Midsomer Murders (1997–…): Season 14, Episode 6 - The Night of the Stag - full transcript

Whilst temperance campaigners, led by fervent ex-alcoholic parson Norman Grigor, protest against the Midsomer Abbas May Festival, the body of Peter Slim, a revenue inspector investigating illicit stills, is found dumped in a cider vat. The murder weapon, an apple tree harvester which shook him to death, belongs to boozy cider mill owner Anthony Devereux, a man with something to hide though he denies murder. Then Barnaby discovers a secret connecting Slim to a village girl and a party to that secret is murdered. As pub landlord Samuel Quested leads the villagers in the revival of an old fertility custom Barnaby and Jones find themselves in peril during the night of the stag.


(Hunting horn)

(Dogs barking)

Agh!

(Groans)

(Dogs barking)

(Panting)

(Growling)

(Engine starts)

Sir, enjoy.

OK, who's next? Wilby, what do you
want? Same again? Pint?

I'm getting thirsty here.

That's it, Sam.

It's good, it's good.

Excuse me, gents. Excuse me.

I'm Detective Sergeant Jones,
Causton CID.

We're making enquiries
about Peter Slim.

He's gone missing.

Well, now.
Local Revenue man goes missing.

Who'd have imagined that, eh?
(Laughter)

Anything you can tell us?

Well, put it this way.

If I'd have trousered as much cash
as some of these beggars have,

I'd have disappeared too.

Try the Costa Brava, that's where
you'll find him.

That's where all the crooks go.

(Fiddle plays)

Up, up, up. Come on.

(Shouts of encouragement)

More research, sir.

You've got sweet, I've got rough.

Cheers.
Cheers.

Mm, that's good.

I needed that.

Just apple juice left to ferment.

Nothing added.
Nature's most natural drink.

No yeast? How does it ferment?

There's yeast in the air.

It settles in the juice,
starts to multiply.

Six months later, you've got
a vat of cider.

So what's all that
about tossing in a dead rat?

Apparently, a bit of
protein kick-starts the

fermentation if the process
doesn't get going.

Lovely!
Yeah.

Stand by your beds.

We've already got one, mate. Look.

Bit slow, aren't you?

This lot look as though
they're a law unto themselves.

Ah!

Honey.

Like to try some?

Thank you.

Mm!

That's delicious. Do I detect pears?

Pears, yes.

And there's a hint
of something else.

I can't quite put my finger on it.

Elderflower.

The bees that made this must have gotten
right over the other side of the valley,

to Midsomer Herne.

Every batch is different.

That's wonderful. I'll take one.

(Voices singing)

♪ ..against the cause we're
furthering ♪

Come on.
I don't want to.

Come away now.
I've practised this for ages!

Let us get at him.

There's not a moment to lose.

Let us drive the Dark
One into the light.

What on earth's this?

Go on, push off, Norman,
you old soak!

Nutter!

Sing up, now.
Sing with confidence.

♪ You ask me why so oft, Father

♪ The tear rolls down my cheek

♪ And think it strange
that I should own

♪ A grief I dare not speak

♪ But, O, my soul is very sad

♪ My brain is almost wild... ♪

Repent from intoxicating drink!

It is the devil's vile spit,

his corrupting excretion.

♪ And let me feel... ♪

This is a mad house.
Isn't it?

Mr Grigor.

Mr Grigor.
Reverend Grigor.

Reverend Grigor. We're about to
start the Thanksgiving ceremony.

We can't do it while you're singing.

Would you mind asking
your followers to stop?

I will not.
You call yourself a man of God,

but you sanction this
celebration of evil.

You are a hypocrite,
no doubt a fornicator to boot.

Tell me, Norman...

if the other is so wrong,

how come you've got
six children of your own?

Six we know of, that is!

I can assure you, Samuel Quested,

that I made those children
to glorify the Lord.

The act itself gave me no pleasure.

I'm sure your wife
would say the same.

You are a mocker and a scoffer,
Chloe Baker.

And you will pay a price for that.

Oh...

Let's make a start, shall we?

It's all right, aww!

Nasty man!

That's Anthony Devereux,
this is his mill.

Locals call him "The French".

He's considered an outsider.
His family have

only lived here since
the Norman Conquest.

REVEREND: Ladies and gentlemen.

Welcome, one and all,
to the Midsomer Abbas May Fayre,

when we celebrate
the coming of summer

and the very special
relationship between

Midsomer Abbas and
Midsomer Herne.

The aldermen of these two villages
are now going to join me

to exchange a symbolic gift.

(Applause)

In the spring of 1370,

a terrible frost struck the valley
of Midsomer Abbas.

Our trees produced no fruit,

and by Christmas, people were
starving.

But over the hill,
in the valley of Midsomer Herne,

the frost had not struck so savage.

When our neighbours heard of the
famine,

they gathered what food
they could spare

and carried it over the hill to us.

We are truly grateful to our
neighbours.

And I am once again honoured
to present them with a gift...

a box of our finest apples.

(Cheering)

Thank you very much, Samuel.
You're most welcome.

Marvellous. A simple act of Christian
charity.

And 700 years later, it's still
remembered.

Isn't that a lesson for us all?

