The Avengers (1961) s05e09 Episode Script

The Correct Way to Kill

1 [Footsteps] - Good evening, old chap.
- You're late.
- We agreed 10:30.
- Indeed, we are late, old chap.
But I do wish to extend my most abject apologies.
Never mind that.
- This the man? - This is he, yes.
He tells me you have information to sell, important information.
What's the matter with him? - Is he dumb or something? - No, he's British.
He can't discuss business with you until he's been formally introduced.
May I present Algernon Winch? Mr Boris Groski.
How do you do? You British, you'll be the death of me.
- Yes, exactly.
- Indubitably.
Boris Groski.
[Emma] You knew him? We crossed swords quite a lot of times.
You mean, he's not one of ours? No, he's one of theirs.
One of their top agents.
- That makes a change.
- Yes, but it's embarrassing.
They might have had the good manners to pop him off in his own country.
- Leaves us with all the paperwork.
- Apart from that, it's unethical.
It's just not cricket.
Let's hope they don't do it again.
- Stanislaus Arkadi.
- Another one of them? In charge of counter-espionage for the Eastern Seaboard.
- Do you think they're having a purge? - Well, I wish they'd Do it in their own country? You said.
- It's unethical, not cricket.
- You said that too.
- We need a drink.
- That you haven't said.
Two eastern agents popped off in 24 hours.
It's not like them.
Perhaps they're just going through an awkward phase.
Awkward phase or not, I don't approve of it.
- At least it diminishes the opposition.
- That's our job.
Taking it on themselves is breaking the rules.
- Keep talking.
- Hm? Oh.
Well, as I said before, it is a far, far better thing I do than I've ever done before.
As the boy who stood on the burning deck said, to be or not to be, that is the question.
He just didn't know what he was talking about Hello.
- Goodbye.
- [Gunshot] One, two, three.
Now you're here, stay for a drink.
- You know him? - Ivan Peppitoperoff.
He's one of them, second in command of counter-counter-espionage.
That's right, isn't it, Ivan? Or have they upgraded you? - I'm going to kill you.
- Why on earth would you do that? - I thought we were the best of enemies.
- You know why.
Because of Groski.
- Groski.
- Groski.
- And Arkadi.
- [Both] And Arkadi.
- You didn't think you'd get away with it? - With what? - I think that he thinks - That I did it, that I killed Groski.
And Arkadi.
Oh, ho, ho! Mrs Peel will vouch for it.
I haven't killed anyone all week.
- If not you, then who did? - We thought your lot did.
Murder two of our own men? Oh! - We are getting our wires crossed.
- Or double-crossed.
My dear chap, you'd better take me to your leader.
Colonel, it is impossible to infiltrate the Horse Guards in this country.
Our men don't have the necessary connections, and besides Yes.
Yes.
Yes, yes no! No, I have no wish to be recalled.
Yes, of course I know my duty.
Very well, the Horse Guards will be infiltrated.
Perhaps with a horse.
[Door opens] Steed! Steed, my dear fellow! - Hello, Nutski.
- What a delightful surprise.
What a pleasure to see you again.
I told you to kill him.
He had nothing to do with Groski's death.
- Nor Arkadi.
- He has convinced me.
You didn't? Then perhaps one of your colleagues? I would have known.
But this is impossible.
I'm not doubting your word, my dear fellow, but if you didn't and we didn't, then who? - A third party, opposed to both of us.
- For what purpose? Self-interest.
Steal secrets, sell to the highest bidder.
- It makes sense, Nutski.
- A third party? But this is scandalous, infamous.
- What are we going to do? - Steed suggests we call a truce.
Someone drives a wedge between us, we combine forces, you and I.
- Combine forces? - Yes.
Work together? You and I? Headquarters would never hear of it.
They already have.
I called them on the way here.
- You went over my head.
- I considered the situation urgent.
- Anyway, they're all for it.
- So it's pax? - For the moment.
- For the moment.
Well, this calls for a drink.
- You won't say no, huh, Steed? - I won't say no.
This reminds me of the old days when I was young and gay.
- You remember Vienna? - Ah, Vienna.
The exploding tunny fish? [Steed] The poisoned toothpick? [Nutski] And that big fellow, the Swede.
Tremendous sense of humour.
