The Duchess of Duke Street (1976–1977): Season 1, Episode 4 - The Bargain - full transcript

Louisa is facing money problems after her husband and sister-in-law's spending spree and tells Mary and Merriman that she has no choice but to sell the house and get a job herself to pay off the debts. They talk her out of it but she decides catering is the only way out of her current situation. She sets a torrid pace for herself setting off to the market in the wee hours of the morning to get the freshest products and the works non-stop throughout the day. She soon collapses and finds herself ordered to her bed but continues to push herself on the brink. When she collapses on the street, Charlie Tyrell safely delivers home. He also has an interesting suggestion that will not only clear her debts but should provide her with an income as well.

Oh, God help us.

Did you hear
Miss Norah screaming?

And Mrs. Trotter yelling.

Well! And the swearing.

You've never heard
nothing like it.

I heard it all, Mary.
I just told you.

"Get out! Clear out!"
she was yelling.

Only not so ladylike.

"Out! Out! Out! You're no
husband of mine no more."

I heard. I heard.

"And take your bitch
of a sister..."

Sorry for the language,

but I'm only
reporting the facts...

"And take your bitch of
a sister with you," she said.

Yes, I heard.

Ooh, you've never heard
nothing like it.

Mr. Merriman?

Well, what now?

When Mr. Trotter shouted,

"How can you run
the hotel without us?"

She said, "The hotel
can go to hell."

Yes, I heard.

Well, I was wondering
about that, really.

I wondered about it
for the rest of the night.

Mr. Merriman,
what would happen to us?

We'd be out in the street.

We would indeed.


Well what?

Well, what would
happen then?

Well, we'd be out
on the street.

Street's full of people
out on the street.

Oh, Mr. Merriman, I...

Now, if I was
a clairvoyant, miss,

I'd never have become
a headwaiter in the first place.

Well, you won't be that
for much longer.

Oh, thank you.

Even if I found
new employment, you wouldn't.

You're too old.
You're very old.

There aren't many
who are older.

Thank you again.

I'll take her
a cup of tea.

Oh, let her sleep.

She's been up half
the night swearing.

4, 9.

Carry the 1,
which makes it...

For crying out loud.

22, 25...

2 is...

God help us.

2 and...

Morning, Mary;

Good morning, ma'am.

You're up early,

Tea in the pot.
Help yourself.

Thank you.
Good morning.

Both sleep soundly,
did you?


Yes, ma'am.

Yes, ma'am.

Both deaf as doorposts,
then, are you?

Yes, ma'am.

Sit down.
I can't talk too loud.

Me voice
had a busy night.

LOUISA: Now, then,

while you was both
snoring in your beds

like good Christians...

or standing
listening at your doors

like hotel staff
usually do...

the case may be,

there was a bit
of a barney

which ended
with my husband

and his dear sister
deciding to leave,

for good, by the scruffs
of their bleeding necks.

Anyway, that was
last night.

It's been and gone,

so we won't worry
about it no more...

especially since we got
today to worry about

and tomorrow
and every day after that.

Well, that's your
hors d'oeuvre.

The main course
is a bit harder to swallow.

I'm closing the hotel.


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

See these?

Bills, all 2,819
pounds' worth.

Run up in a few
short months

by my husband...

former husband
as of now...

and his cow
of a sister.

You wouldn't think

it was humanly
possible, would you?

No, ma'am.

Well, seems it is.

So if you
accidentally heard

some ripe language
last night,

you know
the reason why.

And all I've got
to do now

is pay it off...
every penny.

But, ma'am, if you're
closing the hotel,

how can you pay?
I mean, what can you...

work...just work,
I suppose, damn hard;

harder than I've ever
worked in me life,

with tea and toast
for dinner

and me next new dress
the day it's all paid off.

But, ma'am, you've got friends;
people of means.

Won't any of them offer
to assist in your...

yes, I should think they
most certainly will.

thank God, ma'am.

And when they do,
I just say no.

I turn them down
flat, don't I?

Will you, ma'am?

There's not much point

in swapping one debt
for another.

But I'm talking about
friends, ma'am.

That's right. So am I.

It just can't be
done, Mrs. Trotter.

Nearly 3,000 pounds?

I never knew there were
that many pounds,

even in England.

24 pound a year I get
per annum.

It'd take me
all my life; longer.

I'd be older than
Mr. Merriman.

I still don't know
how we're gonna do it.

What we'll have to do is...



Well, me and you, ma'am,

I didn't think of you
staying on, Mary...

either of you.

Well, I got
nowhere else to go.

Anyway, I'd like to help
if I could.

Thank you, Mary.

So you shall, then.
So you shall.

MARY: Good.

I still don't know
what doing.

Help you do what?

Well, now,
you've seen the ladies

promenading up and down
in the street outside

every night, all night.


Tarts, yeah.

Well, they sell
the only commodity

they've got to sell,
don't they?

We'll do the same.

Oh, ma'am, I...

