The Duchess of Duke Street (1976–1977): Season 1, Episode 12 - A Matter of Honour - full transcript

The Ascot racing season reunites her with an old friend, Major Farjeon the one time equerry to King Edward VII. He has rented a house at Ascot but it has been a dreadful week and he hopes Louisa will prepare a smash up dinner for his guests on their last night. On arrival, Louisa finds the situation much as her friend had described and promptly fires the temporary staff provided by an agency. Her friend Charlie Haslemere is also present but he gets into a flaming row with another guest when his friend Lord Elleston is accused of cheating by having his horse lose at Ascot in the hopes of getting better odds at future races. Louisa once again comes to rescue by resolving the dispute, though to no ones satisfaction.

35, 36, 38...

40...42 is 2, carry 4...

Oh, come in.

4. 4 is 7 is...


Choke up, chicken.
Look, now you've gone

and made me lose
me place.

I'm abject.



Well, I'm blowed.

It's been a long time.

How are you?

Very well.
You are, if possible,

more beautiful
than I remember.

You did always have
the gift of the gab.

I seen you've been
and got married.

Yes, I did.

Seems to suit you.

Put on a bit of
weight, ain't you?

That is between
me and my tailor.

And I read
in the "Gazette"

You gave up
the equerry lark.

Couldn't stand
the pace, eh?

Not that and marriage.

Oh, no,
I should think not.

How did himself
take it, though?

Oh, predictably.

Roared like a lion at first.
Sulked for days.

Finally came
to the wedding

and shed tears
of joy over all.

Yeah, I expect by then
he'd made up his mind

the whole thing
was his idea.

I rather think he had.

So now you're back
with the battalion, eh?

Second in command.

Well, I'm blowed.

Here, sit down.

Oh, thank you.

So what brings
you here, then?

Well, you know
it's Ascot week.

Oh, I sure do.

Been fairly run off
me feet, what with

Ascot luncheons
and dinners to do

here, there,
and everywhere.

Thank God it's the
last day tomorrow.

Oh, dear.

What's it to you?

Well, Phillida...
my wife...

was fearfully keen
to do the thing properly.

But for one reason
and another,

she's never managed to
before and so...

well, we couldn't
really afford it,

but we took a house
down there.

Oh, you're a bit
lovely, ain't you?

Oh, just a small house party.
Should have been ideal.

It's been
an utter disaster.

What, the guests
not get on?

Least of our problems,
although nothing's ever right

for Phillida's godfather,
contentious old devil.

His wife's pretty free
with unsolicited advice, too.

But...well, Phillida
is inexperienced.

And the staff
we've inherited...

they simply defy

What with the rain,
I think yesterday was

the worst day we've had
since we got married.

Oh, dear.
I am sorry.

Don't see what
I can do about it.

I was rather hoping
you'd help me

to take the curse
off that house.


Well, if I could

a really good dinner
for the last day...

Tomorrow? Forget it!

I've had 7 dinners to do
already this week,

never mind about
running the hotel.

Oh, yes.
I do see.

I wouldn't have asked
if Charlie Haslemere

hadn't said you'd help
if you possibly could.

Oh, he put you
up to it, did he?

Might have known.

No, no, no.
Actually, it all started

because the palace
has offered me a sturgeon.

I've been on the list
a long time,

and it did seem

if we were going to give
a very special dinner.

Oh, yeah, couldn't go
far wrong with that.

Cook we've got
could go wrong

with sardines
on toast, and has.

Besides, as Charlie said,
it's the royal fish,

and who else could I ask
to present it

but the Queen of Cooks?

You're a crafty
couple of devils,

ain't you?

If I were to go down
on my bended knee...

What else would you
have besides?

Oh, I'd leave it
to you.

Bended knee, you said?

Here, get up
off of there.

Somebody will come in.

Not until I have
your answer.

Oh, all right.

You're a real friend.

I'm a snob

on top of being
a sentimental fool.

What's the address?

And how many
will you be?

I thought 10, all told.

How's your cellars
down there?


Sounds to me like
you've been robbed.

So you'll want me
to do the wines

as well, will you?

Oh, everything.
I leave it all to you.

You mean you want
to get off to the races.

Oh, go on.

Here. How big is
this sturgeon?

Do I get it picked up,
or do they send it over?

I've really no idea.

Oh, get along with you.

I'll telephone the
bloomin' palace meself.

You're an angel.

Yeah, I know all
about that.

Have a nice day.

We'll be along to
sort you out tomorrow.

Oh, dear.

Sturgeon, eh?

Oh, well.



Good morning,
Mrs. Trotter.

Morning, Major.

Money no object,

what wine
would you serve

with a sturgeon?

Sturgeon, eh?

When is this for?


Dinner for the palace,
I take it.

No. It's an Ascot party,
if you must know.

Well, I think
with sturgeon,

I'd serve a Rh?ne wine,
perhaps a Chante-Alouette.

Of course, there's
the Puligny-Montrachet '02,

if you really want
to spoil them.


Puligny-Montrachet, 1902.

I thought you were having
the day off tomorrow.

Not anymore.

I see.

A very special customer.

Pal of Charlie's.

Oh, that explains

Well, got to help out
when you can,

or else what's the use
of friends?

