Swallows and Amazons Forever!: The Big Six (1984) - full transcript

Joe, Bill and Pete are members of the "Coot Club", spending most of their time on the river in their little boat, the "Death and Glory." Trouble starts when they are blamed for setting ...

(serene music)

- Will you stop jiggling that tooth?

- Sorry.

- Pull it out and have
done with it, William.

- Tain't not loose enough yet.

- Salvage company?

You and your bird protection society.

- Yeah, that's right.

So you won't get no more
chances at stealing eggs.

- Now that we can sleep aboard,

we'll be watching all
the time come nesting.

- A pack of brats like you

aren't gonna stop us doing anything.

- Just you try stealing any more eggs.

You'll see.

- Yeah, that told him.

- These kids are getting
too cocky by half.

- Yeah.

Dad giving them that award
for salvaging the Margalletta

has gone right to their heads.

- They need taking down a peg or two.

(bell rings)

- Tom Dudgeon

- Coots forever.

- And ever.

- You got the paint?

- Yes.

- That's good.

- Too late to paint the chimney today.

But at least you can start
first thing tomorrow.

- Stop it, Pete.

- [Tom] What's up?

- Tooth loose.

- He's been jiggling that tooth all day.

I'm just about ready to
knock it down his throat.

- I've got five pence coming
from my mom when I out it.

- Hey, Bill, if he'd
had told us that before

we'd woulda had it out by now.

- Yeah, let's put our pincers to it.

- Just a minute.

I know a method that always works.

And it doesn't hurt at all.

Open up.

Right now, let's have it out.

- I think I'm going home,

it's gone supper time.

- Kneel down,

look ahead, and open wide.

Remember, Coots forever.

- Oww.

(clanking noise and footsteps)

- Who's that?

Must be someone down there.

- It's outed.

- There's no one there.

- I'm sure I heard someone moving about.

- So did I.

- Here's that old brick.

- And there's my tooth.

- Still hanging on the end of the line.

- Cor!

Ever so small, ain't it?

- Still worth five pence from your mum.

(doors banging)

- [Peter] What was that?

- I'm sure I closed that door very firmly

when we came in.

- I know, I saw you.

- That means someone
must have been down here

while we were upstairs.

- There was definitely someone
in my boat shed last night.

- Anything stole, Mr. Rodley?

- I don't think so.

A lot of mess, and a
lock have been broken.

- Don't surprise me.

Had word from Acorn.

Thieves been into a boatyard there

and stole some property.

Don't you worry, I'll
find out who was here.

- Dad, one of our boats has gone missing.

- Which one?

- The Invincible.

(cranking noise)

(door slamming)

(car engine)

(rain falling)

(soft piano music)

- Oh no.

Dick, it's awful news from Mrs. Barrable.

- What?

- Her Norfolk holiday's off.

- Why?

- That brother of hers has broken his leg,

so she'll have to spend
the rest of the holiday

looking after him.

Here, in London.

- So that means we won't be
seeing Tom, and the twins?

- Or the Death and Glories.

- I got something from me mum.


- There, lads.

- What Mr. Rodney?

- What do you mean,

casting her off in the
middle of the night?

- What do you mean, sir?

- The Invincible.

You lot next to her last
night near dad's boat yard.

And you on the water.

- What sort of a daft prank is that?

- We didn't do that sir.

She's salvaged by us, we
don't set them adrift.

- She was moored next to you

so who else could it have been?

This is criminal, and you
won't get away with it.

On you go, then.

(engine roars)

(sad music)

(gentle music)

- [Barrable] I was looking forward

to seeing the children again.

Now I have to spend the
best two weeks of the year

in the heart of London gasping for air.

- [Tom] Dick and Dell will
be terribly disappointed.

- [Barrable] I know.


Still, it can't be helped.

Now then, William, I want
you to take good care of Tom

whilst I'm away, and not make
undue demands upon his time,

do you hear?

Be good, kind, and industrious.

- I'll take great care
of him, Mrs Barrable.

- I know you will.

(horse snickers)

You better get Rufus back to Noman.

See you in a fortnight.

- Bye, trot on.

(hooves clanking)

(duck quacking)

- And who cast off the Invincible then?

- Go boil your head, George Owdon.

- Truth hurts, don't it?

- We ain't never cast off no boat.

- Well, that ain't what
Constable Tedder think.

(bells chime)

- I fixed it all up.

- Fixed what up?

- Harry Bangate says
we can go and watch him

lift the eel sets.

- Tom as well?

- Yeah, all of us.

We got to be there at
three in the morning.

- Three?

- Yeah. We gotta go quiet like,

so as not to startle the eels.

(clicking noise)

(footsteps crunching)

(suspenseful music)

- It will soon be daylight, Harry.

When are you going to lift the pod?

- Tide's only on the turn now, boy.

Give the ebb time to run,

and the eels with it, we'll see.

- How long you been eeling, Harry?

- 70 year ago on me birthday,
I see 'em lift it first.

70 year ago,

my old uncle,

he let me sit along him

by the eel set, same as
you're sitting along me now.

Four foot a hand was his old sets.

You know pa?

- Yes.

- There've been changes since then, boy.

Weren't no houses in pottering them days,

only the wind pumps.

Weren't no yachts, hardly.

Tend your netting, striking for pike,

and plenty of birds for the pot.

- What kind of birds?

- Not bitterns.

- I've shot many a score of them, I have.

- But why?

- It's them you shoot, that's why.

- You can't shoot bitterns.

- Why not?

Old days, we shoot plenty.

- And that's why they've
almost disappeared.

- Don't you believe it.

You stand up for all
them birds, young Tom.

But you ain't never in
your life gone hungry,

now have you boy?

Truth now.

- No, but
- [Old Man] No.

But when I first start
eeling, back in 1861,

we was all so poor,

we never knew where the
next meal were coming from.

Or if it were coming at all.

We shot them bitterns to eat, young Tom.

And we sold the eggs for cash,

to buy our powder and shot.

Man, woman, child.

We all starving.

Winter times, I've known us eat rats.

When you're starving,

you take the fowls of the
air and the fish of the sea,

like the Lord God tell
us to in his good book.