I...I don't think I could.

I mean, well,
I've always been a...

we'll sell
our only commodity.

That's what
I'm saying, ma'am.

I don't think I could.


Who's the best cook
in London?


You are, ma'am.

We'll cook all the hours
God sends us

for anyone who wants us to
and pay the right price.

If they want a French banquet,
they get a French banquet.

They want fish and chips,
they get fish and chips.

And we'll earn the money...
all 2,819 pounds.

Even 2,820.

And all without so much as even
lifting your petticoats, Mary.

Do you still want to stay?

I suppose so.

If you think we can,
yes, please, ma'am.

Good girl.
You, too, Merriman?

Oh, well, ma'am, there are
one or two difficulties.

As you know, I'm...

stop being so awkward,
you old misery.

Course you'll stay.


Who else is barmy
enough to have you?

Morning, Alf.
Morning, ma'am.

Got me stuff
ready, then?

Yes, ma'am.

Good. Give it
to Johnny. Ta.


Oh, no. I thought I was
too bleeding happy.

Here we go again.

Here we go again.

That will do,

You said it.

It's my privilege.
I'm the gaffer.

Come on.

Good morning.

Have mercy
on the merchandise,

Mrs. Trotter.

That's done you
no harm, has it?

Now, what harm's

that poor old
chicken done you?

Get no chance to, Ben Smythe.
Won't be me eating it.

Here, tell me,
Mrs. Trotter.

Why don't you never come
after we've opened

like everyone else does?

No one comes every day
at this time,

the bleeding dawn.

I do.

Oh, granted,
you do, yeah.

Here, come to
think of it,

I haven't seen you
for a few days.

I thought perhaps
you'd been coming

before I'd even
got here.

Tell me, Ben,
if they're not fresh now,

what are they gonna be like
when you do open?

Not fresh?!

Put your cap
over your ears, Jamie.

I think he's gonna
start blinding.

They're the freshest
in the market, bar none.

Oh, yeah?

Here, you like
a bargain, don't you?

I'm listening.

How about a quick kiss
and a cuddle

round the back
of the next stall?

And while
we're round there,

I'll nick you
the finest cauliflower

this side of the
Bermondsey Flower Show.

Nobody kisses and cuddles
this time of the morning,

at least not for
a bleeding cauliflower.

How much are the quail?

A tanner...
cheapest in the market.

Tanner for two, eh?

For one.

Here, tomorrow morning,
fetch the police.

The cheapest
and the freshest?

That bird, an hour ago,

was looking forward to
a long and happy life.

Poor sod. Whoa!

Oh, God.

For a minute, I thought it was
still alive and kicking.

I'll give you 4 pence.

4 pence?

4 pence.

Mrs. Trotter,

I've got a wife and
God knows how many kids.

I lose count.

4 pence, Ben.

Get 'em ready, Jamie.

She's got that look
on her face again.

Thank you, Ben.
You're a gentleman.

I'll take half a dozen.

And the best cauliflower

from the Bermondsey
Flower Show

from the back
of the next stall,

and I'll stop here
while you get it.

Have you gone barmy,
Mrs. Trotter?

Or do you think I have?
I mean, which is it?

All I said...

I know damn well
what you said.

You want me
to buy from you

when you're already up
to the eyebrows in debt

with what you bought
from me.

I know I am. That's why
I'm suggesting it.

In fact, I'll tell you
how much you're in debt

just to prove
I'm not barmy.

I can tell you how much:
28 pounds, 7 shillings.

One moment, young woman.

Have patience
for one moment.

28 pounds, 7 shillings.

Right. Thank you.

Now, in the absence
of an apology,

perhaps you'd be so good
as to give me a hearing.

Mrs. Trotter...

All I'm suggesting
is a way to pay it off,

since I can't pay it off
with money.

Oh, I see.

No money changes hands.

What I sell you,

you just knock off
me bill.

Oh, you do get excited,
don't you?

No wonder
you've got gout.

Now, how much do you charge
your customers for quail?

Half a crown, cooked.

Hmm. Make a nice profit
there, don't you?

We do have overheads.

How does this sound
to you?

Two bob cooked,
shilling raw.

What? Two shillings,
cooked by you?

So if you charge
two and a penny,

you're still making
a profit, aren't you?

All you have to do is
hand them over the counter.

And you'd be doing
the cooking?

With me own
clever hands.

Taste better than
yours, won't they?

How many can I have?

Half a dozen.

You can have them
by teatime.

You'll charge two
and bloody 7, won't you?

WOMAN: Young man,
you don't understand.

We've none left.

What do you mean,
you've none left?

It's just that we've
none left, Mrs. Caradine.

I'm sorry.

What good is sorry,
young man?

How many mouths do
I feed with sorry?

I demand to see
the manager.

"I demand to see
the manager."

It's beginning to sound
like a musical chorus.

Every day.

Uh, Mr. Mather...

It's Lord Ealing's

If she wasn't in,

she'd be somebody else in,
wouldn't she?

