The Mill (2013) s01e02 Episode Script

Episode 2

1 Esther Price! Get up out of bed! They own you till you're 21.
They don't own me! Have you ever asked yourself how a man with your skills ended up in a debtors' prison? When did you get out? I'm looking for the best mechanic in Lancashire.
Build a prototype.
I believe, in the future, anything is possible.
Why aren't you working? Tommy's hurt! It's his hand! He's got it caught in the machine! Knock 'em up at the apprentice house.
The bell's been sabotaged.
Any complaints? The overlooker was in the privy with his hands up Miriam's skirt.
No-one'll ever listen to you.
You'll go to jail for this, Esther.
Any jobs I can do? I don't think so.
Not with only one hand.
I could stir something! Get out of my way! Pat, bring me that pan, would you? Get a move on! I need two.
Take four.
Two off the books, five bob each, ten bob in your tail.
Nah, I wish I could take 'em all.
I can only use two.
I'll have that one.
Sir, please I don't want to be separated from me sister.
I don't think she'll last too long.
A day's hard graft'll kill the little one.
What she needs most is feeding up and looking after, and that's what we do at Quarry Bank.
Mr Crout.
Did she have reason to attack you? Only that I was onto her.
You know the reason! Be quiet! If this was mindless delinquency, you'll be going to jail.
If it was politically motivated sabotage, you could be deported to Australia.
Stories get told about cotton mills.
More lies are spun in parliament than yarn in Lancashire, but ours is the best there is.
This is the day the light enters your benighted lives.
Light and good clean air.
Breathe it in, girls.
That's it, come on! Big deep breaths of God's fragrant, fresh country air.
That's it.
Cough all the city shit out of your lungs.
Some of the old 'uns tell stories of how it used to be.
Up with the sun.
And your own master.
Now, with the machines and that bell Are you some kind of Luddite? No! No, sir.
It's just a lot of people really hate that bell in the morning.
But only you silenced it.
Because of Charlie! It wasn't right, what he was doing.
You were sat on the privy, with the clapper, when Mr Crout entered? I was going to give it back once I'd finished, but then he came in, started making his threats.
And then he took off his belt and unbuttoned his trousers.
So I give him one.
And that's when you found him on the floor, Mr Greg? Yes.
In some discomfort.
You told the court that when you found Mr Crout, he had his trousers by his ankles.
Is that correct? Were they by his ankles, Mr Greg? Yes.
I believe so.
It was a privy, sir.
I was about to ease nature.
While it was still occupied? I I took my belt off, cos I was going to give her a whipping.
Mr Greg doesn't approve of corporal punishment, that's the only reason why I said Are those the trousers you were wearing? They are.
Remove your belt, please.
If you would be so kind.
Not round your ankles now.
They sit very well.
It seems you must have unbuttoned yourself, too.
Come on, get down.
Follow me.
We're one big family here.
Father, mother, over 60 brothers and sisters.
So, work hard, be good and you'll be orphans no more.
Come on, in here.
Here she is, the sainted Mrs T.
Is that the best you could do? Well, since the cholera.
Squeeze a tear from a glass eye, it would.
Follow me, girls.
I have no doubt that Miss Price is a truculent, disobedient, headstrong, 15-year-old delinquent.
However, I find Mr Crout a most unconvincing witness and I accept her plea of self-defence.
It seems clear to me that morality and discipline at Quarry Bank is not what it once was.
I respectfully suggest you do something about that, Mr Greg.
Esther Price, I find you innocent of assault but guilty of criminal damage.
However, in the circumstances, I am prepared to be merciful.
I sentence you to a fine of £4 to recompense Greg and Sons for repairs and lost time.
Do you have anything to say? I'm not 15, I'm 17.
Before we welcome you into the fold, there'll be a medical examination.
I'm sure you'll both pass with flying colours.
One for me and one for Esther.
For your old job.
We'll find something else for you, I promise.
I could do a lot more than that sickly little runt.
