Ring of Bright Water (1969) - full transcript

Whoever said dog is man's best friend never met Mij! Mij is a cute, cuddly pet shop otter who captures the heart of Graham Merill (Bill Travers). It doesn't take Graham long to realize that London is no place to raise a slippery otter. So he takes Mij to live in a ramshackle cottage on the coast of Scotland. Together they set out to explore the curious and magnificent natural wonders that surround their seaside home--from orphaned geese to tooth-less sharks. While Mij spends his days frolicking in the icy cold sea, Graham finds himself falling in love with the beautiful town doctor, Mary (Virginia McKenna). Before long, the three become inseparable friends.

- Wilcox here.
- Colin?

- Hello, Graham.
- Want to know something?

Not particularly. What?

We're in the files... at least
I am. Here, under M-e-r.

Yes. Well, that's right,
isn't it-M-e-r?

You don't realize
I've just seen it.

I'm a code number
that gets a pension.

I have an expectancy of life
calculated in years and days.

Years? They've got to be
joking where I'm concerned.

I have got the mother
and father of all hangovers.

I've already lost
half the pensionable...

female population of London

We've been computerized
by our own computers.

What's wrong with that?
Everybody has.

Yes, but it makes you think when you see it
for the first time in black and white.

"Pension, 'X' years, finish."

Who wants to know about
one's future anyway?

Well, fifteen years is nothing.

Anyway, that was just
a life expectancy.

That was before pension.
You'll only be...

I've already worked it out.

And then what?

There's all sorts of things
you can do...

Retire, buy a nice little place
in the country...

get married again...

write your book about
the marsh Arabs or something.

That's what
I should be doing now.

Oh, saved my life, Flo.
I'll never drink again. Cheers.

Here, if I've saved your life,

how about buying
one of these for the raffle?

There's a lovely first prize
in the fridge there.

You were saying, Graham?

Oh, yes. I was saying...

Oh, I don't know.
It doesn't matter.

Excuse me.

The winner is 1-0-0, 100.

Blast. 99.

Hey, Graham. 100, that's yours.
Just a minute, Flo.

Here you are, my love...
First prize.

From that first day...

I imagined that the otter
had somehow singled me out...

from all the thousands
of people...

who pass the pet shop window
every day.

Yet I found it intriguing.

It was uncanny.

Every time I passed,
he seemed to be watching me...

and me alone.

At first, I thought
it was only my imagination...

but whatever I did, he seemed
to sense that I was there...

and fix me with his beady eyes.

Clearly, I was the chosen one...

and I found it
curiously flattering.

I refused to believe...

that the otter
was only watching me...

because he'd seen me
carrying off...

the most beautiful fish
of his life.

No, it had to be
something special...

and this otter
had the good sense to see it.

I didn't really
take it seriously...

and yet I had to admit...

that I was feeling
rather pleased with myself.

Years ago,
when I traveled in Arabia...

I'd watched wild otters
playing in the marshes.

they had more sense of fun.

They seemed very different
from this one...

who, like myself,
was now a prisoner in London.

Ja, it's OK.

Nice size, good condition.

I think it will fit
into the act very nice.

Well, as you know, Herman,
I'm willing to try anything...

but otters?

No one does the flaming
barrel-divin' act with an otter.

Exactly. Frank, to see
humans do it is nothing now.

This is something different.

Yeah, I know it's funny...

but how are you going
to make him do it?

When I have finished with him,
oh, yes, oh, yes.

You see, Frank,
otters love water.

Hello, old chap.

I called my otter Mijbil...

after an Arab sheik
I'd known long ago...

and whose name intrigued me
with an imagined picture...

of a platypus-like creature.

"Physical description..."

"a head ill-shaped,
ears placed low..."

"eyes small and homely..."

"a lurid aspect,
awkward motions."

"" The otter is naturally...

"of a cruel and savage

"and has been known to sever
human fingers with its bite..."

"without pause for bone..."

"or the pain thus afflicted."

"The flesh of the otter
is extremely fishy..."

"and disagreeable to taste."

"However, the Romish church..."

"permits its consumption
on Fridays."

