Father Brown (2013–…): Season 5, Episode 9 - The Lepidopterist's Companion - full transcript

Mobile librarian Margaret Cartwright's photographer husband Graham attacks and kills an intruder, who turns out to be his young assistant Lewis Ward. Lewis was apparently taking pornographic pictures of young women and furthermore he had been poisoned and his body dumped at the Cartwrights before Graham hit him. Father Brown discovers that the illicit photos were being distributed through the library's most popular lend, The Lepidopterist's Companion, leading to the unmasking of the actual photographer as Lewis's killer.

I was just...

Even in our most private moments,
someone is watching us.

Shall we join the others?

That's lovely, ladies.

One more for luck. This is for the
front page, after all.

I can't thank you enough.

With this money, the mobile library
service will be able to

deliver a free book to every
child in the district.

But the real praise should go to our
generous congregation,

who have baked and baked
and sold enough cakes

to feed Kembleford ten times over!

Do you mind?

What did I say about
upsetting the clients?

Sorry, Mr Cartwright.

Get the kit in the car and stop
making a nuisance of yourself!

My apologies, madam.

How's about I do you a discount on
one of our portrait packages

by way of compensation?

I can see you'd be
a natural in front of the camera.

Not if you were the last
photographer on earth.

Father Brown, just a word?

I promised to help
with the refreshments.

Oh, it will only take a minute.

Em, I was looking at our
lending log, and...

Well, yes, when I think
about it, I...

I may have one or two overdue items.
One or two?

Little did I know I've spent all
this time working alongside

the Great Kembleford Book Thief!

I've been meaning to take them
back for weeks.

Huh, codswallop! You are a hoarder,
that's what you are.

I only hope you have enough money
in your pocket

to cover all those fines.

I thought there might be
a discount for the clergy.

There's been a dreadful accident!

I only popped out to deliver the
latest Graham Greene

to Mr Entwhistle.
And when I got back...

She's dead, isn't she?

Thank you, Doctor. I'll telephone
the surgery if we need you.

You're welcome.

Well, Margaret,
it seems you're very fortunate.

I don't know. Come, come.

No broken bones. And didn't the
doctor say you'll be

back on your feet
in a couple of days?

Have you remembered anything?

Well... It's all a bit of a blur.

Ada wasn't hurt, was she?
She wasn't there when it happened.

It was Miss Rawlins who found you
and then called for help.

I've always said
that van's a deathtrap.

It's not been serviced in years.

Graham, will you stop
going on about it?

And it's just a... It's a silly
accident, that's all.

And you're not to worry about
the mobile library.

Because I'm going to step into the
breach until you're feeling better.

Well, that won't be necessary,

because I will be
fine in a couple of...

What you need is a good, long rest.

And in any case, I've always thought
I had the temperament

to make rather a good librarian.

It's true.
She's often telling me to be quiet.

I'm the only one who can get
the van started.

It's a very specific knack.

Well, you're going to have to teach
me, then, aren't you?

Well, if you insist.
But just for a couple of days.

Make sure she stays in that bed
until she's properly recovered.

Ho-ho, you've clearly never tried
telling my wife what to do!

Mr Cartwright? Yes, Lewis!

How's Mrs Cartwright?
Bruised, battered but unbowed.

Glad to hear it.

I was wondering, is it all right if
I use the darkroom after hours?

As long as
the studio work's finished.

But tidy up after yourself
this time,

it was in a right state
this morning.

But I... Lewis!

Sorry, Mr Cartwright.
I'll leave it exactly as I find it.

Is he one of yours? Lewis? Yes.

Yes, he's been coming to
St Mary's for years.

Well, if you find his brain
in your lost property,

do return it to its rightful owner.

What a wonderful word.

Cacoethes. "A sudden urge to do
something inadvisable."

Is there any chance you might get
a "sudden urge" to give us a hand?

Why don't we stay closed until
Mrs Cartwright's better?

And leave the elderly and infirm
without the comfort of a good book?

Over my dead body.

And here we have our first customer!

Actually, I'm here to see
Miss Rawlins.

I'm working, Lewis.

