Wycliffe and the Cycle of Death (1993) - full transcript

When Penzance bookseller Matthew Glyn is found murdered Wycliffe uncovers a far from happy family situation. One of his brothers, Alfred, is a recluse who has not spoken to him for years, whilst another brother, Maurice, was involved in a dispute over ancestral land with the dead man. Their sister Sara cannot be trusted to tell the truth and Matthew's wife disappeared years earlier in apparently mysterious circumstances. And then another member of the family is killed. . .

[theme music]

Do you want subtitles for any video?
-=[ ai.OpenSubtitles.com ]=-


Just want to see this land used properly.

I am using it properly.

Father intended me to do as I saw fit.

Couldn't trust you to behave with any sense at all.

Why must Daddy do this?

She hardly cold in her grave.

I loved mother.

Yes, well.

That will have to go.


That'll have to go, be demolished.

Oh, you are upset.

I wonder why. Oh, yes.

Part of our childhood, eh?

And after.



Where's Christine?

She popped out.

I said I'd keep an eye on things.

We'll be closing in a minute, father.

I'm home, dear. Dinner soon.

Father, you should really be looking in other ways of--

Gerald, you had your chance to have your say yesterday.

The shop can't go on without some kind of--

Give it a rest.

I'm quite aware of what the shop needs.

You were at the Hut this afternoon.

Yes I was.

When you should have been in the shop.

I didn't leave till 4:00.

Gerald was there and Auntie Sarah was around.

It is your job to close up.

I am not incapable.

I'll make it bloody hard for him, take him to court.

By God, I will Here's more coffee.

What I don't understand is why grandma

couldn't have altered it all.

Well, she did her best, I suppose,

but her hands were tied.

Father saw to that.

Well, mother, it's evident now what

a fool your beloved Maurice is and always was.

Yes, thank you.

What it is to have a free weekend.

Knight takes pawn.

Queen takes pawn.

Queen takes queen.

And bishop takes queen.


No point playing without them.


Well, don't take it to heart, Matt.

We all have our off days.

Well, I don't mind being beaten.

Just hate being crucified.


That'll do.

That'll do, yeah.

It's funny.

What is?

Well, when you're young, the ambitions you have.

You mean dreams?


Simple enough in themselves, but dependent on bigger things.

Like what?

Well, like having a bit of money, for a start.

I know what you're thinking.

When I was a young lad in Liverpool,

I used to dream of eating in places like this.

Some nights, I'd be coming back from night school,

and I'd peer through the windows of this posh restaurant.

Near Williamson Square?

And you vowed that one day you'd eat in there.



And I did.

Had to earn a bit of money though first.

So happens I have a particular ambition now.


To have you home every Saturday night like this,

and no Sergeant Lucy Lane to divert you.

Not jealous of my sergeant, are you?

Of course I am.

She's young and she's attractive,

and she sees a great deal more of you than I do.

You were off form tonight, Matt.


I got things on my mind.

Any news for me yet?

Early days, old man.

My contact told me he's in touch with an interested party.

Well, any figure mentioned?



US dollars, Matt.

Just as a basis for bargaining.

That's a mere fragment of their proper value.

Value depends on the market you sell in.

If you don't trust me--

No, sorry.

I'm not ungrateful, Ronnie.

It's just, I'm trying to work things out.

I'll be up in London next week.

I'll have a route around.

Well, hang on.

Can't afford to start any rumors.

Nor can I. I'll have to try and stir

up a little competition.

Well, you take care.

Of course.

You've been very good over this, Ronnie.

I won't forget it.

I stand to benefit too, don't I?

Matt, could I have another look now, if you've the time?

Why not?

Off on his nightly prowl.


He drops in to see me sometimes.

Get all this business squared away by him.

Now I'm running [inaudible].


See, I'd have thought that a buyer would be--


I'm sorry.

I was waiting to--

can I talk to you?

Well, won't it wait til the morning?


No problem, Matt.


I want to get out.

Of what?

Out of running the shop.

I want to be a potter.


Uncle Maurice says I've got it in me.

I want to work with him and David at Tres Bien.

How dare you come to me--

I have a right to lead my own life.

I've spent precious time in training

you so that you'll learn-- - In training me?

In training me, without ever asking me whether that's what

I wanted.

Who's going to take over my rare books?

I don't give a damn about your rare books.

I'd like to burn them all.

Get out of here.

You join that pair over at the pottery,

I shall finish with you for good.

No wonder mother left, you rotten dictator!

I'm back from my constitutional, dear.

Ready for your cocoa?

It's pissing down outside.

The back gate was bolted.

Why didn't you shout?

- I shouted, all right. - That's funny.

Father's still in his study.

Oh, just sitting in there laughing at me getting


Jerry, I told him.


CHRISTINE: That I'm leaving.

Oh, God.

A row?


GERALD: No wonder he locked the back gate.

Spiteful old bastard.

[suspenseful music]




Wycliffe home.

MAN: [inaudible] headquarters in Littlemore, Madam.

Chief Superintendent Wycliffe, please.

I'm sorry, sir.

Could you just pull over on the left?

Thanks very much.

All right.

Good morning, Mr. Trice.

In his office, sir, at the back.

How are the families taking the deaths?

Shocked, but I haven't noticed any red eyes.

Maybe now's not to leave the house.

INSPECTOR TRICE: What have you got there, Liz?

Well, there you are, then.

He's been dead up to 18 hours, not less than 14.

That puts it, what, between 9:00 and 1:00 last night?

Strangled, having been stunned first.


Possibly a piece of metal piping with a ragged edge.

Could have struck edge on causing

more bleeding than our friend probably bargained for.

INSPECTOR TRICE: The ligature?

Platted flex?

Probably with a large knot to increase the pressure.

Our friend knew his business.

Well, could have been a woman.

