The Murdoch Mysteries (2004) s17e08 Episode Script

The Cottage in the Woods

- Hm.
One finds a kind of
comfort in the woods.
- a sort of symbiosis with nature.
Well, to be within nature,
one must learn to respect it,
lest it swallow you whole.
- Oh, please, Effie.
- Someone needs some wine.
That's positively decrepit.
It's not that bad.
I knew the Carmichaels
would only let me keep this
because it was worthless.
That picture must have
been painted years ago.
(SIGHS) Well, should we turn back?
The carriage left hours ago.
Ladies, look.
We're missing the best part.
It's beautiful here.
Well it is a lovely day.
And we packed all that wine and cheese.
So much wine and cheese. (CHUCKLES)
I suppose the cottage does
have four walls and a roof.
What else do we need?
I think William snuck some
survival items in my bag.
What is that?
Oh, be careful with that.
It's capsicum expellant.
William made it to ward off bears.
It sprays compressed
pepper, oil and air.
I imagine it would be very painful.
Will it work on drunk men in the city?
If it does, then every woman
should carry some in her handbag.
- Let's start with this.
- Ooh.
No time like the present.
To nature.
That is two dollars
you owe me now, Effie.
Good thing you're a lawyer.
I will work off my debt in your defence.
What does that mean?
It means that you will undoubtedly
get arrested again, Julia.
Here, Effie. This'll
make you feel better.
- What is that?!
- Is that a real hand?!
- It would have been once.
I brought it from the morgue as a lark.
Don't worry. It's 'armless.
- Ugh
You two spend far too much
time around dead bodies.
Are you all right?
I need your help! There's
a murderer out there!
Our Young Adventurette group
came out to the woods yesterday.
What's a Young Adventurette?
It is a new outdoor
adventure group for girls.
I believe the organization broke off
from the boys' outdoor
group, the Young Adventurers.
A flurry of girls showed up
and demanded to take part.
Right. Now we have our own troops.
Where is the rest of your troop?
I don't know.
What happened to you, Gemma?
Where did the blood come from?
This morning,
I went out to gather wood
when I found our troop leader,
Miss Townes,
laying on the trail covered in blood.
She was dead.
I tried to help, but
You've been very brave, Gemma.
Could you show us where Miss Townes is?
Maybe we could help you.
I can't. I'm scared.
- You don't have to worry.
We'll be there to protect you.
And, besides, you can do it.
You're a Young Adventurette.
All right.
Do you think it could
have been an animal attack?
It's most likely.
She could also be mistaken.
That the troop leader
might not even be dead;
she could just be hurt.
I can tell the difference.
She's dead. I'm not a fool.
There she is.
This looks like a murder.
Oh, it must be the madman.
The madman?
The victim was bludgeoned
with a blunt object.
Holding a bouquet, no less.
A rendezvous gone badly?
Strange place for it.
A Victor Lourde
Was released from Kingston
penitentiary last evening.
I suppose he was better off in the pen.
Who is this madman?
I saw the shadow of a man
lurking amongst the trees.
Then he ran away.
You saw someone in these woods?
Why didn't your troop
leader lead you to safety?
I told Miss Townes!
She said I was being hysterical.
Where are the other girls?
Well, the camp's right over there,
although I don't see them.
They must still be in
the woods somewhere.
We need to find them.
Well, we can't leave the body like this.
We'll split up.
Louise and I will find the other girls.
Where did you last see them, Gemma?
They were headed in that direction.
Take Gemma with you.
Violet and I need to examine the body.
(GIRL): Somebody's coming!
Fern, Khristal, it's me!
Oh, gosh, I was sure
you were the madman.
- We were so terrified.
- We've come to take you to safety.
Don't worry. They're going to help us.
Thank goodness.
I thought we might die out here.
Just like poor Miss Townes.
- Miss Townes!
- Here, here, here.
Let me help you. Are you hurt?
I am mortally wounded!
She tripped on a root
and sprained her ankle.
That's a pretty good splint
you have there. Did you make it?
That's Khristal's handiwork.
She's the only one from the
Toronto Young Adventurettes
to have earned herself a medical badge.
- Right, Khristal?
