Midsomer Murders (1997–…): Season 3, Episode 2 - Blue Herrings - full transcript

While taking a week off to move into their new home, Barnaby takes time to visit his aunt, Alice Bly, who is staying at a local convalescent home for a few weeks. She tells him that a resident died there the previous evening and at least one other resident believes it was murder. When the home's administrator tells Barnaby that residents' personal effects are going missing, he gets Troy to look into the goings on at the manor. When a second resident is found dead soon after, Barnaby begins to suspect that something is amiss.

Are you all right?
Yes, thank you.

What's that supposed to be?


You put down F-U-L-L
and I added H-O-P-E. 'Hopefull.'

Oh, come on.
You don't spell it with two Ls.

Why not?
Well, you just don't.

You stupid woman.
I didn't come here to be insulted.

Ladies, ladies, ladies.

Mind your own business,
you interfering old buffer.

Keep calm.

I've had enough of this damned
place. I've had enough of you.

You are the most unpleasant person
I've ever met.

That's better. That's much better.

Come along, please.
Back to your rooms.

Poor George.

Another Indian bites the dust.

Did you know Muriel?
I met her, that's all.

Not my favourite person
in the world. Rather the reverse.

What were you doing, George?

Where were you going?

I didn't want to be late for church.

George found her. Very upsetting.

Her real name is Marjorie.
Everybody calls her George.

Getting battier by the minute.

See you in the morning, no doubt.

If we survive the night.
Do you think we may not?

At my time of life, one never knows.

She was no age. Only 81.

They said it was a heart attack.

Rubbish. Who said that?

One of the nurses told me.

She would, wouldn't she?

that's what they want us to think.

Gavin's here.
Oh, come in.

Look at this.

Isn't it lovely?

It's... very nice.

There's a lot still to do.
She worries.

You're not exactly
the world's greatest handyman.

Oh, yes. It's beautiful.

I've got a week off,
seven whole days.

Look at the kitchen.

Don't need that long
to straighten this place out.

What about the spare room?

Slap some paint on,
it'll be transformed in no time.

Hello, Gavin. How are you?
Oh, fine, thanks.

He's given us this lovely cactus.
It's, erm... beautiful. Thank you.

When did you come down?
Last night.

She's getting us organised.
Trying to. Do you fancy some coffee?

Oh, great.

I'm going to get some paint.

Then I'm going to see
Auntie Alice on the way home.

She's at a nursing home
near Aspern Tallow.

She's been in hospital.
We need to keep an eye on her.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Dr Warnford! Huh!

Have you met him?

How the hell can he afford
a car like that? ã60... 70,000.


A country GP. It doesn't make sense.

I don't trust him.
Never have. A total creep.

Oh, I'm William Smithers.

How do you do? Alice Bly.

So you're a newcomer?


Sad business.
What is?

Selling up.
Didn't it make you feel sad?

Getting rid of everything
that was important.

I'm not here permanently.

No, I've been rather ill

and the hospital sent me to a
convalescent home for a few weeks.

So what made you choose this place?

I'm very fond
of this part of the world.

And I have a nephew
who lives close by.

A favourite nephew.

Good morning. Can I help you?

Yes. I'd like some flowers
for an elderly lady.

Pot plant or mixed bunch?
What do you think'd be best?

It's for my aunt
who's at a nursing home.

Yes. Do you know it?

We know it well. Lots of funerals.

Oh, dear, I'm sorry.
I shouldn't have said that.

I'll make her up a nice bunch.

What were you saying
about that old lady?

What old lady?

The old lady who died last night.
Oh, yes, Muriel.

Bossy old bag.

What about her?

You said it wasn't a heart attack.
What wasn't?

I was told she died of a heart
attack, and you said she didn't.

You said they want us to think
it was a heart attack.

Who are 'they'?

You think
I'm making it up, don't you?

Well, I'm not.

They think
I'm going soft in the head.

Let them think what they like.

I don't argue. Makes life easy.

It isn't the first time
it's happened.

Far from it.
What do you mean?

They get them to change their wills.

I don't know how, but they do.

Who are you talking about?
Miss Richards and Dr Warnford.

They've got it all worked out.

Nobody suspects anything.

They pretend
they're not even friends.

Just professional colleagues.

Perhaps they are just colleagues.
Don't you believe it.

I've seen them.

I've seen them together.

How's that?

'I needed some new shoes and
Nurse Bartlett took me into town.'

How does that feel?
Yes, I think that's all right.

It's not too tight?
No, it's very comfortable.

Try walking.

How's that?

Yes, it's fine.

What is it, George?
What's the matter?

Very comfortable.
I think these will do nicely.

And I'll tell you something else.

What is it?

There was nothing wrong
with Muriel's heart.

She saw the specialist
only a couple of weeks ago.

He said she was as fit as a fiddle.

Oh, doctor.

Doctor, I'm sorry to bother you.

What is it now?
I'm sorry to bother you.

You just said that.

Sorry. I'm sorry.

Well, what is it?

I've a pain in my shoulder.

