The Murdoch Mysteries (2004) s12e09 Episode Script

Secrets and Lies

Hear you're looking for Nomi.
Straight to the point.
- How'd you hear that? - Doesn't matter.
What matters is do you want to know where she is or not? Yes, I do.
- Where are you going? - Outside.
So how much do you want? - Go home.
- No.
Not until I find her.
Well That's the wrong answer.
- That's enough.
- (SHAKY BREATHING) (GROANING) (COUGHING) (DOOR OPENS) (MOANING) Thomas! Good Lord! Are you all right? Come in, come in.
- Come on.
Come on! - (GROANING) I need a drink.
- I found out something.
- What? I think our daughter is still alive.
Sarah Johnston.
It is you.
- How many years has it been? - Almost twenty.
You look well.
You were never much of a liar.
- Shall we? - Sure.
- Um Some tea? - Why not? - (CLEARS THROAT) - Friendly crowd.
No better than a lot of places.
So How is your life in Toronto? Until now, uncomplicated.
- I'm sorry for this.
- For what? For this.
Her name is Nomi Johnston.
She's my little girl.
And she's missing.
I'm sorry, Sarah.
And she is your daughter.
It's the truth.
I would not lie to you about this.
You have to help me find her.
No, I don't.
I've no one else to turn to.
Neither does she.
We're not talking about this here.
Come on.
Come on.
You say she's been missing a month? - You told the local police? - Of course.
What did they do? They looked around for a couple of days, asked a few questions.
- Then they stopped.
- Did they find anything? If they did, they never told me about it.
Well, if they can't find her, why do you think I can? I have to hope.
I don't know this town.
I don't even know you.
Or her.
- I don't even know if any of this is true.
- It is.
Even if it is true, why should it matter to me? Once upon a time we meant something to each other.
Once upon a time is a long time ago.
Are you not coming? I can't help you.
I'm going home.
Sod it.
And his bag is gone.
It's not like him at all to just get up and leave.
- Well, he did go off to the Amazon that time.
- Panama.
This is different.
He took off in the middle of the night.
He left me a note saying that he was working on something.
- Then he is.
- And what is it? Mother! I told you not to come in here.
I don't care what you told me.
And I am your mother.
Look, if he left, he did for a reason.
- And he will come back.
- Your son is right.
Brackenreid, you can go home.
I am sure the Inspector will call in presently and the moment he does, we will notify you.
Go home, mother, it will be fine.
Would you like your son to escort you? I can make my own way home, thank you.
John, don't worry about your father.
I'm sure everything will be all right.
Thank you, sirs.
(CHATTERING) Scotch, please.
Could I have another? - This is the last one.
- Well, you're right about that.
Until the next one.
Young lady, can I have a word? You can meet me at Camille's if you'd like.
- I've finished working for today.
- I have a question for you.
Have you ever seen this young girl before? No.
- Tell me the truth.
- I said no.
You think we all know each other? Is that it? No, I think you're lying.
- Leave me alone.
- I will, when you tell me the truth.
You will leave her alone now.
You and your friends, get out.
You've had enough for the night.
- But he was - Hey! We just got here! Wait for me.
- You too.
- When I'm ready.
I'm looking for this young girl.
Has she ever been in here? If you're looking for a floozy, you won't find one here.
I'm not.
Her name is Nomi Johnston, she's been missing about a month.
Now please, take another look.
She might have been in here once or twice.
I don't know.
Thomas! If you want me to help, I need to know everything there is to know about Nomi.
Thank you.
I haven't done anything yet.
She would never be in a bar.
Or any public house.
Her mother was no stranger to bars and public houses.
I did not raise her to be me.
Perhaps she turned into that anyway.
She did not.
She is a good girl.
- Good girls don't run away.
- She was taken.
She did not run away.
How would you know? You ran away from me.
- That was different.
- I had to.
Without a bloody word.
I was carrying your child.
What would that have done to you if I had stayed? A young man with a black child? Your life would have been over before it started.
I left you because I loved you.
You should have told me.
I did what I thought was best for all of us.
You moved on.
So did I.
Does she know about me? - No.
- And who is that fair to? It's fair to a ginger haired policeman who didn't need a bastard child showing up at his door.
That's who.
- Any news, sir? - Not as of yet.
Do you think anything has happened to him? George, gather as many Constables as you can.
Check all the train stations and livery yards.
Someone has to have seen him.
I'm sure there's a simple explanation, John.
- I'm going as well.
- Of course.
Who is she? Tell me about her.
