The Duchess of Duke Street (1976–1977): Season 1, Episode 15 - The Duchess of Duke Street - full transcript

With the death of His Majesty, King Edward VII, an era ends for Britain and for Louisa Trotter. Pressing forward, however, Charlie Tyrell (Lord Haslemere) has proposed to lovely Margaret Rosslyn and the newlyweds leave the Bentinck to live in a suitable house and start a family.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
Um, Lord Henry Norton's

come to call on you, madam.

Oh, has he?

I took the liberty
of putting him

in your room, seeing as how...

Yeah, all right.

Very sad news, mum.

Yeah, well, we all

have to go sometime, Merriman.

If you ask me, it's a miracle

he beat you to it.

Bottle of wine in my
room, if you please.

Yes, mum.

And 4 glasses.

Very good, mum.

Hello, Lord Henry.

My dear Mrs.
Trotter. Forgive me.

Oh, come on.

You ain't done nothin'
for me to forgive.

Well, I hope not.

Very sad news, eh?

One less in your gallery.

Yeah, and the
most important one.

If it hadn't been for him,

I wouldn't be here now.

I'd still be your
assistant cook,

Lord Henry.

We were lucky.

The King honored both
of us with his friendship.

But it's extraordinary
how everyone,

all the people in the street,

are so personally sad.

Yeah, well, he was
all of their friend, too.

He was about the
finest gentleman I ever

ran up against.

I'm creaking.

Been on me knees across
the church in Piccadilly

giving him a bit of a pushup,

not that he needed it.

Bought meself this
black dress, too.

I wouldn't have done
that for no one else.

Fill them all up, then.

Very good, mum.

Starr? Come in here a minute.

The hall, madam.

Fred will look after the hall.

Take a glass, you two.

Come on.

To the King.

Good-bye and God bless you.

We thought a lot of you.

To the King.

STARR: The King.

Well, come on, you two.

Push off now.

Sit down, Lord Henry.

Oh, thank you.

What's the new bloke like, then?

Hardly know him.

Nice, quiet, respectable
married man.

Not likely to patronize
this place, then.

Haslemere has wired.

He's coming up
today for the funeral.

Yes, I know.

I ain't hardly seen
nothing of him

last month or 2,

what, with his
hunting and fishing.

Yes, he's been up in Scotland

with me, actually.

That's what I really
wanted to talk to you about.

You see, I'm now his
only surviving relative.

I mean, near relative.

In loco parentis sort
of, don't you know?

Well, I'm getting on a bit,

and Charlie being what
he is and that sort of thing.

A family estate...

it's a bit of a responsibility.

So you think he ought to stop

sowing all them wild oats,

start doing a bit of harvesting,

settle down, eh?


Well, I can do a
lot of things for him.

I don't think I can
find him a wife.

No...but I hope I have.

Oh, good.

Very nice girl.

Parents both dead, sadly,

but nice family.

Oh, that's good, then.

I hope they'll be very happy.

Not my concern, is it? is.


I may appear to be
rather a silly old buffer,

but I'm very fond of Charlie,

and I know him pretty well,

and I know that there's
no one in the world

he admires and respects

as much as you, Mrs. Trotter.

You know what I'm talking about.

Yeah, I know what
you're talking about.

Well, we'll have
to see, won't we?

I won't muck it up if I think

they'll be happy.

Is he, uh...

Is he very bitten
with her, is he?

Well, it's rather
difficult to say.

By george. Caught you at it.

Hello, Charlie.

Drinking at this hour.

We did have a sad excuse.

Yes. Indeed.

Bad luck. We
finished the bottle.

I must be off.

You're dining with me tonight,

don't forget.

The Keppels and the Farjeons

are coming.

I'm afraid it won't be
a very gay occasion.

Wish you were cooking
our dinner, Mrs. Trotter.

Got a temperamental
Italian fellow, chef.

Can hear him
screaming his head off

from the library.

Oh, dear.

Well, good-bye and thank you.

Good day, Starr.

I ain't seen you
for a bit, then.


Trust you've been
behaving yourself

like a good boy.

You know me.

Only too well.

Louisa, I've got
someone coming to tea.

You only have to ring
the bell in your room

for Merriman.

We do serve afternoon
tea in this hotel.

Well, I... I think it would be

better if we had it in the hall.

There's a bell there, too.

You see, it's a girl.

Oh, you shock me,
Lord Haslemere.

You really do.

Louisa, be serious.

You see, it's a rather

quietly brought-up sort of girl.

She wouldn't understand
if we had tea in my room.

I mean, without a chaperone.

Knowing you, she might learn

a thing or 2, though.

Will you be...

Will you be very careful...

To...well... Watch
your language?

Oh, crikey. If her
ears are that delicate,

why don't you
take her to Gunter's

where she won't be corrupted?

I particularly want you
to meet Miss Wormald.

She's a girl I met in Scotland.

She's awfully good at fishing,

likes walking.


She's an orphan, but
Sir James Rosslyn's

her guardian.

Oh, yeah. I know him, all right.

Spending most of the
year down in Dorset,

she's led, well,
rather a dull life.

Yeah, I can imagine.

I do hope you like her.

Oh, I'll put on me
best bib and tucker,

mind me P's and Q's
and me "Bloodies."

By the way, she
particularly likes

chocolate eclairs.

There's none made.

Oh, please, Louisa.

Oh, bleedin' hell!