(duck quacking)

Here they come.

You boys give me a hand.


On the cape.

- Cor.

- What a lot.

- They're wagging,
they're wagging, balance.

(soft mysterious music)

- You take a couple of these
eels home to your mum, Tom.

- My mum loves eels.

- We can smoke 'em.

And eat 'em for our tea.

- What boat's that?

- Salvage job.

Must have drifted in the
flood and caught in that tree.

Someone must have moored
her pretty careless.

It's our good luck, then.

Prime salvage, that's what I call it.

(bells chiming)

- Look.

- At it again, are ya?

These children don't want to learn.

- Two witnesses this time.

- We was tying her up,
not casting her off.

- Unlikely story.

Come on, George.

Let's report them to
Constable Tedder right away.

- Caught in the act, and
Tom Dudgeon in it too.

- We didn't cast her off.

We found her adrift with
the warps hanging loose.

The mast was stuck in a tree.

- I suppose you say

you had nothing to do with all the others.

I suppose you say you never
touched the Rodley's rowing boat

or the house boat, or the Shooting Star.

You lot are in real trouble this time,

and you won't get away with it.

- Come on, Ralph.

- Oh no.

- Don't worry, Harry can vouch

that we were with him all night.

- That's true.

- Anyway, I'm off to bed.

- Good idea.

Here's yours.

Thanks, bye.

- Bye.


- Who's it from?

- I don't know.

But it has a Horning postmark.

- Not more bad news.


- [Dick] Shhh.

- O come on.

- He's done it.

He's fixed it all up.

- Who?

- Tom.

We can go and stay at his parents'.

- What?

- Mrs. Barrable told me
all about her having to go

and nurse her brother
and my parents are very

happy for you to come and stay here,

in our house, if you'd like to.

- Wonderful.


- As soon as we can get away.

- Mummy, mummy.

(loud knocks and voices)

- What's going on?

(door knocking)

- She was perfectly
secure when I left her.

- I tell you, I woke up in
the middle of the night,

to find myself drifting downriver.

- Our skiff was set adrift
and we found her caught

on the chains of the ferry.

- I moored Shooting
Star securely last night

and someone came and cast her adrift.

(loud voices)

- Hold you hard, please.

- There they are, them's the three,

them little devils.

(loud voices)

- Hold you hard, I say.

- So, you been at it again.

And this morning you were
seen, casting off that yacht.

- Tying her up.

- Why did you cast off our skiff?

- And what about my house boat?

- You could have done 50
pounds worth of damage,

sending Shooting Star down river.

- We haven't touched none of them.

- There'll be no peace on this
river till they're off it.

(loud voices)

- Alright, alright.

Now then.

Where was you lads from midnight onwards?

- Catching eels with Harry Bangate.

(crowd groans)

- Unlikely story.

- Show him, Joe.

- Could have got them eels anywhere.

Any time.

- You've got to put a
stop to his hooliganism.

- That's right.

- Something's gotta be done
to protect our property.

- Right.

- Listen, all of you.

Now these lads say they
was with Harry Bangate

when all this daftness was going on.

I'll have a word with
Harry this afternoon,

and then we shall know what's what.

Clear off, now.

- Now, wait a minute here.

- I want no more disturbances.

Go on off with you.

And if there's any more trouble,

I'll come down on you so hard

you'll know it for a twelvemonth.

(sad music)

- Come on Dick.

I've finished my packing,
and you haven't even started.

What are you doing with that?

It's daddy's.

- He's letting me take it to Norfolk.

- He isn't.

- Yes, but only if I promise
to bring back pictures

of all the Coot club.

- Gosh.

- Shh.

(doors banging)

- Alright?

- Yeah.


- Get out.

God, there be a little bit of

fish stink fit to turn your stomach.

- Old Harry says smoked
eels is the best eating.

- It's alright for you,
you're not down there

with that stink.

- I'm the fisherman, you're the cooks.

(deep breath)

- [Man] Hello there.

- Who, me?

- Like to catch me some bait?

- Could do.

Penny a bait, toppence
for a really good one,

but no tiddlers.

Be back late this afternoon,

we'll settle up then.

- Right o.

(soft music)

- Harry.

- Mr. Tedder.

- It's a beautiful day.

- Beautiful, beautiful.

- Young Tom Dudgeon and
they Death and Glory boys

say they was with you
between midnight and dawn,

is that true?

- Yes, yes, yes, they was, yeah.

- What time did the tide turn?

- About three.

- So they wasn't lying on that score.

They could have cast off those boats

before they came to yours.

- Got paper packet to spare, have you?

- I reckon them lads is good lads,

they think the world
of wild birds and that

but boys is boys.

Who knows what boys get up to

when they're alone on the river.

- Half each, and holy nice eating.

Good job you was late, Tom.

Give us extra time to smoke 'em.

- They look jolly good.

- Terrible job we had
getting 'em just right.

- Worth it, though.

Soon as that bloke comes for his bait,

we'll get going.

- Going where?

- We're immigrating.

Not very popular round here.

- [Joe] Right, then.

- Not bad.

- Bit sooty.

- Try lots of salt.

- Eat up, Pete.

Ain't you hungry?

- I think I'll wait a bit.

- Perhaps it's because
they're not quite hot and,

not exactly cold.

- Some of those aren't as good as others.

These aren't very good ones, that's all.

- Yuck.

- Tom, you tell your mum not to smoke it.

- I am.

- Stew.

Less work, better eating.

There's the Cachalot.

Hello, sir.

I've got 'em.

I've got your baits.

- Well done.

How many have you got?

- 17, but only 12 big uns.

- O, that will do fine.

17, you said.

Call it half a crown, alright?

- Don't mind.

- Thank you.

There we are.

- Thanks.

- All ready to slip Pete?

- Are you off?

- Yes.

No wind, worse luck.

Still, we gotta get going.

I'm going to Potter Heigham,

give you a tow, if you want one.

- Yes, please.

- Don't forget Dick and
Dot arrive tomorrow.

- Don't worry, we'll be back.

- Cheerio.

- Bye, Tom.