(Cheering)

Go on!

You've been doing a good job behind
the bar there, Alice.

If you ever want a shift in the Apple
Tree, you let me know.

I've got two jobs already.
Why would I need another?

All right, my duck?

Will Green's a dirty old man.

You take no notice.

Pint of rough, please, Alice.

You all right, sir?

I'm not sure this agrees with me.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time
for the highlight of the fayre...

the Horn Dance!

(Music starts up)

Whoever at the Calends of January
goes about in the form of a stag,

that is changing himself
into the form of an animal,

dressing in the skin of a horned beast
and putting on the head of a beast,

who in such wise transform themselves
into the appearance of a wild animal,

penance for three years,

because it is devilish!

French!

Your barrel's bad! What?

The sweet, it's ratted.

Shut up, man!

Don't drink the sweet, it's bad.
Nothing wrong with it.

(Retching)

Are you all right, sir?

Do I look all right?

I don't know what he's talking
about.

Let's have a look. Get me a torch.

There's absolutely nothing wrong
with this.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

Don't say a word to anyone.

Please.

Drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine.

I've seen plenty of bodies filled
with alcohol,

but this will be the first to be
pickled in it.

I'll have the vat drained, see if
there's anything at the bottom.

He could've been helping himself and
fallen in.

He took a nasty blow to the forehead.
He has a broken neck, too.

(Belches)

Are you all right?

An upset stomach. I drank some of the
cider and threw up.

Try to vomit again if you can.

Better an empty house than a bad
tenant.

Is that what passes for medical
advice?

Speak to the owner. Find out who has
access to the warehouse at night.

Yes, sir.

(Dialogue muted out)

My God, what have I done?

I'm Detective Chief Inspector John
Barnaby, Causton CID.

Hello, Inspector.
The young lady seemed upset.

Well, we all are. This is an
absolutely terrible business.

Did you know the dead man,
Peter Slim?

Yes. When was the last
time you spoke to him?

A few days ago.
Did he seem worried about anything?

I wouldn't know. But I can tell you that
Mr Grigor was right about one thing.

The village is awash
with illicit alcohol.

In particular,
a local hooch known as "the Beast".

The victim was attempting to track
down the source of it, we believe.

Any ideas who's running the still?
No.

The woman you were comforting -
what's her name?

Esme Baker.

I'll be in touch.

Sir.

The owner didn't hear anything.
He was around?

No, says he locked up and went out.

We'll need a timeline up to the
moment Slim disappeared.

That won't be easy.
Apparently, he worked on his own.

It's remote out here
and he used his car as his office.

Then finding that is a priority.

It didn't have a tracking
device fitted? No.

But the phone company's
pulling the records.

I've asked them to triangulate the
spot from where he made his last call.

(Mobile rings)

Jones.

John? Oh, how are you feeling?

I've felt better. Cause of death?

I've never seen anything
like it before.

I'm assuming he didn't drown.

It's unlikely. I don't expect to
find any cider in his lungs.

Dead before he entered the vat.
The cut to his head?

Enough to stun him,
but not fatal.

I think cause of death
was the broken neck.

Is that so unusual?

I think it's broken
in several places.

I've seen similar injuries
on babies that have

been shaken, but never
in an adult before.

Shaken?

Violently, from side to side.

It's as if he's been
tossed about by a giant.

A medium-sized giant, a big giant?

Well, um... I'd say 40 foot...
maybe more.

Jones, I want a list of all the
local giants. 40 feet and over.

Right-o, sir.

The last call Slim made was 9:47.

Less than an hour
before his watch was smashed.

A local number:
The Midsomer Herne kennels.

The owner's called Chloe Baker.

(Dogs barking)

Chloe Baker?
Yes.

Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby,
Causton CID.

This is Detective
Sergeant Jones.

We're investigating the
murder of Peter Slim.

A terrible business.

I believe you received a call from
Peter Slim Thursday night.

I didn't talk to him.

That'll be my daughter Esme.

Esme!

(Dogs barking)

So, why did he call?

About the VAT inspection.

He'd found a few mistakes in our
records.

We've got a letter,
if you'd like to see it.

No, no.

He called you quite late in the
evening to talk about VAT.

Yes.

We've been through Peter's
phone records, Esme.

You two talked quite regularly,
didn't you?

It was about VAT, that's all.

At the cider fayre,
I saw Reverend Walker comforting you.

You looked very upset.

When someone you know
is found murdered,

what sort of person wouldn't be
upset?

Who said anything about murder?
You think he fell in that vat?

Any idea who might
have put him there?

No.

OK.

Thank you for your help.

(Door closes, retching)

(Retching continues)

All right, Sykesie.

Gosh, hasn't he fed you yet?

Oh, God, you look awful.

Did you get drunk?

I had half a pint of cider...

from a vat that had a dead body
floating in it.

A body?

The missing revenue man.

Have you seen a doctor?

Kate Wilding looked me over.

Oh, really?

I'm sure she gave you
a thorough check-up.

All right, Sykesie?
(Barks)

Would you mind?

People in that valley
really are a problem.

What do you mean?

If half their children turn up
for school, it's unusual.

They play truant?
Yeah.

