The House of Fear (1945) - full transcript

Seven rich men retire to a Scottish castle and promptly begin to die in violent fashion. Each death is preceded by the delivery of orange pips to the next target. As all the likely victims are heaviliy insured, Sherlock Holmes is asked by the insurance companies to investigate.

The events I'm about to
relate began a fortnight ago.

In a grim old house
perched high on a cliff

on the west coast
of Scotland.

This singular structure
is known as Driercliff House.

Gathered there for dinner

were the seven members
of a most extraordinary club

called the Good Comrades.

Into this unique gathering

came their melancholy

Mrs. Monteith

bearing a message

for Ralph King,
a retired barrister.

King received it casually.

When they saw
the contents,

the Good Comrades took
the whole thing as a joke

but their housekeeper
was right,

it was no laughing matter.

For on the
following night...

Ralph King died horribly

but this was only
the beginning.

A few nights later

as the Good Comrades

to drink a final toast
to their departed member...

Mrs. Monteith entered
with a second envelope.

This time addressed
to Stanley Raeburn.

In his day
a distinguished actor.

This time you may be sure

there was no laughter.

These men were afraid

and their fear
was justified.

For once again
the message

proved to be
a portent of death.

It was ten days
before Raeburn's

battered body
was recovered.

Hum, tell Mr. Chalmers

what do these
envelopes contain?

In the first case,
seven orange pips,

or seeds.

In the second case six.

And the number
of orange pips

refer to the
surviving members,

Looks like murder.

Not necessarily, Watson.

A moment ago you
referred to this club as


All of the members
are past middle age,

retired and
without near kin.

Six months ago they formed
this club here in London

and promptly left
for Driercliff,

the ancestral home
of a Mr. Bruce Alastair,

their eldest member.

Nothing very
remarkable about that,

sounds rather friendly
as a matter of fact.

The remarkable fact is
that all seven of these men

appear to have but
one thing in common.

Huh, well what's that?

my dear Watson,

each is worth a great
deal more dead than alive.

That's right, Mr. Holmes.
How did you guess?

My dear Mr. Chalmers,

you represent
the Association of
Insurance Underwriters,

you're worried about
the untimely deaths

of these two
Good Comrades.

Ergo, these men must carry

rather large
insurance policies.

Yes, but that's not all.

Shortly after forming
this club

all these seven men
changed their policies

making the other members
their beneficiaries.

The policy's total over a
hundred thousand pounds.

Oh, it's very

You've paid the five
surviving members

on the policies of
King and Raeburn?

Oh yes, we always
pay promptly

but what worries me,
Mr. Holmes, is...

Whether these two deaths
were accidental or not.

- Exactly.
- Is that it?

Of course I may be wrong,
I have no proof

but it seems to me
to be just possible

that one of these men
plans to murder

the others one by one.

And collect on all
the policies.

I see the whole thing,

Bravo Watson but
why the orange pips?

Oh yes, the orange pips.

Pips, Watson?

Bit of a puzzler,
eh Holmes?


The most intriguing feature.

Any tobacco
around this place?

After all Mr. Holmes, several
lives may be at stake.

The temptation of
sudden wealth could...

Could, could possibly
turn one of these

seemingly harmless men
into a ruthless killer.


- Are those the
Good Comrades?
- Yes.

Let me see them will you?


Who's this fellow
on the end?

That's Doctor Merrivale.

Doctor Simon Merrivale?

I believe his
Christian name is Simon.

Yes, definitely
Doctor Simon Merrivale.

I'll accept your case,
Mr. Chalmers.

Watson, pack your things were
off to Scotland tonight.

Scotland, home of
my ancestors.

A lonely land
but a peaceful one.

It's wonderful after stuffy
London, eh Holmes?

I say who is this
Doctor Merrivale?

Oh well, if you want
to behave like a clam,

you have not uttered a
word since we left London.

Sorry, old fellow.
I was thinking.

Twenty years ago
Doctor Merrivale

was a famous surgeon
in Harley Street.

Can't be so very famous,
I never heard of him.

Oh, but he was.

His main claim to
distinction, of course,

was the unnecessarily brutal
murder of a young bride.


However, he testified so
brilliantly on the witness box

that he was acquitted

after which he dropped
completely out of sight.

And you think that
he was most probably

responsible for the death
of these two Good Comrades?

Well I don't say
that he was

but I do say that
he could have been.

Murder is an
insidious thing, Watson.

Once a man has dipped
his fingers in blood

sooner or later he'll feel
the urge to kill again.

Good gracious me,
very unpleasant.

Funeral, Holmes.

You suppose were too late?

Oh, I think your unnecessarily
suspicious, Watson.

One of the villagers, eh?

Aye, sir.

Mr. MacTavis
the blacksmith.

Now daughter, don't be
talking to strangers.

Wasn't her fault.

I asked your daughter
whose funeral it was.

Andy MacTavis,

cut down in the flower
of his manhood.

What a pity.
A young fellow, eh?

Just seventy-two.


'Flower of his manhood",
trying to be funny?

Come on, Watson.

Oh, seventy-two,
flower of his manhood.

I've seen about
forty men...

What can I do
for you, gentlemen?

I telegraphed for
reservations from London.

Name, sir?

Sherlock Holmes
and Doctor Watson.

We have your
rooms ready, sir.

Thank you.

Sign there gentlemen.

Yes indeed.

Are you staying long,

No, not long.

We just came up here
to look into the--

We just came up here
for the shooting.


Yes, grouse of course.

No grouse here, sir,
for the last forty years.

No grouse?

Cheer up, Watson.

You'll find some other
query to occupy our time.

This way, gentlemen.

Take the guns will you?

I'll take the big bag.


So you're back
earlier than usual,

Doctor Merrivale.

Gentlemen, I've just made a
rather intriguing discovery.

The village of Inverneil has
a distinguished visitor.

- Huh?
- Really?


Mr. Sherlock Holmes.


I didn't quite
catch the name.