She's going potty

'cause we've sold out
of veal and ham pies.

I'm a regular customer.
Tell him.

Yes, Mrs. Caradine,
and most highly valued.

I'm so very sorry, madam,

but we're always
sold out by this time.

We just can't
make enough...

It's every day
the same.

Well, yes, madam.
That's what I'm saying.

Well, it's not
good enough, is it?

Perhaps if you could
call earlier.

Perhaps if you could
save me some.

Oh, I'm sorry, madam,

but that's what everyone
asks me to do.

There's nothing more to
be said, then, is there?

I apologize.

Will that be all,
then, madam?

Have to be,
won't it?

Excuse me.

That's, uh,
the turkey, a ham,

the sausages,
and the figs.

That'll be 34
and sixpence.

The driver will deliver
within the hour.

So half a dozen quail,
two bob each,

is 12 shillings
off me bill, right?

Uh, yes. Yes. Agreed.

Not the most satisfied
of customers, eh?

Oh, I'm in the wrong
trade for that.

I'd have to be
a magician.

Why don't you be, then?


You could have
veal and ham pies

coming out of
Mrs. Caradine's hat...

and her bloomers, too,
by way of an encore.

What are you talking about?

veal and ham pies;

pork pies;
what you like.

You're not selling those
as well?

As many as you like.

I buy the veal,
the pork, the ham.

I bake the pies.

All you do Mr. Mather
is smile at your customers;

knock 'em off me bill.

Well, I'd need hundreds.

Hundreds you shall have.
Thousands'd be better.

How much a pie?

What weight?

Oh, a pound, say...
veal and ham.

11 pence, ha'penny.

9 pence.

I can't go a farthing
under 11 pence, ha'penny.

And I can't go
a farthing over 9 pence.

Good day, then,
Mr. Mather.

The quail will be ready
as arranged

if Mr. Ellis has time
to collect them.

10 pence, farthing.


10 pence, ha'penny.

You said done.

Mr. Mather,

we're not just talking
about ordinary pies.

We're talking about
Louisa Trotter's pies.


10 pence, ha'penny, then.

Oh, Mr. Mather, you do
strike a hard bargain.

♪ Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay ♪

♪ Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay ♪

♪ Ta-ra-ra ♪

♪ Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay ♪

♪ Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay ♪

♪ Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay ♪

♪ Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay ♪

♪ Ta-ra-ra ♪

that's what I said,
Mr. Merriman.

What? In her
sitting room?

That's right.

Then the small

and the tallboy

all her
bedroom stuff.

Into the sitting room?

Into the
sitting room.

Can you give me
one sane reason why?

she said so.

I should leave you
to handle the rest,

'cause I should be
in the kitchen.

I'm only a woman.
You're a man.

I'm an old man, Mary...
a very old man.

I should be lying on a bed
at this time of day,

not carting it
up and down stairs.

Well, you did have
a sitdown halfway

to get your breath back.

Yes. Well, I'm a waiter,
not a furniture remover.

Well, that must have been
in a previous life...

two months ago.

Excuse me, ma'am.

Excuse me, ma'am.

Yeah? What is it?

Your bedroom furniture's
been removed

to your sitting room,
as instructed.

Yeah? What of it?

Which means your bedroom
has no furniture in it

and your sitting room has
your sitting room furniture

and your bedroom
furniture in it.

if I sleep downstairs,

I can spend more time
in the kitchen.

And the more time
I spend in the kitchen,

the sooner I can get
back to sleeping

in me bedroom.

Sunk in yet,
has it?


Sunk in?

No. Well, it wouldn't,
would it?

You're not a woman.

Are you taking
a little holiday, Mary?

Oh, sorry, ma'am.

Excuse me, ma'am.

Yeah? What is it?

It's your parents,

Mr. And Mrs. Leyton.

What? Here?

In the hall.

Ooh, blimey.

Mary, make a pot
of tea, luv...

tea and biscuits.

Dump 'em in my room.
There's a dear.

He's such a good husband,
Louisa...or was.

He adores you.

Yeah. Makes it all
the worse, doesn't it?

He should never have
come sniveling to you.

I think it was
his sister's idea.

Yeah. Everything's
his sister's idea.

Did she tell him
to tell you

what a bitch I am?

MRS. LEYTON: He just seemed
to apologize, mostly.

Louisa, you can't
pay it all off.

You can't do
the impossible...

not on your own.

I'm not on me own,
am I?

I don't count

Well, I do.

Hasn't, um...

Hasn't he offered
to help?


You know, your, um,
old friend.

Who's that, then?

The king, girl.

If Edward knew
the trouble...

his majesty.

Oh, his majesty.

Surely, if he knew
the trouble you was in...

Yeah, he's offered.
He's written to me...

well, his equerry has...
2 or 3 times.

Oh, there you are.

Then everything's all right.
I told you, Vi.

Mum, dad,
I want no one's help.