This'll be yours.
Stay here till Dr Holland's ready for you.
You need to be strong and look your best.
Right, who have we got here? Is Robert joining us? He's busy, I'm standing in.
You need to rest, I've told you before.
This is hardly arduous.
She'll have to go back.
Are you sure? It's as plain as the nose on your face! What were you thinking of, man? Well, frankly, sir, Master Robert's words to the parish visitors.
"We don't like to split up families.
" They're sisters.
Whoa! Whoa! There you go.
All right? You'll wish you'd gone to jail when I've finished with you.
Master Robert! My age is wrong on my indenture papers.
I think there was a mistake when I was taken on.
Yes, I couldn't agree more.
I'm 17! An official document says you're 15.
You're 15.
But it's wrong! I'm bound too! Now, take her to work and come and see me in the office.
Come on, you ungrateful bitch.
And don't you lay a hand on her! Not smiling now, is he? Don't stand there.
Get back to work.
Once you put your mark to this paper, you become the property of Greg and Sons.
You'll work for us until your 21st birthday.
In return, we'll give you food and drink, lodgings and wearing apparel.
Do you understand? Why didn't you wait for me? I've been inducting apprentices since before you were born.
Is this one fit? She will be, after a few weeks in our care.
Do you want to countersign? I'm sorry, I don't need you now.
I don't have a bed for you.
This is a manufactory, not a hospital.
They're sisters.
It's not like it was in your day! I have to compete! There's 600 mills in Lancashire alone! Take her back to the workhouse.
No! Sir, please! If we only need one, I'll have to return half the fee, master.
Let me go with her.
Please, sir, don't do this.
Don't blame me, blame the law.
And Esther Price.
Right, come on.
Walk on.
Susannah? Right.
Yeah, I'm Daniel.
This is it, the new prototype I've been working on.
Sit there.
What, you can sit in this job? For now.
I need someone to help me with the weaving.
Why did you choose me? I didn't, it was Mr Greg's choice.
I see.
What do you see? He wants me to design and build a loom that turns a skilled man's job into something even a pregnant woman can do.
He wants me to be able to support myself and my child.
You think? The Gregs believe in looking after their employees.
Or maybe it's just cheaper paying women half a man's wage.
It's fine, yes.
Thank you.
You wanted to see me, Master? In here.
Shut the door.
You're dismissed, Crout.
Collect your outstanding wages from Mr Henshall, I want you out of the village by the end of the week.
I've been here since a boy, sir.
I don't know anything else.
We pride ourselves here on our moral values, and you've brought disgrace to my family.
I don't want you polluting our community.
I've never done anything that wasn't done to me.
You're dismissed.
Get out! Family values? When it's your own brother who got that slut's sister pregnant? What did you say? I saw it.
Some maths lesson that was.
You're hypocrites, the lot of you.
How's the boy? The injured one? Yes, he'll be back at work soon.
Back in the workhouse.
No, they'll find something for him here.
One mitt in a cotton mill? You'll see.
He's as good as gone.
What makes you so bitter? Experience.
Stop it as soon as it breaks or a small mistake gets bigger with every pick of the shuttle.
We need a device that tells the operator when a shuttle's empty, and something to automatically stop the loom when it runs out.
That way, one weaver can work six at a time and it won't matter so much if her attention wanders.
Who is he? William Greg.
He's the youngest son.
He runs Bollington Mill now.
What's he doing here? I don't know.
So when it breaks, take a new thread.
I'm sorry.
You were judged unfit for work, which means you were meant to go back to the workhouse and be a burden on the Liverpool ratepayer.
They'll be vexed, think you undeserving.
But I know it's not your fault, so I'm going to let you escape.
Liverpool's that way, you go that way, across that field.
There's a town over yonder full of good, decent, God-fearing Christian people.
You'll be well looked after there.
Just never mention what happened today.
Lucy won't know where I am.
I'll tell her.
And it's nearer than Liverpool, so she can visit.
