The Return of Jezebel James (2008) s01e05 Episode Script

The Man with the Twisted Lip

The Man with the Twisted Lip Pippi Longstocking April 30, 2009 Thank you very much, sir.
God bless you, sir.
You're a gentleman, a very perfect gentle night.
Good day sir.
Oh thank you sir.
Oh my cup runneth over.
May your sweetness never blush unseen.
My gratitude knows no bounds sir.
Here I sit your slave weak and despised.
William Shakespeare.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, sir.
Blessed are the poor in spirit for yours is the kingdom of heaven sir.
But we arranged it two weeks ago.
We were to have supper at my club.
Yes.
He did mention it to me this morning.
It was just before the lady called.
Lady? Which lady? Well I don't know her name but the lady called and Mr.
Holmes went out.
In that case I shall have take advantage of an early night.
I must answer the door.
Of course.
Might be a clue.
I hope I'm not being a nuisance.
Oh he won't mind I'm sure, he's the kindest of men.
Mrs.
Whitney to see you Doctor.
Kate, this is a surprise.
Not a pleasant one I fear, John.
Thank you Mrs.
Hudson.
Perhaps some tea.
That would be most welcome.
You must forgive me for causing so much trouble You're causing us no trouble at all, please.
Your assistant told me that you were dining with Mr.
Holmes.
Oh I see you've been to the surgery.
And you had just left.
Well Mr.
Holmes has disappeared without trace as you can see.
In that case, I really shouldn't bother you with my problems.
Oh Mr.
Holmes disappears without trace at regular intervals.
There's really no cause for alarm, only curiosity.
But why did you want to see me? If you're ill you should not be traveling across London.
I am not ill.
It's Isa.
Well if Isa is ill I can visit him at home.
He's not at home.
He too has disappeared without trace? You can probably guess what he's doing.
I imagine he's indulging his addiction.
Opium? I fear so.
Well he's done this before has he not? What makes this circumstance so very different? Well normally his orgies are confined to one day.
He leaves the house in the morning and returns in the evening, pale and shattered.
And this time? I have not seen Isa for forty-eight hours.
Well have you the remotest idea where he might be? There is an establishment called the Bar of Gold in Upper Swandam Lane, I believe he is there but I dare not go there alone.
Oh no, no, no respectable woman would go within a hundred miles of that vile alley unaccompanied.
Will you come with me? No.
But No I shall go there on my own.
You will go home and if you're husband is where you think he is I guarantee to have him back with you within two hours.
Though I dare not imagine what state he'll be in.
Your tea Doctor.
My apologies Mrs.
Hudson, I shall not require tea, I'm going out but Mrs.
Whitney will take tea.
And what am I to tell Mr.
Holmes should he return? Tell him I've disappeared without trace.
Upper Swandam Lane please cabbie.
I sometimes wonder whether men ever truly grow up.
They seem to remain little boys forever.
Do you wonder about that Mrs.
Hudson? No, Mrs.
Whitney.
I don't wonder about it.
I know it and they always need us to kiss them better afterwards, in a matter of speaking of course.
No thank you.
I've not come here to stay.
There's a friend of mine here.
I just wish to speak to Mr.
Isa Whitney.
Isa? My God.
Watson.
What's the time? It's eleven.
What's the day? Friday the nineteenth.
I thought it was Wednesday.
It is Wednesday.
You're trying to frighten me.
Your wife has been waiting for you to return home for two days.
Two days? Surely not.
A few hours perhaps.
Three pipes, four pipes, I forget.
I've got a cab outside you're going home now! Must I? If you value my friendship.
Oh poor Kate.
Come on.
I have to pay.
I owe the manager money.
You don't have to pay for your own destruction.
I'll see to it.
Just get out of this dreadful place.
Let go! Get your hands off! Holmes! What on earth are you doing in this den? I'm going about my business.
You have a cab outside? Yes.
I pray send him home.
He looks too limp to get into any kind of mischief.
I'll see you in five minutes.
All right.
Give this to the lady of the house.
Holmes! I sir.
I was certainly surprised to see you in that place.
I suppose you think I've added opium to smoking to all of my other little weaknesses? I merely said I was surprised to see you there.
As indeed I was to see you.
I was searching for a friend.
And I for an enemy.
An enemy? Had I been recognized in that place my life would not of been worth an hours purchase.
