A Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery (1987): Season 1, Episode 1 - Strong Poison: Episode One - full transcript

Lord Peter Wimsey is struck all of a heap by Harriet Vane, a murder-mystery novelist who's on trial for poisoning her lover with arsenic. And when she's given a temporary reprieve, Lord Peter, together with his manservant Bunter and the incomparable Miss Climpson, must work against the calendar to prove her innocence.

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---
WOBURN SQUARE, CABBIE,

QUICK AS YOU CAN!

PAPER! PAPER!

MISS HARRIET VANE
CHARGED WITH MURDER!

STAR, STANDARD, AND NEWS.
CHELTENHAM RACES.

PAPER! PAPER!

A STRIKING FACE.

NOT JUST
CONVENTIONALLY PRETTY.

MUCH MORE THAN THAT.

DAMNED ATTRACTIVE.

MORE COFFEE, MILORD?



MILORD?

CAN THAT REALLY BE
THE FACE OF A POISONER?

WELL, MILORD, I--

BUNTER,
LAUNCH THE LAGONDA.

CAN'T WAIT, BUNTER.
I'LL GET A CAB BACK.

VERY GOOD, MILORD.

VERY SORRY.

SORRY, SIR.
PUBLIC GALLERY'S FULL.

I'M LOOKING
FOR CHIEF INSPECTOR PARKER.

IS HE EXPECTING YOU?

I BELIEVE SO.

RIGHT YOU ARE, SIR.
COURT NUMBER ONE.

I'M OBLIGED.

COME ALONG! PLEASE!



THERE'S NO MORE ROOM
INSIDE.

YOU'RE OBSTRUCTING
THE ENTRANCE.

THE CASE FOR THE CROWN
IS THAT HARRIET VANE

MURDERED PHILIP BOYES
WITH ARSENIC.

THE DEFENSE DO NOT DISPUTE

THAT DEATH WAS DUE
TO ARSENICAL POISONING,

AND THAT YOU MUST ACCEPT.

THE ONLY QUESTION
THAT REMAINS FOR YOU

IS WHETHER IN FACT
THAT ARSENIC

WAS DELIBERATELY ADMINISTERED
BY THE PRISONER

WITH INTENT TO MURDER.

THE DECEASED, PHILIP BOYES,
WAS, AS YOU'VE HEARD,

A WRITER.

HE WAS 36 YEARS OLD,
AND HAD PUBLISHED FIVE NOVELS

AND OTHER LITERARY WORKS,

WORKS SOMETIMES DESCRIBED
AS OF AN ADVANCED TYPE.

THEY PREACHED DOCTRINES

WHICH MAY SEEM
TO SOME OF US IMMORAL

OR SEDITIOUS,

SUCH AS ATHEISM AND ANARCHY

AND...AHEM...
WHAT IS KNOWN AS FREE LOVE.

THERE'S CHIEF INSPECTOR
PARKER, SIR.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE,
PETER?

I'VE BEEN FOLLOWING
THE CASE IN THE NEWSPAPERS.

AND NOW YOU'VE COME
FOR THE KILL.

CHARLES, I THINK
YOU'VE MADE A MISTAKE.

I'M SURE I'VE MADE MANY.

I'LL CATCH UP WITH YOU.

SHALL I LEAVE
THE GENTLEMAN WITH YOU?

YES. I'LL LOOK
AFTER HIM.

THIS YOUNG WOMAN,
HARRIET VANE--

SHE DIDN'T DO IT.

WILL YOU TELL ME WHY?

IT'S A HUNCH, AS YET.

AH. A HUNCH.

COULD YOU SQUEEZE ME IN?

YES, COME WITH ME.
I'LL GET YOU IN THE BACK WAY.

YOUR MOTHER'S HERE,
AND YOUR FRIEND MR. ARBUTHNOT.

MAMA AND FREDDY? HEAVENS!
WHAT ARE THEY DOING HERE?

I THINK
ALL OF LONDON'S HERE.

THE PRISONER IS ALSO
A NOVELIST BY PROFESSION,

AND IT IS VERY IMPORTANT
TO REMEMBER

THAT SHE IS A WRITER

OF SO-CALLED MYSTERY
OR DETECTIVE STORIES,

STORIES THAT DEAL
WITH VARIOUS INGENIOUS METHODS

OF COMMITTING MURDER
AND OTHER CRIMES.

HIS HONOR HAS JUST STARTED
HIS SUMMING UP, SO...

UNDERSTOOD. I'LL CREEP IN
LIKE A MOUSE.

I DON'T GIVE MUCH
FOR HER CHANCES.

WHILE THERE'S LIFE,
THERE'S HOPE.

IF NOT VERY MUCH TIME.

THE PRISONER HERSELF...

THE PRISONER HERSELF
HAS TOLD US WITH GREAT CANDOR

HOW SHE BECAME ATTACHED
TO PHILIP BOYES,

HOW FOR A CONSIDERABLE TIME

SHE HELD OUT
AGAINST HIS PERSUASIONS

TO LIVE WITH HIM
IN AN IRREGULAR MANNER.

THERE WAS, IN FACT,
NO REASON AT ALL

WHY HE SHOULD NOT HAVE
MARRIED HER HONORABLY,

BUT APPARENTLY
HE'D REPRESENTED HIMSELF

AS BEING CONSCIENTIOUSLY OPPOSED
TO ANY FORMAL MARRIAGE.

YOU HAVE THE EVIDENCE
OF SYLVIA MARRIOTT

AND EILUNED PRICE

THAT THE PRISONER
WAS MADE VERY UNHAPPY

BY THE ATTITUDE
WHICH HE CHOSE TO TAKE UP.

AT ANY RATE,
IN NOVEMBER OF 1927,

THE PRISONER,

WORN OUT, AS SHE TELLS US,

BY HIS
UNCEASING IMPORTUNITIES...

MESMERIZED, OLD BEAN.

SHE'S GOT YOU
COMPLETELY MESMERIZED.

NOW, YOU MAY FEEL,
AND QUITE PROPERLY,

THAT THIS WAS
A VERY WRONG THING TO DO.

HOWEVER,
VARIOUS FRIENDS HAVE TESTIFIED

THAT THEY APPARENTLY
CONTINUED TO LIVE

ON TERMS OF THE GREATEST
MUTUAL AFFECTION

FOR NEARLY A YEAR,

UNTIL, IN OCTOBER OF 1928,

BOYES FINALLY OFFERED HER
A LEGAL MARRIAGE.

NOW, YOU MAY FIND THIS
SURPRISING,

BUT THIS OFFER
CAUSED THE PRISONER

TO BECOME ANGRY WITH BOYES,

ANGRY WITH HIM BECAUSE,

AFTER PERSUADING HER
AGAINST HER WILL

TO ADOPT
HIS PRINCIPLES OF CONDUCT,

HE HAD THEN
RENOUNCED THESE PRINCIPLES

AND, AS SHE SAYS,
MADE A FOOL OF HER.

AND AS A RESULT,
THERE WAS A QUARREL,

AND THE COUPLE SEPARATED,

MISS VANE
SEEKING TEMPORARY REFUGE

WITH HER FRIEND
SYLVIA MARRIOTT.

AFTER A SHORT WHILE,

HARRIET VANE LEAVES

THE SANCTUARY
OF MISS MARRIOTT'S ESTABLISHMENT

AND TAKES A SMALL FLAT
IN DOUGHTY STREET,

WHILE PHILIP BOYES
ACCEPTS THE INVITATION

OF HIS COUSIN,
MR. NORMAN URQUHART,

TO STAY AT HIS HOUSE
IN WOBURN SQUARE.