How far is it? Oh, it's not far.
I can't.
You can.
Come on, I'll give you a hand.
Thank you.
How about a little kiss goodbye? If I allow you more than that, will you take me to the town? Goodbye, Catherine.
You know my brother.
Master William.
You'll be pleased to hear that Charlie Crout will have left the village by the end of the week.
But, after his dismissal, he made certain vindictive accusations.
And my guess is that, while he's still here, he'll be telling anyone who'll listen what he think that he knows.
He can't prove anything! This is not a good time for slanderous rumours.
If you do anything to confirm No! Master, I wouldn't.
I would never.
You don't have to keep it.
Something can be arranged.
I want to keep it.
I've told him we have an understanding.
Yes, you did! But these are my terms.
There will be a job for you, and accommodation in the village once the child is born.
He can go to our schools, pray in our church, and work at my mill as a free labourer.
And I will fulfil my duty to you as a paternal employer.
That's all I ask, Master.
But if you ever do or say anything to embarrass my family No.
I wouldn't.
I would never.
It's not in my interest.
I expect you to do more than deny Crout's accusations.
I expect you to contradict them.
And, given recent events and his licentious nature Are you asking me? You want me to give the child his name? It doesn't have to be official, Susannah, just convincing enough to end any unfortunate speculation.
You may go.
Who are you? I'm Daniel.
Do you mind if I have a look at you? What for? I want to take some measurements.
Are you an undertaker? Cos I'm feeling better now, you know, strong as an ox.
I'm a mechanic, and maybe I can make you something to use as a hand.
You mean a hook? Like a pirate? Does this mean I'm staying? Do you want to stay? After this? And where's better? Well, that's a decision for our paternal employers, but perhaps we can increase your chances.
Yeah? The biggest steak you can cook, and have a drink yourself.
Right, in you come.
Who's in my bed? Maybe it's Charlie Crout.
Oh, it's the new girl.
It's about time you were sharing your bed again.
Looks like she's a slack-bladder.
And a snorer.
You're in my bed.
I'm Esther Price.
What's your name? Is she a replacement for Tommy? She'd be a replacement for you if there was any justice.
Do I look 15, Mrs T? I mean, do I look 15 to anyone? Esther Price, shut up and pray! And be thankful you're not in jail tonight, which is where you should be.
Heavenly Father, watch over us and beseech thee.
We give thanks for thy bountiful gifts and for the kindness of our benefactors, the Gregs.
We commit ourselves entirely to thy disposal, and whether we enjoy or suffer or live or die, may we be mercifully accepted as thy children and disciples of thy son, Jesus Christ.
You should have come down for tea.
Don't keep me awake all night with your belly chunnering.
In here.
Flammable cotton all over the building.
One spark, and it could all go up.
That's why you have to take your clogs off.
You'll be in here, mule room two.
You carry the can, in here.
See this? This is waste.
You put it in the can.
You got that? I want you to start down here The whole room - fettle the waste.
What's he doing out of bed? Oh, he's off to the workhouse, ma'am.
On whose authority? Master Robert's.
Miss, you promised I could stay.
Miss, can you talk to them, please? Doctor says he's fit to travel.
Mr Timperley's in the office now doing the paperwork.
I'm getting a new hand.
A man's making me one, it'll be good as new.
I have a pressing appointment in Manchester, my carriage is waiting and I'm already late.
Well, what are we to do? It's blood! That's the reason you're here.
So grow your nails.
If you get a nail caught, you'll lose a nail.
A finger caught and that'll be you.
Oh, you must be proud of your back the way you keep showing it to me! You're the reason my sister isn't here! According to who? Master Robert.
Look, according to him I'm only 15, it doesn't make him right.
Shut up about your age! Nobody cares! You sound about five.
Are you from Liverpool? Esther! Thank you so much for coming.
Not at all.
Is Tommy sitting in? Well, I am responsible for his education and it's bound to be educational.
Will you take care of him for me? Mrs Winters.
