The Agatha Christie Hour (1982) s01e10 Episode Script

The Manhood Of Edward Robinson

If I was rich, you beautiful thing, I'd have you.
(engine revs) (engine revs /tyres screech) (Light orchestral film music plays) (man laughs) -(woman) Brad,you are a fool.
-(Laughter) - (shelaughs) -Having a good time,Vicky? - Brad.
- I want you to have a good time.
Always, Why the two and three pennies, Edward? You can see just as well in the one and six pennies.
- I just thought - No, Edward, that's just what you don't do.
Money doesn't grow on trees, you know.
- I know.
- The further back the better, I say.
She giggles) (man on screen sings) The one and six pennies would have been just as good.
Singing continues) sighs) Good night Vienna Where moonlight fills the air (woman laughs /horn) Right.
She laughs) Goodnight, Edward.
Goodnight, Maud.
- Bye, Millie.
-(both) Bye.
I don't know how Herbert can afford a motorbike.
- He works in the same office as you.
- HP.
- Typical.
- A lot of people get things on HP.
- That doesn't make it sensible.
- No.
- Life isn't like the cinema, Edward.
- No.
sighs) (Edward) Bill knew the moment was his, Deftly he steered the car into the shadow of the trees.
As the throb of the engine died away, he turned and masterfully crushed the marchesa to his breast.
With a deep sigh, she yielded her lips in such a kiss as he had never dreamed of.
- Herbert? - Hmm? What do you think of Maud? - Very pretty.
Molto glamorosa.
- No, I mean, really? Well, she does sort of jump on a man a bit.
- Meaning? - Well, you know.
She does a bit, doesn't she? But very pretty.
And to see you two dance at the Palais, all we clodhoppers just stop and stare.
Absolutely ripping syncopation.
-(Laughs) - She'll make you a marvelous wife.
Look, help me with this before we have to go back to that dreary office.
- I ask you, who'd be a stockbroker? - We would, given half the chance.
"Arrange the following girls' names in order of popularity.
" Oh, gosh! How are we expected to know that? Well, if I were you, I'd write them down in the reverse order of the way you think they ought to go and then pray.
- I don't see Maud down there.
- Oh, that's very funny.
Ha-ha-ha! - Elizabeth, Margaret - Herbert? - What is it now? - You don't think it's true, do you? - Don't think what's true? - That girls Turn out to be like their mothers.
- And how was the dancing last night? - Not too bad.
But they're putting up the price of admission next month.
- I think I can afford it.
- I think we should make a stand.
If we make a stand, we won't be able to dance, will we?(chuckles) Maud, dear, would you go and put the kettle on? - We shall be wanting our tea soon.
- Yes, Mother, of course.
Now, Edward.
Now Maud's out of the room, I've simply got to know.
What exactly are your intentions? Intentions, Mrs Lithinglow? About what? Your intentions towards Maud, of course.
Mrs Lithinglow, we're engaged.
(Laughs) - To be married.
- So you say, Edward.
And so Maud says, and yet I don't see an engagement ring on her finger.
- Oh, that.
Well - Is it that you can't afford it? Oh, no.
No, no, no.
It's just that I haven't got around to it yet.
You must understand, Edward, that if Don't clutch the wool, dear.
You must understand that if Mr Lithinglow were alive, he would be the one asking these questions.
I do understand, but the fact is Maud's always going on about being careful with money.
And, I must say, I agree.
The fact is, Edward, that my daughter is engaged to be married and yet has no ring on her finger to How shall I put it? I won't say, "to advertise the fact," but to cement the relationship.
I'll take care of it tomorrow, Mrs Lithinglow, I promise.
There's a good boy.
Edward, it's beautiful.
- Very good taste, but - But what? - It must have cost a small fortune.
- You wouldn't want a cheap ring.
- No, of course not.
- I have a good job.
- You're still only a red button.
- I'll be a blue button next year.
Yes, darling, I know that, but it just doesn't do to be extravagant.
You mean, you want me to change it for something cheaper? I really wouldn't mind.
I mean, I wouldn't want to feel guilty wearing it.
