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Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013): Season 1, Episode 3 - The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly - full transcript

Mr. Waverly, a man whose wealth belongs to his rich wife, comes to engage Poirot's services. He has had a letter telling him that his little son Johnnie will be kidnapped for ransom. Although Poirot is present at the Waverly home, the kidnapping goes ahead but all is not as it first seems.

Come on.

You have a go.



The last letter said 30,000.

And the one before that,

You didn't tell me
there was another one.

I didn't take it seriously.

Damn it all, Ada,
this is England.

People don't go around
kidnapping children!

Come on, car. Try harder, car.



Careful, Mommy.
Mind the car.

-Miss Lemon?
-Yes, Mr. Poirot?

It is nearly 11:00.

It is important that I have
my tisane punctually.

Of course, Mr. Poirot.

It's nearly complete, you see --
my system.


Every one of your cases,

classified and cross-referenced
five different ways.


Oh, yes.

In this cabinet,
names of witnesses,

in this, name of perpetrator,
if known,

victim's trade or profession,
type of case --

abduction, addiction,

see also under "marriage,"

bigamy, see also
under "marriage," bombs.

See also under "marriage"?

Mr. Waverly to see you,
Mr. Poirot.

M. Waverly, good morning.

How do you do?

Thank you, Miss Lemon.

You may now go back
to your filing.

Miss Lemon dreams of
the perfect filing system

besides which all other filing
systems will sink into oblivion.

This morning she is close
to the breakthrough.

Now, what brings you
to consult Hercule Poirot?

They've accepted me.

-Le Mans.

You remember I was trying to
enter the Lagonda.

I got the entry form
this morning.

Not that I can make
head or tail of it.

How exciting.

There's another Lagonda entered
by Tommy Branston.

Have you done racing before?

Well, not really.

Who's in with Poirot?

A Mr. Waverly.

It's a case.

This morning I received this.

"You have not paid.

Your son will be taken from you
at 12:00 tomorrow, the 29th.

It will cost you 50,000
to recover him."


Damned impertinence.

Well, do you have 50,000,
M. Waverly?

Well, I daresay
I might be able to raise it.

I see.

You don't really think
they'll do anything, do you?

Mais certainement.
I see no reason to doubt it.

Good God.

Please allow me to introduce you
to Captain Hastings,

an associate of mine.

M. Waverly, a client.

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

M. Waverly has received letters
threatening to kidnap his son.


In England?

Could be some band of
foreigners, you know, some gang.

These letters give no indication
that the writer is a foreigner.

Is there anyone you suspect,
M. Waverly?

Good God, no.

No one who might bear you
the grudge?

Don't think so.

Very well.

Poirot must himself intercede.

Have you shown to Scotland Yard
this latest letter?

No, I came straight to you.

Didn't see much point.

They didn't seem interested
the first time.

Oh, I understand
your feelings, monsieur,

but now we have once again

to interview the intrepid
Chief Inspector Japp.

I don't want to be away
from home too long.

Five minutes, no more,
M. Waverly,

for me to pack a bag.

And then we shall board
the next train,

having seen the inspector
on the way.

Oh, I can drive you down.

No, no, mon ami, I would not
dream of imposing on you.

Oh, she could do
with a bit of a run.

It is not a dog, Hastings.

We'll meet you there
this afternoon.

Miss Lemon, Captain Hastings and
I will be away until tomorrow.

Hold the castle.

Chief Inspector Japp
can see you now, gentlemen.


Thank you.

Well, well, well.

Good morning, Chief Inspector.

This is an unexpected pleasure,
Mr. Poirot.

Mr. Waverly.

M. Waverly has received
another letter.


M. Waverly felt that
Scotland Yard was not convinced

about the seriousness
of the case.

So he came to you,
eh, Mr. Poirot?

M. Waverly is a man of fine
judgment and intelligence.

Perhaps this is
a serious matter.

You think so, eh?

I think better the safeness than
the sorrow, Chief Inspector.

Very true, Mr. Poirot,
very true,

if you've got
unlimited manpower.

We see a hundred of these
every day, Mr. Waverly.

If we was to go chasing about
after every one --

A hundred, Chief Inspector?