Later then? We need to talk.
It's important.

Stop by the studio after work?

Mmm. Playing hard to get, eh?
I approve.

If you don't mind, it's private.

Forgive me, Father,
for I have sinned.

It's been one week
since my last confession.

God is listening.

It's... I-I've got this secret.

And it's not just me, there are
other people involved.

I don't know what to do,
I'm so confused.

The Seal of the Confessional
is absolute.

You can be honest before God.

Why are you confused?

Well, when Adam first saw Eve,
she was naked, right?

Yes. So... was that a sin?

For him to look at her, I mean.

No. He looked upon her in innocence.

Because the thing is,
a little while ago...

Sorry, I can't!

All right there? Oh, can I help you?

I was looking for something on
butterflies. Butterflies?

Yeah, butterflies. Ah.

Can you be any more specific?

Well, I'm quite fond of the more
exotic species.

Ah, I meant are you looking for
a reference book or..?

Oh, ah - I almost forgot.

I don't understand.

Can I help with anything?

Eh, I was just paying
my overdue fees.

He's looking for something
on butterflies.

I'll come back another time.
Oh, no, it's no trouble.

No, I just remembered somewhere
I have to be.

You probably don't remember me,
Mrs McCarthy.

How could I forget you, Harold?

I'm very good with faces, and of
course we were extremely grateful

for your assistance when Father
Brown had his little spot of bother.

It were my pleasure. And may I say
how lovely you're looking today?

What was that?
It was just a cat.

That's no cat.

Graham. Graham, what are you doing?


You stay up here.

Is someone down here?



There you go, sir.

Thank you, Sergeant.

Why can't people do the decent thing
and die at a more sociable hour?

Best time of the day
if you ask me, Inspector.

Looks straightforward enough.

Looks like this Lewis lad decides to
help himself to some of

his employer's valuables,
photographic equipment probably.

Disturbed in the act, he goes to
attack and comes off worse.

Reasonable self-defence,
if you ask me. If you say so, sir.

I do, Sergeant.

Tell the boys to finish up here
and we'll take Mr Cartwright

down the station to make
a formal statement.

Any luck, we'll have the paperwork
wrapped up before breakfast.

What about last rites, sir?
I notice he's wearing a crucifix.

Doesn't necessarily mean...

No, you're absolutely right,

Obviously I'd hate to wake the Padre
up so early, but if needs must...



Are the police still downstairs?

Yes, but I doubt they'll be long.

Inspector Mallory told me what
happened. How are you holding up?

I am very concerned about Graham.

The inspector said that
he was defending himself.

I'm afraid that the shock of this is
going to push him back into his...

Well... Less than Christian habits.

By which you mean?

Well, it's no secret
that Graham liked a drink.

And I can cope with that.

But it's the gambling
that frightens me.

When I think of the life we
could have had,

if all that money hadn't been
washed down the drain.

Instead I'm living in a flat,
above a shop with a leaky roof

and a... rat infestation!

I'll talk to him.

Would you, Father?
I'd be so grateful.

The Inspector said that young
Mr Ward was burgling,

and, erm...

I'm surprised by that.

I'm not. He was a strange boy.

In fact, I never knew why
Graham took him on.

I couldn't see any sign of
forced entry.

Well, Lewis had his own key.

Yeah, well, sometimes Graham let him
work late on his own projects.

So he could simply have
been going home?

Lewis always used the back door at
night so as not to disturb us.

If he was in the studio,
he was up to no good!

Oh, dear. Come and sit down.

I'm sorry. It's just such a shock.

Were you two...?

Lewis and I went out
a couple of times.

Something happened.
It's complicated.

Love always is.

Harold. Have you come back
for that book?

Actually, it turns out
I'd forgotten that I'd already

paid my fine.
Brain like a sieve, me.

So I was wondering if I could have
my half-crown back?

Eh, well, the fine box
is emptied overnight,

to avoid anyone being tempted to
break into the van.

Well, in that case, maybe you can
recommend something to me.

What's your favourite book?
The Bible.

Ah. The Song of Solomon - beautiful.

Ah, ladies.

Mr Slow.

