Tales of the Unexpected (1979) s01e01 Episode Script

Man From the South

Acorn Media I ought to warn you, if you haven't read any of my stories, that you may be a little disturbed by some of the things that happen in them.
When I'm writing a short story, I'm haunted by the thought that I've got to hold the reader's attention for literally every second.
Otherwise, I'm dead.
The one you're going to see now is the first of a series based on stories that have taken me 35 years to write.
I find them difficult to do well, so I work slowly-- about two a year.
This one was filmed in its real setting--Jamaica.
I hope you like it.
[Laughter and squealing.]
Excuse me, please? Yes? Do I have your permission to sit here? But of course.
Please, go ahead.
Thank you very much.
Ah, splendid day, is it not? Mmm.
But then, of course, they're all splendid days here in Hamaica-- ha ha!--Jamaica.
Yes, indeed.
Who, might I ask, are all these people here? They are not hotel people, no? No.
I think they're American sailors.
Or rather, they're learning to be sailors.
Well, I heard that their training ship arrived in port yesterday evening.
I expect this is their period of rest and recreation.
Whoo! [Squealing.]
MAN: You OK? Yes, I'm fine.
Would you like something to drink? Good idea.
How about a rum punch? Lovely.
What's your name? Cathy.
What's yours? Tommy.
You are here on holiday, perhaps? Yes.
And you? No, no, no.
It was my wife's idea.
She insisted on it.
Forced, as it were.
Oh, ho, ho.
Is this chair taken? No.
You mind if we use it? Of course not.
Go ahead.
TOMMY: Thank you.
Cigarette? No, thanks.
I don't smoke.
Cigarette? Oh, thank you very much.
Let me give you a light.
That will not work in this wind.
Sure it'll work.
It's American.
It always works.
Always? Sure.
Never fails.
Not with me, anyway.
Well, well so you are saying this famous lighter never fails.
Is that what you are saying? That's right.
It never fails.
I promise you, it never fails.
One moment, please.
Now, just one moment.
Shall we not, perhaps, have a little bet on that? Shall we not make a little bet on whether your lighter lights? Sure.
I'll bet.
Why not? You like to bet, huh? Sure.
I'll always bet.
I like to bet, too.
Why don't we have a good bet on this thing-- a good, big bet, hmm? Wait a minute.
I can't do that.
I'm not rich.
But I will bet you $5 or $10, or whatever it is down here in local money.
Now, listen to me.
We are going to have some fun.
First, we make the bet.
Then we go to my room here in the hotel where there is no wind, and I bet you cannot light this famous lighter of yours 10 times consecutively without missing once, huh? I'll bet I can.
Shall we agree on the bet? Sure.
Now, you listen to me.
Outside the hotel is my car.
It is very fine car.
Hey, now, wait a minute.
I can't put up that kind of stake.
Well, this is crazy.
It's not crazy at all.
You strike your lighter successfully 10 times one after another, and the Jaguar is yours.
You'd like to have this Jaguar, no? Sure I'd like to have a Jaguar.
Who wouldn't? All right.
We have a bet.
I put up my car.
And what do I put up? I never ask you, my friend, to bet something you cannot afford, do you understand? Then what do I bet? I make it very easy for you, yes? OK.
You make it easy.
Some small thing you can afford to give away, and if you did happen to lose it, you do not feel too bad, right? Such as what? Such as the little finger of your left hand.
My what? Yes.
Why not? You win, you take the Jaguar.
You lose, I take the finger.
I don't get it.
How do you mean you take the finger? I chop it off.
Chop it off? Oh, no.
Um that's a crazy bet.
Let's just make it $5 or $10.
Well, well, well.
I do not understand.
You say that your lighter will light, and yet you do not agree to my bet.
So, we forget it.
Yes? Ahem.
Might I have a light, please? Oh, sorry.
Thank you.
I forgot you didn't have one.
Thank you.
You're from the training ship, I expect? Yes.
Enjoying it here? It's pretty nice.
Nice people.
Now, just let me check up on this bet of yours.
You say we go up to your room, and if I make my lighter light 10 times running, I win your Jaguar.
If it misses just once, then I forfeit the little finger of my left hand.
Is that right? That is the bet.
You know, I have studied you-- briefly, I admit, but the way you hold the lighter, for example.
Obviously, you are right-handed.
So what use is the little finger of your left hand? If you lose, you don't lose much.
If you win, fine Jaguar.
But I think you are afraid.
What do we do if I lose? Do Ihold my-- my finger out while you chop it off? No, no, no.
That will be no good.
You might be tempted to refuse to hold it out.
What I should do, I should tie your hand to the table before we start, and then I stand there with a knife ready to go chop the minute your lighter misses.
Are you serious? Well, he's a fine, healthy young man, no? One quick chop is all right.
No worries.
He's all right.
Or maybe you don't lose.
Maybe you win fine automobile instead.
What year is your car? Excuse me.