Well, perhaps not a hundred.

Mustn't be too literal,
Mr. Poirot.


Every day?

Every week, anyway.

This is some disaffected
employee, some envious neighbor.

We're wasting our time,
Mr. Poirot.

No call to take umbrage,
Mr. Waverly.

I'm a simple country squire.

I pay my taxes, and I'm used to
something in return.

Now I know better.

There are a lot of taxpayers,
Mr. Waverly.

There are even quite a lot
of country squires.

If we was to --

You're not only uncooperative,

You're damned offensive.

As you so rightly point out,

you are paying me to exercise
my judgment and discretion

as to what is a serious threat
to public order and what is not,

and this is not.

Your superior
shall hear of this.

I hope he enjoys it
as much as I have.

That policeman's a fool.

Ah, no.

Japp is a good policeman.

Prevention of crime is not
what policemen are best at.

They would need to have
one constable for every citizen

and go everywhere with him.

But fortunately
for the human race,

most of us have our own
little policeman up here.

But this kidnapper has, perhaps,
no little policeman.

Thank you.

C'est magnifique.

This is the new house,

built by an ancestor of mine
in 1760,

when the old manor was destroyed
by fire.

And you are adding
to your kinsman's great work?

No, we embarked
on a program of restoration

about five years ago.

We've had to stop for a bit,

but I hope we can get going
again soon.

There have been Waverlys
in these parts for 400 years.


And this land around here
is all yours?

Not anymore.

Used to be, as far as you
could see from the roof...

but not anymore.

Marcus, you're back.

Ada, this is
Mr. Hercules Poirot.

Enchant, madame.


Not Hercules, but Hercule.

Oh, quite.
Famous detective.

I know.

I'm so glad you're here,
Mr. Poirot.

We didn't know where to turn.

The police will apparently
do nothing.

One is forced to pay for peace
of mind out of one's own pocket.

But Captain Hastings has told me

your charges
are quite reasonable.


Oh, well, I didn't specify,
of course --

just in general terms.


You have got here with alacrity,
my friend.

75 minutes, door to door.
Touched 80 on the hog's-back.

Captain Hastings
is besotted by cars.

He was kind enough to tell me

about the 24-hour race
he's going in for.

We have serious business here,

Let us not lose sight of this.

Oh. Oh, the kidnapping business,
you mean.

Yes, I had a word
with Mrs. Waverly about that.

I don't think there's too much
to worry about.

Work of a crank, those letters,
I'd say.

That's very reassuring,
Hastings. Thank you.

But we must not try to walk
before we can jump, eh?

I will see the house now,
M. Waverly.

Oh, by all means.

Well, this is
the sitting room --

opens out onto the terrace,

through the French windows


And this is the south side
of the house, yes?


And this room is

With the library.



Thank you, Mr. Poirot.

Thank you.

All will be well, madame.

Kidnapping is an easy job,
mon ami.

-Mais certainement.

That child could have been
abducted at any time

since his birth,
oh, 4 years ago?

Well, I don't see that
that advances us much.

Au contraire.

It advances us enormously,
but enormously.

We must ask ourselves
why they make things difficult

by warning the Waverlys.

Oh, some cases are simple,
and some are trs compliqu.

But all are of interest, eh,

because all, you understand,

rest solely on the character
of the participants.


Forgive me.

It's difficult to make
casual conversation

when tomorrow we may...

He's ready for bed now,
Mrs. Waverly.

Say good night, Johnnie.

Ah, so this is
the famous Johnnie Waverly.

Good night, old chap.

My car.

I say.
That's rather fine.

You see, Hastings?

A fellow enthusiast.

Come and tuck me up, Mommy.

I'll come up in a minute,

Thank you, Mrs. Withers.

Good night.


Come on, darling.

It'll be all right.

it will be all right, madame.

At noon tomorrow, Johnnie will
be surrounded by his friend,

by his mother, his father,


by Poirot.

No one will kidnap
Johnnie Waverly.

It's Mrs. Waverly.

She's been taken ill.

Suddenly woke up
with dreadful cramps.

-Doctor's with her now.

It must be something
she's eaten.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry if we woke you.


Bonjour, mon ami.

You slept well?