Quite so.

You don't happen to know
Desmond Elleston, do you?

I believe he's a pal
of Charlie's. Why?

He owns Vital Spark.

Oh, bloomin' racehorse,
I suppose.

And well-fancied for
the Alexandra Stakes tomorrow.

I already got
one sure-fire tip...

Bembo for the Hardwicke...
and I was thinking

of making Vital Spark
the second leg of a double.

I wondered whether Charlie
had any inside advice.

I don't know, I'm sure.
Give you mine for nothing.

I was rather afraid you would.

Save your money.

You don't understand.

The beauty of a double is
that one gets multiplied odds.

I'm thinking
of the horses.

You back them, odds are
they drop down dead.

I'm due for
a run of luck.

You have been, Major,

ever since
I've known you.

You take my tip.

Far as Ascot goes, you
drive the bus for me tomorrow.

Oh, very well.

I'd better go
and give her a rubdown.

I've just checked those.

Where's Old Major Whiskers?

I'm sure I don't know
who you're talking about.

You know perfectly well.

What I do know, Mary, is
that I was brought up

not to make fun
of my elders.

There can't be many.

Least of all when
they're not present.

I already told you,
I've checked those!

Well, then,
you can get on

with something else,
can't you?

And furthermore,

I don't have to take
orders from you.

Mrs. Trotter said I'm
to look after things.

Oh, I'm not
to be trusted.

Is that it?

I'm only doing
as I'm told.

Now, why don't you?

Mrs. Cochrane, Mary.
Lovely day.

Where's the bus?


Well, it wasn't
a moment ago.

True, but then, a moment ago,
I wasn't in here.

The one constant in life,
Mary, is change.

Did I ever tell you,
Mrs. Cochrane, that my time

in India has made me
something of a philosopher?

You did not.

Given half a chance, he will.

In my experience, Mary,

bores are infinitely
preferable to bullies.

Are you calling me a bully?


Hear, hear.

Equally, madam, I would ask you
not to provoke her.

I have lived too long
to have the evening of my days

made hideous
by quarrels belowstairs.

What is more to the point,

if you two can't find
a way to rub along,

Mrs. Trotter's going
to hear about it,

and then there really
will be trouble.

He's right.

I'm sure I've gone out of
my way to get on with her.

Oh, 6 of one and half
a dozen of the other.

Well, all right.

Let's get on
and bottle these sauces.

That's something
we can do together.

MAJOR: Good.

Don't you think

we should start loading
some of this, Major?

Not until Mrs.
Trotter's checked it.

I took particular note
of her instructions.

It's nothing
personal. Honest.

Mrs. Trotter does like to
check everything herself.

Yes, I do,
and you know why?

Because if anything's
wrong, you laugh,

and it's my head that rolls.


Get your hat
and coat on, Mrs. C.

Everything in that box
of mine, Mary?

- Yeah.
- Good.

- What's this?
- Asparagus.

- Kept damp like I told you?
- Yep.

What are you up to?

3 of Madeira,
3 of Imperial Tokay, and...

half a dozen each
of the others.

Looks to me like more.

That's the wine.

I've also put up 2 bottles of
port and 2 bottles of brandy.

Which port?

Quinta do Noval '69.
I've decanted it already.

Good brandy?

A 15-year-old Exshaw.
That should do them all right.

And did you remember to
cross it off the stock list?

I have now.

You're a bit of a
quick-change artist.

I reckon the 3 of you
has done a good job.

Better load up now.

Are we going to need
all these utensils?

I don't know,
but it's a rented house.

There's no knowing what
they may have or not have,

so my motto is,
"Get yourself covered, girl."

And you'd better take
the big fish kettle.

They're bound not
to have one of them.

Are you going to be able
to hold the fort all right, Mary?


Oh, did you have a word

with the couple
in number 7?

Oh, blimey. Nearly forgot.
You were quite right.

Couldn't begin
to pay their bill.

I knew it.

Mind you,
it was astronomical.

It wasn't when I
first spoke to you.

Anyway, I put it
on Sir George's bill.


he finds out?

Sir George find out?
Don't believe he can read.

Pity to go to Ascot
and miss the races.

We got a job
of work to do.

Oh, quite.


think of the money
you're saving.

I arranged for
my modest investment

to be handled by Starr.

You'll never learn, will you?

I did decide
against the double.

Just plunged on Bembo.

Well, it's
something for you

to be halfway
sensible, I suppose.

If he romps home
at 7-1,

you will regret
those words.

I might,
if he does.

Mrs. C.
Is very quiet,

ain't she?


Notably dour lot.

Long on stoicism,
short on words.

But I ain't heard
a word out of her

since we left
the hotel.

Blimey, she don't
half look poorly.

Hope she's not going
to be Uncle Dick

over these goods.

Fearful affliction.

There's nothing
I can do.

Nor anyone.
It's incurable.

Knew a fellow once
in the frontier force

got it from mules.

Great strapping fellow.

Horses, camels, elephants, problem.

But mules...the mere sight
of one would lay him low

as effectively
as any wily Pathan...


And with less dignity.

How much further?

Oh, with any luck,
say half an hour.

Oh, poor cow.

Here, this is the front.
We go round the back.

