The Edwardians (1972) s01e04 Episode Script

Conan Doyle

- Good afternoon, Polly.
- Good afternoon, Ma'am.
(Clock ticks) (Door opens) Ma'am, forgive me.
I didn't hear you arrive.
Did Holden meet you at the station all right? Yes.
I wasjust going through some of Touie's things.
How have the children taken it? They seem composed.
Oh, they've taken it well, I think.
So now it's only you we have to concern ourselves about.
You gave her every attention, every care she could want for the last 13 years.
And now you're asking was it enough? Was there anything else you could have done? The answer is no.
Oh, I keep thinking back to those earlier days in Southsea - how much happier she was as a young doctor's wife, which is what she chose, than the wife of a celebrity, which is what I turned her into.
We choose the man, Arthur, not his circumstances.
She loved your success and shared in it, like the rest of us.
When is the funeral? The day after tomorrow.
Then I shall return to Yorkshire the day after that.
Unless, of course, you'd like me to stay? No, Ma'am, you go home.
Does Jean know? I wrote to her briefly, last night.
- When will you see her? - Not yet arranged.
- Well, you won't leave it too long, will you? - No, Ma'am.
Thank you.
I'll see you to your room.
It's all right, Arthur.
I do know my way.
(Door closes) Arthur So sorry to hear about your wife.
- TB, wasn't it? - Mm.
Yes.
My sister had it.
We sent her to that German fellow - Dr Koch - for his cure.
But she was better for a while.
It got her in the end, though.
- So sorry.
- Thank you.
Oh.
I I've just been reading William a story, Sir Arthur, in Strand magazine.
I'm afraid I can't be doing with all that medieval stuff.
When are we going to get some more Holmes? Yes, Holmes is what we want.
Holmes is resting, gentlemen.
He's been resting for quite a while now.
Or has he been trying his hand at politics, like his creator? (Whispers) Impudent fellows.
They should show more restraint, in a club like this.
Don't concern yourself.
If I can withstand 40 minutes' heckling in the volunteer hall at Galashiels, I can stand up for myself here.
(Low conversation) - Will you sell the house? ARTHUR: I don't know, Ma'am.
I haven't decided yet.
You should.
It's not good for you alone here.
You're making yourself ill.
I'm quite fit.
You're not sleeping.
Nerves.
Nothing.
It'll pass.
I'm starting up cricket again.
Cricket? (Chuckles) That's no remedy.
Ma'am, you really must stop worrying about me.
I'm altogether much better than you would think.
Are you? Then why are you avoiding Jean? I'm not avoiding her.
What would you call it, then? I've written.
Letters! Thank you, dear.
- Have you seen her recently? - Of course.
- How is she? - She's perfectly well.
A bit neglected.
Yes, I've not been fair with her.
She's every right to be impatient with me.
She's waited for you ten years already.
I daresay she'll wait a little longer, but that's not the point.
Touie wouldn't wish it.
And I'm not suggesting you rush into wedlock again.
Simply a meeting.
That's not asking very much, is it? Where's that girl? She's forgotten the sugar.
I thought you weren't coming till this evening.
I wanted to see you in your element.
I haven't seen him before.
Guess who gave him to me? Oh, not the Ma'am? She claims he's my great-grandfather, but I can hardly believe it.
He's so ugly.
Well, if she says so, I fear you're stuck with him.
She's an expert on such matters.
Oh, you're keeping up with Sir Nigel.
Of course.
Thank you.
What do you think? You know what I think.
It's magnificent.
Oh, humouring me.
Not at all.
He's most engaging.
The very essence of chivalry.
And I clearly see the "Ma'am" in Dame Ermintrude.
Are you writing now? No.
I'm a bit listless at the moment.
- But you're well? - My health, oh, yes.
Fit as a fiddle.
- I hope you look after yourself at Undershaw.
- I'm well cared for.
I'll just go and change.
No, don't go.
I've been dreading this moment, but you've made it easy.
Your mother helped.
- I'm glad you're such good friends.
- So am I.
I was severely rebuked for neglecting you.
Rightly so.
You must forgive me.
These last few weeks I know, you don't have to explain.
I understand.
No, I must explain, if only to understand myself.
For the past ten years, I've put an intolerable burden on you, - asking you to accept a situation - You asked nothing of me.
Whatever I accepted, I accepted willingly.
You mustn't reproach yourself with that.
Yes.
We had to behave as we did.
It was the condition of our love, its innocence.
Not only for Touie's sake, because that was very important, but for ourselves.
And that's what's got us through, isn't it? Oh, forgive me.
I'm putting this badly.
It's hard to adjust to a new situation.
I know.
So much to say.
- Good morning, Alfred.
- Good morning.