Ada, may I have a quick word?

Lewis wouldn't steal from
Mr Cartwright. He wasn't like that.

I agree.

Was he troubled about anything?

Not that I know of.
Why do you ask?

He came to see me yesterday.

What about? I can't say.

Can you think of any reason
why he might have been

in the studio last night?


I wish I could be more help, Father,
but I've got to get back to work.

A quiet little mouse, isn't she?

Who'd have thought she'd be

romantically involved
with a criminal?

I've known Lewis since he was
a little boy.

He was not a burglar.

Have you checked his photographs?

From what I saw, he never went
anywhere without his camera.

If something untoward was going on,
he probably took a picture of it.

Graham! Is that you?

No, it's Father Brown.

Erm, I left my stole here.

Have those officers gone yet?

Yes, I believe so.

Shall I make you a cup of tea?

That'd be lovely.

I'll put the kettle on then.

Thank you, Father.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Can't have been very pleasant.

I'm more concerned about the lad's
family. Have they been informed?

I can put your mind
at rest there, sir.

He was an orphan.

Do you need someone to
drop you home, sir?

No, no, thank you.
The walk will do me good.

Right you are.

Hopefully we shan't have to bother
you about this any more.

Kembleford Police Station?

Oh, right. And your name, sir?


Oh... you poor boy.

I didn't know you were
still here, Father.

I was going to make Mrs Cartwright
a cup of tea. Would you like one?

That's kind of you to offer,
but I'll do it.

Why don't you get off?

No doubt you've got better
things to be doing?

Erm, I'll pop back later, see if
you're both all right.


Now, I have transferred the
Ł12, two shillings and sixpence...

What on earth are you doing?!

Making a darkroom.
Oh, yes, of course you are(!)

These are all the books they had
on amateur photography.

I'm sure they'll be fine.

Is anybody going to tell
me what is going on?

I found a box of negatives
hidden in the darkroom.

And I saw Lewis Ward holding them
the day before he died.

Erm, if you don't mind, ladies.

Oh. Oh.

And please, do not open the door
until I ask you,

lest the light
shine upon the darkness.

How long does all this take?

Ah. Well?

Oh. But they're not wearing...

Heavens above. My goodness.

You have to inform the police. Why?

Lewis is dead, and the girls in
these photographs won't thank us

for exposing them.

By the looks of it,
they're quite used to being exposed.

Being exploited, more like.

Do you think this
has anything to do with his death?

Lewis Ward, the pornographer.
Well, he certainly kept that quiet.

Well, he's hardly going to shout it
from the rooftops.

Why didn't he shout?

Well, because... No, I mean...

Mr Cartwright said that
he shouted out to ask who was there.

Why didn't Lewis reply?

Isn't it obvious?
Because he was up to no good!

But Lewis didn't have anything
of value on him.

Mr Cartwright said he was crashing
around like a drunken rhinoceros.

That's hardly the actions
of a burglar.

Perhaps he wasn't very good at it.

Maybe Lewis went into the studio
looking for help.

He didn't reply because he couldn't.

What do you mean, "couldn't"?

Perhaps he was already dying.

We know what killed him, Padre!

It was made of willow.
Are you certain?

There's only one way to settle this,
isn't there?

Is that Dr Symonds?

Inspector Mallory,
Kembleford Police.

Do we have a confirmed cause of
death on Lewis Ward yet?

I see.

Thank you.

Signs of respiratory failure,
lockjaw, frothing at the mouth.

Strychnine. Yes, thank you, I know
what the symptoms are!

Why would somebody have
wanted him dead? He was a nobody.

I should tell you that Lewis Ward...

..was in possession
of photographic negatives

of an...

..explicit nature.
It's the first I've heard of it!

Where are these negatives now?

I destroyed them.

You did what?!

Like you, at first, I believed his
death to be an accident

and I saw no gain in
publicising activities

that would only
soil his reputation.

We shall continue this discussion.

For now, my priority is
catching his murderer.

And if he was distributing
the photographs,

I very much doubt
he was doing it alone.

Have you any idea who his
accomplice might be?