ALTHOUGH LIVING
IN THE SAME QUARTER OF LONDON,

BOYES AND THE ACCUSED

DO NOT SEEM TO HAVE MET
VERY OFTEN AFTER THE SEPARATION,

BUT THERE'S SOME EVIDENCE
OF A MEETING

TOWARDS THE END OF NOVEMBER,

AND ANOTHER
IN THE SECOND WEEK OF DECEMBER,

AND A THIRD
IN JANUARY OF THIS YEAR.

THESE TIMES ARE WORTH NOTING.

WE NOW COME TO A DATE

OF THE VERY GREATEST IMPORTANCE.

ON MONDAY,
DECEMBER THE 10th, 1928,

A YOUNG WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN
IDENTIFIED AS HARRIET VANE

ENTERED A CHEMIST'S SHOP

KEPT BY MR. BROWN
IN SOUTHAMPTON ROW

AND PURCHASED TWO OUNCES
OF COMMERCIAL ARSENIC...

SAYING SHE NEEDED IT
TO DESTROY RATS.

SHE SIGNED THE POISON BOOK
IN THE NAME OF MARY SLATER.

AND ON SATURDAY,
JANUARY THE 5th,

WE HAVE ANOTHER PURCHASE
OF ARSENIC.

THIS TIME SHE GAVE THE NAME
OF EDITH WATERS.

THE PRISONER HAS GIVEN

AN EXPLANATION
OF THESE PURCHASES

WHICH YOU MIGHT CONSIDER,
FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH.

SHE SAYS THAT SHE WAS
ENGAGED AT THAT TIME

IN WRITING A NOVEL
ABOUT POISONING,

AND THAT SHE BOUGHT THE DRUGS
IN ORDER TO PROVE BY EXPERIMENT

HOW EASY IT WAS
FOR AN ORDINARY PERSON

TO GET HOLD OF DEADLY POISONS.

NOW, THESE DATES--

THE 10th OF DECEMBER LAST,
AND THE 5th OF JANUARY--

THERE IS A COINCIDENCE HERE
WHICH MAY BE OF SIGNIFICANCE,

THREE SETS OF COINCIDENCES.

HARRIET VANE AND PHILIP BOYES
MET TOWARDS THE END OF NOVEMBER,

AND HE HAS
AN ATTACK OF GASTRITIS

ON NOVEMBER THE 30th.

ON DECEMBER THE 10th,

HARRIET VANE PURCHASES
TWO OUNCES OF ARSENIC.

THEY MEET AGAIN
IN THE SECOND WEEK OF DECEMBER,

AND ON DECEMBER THE 15th,

HE HAS ANOTHER ATTACK.

ON JANUARY THE 5th,

THERE IS THE PURCHASE
OF WEED KILLER.

THEY MEET AGAIN
SOON AFTER THAT,

AND ON JANUARY THE 12th,

HE IS TAKEN ILL
FOR THE THIRD TIME.

ON HIS DOCTOR'S ADVICE,
HE GOES TO VISIT HIS FRIEND

MR. RYLAND VAUGHN

AND STAYS WITH HIM
FOR A WHILE IN WALES.

THIS OUGHT TO BLOW
THE COBWEBS AWAY.

YES.

I SAY, ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?

IT'S JUST A TWINGE.

OH, DASH IT.

I SHOULD NEVER HAVE
BROUGHT YOU UP HERE.

NO. NO, TUMMY'S ALL RIGHT.

MORE THE HEART.

YOU HAVE HEARD
MR. VAUGHN TESTIFY

THAT PHILIP BOYES
WAS NOT HAPPY.

IN FACT, MR. VAUGHN
FORMED THE OPINION

HE WAS FRETTING
AFTER HARRIET VANE,

AND ON FEBRUARY THE 16th,

WE FIND HIM WRITING
A LETTER TO MISS VANE,

AN IMPORTANT LETTER.

I WILL
REFRESH YOUR MEMORY.

NO, NO, NO, NO.
NOT THIS ONE.

"DEAR HARRIET,

"LIFE IS AN UTTER MESS-UP.

"I CAN'T STICK IT OUT HERE
ANY LONGER.

"I'VE DECIDED TO CUT ADRIFT
AND TAKE A TRIP OUT WEST,

"BUT BEFORE I GO,
I WANT TO SEE YOU ONCE AGAIN

"AND FIND OUT
IF IT ISN'T POSSIBLE

"TO PUT THINGS STRAIGHT
BETWEEN US.

"YOU MUST DO AS YOU LIKE,
OF COURSE,

"BUT I STILL CANNOT UNDERSTAND
THE ATTITUDE YOU TAKE UP.

"IF I CAN'T MAKE YOU
SEE THE THING

"IN THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE
THIS TIME,

I'LL SHUT IT IN FOR GOOD."

NOW, THAT IS
A MOST AMBIGUOUS LETTER.

YOU'VE HEARD LEARNED COUNSEL
FOR THE DEFENSE

SUGGEST THAT CERTAIN PHRASES

INDICATE AN INTENTION
BY THE DECEASED

TO DO AWAY WITH HIMSELF

IF HE COULD NOT EFFECT
A RECONCILIATION

WITH THE ACCUSED.

BE THAT AS IT MAY,

WE NOW COME TO THE ACCUSED'S
LETTER IN REPLY.

( inaudible whispering )

THANK YOU.

"DEAR PHIL,

"YOU CAN COME ROUND AT 9:30
ON THE 20th IF YOU LIKE,

BUT YOU CERTAINLY WILL NOT
MAKE ME CHANGE MY MIND."

AND IT IS SIMPLY SIGNED "H."

WE NOW COME TO THAT DAY,

FEBRUARY THE 20th.

THE DECEASED HAD DINNER
WITH HIS COUSIN,

MR. NORMAN URQUHART.

NOTHING AT ALL UNUSUAL

IN HIS MANNER
OR APPEARANCE WAS NOTICED,

EITHER BY MR. URQUHART

OR BY THE MAID
WHO WAITED AT TABLE.

DINNER WAS SERVED
AT 8:00 EXACTLY,

AND IT WOULD BE A GOOD THING
IF YOU WOULD NOTE THAT TIME,

AND ALSO THE LIST OF THINGS
EATEN AND DRUNK.

THE TWO COUSINS
DINED ALONE TOGETHER,

AND FIRST,
BY WAY OF COCKTAILS,

EACH HAD A GLASS OF SHERRY.

THE WINE
WAS A FINE OLOROSO, 1847,

AND THE MAID DECANTED IT
FROM A FRESH BOTTLE.

WE HAVE HERE TWO WITNESSES.

THE MAID, HANNAH WESTLOCK,

AND OF COURSE THE COOK,
MRS. PETTICAN,

BOTH OF WHOM HAVE
GIVEN THE IMPRESSION

OF BEING SENSIBLE
AND OBSERVANT WITNESSES.

WELL, THERE WAS THE SHERRY.

THEN CAME
A CUP OF COLD BOUILLON,

SERVED BY HANNAH WESTLOCK

FROM THE TUREEN
ON THE SIDEBOARD.

BOTH MEN HAD SOME,

AND AFTER DINNER

THE BULLION WAS FINISHED
BY MISS WESTLOCK

AND THE COOK IN THE KITCHEN.