- The day he stepped into the lift.
- And you removed the bottom.
He laughed all the way down, 13 floors.
- Tremendous sense of humour.
- Oh, a splendid chap.
I carry the scar from his bullet still.
Where did he get you? In the Dardanelles.
- Za mir.
- Za mir.
Well, now Who are you going to send us? Well, it was your idea.
Combine our resources.
I suggest that we send someone along to assist you, and you send someone along to assist Ivan.
- A hostage? - An act of faith.
You can provide someone? Yes, I can provide someone.
And you? [Chuckles] Bravo, bravo! You're quite right, Ivan.
She is perfect for the job.
[Shouts in Russian] Your name, my dear? Olga Savonovitch Negretiskinka Volowski, Comrade Nutski.
- Relax, my dear.
- Thank you, Comrade Nutski.
Let us dispense with the formality, please.
My friends call me Nutty.
We have a little task for you.
A chance to serve the glorious motherland? Better and better.
You're quite right, my dear.
I'm ready.
I will fight to the last man, figuratively speaking.
Excellent, excellent.
- What do you want me to do? - Well, er There is this Englishman by the name of Steed.
You want me to kill him? Did you hear that? Kill him? And they say that there is no moral fibre among the younger generation.
No, my dear.
It will not be necessary to kill Steed.
Not yet, anyway.
- You will work with him.
- With him? You mean, fraternise? Infiltrate would be more apt.
Gain his confidence.
- And then kill him? - Hm, hm, hm, hm.
I don't understand.
Two of our countrymen have been murdered.
We must find the killers before they strike again.
Of course it's a serious business, to be treated seriously, and we will.
- Murder number three? - Name of Zoric.
- One of theirs? - One of yours.
After all, you're one of them now.
How I envy you, working cheek by jowl with Ivan.
I can assure you, my cheek's going to be nowhere near his jowl.
[Knock at door] That'll be them.
May I introduce Olga Savonovitch Negretiskinka Volowski? - John Steed.
- Comrade Steed.
How do you do? It is as I expected, opulent, luxurious, expensive and thoroughly decadent.
Well, Steed, we have kept our part of the bargain.
Oh, yes, you haven't met Mrs Peel.
- She is your choice? - I am my choice.
Couldn't keep her away from it.
It will be a pleasure working with you, Mrs Peel.
- It will be a change.
- Then shall we? One minute.
Information concerning the dead man.
I have to start somewhere.
Groski had only been 24 hours in the country.
During that time, he made only one call.
At this address.
I suggest you try there first.
- Goodbye, Steed.
- Do svidaniya, tovarisch.
Tovarisch! Oh.
- May I call you Olga? - Comrade Volowski.
- Informality breeds undiscipline.
- You are absolutely right.
- Will you have a drink? - Hard liquors soften the brain tissues.
I don't think a cigarette will soften the brain tissues.
We should understand one another, comrade.
When I heard of this assignment, - my first impulse was to kill you.
- Oh, dear.
But the glorious motherland says I am to work with you.
And Mother's always right.
We are wasting the time.
Now we should start work immediately.
I am ready.
What is this place? I don't know.
It was one of the several addresses Groski called at the day he died.
- One of several? But you told Steed - I like to keep something in reserve.
- I thought we had a truce.
- Indeed.
But a little cheating is expected.
On both sides.
Where else did Groski go that day? Here, the address I gave Steed, a place in Chelsea.
- Right, who's first? - The lady was first.
- Good afternoon, Miss, er - Mrs, Mrs Peel.
Oh, Mrs Peel, yes.
- Hubert Merryweather at your service.
- Well, Mrs Peel? - What can we do for you? - What seems to be the trouble? Trouble? Er, trouble.
It's the same as Groski's.
- Groski? - Mm.
He recommended that I came to you.
He said you did miracles for him.
I don't recall a patient of that name.
- Do you, Mr Merryweather? - No, no, I can't say I do.
Perhaps if we just checked up on that.
We might discover something to our advantage.
We might find her Achilles heel.
- Just take your shoes off, please.
- And lie down.
Just lie here, Mrs Peel.
We'll soon find what's troubling you.
A bothersome bunion, a cruel corn.
Your feet are now in my hands, Mrs Peel.
