To the Ends of the Earth (2005) s01e01 Episode Script

Rites of Passage

EPISODE 1 Rites of passage There, sir.
Make way, there! Excuse me.
Mr Talbot! Mr Talbot! What is this stink?! Stink, sir? Lord, sir, you'll get used to that.
I do not wish to get used to it.
Where's the captain of this vessel? Captain Anderson can do nothing about the stink, sir.
It's sand and gravel you see.
The new ships has iron ballast, but she's fifty years old, sir.
Mind your head, now, sir Good God - Curious warship, Wheeler.
- Warship, sir? It's a passenger ship, a mail coach, a storeroom, a farm We have to have something to eat for the next six months.
It's only a warship if we should meet the Frenchy.
Will she make it to Australia? She'll float till she sinks, Mr.
Talbot.
I'll fetch you a brandy, sir.
I am onboard the ship at last I must confess the thing's not as I had expected.
Why an ancient ship of the line such as this one has been transformed into a passenger conveyance is only to be explained by the straits the Admiralty are in with more than 600 warships in commission.
But your Lordship is well aware of the ways of the Admiralty.
How else would you have secured my passage or the position that awaits me in the Governor's office, on arrival at Sidney You, my honoured godfather, have set my foot on the ladder and and however high I climb - for I must warn your lordship that my ambition is boundless- I shall never forget who's kindly hand first helped me upwards.
On the cot, there.
And be careful! You've asked me to use my time aboard the ship wisely and conceal nothing in this journal.
And report back on the activities of some of my fellow passengers I've yet to encounter Mr.
Prettiman, the radical.
I suppose that he is somewhere onboard.
We've cast off, sir.
The next dry land will be Australia.
Perhaps I could have a word with the captain about a more spacious cabin.
If you take my advice, sir, you'll stay here a while.
Forgive me Wheeler, I'm not feeling quite the thing.
Nothing to be ashamed of, sir.
Even the late Lord Nelson suffered famously from the 'mal de mer'.
It'll help you sleep, sir.
Wheeler! Wheeler! Can I fetch you another draught of the paregoric sir? I believe you found it to be very settling.
It is.
It stroke most efficiently.
What are its properties? Opium, sir.
- What are you doing, Wheeler? - It is but learning to ride a ship, sir.
Good day, sir.
- I said: 'good day to you, sir'! - Lieutenant Cumbershum! Who the devil is this?! Have you not read my Standing Orders? My name is Edmund Talbot, Captain.
I carry letters from my godfather.
I have much regard for your his lordship.
- I trust that you are comfortable, Mr - Talbot.
- What is our position, Captain? - We are still in the Channel, Mr Talbot.
And as such the rule is that passengers come to the quarterdeck by invitation only.
Oh in your case I would hope to see more of you.
- We are now in finer weather, sir.
- What the devil is this now?! Ah, Captain Anderson, may I take this opportunity to.
No, no, no! Passengers come to the quarterdeck by invitation! I'm not accustomed to these interruptions in my work, sir.
Go forward if you please.
Keep to the leeward! Leeward, sir? Please convey my sincere apologies to the Do you wish to subvert all my officers, sir?! - There is some mistake - Are you aware of the powers of the captain on his own ship? You're a nuisance, sir! Put aboard without a note to me.
I'm shown more courtesy over a bale or a keg! - My sincere apologies, Captain.
I did you the courtesy to suppose you could read.
Read, Captain Anderson? Of course I can read.
Then you have my orders.
My Standing Orders! A paper prominently displayed near your quarters and those of the other passengers.
Read it! My attention was not drawn to such a paper, sir.
By Christ!! Am I to be out faced on my own deck again and again by every ignorant landsman? Am I, sir? Tell me!! Read my orders! And when you have read them, learn them by heart! Come sir, you treat me like a schoolboy! I will treat you like a schoolboy if I choose sir! or have you flogged, if I choose, sir! or have you clapped in irons if I choose.
Sir! Or have you flogged by the gratings if I choose, sir! Or have you hanged by the yardarm if I choose, sir! - The whole ship must have heard him.
- Parsons you see, Mr Talbot.
Don't commonly have them in the navy, sir.
Not enough of them to go around.
But law requires one aboard every ship of the line, does it not? Captain Anderson would wish to avoid it.
- Come, come, Wheeler.
Are not seamen notoriously superstitious? You don't require the occasional invocation of mumbo jumbo? Captain Anderson does not, sir.
Nor did the great Captain Cook, I believe.
He was a notable atheist and would have sooner taken the plague into his ship as a parson.
- Good God! - Mr Colley is a passenger.
Nothing more.
Come! Mr Summers' compliments to Mr Talbot.
Will Mr Talbot take a glass of wine with him in the passengers' saloon? - Mr Summers? - The first lieutenant, sir.
