Father Brown (2013–…): Season 3, Episode 4 - The Sign of the Broken Sword - full transcript

Father Brown and Lady Felicia visit the local barracks for the unveiling of the Dunkirk war memorial for which they have helped raise funds. The hero of Dunkirk was Colonel St Clare, who allegedly killed several Nazis with his broken sword but at dinner drunken Major Rawlings accuses St Clare of cowardice and is later found slain with the sword. St Clare is the obvious suspect but Father Brown, believing him to be innocent, discovers another person who remembers what happened at Dunkirk and has waited fifteen years before taking action.

June 1940

Don't, sir.

I'm sorry... I'm sorry, sir.

I'm so sorry, sir.
I'm so sorry.

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Sync: Marocas62

Father Brown
Season 3 - Episode 04

"The Sign of the Broken Sword"

Well, isn't this cosy?

Sid has plenty of room in the front.

No, I'm perfectly comfortable
here, thank you.

It'll be a real privilege to finally
meet the great St Clare.

I heard he killed 20 Nazis
with the Broken Sword.

I doubt anyone could
kill 20 men in combat

with a sword.


It's not a race...

Left, right, left, right...


Left, right...

Oi! No. You can't park here,
this is a parade ground.

How am I supposed to know that?

Good morning. I'm RSM Davis,
this is Lieutenant Graham.

- Father Brown.
- Lady Felicia Montague.

Mrs. McCarthy, parish secretary.

It's an honour to be invited to
such a solemn occasion.

The Kembles appreciate
the fundraising

- you've done for the memorial.
- It's really nothing.

We'll be starting with reception at
1100 hours, lunch at 1200.

Then there'll be a display
of marksmanship at 1245.

Then we'll reconvene at St Mary's
for the memorial 1600.

Four o'clock.

The unveiling of the Dunkirk
Memorial will be at 1800.

As long as I'm back at St Mary's
by two o'clock.

1400 hours.

Do you want to show me where I'm
supposed to park the thing?

Do I look like a skivvy?

The Colonel said our guests

were to be shown every courtesy,

I gather you served in
the Glosters, Father?

- A fine regiment.
- Indeed.

Yes, I was in the trenches
in Flanders in the first war

and a chaplain in the second.

Would you like to follow me?

So, where did you
do your national service?

Not here, that's for sure.

you shirked your duties.

Impressive. One look at Carter
and you've sized him up.



The Third was almost surrounded.

We were half a day's
march from the beaches at Dunkirk.

There was a Panzer division
closing in on our position.

The only way out was
a country bridge,

held by a German unit,

their reinforcements
minutes away.

Colonel St Clare led from the front.

The Colonel always
leads from the front!

When he ran out of bullets,
he used his sword.

It broke on German bones.

Unusual to carry
a sword into battle, surely?

Yes. Some mocked him.
But not after Dunkirk.

Dark days indeed.

We needed all the heroes
we could find.

Brave man.

It's down to him
so many of us got out alive.

Less than half of us.

At ease, gentlemen.


A lot of people
talk about me and the Broken Sword.

But we are gathered to honour

those brave men
who didn't come home.

Dulce et decorum est pro
patria mori.

It's probably best to keep
an eye on Major Rawlings.

He's drunk.
He's going to cause trouble.

Hope it's the good stuff.

It's for the guests.

Thank you.


Has it really been 13 years?

Looking at you, I'd swear
it couldn't possibly be so long.

Charming as ever,

Shall we?

Some of the men wondered
if we'd ever see Blighty again.


Then we saw the Colonel
striding out of the trees.

You, sir, were a giant.

If the Jerries thought the Third
would go down without a fight

they had another thing coming.

We would have followed you to
the ends of the earth.

You made us believe.

A toast.

To our great hero.

Who lets us
all bask in his reflected glory.

- Sit down.
- Without him and his sword,

- none of us would be here.
- Get a grip, man.

St Clare cannot stand the truth,
it embarrasses him!

- Enough!
- The truth,

that we owe it all,

our lives,
our glory, to him.

To St Clare. And the Broken Sword.

Ladies and gentlemen,
for those who wish to attend,

the men of the Third will now
display their marksmanship
at the shooting range.