- My feet? - Naturally.
Why else would you consult a chiropodist? Allow me, old boy.
Thank you.
So sorry.
Your feet are in excellent condition, Mrs Peel.
There was really no need to consult me.
It's a great comfort to hear you say that.
- How much do I owe you? - There's no charge for a consultation.
I see.
Well, thank you.
I must have made a mistake, then.
About Groski coming here.
That's right, Mrs Peel.
You made a mistake.
I have a shrewd suspicion that Ivan? Ivan? Number 10.
This is the place.
J Nathan Winters.
What do we do now? - Groski paid a visit here, right? - Right.
So we interrogate Mr Winters, right? Right.
Wrong.
Subtlety, comrade.
At all costs.
[Water running] [Man] And hear us when we cry to thee For those in Oh, terribly sorry.
I'm terribly sorry.
I didn't see you come in.
Just testing the new mark four.
Gents' natty umbrella.
Note the ebonised shaft.
Tempered steel ferrule.
Chinese proofed silk stretched over an all-metal frame.
Easy action.
Light on the shoulder when up.
Alternatively, nice jaunty swagger when down.
And all subjected to my final rigorous test, a force-nine downpour.
Each and every one of these umbrellas has been rained on from a great height.
Winters, J Nathan Winters.
Can I help you? - Tell us all you know about - Umbrellas.
I'm thinking of changing my style.
All I know about umbrellas? That would take some time, sir.
Years even.
Perhaps I could begin by examining the existing model.
Well, sir, I may be losing business by it, but I don't think you're going to better this model.
Absolutely reliable.
Nice balance Loose fit.
What I'm really interested in is the handle.
- Ah.
- Ah.
A-ha! - Ah.
- Ah.
No, I don't think so.
I'd like the same as Mr Groski.
Er Groski? - Please to check your records.
- Check my Yes, that's it.
Check my records.
Check my records.
I'll go and check my records.
Now what? You search that side, I'll search the other.
Very subtle.
"H Merryweather, Chiropodist.
" - How goes it, comrade? - I'm enmeshed in wet-weather gear.
I told you, we should have used my method.
We could have made him talk.
Comrade? [Whispers] Comrade.
I've checked my records thoroughly, sir, and I can't find any trace of Groski.
At all? What a shame.
Oh, excuse me, sir.
Good afternoon, gentlemen.
Come this way.
It's all waiting for you.
Down the end there, round the corner.
Treat it gently, won't you? I suppose I couldn't interest you in the mark five? - Well, I don't think so.
- It does have a crocodile handle.
- And it is utterly reliable.
- Good.
- And they come in two models.
- Oh.
- Town, and Town & Country.
- I'll take a dozen.
- A dozen? - Assorted handles.
I hope it keeps wet for you.
Bye.
- We've got to follow that packing case.
- Why? Because Ivan's body's inside it.
What do you mean, you've lost Ivan? I did not lose him.
He walked out on me.
My men are hand-picked and dedicated, Mrs Peel.
They do not walk out.
I suspect foul play or some treachery from Steed.
What about your treachery? You didn't tell me about the chiropodist.
A mere detail.
Well, whatever else, I can assure you Steed will keep his word.
- Touching loyalty.
- It's plain common sense.
Steed will keep his part of the bargain.
In that case, you will have no hesitation in keeping yours.
You will remain here until Ivan is found.
I have your word? You have my word.
I will go and make a few enquiries.
- Are you sure that you won't? - You have my word.
And I trust you.
Trust everyone, but before he deals, cut the cards.
An old saying from the old country.
But a little cheating is expected.
[Ponsonby] All right, gentlemen, get assembled, if you please.
In two lines, gentlemen, two umbrella lengths apart.
Now, come along, gentlemen.
Look lively.
Are we ready, then? Good.
Well, today, gentlemen, we will see what we know about the hailing of the taxi cab.
Now, our first task is to see that we stand out from the hurly-burly of the menials.
So presence.
Presence, gentlemen.
Are we all comfortable? Good.
Then we are ready to hail our taxi cab.
Now, first, the eye must seek out its objective.
Then fix.
Fix our taxi cab with a steady eye.
Judge its speed of approach.
Assess competitors nearby.
And one, two, three, hail.