- Did your mother enjoy her visit? - Oh, yes, very much.
I took her up to London yesterday in the new Wolseley.
Without mishap? Well, a slight brush with a turnip cart.
Nothing serious.
The Ma'am was quite unperturbed.
Now what's to be done? Well, nothing very much.
I can deal with most of it.
Colonel Maud has written privately, taking exception to your views on army reform, suggests in future you stick to writing penny novelettes and leave military matters to the experts.
And a journalist with the magazine The Motorcycle.
He notes you recently purchased a Rock motorcycle.
Asks, "Can we expect to read of Mr Holmes hunting down his quarry, accompanied by the faithful Watson, both mounted on this newest and finest Alfred.
Where did this come from? Oh, that? Yes.
Sent by the fellow who wrote the article.
A Mr George Edalji.
Claims he was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit.
- I thought it might be of interest.
- It is, by Jove.
It's very intriguing.
CONAN DO YLE: It seems there's been an appalling miscarriage ofjustice.
The fellow's a young law student, son of a Parsee vicar in Staffordshire.
A Parsee, vicar of an Anglican church? Yes.
Odd, isn't it? Anyway, he's been there for over 30 years.
Married to an English wife.
- Oh.
So the boy's a half-caste? - Yes.
What exactly is he supposed to have done? Attacked horses and cattle, maimed them and left them for dead.
Well, this was over three years ago.
He was arrested and sentenced to seven years' penal servitude.
And you think he's innocent? Well, somebody does.
He's just been released.
- What reason was given? - None.
Now that's what intrigues me.
The young lad sent for my help.
I got onto the Home Office.
They refused to answer.
And that's why I'm going to Staffordshire, to find out for myself.
When do I see you again, Mr Holmes? Oh, in a day or two.
It won't take long.
But you will keep me informed? Well, of course I will.
You shall be Watson.
Ah.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I do believe.
So sorry to have kept you waiting.
- Do please sit down.
- Thank you.
And how's the great man? I beg your pardon? Mr Sherlock Holmes.
In good health, I trust? Likely to be on the scent again shortly? I suppose I should congratulate you on the ingenuity and cunning of your plots, even if they sometimes show up we professionals in a rather dim light.
Do you smoke? Ah, of course.
You received my letter? Your letter? Setting out the reasons for my visit? Ah, yes.
Now I'm interested in the case of George Edalji.
Yes, the Great Wyrley business.
Yes.
I have your letter here.
Enquiring with what in mind, exactly? For some story? Some new piece of fiction? No.
With the truth in mind.
The truth? - The truth has already been told.
- Has it? The man was convicted of a violent, heinous crime.
He received a fair trial.
Then why has he suddenly been released from prison? Well, for the answer to that, you must refer to the Home Office.
Yes.
They had no answer, so I'm referring to you.
Sir Arthur, I am merely a humble policeman.
My job is to hunt down the criminal and hand him over to the forces of justice.
It goes no further than that.
Yes, I am aware of that, Chief Constable.
My sole aim is to verify certain facts about the case, which I have been studying in some detail.
I am most anxious, in this real life situation, that there should be no misrepresentation of the police.
Well If that's all, then you hardly need me.
Let me take you to my colleague - Inspector Campbell.
He was in charge of the case.
(Train passes in distance) - Here? - That's right.
- Where the boy found it.
- Disembowelled? No, it was ripped up the belly, but the cut wasn't deep enough to kill it outright.
It was still bleeding when the boy came upon it.
- That was at eight o'clock in the morning? - Yes.
The boy went to the colliery for help and, within minutes, 20 police constables and plainclothes men were here on the spot.
They'd been on patrol all night.
It was the eighth case of mutilation we'd had in six months.
Mm.
- And it was a stormy night? Wet? - Right.
Clay and sand which would be carried on George Edalji's shoes back to the vicarage, which is one of those houses over there? No.
The vicarage is on t'other side of t'railway, over there.
Over there, about half a mile.
Great Wyrley.
(Low chatter) CONAN DO YLE: And the police were receiving letters at this time? MAN: Right.
CONAN DO YLE: Yes.
(Coughs) - I have photographic copies of some of them.
Oh? George Edalji is mentioned several times.
And they're all signed with different names, either forged or false, except for one name which crops up very frequently.
Do you remember Will Greatorex, the name of a pupil at Walsall Grammar School six miles away? That's right.
Greatorex.
Yes, we did check up on him, but he had nothing to do with it.
No.
But what about the content of the letters? This one speaks, in glowing terms, of the sea.
And another says, "I am the member of a cattle-slitting gang.
Our leader is one George Edalji.
" It goes on to mention another member as having "eagle eyes, and his ears are as sharp as a razor, and he is as fleet afoot as a fox, and as noiseless, and he crawls on all fours up to the poor beasts.