Cab! I'm in the midst of the most remarkable inquiry.
I hope your not smoking the substance in that pipe Holmes.
Only to the extent necessary to merge with the surroundings.
I'm off to Lee in Kent.
Are you coming? Of course.
I think we shall be safe now Watson.
Would you take the reins? Where exactly are we going? The Cedars, a lovely villa near Lee in Kent.
May I ask why I'm going to Lee in Kent in the middle of the night? Because you are my trusty comrade and my loyal friend, I may need both.
Here are the facts, as I understand them.
Several years ago there came to Lee in Kent, a gentleman by name Neville St.
Clair.
He took a large villa, The Cedars, and about a year later married the daughter of a local brewer.
They have two small children.
He has interests in several companies and travels to the city every morning, returning by the 5:14 train from Cannon Street every night.
He is a man of temperate habits, a good husband, an affectionate father and is popular with all who know him.
His debts, as far as we can ascertain, amount to eighty-eight pounds and ten shillings while he has two hundred and twenty pounds to his credit in the Capital and Counties Bank.
Therefore, there is no reason to think that money troubles have been weighing down.
Manageable parody.
Watson, there's a hint of skepticism in your voice, which does you no credit.
I expect Mrs.
St.
Clair came to you saying that her husband has disappeared? Exactly! Well, seems to be a continuous thread in life's fabric.
Watson, what is this? I shall ignore your air of resignation to the world's frailties and continue.
Oh please do.
On Monday, St.
Clair left for the city as usual.
Before he left he promised that he would bring home a box of building bricks for his children.
Building bricks? Mark that well Watson.
Soon after he left, Mrs.
St.
Clair received a telegram to say that a parcel of considerable value had arrived for her at the offices of the Aberdeen Shipping Company.
She decided to travel to the city, collect her parcel, have lunch and do some shopping.
It was by chance that she found herself in Upper Swandam Lane, that same vile alley that we both visited this evening, Watson.
And it was at this point that something quite singular took place.
Money please.
Get out of here! Neville! Neville! Where are you going? I'm going upstairs.
There's nobody upstairs.
I saw my husband waving from an upstairs window.
There is nobody upstairs.
I saw him.
I know my own husband.
What's he doing here? There is nobody upstairs.
Neville! Go on.
And they threw her out? They did.
The malay and the lascar, who owns the establishment.
A man of the vilest antecedents sent a murderer into the bar.
A murderer? Yet he goes free.
And the rear of a building backs onto the river.
There's even a convenient trap door for the disposal of bodies.
Why don't the police arrest these two murderers? Watson, the police have arrested a cripple.
Cripple? There's so much more yet to tell you but here we are at The Cedars.
Thank you.
Mr.
Holmes? Any news? Mrs.
St.
Clair I thought you'd be asleep.
Sleep does not come easily at a time like this.
This is my friend and colleague Doctor Watson who has kindly agreed to help me in my investigation.
Mr.
Holmes has spoken of you.
Mrs.
St.
Clair.
I have taken the liberty of asking the doctor to stay overnight.
And I took the liberty of preparing a little cold supper.
Oh Doctor Watson you take my place.
Oh no really.
Watson, Mrs.
St.
Clair is a very strong willed woman, you refuse her at your peril.
Thank you.
Now Mr.
Sherlock Holmes before we eat I should like to ask one or two plain questions to which I should like plain answers.
Certainly Madame.
Do you in your heart of hearts think that Neville is still alive? Frankly now I'm not hysterical nor am I given to fainting.
Frankly then, I do not.
You think he is dead? I do.
Murdered? I didn't say that.
Perhaps.
And on what day did he meet his death? On Monday.
So then how do you explain that I received a letter from him today, being Friday? Now Mrs.
St.
Clair I wonder if you would do me a favor? By all means.
I have told Doctor Watson what happened up to the moment when you were ejected from that building.
Would you tell us what happened subsequently please? For Doctor Watson's benefit? And for mine.
I too have to reexamine the facts, as we know them.
Now if you're not too tired.
Of course.
As you may imagine I do not take kindly to being forcibly removed from a building.
I sought and found police help.
Two constables and Inspector? Bradstreet.
Bradstreet.
And then you returned to the building? Yes.
The period of time between these two visits was? About twenty minutes.
By the time we returned the door was unbolted.
Though I'm sure the lascar had bolted it when I left earlier.