It's worrying. Especially at night.

Mr Prewitt,
you are a hopeless hypochondriac.

You're also a bloody nuisance.

You waste my time and the nurses'.

Take an aspirin. Take two.

Stop thinking about yourself.

Good morning.

I'm looking for Mrs Bly,
Mrs Alice Bly.

Do you know where she is?

You'll find her in the lounge.
To the left.

Thank you.
Is she settling in all right?

I don't actually work here.
Oh, I'm sorry.

I'd rather be mistaken for
one of the staff than a resident.

All ready
for our trip to the hospital?

Thank you, Miss Richards.

How are you feeling today?
Rather well, actually.

Do we really
have to go to the hospital?

The doctor wants to see you,
so we ought to go.

We won't be long.
Back in time for supper.

There's no need to hurry.
We can get her something on a tray.

Come along. Take my arm.


I'm Miss Richards. Can I help you?

I'm Tom Barnaby. Mrs Bly's nephew.

I was wondering if you know where -
Oh, yes. The detective.

She's very proud of you, Mr Barnaby.

It's through there
and then to your left.

Thank you.

Are you all right?
Yeah. Thank you.

Good morning.


Auntie Alice!
Oh, Tom!

My dear! What a treat.

So what's it like here?
Oh, the food's good.

My room's comfortable
and the staff are friendly.

So you're quite happy?
Oh, happy-ish.

It's like being back at school.

Oh, I know they're all old, but
they behave like naughty children.

It must be very difficult
being a nurse.

I don't think I'd have the patience.

Somebody died here last night.

An old lady called Muriel.

There's something odd about it.

They say she died of a heart attack,

but there was nothing wrong
with her heart.

How do you know?

Somebody told me.

One of the nurses?
No. One of the old ladies.

George. Well, they call her George.
What did she say?

Well, she said she thinks
that Miss Richards and Dr Warnford

are trying to defraud people.

What people?
The people here.

Oh, the residents?

Defraud them?


Getting them to change their will.

This is what your friend George
told you?


How reliable is she?

I don't know her very well, but
she's very nice, very respectable.

That's not what I meant.

You know as well as I do that
old people sometimes get confused.

Look at my old mum. She thought
everyone was stealing from her.

The milkman, the paper boy, even me.
And me.

I'm sure your friend
is a very lovely old lady,

but it might not be a good thing
to believe everything she says.

All right?

All right.

Excuse me,
is Miss Richards about, please?

I'm afraid not.
She won't be back until about three.

Perhaps you can help. Dr Warnford.
Do you happen to have his address?

Dr Warnford?


Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby.

What do you want?

Ah, nothing serious.
Just a few questions.

I'm in the middle of lunch.

It won't take a minute.
Oh, very well.

If it's about that accident in Fern
Bassett, everything's in my report.

The man was drunk as an owl.

He deserved to get knocked down.
It's his own fault.

In here.

This is not an official visit.

So, what is it?

You look after residents
at Lawnside Nursing Home.

I do.

My aunt
has just moved in there. Mrs Bly?


She seems rather worried about the
death of the old lady last night.

You mean Mrs Harrap?

I'm sorry...

There seems to be some confusion
about the cause of death.

No confusion. She died
of acute myocardial infarction.

Heart attack.

Somebody told my aunt that there
was nothing wrong with her heart.

Muriel Harrap
was nearly 80 years old.

There was nothing wrong
with her heart,

but at that age, things can happen
at any time without warning.

Your aunt has probably been talking
to Mrs Watson. They call her George.

Lives in a world of her own.

The last time I saw her she was
expecting the Queen Mother for tea.

Need I say more?

I'm sorry to have wasted your time.

See yourself out.
I don't want to miss the next race.

What do you want?

Where's Sister Lovelace?

She's not here.
Well, where's she gone?

It's her night off.

Listen, I've got to see her.
I've got to talk to her.

Stop it. Let go of me.

Tell me where she is!

Let go! Let go!

Let go of me.

I'm staying
at the Stonor Arms Hotel.

You know who I am.

You tell her.

24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30...

What are you doing today, Cully?

What are my orders?
34. We need more curtain hooks.

Could you go and see Auntie Alice,
see if everything's all right?

Could you go this morning?


Mrs Armstrong?

Oh, Mrs Bly.

Am I disturbing you?
Not in the least.

Do please come in.

How are you today?

Rather well, actually.

A little tired.

I looked for you at breakfast.

Nurse Bartlett was very sweet.

She let me have breakfast in bed.

What a luxury.

How was it at the hospital?

not entirely what I'd hoped.

Oh, dear.

I don't think
there's much they can do.

Oh, I'm so sorry.

I'm worried about Pru.

She was very upset.

Well, of course.
She's got no life of her own.

But what about you?

What do you feel?

I'm an old lady.

I've had a happy life.

And now...

I propose
to let nature take its course.

There's nothing else
I can do, after all.

let's talk about something else.

Did you hear
that dreadful row last night?

What dreadful row?

Nurse Bartlett,
I think, and some man.

One of the residents?
No, no.