- Sherlock Holmes.
- Oh.

Sherlock Holmes,
the famous detective.

One wonders what he could
be doing in Inverneil.

Have you forgotten,

that two of our members
have already met

with violent deaths?

Yes, yes, yes
of course yes.

Cosgrave, must you
pace up and down

like a monkey in
a ruddy cage?

I fail to see how what
I do can concern you.

Simpson, Cosgrave,

cannot we behave
like Good Comrades?

Doesn't anything ever get
on your nerves, Alastair?

Oh, dear me, no.

I have no nerves.


Now tell me MacGregor,

the present head of the house
is Mr. Bruce Alastair,
is it not?


Grandson of
Donald Alastair.

He was the lawless one.

Turned Driercliff House
into a smugglers den.

Got himself blown
to bits by a gun.

Good gracious me.

And Angus Alastair
was his son.

He was eaten by cannibals
in the South Seas.

Very unfortunate family,
eh Holmes?

They found Angus' bones,

sent them back
to Driercliff

where no man ever goes
whole to his grave.

The place is haunted.

You mean ghosts?

Only a fool
believes in ghosts.

Spirits never
haunted Driercliff.

Five minutes to
closing time, gentlemen.

Only the memory of evil.

You're wanted at
Driercliff House, sergeant.

What is it woman?


Alastair himself, is it?

I don't know.
Doctor Merrivale didn't say.

Mr. Holmes, would you
care to come along?

Yes, I would.
Thank you.


You mark my words,

Alastair has met the brutal
death of these fathers.

[knocking at the door]

Ah, good evening,

Oh, Mr. Alastair,

this is Mr. Sherlock Holmes
and Doctor Watson.

- I took the liberty of--
- Mr. Holmes, Doctor Watson.

How do you do, sir?

Oh, this excellent,
most excellent.

- Please come in,
- Thank you.

Please come in.

And welcome to
Driercliff House.

Now where is the corpse?

Follow me.

- It's by the furnace.
- The furnace?

Yes, poor Davis

he was burnt to a crisp.

Burnt to a crisp?

I say, Holmes
this murder sounds
a bit of a fiend, eh?

At least he's consistent.

- Consistent?
- Yes, the deaths all follow
the legend of Driercliff.

Well as MacGregor
puts it,

"No man ever goes
whole to his grave."

Now, you will come in here
gentlemen, won't you?

Oh, thank you.

That's right.
That's right.

Yes. Yes.

These gentlemen have
come about the body.

Why didn't you take
them to the cellar?

Oh no, Doctor Merrivale,

you discovered it,
after all it's your body.

That's right.

I say,

you're Sherlock Holmes,
aren't you?

I am

and this is my friend and
colleague, Doctor Watson.

- How do you do?
- How do you do, sir?

Yes, I thought I
recognized you.

You know I followed
your exploits for years.

The detection of crime
is one of my hobbies.

This is a surprise
and a pleasure.

A pleasure I hope
but hardly a surprise.

You saw me at the inn
this afternoon.


This is Allen Cosgrave
and Captain Simpson.

- How do you do?
- How do you do?

This stressing business,
Mr. Homes,

we were all fond
of Guy Davis.


Oh, the fellow
in the furnace.

But if he was burnt
to a crisp

how'd you know
that it was Davis?

Well, he's the
only one missing.

Besides we identified
him by his cuff links.

Why don't you see
for yourselves?

Come along, gentlemen.

Thank you.

Good chap.

May I ask Doctor Merrivale,

whether Mr. Davis also
received the warning

of the orange pips
after dinner.

Oh, so you know
about the others?

You seem to be
very well informed

about our affairs,
Mr. Holmes.

As a matter of fact

Davis didn't have
dinner with us tonight.

Had he indicated his
intended absence?

No, no he hadn't.

Mrs. Monteith was
quite put out about it.

Pardon me,
will you, gentlemen?

Doctor Watson,
what's Mr. Holmes up to?

I haven't the foggiest.
Go on.

You'll find out, my dear sir,
in good time.

- Isn't there something you
wish to tell me, Mrs. Monteith?
- Me, sir?


Please give it to me.

The envelope addressed
to Mr. Guy Davis.

Thank you.

Five pips this time.

How did you know
that she had them?

It's obvious,
my dear Watson,

since Mr. Davis
was not at dinner,

Mrs. Monteith
had no opportunity
to deliver the envelope.

Yes of course,
quite obvious.

Where'd you find it?

It was pushed under
the door like the others.

Thank you, Mrs. Monteith.
That will be all.

Where are they
coming from, Mr. Holmes?

Who's sending
these things to us?

Is there anyone who might
have a grudge against you?

Have orange pips any
significance for any of you?

- Ah...
- Well?

I seem to remember
reading somewhere

that among some obscure
tribe of savages

- as a symbol of death.
- Oh really?

- Sergeant?
- Aye, sir.

I think you'd better
telephone Scotland Yard.

We've never had a telephone
at Driercliff House, no.

They're so noisy.

I can make the call
from the village, sir.

All right.

It's not often we
have the opportunity

of meeting such
charming people.

You go ahead
I'll follow you.

I'm afraid, Mr. Holmes, if you
don't go with the sergeant

there's no way to get back
to the village tonight.

Oh, but Mr. Holmes,

there's no need for you
to stay at the inn.

It's such a dreary place.

We've plenty of room here
and it's much more cheerful.

I thought we came
here for privacy.

We wouldn't dream
of putting you out.

Oh, but I thought
it would be

so nice to have such,
such exciting people
as our guests.

I think your right.

I'm sure Mr. Holmes'
business in the village

is much more
important, Alastair.

Mr. Holmes we insist.

I think Alastair's idea
is an excellent one,

don't you, gentlemen?

You speak for yourself,

Come, come, come,

We are all friends.
Aren't we,

or are we?

Guy Davis was
a friend too.

So were King and Raeburn.

You've got to stay,
Mr. Holmes.

You and Doctor Watson,
we can put you up.