I want to look at your upstairs rooms.
There's nobody there.
If there's nobody there you can't object that I look.
You men stay here.
He was in this room! Time and again I tell you, there's nobody here.
May we look in that room? You mustn't be worried by this gentleman, Mrs.
St.
Clair.
He's an old friend of the constabulary.
You know, Inspector, according to W.
S.
Gilbert, a policeman's lot isn't a happy one.
Mr.
Boone is a professional beggar.
No, not a beggar an honest trader.
Does this man lodge here? Yes.
You told me nobody lived here.
Madame, the beggar is nobody.
If you prick us do we not bleed? Shakespeare, Mr.
Boone, I know that one you've told it to me before.
Inspector? That would be the Thames Mrs.
St Clair? And the large window.
Mrs.
St.
Clair a window and a river in close proximity does not automatically mean violent death.
You been here in the past hour? Yes.
Anyone else been here? Alas, no, I've been as lonely as a cloud.
Tennyson? Wordsworth, inspector.
He was standing here.
I saw him.
Mrs.
St.
Clair there is no evidence to suggest that he was ever here.
Building bricks, Inspector.
So I see.
My husband left for the city this morning and the last thing he said to me was that he had to buy some building bricks for our little girl's birthday.
I see.
Either of you gentlemen buy building bricks? Somebody must have left them.
And these are my husband's clothes! Are you sure? Shall I describe them to you in detail as you examine them? My husband's tailor's name is Smud if you care to examine the label.
At that moment Inspector Bradstreet began to believe my story.
He and his men made an extensive search of the building they found a bloodstain upon the windowsill.
They searched the malay, the lascar and Boone but found nothing.
They failed to find my husband's overcoat.
Well.
Overcoat? The one item of clothing that was not accounted for.
Until low tide.
It's heavy sir.
Weighted down with something.
There were four hundred and twenty-one pennies, two hundred and seventy halfpennies stuffed into every pocket of the overcoat.
Your conclusion Watson.
Speak freely Doctor Watson.
I've lived with every possibility this past week however hideous.
The murderer must have been Boone the beggar.
Who else could have access to such a vast number of pennies and halfpennies? That is the conclusion reached by the police.
They've arrested Boone and he is presently in Bow Street Police Station.
Even though my husband is still alive.
Now Mrs.
St.
Clair let us reexamine the significance of this letter.
May I read it to Doctor Watson? By all means.
Thank you.
Dearest, Do not be frightened, there is a huge error, which it may take some little time to rectify.
Wait in patience.
Neville.
Written in pencil on the flyleaf of a book, octavo size, no watermark.
Posted in Gravesend by a man with a dirty thumb.
This is not your husband's writing? No.
But the note is? Without question.
It's the hand he always used when he was in hurry.
Whoever gummed down the envelope handled this very much in error.
Been chewing tobacco.
This is a trifle, of course, Watson but there is nothing so important as trifles.
Mrs.
St.
Clair there was an enclosure? His signet ring.
Mrs.
St.
Clair has your husband ever spoken of the Bar of Gold in Upper Swandam Lane? Never.
I suspect that Doctor Watson has a question to put to you.
This is a difficult question to ask Mrs.
St.
Clair but has your husband ever shown any signs of taking opium? He always appeared perfectly normal though I confess I would not recognize the signs.
What are they? Well a listlessness, a lack of energy, an inability to concentrate, a general air of apathy.
Doctor Watson is a specialist at uncontrolled addiction.
My husband was not an opium addict, that's to say is not an opium addict.
Mr.
Holmes, I know you think my husband is dead.
I fully realize that letter could have been written on Monday and only posted today.
I know the circumstances as they have been described lead to the inescapable conclusion that he has been murdered but equally I know that he is alive.
There's such a keen bond of sympathy between us.
I should know if evil came upon him.
Please help me to find him.
Watson if Neville St.
Clair is alive and well why doesn't he come home and demonstrate the fact? Well presumably because he's not alive and well.
Yes but this letter? Could have been written at any time.
Perhaps under distress.
It could even be a skillful forgery.
And this signet ring? Easily removed, especially if the victim is dead.
Indeed.
Preceding on the hypothesis that Neville St.
Clair is dead, how did he meet his death? Well clearly he was murdered.
By whom? Well the police think it was this chap, Boone.
I see no reason to disagree with the police.