" Oh, and what about this one? "There will be merry times at Wyrley in November, when they start on little girls, when they will do 20 wenches like the horses before March.
" Yes, we had to move quickly after that one.
So you arrested George Edalji for killing the animals.
- Right.
And for writing the letters? We couldn't get him for writing the letters, but he wrote 'em.
Oh, come now.
A well-educated young law student who had the highest possible references from his headmaster and his employer, who'd even written a book on railway law by the time he was 27.
Do you really think he wrote these letters? He wrote 'em and I'll give you one good reason why.
Because he'd done it before, hadn't he? Seven years before.
(Door closes) We are most grateful, Sir Arthur, that you have come here to help us.
Charlotte, my wife.
- How do you do, Mrs Edalji? - How do you do, Sir Arthur? Will you stay for some tea? Oh, thank you.
Most kind.
- Charlotte, dear.
- Oh.
- Excuse me.
- Thank you.
- Unfortunately, George cannot be here today.
- Oh? He had some business to attend to in Birmingham.
He sends his apologies and asks if, perhaps, he can meet you in London sometime, to save you another journey? Yes, well, perhaps we can arrange that.
In the meantime, if there is anything that I can tell you Yes.
Thank you.
You've been vicar of this parish for some while, I believe.
30 years.
Yes.
Forgive me for saying so, but isn't it rather unusual to find? an Indian vicar in Staffordshire? I would imagine there might be some hostility from some of the rowdier elements.
It is true, yes but we also have many friends.
I was referring to some of the earlier letters.
Not the ones the police received, but some of the ones that you were bombarded with ten years before.
Forgive me, Mrs Edalji, for reviving painful memories.
No, no, everything is linked.
We must re-examine everything.
These letters were written between 1892 and 1895, when George was at Rugeley School.
That is correct.
Some went to outsiders, one to a certain Mr Aldis, then headmaster of Walsall Grammar School.
But the main bulk of them were directed at you and your family.
Yes, it was a hard time for us.
We would find them under the door, on the window ledge, full of foul abuse and containing much blasphemy.
And the practical jokes.
Oh, yes.
Postcards written in my name and sent to my fellow clergy, abusing them most foully.
And rubbish strewn all over our lawn.
And a key was left.
Do you remember that? A large key that was stolen from the school was left on your doorstep.
Oh, yes, the key.
But neither you nor George had anything to do with Walsall Grammar School.
No, nothing whatever.
Mm.
So you sent for the police.
Yes.
They investigated the matter and came to the conclusion it was George who was the culprit It was absurd.
He would be sitting with us in the room when letters were pushed through the door.
It's easily explained.
He had an accomplice - some neighbourhood rough.
No, there was no doubt in my mind that the young darky was responsible.
What he needed was a strong dose of penal servitude.
Yes.
Letters, hoaxes and practical jokes abound until late December 1895.
And then suddenly there is silence.
Which entirely substantiates our findings.
How? The darky knew we were onto him.
Oh, yes, I see.
Then there's no more trouble for seven years.
And then somebody starts cutting up horses and cattle.
- And writing letters again.
- Only to us, this time.
Making pointed references to George Edalji.
The culprit incriminating himself.
Yes.
That was to put us off the scent.
Cunning.
Don't forget, sir, that you yourself have testified to his prowess as a rising young solicitor.
A career which he now wishes to wreck? MRS EDALJl: They came early, the morning they found the pony in the field.
George had already left for his office in Birmingham.
REV EDALJl: They wanted to see George's clothing.
MRS EDALJl: And any weapon that might have been used.
REV EDALJl: All they could find were my old razors.
There was no blood on them.
INSPECTOR: We found a pair of the darky's boots.
They were mud-stained.
Also a pair of blue serge trousers, stained with black mud around the lower edges.
A coat also, which was damp and contained two stains on a sleeve which might prove to be saliva and blood from the dying pony.
Also horse hairs adhering to the coat MRS EDALJl: The coat was not damp.
There were no horse hairs.
INSPECTOR: Which was later confirmed by a disinterested witness, Dr Butter, our police surgeon, who found 29 horse hairs adhering to the coat.
Our ace of trumps.
INSPECTOR: We arrested George Edalji in his office later that evening.
On the way to the police station, the prisoner said, "I am not surprised at this.
I have been expecting it for some time.
" - Mr Edalji.
- Sir Arthur.
I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.
Shall we have some tea while we talk? Waiter? Can we have some tea, please? Sir Arthur, I'm just so grateful you should give so much of your time.
My dear fellow.
Now why don't you sit here? Now, then Why do you think you've suddenly been released from prison? I've no idea.
Although certain people have been agitating on my behalf.