Any objections,
Doctor Merrivale?

This is a tempest
in a teapot, Mr. Holmes

but you're welcome
of course.

Now if you'll all excuse
me I'm rather tired.

Good night.

What do you say, Simpson?

Glad to have you
gentlemen of course.

Then you will stay
both of you?

Thank you, Mr. Alastair.
We should be very glad to.

Sergeant, will you have
our things sent up from
the inn?

Right away, sir.

This is excellent.
I'll tell Mrs. Monteith
to get your rooms ready.

Mr. Holmes,

I must say,
I feel a lot safer

now that you and Doctor
Watson are in the house.

Oh, a delighted to be of
any use, Mr. Cosgrave.

And well, if you would
care to keep me informed

if you should
discover anything

I would be only too
glad to help you.

I'd do anything to get to the
bottom of this awful mystery.

I'll bear that in mind,
Mr. Cosgrave.

Thank you.
Good night.

- Good night.
- Good night.

Well, what do you
make of it, Watson?

Well, my theory is
its Doctor Merrivale.

Did you take a
look at his eyes?

Rather frightening, eh?

Yes, but that might
be accounted for

by advanced myopia,

complicated with
a stigmatism.

Well, who do you
think it is?

At the moment
I suspect no one

and everyone.

So it's your theory

- that Doctor Merrivale
is the murderer?
- Yes, yes Merrivale.


What about...

What about
Captain Simpson?

I see what you mean?

Do you?

There's a surly looking chap,
if I ever saw one.

He didn't much relish our being
asked to stay here, either.

Right you are, Watson.

Do you suspect
anyone else?

Well of course,
there's old Alastair.

And what might cause
you to suspect Alastair?

He's too good to be true.


What are you looking
for now, Holmes?

I wish I knew, Watson.

Someone's got a morbid
taste in literature.

Or a thirst for knowledge.

Now Holmes,
there's one of them

that's got nothing
to do with it?



Why Cosgrave?

Well, he's definitely
got the wind up.

Fairly begged us
to stay just now.

Yes, I'd vouch for
Cosgrave all right.


Mrs. Monteith will
be down directly

to show you to your rooms.

I just popped in
to say good night.

Oh, thank you.

I trust you'll sleep well.

Oh by the way,
Mr. Alastair,

I wonder if you could tell us
which one of you suggested

changing your
insurance policies

making the other
members of your club
the beneficiaries?

Oh, let me see now.

Oh yes, of course,
it was dear old Allen.

- Allen?
- Yes, Allen Cosgrave.

- Good night.
- Good night.


I suspected him
from the start.

Yes you did didn't you?

How about a pipe
before we go to sleep?


I shan't be able
to close my eyes

in this sinister house.

Your rooms are ready,

Where's our good friend
Doctor Watson?

Oh, he was rather tired last
night, he's still sleeping.

Yes, our beds are
very comfortable here.

Why don't you stop
that ruddy mouthing?

Your bodyguard's
here now.

Simpson, you mustn't
tease Cosgrave.

Remember how
sensitive he is.

You should ignore things,
like Alastair.

Thank you.

Oh, Singapore?

- Huh?
- The ah...

Oh, the Cobra.


You'll never know
that one

but this one.

Oh yes, yes very good
and definitely Singapore.

Right you are, Mr. Holmes.

You know you're
tattoos all right.

I'm interested in
many things.

Good morning, gentlemen.

I'm sorry I'm late
I didn't sleep very well.

You didn't sleep very well?
You snored like a pig.


- Got a match, Doctor Watson?
- Yes.

It's a very good idea.
I think I'll join you.

Nothing like the first
pipe of the morning.

Can, can I try
some of yours?

Sorry about that,
I think I'll stick to my own.

What is that seaweed?

- Havana, isn't it?
- Aye.

Flavored with Jamaican Rum.

I don't imagine your
very much troubled

with tobacco borrowers,
eh Simpson?

Nobody else in the place
touches the filthy stuff.

I don't blame them.

Good heavens!

One moment please.

What is it?

Just a needle.

Who put that in my chair?


This is no
ordinary needle.

The stain on my

suggest a certain
sinister possibility.

- Give me that beaker,
will you?
- Yes of course.

We shall see.
Thank you.

As I thought,

insoluble in alcohol.

Whatever is it?

Well, judging by the stain
on my handkerchief

and the milky
precipitation in alcohol

I should say it
was a derivative
of the tropizine family.

Paratropizine possibly?

That's right, Doctor Merrivale,
a deadly poison.

Close shave,
Captain Simpson.

One drop in
the bloodstream

brings agonizing
almost instant death.

It's our custom
at this hour

to honor our
departed friends.

I hope you gentlemen
will pardon us?

We quite understand,
Doctor Merrivale.

- Please proceed.
- Thank you.

Good Comrades,

our dear friend Guy Davis
has gone to his reward.

Let those of us who remain
drink to our dead

and to that
bright tomorrow

when we shall join them
in a better, happier world.

Wait a minute,

there's something
wrong here.

If you please,
Captain Simpson.

The odor of
bitter almonds.

Bitter almonds,
prussic acid, eh?

Prussic acid?

there must be
some mistake.

Mistake, eh?

Lucky I didn't make it
by drinking that stuff.

Well, what have you
got to say?

Whichever one of you
it was tried to kill me

had better look out.

I'm a dangerous man
to fool with.

Hadn't we better adjourn?

- I mean to say that--
- We've not yet finished
the toast to our dead.

But you think it's
quite safe?

Don't be absurd,

Take my glass.

I assure you
it hasn't been poisoned.

Thank you.

Thank you,
Doctor Merrivale.

To our departed Comrades.

For...for me?

Aye, Mr. Cosgrave,

it says so
on the envelope.

It's come.

Did you find this envelope
as you did the others?

- Aye.
- When?

It was pushed
under the door

- when everyone
was in here at dinner.
- Thank you.

Well, there's one thing
we can be sure of,

none of us
could have brought it.