If someone was selling dirt
in Kembleford,

there's only one name that
springs to mind.

Just hope he isn't
blind drunk already.

So, which one of you discerning
gentlemen will be going home

with this high-quality timepiece?

Stolen, is it, 'Arry?

Of course not, Inspector.
I wouldn't deal in stolen goods.

What do you think, Sergeant?

This particular item once belonged
to my very own uncle.

So you'll be able to tell
me his initials then?

Who in turn was given it by
an old army friend.

Can't recall his name.

Luckily for you, I'm not interested
in dodgy watches today.

Then how can I help you, Inspector?

Looking for a present
for Mrs Mallory?

I want to talk to you
about photographs.

Not really my area of expertise.

Now... if you don't mind, I was just
having a drink with my friends.

Why don't we discuss this down
the station, 'Arry?

I'm sure you'd love to assist us
in our enquiries.

Excuse me.

I'm here to see Harold Slow. Who?


Blind 'Arry.
Oh! Why didn't you say so?

Just, give me a minute, Father.

Padre. I had a feeling
you'd be back.

Blind 'Arry is not
capable of murder.

Yet we searched his
malodorous residence

and found two photographs
featuring young ladies.

These young ladies
were both noticeable

for their complete
lack of clothing.

So what did he say?
Claimed he'd never seen them before.

Of course, he also said that about
the three Kilner jars

of moonshine, the half-dozen ladies'
purses and the garden gnome

that went missing from Councillor
Boothby's front porch last week.

If you're here to take his
confession, you might be a while.

Father! Decent of you to pop by.

The inspector told me about the
photographs they found in your barn.

Look, Father, you know full well I
had nothing to do

with that young lad's death.

As for the photographs...

..well, not everybody has taken
a vow of celibacy.

But they was purely
for my personal pleasure.

Did Lewis Ward sell them to you?

Nah. Never even met the lad.

Only knew his face from seeing him
around town

pointing his camera at everything.

Last time I saw him was
a couple of days ago.

He was having
a barney with that tweedy girl

from the library.

Sounded like she was
breaking up with him. Go on.

Well, he's saying, "I'll do whatever
you want, you can trust me."

And she's not that sure.

So he's like, "Of course I still
want to be with you",

and she says, "Well, I don't know.
Everything's changed."

And he's like, "What, because of
a few stupid photographs?"

And so she says, "Sorry."

And he's, "Oh, please,
Ada, I love you!"

And he's left there, devastated.

Did you hear anything else?

That's all.

Sorry, Father,
you know I'd help you if I could.

Answer me this.

If a Kembleford gentleman wished to
purchase photographs

of a... titillating nature...

..where would he go?

And here's me thinking you're
a respectable man of the cloth!

Do you want to stay in here
all night?

Help me discover the truth and you
might make last orders.

All right, I'll tell you.

On one condition.

Absolutely not!

There is no way I am stepping out
with that foul-mouthed vagrant!

Perhaps he has hidden qualities.

Then they are very
well-hidden indeed.

It would only be
a stroll along the river.

And he's promised to be
the model gentleman.

He can behave like Saint Francis of
Assisi - it is not going to happen!

I may have already accepted
on your behalf.

Well, then you can unaccept!

I can't, he's already
given me the information.

Please, Mrs McCarthy...

..consider this an act of charity.

Well, I hope that information
was worth it,

because you are never, ever
going to hear the end of this.


Blind 'Arry said he got
the photographs

by going to the mobile library...

..putting half a crown
in the fines box,

and asking for a book.

- About...
- Butterflies.

I'm guessing it would be
under natural history.

Or it could be here
in the returns trolley.

Ah. There it is.

Oh. "The Lepidopterist's Companion."

Yes. And that's what it is -
a book about butterflies.

It's been taken out dozens of times
in the past few months.

Either there's a glut of
lepidopterists in Kembleford

or there is something
strange going on.

Look, it's always returned
within a day or so,

sometimes even on the same day.

Do you think someone was hiding
the photographs inside it?

Was Lewis pressurising you into
selling the pictures?

I don't know what you're
talking about.


You've lost me.