If he hadn't helped me
in the first place,

I wouldn't
need help now.

Anyway, needing's
different from wanting.

I'll be beholden
to no one.


And don't you start

putting your hand
in your pocket, dad.

You can't afford it,

and I wouldn't take it
from you anyhow.


Yeah, well,
we, um...

We thought you'd want
to be independent.

You always were.

Yes, but we still wanted to come
and see you...

you know, it being Christmas eve
and everything...

to, well, because...

Because we were
worried about you.

That's it. We was worried
how you was keeping,

since we hadn't heard
from you for so long...

you know, ages and ages.

Yeah, I know.
I'm sorry, mum.

I've been
up to me eyes in it.

I will write, you know,
like I used to...

Ages and ages and ages.

and not a dicky-bird.

We used to look forward to
your little letters

coming so regular.

Well, I mean
apart from the money inside.

Oh, that apart.

Oh, heavens above, no.

I mean
the letters themselves

and all your news and...

Whether you was having
a nice time.

Mmm. What lovely shortbread.
Do you make it yourself?

Yeah, of course.

Of course she did. Perfect.

Do you want another
cup of tea, dad?

Oh, yeah.



I may be wrong,
but, um,

if the king's
offered you help,

I mean, well,
isn't it really,

you know, only
common courtesy to...

here you are.

I've got a little
Christmas box

for you,
by the way.

For us?

It's nothing much...

just a few quid.

Now, we couldn't take
money from you, Louisa...

not when you're working
so hard to...

All the hours
God sends.

That wouldn't be right
on our part.

No, not when you're
trying to save.

I've been saving it
for you.


Thank you, Louisa.
You're a...

You're a good girl.


Always were.

Excuse me, ma'am,

but whatever it is
has been simmering now

for a good
15 minutes, and...

Oh, yes. Thanks Mary.
Right away.

Well, we won't impose on you
if you're busy, Louisa,

but we just had to come,
you know, have a nice chat.


How long have you had
your bed in here, then?

Oh, a few months.

Good idea. Make sure you get
plenty of rest.

LOUISA: Dinner for 8:

Lieutenant General Dennises,

Melons glaces.


Consommé de volaille.


Oh, sorry. Yeah.

Saumon grillé

Grilled salmon?

Yeah. Tartar sauce?

Yes, of course.

Côtelettes de mouton

Uh, yeah.

Soufflé de caillerie?

Ma'am, here are 3 more

well, inquiries, that is.

The Duchess of Launde,
January 2, luncheon for 12;

Lady Blackwater, also January 2,
supper for 4;

Mrs. Lionel Watson,
January 5, dinner for 8.


All of them; all 3.

I don't think
you can, ma'am.

Already on January 5,
you're doing a luncheon for 12.

Accept them.
We'll manage.

It's all right,

Go and rest, Mary.

How, ma'am?

There's the pans
to scour,

the fish to clean,
the vegetables to do,

and there's nothing's
even started yet.

Go on. Go and rest.

You can have 40 winks...
well, 39.

You don't rest.
You never rest.

Oh, don't be simple.
It's me I'm working for.

I know what
I'll get out of it

when it's all over.

What do you get
out of it, eh?

Well, I'll have
been a help.

Without me, you mightn't
have done it so quick.

No, I wouldn't have
done it at all...

if I ever do, that is.

I'm all right now.

Are you sure?

Well, you could have
had 10 minutes.

Oh, I could have done
the fish in that time.

Mary, ordinary people
call it fish.

We're not ordinary.

Fish have names
where we come from.

Salmon, then.



Oy, Mary?

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas,

Is she very,
very poorly, doctor?

Well, I don't think
Cruickshank's Salts

would ever want her

as an advertisement
for glowing health...

working herself
to exhaustion,

barely eating,
barely sleeping.

How long has this suicidal
business been going on?

All winter.

Will she soon be better,
sir, do you think?

Only with
plenty of rest

and regular meals
and no work.

And the same applies to you,
by the look of you.

Oh, I get more rest
than she does.

She has the mental worry
as well, you see.

My auntie Gwyn says that

that aggravates
the sickness even worse.

Oh, does she?

Oh, yes, sir,
in her opinion.

I'm most grateful.

Now, it's up to you,
young lady,

to see that Mrs. Trotter
eats properly

and rests properly
from now on.

Those are strict orders.

And it's your responsibility
to see that she obeys.

Yes, sir.
I'll try, sir.

A kitchen maid is only
allowed to give orders

to a scullery maid
as a rule...

only we haven't got
a scullery maid.

She shouldn't get up
at all tomorrow...

not for two days
at least.

Very good, sir.



All this palaver,

I forgot to put
the brandy

in the chicken liver

Bring me the livers
and a cheap bottle.

I'll mix them
in here.

No, ma'am.

What the hell
do you mean, no?

I mean no.

Duckie, doctors
are only doctors.

They're not
emperors of India

and defenders of
the bleeding faith.

The answer's still no.

I'd like that
to be understood, please.