I wish you'd stayed
put where you was.


This is just the best eclair

I've ever tasted.

Oh, well, that's nice, isn't it?

Louisa made them
herself. Mrs. Trotter.

You mean you cooked them,

Mrs. Trotter?

With me own fair hands.

I didn't know that you cooked.

Well, now I don't, not
so much as I used to,

only when it's
something special.

Special? Oh.

But of course.

Well, if you'll excuse me.

Got me menus to see to.

More tea?

Oh, yes. Thank you so much.

What a funny woman.


Very common voice.

Yes. She was a cook,
you know, as she said,

and a very, very good one.


You always stay here, Charles?

Yes, I do, when I'm in London.

I have rooms. Awfully nice.

You must come and
see them sometime.

Uncle James stayed here once.

Oh, yes. Yes, I believe he did.

I think he found
it rather noisy.

Oh, really?

Good afternoon, Sir James.

Well, hello, Starr.

I'm just looking for my ward.

She's over there, then.

Oh, yes.

Hello, Haslemere.

I have come to take
this young lady away.

We're going to a lecture
at the Royal Society,

on volcanoes.

Oh. Volcanoes.

Very interesting subject.

Hello, Sir James.

Well, my goodness.

If it isn't the lady herself.

You liberals are not so cocky
now, eh, since the election?

Majority of 2, was it?

Not good.

Nobody's faults but your own.

Look at that
Winston Churchill...

Well, he's a nice enough
boy, appreciates my cooking,

but he thinks with his mouth.

And as for Lloyd George
and his people's budget,

he'll ruin us all.

It's a perfectly
sound fiscal measure,

and they'll get it through

once we scotch those half-witted

conservative peers.

Oh. Begging your
pardon, Haslemere.

Don't worry, Sir James.

You see here the
most unpolitical

conservative peer in captivity.

That's where they
should all be...

behind bars at the zoo.

We could all go and
feed them with buns.

CHARLIE: Thanks.

Well, if you'll excuse
us, I've got a taxi waiting.

Oh, yes, of course.

Good-bye, Charles.

Good-bye, Margaret.

Good-bye, Mrs.
Trotter, and thank you.

Have a good lecture.

Well, he don't
change much, do he?

Dry old stick.

He treats Margaret as though

she's still about 14.

Still, he's got a kind heart,

and that's what
matters, or so they say.

Louisa, could you
spare a minute?

Starr, tell old Dundrearyman

to fetch me a bottle of wine.

Yes, madam.

Old Dundrearyman.

He'll like that, won't he, Fred?

Oh, come on. Sit down.

I mean, how should I know?

Know what?

If Miss Wermygold...


If she's Miss Right,

if you should pop
the question to her.

Now, how the devil...

Oh, come on, Charlie.

I can read you
like an open book.

I always could.

Yes, you always could.

Well, why ask me this one?

Oh, you're the only
person I've ever asked

to marry me before.

Isn't that good enough

Well, I don't know.

How well do you know her?

Well, we saw each other
quite often in Scotland.

By yourselves?

No. She's quite jolly, really.

Not half such a mouse as...

You don't have to
apologize for her.


It's so hard to know.

I mean, really, to get to know

somebody like Margaret...

We got to know
each other all right.

Yes, but it's not... I
couldn't possibly...

Oh, no, of course
not, her being a lady.

Louisa, that's damned unfair.

Yeah, it is.

You always treated
me like a lady

even though I wasn't one.

I'll give you that.

You been over to
France to get it, have you?

Oh, no, mum. No, you see,

I'm having a bit of
trouble with the ice.

Let his lordship do it. We
can't hang about all night.

You pop off and die somewhere.

Yes, mum.

Well, don't see no
stars in your eyes.

You're not head over
heels, that's for sure.


No, I'm not, but...

Well, don't you
think it's better

or might be better

just to start liking each other?

And then as time goes by,
getting fonder and fonder.

Yes. Exactly.

Like it was a piece of furniture

or a dog or something.

No, but... Who knows?

Well, she seems healthy enough,

and the big idea is to make

a new little Lord
Haslemere, isn't it?


She's a lucky girl, Charlie.

You think I should, then?

Well, you pays your money.

That's if she'll have me.

Or Sir Rosy Rosslyn
will have you.

"The engagement is announced

between Charles,
Viscount Haslemere

of Bishopsleg--"


"Bishopsleigh, Yorkshire,
and Margaret Jane,

only daughter of the
late Mr. Justice Wormald

and Mrs. Wormald."

Well, I never did!

That girl's been in
here once or twice.

We'll have to get
you a real smart

new silk ribbon

for the great occasion,
won't we, Fred?

She seems a nice young lady.

We like her, don't we, Fred?

Ate up her tea all
right, very appreciative...

Not his lordship's usual at all.

Wonder when they'll
have the wedding.

Lord Haslemere being
a peer of the realm,

I don't doubt they'll
have to wait till after

court mourning's over.

If they can.

What's that?

Well, if there's one on the way.


Well, that's the usual reason

people get married, isn't it?

Well, it may be
where you come from,

but it's not down
here and certainly not

with ladies and gentlemen.

Well, I don't see why he
had to pick on that one.

She looks a bit drab to me.

Violet, no doubt you
and Lord Haslemere

have different tastes
in young ladies.

If I was a lady,

I'd make a dead set at him.

He's just the sort for me...