MAJOR: What?

Oh. Yes.


One forgets.

We're here.

Here you are, then.

You'll live.

Yes, madam.

Oh, I'm sorry,

You'll be right
as rain

when you've had
a cup of tea.

Yes, madam.
Thank you.

No wonder they wanted
a good meal.

Yes. Not much to feast
the eye on, is there?

And no welcome
on the mat.

Oh, well. You can start
bringing the things in

soon as she feels herself.

You have all day.
I haven't.


Who are you?

Kath, ma'am.

You aren't very old,
Kath, are you?

What's your position?

Tweeny, ma'am.

A hard life
but a merry one, eh?

No, not so merry.

I'm Mrs. Trotter.

That mean anything to you?

I'm here to do
the dinner.

I'll have to ask
Mr. Sterling.

Yeah, you
do that, then.

And tell him
to get his skates on!

You feeling better?

Quite myself again.

You're sure, now?

Yes, thank you,

Then shall we...


Mrs. Trotter?

Mr. Sterling.

How do you do?

I'll be a lot better
when I can get in

to start on the dinner,
if you've no objections.

I haven't, but the kitchen
staff's in an uproar.

You're the butler here.

Don't want to be defeated
before we start.

But you see, when the
master let this house

for the races, he sent
all the staff on holiday

excepting myself
and young Kath,

who's hardly dry
behind the ears.

This lot come
from an agency,

and from start
to finish,

they've been nothing
but trouble.

Moaning's not going
to change them, is it, now?

Come on.

Well, you going to do
the honors, Mr. Sterling?

Oh, yes, yes.
This is Mrs. Trotter.

STERLING: Mrs. Bertram
and her staff.

What's the matter?
Deaf and dumb, are you?

We've been insulted,
haven't we?

Not by me, you haven't.
Not yet.

Bringing you down here

without so much
as a by-your-leave?

Whose leave? Yours?

You got some
funny ideas, ain't you?

This is my kitchen.

And welcome, from what
I've seen of it.

Look, I don't want
your job.

I didn't particularly
want to come down here

and do this dinner.

You touch one thing in here,

and we give in
our notice.

All of you?

All of us.

We talked it over.

Yeah, bet I know who done
most of the talking.

I'm not going
to stand here...

you're telling me.

Now, Sir John asked me down
to do him a dinner,

and I can see why now.

Never mind you're a bunch
of surly so-and-sos.

The muck
this place is in,

you're not fit
to serve swill.

Don't you speak
to me...

you ain't heard
nothing yet.

Look at this place.
It's a disgrace.

How long since this
been scrubbed?

You call yourself
a cook?

My God. All your airs
and graces,

you're an insanitary slummock,
that's what you are.

Give in your notice?
I can't wait that long.

Don't want you in here
a moment longer.

Touch one thing,
was it?

Here you are, then.

You better get off before
I'm tempted to use it on you!

I'll get off,
all right.

But I hope you make
a proper mess of things!

MRS. TROTTER: And the rest
of you can suit yourselves.

Stay, and you might
learn something...

though from the look
of the place, I doubt it...

or push off out of here.

I don't want a bunch
of layabouts under me feet,

so make up your minds.

Oh, madam.


looks like we're going
to be short-handed.

MAJOR: At least
we now know where we are.

I'd be happier

if her ladyship
had been consulted.

Yeah, well, she's
at the races, ain't she?

We'd stood here
arguing all day,

we'd never
have got dinner.

I get the feeling
she'll be consulted

the moment she sets
her foot inside the door.

We'll cope with that
when it happens.

What other staff
have you got?

Only outdoor.

Ladies' maids?

There's Sir John's
soldier servant

and Lady Farjeon's maid.

Between us, we've
been looking after

all the guests.

You fetch them
in here.

It's highly irregular.

It's all hands
to a sinking ship.

MAJOR: Rats apart.

I suppose so.

Where do you want
the things from the bus?

Put them over there
for the moment,

out of the way.

I've got
to sort out

what needs
to be done.

Here, uh...

What's your name?
Kate, is it?

Kath, ma'am.

Kath, here you are.

What if I'm worse than
her? I could be, you know.

Are you going
to risk it?

Good girl.

Then you're
kitchen maid.

There. There's
one problem solved.

Guardsman Wilson,
Miss Jennett,

Mrs. Trotter.

Hello. Mrs. Cochrane.

Good day.

And Major Smith-Barton.


Thank you, Wilson,

but I think,
in the circumstances,

we can dispense
with the formalities.


We're in a bit
of a pickle,

as I expect
you've heard by now.

Well, I had
rather gathered.

Never listen
to gossip.

Well, that must make life dull.


Oh, never mind.

The thing is, we can
sort it out ourselves.

Just if you was willing
to lend a hand,

we could sort it out
that much quicker.

So what do you say?

Well, if it means
Sir John and her ladyship

having the dinner
they've been hoping for,

- I volunteer.
- Oh, yes.

They deserve
a nice evening

after all that's
been going on.

They really do.

Slovenly lot,
that other lot was.

Well, we're lucky
to have Mr. Sterling,

him knowing the place so well.

Can't let Kathy
be the only one

to redeem the honor
of the household.

