A Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery (1987): Season 1, Episode 8 - Gaudy Night: Episode One - full transcript

Harriet Vane attends a reunion at her Oxford College and is asked by the Warden to investigate a series of poison pen notes that several members of staff have received. She takes up residence in the college and receives one of these notes herself. In the cloistered environment of the school, there is any number of possible suspects. In the absence of a motive however, it is difficult to determine if the culprit is a member of staff, a student or even if it is a man or a woman. When Lord Peter Wimsey visits the college - as much to see Harriet as for anything else - he agrees to assist in the investigation. What he finds is that one member of the staff had reason to seek vengeance.

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---
( woman screaming )

NO! NO!

( gunshot )

Priest: IF A MAN WILL BEGIN
WITH CERTAINTIES,

HE SHALL END IN DOUBTS.

BUT IF HE WILL BE CONTENT
TO BEGIN WITH DOUBTS,

HE SHALL END IN CERTAINTIES.

MAN THAT IS BORN OF A WOMAN
HATH BUT A SHORT TIME TO LIVE

AND IS FULL OF MISERY.

HE COMETH UP

AND IS CUT DOWN
LIKE A FLOWER.



HE FLEETH,
AS IT WERE, A SHADOW...

( bell pealing )

( organ playing )

( plays dissonant chord )

( rhythmic scratching )

( classical music playing )

Wimsey: DID YOU
MAKE THE BOOKING?

THEY'RE EXPECTING YOU,
MY LORD.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE
IN THE DISTINCTION?

MORRIE'S FISH PARLOR DOES NOT
TAKE BOOKINGS, MY LORD.

NO NEED TO LOOK
SO SNIFFY, BUNTER.

THE AMBIENCE IS
MORE THAN MADE UP FOR

BY THE EXCELLENCE
OF ITS RAI AU BEURRE.

LET US HOPE THE LADY
ALSO ESTEEMS THE SKATE



ABOVE THE SURROUNDINGS.

MUST WE HAVE THIS AGAIN,
BUNTER?

I SUPPOSED YOUR LORDSHIP

PARTICULARLY PARTIAL
TO THE PIECE.

( turns off music )

YES. BUT, UH,
THREE TIMES IN A ROW...

TRY THE SHERRY,
MY LORD.

DON'T HUMOR ME, BUNTER.

THIS BOW TIE IS A MESS.

YES. TOO PERFECT.
QUITE LIKE A MADE-UP AFFAIR.

AH.

BUNTER,
WHAT DOES "AH" MEAN?

I HAVE REMARKED
THAT ON THE RARE OCCASIONS

WHEN OUR SANGFROID DOES SLIP,

WE HAVE A RENDEZVOUS
WITH MISS VANE.

BUNTER, YOU HAVE
A WONDERFUL GIFT FOR IMPUDENCE.

THANK YOU, MY LORD.

BUNTER.

HOW'S THAT?

PERFECT. THAT IS TO SAY,
SLIGHTLY FLAWED.

THE SIGN OF A TRUE GENTLEMAN.

( grease sizzling )

( patrons chatting )

HOW ARE THE SKATE WINGS?
DELICIOUS.

DON'T THE CAPERS
ABSOLUTELY MAKE IT?

ABSOLUTELY.

HOW DO YOU SUPPOSE IT IS

THAT CAPERS, LIQUEFIED BUTTER,
AND SKATE WINGS

COME TOGETHER
IN SUCH MAGICAL COMBINATION?

TALKING OF
MAGICAL COMBINATIONS,

HOW ABOUT
COMPLETING THE EVENING

AND CONDESCENDING
TO BE MY WIFE?

THAT WOULD BE A CAPER
OF QUITE A DIFFERENT SORT.

"WE THAT ARE TRUE LOVERS
RUN INTO STRANGE CAPERS."

AS YOU LIKE IT,
ACT 2, SCENE 4.

WHAT IF ONE
DOESN'T LIKE IT?

AH, FIE.

I TAKE IT
THAT SINCE I'VE BEEN AWAY,

NOTHING HAS CHANGED

AND YOU HAVE NO NEW ANSWER
TO GIVE ME.

NO, PETER, I'M SORRY.

I'M AFRAID I CAN'T
SAY ANYTHING ELSE.

IT'S ALL RIGHT.
DON'T WORRY.

I SHALL TRY
NOT TO BE A NUISANCE.

BUT IF YOU COULD
SEE YOUR WAY

TO PUTTING UP WITH ME
OCCASIONALLY,

AS YOU'RE DOING TONIGHT,
I'D BE GRATEFUL.

I DON'T THINK THAT WOULD
BE VERY FAIR TO YOU.

IF THAT'S THE ONLY REASON,
I'M THE BEST JUDGE OF THAT.

I WILL, HOWEVER,
CONTINUE TO PROPOSE TO YOU

AT DECENTLY REGULATED
INTERVALS--

AS A BIRTHDAY TREAT,
ON GUY FAWKES NIGHT.

PETER, THIS IS FOOLISH.

AND OF COURSE,
ON THE FEAST OF ALL FOOLS.

BUT REGARD IT
AS A PURE FORMALITY.

IT WOULD BE BETTER THAT
YOU FORGOT THE WHOLE THING.

I THOUGHT YOU HAD.

I HAVE THE MOST
ILL-REGULATED MEMORY.

WHEN DO YOU GO TO OXFORD?

THE 14th, I THINK.

I'M NOT SURE
I SHALL GO, THOUGH.

MAY I?

"THE WARDEN AND FELLOWS
OF SHREWSBURY COLLEGE, OXFORD,

"REQUEST THE PLEASURE OF
THE COMPANY OF MISS HARRIET VANE

AT THE COLLEGE GAUDY."
HMM.

WHY DENY THEM THEIR PLEASURE?

BESIDES, WON'T IT BE FUN

TO SEE WHAT'S HAPPENED
TO YOUR OLD CHUMS?

I OFTEN FIND IT HILARIOUS.

NOT SO HILARIOUS
TO HAVE TO FACE

THEIR MORBID CURIOSITY
ABOUT MY RECENT PAST.

IT'S ALWAYS THERE,
ISN'T IT?

IT ISN'T EASY TO FORGET
BEING ON TRIAL FOR MURDER.

BEING FOUND INNOCENT

DOESN'T USUALLY MAKE ONE
PERSONA NON GRATA

IN A PLACE
SO CIVILIZED AS OXFORD.