It's the parents. They don't see the
point in an education.

The children all end up
working in the orchards anyway.

Perhaps they all end
up working in the

orchards because they've
got no education.

Some of them are really bright, too.

But, it's a tight-knit community
and...

So tight they all clam
up when a tax inspector

turns up in a cider vat
with a broken neck.

(Stomach gurgles)
Excuse me.

Morning, sir.

Get the feeling we're not wanted?

(Murmuring)

So, what have we got?

I've been through Slim's computer.

Anything useful?
Couple of things.

He'd taken an interest
in a barn in the woods nearby.

There, at the top of the valley.

Take a look.
There's some e-mails too.

Who from?

Someone with the codename Goldcrest.

Slim had arranged to meet them
the night he died.

Where?

The message doesn't say.

Better find out who Goldcrest is.

Where will you be?

Getting the buzz...

from the local beekeeper.

(Liquid gurgling)

Found you.

Byron Street?

Yes?

Detective Chief Inspector
John Barnaby.

You sold me some honey.
I did.

Is it safe to come over?

Yes, but stay clear
of the hive at the end.

The queen she's a nasty piece of
work, very aggressive.

The workers pick it up from her.

The queen affects the behaviour of
all the bees?

A hive acts like a single bee.

I'm gonna have to
find her and kill her

and replace her with
a more docile ruler.

Fascinating.

Tell me, Mr Street, were you at home
on Thursday night?

I'm always at home.

And did you hear anything unusual
that night - cries, voices?

Thursday night was pandemonium.
How do you mean?

Frost alarms going off,
left, right and centre.

They started about 9pm
and by half-past, every

able-bodied man was
laying down smudge.

Smudge, what's that?
Smoke.

The frost rolls down
the sides of the hill.

So, we have to light what are called
smudge pots. Oil burners.

The smoke forms a blanket

and stops the frost from settling on
the blossom.

If the blossom gets damaged,

the trees don't produce apples.

You have to be quick, mind.

Thursday night, I was the first out.

How come?

The bees know when the frost is
coming.

They get back to the hive sharp.

Of course.

I saw you in the village this
morning.

You seemed to be keeping your
distance.

I prefer my own company.

I can understand that.

Is there anything you can tell me that
might relate to the death of Peter Slim?

I've told you enough for one day,
Inspector.

I suggest you make yourself scarce.

Because I'm resolved
to kill that queen.

And it could get lively round here.

Oh... I'll take your advice, for
now.

But I'll need to talk to you again.

(Mobile rings)

Yes, Jones?

Good.

This way, sir.

Good work. We'll stake the place out,
find out who else is involved.

With any luck...
(Vehicle engine)

(Singing)

What's this?

♪ ..earth and hell
combined could bring

♪ Against the cause
we're furthering ♪

Come on, quick.

Quick, quick, quick. Come on.

Behold the Beast!

Take him down!

(Children yelling)

No. Come on!

GRIGOR: Hold on,
do not let him get up!

Soon he'll be exhausted and will
succumb. Hold on, hold on.

Get off me, you madman!

Get off!

Stop! Get off him now!

You're a bit late, Officer.
We're making a citizen's arrest.

You are endangering these children.
The Lord protects his own.

All of you, get off him.

♪ The drink that's
in the drunkard's bowl

♪ Is not the drink for me

♪ It kills his body and his soul

♪ How sad a sight is he

♪ The drink that's
in the drunkard's bowl

♪ Is not the drink for me

♪ It kills his body and his soul

♪ How sad a sight is he... ♪

Eugh!

♪ But there's a drink
which God hath given,

distilled in the
showers of heaven #

Silas Trout, I'm arresting you for
distilling alcohol without a licence.

And on suspicion of murder.

♪ Oh, that's the drink... ♪

You know the maximum penalty for
illicit distilling? It's five years.

Motivation enough to kill
a customs officer.

It seems Slim had his neck broken
in several places.

How many men would have the strength
to cause that sort of injury?

It's nothing to do with me.

Where were you Thursday night?
I was with my trees...

laying smudge.

There was a frost.

I know about the frost.
Did anyone see you there?

Badger came by.

Thank you.

Can I go now?

I'm afraid not.

You'll be held at
Causton police station.

The circumstantial evidence against him
is very strong. He's got no alibi.

Are we going to charge him
with murder?

Not yet.

These are the other calls Slim
received the night he died.

Why was he talking to the
Reverend Grigor?

(Singing)

♪ The Pledge, the Pledge, the
glorious Ark

♪ Which sheltered
anxious multitudes ♪

He is triumphant!

The Dark One is vanquished.

Prepare ye the way of the Lord.

For he shall come again.

He shall come again!

♪ And whelming man in black,
despair ♪

Enough, my children.
Leave us now, while I

talk to the Inspector
about the devil's work.

Now, gentlemen,
how may I help you to do God's work?

Why did you call Peter Slim?

To report Silas Trout's wrongdoing.

My followers and I had been keeping
an eye on him for some time.

When we found his lair,
my first instinct was

to report it to the
appropriate authorities.

And what did Slim say?

He told me to mind my own business.

Really?

Might that have been because he already
had the barn under surveillance

with the intention of uncovering
Silas Trout's network?