That's the style.
So...what can you do?

I started
in the still room

at Dunster Castle.

WILSON: I have,
in my time, waited table

in the officers mess.

JENNETT: Trouble is, we'll have to
go when they're dressing for dinner,

just when you
need us most.

WILSON: Can't be
in 2 places at once.

You'll just have to
get back down here

as quick as you can, won't you?

We've got resident butler,
thank God. I'm Chef de Cuisine.

Proper cook
in Mrs. Cochrane.

And Kath reckons she can cope
as kitchen maid, and I agree.

So I'm afraid it's
the scullery for you.

Oh, that's a bit
of a comedown, isn't it?

She does know her way around
the kitchen better than you.

Oh, well, I suppose
I did volunteer.

And you'll have to cope
as best you can as footman.


It all seems to be
falling into place.

You, too, Major.

You're acting
unpaid dogsbody.

You can start by
dealing with the wines.

The rest of you
can see what you can do

to clean this place up.

We'll have a look
at the dining room,

Mr. Sterling, if that's
all right by you.

STERLING: All right,
Mrs. Trotter.

So, it's 10
for dinner, right?

So I'm given
to understand.

What's been done
about flowers?

Her ladyship hasn't
ordered any that I know of.

She'll hardly have time
to do them herself.

I better see what
I can find in the garden

when we're done here.

Yes. Well,
here are the epergnes.

How are you
for glasses?

Oh, ample sufficiency
for that number.

Cutlery? Linen?

What we've got
in here...

Her ladyship did leave
a plan for the placement.

Yeah, well,
that's something

to be thankful for.

Oh, Kath.

Thank you.


Quite like old times.


If it moves, salute it.

If it doesn't move,
polish it.

Right, off you go.

Yes, sir.

MAJOR: By jove!

That's a handsome fish.

Oh, yeah.

You've done a lovely job
boning and stuffing it.

Thank you, ma'am.

Asparagus. Right.


Souffl? dish.

Got your eggs separated,
have you? Good.

You keeping your head
above water, Miss Jennett?

Oh, just about.

It'll be worse
before it gets better.

Oh! Thanks.

I think we're winning.
Thank you, one and all.

Time for
a nice glass of wine

before they get back
from the races.

Mr. Sterling?

How did you know?

The major
gave me the hint.

Oh, he's sound on anything
that hasn't got 4 legs.

Right. Step up.
Take your glasses.


Here you are.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Don't you want one?

She's too young
for Champagne.

If she's old enough to work,

she's old enough
to drink like us.

- Right?
- Right.

There you are.

Don't be
so mean.




The bubbles gone
all up my nose!

What did
I say?

Waste of good Champagne.

Oh, I don't know.

The girl's got
to start sometime.

first you don't succeed...

Oh, Kath.

WOMAN: How do you think
Lady Rothschild

managed that hat?

And in this wind?
I quite thought

I was going
to lose mine.

I scarcely noticed
against hers.

Personally, I found it
rather vulgar.

Oh, did you?

I thought those feathers
were tremendous fun.

I must say
I did, too.

But the colors!

I wonder if I might
have a word

with your ladyship

Not another

It is a matter
of some urgency, I fear.

Let's go upstairs

and get out
of these things.

I never believe
in being too accessible

to one's staff.

Give them distance.

As soon as you've seen
the gentlemen in,

I'll be in
the drawing room.

My lady.

A good day,
I trust, Sir John?

Good enough,
thank you, Sterling.

Somewhat lacking
in Vital Spark.

For pity's sake, Ross.

If you can't afford to lose
a few pounds on a horse

without grumbling
about it all the time,

don't go racing.

Whether I can
afford it or not

is neither here
nor there.

Let's have a drink.

Thanks, but I want my bath!

And preferably
in boiling oil.

Steady on.

It's all very well,

but Phillida's
godfather or not,

if he makes one more insinuation
about Desmond's horse,

I'm warning you,
there'll be trouble.

Don't worry.

I'll keep him
off the subject.

Did Mrs. Trotter
arrive all right?

Yes, Sir John.

Oh, where is she?

At the present time, she's
in the dining room, my lord.

Come on.




Well, you've worked
the oracle again.

It looks
truly wonderful.

Oh, well.

you're pleased.

Wilson, what the devil
are you doing here?

I asked him to
give me a hand.

I've laid out
your clothes, sir,

and the other
gentlemen's as well.

Well, that's all
very well.

You can manage
without him for a bit,

and I can't, see? That's all...


Sir. Permission
to carry on, sir.

Well, yes,
I suppose so,

though why
it's necessary

when we have a perfectly
good footman...

that's all
you know.

Louisa has her own way
of doing things.


in the school

of hard knocks.

Oh, Louisa!

Keep your hands
off the grapes,

Charlie Haslemere.

You know I can't abide to
have me fruit picked over.

The port seems to have stood
the journey rather well.

Hello, Charlie.

Good lord, Major.

Don't tell me she
roped you in, as well.

Always like to lend
a hand, you know.

Oh, do you know
Johnnie Farjeon?

Major Smith-Barton.

I don't believe
I've had the pleasure.

How do you do, sir?

Oh, pretty well,
pretty well.

Will you have
a drink?