I hope you don't mind me
being so...


but you seem very
agitated by something.

Is there anything I can do to help?

Unless you can take me back

to before the charge
of the Third,

then I doubt you can help me,

But thank you.


do not walk away from me!

I'd quite like to see the display,

could we stay an hour?

It's not really my sort of thing.

I'll just get back to St Mary's
and get everything ready.

- Enjoy!
- Thank you.

Just keep your mouth shut!

I'll deal with you later, Major.

Sergeant, there's been
an incident at the museum.

The sword's been stolen.

Thank you, Sergeant.

I'm sorry,
I'm needed in the museum.

The Sergeant will escort you
to the shooting range.

Thank you.

Shall we?

I do love a man in uniform.

Everything in hand,
Sergeant Major?

Yes, m'lady.
Have you the time, Father?

- 12:43.
- You haven't seen the colonel?

- 'Fraid not.
- Can't you just start without him?

No, we can't just start without him.

All right, please yourself.

- How about you keep your mouth shut?
- Hello...

I don't take orders from you.

Here, you do.

I see, you think cos you're army
you're better than me?

He's quick, this one, eh?

I don't like guys that duck
out of national service.

That's as bad as cowardice.
And I despise cowards.

- Sid.
- Calm down, Father,

let Mr. Carter stand up for himself.

If you two still
want to lock horns,

we can settle it with a contest.

I've got more important
things to do.

Just what I thought.
All mouth.

How about five shots each

then fastest around
the assault course?

I'm in.

- I don't think this is...
- It'll be fun.

Is he a good shot, your man?

Many a rabbit stew testifies
to his prowess.

Lieutenant Graham's no more than

And he's never been the fastest
on the assault course. The driver?

Sid the Whippet,
we call him.

I was unavoidably delayed.

Army versus civvy street?

Yes, sir. Shooting, then once round
the assault course.


Do you care to make this

I'll have one pound
on Lieutenant Graham.

If you'd do the honours, Father.

I hope you're not going to give me
the cold shoulder all day.

You have good reason to be angry.

Oh, I'm not angry, Laurence.

When you didn't come back,

message received loud and clear.

No explanation necessary.

- Felicia, the war...
- The war!

How did they do?

Five clean hits each,
no bullseyes.

I make that a tie.

Now we have a contest.

Five bullseyes.
Jolly well done.

Whenever you're ready, gentlemen.

Get the medics.

He's too late for medics.

For Lady Felicia!

Stabbed by the Colonel's sword.

Yes, I can see that,
thank you.

Look, could you get back,
please, Father?

- Lieutenant...
- Have you seen anyone else?


I'll call my officers,
secure the scene.

This is my jurisdiction, Inspector.

Very well, Lieutenant, but I can offer the
full assistance of the local constabulary.

I can handle this, Inspector.

Lieutenant, this man's immortal

Is none of my concern.
Finding his killer, however, is.

Let him continue, Lieutenant.

Thank you.

At least we know what time he died.


The Lieutenant wants everyone
in the officers' mess, please.

The scabbard was stolen
with the sword.

Yes, the theft was discovered at

So, the killer had
the sword from 12:30 until 12:43.

And it appears the thief cut
themselves in the process.

Perhaps you should check everyone
with a laceration.

On an army base, Father?

Have you any idea how many
of the men get injured every day?

This'll steady your nerves.

Thank you.

Can I get you anything else, ma'am?

No, thank you, my dear.

No, thank you.

I'd rather keep
my wits about me.

All the mess staff have alibis.

They were here, in the mess,
clearing up.

All of them? From 12:30
when the sword was stolen

until 12:43,
when the murder was committed?

- Yes.
- The Lieutenant made it quite clear

we were to keep our noses out.

he said to keep your nose out.

Everyone except military police
is to keep out of this.

- We'll be taking statements.
- The only people here

that don't have alibis
for 12:43 are the Colonel...

And, apparently, you.

I didn't kill him.

- I only met him this morning.
- You don't have an alibi.

- I was in the Rolls.
- Anyone see you?

- I dunno.
- Shame.

Look, if I needed a witness

I'd have got his name,
rank and serial number.

And anyway,
even if I did want to kill him,

I wouldn't use a broken sword!