Pencil tied in the knot of the cord.

No great strength required.

Let's be careful what we say to them, Christine.

Take a look at these, Tara.

A cat.

Hardly our murderer.

No, definitely not, though it looks like the creature sniffed

round the dead man, stepped in the blood,

then went for the door.

Was the door open or shut when the body was found

Shut, according to Sarah Glynn.

His sister, sir.

She found the body early this morning.

Well, the door wasn't locked.

Sir, look.

Cat hairs.

SERGEANT FOX: And further traces of blood.

All have been noted.

Cat must have sat there for some time waiting to get out.

- A family cat? - No, sir.

They don't have one.

I inquired.

Any cats here when your people arrived, Sergeant Fox?


No signs of a break-in?


All exterior doors have mortise locks.

The windows are wired to an alarm system.

If the killer didn't come through the house,

then Glynn must have left both this door

to the yard and the gate into the back lane unsecured.

Or he admitted the killer himself.

Might have been someone he knew.

Familiar with the office, could move around freely,

get behind his man to strike him.

The history, eh?

Sergeant Lane, I want you with me today.

Call your club.

[police sirens]

Paula James, the secretary, works here, sir.

Tell me about the Glynns.

Typical business family in the old school, no show,

keep the family skeletons locked up.

Discrete, that's the word.

Was Matthew well known?

Yes, local businessman, district councilor.

Is there widow?

The lady walked out 17 years ago.

She hasn't been seen sense?

SERGEANT LANE: Was there a missing persons

inquiry, Inspector?

Before my time, sir.

But I did hear that they picked up

her car abandoned near Exeter.

Apart from the hypothetical widow, what

about the rest of the family?

Two children.

Gerald, bachelor, early 30s, and Christine, about 22.

Both work in the business.

And Sarah, the sister?

A worthy virgin.

She took over the running of the home when the wife walked out.

Two brothers, Alfred and Morris.

One big happy family.

There was a Granny Glynn until a few months ago.

She died, nearly 90.

I'm just going to heat some soup for our lunch.

SARA: Alfred?

Alfred, it's me.

Come and sit down, Alfred.

Put that pan down, for goodness' sake.

Have the police been to see you?


I don't know.

You know about Matthew.

- Well, he's dead. - How did you hear?

You know he was murdered.


Alfred, the police will come and ask

a lot of questions, and not only about what happened last night.

You understand?

I must-- I must tell--

Sit down.

You're sick man, Alfred.

You should have someone to look after you.

No, no, no, no.

I don't want anyone in my house, anyone.

Coming over, Pete.

What's going on, Officer?

I'll be with you in a minute, sir.

Hello, Dippy.

What are you doing here?

Well, what do you want?

I was out here last night quite late.

Dippy Martin, sir.

He used to be our regular and our local nick.

Specialized in ladies handbags.

But he's a reformed character now, aren't you, Dippy?

You saw something last night?

Young Glynn, Jared.

When I turned in the lane, I saw him by his back gate

swearing [inaudible].

Out of hue, if you ask me. - What time was this?

Oh, after 11:00, about 10:00 and a quarter past.

Then I wandered up to the corner and hung about there for a bit.

When I looked back, I saw a woman near a gate.

Did she go into the Glynn's yard?

Oh, I don't know.

I didn't watch her.

Are you sure it was a woman?

Well, it wasn't a [inaudible] drag, that's for sure.

What time was this?

DIPPY: Oh, just about half 11:00.

Could it have been one of the Glynn women?

Couldn't say one way or the other.

She was a fair bit away.

You didn't ask him what he was doing

hanging around in the rain.

Looking for his daughter.

She's a bit feeble-minded, goes off after men.

ALFRED: Remember the little hut?

Of course I remember it.

Is it still there?

Does it matter?

Mattered to Maurice and Matthew.

It was all so long ago, when we were young.

Matthews wanted to build houses there.

He was going to have the hut pulled out.

The little hut was where my wife--

Don't be so absurd, Alfred.

You know you never had a wife.

This brooding on the past is turning your mind.

The past is over, finished.

You never had a wife, Alfred.

You were lucky.

The woman you wanted to marry was a bitch and a whore.

You've made yourself ill with these self-indulgent fancies

and now this has happened.

If you don't put yourself together,

we shall have it all over again.

Alfred, listen to me, Alfred.

Listen to me.

[suspenseful music]


WYCLIFFE: Miss Glynn?

Chief Superintendent Wycliffe.

I gather it was you who found your brother's

body this morning. - Yes, I did.

I wonder, did you have any particular reason

for going into your brother's office so early this morning?


Of course I did.

I woke feeling unwell and went to the kitchen

to make a cup of tea.

And I could see the light in the office.


I thought Matthew might have forgotten to switch it off,

or maybe there was an intruder, so I went to find out.

But you can't see into the office from the kitchen.

From the conservatory you can.

I could see that the curtains were drawn.

Would you like a cup of coffee, superintendent?

Very kind of you, Miss Glynn.

Thank you.

I'm afraid we shall have to look into your brother's affairs

and some of his relationships, both

inside and outside the family.

And some questions may seem impertinent.

Yes, the family will understand.

- Coffee, Sergeant? - Thanks, sir.

Just the job.

You're quite sure you didn't go out at all yesterday evening?

Quite sure.

And you say you never saw your brother

again after the evening meal?


WYCLIFFE: Oh, thank you.

So nostalgic, isn't it, the smell of fresh coffee?

I remember there was this cafe we used

to go to in Liverpool when I was a kid,

you know, in a big department store.

I'm sorry, you talking, weren't you?

Alfred, being the eldest brother,

well, one might have expected him to take over the firm.

He wanted to be a doctor, but he was unsuccessful.

So he trained as a pharmacist instead

and father set him up the business.

SERGEANT FOX: Very generous.