Oh...not while
I'm working, thank you.

Then perhaps you will
join us in a glass

after dinner.

After dinner,
he'll be helping me

to pack up and get
back to the hotel.

Louisa, you're
a slave driver!

Johnnie! Johnnie!

Excuse me.

Oh, there you are.

I want you to meet
Mrs. Trotter.

Yes, I think
it's high time I did,

judging by what
Sterling's just told me!

CHARLIE: You'd better have
that drink after all, Major.

Perhaps I will.

JOHNNIE: Jolly good.
Come along, then.

And you can
fall out, as well.


Mrs. Trotter,

have you quite taken leave
of your senses?

Oh, I hope not.

I understood that you
were to come down here

to provide dinner tonight.

That's right.

According to my husband,
it was a special favor.

Right again.

Well, no doubt
you mean well.

If you knew how I was
looking forward to it!

But I come back here and find

you haven't been
in the house 5 minutes

before half the staff
have simply walked out.

You were better off
without them.

Well, I suppose we're
better off with my maid

and my husband's
soldier servant working for you

instead of doing the jobs
they're supposed to do.

As a matter of fact,
you are just now.

I know just how
you feel,

but if I'd had that
bunch of weary willies

under me feet, we'd
never have got dinner.

Weren't worth
the time of day.

Robbing you blind,
I shouldn't wonder.

You don't seem to realize,
we have a houseful of guests.

Well, you finish
tomorrow, don't you?

Somebody has to
give them breakfast.

Oh, if that's all
you're worried about,

I'll see to that.

I'll leave it all
so Kath and Sterling

have only to warm it up
and serve it.

Can you really?

Of course I can.
Won't take me 2 ticks.

Now, in fact,
I'll have it all done

by the time dinner's
washed up.

Well, in that case...

How do you like
me flowers?

They're lovely!

Yeah, well,

I like to do
me own flowers.

You've seen
a menu, have you?


Here you are, then.

It's a bit late
to change it,

but we'll try if
you fancy anything

in particular.


I don't see how
it could be bettered.

Oh. Well,
that is nice.

Well, we knew you'd
had a spot of bother

one way and another,
so we wanted

to do you
something special.

Ain't been married
long, have you?


He's a lovely fellow
you got there.

I think so.

And he ain't done
so badly himself,

as long as he don't get

the sharp edge of
your tongue too often.


You really are an amazing
woman, Mrs. Trotter.

Just so's you have
an amazing evening,

Lady Farjeon.

I think we shall.

I really think
we shall.

Well, that's
all right, then.

Peace reigns in the dining room,

you'll be pleased to hear.

I'd better get back
and decant the claret.

Oh, there's bags of time.

The second gong
hasn't even gone yet.

Have another drink.

Oh, thank you.

The major was asking
who won the Hardwicke.

I couldn't remember.

Oh, Bembo.

MAJOR: Oh, good!

Waltzed it, 7-1.

Very good.

Did you back him?

In a modest way.

Either of you two
do any good?

Oh, so-so.

I broke even,
I suppose.

I'd have done a lot better

if there hadn't been such an
upset in the Alexandra Plate.

- Oh?
- Vital Spark.

Desmond Elleston's horse?

Joint favorite.

I nearly made him the
second leg of a double.

Well, count
your blessings.

What happened?

Simply faded
in the last furlong.

That's surprising.
Oh, thank you.

On form, he should have
stayed the distance easy.

I don't understand it.

Nor did Phillida's

He keeps hinting

there was something
funny about it.

Mind you,
he lost a packet.

Well, he's rich
as Croesus.

Doesn't mean to say
he likes to lose it.

That's how
he stays rich.

True. Ha ha! Very.

You better keep him
off it because...

You've made
your point.

Oh, ma'am!

What's your problem?

It's Mrs. Cochrane!

What's wrong
with her?

She says come quick.
Please, ma'am.

What's wrong?

The gelatine
won't set, ma'am.

It's too warm.
Of course it is.

Flaming June,
isn't it?

Where's your ice?

There's no ice.

What do you mean,
there's no ice?

the iceman failed

to deliver
this afternoon.

Ain't you got
a refrigerator?

Not as such.

Oh, God,
what a dump!

What am I to do?

I'm bound to say
it's the first time

I've ever known him
let us down.

Do you mean he came

Oh, yes, indeed.

Then where's
your icebox?

Through here.

God's truth!

How much ice
do you want?

It's pretty near
full the lining.

I never thought
of that.

God give me strength.

Here, give me
your cloth.


Here you go.

Where's your rolling pin?

All right.

There you are.

Now you stir
your gelatine over that,

and you don't let it get
too solid.

No, Mrs. Trotter,
I won't.

Put that somewhere safe,
will you?

Oh, yeah. There's
something, like.

It's a proper
picture, isn't it?

Yeah. In fact, that's
what it's all about.

First job I ever had,

know what the chef
there said to me?

He said...

"After the smell,

the taste, the tongue,
and then the eyes."

I never forgot that.

You want to be
a cook, do you?

You have to really
want to, you know.

I do. I want it more
than anything else

in the whole world.

Do you want to be
the best cook in England?

Yeah, well,
wanting's half of it,

and working at it's
the other.