Well, as a matter of fact, I was hoping we could have a short engagement.
How short? I'd like us to be married early next year.
Oh, Edward, that is sweet of you.
But don't you think it would be more prudent to wait a bit longer? Why? We've already been engaged for three months.
Yes, darling, I know that, but Well, I know you're going to be a success.
- You'll be a partner in ten years.
- Ten years?! But at the moment, your salary isn't that large.
(sighs) You know, sometimes I wonder whether you want to marry me at all.
- What?! - Or that you even love me.
Edward, darling, you're just being silly.
Because I try to be practical doesn't mean I don't love you.
I love you more than you think.
You see, you're a bit of a dreamer, aren't you, darling? Am I? All I'm saying is let's wait a bit till we marry, you'll see I'm right.
Well, it's up to you, Maud, of course.
And, alright, I'll change the ring.
- 2500?! - First prize.
- What for? - That competition.
- Arrange the girls' names.
- Yes.
I did what you said and I won it.
I've been bursting to tell you, but Old Eyebrows never took his eyes off us.
I say! 500 jolly old pounds.
You're rich! - Hmm, I'm rich.
-(both laugh) - Maud will marry you pronto now.
- Yes.
Tell her your investments are gilt:edged and she'll love you to distraction.
- She'll collapse in your arms.
- Yes, a little nest egg for the future.
Yes, I realize that's the sensible thing to do.
Thank you very much.
I'm sure you'll be very, very pleased with her.
She is the loveliest thing! -(Laughs) - What does Maud think about her? Oh.
Actually, I haven't told her yet.
What? Oh, my God.
Just wait till she finds out.
(Laughs) Well, I I have to learn to drive it first.
Get in.
Strangler, switch on, starter, clutch, gears, handbrake, throttle.
What? - Strangler, switch on.
- Starter, switch on.
(both) Starter.
- Clutch.
- Gears.
(bells ring) (Edward) Strangler, switch on, starter.
(engine starts) clutch.
- Throttle.
-(engine revs) How many times do I have to tell you?! Starter, clutch, gears! - Gears! - Handbrake, throttle.
Not go to the Palais tomorrow? But we always go on Thursday.
What about my paso doble? - Strangler, switch on, starter, -(engine starts) .
clutch, gears, handbrake, throttle.
(Laughs) sighs) The moment has come, Edward, to tell you that there's more than one gear.
But I don't understand.
Again? (Edward) it's the New York Stock Exchange, it's still not tickety-boo.
And with Christmas Splendid! You're getting better every day.
- Now it's time to learn reverse.
-(Laughs) You mean, it goes backwards? (Maud) I wish I knew why you were behaving like this.
(Edward) I'm trying to explain,Maud.
It's the contangos and settlement pay.
There's a lot (Mrs Lithinglow)is there no one else who can take responsibility, Edward? You see, driving is just a matter of confidence, experience.
- Thanks very much for helping.
- It's a pleasure.
- So when are you going to tell her? - Huh? - Maud, I mean.
- Maud, yes.
Well, I thought I'd tell her after Christmas.
- You mean you won't be going away? - Away? why should I? A spanking new car, a nice long holiday, and you're going to loll around in Maud's place with mother in attendance.
Well, I did say I'd spend Christmas with them.
Oh, well.
"Chacun à son goût".
Well, what would you do? Well, to start with, if I had a car like this, I'd ask Millie to come down to Brighton.
- And if she refused? - I'd take off by myself.
- Spend the evening at Sherry's.
- What happens there? What doesn't happen there? - Dancing, you'd like that.
Big bands.
- Really? And there's always more mares than stallions.
- Expensive? - It's one and six at the door.
You take a look around, you pick your partner, it'll cost you a drink or two, say a small port and lemon or a shandy gaff.
And on the way back cut up to Horsham and Dorking, beetle up the Kingston bypass.
Stop for breakfast at the Ace of Spades.
There's scarcely a girl you wouldn't have in the hollow of your hand.
(sighs) Well, thanks for your advice, Herbert, but I shall have to spend Christmas with Maud.
I can't let her down.