But I recognised his voice.

Who was it?

Well, if it's
the man I think it was,

his name is Mungo Mortimer.

I used to live on the ground floor,

next to his mother.

What do you mean, you won't sign it?

It's my money.
I need it and I'm not dead yet.

If I don't get this money,
I'm finished.

Well, that's your problem, Mungo,
not mine.

My God, the sooner you're out of
the way, the happier I shall be.

Did he really say that?

I think so.
That's what it sounded like.

And you thought
he was here last night?

I know it. I saw him.

You've got to say something.
You've got to stop him coming here.

It's nothing to do with me.

He came here to see you.
So what?

I was scared.

I can't help that.

Well, you've got to do something.

Do what?

You've got to stop him
coming back here.

Mungo Mortimer is a dangerous man.

I'm having nothing more
to do with him. Nothing!

So you're an actress, Miss Barnaby?

Trying to be.
How exciting.

Tough life.

She was almost
in Pride And Prejudice.

Isn't that the one
about the Russian spy?

Pride And Prejudice, George.

There are no Russian spies
in Pride And Prejudice.

Oh, I'm getting confused.

Really? You do surprise me

How long have you lived here?

Oh... Five years. It'll soon be six.

Do call me William.

It's very beautiful. It's quiet.

Too damn quiet for me. I prefer
the hustle and bustle of city life.

Did you work in the City?

Well, not exactly.

He was in the Army.
Oh, that was when I was young.

I left the Army after 15 years.

Went to London.

Became a driver, a chauffeur.

You never told me that.
You never asked me.

Joined Price and Potter.
Marvellous firm.

Nothing but the best.

Drove quite a lot of theatre people.

Jack Buchanan,
Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh.


We had topnotch cars.
The cream de la cream.

Mr Buchanan always had
a Rolls-Royce.

A very stylish gentleman.

Sometimes I took him to Brighton.

He preferred a Bentley Continental
for those trips.

Is that why
you're interested in cars?

Oh, of course.

Have you seen
the doctor's Aston Martin?


I'd give ã5,000 to spend
an afternoon in that car,

if I had ã5,000 to spare.

Troy, come on in.
Thank you, sir.

Do you want a beer?
No, thanks. How's it going?

It could be worse.
There's still a lot to do.

Sorry to interrupt.
No. Interruptions are welcome.

What's the problem?
Not really a problem, sir.

Miss Richards phoned,
from the nursing home.

When I said you weren't working, she
asked for your home phone number.

I didn't give it to her.
Did she say what it was about?


Hello, Lawnside.
"Miss Richards?"

Mr Barnaby, how kind of you to call.
Thank you.

You wanted to speak to me?

I wanted
to ask your advice about something.

I'll come up and see you, shall I?

No, no. I'd rather
you didn't come here, Inspector.

I'll explain why when I see you.

There's a tea shop in Causton.

Near the market place.

One of our residents died
a couple of nights ago.

A Mrs Harrap.
Muriel Harrap.

Your aunt spoke to you about
the circumstances of her death.

Who told you that?
Dr Warnford.

She was concerned.

Oh, dear.

People worry so much
when they get older.

They worry about everything.

Although she wasn't rich, Mrs Harrap
did have a good wristwatch.

A Cartier.
It was worth a lot of money.

I helped her
with the insurance papers.

The point is, it's gone missing.

When was this?

I saw her the evening
before she died. She wore it then.

Why did you see her?
Was there a special reason?

I helped her
with her banking affairs.


I checked her bank statements.

I made sure
all her bills were paid on time.

She found that side of life a bit
overwhelming. Most residents do.

I see. And you discovered
that the watch was missing when?

Come along now, please.

Back to your rooms now, please.

She wasn't wearing it.

I noticed that most particularly.

That watch
meant a great deal to her.

If she wasn't wearing it,
it was on her bedside table.

Is something wrong?

The truth is, I would rather
we hadn't been seen together.

Why do you wish that?

I don't want to cause any gossip.

It could cause real difficulties.

Difficulties? How?

Well, any hint of anything being
stolen could be very damaging.

I mean, people might leave.

We just can't afford
that sort of scandal.

Look, I'll get my sergeant
to make some discreet enquiries.

Good afternoon, sir.
And how are you today?

Pretty fair, thank you.
Not bad at all.

You'll be glad to know we found
a home for your cigarette case.

A theatre-lover.

Delighted to possess something
of Jack Buchanan's.

A former client,
as I think I told you.

Sad to part with it.

This belonged to my late wife.

As usual, financial necessity
forces me to ignore sentiment.

Ah, yes.

Cartier. Very nice.

We can certainly give you
a good price for this, sir.

Yes, sir. Can I help you?

I'd like to see Miss Richards.
May I ask what it's about?

Detective Sergeant Troy,
Causton CID.

Miss Richards spoke to my boss,
Chief Inspector Barnaby.

He asked me to come here.
Oh! Oh, dear.

Is something wrong?
Perhaps you could tell her I'm here?

She's out.
We had an emergency with Mr Cranham.

