Arthur & George (2015): Season 1, Episode 3 - Episode #1.3 - full transcript

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- He's up there.
- Thank you.

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Sir Arthur.

Look me in the eye and tell me you're innocent.

I'm innocent.

Show me your boots.
And your shoes. All your footwear.

- Is this it?
- Yes.

- What size do you take?
- Nine.

I have small feet relative to my height.

Who is Hayden Price to you?

There was a warden at Pentonville...
by the name of Clough.



Often he'd ask me the same question -
would I like a dry bath?

A dry bath?

A full inspection in the washroom.

When I'd answer, "No, sir,"

he'd accuse me of having something to hide.

"A dry bath it is, then, Edalji."

Until one day... I refused.

- Come on.
- No.

No.

Argh!

Hayden Price saved me from that man.

Leave him be.

Mr Clough...

...leave him be.



But he must have asked for something in return.

To teach him to read and write.

Now he asks that I complete his education.

Two hours a week's no hardship.

Tell him the conditions
of your parole prohibit it.

He saved my life.
How can I refuse him?

What my father would call "fair play".

You'll be a solicitor again... and a fine one.

"I will see you grovel in the lake of fire.

I am as sharp as sharp can be."

Lake of fire...

Milton. Milton, Milton, Milton...

"They will soon resume new courage and revive,

though now they lie grovelling
and prostrate in yon Lake of Fire..."

Oh, good God, Woodie. Knock, would you?

Woodie, what shoe size do I take?

Uh, 11, sir.

11. When we found those bootprints in the mud,

I set my shoe against the imprint
and the dimension was much the same.

George Edalji takes a smaller size?

A nine.

In other words, Woodie...

...in other words, gentlemen of the jury,
despite the commonality of the bulked right heel,

George Edalji did not leave those prints,

but rather someone trying very hard
to make us think he did.

Why are you looking dubious,
gentleman of the jury?

Oh, I'm just listening, Sir Arthur.

No, you're looking dubious.
I know dubiety when I see it.

- Raise your objection.
- I have no objection.

Yes, you do.

Is George wily enough

to make us think that somebody's trying
to implicate him by wearing oversized shoes?

It had crossed my mind.

Yes, it's a possibility we can't discount.

But, on balance, I'd say it spoke more
to his innocence than his guilt.

- Fair?
- Fair.

Now, George was at school
in Great Wyrley, here.

And Fred Brookes, you remember,
was at school in Cannock.

What was God Satan's first missive
to the Edaljis?

The key on the front step.

And the key was the key
to the school at Cannock.

William Brookes was the blacksmith at Wyrley,
but he was Cannock born and bred.

And the reason why his son Fred
did not know who George Edalji was...

Was because he stayed at Cannock school

even though his family had moved to Wyrley.

What's your conclusion?

It might be instructive to speak to Fred Brookes.

You're right, it might.

The grace of our Lord Jesus.

The love of God...

the fellowship of the Holy Ghost
be with us all forever more.

- Amen.
- Amen.

Thank you, Reverend.

Sir Arthur.

Good to see you again, Harry.

- Oh, this is my mother.
- Miriam Bostock.

Pleasure to meet you.

Harry, I appreciate it's awkward,

but if there's any way you could arrange
an introduction to Fred Brookes...

It could not be more important.

- I'll try.
- Thank you very much.

We'll make ourselves scarce.

Mrs Bostock.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in our midst -
and soliciting my son's help.

Erm... I'll catch up with you both in a minute.

Yah! Go on! Go on, girl!

- There.
- Harry says you want to talk to me.

I appreciate you sparing us a moment
at what must be a very difficult time.

I'm not stopping. Got work in the morning.

Can't miss my train.

Would you mind
if I accompany you to the station?

If you think I'm an 'ard bastard,
you should have met my dad.

I did. I liked him. Plain speaking.

He was.

And a few other things besides.

So, what do you want from me?

I want to find out who killed your father.

If what you're saying is true,
why aren't the police asking questions?

Because they're afraid of the answers.

- The letters your father received...
- For the last time, I never saw them.

He never showed them to me.

Did you ever have any dealings
with George Edalji?

- The vicar's lad?
- Yeah.

No, never. Why?

The letters sent to the Edaljis
were addressed to the Reverend,

- but their focus was his son.
- What of it?

You were the focus of the letters
sent to your father

and one of them accused you of throwing stones
at a pregnant woman near Cannock Town Hall.

If you say so.

It's a very specific,
very particular accusation, Fred.

- Are you saying it were true?
- No.