My father liked power.

And Maurice?

He went to art school and then after a few false starts

he set up the pottery at Tres Bien.

It's the old family house.

Was it financed by your father?

The question will have to be answered sooner or later,

Miss Glynn.

My father gave Maurice a capital sum

leased in the property as a nominal rent.

So when your father died, the property must

have passed on to someone else.

Yes, to Matthew.

You want a biscuit?

At least we're here.

I'm frightened, Chris.

Why did he have to lose his temper

like that with Uncle Matt?


No one who knows your father could ever believe--

But Chris, that's something you've got to know.

17 years ago, Matthew's wife walked out of her home

and never came back.

How old were the children at that time?

Christine was about five and Gerald was 14.

That's remarkable.


A woman leaving their children like that.

Ines was a remarkable woman.

SERGEANT FOX: Was there some sort of crisis in the marriage

before she left?


Ines said she was going to see a woman friend that Sunday.

And she chose not to return.

I'm afraid you can't go inside, Mr. Glynn.

No, of course not.

I understand.

So I notice you've decided to go out, Miss Glynn,

without my permission.

I'm sorry.

I wanted to speak to my cousin David at Tres Bien.


I knew he would be upset.

What about this?

That would be five pounds, please.

Where were you last night?

With David.

A woman was seen in the lane last night near to your gate

at about 11:30.

Well, the gate was bolted by then.

Gerald couldn't get in.

And it wasn't me.

What time did you got home?

CHRISTINE: About half 9:00.

Did you see your father afterwards.



In his office.

Alive and well, was he?

Of course.

Do you remember your mother, Miss Glynn?



Just about.

And you've not heard or seen anything of her since she left?


Was your mother affectionate, loving?

Oh, yeah.

I remember lots of cuddles and bedtime stories.

And she used to laugh a lot.

And afterwards, your Aunt Sarah, she took her place?

To some degree.

Oh, there's one last thing, Miss Glynn.

Your grandmother, she died, what,

four months ago, wasn't it?

Do you think she was aware of any squabbling going

on between the three brothers?

Oh, yeah.

But she made out like she wasn't.

[phone ringing]

I understand Mr. Glynn often had visitors in his office

after hours.

Appointments were sometimes made.

But you weren't present at the meetings?

Why should I be?

They were nothing to do with the shop.

He never asked you to work overtime?

He was far too stingy.

Here, what are you getting at?

I was merely wondering if you knew any of these visitors.

Nor personally.

They were mostly old fogies and counselors and that.

Oh, except for that Mr. Swain.

Now, he was a personal friend.

Of yours?

Do you mind, sir?

Of Mr. Glynn's, of course.

Mr. Swain was always popping in and out.

I reckon they had something going on between them.

What sort of thing?

How should I know?

They never said nothing in front of me.

No, it was more the way Mr. Swain had of looking

like a furtive phantom.


A witness claims to have seen Sarah Glynn in the town

late last night, about 11:15.

She could have been the woman that Dippy

Martin saw in the back lane.

A motive, Lucy, that's what's important, not the opportunity.

Tell me, did you sense an inner tension?

In the family?


Something dark in the background, hidden.

I certainly get the feeling they're all watching

each other really closely.

When I was banging on the yard door trying to get in,

whoever killed father must have been with him then.

Oh, God.

You were round with your father last night, Christine.

One of us was always round with him.

You can't think that I had a--

Of course not.

We must be careful what you say to the police.

It would be all too easy to raise a series of questions

in their minds that have nothing to do with your father's death.

Matt and I were friends from school.

The Glynn family lived at up Tres Bien

then, moved to the house here in town when Matthew married.

Did he antagonize people? Matthew?

I'd say he didn't tolerate fools gladly.

And the feud with Alfred, that goes back a long way,

I understand.

He may have resented Matthew's success, but--


Alfred fell in love--

gorgeous girl, like a film star.

I think he could hardly believe his luck.

They got engaged, were going to live over the shop.

All set to get married when one of--


Well, there was a wedding.

Matthew was the groom.

And not Alfred?

And the bride was then his?

Yes, already several months pregnant by Matthew

when she married.

Bit of a lass.

Wish I'd been there.

Was Matthew his usual self when you saw him last night?

Yes, but he'd been a bit worried lately.

His business needs working capital.

He was old-fashioned, dreaded getting

into the hands of the bank.

Festering hatred, nurtured and cultivated for half a lifetime.

That's interesting.

Yeah, but will it be powerful enough to provoke a murder?

Miss Glynn, would you show me your brother's room, please?

Yes, it's this way.

He moved in here when mother died.

SERGEANT FOX: Miss Glynn, you were seen by a witness

late last night outside the post office.

[suspenseful music]

Oh, and we have a report of a woman

in the lane at half past 11:00 near your back gate.

I wrote some letters and went out to post them.

Stupid of me not to mention it.

What time was this?


And then since it was a pleasant evening I went for a walk.

Pleasant evening?

Surely it was raining.

Only showers.

I don't mind the rain.

One gets used to it here.

SERGEANT FOX: You went out and came back by the yard door.


SERGEANT FOX: Did you see anything suspicious or unusual?


Did you enter the house through the kitchen

or through your brother's office?

Why should I enter through the office?

I saw the light on.

I presumed he was still working.

Made out to Euro Travel.

Yes, Matthew planned to go away next month.

It was a regular thing, Europe in early summer.

Was in the habit of going alone?

Yes, in package tours.

He didn't make friends easily, but he seemed to enjoy himself.

This is curious.

He's usually very careful with his money.

Seems to have spent a lot on that particular holiday.

He had no emotional involvements

outside of the family?

I doubt it.

He seems to have kept nothing to remind him of his wife.

Is that surprising?

When she disappeared, he packed up

everything connected with her and stored it in the attic.

