored and I've never seen a man shot before.
Why don't you go and stand over there by the fire and keep warm? Duellists, stand apart with the attorney between you.
No lack of faith in either party, but I need payment in advance.
On my instruction, the duellists will take up position at the points.
Anyone firing à l'outrance will be fair game to be shot.
You will duel to first blood To the death! To first blood.
According to the Irish code of 1777, any man wounded will be tended by the doctor.
And no second shot will be fired by either gun.
Gentlemen, take up your positions.
The aggrieved party, at the nearest point.
When I drop this handkerchief, you will walk towards each other.
And, at a time of your choosing, there will be a polite exchange of bullets.
[she gasps.]
Dear God, have mercy on my soul.
Satisfied? My apologies.
That was an excellent shot.
I can only assume that your second is a Company man.
Since he failed to load a ball in your pistol.
Dear God! It would appear that my life is more precious than yours.
Good day.
[he coughs.]
[footsteps approach.]
[she gasps.]
[door opens, closes.]
You have ash on your hands.
Where is the maid? I sent her out.
For champagne? Or potatoes? Or both? So, how did it resolve itself? Did you both see sense? No.
I shot him.
Between the eyes.
And a host of devils flew out of the hole in his head and down the river.
In that event, it would be potatoes, wouldn't it? Simple sustenance.
Life goes on.
Before you drink any more, could you tell me what happened? But in the event of a messenger coming to tell you that he had killed me, well, champagne! All the wild possibilities.
In truth, neither is the case.
It was void.
How? Go and wash your hands.
No need for any more questions.
Not when half of London will be retelling the story anyway.
So I shall hear through gossip? As I hear about you.
So, how was the party? Well, it was entertaining.
And how did you end up in the duck pond? She was legless.
She tried to catch a salmon with her feet.
If he stayed to eat the eggs I boiled for him he would hear my story of last night.
Soldiers in red.
Soldiers in blue.
Running by the window.
Out there on the foreshore.
Stopping the river traffic and searching every barge going east.
You see, Miss Bow, last night there was a robbery.
From the East India Arsenal.
Ingredients for making gunpowder, stolen from under the Company's noses.
Insurrectionists, they say.
Though not one of them spoke French.
The Company have already stated those involved will hang.
The lady and I will take our breakfast on the foreshore this morning, thank you.
And, when they come, let them in.
You can open every door.
We have nothing here to hide.
[he chuckles softly.]
You will hang.
They will catch you and hang you.
I need you to bring me the trunk with my father's belongings today.
Explain how you will not hang.
Explain to me why you crossed a river to watch me get shot.
It was shallow and I needed a better view.
Your turn.
The saltpetre we stole had already been sold to the Royal Navy.
So it belonged to the Crown.
So therefore, the Prince Regent has an excuse to prosecute the Company for negligence, as the powder was in their charge at the time.
The Company can cause me a lot of difficulties, but only the King can have me hanged.
The Crown will choose to make a deal.
So I will not hang.
Look, I'm very happy to admit that I don't want James Delaney to die.
But can you also admit that you don't want James Delaney to die? You'll get me my trunk today.
That's your business.
All right? I don't want James Delaney to die either.
Who are you? I'm Winter.
They say he's the devil, but not to me.
He promised to take me to America.
Yeah, if he lives beyond sunset.
: Check the barrels! All of them! There's got to be something here.
Search everywhere! Move! Come on! Search the boat.
Come on! Get them off! Come on! Check below.
You, check the bilges.
- There's nothing.
- Well, it can't have just vanished.
What's this? Cellar empty.
Apart from rats and river water, sir.
Keep looking! Carry on.
[he screams in pain.]
You've had a fall.
You probably don't remember who you are, so let me remind you.
You've been following me, haven't you? Now.
Are you King or are you Company? Hm? It doesn't matter.
Now there is nothing up that road for you apart from death and anybody like you.
So you run along and tell your friends how you almost lost your heart.
[he screams.]
Love thy husband, look to thy servants, cherish thy guests.
Now, Hal, to the news at court, for the robbery lad.
How is that answered? How is it answered, Mr.
Delaney? The Company is looking.
I think the Prince may be amused.