But I'm curious to know if parts of it were true -

the details - and if so,
who else knew those details?

When we make up a story
we don't invent all of it.

Cast your mind back.

A pregnant woman.
Someone throwing stones.

It weren't stones.

And it were nowhere near the town hall.

It was a train carriage.

I think I was 12.

There was a pregnant lady on there
and... and Speck, this lad, got on the train.

Hello, Speck.

- No!
- What are you doing, Speck?

Please...

Please, no!

Please! I've got a baby!

He just went wild,
stabbing the seats with a knife.

The woman was petrified.

Speck.

- I always wondered what happened to him.
- Were the police involved?

They came to school, asking who did it.

Speck said it were me, I said it were him.

They believed me.

Speck got a terrible hiding off his dad.

And what was Speck's real name?

Raymond or... Royden.

Royden?

Just called him Speck.

We think his first name's Royden
but his nickname is something like Speck.

Oh, this is my wife.

- Mrs Bostock.
- So, Royden?

- He's a Cannock lad?
- Yes.

Can't say it rings a bell.
We didn't have much to do with them.

Were they a rough lot?

Wyrley School weren't exactly Eton College,
but Cannock was the pits.

It could not be more urgent that we identify him.

Hm... give me a minute
and we'll head over to Cannock.

I know some people
who'll put you onto your Speck.

Thank you.

So you're baking. That's good.

- Sir Arthur?
- Mrs Bostock.

We're very honoured
to have such august company.

My late husband
was an avid reader of your books.

There are one or two up there.

He really wanted to be a writer himself.

The ambition of many a schoolteacher, I'm sure.

- May I?
- Of course.

- Not getting you to autograph books, is she?
- It's not one of mine, alas.

Shall we?

Mrs Bostock. Mrs Bostock.

Cannock!

Cannock!

Oh, yes. This way.

I'm just gonna go in here
and see if someone knows him.

These are the men.

Excuse me. Excuse me.

I wonder if you know
where someone called Royden lives?

- Oh, him.
- Up above Greatorex farm...

- Royden Sharp.
...turn left, over the back.

- Very good. Thank you very much.
- The old mason's cottage.

The old mason's cottage
above the Greatorex farm.

- Is it far?
- No, we can walk.

- There's no lock.
- Oh? What are we waiting for?

- But, Sir Arthur, I really think...
- Sh!

From the wounds on the animals, I'd say
we're not looking for an ordinary knife or blade.

Rather something unusual and specific.

Cuts only the skin and not the gut.

- I'll, er... I'll check upstairs.
- No, no, no.

Sir Arthur...
Sir Arthur, why don't I conduct this search?

- Alone.
- What on earth for, Woodie?

We are trespassing.

I have less to lose.

At the very least, someone should keep watch.

Good idea. You're volunteering.

- You've found nothing?
- Nothing.

"Prostrate upon yon Lake of Fire..."

- Is there anything in that wardrobe?
- Don't know.

What was that?

Here, Harry. Can you help me?

"As sharp as sharp can be..."

Urgh...

God...

Who are you?
And what are you doing on my land?

We're looking for Royden Sharp.

Who, I'd wager, you are not.

You are, I'm guessing, Mr John Greatorex?

His employer and landlord.

- And who might you be?
- Sir Arthur.

Good God!

Royden's the son of my old tenant farmer,
Peter Sharp.

They lived up here together for years.

When Peter died,
I should have thrown Royden out.

- But I didn't have the heart.
- What sort of boy was Royden?

Strange. Wild.

Nothing like his dad.

Peter was a God-fearing man
and he tried to beat that fear into his son.

One time he walloped Royden so bad
he almost killed him.

What had Royden done to warrant that?

I don't recall precisely.

Smashed up a train carriage or summat.

Does the name "George Edalji"
mean anything to you?

Of course. The vicar's son.
The Wyrley Ripper.

No, no. Does the name mean anything to you
in connection with Royden Sharp?

Dad! Dad!

We've found Royden.

Just up here.

For God's sake, cut him down, Robert.

Oh, good God.

I saw someone lurking at the funeral.

- It was him. I'm sure of it.
- The spectre at the feast.

During the rippings,
were any of your livestock maimed or killed?

- No.
- And what about your neighbours?

Frank Williams lost five cattle.

But all of your animals were unharmed?

So?

The absence of evidence
is as telling as its presence.

We found this in his cottage.

Oh...

He'd got rid of Brookes
and he must have known we were near him.

We've found our man.

Royden Sharp?