Did it all himself, no one else was allowed

to go through her belongings.

What made you go into your brother's

office this morning when you came down for your tea?

I told you, I saw the lights on.

It was daylight at the time.

And the office curtains were drawn.

Well, I'm sure I saw a light.

The curtains were slightly parted.

WYCLIFFE: Were they?

Think very carefully about what you've told me, Miss Glynn.

About Alfred, I mean, not even a nut would murder after 30

years of procrastination, eh?

Do you think his mother's death

had something to do with it?

That's a good point.

Bear it in mind.

[classical music]

Mr. Glynn?

[ominous music]



[suspenseful music]

Journal of Martin J. Beale, 1852 to 1857.

And 1868 to 1884.

Who on Earth is Martin J. Beale?

CHRISTINE: I've never seen these before.

They're written in South Africa.

Whoever he was, he knew Cecil Rhodes.

Are the books valuable?

They'd have historical value, but I'd need a second opinion.

Well, why should father keep them hidden away?

It would be useful if you could establish how

long they've been in the safe.

Paula, perhaps you can help us.

Been there all the time I've worked

here, which is over two years.

GERALD: It's axiomatic.

Nothing of value is ever kept in the safe.

SERGEANT FOX: Not in this case, perhaps.


Have you ever seen that box before, Miss Glynn?

No, I don't think so.


It's a bit unusual putting an empty box in a safe.

Anyone know what was in it?



Mr. Glynn was very secretive.

So you never unlocked the safe?


I was never trusted with the key.

SERGEANT FOX: It could have been Swayne's cat,

went out about 9:30, came back at midnight.

Not usually out that long.

So someone let it out of Glynn's office shortly

before midnight.

And according to Dippy Martin, that someone was a woman.

And the books hidden in the safe.


There was something else--

a box, empty, also Victorian.

Am I interrupting something?

No trace of Alfred yet.

Not been seen or heard of at all so far today.

I spoke again to Gerald, the son.

The business is in a fair bit of trouble.

Excuse me?

Can you tell me way to Tres Bien, please?

Oh, keep on for half a mile or so and it will be on your left.

You can't miss it.


FLORENCE TREMAYNE: Police, are you?



You knew him?

I knew the whole family.

We all went to the same village school.

I saw Alfred earlier.

He didn't see me.

Didn't want to, I expect.


Must have come up from Penzance on the early bus.

He looked ill, poor old thing.

Thank you, Mrs.--

Tremayne, Florry Tremayne.

You're quite sure your uncle Alfred

hasn't been up to the farm at all this morning?

Why should I lie to you?

I've seen nothing of him for days.

Get on to the exhibit room.

Get me a small team here, and a dog handler.

Christine, you know what we were talking about earlier?

That last conversation you had with your father?

I suppose Sarah's told you I had a row with him.

Not yet, she hasn't.

Well, I did.

I told him I was going to leave the business.

I hate that damn shop and everything to do with it.

Including your father?

But I wouldn't kill him for God's sake.

[brakes squealing]

Sorry I wasn't here when you arrived.

I was with my--

- Yeah. - Yes.

You want to come in?


Do you know anything of your brother Alfred's whereabouts?


Family is anxious about him.

A witness saw him earlier.

Apparently he was on his way up here.

Well, I've been at the farm all morning.

Oh, thank you.

Have you spoken to him recently?

Well, for about three weeks.

And that was down in the town.

He hasn't been up here for years.

And Matthew, when did you see him last?

A few days ago.

Had a bit of a bust up, you probably

heard, over a plot of land.

Oh, yeah.

You know, some mention of a little hut.

You think we could take a look?

Door's locked.

David's got the only key if you want to go inside.

[ominous music]

Oh, he's probably been dead between,

what, five and six hours?

Well, you'd think the old fool would have had more sense.

I mean, lacing his own brandy with strychnine?

Does it look that way to you doctor?


Yes, but why strychnine?

He surely could have found an easier way to do it,

I mean, all those drugs in his pharmacy.

Poor old Alfie.

Couldn't take his brother's death,

I guess, on top of everything else.

Well, how do you mean?

Well, killing himself.

He was a doctor, handed out his own prescriptions.

And our lot, that's medical practitioners,

we've been on his tail for years.


Just recently he was stopped from dispensing

NHS prescriptions.

Couldn't be trusted.

Excuse me.

No wonder your uncle Matthew wanted to build houses here.

It's a beautiful view.

Here and in the adjoining field.

Did he have planning permission, do you know?

Uncle Matthew certainly had friends in high places,

more so than my father, anyway.

And he's opposed to any kind of development?


Father felt very strongly about this piece of waste ground.

So do I.

Does he come down here much these days?

Never as far as I know.

It's some way from the farm, let's face it.

All the same, for him it was one of those special places.

GERALD: Well, if someone killed Alfred,

they must have had a reason.

What, for God's sake?

And yet, why would Alfred kill himself, and so horribly?

What happens now?

We treat it as a suspicious death.

There'll be a post-mortem, investigations, what

sorts of poison, et cetera.

Ask my wife.

She died when David was six.

Tell me about Matthew.


There were differences between you.

Surely you've heard that story by now.

What's your version?

Well, his plan plans for development here.

He had no right.

Under my father's will, Matthew got the bookshop on condition

he provided for Sarah.

Alfred got the pharmacy.

This place should have been mine.

But my father had no faith in my ability

to make a go of anything, so left it to Matthew.

I was to lease it back at a nominal rent,

making sure that I was in no position to sell

it and blow all the proceeds.

For all intents and purposes, Matthew became my keeper.

So what happens to Tres Bien now?

On Matthew's death, my father willed it to me.

What about Sarah on Matthew's death?

Oh, well, I'd have looked after her, all right.

I will look after her.

Now, Ines was your sister-in-law, yes?