Well, it's up to you, old boy.
(engine starts) My motto is, gather your rosebuds while you may.
Sighs) - You always spend Christmas with us.
- That's right.
I know, and I'm sorry, but, you see, it's this pal of mine.
- Which pal? - You met him at the flicks with Millie.
- Herbert Maynard.
- Oh, yes.
I remember him.
Rather shallow, I thought.
- Didn't he come here to tea? - That's right.
- We work together in the City.
- As for her And what has he to do with Christmas? Well ,you see, he spends it in the country.
- Why? Does he live in the country? - No.
But his parents do, in Surrey.
And so he spends Christmas with them.
That's right, Mrs Lithinglow, and I've been asked.
- That's very kind of him.
- I thought so.
But what is that to do with not spending Christmas with your fiancée? And her mother? - Well, I promised, you see.
- Why?! Because Herbert's father is almost blind.
- And? - And His mother is a cripple.
He feels she can't cope.
How could you help?(Laughs) Er Christmas tree, holly, plum pudding, that sort of thing.
- I promised.
You can't let a pal down.
- Well, I find it very odd.
First, you hardly come to see me all of this week.
I explained, I've been kept late at the office every night.
It's not for me to interfere, but I'm surprised you find your pal more important than your affianced.
Well, I can't go back on my word now, but I'll be here Boxing Day, if all goes well.
- Well! - Well.
Tell me, dear, this cheaper engagement ring he was buying, - has he given it to you yet? - No.
No, Mother, he hasn't.
(sobs) I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
Sobs) O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant O come, all ye faithful to Bethlehem (he hums) (tyres screech) sighs) (music plays in the distance) shrieking and laughter) What can we do for our stranger in mufti? Do I have to be in evening dress? No, not a necessity.
En route, are we? - Brighton.
- Amply dressed, squire.
- Thank you.
- Now what's the snifter of your choice? - Half a bitter, please.
- Half a bitter.
- Ice and lemon? - No, half a bitter.
Just joking, squire! Just joking! Half a tankard of best bitter.
-(woman shrieks with laughter) - Charity ball.
Every 23rd December.
At closing time Roger de Coverley upstairs, and no one gets a wink of sleep all night.
- Major, where the devil's my brandy? - Pimms, Major.
Pimms! I've changed my mind.
- I'll have a small port and lemon.
- Jolly good idea.
-(woman laughs) - Small port and lemon.
- Ah, Sir Medwin.
- Jimmy's just arrived.
Thought he was gonna drive straight through into the bar.
Like a Sheikh leaving a camel in charge, silly ass.
He is a silly ass, didn't you know, darling? (all laugh) snow crunches /church bell chimes) (woman sings softly) (chatter) Major says how do you want your steak sandwich done? - (slurs) - Just one moment, please, sir.
Saignant, à point or tortured? I'd like it soon.
(Laughs) -(man) I'll get the police.
-(man) The place is on fire! -(woman) Send for the fire brigade.
-(hubbub) -(hubbub) - Sir.
(woman screams) Oh, God! And it's only just nine o'clock.
(carol singers) God rest ye merry, gentlemen Let nothing you dismay Remember Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas Day -(doorbell) - Are you there, Mother? Yes, dear.
I'll go.
Not too much, just a few pence.
Tidings of comfort and joy Comfort and joy Maud, you'll never guess who's passing the hat.
- Who? - I asked him to come in.
come in.
-(coins rattle) - Merry Christmas, Maud.
- You! - Is something the matter? Oh, no.
Nothing important.
We picked your house, I thought Edward would be here.
- Tell me, Mr? - Maynard.
Tell me, Mr Maynard, do your family live in the country? - Yes, but I don't-- - Where exactly? - Surrey? - No, Aberdeen.
And your father, is he blind? Well, no, not all the time.
And your mother a cripple? Heavens, no! She's the ladies' curling champion of the Eastern Highlands.
I say, what's this all about? Oh, it's as Maud said, it's nothing important.
Right, then, I'll be on my way carolling.
A little something for those less fortunate than ourselves.
Give him sixpence, Mother.