Mrs Prince, I'm so sorry to have kept you waiting.
That's quite all right.
Watch yourself! You don't want scalping.
'My father was given the name Prince.
' I don't know his father's name.
My first master called me Mary Prince My indecent master called me Mary, Princess of Wales.
To my husband, Mrs Mary James.
But to my mother and sisters, to my friends, I am Molly.
And what my eyes have seen I think it is my duty to relate.
I'm 17.
How can I prove they've made a mistake? You think it's a mistake? I know how old I am.
They get an extra two years off you before they have to pay you a wage.
They did it deliberately? It happens all the time.
Well, what can I do about it? Nothing.
Esther! Where were you baptised? Why? Some churches write certificates when a baby's christened.
Most enter it into a register.
Do you know where you were baptised? Where you were born? Liverpool.
Forget it.
It's easier.
If you can't change it, accept it.
No, I'll find it.
Honestly, you need your strength, you've at least six hours left yet.
They will have us work, work, work, night and day, sick or well and we mustn't speak up or look amiss, however much we are abused.
I had to stand at a bench and wash during the greater part of the night or pick wool and cotton.
And often I have dropped down overcome with sleep and fatigue, till roused from a state of stupor by the whip.
In England, I am free.
And to be free is very sweet.
Oh! Ah! I get paid piecework and I can only go as fast as my slowest cog.
Understand? Now, look lively or you'll be quartered! Fined a quarter of a day.
You make it up in overtime.
See, it's not wise to turn your back on some folk.
Did he break this? No.
What's Liverpool like now? Big.
How many churches does it have? Hey! Mrs Prince, you mentioned your husband but no children.
And children can be such a consolation even in the darkest times.
Were you never blessed in that way? I know of a woman.
She and her husband tried to escape when she was eight months pregnant.
They were caught.
He was whipped and she was made to watch.
Afterwards, they gave him a spade and told him to dig a hole.
He thought it was a grave and hoped it would be his own.
But before it was big enough, they told him to stop.
And they made his wife lie face down with her belly in the hole and they whipped her back.
The hole was to protect the baby, because the contents of her womb were the property of the master.
I never had children and I am glad.
Mrs Prince, how do you feel about sharing a stage with Mrs Greg here, whose family not only own five cotton mills in England but also a slave plantation in the Caribbean? It is true that my husband inherited a plantation in Dominica.
But he never sought such a business, and I can assure you that our negroes are extremely well treated.
Have you ever been? No.
Then how do you know? And how can you support the Abolition Of Slavery Bill when your family campaigns against the Ten Hour Bill and work English children until they drop? What are you working on? It's it's interesting.
It's it's a challenge.
Is this for Tommy? Yeah, well, rumour is he's gone.
This morning.
So you're wasting your time.
Uh! Ah! What's the matter? Is she OK? Go on, you go home.
It's fine.
Go on.
First day? Cotton fibre.
You get used to it.
It's me feet.
They're too small.
They'll grow.
I can't do this.
Take special care at the end of the day.
When you're most tired is when there's most accidents.
Is that better? See this? How weak it is when it first gets here? One strand on its own.
But combined with others, twisted into a thread, it gets stronger.
See? Weave enough of these together, you get rope.
Rope strong enough to pull a plough or hold a ship.
Come on.
Ah! Can you get to the apprentice house? Thank you.
Lucy? Lucy? Come on, it's our night for lessons.
Hurry up or we'll be late.
It's Josiah Wedgewood.
More swarthy than I remember him.
Show master Robert, please, Thomas.
You took HIM to your meeting? We don't abandon children injured in our service, Robert.
Do we? Robert's in charge now.
We have to free our slaves, Sam.
There was an incident.
John Doherty came along.
And it was humiliating.
He brought up the plantation and he made the most ridiculous parallels.
I told him his comparisons were offensive.
But how can I have a role in the anti-slavery cause when all We've got the best looked-after niggers in the Caribbean.