AFTER THE SOUP

CAME A PIECE OF TURBOT
WITH SAUCE.

THE PORTIONS WERE AGAIN
SERVED FROM THE SIDEBOARD

AND THE DISH THEN SENT
TO BE FINISHED IN THE KITCHEN.

THEN CAME
A POULET EN CASSEROLE--

THAT IS, CHICKEN CUT UP

AND STEWED SLOWLY
WITH VEGETABLES

IN A FIREPROOF
COOKING UTENSIL.

BOTH MEN HAD SOME OF THIS,

AND THE MAIDS
FINISHED THE DISH LATER.

THE FINAL COURSE
WAS A SWEET OMELETTE,

MADE AT THE TABLE.

THE FOUR EGGS THAT WERE
BROUGHT TO THE TABLE

IN THEIR SHELLS

WERE BROKEN
ONE BY ONE INTO A BOWL.

SUGAR WAS ADDED
FROM A SIFTER.

THEN MR. URQUHART
HANDED THE BOWL TO MR. BOYES,

OBSERVING THAT HE,
MR. BOYES,

WAS THE REAL DAB HAND
AT OMELETTES.

PHILIP BOYES THEN BEAT
THE EGGS AND SUGAR TOGETHER,

COOKED THE OMELETTE,

AND FILLED IT WITH HOT JAM,

WHICH WAS BROUGHT IN
BY HANNAH WESTLOCK.

HE THEN DIVIDED IT
INTO TWO PORTIONS,

GIVING ONE TO MR. URQUHART

AND TAKING THE REMAINDER
FOR HIMSELF.

I HAVE BEEN A LITTLE CAREFUL

TO REMIND YOU
OF ALL THESE THINGS

TO SHOW THAT WE HAVE GOOD PROOF

THAT EVERY DISH
SERVED AT DINNER

WAS PARTAKEN OF
BY TWO PEOPLE AT LEAST,

AND IN MOST CASES FOUR.

THAT OMELETTE--

THE ONLY DISH THAT DID NOT
GO OUT TO THE KITCHEN--

WAS PREPARED
BY PHILIP BOYES HIMSELF

AND SHARED BY HIS COUSIN.

NEITHER MR. URQUHART,

MISS WESTLOCK,

NOR THE COOK, MRS. PETTICAN,

FELT ANY ILL EFFECTS
FROM THIS MEAL.

THIS BRINGS US TO 9:00.

AFTER DINNER,
COFFEE IS ORDERED,

BUT BOYES EXCUSES HIMSELF,

SAYING HE'S CALLING
UPON MISS VANE,

WHO WILL PROBABLY
GIVE HIM COFFEE.

AND HERE INDEED,
ACCORDING TO THE ACCUSED,

BOYES DID TAKE COFFEE,
WITHOUT MILK OR SUGAR.

WAS POISON PLACED

INTO ONE OF THE CUPS
BEFOREHAND?

OR INTRODUCED, PERHAPS,

WHEN THE DECEASED'S ATTENTION
WAS MOMENTARILY DISTRACTED?

THE QUESTION, OF COURSE,
IS PURE CONJECTURE,

BUT IT HAS TO BE ASKED
AND CONSIDERED A POSSIBILITY.

ACCORDING
TO THE PRISONER'S EVIDENCE,

THE INTERVIEW
WAS NOT A SATISFACTORY ONE.

REPROACHES WERE UTTERED
ON BOTH SIDES,

AND AT 10:00 OR THEREABOUTS,

THE DECEASED EXPRESSED
HIS INTENTION OF LEAVING HER.

SHE SAYS THAT HE
APPEARED UNEASY

AND REMARKED
THAT HE WAS FEELING UNWELL,

ADDING THAT HER BEHAVIOR
HAD GREATLY UPSET HIM.

AT TEN PAST 10:00--

AND I WANT YOU TO NOTE
THESE TIMES VERY CAREFULLY--

THE TAXI DRIVER, BURKE,

WHO WAS STANDING
AT THE RANK IN GUILFORD STREET,

WAS APPROACHED BY BOYES,

WHO TOLD HIM TO TAKE HIM
TO WOBURN SQUARE.

WOBURN SQUARE, CABBIE,

QUICK AS YOU CAN!

WHEN THE TAXI STOPPED

BEFORE
MR. URQUHART’S RESIDENCE,

BOYES REQUIRED THE ASSISTANCE

OF THE CABBIE
AND HANNAH WESTLOCK

TO GET HIM INTO THE HOUSE,

WHERE HE BECAME
INCREASINGLY ILL.

HE WAS TAKEN
UPSTAIRS TO BED,

AND MR. URQUHART SUMMONED
DR. GRAINGER BY PHONE.

THE PATIENT
WAS VOMITING PERSISTENTLY,

AND DR. GRAINGER
DIAGNOSED THE TROUBLE

AS ACUTE GASTRITIS.

TIME IS GETTING ON,

AND, AS THE MEDICAL EVIDENCE

HAS STILL TO BE
PASSED IN REVIEW,

I SHALL ADJOURN THE COURT
FOR LUNCH.

Man: BE UPSTANDING.

HE WOULD
JUST AT THE BEASTLIEST MOMENT,

WHEN EVERYBODY'S APPETITE
IS THOROUGHLY TAKEN AWAY.

COME, WIMSEY.

TIME FOR A SPOT
OF REFRESHMENT.

MUST GO AND SEE
IMPEY BIGGS,

BUT SET ONE UP
NEXT DOOR FOR ME.

THERE'S A GOOD FELLOW.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF IT,
DUCHESS?

MOST INTERESTING.

ISN'T THAT PETER'S
MISS CLIMPSON ON THE JURY?

HOW DID SHE GET THERE,
I WONDER?

BEST NOT TO INQUIRE,
I IMAGINE.

PETER SAYS SHE'S
WONDERFULLY GOOD

AT RUNNING
HIS TYPING BUREAU

AND CHARITY AFFAIRS
AND THINGS.

POPPING NEXT DOOR
WITH OLD WIMSEY.

WOULD YOU FIND A "G & T"
TIMELY, OLD DUCHESS?

MOST TIMELY, FREDDY.

WHAT AN INGENIOUS BOY
YOU ARE.

CHEERS.

CHEERS.

I SAY! I NEEDED THAT.

YES. A CRIME REPORTER'S LOT
IS NOT A HAPPY ONE.

NOT UNTIL THE LUNCH
ADJOURNMENT, ANYWAY.

THIRSTY WORK.
ATTRACTIVE LITTLE THING.

THINK SHE DID IT?

JUDGE EVIDENTLY DOES.

YES. HE'S HOSTILE.

IT'S A BIT RUM,
HER LIVING WITH BOYES

AND THEN CHUCKING HIM OVER

WHEN HE TRIES TO DO
THE DECENT THING.

AH! IT'S THE LADIES.

NO ACCOUNTING
FOR THE LADIES.

NO, BY JOVE.

HELLO!
EH?

SEE WHAT'S
JUST COME IN?

THE DOWAGER DUCHESS
OF DENVER.

ISN'T SHE
THE MOTHER OF...

WIMSEY, THE NOBLE
CRIMINOLOGIST.

OF COURSE.

THAT'S NOT HIM
WITH HER, THOUGH.

NO, THAT'S
THE HONORABLE FREDDY,

FREDDY ARBUTHNOT--
A "CITY GENT."

TWO "G & Ts"
AND A "B & S," PLEASE.

LARGE ONES.