Tell you what, Mij...

you don't bite me,
and I won't eat you on Friday.

Hello. Colin?

He's about, yes.
He was just nosing around.

As a matter of fact, right now,
he's having a cup of tea.

He's very quiet
and peace-loving.

As a matter of fact...

he's just rummaging around
the wastepaper basket...

and inspecting the furniture.

He's having a look at my desk
and the table lamp!

Did you hear something?

I think it was
the people upstairs.

Hang on a moment.

I think there's somebody
at the window... uh, door.


Hello? Hello, Colin?

Yes. I'm afraid we were
cut off for a moment.

Well, as a matter of fact,
I'm just, uh...

tidying my shirt drawer.


Uh, look, Colin,
I think I'd better go now.

He's asking for a drink. Yes.

Mij. Steady, Mij.

Mij, how could you?

They were friends of mine.

That first night,
I learned something...

I would never be allowed
to forget.

Water to an otter
is as vital as air to a bird.

But water must be kept on
the move and made to do things.

It must be extended
and spread about the place.

A bowl must be at once

or if it were not overturned,
must be sat in...

and splashed until it overflows.

Oh, Mij. You're wet. Get off!

Come here.

Lie down.

That's not funny, Mij.


- Colin!
- What-ho?

Oh, come in, Colin.
Bit of drama.

Yes, I see.
I'd give you a hand...

but I'm afraid I'm useless
at this sort of thing.

Yes, I know. Mind the bucket.



Well, you've made
one or two changes, I see.

Is it to keep otters in
and humans out...

or the other way around?

It depends. Come in.

Any charge for admission?

Where is he, by the way?

In the bedroom having a rest.

From the decor?
I think it's quite fascinating.

Oh, I love your mobiles.
Do they work?

- Help yourself.
- Thanks very much.

What's Mij doing
in the bedroom anyway?

He's in disgrace.

He taught himself
to turn the bath taps on.

Oh, how sweet.
How very touching.

What about the landlady?

She insists I find
alternative accommodation.

Yes, but that's not so easy.
I mean, where would you go?

She suggested I move into
the local police station.

She said their caging was free.

- Quite.
- Thanks.

Sit down.

Uh... how?



Thank you.

- Well, cheers.
- Cheers.

It seems a shame, when you've
made so many improvements...

but surely he'll have to go,
won't he?

I mean, you can't keep an otter
in London.

It's too cruel...
To the humans, I mean.

You'll simply have to find him
a home.

I suppose you're right.

Well, I've got to do something
pretty rapidly.

Won't I, Mij, old chap?

In that moment, I realized
for the first time...

how deeply I was involved.

I hadn't just bought myself
an otter.

I'd taken a step...

that was to change
the whole course of my life.

This otter
had become a part of me.

Here I was, bound,
it seemed, forever...

to this engaging pest.

Listen to this, Mij.

"Escape the rat race."

"Exclusive old-world cottage,
west coast of Scotland."

"Ideal retreat for author."

"Long lease,
a few minor repairs.

"Quick sale to right person."

No, come off the lamp, Mij.

"Box 4881."

Escape the ra... ha ha.

"Escape the rat race," Mij.

"Ideal for writer."

It's not the easiest thing
in the world...

to travel by train
with an otter.

The regulations say
he is a wild animal...

and must travel in a box,
but the regulations...

don't know the first thing
about otters and boxes.

I felt that Mij
now trusted me completely...

and I wasn't going
to betray his trust...

by putting him in anything.

I thought I'd try
to bend the law instead.

Single, Inverness, first-class
sleeper, and a dog ticket.

That'll be £12 exactly.


Hmm? What was that?

What kind of dog is it?

Yes, what kind of dog? Um...

a diving terrier.




Come on, Mij.

Did he say diving terrier?



Uh, just a minute.

Sorry about this, old chap.

Just stay there.

Uh, come in.

- Good evening, sir.
- Good evening.

- Can I check your ticket, sir?
- Ah, yes.

So, you're travelling alone, sir?

In that case,
I'd better lock off.

- Tea in the morning, sir?
- Yes, thank you.

- 7:00?
- Yes. That would be just fine.