I'd have got a whole one,
wouldn't I?

Well, you tell me.

Look, if you think I did kill him,
then you tell me, why?

No, I ask the que...



It was dreadful. I almost
fell on top of him.

You know,
one thing I don't understand,

why steal the scabbard as well?

Easiest way to carry a sword.

The killer might still have it.

Perhaps you should tell
the Lieutenant, Father.

I'm sure you'll be very welcome.

This way, please, Father.


RSM Davis informs me you were
at the shooting range with him.

Did you see or hear anything?


I saw you arrive just
after 12:43.


Well, the watch was smashed at 12:43,

so, you had time to get
from Major Rawlings

- to the shooting range.
- Are you accusing me?

I'm only trying to help.

I am not a suspect.
You answer my questions.

Surely everyone is a suspect?

Have you established the whereabouts
of everyone on the base?

The soldiers? Yes,
all their alibis have been conf...

You answer my questions!

Glad to.

Excuse me, miss.


I see you've hurt your hand, Simone.

An accident in the kitchen, Father.

Hope it's not too serious.

Just a nick.
Thank you.

Will you be coming to St Mary's
for the service?

- I don't go to church any more.
- May I ask why?

My father died in Dunkirk.

Where was God then?

Sorry, I shouldn't have.

Please come to the service.

I want the day to
be about the families.

Too often I think the military

that their brave soldiers
have loved ones.

I'll think about it.

Sir, I'll take your statement next.

Then you'll be free to return
to your duties.


Lieutenant, about the alibis...

Please, don't interfere.

Helping the Lieutenant again,

Many hands make light work.

Why not just shoot him?

Perhaps the killer wanted
Major Rawlings to know

why he was dying.

And he was very
vexed about Dunkirk.

I can't think why.
It was the making of him.

- How?
- His predecessor,

Major Murray,
died in battle.

Rawlings was promoted.

Dead man's shoes.


..as the pupil...

surpasses his master.

Or perhaps not.

I went straight from
the officers' mess to my office.

I was there
until I left for the shooting range.

I didn't see Rawlings.

Are we done?


That's your final word,


Where were you at 12:43?

In my office, alone.

I have information that says

you didn't go straight
to your office
from the officers' mess.

You were seen in an altercation
with Major Rawlings.

Map of Dunkirk.

He was obsessed by Dunkirk.

All these units heading
towards evacuation.

Except this company
of Royal Engineers,

moving towards
the 9th Panzer Division.

Why would you do that?
I thought it was an evacuation.

It was.
A company of Royal Engineers
against a Panzer Division,

that'd be lambs to the

Father, what are you up to?

I saw you sneaking out of the mess.

- I tried to be inconspicuous.
- I noticed.

If the Lieutenant finds you...

I gather military prisons
make Kembleford cells
look like the Ritz.

Mind you, not even the Ritz
looks like the Ritz these days.

Breaking and entering,
even better.

Nice of you to join us,

What do you want?

To see Lieutenant Graham
clap Father Brown in irons

and throw away the key?
I wouldn't miss it for the world.

"13 years I have carried this
burden. I have told no-one.

"But as you remember
our comrades,

"I cannot stay silent."

What is it?

Looks like the early drafts
of a tormented conscience.

- I need your help.
- Of course.

What do you need me to do?


I need to talk to Lieutenant Graham.

I hope you know what you're
doing, Father.

What Major Rawlings and I
talked about is private.

All you need to know is that
I left him outside the mess

and I did not kill him.

Sir, you were seen using
physical force against him.

If it was any concern of yours,
I would tell you, Lieutenant!

Sir, what evidence we have
points to you.

It would help if someone could

I received a telephone call.

- Who from, sir?
- Fortescue at the War Office.

Immediately after the call,
I came to the shooting range.

He telephoned me at my desk,
which proves I was there!

Let me confirm this with Fortescue,

- Lieutenant Graham...
- I'm busy.

- But it's important.
- Enough!

Whisky, please.

You've been questioned?

Yes, Graham's checking my alibi.

Then I can get on with my job.

What did it do to you, Laurence?

- I'm sorry?
- The war.


I thought you didn't want
an explanation.

I didn't. But now...

Why didn't you come back?

War changes men.