She's gone to see his daughter.

Perhaps there's something I can do?

Well, erm...
nothing at the moment, I think.

Tell her I called. Ask her
to give me a ring. Sergeant Troy.

Before you go...

Could I talk to you
for a moment, please?

Of course.
We'd better go in the staff room.

I shouldn't tell you about this.

About what?

It's really none of my business.

Well, it is, I suppose.
I'm the one he yelled at, after all.

Who are you talking about?

His name's Mortimer. Mungo Mortimer.

His mother was a resident here.

She died about three weeks ago.

Why was he shouting at you?

He was looking for
one of the nurses, Sister Lovelace.

But it was her night off.

He just... He just lost control.

He shouted at me,
he grabbed hold of my arm.

When was this?
Last night.

This other nurse, Sister what?

Have you told her about this?
She won't talk about it.

What do you mean?

Just that. She won't talk about it.
She refuses.

Is she here? Shall I speak to her?

She's gone to the hospital
with Mr Cranham.

And you've no idea
what all this is about?

There is something else.

An old lady called Mrs Harrap
died a few nights ago.

Mr Mortimer was here.

I don't think
he wanted anyone to see him.

It was very strange.

Miss Bartlett! Quickly, quickly!
It's old Mrs Harrap.

Do you have an address
for Mr Mortimer?

He lives in London most of the time.

He said he was staying
at the Stonor Arms Hotel.

Evening, Mungo. What news?

I went to the bank.
Everything's going to be OK.

Well, let's hope so, old cock,

for your sake as well as mine.

Hop in.

Wasn't that fun? I do love dancing.

George is very good.
What's that?

I was saying
what a good dancer you are.

Ah, well,
all those evenings at the Savoy.

You'll catch your death of cold
if you're not careful. Take this.

How kind. This is kind of you.

Are you all right?

That was a lovely evening.

Oh, but I'm ready for bed.

It was super. Really super.

Good night. Sleep well.

And you.

Oh, my shawl.

Oh, dear!


Madge, are you there?

It's Alice. Could I have my shawl?


Oh, God!

Oh, nurse! Nurse!

Oh, it was a dreadful shock.

Well, yes, it must have been.

I saw her a few minutes before.
We walked up the corridor together.

She was perfectly well.

She'd had a happy evening.

I just don't understand it.

You should have phoned me.

I didn't want to be a nuisance.

Oh, don't be silly.

Now, look. I must go.
I'll ring you later on.

Something frightens me.

What's that?
I lent her my shawl.

She was wearing it when she died.


Well, just suppose she was killed.

Perhaps whoever did it
thought he was killing me.

Oh, that's very unlikely.

She died in her room, not yours.

would expect
to find you there.

Now, would they?
No, I suppose not.

Cerebral haemorrhage.
Not unexpected.

She'd had a couple of tiny strokes
last year.

There's no way it could've been -

There's been a lot of sudden deaths
at Lawnside.

As I said to you before,
with an average age of about 85,

sudden deaths are frequent
and rarely unexpected.

Oh, I'm terribly sorry.
Do forgive me.

If you're looking for an unsolved
murder, I must disappoint you.

This ain't it.

I can't put my finger on it.

It's just a feeling.

She's very down to earth,
Auntie Alice.

If she thinks something's wrong,
that worries me.

Is there anything I can do?

Find a record of the people
who've died in Lawnside

over the last couple of years.

See if there's
some sort of recurring pattern.


And don't involve Miss Richards
or the other staff, all right?

Have tea with the old dears.
Listen to what they've got to say.

It must be very exciting,
being a detective.

It can be, yes.

My father once met Conan Doyle.

The man who wrote...

You know, those books.

What books?

Detective stories.
Oh. You mean Sherlock Holmes.

No! Conan Doyle.

I was wondering if any of you
had seen anything unusual.

It depends what you mean by unusual.

Old Mrs Tucker said she saw
the Prince of Wales mowing the lawn.

She was batty.

I thought
you might like to see this.

Oh, thank you.

Anyway, she died weeks ago.

Who did?

Mrs what's-her-name.

The one who saw Prince Charles
mowing the lawn.

It wasn't Prince Charles.
It was the real one.

The one who married Mrs Simpson.
That Prince of Wales.

Am I intruding?

Not at all. Come and join us.

Are you all right?

Well, hello.

Oh, how delicious to meet someone
so young and energetic

among our ancient bones.

I'm Arthur.


Gavin who?


Now, that's an interesting name.

It comes from the French and from
an ancient tribe in Gaul, I believe.

Or is it Ireland?

what are you doing here, Gavin?

He's a policeman.

A policeman.

A detective.

Are you investigating something?

Just making a few general enquiries.


Well, I...

wish you luck,

and if you'll forgive me
I've got work to do.

My room's an absolute tip
and it won't wait for me.

Is something wrong, Mr Prewitt?

No, no.

It's nothing.

I don't fancy
the idea of getting old, sir.

Not much you can do about it, Troy.

All this talk
of healthy diets and living longer.