Look at that.
Merry Christmas.
(engine starts) -(hubbub) - Everyone! Everyone! Oh, do listen! Agnes Larella's been burgled! -(hubbub) - To work! (drunken chatter) - In you go.
- In I get.
Good girl.
(engine starts) (horn) sighs) Good grief! The police.
Sighs) sighs) "Meet me in Little Chessington, corner of Salters Lane, 1 0 o'clock.
" (dog barks in the distance) (woman) Gerald? sighs) I say, Gerald, what an age you've been.
Oh, heavens to Betsy! It's not Gerald.
- No.
My my name is Edward.
- Oh, Gerald's brother, of course.
I'm so glad.
That idiot Jimmy said he was sending Gerald.
I say, it's jolly good of you to come.
I've been dying to meet you.
But there's been a.
Goodness! Do you know, I haven't seen you since I was six.
- Isn't that a scream? - This necklace.
Put it away! In case the village bobby's abroad.
Would you like me to drive? You can't have had much practice in Bulawayo.
These lanes are tricky till you get the hang of it.
- But - Especially in this weather.
Move over.
Hold that.
(engine starts) -(engine revs) - Right, off we go! - Too pacey for you? - No, no, that's fine.
As fast as you like.
Damn! They're after us.
- The police? - Well, I do hope not.
(tyre screech) (woman) Shh! Right! Off we go! Right! You'll take the highroad and I'll take the lowroad Hang on to your hat, Edward.
How's poor old Jimmy? - Er Which Jimmy would that be? - My Jimmy.
- You're? - Jimmy, my fiancé.
Oh, he's alright.
- Shame about his ankle.
- Yes.
(both laugh) Did he have time to tell you the whole story? Actually, no.
Well Well Of course, we'd planned it down to the last detail.
I borrowed one of the maids' rooms at the Tantoners', changed into a dark sweater and slacks and dashed across the road.
- Some idiot nearly ran me down.
- Really? Then up the ivy.
The only useful thing I ever learnt at finishing school.
The maid was in the room, of course, but the minute Jimmy started the fire, she rushed out, I rushed in, grabbed the necklace, back down the ivy, Bob's your uncle.
Of course, when Jimmy didn't turn up, that was a bit worrying.
All I could do was race back to the car park, shove the necklace and the note in Jimmy's car and pray.
Then I crept in from the back of the hotel and back on the dance floor before you could say quickstep.
- I don't think anyone noticed I'd gone.
- Is it Is it very valuable? The Larella diamonds? My dear Edward, they're priceless.
Now, come on in, Edward, for a quick wash and brush up before we dash off to the café de Paris.
- The Café de Paris? - Oh, lord love a duck! Didn't Gerald tell you anything? Yes, but what about my clothes? We'll rig you up in something.
You're not going to desert me now? - Hello, Grosvenor.
- Good evening, Your Ladyship.
Come on, Edward.
(jazz music plays) Now, what to imbibe? Gimlet, Horse's Neck, White Ladies? Er What are you imbibing? Well, I think cocktails are all so boring, don't you? - Let's stick to champagne, shall we? - Let's.
Champagne, please.
- Oh, golly! I nearly forgot.
- What? The necklace.
Let's have it.
- What, here? - Yes.
- You really think you should? - That's the whole point.
-(applause) - Whatever you say.
Take those.
Put them in your pocket.
It's quite an adventure, don't you think? - Oh, rather.
- Do you dance? - Yes, actually, I do.
- Any good? - Actually, I am, yes.
- Oh, come on, then.
Give us a whirl.
- There she is.
- Who's she with? (woman) I don't know, darling.
Four sides to the floor and we'll try a pincer movement.
Good evening, Noreen.
(music ends) We're going to leave.
Whatever you do, don't let go of me.
- Do you mind if I steal her? - Lord Melbury, how lovely to see you.
- And you too, my dear.
May I? - Oh, I'd love to.
- Excuse us, Alice.
- Stay close! (all gasp) (applause) Your escort doesn't seem to trust me at all.
Hasn't let you out of his sight.
- Another dance? - No.
Thank you.