Were you surprised when she disappeared?


Well, of course.

We all were.

WYCLIFFE: Do you remember how Matthew reacted?

He was totally stunned.

He telephoned that night to see if she was here.

Well, Ines was friendly with my wife, Celia.

WYCLIFFE: But neither of you seen her on that occasion?


WYCLIFFE: And what about Alfred?

How did he take it?

Well, we were never very close.

Didn't see a lot of him.

Are you familiar with his rooms above the shop?

No, I've only been in the living room.

Well, the bedroom he intended for Ines

and himself was fully furnished--

bed made, fresh flowers, pictures of Ines.

But it was never used.

It was perfect until very recently.

What do you mean?

WYCLIFFE: I found it vandalized this morning, everything

in it damaged or destroyed.

I don't want to talk about Ines anymore.

Better have a word with Sarah.

She lived in the same house with her for years.

I must speak to you, superintendent.

On Saturday night, I did go out to post my letters

and I did go for a walk.

As I turned into the back lane, I--

I-- (CRYING) I saw Alfred.

Take your time, Miss Glynn.

I saw Alfred leaving our gate.

He was like a man sleepwalking.

I watched him as he went in his own back door

and then I hurried on home.

I mean, I didn't know what had happened.

He never visited here after mother's death.

And even then, he only came to tea here once a week.

The light was still on in Matthew's office.

Did you bolt the door behind you?




I don't know. I was frightened.

It seemed the thing to do.

Go on.

I went to the office and opened the door.

WYCLIFFE: Did you go in?


I-- I-- I didn't need to.

I could see him lying there.

Any sign of Swayne's cat?

Yes, it slipped past me as I opened the door.

I shut the door and I crossed the yard

and I went into the house through the kitchen.

I went straight to my room.

I couldn't face any more.

I had to think what I should say.

The little house at Tres Bien meant a lot to your brothers,

didn't it?

Well, yes, when they were young.

Do you go there much yourself?

No, no, no.

It was very much the boys' place.

When your brother Maurice's wife was ill

and David was little, you helped look after him, I understand.

I did what I could.

Did Alfred ever make any kind of contact

with Ines after she married Matthew?

Alfred would never admit that Ines had ever existed.

Certainly very tidy, very neat.

There's too many facts don't tie up.

There's the disappearance of Ines.

17 years ago.

Maurice's quarrel with his brother,

the documents hidden in the safe.

No, I'm not convinced of Alfred's guilt.

SERGEANT FOX: Matthew had a Volvo 244, five years old

but only 12,000 on the clock.

Was it said he was stingy?

He hardly ever used it except on Sundays

when he visited an old man.

He used to work for the firm.


People have a chance, too.

He only stayed with the old man for 20 minutes or so.

So find out where he spent the rest of his Sunday.

I have done, sir.

He was with Florry Tremayne.

With who?


Sergeant, check on Euro Travel, hey?

So, Colonel, this woman in airs was your mother's companion

all those years ago.

Well, yes.

She was with her until the day mother died.

And then she married Glenn, the bookseller.

I was a military attache in those days in one

of our embassies in Eastern Europe.

Couldn't attend to mother's affairs as I would have wished.

Later, I discovered some of the family papers were missing.

What was the nature of these papers?

They were my great grandfather's journal.

He was, for many years, in Natal, in the Cape Colony,

up until 1880.

Because of his close association with Cecil Rhodes,

some of the records may be of some historical value.

Was his name Martin J. Beale?

Indeed it was.

Then you will undoubtedly be pleased to learn

that his journal is in the Glynn safe under seal at the moment.

Well, I can't believe it.

After all these years.

Was there anything else went missing?

Yes, a collection of letters written by Beale to his mother.

We are a reputable travel agent.

You know we have to observe client confidentiality.

Yes, but this particular client has been murdered.

Another person may be involved.

Who could turn out to be a valuable witness.

Do you want me to obtain a court order?


That won't be necessary.

Mr. Glynn was to have traveled to Greece with Mrs. Florence

Tremayne of New Mill Cottage.

Although he's a bit older than me,

it was always understood that Matthew

and I would eventually marry.

At least, that's what I thought.

Then Ines arrives on scene.

Well, I was left high and dry.

Were you surprised when Matthew married Ines?

Totally shocked.

You know about the little hut.

The boys used to meet their girlfriends there.

They had the pick of us, especially Matthew.

I was flattered.

How did you feel meeting him again?

Oh, it was strange at first, both of us middle-aged.

He offered marriage at last, but really, he didn't

want any more than friendship.

You had some good times on holiday together, though.

Oh, we were very happy, or so it seemed to me.

I was surprised when he wanted to build houses at Tres Bien.

Maurice was awfully upset.

Upset enough to kill?


Superintendent, I'm chatting about the family

talking too much.

And suddenly you bring up murder.

That's why my sergeant and myself are here.


I just find it hard to realize that Matthew's dead,

that's all.

About Sarah, did she ever visit the hut at all?

My dear, she's used to spy on her brothers all the time.

WYCLIFFE: A premeditated murder, Lucy.

But the Glynns are a respectable family,

hardly likely to resort to violence

except under dire circumstances.

SERGEANT FOX: That's back to two, sir.

Father came in.

He didn't notice me.

Mr. Swain was with him.

I watched father take some something from the safe.

The empty box?


I couldn't see properly.

But I do remember father given some papers for Mr. Swain.

They could have been from the box.

Did Mr. Swain take them with him when he left?


As they were coming into the room,

father mentioned something about a buyer.

Having a buyer, looking for a buyer?

CHRISTINE: They spoke quietly.

I couldn't hear.

What was Swain's response?

Something about no problem.

He left pretty swiftly.

I think my father was annoyed at finding me there.

Did I do right to come to you?

Your detective seemed to think that the box mattered.