- That's impressive work, Khristal.
You could be a fine doctor someday.
Can't be a doctor.
She's shy.
Let's get a move on before
this madman character returns.
I don't think I can walk.
Well, looks like one of
you will have to carry her.
Miss Hart will do a postmortem
when she returns on Tuesday.
Take a look at this.
A love letter.
With instructions to meet
behind the Villacci factory.
And is this the writer?
I would expect.
What was Mr. Lourde in prison for?
Um, he ran his horse and buggy
onto the sidewalk after
drinking a pint of whisky.
- And that's worthy of jail time?
- Oh!
Thereby running over a
young woman and killing her.
Well, could have mentioned that first.
Well, this is interesting.
In court, the dead woman's
sister vowed revenge.
Maybe she kept her word.
The blade is clean.
There's an inscription on it
Oh. "Young Adventurettes."
But this isn't the weapon.
The blade is far too wide
to have made that wound.
I think we're looking
for a smaller blade,
like a folding knife.
I think we need to move this
examination back to the cottage.
How do you suppose that we do that?
Actually, I think William may
have packed me just the thing.
- What in the Dickens is this thing?
William made it.
Apparently, it's for floating
on top of on the lake.
- What for?
- Ah
- For fun and relaxation, supposedly.
- Huh.
- Poor Miss Townes is having the first go.
- Indeed.
Can you help me? I've
been lost for hours.
Oh! Dear God.
So, who are you, anyways?
If you must know, my
name is Louise Cherry.
The reporter?
You know me?
My father hates you.
Says you're a threat
to civilized society.
I am that.
Seven feet.
Come again?
You must be at least seven feet tall.
I'm only six foot!
You said you couldn't carry
her because of the concavity
of your spinal cord. Liar.
Most everyone has a concave
portion of their spine.
Exactly. I tell only truths
Specifically applied to my benefit.
You are of the most
sinister sort, Miss Cherry.
I like you.
You must be taller than my dad.
I couldn't say. I've
actually never met him.
You're taller than that tree.
That I am. (PANTING)
I bet you could thoroughly whip
the madman if he reappeared.
I would certainly do my best.
He was killed?
Well, I hope it was
in the most brutal way.
Sorry, let me repeat:
We are police detectives.
He should have seen the
noose for killing my sister.
Did you have something
to do with his death?
Absolutely not!
Well, you'll have to forgive us
if we find that hard to believe
based on what you've just said.
Well, then, hear this:
Last night, I was on
the five o'clock train
from Montreal to Toronto.
The murder was around eight o'clock.
- You were still on the train.
- Precisely.
There is no way I could have done it.
You recognize her?
The peacock?
Ah! Nope, nope. Nope.
Never seen her before in my life.
All right.
All right.
Bella, you lily-liver! You ran away!
What was I supposed to
do? Miss Townes was killed!
- Stay? Help? Something!
- Girls,
everyone reacts to stressful
situations differently.
It's an awful thing you've been through!
Running away from danger
is a very normal response.
Tell us what happened when
you lot found the body.
She was already dead
when I got there. I swear.
- No one's accusing you
- Mm.
We're just trying to
figure out what happened.
After I found her, I screamed,
so the other girls came running.
And Bella ran away!
I was scared.
So then we decided
that Fern and Khristal
would go get help and
I would stay behind.
But we didn't get very far
since Fern twisted her ankle.
And then I heard the madman
coming, so I ran away, too.
Did you get a look at him?
- No.
- Are you sure it was him?
Why don't you girls sit
and rest for a while?
You must be tired
after all that walking.
Do we believe them?
Children can be quite the deceivers.
Once we get Miss Townes
inside and the girls rested,
one of us should set
out for the authorities.
We should all go!
We can take the girls to
the next town ourselves.
With the madman out there?
It's too dangerous.
We'll be safe in the cottage tonight.
- If there is a madman.
- Louise!
Come, girls.
You girls wait out here.
It's the madman!
- Wait! What?
- What's going on?
- Stay outside, girls!
Wait. I-I ! I
Whoa! Hey! Whoa, hey! Whoa!
Watch the face! Hey, hey.
Please, please. Please stop.
Who are you?
I-I-I'm Mr. Osidius Jones.