Mr RD Yelverton, former Chief Justice of the Bahamas, he's been a very good friend and never ceased to urge the weakness of the case against me.
Yes.
I understand, when you were sentenced, a petition was signed by 10,000 people, including several hundred lawyers.
It was presented to the Home Office, but without effect.
- Without effect, that's right.
- Mm.
And now Mr Yelverton and the magazine Truth are taking up issue with them again.
Yes.
So now you find yourself a discharged prisoner but, without official pardon, and still under police supervision.
Yes, I have to report to them once a week.
I asked them, "Am I innocent or guilty?" They won't tell me.
And I don't know what to do.
I'm struck off the roll of solicitors, of course, but I couldn't practice anyway, under police supervision.
That's why we're meeting here today.
- Oh, I'm sorry.
- No, please, you pour.
Thank you.
Forgive me if I sound like a policeman.
Will you tell me, in your own words, exactly what you did on that August night, the night the pony was mutilated? Well, I came home from Birmingham at about 6.
30.
I attended to some business.
Then I went to the boot maker's at Bridgetown - the next village.
- You kept to the main road all the way.
- Yes.
- What were you wearing? - A blue serge suit.
That was confirmed by John Hand the boot maker.
Go on.
Well, I arrived there at about half-past eight.
And, after my business with Mr Hand, I walked about a little.
I knew my supper wouldn't be ready till half-past nine.
So several people saw you? Oh, yes.
They came forward at the first hearing.
Which made the police change their original view, that the crime was committed between 8.
00 and 9.
30.
Yes and there was also the vet's evidence that the wound on the pony couldn't have been made before 2.
30am.
Ah, yes.
And then, after the walk? Well, I came home, had my supper and went to bed.
You sleep in the same room as your father, don't you? Yes.
And, when you're both ready for sleep, it is his custom to lock the door.
Now, he says the night was wet and stormy.
He says he slept badly and that it would have been impossible for you to leave the room without his noticing.
Sir Arthur, I swear to you, I didn't leave the bedroom till twenty to seven the next morning.
Now, about these letters, the ones accusing you of the crime, and which the police claim you wrote A handwriting expert, Mr Guerin, he said I wrote the letters, and the jury believed him.
Ah, yes.
The same Mr Thomas Guerin whose expert testimony sent another innocent man, Adolf Beck, to prison in 1896.
Oh, one other thing.
A personal question.
Do you suffer from astigmatic myopia? I once studied to be an eye surgeon.
I noticed when I arrived, you were reading the paper and then later pouring the tea.
The astigmatism is marked and I think there's a high degree of myopia.
Haven't you ever worn glasses? Sir Arthur, I've been to two eye specialists.
They both told me that there were no glasses made to cure my trouble.
- Could he be shamming? - I sent him to Kenneth Scott, the specialist.
He reports eight diopters of myopia, which is even more than I'd imagined.
- So he's practically blind? - Except in a good light.
And, between the house here and the mutilation field here lies the full expanse of the London-North Western railway - an expanse of railway lines, wire fences and hedges which, even in daylight I can only, with difficulty, pass through.
Why wasn't this brought up at the trial? He wanted to call an optician, but his lawyers advised him that there was no point, as the evidence against him was already so ridiculous.
That poor young man and his wretched family.
First those cruel letters and now the police, who should be protecting him.
Sustained, I'm afraid, by Mr Herbert Gladstone, and the full weight of the Home Office.
But it's totally unreasonable.
Well, I agree with you, but we've done all we can.
Now it has to be decided by the great British public.
CONAN DO YLE: Let us first examine the police evidence as given at the trial.
Inspect Campbell claims to have found mud on the boots and the serge trousers.
But this was black mud from the roadway, collected on Mr Edalji's walk to the boot maker the previous evening, and not the yellowish mixture of sand and clay from the fields round about.
Surely the police could have made this elementary distinction? The Inspector further asserted he saw horse hairs on the serge coat - a fact hotly denied by the Reverend and Mrs Edalji.
In any event, no specimens of hair were taken and sealed in an envelope.
Instead, the coat was taken to the police station in a sack, which also contained a strip of the pony's hide.
Not surprisingly, some hours later, Dr Butter the police surgeon, counted out 29 horse hairs and several spots of blood.
The Chief Constable's ace of trumps.
As for the darkish stains found on the sleeve of the coat, thought to be the pony's saliva and blood, these were proved by Dr Butter to be merely food stains.
On the night of the crime, according to the evidence of Sergeant Robertson, six constables had been assigned to watch the area of the vicarage.
It says much for the vigilance of these gentlemen that George Edalji, whom it can be medically proved is almost totally blind at night, was able to elude them, walk half a mile through wind and rain, cross a large network of railway lines, slit the belly of a pony with such precision that the intestines were not pierced, and then return home without getting his clothes soaked and without waking his light-sleeping father.