NO, BUT IN A LESS
CIVILIZED WORLD,

I'M STILL THE SUBJECT
OF NEWSPAPER ARTICLES

AND VILE LETTERS THAT SLANDER
EVERY AREA OF MY LIFE.

PARTICULARLY THIS ONE.

I COULD HARDLY HAVE HOPED
THAT IT WOULD BE OTHERWISE.

BUT YOU SAID NOTHING,

SO I ALLOWED MYSELF
TO BE SELFISH.

YOU KNOW, YOU'D HAVE BEEN
PERFECTLY JUSTIFIED

IN TELLING ME I WAS MAKING LIFE
DIFFICULT BY HANGING AROUND.

WOULD I? DID YOU
EXPECT ME TO POINT OUT

THAT YOU'D SAVED ME
FROM THE GALLOWS

BUT LEFT ME
IN THE PILLORY?

I SHALL ADMIT DEFEAT, THEN,
AND SAY GOOD-BYE, SHALL I?

I'M NOT BEING VERY CONSISTENT,
I'M AFRAID, PETER.

I CAME HERE TONIGHT
WITH THE FIRM INTENTION

OF TELLING YOU TO CHUCK IT.

BUT I'M DAMNED
IF I'LL HAVE YOU WIPED OUT

BY ANONYMOUS LETTER WRITERS.

YOU HAVE GOT GUTS, HARRIET.

GIVE ME YOUR HAND,

AND WE'LL FIGHT THE LOT
UNTIL WE DROP.

COURAGE, MON BRAVE.

GO TO YOUR GAUDY.

FROM THE LATIN FOR "JOY"?

A RESPECTABLE DERIVATION.

SO, ONCE A YEAR
YOU JUMP FOR JOY.

AT AN OXFORD LADIES' COLLEGE?

( clock tower chiming )

THERE ARE TWO FINES
STILL UNPAID?

OH, THANK YOU, BURSAR.

YES, I THINK NOW I REALLY
MUST CONTACT THE PARENTS.

THERE'S ANOTHER MATTER
OUTSTANDING,

AND I REALLY DON'T THINK I CAN
OVERLOOK THIS MATTER ANY LONGER.

YES, OF COURSE.

BUT, PLEASE, SHOULD YOU RECEIVE
PAYMENT WITHIN A COUPLE OF DAYS,

I'D BE MOST OBLIGED
IF YOU'D LET ME KNOW.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.
GOOD-BYE.

THAT'LL BE ALL, THEN,
MISS MARTIN?

YES, THANK YOU, CARRIE.

OH, NO.
I WONDER, WOULD YOU MIND

TAKING THIS ACCOMMODATION LIST
FOR THE GAUDY

OVER TO PADGETT
IN THE LODGE?

OF COURSE, MA'AM.

OH!

OHH! OHH!

OHH!

AND THIS WAS WITH IT?

"THE BLOOD IS
ON YOUR HANDS, TOO.

GUILTY."

THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

I MEAN, TO WHAT COULD IT
POSSIBLY REFER?

OF WHAT ARE YOU
SUPPOSED TO BE GUILTY?

WELL, OF COURSE
IT'S RIDICULOUS.

AT LEAST, IT WOULD BE
IF IT WEREN'T SO REVOLTING.

IT CERTAINLY CANNOT
BE REGARDED AS A JOKE.

WHAT IS HAPPENING
TO THE COLLEGE?

THERE'S MISS HILLYARD,
MISS LYDGATE,

MISS CHILPERIC, AMY BURROWS--
THEY'VE ALL HAD THESE THINGS.

WELL, THIS SORT OF THING.
THE POLICE MUST BE CALLED.

I'M SORRY, BUT NO.

I HAVEN'T DEFENDED
THE GOOD NAME

OF WOMEN'S EDUCATION
FOR 20 YEARS

TO THROW AWAY THE REPUTATION
OF MY COLLEGE BY PANICKING NOW.

I'M NOT PANICKING, WARDEN.
I'M NOT.

WE MUST SET UP A COMMITTEE
TO DEAL WITH THIS

AMONGST OURSELVES.

AMONGST OURSELVES?
BUT HOW, DEAN?

WE ARE ALL OF US
UNDER SUSPICION.

WE?
WELL, OF COURSE.

WHO HAS ACCESS?

CERTAINLY ALL THE FELLOWS
OF THE COLLEGE HAVE,

NEVER MIND WHO ELSE.

THE GAUDY IS ON SATURDAY.

THE GAUDY? WHAT HAS THAT
TO DO WITH IT?

A MEMBER OF THE COLLEGE
WHO WAS UP SOME YEARS AGO,

I NOTICE IN YOUR GUEST LIST.

ACCUSTOMED TO DEALING
IN MYSTERIES, AS I UNDERSTAND.

MYSTERIES?

MYSTERIES?

OH, HARRIET VANE,
YOU MEAN?

YES, I REMEMBER HER WELL.

SHE'S AN INTERESTING GIRL
WITH A VERY GOOD MIND--

AND UPON WHOSE TACT
WE MIGHT DEPEND.

"AND METHINKS
SOMETIME OR OTHER

"A BENEFACTOR
SHOULD BE FOUND

"TO BUILD A MONASTICAL COLLEGE

"FOR OLD, DECAYED,
DEFORMED,

"OR DISCONTENTED MAIDS
TO LIVE TOGETHER IN

"THAT HAVE LOST
THEIR FIRST LOVE

OR OTHERWISE MISCARRIED."

HARRIET VANE?

YOU DON'T APPROVE?
CERTAINLY NOT.

APART FROM HER PRIVATE LIFE,

ABOUT WHICH I PREFER
TO SAY NOTHING,

WELL, SHE WRITES TRASHY NOVELS.

WELL, I MUST SAY I HAVEN'T
READ ENOUGH OF HER WORK

TO FORM A SOUND OPINION.

I'M GLAD, MISS BURROWS,
YOU FEEL MORALLY SECURE ENOUGH

TO MAKE AN IMPLIED JUDGMENT.

I DON'T CARE
IF THE VANE WOMAN WAS LIVING

WITH THE SULTAN OF BAGHDAD,
IF THAT'S WHAT YOU MEAN.

THE NAME OF THE COLLEGE IS
SOMETHING THAT CONCERNS ME.

WHAT CONCERNS ME
IS HER QUALIFICATIONS

FOR THE JOB, IF ANY.