I know that the photographs were
distributed via the mobile library.

Perfect, really. It can travel
without suspicion.

Quiet, discreet.

And if men come and go with
large books... what of it?

Father, please, I'm tired,
I want to go home.

If Lewis was making you...

He's dead!

So why can't you stop sticking
your nose where it isn't wanted?

You mean...

..he had naked girls in my studio?
It would seem so.

Never knew he had it in him!

So... where are these
negatives now then?

Erm, they're destroyed.

Did you ever notice anything
suspicious going on

in the mobile library?

Well... Ada was the one who
served the customers.

I was busy with the
administrative side of things.

But if what you're saying is true,
we have to inform the police.

Hold on! If these negatives
have been destroyed,

perhaps we're better off sweeping
the whole thing under the carpet.

But, Graham, if Lewis was poisoned,

maybe an angry boyfriend or father
could've found out

they'd taken pictures of his girl
and wanted revenge!

The same thing had occurred to me.

Anyone home?

Sorry to barge in. Door was open.

Constable, make sure the padre
stays up here, out of the way.

Do you mind telling
me what is going on?

Got a warrant. A warrant?

We had an anonymous tip-off from
a woman saying you offered

her money to pose for you
in her birthday suit.

We're here to search the property
for evidence of activities

in contravention of the Town Police
Clauses Act 1847, Section 28.

Oh, yes...

..and of murder.

Do a lot of your customers have
their portrait taken

in this sort of thing?

No! Where did you even find that?

Stashed in a little cubby hole
in your storeroom.

And the photographs
in our possession,

which I perused purely for
investigative purposes,

were taken in front of your
distinctive backdrop.

Lewis must have taken them, I...
Yes, I'm glad you mentioned him.

Because I got to thinking -

what if this Lewis lad was just
the assistant after all?

Perhaps he was angling for
a bigger cut, threatening to go to

the authorities, so you thought it
best to poison him.

After that,
you hit him round the head

with a cricket bat to make it look
like you'd disturbed a burglar!

No, that's not what happened.

Found this in
a box on the counter, sir.

Excellent. I won that on the horses.

I only hid it
so the missus wouldn't find out.

How convenient.

You see, we did some digging into
Lewis' financial situation.

Turns out that for the master of his
own empire of obscenity,

he was surprisingly skint.

You, however...

look like you're doing
all right for yourself.

I take it Blind 'Arry's
been released?

Pending further enquiries.

Here you go, Father.

Thank you, Sergeant.

Wasn't sure if you'd come.

It's been so long since I showed
my face in church.

Many return to religion
in times of crisis.

I'll be honest, Father,
it's your help I need, not God's.

Go on.

Would you go and see Margaret and
make sure she knows I didn't do it?

I've been enough of a disappointment
to her over the years.

I doubt that's true.
Of course it is!

Never lived up to my
early potential, did I?

She thought I was going to be this
successful photographer,

but things didn't quite work out.

Still, I can't bear her thinking
I'm capable of murder.

Do you know anything
about the photographs?

That weren't me either.

Lewis must've taken them,
but that Inspector won't believe me!

How am I going to cope in prison?

I can't even get to sleep without
a mug of Margaret's cocoa inside me!

Please. Please, Father...

Yes. Yes, I'll speak to her.

Thank you.

How many more of these horrid
pictures do I have to look at?

We need to prove who
took these photographs.

Each of those girls is
a potential witness.

And you DID say you're
very good with faces.

Yes, well, it's not the faces
that bother me.

And in any case,
it's almost impossible

to recognise someone
when they look so...

Well, topsy-turvy.

Well, why don't we
just develop a few more?

Oh. Wait.

That's one face
I definitely recognise.

As I feared.

I know you posed for
the photographs.

I'm not judging you.

You must have needed that
money very badly.

I was in a lot of debt.

My landlady was threatening
to throw me out.

I don't think you would
have said yes that easily.

There must have been persuasion.

How did Mrs Cartwright
talk you into it?

She caught me stealing
from the fines box.

She said if I didn't help her
sell the photographs,

she'd report me to the police.

So you started selling
the photographs.