How do we know that she's
not responsible for them?

Mrs. Monteith?

It's absurd, Cosgrave,
utterly absurd.

She has been with
my family all of her life.

A dubious a recommendation
if you ask me.

Mr. Holmes,
when do you expect

- the man from Scotland Yard?
- Inspector Lestrade?

He should be here
early in the morning.

Unless he got on
the wrong train.

I trust your right,
Mr. Holmes.

I trust your right.

Oh dear,
he's terribly upset.

Doctor Merrivale, can't
you do something for him?

I can stay with him
in his room tonight.

Why that's an
excellent idea

and I shall just be
across the hall from him.

I think that's the
wisest possible course.

With you gentlemen
protecting each other

what harm can fall you?

Well then, we must hope
for the best.

Come, Merrivale.

- Good night, gentlemen.
- Good night.

- Good night.
- Good night.

I say Holmes, have you
gone out of your mind?

Cosgrave just got
the orange pips

and your letting Merrivale
sleep in the same room
with him?

- He'll be all right.
- All right?

But what's preventing Merrivale
from killing him in his sleep?

I hardly think he'll
stick his own neck

squarely in the noose.

Well, I see what you mean.

Well the field's
narrowing down, Holmes.

Captain Simpson is
certainly cleared.


Yes, he's definitely
been eliminated.

The killer had
two tries at him today.

Nonsense, my dear Watson.

No one's tried to murder
captain Simpson's.

Well, how about the poison
needle we both saw?

Captain Simpson
spotted it, if you'll recall,

from about where you are.

Oh, what's so
extraordinary about that?

Can you see a
needle there now?


- Well there is one.
- What?

How'd it get there?

I placed it there myself just
before we went into supper.

You couldn't see it yet you
have exceptional eyesight.

Well, you'd have to
have telescopic eyes

- to see it from over there.
- Exactly.

You mean that Simpson--

Well, how about the
acid in his drink?

There wasn't any
acid in his drink.

Well, it definitely smelled
like bitter almonds.

It should.
That's exactly what it was,
bitter almonds.

How do you know?

Cause I put it in
his drink myself.

You did?
Great Scott, why?

To observe his reaction.

It was quite different
from that of the morning.

The first was acting,
the second genuine terror.

Hence, I knew
that he undoubtedly
planted the needle himself.

Well, why should he?

Well, there are several
possible explanations,

the most obvious,
of course,

to advert suspicion.

And you think Simpson's
behind all this?

I don't know, Watson.

This is a most unique case.

Instead of too few
we have too many clues

and too many suspects.

The main pattern on the
puzzle seems to be forming

but the pieces
don't fit in.

Well, it seems
perfectly clear to me.

One of these men is picking
off the others one by one

to get all their insurance
money for himself.

Why, it's obvious.

How do you account
the orange pips?

Well, this man has an
accomplice who brings them.

What for?

To warn his victim he's
going to be murdered?

No Watson, it won't do,
it won't do at all.

I don't like the
look of it, Holmes,

muddy waters, eh?

Too muddy

as if someone were constantly
stirring them up.

Why should they
stir them up?

To confuse me.

There's intelligence behind
this business, Watson.

Cold, calculating,

ruthless intelligence.

Must you smoke
that filthy stuff?

Smells like an old sock.

Strong tobacco
keeps one awake.

You better have
a pipe full.

We have a long vigil
ahead of us tonight.

No thank you.

I don't need any
of that stinkweed

to keep me awake
in this chamber of--

This chamber of horrors.

[mumbles to self]


He's still asleep,
Mr. Holmes.

Thanks for your


Holmes! Holmes!


Watson, are you all right?

I think so.
It was a close call.

- What happened?
- I didn't see a thing.
I was asleep.

Someone came at me
from...from behind.

If you'll come this way

Thank you very much,
my good woman.

Well, well Mr. Holmes.

Doctor Watson.

How are you Lestrade?

Here, here,
what's going on here?

Someone just tried to
kill Doctor Watson.

Blimey, who?

When we find that out,

we can all go home.

All right, Mr. Holmes,

Scotland Yard
will take charge of this.

Have a look around the
grounds Bleeker, will ya?

Yes, Inspector.

Mr. Holmes, I'm afraid
something's happened
to Cosgrave and Merrivale.


The door to their rooms
are locked.

- I can't get any answer.
- What is going on here?

Well I do hope
they're all right.

Got your skeleton key,

Yes I have.
One minute.

Here we are.


Lestrade, give me a hand.

- Yes, Mr. Holmes.
- Get him on the bed.

- You got it?
- Yes.

What a dreadful thing
to happen.

Oh, poor Merrivale.

Is he badly hurt?

Yes, he's had a nasty
crack on the head.

- What? What's...
- Take it easy, Doctor.

Don't try to talk.
Mrs. Monteith.

Get me some cotton wool
and some hot water
as quickly as you can.

- Tell me what happened?
- He's in no state to be
questioned now, Lestrade.

Who do you suspect,
Mr. Holmes?

I don't know, Lestrade

but it's connected with the
attack on Doctor Watson.

It was obviously intended
to draw me downstairs.

- Where's Cosgrave?
- Here, I'm taking over here.

It looks to me that this
Cosgrave, or whoever he is,

is are murderer.

Well he didn't murder
Doctor Merrivale.

- He's still alive.
- Yes.

Yes, he is isn't he?

Well just the same
I'd like to ask this Cosgrave
a few questions.

I don't think you're going
to find Mr. Cosgrave,

at least not alive.

What's going on here?

I'm afraid Holmes
is right, Inspector.

Poor Cosgrave,

by now he's probably
murdered like the others.

Oh dear.

What's your interest about
that rope, Mr. Holmes?

I was looking at
this knot, Lestrade

it's a Bowline, much
favored by sea faring men.

Oh, sailor, eh?



Captain Simpson.

But, but now, now, now
it couldn't be.

How do you know
it couldn't be?

Mr. Alastair, where
is Captain Simpson?