- Shall I put your luggage up?
- No. No, thanks.

Is that ventilator working?

Well, it is
if you turn it on, sir.

First sitting dinner, 7:30, sir.

Thank you.

OK, Mij, you can come out now.



Thought it was my otter.

A rat! Eww!

Don't make a noise.
You'll frighten...

What is going on?

All right,
who's responsible for this?

Don't worry, Mij. Never did
like travelling by train.

Come on.

Look, Mij.

Travel by bus.

And there's one due in...

six hours.

Come on, Mij. Come on.

Ah. Steady, Mij.

Which way to the village?

You just follow the road
over that hill.

I wouldn't go there.

Oh? Why not?

Well, the cottage you want...

is a few miles
in the other direction...

just a wee walk from here.

But how will I know
when I'm there?

Ah, you can't make a mistake.

You understand,
there's this cottage...

and after that, there's the sea.

Come on, Mij.

Don't worry, Mij,
it's just a wee walk. Come on.

Why couldn't I pick a horse
for a friend?

Sorry, Mij.

you go and let off steam.

I don't need to.

This way, Mij.

"Exclusive old-world cottage..."

"ideal retreat for writer."

"A few minor repairs."

"Quick sale to right buyer."

But to me
at that moment in my life...

it was the most beautiful
place in the world...

the place I knew I wanted to be.

Go to sleep, Mij.

It's only the hunting bats.

Go to sleep.

There's nothing like...

an early-morning cold bathe
in the burn...

for an otter.

I realized it was that burn
and the sea...

that gave Camusfearna
its essential character.

A silvery, reflecting circle
that rings the green fields...

and makes Camusfearna
almost an island.

Come on, Mij. I'm daydreaming.

Got to get ourselves organized.


Come on.

Sorry, Mij.

I'm only going to the village.

You can come next time
when I see what it's like.

You're making it
very difficult, Mij.

You're wasting your time.

Does he not open today?

That depends.

Depends on what?

On how the fish are biting
in the burn.

I see.

What was it you were wanting?

Methylated spirits.

Oh, just you try the doctor's.

The doctor's?

Aye. The first house
'round the corner.

They'll maybe have
a drop to spare.


Through that door.
The doctor's in.

Sit down, please.

I was told the doctor was in.


You? I see. I thought...


I thought perhaps
you were the doctor's daughter.

I am. My father died
eight years ago now...

and when I qualified, I decided
to continue his practice.

- Did you know him?
- No.

Well, I won't take up your time
with quite a trifling.

Look, please sit down and
tell me what the trouble is.

- Name?
- Merrill.

Double "I"?

- Double "I."
- Age?

- Thirty-nine.
- Thirty-nine?

- Forty.
- Where do you live?

That is, till two days ago.

- Holiday?
- Not exactly.

I'm here
for, uh, personal reasons.

Where does it hurt?

Well, I...

Pain... lumbar region.

Yes, that's it. I think
I must have wrenched my back.

I see.
Have you ever done this before?

No. Never.

Take off your coat.

Can you touch your toes, please?

Yes. Easily.

Straight knees.

- Is it difficult?
- It's always difficult.

Will you lie down, please?

I'm afraid my hands
are rather cold.

- Painful?
- Uh, yes, uh, very.

Hmm. Put your coat on.

I'm afraid you pulled a muscle.

The best thing is rest
on a firm bed.

Boards are best.

Well, I think that's not
too difficult to arrange.

Take two of these every
four hours to relieve the pain.

Come and see me
in a few days' time.

Thanks. I'd like to do that.


Oh, there's, uh,
just one thing before I go.

I wonder
if you could let me have...

a little methylated spirits?

For my stove.


You're sure it's for your stove?

Yes, of course it is.

Oh, Janet, on his way out...

would you give Mr. Merrill
a little methylated spirit?

For his stove.

Good-bye, Mr. Merrill.
Nothing strenuous, mind.

No, no. Of course not.

Those were tame swans
on the loch this morning?

No. Why?

They could have broken your arm.

I know, but the cygnet
was caught in the wire, you see.

I see.