What's the point?
Who wants to live to be 89?

Someone who's 88.

So none of them
had anything to say?

It was a nightmare. I couldn't get
a straight answer out of them.

There was one thing, sir.
What's that?

One old boy behaved strangely
when I said I was a detective.

Strangely? How?

Jumpy. Ill at ease. He was scared.

What was his name?

Retired schoolmaster. Poofter.

Oh, for...

Well, that's what he is.
A right cream puff.

It was a crime
when he was young to be gay.

That's why he was ill at ease.
Bad memories. People like you.

Would you like some more coffee?
Oh, please.

Thank you.

Chocolate biscuit?

Where did they come from?

Ask no questions
and I'll tell you no lies.

You are naughty.

They can well afford it,
the money they squeeze out of us.

God, it makes me sick.

I asked Sister Fatface
for a biscuit the other day.

'This isn't the Ritz, ' she said.

They don't do their job properly.

What about that window
in the room next door?

That was broken ages ago.

Nobody's done anything about it.

Bloody disgrace!

George thinks that Miss Richards
and Dr Warnford are in cahoots.

Oh, yeah. She told me that.

Fiddling money
and that sort of thing.

Changing wills?


Do you think that's possible?


George lives in a world of her own.

She's not the most reliable
person in Lawnside.


Still, she might be right.

Anything's possible.

I'm sorry
to interrupt your breakfast.

I have some more upsetting news
for you.

Mrs Armstrong, Celia,

passed away during the night.

Are you all right?

5-8-6-3-2. Hello?

Oh, Auntie Alice, how are you?

Mrs Armstrong's dead.

I'm sure she was killed.

I know who did it.

Who was this lady? The one who died.

Mrs Armstrong. Celia.

She said she met you.
When was that?

She was on her way to the hospital.
Oh, yes. She was with her daughter.

Oh, well, her niece.

Mrs Bennett. Nice woman, Pru.

What makes you think
she was murdered?

I'm not saying
that she was murdered definitely.

It just seems possible, that's all.
Why is it possible?

She was so bright
when I last spoke to her.

There was no reason
for her to die so soon.

I spoke to Dr Warnford.

He said she was very ill.

I don't trust Dr Warnford.

I think he's up to no good.

Well, be that as it may,

Mrs Armstrong
was old and she was ill.

She wasn't ready to die.
You can tell.

You said
she was frightened of somebody?


There was this man
arguing with one of the nurses

and then she saw him
lurking in the garden.

She said he was very angry.

She was frightened of him.

Did she describe the man?
Oh, she knew him.

Funny name.

Two Ms.

Mungo Mortimer.
I know about him, sir.

A nurse complained about him.
Threatening behaviour.

When was that?
The day before yesterday.

Have you got an address for him?
The Stonor Arms Hotel.


Oh, damn!


Mr Mortimer?

Could we have a word, please?

A word? What sort of a word?

Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby

and Detective Sergeant Troy.

What's the problem?

I understand you have a connection
with Lawnside Nursing Home.

Oh, I get it.

Nurse Bartlett has made a complaint.

Perhaps you'll kindly answer
my question, sir.

Yes, I do
have a connection
with Lawnside.

My mother lived there for 18 months.

She died there three weeks ago.

No, it was four weeks ago.

You were seen there four nights ago
when one of the residents died.

You were also seen
there a few nights ago.

On this last occasion,

you were observed by
another resident, Celia Armstrong.

She died
in the early hours of this morning.

What's all this about?

Where were you between three
and six o'clock this morning?

You don't think I had anything to do
with them dying, do you?

That is nonsense.
That's just nonsense.

They're old ladies. They died.

People are always dying there.

It's a nursing home for old people.

One of the staff complained that you
barged into the nurses' sitting room

and used abusive language
and threatening behaviour.

I was angry. I lost my temper.

Why? What about?

I wanted
to speak
to Sister Lovelace.

Nurse Bartlett
was being obstructive.

I lost my temper.
I shouldn't have done so.

I shall apologise
to her when I see her next.

You wanted to speak
to Sister Lovelace. What for?

We had a bit of a fracas
when my mother died.

It was my fault entirely.

It's been an emotionally-tough time.

It's odd. I didn't think
I'd feel quite so cut up.

Took me by surprise.

I gather you spend
most of your time in London.

When are you going back?

Early next week, to clear up
my mother's financial affairs.

Let us know
when you leave, won't you?

We'll need your address
and your telephone number.

Don't worry.
I've no plans to run away.

I wouldn't advise that, sir.

Going home now?

Back to Lawnside to hear what
Sister Lovelace says about Mortimer.

I can't believe he's called Mungo.

Good morning, Mrs Bennett.

What do you want?

I'm Tom Barnaby. Alice Bly's nephew.

I know who you are.
What's the matter?

I was so sorry to hear about -
Yes, yes.

Thank you.
It must've been a great shock.


Well,... no. She was ill.

She was very ill.

Even so, it's always a great shock
when it actually happens, isn't it?

You're right. It is. Thank you.

Was there something else?
No, no. I came to see my auntie.