II don't understand.
What year? How old is the car? Oh, it is very new.
I buy only a few months ago.
But I see you are not a betting man.
Most Americans are not.
Could I see the car? Do you wish to accept the bet? There she is.
The white one.
Is nice, no? Ha ha ha! You like? Go on.
Get in.
Sit behind the wheel.
See how comfortable she is.
Well, I must say, it's a very fine car.
Wouldn't mind having it myself.
But is it worth a finger? Well, no, of course not.
But it's only a game, isn't it? They're not really serious.
I think they are.
OK, it's a deal.
I accept your bet.
Now we begin.
Now, look, I don't like this very much.
Nor do I.
What do you want to do it for, Tommy? Is it a bet? Yes.
Now we go see if you can win this car.
Oh, and you, sir, perhaps you would be good enough to-- how you call it-- referee? Now look here, I-- Sir, I would consider it a favor.
Oh, very well.
I'll come along, but I still don't like it.
Now we begin.
First, some gin.
Do you really intend going through with this? Sure.
I don't think you quite know what you're doing.
[Knock on door.]
MAN: Come in! Ah, good.
Now, there are certain things I want you to get for me.
You see, we are going to play a little game here, so I want you to get me 2-- no, 3 things.
I want some nails, I want a hammer, and I want a butcher's chopping knife which you can borrow for me from the kitchen.
You can get this, no? Chopping knife? Yes.
Yes, of course.
You mean a real chopping knife? The kind that goes chop chop! Off you go, now.
You can get these things for me, yes? Yes, I will try, sir.
Of course I will get it.
Good, and make it soon.
As soon as possible, you get these things.
I will soon come back.
Look, don't you think this joke's gone far enough? Joke? Who make joke? I don't make joke.
But the bet is preposterous! The bet is fair.
He accept the bet, no? Is good.
My fine, expensive automobile against his little finger.
I think it's a fine bet.
I think it's a stupid, ridiculous bet.
What'll happen if you lose? It won't matter.
Come to think of it, I can't remember ever in my life having had any use for the little finger of my left hand.
Observe one left little finger.
Here he is.
Here he is and he hasn't ever done a thing for me yet, so why shouldn't I bet him? I think it's a fine bet.
Can't you talk him out of it? I've tried.
Seems determined to go through with it.
Thank you.
Now, before we begin, I will give to the referee the keys to the car.
The papers-- the ownership papers and the insurance are in the pocket of the car.
[Knock on door.]
Ah, good.
You have come.
Now, here's some money for you, and hammer, nails, and chop, chop.
Very good.
Thank you.
Off you go now.
[Door closes.]
Now, we begin to prepare ourselves, hmm? First, chair.
Now, the nails.
Must put in the nails.
And now all we need is some string.
If your friend loses, we must rush him to the hospital, using that damn car if necessary.
MAN: All right.
At last we are ready.
Everything is now ready.
Let's do it.
You sit here.
Thank you.
Now, put your left hand between the nails like this.
The nails are there so I can tie your hand to the table.
Now, you must clench the fist.
No, no, no.
The little finger is sticking out like that, lying on the table.
Now I will tie your hand with the string.
Around and around.
Around once more.
And so.
Ah! Now, across.
Now, the other way, huh? Look at him.
Anyone would think he was organizing party games.
Tommy, why don't you back out now while there's still time? Back out? I light this lighter 10 times, I win a great car.
The second your lighter fails-- and it could happen-- he'll do it.
He will! He's dying for you to lose.
You really fixed that good.
Now we can begin.
One moment, please.
So, now, Mr.
Referee, you will please come and tell us when to start, hmm? Are you sure you still want to go ahead with this insane business? But of course! And you? Yeah! All right.
Are you ready? I'm ready.
And you? Quite ready.
Will you please count aloud the number of times that I light it? Yes, I'll do that.
All right.
Go ahead.
Tommy, stop! I'm leaving.
I can't! I want you to stay.
Please? Good.
Everything is fine.
Now you try your lighter again.
Loco! [Both speaking Spanish.]
He's loco--crazy.
A menace.
When we were at home, he's taken altogether 47 fingers from different people, and he has lost 11 cars.
In the end, they threatened to have him put away somewhere.
That's why I brought him here.
It was just a small bet.
I suppose he bet you a car.
Yes-- the white Jaguar.
He has no car.
It is mine, and that make it worse-- that he should bet you when he has nothing to bet with.
I'm ashamed.
I'm very sorry about it all.
REFEREE: Well, madam, here are your car keys, and thank heavens the whole horrible business is over.
MAN: We were only having a little bet.
He agreed.
There's nothing wrong with a little bet.
He has not a thing left in the world to bet with.
Not a thing in the world.
Not a thing.
As a matter of fact, I won everything from him a long while ago.
It took time-- a lot of time, and it was hard work but I win all in the end.
Yes, I win everything from him eventually.
Acorn Media Captioned by the National Captioning Institute