You're supposed to be helping,

Now, stop messing about.

I've always had
the highest regard...

for beachcombing
as a way of life.

Now I found myself...

considering every piece
of flotsam and jetsam...

wondering how I could use it.

I soon discovered
that something to sit on...

would present no problems.

What... what... what... what?

This, Mij, is what is known
as otter-proof whitewashing.

No, you don't.


What... what... what... what?

That, Mij, is what is known as
otter-safe roof repairing.


What... what... what... what?

What an idiot I am.

If we didn't always agree on
the whats and the wherefores...

we made up for it
afterwards on the beach...

which lay over the hill
on the north side.

In heaven's name,
what have you there?

Sea monster
washed up by the tide.

Sea monster.

So that's what the tracks were.

What on earth were you doing?

Playing noses and toeses.
It's an old otter game.

I see.

He's a tame otter.

Well, I gathered that.

Who lives here with me.

Here in this beautiful cove?

You sound disappointed.

I am.

I don't mind the otter, but...


I'm sorry.
I don't mean to be rude.

It's just that I never thought
of anyone living here.

It's always been so perfect
the way it was.

I'll try not to change anything.

- Doctor...
- Mary.


But of course you know that.

Mij, come and meet Mary.

- Does he bite?
- Sometimes.

But somehow
I don't think he'll bite you.

He'd better not. Come.

Ah. What's he called?

Mij, after an Arab sheik.

Well, he's very beautiful
in spite of his name.

It's just as well
I didn't bring Johnny.

- Who's Johnny?
- My dog.

I've always heard that dogs
and otters are deadly enemies.

Yes, but Mij doesn't know
he's an otter.

How funny.
Johnny doesn't know he's a dog.

Well, I'll not keep you
from your game.

In any case,
I must get back to the surgery.

- You'll come again?
- Perhaps.

- And bring Johnny.
- I'll see.

By the way, how's your back?

How do you mean? Oh, my back.


The meths cured it.

Good-bye, Mij.

Don't worry, Mij.

She's not my type.

I don't mind wild goose
for dinner at all...

but not in summertime...

when the water birds
raise their young.


They were gray-lag geese...

the wild variety
of the Scottish seashore.

It was their mother...

that had been killed
by the poacher's shot.

Hungry and afraid,
they were driven by instinct...

to follow anything that faintly
resembled a grown goose...

even an otter.

It was very clear...
Whatever our feelings were...

like it or not, our family
had just grown by four.

Those few minor repairs
took more than a few weeks.

When at last
I had my house in order...

I sat down to begin the job
I had set for myself...

To write my book
about the marsh Arabs.

But there was something wrong.

Thinking about it
was as far as I got.

Now, listen, chaps,
if you want to learn to fly...

you've got to show
a little determination.

Come on.

Come on.

Come on!

Are you following?

You'll never get airborne
that way.

You've got to flap your wings
at the same time.

Now, come on, let's try again.

Come on. Into position.

Ready for takeoff. Come on.

Now, are you ready?

You start with a slow,
graceful, rhythmic movement...

just the way I do it.

Now watch and follow me.

Slowly, then faster...

and faster and faster...

and faster and faster...

and fas... whoa!

Johnny and I seem to be
interrupting your ballet lesson.

Well, not really. You see, I...

There's no need to make excuses.

I really came to introduce
Johnny to the sea monster.

I was, uh, teaching them to fly.

You're frightening the dog.

Oh. Sorry, Johnny.
Come and meet Mij.

Are you sure?
Johnny's very playful.

I'll see if I can find Mij.

Johnny, Johnny, you stay.

Sit. Sit here.

Now, you're going to meet Mij,

Partly to finish my book.

But why write a book
about marsh Arabs?

Because I lived with them once
before I was married.

- I see.
- And divorced.


Come on, Johnny.
You must stay here.

Oh, don't worry about Johnny.

There are only a lot
of old fish boxes inside.

Well, he'd better stay here
because of Mij.

Sit down, Johnny.
That's a good boy.

Only fish boxes.

It's just beautiful.

Our first visitor,
Mij, old chap.

Well, you might see
the lady's seated first.