All these chemicals I ingest chase lines of Shakespeare out of me sometimes unbidden.
Which brings me to that rather delightful woman you were at the party with.
An actress, she told me.
Is she yours or could a chemist call upon her? For tea or something? Show me the cargo.
Brace! Brace, can you come and help me? What the hell happened here? Bloody soldiers raided the house.
Did you hear me shouting? Can't you see I'm busy? Where's James? How the hell should I know? Brace what's the matter? I thought he'd burned that damned trunk on the foreshore along with everything else.
It would float.
Slip it into the ebb tide and let the river take it.
Or it could burn.
- Do you know what's inside it? - Aye.
The truth.
If it was up to me, I'd burn it.
Less chance the river might bring it back.
I've asked the Weasel for some sailcloth to cover it against the rain.
I've already breakfasted on a little of it.
The quality's exceptional.
Almost as good as the bat shit distillations of Burma.
Why don't you just fix the roof? Because a canvas sheet would protect the powder perfectly well and be much cheaper.
And you think she's beautiful? Who? The actress.
Hm! Not only is she among the large number of women I would sleep with, she's also among the much smaller group of women I would masturbate over.
Well, this is fun, isn't it? So, can I call on her or not? No.
So she is yours? Given the quality of the saltpetre, how long will it take to make gunpowder? Four weeks, and I'll need an assistant.
[door opens.]
I need you to fetch me a ship's sail to cover my delivery.
Sit there.
I haven't told that boy anything.
I didn't think it safe.
The sacks of saltpetre in the barn were stolen.
Why burden him? They were stolen from the Honourable East India Company.
All right? Now anybody who knows of its whereabouts but does not report it is liable to hang.
So, you are now one of us.
Your apprentice.
Lick your finger.
Now, gentlemen, before I go on the subject of confidence and betrayal, I hear that the Company are offering £10 for any information.
Hm? I also know that one of you has already considered collecting.
Let me be very clear.
I know which one of you it is.
And I want you to know that there will be no place for that man on my ship when we sail to the New World.
Because he will be of no use to me.
He will be of no use.
For he will have no thumb.
[he screams.]
Hm? [he continues screaming.]
I am inside your heads, gentlemen.
£2 for broken doors and smashed windows.
Damn soldiers! You owe me Delaney! Now They have reports that say that some of the robbers were women.
But only the Company are aggrieved, so no-one can take you to the clink or to the poultry tower.
So, if a Company man comes calling, they have no legal jurisdiction.
So you get word to me.
And I will deal with it.
In my way.
And in return you choose.
Ah! James Delaney is laughing at us.
The Crown, Coop, the Prince, all sniggering at us.
Talk of prosecutions for negligence, investigations talk of complicity, and all the while, sniggering behind our backs.
Can you hear it? Coming from down from Regent Street? Well, we know who.
We know why.
We just have to find out where.
And we can use every resource we have.
Every resource.
We are richer than God.
I blaspheme with impunity because the Company is at my heel.
Now, we've screwed Maharajas, we've screwed moguls, and this man this man is merely a London mongrel.
So Come on! Ideas? [grunting.]
Who's helping Delaney? Quick, Bill! It's Pearl.
Where's he making the powder? He'll be East fucking India.
Let it be known along the Wapping Wall, it was the work of the devil Delaney.
Ready? Good boy.
What the hell are you doing here, at whatever the hell time of night it is? I thought I heard an explosion.
All is well.
Be careful.
Making gunpowder and being careful are good bedfellows.
What? What do you see? He's just scared of you.
Everybody's scared of you.
Did you find out how much the Company are offering as reward? Work faster.
Steady as we go.
Good boy.
What the hell are you doing? No! The letters your father wrote to you are beautiful.
How would you know that? Because I read them.
Have you even looked at them? No.
Pictures and paintings from all over the world.
The oil in the paint is burning very nicely, thank you.
I am looking for a particular document.
A treaty.
That is all.
A treaty between my father and the Nootka Indian tribe.
A treaty in which Nootka land was bought for gunpowder and lies! Along with my mother.
His first wife.
Who he bought for beads.
And when his wife would not play the Spanish princess or the Italian countess, whatever it was she refused to play he had her sent to Bedlam Insane Asylum.