Lady Noreen.
(gasps) Quick, Edward, into the middle of the floor.
Excuse me, please.
Awfully sorry.
Thanks a lot.
Dance, Edward, just dance.
- Who the hell is he? - She calls him Edward.
- Gerald's brother? - Nothing like him.
(cheering /applause) (applause) (applause) (cheering /applause) Congratulations.
Now it really is my turn, don't you think? You don't mind, old chap, do you? -(Noreen) Go away.
- afraid? Of course I'm not afraid.
Edward, watch this gentleman like a hawk.
Perhaps you'd like to dance with me.
No! Sebastian! No! Sebastian, play fair.
-(woman) Sebastian! - That's enough! - Keep your hands off her! - I beg your pardon.
I can see what you're up to.
You're trying to steal the necklace! (Laughs) That's a good one.
I'm here to return it to its rightful owner.
- Sebastian! -(Sebastian) Stop her! Keep going! (clock chimes) Oh, well done! Edward, we've won! - Won? - Yes! Fair enough, old girl.
- Thanks.
- Jimmy will be proud of you.
Well done, old boy.
But I still don't see why you had to wear the necklace.
Oh, good gracious! Didn't Gerald tell you anything at all? - Very little.
- Well, it's all rather stupid and difficult to understand, I suppose.
The truth is, Edward, I'm bored.
I'm not like you with herds of cattle to look after and hundreds of workers.
I'm bored because I was brought up to lead a thoroughly useless life.
So, first of all it was pub crawls, then treasure hunts, and last month I invented burglaries.
50 quid entrance fee and lots to be drawn.
Jimmy and I drew Agnes Larella.
Isn't that the girl who jumped off Henley Bridge for a bet? That's right.
In her cami knickers.
And just missed the umpire's launch.
(both laugh) Well, the rules are, one, you operate in pairs.
Two, the burglary must be carried out within three days of the draw.
And, three, the loot must be worn for at least one hour in a public place.
Regardez, the Café de Paris, as public as they come.
And if you don't do all that, you forfeit your 50 quid and pay a 21 00 fine.
That's why they were chasing us.
Well, as I said, it all sounds rather stupid.
No, it's very exciting.
It's romantic! It's an adventure! - I'm glad I was part of it.
- Mmm! So am I.
And you're going to marry this Jimmy fellow? That's the idea.
At the moment of going to press.
Well, you don't sound very sure.
Well, as I said, I'm bored.
Oh, I'm sick of living at home.
Jimmy's rich.
My class, as they say.
Household Cavalry and all that.
Looks quite tall on a horse.
(Laughs) I shall have five children and fade into obscurity.
Oh, I'm sure you won't.
You'll always be the life and soul.
Are you married, Edward? No, like you, engaged.
- To some dusky Bulawayan maiden? - Actually, no.
- A missionary's daughter? - Not exactly, no.
- Well, I hope she likes to dance.
- Actually, yes.
Where do you dance here? - The Hammersmith Palais.
- Oh, where's that? It's at Hammersmith.
Is she over here with you? Yes, actually.
Then, where is she tonight? Well, it's a bit difficult to explain.
A row? Hmm? A blazing row? Not exactly, no.
Not yet.
- Another love? - In a way.
- Then, where's she? - Outside.
Outside?! (sighs) Thou speakest in riddles, O Edward.
(both laugh) Well, come along, drink up.
- Thou must take me home.
- Yes, of course.
Oh, and then I know you'll be a sweet man and take these back to Agnes.
- What, tonight?! - Well, the battle is lost and won.
I should like her to have them back at once.
You're not tired? No, of course not.
On Captain Folyer's account, please, Gaston.
Thank you.
Oh! Well, what a night! (both laugh) - What's the time? - Er, it's nearly two.
Oh, good! Then we've just got time to drop off at The Palace.
-(all) Goodbye.
- Goodbye, darlings.
(chatter) (man) Happy New Year.
(horn) Thanks very much.
- Oh, thanks.
- Brr! Shame about poor Jimmy's ankle.
Still, we won the prize.
- How did he do it? - He caught his foot in a rabbit trap.