Thank you.

well done, nurse.

Mr. Merriman?

Mr. Merriman!

I'm reading the paper.

When I read, I read.
I don't talk.

What is it that I'm in

when I don't know
what to do

and you say
I'm in something?

I'm in
a certain word.


Oh, that's it.

I'm in one again.


Before she got
took poorly,

she'd be up
and about by now.

But on the other hand,
the doctor said

she's to stay
in bed all day.

So the quandary is,
should I take her

her morning pot
of tea or not?

That's the quandary
in question.

Mary, I'm trying to
read the newspaper...

yesterday's newspaper.

The time we have to get up
in this establishment,

there's no such thing
as today's.

Mr. Merriman, if she
rests and convalesces

and does less cooking
and earns less money,

well, it's all over,
isn't it?

We will be
on the street.

One of the attributes
of old age is wisdom.

In my wisdom,

I said you were
both mad at the time,

and I was right.

You said no such thing.

Well, I thought it.

Well, I'll take her
the tea,

and if she's sleeping,
I'll bring it back.


Mr. Merriman!
Mr. Merriman!

Morning to you.

LOUISA: 21...

22, 23, 24...

25, 26, 27, 28...

I know you, don't I?

I don't think so.

So if you wouldn't mind...

It's Louisa.

Is it? Well,
I don't know you

from Adam and Eve
nor the serpent.

So shift your carcass
and let me get on.

Louisa, stop it.

You know who I am,
all right.

I was wondering
if there's any chance

of a lift
to Piccadilly Circus.

Please, Mr. Tyrrell,

get on your way
and let me get on mine, eh?

Mr. Tyrrell?

It was Mr. Charlie
the first time we met.

As I remember it,

you're a rogue,
vagabond, rake,

and seducer of innocent
young kitchen maids.

Attempted seducer;
failed seducer.

It was the second
time we met

you called me
Mr. Charlie.

How are you, Louisa?

I'm well.

Now can I get on
with me business?

And your husband?

He ain't me husband
no more.

I see.

See what?
What is there to see?

Louisa, what on earth
are you doing

at this time
of the morning

pushing a barrow?

In the first place,
I'm minding me own business.

In the second place,
whatever I'm doing

is a damn sight
more respectable than you...

stood here, this time
of the morning,

St. James,
in your evening suit.

I don't think
you are well, actually.

You don't look well.

Where can I
call on you?

Why? Do you want to
or something?

Of course I do.

Bentinck Hotel,
if you like.

There ain't
no guests anymore.

Ain't an hotel anymore.

You can do
what you like.

You won't object?

Up to you, isn't it?

Louisa, we are
old friends.

Good morning.

Are you sure
you're all right?

I told you I was,
didn't I?

are you all right?

Yeah. Yeah,
I'm all right.

We'd better
get you home.

No, no, Mr. Charlie.
I'll be all right.

It's all right,


I...couldn't think
what to bring you

without spending
your money.

I was in a quandary.

I brought quail in aspic.

Mr. Tyrrell said
it was horrible...

in the street.

He thought
you was dying.

And if you are, ma'am,

I don't think you must
expect us to feel sorry.

You was supposed to
stay in bed.

We did our best.

Mr. Tyrrell?

Pardon, ma'am?

When did you see
Mr. Tyrrell?

He's called at the hotel
every day since it happened

to tell us how you were,

but he wouldn't
let me come till today.

Oh, Mr. Merriman's notified
Viscount Stanley

and the honorable
George Campbell

that they'll have to
whistle for their dinners;

that everything's
been canceled.

They wished you better.

I heard Mr. Merriman
praying last night.

That's something I've never
heard him do before.

Perhaps it was for

Don't cry, Mary.

I'm not.

Now, you will try
and get well

this time,
won't you, ma'am?

The kitchen can wait.

The kitchen can
blow itself up,

for all I care.

I'm gonna pack
the whole thing in.

To hell
with my debts.

All I want to do now
is die in peace.

If you don't pay
your debts, ma'am,

they'll throw you
out of the hotel.

You'll have
nowhere to live.

Well, that won't
matter much

if I'm dead, will it?

We tried.

That's supposed to be
the most important thing.

It's supposed to be.

And we failed.

It don't matter.

What's it matter?

Some people don't even
get bread.

Most people.

Saw a lot of them like
that when I was a girl.

I thought if I didn't
see them no more,

they wouldn't be there.

But I have.

They are.

I don't know what to say
to cheer you up, girl.

Nothing, I suppose.

There is nothing.

Hello, Mary.

I think
she's sleeping, sir.

How is she today?

She's never been
like this...never.



Twice in 3 days?
Must be a nightmare.

5 days.
It happened 5 days ago.

Oh, sleep me life
away here.

Ta. Who'd you
get them for?

The first pretty woman
I bumped into.

Louisa, I've been
doing some thinking.

the answer's no.

Oh, I know that.
Mary told me.

Oh, she did,
did she?