WHICH OF HER BOOKS
HAVE YOU READ, MISS BURROWS?

I DON'T READ TRASH.

A VERY SCHOLARLY APPROACH,
I MUST SAY.

YOU CONDEMN HER BOOKS
WITHOUT HAVING READ THEM,

AND HER MORALS WITHOUT KNOWING
ANYTHING ABOUT HER.

BY HER OWN ADMISSION,

SHE BEHAVED IN A THOROUGHLY
DISREPUTABLE FASHION.

LADIES, LADIES!

MISS VANE HAS ALREADY
BEEN TRIED IN PUBLIC

FOR A CRIME
SHE DIDN'T COMMIT.

WE'RE SURELY NOT GOING
TO CONDUCT

ANOTHER TRIAL IN PRIVATE,
ARE WE?

ALL RIGHT. I JUST PUT
MY PROTEST ON RECORD.

AND IT IS NOTED,
MISS BURROWS.

THANK YOU, WARDEN.

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND

WHY WE ARE SO NERVOUS
OF THIS LETTER WRITER.

WELL, YOU KNOW
IT'S NOT JUST LETTERS.

IT'S ALL THOSE OTHER THINGS.

THEY'RE OBSCENE.
THEY ARE DISGUSTING.

I DO AGREE. I MYSELF
FEEL UTTERLY SOILED.

YES, WELL, THANK YOU,
MISS CHILPERIC.

MY CONCERN IS THIS,
MISS HILLYARD.

SUPPOSE THE LONG-TERM AIM
OF THIS LETTER WRITER

WERE TO BRING THE COLLEGE
INTO DISREPUTE.

NOW, I NEED HARDLY REMIND YOU

THAT WE WERE AMONGST
THE FIRST GENERATIONS OF WOMEN

TO RECEIVE
A UNIVERSITY EDUCATION,

AND THAT THERE IS STILL
ENMITY TOWARDS OUR ASPIRATIONS.

YOU ALL KNOW THE SORT OF THING
THAT IS LEVELED AT US--

"SUPPRESSED IMPULSES,

SOURED VIRGINITY,
UNWHOLESOME ATMOSPHERE."

I WON'T ELABORATE.

NOW, AS YOU KNOW,

SHREWSBURY COLLEGE WILL BE
VERY MUCH IN THE PUBLIC EYE

DURING THE COMING TERM.

AND IT IS PERFECTLY POSSIBLE
THAT WE COULD BE HEADING

FOR A PROFOUNDLY
INJURIOUS SCANDAL.

THAT, MISS HILLYARD,
IS WHY I AM NERVOUS.

WELL, THEN SURELY WE SHOULD
CALL IN THE POLICE.

IT COULD BE SOMEONE
WITHIN THIS COLLEGE.

YES. I FEAR
WE HAVE TO ASSUME

A DEGREE
OF INSIDE KNOWLEDGE.

ONE OF US?

WHAT AN APPALLING THOUGHT.

IT COULD, PERHAPS,
BE ONE OF THE STAFF.

ONE OF THE SCOUTS, MAYBE.

THE LONG VACATION'S
ALREADY STARTED.

AT LEAST THE UNDERGRADUATES
ARE RULED OUT.

EXCEPT SOME OF THE THIRD-YEARS
WORKING IN THE LIBRARY.

OH, DEAR,
IT'S ALL SO UPSETTING.

WHO COULD DO THESE THINGS,
SAY THESE THINGS?

SURELY THEY MUST
BE MENTALLY SICK.

THAT'S AS MAY BE,

BUT SOMETHING HAS
GOT TO BE DONE.

THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE WHOLE
COLLEGE IS BEING POISONED.

NOW, I AM RELUCTANT
TO CALL IN THE POLICE

FOR THE REASONS
I HAVE GIVEN.

NOW, DOES ANYONE ELSE WANT
TO MAKE ANY MORE POINTS?

MISS DEVINE?

NOW, DO I HAVE APPROVAL
IN PRINCIPLE, THEN,

TO APPROACH MISS VANE?

( murmuring assent )

"FROM WOMEN'S EYES,
THIS DOCTRINE I DERIVE.

"THEY SPARKLE STILL
THE RIGHT PROMETHEAN FIRE.

"THEY ARE THE BOOKS,
THE ARTS, THE ACADEMES

THAT SHOW, CONTAIN,
AND NOURISH ALL THE WORLD."

( excited chatter )

NOW, MISS ARMSTRONG,

YOU ARE IN NEW QUAD.
WHAT A SHAME.

I DID SO HOPE IT WOULD
BE MY OLD ROOMS.

SOME OF THE UNDERGRADUATES
ARE STILL IN RESIDENCE.

DOING RESEARCH
IN THE VACS, YOU SEE.

WELL, CAN'T YOU
CHUCK 'EM OUT?

NEW QUAD ROOMS
ARE MUCH NICER.

I KNOW WHEN
I'M BEING SMARMED.

BETTY!
BETTY ARMSTRONG!

DOROTHY!

LET ME SEE YOU.

YOU LOOK IN FINE FETTLE.

OH, TA.
I MISSED YOU LAST TIME.

POOR MACHIAVEL
WAS DESPERATELY ILL.

MACH--
OH, ONE OF YOUR DOGS.
MY CHAMPION CORGI.

THOUGHT WE'D LOST HIM.
COULDN'T LEAVE HIM.

AND YOU?
HOW'S THE BOOK SHOP?

OH, SAME AS EVER.
GOING TO THE DOGS.

HA!

HELLO, PADGETT.

MISS VANE!

I HAD A BET WITH MYSELF
YOU WOULDN'T REMEMBER.

WELL, YOU'VE LOST, MISS, THEN,
HAVEN'T YOU?

I HAVE, PADGETT,
I HAVE.

AND THIS IS YOUR FIRST GAUDY
SINCE YOU WENT DOWN.

YOU'RE RIGHT.
I KNOW I AM.

AND I'VE READ
YOUR BOOKS, TOO.

OLD QUAD, MISS VANE.
HAVEN'T YOU GOT ANY LUGGAGE?

IT'S IN THE CAR.
I'LL GIVE YOU A HAND.

THERE'S NO NEED.

VERY GOOD, MISS.

OH, I NEARLY FORGOT!

MISS VANE! THE WARDEN
HAS ASKED TO SEE YOU

AS SOON AS YOU'D ARRIVED.