He's not in his
room either.

I looked when I tried to
arouse Cosgrave and Merrivale.

Has anybody seen this
Simpson this morning?

I saw him walking across
the garden, Inspector,

about fifteen minutes ago.

Now we're getting

Which is the way down?

How did I get up here?


Suffering cats,
what is going on here?

Do you have any
explosives on the place?

Yes, we have some dynamite

stored in the shed
behind the stone room.

What do you need
dynamite for?

Just to blow up some
cumbersome rocks.

Pretty badly mangled,

Can't tell who it is.

It's Cosgrave all right.

Poor Allen.

Cosgrave's I presume?

Certainly looks like
the ring he wore.

Yes, yes for that
I am positive.

Look here.

What was he doing
with dynamite

at this time
in the morning?

That we shall never know.

Oh dear and it was
all my fault.

I never should have
let them keep it here.

Don't blame yourself,
Mr. Alastair,

this body was
carried here, look.

Observe those
heavy footprints.

Yes, I see the whole thing.

Cosgrave was
knocked unconscious,

thrown into the shed
and deliberately blown up.


This chap was carrying
a heavy burden, all right.

Hello, who are you?

My name is Simpson,

Captain Simpson.

I'm Inspector Lestrade
from Scotland Yard.

What do you know
about this murder?

Well, I was walking
on the East terrace

when I saw Cosgrave
enter the shed where
the dynamite's stored.

Do you mind
comparing your shoe
with one of these prints?

Are you accusing me,

I'll tell you in a minute.

Put your foot in
one of these prints.

Nonsense, Lestrade.

If only to look at the
shoes of everyone present

to know that these
footprints are much too big

to have been made
by anybody here.

With the possible
exception of you, Lestrade.

Look here Doctor Watson,
that ain't funny.

Captain Simpson,
how did you happen to be

walking on the terrace
at the time of explosion?

I couldn't sleep

- and I was taking a
stroll before breakfast.
- I see.

What do you know
about this knot, Captain?

It's a bowline of course .

I don't suppose you
ever seen it before?

What the devil are
you driving at?

This knot is evidence
that will hang a murderer,

and he might not be
standing so far away

from the arm of the law
at this very moment.

Oh, come now, Lestrade.

This knot proves
absolutely nothing.

Practically anybody
can tie one.

Yeah, can you?

Yes, I think I can,

There you are.


Quite a knotty
problem, eh?

With your permission,

Captain Simpson and I

will go and make
arrangements for the funeral

of our friend.

Come, Simpson.

I wonder which one

of the three remaining
Good Comrades

will be the next to
receive the orange pips?

Orange pips?

Won't someone please
tell me what's going on here?

Where is that confounded
woman with the brandy?

Mrs. Monteith!

Well there you are,
it's about time too.

Let's get on with
the ceremony.

What are you going to
do about this Inspector?

What are you going to do?

Orange pips, eh?

The police will
handle this.

We'll protect you.

Holmes tried to protect
Cosgrave, he's dead.

Scotland Yard's
in charge now

just you
come along with me.

Just a moment, Simpson.

We've not yet drunk our
usual toast to the dead.

To the dickens
with the dead.

From now on
I'm thinking of myself.

Just you come along
with me, Captain.

- I say Holmes, do you--
- Shh.

Oh, it's you, Inspector.

My nerves are all on edge.

Just wanted to make sure
you were all snug, Captain.

You're sure I'm safe here?

Safe as a bank of England.

You're protected
from every angle.

On the terrace is
Sergeant Bleeker,

out of sight but
on the job every second.

While in the shrubbery

is the local sergeant
of police, ready to pounce

if the bugger should
come that way.

That's fine, Inspector.

While I myself
guard the lower hall,

hoping and praying the
killer should come my way.

Come on.

Sounds very thorough but
I don't like it very well.

Oh go on, tuck
yourself in and relax.

Scotland Yard will
look after the rest.

- Good night.
- Good night, Inspector.

All right
put up your hands.

Oh, Mr. Holmes.

Ready for your vigil,

What do you know
about my vigil?

My dear fellow

you hold a very secret
conference with Captain Simpson

and then packed
him off to bed.

It follows as night the day
you must be baiting a trap.

Where'd you find
those boots?

In the cupboard.

I've been looking
for them all day.

- Oddly enough they weren't
there an hour ago.
- Oh, weren't they?

Those shoes are big enough
for those footprints
we saw this morning.

Right you are, Inspector
and observe the clay.

A very particular variety
of clay.

Ready, Holmes?

Yes, Watson.

Like to join us in a little
stroll on the beach?

Ah, no thank you.

You and Doctor Watson
go play in the sand
as much as you like

- but I'm going to stay right
here to catch the murderer.
- Good luck.

Well, if you get nervous
you know where we are.

Look Watson, footprints!

By jove,
fairly fresh too.

Very fresh.

Big foot all right.

- Got your revolver?
- Yes.

We haven't much time to lose,
the tide's coming in fast.

See it goes along here.

Wait a minute.

Now he stops
to light his pipe.

Observe the spilled
tobacco and burnt match,

now he goes on again.

Wait a minute
here we are.


What is it, Holmes?

Another set of footprints.

Bigfoots been joined
by somebody.

This one's a smaller man.

Now they go along together,

side by side.

Rather slowly
I should say

judging by the spacing
of the footprints.

Now little foot
goes up the cliff

and big foot
goes on alone.

Something funny there.

Footprints disappear
all together.

Look out, Watson!

Great scott, Holmes.
That was meant for us.


Well, there's nothing
more to be done here.

I have a strong feeling
we're needed back at
Driercliff House.

With the possible exception
of your own Lestrade.

Blimey they're bigger.

[door slaming closed]


Who's fooling around
with this lock?

Sergeant Bleeker!

Sergeant Bleeker!

What's going on,
Sergeant Bleecker!

What's going...

- Well, Mr. Holmes--
- Where's Simpson?

He's in the--

He's gone.