He's not very used to visitors,
I'm afraid.

Still he's been
very clever today.

He caught us our supper.


Yes. Well...

I hope it's all right.

When we first arrived
at Camusfearna...

the eels were migrating
into the burn...

and there was no problem
about food for Mij.

I simply opened the door
in the morning...

and he soon caught
his own breakfast.

But as the summer wore on...

the eels stopped coming
into the burn...

and then one day,
they were gone.

The run was over.
They had come in from the sea...

and now they had returned
to the sea.

There would be no more eels
until the following spring.

Here you are.
Nine and threepence change.

And a big, hefty man
like that, too.

Oh, you're right, Sarah.
Uh, and a fourpenny stamp.

- Just the one?
- Yes, dear.

Now, I've nothing against folk
fraternizing with animals...

but an otter?

Oh, there's something
very strange about that...

if ye ask me.

Oh, very strange, indeed.
Yes, indeed.

And, anyway,
he should be doing a job.

Maybe Mr. Merrill has money.

Well, if he has,
a body would never know.

I know. You're right, Sarah.
His clothes are no' exactly...

I know what you mean, Flora.

- Good morning, Jeanie.
- Good morning, Mary.

Good morning, Dougal.
How are you this morning?

- Are you better?
- Yes, I'm feeling fine.

And, in any case, you would
never think that a lady doctor...

Oh, it's yourself, Mary.

Good morning, Sarah.
Hello, Flora.

Well, now, will that be all,

Um, I'll have a fourpenny stamp.

Another fourpenny stamp?

Oh, aye,
just to be on the safe side.

What can I be doing for you,

Graham asked me to send this
telegram. It's rather urgent.

Oh? Just a minute...

Twenty. That's twenty words.
That's eight and fourpence...

including the address,
of course.

If you've any mail
for the islands...

Hughie's flying me out there
early tomorrow morning.

Nothing serious, I hope.

- I hope not.
- Oh.

- Eight and fourpence.
- Thank you.

Wait you now. I'll read it over.

"Clifford Wilcox,
22 Battersy Park Road..."

"London, S.W. 15."

"Food situation desperate.
Please send large container..."

"live eels."

"Regards, Graham."

That's right, Sarah. Now,
don't forget the mail, mind.

Oh, no, no.
I'll not forget the mail.

Live eels? Whatever next?

My, these Londoners
are awful odd.

You mean "Graham."

Dover sole, dear?

Here we are.
One nice Dover sole.

I can promise you
you'll enjoy it.

Pay at the desk, will you?
Thanking you.

- Good morning, sir.
- Good morning.

Can I help you?

Yes, have you got
any live eels, please?

Live? No, sir. No, no.
Not this time of year, sir.

- Oh, dear.
- Tell you what.

They might be able to help you
over there.

- Oh, thanks very much.
- Not at all.

- Can I help you?
- Oh, yes, please.

- I'd like some live eels.
- Eels? Oh, they're over here.

- Thank you.
- Siamese cooliei.

From Siam?

They're very small, aren't they?

Um, let's see, now.
One large container...

I should think I'll need
about four or five hundred.

- How much are they?
- They're seven guineas a pair.

- Aren't they fun?
- Mmm.

Well, thanks very much.

Food for Mij
became a real problem.

I often spent several hours
a day catching fish for him...

or trying to.

There were many
basking sharks now...

migrating from northern waters.

They were completely harmless...

feeding on plankton,

frightening only
because of their great size.

As I watched, I began
to see them in a new light.

There in the fin...

was a whole year's supply
of shark steaks.

Did you forget something?

Uh, no.

That isn't a deep freeze
out there, is it?

Aye, well, you could
call it that, I suppose.

Does it work?

It did once...
just after the war.

Whom does it belong to now,
Mr. Cameron?

Well, now,
that's difficult to answer...

but if you're interested...

you can have it
for a few shillings...

just for the delivery,
of course.

Thanks. Any chance
of getting it to start?

Well, with a wee drop of meth
and a lot of persuasion...

I'd say you'd a chance
in a million.




Hold her steady!

Use the oars!

I thought you said
he wasn't dangerous.