I didn't know him.

- Why would he wish to harm me?
- That's what prejudice is, George.

It means I don't have to know you to dislike you.

Though we can no more explain
his antipathy to you

than we can his bloodlust
for maiming cattle and horses.

I see your point.

And still I've yet to convince you
that race prejudice lay behind this?

Forgive me, Sir Arthur.

It is not that I am less than
immensely grateful to you,

it is only, perhaps, that I am a solicitor.

Ah, of course, of course.

And thinking as a solicitor,
if Royden Sharp is dead and left no confession...

- The truth will out. I'll see to it personally.
- How?

By shaking every bureaucratic tree
tainted with this travesty

until a full pardon and compensation
drops into our laps.

It's only when they pay
you know they're truly sorry.

Sir Arthur, I'm not sure
that the Chief Constable will be overjoyed

at your efforts to denigrate his force.

Ach, Woodie...

- The Great Detective is almost upon us.
- What's that, dear?

I expect he'll examine the driveway
for the footprints of an enormous hound.

Shall we?

All the way to the bottom of the slope
without his skis

and tore a huge hole in his knickerbockers.

Well, thank you both for this luncheon.

- It was most gracious of you.
- It was no trouble at all.

Yes. Blanche, could you show Mr Wood
the gardens now?

- Yes, my dear.
- I believe Sir Arthur has an important matter

he would wish to discuss with me.

We'll go through to the study.

You've read my statement?

A deplorable business, it must be said.

A series of mistakes.

It could all have been nipped in the bud
so much earlier.

I'm very pleased to hear you say that.
What mistakes did you have in mind?

The families, that's where it all went wrong.
Brandy?

Uh... no, thank you. The families?

The wife's family.
Whatever took it into their heads?

Your daughter insists upon marrying a Parsi,
can't be talked out of it, and what do you do?

You give the fellow a living
in deepest Staffordshire.

And no doubt his patrons saw it to demonstrate
the universality of the Anglican Church.

Hm. Please. And then to introduce
two half-caste children

- into the neighbourhood.
- George and Maud.

Two half-caste children.

- George and Maud.
- George and Maud Edalji.

- You've read my analysis?
- I have read your... story.

And I admire your tenacity and passion.

I also promise to keep your
amateur speculations to myself.

To broadcast them
would do your reputation no good.

You'll have to let me be the judge of that.

Blanche was reading to me the other day

an interview you gave in The Strand.

You described how,
when you wrote your tales,

it was always the conclusion
that first preoccupied you.

Beginning with the ending. You cannot know
which path unless you know your destination.

Exactly. And you have described
in your... analysis...

how when you met young Edalji
for the first time -

at your club, I believe -

you were instantly convinced of his innocence.

Indeed. For the reasons clearly set out.

For the reasons clearly felt.

And everything you have written
proceeds from that feeling.

Once you became convinced
of the wretched youth's innocence,

everything fell into place.

And once you became convinced of his guilt,
everything fell into place.

My conclusion was based
not upon some intuition

but on a mass of police reports
compiled over three years.

So, in your view, the boy's father, a minister
in the Church of England, perjured himself?

My "view" as you call it,
is the view not just of myself

but of the Staffordshire Constabulary,

prosecuting counsel,
a properly sworn English jury,

and the justices of the Quarter Sessions.

I attended every day of the trial
and I can assure you of two things.

The jury did not believe the evidence
of the Edalji family,

but they did believe the evidence of Dr Butter...

the police surgeon who found hairs from
the dead pit pony on George Edalji's coat.

- Yes, but...
- An English jury sitting round a table,

considering its verdict, is a solemn business.

They weigh evidence, they examine character.

They do not sit there
waiting for a sign from above

like table-turners at a s?ance.

Why?

Why would a respectable young man
with no previous history of violent nature

suddenly sneak out in the night
and attack a pit pony

in the most cruel and violent fashion?

You are the one with the paid imagination.

Answer the question. Why?

Why does human society everywhere
abhor the half-caste?

Because his soul is torn between
the impulse to civilisation

and the pull of barbarism.

Is it his Scottish or his Parsi blood
you hold liable for this barbarism?

- You're being facetious.
- I've never been more serious.

Are you saying he slit the bellies of horses

because that's what his ancestors did
five centuries ago in Persia?

It may be Edalji did not know
what impelled him to act as he did.

An atavistic urge, brought to the surface
by this sudden and deplorable miscegenation.

- Do you truly believe that?
- Something like it, yes.

And you liken me to a table-turner at a s?ance.