I left him here
on this here couch.

What happened?

Someone fair
bashed my head in.

- Did you see his face?
- Who?

The murderer
you blithering idiot,

the murderer and his
victim, Captain Simpson.

All I saw was stars.

It's your theory, Lestrade,
that someone broke
through this window

and abducted
Captain Simpson?

It's no theory,
it's obvious.

Then how do you
account for the fact

that there's no sign of
broken glass on this
side of the window?

Blimey, no there isn't.

Therefore, the window was
broken from the inside.

Stick by us, old man,

we'll make a detective
out of you yet.

I say, what's happened?

Captain Simpson seems
to of disappeared.

Disappeared my foot.

He's run away.

He really was
frightened you know?

That's just what he
wanted us to think.

No harm would have
come to him here

if he'd stayed
and he knew it.

I was right in the
first instance,

he's our blasted
murder himself.

Dear me, Captain Simpson
a murderer?

Don't you worry,
Mr. Alastair,

we'll soon have him in jail
before he can kill anyone else.


You'll find him
like the others,

a corpse.

Don't you worry,

it's only just a
question of time

before we catch
Captain Simpson.

He couldn't have got far.

My men will soon
apprehend him.

You know this rather reminds
me of a very similar account

when I brought
about the undoing

of the notorious
Professor Moriarty.

You brought it about?

If it hadn't been for
Mr. Holmes--

Oh, well of course
with the kindly assistance
of Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

We found him, Inspector.

There you are,
what did I tell you?

- Where is he?
- At the beach, sir.


Oh yes, sir.


How did you know he
was dead, Mr. Holmes?

Elementary my dear,

The pieces of the puzzle are
beginning to fall into place.

In what way was
the body mutilated?

No arms, no legs
and no head, sir.

Observe the occurrence
of the pattern, Watson?

I see. No man goes
whole to his grave, eh?


Oh dear.

Poor Simpson.

Well, if it was nothing
but a blooming torso

how did you know you
got the right man?

Quite simple, Lestrade.

Sergeant Bleeker
identified the body

by the full rig ship
tattooed on the chest.

That's right, Mr. Holmes.


Well, how did you
know that he had

a blinking boat
on his epidermis?

Oh uh, I mentioned it
to Sergeant Bleeker

when he asked me to
describe a fugitive.

That is we thought at the
time he was a fugitive.


All right, Bleeker
you better be getting
back to the beach.

Yes, sir.

One thing more, Sergeant.

You will say
that the body had no arms,

no head and no legs,

was it a messy job?

Oh no sir,
very neat I should say,

clean as a whistle.

Just as if it was
done by a...

By the skilled hands
of a surgeon?


For Inspector Lestrade
of Scotland Yard.



Excuse me, Inspector.

Please, Watson.

Thank you.

So sorry, old fellow.
No orange pips.

Here just a minute that might
be police business.

"Inspector Lestrade,

I must see you at once about
the Driercliff mystery.

Please come to my
shop in the village

as soon as possible.
Alex MacGregor."

the tobacconist.

- Where is his shop?
- Next to the inn.

Well, I better be off.

Mind if I come along
with you?

All right, Mr. Holmes,

if you think you can
be any help.

- I think I'll come along
too, Holmes.
- No Watson, you stay here.

These are the last two members
of the Good Comrades,

their safety depends
on you.

You can rely on me,

Pass the wine
along would you, Alastair?

[crowd clamoring]

Excuse me please.
Excuse me.

I was afraid of this.
Were too late.


Aye, sir.
Shot through the temple.

How did you know we'd
be too late, Mr. Holmes?

Because we were
not the first

- to read
MacGregor's message.
- What?

Look here, Lestrade.

This envelope has been
steamed open and resealed.

Blimey, so it is.

Poor chap, he must
have known too much.

Has the coroner
been here, Sergeant?

He's on his way, sir.

All right.

You won't find them.

- What do you mean?
- Orange pips.

Why not?

Ain't this the work of
the Driercliff murderer?

Obviously, but this isn't
part of the same pattern
as the others.

They followed a
preordained plan,

where as this murder was
actuated by some necessity

and could not have
been anticipated.

Come again, Mr. Holmes,
in English.

I mean, that I'm beginning
to see daylight.

Well frankly I ain't.

I like good, solid clues
and people I can question.

Did anybody hear
the shot, Sergeant?

I did.

Do you know anything about
the note your father sent
to Inspector Lestrade?

Why no, sir.

Did he leave the house
at all tonight?

Aye, sir.

He went to change
his lobster pots

down in the cove
near Driercliff.

He didn't return
until after dark.

Here, let me question her.

Did anyone call on your
father this evening

after he got home?

No one that I saw, sir.

Well tell me
just what happened.

I was in the kitchen

when I heard the shot.

I ran in
and found my father...

I'm sorry, my dear.

We won't bother you
any further.

Thank you, sir.

This case gets more
confusing every minute.

We don't know a thing more
now than we did before.

On the contrary,
my dear Lestrade.

MacGregor saw something
at Driercliff tonight

and that something
caused his death.

That's right.

We'd better get back to that
house as fast as we can.

I'll be glad to get
back to Baker Street.

[glass breaking]

Someone's going to get
murdered in this adventure

if were not careful.


Are you there?



That's very funny.

Extraordinary thing.

Can't have gone out
on a night like this.


Mr. Alastair?


Mr. Alastair?


That's funny.

Both missing.

Huh, that's very fishy.

Broken mirror.

That's done it.

Seven years bad luck.

What's that?

Mrs. Monteith!

Where is that woman?

Nothing like
being prepared.

Who is it out there?


Mrs. Monteith!
Mrs. Monteith!

Can't be out here all night,
I'll catch cold.

They left the door open.

The door I closed.

Someone's moved that chair.

Sand still or I'll shoot!

You're moving,
I warned you.

Done for you all right.

Stand still!

All in the line of duty.

[gun shots]

Who's that?

Watson, what on earth
are you up to?