WELL, DUCHESS,
GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY?

I HONESTLY DON'T KNOW.

WHAT'S OLD WIMSEY'S
INTEREST?

IT'S ONE OF CHIEF INSPECTOR
PARKER'S CASES,

SO NATURALLY HE'S INTERESTED.

HE'S THAT, ALL RIGHT.

OH. THANK YOU.

UM...KEEP THE CHANGE.

AN HOUR AT THE MOST,
I'D SAY.

AND THE VERDICT?

THIS JUDGE'S SUMMING-UP?

OH, GUILTY.

TIME FOR ANOTHER?

TWO MORE
GIN AND TONICS, PLEASE.

AFTER YOU.

WELL,
BUNG HO, DUCHESS.

OH. CHEERS.

FREDDY,

WHAT DID YOU MEAN
WHEN YOU SAID YOU THOUGHT--

PETER!

SORRY, MAMA.

HERE YOU ARE,
OLD BEAN.

THANKS, FREDDY.

BRANDY AND SODA.
JUST THE THING.

HAD TO HAVE A WORD
WITH THE DEFENSE.

POOR BIGGS

IS QUITE RATTLED
BY THAT OLD JUDGE JEFFREYS,

WHO IS EVEN NOW
REHEARSING

TO PRONOUNCE
THE DEATH SENTENCE.

THAT BAD?

AND IT MUSTN'T HAPPEN.

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

NOW, IT IS SUGGESTED

THAT PHILIP BOYES MAY HAVE
TAKEN ARSENIC HIMSELF

SOMETIME BETWEEN LEAVING
HARRIET VANE'S FLAT

AND HAILING THE TAXI
IN GUILFORD STREET.

NOW, THE PRISONER'S STATEMENT

IS THAT PHILIP BOYES
LEFT HER AT 10:00,

AND WE KNOW THAT AT TEN PAST
HE WAS IN GUILFORD STREET.

BUT GUILFORD STREET

IS ONLY A SHORT WAY
FROM DOUGHTY STREET,

PERHAPS THREE MINUTES' WALK.

AND YOU MAY ASK YOURSELVES,

WHAT WAS BOYES DOING
IN THE INTERVENING TEN MINUTES?

A BEAST,
BUT A JUST BEAST.

BAD, YOU KNOW.

DEFINITELY BAD
FOR OUR LADY.

OH, SHUT UP, FREDDY.

...AN UNFAVORABLE INTERVIEW
WITH THE PRISONER,

OR, AS IS ALSO POSSIBLE,

DID HE FEEL UNWELL

AND SIT DOWN SOMEWHERE
TO RECOVER HIMSELF

IN THOSE MISSING TEN MINUTES?

THOSE MISSING TEN MINUTES
MUST BE THE KEY.

MUST FIND OUT
WHERE HE WENT.

...PURCHASES OF ARSENIC

IN DECEMBER OF LAST YEAR

AND JANUARY OF THIS YEAR,

AND OF THE DECEASED'S
ATTACKS OF SICKNESS

IN NOVEMBER, DECEMBER,
AND JANUARY.

THE QUARREL WITH THE PRISONER
TOOK PLACE

IN OCTOBER OF 1928.

BOYES WAS FINALLY TAKEN ILL

ON THE EVENING
OF FEBRUARY THE 20th,

DYING THREE DAYS LATER.

THERE ARE FOUR MONTHS

BETWEEN THE QUARREL
AND THE DEATH,

AND THREE MONTHS

BETWEEN THE FIRST ILLNESS
AND THE DEATH.

YOU MAY FIND
SOME SIGNIFICANCE

IN THOSE DATES.

VERITABLE VULTURE!

SHE'S INNOCENT,
MY PESSIMISTIC CHUM,

AND I'M GOING TO PROVE IT.

I WISH YOU LUCK,
OLD CHAP.

WELL...

I THINK THAT IS THE CASE
AS PRESENTED TO YOU.

THE CASE FOR THE CROWN,
MEMBERS OF THE JURY,

IS THAT THE PRISONER,
HARRIET VANE,

MURDERED HER FORMER LOVER,
PHILIP BOYES,

WITH ARSENIC.

HE UNDOUBTEDLY
DID TAKE ARSENIC,

AND IF YOU ARE SATISFIED
THAT HE DIED OF IT

AND SHE ADMINISTERED IT
WITH THAT INTENT,

THEN IT IS YOUR DUTY

TO FIND HER GUILTY
OF MURDER.

THEY WON'T BE LONG,
SHOULDN'T THINK.

PRETTY DAMNED OBVIOUS.

YES.

WE'LL MISS
THE 6:30 EDITION

UNLESS THE JURY
GETS A MOVE ON.

THE OLD MAN'S CAREFUL,
BUT HE'S VERY SLOW.

THEY'VE GOT TO MAKE SOME SHOW
OF CONSIDERING THEIR VERDICT.

GIVE 'EM 20 MINUTES.
THEY'LL WANT TO SMOKE.

SO DO I.

FANCY ONE?

LET'S GO.
EXCUSE ME, LOVE.

IT'S AS OPEN AND SHUT
AS CAN BE.

IT'S ALL PERFECTLY CONVINCING
AND WATERTIGHT,

BUT IT'S ALL WRONG.

YOU CAN'T REALLY
BELIEVE THAT.

BUT I DO.

WHERE'S THE FLAW IN IT?

THERE ISN'T ONE.

THERE'S NOTING WRONG
WITH IT AT ALL,

EXCEPT THAT THE GIRL
IS INNOCENT.

OH, YES, OF COURSE.
YOUR HUNCH.

WHAT DO YOU SAY,
DUCHESS?

I WISH I HAD
KNOWN THE GIRL.

AN INTERESTING FACE.

I'VE BEEN READING
ONE OF HER BOOKS--

WELL-WRITTEN,

AND I DIDN'T GUESS
WHO DID IT TILL THE END.

CURIOUS
TO WRITE ABOUT MURDER

AND BE ACCUSED
OF MURDER ONESELF.

WE'LL SOON KNOW

WHAT THE JOLLY JURY'S
MADE OF IT.

I EXPECT MISS CLIMPSON'S
TELLING 'EM ALL ABOUT IT.

MIGHT TAKE SOME WHILE.

THEY MUST HAVE
GONE TO SLEEP.

THERE'LL HAVE TO BE
A SPECIAL EDITION.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY
TAKE ALL NIGHT?

THEN WE SIT HERE
ALL NIGHT.

WELL, THE PUBS ARE OPEN.
I'M GOING FOR A QUICK ONE.

GIVE US A SHOUT
IF ANYTHING HAPPENS.

RIGHT.

WHAT CAN THEY
BE UP TO?

PERHAPS THEY DON'T THINK
SHE DID IT AFTER ALL.

NONSENSE.
OF COURSE SHE DID.

YOU COULD TELL
BY HER FACE--

HARD,

AND SHE NEVER
CRIED OR ANYTHING.

I SAY! A FAIR OLD CROWD
COLLECTED.

ARE THEY PRO
OR CON?

THE GIRL?
MIXED, I'D SAY.

MEN PRO, WOMEN CON.

I'M AMAZED
IT'S TAKING SO LONG.

AH! LOOKS AS IF
THEY'RE READY.

( knock on door )

WE HAVE A VERDICT,
M'LUD.

OH.

Man: BE UPSTANDING.

LOOK AT THEIR FACES.