- Bye, Tom.

- Right, cast off for Potter, Bill.

(fast, jumpy music)


- Well, we now immigrated.

- Til tomorrow. We gotta
go and see Dick and Dot.

- Yeah.

Tell you something, that Tedder.

He can't push nothing on us now.

Not over here.

He'll be up and down the Horning Reach

pestering somebody else for once.

- Yeah.


(playing harmonica)

(pop music)

(loud knocking)

- Oh, no.

- Surely it can't be a
patient at this hour.

- I wouldn't bank on that.

Mrs. Webb's baby's due.

Tom, when you grow up,

never ever become a country doctor.

- I'm thinking about the navy, actually.

- Constable Tedder.

He wants a word with you, Tom.

- There, then, young fella.

Them pals of yours are in real trouble.

So you better tell me right quick

where they now are hiding up.

- What's happened?

- I'm asking the questions, boy.

Do you know where they are?

- If you know, Tom, it's
your duty to tell us.

- When I saw them this afternoon,

they said they were going
up to Potter Heigham.

- Potter?

Well, that just about settle it then.

I now got cast iron proof against them.

(playful music)

- There she is.

That's the old Cachalot.

- Hello there.

Got one of your baits out now.

I'm off to the Roaring
Donkey for some milk.

Will you keep an eye on
the ship and the line?

- Right-o.

- Thanks. I'll be back
in 10 minutes or so.

- Can we get aboard?

- Of course you can.

But don't disturb the fish,

and better leave the
line alone, just in case.

- He's alright he is.

- Cor, look at that rod and line.

(line unreeling)

- I can't believe it.

I really can't believe
we're actually on our way.

- I bet I'll photograph lots of new birds.

- I wonder if we'll be arriving
in time for a new adventure?

Something I can write another story about.


(horn sounds)

- Here he is.

We've got a pike.

We've got a huge pike.

- Ever caught a pike before?

- No.

Here, you take him.

- [Man] How long have you had him on?

- A year or two.


- Carry on for another month, then.

You're doing very well.

(train whistle)

(steam train departing)

- Come on, there's the bus to Horning.


- Here, you take it.

- Not I.

You've hooked him, you've held
him and you've played him.

I'm not going to take over now.

- He's off again.

Oh, heck, he's gone in the reeds.

He'll snap the line.

We'll have to drive him out.

- [Bill] You scare him out of there, Pete.

Go on, splash around a
bit and get him moving.

That's it.

- [Pete] I've hit him, I
think I've stunned him.

- Look William, here come Dick and Dot.

- Hello, Tom. It's lovely to be back.

- I'm glad to see you could
come after all your problems.

Hey Dick.

- Hello.

- Hello William Barrable.

- Hello William.

- It's a lovely day, Tom.

- It should be.

- Should be?

- There isn't anything wrong, is there?

- Here, let me take this.

We've heard there's far
worse trouble brewing

than ever we had over the Margalleta.

All sorts of beasty things
have been happening.

And everyone believes
the Death and Glories

are to blame.

- Why?

- We're seeing 'em this
afternoon, aren't we?

- Yes, they're talking an awful risk.

They're on the run and
the police are after them.

(adventurous music)

- Right, let's bring him in.

It's almost 20 pounds.

Look out, now.

There, he's swallowed his last roach.

He must have been the terror
of the river, that one.

- How heavy is he?

- We'll weigh him.

At the Roaring Donkey.



- [Landlord] 24

00:30:32,093 --> 00:30:32,926

00:30:38,688 --> 00:30:39,521

00:30:44,050 --> 00:30:44,883

00:30:46,066 --> 00:30:46,899
- Cor

- He'll go more than that.

- [Landlord] 30 pound and a half.

- [Man] Blast, he's huge.

- 30 pound and a half.

If that old fish don't make the fortune

of the Roaring Donkey,
I'll give up inn keeping

and take up poultry farming.


Now, do I pay you for him, sir?

- No, no.

These are the lads that caught him.

- Are they?

Oooh, are you?

I'll tell you what I do, lads.

I'll give thee a shilling
for every pound he weigh.

And that makes--

- 30 shillings and sixpence.


- But lads, keep it under yer hats,

this has got to be a big surprise.

Not a word to anyone till he's stuffed

in a case, and in the snag
of the Roaring Donkey.

Then we'll have a big unveiling.

Is it a bargain?

- It's a bargain.

You can count on us.

- Word of honor.

- Come and get your money, boys.

- Thirty bob and a tenner.

And all for us.

- That's more than some
men earn in a whole week.

We can spend it on whatever we like.

- Dick and Dot will be here soon

and we can have a real Coot club party.

Can't wait to tell them
about that old pike.

- No, we can't.

We made a promise.

- So we did.

Fit me.

- Come on.

- [Dot] Of course, the
very first thing Dick and I

wanted to do was to go sailing.

(soft music)

Tom said he'd simply come
along as a passenger,

and let us do all the sailing on our own.

Even the difficult bits.

It was a great compliment.

Luckily, I remembered our
training from earlier in the year.

Well, most of it.

Dick was so busy looking at all the birds

he hardly said a word.

(gentle music)

I was so happy to be
back on the boats again

I wanted to go on sailing forever.

- Hey, there's old Simon,
aboard the Zygamut.

- Afternoon Simon.

- Afternoon, lads.

- How long you here for?

- Off tomorrow morning.

- That's good rope.

It's wicked when it's new.

You have to give it a good tow.

Take all the viciousness out of it.

Well, I'm off.

You keep an eye on the Zygamut, will you?

Don't want nobody larking about.

- No one will while we're around.

- We won't be here for a while.

We're going shopping at Mrs. Brambles.

- Alright, shopping, yes.

(bells ring)

- I won't keep you a minute, my dears.

- That's alright, Mrs Bramble.

- Alright.

There's enough here to
keep the feet going.

Who's now paying for all this then?

- O, we've got the money.

- Plenty of it.

- Three gobstoppers, please.

- Have your ship come in, then?

- Yeah. We tied her up 10 minutes ago.


- Now, one shilling, two and six,

three shilling, four.

Two and six, seven, eight.