Ohhh Have you never bought a soul for beads? I'm told Your Majesty has some paperwork regarding the East India? Ah! Some little Scotsman in the War Office who wants to crawl up my arse dug it up and brought it to me.
In time of war, a failure to secure His Majesty's gunpowder against the enemy is a criminal offence, and the same goes for saltpetre.
You wish to charge the East India with negligence? Worse.
We could allege potential complicity within the organisation.
Then we can send in inspectors.
We need to shake the impasse.
Why do you always look down your nose at my plans? I'm not.
We should prosecute over the lost saltpetre.
[he chuckles.]
You are jealous of the little Scotsman.
No, Your Highness.
So Improve on the little Scotsman.
A charge of negligence would be action against the Company.
And Strange would be able to accommodate it or allocate blame as he chooses.
A warehouseman or two would hang.
I have begun to believe that it might be more effective if we went after Sir Stuart himself.
The night of the robbery I I found these in a bottom drawer.
[he grunts.]
Who the devil is George Chichester? The Sons of Africa? Excuse me, sir.
Sir! No-one is allowed in here.
There's been an outbreak of cholera.
I am immune.
Tell your doctor I'll be waiting for him downstairs.
[footsteps on stairs.]
Personally, I question the miasmatic theory of cholera, but even so, it's wise to take precautions.
I'm assuming this disease is of your own making? So many soldiers and Company men treading heavily in your footsteps, I thought I'd make this place a little less attractive to them.
That's why we've also moved down here.
I'm busy.
What do you want? You have something I need.
The blockade at Sligo, running short of gunpowder.
The Irish are being prevented from running fishing boats.
The bellmen and the newspapers tell me there's a new source of prime-grade powder in town.
No royal charter required.
I'm afraid I don't have any powder.
You ride the Hendon road three miles.
There is a pond called The Source.
Beyond that, an area of low land.
Hatchett's Ground they call it.
A tannery.
A windmill.
And hidden just behind that, a cattle farm with a water wheel.
No organisation is watertight, James.
You're just lucky it's our pot the informant pissed in and not the Company's.
Though, we do offer better rewards.
Our guns will fall silent in ten days.
We need powder in eight.
- That's not possible.
- Yes, it is.
Ask your chemist.
Ask him about the French experiment.
The French experiment was-- How can I put it? Entirely French in conception and execution.
And therefore a total disaster.
It was John Company, I think, and the King who'd just attacked Mauritius, and the French needed powder in a hurry.
So the foolish fucking French added chlorate to the mix.
And? Well, viewed purely from the standpoint of making gunpowder very fast, it was a wild success.
However, if you add chlorate, you have to stir and stir and stir, and not stop stirring round the clock.
You need shifts.
And men.
And even with the constant, careful stirring, even then, even if you do everything correctly to the finest degree, still, potentially boom! As in your premonition.
The French, blew Mauritius almost in half.
And where do we get this chlorate? [he laughs.]
No, no, no.
You need to ask a far more important question, which is, where will you get a chemist insane enough to work for you if you decide to add fucking chlorate to these vats? We either get the chlorate, or we will all hang in about eight days.
You'd risk the life of your son for chlorate? He is, isn't he? Mm-hm.
They have your name, Mr.
They have your name, and you will be first on the list of their conspirators.
How do they know so much? Hm.
Get the chlorate.
Yes? I will get you men.
[door opens.]
James [she breathes heavily.]
You said his name! In your sleep.
You said his name.
You said his name! Get him out.
I want him out.
Out! Get him out.
Out! That's right, good girl.
Spit him out, spit, spit, spit him out No, no! No! [she screams.]
No, no, no! Ah! You need a priest, my dear.
[she grunts.]
George Chichester, Esquire.
I don't.
In the day? Or the night.
For nine years, Mr.
Chichester, you have been writing to my office on an annual basis.
Every year, July 10th.
July 20th is the anniversary of the sinking Of the sinking of the sloop The Influence.
Not the ship's real name, of course.
Its name was changed and papers altered when it took on human cargo in the port of Cabinda.
280 souls.
120 men, 84 women - Yes, yes, and what is it-- - And What is your-- And, sir 76 children.
All lost.