Listen, Doyle, your fellow
has been released from prison.

He is a free man.
What is the point of your campaign?

You want the Home Office
to look at his case again?

You want a committee? Fine.

What makes you think
it will yield what you hope for?

We will get our committee and we will get
a free pardon and compensation...

You want him to be completely innocent?

Not just innocent, but completely innocent.

Furthermore, we will prove beyond doubt
the guilt of Royden Sharp.

And, by extension, the incompetence
and malfeasance of your constabulary.

In my experience, no-one's completely innocent
and no-one's completely guilty.

Not even your Royden Sharp.

Royden Sharp was serving
a prison sentence for assault

when the last three rippings occurred.

He had an accomplice, Woodie.

We thought the letters
might bear two sets of handwriting.

Precisely. We thought they might...

but we did not get them assessed by an expert...

and we were nothing like thorough.

He called my statement a story, Woodie.

And while he is a vile and a prejudiced man...

...I can't fault him on that.

What do you want to do, Sir Arthur?

Prepare a statement worthy of the word -
cold, empirical, impregnable -

and then, Woodie... we find the accomplice.

Take this "H" here and here.

I see a conscious attempt
to avoid one consistent style.

Within that disguised writing,
I find a number of peculiarities

that suggest two different authors.

Possibly three, but... but certainly two.

May I?

Yes, we suspected there were two.

Now try the fleam.
We'll see how that compares with the others.

Depth and dimension of the wound...

exactly as Dr Butter testified.

Just to clarify, Dr Butter,

George Edalji was arrested
at 11 o'clock in the morning.

You took receipt of the coat with the hairs
attached to it at 9pm that evening.

- Correct.
- And were you given it at the vicarage?

No. It was brought to me at my office.

Look, Sergeant. A hair.

By a police officer?

By the Wyrley sergeant.

- Sergeant Upton?
- That's him.

What of it?

What were Sergeant Upton's exact words,
to the best of your recollection?

He said that "being a clever young monkey..."

...and intending to be a solicitor,

you'll know that a pair of gloves
is known as "going equipped", won't you?

Was this before or after
you wrote to the Chief Constable?

After. I wrote to him again
complaining of Sergeant Upton's behaviour.

But I received no reply.

That was when it started -
the watching and the lurking.

Yes. There were constables
outside the vicarage at all hours.

In the woods, in the lane,
in the old barn across the way.

- Harry.
- Hello, George.

- Reverend Shapurji.
- Harry.

I told him, Sir Arthur, I did.
I said to wait until you'd taken your pictures.

Sir Arthur.

I should like to accompany you.

Yes, by all means. Come on.

Well, I'm sorry,
but I've got new tenants moving in.

I couldn't leave it like it was.

Whoa. Mr Greatorex.

That's your son, isn't it?

Yes.

Did you have much to do with Royden
when you were growing up?

Not much. He were a good ten year
younger than me.

Did he have any friends you recall?

- People he might have got into trouble with?
- No.

People mostly thought him strange.

And if he were up to mischief,

he'd go somewhere
his dad wouldn't catch him and birch him.

- Er...
- What, Mr Greatorex?

I remember speaking to his dad once.

He was worried about Royden.
More than usual, I mean.

- Why?
- A lad at school.

Cannock school?

Peter felt this boy... he had a hold over Royden.

Whoa, there! Whoa!

That he brought out things in him
that otherwise might have stayed hidden.

Who was this boy?

I couldn't say. I don't think he was local.

I think he joined the school late.

At what age would Royden have been?

12... 13?

Let's find another way in.

No. Come on.

We're looking for the register books
for the years '88 and '89.

Any reference to a boy starting school
later in the year.

Bostock!

Take a seat at the back.
Next to Royden Sharp.

There you are, Harry.
You found the registers.

- Is that the one?
- Erm... It's '88.

"Sharp, Royden...

...Bostock."

Woodie! It's Harry!

George! Get out the front!

Woodie. George, you go through there.

Right, here comes one.
Brace yourself.

He's up there.

Woodie!

Argh!

Bastard!

- Thank you, Woodie.
- Not at all, sir.

What? What are you looking at?

You want to know why?

Do you really need to ask?

Yes. Yes, I do.

Once you erm... Once you got moved up
to the front of the class...

...you became teacher's pet.

Which gives us a grand total of?

- George.
- 11 and three-quarters, sir.

Correct.

After that, I was invisible.

He'd talk about him at home, over dinner.

Discuss him...with my mother.

"I rather think George
would make a good solicitor.

