Father Brown (2013–…): Season 1, Episode 7 - The Devil's Dust - full transcript





I'm sorry, Geoffrey.

I'm not the man for this. Michael...

I can't do it!

I'm sorry.

Wait! Michael...
I'll find you someone else.

Just tell me what happened.
Thank you, Alice.

Oh, it'll be all right.


I think her father is
experimenting on her!

You little... Oh, Father!

Apple a day, Mrs McCarthy.
The cheek of it!


You're supposed to be her friend!

She hasn't got the plague!

Mrs Bennett...

Mrs Bennett... Ruth...

I find this response mystifying.

Mmm. Well, their ignorance
isn't your responsibility.

Father. That child is afflicted!

Yes, well,
we're all afflicted, Mrs McCarthy.

No, no. She has the atomic bomb
sickness. You must keep away.

Truth and rumour,
in my experience,

are not one and the same thing.

So why did Dr Evans
walk out on them?

Last night. Giving no reason.

Everyone knows
she goes in to that atomic place.

She's one of their...what do you
call them...human hamsters.

If Ruth Bennett visits
Mr Bennett's place of work,

I am sure that it is perfectly safe.

Then why has
Mr Bennett become sterile?

Oh, think about it, Father.
Only the one child.

Medium wrench please, Bob.

Thank you, Bob.

Ruth, dear.
Leave the poor man alone. >

You leave her alone, Geoffrey.
She's doing a fine job.

Aren't you, Bob?


Ah, Mr. Bennett. Father!

I wonder if I might have a word
with you and Mrs Bennett?

I could come back later...


Hello, Ruth.

Ah, Douglas. Father.

Taking it easy, I see.

He who fitted the pipes
must fix the leaks.

I think you've made that one up.
Have you been to the hospital yet?

No, he hasn't.

They don't want to be bothered
with me. Anyway, I'm almost done.

Thanks to Bob.

You're a stubborn fool, Douglas.
Mm. I'll get Emily.

Please, come through.

Hello. Again.

Your husband and Douglas,
comrades-in-arms, I see.

Douglas saved his life.
Three times. Please.

And the debt has been paid
many times over.

Douglas is a very good man.
But a terrible plumber.

Oh, dear.

So...here to round up
some lost sheep?

Atomic physics and telepathy.
What talents!

I would love to have you all
back at St Mary's.

But that's not why I'm here.

I have heard that Dr Evans
is no longer working with you.

That is correct.

His departure has fanned
the flames of village gossip,

which I do not believe for a minute.
However, many do. And?

There is a meeting of
the Atomic Emergency Committee

this evening in the Parish Hall.

I happen to know
they do not have a speaker.

And I thought...
Let me stop you there.

My enthusiasm for Parish
involvement has faded recently.

Which I understand.

So what better opportunity

for you to address
villagers' concerns directly?

I will ensure
that they turn up in numbers.

< MRS McCARTHY: Hurry along, there.
Take your seats, please.

'I understand why Kembleford
and other places'

have set up committees like this.
These are terrifying times.

Fear of a Soviet atomic attack
seems unavoidable.

Paranoia about radiation is not.

As I hope I've just demonstrated,

radiation is essentially
the act of giving off energy.

It is an entirely natural process.

This instrument will tell us

the level of background
radiation in this room.


Oh, it seems we have a
radioactive source amongst us.


There's no need to...
Please, it's very weak.



Ah, may I have your necklace
for a moment?


Cloisonne jewellery. Known to give
off harmless, low-level radiation.

Now. The atomic centre I work in
has a background radiation level

of less than half what is
given off by this necklace.

I hope that, er, reassures you.

Thank you.

Oh, and I would like to donate this
Geiger counter to your committee.

I hope you, er, find it enlightening.


Thank you, Mr Bennett.

I understand you're trying
to bamboozle us with science.


But it won't work.

Why did Dr Evans quit?

Mrs. McCarthy...

Mr. Bennett?

Dr Evans left our employ
for personal reasons.

Why do you take your daughter
to work with you?

This is not the time.

Please answer the question,
Mr Bennett.

They were studying
radioactivity in her class.

Look, let me make this
simple for you.

My daughter does not have
a radiation sickness.

What does she have?