She was going to be something.
Not like her mother.
You raised a child.
On your own.
That's something.
- And now I've lost her.
- Not yet.
Where can I start looking? She was enrolled in a secretarial school.
She dreamed about wearing fancy clothes and working in an office.
It was ridiculous.
But she didn't care.
She was going to do it.
Tell me what happened the day she went missing.
She was on her way to the school.
At least that's what I thought.
When I woke up she wasn't here.
I went to the school and Mr.
Jenkins, her teacher, said she never showed up.
I told the police right away.
- And they found nothing? - I already told you that.
They said they looked everywhere they could.
Then they didn't do anything more.
I talked to everybody she knew, Tom, but no one knew anything.
It was like she fell off the face of the earth.
She was an exceptional student.
Miles ahead of all the others.
I liked her dearly.
She had hopes and I had hopes for her.
What does that mean? I wanted Nomi to make something of herself.
I had been trying to get her a position.
I made inquiries on her behalf, people of the right mind to consider her.
I don't usually do that for my students.
Why did you do it for her? Because she was black.
Most businesses, they won't hire a girl like Nomi, but she deserved a chance.
I knew that if the right employer would just meet with her, they they'd take her on.
Did anything unusual happen on the night she went missing? Not other than the fact that she didn't show up for class.
She never missed one.
I joined the police to look for her, sir.
I looked every day and night until I had to admit to myself that it was pointless.
Which of these were her friends? She didn't have many.
- She must have had some? - Yes.
That was her desk there.
No one has taken it.
They pray for her return as much as I do.
She sat next to me for almost a year.
Never missed a day.
Until Did she say anything to you in the days before she disappeared - that struck you as odd? - No.
Not a thing.
I've thought about it too.
But she's not dead.
How do you know that? Because she can't be.
She was going to take on the world.
A person like that just doesn't die.
I'm afraid they do, son.
Every single day.
I looked high and low for her.
I talked to everyone she knows.
There is no one like her.
She was going to be the next Madame Walker.
- Who? - The first black lady to make a million dollars.
And Nomi was going to do the same.
Carry a torch for her, did you? - No, sir.
- Are you sure about that? - Maybe she rejected you.
You got angry.
- No! I had none of those kinds of feelings for her.
She She and I were too much alike.
What's that supposed to mean? We're both outsiders, sir.
Please don't make me say any more.
I saw you in the bar.
I saw you as well.
Getting fresh with Florence.
I wasn't getting fre What were you doing there? The three of us you saw, we're taxi dancers.
Colette's Dance Hall across the street.
We sometimes go there for a drink after we finish work.
If only to get off our feet for a while.
Do you ever get involved in any funny business? I keep my nose clean, sir.
I dance only to pay for my schooling.
- Did Nomi ever accompany you there? - Where? To the bar.
To the dance hall.
- To wherever there's funny business.
- Nomi? No.
Then how did she pay for this place? She worked at a laundry.
I tried to tell her dancing was easier money, but she told me her mother would box her ears if she ever found out.
Were she and her mother close? Nomi confessed to me she found her mother overbearing.
I think that's what happens when ladies have to raise one on their own.
What do you think happened to your friend? A good girl like her? Nothing good.
You drop your guard and the whole world will swallow you up.
Or it gets too much for you and you say goodbye.
Would she do that? To everyone she kept a brave face but she despaired she would never get anywhere in this world.
She was a good worker.
- Many customers like her.
- Not all? - Some of the wives didn't.
- They have good reason? She was a pretty girl.
And old wives don't like pretty girls.
I know that only too well, Mr.
Which of the husbands had a particular interest in her? There was a man fond of her.
What was his name? Doctor Stanfield.
And how did he show this fondness? He brought his laundry here every week so he could talk to her.
Did Miss Johnston like him? He promised her a new life.
What is not to like about that? Thank you, Mr.
Yes, I know who she was.
Worked at the laundry that cleans my shirts.
- So you know she went missing.
- Ran off is more like it.
Why would you say that? Why should I answer you, sir? Because I'm a police officer.
Now why do you think she ran off? - She was that type of girl.
- What type of girl? Big for her britches.
- And no angel.
Ha! Ha! Ha! - I've heard the same said about you.
You watch your words, sir.
We're only having this conversation because I choose to.
Do you have any idea where she may have run off too? Certainly not.
I am not the type of man who associates with people of low character.
And she is of low character? Yes.
As is most of her race.
I don't care for that kind of talk.
I'm not concerned about what you care or care not for.
So you won't help me.
I can't help you.