(children talking)

- [Dot] I only wish Port and
Starboard could be with us.

- I know, they have to stay in Paris,

right until the end of the holiday.

- What a shame.

- What's gone wrong, Bill?

- [Bill] Nothing's gone wrong.

You can wait, can't ya?

- We've been waiting.


How about that?

- [Dot] Good job.

Just like Christmas.

It's lovely, Bill.

- Is that brandy you put on there?

- Of course it ain't brandy,

they wouldn't sell me that.

Not even one of them little old bottles.

That's methylated spirits,
it burns just as well.

All you need is plenty
of sugar to help it down.

- It burned beautifully.

- Of course it did.

Need a fair drop of spoot to light it.

- You must have spent a whole lot of money

on this feast.

Someone had a birthday?

- O, that would be telling.

- We got cash money.

We earned it.

- Any more ginger beer?

(loud bangs on door)

- [Tedder] You know who this is.

- I told you he was looking for you.

- We've got nothing to hide.

Come in, Mr. Tedder.

And mind your head.

- I see.

Partying is it?

It's you three I'm after.

- Tom told us you were looking for us,

but we ain't worried.

- No, we ain't done nothing wrong.

- Where was you last night?

- Up off the bridge at Potter.

- I know you was.

How many boats did you cast loose?

- We ain't never touched no boats.

- Somebody did.

You was there.

And damage was done.

I'll be talking to your
daddy in the morning.

After I've spoken with witnesses.

(sad music)

- We better make ourselves scarce again.

- Well, you must admit it's rather odd.

Wherever they go for the
night, boats are unmoored.

- But they've been brought up to respect

the river and its ways.

They're both Bolgar's sons.

- Look.

The Zygamut.

I'll take a photograph.

- [Dot] But where are her crew?

I can't see Simon or Jim Wooddall.

- She's been cast adrift, Tom.

- She'll smash into something
soon if we don't stop her.

- [Dot] Be careful, Tom.

- [Man] Tom knows what he's doing.

Come on.

That's it.

Good boy.

Come on.

That's it.

Good boy.

Nearly there.


- [Dick] You've done it.

(dog barking)

- [Man] Well done, Tom.

Jim Wooddall will be pleased.

- If I catch the little varmints,

I'll take my belt to them.

I'll have the hides off their backs.

- It's no use raging, Jim.

I know how you feel.

But thrashing them lads without proof

won't do no good at all.

And you'll end up in front
of the magistrate yourself.

- Who else could it have been?

They was moored next to us last night

and this morning they're gone

and so is the Zygamut.

- Listen, Jim.

I seen both them moorings myself,

last night, when I had
a word with them boys.

And I still can't believe it.

Three bright lads,

with plenty of bad feeling
already against 'em

would do anything as daft
as to slip your moorings?

When they knew they was
prime suspects already,

makes no sense at all.

- Badness, pure badness.

And if there's any more on it,

I reckon that little old boat of theirs

won't last the season out.

- What do you mean by that, Jim?

- I know what I mean.

And so do plenty of other
boat owners on this Reach.

If you can't do your job proper,

there's folks mad enough, and glad enough,

to do it for you,

one way or the other.

- [Pete] Cast off the Zygamut?

Everybody knows we wouldn't
do a thing like that.

Especially Jim Wooddall.

- Pete, it was Jim
Wooddall who accused you.

- [Pete] What?

- We know you didn't do it.

- Of course we didn't.

Jim Wooddall is a friend of ours.

- Well, he ain't anymore, is he?

- What time did you leave this morning?

- About 7:30.

- And was the Zygamut still there?

- No, but Simon said they
were off in the morning.

- We just thought they'd left early.

- I bet that Tedder's been
round to my house by now.

- Yeah, I can just see my dad
taking his belt off already.

- Come on, you're safe
enough here at Ramworth.

Look at all those boats along there.

Every one of them moored securely.

They won't go adrift by accident.

And I bet that by tomorrow morning,

everything will be cleared
up about the Zygamut.

- We ain't going back unless they have.

- I know it's easy for me to say it,

but try to stop worrying.

Look, we'll meet again
after breakfast tomorrow


- Alright then, see you tomorrow.

- Alright, cheerio.

- Bye.

- Bye.

- Bye.

- Coots forever.

- [Boys] And ever.

- Now then, young Rob.

How you getting on?

- Alright.

The old boat is coming on
a fair treat, ain't she?

- Not bad.

- [Rob] Wish I could go sailing.

- You're a Coot, aren't you?

Even if you are from foreign parts.

And any Coot is entitled
to a bit of sailing.

Why don't you come out
with us tomorrow morning?

- Honest?

- Certain.

- I'm going sailing.

- There's somebody who doesn't
know what trouble's about.

- Come on.

(mysterious music)

(dog barking)

- I'll be back for luncheon.

- Hey, Robert.

- Good morning, Frank.

- Morning, uncle Frank.

- Good morning Mr. Farland.

- I'm afraid it isn't.

Not for some of you.

Those three friends of theirs

seem to have been up to
something at Potter Heigham

than casting off boats.


- Theft?

- Mr. Sulling of Potter Heigham
telephoned me this morning.

He was angry enough about
his boat being cast off.

But now he's discovered
those young rascals

have been into his boat yard

and stolen a whole lot of gear.

- What kind of gear?

- He said something like 200 new

gun metal shackles are missing.

- [Robert] Good lord.

- But they had nothing to do with that.

- How do you know?

(stringy music)

- Joe, Bill, get up, weigh sail.

We've got to get out of here.

Let's cast off.

Get the sail up,

we've got to get out of here,

real quick.

- What are you going on about?

- Five, six, seven boats.

All cast off in the middle of the Broad.

- That's dreadful.

- It's the worst thing
that's ever happened yet.

Who will believe us now?

- We've got to clear out
before anyone sees us.

- Pete's right, we've got to get out.

That's the only thing we can do.

- There ain't enough wind, so we'll row.

(lively music)

- Come on, Bill.

- Together, now.


Anyone there yet, Bill?

- Yes, two blokes.

Just come on the stays.

And young Rob's with them.

He'll tell them it weren't us.