Eyes on the stars,
feet on the ground.

Get back
to work, then.

Yes, ma'am.
Thank you, ma'am.

God! Fair took me
breath away.

It was like talking
to meself

for a minute back there.

That will be the first
of the dinner guests.

Yeah, well,
we're ready when you are.

If I don't get
an apology...

you won't!

You haven't
a shred of evidence

for what you're

I have it
on the best authority!

Make some excuse,
that's all.

How long
will you be?

God knows.

But, Johnnie,
if you aren't there

to greet
the other guests,

they'll think it
extremely odd.

It's nothing to what
they'll think

if I can't calm
these two down.

Please keep
your voices down!

Show in
the other guests.

Then ask Mrs. Trotter
to put back dinner

by half an hour.

Very good, my lady.

MAN: Ah, there you are!

We were beginning
to get worried

we'd come on
the wrong night.

Not at all, sir.

Well, that's
a relief, what?

Warm tonight.

A trifle, sir.

in the air.

Rain later,
I shouldn't wonder.

You can get the water on
for the asparagus.

Yes, ma'am.

There we are.

All right.

Souffl? into the oven,
Mrs. C.


Open that door
for me, will you?

Thank you.

Let's have a look
at you, Wilson.

Yeah, you'll do.

Get your gloves on.

Get along to
the dining room.

I'll get the consomm?
into the tureen

soon as they
announce dinner.

I'll bring it along
to you.


Her ladyship's compliments,
Mrs. Trotter,

and will you put dinner
back half an hour?

Oh, my God.
The souffl?.

I'll get it out.

Don't you dare!

You touch that oven door,
you'll ruin it!

Can't be done.

STERLING: I'm only
passing on orders.

But why?

Mr. Ross and his lordship
are having an argument.

What about?

All I can say is
that it's heated

and serious enough
to stop Sir John

from greeting
his other guests.

Where are they?

In the smoking room.

Right. Don't you touch
that souffl?.

And you separate
some more eggs

in case we need
to make another.

Check the dining room.

I'll be back before
you know I've gone.

What can she do?

Murder, if her
dinner's spoiled.

You repeat that to
another living soul,

and I'll take you
through the courts!

Can you afford to?

Not only that,
but if it's published,

I'll take your rotten
scandal sheet

and shove it
down your throat!

No horsewhips?

Damn you!
For God's sake.

ROSS: Thank you,
but I'm perfectly capable

of taking care
of myself.

Doesn't sound to me
as if either of you

is capable of anything,

least of all
a bit of common sense.

just keep out of this.

It's none
of your business.

Stupid slanging match.

Can't you hear

May I ask
who you are, madam?!

This is Mrs. Trotter
of the Bentinck Hotel.

Considerable personality
and a distinctive hostelry,

or so I'm told.

In other circumstances,
I'd be pleased to meet you,

but I fail to understand
how our differences

could possibly concern you
or your hotel.

I'm here to do
the dinner.

I promise
not to interfere.

You have. Any minute now
it's going to spoil,

and having put
meself out,

I don't intend that that
should happen...

not on account
of a couple of men

shouting the odds!

I really must go and greet
our other guests.

Now, come on.
You're grown up.

Behave like it.

What's it all
about, anyway?

Mr. Ross has accused
a friend of mine,

Desmond Elleston,
of cheating, Louisa.

He says he had it

from a racing journalist
who knows.

Oh, crikey.
Newspapers again.

I happen to have one
among my interests...

not that it's
any business of yours.

Don't talk to me
about newspapers.

If they can't find
muck to print,

they have to invent it.

We print what people
ought to know.

Ought? You're
not God, are you?

Is this really helpful?

What did this
scribbler friend

of yours say, anyway?

That Desmond Elleston
gave orders that his horse

shouldn't win the Alexandra
Plate this afternoon.

Wasn't that the big race?

1,500 pounds.

Why would he want
to throw that away?

To lengthen the odds
on the next race

he has Vital Spark
entered for at Goodwood.

It simply isn't
true, Louisa.

How can you be so sure?

- It's unthinkable.
- Why?

it's unthinkable!

I mean, I've known
him all my life!


Isn't this damn
thing settled yet?

No, it's not.

Well, it's all
going on up there.

What is?

A racing row, as far
as I can make out, sir.

For someone
that doesn't hold

with gossip,
you spend a lot

of time with your
ear at keyholes.

I thought you'd
like to know.

Fruitful source
of contention, racing.

All I know is,

if that souffl?'s

it'll be
like leather.


Just because
you lost a bet...

No, Charlie.
You malign me!

We're not talking
about someone

who diddled one of
his rich friends at cards.

If I'm right,

Elleston's cheated
a lot of hopefuls today

in order that he can cheat
a lot more at Goodwood.

I think that's the sort
of fraud that ought...

yes, ought, Mrs. exposed.

I didn't mean
to upset your evening,

and I didn't realize

that Elleston was
a friend of yours.

If he's done
what I say he's done,

he doesn't
deserve to be.


You're not just out to
cause trouble, are you?


Charlie, if the king
gets to hear about this,

there will be
the very devil to pay.

Don't tell me.
Tell your wife's godfather.

We've simply
got to sort it out

among ourselves.