She'd repeat it
like a catechism.

Yeah, you seem to tell
each other a lot,

you and Mary.

It's always about me,
I notice.

Nothing better to do?

What you been
thinking about, then?

I'm sorry this is
how it's ended,

but I think you were right
to do what you did...

making yourself responsible
for the debts.

Yeah? You're about
the only one that does.

Of course. I'm the only one
that understands you.

And me. I understand me.
I was a bloody fool.

How's Lord Haslemere
these days?


Oh, still taking long,
athletic walks

around his Yorkshire

keeping as fit as he can,

because he thinks
I'm waiting for him to die.

Are you?

He'll live forever.


No, I enjoy myself,

occupy myself enjoying
the pleasures of London.

They don't keep me fit.

They keep me happy...
fairly happy.

You've not changed,
have you?

Not in one single

It isn't altogether true

that I enjoy
the pleasures of London...

Not as much as
I should and could.

I seem to wander from
the house of one friend

to the house of the next
in circles,

like a fairground Johnny.

Such a nice,
posh house

you was gonna have
and all.

Carriages, servants,
big plays.

You've done nothing,
have you?

Which isn't to say
I'm not going to.

Same old Charlie.

Louisa, how much would
the lease cost on your hotel?


How much?

1,500 pounds.

I'll buy it.

Who for?

It'll give me
what I need, won't it?

a home in London;

a suite of rooms
furnished to my own taste

that I can regard as home;

where I can invite
my friends for a change.

No. I don't
want charity.

It isn't,
for God's sake.

If you don't want
to sell, all right.

I'll buy another

or something
like that somewhere.

You do that, then.
The answer's no.

Please yourself.

I always do.


Would you mind
pushing off now?

Visiting time's over...
yours, anyway.

You're stupid as well as
stubborn, aren't you?

I never knew that.

Look, I want
no one's help.

It was being helped that
got me where I am now...

at death's door.

Death's door?

You'll live
as long as my father.

It's to help me, woman.

Admittedly, I'd be
an investment for you,

but so would
you be for me...

which, as far as
I'm concerned,

is a damn sight
more to the point.


Would I be expected
to cook for you...

for you
and your friends?

If you were agreeable,

that's precisely
what I'd expect.

Well, how, Charlie,
lying here?

The only one I'm gonna be
cooking for is St. Peter.

Oh, when you're recovered;
when it's convenient.

Say, within a month.

A month?


I'm not a bleeding
pit pony.

But you'd have no debts left,
would you, blockhead?

It'd be less work for
a damn sight more money.

How many months or years
do you think it would take

slaving away in that
black hole of a kitchen

to earn 1,500 quid?

Think, woman.

Ooh, it's a rum sort
of hotel, isn't it?

One guest,
one suite of rooms,

and no furniture?

No. The thing's

It's out
of the question.

MAN: 18 guineas, then.

Do I hear 19?

For this superb
hooded porter's chair,

do I hear 19 guineas,

Does he?
Up to you.

Ooh, it's ever so
expensive, isn't it?

I don't remember when
I last spent tuppence.

Oh, come along, gentlemen.
Do I hear 19 guineas?

Oh, it is nice,

I don't know.
What do you think?

19's too dear,
isn't it?

Yes, it is.

Going for 18 guineas, then.

But not if you
really want it.


Thank you, madam.

Any advance on 19?

That's me last bid.
I'm not going no higher.

MAN: 20!

Do I hear 22?

Ooh, I bloody well
hope not.

Going for 21, then.

Going, going, and gone.

Oh, Charlie. Oh!

Here, let's go now.

I've got me chairs,
me dining table,

me hall table,
me pictures,

me beautiful
hooded chair.

All I need now is
a couple more hotels

to put them in.

AUCTIONEER: And now we come to
lot 24, gentlemen...

wait a second.

Lady and gentlemen.

Grand piano,
handiwork of Mr. Steinway.

Beautiful to look upon
and, I have no doubt,

equally beautiful
to listen to.


I don't want
a piano.

Not for you.
For me.

Now, who's going to start
the bidding at,

shall we say, 25 guineas?

Thank you, sir.


You don't even play.

I can learn,
can't I?

LOUISA: Morning, George.

Well, what
do you think?

Looks like
a tart's bedroom.

Oh, I wouldn't
say that.

Well, you should know.

How many quail
have you cost me, then?

Bloody hundreds.

God knows
how many pork pies.

If you're delivering
furniture, come in.

If you're not,
why aren't you?

Make yourself
at home.

Thank you.
What a mess.

What do I sit on...
the piano?

Not but it'd sound
much better

than it did
when I come in.

I thought I was doing
rather well.

Louisa, did we buy
any wardrobes at all?

Yeah. They're
coming tomorrow.

My man's bringing

all my clothes
this afternoon.

Louisa, why is it

that my rooms are
still in this mess

when you've done up
the entire hotel?

I don't know
how you do it.

Yeah. I think
I get carried away.