THEY SAY IF IT'S
GOING TO BE GUILTY,

THEY NEVER LOOK
AT THE PRISONER.

LET THE DEFENDANT
BE UPSTANDING.

MEMBERS OF THE JURY,

WHO SHALL SPEAK
AS YOUR FOREMAN?

I SHALL.

ARE YOU ALL AGREED
UPON A VERDICT?

I'M SORRY TO SAY THAT WE
FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE

TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT.

( crowd murmurs )

DO YOU THINK
WITH A LITTLE MORE TIME

YOU MAY BE ABLE
TO REACH AN AGREEMENT?

I'M AFRAID NOT, MILORD.

WELL, THIS IS
VERY UNFORTUNATE.

IN THAT CASE,
THERE'S NOTHING FOR IT

BUT TO THANK THE JURY
FOR THEIR SERVICES,

AND TO DISCHARGE YOU,

AND TO ORDER A FRESH TRIAL.

BE UPSTANDING.

OH HO HO!

HA HA HA!

GOOD SHOT, WIMSEY!
GOOD SHOT!

THANK YOU.

NOT BAD. NOT BAD.

I MUST SAY
YOUR MISS CLIMPSON

DEFINITELY
SAVED THE DAY.

A LADY
OF STRONG CONVICTIONS.

CERTAINLY GIVEN US
ANOTHER CHANCE.

WHAT'S THE FORM
ABOUT THAT, BY THE WAY?

PRETTY SOON, I'D SAY.
WOULDN'T YOU, CROFTS?

THEY WON'T WANT TO KEEP
THE GIRL IN CUSTODY

LONGER
THAN NECESSARY.

I SPOKE
TO THE LISTING OFFICER.

HE'S PUTTING THE RETRIAL IN
FOR THE 17th OF JULY.

GOD! THAT'S
ONLY 30 DAYS!

THING IS,

CAN WE DO ANYTHING
TO IMPROVE OUR CASE?

THERE MUST BE
SOME EVIDENCE SOMEWHERE,

AND I DO BELIEVE
IN THE GIRL'S INNOCENCE.

DAMN IT, WIMSEY,
SO DO I.

WELL, NOW, LET'S SEE
WHAT WE CAN DO WITH THAT.

CROFTS,

YOU MUST
DO SOMETHING FOR ME.

I MUST SEE MISS VANE.

CAN YOU GET ME IN
AS PART OF YOUR OUTFIT?

I'D LIKE TO HEAR
HER VERSION OF THE STORY.

I THINK IT CAN
BE ARRANGED.

THIS WAY, PLEASE.

YOU KNOW THE REGULATIONS,
SIR, I'M SURE.

YOU SITS AT ONE END
AND THE PRISONER AT THE OTHER,

AND YOU MUST NOT
MOVE FROM YOUR SEAT,

NOR PASS ANY OBJECT
OVER THE TABLE.

HERE WE ARE, SIR.

I'LL BE THERE TO SEE YOU
THROUGH THE GLASS.

RULES, MILORD.

BUT I SHAN'T BE ABLE
TO OVERHEAR NOTHING.

IF YOU DON'T MIND,
I SHALL HAVE TO TAKE THESE.

THANK YOU, SIR.

SHE WON'T BE A TICK.

( footsteps approach )

( door opens )

WE'RE SUPPOSED
TO STAY SEATED,

YOU KNOW.

LORD PETER WIMSEY...

COME FROM MR. CROFTS?

YES.

I HEARD THE CASE
AND ALL THAT,

AND I THOUGHT THERE MIGHT BE
SOMETHING I COULD DO TO HELP.

THAT'S
VERY GOOD OF YOU.

NOT AT ALL.

I RATHER ENJOY
INVESTIGATING THINGS,

IF YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN.

I KNOW. BEING A WRITER
OF DETECTIVE STORIES,

I'VE NATURALLY FOLLOWED
YOUR CAREER WITH INTEREST.

THAT'S GOOD,
BECAUSE YOU'LL UNDERSTAND

I'M NOT SUCH AN ASS
AS I'M APPEARING AT PRESENT.

YOU DON'T APPEAR AN ASS,

THOUGH THIS BACKGROUND

DOESN'T ALTOGETHER
SUIT YOUR STYLE.

NOR YOURS.

MAYBE.

I'M AFRAID I'M
RATHER A HOPELESS CASE.

OH, DON'T SAY THAT.

IT CAN'T BE HOPELESS
UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY DID IT,

AND I KNOW YOU DIDN'T.

WELL, I DIDN'T,
AS A MATTER OF FACT.

YOU DON'T HAPPEN TO KNOW
WHO DID, I SUPPOSE?

I REALLY BELIEVE

PHILIP TOOK THE STUFF
HIMSELF.

HE WAS FINALLY
A DEFEATIST SORT OF PERSON.

I SUPPOSE HE TOOK
YOUR DEPARTURE RATHER HARD.

I THINK IT WAS RATHER

HE DIDN'T FEEL
SUFFICIENTLY APPRECIATED.

HE WAS APT TO THINK
PEOPLE WERE IN LEAGUE

TO SPOIL HIS CHANCES.

AND, UH, WERE THEY?

I DON'T THINK SO,

BUT I DO THINK
HE OFFENDED PEOPLE.

HE'D DEMAND THINGS
AS A RIGHT,

AND THAT ANNOYS PEOPLE,
YOU KNOW.

DID HE GET ON
WITH HIS COUSIN?

OH, YES,

THOUGH OF COURSE
PHILIP SAID

IT WAS NO MORE
THAN MR. URQUHART'S DUTY

TO LOOK AFTER HIM.

HIS IDEA WAS THAT
GREAT ARTISTS

DESERVE TO BE TAKEN CARE OF
BY THE ORDINARY MAN.

"GREAT ARTISTS"?

FORGIVE ME, BUT, UM...

FORGIVE YOU WHAT?

YOU WERE VERY FOND
OF PHILIP BOYES.

I MUST HAVE BEEN,
MUSTN'T I?

NOT NECESSARILY. YOU MIGHT
HAVE BEEN SORRY FOR HIM,

OR BEWITCHED BY HIM,
OR BADGERED TO DEATH BY HIM.

ALL THOSE THINGS.

WERE YOU FRIENDS?

NO. PHILIP WASN'T
THE SORT OF MAN

TO MAKE A FRIEND
OF A WOMAN.

HE WANTED DEVOTION.

I CERTAINLY GAVE HIM THAT.

I COULDN'T STAND BEING
PUT ON PROBATION

LIKE SOME OFFICE BOY,

TO SEE IF I WAS GOOD ENOUGH
TO BE CONDESCENDED TO.

I THOUGHT HE WAS HONEST

WHEN HE SAID HE DIDN'T
BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE,

AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE
SOME SORT OF TEST

TO SEE WHETHER MY DEVOTION
WAS ABJECT ENOUGH.

WELL, THERE YOU HAVE IT.

I THOUGHT PHILIP
HAD MADE

BOTH HIMSELF AND ME
RIDICULOUS,

AND THE MOMENT I SAW THAT,
THAT WAS IT, THE END.

I QUITE SEE THAT.

SUCH A VICTORIAN ATTITUDE

FOR A MAN
WITH ADVANCED IDEAS.

BUT, UM, YOU'RE NOT OPPOSED
TO MATRIMONY ON PRINCIPLE?

I MEAN,
IF OFFERED ON TERMS

NOT ALREADY COMPROMISED,
AND BY THE RIGHT PERSON.

OH, NO.