We don't know.


This is absurd.

You can show us
all the fancy drawings you like.

Mrs McCarthy, that is enough!

But this community
will not sleep easy,

until your daughter
leaves Kembleford.

AUDIENCE: Here, here.


Imbeciles. Every last one of them.
Mr Bennett...


It's beautiful.

It's worth a few bob, too, I reckon.

I'll take that, thank you very much.

Trying to buy us off with a trinket.

It could prove a useful gift,
when you think about it.

What on earth did Geoffrey Bennett
do to deserve that?

Book of Numbers, chapter five.

"Command the Children of Israel,
that they cast out of the camp

"every leper and whosoever
hath an issue of seed."

Ruth Bennett is not a leper and that
was unchristian.

It was insensitive,
intolerant and it was judgmental.

And I am VERY disappointed.

We have to protect her. >
It's the ultimate betrayal! >

But we need to make
her life bearable! >

'Where is she?'


Ruth? What happened?

Please keep them away from me.

Why? They're monsters.

< MR BENNETT: Ruth? Ruth!

Can I speak with you tomorrow?
Tell me what happened, now.

I'll come in the morning. 11 o'clock.

I'll be at St Mary's.

Father. I came to apologise
about the meeting.

Oh. No need.

Ruth seems a little upset.

It's been a tiring day for her.
Come back inside, Ruth.

Come on. There's a good girl.

Anything I can do?

I think we'll be fine, Father.
Thank you.


There you are.

Your last cup
got cold waiting for you.

About last night...

I'm not the person
you should be apologising to.

I have to go.

Did they not say
how long they'd be gone? No.

I presume they took Ruth with them?

I'm afraid Miss Bennett
is having a lie down.

She can't be disturbed. Oh, I see.

Then, erm, I'll just wait
till Mr and Mrs Bennett return.

As you like.



Mr Bennett and Mrs Bennett!

What are you doing?

Last night, Ruth said
she wanted to talk to me.

When she didn't turn up this
morning, I became worried.

I couldn't help noticing...
She's gone.

She disappeared last night.

Oh. We've been out looking for her.

But, well, she hasn't been
herself for the past couple of days.

Dr Evans leaving
has hit her very hard.

Is that why she was so upset
last night? Yes.

Have you called the police?

I'm calling them, Geoffrey.

Shall I put the ladder away?

No(!) I'll leave it where it is.

So, you think she might
have run away

because she was
scared of the village?


And she locked herself in here
at around 10pm?


And it was only when you broke in
at 8.30 this morning,

that you knew she was gone?

We were sure we'd find her.
That's why we didn't call you.

What was she wearing last night?

Er, pyjamas. White pyjamas...

with a little mouse
embroidered on the front.

They're not here, I've checked.

What else did she take?
Er, just a blue pullover.

That's why we're sure
she hasn't gone far.

Have you tried her friends?

Her "friends"
won't go near her at the moment.

Can you think of anyone else
she might have gone to?

No-one who wouldn't have told us
right away.

Well, we'll get looking.

In the vast majority of cases
like this, the child turns up

of their own accord,
perfectly unharmed, within 24 hours.

I'll see myself out.

My only sacred text is
the Hippocratic Oath.

Actually, I'm here because
Ruth Bennett has disappeared.

She hasn't been seen
since last night.

What time? Sorry?

What time was she last seen?

I gather, about 10pm.

I don't suppose you could shed
any light on her state of mind?

Nothing that you won't get
from Geoffrey and Emily.

Her father mentioned
she was rather hurt by your leaving.

Can I ask why you did walk away?
I felt guilty.

I'd been flailing around, trying to
diagnose her for more than a year.

How long has she had the condition?

Since she was a small child.

So your failure to diagnose
is hardly a crime?

May I, er, have a look?

From a contact in Southampton.

Males with the same condition
as Ruth.

All males?

Industrial workers,
mostly shipping or railways.

Middle-aged or over.

No overlap with Ruth whatsoever.

Have the Bennetts seen these?

They arrived this morning.

Ruth's have more of a formation
to them. I can't explain that.

How are these men now?

Dead. Most of them, anyway.
Unexplained lung cancer.

I won't tell Geoffrey and Emily.