No. I said he had no teeth.

At least, that's what it said
in the book.



Come on. Oh!

Let me help you.

At last, the shark lay cut up
in the freezer.

I hadn't dared let Mij out
at all during the preparations.

I felt quite sure
he'd gorge himself to death.

Mij! Mij!

Food, Mij!

Not yet, Mij.

Don't disturb Mary.

Oh, Mij, there you are.

Did you think we were never
coming back? I did.

Here, Mij, before it gets cold.

Poor Mij. He must be starving.

A whole year's supply.

You know, Mary,
I'm almost sorry...

to have found such
a permanent solution so easily.

So easily?

I mean, no more fishing for Mij.
I'm worried.

I won't have any excuse now
for not writing my book.

Come on, Mij.
Here, Mij. Here, Mij.

Mij? Mij, come back!

Mij! Mij!

Mij! Mij!


You were saying, Graham?

Oh, yes, but I didn't mean it.

Well, you don't need
to worry now.

But there are nearly 400
shark steaks in that freezer.

I mean,
everyone likes shark steaks.

I hope you do.


After two weeks
of boiled shark...

baked shark, grilled shark,
curried shark...

Mij and I
were in complete agreement.

Basking shark was not fit food
for man nor beast.

In desperation, I made a trip
to the nearest fishing port.

To be on the safe side,
I bid for a mixed box.

Do I hear five bob?

Now eight bob.

Eight and three there.
It's eight and three.

Eight bob.

Eight and three.

Eight bob.

Eight and three.

Eight and six it is.

Eight bob.

Nine bob.

Nine bob? Nine bob?

Eight bob again.
Eight bid again.

Twelve. Twelve shillings.

Over there now.

What do you say now
on a bit of cod here?

On the cod.

Man, you've got
a bit of everything there.

Yes. Just playing safe.

Quite a mixed bag.
Everything except shark.

Why, I could let you
have a bit of that.

No. No, thanks. No, not really.

But there's nothing that can
beat a well-grilled shark steak.

All right. You can put up
your windows now.





I'm sorry.

The whole village seemed to be
in the surgery this evening.

- Any sign of Mij?
- No, not a thing.

Coming past the point
just now...

Johnny kept looking out towards
the lighthouse and whining...

as if he could sense something
I couldn't see.

- The island, you mean?
- Mm-hmm.

I doubt it. It's a long way
off... too far for Mij to go.

Perhaps we'd better take a look.

Rob! Ciamar a tha thu?

Mis th'ann, mairi nicchoinnich!

O'se, se, mairie nicchoinnich.

Chair fhaca mi thu
bhe choinn fhada.

The feasgar bria ann.

Tha... aluin.

- So Mr. Merrill.
- Thios thioram.

Tha sin fior...
Anabarrach tioram.

Tha cuimhn agam bliadhaa
elle gle choltach ris.

What is he saying?

He says it's a nice day.

But what about Mij?

Tha sinn lorg dobhran,
a chiall sinn.

Bha dha an se trath air an la...

Air na creagan sin thall.


There were otters here... two.

Bha e araid... thainig son
aca thugam, suas go mo chas.

- Must've been Mij.
- Why?

Well, he said
one almost touched his leg.

An sin, shnamh aid air falbh...
qu eilean droon.

- Oh.
- What did he say?

They swam off
to the island of Droon.

What do you want to do, Graham?

How do you mean?

Go there, of course.


Well, if he tried to get here,
he didn't make it.

After all, he's never been
swimming anywhere before...

except the burn or bathtub.

Graham, is that just seaweed?



- It looks like...
- Mij. Mij!

Mij took some time to recover.

He seemed unwilling now
to leave Camusfearna...

even to stray out of my sight...

except for an occasional dip
in his pool.

I realized I had been drawing
only one aspect of Mij...

and not the best at that.

An otter on land is
as graceless as a grounded bird.

I needed to sketch him

A little beachcombing
would produce, I hoped...

what I now could use to further
my small artistic ambition.


Oh, uh, Mary, stay there.
I'll be right out.

What are you making?

Oh, uh, nothing, uh...

j-just a swimming pool.