And now we enjoy
the famous English breakfast.

Well, you may.

What are you having, Hastings?

Well, I think it's kedgeree.

Certainly rice.

I can't find anything else
in it.

But, Hastings, where is
this famous English breakfast?

Well, didn't you notice
at dinner last night?

Just one potato each --
not a big one -- one cutlet.

Ah, mais oui,
but from an English dinner,

one expects no more.

But breakfast?

I wonder if they're not short
of money, you know?

The fire wasn't lit in my room
last night.

Well, get them here now,
this instant,

every man jack of them,

Very good, sir.

Oh, good morning.

Bonjour, M. Waverly.

And how is Mme. Waverly
this morning?

She's still weak.

She won't be able to get up

But there's worse.

Look at this.

In my own bedroom.

I went for my bath.

I wasn't more than 10 minutes.

When I got back, there it was,
pinned to my pillow.

Just three words --
"At twelve o'clock."

The nerve of the fellow.


There's a traitor somewhere.

Someone on my staff.

Well, I know a trick worth
two of that.

What are you going to do?

Sack them.

Sack the lot of them.

Unless one of them owns up,
of course.

Tredwell will stay, of course.

He's been here
since I was a boy.

And Miss Collins.

I'm sorry. Miss Collins?

My wife's secretary.
Nothing wrong with her.

My God.

I can't abide a traitor!

The staff are assembled,
Mr. Waverly.

Thank you, Tredwell.

M. Waverly,
I ask you to reconsider.

The emptier a house is,

the easier it will be for a
miscreant to move about unseen.


Mr. Poirot, you stick to your
job, and I shall stick to mine.

Then we shan't fall out.

But to empty your house

a few hours before
the threatened abduction

seems to me to be
the height of folly.

How dare you, sir?

You call me a fool?

I'm doing what I consider best
for the defense of my son.

Allow me to be
the judge of that.

I cannot prevent you, monsieur.


He is stubborn, that one,

Mon Dieu,
wonders will never stop.

The Chief Inspector Japp.

Line up in a straight line.

A change of heart,
Chief Inspector?

Yes, you might say that,
Mr. Poirot.

Or you might say I don't want to
see some poor amateur

get himself in a fix.

Ah, you are too kind,
Chief Inspector Japp.

Your great heart
will be your downfall.

True, true.

Now, then, where's
the simple country squire?

You will find him in the hall,
sacking all his staff.

Oh, dear.

Got out of bed the wrong side,
did he?


Bonne chance.

One of you is responsible.

I expect an answer.


I'm waiting.

Not too fast, mind.

Don't worry.
I won't go over 80.



Whatever happens, Hastings,
we must be back before 12:00.

I will not be treated
in this manner.

There is nothing more to be
said, Mrs. Withers.

There is a great deal more to be
said, Mr. Waverly.

I will not --

You may pack your bag

and collect a week's wages
from Miss Collins.

And what am I supposed to tell

You will say nothing to him.

He is in Miss Collins' care
for the moment.

You may go, Mrs. Withers.

What are you doing here?

Morning, Mr. Waverly.

I've brought some men down
with me.

I'll disperse them
around the house,

if that's agreeable to you, sir.

You were doing the building work
up at Waverly, were you?

Will be again soon.

So he keeps telling me.

I'll believe it when I see it.

I don't reckon she cares about
the house, that sort of thing.


The whole place could fall down,
as far as she's concerned.

She's the one with the money,

though you'd never know it,
the way she carries on.


Right, one man
at the head of the path

that leads to the stables there.

Right. Beacham,
at the head of the stables.


One man by the main door,
of course.

-Osborne, by the front door.
-Yes, Sergeant.

Two on the perimeter.

-George, Smith.
-Yes, sir.

And a couple here by the...

-Servants' quarters?
-That's it.

And scrambled eggs, was it?

Mais certainement,
and the little sausages?

-Oh, yes, sir.
-Deviled kidneys?

Kidneys, yes.
What about bacon?

-Of course.

And tea?
Or a nice pint of home brew?

Beer for breakfast?

Two pints, please.

But, Hastings, we've got to be
back before 12:00.

Plenty of time.

Right you are, gentlemen.