Holmes, thank heavens
you arrived,

you're just in time.

They're all around
the house.

They've got me
completely surrounded.

There they are.

Great Scott!

I'm so ashamed.

Got the wind up
over nothing.

Oh yes, I forgot,
there was something.

- Alastair and Merrivale
are both missing.
- What?

Oh no, not that.

Well, they're not
in there rooms.

You come along with me
and I'll show you.

Anything wrong,

Have you left this here
room since you retired?

Certainly not.
I've been reading.


What's the trouble?

There's no trouble at all.
Please forgive us.

Well, now we'll try
Alastair's room.

Right you are.

Better try knocking
this time, Watson.

Come in.

What is it?

Have you been out of
room, Mr. Alastair?

Yes, for just a few minutes

I went down to the kitchen

and I had such a
nice glass of milk.


Yes, it was
most refreshing.

- Glass of milk.
- Shh.

Don't disturb him.

Glass of milk?
He's lying, Holmes.

Probably just one of
your emanations Doctor--

Rubbish and the word
is called hallucinations.

Whatever they are
they had you surrounded


It's all right,
Mrs. Monteith.

I heard noises upstairs.

I thought the murderer
must be a prowl again.

What are doing
with that cleaver?

You have nothing
to fear now.

Well, I'll be
getting back to bed.

Not a bad idea.

I've had enough of
this for one day.

Oh uh, Mrs. Monteith,

The note you gave
Inspector Lestrade,

was it pushed under
the door like the rest?


Was there anything different
about it this time?

Think Mrs. Monteith.



Just before I found
the note under the door

I happened to look through
the kitchen window

and I saw a man running
away from the house,

as if Satan himself
were after him.

Did you recognize him?


He was too far away

but he was dressed
like a fisherman.

Well, hadn't we better
go down the village

and find him
at once, Holmes?

You'd only be
wasting your time.


Because all the fisherman
have gone off with the fleet

and they won't be back
until tomorrow night.

It's after nine now.

Are you quite sure that the
fisherman are coming in?

Aye sir, they always do.

A long stretch on the water
gives them an awful thirst.

Why the boats must be in.

Here they come now, sir.

[crowd clamoring]


I'm Sherlock Holmes.

Last night MacGregor
sent one of you

with a note to
Driercliff House.

Who was it?

Speak up please,
it's vitally important.

If I did take a note
for old Alex, what of it?

Perhaps you can help me
to find his murderer.

Where did he
give you this?

Down at the cove.

He was waiting there when
we came in from the nets.

What did he say
when he gave it to you?

Well, he just asked me
if I'd take it to Driercliff

for a half a pound

and I wouldn't have
done it for a penny less.

Cause of the sinister
legend of the place, eh?

What else did
MacGregor say to you?

Well, he asked me if
I believed in ghosts

and I said certainly not.

And he said no more do I

and he gave me the note
and the half pound.

Thank you my friend,
you've been very helpful.

A round of drinks
for these gentlemen

with my compliments.

Thank you.

Helpful? I can't see
anything very helpful

about that conversation.

All he did was
talk about ghosts.

And what do ghosts
suggest to you, Watson?

- I don't know, graveyards?
- Exactly.

Alex MacGregor
was buried today.

I say, old fellow, what
about giving me a hand?

You're doing splendidly,

I say Holmes,

I never did trust any of
those people from the start.



The so-called Good Comrades
and that woman.


Mrs. Monteith, naturally.

Who do you think I meant?

I say, old fellow,
where are you?


You, Holmes of course.



Having a nice
little chat, Watson?

Oh, there you are.

Stupid bird up there.

Silly bird,

hanging about a
graveyard all night.

Nothing else to do.

Interrupting a
fellow's conversation.

[metal clanging]

Got it, Holmes!

Help me now.

I don't like this, Holmes.

Amazing, Holmes.

As I thought, empty.

Some body snatchers
got here a head of us.

- MacGregor's corpse
has been removed.
- What?

Hurry, Watson.

Come along, old fellow,

we haven't a
moment to lose.

What's up, Holmes?

Unless I'm greatly mistaken

there's about to be
another murder.


You, you wall-eyed idiot
if you don't shut up.

Whooo, Whooo.

- Do you know what to do?
- Yes, sir.

Well, get going then, hurry.

I'm afraid were too late,

Where's the body,

Which one is it?

Doctor Merrivale. I found him
at the bottom of the cliff.

- Crushed to a jelly
by a huge rock.
- Good heavens.

I identified by the suit
of clothes he was wearing

and his watch.

So Alastair must be
the murderer?

Go right to the top of
the class, Doctor Watson.

He killed them all
one after another

for the insurance money.

I thought so.

- Obvious from the start.
- Yeah.

What have you done with
your prisoner, Inspector?

Oh, he's safe enough.

Safe enough?

Yes, he's in the library.

Perhaps I better go
and keep an eye on him.

Oh, he'll be all right,

He's handcuffed.

All pacing up and down.

Just doing a bit of
measuring, Lestrade.

Why don't upset
yourself, Mr. Holmes,

you can't expect
to solve every case.

Ah, there you are.

I suspected you
from the start.

Said to Holmes that old flush
is too good to be true.

But I didn't kill anybody.
Really I didn't.

It's quite natural for
you to deny your guilt.

Criminal instinct.

- Oh, what?
- Nothing.

Got any tobacco on you?


I don't smoke but
there's Simpson's there.

He won't need it anymore.
Poor Simpson.

Well if Holmes can
smoke the beastly stuff
I suppose I can.

That's funny.

This may be important.

I must tell Holmes
at once.

Dear me.

Twenty-eight feet,
it checks exactly.

Whatever that may mean.

It means that the final
piece of the puzzle
is falling into place.

Oh, you can have
your puzzle

I've got the murderer.


Come on, Lestrade.

Where's Doctor Watson?

Oh, he went through
that very door

only a few moments ago
looking for you.

We heard a scream,
did you?

Oh, dear me, no.