I've noticed that

No going back now.

No, I suppose not.



Worried, but happy?

Worried, but worried.
I think I must be barmy.

When I decided to open
a suite of rooms for you,

well, I think
I was just delirious.

Then, being me, what
do I go and do next?

Open all the rooms;

open the whole
bleeding hotel.

That's not delirious.
That's plain barmy.

Oh, Charlie, I'm right back
at the beginning again...

all the slaving and sweating
to pay off me debts.

What am I doing but landing
meself in more of them?

Hell of a sight more.

But you're getting an
entire new hotel, woman.

Louisa, how many times
do I have to explain?

Yeah, but what
if it fails?

It won't.
It might.


It's what you wanted.
You won't let it fail.

It's all
you've ever wanted

from life, isn't it?

Yeah. You know it is.

Absolutely all?

An hotel, nothing more?

Well, and its guests...

especially if they're
anything like me first...

and they appreciate
me cooking.

Yeah, that's all.

And no husbands?

No, certainly
no husbands.

No lovers?

Most certainly
no husbands.

Anyway, I'm gonna be
slaving away in the kitchen

for your bleeding lovers.

What about you, Charlie?

Apart from
the regiment of women

I'm gonna be
cooking for,

what do you want
out of life, eh?

You could have had
the pick of society.

You know that,
don't you?

Here, you forget
I already have had.

Well, the pick of
society picked me.

Well, is it your piano?

Is that what you want...
be a great pianist?

I'll surprise you.

I'll learn to play
one day.

It's always "One day,"
eh, Charlie?

Ah, there's
plenty of time.

There's never
plenty of time, luv.

Not for things
that matter.

For example,

tell you what I've got
for your dinner:

melon followed by turbot
followed by roast beef

followed by
cherries in brandy.


Well, I only hope she knows
what she's doing.

I said, I only hope
she knows what she's doing!

Mr. Merriman!

You only hope she knows
what she's doing.


So do I.


Mrs. Trotter.

I agree.

She never has yet.

She's too young
to start now.

He's not what he seems,
though, Mr. Merriman.



Mr. Tyrrell.

He's no gentleman,


I know what
he gets up to.

I was the tweeny maid
at Lord Henry.

Lord Henry's his uncle.

And what does
he get up to?

Oh, what doesn't
he get up to?

Mary, when I want
lessons in Welsh,

I'll ask for them.

Speak English.

Why is Mr. Tyrrell
no gentleman?

No female servant
was safe.

For every poor girl
who made his bed every day,

there was always one

helping him to unmake it
every night,

and every night
a different one.

Well, then,
he is a gentleman.


That's what gentlemen
are like...all gentlemen.

That's what makes them
gentlemen. Understand?


Well, have patience.
You will.

Well, just one moment,
then, mister, uh...

mister...what was it?

Starr. Mr. Starr.

Two rs.

Oh, yes. Yes, I see.

The...the dog's
with you, is he?

Day and night.


Come in.

There's a Mr. Starr
to see you, ma'am.

Says he has
an appointment.

He appears to have
what is described

as a dog
with him, ma'am.

His name is Fred, ma'am.


We're here re your advertisement
in the "Times," madam,

re application for the position
re hall porter.

Oh, yeah, right.

Uh, thank you,

Come in, Mr. Starr.

Was it Starr?

It was, ma'am, and is...
with two rs.

Do sit down...
both of you.

Thank you, Mrs. Trotter.

Now stay, boy. Stay.

And no arguments.

Well, now,
where shall I start?

I'm not that sure
where to start.

I'm not all that used
to interviewing.

That's perfectly
all right, madam. We are.

Well, I think we might begin
by establishing,

what exactly is the remuneration
you have in mind?

Oh, yes.
That's right.

30 quid a year,
all found,

plus tips,
of course.

Of course.

Which, in the case
of hall porter,

are extremely...

indeed they are.
Correct, Fred?


Proceed, ma'am.

Well, now...

As you'll understand,

it's a highly responsible

hall porter, and...

And you would wish for
a man of experience.

Experience, yes.

What I'm looking for
is a man of experience.

Good. Look
no further, ma'am.

A man with excellent
references, I imagine.


Have you references,
Mr. Starr?

The very best,
Mrs. Trotter.

I am my references.

Yes, Fred?
Yes, indeed.

Oh. Uh, the experience
you talk about.

Where have you worked

Here and there, madam.

I see. Doing what?

This and that.


You seem a military
sort of gentleman.

Did you fight
in the Boer War?

Very possibly.


Well, I'd say you did...

And won.

Well, now...

Well, now, Fred and I
would be grateful

if you'd be as frank with us,
madam, as we have with you.

And what we'd like
to know are:

1, the number of guests to
whom we are to be of service;

2, whether Fred,
of course, will be welcome.

No Fred, no yours truly.

Correct, Fred? Correct.

3, the number
and character

of the remainder
of the staff;

4, what arrangements could
be made satisfactory to...