THE WARDEN?

YES. DR. BARING, MISS.

WELL, SHE CAN'T GATE YOU NOW,
MISS, CAN SHE?

I LIKED YOUR LATEST BOOK
EXTREMELY.

I THINK IT OVERTAKES
SANDS OF CRIME

AS MY PERSONAL FAVORITE.

YOU'RE VERY KIND,
WARDEN.

SUGAR?
NO, THANK YOU.

AS A MATTER OF FACT,
I RATHER LIKE IT MYSELF,

TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH.

HAD YOU, UM, HAD YOU EVER
THOUGHT TO BE AN ACADEMIC?

YOU WENT DOWN WITH A FIRST,
AS I RECALL.

IT HAS ALWAYS HAD
ITS ATTRACTIONS,

I MUST CONFESS,
BUT I THINK I LACK

THE NECESSARY
INTELLECTUAL RIGOR.

( laughs )
DEAN?

OH, THANK YOU.

I THINK YOU FLATTER US,
MISS VANE.

I SOMETIMES WONDER
IF IT IS NOT MORE THE WISH

TO ESCAPE FROM THE REAL WORLD

THAN THE IMPERATIVE
OF INTELLECTUAL INQUIRY

WHICH GUIDES OUR STEPS.

DON'T YOU SOMETIMES
FEEL THAT, DEAN?

OH, WELL, THE CLOISTER
CERTAINLY HAS ITS CHARM

IN AN UNQUIET AGE.

ABSOLUTELY.

YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TO ONE
OF OUR GAUDIES, I THINK,

SINCE YOU WENT DOWN.

NO.

IS IT YOUR ABSENCE

OR YOUR PRESENCE
WHICH IS THE MORE SIGNIFICANT?

WELL, TO USE
YOUR OWN WORDS, WARDEN,

THE REAL WORLD IS
A VERY DEMANDING PLACE.

FOR A WOMAN TO MAKE
HER WAY IN IT AS A WRITER,

SHE HAS TO DWELL AMONGST IT.

VERY DIPLOMATICALLY SAID,

BUT THAT COVERS
ONLY YOUR ABSENCE.

WELL, LET'S JUST SAY

THAT "THE WORLD
IS TOO MUCH WITH US..."

"GETTING AND SPENDING,
WE LAY WASTE OUR POWERS.

"LITTLE WE SEE IN NATURE
THAT IS OURS.

WE HAVE GIVEN OUR HEARTS AWAY,
A SORDID BOON..."

"FOR THIS, FOR EVERYTHING,
WE ARE OUT OF TUNE."

DOES THAT ANSWER
YOUR QUESTION?

RATHER UNDERRATED
THESE DAYS--WORDSWORTH.

NATURALLY, WE, UM,
WE FOLLOW THE DOINGS

OF OUR OWN GRADUATES
WITH PROPRIETORIAL INTEREST.

THE SENIOR COMMON ROOM

ARE PARTICULARLY KEEN
ADMIRERS OF YOUR BOOKS.

WOULD IT--
WOULD IT BE AN IMPERTINENCE

TO INQUIRE
IF YOU USE REAL LIFE

AS INSPIRATION
FOR YOUR MYSTERIES?

NOT IN TERMS OF PLOTS, NO.

BUT IN TERMS
OF CHARACTER, YES.

I TRY TO DEDUCE BEHAVIOR
FROM MY OBSERVATIONS.

YES, I THINK THAT'S
WHAT MAKES THEM SO REAL.

I DON'T ASK
IN IDLE CURIOSITY, MISS VANE.

THE FACT IS THAT WE,
THE COLLEGE,

HAS A PARTICULAR PROBLEM.

AND YOU, WITH YOUR PARTICULAR
INSIGHTS AND SKILLS,

COULD VERY WELL HELP US.

IF YOU WOULD.

WHAT--WHAT IS THIS PROBLEM?

WELL, WE HAVE A PRANKSTER

OF A DISGUSTING
TURN OF MIND

WHO ALSO WRITES
ANONYMOUS NOTES

OF A PRURIENT NATURE.

IN SHORT, A POISON PEN.

IS THAT ANYTHING YOU SHOULD
TAKE TERRIBLY SERIOUSLY?

WOULDN'T IT BE BETTER
TO IGNORE IT?

ONE CAN'T, I'M AFRAID.

THESE ARE NOT JUST JOKES
IN BAD TASTE.

THE THINGS THAT ARE
WRITTEN AND DRAWN

ARE SOMETIMES WICKED
AND OBSCENE,

AND THEY ARE CREATING
THE MOST TERRIBLE ATMOSPHERE.

I DO NOT WISH
TO CALL IN THE POLICE.

NO, I QUITE
UNDERSTAND THAT.

BUT, WARDEN, I DON'T SEE
HOW I CAN HELP, YOU KNOW.

THERE MUST BE PLENTY
OF WOMEN IN THIS COLLEGE

BETTER EQUIPPED THAN I--
WHO KNOW THE PEOPLE.

ASSUREDLY. BUT WHOM
AMONGST THEM SHALL I ASK?

NO SENIOR MEMBER
OF THE COMMON ROOM

IS FREE FROM SUSPICION.

BUT SURELY THE DEAN HERE--

NO, NOT EVEN MISS MARTIN.

YOU SEE,
WE HAVE DISCUSSED THIS.

THESE THINGS HAVE HAPPENED
AT A TIME

WHEN NO ONE
CAN CLEARLY ESTABLISH

A CORROBORATED ALIBI.

WELL, THEN I THINK YOU SHOULD
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP.

( floor creaks )

WHO'S THERE?

( creaks )

IT PROVES NOTHING.

NO, YOU'RE QUITE RIGHT.
IT PROVES NOTHING.

ONLY THAT THERE IS
A LOOSE FLOORBOARD

AND SOMEONE TROD ON IT.

BUT THE PLACE IS
INCREASINGLY ON EDGE.

THERE IS A RISING NOTE
OF EMOTIONAL STRAIN,

AND I AM VERY CONCERNED
WHERE IT MIGHT LEAD.

WILL YOU HELP?

( piano music playing )

( turns music off )

( knock on door )
COME IN.

THE DEAN'S COMPLIMENTS, MISS,

AND WILL YOU JOIN HER FOR SHERRY
IN THE SENIOR COMMON ROOM

AT A QUARTER TO 7:00?