He had a plan, did he, a grand plan?

While he was planning,
the devil was crouched

there, spitting out
his vile ejaculate.

Poisoning the world
one drop at a time.

Drip, drip, drip.

Tell me, have you had difficulties
with alcohol in the past?

Why do you say that?
It would explain your zeal, wouldn't it?

That was a long time ago.

Tell me about it. Were you fond of
the Beast?

Fond is not the word.
The Beast had me in his thrall.

I was powerless to resist him.

So I took myself out onto the high
ground one night in winter.

There was a freezing blizzard
blowing from the north.

But I stripped off and stood there,

screaming, begging for the Lord to
take me.

When I awoke the following morning,

the warm sun was on my face.

I wasn't dead.

There was a man standing there and
he spoke to me in a voice so soft.

He said,
"Norman, go and do my will."

Do you understand? I have been
chosen!

(Mobile rings)

Jones.

Really? Hang on.

The phone company have
picked up a signal

from Slim's phone.
They have it triangulated.

Get a grid reference.

We're gonna need a grid reference.

Yeah.

It's his car.

Blood here, sir.

What have we got here?

There's a stick here
with blood on it, as well.

Looks like prints in the blood.

Well, if they belong to Silas Trout,
we've got our man.

Have Forensics take a look.

Can't find his phone, though.

Ring it.

(Dials number)

(Faint ringtone)

(Ringing increases in volume)

He was attacked and tried to escape.

Photocopies of bank statements.

A Swiss account.

So, he threw the satchel away
as they were closing in on him.

Sir.

Looks like they had dogs with them.

(Motor running)

We have company.

Look what we've got here.

Can I help you?

Do you remember me? I'm Detective...
I know who you are.

Could you tell me what that is?

That's a tree shaker
for harvesting the apples.

Could you show me how it works,
please?

Here, Rob.
Show the man how it works.

OK.

(Low) Watch this.

Go back there, now.

Come on, Rob, run it.

They asked!

I reckon that's blood, sir.

Slim's injuries are consistent
with being shaken by such a device.

Kate Wilding was right.
Our murder weapon.

What a way to die.

DEVEREUX: What's going on?

What are you doing on my land?

Stay there, sir.
I'm Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby.

This is now a crime scene.

What on earth are you talking about?

Go to the mill. We'll be up to
talk to you shortly, Mr Devereux.

Are you all right, Mr Devereux?

What?

Yes, I'm fine.

Look, er... why don't you take the
afternoon off?

Why?
Because I want you to.

OK.

I'll see you tomorrow, then.

(Bell chimes)

(Voices talking)

Everything all right?

Got the day off.

French is in a panic.
I think he's planning to do a runner.

After what he's done,
I'm not surprised.

What's troubling you, my duck?

I don't want no more part
in all this.

It's nothing to do with me...

all the upset with Esme.

Come on, my duck.

It'll be all right.

Living here we're the luckiest
people on earth.

We're special.

You know that.

And soon...

things are gonna get
even better for us.

You mark my words.

Inspector.

Ah, hello.

I didn't realise this is where
the horns are kept.

Yes, they've been hanging
on these walls since

the church was built,
nearly 700 years ago.

Isn't the Horn Dance some kind of
pagan rite?

It was part of a celebration
known as Beltane,

but the early Christians
were pragmatists.

The locals weren't going
to give it up so they

Christianised it.
Today we call it Easter.

Fascinating.

Has the Horn Dance changed at all?

As performed today, it's a vestigial
and respectable version

of what was once a very savage rite.

It was violent?

Very. Local men would fight with
horns to assert their dominance.

When did it become a dance?

Some time in the 1880s.

Did you see the man who just left?

The beekeeper.

He can remember the old men talking
about it when he was a lad.

The Reverend Grigor...
He was ranting on.

Something to do with...
putting on the skin of an animal?

"Whoever at the calends..."
that's 1st January...

"..goes about in the form of a
stag... " et cetera, et cetera.

It's a papal edict
that was issued in 669.

Grigor's very fond of it.

You don't seem to hold him
in the highest esteem.

The Pope?

(Chuckles) The Reverend Grigor.

Temperance cannot be
imposed upon people.

They have to want it.

Tell me...

when Peter Slim's body was found,

why did you say, "My God,
what have I done?"

I have confidences to keep,
Inspector.

No doubt.

But if you don't reveal
what you know to me

now and someone else is
murdered as a result,

how will that make you feel?

Think about that.

We'll talk again.

Now, this is it.

You follow the scent, OK?

OK.

Right.

That's it. Go on, follow the scent.
Go on.

(Sykes barks)
Get the sock.

Come on. Go, get the sock.

Good boy. You go.

What happened to you last night?

I fell asleep on the sofa.

I spoke with the truancy
officer yesterday.

He told me something you
might find interesting.

Yeah?

He has trouble all year round with
Midsomer Abbas and Midsomer Herne.

But there's one period each year when
none of the children turn up for school,

between the 1st and 4th May.

Well, the 1st is the cider fayre.

I'll try and find out for you.

See you later.

(Sighs)

I'll get the sock.

Jones.

Morning, sir.
What have you got?