We saw things
we didn't think we'd see,

did things we didn't know
we had in us.

Some of those things...
I'm not proud of.

I can't talk here. My quarters?

Ten minutes?

No luck?

Best get after him.

- Why?
- If it was him,

he'd have to get rid
of any incriminating evidence.

Unless, of course, you think it
was the Lieutenant?

We can't rule out Mrs. McCarthy
either, can we?

You may mock, Inspector,
but you may be right.

Even if he did kill Rawlings,
he didn't steal the sword.

- Then who did?
- Well, I believe it's that young waitress.

Whoever stole the sword
cut their hand on the cabinet

and she has a cut hand.

But she's got an alibi.

No, Father, no!

Father, run!
Father, run!

Get down!

He's finished.

You could have been killed.

If he wanted me dead, I would be.

St Clare's certainly handy with
a rifle.

Yes, that was pistol, not a rifle.

Which makes our shooter an even
more exceptional shot.

I want every handgun
on the base checked

to make sure
it hasn't been fired.

Someone's tried to murder you, I
really need you to get off the base.

And I need you to show me
Rawlings's watch.

I warned you to keep out.
Put him in Cell 3.

You going to do something?


as much as it pains
me to say this,

sometimes the priest is right.

You've been very helpful,
Mr. Fortescue. Thank you very much.




This better be good.

Was this exactly
how you found it?

Just so you know,

that telephone call
was from the War Office,

confirming that they
called the Colonel

at his desk at 12:43 precisely,

leaving one person still
without an alibi.

- Really?
- Really.

- Me?
- You.

- Again.
- Again.

This isn't Major Rawlings' watch.

Major Rawlings' watch
was in his room.

How do you know it's in his room?

The crown is extended.

Which you only do to reset the time.

The killer realised that
Major Rawlings

had forgotten his watch,

used their watch,
set the time to 12:43,

and broke it...

..and put their watch
on Major Rawlings' wrist.

Why on earth would they do that?

Make us think the murder

was at 12:43 and they've
given themselves an alibi.

Am I right, Sid?

So, the Colonel's alibi is

Here we are.


You've faced German guns.
Am I really so fearsome?

You have no idea.

I came back for you.

June 1940.

I came to Kembleford.

I was going to sweep you
off your feet.

I saw you at the square.
You were...

of course, beautiful.

You wore your blue floral dress.

The day the Kembleford men

came back from Dunkirk.

Seeing you there...

You deserved
better than me.

You still have it.

Of course I still have it.

You had a disagreement with
Rawlings today.

What was it about?

Has someone sent you to ask that?


The scabbard...

The key to the murder
lies in Dunkirk.

At lunch, Rawlings said something

wanting to go back to BEFORE
the charge.

Are you all right?

I'm sorry, Laurence. I had to.

I can't be an accessory
to murder.

Felicia, you must believe that
I didn't kill him.

I wish I could.

Can we go now, please?

Now that I've made an arrest,
you're no longer suspects.

So, yes, you can go.

Thank you for your patience, Father.

There is some unfinished business.

Well, Lieutenant and Sid.
The assault course.

You're not actually suggesting
that goes ahead?

It'd be good for morale.

It'd send out the right message
to the men.

And I want to collect my winnings.

Are you both off your rocker?

One moment, please.

I think it's an excellent idea.

You don't think the Colonel did it?

He didn't kill Rawlings.

Lieutenant Graham will be
off his guard.

I want you to find
out if he knows

what happened between St Clare

and Rawlings at Dunkirk
before the charge.

All right,
but you owe me one.

Well, can't blame you for trying
to wriggle out it.


Come on, Sid!

Are you putting on a brave face,
Regimental Sergeant Major?

I would've died or spent
the rest of the war

in a POW camp
if it wasn't for the Colonel.

I can't believe it unless
the evidence is overwhelming,

but we still have a regiment to run.

You said the sword was
stolen before 12:30?

- Yes.
- But before 12:30,

we were in the mess
with the Colonel.

So, he couldn't have stolen
the sword.

Maybe he had someone
steal it for him?

Possibly, but who?

Something happened
before the charge at Dunkirk,

something that haunted
Major Rawlings until he died.