Except Except what? You say he's a cripple? Yes.
How severe is his disability? Has only a slight limp.
Well my medical experience tells me when there is a weakness in one limb it's very often compensated for by exceptional strength in the others.
You're not convinced? This man is a professional beggar.
He's well known in the city.
He's well liked in the city.
I've seen him many times.
He has a remarkable faculty for repartee with which he delights his many clients.
Well he sounds harmless.
Why, therefore, did the police arrest him rather than the lascar? That is the very question that I put to Inspector Bradstreet.
The murder has obviously been committed by process of elimination.
Boone must be the murderer.
Are these Neville St.
Clair's clothes? Why did you eliminate the lascar as a suspect? Because Mrs.
St.
Clair saw her husband in an upstairs window apparently in the middle of a struggle.
She went to a downstairs door and was confronted by the lascar.
While we were conversing or to be more precise while the lascar and his assistant were ejecting Mrs.
St.
Clair from the building the fight was proceeding upstairs, leading as we now know to the death of Neville St.
Clair.
A twenty first birthday present.
A man of meticulous habits.
No scratches.
What was the motive in killing St.
Clair? That remains to be established.
Not a trace of opium? Could it have been robbery.
No.
No.
St.
Clair's wallet was in his pocket, the money untouched.
How do you explain the coins in the overcoat? I cannot truly answer that Mr.
Holmes.
Let me try.
Boone killed St.
Clair.
He removes the outer garments hoping to capitalize on them and their contents.
He lifts the body, carries it across the room, forces it through the open window, hence the abrasion, blood upon the windowsill, he releases it into the river Where it's sucked away by the tide.
In the midst of this activity he hears the scuffle downstairs as Mrs.
St.
Clair tries to force her way in.
There's not a moment to be lost.
Must dispose the clothing.
He starts with the overcoat.
He realizes, at once, it will float and not sink so what does he do? He rushes across the room to some secret hall where he's accumulated the fruits of his beggary, stuffs all the coins that he can lay his hands on into the pockets of the overcoat And drops it into the water.
And would presumably have done the same with the other garments if you and your men had not arrived.
Conceals the other garments behind the curtain and hopes they'll not be noticed and they would not have been noticed had Mrs.
St.
Clair not been so persistent.
Inspector, whatever plot has been hatched in that opium den I cannot but imagine that the lascar is not somehow involved.
I was sorely tempted to arrest him on the day.
I'll send a couple of men up there now.
No.
Inspector, with your permission, may I suggest an alternative strategy? By all means.
Let me visit the opium den discreetly, incognito.
We shall learn what we may.
But what did you learn? Nothing.
Nothing.
Everybody as far as I can ascertain, appears to be telling the truth.
I cannot see an over all pattern.
Can you see a pattern Watson? I see no pattern but I do see a woman who despite all objective circumstances still believes that her husband is alive.
And you said on many occasions that the impression of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical reasoner.
Yeah.
But if he is still alive.
Where is he? I have no idea but I do have an urgent request.
It's now well past four in the morning, may I go to sleep? Certainly.
Thank you.
Watson.
Watson.
What time is it? Dawn.
I've only had two hours sleep.
I wonder if you'd do me the very great kindness of considering the possibility of waking up? I assume you have a good reason.
Are you game for a drive? Certainly.
Does it have to be this early? I have a little theory I wish to test.
Is anyone's life at stake? Certainly not.
Would it be possible to test your theory a little later this morning? I'll see you downstairs in five minutes.
Five minutes.
Come on Nelson.
You have the grand gift of silence Watson.
It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.
Watson you're in the presence of one of the most absolute fools in Europe.
You exaggerate Holmes.
I deserve to be kicked from here to Charing Cross.
The moment you woke me up I would have been prepared to I've got the key Watson here in this Gladstone bag.
Good morning gentlemen.
Watson I confess I have been as blind as a mole, but it's better to learn wisdom later than to never learn it at all.
Bradstreet.
Bradstreet.
I've called about that beggar man, Boone.
He's in the cells Mr.
Holmes.
What can I do for you? I should very much like to see him.
He'd probably be asleep.
Most of the population is probably asleep Holmes.
Very well Holmes, Doctor Watson if you'll come this way.
You can leave your bag in the office Mr.
Holmes? I'll take it with me.
It contains the key.
He's a dirty scoundrel.