And then, when you were involved,

she persuaded you
to take the next step.

The night it happened,
I tried to back out.

But it was just so much money and...

she has this way about her.

Like you don't have a choice.

I don't really drink.

It'll help you relax.

I've never done
anything like this before.

The thought of all those men
leering at me...

Makes you feel vulnerable.
I understand.

But you're the one who has got
the power over them.

They'll pay handsomely for just
a glimpse of your beauty.

Do you know, it's
not even really you.

Just a shadow on a bit of paper.

So why go hungry when you have the
power to put food on your plate?


Make the most of it.

Sorry, Mr Cartwright...

Get out! Get out, you idiot!

Sorry, I didn't...

Lewis and I had not long started
seeing each other.

After that, I couldn't look
him in the eye.

I knew I'd made a mistake.

Mrs Cartwright said that she'd make
sure the photos were

seen by everyone in Kembleford
if I didn't keep my mouth shut.

So, her injuries weren't accidental?


Mr Entwhistle says he
didn't get a delivery

of Graham Greene's
new novel from you that morning.

I didn't mean to hurt
Mrs Cartwright.

I-I tried again to persuade her
not to show the photos of me,

and she flew off the handle.
I'd never seen her like that.

You just quit your mewling!

Those photographs, they belong to
me now, and if I want to sell them,

then I will. So you just shut up
and do as you're told!

Mrs Cartwright?

I thought she was dead.

I didn't know what to do,
so I went to see Lewis.

He offered to find the negatives
and hide them until

we'd decided whether or not to
destroy them or go to the police.

So Lewis wasn't involved
in taking the photographs?

No. And as far as I know,
Mr Cartwright didn't either.

Please don't tell anyone.
It'll be my word against hers.

My thoughts exactly.

Mrs Cartwright.
What are you doing out of bed?

Tying up loose ends.

Well, you said yourself,
the negatives have been destroyed.

I may have exaggerated.

Nice try.

Without Ada, there's
no evidence to prosecute me.

I don't think my customers are
going to be

lining up to testify in court.

My husband will go to jail, and I'll
sell the studio and move on.

It was you who
tipped off the police.

A chance to get rid of the
husband you despise.

I have wasted my youth on that
pathetic lump of a man!

So he might as well be useful
for something!

Anyway... anyone fancy
a drive in the country?

Mrs Cartwright! Let us out!


Where's she taking us?
You've seen too much!

So I'm going to take you on a little
trip out to Buckley's Point,

where sadly, this van's brakes are
going to mysteriously fail.

Is that why you put
strychnine in Lewis' cocoa?

Because he'd seen too much?

Oh, I'm impressed, Father.

I couldn't trust him to
keep it secret.

He was so obviously doolally about
Miss Rawlins back there.

Mrs Cartwright!
Thought you'd be in bed.

Well, I couldn't sleep, and
I heard you working away down here.

So I thought you'd like some cocoa.

That's very good of you.

About what I saw the other night.
You and Ada.

You know I won't
tell anyone, right?

Not even Mr Cartwright.

I know you won't, dear.

I was going to make it look
like suicide.

Victim of a broken heart.

But then that idiot husband of mine

started to play
the protective house owner.

What are you doing?

Are you all right back there?

When a butterfly needs to break
out of its chrysalis,

it needs to find the weakest point.

I'm not boring you, am I?

Oh, no, you don't!

Perhaps... we should
get off the road.

No! No! Come on!

Ah. Big end's gone.

By the time we got there,
she'd already fled the scene,

but it didn't take us
long to pick her up.

Turns out that, like the van,

she's not in as good
a condition as she once was.


I thought you might
need them as evidence.

You said you destroyed them!

Some of them.

So, are you going to take over the
mobile library on a permanent basis?

Oh, dear me, no.

I never realised how stressful being
a librarian could be.

And in any case, we have
a far more suitable candidate.


After what happened, I thought...

Well, you do know it better
than anyone.

And Mrs M won't have as much time on
her hands now that she's courting.

I beg your pardon?

Half a crown says he stole those
flowers from the graveyard.


How delightful to see you again.