Handsome and courtly
and real nice to women.

He's not the sort
that'd bash you about.

I'm a bit soft on
him. I am, honest.

I believe we're all aware of
Lord Haslemere's qualities

and his undoubted
powers of attraction

over all sorts of
members of the other sex.

Well, if you ask me,
this time he's come

to his senses at last.

I'm surprised he got
permission, if you get my drift.

Who from? From old Sir Rosy?

No, no. From her.
He daren't lift a finger,

not without Mrs. Trotter
lifting the starting gate.

How does she come into it?

Oh, she don't officially,
but then she does

in ways that are
and should remain

beyond your
understanding, Violet.

Now, if Mrs. Trotter
was here now,

I have no doubt
she'd encourage you

to get on with your mending.

Go on, Fred. Back on duty.

How's Northants doing?

Oh, Surrey wiping
the floor with them.

51 all out.

Oh, too many professionals.

Hobbs and all that lot.

Eh, ruination of cricket.

Hello, Charlie.


Louisa, something
rather dreadful

has happened.

Fred ate a curious cat again?

Louisa, will you
swear not to tell

anyone ever about what

I'm going to show you now?


It's a bit of a
mystery, no mistake.

Like hell it is.

What's this
here? It's all legal.

It's a writ...

A breach of promise of marriage

taken out against
me by Irene Baker.

Irene? Crikey!

She's obviously seen
the announcement

of my engagement in the papers.

The twisting little bitch!

Unless, of course...

No. Absolutely not.

I mean, last year
down the Isle of Wight,

you were a bit over the moon.

I mean, you two
had a proper twiddle.

We both had fun.

Fun. Yeah.

You didn't get overexcited
and drop a little hint?

About marriage? Never.

I mean, the thought never even

entered my head.

Never ever.

No ring "Just to
remember me by"?

No, of course not. Presents?

Well, the odd... Not really.

I gave her a lobster.

A lobster? Why?

She wanted to eat it, I suppose.

She can't bring that
up in court, we hope.

It's not going to court.

Oh, yes.

I just spent half the
day with my lawyers.

They say that if
they get in touch

with Irene's people,

the whole thing
could be settled quietly

without anybody
hearing a word of it.

Pay up?

Yes. I mean,

the sum will have to
be arranged, of course.

That's letting her win,

giving in to her
bloody blackmail.

Don't you do that, Charlie.

I'll never speak to you again.

Face it, Louisa.
Think of the papers.

Think of the distress
it will cause everyone,

not least you.

This hotel's bound
to be dragged in.

Let it be dragged in.
Let's all be dragged in,

give this girl a
real bollocking.

You got to face up to
things in life, Charlie.

No good shoving
it under the carpet.

Always turns up in the end.

If you hush this
thing up and pay up

and then your wife
finds out about it,

which she will, bang
goes your marriage, matey.

LOUISA: It's as good
as an admission of guilt,

if you ask me.

I just don't think I
can face Margaret.

Well, you can face me.
Why can't you face her?

You want to know how
much she loves you?

Well, then, you'll find out.

This'll be a test
of her love for you.

Oh, hell.

You're right, as always.

Yeah, and it'll test
old Sir Rosy, as well.

Bleedin' hell, it will.

JAMES: Naturally, we are horrified

by this whole business.

CHARLIE: So are we, sir.

I hope you are.

But, James...

Poor Charlie had no idea.

Came as a complete
bolt from the blue.

I mean, this woman's
just trying it on.

Charles is completely innocent.

He's bound to win.

You may think so,
Henry. You may think so.

As a young man of the bar,

I had quite a bit of experience

in this sort of a case,

and they're usually
settled in an atmosphere

of emotion.

It's not the least like a
man suing a merchant

for being charged
overweight for a ton

of coal, not at all.

Who's counsel for the plaintiff?

Have you found out yet?

It's a chap called Newdigate.

Oh, good heavens...
Patrick Newdigate.

Yes, he's a silk. A
most amusing fellow.

Plays an excellent
hand at bridge.

He's a very good barrister, too,

especially this sort of case.

He could blacken
the character of

the angel Gabriel

and get damages
from the Holy Ghost,

especially if the plaintiff is

a pretty girl,

which, in this case,
she certainly is.

How do you know that, James?

Haven't you seen this?

That's monstrous!

Oh, Margaret, I'm so
awfully sorry about this.

Yes, Charles. I think it's

all absolutely...

absolutely rotten for you.

I mean...the last
thing I would ever want

is to get you involved
in this in any way.

In fact, if I'd known,
then I wouldn't have

thought of asking you.

Then, if I hadn't announced

my engagement to someone,

then I think this girl
wouldn't have done

what she has done.

It's all rather complicated.


But you must decide

what you want
me to do and say...

I mean about you and
me, whatever you wish.

Whatever you say,
I shall, of course, abide by.

James, shall we leave
them to talk things over?

No, I think not.

Lord Haslemere, now we've
heard your side of the case.

You've told us something
of how the land lies.

I'd like to have a few words

with Margaret alone,
if you'll forgive me.

- Yes. Of course sir.
- Thank you.

Uh, uncle Henry.

JAMES: Well, you haven't
said very much, my dear.

What could I say,
except that he's...

I would appreciate it if
I could say something.

Yes, uncle James.

I've failed you, my dear.

I've let my heart get the
better of my judgment.