He's second in charge to the captain, is he not? Tell Mr Summers I'll be happy to wait on him in 10 minutes time.
Mr Talbot.
Do you find your accommodation commodious, Mr Pike? Well, uh well Mr Talbot? Lieutenant Summers.
How are you finding the motion? Well, my servant tells me I must learn to ride the ship.
I see you are managing.
Lt Deverel, Mr Talbot.
Mr Summers.
Would you mind just clarifying something for us? Excuse me, gentlemen.
- Mr Edmund Talbot, I believe.
- Yes, indeed.
Who hunts with the Shropshire Fieldings.
The very same! Delighted to make your acquaintance, sir.
Bates! Drink for Mr Talbot.
Thank you, sir.
- Your health.
- And yours.
Do you mind my asking -your scar- was it delivered by a French sword? A Frenchy indeed tried to split my skull, sir.
But my head proved harder than his steel.
- Mr Talbot.
Have you met Miss Granham? - I don't believe I have.
but surely games are not altered in themselves by the nature of the place in which they are played.
I'm very happy to hear you say so.
I've seen cards played in queer places, I can tell you.
I would expect some knowledge of whist as necessary to a young lady.
Always provided she has the wit to lose prettily.
There are many hours of innocent enjoyment to be afforded by the cards.
Miss Granham, may I introduce Mr Talbot? I hope ma'am that at sometime during our long voyage I should have the benefit of your instruction.
Instruction, Mr Talbot? How clever of you to have discovered that I am a governess.
Why, ma'am Yours is most necessary and gentile profession open to a lady.
I'm willing to bet you're as secure in the affections of your young ladies and gentlemen as old Dobbie Miss Dobson remains in mine.
A lady who is the daughter of a late canon of Exeter Cathedral and who is obliged by her circumstances to take up the offer of employment among a family in the Antipodes may well set the affectionate friendship of young ladies and gentlemen at a lower value than you do.
This is excellent meat.
What takes you to Australia, Mr Talbot? A position in the Governor's office, sir.
Aah, a politician at our table.
Then we may all sleep soundly.
- Mr Prettiman, is it not? - Indeed it is, sir.
Have we been introduced before? No, I don't believe we have, but, of course, it is a belated pleasure.
Do you think we should experience any action on this voyage, Deverel? I pray that we don't, sir.
This is hardly a proper ship of the line with a crew that know each other.
- You've not sailed together before? - The crew is small in numbers We were swept together in a day or so.
You've met the officers, Mr Talbot I shouldn't wish to rely on Cumbershum for a hand in a battle with the Frenchy.
- As for the captain - I've met the captain.
He spends more time with his plants than his commanding officers.
Indeed.
And to make matters worse this war is running down like an unwound clock.
Zenobia, my dear child! - How is your poor mother? - A shadow of herself, ma'am.
Will you join us Miss? I'll find you a cushion.
My cushion is free.
Miss Granham you cannot leave me here alone among so many gentlemen.
Yes, Miss Granham.
Must you leave so soon? Rest assured ma'am, your virtue is as safe here as anywhere on the vessel.
Dear Miss Granham, I'm sure your virtue is safe anywhere.
- Allow me, ma'am.
- Thank you, Mr Oldmeadow.
A true gentleman.
I saw you, sir.
You threw salt over your shoulders.
Superstition is the religion of the feeble mind.
I will have you know, Mr Brocklebank.
I am the inveterate foe of every superstition.
How angry Mr Prettiman is.
I declare that when roused he is quite, quite terrifying.
The custom of touching wood comes from the papistical habit of adoring the crucifix and kissing it.
Mr Bowles! We are indebted to you, sir.
My nurse had a horror of a loaf being turned upside down.
Apparently it presaged to disastrous sea 'Alone, alone' 'All, all alone' 'Alone on a wide, wide sea' 'God save the ancient mariner from the fiends that plague the vast.
' 'Why looketh thou so?' 'With my crossbow I shot the albatross.
' Mr Broklebank painted Mr Coleridge's portrait.
Albatross.
More superstition.
Would you dare risk shooting such a bird? Do you have a gun, sir? I have been advised -as I intend to travel in the country- to take a gun - Bring me your gun, sir.
- I will bring you my gun, sir.
And I will shoot and albatross.
And we shall see what fate befalls this ship.
And where is the parson? The cabin walls are so thin.
Every morning I hear him in prayer.
- The parson keeps his cabin.
- Ha ha, the reverend Colley.
He's a newly hatched parson that had to be smuggled aboard.
We shall see little of him I think.
Thank God and the captain for that.
Is it true that Captain Anderson has refused the parson to hold a Sunday service? Did you not witness the altercation between them? Our captain threw him to the floor.
This is why we are denied a Sunday service? My wife would like a service on the Sabbath if Well.