How did you get in here?
The door was open.
Oh, so you just waltz
into other peoples' houses?
That is criminal trespass, sir!
I-I-I thought it was abandoned!
I-I've been using this house
to store supplies for years.
Even though it's my cottage?
As I said, I thought it was abandoned.
I mean, it certainly looks
it. You should definitely
keep it in better repair.
But that's none of your concern.
And why are you storing things in here?
I-I-I'm a Young Adventurer leader.
There's-there's canned
food, tents, medicine,
all in that storage closet
back there. Take a look.
He doesn't look like a madman.
Lacks that killer edge.
What-what happened to her?
That's exactly what
we're trying to determine.
Did you know Miss Townes?
She was a Young
Adventurette troop leader.
No. No, I didn't.
Did you notice anything
strange in the woods today?
Yes, now-now that you mention it,
my troop did have a strange encounter.
Where's your troop now?
Waiting for me at our camp site.
I came here to get supplies.
What was the strange encounter?
Earlier today,
one of my boys fell into a giant hole,
one that was clearly dug purposefully
and-and as we were getting him out,
I heard someone running
away through the trees.
It could be this madman.
What are you talking about?
These girls think there's
a killer on the loose.
Wh well, then, we
must get the police!
Let me go.
I-I can go get the help.
Quite a lot of customers.
The line was around the corner.
Yes. Uh, miss?
- Yeah.
- Pardon me. Miss?
Fifty percent off
family portraits, sirs.
No, no.
We'd like to ask you some questions.
Do you recognize the
woman in this photograph?
Maybe. Uh, she looks vaguely
familiar, but I can't be sure.
Uh, your photography shop
stamp is on the back of it.
I really have no recollection
of that particular customer.
I think I've an answer.
There's an entire table
of these right over there.
Oh! The frames! Of course. (CHUCKLES)
A copy of this photo is
already installed in the frames
courtesy of the manufacturing company.
Then why is your stamp on
the back of each photograph?
I stamp everything,
Detective. It's advertising.
So if someone were to
purchase one of these frames,
they would receive one of
these photographs with it?
Now, if we are quite through,
I need to get back to my customers.
Oh, yes. Of course.
So, whoever was corresponding with him
used a fake photograph to
lure Mr. Lourde to his death.
Very, very strange.
Before you leave, I need you to show me
where you heard that
person in the woods.
Of course.
Are you mad, Julia?
You can't be alone with
that man in the woods.
(HART): There's a killer out there.
In fact, he may well be the killer.
How do we know he saw
anything at all, Julia?
He may well be leading
you to your death.
I have to find out for myself.
I have my capsicum
expellant and my wits.
- I'll be fine.
Keep it down in there, girls!
I'll join you.
I'll start the examination
while you watch the girls.
Why do I have to watch the gerbils?
(GIRL): We heard that.
We're not gerbils!
Well, I don't want them to see the body
while I do the examination.
I need you to preoccupy them.
Dazzle them with your natural charm.
- I'll dazzle them, all right.
- (GIRL): I know!
- Okay, gerbils.
- We're not gerbils!
This is, uh, where I heard him.
Are you sure, Mr. Jones?
Well, I should be off now
to fetch the authorities.
Be careful.
How do we know he hasn't left us
on some wild goose chase
while he makes his escape?
We don't.
- (GEMMA): He's right, you know.
- Gemma! What are you doing here?!
- Helping.
I'm a certified tracker.
Well, you need to go
back to the cottage.
See these broken branches?
The madman went this way.
- Furthermore
- Is that Mrs. Townes' rucksack?
- Where did you find this?
- Up that way.
It was open and her
things were hanging out.
Someone's been through it.
Gemma! Gemma, wait!
Can't go wrong with 50 percent off.
While you were otherwise occupied,
I telephoned the frame manufacturer
and he informed me that
the woman in the photograph
- passed away years ago.
- Oh.
We need to uncover the real author
of Mr. Lourde's love letters.
The only person with clear
motive against him has an alibi.
Perhaps he had some other
enemy we don't know about.
Catfishing is all the
rage right now. Try some?
No, thank you.
They live in mud.
Miss Hart?