With me, gentlemen.
One, two, three [All] Hail! - One, two, three - Hail! Get your shoulders back, Mr Jones.
Mr Watkins We are waggling, Mr Watkins, when we should be thrusting.
We've had to talk to you about waggling before.
Up, man! That's better, much better.
Mr Jones, carry on with the next exercise.
Good afternoon, sir, madam.
Tarquin Ponsonby Frythe at your service.
How do you do? John Steed.
May I introduce Comrade er, Miss Volowski? Superb, utterly superb, sir.
Your manners, the way you doffed your bowler, the pure economy of movement, the sheer elegance of stance.
Oh, forgive me, sir.
Allow me to welcome you to SNOB.
- And you too, madam.
- SNOB? What is SNOB? A training centre, madam.
It is, if you will forgive the pun, a breeding ground for young gentlemen.
And where do they breed? As you can see, we change mere man into gentleman.
We endeavour to endow them with some of those qualities which some of us were lucky enough to be born with.
- Eh, Mr Steed? - Do you have much success? I try and if I only partially succeed, I feel I've made a small contribution.
"Half an oaf is better than low bred," eh? Oh, yes, indeed, sir.
Very witty.
But now, sir, what brings you here? You have no need of my services.
- I'm trying to trace a friend.
- Is he a pupil here? - In somewhere as bourgeois as this? - It is eminently possible.
In that case, his name will be on the records.
In the office, sir.
This way.
Madam.
[Steed] After you, comrade.
Subtlety.
Er, and now, sir, the name of your friend? Groski.
- I certainly don't have to look that up.
- [Olga] You know him? Oh, definitely not.
There's no one of that name on our list.
- But you haven't checked.
- I don't have to.
I'm familiar with all my pupils, Mr Steed.
Groski I should certainly remember a name like that.
- Certainly.
- I'm afraid I can't help you.
Oh, dear.
What a pity.
Oops.
I am most extremely sorry.
That's very clumsy of me.
Quite a collection.
I believe in starting my young gentlemen off right.
And as you know, Mr Steed, a young gentleman is naked without his umbrella.
A fine selection.
I'm very sorry to have taken up so much of your time.
Oh, it's my pleasure, sir.
Do pop in again sometime.
Doubtless, comrade and I will sometime.
Goodbye.
[Nutski] 'You're quite sure you know what to do, Olga, my dear?' [Olga] 'Go along with Steed until he is dispensable.
' [Nutski] 'And then dispense with him.
' [Ivan] 'And what about me and Mrs Peel?' [Nutski] 'See she doesn't learn too much.
'Keep her occupied but give her the run-around.
' [Footsteps] But Mrs Peel! Just giving you the run-around, comrade.
You promised.
You didn't even begin to keep your side of the bargain.
There's a saying in my country: if you want to feel safe, keep your combinations to yourself.
First, there is Ivan's body, then no body.
The subtle approach, huh? If we had used my method, forged on, leaving no stone unturned, overlooking not a single clue, overlooking nothing Oh.
- Overlook something? - The crate.
The one we followed, the one with Ivan's body.
- It was addressed to SNOB, no? - Yes.
The one I looked into had a different address on it.
What address? H Merryweather, Chiropodist.
Now, what would a chiropodist want with a case full of umbrellas? Oh Large tweezers, please.
Thank you.
[Radio static] Right, well, that's the lot, I think.
- Well, shouldn't you test them all? - Oh, there's no need for that.
I can guarantee they all transmit and receive for up to 100 miles.
And anyway, I'm tired.
Halt.
Down.
For goodness sake, I've just finished one batch.
Look, enough's enough.
I've had it.
My dear chap, this is a different problem.
Nothing to do with instrument installation.
More a matter of disposal.
See what I mean? - No.
- Our splendid boss says yes.
Yes, we've been carting poor Ivan around from place to place all day.
- Now he's yours.
- Back to square one.
The scene of the crime, as it were.
- The place we popped him off.
- I don't want to get involved.
I agreed to help you with the equipment.
Nothing like this.
- I'm afraid that we beg to differ.
- Percy's fearfully right, you know.
[Knock at door] Hilda.
It's that man Steed and the girl.
They were in the training centre.
Oh, the back way.