Please, Johnnie,
I'm at my wits' end.

We must announce dinner.

Oh, all right.

Just one more
moment, my dear.

Look here.
If there's any way

we can settle
this privately...

All roads lead to rome.

You're neither of you
going to give in

till you know
who's right. Right?



Then find out.

An unofficial

Desmond would
never agree.

Rather than have
his name in the papers,

he'd be glad to.
I know I would.

Is he down here?

He's staying
with the Westmacotts.

I'll telephone.

We'll need
an independent arbiter.

What about the major?

- Yes, of course.
- The Major?

He's a pal of mine.

He's one-time steward
of Calcutta races.

So what do you say?

Rotten end
to a bad week.

What about
that souffl??

Much longer,

and the sturgeon's
going to spoil, too.

Oh, dear!

Never say die.

An admirable
sentiment, Sterling,

but hardly helpful
in the circumstances.

We're off!

Consomm?, Mrs. C.

Right. Wilson, Sterling,
get down to the dining room,

ready to serve.

You can take along
the consomm?, Major,

soon as it's ready.

What was it
all about?

Racing row.

Which you solved?

No. I dropped you in it.

You're going to conduct
an unofficial inquiry

soon as the owner
gets over here.

In that case,
I'd better eat now.

Uh-uh! You cut along
with that consomm?.

There you are.

Which horse?

Vital Spark in the
Alexandra Plate.

MAJOR: I rather
saw it coming.

Kath! Look what
you're doing!

I'm sorry.

No time for daydreaming

if you want to be
best cook in England.

No, ma'am.
Sorry, ma'am.

Mrs. Cochrane,
let's get that sturgeon out.



how very original

to serve
unhulled strawberries.

I find it

a shade

Oh, but it's
all the rage.

A l'anglaise?

I daresay.

With individual bowls

of cream
and sugar,

- isn't that so?
- Yes.

MAN: Invented
by Samuel Smiles...

don't you know?

Why, Aubrey,
what a wag you are!

Very droll.

AUBREY: One tries.

How's it going
in there?

Reasonably jolly,
I gather...for a morgue.

For a dinner party,
less so.

Should I go
and sort them out?

For once,
I think perhaps not.

Well, perhaps you're right.

You see now

how the hulls come in
handy, Mrs. Ross.

Yes, thank you.

I do grasp
the idea.

Don't grasp
the idea.

Grasp the hulls,





Ha ha ha!

AUBREY: Well, it
wasn't that funny.



AUBREY: How was
the racing?

Oh, I'm sorry?

Aubrey was

today's racing.

How was it?

It was interesting.


Mrs. Ross: I'd say
interesting was the word.


WOMAN: At least
the weather was lovely,

apart from the wind.

AUBREY: That's good.

And there were
some amazing hats.

Truly amazing.

Jolly good!

Excuse me,

but Charlie
and Sidney Ross

are wanted on
urgent business.


I'm sure
we'll excuse them.

Why, yes.

Of course.

JOHNNIE: Have you been
following the Lemoine case?


AUBREY: Can't say I have.

WOMAN: Do tell.

Well, apparently

this fellow took
60,000 pounds

off some South African

for a process
for making diamonds

out of chemicals...

a feat which
he performed naked.

On 2 occasions.

What a perfect scream!

Needless to say,

the formula
didn't work

for anyone else,
but by the time

that was

he had fled
the country.

AUBREY: I say!

There were perfectly good
stewards at the meeting.

They didn't have
the information

I have since acquired.

You must have had
a very big bet

to be so diligent.

Let's not impugn
anyone's motives,

Mr. Elleston.

I have been accused
of the basest possible conduct.

CHARLIE: But you
welcome the chance

to come here
and refute it.

Given the alternative.

Yes. Well, let's
get on and do

as was agreed,

Thank you.

Do you
yourself think

that Vital Spark's

came up
to expectations?


As a result of which,

his odds for Goodwood
have lengthened.


It's an established fact.

The bookies are
offering 12-1.

CHARLIE: But you deny
any connection

between the 2 things.


How do you account for the
horse's poor showing today?

Racehorses are not machines,
you know, Major.

Mr. Elleston,

that is
a distinction

I made before
you were born

or thought of.

Yes. I'm sorry, Major.

To answer
the question...

I think Brenton called
on him too soon.

You blame the jockey?

Perhaps we should
have him here.

Uh, no. No.
He rode to orders.

We were worried
about Torpoint all along,

and Brenton's orders were
to get ahead of him

the moment he could.

Which he did,

and then led the race
for the first 6 furlongs.

Which I hadn't
allowed for.

Vital Spark is a horse
that loves to race.

Only he had no one
to race against

once he took the lead.

MAJOR: Is that
what you're saying?

Well, he certainly seemed
to have lost interest

by the time
he was challenged.

Brenton simply couldn't
pull him together.

It was bad judgment,
if you like.

That's hindsight.

But to say I deliberately
tried to influence

the course of a race!

If you only knew how much
I needed that prize money.

I do.

Don't make
too much of it.

No. I mean,
I've been living

from hand to mouth
for years, you know.

Mr. Ross' point is

that you now stand
to win a fortune

if Vital Spark wins
at Goodwood.