I should never have
countenanced this engagement

between you and Haslemere.

I know it's all very well to be

wise after the event,

but something like this was
bound to happen sooner or later.

I think that's rather silly.


I said I think that's rather

a silly thing to say.

It wasn't bound to happen.

But it has happened, hasn't it?

We must learn our lessons.

My solution's a simple one.

If you're going to
try to persuade me

to ask Charles to break off

our engagement,

I'm not going to.

My dear, look, I quite
understand your feelings

of regret and loyalty...

well, I'm glad you do.

But I think you're wrong.

In this case, I'm sure you are,

and I'm going to have
to put my foot down.

It won't make any
difference, uncle James.

I am your trustee.

Until you're 25, I'm responsible

for your money, your property,

everything you own.

I don't care, uncle James.

That's got nothing
to do with it.

How could I possibly ask Charles

to break off our engagement now?

Well, he should make
the decision himself.

He's not fair to leave it to us.

Not on to us... on to me.

It would be just like

hitting someone
when they're down.

My dear, this isn't a game!

Perhaps it would be
best if I'd just told him

I thought it
best to call it off.

You've asked Margaret to decide.

You must leave it at that.

Oh, what a mess.

I wish I'd just...

Oh, I don't know.

It's so awful for Margaret.

It's awful for everyone.

Always is.

The late King had a devilish

time of it when he was

Prince of Wales.

Women can be the very devil.


But you do get to know who your

real friends are,

if that's any consolation.

Lord Haslemere.


Charles, as far
as I'm concerned,

nothing's any different,
not in the least.


And anything I can
possibly do to help,

I'd like to.

I mean, I really would.

Well, there we are, then.

Come along, my
dear, or we shall be

late for luncheon.

If the case goes against you,

I hope you'll know
what action to take.

Come along, my dear.

Good-bye, Lord Henry,

and thank you.

Good-bye, dear Margaret.

Good-bye, Charles.


Damn good girl, that.

As for old James,

Lord knows what he'd do
without a fence to sit on.

MAN: For some years now,
my client, Miss Irene Baker,

has enjoyed considerable
success on stage

as an actress and a dancer.

She first met Lord
Haslemere at a party

at the Bentinck Hotel

early in August of last year.

Apparently, they were
mutually attracted to each other,

and Lord Haslemere
took Miss Baker to supper

at Romano's restaurant.

The 2 parties continued
to see each other

from time to time,

but the friendship can
be said to have blossomed

into something more intense

during a holiday they both spent

as guests of Mrs. Trotter,

the proprietor of
the Bentinck Hotel,

at her house on
the Isle of Wight

in August 1909.

During that time, Lord Haslemere

proposed marriage to Miss
Baker on several occasions

and later in London...

Though it was agreed that

no public announcement
would be made

until such time
that Lord Haslemere

could discuss the situation

with his family and his trustees

and Miss Baker's contractual
and professional obligations

had been settled.

At that time, Lord
Haslemere's ardor was such

that he could hardly bear
to be parted from Miss Baker

for even a day

or, in his own words,
"For even an hour."

When she was not with him,

he bombarded her with
letters and telegrams.

And, my lord, if I may
be permitted to read

some extracts
from these letters?

JUDGE: Have these letters

been entered into the court?

Yes, my lord.

You may read from them if you

consider them relevant.

Thank you, my lord.

"My darling Pally..."

JUDGE: And who, pray, is Pally?

Pally is Miss Baker, my lord.

They called each
other by pet names.

Miss Baker was Pally,
Lord Haslemere, Ally,

derived, I believe, from
the shortened name of

a well-known London race course.

"My darling Pally, I
absolutely adore you, my love.

"Every hour you are
away from me is agony.

"I'm counting every second
until Wednesday night.

You are the most
gloriously marvelous

girl in the world."

August the 29th.

"You are much the
most important thing

"in my life.

"In returning my love,

"you have paid me the
greatest compliment possible.

"Every moment of
the day and night,

I see your sweet
face before me."

September the 20th.

This was written from
Lord Haslemere's home

in Yorkshire, my lord.

"How I shall miss you.

"I shall kiss your
photograph every day.

Please come back soon."

Lord Haslemere was referring
to the fact that Miss Baker

was about to leave for
Europe and South America

for most of the winter months

on professional engagements.

There are many more
letters in similar vein, my lord,

but, ah, they tend to
become somewhat repetitive.

I now call Miss Baker.

BAILIFF: Miss Baker.

Take the testament
in your right hand

and read the card.

"I swear by almighty God

"that the evidence I
shall give to this court

"shall be the truth,
the whole truth,

and nothing but the truth."

JUDGE: You may sit down
if you wish, Miss Baker.

Miss Baker, did Lord
Haslemere send you

this photograph of himself?

He did, and I

sent him one of myself

with a similar inscription.

Would you please
read the inscription?

"To my adorable Pally,

with my everlasting love."

Lord Haslemere
suggested marriage to you

on several occasions.


Can you remember
his exact words?

No, not now. I was so much

in love myself.

Do you recognize this letter?


Do you recognize
the handwriting?

Yes. It's

Lord Haslemere's writing.

Thank you.

My lord, Lord Haslemere
says in this letter,

"In returning my love,

you have paid me the
greatest compliment possible."

Miss Baker, how did
you... indeed, how do you

interpret these words
written in this letter

in August of last year?

I object, my lord.