Well, let's grant them their freedom and employ them like we employ our other workers.
We've always believed in philanthropy, Sam.
The days of slavery in the colonies are numbered.
History is about to sweep it away.
And we can lead by example.
Do you really think that Parliament will abolish it without compensating those out of pocket, Mother? If you own a plate you don't care for, but you know somebody will pay good money for it tomorrow, you don't throw it away today.
Well, sell it, then.
We don't need it.
Who do you think picks our cotton? Our hands are dirty because we earn a living.
I'm sorry if that makes you uncomfortable amongst your fashionable friends, most of whom have never done an honest day's toil in their lives, but if you like living like you do, you'll swallow your morals and wait for Parliament to change the law.
William! Father, take it easy.
Sit back.
Oh, it's all right, it's all right.
Take this.
Oh, don't fuss.
Take this.
We respect your opinion, Mother.
But the business must come first.
Well, the boy's staying.
He can work for me.
But he'll have to prove himself adept at something more than plate-carrying.
Yes? Easter weekend.
Can I have permission to go to Liverpool? You'll still be working off your fines at Easter weekend.
And next Easter.
I need to find me baptism certificate.
You're an orphan! Even if you were born with a name at all, you can't be sure it's Esther Price.
Names, more often than not, are bestowed at the whim of the parish overseer upon entry into the workhouse.
I'm not an orphan.
I had a family.
Mm, hark at her! So high and mighty she can trace her genealogy all the way back to her mother.
Names often follow occupation, so your mother may have been a Price A cheap one, though.
Hello, Dan.
I'm not here to fight.
I know why you attacked me and I forgive you.
You forgive me? My eight-year-old thought I was dead when he found me.
He's wet the bed ever since.
My father is dead.
I know, and I'm sorry.
You swore you'd see him right when I was inside.
I know.
Your family never starved when you were in jail.
We raised 80 pound bail for you once.
Visited every manufactory in Manchester.
80 pound! And he could've survived on three bob a week.
You can't end poverty by giving alms.
If I'd known how bad his condition was You're all talk.
And I'm here to talk about Robert Greg.
He's one of the leading voices against the Ten-Hour Bill.
If you can give me anything on him I heard you mention my old man in one of your speeches.
How there was no-one there to shed a tear at his funeral.
I'm a busy man.
It's no excuse.
I am sorry.
Now can we forgive each other? There is work to do.
Get out before I finish what I started in your print shop! I know you, Dan.
You cannot ignore injustice when you see it! I'm not interested! I just want to earn a living! I'll be writing about the Gregs in the next issue.
And there's to be a demonstration, the biggest the country has ever seen! Years back, there was an apprentice.
Caught her hair in a mule and got her head crushed.
Her baldy ghost walks the house with a knife, looking for girls with long hair.
You touch her hair and I'll scoop your eyes out with a spoon! I was only joking.
If anyone asks you who the father is, you tell them Charlie Crout.
What? Why? It doesn't matter why.
You just say it.
Why would you want people to think that? Hey.
Remember, whatever happens, in your head and in your bed, you're free.
You always will be.
Hey, I'm sorry about your sister.
I can't stay here.
I need to be with her.
I'm going after her.
What are you two whispering about over there? She's thinking of running away.
They all say that on their first day.
I mean it.
I'm going back to Liverpool.
Well, you won't get far.
Soon as you're missed, they'll check the roads.
There's a five bob reward for returning a runaway.
Locals are always on the lookout.
I'll go cross-country.
And get lost? Die in a ditch? You'll never make it.
You will if I come with you.
Why would you do that now Charlie's going? To get me baptism certificate.
Look, I'm 17 and I'll prove it.
Esther, you'll not get away with a fine next time! I need to know.
Know what? The truth.
What does is matter? Some words on a certificate? It does matter.
It'll prove who I am.
Do you mean it? I'll get us to Liverpool.
But you be the guide when we get there.
Help me find my certificate and I'll help you find your sister.

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