OH, THAT'S GOOD.

MIGHT I ASK WHY?

MAKES IT EASIER FOR ME,
YOU SEE.

HAVE I GOT THIS RIGHT?

YOU ARE PROPOSING
MARRIAGE TO ME?

ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

DO YOU DO THIS
ALL THE TIME, LORD PETER?

ONLY WHEN I'M SERIOUS.

AND YOU'RE SERIOUS NOW?

OH,

I KNOW I'VE GOT
A SILLY FACE,

BUT I CAN'T HELP THAT.

AND I AM--
SERIOUS, I MEAN.

I DON'T POSITIVELY
REPEL YOU

OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT,
I SUPPOSE?

NO, YOU DON'T
POSITIVELY REPEL ME.

OH. THAT'S GOOD.

ANY--ANY, UH,
MINOR ALTERATIONS?

I MEAN,
CHANGING MY TAILOR...

NO, I COULDN'T
IN ALL CONSCIENCE OFFER THAT.

BUT PARTING THE MANE
ON THE OTHER SIDE,

GROWING A TOOTHBRUSH,
OR CASHIERING THE EYEGLASS?

DON'T, PLEASE.

DON'T ALTER YOURSELF
IN ANY PARTICULAR.

DO YOU REALLY MEAN THAT?

I-I'M NOT TRYING

TO BLACKMAIL YOU
INTO MATRIMONY.

I WOULD INVESTIGATE THIS CASE
FOR THE FUN OF THE THING.

THAT'S VERY GOOD OF YOU.

NOT AT ALL.
IT'S MY HOBBY--

I MEAN INVESTIGATING THINGS,
NOT PROPOSING TO PEOPLE.

( chuckles )

WELL,

CHEERI-FRIGHTFULLY-HO,

AND, UM,

I'LL, UH,
I'LL CALL AGAIN IF I MAY.

I'LL GIVE THE FOOTMAN
ORDERS TO ADMIT YOU.

YOU WILL ALWAYS
FIND ME AT HOME.

Wimsey: HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR,
AND BRAINS.

LIFE WOULDN'T BE DULL.

ONE WOULD WAKE UP,

AND THERE WOULD BE A WHOLE DAY
OF JOLLY THINGS TO DO,

AND THEN ONE WOULD COME HOME
AND GO TO BED.

AND THAT
WOULD BE JOLLY, TOO!

GOOD AFTERNOON.

OH, GOD.

JULY THE 17th.

ONE MONTH. FOUR WEEKS.

28 DAYS.

AND I DON'T KNOW
WHERE TO BEGIN.

LADIES! GOOD AFTERNOON!

GOOD AFTERNOON,
LORD PETER, SIR.

A FORCE FOR GOOD
AT 60 WORDS A MINUTE.

MY DEAR LORD PETER!

MISS CLIMPSON,
ADMIRABLE MISS CLIMPSON,

I HAVEN'T
HAD AN OPPORTUNITY

OF THANKING YOU
FOR YOUR STERLING PERFORMANCE

AT THE TRIAL.

I SIMPLY COULDN'T,
IN ALL CONSCIENCE,

HAVE DONE
OTHER THAN I DID.

MISS CLIMPSON,

WHY DO PEOPLE
KILL PEOPLE?

I REALLY DON'T KNOW.

IT'S SO DANGEROUS,
AS WELL AS WICKED.

ONE WONDERS HOW ANYBODY

HAS THE EFFRONTERY
TO UNDERTAKE IT,

AND VERY OFTEN
THEY GAIN SO LITTLE BY IT.

MISS VANE IS INNOCENT.

I FIRMLY BELIEVE SO.

THE KEY MUST BE,

WHAT DID BOYES DO
AFTER HE LEFT MISS VANE?

THERE WERE TEN MINUTES
UNACCOUNTED FOR.

MIGHT HE NOT HAVE
ENTERED SOME PUBLIC HOUSE

FOR REFRESHMENT,
AND THERE MET AN ENEMY?

BY JOVE, THAT'S AN IDEA
WORTH LOOKING INTO.

PLACE, PUBLIC HOUSE.
NEXT, MOTIVE.

DO HAVE
A BUTTERED TEA-CAKE.

THANK YOU. INSURANCE--
WAS BOYES INSURED?

IT DOESN'T SEEM

TO HAVE OCCURRED
TO ANYONE TO FIND OUT.

IF SO, WHO WOULD HAVE
AN INSURABLE INTEREST?

HIS FATHER, COUSIN,
AND I SUPPOSE MISS VANE,

IF THE POLICY
WAS TAKEN OUT

WHILST THEY WERE
LIVING TOGETHER.

HMM.

SOME POSSIBILITIES,
THERE.

INHERITANCE?

DID BOYES HAVE
ANYTHING TO LEAVE?

HIS FATHER'S A PARSON,

SO THAT HAS
A THREADBARE LOOK,

BUT I'D BETTER GO
AND SEE HIM AND HIS PUBLISHER.

OH! THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

WHO WAS THIS FELLOW BOYES,
ANYWAY?

I DON'T KNOW
A THING ABOUT HIM.

HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN
A BLACKGUARD...

KNEW UNMENTIONABLE THINGS
ABOUT HIS FRIENDS...

PROBABLY WRITING A BOOK
TO SHOW SOMEBODY UP,

HAS TO BE SUPPRESSED
AT ALL COSTS.

DASH IT, HIS COUSIN'S
A SOLICITOR.

PERHAPS HE'S BEEN EMBEZZLING
TRUST DEEDS OR SOMETHING,

AND BOYES WAS
GOING TO SPLIT ON HIM.

URQUHART PUTS
SOME ARSENIC IN HIS SOUP.

AH! THEN HE
DRINKS IT HIMSELF.

NO, I'M AFRAID
HANNAH WESTLOCK'S EVIDENCE

RATHER KNOCKS THAT
ON THE HEAD.

WE SHALL HAVE TO FALL BACK
ON THE STRANGER AT THE PUB.

YES. THE MISSING
TEN MINUTES.

OR SUICIDE,

WHICH I AM RATHER
INCLINED TO BELIEVE IN,

ONLY WHAT HAPPENED
TO THE EMPTY BOTTLE?

OR PAPER, IF HE TOOK IT
IN POWDERED FORM.

WHERE WOULD THEY
LOOK FOR IT?

YES. IF IT WASN'T ON HIM,
IT COULD BE ANYWHERE.

IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT

TRYING TO FIND A BOTTLE
OR A PIECE OF PAPER

THAT WAS CHUCKED AWAY
SIX MONTHS AGO.

DID YOU SAY SOMETHING
ABOUT BUTTERED TEA-CAKES?

ALL RIGHT. BOYES...
QUERY...ARSENIC.

ANYTHING ELSE?

YES. FIND OUT IF BOYES
VISITED ANY PUB

IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
OF DOUGHTY STREET

BETWEEN, SAY,
9:50 AND TEN PAST 10:00

ON THE EVENING
OF FEBRUARY THE 20th,

WHETHER HE MET ANYONE,
AND WHAT HE TOOK TO DRINK.

QUERY...PUB.

YES?

THIRDLY, WHETHER
ANY PAPER OR BOTTLE

THAT MIGHT HAVE
CONTAINED ARSENIC

WAS PICKED UP
IN THE DISTRICT.

OH, IS THAT ALL?