I SHALL BE DELIGHTED.

YOU'RE ANNIE WILSON,
AREN'T YOU?

YOU WERE
ON THE KITCHEN STAFF.

I WAS, MISS, YES,

BUT NOW I WAIT AT HALL
AND SENIOR COMMON ROOM.

IT'S NICE TO SEE YOU.
HOW ARE YOUR CHILDREN?

THEY'RE VERY WELL,
THANK YOU.

I'D HAVE THOUGHT
YOU'D HAVE FORGOTTEN ME.

OH, NO. YOU USED TO LEAVE
THE BUTTERY DOOR UNLOCKED.

YOUNG LADIES DO TEND TO HAVE
GOOD APPETITES, DON'T THEY?

THEY DO, YES.

I'LL TELL THE DEAN, THEN.

YES, THEN, DO. THANK YOU.
FIFTEEN MINUTES.

( women chatting )

CONSTANCE FIRBRIGHT--

WASN'T SHE UP
IN '24 OR '25?

SHE'S NOT COMING, IS SHE?

WELL, SHE'S NOT
ON MY LIST.

I WONDERED,
HAD YOU READ HER CARLYLE?

CARLYLE
AND THE PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC.

POPULARIST SCHOLARSHIP.

LITTLE RESEARCH AND PRECIOUS
LITTLE CRITICAL JUDGMENT.

SLIPSHOD, SHOWY,
AND CATCHPENNY.

I AM REALLY
ASHAMED OF HER.

SHE WAS
ONE OF YOURS, WAS SHE?

YES, ALAS.

BUT I DO BELIEVE, POOR DEAR,
SHE'S VERY HARD UP.

( chatting stops )

OH, EXCUSE ME.

MY DEAR, DO COME
AND MEET PEOPLE.

NOW LET ME SEE.

I NEED HARDLY INTRODUCE YOU
TO YOUR OLD TUTOR.

THOUGH "FORMER" TUTOR WOULD
PERHAPS BE MORE FELICITOUS.

OH, NO. "OLD," WARDEN.
DEFINITELY "OLD."

MISS VANE, HOW VERY NICE
TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

AND YOU, MISS LYDGATE.

YOU REMEMBER THE DEAN,
OF COURSE.
YES, WE MET EARLIER.

AND MISS DEVINE,
I DON'T THINK YOU DO KNOW.

HOW DO YOU DO,
MISS DEVINE?

MAY I SAY YOUR BOOKS HAVE
GIVEN ME HOURS OF PLEASURE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

SHERRY, MA'AM?

MISS DEVINE IS THE NEW
BARRACLOUGH FELLOW.

YES, I REMEMBER READING
THE ANNOUNCEMENT.

WASN'T THE ELECTION
LAST CHRISTMAS?

AH, THEN YOU DO
FOLLOW OUR AFFAIRS

FROM THE VANTAGE
OF THE REAL WORLD.

SHREWSBURY YEAR BOOK
IS READ EVEN THERE.

WHAT IS YOUR
RESEARCH SUBJECT?

NATIONAL FINANCE
UNDER THE TUDORS.

WE ARE VERY HONORED
TO HAVE HER.

WE STOLE HER AWAY
FROM FLAMBOROUGH.

YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO
TRY VERY HARD.

I WAS THE PROVOST THERE
FOR THREE YEARS.

THE PROSPECT OF A CHANGE
WAS TOO INTOXICATING TO MISS.

Dr. Baring: MISS HILLYARD,
MISS BURROWS.

HOW DO YOU DO?
HOW DO YOU DO?

WELCOME BACK TO SHREWSBURY.
THANK YOU, MISS HILLYARD.

FROM WHAT I READ
IN THE NEWSPAPERS,

YOU HAVE ENCOUNTERED FAME
AND FORTUNE SINCE LEAVING US.

THE LATTER BEING PREFERABLE
TO THE FORMER.

UNFORTUNATELY, THE TWO
OFTEN GO TOGETHER, I OBSERVE.

AND DID I NOT ALSO READ

THAT YOU WERE INVOLVED
IN A REAL MURDER CASE?

THE WILVERCOMBE MURDER, YES.
A SAD BUSINESS.

A WIDOW'S CHANCE OF HAPPINESS
DESTROYED BY HER OWN SON

FOR THE SAKE OF HER MONEY.

DID IT GIVE YOU SATISFACTION
THAT YOU WERE INSTRUMENTAL

IN SENDING A MAN
TO THE GALLOWS?

MISS BARTON.
HOW DO YOU DO?

Miss Martin: I THINK THAT'S
A LITTLE UNFAIR, MISS BARTON.

I FOUND THE BODY.
I DIDN'T SOLVE THE CASE.

SOMEBODY ELSE DID THAT.
I SEE.

FORGIVE ME
FOR SAYING THIS, MISS VANE,

BUT AFTER YOUR OWN
TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE,

IT INTERESTS ME
THAT YOU CARE TO WRITE

THE KIND OF BOOKS
YOU DO AT ALL.

MAYBE YOU'RE THINKING
THAT ANYONE

WITH PROPER
SENSITIVE FEELING

WOULD RATHER SCRUB FLOORS
FOR A LIVING.

WELL, I SHOULD SCRUB FLOORS
VERY BADLY,

AND I WRITE DETECTIVE STORIES
RATHER WELL.

SO I DON'T SEE
THAT PROPER FEELING

STOPS ME DOING
MY PROPER JOB.

QUITE RIGHT.

WELL, EVERYONE,
I THINK DINNER AWAITS.

( lively chatter )

GOSH, I'D FORGOTTEN
WHAT THIS ROW WAS LIKE.

I SHALL BE HOARSE
AS A CROW TOMORROW.

ANYWAY,
APOLOGIES FOR BELLOWING.

NOT AT ALL.

WHY DID GOD GIVE WOMEN
SUCH SHRILL VOICES?

REMINDS ME OF A HORDE
OF STARLINGS.

MMM. THE FOOD'S RATHER GOOD,
THOUGH, DON'T YOU THINK?

NOT HALF. ALWAYS MAKE
A SPECIAL EFFORT FOR THE GAUDY.

MY DEAR, SHE'S GONE
ABSOLUTELY POTTY

ON SOME NEW RELIGION.

EVEN WROTE A BOOK--
THE HIGHER WISDOM.

FULL OF BEAUTIFUL THOUGHTS.
FULL OF BAD SYNTAX.