I should think it might be possible for the parson to hold a short service for those who wish to attend, might it not? Then it's decided.
Ah! Mister um - Mister - The reverend Robert James Colley.
- At your service, Mr Talbot, sir.
- Service is the word, sir.
- Mr Colley.
When is the Sabbath? - In two days time, sir.
A few ladies and gentlemen would welcome it if you were to conduct a short service in the passengers' saloon at seven bells at the afternoon watch.
Mr Talbot, sir, this is is -it is like you.
The brooding captain will not dictate to me in this manner.
Is he to tell me whether I should have a service to attend or not? Why no, sir! 'Lord, whom winds and waves obey' 'Guide us through the watery way' 'In the hollow of thy hand' 'Hide and bring us safe to land' Two points to starboard, Mr Cumbershum! 'Jesus let our faithful mind' 'Rest on thee alone reclined' 'Every anxious thought repress' 'Keep our souls in perfect peace' 'Keep the souls whom now we leave' Bring her onto the wind! 'Bid them to each other cleave' - Another point to starboard! 'Bid them walk on life's rough sea' - Onto the wind! One point to starboard! 'Bid them come by faith to Thee.
' - Hard to lee, Mr Cumbershum 'Save, till all these tempests end' - Swing her around.
'All who on Thy love depend' - Steady! - Steady! I have regrettably little to report to your lordship.
We have ventured, at last, into the Tropics.
Mr Prettiman is still trying to shoot his albatross.
The other passengers keep themselves to themselves.
Mrs Brocklebank has recovered from her sickness.
To everyone's surprise, she certainly does not look old enough to be Zenobia's mother.
I had known the world of Art is not to be judged by the accepted standards of morality but would prefer Mr Brocklebank to set up his brothel elsewhere.
Added to the heat and humidity a sea voyage I'm learning can have an effect on the male constitution.
To meet the lady is easy enough and, indeed, unavoidable.
The problem -devil take it- is a place of assignation.
if you'll ask what is wrong with my hutch or, indeed, hers - then I will answer 'everything'.
Does Mr Colley cry but 'Hem' on the other side of the lobby as he wakes Ms Granham in the hutch just aft him.
Does that windbag Mr Brocklebank but break wind and our timbers shudder clear through my hutch and into Mr Prettiman's just across from me.
Clearly, I must prospect farther for a place suitable to the conduct of our 'amours'.
Wheeler! Sir? I would like to look around our ship, if I may.
You'll need a guide, sir.
Make way for Mr Talbot.
What the devil is this? Gentleman Jack.
Always one for a joke, Mr Deverel.
He put Willis up to it.
Mr Deverel told me that was the only way to get on in the navy.
- It's a creeper, see? - Most amusing.
You'll take an observation through a glass, Mr Talbot? The air is very close inhere, gentlemen.
A wonder you can endure it, day after day.
It's a hard life, Mr Talbot.
Here today, gone tomorrow Here today, gone today if you mind that young fellow Hawthorne.
That's more donkey than boy.
He's a fuckin' idiot.
Last man on the rope, young Hawthorne.
Boatswain says: 'whatever in this natural world, don't let go!' The boat begins taking charge on the yard.
Hawthorne holds on like he's been told.
What's wrong, what happened? The end of the rope runs up to the block just like that.
Hawthorne's on the end of it We never saw him again.
- Good God! Here today, gone today.
It's so stuffy down here.
Remember them girls, Mr Gibbs? Can we 'ave a window open? Can we 'ave a window? So it is possible to obtain commerce, even on a vessel such as this? - No one see you? - I saw them.
No match goes unseen, Mr Talbot.
As you may know already.
Mr Willis will show ya.
Go on.
Pretend you're the captain doin' his rounds.
And if you're very lucky, you might get to see the purser.
Remember that gunner's mate? He lost his head Was there anything else you wished to see, Mr Talbot? I trust we shall be seeing you at the ceremony, Mr Talbot.
- Ceremony? - This afternoon we cross the Line.
As we cross the Equator, King Neptune comes to visit the ship.
Yes, I have heard of this barbaric ritual.
Mr Summers! The ritual custom, I should say.
Does the whole ship attend? - Nobody is excluded, sir.
- And it is.
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entertaining? If you like your entertainment noisy.
It has come to me in a flash.
If I cannot alter the place, then all that it is left to alter is the time.
The ship is about to provide me not with the place, but with an opportunity.
I hear there's to be entertainment, Mr Talbot.
And we are all to be included.
Not quite all of us, Mr Pike.
This wretched heat has given me a headache.
I shall pass the time in my cabin.
Colley! Robert James Colley! Come out, Robert James Colley! You are coming to judgement.
No, I'm not ready! No! No!! Please! Gentlemen, unhand me! Please, no! Please gentlemen.