PERHAPS YOU'D LIKE ME
TO TRACE THE BUS TICKET

DROPPED BY MISS BROWN
OUTSIDE SELFRIDGES

DURING THE LAST
CHRISTMAS RUSH.

I WOULD NOT DREAM
OF PATRONIZING

AN OFFICER OF YOUR CALIBER

BY SETTING HIM
SUCH A SIMPLE PROBLEM.

AND NOW,
YOU MUST EXCUSE ME.

I HAVE TO GO AND SEE
A MAN ABOUT A DOG,

OR RATHER
A CLERGYMAN ABOUT HIS SON.

YOU DON'T KNOW OF ANYBODY

WHO MIGHT HAVE HAD
AN INTEREST IN HIS DEATH?

DID HE MAKE A WILL?

YES, HE DID.

NOT THAT HE HAD
MUCH TO LEAVE, POOR BOY.

HIS BOOKS WERE
VERY CLEVERLY WRITTEN--

HE HAD A FINE INTELLECT--

BUT THAT DID NOT BRING
ANY GOOD SUMS OF MONEY.

HE LEFT HIS COPYRIGHTS
TO SOMEONE, I SUPPOSE.

YES. OH...UH...

YES. HE WISHED
TO LEAVE THEM TO ME.

BUT HIS OPINIONS, YOU SEE...

NOT COMPATIBLE.

NO, HE LEFT IT
TO HIS GOOD FRIEND

MR. VAUGHN.

MIGHT I ASK
WHEN THIS WILL WAS MADE?

DATED AT THE TIME
OF HIS VISIT TO WALES.

BEFORE THAT,
I BELIEVE HE MADE ONE

LEAVING EVERYTHING
TO MISS VANE.

TO MISS VANE?

I SUPPOSE SHE'D
KNOW ABOUT THAT.

NOT, IN ANY CASE,
AN IMPORTANT SUM.

OH, NO, NO.

IF MY SON MADE
50 POUNDS A YEAR

FROM HIS BOOKS,
THAT WOULD BE THE UTMOST.

BUT THEY TELL ME THAT,
AFTER THIS,

HIS NEW BOOK
WILL DO BETTER.

YES. THE PUBLIC
WILL ALWAYS RESPOND

TO SENSATION,
I'M AFRAID.

WOULD YOU CARE...

OH.

OH, UH...

PERHAPS YOU'D CARE
TO RISK ONE OF THESE.

OH, HOW VERY KIND.
THANK YOU.

I SAY.

HE HAD NO PRIVATE MONEY
TO LEAVE, I DON'T SUPPOSE?

OH, NO.

NOTHING WHATEVER.

THERE WAS NEVER
ANY MONEY IN OUR FAMILY--

PROVERBIAL CHURCH MICE,

EXCEPT, THAT IS,
FOR CREMORNA GARDEN.

FOR...I BEG YOUR PARDON?

MY WIFE'S AUNT,

THE NOTORIOUS
CREMORNA GARDEN OF THE '60s.

OH, GOOD LORD!
YES, THE ACTRESS!

YES. SHE WAS
NEVER MENTIONED, OF COURSE.

ONE DID NOT INQUIRE

INTO THE WAY
SHE GOT HER MONEY.

NO DIFFERENT
TO ANYBODY ELSE, I EXPECT,

BUT IN THOSE DAYS
ONE WAS EASILY SHOCKED.

WE HADN'T SEEN HER
FOR OVER 50 YEARS.

I BELIEVE SHE'S GETTING
VERY CHILDLIKE NOW.

I HAD NO IDEA
SHE WAS STILL ALIVE.

OH, SHE MUST BE OVER 90.

CERTAINLY PHILIP NEVER HAD
ANY MONEY FROM HER.

OH, MY DEAR CHAP,

A GLASS OF MADEIRA?

WHAT MUST YOU THINK OF ME?

BEEN BUZZING LIKE A BEE.

I'VE SEEN
THE REVEREND BOYES,

YOUR PUBLISHER,
BOYES' PUBLISHER,

AND I'VE COME UP WITH A PLOT
FOR A DETECTIVE STORY.

A GOOD PLOT?

A VERY GOOD PLOT.

DO TELL.

WELL, YOU SEE,
IT'S ABOUT THIS GIRL...

( thumping on glass )

OH.

WHO WRITES BOOKS--

DETECTIVE STORIES,
ACTUALLY--

AND SHE HAS A FRIEND
WHO ALSO WRITES BOOKS.

I'LL BET SHE'S
A SWEETIE AT HOME.

MNH-MNH.

NEITHER OF THEM
ARE BEST-SELLERS, YOU SEE,

JUST NOVELISTS.

THAT'S THE KIND OF THING
THAT MIGHT HAPPEN.

AND, UM, THE FRIEND
MAKES A WILL,

LEAVING ALL HIS MONEY--

RECEIPTS FROM HIS BOOKS
AND SO FORTH--

TO THE GIRL.

NOW, THE GIRL, WHO HAS GOT
RATHER FED UP WITH HIM,

COMES UP WITH A GRAND SCOOP

TO TURN THEM BOTH
INTO BEST-SELLERS.

SHE POLISHES HIM OFF

BY THE VERY METHOD USED
IN HER LATEST THRILLER.

A DARING STROKE!

AND, OF COURSE,

HIS BOOKS IMMEDIATELY
BECOME BEST-SELLERS,

AND SHE GRABS THE POOL.

MOST INGENIOUS.

IT'S AN ENTIRELY NEW
MOTIVE FOR MURDER.

DON'T YOU THINK IT WOULD BE
A LITTLE DANGEROUS?

SHE MIGHT BE
ACCUSED OF THE MURDER.

WELL, THEN HER BOOKS WOULD
BECOME BEST-SELLERS, TOO.

TRUE, BUT POSSIBLY
SHE WOULDN'T LIVE

TO ENJOY THE PROFITS
BECAUSE,

UNLESS SHE WERE SUSPECTED,
ARRESTED, AND TRIED,

THE SCOOP
WOULD ONLY HALF COME OFF.

YES, BUT THEN YOU,

AS AN EXPERIENCED
MYSTERY-MONGER,

COULD COME UP WITH SOMETHING
TO GET ROUND THAT.

IF SHE WERE VERY WICKED,

SHE COULD PUSH THE BLAME
ONTO SOMEONE ELSE,

OR LEAD PEOPLE TO SUPPOSE

THAT HER FRIEND HAD
DONE AWAY WITH HIMSELF.

TOO VAGUE, I THINK.
HOW WOULD SHE DO THAT?

I CAN'T SAY.

I'LL GIVE IT CAREFUL THOUGHT
AND LET YOU KNOW.

HERE'S AN IDEA--

SHE'S A PERSON
WITH MONOMANIA.

THERE'S SOMEBODY
SHE WISHES TO BENEFIT

WHO'S BADLY
IN NEED OF MONEY--

FATHER, MOTHER,
SISTER, LOVER.

SHE MAKES OUT A WILL
IN HIS OR HER FAVOR,

ALLOWS HERSELF TO BE
CONDEMNED FOR THE CRIME,

KNOWING THAT
THE BELOVED OBJECT

WILL THEN INHERIT.
HOW'S THAT?

VERY, VERY GOOD,
BUT THERE'S A SNAG.

THEY WOULDN'T GIVE HER
THE FRIEND'S MONEY,

WOULD THEY?

YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED
TO PROFIT BY CRIME.

OH, HANG!

( mirthless chuckle )

I KNOW!

SHE COULD MAKE OVER
A DEED OF GIFT.