- Go boil your head.

He'll say we moored there last night.

- Come on then Jeremy.

Let's you and me get after them.

Stay there.

- They're launching a boat.

- [Pete] O heck, they're riding mad.

- Someone put them boats off deliberate.

- And they think it's us.

- Hey.

- They got hold of us now,

they'll have the skin off our backs

and they'll sink our boat.

- Row.

Row for your life.

- I know them well.

They've never been dishonest.

- Constable Tedder's already
spoken to their parents.

Where are the boys?

Do you know?

- Tom?

- They've gone to Ramworth,
to be out of the way.

So if any more boats are cast off,

everybody'll know it can't be them.

- [Pete] I think they're giving up.

- Yes, they're turning back.

- Good. We'll sail over to Horning

and hang about with Tom.

- I hope he's got some
good news for us this time.

- Things can't get no worse
than what they are now.

- Like it or not, those boys are innocent

until proved guilty.

- I quite agree, doctor.

But in my book, I've got
all the proof I need.

You know where they was last night too?

- They said it, they made no secret of it,

they were around with him.

- Exactly, Ramworth.

Not half an hour ago,

I have a phone call from
Jeremy Bush at Ramworth.

He tell me at least seven boats
was cast loose last night,

and this morning he see them three boys

getting away fast, before
he could catch them.

(grim music)

- What?

- Someone cast off half a dozen boats.

- And everyone thinks it was us.

Immigrating ain't no good no more.

- Look, you know the feast you gave us,

the other night?

- Yes.

- Where did you get the money from?

- Nobody say we steal it.

- What are you getting at Tom?

- You see there's been a
load of shackles stolen,

up at Potter.

There's a reward out.

- They're not trying to
blame that on us as well?

- You have spent a lot of money.

People might start putting
two and two together.

(bell rings)

- Afternoon Alfred.

- Good afternoon, Betsy.

Mrs. Orts.

- Constable.

- Your usual?

- Thank you.

- Excuse me, Mrs Orts.

- Carry on, Mrs. Bramble, certainly.

- How you getting on now,
with them thefts, Alfred?

- Skies is clearing.

Tell me, Betsy.

Them three Death and Glory boys,

they been in here recently?

- Joe, Pete and Billy, you mean?

- Them is them.

- Oy, they was in here
not two evenings ago.

- Buying?

- Buying?

A regular shipping order.

- Much you recon they spend, then?

- O, must have been 10 shilling.

No, more than 10 shilling, nearer 12.

I say to them, who's
paying for all this then

and they say, why, we got the money.

We've got it here.

And blast they have.

- They never spent that
sort of money here before,

have they?

- No, never.

- O, thank you, Betsy.

You may have been very helpful.

Afternoon to you.

- Afternoon, Alfred.

- I'm sorry about that, Mrs. Orts.

- Someone must be doing it on purpose.

And they're trying to
put the blame on you.

- They succeeded.

No one seems to be
looking for anyone else.

- Why shouldn't we find
out who's doing it?

- [Joe] What do you mean?

- Why shouldn't we be detectives?

- Yes, catch the villain ourselves.

We could use my camera,
they always have one.

- What for?

- Photographing clues.

- And William will make
a splendid blood hound.

- But he ain't a blood hound.

Nothing like.

- Scotland Yard have
their famous big five.

So we'll become the big six.

- We need a headquarters to work from.

- The Coot club shed, in my garden.

- A Scotland Yard of our own.

I've always wanted to
write a detective story.

- We can stay hid up in the wilderness.

As long as we're near your place, Tom,

nobody will ever think
of looking for us there.

- Right.

You best get to the
wilderness straight away.

We'll go to Ramworth and
start looking for clues.

(adventurous music)

- [Dot] While the Death and Glory boys

furtively rowed up river
to their secret hideaway

in the wilderness,

the Scotland Yard bloodhound,

led the remainder of the big six,

back to Ramworth.

- It's here that all
the boats were cast off,

so it's here that we
have to hunt for clues.

Spread out and search really well.

- Trouble is, other people
would have been here since,

so the place will be full of footprints.

- [Dick] Here.

- What?

- A set of bicycle treads.

- You're right.

- It's a Dunlop, I know that pattern.

Look, can you two follow the tire marks

as far along as possible,

and keep a lookout for anything else

that might be interesting.

- What are you going to do?

- Well, if this is the
villain's tire mark,

then I'll have to make a
very careful sketch of it.

- Come here.

- [Dot] What is it?

- A bicycle connector.

- It's all making sense.

He came here last night,
and judging by the tracks

he had a slow puncture.

So, he propped his bike
up against the tree

and pumped up his tire.

He must have mislaid the
connector in the dark.

He didn't hang around after
casting off all those boats,

so he left without it.

- You're a bit of a Sherlock Holmes.

- Come on, let's get back to Scotland Yard

and tell the others.

- The black flags show all the places

where boats have been cast off.

- How do we know boats
haven't been cast off

in other places?

- If they was, things would
be a lot better for us.

- Right.

Tomorrow we get old Cootch to find out.

What else?

- Coots forever.

- And ever.

- We did jolly well for clues at Ramworth.

- Because the detectives
were on the spot at once.

- We found some tire treads
and I've sketched them.

- And here's our big clue.

- Cor.

- So now we hunt the criminal.

- What have we got for supper then?

- There's them three perch
you catch this afternoon.

- There's a little old tin of peaches.

- You boys.

I want them shackles.

I want them now.

- We ain't got no shackles.

- Not in there, maybe, but
you know who buy 'em off you.

You've been spending a
lot of money recently.

- We earn it.

- [Tedder] How?

- Selling fish.

- [Tedder] What fish?

- Pike.

We catch a whopper.

- Nobody eat pike nowadays.

Who pay you for it?

- Guy at the fish inn.

- What's his name?

- We don't know.

- Where is he now?

- Gone off to Norwich.

- You expect me to believe
a daft yarn like that?

- It's true.

- What do you take me for, boy?

- [Dot] All the world
believed them guilty.

The evidence was black on every side.

With time running out,

and the shadow of the
gallows looming over them,

our brave detectives,
with hope in their hearts,

began their investigation.