God save me! This is Neptun's dominium, parson.
Pray for me! You are a low and filthy fellow, who must be cleansed.
Come on, now! Edmund! The French! Calm yourself.
It is Mr Prettiman who has at last seen an albatross.
Now, my dear.
We must get you back to the social scene.
It will never do for us to appear together.
Edmund! - Why, what is the matter? - You will not desert me.
Come, what can I do? Step overboard into a ship of my own? - Cruel! - Do not pretend these are circumstances with which you're wholly unfamiliar.
Unless you're waiting for - For what? - For a suitable moment to retire to your hutch -'cabin', I mean to say- and repair your toilet.
We have very little time.
If there should be unhappy consequences Yeah, we must cross that bridge would you come to it.
Now - Close is clear -yes- go, go! - Edmund! Edmund!! Talbot, my my dear fellow.
- Bates! A glass for Mr Talbot! - Thank you, sir.
What a sight it was What famous sport! Indeed, sir.
Famous sport Bates, another glass, for Mr Deverel.
You are kindness itself, Talbot.
and the whole thing went too far, in my mind.
I agree, Mr Pike.
Ah, but diverting, nonetheless.
And was it not diverting for you, Mr Talbot? - Can I get you anything, sir? - No, thank you Wheeler.
That'll be all.
- I thought I could smell perfume, sir.
- I don't think you did, Wheeler Good night, sir.
Good night, Wheeler.
So you shot your albatross, Mr Prettiman.
I did not, sir.
I did not.
Weapon was snatched from me hands.
Whole episode was grotesque and lamentable.
- Such a display of savage superstition.
- No doubt.
No doubt Such a thing would never happen in France.
Parson.
Captain Anderson.
I desire to speak with you.
Well, sir, you may do so.
Your people have done my office wrong.
You yourself have done it wrong.
- I know it, Mr Colley.
- You confess as much, sir? It was never meant The affair got out of hand.
You have been ill used, sir.
After this confession of your fault I I forgive you.
Freely.
But there were, I believe, other officers involved.
They were I suppose acting not so much under your orders but by force of your example.
I believe I know them, sir, disguised as they were.
Not for my sake but for their own -they must admit their fault.
Christ! You will have it all then, will you, sir? I defend my Master's office as you would the King's.
And there are the poor ignorant people in the front end of the ship.
I must visit them and bring them to repentance.
- Are you mad? - Indeed no, sir.
Mr Colley.
Have you no care what further mockery may be inflicted upon you? You have your uniform, Captain Anderson.
And I have mine.
Have I your permission then to go forward and address them? Do as you please.
Mr Summers.
I believe it was you who discharged Mr Prettiman's weapon.
It was, sir.
- I trust no one was injured.
- I fired over the side.
- I must thank you for it.
- It was nothing, sir.
'Lord whom winds and waves obey' 'Guide us through the watery way' I beg you, allow me to take charge, sir.
Let's not interfere with the ways of the church, Mr Summers.
- The men are in drink, sir.
- See they are punished for it.
Something had happened during the ship's entertainment.
while I was so closely engaged with the delicious enemy.
I have no doubt the people subjected the parson Colley to some slight, real or imagined, and it could have been a great deal worse had it not been for the timely intervention of Mr Summers.
What the devil's going on? Sir, I must see the first lieutenant, sir.
It's the parson sir.
Mr Colley's in the fo'castle, sir, as drunk as the butcher's boots.
Get below, sir, or I'll masthead you.
They are laughing at us, sir.
Sir.
Sir? Inform the parson he must return to his cabin at once.
Mr Willis! Inform the parson he must return to his cabin at once.
Joy! Joy! Joy! The blessing of God the Father Almighty, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost be with you and remain with you always! This is the 51st day of our voyage.
I think And then again, perhaps it is not.
I've lost interest in the calendar and almost in the voyage too.
I have felt a lethargy.
It has been little to do than walk the deck and drink with anyone who will.
I have little to amuse your lordship at present.
I have avoided Miss Brocklebank who glows in this heat so as to almost turn a man's stomach.
I'm sure that Deverel has had to do with her.
I fear that a man might well suffer shipwreck on that coast.
What is of some interest, however, is the behaviour, or lack of it of the parson Colley.
The fact is that since the fellow's fall he has not left his cabin.
Four days have now passed since his drunkenness.
Come! What is it, Wheeler? Lieutenant Summers was inquiring if you have called on Mr Colley.
I've no intention of calling on Mr Colley, it's the thing furthest from my mind.
Lt Summers believes a visit from you would send a message to the rest of the ship.
Seeing as no other passenger carries your authority.
- Is the parson unwell? - Hard to say, sir.
You can still make out that the gentleman is breathing.
Very well, Wheeler.