But you might want to visit an establishment called the Raven's Ledge.
It opens when the decent are safely in bed.
Shall we? (CROAKING) Whiskey please, bartender.
Hear you're looking for Nomi.
- I found out something.
- What? I think our daughter is still alive.
Why do you think that? Someone sure as hell doesn't want me to find her.
Or find out who took her.
Or killed her! I need be honest with you, Sarah.
She may not be the kind of girl you think she is.
You don't say that.
Have you heard of the Raven's Ledge? I've heard.
It was people from there who did this to me.
They knew her.
Maybe they were just trying to scare me off or or get me to stop looking for her.
I don't know.
You are not leaving! Sit.
I'm gonna clean you up.
(SNORING) I didn't mean to wake you.
It's all right.
How are you feeling? Well I wish I could say you should see the other fellow.
(LAUGHING) Still strong as brass.
(SIGHS) A little tarnished.
(CLEARS THROAT) Thank you for coming.
I really didn't know where else to turn.
If she's alive, I'll find her.
She gets a lot from you I think.
- Like what? - She's stubborn.
Some would call her pigheaded.
But she knows right from wrong.
I know that.
How do you know that's me? Because that's who you were all those years ago and still are.
(VOICE BREAKING): Sometimes I think I made a bad decision.
(CRYING) I should have been selfish.
You never really gave me a chance.
No, I didn't.
And in all these years I've never met another like you.
(CRYING) Sarah? Sarah, don't.
Come on.
I have a different life now.
I have a wife.
Two good sons.
I'm happy in it.
I know.
I just I feel so alone.
And if Nomi's gone If she's alive, I'll find her.
- Closed.
- I don't care.
- I was in here last night.
- Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.
I was standing right there.
A man came and spoke to me.
Who was he? How would I know? Who was he? If I had any idea I'd tell you.
- Don't lie to me.
- I have no reason to lie.
I'd never seen that man before.
Just like I'd never seen you before.
And so you know, what you two do to each other matters nothing to me.
Take your hands off my shirt.
Constable Crabtree! - John, I'm afraid I haven't heard anything yet.
- I have.
Someone spotted a man who looked like my father - boarding a train a few days ago.
- "Looked like"? I know, I know.
But the train was heading to St.
- And? - My father was stationed there for a short time, back before he met my mother.
I'll wager that's where he is.
- There's a lot "ifs" here.
- I know, but I have to go.
You're sure your mother doesn't need you here? She might, but what if my father needs me more? - John - Don't try and stop me.
John! Don't do anything stupid! (SNIFFING) What happened? Look at this.
"I'm well.
I'm leaving town so please stop looking for me.
It will only end badly if you do.
Love, Nomi.
" When did this arrive? When I came home from work, it was in my door.
There's no postmark.
Probably hand delivered.
Did the neighbours see anyone? - If they did, they're not saying.
- Would they lie? I don't think so.
- They know what she means to me.
- "I am leaving town.
" That's good news.
That means she's still here.
It doesn't mean anything.
That is not her handwriting.
- Are you sure? - I taught her myself! I'm sure.
"? Uh Jenkin's Secretarial School? I'll be back.
Why didn't you tell me? Because you would have told him not to go.
- Am I wrong? - He's a boy.
He's a decent copper, sir.
And sir, his His father is missing.
I mean, I don't know if I could have stopped him even if I wanted to.
Why does John think his father's gone to St.
Marys? He said something about the Inspector spending time there - as a younger man.
Should we go? - No.
- No? - No.
If the Inspector had wanted us to know about this, he would have told us.
He has his right to privacy.
- Sir, I've just let his son go.
- You did.
I wouldn't have.
- Do we tell Mrs.
Brackenreid? - We shall tell nobody.
I'll telegraph the police there to ensure nothing has happened to him, but we stay here.
- Sir? - You heard me, George.
Sir, I I disagree with this.
And I have heard you.
This letter came from this school.
I I didn't write it.
I never said you did.
I want handwritten samples from every one of your students.
This paper could have come from anywhere.
- From their houses, the suppli - Everyone.
This is good news, isn't it? This could mean that Nomi is alive.
Or it may just be an attempt to call me off.
Are you that type? I find out you're hiding anything, you'll find out everything you need to know about me.
Oh, excuse me.
Can you help me? Well, it seems clear the girl does not want to be found.
- And that's that? - Well I mean, the girl is of legal age.
She can do as she pleases.
And what if she didn't write the letter? Do you have reason to believe that? - Her mother thinks she didn't.