- William, come on, boy.

Good boy, William.

- [Dot] At Scotland Yard,
a scientific comparison

of bicycle tires was in progress.

Caring nothing for exhausted muscles and

blistered hands, they traveled on

to the remotest corners of the Broads.

- Bye.

- Cheerio.

- [Dot] All river crossings were checked.

And double checked.

But alas, nothing came to light.

Everybody was concerned
with but a single thought.

The flaming desire for truth.

It was agreed by the detectives

that whenever likely witness was found

was to be closely questioned.

- [Man] Tim.

Go on, clear off.

- [Dot] But often, in fear of their lives,

these witnesses were too terrified

to give vital evidence.

And thus, it soon became clear to them,

that a conspiracy was afoot.

Wherever they went, the
detectives were now met

with an increasing hostility.

- Hey, you.

Go on, off it.

- Off you go.

- [Dot] So much so that often

physical violence was threatened.

There was an ugly mood
throughout the land.

No one would talk to them.

And doors were slammed in their faces.

- Rob.

- [Dot] Even old and trusted friends

now shunned their company.

In spite of this, the work
at Scotland Yard continued,

everything was painstakingly
written down and recorded.

Nevertheless, as time dragged on,

it was becoming increasingly obvious

that the big six were
making little progress.

The investigation was
gradually grinding to a halt.

- Alright, Tom?

Hello, William.


Well, Tom, how did you get on today?

- No one wanted to help.

They all thought we were the villains.

- Oh no.

- Yes, it was a complete waste of time.

And my legs are aching
from all that cycling.

- Come on, let's get back to the boat.

Come on, William.

(leaves rustling)

- Come on you lot.


William, William!

Who's that?

- What's the matter Dot?

- There's someone at the
Death and Glory boat.

- What?

- Come on, after them.

- William!







- [Dick] Here, quick.


He had a bicycle.

It's the same tread, a Dunlop.

Like the one we found at Ramworth.

- But what was he doing on our boat?

- Best go and look.

- William!

Well done, William.

Our Scotland Yard blood hound.

- Blood hound!

If he'd only kept quiet,

we would have seen who it was.


(birds singing)

- I'll go get the stove lit.

- What exactly was he doing, Dot?

- He seemed to be leaning forward.

It was as if he was sort
of patting the chimney.

- Patting it?

- He was probably feeling the chimney,

to see if the fire was alight.

To find out if the boys were at home.

- He was up to no good, else
he wouldn't have run off.

- [Pete] Which one of you
lot bunged up the chimney?

- Bunged up with what?

(metallic noise)

- Cor.

- What have you got Pete?

- Shackles?

- Must be them stolen from
Sonnings at Potter Heigham.

- What are we going to do?

- There's only one thing to do.

- Look at these Mr. Tedder.

- What's all this then?

- Shackles.

- New shackles.

- Brand new.

Still greased.

Right then, where's the rest on 'em?

- Evening Mr. Bixby.

- Is that you, young Tom?

What can I do for you?

- If I wanted a new tire,
would you recommend a Dunlop?

- There's nothing to
beat a Dunlop, of course.

Not that Palmer's ain't good,

if you take my meaning.

If you want to change.

- What about punctures?

- Why me old boy,

any tire will puncture
do a nail go through him.

But there aint the
punctures they used to be.

Afore the roads was tarred.

Then you got thorns and
nails from horses hooves

lying about in the dust.

Then there was plenty of punctures.

- That's jolly interesting,
isn't it, Dick?

Do you get many punctures to mend?

- Not too many, no.

- Any lately?

- Well, yes. I had one
that were brought in

day afore yesterday.

- Dunlop tires?

- Yes, they mostly use them.

- You wanting a new tire, young Tom?

- Not just now, just making inquiries.

- Oh.

Well, excuse me, I'm busy.

- There you are.

- We've been looking for you.

- We took the shackles to Mr. Tedder

- And?

- He says we steal 'em.

He's now taken them off to Potter Heigham,

to make sure.

- Look, there he come now.

You see the look he give us?

- Yes.

- Don't worry about that.

We've got to see who fetches this bike.

It's got Dunlop tires,

it hasn't got a pump on it,

and just had a puncture recently.

- Goodbye Mr. Bixby.

- Evening, sir.

- Good evening.

Evening, vicar.

- Hello Tom, boys.

- Ah, well.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

- He's Church of England.

(ominous music)

- The thing is,

why did the villain
only put a few shackles

down the chimney?

Why not all of them?

- Likely he wanted the
rest himself, to sell.

- No, he still wants to
put the blame on you.

So, he'll probably come
back with some more.

Only this time he'll tell
Mr. Tedder where they are.

- Fingerprints.

We must try and make him
leave his fingerprints.

- You get an idea Dick?

- He was feeling the chimney,

to see if it was warm,

to find out if anyone was in the cabin.

He'll do just the same
when he comes again.

And I bet that will be tonight.

- Go on, Dick.

- He'll come, and feel the chimney.

- But that ain't gonna
leave no fingerprints.

- It will if the paint is wet.

- Right.

Come on, there's nothing
more we can do here.

We set the trap and we
mustn't scare him off.

Let's get home.

We'll meet back at Scotland
Yard at half past nine.


- Yes.

- Come on, Pete.

- How long is it now?

- Only five minutes since
you last asked that.

- We've been here, just on half an hour.

(ominous music)

- Ack!

- Everything alright, Tom?

- It's bad news I'm afraid.

PC Tedder's been around.

- Stirring up more trouble I'll bet.

- He's been to see Mr
Sonning at Potter Heigham.

The shackles did come from his boat yard.

- That's nothing new.

We guessed that all along.

- Yes, but now Tedder's certain

that the Death and Glory stole them.

- That Tedder.

He could have put them
shackles down our chimney.

And he's got Dunlop tires.

- O, shut up, Pete.

- Anyway, I think we've been
waiting here long enough.

Let's go down to the boat and
see if the villain's been.

- I hope they don't
lynch people in Norfolk.

- (whispers) Right, torches on.

Gosh, it's a beauty.