Witness being led, my lord.

Yes, yes. Be careful,
Mr. Newdigate.

Do not lead your witness.

Very good, my lord.

"The greatest
compliment possible."

Let me ask you, Miss Baker,

what do you consider
to be the greatest

compliment possible

that a man can pay to a woman?

I think it is when
a man asks for

a lady's hand in marriage.

Those words merely confirmed

what I already knew...

what I thought I knew...

that Lord Haslemere
wished to marry me.


I cannot detect any
firm proposal of marriage

in those words myself.

Miss Baker, we've heard
enough evidence to be convinced

that you and Lord Haslemere

formed a...a warm friendship

during a holiday by
the seaside last year.

You assert he offered
his hand in marriage.

Did he give you
any more tangible

tokens of his love,

any presents, for instance?

I didn't want any.

He was all I wanted.

And no engagement ring?

We decided that it would be best

for me professionally

if he only gave me
the ring after we put

the announcement in the papers.

So you waited...

..Worried, yet
patient, you waited,

in fact, until the end
of May of this year,

when Lord Haslemere did
announce his engagement

in the newspapers,

but to another lady.


How did you hear of his
engagement to Miss Wormald?

Like you said, I
saw it in the papers.

I didn't say that you
saw it in the newspapers,

but that was, in fact,

where you saw the announcement?


Were you surprised?

Well, of course I was surprised.

I was shocked.

Because Lord Haslemere
hadn't informed you first

of his change of heart?

Yes. I just couldn't believe it.

It was so unlike him.

Yet you didn't get
in touch with him

or ask him for an explanation.

Instead, you went
directly to your lawyer's,

and Lord Haslemere
had delivered to him

a writ for breach of
promise of marriage.


You didn't even write to him.

I was too upset.

I was really ill,
far too ill to work.

It...It has ruined my life.

Yet you were well enough to give

an interview to the press

and have your photograph taken

holding his photograph
within the same week.

Well, ah, they wanted it.

Don't you think that was
rather a cruel thing to do,

not only to him,

but to the lady he'd
become engaged to?

It was him who was
being cruel to me.

That's what I thought.

Yet all through the winter

and the early
spring of this year,

you never wrote one
word to Lord Haslemere.

Well, I was very busy,

traveling round
all over the place.

Weren't you worried

that he never wrote to you?

Oh, I was, of course,

but men don't
like girls that push.

I didn't ask you what men liked

or disliked, Miss Baker,

although I'm sure you're very

well-informed on the subject.

I object.

Yes, yes. I agree.

I suggest you confine yourself
to question, Mr. Randall.

All right.

Let's stick to the
point, shall we?

You were saying
that you were traveling

all round the place
and you were too busy

to write to Lord
Haslemere in consequence.


But I had his promise
and his photograph

always with me,

and I knew that he
was kissing mine

and remembering me

just as I was remembering him.

I had his promise
as a gentleman.

I wish I could believe you.

Yes, that's a quite

observation, Mr. Randall!

They're really
having a field day.

Poor old Charlie.

Looks like he's
coppin' it proper.

Nothing more than
a high-class tart,

that woman.

Good-looker, though.

Fred never liked
her, I'll say that.

He's too keen on
the ladies, Haslemere.

Bound to come a cropper one day.

I saw it coming a mile off.

You haven't all
that strong a record

in that direction yourself.

Mr. Starr [indistinct]

Well, you just stop thinking

about it, Mr. Merriman,
or I'll be forced...

LOUISA: Ain't you got
nothing better to do...

sitting here...nattering?

All right, Merriman. I
want a word with you.


I got a temporary waiter
coming in tomorrow.

You're coming to
the court with me.

Oh, not me, mum. Oh, no, no.

Oh, yes, mum.

You got the bit of
paper, didn't you?

Yes, but...

they're going to put you inside

if you don't turn up. Contempt.

LOUISA: So you
smarten yourself up a bit.

You look like a
walking scarecrow.

MERRIMAN: If you'll excuse
me, mum, I wouldn't know

what to say.

You'll be asked questions,
and you'll answer them,

and you'll tell the
truth, if you get my drift,

if you know the meaning
of the word, which I doubt.

Getting mixed up
in a court of law

is no good for an hotel, mum.

Nothing chases
the guests away...

Starr! Come back in here!

I said come back!

You'll get an earwig

where you don't want to one day.

Now, you listen
to me, both of you.

Lord Haslemere's in the tripe,

and we're going to help
him out of it as best we can.

- There's nothing I can do...
- Shut up when I'm talkin' to ya'!

Now, if wasn't for him,
we wouldn't be here now...

And there wouldn't be
no bleedin' Bentinck,

and you know it.

He got us out of it
when we was in it,

so now we're going to do
the same for him. Right?

Yes, madam.

Yes, mum.


Lord Haslemere,

are you in all honesty
and under oath

prepared to say to this court
that you never at any time

thought of proposing
marriage to Miss Baker?

Well, yes, or should I say no?

I really never seriously
gave it a thought.

And yet we have heard in writing

that you, on several occasions,

pledged eternal love to her,

calling her adorable,
incredibly lovely, et cetera.

Yes. I...I know I did.

It sounds rather silly,

especially when read out,

but, you see,

at the time... last summer...

I was rather struck with her.


Yes, I suppose so.

We were both having
a lot of fun together,

and she was rather keen on me.