Is it possible Lieutenant Graham had
something to do with it?

Could he have killed Major Rawlings?

He was a corporal.
They were officers.

If they were in cahoots,
I'd have seen it.

It was a long time ago, though.

I remember everything before
we attacked.

I remember Rawlings
pursuing Major Murray.

Davis. A message to HQ. Urgent.

Sir, speak to the Colonel first!

Just keep comms on standby.

Yes, sir.

What was the message?

I never found out.

There was a company
of Engineers

on the other side of the forest,
maybe the Colonel wanted them

to attack the enemy.
The point is,

Lieutenant Graham
wasn't there.

So, no, I don't think
he killed Major Rawlings.

Thank you.

Well done. The better man won.

You could've won that.

What happened with Rawlings
after the charge?

- The Father's trying to clear the Colonel.
- Yeah, and I'm not going to warn him again.

He was right about the watch, wasn't he?

Come on, do you want to help
the Colonel or not?

The only time I saw them

was when I came
up to get orders.

Rawlings was coming out of
the woods with the Colonel.

Men, the Germans have reinforcements

but the Engineers are on
the other side of the forest

and will slow them down.

Our only chance is to attack
the bridge now.

Sir, the men aren't ready.

We attack now!

Right, you've got your orders.
Let's get a move on.

Get all your kit, canteens sitting
there. You all right, lads?

OK, sir?

That was all I saw.

Next thing I knew
he led the charge,

we were fighting for our lives.

All this place needs now

is a quick sweep
and we're ready.

Regimental Sergeant Major Davis

said three men went
into the trees,

Lieutenant Graham said two men
came out,

which means Major Murray

was left behind in the woods.

Where does a wise man hide a leaf?

In a forest?

What if there's no forest?

You plant one.

Father, 15 minutes.

Either Major Rawlings
or Colonel St Clare

planted a forest of bodies,

by committing the Third

to the attack against the
Germans before they were ready.

Why would you do that?

To hide Major Murray's murder?

Talk, talk, talk!

I know I can rely on you.

None of this proves that the Colonel
didn't steal the sword

and didn't kill Rawlings.

I think the waitress stole
the sword.

- Miss Murray?
- Miss who?



Simone Murray.

Major Murray's daughter?

I'm so glad you decided to come here
today to honour him.

You must be so proud.

Yes, he was a hero.

It must have been very hard,
losing him so young.

He was a wonderful father.

I miss him every day.

I never understood why you
stole the sword.

Until I heard your name.

- Did you kill Major Rawlings?
- No!

I don't think the Colonel did.

And it would be terrible

for such a hero to be hanged.

He's no hero.

He's a traitor.

My father was the only one
who stood up to him.

The Colonel ordered you to get
these co-ordinates to HQ,

requesting the Engineers launch
a diversionary attack.

they've to mobilise in an hour.

- He didn't tell you?
- Tell me what?

He's sending them
to their deaths.

- We don't know that.
- Liar!

You had me recce those
co-ordinates this morning.

There's a German Panzer
division waiting.

If HQ know about those tanks,
they'll never send the Engineers.

- They'll be slaughtered!
- This is war.

Their sacrifice
will help more men get home

- to fight another day.
- Sacrifice?

You don't even have the decency to warn
them and give them a fighting chance.

- It's for the greater good.
- No.

You do nothing for
the greater good.

If those tanks aren't delayed,
we will all be killed.

- I will not stand by and let that happen.
- Nah, you just want to save your own neck.

Prove me wrong.

Send HQ another message

and tell them what awaits
the Engineers.

I will not send those men to die
just to save us.

You are a coward and a traitor.

Are you going to stand for this?

I see.

Well then, let's see if HQ think it's
for the greater good.

- Stop!
- It's not too late for them to...

what are you going to do now?

Bring forward the attack.

But the men are
dead on their feet!

We need to prepare
for the final surge.

If we attack now,
no-one will notice he's dead.

His Engineers never made
it back to their families,

to save his neck.

My father was the only one who
tried to stop him.

Major Rawlings' conscience finally
caught up with him.

And he told you?


He told your accomplice,

- who made a thief of you.
- I'm not a thief.

How did you cut your hand?

In the mess kitchen.

And where were you
when the sword was stolen?