Oh, yes. Of course.
Excuse me.

Sister Lovelace?

I'm Inspector Barnaby.
This is Detective Troy.

Could you spare us a minute?
Of course.

Is there somewhere we can talk?

Through here.

Joan, if you'd let us
have the room for a few moments.

Is something wrong?

We've been talking
to Mr Mungo Mortimer.

I gather there's some sort of
friction between the two of you.

I don't like him.

Why is that?
I'm not sure I should tell you.

Why not?

I am a nurse.
Mr Mortimer's mother was my patient.

Are you worried about
medical ethics?

I don't think those things apply.

I mean, in my situation.

What is your,
or what was your situation?

Mr Mortimer
has been having financial problems.

He tried to get money
from his mother.

They had rows about it.

Were you present when they did?

I heard them arguing, yes.
Tell us more about the arguments.

Like I said, Mr Mortimer
asked his mother for money.

She wouldn't give it to him.
Large sums of money?

Oh, yes.

She was... a sweet woman,
but very stubborn.

They didn't get on. Not at all.

'And of course, she was very ill.'

'The medication was heavy.
She slept most of the time.'

How long could she last?
Could be tomorrow. Could be years.

Sister Lovelace...

I don't want her to linger.

She's in no pain.

I don't think
you know what I'm talking about.

I don't want her
to linger... unnecessarily.

If your mother comes to any harm,
Mr Mortimer,

I'll know who's responsible.

And I won't keep quiet about it.

I knew what he was asking me to do.

He couldn't have made it
much clearer.

Four days later she died.

Did you tell Dr Warnford about this?

No, sir.

Dr Warnford and Mr Mortimer
are friends.

I didn't know what to do.

So I did nothing.

Was that wrong of me?

It's understandable.

Well, thank you, Sister.

Thank you.

What do you make of that?

I think I'll have a few
reassuring words with Auntie Alice.

Inspector, I must talk to you.


OK, Troy. Off you go.

Now, sir. What's the problem?

I've done something dreadful.

Quite, quite dreadful.

Morning, ladies.
Good morning.

Lovely day.

There's a pub near Badger's Drift.

First-class grub. I thought
I'd go there for some lunch.

Would you care to join me?

Oh, thank you, William,

but I don't really feel in the mood.

It's so sad about Celia Armstrong.

Fair enough. Another time, perhaps.

I'll come with you if you like.

No, thank you, George.

You'd talk about your friend, the
Queen Mum, and I'd be embarrassed.

I can't think why.
She's a very nice lady.

See you later.
How are you going to get there?

What? Where?

The pub.
It's a long way to Badger's Drift.

Oh, taxi.

Unexpected dividend.

I thought I'd give myself
a little treat.

I do hope
I didn't upset Sergeant Troy.

He's so young.
He wouldn't understand.

Understand what?

Madge Fielding.

Did you know her?

The old lady
who died the other night?


She was so untidy.

You wouldn't believe
how untidy she was.

She was the untidiest woman
I've ever met.

And messy.

Incredibly messy.

I couldn't bear to watch her eat.

I've looked at the people,
the people here,

and I've thought,
'Well, I may be getting on,

but I'm not like that.'


It's as though
they've lost all self-respect.

Some of them, anyway.

And Madge Fielding?


Madge Fielding.

Her room
was just along the corridor.

I used to walk past it
half a dozen times a day.

It was such an unbelievable mess.

No control. No order.

No self-respect.

It really offended me,

so something had to be done.

I would have to tidy
her room myself.

It was the only solution.

But there were problems.

It was difficult to see
when I would be able to gain access.

She was so unpredictable.

And then I heard about the dance.

They were going to have a dance,
you see,

downstairs in the lounge.

'I waited and waited until
I thought the coast was clear.'

As it turned out, I waited too long.

Oh, but I'm ready for bed.
It was super. Really super.

Good night. Sleep well.
And you.

'I was so engrossed,
I didn't hear her coming.'

'I was busy
tidying the dressing table

which was a mess of hair brushes
and make-up and soiled tissues.'

'And then... the door opened.'


So, I killed her.
It's as simple as that.

I killed her.

So what happens now?

I'll talk to Miss Richards.

Miss Richards?
She'll find someone to help you.

She'll know the best thing to do.

How was that, sir?
All right for you?

Very good indeed. Thank you.

I don't think
I've seen you here before, sir.

You don't live locally?
Not far. A few miles.

The trouble is, no transport.

I can't afford a car.

Can't afford anything.

I know the feeling.
We're all in the same boat.

Once upon a time, I thought
I could live quite comfortably.

What a mistake that was.

I'm in what's called
a residential nursing home.

My wife died. It was the best
solution. Bloody expensive!

Are you talking about Lawnside?
I am. Do you know it?

I know of it.
Clive Warnford lives in the village.

Warnford? Oh, Dr Warnford.

That's the one. I think his
girlfriend works at Lawnside too.

I didn't know he had one.

She's not the type
I thought he'd go for.

Rather frumpish.

Not in the first flush of youth.