What an admirable young woman.

So, Hastings, the renovations
at Waverly Court will continue.

I didn't trust that builder,
you know, Poirot.

Seems to me he resents
the Waverlys.



Johnnie will be in here with me,

with perhaps you here
by the windows

and Poirot guarding the door
into the hall.

I don't know about that, sir.

If there was to be
any rough stuff,

I don't know as Mr. Poirot

would be the first person
I'd think of.

Brain work -- yes.

Rough stuff -- dubious.

What about his colleague --

That would be more like it, sir.

Do you know what I think?

I think someone's tampered
with this.

Someone's tampered with this
to keep us out of the way.

How would they have known
we were going to use the car?



Gently now, Johnnie.

Stroke her gently.

She likes it.

She likes you.

And how are you feeling now,

Oh, I feel heaps better.

Must have been something I ate.

Well, you just stay in bed
and rest.

I'm going to take Johnnie down
with me now.

Why can't he stay?

Well, he'll be happier

Miss Collins can stay with you.

-Bye-bye, darling.

Come on.
Up you come.

Sure you don't need me?

No, no.

You keep Mrs. Waverly company
just for half an hour.

Bye, Mommy.


Well, it's not the carburetor,

This is not
what I long to hear, Hastings.


I want to hear what it was,
not what it was not.

Better still,
I want to hear the motor!

And two blasts on the whistle
if anyone's apprehended.

Right, sir.

-The men all in position?
-Yes, sir.

Where the hell is Poirot?

They went out in the car, sir,
just as I was arriving.

Right, Sergeant.
Keep the men on their toes.

In the car?

Do you know
where they were going?

They didn't confide in me, sir,
I'm afraid.


Vroom vroom!

Beep beep beep!

Vroom vroom!

Vroom! Beep beep!

He's right over there!

Come on!

We've got him, sir!

We've got him -- sneaking
through the bushes.

He's got the whole dope outfit
on him.

Look at this, sir.

Do you know this man, sir?

Never set eyes on him.

Here's a pretty parcel,
if you like --

bottle of chloroform,
cotton-wool pad,

and a letter addressed to you,
Mr. Waverly.

I don't know anything
about this.

I was given that to deliver.

Who by?

By a gentleman,
a gentleman I met on the road.

"You should have paid up.

To ransom your son
will now cost you 70,000.

In spite of all
your precautions,

he has been abducted at 12:00
on the 29th, as I said."

I should have paid up, should I?

You think you could --



Come on.

Come on, you.

Mon Dieu, the agony.

Are you going to do
something, or are you not?

When the time comes to act,
Poirot will act.

A pleasing little problem, huh,
obscure and charming.

Someone fools us all

simply by putting the clock
forward 10 minutes.



My child has been kidnapped.

Ah, oui, madame, but he is safe.

Rest assured, those miscreants

will take the greatest care
of him.

Is he not to them the goose
that lays the golden egg?

Nobody's seen hide
nor hair of that car.

I've given the Surrey police
a full description,

but he'll probably switch cars
as soon as he can

or go to earth somewhere.

And what about the ruffian
you caught?

Name's Joe Rogers -- so he says.

He's sticking to his story,

Perhaps Poirot can move him.

Ah, with all due respect,
Mr. Poirot,

if my lads can't shift him...

Poirot shall act.

Ah, Captain Hastings.

The voiture -- it is recovered?

Damn thing was out of petrol.
The gauge is stuck at "full."

Come. We have work to do.
The boy is gone.

I know.
One of the bobbies told me.

Bonjour, M. Rogers.


He's saying "good day,"
you ignorant man.


I would like you, please,

to tell me your story again,
monsieur --

how you came into possession
of the package.

Oh, I told him all that.

Tell me.

Well, this geezer give it to me,
didn't he?

Did he?

Well, I just told you.

And what did he say,
this geezer?

He said I was to take
the package

and to deliver it
to the big house --

"at the side door," he said.

Well, he gave me a 10-bob note,
he did.

He said I was to deliver it
at 10 to 12:00, spot on.

And what time did you meet him?
Do you know?

Yeah, I do, as it happens.

It was a quarter past 10:00.

And can you describe him?