That's strange.

We didn't see him as we came
through the dining room.

Did he say anything
before he left?


He wasn't very kind
to me at first.

He was standing just where
your standing, Mr. Holmes.

He asked me if
I had any tobacco

but as you know
I don't smoke.

And I suggested that he might
take some of Captain Simpson's.

Well he pulled out
his pipe

and he was just
about to fill it

when he said,

"Oh this may be important.
I must see Holmes at once."

Thank you, Mr. Alastair.

And don't you move.

This wall measures
twenty-eight feet outside

and inside it's obviously
several feet less.

Oh, what are you
looking for?

- Entrance to a passage.
- What passage?

It could only be in
that outside wall.

Oh, we could knock the wall
down for you, Mr. Holmes.

What you don't realize,
Lestrade, is they're desperate.

They'd stop at nothing and
they've got Doctor Watson.

- They? Who's "they"?
- Get those candles,
will you?

All right.

What are you doing here?

I don't like to be alone.

Got it.

Good gracious.

That was for the
entrance to the stairs

leading to the old
smuggler's cave down below.

- I forgot it was there.
- Give me the light.

Oh, dear.


Quiet, they'll hear us.

Who's "they"?

See for yourself,

Lord love a duck.

Well, strike me up
a gum tree.

All right everybody,
hands up,

you're under arrest.

- But who's in there?
- The Good Comrades.

Oh no, no.
They're dead.

Are they?

Come on now, get into line,
all of you.

I thought you
were all dead.

That's what they
wanted us to think.



King, Davies,

Cosgrave, Merrivale,

how dreadful of you.

Thank heaven your safe,

Well, thank heavens
you came, Holmes.

In another minute they would
have thrown me in the sea

and got away on a boat
chartered by Simpson.

It's out there now,
off shore.

Congratulations, Lestrade.
You bagged the lot.

That's all right, Mr. Holmes.

And may I congratulate
you gentlemen

on a very ingenious plan.

I must confess, if you
hadn't over embellished

into the business
of the orange pips

this sinister significance
of the happenings of
Driercliff House

might have escaped my
attention all together.

Your quite eloquent,
Mr. Holmes.

And if Captain Simpson
hadn't removed his
tobacco from the library

you might still have
perfected your escape.

Incidentally, Lestrade,

I think you'll find that
each of these gentlemen

has his share of
the insurance money

probably in a
well-stuffed money belt.

You fool, Simpson.

I told you somebody would
notice that tobacco jar.

A fool am I?

Who asked this detective
to come stay at the house?
He did.

I had to the way you and
Merrivale were acting.

- Shut up, Cosgrave.
- Don't tell me to shut up.

You and your orange pips.

You said they would divert
suspicion but did they?


You and your orange pips
fixed us.

All right, all right,
get back into line all of you.
Now come on.

You get back into line,
all of you.

Now then,
hand over that money.

[gun shot]

Here, here, here
no more tricks like that.

If it hadn't been for the sharp
eyes of Mr. Holmes here,

you might of--

You might of shot someone.

And I thought you
were my friends.

Such good friends.

How could you?

Never mind my good men,

you'll soon be in the dump
with the rest of them.

No, Lestrade,

Mr. Alastair's
completely innocent.

They selected him
as their dupe.


It's all clear to me, Holmes,
except one thing,

why did they kill

Because MacGregor
didn't believe in ghosts.

One night on the beach

he saw a man
he thought was dead,

probably our friend
big foot there

and was rash enough to write
Lestrade a note about it.

That note was his
death warrant.

Very pretty theorizing,
Mr. Holmes

but you can't prove
a thing.

That remains to be seen.

Lestrade, will you pick up
Captain Simpson's revolver

and have a look at it?

One bullet fired?

That's right, Mr. Holmes.

I have no doubt that the
ballistics will prove

that the missing bullet
killed Alex MacGregor.

It's good enough for me.

If what you say is true,
Mr. Holmes

there ain't a jury
in the country that
won't convict them.

"And so just retribution
has been visited

upon the six members
of the Good Comrades,

whose nefarious plan was
unmasked in the nick of time.

By the brilliant detective
work of Inspector Lestrade

of Scotland Yard."

Of all the balderdash.

Lestrade hasn't got the
faintest idea what it was
all about.

I don't know, Watson.

After all, we know
who is responsible

for solving the mystery
of the Good Comrades.

That's right.

If it hadn't been for
Mr. Holmes

that headline might
have been about me.

Mr. Holmes, one thing
puzzles me.


How did they manage
those fake murders?

Oh elementary, my dear
Charles, elementary.

I can explain all that.

Whenever there
was a funeral

of some old gaffer in
the neighborhood

they dug up the body

and dressed it in the clothes
of one of their members,

then they staged
a fake death

and mutilated the body
beyond all recognition.

In the meantime,
the so-called corpse

disappeared quietly
into the smuggler's room

underneath Driercliff House.

I think...I think that about
sums the whole thing.

Tell me, Doctor Watson,

in the simulated death
of Captain Simpson

how do you account for the
tattooing on the torso?

Tattooing on the torso...
Well I...

Go on, Watson, tell him.

Well, the tattoo...

Well, the tattooing
on the torso...

Sorry, Holmes.

Captain Simpson was an expert
with a tattooers needle.

He merely duplicated
the full rigged ship

on the chest of the corpse.

I also observed that
the design on the torso

had been done within the
previous twenty-four hours.

Dear me,
what a gruesome idea.

Out of gratitude of
what you've done

the companies
that I represent

- wish you to accept
this check.
- No, Mr. Chalmers,

I think Mr. Alastair here

is much more deserving
of a reward than I am.

Dear me, they took
me in completely.

I didn't help you
solve the case.

No, but you did
much more than that.

It was your timely warning

when you drew our attention
to the empty tobacco jar

and saved the life of my
dear friend and colleague,

Doctor John H. Watson.

That's very nice of you,
old man.

There by enabling us
to continue our long

and happy
association together.