Not now.

Did you visit the Bennetts
last night?


Then why did you ask what time
Ruth disappeared?

I was concerned.

Where is she?

Geoffrey... Where is she? Who?

Don't you dare play
silly beggars with me.

Ruth? Ruth!

I would tell you if she was here.

I will help you find her.

You stay away from my family.

I can't. Not now.

When last did you see her?

I mean it.
Just tell me how long...






SUSIE: Father! Father!

I find Ruth. Behind door.

The machine, it goes crazy.
Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep.

You little thief!

It belong to village.
It BELONG to the Committee.

I must show Father where she is.

He is far too busy here to listen
to your wild imaginings.

We should at least take a look.
Don't you think, Mrs McCarthy?


She's there.



Maybe you heard a woodpecker, Susie.

Before there was something funny,
I swear.

I believe you, Susie.


Father wants to talk to
you about some job.

Right. What's wrong with you?

I find Ruth. Eh? In little house.

But then she go again and now

Father Brown and Mrs McCarthy,
they think I'm crazy.

You need cheering up. Da-dah!

Uh? Not bad, are they?

Almost half the people in this camp
have bought some already.

I do not want my hands
on your stolen object, thank you.

Hey! There's nothing stolen here.

They were going to be thrown out.
Honestly, you have my word.

Go on...it won't bite.

Oh, look at that! It suits you.

It's a plate!

Right, they're a shilling each.
Four for three shillings.

Not that
you'd be interested, obviously.

You've made that quite clear.

Keep your money.

Cook me dinner.

Since I have four plates,

I can invite Mrs McCarthy
and Father Brown, too?



Quite a turnout. Yes, especially
from those at your meeting.

Yes, well, if their guilt leads you
to your daughter, will you mind?

No, of course not.

Douglas and Ruth seemed very close
when I saw them yesterday.

What makes you say that?

Both outsiders of a sort, I suppose.

Excuse me. Father Brown!


Group of us...
we found these near Foley Bridge.

This was dated yesterday.

Why the silly girl was writing love
letters to herself, I have no idea.

But, it's a clue...

Yes, well maybe you should have...

..left them there.

"Dear M E...."

How slow of me!


Dr Michael Evans? Yes?

We'd like to question you
about your possible involvement

in the disappearance
of Ruth Bennett.

How long are you going
to keep me here?

Let me put you out of your misery.

Your relationship with Ruth
Bennett. Tell me about it.

She was my patient.
There's really nothing more to say.

Typical patient, was she?

Her condition was not.
But my relationship with her was.

"You are right, Michael.

"We must have the courage
to follow our hearts.

"When you say the word,
I will come to you

"and we shall finally be free.

"In anticipation, your beloved Ruth.
Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss."

I've never seen this.

The pieces were found
near the river,

less than 100 yards from your house.

Is there any news?

I understand Inspector Valentine
is still with Dr Evans.

What fools we've been.

This is not your fault.

Of course it is.

I spotted the crush months ago.

"Just a stage".
That's what I said to Geoffrey.

Neither of us wanted to scare
off such a marvellous doctor.

We trusted him.
You don't yet know what's happened.

You've not seen Ruth's diary.

My daughter...

..is not the child
I thought she was.

Did you know Ruth Bennett had a
crush on you? No, I did not.

"November 4th.

"This morning,
Michael locked the door

"and sat down next to me
on the bed.

"My heart has never beaten faster.

"He smiled and said,
'Are you sure about this?' I nodded.

"He brushed hair away from my eyes
and then,

"then, dear diary, he kissed me.

"This grown man kissed me."

While you were in that cell,

this was found under
a floorboard in Ruth's bedroom.

200 pages going back months.

And it gets a lot more racy
than that, I can tell you.

Her place. Your place.

Her place again...

(Stupid, stupid girl.)

What happened last night?

OK...Michael Evans,

I am arresting you on suspicion
of the murder of Ruth Bennett.

You are not obliged to say
anything... Please...

..unless you wish to do so,
but whatever you say will be...

All right! I'll tell you.

Ruth came to see me last night.

It was midnight. She'd been running.

She had a red mark across her face,
like someone had hit her hard.

I said I'd take her home,
but she got scared,

insisted she needed to stay with me.