It need hardly be added that after Mr Edalji was committed to Lewes Prison, there was a further anonymous letter and another animal was found mutilated.
It's easy, perhaps, to excuse the feelings of uneducated countrymen towards the half-caste Mr Edalji, some of whom believe he went out at night to make nocturnal sacrifices to strange gods.
Not so easy to excuse the English gentleman, the Chief Constable, who had revealed his dislike of Mr Edalji in 1892, and whose bare-faced prejudice had infected his entire police force.
Sir Arthur, congratulations! Of course, I had my suspicions at the time of the trial.
It's just like a Holmes story! Another Dreyfus case, only a Parsee instead of a Jew.
Absolute scandal! Call England "the home of liberty"? Thank you, gentlemen, for your support.
Thank you.
Ah.
- Mr Yelverton.
- Sir Arthur.
How do you do? You've done a great public service.
Ah, that's very kind of you, but you took up the cudgels for George long before I did.
That's why I thought we should meet.
Will you have a drink? Oh, how kind.
May I have a whisky? Waiter? Two whiskies, please.
Do sit down.
I hear that the Home Office have ordered a further investigation, whatever that may mean.
But I understand there's no chance of a retrial.
Is that right? I'm afraid it is.
The legal profession has been clambering for a court of criminal appeal since the notorious case of Adolf Beck, but without success.
However, my sources tell me this Home Office investigation will consist of a committee of three men, meeting in secret session, examining all the data.
They'll prevaricate, of course.
They'll take a lifetime deciding.
Well, the delay is in our favour.
While they talk, I mean to do some investigating of my own and find the real villain.
Already I think I know who he is.
It'll be a great stroke if I can lay him by the heels.
Sir Arthur, I am most deeply offended! I offer you my cooperation and my time, and what do I get in return? An ill-considered and thoroughly unwarranted attack on my personal reputation in the pages of the popular press! I must warn you that I've consulted my solicitor on the matter of libel.
(Sighs) That is your privilege, Captain.
I merely wish to find the real perpetrator of these crimes, who I have every reason to believe is still at large and living in this community! Rubbish! Let's go back to the beginning, shall we? There is one fact which is so obvious that I'm surprised that it ever escaped notice.
What's that? The long gap between the two sets of letters.
As you remember, letters and practical jokes abound up until late December, 1895, and then suddenly, there is silence.
Now, does this suggest to you that the culprit has changed his character and his habits overnight, and then suddenly reverted to them with equal malice seven years later? Well, it's possible.
Possible, but unlikely.
What is more likely, I should have thought, is that he's been away during that time.
Away? Where? Well, to answer that question, we have to look at one of the letters - the first of the 1903 batch.
He makes no fewer than three references to the sea.
He speaks of the apprentice's life at sea.
His mind is full of it.
That doesn't prove that he's been away at sea.
No, but we can take it as a working hypothesis.
Now then, where should we best look for traces of this hypothetical person? Where else but in the records of Walsall Grammar School? Well, why there? Because Walsall Grammar School is the connecting link between the two sets of letters.
In the first set, a scurrilous letter is sent to Mr Aldis, the then headmaster of the school, now retired.
And a large key is stolen from the school and left on the Edaljis' doorstep.
And in the second set of letters, of 1903, many of them are signed with the name Greatorex, a pupil at that school, who you dismissed from your investigations at the time.
- You're saying that the culprit was Greatorex? - No, you're not following me, Captain.
What I am saying is that the culprit is a fellow pupil of Greatorex, and probably had a grudge against him, and also knew and disliked the Edaljis.
So you're looking for a boy that had been at Walsall Grammar School in the early '90s, had a grudge against Greatorex and the headmaster, was innately vicious, and went to sea for seven years? (Scoffs) That's right.
- Did you find him? - Oh, yes.
Without difficulty.
Do you want to know his name? - You're handing him over to me? - Well, yes! I'm sure you wish to follow the matter up.
There's no case.
Well, not yet perhaps, but surely it's worth further investigation? I'm handing my findings over to you, Captain, as a matter of courtesy.
I have no wish to do your work for you.
That's just what you seem to be doing, sir! That's what you seem to be doing! The Home Office Committee, do they know of your continuing interest? Oh, yes.
They're being kept fully informed.
Then I suggest we leave it to them to decide if further investigations are necessary, as a matter of courtesy to them.
Well if that's your decision.
Mm It's a fair one, I think.
Good day to you, Captain.
Good day.
(Door closes) That's where he lives - one of them houses down there.
- Is he living there at the moment? - Far as I know he is.