Documents from Slim's briefcase.

Significant sums being deposited
at a bank in Geneva.

Who controls the account?

Well, it's a numbered account.

Numbered, as in we can't see the
identity of the account holder? Exactly.

Well, you'd better find out who that
person is.

How?

Lateral thinking, Jones.

Let me know.

All right, Will?
Hello, Samuel.

Usual?

Oh, yeah.

How's business?

Oh, terrible since the trouble.

It's the same over my way.

No one's in the mood for drinking.

We need to lift people's spirits,
don't we?

Draw them together, have some fun.

(Chuckles)
Cheers.

Good idea.
Maybe we should have a barn dance.

I was thinking of something
more rooted in our tradition.

You must be joking, Samuel.

There hasn't been a Stag for
60 years.

Then it's time there was.

We can't let the rite die out.

A few more years, no one will even
remember it.

I'm not so sure.

I could arrange it so you'd receive
a very warm welcome at my pub, Will.

What would you say to that?

Samuel Quested.

What are you doing on this side of
the hill?

We think it's time for a Stag.

A Stag?

Oh!

A Stag?

Good idea.

Then it's settled.

You sort things out your end, Will.

Beltane is Friday night.

And Chloe...

mind you leave your door open.

Don't you worry about that.

What is it that's going on here,
Byron?

Why was Peter Slim killed?

He was a Revenue man. You don't think
that had something to do with it?

There have always been Revenue men.

None of the others have been murdered
- Not recently, anyway.

I have the feeling that
there is more to the murder

of Peter Slim than a bit
of illicit distilling.

I'm right, aren't I?
Look...

I don't condone what happened.

But I'm an old man.

And I want to live out
my remaining days in peace.

So, I won't be pointing the finger.

Is someone threatening you?

This is my home.

It's all I have.

Who killed Peter Slim?

If you want to know who did it...

ask the trees.

I've cracked it.
The murder?

No, the Swiss bank -
the identity of the account holder.

Excellent.
Thank you.

Devereux has been done for drink
driving - banned.

So I talked to the cab company.

On every day a deposit was made in
Geneva over the last two years,

Devereux took a cab to
Heathrow Airport.

Lateral thinking.

Well done, Jones.

The question is,
where is he getting the money from?

Are you a fishing man, Mr Devereux?

Yes.

Did you catch that?

Yes, on the Findhorn in Scotland two
years ago.

Nearly 19 pounds.

That is a big fish.

Why do you fly to Geneva
every month?

To ski.
In June?

Have you heard of drawback fraud,
Mr Devereux?

It's pretty simple.

You export your alcohol to a country
where the duty's low, like France,

you leave it in a bonded warehouse
for a day or two,

and then reimport it
back into the UK,

where the duty is high,
and sell it on.

The difference between the two rates,
you pocket.

Or in your case,
you hide it in a Swiss bank account.

I have no idea...

Peter Slim's file on you.
He had you bang to rights.

That's why you killed him.
I didn't kill him!

But you admit the fraud?

My family have owned this land
for hundreds of years.

The mill started losing money
in the '90s.

I was faced with some stark choices.

The thought of losing this place...

the shame.

So, you started supporting the
business by fraud?

The Revenue were the thieves, not me.

Where were you on the night of
Peter Slim's murder?

Look...

I'm a chronic alcoholic!

Can't you see?

All I can remember is taking
a taxi down to the village.

My mind's a blank after that.

Arrest him.

On which charge, sir?
Both.

Fraud and murder.

Take him in then call out
the SOCO team.

I want this place searched
from top to bottom.

And make sure that
Forensics check his finger

prints against those found
on the wading staff.

Wading staff? The big stick we
found next to Peter Slim's car.

Fly fishermen use them
to keep their balance

when they are wading in
fast-flowing rivers.

I'm just off for a stroll.
I won't be long.

Anthony Devereux...

I'm arresting you on suspicion
of murder and fraud...

(Sniffs)

He's been at this for years.

There's millions involved.

That's more than enough motive
to kill Slim.

True.

But he's a wreck.

How could he have pursued a fit man
like Peter Slim

through rough country
for over a mile?

You've changed your tune, sir.
You don't think he killed him?

I doubt it.

So why do we arrest him for murder?

If he didn't do it himself,
he probably has a fair idea who did.

He might crack.

Call Revenue and Customs.

They can investigate the fraud
allegation.

And charge Silas Trout with
the distilling offence

and then release him.
His alibi checks out.

What alibi?

A perfect blossom,
undamaged by frost.

Trout says he was out laying smudge
that night.

This proves he's telling the truth.

Please, get me a drink.

I beg you!

Somebody get me a bloody drink!

The Beast! I need the Beast!

Somebody get me a bloody drink!

(Knock at door)
Come in.

Ah, Prudence,
I'm just finishing my sermon.

Should I ask my father to ring the
bell for evening worship?

Yes, thank you.

What are you doing here?

You grassed me up to the Revenue,
Norman.

In this valley,

that's worse than a sin.

I want you to confess.

I want you to ask the Lord for
forgiveness for what you did to me.

I did the bidding of the Lord.

Really?

Go on, then, Norman.

Show God how much stronger he's made
you over the Beast.