Come on, Katie.

At least it's nice
and warm in here.

Uh, can I help
you ladies?

Oh, I doubt it, pal,

but it wouldn't cost
that much to try.

Well, this is
the new hotel, isn't it?

Well, yes, or will be
in a day or two.

Oh. Not yet, then?

Well, no,
we're not open yet.

Oh. We was hoping for
a bit of trade,

if you'd any
gentlemen staying.

MARY: Out!

Go on, both of you.

Hey, who the hell
are you talking to,

little bloody skivvy?

You, so get out,

and shut the door
behind you.

This is gonna be
a hotel, isn't it?

Not to your kind.

Oh, they're all
our kind, dear.

How long have you been down
from the mountain, then?

Go on. Get out.

Mr. Merriman,
help me get them out.

What's going on out here,
for God's sake?

It was two ladies,
sort of, ma'am.

They wanted to know
if they could...

Oh, a couple
of tarts, ma'am.

They had the effrontery
to want to...

Anyway, I chucked
them out, ma'am.

No bones broken, then?

MARY: No, ma'am.

That's all right, then.

Mary, Mr. Starr.

Mr. Starr is gonna
join us as hall porter.

And Fred.

And Fred.

Mr. Merriman
you already know.



Pleased to make
your acquaintance, miss.

So we'll see you
as arranged, then, Starr.

At your service, ma'am.

And a pleasure
to be so.

Go on, Fred.

He's, uh...

He's what you had in mind,
would you say, ma'am?

I don't know. I don't
know nothing about him.

He interviewed me.

But you engaged him.

Yeah. I think that's
why I engaged him.

I like mysteries.

Oh, Mary,
one little thing.

Yes, ma'am?

When you chuck ladies
out in the future,

do it gently, eh?

What ladies, ma'am?

That'll do, Mary.

They were
streetwalkers, ma'am.

Which is another word
for working girls, Mary,

same as us.

I've told you before,
you mustn't be a snob.

Do you like my new cap?

Oh, I wish we wasn't
opening today.

Wish we was opening
next week.

You look beautiful.

Tomorrow, even;
this afternoon.

Oh, hell, Mary,
what do you think?

That you look
very beautiful.

I don't mean that.

I know you don't.


In fact, thanks
for everything.


Good luck, ma'am.

You deserve it.

Good morning,

staff of the
Bentinck Hotel...

and Fred.

Good morning, ma'am.

Well, if you
was expecting

a grand speech,

I'm afraid
that was it...

perhaps to say

God save
the king.

God save the king.

And God save
the Bentinck

while he's
about it.

Righto, Starr,
open the door,

with doodah
and fanfare of trumpets.

STARR: Ma'am.

Oh, looks suspiciously like
a jeroboam of champagne to me.

LOUISA: Cherry-bum
of champagne.

Yes, a cherry-bum.

Louisa, where are
the glasses?

I'd be delighted
for you all to join me.

Oh, thank you,
Mr. Tyrrell.

Come on, everyone.
My room.

Surely not
the staff, ma'am.

the staff, Starr.

Champagne, 10:30
in the morning?

I'm ashamed of meself,
I'm happy to say.

Come on.

Oh! Cold out there,
by God.

Hey, you, come here.

Yes, sir?

Never mind
the "Yes, sir."

I've got a cabful
of luggage out there.

Bring it in here,
and damn sharpish.

Yes, sir.
At once, sir.

Just a moment, Starr.

For what purpose,
may I ask?

For what purpose?

This is a hotel,
isn't it, hmm?

Well, I want a room...

the biggest and the best
you've got,

and a damn sight
less impudence from you.

I don't think I caught
your name, did I?

Oh, didn't you, now?

No, I didn't.

Oh. Then I suggest "Sir"
will do from you.

Is "Sir" your title?

It is the custom, madam,
for customers.

Mr. Josiah Atkinson,

of the Atkinson

Coal Mining Company,

I want a room
befitting that position.

You mean
in the coal cellar?


I don't think we have
any rooms available.

Good morning.

Madam, we've plenty
of rooms available...

almost all of them.

Yeah, but not for
the likes of jumped-up

little snotty-noses
like Mr. Atkinson.

If you'd care to try
an ordinary hotel,

I'm sure they'd be
happy to oblige.

Scarper, Josh.
Sling your hook.

I don't understand.

That'll be all, Starr,
if you catch me meaning.

Certainly, ma'am.


Good morning, sir.

STARR: Oops.
Mind the step.


Come on, everyone,

while the bubbly's
still fizzing;

before he drinks
the lot.

He was a wealthy
man, ma'am.

I don't think so, dear.
All he had was money.

Ma'am, you're
always telling me

I mustn't be a snob.

And so you mustn't.

And I should know.
I am one.

Oh, I don't understand.

Understand what, barmy?

What you're doing.

Doing? I'm starting
as I mean to go on.

LOUISA: Right.
Where's me glasses? is deprecated, please
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