Well, there was something queer
about him.

He wasn't tall --
well, no taller nor me --

and he wore a 'tache.



And he was all dressed up
in a sort of gray uniform,

with leggings and a cap.

-Like a chauffeur, you mean?

How old a man was he?

Oh, I don't know.

It's funny, though.

His voice was queer, too.

You know what?

You know that fellow running
around here in a monkey suit,

the toffee-nosed one?

The toffee-nosed -- monkey suit?

You know,
is he the butler or something?

Anyway, if he was to have a son,

that's just what this geezer
would have looked like.

Like M. Tredwell's son?

Don't get excited, Mr. Poirot.

M. Tredwell was with Mr. Waverly
every minute

between 10:00 and half-past.

I got that from Mr. Waverly

But has M. Tredwell got a son?

Well, some other explanation
will present itself.

Thank you, M. Japp.

You have been most helpful.

And you, M. Rogers.

Oh, well, thanks very much.

Never you mind about that,
my lad.

I'm taking you down
the local lockup.

-What's the charge?

But you can't do that.

I've got 10 bob in my pocket.

Tell the magistrate
all about it.

Come on, lads.

I'm going back to London
to organize a search there.

The answer is here, my friend,
not in London.

That's as may be, Mr. Poirot,
but the boy's in London.

I'll lay odds on that.

Good day to you.

Ah, M. Tredwell, come in.

Come in and sit down.

I would prefer to stand, sir,
if it's all the same to you.

By all means.

You have worked here
for many years, huh?

30 years, sir.

I came as an under-footman.

Of course, there was a much
larger staff in those days.

I see.

So, if anyone knows
the family secrets,

it would be you, n'est-ce pas?

I am sure, sir, there are no
secrets in the Waverly family.

Of course not.

Mr. Waverly is the most upright
of men,

he and his father before him.

Of course.

And Mme. Waverly?

A happy marriage, huh?

I'm sure, sir.
Mrs. Waverly is a fine woman.

Of course, she has made changes.

This is not the sort
of establishment

that she was brought up to,
for all her money.


But --

Well, I think she's beginning
to appreciate the Waverly way.

Miss Collins, can I ask you
about the boy's nurse?

She'd only been here
for about six months.

Was she trustworthy?

I should have thought.

And she'd left the house by the
time of the kidnapping, anyway.

Quite so, quite so.

But she may have had accomplices
inside the house.

Was there anyone she was
particularly friendly with,

anyone on the staff?

I'm sure I couldn't say.

I don't listen to tittle-tattle
from belowstairs, I'm afraid.

Oh, no, no, quite.
I didn't mean to suggest --

Oh, excuse me.

I did not know
you were still in here.

No, no, that's fine.
We were just about finished.

-Eh, Miss Collins?
-You're sure?

Oh, yes, thank you.

Merci, mademoiselle.



What about you?

Oh, I learned a lot
from M. Tredwell.


There is one thing
I do not understand.

I don't understand any of it.

No, no, no, mon ami,
it is simple, hmm,

but for the one thing.

Here is a child, huh,
here in this room,

guarded by his father
and the Inspector Japp.

Now, the false alarm is raised,

and the inspector and Waverly
foolishly rush out,

leaving the child undefended,


Now, the kidnapper comes in
and takes away the child?


What do you mean, "where"?

Well, they cannot go
out this way.

Waverly and the inspector
have just gone,

and there are still
the policemen

standing not 20 meters away.

This way, yes.

But to what end?

The front of the house has
a policeman outside the door.

The back door, likewise.

Now, that side of the house
is where Rogers has been caught,

and excitement reigns.

A problem, huh?

I see what you mean.

The tunnel.


The tunnel.

What tunnel?

A lot of Catholic houses
used to have priest holes,

places where the priests
used to escape to

if the king's men came looking
for them.

Where is it, this tunnel?


Where does this lead?

It comes out at the mausoleum,
about half a mile away.


I need a... lampe de poche.

What is that,
a lamp of the pocket?

-A torch?

Oh, I've got one in the car.


Who would know of the existence
of this, M. Waverly?

Not easy to say.

A few people who've visited
the house, I suppose,

but mainly just family.

I see.