I will not be tested by you.

Oh, come on, Norman.

Surely you're not afraid of a little
glass of fermented apple juice?

You see?

Beside the Lord,

he's nothing.

First and greatest sin is pride,
Norman.

Pride.

(Bell chimes)

The bell tolls.

I've just spoken to Forensics.

The fingerprints on the wading staff
match Devereux's.

Really?

OK, how about this?

Devereux discovered he was being
investigated.

Slim had arranged to meet his
informant Goldcrest,

but, Devereux and his
accomplices followed

him into the woods,
attacked him.

Slim was dazed, even a wreck like
Devereux could keep up with him.

And... it was Devereux's tractor
that shook him to death.

My impression is that the motivation
for the crime is altogether...

more complex.

We need to find out
who Goldcrest is.

Have a think about it.

Uh-huh.

That'll do.

(Low chatter)

Did you speak to the
Reverend Father?

Yes. And he told me to carry on with
my duties.

All right. Let's begin.

♪ Stop, poor sinners

♪ Stop and think

♪ Before you further go

♪ Will you sport upon the brink
of everlasting woe? ♪

Hi.

I thought you'd finished looking
round. Oh, we have. Don't worry.

Could you make a quick copy of that
for me, please?

Of course.
Thanks.

(Beeps and whirrs)

Thank you.

Who uses the photocopier?

Mr Devereux sometimes, but me mostly.

I see.

Goldcrest.

Does the name mean anything to you?

No. Nothing.

That's not the truth... is it, Alice?

(Singing continues)

♪ Fear you not that iron rod

♪ With which he breaks his foes ♪

Did Peter Slim ask you to copy
Devereux's bank statements?

He wanted proof.

Of what?

That Devereux was cheating
on the duty.

But Devereux was your employer.
Didn't you feel any loyalty to him?

There's people's jobs at risk.
Someone had to stop him.

Of course. You did the right thing.

The meeting with Peter Slim in the
woods. What happened?

I arrived,

gave him the copies of the Swiss
bank statements like we'd agreed.

Did you see anyone else there?
No.

Mr Devereux didn't follow you?
No.

I don't know.

I just gave Peter the statements.

That's all I know.

Don't know nothing about who killed
him, I swear it.

What they did to him was terrible.

Poor Esme.

You're friends with Esme Baker?

Well, yeah.

Was Esme having a relationship
with Peter Slim?

I've told you more than I should
have. Now I want to go home.

(Knocks)

(Knocking)

Reverend Grigor?

Reverend Grigor?

Oh!

Reverend Father, you...

Reverend Father?
Come here, my child!

Oh, my Lord!

Ooh!
(Squeals)

No! No, please!

Come here!
No!

Child! Child!
He's gone mad!

I am the Beast!

Help! The Beast!

He's been drinking the Beast!
He's gone mad!

(Reverend cries out)

I'll see you in hell!

I'll see you in hell!
I'll see you in hell!

(Barking)

(Barking and whining)

Is there somewhere
private we can talk?

This is as private
as it gets around here.

OK.

Esme, you spoke to Peter
Slim on the phone

practically every day for
the past six months.

So? So, if it was no big deal,
why did you keep it a secret?

He was a revenue man. Do you know
what that means around here?

No one can bring Peter back,
so, please, leave me in peace.

Is that what you really want, Esme?

For the guilty men to walk free?

The men who pursued Peter
through the fields with dogs,

before crushing him in an apple
harvester and shaking him to death?

Stop!

I think you know who killed Peter.

But you're too afraid to say.

Please leave me alone.

(Whines)

Esme Baker and Peter Slim were married
here three weeks ago, by you.

In secret, I take it?

Not strictly legal, but they were
married in the sight of God.

Those whom God has joined together,
let no man put asunder.

BARNABY: And Alice Quested was the
only witness.

It was a very brave thing to do.

Local girls are expected
to marry locally.

But Peter and Esme were
very much in love.

You supported them?

I was a fool.

A complete fool.

Peter Slim is dead
and Esme Baker's life is ruined.

Sam, thank God.

How are you?

Terrible. Terrible!

This place is full of maniacs!

They howl like animals all night,
they threaten me by day.

I haven't had a wink of sleep.

This is the longest I've
been without a drink

since I was 12 years old.
My head's pounding!

Don't you worry,
you'll be out of here soon enough.

How? Someone's stitched me up.

Don't you worry about a thing.
Eh?

Because you've got a
cast-iron alibi!

This is an affidavit
signed by 12 people,

stating that on the
night of the murder

you were slumped in the snug of my
pub all evening.

You drunken old soak.
You're in the clear!

Oh, my God!

(Laughs)

Devereux's solicitor is saying the
signatories are of impeccable character.

He wants the murder charge
dropped immediately.

Fine.

You agree?
Yeah.

We'll drop the murder charge.

Thank you. This is just what I need.

(Knocking)

(Bell jangles)

My dad's out.
It's you I want to talk to.

I'm saying nothing.

Have you seen this before?

I can't bear all this.

I want to help you, Alice,
and I want to help your friend, Esme,

but I can only do that if you will
help me.

I know that Esme and Peter
Slim were married.