He's only really safe on a horse.
(Laughs) It wouldn't have happened if he'd climbed the ivy.
Why didn't he? No head for heights.
(horn) - Noreen! - Gerald! Thank the Lord! I've got hold of you at last.
I went to the Café de P, but you'd left.
- How's Jimmy? - Jimmy's an ass.
- Oh, Gerald! - Sorry, old girl, but he is.
Guessed you might end up here.
It's not his fault that he got his foot caught.
- Well, it was nobody else's fault.
- I had to go avec the necklace.
Of course.
Trust Jimmy to crawl back to Agnes's to ask for help.
I know.
What did she do? She sent her chauffeur to pick up his car in the Tantoners' car park to take him to the cottage hospital, but he picked up the wrong car.
- Oh, no! - Yes.
So some poor blighter's lost his motor and God knows where the diamonds are.
What? What do you mean? We've got them.
Well, Edward has.
Don't you say hello to your own brother? - What? - To Edward.
Don't be daft.
Edward's in Bulawayo.
Oh, so Oh, heavens! A real burglar.
But you said I have to thank you, Lady Noreen, for a most delightful evening.
- Toodle-oo.
- Who the devil is that? - Edward! - But look, there's Jimmy's car.
Edward! - Wait! -(engine starts) Edward, give me the necklace, please.
Please! Edward, please! I've got to give it back to Agnes! (gasps) Oh, go on, be a sport! We've had a good evening together.
A lovely adventure.
Please! - (slows down and stops) - she sighs) (both sigh) (Laughs) Oh, you lovely, lovely man! (both laugh) You'd better have these, too.
- Take me with you.
- Where? - Wherever your next job is.
- Job? I wouldn't be a handicap to you, I promise.
- I might even get quite good at it.
- Sorry, good at what? Just look at what you nearly got away with tonight, on your own.
A diamond necklace, a string of pearls.
Just think what you could do with an accomplice.
She chuckles) (he laughs) That's terribly kind of you, but what about Jimmy? Oh, well, Jimmy's alright, but he's got no sense of adventure or Well, romance.
Supposing we're caught? Isn't Jimmy better than six months in Holloway? Hmm? Yes, I suppose.
- I'm being rejected.
- No.
It's only that I couldn't ask that big a sacrifice from such a such a very wonderful girl.
You mean, this is goodbye? Goodbye.
We'll never meet again.
I don't expect so.
But I shall never forget you.
Nor I you.
- Have a good life.
- Oh, and you.
I want you to have a good life.
Goodbye! Whoever you are.
(Hark!The Herald Angels Sing plays quietly) Merry Christmas.
Edward! It's you.
I didn't expect you back so soon.
Did you have a nice time with that friend of yours? Ah, that was a lie.
The truth is, I won a magazine competition, 2500, as a matter of fact.
- 2500?! - Yes.
And instead of investing it in gilt:edged or conversion bonds, I bought a car.
- A car? - An absolute beauty! I didn't tell you because I knew you'd kick up a fuss, that's the first thing.
- But, Edward - There's nothing more to be said.
- That's what you did yesterday? - That's right, and all week.
Giving her a bit of a whirl.
The second thing is But why should I kick up a fuss? A car proves that you're going up in the world.
Oh, yes, I can see that now.
You silly boy.
Can we go for a drive tomorrow? - If you like.
- Of course.
-(mother) Maud! - And Mother will love it.
There's a white car just outside in the road Edward! - Well! - Hello, Mrs Lithinglow.
- Can't you see we're talking? - I dare say you are.
- Why - Ah! Please, we'd like to be alone.
And a Merry Christmas.
Sighs) The second thing is, I'm not going to hang about waiting.
- We're going to marry next month.
- Next month?! Until then, will you wear this ring? It's the same one, I didn't change it.
Quickly, yes or no? - You're so different today, Edward.
- Yes.
Yes,for 24 hours I've been a man instead of a mouse.
- Because you bought a car? - Yes, exactly.
(Laughs) Well, sort of.
Do you love me, Maud? Oh, Edward, I adore you.