If we can get out - Are you utterly sure of your facts? - Quite sure.
[In unison] You know what to do, old boy.
- Do I? - Of course he knows.
All you have to do is ask a few subtle questions and wait for a reaction.
Subtle questions? Next.
Oh, it's the young lady.
We were in the middle of a foxtrot.
- She turned to make a four-point - This way, please.
Over here, please.
To put it subtly, I was told to come here by a friend.
Will you take your shoes off, please? This friend's name was Groski.
Comrade Groski.
How very interesting.
- No.
No, no, I couldn't do it.
- Come on.
It's your job.
Really, I couldn't do that.
There's no room in this organisation for weaklings.
Hello, comrade.
- Where's Nutski? - I've handed in my notice.
The other side was cheating.
Nutski had no intention of seriously honouring the truce.
I never thought he would.
- Apart from that, Ivan's disappeared.
- Ivan's dead.
And Olga from the Volga? In there, having her pedicure.
Somebody's put a spoke in.
And where is Olga? That's a good question.
It'll do you no good to struggle, Miss Volowski.
We've secured you with old-school ties.
And the bonds of the old-school tie are well-nigh impossible to break.
- Did you call the boss? - Yes, we're to move her.
- Again? - It was dangerous enough coming here.
- Those were his orders.
- We'd better get some help.
Don't you think you'd better crate her up first? This place is all washed up, anyway.
We shan't be using it any more.
I sent her in alone.
If anything's happened Steed, she was a very experienced agent.
She was prepared to kill you if necessary.
That's a matter for conjecture.
The point is, here we are, quite safe.
- Poor Olga and Ivan - It looks as though we backed down.
- Did you get anything out of Ivan? - He talked a lot about Groski.
Groski was here on a very special assignment.
Yes, he's probably after the same man we are, the third party.
- Did he tell you anything else? - Some address in Chelsea.
- Chelsea? That's where SNOB is.
- SNOB? The finishing school for young gentlemen.
Of course! They did it to Ivan, they'll do it to Olga.
- Do what to Olga? - Pop her into an umbrella crate.
- Furled or unfurled? - Go to Nutski.
Tell him to be at SNOB HQ within the hour.
- Are you sure you can trust him? - No, but I mean to use him.
- Here's the address.
- See you there.
[Whispers] Keep a stiff upper lip, comrade.
This way, gentlemen.
Treat her gently.
We are dealing with a member of the weaker sex.
All together now, lift.
Forward.
One two draw! Very good, gentlemen.
Return.
And at ease.
We will now master the short, sharp stab in the back.
Now, grasping the umbrella a little lower down and keep Oh, take that through to my office, gentlemen.
As I was saying, grasping the umbrella a little lower down and keeping a close eye on our adversary, we creep nearer.
Creep, creep, creep.
How do you feel? Like someone who has been tied up and dumped in a box.
Oops.
Have you out in a jiff.
Oh, they've taken my fur coat.
- Ah.
- What is it? My old-school tie.
Well, well.
- How did you get in here? - I hate to tell you - The subtle approach? - Not bad for a decadent capitalist, eh? [Ponsonby] The feet lightly poised.
The next part will be most interesting.
En garde.
Advance.
Lunge.
No, no, no, Mr Wilson.
We're not prodding a balloon, we're killing the enemy.
Now, once again.
En garde, advance, lunge! En garde, lunge, kill! How do you subtle your way past that? What is holding us up? I cannot make a move without express orders from headquarters.
My hands are tied.
But Steed is at SNOB, he needs help.
I know.
My heart bleeds for him, bleeds for him.
- But I cannot move without orders.
- Well, I can.
I'll see you there.
And hurry! [Ponsonby] Come along, now.
Speed it up.
We haven't got all day.
Hurry up, into line.
Nutski's not going to turn up, is he? He has been delayed by your ally.
We've got to get out of here.
- We will fight to the death.
- I sincerely hope not.
you're always the last.
Right, now, gentlemen.
We are ready to proceed to more serious things.
Deadly combat, eh? With, er unguarded blades.
As soon as they start, I'll head for the light switches.
That's more like it.
We will have action.
Vigorous action.
You make straight for the door.
Keep going.
Don't stop for me.
Don't stop for me! That's an order.
Think of the glorious motherland or something.