- What mother would? If I were you, - I would stay out of family business.
- Bloody hell.
It never ends well.
And if the girl is being held against her will? Then she couldn't very well have delivered that letter, could she? Youngsters all reach to an age when they never need their parents anymore.
Both parties seldom agree on when that is.
What do you know about the chap who runs the school? - I know he is a good man.
- And that's it? I questioned him after the girl's disappearance.
I'm confident he had no involvement.
What if you're wrong? I failed her.
Perhaps if I can find out who wrote that letter That's the closest thing to a clue that we have.
(KNOCKING) Are you expecting anybody? No.
No one comes here.
Father Sarah, pour the boy a drink.
I think he is going to need one.
Come in.
So I have a sister or something? Your father knew nothing about her or any of this.
- On my word! - That's the truth, John.
So, is she dead? I don't think so.
Then why not leave her alone? Isn't that what she said she wanted? She's my girl.
I can't Just go home, John.
- Tell your mother - Tell her what? Tell her that I have a sister that I never knew about? Is that what you want me to say? - I know this is a lot to take - What? That you are a liar? - I never knew! - So you say.
(GLASS BREAKING) John, Sarah! Get out, now! Go! (CHATTERING) They said you could go back inside.
Go with her.
Father? Let's get inside.
You should just go home.
Nomi is alive.
If she wasn't, no one would have done this.
You're just hoping.
What my father says makes sense.
They are trying to scare us into not looking.
There's something else.
One of the men who beat me up, I think he was a copper.
What would the police want with my girl? Maybe she knew something the police don't want to get out.
Then we're done.
It's one thing to look for my daughter, another altogether if the police don't want her found.
Sarah Sarah! It's never done.
Perhaps she was witness to something the police did? It might not be the whole force, John.
Maybe someone close to the police bought himself an officer.
Nomi didn't know anyone like that.
She went to school, worked in a laundry.
She doesn't know anyone important.
You might be wrong.
John, first thing tomorrow morning, go to the secretarial school I was telling you about.
There's some handwriting samples I need you to collect.
What about tonight? That's the man I was talking about.
I've seen him.
- No! - (ANGRILY): Why not? You confront him, we get nothing.
- He hurt Nomi.
- We don't know that.
All we know is that he might be involved.
If he did anything to her, he'll pay.
(DOOR OPENS, THEN CLOSES) Any luck? No one in this class wrote that letter.
- It was that doctor.
- I don't think so.
A woman wrote this.
Left handed.
If I was to guess, I would say that English is not their mother tongue.
How do you know this? I don't know it.
It is a theory.
Didn't you say one of your daughter's friends - had an odd sounding name? - Lydia Jodoworski.
Perhaps she wrote this.
- But she was in the class.
- No, she wasn't.
There is not a single letter signed with that name.
She never provided a sample.
You taught him well.
It had very little to do with me.
(LAUGHING) This Lydia may have had something to do with Nomi's disappearance.
- You said those two were friends.
- She was a dance hall girl.
She hung about with all sorts of disreputable characters.
This doctor was a disreputable character? They come in all guises, John.
Say that Stanfield wanted to get his hands on Nomi, maybe Lydia helped that happen.
Steered her to a place where he could take her.
That's horrible.
You carry on doing this job, you're going to see a lot more horrible.
No, wait here.
I don't believe it! They are best friends.
Here's something Lydia wrote.
It's her hand.
She wrote the letter.
Every day she was out looking for her.
- Every day! - Where does she live? - I should tell the police.
- No, you shouldn't.
You should tell me.
And if you don't, I'll have to assume that you're mixed up in this somehow.
Should be around this corner.
You're gonna wait outside.
- What if you need help? - I can handle a young girl.
- And what if someone else is there? - I'll handle them as well.
That must be it.
Keep an eye out.
Be careful.
(KNOCKING) - Get out of here! - I will when I get some answers.
- Where's Nomi Johnston? - I don't know.
Why would I? Don't play stupid with me.
You sent her mother a note telling her to back off.
- I didn't - Don't lie.
Or you'll be on the first boat back to whichever hellhole you came from.
Now where is she? - I don't know! - Don't lie to me, girl.
Where is she? Where did she go? Anything.
- I don't know! Leave me alone! - Don't you turn your back on me! - This is over when I say it is.
- Let go of her! Please just let go of her! He never stopped talking to me.
He'd bring in his laundry and say terribly wrong things to me.
I smiled.
I needed the work.
He even offered me money once, but I said no.
What happened? I was on my way to class, almost at the door when he appeared.