YES. LOOK.

IF SHE DID THAT
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE MURDER,

A DEED OF GIFT
OF EVERYTHING SHE POSSESSED,

THAT WOULD INCLUDE EVERYTHING
UNDER THE FRIEND'S WILL.

IT WOULD THEN ALL GO
TO THE BELOVED OBJECT,

AND I DON'T BELIEVE
THE LAW COULD STOP IT.

YOU'RE TOO CLEVER BY HALF.

SHALL WE WRITE IT?

LET'S.

ONLY, YOU KNOW,

I'M SURE WE
WON'T GET THE CHANCE.

YOU'RE NOT TO SAY THAT.

YOU ARE TO KEEP SMILING.

IT SUITS YOU.

SHE'S AS INNOCENT
AS THE DAY IS LONG.

SHE'D NEVER HAVE COME UP
WITH SUCH A MOTIVE

IF SHE'D REALLY DONE IT.

IT'D BE PUTTING A NOOSE
ROUND HER OWN NECK.

I THINK IT'S HIGH TIME

I PAID A VISIT
ON HIS COUSIN, URQUHART.

THIS IS MR. URQUHART'S
TEMPORARY ADDRESS, MILORD,

CARE OF MRS. WRAYBURN,
APPLEFORD,

WINDALE, WESTMORELAND.

WINDALE, WESTMORELAND.
HAS A PRETTY RING TO IT.

I DO NOT THINK MR. URQUHART
WILL BE AWAY FOR VERY LONG.

IS THERE ANYTHING
THAT WE CAN DO TO HELP?

NO THANKS.

I WANTED TO SEE HIM
MYSELF, PERSONALLY.

IT CONCERNS THE VERY SAD
DEATH OF HIS COUSIN.

SHOCKING BUSINESS,
THAT, YES.

A FINE YOUNG MAN,
MR. BOYES.

HE AND MR. URQUHART
WERE GREAT FRIENDS,

AND MR. URQUHART TOOK IT
VERY MUCH TO HEART.

WERE YOU PRESENT
AT THE TRIAL, MILORD?

YES. WHAT DID YOU
THINK OF THE VERDICT?

VERY SURPRISED--
SURPRISED INDEED.

SEEMED A CLEAR ENOUGH CASE,
BUT JURIES ARE UNRELIABLE,

ESPECIALLY NOWADAYS,
WITH WOMEN ON THEM.

WE SEE A GOOD DEAL
OF THE FAIR SEX,

AND VERY FEW OF THEM
ARE REMARKABLE

FOR POSSESSING
THE LEGAL MIND.

STILL, WITHOUT THEM
THERE'D BE LESS LITIGATION,

SO IT'S ALL GOOD
FOR BUSINESS.

YES. VERY GOOD, MILORD.
VERY GOOD.

I AM AN OLD-FASHIONED MAN.

THE LADIES, WHILE THEY
ADORNED AND INSPIRED,

DID NOT TAKE ANY
ACTIVE PART IN AFFAIRS.

TAKE OUR
YOUNG LADY CLERK.

I DO NOT SAY SHE WAS
NOT A GOOD WORKER,

BUT ALL OF A SUDDEN
A WIND COMES UPON HER

AND AWAY SHE GOES
TO GET MARRIED,

LEAVING US IN THE LURCH

JUST WHEN MR. URQUHART
IS AWAY.

YES, LORD PETER, EVERYTHING
IS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL.

WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU?

THERE'S A VACANCY
FOR A CONFIDENTIAL CLERK

AT MR. NORMAN URQUHART'S.

YOU'LL REMEMBER HIM
FROM THE TRIAL--

THE SOLICITOR, BEDFORD ROW.
HAVE YOU GOT ANYONE?

JUST ONE MOMENT,
LORD PETER.

YES, I THINK MISS MURCHISON'S
BECOMING AVAILABLE.

SHALL WE SEND HER ALONG?

RIGHT AWAY, AND SEE
THAT HER SKIRT'S

THE REGULATION FOUR INCHES
BELOW THE KNEE.

THE HEAD CLERK'S IN CHARGE,

AND THE LAST GIRL
LEFT TO GET MARRIED,

SO HE'S FEELING
ANTI-SEX APPEAL.

GET HER IN, AND I'LL
GIVE HER INSTRUCTIONS.

BLESS YOU,

AND MAY YOUR SHADOW
NEVER GROW BULKIER.

YOU'RE TO GO
TO THE SOLICITORS URQUHARTS

IN BEDFORD ROW
AND SEE THE HEAD CLERK,

MR. POND.

THERE'S A VACANCY
FOR A CONFIDENTIAL CLERK.

IS THIS A JOB
FOR LORD PETER?

MISS PHELPS? I HAVE
LORD PETER FOR YOU.

MARJORY?

DEAR MARJORY,

I TRUST I DO NOT INTERRUPT

SOME INSPIRED
WORK OF SCULPTURE.

NO, DEAR ME,
THE MUSES ARE SO FICKLE.

LOOK HERE, I NEED
AN ENTR E INTO BOHEMIA.

THE MISSES MARRIOT
AND PRICE.

I BELIEVE YOU KNOW THEM.

THIS EVENING? THAT
WOULD BE MOST CONVENIENT.

OH, PETER,

ARE YOU ONTO THAT?
HOW GORGEOUS!

WHICH SIDE
ARE YOU TAKING?

DEFENSE.

OH, HURRAY.
WHY HURRAY?

IT'S MUCH MORE EXCITING,
AND DIFFICULT, ISN'T IT?

I'M AFRAID SO.

WE'RE ABOUT THERE.

THANK YOU.

SO THIS IS BOHEMIA?

OR CHELSEA SW3.

IT'S TWO AND A HALF.

YES, THANK YOU.

I HOPE THIS ISN'T
EXPLOITING OUR ACQUAINTANCE.

I DID ASK YOU

NOT TO GO AWAY
FOREVER, DIDN'T I?

YES, YOU DID, BLESS YOU.

DO YOU KNOW
HARRIET VANE, BY THE WAY?

YES AND NO.

I'VE SEEN HER
WITH THE BOYES/VAUGHN CROWD.

MM-HMM. DO YOU LIKE HER?

SO-SO.

AND, UM, PHILIP BOYES?

OH, NEVER STIRRED
A HEARTBEAT.

BUT DID YOU LIKE HIM?

WELL, ONE DIDN'T
"LIKE," EXACTLY.

ONE EITHER FELL FOR HIM
OR NOT, AS THE CASE MIGHT BE.

AND, UM,

AND THE FRIEND, VAUGHN?

HE WAS JUST
A HANGER-ON.

UH, LET'S SEE...

HOPE THESE DEAR LADIES
WON'T MIND THE INTRUSION.

OH, NO.
GOOD HEAVENS, NO.

THEY'RE HARRIET'S FRIENDS.

IT WAS THEY WHO TOOK HER IN
AFTER THE BUST-UP WITH BOYES.

SYLVIA'S A DEAR.

ELUINED IS RATHER ANTI-MAN,
BUT SHE'S A GOOD SORT.

JUST IN TIME FOR COFFEE.

SORRY, ELUINED,
ABOUT THE SHORT NOTICE.

NONSENSE. COME IN.

THIS IS LORD PETER WIMSEY.

HELLO.
( coughing )

I'M A FRIEND
OF HARRIET VANE'S.

I'M SO SORRY.
WHY BE SORRY?

SHE NEEDS FRIENDS.