Hello, Khristal. Are you all right?
Are you a doctor?
Not quite. I am the coroner
for the city of Toronto.
How'd you manage that?
Oh. I have a talent for taking
things that I want in this world.
But you're a black woman.
As are you.
I want to be a doctor, but I can't.
The only one who can determine what
you want out of this world is you.
Miss Townes said I shouldn't
set my aspirations so high.
She said I was more likely to be a maid.
Well, you don't have to
listen to her anymore.
I suppose.
Is there something else
you want to tell me?
None of us liked her,
especially Fern.
She's only been acting sad.
She was fighting with Miss
Townes only the night before.
Why don't we go join the other girls?
Now, remember,
it is our job as laypeople
to hold those in authority accountable.
If you give a man an ounce of power,
he will not hesitate
to lord it over you.
Can't imagine the boys
at school lording over me.
They aren't nearly smart enough.
You'd be surprised.
Are you finished with the examination?
Yes. Nothing new to report.
We should move the body to the woodshed.
That would be best.
Girls, maybe we should go
around and say something nice
about Miss Townes, in her memory.
- Go.
Miss Townes
Was our rock.
- Unbending and hard.
- That's the nicest thing you could say?
Okay, well, then you go!
I liked her cooking.
She was our guide and she
led us with an iron hand.
I gather you all disliked her?
(KHRISTAL): She took
some getting used to.
She had a rather unpleasant disposition.
The truth is she said
awful things to all of us.
Are we ignoring the obvious?
That the killer may be
one of those hobgoblins?
Miss Cherry,
they're just little girls
squabbling as little girls do.
Where's Gemma?
I-I'm-I'm looking for
a, for a policeman.
I've been attacked.
And this woman that hit
you, what did she look like?
Well, I only saw her
back as she ran away.
Do you have any idea
who it could have been?
Not at all, but I
haven't been around much
for the past three years.
Been behind bars in the Kingston
penitentiary for the last while.
Do you recognize this man?
Never seen him.
Y-You were both in the
same jail at the same time.
Lots of people are in jail.
Guess you're good at your job.
What were you doing in the park?
I wanted to spend my first day
as a free man with my new love.
And you wouldn't happen to have
a photograph of this new love?
Oh, of course.
Ain't she pretty?
(JULIA): Gemma,
hide behind that tree.
Stay out of sight.
Those carcasses are ghastly.
They're certainly not welcoming.
- Dear God!
- Julia!
Stay still. Stay still!
I'll pull you out in three. One
- Two
- Julia.
Please, uh, we meant
no harm coming here.
Come here to steal some more?
Steal? No! We've stolen nothing.
Someone broke into my cottage today
and it had to be one of you lot.
I assure you we've done
nothing of the sort.
We've never been here before.
C-Could someone help me?
Use that to trap animals.
But this one's just skin and bones,
so I'll skip this meal.
Thank you.
Get off there.
Earlier, we
We found the body of a
dead woman near the lake.
You don't happen to know
anything about that, do you?
She'd been stabbed,
perhaps with a folding knife,
similar to one a hunter
might use for skinning.
That so?
We also found this rucksack
on the path to your cottage.
It had been rifled through.
Found the sack but didn't see any body.
You sure about that?
You calling me a liar?
- (GEMMA): Let them go!
- Gemma!
You can't Come on.
Listen, I don't know who you people are,
but I'm done with you.
Get outta here.
- Did you see anything
- Next shot goes right through you.
This man also received love letters
and this same photograph was enclosed.
My girl was cheating on me?
Ah, no. You see, we do
not believe this woman
was the one writing the letters.
The person writing the love letters
is not the same person
in the photograph.
We believe this was a plot to
lure you out and to kill you.
(SIGHS) It was too good to be true.
We are all fools on
the battlefield of love.
You're telling me.
Uh, I suppose I should
call my wife to pick me up.
I-I beg your pardon? Your wife?
Do you have a telephone?
Oh, that was terrifying. I
was sure she would shoot us!
She must have been the one
watching you from the shadows.
Oh, dear God. That's a dead crow.
(GEMMA): I wonder what killed him.
It's a bit of a bad omen, is it not?
- (MAN): Hey!