Straight brown hair?

That's her.

I saw her about an hour ago.

Drives a little Fiat.

Who is she?
Sounds like Miss Richards.

Chief warder.

Where is Warnford's house?

You think you know it all!

Please, just stop!

You don't know anything.

You stupid...

No, I'm a very stupid man.

You think you know everything
but you don't.

No more, please. Stop.

You don't. You think you know
everything, but you don't.

What a laugh!

He runs an up-market second-hand
car business. Classic Cars.

That's where he met Dr Warnford.

Mortimer sold him the Aston Martin.

His name is Maurice,
by the way, not Mungo.

Maurice Winston.

We had a talk to Sister Lovelace.

I suppose she told you
I bumped off my mother.

Something like that.

It would be a very good idea if
you told us your side of the story.

It all comes down to money.

I borrowed money
from Clive Warnford.

Is he rich?
He's loaded. His wife is, anyway.

I didn't know he was married.
That's why he has to be careful.

About what?

Well, Miss Richards.

They're knocking each other off.

If the wife found out, she'd divorce
him and the money would dry up.

What about your mother?

My mother.
Yes. She was a patient there.

'It's bloody expensive, that place.'

'She was old, ill, going gaga.'

'I had no idea how long she'd last.'

'You think I asked Sister Lovelace
to finish her off.'

'Don't think
it didn't cross my mind.'

When it came to the crunch,
I couldn't do it.

What happened then?
She died suddenly four days later.

Then I began
to worry about Sister Lovelace.

What if she thought I'd done
something? Pills in the Lucozade.

Suppose she'd gone to the police.

There'd have to be a postmortem.

Probate would be delayed.
I needed the money immediately.

I had to do something.

'I decided to talk to Sister
Lovelace, tell her the truth.'

'I didn't choose a good night.'

Nurse Bartlett!

Nurse Bartlett!

Nurse Bartlett!

'Next time I came to see her, it was
her night off. I lost my temper.'

I'm staying at
the Stonor Arms Hotel.

You know who I am.

Tell her.

Now, look,
I haven't done anything wrong.

You must believe that.

I may have been a bloody fool,
but that's not a crime, is it?

Not yet, sir. No.

Inspector Barnaby, sir.
There's a call for you.

Mr Smithers.

Mr Smithers, I'm Tom Barnaby.
Mrs Bly's nephew.

I know who you are.
And I know Sergeant Troy.

What do you want?

What on earth
made you do a thing like that?

Just put it down
to an old man's foolishness.

Tell me what happened.

Well, I saw the car. He'd left the
keys in the ignition. Stupid clot.

The temptation was too great.

Why weren't you at the nursing home?
We're not prisoners, you know.

Sometimes it may seem like it.

I wanted a taste of freedom.

Lunch at the Queen's Arms.

Are you two here officially,

as policemen?

My aunt was worried about you.

She'd heard some garbled rumours
about your adventures

and asked me
to find out what happened.

Ah, dear Alice.
She's a very sweet woman.

She says you'd cooked up a theory
about Dr Warnford and Miss Richards

trying to defraud the residents.

We were barking up the wrong tree.

Their connection is more intimate,
if you follow my drift.

You're going to get into trouble
for this.

I know that.

And there's something else.

What's that?

My jacket.

The wallet in the inside pocket.
Have a look.

Look inside.

Old Muriel Harrap.

I flogged her watch.

Nurse Bartlett!

'Her room's opposite to mine.'

'She left the door ajar.'

Now, what would have happened
if I hadn't taken it?

It would have gone
to some niece or nephew.

Pushed into a drawer.

Nobody needed it.

But I did.

I needed it
to go to the pub once a week.

A couple of G&Ts.
A ploughman's with real cheddar.

These things are important
to a chap.

They are to me, anyway.

I'll tell you something.

Whatever happens,...

it was worth it.

Oh, Mrs Bly.

I'm so sorry. I didn't realise.

I was on my way to having a bath
but I saw the door was open.

I seem to have lost something.

Can I help?
No, it's all right.

Go and have your bath.

It seems silly
having a bath at this time.

But there's such a queue
in the morning.

Oh, it wasn't an earring, was it?

How did you know it was an earring?

Well, I don't know.
Well, I just saw it on the carpet.


I don't remember.
What sort of an earring?

It was just an earring, that's all.
And did you pick it up?

I can't remember.

Oh, I gave it to one of the nurses.
Which one?

Oh, I can't remember.

I'm so sorry, but my memory
is in a hopeless state at this...

I'm so sorry. Do forgive me.

Thank you for this.

Thanks for what?
For taking me out to dinner.

It's the least I could do.
Everything at home is a mess. Sorry.

What is it?

You've got something on your mind.
No. Not really.

Tell me.

Well, I'm puzzled.

And worried.
About Alice?

There's a woman called Pru Bennett.

Her aunt is in Lawnside.
Or she was in Lawnside.

She's been very ill.
The aunt died last night.


When I said how sorry I was,

Mrs Bennett reacted very strangely.