And what is your interest in the sinking? Did you have relatives aboard? [he laughs.]
Coop, even though I am black, I am not related by blood to every slave stolen from Africa.
So, The Sons of Africa.
You write on their behalf.
I write on behalf of humanity.
As a man concerned with injustice.
Against your people.
Against people.
For nine years, you have been campaigning for a Royal Commission to investigate the drowning of these 280 slaves, which you say was done deliberately.
It is my belief that some very powerful men in London were involved in an illicit shipment of slaves for personal profit, were complicit in the deaths of those slaves and in the subsequent concealment of the facts.
And you believe that those men are senior directors within the Honourable East India Company? Yes, I do.
Well then, Mr.
Chichester, I have some good news for you.
From the Prince Regent himself.
[he sighs.]
Wilton! To be continued, gentlemen.
Did you receive the box of bananas I sent you You will improve your game.
You have to improve your fucking game! Those bastards at the palace have opened a royal commission into the sinking of The Influence.
The-The-The Influence? Why? Well, it's a personal campaign.
A stab in my ribs.
Now, you will deal with it.
You and the Africa Desk.
Hm? A commission is not the King, so they can't subpoena, so you will deal with it and treat them with disbelief.
They have appointed some educated blackamoor to prepare the evidence.
Now, you take your coat off, go into your office and you write to him.
Offer him "full and unfettered co-operation" on behalf of the Honourable East India.
No, no, no.
"Full and willing cooperation.
" Yes, sir.
And then I will tell you which papers to burn.
[knock on door.]
There is a Mr.
Delaney to see you, madam.
He's come from the river.
He's in the garden.
If it's someone you fuck, please check if he came from east or west.
In the east, there is cholera.
You can catch it from fucking.
It isn't.
And there isn't.
And you can't.
I will have your gunpowder in eight days.
Powder? Yes.
Dumbarton said the need was very urgent.
Then it must indeed be urgent.
If your business is not gunpowder, what is it? My business is the deal.
I sent word of your offer, with my own recommendation that we accept.
Accept what? Nootka landing ground in return for the tea trade to Canton.
And safe passage through your blockade.
But you must assign the treaty before you leave London.
Hmm! Well, that would require me to trust you.
Based on mutual self-interest.
Trust requires a little time.
Something we have very little of, Mr.
What's this? A book from a Mr.
Cholmondeley for Miss Bow.
It came by post, with a letter.
- She obviously has an admirer.
- Hm.
She asked me a lot of questions today.
And did you give her a lot of answers? I told her nothing.
And yet, you have so much to tell.
[footsteps approach.]
Oh, we need some more coal for my fireplace.
It's freezing! Why would we do that? This is the Delaney household.
We have no warmth here.
Cholmondeley is not a suitable man for you.
Oh, no, no absolutely not.
He's You must keep him all to yourself.
I shan't hinder your advances.
My love.
My love.
This is a holy man of God.
He's practised in removing and discouraging demons.
Your husband reports a Barbason has been visiting you.
There is a ceremony of exorcism which can eradicate the Barbason.
It's a very short process.
And quite inexpensive.
I told the Priest how he visits you.
- He visits you.
He visits you.
- No! No! Don't touch me.
- At least acknowledge that-- - [yells.]
: Go to hell! Goodness.
A slight thing she is, but fearful! Yes, I see it.
I see it.
Is there somewhere we can pin her down? Stop! Stop! - [she screams.]
- Exi ergo, transgressor.
Exi, seductor, plene omni dolo et fallacia.
E virtutis inimici, innocentium persecutor.
Eda locum, dirissime, da locum, impiissime Eda locum Christo, in quo nihil invenisti de operibus tuis qui te spoliavit Equi regnum tuum destruxit, qui te victum ligavit, et vasa tua diripuit.
You see those blemishes? It is the evil coming to the surface.
It's almost done, my love.
Exi ergo, transgressor.
Exi, seductor, plene omni dolo et fallacia, virtutis inimici, innocentium persecutor.
Da locum, dirissime, da locum, impiissime.
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.
Can we untie her now? Leave her a few moments.
Let her reflect and recover.
Will you come to bed? Yes, of course.
I'll be up in just a moment.
Teach me.
Guide me.
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