SOUNDS DIRE.

I CAN'T THINK
WHY FANCY RELIGIONS

SHOULD HAVE SUCH A DEBILITATING
EFFECT ON ONE'S GRAMMAR.

IT'S A KIND
OF INTELLECTUAL ROT

THAT SETS IN, I IMAGINE.

WHAT WITH TRUMMER'S
MENTAL HEALING,

HENDERSON GOING NUDIST--

GHASTLY THOUGHT!

FACT. THERE SHE IS
AT THE NEXT TABLE.

THAT'S WHY SHE'S SO BROWN.

AND HER FROCK!
SO BADLY CUT.

IF YOU CAN'T BE NAKED,

BE AS ILL-DRESSED
AS POSSIBLE, I SUPPOSE.

I SOMETIMES WONDER
WHETHER A LITTLE NORMAL,

HEARTY WICKEDNESS WOULDN'T BE
GOOD FOR A GREAT MANY OF US.

TRUE.

I'M AFRAID I'VE BEEN
VERY, VERY TACTLESS.

MY MOTHER ALWAYS SAID TO ME,

"SADIE, YOU'RE THE MOST
TACTLESS GIRL

I'VE EVER HAD
THE BAD LUCK TO MEET."

BUT I'M ENTHUSIASTIC.
I GET CARRIED AWAY.

I DON'T STOP AND THINK.

I DON'T CONSIDER
MY OWN FEELINGS.

I DON'T CONSIDER
OTHER PEOPLE'S FEELINGS.

I JUST WADE IN AND--
OH, I'M SO SORRY.

RUMOR HAS IT
THAT MISS VANE

HAS AGREED TO INVESTIGATE
OUR POISON PEN.

WHAT DO YOU THINK
ABOUT THAT?

FIRST THING
I'VE HEARD ABOUT IT.

COME ON, HARRIET,
YOU'VE GOT TO TELL US.

TELL YOU WHAT?

YOU KNOW.

NO, I DON'T.

IT'S JUST VULGAR CURIOSITY.
PAY NO HEED.

SHUT UP. WHAT'S HE LIKE,
FOR GOODNESS SAKE?

WHO?

LORD PETER WIMSEY.

WELL, HE'S...

I DON'T KNOW.

INTELLIGENT, NATURALLY.

WHY "NATURALLY"?

HE DID GET A FIRST-CLASS
HONORS FROM BAILLIOL,

SO HE CAN'T BE
ENTIRELY STUPID, CAN HE?

HE'S NOT MUCH
TO LOOK AT, I SUPPOSE.

HE GOT A DSO DURING THE WAR.

HE'S MUSICALLY KNOWLEDGEABLE,
REASONABLY KINDLY.

OTHERWISE,
HE'S ENTIRELY INTOLERABLE.

HOW'S DOG-BREEDING?
BOOMING!

IT'S ALL A QUESTION
OF GENETIC SELECTION, MY DEAR.

( gavel banging )

FELLOWS,
MEMBERS OF THE COLLEGE,

AS NO MERE ANNUAL RITUAL,

BUT IN GENUINE GRATITUDE
AND RESPECT,

I GIVE YOU THE FOUNDER.

All: THE FOUNDER!

THE LOYAL TOAST.

All: THE KING!

WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT?

THE SCOUTS.

WHAT THEY MUST THINK
OF US ALL, GOD ONLY KNOWS.

ON BEHALF OF ALL THE FELLOWS
AND MYSELF,

I BID YOU WELCOME.

I SOMETIMES FEEL, AS MUST
THE PARSON IN HIS PULPIT,

APPROACHING DISMAY
AT THE ANNUAL OBLIGATION

TO PRODUCE WORDS
OF COMFORT AND JOY.

LET ME TODAY
SPEAK OF OXFORD,

WHICH HAS BEEN CALLED
THE HOME OF LOST CAUSES.

IF THE LOVE OF LEARNING
FOR ITS OWN SAKE

IS A LOST CAUSE
EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD,

LET US SEE TO IT
THAT HERE, AT LEAST,

IT FINDS ITS ABIDING HOME.

All: HEAR, HEAR!

( applause )

THE LAST TO LEAVE.
DISGRACEFUL.

A BIT LIKE THROWING-OUT TIME
AT THE PUB.

I MUST SAY, I RATHER
ENJOYED OUR CONVERSATION.

( women laughing in distance )

IT MUST ALMOST
BE TERM TIME.

YES, AND IF YOU WERE
TO LISTEN AT THOSE WINDOWS,

YOU'D FIND IT'S THE MIDDLE-AGED
WHO ARE MAKING ALL THE NOISE.

THE OLD ONES
HAVE GONE TO BED.

THE WOMEN OF 40 ARE PRETENDING
TO BE UNDERGRADUATES AGAIN

AND FINDING IT
RATHER AN EFFORT.

( laughs )

MISS VANE, I ADMIRED YOU

FOR SPEAKING AS YOU DID
EARLIER THIS EVENING.

DETACHMENT IS A RARE VIRTUE,

AND VERY FEW PEOPLE
FIND IT LOVABLE.

IF YOU EVER FIND A PERSON
WHO LIKES YOU IN SPITE OF IT,

OR, STILL MORE,
BECAUSE OF IT,

THAT LIKING
HAS VERY GREAT VALUE

BECAUSE IT IS
PARTICULARLY SINCERE,

AND BECAUSE WITH THAT PERSON

YOU NEED NEVER BE ANYTHING
BUT SINCERE YOURSELF.

THAT'S PROBABLY VERY TRUE,
BUT WHAT MAKES YOU SAY IT?

IT'S ONLY THAT I IMAGINE
YOU'VE COME ACROSS

A NUMBER OF PEOPLE
WHO ARE DISCONCERTED

BY THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN WHAT YOU DO FEEL

AND WHAT THEY FANCY
YOU OUGHT TO FEEL.

IT IS FATAL TO PAY
THE SLIGHTEST ATTENTION TO THEM.

YES, BUT I AM
ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.

I DISCONCERT MYSELF
VERY MUCH.

I NEVER KNOW
WHAT I DO FEEL.

I DON'T THINK THAT MATTERS,

PROVIDED ONE DOESN'T TRY
TO PERSUADE ONESELF

INTO "APPROPRIATE" FEELINGS.

YES, BUT YOU HAVE TO MAKE
SOME SORT OF A CHOICE.