I told her that wasn't possible.

Then I...

gave her that letter back.

She'd delivered it
earlier in the day.

She started pleading with me.
But I told her to go.

You sent her packing?
Yes. A vulnerable,

terrified, attractive girl.
Into the woods, at night, alone.


Just now you didn't know this girl
had feelings for you. I lied.

It's why I left the Bennetts.

She tried to kiss me.

But I have never laid
a finger on her.

Not without good medical reason.

According to this, you've laid
slightly more... . It's fiction!

All right.
Well, let's stick to facts, then.

Ruth Bennett came to you
last night and said

she'd expose your relationship
unless you eloped. In that moment,

you knew you had to shut her up.
That's not true.

Maybe you had your way with her one
last time. Maybe she died happy.
Shut up! Where is she?

This diary...
you saw it first, yesterday?

Alice knew of it, said nothing.
Never even looked inside.

If only she'd not been
so discrete...

Mrs. Bennett. Well?

Still sticking to his story.

That man is evil!

Do you want to come
and wait in my office? Thank you.

Inspector, about the diary... .

I told you last night to run along.

In my experience, a 14-year-old girl
can be a very unreliable narrator.

If I may, I would like to speak
to Dr Evans.

Ruth Bennett is lying in some hole,
some ditch, somewhere in Kembleford!

She's probably dead,
but she might just be alive!

I'm going to break Evans.
But every minute counts,

including the one
I'm wasting on you!


Alice, you look like you
could do with a hand.

Thank you, Father.

You're an observant woman.
Ruth's diary...

I happened to see the young lady
hide it a few months back.

And you hadn't mentioned it
before today. You are admirable.

It's lucky for the young lady
I'm not a gossip.

If her father
had read that thing, well...

..I would have feared for her.

Are you sure
he never saw it before today?

Mrs Bennett assured me of it.

That argument
the night Ruth disappeared...

Did you hear what it was about?
As God is my witness, I did not.

What I saw and heard troubled me,
I confess.

As did their delay in reporting
her disappearance.

Say they had found it,

her father confronted her,

she ran away to Evans to
escape her punishment.

And Evans sent her back home...

What are you suggesting, Father?

That anger can take us
to countries we never knew existed.

Where is Mr Bennett?

Out looking for his daughter.
Worried sick.

Thank you, Father, I can manage.
Good day, Alice.


There's something...

Before Inspector Valentine arrived,

Mr and Mrs Bennett
tidied up Ruth's room.

Thank you.



That was what she was wearing
when I last saw her. Sure?

Evans could have planted this.



Susie said you'd be here.
Done what you asked.

And? You're definitely going
to want to hear this.

Mrs Bennett...

the night Ruth disappeared,
did your husband strike her at all?


I did.

Was this a frequent occurrence?

It was the first time.

What happened?

Mrs Bennett?

She was being disrespectful.
What about?

A very private matter.

You may want to tell me
what that private matter is.

I can't. Mrs. Bennett,
did you find out

about your daughter's relationship
with Dr Evans? No.

Did you harm her in any other way
that night? No!

You do understand why I'm asking?
I am her mother.

I wonder if the reason you didn't
call us straight away is

because you wanted to
get your story straight?

What story?
In your account of the evening,

you left out the bit about your wife
striking your daughter.

What does it matter?
Ruth was upset and ran away.

Your daughter's bloodstained clothes
have been found

in your dustbin, Mr Bennett.

Can you vouch
for your wife's movements

the night Ruth disappeared? No.

And why is that?

We have separate
sleeping arrangements.

You're a gifted photographer.

Thank you.

And, I hear,
a very talented plumber.

I should be searching for Ruth.

I promise I won't keep you long.

A friend of mine has been speaking

to some families
you've done work for.

All of them
outside Kembleford, actually.

And they describe you as
"conscientious" and "reliable"

and your work is "excellent".

And yet your work for the Bennetts,
your best friends in England,

apparently comes from the "cowboy"
end of the spectrum.

Who says?

The Bennetts.

I may have been a little...greedy.

Why, because they're rich?
And they'd always give you work?

Ah, that's why they suddenly
turned against you?

Because they finally realised
you'd been swindling them?