I couldn't
put my finger on it, but now I can.

She wasn't upset. She was frightened.

What of?

It seems...
Well, she was frightened of me.

Oh, my God!

"Just because they're free,
doesn't mean they're good."


It's Alice. Auntie Alice.

I must speak to your father.

He's not here. They've gone to
a restaurant in Causton.

Look, Cully, you've got to ring him.

I'm in terrible trouble.

Why, what is it?
What's the matter?

I know who killed Celia Armstrong.

There's a telephone call for you,

For me?
It's your daughter.

She's really scared, Dad.

She thinks
someone's trying to kill her.

Thank you, sir.
Thank you.

I'll give you a ring
when I get to the home.

What's going on?
I don't know.

Yes, hello?
"Miss Richards?"

It's Tom Barnaby. Inspector Barnaby.

"I think you have
an intruder on the premises."


What's happened?
Have you seen anyone?

Your aunt is not in her room.
Shall we look in the other bedrooms?

No. Sergeant Troy will be here soon
with other officers.

They'll search.
You stay here and together.

Anything I can do to help?

No, not at the moment.

What's on the ground floor?
Dining room, TV lounge, staff room.

Let's have a look.

That's how they got in. Look.

Where does this go?
Oh, the TV lounge.

You'll want to talk to her.

Miss Richards.

She's terribly upset. You will be
gentle with her, won't you?

I never intended to do her any harm,
your aunt.

I just wanted
to tell her the truth.

To beg her to say nothing.

I felt sure she'd understand.

And did she?
I think so.

You know what happened.

You know what I did.

Perhaps you ought to tell me
about it.

Celia was the most important person
in the world to me.

It's as simple as that.

My parents died when I was young.

Celia was my mother's sister.

She brought me up as her daughter.

We were devoted to each other.

Celia's husband died.

So we shared a house.

We were very happy.

The cancer first came
five years ago.

We thought she was clear,

but it came back.

We went to the hospital
on Tuesday.

It was the worst possible news.

'At first, I didn't take it in.'

'I'd been sitting there,
I don't know how long,

going over and over
what the doctor had told me.'

'He would do all he could,
he said.'

'But I must face up to the fact

that she'd go downhill
pretty quickly.'

'What did that mean?'

'I should have asked him.'


terrible indignities.'

'She'd always been
so kind and gentle,

so full of sympathy for others.'

'I knew
the cancer was destroying her.'

'I couldn't let her suffer
and do nothing.'

'It must have been
two or three in the morning.'

'The lock on the dining room
French window was broken.'

'Celia had complained about it.'

'She looked so peaceful.'

'And so content.'

'I knew what had to be done.'

'It was much later I realised
I'd lost one of my earrings.'

'It was a mistake
to go and look for it.'

Was it wrong what I did?

Was it murder?

That's not for me to decide.

Suppose it had been you.

Wouldn't you
have done the same thing?

The doctor said two months.

That's all she had left.

I couldn't let her suffer.

Could I?

Don't you agree?


Tell me what you think.

My mother died a few years ago,

and, like your auntie,
she was very frail.

Very fragile.

Most of the time
she seemed to sleep.

I used to sit by the bed,

and the silence...

became oppressive.

So I began talking to her
as if she were her old self.

I'd talk to her of childhood things.

Holidays, trips to the seaside,
special treats.

No reaction.

And then...

one day as I was leaving,

I leaned across
and kissed her on the forehead,

and I told her I loved her.

She opened her eyes.

She looked directly at me.

'I love you too, ' she said.

Had she heard everything
I'd been saying?

Perhaps she wasn't asleep after all.

I don't know.

And that is why I find it impossible
to answer your question.

What do you think'll happen to me?


I'm sure everyone
will be very understanding.

Will she go to prison?

Possibly, but I doubt it.

I'm sure they'll be very lenient.

Suspended sentence, perhaps.

Poor woman.

It's quite dreadful.

the others died naturally?

That's what the doctor says.

It's all so sad.

More toast?
Yes. Yes, please.

A penny for your thoughts.

You what?
You're miles away.

I was thinking about Alice.

She made a mistake
going to Lawnside.

She doesn't need nursing, does she?

She needs some tender loving care.

Do you want her to come here?
Do you mind?

It's only a couple of weeks,
after all.


You're a very special kind of girl,
do you know that?

We aim to please.

Would you like these?
I have read them.

Detective stories.

No, I can't be doing
with detective stories.

I get confused
with all those blue herrings.


Red herrings, dear, not blue.

Oh, well, whatever they are.

No, just not my cup of tea.

Yes, that's lovely.

Mr Smithers!

You're soon back.

Just come to collect my gear.

Off to Shrewsbury,
near my daughter's.

She thinks it's a good idea.
I'm not sure myself.

Oh, listen.


You can hear Miss Richards
heaving a great sigh of relief.

The hospital sent my particulars
to Shrewsbury police.

So don't worry, I shan't escape
the long arm of the law.

Take care of yourself, Alice.

Are you all right?

Yes, thank you, Tom.

Very all right.

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