One or two of them, I suppose.

Miss Collins?

Oh, no, I'm sure not.


Oh, he's bound to, I suppose.

He's been with us so long.


And the child's nurse --
Mrs. Withers?

I wouldn't have thought so, no.

Here we are -- one each.


Come, Captain Hastings.

We embark on a voyage
into darkness.

I'll come with you.

No, no, no, no, no, Captain
Hastings and I must go alone.

There's some steps going down.


Tell me,
what do you make of this case?

You don't expect me
to think in the dark, do you?

Ah, Hastings,
the little gray cells --

sometimes they work even better
in the dark.

But always we come back
to the same question --

why would anyone warn
the Waverlys

before they kidnap a child?

I suppose they hoped to get
the money

without actually being forced
to do it.

But this does not alter the fact

that they were making
a thing difficult

that was perfectly easy.

If they do not specify
a time or date,

nothing would be easier for them
to wait their chance,

carry off the child
in a motor one day

when he is out with his nurse.

I suppose so.

I can see a light up ahead.


I am bored with this tunnel!

Very sweet, very nice.


See, the car could be waiting
here, well away from the house.

The child could be brought
through the tunnel to the car.

The driver makes the getaway,

hooting as he passes
in sight of there.

It is a farce, nothing more.

Everything goes to show

that there was an accomplice
inside the house --

the mysterious poisoning
of Mme. Waverly --


Ah, my poor Hastings --
so innocent.

No, no, no, no, no, it is nice.

But surely you cannot imagine
it was by accident

that Mme. Waverly was
conveniently kept out of the way

on the day of the kidnapping.

Good God.

Point number two --

someone in the house
must have pinned the final note

to M. Waverly's pillow.

Yes, I see that.

Point number three --

the putting on of the clock
10 minutes, huh?

All inside jobs.

Now, we have four people
inside the house.

Mme. Waverly and Miss Collins
we can exclude.

The one is --
How you say "au lit," huh?

Bedridden, yes?

And the other, Miss Collins,
is with her.

Well, that only leaves
Mr. Waverly and Tredwell.

So it does.

Hastings, I've had enough
of this case.

There is a train to London
in 40 minutes.

Well, I'll drive you to London.

No, no, no, Hastings,
I take the train.


Where are you going?

Oh, Captain Hastings
is being kind enough

to drive me to the station.

Thence, I shall proceed
to London.

But the case -- my son.

You haven't done anything.

But I have done everything,

Then where is he?


I will give you the address.

It's a blank sheet.

Because I am waiting for you
to write it down for me.

You will take Captain Hastings
and me to the boy now.

If you do not,
Mme. Waverly will be informed

of the exact sequence of events

that made up
this dastardly crime.

He's all right.

He's well cared for.

Of that I have no doubt.




Ah. Johnnie's nurse.

Of course, of course.

You are Mr. Tredwell's daughter.



I am sure your ingenuity
will be equal to the task

of explaining
the boy's reappearance.

If I did not believe you to be
a good father at heart,

I would not be so willing
to give you another chance.

I'll do anything
to avoid a scandal.


Appearances are what matter,

That was why it was intolerable

that your wife should call
a halt to the restoration work

on the house.

Having a rich wife
is not the same

as being rich oneself, monsieur.

Don't worry.

I've learnt my lesson.


Your name is an old
and honored one.

Do not jeopardize it again.

I shall be sending you my bill.

Drive, Captain Hastings.

Won't you let me in
to the secret?

How did you know?

It was obvious.

Who sends away the servants,
can write the notes?

Who can drug his wife?

Who can put the hands
of the clock forward?

Who can establish an alibi for
his faithful retainer Tredwell?

Tredwell has never liked
his mistress Mrs. Waverly,

but he is devoted to his master.

There were three of them
in it --

Waverly, Tredwell,
and his niece, Jessie Withers,

who gets herself sacked
as noisily as possible

so that she can arrange
the decoy Rogers,

pick up the boy
from the mausoleum,

and drive him away to the little
cottage in the woods.

It was apparent, Hastings.

I shall see you in London.

Why won't you let me drive you?

Hastings, the train has
one advantage over the car.

He does not often run out
of coal.