He grabbed me and tried to pull me away.
I tried to fight with him but he was too strong.
But then Lydia showed up.
I hit him from behind.
He fell to the ground.
He never saw me.
Why didn't you say anything? - We went to the police.
- Yes, we did.
And you know who was already there? Archibald Stanfield.
He was telling them he was attacked.
By Nomi.
Didn't you dispute this? I could tell they were friends.
- I knew who the police would believe.
- You didn't know that.
- Oh, I knew.
- I told her not to say anything more.
(EXCLAIMS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Why? Two months ago, people from the government sent two of her friends back home.
For no reason at all.
Besides, between Mr.
Stanfield and myself, I knew who's side the police would be on.
You did, did you? I'm not stupid.
And why are you here anyway? I'm the police.
And I'm listening.
So why the letter? I didn't know she sent it.
- Why did you send it? - Because she was worried.
And she wouldn't stop looking.
You could never leave if she kept looking.
- You shouldn't have done that.
- Well, I did.
She needed to stop.
Is that why you tried to burn her house down? - What? No.
- Burn her What are you talking about? - Oh, Lord! Is Mother all right? - Yes.
She's fine.
- Take me to her.
- The police will arrest you.
I don't care.
I'm going.
And who are you anyway? I think that's a question that your mother should answer.
(SHAKY BREATHING) Nomi! Nomi! Nomi! I'm sorry, Mother.
You're safe.
You're safe! Get these two to a hotel.
- Where are you going? - Less you know the better, son.
- You again.
- The way I see it, you got some of your boys to beat me up, now you get the same back.
- I don't know what you're talking about.
- You sent me to that bar.
You sent some men to warn me off.
- Try proving that.
- I can't, especially considering one of them's a copper.
- Then perhaps you just best go home.
- Oh, you think so? - You lay one hand on Nomi Johnston again - Again? I know what you bloody well did.
You tried to violate her.
- So she says.
- Well, I found her and I believe her.
And the way I see it is you know that's the truth, that's why you've been looking so hard for her.
Because you're scared.
- Scared? - Then why didn't you want me looking for her? You wanted that so much you even tried to burn her mother's house down.
- Prove it! - I can't.
And that's the stupid thing about all this.
You didn't have to do any of it.
No one's gonna take the word of a coloured girl before yours.
No one except me.
What do you want? I want you to leave her and her mother alone.
They say nothing.
You say nothing.
If I do that, is it done? Not quite.
- You're the law! - Not here.
Not in this town.
Right now, I'm just a father.
If I knew I had a child, I never would've abandoned her.
And if you did, would you have married Miss Johnston? I suppose I would have.
- What? - Then there never would have been me.
So what do you say to Mother? Before I knew about the girl, I would have said nothing.
But now, I don't know.
How do you think she'll take it? Just give me a minute, John.
You will be getting on the train? Of course I will.
My mother said you didn't know about me.
I believe her.
Thank you.
Everyone I've talked to about you says you are a fine young woman.
I'm all of those things.
(SIGHS) It's a little hard to believe, isn't it? Will I ever see you again? Depends on what you want.
But if you ever do need any help, I'll be there.
Mother never said anything about you - except that you were a fine man.
- (LAUGHING) - You're mother's a liar.
- Let me make my own judgments.
Good? Thanks.
(TRAIN APPROACHING) Why didn't you tell me any of this? You didn't need to know.
I didn't need to know that you had a daughter? (SIGHS) I only found out myself a couple of days ago.
And this other woman, what about her? She's from my past.
I'm entitled to one.
She whistles and you run to her.
Her child was missing, Margaret.
You didn't know that when you went to her.
You just left me without a word.
Maybe I didn't want a scene like this.
A scene? That's what you think this is? A scene? You lied to me.
I just didn't tell you everything.
That's the same thing as a bloody lie, Thomas.
What do you want, Margaret? I I want you to leave.
(CRYING) Why'd you let my son go down there? George didn't tell me that John knew where you were until it was too late to stop the boy.
He's got some brass in him, I'll give his that.
Helped sort out the whole mess as well.
It's a good thing he's learning from you and not his old man.
Thank you for keeping my confidence.
I would expect the same from you.
And the child? She's yours? Oh, yes.
Bright lass.
And no, I never knew a thing about her.
If I had Oh! My life would have been different.
How did Mrs.
Brackenreid take to the news? She threw me out.
- Sir - She'll get over it.
I'm sure she will.
Stay for a moment, will you Murdoch? It's been a hard couple of days.