What you told me may very well be important.

Do you believe your uncle Alfred killed your father?

Of course.

Auntie Sarah saw him that night.

She said so, didn't she?

The letters were in a sort of shoe box, in envelopes.

WYCLIFFE: Fascinating things, aren't they, stamps?

Like travelers.

Are these valuable?


WYCLIFFE: What about the books in the safe, the old journals?

Did Matthew ask you to find a buyer for them?

Why should he?

Books were his world, superintendent.

Stamps are mine.

But what about the letters?


There was a box of letters, too.

Like the journals, they belonged to Mrs. Armitage,

the woman Ines worked worked for.

They were no longer in the safe.


So, letters need envelopes.

Envelopes need stamps.

And some stamps, as you say, are valuable.

Are you suggesting--

I'm not investigating a theft, Mr. Swain,

not at this particular time.

I'm trying to find a murderer.

[cat meowing]

If you want to make a voluntary statement,

I'm pleased I don't know him.

Glynn bundled all these waste things here himself.

A terrible mess-- photographs, handbags-- yet,

there's some very good stuff.

See what I mean?

Look at this.


One thing's certain--

didn't keep it short of the readies.

It's curious, you know.

Well, he seems generally to have been a careful man.

But these things have just been all flung

up here, higgledy piggledy.

Under extreme emotional stress at the time, do you think?


Not an insuperable problem to a man

of your considerable gifts, Sergeant.

Block capitals, addressed to Matthew Glenn.

Poison pen?

February the 1st and 22, 1976.

March 21, 1976.

March 21, the day after Ines left home.

Do you know what's going on with your wife?

What sort of man are you?

Most Sunday afternoons her car is parked in Badger's Wood.

Her car was there on Sunday.

Have we heard of Badger's Wood?

No, Gov.

Can't you leave us alone now, superintendent?

You know who killed Matthew and why.

What more do you want, for God's sake?

SERGEANT FOX: Are you familiar with Badger's Wood?

Badger's Wood?

The name we gave the place as children.

Near to Tres Bien.

You know Maurice's wife?

Of course.

Poor Celia.

Why poor?

Was the marriage unhappy?

Oh, I don't think so.

But she never got over David's birth--



Well, I suppose so.

But an overdose-- dreadful.

Very hard for Maurice to bear.

Did he have any help in the house

when his wife was in the hospital?

Yes, Molly Pierce at Roskia farm, above Tres Bien.

She-- I think she rather fancied Maurice at one time.

She never married, poor old thing.

Roskia farms, huh?

No, Tres Bien.

And I'll walk from here.

You pick me up later.

So, you found another key.

Came to look around, old times' sake.

Your sister's made a fresh statement.

Does she [inaudible]?

Do you believe what she now says, that she saw

Alfred leaving by the back gate last Saturday

night about 11:30?

Why should she lie?

Because she's already made two previous statements

to the contrary, that's why.

That was before Alfred's suicide.

Hardly expect her to deliberately incriminate him.

WYCLIFFE: Perhaps she only felt it

safe to accuse Alfred when he was no longer in a position

to defend himself.

Why say she saw him if she didn't?

To protect someone else--

herself, maybe.

Sarah, kill Matthew?

What do you think?

I believe in Sarah, implicitly.

WYCLIFFE: Is Badger's Wood on this map?

How do you know Badger's Wood?

I've been talking to Florence Tremayne.

She told me that you used to play there as children.

Florrie, Badger's Wood.

It's a name we invented when we were kids.

Played all sorts of games up there--

Robin Hood, cops and robbers.

It's that little cluster of pine.

Ah, oh. I see.

There's Roskian farm.

Tell me, did Molly Pearce play in any of these games at all?

I expect so.

Most of us kids around here did.

Because Molly looked after you and David,

didn't she, when your wife was ill in hospital?


She was good to us.

Your wife died of an overdose, I believe.

At home, was it?


Suicide while the balance of her mind was disturbed.

WYCLIFFE: And what drug did she OD on?


For depression?

No, prescribed for me.

I was under stress.

A difficult time.

Why have you moved this set here, Mr. Glynn?

Dropped the knife down the back.

I was given to believe that we held the only keys.

I'd prefer it if you didn't come in here again,

not until our investigations are complete.

We've discovered some poison pen notes

written to Matthew just before his wife

Ines disappeared in 1976.

They informed him that his wife's car was parked

in Badger's Wood on Sundays.

Now, I understand that Maurice's wife Celia was

at that time in hospital, yes?

I expect that's right.

WYCLIFFE: So you would have been helping out at Tres Bien, then?


And using the footpath through the woods?

So it's possible you might have seen something.

All I can say is that I never saw Ines in Maurice's house

when his wife wasn't there.

Of course, he may remember these things

better, or even differently.

Very possibly, yes.

The letters and [inaudible].

150 of them from Beale to his mother.

The stamps on them are of interest, valuable,

but they'd hardly make anyone's fortune.

And that?

Beale started to collect stamps,

which he sent home for any of his nephews

who might be interested.

Most are in mint condition.

Some cape triangles, many with rare

over printings and surcharges, and some with design

and printing faults.

His mother kept them in the envelopes he sends home.

And you were supposed to sell them on Matthew Glen's behalf

through the auction houses?

Not exactly.


Because what you wanted was an under the counter deal

because of their questionable provenance, wasn't it?

Now, tell me, who else knew the stamps were in your possession,

apart from Matthew Glenn?

No one.

WYCLIFFE: Matthew Glenn is dead.

And on the night of the murder, his daughter Christine

saw you with the envelopes in your hands.

I would have approached the family.

WYCLIFFE: At a less delicate time, yes--

this year, next year, sometime never.

Put it in his statement.

But you must know by now that I--

No, I don't think you're a murderer, Mr. Swain.