AND BETWEEN ONE DESIRE
AND ANOTHER,

HOW IS ONE TO KNOW
WHAT THINGS REALLY ARE

OF OVERMASTERING IMPORTANCE?

WE CAN ONLY KNOW
WHEN THEY HAVE OVERMASTERED US.

GOOD NIGHT.

GOOD NIGHT.

Miss Devine's voice:
DETACHMENT IS A RARE VIRTUE,

AND VERY FEW PEOPLE
FIND IT LOVABLE.

Harriet's voice:
I DISCONCERT MYSELF VERY MUCH.

I NEVER KNOW WHAT I DO FEEL.

( clock tower chiming )

( playing upbeat music )

DAMN!

NONSENSE.
YOU'RE DOING BEAUTIFULLY.

LIGHT AS A FEATHER.

QUITE IN THE STYLE OF FRED
AND ADELE, I THINK.

YOUR FRED, MAYBE.
MY ADELE, NO.

( music ends )

( drumroll and rim shot )

HAVE A CAKE.
NO, THANK YOU.

I'D LOVE SOME MORE TEA,
THOUGH.

NEEDS MORE WATER.

YOU KNOW WHY
I AM SO HAPPY?

ARE YOU?

YES.

GOOD.

YOU KNOW WHY?
NO.

DO YOU REALIZE, HARRIET...

I MAY IF YOU CONTINUE.

THANK YOU.

WELL...

IS IT SO DIFFICULT?

YES.

YOU CAN'T JUST START
TO SAY--

DO YOU REALIZE--
YOU'VE SAID THAT.

TODAY YOU HAD THE IMPULSE
TO TELEPHONE ME,

WHICH CAN ONLY MEAN THAT YOU
FELT RELAXED AND CAREFREE

AND READY
FOR THE WIT AND EPIGRAM

THAT ONLY I CAN PROVIDE.

TELL ME I'M RIGHT.

I'VE PRESUMED TOO MUCH,
HAVEN'T I?

ONLY HALF PRESUMED.

( sighs )

IT WOULD BE NICE IF YOU COULD
DISSEMBLE OCCASIONALLY.

YOU'RE MAKING ME
FEEL AWFUL NOW.

AT LEAST I'VE STIRRED YOU
TO SOME EMOTION.

THAT'S NOT FAIR. I'M PAYING YOU
THE COMPLIMENT OF HAVING--

YES, YES, YES, YES.

MY BEASTLY SPASM
IS OVER. HONESTLY.

( band playing a tango )

TELL ME,
WHAT'S THE MATTER?

I'M NOT SURE I SHOULD.

TELL ME OR TANGO.

YOU KNOW I CAN'T TANGO.

THEN YOU'VE NO CHOICE,
HAVE YOU?

THIS IS IN
THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE.

OF COURSE.

THE GAUDY--I DIDN'T
TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENED.

THERE HAVE BEEN
SOME NASTY GOINGS-ON.

HAVE THERE?

ANONYMOUS LETTERS,
OBSCENE DRAWINGS--

THAT KIND OF NONSENSE.

DIRECTED AGAINST YOU?

ONLY PARTLY. IT'S BEEN
GOING ON FOR SOME MONTHS.

AND THEN THIS MORNING
WHEN I WOKE UP,

I FOUND THIS ON MY BED.

GOD, WHAT MUCK.

THE WARDEN THINKS THAT
BECAUSE I WRITE MYSTERY NOVELS,

I CAN SOMEHOW
PINPOINT THE CULPRIT.

BUT I FEEL
DREADFULLY ILL-EQUIPPED.

AFTER ALL,
I'M NO CRIMINOLOGIST.

SO, YOU MAY IN TIME HAVE TO
COME TO YOUR WISE OLD UNCLE.

YES, WITH GREAT RELUCTANCE
I MAY.

HAPPENINGS LIKE THIS
AT A LADIES' COLLEGE.

IT'S HARDLY SURPRISING,
IS IT?

LADIES' COLLEGE?
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

ACADEMIC LADIES
CLOISTERED TOGETHER,

CELIBATE, SOME
SEXUALLY AMBIVALENT--

BOUND TO THROW UP
THE ODD HYSTERIC.

I DON'T BELIEVE
WHAT I'M HEARING.

HARRIET.

NO. THIS MALE--
THIS MIGHTY MALE ATTITUDE.

I KNEW I SHOULDN'T
HAVE TOLD YOU.

I EXPRESS NO MALE BIAS.
YOU KNOW ME BETTER THAN THAT.

I'D SAY THE SAME
ABOUT PUBLIC SCHOOLS,

MONASTERIES,
ANY CLOSED SOCIETY.

I'M SORRY. MAYBE I'M
OVERSENSITIVE ON THE SUBJECT.

OF COURSE, IF IT
COMES TO IT, I'LL HELP,

THOUGH I DO
HAVE TO GO AWAY.

AWAY?

DAY AFTER TOMORROW.
PARIS, ROME.

IT'S, UH,
IT'S RATHER IMPORTANT.

IS THIS THE FOREIGN OFFICE?

OF COURSE, IF YOU NEED ME,

YOU CAN ALWAYS GET ME
THROUGH THE EMBASSIES.

NOW TEACH ME TO TANGO.

( bells chiming )

( clock tower chiming )

( crash )

WHO'S THAT?

WHO'S THERE?

I DO HOPE I DON'T
DISTURB YOU, MISS VANE,

BUT THINGS HAVE TAKEN A TURN
FOR THE WORSE HERE, I'M AFRAID.

COULD YOU?

I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW GRATEFUL
WE WOULD ALL BE.

MIDDAY, THEN.

GOOD-BYE.

SHE'S MOTORING DOWN.

OH, I DO HOPE
WE ARE WISE.

IT'S EITHER HARRIET VANE
OR THE POLICE.

IF THIS GETS OUT, THE PLACE
WILL BE THICK WITH REPORTERS.

DO WE REALLY WANT THAT?

EXCUSE ME, MY LORD.
WILL YOU BE REQUIRING

THE CORRESPONDENT SHOES
IN PARIS?

MY LORD?

( clears throat )

YOU HAVE A COUGH, BUNTER.
I DON'T THINK SO,
MY LORD.

I DISTINCTLY HEARD IT.

CAB DRIVER'S LINCTUS--
JUST THE THING FOR IT.

I SHALL BEAR IT IN MIND
SHOULD I EVER GET ONE.