In fact, she wrote
a lot of the same

sort of nonsense to me.

Oh, so now it's all nonsense,
is it, Lord Haslemere?

Though it wasn't
nonsense at the time,

not at least as far as
Miss Baker was concerned.

That sort of nonsense,

as you're pleased
to call it now,

nearly a year later,

can be rather serious...

enough to break a
young girl's heart.

What did you do with
Miss Baker's letters,

Lord Haslemere?

I destroyed them.

Yes, I'm sure you did.

In what manner, may I ask?

I burnt them, if
you want to know.

I think that's the
best sort of thing to do

with that kind of,
well, private letters.

Kindly stick to
answering my questions,

Lord Haslemere.

We're not interested
in your thoughts

as to what or what not
to do with love letters.

My lord, all I was
trying to explain...

Please do as
Mr. Newdigate requests,

Lord Haslemere.

Thank you, my lord.

So, having toyed

with Miss Baker's affections,

having burned her letters,

you casually went away
and left her...hoping, waiting.

CHARLIE: Well, no.

I mean, we had dinner
together in London.

And when was that?

October, I think.

If I may say so, you seem to be

a great thinker, Lord Haslemere.

She seemed in
very good form then,

chattering away
about her dancing

or her other engagements.

No doubt because
she was once more

in her loved one's company,

in his arms.

Oh, no.

You see, by then, I think...

I mean, I know that
we both knew that

things had cooled
between us, you know?

I do not know, and
nor did Miss Baker.

JUDGE: It is a
condition not unknown

to appear with
the onset of winter.

In this case... in this case,

the cooling off was on one side.

- I just...
- Your side.

I just wish to goodness
she'd written to me.

This court is not interested in

your wishes, Lord Haslemere.

They come too late.

It is interested in facts...

the fact that you promised
to marry Miss Baker

on several occasions

and then chose to
forget that promise,

treating her in a most cavalier

and arrogant fashion.

CHARLIE: My lord, believe
me, the last thing I ever wanted

was to distress Miss
Baker in any way.

If I made a mistake, I'm sorry.

you, Lord Haslemere.

That is all.

Mrs. Trotter, you've known
Lord Haslemere very well

for some considerable time.

That's right.

He's been resident
in my hotel for,

oh, must be 7 years now,

and he's a great
personal friend of mine,

as you might say.

Mrs. Trotter, do you
think Lord Haslemere

is the sort of person who would

propose marriage to a lady

and then leave her in the lurch?

It's not what I think.
I know he wouldn't.

Lord Haslemere's a gentleman,

and he knows
how to treat ladies.

I don't mean just ladies. I
mean women of all sorts.

He'll be just as nice
and polite and thoughtful

to the old lady who sells
matches out in Duke Street

as he is to anyone else.

He's the most kindhearted,
decent gentleman

I've ever had the
pleasure of meeting,

and I know men.

JUDGE: Silence.

LOUISA: What's more, my lord,

Lord Haslemere's just
the nice sort of gentleman

that a certain sort of lady
always takes advantage of,

if you'll excuse my grammar.

Mr. Randall, while I
think we may excuse

your witness' grammar,

I don't think I can excuse her
scattering, random insinuations

left, right, and center.

I know, my lord.

LOUISA: Beg pardon, my lord,

though I can say this
without insinuating nothing.

Lord Haslemere would
never ask a girl to marry him

without consulting me first.

JUDGE: Lord Haslemere
is lately engaged.

Did he consult you
first in that case?

Yes, my lord, he did.

you, Mrs. Trotter.

Mr. Newdigate.

Mrs. Trotter... If I may say so,

you seem to be a woman of
some considerable character.

If that's a
compliment, I accept.

You know the
plaintiff well, I believe.

If that's Miss Irene Baker,

not as well as I thought I did.

Lord Haslemere and Miss Baker

first met in your hotel
under your auspices?

Yes. There was a
bit of a party going on,

and I introduced them.

How very pleasant.

And later you invited
them both to stay with you

at your house on
the isle of wight.

Yes. What's wrong with that?

Oh, nothing. Nothing at all.

It would seem to imply, though,

that you were deliberately
throwing them together,

possibly matchmaking.

Who's insinuating
what now, then?

They was me friends.
I just wanted us all

to have bit of a holiday
together, that's all.

Only in this case, it
got a little out of hand.

Oh, they fell for each other,

if that's what you mean.

You admit, then,
that in your opinion,

they fell in love.

Boys do fall in love
with pretty dancers.

I would hardly call
Lord Haslemere a boy,

Mrs. Trotter.

He is to me.

Anyway, it was
only a bit of fun.

Hmm. You call it "Fun,"
Lord Haslemere, "Nonsense,"

Yet you have heard the contents
of Lord Haslemere's letters

read out in court.

I would have thought
infatuation were

a better word than fun.

It's the same thing.

People can't write
that sort of thing

to each other,
the world would be

a pretty dull place,

though I do say this...

my motto is "No
lawyers, no letters,

and kiss me baby's bottom."

Always has been.

Yes. Your motto,
though fascinating,

is hardly relevant to
the case, Mrs. Trotter.

JUDGE: It seems
excellent advice to me.

LOUISA: Thank you, me lord.

Mrs. Trotter, I would
remind you that you are

giving evidence under oath,

and I advise you to
think very carefully

before replying to
my next question.

Thank you for reminding
me of that fact, sir.

Much obliged.