I shall pay a visit to Mr Colley.
but I do not wish to be offended by the sights and smells of a sickroom.
Of course not, sir.
- Good God! - I've done my best, sir.
Mr Colley.
Mr Colley, it is I, Edmund Talbot.
No one blames you for what happened, sir.
Life has not been made easy for you.
But this is not the way to behave.
This is not good enough, Mr Colley.
I have called upon you, sir.
I desire further acquaintance with you.
Well, sir.
When you are in a better humour, pray call on me.
- Mr Talbot.
- Mr Summers.
I've discharged those responsibilities you were so kind to bring to my attention.
with little success, I have to report.
The man made a beast of himself and now I am weary of the subject.
I have entered the cabin and seen for myself.
Then I shall marvel if you can eat after it.
The stink alone Mr Talbot.
We have no physician onboard.
And I believe the parson is mortally sick.
The man is young and suffering from no more than over indulgence in liquor.
Is that all, Mr Talbot? Are you as indifferent to the man's fate as others are? - I am not an officer on this ship.
- The more able to help, sir.
I may speak to you freely, may I not? Well then.
How has the man been treated? First he was the object of one man's specific dislike.
Then the object of general indifference leading to contempt.
Even before his latest escapade.
What I say now may well ruin me if I misjudged your character.
My character? You have been studying my character, sir? We know your birth, your prospective position.
Men and women will flatter you in hope - God! - Wait, wait! Understand me, Mr Talbot! I do not complain.
You have exercised your privileged position.
Now I'm asking you to shoulder its responsibility.
Who was responsible for the parson's state? Devil take it, man! Himself! Very well, Summers, let us not mince round the truth like a pair of church spinsters.
You are going to spread the responsibility, are you not? You will include the captain and I agree.
Who else? Deverel? Yourself? - The starboard watch? The world? - You, sir, are the man most responsible.
- What?! My career is now in far more danger then from the French.
They, after all, could do no more than kill or How mean, how vindictive do you think I am?! Your precious carer is safe.
Now explain your words! You ignored the captain's orders and ventured upon the quarterdeck.
You made good use of your rank to strike a blow at the very foundations of a captain of his own ship.
Because of your rank, your prospects, your connections you got away with it.
The parson, sir, could not be so fortunate.
If Colley had read the captain's Standing Orders You are a passenger as he is, did you read them? Had you not acted as you did, with the arrogance of your class then Mr Colley would have not assumed the liberty of himself venturing upon the quarterdeck.
The captain humiliated the parson, sir, because he could not humiliate you.
- You've said enough.
- I hope so.
A man does not want to die of shame because he got drunk.
The best medicine for Mr Colley would be a visit from the captain.
And there is only one man amongst us with sufficient influence to bring the captain to such an action.
- A fine evening for you, Mr Talbot.
- Indeed it is, sir.
Do we make as much progress as is common in these latitudes? I doubt we shall achieve more than an average of a knot over the next day or two.
- 24 sea miles a day.
- Just so, sir.
I must confess to finding these latitudes agreeable.
Could we but tow the British Isles to this part of the world, how many of our social problems would be solved! The mango would fall in our mouths.
You have a quaint notion there, sir.
- Do you mean to include Ireland? - No, sir.
I would give her to the United States of America.
It would remove half a watch of my crew at a blow.
Well worth the loss, sir.
Balmy the air is It's almost insupportable that I must descend again.
- And busy myself with my writing.
- Ah a writer We have a writer onboard.
Partly an amusement, partly a duty.
What my godfather would call a 'journal'.
Or a log, if you prefer.
You must find little to record in such a situation as this.
Indeed, you are mistaken, sir.
I find I have neither time nor paper sufficient to record all the interesting events and my observations on them.
It's my godfather's intention that this voyage allowed his godson time for reflection and exercise for his powers of judgement.
This journal will be evidence that his hopes have been fulfilled.
- The journal is for your godfather? - It is my present to him.
To distract him from his gout.
I'm instructed to hide nothing.
The officers of this ship must bulk large in your accounts, sir.
They and the language they use.
And some of the personages.
Mr Prettiman and his outspoken views.
All will amuse his lordship.
And myself? You, sir? I've not considered that.
Well you are after all the king or emperor of our floating society I had not looked to become famous, Mr Talbot.
with prerogatives of justice and mercy.
Yes.
I suppose you do bulk large in my journal.
And shall continue to do so - Good God, man! - My apologies, Mr Talbot.
- But it cannot continue.
- Colley? I am to look in on him again by the captain's orders and you are to assist me.
- I? - You're not ordered to assist.
but Captain Anderson feels that the parson will listen to your invaluable advice.
Very well.
Let us try once again to rouse Mr Colley from his .
.
his lethargy.
Mr Talbot has come to see you, Mr Colley.