Or even a doctor.

Such an ordered brain,
such a disciplined mind."

It was frightening.

I didn't exist.
Like I'd fallen off the face of the earth.

So you rebelled.

And he sent me off to school
with the sons of Cannock farmhands!

And you blame me for that?
Not your father?

No, I blamed both of you.

Did you kill your father, Harry?

That's between me and him.

And William Brookes?

I'll give you that one.

Why?

The letters we sent him...
Royden wrote most of them.

He erm... He did like I told him right to the end,
but he was sloppy.

Putting things that could identify us.

So you just told him to put his head in a noose?

You know, when you took up George's case,
I was relieved in a way.

I wanted it to be over.

- And at the same time...
- At the same time what?

I thought, "Wouldn't it be something to outwit
the man who invented Sherlock Holmes?

Wouldn't Dad be proud?"

And all the time I was in prison,
did your conscience never trouble you?

- Did you ever consider turning yourself in?
- You did three years in prison.

I did four years at Cannock school.

I reckon that makes us even,
you little mongrel.

Whoa!

- George! Give me your hand!
- Careful, sir.

Hang on there!

Little mongrel half-breed bastard!

Reach out! Reach!

- Argh!
- Oh, God.

Dear God.

Hurry up, hurry up.

I've got you.

Get him, Woodie.

That's it. Good lad.

Harry Bostock.
Who would have thought?

- See to the body.
- Yes, sir.

He was clever.

Audacious.

He flattered me into thinking
I was making progress.

Whilst all the while
he was leading me by the nose.

Yeah. Keeping us close to keep us at bay.

- Mm.
- And what of Royden Sharp?

He nursed a grudge against Fred Brookes,

Harry nursed one against you,

and together they went around
settling their scores.

But Fred Brookes didn't serve a sentence
for three years for a crime he didn't commit.

No, he didn't.

Get your London news!

I think I need some air, Woodie.
I'm gonnae walk.

- Very good, sir. If you're sure?
- Yeah, I am.

Waterloo, please.

Fresh snowdrops and pansies!

- How much for your snowdrops?
- Half a penny, sir.

Half a penny? Let me see...

Arthur?

On my last visit you observed
that I judged myself to be guilty

and in need of redemption.

That that was my true impetus
to seeking justice for George Edalji.

I demurred, characterising
the connection as fanciful.

- Tortured.
- Tortured.

And melodramatic.

Right.

Well, perhaps I did protest too much.

And perhaps I found that peace you spoke of.

It's one for every year we shall be married.

- Providence permitting.
- Providence be damned.

Thank you, Woodie.

Thank you, Woodie.

Thank you.

- I'm looking forward to meeting him.
- Uh-huh.

Where is he? Here he is.

- Oh.
- George, I'm so sorry. We were detained.

This is Miss Jean Leckie.

- We've been shopping.
- No, Arthur, you were talking.

Well, I was talking to a shopkeeper.

He served in South Africa
and it seemed civil to ask...

That is still talking, not shopping.
I'm very happy to meet you, George.

- Very happy to meet you.
- George, we're preparing for marriage

and the power has already shifted
quite dramatically to my disadvantage.

Congratulations to you both.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

It's a happy outcome
in which you had no small hand.

I did?

Certainly.

And that's why we'd like to invite you
to our wedding.

There's no person
we'd be prouder to have there than you.

- I would be honoured.
- Good.

Well, I'll... leave you to it.

- Goodbye, George.
- Goodbye.

Take a seat.

I have it on good authority
that within a fortnight

a Committee of Inquiry will be announced
by the Home Secretary.

Its purpose, to consider various matters
in the Edalji case

that have given rise to public disquiet.

It is not a pardon.

No. No, it's not.
But it's a big step towards one.

I have other news.

As from next month,
you'll be re-admitted to the roll of solicitors.

Thank you.

Your call to arms
did me more good than you'll ever know.

- We've still a fair way to go, though.
- I know.

Well... I apologise.
I've got to get going.

I've got a very tedious speaking engagement
at the Royal Geographical Society.

Of course.

Thank you for everything, Sir Arthur.

You're very welcome.

Woodie. You should have come and said hello.

- I don't think he likes me, Sir Arthur.
- Ah, nonsense.

Mind you, you did actively seek to dissuade me
from pursuing his case every step of the way.

Uh, not every step.

You got it wrong.
It's nothing to be ashamed of.

- Thank you, Sir Arthur.
- It's an honest mistake.

About which I'll never hear the end.

I wouldn't say never.

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