Mrs. Trotter, as Lord
Haslemere and Miss Baker

were staying under your roof,

you, no doubt, had occasion
to observe their lovemaking.

Yes, I did.

You admit they made love.

Well, of course, they did.

What's wrong with that?

Now, look, sir.

You're a nice-looking gentleman.

I expect you've
had a bit of a cuddle

and a kiss in your time,

maybe even a bit
on the side, eh?

But every time you
took a girl in your arms

and kissed her and whispered

sweet nothings in her ear,

you didn't think she
was thinking you was

asking her to
marry you, did you?

My lord, pray protect
me from this woman.

Mrs. Trotter, Mr. Newdigate's

amorous adventures,
whether fact or fictional,

are not strictly the
concern of this court.

Thank you, my lord.

Now, let us stick to the facts.

The truth, Mrs. Trotter.

Right. The truth is
that she was just out

to squeeze a bit of money

out of Lord Haslemere!

When she saw his engagement

announced in the papers,

she thought she'd have a go,

knowing he was as soft as butter

when it comes to bloody women!

If you do not confine yourself

to answering
counsel's questions,

I shall have to ask
you to leave this court.

I'm sorry, my lord, but he keeps

asking me for the truth.

That's what I'm
trying to tell you.

I mean, that's what
we're all here for, isn't it?

And the truth is that
when Lord Haslemere

didn't come up to
scratch first time

the poor, lovelorn girl
gives the screw another twist

and invites the photographers
from the papers to come along.

Oh, my heart bleeds
for her. It does, really.

I tell you this, by
that time, she got

so many other irons in the fire,

she'd forgotten all
about Lord Haslemere.

Mrs. Trotter, if you do not stop

uttering these unsupported
calumnies of the plaintiff,

it will be my duty to
have you removed from

this court by force

for contempt.

I'm sorry, my lord.

I ain't got contempt
for no one in this court,

except for her.

JUDGE: Have you completed

your cross examination,
Mr. Newdigate?


BAILIFF: Call Arthur Merriman.

Arthur Merriman.

Arthur Merriman.

Arthur Merriman does
not answer his call.

Oh, yes, he does.

If you'll excuse me.



Merriman, wake up... Uh!

Judge'll have your guts
for garters. Now come on.

What you think I
brung you here for?

Straighten your tie. Go on.

Up there. Up there. Follow him.

Are you church of England?

I am.

Take the testament
in your right hand

and say after me.

I swear by almighty God

that the evidence I
shall give to this court...

"I swear by almighty God--"

Speak up, man.

I'm sorry. Me lungs ain't

what they used to be.

Where was I?

Almighty God.

Oh, yes. "Almighty God

"that the evidence I shall give

"before this court
shall be the truth,

"the whole truth,
and nothing but

the truth."

RANDALL: Is your name
Arthur Cornelius Merriman?


You're a waiter employed
at the Bentinck Hotel

in Duke Street?

I'm the headwaiter, sir,

and have been
since the year 18...

Yes. Quite, quite.

Do you recognize the plaintiff?


That lady sitting there.

Oh, Miss Baker. Oh, yes.

Yes, I do. I do, indeed.

Have you seen that
lady on the premises of

the Bentinck Hotel at any time

during the last 6 months?

Yes, sir, I have.

I have, indeed.

Will you tell the court,
please, when that was?

Uh, "December the 12th,

spent the night in number 11."

I object.

This book has not been entered

into the court, my lord.

evidence, my lord.

Satisfied, Mr. Newdigate?

No, my lord.

I should like to see
the book in question.

I don't let anyone
read this book.

It's private...

This book is private.

You'll allow the
court to examine

your book, Mr. Merriman,

or else it may not
be used in evidence.


Interesting, though, no doubt.

You may proceed.

MERRIMAN: Now, where was I?

We were discussing
a visit of Miss Baker

to the Bentinck Hotel.

Oh, yes.

"December the 12th,

spent the night in number 11."

JUDGE: I don't understand.

You mean she took
a room...number 11?

Oh, no, me lord.

It was a gentleman
who had the room.

JUDGE: Silence.

RANDALL: How do you
know that she spent the night

in this room with
this gentleman?

She was there last thing

when I took them their drinks,

and she was still
there next morning

when I took them
their breakfast.

And January the 8th
and 17th in number 8.

JUDGE: Mr. Newdigate.

I believe that your client

said in evidence

that she was out of the country

during the winter months.

Not all the winter
months, my lord.


Pray proceed.

And on January 24th,

the young lady in question

entered the hotel
with the Marquis of...

Thank you, Mr. Merriman.
No names, please.

If you would be kind enough
to refer to the noble lord

as lord "X."

Lord who?

Lord "X".

Oh, never heard of him, sir.

I take pride in the fact

that most of the nobility...

RANDALL: Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Merriman.

Your witness, Mr. Newdigate.

Mr. Merriman...

Are your duties as waiter...

I beg your pardon...

at the Bentinck Hotel arduous?

Oh, it is indeed, me lord.

On me feet all day
and half the night.

And yet you seem to
have found ample time

to play detective as well.

Yes, sir.

It's a hobby of
mine, as you might say.

Quite the Sherlock Holmes.

Yes, sir.

I have been referred
to by such an epithet in

a jocular sort of way,

if you get my drift.