Filthy.
Refuses to wash.
Says washing weakens a man's resistance.
Asleep.
He's a beauty isn't he? Inspector would you do me the great goodness of opening the door as quietly as possible? Gentlemen, let me introduce you to Mr.
Neville St.
Clair of Lee in the county of Kent.
Great heaven.
It is true and pray what am I being charged with? Charged with making away with Mr.
Neville St.
Clair.
Well making away with myself? I've been on the force for twenty-seven years.
This takes the cake.
But since it is obvious that no crime has been committed I am illegally detained.
My strength is the strength of ten because my heart is pure.
Alfred Law Tennyson.
You lied to your wife Mr.
St.
Clair.
Is that purity? Let it be understood that I would have endured imprisonment, even execution, rather than reveal my miserable secret to my wife and children.
All is now revealed Mr.
St.
Clair.
So be it.
My father was a schoolmaster in Chesterfield I've received an excellent education.
Traveled, took to the stage and finally became a reporter in a London newspaper.
One day my editor wished to have a series of articles upon begging in the metropolis, and I volunteered to supply them.
So you became a beggar? Yes.
And your experience as an actor must have proved invaluable.
Yes.
Exactly.
Yes I painted my face to make myself look as pitiable as possible.
I manufactured frightening scars.
I twisted my lip for the aid of a piece of flesh colored plaster and then with a dark wig and appropriate clothing took my position in the busiest part of the metropolis, ostensibly as a match-seller but, yes, really as a beggar.
And you did well? Yes.
In one day I took twenty-six shillings and four pence.
I wrote my articles for the newspaper.
My editor was delighted and I thought no more about it until one day I backed a bill for a friend of mine, had a writ served on me for twenty-five pounds.
Well I was at my wits end I mean what could I do? And then suddenly an idea came to me.
I asked for a fortnight's holiday from my employers and spent the time in the city begging.
In ten days I had the money and was able to pay back the debt.
That was when I fell into the trap.
How much were you earning from the newspaper at this time? Two pounds a week.
Far less than begging.
Yes.
During the last few years I had earned, on average, at least seven hundred pounds a year.
But that's a gentlemen's guilt.
Calmly Bradstreet.
I think it's pertinent to say that Mr.
St.
Clair is no ordinary beggar.
People do not expect a beggar to quote extensively from Shakespeare, Mr.
Dickens, the Bible or the latest popular songs.
An aristocrat among beggars.
Well it is not for me to claim such a distinction but as the Inspector rightly observes I had a gentlemen's income so I proceeded to live like a gentleman.
I bought a villa in Kent I married a beautiful and respectable woman and every morning I traveled to my business in the city.
You must have been embroiled with the lascar by this time? Yes I paid him a generous rent for the use of his upstairs rooms.
My secret was safe with him.
I fell among thieves but found honor of a sort.
You see every morning I would emerge as a squalid beggar and every evening transformed into a gentleman.
Tell us about Monday.
I had finished for the day and was dressing in my room above the opium den and suddenly I looked out of the window to my horror and astonishment there was my wife in the street.
Her eyes fixed full upon me.
Neville! I ran along to try and find lascar.
You must not let her in.
I'll say there is nobody upstairs.
She may return with the police.
I'll tell them there's nobody upstairs.
Mr.
Boone will be upstairs.
Mr.
Boone's a lodger.
He has a right to be upstairs.
Neville! I then became Boone, the beggar once more.
And then it occurred to me that there might be a search of the room and that my clothes might betray me.
So I picked up my coat, which was weighed down with the coins that I had just transferred from my leather bag in which I carry my takings.
The rest of my clothes would have followed, but at that moment the police arrived.
The rest you know.
We found blood on the windowsill.
In my haste to open the window I cut myself.
A minor abrasion but if you prick me And thus I was arrested on suspicion of having murdered myself.
And thus you caused your wife much anguish.
But I wrote her a letter.
And gave it to the lascar to post? Yes.
It was not delivered.
It arrived yesterday.
He probably gave it to one of his sailor customers.
I shall never forgive myself, the agony, which I have inflicted upon my wife.
Can I go to her now? I think we must impose one condition Mr.
St.
Clair.
Anything.
There must no be more of you Boone.
I swear it by the most solemn oath that a man can take.
Farewell sweet Boone.
A flight of angels sends me to thy rest.
William Shakespeare.