I've brought you a telegram.
It's been waiting...

at the post office
a few days now...

but Sarah Chambers said
it's nothing important.

Well, thanks.
Is it worth reading?

I very much doubt it.

- Very bad news, indeed.
- Oh?

- Got to go to London.
- When?

Before spring.

No wonder they sent you
a telegram.

Come and see Mij.

By the way, you're invited
to a birthday party on the 21st.

- Yours?
- No, Mij's.

It's a Sunday.

Well, I should be able
to make it.

But how do you know
it's on the 21st?

First day of his birth sign...


Come on, Mij.
You'll miss your birthday party.

Hope this thing works.

Come on, Mij.

Swimming pool.

Come on, Johnny. Come on.

Come on. Get down.
That's a good boy.

Autumn in the highlands...

begins with the first day
the waterfowl start to gather.

The swans were heading south...

and my geese, who had finally
learned to use their wings...

joined the wild flocks
from the Hebrides.

The first snow
fell at Camusfearna.

It lay for weeks...

to Mij's delight.

You don't understand.
It's a business trip.

Purely business, old chap.

Come out of there, Mij.

Look, Mij,
it takes a day to get there...

and a day to get back of hard
travelling by bus and by train.

Yes, Mij. By train.
I'll only be gone a week.

Seven days.

It's like a jail sentence.

Look, Mij, it's not forever.

There'll be Mary and Johnny.

You'll need this
to take him back to the village.

Graham, I hope you have
a safe journey...

and, well, we'll all miss you.

Thanks for looking after Mij.

Oh, and in case
he tries to follow me.


Well, I'll just slip away
while he's...


Bye, Mij.

Oh, come on, Johnny.
Don't be such a coward.

Do something about it.
It's lovely in there.

Isn't it, Mij?


come on, you two.

Be late for surgery.

Come on.

I'll bet the water's cold
up there at the falls, doctor.

It was, indeed, Angus.

Aye, it looks as if
you'll get another wetting...

before you get back.

There's a spot of rain just
starting. You'll have to hurry.

I felt it myself. Johnny, Mij.


I thought it was just an otter.

Thanks, Ewan.

What a pleasant surprise.

I didn't expect you here.

I just thought
I'd come and meet the bus.

And how's the most beautiful
doctor in Scotland?

- Fine.
- And Mij?


You're going to tell me
that he's wrecked the surgery...

and half frightened Johnny
to death.

- No, he behaved perfectly.
- Good.

I brought him a present...
His favorite. Slinky.


Well, it's a joke.

Mij is dead.

Don't move. Don't get up.

I've never seen
a writer at work before.

- Hello, stranger.
- Hello.

I didn't come before, Graham.

- Last week was...
- Busy?

Yes. Yes, quite.

Well, you see
I've finally started.

Oh, I'm so pleased.

How's the book going?
Very well. Very well, indeed.

At least I've got the title
down in black and white...

but I think it's the wrong one.

I should go back to Arabia
to write about Arabs.

- Leave Camusfearna?
- Yes.

Could you?


But I can't spend the rest
of my life being a beachcomber.

Why not,
if it serves the purpose?

Because it's only
a way of escaping.

I realize that now.

Come on, I'll...
I'll show you what I mean...

if it's still there.

That'll never get you to Arabia.

It was washed up on the beach
about two days ago.

How strange.


Wonder what the flag stands for?


Early fifteenth century,
I'd say.

Of course. Petrol-driven.

Used for transporting pilgrims.

- To Mecca?
- Certainly not.

R.C. Roman Catholics.

R.C. Robinson Crusoe's more like it.

Now, here's
a very delicate object.

Oh. Also antique?

for a near-sighted whale.

This is
a very interesting thing.

Skin-diving suit
for an miniature octopus...

who didn't quite make it.


It can't be.

We can watch them from the hill.

They're coming to Mij's pool.

Why should wild otters
come here?


Mary, you remember what
the lighthouse keeper said?

Rob? But there must be dozens
of wild otters 'round here.

Yes, but these are Mij's.

Well, isn't that
the way it ought to be?

Wild otters
swimming in the burn.