Bit warm for gloves.

I have to keep them on.

It's an old work injury.

Mmm. May I see it?

I don't show anyone.

Even the Bennetts?


Because the friend of mine
also said that, outside Kembleford,

you have been known to remove your
gloves every now and again.

This is no time
for secrets, Douglas.

Not while there's a chance
she's alive.

Do you know how you got these?

How did Ruth get hers?

You weren't after
the Bennett's money, were you?

That's not you at all.

It's time you were greedy for
in that house. No.

This is about your hands, isn't it?

This is about you and Ruth.
Get out!

It's impossible!

We owe only three minutes.

And I forgave PC Crawford
an egregious infidelity to get that.

The warts aren't infectious.

Douglas Taylor's condition
can't be connected to Ruth.

Well, might they be transferred
in another way? Such as?

I did have one thought.

The formation of the warts
on Ruth's body.

I realised what they reminded me of.


Modest research has revealed
a list of hazardous substances

as used by ship builders,
railway locomotive engineers

and, as it happens, plumbers.

Might not one of these
toxic substances have been

transferred onto Ruth's skin
by his hands?

How? In some illicit physical act?


# There may be trouble ahead

# But while there's moonlight
and music

# And love and romance... #

Even I wouldn't steal
the same thing twice.

Still no sign, then?

No. I do not understand.





Another false alarm, no doubt.
Out of the way!

Silly, silly girl!


Right, evacuate the area.



Thank you.

What in Heaven's name?

Have you gone mad?

You must have taken a great many
pictures of her over the years.

Where is she, Douglas? Where have
you hidden your little angel?

She's your little girl.

How did it happen?

Emily was still a virgin.

She had doubts
about marrying Geoffrey.

I was weak.

She told Geoffrey
the father died in the war.

He forgave her.

He's a good man. Mm.

When she was born white...

It was a miracle.

Emily said I could see
her as long as I kept the secret.

But I couldn't die without
hearing her call me "Dad".

So you told her?

The night she disappeared?


Where is she, Douglas?

Well, how was I supposed to know
they were bleeding radioactive?

There you go, darlin'!

There you are, Father!

I heard the siren.
A false alarm. Thank God.

But, Father,
Emily Bennett has been arrested.

The Inspector thinks
she murdered her own daughter.

Go and tell that policeman

the very interesting
story about your mother's cat.

The one who could open the door?
Yes. Certainly, Father.

Thank you, Sid.


It's Father Brown.
No-one knows I'm here.

Michael's not coming back.

How do you know?

He's in a police cell.

But they found my clothes.
I heard them talking outside.

Yes. That was clever of you.

So why isn't he coming home?
Because they found your diary.

And they won't release him
until you admit you made it up.

Did you really think after all this,
that you could run away

and live happily ever after?


You and Michael
will never be together.

You don't know that. Michael told me.

I'm sorry, Ruth.


I understand you got scared
when you found out about Douglas.

I understand why you
turned on your parents.

But now...it's time to go home.

I'm never going home.

You hid in the woods, am I right?

All night,
whilst they searched this place.

That must have been very

I think you're brave enough
to go home, Ruth.

Where are you going to go?
London. How will you survive?

They think your mum killed you.

Good. What about Douglas?

I believe he loves you very much.

And has done all your life.

But he won't be around
for much longer.

What do you mean?

He's dying.

No, he's not.

Your parents have been
protecting you. He's got cancer.

Spend time with your real dad.
While you still can.

I never once betrayed
our marriage, Geoffrey.

Hello, Dad.

What is that child doing now?

Well, I expect she's doing exactly
what Mr Bennett told her to.

Three months, you say?

At most.
The lung cancer is very advanced.

The cause is unknown,
as with most of these cases.

But whatever material Douglas
carried on his hands,

I suspect Ruth's lungs
won't have been exposed

in the same way his have.

God willing, she may yet
be all right.

What next for you?

I'm going back to the lab.
To study the lung cancers?

Focussing on three materials,
all from your list, actually -

lead, tin and asbestos.

I'll wait here,
if you want to get your counter.

I never believed it myself.
Other people gossiping...

Father Brown will back me up.

"The leper must be cast out
of the camp", Mrs McCarthy!