But I have a fancy you contemplated becoming a rogue.

It's a fine spring evening, eh?

This friend of Ines girl, Angela Bickers, plump lady,

contented wife, friend of Ines.

Attraction of opposites is how she described it.

Also said that Ines was fed up to the back teeth

with Matthew and Sarah, but that she had

no intention of ever leaving her children.

She didn't say that to the police

when Ines first win missing.

Her husband insisted she keep her nose out of it,

didn't like to see her associating

with the likes of Ines, a woman who slept around.

This Angela knew that she did?

Oh, aye.

Ines was supposed to be visiting her those times

she was actually having it off with Maurice.

If his wife was expected out of the hospital for the weekend,

then Maurice would contact Angela who'd pass on a message

like shan't be here on Sunday, see you next weekend.

WYCLIFFE: Did she ever leave any messages

to other members of the family?


Sometimes even with Matthew himself.



The wording would be innocuous enough.

So, anything further on how Maurice

spent last Saturday night?

Not a ditty bird.

[phone ringing]

Hello, Wycliffe.

MAN: (ON PHONE) There's a fire on the cliff, sir.


MAN: (ON PHONE) [inaudible] fire.

Whole fire?

MAN: (ON PHONE) Yes, sir.

I'm on my way.

Now, surely it will be Maurice who started it.

Would he be such a fool?

Kind of like tinder, sir.

Not much we could do.

Deliberate is it?

It's likely.

We'll know better when we can sift through the debris.

Gives me an excuse to do what I intended, anyway.

I want the cavity under the floor

cleared as soon as is practicable.

A constable who spotted the fire said

that Maurice and David didn't arrive till some time

after it started.

What was Maurice's reaction?

Puzzled more than anything.

Didn't seem to know what to make of it.

- Where is he know? - Up at the house.

[indistinct conversation]


MOLLY: I told him nothing, Maurice.

MAURICE: He'll be wanting to see you again.

If he puts direct questions to me, I can't lie.

I came down to see if I could help Maurice.

Bother fire, huh?

I really don't know what to say, Mr. Wycliffe.

We'll discuss the details later once we've

completed the investigations.

- Coffee? - Oh, yes please.

Thank you.

We've learned all about your affair with Ines, Mr. Glynn.

Meet when you could on Sundays in the little hut.

One of her woman friends, Angela Bickers, acting as go-between.

What you may not know is that Matthew

was informed about your meetings by anonymous letter.

Milk for you, Mr. Wycliffe?

Oh, no.

Thank you.

Thank you, that's fine.

That Sunday when Ines finally left home,

was your wife, Cecilia, with you?


WYCLIFFE: Had you sent word to Ines not to come?


And yet, Matthew received a note saying that her car was

in Badger's Wood on that day.

Miss Pearce, did you see her mini

parked among the pine trees?

Yes, I did.

Well, Mr. Glynn?

If Ines came to Tres Bien that day,

I certainly didn't see her.

No sign of how it started.

Howdy, folks.

Tell them to stop probing near the back of the hut, would you?

Right, Gov.


You can start digging.

SERGEANT FOX: Did you find what you were looking for, sir?

Guilt and motive, all neatly wrapped up in polythene.

Get Franks here and the duty undertaker.

There's surely enough circumstantial evidence

here to charge Maurice with murder of his brother's wife.

Well, I'll bring him in for questioning, anyway.

Unless Sara changes her testimony,

we won't be in a position to charge anyone.

Yes, well, I've tidied her up as much as I can.

Pretty certain now this was Ines Gylnn.

I remember the gold roach.

Any conclusions?

Off the record?


Hit on the head before being throttled.

Your killer has got a one-track mind.

No, I didn't know her car was in the wood.

Not till Molly told me.

And when was that?

Just before I took Celia back to hospital.

What did you do?

Well, nothing immediately.

It was odd.

I was worried.

Well then, when I got back from the hospital,

I went up to the pine wood and the car was still there.


What did you do then?

I went to the hut.

I thought perhaps she might have left a message for me.

We did that sometimes.

I opened the door.

[phone ringing]

Go on.

I saw her on the settee, sprawled

out, skirt up around her waist.

She looked as if she'd been raped.

And I saw her face, blue.

There was a wire around her neck.

She was dead.

Oh God.

Would you like a glass of water?

I didn't kill her.

Why should I?

She was keeping me sane.

My wife, David.

Go on.

I don't remember everything, but I

went to telephone the police.

I actually dialed.

I realized the situation I was in.

Man having an affair with his brother's

wife, woman dead on the settee?

Well, who would believe me?

I think I was slightly mad.

I started to think I had done it.

It was a nightmare.

Been living with it 17 years.

What did you do?

I wrapped her in polythene, like you found her, put her

under the floorboards until--

well, then there was the car.

I drove it to Exeter, wore gloves.

But the body was buried in earth when it was found.

Well, during the next few days, weeks, I dug a trench.

And I put her in it, carried the soil down in a barrow,

covered her.

Then nailed the floorboards down.

Nothing happened.


No one ever asked me a single question.

So you left her there?

Sorry to have kept you waiting, Ms. Glynn.

Something which must be understood between us or it

could create unnecessary difficulties.

I did see Alfred on Saturday evening leaving the yard.

I tried to speak to him.

He was distraught.

I doubt if he even saw me.

I suspect you don't believe me, but this

is the evidence I shall give wherever and whenever I'm

required to testify.

So you stand by your statement?

I do and I shall.

Anything else?

I think you should know that Matthew was not

a man to turn the other cheek.

I see.

I hope you do.

So you knew about Ines and Maurice?

I knew she had affairs.

When did you last speak with Maurice?

I was with him earlier when the police came for him.

I've said all I came to say.

Remarkable woman, Sergeant.

MAURICE: I couldn't decide who killed her, Alfred or Matthew.