[Shouts] And now, gentlemen, it is your turn.
To put us in the right frame of mind, let us return to our enemy identification boards.
Right, gentlemen.
Gather round me and pay attention.
Won't be long now.
Now, we must always remember the motto of our organisation.
Seek, hate, kill.
Seek, hate, kill.
Seek, hate, kill Oh, but I say.
That chap's here.
He went into the office.
- Ready? - Yes.
- When you hear the clash of blades - You will be in danger? - Some.
- In that case, I should like you to know that, despite your peculiar methods, I have come to admire you a little.
Thank you very much, comrade.
Is something wrong? Oh! Good evening.
I'm so sorry.
I'm forgetting my manners.
Oh, splendid, sir, splendid.
You note, gentlemen, the correct way of doing everything, even in defeat.
- Allow me, madam comrade.
- Beautifully done.
[Ponsonby] All right, gentlemen.
I can handle this.
We mustn't allow this little intrusion to interfere with our studies.
[Percy] Come along, gentlemen.
Take up your places.
Form two ranks this time Now, please, do make yourselves comfortable.
[Steed] That's extraordinarily good of you.
[Percy] Now, form two ranks this time.
Choose your enemy.
Stand up straight, Wilson.
Now, grasp your blades firmly and quite still.
Come along, quickly.
Jump to it! We haven't got all day.
Quite so.
Straighten your back, Wilson! Now, are we ready? Open order March! And salute.
One, two, three, and masks.
Foil, en garde.
Where's Hilda? Hilda? Well, why don't they kill us? What are they waiting for? For the boss to arrive.
Oh, you really are very astute, Mr Steed.
Oh, no.
Just an educated guess.
Surely there is something subtle you can do? I'm giving it a certain amount of subtle thought.
Run, comrade! Get rid of the people.
We don't want witnesses.
[Ponsonby] Right, sir.
Oh, comrade.
En garde, right side.
- Extend your arms.
Lunge.
- Percival? Ah.
Out and up.
Sir? You may dismiss the class for today.
Right, class dismissed.
Sorry for the delay, sir.
They'll be gone in about five minutes.
- Excellent, excellent.
- Traitor! Bourgeois betrayer! Relax, my dear.
Well, Steed, what do you think of my little set-up? A highly trained force, and they get better every day.
Trained, as you so aptly put it, to steal secrets, sell to the highest bidder.
- Ingenious.
- Ah, but this is only the beginning.
Soon I will have a trained force in every capital city of the world.
And then a third world power will emerge.
We will grow in strength.
We will grind our enemies under our heel until there is one world power, the state of Nutskiville.
- My initiative surprises you? - Not at all.
I guessed it.
Groski was sent over here to investigate you, eh? You always were a cunning old fox.
But why did you send for me? I needed confirmation, you provided it.
But Mrs Peel said Where is she, anyhow? Sir? Mrs Peel, the other woman.
There was no other woman, sir.
But she's here somewhere.
Go find her.
Divide and conquer! Attack! Touché.
Steed, duck! - Well thrown, comrade.
- Thank you.
- You must have some Slavic blood.
- No, British through and through.
Don't hold that against her.
This calls for a celebration drink.
Hard liquor softens the brain tissues.
Vodka from the glorious motherland.
Lead on, comrade.
Good morning, Mrs Peel.
Good morning, Steed.
Present from Olga.
Like it? - Very cosy.
- And practical too.
She says it keeps the brain at an even temperature, and an even brain is a cool brain.
And what did you give her? A reassessment of the decadent English male.
Coffee? I think lemon tea would be more appropriate.
I've been embraced to the bosom of the glorious motherland, figuratively speaking.
Do you mean 36-24-36, or a more sort of cultural exchange? Olga is a very charming girl, once you get to know her.
Poised, witty, feminine, thoroughly dependable, terribly efficient.
Not only is she an accomplished bricklayer, but she can recite every party manifesto since 1922.
- And she did? - Of course, twice.
I can see she filled a big gap in your education.
25% of the electrical engineers in her country are women.
75% of the garbage disposal workers are women.
5% of the male athletes are drawn from the armed services.
I should have guessed.
The evening was heavily instructive.
But lacking A certain bourgeouis, capitalistic, decadent touch.