Can you believe it?
She hit me right here.
- It's still bloody.
Mr. Feiss's wife is the owner
of the photography studio?
The deceptive photographs came
from her photography studio
and now we find that she
has a direct connection
to one of the victims?
- Perhaps we should have a word.
- Mrs. Feiss!
- Hm?
- A word, please?
Your husband was just attacked.
Three days out of jail,
already on one of his trysts.
Did you have something
to do with this attack?
Of course not!
What were you doing an hour ago?
I was at my photo studio
dealing with my one-day sale.
You could have slipped
away at some point.
My employees were with
me the entire time.
You can ask them.
I haven't had a moment's rest.
I only just closed the shop.
Good evening, Detectives.
You said you went to fetch
the authorities, Mr. Jones.
Yes! Yes, I-I loaded up my boys
and sent them to get the help instead.
(HART): And what of
your excursion, Effie?
Well, the madman turned
out to be a woodswoman
who was setting traps in
the forest to catch her food.
Do you think she could be the killer?
Why was she lurking in the bushes?
Checking her traps.
Perhaps she just takes
pleasure in scaring people
away from her woods.
She didn't seem to know
much about the murder.
Mr. Jones?
Uh, yes?
Miss Townes has love
letters in her rucksack,
all signed by, "yours
truly, Osidius Jones."
(HART): You lied, Mr. Jones.
You knew Miss Townes more
intimately than you let on.
(JULIA): Did you kill her?
No, no, no. You've-you've
got it all wrong.
We were in love. I-I
would never hurt her.
A likely story.
I stayed behind so
that I could investigate
her murder on my own.
Why would we believe anything you say?
You've already lied to us once.
- Hey!
- What it this?
That belonged to Miss Townes.
And it's covered in blood!
- You are the killer!
- Wait, wait, wait, wait!
I can explain.
It wasn't me. I-I-I can prove it.
Stay back! Stay stay back!
- Stop! Stop!
- Julia!
Julia, stop! He's a killer.
He's far more comfortable
out there than we are.
We have to get help as soon as possible.
I doubt he sent anyone
to fetch the authorities.
We never saw any evidence
of Young Adventurers
in those woods at all.
He must have lied about everything.
We set out in the morning.
What if he comes back before then?
We'll set up a watch rotation.
- Julia!
- Oh!
- It's time to switch.
(EXHALES DEEPLY) No, I fell asleep!
It's all right.
Everything is fine and
everyone is accounted for.
Oh, thank goodness.
I can't sleep.
Oh, well, you can sit with
me for as long as you like.
I wish I was more like you, Miss Hart.
What do you mean?
I think you're wonderful
the way you are.
Well, you're kind and
confident and honest.
Where is this coming from?
I've always felt like I needed to
blend into the background to get by.
But then I see you and
you're standing in the front.
You can stand wherever you please.
This is a very unforgiving world.
You have to take what you
want and never regret it.
All right?
It should be an hour
walk back to the road
and another three to the nearest town.
I hope everyone will
be all right without us.
That's Mr. Jones' bag.
Mr. Jones?
There's his hat.
There he is!
- He's alive.
- Barely, by the looks of it.
- Are you all right?
What happened?
Oh. I-I-I was pushed.
By who?
(JONES EXHALES) I don't know.
Julia, where are you going?
You tend to him. I
think I know who did this.
Let me see your arm.
Huh. What do you want?
I want to know why you
tried to kill Mr. Jones.
Who's that?
Please, don't act innocent.
I am innocent.
You know, y'all been here two days
and it's been nothing but trouble.
I'd say you're looking
in the wrong direction.
The police will be
coming to talk to you.
I don't take kindly
to these accusations.
Get off my property!
- I'll be back.
- I'll be waiting.
Keep walking, girlie!
(WATTS): Mrs. Feiss must be connected
to this scheme somehow.
She's clearly weary of her
husband's philandering ways.
But what of Victor Lourde?
She had no connection to him whatsoever.
And, like our last suspect,
she also has an iron-clad
alibi for her husband's attack.
And there's no connection
between Mrs. Feiss and Miss Todd?
Other than them both being women,
both having motive and
both having ironclad alibis.
neither has an alibi for the other crime
for which they have no motive.