I went for a walk.

Left the others to clean up.

Of course you did.

Thank you, Miss Murray.

Father, the Third will start
arriving any minute now.

When they arrive,

would you be so kind as to
send someone in to see me?


You asked to see me, Father?

I owe you a pound.

Ah. An honourable man
always pays his debts.

One way or another.

give it to the poor in the parish.

Thank you.

Regimental Sergeant Major,
do you have the time?

I knew Simone Murray had
stolen the sword,

but she had an impeccable alibi
and I couldn't square the two.

She said when the
sword was stolen

she'd left the mess
and gone for a walk.

What she didn't know was
that you had already lied

that she was still in the mess.

You killed Major Rawlings,
didn't you?

He sent you a letter.


He thought it best if the Colonel
confessed everything himself.

A wise and decent man.

When St Clare left Major Murray
fatally wounded,

Rawlings at least
ended his suffering.

But that's the only decency
he ever had.

He was burdened
by Major Murray's death.

- Did you want to avenge that?
- No.

St Clare gave us instructions

to be battle-ready in one hour.

The men were still
getting their weapons ready

when he brought forward the charge.

Some of the rifles jammed
because of the rush.

A lot of my men,

good men,

died to hide his cowardice.

Maybe that doesn't
make you angry, Father,

- but it does me.
- I served in two World Wars.

Of course it makes me angry.

Why not just let him
suffer the consequences?

Rawlings told me
everything in the letter.

If the Colonel didn't confess,
I was to take it to the army.

But he underestimated me.
I'll never expose St Clare.


The shame.

The shame would destroy
this regiment.

I will not have the world know

that we were led
by a traitor

- and a coward.
- If he was a coward,

how did he lead you into battle?

He didn't!

As soon as we engaged the enemy,
he ducked behind us.

Everyone else was busy trying
not to get killed but I saw him!

And afterwards,

when they called
St Clare "the great hero",


like you said, Father,

the country needed heroes.

I kept my mouth shut.

So, you made Miss Murray steal
the sword for you,

bring it to you, then you killed

Don't feel sympathy for him.

You hid the scabbard
in the Colonel's quarters...

..so it'd look like he'd committed
the murder.

Lady Felicia
saved me the trouble

of giving Lieutenant Graham
an anonymous tip-off.

But why shoot at me?
It was you, wasn't it?

I saw you break into Rawlings'

I only wanted to scare you.

Nothing can stop the Colonel
paying for what he did.

He's lived with the glory,

now he knows the world
despises him as a murderer.

Pity it's for the wrong murder.

The regiment comes first.

Tell the Colonel.

Tell him everything.

I killed Rawlings.

I know you didn't.

They'll hang you.

Is it because the honour
of the regiment comes first?

Or that you'd rather be
known as a murderer than a traitor?

This regiment has been my life,
it's what I was born for.

If the truth comes out now,

how long do you think
I could live with the shame?

How much longer can you live
with the lie?

I've become very good
at living with it.

I made one...terrible

and it has cost me more than you
will ever know.

Will you hear my confession?

Do you repent for what you did to
Major Murray and your men?

Every day and every night.

Confession must be sincere
and absolute.

As long as you put your reputation

I fear God will not see
true repentance.

- I can't.
- Don't you think

that Simone
deserves to hear, from you,

what happened to her father?

Don't you think the families
of the other men that died

deserve to know the truth?

You can dress it up
as justice or revenge

but murder is murder.

- You'll tell no-one?
- Me?


I told no-one.

But I think
the Colonel told everything.

Regimental Sergeant Major Davis,

I'm arresting you on suspicion of
the murder

of Major Rawlings.

You are not obliged to say anything
unless you wish to do so,

but what you say will be taken down in
writing and may be given in evidence.

The sword was all that
mattered to St Clare.

I thought stealing it would
hurt him.

Will we see you at Mass on Sunday?

St Clare killed her father.

And then rushed the
Third into battle

to cover his murder.

Poor girl.

Her father
cut down by a traitor.

She's right.

Well, they will call him a coward
and a traitor

but he has just made the bravest
decision of his life.

If only he'd made it during the war.


But war does rather
tend to show a man

what he really is.

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Sync: Marocas62