Well, Mr. Merriman...
Mr. Detective Merriman,

I put it to you that your
researches must have

led you to the conclusion

that the Bentinck Hotel
is nothing more than

a common house of assignation.

MERRIMAN: Oh, not at all, sir.

Mrs. Trotter don't allow

no ladies of the
town in the hotel, sir.

No streetwalkers.
Very strict rule there.

She likes the guests
to be free and easy-like,

like they was in
their own homes,

as you might say.

Thank you. That is all.

I call Miss Margaret Wormald.

JUDGE: Who is Miss
Wormald, Mr. Randall?

She is Lord Haslemere's
fiancee, my lord.

It will not be necessary.

There is no need to inflict

any more pain on that lady

or on Lord Haslemere

than they have already
endured in this court.

I've had enough of this

impertinent and disgusting case.

It is not necessary
for the defense

to conclude their case.

I shall direct the jury to bring
in a verdict for the defense.

Yes, madam. On the hall table

with your name on the
envelope if I'm not here.

Cab's ready, ladies.

Enjoy the concert.

Yes, madam. Best
stalls, as you asked for.


Everything all right, Starr?

Oh, yes, madam.

Some messages on
your desk and the mail.

And the Haslemeres' rooms

are ready, are they?

Yes, madam. I
attended to it personally.


Good evening, me lord.

How was the wedding?

Oh, very pleasant.
Very delightful.

You and me wasn't asked, Fred,

not being heroes of court dramas

like Mr. Merriman.

A lot of county gentry,

that sort of thing, you know.

Oh, they had a bishop.

Food very badly
done, wine undrinkable.

You seem to have managed.

The temporary waiter is sozzled

and sleeping it
off in the dispense,

and they're screaming for
smoked salmon sandwiches

and white burgundy in number 6,

so you better stir your

All right, Violet.

I was just waiting for

Lord and Lady Haslemere

in case they wanted anything.

Well, they can
always ring if they do.

If you want to see them come in,

you can watch from the hall.

VIOLET: Yes, mum.

tell her that I love her...

LOUISA: Your magic
spell always works, eh?

No. Sometimes the lady says

her carriage is waiting.

I ain't got carriage.

LOUISA: Oh, Charlie, darling!

Oh, I feel tingly all over,

like when I had
measles, but nicer.

I don't care about nothing.

I don't care if it's
Christmas or Easter.

I must be going
potty. I really must.

Oh, it's nice, though.

It's like being up in
the air somewhere.


Welcome home.

I hope you'll be
very comfortable.

I'm sure I will.

Oh, Margaret.


Oh, Charlie.

Oh, what beautiful flowers.

Charlie, look.

Oh, look at the dining table.

Have you ever seen
anything prettier?


What's this? I never ordered...

Margaret didn't want any more.

She's having a
rest before supper,

so I thought perhaps...

Oh, good idea.

Pink champagne.

That's pushing
the boat out a bit.

Didn't even know we had any

in the cellar.

Ah, but Merriman and I
knew, didn't we, Merriman?

Yes, me lord.

Old Muddleman.

Tickled pink you asked
him to your wedding.

I think that's the first
time he's ever been to one

where he was served
and wasn't serving.

Poor old Starr will
never hear the end of it.

Nice wedding.

Your Margaret
made a lovely bride.

I thought Sir James' speech

was going on forever.

Well, he was paying for it.

Likes the sound
of his own voice.

Last bottle there
is of this stuff.

Better make the most of it.

Oh, Louisa, that was kind.

Louisa, I think, probably,

this will be the last night

I shall spend in the Bentinck.

Oh, will it?

Oh, well, she's moved
pretty quick, I must say.

Might have known.

No sooner gets you to
the altar than she starts...

it's nothing to
do with Margaret.

She doesn't even know about it,

but...well, you see,

we'll need somewhere
to live in London,

and a hotel isn't a
very suitable place

to begin married life.

I don't see why not.

Anyway, Lady
Haslemere will mostly be

up in Yorkshire, won't she?

Louisa, it won't do.

But I thought she'd
be only too glad

to have no domestic worries,

meals provided. Seems
the ideal place to me.

Louisa, darling,
you've got to let me go.

It's no good us
trying to hold on.

I don't know what
you're talking about.

You once said to me,

"We've got to be
honest with ourselves,

not pull the wool."

Well, let's be honest now.

If my marriage is
to have any hope,

it's got to be
without your help.

I don't own you.

You do, really,

you have done for
the last 7 or 8 years.

I've come to rely
on you completely,

and you've never let me down.

But now I've got
to learn the lessons

you've tried to teach me,

learn to walk on my own 2 feet,

to be responsible for
my wife and children.

Yeah, well...

Charlie, I didn't
want to ask you this, might be
the last chance I get.

Have you seen our little girl?

Well, I saw her at Christmas.

We had a sort of party

for the tenants' children

in the country.

Charlotte's bright as a bee.

The schoolmistress had to invent

a special class for her.

Oh, they're calling
her Lottie now.

Our little Lottie.

She's going to be a beauty.

Well, I should hope so.

It's not a bad start in life.

Louisa, I'm going
to leave my money

in the hotel.

You don't have
to. It's not a charity.

I think it's very well-invested.

I'd like you to
have the furniture

that's in my rooms
in part payment

of a debt

that whatever I did,
I could never repay.

Well, that's nonsense.

Oh, well. Thanks.

Whatever happens to us,

you know some part of
me will always be yours.