And I know that you
have seen this before.

Hangs on the wall
of Mr Devereux's office.

I want to know if you saw it
on the night of Peter Slim's murder.

I can't do that.

It was used to beat Esme's husband
nearly to death.

And I believe you must have seen it
on the night that he died.

(Tearfully) I can't.
I think you saw it in this bar.

And I think you saw someone put it
into Mr Devereux's hands

as he lay unconscious
in the corner here.

(Bell jangles)

Afternoon, gents.

Are you all right, my duck?

You look a bit peaky.

Best get yourself upstairs.
Take a nap, eh?

Now, what can I get you, gents?

We'll be on our way.

All right?

All right?

What did they want?
Don't you worry about it.

Right, you boys better have
a few glasses of this.

Ohh!
(Chuckles)

Because... tonight's the night.

BOTH: Hey!

One at a time, one at a time.

(Bees buzzing)

Hey, the custody sergeant just
called.

They've got the Reverend
Grigor locked up.

He was arrested last night.

What for?
Drunk and disorderly, and assault.

He went on a rampage in the chapel.
One of his followers called the police.

He may be a drunk,
but he didn't kill Peter Slim.

I, er... spoke to the trees.

Frost-damaged apple blossom.

The owner of the tree
that came from didn't lay

down any smudge on the
night of the frost.

Possibly because he was busy murdering
Peter Slim on Devereux's land.

You going out?
Won't be long.

I want you to make yourself scarce.
I've got a visitor coming.

Is that why you're dressed
like a tart?

Go on, clear off.

(Rowdy laughter)

♪ Wassail, wassail, all over the town

♪ Our toast is in white
and our ale is in brown

♪ Our bowl is made
of the white maple tree

♪ With wassailing bowl,
we'll drink to thee ♪

Come on, girl, hurry up!

(Laughter and shouting)

Evening, Vicar. What will it be?

I know what's going on, Samuel.

Either you call it off,
or I call the police.

You got your ways, Vicar,
and we've got ours.

Honey on your toast, Sykesie?

Did you know that when the queen bee
goes on her maiden flight,

the workers slim her down so that
she'll be able to fly far enough away

to avoid mating with drones
from her own hive?

That way the gene pool is refreshed.

Yeah, like the locals used to do.

I'm sorry?

Well, in remote areas,
where the roads were

bad, villages could
easily become inbred...

with dire consequences.

So... on one night each
year, the men from

one village would head
through the woods

and, er... couple with women
from the next village.

And vice versa.

That way the gene pool
was constantly refreshed.

It's the origin of the expression
"Stag Night".

What?

This ritual,
when does it take place?

Beltane. The 4th of May.
(Mobile rings)

Which... is tonight.

Barnaby.

I think you should know, there's trouble
in the village. It's getting very ugly.

I know about the Stag.
Where are you?

In the church.
Stay where you are. I'm on my way.

(Distant shouting)

(Blast of horn)

(Chatter dies down)

The night of Beltane has come.

It's time to follow me over the hill
to Midsomer Herne.

Men of Midsomer Abbas, happy hunting!

(Cheer)

(Blast of horn)

(Laughter and rowdy chatter)

Are you sure about this, Will?
I don't want no trouble.

It's Samuel Quested's idea. Don't
worry. It's all sorted out their end.

But my wife...

Married to you, I'm sure
she'll be thrilled.

(Laughter)

You need to get yourself
manned-up a bit, Jonathan Oak!

Go, go, go! Whoa!

(Cheer)

Go on then, Alice.
Nothing to worry about.

Don't do this, Dad. Please.

Go to your room.

Do as I say... now.

(Drunken chatter)

You'll be no use when you get there.
(Laughter)

(Chatter continues)

You won't be running anywhere!

(Panting)

Come on now!
(Man vomits)

This ain't such a good idea, Will.

The Stag...
It's from a different age.

We can't just go down there
and have our way with who we like.

We can't let the rite die out!

To hell with it.
No-one's touching my wife.

I'm going home!

You gutless wimps!

Hello? Reverend Walker?

Try the vestry.

Reverend Walker?
Chief Inspector Barnaby. Hello?

Not in the vestry.

Sir?

Call for armed backup.

Get Wilding and Forensics here.
We've got to get to Midsomer Herne.

Hello? You're breaking up.
Hold on a minute.

(Air hisses)

What now?

We do what the locals do.
We go over the hill on foot.

Now!

I can't get a signal round here.

(Drunken chatter and laughter)

What's wrong?
(Panting)

It's just me. They've all gone home.

We should call it off, Samuel.

There'll be trouble
if you go down there.

Too bad.

There's a welcome waiting for you
over there, Will.

(Laughter)
Go on!

MEN: Go on, Will!

Come on, boys!

♪ Wassail, wassail, all over the town

♪ Our toast is in white
and our ale is in brown... ♪

(Barking)

Shut up!

(Barking continues)

I told you I had a visitor.
Go on up to your room.

Fine. I'm going to bed.

(Owl screeches)

(Sobs)

Sam Quested somehow discovered that
Peter Slim and Esme Baker were married.

But why kill him?
Power.

A local girl marrying an outsider
threatened the old order.