In 17 years, you came to no conclusion?

Didn't even want to.

Tried to forget.

Very nearly succeeded.

What started it up again?

Matthew and his houses.

When we had that row, I realized it was all a trap.

Just a minute, a trap?

He set a trap for me.

He knew what he could do to me.

Once mother was in the ground, there was

nobody-- nothing to stop him.

Ah, yes.

The mother, yes.

Well, she held him off.

He gloated over it for years, gloated.

He didn't have to build the house.

He's only threatened.

Cat with a mouse.

If I was scared of being accused then, what about now?

And in all that time, did neither of you

ever make any kind of reference to his wife's death?

MAURICE: Not a word.

I didn't dare.

He didn't need to.

He was contemptuous, challenging.

And my god, I understood.

So finally you killed him?


No, I didn't kill him.

He deserved to die.

But I did not kill him.

But it all points to Alfred, eh?

I mean, he had ample reason and opportunity to kill both--

OK, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

But how much did Alfred know to kill himself there

where Ines was found dead?

Did he know Maurice met her there, made love to her there?

Did he perhaps see her killed and then

relate it to his mother? - Hang on.

If he did--

And the mother, what sort of a person was she?

Did she know about the murder of Ines

and she was steering them all, dangling them like puppets,

play one off against the other?

Yeah, yeah, I think she did.

You got a great imagination, boss.

No, Sarah said as much.

Well, it seems if any of it's true,

it's a pity the mother's dead.

She might have saved us a deal of trouble.

That's it, isn't it?

It was her death brought the nasties out of the woodwork,

set the wheels turning.

Cycle of death.

What if the mother wasn't the only one who knew it all?

What if Sarah knew?

She'd spied, listened at doors.

And after Matthew died, she went to work on Alfred,

destroyed his fantasy and left him with nothing to live for.


To protect someone.

I get it.

There's no proof.

I'm going to have a word with the boy, David,

put some pressure on him, see if I

can find out where Maurice really

was the night of the murder.


My father didn't set fire to the hut.

I did.

And you thought you were protecting him.

But you didn't know what from.

You bloody idiot.

What will happen to Dad?

Nothing for the moment.

Now, if I remember correctly, you

told me your father was home before you last Saturday night.

Now, was he?

Was he?

You think very carefully before you answer me.


He wasn't.

He cycled into town to see Aunt Sarah.

And he came back very late.

Would you say Maurice was his mother's darling?

Women are often attracted to weak men.

They arouse their maternal instinct.


Let's go see Sarah, one last try.

So it seems you took over your mother's role

managing the boys.

Someone had to.

Playing one off against the other?

I'm not sure what you mean by that.

I think you do, Matthew, of course,

being your principal stumbling block.

Please make yourself clear.

Threatening your darling Maurice.


But you also knew the body of Ines

was under the floorboards, didn't you?

Are you suggesting that I connived--

WYCLIFFE: Because Maurice told you.


You and Maurice always were very close.


Told you when he found the body.

Well, that's just your conjecture.

All right, all right.

Let's look at it this way.

When Matthew subtly began to threaten Maurice,

you stepped in.


You wanted him safe.

It must be perfectly obvious to anyone

that Alfred killed Matthew.

I saw him that night.

Nobody else did.

A witness saw you enter the back

lane, saw Gerald park his car.

But he saw no sign of Alfred.

And he was there from early in the evening

till past 1 o'clock.

Then it's the world of your witness against mine.

Moreover, David Glynn has just informed me

that he saw his father return home to Tres Bien

shortly after midnight.

Well, surely you can be in no doubt as to who killed Ines.

I have no proof, though, have you?

Maurice couldn't kill.

He was a child, a gentle child.

Children grow up.

You hated your brother Matthew, didn't you?

Well, why not?

Why not?

Women were properties to be owned, possessed.

But Ines was too much for him.

He couldn't own her.

Oh God.

We should have been friends but she despised me and I--

when she took Maurice, I only stayed because of him.

Was it fair? Was it fair?

She had everything.

I had nothing.

I could-- I could have--

she deserved to die.

But it made the poor boy so unhappy.


It was hard to bear, isn't it?

To see him so beset.

Matthew gloating, a great spider weaving a web.


SERGEANT FOX: Your mother knew Matthew killed Ines,

didn't she?

Miss Glynn.

She knew, or guessed.

But she wouldn't tolerate Matthew

helping Maurice, would she?

She enjoyed her power over her boys.

WYCLIFFE: And so after her death,

when Matthew finally began to turn

the screw to threaten Maurice to torture his brother--

Matthew behaved like vermin so he had

to be treated appropriately.

WYCLIFFE: So you and Maurice--

I suggested it.

You can't blame Maurice.

It was my idea.

But Maurice was there.

Oh, God.

What have I said?

He poured the drinks while you crept up behind him

and struck the blow.

It was my idea.

It was my idea.

Maurice would never have thought of such a thing.

(CRYING) Now I've lost him.

I've lost him.

I've lost my boy.

I've lost-- I lost him.

WYCLIFFE: She struck the blow.

Then Maurice strangled him just to make sure,

deliberately using the same method

that Matthew had used to strangle

Ines all those years previously.

So the wheel has turned full circle.

It has, yes.

I'll never understand how someone can kill, ever.

To end someone's life.

To put out the light.

You certainly come up with the right words, don't you?

Oh, it's not me.

William Shakespeare.

During the last war, my grandad--

that's my mother's father-- was lost at sea.

As chief engineer of an armed merchant man,

went down with all hands, firing his two guns at enemy cruiser.

His two younger brothers followed suit soon after,

torpedoed in the Atlantic.

Mom couldn't face any more sailors in the family,

so I joined the police force instead.

It's interesting, isn't it, quiet power of women.

[music playing]