SEE IT OFF IN NO TIME.

THE SHOES, MY LORD--
WILL YOU BE REQUIRING THEM?

BUNTER, I KNOW THAT WHEN
SORTING OUT IMBROGLIOS ABROAD

FOR THE FOREIGN OFFICE,
I AM REQUIRED

TO ADOPT THE ROLE
OF PROFESSIONAL FUNNY MAN.

BUT HIGH COMEDY
IS THE REQUIRED STYLE.

FUNNY FOOTWEAR IN THIS CONTEXT
WOULD BE APPROPRIATE

ONLY FOR THE END
OF THE PIER.

MIGHT WE NOT BE WEEKENDING
WITH THE FIRST SECRETARY

IN MENTON, MY LORD?

DOES MENTON HAVE A PIER?

BE THAT AS IT MAY,

I THINK, GIVEN THE GRIM NATURE
OF THIS PARTICULAR ASSIGNMENT,

IT IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT
WE'LL BE WEEKENDING AT ALL.

HOWEVER, LET'S BE OPTIMISTIC

AND RESERVE THEM
FOR THE OXFORD HIGH.

SO WE ARE GOING TO OXFORD
AS WELL, MY LORD?

THE THOUGHT OCCURS.

GIVEN A FAIR WIND
AND A FOLLOWING SEA.

VERY GOOD, MY LORD.

I SHALL REMEMBER TO PACK
THE SEASICK PILLS.

BUNTER.

THAT IS BORDERING.
BORDERING.

Wimsey's voice:
ACADEMIC LADIES,

CLOISTERED TOGETHER,

CELIBATE,
SOME SEXUALLY AMBIVALENT--

BOUND TO THROW UP
THE ODD HYSTERIC.

IT'S ENORMOUSLY DISTURBING.

WELL, AT FIRST ONE MIGHT
HAVE DISMISSED SUCH THINGS

AS TOO TRIVIAL TO BE
MUCH CONCERNED ABOUT,

BUT THEY'VE BECOME
MORE AUDACIOUS EVERY TIME.

LAST NIGHT SOMEONE
COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED.

AND YOU STILL HAVEN'T
CALLED IN THE POLICE?

NO. PADGETT EXTINGUISHED
THE FLAMES,

BUT, OF COURSE, THE WHOLE
COLLEGE KNOWS ABOUT IT.

I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER
WE CAN CONTAIN THE MATTER.

OR SHOULD, IF MATTERS
CONTINUE TO GET ANY WORSE.

IF WE DON'T TAKE ACTION
NOW OURSELVES,

SOON IT'LL BE
OUT OF OUR CONTROL.

YOU ARE ASKING
A LOT OF ME, WARDEN.

I WRITE DETECTIVE STORIES.

THAT DOESN'T MAKE ME
A CRIMINOLOGIST.

BUT YOU WERE
AT THIS COLLEGE.

YOU KNOW SOME OF THE TUTORS
AND SOME OF THE DOMESTIC STAFF.

YOU'RE INTELLIGENT
AND OBSERVANT

AND, WELL,
YOU ARE A WOMAN.

YOU THINK IT'S A WOMAN?

WELL, THE CIRCUMSTANCES SEEM
RATHER TO EXCLUDE MEN

FROM THE INQUIRY.

MEN RUNNING ABOUT THE COLLEGE
AT NIGHT--IS IT LIKELY?

I CAN'T AGREE WITH YOU.
JUST LOOK AT THAT BOOK.

IT IS SACRILEGIOUS
TO DO THAT.

YES, I SEE YOUR POINT, DEAN.

IT IS A DISTINGUISHED POLEMIC
AGAINST THE ACCEPTED VIEW

OF WOMEN IN
A MALE-DOMINATED SOCIETY.

AND ALL THE OTHER THINGS
THAT HAVE HAPPENED--

THEY ALL POINT
TO MASCULINE SPITE

AGAINST THE EDUCATED WOMAN.

YES, BUT EVEN SO,
THE DIFFICULTY REMAINS.

A MAN HERE--CONSPICUOUS.

HE COULD ALWAYS
DISGUISE HIMSELF AS A WOMAN.

YES, AND HE COULD EASILY
HIDE IN THE GROUNDS

BEFORE THE MAIN GATE
WAS LOCKED AT NIGHT

AND GET AWAY
IN THE MORNING.

IT HAS TO BE
A POSSIBILITY.

BUT IT DOESN'T QUITE
HAVE THE MALE TOUCH.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN
BY THAT?

WELL, THERE IS A QUALITY

OF WHAT ONE MIGHT CONSIDER
FEMININE INSIGHT

TO THESE HAPPENINGS.

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES
IS MORE DEADLY THAN THE MALE?

KIPLING HAD IT NICELY--

"SPEECH THAT DRIPS,
CORRODES, AND POISONS..."

EVEN THOUGH HE WAS
REFERRING TO A FEMALE COBRA.

OR DO WE DISPARAGE
OUR OWN SEX, DEAN?

IT'S FAIR POETIC COMMENT,
I SUPPOSE.

BUT WHAT WOMAN WOULD WANT
TO DESTROY A BOOK LIKE THAT?

UNHAPPILY,
ALL WE HAVE IS QUESTIONS.

IT OCCURS TO ME

THAT IF I WERE TO BE OF ANY USE
TO YOU AS AN INVESTIGATOR,

I SHOULD NEED
SOME PLAUSIBLE EXCUSE

FOR SPENDING TIME HERE.

YES, OF COURSE.

OH, WHAT ABOUT MISS LYDGATE
AND HER BOOK?

A VERY PLAUSIBLE EXCUSE.

SHE'S ALWAYS IN NEED
OF EDITORIAL ASSISTANCE.

SHE'S WRITING A BOOK
ON THE METAPHYSICAL POETS.

THAT'S A POSSIBILITY.

WELL, THANK GOODNESS
IT'S THE LONG VAC,

SO THERE ISN'T MUCH
GOING ON.

UM, WELL...

YES, I'M AFRAID
THERE WILL BE.

WE HAVE AN EVENT
FAST APPROACHING.

MY ILLUSTRIOUS
PREDECESSOR'S PORTRAIT

IS BEING UNVEILED
IN THE LIBRARY.

BY THE CHANCELLOR,
NO LESS.

I SEE.

WELL, MAYBE I'D BETTER START
ASKING QUESTIONS.