Major, I might just be
that farsighted.

my creditors aren't.

Ha ha ha!

The kidneys
and the kedgeree

only need to be
warmed through

and put in
the chafing dish

along the sideboard.

There's eggs and bacon,
toast, tea, and coffee.

You can manage that,
can't you?

I reckon so.

Then Bob's
your uncle.

Here, leave a few!

How's the party?

Well, there's 2 parties,
isn't there?

What, still?

How much longer?


What is it?

This isn't going to mean
trouble for Fred, is it?


My brother.

why should it?

I don't know.

He's a lad, see,

at the racing stables
where Vital Spark's trained.

Not that I've gambled,
so to speak of,

but he gives me a tip
now and then

when he's onto
something good.

Well, last week
he wrote me a letter.

What letter?

To say to save my money
on Vital Spark today

and have a real good go
on him at Goodwood

and to keep it to myself
so it don't spoil the odds.

Where is it,
this letter?

I don't want to get him
into trouble.

Nor me, and I don't want
a pal of mine

to get into trouble,

Now, you go and get it.
There's a good girl.

Not my favorite dish,
humble pie,

but I owe you
an unqualified apology.

Think no more of it.

It's jolly decent
of you, Desmond,

to take it like this.

I'm glad that we could
settle it among ourselves.

I'd say this calls
for a drink.

I really think we ought
to get back to the others.

I'll just have a quick
drink with Desmond

and the major
and then join you.

Very well.



I ought to be
getting back, too.

I'll shield you
from Louisa's wrath.

Never fear.

Mrs. Trotter.

Over, is it?

Yes, and you
saved me

from making
a fool of myself.

I'm very grateful.

Oh. That's
handsome of you.

And I'm sure
Mr. Elleston

will want
to thank you, too.

Good night.

CHARLIE: Louisa,
can I introduce you

to Mr. Desmond Elleston?

Mrs. Trotter.


CHARLIE: Well, you not
only redeemed our stay,

you saved us from
a thumping scandal.

I did, didn't I?

Major, perhaps
you'd load the bus,

if you wouldn't mind.

Right away.



CHARLIE: Night, old boy.

Charming fellow.

Shame you had to
pack him off like that.

Well, I'll get him back,
shall I?

Him and anyone else
you want to know

about your pal here
being a crook.

My dear Mrs. Tro...

Now, don't you try
and soft-talk me!

I've got a letter proves exactly
what you planned to do

and that
the whole stables knew.

I don't believe it.

You will if I give it
to Mr. Ross to print.

What have I ever
done to you?

Nothing, but you took
a lot of little people

this afternoon, and I don't
hold with that.

Can't make you
pay them back,

but I can see you don't
profit by it no more.

If it wasn't that it'd make
Lord Haslemere here look a fool

and upset the Farjeons, I'd give
Mr. Ross that letter now.

As it is, you run
Vital Spark at Goodwood,

and I swear I will.

You're bluffing.

Call it.

You realize
I shall go bankrupt.

That could be the least
of your worries.

Be drummed out society
the other way.

You'll never get
back, neither.

Louisa, what on earth
is this all about?

It isn't true, Desmond?

Oh, Charlie!

If you hadn't made
such a song and dance

about the whole thing,
it would have blown over.

Of course it's true,

and I'm finished,
thanks to you...

And Medusa here.

I'd have gone on oath
that that man...

Yeah. Well...

That's what keeps us
together, isn't it...

both of us being
such rotten judges

of character?

I don't know.

I just don't know.

Bear up.

Someday one of our geese is
going to turn out to be a swan.

It's bound to...
law of averages.

I was just coming
to say good-bye

and thank you.

That's all right.

I won't say
the evening didn't have

its sticky moments,

but the meal
was delicious,

and Ross tells me
you averted a scandal.

I did, didn't I?

I'm very grateful.

My wife would be here,
too, but we have been

playing truant rather
a lot this evening.

Yeah. I know.

In fact, I must go
and rout out Charlie.

Yeah, well, I'd give him
a minute if I was you.

The fact is,
he got it all wrong.

Oh, my God.

I'm only telling you
'cause he's going to feel it.

But don't worry.
It's all sorted out now.

No need for anyone but you
and me and him to know.

Thank you again.

Give me regards
to Lady Farjeon.

MAJOR: Yes. Well,
I think that's all.

Thank you
for your help.

Let's get out
of here, my lot.

Good-bye, Mrs. Cochrane.

Thanks ever so much.

Good-bye, Major.

Well, I won't say
it's been fun,

but we've had
our moments.

Hope you ain't
ruined your hands,

Miss Jennett.

Oh, they'll

Ta-ta, Wilson.

You'd make
a first-rate footman

if you didn't
stamp about so.

Best regards,
Mr. Sterling.

Mutual, Mrs. Trotter.

Well, we'd better
get on upstairs.



Here, Kath.

I don't poach,

but you should
ever fancy chancing

your arm in London,
you look me up, eh?

Bentinck Hotel,

Duke Street,
St. James'.

Thank you, mum.
Thanks ever so much.

Don't let it go
to your head

and spoil breakfast,
will you?

No, ma'am.

And, uh,
I'd burn that

if I was you.

Mind how you go!