- Clear as can be.

- It's worked.

- Tom, you open the door and go in first,

so it won't be us who find the shackles.

- There's nothing there.

- Try further up the chimney.

- I don't think so.

- Joe, go and shine your
torch down the chimney,

but mind the handprint.

- I ain't no fool.

- Nothing.

- What?

- [Joe] I said nothing.

- There's nothing here, either.

- That's a rum one.

We must have come too soon.

I reckon the villain
must've heard us coming

and made a run for it.

- Better have a look on deck.

- There's nothing here.

- Nothing in the fore peak.

- Having any luck down there Bill?

- Nothing here.

We must have scared him off.

If only we'd waited another hour.

- Look here, look here.

- Gee, whiz.

Yank them on, and let's count 'em.

- No, don't touch them.

I need a photograph of them
exactly where they are.

- Yeah, right.

- Must be at least a
couple of score there.

- But what do we do with them?

- I ain't taking them to old Tedder,

to be told that we steal 'em.

No, I'll tell my father
about them tonight,

then first thing tomorrow
Dick can photograph them.

- At least we got his fingerprints.

That's evidence.

- You're right, Pete.

I reckon we can come out of hiding now.

Don't need to immigrate no longer.

- I'm afraid it won't do.

You've been very ingenious,
but if you'll forgive me

all this evidence could have
been manufactured by you.

- Come on, dad.

What about the fingerprints?

- They could be anyone's.

I'm trying to see this objectively.

The way the law sees it.

Now, look.

I'm sure Mr. Farland will examine

any evidence you can come up with.

But you better be quick about it.

I happen to know that Mr. Tedder is about

to take out summonses
against Joe, Peter, and Bill.

Now, say good night to your
mother and get along to bed.

All of you.

- Good night, sir.
- Good night, dad.

- Good night

- Hey, look.

There's the Cachalot.

The fisherman can tell Tedder

that we were telling the
truth about the pike.

- Yeah, you're right, Pete.

- Watch out, here comes trouble.

It's George Owdon and that Ralph Strakey.

- Come out of hiding then, have ya?

- There ain't no point, as half the world

know where we was.

Anyway, we don't need to now.

- No, why?

- Never you mind.

Where's the owner of that there boat?

- He's gone up to Norwich.

But don't go getting any funny ideas,

cause we promised to keep
an eye on it for him.

- This is the one chance
we've been waiting for.

How close to the Cachalot are you moored?

- About 100 yards, further up the bank.

- I bet the villain knows that by now.

- That means he'll try
casting her off tonight.

- So we've got to identify him.

- How do we do that?

Our word won't be good enough.

- Photograph.

By flash light.

One of us hides in the
bush with the camera

close by the Cachalot,

while another hides in the long grass.

- But you ain't got a
flash light, have you?

- No, but I found a lot of powder,

and I've been reading about
taking photographs at night

in the instruction book.

What I really need to make
is a thing called a flashpan.

- My mom's got a pan.


- No, it's a kind of shield, really.

- Why do you need a shield?

- So that the flash
won't shine in the lens.

- I see.

So when the fellow is
casting off the Cachalot,

the flash goes off and
the picture is taken.

- Well, he ain't gonna stand for that.

- I know, but look.

If the flash is here,
and the camera is here

then the villain will chase
the one with the flash.

while he's doing that,
the one with the camera

will nip off with the evidence.

- [Bill] Yeah, good idea.

- How are you gonna make this flashpan?

- I thought of that.

I'll use this.

- I'll give you a hand.

- That's settled then.

I think we shall need two hour watches.

Dick can take the first,

cause it's his camera.

- And I'll take the flash,

cause I'm the fastest runner.

- Who comes next?

- Pete and Bill?

- And Dot and me.

- We'll have to let off
an awful lot of powder

for the flash.

I hope we don't burn somebody's hair off.

It will be a pretty big explosion.

- Gee, wiz.

- Is it alright, Dick?

- Yes, sssh.

- [Dot] As Tom and Dick's
watch drew to an end,

Dot and the blood hound waited patiently

for them to report back to Scotland Yard,

and at the Death and Glory boat,

Pete and Bill prepared for their vigil.

- Come on then, Bill.

Time for us to take
over from Dick and Tom.

- Yeah, you better get going.

Coots forever.

- (whisper) And ever.


- Ratty, come you here.

- Pretty close now,
better give the password.

(bird call)

(answering bird call)

- [Bill] (whisper) Over here.

- Bill?

- You come down here.

Here's the flashpan,
and here's the string.

Got it?

- I've got it.

- Whatever you do, don't upset the camera.

There's the release.

Press the button to open it.

Open it when you hear someone at the boat.

Press again to close it,

when the flash dies down.

- Come on, Dick.

We don't want to put the villain off.

Dot and Joe will take over at 12.

Good luck.

- Coots forever.

- And ever.

- Come on Ratty.

Time for bed.

- Hurry up,

doesn't take half an hour
to get a pair of boots off.

Pete, you ought to be asleep by now.

- (whispering) Bill.

- (whispering) What's up?

- (whispering) Just checking
that you hadn't dozed off.

- [Bill] (whispering) Are you alright?

- (whispering) yes.

- (whispering) and remember,
keep the shutter open

till the flash dies down.

(twig snaps)

- (whisper) Bill.

- (whisper) Shut up.

- [Man] This way.

Over here.

- (whisper) Come on, Bill.

(flash explodes)

- After him, quick.

Don't let him get away.

(fast music)

- Open up, Joe. It's me.

They're after me.

- What about Pete?

- He's not allowed til they've gone.

Two of them, come after me.

- But who are they?

Did you see 'em?

- No.

The flare blinded me.

But it was two of 'em.

And they did cast off the Cachalot.

(banging on door)

- [Man] Come out of there.

- That sounds like George Owdon.


Who's there?

- [George] River watches.

- All's well here.

- We'll give you all's well.

(banging the door)

- You clear off, will ya,

and leave us alone.

We wanna get to sleep.

- They got the door locked.

Will you come out?

- They'll have that door down in a minute.

- You stop that.

- We've got to get hold of that camera.