Yes, with his mum and dad.
- And his elder brother? - John? No, I haven't seen him round.
Do you know the Edalji family? Yes, he's the vicar at Great Wyrley.
Over there, on t'other side of t'railway.
I don't know him personally.
Has Royden Sharp arrived yet, Will? Have you seen him? Not yet.
It's a bit early for him yet.
Thank you.
What do you remember of him at school? Best thing I remember, they threw him out.
(Chuckles) For doing what? Well, they couldn't manage him.
He were a liar, a bully.
- He wrote letters telling lies about people.
- Ah, yes, to the Edaljis.
We didn't know that then.
But he wrote one to my dad, I remember, telling lies about me.
- You haven't still got it? - No.
It were years ago.
It's best forgotten.
Yes, I want some of his handwriting, and some of his older brother, John.
What for? To compare with the writing in some of the letters the Edaljis received, some of which bore your signature: Will Greatorex.
I know.
The police come to see me about that.
You have no doubt that Royden Sharp wrote those letters? No doubt at all.
And the maiming of the cattle? Well, it follows, don't it? He did that as well.
You must have been rather surprised when George Edalji was arrested by the police.
Aye, I was.
Well, I couldn't be absolutely certain.
I mean, Edalji was a bit strange.
In what way? Well strange looking.
Funny.
I remember something else about Royden at school.
He had this knife, and he used to cut up the cushions in the railway carriages, pull the stuffing out.
He cut the straps on the windows.
I remember his dad had to pay for it.
What did he do when he left school? Got apprenticed to a butcher.
Just about his line.
So he was able to learn to use his knife on animals.
I can just about give you proof it was him, cos about that time all the animals were being done in, my mum That's him now.
That's Royden Sharp.
You were saying about your mother, Will.
Yes.
My mum was round his house, her and his ma being friends like, and they were left alone in t'room together.
And he shows her this knife thing.
A special type it were for horses.
Lance, or something.
Lancet? Yeah, that's it.
Well, he holds it up, menacing like, and says this is what the horse had been killed with.
My mum tells him to put it away and does he want her to think it's him doing it? A horse lancet.
Yeah.
He were on a cattle ship before he come home.
He must have stolen it from there.
Do you think he's still got it? (Animal screeches in distance) - I don't think we should be doing this, sir.
- Calm yourself, Will.
Do it in the name of justice and of revenge on an old enemy.
Now, take the lantern and search the shed.
I'll stand guard.
- Can you see it? - No, sir, it's full of all sorts.
(Clattering) Sir! I think I've found something.
Wait a minute.
This looks like it.
- Come on! - Argh! But how did you come by it? With the aid of an honest accomplice.
- No, no, no, I meant the - Oh, the face? On the same occasion, in a confrontation with the real villain.
- That reminds me, a letter has arrived which I - Yes, later, Alfred.
First I want to make a diagram of this thing and send it with the rest of the stuff to the Home Office.
I don't want to hand it over, they might ask questions.
Hold it up, will you? Yes, there.
You see the sharpness of it there? The rest of the blade is blunt.
So it only cuts superficially, and the gut of the animal isn't pierced.
And that is the unusual feature of all these outrages, that the gut of the animal has never been penetrated which would have been the case in any ordinary weapon used.
No, I have no doubt, Alfred, that you are at this moment holding in your hand the very weapon with which the outrages were committed.
There.
A reasonable likeness.
- Very fair.
- Good.
Now, I think you should read this letter.
The postmark is Staffordshire.
By Jove! It's from our anonymous correspondent.
I am now the object of his attack.
What magnificent good fortune! He threatens your life.
Just as I thought.
It's the same handwriting as in the earlier letters received by the Edaljis.
He certainly knows of your activities up there.
Yes, but this was written before the skirmish, I think.
There's no mention of it.
And all the time claiming that George Edalji wrote the letters.
Listen to this.
"The proof of what I tell you is in the writing he put in the papers when they loosed him out of prison where he ought to have been kept along with his dad and all black and yellow-faced Jews.
" Now, does a man write things like that about himself or his own family? (Scoffs) And it goes on, "I know from a detective in Scotland Yard that if you write to Gladstone and say you find Edalji guilty after all, they will make you a lord next year.
" (Chuckles) "Is it not better to be a lord than to run the risk of losing kidneys and liver? Think of all the ghoulish murders that are committed.
Why then should you escape?" The man who wrote that belongs in a lunatic asylum.
Yes.
Now, we must make a copy of this and send it with the rest to the Home Office.
Surely they must listen to us now? No, I've hardly seen him these past few weeks.
He sends me flowers with little notes informing me of his progress.
At last, things are going well.
Looks as though Mr Edalji will be pardoned.
We'll know more when Arthur arrives.