Quested had to assert his authority
over the valley.

It's a cult basic: You control the
women and the men will follow.

Yeah. But why would
he frame Devereux and

then provide him
with a false alibi?

To get his hands on the mill.

(Squawking)

(Drunken chatter)

♪ Wassail, wassail, all over the town

♪ Our toast is in white
and our ale... ♪

All right, lads.

Go do your bidding!

Yeah!

Come on!

WOMAN: Wahoo!
This is what we've been waiting for.

(Knocking)

Open the door, Nancy.

Old Smudgie's here.

Evening, Smudgepot.

Ha-ha!

SAMUEL: Heh!
(Smudgepot groans)

(Front door slams)

(Bell tolls)

(Sighs)

(Thud)

Alice?

It's Will Green.
Don't be afraid.

I'm not going to hurt you.

Alice.

Alice!

Pervert!

Alice!

Go to hell!

JONES: As quickly as you can. We'll
be there soon.

Right.
Armed response on the way.

Uniform on their way
to the village, sir.

Good. Come on.

(Approaching sirens)

(Sighs)

(Whining)

Samuel Quested...

you animal.

Oh, where are you going?

You think it's you I've come for?

(Cries out)
Quiet, woman!

No! You bastard!

(Barking)

(Chloe screams)

(Banging on front door)

Esme! Esme!

It's your ma, wake up!

Esme!

All right, my duck?

Touch me and I'll kill you.

Thought you could turn your back
on your own people, huh?

You little whore!

(Esme screams)

Come here!
No!

Come here!
Get off me!

(Distant barking)

(Scream)

Esme!

You bastard, Sam Quested!
Let me in!

Let me in!
(Esme screaming)

Jones!

(Esme screaming)
Get off her!

What are you doing?
What are you doing to me?

Fat pig!

SAMUEL: Aaargh!

Samuel Quested, you're
under arrest for the

murders of Peter Slim
and Conrad Walker.

You do not have to say anything
but it may harm your defence

if you fail to mention
when questioned

something which you
later rely on in court.

(Panting)

(Samuel strains)

Let me go! If you know what's good
for you, let me go!

Lads! Lads! Help me!

Come on! Help me! Come on!

Keep moving. Keep moving!

Stay back.
Let him be, copper.

Stay back.
I'm warning you.

And I'm warning you, stay back.
Aaargh!

No, you don't.
Aargh!

(Gunshot and commotion)

(Bullet clatters)

Gonna kill a copper now,
are you, boy?

You think
that's the right thing to do?

Murderer!

Quiet now, girl.
Leave her, Quested,

or I'll shoot you down
like the mad dog you are.

Go on, then, old man.

Have a bang.

(Shocked gasps)

Go on, Smudgie, finish him off.

We'll bury them deep
with a cow on their heads!

(Sirens wail)

You got anything to say
before I pop you, copper?

These are your people, Samuel.

Why don't you tell them
what this is really about?

Oh, this is about
land, all right, but

Samuel isn't telling you...
the whole story.

The truth is he has
blackmailed Anthony

Devereux into making
the mill over to him.

What?
(Murmuring)

You own most of this valley now,
don't you, Samuel?

(Laughs)

I own the pub and four acres.

That's a lie.
You be quiet now, girl.

The copper's telling the truth.
My father had me spy on the French.

Then he framed him up
and made him sign the land over.

You drunken old soak.
You're in the clear.

How can I thank you?

There is something
I wanted to ask you about, Anthony.

Anything!

I know the mill is running
at a loss.

I was thinking that maybe what you
were needing was, er... a partner?

Next harvest you'll be selling your
apples to my father.

(Cries of shock)

That's what this is about,
isn't it, Samuel?

Is this true?
No!

Come on, finish it, Smudgie.

On your knees, copper.
We don't want no more shootings here.

You're a thief and a murderer,
Samuel Quested.

You're nothing more
than a common criminal.

Your community has been stained
by two murders.

Are you going to let this man
add further to the score?

Give me the gun!

(Cocks rifle)

(Shocked gasps)

Give it to him, Smudgie.

(Screaming)

You haven't got a case against me,
copper.

The French left his fingerprints on the
murder weapon in the victim's blood.

You pressed the wading
staff into Devereux's

hand as he lay dead
drunk in your bar,

didn't you?

Got a witness?

I saw him do it.
(Shocked gasps)

You shut your mouth, girl.
I saw him!

Shut up!

And I heard him send Smudgepot
and Wilberforce to murder the vicar.

My father is a murderer!

You murdered Peter Slim with the
apple harvester, didn't you?

A fitting end for a revenue man...

to be given a little shake.

(Engine running)

(Laughs)

(Laughs)

And when Reverend Walker threatened
to talk, you murdered him too.

You got your ways, Vicar,
and we've got ours.

Who will rid me of this
troublesome priest?

In the name of Christ...

stop!

He never did understand us.
(Police siren)

Come on, Smudgie.
Aargh!

Take him, take him.

You two, him.

You're an evil man, Quested.

You won't be seeing this valley again
for a very long time.

(Scoffs)

Even in prison, I'll still be
Master of the Stag.

The village, they won't forget me.

I wouldn't be so sure.

Take him away.

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