Well, Mr Colley, this is an unfortunate business.
But you are refining too much on it.
Uncontrolled drunkenness and its consequences are an experience every man ought to go through at least once in his life, or else how is he to understand the behaviour of others? I have been brought to see how I am -in however distant a way- partly responsible for your.
.
predicament.
Had I not enraged the captain as I did, then - We need a doctor.
- We don't have a doctor.
- Mr Brocklebank! Wheeler! - Brocklebank?! He was at medical school before he was a painter.
Wheeler! Wheeler! -Sir? - Wake Mr Brocklebank at once.
I believe the gentleman is still in the passengers' saloon.
Then fetch him, man! And Wheeler! Notify the captain.
Mr Brocklebank.
We require your medical knowledge.
Good evening, Parson.
- Well? - Well what? Is he dead? The man is not dead.
He is asleep.
- He is in a low fever.
- There is no such thing as a low fever.
Well? To the best of our knowledge, sir, Mr Colley is dead.
Nonsense.
Stiff drink will rouse him.
I fear the man's intemperance has destroyed him.
Intemperance, sir? A single unlucky indulgence.
And you will enter it, sir, in the log, I presume.
That is something for me to consider in my own time, Mr Talbot.
- A moment's unlucky indulgence has not - I heard a mention of a low fever, did I not? That is my opinion, Captain.
Mr Brocklebank is not quite himself, sir.
Nevertheless, he's the only man aboard with medical knowledge, is he not? A moment ago he pronounced the man asleep.
Mr Summers! Make the customary arrangements.
Mr Willis! Bring aft the sailmaker and his mate.
And three or four able-bodied men! Ladies and gentlemen.
You will not wish to witness what follows.
May I request that the cabins be cleared? The air of the quarterdeck is to be recommended.
- What happened to the parson? - He was made drunk, as you know.
I mean before.
The crossing of the Line.
You did not witness the ceremony? I was otherwise occupied For what did he receive the captain's apologies? A 'low' fever, gentlemen, is the opposite to a 'high' fever.
I bid you good night.
There is a young gentleman onboard whom -I trust and pray- will become my friend as the voyage advances.
He's a member of the aristocracy with all the consideration and nobility of bearing that such birth implies.
I have made so bold as to salute him on a number of occasions and he has responded graciously.
His example may do much among the other passengers who have an indefinable indifference to me.
I have furthered my acquaintance with Mr Talbot.
I was he, of all people, who did in fact search me out.
He's a true friend to religion.
He came to my cabin and begged me in the most open and friendly manner to favour the ship's people with a short address.
This is a Godless vessel.
What a man does defiles him -not what is done by others.
My shame -though it burn- has been inflicted upon me.
I must visit the poor ignorant people in the front end of the ship.
I shall go forward ad rebuke these unruly but truly lovable children of our Maker.
What is it, Wheeler? The captain has requested your presence in his stateroom, sir.
Why? There is to be an enquiry, sir.
Into the death of Mr Colley.
Come in.
Ah, Mr Talbot.
Come in, come in.
I must apologize to you for not greeting you at the threshold.
You've caught me in my garden.
I did not realize you had a private paradise, Captain.
Indeed, yes.
This geranium you see, Mr Talbot has some disease of the leaf.
And I dusted it with the flours of sulphur but to no effect.
I shall lose it, no doubt.
But then, sir, he who gardens at sea must accustom himself to loss.
On my first voyage in command I lost my whole collection.
Through the violence of the enemy, sir? No, sir.
No, sir.
To the uncommon nature of the weather which held us, for weeks without either wind or rain.
I could not have served water to my plants.
There would have been mutiny.
Still.
The loss of one plant is no grave matter.
Besides, you may exchange it for another at Sidney Cove.
We are a long way and a long time from our destination, Mr Talbot.
Shall we get on with the matter in hand? Mr Colley agreed to a taste of rum.
He said it was in the spirit of something.
- Reconciliation? - I think that was the word he used, sir.
What were you doing forrard? The cable to the bower anchor was to be rousted out and walked end to end.
Having finished my inspection, I was coming to report.
I stayed a while, having never seen a parson in that state before.
And then? I proceeded aft to inform Lt Summers but I'd been given a bottle by Mr Cumbershum.
Thank you very much, Mr Willis.
That is all.
- But what's a bottle got - A 'bottle' is a rebuke, sir.
Let's get on.
The laughter and applause we heard, Mr East? Was when the reverend Colley exchanged word with the seamen.
- After he'd been drinking.
- He was more sociable after the rum.
I didn't see him again, not after the seamen took him down amongst the ropes.
I was with me wife - she had suffered a miscarriage.
Thank you, Mr East.
Actually the men most likely to enlighten us on how much Colley had drunk.
would be the fellows that brought him back on deck.