And perhaps with that out of the way, he'll pay some attention to his own future.
- I don't want to rush him.
- Oh, you've hardly done that, my dear.
But I think between us, we might give him a little nudge, don't you? - May I ask you something? - Of course, my dear.
What is it? Something I've never dared ask him.
How much did Touie know about me? She knew of your presence in his life, naturally.
But did she ever talk about me to you? Only in general terms, as a friend of the family.
She never felt threatened by you.
She knew Arthur too well.
She knew the code of behaviour by which he'd been raised.
- The code of the Foleys of Lismore? - And the Doyles.
Don't forget they were descended from the ducal house of Brittany.
When I first met Arthur, he spoke of you with great affection, but he said, "She's a fearsome stickler for genealogy.
" (Chuckles) Did he indeed? Sir Arthur, Miss Jean.
Ah! My two most treasured possessions side by side and kept waiting.
Forgive me.
I shall make it up to you by taking you both out to dinner.
- I have much to tell you.
- About the case? Well, about that, and um other things.
I've been negotiating for a house for us.
- A house? Where? - Crowborough.
- But that's near my family.
- Yes, that's what I thought.
It's up on the beacon, overlooks the Ashdown Forest.
Smugglers' country.
- And riding country.
- Yes.
- Can I have a rose garden? - Mm yes, if I can have a billiard room.
- It's a bargain.
- (Chuckles) And is there to be a wedding as well? Um September, St Margaret's, Westminster.
But quietly.
No fuss, just close family.
Now, I must tell you the latest about the Edalji case.
I've seen Yelverton.
The committee will announce its findings at the end of the week.
They have all the latest facts, and I have no doubt that their verdict will be innocent with a recommendation for pardon and restitution.
Imbeciles! They've cleared him of the cattle maiming but they still maintain he wrote the letters! And denied him compensation! - It seems to me a compromise.
- A compromise, Alfred? It's an outrage! Now we have a lot to do.
I want you to arrange a meeting with the Home Secretary.
But first, I must see Yelverton.
To add to the insult, I've had a letter from the Chief Constable, your friend.
He urges me to advise you to give up your enquiries before you libel the inoffensive youth, Sharp.
That man has libel on the brain.
(Chuckles) Anyway, brighter news.
The Law Society, at Sir George Lewis's prompting, have shown their hand.
They've promised to reinstate George Edalji to the roll of solicitors, so at least he can practice again.
- Well, that is good news.
- Mm.
- Have you seen George recently? - Yes.
I went up there the moment the report was published.
I hope you assured him that the fight is not yet over.
I did indeed.
I shall not rest until I have seen that he is fully compensated.
He's was grateful, as ever, to you for your endeavours.
Oh, my dear chap, yours is the greater credit for persevering for so long on what must have seemed a forlorn issue.
Oh, nonsense.
By the way, the Telegraph are running a subscription for George, to meet some of his expenses.
Did you know? Yes, I've already subscribed.
Ah time for my appointment with the forces of darkness.
Wish me luck.
The conscience of us all goes with you.
Sir Arthur.
My appointment is with the Home Secretary.
Mr Gladstone sends his apologies.
He's been unexpectedly detained in the House.
However, I have all the details I can only hope that his detention in the House is caused by the questions of protest arising from the handling of this wretched business! - Oh, come now.
- No, sir, don't "come now" me, sir! Mr Gladstone has but one sole obligation, and that is to reverse the findings of his committee.
Sir Arthur, Mr Edalji has been pardoned.
- But he has not been compensated! - He brought his troubles on himself.
By writing the letters, according to the committee.
I know that! Do you, as a private individual, really think that he wrote those letters? - I cannot answer you in that capacity.
- (Groans) Do you maintain that Mr George Edalji is raving mad? There's no indication to that effect.
And has there ever been any suggestion that he is mad? No, there has not.
Then do you seriously consider that he wrote me seven violent letters threatening my life? - I can only refer you to the report, page - I should imagine if you were to rake the whole country, it would be impossible to find a man more unlikely, more incapable of committing those actions.
- You refer to the mutilations.
- To the mutilations and to the letter writing.
The verdict is a blot on the course of English justice and should be wiped out! He was never tried for writing the letters - a charge which anyway cannot be sustained.
And now he has no redress for serving three years of admitted false imprisonment for something he was never charged! And on top of everything else, the committee has refused to consider my notes as to the identity of the real villain! Your notes were taken into account, Sir Arthur, but they do not, in the view of the committee, amount to a prima-facie case.
Oh, not as they stand, of course they don't! But fresh evidence will emerge.
The man has taken very few pains to hide his activities, and why his identity was never established in the first place is, to me, extraordinary! - That is not, I regret, the view of the committee.