- (whispers) camera?

- (whispers) keep 'em talking.

Give Pete time to get clear.

- Who are you?

- You'll know soon enough.

- Are you gonna open this door?

- Why? We ain't invited nobody.

- We'll break it in then.

(banging on door)

- We've got to destroy that photograph.

(whispering) water down the chimney

that would really flush them out

- (whisper) Yeah, great idea.

- What those rotten devils?

- We'll have to open the door, Bill.

Otherwise we'll choke.


- Three of you, ain't there?

Where's the third?

- As you can see, he ain't here.

- You ain't got no right
to mess up our boat.

- Shut up.

- ow!

And find your hurting.

- If there's any more
cheek, you'll get some more.

Go on, George.

- You can set our ship afire.

- Ship?

Fat lot you care, with all
them ships you cast adrift.

- Ow

- What's he doing?

- Shut up.

- [Bill] You put them back.

- Now, then.

- Don't you touch that.

- Ow

I'll kill that rat.

- [Bill] No, you won't.

- You've had it, you have.

Now where is it?

- What are you talking about?

- Well, come on George, if it's not here,

it couldn't have been them.

Let's get going.

You wait until morning.

I'll tell Mr Tedder what
you done to our boat.

- What about Mr. Tedder?

We was watching for you by the Cachelot,

and we see you start to cast her off,

that's all Tedder was waiting for.

Someone to catch you at it.

- Liar.

- We'll tell him first.

- We'll tell him now.

Come on, Ralph.

- Are those rat bites poisonous?

- I hope that one is.

- Blast, what a mess.

It will take us hours
to clear this lot up.

- Something worse.

If Pete didn't take that photo properly,

old Tedder is bound to believe
George Owdon and not us.

- There's something here.

You certainly got something, Pete.

- Cor.

- We'll have to wash it
and put it in the fixer.

After that it will be safe
to have a proper look.

- And if we ain't got nothing?

- Then Dot's case will look pretty thin.

- You've argued that all this
evidence ties George Owdon in

but Miss Callum, this is--


No positive proof at all.

And you've admitted that
you don't like George Owdon

and that he doesn't like you.

That doesn't prove anything.

(door bell)

- There was green paint on the shackles,

and green paint on George Owdon's bicycle.

And it doesn't have a pump

because I saw his bike this morning.

And those fingerprints on the chimney

are too big for any of ours.

(knock on door)

- Come in.

- Thank you, Violet.

Morning, sir.

- Morning, Constable.

- We have brought two
material witnesses, sir.

This here is George Owdon,
and this one is Ralph--

- Strakey.

- Strakey, sir.

- And the purpose of their visit?

- An important statement to make.

- Very well.

But first, I want Owdon to fit his hand

to the marks on this chimney.

- No need for that.

I made it, alright.

- How?

- Ralph and me was
pretty set in these lads

that's been doing all the unmooring,

and the other evening, we
thought they'd be up to mischief,

so we went along to their boat to see

if they was in or out,

and I felt the chimney
to see if it was hot.

(door bell)

- And were they aboard?

- [George] No.

The chimney was cold.

- I see.


Come in.

Ah, come along in, boys.

Over here.

Over here, Dick.

Now then,

what is this important
statement you have to make?

- Last night Ralph and me was on patrol,

and we see these two lads
cast off the Cachalot

from her moorings.

- He's lying, sir.

We were there, alright, but it wasn't us.

These other two fellas did it.

- He would say that, wouldn't he?

- Now, you wait a minute young man.

If you wasn't doing no harm,

why did you run away?

- I was trying to draw him away from Pete.

- What is all this?

- Was you there as well?

- Yes.

- And how come you didn't see Pete

pushing off the boat with Bill and Joe.

- He weren't there.

- Were you there?

- Yes.

And did you do, when Bill ran away?

- Sit tight, like I'm told.

- Did you actually see

Owden and Strakey

pushing off the Cachalot?

- Well, not to know 'em.

But I did see two fellas doing it.

Dark night, wasn't it?

You had a torch, I suppose.

Otherwise, you couldn't have seen them.

- With that great flare they made,

We couldn't help seeing them.

- A flare?

They lit a flare when they
were pushing the boat off?

- Well, not exactly.

But then if Pete was there,

he must have been the one
that lit the flare off.

That's how we see Bill
pushing the boat out.

- What sort of flare was it?

- It was bright, like a photo flash light.

- Did you light a flare?

- No.

- I did.

- [Magistrate] But how
could you light a flare

when you were pushing off the Cachalot?

- I wasn't pushing her off.

- We saw you at it.

- Why did you light the flare?

- We were taking a photo.

Of whoever was pushing
the off the Cachalot.

- They hadn't got a camera.

- How do you know?

- I took the photo, then run off home.

This morning, I give the camera to Dick

and he develop and print the photo.

- Yes, I think it's just about ready now.

- Come on.

- [Tedder] Stay right where you are.

- Constable.

- Well, I'm jiggered.

That's Owdon and Strakey.

- You two have a very
great deal to answer for.

- And they're gonna start by
answering a few questions,

right away.


- [Landlord] Why, what do
you think of her, Mr. Tedder?

- [Tedder] I've never
seen anything like that.

- It's a marvelous thing, that is.

I reckon it'll come all over England

to the Roaring Donkey, just
to take a look at that there

old pike.

- In all my life, I've never seen

nor caught anything like it.


- Well, go on.

Go and read what's on the case.

- Go on, tell 'em Joe.

- [Joe] This pike, weighing
30 and a half pound,

were caught by Pete, Bill, and Joe,

the crew of the Death and Glory.


- You didn't tell us anything about this.

- You could have told us.

- Why didn't you?

- Because they've been good lads.

They promised to tell no one

until that there pike was
stuffed and ready for showing.

- That's where we got
our pocket money from.

A shilling for every pound he weighed.

- (laugh) You had me fooled, alright.

- Poor lads, poor lads,

so young and with
nothing more to live for.


- Come on, Mr. Tedder and the boys.

I reckon this calls for a drink.

- Alright, that was looking
a bit low there, Ben.

(soft playful music)

(gentle music)