I've ordered them to attend.
However, my informant advises me that this next witness we should press.
Informant? Informant on what? We are here to establish the cause of Mr Colley's death, sir.
Or had you forgotten the agenda? I had not, Captain, but I believe we are doing what you gentlemen call 'making heavy weather of it'.
The parson Colley was made drunk - which isn't exactly a crime.
Can we not confess it is intemperance that killed him but rather our general indifference to his welfare was, likely enough, the cause of it.
- Indifference? - Intemperance, sir.
One moment, Summers! Mr Talbot, I pass over your odd phrase, 'our general indifference', But do you really think a single bout of drinking is enough - But you said as much yourself! - That was yesterday.
It is likely enough that the parson, helplessly drunk, suffered a criminal assault by one or God knows how many men.
- Good God! - I will have no concealment, sir.
Nor will I tolerate any frivolous accusations which touch me myself in my conduct of the ship Or in my attitude to the passengers in her.
I have made a submission, sir.
I beg your pardon if you find it beyond my line of duty.
Very well, Mr Summers.
Let us get on.
- Surely no man will confess to such a - You are young, Mr Talbot.
You cannot guess what channels of information there are in a ship such as this.
Channels? Informants? Mr Summers tells me you claim some skill in cross-examination.
- Did he? - Hmm.
- Did I? - Your witness, sir.
Now, my good man, your name if you please.
Billy Rogers, my lord.
Foretop man.
We want some information from you, Rogers.
We want to know in precise detail what happened when the gentleman came among you the other day.
- What gentleman, my lord? - The parson! The reverend Colley.
The gentleman who is now dead.
He had a drop too much, my lord.
He was overcome, like.
Then he was not assaulted? - Assaulted, my lord? - With you permission my lord Mr Colley suffered an outrage in the fo'castle.
Who did it? Would it surprise you to know that you yourself are suspected of this particular kind of assault? I know nothing, Captain sir.
Nothing at all.
Come Rogers.
You were seen with the parson.
What did you sailors do to him? What did we do, my lord ? Buggery, Rogers.
Buggery! If you are innocent, then you may help us by bringing the criminals to book.
At the very least you can provide us with a list of those you suspect capable of this particular form of beastliness.
- We want names! - Aye, aye, sir.
Shall I begin with the officers, sir? Very well, Rogers.
You may return to your duties.
Have we any other witnesses? I believe no, sir.
And there, Mr Summers, ends our investigation.
Sherry, anyone? Hawkins! But we still do not know what happened! Sherry for myself and Mr Talbot, Hawkins.
Mr Summers.
I believe you must oversee the various arrangements.
for the unfortunate man's committal to the deep.
Yes, Captain.
A low fever it is, then.
Will you be willing to counter-sign the report? I have no official standing in this ship.
Come now, Mr Talbot.
Rogers has it in his power to ruin all of us if he be so brazen - as I doubt not he is.
All of us.
Witnesses, inquiries, accusations.
Lies.
Yet more lies.
Court martial.
Such accusations cannot be disproved.
Whatever the upshot, something would stick.
Buggery is a hanging matter, sir.
The parson died of a low fever.
I ask you once again: will you be willing to countersign the report? I will make a statement and I will sign that.
Thank you.
To your health, sir.
You mentioned informants, Captain Anderson.
Did I ? I No, I think not.
- You asked Lt Summers - Who replied there were none, sir.
Yes? Not a man jack among them.
Do you understand? No one has come sneaking to me.
You can go now, Hawkins.
Servants have ears, Mr Talbot.
Ah, yes, of course.
- I'm very sure my fellow Wheeler has.
- Wheeler? Oh, yes, indeed.
The fellow must have eyes and ears all over him.
Well then, until the sad ceremony I shall return to my journal.
Ah, the journal.
Do not forget to include, sir, that whatever may be said of the passengers, as far as the people and my officers are concerned - this is a happy ship.
I'm sure your godfather would want to know that.
It seems to me then -it still seems so- that I was and am consumed by a great love of all things.
The sea, the ship, the sky, the gentlemen and the people and of course our Redeemer above all! Here at last is the happiest outcome of all my distress and difficulty.
Captain's company, off caps! I did not realize that Mr Colley was so tall.
It's the cannon balls, sir.
Two of 'em strung to his feet.
'Man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live and is full of misery.
' 'He cometh up and is cut down like a flower.
' 'He fleeth as it were a shadow and never continueth in one stay.
' 'In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour,' 'but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased.
' 'We therefore commit his body to the deep' 'to be turn into corruption looking for the resurrection of the body' 'when the sea shall give up her dead' 'and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
' Present arms! Fire! Leeeoonnawwll! I should be a rich man, now, had not the warmth of my constitution.
an attachment -more than usually found- to the sex.