- Then the committee, sir is insane! Sir Arthur.
Kindly inform Mr Gladstone that I am not finished yet.
Nor will be till justice is done! I've managed to get some samples of Royden Sharp's handwriting.
From your accomplice in Staffordshire? Yes.
And of the elder brother John's.
I've submitted them, with the letters that I've received, and copies of both the earlier batches, to Dr Lindsay Johnson.
- You know who I mean.
- Oh, yes.
He was called by Maître Labori at the Dreyfus trial.
Quite.
I think he's the best authority on handwriting in Europe.
Indeed.
He's promised his findings by the end of the week.
Good.
Oh, by the way, the subscription for George has closed at 300.
Ah.
That should help set him on his feet.
Well, he's spent most of it repaying an elderly aunt who advanced funds for his defence.
Does that sound the action of a raving letter writer? (Chuckles) I'm sorry, Sir Arthur.
But have the committee studied the report of Dr Lindsay Johnson? - They have.
- And their conclusion? There is no prima-facie case against the man Royden Sharp.
It can scarcely be credited.
That is their final decision upon the matter.
But can't they read? Dr Lindsay Johnson has proved, by the most elaborate scientific methods, that the first batch of letters, written between 1892 and 1895, was the work of two brothers, Royden and John Sharp.
That John the elder was reasonably educated, and Royden was semi-illiterate.
And that the second batch of letters, written in 1903, was the work alone of Royden Sharp.
And that, together with all the other evidence already submitted, should prove beyond any doubt that Royden Sharp is not only the mutilator, but also the letter writer.
Sir Arthur, we're all aware at the Home Office that you have given much consideration to this case, not to mention the effort and the expense.
But really, you know, such matters are best left to the professionals, each to his own field.
You asked for my opinion as a private individual.
Well, I see no more evidence against the brothers Sharp than against myself and my brother.
I have to concede.
- No! - Yes, my darling.
The officialdom of England is ranged solid against me.
It's an unavowed trade union.
No-one will ever blame another official, and as for punishing an official who brings untold misery on helpless victims - You mean the Chief Constable? - Yes.
Certain facts have come to our ears.
What? Tell me.
Well, the committee is composed of three members, one of whom, Sir Albert de Rutzen, is the Chief Constable's second cousin.
- I don't believe it! - Well, it's true.
But that's a scandal! Can't it be made known? It would be a matter of libel.
And the forces, my darling, are too great.
"Each to his own field.
" You've been very patient these last few weeks.
- Do you understand now why it was important? - Of course I do.
Well, then you're cleverer than I am.
Some demon urged me on.
- It was Sherlock.
- No.
Well, the game, the hunting down of the quarry that is a small part which I duly acknowledge.
Yelverton talked of the conscience of England, which was kind of him, but pitching it a bit high.
No, there's something in me which seeks the limelight, pushes me into the thick of things.
I've had a stab at politics, but no go there.
So what next? The church.
The what? Well, surely you haven't forgotten? (Gasps) Oh, yes, of course! The church.
Ladies and gentlemen, pray silence for the best man, Captain Innes Doyle.
Thank you.
Er thank you.
Arthur believes as you may know - Speak up, old man, I can hardly hear you! (Laughter) Arthur believes, as you may know, with some fervour that this country should have a volunteer fighting force.
Yet he still insists his brother do compulsory service as his best man.
(Laughter and applause) I think they've sorted them out into continents.
- America, Europe and local.
(Laughter) And the first one the first one "From patients and colleagues, The Langman Hospital, Bloemfontein, 1900.
" (Mutterings of approval) And "From one doctor and cricketer to another, Dr W G Grace.
" And Major Pond of America, he was Arthur's impresario on the American lecture tour, he says, "All good fortune goes with the amateur detective and his bride.
" MAN: Bravo! (Applause) And from officers of the French fleet, "Felicitations, Sir Conan Doyle.
Many happy memories, Hindhead, 1905.
" (Applause) And er from Dr Joseph Bell, Edinburgh University My dear fellow, you're doing splendidly, but our friends don't want to hear all these.
- They'll be here all night.
So will you.
(Laughter) - Besides, there's someone I want Jean to meet.
- Oh, yes, of course.
Very glad you could come.
- It's George Edalji, isn't it? - Good Lord! Welcome, George.
This is my wife.
Jean, Mr George Edalji.
I'm so happy for you, Lady Doyle.
- It's a great honour to be here.
- We're so pleased you could come.
- A small gift.
- Oh, how very kind of you.
Thank you.
Thank you, George.
Now, come and have something to drink.
As a result of the Edalji case, and the earlier conviction of another innocent man, Adolf Beck, a Court of Criminal Appeal was finally created by statute in the same year, 1907.