Could they have switched murders?
Let's pay Mrs. Feiss another visit.
(LOUISE): Bella, get
away from the window.
- Rest. We leave soon.
Julia. What about this?
How do you explain this?
W-What are you talking about?
The knife. I found it in your bag.
I've never seen it before.
I didn't kill her.
I-I loved her. Please,
you have to believe me.
What do you think?
It is a Young Adventurette knife.
You don't think
Perhaps one of the girls
could have planted it on him to
make him look like the killer.
It's not my fault your
husband has a hard head!
There must be a connection
between Mrs. Feiss and Miss Todd
- that we're overlooking.
- Hm.
What was that?
Let's continue this conversation
down at the station house, shall we?
Who does this knife belong to?
It isn't mine. I have mine right here.
Everyone, get your knives out.
Gemma, where's your knife?
I don't know.
One of them must have stolen it.
- Sure.
- It's true!
My mom had my knife engraved
so it wouldn't be mixed
up with the others.
Let's see the rest of them.
Bella, open your hand.
Why do you have Gemma's knife?
Bella, stop!
And that's how you catch a rabbit!
What are you doing here?
Well, I realized I
wasn't very neighbourly,
out in the woods for so long, so
I brought a peace offering.
But it looks like you might
have your own troubles.
I was the runt of the group,
and the other girls were
constantly harassing me,
so I went to Miss Townes for help.
The horrendous woman
called me a tattletale
and told me to be stoical as
a Young Adventurette should be.
So, you killed her?
My body just
Moved on its own, and
Next thing I knew, she was dead.
And what about Mr. Jones?
I-I put my knife in his bag
because I knew you would think
he was the madman. (CHUCKLES)
You pushed him off the cliff?
I figured that if you found him
dead with the weapon, it would
it would all be over.
I was scared.
You tried to kill him
to cover your crime.
What's going to happen to me?
We were indeed strangers.
We met for the first
time at a parole hearing
a week before the release
of my husband and Mr. Lourde.
I wanted revenge on my sister's killer
while Mrs. Feiss sought
to dispose of her husband.
I needed to be rid of
that filthy philanderer!
Just wanted to move on with my life.
She found herself a new man!
And, so, you devised a
plan to switch crimes?
Killing each other's targets
would provide us both with alibis.
Except Miss Todd didn't
uphold her end of the bargain.
And thus the scheme unraveled.
The plan was quite ingenious.
Hm. Not genius enough.
Easy does it.
Goodbye, gerbil.
Later, Louise.
Will you carry me again?
There is a very nice officer
outside who will help you with that.
Are you sure you have everything?
Yes, I do. Thank you, Miss Hart.
Will you be our new
troop leader, Miss Hart?
I'm sure you'd be wonderful.
Oh, I don't think I could
handle any more of the woods.
But with or without me,
I hope that you'll
stay true to yourself.
I will.
What shall I do with this place?
Perhaps you could restore
it to its former glory.
Hm. It could make a cute rental lodging.
Let's not get carried away.
Maybe I'll rent it to the
Young Adventurettes Association.
Oh, that would be lovely!
That way they'd have a
comfortable place to stay
for their woodland trips.
And I can make a pretty penny.
I think it's time for wine.
- Mm.
- Yeah.
It's a shame about the floatie.
- I was looking forward to trying it.
- Oh, I know!
I suppose we should burn it.
What are you wearing, Effie?
Where did you get such
a scandalous swimsuit?
The racing ladies of
Milwaukee wear these.
It's positively salacious.
You're going to give
people the wrong impression.
I don't care one iota.
And you shouldn't.
Perhaps I should acquire one?
William wouldn't know
what to do with himself.
- Please don't.
A full body suit is
obviously the elegant choice.
Oh, hush! Your swimsuit looks
like my grandmother's bloomers.
I'll have you know my
grandmother was quite something.
She was arrested three
times before she turned 20.
Still looks like bloomers.
I'm afraid I have to agree, Louise.
- Miss Hart?
- Hm?
Don't drag me into this.
I'm just trying to
enjoy my summer retreat.
Who drank all the wine?
(BOTH): Julia!
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