And the opportunities for excess forced on my nature by the shocking corruption of English society.
What would a dolt know of the corruption of society? Indeed, sir My dear Talbot.
I hear you've been interrogating our good crew.
- At the captain's request, Deverel.
- Old rumble-guts? I tell you this: the moment we reach Sidney Cove I shall resign my commission.
Call the captain out and shoot him dead.
You, sir, or the drink? You look as though you could use a drop yourself, my good man.
Bates! A glass for Mr Talbot.
Did you know? I was the first in the field after the death of Lord Nelson with a lithograph, portraying the 'happy occasion'.
I've seen it.
I have seen it.
There is a copy on the wall of 'The Dog and Gun'.
Although, I've always wandered: how the devil did the whole crowd of young officers contrive to be kneeling around Lord Nelson in attitudes of sorrow and devotion at the hottest moment of the action? Aa you are confusing art with actuality.
Was that not the scene you observed? Imagine: Lord Nelson died down below in some stinking part of the bilges, with nothing to see him but a ship's lantern.
Who the devil's is going to paint the picture of that?! - Rembrandt, perhaps? - A, madam, the immortal Rembrandt What did you do to him, Deverel? You refer to the parson Colley.
You were amongst the crew when he was made drunk.
When he when he was assaulted.
Made drunk, perhaps.
But there was no assault, sir.
Well, if you wish me to call it by another word then I shall.
Buggery! I don't recall the parson objecting to a damn thing, sir.
In fact, from where I was standing, he seemed to be somewhat enjoying himself.
You lie.
Do I, Talbot? Perhaps you don't know the man as well as you may think.
very similar to death.
A fine, upstanding man of the cloth.
A truly degraded man.
Lieutenant Deverel? Mr Colley.
Come, ma'am 'De mortuis' and all that.
A single unlucky indulgence was harmless enough Harmless? A priest? Harmless?! I was not referring to drink, but to vice in another form.
- Come on! The parson had no vices - Do you doubt the lady's word, sir? - No, no, of course not! - Let it be, dear Mr Prettiman.
Mr Talbot has chosen to doubt your word, ma'am, and I will have an apology! - You have it, ma'am, unreservedly.
- Oh, well.
We learned of his vicious habits accidentally.
It was two sailors descending on one of the rope's ladders who made us aware.
Miss Granham and I were It was dark.
We were sheltering in that confusion of ropes at the foot of the ladder.
Discussing how true liberty must lead to true equality.
Anyway, these sailors weren't aware of our presence so without meaning to we heard all! Smoking is bad enough but at least gentlemen go no further.
But, my dear Miss Granham, I It is as savage a custom as is known amongst coloured people.
By Jove, ma'am! You can't mean the gentleman chewed tobacco! You shall have the facts, sir, as they were spoken.
Natural aptitude has made me an expert in the recollection of casual speech.
One sailor said to the other, as they descended the ladder, 'Billy Rogers was laughing as a bilge pump as he came out of the captain's cabin.
' 'He went into the heads and I sat beside him.
' 'Billy said he's know'd most things in his life, but he'd never thought to get a chew of a parson.
' No, I fail I fail to see what's so amusing.
'Blessing of the Father, of the Son' 'and of the Holy Ghost' Well, really! Get up! There are ladies present! Disgraceful! I think I finally understand what happened to the pitiable, clownish Mr Colley.
It was he -not Rogers, not Deverel- who committed the fellatio that the poor fool was to die of when he remembered it.
And so, your lordship, in the not too ample volume of man's knowledge of man, let this sentence be inserted.
Men can die of shame.
Wheeler! - Where is Wheeler? - He cannot be traced, sir.
- We think he may have gone overboard.
- Good God! - The captain mentioned informants - They're searching the ship now.
Phillips will serve you in the meantime.
Shall I fetch him for you? Perhaps you can give this to the captain.
I've done as he asked.
The captain will be reassured.
What a man does -defiles him.
Not what is done by others.
Sir? It's a phrase from Mr Colley's journal.
- The matter is closed, is it not? - Not entirely.
For my part, I must write a letter to Mr Colley's sister.
I shall describe my growing friendship with her brother.
I shall describe my admiration for him.
Account all his days of 'low fever' and my grief at his death.
It will be lies from beginning to end.
And then? Australia.
This is the last page of your journal, my lord.
I have turned back over the pages ruefully enough.
Wit? Acute observation? Entertainment? Why, it has become, perhaps, some kind of sea story.
But a sea story with, as yet, not a tempest.
No shipwreck, no sinking, no rescue.
No sight nor sound of an enemy, no thundering broad sides, heroism, prises, gallant defences or heroic attacks.
But there is still a long way to go.
Get her onto the wind, Mr Cumbershum.
Steer! One point.
Large.